Page 1

We mishandled Bakassi issue -Bolaji Akinyemi

–Pages 24-25

NEW INSIDE –Pages 35-38

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Vol.06, No. 2229




AUGUST 26, 2012

N400 bn subsidy scandal

FG insists on full refund by marketers Heyden Petroleum, Ceoti Limited, Capital Oil Plc, Master Energy join list of indicted firms Firms face criminal probe, placed on security watch list

–Page 2

OIC: Nigeria remains a secular state —Foreign Minister –Page 4

•American civil rights leader, Rev. Jesse Jackson, with Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the launch of his book Financialism: Drawing Water From an Empty Well in Chicago, USA yesterday

2015: Igbo should wait for Jonathan’s decision—Obi –Page 4

Ibori loot: We'll recover all Delta State money -Uduaghan ‘Why Northern governors are resisting state police’

–Page 4

INSIDE Interview

‘We mishandled the Bakassi issue’ —Pgs 24 -25


Toll gates: to return or not —Pg 53


One year after Abuja UN House bombing: My story Pg 56

—Pg 27


One year after Ibadan’s flood of fury —Pp 23 & 26

Pp 36, 37, 38

The Arts

Literature in a digitalised age —Pg 51


HE Federal Government is acting tough on the refund of oil subsidy collected by indicted marketers. It insists that the refund be made in full and not the 30 to 49 per cent that some of them have been repaying. Beside, the Presidency has barred oil marketers on trial from travelling abroad except on extreme medical grounds. A statement yesterday night said the government has listed four other companies to the one earlier released. A statement from the office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said all the 25 indicted oil marketers will face criminal investigation. The statement by Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, the Minister’s Senior Assistant said the information shows that some of the companies claimed payments for consignments brought in “by ship which investigations revealed were either non-existent or were somewhere else in the world.” The statement released the extract of the report detailing the cases against the 25 companies. However, the Minister may meet with the 25 indicted oil marketers alongside some cabinet members tomorrow. It was gathered last night that the meeting might cover reconciliation of subsidy accounts, refunds made so far, and commitments on the balance. The session might also involve legal experts based on the marketers for what a government source described as “judicial soft-landing,” following request for plea bargaining. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that some of the indicted oil marketers have only succeeded in refunding about 30 to 40 percent of the excess subsidy cash outstanding against their names. A government source said the refunds were allegedly made to a dedicated account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Sources said government was not sucked in by the part payment and has directed that the money be paid in full. The marketers are Conoil Plc; MRS Oil and Gas; Capital Oil and Gas Industry Ltd.; Aluminnur Resources Limited; Brilla Energy Ltd.; Caades Oil and Gas Ltd.; Downstream Energy Source Ltd; Eterna Plc and Eurafric Oil and Gas Ltd. Other marketers are Sifax Oil and Gas Company; Tonique Oil Services Ltd; Top Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd; Lumen Skies Ltd.; Majope Investment Ltd.; Matrix Energy Ltd.; Menon Oil and Gas Ltd.; MOB International Services; Nasaman Oil Services Ltd; Natacel Petroleum Ltd; Ocean Energy Trading



N400b subsidy scandal: Fed Govt insists on full refund •Heyden Petroleum, Ceoti Limited, Capital Oil Plc, Master Energy join list of indicted firms •Firms face criminal probe, placed on security watch list •Minister to meet indicted marketers FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

and Services; and Pinnacle Contractors Ltd.; Heyden Petroleum Limited; Downstream Energy Limited; and Ceoti Limited. An authoritative government source said: “The government is uncomfortable with the 30 to 40 per cent refund made by some of these marketers. Nothing less than 100 per cent will be acceptable to the government. “They have been begging but the heroes of this recovery programme are the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) who have developed exceptional will to damn the consequences to recover the excess subsidy cash. “The fears of these marketers border on the fact that after the refunds, they might still be prosecuted and their firms blacklisted by the Federal Government. They have been begging the government for soft-landing. “These Ministers have been under intense pressure but they are insisting on allowing justice to prevail. It is not easy prosecuting a son of the National Chairman of a ruling party, it requires courage.” The source claimed that the Coordinating Minister of the Economy might meet with the embattled oil marketers on Monday to reconcile subsidy accounts, refunds made so far, and the commitments they are bringing to the discussion table. “Besides the Coordinating Minister, some cabinet members and the CBN might be at the session. What the government is after is full recovery of the excess subsidy cash, even if it means selling off the tanks or other assets of some oil marketers. “I think some of the marketers would like to discuss some terms with the government team. They are after plea bargaining and other soft-landing measures.” Meanwhile, the Presidency has mandated security agencies to disallow any of the indicted oil marketers or those undergoing investigation from travelling out of the country until the subsidy cash matter has reached “appreciable bend” that the court will grant them permission to do so. It was gathered that the refusal of a Lagos High Court on Friday to deny

Mahmud Tukur, Abdullahi Alao, and Felix Ochonogo permission to go overseas was based on security reports. Another government source added: “It will be a slap on the anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government to allow these

accused persons to travel out. Security reports do not favour such application. “They have been arraigned and the hearing of the substantive matter has not started, yet they sought to jet out of the country. This is a wrong signal. “The EFCC has estab-

lished that they have a case to answer, let them stay to defend their action. “But, if we have confirmed cases of health challenges, the government will allow them to travel out. And if in the course of trial, the court deems it fit to ask them to go abroad, the government will stick to the rule of law. “So far, the government has asked security agencies. To watch-list these indicted marketers until they make substantial refunds. They cannot travel out in the present circumstance.”



Ferment in Nigeria



nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu day this bomb shall explode.

•Boko Haram


E have received an unusually heavy correspondence in connection with last week’s piece titled “The Rise of the Gainfully Unemployed”. These are unusual times in Nigeria. The nation is in ferment. There is a growing unrest, a radical disaffection among the young and a total disconnect between the governing and the governed that can no longer be ignored. Things cannot just continue like this. Something will have to give. In keeping with the promise of making this column an interactive coliseum of ideas in which there is no master voice, we are publishing some of the reactions this morning. If our rulers cannot learn from the pundits they can at least learn from the people. The House of Commons is not that common. This column will publish any reaction no matter how adversarial and personally offensive as long as it conforms with the ethics of civility and the law of libel. Tata Tata There would be no massive movement of the Nigerian poor from the village to the cities...quite on the contrary, in Nigeria the social cultural development trajectory is such that everyone comes from a village and commutes frequently. Most importantly, within a generation in Nigeria, you could move from being absolutely poor to unhealthily rich, and back again. It is fun, enjoy it. Revolution is for retards. Bola Awoniran Oga Tata, revolution is for the retards? So your Boko Haram boys are all retards then, for what they are doing in the northern realm of our fatherland is revolutionary - even though in a contorted and convoluted form. Since when has an emir been targeted for assassination? Tata Tata You are getting yourself all twisted up. We are conducting a proselytising Jihad, not a revolution. An emir is a commoner dressed up in funny robes in the eyes of Allah. We know no emir, only Allah and his messenger. Bola Awoniran O you old codger, Oga Tata you are now combining your jihadism with apostasy. Aren’t emirs Allah’s elect and his emissary on earth? And yet you are making fun of them about their funny robes. You know the emirs copy their funny sartorial styles from

the House of Saud and the House of Saud are allergic to your kind of freelancing jihadism, alloyed with wicked, brilliant witticism at their expense. Please I don’t want you losing your limbs to that atavistic sadistic lot, for that will make my sojourn in the lands of the Maya very miserable. Tata Tata I lose a limb, I get an extra virgin. Bola Awoniran Oga Tata, at the rate you are going, there will not be enough virgins left in Aljannan to compensate you for lost limbs and consequences of evisceration. Remember there are competitors, from Afghanistan to Algeria. E ro dada oooooooooo, sheath your sword as Sir Snooper admonishes before it is too late. Sususu Tata has finally been congratulated by Prof Snooper on his recent appointment as OPC spokesman which takes immediate effect. Prof, what is always missing in your commentary is your “blindness” towards the primitive accumulation and elitist form of government. I know that you also “break your fast” and chop from there, hence the difficulty in criticising the “progressives”, therefore Prof, I ask that you please mind the gap. Ronke spot on Tata Tata How ya husband? You tell am before you come yab for Internet for Sunday morning? So re... Tata Tata What exactly does OPC stand for whose spokesperson I am supposed to be? Bola Awoniran Oga Tata, I think Sususu made a mistake, you are too nihilistic for OPC to accept you as a member and you are also too modernistic for their atavistic ways. You are at home with your Boko Haram boys. In OPC you will be a fish out of the water. Tata Tata Nihilistic? I testify that no one is god but Allah, alone, without a partner, and I testify that Muhammad is his slave and messenger. O Allah, make me among the frequent repenters and make me among the purified. Praise and thanks be to you, o Allah. I testify that no one is god but you. I ask you for forgiveness and I repent to you. Bola Awoniran Oga tata ,forgiveness and repent-

ance ke, think the N.S.A. and his boys are getting closer to nabbing you guys, but Oga tata you and your acolytes must forget about it - that forgiveness and repentance boat has sailed. You are now indeed in a troubled shark infested shallow water. Imagine_2012 Bola, please leave tata tata alone. Stop wasting your time. For me, just read, enjoy and ignore him. He is everywhere and nowhere.....just ignore. Xanthos Sat Guru Maharaji has been missing, we have not heard from him lately. Oga Snooper, help send Okon to Ibadan to find out from the perfect living one why the silence when obodo is on fire. Tata tata Guru has moved to Lagos. He had problems with the iwarefas, which we are trying to resolve. Bola Awoniran Oga tata, which one you dey? Are you of Ogboni Confraternity or a jihadist? We are getting tired of your osakala shokolo shaka position. Tata tata There is a saying where we come from, you do not lie on one side and sleep till dawn. Who knows who is going to stand at the gate at the time of judgment? Anyway, when certain forces are disturbed, those who know are called upon to setlle the land...only the deep can call to the deep. Bola Awoniran Oga tata, settling the land through your mayhem? So now you must destroy the land in order to save it a la Iraq and Afghanistan? Oga tata, Allah is my witness we will not permit that. Tata tata We? You and who? Bola Awoniran Me and the masses Obinnna75 As Mommsen said in his History of Rome, about the first Caesar, the ordinary man does not disdain being led, so far as he is led by a master. Snooper’s literary mastery is acknowledged. Tata tata And as Prophet Muhammed said masters are anointed by Allah, not created. Imagine_2012 The picture says it all. Unfortunately we are all on our own. One

John Shalom, The Socratic Plato of our time, I am proud of you. To say the least, you are an amalgam of Socrates, Shakespeare, and the sum of the founding fathers of the American Constitution (1776). That you could stoop to notice this phenomenon called “gainfully unemployed class’, stands you out as a philosopher, human manager, seer, a patroit, and sociologist par excellence. I am a member of the ‘G U class 4.’ It’s saddening the ruling class has no vision for the frustrated youth. One day, the ’critical mass” will form, we the class 4 will speak, and the rest will be disastrous, revolutionary conflagration. We salute you. D_Oracle “The rise (and rise) of the gainfully unemployed” is a ticking time bomb. Sir, your generation has sown and continues to sow the wind. Surely you all will be alive to reap the massive whirlwind cum gale cum hurricane. You have the ears of these vagabonds-in-power especially those that populate the South West… the discontent in the land is getting to an alarming level and it’s almost a cinch that the unmanageable commotion will begin from the South West. Tata tata Yo know for a fact that you are a Yariba...Obasanjo onyejekwe is also one. Bola Awoniran Sir, it is very unusual and very uncharacteristic of polymath intellectual avatars to combine humility with intellectual prowess, and your easily combining the two had in my humble opinion elevated you to the realm of greatness in our national pantheon, as flawed as it may be to apostates of our national creed. But sir your contention that “Gone are the days of infallible leaders of men who treat fellow citizens as ignorant and feckless children. Gone are the days of writers as oracular supermen dispensing nuggets of wisdom to lesser beings from their Olympian fountain “is not in conformity with the duplicitous arrogant reportage of the Western press, listen to CNN, and you discern right away that the duplicitous verbiage they are spewing and spinning is pure and unadulterated mendacity. Listen Sir to Bill Oreilly, listen to Rush Limbaugh, listen to Christian Amanpour, listen to Fareed Zakaria, read Rupert Murdoch newspapers, read about all their characterisation of Africa and what is coming out of Africa. Until recently when they are in competition with China for African resources they start reporting about Africa rapid growing GDP, and conveniently failing to report that this growth was fueled by mineral exploitation, and that poverty index and corruption index in most of these African countries are rising exponentially. Sir, have you heard them saying anything negative about Equatorial Guinea? And they are hand in glove with the tin pot dictator bedeviling that part of the mother continent. What about the Tony Blair and Collin Powell spin that led to destruction of Iraq? It was actively promoted as gospel truth by the Western press and their neo-con intellectual rabbis.

Now the rabid atavistic and obscurantist House of Saud who name a country after their own family name, and the despotic, imbecilic and equally obscurantist rulers of Bahrain and Qatar are now being promoted as champions of democracy in Syria. They want to give Syria what they don’t have; they want to teach Syria what they don’t know. What a theatre of the absurd! Terrorists are being financed and armed to destroy Syria, blatantly contradicting the West’s avowed declaration of war on terrorism. It is in this light we must be wary of their ambivalence in declaring Boko Harama terrorist organisation. Sir, the information they daily disseminate to the world is absolute arrogant falsehood and aberrant propanganda. Sir, on your supplication that “ God forbids a revolution in Nigeria in which gainfully unemployed suburban scum return to the metropolis, that will be holocaust itself. “On whose behalf are you making this supplication? Obviously not on your behalf, for Chief Okon is already overhauling intermittently the existing societal order and also intermittently fomenting sporadic revolution in your household ,yet you adapt and evolve, unlike our diabolic pedestrian thinking pathetic caricature of homo politicus. Sir, bo ba le ya koya, elulu ti o fajo ori ara e ni o fajo le. Sir, if they don’t return to the metropolis where are they to return to? Sir, as you earlier proclaimed they are youth, and flower of this fatherland and now they are suburban scum, by your dictum. who procreate these suburban scums?Your generation Sir, now you are all afraid of Frantz Fanon prognostication about the future that awaits you guys from the Frankenstein monster your generation has created. Sir, I wonder who is afraid of the barbarians at the gate? Obviously not you, but your friends. Sir, please admonish journalists and opinion molders in our fatherland to shine their search light on the beneficiary of our fatherland ethos of crony capitalism and pseudo capitalist comprador bourgeoisie, expose them for the fraud that are. The resurgence of countries like China, India, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Russia is the result of efforts of their patriotic capitalist bourgeoisie. The fulfilment of American manifest destiny was the manifestation and culmination of the efforts and struggle of this class. RealityCheck Government saw men only in mass; but our men, being irregulars, were not formations, but individuals...Our kingdom lay in each man’s mind. T.E Lawrence. I once asked a truck-driver why they conduct themselves so dangerously not mindful of other road users. His reply: Which other road-users? We see only flies and ants driving. About the over-crowded train, let me break it down. Our almighty government doesn’t see individuals, it see “ants “and “flies.” Sususu1 Answer correctly and win!!!! What is the name of the political party that Dr Olu Agunloye will decamp to in Ondo after the gubernatorial elections? Star prize is an oil subsidy contract and a chance to become part of the “Bugatti Boys.”




2015 : Igbo should wait for Jonathan’s decision, says Obi Nwanosike Onu, Awka


HE Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Relations, Chief Ben Obi has declared that the South East must wait for President Goodluck Jonathan to make up his mind on whether to seek reelection in 2015 for any one from the zone to start talking about joining the race. Senator Obi, who spoke to reporters in Awka, said while the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, is right in saying it is the turn of the South East to produce president in 2015, the people should wait for Jonathan to declare his interest first. He said:”Ohaneze Ndigbo of which I am a caucus member, has said it loud and clear that it is our turn to produce the president come 2015 and we are highly interested in 2015 and that is if President Jonathan decides not to run”. “If he is running, Ndigbo will look into it and give its due consideration. I do not have any right to question the decision of Ohaneze. The group has a leadership we all follow.” On why the people of South East appear to be complacent on the issue, Senator Obi said: “It is the duty of the people who have been entrusted with the leadership of Ndigbo to champion the cause(s) of their people, while the foot soldiers will join. But when the leaders do not move, the others will have nothing to do” On the clamour for an additional state from the zone, he said there is still hope. “We keep talking on this issue of injustice to our people, one additional state is realizable. It is acceptable, even others who are not part of it have seen it as injustice to Ndigbo, but our people have not displayed enough muscle to that effect,” he said. “It is not the duty of President Goodluck Jonathan to come and champion our extra state cause. No, it is our duty as Ndigbo to demand our additional state, we should be at par with others,” he stressed.

Kaduna signs MoU on power generation Tony Akowe,Kaduna


HE Kaduna State government yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Helios Energy Limited, a German company, for the generation of 30 megawatts of solar power. The MoU which was signed under the Nigerian – German Energy Partnership will see the German company spending about 50 million Euros to construct a solar energy plant in Kaduna under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme spanning a period of 25 years. Under the agreement, the Kaduna State Government will provide about 60 hectares of land to the company for the construction, while the German company will train indigenes in Germany to operate the facility when completed.

Ibori loot: We’ll recover all Delta State money – Uduaghan •Why Northern governors are resisting state police


ELTA State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has restated the determination of his government to pursue the recovery of all funds which courts in Nigeria, United Kingdom and United States have seized from his predecessor, James Ibori and his associates. Speaking exclusively to The Nation on Sunday, Uduaghan said: “We are going to go for any money that was collected as alleged money gotten from the government of Delta State by anybody – not just from Chief Ibori, but the wife, sister and mistress. Any money that has been taken by anybody from the funds of Delta State … we are going to look for them because at the end of the day – legally – its money belonging to the state. “We have the case of Plateau State and Bayela; so if the British

By Festus Eriye and Bolaji Sanusi

government has collected money on behalf of the Delta State government, we will thank them and then ask for our money.” The state is already in court seeking an order directing the Federal Government to return to it $15 million cash purportedly offered as a bribe by Ibori in 2007 to the then Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to compromise the probe of a fraud allegation against him (Ibori). The money has been kept in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since 2007 after Ibori denied the bribery allegation. The application dated August 10 was filed by Charles Ajuyah (SAN), the Delta State

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. In it the state claims that the money in question was offered by Ibori to the EFCC boss whilst in office as governor. The Federal Government had on July 24, 2012 obtained an interim order directing that the money be forfeited to it pending the time anyone who laying bonafide claim could prove legitimate ownership before the court. Uduaghan also shed light on the on-going disagreements between Northern and Southern state governors over proposals to introduce state police into the constitution. He says the division is not as fierce as being portrayed. “|I think that some of my colleagues are worried about how they will finance the state

police. If you look at the arguments, they are saying give the governors more control; let the Commissioner of Police come from my state, let most of those being recruited into the police come from my state – which is almost like state police. “The difference is that the federal government will fund it. All of us agree in principle that something has to be done about the police. All of us agree that the governors have to take more control of the police than they are doing now,” he said. He equally dismissed as baseless statements by some prominent Northern politicians and governors claiming that Niger-Delta state were cornering a disproportionate share of the nation’s finances. He said: “I don’t think they can withstand that debate. I quite sympathise with the situation, but even those Niger Delta states they are talking about, they

don’t think of the environmental damage and the difficulties in the terrain. The cost of constructing a kilometer of road in some of those places can construct 12 kilometers of road in some other places. “If you are going to compare by what ministries are doing, then there are so many federal ministries doing nothing in Delta State. There is no federal road being constructed in Delta. None – not one kilometer! And they are constructing roads… So if you want to start counting on that basis, you will count and count. There are so many ministries that are not present in Delta State. I am the one that funds most of the federal agencies in Delta State.” On the security situation in the state, evidenced by highprofile kidnappings in recent times, the governor explained that while there were several factors responsible, a political dimension had been introduced by those responsible for the snatchings. Uduaghan whose uncle was recently seized by kidnappers, says: “It has become something political to embarrass government. If you notice, virtually every top government official has had one person or the other kidnapped in recent times: the Secretary to the State Government, the Speaker – virtually everybody. Now it is targeting government officials – which I think is more of a political issue.”

(See full interview with Governor Uduaghan next Sunday, September 2, 2012)


•Best harvester of the 2012 Leboku, Mrs.Woma Okoi Ikpi posing inside a brand new double cabin Hyundai truck, as Governor Liyel Imoke directs her to the ignition point. His wife, Mrs Obioma Liyel Imoke, watches with admiration at the grand finale of the festival in Ugep, Yakurr Local Governmnet Area.

OIC: Nigeria remains a secular state, says Minister •Asks citizens to shun moves to cause fresh religious crisis


HE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, yesterday said Nigeria remains a secular state regardless of its membership of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). Its membership of OIC, he maintained, does not amount to the Islamisation of the country. Ashiru, spoke exclusively to The Nation on Sunday in Abuja against the backdrop of the fresh controversy sparked by the recent OIC session. He asked Nigerians to shun attempt by some people to stoke the fire of religious crisis in the country. He said there is no move to Islamise the country as OIC has already condemned the activities of Boko Haram as being out of tune with the tenets of Islam. A statement credited to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Nurudeen, has been generating reactions from the Christian community. The minister was quoted as saying, “Nigeria is one of the most Christian-populated Islamic nations in the world.” But the Minister of Foreign

FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Affairs, Ambassador Ashiru said there is no cause for alarm because Nigeria is a secular state as expressly stated in the 1999 Constitution. He said he suspected that the Minister of State might have been misquoted. Ashiru said: “The position is very clear, Nigeria is a secular state with the population of Christians and Muslims evenly divided at approximately 5050. So, the statement credited to the Minister of State might have been quoted out of context. “Our constitution is very clear that we are a secular nation and our Foreign Policy derives from that constitution. We will remain a secular state. “We are members of OIC since the military regime of exPresident Ibrahim Babangida to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of our Muslim brethren. “In any case, we have been in OIC for many years we should not raise any issue about that. In fact, a Nigerian, Amb. Hammed Opeloyeru is the Assistant Secretary-General of OIC.

“Our membership of OIC does not tantamount to the Islamisation of Nigeria. In any case, we have worked well with OIC to our own advantage. “I assure all Nigerians that our policy as a secular state, which is enshrined in the con-

stitution has not changed. “On the issue of Boko Haram, OIC is one of the organisations that spoke against attacks by the group. It is an association that has been mutually beneficial.” He appealed to Nigerians “not to allow the nation to be divided along religious lines.”

•James Ibori: $3 million, a mansion in Houston, Texas and two Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts seized in the US. UK estimate $77m (about N12.17bn). The fraud sum excludes another 720,000 pounds (N183.6m) expended exotic automobiles. Assets include a house in Hampstead, North London, worth £2.2m; a property in Shaftesbury, Dorset, worth £311,000; a £3.2m mansion in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa; a fleet of armoured Range Rovers valued at £600,000; a £120,000 Bentley; and a Mercedes Maybach worth 407,000 Euros. •Theresa Ibori: Ordered to refund £5.175 million (about N1.3bn m) to Delta State Government; sell her 7 Westover Hill Mansion and another one known as Great Ground Property. •Christine Ibori-Ibie: Ordered to pay £832,000.

ICAN, others fault proposed N5,000 note


HE proposed introduction of N5,000 note next year by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has drawn the ire of the public, with many calling for the outright rejection of the whole idea saying it is not in the public interest. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), in their professional online forum over the weekend, spurned the decision, describing it as an avenue for corruption and inflation. Corroborating his colleagues, Mr. Joshua Oderinde, past chairman, ICAN, Ikeja District, said the proposed introduction is not only ill-timed but unnecessary. “It is going to increase inflation and corruption. Besides, it negates the principles of cashless economy which we are all supporting. It is simply a con-

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf and Bukola Afolabi

tradiction of the whole idea. The naira notes we have currently are okay. We should just sustain them”, he stressed. Echoing similar sentiments, the trio of Sir Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Dr. Jonathan Aremu, economic expert and Sola Oni, Chief Executive, Sofunix Investment and Communications Ltd, described the decision as ill-conceived. According to Nwosu, the decision as well as reintroduction of coins into the system is wrong. “There is nothing good about the coins…It is the introduction of hyper-inflation. The decimalisation of money, as far as I’m concerned, is tantamount to pulling down the economy

further”, he stressed, adding: “When you have immature people in government, these are the kinds of things you get.” In his own reaction, Aremu upbraided the CBN governor, saying it is uncalled for. “The decision is not necessary. I don’t think it is in order. I would rather the CBN governor strengthen the monetary policy. As an economist, I don’t think the introduction of N5, 000 note is necessary especially under a cashless economy.” To Oni, the decision, if allowed, has a lot of far-reaching effect on the economy. “Government should focus on the development of the productive sector of the economy rather than playing to the gallery with the introduction of highest notes which in the long run can lead to indirect devaluation of naira.”



Refinery blast kills 24 in Venezuela, dozens hurt

‘Braithwate, Babatope are deadwood politicians’



HUGE explosion rocked Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery early yesterday killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 50 others in the deadliest disaster in memory in the country’s key oil industry. Balls of fire rose over the Amuay refinery, one of the largest in the world, in video posted on the Internet by people who were nearby at the time. Those killed included a 10year-old boy, and at least 53 people were injured, Falcon State Gov. Stella Lugo said on state television. She said fire fighters had controlled the flames at the refinery on the Paraguana Peninsula in western Venezuela, where large clouds of smoke were rising. At least 24 people were killed, many of them National Guard troops stationed at the refinery, Vice President Elias Jaua said on television after travelling to the area. He said the authorities were “trying to save the greatest number of lives.” Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said that Venezuela has enough fuel supplies to guarantee continued exports and domestic supply. As far as fuel shipments, he said, “we won’t have major effects.” The blast occurred after 1a.m. when a gas leak created a cloud that ignited, Ramirez said. Some nearby houses were damaged by the blast, he said on television. “That gas generated a cloud that later exploded and has caused fires in at least two tanks of the refinery and surrounding areas,” Ramirez said. “The blast wave was of a significant magnitude.” Images in state media showed the flames casting an orange glow against the night sky. One photograph showed an injured man being wheeled away on a stretcher. “The areas that had to be evacuated were evacuated,” Lugo said, according to the staterun Venezuelan News Agency. “The situation is controlled. Of course there is still a fire rising very high, but ... the specialists tell me there is no risk of another explosion.” Ramirez said oil workers will determine what caused the gas leak and were inspecting the damage along with troops. Ramirez said that nine storage tanks were damaged. He said supplies of fuel had been cut off to part of the refinery, and that the fire had been brought under control. Troops were securing the area at the refinery, Lugo said. “At this time, the situation is controlled,” Jaua said on television, while smoke continued to rise from the refinery. Jaua said earlier on his Twitter account that the military was deployed to the area and that air ambulances were dispatched to ferry the wounded. Amuay is part of the Paraguana Refinery Complex, which also includes the adjacent Cardon refinery. Together, the two refineries process about 900,000 barrels of crude per day and 200,000 barrels of gasoline. Venezuela is a major supplier of oil to the U.S. and a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

HE Akeredolu Camp a i g n Organisation(ACO) yesterday dismissed as fruitless and of no effect the purported endorsement of Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State for a second term by Dr. Tunji Braithwate, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Dr. Fredrick Fasehun. In a statement, the Director of Publicity and Strategy of the group, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, said the three men “ have lost relevance in the South-West.” He said of Dr. Braithwaite: “It would be recalled that the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) registered the then National Advance Party (NAP) to scuttle the Unity Party of

Nigeria (UPN) under the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but it did not work as the party could not win a councillorship seat in the entire Western States then. We know that Braithwate is back in his familiar turf. But just as he failed in the Second Republic he will fail again.” On Chief Babatope, the group said: “For us in the ACN, the case of Ebenezer Babatope is like that of Saul, who started with God, but ended up with sorcerers. Babatope started with the progressives, under the late Sage, but ended in the belly of the reactionary, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His endorsement of Mimiko has further confirmed that he has lost totally in the politics of Yorubaland. How did his

support help Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Segun Oni, Alao Akala, among others.? It is instructive to remember that this same man endorsed the Late General Sanni Abacha! This time, his endorsement will not save Mimiko from being rooted out of Ondo State in the October 20 election.” In the case of Dr. Fasehun, the group said: “Is it not the same Fasehun who was almost killed under Gen. Sani Abacha ? This time he is joining hands with Mimiko to murder the Yoruba Integration agenda. But it will not work, “Did Braithwate, Babatope, Fasehun minds prick them with the inability of Mimiko government to commission a single

road project in more than three years? On the abandoned Ondo-Akure road, Owo-Akure road, Doom-Dome project, gross unemployment and so on? “The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will sweep the poll in Ondo State because our promises are based on what we have done in Lagos and other ACN controlled states. Barrister Rotimi Akeredolu on his honour, integrity and pedigree, will not embark on any abandoned project. He will pursue massive infrastructural development of the state, provide employment and expand the economy of the State and will not improvish the people like the Labour Party under Mimiko has done.’’

• Ondo State, Action Congress of Nigeria Governorship candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu addressing the Idogun Community in Ose Local Government at the weekend


NY return of violence during the November presidential election in Sierra Leone will gravely affect Nigeria’s economic and political interests, the country’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Henry Olufumi Macauley, has said. The envoy, speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday, asked Nigeria to pay more than a cursory attention to the political developments in the former war-torn country in view of the activities of some opposition politicians who seem to be bent on toeing the path of violence. Macauley described the candidate of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party, Gen. Mada Bio, as a well known coup plotter who may not readily subscribe to democratic principles. Bio’s antecedents, he claimed, have heightened fears of possible return of violence and anarchy as the nation gets set for the November election. He said: “We are looking forward to elections in November and in the opposition, we have a candidate who is twice a


Presbyterian Church wants Green Tree Agreement revisited


HE Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has urged the National Assembly to revisit the Green Tree Agreement by which Nigeria ceded the oil rich Bakassi peninsula to Cameroun in 2006, to ensure justice and fair play in accordance with the tenets of international law. Nigeria is yet to ratify the agreement. In a communiqué at the end of its 20th General Assembly in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Church said the purported declaration of self-determination in Ogoniland and the threat of secession by Bakassi refugees are clear signs that things have gradually fallen apart in the country. The Church, therefore, asked the President and the National Assembly to urgently consider the convening of a National Conference to address the various problems facing the country. In the communiqué which was jointly signed by the Prelate, the Most Rev. E. M. Uka, and the Principal Clerk, the Rev. Ndukwe N. Eme, the church also advised the federal government to reduce the cost of governance in the Executive and Legislature arms as well as other sectors of government with a view to reducing the financial burden on the nation. On the state of insecurity, the Church expressed worry over ”the steady rise in acts of terrorism between December 2011 and August, 2012", especially the attacks on churches, Christians, schools and youth corps members and “wondered why they could operate with impunity, without any corresponding check by government security agents.” It advised the federal government to take appropriate action in checkmating this menace. It conferred on the host Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, the John Calvin Meritorious Service Award, which is named after John Calvin who was the founder of Presbyterianism and builder of Geneva as a model city.

Why Nigeria should insist on violence-free election in Sierra Leone—Ambassador From Yusuf Alli and Yomi Odunuga, Abuja

military coupist and known for war crimes. In fact, the UK and the US are investigating him on war crimes and extra-judicial killings, as well as massive corruption during the dark days of his military adventurism. “We implore the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people to keep their eyes open and make sure that nothing goes wrong in Sierra Leone. We all know that Nigeria is the big brother in the region and if anything goes wrong anywhere, Nigeria is morally bound to go in. That is why we appeal to Nigeria to keep her eyes open so that the hard-won peace she has helped us to achieve can be sustained. “This is important because if we are to achieve sustainable development in Africa, we need peace and stability and we have to bear in mind that whatever

affects one part of the sub-region affects others. “There are two parties in Sierra Leone: All People’s Congress (APC) and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) which used to be the one in power before the ACP came to power with the inauguration of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as president in 2007. LPP was the party in power before the series of coups in that country. “Sadly one of the main champions of those coups is the flag bearer of the LPP. And that is Gen Mada Bio. He was part of the coup that overthrew President Momoh and then during their own administration, he planned another coup that overthrew his own boss, Gen. Valentine Strasser. Somebody with that kind of antecedence is worth concern.” Dismissing suggestions that the government’s position is alarmist since Bio has not done anything that contravenes the country’s laws, Macauley said

there are indications that Bio has been meeting with some Nigerian businessmen and promising them juicy deals. “I have information that Bio has been coming to Nigerians, telling people to support him and that when he becomes president he will give them oil blocks. As the High Commissioner of Sierra Leone, if any Sierra Leonean comes to Nigeria to deceive Nigerians, I have to put my feet down. I owe it a duty to make sure that no Sierra Leonean comes to deceive Nigerians.” He noted that the Koroma administration has been working hard to improve the quality of lives of Sierra Leoneans and has achieved great results in social services, agriculture and infrastructure. According to him, many Nigerian teachers and lecturers currently work in Sierra Leone to return the educational sector

to its place of pride. “Today, the average age of farmers has come down. It is no longer only the ‘babas’ that are farming. Young people are now also farming. By next year, we will be exporting rice. As we talk we have almost quadrupled our rice production.” On social services and infrastructure, the envoy said the Koroma administration provides free medical care for mothers and infants and that the government has been providing “roads and other infrastructure in both the urban and rural areas not only in the administrations’ areas of stronghold, but also in the areas of opposition.” “We can have development only if we have good leadership. Nigeria has always been our big brother and Nigeria needs to work with the small to make sure that this peace and stability that we have enjoyed in the last 12 years is sustained,” he stated.




Osun opens 50 HIV counselling centres Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


VER fifty Human Immune Virus (HIV) counselling and testing centres have been opened by the Osun State government in the 30 local government council areas. The Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, made the disclosure during the HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitisation programme in Osogbo, Osun State capital. She revealed that 39 health facilities are set to provide prevention of mother – to- child transmission of HIV services. According to her, six health facilities are also providing HIV treatment services to ensure zero tolerance for the virus. She said government has put necessary measure in place to curb the spread of HIV and through effective policy implementation. She urged the residents of the state to always go for counseling and testing.

Ajimobi signs 18 bills


HE Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has assented to 18 bills recently passed by the state House of Assembly. The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, disclosed this at the weekend while briefing newsmen in his office. Ojo said laws were designed to have positive impact on the citizenry. According to him: “the Bills included the Oyo State Technical University Law, which will aid the establishment of a Technical University in the state. “Others are the law regulating the application of Letter of Administration. This law will make it easier for the next-of-kin of a deceased person to collect his/her benefit’’. He stated that a bill for the amendment of the Oyo State Solid Waste Management Authority had also been signed into law to regulate the activities of refuse contractors in the state.

Terrorism: Centre offers self-protection training

Ethiopian Boeing 787 -800 makes historic landing in Lagos T E

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

XCITED passengers and workers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos yesterday welcomed the brand new dreamliner Boeing 787 -800 aircraft belonging to Ethiopian Airlines. Christened African First, it landed at the airport with over 200 passengers from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital amid applause and cheers around 2.20pm. The aircraft taxied to the apron of the airport for the traditional shower, a treatment of bathing with water supplied from two fire trucks with the massive airplane at the middle. Scores of passengers at the boarding gate area and other areas visible to the run-

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

way rushed through the windows to catch a glimpse of the latest aircraft in the Boeing family flying into the Nigerian airspace. The captain of the aircraft with registration number ET-AOQ, Zelalem Hailu, stated it was a good experience flying into Nigeria. Officials of aviation agencies including Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, were on hand to inspect the aircraft. Acting General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Nigeria, Mr.

•The aircraft... yesterday

Solomon Begashaw, described acquisition of the aircraft as a landmark for the African carrier. He explained passengers will

Ndigbo must change strategy to produce president, says Okorocha


HE Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has urged Ndigbo to change strategy and be more business-like to produce the president in 2015. Okorocha, in an interview, denied insinuations that the Igbo race is being alienated from the 2015 presidential race. According to him: “Nigerians are not alienating the South-East from that race instead Ndigbo are alienating themselves from the race. “They have not developed

By Sam Egburonu, Associate Editor

enough confidence in pursuing the cause. They have not taken it as a business.” The governor, who contested for the highest office, advised Ndigbo to work towards presenting a capable candidate instead of banking on the appeal of marginalisation. He noted that marginalisation against the Igbo race is true but may not persuade others to concede the presidency to the region.

“Nobody can donate presidency to you because you are Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba,” he said, adding that it is the quality of the candidate that will convince voters. Okorocha said the crisis within the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) was only temporary, explaining that the leaders of the party are working hard to resolve it. He also denied insinuations that his relationship with Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has gone sour. ”I am very close to Obi. He


is a brother to me. I also accord him the honour of being in APGA before me. I am just a newcomer. All I do is to give advice.” On the allegation that APGA cannot produce a presidential candidate in 2015, Okorocha said: “Every political party has the right to produce a presidential candidate. So, nobody can deny any party that right. Any party that is not able to produce a presidential candidate should be de-registered.”

Promasidor chief tasks youths By Rita Ohai HE best way to ensure guaranteed future for the young Nigerians is for them to get involved in the productive sector of the economy, The Managing Director of Promasidor, Mr. Keith Richards, has said. He gave this charge at a public forum yesterday in Lagos. The forum, organised by Speaker Series Africa, facilitators of 90 -Minute Speaker Series, is geared towards grooming the younger generation and creating a platform for entrepreneurial development. Richards said: “If young people under 40 years of age do not start to speak up or get actively involved in politics, they may never get the opportunity to influence decisions concerning the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.” He added: “Qualified young business- minded people would have to portray themselves as being capable enough before they would be given the chance to fill managerial positions.” The convener of the conference, Gbolahan Fagbure, said, “The Speaker Series was designed to create an enabling environment for visiondriven people to network with one another as well as glean invaluable insight into the lives of people who have succeeded in their chosen fields.”


Miss Nigeria Ghana debuts ELIGHT Communications, Nigerian Eye Newspaper, Jumacole Investment, Starkeep Productions and partners have concluded arrangements for the Miss Nigeria Ghana beauty pageant. The grand finale of the event holds on October 26 in Accra. A statement by Mr. Joshua Olalere, Chairman of the Organising Committee, said the event is packaged to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the country and foster better relations between Ghana and Nigeria. The winner will go home with an official car, a $6,000 Rolex watch and a year breast cancer enlightenment campaign in all regions of Ghana. The competition, according to Olalere, "is open to all Nigerian ladies schooling or resident in Ghana between the ages of 18 and above."

enjoy limitless features including more space for cargo, which the airline has been grappling with for a long time.

•L-R:: Former Director, Management Services, National Broadcasting Commission(NBC), Elder Biodun Ogunsote; Director-general, Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa; Former Director General, Dr Tom Adaba; and former Director, Monitoring, Mr Eddy Aina cutting the 20th anniversary cake of The NBC in Abuja ... at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN

‘Revelations are in national interests’


OPULAR Lagos seer, Primate Babatunde Ayodele, has appealed to government officials to heed divine warnings and revelations. He said many of the calamities in the nation are avoidable if government officials stop seeing prophets as hungry servants of God desperate to hit the limelight. According to him: “When God gives revelations, it is for the benefits of the nation. “Many times, we don’t want to talk because they will say it is because you are hungry or after popularity. ‘But when God talks, you

By Sunday Oguntola

have no choice as his servant than to deliver His messages.” He urged African nations to pray aggressively against the death of another President. Ayodele, who is the founder of Inri Spiritual Evangelical Church, Oke Afa, lamented the death of former Ghanaian President, Prof. John Atta- Mills. He claimed to have warned the former President, saying many of such deaths are avoidable. According to him: “Africa needs a lot of prayers this year. We need to pray

that our leaders don’t come under serious illness and sickness”. He also stated the alliance talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) might cause serious upsets if it works. He urged the ACN to embark on serious prayers to emerge victorious at the forthcoming Ondo governorship election. On the dismal performance of Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics, he said it was expected because “we were not prepared physically and spiritually.”

HE Centre for Intelligence Studies and Research (CIRS) Abuja has offered to train interested members of the public on selfdefence and self-protection tactics. The group said it will also offer courses in home protection, response to medical emergencies and other security-related trainings to assist individuals protect themselves and their property. The Executive Vice Chairman of CIRS, Stanley Ukaga, at a press conference in Abuja yesterday said the training would be done in collaboration with the European Security Academy based in Poland. Ukaga stated that interested individuals will, however, need police clearance before they can participate in the programme. He explained that the centre will also train security agencies on counter-measures against terrorism, kidnapping and other violent crimes that are on the rise in the country. According to him, the training will also impart skills of detecting terrorists, bombs and ways of providing first aid to victims of attacks. The representative of the European Academy in Nigeria, Tom Watermeulen, said courses for civilians do not involve the use of firearms, adding that they are purely armless self-defence tactics.

Foundation urges Ajimobi to demolish structures on water channels From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan


HE Kunle Akinyele Flood Foundation has called on Governor Abiola Ajimobi not to look back in his detemination to pull down structures obstructing free flow of water anywhere in Oyo State. The foundation was formed at the burial of one of the major victims of the August 26 last year flood, Mr. Kunle Akinyele and his two daughters. They were among the over 100 people killed by the flood. The flood also destroyed several houses and infrastructures estimated at over N100 billion by the Oyo State Government. The coordinator of the foundation, Eng. Bola Olowe, told reporters yesterday that indiscriminate building of houses along river channels was a major cause of the last year flood. He called on the Governor to ignore distractions and ensure that all those structures are pulled down to prevent a recurrence of flood and consequent needless loss of lives. He cited the house where Akinyele died, disclosing that the same house was already being repaired by the owner for rent to another potential victim. In his address “That we may not weep again in Oyo State,” Olowe described the mandate of the foundation as acting as an advocacy group and suggesting flood preventing measures to government. The foundation, according to him, will soon embark on public campaigns against proflood practices to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy.




Be decisive, Catholic Bishops tell Jonathan

‘Prayers can arrest insecurity’

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

By Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa


HE Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to boldly confront the monsters of corruption and insecurity in the country. In a communiqué at the end of their two-day meeting in Awe town, Oyo State, the Bishops noted with dismay the failure of the Federal Government to investigate and prosecute allegations of corruption. This, they said, ”greatly detracts from the credibility of the transformation agenda of the current administration and further demoralises our fractious nation.” The communiqué jointly signed by its president, Most Reverend Felix Job, and secretary, Felix Ajakaiye, submitted that “the tragic Boko Haram insurgence which continues to spread death, mayhem and destruction is merely the most visible manifestation of the country’s burden of political chaos and confusion.” The Catholic Bishops urged Jonathan to shed the toga of timidity and cowardice to address crucial challenges facing the nation. They challenged church leaders to seek concrete ways of dealing with the current security challenge in the country, especially the evils perpetrated in the name of religion.

Lagos Assembly chides MTN over promo By Oziegbe Okoeki


HE Lagos State House of Assembly has lampooned telecommunication giant, MTN, over its wonder promo. Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Hon. Segun Olulade, blasted the firm for encouraging Lagosians to participate in the promo that promises luxurious gifts such as aero plane with a fee of N200. The promo, he said, has the tendency to contribute to the growing trend of moral decadence in the society. Olulade said it creates the impression among youths that there are undignified short cuts to wealth, negating the ideals of labour and responsibility. He argued that marketing hypes of this kind would go a long way to further insult the collective intelligence of Nigerians and defeat the purpose they are meant to serve. The lawmaker advised MTN to consider the far- reaching implications of the controversial promo on its brand’s integrity in Nigeria, especially if the promises are not fulfilled. He urged MTN to devise more dignifying sale strategies and intensify efforts in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He called on the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) as well as the Consumers Protection Council (CPC) to critically look into the modalities surrounding the various business promos in the country.



•R-L: Fashola, Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru and a member, House of Representatives, Eti-Osa Federal Constituency, Hon Jide Akinloye during the inspection... yesterday

Ocean surge: Fashola promises innovative solutions L

AGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday pledged to address the challenge of global environment in the state through innovative and courageous solutions. He spoke during inspection of the Kuramo Beach in Victoria Island. Fashola described the recent ocean surge recorded

By Sunday Oguntola

in the state as a global phenomenon that affects coastline regions. He also explained that the Eko Atlantic City project of the administration saved rather than expose the whole of Victoria Island to flooding. The Governor pointed out that the Nigerian Law School and Modupe Oshikoya Avenue used to be vulnerable

to flooding, a situation he said the Eko Atlantic Project helped reverse. According to him: “Victoria Island and Ikoyi are saved. Those are the financial heart of Nigeria’s capital markets today, banks, jobs, homes, skyscrapers and hotels. That is what the Eko Atlantic City has done”. Since the situation is manifesting in other parts of the

state, Fashola said government might extend the work to the Kuramo areas to protect homes and property across the coastline up to Alpha Beach and Goshen Estate. He stated that the Kuramo erosion challenge is an emergency not included in the budgetary plans for the year, saying the Federal Government must help to address the emergency.

Community protests alleged unilateral land sales by monarch


UNDREDS of youths and women from Amaene village at the weekend protested alleged unilateral sales of the community’s lands and market stalls by the town’s paramount ruler, His Majesty, Obi Okeke. The protesters, who gathered at Abagana in Njikoka local government area of Anambra state, also accused Okeke of intimidation and unlawful detention of their kinsmen. The chairman of Amaene village, Chief Godfrey Okonkwo, said: ”Our traditional ruler has on several occasions resorted to the sale of portions of lands belonging to different families and individuals. “He has at one time or

•They are disgruntled, says paramount ruler From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

the other unilaterally negotiated the sale of portions of the community’s lands to neighbouring communities of Eziowelle.” He went on: “Most recently, he carved out large portions of land from the Oye-Agu market in our community for sale to a Federal Agency without consulting the rightful owners of the land. “This is a portion of land our community has already leased to the authority of Njikoka Local Government since 1986 to be used for the construction of more market

stalls.” He also alleged that the royal father created an independent village out of Amaene and instituted a Caretaker Executive Committee in Amaene against popular decision. Okonkwo stated that the community has sent several petitions to the state government, Njikoka local government, Director of SSS and the Commissioner of Police without any redress. Reacting, Okeke said the grand plan of the protesters was to dethrone and kill him. He argued that no individuals or families can lay ownership claims to the portions of lands he sold in the com-

BOA seeks improved capitalisation, restructuring


HE Bank of Agriculture (BOA) at the weekend lamented its undercapitalisation. The situation, the bank said, has undermined its capacity to fully deliver over the years. Its Managing Director, Mohamme Santuraki, in a statement in Kaduna, disclosed that since the bank merged with the Peoples’ Bank in 2000, it has only received N30 Billion out of the approved N50 Billion share capital in 13 installments. Despite the undercapitalisation, Santuraki said the sole agricultural finance institution has granted

From Tony Akowe

over N44 billion in loans to about 550,000 agricultural and rural enterprises in 11 years. Over 6 millions jobs, he added, have been created in the process. The bank chief stated this was possible through creative leveraging of the available resources and strategic alliances, pointing out that the management was ready for the president’s initiative to restructure the bank for effective performance. According to him, the Federal Government’s efforts in this

regard will propel the institution’s transformation programme aimed at refocusing the institution on its core mandate of agricultural and rural financing, reviewing operating model , modernisation and retraining of manpower to create a more sustainable and impactful institution. Santuraki explained the institution’s Information Technology Architecture has been redesigned to accommodate mobile and agency banking operations with a view to increasing and improving its services considering the diverse spread of farmers across the nooks and crannies of the country.

munity. According to him: “The entire land in Abagana town, including markets stalls, belongs to government of Nigeria which I represent in this community. It does not belong to any individual or family.” He said he is entitled to many rights, including the right to lease or sell any portion of the community’s lands to individuals or groups interested in bringing developments to the community. Okeke dismissed the protesters, saying they are not from Amaene “but disgruntled elements bent on dethroning me from the royal stool and taking away my life.”


EMBERS of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary have visited parts of Agbado Oke-Odo in Alimosho Local Government Area where pipelines of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have been exposed. Chairman of the committee, Sanai Agunbiade, said the visitation was sequel to a petition by the community, complaining about dangers posed by the exposed pipelines. Agunbiade blamed the topography of the area for the erosion, which overran the soil texture and exposed the pipelines. He promised that the

ENIOR Pastor of the Christ Embassy in Bayelsa State, Joseph Agbaje, has identified constant prayer as the antidote to the serious security challenges in the country. Agbaje told reporters ahead of the church’s annual Reach Out Nigeria (RON) outreach that God will intervene when Nigerians pray enough. According to him: “We have to invoke God’s power over the security challenge. The only solution to violence is prayer as security is primarily in the hands of God. “We all have to pray because this will help the Federal Government and the security agencies to tackle the challenge.” He explained that millions of Rhapsody of Reality, the church’s devotional, will be distributed free during this year’s RON. The event, he said, will coincide with the celebration of the nation’s Independence on October 1.

TRANSITION Mrs. Ajayi (nee Eriye)

• The Late Ajayi


RS. Edjorverenu Ajayi (nee Eriye) is dead. She passed away on August 8 at 60. She was a player with the glorious Bendel State female hockey team and started her banking career with New Nigeria Bank. The deceased, who was from the Eriye family in EmuObedeti, Ndokwa West Local Government of Delta, proceeded to the United States for further studies and joined Bank of America (later Savannah Bank) in Nigeria before retirement. A wake holds on September 7 by 6pm at Plot 1722 (By 72nd) Festac Town, Lagos. Interment will be at the family’s compound in Kwale, Delta State, on September 14.

Lagos lawmakers visit site of exposed pipelines By Oziegbe Okoeki

House will look into the matter and communicate to appropriate quarters for actions. The lawmaker appealed to the executive arm of the CDA to enlighten other members of the community on the exposed pipes to prevent fuel scooping.




Leboku attracts more competition, prizes

Lagos to intervene in clearing canals By Miriam Ndikanwu


ROSS River State Government has introduced more cash prizes to encourage healthy competitions among maidens in 2013 Leboku. Governor Liyel Imoke disclosed this during the grand finale of 2012 Leboku with the theme, "A celebration of agricultural achievement and traditional values" in Ugep Yakurr Local Government Area. According to him: "next year's Leboku will be taken to a greater height with cash prizes awards to best dressed and performed maidens on parade". The first prize will attract N2 million, second N1.5m and third place 1 million respectively. The Governor explained that the decision is hinged on the fact that the parade of the maiden is getting more competitive with participations coming from within and beyond the community. He said the festival provides people opportunity to showcase agriculture, heritage and culture as well as exemplify the state's tourism potentials. The MTN Regional Marketing Manager, SouthSouth, Mr. Kester Osahenye, who disclosed that they started sponsoring Leboku since 2008, paid glowing tributes to Imoke for improving the content of the festival. According to him, the reason behind the sponsorship is to tell the world that Nigeria has plenty to offer because everything about it is not crime. He described Leboku as the best which showcases Yakurr culture, promotes Eco-tourism, sports and cultural tourism. Mr. Leboku 2012 was won by Mr. Leo Eteng Out, who carted the star prize of Hyundai saloon car as Emmanuel Omini Ibiang and Omini Cyril James who came second and third got a motor cycle and a set of barbing equipment respectively. The Best Harveter 2012, Mrs. Woma Okoi Ikpi smiled home with a Hyundai truck while Mrs. Comfort Obeten Ibiang and Mrs. Jenny Ubi Obongha who were second and third received a cassava processing machine and sewing machines respectively. The Best participating community, Mkpani received a cash prize of one million naira.

Why Jonathan is coming to Anambra - Obi


OVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State has said that President Goodluck Jonathan is coming to Anambra to commission projects executed by private sector and some of the projects his government did. He disclosed this yesterday during a radio programme on Silverbird Radio, monitored in Awka. Obi said that in line with the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President, he will be in the state to commission the facilities built by Orange Drugs, the SABmiller Brewery as well as Krisoral Company, all of which were private-sector initiatives. He said the president will also commission the Onitsha Ports, Orient Petroleum facility, the new Governor's Lodge at Onitsha, over ten roads constructed within the Habour Industrial Estate and 500 buses for security in the state.


•From left: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar (III); Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari and the former chairman of ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, at the international conference on Life and Works of Shaykh Adam Al-Iloy in Ilorin PHOTO: NAN

Nigeria still under authoritarian government -Tinubu T HE National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday said Nigeria "is ruled by civilians but not governed by democrats." Speaking during a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in Chicago, United States of America, during his ongoing tour of the country, he said "Our government may be wholly civilian but not wholly democratic. Too often, this government bears resemblance to yesterday's authoritarian government." The former governor of Lagos State while speaking on the need to have true federalism in Nigeria observed, "The state should be in control of each state, and a state should not depend on leftovers. Where there is over centralization you have epidemic corruption practices." Among the audience were the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, his of Oyo State counterpart, Abiola Ajimobi, former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Mr. Dele Alake, Mr. Sunday Dare, special adviser on Media to the former governor, representatives

By Adeola Oladele-Fayehun

from various local governments of Nigeria, and more than 300 other dignitaries. Osun State governor, Ogbeni Aregbesola reiterated the need for true federalism saying other smaller countries are now overtaking Nigeria in terms of development, due to lack of true federalism. "Countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia are not comparable with Nigeria in terms of federalism. But now, there is a super powerful federal government that doles out money to the states. The states cannot cater for themselves outside the allocations by the federal government. Each state ought to be independent in a federal government." Aregbesola proposed that for Nigeria to develop, some changes must be made. "The only way we can indeed tap the resources of our people is to restructure our political system so it gives meaning to federalism as it is meant to be," he said. Speaking in the same vein,

Official calls on commission over Edo/Delta boundary


DO State commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Abdul Oroh, has called on the National Boundary Adjustment Commission to hasten up the delineation of the boundary between Edo and Delta State. Oroh made this call yesterday while addressing Urhonigbe community leaders in Urhonigbe in the course of his working visit to Urhonigbe Rubber Estate. The commissioner charged the youths in the community in Orhionmwon Local Government Area to be vigilant and to report intruders or any cross border activities to the police and his office for necessary action. He however told community leaders that his visit was occasioned by reports of intrusion on the Urhonigbe Rubber Estate by Umutu community of Delta State with alleged connivance of the Delta State Ministry of Lands and Surveys, an action which he

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

said is a violation of an earlier agreement reached between Edo and Delta states not to do anything that will precipitate border crisis between Urhonigbe and Umutu Community of Delta State. Oroh however assured the people that the matter has been taken up at the highest level and vowed that not a single inch of Edo land will be ceded to any neighbouring community or state. The Olotu of the community, Chief Umweni Jackson Ighalo, expressed support for the planned privatisation but called on government to consider the interest of the community in privatizing the estate. The Commissioner who was accompanied by the Director of Agricultural Services, Mr. M. I. Ainogie was taken on a guided tour of the entire estate.

Governor Ajimobi, said true federalism should include "Shared power between federal and state governments, with no level of government treated as subordinate to the other." He added that "the constitution should be supreme and judiciary should be independent. One of the things affecting our federalism is over centralization of control of police." Earlier in the day, the former Lagos State governor visited the DuSable Museum of African American History, to explore how to preserve and develop the ancient Yoruba heritage following the pattern of the DuSable Museum. Talking with the President and Chief Executive Officer of

the DuSable Museum, Dr. Carol L. Adams in a closed door meeting, the former governor expressed his desire to collaborate with the board of Trustees of the Museum to seek ways to ensure that the ancestral heritage of Nigerians are well preserved as artifacts in the Museum. "It is important to have institutions like this in place because when you know where you are coming from, you will be better equipped to face the future," said Tinubu. "We have got a lot to do, but we are prepared to do it together," said Adams. "We have become a place African heads of states like to visit when they come to the U.S.," she added. Adams presented the Asiwaju with a hat to commemorate his visit to the museum.

FG reads riot act to pilots


HE Federal Government yesterday read the riot act to pilots, reiterating they must obtain and confirm their destination weather reports from the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) before take-off and landing. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, explained that the government was compelled to take the position, because it has been observed lately that only Flight Dispatchers go to the AIS to obtain Meteorological Folders without the pilots getting the briefings. She said this accounts for why aircrafts take off and get to their destinations but are unable to land. Oduah said the recklessness on the part of airline operators and pilots will no longer be tolerated, vowing that infractions will be met with serious sanctions. According to the Minister: " Henceforth, all Airline Operators and Pilots are required to obtain and confirm their destination weather reports from the AIS before start-up and take-off according to international standard and best practices in order to prevent incidents of

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

avoidable air returns due to unfavourable weather condition. "There is, therefore, absolutely no reason and justification for an aircraft to make an air return on the basis of poor weather condition since initial weather report from the AIS would have been adequate to indicate the futility of an initial take-off under such harsh weather conditions. " She also denied government is contemplating selling off the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria. Oduah, in a statement said:" Those circulating this malicious rumour have clearly ulterior motives that are not in tandem with the current administration's desire and determination to reposition the college as a premier aviation training institute on the African continent. "The speculation is only intended to malign and distract the management of the college from its clear objective of repositioning the college as a veritable source of manpower development and recruitment for the aviation industry in Nigeria."

HE Lagos State Government has assured residents in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state of government's resolve to intervene in clearing of canals in the area to avert loss of lives, especially during the rainy season. The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, gave the assurance yesterday when he led top government officials in the Ministry of Environment at the August edition of the monthly environmental sanitation exercise monitored in the local government. The residents had appealed to the government entourage which included the Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Works, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson, his counterpart in Environment, Taofeek Folami, to immediately commence the clearing of the canal ahead of the impending intense rainfall to avert loss of lives. A resident, Alhaji Muliu Adeyanju, who spoke on behalf of the residents, said the Baale Okoya Canal now covered with water hyacinth, remains a death trap for the residents, adding that the canal which stretches across the Achapo Bridge has been totally blocked. On the challenge of refuse management in the state, Managing Director of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Ola Oresanya, said the state government has acquired about 834 trucks, adding that the authority will soon take delivery of another 100 new waste management trucks.

Minister inaugurates committee on toxic chemicals From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja


HE Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim, has inaugurated an inter-ministerial steering committee to manage the use of toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated byphenyl (PCB) in the country. Hadiza also restated commitments of the Federal Government to ban usage of equipments made of PCBs by 2025. The minister spoke at the weekend in Abuja, adding that production of the chemical was banned globally in the early 1980s due to its toxic effects which led to its classification as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). In a statement by the ministry's Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations Unit, Lawrence Ojabo, the chemical has been found relevant due to its industrial application and use for consumer products. She stated that: "Nigeria stands by Stockholm Convention to eliminate the use of PCB- containing equipment by 2025 and will make determined efforts to enthrone liquid PCBs, and equipment contaminated with PCBs will be subjected to environmentally sound waste management not later than 2028."





HE inventors of the social media must be wondering how their invention which they meant to foster friendship and social relations has been turned into a tool of luring people to their death. The death of Cynthia Osokogu in the hands of Okumo Nwabufo, and his cousin, Odera Ezekiel, during the week has dealt a great psychological blow on many. It has further heightened fear over the use and need of this important tool of social relations. Reading through the gruesome account of the Cynthia's, how she was raped, tortured as well as how she met her killers via social media is heart, wrenching. On the flip side, it actually brings to the fore the dangers inherent in the use of social media. Cynthia obviously was not the only victim; there have been so many other unknown 'Cynthias'. Why were the victims not brave enough to come out initially? Could they also have been playing along or was it a case of who is fooling who? A lady, who was simply identified as a model, broke her silence, demanding to speak only with the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko in Lagos. She claimed that the two suspects were the same persons that dispossessed her of her belongings in a hotel in FESTAC. Cyber-stalking is the use of the internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, or a group of individuals, using or instant messaging. So they go on to find, identify and arrange to meet a person whom they intend to criminally assault. It is indeed a sad and disturbing part of modern society, which is repeated and unsolicited for. On campus there are so many cases of cyber-bullying. Students, especially the females are tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated or targeted by jilted admirers. In recent times, the fad is to find all kinds of embarrassing photos of friends and classmates in your inbox or blackberry phone. Even when you know the culprits you are afraid to point in their direction for fear of being the next victim. There are so many cases locally and on the international scene. In January this year, Scotland Yard investigated what it believed to be one of the first cases of cyber-stalking involving Twitter. Here the Metropolitan Police configured it was examining claims that a 37 year-old man allegedly targeted two women who claimed to have received offensive, racist and sexually demeaning tweets and emails. The man at the centre of the controversy allegedly sent more than 16,000 tweets to the victims and tried to contact one

•Late Cynthia

Anti-social side of social media YETUNDE OLADEINDE writes on the use and abuse of the new social media of them at work. Although they blocked the tweets, the sender varied his Twitter address and the message became more threatening. Rosemary Ogendengbe, a social worker who has written a book and done extensive research on how young people can protect themselves from sexual abuse said: "The major thing when I talk to young people about the use of the internet is that they should be mindful of how they give information about themselves online. There is no way you can verify if the person who claims to be a bishop is an armed robber or not. If you have to meet such a person, then make sure you are doing so in an open place like an eatery. It should not be a hotel, your home or where you do business. I hope young people

would learn from this." For the Executive Director of Gender and Development Action, Ada Agina Ude, "It is another angle to violence against women. From their stories, you see what they do to girls by injecting them with drugs and raping them. It is for girls and young ladies to be very careful with whom they move with or trust. Let women be very careful with relationships not just on Face book alone. Then why didn't the other victims open up before now. Why are they covering the face of the guys who did this damage, their names are also distorted", she said. Of course, the social media have uses, advantages and potentials. As a matter of fact, there are a number of ladies who have met true friendship and love via the social media and they are

now happily married. At least, that is the story of a banker, Kemi Adeola, who informed that her younger sister met her husband online.

•Cynthia’s alleged killers

According to her; "My immediate younger sister met a guy online about two years ago. They started chatting and they discovered that they had both been in a bad relationship previously. First, they talked about the nasty experience they had in the past and in the process of sharing the emotional trauma they had both been through, they developed true friendship. This bond later resulted in marriage and today they are happily married." Old flames have also been rekindled this way too, so says a Lagos based computer analyst, John Olamide: "While I was writing my GCE examination, I met this girl at the examination centre. We liked each other and we communicated for a while. Along the line, we lost contact and somehow, I thought I was never going to see this girl again. Interestingly, I saw her name online while searching for some friends and that was how we reconnected once more." He lost his first wife during childbirth and he was single and searching. He narrated futher: "She had also separated from the man she married because of irreconcilable differences. We kept chatting and we realised that the sparks we had in the past was still there. About a year after linking up, we were married in the registry and I must say that it is the best thing that ever happened in my life." However, the social media he said, also has its bad and the ugly sides too. Olamide added; "I have a friend who met this guy online and they started chatting for a while. She got to like the guy because she realised that they shared a lot of things in common. She became very happy and started getting over the trauma of the former relationship thinking she had found the bone of her bones." It turned out not to be so. It is necessary to stress the importance of caution while on the social media because of its many advantages and disadvantages too.



News Review

A naked prince, foul murder 10 bodies recovered in Lagos ocean surge


EN victims of the penultimate Saturday ocean surge at Kuramo Beach, Lagos have been recovered. Four were retrieved on Sunday and the remaining six on Monday. Officials of the state government have subsequently cleared the area of all shanties that used to serve as residences and fun spots.

12 prisoners escape in Benin jail break

LEBANON, Beirut : Hussein Omar (C), one of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims taken hostage by Syrian rebels in May, is carried by relatives upon his arrival home in Beirut from Turkey following his release on August 25, 2012. The captors said in a statement that Omar was released as a “goodwill gesture�. AFP PHOTO/STR


WELVE prisoners escaped from the Oko Minimum Security Prison, Benin, on Sunday after blowing up the toilet through which they ran away. Four were, however, re-arrested soon after the jail break which was initially thought to have been made possible by gunmen who purportedly bombed the prison. The Edo State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Jimoh Ewulo dismissed the report as a rumour.

JTF intercepts bomb-laden car


HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State on Monday intercepted a bomb-laden car apparently on its way to a suicide mission.The Camry car was intercepted at Tudu Quarters,Mudugumeri area of Maiduguri,loaded with four cylinders,four DAF gas oil cylinders,three constructed Improvised Explosive Decices (IEDs),and jerry cans,among other items.

Boko Haram denies talks with govt


HE Islamist sect, Boko Haram, on Wednesday denied holding talks with the Federal Government in Saudi Arabia or any other place. It warned those claiming to negotiate on its behalf to desist. On the same day, Northern governors inaugurated a 40-man committee on reconciliation, peace and security in the North and mandated it to open dialogue with identified groups behind the reign of violence in that part of the country.

How we killed Cynthia, by suspects


WO undergraduates recounted to reporters on Wednesday how they killed Cynthia, daughter of Major General Frank Osokogu, in a Lagos hotel. Odera Ezekiel (23) and Okwoma Nwabufor (33) said they lured their victim, whom they met through a Blackberry group chat ,from her Abuja base to Lagos, lodged her in the hotel, laced her drink with sedatives, tied her up and beat her to death. They said they invited her to Lagos for the purpose of robbing her. She is their fourth victim.

CBN set to introduce N5,000 notes


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will introduce N5,000 note denomination into the Nigerian economy as part of the apex bank's currency restructuring exercise next year. The apex bank will also convert the existing N10 and N20 notes to coins thereby bringing the number of coin denominations in the currency system to six. CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, while addressing a press briefing on Thursday, in Abuja on the proposed currency -restructuring exercise, stated that according to international best practices, monetary authorities were required to review their nation's currency at interval of between five and eight years. Adorning the new currency are three women: Hajiya Gambo Sawaba, Margaret Ekpo and Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.

COLOUR BLIND South African gets life sentence for killing white supremacist


black farm worker was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for the brutal murder of South African, white supremacist leader, Eugene Terreblanche, in a case that has been a source of racial tension in the city of Ventersdorp. About 100 protesters sang anti-white songs outside the courtroom in the city just west of Johannesburg to support 30-year-old Chris Mahlangu, who had pleaded guilty but argued that he acted in selfdefence in what the judge found was a violent dispute over wages. They were opposed by 20 white protesters who carried the doll of a black man with a rope around his neck and a sign that said: "Hang Mahlangu." Mahlangu was found guilty for beating Terreblanche, 69, to death with an iron in April 2010. Mahlangu said he feels he did no wrong by ridding the world of a man some called a monster. The judge had rejected a defence argument that Mahlangu had been sodomized by Terreblanche.

48 dead as Kenyans clash over water, land


T least 48 Kenyans were hacked or burnt to death in ethnic clashes between two rival groups, the worst single attack since deadly post-election violence four years ago, police said. Attackers armed with machetes, bows and arrows and spears locked villagers in their houses, set the structures alight and killed anyone who tried to escape. The raid in Kenya's coastal region was part of a long-running dispute between the area's Pokomo and Orma groups over grazing land and water, said police.


The Sun publishes naked Prince Harry pictures


ABLOID The Sun on Friday became the first mainstream British newspaper to publish photographs of a vacationing Prince Harry in the nude. The pictures of the prince, showing him naked in a hotel suite while he was on vacation last week in Las Vegas, were widely available on the Internet after website TMZ published them Tuesday. But British newspapers initially declined to publish them. The Sun's front page, headlined "Heir it is!" -- a play on Harry's status as third in line to the throne -- shows the 27-year-old prince naked except for a watch and necklace, protecting his modesty with his cupped hands.

Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dies at 57 ELES Zenawi, Ethiopia's repressive prime minister, who lifted his country from the ruins of civil war and transformed it into one of Africa's fastest-growing economies and one of the United States government's closest African allies,



President Obama receives e-mail threat


AWMEN subdued and disarmed a Seattle-area man suspected of writing an expletive-laden e-mail threatening President Barack Obama, a Secret Service agent says. Anton Caluori, 31, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Federal Way, a Seattle, Washington, suburb, Agent Bryan Molnar said in an affidavit. Molnar wrote that the e-mail, received by the FBI earlier Tuesday, said, "I will kill the president !!!!!" and "You can't afford to call my bluff." Caluori is charged with making threats against the president and assaulting a federal officer, according to the affidavit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle.



News Review

and talks hoax Nepali man bites snake to death in revenge attack


Nepali man who was bitten by a cobra snake bit it back and killed the reptile in a tit-for-tat attack, a newspaper said on Thursday. Nepali daily Annapurna Post said Mohamed Salmo Miya chased the snake, which bit him in his rice paddy on Tuesday, caught it and bit it until it died. "I could have killed it with a stick but bit it with my teeth instead because I was angry," the 55-year-old Miya, who lives in a village some 200 km

southeast of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, was quoted by the daily as saying. The snake, called "goman" in Nepal, is also known as the Common Cobra. Police official Niraj Shahi said the man, who was being treated at a village health post and was not in danger of dying, would not be charged with killing the snake because the reptile was not among snake species listed as endangered in Nepal.

Two brothers reunite after 80 years apart


HEN Ed Muir stepped off the plane in North Dakota, his brother Kenneth Corcoran spotted him immediately. "Hell, I recognized him as soon as he came off," Corcoran said. "I looked and said, there he is." Muir, 84, and Corcoran, 81, hadn't seen each other since 1932. That's when their mother died and their father, unable to care for his five children, sent Corcoran and two other siblings to an orphanage. Muir and a brother stayed with their father, who raised them in Chicago. The brothers reunited thanks to nine years of online sleuth work by Corcoran's daughter, Pam Gregerson. But Gregerson came up short, unable to find her father's

siblings. hen Gregerson's teenage son took to the search in July. He found Muir, of Naples, in 15 minutes. During a reunion weekend last weekend, the brothers hit it off and discovered they share the same favorite song "Wabash Cannonball." "Those two old guys are totally twins. They're identical," Gregerson said. "They look alike, they act alike, how they raised us. Everything is the same." With one exception: Muir is a Republican; Corcoran is a Democrat. But no matter. "It's the best weekend I've ever had in my 81 years," Corcoran said, according to the Naples Daily News. "I want to see him every day."

GCSE results leave pig farmer perky


teenage boy who runs a successful pig farming business is celebrating after picking up 10 top GCSEs. Richard Venn, from Bishop's Hull in Somerset,UK, achieved one A*, six As and three Bs at Queen's College in Taunton - despite squeezing his

died on Monday. He was 57. The Ethiopian authorities said he had died just before midnight in a hospital "abroad". A European Commission spokesman told reporters that it was in Brussels, after getting a secondary infection. His failing health had been a matter of secrecy for months.


E was accused of keeping protected wild animal parts but the Crown Prosecution Service has dropped the case. A man living as an Apache Indian will not be prosecuted for wanting to turn badger paws and eagle wings into a headdress. Mangas Colaradas, 60, was due

FTER using the term "legitimate

rape," Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri has been peppered with calls to withdraw from his senate race on Monday. Answering a question about whether or not he thought abortion should be legal in the case of rape, Akin explained his opposition by citing unnamed bodily responses he said prevented pregnancy. "First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said of rape-induced pregnancy in an interview. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole

THE WEEK IN QUOTES "What is happening today in Nigeria is indicative of the fact that there is again an undercurrent plan by the same people who planted us where we are today, to propose a regime change, to propose this and that and so on so that we go back to square one again. Because we were all living when an elected government was pulled down and then after some years of governance, some people said they won't go again, they would put up an interim government and all sorts of characters came " —Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, former Inspector General of Police responding to a call for state police by his former boss, General Ibrahim Babangida.

"Of what use is it if the group (Boko Haram) eventually dismisses the so-called talks after raising a false sense of hope?If actually this so-called talk going on in Saudi Arabia or wherever is true,why is it that the killing still continue." —Mallam Shehu Sani,rights activist on the peace talks between the Federal Government and the Islamist sect,Boko Haram.

"The oil producing states have the federation takehome,13 per cent derivation,the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with hundreds of billions for projects in the region,the NDDC with billions of naira,the oil companies doing a lot and finally the Federal Government gives very handsome grants to oil producing states under all sorts of guises.You also have the Amnesty Programme,all in the same region.So, they have six different sources of income.The other states are left with one source of income." —Senator Bukar Ibrahim on why he thinks the current revenue sharing formula should be reviewed.

studies between mucking-out sessions. The 16-year-old, who started his business at the tender age of eight to make some pocket money, works either side of the school day feeding and looking after his pigs which he buys from Sedgemoor Market at auction.

Apache Indian living in Wales escapes prosecution over headdress featuring eagle wings and badger paws

LEGITIMATE RAPE Pressure builds on Akin after rape comments





Ebola outbreak Virus Norway killer ruled sane, given 21-year prison term hits Congo


thing down," Akin continued. He did not provide an explanation for what constituted "legitimate rape." The National Republican Senate Committee said that, "It was communicated to the Congressman Akin that the NRSC will be pulling out if he stays in the race as his staying in the race could put the majority at risk."

to stand trial , accused of keeping protected wild animal parts but the Crown Prosecution Service has dropped the case. Mr Coloradas, who began living as an Apache 20 years ago, said: "I'm pleased, but it shouldn't have come to anything in the first place.

INE people have died from an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, only weeks after the virulent disease was declared "under control" in neighbouring Uganda, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. The new cases of the Ebola virus were detected near the country's north-western town of Isiro, the Congolese health minister said. In western Uganda, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the border with DR Congo, 16 people have died from the virus since the start of July, although authorities say the outbreak there has been brought under control. Ebola is fatal in about 50-90 percent of cases, with victims bleeding from body orifices before dying in the most severe instances.


N D E R S Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in a bomb attack and gun rampage just over a year ago, was judged to be sane by a Norwegian court Friday, as he was sentenced to 21 years in prison. Breivik was charged with voluntary homicide and committing acts of terror in the attacks in Oslo and on Utoya Island on July 22, 2011. The issue of Breivik's sanity, on which mental health experts have given conflicting opinions, was central to the court's ruling. Breivik, who boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway, wanted to be ruled sane so that his actions wouldn't be dismissed as those of a lunatic.





The Jonathan they don’t know “T

HEY” in this piece refers to all the cynics, the pestle-wielding critics, the unrelenting, self-appointed activists, the idle and idling, twittering, collective children of anger, the distracted crowd of Facebook addicts, the BBM-pinging soap opera gossips of Nigeria, who seem to be in competition among themselves to pull down President Goodluck Jonathan. This army of sponsored and self-appointed anarchists is so diverse; many of them don’t even know why or how they should attack the President. The clear danger to public affairs commentary is that we have a lot of unintelligent people repeating stupid clichés and too many intelligent persons wasting their talents lending relevance to thoughtless conclusions. Hold on. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I am not saying nobody should criticize the Nigerian President. I spent some time learning that legal maxim: “volenti non fit injuria”. Public position comes with its own share of risks and exposure. But the twittering, pinging, Facebook crowd of the new age must be guided by facts. Hold your stone. Don’t haul it yet. Shhh. Wait, Mr. Alaseju! I have spent the last fourteen months working with President Jonathan. I have followed him everywhere. I can write a whole book on his Presidency so far, but you won’t get to read that until much later. I have heard that some people are protesting that they will not buy the book if it gets written. Well, your choice. What I can report, for now is that he is a grossly misunderstood President. Too many people are unfair to him. They criticize him out of ignorance. They abuse him out of mischief. And the opposition doesn’t make things easy at all. Can we look at a number of issues? You say he is a clueless President. You are wrong. He is not clueless. Nobody is more committed to the Nigerian Project than President Jonathan. In spite of unforeseen challenges which his administration has had to contend with, President Jonathan is doing his utmost best to positively transform Nigeria. Ordinary Nigerians know and appreciate this. Those parading themselves as leaders of the opposition who claim that the President has lost the support of Nigerians represent only themselves and their selfish interests. President Jonathan is a clever, methodical and intelligent man, who is very adept at wrong footing all the persons who make an effort to second-guess or under-estimate him. He understands the complexity of Nigeria. He is acutely conscious of the historicity of his emergence as Nigeria’s No. 1. He knows that he is here as the leader of all Nigerians. He knows that he is a representative of all common persons, particularly the children of all blue collar workers who never wore shoes or got a chance to eat three-square meals, and whose mothers and aunties could never be part of policy-making processes. When he spoke about not wearing shoes as a child, he meant that as a metaphor for the disparities in the Nigerian system, and the urgent need to redress inequalities. But I have heard some persons responding literally that Nigerians should never vote for a man who never wore shoes. How simplistic. Attention needs to be drawn to the fact that a rooted, people-sourced President who seeks to transform Nigeria, and who campaigns on a platform of transformation, will necessarily be opposed by those who consider themselves the children of Empire builders, those who think that their ancestors built Nigeria. Wrong. The Ijaws, the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria, have as much right to have their son as President as every other Nigerian group. But Jonathan doesn’t even dwell on this. I have never heard him utter an ethnic statement. He sees himself as the President of all Nigerians. He is at home with every group. He is focused on the challenges of nation-building. He wants to transform Nigeria. He wants to unite the country. He is determined to promote the country. And he is doing so already. He knows Nigerians want regular power supply. He is working

•Jonathan By Reuben Abati

at it. That is why we have crossed 4, 400 MW. He knows Nigerians want infrastructure. That is why he is telling Bi-Courtney to fix Lagos-Ibadan Expressway or get out. That is why he is telling a particular Minister to fix the East-West road and get it fixed quickly. That is why he has directed the relevant agencies to get corrupt persons to answer for their misdeeds. That is why he is strengthening Nigeria’s foreign relations. That is why he is transforming the agriculture sector, from a contract-awarding, fertilizer distribution enterprise into big business. And more… The reason President Jonathan does not go into a song and dance routine is because he knows that true rebranding of a nation is a projection of positive things that are already happening. They say he is “tribalistic”. Not true. How many Ijaws are in President Jonathan’s inner circle? Very few, I can tell you. There are of course, all kinds of persons who go about telling people that they have the President’s ears and eyes. They would even tell you that they think for the President! I used to have nightmares whenever I heard that, but it no longer bothers me. I have since learnt that some Nigerians consider it fashionable to wear false garments. The Presidency qua Presidency is staffed by key officials from all parts of the country. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation is from Ebonyi State. The Chief of Staff and the Head of the President’s Secretariat are both from Edo, the Protocol Liaison Officer and Principal Private Secretary are from Adamawa, the Chief Detail is from Borno, the Aide De Camp (ADC) is from Kogi, the Perm Sec, State House is from Benue, the State Chief of Protocol is from Kwara, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity is from Ogun, the Chief Physician to the President is from Rivers. Only the Chief Security Officer, the Special Assistant, Domestic and the Special Adviser, Research and Strategy are from Bayelsa. When he is in the office, and he gets there early every day, and works till very late, he is exposed to all categories of Nigerians. He runs a modern and open Presidency. He is on Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, BB, and he reads. And he writes. This is not a provincial President. The intelligentsia, his immediate community, should support him to do his work. President Jonathan was the first Nigerian leader to appoint a woman as his Chief Eco-

nomic Adviser as well as the Nigerian leader who opened up the Nigerian Defence Academy to women. And he took affirmative action in political appointments to a higher level by reserving 35% of all appointive positions in government for our women folk. The facts in this regard are incontrovertible. Under President Jonathan, women occupy very strategic positions (Petroleum Resources, Education, Coordinating Minister/ Minister of Finance, Water Resources, Minister of State, FCT, Minister of State, Defence, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs 1, Minister of State, Niger Delta) and the headship of many of the MDAs. The President’s commitment to Nigeria is total. All his children school in Nigeria. Even his dress code promotes Nigeria. They say Mr. President drinks. My friend and colleague, Etim Etim, called the other day to say that whatever may be the challenges on this job, he could affirm that I am at least enjoying. “What with all the choice drinks on every trip,” he said. I told him, “No, we don’t drink.” He protested. He thought I was lying. He had heard that kain-kain is a staple fare on presidential flights. I told him No. We are not allowed to touch alcohol. Alcohol is not served during official duties. Yes, when there is an international function, wine is served, but nobody gets drunk around here. That will amount to an act of indiscipline. The President himself does not allow alcohol to be served at his table. But when you go to social media they tell you something else. Lies. Lies. Lies. I have even heard that the President spends billions on feeding. Well, I have enjoyed the privilege of eating at the President’s table. What does he eat? Fish pepper soup. Cassava Bread. Slices of yam. Rice. Boiled plantain. Fruits and vegetables. He fasts when he chooses, and fasts all month during Ramadan and Lent. And because he takes his exercises and keep fit regime seriously, he eats very little. Okay, he drinks coffee. And yet there are people out there who keep claiming that there is a feast in the Villa every day. They say at every meal, the table is decorated with roasted turkey, and every delicacy under the sun. Lies. Lies. This President is not a glutton. We have a disciplined, hardworking president who enjoys his privacy, and the company of intelligent people. Here is a man who is an epitome of loyalty and simplicity. The thing about the President’s critics is that they just cannot accept that someone with his simplicity can be their President. This is the Saul Complex. Saul could not accept the fact that somebody as simple as David could be favoured by God. And just like Saul threw the spear at David out of uncontrollable jealousy, these critics are out to throw any kind of spear to see which hits the target, hence all their lies about the President. Let me end by saying that the President is a simple man but simplicity is not naivety. If simplicity were to be naivety then the world would not be where it is today because it is simple men like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Kwame Nkrumah, who have shaped the world that we live in by simplifying what others have complicated. Dr. Abati is Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to President Jonathan

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She wants to know why


CAME back from a three-day visit to Kenya last Monday with a copy of the in-flight magazine of Kenyan AirwaysMsafiri (The Traveler) which I gave my children to read. They asked some questions about Kenya before I travelled which I didn’t have enough time to answer them. I was happy to get them the magazine which had more than enough information they needed to know about the East African country. What I didn’t bargain for was that the magazine will trigger a very pertinent question about one of the critical areas Nigeria has failed to live up to the image of being the giant of Africa. I had forgotten about the magazine when on Wednesday, Yemisi, my very inquisitive daughter who is fond of asking tough questions asked me, “Daddy, is Kenyan Airways owned by the Kenyan government?”. I replied Yes, not realizing what point she wanted to make. “Do we have Nigeria Airways? she followed up. She obviously knew we didn’t have one and her next question when I answered No was very intriguing. “So why do we have a Minister of Aviation?” she asked. I didn’t expect the question and had to gather my thoughts before I managed to explain to her that the job of the Aviation Minister was not that of running the country’s airline but the wider issues of policies and regulations. From the look on her face she was not impressed by my response. She fired back “If Kenya can have an airline, why can’t we have one”. I did not have an answer for her this time. I told her we used to have a national carrier but like many other legacies of the country, it now belongs to the history books. Does anybody out there have an answer for Yemisi. She wants to know why we don’t have Nigeria Airways like Kenya whose population is not up to a third of ours. She and her generation deserve an answer from the past and present officials responsible for running the aviation sector. I can imagine what the reactions of the youths of today will be when they fully realise how we have mortgaged their future due to years of mismanagement of the resources God has blessed us with. We like to brag about our position in the comity of nations internationally and in the continent, but the truth is that we don’t have much to show in terms of basic facilities which can enhance the standard of living of the average citizens. I spent three days in Nairobi and there was no power failure for a second. I didn’t see a generator anywhere and I didn’t have to ask them if they use it like we all do in Nigeria. We have become so used to constant light out that in recent weeks that power has been fairly regular many have been wondering how long the improvement can be sustained. I enjoy flying Kenya Airways each time I do and really wish we have a national carrier we could be proud of. I dream of a Nigeria that can set pace for other African countries in virtually every area of endeavour considering our large population and resources. If we don’t want to continue to be the laughing stock of the continent, we must get our acts right and be able to say like Kenyans in Swahili language, Hakuna Matata (No problem).



Comment & Analysis

President Jonathan and his critics F

REEDOM of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone in that society...and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man. John Locke (1632 - 1704) It is not part of the character of the writer of this column to praise an individual, or try to seek support for him or her on this curious page. But given what is going on presently in the country and the heavy shelling of verbal artillery from various angles on our perplexed looking president, I found it most important and patriotic to stand up in defense of the sacred office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this as a mark of respect and a sign of duty call. Again in response to the natural responsibility imposed on me as a Nigerian; a natural phenomenon from the almighty. And also as part of my conscientious effort to do what I believe is right. To be honest, I am willing to write, yab, curse and jaw-jaw fiercely to defend this significant office and the sovereignty of my dear country, and in this, I will say, ‘so help me God.’ First to set the record straight, I am not a member of President Ebele Azikiwe Goodluck Jonathan’s economic, social or political ideas or polices, neither do I agree to most of his administration’s plans for the country. I have never met, seen or known how he looks like physically in person, I think the best I can describe him would be: A tall, slim, smiling looking man, often dressed in his trademark southsouth black designer attire and his famous black resource control hat. Perhaps, I could add that he has a siddon look disposition, a weak speech commandment, and overwhelmed problems. All these from the little I have seen of him on the pages of newpapers, magazines, the

By Ahmed Dodo

internet and TV. But all the same, I am willing to defend this helpless individual whom providence unpredictably has bestowed the leadership of this great rich country upon today, like it or not. And as a Nigerian writer, with big curious eyes on what is happening in this country since the incursion of this ijaw man into the muddy Nigerian political terrain, I have made it a duty to keep my curious eyes on this hitherto unknown fellow from the creeks of the impoverished Niger Delta, as he steers us towards our destiny as a federal nation. And among the various lacunas I have noticed since my self employed surveillance is the fact that those blaming the Presido over the various Katakata bedeviling this country today and calling for his resignation are not really being fair to him. I inclusive. What many of us have failed to comprehend is the fact that the man Goodluck Ebele Jonathan never envisioned that he would one day rule over the biggest black nation in the world. That when he signified his intention in 2011 to run for presidency and subsequently won the election, he had thought sitting on the hot seat in Aso Rock was a moi-moi issue. Again, those calling on the president to end the Boko Haram crises, for instance, have failed to see the truth that the man Goodluck Ebele Jonathan prior to his ascending to the revered office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, had never set foot on the larger part of the north, neither did he ever taste fura da nono, eat tuwo da miyan kuka and brasbisco or indulged in some spicy suya, kilishi or balangu meat. So those blaming his inability to yet visit Maiduguri, and Yobe the hot bed of the Boko Haram sect have failed to see the writing on the wall. Truthfully, how many of the elected and

selected representatives of the people from these two states have had the guts to relocate or visit his or her constituency since the beginning of the bombings and killings in these two states? Who among them have come out boldly to try to find a peaceful resolution to these problems and the other numerous retrogressive crises going on in the entire north today? Honestly, it beats my imagination on why most northern leaders are still waiting for Jonathan a south-south man with south upbringing to solve the north’s problems. Okay, he is now the president of the whole country, but how vast and dependable are his orientation and understanding of the north? Can he truthfully, for instance, solve the shameful problem of almajirinchi across most cities in the north without the help and support of the northerners themselves? Or do they expect Jonathan to come and help them drive and rehabilitate these helpless children from the streets? No, I think the northern leaders should open their eyes truthfully and look inward, stand up and boldly solve their problems. If not, then they are not worth holding the positions they are occupying, thus it will be more honourable if they stop parading themselves as northern leaders, and spokesmen. I think the northern leaders need to hold on to their known pride, left behind by past patriotic northern leaders and stop seeking for more revenue allocation from the national level, like beggars. Instead they should appreciate the vast rich natural resources at their disposal from God, and use their ingenuity as leaders to create huge revenue to their region, spur development and rekindle their lost splendour in the eyes of the people, as exemplified by past northern leaders. If the south-west region, the south-south and the south-east regions and their leader don’t wait for Jonathan before tackling their own problems always,

why should those in the north keep harping the blames on Jonathan alone when none of them had taken a bold step as a nationalist northern leader with the whole north as his constituency? Can Jonathan truly solve the disgraceful sights of public schools, bad roads, religion and ethnic crises in the north? Why should the north expect Jonathan to solve the crises in Jos, Bauchi, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Gombe, Yobe, Sokoto, Kogi and Kano, when in actual sense the leaders and followers in these places have refused to take their destiny in their hands and tackle all the man-made katakata blowing across their villages, towns and cities themselves? True, the northern leaders in the national and state Houses of Assembly, including the waned 19 Northern States Governors Forum, traditional and religious leaders and chairmen of various local councils in the regions are not being sincere to themselves, because only few of them have seen the need to help propel solutions to the various dead industries in the north; hitherto viable establishment like Arewa textiles, the New Nigerian Newspapers, the Northern Nigerian Development Company, Arewa Hotels and the Northern Railway Corporation amongst others. Please, let us leave President Jonathan alone to carry on with the cumbersome task of steering the heavy loaded problematic Nigerian ship safely towards 2015. The truth is, the man himself has tasted the enticing hot seat inside our famous Aso-Rock, and them no dey tell man say load heavy for head. Our failure to leave this overwhelmed fellow alone will seem as if we are all trying to turn the president into a semi-god, who has the solutions to all our problems, when in true sense, the man no be witch. Culled from


Comment & Analysis


Better late… Northern governors’ move on Boko Haram is welcome


HE setting up by the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) of a 40-member committee to look into, and proffer solutions to the serious security challenges confronting the region is no doubt a major step in the continuing quest for a restoration of normalcy in the country. Headed by Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim, the committee has Nze Dimlong (Ngolong Ngas) as deputy chairman, with Iliya Ithuve and Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi as secretary and deputy secretary, respectively. Comprising respected traditional rulers, retired military officers, academics, businessmen and former public office officers, the committee reflects the ethno-cultural and religious diversity of the region. It ought, therefore, to be able to enjoy widespread confidence and effectively pursue its terms of reference, which include working with stakeholders in the northern states to address the root causes of insecurity and offer solutions; dialoguing with identified groups and initiating negotiations towards attaining peace; interfacing with the Federal Government on the best way to tackle the problem, and working out modalities for reconciling northern communities/parties involved in conflict. The committee is also expected to engage experts in recommending mechanisms for peace building and entrenchment of democratic values at all levels of society, as well as designing measures to address youth restiveness and unemployment in the region. For some, this initiative is coming too late, given the grave dimension the Boko Haram insurgency in particular has taken, with several states in the north subjected to ceaseless terroristic acts, including indiscriminate bomb explosions, assassinations and barbaric slaughter of whole communities or religious congregations. We believe, however, that this effort of the NSGF is welcome and commendable since it is better late than never. The northern governors are obviously sensitive to the fact that, though the destructive activities of Boko Haram affect and endanger the entire nation, it is the north that is worst hit. It is in the north that virtually all the


S the nation starts putting behind it the unfortunate air crash involving Dana Airlines on June 3, 2012, in which over 153 people perished, it is imperative to look at how the organisation managed that monumental tragedy. The purpose of this write-up is not to pass blame, but to remind other sectors not just aviation, on the need to be prepared for a crisis no matter their area of business. According to crisis consultant, Chuck Rossie, “A crisis is an event or series of events that damage the health, success or even the existence of an organisation depending on how it is handled, and understood by employees, customers, shareholders, and the rest of the public.” It is also said that if a company prepares itself for crisis, it has a better chance of getting some degree of control over it when it arises. If we go by the above definition, it is obvious that the crisis has damaged the health of the airline; we shall wait for the outcome of the investigation to know if the crisis will affect its existence or not. Was the organisation prepared for the crisis? I

killings have taken place and the region is the most vulnerable to the very real danger of inter-religious conflagration that may flare if unprovoked attacks by one religious group against another are allowed to continue. In the apt words of the Chairman of the NGSF and Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, while inaugurating the committee, “the decision to constitute this high-powered committee of eminent Nigerians of Northern states was borne out of the deep concern of the forum over recurring incidents of violence and wanton destruction of lives and property, which have almost crippled the economy of the northern states and paralysed activities to the detriment of our development and national pride”. It is thus fit and proper that the northern political leadership is seizing the bull by the horns and assuming a frontline role in seeking to quench this fire in its backyard. This move will also help dispel the conspiracy thesis that the northern elite is complicit in some alleged plot to “make the country ungovernable” for whatever purported motive. It may indeed be true, as Governor


•Editor Festus Eriye •Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editors Taiwo Ogundipe Sam Egburonu

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


Aliyu told the committee, that “poverty, unemployment, youth restiveness and violence” are “manifestations of the rejection of the core values of honesty, equity, fairness and justice in the Nigerian society”. But it is only natural that the noble values identified by the governor will be eroded in the context of pervasive underdevelopment and the attendant material deprivation that prevails in the north. Even as the committee undertakes its task, therefore, the northern governors must urgently intensify efforts to rejuvenate the economy of the region through massive revamping of infrastructure, job creation as well as investment in social services and poverty alleviation measures. A necessary condition for the economic revival of the north is for the leadership to cast off the mindset that the region’s progress and well-being are dependent on availability of petroleum handouts from the centre. For instance, some northern governors have been preoccupied with the abolition of the onshore/offshore dichotomy in oil-producing states, claiming it has negative implications for the region. Indeed, on the same day that the Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim’s reconciliation and peace committee was inaugurated, the NSGF set up another committee to study the draft of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly, to ascertain how it affects the north and make necessary recommendations within 90 days. These are surely legitimate concerns. However, more critical is the need for northern leaders to realise that the region is sitting on a gold mine of largely untapped resources. There is the serious danger that the availability of ‘free’ petro-dollar handouts will only be a disincentive to liberating the latent economic potential of the north and unleashing its immense but dormant wealth generating capacity. This is why we expect the northern governors to be more supportive of constitutional and structural reforms that will break the suffocating grip of the centre and empower the component parts of Nigeria to actualise their potential for the benefit of their people, without necessarily having to depend on oil.

Dana Air and crisis management doubt it going by the way it handled the crash. The truth is that most organisations hardly think, it is important to have a crisis management plan in place. The belief is that it will not happen to us, even when they operate in a very high risk sector. As I stated earlier, no sector is immune from crisis in one form or the other. The well-known crisis management dictum of getting the news out quickly was not adhered to in the


T is now clear that the Boko Haram are bent on unleashing their violence on the whole country and no longer the North alone. In a recent article in March, I voiced my concern over the distribution of Almajiri from the north to the other parts of the country. This agent provocateurs have started their operation in the southern part mildly by stabbing innocent people. The assailants are especially the Fulani rearing their cattle into people’s farms, they don’t want the owners to complain. Any

crash. As a matter of fact, throughout the period, it was obvious the company was not in control of information flow. It was therefore not surprising that the media and the public were left to speculate on basic information regarding the flight, its origin, and how many passengers were on board, air worthiness etc. The company could have easily given out such information. Agreed, under such situations it may be diffi-

cult to give all details, but a holding statement would have been enough, while asking for time for detailed information. When the company eventually found its voice, its statements were contradictory, because so many people were speaking for it, as against the policy of having spokespersons during such incidents. For instance, a question was asked if the crashed aircraft was the same that had technical problems at

Uyo Airport sometime ago. This simple question attracted different answers from two officials of the airline. One said it was the same aircraft, while the other said emphatically that it was a different aircraft. Which do we believe? The surest way to lose public sympathy during a crisis is not to tell the truth. When a crisis occurs, it is important to quickly set up information desks at designated points to attend

Stopping the Boko Haram menace complaint attracts instant death! These Hausa/Fulani residing in the south kill people at random to test run their operational plan. By the time people react to these killings, which I think will not be too long to come they will then unleash their master plan by attacking every part of the southern axis simultaneously. Previously people believe that the Boko Haram only operate in the core north but to the chagrin of all they have crossed the

River Niger to Kogi State and before long they will strike at Ilorin to the southwest. So far, they seem unstoppable. An Army General confirmed it in a recent interview that the group have over stressed the Army. If such a statement can come from a General, it is as good as telling the generality of Nigerians to resort to self help. Let me remind our “I don’t give a damn” President that “ the care for human life and their happi-

ness ,and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good governance.” At this juncture, I want to seize this opportunity to call on the federal government to be proactive in making security arrangement for the two bridges at Lokoja and that of Jebba. Nobody can predict what these sadists can do, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Israel Oyegbile Sabo Tasha, Kaduna.

to worried relatives, the media and indeed the public. One had expected the airline to have had in place such information points at its counters in Abuja, Lagos and at the crash site. Worried relatives and friends of crash victims besieged the airlines counters in Lagos without any official on hand to give them vital information or even address them. The situation was almost getting out of hand, until the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren intervened to cool frayed nerves. That was a public relations disaster for Dana Air. Could it be that the airline officials were scared of what might be the reaction of the crowd? Yet that was a good opportunity to show empathy. It was also an opportunity to say what action (s) the airline was taking. Finally, the crash is a wake-up call to other organisations to always have a crisis management plan. The very survival of your organisation may be depend on how you manage a crisis, and continue in business. Frank Igbokwe Lagos.




Comment & Analysis

Our Union: Of affection or of policy? Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni


HAVE borrowed the title of today’s piece from Daniel Defoe, one of Britain’s most successful and most cited writers. Reacting to the Union Act of 1706 that created the United Kingdom, Defoe said that the union was more of policy than of affection. This short statement raised profound questions about the legitimacy and appropriateness of the unification of England, Scotland, and Wales into a union, without giving due consideration to the feelings of the nationalities so unified about the act. The cacophony of voices about how to make the Nigeria Union or what many commentators refer to as the non-negotiable unity of the country only suggests the need to unearth the unconsciousness of the nationalities or ethnic groups that are making effort to debate the best way to make their territorial togetherness profitable to all that are involved in Africa’s largest postcolonial state. Whether the topic is diversifying the police system or respect for cultural rights of indigenous communities that con-

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AN Professor Jega, a celebrated academic and former University Vice-Chancellor, double as an ethnic bigot ? Is the famous Professor Oba, former ViceChancellor of the University of Ilorin, working in tandem with Jega in his historic role of a northern irredentist? Or is it as simple as the Federal Character Commission becoming comatose or completely blind and toothless wherever in the Nigerian polity the North wields an unfair advantage? These and more questions agitate the mind on reading the advert: THE TAKE OVER OF INEC published in the Monday, 20 August, 2012, edition of this newspaper by the ELECTION INTEGRITY NETWORK but which in itself emanated from an earlier story by TheNews Magazine. It will be a little disingenuous, even unfair, to claim or even pretend that INEC has just so suddenly become an ethnic enclave. The story was the same when Igbo elements ruled the roust in the agency only that under Professor Jega cronyism and outright nepotism has assumed an industrial scale, albeit, with Professor Oba’s ludicrous connivance, no doubt. For ease of reference, let us quote directly from the advert under reference. According to the publication, INEC’s top management is made up as follows: 1. Prof Jega (Chairman)Kebbi 2. U.F Usman (Director of Logistics) –Kebbi 3.A. Muktar (Director of Human Resources) –Sokoto 4. A.A Uregi (Director of Finance) – Niger 5. M. Kuta (Internal Auditor) – Niger 6. E.T Akem (Director ICT) – Benue 7. I. Biu (Director of Voter Education) – North East 8.I.K Bawa (Dep. Director, Legal) –Plateau 9.Okey Ndeche (Director, Operations) –

Citizens should have the freedom to identity with the culture of their new homes stitute the federation, the notion that the federal government— executive and legislative—and those that consider themselves official and unofficial trustees of the current polity, the effect is the same: troubling. The club of former InspectorsGeneral of Police, Northern Governors Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, and self-appointed spokesmen for the North are cocksure that allowing states and local governments that make laws to have state or local police system to enforce such laws will not only lead to abuse of such system by state governors but will certainly destroy the country’s unity. Retired IGPs indicate that to have a constitution that allows for any police system other than the existing federal police monopoly is a sure bet for fragmentation of the country. More worrisome is the news that the club of retired federal police bosses is lobbying the National Assembly to jettison any intention to amend the constitution in respect of law enforcement. Similarly, the stridency in the voice of the North, particularly the Arewa Consultative Forum in relation to amendment to abro-

gate indigeneship in a multiethnic federation is fraught with troubling interpretations. If it is true that the National Assembly is contemplating such an amendment that will have no space for the cultural rights of indigenous Nigerian communities, it becomes crucial that whatever amendments are arrived at by the legislature must be submitted to a referendum. All of the communities in the country are indigenous cultures, which the UN has resolved to protect. There is no mainstream culture in the country that turns other cultures into marginal cultures. The closest to a mainstream culture in the country is a pidginized form of British culture made possible by the English language used to conduct government and business affairs. Calling for an end to indigeneship outside of a regular constitutional conference is to put the cart before the horse. Our lawmakers need to do more research about the place of indigenous culture(s) in the country. It is the various cultures that negotiated through the three regions for political independence

from Great Britain in 1960. The ACF’s claim that ending the situation of dual indegeneship “would promote national integration, since it would put to rest for good the controversy about who is an indigene and who is not an indigene” needs to be critically examined by those attempting to amend the constitution. What is at stake is not indigenous culture(s). It is the need to work out residency requirements for citizens that want to migrate from their own indigenous cultural community to another. It is not possible for citizens from other parts of the country that migrate to the North and are put in Sabo to be integrated with their hosts that live outside of Sabo. Correspondingly, it is difficult for northerners that move to the South and ask for a space to create Sabo in the South to be integrated into the indigenous cultures of such southern communities. What is needed more urgently is to abrogate Sabo across the country. Sabo represents physical segregation that militates against integration that is needed to make a new comer to

a culture feel at home. The freedom of movement of every Nigerian must be respected at all times. Each Nigerian citizen should have the option to live in any part of the country that he or she desires. His or her political rights must not be abrogated because of the decision to move out of the state or community of birth. What is required is for the national assembly to make constitutional provisions to safeguard each citizen’s right to vote and be voted for and to buy and own property in any state of the federation. Each state should be allowed to determine how long a citizen wanting to be a resident of another community must stay in that community to enjoy political and social rights available to residents. Integration or assimilation (indigenisation) to a new culture comes after residency. It grows from the degree of identification of the resident with the host culture, and should not through constitutional mandate. In addition, residency in another state requires compliance with the laws of such states as well as respect for the cultural rights of indigenes of such states. Citizens should have the freedom to identify with the culture of their new homes, if they want to be accepted as part of the community. Such identification marks the difference between a union of affection and one of policy.

What game is the North up to at INEC? Mr President should right the impunity displayed by Professors Jega and Oba Anambra 10. Nyise Torgba (Director M& E/Performance) –Benue 11. A.A Adamu Head, Commission, Secretariat) –Kogi 12. M.Ekwunja (Director, Civil Societies) 13. E. Umenger (Director, Public Affairs) – Benue 14. Regina Omo-Agege (Director, Political Monitoring) –Delta. 15. B.E Edoghotu (Estate & Works). It would have been mind boggling enough if the above was the only problem with the sheer crudity of the brazen institution Professor Jega sits atop but it certainly does not stop there. The composition of INEC’s national commissioners who head the vital committees overseeing the most important departments as stated hereunder, according to the sponsors, is much more revealing: 1. Col. Hamanga ( Chairperson, Logistics Committee) –Adamawa 2. Dr Nuru Yakubu ( Chairperson, Operations Committee) –Yobe 3. Ambassador Wali (Chair person, Procurement Committee) – Sokoto 4. Prof Jega (Chairperson, F&GP) –Kebbi 5. Prof Jega ( Chairperson, ICT) –Kebbi 6. Hajia Amina Zakari (Chairperson, Political Monitoring) –Jigawa 7. Membership of a newly constituted INEC 9-Man Strategic Planning Committee reads as follows: Nuru A. Yakubu, Istianus Dalwang, Mustafa Kuta, M.S Mohammed. Torgba Nyitse, Emanuel Akeem all from the North with only Mike Igini and Okechukwu Ndeche from the South. This is asides the fact that the commission’s secretary is also from the North. This Jega has ensured by all means in his two years. How blatant can some supposedly educated people get? 8. Pray, what is Professor Jega thinking? How on earth can a supposedly thorough-bred academic, whose appointment by a President

of Southern extraction elicited rapturous joy across the entire country become so untidily insular and unfeeling? How can such an otherwise accomplished individual so conveniently forget that Nigeria runs a federation with a Federal Character Commission firmly in place in its constitution and be so whimsical and selfish? What will he claim as alibi for this totally unacceptable lop-sidedness in an agency that is so critical? I found the following comments by Ifeanyi Izeze very useful in taking a look at the Federal Character Commission. Wrote Izeze in 2011 : “ When Nigeria’s Federal Character Commission (FCC) was established in 1996, it was supposed to enforce the federal character principles which aimed at ensuring fair and equitable distribution of posts; socialeconomic amenities; and infrastructural facilities among the federating units of the nation. The intention was for it to be the watchdog of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in ensuring an evenly distributed workforce that reflects ethnic diversity and the geopolitical divides of the country. It was also supposed to ensure that socio-economic amenities and development infrastructure are equitably distributed across the country. ‘In recognition of its failings, wrote Izeze, the Commission after a Port Harcourt stakeholders retreat recounted as follows: The FCC has delineated the country into national, state and local government levels as channels of distribution among the federating units for ease of implementation. Allocations at the national level, it said, will now be based on the 36 states and Abuja or the six geo-political zones or north and south …’ Given Professor Oba’s roaring success as Vice-Chancellor, Univer-

sity of Ilorin, I am not in the least surprised that the FCC under his watch has decided not to have INEC on the commission’s radar. After all, it is very convenient for the interests he ministers to, but as a federal agency, one is at a loss as to why not even the Presidency through the office of either the Secretary to Government or that of the National Security Adviser could draw attention to this totally inexcusable situation. Even if some of these individuals are career officers, they should promptly be transferred to other sections of the bureaucracy, leaving only what is genuinely due to the North. This wrong must be corrected for the world to see that we are a country under the rule of law. What then are the probable calculations of the North which these eminence griise so faithfully represent on the count down to the make or mar 2015 general elections in the country? The Election Integrity Network has some take on this question. It stated that the structural iniquity in INEC displays nothing but a suspiciously skewed regional interest especially at a time when geopolitical struggle for power has assumed a violent dimension. The body believes that this is a carefully planned restructuring in which the most important organs responsible for future elections are placed smack in the hands of the North. The only time in recent memory that I can recall a similar scenario was during the Abacha era when you could hardly find four Southerners on the list of the topmost twenty security officers and a security council meeting could hold with hardly a southerner in attendance, going strictly by ranking. Without a doubt, this arrangement at INEC cannot be a happenstance; rather it is the result of cold calculations aimed at far beyond the present. And to imagine that these

are by individuals who are loudest in proclaiming the inviolability of the Nigerian state. Must it be an Animal Farm too? The sponsors of th advert in question touched on the total absence of any Yoruba man or woman in the management team of such a crucial agency. For me personally, this is a non-issue since some leading Yoruba would rather permit themselves be consumed by their cry of mainstreaming than fight to be treated as equals with members of their party from other parts of the country. If these PDP people already traversing the South-West ahead of the next elections were treated as co-equals, having comprehensively lost out in the legislature, they should have resolved with their party leader and President, the urgent need to be adequately represented in agencies like INEC. This, however, will never happen since they are experts at feathering their individual nests as opposed to corporate South-West interests. It is for this reason too, that we never heard anything about regional integration when for some six or seven years they held the region in a stranglehold. As things stand in INEC today, I think Mr President owes it a duty to Nigeria to right this egregious display of impunity perpetrated by two professors who, ordinarily, should feel outraged at the management structure subsisting in an agency so crucial to the very continued, peaceful co-existence of the country itself. In its present state, should the North decide so to do, it can, through these individuals so completely influence the 2015 general elections in ways that the Kenya experience of a few years back could be nothing more than a child play in a country of over 150 million people. So Mr President, a stitch in time could more than save nine.

Comment & Analysis



Adegboyega 08054503906 (sms only)


OMETIMES, I feel tempted to agree with former Chief of General Staff, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, who once said (I think at a press briefing) that the Babangida government that he was second-incommand in would ‘arrest and jail’ some suspects. Aikhomu characteristically forgot that after the police have made arrest, the judiciary is supposed to take over, and that it is only the judiciary that has the power to jail or convict. Even after one of his aides had allegedly reminded him of this serious error of omission, Aikhomu amended his statement to read that yes, they would ‘arrest, prosecute and jail’ the felons! The point, nonsensical as it seemed, was that the military had no patience for the rule of law. The point I am also making is that there are times when matters have resolved themselves, and we need not belabour issues by looking for what is not missing all in the name of rule of law. Two recent incidents in the country seem to have vindicated this position. The first was the death, on August 17, of Clifford Orji, and the second, the brutal murder of pretty Cynthia Osokogu, the daughter of Major-General Frank Osokogu (rtd), by two satanic cousins, on July 22. Orji came into limelight when people began to suspect his activities under the bridge at the Toyota Bust Stop area of the Oshodi- Apapa Expressway in Lagos in the late 1990s. He was arrested and subsequently arraigned on February 19, 1999, at the Ebute-Metta Magistrate’s Court in

Cynthia and the beastly cousins Parents and children alike have lessons to learn here Lagos. Perhaps the most curious thing in his case was that for the 13 years that he was at the Kirikiri Prison, he was never tried in court for the allegations of cannibalism and being in possession of human parts over which he was arrested, ostensibly because he was mad. And no psychiatric hospital in the country could treat him! The next thing we were told was that he has died. So, we may never know whether it was some big men that actually planted him under the bridge to source for human parts for them, or not. We were yet to digest this when Cynthia’s death hit the news waves. The 24 year-old was the last child and only daughter of Major-Gen. Osokogu (rtd). She was killed in an hotel in FESTAC Town in Lagos. Two men who had reportedly admitted that they murdered her were paraded on August 22 by the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja. The suspects are Echezona Nwabufor, 33, and Ezekiel Nnechuwu Olisa Eloka, 23. Eloka said they killed Cynthia because they thought she had a lot of money in her possession. From what they reportedly said, and as captured by journalists during the police parade of the duo, it would seem Cynthia’s blood was crying for vengeance. Otherwise, the two suspects would not have been

singing like canaries the way they did, after they were caught. When the story broke, some people felt there might have been more to it than was initially reported. Unless those paraded are later found not to be the ones that lured pretty Cynthia to Lagos, or unless they repudiate the story they told the press when they were being paraded, it was clear there was nothing between the suspects and the late Cynthia. The suspects themselves admitted that they met on Blackberry group chat and began communicating from there. No doubt, one expected a lady doing post-graduate programme to have been more circumspect about the kind of people to trust, and not to jump at offers, particularly from strangers (that was a creed many of us were taught when we were growing up; I do not know whether such things are still being taught today), that might have been a weakness, and Cynthia’s eventual undoing. From what is in the public domain however, one gets the impression that she possibly might not have been in dire need of the free air ticket and hotel accommodation that her suspected murderers used to lure her. Parents have a job to do here. People addicted to the social networks also have to watch it. At any rate, whatever Cynthia might have been, sinner or saint, she did not deserve to die the

“Cynthia’s first striking feature was her captivating beauty. Not to have ‘known her’ as the suspects want us to believe would probably have meant that their other victims were paragons of beauty too, whose shoe laces Cynthia would not have been qualified to untie”

way she did in the hands of the brutes in human skin that killed her. The suspects themselves probably realised this, and the consequence; hence, the song they have been singing that they never meant to kill her; that all they wanted to do was dispossess her of money and other valuables. As a businesswoman, they had thought she would come to Lagos with a lot of money to buy the cheap goods they promised they were going to offer her. But one should wonder what that means, considering that they admitted drugging her with 10 tablets of Rohypnol, which they injected into three packs of Ribena juice that they served her in her hotel room. They did not meant to kill her, yet, they kept her under ruffling sheets for 12 long hours, a thing they denied, yet, traces of semen were found on her private part! I do not know whether even professional prostitutes could have survived such assault. Again, the suspects denied having sex with her; they denounced the condoms found in the hotel room and stuff like that. Yet, they claimed she was about their fifth victim and that they had only always robbed and raped the other victims, that none of them ever died in their ‘protective custody’. The kind of stupid things they have been saying, and so incoherently too, once again shows that many criminals hitherto thought to be men become lily-livered when finally apprehended. How do people who claimed they had only been raping their other victims now say they never did in Cynthia’s case? And they want us to believe that? What pleasure would the lady have derived from using a vibrator (sex toy)

Why should the soldiers be withdrawn when I now have electricity?! Postscript, it would be difficult to support the call that soldiers be removed Unlimited! from manning power stations when we are still having it so good By

Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only)


DON’T know about you but in my city, many people have now been reporting that they have been experiencing some steadiness in electricity supply to their houses for some time now. When I asked what magic could be responsible, I was told that soldiers are now manning the power stations. Hurray, I thought, that makes sense. Soldiers manning power stations, unemployed youths manning traffic posts and civil servants manning the seas. Now, who mans our security posts, fishermen? What a penkelemesi! I’m just joking. It’s not the best thing to have soldiers doing anything other than soldiering but I am very happy indeed to welcome electricity once in a while now. You just can’t imagine what joy it gives one to return from a hard day’s work, turn into one’s street and be able to complain joyfully that some of one’s neighbours have once again forgotten to turn off their security lights! You see, after being so used to lighting our ways in the house alternately with Aladdin’s lamp, Luggard’s bush lantern or some


smoke-belching generator and being afraid of every shadow because no one could see quite clearly, we can now run around corridors with our eyes closed and leave security bulbs on all day. What a warm glow that gives one. The problem with this country is that the government enjoys watching us all not doing our work with too lazy or sleepy an eye. Perhaps, because it does not do its own work, I don’t know. All along the government knew that the billions and billions of naira it doled out to provide a steady stream of electricity currents to my house (I honestly don’t know about yours) have, somewhere along the line, disappeared. While complaining very loudly about the problem (if only because the suffering populace will not let them sleep), the same said government had known all along where the problem was. Instead, it simply equipped its government houses, including Aso Rock, with the most powerful generator sets in the neighbourhood. Yet, the engineering manpower in PHCN can, if they connect their heads together, conduct enough electricity round Africa and the world if the rest of mankind would not mind. So, where was the problem? I am told that the problem is the Nigerian factor, and I just hate that. I cannot begin to count here many of the unconscionable things I am told PHCN field staff have done. I, writing this, have been present though when a then-NEPA staff told a woman he had been sent to cut off her electricity

supply for not paying a crazy bill but he would hold off if she was ready to bring a certain amount of money. She accused him of being hardhearted; he said she was stingy and should stop wasting his time because he still had many houses to visit that day. So, he just upped on the tree and cut her off, just like that, one snip. Yet another now-PHCN group held off connecting a businessman’s hotel to the grid for the simple reason that he had failed to ‘see them’. I have listened to so many tales about electricity company workers and connections. What I have failed to understand, however, is why I had electricity constantly when a then-NEPA staff member lived in my neighbourhood; and when he moved out of my neighbourhood, the constancy moved with him. I just cannot figure out what changed. My take on this whole lot is that the government is to blame. It has been too slow on justice, just like our Almighty. Someone once said though if the Almighty were not slow on justice, where would I be? Touché! But just think, the government is not our Almighty; powerful yes, but not Almighty, so it has no right to be so slow. Otherwise, it should have drafted in the soldiers decades ago to man our power stations. Just think what unnecessary headache, heartache and whatever else ache I would have been spared when all along, it had the solution. And what a solution! So, are the PHCN people really serious about asking the government

to withdraw those wonderful soldiers? I mean as in serious, serious? Has it ever occurred to these PHCN people that people do not really like them? The businessman and the woman I talked about do not and I also don’t. I don’t know how many articles I have written on them on this page and elsewhere but they have remained adamant like an adamantine stone. So, that makes three of us that I know, and I’m still counting. Now, how on earth do they think people can support them? Worse, the NLC now wants to sponsor them in a strike. I sincerely hope that that otherwise serious body will not attempt to test their popularity once again by sticking their necks out too far. They would just find themselves swallowing humiliation down a long throat after the head has been cut off. You know what our problem is? Our problem is that we lack a sense of history. I was going to leave this subject for another day, but we might as well tackle some of it now. The place of history is so clear that, right now, only the blind of this nation are seeing it clearly. The sighted are going around blinking like an owl and asking, where on earth did we leave our personality? You know how I know? Secondary school pupils do not take history any more. When I asked a recently graduated SS pupil if he did history, he wrinkled his brow and queried, history? It was clear he had forgotten what on earth that was. Another one said he did not take it but he thought

on herself when she had two ablebodied suspected serial rapists in the same room with her? They want us to believe that, too? Cynthia’s first striking feature was her captivating beauty. Not to have ‘known her’ as the suspects want us to believe would probably have meant that their other victims were paragons of beauty too, whose shoe laces Cynthia would not have been qualified to untie. They did not mean to kill her, yet, they tied her mouth and hands; they also chained her legs! What bunkum? These beastly cousins should go tell all these to the marines! They did not mean to kill her, yet they referred to her as ’bastard’ after they were through with her. If we take into cognisance the items allegedly recovered from the suspects: seven driving licences (three belonging to Ezekiel, four belonging to Okumo with different names); the deceased’s belongings, including her shoes (found in Okumo’s house); 17 mobile phones, two Diamond Bank rubber stamps, two syringes, a pack of Ribena, 22 SIM cards, a chain, 12 debit and credit cards, we will know that they are big time suspects. In conclusion, it was a lawyer friend of mine who led me into the temptation of wanting to see some sense in what Admiral Aikhomu said: that we don’t have to take the luxury of the rule of law in cases that seem to have decided themselves; we should just ‘arrest and jail’ the suspects, when she said that if the suspects in Cynthia’s matter get a good lawyer, they might escape being charged with murder, or even receive a mere slap on the wrist for whatever the court eventually finds them guilty of. However, we should wait to get to that bridge before crossing it. one or two people offered it in their school. Then he laughed. It was clear he thought that those two must have been a little wanting in the head. The beauty of history is that it helps us evaluate our position at all times. By keeping us in constant touch with our ancestry, our hopes, desires and aspirations may remain in sight. What has evolved into this modern Nigeria from the ancient ruins of old Nigeria would be a sore disappointment to our ancestors were they to wake up into our midst right now. The only thing is that we would all run away from them as if they were ghosts (oh yes, they would be ghosts!). We do however still venerate their names. They, on the other hand, would throw stones at some of our names because we have turned their dreams into ashes. It would be a case of the dead casting out the living. Someday, we will still talk about history. The great members of staff of Nigeria’s power company have had their day. They have failed the history test because rather than move the nation’s generic dreams forward, they have hurled the country down spiral staircases of loss, regret, hopelessness and destruction. Ask people who have lost relatives to generator blow-outs, fumes or in hospitals. Ask people who have been laid off work because companies could no longer afford the overhead. Ask ... Yet now, these same people want the nation to care because they perceive that they are being cheated. How can we when we are still chaffing from their tyranny? Few will support any attempt to deny any group of workers their entitlements, but it would be difficult to support the call that soldiers be removed from manning power stations when we are still having it so good. I’m not sure how long this arrangement will last but as I am writing this, I have electricity for the first time in a long time. That should count for something.



Comment & Analysis


HE recent calls by a few people in the Northern part of our dear country for the re-introduction of Onshore/ Offshore Oil Dichotomy in revenue sharing should be worrisome to most Nigerians. This call is particularly distressing (even unpatriotic) given the fact that it is coming on the heels of a wave of terrorism and insecurity, which has claimed the lives of several innocent Nigerians in the north, and has threatened our cooperate existence as a nation. Finding a solution to this bloodletting should preoccupy the minds of all patriotic Nigerians – not delving into other areas, which could exacerbate the already tense situation. One believes that such talk could further stoke the fire of insecurity and endanger the virtues of “freedom, peace and unity” canvassed in our National Anthem. The Dichotomy Law was not only so detrimental to our nationhood that it was given the appellation “obnoxious”; it was one of the evil vestiges of military dictatorship. The military itself tried lamely to excuse it, given its unjust nature, on the exigencies of the Nigerian Civil War, and its reconstructive efforts after the war. It has been said that a page of history is worth more than a tonne of logic. The history of this issue would suffice before we look at the sophistic arguments for its reintroduction. It is a fact that no civilian government ever implemented such an unjust law, and until the advent of the military the revenue sharing formula (for both onshore and offshore) wealth was more than the mere 13 per cent currently enjoyed by the states. Before the unfortunate advent

of military dictatorship, Nigeria had witnessed five different revenue allocation arrangements in the course of our democratic development. These were the Chick Commission of 1953, which recommended a 100 per cent derivation for resources to the resource-bearing communities. The Raisman-Tree Commission of 1958, which recommended a derivation of 50 per cent to host communities, 30 per cent to regions and 20 per cent to the Federal Government. The Hicks-Phillipson Commission of 1961 and the Binn Commission of 1964 which both recommended 50 per cent derivation sharing to areas where the resources were located, 35 per cent to the regions and 15 per cent to the Federal Government. It should be stated in line with this argument that the dichotomy between onshore and offshore wealth was not included in the 1963 Constitution (or any earlier constitution). Had it not been for the advent of the Military, this colossal injustice would not have blighted our history. In abrogating the obnoxious onshore/offshore dichotomy law in 2004, the National Assembly took patriotic interest in this history and met the demands of democracy and justice. They also took this action in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, and consigned to the dustbin of history, one of the most painful relics of a bitter Civil War and a constant nagging reminder of the evils of military dictatorship.


Death by Facebook: Matters arising

HE recent death of Cynthia Osokogu via the activities of criminals through the social media has brought to fore the good, the bad and the ugly sides of social networking sites. The social media commonly used in Nigeria include Facebook, 2go, Yahoo messenger, BBM, Netlog, Badoo, Eskimo, Twitter, Nimbuzz, amongst others. They all offer their users unrestricted access to chat with friends, relations and other acquaintances. Starting from Orkut, followed by Twitter and Facebook, social networking websites have become the vogue across the world, especially among the youth. Just a few clicks and you can chat with your friends and family, sitting at a different corner of the globe. Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. It is also one of the two most frequented websites in the entire internet. It routinely trades places with Google as the most visited web service, and by the company’s estimates it now has over 800 million active users. That’s more regular visitors than the entire internet had in 2004. As of June 2012, Facebook has over 955 million active users, more than half of them using it on mobile devices. Interestingly, many intercontinental marriages have been contracted via social networking sites . Though, it is not yet clear how successful such marriages have been. Nevertheless, they wouldn’t have been possible but for social media. Similarly, many people have gotten their dream jobs, thanks to the social media. Asides this, the social media provides unlimited platform for genuine business

Onshore/offshore dichotomy: An injustice better forgotten By Anietie John

By Funmi Fasipe

transactions as it offers business men the opportunity to promote their goods and services for a global market. Indeed, the social media has made our world an interesting and exciting one. However, like every of man’s innovations, the social media has become a source of unending trouble and frustration in an increasingly troubled world primarily due to ‘bastardisation’. One aspect that makes it rather unsafe is its apparent lack of security. People have to sign up with these sites putting in their personal and sometimes professional information. As long as these details are safe, there is no threat in social networking with friends as well as strangers you want to be friends with. But once your personal details like address, contact number, etc get hacked by the unwanted strangers, you will be a soft target of these miscreants. Asides this, it is really difficult to discern the real intention of the ‘friends’ we make on social networking sites as some of them might be criminals with hidden agenda. In most cases, they easily deceive their victims with their fake

However, the National Assembly struck a compromise in abrogating this law by maintaining that states should only receive thirteen per cent revenue on resources located within 200 metres isobars of their continental shelves. This meant that resources located beyond this distance belonged to the Federal Government. Though this was not apparently fair to the littoral states, given the fact that the effects of gas flaring in the high seas lead to air pollution on land and the intermittent oil spillages (as it occurred recently off the coast of Akwa Ibom), destroy aquatic life and endanger the health of the people; it was accepted by the states concerned in the interest of peace and unity. The claim by these antagonists that the north has been impoverished because of the abrogation of this unjust law is utterly strange. For example, in the month of July, 2012, one of the states in the Niger Delta had an allocation of N12 billion, whereas Kano State had an allocation of N10 billion – not much of a difference! Hypothetically speaking, if the onshore/ offshore dichotomy were to be reintroduced, the Federal Government would still take a lion’s share and the rest shared to 36 states. Kano would not have more than N100 million added to its kitty. Is Kano impoverished because N100 million has not been added to what it currently receives? What a fallacy! It should also be stated that a state governor in one of the

identity. This, with regards to media reports on Cynthia’s death, was indeed the case. While her killers pretended to be genuine guys with purely business motive, poor Cynthia innocently fell for the trick of these monsters who slaughtered her in cold blooded fashion. Cynthia is not the first to become a victim, there are others who have been deceived, raped, defrauded, and in some cases killed. Sadly, there is no security measure that checks this behaviour. Some girls are raped while video recordings of same act are transmitted just to stigmatize them. There is a great danger in getting close to strange people on social networking sites. Many people unconsciously get started with strangers with the intention of having a casual relationship but gradually they find out that they become so close to these people. As time goes on they become so intimate forgetting that the heart of man is desperately wicked (apology to the holy scriptures). With time, they so much trust them that they reveal their deepest secrets to them while the so called ‘friends’ turn back to pay them with evil.

northern states, upon leaving office, gleefully announced that he was leaving behind the sum of N64 billion in the state’s coffers. In spite of the sea of needs in the state, he could not think of what to do with so much money! He announced his failings as if it were a major success. Truly, some persons can turn a desert into a palace, and some can turn a palace into a desert! It is a matter of visionary and purposeful leadership. Regrettably, the Niger Delta is also impoverished by the activities of oil companies in the high seas. It should be noted that health concerns have forced several advanced countries to stop some oil drilling in the high seas. But in Nigeria wherever oil is found, it is drilled irrespective of health hazards to coastal dwellers. It would, therefore, amount to “treason” to deprive those whose lives you put at risk and who die everyday of just 13 per cent revenue. This ill-treatment of the littoral states was what fanned the Niger Delta’s anger from the days of Isaac Borro, through the days of Dr Ken Saro-Wiwa (who paid the supreme sacrifice for this cause) and to the days of militancy during the reign of President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR. The Niger Delta militancy caused oil production in Nigeria to drop to a worrisome 30 per cent. Abrogating the obnoxious law was, therefore, a call to redress this injustice and fully integrate the Niger Delta into the Nigerian equation. The militants

Recently, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, expressed the belief that there must be a measure to check the negative tendencies of the social media in the country. He based his argument on the availability of so many news sites where people access all manners of information. According to Senator Mark, media practice, particularly journalism, process news gathering and dissemination in addition to operating a feedback mechanism which gives room for rebuttal when practitioners erred. But in the social media, a faceless character can post any information that is absolutely false and misleading but will never retract it. At the end of the day, the victims are faced with the task of responding to issues that never exist. Unfortunately, Senator Mark did not know that apart from being a source of unprocessed information, the social media has also become a source of untimely death. The unfortunate death of Cynthia Osokogu has demonstrated to users of social networking sites of the need to be cautious when it comes to dealing with ‘friends’ they make on the sites. There is no point getting

“There is a great danger in getting close to strange people on social networking sites. Many people unconsciously get started with strangers with the intention of having a casual relationship but gradually they find out that they become so close to these people.”

fought because the Niger Delta people were not only impoverished but were dying (their creeks and waterways were gone, the fishes dead and sickness prevalent), while the nation shared “blood money,” made at their expense. Justice was done and peace reigned again in our beloved country. Those who were behind this abrogation were true patriots, and those who were against it have no interest in justice. In his inaugural address in 1960, the late Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Belewa of blessed memory (a victim of military adventurism - like the littoral states) said, “now we have acquired our rightful status and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: It has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well built upon firm foundations.” This message rings as true today as it did when the sage said it. All states have acquired their rightful status in revenue sharing, and our political development, after the dark days of military rule, has been at the wisest pace. It has been thorough (it took two years for the National Assembly to abrogate this evil law) and we now stand built on firm foundations. Anyone who seeks to shake or destroy those foundations, seek to destroy Nigeria. John, works with the Institute of Communication and Leadership Studies, Uyo.

involved with people whose integrity you cannot really vouch for. Also, it is important for younger ones to inform their parents or guardians whenever they want to embark on any ‘deal’ with strange people. It is unfortunate that Cynthia reportedly came from Abuja to Lagos without informing any one about her mission. Since we live in a technology driven world, parents should encourage their children to inform them if they are victims of cyber bullying or harassment. Many youngsters will try to deal with this on their own, which can have disastrous consequences. ·Perhaps, more importantly, parents should ensure that their children are not given too much freedom when it comes to socialising. Many parents are of the view that the only way to express love to their children is to spoil them with material things in addition to giving them unhindered access to the kind of life they are not matured to handle. Parents need to let their children know that ·Finally, one must commend the police for the breakthrough it has thus far recoded concerning the Cynthia’s case. If only they have been acting in such scientific and swift manner, perhaps, the killers of the late Chief Bola Ige, Chief Funsho Williams, Otunba Dipo Dina, among others, would have been caught. Nevertheless, kudos to the Nigeria Police on this one. · Fasipe, is the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja




Jonathan, Obasanjo part ways? •Jonathan

The emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan on the highest seat in the land has been largely credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, but the frosty relationship between the duo in the last one year is giving their loyalists a cause for worry, writes Remi Adelowo




T took the surprise visit of the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, to the hilltop residence of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State, to arouse any suspicion that indeed, all may not be well between President Goodluck Jonathan and Obasanjo. A further proof that Obasanjo may have distanced himself from the president was the widely reported outcome of the meeting between the former president and former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, in Abuja. A joint statement issued by the two former leaders had suggested on the way forward to addressing the incessant security challenges in the country, while albeit insinuating that the president seems incapable of providing the right leadership at this critical period of the nation’s history. Originally planned as an incognito visit, it was a shocked Dickson, who on sighting newshounds after he stepped out of Obasanjo’s residence, searched for the right words to say on the reasons for his visit. Obviously laboring to sound convincing, the governor disclosed that he was simply on a courtesy visit to pay homage to the former president. His aides had also reportedly told some journalists that the governor had come to solicit for the intervention of the former president on his (governor’s) alleged frosty relationship with lawmakers in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. Impeccable sources privy to the discussion between the governor and the former president, however, revealed that Dickson, at the instance of the Presidency, was on a fence-mending mission to repair the relationship between his godfather, Jonathan and Obasanjo, which despite denials by the principal characters, has almost completely broken down in recent times. The governor, it was learnt, had allegedly pleaded with Obasanjo to join hands with the president in tackling the various challenges that the present administration has been battling with in the last two years. Dickson was also said to have worked on the emotions of the former president, reminding him on the roles he (Obasanjo) played in the emergence of Jonathan, both as acting president in 2009 and later as president in 2011. In rounding up, Dickson told Obasanjo that now is the time that his support is most needed to stave off the several attacks directed at the president, particularly from influential political players from the North. Wily as ever, Obasanjo according to sources, simply thanked the governor for the visit and said nothing more. “He was non committal to the requests of the governor, but promised to get back to him”, said a source.

Composition of PAC The prelude to the thawed relationship between the erstwhile close allies started shortly after Jonathan was sworn-in as acting president following the death of late Umaru Yar’ Adua in April 2009. To chart an agenda and bring as many stakeholders as possible on board, Jonathan had inaugurated a Presidential Advisory Council (PAC), headed by former Army Chief and ex-Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophillus Danjuma, to come up with a blueprint for the fledlging administration. The council had as its members distinguished Nigerians, which included former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Professor Ben Nwabueze, to mention but a few. Obasanjo, The Nation learnt, felt slighted that he was not consulted on the issue, but never broached this with the then acting president. “He (Obasanjo) was not comfortable with Danjuma’s headship of the Council; you know his relationship with Danjuma has remained frosty since the latter quit his cabinet in 2006.” The outcome of the 2011 general elections in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was swept away in all the South West states controlled by the party, according to sources, is also another bone of contention. Obasanjo, revealed another source, believed the president did not do enough to ‘support’ the party at the polls. “Right now, the man (Obasanjo) does not have a support base and he is blaming the president for this.” The godfather palaver Another complaint of the former president is the alleged refusal of the current president to seek his opinion on key national issues, but rather prefer the counsel of a prominent Ijaw leader, who is widely acknowledged as the president’s new godfather and an influential South-South politician. Cabinet reshuffle The first cabinet reshuffle carried out by President Jonathan in early 2011 was also cited as another grievance of Obasanjo. One of the former president nominees in the cabinet, Chief Jubril Martins-Kuye, who served as the Minister of Commerce and Industry was dropped, a decision that did not go down well with Obasanjo. Alleged second term ambition While the former president still feels proud that he played a significant role in ensuring power shift from the North to the South-South, he is, however, not comfortable with the alleged surreptitious moves by loyalists of the president urging him to contest for another term in office in 2015. Obasanjo wants power back in the North in 2015 to guarantee the political stability of the country, The Nation reliably gathered. Early signs The first early sign that the former president’s relationship with President Jonathan has not been cordial came when the former resigned his chairmanship of PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) early this year, citing the need to have more time to attend to his international engagements as the reason for his action. Not a few Nigerians were also surprised when, at the last Council of States meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the former president quite unusually was conspicuously absent even though sources said he was in the country. The other exleaders absent at the meeting were Gen. Babangida, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. According to a source, “the former president is not hiding his displeasure with Jonathan; that explains why he has washed his hands off the affairs of the party and also stayed away from the Villa or calling the president to offer any advice.” The icy relationship between the two men remains unresolved, just as the camp of the former president is allegedly working behind-the-scene to promote Governors. Sule Lamido/Rotimi Amaechi for the PDP presidential and vice-presidential tickets in 2015. The former president’s camp has since denied this report.




Race for Plateau North heats up Sunday Oguntola reports on intrigues surrounding the forthcoming by-election for the Plateau North Senatorial district and assesses candidates competing for the ticket across party divides


State these days. All eyes remain steadfast on the Plateau North senatorial by-election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already fixed September 15 for the exercise. The seat became vacant following the death of Senator Gyang Dantong during an attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen on July 8. The senator died while leading a funeral procession for hundreds on his constituency members killed during a raid of villages in the senatorial district a day before. The completion of funeral rites for Dantong means political interests and groups can openly deploy their ammunition to win the seat. The fireworks from interested candidates have been as revealing as intriguing. The senatorial zone has six local governments, including Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Jos East, Jos North, Jos South and Riyom.

district as the governor. They wonder why another person from Riyom,where Dantong hailed from, could not be supported to serve out the tenure. Sources say Jang is determined to install his own as the next senator. A government house source said: "There is no governor who is not interested in who represents the state in Abuja. So His Excellency's interest is in order." Mrs. Dantong, some family sources said, obtained a promise from Jang during his condolence visit to serve out her husband's term. This pact, it is believed, is a gentleman's agreement that must be honoured. Dantong is a university lecturer, who is said to be politically sound like her late hubby. The Plateau chapter of the PDP has become a centre of intrigues since the race started. Many other willing candidates have backed down since the alleged endorsement of Pwajok. There are fears that many of them may work against his candidature secretly.

The contestants The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appears to be leading the race for the vacant seat. Those who have indicated interest so far include immediate Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang, Mr. Gyang Pwajok; former Speaker, Mr. Chungwong Song and widow of the last occupant, Mrs. Hanatu Dantong. Pwajok resigned few weeks ago to contest the post. He is a close aide to Jang and believed to be the anointed candidate. But critics point out the anointed candidate is from the same Du

Opposition parties Mindful of PDP's strong interest in retaining the seat, opposition parties are not taking things lying low either. They are strategising on how to present a strong candidate to wrest the seat from the ruling party. No fewer than nine of such candidates are contesting for the seat under the platform of six parties. The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) is stepping up measures to floor whoever emerges the PDP's candidate. The thinking among opposition candidates is


T is the major discourse among politicians in Plateau



that presenting a common front is the surest way to neutralise all the game plans of the ruling party. CNPP's chairman in Plateau State, Mohammed Kanam, said: "We will talk with one voice so that we can defeat the PDP because it is all over in the country that the party, which is giving us lots of problems, is the PDP. The opposition will team up and choose a very strong candidate that will be popular with the good people of the Plateau North senatorial zone." Labour Party (LP) The LP learnt a big lesson from the last governorship primary that produced Chief (Mrs.) Pauline Tallen. The leading contenders are Danladi Atu and Lumubah Adeh. Adeh has experience on his side. He has won elections into the House of Representatives. He also contested for two senatorial elections, making his supporters believe he is battle tested and ready. He is popular in his Miango constituency and has reached out to other minority ethnic groups in the zone as well as the Hausa-Fulani community. But his last two failed attempts to win the ticket do not inspire confidence among supporters.

But Adu appears to have the upper hand in the LP. He is believed to have the backing of former Governor, Joshua Dariye. Dariye, a serving Senator, is known to have enormous influence in the Northern Senatorial district. Dariye, sources said, is working towards having two LP senators ahead of 2015 elections. Atu is also popular with his Afizere community in both Jos North and Jos East. Many of his kinsmen consider him their political hero. But it is alleged he is hardly accessible when there is no electoral challenge before him. Analysts believe whoever emerges the party's ticket bearer will have a tough battle ahead. This is because neither candidate will ever support the other, a development that might work against the LP come September 15. All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) The party is almost comatose in the state. It, however makes occasional appearances during elections, mostly with aspirants bent on contesting. For now, only Yabuku Pam Jack has indicated interest in the senatorial race under the party.

“Useni has reportedly vowed never to allow Dungs contest under the platform again, accusing him of not supporting the party in any way since the last exercise�

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Interested candidates, for now, are Rufus Bature and Chris Giwa. Giwa is an accessible, philanthropic politician, passionate about non-violent resolution of the Plateau crisis. But critics say he prosecuted the last governorship race without much enthusiasm, fuelling insinuations he was fronting for someone. But a little skirmish within the state chapter on the authentic party leadership leaves much to desire. Democratic People's Party (DPP) The party's last governorship flag bearer, Col. David Dungs (Rtd.), holds the ace to emerge victorious. His only obstacle is clearly the open rift between him and the DPP's National Chairman, General Jeremiah Useni (Rtd). Dungs engaged in open altercations with Useni during the last governorship race, a serious crime, sources said, has not been forgiven. Useni has reportedly vowed never to allow Dungs contest under the platform again, accusing him of not supporting the party in any way since the last exercise. Dungs is a rich, lovable, eloquent speaker. He hails for Riyom, the same council as Dantong. He left the PDP after he was denied the ticket in 2011 to contest the governorship under the DPP. Come September 15, one of these contestants will emerge victorious. Who it will be remains more of a mystery for now.



ILL you say the war on Boko Haram is succeeding? Are we safe? From all indications, with some parts of the security apparatus of this country, the war is being won. The war against Boko Haram is real and I tell you Nigeria is not a terrorist nation and that is why we cannot and must not condone those people who stick to shake down the fabrics of our society by perpetrating those evil acts. But the war is raging, not won yet but we expect we are making progress. Are you satisfied with the level of security in Anambra State in the past months? You see, these threats are imminent. We rallied around and we spoke with IG, we spoke with the commissioner of police and apparently they are putting a lot of things on ground to ensure that they check such threat from further occurrence. The governor has as well spoken to them. The presidency is seeking second tenure in office in 2015 and some northern leaders have opposed the idea. What is your take on that? I so much believe that people should do their best before they seek for re-election. If we are able to see that it is within the ambit of the law for the president to run for 2015, then so be it. He is eligible, he is a Nigerian. Then for the north moving against it, everybody has a right to aspire for the presidency of this country. If you are a northerner, or southerner, at the end of the day, we have the laws that guide the polity. But, I would suggest, instead of clamouring for 2015, the government officials should put something on ground to make the people happy enough to begin to consider them for important posts or re-election. There are a lot of challenges in this country, so it will be fool hardy to think that people, especially the presidency should start thinking of the second tenure when they are just one year into the term that they have been given. What is your family’s hidden agenda when you built and donated a multi-million edifice to Capital City Secondary School? You see, the importance of education cannot be over emphasized. At this stage in the life of our children, we must make haste to ensure that we give them quality education. When you look at the capital city, we started with the first block that Ayon-na-okpala did. So, it became imperative that the children cannot be read-


‘Jonathan must deliver first before second term thoughts ’ Hon. Chukwuemeke Nwogbo, member representing Awka North and South in the Federal House of Representatives, spoke to our correspondent Odogwu Emeka Odogwu in Nnewi on a wide range of issues including the insecurity, terrorism, six year single term debate and Boko Haram among others. Excerpts:

•Nwogbo ing under the sun. And that is why it became necessary that we did something about the quality of the environment where the school is situated. We will make sure that we make further contributions to ensure that we make the environment better. Fraud is everyday overwhelming the public, what is your take on that? The truth is that fraud has been there before now and it is still there and for the fact that it has become undaunted here

and there, it tells you that something is happening in our polity. People are frowning at their money being carted away by the criminals with pen. It is unimaginable that people will steal money that belongs to the people and put it in their coffers. This is why we should support moral education in the schools. Can you summarize your achievements in the past one year? A lot of things are still in the pipeline. We have done the health programme, we are attracting one or two few things but I would want to be asked at the end of the implementation of the first budget how much I have done. By then, I will look back and say yes I have done this or that. The little we have done is not enough for us to beat our chest. But I am urging our people to have hope and know that governance is no longer business as usual. They should pray that we be given the strength to better their lives and the lot of their children. But certainly, I intend to be very responsive to the plights of my constituents. The problems of Awka North and South people are my primary responsibility. One of the biggest problems confronting my people is the menace posed by erosion in various parts of the town. Another very salient issue is articulation of the best way to harness the land resources in Awka North and South with a view to maximizing the use of the available land and its waterways to ensure all year planting to enhance food production. Is this your first outing in politics? Yes, I am essentially a new politician, who has come to make a change to affect my polity positively. I am a simple person. The only tool I possess is that I always tell the truth at all cost.


ripples APGA crisis: Obi’s camp raises more issues


HE last has not been heard of the disagreement between Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, and his erstwhile political associate, Chief Victor Umeh, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Last week, associates of the governor challenged claims by Umeh that Obi was bent on destroying APGA, preparatory to his alleged moves to decamp to PDP. Obi’s associates also accused Umeh of not doing enough to take the party to the next level. They alleged that since Umeh took over from Chekwas Okorie, he has shunned the advice of stakeholders •Obi to make the party more cosmopolitan in outlook and not a one-man show. Other issues the associates raised included the nomination fees paid by local government aspirants. It would be recalled that Umeh-led executive had repeatedly blamed Obi and his associates for the government’s blatant refusal to conduct local government election since he took over government in 2006, a development that has caused so much disaffection within the party in the state.

Gemade’s loss, Suswam’s gain


FEW weeks ago, Ripples exclusively broke the story of the pressure being put on the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam to contest for the Benue North senatorial seat in 2015. From all indications, the governor, according to sources in the North Central state, may capitulate to the demands of influential stakeholders in the zone who want him as their representative at the red chamber of the National Assembly in the next dispensation. Last week, elders in the zone, led by Chief Jack Tilley Gyado, Dr. Limbee Shande and a few others, endorsed Suswam as the zone’s senatorial candidate for the 2015 elections. Sources said this may simply mean that the incumbent representative of the zone, Senator Barnabas Gemade, may be asked to step aside for the Suswam, whose second term in office ends in 2015.


Political Politics turf

with Bolade Omonijo

Insecurity: Still chasing shadows


SKED in 1983 what he had achieved in four years as the first Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Aliyu Usman Shehu Shagari did not hesitate in proudly identifying peace and security over and above green revolution and qualitative education. Then, many of us laughed him to scorn. What is special in maintaining peace and stability, we had reasoned. When the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) government came to power, Nigeria could not have been more peaceful. The country faced no threat whatsoever of disintegrating. It had put behind the years of pogrom and civil war and the people showed resilience in pursuing the cause of unity and stability. The task, the challenge, at the time, was to imbue the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in the people. But, in his wisdom, Shagari said he was able to hold Nigeria together. He could not point at any tangible result in the provision of sorely required infrastructure and elevation of Nigeria to the status of a true giant of Africa. It was obvious that the regime had failed to consolidate and deepen democracy. It failed to lift Nigeria out of the morass of the moment and was at sea in coming up with a political agenda and a viable economic philosophy that could promote growth and development. At the minimal level, Shagari was content with maintaining the status quo. About three decades after, We would proudly applaud Dr. Goodluck Jonathan if he could say as much. There is no health in the country today and the leaders are even more clannish than the followers. There appears to be peddling of ignorance, naivety and illiteracy in high places than in the ranks of the common people. It is interesting that, after a loud and worrisome silence, Northern leaders finally chose to speak for the cause of peace and stability of the polity last week. On Wednesday, a committee of 41 was inaugurated to proffer solution to the Boko Haram menace that has been threatening to pull down the House for about four years. The committee comprising the likes of Bishop Mathew Kukah, General Martin Luther Agwai, Air Vice Marshal Mukhtar Mohammed, Lamido Adamawa Barkindo Musdafa, Emir of Ilorin Ibrahim Gambari, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu and Dr. Kole Shetima is expected to “engender the restoration of the most desired peaceful coexistence, unity and development in the entire region.” Is the committee in position to deliver on the rather ambitious term of reference? Is it the commencement of the much vaunted engagement with the Boko Haram sect? Would those who have the ears of the dreaded purveyors of death seize this opportunity to talk to their wards? While awaiting the outcome of the deliberations, our government at the federal level now seems to have found an ingenious solution to the challenge of insecurity in the land. Using the Niger Delta militancy as a pilot project, the Jonathan administration is engaging the militants who have pulled down and destroyed, taking hundreds of lives, by throwing money at the leaders. Dokubo, Ateke, Tompolo and others have now been handed contracts to secure the pipelines running through the creeks. Years of strong arm tactics, operators of the Ijaw-run government insist, have failed, thus inviting a change of strategies. Henceforth, the militants would no longer be poor. They can wake up daily, gulp unusually large amounts of local gin, swagger around and walk drive about in flashy cars in the company of a bevy of ladies who have been harvested from the streets to the harems of the New Excellencies. This may recommend itself as a model to follow in the North, too. The leaders also want better lives for their children and wards who have of recent been turned to merchants of death. They, too, can do be awarded contracts worth some billions of Naira to ward off marauders ostensibly crossing over to Nigeria from Niger and Chad. Cross River might have lost all its on shore oil installations to neighbouring oil rich Akwa Ibom State. There may therefore be nothing for the militants to secure there. However, maintaining the peace around Bakassi, or what remains of it in Nigeria, has to be jealously guarded. Money, even if only one or two billion Naira per annum, could equally go to some troublemakers around the area. They, too, deserve the better life. And, our brothers and sisters in the South East must not be left out. It must not be taken for granted that the MASSOB boys, ever campaigning for a Sovereign State of Biafra, are no longer in position to deal a deadly blow. As a proactive and preemptive measure, they need to be won to the government side. Certainly, the new Eze Ndigbo, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and his comrades would not watch the injustice arms akimbo. Neither would they accept crumbs from the table. They have to be heavily settled like their other brothers. In any case, the leaders who granted amnesty to kidnappers and asked that they be given grants are expected to start making cases for the men. There must be equity in these things. It would be unfair to leave out the Southwest. So, Oodua Peoples Congress, whether of Gani Adams or Dr. Frederick Fasehun, step forward. Is this the road to the future? Can we trust the vehicle we are riding to take us to destination? Is the driver the right person for the journey-is he sufficiently sober to undertake the task? We are just chasing shadows. We have left leprosy and are treating ringworm. It is time to ponder the issues. For so long, we have tried to dodge holding a national conference, but it is inevitable. For those who argue that such a conference is only for failed sattes, I say, they are enemies of Nigeria who have well appointed themselves undertakers to proclaim the assembly when it would have been too late.




Nigeria’s wonky federalism N

IGERIA is a country with an estimated 350 ethnic groups which have largely contiguous territories. It is therefore a natural candidate for the federal system of government. However, in spite of these federal properties, Nigeria has been grappling with a struggle between forces in support of true federalism and its antagonists. To be sure, the struggle for true federalism began even before the independence of Nigeria in 1960. The failure of all pre-independence constitutions, beginning from the Clifford Constitution of 1922, up to the Macpherson Constitution of 1951, was largely due to their shortcomings in meeting the federal expectations and agitations of Nigerian nationalists. Although they differed in the specifics of their federal expectations, the cream of Nigerian nationalists, as represented by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, all of blessed memories, advocated the federal system for Nigeria. For instance, while Chief Awolowo contended that “the constitution of Nigeria must be federal …. any other constitution will be unsuitable and will generate ever-recurring instability which may eventually lead to the complete disappearance of the Nigeria composite State”, Sir Ahmadu Bello contended that federalism provided the “only guarantee that the country will grow evenly all over, we can spend the money we receive, the money we raise, in the direction best suited to us”. Dr. Azikwe, on his part, was insistent that the strength of Nigeria as a nation lies in its heterogeneous composition and the potentials that a federal structure possesses for the release of the energies of these component parts for national development. As I noted before, these founding fathers of Nigeria, in spite of their unanimity on the appropriateness of federalism as a form of government, differed on the specifics of such system. This lack of consensus persists to date in the struggle for the enthronement of true federalism in Nigeria. It is noteworthy that the positions that advocates and opponents of true federalism take largely depend on how advantaged or disadvantaged they think they are in the operations of the extant system of federalism in Nigeria. For a proper appreciation of the debate, it would be appropriate to highlight what I believe are the elements of true democracy. From literature on federalism and practice, the core element of federalism is the existence of a system based on the sharing of power between at least two levels of government (federal and state) that allows each level to make final decisions on matters concurrently and exclusively. The core federal principle has the following core characteristics (Osaghae; 2012): No level of government is subordinate to the other; The two or more levels of government operate directly and simultaneously upon the citizens; There is a written constitution which is supreme – amendments especially on matters related to the formal division of power should not be the exclusive preserve of one level of government; There is an independent and supreme court which serves as final arbiter in constitutional disputes; The levels of government, especially state governments, should have reasonable levels of viability and relative economic autonomy both to ensure that they are able to perform their constitutionally assigned functions and that they are not subordinate to the other level; and the constitution does not contain a secession clause that allows federating units to secede at will and does not also grant the federal government emergency powers that can make the states subordinate when used. One major element of federalism is that it can only thrive in a democracy. This explains why in spite of spirited efforts by successive military governments in Nigeria through what Prof. Isawa Elaigwu calls “military federalism”, they fell short of appropriating true federalism in Nigeria. This is because of its very nature as

•Nnamdi Azikiwe By Abiola Ajimobi

a constitutional system characterized by relative autonomies, rights and freedoms and contiguous bargains, a federal system requires thorough going democracy as represented by elements like rule of law, separation of power, independent judiciary, multiparty politics, participation and representation to thrive (Osaghae, 2012). I wish to note that it is possible to identify four (4) phases in the struggle for the democracy in Nigeria. The first was under colonial rule when Nigerian nationalists struggled for the enthronement of a federal system as an integral part of the political independence agenda. The second phase of federalist struggle was immediately after independence when the political class debated the political architecture bequeathed by the departing colonial power. Again, the dramatis personae differed on their preferences and made requests that sought to enhance their hold on power in their respective regions (and at the national level in the case of the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) and reduce the viability of opposition parties. The third phase in the struggle for true federalism in Nigeria was under military rule when Nigerians rose against elements of military unitary system that ran contrary to their federalist expectations. These agitations reached a crescendo with calls for confederacy under the regimes of Generals Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sanni Abacha and AbdulSalam Abubakar. The outcome of this struggle is the 1999 Constitution. The fourth phase began immediately the present democratic dispensation began in 1999. The reason for such spontaneous agitation under the present dispensation is attributable to the authoritarian origin of the 1999 Constitution. Although the Constitution is supposedly the cumulation of agitations under the military regimes, most especially under Generals Babangida and Abacha, the Constitution was an imposition of the military which merely incorporated the provisions that it was comfortable with. Since 1999, the struggle for true federalism has been evidenced by agita-

•Obafemi Awolowo

•Ahmadu Bello

tion of AD (later ACN) controlled SouthWest for greater state autonomy; the enthronement of Sharia Law by many Northern States which was a test of constitutional provisions on the extent of the power of States; the agitation for State Police; agitations, litigations and administrative policies on control of local governments; agitation for resource control in the Niger Delta; the agitation for the convocation of Sovereign National Conference and the Boko Haram Insurgency in Northern Nigeria. These are reactions to many elements of the 1999 Constitution that are considered antithetical to the federal system of government. Without pretending to have an exhaustive list of such anti-federal elements, may I list the following as among these elements: (Osaghae, 2012): Large number of matters on the exclusive legislative list; Limitations to the competence of States in matters on the concurrent list (by which state laws are constitutionally rendered null and void to the extent of their inconsistencies with federal laws); Provision of emergency powers that allow the federal government to take over the affairs of states; Overcentralization of control of the police; Provisions on local government that allow federal interference. Extant laws that are anti-federal include the Land Use Act; the Laws on Petroleum and Gas that give these resources to the federal government; the Federal Inland Revenue Act of 2007 which empowers the Federal Inland Revenue Service to collect revenue for the three tiers of government, the Monitoring of Revenue Allocation to Local Government Act of 2005, which compels states to set up joint local government account committees and empowers the federal government to deduct from funds allocated to States money they failed to pay to local governments in the previous year. Against the background of these anti-federal laws, it is understandable why there has been heightened agitation against the present federal system. As Nigeria ponders another review of the 1999 Constitution, arguments and counter arguments are being advanced for the change or retention of these antifederal provisions. From my experience as a Senator

of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2003 – 2007 and governor of Oyo State since last year, I make bold to say that there are too many responsibilities and resources at the federal level to allow for efficiency. The federal government has become so big that it is theoretically and practically impossible to guarantee efficiency. For instance, a report has indicated that the federal government is executing over 1,000 projects at a time. There is no way, given the capacity of the bureaucracy at the federal level, that efficiency can be guaranteed in the deployment of resources in this circumstance. Besides, Nigeria is too far-flung for a central authority to effectively perform some of the duties ascribed to the central government. These include agriculture and food security, provision of water and management of water resources, policing, maintenance of roads and provision of tertiary education, to mention a few. As a governor of the oldest state in Western Nigeria, we are faced with challenges in the area of public infrastructure, security, food security, tax collection and provision of educational services. Many of these functions are jointly performed by the federal and state governments, with the bulk of resources needed to perform them residing in the federal government. Our experience has shown that there is no way the federal government can effectively maintain urban roads - a role which has been ascribed to it under the present constitution. First, it is too far removed from the locations where such services are needed and the bureaucratic process of meeting such needs between the federal capital and under-funded statebased federal agencies are cumbersome and long. More importantly, with an estimated 50,000 km - long federal roads, it is logically impossible for the federal government to promptly respond to infrastructure challenges as they emerge in the states. This explains why pot holes that emerge on federal roads grow into craters unattended to, while files move from federal highway offices flung across the expansive country and the Federal Capital of Abuja. The solution to this malaise is to grant the responsibility of all roads within a state to the state government with the complementary resource allocation to maintain them. To cite just one more example. The Federal Government, under the present Minister for Agriculture, has embarked on many initiatives to improve food production and guarantee food security. But the laudable exploits are structurally hampered. Food production takes place at the local level and the states are better placed to oversee agricultural services. For me, the federal government should be limited to setting policies – after consultations with the states – on areas like road, agriculture, sports, etc.

“A recourse to true fiscal federalism will ensure that states benefit from resources in their territories. For instance, proceeds from the Value Added Tax (VAT) are distributed on principles that defy logic. Consumption is a reflection of the population and the pressure they exert on the infrastructure and social services in the States. The proceeds of Value Added Tax (VAT) should therefore go to the State who bear the burden of such social activities and consumption rather than be distributed otherwise”

while the states are granted the powers and resources to manage these responsibilities that affect the lives of our people at the grassroots. In the last 16 months as the governor of Oyo State, our emphasis has been on the restoration of the glory of Oyo State as the cradle of development in Nigeria. To this end, our development agenda include: (i)Infrastructural development and environmental protection; (ii)Education, Health and Social Services; (iii)Reform of the Civil Service; (iv)Promotion of investment and expansion of economic activities; (v)Youth development, employment and empowerment; (vi)Peace and Security.In the last 16 months, we have created 20,000 intervention jobs for our youths, rehabilitated over 200 roads, constructing a major flyover in the state capital, constructing over 10 major bridges, empower 3,500 agriculture extension cadets, introduce over 1000 tricycles to ease urban transportation, treated almost half a million patients in out mobile health initiative, rehabilitating over 300 blocks of classrooms etc. The accomplishment of our vision for the state requires enormous resources. Today, Oyo State receives monthly federal allocation of N4.1 billion while it generates N1.1 billion internally. This is a far cry from the needs of the State which devotes about 92% of its revenue on payment of salaries. While we emphasize improvement in our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Oyo State deserves better resource allocation from the federal government. Many of the services that are supposedly performed by the federal government are in the real sense, performed in part by the State. For instance, all federal agencies including security agencies depend on the State for their routine needs like accommodation, electricity supply, transportation etc. It is therefore illogical that allocations for these services are given to the federal government when in actual fact, it is the state that perform these functions or maintain these agencies. A recourse to true fiscal federalism will ensure that states benefit from resources in their territories. For instance, proceeds from the Value Added Tax (VAT) are distributed on principles that defy logic. Consumption is a reflection of the population and the pressure they exert on the infrastructure and social services in the States. The proceeds of Value Added Tax (VAT) should therefore go to the State who bear the burden of such social activities and consumption rather than be distributed otherwise. With a population of 7 million people and harboring the largest city south of the Sahara, i.e. Ibadan, Oyo State deserves more resources than it presently has. This will be achieved when the present allocation formula is reviewed to stop the Federal Government from receiving 58% of federal resources while 36 states and 774 local government councils share a paltry 42%. The Way Forward for Nigeria 1.The way forward for Nigeria is evident in the foregoing. For Nigeria to achieve its manifest destiny as the leader of Africa and hope of the black race, its Constitutional order must be such that its component units can release their energies for national development. 2.The elements of true federalism that Nigeria needs to enthrone include the following: ·•A review of the 1999 Constitution to grant more responsibilities to the States; •A review of the Constitution to reduce the responsibilities of the federal government to common services like Foreign Affairs, Currency, Immigration and Defence; •Review of the Revenue Allocation Formulae to emphasize the Derivation Principle and allocation of larger percentage of resources to states; •Provision for State Police with necessary inter-state and federal checks and balances to prevent or reduce abuse; and •Removal of Local Government from the Constitution to make it a residual responsibility of the State. •Governor Ajimobi delivered this keynote address at the Town Hall meeting held at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, Chicago, United States.




One year year after after One Ibadan’s flood flood Ibadan’s of fury fury of • One of the worst affected areas


T is exactly one year after an unusual downpour triggered a heavy flood that wreaked havoc on the city of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The rain had started like a normal one around 4:30 pm on that fateful Friday, August 26 last year and continued until the following morning. In its wake, it left lifeless over 100 bodies of residents across the length and breadth of the city, submerged buildings and collapsed bridges among others. Several roads were also destroyed leaving many communities disconnected from the main city. Several entrepreneurs such as farmers, bakery owners and shop owners also recorded great losses as the flood swept away their wares and destroyed their equipment. Many residents were also left homeless when erosion took over their houses. The University of Ibadan and the Polytechnic, Ibadan were also badly hit by the flood. Other areas include Apata, NIHORT, Ijokodo, Sango, Apete, Ajibode, Orogun, Agbowo, old Bodija, Ikolaba, Fatusi Ogbere, Olodo Kumapayi, Eleyele Waterworks and Oluyole Estate. Picking up the pieces It was estimated that over N100 billion would be needed to fix the infrastructures destroyed by the flood. States, business and religious organisations and philanthropists, however, rose up in support of the victims. While some donated relief materials, some donated both money and materials. When The Nation on Sunday went round the affected areas during the week, lots of positive changes were observed in the areas though there were one or two areas still in need of attention. At Major Salawu area of Agbowo

One year after Ibadan came under the weight of a devastating flood, Bisi Oladele examines the changes that have taken place in the city. where 11 people were swept away by the flood, residents have heaved a sigh of relief from panic of the possibility of another flood of fury. A broken bridge, lack of drainage and structures obstructing free flow of water had combined to provide a thriving condition for the flood. But the road has been tarred by the government with clear drainages on both sides. The bridge has also been

reconstructed and the stream widened to give more passage to a large volume of water in the event of a heavy rain. Some houses blocking water plains have also been demolished to pave way for free flow of water. Yet, residents still fill the stream with waste which currently inhibits the water from flowing as freely as desired. Residents of the area lauded the

‘I sometimes pray to God to take my life’ Mr. Olukunle Okeowo, 55, is perhaps the worst hit victim of the August 26, flood which ravaged Ibadan. He lost seven children in one fell-swoop, the welder and machine operator, spoke to Bisi Oladele.


OW have you been coping? I am a welder and I am also working with Radio Nigeria as a plant operator. My employer has assisted me by buying the necessary house equipment in the place I am living as at present. An Ibadan-based church also furnished the apartment for us when I went there to pray. The church gave us two coloured television sets and a settee. The state government also assisted us with two flat beds, half bag of rice and beans, and our house rent will soon be due. I have not seen the owner of this house before but there was a day Hon. Saheed Fijabi came

to this house to look for me and he gave me N20,000 but to my utmost surprise when I heard in the media they said he claimed to have given me N9 million. How many children did you lose to the flood? I lost five children and two grand children Has anybody come to your aid since then? The governor’s wife sent for me. When the incident occurred, I lost all that I had laboured for in my life. The youngest of the children I lost was 15 years old. One of them had just finished •Continued on Page 26 • Okeowo

government for the steps taken so far. They said that they now sleep with their two eyes closed, adding that the new road has made life much easier for them even in the rainy season. A middle-aged woman who did not want her name in print said: “Life is better here now. There was flood last month but it did not affect anybody here. That is a good thing for us here considering what we went through last year.” She, however, called on the government to provide street lights to make the area more beautiful. Another resident, Mr Komolafe Oludayo, also •Continued on Page 26




‘We mishandled the Bakassi issue’

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, a former Minister of External Affairs, is a scholar of note. He is also a connoisseur of wine; enjoys the good life, and has a humble personality. He readily tells you with good social laughter that, “I have a village boy in me!” Memories of his humble beginning in Ifewara, Osun State, abound in his Lagos home. A first -time visitor is swayed by the environment that depicts a home at the country side, with blossoming flowers and rarelyfound domestic animals such as the peacock, the exceptionally large sized turtles, well-tended goats and others, running about you, sometimes coming so close as to say hello to you! Professor Akinyemi in this interview with Paul Ukpabio talks about his lifestyle, public career and how he has made his lifestyle work for his health.



If a man is worth a billion naira and then he donates N2m to a community project, it doesn’t make sense. Nigerians seem to be praising those who shouldn’t be praised. Well, even if it is stolen money, at least plough back to the society, build hospitals and build schools. How many children are dying at birth? Yet money is being stolen.

IR, what kind of lifestyle are you having at over 70? Nothing has changed. Things I used to do at the age of 50 and 60, I am still doing now. My daily routines have not changed. I still accept invitations to give public lectures. I travel around and just returned from Abia State. I still have more lectures in the next couple of weeks to give. Of course it takes me time to prepare for these lectures. I still do a lot of reading and still follow current affairs, international news and all other local news. So nothing has really changed. Looking back sir, can you recall one or two events during those years of achievement? There are several that I could recall. In 1962 when I took part in an essay competition, I won a three-month tour of the United State of America and I met several notable people including the then President, John F. Kennedy. I was just 20 then. That left a great impression on me that he practically became my mentor. Even though he died sooner, the impression on me left a mark in my formative years. It taught me how to give ones country a life of sacrifice. This was a guy who served in the war, his elder brother was killed, in an Air Force plane fighting in a war, he joined the Navy, got his back broken when his ship was torpedoed. But with all that pain, he was always looking at the bright side of life. And he has gone down in history as one of the presidents who energised and motivated Americans to look on the bright side of life: to look forward and not to look backward. It’s not that I tried to brand my life after his own, because his father was a millionaire and he was already a millionaire too but concentrated on public service. I think that is the part that left a lot of impression on me. That was a milestone for me. I guess another one will be when I had my doctorate degree at Oxford at the age of 27. For 27 years, I had been called a mister and all of a sudden, I was being addressed as a Doctor. The day the Chancellor addressed me as a doctor, I was like wow! Then again the day I got married, also the first time we had our first baby, I was like this is a new generation, we had brought life into the world of which we are attached. Another milestone was when I was appointed the Director General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs at 33. That was a milestone, and when I was appointed a Federal Minister at 43. They had been several like that. At your age now, are you fulfilled? I think that I will be an ingrate if I say that I am not fulfilled. Given all those milestones that I mentioned, I feel that the talent that God gave me has been matched with the opportunities and to that extent, I do feel fulfilled. But at another level, when I think of where my country should be and where it is, I cannot but feel heartbroken because, this is a land of opportunities, great opportunities, such that the kind of conflicts that face us, shouldn’t face us and I am not even sure that we are exploiting 10 percent of the opportunities that we have in this country. Why should there be hospitals without drugs? Yet in Africa, we probably have the highest number of millionaires. These are people who became millionaires in your presence because we knew what they were five or ten years ago. And all of a sudden over night, they become millionaires. But what are they even doing to plough back into society? I am not buying any of this rubbish about corporate social responsibility. If a man is worth a billion naira and then he donates N2m to a community project, it doesn’t make sense. Nigerians seem to be praising those who shouldn’t be

praised. Well, even if it is stolen money, at least plough back to the society, build hospitals and build schools. How many children are dying at birth? Yet money is being stolen. You are aware of the subsidy scandal. The most interesting thing about this oil subsidy scam is that, the parents of some of the people involved are multi millionaires.

So there’s no justification for them to steal if they really stole the money. Do you have regrets? I have no regrets on the family side but where Nigeria is, and where Nigeria should have been, that’s where I have regrets. I dream of things and I ask why not? Why is Nigeria like this and why not like that? We have the money for our roads to be better than they are, and it is not like we don’t know how it ought to be. We do know. When a contractor is paid to put in 16 inches of asphalt and he puts 311/2 inches and it is certified by someone from the Ministry of Works. And they all walk away. That is my regret. What is success to you? Success is achieving the objectives you set for yourself provided those objectives are positive, because somebody who wants to steal the country blind could set an objective of being in office for four years and steal N20b and achieve it. I don’t call that success, though grammatically it is right. But that is not the success I’m talking about. Success is setting positive challenges and achieving it, like saying that you want to be the President of Nigeria, setting targets that in four years that these are the things you want to achieve. For instance, whether there will be how many miles of high-speed trains, how many hospitals will be built, how many roads will be constructed and then you manage the country by objectives. If you say that you are going to do 2,000 of rail road in four years, then you should do a hundred every year.

How are you managing your health? Obviously at the age of 70, things tell on your body. But again it depends on one’s lifestyle. I belong to so many clubs but I don’t go there unless they are holding a lecture, and for the lecture not for the merriment. I drink wine though, and when it comes to wine, I am a connoisseur. I make sure that I get enough rest. It is important to study yourself, know what your body needs. Some people say they sleep for four hours. I sleep for eight hours! I must get my eight hours of sleep. Others may be able to do four but I’m not like that. There are Nigerians that you meet on Monday morning and they will be complaining that ‘oh, they attended four events at the weekend, and they had travelled four states. Well, I just think they are burning the candle at both ends. Perhaps that’s why people age so fast. We spend too much time socialising. One Japanese friend said his description of Nigerians is that we achieve so little but celebrate so much. What occupies your time these days? There are public lectures and there are public lectures. If you invite a politician to give a public lecture, he will spend a major part of the time making those broad statements designed to get attention. And if there are members of the opposition there, he will be on them for the major part. Even if his party is just as guilty as what he is complaining about. If he is in government, he will talk about their aspiration and seldom about their achievement. A politician can give four lectures and they will all be the same. It takes me three months to put a lec-



ture together because I cannot repeat myself. So, in preparing a lecture, I read broadly, maybe because of my background as a scholar. I then digest and think about what I’ve read before deciding on what line my own lecture will take. People invite me to come and give a lecture in two weeks time, and I tell them I can’t because I need three months notice to do it. One observes that you actually keep a mini zoo at your home. And the beautiful thing is that, the animals here walk about freely. Do you have any special reason for this? I don’t really know, maybe that is the village boy in me. Which village will that be sir? I come from Ifewara, maybe the Oba will now say it is a town and not a villaged, I don’t mean it in a derogatory way, but I come from that kind of natural environment. Of course, I come from a village; I’ve never said I come from Lagos or any other fantastic city. But on a serious note, I’m not too sure that one cultivates a lifestyle. For instance, I don’t see an antelope and ask whether I like it or not, no, I just warm up to the antelope. And I am happy about it. It is not something I rationalise; it is something inside of me. I love nightclubbing and therefore I go from one nightclub to the other. I enjoy nature on my acre of land. We have been Seeing that stupid in you have a rich tourism potenNigeria, we tial here, do you make it open for allow these sightseeing? foreigners to No, I don’t. However, I come in with would welcome an empty box, school children, nursery and prithey go into mary school puour banks, pils to also admire with me the raise the gold fish, there are three large money and of turtles here, course they there are antelopes here, they become are human successful friendly, they actually walk businessmen up to you, rabhere. No bits, water fowls, others and of capital. So course, a variety of flowers. WherGhana ever I go, I have decided that been a good collector of flowers. they weren’t Sometimes, I going to go stop my driver while on the down that road, to pick spcies. route. Ghana How expenhas been sive has it been, maintaining better these animals managed than over the years? The amount Nigeria. it costs is less than the amount it costs most people to have Owambe parties. How about your children, we hear they live abroad? They come home, three of them just left. How have you been able to keep women away from dragging you into multiple marriages? I am not a saint. So don’t go and give your readers the impression that I am a saint. But my first love is my books, public service and I think that well, maybe it’s just the grace of God that I have remained married to just one wife. You have a library, a massive building by the entrance of your home... Yes, when as a scholar over time, I amassed a lot of documents, books and literature generally, and in a year, I probably attend about six conferences. And in each conference, I get about 12 papers. I don’t throw away any of these papers. I catalogue them and put them there. There have been some undergraduates and post graduate students who have actually come to use the library. But it is not right now fully opera-

tional. I would like students who are recommended by their institutions to come and use the place. I have books there that I used in my school days as a Political Science student and International Relations student. Though the world has moved on, they are still of historical benefit. If you were not a diplomat, what else do you think you would have been? I don’t know. You are what you are. Un-

like your time, during my own time, we didn’t have a career counsellor. My brother was a medical doctor, so I thought that I would be a medical doctor. One’s brother then, tended to be one’s role model. I remember a teacher during my A-level who said that, if you continue with these science subjects, you will be a good medical doctor with a 100 percent of your energy. But if you go and be a diplomat, you will be an excellent


diplomat with 50percent of your energy. I guess he saw, that is where my talent is. I took his advice and switched courses. On a professional note, Ghana recently showed hostility towards Nigeria, stopping Nigerian films from their market places, along with a subtle threat that saw many Nigerian business people panicking about being asked to leave. What do you think of the deteriorating relationship between Ghana and Nigeria? I must confess that I am not aware of the Nollywood matter, but for years Ghana had this provision that anyone coming to set up business there must come and deposit I think $300,000 or something like that. On one level, that should be applauded. We have been stupid in Nigeria, we allow these foreigners to come in with an empty box, they go into our banks, raise the money and of course they become successful businessmen here. No capital. So Ghana decided that they weren’t going to go down that route. Ghana has been better managed than Nigeria. I think the problem there becomes, how that provision merges with the ECOWAS provision, which gives right of residence and right of business to ECOWAS citizens. Even before ECOWAS, Nigeria and Ghana have been living in each other’s territories for long. I hope that the $300,000 provision should be reconciled in a diplomatic manner because Nigeria could decide to retaliate as there are a lot of Ghanaian business people in Nigeria. Secondly, if these two countries have any hostility, it will affect ECOWAS as a body. Not now, at a time when South Africa is launching a leadership campaign in Africa. What do you think of President Jonathan’s foreign policy? When I stopped being a Minister, I took a decision to avoid making comments on foreign policy because I’ve had my turn and did my best. Others have come and it is for me to give them room to grow and do their best rather than having myself snipping at their heels and irritating them. And I think that should be the best principle unless they are on disastrous path, then of course I have an obligation at that point to step forward. But to simply come up saying things just to be relevant, is not it. Right now, I don’t see anything that is massively wrong with the president’s foreign policy. However, I see three danger signals right now, but which are not of his own making. In fact, he inherited these problems. One is this Bakassi issue which has been long there. It was unfortunate the way it got settled. We should never have gone to the World Court. We should never have accepted the jurisdiction of the court. But we did, Nigeria did, not Jonathan. There was an indecent haste in the way we implemented the judgment of that court. There are diplomatic ways in which you straighten things out. Also, the way Bakassi was handed over was illegal and unconstitutional. The National Assembly should have been involved. But it was done by a previous administration; I’m worried about the way the whole issue is coming up again. I think the president should step forward and make it very clear that they have their military there and we have pulled out ours, so nothing will be gained by confrontation. The second one is our attitude toward the Mali crisis. I pray that Mali does not become a Nigerian Vietnam or Afghanistan. There are so many interests involved, French, Algerian, and American, and then of course the Al Queda interest, not forgetting our own Boko Haram. Every night I pray that this cup pass over. I pray that I am not in the president’s shoes to decide what to do with Mali. If ECOWAS goes there to fight and I can assure you that most of the troops will be Nigerians, and they are likely to be absorbed into the desert and it becomes a guerrilla war. And they can even decide to send their fighters to join Boko Haram fighters. And if you say you are not doing anything there, the Tuaregs agenda seems to be to Islamise Africa. So it’s like if you don’t fight them, they will fight you anyway. The third one is, how do we react to this South Africa leadership projection over Africa? We saw South Africa sending their Navy when the Cote d’ Ivoire crisis was at its peak, which was a violation of the understanding in Africa which says, leave a regional problem to a regional body. They didn’t consult ECOWAS, what they did was to undermine ECOWAS. And we saw another power play recently in the African Union. The whole world believed we had a candidate. We should take that power play seriously.



INSIGHT •Continued from Page 23

commended the government for the infrastructural renewal in the area. He said there is a lot of improvement compared with the state of infrastructures last year. He, however, blamed residents for poor waste disposal practices and called on the government to compel every house to dispose their waste properly by patronising approved private waste disposal firms serving the area. He said: “There is a lot of improvement but houses in this area do not have waste disposal facility. They have talked about it again and again but the landlords are not just providing waste bins. The refuse collectors are not also effective in the area because they do not collect rubbish regularly from a few houses which have drums. It will be good for the government to provide incinerators. Government also needs to intensify the campaign against dumping refuse in streams. It will be good if the government can force landlords to get drums to collect their refuse so that nobody will block the stream again.” At Onipepeye, Old Ife Road where about 10 cars were washed away on the fateful night, things are looking better. Though the bridge had earlier been repaired by the government, it went bad again after some months. But it is currently being repaired by the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) and the stream has been widened for free passage of water. The Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, also disclosed that the dualisation of the road was already in the 2012 budget About 10 people were killed by the flood at Oke Ayo area of the city last year. The victims include the Okeowo family who lost seven children that fateful night. While the water channel has been partly taken over by overgrown weed due to lack of human activities. Some houses within 20 metres to the water channel have been abandoned with a few still submerged. Yet many occupants are there braving the situation. They appealed to the government not to demolish their houses and pledged to do something to mitigate the effect of downpour next time. One of them is a Celestial Church of Christ (CCC Oke Ayo Parish) whose shepherd insisted that they would remain there as long as water does not take over the building. The church was submerged during the flood but was quickly salvaged by members who were there preparing for a vigil and a wedding ceremony the following day. According to the church leader, the land on which the church was built was well over 50 metres away from the stream when they developed it. He said that the flood plane was far from the plot of land, stressing that there was even a road between the plots of land on the row and the stream. The clergyman further explained that the stream was enlarged by the activities of the Eleyele Dam which releases large volume of water at a time into the stream. The large volume, he said, enlarged the water channel to the extent of washing away the road and flows into the houses on the row whenever there is a heavy rain. He also said that the church has no other place to which it can relocate. “Things have gone worse. The state government has not done anything for us. It flooded again last month. The government keeps coming here without doing anything to prevent another flood. Meanwhile, some of the submerged houses along the bank of the stream including a petrol station remain abandoned by the owners as they fear that another flood may render them homeless. A young man, Abiodun Busari, whose shop was washed away lamented the plight of those who lost human and material resources. He called on the government to urgently extend works to the stream and also come to the aid of the new victims. He disclosed that seven shops and a cow reared in the areas were washed away last month. However, normalcy has since

Stemming the tide of flood

•Awo Bridge September last year returned to the area as residents mended a portion of the road washed away by the flood through communal efforts. But residents still throw refuse into the stream. At the bigger bridge on the new expressway in the area, occupants of the houses along the river have abandoned the structures since last August making the entire plane overgrown with weeds.

Two children who jumped into the flood after sighting a snake were among those who died in the Odo Ona-Elewe area. Speaking on government’s efforts at addressing the flood challenge since last August, the Special Adviser to Ajimobi on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo, said that the flood as a natural disaster was propelled by a downpour of 7.5 hours rainfall (187.5mm) intensity on the fateful day.

He listed the causative factors as heavy rain, indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drainages, development of structures along flood plains, climate change and effects of global warming. With the efforts mounted so far by the state government, many residents believe that if people adhere to all the rules of cleanliness and caring for their environments as envisioned by the government, the issue of flood in the city may belong to the past.

I’m still not psychologially blanaced •Continued from Page 23 his School Certificate exams. Two of them were graduates. One of them just got a job with Radio Nigeria before the ugly incident happened. We are just waiting to collect his first salary because it has not been released. He was my first child. I have even given up and had returned back to my village before the wife of the Oyo State Governor called me from Ilesa, my home town. So when she attended to me, she promised to build another house for me and also promised to give my remaining two children scholarship. One of them, a female, is in 400 Level at Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). She instructed one of her aides to take us to a temporary three bedroom flat for us to use for a year in Eleyele but it was not equipped and we are still living there till date. But have you made any effort to see the wife of the governor who gave you the apartment? Yes, several times but her security and protocol officers will not allow me to see her. I have written several letters of appreciation to her and I am also reminding her not to forget about her promise. My job has been paralysed at Radio Nigeria because this is the fifth month I have last received salary due to their new payment procedure called e-payment. I am not the only staff affected. I plead with her to assist me and my family. I wrote another letter to see the deputy governor but all my efforts proved abortive. I have also tried severally to see the governor in person but I have always been denied entrance by his security men.

How have you been coping in the last one year? It has been people who God has been directing to help me financially. Sometimes people give me food and other materials. My wife is still ill till today because she was partially affected by the flood. I was not around when the disaster happened. I was at work. My wife said she does not know how she even escaped. Churches have been helping us so far. Have you been going to the house the flood took over from you last year? Not really. It was only when I went there to look at the burial ground of my children. I left my load and every other thing there. I am the only person who lost his children and other properties in that community. That is why I have been praying all about in churches to ask God for my sin. I have not been psychologically balanced till today since the incident occurred. What is your state of mind as regards your future and your faith as a Christian? I just can’t understand my life with God any longer because when this incident was about to happen, it was like God ministered to me because when the rain started, I was at work. I was about calling my family members at home to warn them to leave the house due to the heavy rainfall but my phone was faulty. Around 10 pm I started praying for protection for them for almost an hour. Then I rested. When I wanted to go and urinate around 1:30 am, I hit my leg and head on the wall three times which is not usual of me but it was a premonition that something

bad was happening or about to happen. I started wondering what was happening, but because I could not figure out exactly what was going on, I went to sleep but 30 minutes later, someone called me through our driver at work that they cannot find my family at home and that flood has taken over all our environment. I rushed down home but we could not gain any access to my house. Water has taken over everywhere. So I jumped into the water when I saw my wife floating inside the flood but I was able to rescue her with the help of other people before she told me that she was looking at the children in front of her when they were going to church but she couldn’t find them again. I concluded that may be they have already gone to church. I believed that if they were at home they would have survived it. Do you still have faith in God? I still have faith in God. How are your remaining two children surviving? They have been surviving from hand-to-mouth, through our family and friends and other-well wishers. What message do you have for the government and the public? I am appealing to the public to come to my aid, to assist me. I cannot have children again at my age and my wife’s age. When the incident happened people were assisting but they later gave up on us. I was even doing a welding job to feed my family but due to the nature of my health I cannot do it again. Sometimes, I pray to God to take my life if not for the sake of my remaining children.


I am still a tomboy -Eyiyemi Pratt Page 43




Kehinde Falode Tel: 08023689894 (sms)

E-mail: •For a date at the beach

•Tope Adebutu •Evening wear


Outfit ideas for


•Ngozi Princewill Utchay


•Ola Okubajo

date is exciting. But one of the biggest issues is deciding what to wear. Getting the right dress can put a lot of pressure on you. Here are some tips to help you decide how to dress well for different types of dates. Black is the easiest and safest of colours, and this season we have a lot of colours to experiment with such as olive green, pink, seductive purple and grey/harsh. Patent is a finishing touch that needs to take centre stage, so keep the rest of your outfit simple. It pulls an outfit together in a way that makes it look effortlessly stylish and very classy. For daytime Consider wearing something a little more casual. Often time day-time dates are meant to alleviate some degree of anxiety. I recommend a subtle bag with jeans and shirt dress or a cute skirt with a nice top as well as some accessories to top it up. For a date that involves a lot of walking, go for flat shoes that will keep your feet snug when walking long distances. Light makeup will do. For evening time This calls for something a little bit dressier than your daytime garb; go for a classic cut LBD or better still a pair of flirty pants or a skirt; a sleek clutch purse and sexy metallic pump or patent heels would be perfect. Faint make-up with some shimmering effects is a great option for elegant dining. Add drooping earrings like chandeliers to ‘sexify’ you.

•Kate Henshaw-Nuttall

•Ebube Nwagbo




•Envelope clutch purse

Clutch bag: sensation of the moment


TALIAN bags and shoes may appear to be •Pink Hardcase kings of bags and shoes crystal zebra clutch bag at the moment, but clutch purses are the true social and dinner bags of many discerning women of style. Clutch purses are not a new •Clutch purse fad. It is the attention that they embroidered with crystals are getting now that makes many feel they are new. Clutch purses are popular all over the world. Before fashion got crazier they were majorly used as a dinner bag in the Western world. Clutch purses are mostly carried in the hand or their straps are made to rest on the wrist. Some •Smart Clutch Bag Nigerian women prefer to carry it under their armpits. Compared to other handbags, they are elegant and stylish. Oversize and large clutch bags are the rave of the moment.


•Uche Agbo

•Veronica Ebie-Odeka

•Banke Meshida-Lawal

•Motif Clutch Bag

•Woman applying lip balm




Fiona Amuzie, Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) 2010, celebrated her 21st birthday at the Federal Place Hotel on Saturday, 18th, August, 2012. Wumi Oguntuase tracks the fashion hits and misses Photos: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL at the event.

As much as we love Anire Ellekulor's laced short dress the coloured bra totally ruins the lace style on top. Next time, please, let the dress do its trick. Oops!

Onyanta Adanma's shoes almost distract me from the main NO point. There are corsets for this kind of dress, so do yourself a favour and get one instead of flaunting your generous bosom. Oops!

Chidimma Obairi proves in this uncomplicated combination that looking good does not take too much. Simplicity does it for her and with the hair and cool makeup, Kudos!

We notice her hot legs indeed but a longer dress would have still shown them off. The feathers and all black accessories too command attention. But it's a NO for Alexander Julian Ini. Oops!

Ify Duruji looks hot in this short peplum dress, she makes up for the length with the neutral coloured panty hose. Good choice. Kudos!





Solomon Adewole, popularly known as ADOL, is a soulful singer who has won the hearts of many with his hit track, 'Orin'. He shares his top ten favourite things with Wumi Oguntuase.

Favourite clothes designer Stone Rose Clothing


Favourite shoe designer Kobi Levi


Favourite hangout spot Beach


Favourite body products Care2 Healthy Living


Favourite wristwatch designer Hublot Geneve


Favourite food and drink Rice and plantain, Strawberry juice


Favourite underwear designer Sky-high Underwear (HK)





Favourite actor & actress Adebayo Salami, Funke Akindele


Favourite fashion quote Fashion does not exist in dressing alone, it is in the sky, on the street, it has to do with ideas and the way we live.


Favourite sport






Flavour in song cloning scandal?




F news reaching us is anything to go by, then popular Nigerian artiste, Flavour Nabania, could be heading to court soon as a defendant. Report suggests that the multiple record-selling Nigerian artiste is about to be sued by a Ghanaian group known as Wutah (now defunct) for what they say is a 'theft of their intellectual property'. The track entitled 'Kwarikwa' released by Flavour Nabania has turned out to be the bone of contention as the manager of the Ghanaian music duo alleges that the song in question is a clone of their popular hit titled 'Kotosa'. The original composer of the disputed track has promised to press charges against Flavour for 'stealing' the chorus, rhythm, rhyme and the opening saxophone beat used in their song with total disregard for their right as the legitimate owners of




Rita Dominic’s new movie set for release


OLLYWOOD actress, Rita Dominic, is about now getting ready for the release of her new movie entitled The Meeting. The much talked about movie will be released on October 19, 2012. Written by Tunde Babalola, the story centres on a Lagosbased corporate executive, Makinde Esho (Femi Jacobs), who finds himself at the mercy of political patronage, bureaucratic red tape and love while in hot pursuit of a 'meeting' to secure a government contract. The

romantic comedy brings together a stellar cast of Nollywood thespians that are sure to draw audiences to cinemas in October. Rita Dominic leads the roll call of actors in the movie which also features Jide Kosoko, Kate Henshaw, Basorge Tariah, Nse Ikpe-Etim, and Chinedu Ikedieze. “We are excited about this film because it is a truly Nigerian story that cuts across borders. Anybody anywhere in the world will find something about this film to like. "We are not only introducing upcoming stars in Femi Jacobs and Linda Ejiofor, but we are also showcasing a different and dynamic Rita Dominic," Mildred Okwo, the coproducer of the flick, said.

•Rita Dominic

May D still in shock of sack



Don Jazzy donates to cancer patient


Nigerian girl, Funmi Lawal, suffering from cancer has caught the attention of Don Jazzy, honcho at Marvin Records. The former Mo hits record executive producer donated two million naira (about $14,000) to support the cost of medical expenses needed



CTRESS and movie producer, Ayo Adesanya, was a year older recently and the thespian stopped at nothing to ensure that she had a nice time-out. The occasion was spiced up with live performance by Fakai while the likes of Bimbo Oshin, Dupe Jaiyesimi, Titi Oshinowo and other friends and family member were present to felicitate with the actress.

to help Funmi out of her predicament. The amount is half of the total medical budget. Don Jazzy wanted a quiet donation but his donation was made public as a way of encouraging others to do the same. It would be recalled that Jude Engees Okoye, elder brother of popular singing duo of P-Square also made a one million naira donation to a patient who needed money to foot his medical expenses.

RSTWHILE Square Records label mate, Akinmayokun Awodumila, popularly known as May D, is still in shock at the way he was sacked by his record label. The promising artiste who got wind of his dismissal on social media is dismayed at the way the whole scenario turned out. Reports suggests that his associates say that they all heard about the sack on blogs and social media, and that they believe May D was not properly informed.

May D's sack was made known in a statement released by Jude "Engees"Okoye, while the statement blamed irreconcilable differences for the break in contract. The statement also wished him well in all his future endeavours. Reports have also revealed that the song 'Chop My Money' may have been the reason for May D's sack as the artiste was booted out of the record label for telling whoever cared to listen that he wrote the song without him being accorded any kind of credit, which infuriated Jude who issued his sack order.

At Ayo Adesanya’s shindig For Ayo, who was appreciative of the presence of her colleagues who graced her birthday soirée, there wouldn't have been anything more heartwarming than their presence. Meanwhile, Ayo's recent movie, Amope Alasela, is said to be doing well in the movie market which adds up to her joy at being a year older.

•May D in middle flanked by Psquare

Sport&Style THE NATION





rejects sex symbol status

in skin-tight red dress


My wife loves sports as much as l do


By Mark Ogagan, Johannesburg


ANY soccer stars are known for their flashy lifestyles and outdoor activities, but Greg Etafia, South Africa-based former Nigerian youth International, would rather spend quality time at home alone with his Bible and family. Etafia needs little or no introduction, and over the years this shot- stopper of Moroka Swallows has carved a niche for himself as a highly disciplined professional and family man. ““I come from a Christian family consisting of my parents and nine children of which I'm fifth in order of seniority,” Etafia told our correspondent at his Johannesburg home. “ I believe that with God all things are possible but I can't describe myself as 'very religious' now but Contd. On page 36

'I want to win souls for God’




MTN Project Fame: Tega and Edward; an exit too soon


•L-R: Tega, Adaore Oleh, show host and Edward

N unprecedented display of emotions took over the Ultima Studio, as the first set of evictees on the ongoing edition of MTN Project Fame West Africa was announced last week. The reality show, in its 5th season, entered a defining moment last weekend with Tega and Edward kissing the door. The show began with strings of performances from the 15 contestants, starting with the ladies. Their performances which included Black Street Boys' Don't Leave was followed by the entrant of the vivacious Adaora who announced that Chinyere Akwueh, Edward Wright, Joshua Onwusu Effriyie, Oyinkansade Akande, and Tega will be going on

probation. The contestants thus performed the songs they rendered in the preceding show. Tega performed Whizkid's 'What is Happening', Edward did 'African Queen' by 2Face Idibia; Chinyere sang Asa's 'Fire on the Mountain', Joshua rendered a mixed tribal hip-hop titled 'You Go Kill Me' with more lyrics in Ghanaian tongues. The last performance was done by Oyinkansade doing another 2Face song of the night titled 'As You See Me So'. The suspense got to its climax on the night when it was time to determine the two contestants to exit the academy. The judges, through Ade Bantu, saved Chinyere. According to him, “she needn't be on

probation in the first place, because her performances had been effortless.” Joke Silva, the academy principal, saved Ghanaian Joshua, saying the lad had a lovely show. Soon, it was the turn of the 13 contestants to choose who would remain in the academy from the remaining 3 by writing the name of their preferred on a card given to each. Oyinkansade had the highest preference. And so, the fates of Edward and Tega was decided. Edward sang a parting song titled 'Nobody Knows' followed by Tega's 'Thank You'. They left the rest of the contestants in tears and the audience cheering their every moment.

Antoniette Igebu became Miss La Casera in the last edition of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN), and although she did not come tops in the pageant as a whole, her carriage as the brand ambassador of the popular La Casera beverage is obvious. She believes that the values inculcated in her by her parents have helped her to come this far

I like the surprise on people's face when they hear I'm combining Mechanical Engineering with Modelling —Miss La Casera


HERE are many reasons that lead young women into signing up for pageantries, what was it in your case? Actually I went into the pageant because I felt it was going to be an opportunity for me to reach out and impact the lives of some people out there. I actually have a dream of giving back to the society, because I came from this society as a Nigerian, and I have a vision to reach out to the women and empower them. Also little children, especially the less privileged. What would you say was the main factor that won you the Miss La Casera crown? I think the biggest factor is God. I can't attribute much to myself, but we all know that the issue of confidence and your belief system are other things that matter a lot in life. But God is the main factor in the whole process. Did you see yourself coming this far or even farther while entering the competition? Hmm, actually when I entered for the competition, I knew my worth as a person; that I am beautiful both within and without. And when I got to the camp, I saw a lot of beautiful girls there, nice girls who are of good character, but I still had the feeling that we are all unique in our different ways and I felt the La Casera Company saw that uniqueness in me and that's why they picked me as their ambassador. So you actually saw yourself as a winner from the beginning? Yes, I am a winner all the time. Have you won any pageant before; even at school? MBGN was actually my first ever pageant. Are you overwhelmed in any way about being the

ambassador of such a popular brand? No, I have always known myself not to be a weak woman, and I can handle responsibilities very well. So, I don't think I have ever felt over whelmed in any way when it comes to dealing with my responsibilities regarding the brand. La Casera is very huge though and it is a great brand to identify with. What gives you this confidence? I will say strong family values, and of course they have been instilled in me from the time that I was a child. I got that parental love from my parents and I also attended a good school through which avenues I got to be a confident child, and I also learnt that beauty comes from the inside. And that you also have to love yourself before you can love other people and that's what gives me the confidence I exude. You are still in the university… Yes, I am in my final year at the University of Benin, and I am studying Mechanical Engineering. What's the correlation between Modelling and Mechanical Engineering? I like the look of surprise on the faces of people when I tell them that I am studying Mechanical Engineering in the university because they feel it's a course for the male and one which doesn't have correlation with beauty pageantry. And right from time, I have always learnt not to conform to or go with the norms. So I like surprising people; I like telling them I am a beauty queen and as well a Mechanical Engineering student. How would you cope with being Miss La Casera and school work? I am actually in my final year,

and will be rounding off by October. Besides, like I said earlier, I have always been known not to be a weak woman. So, I can combine both effectively. However, October is just around the corner and after that, the part of school would have ended and my role as Miss La Casera can go on smoothly. How old are you now? I am 21 years old. What was growing up like for you? Growing up for me was quite interesting, I come from a small family, I'm the first child of the family, with my two brothers and kid sister as well as our

parents. Basically, I got so much love from my family because we are all very close and it was really cute growing up, but it was a really difficult time when my dad passed on in 2005, and I think we've gone past that stage, although of course we still remember him every day. Things are getting better and can only get better. At what point did you decide to go into modelling? As a child I used to watch beauty pageants and always admired the crown, and dinner dresses which I think were really beautiful. But then, I had to think about school because of

my course, it barely gave me the time to go into a lot of things because it's really tasking and doesn't give you time to go into the glitz, the glam and everything associated with being a beauty queen. But I felt being in my final year was the final stage for me, because there is more time now and I have already done well from my 100 Level to 300 Level. So, I felt being in my final year, there was more time created for me to go and achieve my dream of becoming a beauty queen. The journey from the MBGN gave you the ticket for Miss Lacasera. What was the journey like? It wasn't really what I expected actually, when I got into the MBGN competition, I felt I had what it takes about being beautiful in and out and the confidence in myself. And when I got to camp, it was even more interesting, as I got to meet 31 other beautiful ladies. Like I always said in camp; “if I don't come out as the MBGN 2012, I will always want to be Miss Lacasera, because I like the brand and how it can help me reach out and give back to the society. I will say the journey was quite eventful and interesting. So what is it like now that you are Miss Lacasera? I feel great, I am a millionaire and I have a car. And then I've been given a great opportunity to achieve my dream of reaching out to people and I don't think I could be more honoured with everything else. What legacy would you leave behind after your reign as Miss Lacasera? After my reign as Miss Lacasera, like I said I love the fact that I am playing the role of a role model to other girls and I will like to leave a legacy that the next queen will really have to work hard to surpass. Who is Miss Lacasera without the crown? I am a very peaceful and playful person. I like to have fun and I could be really introverted at times and that's when I am in the midst of people I'm not familiar with. But when I get to know someone, then I am always good with them.




Berlin agog for


It's about 20 years that the historic home video, Living in Bondage, made a debut. That film, apart from the innovation of affordable production, from the complex norm of celluloid, afforded fun-seekers the leisure of home relaxation. Although the film, Ekun, by Alade Aromire preceded this release, the popularity of Living in Bondage has remained the yardstick of what today has come to be known as Nollywood. 20 years after, the innovation of smart and cost effective production that has come to be known as Nollywood is being celebrated at different levels of the Nigerian motion picture industry. But perhaps one of the biggest celebrations is one that is being planned by the Nigerian community in Germany in association with Association of Movie Producers (AMP), under the leadership of Zik Zulu.


T would be noted that, despite the general short comings of the industry and its practitioners, the need for celebration is indispensable, considering that Nollywood became a national income alternative to agriculture and oil when, 20 years ago, a few professional dramatists and business men, dealing in blank video cassettes, saw the need to record dramas for home viewing. This evolution which was traced to names like Alade Aromire, with Ekun (1987) and Kenneth Nnebue who did Living in Bondage (1992), was followed suit with Gabriel Okoye's Battle of Musanga and Nneka the Pretty Serpent. Thus, the wide acceptance of these flicks by movie buffs could be said to have opened the floodgate to the craze of direct-to-video productions. The concept Nollywood@20 was designed by award-winning producer, showbiz promoter, actor and Cultural Ambassador, Mr. Isaac Izoya of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment. The initiative is said to also enjoy the support of Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Nigeria; Respected German filmmaker and lover of Nollywood, Dorothy Werner, Nigeria's top movie journalist, Fred Iwenjora, and Dr. Paulyn Jansen of AYF Bonn, Germany. According to Isaac Izoya, Nollywood@20 is designed to honour and celebrate Nollywood legends and Africans that have impacted the industry positively, and projected it to the world. We also hope to use the event to re-discover Africa's meaningful hidden talents in the Diaspora for global exploits. This, we believe will further reduce the menace of joblessness, prostitution, moral decadence, youth restiveness and unproductiveness that characterized the lots of our youths in the Diaspora. Scheduled to hold between November 23rd - December 1st 2012, the potpourri of activities lined up for the celebration include the screening of selected Nollywood classics, symposia by

industry practitioners, lectures and a Gala/Awards night. Izoya hinted in a telephone chat that “the occasion will also be used to discover young talents in the Diaspora courtesy of “Nollywood Diaspora Talent Hunt Competition”, and the winners will be opportuned to play at least a sub-lead roles in Nollywood films. We have made it our responsibility to create these programmes that will challenge, educate, improve and empower the lot of our youths in the Diaspora who are endowed with various talents and natural gifts.” According to Izoya, the commemoration is also necessary; going by UNESCO's rating of the industry as the second largest in the world after Bollywood of India. “Over 2,000 movies are censored by the National Film and Video Censors Board yearly. There can be said to be a boom because of the huge reception of the products by the masses of Africans who believe that, for the first time, authentic African stories are being told by Africans. The impact of Nollywood transcends its economic importance in Nigeria, where it is reputed to provide employment for more than 500,000 people and generate

Organisers of Nollywood@20 argue that for the first time since political independence, Africans and indeed Nigerians, have evolved their own creative industry, telling their own stories in their own way without imitating others

revenues in excess of 1 billion US dollars. The dream factory, being entirely home-grown, plays a major role in the decolonisation of the African mind after centuries of slave trade and colonialism with the destructive effect of these traumatic experiences on the popular mind of the African.” Organisers of Nollywood@20 argue that for the first time since political independence, Africans, and indeed Nigerians, have evolved their own creative industry, telling their own stories in their own way without imitating others. Hence, the general perception of Nollywood, which is being increasingly emulated in other African countries, as a factor in liberating the African mind from colonial-induced sense of dependency. “In my own personal opinion, it will be a crime if the world fails to mark the 20th anniversary of this great industry, Nollywood,” said Izoya, who noted that since Germany has played a homeaway-from-home role for most Nollywood stars, the choice of Germany will be building on already existing structures in making Germany a rewarding promised land and Mecca for Africans filmmakers and film stars. The programme is proposed to last for

•Isaac Izoya

eight days, starting with Nollywood@20 Road Show; Nollywood Diaspora Talent Hunt-NDTH screening contests in Antwerp, Belgium on November 23rd and Paris - November 24th for the final awareness campaign. The second leg moves to Berlin on th November 28 with a Symposium themed: Nollywood Meets the West on Funding; a lecture by EU Film Fund representatives and excursions to Europe's biggest film village near Berlin, and courtesy visit to Nigeria Embassy, Berlin. The third phase at Düsseldorf, th Germany on November 30 , will feature a Colloquium on Nigeria films (Discussion on problems, locations, collaboration, by notable directors and filmmakers), and will be rounded off with film shows and the semi finals of the NDTH. The grand finale will take place on December 1, 2012 in Bonn, Germany, with a Red Carpet for who's who in Nollywood, and the grand finale of the Nollywood Diaspora Talent Hunt Competition. Organisers say the event will also have a talk on the history of Nollywood by the Director General of Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board and Mr. Okechukwu Oguejiofor, producer of Living in Bondage, among others. Among the celebrities expected at the ceremony are Patience Ozokwor, a.k.a Mama G, Ramsey Nouah, Mercy Johnson, Benedict Johnson, Charles Inojie, Ngozi Ezeonu, Empress Njamah, Nkiruka Sylvanus, Jim Iyke, Desmond Elliot, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme a.k.a Aki and PawPaw, John Okafor (Mr Ibu), and Victor Osuagwu. Others are Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basket Mouth, Julius Agwu, Francis Agoda (I Go Dye), Ogbolosingha, Sheddi Baba, Maleke, Gordon, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, Kayode Peters, Peter Gabriel, Taiwo Oduala, Lucky Eronmonsele, Timaya, Olu Maintain, J. Martins, and Bernard Ohenhen.










HE Expendables are back, and this time it's personal... Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) -- with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard -- are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school. In this 1 hr. 43 min action/adventure flick directed by Simon West and written by Sylvester Stallone, there's just fun, fun and fun, as the viewer gets the unique feel of seeing the concept of putting ex-action heroes all in the same movie. Even Jason Statham, who is new in the team, is simply hot. Stallone does a great job running point for the mission, and the movie as a whole. Good thing is that although you have

The Expendables 2:

The power of great heroes all these huge action stars; the director let them all have their moments. And then you have Statham in it, him and Stallone have established this great chemistry, a really good backand-forth…sometimes their banter works, sometimes it falls

flat, but the combination is good. Another great performance in this movie is one by JeanClaude Van Damme. He gets a chance to stand out, have fun with the role, and he knocked it out of the park.

Ice Age 4 Featured Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 min Ice Age 4 (3D) Featured Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 min Madagascar 3D Featured Featured: Actors Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 min Snow White Featured Actors: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 127 min Bol Bachchan (Indian) Featured Actors: Ajay Devgan,Abhishek Bachchan,Asin Thottumkal Genre: Comedy Running Time: 150mins The Amazing Spider-Man 3D Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 136 Mins The Amazing Spider-Man (Rating: 15) Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans

Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 136 Mins The Past Came Calling Featured Actors Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, John Dumelo, Marie Gomez, Oliver Jolliffer, Penelope Bouchot Humbart Genre Drama Running Time 110mins Think Like A Man Featured Actors: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart Genre :Romance Running Time: 122 min Madagascar 3D Featured Actors: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 93 min Men In Black Featured Actors Will Smith,


The Amazing Spider-Man Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Genre: Action/Adventure Married but Living Single Featured Actors: Funke Akindele, Joke Silva, Joseph

Benjamin, Tina Mba, Femi Brainard, Kiki Omeili, Yemi Remi Genre: Action/Adventure Men in Black III Featured Featured Actors: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin Genre: Action/Adventure Dark Shadows Featured Featured Actors: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 113 min The Avengers Featured Featured Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 142 min The Hunger Games Featured Featured Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 142Mins


More sinister quests on 3D


011 American performance, The Adventures of Tintin, is based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé (Georges Remi). Tintin, a young journalist, and his dog Snowy are browsing in an outdoor market in a European town. Tintin buys a model of a three-masted sailing ship, the Unicorn, on the cheap, but is then immediately accosted by the sinister Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine and the mysterious figure of Barnaby, who both try to buy the model from him without success. Tintin takes the ship home, but it is broken during a fight between Snowy and a neighbour's cat. As it

breaks, a parchment scroll slips out of the ship's mast. Snowy spots it but is unable to alert Tintin. Meanwhile, incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson are on the trail of a pickpocket, Aristides Silk. Tintin visits Sakharine in Marlinspike Hall where he learns that there are at least two model ships. In Bagghar, Tintin and the Captain find out that the third model ship is in the possession of the wealthy Omar Ben Salaad, but it is encased in a bullet-proof glass display case. Sakharine's plan is to stage a concert involving famous diva Bianca Castafiore, the "Milanese nightingale", whose penetrating singing voice will be

able to shatter the glass case, allowing Sakharine's trained hawk to fly down and steal the third scroll. Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of the original comic books: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham's Treasure (1944).[6] It is the first animated film Spielberg has ever directed. Spielberg acquired rights to produce a film based upon the Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé's death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002.

Ice Age: Continental Drift Featured Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 Mins Snow White and the Huntsman (Rating: 15) Featured Actors: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 127 Mins Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Featured Actors: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 93 Mins The past came calling (Rating: 18) Featured Actors: Chioma Chukwuka-Akpota, John Dumelo, Nigerian actors, Nigerian actresses, nigerian movie directors, Nigerian movie producers, Nigerian movies, Ruke Amata Genre: Drama Running Time: 110 Mins The Amazing Spider-Man (Rating: 15 )

Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 136 Mins Think Like a Man (Rating: 18) Featured Actors: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart Genre Comedy Running Time122 Mins Ties That Binds (Rating: 18) Genre: Drama Running Time: 92 Mins



I am still a tomboy

– Ex-TV gal, Eyiyemi Pratt S

INCE you got married, you suddenly quit the social scene. Would you say marriage has kept you out of circulation? I just think sometimes you have to give yourself a break, which is a bit more real than the social life of Lagos. And I have been out of circulation before my marriage, I don't know why people have been saying that; I did not hide myself because of marriage, it is not marriage. I have stopped this thing two years before I married, before I even met my husband, in fact my husband is even pushing me to go back out because people know me and there is no hiding for me. You left broadcasting for fashion business. So, how has it been with Olivia Concept? We have a good deal and we are trying to restructure so that the business can move on with or without me. People have the impression that once you have money, you can run a business. But we need to put things that will make our business firm without harm. A lot of us don't do that, we just say there is money in the bank, let me start business that will empower me. How will you describe married life? Married life is actually very interesting. If women can be more honest with each other, a lot of them will not have issues that they have, especially in the area of gender equality. I am not against it, but no matter what, according to the Bible, your husband is the head of the home whether you like it or not. We all know that we are not bigger than knowledge. There are so many lessons to learn in life, it is now up to you to say this is what I have learnt, so that I don't need to make the same mistake all over again. Married life is very, very interesting. What is the best thing about being a designer? I am not best to argue about being a designer. I keep saying that I am not a designer, but people have been saying no that I shouldn't say that. My joy is to see fabrics transformed from five yards Ankara to absolute beautiful dresses on clients. No matter how good you are, if your clients are not happy, you are not a designer; but once the clients are happy, the rest is settled. What do you now miss about broadcasting? Honestly, I really don't miss anything. I am one of those few people that I can walk out of my house with my skirt and my spaghetti and people still come up to me and say hi. And working with dynamic colleagues, that was absolutely fantastic for me because it taught me a lot, not only about broadcasting, but about life itself. So, for me it is like I haven't left; so, I am not really missing anything. The only thing is when I come back I know that it is going to be fun. Are you still coming back to broadcasting? I am working on it. Maybe more of radio this time instead of television. Why more of radio? I think radio is nicer because I have been connected to people on radio than I have on TV. You can't be yourself in front of television camera, a lot of us cannot be who we are, there is nothing like being yourself. I want to take you back to your days in Queens' College, are you still a tomboy? For me, the reason I wear a lot of dresses is because I make clothes. I am not making clothes for myself alone, but I am still a tomboy, jokes apart. What are the things that give you inspiration when you want to design? First and foremost, the client I am working for, because it determines how creative you are. If you did something and your client did not like it, that is the end of your creativity. Secondly, the fabric does a lot for me and I work basically with print, and you know if it is Ankara you can come up with all sorts of style. What informed the change of your hair style? I have been natural for seven years. I just hate going to salon. I heard people saying natural hair is hard to maintain. But for me it is a lot easier. What is your view on the fashion industry? With more than fifty million people in the country, the industry can be developed. Also, many designers that we have are doing well. I think it is good because it will boost our economy, a lot of people will be self employed, and they will be able to employ more people. We should come together under one umbrella to harness the potentials. I am sure we have a lot of designers that are not even members of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, FADAN. And this is an organisation that has a visionary person as leader; we still have a long way to go. If you want to suggest a way forward for the industry, what will it be? We should stop thinking that helping the up and coming designers will make us become less more of whom we are; the more you give the better you are. It is giving, you know, let us be one. We will all enjoy the benefits much more than when we fight one another.


Eyiyemi Pratt, now Rogbinyin, graduated as an architect in 1991, but many people will remember her as one of the early presenters on Africa Independent Television, AIT. Today, she is into sewing, make-up for brides, modeling and tying of head gears that gave birth to her fashion outfit, Olivia Concept. Since she got married quietly a few years ago, the ex-TV gal has confined herself to tending her business and her family. She spoke with ADETUTU AUDU on her marriage, fashion business and other sundry issues.




Linda Edozien moves on


INDA Edozien, the Managing Director of Barazahi Spa, may have put the sour tales of her marriage to Dean Priddy behind her, as she is indeed charting new course for her life. The duo got married at a fairytale wedding that attracted many celebrities from all walks of life. The union, which produced a child, began to exhibit some noticeable cracks until the couple finally called it quits and went their separate ways. And with no hope of reconciliation in sight, Linda quickly relaunched herself into the social circle with the opening of her spa in highbrow Lekki, Lagos, and this has lessened her appearance at social functions contrary to claims that she has relocated abroad. Informed sources say she now spends more time at the spa, which plays host to the crème de la crème in the society. Since the couple went their separate ways to the consternation of family and friends who had before now tagged them a model couple, they have continually kept sealed lips on what led to their separation.

Ali Modu-Sherif's passion for wonder-on-wheels


OME have dubbed him one of Borno State richest senators and he is said to be worth millions of naira. Modu Sherif is said to have soft spot for wonder on wheels, especially Bentleys. He never does anything by half-measure. His garage parades brands like Volvo, Mercedes Benz SUVs, Cardillac limousine and the latest Navigator Jeep, all with customized number plates SAS 1, SAS2, SAS3, among others Before becoming a senator, the former Borno State governor is said to make megabucks from SAS Global Petroleum, a division of his Merola Group of Companies. He also has interest in properties. He also owns a fabulous home in Abuja which is furnished with imported materials.

How pains forced Richard Lamai abroad


HE recent claims that top South-South politician and city businessman, Chief Richard Lamai, and his family, went abroad for holidays may be a ruse after all, if information available to us is anything to go by. Informed sources disclosed that the youthful looking politician travelled abroad few days ago in search of a medical solution to severe pains he has been going through, after a horrendous freak domestic accident late last year, despite his broad smiles at society gatherings. It could be recalled that last October (on Independence Day), while playing a game of football with his kids at his palatial Lagos Lekki (phase 1) home, he fractured his knee cap and he was flown abroad for orthopaedic surgery. Sources informed that since that operation, the politician who many call the youngest elder from the South-South literally lives through unbearable pains and a limp in his steps. His jetting in and out of the country, we gathered, is not unconnected with the search for lasting solution to the pains and limp in his steps. And since then his family has been praying to God to find a permanent cure for the breadwinner busin e s s m a n t u r n e d politician, we learnt.

Mudi rebuffs love child claim T

HE news making the round is that celebrated fashion designer, Clement Enjaemo of the famed Mudi label, has welcomed a baby from his mistress, Ginny. However, the Delta State-born designer has been telling whoever cares to listen that his relationship with Ginny has been overblown. Not only that, Mudi claims the news which is now being celebrated by tabloids is just to cause distractions for him. To say that Mudi eats dreams and breathes fashion is like repeating the obvious. He makes no pretense to anyone that his world revolves around his fashion business and not even his wife can come between him and his job. For Mudi, if anyone claims he has a mistress, then it is his career and of course his wife, Oyinda, knows this and she is coping well. In every rumour, there is an iota of truth - is Madam really coping well? Time will tell.





OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821)

Chief Ephraim Faloughi's Daughter, daughter, Ugochukwu Ugochukwu,wed's weds Ayegbatonye Ekezie in Lagos

•L-R: Gen. Azazi Owoye and Jim Ovia

•Groom's parents; Chief and Mrs Raphael Ekezie By OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

•Chief and Mrs Ephraim Faloughi

•Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah

Business chiefs, politicians, and dignitaries turned up to honour Chief Ephraim Faloughi, Chairman ,Board of Directors of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, and Chief Raphael Ekezie, at the wedding of their children. The union was solemnised at Our Lady of Perpetual Health, Catholic Church, Lagos. Guests were later treated to a super reception at the expansive Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos

•Bar. Grace Egbagbe & Gen Ike Nwachukwu

• Mrs Lizzy Ebi & Mrs Chioma Ngonadi

• Ugochukwu Onocjie & Ayegbatonye Doris Ekezie

•Diepreye Alamiesegha

• Mrs Daba Obioha & Ibiso Graham Douglas

Obiora, son of Young Shall Grow Motor boss, weds

• Couple, Chidinma & Obiora Obianodo

•Groom's parents; Chief & Mrs Vincent Obianodo

• Bride's parents; Chief & Mrs Joe Chidolue

• Chief Leo Melos Nwankwo, Mrs Joy Ibeanu & Mrs Ifii Obioha

• Alhaji Kabir Mani, Mohamed Sule & ACP Cyril Okoro



ATURDAY, 11 August will not be forgotten in a hurry by those who attended the traditional marriage of the son (Obiora) of the Young Shall Grow boss, Chief Vincent Obianodo, to Chidinma Chidolue, daughter of Chief Pat Chidolue, owner of Chelsea Group of Companie., The event attracted dignitaries accross the country. Among them were Chief Dan Okafor, Dan Dollars Motors boss, Chief Cletus Ibeto, Charman, Ibeto Group and Mr Peter Obi, Anambra State Governor. The marriage rites were performed at the bride father’s house in Umudioka, Nneni Town, Anaocha Local Government, Anambra State.

• Mrs Leticicis Anunagba, Mrs Chiamaka • Mrs Ekene Ugochukwu, Mrs Mochum Uzor & Mrs Ngozi Udokoro Nonyem & Mrs Emily Obidiebube

• Mrs Rita Uchendu, Mrs Nneka Maduka & Lady Amaka Ibe



VOL 1 NO. 037

Advertising insurance brand ...Client's brief and effective advertising


RANDS management is a knowledge-based profession. Its effectiveness or otherwise, therefore, is a direct function of the quality and quantity of information available on the one hand and the quality of interpretation of available information, on the other. In some respect, therefore, advertising shares similar character traits with the information management system that says “garbage in, garbage out”. The importance of very good quality information gathering and processing to effective brands management and advertising can hardly be over emphasized. Contemporary advertising in today's local environment posts compromised quality version principally because compromised information gathering and interpretation. For a fact, both Client contact(s) and consultants post quality compromise, hence prevalence of not too effective (we are running aware from mentioning “brilliant”) advertising. Looking deeper into quality of advertising today, most advert messages are empty in focus, essence and execution only because of the reasons mentioned above. Appreciation of client's brief was one of the hard lessons we learnt as rookies in brands management in the INSIGHT SCHOOL, when it all began. The creative process starts with the client's brief. We were not even permitted to run with a verbal brief from the client. Therefore, the client deliberately captured what the assignment was, supplying necessary information to include brand characteristics, present market performance, competitive analysis of market situation, some derivatives from SWOT consideration and the marketing or advertising objective. Taking on Clint's assignment armed with good quality information as listed above, became fun. Then-on, the creative process gets interestingly logical, systematic and scientific. Among other things, what the client's brief does is provide industry and brand information that aids the agency strategic planning process towards robust information gathering and processing. When agencies churn out good adverts, it is not due to superior knowledge of given market, versus the client, but only as a result of professional and scientific processing of information provided by the client. So, it all starts with the client and the client's brief. We once mentioned on this page that advertising serves as change agent and growth catalyst. So its importance is not parochial to meeting the advertiser's need only, but also stimulate better living standard among targeted segment in the larger society by reason of its function of information and awareness generation. So, practitioners and brand owners should begin to appreciate advertising quality as a service to society and contribution to economic growth. A good advert message helps the target audience towards making safe and beneficial choice at the market place. The import of such good decision automatically impact on financially rewarding buying decision, appropriate deployment of scarce resources, etc. Unfortunately, today's experience with brands management practice and appreciation is one of compromise. More and more, quality of input from the client's and agency is consistently suspect in quality, in more ways than one. Brand or marketing managers do not even write briefs anymore. Even among brand managers trained in brief generation, some of them are now too lazy to so-practice. Writing a brief draws a lot on intellectual discipline and exercise. It requires deliberate efforts at critical thinking, information gathering, generation and analysis. It requires having a working knowledge of the brand in question, the market, competition and setting the right marketing objective. We agree proper brief writing is one very tasking assignment. It is only when all of the mentions above are professionally handled that good results are posted. Such good results manifests in successful and profitable brands management, loyal consumers, market leadership and all the other plusses. Hence successful brands will not compromise in their quality of human resource. They will consistently train and retrain their process managers to keep up with set pro-

fessional standards and philosophy. By extension, therefore, the quality of input in the generation of information for mass consumption, the better the impact of such input to the over-all good of the related public. So, if for instance the banking public is fed inadequate information on banking services on offer and their value essence, that public will be compromised on the benefits of such in-

•Pa Arhewo Goes Home

formation towards optimizing options in engaging banking services and products. On the aggregate many sectors of our macro-economic environment have been suffering from improper professional handling over the years, and of interest to us at this point is the insurance industry. As mentioned some where above, particular industry owe most benefits to the recipient public than the operators, and insurance is one of them unfortunately, however, the insurance industry is one very important offer of direct positive impact on economic growth with immense value on the individual and the public which value has not been adequately tapped, only because the industry players have not been quite responsible in managing the offer and value-essence (with all due respect). Perhaps owing to the historical perspective, insurance products and services are generally sold on the basis of compulsion, such as non-life penetration in the area of vehicle insurance, marine insurance and such various other commercial engagements the law has made to purchase relevant insurance products by force. And because such businesses pull huge earnings for industry players, laxity replaced professionalism, drive and innovation in our local market. In fact the introduction of health insurance added to the mustbuys, so much so, industry players might as well go to sleep at the acquisition of operating license. The public is the looser. Because the industry players are not challenged, supposed brand managers do not even bother to generate process and disseminate information to enlighten the public on the various advantages in engaging insurance. Empirical studies have proven insurance to be materially instrumental to macro-economic growth. It improves invest-

ment climate and promote a more efficient mix of activities than would have been undertaken in the absence of risk management instruments. In aggregating the sector-by-sector contribution to societal macro-economic growth, insurance leads in comparison to the contribution on of banks and securities trading. Unfortunately, banking and stock trading that are only marginally complementary to the leadership role of insurance star in glamour and appreciation because insurance has not been well sold and presented to the public. The public is loosing. The average man and woman in Nigeria foes not know insurance as the most reliable means to prosperity. Among other benefits, insurance enables the following, exclusively: 1. Indemnification and risk pooling facilitates commercial transactions, provides credit, measures and manages nondiversifiable risk. 2. Insurance enables risk averse individuals and entrepreneurs undertake higher risk and higher return activities. 3. Insurance promotes higher productivity a n d growth 4. Insurers are institutional investors positioned to provide capital infrastructures and other long term investments 5. Insurers provide very safe investment advisory services for optimal return on investment best investment decision-making process management. 6. To a great extent, insurance supports healthy and happy living. The list goes on. But the public's knowledge of the benefits of insurance is near zero. The average individual in Nigeria runs with the top-of-mind reference to insurance as a fraudulent engagement forced on people by statutory regulation. Vehicle insurance is taken up just to fulfill all righteousness. The scope of any economy's insurance market directly impact on the range of available risk management alternatives, and the quality of information available to guide investors in the process of deciding on which alternative to stay with. Therefore, the deliberate effort by macro-economic policies in support of insurance penetration in any economy is a very strong stimulant for improved productivity, investment and over-all economic growth. The scenario in our local market is quite sad: while the macro-economic policies have set the stage for a vibrant insurance market, the industry is peopled by those not equally driven in enthusiasm. If only efficient brand managers are driving the industry inside-out, our macro-economy would have been better for it. In conclusion, therefore, we like to state that managing insurance brand is requiring of dedicated professionals from among industry players and brands management consultants, to help one and all draw from the enormous growth potentials on offer by INSURANCE. It requires professionalism, commitment, dedication and hard work from us all. My friend and brother, Tony Ojeme Esq, the Head Corporate Planning & Media Affair, Niger Insurance Plc is bereaved of his father In-law, Pa Pius Erazua Arhewoh. He was aged 82. Strategizing for Niger Insurance brand and planning for the burial of his late father in-law has taken its toll on him, as he runs around ensuring the imperatives are in place for both responsibilities. Late Pa Arhewoh was a devout Christian and a trained educationist who committed all to raising future leaders in his days as a teacher. As a seasoned school administrator, he impacted on key educational institutions in Esan district and its environs in the old Bendel State. Till his death, Pa Arhewoh ensured the transfer of good values to the next generation, all around him. Pa Arhewoh is survived by his wife, 12 children and many grand-children, including Mrs Beatrice Ojeme, the wife of Tony Ojeme. Burial arrangement is as announced by the family. The activities starts August 30 till September 2, 2012, in Irrua, Esan Central LGA. May his gentle soul rest in peace.




EETING Mrs. Mark-Mordi for the first time was a humbling encounter. As I half-jogged into her office, I was met with the calm mien of a woman who was running behind schedule for another appointment but was willing to take time out to make her guest comfortable. Gently choosing to accept the apologies flying in the air, she nods her head with great wisdom and gives a motherly smile, warm enough to melt the strongest heart. She cuts the picture of a confident woman who was content with her life. However, her story has not always been a merry fairy tale. While being a part of a polygamous family has its perks, Bidemi had to face the constant struggle of being the first child in a family that was far from conventional. “For me, my greatest challenge was that of having to lead twelve other people and I didn't like the fact that sometimes I had to fight for things that should just naturally come to you. There were issues where there were never enough resources to go round. There was the issue of favouritism. “My mother is a pretty strong person so we did not lack food or clothing. Our fees were paid on time, which as far as my father was concerned were the basics. I just did not like the fact that we were not what you would call a 'happy family',” she said. It is out of this bitter-sweet experience that her passion for writing grew. According to her, “I was the first of thirteen children. My father had other wives, so our house was like the 'Fuji House of Commotion'. Because I enjoyed my company, I used to withdraw to the back of the house to read and write. At a pretty early stage, I started to imagine things but I did not recognise that it could be a useful skill until much later in life. It was just an escape route for me as a child.” Owing to what she terms a 'bad example' by her parents, Bidemi at a young age made up her mind never to get married, but all of that was to change soon after she submitted her will to the Lord's: “It took me a while to make up my mind to get married. I was one of those ladies who did not think that you needed to get married to be anything in life because I did not see a great example during my childhood of what a normal marriage should look like. With memories from her past etched on her mind, she had a pretty vivid picture of how she wanted her marriage to be. But like most young ladies are wont to discover, there is a clear distinction between imagination and reality. Narrating her experience, she says, “You know how we get married with a mindset on how our marriage should be, well, I got in there and it was not like that. At a time, my husband and I used to have some altercation between us. I knew that with every one of those arguments, peace was missing and it translated to a lack of joy in the home so I needed to find a way to make our marriage last. “Coupled with the fact that while growing up I had no staying power and if anything got too difficult for me, I would just let go, but I got married and I took my vows seriously (I still take them seriously). “This meant that I was stuck but I didn't want to be stuck in a rut. I wanted to be in a marriage where it was vibrant and we would be a model for other people to emulate, so I started to read up and try to find out what other people did that worked for them.” In the phase of finding out the keys to making her marriage a happy one, her ministry was born.

The lady, her lover and her job Bidemi Mark-Mordi, the Managing Director of Verbatim Communications, likes to see herself as a wife first, a mother next and then every other title comes after. This diligent entrepreneur is a rare gem who is committed to using her gifts and position in society to properly groom the next generation of leading women. In this no-holds-barred interview with Rita Ohai, she goes bare on her past and present life. Mark Mordi's better half is also an ordained minister of the gospel and a life coach who convenes an annual conference for women called 'the return of the helper'. A book transcription-based publishing company is not a common find in our clime but Bidemi doesn't appear bothered by increasing the flow of her customers or breaking even financially. She is willing to stick to her vision of publishing only purpose-driven books, against all odds. “We have identified who we are called to work with,” she expresses, “and we are content. Even it is just one person per year; we will stick with that one person until God expands it for us. We are not trying to be a company that caters for everyone. Once people get into that phase where they want to do every kind of business out there, they get in trouble. Our vision at Verbatim is to do only purpose-driven books.” It is this same level of resilience she applies to raising her children. With her son, the first of three, entering his teenage years, motherhood has been a smooth ride for her so far. Armed with prayer and discipline, she is ready to face the roller-coaster ride associated with teen years. In her words, “If a child decides to play up, there are two things that can be used. They are discipline and prayer.” After all, she says, her family is not a 'Jones' family which is easily influenced by the lifestyle of other people. Many say being married to a Pastor can be an uphill climb, not for Mrs. Mark-Mordi whose husband is a minister at the Redeemed Christian Church of God; “My husband is a gentle man, but I on the other hand have a strong personality. I am an in-your-face

“It took me a while to make up my mind to get married. I was one of those ladies who did not think that you needed to get married to be anything in life because I did not see a great example during my childhood of what a normal marriage should look like”

kind of person and so I constantly remember that I am married to a man first and then a pastor later. He is not perfect just like I am not perfect. He is allowed to make mistakes. I am not looking for perfection, rather I am looking for a man who loves me enough to marry me and spend his lifetime with me.” While most people drift in the wind barely having a set-out plan to guide their lives, Bidemi gave a distinct response as she shared her 10-year vision. “10 years is a long time!” she exclaimed, “My life is about helping people find their purpose and live their dream. By then, we would start up a movement of women who have stepped up to the pedestal to bring change to the world at large.” For most women, it takes them a century and half to get dressed each morning. Not Bidemi. This down-to-earth lover of highstreet fashion would rather be caught in a pair of jeans and tee-shirt than any other outfit, and so it comes as a surprise that she is able to pull off the well-cut shortsleeved Ankara gown and four-inched heels. She always c h o o s e s comfort and convenience over fashion. Still looking womanly ravishing with her face and nails void of make-up and polish, she explains: “Make-up is j u s t n o t something that I cannot do without. As long as the dress is easy to wear and it is functional, it is fine by me.”


New WOMAN with



Fighting a lust battle



d e s s e r Get d t i u q … y l k c i u q ! e m i t g n i t s a w

VERYONE k n o w s that it can take a woman an eternity to get dressed. The amount of time we w a s t e rubbing on the lip-gloss a l o n e i s enough to build a tower, tear it down and re-build it again. Sometimes, the only way we can effectively pick the right outfit for the day is by trying on at least 10 different shirts and trousers and matching them with the ideal eye-shadow while, at the same time, glamorously stepping on the 'patience-nerve' of every man in our lives. We often cannot seem to help it, right? Wrong! Getting dressed quickly can be done with a little extra planning. It can also become a fun-filled refreshing time if we add a few quick tips into our morning routines. After all, the dressed-up in the morning should be pleasurable experience which leaves us feeling beautiful as we step out of the door. These are a few tips we could add to our daily routine:

Pre-set your clothing, accessories and makeup Perhaps it's the rebel in you that has insisted on ignoring this advice. Why don't you go ahead and select your clothes before bed? If possible, iron them ahead of time to avoid having to do the extra primping. If you are super forgetful, place a super cute sticky on your wall next to your closet and title it, “Today's Look.” Take the extra step and place the accessories you have in mind on the hanger. Ladies, this is not overthinking your look. The pre-set is all about preparation, plus it saves you loads of time in the morning. There should be a designated area in your room for makeup. The closer this spot is to the light the faster for you.

In your sultry r o b e , pull out a bowl of your breakfas t before y o u a p p l y y o u r makeup. As you comb out your hair right before you apply your lipstick, pause for a spoonful or bite and keep moving.

By Rita Ohai Buy a second clock While we walk around thinking we were created to ignore the clock, it is important to strive to be fashionably on time for every meeting. We really can't afford to be late for jobs or appointments in these competitive and trying times. This is precisely why you need two clocks. The clock on your dresser should be set 10 to 20 minutes fast while you use the clock on your phone for the exact time. Create the space, use some music Music helps you move at a faster pace. Get into the dawn by creating an energy for dressing. Turn on your favourite radio station or playlist. In fact, create a playlist just for dressing. Play the songs that make you feel fierce and confident. Keep your dressing area organised and uncluttered. You can't dress fabulously with things splattered everywhere. Eat & Get Dressed The stylish set should not avoid breakfast. It's worth getting up a few minutes earlier to enjoy a morning snack as you dress. While you're in the shower, boil your water for coffee. Once the kettle starts singing, jump out and pour! It's critical to take in a fuss-free breakfast while you dress.

Simplicity rules Keep hairstyles simple so that you don't spend extra time grooming. If you fix a weave that tangles easily, brush it and tie it up the night before. If it's a braid you are sporting, that is even easier to maintain. On the other hand, ponytails are practically instant while short hair cuts are often the most economical because sometimes they only require a quick finger brushing. Don't rush Our mothers were right when they said 'haste makes waste'. If you concentrate too heavily on "hurrying", your body will automatically speed up its movements, but make certain erratic movements in the process. These are the moments when you accidentally drop your keys, forget your lunch, slam your leg into the wall or make some other mistake. In other words, slow down and focus on doing one thing at a time. This way, you won't waste a precious drop of time. The Items to Grab in a Dash and GO! A million thoughts dance inside our heads in the morning. We're the most forgetful at this time. Spare yourself by placing these five essentials next to the door: They are your keys, bag, phone, iPod and every other essential kits. Finally, quickly double-check yourself in the mirror, wink and GO!

IFE on the battlefield can be very painful and tough. Blood is spilled, life is snuffed out and so much pain is inflicted. The same picture comes to mind when you are at war in a 'lovefield'. Here affections are thrown overboard; relationships built over a period of time are destroyed and dumped in the trash can. It does not end at this point because the parties concerned have moved on and they are ever ready to ensure that so much pain is inflicted on hearts - hearts that were once filled with sweet affection and loving memories. Painfully, the lovebirds are desperately seeking ways to make a mince meat of each other, fighting bitterly with all their might. An emotional battle is as dangerous as any battlefield; it's fight to the finish for the one who has been injured. Some emotional arrows would definitely be flying around and the other person who knows the gravity of the crime committed would be prepared with arsenals, depicting someone who is combat ready. So, the victim is also armed with a quiver full of emotional arrows. A tearful eye for a bleeding eye, a missing tooth for a broken tooth. If perchance love was blind in the original love script, then it's better to make use of two clear eyeballs or get an extra pair for this emotional battle. Wicked? No way! How can you allow any emotions to becloud your sense of justice? How can you have any feelings for someone who has betrayed you emotionally? There is no sentiment in this matter, you just have to be brave enough to double up the pains and take more than 'Shylock's pound of flesh' in this matter. Love certainly is a dangerous game and maturity is the number one requirement that actually guarantees your participation. Of course, the truth is that no one likes to be hurt and taken for granted, no matter the situation. It is also worse when the victim and the 'victor' are close friends, childhood friends for that matter. Well, the next question that comes to mind is whether friendship can stop a person's feelings for the other. Ordinarily, the answers should be a capital YES. Your best pal is usually the one you can trust to keep your toys, schoolbag and other items that you treasure. It is only when you don't need such items that you can ask if he or she would like to have them for keeps. If what you keep in their custody is taken without permission then it becomes offensive. But some friends are known to have taken away their friend's sweetheart without any permission. How can someone you trust so much do this to you? How can someone who you always pour out your heart to be the one that finally betrays you? Or how would you react when you discover that one who has been causing all the heartaches is your beloved friend? Well, some would say that there is no friendship in the love game. Like politics, there are no permanent friends but permanent interests. “I actually fell in love with my best friend's man. The guy fits perfectly into my idea of a man and I have always admired him. Unfortunately, my friend did not appreciate the guy and she treated him so badly. I felt that instead of losing him totally I decided to keep him to myself,” a lady confessed. Her friend is bitter. So, who needs a heart, when it can be broken? Love? Certainly, this can't be love. It must be lust and those who are fighting for space in this affair are fighting a lost battle. At the end of this love tunnel, you can be sure that nobody is going to win his heart. You can be sure that this most-wanted lover is going to walk down the aisle with a neutral babe, except he finds something uniquely different about the second gal. That reminds us of the green-eyed monster called jealousy and its twin sister nicknamed envy. When you have a good relationship, then you can be sure of having regular visits from these intruders. Instead of sticking to the dude or gal in their kitty, they may just prefer what you have. And if for some reasons, you are the careless type, the type who does not know how to keep and treasure what you have, then you may just consider it lost forever. In a lost battle, we are talking about a hopeless or near hopeless situation. Guess, it would be the same scenario when you are faced with a lust battle. You just have to tearfully let go, the new pair would continually bring heartaches, tears that remind you that Cupid's arrows from one of the parties had once passed through the emotional side of your heart. You just cannot redeem the affections sowed and the sweet memories you want to linger would definitely vanish into thin air. What you spent emotional energy to build would crumble in a twinkle of an eye. It's better to dry your tears because it's not worth it. It is better to save your love energy and find true love elsewhere. Save your passionate side for someone who is going to appreciate you for who you are.






By Olubanwo Fagbemi

POLITICKLE 08060343214 (SMS only)

The password to life Here follow enduring lessons passed on from great teachers cum philosophers. They point the keen student in the true and narrow path of life.

Right or wrong

THE GReggs

When the philosopher-teacher held one of his regular meditation sessions, pupils from many parts of the country came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to the wise one with the request that the culprit be expelled. He ignored the case. Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again the great one disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body. After the teacher read the petition, he called everyone before him. “You are wise pupils,” he told them. “You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor pupil does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.” A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the one who had stolen. All desire to steal thus vanished.

The other side ON his journey home one day, a young student of religion came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours how he could cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit, he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young student yells across to the teacher. “Oh wise one,” he said. “Can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river?” The teacher thought for a moment as he looked up and down the river. “My son, you are on the other side,” he said.

Self appraisal



A LITTLE boy went into a shop, the story goes. He reached for a milk carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in some phone numbers. The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation. Boy: “Lady, can you give me the job of cutting your lawn? Woman (at the other end of the phone line): “I already have someone to cut my lawn.” Boy: “Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.” Woman: “I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.” Boy (with more perseverance): “Lady, I’ll even sweep your pavement and your sidewalk, so that on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in town.” Woman: “No, thank you.” With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The storeowner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy. Store Owner: “Son, I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.” Boy: “No thanks.” Store Owner: “But you were really pleading for one.” Boy: “No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!”

Wisdom for the road •It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble a car, and one nut to scatter it all over the road. •A tree never hits a car except in self defence. •The speedway ends at the cemetery. •You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive. •Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly payment is due. •Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the car. •A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank.

QUOTE Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Jokes Humour Who Am I? IT WAS the final examination for an introductory English course at the local university. The examination was two hours long, and exam booklets were provided. The professor was very strict and told the class that any exam that was not on his desk in exactly two hours would not be accepted and the student would fail. A half hour into the exam, a student came rushing in and asked the professor for an exam booklet. “You’re not going to have time to finish this,” the professor stated sarcastically as he handed the student a booklet. “Yes, I will,” said the student. He then took a seat and began writing. After two hours, the professor called for the exams, and the students filed up and handed them in. All except the late student, who continued writing. A half hour later, the last student came up to the professor who was sitting at his desk preparing for his next class. He attempted to put his exam on the stack of exam booklets already there. “No you don’t, I’m not going to accept

that. It’s late.” The student looked incredulous and angry. “Do you know WHO I am?” “No, as a matter of fact I don’t,” replied the professor. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” the student asked again. “No, and I don’t care,” said the professor with an air of superiority. “Good,” replied the student, who quickly lifted the stack of completed exams, stuffed his in the middle, and walked out of the room. Infant Way WHILE the stock market was at an all time high, the ups and downs frightened a lot of small investors. A guy went to his financial adviser at the bank and ask if he were worried. He replied that he slept like a baby. He was amazed and asked, “Really? Even with all the fluctuations?” He said, “Yes. I sleep for a couple of hours, wake up and cry for a couple of hours, then sleep for another couple of hours …” •Culled from the Internet

—M. Kathleen Casey

ENERATING Writer ’s Fountain short story ideas: So, you have decided to embark each other across continents. One of best ways on the journey of becoming a short story writer. to develop an eye catching plot for a short story The greatest challenge to writing a short is to create a short story based on faction. You develop a faction when you take a fact, story is finding a new, great and an appealing idea for the plot of the story because the success any fact, or true story and fictionalise it. When of a short story depends hugely of a gripping you merge the fact and fiction, you can base the story on truth but add an arresting plot or and a novel plot. Here are some ways to bring out new ideas storyline to it. You can develop a story drawing from your creative mind and develop an altogether different plot of your short story: inspiration from a photograph or snapshot. Try Since short stories cover a small length, they to visualise a story hidden in the photograph or cannot have a complex storyline that houses imagine the thoughts of the people sketched in sub plots with a lot of characters who chase the picture. You can base your short story on a character that develops a problem or has a Conditions and processes: problem from the inception of the story. Build •Better wine can be produced with soil of poor upon it, have an anti-climax and then have a quality because the vines have to “work” conclusion which is the climax to the story. harder, and one grape vine produce can Pick up a dictionary, chose a few words at produce about 20 to 30 glasses of wine. random and wonder how these words can lead •The word “limelight” used in theatre to refer you to an interesting plot thus becoming a novel to the performers on the stage originated way of writing. because lime was burned in a lamp which Brainstorming is another way of created a white light that was directed at the generating short story ideas. For this, take a piece performers before electricity was available. of paper and write down any idea. Then branch •About 10 million bacteria live in one these ideas into fragments thus forming new gramme of soil. plots associated with the main one.





Literature in a digitalised age As English teachers and educators converged last week on Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State, to chart new ways for the promotion of literature and communication in a digital age, their primary concern was how to carry their students and the younger ones along. Edozie Udeze was there


ITERATURE is ever alive and when you render and recite poetry with a moving voice like our students are doing here today, it takes you to a different realm.” These were the words of Chijioke Uwasomba, a senior lecturer in the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State. It was during the opening ceremony of a three-day conference on the theme: Language, Literature and Communication in the Globalised and Digital Age, organised by the English Department of OAU. According to Uwasomba, who was one of the conveners of the event, “this is for us to re-examine our approach and methodology towards what we teach our students in this globalised world of digital evolution and internet information age.” Although OAU is widely known for its great traditional literary history, the gathering was purposeful in looking at all aspects of literature – what people are writing now, the kind of stories that grace literature books and the role of teachers in ensuring that students are completely in tune with Information Communication Technology (ICT), which is the panacea for learning, knowledge and information dissemination in this age and time. Digital age This was why the key note topics were handled by two welltested Professors of English Language. From the University of Ibadan came Professor Remi RajiOyelade, who is also the President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). He told the eggheads that poetry is the centre of literature. Raji-Oyelade’s contention is that lecturers cannot be proficient enough in their field if they are not totally IT-compliant. “English teachers,” he posited, “must move with time, updating themselves from time to time on the exigencies of the dialectics of the moment.” A poet, he equally observed that poetry will always drive literature. On his own part, Professor Mcpherson Azuike from the University of Jos who delivered the second keynote speech, confessed that the theme of the conference was hydra-headed, having lumped language, literature, communication, globalisation and digital age in one capsule. Yet, it was proper to point out that each component of the theme is steeped in history and tradition of befuddling profundity that can easily defy satisfactory scholarship. He noted, however, that both globalisation and digital age are

two obsessions of the 21 st century, yet language and literature are the two potent vehicles that give oxygen that irrigates the sinew of the globalisation craze. He said: “we must remember that before globalisation assumed its current pedestal or theoretical enchantment, language, literature and communication had always been companions of humans; humans who are now dazed by the limitless potentialities of the technological genie which has escaped from its laboratory confinement.” To Azuike, the emergence of the internet and its products must account for the popularity, u s e f u l n e s s , • Adegbite on stage perhaps, notoriety, of globalisation which for some, is a positive agent of international homogenisation, and for others, a divisive, heterogenising distraction,. “In all this,” he said, “our role and goal as English teachers and educators is to equip students with a knowledge of globalised literacy and the critical awareness of how globalisation defines and positions language, symbols, identities, communities and futures. Consequently, English educators and teachers of English need to envision the subject within the context of glass mass mediation, multimodal communication – migratory populations, and transnational economies.” Literature With over one hundred papers delivered on the diverse and multi-

•Raji Oyelade

•Cross section of scholars during the conference.

faceted issues bordering on the theme, the central message is that students now resort to the wrong usage of English Language to express themselves. In as much as the internet and other auxiliaries of the modern age technology are intended to facilitate man’s interaction on the global earth, care must be taken to avoid the total bastardisation and collapse of the English Language. From the samples taken by many of the teachers, students find it more convenient to send text messages in short and coded expressions. This, they then carry over into their academic exercises. For sometime now, this trend has proved quite hectic for English teachers who find it rather difficult to change the mindset of the stu-

dents in this regard. So, in so far as the ICT issue is for the good of man, the other attendant consequences are telling seriously on the fortunes of languages of communication not only in Nigeria, but the world-over. Scholars from other parts of the world who participated in the conference harped on the need to redraw the attention of the younger ones on the need to be mindful of their expressions even as they disperse messages on phones and so on. In her paper entitled Developing students’ reading, speaking and writing skills by global news’ usage, Dr. Edita Bekteshi from the University of Prishtina, Kosovo, brought home the universality of the wrong application of the English Language. She said, “the young ones are two lazy to read their books, to study their literatures. All they indulge in is to send messages the shortest way they can.” Based on this and more,


English teachers agreed that they have more to do to arrest the ugly development before it totally gets out of hand. The rendition of some poetry lines by Tola Adegbite, an English student of OAU, equally showed that some of the students still have time to learn the real thing. Her mastery of her lines, her dramatisation of the lyrics and the flow of the music in the background indeed helped to put the gathering in the proper academic mood. Adegbite spoke on the need for us to move ahead with the traditional issues of poetry and cultural values necessary for a positive society and its nuances. Scholars came from all corners of the country, with a few foreigners who also attended to add variety to the event. In the end, the experiences shared by scholars pointed to one fact: English teachers have to do more in their areas of chosen profession to help the society.





Posterity of a griot


SIDES from MR FUJI, a biographical account of the late Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, written by Elder Dayo Odeyemi, his Director of Media, in 2001, no other literature about the man who is incontrovertibly acclaimed as the founder of fuji music is on the book shelf. This is not peculiar to Ayinde Barrister as founders of other music genres have also suffered the same fate owing largely to lack of interest of the chroniclers of history in that area of interest. However, there seems to be an end in sight for the trend with the publication of ‘From Ibadan to the world’: The Philosophy of Ayinde Barrister by Kayode Adejumo-Bello, an Ilorin-based public analyst and business executive. The 200-page book contains 30 chapters, each dwelling on Barrister as a philosopher of global standard with a successful career in a music genre that inevitably competed with and eventually dwarfed others within a decade of its evolution. Written in a concise language, the book brings out Barrister’s works, which have stood him out not only as a composer of evergreen songs but also as a pace-setter for more than a thousand fuji musicians across the globe till he breathed his last in less than two months to his 63th birthday. Although the book can be conveniently regarded as an academic literature, this is deliberate by the author whose public comment on Barrister has not hidden his desire to sell the late musician to the academics as a subject of study. However, making the book more ap-

By Tunde Busari

pealing to the non-academic readers with relevant Barrister’s stories they can easily relate with, should have been considered with a view to presenting a clearer picture of the man who laboured hard to draw global attention to fuji music, culminating into an honourary doctorate degree from an American university in 1985 and another award by the Commonwealth in 1990 in London. Besides, spicing the book with exclusive p h o t o graphs of m a j o r events in Barrister’s career would have added more to the value of the book. The effort of the author, who interestingly doubles as the arrowhead of The Sikiru Ayinde Barrister Legacy Group, a forum organised to immortalise Barrister, may have opened a window of inspiration to other authors to come up with more publications on the late fuji Icon. The book is billed for public presentation in October in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Secrets of life


N Rebuilding From Ground Zero, the author, Seni Hazzan, has made it clear that anyone, no matter his estate or condition in life, can become a millionaire. Every person in life has been imbued with all the ingredients and talents and potentials to rise from nothing to something. All you need do is to master the major keys of life that will facilitate your rise from the ground zero to the top of the ladder of success. T h i s book is not only a sure bait for empowering and guiding one on how to build and secure wealth, it is all about someone changing his mindset and approach on how lasting wealth can be created and built upon. It is a practical book. In a letter to the reader, the author narrated how he left Nigeria in the 1990s for the USA determined to pursue his goal in life. He told himself that

By Edozie Udeze

he would attend Yale School of Business in Connecticut. He was only able to do this from ground zero, believing in using his natural instincts and brain to secure the necessary leeway to be there. Today, not only has that dream been actualised, Hazzan is one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the US. He has won several awards to prove his mettle and so, the government of US reckons with his sense of enterprise. This is so, because he was able to re-build himself, his dreams and talents from nowhere to somewhere. In chapter two entitled The Science of Life, he reasons that our lives are guided by nine divine laws. These laws predict the outcome of every action we take. Therefore, in order to reap the benefits of obeying these laws and avoiding the penalties of disobedience, you need to know what they are. These are indeed fundamental laws that guide the affairs of men on earth. They are the laws of creation, seed and harvest, reproduction, opposite and reciprocity. Others are the laws of reasons, attractions, comparison and harmony. Above all, the greatest is one’s ability to give so much to humanity. Generosity and charity cannot be compromised if one wants to make it big in life. On page 215, Hazzan titles it as the strangest and greatest secret. The more you give to the poor and the needy, the more God gives back to you. Why not try it today to see if God will not replenish you ten fold.

•Cast and crew of A King’s Clarion Call

A king’s triumphant return


HIS piece of drama is one whose immediate appeal goes beyond the obvious didactics that it so clearly paints for each individual. It inspires all to look beyond passing pleasures, and be focused when duty calls. The setting for this tale is African, with its rich blend of Yoruba costumes, folklore, dance and Ewi chants, but indeed the message is a universal one, reaching beyond race, age or religious inclination. The story opens with a frenzied preparation for the coming of a king (kabiyesi), and a festival in which all in Iluobanla are blessed and strengthened in their particular area of capability, by this king. The Kabiyesi and some loyal volunteers set out to re-enact this festival in a distant land; Orunjina. A land which has rejected emissaries in the past and even beheaded one of such priests sent to bring them salvation( this is somewhat familiar- like John the Baptist or Jesus Christ maybe), their women have lost all value as they now dress like men, the women now hunt and even the men wear earrings (welcome to present day earth!). In this tale, we are told that the place of the female is a high one, a task that is not to be toyed with. She is the one entrusted with the sublime duty of keeping all other citizens perpetually alert to the will of their kabiyesi. A high priestess of undefiled purity, one may say. Alas! The plot thickens when in Orunjina, kabiyesi’s loyals prosper to no end and refuse to heed his call when the time comes. Ajani, the king’s once charismatic mouthpiece, will not let the king’s loud call deter him from his sagacious aim of contesting elections, if only to save his people from a more humble and sincere candidate, though of lower intellectual wit. In this new land, he is clearly an overlearned scholar turned-politician. He calls for simplicity, yet in his every speech, people swoon at the very verbosity of high faluting language. Balogun the warrior forgets that his skills were consolidated for this specific task and not for his self glory. Vanity blinds his reasoning as his conquests spread far and wide. In his conceit, he suggests that the king, whom he is meant to protect must of necessity find him, or how else will that king survive? His

By Iquo Eke derailment is imminent and a sad one it is. Folarin, pot of wealth, gets completely immersed in acquisition of material things. He should serve his people with this wealth but we find that he seeks some kind of pseudoworship from those he deigns to support with a pittance. His eventual downfall is the relentless pursuit of the land’s high priestess, who is not to be soiled. Finally he gets to sink in the abyss of physical pleasures in the arms of a fallen high priestess, Abike. The saddest fall from Grace is undoubtedly that of the high priestess, sent down to guide the path of the other travelers in purity. Her acceptance of Folarin’s marriage proposal, even as the king’s call tolls loudly in their ears in the background, is a sign that the man, who has chosen to fall at her goading, is certainly lost forever. Again we are confronted first hand with the power that womanhood is bestowed with. I dare ask, if this is true for our existence, what then is the future or hope (if any) for the man in present day earth? In the end, many set out but few return. Among this few is Egungunjina, the bone mender who wishes to heed the call, but is kept back at each step because he is tied down by his many patients. His reward is a glorious return to Iluobanla. Apparently, the only excuse for not heeding the king’s clarion call is service to humanity, for in honest service, as we learn, lies true worship. Indeed if one may infer from a Biblical injunction: ‘whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me’. The strength of this piece lies in its insight into human nature, its capacity to explore relationships and point unerringly at human flaws, while simultaneously inspiring each person to take charge of their life and future. It achieves this without leaning exclusively on any one religious anchor. Indeed, in this drama, one gets the distinct feeling of the existence of a universal Lord. This play brings to mind a point so close to home; our leaders set out on this calling, yet often forget that they are in such positions not for themselves, but for service to their people, to whom they remain accountable.

POEM A king The naturally great hardly live long Fortunately sad, I do not here belong To this eminent group of great men Who sometimes never sowed semen! The Nazarine came to save some of us With wisdom that cut like scissors The evil world went wild with terror Paraded Him before a mortal emperor Maybe Martin was never even a savior He had a dream sweet and now superior Shakur, BIG may not be your heroes You may never blot out their echoes Fela sings our woes with weeds and women State nailed him on the cross of clergymen

Today his prophecies speak loud like scars On consciences of Generals now without stars Diminished by the ravishing rays of Mandela You may take the therapy of Mother Theresa – This could be a lengthy list of great losses Of stars gone or legends soon to be in boxes Like Hendrix, Marley and Lucky dreads done in Though their acts and songs are still breathing My mind bleeds, sleepless for Michael, a kind king Who blazed through earth, with every song a zing! By Austyn Njoku

•R-L: Deputy Governor of the State of Osun, Mrs. Titi- Laoye-Tomori, President, Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners of Nigeria, Prince Jide Kosoko,Deputy President, Mr. Dele Odule and Secretary, Apostle Biodun Majekodunmi during a courtesy visit by members of the Association in Osogbo, Osun State




HEY went down in January 2004 much to the relief of Nigerians. But less than a decade later, federal toll gates are on their way back. The massive structures that cost millions to dismantle across the nation are about to be remounted. This latest development underscores the nation's challenge with policy somersault. The case for reintroduction of tolling The Chairman of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Ezekiel Adeniji, explained that the planned reintroduction of tollgates on federal roads will generate additional income for the nation and create jobs. Justifying the action, Adeniji, who did not give a specific date for the return, said: “Tolling is universal for revenue generation and job creation. In developed countries, there is no place you go to that you don't pay toll for the roads you use. “If you are paying for water, electricity and communication, why can't you pay for good roads? We will have more revenue to maintain the roads. “Because when you toll, you get more revenue, you create more jobs and you have funds to maintain the roads.” The FERMA boss also said the agency will recruit 10,000 people from communities where they will be engaged in major road maintenance work before the end of the year. According to him, “We intend to employ 10,000 youths along our routes before the end of the year. I mean 10,000 youths to work as labourers. They will have identity cards. They don't even need to open bank accounts as they could be paid in cash. “We want to hire indigenes living along federal roads as labourers. Those indigenes will be working on roads that affect their lives directly. The labourers should be the indigenes of the localities, while the leaders and head of the team could come from anywhere as far as they are Nigerians.” He added that the efforts would reduce crime on the highways and create job opportunities for unemployed youths within the communities. While appearing before the Senate

Toll gates: to return or not

Feelers from government circles have confirmed plans to re-introduce toll gates on federal roads. Sunday Oguntola writes on why the proposal may run into troubled waters Committee on Works last year, Works Minister, Mr. Mike Onolomemen, said the policy might take effect this year. Tolling, he explained, had become unavoidable because government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of road maintenance. The minister had said: “the future of the road sector cannot be shouldered by the federal government alone. We will soon start work on some of these roads. “We will introduce toll gate policy to rehabilitate our roads. Beyond this, we need a major reform of the sector. We need an enabling framework for the collation of all fines collected on the roads so that it can be channelled to road maintenance. “We are going to raise a bill to introduce a policy that will gradually lead to the rehabilitation of our roads because it is one of the ways we can guarantee sustainable development of our road network.” That Adeniji re-echoed the same sentiment underpins the thinking in government circles. On the surface, the policy appears a brilliant idea. Ten thousand jobs will make a lot of difference for the nation's staggering army of the unemployed workers. The arguments against

But public analysts, commentators and stakeholders have roundly condemned the proposal as ill-timed and badly conceived. The dismantling exercise cost the nation N360 million during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. To successfully implement the exercise, Obasanjo literally signed a pact with Nigerians to support removal of fuel subsidy in exchange for dismantling of the toll gates. Nigerians applauded the move despite initial remonstrations. At least not having to pay N100 for every two-hour trip on federal roads was considered enough incentive to pay more for fuel consumption. It was one of the few well-received policies of the Obasanjo's administration. To consider returning the tollgates, to the thinking of Nigerians, is insensitive. If anything, many feel they are paying much more to buy fuel following the removal of subsidy in January. To reintroduce tolling, it is believed, amounts to multiple taxation. The thinking is that tolling is one of the federal government's desperate measures to shore up revenue base. Increased incomes, stakeholders, however, argue have not always translated to better service delivery to Nigerians.

Rights activist, Chris Onyia, believes the policy is ill-timed and against the interest of the populace. “The government should not be transferring its responsibilities to poor Nigerians at every point in time,” he said. “The issue of fuel subsidy removal is still on the front burner and while we are still calling on the government not to tinker with it, they have come up again with toll gate collection. “Is the government saying it cannot work on our roads unless we contribute money for them on daily basis? Does it mean we have to pay for everything we use in Nigeria, including air, if it were possible for them? “President Jonathan should watch it because they are dragging him into a lot of unpopular policies. Since he started, it has been from one thing to another, six-year single tenure, Boko Haram, fuel subsidy removal and now toll gate collection; so bad for him.” To a social crusader, Chief Clement Nweke, the government should not be talking of imposing more levies on the people when it has not prudently managed the resources entrusted into its care. He said: “if it were a transparent government, there is no problem with that, but not the kind of people we have at the helm of affairs in Nigeria today. “The idea of re-introducing toll gates is merely an avenue to create more drain pipes for the politicians. Does it mean that the Ministry of Works has no yearly budget? Why must they levy Nigerians to maintain our roads? The tax we are paying to government, isn't that enough? The major problem, therefore, is that the money will not be prudently managed, they will share the proceeds as usual.” Stakeholders also point to the deplorable state of federal roads across the nation. The roads have suffered serial neglect despite huge budgetary allocations every year. Uncountable lives are lost daily on the roads to carnages. It is on this score that many are bent on opposing the proposal aimed at drawing more funds from their pockets. If the government goes ahead with its plan, the January fuel subsidy protest might be a child play!





HAT challenges did you meet on ground on assumption of

office? The challenges were typical of those of third world developing countries where meagre resources are matched against many developmental needs. These include resources needed for infrastructure build up, critical for a proper functioning of any state desirous for proper human capital development, money needed to fund educational growth, inclusive of training and development of the necessary institutions, the growth and maintenance of the health sector and all relevant arms of government that must function with the attendant deliverables if government must justify its existence as a servant of the people. Most importantly, for Abia State, is the funding of the security network of the state based on our recent experiences If you refer to Section 14 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, you will discover that security of life and welfare of the people, remain the foundation and aim of good governance. These are the basic challenges of a developing nation or state like Abia. Having said that, it is important at this juncture to underscore outstanding accomplishments of Governor T. A. Orji in restoring peace and security to Abia State. These positive attributes now form the foundation of why investors and tourists regard Abia State as the safest state in the country today How have you been able to match developmental needs against lean resources? The recurring decimal remains, prudence. His Excellency Governor T. A. Orji has put in place a team that works in consonance with his ideal philosophy of taking Abia to the next destination through provision of relevant infrastructure and a deliberate policy of making life comfortable for the average Abian. Good roads, free flow of water and electricity, provision of high standard and affordable health facilities, regular payment of salaries to workers and generally working towards a social facility friendly form of governance, have been quite challenging but worth the efforts. The proactive moves of the state government in terms of infrastructure and structural development of a state that had hitherto not witnessed any meaningful development since inception, should not be ignored. The areas of emphasis extend to road construction in the rural areas where the farm gate culture is a way of life for the people, a huge infrastructure reclamation of the commercial city of Aba and of course re-designing Umuahia the state capital to wear the face of a modern state capital. How would you deploy your mid-term performance of the 2012 budget and the expectations of the 2013 budget? The 2012 budget has been well implemented till date because most of the capital projects set in that budget are being realised. A few examples would suffice: the Umohu Azueke and Ubani Ibeku markets are in a near-

Why Abia’s lean purse is executing landmark projects Abia State Commissioner for Finance, Sam Onuigbo, speaks on HAT are the challenges in office SSG how the state’sconfronting leantheresources are being spent on projects. •Onuigbo completion stage; same goes for the Secretariat and Conference Centre. Salaries are being paid and there is industrial peace. These are clear indications of a successful implementation of any budget. We’ve had dwindling receipts and income from the Federation Allocation Account (FAAC}, yet the government of His Excellency, Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji, now renowned for its prudence, has successfully implemented these projects. The 2013 budget will, on the other hand, take into consideration the dwindling returns from the federation allocation account. There will be robust efforts to increase the internally generated revenue through efficient and productive data enumeration from different sources as well as establish a centralised pay roll. This will involve a comprehensive personnel audit to help bring down our high wage bill. Does this suggest down or right sizing? The idea is to enhance efficiency relative to the claims of those who are on our staff list. We are working hard to eliminate ghost workers in our data system and elsewhere. These ghost workers increase our wage bills without a corresponding production. We receive an average of N3.5 billion from FAAC and spend well over N2.5 billion on salaries, leaving a lean purse for project execution. This situation must be addressed comprehensively by blocking leakages and making sure we generate resources to execute the lofty

projects the governor has promised to deliver. In terms of economic progression, what are the specifics? I can only go further to tell you Governor Orji’s administration has touched on virtually all the major issues of the economy affecting the people and their way of life. Again, take the commercial city of Aba whose economy was before now crippled with minimum guarantee for life and safety. Today, Aba is bubbling with activity with investors making enquiries on areas of economic development and partnership in the state because security takes priority in budgetary allocation. Basic facilities such as water and electricity have witnessed considerable mark up right from the urban to the rural communities of the state. The opening of the Osisioma Depot is a major plus to Governor Orji’s resilience and his might in re-positioning Abia to the mainstream. Osisioma will definitely absorb thousands of people who hitherto depended on it before its shut down. The same could be said of the agricultural sector which is witnessing a major revolution under the agricultural transformation agenda driven by Governor Orji and his team in Abia. It goes down the lane as we begin to explore each ministry and its activities-health, education, works, transport, et al. If we were to use Umuahia as a case study in terms of electricity supply, there is a great departure from the days of darkness whereas today ev-

erywhere is lit and glows with light most of the night. The Orji administration’s mantra of water must flow and light must glow, is producing the right results and urban dwellers in Aba and the state capital can attest to this positive change. The fact remains there is a considerable mileage left to be covered because of the many years of neglect of the state but the Orji revolution in turning around the state is really working. In the health sector, new hospitals are springing up while existing ones are not just getting an infrastructure facelift but are being upgraded in terms of equipment and manpower provision that covers highly skilled medical personnel in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions extending to the 17 local governments. Till date about 210 rural health centres have been spread across these LGAs with three state of the art diagnostic centres in Aba, Umuahia and Omakor. Governor Orji’s investment in the health sector has received the applause of many a citizen since these state of the art diagnostic centres and hospitals went to work. In agriculture, moribund sectors such as the farm settlements are being revived while value added production to the cassava end product is being given a solid foundation as processing plants are being established in key cassava production areas. Cocoa, rubber and palm produce have also received a major boost. The education and sports sectors keep getting a raise in terms of realising specific mil-

lennium goals. What are your sources of revenue generation? We receive on the average N3.5 billion from the statutory revenue allocation from the federation account while the state’s internally generated revenue stands at between N400 and N500 monthly. Salaries take a sizeable chunk of this amount rising from N1.6 billion to N2.5 billion after the raise in minimum wage leaving one billion naira to run the state. This is quite tight and without appearing to massage the ego or personality of Governor Orji, it is to his credit that the state has shown or demonstrated unparalleled prudence in the management of its finances. With this tight financial position, the governor has been able to execute many landmark projects, which are there for anyone to see. Abia is nearly 21 years since creation. Unfortunately, previous administrations did not consider it a priority to build a state secretariat and a conference centre to house the civil servants in a conducive working environment. He has constructed many roads using these meagre resources and that is why the appellation of a prudent governor fits into his bill. What fiscal discipline is in place to check waste and corruption? We have put in place a process of due process in expenditure to check recklessness and frivolity. We have tried very carefully to control over-expenditure to ensure they are within our budgetary projections. All of these

are helping us accomplish our seeming feats in building up capital for our infrastructure development. What agenda have you put in place while in office? It is my intention to sustain the level of fiscal discipline put in place by the Orji Administration. I must continue to ensure that we harness the human and material resources available in Abia State, aimed at moving the state to its proper position as the Taiwan of Africa. I intend to work very hard to grow the state’s internally generated revenue to enviable heights and more. What is the position of Abia’s debt overhang used by the past administration as a clog in the wheel of its progress? The Orji Administration has considerably made the Abia debt overhang look like history without using it as a reference point for non-performance though it is not history completely. When he came to office in 2007, the debt profile stood at N29 billion. Now, he has worked so hard to pay back this huge debt even as some other liabilities from the old Imo State are being revealed or disclosed and talking of prudence, we can place all of this side by side with our realisable objectives especially in 2011. What legacies under your portfolio are you building for posterity? I will like to leave behind a well structured technologically based Ministry of Finance where people receive efficient and courteous services geared towards the rapid development of the state.



One year after Abuja UN House bombing: My story —PAGE 56


OSIN Awoyale, 20, is one of the quadruplets born into the family of Ade Micheal Awoyale, 20 years ago. All the babies survived as against cases related to such multiple births. The entrance of the quadruplets added a sobriquet to their parents (Baba Iberin). Their joy was, however, cut short, after three months when the head of one of the babies started swelling up. The young child was taken back to Maryland Medical Centre, where they were delivered, he was treated. The condition did not return until when Tosin was six years old and already in primary one and the family’s personal physician advised he should be taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-araba, where he was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, also known as “Water in the Brain”. According to his father, Ade Micheal Awoyale, Tosin had shunt (the surgical operation) for the treatment of the condition. He became normal, but he was not as brilliant as his other siblings. Tweleve years after his first operations, his condition has been characterised by occasional seizure and he had to stop schooling at JSS3, while his other siblings are undergraduates at different higher institutions of learning. If Tosin Awoyale’s case is pathetic, then wait till you hear that of Olutobi Adeeko, 14, the sixth and last child of his family developed the condition at five months. Due to occasional seizure, Olutobi had to stop schooling in primary 3 while his contemporaries are now in J.SS3. Mrs. Dorcas Adeeko,Tobi’s mom currentlylamented that he is currently undergoing physiotherapy sessions and under medication. The drug, according to her cost N4, 000 for 100 tablets, which is eating deeply into the family’s pocket. For three-year old, Hamzat, his case is not different from the Awoyales and the Adeekos.According to his father, Abdul Hakeem Ibrahim, his condition started when he was six months old. Another set of parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dike, the parents of Festus Dike, discovered that their baby had a hole at his back at birth. According to them, he was diagnosed to have both hydrocephalus and spina bifida. They had spent all their resources operating on the baby, but he still needs more rounds of operation because the treatment is a continuous one. A quite lucky parent, Mr. Kazeem Jaiyeola, who also spoke with The Nation, said that when his wife was pregnant, she went for scan and that was when it was discovered that their unborn baby had hydrocephalus.” I went to the Internet to source for information about hydrocephalus. We followed pieces of advice of the doctors and immediately after the birth of our baby, we took her for the first surgery. We have been giving her continuous treatment and we thank God that she is developing like a normal child,” he said. Another victim of the health condition is a teenage mother,

•A mother and her son

A pain in the head

Hydrocephalus otherwise known as water in the brain is surreptitiously creeping into the country’s health system, Adetutu Audu met with some patients and writes on their plight Aminat Audu, 16 years old girl who got pregnant for her boyfriend, Mustapha, a factory worker in a biscuit and confectionery company in Agege. Apart from the fact that the


boyfriend denied the paternity of the child, after she eventually put to bed, few weeks after the birth of her child, the baby’s head started swelling. According to her, the baby was

taken back to hospital and she was treated, but rather than abate, the condition grew worse. Nine months later, the head became swollen so much and weightier than her body.

What doctors say

R. Francis Njokama, Provost of Lagos State University College of Medicine, LASUCOM, described spina bifida and hydrocephalus as “a medical condition in which some bones in the spine have not developed normally at birth, causing paralysis, loss of control or feeling of numbness in the legs.” Njokama emphasised the need for regular checkup of spinal chords, to check for vitamin deficiency which may result in

problems associated with the central nervous system. He identified congenital defects of the spine in which parts of the spinal chords are exposed through a gap in the back bone as the cause of spina bifida. The provost said antenatal care can help minimize the damage. “Pregnant women in the country are enjoined to go for regular antenatal care for proper health of the foetus in order to guard against malformation of the brain of the unborn baby.”

A consultant neurosurgeon at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Olufemi Bankole, also speaking on the condition, described hydrocephalus as a plumbing disturbance and an excessive abnormal accumulation of ESF in the ventricles, due to obstruction in the pipe. Bankole said, “The causes can be inborn and can also be developed after infections like meningitis. Not only children •Continued on Page 57

She later met a young woman who advised her to go to a general hospital, where her child was diagnosed with hydrocephalus also known as ‘Water in the brain’. ‘Somebody told me to take her to General Hospital, and the doctor told me to go and do scan for her. The scan costs N40, 000 and I am yet to see the money; lamented’Aminat. The N40, 000 cost of the CT scan is just a little out of the money required to take care of Aminat’s child’s health condition. After the CT scan, the baby will be required to undergo operation and physiotherapy sessions. Foundation to the rescue These are different stories of children at Festus Fajemilo Foundation, which aims at assisting these babies to get the required treatment. The founder of the Foundation, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, who is also a father of one of these babies, said he started the foundation following the challenge that he faced with the birth of his first son, Festus. Festus Fajemilo is a five year old boy whose hydrocephalic history started two months after birth. Thereafter, he was recommended for surgical operation (V-P Shunt) but the parents were scared, being their first child and with no history of such case in their families before. By the time the parents settled for surgery, funds were not available and this took Festus up to 14 months of age before he finally had the first operation in September, 2005. For the Fajemilos, it was a bitter experience for them as they faced lots of hurdles such as stigmatisation due to enlarged head size. They were adviced to either dump Festus in a charity home or give him a mercy killing. Some from spiritual angle said Festus is demonic and should be killed. But all these did not stop the parents from showing him love. ‘Exactly a year after the first surgery, Festus had complication arising from migration of shunt into his brain which informed the second procedure he had in August 2006. Since then, Festus condition has been improving by the day, doing what he has not been able to do before. He has now started schooling’, Afolabi Fajemilo noted. The idea of Festus Fajemilo Foundation was conceived by the Fajemilos, as a result of their experience in the course of his treatment. According to Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, Festus, father, affected parents feel dejected and ashamed having such children and lots of negative treatment are being meted to them.’ To advocate for provision of quality health care for children living with hydrocephalus and spinal bifida, we need to mobilise and network with other development partners so as to make hydrocephalus and spinal bifida a public agenda’ he pointed out. Fajemilo, a graduate of Microbiology from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State said the foundation, has registered over 200 members and there are still many in the public who are yet to identify with the •Continued on Page 57





ODAY, the 26th of August 2012, it is exactly one year since the bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja which claimed several lives and shattered the peace of our country. As I reflect on the last one year I cannot but thank God for many things that happened to me during the period. I woke up to find myself in a London hospital surrounded by love with friends around my bed and their pictures and lovely posters on the walls in the intensive care unit. One of the posters had two puppies squashed in a saucepan and it read “WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER”. My friends and many Nigerians have been with me ever since and they form the core of TeamMember. TeamMember is a group of young, educated, talented and determined Nigerians who want to contribute to a new Nigeria where things work. We bring to the table our motivation, zeal, energy and tenacity, hoping to benefit from the skills and experience of some identified committed professionals within our country to guide us in our quest to serve Nigeria as advocates for quality service delivery. But then my story. Doctors have told me that it is a miracle that I survived the bombing but I find it difficult to understand given that I slept through the worst part. But when I think about what I have been through, and still going through, I see a lot of similarities between my experience and that of Nigeria. I survived and I believe Nigeria will survive as one united strong country. Like Nigeria also, I have a lot of reasons to despair and give up on life but I will not and I believe Nigeria cannot afford to. Here is what I mean: • I was involved in a bomb blast which turned my life upside down. Nigeria has suffered from years of mismanagement which has left her upside down to put it mildly. • I suffered stroke on my right side leaving me with an arm and a leg that were severely impaired. I still cannot use my right hand. Nigeria has suffered from corruption that has left her nearly paralyzed such that she can hardly deliver any meaningful service. • I broke my left hand which limits what I can do given that my right hand is slowly recovering from a stroke. Nigeria has broken systems and institutions that can hardly deliver service and given that corruption has diverted resources from their intended purpose it is difficult to see how Nigeria can function. • I was unconscious for a long time and due to inactivity my muscles disintegrated and I could not do anything for myself, a very frustrating experience. I needed to rebuild my strength and muscles. Nigeria is suffering from poverty that has left its people unemployed, without food and shelter thus building an army of frustrated young people. Nigeria needs to protect her citizens against poverty, hunger and disease. • My lungs collapsed making it difficult for me to take in oxygen so I had to be intubated. The insecurity in Nigeria today has left citizens running for dear life. Nigeria needs to protect lives and property of its citizens. • I had injuries on my back, arm and legs such that doctors had to cut skin from other parts to graft. Nigeria has so many supply side issues that it cuts

•Feese with London Bridge staff

One year after Abuja UN House bombing: My story

•TeamMember: A survivor and her crew By Member Feese

funding from one sector to fund another sector. • I had brain injury which left me unconscious and without speech for weeks after I can out of coma. Nigeria has lost her values through many years of mismanagement no wonder the current lawlessness in the land. • I lost my leg and now I

struggle to maintain my balance and very often fall over. Mummy frets when I fall but I have told her several times not to worry because when I fall I will always get up. Nigeria has lost her morals and ethics and now has no value for human life, barely surviving as a nation. But Nigeria can survive if she adheres to the principles of respect for the fundamental human rights of its citizen, equity and fairness.

I have survived albeit on one leg but with everyone’s help, my inner motivation and with the help of technology I believe that I will regain my balance and live a productive life. With political will and determination and with every Nigerian playing their part our nation will regain her balance and take her rightful place in the world. It is fascinating how I was flown to the UK for life saving treatment and I was treated by a Nige-

rian doctor. Similarly, in the recently concluded Olympics Nigerians won medals but only for foreign nations. What this tells us is that Nigeria has the human capacity to deliver services, she only needs the right political will and leadership with strong institutions. TeamMember has been involved in a few activities since its launch in April 2012 in order to begin to engage with the political leadership. As we grow our membership, we have decided it is time to agree on common goals and objectives. We held a retreat in July 2012 in Abuja to draft initial framework to guide our work. It is expected that this will evolve as our activities begin to be clearer. While I invite Nigerians, especially those in my generation, to join us in the call for change on, if there is any lesson I have learnt in the last one year, it is that our people are incredibly good and kind. So my resolve and that of my colleagues on TeamMember is to do whatever little we can to make a difference in our nation. But I had to return to the UK for my therapy. I have also been struggling to finalise my dissertation given that the manuscript was lost and I had to rewrite all over with my left (broken) hand. I will hand in my paper by the end of August, return to Nigeria in mid-September and then resume work in October. While I owe my survival to God, I remain indebted to so many Nigerians who have shown me love and kindness in the last one year. —Ms Feese studied Poverty and Development at the University of Sussex, UK




HE is blunt, unpretentious and independent. That she is the daughter of the former Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the late Chief Sunday Bolorunduro Awoniyi, does not either enhance or diminish her personality, just as she would not drop names to seek favour and position. Everything she got was by merit. Bisi Awoniyi indeed, has a unique personality. Unusual as many might think, that she has not in any way used her privileged status as the younger sister of the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi, to curry favour from those in power or bend the rules as it were, say a lot about her strength of character. Vivacious, ebullient and blunt, Bisi, as she is fondly called by friends and colleagues, paints a perfect picture of a 21st Century lady on the outward and a homely, well cultured Nigerian lady. Her bluntness, though not acceptable to many, especially men who see it as a flaw, has nevertheless, charted her course in life as a focused lady. “I have something I would see as a ‘flaw’ in the Nigerian context; I am a bit too blunt and the reason why I say it’s a flaw is that I probably don’t assume over anything,” she said. At 50, she radiates an unfathomable spirit, poise and disposition that bellies her age. “My sister always said I’m too childish for her. May be it’s because I surround myself with young people. I don’t act my age. I am very girly at heart,” she explained. Perhaps the fond memories of her growing up days are some of the tonics that keep her ever ebullient. “Some of the pranks we played while growing up form some of the fond memories I cannot forget. One of them was the usual pranks I played on my father and mother. Anytime they were away, my father was, either a Permanent Secretary or something else and he did a lot of travelling, and you were not supposed to drive then, but we always did sneak the car out and smashed it. One thing about my father was that if anyone committed an offence everyone would be punished,” she reminisced. And those of her father’s too, little wonder she still refersto him using the present tense. “There was something about my father, we called him Mr Lagero, this is because anytime he wants to discipline us he always wears knickers and a singlet that had a big hole on the left. Once he comes back from work and he is dressed like that, we knew there was trouble. A little bit of that makes the fond memories of my childhood,” she said. She continued: “In our growing up years being a strict disciplinarian, we thought it was not good, but in retrospect, I would say that I am very grateful that he was that much of a disciplinarian. He has a very strong passion for his children and he never used to tolerate mediocrity. One word we were never allowed to use was ‘cannot’, another was ‘never’. He pushes us to our limits. I think that quality was instilled in every single child,” Bisi explained. Single motherhood As a lady with a mind of her own, she has never allowed herself bogged down by the cynics •Continued from Page 55

foundation because they don’t want to be seen in public with their children. Though, he explained that awareness is being created through various media to sensitise the public that hydrocephalus is not a spiritual attack and can be treated. Speaking further he disclosed that the foundation organised an awareness walk and a lecture on spina bifida and Hydrocephalus, last year to draw attention to the plight of children suffering from the disease and put a stop to stigmatization. The foundation, he said, has taken the campaign to Kaduna and Kano States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Apart from lack or inadequate fund to take care of the treatment of the affected children, Fajemilo identified lack of health policies on hydrocephalus as one of the challenges facing the affected children. ‘If government had put in place policies regarding the condition just like other childhood related diseases like Polio, the country would have gone far in the treatment of hydrocephalus.In other parts of the world. They are doing more research on how to curb the condition, whereas in Nigeria, our government is not even talking about the plight at all,’he stated. Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo called on policy makers and health providers in the country to make access to treatment free for Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida children as obtainable in the western world. He also implored the general public to stop attaching cultural and spiritual sentiments to medical issues and to always show love to every challenged child.


‘My life as a single mother’ Ms Bisi Awoniyi, the daughter of the late Aro of Mopa and the former Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Sunday Mobolorunduro Awoniyi, is hardworking, diligent and focused. In a chat with Seyi Odewale, she talks about her life at 50.

•Awoniyi and her son Richard

who never see anything good in a lady, especially a single parent. What forms her story is her status as a single parent, which the society considers as a stigma. But this has never deterred her determination to succeed as a parent. She had her son, Richard, 20 years ago in the United Kingdom when she was 30 and her joy as a mother has since being limitless. “The pains of being a single mother, is the stigma it gives. Everybody thinks that you’re a single mother because you’re promiscuous, so it’s a stigma. And my father was not going to allow me any form of self pity and he really helped me. To have been able to sustain it up till now, I would say it’s because of all the words of encouragement I was getting from him. Of course, all those counseling really helped, but the major pain is the stigma,” she said. She continued: “I became a single mother at 30. It was very difficult for my father to accept, because he always saw me as a replica of his grandmother and to the extent that he gave me Yewande as my middle name. Being a single

mother has been very challenging; it’s not easy. I would not advise it.” But she nevertheless, enjoyed and still enjoys the gains of motherhood. “The gain is being with my son,” she quipped, adding that the joy of giving birth to Richards is unforgettable, just as it constitute a part of her fond memories. “I remember when I was having my son. The pregnancy was very interesting, since I have offended some people back at home. It was nice having him and when I heard him cry, I experienced the joy of motherhood,” she reminisced. She has regret whatsoever. “Not really. At that point in time, I really didn’t care what people said. I have my son, I am happy with him.” Bisi is married to her job, but would not agree that she is a career lady. “I would not say that I’m a career woman. I would say that I’m a focused woman. I’m not a kind of woman that depends on people. That I got from my father. And if you look at all of us, his children, my people would probably tell you that I took after him most in character. And to answer if I’ m a workaholic, I will say yes.

Everything I do, I do with a very strong passion,” Bisi said. Bisi works at the Murtala Muhammed Airport II (MMA II), as the Chief Operating Officer (COO), which she is likely to relinquish soon, but she still works with Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), as Executive Assistant. Asked if it was her job that prevented her from giving men a chance in her life, Bisi said: “Let me tell you about a Nigerian man. A Nigerian man wants a chic as a girlfriend, but wants a local as a wife. Most men I have seen have a problem with a lady that is independent, too hardworking and focused,” she said. If a lady is too blunt, according to Bisi, she might not get a man of her choice. Most men, she said, get scared about ladies’ status, especially, if they live uptown and are upwardly mobile. “A lot of men have a problem with that. A typical man would say ‘oh, she lives in Dolphin, her son schools in England, where do I start from? That I know is a problem with men. I always say that if a man sees me the way I am and gets frightened, I don’t want that kind of man. But I still believe that there are good men out there who appreciate hardworking women and that no matter what happened, the woman would be able to carry on,” she said. Eyes on the future Asked if she hopes to get married? Bisi said: ‘Yes, I would have loved to be married, because I am a romantic person. But unfortunately, there is no way to practise the romance. And I always say that if I get married, my spouse would be very interesting. My husband, if I’m married, would never have a dull moment.” On her plans for the future, especially in the next 10 years she said, “In the next 10 years, maybe I would be in politics. I get worked up when I hear a few things going on in politics and I always wonder that if my father were around would these things be happening? You can see what is happening in my state. My brother is the Deputy Governor of the state now.” But would that be her father’s wish? “No. I’m not too sure my father would have enjoyed my being in politics, because one problem I would have if I go into politics, you know politicians are double speakers; they speak from both sides of their mouth. And I would not want to do that. I cannot. But I’m hoping that one day we would have a kind of leadership that would talk straight because a lot of sycophancies are still going on.” Bisi as a person is not addicted to anything. She is actually adhering to her father’s injunction: “Never have a favourite.” Having a favourite or being addicted to anything in life enslaves one and she will never be tied down by anything either her enchanting beauty, or her luscious hair, which she had to cut.

A pain in the head What doctors say •Continued from Page 55

•Two hydrocephalus kids

can have it but it can also occur at any age in adults,” he added. He said the disease causes retardation in the child’s growth and development but that the most common symptom is the enlargement of the head. “The child may not be able to walk or talk,” he added. “Prevention is not always possible, but vaccination against meningitis is helpful. Sick children should be completely treated. Early treatment is necessary. If there is further delay, the brain may be damaged and, at this point, the treatment required will be surgical. Dr. Adebisi Ogunjimi, urologist with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, Lagos, during a lecture for women with Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus children organized by the foundation said the condition is associated with folic acid deficiency which is part of the multivitamins required by expectant mothers. ‘The problem is common with them because it has to do with the development of the neural plates about the first month of the baby in the uterus,” Ogunjimi said.



How to protect yourself in cold weather

The rainy season is often a welcome relief from the heat and heavy sunshine, but the lingering and sometimes unbearable cold temperature in the weather has left people scampering for the safety of their homes. Rita Ohai examines the issues.



about the



S other countries battle with earthquakes and tornadoes as climate concerns, Nigerians are saddled with an unusual challenge. This time, we are not experiencing the regular case of torrential rainfall and the flooding that comes with it, rather we are battling a condition that baffles the wise and humbles the strong. Simply put, the weather is COLD! As meteorologists blame the melting glaciers at the North-Pole for bestowing this situation upon mankind, it has become common place to find the young and old dressed to the 'nines' in clothing preserved for the harmattan season. While cold winds sweep across the country, successfully surviving these times requires some level of skill. Dr. Chiagile Amachere, the Chief Medical Director at Holy Crest Hospital, gives some insight: “The body's reactions to cold can be very dynamic in the sense that if care is not taken, an exposed patient can develop a condition where stress is put on the heart by constriction of blood vessels in the skin and condensing the blood. “When the blood does not flow as it should, it puts a huge amount of pressure on the heart. This constant pressure wears out the vessels and then raises the blood pressure. It is this erratic rise in blood pressure that leads indirectly to angina or chest pain in people with heart illnesses or even in people who don't have heartrelated problems,” he concluded.

Although there is widespread assumption about the connection between being cold and catching a disease like malaria or fever, some experts say these illnesses are not entirely the weather's fault. As the chill in the atmosphere rises, people tend to stay indoors more often, making places such as schools, stores, airports, offices and homes likely places to for catching a cold, says Amachere. “The more likely reason that people tend to get sick more often in the cold season,” he says, “is due to higher number of contacts they have with other people who may possibly be carrying the virus within their body system or on their skin. So that when you are inside the house or in enclosed spaces with them and you breathe the same air, if your immunity is not strong enough to withstand infection, you will get sick. Therefore, the best way to avoid a cold or virus is not to avoid being cold, but instead, avoid crowded places.” Other means of catching diseases are by contact from the hand to nose or eye areas after direct contact with a person who has the virus or indirect contact, such as touching the same doorknob. When a person is exposed to a cold environment for a prolonged period of time the noticeable drop in temperature of the body system could lead to injuries in some internal and external organs. Stating a few of the health concerns to watch out for, Dr. Bayo Orosanye says,

“Asthma is major condition that can worsen in cold season, because inhaling cold, dry air can trigger an attack. To avoid this, it is advisable for asthmatic patients to take their anti-asthma medications before they leave home. “Also an abnormally low body temperature also known as hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can make heat. This can lead to shivering in adults and older children, clumsy movements, poor judgment, and cold, pale skin.” People with high body fat or obese individuals now have something to rejoice over as experts say that they are less likely to feel cold easily especially if they are not stressed out. According to research, fat under the skin helps keep you warm. People who have low body fat may be more likely to get hypothermia. Babies, older or ill adults, or malnourished people have low body fat. While chronic anxiety and emotional, physical or psychological pressure which serves as breeding grounds for stress can cause the nervous system to release adrenaline, which acts to narrow the blood vessels that supply blood to the hands and feet.

HEN you're exposed to the cold, the first line of defense is to wear loose-fitting and dry clothing as wet clothing makes it difficult to maintain a normal body temperature. Dress in layers. If you work in the cold, or exercise outside, wear clothing made of polypropylene, which will wick perspiration away from the skin and keep your body dry. Here are some other ways to protect yourself and your family from cold shiver: Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels, increases heat loss and causes your body to lose heat, in addition to contributing to dehydration. Cigarettes, on the other hand, force the blood vessels around the lungs and fingers to shrink and thus increasing the risk of frostbite. Decrease caffeine consumption, because it acts as a diuretic, causing water loss and dehydration. Drink plenty of water: This helps the body replenish its lost storage and keeps the blood fluid enough to circulate easily. As long as fluids are not restricted by your physician, drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. Eat light, eat right: Eat a variety of hot or warm high carbohydrates foods for the added energy it gives. Feasting on a proper diet which includes leafy vegetables, fruits, milk products and cereals helps the body boost its immunity. Also, eating a light snack before going out in the cold is better than a heavy meal, which requires a large blood flow to the gastrointestinal system to aid in digestion. The digestive process may prevent warm blood from circulating to your fingers and toes. Save the heavier meal for when you are safely back inside. Dress properly. Wear outer clothing that shields the wind and sun from your skin. Wear socks that will keep your feet dry and warm. In severe cases, try putting on a pair of wool gloves Protect your children. Instruct the kids to come inside when they feel cold, or if their clothes get wet. Play it safe by wrapping them in cardigans and blankets instead of scarves because they pose a strangulation risk. Wash hands regularly: Try to keep your hands clean by regularly washing it and trimming your nails to prevent them from habouring dirt and bacteria. The kids should also be taught to desist from the habit of biting their nails. Be prepared. When travelling by car on a long journey or you get caught in traffic, keep extra socks, blankets, water and snacks on hand in case a mechanical problem, storm or empty fuel tank leaves you stranded. Protect your lips. Use lip balm to keep your lips from drying out from the cold and windy weather.



‘Patronising local contractors means promoting local content ’


-- Page 61

Briefs Guinness Nigeria promotes responsible drinking


•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido


ROM available information, there is a bourgeoning rise in the recruitment of staff for most insurance companies operating across the country. That much The Nation can authoritatively report. Hitherto regarded as one of the most derided financial sectors in Nigeria, not many graduates enjoyed the prospects of working in the insurance sector, rather they opted for the banking, oil or telecommunication industry. Reason: this is as a result of the dwindling fortunes of insurance companies due to lack of patronage by Nigerians, occasioned in part by the failure to pay compensation or claims by some insurance companies. The lure of insurance job However, the recent layoffs in the banking sub-sector have gradually led to scramble for insurance companies by many erstwhile bankers. Investigations have revealed that many former bankers who lost their plum bank jobs have now switched over to insurance companies. Call it a case of poaching, you are not mistaken. Some of the former bankers who spoke with The Nation said their decision to seek employment in insurance companies is to stay employed. Others, however, feel that since insurance companies are also financial institutions, there operation is not totally different from that of the banking sector. Bimbo Adekoya, a former staff with a commercial bank, lost her job seven months ago when the bank decided to cut down on its number of staff. She now works for a popular Nigerian based American insurance company. Commenting on the issue, the mother of one said that similarity in the mode of operation of insurance sector with the banking sector has attracted some exbankers to insurance companies. “I agree with you that many laid off bankers, including me, are now with insurance companies. I could remember that the day I went for interview for my present job, those of us that were former bankers that also came for the interview were six. You cannot fault their choice of

•Fola Daniel, National Commissioner, NAICOM

Scramble for insurance jobs Job loss in the banking sector has led to an upsurge in the recruitment of staff for many insurance companies, reports Bukola Afolabi insurance companies since there are no jobs out there. “You can also look at the fact that since insurance companies are financial institutions and deal with money like banks; it makes it ideal and easier for us to work. We are able to quickly adapt to the job unlike those who have never done the job before,” she stressed. She added that though insurance sector might not be as lucrative as the bank, there is still some levels of job security. “One of the differences I noticed is that unlike the banking industry whereby as a marketer, you are expected to bring a certain amount to the bank within a financial year and failure to meet up with your target could result in the termination of your appointment or withholding of your salary, the insurance sector is based on commission. If you are able to sell insurance policy like Life Insurance, Education Insurance or others worth millions of naira, you get higher percentage. So your income depends on how much effort you put into it. The company will not necessarily give you much pressure because you are the one that will decide your income depending on what you are able to do.” Ikechukwu Vincent, also an ex-banker who also works with the same company with Bimbo, is of the opinion that things might gradually begin to change positively for the insurance sector with the movement of former bankers to the sector. “We might gradually begin to see improvement in the operation of insurance companies if what is happening is anything to go by. Many Nigerians are gradu-

ally seeing the importance of insurance like Life Insurance and others. In the past, Nigerians were always afraid when you introduced Life Insurance to them. They would think you wanted them to die. The gradual change in attitude are as a result of the efforts of some ex-bankers who are being employed by some insurance companies. I make bold to say that insurance sector is not as bad as people think it is. Moreover, the loss of job has made some of us to come to the sector and with our contacts when we were in the bank, we have been able to meet up with our targets.” Goke Adejumo was a Branch Development Manager with one of the banks in Nigeria. Two years ago, he was among senior staff of the bank that were laid off. As soon as he lost the job, he decided to float an insurance company and employed three of his junior colleagues who were also affected by the sack. In his view, he said that his decision to set up shop is because of the similarity of operations with the bank. “Having worked in the banking sector for 15years and left, I thought of what to do and felt that I should start an insurance company. “As a former banker, I have gained the experience of running a financial company. I am of the view that the sector should be handled by those with experience in the financial world, not just by anybody. As a matter of fact, insurance companies nowadays will prefer to employ ex-bankers because of their experience than employ somebody without experience in the financial sector. For me, it worked because

three of my junior colleagues who were also affected by the job loss who joined me when I started the company helped greatly with their experience. “They used contacts they had while in the bank to help the company. They know how to market insurance products having done it while in the bank. Ask any insurance company that has exbankers among their staff, they will testify to what I said. I feel good times are here for insurance companies. I believe gradually things will improve,” said an elated Adejumo. Others who spoke with The Nation are also of the view that the insurance sector has witnessed influx of former bank officials while those who are presently employed by banks are also thinking of joining their colleagues working in various insurance companies. However, in the view of Mr. Fola Daniel, National Commissioner, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the switch of erstwhile bankers to the insurance sub-sector is long in coming. According to him, the attraction for many is because it is more liberal than other financial institutions. "Insurance sub-sector is much liberal than many other financial service sectors. That explains why a lot of people are coming into the sector. Besides, in advanced economies, the sector is a major driver in the economy compared to the banking sector. "It is so worrisome that around here the insurance sector is not accorded the level of importance it deserves like US, England, and others, where insurance companies are recognised for their worth." He was, however, quick to add that things are beginning to change for the better as more and more people have come to see the benefits of taking insurance policies, thus many insurance firms are springing up.

UINNESS Nigeria Plc has organised the second series of the DrinkIQ media workshop to reinstate the need for consumers to make informed decisions on alcohol consumption. Speaking at the workshop held at its corporate head office in Lagos, Sesan Sobowale, Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria, while justifying the need for the event, said the workshop was to further promote responsible drinking and create awareness on the proper consumption of alcohol. He added that it is part of the company’s ‘Plan Ahead’ Responsible Drinking campaign. “Guinness Nigeria Plc makes an effort to promote responsible drinking and works with other stakeholders to combat alcohol misuse. There are three principles to our approach: combating alcohol misuse, setting standards for responsible marketing and innovation; and promoting a shared understanding of what responsible drinking means in order to reduce alcohol-related harm,” Sobowale said. The DrinkIQ media workshop, which had in attendance journalists from various national newspapers covering business, brands and industry, was also facilitated by Ngozi Ife Anene, Corporate Communications Manager, Guinness Nigeria. While emphasising the need for the interface and discussion session, she stated that the company believed that by training journalists on responsible drinking, it would further equip them to ensure how the public receive the right information on the proper consumption of alcohol. “Whilst a vast majority of consumers choose to drink responsibly, many others do not. As a responsible corporate citizen, we will continue to use our marketing and communications expertise to help raise awareness around responsible drinking to make a significant and sustainable impact in society,” she stressed.

Firm partners Australian coy on credit reporting


AGBADEX Global Services Limited, an indigenous company, involved in credit reporting and other allied services, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the GlobalCIS Credit Information Services, Australia, a world acclaimed credit company on information dissemination. The Managing Director/Chief Executive, FAGBADEX Global Services Limited, Mr. Friday Agbabule, disclosed this over the weekend at a press conference in Lagos. According to him, his company decided to sign on the franchise in its quest to offer efficient service delivery to its list of clientele. Justifying the need for the franchise, he said it would enable his company provide contact details, statutory data, credit scoring and risk analysis and due diligence reports for their old and prospective clients. “Our clients would also have the opportunity to use only one website to access over 230 countries, one uniform price for credit reports, one uniform price for company searches, one delivery time, one uniform report format, one system linking corporate ownership, one uniform customer support centre and one uniform global credit reporting database,” he stressed.



Business News

Nigeria’s telecoms revenue to decline by 6.9% this year – Report


ELECOMS companies operating in Nigeria are experiencing consistent decline in blended mobile average revenue per user, with average revenue per user (ARPU) expected to decline by 6.9 per cent in 2012 to N949, according to a report by Business Monitor International Limited. ARPU is the financial benchmark used globally by telecoms companies to measure the average monthly or yearly revenue generated from an average subscriber. Examined as a market average, the BMI report noted that the mobile ARPU rate for Nigeria fell by 21.2 per cent in 2012 to reach N1, 011, a decline considered considerably more than a 4.3 per cent in 2011 to reach N1, 283. The ARPU forecast for Nigeria, which was calculated in the local currency and based on historical ARPU data published by some of the telecommunications companies operating in Nigeria was contained a new report from BIM

By Bukola Afolabi

entitled: “Nigeria telecommunication Report Quarter 2, 2012.” According to the report, “We forecast that Nigeria’s blended mobile ARPU will decline by 6.9 per cent in 2012 to reach N949. Over the longer term, we expect several factors to influence the development of Nigeria’s mobile ARPU rates.” One of the factors, the report stated, is the extent to which the telecoms operators in Nigeria continue to improve their subscriber mix and increase the contract customers on their networks relative to prepaid users. Another factor which the report pointed out would be shaping mobile ARPU levels over the next five years will be the success with which the operators encourage their mobile customers to use higher value data services. Analysing further, the report said: “In the five years to 2016, we expect Nigeria’s av-

erage blended ARPUI falling by an average of 7.9 per cent to reach 769. In the latter part of our forecast, we expect the rate of blended ARPU decline to reduce. “To some extent, this trend will largely reflect the improved subscriber mix on the networks of all three operators.” Meanwhile, it gathered that the declining ARPU has continued to put pressures on the revenue of operators in an increasingly competitive telecoms market in Nigeria. But the study stated that the main factors influencing the slowdown in the rate of ARPU decline will be the emergence of stronger growth for Nigeria’s economy, a development that will translate into higher customer spending, and a steady increase in the use of mobile data and internet services. The report added that the proliferation of such services will help the operators establish more stable sources of income.


Cherie Blair tasks women on entrepreneurship


HERIE Blair has stressed the need for Nigerian women to get involved in business and enterprise, saying that is the only way they can become economically empowered. Blair, who is the founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, made this appeal in Lagos recently at a public forum facilitated by her foundation in partnership with Nokia and MTN Nigeria. The event, which had as part of its mission to connect the next billion people to relevant information and the internet, saw the launching of a new Nokia Life service that will provide essential business and entrepreneurship tips to women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Cherie Blair said partnering with Nokia on the Business Women service is a ‘welcome development.’ “Giving women the chance to become financially independent and make the most of their talents is the key to higher living standards for them and their families,” said Mrs. Blair. “With the extensive reach of Business Women through Nokia Life and

By Bukola Afolabi

content tailored especially for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, this new service has the potential to empower thousands of women business owners.” The service, Business Women, will be the latest addition to the Nokia Life service portfolio. The Business Women service aims to address this imbalance, by providing essential business and entrepreneurship tips, delivered via SMS to mobile phones with the Nokia Life service. Research conducted by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation, showed that 93% of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria were willing to use a valued-added mobile service like business women to address the core challenges they face in their business; and 75% of them felt that addressing these challenges would lead to a significant increase in the value of their business [“Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs”, May 2012]. By partnering with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to make the Business Women service a reality, Nokia re-affirms its com-

mitment to connect people to opportunities, including making women a larger part of the next billion people to be connected. James Rutherford, Vice President of Nokia West Africa, said, “Working with the Cherie Blair Foundation for women are key milestone on our journey to connect the next billion people to relevant information. Nokia Life is by far the world’s largest mobile information services suite helping consumers in emerging markets learn, live, and share information better. “The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women invests in women entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses, and in doing so, benefit not only themselves but also their families and communities. We are delighted to partner with the Foundation to provide Nigerian women with the best information available to help grow their businesses.’’ Sifiso Dabengwa, President and Chief Executive Officer, MTN Group, said, “We are confident that MTN customers will enjoy the Business Women service, which has the potential to enrich many people’s lives.”

ICPC introduces new methods of fraud detection

T • From left: Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa, Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mrs. Titi Laoye- Tomori, Ogbuefi Collins Nweke, Chairman, Nigeria in Diaspora Organisation and Mrs. Kemi Amusan, Coordinator for Osun State Trade Mission to North America at the Diaspora Trade and Investment Mission in Osogbo, Osun State

HE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have raised the bar in fraud detection with its innovative systems review mechanism, the anti-graft agency has said. Making this disclosure over the weekend was the ICPC Head of Media, Mr. Fola Olamiti. Olamiti, who spoke exclusively with The Nation, assured that the system review mechanism, one of the crime prevention tools developed by the agency, was such that would make it impossible for public officials to defraud the system or benefit from the pro-

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

ceeds of corruption. According to the ICPC’s spokesman, the ICPC is quietly and vigorously pursuing the system review of its mandate to develop permanent vigilance mechanisms at all levels of governments. “ICPC intends to invoke its statutory mandate derived from Section 6 (b)-(d) of its enabling law to undertake a comprehensive Systems Study and Review with the principal aim of identifying and correcting corruption-prone processes,” he said. Expatiating, he said: “Our crime prevention mechanism is fool-proof. Gone are the

days when any public officer could easily defraud the system. Our Fraud Investigative Unit (FIU), monitors ministries and department agencies round the clock, making it difficult for anybody to attempt any fraud in the system.” “The preventive option, he stressed, “has been stepped up for the purpose of a positive vigilance that prevents a damaging act from being perpetrated in preference to the negative vigilance that pursues punitive remedies after the harm has already been done. It costs far less to prevent corruption than to investigate and prosecute offenders.”

Group tasks AU on common currency


•From left: Dr. Samuel Adenekan,Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestle Nigeria, Deborah Leipziger, Head, Corporate Responsibility Consulting, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA and Ken Egbas, Managing Partner TruContact Ltd at the specialist training on CSR tagged “Recognising Risk and Opportunity in Corporate Responsibility” organised by TruContact recently

HE Secretary General of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr. Yomi Okusanya, has called on the African Union to facilitate the creation of common currency which would ease trade and commerce among member states. Okusanya made this known at a media roundtable organised by APRA recently in Lagos. Speaking on the theme: “Rising Africa: The role of the media”, he said it is not news that Africa suffers significantly in economics as statistics indicates that the continent’s Gross Domestic Products dropped from

By Adeola Ogunlade

12.8% to 10.5% between 2000 and 2008 , which is not the same with her counterparts in Asia who recorded a boost from 22% to 35% at about the same time. This, he said, indicates that there is an urgent need for serious work in the areas of promoting trade across the continent; possibly with the introduction of a common currency that would greatly ease trade and commerce among member state . He said: “Africa should actively discourage the importation of goods and services that can be produced within and drive the develop-

ment of requisite infrastructure and manpower to boost her potentials for export.” Okusanya, the former Lagos State Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) said, “we believe that driving development will require active engagement of the private sector by governments in Africa, the establishment of programmes that will drive development ends, establishment of requisite infrastructure and adequate regulation of relevant industries that are considered very crucial to the promotion of international trade.”




N the view of many Lagosians out there, there is a feeling that the pace of development in the state in the second term of Governor Raji Fashola has slowed down considerably, especially at the grassroots. What is your take on this? Well, let me correct the sort of impression as to what we have done in the last one year. Government itself is a continuum. This is the second term in office of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. And when you inherit assets, you equally inherit liabilities. I think in the last one year, our goal has been primarily to go and complete all ongoing projects. Unless you really go to the interior parts of the state, you may have the view that the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola is not doing enough as far as the second term in office is concerned. But you will recall that when he came on board during his first term in office, he faced major roads that you and I can conspicuously see. Having completed our carriage ways, he now moved to the interior parts, those roads that would link one street to another, that particular road that will take you to your own house. And if we’re doing that, unless you’re living within that particular environment, where construction of road is being done, you will not know that the administration is doing anything. During his first term in office, he faced the issue of construction of more schools, making sure that the condition under which pupils are learning in Lagos State is made conducive. And you’ll agree with me that several schools and classrooms were constructed during the first term in office. Now, having achieved that, are we going to leave those schools, those classrooms that have been constructed like that? There is need for us to put equipment like furniture and so on. These are things that are going on which people will not really notice. You’ll agree with me that the number of General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres have been increased tremendously in the state. Then you now talk of how do you really equip these hospitals that have been built in the last four years, consolidating and making sure that the equipment that are needed to make these health facilities to be functional are provided. You’ll not notice when these facilities are being provided. These are some of the activities being carried out under the Fashola administration but people tend to believe his administration is not doing much. But my answer is no. The pace of development is still very much there. As a key ministry involved with infrastructural development in the rural hinterlands, could you give us a summary of the activities of your ministry within the last one year, in terms of project execution? What we are doing as far as the Ministry of Rural Development is concerned, is to make sure that we complete those projects that we inherited. I will now give you a little brief of what we’re doing. Our ministry is sub-divided into various departments. We have a department that is known as Rural/Civil, we have a department that deals with Rural Electrification and we have a department that deals with Agric. Like I said, we have a department that is saddled with the responsibility of civil. What do I mean by civil? We’re talking of opening up of rural roads, construction of culverts, construction of jetties and a hosts of other things. We do our projects in phases because we have a time frame and you have to work within the resources at your disposal. We have about six roads that are going to be completed this year and we started the construction of these roads since 2010 because they are in phases. Certain amount of money was made available for the execution of that project in 2010. Certain percentage of money was equally made available for that particular project for year 2011. For year 2012 now, we are completing the six roads. As we speak now, if you go to Igbogun, which is Lekki axis, the road is nearing completion and would be ready between now and October. If you go to Iwerekun, within Lekki axis too, that road is going to be completed this year. If you go to Epesehingbo, within Lekki axis too, that road would be completed this year too. If you go to Alimosho axis in Taiwo Onalaja, the road there is about 95% completed. If you go to Ajeromi in Achapko, that road will be completed this year. So, these are the things that particular department, Civil, is being saddled with. Apart from this, we do some projects here and there. Take for instance, if we go to an area and realise that the area is being cut off because of non availability of a culvert that would link community A to community B, it is the responsibility of the Civil department to carry out repair works on such road. And as we’re taking care of the rural areas


‘Patronising local contractors means promoting local content’ Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi is Commissioner for Rural Development, Lagos State. In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf he presents a scorecard of his ministry in the last 12 months


• Ojelabi

so also do we take care of the riverine areas because we know their own means of transportation is water. So what we do for them is the provision of jetties and that is the responsibility of that department. We also have the department of Rural Water and Sanitation. Knowing the importance of water, it can never be enough. We have our micro water scheme that has been constructed across the state that can take a population of nothing less than 5, 000. We keep on managing this using the Public Private Partnership model, to make sure that water is provided for our people. As I speak with you now, if you go to Araromi Ale, within Badagry, you will see it there. If you go to Mowo in Badagry, you’ll see it there. If you go to Ilogbo, you’ll see it there. If you go to Ikorodu/Epe axis, we have our micro water scheme working there as well. In year 2011, we constructed a modified type A, because of electricity problem we’re having in Nigeria. The idea of modified type A, is to primarily power the micro water scheme with solar. And last year, we succeeded in setting it up at Ishagira, within Otor-Awori Local Council Development Area. In the riverine area at Irewe, we rehabilitated their micro water scheme and I’m happy to tell you today that about four adjoining communities within that hinterland are benefitting from that water scheme. If you go to electricity, asides the fact that procurement and installation of transformer shouldn’t be our responsibility, but because of the passion Governor Fashola has for the people of Lagos State, he invested a lot of money in the procurement of transformers believing that the members of the public and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which is the primary beneficiary, will come and partner with the state government. But here we are, they are not forthcoming. We waited for about six months and when it dawned on us that these people were not forth-

coming, the governor said, look that is your investment will you allow your investment to just rot away? You better go and find solution to it. He made money available to us and out of the over 206 transformers, we have succeeded in installing about 165 leaving just 41. And by the grace of God before the end of the year, we hope to install the remaining ones. If you move round, you will discover that the impact of our ministry is being felt across the state, in virtually all the three senatorial districts. What modus operandi do you adopt in allocating these projects? Is it on a need assessment basis? Do the people own the process or you just use your own discretion as a ministry to carry out these projects? That is why the ministry is called the Ministry of Rural Development. Under our ministry, we have the community development associations (CDAs) who are close to the people. Usually the CDAs, having identified the needs of their people, write to us saying Ministry of Rural Development, we’re in dire need of a footbridge, we’re in dire need of water, culverts, transformer and so on... At the receipt of this request from them, we now ask our officers to go and visit that particular community, meet and liaise with the people and do a baseline study of the population residing in that area... It is when we’re really satisfied that the requests being tendered by these people are necessary that we now engage them formally... Usually, we ask them how they hope to sustain the project. And that is where we’re still having problem because you know most of the people who make these requests whatever you ask them to do; they will do because they want this thing. So when we get that buyin in form of community-driven projects, then we now consider the resources at our disposal. You know we have more than 2, 000 community development associations spread across the state and the resources cannot just be enough so we now prioritise as per the need

assessment. That is how we normally carry out projects. It has been alleged in some quarters that in Lagos State the allocation of contracts is based on political patronage. How would you react to that? Well, I’m not aware of that. In any case, a project has to be done by a human being; a project cannot be executed by a ghost. My own concern is that if you’re my friend and I decided to give you a job, it is both in our interest that you deliver on the job. And mind you, in Lagos State, we have a Public Procurement Law, which says that a project has to be advertised for all interested parties to come and bid. At the end of the day, we open the bidding. My own goal, like I said, is for the execution of that project, how it is executed is not my problem. Before you get contract in Lagos, you must follow the due process. Once you follow the due process whether you’re my political associate or not, if you’re lucky enough to be awarded the contract, my own deal with you is to ensure that the project is done as per specification. How do you ensure that contractors deliver on projects on time? Because this has been one hotly debated issue in the time past? I think we’ll get over that. It has been a major issue most especially with our local contractors, whether we like it or not. We will continue to talk to them, educate them and let them see reasons because it is by patronising these local contractors that we can really promote local content. If we don’t promote our local content, these foreigners will come and grab the job and the proceeds of those particular projects will go to their own country as capital flight... Yes, I quite agree with you but that has to do with the leadership of that establishment. If the leadership does not compromise, things will work out. The first thing to do is to make sure that the project is given to somebody who will do the job; friendship should not be compromised with diligence... Once you follow the due process, you will be able to deliver... We have projects that were awarded as far back as 2010 that have not been delivered. But as we speak, majority of them are back to site because we made them understand that it is better they go and complete their projects or risk being blacklisted. And once you’re blacklisted, you definitely cannot do any project with the Lagos State government again. And I want to appreciate Governor Fashola who has given us support and assurance that it should not be business as usual. That anybody who is not ready to perform, you better throw him out. And thankfully, we have gotten very favourable response from most of our contractors, majority of them are complying. I told some of them, look, I’m not ready to carry your liabilities to my 2013 budget; your money has been appropriated in the 2012 budget, so finish your project and get your money. They have a timeline by which they must deliver the project, which is October because if they fail, they are on their own. In summary, I can say that the enactment of procurement law has seen a lot of improvement in the execution of projects in the state... How does your ministry hope to achieve budget implementation based on the approved Medium Term Strategy Scheme (MTSS)? Knowing full well the essence of the approved Medium Term Strategy Scheme (MTSS), it is to be able to spread our expenditure in such a way to allow for even development across the board. . If for instance, I have to spend N900million for a three-year project. I could earmark this money spread across three years with N300million as expenditure for each year, to cover the short, medium and long term objectives of the fiscal policy of the ministry. My Director, to take care of our rural roads, came up with a bill of N200billion for our ministry alone. So, we now had to sit down and prepare our own document to cover the medium term framework in the execution of our roads, such that the totality of the N200billion will be disaggregated to cover so and so years. How does your ministry fit into the Service Charter which has just been prepared? You cannot separate the Ministry of Rural Development from the government of Lagos State. We are a unit and part of the government. The Service Charter, as far as the ministry is concerned, we have already keyed into it.




EVIVAL of capital market Let me start by saying this is not really an isolated case but by and large you have the ordinary investors who are known as institutional investors. In most cases many individuals after buying shares they do not know the risk they were taking. For some of these individuals who don’t know or understand the operation of the market there is always the challenge. That being the case, you now have to contend with their understanding of the operations of the market. Take for instance, if you go out to buy shares in Dangote Cement, it depends how much time I have on my hands and competence to analyse the performance of Dangote Cement. Like most laymen who don’t understand how the market performs instead of approaching an expert who will outline what they stand to gain, they would want to take the shortcut. Again, rather than say, ‘Sonnie Ayere, take my money and go to a stockbroker to buy shares for me, what I will now prefer to do is to put my money in a fund and let a professional asset manager invest my money for me’ The idea is that even though I have to pay the asset manager a fee, I don’t have to worry too much because his job is to analyse the exact position of market performance which include that of Dangote Cement and others. He will be in the position to know whether we are to increase our portfolio in Dangote and advise on how best to maximise gains. What we are trying to do is how to move people out of the old way by taking money out of people’s pocket and move it


‘Mutual funds are good Beyond investment choice’ Talent

Dr. Sonnie Ayere, a financial expert, is the Chief Executive of Dunn Loren Merrifield. As a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), his interests include, but not limited to, financial advisory, investment advisory, marketing, among others. In this interview with Musa Odoshimokhe, he explains the prospects of mutual funds

• Ayere

to mutual funds. Areas strategic for investment Investors should seek out the services of asset managers. For instance if it is N5,000 or N10,000, a man can afford to set it aside in the mutual fund, this will boost your in-

•From left: Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, Chairman of the occasion, Dr Fred Odutola General Secretary/Chief Executive, Bible Society of Nigeria and Prof Joseph Mba, Director, Strategic Business School , during the NYSC Essay writing competition organised by Bible Society in Lagos at the weekend.

vestment future. The thing is that the instruments that are there now are becoming more sophisticated and the individual can benefit from the level of risk they can take in terms of their investment capacity.

Again, one may decide not take too much risk and if for instance he has N100,000 he may decide to invest half of the amount in fixed income projects and put half into stocks. Having entrusted the money into the hands of an asset manager, you can now go and face your normal life. Your asset manager will assess the performance of the investment and advise appropriately. Challenges in financing projects Like I said earlier, if you want to finance all the things that will add value to this country and talking about major ones, the terms of raising the money is not quite easy. Now let me say you want to finance the construction on the Third Mainland Bridge and you want to use 2035 years to finance the projects, what will make someone to invest in a 20-35 years project to put down his money will really take a determined mind. And obviously the yield for 35 years is higher because of the duration. But because people want quick returns, they may want to go for those which can bring immediate returns.

•From left: Managing Director /Chief Executive, Fagbadex Global Services Limited, Mr. Friday Agbabule and Mrs. Olapade Juliana Kehinde at a press conference in Lagos over the weekend. PHOTOS: MUYIWA HASSAN

Experts grill CSOs on public procurement law


N its determination to raise awareness on the workings of the Lagos State Public Procurement Law 2011, the Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP), a network of civil society organisations operating in the state supported by the State Accountability and Voice Initiative, SAVI, a programme of the Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom, organised a one-day sensitisation and capacity workshop last Thursday. In his address at the occasion, Mr. Tony Akalugo, a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria, stressed the need for

By Esther Mohammed

awareness creation on procurement procedures. According to him, “when you talk about procurement you must be able to satisfy needs, you must first establish the need by defining the consumer. Procurement encompasses a wide range of supply activities than does purchasing alone. Procurement is the acquisition of materials, goods, services and capital projects from the production of public services or for transfer to other agencies and institution for the greater good of the society.” Echoing similar sentiments, the General Manager of the Lagos State Procurement Agency, Mr. Akin

Onimole, however, emphasised the role of civil society organisations in the implementation of the Lagos State Public Procurement Law 2011. “Civil society has a role in monitoring performances to ensure that it is fair and transparent and carried out in accordance with the law. It is intended that one member of the governing board of the agency should be from a civil society organisation,” While justifying the need for the workshop, Mohammed Bougei Attah, the National Coordinator, Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative (PRADIN), said, “Monitoring has been the biggest challenge in the

public procurement especially at the state level.” The event, which was attended by 120 participants from civil society organisations and the media across Lagos State, also had relevant state actors in the procurement process present at the workshop including the General Manager of Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Engr. Akin Onimole, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Bayo Sodade, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on SUBEB matters, the State Team Leader of SAVI, Mr. Felix Obanubi, amongst others.

By Adetayo Okusanya


Don’t be a long distance jumper


OMETHING interesting happened to me last Sunday as I flew from Charlotte to Nashville. I was reading the book, Crucial Conversations, and was on the chapter that described how people’s decisions and reactions are based on stories they tell themselves to “create meaning” about things that happen around them or to them. I instantly saw a connection between this and the Insights DiscoveryTM concept of the “Ladder of Perception”, which describes how people move from observing events, through interpretation, judgment and emotional reactions, to reaching conclusions and taking action. Shortly after making this observation, I saw the air hostess pass by with the food and drinks cart and I realized how thirsty I was from all the plane hopping I had done since leaving my originating city, Toronto. So I waited patiently, as she worked her way forward from the rear of the plane. Much to my surprise and annoyance, when she arrived at my row she served the passengers in the other aisle and moved on to the next row, without asking me or the passenger seated next to me what we wanted to drink. Different thoughts raced through my mind as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Did she deliberately ignore me? Could she not see that I was awake? Perhaps, she was only serving paying passengers. Was she incompetent? Finally, the dark thought crept into my mind, “Was it because I am African?” I felt my annoyance start to escalate into resentment and remembered what I had just read. I realized, then, that I was telling myself “stories” and was at risk of “JUMPING to the wrong conclusion”. After all, it was entirely possible that it was simply an innocent oversight. I stopped making assumptions about the internal motives of the air hostess, pressed the overhead call button and politely asked for a drink. She was very apologetic, as she handed me a cup of “Gingerale on the rocks”. Apparently, she meant no harm or disrespect. We often think our human world is ruled by logic i.e. action - reaction, but the truth is that it is ruled by psychology i.e. action – perception – reaction. . Two people can experience the same phenomenon and come to two different conclusions. As humans we seek to create meaning in everything that we experience and so by default, we fill in the blank spaces based on our values, beliefs and life experiences. Stephen Covey said we see the world not as it is…but as we are. Each person navigates their external world using the internal map that resides within them. There is nothing more influential in our lives than our internal maps which shape our perceptions. It is indeed a powerful driving force behind our feelings, our decisions and our actions. Our reliance on our internal map is so strong that we automatically accept our perceptions, without question. If we feel it or think it, then it must be true. But is it always true? How often have you come to a conclusion about others and acted on it, only to discover that you “had it all wrong”? Have your “perceptions” about your boss, peer, subordinate, customer, business partner, friend, sibling, spouse or child, positively or negatively influenced your behavior towards them? Do you tell yourself stories about how your boss “must be a micro-manager”? Or how your customer is “just a difficult fellow and hard to get along with”? Or how a team mate is “lazy and unreliable”? Or how your spouse “does not care about your feelings”? These statements, though at first glance may appear as facts, are nothing but subjective judgments we attribute to the behaviors exhibited by others, and they have the potential to harm our relationships if they lead us to act in inappropriate ways. Your perception can and often limits your “world view”. Your very own mind can play tricks on you and cause you to miss opportunities or hinder you from building strong relationships with those that are important to the achievement of your professional and personal goals. To overcome this limitation, you should accept and be comfortable with the fact that your view is only one OF MANY POSSIBLE PERSPECTIVES. People will behave different from you because they have had different life experiences. Learn to understand others’ point of view, no matter how different that point of view is from yours. Sometimes it takes, suspending what you perceive to be true or right and walking in their shoes to see, appreciate and benefit from their “unique view”, and ultimately gain “a more holistic and balanced view”. Someone once said, “Great influence with others is not determined by how many people see your point of view; rather it is the dividend that comes from how many points of view you are able to see.” The next time you find yourself reacting to an event or person, step back and ask yourself “Am I jumping the long distance?”

• Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge




HE French president, François Hollande, has put more pressure on Greece to push ahead with painful reforms after a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras. While Hollande praised Greek citizens for making necessary budget cuts, which EU leaders hope will pull Greece back from crisis and secure the next round of bailout funds, the French leader offered no concessions to Samaras during their meeting in Paris on Saturday. Samaras has been seeking more time to pass re-

France refuses to back Greece’s call for more time to enact reforms

forms, arguing that an extension of up to two years would allow Greece time to improve growth and therefore its public finances. But Hollande said no decision could be taken on the issue until European ministers have considered a financial report on Greece, which is due to be published by the International Monetary

Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank in September. The report will be presented to a European Unit summit in October and Hollande said Europe needed to make decisions “the sooner the better”. “We’ve been facing this question for two-and-a-half years; there’s no time to lose,

there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better,” Hollande said. Hollande’s position echoes that of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who met Samaras in Berlin on Friday. However, the French president was keen to promote the idea of solidarity.

“For me, the question should no longer be asked: Greece is in the euro zone,” he said. “In the face of ordeals, we must show more solidarity … I hailed the efforts that the Greek people have committed to painfully for the last two years,” Hollande said. “We need to be aware of all that has been done.” Samaras needs to put in

place economic and structural reforms, which include changes to the labour market and more privatisation, and spending cuts of some •11.5bn (£9.1bn) over the next two years. Responding to concerns that Greece may not stick to such harsh requirements amid pressure from the financial markets, Samaras restated a commitment to the plan. If he succeeds, Samaras will secure •33.5bn in the second instalment of the •130bn bailout, which Greece needs to repay on its debt burden and to stay in the euro.

Republicans shuffle speech line-up to give Ann Romney prime TV slot


•LEBANON, Tripoli : Lebanese army troops deploy to Tripoli’s troubled districts on August 25, 2012, following clashes between proand anti-Syrian factions in the northern Lebanese port city, stoking fears of a spillover of bloodshed. AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO

EPUBLICAN officials shuffled the speaking line-up at their convention in Tampa next week to ensure that presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, will reach a prime-time television audience when she speaks to the gathering. Ann Romney will now speak on Tuesday night after it became clear that television networks were not planning to show her Monday night address before a prime-time audience. Romney’s wife has proved to be one of his most popular assets in his run for the White House against President Barack Obama, helping to humanize a candidate who has consistently been criticized as out of touch. New Mexico Governor, Susana Martinez, was originally scheduled to speak on Tuesday night in the slot now given to Ann Romney, but of-

ficials said her speech has been put back until Wednesday. Officials in Tampa said that U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio of Florida will not be moved to another slot, one outside of prime time, as some had said. Rubio had offered his speaking slot to Ann Romney. “Senator Rubio was incredibly gracious to offer his speaking slot to Mrs. Romney, and we thank him for his kind offer,” Matt Rhoades, Romney’s campaign manager, said. “However, he will remain the last speaker in prime time on Thursday night before Governor Romney accepts the nomination,” he said. Romney is scheduled to arrive in Tampa on Thursday and formally accept the Republican nomination that night to run against Obama on November 6.

Obama defends Medicare from Romney-Ryan budget proposals

Republicans stockpile umbrellas P as stormy convention looms T HIS week was a tempestuous one for the Republican Party, but things could get even stormier if a hurricane bears down on the national convention in Tampa, Florida. With Tropical Storm Isaac on a path that could bring it to the city at hurricane strength just as the four-day event begins on Monday, Republican officials were setting up tents, stockpiling umbrellas and nervously eyeing possible changes to the schedule of speakers. Forecasters said on Friday that Isaac could bring torrential rains, high winds and tornadoes to Tampa even if it remains a tropical storm and stays out in the Gulf of Mexico, far from shore.

The party insists the meeting will go ahead, even if it has to alter the schedule. “We’re going to have a convention,” said Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. The highlight of the event-Mitt Romney’s speech accepting the nomination for president-is still set for Thursday. The schedule was unchanged by Friday afternoon, but convention officials said they would make changes if necessary. Speakers could be moved to different days or dropped altogether if the weather makes traveling dangerous or difficult. “We have contingency plans in place to ensure the health and safety of convention

delegates, guests and visitors, and the Tampa Bay community,” spokesman James Davis said. The RNC will have ponchos and raincoats for delegates, and organizers said they had a big supply of umbrellas in-of course-Republican red. Workers have erected canvas covers over walkways and set up tents to shield delegates from rain or hot sun, but there might be a problem in wind. At least one tent collapsed and was mangled in a thunderstorm this week. The convention will bring 50,000 visitors to the TampaSt. Petersburg area, home to well over 4 million people. But local authorities say they can handle the crowds and a storm.

Flooding, storm surge A major concern would be flooding from rain or a storm surge-a wall of water driven inland by a hurricane. The ground in the Tampa area is already soaked and rivers and lakes are swollen from recent heavy rainstorms. High winds could also close some of Tampa’s many bridges. Tropical Storm Debby lingered off the Florida coast in June, dousing the area and spinning off a tornado that tore the roof off of a restaurant. The area is still recovering. Fears about the convention ended a rough week for the Republicans, whose hopes of positive headlines before the gathering were ruined by

an uproar over comments on “legitimate rape” by Republican representative, Todd Akin. The conservative lawmaker defied calls from Romney and many senior party figures to quit the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri. The convention could still dodge the bullet. Rick Danielson, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, said Isaac’s threat to Tampa was still difficult to gauge on Friday, when the storm was in the Caribbean heading for Haiti. He said the convention city could be hit by coastal flooding and driving winds or rain. “There is still a full range of possible impacts on Tampa at this point,” he said.

RESIDENT Barack Obama sought to swing the focus of the election campaign back to seniors’ healthcare Saturday, accusing his Republican opponents of attempting to “effectively end Medicare as we know it”. In his weekly address, the president defended the proposed reforms laid out in his landmark Affordable Care Act, contrasting it with the blueprint outlined by Mitt Romney’s conservative running mate, Paul Ryan. Ryan’s budget plan would turn Medicare–a cherished safety net for those over 65–into “a voucher system” that would not keep up with the rising costs of insurance, Obama said. “I think our seniors deserve better,” he added. The decision to campaign on Medicare comes as Democrats seek to exploit a perceived weakness of adding Ryan to the Republican White House ticket.





Are career ambassadors better?


WORDSWORTH T 08055001948

Daily Sun on Aregbesola D

AILY SUN of August 22 circulated copious juvenile i m p r o p r i e t i e s : “Aregbesola flags off 2012 Nigerians in Diaspora investment summit” It is no longer news that ‘flag off’ is unknown to the English language etymology/ register. Instead of the Nigerian journalists’ perversion, use ‘launches’/‘opens’/ ‘kicks off’/’starts’, etcetera. Certainly not ‘flag off’! You can only ‘flag up/down/flag’ in entirely different contexts. No misrepresentation of the governor! “Wikileaks: Ecuador president blows hot” Let us blow right: Ecuadorian president. “Our hearts bleed, we lost a rare gem and a distinguish gentleman.” For the attention of UkwaClan Abia State: a distinguished gentleman. From DAILY SUN l to THE GUARDIAN of August 21 which offered its patrons numerous infelicities: “Ogoni group wants FG to make public clean up (clean-up) execution plan” “Enugu to join oil producing states” What about ‘oil-producing states’? “The fear we entertain about…vigilante groups” Politics of security: vigilance groups. “One of the investment incentives available to industries in Nigeria is the industrial development (income tax relief) which grants tax holidays to companies that meet the conditions for been (being) designated as a pioneer industry.” Lastly from THE GUARDIAN: “It is the error of regulation that gives opportunity (an opportunity or opportunities) for things like this to happen.” Lexical law: things like these/a thing like this to happen. National Mirror of August 16 committed four avoidable blunders: “…the state government will bring the culprits to justice and pledged that incidents like this would no longer be treated with kid gloves.” Rising brutality: incidents like these or an incident like this. “A man wading through a flooded compound after heavy downpour in….” Just downpour—there is no need for any amplification (heavy) as it is implied. Finally from National

Mirror Back Page: “Very curious, indeed, was the fact that among those who made such an audacious demand were journalists from other media organizations where staff are being owed between six to 10 months salaries.” Still on Newswatch: between six and 10 months’ (take note of the two interventions) salaries. “…a case of throwing away bad (the bath) water and the baby in it (sic).” Idiomatic correctness: throw the baby out with the bath water. Also note that all the words after ‘water’ are redundant. “Parents can pay more attention to their under-aged children and wards and prevent them from getting behind wheels” Celebrating health: underage children. “These pieces of advice are equally useful for the matured (mature) new and old drivers” “No sooner had this happened than an argument ensured (ensued).” “Eroding confidence on (in) accountancy worries don” “In Ondo State, the campaign team of Governor Mimiko has adopted a hit and run tactics (sic).” Ahead of October: hit-and-run tactics (or a hit-and-run tactic, depending on the circumstance). “The failure of the Nigeria Police to play its (their) traditional role of maintaining peace and order in the country remains glaring.” “Dame Patience Jonathan was represented at (on) the occasion by the wife of the governor....” “It is not enough to point accusing fingers at one’s opponents....” This way: point the finger. “Politics should not be a do or die affair” Fixed form: a do-or-die affair. “As they say (a comma, please) whatever is good (sauce) for the goose is equally appropriate (sauce) for the gander.” Nobody has the whimsical right or poetic licence to change standard idiomatic expressions. “Indeed, some gender sensitive (a hyphen, please) critics were to charge him for (with) not maintaining a high profile and sustained enthusiasm and support for their cause.” “We congratulate

Archbishop George Carey for (on/upon) holding his own acre of Christendom…” “Students of University of Calabar yesterday demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of.…” (Source: as above) ‘Demand’ does no admit ‘for’ except when used as a noun. “Six arrested over death of two cattle rearers” Still on this common solecism: Six arrested for (not over). DAILY SUN of August 22 contained a similar howler on page nine. “According to the source, Shagari openly endorsed Buhari and enjoined Babangida and his supporters to do same (the same).” “…the mass exodus of members to other parties should be a source of worry to the leadership of the party.” (Source: as above) I am sure ‘exodus’ involves massive movement. So, ‘mass exodus’ indicates illiteracy. Overheard on August 23, 2012: “I will be there 8 a.m. in the morning.” Sheer tautology: just 8 a.m. or 8 in the morning. “You better get down on your knees and do what I am doing right now.” The end of illusions: you had better get down.… “Every detail of our daily life furnish (furnishes) compelling reasons for pessimism.” “…as if it were some occupation force from outer space about to mete out extra-terrestrial justice on (to) an erring Iraq.” “NNPP paths way with NDP” This way: parts (not paths) company…. “In fact when it is not a victim of communal clashes, it suffers fallouts of....” ‘Fallout’ is uncountable. ‘There is the erroneous tendency to blame all the shortcomings in the electoral process at the doorstep of the electoral commission.” Get it right: blame on (not at). “Four years ago, when the former governor proclaimed his presidential aspirations with palpable bravado and fanfare under (on) the platform of the PDP.” “His co-called grouse with President Goodluck Jonathan is not.…” This way: grouse about (not with) GEJ. “As the governor observed during his tour of the troubled spots....” This way: trouble spots.

HIS write-up is a reaction to a News Review - Polities of Ambassadorial Postings - which appeared in The Nation newspaper issue of Sunday the 24th June, 2012. One very provocative quote ascribed to Dr. Afe by the reviewer, Joe Agbro Jr., is that “I believe they (Government) should focus more on career ambassadors now than to allow politicians that don’t know anything.” It is pertinent to give brief definitions of a career ambassador and a political ambassador in the context of : Nigeria. A career diplomat is a person who, upon graduation from a University was employed on grade level 8 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sent to the Foreign Service Academy in Nigeria for training and developed his career in the Foreign Ministry. He is periodically sent as a diplomat to foreign countries. In most cases, the career diplomat has no working experience in any other organisation other than the Foreign Ministry. A career diplomat is made an ambassador mainly based on seniority in employment and on quota basis which has no relevance in intelligence. A political ambassador is a politician who after graduation from a University has worked in many organisations and held political appointments. Before a politician is appointed an ambassador, he must have been tested in so many responsible positions and his or her credibility must never be in doubt. Politicians are also technocrats who decide to join politics. Politics is not a profession of its own, but politicians are professionals from all walks of life, who have made a name. Even the so-called career ambassadors enter politics - before or after their retirement, and based on their performance as politicians, they are appointed ambassadors by any President. The principal duty of an ambassador in a foreign country is to cater for the welfare of Nigerians in that country. The ambassador is Mr. President’s representative, interacting with the officials of the host government tactfully and diplomatically to project the image of his country. The ambassador is to source business possibilities that can benefit his country and tactfully make contacts. The ambassador must be tactful and have the necessary carriage to deserve the respect of the international community. An ambassador must have a very good knowledge of Administration to run his mission. The career diplomats are better trained in extant rules of the Foreign Ministry and the financial regulations. That is why they are always posted to countries to guide the Ambassadors, particularly political ambassadors,

By Osaki P. Asobari on extant rules and financial regulations. Ambassadors are expected to respect advice of the career diplomats on extant rules and regulations and hence the career diplomats are sanctioned first when an ambassador goofs in the extant rules, unless the career diplomat must show where he advised the Ambassador in writing and the ambassador refused. It is also the ambassador’s responsibility to coordinate the activities of the desk officers who are also career diplomats, including the Head of Chancery. The ambassador’s experience on administration is demonstrated at such level to bring peace and harmony in the Mission. A high degree of honesty and integrity and particularly financial accountability is required of an ambassador to infuse sanity and discipline in the Mission. In the discharge of the above functions, comparing the exposure of the career diplomat and that of the politician, can a right thinking person say categorically that career diplomats whose experience is mainly in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can better represent our country than political ambassadors who, before their appointments, have been tested in many categories? Apart from the extant rules and regulations, what does a career diplomat know that a political ambassador cannot learn outside the Foreign Ministry? At this juncture, it is pertinent to quote the reviewer, Mr. Joe Agbro Jr., He said, “The U.S. ambassador to Germany, a former Goldman Sachs partner, Philip Murphy, is using his business expertise to add value to economic diplomacy for his country.” Joe did not say Murphy was a career diplomat. In fact he said “Murphy, who was finance chair of the Democratic National Committee, spent time in Germany with Goldman and has known many of the key players in government and banking circles for years.’ If Joe is happy that Murphy used his political position of Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee, to add value to economic diplomacy for his country, what is wrong with Chief Ojo Maduekwe using his former position as National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party and former Minister of Foreign Affairs using his experience as a lawyer and politician introducing citizenship diplomacy for the Nigerian Mission abroad while being the Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Canada?. What qualifies a career diplomat that disqualifies Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu to be sent to Spain? What peculiar knowledge has a career dip-

lomat by being proactive to the recruitment of Nigerian prostitutes in Italy that Eric Tonye Aworabhi cannot cope? Another instance cited by Joe in his review is “in similar situation, former Boston health care Executive Alan Solomont’s business experience and newly forged ties with local economic leaders make him an asset for Spain and the U.S.A.” Both Messrs Murphy and Alan Solomont are not career diplomats but politicians/businessmen. Why should Joe feel Nigerian politicians and businessmen can’t use their expertise in fostering better relationship with foreign countries than career diplomats whose knowledge is derived mainly from the Foreign Ministry. All the names and the postings mentioned by Mr. Joe in the News Review, are new postings and the people have not been tested on the post. For a review of this sort to be intelligible, Mr. Joe should state where political ambassadors have failed the nation and where career ambassadors have succeeded. Political ambassadors have been appointed by Nigeria’s Presidents and Heads of State for so many years. There must be sufficient instances for Joe to cite to convince the readers before he jumped to accept the conclusion of Dr. Afe that “politicians don’t know anything”. The only two instances Joe has written about “failure of ambassadors” are the cases of Dr. Chijioke Wigwe and Mr. Felix Oboro. In the case of the former ambassador to Kenya, Dr. Chijioke Wigwe, Joe’s example of a failed political ambassador is not appropriate because Dr. Wigwe is a career ambassador. It is now clear that the purpose of the review is to state what he read online about Ambassador Oboro’s alleged “misappropriation of Embassy’s funds, and his also being fingered to be involved in passport and visa racketeering.” If there is a fact of indictment against an ambassador, a newspaper can only obtain the facts from EFCC or the ICPC or the result of an administrative or a judicial panel. Responsible journalists/newspapers do not publish such news culled from online. Ambassador Felix Oboro is well known in Rivers and Bayelsa States. He has successfully held many top political appointments in Rivers and Bayelsa States before being appointed ambassador by the late President Musa Yar-Adua. From December 2011 till date I have read five online publications against him and all who know him are wondering what must have gone wrong with him to deserve such libelous publications which are very strange to the character of Ambassador Oboro. 1 have called to ask him what •Continued on page 67



UR publication of August 12, 2012 carried an interview with Ike Onyenweaku, Abia State Commissioner for Agriculture with the headline:”Imo Agricultural Transformation Agenda,” which should have read ‘“Orji’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda.” The error is regretted. Editor






Robber kill Irish worker in Taraba


USPECTED armed robbers have shot an Irish construction worker to death in Takum, Taraba State. Company officials and diplomats say Robert Gray was travelling with a driver on Thursday afternoon in the town near

the border with Cameroon. Officials say the gunmen opened fire, killing Gray. The driver was wounded. Gray, a 45-year-old engineer, worked for an Irish engineering firm, PW Group. John Coen, a regional manager for

PW in Nigeria, confirmed Gray’s death yesterday and said efforts were being made to send his body back to Ireland. A spokesman for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said it also was aware of the slaying.

Community development conference holds


NATIONAL conference of community workers is to hold next month across the country. The conference organised by Truelife Community Newspaper and the National Community Development Council of Nigeria (NCDCN) is to engage all citizens in the development process. It has as its theme “Com-

munity development as Ombudsman in our democracy” and seeks to find ways by which the electorates will be co-partners with elected office holders in determining their common destiny. The National President of NCDCN, Chief Yusuf Olatoye, said the conference will be held regionally starting from the South West.

Areas to be covered include Development, Education, Politics and self help. He added that there will be two legs of the meeting in each region. The conference, which attracts very low participation fees, seeks solidarity of well meaning private dignitaries, organisations and all elected representatives of the people.

Winners emerge at Bible Society essay quiz


HE Bible Society of Nigeria has awarded Gogo George Ntor the winner of its 2012 NYSC essay competition and national symposium at the Nigeria Institute of International affair (NIIT), Victoria Island, Lagos. The competition which was keenly contested by 29 candidates who wrote on the topic, “Good governance: Antidote to militancy and other social vices in Nigeria”, is part of the Society’s vision to encourage academic excellence among Nigeria undergraduates and youth corps members. George, the winner, expressed his gratitude to the Bible Society of Nigeria saying, “The

By Esther Mohammed Society is a classical example of how organizations in Nigeria should carry out their activities. This kind of competition is very appropriate in our society at this time. The topic seeks to proffer

solutions to Nigerian’s major problems.” Speaking at the award ceremony, the Secretary General of the Bible Society of Nigeria, Rev. Fred Oduntola, urged the youths towards to shun bad governance and other social vices.

Group appeal to leader


HE World Christian Council Association has appealed to political and religious leaders in the country to be guided by the fear of God. In a statement yesterday, the group condemned men of God who run to the seat of power at the expense of their calling, stressing the need to serve Jesus

Christ and do away with worldly things. “We urge religious leaders to value God not persons. The Lord knows as the wicked have drawn their sword to cast out the low and needy.” The statement was signed by Ayoola Omonigbehin on behalf of the group.

Are career ambassadors better? •Continued from page 65

acter of Ambassador Oboro. 1 have called to ask him what was wrong and he said the publications are being made by a career diplomat in his Mission whose mental status is questionable. Ambassador Oboro said he has sought permission from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to sue the career diplomat and the media that have been making the publications. He is yet to obtain the approval of the Honourable Minister to go ahead. I expected Joe to contact the Ambassador to hear from him before this publication. I wish your paper the best of luck! Any country Nigeria decides to establish diplomatic relations with to the extent of exchanging Ambassadors, that country is as important and sensitive as any other country. Therefore for Joe to publish that sensitive postings are usually reserved for seasoned diplomats is a tactless publication. Only Mr. President can decide which ambassador he would post to which country. Such ambassadors may be a political ambassador or a career diplomat. It is such wrong notions that some countries are more sensitive and juicy than others that make some career diplomats to lobby to be sent to such countries they consider “juicy”. A politician who did not win an election is not a failure. In most cases such politicians are more credible and competent for the position he failed than even the one who succeeded in that election. I can bet that if a person like Dr. Afe contests a political position, he may not succeed, but that does not mean that Dr. Afe is a failure to the extent that he would not be suitable for appointment as an Ambassador. Eritrea and Ethiopia are as

important as other countries in the world as far as diplomatic relations are concerned. So it is also very tactless for Joe to publish Dr. Afe’s opinion that if a career diplomat is posted to these countries it implies that the diplomatic status of such career ambassador is diminished. Nigeria cannot afford to regard any of the countries we have exchanged ambassadors as inferior because that action will amount to diplomatic arrogance. The best way to assess the performance of an ambassador is to find out from Nigerian citizens in the host country how the ambassador relates to them or whether there have been complaints from the host country. Political ambassadors are appointed in all countries. In Nigeria, anywhere a career ambassador has served, the Nigerians in the host countries have bitterly complained of very high level of arrogance by the career ambassadors. Most of the career ambassadors have refused to relate with the Nigerians. In many countries, Nigerians have no incentive to visit their embassies because of the haughty behaviour of the career ambassadors. The desperado with which the leadership of the Foreign Ministry in Nigeria goes about finding something for their redundant super grade career diplomat is very unfortunate. This arouses the suspicion that this News review under consideration is sponsored by some career ambassadors to keep their redundant members busy even at a very high cost to the country. It is unthinkable for the Ministry to cede part of an Ambassador’s duties and part of the Head of Chancery’s duties and given to the so-called Deputy Head of Mission. One key function of an Ambassador is administra-

tive which involves coordination of the activities of the various divisions within the Mission, while the Head of Chancery is to provide professional advice to the Head of Mission on all administrative and financial matters. In some countries, in order to save cost, the duties of the Finance Attaches are attached to the duties of the Head of Chancery with an accounts clerk to do the clerical work on the directive of the head of Chancery. A Finance Attache takes directives from the Head of Chancery. No Finance Attache disburses fund without the approval of the Head of the Chancery and a Head of Chancery cannot perform this function of directing the Finance Attache if he is not conversant with the financial regulations and a basic knowledge of accounts and the extant rules. The introduction of a Deputy Head of Mission is to duplicate work between the Head of Chancery and the Deputy Head of Mission and the Head of Mission with the Deputy Head of Mission. This clash of function is obviously going to cause frictions in the Missions, but the leadership of the Foreign Ministry pretends not to realise this muddle because they have temporarily impressed the redundant super grade career diplomats with this scrabble. If career diplomats were properly educated and versatile, a better useful outlet can be found for such people to have job satisfaction. With the above explanations news reviewers should look beyond the selfish career diplomats’ viewpoint to disfavour political ambassadors in favour of career ambassadors. •Asobari writes from Port Harcourt




‘Starting ministry at 70 is an advantage’ Pastor Toye Afolabi is the President of Christ’s Disciples Life Development Ministry (CDLDM), Kwara State. He spoke with Sunday Oguntola on ministerial and national issues. Excerpts:


OURNEY to the ministry I retired in February 2002 as an Executive Director in a Federal Government financial establishment after 35 years of service. I am also a fellow of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB) and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). The call came after my encounter with God on 1st August, 1979 as I was to be ordained as a deacon with others at Yaba Baptist Church. It happened that we were to be trained before the ordination when God showed me in an overnight revelation that I was not qualified to serve him because of certain known sins. I was surprised because I had been trying my best to serve God before then. It was after my retirement that the ministry was presented. I attended the Nigerian Baptist Seminary and obtained a Master in Divinity. I received a compelling mandate to start the ministry. It is an interdenominational church support organisation ready to help other ministries. We want to


INTERVIEW have positive, transforming impact on our society. The headquarters is in Ijagbo in Kwara State and we have started building a resource centre there. The value of experience in ministry I celebrated my 70th birthday early this year. I am grateful but many have asked if I am not starting ministry late. Well, I have been doing ministerial works for many years. I am experienced in the works of God. I believe starting out a full-time ministry now is an advantage. One has garnered so much experience in life that can be useful for people. I have worked in secular setting and church environment, observing things. I believe that people will come to benefit from the grace of God in this ministry with all these experiences. God took me through them for a time like this. So, I am prepared and strong like Caleb to take the mountain. I don’t consider myself old at all. I believe my bones are strong. I

have sound health and mind. I believe it is a big advantage and not a disadvantage. I am set to do this until the Lord calls me home. There is no room to consider retirement because the work of God is always a continuum. There are always souls to save so I am not thinking of retirement at all. When I am too old to carry on, I will be able to offer advice to the younger ones. So, there is nothing like being too old or starting late. When I get to heaven, there will be time for full rest. Until then, there are works to do for God. Christianity now and then Christianity has changed so much. Many are into ministries because of what to gain. Many ministers are after fame and money. Many Christians are after God because of miracles and signs. We need revival again. God has to visit us once again. He has to rekindle our love for Him. We have to regain the resilience and poise that defined the Christians of the old days. I believe God will visit us again. When He

does, many things will change. Many ministers will give way. Many ministries will crumble. God will have His way and His beloved will serve Him once again with their hearts. This is why we are doing what we are doing. We are spearheading revival in churches and homes. We are calling people to repentance. We are insisting we must seek God because of who He is not for what we can get from Him. We are calling the nation to repentance and insisting God is the hope of Nigeria. We cannot give up now despite the challenges in the nation. National transformation The Church holds the key to national transformation. If the Church takes her place and preaches righteousness, this nation will change. Only a revived Church can save the nation. But when the Church is compromised and weak, things will remain as they. The challenge is for ministers of God and the Church to stand for the truth. Let them insist on the path of God. Then, the people will have no choice but to follow God. When the Church is ready, Nigeria will change automatically. That is what we believe and advocate in this ministry.


Bombings cannot stop the T church, says cleric


HE Bishop of Church of God Mission Int’l Inc, Lagos East Bishopric, Bishop Sunny Ugbah, has declared that no amount of intimidation or persecution will deter the Church from pursuing the transformation of lives in the nation. Stating that the church has come to stay in Nigeria, Ugbah said the bombing of churches and killing of Christians in the north will only strengthen and

Stories by Sunday Oguntola

not weaken the body of Christ. He spoke last week with reporters in Lagos ahead of the biennial Bishopric convention of the Church with the theme “New heights for greater works”. The convention, which holds from 30th August-2nd September, will attract speakers such as Archbishop David Huskins of

‘How to make families work’


OLID family foundation is the most important factor for national development, Senior Pastor of Flourishing Vince Christian Centre Lagos, Pastor Austin Babudoh, has stated. He spoke last week at the launch of “the Christian Home and family, which coincided with his 50th birthday. Babudoh said: “the message to the whole world and Nigeria in particular is that we should make out more time to build our families since families are a reflection of the nation.” He lamented that there

are many homes but few families. The cleric attributed societal decadence to “total breakdown of family values everywhere.” His wife, Stella, also corroborated. Mrs. Babudoh, whose book, Faith Proclamation, was also launched at the event, called for selflessness among couples. A member of the church, Barrister Zickanemi Shuaibu, said the author is eminently qualified to teach on marriage. Shuaibu said: “He’s a family man that holds his family so dear.”

International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICC), USA and the chief host, Archbishop Margaret Benson-Idahosa, among others. Ugbah said: “You will agree with me that this is not the first time people of God have had situations like this but the good news is that gates of hell have never prevailed against the church.” He called on northern leaders to condemn terrorism, warning that the situation has degenerated to a point where no one is spared again. “Whether you are a Christian or a Muslim you are not spared. So, it’s like somebody had declared war on your nation and you have to stand up to be counted. “So, we expect the leaders of different groups to stand up and condemn the act,’’ he stressed. He tasked Christians not to be terrified but continue to proclaim the gospel. “We must not be terrified by our adversaries. We should remain steadfast and resolute and when it becomes necessary Christian should rise up and defend themselves.”

HE General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide, Prophet Samuel Abiara, has said Nigerians should not be afraid of considering splitting if it will guarantee peace in the nation. The cleric, who is peeved by the terrorist activities of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, said Nigerians from all the regions should sit down and find solution to the problem of insecurity. ”We need peace in this country. If the break-up will make us have peace, Nigerians must not reject it. They must do it,” Abiara said. He explained further: “God himself has divided this country with River Niger and River Benue. Our culture is not the same, our language is not the same and our mode of dressing is not the same. “If the division will bring peace, let the National Assembly sit together and do it amicably without blood shed.” He advocated convocation of a national conference to end the incessant loss of lives and property. “The loss of lives and property is much. If division will stop that let them do it,” Abiara argued. He expressed worries over the state of insecurity in the nation, saying: “if you go out of your house, you are not sure whether you will return.” He described the killings

Abiara: Nigeria should split if… By Gbenga Aderanti

of Christians in the north as a very sad situation. “It is sad, it is seriously sad that all these things are happening during the regime of Jonathan. “I wonder why the National Assembly has not taken concrete decision on ways to stop these killings. “I think this country is sitting on a keg of gun powder,

it is dangerous for the people particularly the Christians. Government should do something about this.” He enjoined Nigerians to continue to pray because there is nothing prayer cannot do. Abiara kicked against Christians fighting back. “Our Master Jesus does not encourage us to carry weapon and guns, to revenge. It is not biblical,” he argued.

What and where?

Bethel Conference holds


HE annual Bethel Conference of the Lagos District Assemblies of God holds from August 29th-1st September with the theme Divine restoration. It takes place at the Assemblies of God, KM 48 Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. No fewer than 20,000 participants are expected at the conference where Bishop Humphrey Erumaka of Word Base Assembly, Rev Ugwu Friday, Evangelist Elisha Anyanwu, Rev Isaac Mpamugo and host Rev. Joseph Okafor will be min-

istering. The District Superintendent of the church, Rev. Joseph Okafor, in a statement, assured participants will witness a new dawn. Noting that so much has gone wrong in Nigeria, Okafor said God will intervene as the church prays. According to him: “Terrorism, kidnapping, assassination, human trafficking, drug trafficking, robbery, bombing, etc are consistently taking place in our land. “As we pray, God will restore Nigeria. Our Father will intervene and grant our heart desires.”






Mikel shines, Odemwingie, Anichebe missing in action By Taiwo Alimi with Agency reports T was mixed blessings for the Nigerian EPL trio of Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie and Victor Anichebe yesterday for the respective clubs in the English Premier League. For Mikel, who was shut out of the Super Eagles team that will tackle Liberia in the Nations Cup qualifier, it was smooth sailing as he played full time in Chelsea's 20 win at Stamford Bridge. Fernando Torres produced a master class in forward play to help Chelsea to a deserved victory over Newcastle. The Blues attack were at their fluent best, with ÂŁ32m signing Eden Hazard scoring his first goal for the club when he converted from the spot after Torres was fouled by Vurnon Anita. The Spain striker made it 2-0 before the break, latching on to Hazard's backheel to rifle in from 18 yards. It was, however, a different story for Odenwingie who missed action as West Brom secured a stoppage time equaliser against Tottenham. Andre Villas-Boas was denied his first win as Tottenham boss as James Morrison snatched a late equaliser for West Brom. Benoit Assou-Ekotto's deflected 25-yard shot looked to have given Spurs victory with 15 minutes of the game remaining. But the Baggies refused to give in and were rewarded when Morrison stroked home from 10 yards in the last minute. Anichebe suffered near similar fate in Everton's 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park. He sat out the entire duration of the match as Everton confirmed their early season promise, cruising to victory at Villa Park with first half goals from Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic. Everton demonstrated their superiority with an away win and followed up their victory over Manchester United in emphatic style. Karim El Ahmadi scored a consolation effort but Villa owner Randy Lerner needs to produce his cheque book before the transfer window closes to bolster a squad lacking in league experience.


Ferguson hails 'fantastic'...Rooney Van Persie finish out for a month


ANCHESTER United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Robin van Persie's contribution to his side's 3-2 win over Fulham on Saturday. The Dutchman netted spectacularly on his Old Trafford debut to get his side back into the match following Damien Duff's early opener for the visitors. And Ferguson expressed his delight at the former Arsenal striker getting off the mark, and had kind words for fellow Old Trafford debutant Shinji Kagawa. "It was a fantastic finish from Van Persie, absolutely brilliant," he told Sky Sports. "That typifies the goalscoring ability he has and it really lifted the place - we played very well from that moment. "I'm pleased for both him and Kagawa. It's still early doors for them, Robin has not really played with the team much and this was his first real game and that will get better." The Scot went on to lament the defensive mix-up between David de Gea and Nemaja Vidic which gave the Cottagers hope in the second half. "It was a game we were dominating, playing brilliant football, recovering from a bad start

and we talking about maybe scoring four, five or six goals," he added. "But then we lost a stupid goal through bad defending and that made a real game of it." Ferguson also praised goalscoring defender Rafael, adding: "Rafael has scored three or four in his time with us. He may not be prolific but he has the energy to do that - he played well." Robin van Persie crowned his full debut for Manchester United with a stunning first goal for his new club to help beat Fulham. The successful introduction of Van Persie in an alternative 4-2-3-1 system left United fans purring about his attacking threat and he may have to play without Rooney in coming games, after the England striker suffered a nasty gash to his thigh following his introduction as a second-half substitute.

Manchester United's Dutch forward Robin van Persie (L) scores during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford in Manchester


Liverpool, Man City war at Anfield


HE EPL star match of today pitches Liverpool and champions, Manchester City, two clubs with contrasting fortunes against each other at Anfield, end is to be thrilling yet tricky. ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE expected Over recent seasons, Liverpool RESULTS have slumped from being title Swansea 3 - 0 West Ham contenders to a team struggling for Aston Villa 1 - 3 Everton a Champions League berth. Man U 3 - 2 Fulham Manchester City on the other Norwich 1 - 1 QPR hand have become one of the S’thampton 0 - 2 Wigan powerhouses in club football under Tottenham 1 - 1 West Brom Mancini with the help of a huge Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle injection of cash from their Abu Dhabi based owners. TODAY'S FIXTURES Liverpool come into the game on Stoke v Arsenal the back of their worst start in the Liverpool v Man City Premier League having lost 3-0 to

West Brom at The Hawthorns while Manchester City came from behind to secure an entertaining win against newly-promoted Southampton. Brendan Rodgers' team got back to winning ways after the 0-1 victory against Hearts but there is still a long way to go for The Reds. The possession based approach favoured by Brendan Rodgers will take time to implement as the players get a better understanding of the tactics and their individual roles. Unfortunately though, the players have little time to settle as Liverpool face one of the toughest starts to the Premier League. It's a baptism by fire for Brendan

Rodgers' side as they host Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United with an away trip to Sunderland sandwiched in between. After the loss against former assistant manager Steve Clark's side, pressure will be high on Liverpool to pick up points at Anfield. With the win against Southampton, Manchester City have now won their last 7 Premier League games. The Citizens have a settled squad and will be looking to continue to stretch that run against Liverpool. City have not won at Anfield since 2003 and Sunday's clash looks as good an opportunity as any with Liverpool in a transition phase.




Eaglets maul Western Rovers 9-0 ...Dedicate victory to Emeka Amadi


OLDEN Eaglets' goalkeepers' trainer, Emeka Amadi was given a perfect birthday gift following the National Under-17 team's 9-0 massacre of Western Rovers Football Club at the U. J Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Saturday. Amadi who would be celebrating his 40th birthday was as thrilled as everyone as the Golden Eaglets recorded a cricket score to keep their unbeaten run after eleven practices matches here in Calabar. Parading the team's probables,the Golden Eaglets looked sharp and trim with commanding display after taking the kick off. Barely three minutes into the match, the Eaglets already on a goal-rious run with three goals under the first fifteen minutes. Two more goals were scored in the first half and it could have been more but for Mathias Ekwere in goal for the Cross River State Division Two Side, who foiled some of the Eaglets' scoring opportunities. The team was reshuffled in the second half but the new players on parade were never going to be outshined and virtually continued from where others left off. Four goals were scored in the process with the prominent one being that of AliBaba Saliu, the former Under-15 captain, who scored his first goal for the Eaglets! “I'm so pleased with the performance of the team which is on the eve of my 40th anniversary and I'm confident that the winning streak of the team would continue,” a visibly-glad Amadi stated. Meanwhile, Golden Eaglet's assistant captain, Ndidi Wilfred, said the players are dedicating their latest victory to all the technical crew, but especially to Coach Amadi for obvious reasons. “The coaches are like fathers and they have been serious encouragement to all of us,” said the burly defender. “Coach Amadi is very jovial and generally laughs with us but he doesn't shy away from scolding us when necessary. We really like him for this. “Though we still have some few lapses but we are going to work on them so that we won't let the country down as well as our coaches. We are going to put all what we have been learning from them to good use during our matches. Nigerians should expect victories from us and they should pray for us too as we would be playing our qualifying matches soon,” added Ndidi, who was the assistant captain during a recent tour of Portugal by Nathaniel Boys FC of Lagos.

Akinsola: I want to score more goals for Racing


ORMER Nigeria Under-17 star Kabiru Akinsola has outlined his desire to score as many goals as possible to help his new Segunda A club, Racing Santander, back to Spanish topflight after completing a season loan deal last week. Akinsola, who was on loan at Segunda B side Cadiz from Granada in the La Liga last season, netted 12 goals from 23 games and was the club's leading goal scorer and second top scorer in the Segunda B. Now, Racing Santander have announced the signing of the Nigerian international from Granada after completing an initial loan deal in Cardiz CF till end of next season with an option of permanent deal. "I'm very happy to be here, Racing are a huge club. I hope to score as many goals as possible to lift the club back to the topflight next season. Of course, I want to win trophies here, that is what I want." "There's a very good squad here and we want to fight for titles and win titles," he told the Arsenal Player website. "The club has made a big step to sign players to have a better team and meet the expectations of the fans. And I am very happy to be part of the programme. “Last season was great for me in Cardiz CF and I believe this season with Racing Santander will be greater than last season in terms of performance and goal scoring abilities. “I believe the club can go back to La Liga next season because most of the players have the experience already and being of the team is a plus for me to gain more exposure of top level.”


Amuneke backs Keshi over Mikel's exclusion ... Demands Super Eagles' commitment By Morakinyo Abodunrin

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) with members of his cabinet when he presented the new Federation Cup trophy to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) executives.

Ugbade lauds Fashola over Federation Cup ...As Lobi Stars tackle Heartland in today's finale


O V E R N O R Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State has been commended for reviving the fortune of the country's oldest football competition with the grand finale of the Federation Cup holding in Lagos today. Defending champions, Heartland of Owerri and Lobi Stars of Makurdi will lock horns at the Teslim Balogun Stadium with the winners taking home a brand-new silver encrusted giant-size trophy recently donated to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by the sports-loving Lagos' Number 1 citizen. “It is nice to hear that the Challenge Cup (Federation Cup) final would henceforth be holding annually in Lagos because that is the place it all started,”Ugbade said, waxing nostalgic about those halcyon years. “The final of the competition used to take place at the National

By Morakinyo Abodunrin Stadium in Surulere and it was usually a grand occasion particularly for me because I was privileged to be amongst the ball boys then. “What Governor Fashola has done (and doing) for the uplift of Nigerian football is commendable and I'm so happy that the Challenge Cup has returned to Lagos. “Fashola is a footballer himself, elite who is still very true to the game he loves so much. A young man at heart and I'm personally happy that he has ensured that the Challenge Cup returns to Lagos again. Without any doubt, Lagos is the home of football because of its cosmopolitan outlook with virtually every ethnic group in the country well represented in the City,” he added. Indeed, the atmosphere today will be electrifying with throngs of spectators expected at the Teslim

National Team of Italy will earn Nigeria the maximum three points and the top spot of group B at the on-going FIFA U-20 Women National Team in Japan. Today at the Univer Stadium in Kobe, Falconets of Nigeria battle Italy in one of the last group matches that will determine the teams to move into the quarter final. Out of two matches played, Nigeria has four points and are closely followed by Korea Republic with three points with Brazil and Italy having two points and a point respectively. Interestingly, history is repeating itself today as both teams were at the 2004 edition of the age grade competition in Thailand, were drawn in group B and played the last match which ended 1-1. This time around the girls are looking


Stadium to watch Heartland 1960: Lagos ECN 5-2 Ibadan Lions and Lobi make history as the 1961: Ibadan Lions 1-0 Lagos UAC first recipient of the new 1962: Police 1-0 Mighty Jets trophy donated by Gov. 1963: Port Harcourt FC 1-0 Mighty Jets 1964: Lagos Railways 3-1 Mighty Jets Fashola. 1965: Lagos ECN 3-1 Mighty Jets While Heartland return to 1966: Ibadan Lions W/O Mighty Jets the scene where they broke a 1967: Stationery Stores 3-1 Mighty Jets long 13-year jinx to win the 1968: Stationery Stores 3-1 Warri Cup since 1988 after Dutch 1969: Ibadan Lions 5-1 Warri coach, Lodewijk De Kruif, 1970: Lagos ECN 3-1 Mighty Jets masterminded their 1-0 win 1971: WNDC Ibadan 2-1 Enugu Rangers against Enyimba last year, 1972: Bendel Insurance 3-2 Mighty Jets Lobi Stars are in their first 1973: -All Africa Games final since they beat Sharks of 1974: Enugu Rangers 2-0 Mighty Jets 1975: Enugu Rangers 1-0 Shooting Stars Port Harcourt 2-0 Ahmad 1976: Enugu Rangers 2-0 Alyufsalam Rocks Bello stadium in Kaduna in 1977: Shooting Stars 2-0 Raccah Rovers 2003. 1978: Bendel Insurance 3-0 Enugu Rangers En route to the final, 1979: Shooting Stars 2-0 Sharks FC Heartland beat off giant 1980: Bendel Insurance 1-0 Stationery Stores killers, Prime of Oshogbo in 1981: Enugu Rangers 2-0 Bendel Insurance the semi-finals via a 3-0 1982: Stationery Stores 4-1 Niger Tornadoes penalty shoot-out win after 1983: Enugu Rangers 0-0 DIC Bees they had played a pulsating *Rangers won 5-4 on penalty shootout goalless draw in regulation 1984: Leventis United 1-0 Abiola Babes 1985: Abiola Babes 0-0 BCC Lions time. Lobi also survived with *Abiola Babes won 6 5 on penalty shootout the skin of their teeth after a 1986: Leventis United 1-0 Abiola Babes 5-4 win over Kano Pillars. All 1987: Abiola Babes 1-1 Ranchers Bees eyes today are on Heartland *Abiola Babes won 7-6 on penalty shootout and Lobi as the two Nigerian 1988: Iwuanyanwu 3-0 Flash Flamingoes Premier League elites battle 1989: BCC Lions 1-0 Iwuanyanwu for glory at the 'hallowed 1990 Stationery Stores 0-0 Enugu Rangers turf' of the Teslim Balogun *Stores won 5-4 on penalty shootout Stadium! 1991: El-Kanemi Warriors 3-2 Kano Pillars F.C.

Falconets target outright victory against Italy victory against the U-20 Women



forward in shattering the history books by going for victory. "We know what is at stake and we are not ready to bungle it. It is a win and nothing else so that others can know that we are in Japan for the trophy," Team Captain, Gloria Ofoegbu said. Equally speaking, Deputy Captain, Ngozi Okobi said, "The team spirit has been reinvigorated after the 1-1 draw with Brazil.” The team will be in all green. The girls have been grilled on how to convert set-pieces in training since arriving in Kobe from Saitama on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile Federation of International Football (FIFA) have appointed Qin Liang of China to take charge of the encounter which comes up 8.20am in Nigeria and 4.20pm in Japan.

1992: El-Kanemi 1-0 Stationery Stores 1993: BCC Lions 1-0 Plateau United 1994: BCC Lions 1-0 Julius Berger FC 1995: Shooting Stars 2-0 Katsina United 1996: Julius Berger 1-0 Katsina United 1997: BCC Lions 1-0 Katsina United 1998: Wikki Tourists 0-0 Plateau United 1999: Plateau United 1-0 Iwuanyanwu 2000: Tornadoes 1-0 Rangers 2001: Dolphin 2-0 El-Kanemi 2002: Julius Berger 3-0 Yobe Stars 2003: Lobi Stars 2-0 Sharks FC 2004: Dolphin FC 1-0 Enugu Rangers 2005: Enyimba 1-1 Lobi Stars *Enyimba won 6-5 on penalty shootout 2006: Dolphin FC 2-2 Bendel Insurance *Dolphin won 5-3 on penalty shootout 2007: Dolphin FC 1-1 Enugu Rangers * Dolphin won 3-2 on penalty shootout 2008: Ocean Boys 2-2 Gombe United * Ocean Boys won 7-6 on penalty shootout FEDERATION CUP 2009: Enyimba 1-0 Sharks FC 2010: Kaduna United 3-3 Enyimba * Kaduna United won 3-2 on penalty shootout 2011: Heartland 1-0 Enyimba

QUOTABLE “There is nowhere in the world where freedom fighters are paid for fighting. The diversion of billions of naira that should be ideally spent on health, education and infrastructure for the appeasement of militants is an act of irresponsible governance and a recipe for political and economic disaster...”


—Civil rights activist, Shehu Sani, condemning the N5.6 billion contracts awarded by the Federal Government to Niger Delta ex-militants.


HE murder on July 22 of Miss Cynthia Osokogu, 24, by two misguided young men she met on Facebook underscores once again the dilemma parents face in raising their children, a dilemma I have twice reflected on in this place. After this tragedy, it is likely most of the attention will be shifted to the pitfalls inherent in the use and abuse of the Internet, particularly social networking sites. As parents of the deceased themselves indicated, they hoped youths everywhere would learn from this tragedy and appreciate the pitfalls in unrestricted use and access to social media. There is nothing wrong in focusing attention on social media, especially its abuse by unscrupulous people, but the bigger problem is the difficult relationship between parents and their children. In an interview with the press, Mrs Joy Rita Osokogu, Cynthia’s inconsolable mother, came closest to mirroring the dilemma parents face in raising their children. The question any parent would ask is how much protection is too little, and how much freedom is too big? There is absolutely no doubt that Cynthia’s parents cared for her, and did their best to counsel and provide for her. The interview both parents had with the press, in which they spoke spontaneously without trying to hide anything, at least nothing the press asked, showed how involved they were in the life of their daughter. The problem evident in Cynthia’s death and her parents’ interactions with her seems very clearly one of where to position the child in the protection-freedom continuum. However, I think the responsibility of raising responsible citizens in any society depends not only on parents but also on the child. This view is not as complex or contradictory as it sounds. Until a more detailed interview is held with Cynthia’s parents by a psychologist or sociologist, we may not know just how intensively they interacted with her, sensed the dilemma I have referred to, or worried how to leash her. But it is significant that her mother once voiced concern that Cynthia was living too fast – that is, accomplishing too many things too quickly – for her age. Hear her: “Anytime I saw my daughter, I said (to her) you are too fast little girl of 24; you have everything in life.” She probably believed that marriage would either slow her daughter down a little for her own good, or at least put some restraint on her. I turn to the aspect of how the huge burden of raising responsible citizens is shared. Parents, I think, have the largest share of the responsibility. As difficult and harsh as this may sound, if a child turns out to be a social misfit, a murderer, a tyrant or, given Niger-

The Cynthia paradox (1)

• Abubakar

• Cynthia Osokogu

ia’s contemporary situation, a terrorist, parents must share the largest part of the blame. And while parents must raise their children to do right by society, they must also never ignore the even more crucial life-saving task of raising them to be healthily suspicious of society. Did the trusting Cynthia know she must be wary of society? Permit me to digress a little. Even though the Yoruba are generally liberal when it comes to religion, I have refused to take that liberalism for granted. I have continued to drum it into my children that the stupidest thing anyone could ever do is to try to defend God, protect His reputation, or force anyone into any faith. If God could not fight for Himself, I told my children, then He was not worth receiving anyone’s worship. I constantly watch my children to see if there would be any streak of intolerance in them, be it social, political or religious. Show me an intolerant

person, and I would show you a picture of a family where one or the other parent has preached hate, talked it, or acted it, either secretly or openly. Nothing must ever be taken for granted. I recall the many times I called my sons to a meeting over newspaper reports of either wife battering, any form of domestic violence, or anger mismanagement. Any indication of these, I explained, was a reflection of underlying psychological problems, maladjustment, or even insanity. Cuss words were strictly forbidden, whether inside or outside the home, I told them. Anything that smelled of harshness to girls or suggested they were available to be violated, as South African president Jacob Zuma once said, brought the red in my eyes. As I told them with all the earnestness I could muster, I would never be accused of raising rapists or girl/wife beaters. And that law was immu-

Jonathan’s subtle detestation of the Nigerian media


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has had a very difficult relationship with the Nigerian press. Before his term expires, the country hopes to understand why he has chosen not to understand the press, and not to be understood by it. We already know him to be famous for often saying what he rarely means, seduced and carried away as he often was by the sweetness and lofty meanings of his own words. Now, he has added to his repertoire a second reputation of loathing his country’s media. Last week, the president indulged both his passion for talking the talk and his loathing for the media on the same day. It probably escaped many Nigerians, but the president could hardly restrain himself from gently sneering at the press during his last media chat. On August 22, to again underscore his disapproval of the press, the president told his countrymen that the media could not be trusted to accurately or even fairly assess the performance of his government. His government would invigilate and grade its own performance, he announced glibly as he got his cabinet to sign a Performance Contract Agreement designed by the Planning ministry. For as long as his presidency endures, we’ll never be able to make sense of his animosity towards the press. He of course remembers the role the press played in defeating militarism, in uprooting the late Umaru

Yar’Adua cabal that humiliated him a few years ago, and in treating his candidacy with fairness and respect during the last presidential poll. But rather than incorporate the media’s beneficial role in securing and guarding our freedoms into the formulation of his domestic policies, Jonathan has chosen to vent his frustrations on the media. If one should choose to paraphrase his mordant view of the press as a tool in the hands of the wealthy, it would tantamount to defanging his jaded anachronisms and concealing his subtle detestation of the rich and successful beneath a misleading veneer of patriotism. Instead, I quote him in full from a newspaper report: “Before, the media used to be the voice of the ordinary people; but now the media is the voice of those who own the media houses; and those who own the media houses have private jets, and those who own private jets are not ordinary people. So the media is now the voice of the powerful people. So, we have to have a way of assessing ourselves.” If you overlook the president’s distressing attempt at the syllogisms of his boyhood, his incomprehensible conclusion that media professionals have no mind of their own, and the wedge he tries to drive between the ordinary man and the rich, what comes across is his lack of appreciation of the rich history of the Nigerian media and, worse, his incomprehension of the role and power of the Nigerian presi-

dent as the chief custodian of our values, cultures and aspirations. I have been a longstanding critic of Jonathan, but in those few words he uttered against the media on Wednesday, I encountered something worse: the picture of a man who rose unsettlingly to the presidency without the accompanying psychology of a president. I saw a man whose mind has become a vast battlefield and victim of his own bipolarity: a part of him that suffered past deprivation fighting the other part that is now successful; a part of his childhood that suspected and probably loathed the rich struggling with the part that can now afford anything money and fame can buy; a part of his boyhood that squirmed in the company of the accomplished and the confident now at odds with a part of him whose very presence should make others squirm. So far, no part of him has overridden the other. Given his shocking views on the media, his equally disturbing views during the great subsidy protests about those who own many cars, and his spiteful opinion of the superior airs Lagosians carry, I fear the great battle in the president’s mind is unlikely to ever end, for the battle has lasted for far too long for his own good. Indeed, for all his posturing as a leader of the first rank, budding statesman, and true patriot, Jonathan is in fact a long way from approximating any of the endearing qualities nations look up to in their leaders.

table, I announced gravely. Periodically, depending on the news of the day, I always assembled my children, male and female, to discuss domestic and national issues. When President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to rename the University of Lagos after Moshood Abiola, a hero of Nigerian democracy, and some members of his family published advertorial denouncing opponents of the renaming, it was an opportunity to gauge how well my children were responding to controversial issues and ensuring clarity of thinking. My son, a student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), felt that since his own university endured a renaming years ago, Unilag should swallow its pride and move on. He has not stopped receiving the full length of my tongue. The one at Unilag denounced the change but thought it was fruitless fighting what he believed was a fait accompli. I have not stopped denouncing his lack of social and political consciousness. It was in fact my daughter who attends the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) that railed and raised thunder against the renaming of Unilag, and urged students to fight the arrant nonsense. I was scandalised that my sons were not as activist as my daughter. But much more humiliating to me was how they responded to the question of how they would have reacted if their father, my humble self, were a famous man after whom Unilag was renamed by a president obviously with little sense of history. Unsure where I was going, they paused a little until I prodded them gently to be honest in their answer. “It would be okay,” they chorused hesitantly. I hit the roof. “What would be okay?” I thundered. “So, because your family member is involved, wrong can suddenly become right, and right can be wrong? Have I taught you to mould your moral compass according to the caprices of the day, to suit your convenience?” To be concluded next week.

South Africa’s leadership crisis


HE shooting of 34 protesting miners by the South African police last week has very vividly brought to the surface the leadership crisis bedevilling the former apartheid enclave, a crisis that had been simmering since the exit of Nelson Mandela, and from the days of Mr Thabo Mbeki. President Jacob Zuma’s response to the killings has been much better than that of the unprofessional and callous police chief, Riah Phiyega, a former woman banker who was appointed barely two months ago to head the South African Police Service (SAPS). But even he has shown less gravitas than Mbeki, and has often demonstrated a facile tendency to elevate populism over serious politics. After Mandela, South Africa has struggled to produce the kind of leadership the country deserves, one that is firm, empathetic and brilliant, and grounded deeply in the multiculturalism persuasively planted by the legend himself. Mbeki, to be sure, showed much promise. What with his incredible gravitas. But his attributes were attenuated by risible policies on HIV/AIDS, and an indescribable aloofness that was at first intriguing, even endearing, but which proved to be in the end alienating. Zuma took office on a wave of populism that was expected to compensate for his predecessor’s impenetrable detachment. Instead, the populist excitement is petering out into paralysis and fatuity. South Africa is merely one of the countries in Africa facing leadership crisis. Nigeria is even in much worse condition. Mandela tried his best to produce Mbeki as successor, but neither that successor nor Zuma appears to have a deep grasp of the key ingredients that make for great leadership. With gadflies like the boisterous and sometimes absurd Julius Malema still active in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the prospect of South Africa overcoming its predicament anytime soon is simply too remote to raise any hope.

Published by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Marketing: 4520939, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Telephone: 07028105302 Website: ISSN: 115-5302 E-mail: Editor: FESTUS ERIYE

The Nation August 26, 2012  

The Nation August 26, 2012

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