Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
INEC shake-up to affect 67 directors
•22 depts may be scrapped
Boko Haram: no talks with govt
NEWS Page 9
•‘We didn’t send emissary to Saudi’
VOL. 7, NO. 2226 THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Suspects: we drugged Cynthia before killing her By Jude Isiguzo and Precious Igbonwelundu
EFORE a shocked audience of reporters and policemen, two youths, who are cousins, spoke yesterday of how they killed Cynthia, daughter of Major-Gen. Frank Osokogu. Odera Ezekiel (23) and Okwoma Nwabufor (33), suspects in the alleged murder of the model, are 300 level Accounting undergraduates of the Anambra State University and the University of Lagos (UNILAG). They said their intention was to rob the late Cynthia whom they believed was coming into Lagos with a large sum of money but when they did not find enough on her, they beat her to death. According to them, she died as they struggled with her to take all they found on her. They said when the late Cynthia arrived in Lagos, they checked her into a hotel where she was drugged with 10 tablets of Rohypnol, which they injected into three packs of Ribena juice which they served her in her room. Ezekiel and Nwabufor met the late Cynthia through a Blackberry group chat. They got
•Ezekiel and Nwabufor ...yesterday
PHOTOS: PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU
•The late Cynthia
cousin said about ‘10Mytablets of Rohypnol was mixed in the three Ribenas. After she took some, she started feeling weak
Continued on page 2
•Sim cards and other items recovered from the suspects
•The late Cynthia’s shoes, bag and Jewellery the police recovered
Asari, Ateke, Tompolo get govt’s N5.6b contracts •SEE ALSO PAGES 4&5
Ex-militants securing NNPC’s oil pipelines
HESE are good times for former Niger-Delta militants, going by reports of their fortunes. Mujahhid Dokubo-Asari, leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, earns $9 million (N1.420billion) annually, guarding pipelines of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) , The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The paper, which is well respected in the financial world, reported that the contract was sealed last year. It said: “Last year, Nigeria’s
state oil company began paying him $9 million a year, by Mr. Dokubo-Asari’s account, to pay his 4,000 former foot soldiers to protect the pipelines they once attacked. He shrugs off the unusual turn of events. “I don’t see anything wrong with it,” said the thickly built former gunman, lounging in a house gown at his home here in Nigeria’s capital.” NNPC, the paper said it gathered from one of its senior officials, is giving $3.8 million (N599.64million) a year apiece to two former rebel leaders, Gen. Continued on page 2
•Governor Rauf Aregbesola shaking hands with Director, Media and Public Relations, Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation in Europe, Mrs Stephania AlofuokhaiGhogomu, during the opening session of the two-day Osun State Investment Summit in Osogbo…yesterday. With them are Deputy Governor Mrs Titi LaoyeTomori, Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (behind her); and Head of Delegation Mr Collins Nweke.
•HOW TO FIX NIGERIA , BY TINUBU P9 •INDICTED OIL FIRMS’ LIST NOW 25 P11
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NEWS Ex-militants get govt’s N5.6b contracts Continued from page 1
Ebikabowei “Boyloaf” Victor Ben and Gen. Ateke Tom, to have their men guard delta pipelines they used to attack. Another general, Government “Tompolo” Ekpumopolo, maintains a $22.9 milliona-year (N3.614billion) contract to do the same, the official said. The paper said: “A liaison to Mr. Tom declined to comment on the contracts. Mr. Ekpumopolo didn’t return phone calls and messages. Mr. Ben, when reached for comment, asked, “How much money is involved in this interview?” and then hung up. “Later, he sent an enigmatic text: “Very wel dn im nt dispose bt cnsider 100%al u wnt ,we need investors in niger delta absolute peace is •From left: Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Mustapha (second left), Yakowa; Amb. Ibrahim; Aliyu, Al’Makura, Wada and other members at guarante.” the Inauguration of Nothern Governors’ Forum Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
Negotiate with terror groups, North’s governors tell panel
ORTH’S governors yesterday mandated some eminent personalities to launch a peace drive in the region. The Committee on Reconciliation, Peace and Security is to open dialogue with identified groups behind the violence that has held the region down. The panel of 40 members inaugurated in Abuja by Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu is recommend a perma-
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja and Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
nent resolution to the security challenge and ethno-communal crises in the region. Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, gave the committee 90 days to submit its report. Three governors attended the ceremony at which some of the committee members were absent. They are Governors Patrick
Yakowa (Kaduna), Idris Wada (Kogi) and Tanko al Makura (Nasarawa). Some members of the panel, however, did not attend. A notable absentee was Sokoto Catholic Bishop Hassan Matthew Kukah. But he was represented. Aliyu urged aggrieved groups to allow peace to reign in the region. The committee, which is to find a lasting solution to the
incessant killings and wanton destruction of properties in the region, is headed by Amb. Zakari Ibrahim. Nde Joshua Dimlong (Ngolong Ngas) is Deputy Chairman. Iliya Ithuve is secretary and Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi, Deputy Secretary. The panel will also look at religious extremism, intolerance and mutual disrespect which are creating more ethnic and religious cleavage that have further separated the
people. Other issues include the virtually collapsed northern economy, including the poor Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile; mechanisms for peaceful co-existence and integration; youth and women empowerment; ethnicity and indigene/settler syndrome; insecurity, kidnappings, murders and bombings; the almajiri syndrome and integration of IsContinued on page 59
INEC shake-up to affect 67 directors
ASSIVE reforms are on the way at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Twenty-nine departments are to be merged into seven or nine. Besides, 67 directors may be deployed to essential areas of need for optimal output. Presently, there are between three and four directors in some departments, which a recent staff audit report described as “inefficient”. But INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega is facing opposition from some forces outside
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
the system who are whipping up ethnic sentiments. Jega is said to be resolute in reshaping the commission for efficiency. The reforms, which will take off shortly, follow manpower and policy audit reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Registration Election Review Committee (RERC), which was headed by Prof. Adele Jinadu. According to sources, when the management met on the two reports, a consensus was built on reducing the present
29 departments to either seven or nine. The new department that may emerge are Electoral Operations; Administration and Human Resources; Voter Education and Civil Society Liaison; Elections and Party Monitoring; Voter Registry and ICT; Legal Services; and Electoral Institute. Others being considered, but yet to be agreed upon are Finance and Account. A National Commissioner, who spoke in confidence, said: “The truth is that we cannot continue to manage a
structure like this and go into the 2015 poll with such a woobly directorate system. The pending changes have attracted opposition from some top officials who are claiming that appointments are in favour of Northerners. “The reality is that Jega’s administration inherited all the 67 directors in the system as appointed by a former Chairman of INEC, Prof Maurice Iwu. With the exception of the Director of Finance and ICT director, Jega has not tampered with the structure he inContinued on page 59
We drugged Cynthia before killing her, say suspects Rohypnol: The drug they gave her
Continued from page 1
close and decided to invite her over, thinking that as a businesswoman she would be coming with alot of cash. Although the suspects claimed that they did not rape the deceased, pictures taken by the police showed that they may have. One of the pictures of her private part taken at a close range showed traces of semen on it. Used condoms littered the hotel room, the police said. Besides, there is a picture showing the suspects tied up the late Cynthia’s mouth and hands. They also chained her legs. Ezekiel and Nwabufor claimed that the deceased came with a vibrator (sex toy), and that she used the condoms on the toy. They also confessed to have robbed and raped several other girls. Narrating his role in the murder, Nwabufor said: “It was a mistake. I invited Cynthia who is my friend, and in the process I hit her and she died in the hotel. “She came in from Abuja on Sunday morning, July 21. I was
OHYPNOL is the brand name for flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine drug in the same family of medications of Vallium and Xanax. However, unlike these other drugs, Rohypnol has never been approved for any medical use in the United States. It is illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess it in the US. Rohypnol is a potent sedative. The physical effects of the drug may be noticeable within twenty to thirty minutes after ingestion. The effects may last for many hours. trying to dislodge her by tying her and I hit her and she died. “I tied her because I didn’t want her to know I was escaping from the hotel. We had a mutual agreement for her to come over. I met her on Blackberry group chat, so she was coming to buy stocks for her boutique in Abuja. We had a disagreement. I didn’t rape her; it was the handwork of the devil. I wanted to run because I know I have committed a serious sin against her. “I thought she had things on her, such as money that I could collect. So, in the process of struggling, I tied her with cel-
If taken, Rohypnol may cause drowsiness, confusion, impaired motor skills, dizziness, disorientation, disinhibition, impaired judgment, and reduced levels of consciousness. You may look and act like someone who is drunk. Your speech may be slurred, and you may have difficulty standing or walking. Or, you may be rendered completely unconscious. It is very dangerous to mix Rohypnol with alcohol or other drugs. The combination can produce extremely low blood pressure, respiratory depression, difficulty in breathing, coma, or even death.
lotape and a chain. I also tried to make her not to shout by holding her excessively. “I was not the only one, it was myself and my cousin who tied her and beat her. “I invited her and in the process of the disagreement we felt like robbing her of all she has. The condom that was seen in the room is something personally not for her. I used it on the sex toy she has with her. She came with a sex toy, so I inserted the condom on the sex toy and later dropped it there. I didn’t sleep with her. “If the Police test the condom forensically, it will prove that I
One of the most disturbing effects of Rohypnol is that it can cause complete or partial “anterograde” amnesia (absence of memory for the events that occur after it is ingested). This means that you may not be able to remember what was done to you while you were under the influence of the drug, which may have been for a significant period of time. This “amnestic” effect is especially likely when Rohypnol is ingested with alcohol.
didn’t use it on her. She was with me for over 12 hours. Nwabufor spoke about how the late Cynthia was drugged. He said: “The drug was inside the Ribena I offered her. The Ribena was bought by my cousin and we mixed the drug, Rohypnol, inside the Ribena by injection. “It was three packets of Ribena but she didn’t finish the three. My cousin said about 10 tablets of Rohypnol was mixed in the three Ribenas. After she took some, she started feeling weak.” He also spoke about his background and escapades.
“I am a student of UNILAG, 300level Accounting (DLI). This is the first time I’m having a murder case, but I have used the drugs about four times on girls, before Cynthia, but none of the girls died. “I sleep with them and after they take the drink, they will lose memory of everything that happened to them,” Nwabufor said, adding: “The hotels I used to go to include Benny, Chelsea, OperaMini. And the hotel I took her to was Cosmilla Hotel, (Lakeview Estate, Phase 1, AmuwoOdofin). I live on Sixth Avenue, Continued on page 59
“For President Goodluck Jonathan, a Niger Delta native, such lavish expenditures have become a political liability. Despite a growing economy, his country of 167 million struggles to finance even the basics, starting with power plants, roads and sewers. A blossoming middle class in Nigeria’s cities has put further strain on public infrastructure.” The paper also said the country is spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to maintain an uneasy calm in the oil-rich delta, where attacks ranging from theft to bombings to kidnappings pummeled oil production three years ago, to as low as 500,000 barrels on some days. It added: “This year alone, Nigeria will spend about $450 million on its amnesty programme, according to the government’s 2012 budget, more than what it spends to deliver basic education to children.” It quoted Jonathan’s aides as saying the treasury would face an even worse drain if a full-blown militancy in the delta flared up again. “If it’s too huge, what are the alternatives?” said Oronto Douglas, a senior adviser to Mr. Jonathan. But for the Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu: “For you to address the whole issue of poverty and development, you need some kind of peace. That is what I think the amnesty programme has offered.” The paper noted: “Theft fell sharply. Yet now, just as Nigeria’s state oil company has begun institutionalising pipeline-watch jobs for some ex-militants, theft has blossomed again.” Sunmonu said: “It’s quite an escalation. If nothing is done, it will continue to increase because more and more people will just come to feel that this is a gold field. We’re not going to give up on this and run away from it. We believe it can be stopped.”
CYNTHIA UDOKA OSUKOGU 1987-2012 •Born: November 10, 1987. •Place of birth: Jos, Plateau State. •Parents: MajorGen.\Mrs. Frank and Rita Osukogu. •Position in family: Last of four children and only daughter. •Did her National Youth Service in Plateau State. •Attended Nasarawa State University, Keffi, as a postgraduate student. •Opened boutique, Dresscode at age 21 in Keffi. •First modelling job in 2007 in Lagos. •Met her alleged killers on Blackberry group chat some months ago. •Came to Lagos on July 21. •Found dead in Cosmilla Hotel, Amuwo-Odofin on July 22.
ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Good times •Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (third left), Commissioner for Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun (left), President and Chairman, Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Mr. Segun Aina (second left), Chairman, Abeokuta branch of CIBN, Prince Adewale Ademola (third right), Commissioner for Budget and Planning Mrs. Oluwande Muoyo (second right) and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Otunba Bimbo Ashiru (right) during a courtesy visit by the executive of CIBN to the Governor's Office in Abeokuta...yesterday
Nigeria is shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars a year to maintain an uneasy calm in the oil-rich delta. But critics say the programme, including a 2009 amnesty with bandits, has sent young men a different message: that militancy promises more rewards than risks, writes The Wall Street Journal
•Lagos State Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (middle) cutting the tape to open the office building of the Human Development Initiatives at Iwaya, Lagos...yesterday. With her are Chairperson, HDI Board of Trustee Prof. Sarah Oloko, (second right), Justice Wale Abiru of Lagos High court (right), Psychosocial Counsellor HDI, Mrs. Funso Owasanoye, ( left) Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Ade Ipaye(second left) and Director of Research, Nigeria Institute of Advance Legal Studies Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye.
•Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori (right) and the Commissioner for Health, Mrs. Temitope Ilori displaying the HIV Rapid Test Kit after being tested negative during the flag-off of the HIV prevention programme to mark the 2012 Osun Osogbo Festival...yesterday.
•From left: Director, Management Services, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Areh Patrick, Director, Monitoring and Enforcement Mr. Chris Okoyomoh and Director-General Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa at a news conference on the 20th anniversary of the Commission in Abuja ...yesterday
LHAJI Dokubo-Asari once stalked the mangrovechoked creeks of the Niger Delta, a leaf stuck to his forehead for good luck, as a crew that he ran bled oil from pipelines and sold it to smugglers. “Asari fuel,” they called it. Last year, Nigeria’s state oil company began paying him $9 million a year, by Mr. Dokubo-Asari’s account, to pay his 4,000 former foot soldiers to protect the pipelines they once attacked. He shrugs off the unusual turn of events. “I don’t see anything wrong with it,” said the thickly built former gunman, lounging in a house gown at his home here in Nigeria’s capital. Nigeria is shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars a year to maintain an uneasy calm in the oil-rich delta, where attacks ranging from theft to bombings to kidnappings pummeled oil production three years ago, to as low as 500,000 barrels on some days. Now production is back up to 2.6 million barrels daily of low-sulfur crude of the sort favored by U.S. refineries, which get nearly 9% of their supply here. The gilded pacification campaign is offered up by the government as a success story. But others say the program, including a 2009 amnesty, has sent young men in Nigeria’s turbulent delta a different message: that militancy promises more rewards than risks. While richly remunerated former kingpins profess to have left the oiltheft business, many former militant foot soldiers who are paid less or not at all by the amnesty, and have few job prospects, continue to pursue prosperity by tapping pipelines. Now, oil theft appears to be on the rise again. Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Nigerian unit estimates that more than 150,000 barrels of oil are stolen from Nigerian pipelines daily. That is one of the lower estimates. In May, theft from one pipeline got so bad that Shell simply shut it down. “Everybody seems to believe…that the Niger Delta problem is over,” said a former government mediator, Dimieari Von Kemedi. “It’s just on pause. The challenge is to move from pause to stop.” Meanwhile, Nigeria is facing a separate militancy, in the form of the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, whose guerrilla attacks on churches and police stations in a different part of the country have left hundreds dead. Some legislators have proposed extending amnesty to Boko Haram, as well. It is an expensive proposition. This year alone, Nigeria will spend about $450 million on its amnesty programme, according to the government’s 2012 budget, more than what it spends to deliver basic education to children. Under the arrangement, the government grants living allowances to tens of thousands of former mem-
bers of the bandit crews and sends them to vocational classes, in sites ranging from Houston to London to Seoul. These costs are on top of millions of dollars paid at the outset to the crews’ leaders for handing in their weapons. For a few, the programme has meant spectacular rewards. To improve ties with former delta warlords, the government invited the top “generals,” as they call themselves, for extended stays on the uppermost, executive floors of Abuja’s Hilton hotel. The Nigerian state oil company, according to one of its senior officials, is giving $3.8 million a year apiece to two former rebel leaders, Gen. Ebikabowei “Boyloaf” Victor Ben and Gen. Ateke Tom, to have their men guard delta pipelines they used to attack. Another general, Government “Tompolo” Ekpumopolo, maintains a $22.9 million-a-year contract to do the same, the official said. A liaison to Mr. Tom declined to comment on the contracts. Mr. Ekpumopolo didn’t return phone calls and messages. Mr. Ben, when reached for comment, asked, “How much money is involved in this interview?” and then hung up. Later, he sent an enigmatic text: “Very wel dn im nt dispose bt cnsider 100%al u wnt ,we need investors in niger delta absolute peace is guarante.” For President Goodluck Jonathan, a Niger Delta native, such lavish expenditures have become a political liability. Despite a growing economy, his country of 167 million struggles to finance even the basics, starting with power plants, roads and sewers. A blossoming middle class in Nigeria’s cities has put further strain on public infrastructure. Yet because four-fifths of government revenue flows from the oil fields, aides to the president defend the high cost of peace by saying the treasury would face an even worse drain if a full-blown militancy in the delta flared up again. “If it’s too huge, what are the alternatives?” said Oronto Douglas, a senior adviser to Mr. Jonathan. “For you to address the whole issue
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
for ex-Niger Delta militants ‘Education can end insurgency ’
of poverty and development, you need some kind of peace,” added Mutiu Sunmonu, managing director for Shell’s Nigerian unit. “That is what I think the amnesty program has offered.” Enticed by the programme, the militants emerged a couple of years ago from the oil-soaked swamps of the delta. Some of the leaders took up residence in the executive floors of Abuja’s Hilton and through much of 2010 and early 2011 spent weeks or months enjoying the Executive Lounge’s complimentary supply of Hennessey V.S.O.P. cognac, priced at $51 a shot on the room-service menu. Over a buffet of fiery Nigerian dishes—gumbos, Jollof rice pilafs, goat stews—they rubbed shoulders with the country’s leading politicians and influence peddlers, who often live in the floor’s $700-a-night artdeco rooms. “These are young men who came out of the creeks and were given the opportunity to hang out with the crème de la crème, wearing gold watches and drinking from gold-rimmed teacups,” said Tony Uranta, a member of the government’s Niger Delta Technical Committee advisory group and a frequent Hilton executive-floor guest. “It’s a natural thing.” Most have since moved out of the hotel. “It’s too high-profile,” said an aide to one ex-warlord, Mr. Tom. Meanwhile, thousands of former militant foot soldiers have been given job training, a feature of the program that officials call its most indisputable success. The question is how many will be able to make use of this training. In Nigeria, the government estimates, there are 67 million other people waiting to be employed. Kempare Ebipade says he spent six years guarding creekside armories as an oil militant, in the course of which he took two bullets to the thigh. In 2009, he accepted amnesty and was sent to the U.S. for two weeks at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. He displayed a booklet of Dr. King’s speeches from which he said he sometimes reads to villagers. Mr. Ebipade is a skilled welder now, trained in the craft by the amnesty program. But the father of four struggles
LECTURER at the Faculty of Education, Abia State University, Uturu, Prof. Uwakwe Igbokwe, has said education is the panacea for tackling insurgency. In a paper entitled“Education in the Growth/Development of Nigeria” presented at the 20th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, the university don attributed the insurgency in the North to lack of education, pointing out that the present menace of the Boko Haram Sect could be controlled when members accepted to be educated. He said: “The militancy in the Niger Delta area has been curbed through education. Former militants who accepted amnesty have been given opportunities to acquire skills and to generally make themselves better members of the polity.” Igbokwe added that formal and non-formal education was the kernel of Human Resource Development needed for the training of adequate manpower which would be useful in the workplaces. He argued that “education is a companion which no misfortune can depress”, adding that “man is nothing without it”. The lecturer said apart from stirring National Consciousness and Unity, education assisted in the development of character, values and attitudes of individuals which represented the moral principles accepted to the society. He said though education and politics go hand-in-hand, it was essential for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of protection and preservation of the environment. Igbokwe said: “This is so necessary in our present practice of democracy and political socialisation. Thus, an understanding of our environment will help us to maintain the natural balance in the environment and help us to check the effects of all manners of pollution.” He urged the National Assembly to enact environmental laws that would enhance the well-being of the populist.
Cleric to Fed Govt: end insecurity
HE President, Christ Apostolic Mission Church Worldwide, Pastor Adesoji Ajayi, has urged the Federal Government to address the insecurity in the country. Pastor Ajayi, who spoke at a news conference yesterday, said there was need for the government to declare holiday for people to pray to God to help unravel Boko Haram. He described Boko Haram as grand design to Islamise the North and name it ‘The Islamic Republic of Nigeria. He said their major financiers are not Nigerians. Pastor Ajayi said: “Nigeria is having a religious war and not a political or tribal one. They are religious extremists who represent an international organisation. “Most of the Northern elite and political leaders, including General Ibrahim Babangida and Major General Muhammed Buhari are not involved. They are only being watchful of their utterances for fear of being attacked by the extremists. General Buhari is merely a
to imagine how he will find clients for a welding workshop he has set up, or how he will continue to afford his apartment’s rent of $1,100 a year. The government has vigorously pushed oil companies to hire locals. Mr. Ebipade says that out of the former militant army of 10,000 he belonged to, he has heard of only five that landed jobs with oil companies. Shell’s Mr. Sunmonu warned against the idea “that every trained ex-militant is going to get a paid employment, because if you just look at the number, it’s probably huge. So we therefore must broaden our solutions to focus more on self-employment: small enterprises, medium enterprises.” The Niger Delta has seen promising economic progress. Construction on a regional highway is under way. Nigeria’s overall economy is projected to grow at a brisk 7.1% this year. But much of the growth is in cities far from the delta, and a population boom reduces the degree to which the growth helps with the unemployment problem. In the delta, years-old electric towers punctuate village skylines, but
By Miriam Ndikanwu
victim of his reckless utterances. “The most difficult battle to fight is a religious war. The activities of Boko Haram in some Northern states are meant to harass the Christians out of these states. “Nigeria may be a disaster waiting to happen if the Boko Haram saga is not seriously and pragmatically addressed. What we have in Nigeria now is unity in disunity and no longer unity in diversity. “One may say that the fate of Christians in the Northern part of the country hangs in the balance.” The Federal Government, he said, must stop the horror being witnessed in Nigeria. He said: “One of the contributory factors to insecurity is the high level of joblessness in the land. There is fire in the house and the Federal Government is trying to save the property and not the people in the house. This approach can best be described as motion without movement.”
many don’t carry electricity, having never been connected to the overtaxed power grid. Children travel to scattered schools aboard canoes, navigating creeks coated by the rainbow stains of oil slicks. A United Nations office has estimated it would take 30 years to clean the waters, which once sustained fisheries. Amid this landscape, oil-related crime lures locals like Atu Thompson, father of 18 and self-described oil thief, who says he and others see few other ways to provide. “You can take me to amnesty, give me a good contract—but others are still there,” Mr. Thompson says. Mr. Dokubo-Asari, 48 years old, used to be prominent among them. While not all of his account of life in the mangrove swamps could be verified, he long was one of Nigeria’s best-known oil marauders. About 25 years ago, Mr. DokuboAsari left overcrowded university classrooms, he says, to study guerrilla warfare in the Libya led by Col. Moammar Gadhafi. He says he was given $100,000 to stir up trouble back in Nigeria, an oil competitor to Libya. Fomenting conflict proved easy in the restive Niger Delta he returned
to in the early 1990s. From a local governor, Mr. Dokubo-Asari says, he procured weapons and money to build a militia that ultimately was several thousand strong. For years, as he tells it, they broke open pipelines, filling canisters with crude oil and refining some of it through timeworn techniques used by locals to boil palm-tree sap into wine. The government struggled to lure him out of the mangroves. Mr. Dokubo-Asari responded to one amnesty offer that he considered meager by announcing a death threat against petroleum workers. Shell evacuated hundreds of expatriates and oil derricks briefly slowed to a stop. The next day, oil prices hit $50 a barrel for the first time. Nigeria’s government offered Mr. Dokubo-Asari a truce and $1,000 apiece, he says, for his AK-47 rifles, numbering 3,182. He says he took the deal and used the profits to purchase more weapons and return to the swamp. There, he recounts he was finally arrested and coerced into another round of negotiations. Fearing assassination, he fled to Cotonou, Benin, where he says he founded a school for Niger Delta children. He
showed a video of him teaching kids kung fu at the school. New warlords quickly took Mr. Dokubo-Asari’s place. Marauding under noms de guerre like Gen. Shoot-at-Sight, Gen. Africa and Gen. Young Shall Grow, they formed a loose confederation of gunmen calling itself the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, and crippled enough oil infrastructure to bring Nigeria’s production on some days to a near-halt. That was when Nigeria announced the 2009 amnesty. In televised ceremonies, guerrillas dropped off rifles, machine guns, tear-gas canisters, dynamite bundles, rocket launchers, antiaircraft guns, gunboats and grenades to be sold to the government, which also offered the nonviolence training courses and nine-month vocational classes. Theft fell sharply. Yet now, just as Nigeria’s state oil company has begun institutionalizing pipelinewatch jobs for some ex-militants, theft has blossomed again. “It’s quite an escalation. If nothing is done, it will continue to increase because more and more people will just come to feel that this is a gold field,” said Shell’s Mr. Sunmonu. “We’re not going to give up on this and run away from it. We believe it can be stopped.” Maclean Imomotimi left an overpacked university four years ago, the muscular 30-year-old says, to rob barges in the Niger Delta swamps. Now, befitting his new career, he is known as Gen. Imomotimi. He says he accepted the government’s amnesty offer in 2011 on the expectation he would be feted, his hotel bills and bar tabs paid; instead, he was disappointed to receive a living allowance of just 65,000 naira ($413) a month. So Gen. Imomotimi has returned to the waterways, this time, he says, not to rob barges but to steal oil. “I take amnesty’s money—what [little] they give me—I take it and I buy other guns,” he says. “There’s much, much more money in the creeks
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CITYBEATS Landlord held By Precious Igbonwelundu
THE police in Lagos have arrested a 49-year-old landlord, Aliu Jimoh, for allegedly assaulting his tenant, Mrs. Rukayat Orulu. The accused is standing trial before an Apapa Magistrate's Court for alleged assault, an offence which contravenes Section 243 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2011. He pleaded not guilty. Jimoh, who is the landlord of House Number 5, Savage Street, Orile Iganmu, Lagos, was said to have stabbed Mrs. Orulu with a broken bottle on the hand during a quarrel. She was said to have been rushed to the Lagos Island General Hospital. Magistrate E.O. Ogundare granted the accused N100,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum. The matter was adjourned to October 26.
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Dana crash: Electrical fault forces coroner to adjourn
OR the second time in 16 days, the inquest into the June 3 Dana Air plane crash ended abruptly yesterday following another electrical fault. The incident prevented the coroner court from taking fresh evidence from renowned pathologist Prof. John Obafunwa. Obafunwa and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were recalled by the Coroner to shed more light on their evidences.
By Adebisi Onanuga
Prof. Obafunwa is to be crossexamined on the results of the DNA tests conducted on the victims. Though Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, counsel to the interested parties and relatives and witnesses were ready, proceed-
ings were suspended when those in court told the magistrate that smoke was coming from an electrical fault. Komolafe tried to see what could be done to stop the smoke through the technical department of the court. All efforts to get the technical team to rectify the fault proved
LAWMA official jailed
Man charged with theft By Fisayo Ige
A 21 YEAR-OLD man, David Shotunde, was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate's Court for allegedly stealing a bag and N7,200 cash from Dr. Kazeem Durotoye. Prosecuting Inspector Samson Ekikere said the accused, was arrested at a shop at No 99, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos, where he stole the items. Shotunde, the prosecutor said had entered the shop, pretending that he wanted to buy a toy. He alleged that while the sales girl was about to bring out what he requested for, the accused opened a drawer and stole the said money and bag. Ekikere said the sales girl raised the alarm when she noticed that David was running away from the shop. The alarm attracted other traders, who apprehended the accused. The accused, he said, was handed over to the police and charged to court. Ekikere alleged that the accused came with a commercial motorcyclist to ensure easy escape. The prosecutor said the accused admitted that, the motorcyclist disappeared before he ran out of the shop. Shotunde was arraigned on a one-count charge of stealing, a crime punishable under Section 285 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011. Magistrate T.A Akanni granted the accused N50,000 bail with one surety in the like sum. The matter was adjourned till November 7.
•Commodore Henry Babalola, Command Operation Officer, Nigerian Navy, Apapa, Commodore Richard Source, the U.S Commander of Task Force 63, and leader of the American Naval Delegates to Nigeria and Captain David Rollo, the US Naval attache to Nigeria during the delegates visit to the Western Naval Command Headquarters Apapa, Lagos... yesterday PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI
Lagos deplores hanging on trains •Railway urged to promote safety
AGOS Sate Government yesterday urged the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), to improve its safety control measures. Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), Mrs Dominga Odebunmi, said the battering of a photo-journalist, Mr. Tunde Ogundeji, and other developments showed that NRC has no safety measures at its train stations. Mrs. Odebunmi said the government could not continue to fold its hands considering the huge impact a train accident can cause. The Commission, she added, has held several meetings with NRC management, lamenting that no step has been taken since then to address the problem. "Recent developments are pointers to the fact that safety measures are not in place at the train stations. As a proactive government
By Miriam Ndikanwu
we cannot remain silent, knowing that necessary steps have not been taken to change the situation," Mrs Odebunmi said. She said such safety measures could be out-sourced or carried out independently to promote efficiency. Mrs. Odebunmi said: "At the last meeting we held with the NRC's director of operations, it was clearly stated that they cannot deal with safety issues if they don't have appropriate structure(s) in place," the Commission boss added. Mrs. Odebunmi stressed the need to improve rail crossing operation, saying the NRC needs to provide gates and barriers to prevent people from crossing when a train is on sight. “There is need for our people to understand that the train's brake works differently from that of a car and as such need to exercise
NAPTIP campaign against child trafficking
HE Lagos Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Odekunle Erogbogbo, has appealed to religious and traditional institutions to partner with the government in tackling child trafficking. Erogbogbo spoke at the launch of a film: Batonga (a tale of child trafficking) organised by Seeing through the Arts (STAR) in conjunction with the NAPTIP at Terra Culture, Lagos. He said the fight against child trafficking could be won through strategic partnership with private institutions at the grassroots. Erogbogbo said despite government's effort in stemming the tide of human trafficking, millions of children are being stigmatised, marginalised, exploited and subjected to all forms
abortive. The situation forced the Magistrate to adjourn sitting till today. A similar incident occurred on August 6, when the inquest was brought to an abrupt halt by an electrical fault that resulted in smoke in the court room. Magistrate Komolafe said he suspended proceedings because of the safety of the people and also to enable the technicians rectify the fault before today’s sitting.
By Adeola Ogunlade
of inhuman treatment daily. "It is obvious that reducing the increasing menace of child trafficking in Nigeria does not rely solely on an agency, but all stakeholders including churches, mosques, teachers and traditional rulers who can provide us with relevant information to stem the tide at the grassroots," Erogbogbo said. He said no fewer than 160 persons have been jailed in the last two years over child trafficking related cases and 5,000 trafficked persons have been rescued by the agency within the same peiod in its renewed commitment to fight the menace. He said the agency will not relent in sensitising the public on the dangers of child trafficking. Earlier, in his opening speech,
the Artiste Director of the STAR, Gbenga Adewale said the film is to further educate and enlighten parents and children on the challenges of child trafficking so that they can be better equipped to fight this menace. "We are out to create social awareness and pass on social messages through art and raise funds for government and non-governmental orgnisations to help victims on any societal issues", he said. Adewale recalled that the films was inspired by a true life experience in Benin Republic where thousands of children were been trafficked on a daily basis to neighbouring countries including Nigeria, which poses serious danger to the future of the African child.
patience to allow a train pass before attempting to cross." She said there was need for rail track safety measures implementation, adding that, the government would continue to mount pressure on NRC to ensure promotion of safety. The practice of passengers hanging on coaches of train is totally unacceptable, she said, urging residents not to collude with station managers on this act, considering the impact of a train accident. "We will continue to mount pressure on the management until they can demonstrate that they are on top of the situation, but right now we are not pleased with what they have on ground," Mrs Odebunmi said.
N employee of the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), Ibrahim Fasasi, was yesterday sentenced to one-month imprisonment for stabbing Gabriel Babalola with a butcher’s knife. He was convicted by Magistrate Patrick Adekomaya of a Yaba Magistrate’s Court after he pleaded guilty to the charge of causing grievous body harm to his victim. Prosecuting Sergeant Victor Eruada told the court that Fasasi, committed the crime on August 17, at Oyingbo market. He said the convict pursued Babalola, who tried to escape after allegedly stealing from a shop at Ebute Metta. The prosecutor told the court that Fasasi ran after the complainant and asked him to surrender the bag in his possession but he refused. He said: “At his refusal, the accused brought out a knife and stabbed the complainant in his wrist and collected the bag. He later dragged the complainant to the shop at Ebute Metta where the alleged theft took place but it was confirmed that the complainant was not the culprit. “At the confirmation, the complainant held on to Fasasi until they were both taken to the station by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) on patrol.” The offence, Fasasi added, contravened Section 171 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2011. Delivering judgment, Magistrate Adekomaya said: “With the facts before this court and the plea of the accused, he is hereby found guilty as charged, but bearing in mind that the accused is a first offender, and in consideration of the peculiar facts of the case, the accused is hereby sentenced to one month imprisonment with hard labour.”
How society can keep records, by Commissioner
AGOS State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Ade Ipaye, is worried by the neglect of records about development in the society. He spoke at the launch of a book entitled: "Lagos State Book of Facts-its history, geography, polity, economy, social life, tourism and who-is-who" written by a lawyer, Mr. Anthony Aladekomo, at the Bar Centre, Ikeja, Lagos. Ipaye described the book as a collection of essential information on the historical and geographical and economic facts of the state. He said: "When we see a publication that has assembled facts from different historical epochs, such must be celebrated for it is a rare piece of publication." He said people should not see it as the responsibility of government alone to keep records and facts about the society. The Commissioner said: "All over the world, the most authoritative encyclopaedia, publications and historical records have not been kept by the government. It is
By Adebisi Onanuga
basically done by the people, researchers or research institutions.” He urged lawyers to start writing books on different interests, in order to preserve records and facts about places in the society. "The publication of this book should encourage lawyers to write books. The interest could be in features, poems," he added. Unveiling the book, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Chapter, Mr. Monday Ubani, urged lawyers to show more interest in governance. In apparent reference to the achievements of Governors Babatunde Fashola, Sullivan Chime and Godswill Akpabio of Lagos, Enugu and Akwa Ibom states, Ubani said lawyers have proved to be good administrators. Aladekomo said he was motivated to write the book in line with the provisions of Section 24, particularly paragraphs (b) and (d) of the 1999 Constitution.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NEWS Why we want to replace Gemade, by PDP elders From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
LDERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue Northeast Senatorial Zone, otherwise known as Zone A, have spoken on why they want to replace their representative in the Senate, former PDP National Chairman Chief Barnabas Gemade, with Governor Gabriel Suswam in 2015. They said Gemade is performing poorly. Last Friday the elders, led by Mr. Atoza Hidan, Dr. Limbee Shande and Chief Jack Tilley Gyado, endorsed Suswam as their candidate for the 2015 senatorial election. They said Gemade lacks the qualities of a good lawmaker and Suswam would perform better. The elders said: “During Suswam’s tenure as a federal lawmaker representing Sankera, his achievements were very glaring. As a governor, he has done great, so he would use his experience to better the lot of our zone. Suswam is too young to retire from politics and we will deliver the zone to him in 2015.” Another group, the Benue Youth Agenda, yesterday endorsed Suswam as its candidate for the 2015 senatorial election. Speaking with reporters at his home in Makurdi, Gemade said the elders were “being mischievous”.
A&G: Court vacates orders against Okonjo-Iweala, NAICOM By Eric Ikhilae
USTICE Pat Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday vacated her earlier order halting the planned sack of the management of Alliance and General (A&G) Insurance Plc by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). Ruling on an ex-parte application by A&G on August 14, the judge had restrained Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her ministry from either approving the removal of the company’s directors and management or ratifying the appointment of new directors and management in the place of existing ones. In a ruling yesterday, the judge upheld the argument by defence lawyer, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), that the court was misled into granting the order because the processes filed by the plaintiff ought not to have been considered by the court, having not been endorsed by a legal practitioner as required by law. Justice Ajoku said: “I have carefully considered the issues. The processes were unsigned, thus showing that the court ought not to have granted leave for the matter to be heard during vacation. “I therefore hold that the matter did not comply with the mandatory provision of the rules of this court. This court was in error in granting those orders and I therefore discharge the interim orders.”
•President Jonathan (right) presenting the contract to Minister of Youth Development Alhaji Inuwa Abdul’kadir, while other ministers wait for their PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN turn...yesterday.
Jonathan signs performance contracts with ministers
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and members of his cabinet yesterday signed the muchtalked about Performance Contract. The President assured members of the cabinet that the assessment bond was not aimed at witch-hunting anyone, but at enhancing performance, transparency and accountability in governance. He said the process is expected to provide the missing link between planning and budgetary allocation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by providing a basis for performancebased budgeting, which will tie their allocations to their capacities to deliver on the agreed mandate, based on clear, concrete and objective results for Nigerians. The President said the process will facilitate evidencebased decision making. He said the exercise is a reminder of the administration’s commitment to effective service delivery. The ceremony preceded the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the president. The Performance Contract System, which will be reviewed every six months, was developed by the Ministry of National Planning. Speaking at the ceremony,
•I won’t witch-hunt, says President ‘The process has exposed ministers to the critical need for clear understanding of the mandate of their respective ministries, strategic and operational planning and the need to focus on results delivery, rather than on input, activities and processes, for development to be of relevance and benefit to the citizens’ From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
President Jonathan said: “There have been all kinds of speculations about this exercise. It is important to state what it is and what it is not. I assure every one of you that this is not meant to witch-hunt anybody. “I have read all kinds of things in the media that the President wants to assess the ministers so that he will know who will go and who will stay. That is not the purpose of this. “We should have done it the first week we came on board. The key thing is that we have given ourselves points we think we will get to. If we get to those points or achieve 70 per cent, our country would be better off. “This is to remind us that we are representatives of Nigerians and are accountable
to them at all times. It gives all of us targets and you can easily assess yourselves. “The performance contract, which has been signed by each minister today, is aimed at delivering on our mandate to Nigerians. We have spelt out our goals in the government’s Transformation Agenda, to which every minister was given an opportunity to contribute. “The citizens expect the government to be more proactive and effective in its actions. Nigerians expect to be provided with the basic necessities of life to function more effectively in a competitive environment. “The majority voted for us because they believe this administration will improve the standard of living. Since we assumed office last year, we have strived to improve service delivery in key areas
to put our nation on a solid path of development.” Jonathan said the process that led to the signing of the agreement was tedious and thorough. He said each minister, permanent secretary and director was involved in identifying the key benefits to be delivered to Nigerians. He said: “The process has exposed ministers to the critical need for clear understanding of the mandate of their respective ministries, strategic and operational planning and the need to focus on results delivery, rather than on input, activities and processes, for development to be of relevance and benefit to the citizens. “The importance of a monitoring and evaluation system to track performance must now also be clear to all involved. “I expect the process to be reproduced throughout the system, with the ministers signing similar agreements with their permanent secretaries and heads of agencies and parastatals. “I am pleased to know that discussions have been initiated between the Minister of National Planning and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to work out the
modalities for translating the process into the individual staff performance evaluation process. “Nigerians expect a better deal from the government and that is what they shall get under my watch. That is also the primary goal of every one of you.” On the issue of disagreement between substantive ministers and ministers of state raised by the minister of national planning, President Jonathan said: “I expect the minister and the Minister of State to know everything happening in the ministry, just like the perm sec does. “Where Minister A does not know what Minister B is doing and vice-versa, and the perm sec knows what all of you are doing, then the perm sec becomes the boss of the two ministers. The perm sec can use your heads to hit each other and laugh at you. “I expect that if the minister travels and I call the Minister of State, that he/she must give me information about that ministry. If the Minister of State cannot do so, then something is fundamentally wrong. “In as much as you have your responsibilities, you must cover for one another when one of you is absent.”
PDP condemns NUPENG strike
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the decision of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to embark on a nationwide strike over the non–payment of subsidy claims to some oil marketers. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said the position of the union contradicts the Federal Government’s efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in the petroleum industry. PDP urged Nigerians to support the government against “a tiny cabal of oil marketers and their political collaborators, who are sponsoring the strike”. It described the strike as an attempt at frustrating
•Senator: cleared companies should be paid From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja, Bisi Olaniyi and Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt
government’s “good intentions and paving the way for the continued cornering of our common wealth” by a few individuals and groups. The statement reads: “NUPENG’s decision to embark on a nationwide strike over the Federal Government’s decision to stick to unimpeded transparency in the payment of subsidy claims is unpatriotic and barefaced insensitivity to the cry of Nigerians on the rot in the oil industry. “It is an attempt to use the pivotal position of the union to promote actions that are inimical to our
economy. No sensible government would allow a policy in a vital economic sector to be dictated by those who do not have the interest of the nation at heart. “The PDP-led Federal Government will never relent in fighting for the interest of the people. Nigerians are greater than the oil marketers and the bargain of NUPENG must not be allowed to over shadow the interests of the generality of the people, who bear the brunt of shady transactions in the petroleum subsidy management. “Whose interest is NUPENG fighting for? Is it that of the indicted oil marketers or that of Nigerians? Is NUPENG going on strike on
the premise of genuine national interest or on the prompting of the indicted oil cabal? Has NUPENG suddenly become a puppet, whose string is being pulled by some economic saboteurs? “Why is it that the union, which was one of the vanguards for sanity in the subsidy regime, is now standing against the government’s decision to ensure transparency? Is NUPENG running with the hare and chasing with the hound? “We urge NUPENG and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to reconsider its decision to support NUPENG. We urge civil society organisations and wellmeaning Nigerians to support the Federal Govern-
ment’s resolve to fight corruption and secure the future of our nation.” Senator Magnus Abe (Rivers Southeast) urged the Federal Government to pay companies cleared of the subsidy scam. He said disputed claims should be challenged in court and those found guilty should be jailed. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Port Harcourt, the state capital, Abe said: “Fictitious claims will not be paid. Twenty-five companies are involved in the fuel subsidy scam. The Federal Government should pay the cleared companies and charge the companies with disputes to court. The controversy is uncalled for. Members of the National Assembly are with the Federal Government on the issue.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
‘Akeredolu doesn’t need N1,000 from applicants’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure
HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) yesterday said the allegation by the ruling Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was collecting N1,000 from every applicant for its promised 30,000 jobs is not true. In a statement by its spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, ACO said the ACN candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), would not demand money from any applicant. The statement said: “It is a claim that only exists in the figment of their (LP chieftains’) imagination. The claim can be investigated in the different wards of the state where the youths have been submitting their curriculum vitae (CVs). “Akeredolu does not need to collect N1,000 from the already impoverished youths of Ondo State under the Olusegun Mimiko administration. “The frontline lawyer has received support from the indigenes worldwide. Besides, all the leaders of ACN are behind him. So, he does not need to raise funds for his campaign through dubious means. “The Mimiko administration lacks ideas and has no capacity to comprehend how the ACN will make true its promises. We have always said that job provision is not rock science. We will put smiles on the faces of the people of Ondo State. “It is the Mimiko government that is full of deceit, failing to fulfil its promises to the people, like the doomed Dome project, Akure Stadium, Owena Multipurpose Dam and so on.” The statement said ACN has promised and delivered in Lagos, adding that its style of governance has become a benchmark for development in Africa. It added that Osun and Oyo states’ promises for job creation were kept within 100 days. “Ondo State is richer and we will deliver on our promises,” ACO said.
Olugbo reinstates community leader
HE Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom in Ondo State, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, has reinstated the Baale of Awoye, an oil rich Ilaje community. A crowd yesterday witnessed the return of Chief Matthias Oyekanmi Omomowo at a ceremony in Olugbo. The monarch hailed the residents for their loyalty to the throne. He urged the people to live in peace during the governorship campaign and the October 20 election. Omomowo promised his community’s support and loyalty to the throne. The Secretary of Ilaje Regional Development Council (IRDC), Mr Adeyemi Abiye, hailed Oba Akinruntan for his fatherly role in the peace and development of the community. He noted that since the monarch ascended the throne, Ilaje has witnessed sustainable peace and rapid development. Abiye said the new face of Ugbo has been a source of pride to its sons and daughters.
•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left) addressing students of the University of Ibadan (UI) during a solidarity visit to identify with his administration’s drive for development projects at the Governor’s Office in Ibadan...yesterday.
Akeredolu urges Mimiko to release innocent detainees T HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday criticised the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Commissioner for Justice, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), for allegedly colluding with the Labour Party (LP) to incarcerate some innocent people. The organisation said the alleged conspiracy has persisted, despite the withdrawal of armed robbery charges against the detainees by the police. The organisation urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to release the detainees.
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
A statement by ACO spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, said those in detention are: Folagbade Dapo, Korede Omotayo and Sunday Oluwasola. The police, through Olatunji Disu, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), were said to have written to the Justice Commissioner on August 9, withdrawing the charge. The matter was “inadvertently and hurriedly” taken to court without completing investigation and taken over on
the day of arraignment by an official in the Office of the Attorney-General, identified as Mrs Agbede. The statement said: “The Police Legal Officer observed some lacuna in the case. These include the fact that complainants never made any statement to the police; the homes of the suspects were never searched; alibi of the suspects were not investigated; and scene of crime was not visited, among others. “Surprisingly, the DPP in the Ministry of Justice, under the Commissioner for Justice, from who the court has re-
quested a legal advice as a condition for striking out the case, has refused to do so. “It is sad that the DPP and the Attorney-General are footdragging over this legal advice with the full knowledge that this would continue to keep these innocent citizens, from whom they derive their legitimacy, behind bars, unnecessarily. “It is obvious that they have decided to play politics with the lives of the people. We, therefore, urge the well-meaning people of the state and other stakeholders to hold this people accountable for the continuous incarceration of these innocent citizens.”
Obasanjo criticises Lam Adesina over comment today were set up by the ORMER President on Lagos-Ibadan road Obasanjo administration, Olusegun Obasanjo yes-
terday faulted a statement credited to former Oyo State Governor Lam Adesina, that he (Obasanjo) awarded the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway contract and was deceitful in fighting corruption when he was in office. Obasanjo also said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would determine the fate of Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Riotimi Amaechi (Rivers), who are being speculated as presidential aspirants in 2015. In a statement in Abuja by his new Media Advisor, Garba Deen Muhammad, the former President said he is concerned with pressing national issues than the 2015 poll.
•PDP to determine Lamido, Amaechi 2015 ‘ambition’ From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
Obasanjo regretted that Adesina could make “unedifying statements” about him. The statement said: “Former President Obasanjo noted with considerable regret, the unedifying statements credited to former Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Lam Adesina. Lam Adesina was reported to have criticised the efforts of the Obasanjo regime in fighting corruption. Among other things, Adesina was reported to have described former Presi-
dent Obasanjo’s battle with corruption as deceitful; he specifically cited the contract for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to support his claims. “Former President Obasanjo feels it was sad and unfortunate that at his age, Lam Adesina would make statements that can only ridicule him and make nonsense of his elderly status. “It is self-evident that no government after former President Obasanjo had fought corruption with the same commitment as his administration. It is equally self-evident that the institutions for fighting corruption that the country relies on
likewise some of the individuals manning those institutions today were nurtured by the same Obasanjo administration that Lam Adesina so mischievously described as ‘deceitful’. “...The contract in question was not awarded by the Obasanjo administration. It was in fact awarded after Chief Obasanjo had left office. “As for the oft-repeated issue of the amount purported to have been misappropriated in the power sector during the administration of Obasanjo, it is significant that today, it is those who made those false allegations against former President Obasanjo administration that are being prosecuted for corruption...”
Oyo awards N5.8b road dualisation contract
HE Oyo State Government has awarded a contract to dualise roads in major towns. They include Iseyin, Oyo and Ogbomoso. The contract also covers the dualisation of the Ibadan toll gate interchange-Efunsetan Roundabout-Podo Roundabout (New Garage)Toll Gate interchange as well as the expansion of the Challenge RoundaboutEfunsetan Roundabout. The projects will cost N5.8
•Oyo, Iseyin, others to benefit
billion. The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Bosun Oladele, addressed reporters yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, after the State Executive Council (Exco) meeting. He said the project would be in two phases. According to him, the first phase will gulp N5.3 billion and will begin from the Toll Gate Interchange through
Efunsetan Roundabout; Podo Roundabout (New Garage), back to Toll Gate Interchange. Oladele said the project would be completed in the next nine months. The commissioner said the second phase is the expansion of the Challenge Roundabout to Efunsetan Roundabout; it would cost N509,003,659.36billion and begin after the completion of the first phase.
Oladele said the project, which was awarded to Hitech Construction Company Limited, would boost inter-city transport links, improve intercity trade, reduce inter-city transport connection bottleneck and decongest traffic at entrances to Ibadan, especially from the Lagos axis. He said: “This shall ensure that the traffic from the road network from Lagos and IjebuOde has a smoother and safer entrance to Ibadan with all the socio-economic benefits.”
Osun gets N.5b from dividend warrants From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
HE Osun State Government has generated N.5 billion worth of dividend warrants to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The money accrued to the government coffers through its shares from the capital market. The Commissioner for Finance, Economic, Planning and Budget, Dr. Wale Bolrunduro, broke the news yesterday when he addressed reporters in Osogbo, the state capital. The commissioner said the state’s bank account has been credited with the money. He said the revenue portfolio of the state improved from N1.1 billion in December, last year, to N1.6 billion in June, this year. Bolorunduro said the revenue includes N83million dividends from the shares in moribund stock broking houses and registrars. The commissioner said the state achieved the feat through the ingenuity of an indigene, who is also an accountant and a capital market operator, Mr Bimbo Olaniyi. He assured that the Finance Ministry would not stop reinventing the financial sector to develop the state. Bolorunduro explained that the Rauf Aregbesola administration makes policies that enhance human capital development. This, he said, informed the ministry’s decision to look inward and source for professionals that can spearhead financial blueprints for even development strategy, positive growth and change dynamics. He said: “I want you to know that what the state was able to receive, through the dividends, was not as a result of price increase or valued capital market change. This is because we all know that share prices are still on the decline. “What resulted in this case (enhanced value) was an increase in volume as a result of various shares idling away in moribund stock broking houses and registrars.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NEWS Air Force takes over border patrol From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
DIRECTIVE from the Federal Government has placed the patrol of the nation’s borders in the hands of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), it was learnt yesterday. The directive was the government’s intervention to the rising wave of insecurity in the country. Already, the NAF operational bases have been equipped with over 65 per cent of their aircraft fleet. Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, confirmed the development yesterday while declaring open a two-day retreat for unit commanders and directors of the NAF. Umar, however, acknowledged the possible mixed reactions that could greet the development on account of the NAF’s involvement in matters of internal security, but assured that task would not be overstretched. He expected thorough training and coordination of every segment of the team involved in the patrol with cost effectiveness in mind.
Boko Haram disowns dialogue with govt •Warns media, fake negotiators T HE Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, a. k. a Boko Haram, yesterday said it did not hold any fresh dialogue with the Federal Government. The sect said it only had two sessions of dialogue with the Federal Government in 2011 but the talks were aborted half-way. It warned the media against being used for propaganda and declared that there is no difference between those fighting the sect with guns and pens or tongues. The group also asked those parading themselves as fake negotiators to desist or face the consequences. It said the negotiators were only taking advantage to take money from the government. In an e-mail statement last night by its spokesman, AbulQaqa, the group said it did not meet any government delegation in Saudi Arabia as being reported by the media. It explained that the two botched sessions it had with government agents included the one it sent one of its leaders, Abu Dardaa but he was arrested by security forces in Kaduna . On the second one, the group claimed that it was in respect of the one facilitated by Dr. Ibra-
From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
him Datti Ahmed through Ahmad Salkida, an Abuja based freelance journalist. The statement said: “There is no difference between those who fight us with guns and those who fight us with their tongue and pens, all of them are our enemies and we would never take it lightly in mercilessly dealing with them,” the statement warned. “This is a very important. It is a response to the news we heard in the cross section of the media alluding that we (members of the group) have renewed dialogue talks with the federal government of Nigeria We want to use this opportunity and send strong warning to the following.”The first group is the media (both print and electronic). We want to remind them that the reason why we earmarked some media houses for attacks, including Thisday is because they have not been fair to us and are extremely critical about our course of promoting Islam. “Recently, our leader, Imam Abu-Muhammad Abubakar Bin Muhammad Shekau released a video on the You Tube where he made elaborate explanation on conten-
tious issues, including dialogue. “However, in their usual antiques, most media organizations deliberately ignored publicizing the message but gave undue publicity to the unfounded claims that we have agreed to dialogue with the Nigerian government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia . It is not true that we have accepted any offer. “We wish to unequivocally distance ourselves from one Abu-Muhammad who is wittingly disguising himself as the next in command to our leader, Mallam Muhammad Shekau. “We believe that the purported Abu Muhammad is the creation of the Nigerian government in order to mislead Nigerians on the crusade we are waging and they by the grace of Allah they will not succeed. “The media should know that as far as we are concerned, there is no difference between those that are fighting us with weapons (security forces) and those that are fighting us with their tongue and pens. All of them are our enemies and we would unequivocally use the means at our disposal to fight them. “The second warning goes to fake negotiators who are pretending
that they are in talks with the federal government on our behalf. These people are collecting large sum of money from the government under false pretence. We hereby admonish them to fear Allah and retrace their steps before the wrath of their creator befall on them through us, his warriors. “We have not accepted any other overtures since the time the federal government deceived us and arrested one of us, Abu-Dardaa. “The other time we accepted to put in place, a roadmap for dialogue but backed out was when the Dr. Ibrahim Datti led Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria approached us through Ahmad Salkida, a journalist whom we hold in high esteem. “Since then, we have never accepted to talk with anybody. We therefore wish to call on elders such as Dr. Ibrahim Datti to exercise restraint (because we heard that he ‘Dr. Ibrahim Datti’ had commenced another round of negotiation on our behalf). “Thirdly, the federal government of Nigeria must know that the only recipe for peace is comprehensive implementation of the Sharia system.
The Qur’an must replace the constitution and western democracy must be abolished”Failure to implement these conditions means continued violence because the warriors of Allah will never lay down their arms. We are optimistic that we would triumph over the infidels by overthrowing the government and replacing it with Islamic government. “We are a force to reckon with. The government could not subdue us when started this crusade few years using knives, swords and sticks, cutlasses and knives. We are now sophisticated and in possession of countless high profile “We have never sent an emissary to Saudi Arabia ...in fact, how can the Saudi government allow negotiations with us in its land when it was the same government that chased Osama Bin Laden (May Allah forgive him) away from his country? “We therefore wish to affirm that the purported dialogue talk is just media hype and a clear testimony of how deceitful the Nigerian government is. We are not part of this mess because our noble prophet has clearly stated that “a true believer will not allow himself to be deceived twice.”
NUPENG backs prosecutionof subsidy suspects •Says status quo remains as negotiation resumes today From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
•Guests at the event.
PHOTOS: ADEOLA OLADELE-FAYEHUN
Jonathan’s policies oppressive, says Tinubu
IGERIA’s gloomy economy and deplorable living standards can easily be wiped off but for numerous actors profiting from the current state of affairs, Action Congress of Nigeria National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said yesterday. He was delivering a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC, United States (U.S.). In his paper entitled: “The role of the opposition in meeting Nigeria’s challenges”, Tinubu said all the country needs to do to get out of the woods is to do away with oppressive laws and embrace the right reforms. He, however, described as regrettable that the Federal Government attention is on how to “make money rather than save the hardpressed masses.” The former Lagos State governor specifically cited the amended Electoral Act, especially the section terminating electoral complaints 180 days after their filing, as an attempt to stifle the renewed interest of Nigerians
•ACN National Leader seeks referendum By Segun Balogun
in democracy and their readiness to vote wisely and protect their votes. The paper reads: “This means that most cases will ultimately be dismissed on a feeble technicality. All the guilty party need to do is to stall court proceedings, which is an easy feat in Nigeria. If this law had previously existed, the successful complaints lodged by the opposition in Ekiti, Osun, Edo and Ondo states after the 2007 elections would have been rejected on technical grounds. “Such a law shows that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has no quality to win any election that is fair and free. “Let me state unequivocally, that the 180-day law is an imposition against the just disposition of electoral disputes. It is a cynical use of the law to protect the corrupt hijacking of the electoral process and the electorate will. The ruling PDP has used the tyranny of its majority in the parliament to abrogate the
‘Under this set-up, the Federal Government uses as it wishes, the funds belonging to the states. As such, the mechanism violates the constitution. It is double talk for the international community to claim support for the rule of law in Nigeria, then turn around to encourage the Federal Government to rupture the constitution’ electoral rights of Nigerians to fair hearing. The opposition will be relentless in the fight to upturn this unjust law. “What the new 180-day law does is to first strike fear in the minds of citizens that legitimate petitions will fail and then create doubts about the electoral system and the dispensation of justice. “Ultimately, this could lead to people pouring out on the streets to resolve electoral disputes or simply resort-
ing to other means of selfhelp. “Ladies and gentlemen, I restate that what this law has done is to circumscribe one of the fundamental human rights of the Nigerian people.” Asiwaju Tinubu also decried the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) as a “blatant encroachment against federalism” and an “instance where the international community has done Nigeria a disservice by applauding the model.” He said: “Under this setup, the Federal Government uses as it wishes, the funds belonging to the states. As such, the mechanism violates the constitution. It is double talk for the international community to claim support for the rule of law in Nigeria, then turn around to encourage the Federal Government to rupture the constitution. “Our constitution mandates that revenues are completely allocated to the federal, state and local governments. The SWF amounts to an illegal confiscation of state and local gov-
ernment funds by the Federal Government.” After giving an incisive diagnosis of the myriads of challenges facing the country, Tinubu proffer appropriate solutions. He never failed to reiterate the country’s dire need for dialogue as the only way to the “promise land.” His words: “Talk of disintegration now is fashionable in some quarters. We must discuss our future, and if necessary, conduct a referendum on a number of issues that are germane to our future development. “The idea that a ruling party can use its bogus majority in the National Assembly to tamper with the constitution and abrogate the right of Nigerians to vote and be voted for, to fair hearing alter the independence of the judiciary and promote division among the citizenry cannot chart a path to progress and development.” Tinubu, however, promised that the opposition, to which he belongs, will not relent in steering the country towards the right course.
IL workers yesterday shelved their planned nation-wide strike yesterday following the rescheduling of talks between their leaders and officials of the Federal Government. A decision would be taking after the conclusion of the dialogue which resumes by 2pm today. The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Natural Gas and Petroleum Workers (NUPENG) pledged their support for the trial of those implicated in the misapplication of the Petroleum Subsidy Funds (PSF). NUPENG President Igwe Achise yesterday said it was untrue that the union was against the prosecution of the oil subsidy suspects “Like we rightly said we will not as a union compromise fraudulent activities. Any marketer that is found wanting should be prosecuted”, Achise said contrary to assumptions in some quarters. According to him, the union raised an alarm in 2010 that there were shady deals in the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). He said: “Something went wrong in the disbursement of this money. They have agreed as well that they have reconstituted a committee to look into the PPPRA issues. I hope tomorrow (today), we shall have a way forward.” Achise said the NUPENG’s demand is for the junior workers to be paid their remuneration. Speaking with reporters at the end of NUPENG’s parley with the representatives of the Federal Government in Abuja, he said the talks would resume today at about 2pm. He, however, noted that the status quo on the threatened strike remains.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NEWS Amosun inaugurates 77 buses today From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
OGUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun will, today, inaugurate 77 buses to reduce the residents’ transportation problem. The buses will be inaugurated in his office at OkeMosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, under the Bus Mass Transit (BMT) scheme. A statement by the Secretary to the Government (SSG), Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the scheme comprises 27 Ashok Leyland luxury buses. Each of the buses has the capacity for 43 passengers. Others are 30 18-seater Toyota and 20 Nissan buses. The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Gbenga Opesanwo said Amosun is determined to improve transportation in the state. He said the buses would ply intra-and-inter-state routes under the BMT scheme. The Head of Department, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Bureau of Transportation, Mrs. Modupe Ojo said the bureau carried out a survey to determine the public transportation needs and the volume of people moving in and out of the state. The result of the survey, she added, would assist the government to plan and implement the scheme.
Catholic Church holds youth camp ASSUMPTION Catholic Church, Asokoro, Abuja, will hold a training programme for its youths. The programme will assist them in making career choices. Over 100 youths between the ages of 20 and 35 are expected to participate in the programme, entitled: Lux Terra Youth Leadership Camp. The participants are from Enugu, Oyo, Ekiti and Kogi states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Executive Director, Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, Rev. George Ehusani, said the programme would be fully residential and free. He said the programme “is designed to teach the young people leadership and entrepreneurial skills as well as social and moral values”. There will be lectures, sports, drama presentation, music, creative writing, career and entrepreneurial counselling and excursions to places of interest around Abuja. The Lux Terra Leadership Foundation is a training outfit which organises highquality training programmes for different categories of leaders and future leaders. A statement yesterday said the programme has hosted over 400 youths since 2008. The theme for this year’s camping is: Nigerian Youths and Entrepreneurship. It will have notable speakers, like Mr. Placid Njoku, Mr. Alphaeus Onyeneke, Mr. Matt Ivbijaro, among others.
•Akeredolu acknowledging cheers from Idoani residents during the visit.
PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
Akeredolu gets rousing reception in Ondo community
HE Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and his Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, have got a rousing reception in Idogun, Ajanaku’s home town in Ose Local Government Area. Scores of residents of Imeri, the home town of Senator Bode Olajumoke, Idoani, Afo and Idogun, promised to sup-
port ACN. The Onidogun of Idogun, Oba Moses Ekundayo Bakare, described Ajanaku as an illustrious son of the town, whose father, Daniel, was a former councillor in the old Action Group (AG). The monarch recalled the contributions of the politician to the development of the town. He urged Akeredolu not to forget Idogun, if he becomes governor, because the town
has been neglected by past administrations. Akeredolu said there was need for Ondo State to be fully industrialised before 2015. He said the state needs to harness the potential of the youth through empowerment and skill acquisition as well as the women through low interest loans. The former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) promised to complete the Idogun-Imeri Bridge, which the Olusegun
Agagu administration started but was abandoned by the Olusegun Mimiko administration. Ajanaku described his homecoming as divine. He urged the residents to vote for ACN. “My homecoming is divine. My coming is like that of Moses, who left the land of Egypt but returned on God’s intervention to liberate the people of Israel. God has put this responsibility on my shoul-
ACN: LP plans to incriminate opposition leaders
HE Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday alerted the public to an alleged move by the ruling Labour Party (LP) and Governor Olusegun Mimiko to silence opposition leaders ahead of the October 20 election. It was learnt that top LP leaders held a meeting at the Banquet Hall of the Government House at Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, on the October 20 poll. Those in attendance were said to include top government officials, and a prominent ACN chieftain, who recently defected to the ruling party. Urchins, popularly called Eru Iku, said to be loyalists of the defector, reportedly attended the meeting. The convener allegedly directed the thugs to plant incriminating objects in the homes of opposition leaders, particularly those of ACN. It was learnt that the thugs were asked to call a number (08035163286) after planting the
•It’s not true, says ruling party From Damisi Ojo, Akure
incriminating objects so that the opposition leaders could be arrested and incarcerated till the end of the October 20 election. The sources alleged that the convener promised to pay N1.5million to anyone who could successfully do the assignment. It was learnt that N600,000 was shared at N100,000 per head as the transport allowance for each local government. The ACN condemned what it called Mimiko’s and LP’s desperation to win the governorship election at all cost. A statement by its spokesman, Mr. Rotimi Agbede, said: “The LP, at a meeting held in the Government House on Monday designed a new plan to silence the opposition.
“The new satanic ploy, which received the blessing of all those present, is the dumping of incriminating objects at the homes of opposition figures, particularly ACN leaders, in order to arrest them and keep them in the gulag till the end of the election. “It is not surprising that the LP has resorted to this sinister motive, having failed in all its past attempts to checkmate the rising profile and acceptability of ACN and its candidate. “The LP, on seeing its declining fortune and free fall from graces is trying to avoid the impending doom and in its reckoning any weapon is fair in the warfare. “In its bid to prevent the boat from capsizing, the LP is holding on to any straw and this latest plot fits into its grand design. The party condemned in
strong terms this desperate manouvering and winning at all cost attitude of the LP. It wonders why this level of desperation if the whole essence is service to the people of the state. The statement referred to the Monday attack on the convoy of ACN candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, at Okeluse during a campaign tour. The party urged security agencies to curb the violence on innocent opposition members by those it called LP thugs. LP Publicity Secretary Femi Okunjemiruwa said he was attending a crucial meeting and could not immediately comment on the allegation, which a top government source denied. The source accused opposition members, particularly ACN, of planning to cause violence in the state because of its desperation to rule. The source said the achievements of the Mimiko administration are enough to give it victory at the poll on October 20.
ders to come and liberate our people by voting ACN. You can see the deplorable state of our town. It has been neglected by the Mimiko administration,” Ajanaku said. On the entourage were party chieftains, like Ifedayo Abegunde, representing Akure Federal Constituency in the National Assembly; Chief Jayeola Ajata, Otunba Paul Akintelure and the Director-General of the campaign organisation, Chief Tayo Alasoadura.
Man dies in Ogun multiple road crash
N unidentified man was killed early yesterday in a multiple motor accident at Ifo, on the Abeokuta-Lagos highway, in Ogun State. The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Unit Commander at Itori, near Lagos, Mr Fatai Bakare, told reporters that five vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred about 5am. He said the unidentified man died on the spot as a result of injuries he sustained; four others were seriously injured and taken to a clinic. Bakare said: “The vehicles include two tipper lorries, with registration numbers (Ogun) AE249DED and (Lagos) XR969BDG, as well as a Mazda bus, with registration number (Lagos) XR822KSF. “A tipper rammed into another stationary tipper, forcing the one in motion to collide with an oncoming Mazda bus. The cause could be attributed to dangerous driving and lack of respect for traffic rules.”
Canadian, Ekiti NGOs donate equipment to hospital
CANADIAN nongovernmental organisation (NGO), CASA Foundation for International Development, and the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), yesterday donated medical equipment worth N15million to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Ado-Ekiti. The ceremony, which held at the Central Medical Store of the hospital, coincided with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by both organisations.
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
EDF founder and wife of Ekiti State Governor Erelu Bisi Fayemi signed on behalf of the foundation while CASA Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Olutoyin Oyelade signed for her organisation. The equipment included ultra-sound machines, a dental room, two digital X-ray printers, automated external defibrillator, transfer stretcher with head and neck restrainer, computers and books. Ms. Oyelade explained that
CASA focuses on developing communities by empowering emerging leaders and spearheading social change through development programmes. The governor’s wife praised the foundation for the gesture. She urged Ekiti indigenes in the Diaspora to support the government to develop the state. Mrs Fayemi said: “…It is extremely important for us to see what we can do to attract support from Ekiti citizens who live outside the country. Anyone can support the efforts of the state
from wherever they are. You don’t actually need to come home to do so.” The governor’s wife said EDF supports the state through intervention in health, education, women leadership, youths, arts and culture as well as philanthropy. She said: “I am extremely proud till date that the EDF has managed to stay tuned to this vision and promises to the good people of the state.” The governor’s wife stressed the need for public spirited individuals to support the state
government in the effort to stamp out want among the people. She promised that her foundation would monitor and manage the use of the machines in the hospital so they can best serve the interest of the people. Ms Oyelade said CASA facilitates leadership programmes for youths and entrepreneurs in developing communities. She added that CASA provides equipment that promote the well-being of women and children in the health and education sectors.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
Court halts order on A&G Insurance suspension
HE Interim Order of injunction made in favour of Alliance & General (A&G) Insurance, A&G Life and Fidelity Bond was yesterday discharged on the strength of an oral application made by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan ( SAN). In discharging the interim order, a statement from NAICOM said Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Lagos, held that the interim injunction granted in favour of the companies on August 14, 2012 was without jurisdiction. Consequently, the interim order of injunction was discharged by the court. The court had last week, among others, granted an interim order restraining the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her ministry from either approving the removal of directors and management of Alliance & General Insurance or ratifying the appointment of new directors and management to assume control over the company. The court also restrained NAICOM from proceeding with planned sack of the management of the insurance company. Furthermore, it restrained NAICOM from implementing a directive suspending the insurance company from transacting new businesses in Nigeria for the next six months with effect from August 6, 2012., However, during proceedings, counsel to the Commission, Osipitan, called the court’s attention to the facts that the motion ex-parte filed by the companies, which resulted in the interim injunction was not accompanied by a written address as required by Order 26 Rule 3 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472
Brazil is an influential member of the BRIC nations with a big apetite for investing in Africa, especially Nigeria. So, there is the need for us to strengthen our partnership with them to attract big investments into our country especially in those areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage. - Minister of Trade & Investment, Olusegun Aganga
Naira firms as funds, banks sell dollars
Indicted oil firms’ list rises to 25 T T
HE Federal Government of the Co-ordinating Minister has increased the for the Economy and Minister number of oil marketers of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjothat will face criminal Iweala said all the indicted oil investigation to 25. marketers will face criminal A statement from the office investigation. The statement released the extract of the report detailing the
The statement signed by payments for consignments Mr Paul Nwabuikwu the brought in by ship, which minister’s Senior Assistant “investigations revealed said the information shows were either non-existent or that some of the were somewhere else in the companies claimed world.” cases against the 25 oil marketers as follows:
HE naira firmed against the United States’ dollar on the interbank yesterday, with large inflows from foreign investors buying shorttenored bonds and as banks sells the greenback to stay within a stipulated open position for them. The naira firmed to close at N157.90 to the dollar, recovering from an intraday low of N158.40, compared with Friday’s close of N158.10. “Dollar inflow from offshore investors buying treasury bills helped lift the naira today,” one dealer told Reuters. The Federal Government sold N71 billion ($445 million) worth of treasury bills yesterday, with maturities ranging from three-month to six-month. Dealers said foreign funds were active but didn’t give specific figures. At the apex bank’s biweekly foreign exchange auction, the bank sold $120 million at N155.80 to the dollar yesterday, compared with $200 million it sold at
Jonathan: PIB will complement NEITI Act From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now at the National Assembly will complement Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act in terms of transparency in the oil and gas industry. Representing Jonathan, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, at the inauguration of the new National Stakeholders’ Working Group (NSWG) of NEITI in Abuja, noted that the government looks forward to seeing a transparent and accountable system in the sector. While inaugurating members of the new NSWG led by its new Chairman, Ledum Mitee, the President, charged them to identify companies that are fond of frustrating the workings of NEITI for possible sanctions within the armbit of established laws. He added that the government remains committed to ensuring transparency in the country’s extractive industries. He urged the board to evolve policies that would promote NEITI-post compliant programmes through the five-year development plan document, which the agency has already developed. Speaking on behalf of members the NSWG chairman, Mitee thanked the president for giving them the opportunity and assured that they would strive to meet the demands of their appointment.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 22-8-12
Equities resume with modest gains
FTER a two-day public holiday to mark the Eid-ul-Fitri- the celebration of the end of a month-long fasting by Muslims, the stock market reopened yesterday on a bullish. Aggregate market value of all equities improved by N18 billion. Contrary to expectations of liquidity-induced downtrend, investors returned to the market with pocket-full of money for value stocks, especially in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. Although there were more losers than gainers, substantial gains by several FMCG stocks dictated the overall market situation, with the benchmark index closing with a modest gain of 0.25 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of quoted equities inched up from N7.366 trillion to N7.384 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI) - the common value-based index that tracks prices of all equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), increased to 23,199.03 points as against its opening index of 23,141.08 points. With this, the year-to-date return at
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
the stock market stood at 11.91 per cent. Nestle Nigeria, Nigeriaâ€™s highest-priced quoted company, consolidated its ranking with a gain of N11.03 to close at N511.03. Guinness Nigeria Plc, the second highest-priced quoted company, followed with a gain of N2.81 to close at N245.01. CAP Plc chalked up N1.26 to close at N26.58. Cadbury Nigeria gathered 45 kobo to close at N17.19. Okomu Oil Palm added 49 kobo to close at N30. International Breweries rose by 36 kobo to N7.64. Unilever Nigeria gained 25 kobo to close at N35.25. University Press and Stanbic IBTC Bank added 20 kobo each while National Salt Company of Nigeria rose by 18 kobo to close at N4.85 per share. However, Arbico Plc led 25 other stocks on the losersâ€™ list with a drop of 70 kobo to close at N13.39. Nigerian Ropes followed with a loss of 41 kobo to close at N7.85. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria lost 20 kobo to close at
N4.10. Dangote Flour Mills and Pharma Deko slipped by 15 kobo each to close at N6.25 and N3.02 respectively. Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 11 kobo to close at N4.39. May and Baker Nigeria slipped by 8.0 kobo to close at N1.59 while Mansard Assurance and Skye Bank dropped 7.0 kobo each to close at N1.60 and N2.66 respectively. Total turnover stood at 410.7 million shares worth N3.87 billion in 3,623 deals. The market was driven largely by significant demand for banking stocks and a strategic positioning in Sovereign Trust Insurance. Sovereign Trust Insurance emerged the most active stock with three cross deals for 150 million shares valued at N75 million. Zenith Bank followed with a turnover of 43.18 million shares valued at N661.3 million in 254 deals. Fidelity Bank saw a turnover of 23.4 million shares valued at N30.67 million in 55 deals while Guaranty Trust Bank exchanged of 21.4 million shares worth N380 million in 321 deals. With these, banking subgroup was atop activity chart with a turnover of 190.7 million shares valued at N1.6 billion in 2,130 deals. Insurance subsector followed with a turnover of 155.2 million shares valued at N77.9 million in 125 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 22-8-12
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
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THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Irregular power supply raises operational cost, say manufacturers
ACK of electricity, the most critical infrastructure constraint in Nigeria, is having devastating effects on manufacturers’ operating costs. Chairman , Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Oyo/ Osun/Ondo/Ekiti states branch, Mr Michael Daramola, highlighted this at the association’s 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Jogor Event Centre, Ibadan. He said in spite of the country’s huge and diverse energy resources endowment, electricity was ranked the most critical infrastructure constraint, which negatively impacts members’ operational cost, causing production stoppages, output losses, destruction of machineries and raw materials. “A review of the overall performance of the economy in 2011 was reasonably fair, despite the plethora of challenges that have continued to render the business environment unfriendly. Outlining them, as usual, is tantamount
Stories by Toba Agboola
to reminding us of pitiable state of the manufacturing sector. “Notwithstanding, reasonable success and growth were achieved in some areas of the economy. Interestingly, we were able to weather the storm, despite the seemingly harsh operating environment. Our efforts at keeping our businesses afloat in the face of multifarious challenges deserve to be commended,” Daramola said. He stated further: “We cannot forget in a hurry, the devastation of some of our member-companies facilities, especially in the Oluyole Industrial Estate during the last year’s flood disaster which occurred precisely in the month of August. The disaster sadly claimed properties and products worth billions of Naira. We sincerely hope that government will proffer appropriate solutions especially in the area of adequate infrastructure needed to attain greatness in the industrial sector.”
Oyo State Commissioner for Industry, Applied Science and Technology, Mr Adebayo Olagbenro, who represented Oyo State government at the event, disclosed that the state government had partnered with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to provide N1 billion loanable fund for SMEs operators
in the state. He urged manufacturers in the state to benefit from the scheme, adding that talks were also ongoing with the BOI on power supply generation to facilitate industrial transformation of the state. Executive Secretary of the branch, Mr Olalekan Edunjobi,
listed some of the challenges facing members’ operations to include: inconsistency in government policy, poor infrastructure, multiple taxes, dearth of longterm funding/high cost of fund, smuggling and faking of Nigerian products, low patronage of locally made pro
Nigeria, South Korea trade volume hits N310b
OLUME of trade between Nigeria and South Korea has surpassed $2 billion (about N310 billion) since 1980 when the two countries established diplomatic ties. This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Korea Mr Desmond Akawor, at a symposium on New Flows of Foreign Directive Investment (FDI) from Republic of South Korea, organised in Lagos. The event was put together by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, in collaboration with Random Dynamic Resources Limited, publishers of Research Intelligence magazine, to commemorate the 67th Independence anniversary of the Republic of Korea. Delivering a speech at the forum, Akawor said though the volume of
trade between the two countries has hit $2 billion, it was far below expectation, noting that there are huge opportunities Nigeria can tap into to boost Foreign Direct Investment from South Korea. He said: “The new major areas of FDI from Korea where we can leverage the opportunities to building our economy are in power, building and construction, oil & gas, agriculture, iron and steel development, textile, security, refinery and petro-chemical industry, among others.” Akawor said Nigeria would gain a lot by ensuring and sustaining congenial working relations with Korea. He said a number of measures should be taken by Nigeria to unleash the huge potential in bilateral ties.
US, SMEDAN partner on MSME growth
HE United States Department of State through its Embassy in Abuja and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) have urged Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs to change their mindset on identification of business opportunities, time management rather than expecting only government to provide the enabling environment for their businesses to thrive. The two bodies advised that rather than waste time on expectations that may never be adequately met, Nigerians should turn every problem to a business opportunity and regard time as a valuable money-spinner which should be judiciously used. They noted that entrepreneurship requires hard work, patience and determination to bear longterm benefits. These views were expressed at a one-day forum aimed at building the capacities of participants and broadening their horizons so they can identify the limitless windows of opportunities in their environment, in Abuja. Delivering his keynote address, the Director-General, SMEDAN, Alhaji Muhammed Nadada Umar, said SMEDAN has boosted the development of MSMEs to a large extent. He urged entrepreneurs to develop their own ideas and follow them through to a successful end.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ThinkImpact, an international social enterprise which provides educational services to entrepreneurs, Mr Garlick said people needed to change their minds from the widely held notion that enterprises are built on money. “Enterprises are built on people who forge trusted relationships and are willing to take risks together. People who are not afraid to fail but learn from their mistakes. People who are determined to surmount challenges that may arise on the way through hard work and sustained communication. “It is impossible to start a successful business right away, from the word go,” he said. He noted that entrepreneurs as problem-solvers and goal-getters do not wait for the government to create a conducive business environment for businesses to thrive but turn those difficulties posed by the failures of the government into business opportunities through which they can create something which would add value to people’s lives and improve the world. “Those who are courageous enough to take that risk, he said, “must understand the different elements of establishing enterprises, which can be quite overwhelming,” he said.
•From left: Odumodu, Rogers and Plant Manager, Ewekoro II, Mr Lanre Opakunle during the courtesy visit.
Sub-standard cement: Larfarge Wapco introduces new initiatives •Partners SON on quality assurance framework
AFARGE Wapco Cement Company Plc’s new subsidiary Ready Mix is set to give the company a new leverage in business development, consolidation and profitability. Its Industrial Director, Mr Paul Rogers, stated this during the visit of the Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, to the 2.5 million metric-tonne Lakatabu Plant. Rogers said the decision to introduce the Ready Mix initiative was informed by the company’s willingness to contribute to efforts to find solutions to building collapse. According to him, Ready Mix is meant to get into the main stream of construction. He said it was designed to get in touch with customers and stakeholders in the construction business. He said Ready Mix is operated in
silos for mixing cement, sand and other materials to achieve aggregate quality blocks, concrete and other products in the right proportion. The project is operated at two locations in Lagos. Rogers, however, said there were plans to build two more, with one outside Lagos. “Ready Mix is mainly for development projects.The project has advantages, including avoidance of materials wastage and stockpiling of materials. It could also be taken to distant areas,” he said. Odumodu announced plans to put in place new quality assurance measures. He said the measures are aimed at ensuring compliance with global standards in building materials manufacturing. According to Odumodu, SON will begin the process with visits to the
three main cement sites in the country, following which a stakeholders’ forum will be held. He said the forum would be used as a platform for the development of a new framework for quality assurance in cement manufacturing, sales and usage value chain. The new framework, according to him, will soon be developed and adopted by the agency and stakeholders to ensure that policy concerns among stakeholders in the cement value chain are addressed. “The next phase is to define a new framework to make sure policy concerns among stakeholders are addressed with the quality of products produced and used assured,” Odumodu said. Specifically, he said the new framework would focus on eliminating substandard cement products.
Govt votes N460m for cassava value chain
HE Federal Government has set aside N460 million for the implementation of the national cassava value chain programme aimed at maximising the product’s industrial potential. Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina disclosed this at the flagoff of the programme in Lagos at the Lagos State Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe. The programme, which came under the National Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), saw the distribution of 25,000 cassava sticks bundles to registered crop farmers. About 200 of 34,000 such farmers received theirs . The flag-off was the second in the series of the intervention under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme. The industrial uses on the value chain include the High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), which will replace 20 per
cent wheat flour in bread. Adeshina, who was represented by the Regional Director, Southwest, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Odeyemi Julious, said the exercise, being done in collaboration with other states, was aimed at enhancing the yield of various crops the nation has comparative advantage on and their production. “N460 million has been committed for the implementation of the programme and attention is being given to the whole value chain of the various enterprises with cassava as a major focal point,” he stated. Adeshina said various transformational plans aimed to stop importation of agricultural goods that could be produced locally. He disclosed that about N635 billion is spent on the importation of wheat yearly. “This present administration is
poised to improved the efficiency of willing farmers towards enhancing food production as well as ensuring food security. “Importation is a challenge to the economy, food security, job creation and national security. Therefore, there is no going back on ensuring food security in the country.” The minister, however, praised the effort of Lagos State government at improving its agricultural sector. Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Lagos State, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, described the intervention as a welcome development coming at the right time. His words:” This occasion is another effort of the state to revamp the agricultural sector with the Strategic Programme for Accelerated Agricultural Growth (SPAAG).”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Arresting capital flight
•From left: Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga; Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, Amb Vincent Okodion and President , Andrage Gutierrez, (a construction company from Brazil), Mr Rodrigo Da Costa Fonseca, during the visit of a team from Andrage Gutierrez to the Ministry in Nigeria
From left: Winners of the Amstel Malta competition , Chibueze Madu Daniel, Emuoborsan Orogun and Victor Chidiere Ebere , during their visit to The Beat FM in Lagos.
Banks collaborate on projects
HE Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has called for a synergy with the Infrastructure Bank (IB) Plc to support the Federal Government’s transformation agenda through project financing. Its Managing Director, Roberts Orya made the call in Abuja when he led a delegation of the bank to visit the Managing Director of IB Plc, Mr Adekunle Oyinloye. He said: “We are excited to be here. The meeting is essentially to deepen inter-agency cooperation and explore areas of transactional risk sharing in co-financing projects that have export content so that we can explore areas of mutual cooperation and build synergies and capacities to support government’s transformation agenda.
Stories by Toba Agboola
“We in NEXIM bank are set to diversify the economy from the monoproduction of oil. We need to work with institutions like you, to be able to actualise our own mandate.” Orya said there was the need for the two banks to work together on a sealink project. According to him, the project is intended to ease Nigerian exporters’ movement of goods to other African countries and to improve trade in the ECOWAS region. He said NEXIM Bank had been working hard to see how best to enhance the volume of trade in the region. Said Orya: “We have the sea-link project. A sea-link project is basically a maritime transport infrastructure.
We are looking at how we can enhance the volumes of trade within the ECOWAS sub-region and even the Central African region. “And we have observed that our exporters have a lot of problems moving goods out of Nigeria to neighbouring countries because we don’t have the maritime transportation that will make it easy for them.” Responding, Oyinloye praised NEXIM Bank for the initiative and spoke of his bank’s readiness to partner with it on the development of infrastructure in the country. He said: “There is a whole lot of opportunity within the infrastructure space in Nigeria; if you look at the transport infrastructure sector, of which the maritime sector is one, there is a huge potential there.
Odu’a Group nets N750m profit in 2011
DU’A Investment Company Limited made over N750 million profit at the close of the 2011 financial year. Chairman of the conglomerate Sharafedeen Ali, who disclosed this in Ibadan, said it was the first time the group achieved such a result, adding that the company was now a profitmaking, business concern. “Odu’a is not used to making profit, however, because of fiscal discipline and a paradigm shift, we made over N750 million in 2011.” The feat, he pointed out, was made possible because of the commitment of the management to probity and accountability.
LOSE Up toothpaste is offering consumers the chance to be the source of joy to the less-privilege. As part of activities in “Close Up Loves Naija campaign”, it is giving back to four select charity groups in Lagos, on the recommendation on consumers.
Alli said many Odu’a subsidiaries were revived, while funds were injected to make them viable, adding that formerly distressed Odu’a Telecommunications outfit, Onet, has been revived to compete with other telecom firms. The Odu’a boss recalled past efforts to make Onet the pride of the Southwest, noting that now the telecom service provider has come to stay with the procurement of $6 million worth of equipment. He said:”You will recall that Onet communication outfit of the Odu’a Group bought some equipment in 2003 or thereabouts that were not okay. A lot has taken place since then; there has been total overhaul of the company in
partnership with some Canadian investors with interests in the Middle East. The truth is that Onet has come to stay. Today, we have Internet facilities that provide services faster than most service providers.” He said the Odu’a Group, which was established by the late Obafemi Awolowo to cater for the economic interest of the Southwest states, had witnessed daunting challenges over the years that threatened its existence. “But now are committed to the dreams of the founding fathers and our vision is not to just keep what we met , but to expand to real estates and properties as well as other business concerns,” he said.
Close Up reaches out to less-privilege Consumers are being asked via radio and social media to name the less-privilege group they want Close Up to reach out to. For the past eight weeks, the Close Up team has been engaging consumers, giving free movie tick-
ets, airtime and table top fridges to hundreds of consumers in celebration of its 38 years in Nigeria. The brand is celebrating and came up with a campaign tagged “Close Up Loves Naija.”
ESPITE its turbulent political history and food crisis, Ethiopia has a functional aviation industry. One of its main businesses Asky Airlines - operates out of LomeTokoin Airport and travels to 18 countries. It has just made Togo its regional hub aside having its headquarters there. Ethiopian Airlines has also made history as the first airline to take delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and also the first non-Japanese carrier to receive the aircraft. The remarks of its Chief Executive, Tewolde Gebremariam, are worth recounting here. “The fact that we are the first airline outside Japan to receive this ultra-modern aircraft is an affirmation of our continuing pioneering role in African aviation…” The aforementioned is exactly what the Managing Director of the defunct Nigerian Airways would have said in the late 70s and 80s. Despite the extreme turbulence in Nigeria’s aviation sector, statistically remaining one of the most important markets in Africa, especially giving the high business, tourist, and pilgrimage mobility of Nigerians. According to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) about five million people make up the passenger traffic at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos; another four million pass through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and an aggregate of over seven million travel through all the airports in Lagos. No doubt any aviation investor, who ignores these numbers, will be losing out on a risky but highly viable enterprise. It is interesting that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah understands that Nigeria cannot do this alone but must seek help from abroad. There’s no need emphasising the loss to our national coffers capital to other countries annually on cost of routine (C – checks) maintenance carried out outside the country. This is because we don’t currently have the capacity to conduct these C – checks locally. However, there are facilities for A and B checks. The funds spent by Nigerian pilots on gaining the requisite flying recertification and aircraft simulator training tests can be conserved if some of these activities take place here. A classic example is an airline with three or four aircraft will need to spend an estimated $450,000 on its pilots; as such some of these investment vistas include running of an aircraft
From Alkasim Abdulkadir
maintenance hangar, establishment of ground handling companies and aviation training schools. Others are running a cabin simulator and flight simulator machines, importation of aircraft parts and navigational aids facilities. One cannot rule out the multiplier effect of business activities that surround the airport from aviation fuel suppliers to haulage companies and catering services. We need to understand that an airport goes beyond the operational components of the runway, helipad, control towers, hangars and terminal buildings; but also the components of base operators, seaplane docks and ramps, air traffic control, passenger facilities and other not only aesthetic but functional parts like restaurants, telecom and bank outlets, lounges and emergency services. Nigeria must begin to learn viable lessons from other global players like Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, which has approached several airlines to find out whether they would be interested in becoming a strategic investor. Among those contacted are Etihad Airways, Hainan Airlines and Emirates. Air Berlin is taking this step despite having an equity of •368 million, which not considered an operating profit. The Ministry of Aviation under Princesss Oduah’s watch has just concluded an international investment road show. The team went to China, the United States and Canada and met with companies in finance and aerospace industries like CSCEC, ICBC, Hauwei, Boeing and Bombardier. Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need to attract diverse sources of funding for the aviation sector to grow. It must, however, be stated that there is an equally important obligation for the Ministry of Aviation to provide an enabling environment for these investments to flourish; the National Assembly must also carry out the legal frameworks that can provide the ambience for the investments platform to bear fruition. Like the NCAA Director-General, Dr Harold Demuren said: “What is, therefore required at this time is abundant political will, adequate legislation and a review of the civil aviation policy to propose cogent guidelines for infrastructural development in all facets including funding.”
Industralists oppose plan to scrap NERFUND
HE National President of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Mr Chukwu Wachukwu, has condemned moves by the Federal Government to scrap the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND). Wachukwu spoke at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the management of Goldmond Limited, calling for the creation of Small and Medium Enterprises bank to finance the enterprises. He said: “NERFUND is the body now funding the industry and so if anybody should tamper with the fund, he is not wishing the SMEs and Nigeria well.” Wachukwu urged banks to support the development of SMEs, saying:“Of all the banks,
FirstBank has invested more money in the development of SMEs; the other banks should follow suit to ensure that the SMEs are encouraged through funding.” Wachukwu expressed optimism that NASSI’s relationship with Goldmond would take the association to greater heights in terms of publicity and brand development. He noted that “NASSI has the ability to mobilise funds for members and making them to have access to finance.” He disclosed that 95 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product were from the industries, adding that on employment, the industries were taking more Nigerians than any other sector. The president, however, regretted that the sector had not been invigorated enough in funding.
African institutes get boss
HE Board of Directors of the African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE) has appointed Dr. Ifediora Chimezie Amobi its Executive Director with effect from this month. Amobi has Doctorate Degree (Ph.D) in Economics from Howard University, Washington, DC, United States of America (USA), Masters Degree (M.Sc.) in Economics from Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA and also Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Economics from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE, USA. AIAE is an independent international research institute devoted to promot-
ing evidence- based decision making through research, sound economic analysis, policy dialogue and private sector development activities. The Institute spearheaded the only indigenous business environment survey in Nigeria christened Business Environment and Competitiveness Across Nigerian States (BECANS), which is its flagship. A release issued by the Communications Manager of the Institute, Mr Sola Oluwadare, described Amobi as a consummate policy economist and quintessential administrator; endowed with leadership qualities and managerial experience in public sector.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Still on the 76 oil wells • Governor Akpabio’s olive branch to his Cross River counterpart is worthy of consideration
HERE has been no love lost between the two brother states of Cross River and Akwa Ibom in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. The feuding which started a few years back got intense last month, July 10, 2012 precisely, when the Supreme Court pronounced that the 76 offshore oil wells, which are at the root of the conflict between the two contiguous states, belonged to Akwa Ibom. Since then, Cross River State that lost out has not been able to live down the judgment. The state’s officials have continued to pillory the action of the apex court, insinuating all manner of ill motives and bad faith. Expectedly, Akwa Ibom State had responded in kind, throw-
‘We urge once again, that the two brother states should embrace dialogue. Especially now that the Akwa Ibom State governor has held out the olive branch, the ‘combatants’ must sheathe their swords. They may start by engaging respectable elders to mediate. There is so much more to be gained this way’
ing back the muck in a word fest of newspaper advertorials. The fight has degenerated to the level of bitter name-calling and crude public abuse of the principals, using the instrumentality of their aides. This sourness and the fouling of the atmosphere among the Efik-Ibibio race, if allowed to fester, is bound to cause more socio-psychological damage to the people than all the oil in that region can repair. Cross River’s loss is heavy – changing overnight from a rich oil state to a no oil entity. Her pain is understandable, but to go on this way is merely weeping over spilt milk. The Supreme Court’s ruling is clear and lends itself to no ambiguity whatsoever. Summarised, it says that by Nigeria’s ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun, Cross River State automatically ceases to have a coastal boundary. That indeed, it has become a land-locked state therefore, cannot lay claim to any coastal assets. This point, stretched a little, is also pragmatic for the purpose of Nigeria’s international boundary politics. For these reasons, no amount of bickering or name-calling would change what seems like a judgment based on geographical, if not geo-political facts. As we stated in our recent editorial on this matter, having such huge crude oil assets is salutary by itself, but it is not necessarily a guarantee of paradise for the entity where it is domiciled. Starting from Cross River State, it had never been known as an oil-producing state but it has become quite illustrious in Nigeria for develop-
ing its tourism potential to an international level. This feat is to the envy of some of the states richest in oil in Nigeria. The Obudu Game Reserve and Ranch is today on the international tourism map; same as the Tinapa which was created from scratch by the state government. There still exists huge opportunities in the bounteous Cross River National Park which boasts of the majestic Oban Hills, while the commercial agriculture potential of the state’s expansive and arable land mass is beyond limits. Nigeria today may be said to be roiling in the much vaunted oil curse; that bewildering irony of being tortured not by lack and penury but by overabundance. South Africa does not have half of Nigeria’s natural resources but it has built her economy to be four times the size of Nigeria’s. Same goes for Japan, South Korea, to name a few. What we are saying in essence is that a country or state does not need a drop of oil to grow to her full potential. It only requires visionary leadership and a properly oriented followership. In conclusion, we urge once again, that the two brother states should embrace dialogue. Especially now that the Akwa Ibom State governor has held out the olive branch, the ‘combatants’ must sheathe their swords. They may start by engaging respectable elders to mediate. There is so much more to be gained this way.
Unexplained • Why FG’s accounts are in disarray?
VEN as the tension between the President Goodluck Jonathan administration and the National Assembly over the alleged poor implementation of the 2012 budget is yet to settle, the 2010 audit report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, to the federal legislature raises fresh questions bordering on efficiency and transparency in the management of the country’s finances. During the House of Representatives public probe into the management of fuel subsidy earlier in the year, various government agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Petroleum Products Prices Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) gave contradictory figures as regards the purported subsidy being paid on fuel consumption by the
‘The office of the auditor-general deserves commendation for living up to its constitutional responsibility of investigating and discovering lapses in the management of the country’s finances. But the office should be able to do much more than cry wolf after the damage has been done. There is no reason, for instance, why it should not have an early warning system to trigger alarms when it is obvious that relevant agencies are about breaching the stipulated timelines’
Federal Government. In a similar vein, the queries raised in the 2010 audit report indicate sharp differences between the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) and that of the auditor-general on critical aspects of the country’s finances in the period under review. The overall impression created is one of disconnect between government agencies, which ought to work in harmony, and the consequent disarray in the finances of the Federal Government. A critical issue raised by the auditorgeneral has to do with non-adherence to statutory deadlines in the submission of accounts for auditing. In the words of the auditor-general: “The financial statements numbers 1 to 4 with notes to the accounts were first submitted by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) to my office on June 1, 2011, and re-submitted on November 10, 2011. The submissions in June and November 2011 contravened the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, which states that (1) the Federal Government shall publish their audited accounts not later than six months following the end of the financial year and (2) the Federal Government shall, not later than two years following the commencement of this Act and thereafter, not later than seven months following the end of each financial year, consolidate and publish in the mass media, the audited accounts of the previous year”. Was the tardiness of the OAGF in meeting its statutory responsibilities as and when due, a reflection of the lack of seriousness that has characterised fiscal and
budgetary processes in this dispensation? It is no wonder then that the audit report notes that as at December, 31, 2010, about 34 ministries, departments and agencies had closing balances of over N1, 000,000,000.00 amounting to N409,393,556,287.91. The report concludes that: “These closing balances suggest late releases of funds for projects and programmes for economic development, thereby resulting into poor budget performance”. The office of the auditor-general deserves commendation for living up to its constitutional responsibility of investigating and discovering lapses in the management of the country’s finances. But the office should be able to do much more than cry wolf after the damage has been done. There is no reason, for instance, why it should not have an early warning system to trigger alarms when it is obvious that relevant agencies are about breaching the stipulated timelines. Furthermore, some of the queries as regards the Ecological Fund, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) levy or the Central Bank of Nigeria-Federal Government of Nigeria Independent Revenue Account with JP Morgan could have been ironed out through inter-agency administrative queries/processes before submission of the final report to the National Assembly. Such cooperation between the OAGF and that of the auditor-general is not suggested to compromise the integrity of either. Rather, it will help to harmonise information and avoid creating the unhelpful impression that government finances are in disarray.
South Africa’s seam of discontent
IGHTEEN years after the African National Congress swept to power, South Africa is reliving some of the worst memories of the apartheid era. The police shooting of 34 black strikers at the Marikana platinum mine – the worst such violence since apartheid ended – will fuel perceptions that the ANC’s leadership has been paying more attention to factional infighting than to growing economic divisions and the discontent of ordinary people. As soon as tensions ease, the probe ordered by president Jacob Zuma must begin work to ascertain what mistakes were made by police, the mine’s operator Lonmin, unions and government. However, the tragedy at Marikana must also serve as a wake-up call to the ANC to overcome its divisions and address a deeper malaise: the policy paralysis damaging both South Africa’s economy and its fragile social consensus. Mining was once the bedrock of South Africa’s economy and miners’ unions central to the anti-apartheid struggle. Now unions are warring among themselves and the industry’s future is clouded by uncertainty over policy. Platinum miners are especially vulnerable: with the slump in the European car industry depressing prices, they need to cut production and lay off thousands of workers to make their businesses sustainable – all but impossible in the current political climate. Yet the whole industry is suffering from the ANC’s prevarication over the question of nationalisation: this uncertainty has made the country less competitive when the rest of Africa is opening to investment. The industry itself must show a more human face: Lonmin’s threat to dismiss strikers who did not return to work, deferred on Monday only by 24 hours, is especially insensitive. However, the ANC must be more realistic about the challenges mining faces, and must settle the question of nationalisation as soon as possible. Further prevarication will merely play into the hands of populist politicians such as Julius Malema – who received a rapturous reception at Marikana at the weekend. Moreover, the ANC must grapple with the long-term challenge: to revive and diversify South Africa’s economy, beset by inequality and unemployment. The violence at Marikana follows riots in townships over poor public services, and worrying attempts to stifle media criticism. For too long there has been a sense of drift in government. The ANC cannot justify its monopoly on power if it continues to avoid making key decisions. – Financial Times
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THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed literarily found himself torn between two parts when it came to deciding whether to or not to go ahead with the removal of illegal structures springing up in Mpape, Kuchingoro, Chika, Aleita, Karamajiji, Pilwoyi, Gishiri and other slums that seem to be forming a notorious ring around the nation’s capital city. But illegal structures are like malignant cancer which if left to stabilize or spread could overwhelm and kill the body. There is no doubt that the wish of most Nigerians is for Abuja to rank among the well planned, organized and beautiful cities of the world. This explains why our judiciary deserves commendation for the mature manner in which it has handled the cases concerning illegal structures and demolition in Abuja recently. For instance, on
The demolition of illegal structures in Abuja Wednesday August 15, a motion for an interlocutory order restraining the Minister of FCT and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) from demolishing illegal structures in Mpape, a suburb of Abuja was rejected by an Abuja High Court presided by Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf. Justice Abubakar Kutigi at the FCT High Court sitting in Bwari had a week earlier declined to grant an injunction restraining the minister and the FCDA from removing the illegal structures in the same suburb settlement of Mpape.
In one of their submissions, the petitioners argued that the Minister should be mindful of the fact that FCT is a creation of law and therefore should act within the confines of the law. Against the backdrop of this assertion by the squatters, the question arises: What is that law that created the FCT within which confines the minister and his subordinates in the FCDA are supposed to operate? What manner of physical development did the law(s) that created the FCT stipulate for residents to follow in building their residential,
commercial or institutional houses? Did the laws provide that districts, neighbourhoods and houses should be developed according to officially approved plans and designs or in half-haphazard manners dictated by the whims and caprices of local dupes and individual builders? Again, did the planned removal of illegal structures in Mpape and other affected villages amount to a total obliteration of the entire settlements? The answers to these questions are well known to all
Nigeria’s youths and the future
IR: In every serious nation, there is a conscious process to nurture youths into responsible and competent adults who would effectively drive the wheel of development and the progress of their country. Youths who have reached heights of their career through this process and have become adults abound in numbers across the world: late Steve Jobs, Usain Bolt, Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates, Venus and Serena Williams, Lionel Messi; the list is endless. Having been at the front-row seat of success and have seen how it is done, they knew they cannot rest until they have made impact as there are always new records to be broken and set. Everyday they toil to put behind them records of yesteryears to become the heroes of today. The truth is that there are few or no records to be broken in Nigeria, and no torch to be passed on. The only torch is that of corruption and immoralities and the younger generation would be doing themselves a whole world of good steering clear of such torch, as taking it would only land them in the mess in which their so-called leaders are enmeshed. The few records there are were set by heroes long gone like Chief
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Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe and Ahmadu Bello, Adekunle Fajuyi. This is why these nationalists have, even in death, remained a point of reference years after they are no more. It is good to celebrate achievements of heroes past, but when such achievements are the only reference point in a nation because they have not been surpassed, such a nation is either sleeping or dead.
Nigerian leaders do not know anything about leadership or role modelling. They are leaders in name, but the spirit of leadership which provides a good springboard for the younger generation is not in them. Our leaders must know that those they refuse to build will pull down the house that they have built (or are building). It is already happening: kidnapping, militancy, Boko Haram. They may come up
with all the committees in the world, or over-flogged ideas like state police. They may even make all Nigerians members of their committees. If a conscious process to role-model the youths into competent and resourceful adults is not created, then all of us might just be sitting on a keg of gun-powder. • ‘Dimeji Daniels Ado Ekiti.
discerning and law-abiding residents of FCT. Definitely, there are some houses in Mpape and other affected areas that were built based on lawful land allocations, approved plans, designs or specifications. Nobody has marked such houses for demolition. It is not surprising that today the scheduled removal of illegal and unplanned structures in Mpape and other affected villages has become a huge opportunity for some people who ordinarily should know better. Thus, stunting, blackmail and mob incitement have become a vocation for some persons and groups driven by parochial instincts. The logical advice for the squatters in the affected villages is to relocate to the satellite towns and the area councils where they would find it relatively easier to build lawful houses. The FCTA has created an enabling environment for housing development in most of such places through provision of basic infrastructures like access roads, electricity, water, healthcare and schools. Since the impending demolition exercise is a necessary operation to rescue FCT and restore it to the path envisaged by its founding fathers, what is needed from all residents is understanding and not threats and litigations. •Nosike Ogbuenyi Abuja.
Rising to the humanitarian challenges in Lower Plateau
IR: As the impacts of global climate change manifest in different forms, flood which is one of the resultant effect has continued to wreak havoc in many communities. The situation in Nigeria is not far from the experiences elsewhere. The occurrence of flood has continued to be on the rise in both frequency and magnitude. In addition to the known high risk communities, locations hitherto thought to be less prone are also increasingly exposed to the disaster from torrential rains, overflow of river banks and blocked drainages. One of such is the lower parts of Plateau State that comprises six local government areas where about 200 communities were recently devas-
tated by floods which resulted in no less than 40 deaths, over 10, 000 displaced persons and their property destroyed including farmlands with crops. The local government areas are Mikang, Shendam, Kanam, Wase, Langtang North and Lantang South. The flood had taken the affected communities most unprepared as they were said to have never experienced such in the past 40 years or more. Although the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had issued a warning of expected heavy rain with likely floods in some states, Plateau was not included in the high risk list. Interestingly, few months earlier, there was similar incident in Rikkos area of Jos, the state capital which caused about 38
deaths and displaced some thousands. The situation in the lower Plateau require urgent humanitarian assistance.The distribution of the relief materials in some of the areas were almost as difficult as the pains brought by the flood. Most of the bridges built across the rivers in the area were washed away in cutting off access to the people. In Shendam for instance, NEMA officials were forced to temporarily suspend the distribution and control the crowds from hanging parts of a collapsed bridge located at the heart of the town. In Mikang local government area, the distribution was delayed by the burial of a woman that had died from the flood after her home was submerged by
the water and collapsed over her. The NEMA staff had to resort to mobilizing local supports in the transport of its relief materials across the rivers where the bridges had been washed away in moving the assistance to the displaced persons cut off from the supply. Though it is practically impossible to compensate the people for their losses, relief assistance tends to offer succor and some sense of belonging. A lot more is still require to complement the quick relief of NEMA in helping those affected by the flood recover from their losses including the providing access across the rivers in the lower areas of Plateau State. • Manzo Ezekiel Maitama, Abuja
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
The election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
HE recent election of Mrs. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former wife of President Jacob Zuma, the President of the Union of South Africa as the African Union’s Commission chairman is very interesting for several reasons. Even though she is separated from the President; the way President Zuma and the government of South Africa campaigned for her went beyond supporting a compatriot. It was as if the President’s prestige was on the line. There is no doubt of course that on her own the lady had credibility. But one wonders if this does not smack of nepotism for the former husband to be Head of State and to have in his cabinet a former wife who has now been kicked upstairs into the position of the chairperson of the African Union’s Commission. In getting to this position, she beat Jean Ping, the current Gabonese chairman of the African Union’s Commission. One cannot say that Mr. Ping was wonderful as chairman of the commission. One remembers his ineffectual handling of the Libyan crisis especially when it was obvious that the Libyan dictator Muammar Ghadafi was about to fall, he kept asking for a government of National Unity and a transition administration in Libya. Although this was the African Union’s position and one can say he was merely carrying out orders of the political leadership of the continent. I recall him following Jacob Zuma to Libya to see Ghadafi at the height of the crisis. This was the same Zuma whose government and that of the government of Nigeria supported the Security Council no-fly resolution on Libya; a position which presaged the military intervention of the North America Treaty Organization (NATO) in the African country. This was a repeat of what happened in the Ivory Coast where the United Nations led by France intervened militarily to remove a sitting African President Laurent Gbagbo and imposed Alassane Ouattara. Nigeria also went along with the United Nations in this adventure. We can debate whether Nigeria’s position on the crisis in the Ivory Coast and Libyan was correct or not. But I personally feel that while we were trying to apply the Principle of Humanitarian Intervention, we forgot the principle of sovereign independence of all nations. On the election of the lady as chairman of the African Union’s Commission, Nigeria’s principled position was that the major powers in Africa such as Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Algeria should avoid occupying preeminent positions in the organs of the African Union. As principal contributors to the African Union’s budget, it will not be wise to be seen as imposing on others their will. This was also done in order to avoid being seen as bullies by smaller African countries. This was why Nigeria during the Babangida years did not support Ambassador Peter Onu being confirmed as the African
Union’s Secretary General even though he had acted in that capacity for some time. The Principle of Self-abnegation has always characterized Nigeria’s Foreign Policy. Nigeria, for example, pays more than 50percent of ECOWAS budget but we never aspire to be Secretary General of the organization. Even hosting ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja permanently is at considerable cost to our National Exchequer. But we have always believed that the powers in Africa and in the case of ECOWAS should occupy the second tier positions in these organizations. This is also the position of the United States that contributes disproportionately high portion of the United Nations’ budget. It is also the position of Germany, for example, in the European Union and that of Great Britain in the Commonwealth. This principled position is based on the idea that the only way for big nations to persuade smaller ones to join them in international organizations is to allow nationals of smaller countries to play significant administrative roles. This is the Principle that South Africa by gunning for the chairmanship of the African Union’s Commission has breached. All through the campaign for the election, ECOWAS position was to vote for the incumbent Mr. Ping of Gabon who was also presumably being supported by the Central African States. The election was first held last year but ended in a stalemate. Then this last election was expected to end in a deadlock so that Jean Ping can continue in office, but somehow some members of the ECOWAS must have deserted their position to vote along with Southern Africa and Eastern African states for the candidate of South Africa; although Nigeria was not contesting, so it was not a struggle between Nigeria and South Africa. In any case, the ties between Nigeria and South Africa are so important that the chairmanship of the African Union’s Commission should not affect the relationship. But the victory of South Africa to some extent was a defeat for Nigeria. This was what must have informed Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, our erudite former Foreign Minister to suggest that our Foreign Policy must not only carry carrot, but also the big stick as well. Our support, according to him must be based on the principle of reciprocity and when this principle is breached, we must withdraw our support. While agreeing with him to an extent, I’m sure he also knows that sometimes Nigeria’s Foreign Policy must be based on Principle of higher morality, so that the image of ugly Nigeria is removed from the minds of some of our smaller neighbors. People have always argued that sending our troops to places like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and investing billions of Naira in the liberation of southern African states of Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and even South Africa itself without asking for material rewards is not a wise policy.
The huge expenditure on African liberation was not necessarily based on altruism alone, but it was rooted on the policy of enlightened self interest. This is because the victimization or oppression of any black person as a result of his race undermined or derogated from our essential humanity as a people. So in helping southern African states we were essentially helping ourselves as well. This Jide is why I sometimes Osuntokun disagree with our people who expect South Africa to run coming to us and begging us to come and take over their country and do whatever we like there. Having said these, we need to let the South Africans know that their current policy of throwing their weight around would not work and would be detrimental to the unity of the continent. In this regard, we still remember how South Africa undermined the position of Nigeria in resolving the Ivorian crisis by encouraging and supporting recalcitrant Laurent Gbagbo who was challenging the position of ECOWAS in advising him to allow the will of his people, expressed in a democratic election to overcome his personal desire and will. If and whenever the reform of the United Nations comes to the front burner again, Nigeria has to rejig its strategy in order to ensure support of all ECOWAS states for its candidacy and whatever it takes, including support and withdrawal of support for our neighbors in West Africa, Nigeria must do it. This would be in consonance with what Prof. Akinyemi is suggesting.
‘But I personally feel that while we were trying to apply the Principle of Humanitarian Intervention, we forgot the principle of sovereign independence of all nations’
Plight of a kidnapped Vice-Chancellor
N my wildest imagination, I never thought that kidnappers will go for academics. I had thought that no matter how mad they may be they will know who to kidnap and who not to kidnap. But it seems they are far too gone to make this distinction. Since Professor Cyprian Onyeji, Vice - Chancellor (VC) of Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) was kidnapped on August 15, I have not ceased wondering what informed the decision to snatch him. Kidnappers are known to engage in their illicit act for money. So, their targets are usually the rich; those with the means to meet their demand for ransom without batting an eyelid. Do VCs fall into that category? In the kidnappers' book, they do and this, perhaps, explains why Onyeji was kidnapped last week. Kidnapping has always been an issue in the Southeast. Despite all efforts to stop it, it is still thriving. Kidnapping has become big business in the East; those involved in it know this too well and as such are ready to kill to ensure that the trade does not die. About two, three years ago, when kidnapping became rampant in that region, the government deployed troops in the zone. Everywhere people turned to, there were troops and policemen, who mounted roadblocks at an interval of every kilometre. But the presence of these fierylooking soldiers and policemen did
not stop the kidnappers. Rather, they became more daring in their escapades, kidnapping people right under the noses of these security men. The East virtually became unsafe, with many putting a distance between themselves and the place. Things were that bad. Then came a bit of respite. The scale at which the kidnappers operate has gone down, yet there is the fear that they could strike when people least expect as they have done in the case of Onyeji. What do they want from a poor professor? Were they hired to kidnap him? Who hired them and why? The kidnapping of anyone has grave societal implications and when it involves a professor and a sitting VC at that, then, there must be fire on the mountain. What could Onyeji have done to warrant being kidnapped? Some people are propounding the theory that he might have stepped on toes with the expulsion of students said to have illegally gained admission into the school. If that is the case, it means many more professors may be kidnapped in the institution since Onyeji did not take that decision alone. Before another academic suffers the same fate, the police should be mandated to throw a tight security cordon round all those who took that decision as Onyeji may not be the lone target. The kidnappers may be bidding their time to strike when it is least
expected. And there may be no better time for them to strike than when all efforts are geared toward securing Onyeji's release. They have placed N200million on Onyeji's head. Where do they want him to get that kind of money? I believe that they know the prof cannot get the money, not with his salary as VC. But kidnappers, generally, are sharp. HEY know that the prof will enjoy a lot of goodwill among people. These are those he might have helped in one way or the other; his former students; his family and of course, his employers. These are the ones the kidnappers expect to cough out this ransom. Should there be negotiation with the kidnappers? If we can negotiate with them in order to get them, I am for it. But if the negotiation is not likely to lead to their arrest, it will be a sheer waste of money to go into any negotiation. Those guys will just take the money and bolt. What is more they are likely to strike again and again and continue to make a killing at our collective expense. There should be a way for the police to
‘The kidnapping of anyone has grave societal implications and when it involves a professor and a sitting VC at that, then, there must be fire on the mountain. What could Onyeji have done to warrant being kidnapped’ •Onyeji
draw them out , get them arrested and nip this snatching of VCs in the bud before it becomes another industry. That is my fear.
FROM THE MAILBOX RE: Oil sons linked by fate We are keenly watching how the barons will get their children off the hook. It is not going to be easy for them. From : 08184829932. It will not be well with whoever steals our money and takes it abroad. From : 08067826121. Oil business has only succeeded in creating the most powerful cartel in the country. What the cartel intends to do next is to translate its actual economic power into total control of the political structure of the land. From: 08188134413. The body language of the Airegin president will make corruption to thrive the more. From: Isaac Kadiri, Ota, 08099181959.
RE : Who will stop Boko Haram? The northern leaders, past and present, i.e, traditional rulers, governors, local government chairmen and councillors have the solution, but they are afraid. From: 08034087831. Nobody can stop Boko Haram. Boko Haram will stop when our leaders learn to fear God and remove injustice from their dictionary. From: Ayo, Ilesha, 08188810889. Prophet T. B Joshua has solution to Boko Haram. Try him! From: 08023104361. Buhari is the one, just make him president, governor-general, head of state. Give him the power he wants. Let all Nigerians agree that he should take over, if possible today, Boko Haram members will sheathe their sword. From: Frank, Delta State, 07031159315.
Lawal email@example.com SMS ONLY: 08099400204
How can one that is carrying out Allah's orders to islamise infidels dialogue. My prayer is that they should extend the campaign to Langtang, Lagos, Onitsha, Uyo, Otuoke, Aba, then we will know that they mean business. From: Uche Lawson, Aba, 08126109886.
RE : Teachers then and now You left out government's contribution to the rot. The root cause of the decline is the establishment of the National Teachers Institute, which replaced the old Grade II Teachers Certificate. This used to be the repository of sound educational discipline. The issuance of Teachers Certificates is now a cash and carry affair. That is the reason for the rot. From: Ven Tayo Adebayo, Ibadan South (Ang) Diocese., 08050994094. And the conditions of service and others from the government do not matter to ko? From: Ameh Myke, Makurdi, Benue State, 08189302168. You left the government which has failed to honour teachers for defending the virtues of the good old days even at the expense of their lives. National honours to deserving teachers are not taboos. From: Mr Chris, 08174817290. The language was simple. From: Stella, Kaduna, 08028506397.
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THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
AT 84, Chief Ayo Adebanjo remains a pride of Yoruba nation. Quick-witted with sharp intellect, he is often a delight to watch on television or at seminars as he clinically dissects and proffers solutions to Nigerian self-inflicted problems. He remains a die-hard student of the Awolowo school of thought. Principled and fearless, he fights with the same viciousness whether with his comembers of Afenifere inner cult like late Bola Ige, or his successor in waiting , Chief Bisi Akande whose jibe “‘the three of them are glorious political beggars who have lost relevance in the nation’s politics’ received Adebanjo;s acerbic ‘…for the record and political education of political neophytes like Akande ...who is ill-informed about what constitute Awoism’. But Pa Adebanjo is passionate about the Yoruba nation. He unlike Awo, his leader, the committed federalist, is an unapologetic Yoruba irredentist on the same pedestal as Bode Thomas, whose viewpoint of a strong ethnic based regional political parties nurturing leader for the centre formed the basis of Nigerian federalism in the fifties, and Chief S L Akintola, the gifted wordsmith and torn in the flesh of the pre indolence colonial administrators. Adebanjo is a leading light of Yoruba Afenifere cult of elders that has constituted themselves into an oligarchy. But oligarchy even in a democracy, often carries the seeds of its own destruction. Soon members start to arrogate to themselves the power of infallibility ending up thinking they have no substitutes. And even in the midst of apparent contradictions, members are often engaged in war of attrition as a result of what Professor Adebayo Williams once described as ‘a sense of self-worth’ of individual members. It was this that probably explains Akintola’s indiscipline, and refusal to vacate the premier seat after his constitutional removal in 1962. He chose instead to go down with the party and its leadership with the help of sworn enemies – NPC and NCNC coalition partners. And of course in recent times, we have seen how this drove Ige, the deputy chair of the inner circle of the Afenifere cult to Obasanjo’s warm embrace over the choice of apostle of ‘no alternative to SAP”, Olu Falae as presidential candidate of AD. The misadventure led not only to his assassination, but also the decimation of AD, a party he had labored to build. Pa Adebanjo seems to have become the pub-
Y years of field work with a non governmentalorganisation across the length and breadth Ogun State has practically turned me into a stakeholder in the state. I equally have my residence in the border outpost of the state. So I eat Ogun’s food and drink its water! I am regularly assailed by the ‘futility of federal roads’ in the Nigerian project anytime I travel on such designated roads. The OwodeIlaro road, which is an international route since the state borders the Republic of Benin has remained derelict for many lamentable years. Indeed, at a particular period, the Sabo/ Owode stretch of the road was completely impassable until the current administration in Ogun State came to its rescue with a major construction work. And I ask myself from time to time as I experience the excruciating journey on that supposedly highway with fellow commuters: ‘How can someone in far-away Abuja know there is one road in this remote area called Owode-Ilaro road, let alone think of reconstructing it?’ And so the ‘futility of federal roads’ continues to stare me in the face. The Abeokuta-Lagos road is virtually overgrown with bushes, besides its poor state. And I ask anytime I pass through this carriageway: ‘How do we expect someone to come all the way from Abuja to clear the bushes in distant Abeokuta-Ota road?’ As for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, about 75 percent of which is in Ogun State, the daily reports of carnage, armed robbery, breakdown of vehicles, traffic jam of many hours, among other miseries of commuters, put Ogun State, nay Nigeria in a precarious position, economically. Any foreign investor coming to Ogun will have no choice than to pass through one these highways, especially the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. I am sure a one-day rough experience on that federal road will probably make such an investor wonder: ‘If I have to spend the entire day on the road in order to come and sign a mere Memorandum of Understanding in Ogun, what happens then when my business comes on stream?” To be fair, I think these are some of the challenges that the state governor faces. I remember that sometime in 2011, the completely dilapidated 500m stretch of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, at Mowe, opposite the Redemp-
Sons and fathers lic face of current sons and fathers war of attrition, which Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis would have explained as arising from ‘subsumed adulation and unhidden disdain’, of revered Afenifere fathers against their illustrious sons. He detests anyone equating Tinubu with the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. “But to eulogize him to the extent of putting him at par with Awolowo is overzealousness. I praise him for doing a good job, but I will never equate him to Awolowo”, he anguished. Instead of being mollified, they dismissed Bola Tinubu’s “Awo’s shoe is bigger than my foot” as cheeky. They also accused Tinubu of dictatorship for handpicking candidates, insisting they never imposed candidates during their time. But that can only be true as an academic exercise. The elders under the old dispensation no doubt debated fiercely. But at the end, they either deferred to their leader who we are told always spoke last or deployed the machinery put in place to ensure their preferred candidate emerged at the end. The only two exceptions known to us were when Awo’s preference for either Tony Enahoro or Chief Rotimi Williams as his successor as premier of the west was sabotaged by his Yoruba irredentist followers; and when the late Bola Ige challenged his former principal, the late Deacon Alayande, Awo’s preference for the governorship of Oyo State. Both instances had disastrous consequences. Even if we concede Pa Adebanjo is the repository of pre- and post-independence party politics, it was a general knowledge that Tinubu was already campaigning for the Senate when the elders handpicked him as AD
governorship candidate for Lagos in 1999. Tinubu had in turn, as an emerging arrow head of a new oligarchy, followed his fathers’ footsteps by single handedly imposing Governor Raji Fashola. Pa Adebanjo has not disputed that both have performed creditably. The war-fatigued Afenifere elders who had been in the trenches since the fifties were outfoxed by Obasanjo, the master military strategist in 2003. Tinubu, and his other young Yoruba intellectuals and professionals subsequently retired their revered fathers insisting they were ill-equipped to engage in modern electoral warfare with PDP. They said the contemporary Nigeria is different from 1952 when Bode Thomas, Awo, Rotimi Williams and their other educated colleagues mobilised the people through the traditional rulers to win an election. They albeit impudently claimed, in an era when traditional rulers corner five percent of allocation to local councils for doing nothing, it is they and they alone that can mobilize voters. They were proved right in 2007 and 2011. But the fathers as represented by Pa Adebanjo are bitter even after publicly admitting “Tinubu and his ACN have done well.....For instance, I feel very proud that the ACN has succeeded in snatching power from the PDP in the South-west. That is an achievement. If I have to make a choice between the evil of the PDP and ACN, I will choose the ACN. PDP is an evil in the country. But ACN is not as clean as its predecessor-AG”. But is this enough for the elders to cut their nose to spite their face? Unfortunately, the picture that has emerged from their recent activities tends to show the revered elders are
State of federal roads in Ogun By Paul Onyeama tion Camp, was reconstructed (I do not mean palliative work but reconstruction) by the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration. That portion of the highway was then most dreaded by commuters. Inwardly, I usually wish our vehicle can develop wings on this terribly dilapidated road but I present a façade of calmness, regaling our foreign partners with stories and folklores, asking myself from time to time, ‘When will the daily trauma, deaths and tragedies on Lagos/Ibadan Expressway end?’ The interventions of Amosun on some of these federal roads have not gone unnoticed by the Federal Government. For instance, there was a report in The Nation August 22 that “Fed Govt praises Ogun on roads”. The paper quoted the governor as noting that “the people are not interested in which road is federal and state. Road is one of the most important social amenities. The Abeokuta/Ibadan road is not good. A lot of lives are lost on the road daily. The Ikorodu/Sagamu road is a big shame; petrol tankers had to embark on strike because of the terrible state of the road. This does not augur well for the economic well-being of the country.” And just like the governor observed, the manufacturers in Ogun do not wish to know which road is federal or state; as far as they are concerned, they operate in Ogun State. I was surprised to read that the major construction work on the Adatan-Ago Oka road - a federal road – was done by the state government; and that the ongoing restoration of the derelict AtanAgbara road – another federal road, which is the source endless complaints by the manufacturers in that axis – is also being done by the Amosun administration. So, why federal roads? The problem, to be fair, is not strictly that of President Jonathan; the man means well for Nigeria. He inherited a debilitating uni-
tary structure disguised as federalism. Even as the nation embarks on another constitutional amendment exercise, all the so-called federal roads should return to the federating states without further delay. We have no federal people in Nigeria; everybody comes from the states. In the same vein, revenue allocation should be 25 % to the Federal Government, 55 % to States and 20% to Local Governments. Surely, it is cheaper for states to own such roads. For instance, the on-going repair work on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos has continued to consume avoidable administrative costs. The minister of works and other federal officials who come all the way from Abuja to supervise and inspect the road will certainly collect allowances running into millions of naira, whereas it would have amounted to a routine duty for the Lagos commissioner for works and other officials. And when you consider that the Abuja officials will have to do the same thing again and again in all the 36 states of the federation, the preventable wastage of tax-payers’ money stares you in the face. Contiguous states to these federal roads will naturally collaborate to reconstruct and maintain them at far cheaper costs than moving money and officials first from Abuja to the regional office, and from the regional office to the states. There is so much wastage of public funds in Nigeria. I have read many times the frustrations of Ogun State governor on the pages of newspapers. But Amosun should not be discouraged by the appalling state of these federal roads and the vicarious liabilities the state is incurring in the number of road accidents, deaths and monumental economic losses it has suffered. He should continue to engage our amiable President while spearheading a constitutional amendment to have such strategic roads revert to states. If my memory serves me right,
working hard to undermine their successful successors. Let us start from their recent visit to Governor Segun Mimiko. It was obvious this visit was informed more not by the love for acclaimed hard-working Mimiko, but by disdain for equally successful Tinubu and ACN. “I have no regret that I, with other Afenifere leaders visited Mimiko to demonstrate our open support..... His political programmes show he is still keeping faith with the ideals and philosophy of Awoism”. Pa Adebanjo did not stop there but added, “he deserves our support; just as I would have supported Governor Fashola, if Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had jettisoned him for his second term as he had threatened to do”. That became a mere wish. Fashola has spent another year of superlative performance. Pa Adebanjo is yet to lead a solidarity visit to Fashola. This oversight along with the Freudian slip of tongue, are enough to infer the elders nurture ill-will towards their sons. Has the Bible not also said “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh?” And how about the celebrated solidarity visit to ex-governor Daniel of Ogun State following his temporary arrest for alleged financial malfeasance by EFCC? An otherwise alert, sharp-witted Pa Adebanjo pretended not see anything wrong when Daniel shut down the Ogun State House of Assembly ruling the state as a sole administrator, under a general atmosphere of insecurity. It is therefore easy to infer that the visit was informed more by an attempt to further fuel the secret rivalry between their two sons, Tinubu and Daniel who were at a time close political allies in AD. And lest we forget, not too long ago, during Aregbesola’s battle to retrieve his stolen mandate from Oyinlola, Pa Adebanjo told us, his confused admirers, that they were supporting Oyinlola not because he shared the philosophy of Awoism, but because he was sired by a father who was a member of Afenifere/Action Group in the fifties. I think our revered octogenarians’ ‘subsumed adulation and unhidden disdain’ for their heir-apparent can be best explained by Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex theory of a child’s infantile sexual desire for his mother and terrible fear of castration by his father. Is it not time also for audacious leaders of the new oligarchy to be less impudent since those with post octogenarian symptoms are at best also children? Envy is the word.
I think the press reported that the President actually played a crucial role in helping Ogun secure the needed clearance papers for its Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), and today, the era of banks closing business because of armed robbers is over. President Jonathan should, in the meantime, also do all he can to begin the reconstruction of these major and economically crucial federal roads in Ogun State. Interestingly, once these federal roads are reconstructed, it is the entire country that will reap the benefits because they are the access roads to other parts of the country from Lagos, the nation’s centre of commerce. I must end this intervention by noting that there are signs of a bright future for the people of Ogun in the road sub-sector. I have seen the standard and quality of the newly constructed 2.4km Ibara-Toroto Road, which has a foot-bridge and the ongoing overhead bridge (flyover) at Ibara Roundabout. I understand this is a model for the roads to be constructed across the state. Amosun is not an engineer, yet in just one year in office he has constructed such an international standard road - with modern features - that will last for many years; and he’s constructing the very first bridge of its kind in the state. My advice to him is that he should avoid political distractions from those who have only one 1km durable road to point to, and not a single overhead bridge, after many years in power. • Barr. Onyema writes from, Ibafo, Ogun State.
Even as the nation embarks on another constitutional amendment exercise, all the so-called federal roads should return to the federating states without further delay. We have no federal people in Nigeria; everybody comes from the states.
NATIONSPORT THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
IGIEBOR joins Real Betis
OSAZE OUT of Liberia match
out for rest of the year
•Ideye to partner Emenike in Eagles’ attack
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja
Aluko: I never imagined myself in England shirt
NJURY-PRONE Nigeria and Stade Rennes defender, Onyekachi Apam will spend the next three weeks on the sidelines as a result of injury. The tough-tackling former OGC Nice defender did not kick a ball for Stade Rennes in the penultimate Ligue 1 season as a result of a nagging injury sustained at Nice before switching over to Rennes, with his appearances in the last campaign also hugely decimated by suspensions. Penultimate weekend, Rennes manager, Frederic Antonetti lept at an option, welcoming Ghana centre-back John Boye, who came off the bench on 24 minutes to replace Onyekachi in a 1-0 home defeat to Olympique Lyonnais. Boye was subsequently lined for a major role in a Ligue 1 trip to Bordeaux last Sunday. The 25-year-old has won the battle over a hamstring injury that ruled him out of Ghana’s 1-1 draw with China in an international friendly in Xi’an last Wednesday. Boye had joined Rennes’ training last Wednesday morning and he claims there has been considerable improvement in his health. “I have made a drastic recovery and will play against Bordeaux on Sunday,” Boye had said.
moves to Werder Bremen
ANICHEBE: BRAZIL HOLDS Jelavic’s arrival gave me lift Falconets at 1-1 •My girls were okay — Coach Okon
Itanyi wants more First Bank involvement in Athletics
•Esther Sunday, left, and Ugo Njoku during their match of the U-20 women's World Cup
UPER EAGLES left winger Nnamdi Oduamadi will be sidelined for the rest of the year as he recovers from surgery for a hip injury. The former Flying Eagles and U-23 star told MTNFootball.com: "I will be out for about four months, but I hope to be back and better for both club and country. “It’s heart-breaking for me because I was eager to start the new season and looking forward to also being with the Eagles in September for the Nations Cup qualifier. “All the same, I am happy that the surgery was a success. Oduamadi, who recently moved from AC Milan to Italian lower league side Varese on loan, suffered the injury while training with the Eagles preparatory to World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers in June.
EDUCATION Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
INSIDE MIT students turn pupils into 'whiz kids'
One week after his abduction, Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Cyprian Onyeji is yet to be found. His abductors are demanding N200million to release him. Who are they? CHRIS OJI reports.
THE 35 secondary school pupils who participated in the Exposure Robotics Challenge competition at the Grange School, Ikeja last Saturday will forever be grateful to their mentors... -Page 27
‘Pass or be kicked out!’ THE security of the jobs of 5,119 teachers and 541 headmasters in the employ of the Bayelsa State government will only be guaranteed if they perform well in tests to be conducted after a week training to be organised soon.
•The entrance to ESUT where Prof Onyeji was abducted
Who kidnapped ESUT VC?
CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc
Varsities as athletes’ breeding ground The football pitch was patchy, Kits were most available. So, many of the participating athletes borrowed jerseys, ankle pads and footwears from friends. Even the glucose - the energy giving drink was bought with contributions by the athletes. The First Aid Box was scanty... -Page 29
T shows their love for him. Since he was abducted by kidnappers right at the doorstep of the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) last week, the staff and students have not ceased praying for his safe return. Prof Cyprian Onyeji, ESUT Vice-Chancellor (VC) was going to work when he was kidnapped. Daily, the staff and students have been gathering on the campus seeking divine intervention for his release. His abductors are demanding N200million ransom. Though his car has since been found, nothing has been said about his whereabouts. Since he was kidnapped, tension has remained high on the campus. In the history of kidnapping in the Southeast, this is the first time a vicechancellor is a victim. Some members of the ESUT community are linking his kidnap with the expulsion of some students said to have been wrongly admitted. Onyeji was appointed in 2010 from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, at a time ESUTwas perceived as a den of cultists and other vices. These vices include admission racketeering which gave room for the admission of unqualified candidates through the back door while those qualified were not admitted. The expulsion of 544 illegally-admitted students was said to have pitched him against some powerful forces.
The affected students, majority of whom were in their final year, threatened a showdown with some university officials who reportedly facilitated their illegal admission into the institution. A statement by the university's Director, Public Relations, Mr Ossy Ugwuoti, said the expulsion was with immediate effect. The statement said: “The Senate of the university at its 232nd meeting observed that the students who cut across various Faculties and Departments of study had secured admission illegally into the university. "The ESUT Senate has, therefore, directed the affected students, who are at their various years of study to stop participating in all school activities, return all ESUT materials in their possession and vacate the university premises immediately". The university authorities also warned that any of the affected stu-
dents found in the campus would be arrested for prosecution, adding that the names of the affected students had been forwarded to the police. While describing the said "illegal admission" as criminal and a breach of the university's rules and regulations, the statement urged the affected students willing to disclose the sources of their admission to do so in writing and submit same to the Office of the Dean of Students Affairs. But Onyeji's deputy, Prof. Aloysius Uzoagulu, dismissed speculations that the expulsion may be responsible for the kidnap. He said the decision was not unilateral, adding that it was in concert with the senate of the university. The expulsion, he added, was done in the best interest of the university to arrest admission racketeering. Besides, the VC, in his address at the university's 31st matriculation,
We want a speedy and safe release of the VC so that he can come back and continue the good works he has been doing for the university. Those that are keeping him are human beings, with our prayers, God will touch their hearts and they will eventually soft pedal and release him
said the affected students would be given opportunity to defend themselves. He consequently raised a high-powered panel to investigate members reported to be involved. He warned that any worker implicated would be disciplined. Uzoagulu added that what should be of paramount concern now is the VC’s release. He said although the VC’s family was negotiating with the abductors, their identity or location is not known. He said the university is not involved in the negotiation. Uzoagulu said: "The university would not go ahead of the family in the negotiation. The university management is relating with the family of the VC on developments regarding the negotiation, while the issue of the ransom demand and negotiations are solely • Continued on page 27
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
EDUCATION AUN FILE Don rejoins BoT PROF Robert Pastor of the American University (AU) in Washington, DC has rejoined the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, after some years of absence. Pastor was part of the committee that conducted a feasibility study in 2003 prior to the founding of AUN and played a crucial role in facilitating the partnership with AU. “Pleased to be re-joining the Board,” he commented, adding: "AUN is a success story. Today, the question is how to sustain and grow the university in every way. The students and faculty of AUN are not only fortunate to have a dynamic President and excellent senior administrators, but they are lucky to have such a prestigious and devoted Board. AUN has a promising future, and I'm delighted to be asked to be a part of that." Reacting to his return, AUN President, Margee Ensign, said: "We are all very grateful that he is willing to make the time to join us in forging the finest university in Nigeria."
Convocation holdsTuesday THE 2012/2013 academic year at the AUN will be flagged off on August 28 with the Fall 2012 Convocation and Pledge Ceremony to be addressed by Dr Kevin Quigley as keynote speaker. Quigley is the President of the National Peace Corps Association, a major non-profit organisation of returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the United States. He is also a member of the board of the American University of Afghanistan and past board member of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He is also parttime faculty member at the School of Public International Affairs at George Mason University in Virginia. At the event, a plaque will be presented to Quigley for his outstanding service to humanity. Last Fall, Ambassador Terrence P. McCulley, the US envoy in Nigeria, inaugurated the 2011/ 2012 academic session, speaking on American-style education as a major source of his country's pride. The Convocation and Pledge Ceremony will bring to an end a weeklong orientation program scheduled for first-year students and their parents.
AUN Hotel opens THE AUN Hotel & Conference Center, Yola operated under the auspices of the American University of Nigeria, has fully opened its doors to guests. It partially started operation last May during the university's fourth Commencement Ceremony. The hotel boasts of 52 rooms 40 standard and 12 garden and VIP suites, a spa, hair salon, restaurant, lounge, gift shop, and gym. The swimming pool, tennis and squash courts of the AUN Club will be accessible to guests of the hotel. The hotel's conference centre designed to seat 400 people. The next phase of the development of the hotel is scheduled to be completed in the last quarter of this year.
Fayemi tours rehabilitated schools
•Ola-Oluwa School being renovated.
OLA Bolaji was a pupil of Olaoluwa Muslim Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti over 20 years ago. When he visited the school for the first time on Tuesday, last week, he was pleasantly surprised to find two new buildings standing in the place of the dilapidated buildings which hitherto welcomed visitors to the old school. The school, which Bolaji is very proud of, has produced notable scholars across the length and breadth of the nation. He was happy to learn from the construction workers that the rehabilitation of the two buildings was part of the efforts of Dr Kayode Fayemi administration to transform the education sector. Over 100 schools across the state are being refurbished. When Fayemi inspected the work at Ilejemeje Community High School, Iye-Ekiti, pupils who were participating in the holiday coaching classes came out in large numbers to welcome him. They sang his praises and prayed that he should continue in the same vein for the restoration of the lost glory of the education sector. No doubt, many people visiting the state would praise the governor for his vision for the education sector. A few years ago, it was tales of woes in the sector. Enrolment in public schools dwindled due to neglect and the results of public school pupils in national examinations were poor. The efforts are part of recommendations of an education summit Fayemi organised on assumption of office in 2010 to address the problems. The summit came up with different recommendations for the basic, secondary and tertiary education. The report had identified lack of infrastructure in public secondary schools as one of the factors responsible for the dwindling fortunes of the education sector. The report noted that most schools had no good access roads, functional laboratories and libraries. To arrest the situation, the summit resolved that the government should undertake renovation of existing structures and perimeter fencing of schools, rehabilitation of access/intra-premises road network, employment of retired teachers as neighbourhood inspectors, in-ser-
• Personal Assistant to Ekiti State Governor, Mr. O'seun Odewale; Governor Kayode Fayemi; Mr Kelekun; and Chairman, Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission, Chief Bayo Adeniran, inspecting the new buildings in OlaOluwa Muslim Grammar School. By Ifedayo Sayo
vice training, seminars and conferences for school teachers. While the employment of neighbourhood inspectors is being implemented, the government delayed the rehabilitation of schools until the pupils vacated for the long holidays. Immediately schools closed last month, 100 out of the 183 secondary schools across the state were placed under the first phase of "Operation Renovate All Schools" programme. The contractors have until early September to complete and hand over the buildings which is costing the government N2.2billion. The contractors pulled down old and dilapidated school buildings and replaced them with new ones. In the second phase, the remaining 83 schools will be rehabilitated. To ensure that the projects are completed on time, a Bureau of Special Projects was established in the
office of the governor, headed by a Special Adviser, Mr Bayo Kelekun. As a demonstration of his passion for the programme, Fayemi is supervising the rehabilitation in the 100 schools. On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, Fayemi in company of Kelekun inspected 37 of the schools to get first hand information about how the contractors were handling the projects. He had warned that his administration expected nothing but good jobs. This accounted for the careful selection of the contractors to ensure that only those that can deliver within the short time stipulated by the governor were picked. At Olaoluwa Muslim Grammar School, the Governor praised the contractor for a good job. He noted that many were skeptic that the programme would succeed given the short time stipulated for implementation. However, with
OKO POLY to establish mechatronics department
HE Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, in Anambra State, Prof Godwin Onu, has called for more funding for the execution of 2012 Capital projects at the institution. He said the institution plans to establish Department of Mechatronics. Onu spoke while receiving officials of the Federal Ministries of Education and Finance who came to monitor the first and second quarters of the 2012 capital project ex-
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
ecution in the school. He commended the efforts of the Federal Government in uplifting the status of technical education. He decried the delay in the release of funds, noting that this had stunted infrastructural development in the polytechnic. According to the Rector, "we are aware of government's efforts to ensure judicious use of funds", but
the delay in the release of funds for capital projects constrain completion of projects on time". Onu disclosed that the polytechnic had, among other things, in the 2013 budget, planned for the establishment of the Department of Mechatronics. This, he said, would be a meeting point for Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He added that the cheapest machine costs about $1 million (N160 million) to acquire.
properly planning, he decided to give the idea a trial. With the rehabilitation, Fayemi said he expected an increase in enrolment in public schools. At Ilejemeje Community High School, Iye-Ekiti Fayemi told the pupils hailing him to face their studies so that the objective of the rehabilitation would not be in vain. He assured them he was committed to ensuring they have conducive atmosphere to learn, adding that the facilities being put in place can compare favourable with those in the private schools. He said the huge investment in education was informed by his desire to place the state on the top of the medals table of states with excellent result in national examinations. Besides the rehabilitation, the state government has procured 40,000 units of tables and chairs for distribution to schools to usher in a new era of comfort for the students. He urged the teachers and head teachers in the schools to imbibe the culture of maintenance to ensure that the infrastructure being provided keep for years to come. He also admonished the teachers to plant trees near the buildings, adding that horticulturists would be contracted to assist in this regard. • Ifedayo Sayo is the Senior Spe-
cial Assistant on Special Media to the Ekiti State Governor.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
MIT students turn pupils into 'whiz kids'
HE 35 secondary school pupils who participated in the Exposure Robotics Challenge competition at the Grange School, Ikeja last Saturday will forever be grateful to their mentors, seven Nigerian students studying at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States for turning them into computer whiz kids. Five weeks ago, the pupils, drawn from public and private secondary schools across Nigeria and Ghana, did not even know how to use the computer. But last Saturday, they had to use the programs they wrote to control robots they built to carry out specific tasks in four stages of the competition. The pupils were divided into 12 teams of three for the robotic contest which had the ordinary, amateur, tournament and championship stages. In the first stage, the teams had to use the computer programs to operate the robots to transport stationary balls to a designated location and return to their bases. They were given six minutes to complete the task. At the end of the first stage, four teams lost out, leaving eight of them to proceed to the amateur stage, which was more challenging than the previous stage. Four teams qualified from that stage for the semi-final challenge (tournament stage). Team BEM's robot moved three balls to designated location and returned to its initial position within two minutes of the semi-final contest, leaving VIA team's robot moving without direction. At the end of the challenge, BEM and Android qualified for the championship stage which was the final lap. However, Android team, made up of Ben Akuagbonwu, SSS 2 pupil of Okogwu Memorial Grammar School, Nnewi, Jemimah Osunde, SSS 3 pupil of Holy Child College, Lagos and Alex Agadaga, SSS 2 pupil of Belary Schools, Bayelsa State, won the contest. They were rewarded with new Compaq laptops, medals and plaques by sponsors, Shell Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Interswitch Limited and First Bank of Nigeria. A member of the winning team, Jemimah, said the task seemed unachievable when she arrived for the challenge. "It was tasking because I felt how could coded computer program
• From Left: Kaosisochukwu, Tobi, Abel, Joseph, Obinna Ukwuani, Onyinyechi and Obinna Ozwodu
move a physical object not to talk of something we built ourselves? When we started, I was convinced that it would work and now, my team wins the challenge," she said, adding that she would improve on the skills she acquired from the programme. Speaking at the event, the Operation Readiness and Assurance Manager of SPDC, Mr Okay Onuoha, who represented the Managing Director of the Multinational, commended the MIT students for their foresight, describing them as Nigeria's shining light. He said SPDC sponsored the competition to support technology-driven education in Nigeria. "It is instructive to note that all the pupils that participated in the contest could not use computer prior to the programme. But after about five weeks of training, we can all see that they all have written different computer programs to control the robots they built. This is the kind of education we at the Shell want to give Nigerian students and we are glad that we are part of this programme," Onuoha said. "The skills the pupils learned from operating the robots could be used to solve problems in Nigeria's economy, politics and technology," said Babafemi Ogungbamila, Divisional Head, Techquest, Interswitch, who spoke on behalf of the company's MD, Mitchell Elegbe. He advised the pupils not to underestimate their potentials, urging
• From Left: Alex, Ben and Jemimah
them to further develop their newly-acquired skills. The organisers said the contest could signal a new beginning for Nigeria's education system, "which is seen as cycle of memorisation and regurgitation." The team leader, Obinna Ukwuani, said the group wants to prove that education is not all about making good results. He said: "We are group of students who believe education
should be more than grades. Exposure Robotic Challenge (XRL) seeks to drive technical and practical education in Nigeria. The progress the pupils made in five weeks of learning programming, mechanics and problem solving would prove our hypothesis in the long run." He added that Nigeria education system must be reformed to allow students to apply the theory they learn in class to solve practical problem, saying it was the only way Ni-
gerian students could favorably compete with their peers across the world. Other members of the XRL are: Obinna Ozwodu, Onyinyechi Okeke, Joseph Aboki, Philip Abel, Tobi Amos and Kaosisochukwu Uzokwe. Mayowa Adegeye and John Itebu, both students of University of Ibadan, acted as teaching assistants. First Bank was represented by Mrs Bernadine Okeke at the event.
Who kidnapped ESUT VC? •Continued from page 25
• ESUT workers interceding during prayer session
the responsibility of the family. "The wife, children, brothers and other relations of the VC are there to see to his release by the abductors. We only go there to be briefed on the latest development." Uzoagulu described the abduction as an embarrassment to the staff and students of the university. Workers in the university had to organise themselves into groups to pray, he said, for the VC’s release. Ugwuoti said the VC’s kidnap was the first to happen in any university. The prayers are for the VC are being co-ordinated by cleric in the university led by Prof. (Cannon) John Obasikene, the Dean of Students Affairs. At the Tuesday session, Obasikene said: "We are not happy. This is a time of trouble and devastation for us. We are calling on the Lord to touch the hearts of those who kidnapped our VC to release him.
"We want a speedy and safe release of the VC so that he can come back and continue the good works he has been doing for the university. Those that are keeping him are human beings, with our prayers, God will touch their hearts and they will eventually soft pedal and release him." A faculty officer, Pastor Clement Igbokwe of the Faculty of Engineering who also co-ordinated the prayer sessions, said the prayers were informed by the belief that God never allows the righteous to be harmed. "We believe that soon, they will release our VC. He had done nothing to deserve the treatment. We praise him for the good works he has been doing for the university." A lecturer in the Political Science department, who pleaded for anonymity, said the VC’s abduction was uneccessary. He also refuted the claim that the kidnap might be connected with some student’ expulsion.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
EDUCATION EKSU FILE Inaugural Lecture holds Sept 11 The Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti will hold its 33rd Inaugural Lecture on Tuesday, September 11. Entitled: "Renewal plant resources as platform chemicals for sustainable industrial development", the lecture will be delivered by a Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Emmanuel Temitope Akintayo, at the main auditorium of the university. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Oladipo Aina, will chair the event which is expected to attract dignitaries far and wide.
Students resume •Post-UTME out
Pass or be kicked out, Bayelsa tells teachers •NUT protests non-inclusion
HE security of the jobs of 5,119 teachers and 541 headmasters in the employ of the Bayelsa State government will only be guaranteed if they perform well in tests to be conducted after one week training to be organised soon. Governor Seriake Dickson told members of the Bayelsa State Universal Basic Education Board and others who attended a stakeholders' meeting in Yenagoa that only those teachers who perform creditably in the one-week intensive training and retraining programme will be allowed to remain in the school system. He explained that the move is part of plan to strengthen the free education policy of the state. "The exercise is part of
From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
Government's plan to make drastic changes in the education sector in line with its free and compulsory education policy", said the Governor who stressed that the teachers will henceforth be regularly exposed to the basic rudiments and modern methods of teaching. "A total of 5,119 teachers and 541 headmasters from public primary schools in the state are expected to be trained, retrained and be tested on the skills acquired at the end of the exercise," he added. Dickson also expressed worry over the ratio of non-academic staff to academic staff in primary schools, which is 5,119 teachers to 4,287 non-teachers and directed an
immediate downsizing of the non-academic staff to free up funds for other essential needs. He announced that 300 science and ICT teachers will be recruited and deployed to all primary and secondary schools across the state. In his remarks, the Education Commissioner, Chief Salo Adikumo, said the meeting was aimed at rubbing minds with stakeholders on best ways to tackle the development of education initiated by the administration. But of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) is grumbling over what it described as lack of consultation with members on the way forward for education in the state. A top member of the NUT told The Nation that even the state NUT Chairman crashed into the stake-
holders meeting with the Governor. He was not invited but only heard it and rushed there late. "The state NUT should be consulted for a way forward in the government's bid to reposition education in the state but we are totally sidelined", the source said.
THE EKSU campus has become lively again as regular students have resumed for the Second Semester of the 2011/2012 academic session. The students have begun their online registration in earnest. Those yet to pay their fees have besieged the various banks in the university to purchase online registration cards, while candidates for Pre-Degree examination are also purchasing cards to download application forms. Addressing some students, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Olugbenga Aribisala, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Oladipo Aina told them to be law abiding. He added that the university management has done a lot to make the campus conducive for learning.
Club to reward DVC THE Rotary Club International, District 1925, Akure, has commended the EKSU leadership for the high rate of human development in the university. The commendation was made when the executives of the club led by Rotarian Bose Adedipe visited the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Olugbenga Aribisala, in his office. Adedipe informed Aribisala of his nomination for an award on September 1 in recognition of his prowess in the development of education. She noted that the club has monitored Aribisala's achievements even when he was not the Deputy Vice-Chancellor including winning the best lecturer in Department of Civil Engineering and the overall best lecturer during his Sabbatical at the University of Benin. Responding, Aribisala appreciated the club for its interest in the development of the university. He told the visitors that the institution would always welcome those who are ready to contribute.
• From left (back): Mr Amos Cirfat, STAN President, Ms Esshiet, Prof Adedibu, Dr Ben Akpan, Okorie and Mr Nigel Cookey-gam of Mobil with the winners of the primary written, quiz and project categories.
F Nigeria can emulate South Africa by establishing an educational television channel, performance in public examinations could improve, some educationists have said. This is coming as outgoing president of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), Dr Prince Okorie, commended Mobil Producing Nigeria for funding the radio broadcast of the final of its science quiz competition nationwide. Thanking the multinational oil company for the gesture, Dr Prince Okorie said through the broadcast of the competition by the Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN), the association is able to reach the grassroots with knowledge of the sciences to the benefit of students in rural areas. "The bringing back of FRCN on board for this particular competition is the best thing that ever happened to STAN. We hope that this relation-
Dons seek investment in educational TV By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
ship will not be tampered with because that is the way we can reach the grassroots," he said at the awards ceremony held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja to celebrate winners of the competition. However, in an interview during the final of the competition, Prof Peter Okebukola who chairs STAN's Science Fair committee, looks forward to when Nigeria will dedicate a television channel to the teaching of science subjects, like South Africa has done with DSTV Channel 319 and has succeeded in improving performance of secondary school pupils in the sciences. "What I like to see is that beyond radio, we start a television produc-
tion. The South Africans have a dedicated channel for teaching Physics, Chemistry and Biology, DSTV 319. I am looking at a situation where the Federal Government will invest in an educational channel. If STAN gets more funds, we will go in that direction. In South Africa through the programme, performance improved. If we have dedicated channels or FM stations that can allow some time to run educational programmes, it will help performance because youths tune in to these stations to listen to music so we can catch more youths this way," he said. Okebukola commended the primary and secondary school pupils who participated in the three categories of the competition (written,
quiz and project), noting that they did well even when they were given more of open-ended questions than multiple-choices. "I feel quite delighted that the quality of questions has gone up and the students responded very well. If you notice, three-quarter of the questions were open ended. It allowed them to think. My assessment is that these children are more Spartan than previous ones," he said. He, however, noted that more than 98 per cent of them came from private schools. In his speech, Mr Paul Arinze, General Manager (Government Affairs) for Mobil who was represented by Ms Susan Esshiet, said the company invested N20million in the STAN conference, with N1.7million for prizes alone.
TREM stresses that diligence and prayer work hand in hand for success to be achieved." As a result of emerging winner of the 2012 edition, Ahia Fego's school will be given three internet-ready desktop computers and a printer. On her part, Chinaza will get N75,000
for herself and two computers and a printer for her school, while third placed Mark will receive N50,000 for himself and a set of computer for the school. A consolation prize of N20,000 will be presented to the remaining six finalists.
Teenager wins Mike Okonkwo essay competition again
OME September 5, Ahia Fego of Brilliant Child College, Akoka, Lagos, will once again mount the podium of the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan to collect the star prize of the Mike Okonkwo Essay Competition. Fego, who won the competition last year, will collect his award of N100,000 during the 13th Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture to be delivered by Prof Anya O. Anya. This year, he beat over 900 secondary school pupils nationwide, scoring 81 per cent in his essay an also emerging the best among the nine shortlisted candidates who wrote a second essay under examination condition. The Second best essayist was Miss Chinaza Okoli of Vivian Fowler
Memorial College for Girls, Ikeja, with total score of 74 per cent, while Master Mark of Lagos State Senior Model College came third with 67 per cent. Speaking on Fego's effort, the Chief Examiner of the competition, a professor of English from University of Lagos, Mrs Akachi Ezeigbo, said his essay was outstanding. "Ahia Fego was outstanding in all aspects with hardly any blemish. His firm grasp of language and creative handling of the subject matter were far ahead of others. He deserves the victory and all the encouragement he needs to continue to excel," she said. Prof Akachi, also commended Bishop Mike Okonkwo, the presiding Bishop of TREM for initiating the competition, now in its ninth year, to
encourage young ones to take interest in issues of national importance. She said: "The essay competition teaches the youth the value of hard work and inculcates in them the virtues of integrity and discipline. An old proverb says 'To work is to pray'. Through this competition,
Students groan under climate of fear at UNN
*PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS
CAMPUS LIFE 0802-4550-354 email: firstname.lastname@example.org THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
In the past, universities produced the bulk of athletes that represented the country in global sporting events. Through the Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA) and West African Universities Games (WAUG), talents were discovered and nurtured. All of a sudden, things changed and the result was the country’s dismal outing at the last London Olympics. GILBERT ALASA (400-Level Foreign Languages, University of Benin), writes on resuscitating campus games to drive national sport.
Chioma Obiakor, 500Level Electronics and Computer Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK), is a former vice president of Students’ Union Government and the founder of Initiative for Skill Acquisition for Female Empowerment (I-SAFE). She told OLUCHUKWU IGWE (300-Level Chemical Engineering) her philosophy of life.
‘We must define our purposes’
•University of Ilorin Female Basketball team during the West African Universities Games (WAUG) hosted by the institution recently
PHOTO: MICHAEL ADEBAYO
Making varsities athletes’ breeding ground T HE football pitch was patchy. Kits were not available. So, many of the participating athletes borrowed jerseys, ankle pads and footwears from friends. Even the glucose the energy giving drink - was bought with contributions by the athletes. The First Aid Box was scanty. At times, the materials are provided by the authorities. But this happens only during“crucial” matches. “Crucial matches” refer to major local or international competitions, such as the Nigerian
Universities Games Association (NUGA), West African University Games (WAUG) and World Universities Games, among others. After these competitions, the students are left to their own devices and the cycle continues. This is the low into which campus sports has sunk. Perhaps it could be responsible for Nigeria’s uninspiring outing in major sports competitions across the world. Sport has mental and psychological benefits. Aside its unifying advantage, it is a great economic booster for a nation and a
strong weapon for fighting unemployment. At last year’s Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA), President Goodluck Jonathan said sportsmen and women wield enormous influence on the global stage, adding that such inter-universities competitions are vital to prepare the country’s athletes (Nigerian sportsmen) for the just ended London Olympics. The President said: “Some of the most wealthy and popular personalities in the world today are sportsmen and women or person-
alities involved in some way in the administration of sports. The 23rd NUGA Games, in my mind, could not have come at a more opportune time as it signalled the beginning of our preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and several other international competitions.” But Nigerian athletes performed poorly at the games. It was the country’s worst outing in recent times. It won no medal in all the events it participated in. But
HAT inspired your participation in students’ politics? I felt the need for a change. It was my zeal to get things done in the right way that made to join union politics. What challenges did you face when you were the SUG vice president? I faced gender challenges, financial challenges and emotional challenges.
•Continued on page 30
•Continued on page 31
•Naval ratings beat up three poly students -P32• Varsity graduates Radiographers -P33
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Pushing When the Intelligentsia Out with is silent Agbo Agbo
N any progressive society, it is the accepted patriotic duty of the intelligentsia to conceptualise, design, test run, and direct the fate of their country to greatness. After all, if nothing else, they were trained to think. From the Industrial Revolution, to the American Civil War, from the French Revolution, to the emergence of the “Asian Tigers”, from the revolutionary struggles in Latin America, to the actualisation of the Information Age, from the military-industrial complexes of Brazil, to Silicon Valley in the United States, members of the intelligentsia have always been at the fore front, firmly in the driver’s seat, acting as the avant-garde of national rebirth worldwide. Singapore, US, Cuba, India, Holland, the UK, Taiwan, Italy, China, Korea, France, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Israel, and several others, became focused primarily due to the leading roles played by their intellectuals in effectively guiding the collective destiny of their respective nations. I mentioned briefly in my article last week the humiliation of the collective psyche of the Nigerian intelligentsia without going into details and that elicited comments from readers and I feel the need to address that today. I’m particularly concerned about the intelligentsia in academia for very obvious reasons. I have observed over time that a universal characteristic of Third World nations is the paucity, or even total absence of any meaningful inputs from a critical mass of their intelligentsia in the management of their affairs. Though it may be self-evident, this observation is neither trivial nor exaggerated. It is the root cause of under-achievement, system suboptimality, warped values, and, indeed, underdevelopment in these societies. Quite strangely and very painfully too, it is the reality throughout the continent of
08052959489 (SMS only)
•email@example.com Africa, especially in Nigeria, where the intelligentsia remains almost permanently in a seeming state of inertia, or they simply left town (apologies to Prof Pat Utomi). I came into contact with the intelligentsia a few years before gaining admission into the University of Jos (Yes, I’m a Great Josite). I made it a regular point of duty attending paper/dissertation presentations at the then Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, one of the hotbeds of radical scholarship in those days. I was glad I did because it broadened my worldview and paved the way for a very eventful study in the university and assisted greatly in what I am today. Through those encounters at ABU and elsewhere, I met the likes of the late Dr. Usman Bala Yusuf, a radical economic historian; Dr. Patrick Wilmot, a radical sociologist who was later deported by the military government, and Prof. Thurston Shaw. At UNIJOS, I met Prof. Monday Mangvwatt, an economic historian who later became the VC; Dr. Sati Umar, a Fulbright scholar; Prof Sam Egwu, a political economist; Dr. Peter Ozoesan, a radical economist who is now the economic adviser to the NLC; Dr. Edwin Madunagu, Prof Eskor Toyo and a host of others. Scholars like Madunagu and others suffered greatly in the hands of the military, yet they spoke out against military rule, injustice, SAP and other government policies that they felt were retrogressive. But, all of a sudden they became silent and their silence greatly affected the progress of the nation. Pat Utomi captured it succinctly.
Hear him: “The truth for me is that my generation, which enjoyed high quality education, found there was little space to add the value they could, and, in the main, walked. They are the champions of brain drain. I remember when I returned in 1982 after my Ph.D. A group of us used to get together around the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs because there was a core of the group that worked as Research Fellows at NIIA. They included Femi Aribisala, Olisa Agbakoba, Babajimi Peters, Mohammed Garba, Henri Yondowei, and Emeka Aniagolu. When Emeka Kalu Ezera, myself and a few others from outside arrived, almost on a daily basis, the big arguments on policy, nation building and serving the common good started, you could almost feel the walls respond to the passion. “Out of all that came a current affairs journal called Spectrum, engagement with the intelligentsia of the generation before and policy thinkers like Izoma Philip Asiodu and his peers. Then many lost heart. One by one, even that group, which came to define my generation, headed North and West. They left the country to positions in Europe and North America. I still recall an opinion essay by someone who wondered why I was still in Nigeria. And the person was not being nasty. He was actually very kind to me but concluded Nigeria had no room for people of talent. He was more or less reflecting the view of what was considered the appropriate thing to do by those who could in my generation, leave town.” How sad, just like a generation of the intelligentsia left town, another generation grew up totally oblivious of those voices of reason that often shapes society and grooms the next generation. So, the next time you find yourself complaining of the high level of “illiterate” graduates in the system you at least know the genesis. The Nigerian military élite firmly planted the seeds of deep-rooted disgust for the intelligentsia, which has grown to full bloom today. It would therefore require a very determined effort to reverse the damage done so far to the Nigerian intelligentsia. The irony of the situation is that the very archi-
Wanted: Improved campus sports •Continued from page 29
Nigerian athletes. Countries such as France, United States and Russia, that` do well in sport, it was learnt, recruit athletes from the universities. In most of these universities, students are required to register for certain courses in sport. Facilities are provided for their training and motivation. Students enjoy scholarships to pursue their careers in sports. In Nigeria, there is little or no attention to sporting activities on campuses. “Here sport enthusiasts are considered unserious. They are derided by lecturers and, sometimes, they are despised by their colleagues. The premium placed on academics is so overwhelming that no thought is spared for other essential aspects of a student’s life. A lot of highly-talented athletes are wasting away on our campuses,” said Chika Eletuoanya, 400-Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). In many universities, sporting facilities are lacking, stalling the emergence of successful world rated atheletes. “There is a saying that one cannot build something on nothing. Facilities are to sports what raw materials are to industries. So, the dearth of sporting facilities in our
•Students in Judo fight at WAUG contest, UNILORIN
universities spells doom for campus sport. Let our school managements and governments rise to the occasion by providing us with appropriate facilities” said Tosin Kawona, 400-Level Foreign Languages, Lagos State University (LASU). Sport lovers on campuses are unhappy over the management’s attitude to sport. They believe Nigeria’s hope of rearing great sportsmen is dampened by laxity of school authorities that support teams only at external competi-
tions. In a report in the Global Journal of Medical Research, Dr Jeroh Eruteyan of Delta State University (DELSU), said: “Our academics do not allocate any period to sports in their curricula.” Saturday Osarumwese, 200Level International Studies and Diplomacy af the University of Benin (UNIBEN), said if the neglect is allowed to continue, campus sport would continue to decline. “Today, the state of sporting activities on campus is nothing to write home about, especially with
tects and bastions of that damage are still very much alive, and are still very active controlling decision-making at the highest levels of our national life even out of active service. Each one of them presided over the progressive and systematic ruination of our educational system, including the near-extinction of the intellectual class in Nigeria. Does that mean we have to remain despondent? Absolutely not, as I have argued elsewhere and will continue to argue, there is no substitute for proper, quality and solid education. Any individual, any society, any nation that underestimates the value of quality formal education risks descending to the level of social entropy in which Nigeria finds itself today. The crux of my argument today is simple. All observable negative attributes of Nigeria, including the so-called “Nigerian Factor”, are ultimately attributable to one generalised cause: the anti-intellectual proclivities of its leadership to date. The unfortunate collapse of the country’s educational systems, and the entrapment of the collective ego of the Nigerian intelligentsia has done incalculable damage to the country with those still remaining in the country turning into “consultants” for mediocre politicians in order to “make ends meet,” thus, leaving a generation without the requisite skills to contribute to national discourse and the development of the country. I strongly believe that in retracing our steps, it is the function of universities to provide the intellectual context for the formulation of national policy and ideas for the development of the country. Nigerian universities must take over the role of coordinating creative ideas for objectively deliberating on national and local issues. Such deliberations by the rump of the intelligentsia should provide workable concepts or inputs for legislators to enable them prepare bills for debates at the National Assembly. It is also expected that the National Assembly would also deliberate on the issues with appropriate guidelines provided by the intelligentsia. Universities exist primarily for the development and effective articulation of workable intellectual ideas for meaningful national development.
the indifference of management,” Saturday said. He added: “As a sportsman, regular training is necessary if one must make something out of his sporting career. But what happens most times is that one risks failure because of the attitude of lecturers who conduct their continuous assessments (CA) even during critical training hours. Consequently, one is faced with the options of either watching himself fail academically or staying out of sporting altogether.” In many tertiary institutions in the country, sporting activities are rituals marking freshers’ orientation, students’ week, students’ union and religious activities. But misappropriation of fund and poor co-ordination have marred sport administration on campuses. Last year, a president of the Faculty of Arts Students Association (FASA) at UNIBEN was suspended by the faculty’s parliament for alleged financial impropriety. Raphael Achomi, a student of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi (AUCHIPOLY), said the administration of campus sports should be entrusted to competent hands. “Sadly, on many campuses, corrupt persons hold sway in sport administration. Remember, it is all politics and morally upright persons hardly find their way to the seat of power. These self-serving leaders are known to pull the strings through various means to get money. But such money is used to satisfy personal frivolities.” As big names in sport failed at the Olympics, administrators, students and stakeholders are calling for restoration of grassroots sport to redeem the nation’s glory in local and international competitions. Students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, said school authorities and government must invest in campus sport to shore up the athletes’ base for international competitions.
‘We must define our purposes’ •Continued on page 31
People looked down on the good projects I proposed and I felt discouraged, sometimes. What is I-SAFE all about? I-SAFE is Initiative for Skill Acquisition for Female Empowerment. It is a non-governmental organisation established to enlighten women and empower them with physical, creative and mental skills to boost the pride of womanhood. In what ways have you empowered female students? We have organised seminars, heartto-heart talks and counselling on many occasions. Last month, we organised a skills acquisition programme for female students where they were trained on bead making, hair dressing, tailoring and other vocations. How do you fund the organisation? It is purely by sponsorship and personal fund. And I must say this is the part that hinders the actualisation of goals. So, we always go to the public for assistance. Does the organisation have a future? We want to see it grow to international standard. We intend to move from campuses to state level because I believe it should continue even if I am out of school. What is your philosophy of life? “Be a story you would love to tell tomorrow”. What is your advice for women? They must never procrastinate because it could put one in jeopardy. We all are created to fulfil something. We must define our purposes and fulfil it.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
At UNN, students live in fear Students’ unionism was proscribed two years ago at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). The proscription followed students’ demonstration over the hike in school fees. EMEKA ATTAH, who visited the school, reports.
T the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), male and female students are known as lions and lionesses. However, they are panthers without bravery. They live in the den, where they are supposed to be free, but they are being ruled. For years, the students have been without a functional Students’ Union Government (SUG). There has been a call from the students for the reinstatement of their union to speak for them. But the call could only be heard by them. “The fear of the management is the beginning of wisdom,” one of them said anonymously. A visit to the campus by our correspondent last week revealed that there is a climate of fear. Every student had something to say yet none of the students CAMPUSLIFE spoke to could say anything. They move about with bottled-up emotions, believing that, one day, “we will be set free.” The phrase on the lips of many students was Onye ga ekwu, ikwu o ya inaa, which means “who will speak. if you speak you would be shown the way out (arbitrary expulsion).” It was a Herculean task for this reporter to convince students to air their views. None of the respondents was willing to reveal his identity. It wasn’t until they were convinced that the reporter meant no harm and that their real identities would be protected that they agreed to bare their minds. Students traced the origin of their union problem to the tenure
of the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chinedu Nebo, who was accused of foisting only Enugu indigenes as SUG presidents. A graduate from the Department of Economics, who pleaded anonymity, gave CAMPUSLIFE an insight on the matter. He said: “It started with Collins Mama, who came from Nsukka area, then followed by Fortress Nwoye from Enugu East and also Kingsley Okechukwu from Udi Local Government, Enugu West. After Kingsley’s tenure, the management led by Prof Nebo reverted to Nsukka zone again. What they normally do is they disqualify other contestants under the guise of security report or simply for security reasons, which they never made known to the disqualified students. “When the incumbent VC, Prof Bartho Okolo came in, he maintained the same pattern in such a way that, during the last election, they brought a student from Veterinary Medicine department, Peter Andy, to be the president of SUG. We now mobilised and said “no, this is not Enugu State University. This is a Federal Government school attended by students from various tribes in Nigeria. “This caused a problem in school. The Veterinary Medicine student got elected in an election marred by irregularities. Because of the rotation among Enugu State indigenes, the students got fed up in the system. Peter couldn’t lead the students because he didn’t have their mandate. The result was when rumours began to circulate that the manage-
•Female students being supplied water through a tanker. Students said the absence of the SUG caused this.
ment wanted to increase school fees, students embarked on a protest. Soldiers and the police were invited and the peaceful protest turned violent which led to the proscription of the students’ union.” The Economic graduate said if democracy must thrive in Nigeria, the spirit must be inculcated in students. He said when students take part in elections; they are allowed to make mistakes and learn. Another student in the Department of Psychology identified as Chinedu said: “The union parliament, senate president and two other students were expelled after the last protests. Every student is afraid to call for the reinstatement of the union. The VC wants to be the one to appoint the SUG leaders and dictate to them. We are now like caged birds. Even lecturers and professors are scared. Today, we spend about N70 to transport ourselves to nearby restaurants to eat. The average students are suffering but nobody is talking. We have nobody to fight for our interests. Our students’ union building is in shambles with nobody
taking responsibility for that. Imagine more than six students cannot gather without security operatives coming to ask questions. There is no communication channel between us and the management.” A Political Science student, Gerald Nweke (not real name), said: “Any school without a viable unionism is in danger. It is the union that fights for the interest and welfare of students. But here, everybody is on his or her own. No representation, no mouthpiece. That is why those in charge can do anything and get away with it while the students nurse their pains without comfort. The students form the fulcrum of the university but when you emasculate them, you pass out half-coward graduates. We need help at UNN and we are crying out like the Macedonians for people to come to our rescue.” CAMPUS LIFE reporter made spirited efforts to speak with the management to get the position of the university on all the issues raised by the students. At the Vice Chancellor’s office, the officials on duty said he travelled for an official
duty. In a telephone chat with the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof Okpan Kalu Oyeoku, he confirmed that unionism has been suspended indefinitely on the campus. He said it was in the interest of the university community, including the students, because of the fragile security situation on the campus. “There is elected hostel governor. We have departmental as well as faculty student officials in place now. However, the overall students’ union government is yet to be in place and it is only the university management that can decide when the ban will be lifted. “We have a peculiar case here. During the last disturbances that led to the ban on unionism, outsiders including Okada riders and hoodlums capitalised on the situation to loot and cause mayhem in the university. We don’t want a repeat of such ugly incident, so I think management is only being careful. That is why unionism has remained in abeyance here for now,” the DSA said.
Making youth internet entrepreneurs F
OR hours, experts in Internet business taught youth how to be self-employed. It was at the extraordinary online Business Master Class for bloggers and New Media entrepreneurs organised by The Future Project. The training, held at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, penultimate week, brought together youth, who are bloggers, copy editors, Information Technology enthusiasts, writers, and social media users together with some influential online personalities. Leading the pack of resource persons was the popular blogger, Ms Linda Ikeji. Others were Chude Jideonwo, editor of YNaija.com; Mr Cheta Nwanze, chief information officer of Daily Times; Edidong Umoh, founder of NigeriaNewsDesk; Noble Igwe, founder of 360Nobs, and Japheth Omojuwa, an online business expert. The training started with Nwanze speaking on the topic Getting your technology right. He outlined various tips for generating internetuser traffic, such as consistency, building content with the intended audience, and active social media updates directing users to the site. Ikeji spoke extempore. She recounted how she started the business of blogging, listing the challenges she had to overcome to become an established blogger. She maintained that her consistency
•Participants at the seminar. Inset: Linda Ikeji at the event By Wale Ajetunmobi
over the years was the secret of her success. She said blogging is a hidden treasure that could only be discovered by foresighted people. “When it comes to making money from blogging, not many people can make money from the business, but there is money to be made in it,” she said. Jideonwo, the executive director
of The Future Project, spoke on Standards still matter. He emphasised the need to adopt a high standard of practice in online communications. He said because the new media was still evolving, the standards for the platform were still being formed. He, however, noted that established and well respected media organisations, such as CNN, make embarrassing blunders, “therefore
it should also be understood when new media practitioners make occasional mistakes.” Umoh told the youth to prepare for criticisms when they launch their online business. He spoke on Location is irrelevant, engaging the audience in a hands-on-training. He demonstrated to the participants how to use Google Reader to monitor internet contents.
Omojuwa told participants that his online influence was proportional to the increase in his financial status, urging the youth to strategise and take time to build a consistent online brand. Igwe listed some key attributes which aspiring bloggers must imbibe to succeed in the business. He listed them including strength, topic, speed to market, push and consistency. Some of the participants, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, described the training as “needed inspiration” that would make them to launch their skills to make money on the internet. Meanwhile, the Central Working Committee of The Future Awards has held its nominees’ reception for Season 7, a media event to celebrate innovators, change makers and entrepreneurs. The nomination came up penultimate Saturday at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. “We are impressed with the people nominated in all categories this season. Bringing them together in a gathering to honour and show them to the world excites us,” said Ohimai Atafo, who chaired the committee. The nominees were inducted into the The Future Alumni Network, which seeks to raise money for the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, a non-profit organisation that cares for children with Down syndrome.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Officers take oath
Naval ratings beat up three poly students
HREE students of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY) have been allegedly attacked by some ratings to the Offa Base of the Nigerian Navy. Academic activities were suspended when the news of the attack hit the campus. The students Bukola Iwaye, Ibukun Adeoye and Azeezat Ibrahim - are in HND II Insurance. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the students were coming from Yarmfy Farm at Ilemona near the mini-campus of the institution for a research work when the incident occurred. Bukola told CAMPUSLIFE: “We tried to pass through their base which is like a shortcut to Yarmfy Farm where we were going for research work. The officers stopped us and said we should not pass through their base, especially with motorcycles and we obeyed. When we are coming back, they stopped us and instructed us to pack sand into a big sack they normally used to block road. “We asked them why but they descended on us for daring to question them. They beat us mercilessly and everything we went for was scattered and destroyed.”
EADERS of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Press Club have been inaugurated. The outgoing president, Tosin Adesile appreciated the university management and students that graced the occasion. He said: “This event is a reality come true and I am happy that we all lived to witness the occasion. The club is an organisation that is seen as students’ voice and in that case, we must continuously work for the students.” He thanked the Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA),
From Wale Ajetunmobi OFFA POLY
The matter was reported at the Owode Police Station by the students and some leaders of the Students’ Union. It was learnt that the policemen on duty could not follow the students to the Naval Base. Students and staff of the institution condemned the attack. The Dean of Student Affairs (DSA), Mr Adeyemi Adeyinka, praised students for not taking the law into their hands. A student said it was not the first time such an incident would occur adding that it is almost becoming a normal occurrence. The Rector Dr Mufutau Olatinwo, urged the students to be peaceful. The president of the Students’ Union, Hammed Omuiyadun, condemned the act. He said: “We are apostles of peace in the temple of justice and orderliness.” At the peace meeting convened by State Security Service (SSS), the Navy, represented by an officer identified as Olanrewaju Kazeem, pleaded with the students’ saying the command would foot the hospital bills of the injured students. Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, the
From Tosin Adesile UNILAG
Prof Olukayode Amund, for his support to the club. Conducting the oath taking, the outgoing General Secretary, Nonso Obiajuru said the press club members must always remain independent of the school in order ensure integrity in discharging their function. The club’s patron, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, Mr Seth Dare and Mrs Joy-rita Mogbogu, were at the event.
Public Relations students hold seminar
S •One of the students, Bukola’s battered face... last week
Naval Information Officer, could not be reached for comment as his phone number was not available at press time.
TUDENTS of Public Relations and Advertising at the Lagos State University (LASU) have held a seminar tagged Public relations and advertising: Beyond the campus walls. The event was held at the Lecture Hall 1, Adebola Adegunwa School of Communication, Surulere. Dignitaries that graced the occasion included the Chairman of Ojokoro Local Government Area, Kolade Hussein; Head of Corporate Affairs, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Mr Temitope Akande; Chief Executive Officer of Bigsam Media, Mr Samuel Olatunji and Managing Director of Value Signature Concept, Mr Adeyemi Asaba. In his lecture, Akande, who spoke on The economic effect of advertisement on the Lagos economy, said the purchasing power of people living in Lagos higher than those of other states. He said the strength and weakness of the various media used in passing across advertising messages. The economic sector in Lagos,
From Esther Adeyanju LASU
according to him, has improved because of advertising. Asaba spoke on Beyond the campus walls and the challenges ahead. He enumerated the challenges being faced by youth and the poor attention of government towards youth development. According to him, “the issue of employment is a conflicting and complicating concept to understand and individuals often have preconceived idea on the causes of low levels of employment.” Olatunji, whose lecture was on PR media: Its strengths and weaknesses, defined Public Relation (PR) as “perception and reality”. He said: “Problems occur when perception is more than reality and vice versa. A smart business man is a man who has been able to build his reality to his level of his perception.” Some of the students at the seminar praised the organiser, describing the resource persons as professionals, whose experience in advertising they could borrow.
VC lauds multinational
CTING Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Prof Lawan Alhasan Bichi, has praised the management of Cameroon American Corporation (CAMAC) Corporation International for collaborating with the university to promote scholarship and research by giving scholarship to two of its overall best students. Prof Bichi spoke during the presentation of cheques to the students from the College of Technology and College of Science by CAMAC International Corporation. Prof Bichi, represented by the Dean, College of Science, Prof J. Adepoju, said the corporation is the first multinational company to partner the university in pursuing its goal of providing specialised education through development of manpower in the oil and gas sector of the economy. He called on other multinational companies to emulate the gesture of CAMAC and partner with the university to achieve its set goals. In his speech, the Northern Executive Director of CAMAC, Mr Kio Clement Bestmann, said the inter-
•Students in queue to vote during the exercise
Science students elect leaders
EMBERS of the Nigerian Association of Science Students (NASS), Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA) chapter, have elected officers to steer their affairs for another year. The election was monitored by the university’s security operatives and members of the Man O’ War command. It was held at the new lecture theatre at the institution’s Bosso campus. As the election was going on, some students of the faculty were writing tests ahead of the second semester exams starting in a few weeks. However, there was a large turnout in the election. John Alagboso, 100-Level Physics, said: “I cannot waste my time in the queue. I have to go and read for my exams.” Lucy Raphael, 200-Level Industrial Technology Education, said: “There is the need for change. I am part of that change everybody wants. If the election is going to take the whole day, I don’t mind.” The post of the president was
From Faith Olaniran and Tolulope Ajobiewe FUT MINNA
keenly contested between Muyideen Adebowale, 300-Level Microbiology, and Christopher Xyztus. At the end of voting exercise, the results were compiled by the members of the Electoral Committee, led by Muhammed Qasim, 500-Level Science Education, under watchful eyes of students. Christopher was returned as the winner having polled 624 votes against his opponent Muyideen, who had 366. Other positions were won by Oyiboo Ojochegbe, Vice President; Aliyu Ndayako, General Secretary; Farida Zubairu, Assistant General Secretary; Nnwanuwo Obomuneke, Public Relations Officer (PRO), and Ibrahim Abdullahi, Financial Secretary. Others are Solace Omolaiye, Treasurer; Temitope Asiwaju, Auditor General; Muhammed Sani, Director of Sports; Isiaq Bolakale, Director of Socials; Chibuzor Okonkwo, Director of Research;
•The new NASS president, Christopher
Suleiman Jafanu, Director of Welfare; Elizabeth Chidinma, Director of Research II and Olusola Omokoga, Provost. Christopher thanked his supporters and promised to deliver his programmes.
From Damilola Olayemi PTI
est of the company in the university was necessitated by the transformation from College of Petroleum to Petroleum University and its specialised nature, which was envisioned to create local manpower for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. He advised that the curriculum of the university be tailored towards practical orientation in the students’ field of study through the application of modern tools and software rather than dwelling on theoretical teachings. Acting Registrar of university Mrs Rosalyn Egborge, said the choice of the university for the gesture was significant and a landmark as CAMAC became the first ever to recognize the university for partnership. She urged the students to maintain the excellence that brought them to the limelight. The beneficiary students were Duke Ojo Patrick, 400-Level Geophysics with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.42 and Sulaimon Sodiq Ayinde, 200-Level Petroleum Engineering with CGPA of 4.60.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Varsity introduces computer-based test
•Cross-section of the graduands during the induction
Varsity graduates Radiographers
HE department of radiography and Radiological Science, University of Calabar (UNICAL), has inducted no fewer than 32 Radiographers into the Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria ( RRBN). The Acting Registrar of RRBN, Mr Michael Okpalaeke presented the new radiographers for induction. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, who was represented by his deputy on Administration, Prof Simeon Utsalo, congratulated the graduating students and praised the staff of the department for a “ job well done in producing professional radiographers.” Prof Epoke said the ceremony signified the professionalism in education as reflected in the results and performance of UNICAL graduates. He charged the new inductees to uphold the ethics of the profession with passion and shun unethical practices.
From Stanley Uchebu UNICAL
Provost of the College of Medical Science, Prof Saturday Etuk, enjoined the new inductees to put their trust in God and be focused, saying “you have entered into another phase of life.” Prof Etuk charged the graduates to work hard to survive in the changing world driven by technology. The Dean, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, Prof John Mildred, who was represented by the sub Dean, Mrs Josephine Okpudiuzor, described the inductees as great men and women endowed with sound academic and professional wisdom, “who will transform the Nigerian landscape of medical diagnostic imaging science.” She stated that the graduates were been trained to choose the path of excellence through hard work and commitment. She urged them not to
betray the trust and confidence the university reposed in them, while urging them to remember the efforts of their parents. In his congratulatory message, the Acting Head of department of Radiography, Dr. Nneoyi Egbe, charged the inductees to give their best to the society. The Cross River State chairman of Association of Radiography of Nigeria, Mr Otu Asinyong, who described the graduates as “tear rubber”, praised the department for producing a new set of intellectual Radiographers for the economy and urged them to practice their profession with ethics and standards as required by the board. Lawrence Ayang, the best graduating student, on behalf of the graduands, thanked the staff of the department for their efforts in seeing them through the struggle.
HEN Prof Patrick Aina assumed office as the Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University (EKSU) last year, he promised to transform the institution using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as driver of his programmes. The university made landmark achievement when it recently conducted its entrance exam through Computer Based Test (CBT) method. It was the first time such exam would be held in the school. The applicants that wrote the test entered in three batches. The first day witnessed hitches as exam officials commenced the test behind schedule. One of the candidates said: “We ought to have started the exam by 8:30am but this is past 12noon and we are yet to start.” Some of the candidates faces expressed frustration over the lateness. The venue for the exam was the university’s 3,000-seater hall. Over 2,000 computers were made available for the exercise. The first stage was verification and registration of the candidates. This was done in order to ensure the examination is malpractice free. Afterwards, the candidates were asked to undergo computer orientation in the university main auditorium. They were taught how to use a computer in 45 minutes, after which the applicants proceeded to the exam venue They were greeted by Nigeria Communication Company
Dept elects leader
HE Communication Students Association (COSA), Lagos State University, (LASU) has held its election. The exercise took place at its Ojo and Adebola Adegunwa School of Communication campuses. Ibrahim Fatoyinbo and Oluwatobi Awosanya contested to president; the Vice President’s po-
From Olatunji Awe EKSU
(NCC) officials who carried out biometric verification on the candidates and allowed them to the examination hall. There were over 50 computer experts in the hall to assist the candidate. The chairman postUnified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME) committee and ICT Director of the university, Prof Samuel Bamidele, said: “It has been a successful exercise because this is the first time the school is conducting an examination like this and it has been orderly except for the first day where we experienced little problem with the server.” The National University Commission official present at the exercise said: “This is an outstanding performance having be to institutions that have employed CBT to conduct their post-UTME. The exercise has been smooth so far.” Some of the applicants also commended the process. Adewunmi Omojola said: “ The first day experience was close to being a flop but the officials did well by correcting their wrongs. I hope the university would maintain the standard. Another candidate who does not want his name in print said: “The 35 minutes for 30 questions was too short. “ Samuel Opawusi was of the view that there should be other options for applicants who were brought up in rural areas and were not opportune to use a computer. From Foluso Sotomi LASU
sition had Hawau Oluwakemi, Bayo Animashaun, and Khalid Owoyeni as contenders. The election started in the morning. However, counting of votes started at about 3:30pm in the presence of the aspirants’ agents. At the end of the exercise, Ibrahim was declared the winner with 240 votes. Hawau also won as the Vice President of the association. Ibrahim, urged the students to join hands with him.
‘Why Nollywood is not growing’
•One of the beneficiaries at the club’s investiture
Rotaract donates drugs to hospital
OTARACT Club of Akure, Ondo State has installed its new officers. Members of the club also donated materials to the less privileged as part of activities marking the investiture rites of the executive. The programme was held at the Rotary Club House, opposite Owena Motel, Alagbaka, Akure, and was attended by dignitaries, members of the clubs from other chapters. Education materials were donated to Ileri Ayo Nursery and Primary school, Akure and Oluremi Nursery and Primary school, Oke Ijebu, Akure. Also, drugs worth thousands of naira were
From Dayo Ojerinde AKURE
donated to Oba Ile Comprehensive Health Centre, Akure. The physically-challenged were not left out as wheel chairs and walking sticks were donated to some of them to make life easier for them. Awards were also presented to members of the club and guests at the occasion. The honoured members were Yemi Olajide, Bright Ayodele, Mrs Monisola Oloro, Mr O. Ojumu. The high point of the occasion was the installation and investiture rites of the 22nd president of the club
Akintayo Olaifa, an Estate Management graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). In his acceptance speech, Akintayo solicited for the support of members of the club in order to achieve his dreams for the organisation as the president. Speaking with our correspondent, the new Vice President, Oluatosin Ifafesobi, a graduate of Computer Science Education from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA)thanked the guests for making the ceremony a success.
VETERAN film producer, Tunde Kelani, has said the lack of institutional framework remains the problem of the Nigerian film industry. He spoke at a two-day seminar organised by Mass Communication students at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta. The workshop was tagged “Epic epilogue”. Kelani said the government’s support for Nollywood was not enough to develop the film industry to compete with its peers across the world. “The industry lacks institutional support. The reason for this may be because some of the actors and
From Damilola Adelesi MAPOLY
actresses in the film industry are not educated enough to engage the government. We need graduates in the industry,” Kelani said. The film maker urged the students to make good use of latest technologies to impact positively on the lives of their fellow citizens. The Head of Mass Communication department, Goke Raufu, in his remarks urged the students to tap from the experience of the film maker. He also advised the students to make use of their time wisely instead of engaging in trivial activities.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE The Centre for Women, Gender and Development Studies (CWGDS), an organisation at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), held a tree-planting seminar to mark the World Environmental Day. FRANCIS EGWUATU (300-Level Mechanical Engineering) and MOHAMMED SANI (400-Level Public Health) report.
HE World Environment Day is commemorated every June 5. The day was set aside by the United Nations to enlighten people on human activities harmful to the environment. Countries organised seminars to sensitise people on environmental issues that day. Nigeria was not left out as the Federal Ministry of Environment held a workshop themed Green economy: Does it include you? Also, the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) marked the day with a two-day event penultimate week, by Centre for Women, Gender and Development Studies (CWGDS) led by Dr Ihuoma Asiabaka, the Acting Director of the body and wife of FUTO’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chigozie Asiabaka. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the programme could not be held in June as initially planned because of the death of the immediate past VC of the university, Prof Celestine Onwuliri, in the Dana plane crash on June 3. The theme of the programme was Sustainable environment for healthy and socio-economic development of Nigeria. It centered on tree planting, grassing and sanitary inspection of buildings and lectures. The event was declared open by Prof Asiabaka, who emphasised the importance of protecting the environment from activities that make it unsafe for humanity.
•Some of students at the tree-planting exercise
He added that FUTO, as a Federal Government institution, was involved in making the environment clean, safe and free from unjustified exploitations. He charged the participants, who included students and members of staff, to move against negative exploitation of the environment. After his speech, Prof Asiabaka led FUTO principal officers to plant trees and grass at designated locations.
Three lectures were delivered to mark the day. The first was by Prof. Moses Iwuala from Biotechnology Department. He spoke on Strategy for a Healthy and Sustainable Environment for the Socio Economic Development of Nigeria. He said though Nigeria was endowed with natural resources and a vast landscape, there are ways the nation could tap the resources without affecting the natural composition of the environment. He urged gov-
ernments to step up efforts to end pollution of the Nigerian soil by dumping of toxic materials and exploration. Mr Augustine Ebisike, registrar, Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), spoke on The Place of Women in Community Sanitation. He stressed the importance of sanitation, saying women were central to the achievement and sustenance of environmental sanitation in various communities.
Olabisi Agberemi, a specialist with United Nations International Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF), Abuja, spoke on Basics of Community-led Total Sanitation. He spoke on strategies for communityled sanitation, listing diseases associated with poor sanitation in Nigeria. In her address, Dr. Asiabaka said: “The environmental sanitation in FUTO has been a great challenge to the university administration. However, the present administration in its quest for excellence has resolved to tackle the poor environmental sanitation in the school through awareness, beautification, proper waste management and total re-orientation of staff and students.” The VC’s wife announced the activities for the day, which included inspection of classrooms, student hostels, laboratories, workshops, cafeteria, toilet facilities and surroundings of all buildings, grassing of the environment for beautification and erosion control, tree planting for beautification and aesthetics, economic value, erosion control, environmental purification and as wind breakers. Patrick Asuoha, 200-Level Financial Management Technology, told CAMPUSLIFE that he was thrilled by the lectures. He said the lecturers highlighted major points to improve the environment. He said he would use the information from the seminar to ensure cleanliness. Susan Dike, a 300-Level student and governor of Hostel C, said she had been taught how to befriend the environment in another way. Susan, who planted ornamental plants during the programme, said it was her first time to do such work, adding that she was looking forward to planting more plants on campus and her home.
The Urhobo students at University of Calabar (UNICAL ) held their day, celebrating the culture of Urhobo nation. EMMANUEL SHEBBS (500-Level Political Science) reports.
ENULTIMATE week, it was a day of culture at Malabor Square as the National Union of Urhobo Students (NUUS), University of Calabar (UNICAL) chapter, rolled out the drums to celebrate its cultural heritage. Adorned in various traditional attires, the students moved round the campus to announce the event. It was attended by Urhobo elite from Delta and Cross River states, among whom were Japhet Utuama, personal aide to Deputy Governor of Delta State; Major Eseoghene Omoniyi of the 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Calabar; Hon. Oma Djebah, Senior Adviser on Foreign Relations to the Delta State Governor; Deacon Isaac Ikogho, chairman of the Urhobo community in Cross River State; Dr. Victor Fischer, Dr Matthew Kwode, Ralph Igugu and Prof Eyong Eyong, UNICAL’s Dean of Students Affairs (DSA), who was represented by Emmanuel Emori. The chairman of the day, Deacon Ignatius Edema, who was represented by Mr John Odeh, noted that culture is a binding tool that brings people together and makes them to remember their tradition. “It is good that from time to time, we come together to have a reflection on our culture; to make us remember where we started and think about our future,” he said, commending the students for organising the event. He urged them not to let the spirit die. The chairman’s speech was followed by the breaking of kolanut, which was traditionally observed ing Urhobo. The elders noted that kolanut and its god does not understand English Language.
•The troupe in Urhobo traditional dance steps
Urhobo students’ day of culture Afterwards, came the dancing session, which featured the union’s troupe. The students, who dressed to reflect traditional Urhobo style, displayed various dance steps of the Urhobos. The session was led
by the president of Urhobo students, Oghenetejiri Ejarogan. In his address, Oghenetejiri thanked his colleagues for their support since March 2010, when he assumed the leadership of the
union. He also thanked the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, for ensuring the payment of bursary and scholarship to the state’s students. He proposed a toast to the Deputy Governor, Prof
Amos A. Utuama (SAN), on his 65th birthday. The highpoint of the event was the Miss Urhobo beauty pageant, which was won by Miss Faith Ogbuema. The first runner-up was Miss Ochuko Akatugba. Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE, Faith promised to use her position to better the lots of Urhobo students, especially the female members.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
State Police: Right move at a wrong time
By Philips Ogbaje
GAIN, the debate over whether the federating states in Nigeria should have their police formation has returned to the radar of national discourse. As I write this piece, the debate is on and there have been proponents and opponents. The call for decentralisation of the Nigerian Police Force received a boost early last month when the Nigerian Governors Forum joined the vanguard. In its July 24, edition, The Nation published statements credited to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Senate majority leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who equally spoke in support of the creation of state
police. While the governors had based their call on the helplessness of the police in the face of the security challenges facing the country, Ekweremadu and Ndoma-Egba had justified their stance on the idea that since Nigeria operates a federal system of government, the time was ripe to propagate the federalist principle and allow states to have the police force as obtainable in other federalist climes. Meanwhile, some governors, especially those from the North, have backed out, leaving their southern colleagues to continue the call. However, cogent as their arguments may seem, I beg to disagree with those who are calling for the creation of state police, not because it is not a good development but because it is a right move at a wrong time. First, if Nigeria must practise true federalism the way it is being practised in a same clime, the first thing that must be the casualty is the structure of government. In a federalist hierarchy, states exist before a country comes into existence. Therefore, states come together to form a federal republic. Each state may have its own culture, resources, peculiarities and challenges, which it must deal with to be successful or otherwise, at least at its own pace. The central government is the least. But given the present setting of
government in Nigeria, Federal Government is the first in the roll call. It captures all the states’ resources, sell them and take the larger percentage of the proceeds. Whereas, the states should sell their resources and remit certain percentage to the central government. If this had been the case, the federating states would be buoyant financially to carry out some of their statutory responsibilities without waiting for federal allocation. However, in a situation where states do not have access to funds, how will they fund the police they want to create? Most governors struggle to pay workers’ salaries and owe contractors. Where will they get the money to operate their security outfits? Secondly, we seem to be ignorant of why Nigeria’s police have failed to combat crime. With peanuts as salaries, corroded guns and lack of insurance, a policeman dares not go to a battle with armed robbers and bombers. Proponents of the creation of state police often cite advanced countries such as America as example when they know that there are simply no bases for comparison. The police system in America has developed to the extent that local law enforcement officers, commonly called Sheriffs, are elected to maintain law and order in counties, our own equivalence of local government. Do we have such?
The youth: Our will, our way
HE young people have been described as the future leaders. This means we can question people in authority today if there is anything that we are not clear about in today’s leadership. We will take the baton from today’s leaders and also prepare our children for tomorrow. This goes like a cycle from generation to generations. We are also meant to be role models to the younger generation. But can we say that we are responsible if our impacts are not been positively felt in the society? The corruption in our society has made youth to have the get-rich-quickly syndrome. Does corruption run in our blood? Even the yet unborn babies have been infected with the virus right from their mothers’ wombs. We grumble over self-imposed problems. We have contaminated the virtues of the old times in the name of civilisation. Everyone dreams of a better Nigeria. We all wish to have a country free of pain, chaos, war and poverty, but we are not working to drive these changes. Every year, the International Youth Day (IYD) is celebrated with the stereotyped manner of approaching issues. We talk, talk and talk, yet actions take time to come to fruition. This year’s theme was Building a better world: Partnering with youth. This means that youth all over the world were acknowledged as not just the tomorrow’s leaders but the bedrock on which the country development rests. Our responsibilities and obligations cannot be overlooked in the community, religiousgatherings and in family meetings. We have been given tasks to do and
elders await our contribution to the development of society. What are we waiting for? Of what use is a vision we may claim to have when it is not nurtured. Such vision will be blurred if we fail to deliver it. Also, of what use is the human brain assimilating knowledge and yet we fail to impact positively in the society? Its as good as useless. We must not seat on the fence, complaing and sobbing over the achievment of youth in the world over. We must do something that will make the government and opinion leaders to believe us. When they see us attempting to do a monumental project, they will show concern and offer help in kind and cash. All they need to see is the passion and drive in us. Let us not forget that the development has eluded our nation of for decades. People lost their lives to HIV/AIDS and other pandemic diseases on a daily basis. Many are suffering, yet smiling. Many have died. More will still die, some are dying because of hopelessness. We that still have our heads in place must sit right and bequeath a better world for our children and their children. We must not leave everything to the government. As youths, we have to collaborate with stakeholders and develop strategies for the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals. As I ponder over the present situation of the country, I tend to also concur with a colleague that says social entrepreneurs alone cannot change the world. We need artists, volunteers, develop-
In addition, the performances of police officers in the US are constantly reviewed with Clearance Rate, which is the number of cases that each officer is able to successfully solve within a given period. This practice encourages healthy competition among officers and law enforcement agencies in their country. With our current situation in Nigeria, where people need to write petitions to the Inspector General Police (IGP) before their cases receive attention. Nigeria may probably have the highest number of unsolved cases in the world. Notorious among them is the murder of Dele Giwa in 1986. None of the culprits have been brought to justice! The police force as it were has been subject to abuse by the political class that sees them as a private army guard to enhance their political ambitions. An example of this happened in my village during one of the rerun gubernatorial elections in Kogi State. A chieftain of the ruling party had tried in vain to bribe an agent of the opposition party. When all entreaties failed, the policemen assigned to the unit quietly moved away while thugs were unleashed on the agent. After the dust settled, the agent’s leg had been brutally disfigured with an axe while the results were announced in favour of the ruling party. For his efforts the chieftain was nominated for a ministerial po-
sition and was eventually appointed a minister, while one of the thugs was appointed a special assistant to the governor! What our Ekweremadu and governors that supported state police seem to forget is that the social system in Nigeria is such that breeds poverty and inequality. Hence, the rich are getting amazingly richer while the poor seems to be wallowing in abject poverty. How can the rich sleep peacefully when poor are hungry? NPF In the face of these stark realities, it would be highly insensitive for anyone to call for the establishment of state police. In as much as the decay in the police is the reflection of the larger society, what we need is a reform that goes deep into the core of the Nigerian police force, training of personnel, provision of equipments and a conducive working environment devoid of all forms interference from the political class. The reduction of corruption that is being perpetrated at all levels of government, and the creation of job opportunities for the millions of jobless youth in the country. It is my opinion that anything short of this will be an effort in futility. It is unlikely that a defective federal police can give birth to an effective state police. Philips, 400-Level Information Technology, MAUTECH YOLA
In the face of daunting challenges
By Adenike Ashogbon
ment directors, communications specialists, donors, and advocates across all sectors to turn our ideas into reality. Let us not forget that we need more people in the business world to tutor us on how to develop business ideas yet to be explored. Some of us tend to do what others are doing or have done. We must use our brain to develop our lives I feel writers have more grounds to break. A lot of innovations come up everyday. Many may not want to get involve because they think of profit they want to make first and not the pace they can to set. I can confidently say this over and over again: journalism is not only a noble profession, it is a necessary profession. One does not need to be a journalist to do it adequately. Are you still angry about the situation of things in Nigeria? What are you doing about it? Permit me to say that: yes we can! Let us make the best out of every second. No time to waste. Happy International Youth Day to the teeming Nigerian Youth. Adenike is a serving corps member, NYSC Umuahia
HESE are interesting times. The society in which we live in presents us with varying degrees of challenges that either make or mar us. While some people thrive through these challenges, others simply express preference to quit trying which by extension means the acceptance of defeat. The youth of this present generation, perhaps, have more challenges to contend with. What about the advent of improved technology that has saved man of his monotonous activities. The job that would have been done by at least 20 men in 30 days is now easily done by one man in a couple of hours. This has, of course, left many able bodies to be unemployed. The society is now filled with men and women who are willing and able to work but unable to get gainful employment. A good number of those who are gainfully employed are either paid below their actual worth or are in a sector where their expertise is of little or no use. Challenges in the higher institutions are no different. To gain admission to a state or federal university can be likened to a rich man entering into the gate of heaven. Gone are the days when admission is strictly based on merit. There is the quota system and the federal character to contend with. In the higher institution proper, there are the corrupt lecturers to contend with. While some are hell bent on frustrating the efforts of students, there are others whose stock-in-trade is to extort and demand for all sorts of gratifications. In some higher institutions of learning, the result you get is a measure of your pocket. This off course poses a serious challenge to those who can barely fend for themselves in school. In the face of all these chal-
lenges, many youths have either chosen to give up or are on the verge of given up. Those who simply gave up probably failed to consider Robert Hook’s law on elastic limit, to them Hook’s law does not apply. Not too long ago, there was a story of a UNN undergraduate who simply took his own life and wrote on his suicide note ‘I quit’. I have come to realise that life may stress us to our limit but will never stress us beyond our limit. There abound many cases of youths who simply caved in to their problems and choose not to strive for the coveted price of excellence which comes through resilience and determination. To persevere is no mean a task. It is said that a patient dog eats the fattest bone. The Abraham Lincolns of this world came from relative obscurity to attain what we today remember them for. If they had simply caved in to the challenges that life threw at them, they definitely would not be made a reference point today. For us to eat this fat bone there are certain inevitabilities which we must contend with. First, to give up is not a means to an end; it is an end to a means. In a bid to attain the greater heights which we aspire to, we must defeat the enemy called quitting. Challenges must come our way but the challenges we face today is a measure of the successes that we will enjoy tomorrow. In Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher, he said: “Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning”. In other words, for his son to attain his full potentials, he must accept and deal with the obstacles that will come his way with a positive mindset. It follows therefore that success is directly proportional to challenges. For us to be success-
By Philip Okorodudu ful, we must accept challenges and successes in the same proportion. Second, for us to attain our full potential and surmount challenges with ease, we must overcome certain weak spots which is inherent in our personalities. Our belief in ourselves and what we can do is the key in this area. In Napoleon Hill’s law of success, he stated: “You can do it if you believe you can.” Thus we must purge ourselves of the little doubts that we have about ourselves and face our fears. If we can dare to have ‘the audacity of hope’ like Barack Obama, then we are sure to achieve greatness as he did. For those of us who belief that we have gotten to our elastic limit and are on the verge of quitting, hear this, 80 per cent of the reasons you give yourself for wanting to quit is caused by you while the remaining 20 per cent is the actual problem. The real winners in the battle of life are not those who do not fail at all but those who failed many times dusted their cloths and started again. Mary Pickford once said: “You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down but the staying down.” Philip, 400-Level Electrical/Electronics and Computer Engineering, DELSU
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Fellowship holds week
•Adaramodu (fourth from right) with the students at Ekiti Government House
KITI State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has promised better welfare for all Ekiti State students studying in higher institutions in Nigeria. The governor spoke through his Chief of Staff, Yemi Adaramodu, when leadership of National Association of Ekiti State Students (NAESS) visited the office recently. Adaramodu said: “As part of the effort of the state government towards the better welfare of students, the state bursary had been issued, which all bonafide Ekiti stu-
Ekiti students visit governor From Akinola Oluyi OFFA POLY
dents will have access to.” He advised all the beneficiaries to fill the forms properly to prevent a situation where collection of the bursary would be made difficult. He advised the students to be good ambassadors of the state in their various campuses and urged
them to shun vices that may tarnish the image of Ekiti people anywhere. Reacting, NAESS president, Idowu Odebunmi, an Accountancy student of The Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY) thanked the state government for receiving the students. He urged the government to fulfill its promises, especially the disbursement of bursary.
On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
HE Joint Christian Campus Fellowship (JCCF), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) chapter, has held its week tagged “Unity Week”. The event lasted for four days. The week with the theme Manifesting His Glory began with an awareness rally on the campus. The rally was extended to the host communities of the university such as Eziobodo, Umuchima and Ihiagwa. On the second day, all fellowship chapters under the JCCF converged at The Hall of Mercy to thank God. The Guest Minister was Rev. Ogboso Ejindu. At the thanksgiving service held last Sunday, Rev. Dingamaji Jahaya, spoke on the theme. He urged the students to manifest God’s glory as that is the essence of creation. The service ended with a send forth party for the final year students, who had served the fellowship.The JCCF Co-ordinator, Isaac Okafor said: “Though, there were challenges, but I thank God that finally, the programme came to past.” The Nigerian Association of Science Students (NASS), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) chapter, held its Week re-
Varsity renames Law faculty
HE management of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) has formally renamed the institution’s Faculty of Law after Prof Ernest Ojukwu.s The ceremony was held at the chambers of the faculty penultimate Friday. Prof Ojukwu is the Deputy Director-General, Nigerian Law School, and Head, Augustine Nnamani campus of the institution, Enugu. Speaking during the occasion, the ABSU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chibuzo Ogbuagu, praised the achievements of Ojukwu, saying it was the right thing to honour a don while he is alive. “Prof Ojukwu is a man who deserves to be celebrated. It is to this effect that we decided to
From Jennifer Ngerem and Franklin Onwa FUTO
cently. The event commenced with a clean up exercise and awareness as the association donated 20 waste bins, brooms and waste packers to the faculty. The materials were handed over to the Dean of the faculty. The students also went round the school, removing posters from walls and sensitising students on environment sanitation. Also, there was an exhibition, where students of Computer Science department showcased various software and websites they created. The association organised a quiz competition for students, which was held at the new Science Lecture Theater. Each department was represented by two students. After the competition, eight prizes were given to the four departments that won. At the Freshers’ Night held by the association, some members of staff of the faculty were given awards. The students visited the Nigerian Red Cross motherless babies’ home and held a thanksgiving service to end the week. NASS president, Chukwuemeka thanked the students for their support. From Steve Igboko ABSU
rename our faculty after this erudite legal luminary, who has distinguished himself in the legal milieu – both domestic and international,” the VC said. The students were ecstatic about the development. Victor Osiri, 500Level Law, said: “We are really elated that such event is taking place in our own time. Everyone in this faculty is aware of the achievements of Ernest Ojukwu in this profession. Very few men are honoured in their lifetime and he deserves every honour and recognition given to him today.” The event was attended by Justices A.U. Kalu and E. U. Onuoha of the State High Court and the Customary Court of Appeal respectively, Attorney General of Abia State, Chief Umeh Kalu, Deputy Chief of Staff to Abia State Governor, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya among others.
‘We are really elated that such event is taking place in our own time. Everyone in this faculty is aware of the achievements of Ernest Ojukwu in this profession. Very few men are honoured in their lifetime and he deserves every honour and recognition given to him today’
Varsity supports environmental protection
UTHORITIES of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), last Wednesday, pledged to lead the campaign on environmental protection and sustainability in the state. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Adebiyi Daramola, stated this in Akure at the inauguration of the tree planting campaign tagged “FUTA Greening 2012.” According to him, the campaign, which would be done through knowledge transfer and high quality environmental education, would not be limited to the university. He said: “A good environment is a prerequisite for healthy living. We all need healthy living for longer life and guaranteed productivity. “We, therefore, have a direct responsibility to protect the envi-
From Damilola Olayemi FUTA
ronment, and to ensure that our activities as individuals, families, groups or organisations have less negative impact on the environment. “Our tree planting programme is, therefore, part of our strategies in this area, which we do hope will be emulated across the nation.” Daramola, however expressed optimism that with the active and massive participation of Akure and neighboring communities in the programme, the university would be able to realise its dream of making the world a safer place. Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, noted that in recent years, climate change had increased the frequency and intensity of some weather related hazard.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
EDUCATION FUNAAB FILE ‘Why Nigeria failed at London Olympics’ THE Director of Sports, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Mr 'Bayo Oluwatoki, has said Nigeria performed woefully at the London Olympic Games because of lack of capacity to adequately plan ahead. He added that the technical exposure of Nigerian athletes was nothing to write home about and urgently needed attention by sports' administrators. He expressed dismay that the medals table showed that a country like Ethiopia was conspicuous while Nigeria was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Oluwatoki said FUNAAB iwas set to participate in 13 sporting events during the forthcoming pre-NUGA qualifying games, holding at the Sports' Complex of the University of Lagos, in September. The competing sports include: Football, Basketball, Chess, Squash, Handball, Volleyball, Cricket, Hockey, Taekwondo, Tennis, Table-Tennis, Badminton and Athletics. On the level of preparation for the games, he said the students had started preparing before the university closed for the session. "This time around, we want to go out in all the sports so that we can compete in all games at NUGA in November and we are optimistic of qualifying in all the sports", he added. •Chairman, Implementation Committee, Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PRESSID), Prof Julius Okojie (in native), monitoring the conduct of the aptitude test for shortlisted candidates of the scholarship scheme, at Chams City, Abuja ... Monday.
'Bowen Varsity will not exceed 5,000 students'
NIVERSITIES may like to play the numbers game, but not Bowen University, Iwo, whose Vice-Chancellor, Prof Timothy Oyebode Olagbemiro, has said would not admit more than 5,000 students at the same time. The university, which has just got the nod of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council to run a medical programme, is not likely to run part-time programmes, at least not under Olagbemiro. In an interview, Olagbemiro argued that keeping number of students in check will ensure quality. He said: "There should be a way to checkmate the increasing rate of students' population which do not match the facilities on gound. For us, we have decided not to exceed 5,000 to keep Christian values and Godly excellence. Students should learn under comfortable and habitable learning environment. When we say the students are leaders of tomorrow, we should provide
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
education for them in an atmosphere devoid of distractions and evils. My university in the US never exceeded 3,000 in terms of population and the university has been in existence for several decades. " Olagbemiro also said running parttime degree and diploma programmes can make a university lose focus. "Another area that can enhance quality of education is the abolition of part time programmes which are not necessary. The core business of the university is undergraduates and looking at the university, the system cannot run full time and part time degrees together. Hence, it is more important for the university to face its core business which is the undergraduates. It is important for university administrators to focus on quality education and not quantity. A university should have reached an advanced stage before focusing on awarding diplomas.
"I am the Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of Private Universities and I have made my points known to my colleagues which are the truth. They all agreed that part time degrees are not necessary because universities who cannot run full time programmes are running part time programmes. We should face what we have to do and that is undergraduate education," he said. Speaking on the newly accredited medical programme, Olagbemiro said the approval came in record time and assured future students that the quality will be maintained.
Exciting farewell for Ex-council member IT was a day of encomiums for Mrs. Obioma Ezeozue, a former member of the FUNAAB Governing Council, at the send-off organised by the university during her retirement from the Federal Ministry of Education, which she represented on the Council. At the event, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Chief Lawrence Ayinde Olakunle Osayemi, described Mrs Ezeozue as a dedicated and selfless colleague, who exhibited great devotion to issues bordering on the development of the university. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olusola Bandele Oyewole, also praised her contributions to the progress of the university and hoped said FUNAAB plans to provide an avenue to continue to tap from the experiences of people who have served the university. Responding, Mrs Ezeozue thanked the Governing Council and Management for the honour. She also commended the peaceful transition the Vice-Chancellor and his predecessor, Prof Olufemi Balogun.
Praises for dean of Postgraduate School THE FUNAAB Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olusola Bandele Oyewole, has commended Prof Steve Afolami for his excellent performance and selfless service during his tenure as the Dean of the Postgraduate School. A statement, signed by the Registrar, Mr Mathew Ayoola, conveyed Management's appreciation to Afolami for his dedication to duty, dynamism and effective leadership.
IEAF books for UNIMAID
HREE hundred copies of educational books worth about N1 million have been donated to colleges affiliated to the University of Maiduguri by the International Educators for Africa (IEAF). A former country representative
Centre delivers medical students to Filipino varsity
HE Educational Advancement Centre (EAC), Ibadan has delivered its first set of direct entry students for Medicine to the South Western University, Cebu, Philippines. The two pioneer students, Miss Adebayo and Mr Nathaniel Adiakpan, were handed over to the President of the university, Prof. Elsa Suralta, by the EAC Director, Mr Muyiwa Bamgbose. Their transfer followed the successful completion of the two-year pre-medical foundation programme at the EAC. According to Bamgbose, the partnership with the university involves preparing students for basic medical studies for two years by the EAC while successful candidates proceed to the university for completion of studies for MBBS for four and half years. The foundation programme is standardised by the university. In an interview with The Nation, Bamgbose said the EAC entered into the partnership in 2010 to open up more study opportunities for Nigerians in foreign countries. "In 2010, the Educational Advancement Centre in Ibadan announced the flag-off of her Pre-Medical Programme, whereby the student spends two years in Nigeria and goes on to spend four and a half years
• Prof. Elsa Suralta with (from left) Miss Seun Adebayo (student), Dr Angel Canene, Nathaniel Adiakpan (student) and Mr Bamgbose From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
in the Philippines for the Medical degree," he said. The pioneer set completed their Foundation programme earlier in the year. He described the Philippines as an ideal destination to study Tropical Medicine for two major reasons first, the country has similar climate and shares common diseases with Nigeria, and second, the cost of university education in Philippines is cheaper than the cost of private university in Nigeria.
Bamgbose also said the fact that the official language of the country is English, and Filipinos are warm people and that the country has a low crime rate makes Philippines an ideal place for foreigners to learn. He expressed absolute confidence that the students prepared at EAC will "show the stuff that Nigerians are made of" to the Filipinos. He said EAC has prepared thousands of students for the Cambridge Advanced Level GCE since 1996 with many of them graduating with First Class and Second Class Upper Division
grades in various universities across the world. Due to the successful take-off of the Phase One of the programme, Bamgbose said EAC has also concluded arrangements to add Engineering and Architecture courses into the Programme. Bamgbose was recently adjudged the world's ninth best innovator in electronic learning. He clinched the position through MobiLearn a product he developed for candidates preparing for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) last year.
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
of IEAF and a senior lecturer in Saidatu Rimi College of Education, Kano, Hajiya Nafisat Ado, presented the books in Kano to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Services), University of Maiduguri, Prof Ibrahim Joli. "We have provided about 300,000 copies of books, valued at about $1 million across the country. We have donated books to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), primary schools and tertiary institutions for a period of three years," Ado said. She said the books would be distributed to Teachers' Training Colleges, as well as to primary schools to support the delivery of quality basic education in the country. Since inception, she noted that IEAP has carried out extensive innovations in libraries and block of classrooms, including the erection of some structures in some schools in Kano State, pointing out that over 14,000 books were also presented to Kano State government, which the State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso received. "This is the fourth batch of books that IEAP have donated in three years while running its office in Nigeria. We have so far donated 44 containers of educational books in various disciplines in Nigeria, ranging from sciences, computers, and simple reading books for children, Economics, Mathematics, English Literature, English, as well as resources to support teachers in making presentations of their lessons to students." Responding, Joli said the intervention it has been yearning for came at the right time, adding that what is left for now is for the university authority to brainstorm and find an enduring solution to problems that has bedeviled the education system.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
EDUCATION Agric Minister for AAUA lecture THE Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, will deliver the 11th Public Lecture Series of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State on Monday next week. Adesina will be speaking on the topic: "Unlocking the Potential of Nigerian agriculture" at the university’s Multipurpose Hall. The AAUA Vice Chancellor, Prof. Femi Mimiko who will chair the occasion, will also play host to some dignitaries including the Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; members of his cabinet, a former Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae; an elder statesman, Chief Reuben Fasoranti; and Royal Fathers. The AAUA Public Lecture Series, which was designed to "make the university something of a public policy crucible and a venue for town-gown interaction", debuted in 2006 and has continued to entrench deepen academic culture on campus and is now a reference point nationally."
ASCON to execute MoU with NOUN in October
HE Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) last year will take off in October, ASCON Director-General Mr Ajibade Peters has said. The MoU, which Ajibade said, aimed at broadening the scope of the 40-year college, increasing its patronage and enhancing its relevance in the 21st Century, has been fine-tuned. This, according to him, is to ensure nothing goes wrong when it eventually kicks off. Ajibade spoke at the closing of the college’s six regular courses held at its premises in Topo, Badagry last week Thursday, for 147 participants. Said Peters: "The MoU we (ASCON) signed last year will come into effect in October this year. The MoU has gone through a period of serious planning ahead of its execution. There are two teams working together.
By Adegunle Olugbamila
There is one team from ASCON and the other in NOUN.Both teams have been wonderful and, overall, everything has been resultoriented. Any moment from now, we will begin to roll out adverts in the media." With the graduation of the praticipants, he said the insitution had once again proved its mettle as a frontline management development institute, and had also succeeded in adding more skilled manpower to the workforce. "I can confidently say that ASCON facilitators have opened the door and you have partaken in the 'meal' of knowledge, skills and insights. Therefore, one of the major challenges thrust on you after the completion of your programmes is to make deliberate effort to transfer your learning to the work you do to improve performance,” Peters added. Ajibade urged the participants to identify and show
•Alhaji Sani (right) receiving his certificate from Peters
commitment in the ongoing transformation agenda of Mr President Goodluck Jonathan. He added: "Transformation implies a complete, wholesome and moderate change in form, character, appearance or structure as the case may be. Judging by the problems confronting Nigeria today, you will agree with me the President was right because nothing short of a com-
he said, adding: "I hope to use the new knowledge acquired to impact on my duty post because if I had enough knowledge, I won't be here." Another participant, Ngozi Chidi Uche, from the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, said: "I've not wasted my time here. With the training, I have now learned to do certain things better. The knowledge I acquired is worth the while."
Group trains 30 in ICT
Alumni group meet in EKSU HEADS of alumni groups of universities under the umbrella of the Conference of the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities (CAANU) will discuss burning issues in the tertiary education sub-sector during their quarterly conference opening today at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) Ado-Ekiti. A statement by the Public Relations Officer of CAANU Pastor Adewale Adelakun, noted that the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, is expected to declare the four-day Conference open on Saturday. Delegates to the Conference are the Presidents of Alumni Associations as well as the Director of Alumni Relations and Endowment of each of the over 117 universities CAANU represents. Under the present chairman, Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, CAANU has held two other Quarterly Conferences at the Lagos State University (LASU) March 8-12, and at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) May 17-20.
plete transformation can salvage the country from the brink of precipice where we are now." One of the participants, Alhaji Yahya Sani, who works at the Code of Conduct Bureau Abuja, said the two-week training surpassed his expectations. "The uninterrupted power supply and quality of facilitators for the training are what actually stunned me,”
• Some of the graduands during your training.
Exam Ethics clubs seek 20m members
Y 2014, The Exam Ethics Marshals, a group that canvasses integrity in the conduct of examinations, plans to have registered 20 million students in its Exam Ethics Clubs. In a statement, the founding Chairman of the group, Mr Ike Onyechere, noted that the aim of the clubs would be to mentor students to be role models in future.
By Ramat Musa
"One of the cardinal responsibilities of the Marshals is the establishment and operation of Exam Ethics Clubs in primary and tertiary institutions as a vehicle for mentoring students and pupils to be role models," he said. Since the relaunch of the group in November, last year, Onyechere said it has
• Bolanle Ogundogba, Head, Sales, Main One Cable Company;, Aja Lagos (left) being welcomed by Mr Safara Iyowun, Head Teacher, Ogombo Community Primary School, during the donation of some items to the school by Main One Cable Company.
distributed more than 100,000 copies of its resource books to students and others. "Since the re-launch in 2011, over 100,000 copies of four titles of Exam Ethics Resource Books have been distributed to students, stakeholders and libraries, with 400 copies valued at N0.5million donated to Kogi State government on July 10, 2012," he said. Onyechere added that the group would hold its national conference at the exam ethics conference Centre, Abuja, between September 3 and 7. Meanwhile, the International Conference and Awards of the group will hold in Ghana between December 10 and 14 at the Hotel Wangara, Accra. During the programme, marshals from all over the world to exchange experiences, brainstorm on latest global best practices, while new members will be inaugurated. Also, the group plans to host some consultative roundtables with parents and school proprietors in collaboration with Consumer Protection Council and Public Complaint Commission.
HE Executive Director , W.Tech Girls Technology Camp, Ms Oreoluwa Somolu, has said the organisation trained 30 secondary school girls in Information Technology (ICT). Speaking during the graduation of the 30 girls who completed a two-week training in ICT, Ms Somolu said the camp is a programme that reaches out to young females, particularly those in secondary school. "W.Tech is about connecting, educating and empowering Nigerian women with active engagement with Information and Communications Technology in terms of training, mentoring and research," she said. He noted that the organisation aims to expose its members to ICT. This is in addition to learning how to use different tools as they advance in age. "The camp used to start as a one-week residential camp for 15 girls, but now its two weeks for 30 girls. During the period, they participate in technology workshop, such as lab sessions, career talks where pro-
By Dawodu Olawale
fessionals who use ICT in their work come to talk to them about their careers. They also go on excursions as well. "This year, we went to Swift Network and Omatek Computers. By the end of the two weeks, we anticipate that the girls would have had a broader sense of technology, how to use it and also what their career possibilities are," she added. She lamented that over the years, women have always been underestimated in technology field. She said data for Nigeria shows that at least 20 per cent of IT and work force is made up of women. "Women make up for half of the country, and since technology is such an important part of our lives, it entails how we live, work and get information. Therefore, it is important for women to know how to make these tools. The whole W.Tech concept is a way of getting girls to be interested and to be aware of what their opportunities are," Oreoluwa said.
Learn Africa seeks global collaboration in education
EARN Africa Plc has called for collaboration among public and private investors in education for African countries to produce young leaders capable of driving economic development. In a speech entitled: "Tomorrow's leaders: Collaboration through education," at the African & Caribbean Business Expo in London, the Managing Director, Mr Fred Ijewere, said the firm was collaborating with some African countries Ijewere said its subsidiary, Millennium Education Limited, had been at the forefront of collaborating in the educational sectors of some Englishspeaking African countries including Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana. "Education ranks at the top of business, government and civil society agenda as one of
the most crucial issues to prepare the next generation of leaders in today's increasingly interconnected world," he said. He challenged Africans in the Diaspora to play critical roles in developing their countries, especially the education sector, by transferring the skills they have acquired overseas to the teeming youths, who are the leaders of tomorrow. At the expo, Learn Africa exhibited some of its books meant for the Nigerian, Ugandan and Ghanaian education markets. The company also showcased the Echo series, which attracted a huge interest from as far as the Caribbeans and some of its Nigerian language titles (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) which some Nigerians in the UK were nostalgic about and bought up for their children.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AGUSUT 23, 2012
Support private school owners, govt urged
HE Lagos State government has been urged to give more support to private school operators if the task of educating school children must be realised. The Proprietor, Brilliant Esteem Private School, Ogba, Lagos, Mrs. Kehinde Ogunbiyi, stated this at the fifth graduation of the school. Mrs. Ogunbiyi noted that the government cannot shoulder the task of educating the teeming population of eligible school children in the state alone. She said the time had come for the government to see private operators in the sector as playing a pivotal role and not competitors. She said taxes and other levies of the government either at the state or council level were too heavy on school owners and capable of truncating any move at fostering partnership.
She said: "We need to call on the government to relax their stranglehold policies, especially in the education sector and see operators in the sector as collaborators instead of competitors in the onerous task of educating the nation's future leaders If we must achieve 80 per cent enrolment in primary school.” Mrs. Ogunbiyi said with over eight million children that must access basic education in the state, the role of private operators cannot be underestimated. She urged the graduands, who are leaving the school for secondary education to uphold the standard and values bequeathed to them by the school. She noted that with persistence and hard work, they would surmount all hurdles on path. "Let me tell you that there is no hurdle that you cannot
surmount with perseverance and hardwork. Remember all the virtues we have inculcated into you these past six years. Learn to say the truth at all times not minding whose horse is gored; be punctual to school and always be neat. Always remember that cleanliness is next to godliness. “Embrace hardwork, read your books and you would see that the sky would be the beginning of your ascent," she said. Earlier, the graduands had treated parents and their associates to beautiful renditions of songs and drama, while their juniors also delivered beautiful presentations.
•Graduands of Brilliant Esteem in an excited mood
Show more interest in pupils' welfare, parents urged
ARENTS and guardians have been advised on their responsibilities to their children. This will give the chil-
dren a future while parents are guaranteed a peaceful retirement. The Proprietor of Eni-Ade School, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos, Chief Adebisi Awoniyi, gave the advice during the school’s graduation/prize giving. He said education is the best legacy that parents should give their wards. He said it
would not only make them self-reliant, but also enhance their opportunities for good positions in the society. "On our part, we shall not depart from our vision of academic excellence. We shall, from time to time, update our facilities for better learning process," he assured.
The chairman of the occasion and a former chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Lagos, Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi, while giving out prizes to outstanding pupils, commended the management's spirit of survival and forging ahead despite the harsh economic situation.
Ogun to re-train 3,793 teachers, others
•Business Development Manager, WEMA Bank Plc Mushin, Rahman Olarinda (left) presenting a certificate to Williams Daniel Osaje (middle) and his mother Mrs Esther William during the 20th graduation of New Mainland Children School, Onipanu, Lagos.
IXTY-TWO senior secondary schools pupils of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education International School (AIS), Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos State, has passed out of the institution with admonition to exhibit the good traits and academic training they have received. They were also admonished not to be part of the decadence that pervades the country, but endeavour to make changes for the better. Provost, AOCOED, Mr Wasiu Olalekan Bashorun, who was represented by Dean, School of Technical and Vocational Studies, Mr Olawale Adeshina, told the pupils that their school had within three or six years, prepared them to meet the next
School graduates 62 By Adegunle Olugbamila
challenges of life. He urged them to go into the world and make the school proud. "More had been given to you in the school over the past years and proverbially more is expected of you all," he said. The guest speaker, who is also Registrar, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr Olutoyin Adepate, advised the graduands to set reasonable targets in life and pursue same with vigour. "What must you do to have a good journey in life? Adepate asked. Adepate, who was represented by Dr Alaka Abayomi, said: "Set reasonable targets for yourselves and pursue
these with the dedication." He advised the outgoing pupils to develop strategies that would make for success in their future endeavours. The school’s Sole Administrator, Mrs Elizabeth Adenike Ajayi, urged the 62 pupils to be ready to face new challenges in life, adding that she was confident that they would look inward and draw from the strength, training, discipline and in-built structures they had received from their homes and the school. "It is my fervent hope and belief that through the challenges that lay ahead, you will retain the fundamental core values that you have imbibed," she added.
O fewer than 3,793 teachers are to benefit from Ogun State government’s retraining programme, the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), Mufutau Ajibola, has said. He spoke in Abeokuta during the flag-off of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Teacher Professional Development programme. Besides, he said 30 statisticians and 62 officers were to be trained in Data Management and Quality Assurance. The government said the move was designed to "improve the quality of teachers at the basic education level" to meet its resolve to deliver "qualitative and affordable education to the people." A breakdown showed that 2,564 of the would-be beneficiaries would come from the primary school level, while 1,124 others are to be drawn from the Junior Secondary School level across the state.
From Mariam Sanni, Abeokuta
Akande added that aside the teachers, education managers and supervisors of basic education in basic school across the state, would equally benefit in the retraining programme meant to "strengthen mathematics and science education in the state." He explained that to ensure the effectiveness of the workshop, six different service providers and resource persons drawn from recognised institutions of higher learning in and outside, have been assigned training The training, he added, would also focus on teachers' personal development, attitudinal disposition, work environment and indeed the consciousness of their health in order ensure an all round personality fit. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela,
Governor Ibikunle Amosun's administration to improve the quality of education in the state. He, nonetheless, added that education development has become a joint venture. According to Odubela, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Ambali Ishola, some individuals and corporate bodies have keyed into the Public-Private Partnership(PPP) of the government to improve the quality of education in the state. Also, UBEC Zonal Coordinator, UBEC, Dr Joshua Olakulehin, urged teachers and education managers to be up to date in their areas of specialisation in order to meet the demands of education and teaching in the 21st Century. He noted the programme is a collective effort between the state and the Federal Government to ensure quality education to the child.
Proprietor harps on education activities. HE Achiever's Base domains physical Adedeji said the school Schools, Alakuko, La-
gos has held her Valedictory, Prize Giving Day and Graduation in grand style. In his address at the event, the Proprietor of the school, Adedeji Omotola, spoke on the three domains of education - cognitive, affective and psychomotor - which are imperative for acquiring
sound education. Omotola said the cognitive has to do with mental reasoning and critical thinking to solve problems. The affective is concerned with the influence of learning and good morals in the pupils', while psychomotor deals with sporting, dancing and other
has procured facilities, such as computers with Information and Comuniation Technology, relevant soft-ware, DVD machines, television sets, other audio-visual equipment, modern teaching aids, as well as sporting and physical education facilities to fulfill the domains.
• Pupils of Derek Private School, Oke-Afa, Lagos during their graduation
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Poor maths performance linked to poor teachers
O improve interest and performance of students in mathematics, the Federal Government has been advised to invest in teachers of the subject. Professor of Applied Mathematics, Johnson Olaleru, said he had carried out research that showed that most pupils cannot outperform their teachers in the subject. In an interview after delivering the Inaugural lecture of the University of Lagos entitled: Abstract Mathematics: Exploring the universe through imaginative science, the don said the research revealed that pupils lost interest in their teachers because they did not make the subject interesting and performed poorly in areas where their teachers were not grounded. To reverse poor performance, he advised the government to ensure that teachers have a good grasp of
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
the subject, have instructional materials to teach and are motivated to give their best. "To improve mathematics, think of teachers," he said. "The whole thing lies on making teachers effective; make the teachers motivated to make the students pass. Do teachers have a good grasp of their subjects? We carried out a research into areas that students mostly fail and found that teachers transferred their lack of understanding of such concepts to their students. “Are they equipped with the right methodology? Do they have the right teaching materials? Government should concentrate on the teacher and mathematics will improve," he said. In his lecture, Olateru argued that the area of Mathematics called Pure
Mathematics should be renamed to applicable mathematics because the theories normally find application in various areas of human endeavour, even if it takes years to happen. "A lot of results in mathematics are now being used in other areas like physics and engineering. Results in Abstract Mathematics have become drivers in technology and engineering and will continue to be," he said.
Oduduwa Varsity expands facilities
VISITOR to the Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Osun State, three years ago would be marvelled at the rate of development of the school. Its Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Joseph Ogunwale, said the expansion of the university sited on over 50 hectares of land, was necessary because of the expected increase in the number of students to be admitted by the institution. "We are doing that because we envisage that within the next two years, the students' population will soar. We don't want to wait until the number soars," he said. Currently, under construction are more structures to house library and classrooms. Ogunwale said the library and lecture halls were being extended to create more space for better study environment. This is in addition to the purchase of relevant equipment for the sciences. He said the laboratories in Management Sciences, Computer Science, Chemical Sciences and Biological Sciences are being periodically stocked to meet the standards. "We want to acquire more equipment in the College of Applied Science," he said. The three-year-old university is working on affiliation with foreign universities, which, according to Ogunwale, will benefit everybody. "The affiliation is such that it will benefit both the students and the lecturers. They will be able to send few of their lecturers to Oduduwa University. Some of the students will be able to come to the
• The extension of the library under construction. Inset: Prof Ogunwale By Gbenga Aderanti
university and they will be able to transfer some of the credits from the home university to us and we will be able to transfer our own too," he said, adding that the agreement would soon be sealed. Aside the academic structures, the VC said a new football pitch with its modern pavilion and the basket ball court, are ready for use. While insisting that the school is not a faith-based institution, he nevertheless added that Oduduwa does not tolerate excesses of students which some term as freedom. "We know that any child that attains the age of 18 is an adult but
bad character that they have developed in the secondary school will not be tolerated on the campus. We don't allow cigarette smoking; we don't allow excessive behaviour on campus. “If we allow cigarette and alcohol, we would be building up students that could be violent. If you combine alcohol and cigarette, the boys will go to the third aspect, which is raping the girls that is the major reason it is not allowed on campus," he said. To make the students self-employed after graduating, the school introduced entrepreneurial studies in the second year, as part of the courses to be taken by the students.
ABU's 50th anniversary: VC seeks governor’s support By Adegunle Olugbamila
ITH barely two months to the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, its Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha has appealed to the Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, to mobilise his counterparts, particularly alumni of
the institution, to support it to ensure a successful hosting of the event. Mustapha, according to a statement signed by his media aide Mallam Waziri Isa Gwantu, made the appeal when he visited the governor at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, to update him on the university's level of preparedness for the historic event. Mustapha said a committee had been set up to draw up a befitting Golden Anniversary programme slated for between October 4 and November 24. He said the celebration, which will be climaxed with a special convocation / presentation of the
'Sir Ahmadu Bello Golden Award' and Hall of Fame, is meant to showcase the university's achievements, unveil its plans, as well as honour past heroes and major supporters. The Vice-Chancellor pleaded with Yakowa, also an alumnus, to persuade his colleagues to provide financial assistance for the execution of vital projects, including the rehabilitation of dilapidated roads in the two campuses of the university, estimated at N2 billion; dredging of the university's dam (N7 billion), construction of a bridge and other major structures and facilities, such as water and electricity. He added that an appeal fund would be launched soon.
HEN we hear parents recount tales of their growing up, they tell how they survived seemingly difficult situations and still ended up successful. However, they are unable to employ the same standards used by their Kofoworola parents on their children perhaps out of fear that their Belo-Osagie wards would be unable to cope. Kofosagie@yahoo.com Chief executives of today may 08054503077 (SMS only) have trekked to school in their time. But today, they employ drivers and house maid to pick up their children from school, ferry them to extra classes, and other places they want to go. As an undergraduate, pre-GSM era, I remember submitting long lists of needs anytime school resumes. I used to quote a desired amount to cater for all the comforts of life a student could wish for. But my father usually gave me what he felt was enough for me. And, by the time I adjusted my list over and over again, cutting out luxuries and going for necessities, I was always well catered for. After providing funds for my school/registration fees, accommodation (and I had to cut my coat according to my size), and books, I usually focused on buying enough food, provisions and toiletries to last the most part of the semester. I always reasoned that if I ran out of money, I should at least not run out of food. Most times, there was hardly extra to spend on clothes so I made do with what I had or tried to make extra money from holiday jobs. Usually, half way through the semester, when broke, I would seek out those students traveling home to send to my parents. Oftentimes they returned with foodstuff and some cash to replenish my stock and that was it until the end of the semester. By the time we were completing examinations, I usually had little to spare apart from my transport fare back home. But my brothers that have gone to school after me had a different experience. They received pocket money on monthly basis, a luxury I could not have dreamt of. I remind them of this fact ever so often. However, their modest pocket money cannot be compared to what I learnt some parents give their wards. At a time the Nigerian Labour Congress had to fight governments to pay N18,000 as minimum wage, some parents give their undergraduate children between N60,000 and N100,000 monthly. I learnt this from a parent whose child attends a private university. As a result the children have so much more than they need to spend on frivolities. Some, I am told, maintain off-campus accommodations even though their institutions provide hostel spaces for all. I used to think all parents hope to rest from their labours after their children graduate from the university. But with this practice of spoiling children with fat pocket money, I do not think their parents can easily hands off overseeing their affairs at the end of their schooling. I wonder how a child that got N60,000 as pocket money can survive when it is time to participate in the one-year National Youth Service Corps scheme where the Federal Government pays them a monthly stipend of N19,800 (recently upgraded from N9,770). Are parents expected to extend the pocket money to cover the service year as well? The answer should be obvious if they fall in the category that pay their children more than the minimum wage monthly even before they get the certificates to start earning an income. Salaried students will also find it difficult to take up the average jobs for fresh graduates. Naturally, they would snob jobs with pay margins little different from what they got from their parents when in school. That is why parents have to go the extra mile nowadays to also seek lucrative jobs for their wards. For those with established businesses, they have little problem. They just give the child a big title, office, and fat salary and he begins to reap without knowing how to sow. Not many parents give their children the training they need to run their organisations successfully after they are gone. As a result, their success dies with them and does not continue to the next generation. In today's world, when should a parent pull the brakes? The answer to this question is one every parent should provide long before the child owns a bank account. (First published September 01, 2012)
From my Inbox Re: Minding the gap (Thursday, August 16) Kofo, thanks for your consistency in sensitizing the public on what happens in our schools. Education undoubtedly is the bedrock of any economy. Keep it up. Regards, Ifreke Usoro. Re: Olympic Blues (Thursday, August 09) Hello Kofoworola, your review on the Olympic Blues was heart touching. Like the bible notes, our glory is fast disappearing as in Ichabod. Until Nigeria is spiritually sanitized, we will only be singing other countries' glory. God help us and thanks. 08035503---. Re: Child Abuse (Thursday, July 26) The trauma of child abuse can be likened to eternity in hell. A critical topic that needs critical and perspective handling. Well written. I still battle with the scars of child abuse. It is the denial to explore and pursue my passion for Arts - literature, broadcasting, photography. David Ishaya.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
After a deafening silence that elicited severe criticisms from various quarters, governors of the 19 Northern states yesterday took a concrete step towards resolving the crises of insecurity, ethnic strife and socio-economic dislocation in the region. Assistant Editor AUGUSTINE AVWODE reviews the path to the action and asks if it could lead to resolution of a conflict threatening the corporate existence of the most populous black country in the world.
Can Agwai, Kukah, Tsav others end the drift in the North?
HE task at hand is daunting, almost Herculean. Yet, it is a task that must be done! A sprawling geo-political region boasting 19 out of the 36 states of the federation and having the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Abuja, embedded in it is lying miserably prostrate in the face of unprecedented security challenge, ethnic strife and other forms of socio- economic dislocation. Never in the history of the region has it witnessed the unrelenting bombing campaign orchestrated by the Boko Haram sect. Hardly a week passes without reports of one bomb blast or another in the region. The crisis in Jos has so sharply escalated that it took the special intervention of the Joint Task Force to avert another blood bath few days ago in the once peaceful and serene Tin City. Expectedly, economic and social activities have been worst hit leaving the region with an unenviable and gloomy outlook. This is the task before the 41 member Northern States Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security (NSCRHS) that was inaugurated yesterday - to find a solution, and, urgently so, to what has been officially tagged “disturbing state of insecurity” in the region.
At the beginning The journey to yesterday’s intervention by the region’s governors started about a month ago. It came on the heels of severe criticisms of the attitude of the governors, the elite, highly placed politicians and businessmen who all maintained a disturbing silence in the face of incessant bomb blasts across the region sending scores to their undeserved early grave. Besides, the attacks were beginning to take a pattern of sectarian crisis thereby heightening tension across the country. One of the voices against the regime of silence in the face of the Boko Haram onslaught in the region is Senate President David Mark. Speaking at the opening of a five-day retreat organised by the Senate in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in June, Mark warned Northern leaders that if they failed to curb the activities of Boko Haram, that it may lead to the breakup of the country. He counseled that Nigerians were running out of patience on Boko Haram saying, “We do not know how long we will keep on appealing to them to be patient because there is a limit to patience.” He said “the silence of any leader in the North on this matter is not in any way different from the act of suicide bombing itself.” Mark wondered why northerners who have been yearning for development should allow their territory to suffer at the hands of hoodlums called Boko Haram. He noted that the nefarious activities of Boko Harm have led to mass movement on regional basis, thus promoting ethnic-religious conflict. The Senate President saids: “The elders in the North, I ask, can they stop this menace, and if they cannot, let them say so. Are the elders saying they don’t know what is happening? I call on them to come out and be bold to say so; Nigeria has to be one for other Nigerians to exist. “The northern states have to think properly before we allow what Boko Haram is doing bring the North to its knees, if it is allowed to continue, it may encourage disunity and religious war, God forbid. The action of Boko Haram is scaring away investors from the North. Akwa Ibom, Rivers or any state in the West will not wait for Sokoto, Kaduna to meet them in the area of development”, he stated. Perhaps, touched by the grim reality of that criticism several others, the Northern Governors Forum ( NGF), almost a month later, precisely on Thursday, July 28, at a meeting in Abuja, agreed to constitute a high powered committee of eminent scholars, clerics, retired
desired peaceful co-existence, unity and development in the entire region. The Committee comprises very eminent personalities from diverse backgrounds, with the mandate to fashion out strategies to address the disturbing state of insecurity, and proffer practical and enduring solutions to the Forum” The Committee which was yesterday inaugurated at the Niger State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, has Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim as chairman, while Iliya Ithuve is the Secretary and Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi is the Deputy Secretary. Others are Prof. Tijani El-Miskin, Prof. Shedrack Best, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, Prof. Habu Galadima, AIG Hamisu Ali Jos [rtd], Gen. Martin Luther Agwai [rtd], Prof. Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, Hajiya Dije Bala, Maj. Gen. Yakubu Usman [rtd], Prof. Sani Abdulkadir, AVM Mukhtar Mohammed [rtd], Justice Umaru Abdullahi, Haj. Mariam Uwais ,Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, Group Capt. Bilal Bulama [rtd], Col Musa Shehu [rtd], Ali M. Dandiya, Gen. GP Zidon [rtd], Justice Usman Baba Liman, Sheikh Mohammed Isa Talata Mafara, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Karibullah Nasiru Kabara, Sheikh Yusuf Sambo Rigachikun, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, Bishop Michael E. Apochi, Imam Goni Mohammed Gabcha, Imam Salman Aboki A. Ankpa, Bishop Buba Lammido Wusasa, Rev. Kalla Abari, HRH, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari,The Emir of Ilorin, Kwara State, HRH, Alhaji Zaiyanu Abdullahi The Emir of Yauri, State, HRH, Dr. Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, The Lamido of Adamawa, Adamawa State, HRH, Nde Joshua Y. Dimlong, Ngolong Ngas, Plateau State, Dr. Kole Shettima, MacArthur Foundation, Nigeria, Dr. Shettima Ali, Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation, Mrs. Aisha Oyebod, Murtala Mohammed Foundation, Dr. [Mrs.] Nguyan Feese, ESSPIN, Nigeria, Sister Kathleen McGarvey, Inter-Faith Council, Kaduna.
Daunting task, isn’t it?
intelligence buffs and retired military personnel to bail the region out of its predicament. A statement on the web site of the Niger State Government signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Daniel C. Shashere, who doubles as the Chairman, Forum of Secretaries to the Government of Northern States, said it was “in recognition of the adverse effect of the security challenges facing the region that has constituted the 41 member committee. In doing so, however, the statement tactically rebutted insinuations that the NGF was comfortably complacent about the daunting security situation in the region. Further, the statement read:“ The Northern States Governors’ Forum [NSGF] has left no one in doubt about its concern for the general welfare of the people in its areas of jurisdiction. Therefore, it has made several attempts to address the unabated security challenge con-
fronting the region which has not only led to massive loss of lives and properties but has also severely altered the harmonious community relations established and nurtured over several decades, among the peace-loving peoples of the region. “The negative consequences of insecurity for freedom, liberties and the thriving economic activities within the Northern States are very serious. It is in recognition and total concern for the hard-earned national peace and harmony of our great country, Nigeria that the Forum decided at its meeting held on Thursday July 26, 2012 to constitute a high-powered committee to handle issues bordering on reconciliation, healing, peace and security within the troubled areas across the Northern States of the Federation. “The main term of reference of the Committee is to engender the restoration of the most
‘To start with, the Committee is comprehensively representative of the plural nature of the region. The critical sectors considered to be major stakeholders are all represented in the Committee. From the religious divide to the aspect of those knowledgeable in counter - terrorism, to those with military training, traditional institutions, women, education and learning down to civil society organisations’
Pessimists may not give the committee much chance of success given the fact the whole issue of insecurity in the region revolves around the Boko Haram sect. This position is reinforced by the fact that the sect has remained largely amorphous or faceless and seemingly implacable. But then, given the calibre of people in the committee, and the fact that for once, the governors in the region are determined to reverse the rather dangerous trend staring them in the face, except all that is playing out is mere cosmetic and window dressing, there is ample chance for the committee to succeed. To start with, the Committee is comprehensively representative of the plural nature of the region. The critical sectors considered to be major stakeholders are all represented in the Committee. From the religious divide to the aspect of those knowledgeable in counter - terrorism, to those with military training, traditional institutions, women, education and learning down to civil society organisations. The fact that almost all prominent Northerners are agreed that dialogue is the best option and approach to salvaging the situation, the Committee has men and women who can pull through a successful dialogue with the sect to give peace a chance. It can be said that the governors have thrown their best eleven into this must win battle with the ultimate aim of having the last laugh. Besides, this is one assignment which the members of the Committee know that it’s outcome has far reaching implications for the whole of the country and not just the region. For, even though the region stands to enjoy the immediate and long term effect of a successful resolution of the crisis •Continued on page 44
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
POLITICS Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) recently marked his 1,900 days in office. Ahead of the ceremony, he spoke with reporters on crucial national issues. Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU reports the excerpt.
Why we need state police, by Fashola W
HAT is your reaction to the agitation for state police in the country? When I hear these questions, they suggest to me something is wrong with Nigeria and nothing is wrong with Nigeria. It diminishes me as a Nigerian when you ask me if I can manage a police institution. Let’s subject it to experimentation: Do we manufacture cars here? Don’t we drive cars? So, it’s like saying don’t give them cars because they won’t know what to do with it? If there are excesses within a system, there must be a self-curing mechanism within that system to deal with the excesses. Recently, we saw a shooting incident in Colorado. Who was on top of the case? It was the state police. Later, they called in the FBI when they saw that it was high wire explosives. And that’s what we are saying that let the state police be here, it doesn’t mean the federal police won’t exist. If you are running a system that is not working, have the courage and confidence to change it, knowing that if it doesn’t work, you’ll change it again. Does that mean that those opposing state police have no genuine reason? People forget that this federal police was not what we had before. We used to have a regional police system and it was applicable in a federal environment. It was alleged that some people abused it. But some people found the courage then to change to a central system because it was not working. Over 40 years after, that central system is now not working again, so, you are saying we should forever continue to say, well, they killed one person today, kidnapped one in the afternoon, murdered one in the evening but we must not touch what those people did 40 years ago? And we are expecting that it would change by itself or continue to simply pray? I can’t be persuaded by that. If we changed it and it doesn’t work, we’ll find something else. The Georgian people for example, when their police wasn’t working disbanded the whole thing. For me, that’s extreme treatment because given what I’d done with the police here, I know if they have half the opportunity, they’ll do even better. We didn’t change the police here; we simply provided them with resource and opportunity. So, it means that they can work if they have the opportunity. Lagos State government has been against the PHCN over alleged illegal deduction of state funds. What really is the problem? It is a very long story, but I think the way to understand it is that at the time this democratic experience started in 1999, power was a major issue and still a major issue. We’ve gone 13 years now without sustainable power and my predecessor, and this is the attitude of the Lagos State Government- always ready to find solutions- audacious in his thinking, said look, I’ll provide my own power since the constitution now allows the state to generate power. And he got three badges. Each badge was 30megawatts which comes to 90megawatts for Lagos. And the Federal Government said if you have this solution, bring nine, so that it would be 270 megawatts and arrangements were reached on how that power would be dedicated to Lagos. And in consequence of that arrangement, some agreements were reached. There were pricing gaps and Lagos State Government said if there is a gap in this pricing, between what is billed and what is collected- I don’t quite remember that now- but that we’ll meet the difference. So, we gave
• Gov Fashola
a guarantee to pay the difference. Now, every month, thereafter, we got a bill for N250million as the difference. But, how did you arrive at that difference? How much did you bill? The principle is that PHCN becomes an accounting party to say, okay, we’ve generated so much power, you billed so much, you collected so much and this is the shortfall. For this shortfall, you’re responsible. But if PHCN issues 10 bills and does not go to collect any, it can’t expect me to pay so much for its own inability to pay its bills. It must show good faith by collecting its bills and billings. So, every month we just got N250million. Are you saying every month you generate enough power? There are no down times with the turbines? That people don’t travel? Those are the issues we raised and we said no. And before we knew it, they just started deducting our money from FAC. They have no rights to do that simply because the money is passing through them. You have no such rights. It’s a breach of the constitution to touch any state money. What steps have you taken to remedy the situation? We went to court, got a restraining order saying, don’t touch this money again but they continued. It was late President Yar’Adua who stopped it. By that time, they had deducted a total of over N15billion from our money. Now, this power was not dedicated to Lagos; it was being used in most part of Southwest and pumped to the national grid which therefore means we subsidise the nation for an innovation that we wanted to do only 90 but you said we should do 270. But that is not even the point. We are in court; we have arbitration going and we are saying give us back our N15billion. Is it because we are not fighting? PHCN workers who went to court when the reform process was going to start were quickly paid. So, maybe the people who get something are those who fight and not those who appeal. And we said, look, the power sector is too big- it’s bigger than N15billion. But investors will be concerned if they learnt that there are court cases, it would slow down this process, why don’t you go to the National Assembly and say look, this is not the time for right and wrong, I want the power sector to work. So, tell them look, let’s buy out Lagos so that the asset is free from risk. That’s our simple case. The ejection of Makoko residents has generated controversy. Why did
government insist on the decision, despite the its avowed commitment to human rights? We are battling environmental problem on flooding. Now, the Lagos lagoon is one of the biggest assets of the state. That is where water from all the floods gutters up. It is nature’s drain for Lagos. But that lagoon is shrinking everyday by encroachment and by building on the lagoon. It is not land. So, the drainage channels from Oworonsoki, Somolu, Bariga, Akoka are all served by this lagoon as you will find Ikorodu from that part of Ajegunle that flooded about two years ago. They are all served by that lagoon as indeed, Lekki people, Ajah, Victoria Island- they are served by that lagoon. Now, if you continue to shrink it, it loses capacity to serve its purpose and that’s one reason we are there. The second reason is that between the people of Makoko and Oko-baba, we’ve had engagement for a long time. As I speak, we are doing a resettlement programme for the people of Oko-baba in Agbowafunded by government. The people of Makoko were undecided whether they want to move or not and we said okay, fine, we’ll leave you here for now. Let’s solve half of the problem as we already have people who have bought into our relocation programme. But because we haven’t compelled you to move is no justification to invite more people to come and expand. So, those who have been there before- yeah- fine! But those who have come now, they must go. So, it is the new people we are moving. You’ll see that the frontiers of the place are encroaching- it is expanding into the lagoon every day. So, we are not moving everybody; it is the new ones that we are moving. The reality is that some people have been making political and financial capital out of these people’s difficulty and that is one honest truth we must confront. In the name of supporting them, they get grants which never get to the place. So, part of the noise you are hearing also is orchestrated noise. If that place is no more, the livelihood of the so called supporters evaporates.
‘Stop playing mischievous politics with the interests of Lagosians’
HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria has lashed out at the main opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for its mischievous attempt to link the Kuramo beach surge to the Eko Atlantic City. The party said that what remains of Lagos PDP has become a pitiable bunch of mischief traders who sees every issue as object of mischief with the hope it would wake a dead horse through such acts of puerile blackmail. In a statement in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the party, Joe Igbokwe, the party says it is laughable and awkward that the PDP, which has led a historical rule of rogues and vermin in Nigeria is seeking means to sabotage such a gigantic and ambitious project as the Eko Atlantic City based on its greedy instincts and selfish tendencies. “We take it that Lagos PDP is far gone in mischief or it is on its well known antics of conning Nigerians for sympathy when it blamed the ocean surge on the laudable Eko Atlantic City, which is generating worldwide attention. “We suspect that because PDP is permanently fixed on seeing public fund as free fund for looting, it reads intent to loot into any worthwhile project to lift Nigeria from the morass it has sank in into. We feel that PDP’s greedy inclination which sees every opportunity as fat cow to be milked by greedy party men is leading it into reading such negative meanings into great projects that promise to lift Nigeria from the quagmire it had sank the country. “Nigerians know that a party that has plundered tens of trillions of Naira in thirteen years worsening our poverty crisis and running a looters’ heaven can never ever see the big picture when one comes across. PDP will never see the huge potentials of Eko Atlantic City when it is consumed in the deadly foraging for immediate fonts of cash to loot and it is obvious that the Lagos wing of the PDP salivates about Lagos for the promise it offers in meeting its huge appetite for free fund and nothing more. “For us, the Eko Atlantic City can never be the cause of an age old, universal problem like ocean surge, which incidence in Lagos has been reduced to the barest minimum by the proactive actions of the ACN government in Lagos. We challenge the Lagos PDP to tell Nigerians if the Atlantic Ocean suddenly started surging with the Eko Atlantic City. “Can the Lagos PDP tell Nigerians when last we experienced an ocean surge vis-à-vis the period the Eko Atlantic City came into existence? We want them to grow up for once and tell Lagosians the history of ocean surges in Lagos and in other parts of the world instead of embarking on a fruitless cut-andpaste, attention seeking mission of provoking mischief for their narrow and selfish interests. “We are not surprised that a party that cannot patch Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and all other
federal roads in Lagos in thirteen years of disastrous governance, is now trying to find mischievous comfort in making wild, ludicrous and laughable allegations with every natural issue that confronts Lagos. The party said the Eko Atlantic City project is designed to enhance the economic prospect of the state and no regret about it. “For the avoidance of doubts, the Eko Atlantic City is a world acclaimed project that has attracted foreign and local interests in a country where the ruling party waits for the next tranche of trillions of oil money to steal while the country decays. It is a result of deep, proactive thinking in line with global strategies for economic growth and we say with all level of certainty that the economic benefits of the city are enormous.”
Can Agwai, Kukah, Tsav others end the drift in the North? •Continued from page 43
at hand, it certainly the nation that will gain more in that it will enhance national co- existence and further cement the fabric of the society. This, therefore, is one reason why the Committee, individually and collectively will make failure the last thing to countenance.
General Martin Luther Agwai ( rtd) General Martin Luther Agwai, CFR GSS psc(+) fwc is a retired Nigerian soldier. He was former Chief of Defence Staff. Born on November 8, 1948 in Kaduna, he graduated from the Nigerian Command and Staff College, British Army Staff College, Camberley and United States Army Armor School amongst others. He holds a Post Graduate diploma in Public Administration with distinctions from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and National Defence University, Washington DC, where he obtained a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy. He has
held several positions including Chief of Training and Operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces and Director of Military Training at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. He was the Nigerian Military Adviser at Harare, covering the whole of Southern Africa between 1993 - 1996. He was a Directing Staff and Chief Instructor at the Command and Staff College Jaji Kaduna, Nigeria. Before becoming the Chief of Defence Staff, . he held several senior positions in the Nigerian Army, including being the Deputy Military Adviser at United Nations Headquarters, New York and Chief of Army Staff. He served as the commander of the combined United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. General Agwai led one of the biggest peacekeeping operations in the world with approximately 20,000 troops and 6,000 police under his command.
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah is the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Dio-
cese. Before his appointment as Bishop of Sokoto, he was the VicarGeneral of the Kaduna archdiocese as well as the Parish Priest of St. Andrew Catholic Church, Kakuri, Kaduna. He was born on August 31, 1952 in Anchuna, Ikulu Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State. He had his primary education at St. Fidelis Primary School, Zagom, then St. Joseph Minor Seminary, Zaria, before proceeding to St. Augustine Major Seminary Jos, Plateau State, where he studied Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained a Catholic Priest on December 19, 1976. After his ordination, his quest for knowledge took him to the University of Ibadan, where he obtained a diploma in Religious Studies; he received the Bachelor of Divinity at the Urban University Rome in 1976, then a Master’s degree in Peace Studies, at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom in 1980, and PhD at the famous London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1990. He is a social commentator and critic with many books to his name as an author. He served on the famous Justice Oputa Panel as Secretary.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NATURAL HEALTH E-mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Traditional medicine board calls for unity
HE Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (LSTMB) has called for unity among traditional medicine practitioners to move the sector forward. According to its Chairman, Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi, disunity has prevented the growth of the practice in the country. Omoseyindemi, who spoke at a stakeholders’meeting organised by the Board on how to develop the practice in Lagos, said the profession has a huge potential. He said dissension was the stumbling block to its development, noting that members were always at loggerhead with one another. "The purpose of the meeting is also to strengthen partnership and collaboration among practitioners, as it cannot progress
By Wale Adepoju
without the stakeholders coming together. "At the National Executive Meeting, the Federal Government wanted to ban the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) because of the negative information it received about them. But we made them understand that the profession has a role to play in the health care delivery service as it's done in other countries. The onus rests on practitioners to ensure its development and recognition," he added. He said the practice has not been registered by the Federal Government, saying it was only registered in Lagos State, which has been serving as its hub in Nigeria.
To regulate the practice, he said the state has created three divisional headquarters in Epe, Kosofe and Ikorodu Local Government Areas, adding that other centres will be created later. Explaining why it established the centres, he said manpower and structure are needed to meet the growing needs of the practice as well as ensure referral system. "In Ibeju Lekki, the Traditional Births Attendants (TBAs) successfully took delivery of a set of triplets. This underscores the need for the government to develop their practice," he noted. On the Day of African Traditional Medicine (DATM) being celebrated on August 31 yearly, he said practitioners should ensure
that they propagate the practice to make it more acceptable. “The board will also organise an event to commemorate the day as it does to promote traditional medicine day,” he said. Omoseyindemi, who is a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa, said the decade of for traditional medicine in Africa ended in 2010, adding that the African Union Ministers of Health met in Geneva, Switzerland in May to declare a new decade. This effort, he noted, was part of the way forward for the profession because orthodox medicine cannot provide all the care, hence the need for traditional medicine in the health care delivery systems.
Natural medicine you can improve your vision and prevent its loss, reports OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA.
How to treat eye problems, by expert YES are the window to the body. With them, we are seen and attended to. But there are problems that could ail or eventually maim the eyes. According to a medical practitioner, Dr Segun Fahuwa, there are some steps one can take to prevent loss of eyes or their poor performances. For instance, Fahuwa said diabetes is the main cause of blindness in adults who are between 20 and 74. But the disease(diabetes) is properly treated by self-medication. He warned: "If you have eye problems and diabetes, don't buy a new pair of glasses as soon as you notice it. Rather, visit your doctor." He said an understanding of the different ways the eyes can be affected is the first step in preventing poor vision or blindness. Thereafter, the use of phytoplants and other herbal-plants are helful. “Let's consider itchy eyes, which are a main reaction to allergies, such as allergic conjunctivitis, though there can be other causes of itchy eyes not related to allergies. There are two types of allergies; seasonal and perennial. Treatment for allergies can be either prescribed by a practitioner or found on store shelves. Eye discharge is another frequent complaint. This is as a result of the yellow, sticky, crusty substance that sometimes makes your eyes feel glued shut, is called or referred to as eye discharge. Though most causes of eye discharge are harmless, sometimes medical attention is needed. “Vision change is another common problem that is often waived aside. "If you notice a change in your vision you should not wait to see your eye care professional. If ignored, it can worsen and severely impact your way of life. There are many possible causes to someone's changing vision, and preventive steps you can take beforehand. “Your eyes have this great system in place that replenishes and moisturises your eyes over and over again. Generally, your tears drain from your eyes, under your eyelids and through your nasal passages. If this system is not working correctly, you can experience watery eyes. There are many things that can cause watery eyes, such as dryness, allergies, medication, and blocked tear ducts. Blurry vision can be an important sign or clue that an eye disease exists within your eyes. These problems can be of a common problem, such as conjunctivitis or a more severe problem, such as glaucoma. The trado-medicine practitioner popularly called Mister Guarantee said eye pain is yet another common complaint
by patients, but then, "It varies from patient to patient and can be described as a stabbing, throbbing, burning, gritty, sharp, and aching or ‘something in my eye’w feeling. There are two types of eye pain; orbital pain and ocular pain. While eye strain is not a serious problem, however, it can be a sign or symptom of a serious problem.There are many different prevention measures you can take if you are suffering from strained eyes. For instance, using sun glasses while under the sun. “Double vision, medically called diplopia is a serious eye condition that must be investigated. There are four different types of diplopia, as it can affect one eye, both eyes, it can also be temporary or voluntary. Double vision is generally a symptom of an underlying condition. A person suffering from sore eyes is more than like highly contagious, as they are in fact suffering from a viral form of conjunctivitis. Learn about the symptoms of this problem, as well as treatment and prevention steps that should be taken. “Swollen eyelids are caused by many different things. Though the most obvious symptom is a swollen eyelid, there are other symptoms you should be aware of to help determine the underlying cause of the swelling.Learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment methods when dealing with painful or non-painful swollen eyelids. " To prevent some of these conditions, Fahuwa said one should include natural fish oils in the diet." By eating more cold water fish or taking fish oil capsules every day, you can help improve your focus, see colours more brightly, particularly at night, and improve near and far sightedness. You should eat a diet that includes foods rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the retina from macular degeneration due to the normal aging process. Such foods, include spinach, carrots, green leafy vegetables, corn, eggs and bilberry juice. You can increase the absorption of these antioxidants by cooking your foods with olive oil. “Drink herbal teas that are known to improve and protect vision. Wolfberry, also known as goji berry, is rich in carotenoids and can help strengthen vision. Chrysanthemum and peppermint are both rich in antioxidants and can help reduce pressure on the eye, which can lead to vision loss. Gingko biloba and eyebright also help to improve vision and prevent vision loss by increasing blood circulation to the eyes. “Take pantothenic acid, a B vitamin that can help to improve the clarity of vision in as fast as one day. Take 300 mg in the morning under the
• Gingko biloba
• Pumpkin seeds contain pantothenic acid
tongue. Pantothenic acid can cause heightened alertness, so only take it in the morning, as it might affect your sleep. You can also reduce your chances of vision loss due to cataract by taking regular supplements of vitamin E. Vitamin E is easily absorbed in supplement form; however, peanuts and peanuts oil are a nutritious and tasty natural source of vitamin E. “At my clinic I have a product, Imole (Light) that is approved by NAFDAC, which I use in treating sundry eye cases with encouraging results," he added.
• Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, a nutrient known for protecting eyes
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Memories of August and Dr. Pottenger’s cats (2) ‘E VERY day the average heart, your friend, beats 100,000 times and pumps 2,000 gallons of blood for nourishing your body. In 70 years, that adds up to more than 360 million (faithful Heart beats). Please be good to your heart ... for a long, Happy, healthy life.’ As I rose last Sunday evening from an extended family meeting to plan the funeral of my uncle who departed the flesh two Saturdays ago, this admonition of Paul C. Bragg leapt again at me. Just as I do not take stirring of the heart lightly, I pay serious attention to the health of this tireless organ. Only last week, I recalled the passing on August 5, 1959 of my mother in the labour room when she was unable to expel the placenta after the birth of her fifth child. My father took his bow on August 26, 1998, three days after my 48th birthday. On August 11, this year, my uncle, Alpheus Taiwo Olunaike, 97, slipped off at about 1.00am, in circumstances which suggested he'd had heart trouble. As I suggested last week, events in one part of the body may indicate developing similar occurrences in other parts. My mother's uterine muscles may have been too weak to push out the placenta, but so could have been other muscles in her body, especially the heart, which is a bundle of muscles. My father's passage was straight forward ... congestive heart failure which led to cardiac arrest. The heart pumped blood to the lungs for oxygenation but was too weak to pump it out after oxygenation. The lungs, irritated and burdened, tried to help themselves through coughing but couldn't. I remember this event and my own heart whenever I am climbing the Pedestrian bridge at Palm Grove, Lagos. The stairway is so long and so steep that many people, young or old, men or women, stop over midway, resting on the handrail or standing on the landing to catch some breadth. Panting and catching some breath suggest that the heart lacks the energy to perform a heavier duty imposed upon it, in this case the pumping of more blood, at a faster rate, to the muscles which are propelling the body up the stairs. To discover if your heart is functioning well, and to understand what the doctor writes in your hospital file when you go to run heart function tests, it is necessary to understand how the heart looks like, how it works, the signs the body gives when the heart is weak or ailing, and some of the food supplements you may be taking to curb or reverse heart troubles. From the way many people drag themselves about in the street, it is evident that their hearts are weak, enlarged, not pumping blood well enough or are being affected by troubles in some other organ.
The heart A bundle of muscle, the heart is a hollow, cone shaped organ which works like a pump to drive blood throughout the body. In an adult, it is about the size of the fist. It is divided into two parts, the left and the right, which, like the nostrils, are separated in the middle by a septum. Each side is further divided into two parts, an upper chamber and a lower one. In all, therefore, there are four chambers in the heart, two above, two below. Only the chambers on one side connect. The Septum or dividing wall prevents blood from one side flowing into the other. An occasion when this may occur may be when the Septum is damaged, as in a perforation by stress or disease or through congenital malformation which manifests as " holein-the-heart." A "hole in the heart" disturbs the normal rhythm of blood flow in the chambers through the blood vessels and throughout the body. Nigeria newspapers often report the cases of children born with the holes in their hearts. They are often flown to Israel or to India for corrective surgery. They are weak, sickly and do not grow properly. These are some of the havocs heart problems may inflict on the body's health. Back in high school biology class, the memory of two houses in Obanikoro, Lagos, always reminded me of the architecture of the heart. One was on Obanikoro Road, the other was 15, Buraimoh Street. Each is a block of four flats arranged longitudinally on two sides, one flat above another on one side, the two sides separated from floor to ceiling right down by a median wall.
How the heart works
HE two upper chambers of the heart are called atrium, those below ventricles. Remember each side has an atrium and a ven tricle, and these do not connect with the atrium and ventricle on the other side. But both sides, that is all four chambers, work together, in unison, to pump blood round the body in a rhythmical pumping cycle. The pumping cycle starts when the right side of heart receives spent or deoxygenated blood from all parts of the body. The right side of the heart pumps deoxygenated or used blood it received from all parts of the body to the lungs for oxygenation or renewal while the left side receives oxygenated or renewed blood from the lungs and pumps it to all parts of the body for their nurture. Four Pulmunary veins bring blood to the heart; pulmonary arteries take blood away from the heart. Inside the two chambers (artnum and ventricles) on either side of the heart, there are valves or gate keepers which control the flow of blood from one chamber to the other. They go by different names, which indicates their location. Many people know of the MITRAL VALVE because there are many people who suffer from MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE, which may be caused by some types of fever among other conditions.
The heart and the Valves at work Two blood vessels named the Superior and Inferior Vena Cavae bring deoxygenated blood to the right atrium. When this chamber fills up, it contracts to pump the blood into the lower chamber, the right ventricle. There is a gate between them kept by the gatekeeper, the TRICUSPID VALVE. Valves are present in the blood vessel system. In the legs, they prevent blood flowing upwards from "falling" back. Between the throat and the stomach, the pyloric sphincter muscle prevents food in the stomach from returning to the mouth even if, immediately after a meal, we "stand" on the head. Similarly, the duodenal sphincter valve locks up the duodenal gateway to the intestines against food in the stomach until it has been digested well enough to make its way to the intestines for the next phase of diges-
and rebalance the cholesterol fractions of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, Low in Density Lipoprotein (LDL), the lad cholesterol and lipoprotein A. Cholesterol - lowering drugs block the manufacture of CoQ1o, which the heart requires to function properly. Many doctors have reported that when CoQ1o levels become subnormal heart disease sets in as will be shown next week. By prescribing diuretics to reduce water volume and, thereby reducing the workload of the overstressed heart, the kidneys are forced not to reabsorb important electrolytes, such as potassium and calcium and magnesium, while the blood levels of uric acid, sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides rise.
Food Supplements: The Nigerian market is awash with food supplements which address many, if not all, of the troubles of the heart. We cannot use or mention them all. Popular ones include: • Magnesium •Hawthorn • L-Arginine •Nitric Oxide •Potassium •CoQ1o •B-Complex vitamins •Grape Seed Extract •Vitamin E or Wheat germ oil •L-Carnitire •Lecithin •Kyolic aged garlic •Ginkgo biloba ? Flax Seed oil •Udo's oil •Amazon Heart Support •Amazon Blood Support •Calcium Petantonate •Biochemic Phosphate cell salts (Cal Phos.; ferrum Phos; Natrum Phos., Kali Phos. and Mag Phos.) •Dandelion.
T tion. Thus, when the atrium on the right side of the heart fills up with deoxygenated or spent blood and contracts to expel its content into the chamber below, that is the ventricle of the right side of the heart, the TRICUSPID valve, which keeps their common "Security" gate relaxes to let the blood out and down. When the ventricles on the right side of the heart fills up, the TRICUSPID gate keeping valve closes the passage again, to prevent back flow of blood to the upper chamber, the right atrium. Where this valve is weak and cannot do the job properly, blood may flow from the bottom chamber to the upper one, causing a glut or jam above when the lower chamber contracts to pump its contents to the lungs for oxygenation. This may result in insufficient blood reaching the lungs for oxygenation and, hence, reduced blood in circulation. One of the consequences is the starvation of the cells of nutrients, particularly oxygen, pain, slow evacuation of poisonous wastes, cellular illness and weakness. If all goes well, adequate supply of blood is pumped by the ventricle on the right side of the heart to the lungs for oxygenated through the pulmonary artery. Once the blood is oxygenated, it returns to the heart through the pulmonary vein which deposits it in the atrium on the left side of the heart. On this side, the MITRAL Valve "guards" the gate between the atrium and the ventricle. When the left atrium (upper chamber) contracts, the MITRAL valve relaxes to let the blood flow to the left ventricle below which, on filling up, pumps the oxygenated blood to all parts of the body through the AORTA. In the aorta, too, is a valve. The aortic valve located in the left ventricle, prevents back flow of blood into the left ventricle by closing the lumen once the ventricle has pumped blood into the aorta. The work of these valves is crucial to heart health. They are ever contracting and relaxing to regulate blood flow within the heart, within the chambers and within the blood vessels. Constant contraction and relaxation produces stress, for which the anti-stress Vitamin B Complex is indispensable. Contraction consumes Calcium, and relaxation Magnesium. Thus, there must always be a constant supply of these minerals in the diet. This cycle of the heart chambers also requires energy and fuel. The heart runs on fatty acids, not glucose, needs to keep its muscle fibres in top tone and repair wear and tear with ease and speed. Pumping machines get their power from electrical sources. The heart, too, runs on electrical signals, which rely on electrolytes, such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride bicarbonate and potassium. Its power generator is the MITOCHONDRIUM. Every cell of the body has mitochondria in which its energy is produced. The antioxidant Coenzyme Q1o (CoQ1o) has been linked to mitochondrial manufacturing by the cell. Thus, the more the CoQ1o the more the mitochondria in heart cells. It isn't surprising, therefore, that the largest deposit of CoQ1o in the body is in the heart tissue. Could this be why the lion, a powerful animal, goes first for the heart of its prey?
Signs of heart disease
HEN the heart is not doing its work well, certain signals are given by the body. These may include the following ... • Shortness of breadth • Fatigue • Fluid accumulation • Weight gain • Swelling of feet and artless •Pronounced vein •Loss of appetite • Indigestion •Nausea •Insomnia and difficulty in sleeping •Rapid pulse •Decreased urine production •Cough •Memory loss •Palpitation •Arrhythmias (murmuring of the heart) •Missed beats •Angina pectoris ( heart pain) There are far too many symptoms of heart disease than this column can mention. In Nigeria, we are familiar with ^• Enlarged heart •Palpitation •Angina pectoris •High cholesterol •High triglycerides •Hypertension •Low blood pressure and heart ailments like these. They are all related. The heart supplies blood to the cells through blood vessels which connect the tissues and organs, these cells constitute. Any disturbance to UNHINDERED blood flow along the way will, ultimately, affect the heart. Any disturbance to blood flow will make the heart work harder to beat the resistance to blood flow. These barriers to blood flow often include thick blood, thin blood, blood clot, cholesterol or homocysteire plaque (atheroma) blockage known as atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries or ateroscleroseis, caused usually by calcium deposits on soft muscles of the blood vessels, and hardening of the liver as in hepatitis, congestion of the kidneys, spleen, pancreas and the lymphatic system. They make the heart not only to overwork itself, but to also enlarge in the process, to seek more pumping power. An example I often give is of toy balloon. When children oveblow it, the balloon wall becomes thin and it bursts beyond its elastic limit. The heart does not pump well, or it may not pump at all if the blood volume in its chambers falls below a certain volume. And that is one reason why enlargement of the heart is dangerous. Therefore, it is important to nutritionally support the heart to remain a muscular organ. Angina pectoris is pain of oxygen deficiency in the heart felt on the chest and sometimes radiated to the Shoulder blade of the left arm and from there to the whole arm. The pain is saying the arteries which supply blood to the heart are partially blocked and the heart is not getting enough blood and oxygen. Deprived of a prolonged period of time, heart cells become feeble and may die (myocardial infarction), with affected muscle fibres probably lost for good. When it comes to hypertension, the focus, often, is elevated blood Cholesterol levels. So, the doctors does everything possible with drugs to crash the cholesterol status to normal
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RADITIONALLY used in Europe for organic and functional heart disorders, including high blood pressure, angina and con gestive heart failure, the leaves, blossoms and berriers have been found to have high concentrations of biologically, active flavonoid compounds, especially antocyanidins and proantocyanidins, which exert the herb's healing activities. These flawnoids increase intracellular Vitamin C levels, which is good for the heart, stabilise collagen, reduce angina attacks by dilating coronary arteries and, thereby improving blood supply to the heart. Hawthorn chemicals improve metabolic processes in the heart, and this, in turn improves the mechanical pumping power of heart muscles. According to Michael Murray N.D., in THE HEALING POWER OF HERBS: "Its action in lowering blood pressure is unique, in that it does so through a number of diverse pharmacological effects. Specifically, it dilates the coronary vessels, inhibits angiotensin- converting enzyme, increases the functional capacity of the heart and possesses mild diuretic activity. Hawthorns effects generally require prolonged administration, and in many instances it may require up to two weeks before adequate tissue concentration is achieved."
Magnesium Dr. Robert Atkins describes Magnesium as "scientifically established" to be "the heart's most important mineral." He thought heart problems were rampant because many people were magnesium deficient and cardiologists (heart doctors) were not prescribing it. Magnesium helps muscles relax, that is ... to rest, after calcium has put them to work by contracting them. That's why it often stops heart palpitations, especially when prescribed with potassium, and supports restful sleep in insomnia, by relaxing the nerves. Eulogising magnesium for its therapeutic effects in acute heart attacks, blood sugar disorders, high blood pressure, pregnancy complications, mitral valve prolapse, migraines, fibromyalgia (nerve, muscle and bone pain),brain function, premenstrual tension and period pains, cancer and other health discomfitures, Dr. Atkins hints that mitral valve prolapse is linked to low blood sugar. In mitral valve prolapse, he says, the heart is weakened and there is increased urinary excretion of magnesium. It would be reasonable, in his opinion, to increase magnesium intake to counteract this loss. Where the blood is acidic from acid- forming, diet, especially dense carbohydrate staple diet, meat, cooked and overcooked food, the muscles, including the heart, a muscle donate their magnesium and potassium stocks to alkalinise the blood, further elevating magnesium deficiency. Dr Atkins says: “As a cardiologist, I see more people for heartrelated ailments than for any other problem. About 98 per cent I'd guess, need magnesium, and all of them benefit from it. Yet , only a handful of them were ever instructed by their previous doctors to take it. The following summary about what's possible with regular supplement use reads more like a wish list for any person with heart disorders. • Irregular heart rhythms become more stable • High blood pressures improve • The body keeps better balance of potassium, another important cardiovascular mineral • The heart pumps a larger volume of blood with no extra oxygen demand • Constricted blood vessels relax, allowing blood to flow more freely. The chest pains of angina pectoris strike less frequently • By not allowing platelets to clump together, the blood becomes less likely to form artery-blocking clots. • HDL cholesterol rises and LDL Cholesterol falls." I had no doubt that I was magnesium deficient a few months ago when, bending down below my writing desk to pick a pen which had fallen under, I had a massive grip of muscles across the abdomen. My first aid friend was MARIA TREBEN'S Sweedish Bitters. I massaged it across the abdomen, and it calmed the gnawy muscles. I was wise the next day to start a course of magnesium supplement. I believe Dr. Atkins is right about magnesium helping low blood sugar. For many months, my Random Blood Sugar (RBS) was below 70, and my blood pressure crushed from 110/70 to about 90/60, sometimes threatening to go under. I hadn't realise I had been under stress for over 20 years, sleeping not early than 2am, and rising early and that the adrenals may have become overfatigued. Adrenal fatigue affects the thyroid gland and the pituitary gland (the Heater in Acupuncture), in turn, affects the heart, to set off a chain of other reactions. With the help of biochemic cell salts, plant sterols and sterolins, magnesium and other supplements, including Amazon Adrenal Support, my RBS hit 116, up from 70 about two weeks ago. It was again possible to take blood samples from my wrists or forearms without the vein difficult to find and quivering when "tapped". Even my blood pressure, for the first time in about 30 years, is now 120/ 80. As I celebrate my 62nd birthday quietly today, I remember my mother's passing on August 5, 1959, my father's on August 26 1998, my uncles on August 18, this year, and couldn't help marvelling at what a memorable month August is for me. I take with these memories the lessons from Dr. Pottenger's cats of a need to feed my body with more raw diet and food supplements. What, Mr Dotun Akintoye, do I do with two bottles of Star Lager beer just given to me by our mutual friends, Mr Dele Danladi Agbeyo and Mr Hyacenth Uzo Adianeze? As I decide what to do with them, I won't forget that we cannot be done yet with this matter of the heart and its health. Dele Babatunde, is that ok? So, ladies and gentlemen, the series continue, next week.
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THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
e-Business THE NATION
ICT is a growth driver given its effects on the economy. But the software development aspect that can generate billions of dollars has not been given the desired attention by the government, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE
Exploring the potential of software sector I
NFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the most critical aspects of the sectors of any economy, as evident by changes that are taking place in communications, trades, manufacturing, financial services, maritime, education, culture, entertainment, national defense, national security, among other areas of human endeavours. Consequently, ICT has put the world on a new pedestal of growth as governments and international bodies now see it as a means to an end. Besides, it generates and contributes substantially huge revenues to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries. However, one area that holds huge prospect is software development. Little wonder that governments in developed and developing economies are spending lots of money on software development. Prior to this period, countries measured growth based on the amount of natural resources at their disposal. But the global economic recession occasioned by the downturn in the revenue accruing from crude oil among other natural resources made many countries to source for alternative ways of generating revenues. This made them to embrace ICT, which in the estimation of people across the world, is ruling the world. In the past few years, the usage of ICT devices has been growing in Nigeria. For instance, communication, infrastructure, governance among other activities have benefitted immensely from ICT. And to further derive benefits from ICT by way of generating revenue for the government and the industry, stakeholders are advocating the development of software. According to them, software is not only a relatively low-investment and environmentally friendly technology, but has become the most critical and expensive element of the government and business systems that every nation must build for itself. They said the global demand for software is increasing, adding that it has now become one of the major exporting products for some countries. Their assertion was reinforced by the World Bank’s report that said software and IT plays a vital role in the US economy. The report said US software drives about 114 of all increase in GDP during the 90s (about $90 billion per year) and 166 of all productivity growth efficiency with GDP. The report stated: “ In the last five years, software development drove about $1.5 trillion of economic growth. The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world. Software and the use of IT have been designed to raise awareness among citizens, economists and policy makers. This to a large extent has shown the relevance of software and IT to the US economy. Also, software is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy of India and this has enhanced the country’s economy in providing high quality employment, earn significant revenues from the sales and exports of software. Today, India’s software export earnings are over $20 billion a year” The report added: “In Africa, South Africa’s IT market is the largest in the continent. South Africa is related to be 20th in the world in overall market size, and eight in IT spending as a proportion of GDP. Ghana has also growing IT markets. Report said the that the government
•NCC’s boss Juwah
has developed its national IT policy, as well as vigorously pursuing its implementation. This aside creating frameworks to ensure the harmonisation of computers hardware and software standards.” Speaking during a stakeholders forum in Lagos recently, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said software development is a veritable way of accelerating economic growth. Johnson frowned at the over $100 million spent yearly by Nigeria on the importation of foreign software acquisition in the country, describing it as a disincentive to Nigeria’s quest of becoming an economic bloc by year 2020. She said economies that pride themselves as major economic bloc globally today, do more of production than consuming. The minister stressed the need for the country to develop a vibrant software industry, which will help in the reduction of heavy import bills and create jobs, especially for the youth, which constitutes larger percentage of the population. She said developing skills and empowering young Nigerians to be software entrepreneurs is an important part of building a vibrant, commercially successful and socially useful software industry for any economic growth. Mrs Johnson said: Developing Nigeria’s Next Generation of ICT Entrepreneurs, is strongly aligned with one of the priority areas of the ministry, which is to develop a strong and vibrant local software industry. “There is reliable information from the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) that Nigerian spends hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing software from foreign firms”, she stated. According to her, the ministry is not
happy about this development and is working seriously to reduce the incidence of software importation into the country. The minister said with the right training and capacity building, youths in Nigeria will not only be able to develop the necessary skills that will enable them innovate and create software applications to be reckoned with. She added that the development would spur the growth of IT businesses in the country. “The youth of Nigeria are dynamic, hardworking, entrepreneurial in nature and hungry for technology. If given the chance and the enabling environment to develop their inherent skills, they will not only thrive but will make Nigerians and Africans proud. We have seen the result of what exposure to ICT can do with the remarkable achievement of some of our youths who have excelled in several local and international software competitions”, she stated. According to her, to boost software development in Nigeria, the ministry will before the end of 2012, develop four ICT incubation centres, which would help in grooming youths who are vast in technology, apps and software development. She said the ministry, through the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cross Rivers State government to leverage the infrastructure of the Tinapa Business and Leisure resort in Calabar to build a knowledge city/IT park. Challenging youths to brace up for the task ahead, the former Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc Mr Jim Ovia stressed the need for youths to adapt to changes and embrace ICT acquisition for entrepreneurial development.
‘US software drives about 114 of all increase in GDP during the 1990s (about $90 billion per year) and 166 of all productivity growth efficiency with GDP’
Ovia, who said the training was in partnership with leading ICT firms including Google; IBM; Visafone among others, stressed that youths should learn from the likes of founder of Microsoft Bill gates, the late Apple computer founder, Steve Jobs; founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg among others, noted that youths must prepare themselves for the challenges of the future. According to him, Nigeria’s quest of having a knowledge economy relies solely on creating the right atmosphere for indigenous entrepreneurship to thrive. “Youths should be supported and the right environment should be created in Nigeria for development of skills for entrepreneurial growth”, he stated. Ovia urged Nigeria to take a cue from India, which according to him, some years back was at par with the country, but today, they have become one of the fastest growing economies of the world and they were able to do this via the power of ICT. “They developed their software industry and that has enabled them to a leading economy in the world.” In his remark, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah said he believes in youth emancipation, stressing that the time has come for Nigerian youths to embrace the global landscape, by coming up with ideas and innovations that will reduce the challenges of the world and give their lives meaning. Speaking on the importance of software development, the president, ISPON, Dr. Chris Uwaje said the importance of software to the economy, when he likened software technology as the cement that holds the world together and that no nation will succeed without earning and mastering its development, application and service dynamics. According to him, there was need to build software skill capacities and provide a sustainable interface between education and the industry, stressing that, this development would help to create more jobs and engage more youths in the country. Speaking on the importance of software development, the president, ISPON, Dr. Chris Uwaje explained the importance of software to the economy, when he likened software technology as the cement that holds the world together and that no nation will succeed without earning and mastering its development, application and service dynamics. According to him, there was need to build software skill capacities and provide a sustainable interface between education and the industry, stressing that, this development would help to create more jobs and engage more youths in the country. It will be recalled that, at the ISPON software development competition held in Calabar in November 2011, former Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke had stressed the importance of giving software development the support it desired in the country. He said with the right environment, good policies in place, Nigeria can generate about N300 billion yearly. Though Nigeria is making efforts to develop its ICT sector, it however, remain to be seen whether it would be able to generate huge revenue from the development and sales of software.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
e-Business Matters e-Rising
Segun Oruame firstname.lastname@example.org
E live in interesting times. The Chinese prayer that we may live in interesting times is deeply woven into the fabric of our digital age. We are interestingly becoming merely a click away from everything we can conceive mentally and desire physically. It takes only devices, applications and broadband connectivity to make things happen whether in government or in the private sector. You need a new car? Any of the online trade portals will serve your needs for the choice of car that fits your budget. You need to pay for utility? Just a click at any of online payment terminals, you are done and ready to use the service. Or is it a new date for the weekend? There are thousands of dating sites that would meet your needs in accordance with how you can stretch your imagination and your sense of adventure. We live in interesting times. You need to take a flight? You will even pay less if you book online, pay online and check-in online. Everyone and everything is changing. We live by the dictate of a converged world. We live in a webbed environment where distances have merged and influences transcend time and space. Millions are recruited everyday to join a cause for good or bad via Internet windows where propaganda run side by side with deep truths to claim victims
or predators depending on which side of the divide you fall. Online broadcast windows, Youtube and several other portals are redefining who can reach the world and how you can reach the world. It takes just a click to upload images and motion pictures to a global audience in excess of 100 million people. It is becoming increasingly absurd not to be connected to the online community in a day. Governments in more advanced economies will simply crash should the Internet go to sleep for a split second. Man has become the object not the subject of a global information highway it created. Today, we are defined by how much of access we have to Internet and whether it is broadband. We live in truly interesting times. Nations are making it mandatory for citizens to be connected. In Finland, it is part of human rights to have broadband access. In the digital age, you are no longer at ease if you are not web-enabled and not digitally empowered to access the Internet at a go. Everything has converged in digits. The TV set is not just a screen to watch government speak down to us. We have a screen with which we can edit the government’s statement and image and make an idiot of our governments to our own audience. We can decide via a single click to mobilize millions of citizens to speak to power. We can decide to visit any
of the terrorist cells online; take instructions on bomb making and follow the guide to mass terror; and then hold governments and citizens hostage in compliance to an online fundamentalist or cult leader living somewhere and anywhere. And governments? They have the choice to engage us as citizens via numerous social media or have an ‘uninteresting’ stay in power that must tilt to the dictate of a converged world. The Internet has changed our social and business engagements. New ethics have evolved to challenge the old order and we are forced to respond to the altering complexities of a world that brings everything down to digits. Governments are as confused as they are desperate to checkmate very ‘interesting changes’ threatening, everyday, to weaken the dialectics of power once considered the absolute prerogative of those wielding it. Now, power is altering in form and context to become a dismembered entity in the hands of ordinary citizens connected by the web to question the legitimacy of those at the centre of government and the validity of their actions. Increasingly, the influence of the social media is being felt in the corridors of power. Government is contending with the raging debate of how to engage the social media. Security and intelligence agencies are battling with just how to checkmate the tendency of the social media to spread rumours, inciting and often false stories. These are interesting times for everyone.
Through Bluetooth, private contents of individuals and high grade security items are spread around with capacity to inform, mis-inform, or unleash massive unwholesome reactions from the citizens. Ask the Chinese government. It is a nightmare to see the Internet unleash its powers through less than 20% of the over a billion population that make up the Chinese people and who have taken the spirit of Tiananmen square online to demand for a more participatory and open government. You want to gauge the fright in Saudi Arabia among the princes? What is the future of the monarchy in an Internet age where the only leveler is to be digitally enabled? You don’t need blue blood or a monarchical claim to have power and wealth. You need digits, just broadband access and just a click, to have power and wealth. If you still doubt where the power of tomorrow lies today, ponder on those influencing this age in the older powers and the emerging economies: They are those that have engaged themselves in the businesses of making the world to connect via clicks. Late Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, and here at home, Austin Okere, Leo Stan Ekeh, Funke Opeke and so many others. Active participants in the new world order, they are thickening the effect of the ‘click wave.’ These are truly interesting times.
CMDA operators keep mum over $200m merger plans
Minister advocates decongestion of Computer Village
the Lagos State government works with the association for possible expansion. The market is huge, but needs an environment that is quite appealing for people to transact business. That is not the Federal Government’s responsibility, but that of the Lagos State government to ensure adequate expansion of the market.” Similarly, the Managing Director, Slot Nigeria Limited, Mr Nnamdi Ezeigbo said the market would attract more buyers if it sanitised. Ezeigbo urged the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to clampdown on importers of fake IT products within the market. Ezeigbo said the market has become the IT hub in West Africa and, therefore, needs to be made decent and attractive. He said social miscreants are constituting nuisance within the market, and therefore need to be removed completely. Said Ezeigbo: “We are happy about what Lagos is doing. Before now, the market was full of miscreants and street traders causing traffic in the area. But now Lagos has waded into the matter. What we want govern-
ment to do is to use agencies, such as Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to sanitise the market. Overhauling of the market is what is needed to grow the market to enviable heights.” Ezeigbo described the minister’s visit to the market as recognition of the roles the market is playing in making Nigerians accessed ICT devices at affordable prices. He said the company has a three-year road map, stressing that setting up an assembly plant for mobile phone devices is part of the plans. “We have put a roadmap in place. One of the plans is to set up an assembly plant, among other things. Currently, we are working with major phone manufacturers abroad through which we are bringing mobile phone devices into the country as finished products. But we are looking at a situation where by we can have an assembly plant in Nigeria and so that we only bring the phone parts as Completely Knocked Down, CKD. With that, you can imagine the level of employment and local content input we would be creating,” he added.
Telecom firms generate $150b from text messages
the innovative products of the company in recent times. Giving insights into Easyadv, the Head, Devise and Digital Application, Etisalt, Mr Layi Onafowokan, said the Easyadv services are permission based. He said the product would facilitate interaction between the brands and the customers. He noted that 1million people subscribed to the product when its pilot studies was conducted last year. He said through Easyadv, companies can target their customers to foster growth of their businesses.
TRONG indications emerged that Nigeria’s Code Division Multiple Access (CMDA) operators are keeping their $200 million planned merger plans to their chest, pending the time they sort out the terms of agreement binding the deal. The companies are Multi-links, Starcomms and MTS. Otherwise known as private telephony companies, the firms reluctant to speak or comment on the deal due to directives from their boards that are jealousy guiding against anything that would undermine the transactions. According to an official of Starcomms, (name withheld) who spoke to The Nation, the issue of commenting on the proposed transactions has been put on hold. “For now, we have been authorised not to speak on the issue of proposed $200 million merger arrangements. The management does not want the issue to be discussed publicly now. At the right time, the public would be informed about the
BOUT $150 billion is generated from text messages annually by telecom companies across the world, the Chief Executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Mr Steven Evans has said. Speaking during the launch of Easyadv in Lagos, Evans said the money was generated from 4.2 billion out of 6billion mobile phone users globally. Citing a World Bank’s report, Evans said that mobile phone access has reached three quarters of the world’s population while the
Stories by Ajibade Akinola
final agreement reached on the issue. Whatever agreement we reached would be communicated to the public as time goes on,” the sources said. Also, all efforts to speak to speak Multi-links proved abortive as the company was not ready to talk on the issue until the deal sails through. It was reported that CDMA operators are in the process of conducting concluding merger arrangements that would produce a new network operator to be known as CAPCOM. It was revealed that about $200 million would be injected by core investors into the new firm. Investors in the new CAPCOM include MBC – 53 per cent, Middle East Capital Group – 25 per cent, Helios Investment Partners – 11 per cent. Others include Oldonyo Laro Estate – five per cent, Bridgehouse Capital Limited – three per cent, Asset Management Company of Nigeria – two per cent and private equity investors – one per cent.
total mobile subscription stands at over 6billion-a six-fold increase from year 2000 when its stood at over 1billion. He said: “Over the last few years, telecom industry has recorded six billion mobile phone users, while over 100 million users have been recorded in Nigeria. The over 100 million users is fantastic for the industry. Nigeria is now about the 10th in the world table of mobile subscribers.
INISTER of Communications Mrs Omobola Johnson has called for the decongestion of the Computer Village, Ikeja to make the market more appealing to users of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devices in Nigeria and beyond. Johnson, who spoke during a tour of the market recently, said the development is going to bring long-term benefits to the industry. She said: “The market is highly congested, and it is important that
We are regarding mobile phone as the single most used devices globally.” He added: “7.8 trillion text messages were sent in 2011 and SMS traffic is expected to reach 9.6trillion in 2012. By 2013, the SMS revenue is forecast to break the $150 billion mark for the first time, and it will continue to grow for the next two years”. Evans said the decision of the company to introduce Eazyadv
product was borne out of the needs to align itself with innovation that is sweeping across the global telecom industry. According to him, the industry is going to witness more sophisticated advertising through the mobile phones which people are carrying around. He said the company would increase its subscribers’ base from 13 million to 14million by the end of August this year. He attributed the feat to
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Microfinance banks’ NPLs in Lagos hit N15b
ON-performing loans (NPLs) in Microfinance Banks (MfBs) operating in Lagos have increased from N10 billion to N15 billion in the past one year, The Nation has learnt. The Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMBs) South West, Olufemi Babajide disclosed this during a capacity building workshop for operators in Lagos. Babajide said majority of the customers are not willing to repay their debts, forcing
By Akinola Ajibade
the lenders to operate with the little funds at their disposal. He said: “We are operating with the funds we got from our depositors and investors respectively. Out coverage area is 20 per cent of our target. The fund is limited. “ He said NAMB is planning to approach the state governments in the South West to see if they can buy the bad debts, and subsequently pay back based on agreement over a period of time.
N54billion microfinance bank development fund introduced by the CBN, arguing that the banks are ripe for the release of the funds. Also, the managing director, ASAI Microfinance Bank, Mr Aminul Haque Bhuya said the banks can only grow if they adopt a simple model operation such as those in Bangladesh. ASAI is reputed to be one of the leading MFBs in Bangladesh. He said the banks are not too extravagant in Bangladesh, stressing that the issue resulted in good perfor-
He said the banks are still battling with problems, in spite of the fact that they are private-driven. He listed the problems to include poor funding, huge debts, cost of operations, lack of ignorance about the workings of MFBs, among others. He urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set up an outfit to refinance the bad debts of the banks, arguing that the banks can only survive when they get out of debts zone. He refused to speak on the
RenCap to Skye Bank: Present ‘clear strategy’
ENAISSANCE Capital (RenCap), an investment and research firm, has advised Skye Bank Plc to communicate a clear strategy on its operations to investors. In an e-mailed report obtained by The Nation, RenCap said: “Skye has, in our view, also struggled to communicate a clear strategy to investors since the exit of its Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Kunle Adedigba early this year.” The investment firm, however, said its rating of the lender remains buy, and a target price pegged at N4.3, implying 53 per cent potential upside until the bank complies with its advice. It noted that Skye Bank’s shares have trended downwards since the lender released its first half 2012 results, shedding 15 per cent, with a 31 per cent decline in its share price. Noting that Nigeria is a ris-
ing-rate and tight monetary policy environment, it said that Skye Bank is the least liquid bank in its universe, reporting a liquidity ratio of 32 per cent before the recent Monetary Policy Committee tightening. The regulatory minimum is 30 per cent. Besides, RenCap said the bank has a 41 per cent mix of term deposits, a figure, which is higher than its peers. It also said the lender is a heavy taker of funds from the interbank market, where overnight or call rates recently reached a three-year high of 33 per cent. On the back of these funding issues, the bank’s move up the risk ladder is coming at the expense of Net Interest Margins (NIMs) which have come off 100 basis points Year to Date, to 5.2 per cent. RenCap said the bank has the capacity to fix these lapses but
the near-term outlook remains challenging. “Can they be fixed? We believe so, but the near-term outlook is challenging, in our view. Competition is much tougher today, and the rate environment is not supportive of Skye Bank’s lending strategy,” it said. However, it added that the key to long-term sustainable Return on Equity (RoE) improvements for the bank lies in improving its asset and liability management. “We
think management needs to revisit its strategic positioning to safeguard NIMs and improve its liquidity. “We also think management needs to communicate a clear strategy to investors on where the bank is headed, and more importantly how it will achieve this,” it said in the report. RenCap nonetheless, noted that times are tough, but going forward, it remains positive on Skye Bank.
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
Reuters News, does give FirstRand a much-needed presence in the west of Africa, where rival Standard Bank has been on an aggressive expansion spree. “Africa is a growth market and therefore it is very compelling for FirstRand to be on the lookout for attractive acquisitions there,” said Adrian Cloete, an analyst at Cadiz Asset Manage-
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 22-8-12 SYMBOL
CAP INTBREW UPL AIRSERVICE NEIMETH REDSTAREX NASCON DNYMEYER IBTC CADBURY
25.32 7.28 4.10 1.64 0.83 2.65 4.67 0.58 6.40 16.74
26.58 7.64 4.30 1.72 0.87 2.76 4.85 0.60 6.60 17.19
O/PRICE 1.20 0.60 14.09 8.26 1.22 1.04 1.67 1.26 3.17 4.30
C/PRICE 1.14 0.57 13.39 7.85 1.16 0.99 1.59 1.20 3.02 4.10
that deal. “What’s left here is essentially the old Citicorp. That’s a tried and proven strategy. Why did it work? Because it was strategy based upon operating the business and serving clients and not a strategy based on deal making,” he said. Weill, whose transformative Citi purchases helped end the Glass-Stealgall separation of retail and investment banks in the United States, urged a break-up of big banks last month.
try to win independence from a colonial power, has been attracting more investment thanks to its stable political environment and newly discovered oil. FirstRand said in a statement it would pay 746.2 million rand ($91 million) for the stake, with 592.2 million of that used to acquire existing shares.
CHANGE 0.06 0.03 0.70 0.41 0.06 0.05 0.08 0.06 0.15 0.20
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
1.26 0.36 0.20 0.08 0.04 0.11 0.18 0.02 0.20 0.45
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12
LOSERS AS AT 22-8-12
SYMBOL EVANSMED JAPAULOIL ARBICO NIGROPES IKEJAHOTEL STERLNBANK MAYBAKER AGLEVENT PHARMDEKO CCNN
ment in Cape Town. “The offer for 75 percent (of) Merchant Bank Ghana is therefore exactly in line with FirstRand’s incremental growth strategy.” Merchant Bank Ghana is a medium-sized retail and commercial lender with 22 branches, FirstRand said. Ghana, the first African coun-
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
ITIGROUP’S chief executive has knocked back the idea of splitting up big banks after calls from industry figures including his predecessor Sandy Weill. According to Financial Times report, Vikram Pandit said Citi, formed in Weill’s time with mergers including the acquisition of Travelers in 1998, had already gone back to the basics of banking and, aside from some global markets businesses, sold most of the units from
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
OBB Rate Call Rate
Citi chief rejects call to split bank
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido
FirstRand enters West Africa with N14.6b deal
OUTH Africa’s FirstRand said yesterday it would pay $91 million (N14.6billion) for a 75 per cent stake in Merchant Bank Ghana, giving it a foothold in the oilrich, gold-producing west African country. Although a small acquisition for South Africa’s second-largest bank, the deal according to
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
mance. He said monitoring and evaluation of loans is easy in Bangladesh because of the strict and simplified mode of operations the banks have adopted. To bring sanity to the sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently set new guidelines for the operation of MfBs. Under the new guidelines, MfBs would now operate under three categories, which include unit, state and national microfinance banks.
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 123.74 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 107.75 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.76 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.10 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.93 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,731.32 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 9.75 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 8,064.73 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 123.59 107.53 0.74 1.10 0.91 1,729.01 9.28 1.33 1.80 7,849.31 191.08 1.62
OPEN BUY BACK
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Current 07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 , 2012
NEWS Lectures resume in RSUST
EN days after the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt, lectures have resumed in the university. The lecturers went on strike on August 12 to protest what they termed the “imposition of the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Barinem Fakae, for a second term” by the Visitor, Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The university spokesman, Desmond Wosu, confirmed
From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt
that some lecturers and students resumed yesterday and hoped that the rest would comply with the directive issued by the Registrar, Mrs Daba Odimabo. The university called on the public to disregard a text message being circulated to discredit the institution. Mrs. Odimabo said all RSUST courses have been accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Ex-council chair sues Dickson From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
A •From left: Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu; Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ms Olajumoke Akinjide; Minister of Power Prof. Bath Nnaji; Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and Director-General, Bureau for Public Procurement Emeka Ezeh, at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday
INEC writes Oshiomhole, National Council of State T
HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole to expose any corrupt official implicated in the July 14 election. The commission said although the nation’s electoral system is not yet perfect, electoral officers are entitled to their integrity, until proven otherwise. INEC, in a statement by its Secretary, Abdullahi Kaugama, faulted the governor’s attacks on its Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega and a National Commissioner, Dr. Ishmael Igbani. In an August 8 letter, which was also sent to the National Council of State, the electoral body asked the governor to avoid “careless” remarks in future. “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken notice, with strong exception, of your remarks about the
•Asks governor to expose corrupt official From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
persons of the Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega and National Commissioner Ishmael Igbani during the July 14 governorship election and in some of your media outing shortly after. “The Commission has noted that, on national television, you described the INEC Chairman as a “national embarrassment” because in your view, “he cannot preside over elections in a single state.” “You further accused him of “disenfranchising the Edo people,” for which you threatened to hold him responsible. “Also, on national television, you characterised the National Commissioner, who is one of the commission’s principal of-
ficials assigned to supervise the election as “hopelessly corrupt.” “You asserted that ‘he has been involved in many elections that have been rigged in many states, including Edo State’. “It is instructive that you did not provide any proof to justify these publicly disparaging assertions. “While INEC recognises the tension and anxiety that could be generated by momentary hitches in Election Day processes, the commission believes that these did not confer the licence to savagely attack the integrity of other persons without any proof. “If, however, there is any concrete evidence of corrupt acts by any official of INEC, no matter how highly placed, you will do well to
come forward with such evidence rather than make speculative but highly damaging allegations. “The commission wishes to state that most INEC officials are honest Nigerians doing their jobs to the best of their ability. “They are not perfect neither is the system yet. But they are entitled to their integrity, unless there is proof by which they could be openly denied same like you took the liberty to do during the Edo State governorship election. “Considering the esteemed nature of the high office you hold, it will not be asking too much that, in the future, you should be statesmanly and avoid careless and disparaging remarks unbecoming of that office. “Please take notice that this is without prejudice to any legal action the defamed persons may wish to take.”
No third phase for ex-militants, Fed Govt insists
HE Federal Government has dared purported ex- Niger Delta militants claiming to belong to the third phase of the Amnesty programme to officially present themselves to the Amnesty Office. The Federal Government yesterday disowned a group of youths claiming to be from the Niger Delta, who were demanding for inclusion in the programme. The youths protested in Abuja. In a statement by its Head, Media and Communications, Daniel Alabrah,
From Dele Anofi, Abuja the Amensty Office said it considered the issue a security matter that should be dealt with by security agencies. It reads: “The Amnesty Office understands that this is part of an ongoing agitation for inclusion in a purported Third Phase of the programme, which has now been hijacked by impostors claiming to be exmilitants. “For the umpteenth time and for the avoidance of doubt, the Amnesty Office wishes to state that its
records show that only 26,358 amnesty beneficiaries have been demobilised and documented in Phase One and Phase Two of the programme. “We, therefore, consider as impostors those claiming to belong to a Third Phase of the amnesty programme and have recently staged protests in Benin City, Edo State; Warri in Delta State and yesterday in Abuja. “We challenge those claiming to be Third Phase beneficiaries to come forward to state their camps or who their leaders are. “It is important to reiter-
ate that the Amnesty Office does not yet run a Third Phase of the programme, as neither the office nor its Chairman/Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, has received such a directive from the President, who has the sole authority to make such declaration. “The Amnesty Office considers such protests as a security matter and commends the security agencies for their prompt response in ensuring the restoration of peace, law and order either in Abuja or in the Niger Delta.”
‘Obasanjo’s scheming for 2015 uncalled for’
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State has decried the scheming by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to pair Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Governor Rotimi Amaechi as President and Vice-President in 2015. The party’s Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, said the ex-President’s scheme
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
was an invasion of the privacy of the people, urging him to put a stop to creating disaffection among the people. Obasanjo has denied promoting anybody for 2015, saying he is concerned with the insecurity in the land. ACN said: “What would
have convinced ex-President Obasanjo of the capability and credibility of Amaechi, whose governorship ambition in 2007 he described as having ‘K-leg’? “It is not for the former President to decide who occupies any political office. “He should rather engage himself with the more complicated political problems in his Ogun State.
“The actions and utterances of people like exPresident Obasanjo in the PDP, in and out of office, show that the problem of the party is genetic and he, therefore, lacks the moral authority to make any proposal for Nigeria.” The party said the former President must be reminded that the alleged atrocities and corrupt prac-
FORMER local government chairman in Bayelsa State has sued Governor Seriake Dickson for his removal. Tiwei Orunimighe and four others were removed last month after the House of Assembly investigation into the councils. He is asking the court to declare his removal illegal and unconstitutional and a violation of Section 24(6) of the Local Government Law of the state as amended. Orunimighe also prayed the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the Commissioner of Police from arresting and detaining him over alleged charges whipped up by the Assembly.
Fire guts house in Delta
ROPERTY worth thousands of Naira was yesterday destroyed by fire in Asaba, the Delta State Capital Five apartments in the building on Nnebisi Road were affected by the inferno. The fire was prevented from spreading to other apartments by men of the State Fire Service. Bystanders praised the efforts of the firefighters, who responded promptly to the distress call. An expectant mother, Mrs. Ofasua, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital
From Okungbowa Aiwerie,Asaba
where she was revived. The Nation gathered that the fire may have resulted from sparks that followed the restoration of electricity by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). No life was lost in the incident but electronics, mattresses, foodstuff, furniture, kitchen utensils, books and other household items were destroyed. Mrs. Ofasua’s husband, Emmanuel, said his wife was taken to the hospital due to the shock she suffered during the inferno.
Group warns Fed Govt From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
GROUP, the Niger Delta Youth Movement, has threatened the Federal Government over its refusal to appeal the 2002 judgment that ceded Bakassi to Cameroon. The group issued the threat during a meeting with the lawmaker representing the Cross River Southern Senatorial District, Bassey Otu, member representing Akpabuyo/ Bakassi/Calabar South in the House of Representatives, Essien Ayi, and other stakeholders. A member of the group, Emmanuel Edem, said: “Bakassi belongs to Cross River State and belongs to Nigeria. “I want to send a message to the Federal Government that it should go and appeal that judgment. If it does not, let us remember that some people stayed in that creeks and fought for this cause. “The Federal Government will soon be dragged into a war they do not want to enter. Let it go and appeal that judgment.”
Website, book for Amaechi
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has praised his Chief Press Secretary, David Iyofor, for setting up a website for the governor and editing a book of press clips of his activities, projects and initiatives. Amaechi spoke at the unveiling of the website and the volume one of “Governor Amaechi’s Giant Strides in Rivers State And Beyond: The Press Testify”, at the Government House, yesterday. Represented by the senator representing Rivers Southeast, Magnus Abe, the governor said: “I want to publicly praise David Iyofor for the work that he has been able to do. “So what you (Iyofor) have done again is another important process in that difficult assignment of trying to let the world see the
governor as he really is, see the impact of his work and his contributions.” Speaking in his personal capacity, Abe said the governor has had achievements that are fit to be publicised although he is modest about them. “Let me also thank Iyofor for the website which would also add to the vast amount of information to the public about what the government has done,” he said. Iyofor said: “We are here today to unveil two new initiatives from the Press Unit of the Government House. “The first is the governor’s website to be owned by any Rivers governor and the volume one of the book which is a collection of press reports on Governor Rotimi Amaechi from May 29 when he assumed office for a second term to December 31, last year.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
•From Left: Commander, 42 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Olusegun Adeleke; Commander, 52 Signal Regiment, Brig.-Gen. Okon Ekanem; General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division, Maj.Gen. Mohammed Abubakar and Corp Commandant, Signal, Maj.Gen. Daniel Kitchener at the inauguration of the 525 Signal Regiment of the Nigeria Army Headquarters at Mokola, Ibadan...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Imo council chairmen: Court orders stay of action From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
HE Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and the 27 sacked local government chairmen to stay action, pending its resolution on the cause of action. Justice Gladys Olotu issued the order while granting leave to apply for a judicial review of the governor’s action. She said the leave granted will “operate as a stay, in the interim, of all actions and proceedings in the dispute, pending the hearing and determination of the suit”.
Fed Govt, labour adjourn negotiation From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
45 security companies get licensces From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
THE Commandant-General (CG), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ade Abolurin, yesterday threatened to withdraw the operational licences of some private security guard companies. He said the companies engaged in “acts inimical to the nation’s security”. Abolurin, who declined listing the affected companies, spoke in Abuja when the corps issued operational licences to 45 new operators of Private Security Guard Companies. He said: “The issuance of the new licenses took a longer period to realise because we had to critically reassess the credibility of new applicants, with a view to picking the best out of the barrage of requests that the NSCDC had to contend with. “We took time before giving you this certificates, not because we wanted to punish you, but because there were some circumstances we needed to overcome. We had to stipulate more stringent conditions and increase the license fee.” Abolurin urged them to report any of their colleagues who delve into unethical practices. He said the NSCDC will not be drawn into castigating sister-agencies and charged the operators to seek clarifications and permissions from such security agencies on certain areas that are necessary. Abolurin said: “Do not use the licenses to train thugs or bodyguards for politicians, els, we will withdraw such licenses. Money is not everything. When we come for monitoring, we do not expect gratification from you. If you have paid anything to anyone here, aside the license fee, then that is wrong and you have to let me know immediately.”
Protesters storm Imo Assembly
VER 1,000 protesters yesterday stormed the Imo State House of Assembly demanding the immediate swearing in of the winner of the Oguta Constituency by-election, Chief Eugene Dibiagwu. The Nation gathered that Dibiagwu’s swearing-in was slated for yesterday, but was postponed by the House
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
leadership, following reports of a possible breakdown of law and order in the state. The Special Assistant to the Speaker Benjamine Uwajumogu, Mr. Samuelson Iwuoha, said the protesters were armed. Iwuoha alleged that the protesters, mostly youths from Oguta Council, were
sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said some of the protesters attacked the lawmaker representing Nkwerre Constituency, Mr. Obinna Opara, but he was rescued by security operatives. The PDP described the delay of Dibiagwu’s swearingin as “a deliberate plot by the All Progressives Grand Alli-
ance (APGA) to scuttle the will of the Oguta people”. The party said the postponement was “an unacceptable aberration to the democratic norms and an infringement on the rights of the people”. Heavily armed security operatives were at the entrance of the assembly complex, when The Nation visited.
ESUT VC: Kidnappers reduce T ransom to N100m
HE kidnappers of the Vice-Chancellor of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, have reduced their demand from N200 million to N100 million. Onyeji was abducted eight days ago in front of the university. Although the police could not confirm this, they said they were working on how
HE Anambra State Association of Industrialists have praised Governor Peter Obi for improving the state’s infrastructure. Speaking with reporters yesterday, the group’s President, Dr. Paul Okonkwor, and Secretary Felix Otta thanked Obi for building roads in the Harbour Industrial Layout and beyond. They praised the governor for attracting foreign invest-
From Chris Oji, Enugu
to secure Onyeji’s release. Police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said: “Count us out of ransom payment.” ESUT spokesman Ossy Ugwuoti said he was not aware of the ransom reduction. Ugwuoti said the negotiation was between the fam-
ily and the kidnappers. Prayer sessions by ESUT workers and students have continued at the two campuses of the university. Coordinator of the sessions Prof. John Obasikene said the prayers would not cease until Onyeji is released.
Activities in the school have been grounded since Onyeji’s abduction.
Industrialists hail Obi From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
ment such as the multi-million dollar SAB miller Brewery, to the state. This, the industrialists said, would provide over 2,000 jobs and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). They thanked Obi for at-
tracting the Bank of Industry (BoI) to Anambra and providing an office for its takeoff, as well as the disbursement of the bank’s N2 billion intervention fund to industrialists. The group described Obi’s monthly meeting with manufacturers as “radical and innovative”.
It said with the Federal Government’s approval for Obi to take over the reconstruction of the Onitsha axis of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, work on the project would be fast tracked. The association urged the governor not to relent in his efforts to change the face and image of the state.
NGO trains education administrators
NON-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Examination Ethics Marshals International, has organised a workshop for examiners, supervisors and invigilators in Abia State, with the aim of promoting ethics, integrity and best practices in education. Speaking at the workshop in Umuahia, the organisation’s Chairman, Mr. Ike
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
Onyechere, said the NGO was created to improve the quality of education and curb examination malpractices. Onyechere said: “The training will highlight the manifestations and dangers of examination malpractices, benefits of examination ethics, qualities of professional examination administrators,
standard exam rules and regulations, as well as integrity codes for examiners, supervisors and invigilators.” He said participants would write a test at the end of the workshop to determine their level of assimilation. Commissioner for Education Mrs. Monica Philips said the Governor Theodore Orji administration is determined to stamp out exam malprac-
tices, adding that everyone shall be Concerned in all eradicating the cankerworm. She said: “The emergence of three Abia State students at the 2010 Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) science quiz competition as champions has given us more reasons to insist that Abia State remains an examination malpractice - free state at all times.”
HE Federal Government and the labour movement yesterday adjourned their negotiation on the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) workers’ severance package to next week Tuesday. Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Comrade Peter Esele told reporters in Abuja that the adjournment was to iron out the grey areas of the negotiation. At the closed-door meeting, which was held at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, were representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and TUC. Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu represented the Federal Government. Wogu said: “The meeting was more of a preliminary meeting and we have adjourned it to next Tuesday by 3 pm. We have terms of reference on what we need to do and by Tuesday, we will carve out the exact terms. “The Federal Government will come with its own, labour will come with its own and we will meet at the middle .” Esele said the proposed strike will no longer commence because negotiation is on. He said: “The issue at stake is clear. We are not telling you not to privatise or not to carry out the reforms. Our position is that for you to do this, the severance package and condition of service should be provided to the letter. If this is done, we do not have any problem.” Other members on the negotiation table include a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Dr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agari; Secretary-General of TUC, Mr. John Kolawole; General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) Mr. Joe Ajaero and Deputy NLC President Mr. Promise Adewusi.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Zamfara to sack 7,000 workers G O V E R N O R Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State yesterday said the 7,000 workers recommended for rationalisation by the Workers Verification Committee set up by his administration would soon be sacked. In its interim report submitted last month, the committee said only 21,067 of the 28,183 workers on the government's payroll were verified. The report added that some officials in the Government House were fake. The report generated a controversy when the governor directed that only those duly verified should be paid the August salary, even as the final report was still
being awaited. Yari said when he visited the Emir of Birmin Magaji, Alhaji Ahmad Umar, yesterday that he would implement the report by sacking redundant and ghost workers. He promised better conditions of service for genuine workers. The governor said: "Our idea of verifying the workforce is not intended to
sack workers. But let nobody be in doubt of the government's resolve to delete from our payroll workers discovered as redundant or ghost. "There is no justification for any government to allow married women and children who never knew the way to any office to continue to collect salaries for doing nothing."
‘There is no justification for any government to allow married women and children who never knew the way to any office to continue to collect salaries for doing nothing’
Yari said the verification was aimed at sanitising the civil service by ensuring that only genuine workers received salaries from the government. He said from the verification report, it was discovered that of 11,000, only 3,000 teachers were qualified to teach in primary schools. The governor also said his administration would look into the request for road construction and provision of potable water in communities in the next phase of his development programme. He urged residents to continue to pray for peace and unity in the country, in order to ensure development.
Gunmen kill two, raze buildings in Yobe
HE Yobe State Police Command said yesterday that two persons were killed by gunmen on Tuesday at Goniri village, near Damaturu. The command’s spokesman, Toyin Gbadegeshin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “the deceased persons, Modu Bura, 30 and Ahmadu Ali, 39, were killed in their homes.” “A block of buildings at the Marori Primary School, Lower Sharia Court and the collapsed police station at Goniri were also burnt by the suspected assailants,” he said. Gunshots were heard on the Gashua and Gujba roads in Damaturu yesterday. Gbadegeshin, who confirmed hearing the gunshots, said: “Gunshots were reported on the Gashua and Gujba roads. Our men are on the trail of the gunmen.” He debunked rumours of explosions in Damaturu, saying: “There was no explosion anywhere in the capital today, except gunshots. We are in control of the situation. We are trailing the gunmen on the run.”
‘Nasarawa left with N100m’ From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia
OVERNOR Umaru Tanko Almakura said yesterday that of about N2.8 billion that accrues to Nasarawa State from the federation account, workers’ salaries take N2.3billion. He said after settling outstanding debts, the state is left with N100 million monthly to run the government. The governor spoke when he received traditional rulers who came to pledge their support for his administration. He said: “We are servicing the debts inherited from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration with N400 million monthly.” The governor said the state received the least federation allocation, adding that this is hindering development. Almakura called for understanding from the people and promised that the government would meet their expectation. He urged the traditional rulers to enlighten their subjects at the grassroots on the need to be patient with the government considering the meagre fund at its disposal. Almakura said he would do his best to ensure he meets his campaign promises. The Chairman of the Council of Chiefs and Emirs, Isa Mustapha Agwai, said they would continue to pray for the success of the Almakura administration. He pledged their cooperation and loyalty to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) administration and enjoined the governor to remain focused. •A long row of motorists queuing for fuel at the central area of Abuja... yesterday.
Insecurity in Kogi Central not political, says group
N O N GOVERNMENTAL organisation, the Kogi United Front (KUF), has said the insecurity in the Kogi Central Senatorial District is not political as insinuated. The body, in a statement signed by its President, Salami Musa, said some selfseeking politicians capitalised on the situation to carry out a vendetta on their perceived enemies. Prominent politicians in the area were arrested two weeks ago, following the attack on the Deeper Life Church and the killing of two soldiers in Okene.
From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
KUF said the discovery had shown that the issue was beyond politics. It called on the security operatives to look beyond politics in their search for peace. To the group, in the history of Kogi State, this is the first time worshippers have been attacked in a church. It said the people should assist security agents to combat insecurity. “Kogi indigenes and residents should be vigilant. They should report any suspicious movement to
security agents.” KUF hailed the security agencies for the breakthrough so far, especially the arrest of the key suspects in the murder of worshipers at the Deeper Life Church and the two soldiers. It said the politicians arrested should be investigated and if found innocent be released. Usman Salihu Esq., counsel to the former chairman of Okehi Local Government, Abubakar Adagu Suberu, said the arrest of his client was not in connection with the Deeper Life Church killing or the murder of two
soldiers in Okene as being speculated. According to him, the arrest and detention of Suberu has got nothing to do with the Otite or Okene killings. He added: “It was as a result of a petition written against him by some politicians in Okehi Local Government bordering on criminal allegations, which are unconnected with the killings.” Former Okene Council chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Karaku, was also arrested by security operatives, following a petition that he allegedly wanted to murder the Okene Council liaison officer.
Planned strike: ‘Kwara NULGE has not explored options’
WARA State Local Government Service C o m m i s s i o n yesterday accused the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Kwara State chapter, of failing to explore all options under the industrial labour relations before issuing a strike notice. NULGE has given the government a 14-day ultimatum to pay council workers’ June and July salaries or risk indefinite strike in the 16 local governments. The union, in a communique signed by its secretary, complained of heavy deductions in the allocations of the councils by the state government and the
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
overbearing influence by the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development. NULGE issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to address the matters raised or else the workers would embark on an indefinite strike. The ultimatum will lapse at the end of this month. The Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Suleiman Yusuf, urged members of the union to shelve their planned strike. He said: “NULGE members are the employees of the
commission. It is an embarrassment for me to be reading their notice on the pages of newspapers. Nobody raised any of the issues complained of with me. I think it is not fair for us to be so treated.” Yusuf said the complaints by some of the chairmen over bloated staff strength, leading to paucity of funds after the payment of workers’ salaries, prompted the Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed administration to order a biometric exercise of the workers. The exercise, he said, was responsible for the delay in the payment of salaries. He also attributed the delay to the cut, by over 25
per cent, in the monthly federal allocations to the state and councils, claiming that it was limited to Kwara State. Yusuf said: “The governor briefed us on these developments before their present action. We need to allow the governor conclude the exercise before rushing to the press.” He added: “I urge the NULGE to withdraw its notice to embark on a strike. The union should give room for dialogue.” “Many of the councils are not viable to carry out capital projects. It is through the joint account with the state government that they can construct roads, provide potable water and electricity.”
Kano agency warns traffic offenders From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
RAFFIC offenders in Kano State are in for a hard time, as the government has rolled out stringent measures to punish them. The Managing Director of the Kano Road Transport Agency (KAROTA), Mohammadu Ibrahim, warned yesterday in Kano that traffic offenders would be sanctioned. Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso inaugurated the agency. He said: “Traffic offence in Kano has constituted a serious menace on our roads. Anyone caught violating traffic rules will be fined or imprisoned.” Ibrahim said the agency would embark on an enlightenment campaign to sensitise the public on the need to obey traffic rules and regulations. He said the agency was established by law to decongest the chaotic traffic situation in the state, adding that it was empowered to sanction anyone that violated traffic offences. Ibrahim said he would collaborate with the appropriate security agencies to accomplish the task of decongesting traffic in the state. He noted that the agency would ensure the free flow of traffic. According to him, motorists and motorcyclists should cooperate with the agency by obeying traffic rules and regulations. The agency, he said, would not execute its task in isolation, as it would collaborate with related agencies to reduce traffic congestion. “Without comfort, business cannot thrive. So, based on the observations in Kano city, government established the agency to decongest traffic.”
Fire razes spare parts market From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
AKURDI’S biggest motor spare parts market was razed yesterday. According to an eyewitness, the inferno began about 3am and spread to most of the stores. The source said nobody knew where the fire started from. Traders were weeping at the market, counting their losses. A victim, Chief Okafor Ogbonna, said he lost N3 million and goods worth N6 million. He urged the Benue State Government to assist him and other victims morally and financially. Men of the Fire Service put out the fire. They prevented it from spreading to other shops in the market.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Sri Lanka closes universities
RI Lanka’s government has closed down almost all universities for an indefinite period amid a row about the future of education in the island. Academics have been on strike for nearly two months, accusing the government of interference and demanding more be spent on the sector. The authorities say teachers are putting students in a position of “darkness, without any hope”. For decades, university campuses have been a source of turmoil in Sri Lanka. Students’ problems helped trigger the Tamil insurgency as well as equally bloody Sinhalese insurrections in the 1970s and 80s. Since early July academics have been on strike in Sri Lanka. They denounce government plans to partially privatise a tertiary education system that has always been state-funded and free. They want an end to what they say is political meddling in campus life. They want much more spent on education overall and they are demanding a salary increase.
Man held for threat on Obama
MAN accused of threatening United States President Barack Obama by email and showing a shotgun to officers at his door is due to appear in a court. Anton Caluori was also held on Tuesday in north-western Washington state for alleged assault of an officer. Prosecutors said the threat was sent to a generic FBI email address. Agents detained Caluori, 31, when he answered the door at his home in the city of Federal Way, allegedly armed with a shotgun. The FBI had notified the Secret Service that it received “alarming” emails regarding the president, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told Reuters news agency. In custody, the suspect spoke to officers about using explosive devices, Leary said. A bomb squad team found no evidence of explosives at Caluori’s home, Leary added.
South Sudan Army commander dead
IGH-RANKING South Sudanese military commander Paulino Matip has died in a Kenyan hospital after a long illness, the government has announced. Information Minister Barnaba Benjamin described Matip, the army’s deputy commander-in-chief, as a champion of peace and reconciliation. Matip switches sides several times during the north-south civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of people. South Sudan seceded from Sudan last year following a 2005 peace deal. The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says Matip - the number two person in the
army after President Salva Kiir - had a reputation of being a fierce fighter and was feared by his enemies. Matip was a hated figure in South Sudan when he first broke away to fight on the side of Khartoum’s army during the 1983-2005 civil war, our reporter adds. But in 2006, following overtures by Kiir, he rejoined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the former rebel group which now makes up South Sudan’s army. “He has made his personal contribution despite earlier differences that caused the split in the SPLA,” Mr Benjamin said. “He brought all the armed groups under his command into the SPLA to reunite.”
Eurozone chief: Greece on its last leg
UROZONE finance chief Jean-Claude Juncker has said the Greek people have to be aware the country is facing its “last chance”. After a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Juncker praised the nation’s “tremendous efforts” so far to cut its deficit. But he said “priority number one” was further consolidation of the public finances of Greece. He added that Athens must put in place economic and structural reforms. These include changes to the labour market, and the relaunching of privatisation programmes which have been promised but not enacted. Greek premier Samaras promised that Greece would finalise a package of cuts worth 11.5bn euros ($14bn) in the next few weeks.
Nude photos of Prince Harry published
MBARRASSING pictures showing Prince Harry and a young woman naked in a hotel room have been published on the internet. The images of the royal were taken in Las Vegas
PUBLIC NOTICE AJE I, formerly known as AJE Esther Funke which to be addressed as ADEBAYO FUNKE ESTHER having be married at the Ikorodu Marriage Registry to Mr. Emmanuel Ola Adebayo. All former documents remain valid. Lagos State Government and Ministry of Finance Cooperative to note
PUBLIC NOTICE EKOME I formally known and addressed as MISS EKOME RITA IFEANYI now wish to be known and adresss MRS SALAMI RITA IFEANYI. All formal document remain valid. General public take note.
where the third in line to the throne was enjoying a private break over the weekend, reports The Press Association. In the first photograph, Harry is shown wearing just a necklace and a wristband with his hands around his genitals as a seemingly topless woman stands close behind him. The nude prince is shown in another picture shielding himself behind an unknown woman who is also naked. The images were published by celebrity gossip website TMZ, which said they were taken last Friday. The website claims that the pictures came after the prince and his entourage met some women in a hotel bar and invited them up to the royal’s suite.
•Opposition supporters demonstrate in Lome, the Togolesecapital ...yesterday. Togolese security forces clashed with opposition supporters PHOTO: AFP in the capital with officers firing tear gas on protesters who responded by throwing rocks and setting tyres alight.
Ethiopians mourn PM Zenawi
HE body of long-time Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is lying in state at the national palace in Addis Ababa, where it will stay until his funeral. Thousands of people poured onto the streets of the capital on Tuesday evening as his casket arrived from the Belgian capital Brussels. Meles, who was 57, died suddenly from an infection while being treated in hospital there, authorities said. The leader’s death has sparked fears of instability in Ethiopia.
•Body lie in state
State media say Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will take over until elections in 2015. But Meles’ administration has been hard on the opposition and some fear the new prime minister may not be able to deal with the underlying political tension, says the BBC’s Noel Mwakugu in Addis Ababa. Meles has been praised for bringing development and economic growth to Ethiopia, but critics say they came at the cost of respect for plu-
rality and human rights. Well-wishers gathered outside the terminal at Addis Ababa airport to see Meles’ casket, draped in the green, gold and red national flag, carried out of the plane. Many held aloft pictures of the man who took power as president in 1991 and went on to assume the powerful position of prime minister in 1995. Others carried placards reading: “Meles, your legacy will never die.” State TV broadcast footage of the coffin passing slowly along the streets of the capi-
tal as it made its way to the prime minister’s official residence at the national palace. A state of national mourning has been declared but no date for the funeral has been set. Meles had not been seen in public for weeks before his death was announced, and there had been increasingly intense speculation about his health - though authorities insist he had been on the road to recovery when he was suddenly struck down by an infection. There is still no confirmation of the details of his medical condition.
48 killed in Kenyan ethnic clashes
T least 48 people have been killed in ethnic clashes in southeastern Kenya, police say. The clashes in Tana River district, Coast Province, took place late on Tuesday between the Orma and Pokomo groups, the region’s police chief said. Most of the dead were women and children, many of whom were hacked to death with machetes, he said. The clash is the worst single incident since violence rocked the country after disputed polls four years ago. Regional deputy police chief Joseph Kitur told AFP news agency that those killed were either hacked to death or burned alive when their huts were set alight. The attack is believed to have escalated from a dispute over grazing rights for cattle. The victims included 31 women, 11 children and six men, Kitur said. It is unclear whether any of the perpetrators have been arrested. Kitur said that, according to investigations, the attack had been carried out by the Pokomo on the Orma. Danson Mungatana, the lawmaker for the area, said the killings were the latest in a string of attacks and cattle raids and had been taken in
•Four die in plane crash retaliation for a previous incident. “There have been problems simmering for a while,” he told AFP. The BBC’s Frenny Jowi in the capital, Nairobi, says violence between the two communities is often reported, but not on such a huge scale. Our reporter says there is long-standing enmity between the communities, who get caught up in a cycle of revenge killings over the theft of cattle and grazing and water rights.
In 2001, a series of clashes between the Orma and Pokomo left at least 130 dead in the same region. The violence comes as Kenya prepares for elections early next year. More than a 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 displaced in the months following the last election in 2007. Two Kenyan pilots and two German tourists have been killed in a plane crash in Kenya’s Masai Mara national park, Kenyan police said. The aircraft was carrying
11 passengers, including five Germans, four Americans and two Czechs, the AFP news agency said. Three other passengers were seriously injured, police said. Propeller planes are often used to take tourists to the Masai Mara, one of Africa’s most popular attractions. A team from the Flying Doctors Service had been sent to the site and three critically injured passengers had been flown to the capital Nairobi, the AFP news agency said. An official said the plane had crashed soon after taking off from the Ngerede airstrip close to midday.
Zuma visits Marikana mine
OUTH Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has visited the Lonminowned Marikana mine where police shot dead 34 striking workers last week. Angry protesters chanted “Down with the police” as Zuma promised a thorough investigation into the killings. The miners embarked on a strike on August 10 to demand higher wages, forcing the mine’s closure. Religious leaders have brokered talks between management and workers to resolve the dispute. Police opened fire on the strikers last Thursday, after accusing them of instigating
violence. South Africa’s Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu Archbishop Tutu, in a column in South Africa’s Business Report newspaper, said the violence reminded him of police behaviour during apartheid. “When we consigned apartheid to history, we said never again would it happen that our police and our soldiers would massacre our people,” he said. However, he acknowledged that police faced a difficult job, as protests often turned violent. “When we march, we demand, we destroy and we
loot. We care not whether our demands are reasonable, or what actions we take,” Archbishop Tutu said. Yesterday, about 600 workers at the nearby Royal Bafokeng Platinum Mine in North West province also embarked on a strike to demand higher wages. Rock drill operators, who led the Lonmin strike, gathered peacefully at the mine to demand a wage increase as a handful of police stood by, AFP news agency reports. “The inquiry I have instituted will get to the bottom of what happened here,” Zuma told the strikers at Lonmin.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NEWS Suspects: we drugged Cynthia before killing her
Negotiate with terror groups, North’s governors tell panel Continued from page 2
lamic and Western education systems; infrastructure deficits; as well as the entrenchment of democratic values. Aliyu said: “The inauguration of this committee is consistent with the commitment of the Forum to the general welfare of the people who have given us the mandate to serve them. Undoubtedly, the primary and fundamental responsibility of leaders is the security and welfare of the people which to us in the forum is sacrosanct. Hence, our focus has remained the promotion of the peace, unity and progress of all the Northern States within the wider national interest of Nigeria. “ It is against this background that the Forum views the recurring insecurity challenges in the Northern States and around the country as serious threats to national stability, unity and development.”
The Committee was also asked to: •liaise with stakeholders in the Northern states, particularly the affected states, and get to the root of the security challenges and proffer solutions; •dialogue with any identified groups with a view to negotiating the way out of the menace; •liaise with the Federal Government and deliberate on the best approach to resolving the security challenges; •work out modalities for reconciling warring parties/communities in the North; •organise meetings and have interactive sessions with stakeholders across the States; Engage experts from the Society for Peace Studies & Practice [SPSPI West African Network on Peace building [WANEPJ and other relevant organizations for further discussion and strategic inputs; •recommend mechanisms for peace building and en-
trenchment of enduring democratic values at the ward local government and state levels; and •design mechanisms to address youth restiveness and unemployment in the region. The committee was also asked to look at White Papers to extract actionable recommendations. Such reports include those of the WammakoIed Northern Governors’ Committee on Security; Northern States Attorneys-General; Sheikh Ahmed Lemu’s on Post Election Violence Probe; Galtimari Report on Security Challenges in North Eastern Nigeria; General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Maitama Sule Report, among others. But, the Association of Northern Youths for the Advancement of Peace, Harmony and Development has described the 41-man committee as a right step in the wrong direction. National President of the
group Comrade Melvin Ejeh spoke in Jos yesterday said: “The 41-man peace committee inaugurated by the Northern Governors’ Forum to tackle the Bokko Haram threat is no doubt a laudable concept but the composition of membership is problematic. “How can you compose a 41man committee with only five women and no youth represented in the committee? All the bomb-bearers and gunmen in the Boko Haram insurgency are youths of under-30. I have never seen a man of 50 years in active participation in Boko Haram. “But going through the list of the committee, you will realise that it is made up of elite who are above 50. What result do you want them to achieve? “The committee is timely and is composed of people of high integrity but I doubt if they can do anything meaningful without representation of northern youths.”
INEC shake-up to affect 67 directors Continued from page 2
herited. “It is the coming reforms that will define the path Jega will follow. We have been painstaking in commissioning studies into what we met on ground. We engaged PriewaterhouseCoopers on October 4, 2011 and we are just finalising decisions on the staff and policy audit by this firm. Also, the report of the RERC has been studied severally at different levels in the commission. “Irrespective of the opposition, we are ready to go ahead with the reforms. The reorganisation is not about retrenchment or mass retirement as being feared by ethnic chauvinists outside the system. The INEC chairman has no ethnic agenda or score to settle. But people or staff
will be retooled or retrained as appropriate to place round peg in round hole.” The National Commissioner gave a breakdown of the directors in the commission as follows: Niger(two); Delta(three); Kaduna(two); Sokoto(one); Benue(nine) A n a m b r a ( n i n e ) ; Zamfara(two); Cross River(three); Enugu(one); Kano(one); Plateau(three); Imo(four); Akwa Ibom (three); Bayelsa (two); Kogi (one); Katsina (one); Osun (one); Abia (three); Gombe (one); Kebbi (three); Lagos (two); Edo (three); Ogun (one); Bauchi (two); Jigawa (one); Yobe (one); and Borno (two). A document obtained by our correspondent revealed that PricewaterhouseCoopers had noticed some bureaucratic lapses which ought to be
corrected by INEC before the next general elections. The audit firm’s report reads in part: “Over departmentalised and sectionalised corporate structure. The corporate structure has too many departments, directorates and units, some of which were created to satisfy selfish growth interests and in some cases to prevent discord between staff on the same grade. “Improper grouping of activities and delineation of functions. For instance, benefits and welfare administration are handled by Administration instead of Human Resources at the corporate level “Absence of a strategic thinking role for the commission. The corporate structure did not make provision for a corporate planning and de-
velopment functions whose responsibility will include facilitation of strategic planning process and the co-ordination of the commission’s development initiatives. This creates difficulty in strategic planning and continuous improvement. “Large span of control for the Secretary. 21 heads of departments and directorates report directly to the secretary and this makes supervision of the various functions less effective. “Though the chairman of the commission is the CEO, he is also the Accounting Officer. Several key heads of functions may, therefore, not report directly to the chairman who in the eyes of the public takes direct responsibility over the affairs of the commission.
•Manko...yesterday Continued from page 2
but I use Festac because that is where hotels are. “I am not feeling good about it because I didn’t bargain to kill her, in the first instance. It was just unfortunate and an accident.” Ezekiel said: “I am a 300level Accountancy student from Anambra State University, Awka. The morning it happened, he (Nwabufor) called me and told me to come to the hotel and help him bind the girl so that we could dispossess her of her belongings, so I came into the hotel that morning and helped him in binding her. In the process of binding the girl, she tried to struggle and we maltreated and rough handled her and she passed on in the process. “I didn’t hit her with anything; we had no weapon. He (Okwuoma) said he wanted to run with her things. “I have not been doing it; he just called me. I live at Ojo Barracks, not inside the cantonment. Okwuoma was the one who told me about the drug. He asked me to buy Ribena, which I bought from a shop. I was there when she died because when he told me she was not breathing, I touched the girl and told him she was breathing, then I left the hotel. “Later, he called me and said he had not heard from her for a long time and had not seen her online. I was in school when they came on Sunday and arrested me”. Commissioner of Police Umar Manko, who paraded the suspects, said, “On July 22, somewhere in Festac, a young lady
was found in a hotel dead, chained and tied. We were worried. “Somebody called the receptionist of the hotel to say that they should go and take a dead body or “the bastard” away from the room and on getting to the room, the young lady was found dead and her identity not known. “So the police had to trace the killers through that number that called the receptionist, until we got her passport number from the internet. “Through the immigration, we were able to link her up and then established her identity. From the footage of the CCTV, we discovered that two young men came into the hotel with the lady, and came out after a while. So, we started from that number and were able to link the young men we saw on the footage of the CCTV. “They were arrested and they confessed to have killed the young lady. We asked them why and they said they chatted with her on the internet and discovered she was a business woman. So, as she was coming to Lagos to buy her stocks, they felt she would have enough money. One of them gave her a ticket from Abuja to Lagos and gave her accommodation in that hotel. After injecting a drug inside Ribena, they gave her, it knocked her off and so they decided to go into the business she came for but, unfortunately, they could not find much money on her. They struggled with her before she collapsed and was killed in the process. “Both suspects are cousins from Anambra State and we are told it was not the first time they have done it but we have not been able to establish vividly if their victims were killed. “We are trying to go round the other hotels they have used, it is a very long investigation and I think we still have much to uncover but because of insinuations from the press, we felt we won’t keep quiet longer than necessary. That was why we invited the media to parade them,” he said.
Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers
y husband and I own a shop and we both work together. Women are always smiling at him. Some try to flirt with him and prefer to order from him. He has not cheated on me but I don’t like what is going on. So sometimes we fight. My husband is a handsome man and knows how to thrill women. But I don’t want any woman looking at him like that. What do I do? Mrs James Dear Mrs James, you can stop women from looking at your husband by chaining him to the bed in your room and keeping him as your prisoner. Does that sound like something you want to try? If you marry a handsome man or woman, people will notice them. Beautiful people get noticed. It is not their fault. Your husband is a business man who treats his customers well and keeps them coming back to buy again and again. In the world of business, your husband is your biggest asset and you should be happy to have him. He has not cheated on you and there is no reason for you to be mad at him or assume that something is going on. My advice to you is to relax and trust your husband. When it was time for your husband to marry, he chose you out of all these other women. That means you are special. So be happy. Don’t make trouble or you may drive him away - Uche Hello Sir. I bought Max Desire as you suggested and I am beginning to notice the difference. I tend to want sex more and I enjoy it more too. Thank you – Mrs Ofokansi You are welcome. Max Desire is a good and effective female libido booster - Uche The only time I enjoy sex is when I get oral sex but I don’t get it with my husband. How can I get him to give me oral sex? I am also interested in your new G Spot Vibrators – Regina Dear Regina, vaginal odour is what prevents men from giving women oral sex. I recommend showering before sex and using flavoured lubricants that will hide body odours such as 69
Vanila Flavoured Lubricant. Alternatively, use wet wipes to clean up when you cannot take a shower. Summer’s Eve Feminine Cleansing Cloth is great for keeping fresh. Once your husband knows you are making efforts to smell fresh, it will be easier for him to try oral sex. As for the G spot Vibrators, go for Euphoria G Spot Rabbit Vibrator. It is the best in that category – Uche Well done sir. Please I have a sexual problem and I think Sex Voltz or Max Testosterone supplement is what I need. Which one do you recommend? Thanks – Chidi Dear Chidi, if you have weak erection or no erection at all even when the desire for sex is there, then what you need is Sex Voltz. Sex Voltz is ideal for harder erections, stamina and multiple rounds of performance. But if your erections are okay but you just don’t have any desire for sex, then you need Max Testosterone. Max Testosterone is ideal for men with low libido who hardly feel like having sex, especially middle aged and older men – Uche I am 26 years old and I don’t enjoy sex at all. I release within seconds which gives me a headache – Mudiare Dear Mudiare, you need to see a doctor about the headaches. You shouldn’t get headaches after sex. As for your premature ejaculation, apply Stay Hard Delay Cream or Emperor’s Delay Cream on your penis minutes before intercourse and you will last longer. Using delay condoms will also help you last longer. Try Pasante Delay Condom. It is very good – Uche And that’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Men and women in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can also order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to email@example.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
NEWS P.M. News launches mobile website
.M.News, Nigeria’s leading evening newspaper, has launched a mobile version of its online news content delivery, its management said yesterday. The mobile delivery on www.pmnews.mobi has been made possible with the collaboration with Twinpine Network, a Lagos based mobile advertising network reaching millions of Africans on mobile devices via the mobile web. The company assists brands and publishers to manage mobile advertising campaigns, enabling them to connect with the right audience, increase conversion rates and, ultimately, make the most of mobile. Twinpine prides itself on delivering campaigns in several African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia amongst others. With the new mobile platform,www.pmnews.mobi is now readily and easily accessible on smartphones or any phone or mobile device that has internet connectivity. According to the P.M.News management, the online news reader “is assured of 24/7 delivery of news about Nigeria, the world, entertainment, celebrities and sports.” “P.M.News management believes that the new mobile platform will even enrich pmnewsnigeria.com engagement with its teeming followers, globally”, said a statement by the company’s Managing Director and Editor-inChief, Mr. Bayo Onanuga
Alumni seek competent Rector
HE Alumni Association of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede in Osun State has urged the Federal Government to ensure that a competent person is appointed as Rector of the institution to succeed Dr. Joseph Oke, whose tenure ends next month. The President of the association, Mr. Festus Olaifa, noted that members and current students are concerned about the type of individual that will be saddled with the responsibility of running the affairs of the institution.
Principal urges moral training
RINCIPAL of S. T & T. Regency College, Ms Margaret Ibru, has urged policy makers to design education curriculum that would place moral rectitude side by side with academic excellence. She spoke at the third Graduation ceremony of the school. Mrs Ibru said with the decline of morality evident in the growing rate of corruption in the polity, there’s the need for government intervention where emphasis is placed on the moral uprightness of the child side by side with academics because they are the leaders of tomorrow. She said: “In Singapore, they don’t search for leaders because they are everywhere. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, we don’t learn from history, which is why we can ask today: where are the children of our yesterday and present leaders?
Okupe must go, ACN insists T
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday insisted that the President must kick out Dr. Doyin Okupe, his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs. The party is relying on the disclosure by the government of Benue State that Messrs Value Trust Investments Limitedowned by Okupe indeed abandoned a N2.3 billion road contract it got in April 24, 2004 after collecting N886.8 million mobilisation fee. The company was to build 20 kilometres of rural roads. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said in the
•Party relies on new facts from Benue govt By Tajudeen Adebanjo
face of this overwhelming evidence, the Presidency will only further hurt its already battered image if Dr Okupe should stay one more day in his position as the President’s spokesman as more damaging revelations about Okupe’s past shady deals including but not limited to his swindling of Imo State government of hundreds of millions of naira will soon explode. “What the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must appreciate according to ACN, is the fact that the appointment of a Presiden-
tial Aide is a projection of the President’s purpose, personal philosophy and sense of direction. This is more so when the appointee is to serve as the President’s mouthpiece and intermediary with from citizens and the entire world. In that situation, nothing but the highest standard of probity and integrity is expected of the appointee. “Therefore, whether Dr Okupe is under scrutiny for breach of contract or under investigation for fraudulent conversion of public funds, common discretion requires that he be kept away from public service until
he clears himself. “To describe this fraud as a personal matter because it arises from a civil contract is to underscore the kind of naivety that has kept our Presidency in the lower grades for so long. Contracts for public works are matters of public funds which no serious government will toy with. Non performance amounts to criminal conversion of public funds. “The party has noted with amusement the circus of desperation going on in the name of defending Dr Okupe, ranging from idiotic name calling, fabrication of and award of non-
•Founder, Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF) and wife of the governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi cutting the tape to inaugurate the equipment donated to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti by Canada-based Casa Foundation for International Development, which the EDF facilitated...yesterday. With her are Ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa (right) and the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Dr. Patrick Adegun.
Tukur, Alao seek leave of court to travel overseas
AHMUD Tukur and Abdullahi Alao, sons of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and prominent Ibadan businessman, Alhaji Abdulazeez Alao Arisekola yesterday sought leave of the court to travel overseas. Also, another oil marketer, Felix Ochonogor, who is the second applicant in their application, is seeking the court’s permission to travel out. The trio are members of the Board of Directors of Oil Marketing and Trading Companies (OM&Ts) arraigned for alleged subsidy fraud by the Federal Government. They regained their freedom recently after meeting the bail terms set by the Lagos High Court, Ikeja where they are standing trial for alleged subsidy fraud in the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF). Tukur, Alao and Ochonogor, 1st, 3rd and 2nd applicants through their counsel, Mr. Olaniran Obele, applied for the release of their international passports to enable them travel abroad. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had in July arraigned Tukur, Ochonogor and Alao before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos on offences bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery and use of false documents. In their August 14 Motion on Notice before a vacation Judge, Justice Lateefat Folami of an Ikeja High Court, the applicants, through Obele, said they need to travel to Paris and London for business. Specifically, Mahmud wants to attend a board and committee meetings of which he is a director and also to perform the lesser
By Adebisi Onanuga
Hajj. Ochonogor also told the court that he wants to travel to Paris for a rescheduled meeting holding on August 27. He is to explain his current situation before the board. The applicants tendered three exhibits comprising Notices of Meetings which they intend to attend both in London and Paris. Obele assured the court that the applicants will not abscond should their application be granted. According to him, the first applicant’s father who is PDP Chairman stood surety for him and he would not want to jeopardise that. “The second applicant was abroad when they were charged and was called by the first applicant and he came back for his arraignment voluntarily. “When they were granted administrative bail, the second applicant traveled to Ukraine and did not abscond but came back for his arraignment”, he said. Opposing the application, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that Justice Onigbanjo’s order asking the applicants to drop their International Passports has not been reviewed. He said there was nothing in the exhibits tendered by the applicants that showed or suggested that the meeting to be attended by the third applicant has been rescheduled. According to him, granting the applicants permission to travel could open escape route as was experienced in former Delta State Governor James Ibori’s case. He urged the court not to grant them permission to travel. Justice Folami adjourned ruling on the application till tomorrow.
existent contracts, character assassination etc against key members of the ACN especially the party’ s National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohamed. To all these characters, our response is, fault us on facts and not on emotion. “No amount of syndicated articles in different names in different newspapers, not even press releases by each of the 36 state chapters of the PDP and all the principal officers at ward, local government, state and national levels can blot out the simple fact that Dr Okupe collected N886.8 million in July 2006 and bolted away. Therefore he must go, the party said.
US to train Nigerian Navy By Precious Igbonwelundu
HE United States Navy warship and its crew are in Nigeria to train officers of the Nigerian Navy on how to fight economic saboteurs, its Taskforce Commander 63, Commodore Richard Soucie, said yesterday. It was at the Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos. Soucie said the lessons learnt from Somalia and other hot beds in Africa on piracy and sea robbery necessitated the assistance the American government is giving to its Navy to ward off such economic saboteurs. The US task force commander, who lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Navy at combating sea miscreants, maintained that the coming of the American warship was due to a request from the Nigerian Navy. Soucie said: “We are here to train Nigerian Navy on port security measures, counter piracy and the likes. It is a fact that about 90 per cent of economic activities are carried out through the sea. So, it is in the interest of the global community to ensure that the West African coast is free of pirates and other sea criminals.” Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ameen Ikioda, praised the American government for its continuous collaborations with the country’s Navy of which this port call by USS SWITF 2 is one.
INEC lacks powers to deregister parties, says Balarabe Musa
•Ex-Kaduna governor warns against killing parties
HE National Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa yesterday asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow members of political parties determine their fate. He said the coalition of opposition parties will resist plans by INEC to deregister political parties. Musa, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja , said the deregistration plan is a plot by those in power. He said: “In the first place, it is undemocratic to deregister parties. Secondly, the rea-
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
son for deregistering political parties is that they have not been able to perform. That is no reason for a political party to cease to exist. “Those parties that appear to be performing are doing so with public funds, not as a result of mass followership. What then is the basis for judging political parties when there is no equality? So, some parties thrive on the basis of using public funds. “In any democracy all over the world, political parties are sustained by their members’ contributions. Therefore,
members should decide the fate of their parties and not by fiat by any Chief Electoral Officer. “We should ask ourselves: why do we have limitation of political parties in this country? It is because those in power want to continue to be in power legitimately or illegitimately. Deregistration of parties is one of their plans. “In the First Republic , there was no registration of political parties; we had only recognition of parties. “There is no need to deregister political parties. But since the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega is just a clerical
officer in the office of the President; he wants to wield the powers that he does not have.” Asked to be specific, Musa said: “By virtue of Section 40 of 1999 Constitution and Section 78 of the Electoral Act, INEC cannot deregister political parties. “Unfortunately, Jega relies on a proviso in Section 40 to reinforce INEC’s plans to deregister parties. But this proviso refers to parties not recognised by INEC. “Once a political party is registered, it cannot be deregistered. “We are in court over
moves by INEC to deregister some parties. We have got injunction restraining INEC and Jega from deregistering any party. “We will make sure that we fight this battle to its logical conclusion.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
Keshi, NFF disagree on Eagles’ list •List to be released Monday •Warns on tampering of his team list
HE non-inclusion of the so called big names in the list of players submitted by Super Eagles’ chief coach is causing ripples among the coach popularly called the Big Boss and the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as the team list expected to be released today has now been shifted to next week Monday. NationSport exclusively gathered from those who should know at the Football Federation yesterday that the Coach stood his ground on the choice of players he has invited for the make or mar Africa Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Star of Liberia slated for Monrovia on Saturday, September 9th, 2012. The coach is insisting on the list he compiled for the Liberia game and has refused to accommodate any new ones or adjustment of the list. The Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation has now scheduled a meeting
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja with the coach tomorrow after which the list will now be made public on Monday. NationSport also gathered that there has been pressure on the
From Tunde Liadi in Calabar Benue State were the more forceful of the two in the first half while Pillars had the edge in the second. It was a ding dong affair in the early minutes of the game but when Lobi got their acts together they proved to be the more attack minded and the more serious. The Makurdi based side would however rued the chances that came their way in the 17th, 23rd, 29th and 35th minutes when Emmanuel Ajia, Moses Orkuma, Chimaobi Nwaogu and Tony Okpotu all spurned begging chances. Pillars also had theirs too especially in the second half but John Lawrence who manned the post for Lobi was at his very best throughout the encounter. He saved Lobi off a nice header from Reuben Gabriel in the 80th minute was called upon again deep into the added on time in the second half to save a ferocious shot from Gambo Mohammed. He also prevented the rebound from going in.
Martins set for Rubi Kazan exit
UPER Eagles striker Obafemi Martins' Manager has hinted that the Ruzbin Kazan striker has high hopes of moving to a bigger club despite various interest shown by other clubs who have been unable to meet up with the high demands from his club. However reports are rife, that
there were reports in the media few days ago that the Honourable Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi issued an ultimatum of sacking Keshi if that would ensure Nigeria wins the 2013 Africa Nations Cup which Nigeria has not even qualified for. But the NFF Scribe, Musa Amadu was quick to refute the sack order story.
ERNANDO Torres tapped in from an offside position to give Chelsea a somewhat fortuitous 4-2 victory over Reading at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. In a game re-arranged from next weekend due to Chelsea's participation in the European Super Cup,
•Reading's Scottish defender Alex Pearce (l) vies with Chelsea's Spanish striker Fernando Torres (r) during their English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London
Lobi, Heartland in Federation Cup final OBI STARS and Heartland will contest in the final of this year’s Federation Cup after their hard-fought victories over Kano Pillars and Prime of Oshogbo respectively in the match decided in Calabar and Ilorin respectively. Former U-23 international Bunde Moses proved to be the match winner when he slotted home the fifth kick of the shootout after sending Pillars’ goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai the wrong way to ensure his team’s progress in the semi final decided at the UJ Esuene Stadium. Bunde’ kick proved decisive after Nazifi Ammani’s careless chip went over the crossbar with Lobi’s goalie, John Lawrence well beaten. Before the final two kicks, all the first 8 spot kicks were converted through Umar Zango, Rabiu Ali, Theophilus Afelokhai and Manir Ubale for Pillars and John Lawrence, David Tyvkasse, Anthony Abaluwa and Ajia Emmanuel were also spotless for Lobi. So much was said in the previews leading to the semi final tie between Lobi and Pillars but the team from
coach to include the names of the big players like Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi and Wes Bromwich Albion striker Osaze Odemwingie in the list which the coach allegedly refused to comply with. But the NFF top officials have waded in to resolve the issue amicably in the interest of the qualification. “It will also be recalled that
Torres' brace gives Chelsea 4-2 win over Reading
Rubin Kazan are only interested in a permanent deal. The Russian club are looking to recoup around £3million from off-loading former Newcastle player Martins rather than allowing him to move to the Hawthorns - or anywhere on a temporary basis. According to Seyi Aduoloju who also manages the striker’s foundation it is the wish of the striker to move to a bigger club before the transfer window closes. Meanwhile, Seyi Aduloju has celebrated his birthday with the SOS Kids, at Isolo. Seyi who currently runs Martins Foundation paid a visit to SOS village at Isolo to share gifts to mark his birthday which also coincide with the foundation's one year ceremony.
Torres scored with barely ten minutes remaining to confirm a come-frombehind victory for Roberto Di Matteo's men - after Gary Cahill had earlier equalised for the Blues from 30 yards. Reading had gone into half-time with the lead, after Pavel Pogrebnyak had cancelled out Frank Lampard's penalty opener and Danny Guthrie had seen his tame free-kick spin in after a Petr Cech error. But Di Matteo responded by throwing on attacking players - Oscar and Daniel Sturridge - in the second half, and his side responded as a neat move left Ashley Cole with the simplest of jobs to cross for Torres, although the linesman should have raised his flag. Reading tried to respond in the final few minutes but paid the price for their ambition, as Branislav Ivanovic swept home deep into injury time following a quick counter-attack after Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici had gone up for a corner at the other end.
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THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
SPORT EXTRA UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Win over Mönchengladbach delights Taye Taiwo
YNAMO KIEV are favorites to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage after defeating VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 31 in Germany on Tuesday night. Taye Taiwo lasted the entire duration of the game in the convincing win by the Ukrainian vice - champions. ''It was a lovely game and we're happy we got the win.
We fought hard to come back from a goal down. The coach told us that we would have to be strong in defence, to fight hard because German teams work very hard and are dangerous. We're very happy with the performance. ''When you play away from home you have to bury every chance you get and we did that tonight. That was important for us. We don't need to sit back too much in the second
Yobo: Three months off football, like 3 years …Ready for Lone Star challenge
UPER EAGLES’ skipper, Joseph Yobo played his first competitive game in the European Champions League qualifier for Turkish side Fernabahce against Emmanuel Emenike’s Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, with a huge sigh of relief that he is back to competitive football after three months. Yobo, who was in action for all the duration of the encounter said apart from the relief of returning to competitive football, it feels like three years since he kicked the round leather game, given God the praise for seeing him through his period of travails through injuries and the long period it took for him to negotiate his way from Everton to Fernabahce. Yobo’s side lost the away tie
by 2-1 but the towering Eagles skipper, said he was glad to be back in competitive football and expressed optimism that his side will win the return leg in Turkey to join the lucrative group stage of the Champions League. Yobo, again expressed his readiness to be back in the thick of things for the national team after missing the last three qualifiers for the World Cup 2014 and the Nations Cup 2013. “If invited I will give my best as always to the nation, because like I have always said I want to win trophies for the Super Eagles”. The Super Eagles play Lone Star of Liberia September 8, and Yobo is one of the stars expected to be called up by Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi.
leg, but we know they're a good side so we will be careful,'' Taiwo told uefa.com.
Gwar passes Bnei Yehuda medical, starts training
IBI GWAR arrived Israel on Wednesday morning and passed his medical examination at Bnei Yehuda. The 24 - year -old Niger Tornadoes hit-man had been scheduled to arrive Israel two weeks ago, but National Team duties with the Super Eagles prevented him from making the trip. Sibi Gwar, tipped as replacement for the South African attacker Dino Ndlovu who joined Maccabi Haifa in the summer transfer market, had his first workout with The Lions on Wednesday. The one - cap Nigeria international will sign a contract with Bnei Yehuda in the coming days if he proves his match fitness during training.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012
SPORT EXTRA BOKO HARAM SCARE
Sharks suspends officials, players Security beefed up at UJ Esuene staduim T S HE management of Sharks Football Club yesterday suspended the Coaching crew and some players of the football club for alleged non performance, sabotage and anti-club activities. According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Paulinus Nwakwoala who addressed the Press yesterday morning alongside the acting Chairman of the club, Okey Kpalukwu, also noted that
Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt
a panel of inquiry will be set up to investigate the allegations of match-fixing in the club's last home match against Wikki Tourists of Bauchi in which Sharks lost 2-3 at home. Due to the suspension of the coaching crew, NationSport also learnt that the Local Organising Committee, LOC, Chairman of
FEDERATION CUP FINAL
NFF to honour competition's IGERIA Football 14 veterans Federation (NFF) will
honour 14 veterans of the now revamped Federation Cup competition during the grand finale of the competition slated for Sunday August 26 in Lagos a top official has informed. The Director of Competitions, NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi who made this known to NationSport said the names of the said former players are being compiled and would be reveal to the press very soon. “This year’s edition of the Federation Cup final will be unique because we are going to honour 14 veterans of the competition. We are compiling the names of those that would be honoured this term,” Dr Sanusi affirmed to NationSport. Meanwhile, the top three teams that are placed at the end of the third place and final matches will get prize money Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed.
•Promise prize money for top three teams
From Tunde Liadi in Calabar There are insinuations in some quarters that the teams participating in this year’s competition would not get anything for their efforts but the NFF has come out to discredit such notion. In a brief chat with NationSport, the Director of Competitions, NFF Mohammed Sanusi confirmed that the first, second and third teams in the competition will get a token for their effort but was silent on the actual amount. “Yes, there will be prize money for the first, second and third teams in the Federation Cup. I don’t have the details on the actual amount to be paid but I know we have made provision for these three to be compensated.
the just concluded Amaechi Cup Tournament in Port Harcourt Township, Coach Daoboere Dokubo has been appointed as an interim coach to the club and is expected to work with the twenty-four other players who were not suspended to take care of their two remaining matches of the season in the Premier League, home against Ocean Boys of Bayelsa and away to Rangers of Enugu. NationSport further learnt from another reliable source that it was not as though the players of the club intentionally gave away victory to Wikki Tourists but that key players in Sharks did not prepare well for the game in terms of training, leading to the lack lustre performance that costed the team victory at home. A source specifically told NationSport that the team
lacked the right attitude to press home their needs to their employers. The source noted that rather than concentrating first and securing the maximum points in all their games which should give the team a high confidence and an upper hand in demanding their entitlements from their sponsors if they showcase good results, their grudges went ahead of their target thereby making them lose sight of the goal, and automatically the hope of a continental ticket this season. While the suspension remains indefinite according to sources that spoke with NationSport, the panel that will be set up is expected to get to the root of all that transpired that led to the poor performance of the club this season.
ECURITY was beefed up within the precinct of the UJ Esuene Stadium and the State Cultural Centre in Calabar yesterday during the semi final match of the 2012 Federation Cup after a tip off on an alleged threat by the dreaded Boko Haram sect to bomb those two places. All visitors that thronged the UJ Esuene Stadium with their luggage were quizzed and their belongings checked for the fear of the alleged warning from the sect. The Stadium Manager of the UJ Esuene Stadium, Coco-Basil Omara told NationSport that he received a call on the Wednesday morning from a close friend who confirmed that he got information from another source that Boko Haram sect threatened to wreak havoc on the stadium and the Cultural Centre without specifying the reason why. He explained that owing to magnitude of the event slated for Wednesday at the stadium, he had
LAGOS GOVERNOR'S SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIP
UK top player, Robin arrives Says Nigeria has prospect
NITED Kingdom's top squash player, James Robin, is one of the new entrants into this year's edition of Lagos Governor's Squash Championship competition. He was at the Eagle Club venue of the boys and girls preliminary matches and after watching the games, he said he was convinced that with exposure, Nigeria can produce world champions. Robin, who is coming to Nigeria for the first time, is one
By Innocent Amomoh of the top seeded players at the championship. He said, “We all passed through this stage but what makes the difference is consistency. You need to play at the top level at all times to be a good player. These kids have the skill but they need extra commitment to succeed in the game. This kind of championship must be organised regularly and
they must play against opponents from other parts of the country. That’s what makes a star blossom,” he said. Robin, who took part in the world championship in Egypt, said having entered for the Lagos championship, he was determined to be the best and help his ranking. “The only time I came to Africa was when I played in Egypt, and I had a good time. I want to go higher and win here in Nigeria although I am aware that there
From Tunde Liadi in Calabar
to communicate other relevant bodies to be at alert and conduct routine checks on visitor with suspicious move. “I got information in the early hours of today (yesterday) that Boko Haram warned that they would blow open the Cultural Centre and the Stadium hence my curiosity when I saw you (the reporter) with a big bag. I don’t want to take it as an empty threat and we have mobilized relevant bodies to maintain law and order during and after the match. “My joy is that we don’t actually envisage much crowd because of the Calabar fans’ apathy to local matches. Everything is under control and there won’t be any problem” Mr Omara told NationSport. It would be recalled that Lobi Stars and Kano Pillars were involved in a semi final clash of the Federation Cup at the UJ Esuene Stadium on Wednesday.
are strong and determined players taking part. Robin acknowledges the fact that he was not the highest ranked player at the tournament as there is Adrian Grant, UK’s third best player and world number 15. “Grant is a top player I respect but I am determined to win here. We share a lot in common and I am sure he is also determined to win here. So I expect tough game if we meet.” Matches began on Monday with the preliminaries of the boys and girls category being played at the Eagle Club, Surulere, Lagos while the U-16 category started at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club on Tuesday.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
TODAY IN THE NATION ‘The kidnapping of anyone has grave societal implications and when it involves a professor and a sitting VC at that, then, there must be fire on the mountain. What could Onyeji have done to warrant being kidnapped’ VOL. 7, NO. 2226
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
IGERIANS seem to have freed themselves from the terrible hangover of the barren Olympics expedition, our worst outing in recent times. The pain – and the anger - was understandable. Apparently knowing that a hangover that lasts for too long could degenerate into depression, Nigerians have shaken it all off. The President has ordered a post-mortem into the humiliation of “the giant of Africa”. A committee will do the job. So, fellow Nigerians, it is time to move on – until another major calamity occurs and we get a committee to find out what has happened. Why don’t we just have a standing committee to handle such tasks, which will surely come? Now, it is time to spare a thought for those other pending matters, which time has not allowed us to tackle. I trust you would like to guess what they are all about. Boko Haram? No. The Federal Government has said it is talking with the leadership of the dreaded sect. Does it now have a face? Shouldn’t there be a ceasefire while the talks are on? Why are bombs still going off and guns still booming? Nor am I talking about the fuel subsidy tragedy and the looming tanker drivers’ strike. The battle seems to have moved to the boardroom where marketers – the same people who are being accused of creaming off a huge chunk of cash from the sick system – are insisting that the government must pay their bills, which officials claim are being verified. Besides, the EFCC is threatening to haul more suspects before the courts. Forget the fact that such suspects may be mere victims of official ineptitude to whom the agency will apologise after the Attorney-General may have suddenly found out that they shouldn’t have been taken to court in the first place. I am not talking about the sickening cashfor-clearance scandal. No. Farouk Lawan has promised to return from the lesser hajj to face trial. The police and their legal experts say they are ready to prosecute the matter, even as the $620,000 proof of the bribery remains missing. Kidnappers and their cousins, armed robbers, seem to have returned with great fury, after a short break. Enugu State University Vice Chancellor Prof. Cyprian Onyeji was snatched right in front of the campus. He has not been seen since then. His abductors are said to be asking for N200million. But, this is not their day. Today, I spare a thought for all those compatriots whose cases seem so innocuous but weighty; those who have been forgotten by the system. Step forward Mallam Musa Inuwa (remember him?), the man who claimed that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar owes him N15million. He had stormed a court in Abuja on March 13, asking to be taken to the Litigation Department to file a case against Atiku, who has since denied owing Inuwa. Unhappy at how the officials handled the matter, Inuwa came out of the office and climbed a mast,
Lest we forget threatening to stay there, until he is allowed to see the Chief Judge. The show went on for about two hours. A crowd of officials and bewildered spectators watched as the man rejected all entreaties to call off his journey to space. The police were called in. The Area Commander, Sunday Odukoya, was introduced to Inuwa as the representative of the Inspector-General. A man was introduced as coming from the Presidency. Inuwa refused to bulge, until an official rushed out of the court with a file, saying to Inuwa: “This is your file o. Your complaint has been received.” Apparently satisfied, the man disembarked from the mast. He was arrested. Where is Mallam Inuwa? A 24-year old woman, Mary Odo, who jumped into the lagoon on the Third Mainland Bridge on June 4, was rescued by fishermen. She claimed to have been jilted by her lover. The fishermen resuscitated Ms Odo and took her to the police in Bariga where she told a Vanguard reporter that she was frustrated and needed a “quiet death”. “My boyfriend cheated on me. He impregnated an-
other woman without letting me know. We have been going out for more than one year and he promised to get married to me…,” she told the reporter. Ever since, nothing has been heard about Ms Odo. Who is this man for whom a woman would die? Was she put on trial for attempted suicide? Where is she now; back home in Igede, Benue State? Is she still convinced that she did the right thing attempting to die for love –or lust? If Ms Odo had been so emotionally disturbed to attempt suicide, not so those Kano women for whom the government organised a mass wedding. Many of them were once married, but the relationships collapsed. Others could not go into marriage because they lacked the wherewithal. Twice the show has been staged in the great city (May15 and June14), with residents hailing and outsiders displaying naked envy. Now people are looking forward to the next state-sponsored mass wedding, for which the Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso administration has become famous, even beyond its wildest imagination.
Cynthia Osukogu, Gawat et al
•The late Miss Osukogu
OR the Osukogu family, the long and painful search for their beloved daughter has ended in a tragedy. The body of Cynthia, daughter of a General, student, model and business executive, has been found in a Lagos mortuary. Her suspected killers, who are also students, reportedly confessed chaining her to a bed and strangling her to death
after robbing her of her belongings. The police, who paraded the two suspects in Lagos yesterday, deserve kudos for getting to the bottom of the murder. The young men who betrayed her trust and friendship in such a savage manner deserve their day in court. If found guilty, they should pay the maximum price for their fiendish enterprise – Cynthia, they said, was their sixth victim. Such people have no place in any decent human community. But the police need to resolve another puzzle: Where is Abdulrasaq Aremu Gawat, the Islamic programme television anchor? He has been missing since July 10. There are, also many others whose cases are not highlighted, probably because of their social status; we need to know what has happened to them, please. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
N an address presented to President Goodluck Jonathan on August 14, retired Inspectors-General of Police, led by Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta, were almost hysterical in announcing that the introduction of state police would lead to the disintegration of Nigeria. According to them, “We are of the opinion that the clamour is not in the interest of this nascent democracy as it will lead to a state of anomie.” It is hard to understand why they think they know what is in the interest of democracy, or why they presumptuously establish a link between state police and anomie. But they were not done. “It will be recalled,” they added, “that the military attempted introducing the localisation of police officers in their states of origin and the exercise boomeranged and failed. The establishment of state police will bring us back to the days of ethnic militias where the OPC, MASSOB, Egbesu, ECOMOG and Yankalare held sway.” If the exercise failed, could it not be because it was inexpertly implemented or even sabotaged? A day later, on August 15, former military
Gambo’s curious fury on state police president, Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, never one to shirk controversy, brutally dismissed opponents of state police as anachronistic. Said he: “There is the need for us to go forward; I do not think there is anything wrong with state police and I believe that state police will work. I don’t think the incumbent governors can use state police to intimidate anybody. Honestly, the fear is unfounded.” Babangida’s candour, especially the definitive way he expressed his view and backed it up with logical and juridical explanation to drive home his argument, gave fillip to the argument for state police. However, nettled by Babangida’s strong and sensible, if not admirably dismissive view, Gambo retorted a few days later with his own carefully couched sarcasm directed at the former head of state. If he was not secretly enjoying the newfound publicity, his eager ripostes gave the impression of someone who
at least didn’t seem to mind the very public exchanges he was having with the retired general. Hear Gambo enthuse: “I must say that while I was serving with him (Babangida), we had serious differences on the issue of law and order. It is very clear to me that there is a lot of misunderstanding and total ignorance of the establishment of a law and order agency in a democracy. When the military took over, the system of budgeting for the police was destroyed. What you have as police establishments – offices or housing for the police – were provided by the First Republic leaders. Nothing has been done for the police since then. Those clamouring for state police are not sincere...” What riled Gambo was not so much other people’s support for state police, which he nevertheless thought was unreasonable. What ailed him was the wounding way Babangida dismissed opponents of state police as anachronistic. Babangida’s trenchancy perhaps explained
But, how have the couples fared? Are they better husbands and wives now? The last time he was seen in public, he looked like a movie star, spotting a gold colour Puma T-shirt and a pair of denims. Well trimmed, glittering beards and bright, dashing eyes. Two battle-ready policemen with big, black rifles watched his every move as he stepped into the State Security Service (SSS) press briefing in Abuja. That was on February 11 when we were told of how he was captured in Taraba State. Some six months after, nothing has been heard of Kabiru Sokoto, the Boko Haram suspect who is believed to have masterminded the Madalla Church attack in which 44 people died. Sokoto, who was said to have been caught in a hut in Mutum Biu village in Taraba, remains in custody. Has he named his sponsors, as demanded by the priest of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church? If he was such a big link in the Boko Haram chain, how come the sect’s operatives are still very active? Is he part of the talks which government officials say are going on, but which the sect yesterday dismissed as non-existent? What has become of Zakari Biu, the police officer who was tried and punished for alleged negligence in Kabiru Sokoto’s escape? His sympathisers were reported to be planning to protest his dismissal – for the second time – which they believed was morally and legally unjustifiable because Sokoto had been found. The first time he was dismissed during the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency, Assistant Commissioner of Police Biu found his way back. Will he pull it off again? And talking about the Olympics and its hangover, Nigerians have, once again, gone into their rich humour bag to weather the storm. A friend sent this to my phone: “Nigerian athletes should stay back and sweep the Wembley Stadium. They may find a lost medal to bring back home.” Yet another: “The Paralympics will soon begin and it will be raining medals for Team Nigeria. What will happen when the world eventually kicks out polio; where will our medals come from?” And this: “When Nigerians steal money, they keep it in Swiss banks. When they are ill, they get flown to India or Germany. When they want to invest: America. When they want to buy mansions: London or Canada. They go to Dubai for shopping; Paris for holidays. When they want to confess their sins: Saudi Arabia or Israel. But when they want to die, they all want to be buried in Nigeria. A beg, ask them: Is Nigeria a cemetery?” Unfortunately, to many of our people, the metaphor is quite clear. Nigeria is fast proving to be a cemetery for talented people Isn’t this why our sports stars are running away? - and the upright - Consider Court of Appeal President Isa Ayo Salami’s case. The powers that be keep fishing for proof to nail the man, even when the case against him has been decided in his favour. Is Nigeria a cemetery? What a question!
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above why Gambo took a mischievous swipe at the former head of state. Hear him again: “…I am surprised (that) when the issue of state police was revisited, my former boss (Babangida) talked about what happened 50 years ago. Fifty years ago, there was accountability. For £50 stolen, a civil servant would go to jail; is this what is happening now? This is part of national dishonesty, and it is almost criminal the way we handle issues in this country.” Gambo is a former IGP, so we understand why he cannot take a detached view of state police. Nonetheless, we still find it curious that he seems inured to the very sensible arguments many analysts have offered for a new paradigm in the fight against insecurity. He can of course still argue for federal police, and stick to his gun. But no matter how stridently he fights the idea, his position will be consistently undermined by the worsening insecurity enveloping the country and retarding its progress. It is indeed hard not to think that Gambo actually ossified somewhere between amalgamation and colonial rule.
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