THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
APC to Jonathan: Don’t take Nigeria back to Abacha days
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday urged the Jonathan administration not to take Nigeria back to “the dreaded and calamitous days of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, when perceived opponents of the government were targets of rampaging murderous gangs and Nigeria was
turned into a pariah nation through unbridled human rights abuses.” Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement in Osogbo, expressed “serious concern over the allegations that the Jonathan administration is training snipers at
the same facility where the Abacha killer squad was trained; talks of abuse and misuse of the military and other security apparatus for personal and political interest as well as the reported placing of 1,000 people under a ‘political watch-list.’” The APC, Mohammed said, “is constrained to
take the allegations very seriously because it emanated from no less a personality than former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in an open letter he wrote to his fellow party man, President Jonathan, which has now been widely circulated in the traditional and social media.
‘’All Nigerians must be worried by these weighty allegations, coming less than 15 years after the long-suffering people had collectively vowed ‘never again’ to a regime like Abacha’s that sent many innocent souls to their early graves and dispatched many citizens into forced exile for merely holding views that were opposed to that of the late dictator’s government. ‘’We are therefore compelled to call on President Jonathan to urgently address these allegations, which have already sent jitters down the spines of Nigerians, especially those who hold views that are diametrically opposed to the administration’s. “The allegations cannot and must not be swept under the carpet, otherwise Nigerians will know who to hold responsible if perceived opponents of the administration come to any harm.’’ The party, however, expressed satisfaction that “more and more people within the ruling PDP are now coming to terms with the real dangers facing the country under their party
which, despite being in power at the centre, since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999, has only succeeded in putting the country in reverse gear and is now threatening its fledgling democracy, following its (PDP’s) implosion.” It added: ‘’We are not concerned by the dirty politics in the PDP and the glaring fact that the behemoth is sinking fast. What bothers us is the impact that the death throes of this rudderless party will have on our fragile polity.” The party reiterated its position on Federal Government’s battle with the Islamist sect,Boko Haram, and said: ‘’We have said the Boko Haram crisis cannot be resolved by military onslaught alone and that it must be tackled from its roots; that corruption has reached an unprecedented level; that the investments by the oil majors in that sector have dwindled dangerously; that the discovery of Shale oil in the US threatens our economy; and that the government must move fast to check the unprecedented high cases of crude oil theft.
Patience Jonathan adopts new name •From Left: Head of Sales, Superior Games Ltd, Mr. Taiwo Oyekunle; winner, Big Games promo, Mr. Ime Inyang and Marketing Manager, Superior Games Ltd, Mrs Fayisayo Tuyo, at the presentation of a brand new Toyota Corolla to Inyang at Ojuelegba, Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: Abiodun Williams.
Travel agent wins Toyota Corolla in BigGames promo
N Abuja-based travel agent, Mr Ime Inyang, has won a brand new Toyota Corolla car in The BigGames digital promo. The win-a-Corolla-aweek promo, which is in its third week, is organised by Superior Games Limited, in partnership with Elizade and MTN. The car was handed over to Inyang during a funfilled road show held under the bridge at Ojuelegba in Lagos. The event drew a large crowd of excited onlookers, many of who won gift items such as T-Shirts, MTN recharge cards and caps. Inyang, beaming with smiles, said winning the car was an act of God. He said his wife and three children were eagerly waiting to see him bring home the vehicle. According to the 47-year old, his two cars had broken down for long, and he wanted to fix and sell them
Joseph JIBUEZE off. When he got a call and was told he had won a car, he could not believe his ears; he thought he was about to be defrauded. He said: “I have never participated in any promo before. I was just lying down one morning with my little baby. Messages started coming into my phone. I clicked, and questions started coming out. The questions were funny. “The message came up saying ‘Send BIG to 5045’. I clicked and the thing went. Afterwards, the questions started coming. I responded to the questions. This happened about three weeks ago.” Inyang said he was returning from a conference to meet up with his church’s convention when he got a call that he had won the car. “I was returning from a trip last week Friday. The
moment the flight landed, I switched on my phone. A call came in, and a lady asked me if I’m the owner of that number. I said yes. After a pause, she said: ‘You’re the proud winner of Toyota Corolla’. It was funny. “I listened to her, but after some time I didn’t hear her again. I told her that the flight just landed and was still taxiing to the tarmac. I switched off the phone because I thought the next thing they would say would be to ask me to ‘send credit or recharge card.’ “I didn’t want her to make me get angry, so I switched off. But when I disembarked, I used another line and called her. I wanted to just tell her off. But the lady started explaining how it happened and other details. “When she mentioned The BigGames, my mind flashed back to the game. I did not still believe her until she said they would get
Progressive governors elect Okorocha as chair
OVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has emerged as Chairman, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), comprising the 16 state governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC). His emergence was unanimous, the Director general of PGF, Salihu Lukman, said yesterday. He said Okorocha’s choice “is in furtherance of the commitment of the 16 Progressive governors to strengthen democratic governance structures in the country with the overriding goal of rescuing
Nigeria and facilitating the emergence of accountable leadership at all levels led by APC.” The new chairman, Lukman added, “will provide leadership to PGF to realise the collective vision of the progressive governors to engender expeditiously exemplary human development programmes and policies in all APC states.” The PGF under Okorocha has pledged to “guarantee the development of participatory governance structures as well as the guarantee of transparent, credible elections and the results reflect the votes of Nigerian people.”
back to me on Monday to give me details on how I am to get my car,” Inyang said. He said his wife and children could not wait to ride in a brand new car. “I am a travel agent, 47 years old. I am a happily married man with three children. My wife has been communicating with me. I told her that I have seen the car. “Everyone is waiting for me to bring the car. My children too are waiting. I know this one is an act of God. Superior Games’ Head of Sales, Mr Taiwo Oyekunle, said the promo had been running for three months and would end next month. A Toyota Corolla would be given out weekly for 12 weeks, he said, adding that the winner would take delivery of the 12th car at Superior Games’ launch next month. Speaking on the company, Oyekunle said: “BigGames is Superior Games’ promo brand name. Superior Games is a digital gaming company, offering games on your mobile phones, on tablet PCs and online. According to him, a lot people are still skeptical about participating in online and mobile games because of fear of being defrauded. “That’s the reason we have come outside, to give out the cars publicly, so that everybody sees that it’s real.
•Says: ‘Call me Mama Peace’
Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja
HE First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, has joined in the search for peace in the country. She said she had turned into a peace crusader to ensure an end to militancy and terrorism in the country, stressing that without peace, it would be difficult to forge ahead as a nation. Consequently, she said, she had jettisoned Patience and adopted Peace as her new name. Hence, she would want to be addressed as Mama Peace, she said. Mrs Jonathan, who also said her major preoccupation is to see to the improvement in mother and child healthcare in the country, announced that her non-governmental organisation, Women for Change Initiative, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with some international hospitals who have agreed to build, equip and manage specialist hospitals for women and children. She spoke yesterday at the formal launch of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of Maternal and Child Health programme (MCH) termed Mama Project, held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa. She said: “My name is no more Patience but Mama Peace. Because I believe without peace, there will be no more women, no more children and no more health sector. Without peace, the international community will be afraid to come and invest in our country. “Peace is from the heart, not from the tongue or lips. Not what you say but what is in you. We pray for genuine peace because it is the key to our arriving at our desired destination as a nation. “We are approaching the new year, which is a year of peace, progress and so many good (things) to come. A year of no militancy or Boko Haram because God will shower peace and make us take a u-turn from disaster.” The MAMA Project, Mrs. Jonathan said, was aimed to cover 500 primary health care facilities and 125 general hospitals.
Our Error Our attention has been drawn to a story carried on Page 6 of October 18, 2013 edition of The Nation newspaper about Mr. Rowaye Jubril. We have found out that the story was not correct. We hereby retract the story and regret the embarrassment it caused Mr. Jubril and his family. Editor
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Rivers crisis: Pro-Wike lawmakers dare police
HE six pro-Wike mem bers of the crisis ridden Rivers State House of Assembly are spoiling to resume sitting on Tuesday,DirectorGeneral of the PDP in the state, Emeka Woke,said yesterday. Woke, an engineer,spoke on the second day of the barricading of the assembly complex by the Police who said they were awaiting the appropriate court order before throwing the door of the House open for the first time since it was shut in July. “Enough is enough,” the PDP Director-General said in reaction to the police action. He vowed that the self –acclaimed Speaker and leader of the pro-Wike legislators,Evan Bipi, would preside at the sitting. Bipi himself boasted that he would declare vacant the seat of any of the 29 pro-Amaechi legislators defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The APC yesterday alleged that the six minority legislators have been recruiting thugs that would aid their planned take-over of the assembly for the purpose of commencing impeachment proceeding against Governor Amaechi. Beside, the political camp of the governor suggested that
Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt the sole objective of the minority lawmakers is to create an atmosphere of fear and terror with a view to inviting a state of emergency. The state,especially the capital,Port Harcourt ,was on edge for much of yesterday with the police battling supporters of the two sides from marching on the shut assembly. Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu said he would reopen the complex only on the receipt of a valid court order to that effect. Woke, a two-term Chairman of the Emohua Local Government Council of Rivers State, accused the proAmaechi lawmakers of acting drama. He claimed that there is no crisis in Rivers PDP. A source in the governor’s camp said the six legislators are bent on removing the governor and his deputy, Tele Ikuru, for an administrator to take over. However,the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, said that Amaechi, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), would complete his tenure in 2015 “by
God’s grace,” and that Rivers people would decide his successor. The pro-Amaechi lawmakers, led by the Deputy Speaker, Leyii Kwanee, are weighing the option of going to court to resume sitting. Twenty-five of them,excluding Speaker Dan Amachree who is indisposed,were joined by members of the National Assembly from the state, loyal to Amaechi, the Chief of Staff, Local Government chairmen and other top politicians, yesterday occupied a portion of Moscow Road, near the Rivers House of Assembly.They sat on bare ground after the police prevented the lawmakers from entering the assembly complex. The legislators decided to sit on the ground when they were not allowed to bring chairs from the nearby secretariat of the Port Harcourt City Council. In front of Alfred DieteSpiff Civic Centre,acting their own drama, were the six minority leagislators and the Secretary-General of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), Samuel Nwanosike. As Nwanosike was addressing reporters that Evans Bipi would soon arrive to speak to the crowd, police-
men in an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), marked NPF 4004 A, started firing teargas canisters at them. This sparked a stampede with everyone scampering to safety. Member of the House of Representatives from AndoniOpobo/Nkoro in Rivers, Dakuku Peterside, denounced the police barricade of the assembly and the teargassing innocent people. Soon after the teargas subsided, Bipi, who represents Ogu/Bolo constituency, arrived at the civic centre at 10:41 am, but was not allowed to move close to the barricaded House of Assembly. He then moved to the popular Lagos Bus Stop and told reporters that he would declare the seats of the 25 proAmaechi lawmakers vacant should they follow Amaechi to the APC. “I will bring peace back to the Rivers House of Assembly. There will be lasting peace, if the pro-Amaechi lawmakers discountenance the advice of the Rivers governor, by not following him to the APC. If they move to the APC, I will declare their seats vacant. I have the power to do so,” he said. He added:“We are processing the CTC (Certified True Copy) of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
cused persons with the charges, however tangible or remote,” Adelodun said. The SAN urged the court to note that the commission had placed before it all documentary and oral evidence which include the accused person’s statements. He said the case before the court was a case of some people who occupied public office, but used the opportunity to gratify and or benefit themselves, their relations and friends. Adelodun, while reacting to the ruling yesterday, said although he was not in court, his colleague, who witnessed the proceedings had briefed him about the development. He said he had taken steps to apply for a certified true copy of the ruling to enable him study it and advise his client accordingly. Meanwhile, Mallam elRufai yesterday said in spite of the discharge of charges against him, he does not bear grudges. He, however, described his trial as a “needless burden.” el-Rufai made the declaration in a post-verdict statement in Abuja by his Media Advisor, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye. The statement, in part, said: “Mallam Nasir el-Rufai welcomes the verdict of the court, discharging and acquitting him of the charges he faced since 2008. “It is a vindication he never doubted will come, confident in his innocence and the integrity with which he served this country. “He thanks his family and friends who have stood by him through this harrowing process and some of whom suffered bruises in the process. He is also grateful to his legal team and the many Nigerians who tried to uphold him with
their prayers and words of encouragement. The ex-Minister advised those in government to use the opportunity to serve instead of persecuting.
Court quashes charges against el-Rufai, two others
USTICE Sadiq Abubakar Umar of the Abuja High Court yesterday quashed the charges brought against former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir el-Rufai, and two others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Justice Umar upheld the no-case submission by elRufai and others on the ground that the prosecution failed to establish sufficient ground upon which the accused persons could be called upon to enter defence. He declared that the evidence provided by the prosecution was flawed and filled with material contradictions. The court upheld the argument made for el-Rufai and others by two former Attorneys General of the Federation, Kanu Agabi and Akin Olujimi (both SANs), to the effect that the prosecution had failed to prove any of the charges and led enough evidence to warrant the court to call on the accused persons to enter defence. The ex-minister, former Director-General of the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), Altine Jibrin, and AGIS’ former General Manager, Ismail Iro, were charged with abuse of office. They were first arraigned in 2008 and re-arraigned in April 2011. They were accused of illegal conversion of Plot 1201, a land meant for the building of a transmitting/injection substation for the PHCN in Asokoro. The three were also alleged to have conspired and converted Plot 3352 in Maitama, belonging to the NIPOST, originally earmarked for the building of a district post office. The case proceeded to trial,
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, and Eric Ikhilae, Abuja during which the prosecution led by Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) called witnesses. It was for the accused persons to open their defence when they made a no-case submission and applied to the court to quash the charge against them. On October 2 Agabi and Olujimi argued that the prosecution had not proved any of the charges. They added that the evidence led were manifestly unreliable or discredited in cross –examination. Both former ministers argued that the allegation that the plots in contention were originally allocated to PHCN and NIPOST in the Abuja master plan had been discredited by the failure of the prosecution to produce the master plan. They contended that the plots were neither enumerated nor allocated in the masterplan. Agabi stated that EFCC, having charged the accuseds with bestowing themselves with undue advantage of their offices, failed to produce those it claimed have been unfairly disadvantaged. Adelodun, in a counter argument, prayed the court to order them to file their defence. “Running through the entirety of the written address as well as the adumbration, it is a misconception on the part of the defence to suggest we have to prove anything at this stage. “This stage is whether a prima facie case has been made out and not to prove any ingredient of offences alleged. All that we are required to do at this stage is to link the ac-
We will sit very soon. We are lawabiding. Nobody can intimidate us. “Magnus Abe (the representative of the Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly) was the happiest person when the Rivers House of Assembly was handed over to the National Assembly. I have brought back the Rivers House of Assembly.” The element dramatically intervened in forcing the politicians and their supporters off the street when it began to rain at 11.47 am. Police Commisioner Mbu, who is scheduled to depart the state tomorrow preparatory to his one-year course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru near Jos said the policemen would not allow any politician into the complex, without a court order. He said it is none of his business to decide who would preside in the Assembly, between Bipi and Otelemaba Dan Amachree. Mbu said: “There are two contending issues. To my right are legislators who said they are pro-Gov Amaechi. To my left, I understand there are legislators who said they are against Governor Amaechi. If you were in my shoes, would you allow both of them to come into the Assembly? They are going to clash. “If we get the appropriate judgment, we’ll go through it.We will come to the Assembly, we will sweep the Assembly. We are going to bring the Bomb Disposal Unit; we are going to bring the Dog Section, they will sniff round and make sure there is nothing that is going to harm any
member of the House.” Mbu added: “Yesterday (Thursday), you saw what happened. For Christ sake, they are honourable members, why should they not behave honourably? You saw how lawless they were yesterday? Court ruling came up the previous day, not even 12 hours, not quite 12 hours; they all thronged out with hooligans following them. “In my capacity as the Rivers Police Commissioner, I owe every citizen the responsibility to protect and I said, no, go home, when we get the court order, we will sweep the place (House of Assembly) in your own interest. We will allow you to come in. “You saw them taking chairs and sitting down, defying police orders, and they are lawmakers. It is a shame. I am not a politician. I am here to do my duties and I know my duties. I have spent about 29 years in this job. So, I know what I am doing.” Deploring the police action, Deputy Speaker Leyii Kwanee said: “From what we are seeing outside here, we are seeing the Assembly complex. It is in a very sorry state.” “So, when we leave here, we are going to meet with the executive arm of the government, to see what they can do for immediate renovation. You know the electrical gadgets were damaged during the crisis and they are expensive. “We are going to look at the legal provisions, as they relate to the sitting of the House. As soon as we are properly briefed, legally, we will know what next line of action to take, because the interest of Rivers people cannot not be jeopardised.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
HE National Assembly is back in court in the bid to take over the affairs of the crisis-ridden Rivers State House of Assembly. The national legislature wants the Court of Appeal to reverse Wednesday’s judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which declared the initial take-over unconstitutional. Accordingly, it has written a letter to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to stop anti-Governor Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers from gaining access to the House of Assembly to take any action against the governor. The National Assembly letter was signed by its counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), against the backdrop of alleged plot to allow six anti-Amaechi lawmakers to sit yesterday ostensibly to commence im-
NASS writes IG over Rivers crisis •Writes Police Boss •Self-acclaimed Speaker meets CP Mbu
Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation peachment process against the governor. The police barricaded the entrance to the House yesterday and prevented the pro and anti-Amaechi sides from gaining access into the complex. It was learnt that the selfacclaimed Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Evans Bippi, early yesterday met with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Mbu, on the planned sitting of the six legislators. Bippi was said to have told the CP that he had secured the signatures of 27
lawmakers to convene a session of the House. The National Assembly said since its appeal was pending, it would be illegal to allow the anti-Amaechi lawmakers to sit. The letter reads: “We refer to our letter of yesterday (11/12/2013) in respect of the above matter. “We are glad to learn that your officers in Rivers State prevented some members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from sitting in the parliament today(12/ 12/13) on the ground that a copy of the Judgment has not been presented to the police. “It thus means that the judgment of the Court has not been executed in any
way. Meanwhile, shortly after the judgment, we filed an appeal along with a motion for stay of execution and an injunction. “We caused the two processes to be served on your office yesterday vide our letter dated 11th December, 2013 “The implication of the two processes is that effect cannot be given to the judgment delivered yesterday (11/12/13) until the motion filed by us is disposed of. “We are fortified in holding this view by the immortal words of Eso JSC (of Blessed Memory) where, in the case of Governor of Lagos State v. Ojukwu(1986) 1NWLR Part 18 pg. 621
particularly at pg. 634, he said the following: “They have no right to take the matter into their own hands once the Court was seized of it. The essence of the Rule of Law is that it should never operate under the Rule of force or fear...” “With the Court seized of the Motion for Stay and Injunction, the status quo is to be maintained pending the disposal of the motion. “We will be urging you to be guided accordingly and we also plead with you to give necessary instructions to that effect to your appropriate officers in Rivers State against the rumour that there is a plan to open the parliament for a faction by next Tuesday. “We thank you for your understanding and kindly accept the assurances of our highest esteem at all times.” Earlier, in a separate letter to the IGP, dated 11th December 2013, the counsel to the National Assembly said: “We are pleased to inform you that following the Judgment of the Court delivered in the matter today(11/12/13), we have lodged an appeal against the said judgment on behalf
of our clients(7th, 8th and 9th defendants). “We have also filed a motion for Stay of Execution and Injunction. Copies of the Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay are herewith attached. “The implication of the Motion for Stay and Injunction is that effect cannot be given to the judgment of the court until the Motion is disposed of. We thank you while assuring you of our highest esteem at all times.” The Federal High Court Abuja, in the Wednesday judgement, held that at the time the National Assembly took over the affairs of the Rivers State House of Assembly, there were no facts that the House was unable to carry out its functions as provided under the constitution. Justice Ahmed Ramat Muhammed declared that by provisions of section 11(4) and (5) of the constitution, the National Assembly could not assume the lawmaking functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly when there were no facts that the said House of Assembly was unable to carry out its functions.
Don’t heat the polity, Jonathan tells politicians
P •Widow of Chief Solomon Lar, Mary, with President Goodluck Jonathan during the state funeral service of Chief Solomon Lar in Jos... yesterday
Supreme Court quashes Bode George’s conviction
EPRIEVE came the way of jailed former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Chief Olabode George and five former members of the board yesterday as the Supreme Court quashed their conviction, discharged and acquitted them. George, Architect Aminu Dabo, Captain Oluwasegun Abidoye, Alhaji Abdulahi Aminu Tafida, Alhaji Zanna Maidaribe and Engineer Sule Aliyu were on October 26, 2009 convicted and sentenced to 30 months imprisonment by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja. They were tried and convicted under Sections 104, 203 and 517 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003 for offences relating to abuse of office, disobedience to lawful order issued by constituted authority and conspiracy to commit offence. George and others were said to have exceeded the limit set to their authority to award contracts and contrived to bring the contracts within their limits by splitting them, while also inflating their prices, in the
•Says PDP chieftain’s offence not known to law Eric IKHILAE, Abuja charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Yesterday, the five-man panel, who heard the six separate appeals filed by the appellants, were unanimous in deciding that George and others were unjustly subjected to trial and convicted. The apex court held in the six separate judgments delivered yesterday, that not only did the prosecution failed to establish the guilt of the appellants, the law under which the charges were brought were unconstitutional. The court held that the offences for which the appellants were convicted were not known to law as at when the offences were said to have been committed. Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi, who read the lead judgment in appeal numbered: SC/180/2012 filed by George, observed that even when the prosecution’s evidence showed that all the contracts awarded were “appraised
by experts employed by the authority (NPA) and that the experts recommended the contractors to which the contracts were awarded, the prosecution led by Festus Keyamo failed to either call any of the experts as witness or prosecute them. He held that the Federal Government’s circular, which the appellants were accused of disobeying “stipulates that breach of same shall be met with disciplinary action. This may be in form of administrative action against an officer, who breaches the rules.” Justice Fabiyi held that disobeying the directives in the circular marked exhibit P3 “is not made an offence by any Act of the National Assembly or law of a state House of Assembly or even the content of exhibit P3.” He held that section 203 of the Criminal Code of Lagos State, on which some of the charges were brought, was not in tune with the provision of section 36 (12) of the Constitution. “In view of the constitutional infraction, the entire trial, conviction and sentence of the appellant re-
main a nullity and must be set aside,” Justice Fabiyi said. The decision in George’s appeal was applied to those of others except Tafida, who raised a separate constitutional issue in his appeal. Justice Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs, who read the lead judgment in the appeal by Tafida, marked SC/217/ 2012, also faulted the trial and conviction of the appellant. “Contract splitting, which formed the basis of the offences charged, was unknown to law at the material time. The public procurement Act, which made contract splitting an offence punishable with term of imprisonment was enacted into law by the National Assembly in 2007, long after the appellant had ceased to be members of the NPA. “The Act was not made to take retrospective effect. Even if this was the case, it would have been contrary to section 36(8) of the Constitution. Counts 59, 60, 64, 65 and 67 (of the charge) therefore constituted a gross violation of section 36(12) of the Constitution.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan warned the political class yesterday to stop heating up the polity for their selfish interest ahead of the 2015 elections. “I beg politicians, irrespective of party’s affiliation to eschew anything capable of overheating the polity ahead of the 2015 general elections. Let us consider the interest of the nation,” he said in a tribute to the late Chief Solomon Lar, first national chairman of the PDP. President Jonathan’s statement came three days after a December 2, 2013, letter from ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, questioning some of his actions as President, was made public. The Presidency labeled the Obasanjo letter as selfserving, hypocritical and malicious. But, speaking at the funeral service for Chief Lar at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos yesterday, President Jonathan asked Nigerian politicians to play politics the Lar way. He said: “we are reminded about the tribute of former President Shehu Shagari to Chief Solomon Lar. They belonged to different parties but they worked together in the interest of Nigeria . “For those of us who are in to politics either as President or governors, we need to learn from this great man of honour, great man of peace, and great man of unity. “Political parties are plat-
Yusufu Aminu IDEGU, Jos forms for us to contest elections. We may have different ideologies but all our ideologies are meant to solve human problems. In that case, I want to call on all politicians to consider our country before our interest. “If we all put the interest of our nation above personal interest, above the interest of our political parties, then the country will be a better place for us and our children. Governor Jonah Jangof Plateau State, who renamed the State-owned university as Solomon Lar University shortly afte the death of the Second Republic Governor, said “nothing is too big for the immortalization of Chief Lar . Jang stressed that Chief Lar played a critical role in uniting the people of Plateau State, Middle Belt and Nigeria at large. The widow, Professor Mary Lar said the deceased was much concerned about the crisis rocking the PDP and that his last wishes included an early resolution of the in-fighting. Among the dignitaries at the funeral service were Senate President David Mark; Speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House of Representatives; Chairman,PDP Board of Trustees ,Chief Tony Anenih;former military head of state, Gen.Yakubu Gowon; former Defence Minister, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma and nine state governors.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
NNPC accuses Sanusi of playing politics with $49.8bn claim John OFIKHENUA, Abuja
•Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (middle) flanked by the state Chairman of the PDP, Ntufam John Okon, Special Adivser, Budget, Ntufam Peter Otti (right), Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Chief Peter Ojie, and MD H.Pierson Mrs.Eillen Shiaye during the public presentation of LEADS document in Calabar.
HE Group Managing Director (GMD), Nige rian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Andrew Yakubu, yesterday described the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s claim that the corporation failed to remit $49.8 billion into the Federation Account from January 2012 to July 2013 as a political instrument in preparation for the 2015 general elections. According to Yakubu who spoke at a world press conference in Abuja, it is a baseless and unfounded allegation
‘How Jonathan, Obasanjo parted ways’ T
HE seed of the stand-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and his estranged benefactor,exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo,was sowed about two years ago, before blowing into the open on Wednesday, The Nation can now reveal. Their differences revolve around seven issues, according to well-placed sources in Abuja. Although the duo, against all expectations, shared breakfast in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday, it was gathered that President Jonathan may henceforth keep Obasanjo at bay on account of the ex-president’s “toxic” letter. Presidency sources said the anger generated by the letter is yet to subside. Their differences stemmed from: •Rejection of some ministerial nominees and chief executives of departments and agencies from the South-West from Obasanjo; •Alleged refusal of Jonathan to consult Obasanjo on key policies and decisions of the government; •Disagreement over the leadership of PDP at national level and in the South-West, especially the sack of Obasanjo’s loyalists like exGovernor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, ex-Governor Segun Oni and Bode Mustapha; •The rise of G-7 and ultimate defection;
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
•Obasanjo’s allegation of Jonathan’s administration of lack of direction, especially on anti-graft war; •Use of international fora to write off the administration of Jonathan; and •Second term aspiration of Jonathan. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that Jonathan and Obasanjo had been patching their relationship over the last two years. Some months ago, Jonathan was said to have confronted Obasanjo and accused the expresident of undermining him.
Jonathan, sources said, accused Obasanjo of supporting the PDP G-7 governors. It was learnt that Obasanjo denied the allegation and assured Jonathan of support. The source added: “Obasanjo’s disagreement with Jonathan started from the ministerial nomination. The exPresident sought input into nominations from the SouthWest, but Jonathan restricted him to Ogun State. He said Obasanjo could not singlehanded nominate ministers from the South-West when there is a PDP structure in place. “The ex-President was also not happy that the Jonathan administration does not consult
Obasanjo’s Letter: State your side of the story, Ojudu urges Jonathan
HE allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that the Jonathan presidency has 1, 000 people on political watch-list and also training assassins is not one that any well-meaning or peace-loving president can muddle up with personality attacks. A member of the Senate Committee on Defence and Army, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who represents Ekiti Central, made this statement in Abuja.
Ojudu said rather than disparage the person of Obasanjo, the Jonathan presidency should explain its side of the story to Nigerians, unless it was busy strategising on the most suitable lie to sweep the allegation under the carpet. He argued that: “No matter the name they call Obasanjo at this time, all that is irrelevant. What matters and should be of serious concern to all Nigerians is the yet-to-be-denied allegation that a sitting Nigerian president is arming and train-
Importance of community policing stressed at US forum HE Director – General of
the Police Assistance Committee of Nigeria (PAC), Dr. Martins Oni, led members of the committee to attend a training programme on information/intelligence gathering organized by the African Chamber of Commerce (ACC) Dallas, Fort Worth, United State of America held on November 11 which coincided with the Veterans’ Day by the ACC. The PAC boss led his team to the Veterans’ Day shortly after he attended the 120th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held in Philadelphia, USA between October 19 and 23 which also had in attendance top police chiefs from Nigeria. The ACC training session for the PAC members witnessed presentation of a keynote address on the topic: “Collaborative Partnerships
him on all policy issues, decisions of the government and strategic appointments. The exPresident felt the President had been hijacked by those he did not want in government,”the source said. One of those who allegedly “offended Obasanjo” in the past was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim. His appointment was said to have been made without consultation with Obasanjo. When the matter was brought to Anyim’s attention, he personally went to meet Obasanjo to plead forgiveness for whatever offence he might have committed. Obasanjo reportedly told
and Community Policing” delivered by Mr. John Iglehart, a member of the U.S Department of Commerce, which stressed that institutionalization of collaboration, problem-solving and organizational change would lead to better policing and safer communities, engaging the involvement of everyone-communities, law enforcement, businesses and schools to partner in sharing of information to check crime in the society. It was explained that the definition of community policing remained consistent-better ideas to address public safety issues, strategic initiatives within departments to better efficiency and concentrated involvement at all levels. The imperative of having network of partners collaborating to draw up strategies of imbibing to make community policing their key tool in ad-
vancing public safety was well articulated as the speaker also stressed on the need for the police and other security agencies to partner volunteer agencies in their bid to combat crime. During an interactive session, PAC Director-General Dr. Martins Oni said in maximizing the advantage of community policing, collaborating partners can team up to design framework of information / intelligence gathering, and best practices necessary to assist law enforcement agencies in making the most of the limited resources and crime fighting tools available to them. Dr. Oni also argued that collaborative partners under community policing arrangement can also develop a blueprint for law enforcement agencies interested in working with private businesses on public safety issues.
ing snipers, ready to pounce at any time on any of the 1, 000 on Jonathan’s alleged watchlist.” Ojudu said of more concern is the logical assumption that vibrant leaders and members of the opposition must be those who populate the list, adding that security agencies have an uncompromising task at this time to protect these assumed endangered species from such killer squad, if it really exists. He added that the letter from Obasanjo to President Jonathan has shown Nigerians where to look should any opposition leader get assassinated. “How can grave and fearevoking allegations as these be levelled against a sitting president and all his spokesperson could muster is that Obasanjo is self-serving. Honestly, this claim by Reuben Abati that the president will respond at the appropriate time sends a wrong signal. It gives one the feeling that they are rather looking for the appropriate lie. If Mr. President has nothing to hide, he should be able to explain with facts to Nigerians his own side of the story. These are not the kind of allegations that one sleeps over.
Anyim there was no quarrel. The emergence of Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of PDP and the attendant crisis in the party appeared to have deepened the crack in the relationship between the two leaders, while the alleged hijack of the South-West PDP structure from Obasanjo pained the ex-President. “But with anti-second term campaign for Jonathan, it was strategically important for the PDP to restrict Obasanjo to his only vote at the PDP National Convention for presidential primaries than to allow him control the party structure and wreak havoc,” one source said. The Presidency was also said to have received intelligence reports on Obasanjo’s remarks at several international gatherings including some in the USA in which he allegedly made uncomplimentary remarks about the administration.
targeted at ridiculing the management of the NNPC. He said: “In conclusion, I want to say from what I have said clearly that the allegation is unfounded. It is baseless and it has become a political instrument in the current politically charged environment. And we consider this as an attempt to ridicule NNPC and the management of NNPC.” Asked to explain what he meant by political instrument, the NNPC boss added that : “When this issue came up about four months ago, we made our clarification to the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources. For it to surface at this time that the political atmosphere is charged, we are taken aback. It is left for you journalists to do your investigative journalism to unravel the reason behind this attack.” Yakubu explained that all NNPC crude oil lifting is made up of equity crude, royalty oil, tax oil, volume for third party financing and Nigeria Petroleum Development Company equity volume. He noted that remittances of proceeds from the above liftings are made to statutory and production arrangements. The GMD said: “Accordingly, proceeds from equity crude is paid by the NNPC into the Federation Account which is held by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Similarly, the proceeds from Tax oil or Petroleum Profit Tax lifted by NNPC is paid directly into the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) account also managed by the CBN. “It should now be clear to all that NNPC is by statutory requirement responsible for direct remittances of only one stream of lifting, namely Equity Crude.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Mandela’s legacy, Obasanjo and Jonathan omorrow in S/Africa , Madiba Nelsonn Mandela , whose body has been lying in state in the Government Building in Pretoria for three days will be buried in his home town. This week 91 heads of state attended a memorial service for the former president of S/Africa as if the UN General Assembly has shifted base to S/Africa to honour the man who served a prison term of 27 years in defiance of the system of apartheid that discriminated against the majority blacks of S/Africa for decades.This was before former President de Klerk called a truce and released the world's most famous prisoner from prison in 1990. Mandela went on to become S/Africa’s first elected black president in 1994 and refused to serve a second term after his single 5 – year term ended in 1999. This was a man who could have been life president of his nation for the asking but instead he stepped aside to give the younger generation an opportunity to prove their mettle at political leadership. With a single act of denial Mandela showed African leaders that it is not mandatory to cling tenaciously to office and that it is more honorable to quit while the ovation is loudest. For Mandela the ovation was louder out of office and loudest at his Memorial Service this week. Today I pay tribute as a Nigerian to Nelson Mandela and it is not an easy task for me .This is because I have a lot of admiration for the great S/African leader whose body will be interred tomorrow and I hope I will be able to do justice now to my self given undertaking. In truth, I acknowledge that Mandela’s life, sacrifice and leadership evoked in people emotions of guts, courage, defiance and a dogged commitment to principles in the face of overwhelming odds. To many Africans and even to the whole world, as President Barak Obama attested at the Mandela Memorial Service this week, Mandela inspired a global audience to stand up for human rights and dignity without counting the costs, no matter the odds. Today I salute Nelson Mandela, the tall man with the winsome grin, the dancing, arms shuffling S/African leader with the trade mark three piece suits as president. Later, in retirement, Mandela wowed the world with the famous, flowery Philipino shirt which he wore and with which he gave joy and pleasure to the people of the world in the way he carried himself, as if 27 years of incarceration on Robben Island was an ordinary event - when indeed the world is yet to recover from the incredibility and amazement of his surviving such long punishment , even as he makes his final journey to immortality tomorrow . In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Mark Anthony said that ‘ the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones ‘. Mark Anthony might have been speaking of Mandela in Ancient Rome although in different terms as he mourned the great but fallen Julius Caesar in the great Roman Empire then. For unlike Julius Caesar Mandela’s good deeds lives after him while his lapses are easily forgotten. But then, Rome was at the center of the civilised world and this week, and God willing tomorrow, the world will stand in awesome salute of respect and love as Mandela’s body descends for ever into his hallowed grave. As Mandela returns to Mother Earth tomorrow he goes with the fanfare, pomp and pagaeantry reserved for the Emperors of Ancient Rome in those days
of yore. For in life as in death, Nelson Mandela bestrode our world like a Collosus just as Caesar was said to have done in his time. Indeed Mandela was our modern Ceasar who represented human dignity, honour and respect and we must thank him profusely for coming this way and leaving us with such pleasant memories of his sojourn of 95 years, albeit with 27 of them in prison, in our midst. We take consolation however in the fact that the spirit of Nelson Mandela like that of ‘Johnny Walker at 120, keeps matching on’ and this time not only globally but very much so in Nigeria. Last week I invoked the spirit of forgiveness and tolerance inherent in Mandela’s life to prevail on ASUU and the FGN to end the strike in our universities and it is nice to see that this week, the two have resolved their differences and signed an agreement which means that studies can resume in our universities. We thank the two bodies for their positive response and resolution of the crisis and wish them the best in their future endeavors. My concern today however is with regard to correspondence between two Nigerian leaders who attended the Mandela funeral but came back at loggerheads from the event. The two are former President Olusegun Obasanjo and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. I do not think their disagreements started at the funeral. If so, they will not be alone in that as S/Africans seized the opportunity of the Mandela Funeral to give their President Jacob Zuma a piece of their mind by booing him before an audience that included 91 heads of state. Obviously Zuma must belong to that category of leaders that US President Barak Obama castigated at the funeral for praising Mandela publicly while not emulating his virtues of forgiveness and tolerance in their leadership style at home. More embarrassing for the S/African authorities was the fact that a sign interpreter who was prominently working alongside heads of state as they made speeches at the Memorial was said not to be qualified for the job and has gone missing since the assignment, as the S/African authorities are said to be looking for him. Which sadly showed the state of porous security and corruption in S/Africa and coming with the booes for the S/African president, clearly showed that the ANC government in power in that nation needs to put its house in order urgently, now that the holding presence of Nelson Mandela on the masses is gone. In Nigeria again the spirit of Mandela was manifest in a letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan titled ‘Before it is too late‘. The letter as its title said was a desperate call by an equally desperately concerned former head of state to a sitting president that the ship of state is desperately floating rudderless towards a dangerous rock. Given tha OBJ said he was ready to die for what he has said and that he will speak the truth no matter whose ox is gored in the interest of the nation, you could call the letter his’ last testament‘. Also since the letter made gross accusations against the president in his handlingof the PDP crisis, his giving presidential reception to a murderer and using facilities by Abacha’s goons to train security personnel perhaps for the same purpose Abacha used them, then you could label the letter a’ suicide’ note. OBJ’s letter portrayed the president as a serial denier of his intention to contest the 2015 election and the former president said the incumbent president has failed in his impor-
tant role in the five dimensions of presidential power that he identified. These are as party leader, as political leader of the nation, as head of government, as chief security officer of Nigeria and as Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of Nigeria. These indictment included the fact that the president was hobnobbing with a drug baron in the ruling party in Ogun State who had an extradition order on his head from the US, a fact he claimed had been ignored by the PDP overall leader. Of course it is easy to tell off the former president for washing the dirty linen of his ruling party in public which this time he has really gone out of his way to do. Even one can tell OBJ that in accepting that he fought and worked hard for those he wanted to succeed him he had opened another can of worms on tampering with the electoral process in Nigeria. Having said that however this missile from the Nigerian leader again showed his bravery and candor in the best spirit of Nelson Mandela , who respected OBJ immensely for Nigeria’s contribution to the anti apartheid struggle during his tenure as a military president and admired him for his courage in telling Abacha off and going to prison for that. Now OBJ in this his ‘testament ‘recalled that he was in prison in Yola where he was sharing facilities with inmates of an asylum nearby during his incarceration by Abacha and wondered what change of status was worse than that for a former head of state . Since OBJ himself is not a saint on the Nigerian political scene, having been twice president with 20 years in between a military and a civilian president when he served for 8 years, I am sure a lot of people will tell him that those who leave in glass houses should not throw stones. But that is for another day as here today we pay tribute to Nelson Mandela who was also a great friend of the former Nigerian president. We can therefore safely speculate that perhaps Mandela’s death opened OBJ’s eyes to Jonathan’s many iniquities and denials like Apostle Saul’s eyes were open on the way to persecute Christians in Damascus. Now OBJ has decided to make a clean breast of the mistrust and misdemeanor of his protege and in the process has opened a can of worms on the security and politics of Nigeria. Surely Nigeria’s politics has been given a big jolt by the OBJ letter and whether you like it or not, it cannot be business as usual. For OBJ has blown a whistle with a loud crescendo and the dogs of war in Nigerian politics cannot wait to make a kill. Like Tony Enahoro reportedly said in 1958 as he moved for Nigeria’s independence in Parliament – This is the beginning of a chain of events the end of which no man can predict. To me really, the OBJ letter is fighting for the soul of the Nigerian state and as he himself said - in a bloody fight no one knows whose blood will be shed last. So for now, we can say - every body for himself, God for us all. Amen.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
‘Rugged' to the grave An expose on the dangerous, deadly world of Nigerian campus confraternities Guns don't kill people, people kill people, noted Earl Simmons (a.k.a DMX), American artiste, in a 2000 box office hit, Romeo Must Die. The artiste was preaching the futility of unnecessary gang violence to rival gangsters before a gunfight in his club. You could be forgiven for thinking Simmons had Nigeria in mind when he made the statement. As you read, violence through the gun barrel has escalated, precipitated by regional and ethnic conflicts, campus cult violence and political disorder. OLATUNJI OLOLADE, Assistant Editor, reports the situation and the effects on the society as ECOWAS moves to stem the proliferation of arms in the West African region.
OMETIME in the twilight of 2001, Dare Alayinde became the bullies' favourite. At 27, he was in his second year in the university and he was being picked upon by gangsters otherwise known as secret cult boys. That had to be frustrating because he was also a cult boy. Alayinde belonged to the Supreme Eiye Confraternity (SEC). In fact, he joined in order to guarantee his freedom and stop paying 'security dues' to the ruling confraternity on campus, like his rivals did. Alayinde was a photographer with a five-month old child and Ireti, his wife, who attended the same school with him. After joining SEC, Alayinde stopped paying 'security due' like his rival photographers but then he was forced to pay a different kind of due. He had to pay the N2, 000 annual due imposed upon every member of his cult group. Although he joined SEC to avoid paying the N5, 000 security due collected from every photographer working on his school's 'motion ground' (photo avenue), Alayinde had to contend with all manners of demand and financial levies which made being a 'strong man' (cultist) not quite attractive as it seemed from a distance. “He was always complaining that he wasn't enjoying the benefits of joining the cult…One day he came home badly bruised and without the zoom lens to his camera. He said they had seized it because he refused to pay his annual cult dues. I told him to take heart that God would provide him money to get a new one but he said that he didn't need a new one. He claimed God won't come to his aid because God expected him to liberate himself,” said Ireti. Hence at the advice of a friend, he purchased a 9mm semi-automatic pistol assuring his wife that it would garner him the respect he deserved. Expectedly, he stopped paying his dues. He got the respect he sought and ascended the rank of his cult gang. “Suddenly, he (Alayinde) became erratic and threatened to 'light' (shoot) people up at the slightest provocation. He tendered and polished his gun every night calling it his baby. He told me he was being considered for office (executive post) and when my plea that he backed out fell on deaf ears, I decided to leave him,” said Ireti. But just before she did so, a fracas broke out between her husband's group and the Buccaneers, a rival cult; in the melee, Alayinde was shot and butchered in a reprisal attack. Although he was able to kill two of his assailants, his “baby” couldn't save him. “He made me a widow at the age of 21. I warned him against joining the cult but he refused to listen to me. He said once he becomes an officer, life will become rosy for us. He said he would be placed on a monthly salary that would augment his income from his photography business. I feared he would die before his time and he did,” said Ireti with a painful sigh. More pathetic was the case of Damilola Olaniyan Ibraheem a.k.a Damoche; the fast Continued on Page 14
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Deadly world of campus confraternities Olatunji OLOLADE, Assistant Editor
A SEC member in regalia
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
•Jah church in Imodi Ijasi, Ogun State
Church where worshippers don’t talk
...and Hebrew is official language
OT many Nigerians know about Jah Church located in the Awoyokun area of Palmgroove, Lagos and Imodi-Ijasi, near Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State. On the outside, the church is not in any way different from the regular church, especially the white garment churches in your neighbourhood .But, unlike most popular churches around, Jah Church is distinct in activities. According to a member who pleaded anonymity, it was established by the late Pa Olabisi Eseku, popularly known as Baba Jah. Chief among the practices which are strange to other Christian denominations is the fact that services are conducted without talking. According to a member, the
only official language spoken in the church is Hebrew, which is only allowed before service commences. “We don’t talk here. You are only allowed to talk before the start of service. For instance, if anybody comes for the deliverance service, the person is allowed to talk to the people in charge of the programme before they start the service. But once the service begins, nobody is allowed to talk,”he said. The order not to talk, according to the member, is maintained by the members on the premises of the church. According to the member, “At the end of service, you cannot begin to talk until you have walked away from the church. So members who live a few metres away from the church don’t begin to talk until they branch off the main road and enter their homes.” Although they are Christians, they treat dead members like Muslims. For instance, the remains of dead members are buried soon after their death. The dead members
n Segun AJIBOYE & Dimeji SALAAM n are also buried in a special cemetery owned by the church near its headquarters in Imodi- Ijasi in Ogun State. Husband and wife, who are both members, are buried in the same grave. “If the husband dies first, he will be buried in the grave with a slab placed on top of it. The wife will be buried in that same grave any time she dies. One strange thing is that two graves are always dug whenever a member dies. The dead member will be buried in one, while the other is left empty. “A member is not allowed to attend the funeral of a family member who is not a member of the church. For example, a son, whose father is not a member of the church, is forbidden from attending the funeral of his late father. And if the son defies the order to attend the funeral, he will be ostracised for a period of 41 days after which he undergoes a cleansing service with the use of incense and perfume. “Members are also said to maintain a strict vegetarian culture with mushrooms and eggs as the major items on the menu list. Members don’t eat meat. We maintain a strict vegetarian diet. For example, we would boil the eggs and later fry them,”
the member said. The members also make a weekly pilgrimage to the Imodi-Ijasi. “We go to Imodi-Ijasi every Friday for our weekly service. The service holds on Saturday in obedience to the Sabbath law. But we use Fridays to go round, play football and other sporting activities,” he said. When The Nation visited Imodi-Ijasi midweek, the large sprawling church was deserted. A resident of the town, who gave his name simply as Sunday, said the church had a very good relationship with the people of the town. “You can go round the town, and you won’t meet anybody who will complain about the church. The founder is an indigene of the town. Though he is dead, he had a very cordial relationship with everybody here,” Sunday said. Another indigene, who spoke on condition of anonymity, corroborated Sunday’s remark. According to her, she joined the church more than 10 years ago. “I became a member more than 10 years ago, and I can tell you that I have no regret. God answers prayers here. You can come and try it. I tell you that you would agree that God is here. It is only those who cannot abide by the strict rules of the church that run
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
My deal with car-snatching gang —Suspected buyer of stolen cars who nearly bought police operation vehicle n Ebele BONIFACE n NYEKACHI Prince, an alleged receiver of stolen goods who attempted to buy the operational vehicle of the officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command, Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police, has been arrested. Also arrested with him is an alleged accomplice, Victor Emeka Chibuike (29) Explaining why he was arrested, Onyekachi, an indigene of Ideato community, Imo State, said: “I am a trader. I deal in cars and my office is at Okota, Lagos. I am married with one child. “I started auto business this year, buying cars in Lagos and selling them in the East, like Onitsha, Asaba and Enugu. I deal in Japanese cars and big customers are still waiting for me, not knowing that I have been arrested.” Asked how he got his supply of cars, he said: “I usually got cars from one Ebere Ikechukwu (IK) and one Ade. I don’t know how they got the cars they supplied to me. The important thing is that all the cars •Onyekachi have genuine vehicle particulars. They can procure vehicle particulars from licensing offices in Lagos within 10 minutes. In fact, they have vehicle particulars that have no vehicles yet. “At times, they would call me that they had cars or SUVs for sale and that I should come to certain places to meet them and carry the vehicles. At times, I would go to Aguda in Surulere (Lagos) to see the car neatly parked on a street. “A car like Toyota Camry or Corolla goes for N500,000 while I resell them for between N650,000 to N700,000. You can see that the only gain I can make is between •The poli ce operati N150,000 and N200,000 per car. on vehicle “The total number of cars I have bought since I started the business this year is him five. To tell the truth, I have been arrested by that I hadn’t the the police twice for buying stolen cars, but I money to buy it and that I would call have never been convicted or sent to prison. somebody who would bring cash. “My first arrest by the police occurred this “It took me about one week to make the year after I bought a Toyota Camry from one contact. The buyer asked whether I would be Ebere for N400,000. Later, he told me that he able to bring it to Abuja and I said no probhad another car to sell. It was the second one lem. After one week, I asked my friend, Victor that caused my problems because I did not Emeka, to accompany me from Owerri to know that he was with the police. Lagos to see the vehicle. That was in October. A car snatching gang promised to make me “Emeka followed me from Owerri to Lagos. a big time car dealer in Lagos if I could proOn getting to Maryland in Lagos where I vide them with a Hilux vehicle they could use asked Ebere to bring the Hummer bus, I did for operations. I accepted to buy such a vehinot know that the person that was calling me cle any time I got one from my suppliers. I was a police officer. The man showed me a did not know that Ebere would snatch a white Hilux but I did not know that it was a Hilux van belonging to the police. police vehicle belonging to Abba Kyari, the “I did not know that the Hilux van they Superintendent of Police in charge of SARS. brought belonged to SARS. I inspected the “I told him that we should go to a place Hilux when they showed it to me at Marywhere I would be able to test it very well beland in Lagos and tested it and found it to be fore we would discuss price. I entered the veokay.” hicle and inspected the interior. Reliving the incident that culminated in his “Just as I wanted to tell him that it was arrest by the State Criminal Investigation Deokay, three SARS operatives appeared from partment (SCID), Panti, Lagos, Onyekachi nowhere, brandishing pistols and AK47 rifles. said: “Ebere called me and said I should come They ordered me to put my hands forward and buy a Toyota Camry. But I did not know for handcuffs. that he was with policemen attached to SCID, “When they handcuffed me, my friend Panti, Lagos. Upon getting there, I was arasked them who they were and they said they rested and later released on bail. were kidnappers. I asked them to tell us “I was not charged to court because my where they were taking us and they said that family responded. I was released from the cell they were taking us to Badagry. because they said my family had responded “They insisted that I should go with them well. or give them N500 million as ransom because “My second encounter with the police octhey heard that I was a very rich prince. curred when a guy from Delta State named “I thought that they were kidnappers until Ibori said he had a Hummer bus he wanted to they branched to the Police Headquarters at sell to me. As we began to negotiate, I told GRA, Ikeja, Lagos and drove straight to the
away after staying for a few days ”she said. 70-year- old Adekunle Abiona is a proud member of Jah Church. The septuagenarian, who is also an indigene of Imodi Ijasi, became a member of the church in 1984. Prior to his becoming a member, he attended an Anglican church. Almost 30 years after joining the church, he said he had found peace and God’s mercy. “I joined the church in 1984, and since then, I have been receiving the blessings of God,”he said. If Pa Abiona found peace and God’s mercy in the church, the same cannot be said of his wife. According to him, the wife left after spending some time because she could not abide by the strict laws of the church. “I have told people that the reason people run away from our church is because they cannot keep the rules. For example, the church forbids fornication. But people find it impossible to keep this simple law. Other laws of the church are woven around discipline. So anybody who is disciplined is able to keep the laws,”he said. Though the founder died a few years ago, his son has stepped into the shoes the father left behind. Efforts to speak with him on the telephone were futile, as he was said to have travelled to Israel where the church is said to have a branch.
Scorpion House of SARS. “When I alighted from the Hilux van, they took me straight to Abba Kyari. Face to face with Kyari, he asked me, ‘Were you the one who wanted to buy my vehicle?’ I said yes, but that I never knew it was his vehicle. He told them to take me away. “They took me to the backyard for serious interrogation. They asked me where the robbers that I worked with were and I told them that those who snatched cars and sold to me did not use guns but master keys. I also told them that I used to buy genuine cars at times and repair them before selling. “It was greed and the urge to get quick money that put me in this trouble. I will not do it again if I am let off the hook. I am a new man now. The second suspect, Victor Emeka Chibuike (29) said: “I am a victim of circumstance. I did not go to school. I stopped at Primary Six. I also could not go to secondary school because of financial problems. “I later learnt panel beating. I come from Mbaise, Imo State where I did my primary school before going to Owerri to learn panel beating in 2002. I later started working with someone as a job man.” Asked how much he was paid per day, he said it depended on the jobs they got each day. But on the average, he said, he went home with between N150,000 and N200,000 each day. He added: “My trouble started when Prince Onyekachi came to me in Owerri, Imo State and asked me to accompany him to Lagos. He said his customers were calling him to come and buy a Toyota bus. “When we got to Maryland, Lagos at about 4 pm, the so called sellers, Ibori and co, surfaced with a different car, a white Hilux. I asked Prince whether it was not a Hummer bus that we came to buy and he said he himself was surprised to see another car. “He told them that since he was already in Lagos, he would call someone else to buy it because he hadn’t the money to buy. I was still waiting when the police came and handcuffed me. “I asked Prince what was going on and he asked me to calm down, that the people said they were kidnappers. I was surprised when they brought us to Scorpion House, Ikeja instead of Badagry where they initially said they were taking us. “During interrogation, they said they heard that Prince had a lot of money. They also asked me how many houses he has in Lagos. I told them that I knew nothing about Prince and that I had only just met him. “He even told the police to release me; that I was innocent because I did not know him as somebody involved in illegal business. I did not know him too well. “Actually, it was not the first time I had accompanied him to buy a stolen vehicle, but I thought that they were genuine. He is always with original documents for any vehicle he is buying or selling. “I regret answering Prince when he called me. I am not a criminal. He never gave me a dime. Although he promised to give something, he has not done that up till now. Now I am suffering with him. It is a big lesson for me. The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the arrests of the two suspects.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Street naming turns tragic in Ogun community
•The late Olaseni
•85-yr-old woman slumps, dies after alleged push by officials HE death of an 85-year-old woman, Comfort Olaseni, during a street naming exercise in Itele community, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area, Ogun State, has given rise to tension in the community. Madam Olaseni was allegedly mobbed at the Ejigun-Agbede part of the community while some members of a faction of the community development association were erecting a signboard to indicate the new name of a street. Recalling the incident, one of the children of the deceased, Mr. Amos Olaseni, said: “The street was called Unity until the day some members of a faction of the community’s development association, called Toluwalase Community Development Association, came with some hoodlums to change it to Ajulo Street. “Although I was not at home on Thursday, November 28, 2013 when they came, I gathered that they arrived at the street, where we live, at about 12.30 pm in several vehicles to erect a signpost and number the buildings. “They allegedly threatened to deal with anyone who attempted to prevent them from carrying out the exercise. They could not number my house because some members of my household, particularly my wife, resisted them.” Olaseni said he was shocked to learn that the hoodlums, led by a landlord, Samuel Ajulo, after whom the street was renamed, returned the following day (Friday November 29) to forcibly write a number on his house. He said: “I was shocked when my wife told me on the telephone that a policeman in the community led some thugs to my residence to forcibly fix a number on my building. I was told that my aged mother, who usually sat in a corner at the entrance
n Kunle AKINRINADE n of the house, challenged them but they beat and pushed her and she died in the process. “My wife said she raised the alarm, which attracted a few others in the neighbourhood. I rushed home and reported the matter at Itele Police Station. Some policemen visited Ajulo’s residence but his wife denied them access and shouted that they were assassins. “Attempts made by the police to invite him failed because he has fled from the community with his family. I have written a petition to the Ogun State Police Command and his accomplices are currently being detained by men of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweran, Abeokuta. “All I want is justice because my mother was cruelly killed over a matter she had nothing to do with.” He recalled the events that led to the crisis in the community development association, saying: ”All the landlords in this community operated under the platform of Ejigun-Agbede Community Development Association until a few months ago when some disgruntled members formed a parallel group called Toluwalase CDA. “They tried to lure me into their association but I refused because I didn’t share their ideology. We later learnt that they had the approval of the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government. They have since been harassing other residents who refused to join their group.” Olaseni also explained that EjigunAgbede CDA had tried fruitlessly to register the controversial street. He said: ”The Ejigun-Agbede CDA was the first to seek approval for the name of
I have no hand in the death of Amos’ (Olaseni’s) mother and I can defend myself anywhere. I got an approval to rename the street after myself... and the erection of the signpost and the numbering of the houses was duly carried out in the presence of no fewer than five officials of the council
the street after we had agreed to call it Unity Street in 2011, but there was an objection to our application by the members of Toluwalase CDA, hence our application was turned down by the authorities of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government. “To our surprise, Ajulo and other members of Toluwalase CDA surreptitiously sought and got the nod of Ado-Odo/Ota council to rename the street after himself.” Speaking in an interview with our correspondent on the telephone, Corporal Ajulo said he had no hand in the death of Olaseni’s mother. He said: “I have no hand in the death of Amos’ (Olaseni’s) mother and I can defend myself anywhere. I got an approval to rename the street after myself from the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government on November 22, 2013, and the erection of the signpost and the numbering of the houses was duly carried out in the presence of no fewer than five officials of the council on Thursday, November 28. “Throughout the exercise, which lasted three hours, I did not set my eyes on his mother. We did not fix the number tag on his house because of the hostility of some members of his household before we left. I did not visit his house the following day as I was away at work. I was shocked when I learnt the following day that they claimed I was the one that pushed the woman to death. On the contrary, we gathered that the woman slipped and died at about 8 pm. “They only wanted to use her death to implicate me because of the rivalry between their CDA and ours. As a matter of fact, I was not at home when the policemen visited my residence. I was in the home of one of my relations at Gbagada, Lagos State and my wife must have mistook them for hoodlums because I learnt
they broke into my home through the perimeter fence. “As a policeman, I am usually away from home because of duty call. My family has been under so much threat since then that I had to relocate them for the time being. “I moved into the area about three years ago and have been taking care of sundry responsibilities, including hiring people to clear the bushes that could harbour deadly reptiles. I have never had any issue with anybody, let alone quarrel with neighbours.” Worried by this development, distraught female members of the community last Tuesday staged a peaceful protest at the secretariat of Ado-Odo /Ota Local Government. The protesters who carried various placards were led by Mrs. Olabukunmi Adekoya. Adekoya, who urged the chairman of the council, Hon. Rotimi Rahman to intervene in the matter, said: “We have come to express our predicament over a leadership tussle that has engulfed our community lately. “We are also using this protest to register our displeasure over the incessant harassment and intimidation of innocent residents by some misguided members of the community. As we speak, not a few community leaders are languishing in police cells on the frivolous charge of murder of one Madam Olaseni. They were arrested at the instance of some people who lost out in the battle for the control of the community development association.” Spokesman of the Ogun State Police Command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said some arrests had been made in respect of the matter, adding that the case was being handled by men of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). “It was a case of mob attack which allegedly led to the death of the old woman. Some suspects have been arrested while the case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigation,” he said.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 ONTRARY to public opinion, 23-year-old robbery suspect, Rafiu Ayinde, has denied being the younger brother of notorious robbery gang leader, Abiodun Ogunjobi a.k.a. Abey Godogodo in spite of his striking resemblance with the kingpin. Ayinde also said he was not a member of Godogodo’s gang as has been rumoured. In fact, he said he would not want to be associated with Godogodo in any way because the level at which he operated as an armed robber was far below Godogodo’s standard. “Please, don’t associate me with Godogodo. I have not reached that level. To my greatest surprise, people are calling me Godogodo’s younger brother because I have one eye. I am not his brother or a member of his gang,” Ayinde told journalists on Wednesday. •Ayinde “The difference is very clear. I don’t know Godogodo. I have not reached his level. I have been hearing of him but I have never come close to him. Even if we are from the same state, we are not from the same place. I am from Ijebu-Igbo but Godogodo is from Abeokuta.” Volunteering more information about himself, Ayinde said: “I was a vulcanizer when my father died. My mother is still alive. I learnt vulcanizing work for two good years to enable me be of reasonable assistance to my poor family. I learnt vulcanizing work at Bariga, Lagos from 2007 to 2009. My father died when I was in primary school. Therefore, I dropped out because the breadwinner died. “My father was very kind and loving. He was very caring. He warned us against Indian hemp and bad company. When he died, we his children had no choice but to struggle to survive. He loved his children and our mother and he wanted the best for all his children. “He was a politician; the campaign manager for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bariga, Lagos. Unfortunately, he fell sick and died. After his death, the centre could no longer hold. To assist the family, I became a vulcanizer. “When I finished learning vulcanizing, I had no money to build my own workshop. So, I joined someone who was already established and became his assistant. He used to give me between N1,000 and N1,500 daily, depending on how much money he made for the day. “In order not to disappoint my parents, especially my mother, I started saving money. The daily contribution which I started helped me to assist my mother to keep our family going in spite of my father’s death. “Unfortunately, when my partner discovered that I was doing daily contribution, he conspired with a co-vulcanizer to take over the whole money I saved, claiming that I owed him
Godogodo. Godogodo and his gang members used AK47 rifles, but I and my gang members used locally made guns. Our pilot (driver) does not use a gun. We are a fivemangang and four of us use a gun each. “You can see that there is a big difference between my gang and Godogodo’s gang. We don’t kill policemen. We don’t kill our victims. We don’t rape victims. We are not as violent as Godogodo and his gang members.” Asked how he joined an armed robbery gang, he said: “When I had an accident, I went back to do my vulcanizing work but was not getting much money from it. It was on my going back to commercial motorcycle that I met some bad boys in Oyingbo (Lagos). We used to go to Otto Hotel in Oyingbo, at Ido park area. That was where I met the bad boys. “They used to drink and smoke heavily. In fact, you need to be a bad boy to be able to mix with the boys who used to assemble there. My gang members are Semiu, Jubi, Lambert and Ejo (snake). “It was Jubi that I personally recognised as my own master, because he gave me a commercial motorcycle and later introduced me officially to the gang. “I participated in more than five robbery operations. In the first operation, Jubi asked me to carry him to Sango-Ota on my commercial motorcycle. After the operation, he gave me N5,000 cash. I was fully initiated after the first operation. “The second operation I participated in was at Oyingbo. We robbed someone of N80,000 and two mobile phones and they gave me N8,000. “The third operation took place on Apapa Road, Ebute Meta. At the end of the operation, I got N15,000. “The fourth operation was at Yaba. It was a house-to-house operation. We collected about 15 cell phones during the operation. “The fifth one took place at Yaba and I went home with N10,000. “It was during the planning of the sixth operation that the police arrested me while four other members of the gang escaped. We were planning how to go and rob when policemen stormed our den and arrested me while the other four disappeared without a trace.” On how he was arrested, he said it was the SARS Team 3, led by Adetarami Adegbehin, a Superintendent of Police, who stormed their den and arrested him. He said: “I should have escaped if the SARS operatives had not come close to me and pointed a gun at me, warning me not to run or they would kill me. “I regret participating in an armed robbery operation that brought about this my suffering.”
I’m not Godogodo’s brother, I only have one eye like him —Robbery suspect n Ebele BONIFACE n N90,000. I used to save N500 every day, but I did not collect a dime before I was arrested.” He said that in order not to be frustrated by the development, he became an okada (commercial motorcycle) rider. “I did not know that the person that would come to my rescue was a criminal. My master, Jubi a.k.a. Alara, who promised to teach me how to survive, only ended up leading me to the crime world. I had worked as a vulcanizer for about eight months before Jubi decided to help me to start riding commercial motorcycle. He said I should be delivering N500 to him every day. “When I had an accident with the motorcycle, the side mirror broke into pieces and destroyed my right eye. The exhaust pipe of the motorcycle also wounded me on the left leg. I was hospitalised for many months but at the end of the medical treatment, I lost one of my eyes. It is this one-eyed face that my colleagues saw and started calling me Godogodo’s younger brother. “I am an armed robber, but I am not as dangerous as
Ailing 63-year-old in hospital, lacks money for treatment O you still remember Geofrey Onyebuchi? The pathetic story of the critically ill 63-year-old was published in our edition of Saturday, November 23. In the story, he claimed that he had been abandoned by his children. The latest news about Onyebuchi is not a cheering one either. The bedridden native of the Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, who lives in Ota, Ogun State, have since been taken to hospital by his children for treatment. One of his daughters, Mrs. Chikodi Ogunfowote, explained the plight of her father, saying: “ A few days after his story was published, we took him to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos for treatment. He was diagnosed with cancer of the neck and he was treated for some days before his treatment was stopped because there was no money to pay for it.
n Kunle AKINRINADE n “We took him back to his residence in order to look for money, but we later returned him to the LUTH when the leadership of the landlords’ association in his area insisted we return him to hospital because of his fragile health.” She appealed to members of the public for financial assistance to continue with his treatment at the hospital. “Although we have since returned him to the LUTH, and he is responding to treatment and eating well, his treatment has been discontinued once again because we have no money to pay. We are now using this opportunity to appeal to members of the public to come to our aid. We cannot abandon him because he is the only father we have.We don’t have money. We have spent a lot of money on his treatment, yet we need more money to complete his treatment which doctors said
•Pa Onyebuchi would take a few weeks. We have been assured by doctors that his condition can be remedied, but it requires more money to give him the right treatment,”
Onyebuchi’s eldest son, Chinedu, said: “We are all struggling to earn a living, and there is no one to run to for help. We need the help of Nigerians to continue with his treatment because he is no longer being treated by doctors because we do not have money to defray his medical bills.” In the story, the ailing Onyebuchi had lamented his condition, accusing his children of abandoning him to
fate.” Those who want to offer a helping hand to Onyebuchi can contact him through 08023910970.
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
playing good roles’
•Continued from pages 21
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
•Adenuga •Elumelu •Obayuwana
A parade of
E L Y T S P
RESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN'S 'Resource Control'
There have been Nigerian leaders, past and present who emerged, at one period or the other, and whose eras were largely defined by their dress culture. From the late Sir Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnmamdi Azikiwe, former Presidents Shehu Shagari and Olusegun Obasanjo to serving President Goodluck Jonathan, there was and there is still a consistency in their dress culture which reflected the geography of their birth. However, with President Jonathan's ascendancy to power he brought with him, wittingly or unwittingly, a tsunami-like 'fashionbuzz in Nigeria called 'Resource Control.' In the history of Nigeria, never has a president's dress culture captivated his subjects' fancy like that of President Jonathan's traditional
Ijaw cultural attire. President Jonathan's Niger-Delta attire with a bowler hat has become his trademark. While this dress code has drawn admiration from across board, the President can also be described as a marketer of his culture with his attached love of his native Ijaw attire. No wonder, it has become a fad among big boys across the country's socioeconomic and political firmament. MIKE ADENUGA'S love for kaftan Dr. Mike Adenuga might be perceived in many quarters as the least visible billionaire to be sighted in high octane events. And as such, assessing his dress culture could prove a bit of a task. Adenuga's rise to fame and fortune began at the young Continued on Page 40
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
MAN CITY VS ARSENAL
Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
With KAYODE ALFRED
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
HE grand finale of the 2013 Nigeria Hair Show, ninth in the series, was held in a glamorous way on December 1 at the Duban International Hotel, Ogba, Lagos. It was a double event, as the maiden edition of the Africa Hair and Makeover Awards (AHMA) was held alongside the hair show. Eight stylists from different
AHMA, Nigeria Hair Show hold in Lagos
walks of life participated keenly to claim the crown. They did different hair styles which ranged from wig style, evening style and natural hair and there was a fantastic hair parade segment by the different stylists that were present. Among the salons that participated included Oshbico Salon, Yintob Salon, Princess Gold Beauty Palour, Nafowa Salon, Togo Naija Salon, Best Salon and Funky Salon. Other attractions were performances from different artistes which made the event extremely enjoyable and full of fun. Kehinde Oluleye of The Nation was awarded the Best and Supporting Journalist of the year. Mrs Adeniyi Olufunke of Funky Salon took the first position in the competition. She went away with a generating set and products. The second was Oshbico Salon with a prize of standing fan and products, while the third was Nafowa Salon. Her prize was hair drier, straightner and products. The products used for the competition were classic and gold products, all from the House of Rebecca Fashion Ltd, makers of noble products. Hawaiian Silk Herbal used the medium to introduce its hair care range. The organizer of the event, Multi Devices Communications Ltd, was able to recognize various brands and personalities who have contributed to the growth of hair and makeover and fashion in Nigeria and Africa.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
FASHION NEWS...FASHION NEWS...FASHION NEWS...
FUSION Ibironke ARIYO
RE you ready for Fashion Fusion 2013? It is scheduled to hold at Oriental Hotel, Lekki Expressway, Lagos on December 19. The event, which is organized by Ebere C.Ekeledo (LOC Group), Williams (Avante NG). This is the first edition of fashion fusion, but the organizer guaranteed it is going to be a yearly event. Special guests include Ejiro Amos Tafiri, Zazi Cardow, Funke Ogunde, Adebayo Oke Lawal, Mai Atafo, Uche Nnaji and Lanre Dasilva-Ajayi. T h i s y o u t h empowerment initiative has been created to target and empower aspiring young designers who have found their passion for fashion and ventured into the fashion industry. The showcasing designers are Kola Kudus, Josh Samuel, Emeka Couture, Old Religion, Ti Nathan and Dadubajo.
Pump shoes for Christmas D
O you want to have that classy and chic look to grace any kind of occasion and still look stylish this festive season? If your answer is yes, then pump shoes are what you need. Pump shoes have closed backs and low cut fronts that hit closer to the toes than they do the tops of
the feet. Pump shoes can either be heeled or flat and they can have heels of any height, depending on how comfortable you feel with heels. They are suitable for most occasions where women need to wear dresses, skirts or jeans or formal office clothing like pant suits or skirt suits. Pumps can have open toes, pointy toes, round toes or square toes. Women find them comfortable, sexy and powerful.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Eze Nnamdi Ofoegbu is the monarch of Umudiawa Kingdom of Abia State, a stool he has occupied for 12 years now. He is also the convener and National Chairman - Association of Christian Traditional Rulers National Chairman of Association of Christian Traditional Rulers of Niger Delta Region. In this interview with Assistant Editor, LINUS OBOGO, Ofoegbu defends the charge that traditional rulers are hustlers in the corridors of power, even as he advocates for more for roles for the traditional institution in the constitution. Ofoegbu, contrary to popular opinion, denies that Abia is a failed state. Excerpts:
My wealthy subjects tr y to intimidate me to swing justice in their favour
–Eze Ofoegbu W HEN Eze Nnamdi Ofoegbu was coronated as the traditional ruler of Umudiawa Kingdom in Abia State, 12 years ago, he least knew how much of his freedom and independence he was trading off in order to serve his people. It was a sacrifice he had to willingly make. Today, he is literally stripped of the basic choice to associate, socialise and migrate freely as he once did. Twelve years down the line, he says it was a choice prudently made and a road deservingly taken. Reliving his transformation from an everyday private person to an institutional Eze, a custodian of the people’s customs and traditions, the convener and National Chairman of Association of Christian Traditional Rulers of Niger Delta Region, recalls: “Transforming from everyday life of a businessman and pastor to an eze was not easy because it meant that there were and there are places I could no longer enter or visit as I used to. There are some things I could no longer do like going for shopping, as a result of the change of my former status to an eze. It also means that my schedules and routines have had to change. Ordinary people, who never bothered about me before I became an eze, suddenly became my subjects and my circle of friends with whom I had interactions on a daily basis. I became withdrawn from the social circle and I could no longer attend parties.” Altered worldview How has this transformation altered his worldview? Igwe Ofoegbu offers an insight: “If I was dealing with individuals before I became an eze, that has been enlarged to include groups and communities on a wide range of issues. Being an eze in a community of literates and illiterates comes with enormous challenges. As an enlightened eze, I have to come down to the level of my less literate subjects and relate also in an upscale level with the literate ones. As an eze I have to deal equally with all my subjects without fear or favour and without discrimination; and I have to also accommodate all shades of opinions. I cannot irrationally take decisions, even if I were to; and I must have a listening ear.” Dispute resolution From private to now an institutional leader, Eze Ofoegbu says he combines administra-
tive responsibility with the role of adjudication which comes with its challenges. “Before I became an eze, nobody came to me for adjudication, but now, I settle disputes bothering on land, debts, family and marriage disputes. It is even more challenging when some of these issues involve the affluence in the community who would want to intimidate me to settle dispute in their favour, even when it is obvious that they are the guilty in the matter. “I have been a victim of this in the past. There have been a number of occasions when a family lost their breadwinner and some of his extended family members decided to swoop for his property, even when the deceased’s wife and children were alive, all in the name of customs and traditions. They will insist that it is their custom and I cannot do anything about it. I have had to contend with this kind of challenge in the past. I usually rule in this kind of situation in favour of the oppressed because there is no way I can compromise on that. These are some of the challenges. But I thank God that I have the elders, the council of chief and other family heads who help in the day today administration.” Doing the balancing act “Of course, it is expected that my time will be divided now as an eze, as I have to devote more time to the issues of my subjects than my family. My family can no longer have me all to themselves as they used to. This is part of the prize I have had to pay as an eze. It is the demand of the office. Everybody looks up to me including my family. But somehow, I have to do some balancing act.” Governance in Abia State “Those who say he is not doing well, only need to come to Umuahia and see things for themselves. If you saw the state of infrastructure before he became governor, and between then and now, you will appreciate that he has brought about a major facelift in the state, particularly Umuahia. The state capital, before Theodore Orji took over the reins of governance, suffered gross infrastructural deficit. But the story is different today, as a result of his commitment to infrastructural development. In terms of human capital development, he has significantly empowered the youths of the state in order to give them a sense of be-
longing. As someone who was a civil servant himself, he was well aware of the employment crisis in the state. And as soon as he became governor, he set about creating jobs for the unemployed teeming youths. Apart from creating jobs for the youths, the governor has also been able to create an enabling environment where the youths could engage themselves in skills acquisition. There is also the micro-economic scheme for small and medium scale entrepreneurs to access interest-free loans. The governor is not unaware of the manner he emerged as the chief servant of the state. For a man who won an election while he was in custody, he knew that his mandate was a divine one and being aware of that, he cannot afford not to perform because he knows that the people who made his mandate possible will hold him accountable and he owes them a duty to deliver on his electoral promises. When you also recall how he won his reelection, in spite of the odds against him, his mandate could not but be said to be divine. This explains why he runs a people-centered government. He has also accorded more recognition to the traditional institution in the state by empowering the chiefs. In Abia State today, traditional institution is playing advisory role to the government. I think the governor must be commended for this noble gesture. But we still want more roles for traditional institution all across the country which should be included in the constitution. Abia not a failed state One must not forget that everybody cannot be happy with whatever you are doing as a leader. Despite your good work, people will always find reasons to criticise and rubbish you. That is what the governor is suffering in the hands of his detractors. Even if everyone in the state recognises his developmental efforts and commends him, there are still those are opposed to him who will not see the
many achievements he has recorded in office. Do not also forget that even our Saviour Himself was not loved by everyone. There were those who saw Him as someone who came to usurp the kingdom and they denounced Him. So, one is not surprised by what a few disgruntled elements say or think of the governor and his performance. As a leader, the more you are criticised, the more you are pushed to do much more. So criticism and opposition is good in a democracy. They keep you on your toes. Those criticising the governor for not doing anything are only pushing him to do much more. It is good for governance. Even if the governor decides to share the state’s federal allocations to all Abia citizens, he will still be criticised. There will still be people who will not be happy with him. So what can he do to please everyone? There may be some who are not happy with him, but I can assure you that there are many who are extremely happy with his performance so far. If the governor were to have a third term tomorrow, you will be shocked by the overwhelming supports and votes he will receive. As we speak, his Abia Central Senatorial Zone is already entreating him to go to the senate come 2015. Alleged rots in Aba Let me tell you something, I was born in Aba. But lot of people talk of Aba as if their knowledge of the place is only exclusive to them. There is something most outsiders do not know about Aba. It is a small town that is densely populated and with so much activity going on. So, no matter what you sink into the town, it is hardly felt. For your information, Aba was not properly designed. So it is highly congested that it makes it difficult to embark on any form of urban renewal. The problem of Aba is caused by the residents and traders who have consistently made developmental effort of successive governors, including the incumbent difficult. Every attempt by the governor to transform the town has been frustrated and resisted by the people residing in Aba. It is a town where the residents want to do business 24 hours round the clock. Every effort is seen as an attempt to displace the residents who are mainly traders. That has been the problem besetting the town. Do not forget that human beings will always resist change. Why would the governor not want to develop and transform Aba, when the bulk of those who voted for him are from Aba? The truth of the matter is that each time a contract is awarded for construction work, some of the contractors are kidnapped. But despite the various efforts to portray the governor as not doing anything in Aba, he has not relented. That is why you could still fine many roads, hitherto unworthy for vehicles to ply on being fixed. After all, the town is part of the governor’s constituency and he owes it to them to make lives more comfortable for them. Not minding that he has barely two years to go, Aba is in Governor Theodore Orji’s master plan. And he is committed to transforming the town before he bows out in 2015. Traditional rulers not ‘AGIP’ It is wrong to say that traditional rulers praise sing the government. we do not do that. The truth of the matter is that we praise those who do well and come down hard on those who do not do well. I do not know how that amounts to praise singing. You may not believe this, but I have been in the forefront of the advocacy for the relocation the Umuahia market from its present location because of the socio-economic challenges it has continued to pose to residents and visitors to the metropolis. The market is located in the centre of the metropolis and it is such an eyesore to the state capital. It constitutes a major traffic bottleneck in the city. And I have been strident in the agitation for its relocation. During the time of former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, I made several appeals to him to relocate the market and consider building a 5-star hotel that will play host to international visitors to the state. It felt on deaf ears. But I maintained my position in this current administration and followed up with representations to the governor’s office, today, the market is no longer there. So does this portray me as a praise singer of any government in power? As strategic as Aba is as a commercial hub of the South East, you will be surprised to hear that there is not a single standard hotel in the state. Some of us have
Continued on page 50
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 ENNY looked and sounded so sincere that I relented a bit. He had about a month to go on his contract with my company. I told him if he was still interested in me some time after the expiration of the job, then... I left the rest unsaid but he got my drift. “You will give me a chance then?” he said, looking excited. I nodded. “Let’s see what happens then,” I said. I was not sure I was doing the right thing by giving him hope about us being together but it was the least I could do in the situation. My thinking was that by the time the job finished and we were no longer seeing each other regularly, his feelings for me might wane. ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ I thought. But I had reckoned without Lenny’s tenacity. By the time the job finished, he was still coming to the company a few times a week ‘to check on the systems’ he told me but I knew it was simply an excuse to see me. When he could not come physically, he would phone or send messages. It was obvious my strategy was not working; instead it had had the opposite effect, making him more crazy about me. So, one day, about a month after his contract ended, I called him and we met up. I had closed from work for the day so we drove to an eatery not too far from my office. After we had eaten, we sat in his car chatting for a while. I told him how I felt about him and that though I liked him, a relationship with him would be too complicated. “Complicated? How?” he asked turning to gaze at me. Before I could say anything, he added: “I can see you are still bothered about the age thing. Well, if it doesn’t bother me, I don’t see why it should be a problem to you.” “Even if I’m ok with it, what will other people say? Your family, for instance. Do you think they will be happy to see you with someone like me, an older lady?” I argued. “You see, that’s the problem with a lot of people, they worry too much about what ‘others’ will say or think. Look, Rosa, what matters is what we feel about each other.
What others think about us being together should not be our problem. Besides, what makes you think my family won’t like you? Anyway, when we get to that ‘bridge’, we will cross it,” he stated reassuringly. That evening, he was so convincing in his arguments that he broke down my defences. I finally relented and decided to give him a chance. Later, as I lay in bed that night, the last thought on my mind before drifting off to sleep, was the look of joy on Lenny’s face when I finally agreed to date him. He had hugged me tightly to himself as if he would never let me go... The gathering storm... A few days later, a Saturday, Lenny came to pick me up for an outing. We had a nice time and we saw regularly after that. With time, we became a couple. Being with Lenny was a different experience for me. You see, I’ve had some really terrible relationships in the past and had in fact reached a stage where I had almost given up hope on men and love. That was until Lenny came into my life. It was like, in him I was being compensated for all the ‘ugly frogs I had kissed’ in the past. He lavished love and attention on me and treated me like a princess. What more could a lady want? He put my happiness above every other thing and always wanted the best for me. I was very happy with Lenny and even my friends noticed the change in me. “You look so radiant these days, Rosa. This new guy must be taking very good care of you,” Maria said one day at my home. She was on a visit with another friend, Anna. “Who’s the new guy?” Anna asked, turning to me. “Ask her now! Na she sabi!” I said sarcastically, going to the kitchen to get more drinks for them. They were leaving some time later when Lenny came. “How’s my sweetheart today?” he said, as he embraced me. I smiled, telling him I was fine. He had already met Maria so I introduced him to Anna. “Let me see them off. I will soon join you,” I told him. “That your guy is really cute. Does he have a brother?” Anna asked as we stood by Maria’s car,
You see, that’s the problem with a lot of people, they worry too much about what ‘others’ will say or think. Look, Rosa, what matters is what we feel about each other. What others think about us being together should not be our problem. Besides, what makes you think my family won’t like you? Anyway, when we get to that ‘bridge’, we will cross it
chatting. “Why are you asking?” I queried. “Because I want someone like him,” she declared. “Thief! Go to the shopping mall and you will get one to buy! Ole!” Maria said teasingly and we laughed. Before they left, Maria drew me aside. She wanted to know what Neenah,
A love to hold (2) Lenny’s cousin thought about our relationship. I shrugged before saying: “She has seen us together a couple of times. She doesn’t seem to mind.” “That’s good. I was worried she might not like you hooking up with him,” she said. Then getting into her car, she waved before driving off. If Neenah did not object to my dating her cousin, the same could not be said of his family members. One weekend, I was in his house one morning when his mother and younger sister arrived. It was my first time of meeting her so I was a bit nervous and anxious as well. I greeted and welcomed them warmly. Lenny was taking a shower so I went to get them some drinks. Lenny came out later and introduced me to his mother. “Mum, this is Rosa, my fiancée,” he stated. That surprised me because he had not formally proposed
to me. Infact, we had not even discussed marriage yet in the six months or so we had been together. So, why was he calling me his fiancée, I wondered. His mother looked at me up and down as if looking at something she did not particularly like then said in a displeased tone of voice. “Fiancée? Since when? You never told me you were engaged!” “Well, I’m telling you now, Mum,” he said. He then told me to prepare some food for his mother and sister so I left for the kitchen. From there, I could hear their voices. I knew they were talking about me so I went and stood by the kitchen door. His mother sounded upset from her tone of voice. She was telling Lenny that she was not happy with his choice of a wife stating: “Of all the ladies in this town, you went and chose someone like her! What
Tips for getting along with your in-laws
•Treat them with respect •Give gifts that interest them •Smile and act as though you're glad to see them even when you are not •Become comfortable around them •Act politely towards them •How do you pep up your wife or husband? Send in your contributions by sms only to: 08020771894
•A couple, kids, with their inlaws
were you thinking? Has she bewitched you or what?” she demanded. I heard Lenny laugh, before assuring her that he was in his right senses. She then said in a commanding tone: “Well, whatever you have with her must stop. Now!” To which Lenny countered: “I can’t Mum. She’s the one I love! The one after my heart!” I could see a great storm gathering over our heads and as I went back to preparing the meal, I wondered what the future held for Lenny and I... •What next? Don’t miss the juicy details next Saturday! •Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story. •Send comments/suggestions to 08023201831(sms only), email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel&Tourism with OKORIE UGURU (e-mail: Promenade@thenationonline.ng) Tel:08056516881 *LEISURE*ADVENTURE*FITNESS*NEWS*
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Why Katsina is self-sufficient in food production –Agric Commissioner Alhaji Musa Adamu Funtua is the Commissioner for Agriculture, Katsina State. He is one of the longest serving commissioners in Governor Ibrahim Shema’s administration. In this interview with Assistant Editor, LINUS OBOGO, he speaks on the agricultural sector of his state economy. Excerpts: What would you consider as major challenges confronting the agriculture ministry in your state? The challenge one would have faced has been smoothed by the enabling environment created by Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema since his inception. This administration believes so much in continuity even as we have a policy on agriculture based on the establishment of the institute of research, nature and community development committee, CDC Report. At the same time, nobody will deny that Katsina is an agrarian state. I think the challenges will be in the aspect of continuity so that the ministry can collaborate with various institutes of research. We know that these researches go a long way in boosting agriculture in the state. Part of that research is what brought about the various kinds of seedlings we have here in the state. The improvement in the quality of seedlings brings me to the issue of technology. It is these institutes, through technology that brings about the various types of seedlings in the state. And I guess that is one of the reasons why farming is all-yearround in the state. What is the magic behind your allyear-round farming in the state? There is no magic. It is a product of good thinking and hard work. We all know that agriculture or farming is better appreciated during the rainy season because that is when you have abundance of rains. But the governor thought otherwise. He felt that if the state must be food sufficient to the point of even taking outside the state, then, there must be other methods by which farming must be done 24 hours, seven days a week and 365 days a year. This is what brought about all the innovations we are all experiencing now in the agriculture sector of the economy. Based on research, our land here is suitable for all manner of farming from January to December. You cannot go into agriculture without proper seedlings which are available in abundance here in the state. We have more than 28 seed farms across the state and these are seeds
•Funtua that are weather-friendly. At the same time, you cannot go into farming without fertilizer. This is why there is no time of the year in the state that you cannot find fertilizers in our stores. And the minimum we can have on ground at any particular point in time is about 20,000 metric tons on ground. The fertilizer warehouses are spread across the three geo-political zones of the state. What are the distribution channels of the fertilizers so that the farmers, who need them, can get them? There are several distribution channels in getting the fertilizers across to the farmers. There is the polling unit, ward unit, local government level, zonal level and association of all farmers of Nigeria. These are the ways by which fertilizers get to the real farmers in the state. This policy was initiated by the governor himself, having seen the kind of difficulties farmers went through in the past before they could have access to fertilizers. I can tell you, this method is fraud-free. In Katsina State, fertilizers distribution process has no middlemen who can create any sort of monopoly. Everybody is aware of the quantity of fertilizers available. Everybody knows how much it costs and how much through subsidy, the state government is selling it. And it is made available through the distribution channels I mentioned earlier. So there is no way the farmers can be shortchanged. Moreover, as the committee moves around to distribute he fertilizers, the state radio is also simultaneously announcing the movement so that everybody can know where the committee is
and at what time. Even at that, no single person is allowed to pay money to purchase fertilizer, you must form a group like cooperative, about five in minimum before they can be given fertilizers. This is purely the initiative of the governor and since then, things have been going on smoothly. Everybody, from the smallest farmer to the large scale ones know the amount that is released. The government has spent over N4b on fertilizers. Katsina State is one of the states where there is high rate of subsidy on fertilizer. Last year alone, we had over 23,000 metric tons. We bought another 23,000 metric tons to complement the one on ground, while we distributed over 40,000 metric tons. We have fertilizer manufacturing plants in four places across the state. All the workers are products of the state arts and craft village. However, because most of us here in the state are agrarians, most of the fertilizers manufactured here in the state are usually not enough. The demand is much more than what these factories can produce at the moment and that is why we complement what we produce here with little from outside. A bag of fertilizer that should normally cost about N7, 200 is subsidised such that at the end of the day, it is sold for N1, 750. But beyond all these, another reason why in Katsina, farming is all year is because the Jibia Dam is there to complement the efforts of the farmers. Before the governor got elected, the Jibia Dam owned by the Federal Government had been lying fallow for many years. Nobody attended to it, probably because of the huge financial implications of resuscitating it. But the governor took it upon himself by setting up a committee led by a renown professor in that field from Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria to look at how it could be resuscitated. At the end, several billions of naira was spent on it before it could get back to work again. The capacity of the dam is about 3500 hectares. Presently, over 3000 hectares are now being put into use. Among all the produce the state is producing, which would you say the state has comparative advantage over other states? In the transformation agenda on agriculture of Mr. President, Katsina State is the leading state when it comes to cotton. We have all manner of produce here, but I think our comparative advantage is cotton. There are 23 local government areas
that have large scale cotton. We are second in sorghum and maize production. Tomatoes, cassava, groundnuts are all available here in the state and they is all year round. It is not for fun that agriculture is booming in this state. The state government, knowing the impact of farmers in the state, granted an interest-free loan of N250m to the Association of Professional Farmers of Nigeria, Katsina Chapter to be repaid in five years. We believe that in doing this, it will not only boost farming, thereby increasing food sufficiency in the state and its environs, we are also providing more jobs for the people and thereby reducing any form of vices in the society. We have three dams, jibia, Zobe, Dangiram and Zakedam. These are the large dams we have across the state. Before now, all were underutilized and we have 27 irrigation schemes sites belonging to the state government. How do you market the produce? The governor formed a committee, having realised that some of the challenges of these farmers, after harvest is the market. The governor sat down with the farmers and spoke to them one on one regarding how the state government could help market their produce. The governor then approved the N555m to buy the goods from them all, in a competitive price. He then initiated another policy in the local government such that every month, N68 million worth of maize is bought directly from the farmers and distributed to the people on 15%discount. Last year, the ministry bought grains of over N500 million from the farmers and later distributed to everybody free, especially during the last Ramadan period. Furthermore, the marketing board is now taking charge of this responsibility of buying the produce off the farmers. Another reason why Katsina is food sufficiency is because of the Shongai farming. It is basically a transfer of technology in agriculture. The state government is heavily into it because it frowns on wastage. Everything is important and needed in Shongai farming. The state government got about 550 hectares of land across the three senatorial districts and then later took 60 youths of Katsina State to Port Novo for training on the technology. As we speak, all the facilities needed for this are on ground. Before now, if you cultivated tomatoes, especially during dry season, within two days of harvest, the tomatoes began to decay, but with this Shongai farming technology, two weeks after, the tomatoes are still fresh. Cattle rearing, garden eggs, all other produce are all year round. There is the cow and goat improvement centres. These centres are basically cross breeding the foreign cows brought into the state with our local ones which of course would generate more jobs, apart from the transfer of technology that comes with it.
‘My wealthy subjects try to intimidate me’ Continued from page 44 agitating for a first class hotel in Abia State. Abians never had it so good There is absolutely no basis for comparison. The regime before the present one pales abysmally in terms of performance. In fact, Abians have never had it so good. Of course, you have to also consider the prevailing circumstances for each administration. The reason the previous administration could be said not to have performed could be looked at from the availability of resources at its disposal at the time. But on the whole, this administration has performed tremendously well than the ones before it. Reconciling Kalu with Theodore Orji Both Kalu and Theodore Orji are our sons. They are from Abia and not from any other country. As a traditional ruler, we have had meetings with them in the past. But they told us
it was nothing personal but a mere political disagreement between them. They said they could only disagree politically to agree. The two illustrious sons of Abia have nothing personal against each. I can say it with certainty that before 2015, they will definitely find reasons to tread the same path once again. I have no doubt about that. In the course of time, the two of them will find a political solution to their disagreement. Conflict of roles “There are no conflicts of roles with regard to my position as an eze, a businessman and a prophet. As traditional ruler, I am expected to combine this function with my religious role. It is only here in the South that we try to create a demarcation between the two. Elsewhere in the North, an emir is also the religious head of his people. He is looked upon as both their religious and traditional leader and he performs those religious functions as expected of his position. Are there areas of conflict? No! That is why whenever the President says he
wants to see the religious leaders, it is the same emirs who are the traditional leaders of their people that come forward. But back here in the South, if you call out religious leaders, you will see pastors and bishops angling for attention of the president. When they find themselves with the Northern traditional leaders who double as traditional and religious leaders, they are usually undermined. The emirs undermine them. Is it that traditional rulers in the South worship the devil? Is he a native doctor? My roles do not clash, whether as eze, businessman or a prophet. As an Eze, we have the council of chiefs, the elders’ council who play intermediary and complementary roles to the eze. So my attention is not usually needed all situations. Even as a businessman, I have people who oversee my business interest. I must not necessarily be at every point of my business transaction. The same way, I do not need a special occasion or platform to prophecy.”
THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
I started automobile business as an undergraduate Zaria Mimano is a British-born business strategist and founder of UK-based Aba Oil LLC. Although she is only in her 20s, Mimano has done well for herself and her company. She recently visited Nigeria and DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI engaged her in an interview in which she spoke about her job, passion and future plans among other issues.
HY did you leave Law practice for the oil sector?
I can only put it down to destiny. It is where I thought I could make the greatest contribution and hopefully I can, even beyond what I first envisioned. I only studied Law but I never practised the subject. Would you describe it as a waste of time? It was not. The four years I invested into studying the subject has helped me a great deal in life and in business. It helps me to get into the mind of the people I work with and to try and look at things from all angles, being as positive as possible with the aim of finishing anything that I start. That is always my goal in life. I don't start something I cannot finish. As a young lady, how do you intend to compete with other investors in the same sector? Experience has taught me that wisdom does not necessarily come with age. It is simply favour. They do it their way, we do it our way. We do not see anyone else as competition. We can only try and work together where our creative skills can add the most value for the overall greater good. Do men take advantage of your position? How? As the saying goes, if you are being mistreated time and time again, then you are most probably cooperating with the mistreatment. Wisdom has taught me over time how best not to cooperate. There is the only one rock I will ever need. One must always be able to walk away. Does your name Zaria have anything to
do with the city in Kaduna State? Yes. My father went to school in Ghana and during his time there, he was always coming to Nigeria. I guess he came to Nigeria and went to Zaria, Kaduna State. Perhaps he was impressed with something
As the saying goes, if you are being mistreated time and time again, then you are most probably cooperating with the mistreatment. Wisdom has taught me over time how best not to cooperate
—UK-based Nigerian oil magnate Zaria Mimano there that made him name me after the place when I was born. My dad is very random but in a special way. He also named my brother after the Emperor of Ethiopia. You have an impressive portfolio as a business strategist despite being young. How have you managed this feat? In everything, give thanks. Taking it from scratch, I went to a private school in London, although we did not pay tuition due to the fact one of our old boys was paying our tuition fees. As such, a lot of people within the private school world looked down on us, but we were really smart. However, during my time in school, I was involved in a lot of business competitions, where I was made the managing director, and as a team we achieved many highs. My early years also saw me having wise mentors, who exposed me to a lot business wise, life wise even now. How did the journey start? Business has always been there for me. But think if I am to rephrase your question to the good times or fruitful times, then it would have to be when I started to develop
Cash flow management Continued from last week Prompt issuance of invoice and immediate follow-up if payment is slow in coming. Ask customers to make deposit payments at the time orders are taken. Get rid of old, outdated inventory for whatever you can get. Track account receivable to identify and avoid slow-paying customers, by instituting a policy of cash on delivery as an alternative to do business with slow-paying customers. Managing Payables. When managing a growing company, expenses should be carefully watched in order to avoid complacency by simply expanding sales. Whenever expenses are growing faster than sales, examine cost carefully in
Tomi OMOJUWA order to cut or control them. Here are some more tips for using cash wisely: •Take full advantage of creditor payment terms. •Communicate with suppliers so they know your financial situation. If you ever need to delay a payment you will need their trust and understanding. •Carefully consider vendors offers of discounts for earlier payments. •Don’t always focus on the lowest price when choosing suppliers. Sometimes more flexible payment terms can improve your cash flow more than a bargain basement price. Surviving Shortfalls Situation occurs, where there will be lack of cash to pay bills.
Consider using factors, these are financial service business that can pay you today for receivable you may not otherwise be able to collect, for weeks or months. A discount will be demanded by the factor and you will receive less than expected as receivable, but the hassle of collecting and be able to fund current operations without borrowing will be eliminated. Ask your best customer to accelerate payment, offer a reasonable percentage of discounts, persuade your worst customer and offer them discount if they pay early. Choose the bills to pay carefully, don’t just pay the smallest one and left the rest slide, pay the necessary bills, pay crucial suppliers next, ask the rest if you can skip a payment or make a partial payment. Concluded.
This does not mean failure as a business person. The future can’t be predicted perfectly. The key to manage cash shortfall is to become aware of the problem as early as possible. If you assume from the beginning that you will someday be short of cash, you can arrange for a loan of credit with your bank. This allows you to borrow money up to a limit any time you need it. Arranging a credit loan before shortfall is vital. If your bank won’t help turn next to your supplier they are interested in keeping you going and probably know more about your business. You can get extended terms from suppliers that amount to a hefty low-cost loan. This can be true if you have been a good customer in the past and kept them informed about Omojuwa is the Managing your financial position. Consultant Pathlead Consulting
understanding; when I started to see God's will in my life. That is when things started to make sense and I began to feel fulfillment. I started my own business during university buying and selling cars, which I did eventually have to suspend for awhile in order to concentrate on finishing university. During and after university, I had an office in London, where we also dealt in all the latest electronics. Then, before the latest Blackberrys, iPhones became available in the UK, we would already have it. Our Middle Eastern customers and the bankers in London at the time gave us great business. But the big ideas and exposure came through travel. You were also in the world of banking at one stage… Yes. During part of my gap year I did work for both Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank in London. Where do you see yourself and Aba oil in 10 years? Wow! I have never thought that far ahead. In fact, I cannot. Destiny has presented itself in my life so much that I don't even try and plan anymore. I just do the best I can do whilst remembering to put God first as much as I can always. I am currently in the process of learning to let go, and it makes it more exciting. Thank God. What advice do you have for women like you? Through good and bad times, ride it. The bad times are all part of the ride. It's what makes the end result special. Trust in God alone. Victory loves preparation. Have fun at the same time, live everyday like it's literally your last. Stay focused, stay grounded. Keep everything simple. If you d, you'll never go wrong. Nothing great is supposed to be easy. He will see you through always. With your background, you should be married. Why the wait? Haha! I'm sure God will let me know when He is ready for me to be a wife. I'm not there yet please. How many children do you want? Whatever I am given when the time is right, I am sure it will be perfect. How do you relax? It depends. My mode of relaxation differs with the country I find myself. But it's really bad I really enjoy my own company. When I am in London, I love to do casual shopping. I also go to the spa. In Nigeria, it is the simple things I do. I often like taking long baths. When I am in Nigeria, I always find it hard to read because I have to plan for the next day and when I am reading, I feel I could be doing something better. So, I just think of new ideas, ways of doing things to keep things moving as best as possible. Relaxation is difficult in Nigeria, but at times I just lie in bed and think. It can be relaxing you know.
Home sweet home (2)
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
Diagnostic laboratory tests for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria:
An Alice in Wonderland journey Continued from last week
Co-authored with Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Onianwa
EAR Reader, last week, I showed you giving and receiving as secrets for enjoying a sweet home. This week, I will yet show you another secret, which is Thanksgiving. What is Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks, appreciation, expression of gratitude to someone for a favour or service done. But in this context, thanksgiving is unto God, for His faithfulness. The Word of God says: It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night (Psalm 92:1-2). God has done a lot for you. So, it is good that you give Him thanks. If you don't give Him thanks, it means you are doing a bad thing. Thanksgiving is a must, for you to keep the joy of the Lord flowing in your home and family. It opens up the gates of God and ushers you into His presence, thereby granting you audience. In the excitement of the season, time must be set aside to appreciate and thank Him for His faithfulness towards you and your family, appreciation for divine protection, divine provision, divine health, unity, security, safety, promotion, etc. These are all the faithfulness of God. ! You need to spend time to think deeply and you will see that you owe God thanks. Think of His mercies and loving-kindness towards you and your family; without Him things could have been worse. Many started the year with you but not too many are alive to see the end of the year! Often times, a lot of us are so bothered about what God has not done, that we tend to forget what He has already done. The Word of God says: Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103:1-2). Have you enjoyed God's benefit since the year began? Don't take God for granted. Give Him thanks. ! The fact that you are still alive is worth thanking God for. The Word of God says: Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Psalm 150:6). Do you still have breath? You owe God thanks. The scriptures says: Let everything that hath breath praise
Home sweet home (2) the Lord. It didn't say, “Let everyone that has car, house, wife, husband or what have you?” You owe God thanks for your breath. ! There are a lot of things to give God thanks for. Has God done anything for you this year? If you think well, you will know that He has done so much. Thanksgiving is a commandment from God as instructed in I Thessalonians 5:18 and Ephesians 5:20. If you would want Him to continue His blessings in your life and family, read the scripture and obey His commandment. When you obey the commandment of thanksgiving, you open the door for great blessings. A life of thanksgiving is a life of sweat-less and tasteful Christian experience. If you settle down to acknowledge Him, He will acknowledge you too. ! Give God thanks for what He did yesterday, and you will compel Him to act today. You don't have to wait for a reason to thank Him; just thank Him for who He is. When you stop having a reason to thank God, then you have created a reason to be imprisoned. There is always a reason to thank God. The Word of God says: Less the
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies (Psalm 103:1-4). ! Let the woman who has no child yet, thank God with joy in her heart for even making her a wife to a man. Let the unemployed thank God for the gift of life and health. Let the singles thank God that he or she is a qualified candidate to be married. Let the businessman that is yet to break even at the end of the year stop pointing an accusing finger at God, but thank Him for life and for being able to do business at all. In everything and for everything, give God thanks, while you are still alive! Thanksgiving unto God is better acknowledged, when you are a child of God. You become a child of God when you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour (born again). If you would like to do so, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today, I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins, cleanse me with Your blood. Deliver me from sin and Satan to serve the living God. I believe You died for me and on the third day, You rose that I might be justified. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into your kingdom. ! Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you, in Jesus' Name! ! ! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. No: 08141320204; 07026385437; 07094254102 ! ! For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Making Marriage Work, Marriage Covenant, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (CoAuthored).
Diagnostic laboratory tests for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria:
An Alice in Wonderland journey Continued from last week
Other Laboratory Findings Associated With Hiv Infection Researchers have shown that in most patients, on set of AIDs is associated with low Haemoglobin(Hb) and a rise in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). In addition, total white blood cell count (WBC), % lymphocytes, and neutrophil are all low in about 30% patients. Thrombocytopenia can occur in about 5.2% in association with a rise in reticulocytes. Serum albumin may drop and bleeding (usually starting with the gums and yellow eyes (haemolysis) may occur due to auto-antibodies. In some cases involving hyperglobulinaemia, there is rouleaux formation. There is associated low CD4 count and a rise in B12 macroglobulin. High incidence of non specific opportunistic infections are commonly observed in established cases of HIV/AIDS HIV TEST RESULT: Apprehension and Fears Most infected persons will develop detectable HIV antibody within three months of exposure. With the exception of neonates, infants and children below 18 months of age, negative HIV test usually indicates the absence of HIV infection. If the initial negative test was done within the first three months after exposure, it should be repeated after three months post exposure. The appropriate timing for a follow-up test will depend on the time of exposure, the risk behavior of the person and the persons anxiety. The timing of follow-up test is meant to provide assurance that the exposure did not lead to infection. If
Co-authored with Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Onianwa the follow-up test is negative, then the person is not likely to be infected with HIV. Persons With Ongoing Exposure For individuals permanently at risk due to ongoing exposure, continued HIV infection and reinjection pose special challenges for follow-up testing. When Mr. A contracts HIV from Mr. B or Mrs. C, the virus while inside him undergoes series of changes such that when an unsuspecting Miss D enjoys sexual liaison with him(Mr. A ) , a completely new virus with subtypes different from t h e o n e originally present before the contact will now be detectable in the body of Miss. D. Periodic follow-up testing is therefore recommended for at risk individuals like commercial sex workers(brothel and non brothel), those who have multiple partners , intravenous hard drug users etc. Conclusion From the fore going, it is clear that without professional medical advice and some one to guide you, simply jumping into any lab for HIV/ADS lab test is
fraught with peculiar problems; there are issues, and questions you need to internalize before you go out there , and hence the need for counseling ;otherwise, you enter a world of confusion like 'Alice's adventures in wonder land'' . It is important to avoid getting a wrong test the first time, because once a positive result is disclosed and an individual is labeled positive, it is difficult to erase, no matter how hard you try to convince family, friends and foes that there was a mistake. You really don't know what manner of eccentric characters populate this world of unimaginable wickedness until you have problems ; just as Lewis Carroll tries to tell us in that book. The person you call your best friend also has a best friend and of course some best friends are not as honest and truthful as you think they are especially when it c o m e s t o disseminating unpleasant news. Some friends are actually only comfortable when you are in distress. If they can't get damaging information from you they can get it from your children. So if you are currently enjoying life style patterns that put you( and your family) at risks and are making enquiries ,trying to know your status, you really don't know to whom you can safely entrust your HIV/AIDS related medical secrets. Voluntary counseling and testing
combined with Clinical judgment is the best approach . It goes beyond just asking questions and getting answers. Way Forward; The following suggestions might be useful if favorably considered; Secondary and tertiary Hospitals rely on different types of loans to ensure all units operate within established fiscal boundaries. They can also accommodate additional units to handle specialized services to take care of different categories of laboratory investigations ,including HIV/AIDS Tests. Running such units will reduce the human traffic , patients' dissatisfaction and frustrations which characterize regular Hematology and Blood transfusion units . It will also de glove the need for reliable diagnostic equipment and for the units to upgrade their equipment to more sophisticated ones as the needs arise. Establishment of HIV/AIDS anonymous groups for those who would not want to go to public health centers . Such groups can make special arrangements with approved diagnostic centers coordinated by medical professionals on how voluntary counseling and testing . The formation of linkage centers where pretest post test voluntary counseling can be done ; coordination of different programs and diagnostic services is essential to ensure access for individuals at risk. Adequate provisions should accordingly be made to facilitate easy communication between clinics and laboratories to ensure appropriate referral and treatment for infected individuals. •Concluded
THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 •Continued from Page 64 priate time. Here, we do things on our hunch. We are proponents of quick fixes, with most of our administrators thinking through their pockets. For others, anything without their inputs isn’t done well. And such has been the problem with NFF’s preparations for the World Cup. But it appears that the Aminu Maigari-led board solved this crisis when they decided that Keshi would pick the team’s training base and other ancillary needs for the Eagles. This is a brilliant move as it will keep Keshi et al quiet when the chips are down in Brazil. Such mundane talk of the propriety of the NFF picking the team’s training base ahead of the coaches would be farfetched. The interesting aspect of this development is that we were the only country where the coach picked its training
Preparing for Brazil 2014 camp. In fact, among the five qualifiers from Africa, only Nigeria and Ghana’s coaches attended the event. It can’t happen here for Keshi not to attend FIFA’s World Cup draws. Indeed, Keshi has confirmed that he would get Nigeria the best facilities. So, the aspect of NFF cutting corners for such an arrangement with FIFA is forbidden. This approval given to Keshi shows that the NFF learnt from the 2010 experience where the imbroglio from the Hamshire Hotel ruined our preparations for the South Africa 2010 World Cup tournament. The furore from the Hamshire Hotel saga set the NFF against the Presidential Task Force (PTF), with the National Sports Commission (NSC) serving as the battle axe. Hiding under the obnoxious Decree 101, which gives the sports minister discretionary powers to intervene in matters
Mustard Seed visits Little Saints Orphanage
EMBERS of the Board of Trustee, of the Mus tard Seed Empowerment led by its president, Engr. Oluwatosin Adeyelu, paid a visit to Little Saints’ Orphanage Home located at Ekoro, AbuleEgba, Lagos penultimate Sunday. During the visit, the nongovernmental organization donated items ranging from cartons of SMA Gold, Pampers, tins of Milo, Golden Morn, Cerelac, cartons of Indomie, Dettol Cool, Cool
Cow milk, Maggi and a bag of rice to the inmates of the home. Receiving the items on behalf of the home, its Matron, Mrs. Domicila Enoh, while appreciating the organisation for its kind gesture called on other well-meaning organizations and individuals to assist the home and similar outfits in the country in their bid to fulfil their mission of rehabilitation, reformation and provision of good education for the abused, abandoned and the less-privileged children in the society.
of football that bother on national interest, the Hamshire Hotel ruse provided the platform to divide the stakeholders and even the players. PTF members saw themselves as having the powers to run our football. Former NFF President Sani Lulu, a stickler for the enforcement of the tenets of the FIFA statutes, ensured that the body did its job. While others were busy preparing their national teams for the Mundial, our PTF experts and, indeed, the former minister did several visits to FIFA, seeking to oust the NFF with the PTF. Things got so bad that the former minister wrote to FIFA, urging it not to release our World Cup earnings to the NFF. It was that bad. We became the laughing stock. Our situation was a clear case of a divided house; it fell like a pack of cards. FIFA chiefs were wondering how we opted to dig landmines for our team even before the competition began. Will the NFF cede the task of picking the hotel where the Eagles will stay to Keshi? What is wrong with that if that will prevent any buck passing, not forgetting that the location of the hotel where our players stayed in 1994 in the United States (US) contributed greatly to our exit, despite our superlative showing. Clemens Westerhof still feels that we could have qualified for the semi-finals, if our administrators had done his bidding to relocate the players from the noisy hotel in the US. The Maigari-led NFF can also cede the choice of hotel for the team to Keshi. The NFF will
eventually pay; so, it doesn’t really matter. Such mundane things shouldn’t distort our preparations. If Keshi feels that it would further burden him, he should be made to put it in writing. It is good that we will be going to the Mundial as African champions. This feat is chiefly responsible for the absence of another PTF. Preparations for our trip to Brazil should be hinged on the lessons of the past. I always feel bad about Nigeria when teams arrive at World Cup venues in their country’s national carriers. My pain starts when countries start to paint the designated aircraft with World Cup insignia. It is always a thing of pride watching countries board the aircraft in their national dresses. It shows a sense of belonging. Airlifting the Eagles to Sao Paulo is another contentious issue. We need to fix this aspect. The government should assign an aircraft for this exercise. The African champions’ arrival in Brazil should be celebrated with ceremony. The last NFF board had issues with flying the Eagles so much so that an empty aircraft had to be flown from Nigeria to England to take the team to South Africa. It shouldn’t happen again. It is heart-warming that the NFF is considering an international friendly against England at the Wembley Stadium. Such high profile games will help the coaches to correct the flaws noticed. It would also help them in picking their players because the World Cup is not a tea party. Nothing can be better than
the news from Brazil during the week that Maigari and Keshi agreed to work together. I believe them and I hope that they don’t listen to fifth columnists gained from the past rifts. History will remember Maigari and Keshi, if Nigeria plays in the semi-finals of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. The minister captured the new di-
rection for our World Cup campaign by insisting that no target should be set for the team. Such targets are meant to witch hunt the players and coaches as well as oust the NFF board. Nigerians await the NFF board that would return after the Mundial. Would Maigari’s board break that jinx? Like the Edo people will say, Oba Khato Okpere, Ise!
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Amosun set to launch Homeowners Charter GUN State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, will on Monday, December 16, launch the Homeowners charter designed for Ogun Property owners to regularise their land documents. The Homeowners’ Charter is an intervention programme by Ogun State government to ease the acquisition of building approvals from the state’s planning authority for homeowners who register to regularize the documentation of their houses within the six weeks of the launching of the programme. According to the programme, homeowners can also obtain Certificates- of-Occupancy within nine months and at hugely discounted rates if they apply within the six weeks. In a statement, Mr.Gbenga Otenuga, the Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, explained that under the Homeowners’ Charter, the fees homeowners normally pay to acquire building permits and C-of-Os have been greatly reduced. As incentive, the state government is giving discounts of up to 75% on the cost of obtaining documentation for buildings. This underscores the commitment of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to ensuring that as many property owners as possible take advantage of the initiative to regularize the documentation of their houses. Otenuga added that the Homeowners’ Charter is one of the key programmes of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led government to engender urban renewal and development in the state.
•RIGAN President, Dr Edmund Okolo (2nd right), RIGAN Vice President, Prof. Cyril Osubor (2nd left) Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed and another official at a sporting event in Lagos.
Two killed in Ekiti bank robbery D AREDEVIL armed bandits turned Ikere-Ekiti to a theatre of war and bloodletting on Thursday, killing two and leaving three seriously injured in an early evening attack on a first generation bank. According to findings, the armed robbers, numbering about 12, got to the bank about 5.30 pm, shooting sporadically to scare away residents. They reportedly made away
n Sulaiman SALAWUDEEN, Ado-Ekiti n
with an unspecified sum of money after blowing the bank's entrance gate with dynamites before gaining access to the bank's vault. According to eyewitnesses, the robbers, who were said to have stormed the bank in a Toyota Sienna car, escaped through the Ikere-Ogotun road after the operation, which reportedly lasted
about 30 minutes. According to reports, two of the injured were policemen, while the dead were said to be either customers or unlucky passers-by. The remains of the victims are said to have been deposited at the mortuary. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Ekiti State, Mr Victor Olu-Babayemi, said one of the robbers was shot dead while two
policemen were injured. Meanwhile, earlier in the day, students of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, stormed the streets to protest the death of a student who died in an auto crash within the community. The students demanded that the authorities of the school should postpone the ongoing examination, with the authorities insisting that the examination should continue.
Ex-lawmaker Jigawa Assembly summons finance commissioner he Jigawa State House of Astion of houses. n Ahmed RUFA'I, Dutse n hails Tinubu’s sembly has summoned the He said: “Even the Secretary to the Chairman, House Committee on state Commissioner of Finance the State Government had to intervirtues to appear before it for allegedly de- Land, Housing, Urban Develop- vene, and spoke to the commis-
N ex-lawmaker in the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon Kunle Ademoye, has described the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the only political leader in Nigeria with the potential to attain the stature of Nelson Mandela. Ademoye said that Tinubu and Mandela exude sterling qualities and attributes which are similar in several ways. According to him, these qualities have endeared the duo, not only to the hearts of the people, but to humanity as a whole. “This indeed is not surprising, because Tinubu is first and foremost a humanist before a politician. Like Mandela, Tinubu’s world view transcends narrow tribal perception and chauvinism of any sort, be it of religion or sex. “He is the only Nigerian leader in the contemporary political setting whom you can describe as hundred per cent Yoruba, hundred per cent Nigerian, and hundred per cent humanist. Rarely do you find any politician in Nigeria and Africa today who combines these qualities to the maximum, as Tinubu.” He said Tinubu’s humanist temper is the pervasive factor which differentiates him from other politicians across the nation and the continent as a whole. “It was also this factor which explained his stupendous allround success during his stint as governor of Lagos State. “Particularly notable in this regard was his ability to weld the diverse ethnic groups within the state into a united political family, and giving them a sense of belonging as Lagosians, irrespective of tribe or ethnic group.”
laying the progress of the state government’s low-cost housing policy. The Assembly blamed the commissioner for the delay in the implementation of the housing policy by ignoring the directive for the release of the sum of N95,161,934.07million for the purchase of a Hydro Fom block-making machines for mass production of blocks for the project. The House took the decision yesterday after a report presented by
ment and Regional Planning, Honourable Shehu Liman Wan. Part of the report recommended that the commissioner be invited to explain the reason behind the delay. Presenting the report, Hon. Wan wondered why the state ministry of finance has effused to release the funds for the purchase of the machines despite government’s directive to the State Housing Authority to commence work on the construc-
sioner of finance to hasten action in the release of the fund, but yet no response. "The policy is in line with the desire of the Lamido administration to provide affordable housing accommodation to the people of the state. The block-making machines will provide employment opportunity to the teeming youths across the state, as well as generate revenue for the government."
Expert bemoans loss of N600b to tax, waivers in Nigeria HE loss of about N600 billion to custom and tax waivers in the last ten years is dangerous for the country’s economy, former senior special assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan (Financial Sector Development), Dr Biodun Adedipe, has said. He added that this year alone, the country lost a princely sum of N62 billion to waivers granted to busi-
n Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin n ness operators, and described the development as fraught with high scale corruption. The renowned economist of the BAA Consulting spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at a budget retreat organized by the stateowned business conglomerate, Harmony Holdings Limited, blaming
‘RIGAN Games will develop international talents’ HE on-going 14th Research Institutes Games Association of Nigeria (RIGAN), taking place at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) Lagos, has been described as an avenue for discovering and developing national and International sports talents for the nation in particular and the world at large. This was made known yesterday in Lagos by Dr. Edmund C.Okolo, National President of the Association and Research Director, Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) Benin City. The on-going sports festival tagged ìFIIRO EKO 2013î, taking place for the first time in Lagos, is an avenue for discovering and developing national and international sports talents for our dear country Nigeria and the world at large. Through this sports festival which started 32 years ago, we have produced national and international sports stars,’’ Okolo said.
government officials for using waivers to enrich themselves. Speaking on the topic: “An overview of the Nigerian economy and economic projections for 2014”, he said the country had failed to maximise its value of budget projections because of financial indiscipline, adding that the way the 2014 budget is being handled is “very worrisome.” He, however, identified emerging veritable opportunities immediately obvious in government policies, especially for entities whose activities have direct connection with government’s expenditure heads in 2014. The commentator on government budgets and economic policies in the last 25 years, cautioned that only such entities which envision and design value propositions that will enable them gain a defined percentage of the proposed relevant expenditure to their business will benefit from the opportunities. He said that such oppor-
tunities will exist in the areas of transportation, general merchandise, hospitality, telecommunication, capital market and property development among others. He said Nigeria economy has experienced growth without development despite the 6.8 per cent growth in GDP in 2013.
Adebambo’s remains interred amid tears n Ebele BONIFACE n EOPLE from different walks of life including parents, sisters, brothers, and some physically challenged children and men from Lagos Cheshire Home Agege, Lagos, where late Adebambo Abimbola Olumuyiwa (19792013) was a staff until his death, could not control their tears as his remains were being buried at the Atan Cemetry, Yaba Lagos yesterday. Olumuyiwa died in an auto accident at U-turn, Abule Egba, on the outskirts of Lagos on November 13, 2013. According to the Public Relations Officer of the home, Deaconess Adeola Olarenwaju, “the accident was painful, sudden and tragic. Though we don’t have control over death, we are saddened by his death because he radiated love, care, hard work when he was alive. We are saddened that nobody could take responsibility for the accident. We want to use this medium to call on the senate to make a law banning the use of serene by unauthorised persons including over speeding on our highways. Even the physically challenged children in the home went on hunger strike when they heard that Adebambo was involved in a fatal accident.”
Council chief lifts CDAs n Kunle AKINRINADE n O carry out self-help developmental projects, the Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Hon.Rotimi Rahman has given the 42 community development associations grants. Speaking during the event held at the council secretariat,Hon.Rahman said:"We cannot do without groups at the grassroot level.Community development associations play a pivotal role in the development of the society and no government can overlook their relevance.What we are doing today is not only to encourage but to support their activities as partners in progress." "As a government, we shall continue to partner with groups and associations at the grassroot in order to create an enabling environement for those who want to partner with us in the development of this council area.It is instructive to note that we have embarked on massive infrastructural development of our communities.Some of the projects include boreholes, health centres and new classroom blocks with a view to providing dividends of democracy for the people and we will not rest on our oars.
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Native doctor, eight others arrested for killing abducted 84-year-old monarch's wife HE police in Enugu State have arrested nine persons described as notorious kidnappers including a native doctor alleged to be the one who usually prepares charm for them. Their arrest followed their kidnap and killing of the wife of a traditional ruler of Ogogoro community in
Chris OJI, Enugu n Igboeze North Local Government of Enugu State. The 84-year-old wife of the traditional ruler, Madam Adiza Ogbo was allegedly abducted by the men and taken to an unknown destination. Enugu Police Command spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu,
said the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Abubakar Mohammed, ordered for a full-scale investigation, which led to the arrest of the suspects. They were arrested after a severe gun duel with the operatives when they were tracked to their hideouts.
Police, youths foil kidnap attempt on PDP chieftain's father OUTHS of Nguzu Edda in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, yesterday foiled a kidnap attempt of Chief Ama Orji Ewa, father of top businessman and stalwart of PDP, Chief Julius Ama Orji. The Nation gathered that suspected kidnappers had invaded the compound of the stalwart who was away on a business trip and attempted to bundle his aged father away. But one of the children living in the compound raised an alarm which attracted community members and forced the kidnappers to abandon the man and took to their heels. It was gathered that the Coordinator of Afikpo South Development Centre, Mr. Okorafor Ugwuocha later mobilised the vigilante and youths in the area, who in conjunction with security agents intercepted the kidnap-
Ogochukwu ANIOKE, Abakaliki
pers at a neighbouring town in Abaia State. "Two members of the four-man gang were arrested and handed over to the military anti-kidnapping squad in Umuahia Abia state," said a source. The Coordinator, in a telephone chat, commended the youths and security teams of both Ebonyi and Abia States for working together to foil the kidnap attempt and the arrest of the suspected kidnappers. He also advised the people to be security conscious especially during the yuletide period and report any suspicious movements, especially from unknown persons to the police and other security agents. Police spokesman in the state, ASP Chris Anyanwu said he was aware of the incident but could not immediately comment on it since it involved security
Be generous in victory, group urges Anambra governor-elect he Anambra State Public Officers and Elders’ Forum (ASPOF) has commended the people of the state for the maturity, peaceful conduct and patriotic zeal demonstrated during and after the November 16 governorship election in the state. In a statement by Dr. S.N Okeke, OON (Ochendo) and Mr. Raphael Oraeluno, Chairman and Secretary
respectively, the group said by this feat, Anambra people have proved political pundits wrong because elections can now hold in a serene and conducive atmosphere in the state. “People can today elect their leaders by mere expression of their civic responsibilities without any intimidation or fear. “ASPOF therefore wishes to congratulate Chief Willie Obiano and his deputy of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on their victory at the poll.
agents of two states. "We are still waiting for official statement before we brief you, but I have heard of the incident."
n Okodili NDIDI, Owerri n you Dr Ezuma James Ezuma (m), on the 24 day of November 2013, within the Owerri Magisterial District did abduct a day-old baby delivered by one Chinaza Nnachi, aged 19 years, in your said premises in order that the said child may be killed for any purpose and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 20 of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Law enforcement and Administration Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Imo State. "That you Dr. Ezuma James Ezuma in the Owerri Magisterial District did murder a day-old baby, names yet unknown by offering her to be used for rituals by an unknown persons and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 319
three hundred thousand naira from the family of the victim after the death of the woman, unknown to their relations that the woman was dead. He further disclosed that his gang used to work hand in hand with the native doctor who normally prepares charm for them and that they used to give the native doctor rams and the sum of N30,000 or N50,000 depending on the proceeds from their ransom. He said he regretted his action and advised people to stay out of crime and criminality as one’s sin is bound to find him out one day.
Imoke charges chairmen, councilors-elect on development Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has reiterated the need for elected officers of local government councils to understand their roles, challenges and what it takes to deliver good governance. Imoke stated this at an on boarding retreat for chairmen and councilors-elect in the state with the theme, “Call To Service”, at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort. Imoke explained that as the day of their swearing in approaches, it was appropriate to acquaint them with the system of governance in the state because they are about to face something new, stressing that “the first rule for you is that there is no excuse to give to your constituency for not performing.” According to him, “Hitherto, council chairmen have used lack of money as an excuse for non-performance. So delete that because if you use the cliché, you will not be creative and do things which need to be done.” The governor advised them to sit down as a team and work together to achieve result. On legislation, Imoke asked: “How many of you understand what it takes to pass bylaws? Many councilors do not know they have to legislate, that is why they cannot give good governance, culminating
Police arraign Imo 'baby factory' operator, wife mo State Police Command yesterday arraigned Dr. James Ezuma before an Owerri Magistrate Court on a 18-count charge. Ezuma 67, who was earlier arrested for operating a 'baby factory' where 16 pregnant teenagers where rescued, was arraigned along with his wife, Mrs Chioma Ezuma (27). In the Suit with charge No CW/556C/2013, Ezuma was accused of hiring 16 pregnant teenage girls with the intent that they will be used for immoral purposes of giving birth to babies which he sold to prospective buyers and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 21 of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Law enforcement and Administration Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as applicable in Imo State. The charge also read: "That
The leader of the gang, Paschal, alias Achisa, in his confession, disclosed how he and his gang had carried out the kidnap of the late Madam Adisa Ogbo and how she was eventually buried by him and other members of his gang in his compound. They had kept her there awaiting the payment of the sum of N10million earlier demanded as ransom, But after a week and the ransom did not come, according to the confession of the gang leader, the old woman died and they decided to bury her in a shallow grave in his compound. He further revealed that he also collected the sum of
(1) of the Criminal Code ('C38') Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Imo State, among other charges ranging from armed robbery and gunning running. Ezuma’s wife was, however, slammed with a two-count charge of negligence and impersonation in the suit No OW/557C/2013. The charges read: "That you Chioma Ezuma, within the Owerri Magisterial District in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life or likely to cause harm, did administer medicine to one Chinaza Nnachi, knowing full that you were not authorised to do so and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 343 (1) (E) punishable under 343 (1) (H) of the Criminal Code Cap "C38" Laws of the Federation 2014, as applicable in Imo State.
in people blaming the third tier of government for nonperformance. “You should enact by-laws on how to generate revenue from market into government coffers rather than go into peoples’ pockets, bylaws on naming of streets, creating of layouts in collaboration with Cross River Geogrphic Information Service (GIS) in order to create addresses and value for those in rural areas so as to remove the idea that people in the village are poor,” Imoke emphasised. He noted that councils
should no longer be pedestrian about governance. “Every council chairman must have a vision and they will have to present and defend it and those appointed supervisors must have the capacity and should not be seen as political patronage. “Understand that the health programme of the state for pregnant women and children under five years is free of charge and that the governor will not come to local government area. So the chairmen and councilors should carry out advocacy.”
‘We don’t have Igwe title in Ndoni’ community, Ndoni Community of Nigeria, Lagos branch, has dismissed claims of crisis in Ndoni, Rivers State. The group insisted that there was no need to sue for peace in the community as there was no crisis whatsoever. In a statement signed by the President of the group, Chief Victor Oyolu and Vice President, Mr. Francis Olisa, the group said: "Ndoni monarchical stool is Awoh and not Igwe, the present Awoh of Ndoni is HRH Dr. Gabriel Obi 11 (JP),” adding that the Awoh stool is not vacant.” The group condemned a situation whereby two people are laying claim to the headship of the community. It said there was already a traditional ruler in the town and therefore, any other claim is spurious and mischievous. Historically, the group said Igwe had never been a title of Ndoni people and does not reckon with it in the community. Therefore, whosoever is parading himself as Igwe of Ndoni should stop because “there is no title like that in Ndoni history.” The group said suing for peace in Rivers and by extension, Ndoni when there was peace and tranquility is akin to asking for trouble where peace already exists. It called on the Federal Government, the Rivers State Government and security agencies to be on the alert “lest the supporters of this fake coronation begin to cause trouble and destabilise our peaceful environment.”
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TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2697
HE event had been expected all along. The icon was advanced in age. His health had deteriorated dismally. He had even been on life support for some time. But when Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s long and eventful journey through life reached its final terminus, the world received the news with shock and sadness. Yes, death is perhaps the most ubiquitous of human phenomena. It is the inevitable end of all sentient beings. But its occurrence never ceases to surprise. Every mortal harbours the illusion of endless longevity. But at the end of the day, the bell that tolls for one peals for all. But of course, Mandela had been different. He had come to terms with the ephemerality of human life decades earlier in his youth. He had thus averred his readiness to die if necessary for the cause of freedom for his people. He was sentenced to a living death; a prison sentence that wasted the best and most productive years of his life. But he emerged from captivity after 27 years triumphant and unbowed, a symbol of the resilience and amazing generosity of the human spirit. His jailers showed what depths of depravity and degeneracy man is capable of descending to. By repaying unspeakable wickedness with forgiveness and love, Mandela demonstrated what heights of grace and nobility man can soar to. Man can be vulture and feed on rotting flesh. Man can be Eagle and roam the skies in kingly majesty. Mandela chose the latter. Is it any wonder that mourning him has been a universal celebration; his death some sort of resurrection? Presidents and peasants, potentates and prisoners, saints and sinners, all were one in the canonisation of this secular puritan. Remember the words of Jesus: Unless a seed first of all dies, it cannot sprout and live. In life, Mandela died to self. In death he lives for the ages. What glory! Here in Nigeria, of course we have not been left out of the euphoric ‘Mandelamania’ of the moment. President Goodluck Jonathan did the right and proper thing. He organized a memorial service for Dr Nelson Mandela at the Presidential Villa chapel. Yes, in many ways Mandela was a Nigerian. This was one of the first countries he visited on his release from incarceration. This was an act of gratitude by the great man for the invaluable role Nigeria played in the struggle to liberate his country from apartheid. But, then trust Nigerians, we ended up doing the right thing in the wrong way. In his tribute at the Aso chapel service, President Jonathan spoke glowingly about Mandela’s humility, forgiving spirit and ability to unite people. Shouldn’t the President have stopped there? No sir. Apparently unable to forgive his critics and opponents or like Mandela offer any gesture of reconciliation on such a solemn occasion, Dr Jonathan went on the offensive. It was operation no mercy from the apostle of humility. He berated those unspecified Nigerian politicians who speak “as if Nigeria is their bedroom from where they make proclamations and intimidate others”.
To make our country great, we must be ready to walk the talk and behave and hold ourselves with the same scale we put our public officials on Facebook — Olayinka Oyegbile
What would Mandela do?
Jonathan said these Nigerian politicians (he certainly did not have Jonah Jang, Godswill Akpabio, Peter Obi or Seriake Dickson in mind) could not compare with Mandela as they threaten, boast and play little gods. It is not unlikely that his poisoned arrows were directed at a certain Owu farmer (no less vindictive himself!) when he described the still unmentioned politicians as tiny men who lack good character of leadership. The occasion was to honour Mandela. The President’s words sadly did not reflect that spirit. But then, Dr. Jonathan was right in a way. Our politics is tiny. Our leadership is puny. Our institutions, not least the presidency, are so terribly diminished. This was vividly demonstrated by the embarrassing anonymity of the Nigerian President at the state memorial service held for Mandela in South Africa. There is absolutely no reason on earth why Dr Jonathan should not have been listed to join the likes of President Barack Obama, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Vice President Li Yuanchio of China, President Hifepune Pohamba of Namibia, President Pranab Mukherjee of India or President Raul Castro of Cuba to pay public tribute to Mandela. The South African authorities could not treat Ni-
One test Jonathan should always give himself is simple: would Mandela do this? Would a Mandela seek a second term at all costs even if at the expense of the unity of his country? ... If he honestly asks himself this question and acts as Mandela would, Jonathan may yet confound his critics, snatch victory from the jaws of imminent defeat and attain greatness
geria that way if we got our acts right. In his book, ‘Nigeria: A Nightmare Scenario’, Professor Patrick Wilmot writes of how the Northern region government of Sir Ahmadu Bello gave Nelson Mandela a donation of 10,000 pounds to support the liberation struggle when he visited Nigeria in the first republic before his eventual arrest, trial and incarceration in South Africa. Mark you, this was in the 60s! So committed was Nigeria to the liberation struggle in the Southern Africa region that she was recognised as one of the frontline states of the region. General Murtala Mohammed’s famous ‘Africa has come of age’ speech at the OAU Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa in January 1976 played a decisive role in shifting the balance of forces in support of the progressive movements for the emancipation of the region. In the conclusion of that historic oration, Murtala thundered: “Africa has come of age. It is no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power. It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful. The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make or mar. For too long have we been kicked around: for too long have we been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly. For
too long has it been presumed that the African needs outside ‘experts’ to tell him who are his friends and who are his enemies…” Ah! Those were the days. One can therefore understand the anguished words of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) when he said “In a very cruel irony, history is being revised. The people who collaborated with the government that enthroned apartheid at that time are the people that are paying the greatest tribute now. But I ask myself: Is this not the time for reflection? I doubt if any African country expended as much time, as much money and as much commitment as the Nigerian government”. This is the sad truth. Yes, the peculiar circumstances of Nigeria may have precluded the emergence of a national leader with the towering stature of a Nelson Mandela. But Nigeria has produced great politicians of no mean intellect, vision and character. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s example inspired many African nationalists to fight for the liberation of their countries from colonial bondage. Ahmadu Bello by the force of his personal vision and charisma forged a remarkable commonality of interest among the disparate peoples of the north. Obafemi Awolowo led a government in western Nigeria which is still unrivalled in Africa in terms of its developmental attainments and administrative dexterity. Aminu Kano in terms of his ideological clarity and revolutionary fervour was surpassed in Africa perhaps only by Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. Olusegun Obasanjo in his first incarnation as military Head of State was venerated as a global statesman for voluntarily relinquishing power to a democratically elected government in 1979. One can go on and on. It is true that the quality of leadership in the country has steadily deteriorated over time. We have had a succession of hopelessly corrupt and venal leaders. They have annulled elections. They have sought to perpetuate themselves in office unconstitutionally. They have been administratively inept and famished of vision. They have subverted state institutions to intimidate and harass their opponents. They have been intellectual and moral Lilliputians. But Dr Jonathan has absolutely no reason to follow in the footsteps of such leaders. After all, he has the advantage of being able to learn from and avoiding the mistakes of his predecessors. One test Jonathan should always give himself is simple: would Mandela do this? Would a Mandela seek a second term at all costs even if at the expense of the unity of his country? Would a Mandela manipulate state institutions to undermine a legitimate government as is currently happening in Rivers State? Would a Mandela immorally support a minority faction of the Nigerian Governors Forum to declare itself the majority? If he honestly asks himself this question and acts as Mandela would, Jonathan may yet confound his critics, snatch victory from the jaws of imminent defeat and attain greatness.
Ade Ojeikere on Saturday email@example.com 08111813079 - sms only
Preparing for Brazil 2014
ince the draws of the 2014 World Cup were made last week, one has watched in awe the way we seem to have “qualified” for the second round without kicking a ball. No problem with being optimistic, but that is where the Super Eagles’ wahala begins. Anytime the Eagles are tipped to win matches with aplomb, they totter. But when faced with daunting tasks, they excel. It is instructive to note the Bosnia-Herzegovina is rated 33rd in the world. It means they are better than us in FIFA’s ranking. We are rated ahead of Iran, yet the technical savvy of their coach Querioz is awesome, given the fact that he was deputy to the king-of-the-dug Sir Alex Ferguson. That is not to say that Stephen Keshi cannot match him since we have better players. After all, it is the players who will deliver, not the coaches. Visualising where we would be at the end of the first round in Brazil, my mind went to the forthcoming Glo-CAF Africa Footballer
of the Year Award. I sighed, knowing that it offers the best chance for us to reinvent our football. In the past, the award could be termed our birthright. I saw Emmanuel Emenike being crowned the winner. I shouted ‘no’. What happened to John Mikel Obi? In figuring if I was in a trance or sleep walking, an inner voice asked what I would do if Vincent Enyeama is crowned the winner. Confused, I said: “Enyeama ke? How can that be? How can the Israeli league be pitched against the most popular league in the world? Shouldn’t exploits in the most prestigious UEFA Champions League and the Europa League rank higher than exploits in other competitions?” It dawned on me that I had no say in the matter. Voting is done by coaches, club captains and top football experts. January 9, 2014 will be a watershed for the game here. There will be dead pan silence when the compere opens his mouth to announce the 2012/2013 soccer season’s Africa
Footballer of the Year. Pointers to who the eventual winner would be don’t favour the yearning of Nigerians to have their own mount the rostrum as the winner. If history is anything to go by, then Cote d’Ivoire’s Yaya Toure looks like the odds-on-favourite to nick. The 2012/2013 British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC’s) Africa Footballer of the Year winner is Toure. He was also shortlisted for the 2012/2013 Ballon d’Or Award, until the list was pruned to three. These feats usually translate to winning the Africa Footballer of the Year Award. I hope not this year. I digress! Picking a Nigerian from the four-man (John Mikel Obi, Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa and Vincent Enyeama) pack will serve as the impetus to drive others in the Super Eagles’ squad to produce their best at the Mundial. It would further boost our game, if another Nigerian quartet gets listed for the Glo-CAF Africa Footballer of the Year for 2013/14
season. We need to scratch our heads to remember the last time Nigerians made the roll call for the best player in Africa back-to-back. If that happens, then the rebuilding by Stephen Keshi would be worth the efforts to galvanise the Eagles. The Nigerian fights for his soul when he/ she has his/her back on the wall. And it is this Spartan spirit that we need to become the first African side to qualify for the semifinals. It must be said that at the semi-finals, anything is possible especially if the competition’s Cinderella team is not Nigeria. If this happens, it means that the world would behold a new winner outside the intimidation league of Brazil, Spain, Germany, France, Italy etc. Our football needs this fillip to measure our growth in the game as we prepare for the daunting but achievable task of shocking the world in Brazil. Going to the World Cup has been a hectic assignment for Nigeria but a piece of cake for others because of the inherent structures. Elsewhere, governance is a continuum, with everyone knowing what to do at the appro
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