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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

News Armed robbery scare keeps Ibadan banks shut Sport How I’m adjusting to life in Russia, by Nsofor Business Naira falls at inter-bank as forex reserves drops

P5 P62 P11

VOL. 7, NO. 1969 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011



Chaos on Abuja-Lokoja road •Eight-hour traffic jam as police stop ex-militants From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja


LONG row of vehicles, anxious passengers and angry youths: it was bedlam yesterday on the Lokoja –Abuja road. Some youths, who described themselves as former Niger Delta militants, in luxury buses heading for Abuja were stopped by the police who barred them from going on with their trip “for security reasons”. The scene was the Jameta Toll Grate, a few minutes away from Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. The youths insisted on going ahead, their vehicles blocking the ever-busy Continued on page 2

Okonjo-Iweala explains N3.6tr fuel subsidy From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


HERE may have been some fraud in the payment of N3.655 trillion as subsidy to fuel importers, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday. Dr Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the co-ordinating Minister for the Economy yesterday said the Federal Government was aware “there may Continued on page 2

•Some soldiers controlling traffic at the trouble spot ... yesterday


OPC stages anti-Boko Haram protest in Lagos Panic grips motorists, pedestrians as guns boom



EMBERS of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) yesterday caused a stir in Lagos as they marched on the city. They were protesting against the general insecurity in the country, especially the terrorist activities of the Boko Haram (Western education is sin), OPC leader Dr Frederick Fasehun said. The socio-cultural organisation’s members who turned out in a large

By Jude Isiguzo and Titilayo Bamjoko

numbers –estimated to be almost a thousand – marched from the old toll gate through Ojota, Maryland, Ikorodu Road and Ojuelegba to the National Stadium where the procession terminated with a rally. As they marched on the major highway, they brandished guns and other weapons. They shot sporadi-

cally into the air, causing panic and fear among pedestrians and motorists. The long procession was trailed by a long convoy of vehicles inside which some of the OPC members sat, according to eye witnesses. The traffic build-up on the eighthome Ikorodu Road extended to other parts of the city, disrupting movement. At Maryland, the OPC members

had an encounter with some officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and some policemen who refused their attempt to drive against the traffic. Again, there was shooting by the OPC members. Some motorists abandoned their vehicles and fled because they mistook the OPC men for armed robContinued on page 2




NEWS Okonjo-Iweala explains N3.6tr fuel subsidy Continued from page 1

•From right: Resources person Dr. Myles Munroe; Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko; Ondo State Head of Service Mr. Ajose Kudehinbu, and Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, during an inspection of the administrative building of Public Service Training Institute in Ilara-Mokin in Ifedore Local Government.

have been ‘mago-mago’ (shaddy deals) in the payment of fuel subsidy to major oil marketers. She, however, said the discovery cannot be a justification for the refusal to reimburse the contentions figures. Speaking before the Jubril Abdulmumuni-headed House Committee on Finance during an interactive session yesterday, the minister said the major marketers used their funds to finance imports and needed to be paid. The Senate recently released a list detailing the

Chaos on Abuja-Lokoja road as police stop ex-militants ‘Protesters not ex-militants’

Continued from page 1

road and causing a long traffic jam that kept many motorists stranded for more than eight hours. Many passed the night in the road. They said they were on their way to Abuja to protest their exclusion from the Federal Government’s amnesty programme. The youths issued a fourday ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the “amnesty agreement” or face their return to the creeks. There were no fewer than 1,600 of them in about 300 vehicles, including luxury buses, mini-buses and cars. Commissioner of Police Amana Abakasaga said: “The militants claimed they were going to Abuja to protest the non implementation of the amnesty programme, but we had to stop them because of the security implication and their large number, which may result to breach of security.” Abakasanga, in a telephone interview, added that the former militants were not violent. The leader of the group, who identified himself as


HE Amnesty Office yesterday disowned the protesting youths. It said it will not absorb them in the programme. Describing the activities of the youths as a criminal breach, which ought to be handled by the security agents, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, said his office would not be blackmailed into absorbing the protesting youths into the programme. Kuku, who spoke to reporters, said those involved in the protest could not lay claim to any of the former militant camps in the region. He said: “I completely deplore and repudiate the method being adopted by these persons seeking inclusion in the Amnesty

General Ramsey, said they were on their way to Abuja to meet with the President to register their displeasure on their exclusion from the amnesty. He said: “The government asked us to come out of the creeks and lay down our arms, which we did, but since then the government has refused to fulfill its own side of the agreement. Instead, officials keep making empty promises. We have embraced the amnesty programme, but the Federal

From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja Bureau Chief

Programme, claiming to be ex-militants. Their style is offensive and could easily be regarded as blackmail. Their actions clearly breach national security and thus must be condemned by all right-thinking Nigerians.” He said the responsibility of his office will not go beyond taking care of the 26,358 exagitators “who stepped out to accept the offer of amnesty as at when due and got enrolled in the Amnesty Programme”. Ruling out the possibility of a presidential directive demanding the absorption of the youths, Kuku called on state and local governments in the Niger Delta and elsewhere to, as matter of urgency, address the challenges posed not by youth unemployment.

Government is frustrating it by refusing to pay us and we don’t want to go back to the creeks or pick up arms,” he said. “The 1,600 militants en-route to Abuja are all generals whose foot soldiers laid down their arms. Now, the foot soldiers are tired of excuses we are giving them. They are already suspecting we have collected the money from the government and only come back to deceive them.” Ramsey lamented that the exmilitants, having graduated

from the rehabilitation training since December, last year, they were neither paid nor settled. They keep telling us ‘came back tomorrow’, he said. “Now, we are giving four days ultimatum to the Federal Government to fulfill its side of the bargain. Our boys are angry and they want to go back to the creeks and we are tired of holding them back. So, we want Nigerians and the world to know that the Federal Government is frustrating the amnesty programme and the mili-

tants,” he added. Ramsey said the police intercepted them at about 4a.m., asking them to go back to where they were coming from. “They said that our convoy was too large to go to Abuja for any protest. So, we stayed with the police while the traffic continued to build up. “We did not block the road; it was the police that blocked the road. We are not armed; we were going to Abuja to register our grievance.” There was a massive traffic gridlock on the Lokoja-Abuja Highway for over eight hours before a combined team of the Army and the police cleared the obstruction. Motorists spoke of their harrowing experiences, after passing the night on the road. Mr. Andrew Amechi, who was travelling from Enugu to Abuja with his family, said: “The Federal Government should have settled with these boys since they have repented from militancy. “If they knew they couldn’t handle the amnesty, why did they go into it. We slept here in the bush because of the traffic jam. My family are hungry because there is no food to eat around here. We are stranded.”

OPC stages anti-Boko Haram protest in Lagos Continued from page 1

bers. The ensuing confusion aggravated the traffic chaos. Dr Fasehun told our reporter on the telephone that the march was “to protest against all those things that are distasteful to Nigeria, including insecurity, unemployment and terrorism”. He denied that his men shot

intermittently into the air. “We started from the toll gate and ended the procession at the National Stadium. We held a rally to protest the inability of the government to address some issues of national importance that we raised in the past. “There was no shooting anywhere and they did not have an encounter with any-

body,” he chief stressed. The co-ordinator of the organisation Gani Adams, disassociated himself from the procession. In an SMS, he said: “This is to inform the general public that we are not part of the mayhem going on in 7UPOjota-Ojuelegba axis. “The so-called protest/rally does not have my support.”

Lagos police spokesman Samuel Jinadu declined to speak on the rally. But a Senior Police Officer said the protest was peaceful and that the OPC men merely called for the end to Boko Haram’s bombings and the stoppage the terrorist activities. Also yesterday in Lagos, three persons were feared dead, as factions of the National

Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), battle for control of the motor park at Mafoluku-Airport Road. Many others were injured. The clash, which grounded traffic on Airport Road, lasted for some hours as hoodlums from MafolukuOshodi, stormed 7and 8 Bus Stop, on the road, in a bid to take over the park.

names of companies sharing over N3.655trillion between 2006 and September this year as subsidy for the importation of refined products. The minister, while answering questions on subsidy payments and debt buy back by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said: “To get petroleum products into the country, the methodology has always been to engage the marketers to go and use their money to bring the oil after which it is verified and reimbursed. “I am not trying to hold brief for anybody or say that everything is perfect, that there is no magomago inside. But what I am saying is that that money was what people spent to bring in products. So, that when you see N138billion you say hey, the government has just dished out N138billion to somebody. We are not that irresponsible. We actually have auditors who look at these amounts and advise us. “So, I am not saying it is perfect, don’t get me wrong, what I am saying is that the money is for transacted business. For instance, if N10billion is spent on behalf of government and the oil is being used and then you come for your N10billion to be paid back plus X for profit, if it is reasonable that I pay just even the N10billion considering that you have taken loan from a bank, does that mean that the N10b is dished out for free? “If we don’t pay you, then you owe the bank and eventually becomes a bad loan that is taken up by AMCON. It is just a principle of doing business. This does not mean that we should allow Nigerians to be cheated, some of that money is genuine.” While speaking on the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, the minister explained that the policy is to trim down fiscal deficit from 2.96 per cent in 2011 to 2.77 per cent in 2012, domestic borrowing down from N852.27 billion in 2011 to N794.44 billion in 2012, overhead reduced from N17.81 billion, transfers by N13.48 billion, capital vote reduced by N60.40 billion while unspent fund from 2011 fiscal year was reviewed upwards to N233.79 billion.

We were bombed, traders tell Kaduna Governor Yakowa


ADUNA traders yesterday relived the explosion that rocked their market on Wednesday. They told visiting Governor Patrick Yakowa that the explosion was a bomb – as against Police Commissioner Ballah Nasarawa’s claim that it was”an explosion from within and not sabotage from outside”. Automobile Spare Parts Association Vice President Edwin Nwagu told the governor: “The incident happened precisely at about 9:20am, a very sad event. We are honoured to receive you. We lost some lives and many are in the hospital. “We were told by some of our

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Tony Akowe, Kaduna

members who were around when the incident happened that some people came around on a motorcycle and called one of the spare parts dealers. They dropped what they were holding, which was later discovered to be a bomb. It exploded and killed some of our members.” The association’s Kaduna Zone chairman, Mr. Sunday Mba, said: “What I was told by my secretary is that people came on a bike and dropped a bag. The substance exploded and killed the boy, as well as the one in the shop instantly. It was a bomb, not gas cylinder

explosion, as claimed. We don’t he has directed the State Emergency Management Agency deal in gas here.” The injured have been (SEMA) to make preliminary transferred to the Ahmadu recommendations on how to Bello University Teaching assist the victims, pending the Hospital, Shika, Zaria for conclusion of investigations by proper medical attention. The security agents. The governor said: “I just state government has promised to foot their medical bills. came to see you, those of you who live around here, The blast site has become a mecca of SEE ALSO and to personally see the scene of the explosorts, hosting PAGE 6 sion, go back and alcrowds of visitors low the law enforcement from across the state. With Yakowa were Senator agents to continue to do their Mohammed Saleh and the work. I know it is very painCongress for Progressive ful, but please co-operate with Change (CPC) governorship them so that we can get to the candidate in the April election, root of this unfortunate incident. Haruna Saeed Kajuru. “By so doing, you will be Yakowa told the traders that

helping us to take all the steps that are necessary to prevent a possible recurrence of this kind of incident in any part of the state. We need peace, we need stability so that people can go about their lawful businesses without too much worries. “Thank you for your understanding and bearing with us and for your cooperation with the security agencies. Continue to corporate with them; they are here to safeguard your lives and property. “All of you are contributing in different ways through buying and selling. You even create a lot of jobs and you employ a lot of people. Even if it is one, two or three, you have a hand-

ful of people that are working in each of these shops. “I want to assure you that I am touched as I listen to you. “We want to also assure you we will do everything possible to provide everybody in this state security. I am saying this because I have all the support of all the security agencies in the state.” It was not still clear yesterday the exact casualty figure in the explosion. The 12 mangled bodies that were recovered will be subjected to autopsy and forensic analyses to ascertain the nature of the explosion. President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a probe of the incident by all security agencies.

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NEWS MTNstalls execution of N45.5m judgment

Eso wins civil society award By Joseph Jibueze

By Eric Ikhilae

TELECOMMUNICATION giant MTN Nigeria Limited has intensified efforts at frustrating the execution of N45.5 million judgment entered against it by a Lagos High Court in favour of one of its contractors, Procomtel Limited It has filed a motion seeking to stay further proceedings in the suit pending the determination of its application before the Court of Appeal, for leave to appeal the judgment. The motion, to be heard on Tuesday, was filed few days after the court, presided over by Justice K. A. Jose, dismissed three similar applications earlier brought by the telecom company. The court held that they were incompetent. The judgment given in May this year was upon an application by Procomtel, for an order entering judgment against MTN upon its (MTN’s) admission in its pleadings that it owed Procomtel N85,463,577.64. MTN had sued Procomtel, alleging among others, breach of contract, a suit against which Procomtel counter-claimed and prayed the court to enter judgment in its favour. At the pre-trial conference stage, Procomtel, relying on Order 19 Rule 4 of the court’s rules, applied that judgment be given against MTN on the ground that it (MTN) admitted in paragraphs 12 and 13 of its statement of claim that it owed the contractor N85,463,577.64. MTN opposed the application, arguing that Procomtel owed it N48, 486,953.73 which, if set-off against the N45, 592,425.20 it owed Procomtel, the company would still need to pay it a balance of N2, 849,528.53. Ruling on the application on May 31, Justice Jose upheld Procomtel’s argument that by virtue of Order 17 Rule 6 of the court’s rule, it was only a defendant who could raise a right of set-off in his defence and not a claimant. “The claimant’s (MTN’s) averment in its statement of claim, that it is setting off its liability to the defendant against the defendant’s (Procomtel’s) liability does not have any basis in law,” the court held. In awarding N45, 592,425.20 against MTN, the court held that though Procomtel asked for judgment of N85,463,577.64 “on the premise that by simple arithmetic of addition and subtraction, this is the amount admitted,” it could only enter judgment in the amount that was “clearly and unequivocally admitted.” Following the ruling and upon an application by Procomtel, the court attached MTN’s account in Diamond Bank Plc and ordered the bank to among others, show cause why it should not be compelled to pay Procomtel the judgment sum from the said MTN’s account numbered: 0006065936.


•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola flanked by his Ogun State counterpart Ibikunle Amosun (second right), National Secretary, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Mr. Ayo Afolabi (left), Chairman, Hon. Wale Oshun (second left) and Otunba Tola Mobolurin during ARG’s visit to Fashola in Alausa, Ikeja…yesterday.

•Fashola (third left), Senator Victor Lar (left), Philip Aduda, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power/Leader of delegation, Chris Ngige, Vice chair (third right) and Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir during the visit of the committee to the governor in Alausa…yesterday PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES


The Nation is Newspaper of the Year

he Nation shone brightly yesterday in Abuja. It was at the Newspaper Vendors Association Abuja (NVAA) Week, where it won the Newspaper of the Year award. The well-attended event was held at the Merit House, Maitama, Abuja. NVAA’s Chairman Evans Oriri praised The Nation for distinguishing itself in its ef-

From Onyinye Ojiaku, Abuja

forts to serve the country. This newspaper’s Circulation Manager in Abuja, Mr. Akintunde Isiaka, is the Best Distributor of the Year. Other awardees include ThisDay—Most Innovative Newspaper; The Sun-Human Angle; Daily Trust—Vendor Friendly; The GuardianMost Corporate Newspaper;

Moment-Best Designed Newspaper; Leadership-Most Improved Newspaper; Tell Magazine of the Year and City People-Soft Sell of the Year. Oriri said: “Given your uncompromising role in the defence of democracy, your concern for the less privileged in our society and your legendary role in information dissemination, the council has no objection than to

confer on you this merit award as the Best Paper of the Year.” The event was chaired by the Chairman/Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Chief Nda Sam Isaiah. Highlights of the event include paper presentations, a N100millon appeal fund for Vendors Secretariat and Insurance Scheme for its members.

ETIRED Justice of the Supreme Court, Kayode Eso has won the 2011 Civil Society Anti-Corruption Defender Award. Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and the late legal luminary and anti-corruption activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, (SAN), won the award in 2009 and 2010. In a joint statement by the award jury, Eso was chosen “for consistently standing up against corruption as a judge, and for his leadership, courage and commitment to the cause of the vulnerable sectors of the population.” The jury comprises the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism; the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR). The statement, signed by SERAP’s Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, said the award will be presented to Eso today in Lagos. It added: “As a legal practitioner, Eso defended black miners in Jos who were protesting against the discriminatory practices of the British colonial authorities. As a judge, he was brilliant, fair and principled. “He has been aptly described as ‘the Activist of the Supreme Court’; ‘the Lord Denning of Nigeria’ and ‘one of the greatest analytical minds to have ever sat on the Supreme Court Bench’, because of his courageous and bold judgments, and his unquestionable integrity and intellectual ability,” the groups added.

Why Fed Govt should negotiate with Labour, groups on fuel subsidy, by NGO W

ORRIED by the backlash of the planned withdrawal of fuel subsidy, the Initiative for Peace and Industrial Harmony (IPIH) yesterday asked the Federal Government to negotiate with the Nigeria Labour Congress and Civil Society Organisations. The NGO, made up of many prominent Nigerians, also claimed that it is worried that the price of kerosene may jump from N50 to N151.15k per litre. It demanded the introduction of Fuel Fund for Infrastructural Development and Deregulation Impact Mitigation Fund. The group, which made its position known in a paper on fuel subsidy in Abuja signed by its Coordinator, Dr. Timebi Koripamo- Agary, said: “Negotiation is the best way to resolve the ongoing intractable petroleum subsidy crises.” Agary, a former Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity released the position paper in company with a former Senior Assistant General-Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mallam Salihu Mohammed and a Labour Advis-


REFINERIES Port Harcourt Port Harcourt Warri Kaduna

COMMISSIONED (Old) 1966 (New)1989 1978 1980 TOTAL

CAPACITY 60,000bpd 150,000bpd 125,000bpd 110,000bpd 445,000

SOURCE: Initiative for Peace and Industrial Harmony.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja er, Mr. Salisu Mohammed. The position paper reads in part: “The government seems to be determined to go on all alone with the withdrawal of subsidy. But we personally believe that it is a wrong path to take. “The government should come to the table to discuss this issue and let superior argument determines the path to take. The government should dialogue and negotiate with stakeholders like the Labour, the Civil Society Organisations and the Organised Private Sector. “The government needs to

reach out to these stakeholders because we will all suffer collateral damage if the subsidy is removed. “We should be engaged in a Post-Deregulation Initiative which should include the introduction of Fuel fund for infrastructural development; provision of urban mass transit systems; expansion of the federal highways; rural road development; creation of a modern railway network development and the establishment of Deregulation Impact Mitigation Fund. “Most Nigerians have lost count of the number of times the country has had to go on strike to protest increases in price of fuel. The question that

keeps coming to mind is why must we always follow the same predictable and costly pattern? A quick glance at this history indicates clearly that Nigeria has lost productive time and resources through strikes. Unfortunately, the cycle may be repeated with the current scenario. “The first chain in the cycle, i.e. announcement, has been accomplished. The second chain, opposition by Nigerian trade unions and other groups, has also been expressed. From all indications, as things are and based on past experiences, it will grow into ultimatum and possibly strikes, completing the second and third chain by next year when the policy is scheduled to come into effect. “All stakeholders – government, labour unions, civil society and the organized private sector must come together to find a negotiated solution to the issues. Considering the unstable security situation in Nigeria , any form of strike has the potential to result in far more serious social unrest. This apparent conclu-

sion is that the time has come to engage constructively to achieve mutual objectives. “In the final analysis, Nigerians have a right to mass action to push for justice. But what would be the point of going to war unarmed, or armed with false intelligence? By engaging government with facts, figures and information about the subsidy process and the oil cabal, we stand a better chance of winning the war on several fronts without even embarking on strike action. “That way, Nigeria and Nigerians will emerge winners. That Initiative for Peace and Industrial Harmony invites you to join hands in this new approach.” It expressed fears that the backlash of the removal of subsidy will hurt the poor who are using kerosene. It added: “Essentially, the subsidy element on current petrol price is N82.30k per litre. Similarly, although exdepot and pump prices of House Hold Kerosene, HHK is N40.90k and N50 per litre respectively, if deregulated. Consumers would have to pay N151.15k per litre. Essentially, the subsidy element on current kerosene price is N110.25k per litre.”



NEWS Flood victims take Daniel, Amosun before Ogun Truth Panel


ICTIMS of the November, 2010, flood in Ogun State yesterday took Governor Ibikunle Amosun and former Governor Gbenga Daniel before the the state’s Truth Commission sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital. The petitioners, who approached the commission through the African for Human Rights International (AfriRight), accused Daniel of short-changing them in the payment of N740,000,000 compensation. They accused Amosun of denying victims their “token relief money.” Daniel’s counsel Yemi Oke said his client would not respond to the petition because he has filed a suit challenging the competence of the commission at the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Oke said his appearance was not to defend Daniel as a counsel. He said: “My ap-

•Some of the arrested students in a police van...yesterday

pearance is not to defend Daniel, because he does not believe in the legality of this commission. I am here in a protest appearance. “The matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction to determine the competence of this commission. Until the court makes a pronouncement on the matter, we shall not be represented legally.” Chairman of the Commission Justice P.O. Aderemi said the matter concerning the commission had been resolved at its inaugural sitting on November 30. He took the appearance of commission’s counsel, Mr. Olubunmi Koleowo, and that of others. The panel adjourned till January nine because of lack of proof of service on Amosun. “We must see proof of service before any case can go on; I am sure you all know that,” Justice Aderemi said.

SS II pupils lock up headteacher Pupils get MicCom bursary today M over exam failure in Ekiti


OME Senior Secondary (SS) II pupils of Anglican High School, Olora, in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday protested their failure in the final examination to SS III. The protest was said to have started at about 8.30am after the headteacher announced a mass failure at the Assembly. They allegedly locked the headteacher, Mr. Joel Akinola, up in his office. When police responded to Akinola’s distress call, the pupils smashed the windscreen of a Toyota Hilux van belonging to the force. Eleven of the pupils were arrested.

From Sulaiman Salawdeen, Ado Ekiti

Akinola said he was held hostage for about an hour before the police arrived. He said: “The SS II pupils have been giving us problems since we pasted the names of unsuccessful pupils in the promotion examination conducted by the Ministry of Education on the school’s notice board.” The Ministry of Education had directed that those who performed poorly in the examination should not be promoted to SS III, since

the state government would be paying for the external examinations of SS III pupils. When The Nation visited the school, six police vans were stationed in thepremises and the Divisional Police Officer of Oke Ila Division, Mr. Segun Atanda, was trying to control the situation. Atanda said when the police got to the school, the situation was serious and his men had to disperse the rioters using tear gas. Commissioner for Education Dr. Eniola Ajayi described the incident as “unfortunate.” She said: “The unified

Robbery scare keeps Ibadan banks shut


OR the second day, banks in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have shut their doors to customers, following rumours that robbers are planning to invade some banks in the city. Banks in Ibadan hurriedly closed on Wednesday. Yesterday, all the banks in Challenge were shut to customers, who gathered outside their premises. An official of a new generation bank told the crowd to go home. He said the bank could not open owing to

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

“scary security reports.” Some customers were able to make withdrawals from the Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Mrs. Adeogun Titilayo, who said she came to Ibadan from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, to conduct a business transaction, was devastated by the development. A student, Risikat Bamidele, said she was at the bank to collect her ATM card, which

would have enabled her make withdrawals. She said the closure was taking a toll on customers and urged banks to liaise with security agencies on how to strengthen security. Policemen paraded the city on Armoured Personnel Carriers. Commissioner of Police Moses Onireti dispelled the robbery rumour as “unfounded, malicious and baseless.” Onireti urged banks to open and assured residents of security.

Father, daughter in fake currency mess


HE Police in Ekiti State yesterday paraded a man, Mr. Jimoh Oguntade, and his daughter, Mrs. Taiwo Ojo, for allegedly possessing counterfeit naira notes valued at N817,500. Another suspect, Mr. Peter Ayeni, was also paraded for the same offence. The suspects denied the allegation and claimed that they were being framed up. The police said the suspects were arrested at Ifaki-Ekiti. Mrs. Ojo said she was arrested when she took the fake currencies, which were given to her

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

by one Michael, to the police. Oguntade denied any involvement in the crime. He said: “I am a farmer. I went to the farm that morning, I was returning home when they arrested me.” Ayeni said he sold his handset to one Jimoh for N3,000 and later discovered that the money Jimoh paid him was fake. He said: “I took N2,000 out of the money to pay my electricity bill, but the Power Holding Company of Nige-

ria (PHCN) workers discovered that the money was fake and alerted the police, who arrested me.” Four suspected members of a six-man robbery gang were also paraded. Ojo Oluwatosin, Monday Fredrick, Adelabu Abayomi and Balogun Ismaila allegedly robbed Sodiq Ajayi of N20,000 and a Nokia phone at Aba Igbira in Ado-Ekiti. A locally made gun, cutlasses and Nokia phones were found on the suspects, who were said to have confessed to the crime.

promotion examination was the yardstick used in promoting SS II pupils. Before the examination, we set a standard that all pupils must have three credits, including English and Mathematics, and three passes before they can be promoted.”

ICCOM Foundation for Educational Development (MIFED), an academic excellence foundation, will today disburse bursary to 108 postprimary and five post-secondary school pupils at Olona Hall of the MicCom Golf Hotel and Resorts, Ada, Osun State. The foundation, established in 1987 by founders of MicCom Golf Hotel and Resorts, Prince Tunde Ponnle and his wife, Princess Olufunke, will distribute foodstuff and Christmas gifts to two schools for physically challenged children at Ikirun and Osogbo. Chairman, MIFED Board of Trustees, Prince Duro Oyinlola said the foundation focuses on academic excellence.



NEWS Daniyan’s exit is a great loss, says Mark

‘My step mum’s body was recovered without her head’

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

SENATE President David Mark has described the death of the former Minister of National Planning, Chief Silas Daniyan, as a great loss. In a condolence message to the people and government of Kogi State as well as the family of the deceased, Mark noted that Daniyan’s death has caused a vacuum in the nation’s socio-economic and political landscape. A statement by Mark’s media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan, quoted the Senate President as saying the late minister would be remembered for uprightness and commitment to uplifting the less privileged. Mark said: “Daniyan’s death is not only a loss to the people of Kogi State alone but also to all Nigerians. In his life time, he made appreciable impact, politically and economically, in the lives of many Nigerians. “He was a community leader, an astute politician and patriot, who promoted peaceful co-existence between and among ethnic and religious groups.” The Senate President said the late Daniyan promoted good neighbourliness, which ensured peace and unity in the state and beyond. He urged the family of the late minister to take solace in the fact that he lived an eventful life worthy of emulation. Mark urged the people and government of Kogi State to immortalise Daniyan for his contributions to the development of Okunland, Kogi State and the nation.

Two days after the mysterious explosion in Kaduna, victims and their relatives are recounting horrific experiences, writes TONY AKOWE


ASHIR Adegun, 22, was not himself yesterday. His step mother, who lived in House No. 32, Ogbomoso/Katsina road, was one of those killed in Wednesday’s blast in Kaduna. Adegun said the body of his step mother was recovered without her head. Yesterday, he was at the scene to continue the search for her head. “Perhaps I may be lucky to see the head. What is this? What is happening? How can I find this head? Am I dreaming or what? I have never seen a thing like this in my life. My father has two wives, my mother and my step-mother. My step-mother lived in this compound and she was caught up in this blast. We are still looking for the head. We are searching for the head because we want to perform the funeral rites.” That was the horrible story of in the heart of Kaduna metropolis. A lady identified as Khadijat also perished in the explosion. Khadijat, who was billed to get married soon, was trapped in the debris of her house, which caved in as a result of the blast. For twenty minutes, said a source, she cried for help, making frantic phone calls for help. A woman identified as Mama Samuel, who had her baby tied to

Kano strengthens security From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


OLLOWING the bomb blast in Kaduna on Wednesday, security agencies in Kano have beefed up security in the state. The Nation observed increased security check points within the state capital. Vehicles coming in and out of the city were thoroughly screened with metal detectors by men of the Police bomb disposal unit. Some of the affected areas are: the road leading to Bompai Police Headquarters, Club road and Government House as well as Sabon Gari, mostly inhabited by non indigenes. Also, men of the 3 Mechanised Bridge, Kano have fortified the Army Barrack with no fewer than two checkpoints at both the entry and exit points. The presence of the fierce-looking soldiers at these check points has also scared those who hitherto used the road leading to Katsina and Airport roads from using the barracks. Another area with high security is the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano where a unit of mobile policemen who were deployed to beef-up security at the nation’s second largest Airport. As at the time of filing this report, there was intensified vehicular patrol in and around the commercial city by men of the Nigerian Police Force. The Nation learnt that plain-clothed policemen and Security Services (SSS)officials have also been deployed for intelligence gathering.

her back, was also caught in the fire which ensued after the explosion. Regina Gabriel, a fellow street sweeper, was not herself yesterday. On her hospital bed, she kept asking whoever cared to listen the

whereabouts of Mama Samuel, She said: “Please where is my colleague? She was carrying a baby and I have not seen her.” Gabriel, who said she resides at Ungwan Romi Village on the out-

skirt of the metropolis, said: “We finished sweeping the road as usual and were about to go and keep our brooms in the house where we normally keep them when we heard a loud sound and we all fell down. We saw fire jumping and burning and people were burning too.” Tempers rose between the police and soldiers at the scene of the explosion. It took the maturity of one of the senior police officers to avert what could have resulted into another crisis. One of the soldiers asked his boys to remove the motorcycle believed to have been used by those who threw the explosive device. But the police refused saying that would amount to tampering with exhibit. But the solider insisted that the motorcycle must be moved away from the spot, an order that was complied with. Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ibrahim Yakowa on Media and Publicity, Reuben Buhari told The Nation that the governor “seriously condoles with the victims.” Yakowa described the incident as very unfortunate, painful and regrettable, but urged the people to continue to promote peace. The governor, who inspected the scene to ascertain the extent of damage, prayed for the families of those who died.

Fire razes Makurdi market From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

GOODS worth several millions of naira were yesterday destroyed by fire at a modern market in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. The Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Utilities, Mr Ghaddi Asemaya said the fire started in the administrative block of the market at 1am, destroying the one-storey building. “It is difficult to tell the total cost of goods destroyed by the midnight inferno, because most of the traders had stocks for the Christmas season. Until some of them come forward with the inventory of what was in their shop, no one can tell how much has been lost,” he said. Saying the government would not rule out sabotage, Asemaya added that investigation has begun, to know the cause of the fire. The administrative block of the market housed a bank, the state Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) office and a Magistrate’s Court.

Eso wins anti-graft award AS part of celebration of the International Anti-Corruption Day, legal luminary, Justice Kayode Eso, will today be conferred with the 2011 Civil Society AntiCorruption Defender Award. The award will be presented to him at NECA Main Hall, Plot A2, Hakeem Balogun Street, opposite Afrika Shrine, Agidingbi, Ikeaj, Lagos. Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and the late legal luminary and anti-corruption activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, won the award in 2009 and last year.

• From left: Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Tokunbo Sofoluwe; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; and Prof. Akin Oyebode, after Oyebode delivered his inaugural lecture, at the university auditorium in Akoka, Yaba, Lagos State... on Wednesday.

Northeast senators protest non-incusion of zone in NHRC jobs


ENATORS from the Northeast yesterday protested as the Senate confirmed the nomination of some members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) without a member from the zone. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Umaru Dahiru, presented the report of the screening of nine nominees forwarded to the Upper Chamber for confirmation for the positions of chairman and members of the NHRC. Senate Deputy Leader Abdul Ningi led the onslaught against the nominees, alleging marginalisation against the zone.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Ningi noted that the nomination did not comply with Section 14(3) of the Constitution, which specifies that federal character should be maintained in the affairs of the government. He said it was inexcusable for President Goodluck Jonathan not to be aware of the import of Section 14(3) of the Constitution in the nomination of NHRC members. Ningi wondered why nobody from the Northeast was considered suitable for inclusion in the membership of the commission, urging the Senate not to consider the re-

port of the screening committee until the right thing is done. Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim supported Ningi but added that Jonathan could still make necessary amendments to assuage the feeling of North East Senators. Senators Aisha Al-Hassan (Taraba) also spoke against the nomination, noting that the zone has been marginalised in the scheme of things in the country. Senator Sola Adeyeye gave what was considered the way out. The Osun State lawmaker, who aligned with the Northeast senators, said the two remaining slots yet to the filled should be reserved for the North East zone. Adeyeye said that since the re-

port correctly recognized that the North East was not represented, the remaining slots should be kept for the zone. The zone, he said, has eminently qualified persons to occupy any position in the country just like other zones. Senators Abdul Hassan Barata (Adamawa south) also spoke against the manner the nominees were selected and concluded that approval of the nominees would amount to violation of the human right of the people of North East. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu urged the Senate to adopt the suggestion made by Senator Adeyeye to save the report from outright rejection.



NEWS Senate seeks more cash for ministry From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Investment, Senator Nenadi Usman, has called for increased funding for the Ministry of Trade and Investment to enable it deliver on its mandate of attracting Foreign Direct Investment, creating jobs and generating wealth for the country. Usman spoke at an interactive meeting with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja, maintaining that given the strategic importance of the ministry, in Small and Medium Enterprise Development, it should be properly funded. She said: “The ministry handles trade facilitation and industrial development. There is a need for the ministry to be adequately funded to enable it play a key role in the implementation of the transformation Agenda of the government. She added: “So, there is the need for this key ministry to be adequately funded to enable it play its strategic role. Currently, there is an army of unemployed youths across the country. The ministry needs funding and support to provide the conducive environment that will attract local and Foreign Direct Investments that will create jobs and generate wealth for the country.” Aganga said: “At the beginning of this administration, the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry was renamed the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, with an expanded mandate to drive efforts aimed at attracting investments into the country. In line with the expanded mandate, the ministry has started the process of creating jobs, generating wealth and enhancing economic growth.”

•Dr. Aganga

•Jonathan commissioning the college... yesterday. With him are: (from left): Committee on Finance, Senator Bassy Ottu, Dikko and Mikuriya.

Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga, Chairman Senate

Jonathan to Customs: stop influx of small arms P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday described as worrisome the rate at which firearms are found across the country. The President spoke yesterday at the inauguration of the Customs Staff College and World Customs Organisation Regional Training Centre in Abuja. He urged Customs to check the importation of small arms. “I have consistently warned about the spread of small arms across Africa and especially the West African region by foreign merchants of death, who are in-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

genious and desperate to sell their weapons at our expense. “The Nigeria Customs Service must continue to play its part as we fight these security challenges. You have indeed recorded a remarkable breakthrough by seizing all types of small arms and light weapons that are being smuggled through our borders to destabilise our nation.” Jonathan said the training

centre was in line with his administration’s determination to train Nigerians and urged the Customs to expand the facilities for the use of other agencies. “I wish to commend the management of the Nigerian Customs Service for its vision to establish this college to boost the capacity of its staff. With this facility in place, other agencies of government will be encouraged to collaborate among themselves to harmonise their capacity building plans


with the objective of adopting a giant approach on cost reduction. “Let me also admonish that what we are seeing today is quite elegant and we will want this phase to be maintained. The training institution should not be like that of some agencies, which during the commissioning you will see fantastic building, fantastic infrastructure and after some years, you see the degree of dilapidation becoming sometimes embarrassing. I know Customs will be number one in terms of maintenance of this infrastructure.” The Secretary-General,

Emenike urges Supreme Court to oust Orji


CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Chief Ikechi Emenike, yesterday urged the Supreme Court to oust Governor Theodore Orji. The court granted an accelerated hearing of Emenike’s appeal. The panel of five Justices, led by Justice Mahmud Mohammed, also granted an application for abridgment of time to file the appellant’s brief of argument. Before adjourning till February 16 for hearing, the justices ordered the PDP, its Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Baraje and Orji to file and exchange their briefs within 21 days. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to reply within 14 days while the appellant has five days to reply on points of law. The appellant is praying the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Court

•Apex court okays speedy hearing • PDP, INEC, others to file responses From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

of Appeal which upheld the decision of Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court. The Court had declared that Orji was the authentic candidate of the party in the April 26 elections. Describing the judgment as a miscarriage of justice, Emenike, through his lawyers, Chief U.N. Udechukwu (SAN), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN); Emeka Ngige (SAN); Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN); Yayaya Mahmood (SAN); Dr. Soni Ajala; Fabian Okonkwo and Yemi Pitan, urged the court to upturn the decision . According to him, Orji was not a member of the PDP butthe Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) at the time he got the ticket. “The respondents all ad-

mitted this fact and agreed that the fouth respondent (Orji) flirted with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) before he began to hobnob with the National Offices of the PDP. “The respondents did not produce any evidence that the fouth respondent ever resigned from PPA or APGA or that he was ever registered with the PDP as requested under Article 8 and 10 of the constitution of the party (PDP). “The respondents did not at any state of the proceedings produce the membership card of the fourth respondent or the membership register of PDP to establish that the 4th respondent was at any time a registered member or dues-paying member of PDP. “By the provisions of the

Minister advises lawyers against partisanship INISTER of State for Education Ezenwo Wike has appealed to lawyers not to allow their interests cloud their reasoning. He spoke as the chairman of the Annual Bar Dinner of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) Abuja Branch on Wednesday night Wike said lawyers must strive to distinguish between partisan interest and the integrity of


the bench in the interest of the nation. He said the present situation where lawyers rate judgments and judges on the premise of how they are affected by such pronouncements, leaves much to be desired. According to Wike: “As lawyers, we should not rate judgments and judges on how favourable judgements are to us. We must endeav-

our to live above sentiments and partisan interest. We must realise that justice is for everyone and not for any particular group”. The Minister called on lawyers to work towards strengthening the nation’s democracy by ensuring that they work as positive change agents. “Lawyers must work for our democracy to succeed. The legal profession must

not lose its responsibility to Nigerians. This is because lawyers should at all times make contributions to deepen our democracy, instead of taking actions that may negatively affect democracy”, Wike said. He said that the focus for lawyers should be to enhance quality leadership across the country, with the aim of promoting the common good of all Nigerians.

electoral guidelines for primary election 2011 of the party, the constitution of the party, the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended) and the 1999 constitution, the appellant argued that it was wrong to foist a candidate based on a purported waiver or an incompetent screening exercise or primaries purportedly conducted by the first respondent and its State Gubernatorial Electoral panel allegedly constituted by NEC Committee of the PDP.” The appellant said the Court of Appeal was wrong in affirming the decision of the court of first instance and holding that the appellant was not the duly elected governorship candidate of the party to contest the April 16 election. He said the Court of Appeal was wrong and not justified in dismissing his appeal on the grounds that he did not participate in the screening and primary election conducted by the Governorship Electoral Panel conducted by the NEC of the party. The trial court had dismissed the suit and held that Orji duly emerged at the proper primaries as the PDP governorship candidate. The Court of Appeal held that the appellant did not participate in the screening and primary election conducted by the State Governorship Electoral Panel of the PDP.

World Customs Organisation, Kunio Mikuriya, said trade is the engine of economic growth. He said: “We always say for Customs to render service they must consider the three Ps (People, Partnership and Politcal Support).” Also speaking, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi, said the facility is a world class college that would produce middle and senior Customs managers.

Maduekwe warns PDP against anointing candidates From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


ORMER Foreign Affairs Minister Ojo Maduekwe has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against anointing candidates for elections. Maduekwe said if President Goodluck Jonathan’s electoral reforms are to succeed, the ruling PDP must allow the people’s will to prevail in the selection of candidates. This, he noted, would have an overall effect on the polity. The ex-Minister of Transport under former President Olusegun Obasanjo spoke at the presentation of two books by former Rivers State Governor, Celestine Omehia in Abuja, yesterday. The books are entitled: “A Right to be Wrong”, forwarded by the frontline constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), and “Dismissal in Nigeria Labour Law” forwarded by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammad Uwais. The books chronicles the experiences and issues surrounding the historic October 25, 2007 Supreme Court Judgment which ousted Omehia as Rivers State governor. Maduekwe said: “If the people decided to choose a rogue, let the people get the price. Let the people now go to the poll next time and choose a better person.”




Fed Govt needs N106b to settle striking lecturers, says minister T

HE Federal Government yesterday said it would need N106 billion to offset the approved allowances for the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU). Minister of Education, Prof Ruquayyat Ahmed Rufa’i spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital, at the inauguration of the Minna zonal office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). She said the bill covers only university teachers in Federal Government-owned universities while stateowned ivory towers are yet to be worked out. The minister was reacting to the negotiation with the striking lecturers, which deadlocked in Abuja on Wednesday. Admitting that the Federal Government accepted to pay the allowance based on the agreement signed in 2009, Prof Rufa’i said the agreement does not state the source of funding the allowances and who is to pay them. Saying the allowances were to be defrayed from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by the universities, the minister lamented that the IGR of the universities was grossly inadequate to pay the lecturers’ allowances. She said: “The fund to offset the allowances demanded by ASUU is supposed to come from the IGR of uni-


•‘I’ll sell my property to educate my children abroad’ From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

versities but the IGR of all the federal universities in the country, put together, is just N25 billion. We are talking of N106 billion to offset the whole allowances. Even if we give up all the IGR, we will still not be able to meet up. “When the agreement was signed in 2009, it did not stipulate who would pay the money or how the money will be sourced. These areas were not clear. So, we really

need to come up with a negotiation on where and how the money will be sourced.” Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu yesterday said he was prepared to sell his property to send his children abroad for uninterrupted university education. The governor spoke in Minna, the state capital, against the backdrop of incessant strikes by Nigerian university lecturers, especially as the ongoing strike by ASUU entered the fourth

day yesterday. Babangida, who was inaugurating the N56million JAMB zonal office in Minna, noted that the situation in Nigerian universities might jeopardise the future of Nigerian children. Describing incessant ASUU strikes as destructive to the future of young Nigerians, Aliyu said the union’s action is unacceptable. He lamented that students now spend over seven years for a four-year course. Condemning the strike,

the governor regretted that incessant strike by ASUU has led to the collapse of the university system. He added that with the recent development in our ivory towers, most parents will be ready to sell their personal belongings to financing their children and wards to pursuit their university education. “In view of what is happening, even if I have to sell my house, I have to do it to send my children to study. When I was a director in the Federal Civil Service, I had two cars. I sold one to send one of my children to acquire education abroad, because I consider it a better investment than the car,” Aliyu said.

•From left: Semilore, son of a News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) Editor, Mr Adedoyin Fadu; Bola, the widow; Anointed, daughter; and other relations, at the burial of the late editor in Lagos...yesterday PHOTO:NAN

UKWU: I, formerly known and addressed as MISS. CHIKA JOSEPHINE UKWU, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS CHIKA JOSEPHINE MARCEL. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT Notice is hereby given that the Original copy of the Allocation paper issued in respect of property situate, lying and being at 4th Avenue, 401 Road, ‘1’ Close, Block 2, Flat 12,FESTAC Town, Lagos, belonging to Mr. Pius Ebinum, is missing and all effort to trace it proved abortive.


At OKENE, KOGI STATE Plot of land at GRA Size: 480.24 Sq. mtr. ….........….. Poultry Complete Dizengoff feed miller/2 tons at a time 08035379426; 08068131568.

25,000 defectors join ACN in Adamawa From Barnabas Manyam, Yola


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Adamawa State, Mr Markus Gundiri, has received 25,000 defectors from two parties ahead of the January 14 election in the state. The defectors comprised 5,000 members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 20,000 members of the National Transformation Party (NTP), including its former governorship candidate, Chief Maurice Vuno Bolki. Gundiri said ACN would form the next government in the state, urging other parties to join him in the plan to develop Adamawa. Bolki said he had to jettison his ambition because he realised that the ACN candidate is bound for the Government House in Yola next year. He said he was bringing such a high number of defectors into the ACN because of his belief that the party would form the next government in Adamawa State. Bolki donated 35 NTP campaign vehicles to the ACN, promising more assistance until the ACN gets to power in the state next year. The ACN deputy governorship candidate, Alhaji Abdukrazak Namdaz said the party has come to stay in his Ganye Constituency because all PDP card-carrying members in the area have defected to the ACN.

Buhari condemns Fed Govt’s plan to remove fuel subsidy


ORMER Head of State and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate in last April election, General Mohammadu Buhari, has condemned the plan by the Federal Government to remove subsidy from petroleum products as from January. He noted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government at the centre has underdeveloped Nigeria and caused primordial sentiments to divide the citizens. Buhari spoke in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, at the flag-off of campaign for the CPC governorship candidate, Brig.-Gen Buba Marwa. The former Head of State urged Nigerians to vote out

PUBLIC NOTICE GOD’S POWER INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY (C&S) ALADURA CHURCH The general public is hereby notified that the above mentioned church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990 THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. PRIMATE KAYODE OLADELE CHARLES 2. MRS. OLAYINKA KAYODE (Mother in Isreal) 3. KAYODE OYINDAMOLA 4. AMOS OLUGBENGA 5. ODEBODE PAUL AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ 2. To propagate the power in the name of ultimate Jesus. 3. To promote the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide. 4. To practice peace and love devoid of secret society or any other form of body or association not keeping with the motto of the ministry. Any objection to this registration should be forward to The RegistrarGeneral, Coporate Affairs Commissioon, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, off Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Olutade, Ogundimu Esq. Solicitor

From Barnabas Manyam, Yola

the PDP to enable a credible government under the CPC to rebuild the state. According to him, the PDP government is a failure and Nigerians must vote it out to save the nation. He said Marwa is a credible man with the ability to deliver democracy dividends, if elected governor next year. The former Head of State urged Adamawa electorate to vote for CPC in the January 14 election. The CPC presidential candidate, who addressed supporters in Hausa, said justice is the panacea for peace, progress and social economic development. He said a government canot be said to be peaceloving if it perpetrates injustice, underdevelopment and division of the people along primordial sentiments. The former Head of State

Kwara Speaker urges Jonathan to opt for referendum


T behoves President Goodluck Jonathan to subject the planned deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry to a referendum, Kwara State House of Assembly Speaker Razak Atunwa has said. Atunwa noted that since it was through the people’s mandate Dr Jonathan became President, he should have respected their fundamental right before taking the final decision on the vexed issue. Addressing reporters yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the Kwara Speaker said: “…The President did not campaign for subsidy removal during electioneering. It came after he had been voted into office. This is why I say he must return to the people and seek a sort of mandate for that. They have that fundamental right, alsaid unless PDP is ousted through the polls, Nigerians would continue to feel the pains of maladministration under the party because it has mortgaged the nation to the rich. He said the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) un-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

though not in the Constitution. “My candid advice is for him to get the true flavour of the opinion of the people. Mr President should conduct a referendum of the people of Nigeria. Now, if he doesn’t want to conduct a direct referendum, I believe he should do the referendum through members of Houses of Assembly throughout Nigeria, because each member of the state Assemblies represents each constituent in Nigeria.” He raised concern over prevailing insecurity in the country, saying: “The issue of security is a thing of great concern, not only to the leaders but also to all Nigerians. The bomb blast that occurred at Kastina road in Kaduna is something to be deplored; perpetrators must be found and brought to book.

der his leadership initiated many projects for the benefit of Nigerians. Buhari added that the projects were abandoned by the ruling PDP for selfish reasons. He referred to the ID Chouchi irrigation projects,

initiated by the Petroleum Trust Fund (ETF) under his leadership. He said the project was intended to boost social economic activities in Adamawa State but was abandoned by the PDP when it came to power 11 years ago.

Nigerian children will get basic education by 2015, says Jonathan


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday restated the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure that every Nigerian child acquires basic education by 2015. The President, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesome Wike, spoke in Kano at the flag-off of the feeding programme initiated by the Kano State Govern-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ment in its re-orientation for public schools in the state. Dr Jonathan noted that the country would experience disaster without effective education, adding that basic education is the bedrock of every society through which the people communicate effectively. The President said the initiative would increase children’s enrolment in school,

adding that it would also assist in arousing pupils’ interest as well as increase their attention in classes. “The return of the free feeding for public school pupils in Kano State will greatly increase attendance and reduce the possibility of students not returning to school because of hunger,” he said. Praising Governor Musa Kwankwaso for being among the first governors to

access the counterpart fund in education since 2008, the President reassured the state of the Federal gGvernment’s commitment to partner with the present administration at ensuring that every Nigerian child has access to education. Kwankwaso said the feeding programme is among the initiatives of his administration to fulfil his campaign promises.



NEWS Woman to enforce judgment in N3.7m debt suit

Court joins Kogi police chief in ACN members’ suit


HE Federal High Court, Lokoja, has joined Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Amana Abasakanga as a party in the two suits filed by 23 members and leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) against Police Inspector-General Hafiz Ringim. They sued Ringim for N15 billion for allegedly preventing them from entering the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on September 21 and on October 25 and 26 this year. The first group was turned back on their way to Abuja to witness the arraignment of their leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The second group was on its way to a meeting at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja. When the matter came up before Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, counsel to the party chieftains, Mr Kunle Adegoke, drew the court’s attention to Ringim’s absence. He said the police chief was also not represented on two previous occasions when the case came up. He urged the court to allow him move his application. Justice Ekwo asked whether there was proper service on the respondent, as the hearing notice issued by the court showed that it was received by the Commissioner of Police, Legal Services. Adegoke explained that all processes meant for the Inspector General of Police could only be served on him through the Legal Department. The judge then said the Commissioner of Police,

Bureau de change operator gets seven years jail term By Joseph Jibueze

A BUREAU de change operator, Adewale Alausa, was yesterday jailed for seven years by Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja. He was said to have defrauded IBW Bureau De Change of $35,000 (about N5.3million) by knowingly making “false representation to the victim company.” The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Alausa lied that he had a customer that would exchange the dollars for the equivalent of N4.165million. The offence contravened Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006. Justice Oyewole said: “His inability to supply details of this supposed customer of his who had put him into so much trouble is because the customer does not exist. “In totality, therefore, I reject the testimony of the defendant as tissues of lies meant to deceive the court and obscure the truth of this case.”

By Joseph Jibueze

Kogi State Command, should be joined as a party before the court could allow the application to be moved. Adegoke argued that an action brought against a principal does not require joining the agent and that the Commissioner of Police, being an agent of Ringim, is not a necessary party to the suit. But the judge disagreed, and ordered Abasakanga to be joined as second respondent. The applicants sought a declaration that the act of police led by Ringim in holding them hostage for hours under harsh weather

conditions without any lawful or justified basis is unconstitutional, and, therefore, illegal. They asked the court to hold that police officers restricting their freedom of movement and preventing them from entering the FCT on account of their membership of the ACN is in gross violation of their right to freedom from discrimination. The N15 billion compensation, they said, is for the alleged gross violation of their rights to freedom of movement, right to dignity of human persons and right to freedom from discrimination. Besides, they argued that there is no provision in the



Constitution or any law enacted by the National Assembly restricting their rights to enter or exit the FCT, Abuja or any other part of the federation. The case has been adjourned to December 15.

TRADER, Mrs Jennifer Osobomenmeh Oikeh, is set to enforce the judgment of a Lagos State High Court, Lagos Island, ordering a company, Lodigiani (Nigeria) Limited to pay her N3,717,500 debt following a business transaction. Justice Oludotun AdefopeOkojie ordered the company to pay the debt, according to the terms of settlement reached at the Lagos MultiDoor Courthouse on November 2, last year. The parties agreed to settle the debt in six installments as follows: N1million on or before December 15, 2010; N543, 500 on or before February 15, 2011; N543, 500 on or before April 15; N543, 500 on or before June 15; N543, 500 on or before August 15 and N543, 500 on or before October 15.

By Joseph Jibueze

One of the terms of the agreement reads: “In the event that the respondent fails to pay any of the installments as stated above, the entire sum shall fall due and become immediately enforceable.” The payment was to be made in bank draft, but Oikeh said the debt is yet to be paid. In a March 18 letter to Lodigiani’s Managing Director, Oikeh’s lawyer, Mr Micheal Imonah, wrote: “You will recall that terms of settlement signed by the parties had been made as judgment by the court. “However, the amount due and payable as at this moment has not been paid. “We are requesting the payment of the debt in line with the peaceful resolution of this matter.”




ACN hails judiciary over verdict HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State has praised the judiciary for ordering a rerun election in Rivers East. It described Wednesday’s sack by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, of Senator George Sekibo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as a step in the right direction.


From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

The appellate court upheld the October 24 nullification of Sekibo’s election by the Justice Veronica Umeh-led Election Petition Tribunal. The party, through its Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, yesterday said the

court’s foresight had confirmed the alarm raised by the opposition over rigging in the April elections in the state. It said: “The rigging is not confined to the senatorial election. Other elections should be dispassionately looked into, to expose the monumental rascality displayed by the PDP during the April elections.”

2,847 get free health services in Edo BOUT 2,847 people have benefited from the free medical services in honour of the late Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole. Mrs. Oshiomhole, wife of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, died a year ago. The figures were released by Pastor Glory Ohiomah of the Health Initiative and Outreach International, which is collaborating with the Health Foundation for Maternal and Child Care (HEFMAC). According to Ohiomah, 173 persons were given glasses, 13 had corrective eye surger-


ies, 101 visited the HIV Clinic, 31 people underwent general surgeries, 147 people had laboratory tests and 1,075 people got drugs. Oshiomhole said: “This kind of medical mission is the best way to remember our authentic comrade, Clara Oshiomhole. "I confess that we haven't yet put government money into the project, even though I had promised to support it. Government bureaucracy has not made it possible, but I assure you it would come and you can use it to fund future projects," he said.

•Amaechi (middle), Country Director World Bank, Ms Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly and another World Bank official during the bank’s inspection of the Science laboratory of the new model secondary school in Ebubu, Eleme, Rivers State…yesterday

‘We’ll transform education in Rivers’ IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has reaffirmed his commitment to transforming education. The state is building 750 primary schools, 24 secondary schools and a new campus for the State University of Science and Technology. The governor spoke yesterday when the chairman and members of Conference of Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt. Amaechi assured them that the state would “fund the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. He said: “We have money set aside for it in this year’s budget. “For the secondary schools, we will start running them in January. Each school will be funded with N800million. “We have outsourced the management of the secondary schools. “They will employ their teachers, but government is going to pay for all the facilities in the schools, including feeding. “This is because it is compulsory boarding for all the students; the total cost for the running and the maintenance of these schools is N800million. “If we can fund the secondary schools like that, they should expect us to do better at the universities. “The best the government can do is to provide infrastructure and funding for the operation or the running and maintenance of the schools.”






The summary is that the story of the power sector has not changed as far as the end-users are concerned. Most enterprises still rely on diesel and petrol to power their businesses and the cost of this is simply unbearable. -Chief Femi Deru, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

Forex reserves down to four weeks low

Stocks fall on Europe concern


• Naira falls at interbank


IGERIA’s foreign re serves stood at $32.99 billion at December 2, its lowest since November 9, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) struggles to sustain stability in the domestic foreign exchange market, the apex bank’s data showed yesterday. The naira also eased against the U.S dollar yesterday to its weakest in nine weeks as robust demand for the greenback from some end-users stocking up for Christmas sales and those excluded from the official window overstretched supply. The forex reserves of Africa’s top energy producer were at $32.96 billion a year ago, but remain under pressure from strong domestic demand for the dollar and low accretion from oil revenue. The CBN moved its target trading band for the naira last month to +/-3 per cent around N155, from +/-3 per cent around N150 due to prolonged strong demand on available dollar which gradually eaten deep into its reserves.. Meanwhile, the naira according to Reuters News, was trading at N162.45 to the dollar on the interbank market, weaker than N161.70 to the dollar compared to Wednesday’s close. “Dollar inflow has thinned out in the market, while a number of people are covering their short positions, putting pressure on the available dollars,” one dealer said. Traders said the local unit of Chevron oil is selling about $35 million to some banks later in the day, while fellow oil company Agip is also selling $27 million, but that may not be sufficient to reduce pressure in the market.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$115.3/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.3% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $32.820b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL



0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472

• From left: Chief inspector of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Bola Dawodu; Chairman Committee of Chief Inspectors of Banks in Nigeria(CCIBN), Mr. Boye Ogunmolade; and the Representative of the Group Managing Director of the Skye Bank Plc who is also the Regional Director, Apapa\Mainland regions of Skye Ban Plc, Niyi Adeseun. At the CCIBN Monthly meeting hosted by skye bank held yesterday in lagos.

Jonathan presents 2012 budget Tuesday


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will present the 2012 Appropriation Bill to the Joint Session of the National Assembly next week Tuesday. He will also address the members of the National Assembly same day on the floor of the House of Representative on the 2012 budget. The 2012 Budget presentation was contained in a letter Jonathan addressed to the Senate President, Senator David Mark entitled “2012 budget.” The 2012 budget was expected to have been presented to the National Assembly for consideration and approval in November but it was not possible because of the controversy trailing the proposal by the Federal Government to withdrawal fuel subsidy. Mark read the letter on the floor of the Senate yester-

• Reps suspend rules to admit President, Senators From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor, Sanni Onogu, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

day. Part of the letter read: “I crave the kind indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 12: 00 noon, Tuesday, 13the December, to formally address the Joint Session of the National Assembly on the 2012 Budget.” Observers said that the presentation of the 2012 budget has been unduly delayed by the politics of fuel subsidy withdrawal. The Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)forward to the National Assembly by Jonathan hinted about the plan to remove fuel subsidy beginning from 2012 fiscal year.

The proposal to remove fuel subsidy became topical with proponents and opponents labouring to win the debate. The Senate was not left out of the debate as the proposal has thrown the upper legislative chamber into a sharp division with some Senators insisting that removal of subsidy was the only way to save money to grow the economy. But others felt that withdrawal of fuel subsidy would unleash unprecedented suffering on average Nigerians. Fuel subsidy, to be or not to be remains the question that will be answered when Jonathan presents his budget speech on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker of the House, Emeka Ihedioha

announced the budget presentation through a letter sent to the House by President Jonathan. He sais when the letter was forwarded to the House in September, the initiative was to ensure that planned spending are set at prudent and sustainable levels in line with governments overall medium term developmental objectives set out in the transformational agenda of the administration. Consequently, the Representatives suspended House rule as moved by the House Leader, Mulikat AkandeAdeola to enable the admittance of the President into the chamber for the briefing as well as enable Senators access to the lower chamber before the arrival of the President.

Only 4.1m Nigerians have insurance policies, says NIA O NLY 4,080,000 out of Nigeria’s 168million people have insurance policies, the DirectorGeneral, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Sunday Thomas, has said. Thomas told The Nation that the insurance gap (number of uninsured people) stands at 94 per cent (163,920,000) meaning that only six per cent of the nation’s population have access to insurance. He expressed misgivings about Nigerians attitude to insurance, noting that even the educated are yet to appreciate the workings of insurance, which is the best mechanism to mitigate risks. Thomas noted that the industry market volume as at last year stood at N182billion, adding that it employed less than 10,000 employees.

By Chuks Udo Okonta

He said the industry hopes to achieve a premium volume of N6trillion and total market asset base of N16 trillion, generate employment of not less than 300,000 and increase penetration (Contribution to Gross Domestic Product)from 0.6 per cent to 15 per cent. Thomas said the industry will also achieve a density (Premium per Capital) of $256, reduce insurance Gap from 94 per cent to less than 30 per cent, attain full deployment of high level information technology and high level implementation of solvency. He said the industry occupies the 60th position in the world insurance market and fourth in Africa.Thomas

added that operators are poised to turn things around through availability and quality of relevant products, effective distribution system, deliberate programme of human capital development, improvement in ethical standard, remarkable increase in quality of service delivery, awareness campaign and enhanced quality of regulatory policies. He said unethical issues have been a bane to the industry’s growth, adding that the NIA has rose to the challenge through the initiation of market agreement. Thomas noted that the market agreement was designed to make operator underwrite businesses in accordance to stipulated rules, adding that continuous efforts are made to ensure

compliance. He said the NIA has spelt out measures of disciplining errant members, adding that the association has the power to expel members who portray its image in bad light. “We have a disciplinary committee to discipline errant members. Some members have been suspended and on serious cases, some have been expelled. Ours is a voluntary association not set-up by government. If the way a member conducts his affairs is not consistent with the belief of the association, the association has the right to excuse the fellow. If the association sees that what you are doing is not helping the interest of the association, they would ask you to move, which is part of the constitution of the association,” he added.

IGERIA stocks fell the most in almost 11 weeks as foreign investors withheld funds on concern about possible recession in Europe, Assur Asset Management Ltd. said. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index lost 365.14, or 1.8 per cent, to 19,464.15 the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos, the biggest drop since Sept. 23. “Locals are selling and foreigners are buying but they themselves are under pressure now,” Victor Inyang, deputy general manager at Lagos-based Assur, told Bloomberg News by phone yesterday. Foreign investors are also waiting to see if the naira, the Nigerian currency, will weaken further before buying equities, Inyang said. The naira fell 0.22 per cent to 162.05 to the dollar in the interbank market by 3:34 p.m., its lowest value since October 21. European leaders are meeting today and tomorrow in Brussels for talks to frame the fifth “comprehensive” solution in 19 months to a debt crisis that’s left Germany and France facing the threat of losing their AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s.

BOA/NDDC flagoff N1b agric loan scheme


HE Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under a collaborative arrangement have commenced the disbursement of a N1 billion facility to youths involved in agriculture in the Niger Delta region.

The programme according to a statement, was flagged off last week Thursday at the BOA Zonal Office in PortHarcourt, Rivers State. Under the first phase of the programme 2,550 Niger Delta youths in 255 co-operative groups will receive loans for use in various enterprises ranging from aquaculture and feed formation, to poultry, rabbitry, snailry and food processing. Following the flag-off of the partnership tagged BOA/NDDC Credit and Enterpreneurial Development Scheme, the youths who have been trained in various aspects of agricultural production under the NDDC Skills Acquisition Programme in the Niger Delta will receive varying amounts of money ranging from N100,000 to N250,000 individually as loans to start them off in their various enterprises. The loans under the scheme are to be repaid within a maximum period of two years and have moratorium determined by project type.




Nigeria joins Egypt, S’Africa in solar panel production


IGERIA has joined Egypt and South Africa as the third African nation to produce its solar panels for electricity purposes locally. The Science and Technology Minister, Professor Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, announced this yesterday when he led a delegation in a consultation visit to the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji. Head Media and Public Relations, Mrs Greyne Anosike made this known in a statement yesterday. The Minister said that the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has successfully produced solar panels of international standard, which would now bridge the quantum of foreign exchange being spent on importing panels from Asia and Europe annually. With that, Nigeria joins Egypt and South Africa as the only African nations with the technological capacity to mass produce solar

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

panels. Prof. Ewa, who was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Dr. Dare Awosika and the Director General – NASENI, Prof. O. Adewuye, said they came to show solidarity with the efforts of the Power Minister to translate Nigerian dream into reality and to seek various areas of collaboration in defining ways in which science and engineering could impact and drive the rural development. He said Science and Technology Ministry believes that because of the difficult terrain in some parts of the country, clusters of electricity generating units as dams, wind and solar would be the best option forward and confirmed that his Ministry had done all studies relating to them and would invite the Power Minister to come and see them soon.

• From left: Rachel Robbins, CEO, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mrs. Adeola Azeez, Chairperson, WIMBIZ, Mrs. Bola Adesola,managing director, Standard Chartered Bank, and Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, managing director, Sokoa Chair Centre during a cocktail reception in Lagos in honour of Rachel Robbins recently.

Fed Govt develops new policy to boost investment From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


N a bid to making Nige ria an investment haven, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has developed a draft Sector Specific Incentive Policy, which when implemented would make the country a preferred investment destination among emerging markets in the world. The Executive Secretary NIPC, Engr. Mustafa Bello, who was represented by James Ebuetse, Director Policy Advocacy and External Relations, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 7th National Conference on Investment (NCI) in Abuja. He said that the commission will do all it can to attract more foreign and local investment. He said: “The NCI, which was initiated in 2004 and held annually, had succeeded in bringing together relevant investment promotion agencies and development institutions from both the public and private sectors for the nation’s economic growth and development. “So far stakeholders have been able to deliberate on the economy and also mobilise broad-based support for, and provide a road map towards creating an enabling environment for investment in Nigeria”. Bello, however, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) National Automotive Council, (NAC) and various stakeholders for their support for the commission towards making Nigeria investment haven for both local and foreign investors. “NIPC is realising that cooperation and collaboration with stakeholders is very essential in achieving its objectives, this has caused the management to initiate the NCI, which has since been yielding result. “The transformation agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had been helping to improve the investment climate and creating opportunities for increased foreign and local investments,” he stated.






Vol 3 No. 155

In a competitive market, a successful product launch is key to business growth and profitability. But developing successful products and introducing them into the market is not easy, writes WALE ALABI.

How product launch can aid its success O

NCE a product is developed, effective product launch becomes the critical step to its success. The launch must address all the steps necessary to start volume production, plan and execute marketing, develop needed documentation, train sales and support personnel (internal and external), fill channels, and prepare to install and support the product. Credible brands follow this process to the letter because an improved product launch results in faster time-to-market and time-to-profit. Activities are better planned and co-ordinated and more tightly integrated. System data requirements are better understood, and systems may be better integrated. The result is a better production process, more effective marketing, a sales force better prepared to begin selling the new product and a service and support group better able to service and support the new product, leading to greater customer acceptance. Adopting these critical steps has paid off for Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB). In what can be seen as a step towards establishing a clear dominance of Nigeria’s non-alcoholic segment of the beverage sector, the company unveiled the new 50cl PET bottle of her premium soft drink, Fayrouz to customers and distributors.The event, which was done jointly with two other new brands from NB’s stable, was held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. The performances of popular hip-hop icon Tuface Idibia and rap artiste MI added colour and glamour to the ceremony. Also present at the event was Eric Monjoin, the iconic actor, who featured in Heineken’s latest global campaign, The Entrance. NB also used the event to reaffirm its commitment toward the production of high quality drinks that meet international standards. Speaking on this unique brew that combines the fizz, sparkle and refreshment of a soft drink, with the tasty fruit flavours of juice, and the naturalness and benefits of malt at the ceremony tagged the Hat Trick mega launch-also symbolically known as 11-11-11 to tally with that unique day, month of this year, Jacco Van der Linden, former Marketing Director of NB, briefly traced the evolution of this highly successful brand. According to him, Fayrouz was introduced into the market in 2007. It has a foam-headed distinctive aroma, full bodied texture and an appetising golden colour in a 33cl bottle. Fayrouz cans were later launched in 2009. The Marketing Manager also revealed that the brand has been highly successful with an average yearly growth of 40 per cent. The payoff- “refreshingly different”- takes into cognisance that the brand is the only premium grown up soft drink in the market today, Linden explained. Nnenna Ifebigh-Hemeson, Senior Brand Manager, Fayrouz, strongly feels the introduction of the PET bottle will further consolidate market dominance. She stated that the brand, which comes in pear and pineapple flavours, has been widely accepted by consumers within a very short time. Apart from providing unmatched refreshment, the senior brand manager said the brand is distinct, adventurous, and fun because it brings people together. Furthermore, its provision of unconventional fun, its daring nature, which makes it stand out, is what makes its high quality standard. “With a confident brand character of confident, progress, pushing the limits, open and warm it is little wonder that it is the preferred soft drink for adults,” Hemeson added.

• From left: Hubert Eze, Sales Director, Nigerian Breweris Plc; Nnenna Ifebigh-Hemeson, Senior Brand Manager, Fayrouz; Tony Agenmonmen, Marketing Manager, Alcoholic Drinks and Ayo Lawal, Regional Business Manager, at the unveiling of Fayrouz PET ... in Abuja.

She also said Fayrouz is a “premium soft drink that has been specially developed for an adult palate, with no artificial colours or preservatives. It is naturally created to be gently sparkling and to deliver delicious fruit flavoured refreshment. With its golden colour and foamy head, which is a result of the malted barley, Fayrouz is the perfect choice for people looking for an excitingly different soft drink. Malted barley lies at the heart of the Fayrouz recipe and is traditionally crafted using pure, clear water to let its flavour build slowly over several days. This helps to give Fayrouz its unique depth of flavour and sweetness. As Fayrouz does not undergo any fermentation there is no alcohol in the final delicious product.”Within days, the introduction of Fayrouz PET bottles has electrified the market. Most consumers and retailers have praised Nigerian Breweries. Jide Sobajo, a banker, believes Fayrouz in PET bottle is nice and still has the same great taste. In his words: “It will be easier to carry around. The fact that one can reuse the cap will help to preserve it for further consumption.” For Jide Owolabi, a Lagosbased IT consultant, “I always like Fayrouz, but it was rather scarce to get, maybe because of the returnable glass bottle. But now that the drink is sold in PET bottles, the product will really spread far because you can now have it on the move. I believe it will chase away other drinks from the market.”Rita Goloto, a student of

‘Credible brands follow this process to the letter because an improved product launch results in faster time-to-market and time-toprofit. Activities are better planned and co-ordinated and more tightly integrated. System data requirements are better understood, and systems may be better integrated’

Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, who is on holiday in Lagos, is fascinated with Fayrouz because of what she calls its “beer features”. ”I like the foam that makes it look like beer. Besides, it’s nice to see that we have it in PET bottles because it is my best soft drink ever, but I also think other flavours should be added to the pineapple and pear flavours. I also love Fayrouz because it blends well with red wine,” she explained. An unemployed graduate, Ugochi Nnaji, is excited that Fayrouz PET will create an alternative. “At least, we now have another option to pick from when it comes to buying drinks in PET bottles. Previously, we were hampered by bottles.Then, introduced cans, but that too is limited because once you open it, you must finish it. But with the PET bottle, you need not be in a rush to finish it. I think it’s a brilliant innovation,” she added. Apart from producing quality products, such as Fayrouz, NB is a socially responsible corporate organisation with a good track record of corporate social initiatives in identified and strategic areas. The brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility is driven by a vision to always “Win with Nigeria”. Over the years, it has been very active in supporting national development aspirations in line with its commitment to “Winning with Nigeria”. The brand has continued to identify and respond to major challenges confronting Nigeria through its huge corporate social investments, especially in education, the environment, water, youth empowerment, talent development and sports, among others. To this end, the brand in 1994 established an Education Trust Fund with a take-off grant of N100 million to take more active part in the funding of educational and research in institutions of higher learning, all in an effort to provide and encourage academic excellence in Nigeria. This is in addition to its secondary and university scholarship programmes for children of its employees. Nigerian Breweries Plc is one of the sponsors of sports in the country, covering football, athletics, tennis, cycling, chess, golf, squash, dart, Sailing and “Ayo”, a traditional sport among others. The aim is to develop-sportsmen and women to participate in national and international sports, and boost the sports profile of the country. The company is also involved in the development of leadership, musical and movie talents, through various programmes.






‘Agric is hope for Kano’s economy’ Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso is determined to reposition Kano State’s economy using the agricultural sector as springboard. He appointed Dr Baraka Sani, the first woman Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, since the creation of the state in 1967, to drive his vision of creating wealth and jobs. In this interview with KOLADE ADEYEMI, Dr Sani speaks on the just-concluded agric show, organised by her ministry, as well as efforts by the ministry to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, including the windows of opportunities for farmers, agro-allied industries and investors.


OUR ministry has just concluded an agric show. Can you give us an insight into what happened during the exhibition? The Kano State Agric Show is a yearly event. It has been in existence since the first tenure of Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, and with his stepping aside, the event was abandoned. But, now that he is back, the show has been revived. The objective is to try and avail farmers the opportunity to meet with buyers, the opportunity to meet with input companies as well as co-farmers across the 44 local government areas of the state. It, indeed, gave them a window through which they could visit one another and exchange ideas. It also gave them a platform to meet with research institutes, as well as have an interactive session, whereby they would be told whether the produce they have been able to grow during the season lived up to expectation and also for the research institutes to tell them about new developments. It was also used as a medium to thank God for a good harvest, which is the usual tradition in Northern Nigeria. We also used it as a platform to enable the farmers meet with the governor, and analyse how his policies have boost agricultural transformation of the state. We also used it to showcase the abandoned agricultural resources that God has endowed the state with. How many farmers participated and what would you say are the immediate and long-term gains of the show? At least, over 150 companies participated in the twoday. We had full participation from the 44 local government areas, as well as 106 other companies.About 150 companies or bodies participated. As a state show, it was adjudged to be highly successful and as far as the outcome is concerned. That was a very good, as it provided an opportunity for our farmers to meet face to face with buyers. Some of the buyers indicated interest in maize, and they are interested in cultivating over 10,000 hectares of land. When you translate that into naira and kobo, you are talking roughly of about N7.5 billion in investment. This is encouraging. Most times, the farmers produce at a loss because there would be no market So, if you commit 10,000 hectares of cultivated land, as requested by buyers at the agric show, it means the farmers are getting their ready market and there will be no doubt that the proceeds will start coming to them directly. We would ensure that they would continue to get farm inputs in terms of fertiliser, improved seeds to plant and proper monitoring and supervision and all these added up to quality returns to farmers. Apart from that, we also got companies interested in sorghum. They also came face to face with the farmers and they are tidying up the total requirement, so that we can

•Dr Sani

pass the information to the farmers for people who are interested in the cultivation of sorghum to come up and register. We also got people interested in rice padding and we also got people who are interested in Giwa Ruwa (a specie of fish found in Baguada Dam). We will make

sure we stock it with enough fingerlings, so that they can have enough and allow fishing rights to take place there and the farmers are generally happy because His Excellency made sure that he made the place very comfortable for farmers to display their produce. For the cost implication, I can assure you that money was spent from various sources by the government, and it was money prudently spent. So, we did what is necessary as facilitators. The local governments made their contributions. So, together, we were all able to pull our resources together. His Excellency disclosed that a new zoo would be built, as he noticed that the animals in the zoo were not comfortable in the cages that they were brought in. He deplored situation and insisted that the animals have to be kept in a more comfortable environment, because the change of environment is not fair to constraint them for three days in small cages. Based on that, the Governor has decided to build a better equipped zoo to accommodate next year’s event. With the just-concluded Agric Show, what are your expectations from the Federal Government? Well, during my welcome address, I seized the opportunity to tell the audience that Kano is the home of agriculture. We have a population of about 17 million. We have 17 dams, and we are engaged in irrigation farming for 365 days. We have shown the Federal Government that we have the potential. They have to help the people of Kano State and explore the potential for agricultural transformation. We need these dams for irrigation farming for our people to improve and secure jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and women. On this note, I would like to call on the Federal Government to rehabilitate the embankments on Tiga Challawa and Bagauda Dams, in view of their importance to our Fadama farmers. We told them that we have the irrigation dams, so that we can have support in the line of input, so that our farmers can have fertilisers to grow food even during the dry season. We also expect the Federal Government to upgrade the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) to a cargo airport, so that cash crops can easily be airlifted to boost the economic fortunes of the state and the country. The Federal Government should focus more on mechanised farming, so that our farmers can own tractors to be able to reduce the burden, which is associated with the rudimentary system of farming, so that our youths can be interested in going back to farming if such incentives are made available, so that more food can be grown and our food security can be improved.

Crop breeding vital to harvests, says expert


FOOD expert, Dr Kenny Acholonu, has canvassed a national campaign to get farmers to use bio-fortification to increase the nutritional value of harvests. Biofortification is a method of breeding crops to increase their nutritional value. Acholonu, Chief Executive, BioOrganics Nutrient Systems Limited, spoke at the company’s forum in Lagos. Acholonu said there is growing interest in the role agriculture should play in improving nutritional quality of food produced. Through biofortification, farmers can adopt selective breeding of plants fortified with high-zinc content, which has an inherent quality to control abnormalities such as

By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

stunting, poor immune response and pregnancy complications. Across the country, he noted that women, men and children lack adequate amounts of vital micronutrients in their diets, resulting in slow learning, reduced productivity and deaths from diseases. To address this, he said his company is working with food processors, to ensure that their food is fortified with low-cost, life-saving vitamins and minerals. He said food fortification, which adds essential vitamins and minerals to foods, is an important strategy to fight malnutrition. He said fortified locally produced food crops could significantly improve

nutrition for people who eat these foods daily. The Executive Director, Food Basket Foundation International,Prof Laolu. Akinyele, said to control micronutrient deficiency and anaemia, it requires vitamin and mineral supplementation, food fortification and dietary diversification. Since 2002, he said Nigeria has being championing food fortification. He said hunger has enormous consequences, not only to individuals, but also to society through reduced economic productivity. Akinyele called on the government to help secure regulatory approvals and pursue production and distribution plans for fortified foods. Akinyele said improving the nutrition of staple crops has the po-

tential to change the lives of many Nigerians. He said Nigeria will see the returns on its food fortification investment in increased productivity in the labour market, decrease in health care costs. Akinyele said fortifying foods with key micronutrients, including vitamin A, will have the most impact for those who are most vulnerable. He commended Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited for promoting the use of nutrients, minerals, and micro-nutrients in mass production of foods, adding that the effort has reduced nutritional deficiencies. He called for approaches for direct nutrition-specific interventions (NSIs), and developments to reduce

•Dr Acholonu

and counteract the devastating effects of under-nutrition – specifically by promoting agriculture and food security to improve the availability, access to and consumption of nutritious foods.

Senator flays govt’s policy on agric research loans


SENATOR has condemned the Federal Government’s policies on loans to finance research in agricultural institutes. Senator Adegbenga Kaka said the policies are affecting abundant food production. Kaka spoke Seventh annual lecture of the School of Agriculture andAgricultural Technology of the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure, Ondo State, where he was honoured with an award in agricultural development. The lecture entitled: Technology transfer and agricultural production,

Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

was delivered by Prof‘Tola Badejo, Vice-Chancellor, Wesley University of Science and Technology (WUST), Ondo. Kaka said the policies on loan disbursement required that agricultural research institutes must go through the Ministry of Finance and contractors who would demand between 20 and 25 per cent as professional fees before the credit facilities are granted.

Such unfavourable policies have discouraged development in researches, with consequent decline in food production, he said. Kaka praised the Vice-Chancellor , Prof Adebisi Balogun, who was also a recipient of the award, describing him as an epitome of success. He said: “We will be taking too much risk if we fail to quickly realise the need to bring agricultural development to the front burner in our national consideration. We have slept for too long a period, thinking that oil would

remain the mainstay of our economy forever. We must realise that there is danger ahead if we do not wake up to the reality in time. We must find a way of integrating agriculture into the curriculum of our secondary schools in a way that by the time our pupils get out of the schools, they will easily key into the our national anti-hunger agenda.” Balogun said the award had offered him an opportunity to once again meet with Kaka, who is also, an alumnus of the University of Ibadan (UI), Department of Ani-

mal Science. He said: “Three of us, the incumbent VC, University of Ibadan; VC, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Kaka and my humble self are products of Animal Science Department, University of Ibadan. We all passed through the same supervisor, Prof. Fetuga, in 1978. We are very grateful of our source, UI. Virtually all professors and deans of this Faculty are from UI, Animal Science department. We have contributed immensely to the development of this country.”







Badgering Bianca • Offering Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s widow an appointment at this time is insensitive


HE action of the Presidency is so whimsical and insensitive that it is beginning to appear as if Bianca, the widow of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu is being badgered with appointments. Last week, Bianca’s name was quite conspicuous among the list of ambassadors-designate released by the Presidency. Her husband had just died a few days earlier in a London hospital, and she was yet to return to Nigeria. In fact, she must still have some tears in her eyes trying to come to terms with the trauma of her spouse’s demise. It may be true that the nomination may have been done earlier in the year, but if there was any presence of mind in the action of the Presidency, it would have been realised that though the appointment may be desirable, the timing was

‘We do not question the prerogative of the Presidency to make appointments, neither do we deny her right to these jobs, our worry is whether this is the manner appointments are made under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. We also hope it was not an act of opportunism, exploiting the passing of a personage by lionising his widow. The appointments under scrutiny have seemed too whimsical and facile ...’

wrong. According to African tradition, a bereaved woman (or man for that matter) is not supposed to be seen in public or engaged in public functions. Tradition requires her to remain indoors; in a state of sobriety until her husband’s body is interred. Thereafter, a mandatory period of mourning which varies from six months to one year is observed. Mrs. Ojukwu must not be seen in public anytime soon, more so that she too is a titled entity. Therefore, featuring in a screening exercise or swearing in ceremony not to think of taking up a posting abroad would be considered close to taboo. It is particularly so for her being the widow of a titled man in the class of an Odumegwu-Ojukwu . What this means is that should the appointment stand, it might take the next one year before it comes into effect. We do not think this is the intention of those who nominated her for the job. We recall a similar faux pas last year when her husband was just flown abroad for medical attention. OdumegwuOjukwu was said to have suffered a severe stroke and was under intensive care in a London hospital. It followed naturally that Mrs. Ojukwu was needed most at her husband’s bedside giving him attention and care. But alas, the Presidency chose that critical period to distract her with an appointment as a Senior Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora Affairs. Following the public opprobrium that greeted that appointment, it was not certain whether she accepted it or not and

what became of that job. We do not question the prerogative of the Presidency to make appointments, neither do we deny her right to these jobs, our worry is whether this is the manner appointments are made under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. We also hope it was not an act of opportunism, exploiting the passing of a personage by lionising his widow. The appointments under scrutiny have seemed too whimsical and facile that we wonder if they are expected to make any input to the value chain. Further, we are not oblivious of the fact that political appointments are usually patronages in this side of the world but if Odumegwu-Ojukwu must fill a quota, there certainly are other members of his family, including highly eligible children of his who can hold down the job if only on a temporary basis. This will save the Presidency the embarrassment of seeming to badger a sorrowing widow with appointments and distracting her from playing her traditional roles towards her late husband. And for fear of sounding morbid, it may also help us if for one brief moment, we could put ourselves in the current state of Odumegwu-Ojukwu: what would we expect of our wife? Finally, we must continue to remind our governments at all levels that until they changed their mindset of regarding appointments as largesse and not part of the value chain, we will continue to languish in our current state of underdevelopment.

Umunna the model •A Nigerian shines in British politics


N the midst of grim crisis of integrity inflicted on the country by a number of unscrupulous Nigerians, it is remarkable to realise that there are still Nigerians abroad that are doing the country proud with their superlative attainments. More gladdening to us is the fact that the feats by these Nigerians are achieved through dint of hard work, brain and sublime resourcefulness. Chuka Harrison Umunna is one of such Nigerians who form a model and pride to their fatherland. Umunna has a Nigerian father and an English-Irish mother. At age 33, this Nigerian-British is already a known Labour Party politician and lawyer. Since 2010, he has become a Member of Parliament (MP) for Streatham constituency. He was by October 7, 2011 promoted by Ed Miliband, the Labour Leader to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary in less

‘We are happy with the meteoric rise of Umunna in Britain’s political firmament. His admirable credentials so far bear eloquent testimony to the fact that there is nothing perverse in the gene of a black African. Only the environment makes the black man an object of ridicule, which ought not to be. We identify with Umunna’s achievements while we call on him to be level-headed for the sky remains his limit’

than 18 months in Parliament. Umunna is no doubt a brilliant lad who excelled in his academic endeavours. He obtained second class (upper division) degree in English and French Law from the University of Manchester and then studied at the University of Burgundy in Dijon in France, and later attended the Nottingham Law School. He started his legal career in 2002 as a solicitor at Herbert Smith, London. In 2006, he moved to Rochman Landau, another London-based law firm. The same year, he became a member of the management committee of centre-left pressure group, Compass, from where he ran incisive social and political commentaries. He has published articles in revered publications such as the Financial Times, Tribune, The Voice, The Guardian and the New Statesman. He appears frequently on BBC’s The Daily Politics and Question Time Extra. He founded and is the former editor of the online political magazine, TMP that ensures that Labour Party supports ethnic-minority Britons. Umunna is a former trustee of the Anthony Bourne Foundation and the 409 Project. He is still a member of the Board of a youth charity called the Generation Next Foundation. In November 2007, he was named by Simon Woolley, the Independent on Sunday’s director of Operation Black Vote as one of the 10 young and gifted black people in British politics. In a February 2008 edition of the New Statesman, an article titled “Is there a British Obama?’’ was written on him. In March 2008 when he was chosen by local Labour Party members as the

Labour Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the Streatham constituency in London, following the announcement of the retirement of Keith Hill, the same New Statesman described Umunna as “a Barack Obama for Britain”. In May 2009, he was chosen to be part of a panel of 10 figures from across the political spectrum that addressed the question: ‘How do we restore the reputation of Parliament?’ This illustrious Nigerian-British has taken more than common interest in economic policy and reform of London since entering Parliament. In recognition of his zeal to serve humanity, his colleagues elected him to serve on the prestigious Treasury Select Committee. Umunna was one of 73 Labour MPs to nominate Ed Miliband in the 2010 Labour leadership election to find a successor to Gordon Brown. He was from October10, 2010 to May23, 2011, the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Miliband, along with Anne McGuire from where he was appointed as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise under the Shadow Business Secretary John Denham We are happy with the meteoric rise of Umunna in Britain’s political firmament. His admirable credentials so far bear eloquent testimony to the fact that there is nothing perverse in the gene of a black African. Only the environment makes the black man an object of ridicule, which ought not to be. We identify with Umunna’s achievements while we call on him to be level-headed for the sky remains his limit.

The wrong fix


HANCELLOR Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France issued an ultimatum on Monday demanding that all 17 nations using the euro agree to a change in European treaties that would force them to move toward balanced budgets or face sanctions. The deal, which they want approved this week, could buy temporary stability for the euro zone if Germany finally drops its objections and the European Central Bank quickly buys enough Italian and Spanish bonds to force their yields down to sustainable levels. But the Franco-German recipe will exacerbate Europe’s fundamental problem: lack of growth. While German officials insist that budget discipline will restore markets’ confidence, markets understand that a deepening recession will make it even harder for weak nations to repay their debts. Europe’s deeply indebted nations certainly must get their budgets under control, reform labor markets, sell state properties and become more competitive. But that can’t be done without any growth. Germany could provide some of the needed boost: saving less and spending more; absorbing more imports from neighbors. But the plan provides for no German stimulus. In fact, the International Monetary Fund expects Germany to spend less: cutting its budget deficit to just over 1 percent of gross domestic product next year. Germany and France argue that they are fixing the euro’s original flaw: creating a monetary union without fiscal coordination. But, by removing members’ control over spending (they surrendered the power to cut interest rates or devalue their currencies when they joined the euro), the plan will take away the last tool these countries have to manage their economies and respond to shocks. A real fiscal union with centralized taxation would address this problem by transferring money from areas that were growing to regions that were struggling — much like the federal government moves money across the United States. But Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy have even opposed the creation of a European bond, backed by a central authority, to help finance those in distress. It would be great if every country could be as economically successful as Germany. That cannot happen by fiat, not the least because Germany’s success comes in part from exporting to its weaker neighbors and it has no plan to return the favor now. Instead of trying to re-engineer the euro zone overnight, Germany should use its wealth — and that of the E.C.B. — to back up foundering countries, alleviate Europe’s economic slump and give its weak neighbors more time to grow and reform. – New York Times

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IR: Most Nigerians expected that President Goodluck Jonathan Ph.D would have undertaken a thorough and scientific analysis of the problems facing the nation with a view to finding lasting and pragmatic solutions to them. President Jonathan never promised us that he was going to remove a non-existent oil subsidy during his electioneering.So,the big question is: why now when Nigerians are wallowing in abject poverty,when there is near anarchy in the country? Armed robbers have taken over in the South and the Boko Haram terrorists in the North. Unemployment is looming large on the horizon. Are these issues not big enough to preoccupy the minds


Before President Jonathan decimates us of our president and his policy advisers? Why subsidy removal now? I refuse to admit that our country is cursed. It is just the headache of leadership and only the paracetamol of sound management can remove the national headache! How does our president think? Before he removes the subsidy on fuel as proposed, let him make sure the hitherto comatose refin-

eries are working to optimal capacities. Thereafter, he can now deal with the identified culprits that have been holding the country by her jugular. That is if only he has the will and guts to do that. Why not, you may ask? The culprits are the men projecting his rusty presidency! Even an elementary student of Economics knows that it makes no economic sense to refine our crude oil abroad and now import it as a finished prod-

uct at much higher price for sale. No nation can survive that. If a country like Niger Republic that is far less endowed than Nigeria can build her own refinery, then where lies our greatness as the giant of Africa? Giant of Africa, my foot! There’s looming mass unemployment with its attendant numerous consequences. Armed robbery, general insecurity, depression and many more social

It’s International Anti-corruption Day


IR: On December 9, 2003, representatives from 140 countries convened to sign the United National Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and designated December 9 as International Anti-corruption Day. Today, 158 countries have joined the UNCAC, including Nigeria and the United States, making it one of the United Nation’s most highly subscribed treaties, creating a global mandate to combat corruption and the harm it brings to society. The ill effects of corruption are well known — corruption hinders sustainable development, erodes confidence in democratic institutions, and facilitates transnational crime and terrorism. When “kleptocrats” line their pockets and steal from their nations’ treasuries and their own people, such actions prevent the provision of necessary public services, including medicines and health care for the sick and elderly, education for children , and nourishment and housing for poor and working class families. Moreover, such activities weaken the potential of affected countries for economic growth. Fragile states that struggle to

maintain the rule of law or provide basic services for their populations can also become magnets for crime and terrorism; they can become hubs for trafficking in persons, drugs, and weapons; and they can export violence far beyond their borders. Such destabilization further exacerbates the ability of the international community to confront threats to human security, such as extreme poverty, pandemic diseases, and climate change. Addressing corruption remains key to combating emerging transnational criminal threats. In many countries, criminals and other illicit actors subvert and undermine state functions and transform some official institutions into de-facto criminal enterprises. Government protection of criminal elements can take many forms — officials may “turn a blind eye” to a syndicate’s illicit activity, choose not to pursue investigative leads, opt not to enact or enforce certain criminal laws, or ignore the efforts of others to extradite wanted criminals. In some cases, corrupt officials may actively work for criminal organizations — sup-

plying them with information or providing other services. In the worst cases, governments may effectively cede power and authority to criminal groups, allowing them to form their own territories and power networks. Corruption harms the citizens of all nations in varying degrees. All governments and their citizens, therefore, must remain vigilant to root out, punish, and deter corruption. In Nigeria, for example, corruption diverts financial resources from building roads, hospitals, schools, and otherwise investing in infrastructure that would serve businesses, attract foreign investment, and create jobs. Corruption also acts as a disincentive for foreign investment. As a result, a large number of unemployed youth turn to other activities to stay active and make money, including criminal activity such as internet fraud, arms and other trafficking, and terrorist activity. So, even when the proceeds of corruption do not go directly to criminal and terrorist organizations, corruption still serves to promote criminal and terrorist activity by creating barriers to legitimate economic endeavors.

Criminal activity thrives in environments where the justice system has become weak. Impunity emboldens criminals to think that they can “buy” their way through criminal transactions and bribe their way out of prison. When traffickers can bribe their way to cross a border, clear a shipment through customs, or convince a policeman to look the other way, then they will proceed as far as their money will take them. To foster the stability, security, and prosperity of its citizens, Nigeria must effectively address corruption. I applaud President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent move to change the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and his willingness to seek a strong candidate to lead the Independent Commission to Prevent Corruption and other related Offenses (ICPC). The United States stands ready to help build these institutions to address corruption effectively and make impunity a thing of the past. • Terence McCulley U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Abuja.

dislocations.These are issues begging for critical intervention.Yet, our president is determined to remove the subsidy at all cost Numerous policy analysts and those in the know have posited that there is nothing like oil subsidy. Prof.Sam Aluko, an eminent scholar has said it several times. Prof.Tam David West, a former petroleum minister equally corroborated that by citing so many statistics to tell us that oil subsidy only exists in the imagination of some mischief makers and saboteurs who want to profit from the system. One only hopes that this does not consume this presidency. The precursors to a potential volcanic eruption in the polity are much available now. ASUU has just begun another indefinite strike leaving students to roam the streets. A little ignition will spark them to embark on rampage. Remember, Berlusconi did not commit much blunders. Yet, the people power forced him out of the political circuit of Italy. If that is too far from our shores, the Arab spring is nearer home. Nigerians are hungry. Oil subsidy removal will further aggravate their sufferings. The removal of oil subsidy is a time bomb. We need good road network, quality education, better health facilities, affordable social security system that can take care of the poor and aged. These things are possible considering the volume of resources both material and human it has pleased the almighty to gift us. Only a responsive government can do this and the lot is on the fragile shoulders of the incumbent pending 2015 before another presidential election takes place. Who knows, if he stretches his luck beyond the tolerance limit of the suffering and hapless people of Nigeria, a revolution may take place. It is possible. • Akinboyo Temidayo, Igbotako,Ondo State




End of the working class heroes (5)

Reality Bites S

Olatunji Ololade

HAME. It’s an embarrassment that no one can see it or ably do something about it: I speak of that keen, thin scent of decay that scorches our psyche and everything; that afflicts with a terrible streak, the superficial inertia, abiding laziness and fraudulence that fills our hearts. We have been corrupted by money and sentiment; and sentiment even more dangerous because we still can’t name its price. A man open to bribe is to be relied upon below a certain figure, gratification or artifact, but sentiment may uncoil in the heart at a name, a platitude…even a smell remembered. Bet you can feel it now, even as you read; that flagrant, scented stench of putrefaction that announces our innate nature. Feel it now; that you may remember this stench when everybody and everything are shed of trait, in that dreaded epoch when Nigeria gives to rancidness and collapse. Until then, we shall continue to have “today” everyday. And every day, “today” will continue to be unfortunate – because we are simply programmed to self-destruct. How unfortunate! Nigeria’s unfortunate situation asides it’s benefac-

tion of a class of desperate, uncultured, emasculated and hopeless breadline, has also foisted upon the nation, an inferior working class who, in spite of daunting socio-economic realities, are accumulating property and obviously indefensible academic honours. This class is not nearly as powerful as a fairer socioeconomic system might make it, hence those who survive in spite of the daunting economic realities are handicapped in intellect and character and thus accomplish much less than they deserve to. The fraction of the successful within this class is usually left to chance and accident, and not to any intelligent culling or rational method of selection. We cannot hope, then, in this generation, or for several generations, that the mass of the Nigerian working class can be excited to assume that humane and altruistic leadership of the underprivileged which our current reality so desperately demands. Such leadership culture must be fostered by the underprivileged working class itself. For a long while, the Nigerian ruling class have doubted, albeit justifiably, as to whether the country’s working class could develop that humane

‘Bet you can feel it now, even as you read; that flagrant, scented stench of putrefaction that announces our innate nature. Feel it now; that you may remember this stench when everybody and everything are shed of trait, in that dreaded epoch when Nigeria gives to rancidness and collapse’


N December 9, 1962, a son was born in the then little known village of Ukana Ikot Ntuen of Akwa Ibom State. Yet, only the gifted could read the symbolic signs illustrating that he was born to run. But, six months later, he was to step into the furnace of life that was to orientate him in resilience and critical social responsibility. He lost his father before he knew him as a breadwinner. One of the early signs of the boy’s greatness was in his name. Soon, Godswill Obot Akpabio grew into consciousness to know one individual with twin responsibilities-a mother and father tucked into one human entity. Mrs. Lucy Obot Akpabio (Nee Inyangetor) held forte at all fronts – domestic, social, spiritual, even as moral barricade and other known sundry duties connected with raising children. She performed the duties of father and mother, exercising uncommon affection for the children. Madam Lucy Akpabio braved the odds and braced herself to the continuously changing fortunes of a widow. As is common in our clime, neglect became her portion but the children became her treasure. She invested her all in them, sacrificed her comfort for them and denied herself of everything for them. The result of the steadfastness, sacrifice, self denial is part of the annual ritual being the commemoration of December 9. An eternal admonition notes that what you put in a today’s child is what you have in tomorrow’s man. Thus, from that state of despair has arisen the spirit behind the beauty we behold today in Akwa Ibom State and the hope and prospects that have become the new building blocks. One of the products of that chequered beginning has re-written history, re-defined governance, disabled the barriers of our ethnicity and built new bridges of unity. He has tackled infrastructural revolution with messianic zeal and effected interventions in relevant areas that have benefited majority of mankind. He has also evolved strategic empowerment programmes that range from capacity building to conventional empowerment. Indeed, the hitherto neglected and despised youths owe their transformation from boys to men to Chief Godswill Akpabio. In 1962, when he was born conditions that

leadership we profess to want; today no one can seriously dispute the incapability of this class of Nigerians to nurture, incorporate and ably exploit such culture and uncommon aptitude of modern civilization for the benefit of present and future generations. In pursuit of a remedy for this evident deterioration in citizenship and thought, we must accept the inferiority and degeneracy of the Nigerian working class as a reality, unpardonable in its intensity, regrettable in consequence, and perilous for the future. Thus the imperativeness of crucial and practicable steps by the working class to forge its way out of the thorny thickets and tangles of our current situation – the survival of Nigeria depends on the survival of this class. This imposes the essential demand for trained, dependable Nigerian leaders sired from the working class. These individuals of aptitude and character are inherently men of ability, sophistication, and industry. They are men who thoroughly understand and treasure modern civilization; men capable of assuming leadership of Nigerian communities and improving them by force of precept and example, unfathomable compassion, and the inspiration of common blood and ideals. But if such men are to be effectual, they must have access to power – they must be bolstered by the best public opinion and be able to wield for their objects and aims such weaponry as the experience of the world has taught are indispensable to human cum national progress. Of such weapons the greatest, perhaps, in the modern world used to be the power of the ballot; but ever since the Nigerian populace forsook their right and power to choose the best among our kind to lead us to the future of our dreams;

the need for a pervasive and ultimately progressive culture of citizenship cum patriotism became more pronounced. The attitude of the Nigerian mind toward democracy and other political measures of self-determination can be traced with unusual accuracy to our prevalent conceptions of government. In pursuit of freedom from our British colonialists, we argued that no social class or race was so good, so true and disinterested to be trusted wholly with the political destiny of its neighbors; that in every state the best arbiters of their own welfare are the persons directly affected; and that it is only by arming every hand with a b-allot, with the right to have a voice in the policy and politics of the state, that the greatest good to the greatest number could be attained. Expectedly, there were objections to these arguments, but we thought we had answered them quite convincingly; if someone complained of the ignorance of voters, we recommended that we educate them. If another complained of their venality, we suggested that we disenfranchise them or cast them in jail. And in response to fears of demagogues and the natural perversity of certain Nigerians, we insisted that time and bitter experience would teach even the most hideous among them. It’s been five decades since we won our right to self-rule and Nigeria disappointedly remains a perfect study in the human propensity to self-destruct. Having won back our freedom, we have become wholly incapable to protect Nigeria from us who do not believe in our freedom and have not yet charted a blueprint for believing in our right to have it. This explains why we are yet to use the ballot intelligently and quite effectively. We do not under-

Akpabio: an agenda of destiny By Joseph Ndedu were analogous to the heralding of comets were prevalent. From the late mother’s account to one Prince Bassey Thomas Atai during the latter’s visit to her after the birth of little Godswill; to the prophetic message of the political patriarch of Akpabio’s royal family, Dr. Ibanga Udo Akpabio; to the dream by the village head of Adiasim Ikot Ono, Chief Udom Atai between 1968 and 1969, there were clear affirmations that Godswill Akpabio’s emergence as governor of Akwa Ibom State was ordained by forces that are beyond man. And that since it is an act of verifiable divination, no law suits fashioned against him shall prosper. It is perhaps why the many contrivances by the wearied opposition would always come to naught for it is not a fight against Godswill Akpabio but against the one who makes kings. And if we agree that He does His things as He likes, then, we would realize that no matter how we loathe the one he has chosen, His will, will always prevail. In making us subjects to His will, God in His infinite mercy added a caveat of promise which asserts that His thought for us is a thought of good, not of evil. The question therefore is, is His thought for Akwa Ibom people through Godswill Akpabio a thought of good? I am sure the host of Heaven and an earth would chorus a resounding yes, but not without some minor dissensions and cynicisms. Governor Akpabio seems to be conscious of the hands of providence that has guided his life to date. He has therefore offered several forms of responses and approaches signaling obedience to God’s will and acknowledgement of His demands. One of the ways he has expressed response is through his disarming humility and uncommon peoples’ skills. Chief Akpabio is in ev-

ery conceivable ramification a metaphor for humility. His ability to connect with the poor, the rich, the young and the old is legendary. Not to talk of old friends and acquaintances whom he seems to keep a special place in his memory to remember them. In fact, you can accuse him of everything but not hubris. This humble disposition acquiesces with the Christian tenet of humility which asserts that those who humble themselves shall be exalted. When he joined the cabinet of former governor, Obong Victor Attah in 2002, he brought an uncommon trait of humility into public office in the state. Thus, a cabinet member that was hitherto seen as a rarefied being became suddenly altered into a human with affinities with the common people. It became possible to meet with a commissioner, shake hands and exchange the banters that define our common humanity. This was a new vista in public office management. God saw it and decided to exalt him. Men, women and youths saw it and decided to make him their governor. PDP saw it and decided to sponsor him for an election. Thus, despite the motley population that sought the ticket of PDP, the party found him fit and worthy. Despite the common feature of ethnicity which has remained the perennial bane of our politics, the entire state was united in one accord behind one man that divination had processed for meaningful development in Akwa Ibom State. The Holy Book lived out the true meaning of its creed as God exalted the humble and a man after His heart. Governor Akpabio has also not failed to demonstrate that he is a windmill in God’s hand. He acknowledges the fact that the only way to honour God is to ensure unbridled respect for the social contract he entered into with the people. He seems to view the Latin

stand how to channel that proverbial power we are believed to possess nor have we been able to discern the possession of a power so great that it could compel the more privileged and politically conscious elements amongst us to educate, enlighten and thus emancipate the less privileged and ignorant to its clever use. It is no minor impediment that trammels the economic and intellectual development of the Nigerian citizenry. Can we establish a mass of students, laborers, artisans and technocrats who, by law and collective opinion, constitute a great and reckonable voice in shaping the political and economic clime in which they live and toil? Can we evolve and nurture to fruition a system capable of empowering the breadline and the working class to compel respect for their judgment and welfare? Can this system be evolved in a Nigeria that two-thirds of its working class is voiceless in all three tiers of government and powerless in its own defense? Today, the Nigerian masses have no say about how much they are taxed, or how those taxes shall be expended. They have no say about the quality of our laws and policies even when they manifest devastatingly to wreck survival routine and the possibility of achieving our dreams. Resignedly, we have learnt to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression of our class. These laws are perverted by men and women who have little interest in you and me; they are executed by men and women who have absolutely no motive to be civil to you and me; and despite the monstrosity we are forced to endure, we could only endure more…deservedly though. • To beFor continued… SMS only 08038551123

aphorism of: “vox populi, vox dei” translated loosely as: “the voice of the people is the voice of God” as a sacred covenant that must not be violated but respected in all its entirety in the interest of public good. These sentiments, it is argued, constitute the driving force of his administration which is why it is christened as God’s will for Akwa Ibom people. The christening is not an emotional outpouring, neither is it a hyperbole or elevated political demagogy. It is an assertion based on the true meaning of events. It is a postulation predicated on verifiable tangibles that are available for all to see. In other words, irrespective of one’s misgivings for Godswill Akpabio and his administration, such a person will use the beautiful road networks, pass through the airport, enjoy the alleviation of school fees, medical bills of children from age 0-5, pregnant women and the aged, witness renovated primary schools in the urban centres and villages and have access to loan facilities courtesy of Integrated Farmers Scheme (IFS). The government of Chief Akpabio has also built a first of its kind library in West Africa; a first of its kind drainage system (pipe jacking technology) in Africa; a first of its kind entertainment galleria etc. The Akpabio administration has brested the development tapes of many firsts establishing the government as a fitting peg these past four years. His achievements in 49 years have engendered admiration and confounded cynics. It has also compelled many lessons most of which are reflective. One of such critical lessons is that no amount of deprivation or intervening set-backs in one’s life can alter the will of God upon that life or change God’s manifest destiny. It is why the persisting political rumblings in Akwa Ibom must be condemned. Apart from seeming to go against the grain of God’s will, it also has the potential to foster ethnic discord. Akwa Ibom State must put an end to ethnicity or ethnicity would put an end to the wellbeing of the state. • Ndedu, a writer and public affairs analyst, wrote in from Uyo.



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.’ ———Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821) French emperor. NY Nigerian that has the privilege of travelling to countries abroad where there is true governance will better appreciate the rational behind today’s column. In those countries, it is the people that are king and not necessarily those that are in power that swore to serve the former. In those serious countries, it is always very difficult to deceive the people to get to power. Even when you deceive them (the electorate), it is usually very difficult to sustain power on sham. In such climes, there are entrenched, institutions of government that would make mis-governance to be largely impossible. For instance, the parliaments in such countries are well focussed and willing to challenge retrogressive moves by the executive arm of government. Even where stalement looms, the judiciary as arbiter in the temple of justice is always strong enough to curb infractions from the other two arms of government. The question to ask at this juncture is why it has been very difficult for this country to achieve this coordination and institutional respect over time. We can pretend to be marching on the lawn of democracy but it is pertinent to inquire whether those driving the ship of state are genuine or fake democrats. Also, why are these leaders, past and present always unwilling to lead but begged before getting to power. Once they assumed the saddle of power, they wear the toga of erroneous invincibility. Two examples are important here. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was an unwilling presidential candidate in


‘What makes the entire episode more distasteful is the fact that this current president has lost respect for public opinion in the country. President Jonathan has developed a consistent pattern of serious contempt for Nigerians’ “The desirable see-saw of Nigeria’s political interactions cannot take place when the sheer weight of one participant ensures, at any given time that one end of the bar remains firmly rooted to the ground.”(emphasis mine)


AST week on this page, I presented copious excerpt from Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s book (‘Because I am Involved’) in order to give us a first hand inkling into his thoughts, mindset and concerns for the Nigerian state. The quote above encapsulates that extract. Within the above quote seem to lie what Ojukwu lived for, fought for, died for and yet failed to accomplish. Let us break it down into bits while analyzing the metamorphosis of the Nigerian state from Biafra to Boko Haram: The Ojukwu essence : like all heroes, he was a man propelled by providence. He seemed to be airborne on the invisible wings of destiny right from birth. From privileged parentage to choosing the best schools and being imbued with an uncanny brilliance and intelligence, he was not made ordinary. No other leader in Nigeria’s history had Ojukwu’s eloquence, charisma or imposing presence. He must have beaten the path marked for him by destiny when he chose to join the army at the time he did. It was not by chance that he shunned easier and more comfortable choices like riding on his dad’s back to become a business mogul or a super bureaucrat. He was indeed a strong personality who was at once fearless, forthright and insightful. He was a master of his environment, with the ability to diagnose correctly, the problems of his country, Nigeria. Ojukwu the flawed hero: he would never have been a hero if he was not carrying his bagful of flaws in tow through life. He was autocratic and egotistical; he brooked no equal and never played in a team. This is one reason Biafra failed. Even as a politician, up to his last days as leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), he was alone and lonely in the party. Not one Igbo leader joined up with

Is this president responsive?


1999. But immediately he was rigged in by his military benefactors, he became a monster that wrongly believed that the Nigerian state was subordinate to him. For eight years, Obasanjo’s and not any constitutional or wishes of the people of this country prevailed in all matters be it political, economic or diplomatic. Late President Umaru YarÁdua, another unwilling Commander-in-Chief that Obasanjo imposed on the nation nearly put the nation in serious constitutional turmoil. At this stage was the entrance of the current President Goodluck Jonathan, another unwilling president who with his inept approach to public affairs management has demonstrated that his personal capacity and capability are far below all the political positions that have been thrown on his laps now or in

the past. President Jonathan has returned the country to the infamous path of the Obasanjo years when impunity and vindictive onslaughts were the hall mark of public affairs in the land. What makes the entire episode more distasteful is the fact that this current president has lost respect for public opinion in the country. President Jonathan has developed a consistent pattern of serious contempt for Nigerians. He signed a lot of contract in the months preceding the last general elections but none of such signed contracts especially the ones regarding reform of the power sector could not be said to have any positive result because Nigerians still live in near darkness as a result of failure of the president’s power sector initiative. Even though no one seems to be bothered about this lack of transparency in government but some are alleging that the signed contracts and the alleged subsequent release of funds was aimed at raising funds for the president’s April election preparation. Should a nation’s general development be stalled simply because of one man’s selfish ambition to retain power? At the Kogi state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship election campaign rally recently, the president reportedly alluded that except the nation takes care of its youths through useful engagements, the nation might be approaching a revolutionary stage. It will be nice to remind the president that himself and the elite class generally must live and act by examples rather than on precepts.


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OJUKWU: from Biafra to Boko Haram (2)

• Ojukwu

him. While some have described him as rather opportunistic and a master at grandstanding, I consider his other major failings to include indiscipline and epicurean tendencies. These traits more than any other factor, affected his ability to prosecute the war and achieve some of his brilliant objectives. Ojukwu as a war leader and Igbo hero: who can tell what might have been if an Ojukwu was not there to in 1967 when the genocide against Ndigbo started in the north and spread like wild fire? While he may be criticized for the manner he

prosecuted the war, Ojukwu will be remembered for taking a courageous stand when it was necessary to save Ndigbo from total annihilation and shame. As an Igbo leader, he understood thoroughly, the plight of his kinsmen under the Nigerian conundrum; how they are deprived and dehumanized and decapitated at the slightest provocation. Yes, he said all these in rousing speeches to his people but he never managed (especially since after the war) to work up the Igbo elite to take any concrete actions in a concerted manner. His Nigerian vision: for a man who was born in the north and who by his confession, celebrated Nigeria’s Independence Day ‘dressed as a high-born young man from northern part of Nigeria,’ he must have learnt much later after independence that he was only but a second class Nigerian. From this point, he seized every opportunity to seek justice, equity and equality for all under the Nigerian flag. Take another look at the quote above. Let us take another one: “Of these elements, the most important is our mutual acceptance of one another’s full citizenship of Nigeria…” he preached federalism, he sought east-west cooperation and even suggested a “handshake across the Niger,” all to no avail. He offered another opportunity at the Aburi summit but the oligarchs would

In the absence of any official solution to the problem of youth unemployment by Jonathan’s administration, it is unwise for his government to still be taking decisions that would compound an already bad situation? That is what the leadership of this government with Jonathan as its arrow-head has been planning to do with his refractory posture of going ahead to remove fuel subsidy in the country. One has argued in this column in the past that there is no subsidy and what the government wants unwilling Nigerians to suffer and pay for is its ineptitude. The truth is that removal of fuel subsidy might be laying the foundation for serious popular upheaval and the consequences might be too dire to fathom. The vindictive approach of President Jonathan to governance lacks respect for the rule of law and also the wishes of the people. In Bayelsa state, the president re-enacted the Obasanjo years of lawlessness when he, against a subsisting court order and a valid governorship primary held in January this year, coerced his party, the PDP into organising another contentious primary. His unholy aim was to prevent the incumbent governor, Timipre Sylva from seeking reelection into office for reasons other than altruistic. The president and his men are doing everything to militarise Bayelsa state and to send signal to the people of the state that he would go to any length, including the adoption of extra-legal means to ensure that his candidate emerged as the next governor of that oil rich state. We are waiting for the president and the PDP to tell us the sins of Sylva. Sadly, because the president has not been challenged over the Bayelsa impunity, he has moved over to Sokoto state where something akin to the Sylva treatment is being planned for Governor Aliyu Wamakko. The reported crime of governor Wammako is that he did not support Mr. President during the last presidential primaries. Should this be sufficient reason to stop this man from seeking for re-election on the platform of PDP? What can be deduced from these cases is that the president is not a genuine democrat. He is a man that has no feeling for the pulse of the people and as such has been covertly ruling Bayelsa and the entire country with unbridled high-handedness. This president is indeed not responsive.

only have it there way. From Biafra to Boko Haram: Nigerians who are true and faithful to this geographical contraption will admit that from Biafra to Boko Haram, the same problem has lingered – injustice and inequality perpetrated by the HausaFulani oligarchy who insist they are born to rule Nigeria. Biafra came about because Igbo dared to question this notion of born to rule. Igbo were massacred because of their self-believe, their audacity to question the Nigerian wrong; “to violate the code of silence to which all (other) Nigerians seem to abide.” But all the other tribes and regions teamed up to clobber Ndigbo, murdering them in their millions. The southwest especially led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, did not only betray Ndigbo but as the finance minister and chief adviser to General Yakubu Gowon, recommended the use of hunger as the best weapon of war against Ndigbo. Biafra was thus blockaded and malnutrition and diseases ravaged Igbo children, women and the elderly and they perished in their thousands. But for the grace of God, yours truly wouldn’t be here now as I tried on for size, the heavy ‘boots’ of kwashiorkor and also had a feel of the trademark ‘football’ tummy. • To be continue next week

‘No other leader in Nigeria’s history had Ojukwu’s eloquence, charisma or imposing presence. He must have beaten the path marked for him by destiny when he chose to join the army at the time he did. It was not by chance that he shunned easier and more comfortable choices like riding on his dad’s back to become a business mogul or a super bureaucrat’








Spotlight beams on Copa Lagos, Eko Atlantic Beach


S the construction of the impressive state of the art Beach Soccer stadium nears completion, the spotlight and attention will inevitably shine on both Eko Atlantic Beach and the Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament taking place next week Friday. Workers at the beautiful Eko Atlantic site have been working tirelessly alongside Malaysian engineering experts, Mr Raja and Mr Chong to ensure the 2000 plus seater stadium will be completed on time and to perfection. Kinetic Sports have spared no expense to purchase the stadium and provide VIP stands for the best views in the house not content with

that the site also boasts VIP catering, VIP lounge, fully equipped with the latest TV monitors and powerful air conditioning units have also been brought in. Copa Lagos promises to be something unique and exciting. In addition, around the stadium venue there will be a huge inflatable football game, a bespoke concert stage, and the Copa Lagos experience tunnel and concession area. The VIP Lounge will offer all the comfort and exciting surprises to Copa Lagos special guests in an atmosphere of glamour and beach style. All of this will be set up against the stunning backdrop of Eko Atlantic Beach. The event takes place next on the 16th – 18th December 2011.

Osun Governors Cup final holds today


SUN State Governors Cup finals will be decided today Friday December 9, 2011 at the Oshogbo Township Stadium between Alao Babes FC of Iwo and Orolu FC of Ifon-Osun. The motive behind the soccer championship organised by the Osun State Football Association, apart from using it to discover burding talents from the grassroots and also serve as recruitment platform for clubs in the state to discover hidden football talents, it is also designed to mark one year anniversary of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. According to a release made available by the Osun State Football Association Chairman Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, stated that Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola will be the special guest of honour, while the Secretary to the State Government Chief Alhaji Monshood Adeoti will be the guest of honour for the finals. Also expected, is the Speaker of the

state House of Assembly Honourable Nojeem Salami, House of Assembly members, Commissioners, local government Caretaker Chairmen, board members of the Osun State Football Association and the SubCommittee board members of the Osun State Football Association are also expected to grace the historic encounter. Alao Babes defeated Ilesha West FC 1-0 in the first semi-finals, while Orolu FC piped Egbedore FC 1-0 in the keenly contested second semi-finals. Former board member of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi yesterday visited his former Captain in IICC Shooting Stars Mr. Sam Ojebode who is ill and being hospitalized in Ibadan at the UCH. Ogunjobi wished the former star player who has been diagnosed of Congested Cardiac Failure and has undergone several tests and surgery at the University College Hospital, Ibadan quick recovery.

Exodus hits Enyimba


WO-TIME African champions Enyimba of Aba are set to lose several of their top stars for the coming season after they failed to win a major trophy this past term. ‘The People’s Elephant’ crashed out in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League, were beaten by regional rivals Heartland in the Nigeria Federation Cup and finished a disappointing seventh on the Nigeria Premier League table. This will therefore be the first time in several years that Enyimba will not feature in any continental competition. can exclusively reveal that the Aba’s club star striker Uche Kalu is on the verge of signing for top Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca, while left back Valentine Nwaebili is set to move to Sudanese club Al Hilal. Both Wydad and Al Hilal battled Enyimba in this year’s CAF Champions League. Kalu, 25, rose through the ranks at hometown club Enyimba. Two seasons ago, his future was in tatters following a major ankle injury that sidelined him for six months. He bounced back last season to fire four goals in the Champions league this year. Winger Philip Auta is also set to move to Europe, while goalkeeper Chijoke Ejoigu will have to look elsewhere on account of disciplinary problems. Olympic international defender Markson Ojobo is also most sought after by at least three clubs more for his displays in the Champions League than his performance for Dream Team V at the 2012 qualifiers in Morocco. The six-time Nigerian champions have retained only 20 of their 42-man squad from last season. “We know that we will not be able

to keep some of best players or even attract some of the best players in the league this coming season because we are not playing international football next season,” a top club official informed “We are prepared for this so-called exodus and so we will not be taken unawares.”


Declare national emergency on sports I RKED by the the unprecendented decline of sports in the country,former Abia state governor Orji Uzor Kalu on Thursday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a national emergency in that sector. Kalu who took Nigerian football to glory land through Enyimba in 2003\2004, posited that except drastic steps were taken by the presidency,Nigerians would have nothing to cheer in 2012. “He said,”one powerful cord of national unity is sports,if we lose it then there is cause for concern.President Jonathan should take over the running of sports for now by declaring a national emergency.It has gone beyond changing ministers and coaches. Reminded that the President had his hands full ,Kalu explained that nothing else could change the situation.

“The horn cannot be too heavy for the head of the cow.President Jonathan is passionate about sports.He was at the Sydney 2000 Olympics as Deputy governor.Besides this will not be the first time a Nigerian leader will head a ministry.At a time,General Ibrahim Babangida had no Defence minister.Under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,the ministry of Petroleun Resources was at the presidencyand until now, president Jonathan managed the power ministry,”Kalu pointed out. On the way forward the, ex-governor reiterated his call for a National Conference on Sports to be co- chaired by either the Sultan of Sokoto or the Emir of Ilorin. “Let us convene a Sports Conference to be co-chaired by either the Sultan or the Emir of Ilorin,these are great men who can help chart a new direction for Nigerian sports.Both will see the problem and recommend a solution.”Kalu pointed out.

Albrighton: Agbonlahor is setting standards


ABBY Agbonlahor has the ability to “take your breath away” with his outstanding deeds in training. That’s the verdict of Marc Albrighton who says he’s sometimes speechless with the quality of Agbonlahor’s performances. He insists he’s now he’s aiming to reach the high standards the striker is setting along with the rest of the squad. He said: “He has been unbelievable. He has always had the talent. “He has been brilliant in matches but he is incredible in training too. He just pulls things out the bag when you least expect it. “He will take on three or four players and stick it in the top corner. He takes your breath away with some of the things he does. He’s always had that. “He’s getting better every season. I know he struggled to make an impact last term but he had a lot of niggling injuries which had a major say on his season. “But in general terms he’s developing. People used to say the name Gabby

Agbonlahor and they’d think ‘pace.’ But now he’s got everything. “He is strong, he’s is a good header of the ball, he’s scoring goals, he’s getting in the right positions, he’s delivering. “He’s absolutely flying. I am sure that will continue. “He’s been a standout so far this season. He’s been tremendous. I can’t think of many other players who have done what he’s done and played as well as he has so far this season.”



Eket offers rays of hope


UST when football has exposed the floundering character of our sports, the Akwa Ibom State/NNPC/MPN Secondary Schools Athletics Championship could not have come at a better time. Significantly this a grass roots sports competition that is now in its eleventh year, held consecutively without a break, thanks to the sponsors. It is at competitions like this, that stars are discovered, moulded and projected for stardom. The institution of a Role Model concept was principally aimed at this, talk to the students and inculcate in them, that belief that they also can make it. Last year, Mary Onyali, the popular Africa track Queen was in Eket to talk to the students and motivate them to greater things. This year it is the turn of another track sensation and current world junior record holder in 60 metres, Uduak Ekah to take the over 560 students down her life story believing that most of them will pick a cue from there and excel. The students will thereafter rise from the venue of the motivational talk and literally burn the tracks of the Eket stadium. Results so far garnered from the zonal qualifiers point to a fiery battle especially in the sprints where times returned are

impressive enough to attract attention. Athletes to watch out for include Enobong Aniefiok who in Etinan Zone ran to four gold medals in the 100and 200 metres and also posted gold performances in discuss and long jump while anchoring her school Etinan Institute to gold in the 100 metres relay. There is also Steven Anietie of Alexis Secondary Commercial school who posted the best result in the Eket Zonal finals with three gold medals in discuss, shot put and long jump. No wonder Patience Itanyi the Nigerian track star now coaching potential athletes in the US early this week pointed out that this event was the future of our athletics. To be able to get back to glory days there is need to go down to the grass roots, discover athletes, track and groom them to stardom. Former captain of the country’s athletics team, Yusuf Ali did that three years ago, when he picked two budding stars in Eket, took them back to Lagos and in a short while got them running for the country at junior level. Credit must also go to the organisers of this competition for attracting the physical presence of six sports ministers in its ten years. It is speculated that the outgoing minister of sports Yusuf Suleiman may be in Eket this week end being his last assignment in office.


Ex-internationals not to blame –Eguavoen D

REAM Team V Head Coach Austin Eguaevon has absolved ex-internationals of the woes of Nigeria football, saying that the problem is all embracing. According to the hard-tackling

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja defender “many had handled our various national teams in past and they failed. Many of them are not ex-internationals.

IOC approves London torch relay trip to Dublin


HE Olympic flame will be going to Ireland for the first time during the run-up to next year’s London Games. The International Olympic Committee on Thursday approved London’s proposal for the torch relay to visit Dublin on June 6, 2012, in a symbolic gesture of peace and political goodwill. After human rights protests marred the international torch relay before the 2008 Beijing Games, the IOC ruled that future relays should take place only within the host countries. However, the IOC executive board agreed to make an exception for the London flame to leave the U.K. and travel from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland. The flame will arrive in the U.K. from Greece on May 18, kicking off a 70-day, 8,000-mile relay involving 8,000 torchbearers. The relay will culminate with the lighting of the cauldron during the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27. Negotiations to take the torch to Ireland have been going on for months. The proposal won the support of Olympic officials, political leaders and security forces from the U.K., Northern Ireland and Ireland. Sebastian Coe, head of the London organizing committee, told a Parliamentary hearing last month that taking the flame to Ireland “would speak eloquently and powerfully for sport.” The torch relay, expected to cross the border from the Northern Ireland border town of Newry, will come five years after the territory’s British Protestant and Irish Catholic leaders formed a unity government. Such power-sharing was the central aim of the Good Friday peace accord of 1998, which sought to leave behind a three-decade conflict that left 3,700 dead. The crossing of the torch into the

Republic of Ireland also recognizes the reality that many of Ireland’s athletes, north and south, must choose whether to compete for Britain or Ireland. Some Olympic sports draw athletes from both parts of Ireland onto the Irish team, while others require Northern Irelandbased athletes to compete for Britain.

The problem our football is facing now is an all-embracing one comprising of the coaches, players, administrators, press and even the fans. We cannot say because teams are now been handled by ex-internationals that is why we are failing. I still think the exinternationals have a lot to offer the country because they have seen it all in both as players, playing under the world best, and they know how it is done elsewhere in the world. What our football needs at this time is for us to restrategise and remain focused in our activities. This is not the time to apportion blames, but time to look for a way out of the problems we are encountering”. The former International remains optimistic that Nigeria football will surely rise again.

tennis championship, which serves off on Monday at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Rowe Park in Yaba, Lagos. Unveiling the competition yesterday in Lagos, a board member of the Trust, Adebamike Oloko, said the tourney is meant to foster the development and empowerment of youths through promotion of such competition in schools across Lagos State. Prior to the staging of the championship, she said, the body in the last two years has assisted 34 schools in organising sporting events. Oloko said: “It is with great pleasure that Adeyemi Karunwi Trust humbly acknowledges the recognition by this current administration and the efforts of the Trust, which has been on the ground since 1980 to support one of the extra curricular activities in public schools located within Nigeria, particularly Lagos State.” According to her, 24 schools from the

six education districts of the state are expected to take part in the championship, which winners will cart home trophies and cash prizes. After the competition, some selected players would be nurtured by top coaches in the state. The awards to be won by the participants include Most Well Behaved School, Most Valuable Player for boys and girls events. In his remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, lauded the body for supporting sports, saying such gesture was in line with the ideals of the present administration. He assured that the talents unearthed at the championship would be monitored and groomed to stardom by the ministry. Aside the rewards, every school that will take part in the competition would get table tennis equipment.


ORMER head coach at University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) in the USA,Bob Kittens is amazed by the failure of Nigeria to fulfil the huge potentials it is blessed with and believes one sure way of redressing this is by engaging quality coaches who have the skill,experience and exposure at the highest level. Kittens, who nurtured the likes of Olapade Adeniken, Damola Osayomi and Blessing Okagbare to international stardom, said in a telephone chat from his base in Texas that in Tony Osheku, Nigeria is blessed with a coach who has the experience,the exposure,the personality and the skill to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria in track field. 'Just like many international observers of track and field in Nigeria,I am also surprised by the apparent neglect of a man I consider one of the best coaches in

the world.Apart from possessing the requisite skill via training as a coach,he's also had loads of exposure and experience at the highest level.It's no mean feat to coach an athlete to make the podium at the Olympics,appear in the finals of the world championships on more than three occassions and be named the best in the world.All these Osheku achieved with Falilat Ogunkoya'',said Kittens who retired as UTEP head coach last year. Kittens is convinced if the right personnel are engaged by Nigeria to train her athletes,the country will regain her status as one of the best nations in track and field. 'I have heard people talk about the lack of organisation in Nigeria but I believe if the right people are employed to train the athletes,the successes recorded will force the organisation to improve.That is why I am advocating that coaches like Osheku who bring a lot to the table outside the normal day-to-day coaching should be engaged.Osheku has eyes for talents and I remember he was the one who recommended Blessing (Okagbare) to me.He told me she is raw diamond that we can polish to become great...and he is right as Blessing is one of the best athletes in the world today.Like I said a sometime last year,whatever Marion Jones has achieved,Blessing can do much more'',he said. Many athletics watchers and coaches have expressed sentiments similar to Kittens' with one of them,Isaac Ikhabomen even citing Osheku's recent feat in Libya to buttress his claim,as it were. 'If the authorities are blind,I believe they are not deaf and must have heard about how he (Osheku) trained Mohammed Kwarjafa from being a 45.3,45.4 runner into a 44.9 runner under one yeat to win Libya's first ever medal (a 400m gold) at the African Championships in Nairobi last year.Who amongst the coaches the AFN parade has done half of what Osheku has achieved?'',asked Ikhabomen. Athletics afficionados in Nigeria are convinced the likes of Osheku,Innocent Egbunnike,Taiwo Ariyo and Patience Itanyi are what Nigeria needed now to revive the sport.

HE 2011 congress of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) will hold in Yenagoa on Friday, December 16. Highlights of the congress will include a seminar, draws for the 2011/2012 football season, award night and the pre season’s official kickoff game between the champions of the 2010/2011 season, Dolphins FC and a select NPL XI. Chairman of the NPL, Baribote Victor Rumson said the congress ‘will be a special occasion that Nigerian football lovers will be proud of’. “The (NPL) congress will kick be held in Yenagoa next Friday and I want to commend the Bayelsa State Government for hosting the event. It will be a special occasion that Nigerian football lovers will be proud of,” Baribote told The traditional event which officially kicks starts the domestic football season, the Super four will not be held this year and the NPL chief was quick to explain the reasons for the anomaly. “The time frame between the end of the last season and the kickoff of the new season is very short and we don’t want to punish the players by rushing them back to action too soon,” he said. The Executive committee of the NPL met in Abuja on Wednesday and ratified decisions on the organization of the 2011 congress. The 2011/2012 NPL season will be flagged off on January 7, 2012.

Poor planning haunts Bayelsa Utd–Comm.


HE failure of former Nigeria Premier League (NPL) champions, Bayelsa United to return to the elite division of Nigerian football has been blamed on poor planning. The submission was made by Bayelsa State Sports Commissioner, Opukiri James Ere. United were champions of the NPL in 2009 and also reached the semi finals of the Caf Confederation Cup the next season. However, things have since gone downhill with the club getting relegated from the top flight of Nigerian football and Ere who directly oversees the administration of United has lambasted the former managers of the club for their ‘failure to embark on long, medium and short term plans’. “I preside over affairs of the club by proxy and there is a board that runs the affairs of the club presently. “The consensus is that there was poor planning by members of the previous board. They failed to embark on a long, medium and long term plans to see the club remain a force in Nigerian football,” Ere told

Bukola Babes refutes sale of club •Team resumes camp Dec. 14


Karunwi t/ tennis tourney serves LL is now set for the maiden off Monday edition of Adeyemi Karunwi Trust Secondary School table


NPL congress Osheku’s snub holds in Yenagoa surprises kittens T

•Lars Lagerback head coach of Nigeria speaks to Daniel Amokachi, assistant coach during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group B match between Nigeria and South Korea

HE management of Bukola Babes has denied reports that the club has been sold to former Kwara State governor, now Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki. It was reported in the Nigeria media on Thursday that the club was sold for 250 million Naira, with the name changed to ABS, the initials for Abubakar Bukola Saraki. In a chat with NationSport, the Team Manager of the club, Alloy Chukwuemeka noted that 14 applications from different prospective buyers bidding for ownership of the club were received, and these applications have been narrowed to three, with Saraki’s offer favoured to win the bid, even as he added that an official declaration of the new owner of the club will be made as soon as the Chairman of the club, Alhaji Abdul Adama concludes consultation. “I don’t know where they got their facts. They did not consult us to know if it is true or not. I don’t know why people will just wake up one day and start writing without getting their facts right. The report embarrassed us because the club is still Abdul Adama’s club and he is still making consultations. Though

By Akeem Lawal Bukola is one of the candidates that showed intention of buying the club, he has not made any concrete move. If he had, we would have commenced the take-over process since the league is starting in January. So, we don’t know where they got that report from”, he said. Meanwhile, Bukola Babes will on Wednesday, December 14 resume camp in preparation for the forthcoming season, with the plan to compete for the title this time round. According to Alloy Chukwuemeka the team will resume under the technical guidance of the Technical Adviser, Coach Kabir Sulaiman Dogo. Chukwuemeka said that the team is not unaware of the interest big clubs in the league have shown in some of Bukola Babes players, adding that there are plans to scout for suitable replacements that will don the club’s colours in the coming season. He said that the club has renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the Kwara Football Academy on players and technical assistance, which was signed since the club got elevated to the National League.




Group preaches peaceful co-existence

‘Why I joined robbery gang’






Lawmaker promotes unity among communities Delta


Page 25



GUN STATE government’s plan to industrialise its economy and empower the poor has taken off. The Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration has flagged off an ambitious N1b loan scheme, conceived to enhance the productive capacity of low-income earners and provide jobs for unemployed graduates. With the facility, jobless graduates of tertiary institutions will be expected to set up businesses and drive the state economy. To underscore the importance of the scheme, the governor has been monitoring its progress. For instance, he personally opened a workshop for the beneficiaries of the loan scheme, which was facilitated by the state government and the Bank of Industry. His deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, was also there. Senator Amosun urged the recipients to make judicious use of the funds. He also advised them not to see it as their own share of the national cake. The workshop was held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the state capital. Senator Amosun described the event as a deliberate effort by his administration to enhance its industrialisation drive in order to reduce the effect of poverty to the barest minimum. He noted that over 1, 000 unemployed graduates would be given access to the funds to enhance their capacity for entrepreneurship and be gainfully employed. The governor added that a bottom-to-top approach of utilising employment generation to tackle challenge of insecurity would be vigorously pursued, stating that cottage industries would be revived in all parts of the state. “Finance plays a crucial role in agriculture and industry,” he said. “That’s why we are doing this and it remains the best anybody can get anywhere

•Governor Ibikunle Amosun flanked by his Deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun (left) and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru at the event

Ogun lifts the poor Over 1,000 unemployed graduates to benefit from N1b loan scheme From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

in the world. “This is to enjoin beneficiaries that this fund must be judiciously used for the purpose it was designed for.” The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba

Bimbola Ashiru noted that the multiplier effect of the loan scheme will cut across all sectors of the state’s economy, adding that prospective beneficiaries should ensure prompt repayment for the scheme to be extended to others. Otunba Ashiru maintained that the scheme would be a revolving single-digit scheme and

a fulfilment of Senator Amosun’s promise of rapid industrialisation of the state as part of his fivepoint cardinal programme to rebuild the state. “This scheme is designed to position small and mediumscale entrepreneurs to derive optimum benefits and guarantee better life for the people,” he added.

Finance plays a crucial role in agriculture and industry. That’s why we are doing this and it remains the best anybody can get anywhere in the world

Uduaghan woos retired security personnel



ELTA Governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has urged retired military personnel to avail the relevant authorities of their expertise in the quest to arrest security challenges in the country. Uduaghan who was represented by his Deputy at the National Executive Council Meeting of the Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Club of Nigeria (RANAO) in Effurun, observed that members of the asso-

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

ciation, given their wealth of knowledge, were still very relevant in addressing the spate of insecurity in the state and the nation at large. He noted that the issue of peace and security is everyone’s responsibility and to that extent all hands should be on deck to fight it. Uduaghan stressed that peace

and security are central to development, inflow of foreign and local investment in any nation, hence people with vast experience in security should be willing and ready at all times to offer advice to the government of the day and security agencies. The governor explained that it is the realisation of that nexus between peace, security and development that inspired the priority his administration gives peace and security.

He commended the role being played by some retired military personnel in that regard, urging others to join hands with the state government in consolidating on the peace and security in the state. He called on governments at all levels to acknowledge the role played by the retired officers in keeping Nigeria one and safe, and also give them the required attention as a source of encouragement to those still in service.





•The Legislators (Leader 7th from right) with some community representatives and those of First Deepwater Discovery Limited


HE Leader of the Legislative Arm of Oriade Local Council Development Area, Hon. Akeem S. Agbelega has said that one of the functions of the legislature at the local, state and federal levels is to ensure that nothing disrupts the people’s peace and freedom. The legislature, he added, is also saddled with the responsibility of enacting laws that ensure peaceful coexistence between natives and nonnatives. Hon. Agbelega disclosed this recently while addressing a joint meeting of councillors, representatives of the various communities that make up the council area and representatives of First Deepwater Discovery Limited, an oil company operating in the area at the Legislative Chamber. The meeting was sequel to a letter of complaint to the council by a group known as The Fishermen Association of Imoore against the activities of the oil company. In the letter dated November 21, 2011and signed by Prince Bolaji Lawal and Ade Shina chairman and secretary respectively, a copy of which was made available to Newsextra, the association expressed its sadness over what it called the destructive tendencies of the company on their source of livelihood. The letter reads: “Since the company started operation, the fishermen in

Council intervenes in community-firm feud By Chinaka Okoro

this area have been going through serious hardship as a result of the fuel which its vessels discharge into our body of waters while moving fuel to the depot. Fishes in the sea are killed as a result of the effect of the emitted fuel. “This sad situation has adversely affected the living standards of the fishermen and their families as it affects, in dangerous dimensions, the entire environment. We can no longer carry out our fishing activities any more because all our fishing materials; especially our fishing nets have been destroyed several times by

the vessels any time they pass through this axis.” The association noted that their several efforts to make the company realise the level of penury its activities have subjected the people of the area to have failed. While deliberating on the issue, Hon Agbelega disclosed that the essence of the stakeholders’ meeting was not to incriminate anyone but to find lasting solution to the issues raised by the communities. In his contribution, Mr Wasiu Kehinde, one of the community representatives as well as a fisherman from Imoore recounted his people’s experience. He said the company’s vessels destroyed the fishermen’s fish-

Since the company started operation, the fishermen in this area have been going through serious hardship as a result of the fuel which its vessels discharge into our body of waters while moving fuel to the depot. Fishes in the sea are killed as a result of the effect of the emitted fuel

Philanthropist receives Nkrumah Award


HE All African Students’ Union (AASU) has conferred on the Chief Executive Officer of Emmanuel Billy Ofesi Foundation, Mr. Billy Ofesi the Kwame Nkrumah leadership award. Conferring the award on him, the country representative Mr. Dallas Yinka and Dominique Smith, head of Parliament from Togo said their choice of Mr. Billy Ofesi for this award was a testimony of the dedication of a true Africa son having the dream to develop his continent through his contribution to improve the standard of education in

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

Nigeria. The duo, who stated that the union’s decision to confer this honour on Ofesi was not just for the celebration of the achievements of an outstanding performer but to be considered as a clarion call on the recipient of the award not to relent in his efforts towards redefining the standard of education in Nigeria and Africa at large. They said the award should also serve as a wake-up call on others to realise that there is a critical watch of their action(s) or efforts,

AASU operation is geared towards having a working relationship/ co-operation with other sub-regions, international youths’ and students’ organisations and non-governmental organisation

adding that every deed either good or bad has a result. Speaking further, Mr. Yinka said that the All African Students’ Union (AASU) was founded in 1972 with 54 affiliated member unions from Francophone and Anglophones Africa countries with affiliate to UNESCO, ECOSOC and enjoys a cordial relationship with the United Nations. Yinka, who said AASU operation is geared towards having a working relationship/co-operation with other sub-regions, international youths’ and students’ organisations and non-governmental organisation, explained that the union initiated the popular and prestigious Kwame Nkrumah leadership award 10 years ago to honour eminent sons and daughters, institutions of African origin who have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavour. Responding, Mr. Ofesi said the award was a challenge on him to do more, even as he promised never to relent in his continuous assistance to mankind.

ing materials, adding that First Deepwater has underdeveloped its host communities. Another aspect of the company’s activities that literally infuriated almost every stakeholder was the issue of indiscriminate parking of the company’s trailers and tankers on the road. Mr C.I. Ejiogu who represented Liverpool Community Development Association (CDA) stated that his association had written to the council chairman, Hon. Ibrahim Babatunde Sanusi about the indiscriminate manner in which tanker drivers park their vehicles along the roads. He also narrated how a policeman used tear gas on a man. “Some car owners, landlords and tenants of the area have, at one time or the other, slept outside as a result of the unruly behaviours of tanker drivers of First Deepwater Discovery Limited,” he said. The Deputy Leader, Hon. Aregbe Tunde Saliu expressed worry over what he called seeming lack of commitment on the part of the company with regard to its corporate social responsibility to its host communities, even as he urged perceptible commitment to its social responsibilities towards the development of its host communities. In the same manner, the Majority Leader, Hon. Rita Arabome-Odofin condemned the company’s perceived disinterestedness in creating job opportunities for the natives. She urged swift action on this aspect of the company’s corporate social responsibilities to the host communities. In its response, First Deepwater Discovery Limited which was represented by Mr A.N. Ojo, an engineer, Rev. J. Babalola and the Depot Operations Manager, Mr S.E. Okpithe, appreciated the efforts of the councillors towards ensuring that peace and tranquillity prevail in the council area on one hand and between it and its host communities.

However, in a letter signed by Rev. J. Babalola entitled “invitation to abate breach of public peace” with FDWD/ORIADELG/06 as reference dated November 25, 2011 and addressed to the H.O.D/Clerk of the House, the company said that inasmuch as it appreciated efforts made by the House to maintain peace in the council area, “we wish to put certain views on record with regard to issues raised in your letter under reference.” On pollution of waterways, the company said that it has an effective effluent treatment plant in place. This, according to it, indicates that “no effluent is let into the water way without passing through the effluent treatment plant.” The company apologised for what has been termed indiscriminate parking of trucks, saying, “We wish to apologise for the incident of November 16, 2011 which was as a result of two trucks that broke down on Pioneer Drive…It took time to remove them from the road and this caused a bottle-neck which translated to a backlash on Maruwa Road. Towards addressing the issue …”we have deployed more traffic control officers to monitor tanker drivers and have commenced our truck parking lot (which has capacity for 60 trucks)…” Promising to be more committed to the provision of employment opportunities for those who are indigenous to the area, First Deepwater Discovery disclosed that “when we started recruitment of staff, we liaised with community leaders from the various towns and we then employed people from the towns in various cadres …It is our intention to give more consideration to the communities and their leaders…in future.” In a bid to protect the environment, it further disclosed that it has an environmental management plan in place, which is now effectively operational.





L-KAMALI Petroleum that visited Abia State recently to seek the permission of the state government for oil exploration has expressed its commitment to invest in the oil and gas sector in the state. Chairman of the Dubai-based oil firm, Badar Abdulla Alkamali stated this when Governor Theodore Orji visited Dubai on a business trip recently to ascertain the authenticity of the company. Recall that Badar Alkamali, few months ago, visited Abia State to explore business opportunities, especially in the area of oil and gas with a view to establishing a refinery.

Dubai oil firm set to invest in Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

According to a release signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Orji, Ugochukwu Emezue, Alkamali Petroleum appreciated the reciprocal visit which the company’s leadership said was quite beneficial. Alkamali maintained that the visit has proved Governor Orji’s commitment to ensuring that Abia State is transformed and make it less dependent on allocations from the Federal Account like most other states.

The governor had assured his hosts of constant security and other logistics that will ensure that they have a good environment to operate at all times… We have provided atmosphere in Abia State conducive enough for foreign investors to come and partner with us. Security remains a top priority

Emezue hinted that Governor Orji is also opening other areas like tourism for Alkamali oil to tap into, stressing that the state has other business areas that are still untapped, “which our governor is willing to allow other business-minded investors to explore.” He further said that the governor had assured his hosts of constant security and other logistics that will ensure that they have a good environment to operate at


VERGREEN Christian Church of God (ECCG), which clocks two on November 26 this year, will celebrate its anniversary between December 8 and 11 with the theme: The Faithful Shepherd. The Minister-in-charge of the church, Pastor Phillip Babalola, who disclosed this to Newsextra, said it will hold at its 228, Ikorodu Road, Lagos headquarters with Bishop Olaleye of Great Light Ministry as guest speaker. “We are holding the pro-


•The protesting youths From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

daughters as ministers or other federal positions, pointing out that the Urhobos were at the forefront in the agitation for a SouthSouth presidency which brought President Jonathan to power. He decried that irrespective of the significant effect of oil and gas exploration, there was “acute unemployment, poverty, deprivation, insecurity and other ills bedeviling the Urhobo

Present at the meeting between the governor, top officials of the state and Alkamali Petroleum is the chairman of Next Century Trading and Consultancy Dubai, Mohammed Ghobash, strategic partners of Alkamali Petroleum in Nigeria. Governor Orji was accompanied to Dubai by his wife, Mercy, Hon MAO Ohuabunwa, Tony Ukasoanya, Hon Acho Obioma and the Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr Nkoro, and Baee.

Church holds anniversary

Urhobo youths protest alleged neglect HOUSANDS of Urhobo youths blocked the Otovwodo Junction of the East-West Road, Ughelli Delta State in protest against the alleged neglect of the Urhobo nation by the Federal Government. The protest, which commenced at about 7:00 in the morning, disrupted vehicular movement on the busy road for over one hour. The protesting youths displayed placards some of which had inscriptions like “No indigene of Urhobo nation included in the new board of NDDC, why?” “Urhobo have no Minister,” “We need empowerment,” “This marginalisation is too much,” among others. In a chat with Newsextra, the youth leader, Comrade Monday Oyeghe said that under the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Urhobo people have witnessed nothing but a calculated attempt to crush their psychology and self esteem. According to him, the Urhobo nation is a major oil-producing ethnic group which harbours the biggest gas reserve in sub-Saharan Africa and hosts the largest gas plant in Africa. He described as unacceptable the second-class citizen status and apartheid treatment meted out to the Urhobo people. Reiterating that the Urhobo nation is the fifth largest ethnic group in the country, he said: “No native of Urhobo is in the Federal Executive Council. No Urhobo man or woman is holding any strategic position in the armed forces and security services. There is also no Director-General or Executive Secretary of Urhobo extraction in the 450 Federal Government parastatals. The board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) has just been constituted, but no Urhobo man or woman was appointed.” Also speaking to Newsextra during the protest, Comrade Nathaniel Okhoror canvassed the need for the immediate appointment of qualified Urhobo sons and

all times. Emezue then urged people of Abia State to do everything within their powers to remain one of the most peaceful states in the federation having checkmated kidnapping which threatened the peace of the state in time past. He said: “We have provided atmosphere in Abia State, conducive enough for foreign investors to come and partner with us. Security remains a top priority.”

nation today as a result of marginalisation and neglect by the federal government.” Another youth leader, Comrade Augustine Odedede, who also spoke, urged the Federal Government to appoint an Urhobo citizen into the board of NDDC, create at least 3, 000 pipeline surveillance jobs for Urhobo youths, and commence the construction work at the Okwagbe sea port which was approved by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

gramme to appreciate God’s faithfulness in the lives of the church and its members. It will start with unlimited praise on Thursday, December 8 at 5 pm. The next day, we will hold vocational training to empower some people, also, at 5 pm. December 10 will feature the first session of leaders’ training which will be rounded of on Sunday, December 11. There may also be film and talk shows, all in a bid to encourage Godliness in all,” Pastor Babalola hinted.

Expatiating on the theme of the anniversary, the lawyer-turnedcleric said that the invited pastor would dilate on the boundless benefits accruable to any shepherd with unblemished loyalty to God and His word. “It is not going to be a mere jamboree; we are going to use the occasion to renew our fruitful relationship with God whom it pleased to plant the church to glorify His name in the lives of all of us. It is going to be a memorable spirit-lifting experience,” Pastor Babalola said.



Ebonyi may hand over mission schools


•Governor Elechi


HE Ebonyi State government has said it was working out modalities toward the smooth hand over of mission schools back to their owners. The Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Onwe, said this while briefing newsmen in Abakaliki. He said: “Ebonyi State government is trying to put a number of factors into play before the final hand over process.” He said that a successful hand over of mission schools back to their owners would serve as a pre- requisite to attaining positive attitudinal change among students. “For instance, the handover of schools back

Cassava farms for councils

HE IMO State Government is planning to establish a mulit-million naira “mega pilot cassava farms ” in all the 27 local government areas in the state. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources,Mrs Adora Ijezie, has said. Ijezie, who stated this in Owerri in an interview with journalists,said the effort was in recognition of the potential of cassava as the ‘poverty and drought fighter’ as well as to build new image for the crop. The commissioner said the project would commence early in 2012, adding that government would build into it value addition to improve supply chain management, reduce post harvest losses and enhance modern methods of planting and harvesting and prolong its storage. According to her, when operational the project will benefit more than 2.8 million small holder farmers who are expected to increase cassava production for domestic and industrial use. “Government is expanding the potential of cassava beyond being just a staple food for human consumption, to an efficient industrial crop, and to increase incomes for small holder

Imo farmers like it is in other developing countries,” she said. The commissioner, who described the project as the first of its kind in the region, said it was also aimed at unlocking cassava potential and increase income of small holder farmers. Ijezie further told journalists that for the initial take-off of the multi-million naira project, farmers would be formed into various cluster groups and processing units and later graduated to be on their own. She enumerated the potential of cassava to include serving as animal feed, adhesives, starch, bio-fuels, glucose syrup and starch in food and non-food industries. The commissioner expressed the commitment of the government to restore the lost glory of agriculture in the state and the decision to make fundamental reforms in agriculture. He said the palm plantation had been given to an Irish company on concession basis for turn around to last for 14 years.

Group preaches peaceful co-existence


OR the Izunwanne Welfare Association, November 26 was another beautiful end to the group’s activities. Members, both men and women came from far and near to observe the annual award and get together signaling the close of group’s activities for the year 2011. According to the National President of the association, Chief V.C. Onwuso, the group came into being on August 20, 1987 charged with the responsibility of catering for the social and economic welfare of its members as well as seeking justice where it is denied. The association works for peaceful co-existence among other tribal groups to engender development. The event started with prayers from Evang. Christopher Choarichi. This was followed by a short speech from the chairman of the occasion who reminded members of the need to work in concert to achieve the lofty aims of the group. The women dressed in their characteristic Igbo attires, performed the traditional IWA dance to the admiration of all. Their men were not left behind out as they beat the drums with dexterity. Everybody danced with a sense of fullfilment . When Mr Odimma Nicholas, the anchor man invited the president to give his speech, he reeled

By Bode Monogbe

out the achievements the group since inception and what it stands for. He said the association looks after the welfare of its members in all ramifications including securing employment, accommodation and settling disputes. It as well addresses the socio-economic problem of its members such as securing loan for members to start businesses and offering scholarship to students in institutions of higher learning. The group encourages members to live peacefully with the host communities. The president promised to do more in years to come in protecting the interest of the members and that of the Igbo nation. There was the traditional breaking of kolanut, an event performed with some cash donations. Guests were later served sumptuous meals with drinks. Alongside this was the traditional music playing to the joy of everyone. Dignitaries at the meeting were: Mazi Patron Nichodemus, Mazi Jerry Nwachukwu, Mrs Anamekwe Loveline, Mr Anamekwe Titus Ike, Mr Uzochukwu, Mr Sunday Ayodele, Mr Kevin Ahamefule, Mrs Ego E. Ahamefule, Mr Mbata Tony,Mr Linus Agor,and Mr Oguguo Leo

Ebonyi to missions would be a ready made solution to some of the educational problems facing the state. “In working out these modalities, government is considering what happens to the work force, will the missions be willing to inherit both the students and staff of these schools,” he said. He said that the feasibility studies would in addition, consider if the missions would be able to accept the assets and liabilities of those schools. According to the commissioner, the government wants to ensure that the move would not lead to another spell of unemployment. “We want to make the hand over of mission schools to their owners a reasoned risk taking. “We want to put every factor on the table and discuss with critical stakeholders before the final decision, but I assure you it is receiving serious attention,” he said. The government used the occasion to appeal to the Anglican Bishop of Afipko to be more • Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (right)with Igwe Alfred Achebe at the seminar for temperate in his reactions toward some taditional rulers at J.Jumac Hotel ,Awka government’s actions in matters bordering on religion. Onwe said the Bishop, Rev. Paul Udogu had in one of the national dailies, accused the government of planning to Islamise the state, which he said was untrue. The government, therefore, advised the ORRIED by the spate of armed bishop to rather work and pray for the peace robberies and kidnaps in the Ogoni and progress of the state. Land in Rivers State , a federal lawmaker, Mr Maurice Pronen, has urged security agencies to beef up security in the area. The member of House Representatives told N a practical demonstration of giving prompt response to the appeal made by the journalists in a telephone interview that succour to the needy, the wife of the couple for assistance praying that God will criminal activities in the area had been on the chairman of Transition Committee, Remo meet her and the entire members of her family increase. North Local Government, Mrs. Kehinde He stressed the need for the security agencies at every point of their need.He urged all other Adeleye, has donated gifts to a set of triplets political office holders to assist the needy in to be on the alert in Ogoni area as Christmas from Alhaji and Mrs. Jimoh Babatunde Rafiu was fast approaching. their midst. at the Anu-Oluwa Poly Clinic, Isara, Remo. The lawmaker said the security agencies had Replying, the father of the triplets. Alhaji According to a press statement signed by Jimoh Babatunde Rafiu, expressed the the responsibilities to maintain law and order the council’s Director of Information. Mr. gratitude of his family to the wife of the in the overall interest of the people. Oloyede Oyeniyi, Mrs Adeleye also pledged “We need to sleep with our eyes closed. It is chairman for the gifts to his children. He also to settle all medical expenses incurred by the praised the chairman, Hon. Adebiyi Adeleye not a good thing seeing innocent members of parents of the new triplets,just as she promised the public being harassed by criminals’’. for assistance. to monitor their growth.She thanked God for Meanwhile, the police in Rivers State have Top government functionaries that their safe delivery. accompanied her to the hospital included; the assured the people of their readiness to ensure Welcoming Mrs Adeleye to the hospital, Director of Information, Mr. Oloyede Oyeniyi active crime policing during the Christmas the Medical Director of Anu-Olu Poly Clinic, , and the Director of Community Development period. Dr. Yemi Mada, expressed the profound and Women Affairs, Mr. M.B. Babalola. gratitude of the hospital management for her

Lawmaker urges agencies to beef up security in Ogoniland




Abia residents to enjoy potable water

HE water scarcity in Abia State will soon be a thing of the past, according to the General Manager, Abia Water Board, Mr Felix Okonkwo. Potable water has long remained a scarce commodity in Abia, as all taps in the state dried up more than two years ago. While residents of Umuahia and Aba rely on sachet water and private bore-holes, those in the rural areas trek to the streams for their water needs. Most pathetic is that a scheme initiated by former President Shehu Shagari in 1981 at Ndi Oji Abam in Arochukwu Local Government Area of the state is yet to be realised. Rural water schemes in the state have gone moribund due to neglect by successive administrations and this exposes rural dwellers to unsafe sources of water. Okonkwo told journalists that the state government had taken a bold step to ensure

Abia residents of the state capital and beyond returned to the taps to fetch potable water. He attributed the scarcity of water in the state capital to the activities of vandals at the Umu Opara Regional Water Scheme, which he said, was the major source of water to the city. He said that the state governor was worried about the water challenges faced by residents and had ordered a holistic rehabilitation of the scheme. The general manager said: “We have started pumping water in order to identify leakages


HE Chairman of Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (NPCC),Chief Kunle Folarin has said that Akwa Ibom will become a major maritime destination in Nigeria when ongoing plans to develop Ibaka Deep Seaport are concluded. He made the observation at a news conference in Uyo on Tuesday.

Akwa Ibom Folarin said that the federal and state governments, as well as private sector organisations had shown considerable interest in the development of Ibaka Deep Seaport. “The choice of Ibaka Deep Seaport is



•From left: National President, Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Chukwu Wachukwu; Former President and Commander-In-Chief of Federal Republic of Nigeria,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and NASSI Vice President, South West, Duro Kuteyi during a courtesy visit by NASSI executives to Obasanjo in Abeokuta

IFE of the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries,(MFM) , Pastor Shade Olukoya, has urged women to be agents of change and be interested in spiritual development. Mrs Olukoya spoke during the fifth anniversary of the MFM Women Foundation at the MFM Prayer City on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. The two-day programme, which was well attended, featured a 7-hour prayer session .There were also seminars, teachings, musical performances geared at helping participants improve their spiritual lives. W omen in their thousands thronged the auditorium singing praises to God. Their testimonies were punctuated with shouts of Halleluiah from the congregation. Present at the gathering were Dr Daniel Olukoya, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of

A Lagos-based cleric and founder of God’s Stewards International Bible Church, Apostle John Ketiku has said that the only alternative to finding lasting solution to myriads of challenges facing Nigeria is to seek divine intervention. Speaking during an event tagged-‘Jesus Celebration’, the cleric said it was time for Nigerian leaders to turn to God for wisdom to turn things around for the nation. “No country can get it right without divine intervention and Nigeria cannot be an exception. In over 51 years of our existence as a nation, successive administration has tried to lead according to the wisdom of the person at the helm of affairs but the outcome has led us nowhere. I think it’s high time we had a rethink and beg God to salvage the terrible and pathetic socio-economic condition of our great country fort the sake of our coming generations.” The programme witnessed music ministration by popular gospel artistes, miracle service, testimonies and thanksgiving service.

• Chief Justice of Lagos, Hon Inumidun Enitan Akande, receiving a gift from the Vice President, Community Court of Justice ECOWAS, Justice Benfeito Mosso Ramos during the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice official visit of the to the Lagos State High Court PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI


the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola. Mrs Olukoya said the foundation has empowered women in areas such as adult education, skill acquisition programmes and has raised prayer warriors among the women folk. She said the church would not relent in its efforts to help women achieve their destinies and to draw them to God. Her words: “Indeed, the vision of the foundation seems to have materialised based on the wonderful things women are now doing for God. The foundation across MFM branches in recent times have carried out programmes like health seminars, get-together with widows, visitations to rehabilitation centers,

training women in traditional delicacies and production materials like hat, flavoured drinks and so many other kind of training. Mrs Olukoya said the women have great roles to play in the things of God on earth, noting that women were the first to see Christ after He resurrected . “The church believes that no matter the circumstances, women can achieve their potentials. This is one of the reasons why the foundation is committed to bringing out the best in women’. In her remarks, Mrs Fashola praised the foundation life for what God has promoting the interest of women . She said she was impressed by the achievements of the foundation in the last five years.

deliberate, as it will be the first deep seaport in the country. The Federal Government is highly interested in the seaport project,” he said. Folarin said that NPCC, in collaboration with Akwa Ibom State Government, is currently holding a two-day maritime summit in Akwa Ibom from Wednesday, December 7. He said that the summit’s participants would also undertake a facility visit to the site of the deep seaport at Ibaka. “Our mission here is to share with the good people of Akwa Ibom the opportunities that abound in the maritime sector of our national economy,” he said. Saying that the summit’s theme, Unlocking the Maritime Potential of Akwa Ibom State for Accelerated Economic Development in Nigeria, – was very apt, Folarin pledged the readiness of the NPCC to partner with the state government in maritime development efforts. “The council has very fruitful and encouraging interaction with Governor Godswill Akpabio and his executive team. We hope to continue the interaction with the public and other stakeholders in the state, “The components of the summit, which will be anchored on eight papers that will be presented by erudite scholars and professionals, will lead to the evolution of a roadmap that will complement the good work of Governor Akpabio,’’ he said.Folarin said that the establishment of a deep seaport would bring about infrastructural and physical development, as well as the development of allied maritime industries. He said that it would also create wealth, entrepreneurship and jobs, while fostering human capacity development and youth empowerment.

Ecobank fetes UNILAG staff

HE new Bursar of the University of Lagos (UNILAG,Mr Lateef Odekunle, has promised to boost the internally generated revenue of the institution. He stated this at a get-together hosted in his honour by the UNILAG’s branch of Ecobank at the Senior Staff Club of the institution last Friday. He plans to make the Bursary Department fully ICT driven. To actualise this, all its operations will be computerised, he disclosed. There will, therefore, be more training for staff, adding that he had already this in-house. He noted

that today the world is technology driven and that UNILAG should be part of this revolution. “We are going paperless. We want to be as transparent as possible,” he said. He also plans to reduce transaction time such that paying in and receiving of funds time will be drastically reduced. On his agenda too is the plan to reduce costs, saying that until this is done, revenue generated will not make any impact. He praised both the bank and its manager for being good corporate citizens. “The bank has been fantastic. It is

Foundation helps women By Toluwani Eniola

• Governor Orji and our men are repairing the damaged ones after which we will come with full force.

Akwa Ibom to become major maritime destination

Wife of council chair donates to triplets


•Members of Izunwanne Dancing Group entertaining guests at the ceremony


By Joseph Eshanokpe

trying.Their location used to be where EIB was. It went down with our money. As at today, they have paid back the money, which runs into millions of naira”, he disclosed. Odekunle, who assumed duties on November 1, described the Ecobank Branch Manager, Tunji, Jayeola, as a former student, colleague, roommate, adding that he had known him for over 30 years. He said he looked forward to a good working relationship with him. Jayeola said the bank was proud of Odekunle’s achievements, hence it was celebrating his promotion. He said: “We are celebrating the new Bursar, Mr Lateef Odekunle. Also, today being the first Friday of the month, we hosting the ASUU nite at the Senior Staff Club. During the event, we will see our products to the university community. In the past, we sponsored programmes in both the Women Society and at the Staff International School of UNILAG. ‘’UNILAG is the best university in the country. It is the only one that maintains an uninterrupted academic calendar.” He described the bursar as a man who will be able to carry both the young and the old along. He advised him to be more professional in taking crucial decisions.

End of year party

T •From left: Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr Tope Ashiwaju, Captain Indomie FC, Tiamiyu Yinka and Communication Specialist Unicef, Mr Geoffery Njoku at the final of Friends of Unicef Football Tournament, won by Indomie FC in Lagos at Astroturf PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

HE Lagos branch of Okwu Urutta Improvement League, Obibi Uratta, in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State will hold its end of the year party tomorrow, December 10. The venue is 22 Arewa Street, by Olatubosun Street, Furniture, Bus Stop Mafoluku, Oshodi. The time is 12 noon prompt.





•From left: Ven Samson Olalekan; Chief Falomo; Chief Okonkwo and his wife

Like stewards, like friends On November 25, the Lagos Anglican Diocesan Guild of Stewards (LADGOS) celebrated its 25th anniversary. It honoured 24 of its friends at the event in Lagos. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was there.


T was a day of honour for them. They were honoured for services rendered to those working in the vineyard of God. Twenty-four of them were honoured to mark the 25th anniversary of Lagos Anglican Diocesan Guild of Stewards (LADGOS). Known as “Friends fo the Guild of Stewards,” they are more or less like a backbone to LADGOS. On November 25, they reaped their reward at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The hall was tastefully decorated. It glowed in yellow and white satin, with light blue strip ribbon covering part of the chairs. There were beautiful flower glasses on the white table overlays. Abig banner welcoming the guests provided information on what the night was all about. The guests and awardees shone in well sewn local and foreign fabrics. The men wore Agbada with marching caps the women were clad in iro and buba and headgears. Those in suits complemented their with ties and bow ties. The awardees were the cynosure of all eyes in the hall. They rose one after the other to receive the plaque after the reading of their loaded citations.

Among them were former Head of Interim National Government Chief Ernest Shonekan; former Minister of Defence Gen Theophilus Danjuma; Chief Lai AjayiBembe; Justice George Oguntade (rtd); former DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Prof Ndi Okereke-Onyuike; founder and Chief Executive Officer, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Mrs Stella Okoli; Chairman, Inter-Bau Construction Ltd and LandGold Group of Companies Lady Ann Okechukwu; Chief Executive Officer, Kuremed Pharmaceuticals Limited Chief Chukwuma Okoronkwo and Justice Adedayo Oyebanji. Others are Mrs Folorunso Alakija; Chief Gbolade Osibodu; Sir Akpovi Amata; Mr John Momoh; Mr Dapo Egbeyemi; Mr Emeka Onwuka; Mr Olusegun Faleye; Mr Uzor Okafor and Sir John Erigbe. LADGOS President Mr Olumuyiwa Adefope described the event as special in the history of the association. LADGOS, Adefope said, has over the years given birth to other chapters as the Diocese of Lagos was split. He listed them to include Lagos West Diocese Guild, Lagos Mainland, Badagry and Awori.

“One of the main reasons for setting up the group we have been told by our forebears is to ensure uniformity in standard of performance among members across all churches in the Diocese of Lagos. It may interest you to note that we have made significant progress in the actualisation of this noble objective, while still aiming at perfection,” he told the gathering. He thanked the awardees for supporting the activities of the guild over the years. Adefope confessed that the journey has been challenging and interesting. Chairman of the occasion Chief Olu Falomo thanked LADGOS for the honour bestowed on him. He congratulated the guild on the celebration of its silver jubilee, wishing it prosperity in the next 25 years. Falomo,who described the awardees as “distinguished people,” said he will continue to cherish the night for a long time.” “I am so delighted that you selected a group of honourable Nigerians to give award,” he said. He singled out Okereke-Onyuike for honouring LADGOS with her presence. Falomo described her as a first class administrator.




•Mr Adefope and Prof Okereke-Onyuike

•Justice Oyebanji and Mr Tunji Oyebanji

•From left: Mrs Faleye; Mrs Yemisi Adeogun and Dan Horsfall

•Godwin Nwankwo (left) and Wisdom Oteri Dafinone

•Asiwaju Fola Oshibo and wife Busola

• •Rev Esemede

•Prof and Mrs John Adenusi

•Chike Sibeudu

•Mr Gabriel Akporomewe and wife





A Nobel laureate with a heart of valour Encomiums poured in ceaselessly last Friday, for this year’s Nobel Prize Winner for Peace, Mrs. Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian, at a reception hosted in her honour by wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and some civil society groups in Ikoyi, Lagos. KUNLE AKINRINADE was there.


HE alluring ambience of Wheat Baker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, venue of the event, was inviting. Its trappings could not have been less a choice for the organisers of the event to host a rare amazon-this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Mrs Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian, who did what her male folk could not do in the horrific days of the Liberian civil war. Although the event, scheduled for 6pm, started late, it was worth the waiting considering the calibre of high profile personalities who turned out to honour the courageous woman. Among the early arrivals were the wife of the Lagos governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola; the Liberian Minister of Gender and Development, Hon Varbah Gayflor; wife of former Ekiti State governor, Mrs Angela Adebayo; famous actressJoke Silva; ex-chairperson of Lagos State chapter of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Nkechi Alli-Balogun, among others while the wife of Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, sauntered in with coterie of aides including the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka. Fayemi’s arrival signalled the commencement of the event with a short documentary entitled: Pray the Devil Back to Hell. The movie captured the dark period of the Liberian civil war and the daring, but non-violent movement led by Gbowee that forced the warlords of the era and the tyrannical ex-Liberian leader, Mr. Charles Taylor to sign a peace deal. The agreement, eventually, heralded peace and democratic governance in the war ravaged country in 2003. Emotions, applause and kudos animated the hall throughout the movie presentation for the courage and leadership qualities displayed by Gbowee in the presence of warmongers and gory-lust rebel leaders who later bowed to her rare feminist doggedness. In the riveting story, Gbowee brought all the women of the Christian faith together into a group called the Christian Women’s Initiative and began issuing series of calls for peace. The Christian women later formed a coalition with the Muslim women to lead the formation of the Liberian Mass Action for Peace (LMAP). Under Gbowee’s leadership, the group managed to force a meeting with Charles Taylor and extract a promise from him for peace talks in Ghana, which he had earlier declined. She also led a delegation of

•From left: Mrs Olayinka; Mrs Fayemi; Ms Gbowee and Mrs Adebayo

Liberian women to Ghana to pressure the warring factions in the crisis to accept the peace deal brokered by Nigeria’s former military leader, General Abdulsalam Abubakar. At first, the women demonstrated daily outside the hotel where the negotiators met, pressuring for progress in the peace talks. When the talks dragged on from June to July 2003, with no progress made, Gbowee and hundreds of women barricaded the entrance of the venue of the talks by interlocking their arms and held the delegates ‘’hostage’’ until a peace agreement was reached. When the men tried to leave the hall, Gbowee and her compatriots threatened to strip themselves naked to demonstrate their seriousness. This made the warring factions to take the talks seriously and the Liberian war ended weeks later with the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement on August 18, 2003. In her welcome address, Fashola, who

doubled as the Special Guest of Honour, extolled the virtues of Gbowee. “ It‘s a great joy to identify with you for being a voice for the voiceless and we think we can take a cue from you. You have been able to draw attention to the plight of women in Liberia and the effect of the crisis on the country and this is, indeed, commendable. Your courageous stride is, indeed, a lesson that women should be able to speak up and be an agent of change for a better society. I would like to welcome you (Gbowee) to Lagos State and please enjoy the aquatic splendour,” she said. In her remarks, Fayemi who is also the president of African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) said: “No matter how many times I watch this film, I’ll cry. I came across Gbowee in 2001 seeking the support of AWDF and we actually supported her organisation. She gathered Liberian women and they said ‘enough was enough’ to the war. That is a great lesson to the male folks

who have been dominating leadership positions in Africa for many years that you can’t change a country without women. “I want to thank you Gbowee for all you have done for your country, for enabling Liberian women to amplify their voices and for using your voice to make a case for your people, even across the world.” Sharing her story with the audience, Gbowee took time to reflect on her childhood and the struggle for peace in Liberia in a speech entitled: ‘The journey to Nobel Prize’. She said:” I am from a very humbler background and I am the fourth daughter of my parent. My mother started having children at 16 and I have a solid reflection of my mother. She was married off very early and she had no boy. And if you didn’t pass, she gives you a slap; so I see my mother in everything I do. I am a single mother of six children; my sister died and left me her kid to raise.”

In honour of diligent officers All stood still at the Police Community Relation Committee Hall of Ilupeju Police Station, Lagos at the reception held in honour of retired police officers, writes AMIDU ARIJE.


HEIR last active role in the Nigeria Police Force and ser-

vice to their fathers’ land was last July when they retired from the force. Last Thursday, the trio of DSP Titus David, ASP John Ologun and ASP Anthony Ojeah were honoured by their colleagues for their diligence on duty. The hall of Police Community Relation Committee(PCRC) Ilupeju Police Station, where the reception took place, Lagos was filled by colleagues, friends and family members. An emotional day it was when each of the trio recounted memorable days in the police service. Interestingly, none of them regretted serving their fatherland, but lamented the poor remuneration and pitiable welfare for the officers. Their dreams of coming into the police force 35 years ago were to

strengthen the nation and defend human dignity. This, according to them, was achieved as they retired honourably. The event began with an opening prayer by Pastor Ikenna Umeh. The Master of ceremony Prince Sanya Takuro ensured there were no dull moments. For the retired police officers, it was joy all through. Recounting their experiences since joining the force 35 years ago, they have different, but similar stories to tell. DSP David told The Nation how he was almost dismissed from service officer three months to his retirement age. ‘’I cannot forget the day I lost my gun three months to my retirement age but with the love that God has for me, I recovered the gun immediately inside the quarter. I thank God. I could have been a dismissed officer, but to the glory of God, I retired honourably,’’ he said He said the day he retired was his

• From left: Ojeah, Ologunoba, Gbolahan and Titus

happiest day ever. “My happiest moment was the day I retired, that was on July 3, 2011,” he said. He urged serving officers to be disciplined and dedicated to duty. ASP Ologunoba said he had no cause to regret his stay in the police force because he was not coerced to join. He described his relationship with other officers as cordial and

very co-operative. He urged the serving officers to be law-abiding and to perform their duties diligently ASP Ojeah, who retired in February this year, said his stay in the police force had many hiccups. ‘’IretiredonFebruary12,thisyear. Mystayin theNigerianPolicehasmanyupsanddowns, but thank God today that He led me through. My happiest moment was when I was made the Commis-

sion Officer in 2009, after all struggles here and there,’’ he said. The Divisional Police Officer Mr Gbolahan Olugbemi described the retirees as best men who work assiduously for the development of the Police Force. “The trio did not say, I’m younger in age. They worked well and obeyed instructions given to them. They wholeheartedly embraced my philosophy of work,’’ he said.








T was a cool evening at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos where many guests made their ways into the warm ambience of the hall. The warm music from a group at the entrance of the hall spiced the event. Some of them took their seats among those arranged in clusters, while others stood at different corners to discuss with one another. The hall was filled for the Seventh Lagos State Health Award. Dignitaries were in traditional dresses. Only a few came in English dresses. The reverberating music from the band set the tone for the evening. The Master of Ceremony, Mr Deji Balogun of Lagos Television (LTV 8) announced the commencement of the event with the rendition of the national anthem. The stage was set and the award began in earnest. There were musical interludes as it progressed. He enjoined everybody to take their seats while waiting for other dignitaries come.

Reward for excellence

Lagos State government last Friday, rewarded committed workers and stakeholders in the health sector at a gala organised to say thank you and urge them to continue the good work of ensuring a healthier state. WALE ADEPOJU was there. Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, dressed in a red jacket and a pair of black trousers came into hall. She was ushered in by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris; Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adesina; Permanent Secretary, Dr Femi Olugbile and other officials of the state Ministry of Health. For Dr Idris, it was business as usual as he welcomed the guests. He said the year’s theme: “People, passion and service” captured the essence of health workers

•Mrs Orelope-Adefulire and Deputy Programme Director, Stephen Cooper

•Dr Adeshina (left) and Mrs Funmilayo Olatunji

in the sector. Dr Idris said the sector is about people and only passionate persons can work as health workers. According to him, empathy should be shown to the sick, addingthatworkersneedtodedicatethemselves to their jobs without expecting gratification. The commissioner said every worker in the health team is equal. He added that the gateman, who opens the door for doctors and nurses is also a contributor to qualitative health service delivery. The awardees, according to him, were

not only from the public sector, but also from private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), who have worked with the sector to move it forward. Mrs Orelope-Adefulire, who represented the state governor, delivered her boss’s speech. She enjoined the awardees not to relent in their efforts, but to see the honour as a challenge to do more for the state She implored them to be selfless, dedicated and committed to service

so that Lagos can continue to rank among the best in terms of qualitative health service delivery in the country. She was optimistic that the awards would motivate winners and those who did not win to give more. The deputy governor assured them that the state would not relent in its effort at making life more meaningful for the people. “We have provided hospital with world class equipment to prevent maternal and infant deaths,” Mrs Orelope-Adefulire said. Men and women adjudged best in their various departments were presented with plaques. The included Dr Muisi Alli Adenekan of General Hospital, Lagos, who was the best Medical Doctor; Dr Biola Adeniyi of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) who was the best dental surgeon, while the best pharmacist, Olufunke Feyisara Ajayi of Onikan Health Centre.

•Former Commissioner for Health Dr Leke Pitan (left) and Dr Idris

•Chief Folarin Williams and wife Bosola

Gains of philanthropic gesture The Okun Muslim community in Kogi State under the auspices of Jama’at Nasril-Islam, last week honoured one of its own, Alhaji Tajudeen Bisimilahi, with the highest Muslim title in Okun land as the Imole Adinni of Okun Land, which means Pillar and Light of Islam; in recognition of his Philanthropic work to the state. HAMEED YEKINI writes.


T was for his contributions to the advancement of Islamic religion in Okun land that he was honoured by his fellow moslems. The event, held at Iyamoye in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, was officiated by the Grand Kadi of Kogi State ( Judge of the Sharia Court of Kogi State) Justice Sulaiman Olorufemi and it also coincided with the commemoration of the 1433 Hijrah (the beginning of Islamic New Year ). Chairman of Jama’at NasrilIslam Organisation, Okun chapter, Alhaji Abdullahi Suleiman, in his remarks enumerated the outstanding contributions of Alhaji Tajudeen Bisimilahi towards Muslims in Okun land and Kogi State. Alhaji Suleiman stressed that he

is a true son of Okunland, who deserves the title of pillar and light of Islam in Okun. “For many years, Bisimilahi has been instrumental to paying WAEC and NECO examination fees to the less-privileged, even as an entrepreneur, he has given employment to many Okun indigenes in his conglomerate SEMITEX Groups, Muslims andnon-Muslims alike,” he said. He said Bismilahi, a United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace, has worked to advance Islam as expressed in his recent building and donation to the people of Okun an ultra-modern Mosque, which serves as a worship centre for the people of Okun. Bisimilahi, who is the Chairman, Okun Muslim Council, Abuja Chapter, is no

doubt the youngest to be given the title ‘Pillar of Islam’ in Okun. He thanked the community for the honour. “As an advocator of Islam, my contributions towards a better living standard of Okun people was purely for the service to God and humanity “My recognition means higher responsibility. As a pillar of Muslim , it is expected that I contribute more than ever to the propagation of the gospel of Islam . I pray God who made it possible for me to live up to expectations,” he prayed. Other Okun indigenes accorded titles at the event included the Kogi State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Hasan Salahudeen and Managing Director of Daily Trust Newspapers, Alhaji Ishaq Ajibola.

•Alhaji Bisimillahi after the turbanning.





•Dr Bashorun

•Widow of the deceased Alhaja Mujinat Bashorun

•Alhaji Smith (left) and Justice Ishola Olorunimbe

Help for the helpless Younis Olatunji Basorun Foundation was launched last Sunday, at the Sam Shonibare Hall, Surulere, Lagos to mark the fifth memorial anniversary of the former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, late Hon Younis Olatunji Basorun. NNEKA NWANERI was there.


HE large banner and tents, decorated in blue and white stood distinct as passers-by paused to steal a glance at what was happening on the wide playing ground where Sam Shonibare Hall, Lagos stood. It was the anniversary to immortalise the former permanent secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Younis Olatunji Basorun, who died five years ago. Family members, children and friends of the late Basorun, who was a former Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government and the Aare Oganla of Isolo, gathered to launch a foundation in his honour at the event with notable men and women, mostly educationists honouring him. They were the Education Secretary, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts of University of Lagos, Prof Tajudeen Gbadamosi, who gave the day’s lecture.

The father of the day and President, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Lateef Femi Okunnu (SAN), was represented by Alhaji Lateef Karim; Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith (rtd); the former ViceChancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof Abisogun Leigh and former Head of Service, Alhaji Rafiu Tinubu. The event which has as theme: Education is the best legacy, began with the opening prayer by the National Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdurrahman Ahmad. The Master of Ceremonies, Alhaji Toyin Kawojue, started the event by recognising dignitaries. This was followed by an address by the Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Smith. Prof Gbadamosi while delivering the lecture entitled: “Foundation as institutional investors on the divine Stock Exchange” listed the advantages of foun-

•Prof Gbadamosi

dations and how they came to be in Nigeria. He mentioned prominent foundation all over the world and their modus operandi. He poured encomiums on the deceased, describing him as one with

All hail the new chief Joy fills the air as a land surveyor and environmental consultant, Rufus Olukayode Ogunleye, becomes High Chief Asha of Ado-Ekiti, reports SHEHU BELLO.


HERE had been revelry in Okesa, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital where a new chief has been named. The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi 111, approved the appointment of Rufus Olukayode Ogunleye, a frontline surveyor, as the High Chief Asha. The first traditional installation, otherwise called “Igberuku”, was held last Sundayat the Owaua, the inner court of the Ewi’s place. Chief Ogunleye, shortly after his appointment, called on his cousin, Mr Kayode Olajuyin, who contested the position with him, and all his followers to come on board and join him to build a peaceful and progressive family. According to him, there is no victor and no vanquished because what is essential is the development of the Asha familyand Ado-Ekiti in general. The new chief is a product of Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, 1965-1969 set; he attended Federal School Surveying, Oyo between 1970 and 1974 for basic and advanced Certificate in Land Surveying, before proceeding to University of

Nigeria, Nsukka for his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Surveying. Chief Ogunleye,who hails from Olodoogba ruling house of Asha family, became a licensed surveyor in 1987 after passing the stipulated examination. He later went to the International Institute of Survey, Toulouse, France for Applied Satellite Imagery Certificate and also obtained Masters of Environmental Management from the University of Ado-Ekiti in 2004. Ogunleye, after his NYSC, worked with the Federal Survey, Lagos, Kaduna State Housing Authority and the World Bank-Assisted programme in Nigeria (Federal Ministry of Agriculture) National Livestock Project Division (NLPD) from where he retired into private practice as a land Surveyor and Environmental Consultant. A widely travelled man, Ogunleye worked in virtually all the states of Nigeria and has also gone on working and study tours to various parts of the world.

• Chief Ogunleye

•Chief Akin Kekere-Ekun. PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO

triple passions for his Lord, Education and Public Service. “Like all of us here, I have nothing, but love and respect for him borne out of the great opportunities I have had. I have gained useful insights into this legendary figure who was awarded the Officer of Federal Republic (OFR). We doubtless treasure him as a man of integrity and with remarkable milk of kindness. In short, he was Baba rere. He was an all round Baba rere. May his shadow never grow less,” he prayed. The son of the deceased and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Yusuf Olajide Bashorun, told The Nation what it is to walk in the same shoes as his father. He said it was a challenging task keeping up the standards of his late father. “It is really an honour and privilege walking the path daddy walked. It puts me under pressure because I want to constantly live the standard he has set. Everyone says good things about him and I will not dare do anything that will make people doubt if I am his son.” Giving an insight into the funding of the foundation, he said itwill not discriminate, but focus on indigent students who have the capacity but lack the capability. “My father was an educationist and my siblings and I believe that by setting up a foundation, we are assisting indigent students to have access to modern education. Daddy was endowed in his life and left a lot of things for us. So yearly, we are going to enrich the foundation by transferring N1million from his estate to the foundation so that it can continue to thrive. The 10 children have given N200,000 each and we are starting off with N2million,” he added.




NAN chief’s day of honour

The Director of Marketing, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Jide Adebayo, was on November 26, conferred with the honorary chieftaincy title of Otunba Gbadero of Olla Land. HAMEED YEKINI and TOLU OGUNKANMI report.


HEN on November 26, Jide Adebayo was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Otunba Gbadero of Olla land at the Fourth Olla Day Celebration in Olla, Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State, friends and well-wishers trooped to Olla to rejoice with him. He was among the 49 so honoured. Other recipients included former Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Chief Joel Ogundeji; former Senator for Kwara South, Suleiman Ajadi; former member, House of Representatives from Isin/ Irepodun/Oke-Ero/Ekiti Federal Constituency, Akeem Aiyedun; and member, Kwara State House of Assembly, representing Irepodun Local Government Area, Chief David Bamidele. Others were Chairman, Isin Local Government Area, Chief Seyi Edunfunke; prominent businessmen, such as Chief Olayiwola Olagunju; Alhaji Mufutau Ajadi; Chief Tunji Ajuloopin; Chief Johnson Babatunde and Chief Olabode Oyedepo, among others. Adebayo received a certificate of honour from the Ololla of Olla Land, Dr Joseph Ajayi, the Ilufemiloye Orimadegun 1, after being decoraed with emblems associ-

•Chief Adebayo (right) assisted by his wife Ifedun receive the certificate from Dr Ajayi

ated with the office of Otunba Gbadero. Adebayo has worked as journalist within and outside the country. He is a former Kwara State Commissioner for Information, Youth, Sport and Culture. The NAN Director was honoured for being a community leader and an asset to humanity. Presenting Adebayo with the certificate, the Ololla said the community noticed that every time Adebayo was con-

tacted for assistance, he always responded positively. “This has gladdened our hearts. We thought of what to do. Therefore, our community realised that for one who has done some favours to us, we must show appreciation. “And a way of showing our appreciation is to honour you with the chieftaincy title of Otunba Gbadero of Olla land. Congratulations to you. May God grant you

more success in your endeavours after receiving this title,” he said. Adebayo thanked the Olla Traditional Council and the 2011 Olla Day Organising Committee for adjudging him worthy of the title and prayed for growth of the community. “I will continue to support the Olla community in my little way,” he said. Earlier, the Chairman, Central Planning Committee of Olla Day, the Ajiroba of Olla Land, Chief D. Adesina, said the occasion was to “bring all sons and daughters of Olla from near and far together with our loved ones and well-wishers to celebrate and raise fund for the development of our dear town. “We want to pay particular attention to the only golden treasure of our town, the Olla Secondary Commercial School, put up by communal effort and which has been aided by Kwara State government; it needs to be given a face lift. “The library needs to be brought to standard and well-equipped with modern books, chairs and reading tables. “Furthermore, the school bus is not frequently seen plying the road because of its old age and we want to also improve on our health facilities,” he said. Ajibola decried the menace of erosion in the community, stressing the need for prompt attention to curb it before it gets out of hand. “I, therefore, implore the state government and well-meaning Nigerians to assist us,” he said.

‘At 50, I am a winner’ Ms Rose Imoudu, a principal tax consultant at Ijewere and Co Accountants, turned 50 on November 27. She celebrated with her family, friends and colleagues, during a thanksgiving Mass at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Ebute Metta, and a reception at Chevron Recreation Centre, Gbagada. NNEKA NWANERI reports.


T was a day for Rose Imoudu to thank God for clocking ‘50. A thanksgiving Mass was held at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Ebute Metta Parish, where she is an active member. Fondly called Rose by her friends and well-wishers, Mrs Imoudu is a tax consultant with Ijewere and Co. Virtually all her professional colleagues came to celebrate with her. The first reading of the day was taken from Isaiah 40 : 1-5 and 9-11, while the second reading was from Mark 8:1-8. In his homily Rev Fr Francis Raji, admonished Christians to prepare the way for the coming of Christ and use the season of Advent to reconcile with Jesus, the Messiah. The cleric congratulated the celebrator for joining the golden age grade of more than 50 but less than 60. After the Mass, guests moved to Chevron Recreation Centre Gbagada, for the reception. The distance did not deter them from being present at the event. They were also not disappointed at the reception that awaited them at the tastefully decorated hall. The chair and table overlays were decorated in the same colour. Everyone looked gorgeous in his uniformed red head gears. Some wondered how she was able to pull two busy Catholic Priests, Rev Fr Anthony Oriha and Rev Fr Raji and Rev Sisters Josephine and Florence Osho to her birthday party. The ‘birthday girl’ looked splendid and

•Mr Ijewere

•The celebrator flanked by her children from left Emmanuel, Agatha,John and Agnes

•Rev Fr Anthony Orioha(left) and Rev Fr Raji

was joyful. She was decked in a cream Iro and Buba and a brown head gear to match. She spoke on how happy she was on attaining the golden age. “Today is one of the joyous days I have had since I was born. It has not been easy. I thank God I’m a winner,” she said. The mother of four ascribed her

strength to Christ and His mother, Mary, who she has adopted as a role model. She spoke of some of the challenges she has faced. “I married early as soon as I left secondary school at Jubril Martins Memorial Grammar School and stopped having children at the age of 29; she disclosed. The Bachelor of Science in Computer graduate could not

contain her joy as she danced gracefully to some old classical music to the delight of all. Accolades came pouring on how she has, in one way or the other, touched their lives positively. First to speak was her boss, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, who said that in all the 21 years she worked for him, he has always known her as a humble, diligent, loyal and faithful worker. “Rev Ogunmodede was my classmate and gave her a note to give me 21 years ago, requesting that I assist her secure a job. Rose is one who is never in a hurry to say anything and says what she can in due course. By the time she finished telling me of herself, I was privileged to have that kind of girl work with me,” he said. He described the day as special because of the importance his family attached to the celebrator. He talked of how religious she is, never missing her daily masses and reminding friends of the 12pm Station of the Cross prayer. “She stands out and never rejects any assignment assigned her. Rose, I thank you for the 21 years of loyalty, faithfulness and support,” Ijewere said. Her first son, Emmanuel, described his mother as wonderful and caring. “She’s the best thing in my life. No woman can be compared to her. I want her to have many more years… a 100-year minimum so that she will always be around.” Her youngest sister, Monica, spoke of how she unites the family as the eldest. “She does not believe in setbacks. She is generous and believes in the adage, when you fall, you rise again. Focus and efforts are her watchwords,” she said.





‘Why I joined robbery gang’ Stories by Titilayo Banjoko

•The suspect, Adekunle


N ALLEGED member of a notorious robbery gang, Kazeem Adekunle, has been arrested by the police in Ogun

State. Adekunle was caught after he and other members of his gang still at large, were said

to have raided the house of a businessman at Awoniyi Street, in the Ijebu-Ode area of the state. According to investigations, the suspected robbers made away with a Toyota Camry saloon car, with registration number GN 875 EKY, N230, 000, two mobile phones and other valuables from the victims after raiding their home on October 11, 2011. But a few hours after the robbery, one of the occupants of the house was said to have contacted the police, who immediately headed for the location. Sources said the siren of the police vehicle scared the robbers who took to their heels while Adekunle drove the vehicle to the assigned destination waiting for the arrival of his gang. The police immediately laid ambush for the robbers. Adekunle was nabbed at Folagbade Street where he was intercepted with the stolen car and other valuables in it. He is being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweran

Abeokuta Ogun State. Parading the suspect, Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Nicholas Nkemdeme, said the stolen car was returned to its owners on bond. Adekunle, 28, who confessed to committing the crime, spoke with Newsextra last week. The robbery suspect blamed his actions on poverty, even as he claimed that he and his gang were in Ijebu-Ode on a revenge mission over the death of some of their members in the hands of a rival group before they were arrested. Adekunle, however, admitted that the Toyota Camry car was indeed snatched by them, but was meant to be used for their escape. He said: “I was arrested at Ijebu- Ode where I had gone with other members of Eiye Confraternity on a reinforcement mission to avenge the killing of one of our members in Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode and others. The rival group, called Black Axe had killed 10 of our members, so our members in Ijebu-Ode called for help and that was why we were there. Continuing, he said: “We were more bothered because the Black Axe group killed one

Court rules against unlawful detention N Ogun State High Court in Ota has declared the detention of a community leader, Prince Sadiru Obalanlege, over an alleged forgery as illegal. Obalanlege was detained in Sango Ota Police Post in March 2011 based on an allegation of forgery made against him by one Mr Dayo Olusanya. Newsextra learnt that there was a land dispute in court between Obalanlege and others , on the one hand, and one Jimoh Asuni & 4 others including Olusanya, involving 318 acres of land.There was a consent judgement over the case on August 11,2009. Olusanya’s counsel, Mr Oyewale Freeman, however challenged the terms of settlement, saying his client was never a party to any settlement and that his purported signing of the Terms of Settlement in respect of the suit No


HCT/277/03 leading to the judgement of August 11,2009 was false. Olusanya had written a petition to the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Zone 2, Lagos of forgery of his signature on the case which led to the unlawful arrest and detention of Obalanlege. Counsel to Obalanlege, Mr Iheanacho prayed the court to declare the detention of his client between March 4-7, 2011 in respect of a Terms of Setlement adopted as consent judgement in suit No HCT/273/10—Otunba Obadiah Bankole and Ors Vs Prince Sadiru Obalanlege and 9 Ors as wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional. He argued it was an infringement on his clients’ right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and right to the dignity of human person guaranteed under the Constituion of

the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 Delivering the judgement, Justice Babawale said : “It is hereby declared that the arrest and detention of Prince Sadiru Obalanlege between March 4-7, 2011 in respect of a Terms of Settlement adopted as consent judgment in suit No HCT/277/03Prince Prince Sadiru Obalanlege Vs Jimoh Asuni &Others and which terms of settlement is still the subject of litigation in suit no HCT/273/010- Otunba Obadiah Bankole & Ors Vs Prince Sadiru Obalanlege and 9ors is wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional, being an infringement of the applicant’s right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and right to the dignity of human person guaranteed under the Constituion of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999.”

of our notable members, ‘Stone’, and so we had to move in to rescue others from being killed. I left Ikorodu on Monday, October 10, 2011 for Ijebu-Ode to join my colleagues. At the end of the encounter the rival group, Black Axe also, lost three of their members. We struck between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. “The clash in the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) and Ijebu- Ode town was bloody and it was the quick response of the policemen to the scene that saved the situation from getting out of control. I was able to escape, with other members of our group to an unknown location in the Ijebu-Ode town because I do not live in Ogun State. I later got to know the area is called Folagbade, and we were there till the following day. It was the following day that we wanted to leave that we were stopped by members of the vigilance group in the area. We were arrested and subsequently handed over to the police at Igbeba Division.” Asked about the role he played in the robbery operation, Adekunle continued: “We just seized the opportunity to rob the victim of the car. It was intended to be used as a shield and escape from the area because we were being hunted by the police. I was the only one arrested, while others had escaped.” But a police source claimed Adekunle is a notorious robber who not only robs in Ogun, but also in other states including Oyo, Osun and Ondo. He went on: “I completed my National Diploma at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) but could not further my education to the Higher National Diploma level at the institution because I was a strong member of the dreaded Eiye Confraternity cult. I became a robber because I couldn’t further my education. I joined a notorious gang of robbers.” Nkemdeme however, stated that the arrested suspect would be charged to court as soon as investigation was completed on the matter. According to a police source, Adekunle’s robbery gang had become unbearable for the residents of Ogun State. According to Nkemdeme, his men had been on the lookout for members of the notorious gang for some time now as they had been behind various armed robberies in Ijebu-Ode and its environs for some time now.

Four held for alleged robbery •Cleric ambushed


OUR robbery suspects are being held by the police in Ogun State for allegedly ambushing a cleric, Pastor Ishola Jesudimimu, and later dispossessing him of N50, 000 at gun point. The suspects, Fatimo Fasasi, Folusho Ojetoye, Akeem Oyebanji and Azeez Bello, whos ages range from 19 to 27, were among 25 other suspects paraded at the Ogun State Police Headquarters Eleweran, Abeokuta, Tuesday last week for various offences. “When I said I had no money on me and I wanted to celebrate my child’s naming ceremony, Femi brought the idea that he knew there was money on the pastor,” Azeez Bello, one of the suspects said. Continuing, he said: “So, we waylaid the pastor as he was coming from the church that evening. We used a toy gun to scare him and collected the N50, 000 on him.” Azeez also told the police that the robbery occurred four months ago at Ijori Village, Ipokia Local Government Area in Ogun State. Mr Nicholas Nkemedem, the Ogun State Commissioner of Police confirmed the robbery to journalists as he paraded 25 other suspects held for crimes ranging from murder, robbery and human trafficking at the police station. On how the N50, 000 stolen from the pastor was shared, Oyebanji, who admitted to have led the assault on the ‘Man of God’ said Femi only gave him N2,000 out of the loot. Two others also told Newsextra that they were handed paltry sums ranging from N2, 000 to N4, 000 by Femi for their trou-

•The suspects

bles. Fatimo Fasasi, a nursing mother, was arrested in Femi’s place as the latter, an electrician, is still at large. Fasasi told newsmen that they were all handpicked by the police when the victim, Jesudimimu, went about the task of identifying his assailants one after the other at their various homes.

When I said I had no money on me and I wanted to celebrate my child’s naming ceremony, Femi brought the idea that he knew there was money on the pastor...So we waylaid the pastor as he was coming from the church that evening. We used a toy gun to scare him and collected the N50, 000 on him




Celebrating a community’s heritage


•Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Okikiola Esuwoye II

N a bid to generate revenue and to create job opportunities for the people of Offa, the Olofa of Offa and Offa Descendants Union are set to promote the Ijakadi Day which will take place from the 26th to the 29th of December 2011. Oba Gbadamosi stated his reasons for being so passionate about the festival and the reasons for his firm support of the festival. “The festival is no doubt a veritable source to further open Offa town to visitors and investment opportunities in order to empower the people. Ijakadi which means traditional wrestling is a socio-cultural festival, celebrated to rally tourism support for the town.”

Offa people, are known with the appellation, Ijakadi Loro Offa, a Yoruba phrase meaning “wrestling is our game,” He said this was a major reason the leadership of the town are rallying efforts to keep the heritage alive by inventing newer activities to make it more attractive and big-

ger. “The ancient tradition for which the town is known is wrestling. Right now, we have in the offing, a programme that will provide the people a platform to showcase the entire cultural heritage to the outside world. What we are looking at is doing some-

The ancient tradition for which the town is known is wrestling. Right now, we have in the offing, a programme that will provide the people a platform to showcase the entire cultural heritage to the outside world

thing that would not only sustain the cultural lifestyles of our people, but would also boost tourism and increase earnings accruing to both the state and the people”, said Gbadamosi. Some of the activities for the three day event includes, a road show parading the five districts of Offa in their colours, The Arewa Offa beauty pageant, a competition in search of the traditional Offa woman, a food expo: an exposition of different dishes and produce of the Sweet Potato(Offa’s main food produce), and of course The Ijakadi (Traditional Wrestling) which will start at the district level with a Grand Finale on the final day. The high point will be a wrestling match between His Royal Majesty, the Olofa of Offa and The Essa of Offa.

Nigerian manufactures dredging machines


OST contemporary large going concerns started in small scales. But for a firm to become a big player in the growth and development of the country’s economy, hard work and determination are required on the part of those who established it. Again, the will to excel in any field of endeavour largely depends on the individual’s aspiration and strength of mind. So it is in the business of manufacturing a dredging machine. Dredging machines or dredgers are specially manufactured equipment that pumps sand either from the sea, lagoons or rivers to the upland for purposes of building or land reclamation. Depending on its size and capacity, a lot of money is involved in procuring a dredger in Nigeria. It costs between N100m and N150m. Very few individuals, corporate bodies or institutions have the resources to procure modern day dredgers which are mostly imported. This indicates that these institutions spend huge sums of money in foreign exchange to purchase this equipment. However, there is a glimmer of hope for many Nigerians who are in dire need of dredgers to cater for their sand needs. This so because a Nigerian engineer, Mr Midum Williams from Bayelsa State has been in the forefront of easing the cumbersomeness involved in procuring this equipment. Mr Williams, who is in his mid30s, began his career in 1993 with a dredging from where he learnt the rudiments of hydraulic engineering. With his acquisition of the necessary skills in the manufacture of dredgers, Mr Williams, in a small confine within Badagry Lagos, has established his own firm known as Midrest Dredgers where he manufactures high quality dredging

•Mr Williams and some of his workers displaying one of the dredging machines By Chinaka Okoro

equipment. He has built and supplied five dredgers to buyers while the sixth is at finishing stage. It is heart-warming to note that all materials he deploys in the manufacture of these dredgers are sourced locally. Yet, his dredgers meet international standards. Working hard with a handful of Nigerian youths specially trained as welders, Mr Williams is currently about to finish his sixth

dredger which weighs about 18 tons. The good news is that contrary to the high cost of foreignmade dredgers, Mr Williams’ dredgers cost far less than those manufactured abroad. In a chat with Newsextra, Mr Williams said a dredger is a very strong engine mounted with pumps and floaters to protect the engine from water. Again, it has a control room which stands out and houses the operator who monitors the activities with the aid of special indicator that reveals what goes on beneath

the water and outside. The dredger is also fitted with pressure gauges that enable the operator to be aware of the difference between the quantity of sand being sucked by the drilling machine and the quantity of sand actually supplied. On how long it takes to produce a dredger, Mr Williams said: “Though the task of building dredgers may be cumbersome, it takes two months to complete an 18 ton dredging machine if the materials and finances are readily available.” He disclosed that his company has

the capability to manufacture dredgers for export, even though he lamented that lack of funds discourages his urge to break into the international market. He further said that he had not received any financial assistance from any individual, group or financial institution. He therefore appealed to government to be of financial assistance to him to enable him to massproduce the equipment for export. This, he said, would earn Nigeria the needed foreign exchange.

Ekiti Central ACN candidate begins campaign


HE Chairmanship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Hon Sunday Ibitoye, has flagged off his campaign for the chairmanship slot of Ado-Ekiti Local Government. Hon. Ibitoye, who contested the primary for the local government chair with three others and won in a landslide victory, resigned his position as Caretaker Chairman of the local government on October 30 Kicking off the campaign at his Situation Office at Ojido, Ibitoye who thanked the state governor and his deputy for the opportunity to serve the local government as caretaker chair, promised to live up to

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

his billing if voted into power. He said: “Today marks the formal flag-off ceremony of my ambition to become the Executive Chairman, Ado-Ekiti Local Government Council, invariably it marks the genesis of another impactful session and better times for the people of Ado-Ekiti” He noted that his administration as Caretaker Chair in the local government was marked by peace, progress and unity among all sections of the community, including government officials and traditional institutions.

The chairmanship hopeful, who recalled many achievements of his administration which complemented current administration’s eight-point development agenda promised to continue the stride of progress and development if voted. He mentioned projects like the completion of seven primary schools, a maternity centre, payment of bursary to indigenes of the local government in various tertiary institutions. “My administration has also flagged off mass grading of township roads in early October with a vision to grade all roads before the end of December. We have acquired 1000 hectares of land for cassava

plantation and commenced poultry farm stocked with 1000 birds, among several other achievements. Declaring “a vision to achieve greater social, political, and economic advancement” and “a mission of good governance, service delivery and accountability”, Ibitoye stated that his administration shall seek to complement Governor Fayemi’s developmental strides. Many party chieftains including Ekiti State Chairman, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Ganiyu Olowoyo; Chairman, AdoEkiti CAN, Chief Aladetoyinbo; State Public Relations Officer of the Party, Mr. Omiyale, E.G. attended the ceremony.

•Hon Ibitoye



We have perfected plans to get talented men and women from the rural areas through this type of competition and we shall make sure that the best of them are brought together to form state team. I urge the organisers of this competition to get us the names of the outstanding performers in this competition so that they will be part of the state team

Lawmaker promotes unity among communities


or the member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Afam Ogene life is all about service. During his election campaign, he had promised members of his constituency quality representation. The headquarters of the council area at Atani was a beehive of activities recently as the lawmaker flagged off the Unity Cup which he also promised during his campaigns. In attendance were other legislators from the state. They included Hon. Uche Ekwunife, member representing Onitsha North/South Federal Constituency, Chief Cyril Egwuatu and his Nnewi North/ South, Ekwusigo Federal Constituency, Hon Chris Azubogu and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Chinwe Nwebili. Governor Peter Obi was represented by his Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Chinwe Anowai. Also in attendance was the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters Dubem Obaze who hails from the community and monarchs from the area, among others. Before the official kick off of the competition, Ogene maintained that sports were one of the ways to foster unity among the people. Hon. Ogene also maintained that apart from fostering peace and unity, the competition will be a showcase for discovering new talents that would save the country’s dwindling football fortunes. Addressing his constituents at Atani Central School in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, the member who is the Vice-Chairman, House Committee on Information said that he was encouraged to organise the competition in order to discover more sports men and women. He said: “The competition was organised to scout or search for talented sports men and women from my constituency who have the zeal

From Adimike George, Onitsha

and talent to excel in any sporting activity around the world but were either being hindered by lack of sponsors or equipment. On the need to make the competition an annual event, Hon. Ogene said that his office had been better informed that talents come from the local areas every time, noting that the event would be organised annually to encourage the youth to embrace sports instead of loitering the streets in search of jobs. “We have plans to make it an annual event because we know that in every community or village, there abound great talented men and women. But due to the fact that most of them lack sponsors, the talent dies with them. So, what we are doing today is to give them a platform to showcase those talents and we shall help them in every area possible. “Some people are naturally gifted as footballers but when they don’t find sponsors, the talent dies with them. Then, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Now that they are here engaged in football for the next one month, I can bet you, none of these players involved in this competition will be involved in any atrocious activities,” he said. Ogene disclosed that at the end of the competition, the winners will smile away with N250, 000, the second position will go home withN150, 000 and the third position will go with N100, 000. He also awarded scholarship up to university level to one little Miss Chinenye Nwaigu for reading the welcome address on behalf of the organising committee. Earlier in an address signed by Francis Ojini and Osigwe Chimezie, chairman and secretary of the organising committee respectively, the organisers described the day as memorable in terms of sports development in the area, pointing out that the aim of the competition was

•Ogene and Egwuatu to empower the youth and develop love among the communities. In her remarks, the leader of the Anambra State National Assembly caucus and member representing Aniocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife described the competition as timely and urged the sponsor to make sure it is sustained. Mrs. Ekwunife, who led other members of the National Assembly from Anambra State to the event equally expressed her dissatisfaction over the dwindling fortunes of sports in Nigeria and called on other members of the National and State Assemblies to emulate Hon. Afam Ogene. “It is a master stroke. You can see he is barely few months old in the National Assembly and he is already using the little money he is being paid to organise this big com-

petition. I can bet you that with time, he is going to expand the competition from constituency level to state and even national level because he has the will,” she said. She however disclosed that all the members of the National Assembly from Anambra State have decided to put the interest of the people of the state whom they are representing first before every political and individual differences. “We are working together. We are working like a family especially members from Anambra State. There is no division. You will not even know that all of us are not from the same political party. Anambra State is our interest as well as Southeast and Nigeria at large,” she said. Also speaking, Governor Peter Obi who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for

Sports, Mrs. Chinwe Anowai said that the administration in the state has perfected plans to identify talented sports men and women from the state. According to her, the government has, through its grassroots sports, plans to search for talented men and women who will represent the state in all sporting activities within and outside the state. “We have perfected plans to get talented men and women from the rural areas through this type of competition and we shall make sure that the best of them are brought together to form state team. I urge the organisers of this competition to get us the names of the outstanding performers in this competition so that they will be part of the state team,” she said.

Council chief clarifies issues on empowerment By Bode Monogbe

•Hon Adeleye


N appeal has gone to media practitioners to exercise caution and a high degree of professionalism in the discharge of their duties. They have also been urged to practise their profession in a manner that will ensure peace and harmony in the society. Chairman, Transition Committee, Remo North Local Government, Hon. Adebiyi Adeleye made this appeal while reacting to a statement credited to him in a national

daily recently. A press statement signed by the Council’s Director of Information, Mr. Oloyede Oyeniyi quoted the council chief as saying that most of the statements credited to him, were either incorrect or inaccurateas he believed he had been largely quoted out of context. He said: “What I said was that on a typical day, I received up to 200 people or less early in the morning in my home who because of their implicit confidence in me, accessibility and cordiality, came to discuss one issue or another either about themselves or how to move the local government forward. There was no time during the interview where I mentioned that those people came for financial assistance. “Quite importantly, it is necessary to put the record straight. When the reporter asked me whether my brief sojourn in the United States of America will not alienate me from my people, I replied that my brief sojourn in the United States of America will not make any significant difference because I used to come home every year, stay for

some months with my people, interact with them, listen to their problems, identify with their hopes, yearnings and aspirations, and put smiles on the faces of the people I am living with. ”It was because they saw me as a trusted and reliable confidant they voluntarily mooted the idea of my representing them at the Ogun State House of Assembly in 2010. It was easy for them to persuade me to come and serve them because I was always with them and I was actively and practically involved in the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections. As a matter of fact, I joined other progressively-minded politicians to visit all the nook and cranny

of the local government to campaign vigorously.” On the free surgical programme for the people and the empowerment of the youth and the less privileged people, I did not say I used my personal money. For the purposes of clarity, what I said was that “left for me, because of my genuine desire to provide succour for the needy and restore hope to the hopeless, I wanted to use my personal money to fund these two important programmes, but I was persuaded against doing so by the top career functionaries of the local government who put up a superior argument that the two programmes were better funded by the council.

What I said was that on a typical day, I received up to 200 people or less early in the morning in my home who because of their implicit confidence in me, accessibility and cordiality, came to discuss one issue or another either on themselves or how to move the local government forward

This is because, the local government exists to take care of the welfare of the constituents and that the two programmes were in consonance with the social responsibility of the local government to the people. In effect, at no time did I deride my people as being povertystricken or impoverished. The Remo North Local Government boss was full of gratitude to the press for the positive image they have projected for the Transition Committee of the local government since its assumption of office a few months ago. He urged them to always endeavour to emphasise the cord of unity that binds the people of the council area together. Hon. Adebiyi described the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun as a selfless and charismatic leader whose numerous contributions to the nation’s development in general and the state in particular cannot be forgotten. He prayed that God would continue to strengthen the governor and his team so that the great achievements going on in the state would continue. This will make Ogun State be what its founding fathers wished.











Sokoto 2012: The plot thickens Three months to the 2012 governorship election in Sokoto State, the scramble for the state number-one seat has taken a new twist, especially within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following recent development that seems to favour Governor Aliyu Wamakko. There are plots and counter plots. Correspondent ADAMU SULEIMAN captures the scenario.


S internal democracy, princi ples and consistency have be come scarcein the Sokoto governorship tussle within the ruling party in the state, tension, anxiety and fear appear to have boosted Governor Aliyu Wamakko’s political interest. Senator Idris Gada, an influential political force in the state, is still convinced that the strength of his opposition against Wamakko is unshaken. He determined to soldier on in a bid to achieve change in the state. Wamakko’s political train has hit the highway and thus, is unstoppable. His hope presumably hinges on the overwhelming support his aspiration has received from other states governed by PDP especially in the North. Despite that, he has been campaigning vigorously, perhaps more than other aspirants. The incumbent’s effort at contributing to consolidation of the party’s profile in the April presidential poll in the state, thus giving President Jonathan above the minimum requirement of 25 per cent needed by him in the state may also work for him. Little is being heard about Senator Gada and his supporters since Wamakko’s return from Abuja last week, preparatory to the December 9th screening ahead of the party’s primaries slated for December 17. Notwithstanding the fact that the political psychology of individuals and groups in Sokoto is about personality and not the party, sources pointed out that the path seems brighter for the incumbent governor whose strategists have been up and doing since his return. “The issue is that the people of Sokoto are after personality and not party and indeed, that personality, for now, is Aliyu,’’ a source declared. Also, the wind of stiff opposition within the ruling party in the state, particularly among the old folks Mai Tagumi - seems to be waning. The Mai Tagumi had for long opposed Wamakko’s continuity for what they described as marginalisation, neglect and outright denial of rights and privileges as enshrined in the party’s constitution, a stain being reviewed against his ambition at different fora. It was a spectacle when voices of Wamakko’s supporters that cut across sexes and ages chanted solidarity songs in support of the governor in a motorcade that drove from the Sultan Abubakar International Airport, Sokoto to Government House. Former Sports Minister Yusuf Suleiman who last week joined the race has submitted his form at the party’s headquarters. He is said to have coordinated well with other against the governors.

ACN joins the fray Caught in the plot the state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) described former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa’s recent statement against the party as

right-thinking person from the state that has the capacity to lead, no matter how popular or not, needs to join hands with us to achieve results by exploring the potentials of the state.’’ Also, he was once quoted as saying: “I know my competence and skills as well as what I can bring on to develop the state. I am sure we can make the state a model by Allah’s grace. Sokoto State people should rally round our direction and work for development’’

The Jonathan connection

• Wamakko

dubious, given the fact that the former Sokoto State governor was deficient in some of the requirements by the party and found it difficult to measure up with the enlightened, educated and industrious members of the party. Before now, Alhaji Isah Bajini Galadanci was the party’s standard flag bearer for the 2012 election. The Bafarawa’s ardent political loyalists are said to have dumped the party to join forces with his mentor. However, in a release signed and issued by the party’s Assistant Secretary, Alhaji Muhammadu Abdullahi, ACN maintained that the party was not surprised at Bafarawa’s action, adding: “He is a novice and his decision to go back to ANPP is nothing better than to return to the drawing board and learn the ropes from people like Sani Yeriman Bakura.” Abdullahi stressed that the party was intact, while he maintained: “We will like to dissociate ourselves from the statement credited to the former state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma, that all the leaders of ACN had denounced their membership of the party.” Bafarawa’s choice of his former political front, ANPP as last resort aimed at unleashing opposition against Wamakko in the caliphate is said to be faced with some hiccups as the party fervently enjoys the consistency of former Governor Sani Ahmed which by extension, is a long term ally of the current Sokoto state governor. Bakura is equally portrayed as leader of the party even as the political score sheet of the one-time second largest party has dropped dramatically with the party currently controlling three states Borno, Yobe and Zamfara. The fear of accommodating Bafarawa in the ANPP may subject him to serious scrutiny if he is not rejected for his past antics and

• Sulaiman

failed romance with ACN after putting DPP in the trash pot. Dahiru Yusuf Yabo, a former Water Resources Commissioner, is said to be warming up for the ANPP ticket after bidding bye to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for being denied political legitimacy to contest in the 2011 party primaries. Although, sources abreast of his political activities said he had conditioned his aspiration on the platform of ANPP in order to align his forces with his former boss. Either way, Suleiman, may not find it easy in view of the growing support being enjoyed by Wamakko in the caliphate. His ambition, may be threatened by the fact that Gada is becoming accepted in the Easter zone which is the home base of the former minister, too. But the ex-Minister believes that the state will prosper under someone like him, adding: “I think any

Only last week, Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido visited Wamakko in Sokoto reportedly to deliver what he described as a special message of support for his candidature from President Goodluck Jonathan, the party and governors, especially those of the North-West zone. Lamido, while delivering the message, was said to have maintained that “there is no space for anyone to penetrate the party’s principles and procedures for consistency and sustainability. “I am here to deliver to you a special message of support and goodwill from the president, party and your counterparts across the country and the North-West Zone that we are solely behind your candidature. You have done well to consistently put the party on sound footing in the state by consolidating a number of achievements in politics and development of people of Sokoto State. We are proud of your profile and commitment.” He added: “So, my brother, I bring you goodwill, felicitation and well-wishes of Mr. President, our party, PDP and your colleagues, particularly those from the North-West zone. To us, Aliyu Wamakko is the governor of this state because you have been doing very well. We adore you, we cherish you and we believe in you.” Responding, Wamakko said he had never doubted President Jonathan’s support for his candidature, saying: “I know Mr. President and I have been relating with him right from the time he was the deputy governor of his state. I know him as a man of peace and integrity who always

loves the progress of this country. I always tell my supporters not to panic over those speculations. “Therefore, on behalf of my person and the entire people of Sokoto State, we want you to convey our sincere gratitude to Mr. President, leaders of our great party, PDP and my colleagues for their sustained support. I am assuring you that I will never fail you.” However, it was said that the president’s Special Adviser on Political Matters had denied the message that Lamido credited to Jonathan. “Governor Lamido is a politician and he has the right to say his mind and opinion. The president is not backing or supporting anyone as far as Sokoto politics is concerned,’’ he was quoted to have said. However, compelled to sway the unfolding political scenario in the caliphate in favour of Wamakko, a socio-political group, Alun Nan Dai (that choice, Aliyu), has reacted to statements by Senator Gada. In an interview, the chairman of the group, Squadron Leader Aminu Bala Sokoto (Rtd) described the aspirants, Mahe Dange, Abubakar Babangida, Aliyu Dikko and others as disgruntled politicians whose grouse was hinged on the fact that they were rejected by their people at the 2011 primaries. According to Sokoto, their antics would not see the light of the day in view of their pedigree in the last eight years which threw PDP into extinction and failed to return a single seat for the party in subsequent elections after 1999. The landmark achievements recorded by the Wamakko administration, the group chair enumerated, has significantly changed the socio-economic status of people in the state in many directions, especially in the areas of provision of water, electricity, healthcare services, transportation, agriculture, roads, education and commerce. Whichever way the political pendulum will finally swing in the state will depend on what happens in a matter of weeks in the state and Abuja.

• From left: Dr Alex Otti, Governor Theordore Orji, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Dr Chidi Amuta at the Abia PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID Think Tank 5th Annual Forum and Dinner at the Sheraton Hotels and Tower, Ikeja.










OR a sensible educated person, there is no permanent place of rest while alive; so, keep moving and migrate from place to place to further garner experience” Going by the above quoted poem rendered by an Arab poet, ‘The Message’ today chooses to migrate from the insanity of Nigeria’s political rigmarole to the global political tempest if only for a change. After all, elasticity has its own limit. And by so doing, some relief might come to readers of this column about the economic heat being heartlessly generated by the so-called rulers of this country. Al-Jazeera Cable Network throbbed with a breaking news last weekend, that a United States military aircraft strayed into the airspace of Iran and the latter promptly responded by shooting it down. This has further aggravated the tension between both countries which started in 1979 with the Iranian revolution that uprooted that country’s imperial despotism which had caged the people for decades. In reaction, the US authorities explained that the destination of the shot aircraft was Afghanistan but its pilots lost control and strayed into Iranian territory. Shortly before that incident, Some Iranian students had besieged the British Embassy in Tehran protesting the meddling of David Cameron’s government in the internal affairs of Iran. And in retaliation, Britain quickly evacuated her diplomats in Iran and sent the latter’s diplomats in London packing despite Iran’s regret over those students’ action. To further complicate the matter, the French government also issued a 48 hour ultimatum to Iranian Embassy to quit France. This was done in solidarity with Britain in the spirit of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Things have since been moving so fast that it has become difficult to predict what will happen next. Most diplomatic observers saw similarity between these and the unexpected occurrences of the early 20th century that precipitated both the World War I and the World War II. Their fear is a possible reoccurrence of those wars. Retrospectively, the genesis of the faceoff between the West and Iran took roots in the latter’s unexpected revolution of 1979 which shut the door against the West’s economic exploitation of that country. It will be 33 years in February 2012, since Iran jumped on to the world stage with a surprising revolution. February 11, 1979 was the climax of a struggle, in that country, which began in 1963 between the oppressed people seeking independence from the shackles of imperialism and the implacable oppressors wanting to keep that country’s innocent peasants in perpetual subservience. The success of that revolution has since changed the grand design of the Western powers for the Muslim world. That grand design was first expressed by a British Prime Minister, Sir H. Campbell Bennerman when he observed as follows: “There are people who control spacious territories teeming with manifest and hidden resources. They dominate the intersections of world routes. Their lands were the cradles of human civilisations and religions. These people have one faith, one language and the same aspirations. No natural barriers can isolate these people from one another….If, per chance, this nation were to be unified into one state, it would then take the face of the world into its hands and would separate Europe from the rest of the world. Taking these considerations seriously, a foreign body should be planted in the heart of this nation to prevent the convergence of its wings in such a way that it could exhaust its powers in never- ending wars. It could also serve as a spring board for the West to gain its coveted objects”. Sir Bennerman’s observation was in further pursuance of an earlier demand by Theodor Herzl, a leader of the Zionist movement founded in 1879. Herzl, an Austrian Jewish lawyer and journalist demanded: “Let sovereignty be granted us (Jews) over a portion of the globe large enough to satisfy the rightful requirements of a nation; the rest, we shall manage for ourselves…” In response to that demand, another British Prime Minister, James Arthur Balfour issued a devastating declaration that now bears his name. That declaration has since put the entire Middle East in an incessant 08051101861

Iran’s nuclear motive

• Iranian




turmoil. The declaration conceded a major part of Palestine to the Zionists as a home. The declaration read in part: “His majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use its best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this objective…. The rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country shall not be prejudiced by the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” To facilitate that objective effectively, some other Middle East countries had to be incapacitated economically and politically by excising from them, a juicy chunk of their lands. Thus, Lebanon was excised from Syria and Kuwait from Iraq. The strategy was to cause a dissention among the citizens of those countries with the intention of breaking the yoke of the Muslim unity which Bennerman had targeted in his infamous observation quoted above. How does Iran come into this when she is not an Arab Country? That is the logical question anybody would ask who is not quite familiar with the Middle East and the intricacies of its political and economic set up. Naturally, Iran is affected by three major factors: Politics, economy and culture. And by culture here, we mean ISLAM. Iran is a foremost Islamic Country even if her official language is not Arabic. And, as an Islamic Country, whatever affects other Muslim Countries must affect her. The case of Turkey is a good example. Turkey was not a mere Islamic Country but the seat of the Caliphate until 1923 when a diabolical agent of the West came on stage as Head of State. His name was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk; a man who wanted to prove to the West that it was possible to be “Holier than the Pope” especially when it came to adopting the so-called Western Civilisation. On March 3, 1924, just one year after assuming office as the ruler of Turkey, Ataturk introduced a bill to the Turkish Parliament seeking to secularise his country by abolishing the office of the caliph without any consideration for the feelings and sensitivity of the people he ruled. Presenting the bill, Ataturk said: “Ottoman Empire was built and existed on the principle of Islam. Islam is Arabic in character and concept. It shapes from birth to death, the lives of its adherents; it stifles hope and initiative. The Republic (of Turkey) is threatened by the continued existence of Islam in its midst….”

With the passage of that bill, Turkey was recognised as a secular state. Politics was separated from religion and Islam was relegated to a personal matter rather than the state religion that it used to be. The caliphate was abolished and Islamic law was abrogated. Ataturk borrowed the new Turkish civil law from Switzerland, the criminal law from Italy and the international law of trade from Germany. The Muslim personal law was harmonised with the European civil law. Religious instruction in public schools was prohibited. Purdah system was abolished and declared illegal. Co-education was introduced to schools. The use of Arabic alphabets was prohibited and replaced by the Latin Script. Adhan (the call to prayer) was no longer to be made in Arabic but in Turkish language while the national costume was changed to that of the Europeans even as the wearing of hat was made compulsory. What Ataturk did not do was to abrogate the tenets of Islam completely. Thus, by one man’s whim, Turkey lost her values and heritage of centuries in a bid to adopt the so called ‘modernity’ and ‘Western civilisation’. One can imagine what Islam would have become today if countries like Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan had adopted the same misfortune. It was this same situation that prompted the late Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatullah Ruhullah Mousavi Khomeini to embark on the liberation struggle in 1963 that ended up in a successful revolution in 1979. Unlike Ataturk, however, Imam Khomeini knew that the greatest virtue that could be lost in the life of man was culture. He knew that without a clear-cut culture man couldn’t be better than a beast. He knew that such values as law, education and religion, which guide man in his peregrinations on earth, are the attributes of culture. He knew that a nation, which surrenders its culture to that of another nation, has enslaved herself. And, he saw Islam, the culture of over one billion Muslims in the world at that time, as the target of the Western imperialist, which needed defence and protection. No one believed in 1979 that what started like a small political billow, engendered by the country’s unarmed Mullahs could grow into such a great magnitude of ‘earthquake’. By the time the foggy dust settled, a new Iran had emerged from the debris of the old. Against the wish and expectation of the capitalist West, the secular, monarchical Iran became an Islamic republic. The drama was quite electric. Characteristic of the West, all hands were on deck, at that time, to ensure that an Islamic republic did not succeed the tyrannical monarchy headed by the Shah Pahlavi, heavily backed up by the oppressive West. America was most active in that ambitious but vain effort. She would not easily allow the massive benefit she had been enjoying for years in that oil-rich country, under the Shah regime, to slip out of her hands just like that. Thus, under the pretext of wanting to rescue her citizens from the siege laid by Iranian students on that country’s embassy, in Tehran, the US attempted an invasion of the country. The espionage activities by the American diplomats, inside that embassy, against the new Islamic government in Iran had warranted the siege. While a number of US F15 bomber jets were approaching Iran, President Jimmy Carter engaged his country’s press in a chart without giving any hint of the impending military operation. The tactics was to divert the attention of the press and that of the country from the illegal

Mac 61

Pentagon’s military expedition. But no sane person can ever fault the contents of the Qur’an. More than 1395 years before that incident, a verse of the Qur’an had been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) thus: “They schemed, and Allah schemed. Allah is the supreme schemer”. Q. 3:54. Jimmy Carter’s thought was that by the time he would be finishing with the press the news would have reached him that America had successfully invaded Iran. He had therefore intended to announce the news of his ‘great’ successful scheme to the press. And that would have served as his impetus for wining that year’s election for a second term in office. But, as Allah would have it, instead of the expected news, what he got was a shocker of his life. Two of the F15 fighters deployed for the operation miraculously collided in the air just at the point of entering Iran crashing with their contents, and consuming the lives of 16 top air force officers while the other jet fighters had to turn back having run into confusion. When this devastating news reached Carter, it was too much to hide and it quickly became a public knowledge. Thus, the mighty America failed woefully, with her technology, in circumstances she has never been able to analyse and explain convincingly. With that scheme, it became obvious that Jimmy Carter of the Democrat Party had dug his own political grave. Of course, he lost the election to the cowboy turned Politician, (Ronald Reagan) of the Republican Party. For about 444 days (well over a year), the 52 American hostages remained under the siege of the Iranian students. It took highlevel diplomacy, through third party countries, to get them released. Yet, America was not done. She went ahead to freeze Iran’s foreign reserve of $80 billion in addition to imposition of economic sanctions with the intention of running that country’s economy aground. The only Iran’s offence in this case was to chart an independent political course that could liberate her from the manacles of the Western imperialism. Ever since, the relationship between America and Iran has remained icy. That relationship however, further deteriorated recently when Iran started a nuclear project with which to prop up her economy. America responded with a threat saying the United States would not tolerate any nuclear project in Iran because she could not trust that Islamic nation. And of course, America’s voice was re-echoed by the United Nations, through the mouth of the latter’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Only a fool will not know that the UN, as presently constituted, is the greyhound of the US through which the latter barks randomly at the rest of the world. But for the recent Iraqi episode that became regrettable for the self-appointed policeman of the world, and of course, the North Korean case, which has become a cancerous sore on the head of the US, another Gulf war would have been in plan by now. The secret of America’s military successes in various parts of the world is neither in technological advancement, nor military superiority per se. The failed rescue mission in Iran can confirm this. That secret is rather in her ability to cause schism among nations and races. Iran has never been a prey to America’s direct military aggression because she has never played a fool dancing to the sour music of that predatory country. Now, with the threat of invasion of Iran by Israel on the one hand and economic and political sanctions against her by the Western countries on the other, will history repeat itself? One fact has become clear about the US political trend ever since that country withdrew from her self-isolationism in 1945. Her internal politics has been regularly dictated by her foreign policy. Thus, many American Presidents have won or lost elections at home due to the foreign policy of the concerned President. Will this also repeat itself? The days ahead will answer these questions as events continue to unfold. But with the objection by China and Russia to any economic sanctions against Iran, the US and her allies will have to watch their steps carefully especially with respect to any planned invasion of Iran before embarking on a military action. Iran is neither Iraq nor Afghanistan. The world cannot afford another World War now. No one should attempt to plunge it into one.






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• Flowers and brilliant decorations always go with the yuletide.

Personalise that gift

The Yuletide is here again. Many see it as a time to get married. For others, it is time to just celebrate. Whatever it is, there are gifts to match the occasion and give guests a memorable experience. How? Just do it with personalised gifts. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes. •STORY ON PAGE 50

Preparing your home for Christmas Page 51

Personalise that gift

Page 50





T is that festive time of the year. Irrespective of hard times, it is generally a time for celebration for individuals and groups and a period of reunion for many families. Most people see Christmas as the major reason for the season; others see the ending of the year as a time to celebrate. Whatever it is, one thing is certain-there is merriment in the air; and lots of gifts to go with it. Many choose the season for their wedding. For instance, Nollywood actor, Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki), is slated to tie the knots tomorrow; The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, would celebrate the wedding of his youngest son on December 28 and former Miss Common Wealth, Vanessa Okeke would finally retire to holy matrimony on December 29. Many organisations hold award ceremonies and end-of-year parties during this period. Other events, which many hold are house warming, anniversaries, beach parties, picnics, get-together and family reunion, among others. Planning these events may appear tedious, but results in great fun. A wedding for instance, gives the bride and groom’s family a chance to bond and enjoy one another’s company. These gatherings are geared towards creating an atmosphere for unwinding, bonding and friendship. These occasions are almost incomplete without gifts going round. Practical favours are great gifts that your guest will not forget in a hurry. Choose a gift that matches your personality. Better still, personalise them. Go for exciting ideas that will help your event to be success.The right ones would be unforgettable in the minds of your guests. Whatever your budget, you can find stylish gifts to add distinction to your day. Here are some ideas.

Personalise that gift particularly suited to bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

Hanging giraffe cosmetic bag It is a safe bet that you would want to tote this giraffe print cosmetic bag to and from every safari and zoo trip you will ever take. This fetching bag sports mesh and clear pockets, so even from great heights you can find tiny items. This is ideal for picnics.

To my Mom on my wedding day A pretty thank-you card is just the thing for expressing your thanks to your mother. With hand-drawn calligraphy and vintage calligraphic details, it reads ‘To My Mom on my Wedding Day’ in chocolate brown ink on pale pink Italian paper.

Candid camera

Personalised sandalwood fan Personalised sandalwood fans do not only look pretty, but they will keep guests cool at a garden party. Sandalwood is naturally fragrant, so after the ceremony, these fans are good at scenting a drawer. The events programmes could be engraved on it.

Silk jewellery roll Any lady at your party would love a personally embroidered jewellery roll. It is a good travelling companion and jewellery can be tucked in it. The genuine silk rolls fold neatly to slip into a carry-on or purse, keeping baubles cushioned for the journey. If you are planning a wedding, it is a fanciful gift for your bridesmaids, especially on a destination wedding.

Heart link bracelet

selected ladies.

Personalised matchboxes Whichever theme you choose, matchboxes are perfect finishing touch for your reception. Fabulous design options allow you to create unique favours personalised with name, date and event.

Personalised votive candle Adorable in welcome baskets and equally chic on reception tables, candle favours are always stylish. They are good for birthdays, cocktail and wedding reception. Each glass votive cup contains a white poured candle and comes in a clear acetate gift box with a white satin bow. Your guests will glow with delight when you present these.

Celebration bubbles

A reception accessory as a little camera will fill the pages of your album with cool candid photographs taken by your guests. Your guests would enjoy the fun.

Pretty charm bracelets featuring weighty link chains with initial heart charms and the added bling of a rhinestone toggle bar clasp would make a desirable gift for

Pop the cork, blow some bubbles and let the celebration begin! With mini-champagne bottles filled with bubble mixture, your guests will have fun creating a sea of bubbles

• Cosmopolitan cocktail mix

• Celebration bubbles

• Hanging cosmetic bag

•Candid camera

• Shopping bags

Personalised signature frame The signature book is taking the wedding scene by storm. It features a print of a couple walking happily down the aisle. Guests can sign the 4" mat that surrounds the print. The print comes personalised with couple’s first names, wedding date and destination. The lettering could be in any colour of your choice such as red, blue, sage green, or white.

Crystal cake knife and server set This crystal cake knife and server set makes a good addition to any cake table at any reception, no matter the theme. The handles are constructed from gorgeous crystals placed in pretty silver-plated settings.

Classic toasting flutes These toasting glasses are simply sophisticated- no frills or nonsense. Make your mark on these elegant champagne flutes with personalisation of your name, event and date.

Cosmopolitan cocktail mix Ladies, you no longer need to use tang to make your mixed drinks taste better. Consider buying a cosmopolitan cocktail mix. It is a yummy rendition of the iconic cocktail,

•Personalised classic toasting flutes

Cashless banking: Customers seek funds safety


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been asked to explain the unclear aspect of cashless banking to customers before its take-off in January, next year. The customers also demanded to know how secured their money will be, citing fraud and hacking. Speaking on behalf of the consumers, the President, Consumers Advocacy Forum of Nigeria (CAFON), Ms Sola Salako, urged the CBN to clarify areas where there could be problem that would affect the take off of the policy. She listed concerns, such as ATM fraud, illiteracy, poor power supply and lack of awareness of the programe as some of the problems. She urged the CBN to critically look into these problems and others that could pose threat to the efficacy of the policy. In response, the representative of the CBN, Mr Chidi Umeano, stated that the apex bank was fully prepared to effectively start the operation of the cashless economy policy by next year.

The monthly Lagos Consumers Forum organised by the Consumer Advocacy Forum of Nigeria (CAFON) in conjunction with the Lagos Television has been held at the LTV Hall, Ikeja, Lagos. The take-off of the cashless banking proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was the subject of discussion. AMIDU ARIJE reports. He debunked the claim that illiteracy would mar the effectiveness of the policy, noting that the body was set to use the internet and mobile banking system. According to him, many Nigerians are used to the mobile system so he saw no difficulty in implementing the policy using the mobile system. He stated that the policy will start in January in Lagos only, while full operation nationwide will take off by June next year. He said the choice of Lagos as takeoff point was as a result of the economic prospects of the state. He highlighted the merits of the policy,

saying: “The benefit of the policy will be reduction in huge cost of printing materials; it will help to reduce the rate of robbery, make business transaction easier and bring transparency in business transaction.” He added that sensitisation campaign was ongoing in the informal sector of the economy to keep the market men and women abreast of the policy prior to its take off. On the challenges of the programme, Mr Tochukwu Onyuike, a Lawyer, said there would be higher risk of ATM fraud if the CBN failed to put effective machinery in

place. “Apart from ATM fraud, what we are having now is highly sophisticated internet fraud,” he said. He urged the bank to look critically into the programme before the commencement and called for the enactment of law by the National Assembly to back the policy. Umeano, while answering questions on penal fee, said the banks get the penal fees, but that the policy would be reviewed. He said the system would allow the use of cash, but would be minimal as no individual would be allowed to withdraw cash above N150, 000 while corporate individuals would not withdraw more than N1 million. He said any amount above the stipulated amount would attract penal charges. He added that consumers have the option of either using the internet or mobile banking to transact their business. He also disclosed that at least 11 mobile operators have been authorised for the mobile banking system in the country at inception.




Preparing for ‘Xmas Christmas is around the corner and touching up the home for the season could be fun and exciting. TONIA ‘DIYAN reports.


REPARING in advance is important, so get into the spirit of the Yuletide by decorating your home. While you are at it, remember to have a common Christmas theme around your home, in colours. Clean up and clear up spaces for your decorations. Detoxify over stuffed corners and put away things that gather dust. Start by accessing the area where you will place your Christmas tree and other decorations. Clean up your furniture and window blinds and make them ready for a Christmas makeover. The front door to the living room should be the centre of your decoration. This will invite people to your theme. Since your living area is where you receive people, it should get the most attention. Place flowers that remind you of Christmas all over the house whether they are fresh or artificial. Place Teddy bears and dolls all over your house, especially if you have children, they look like they are celebrating with you. You can either group them together or place them around your Christmas tree. It will be more fun if you can dress them in Christmas clothes. Decorate your doors and windows with colourful papers and lights. Christmas books can be placed on your side tables to commemorate favourite Christmas stories and entertain visitors; likewise picture frames and albums with last year’s Christmas pictures and even more vintage ones. Your dinning space should not be left out; use bright colours and name it ‘my Christ-

mas dinning set’ for this season. Bring out your best dinnerware because sharing meals with family, friends and guests is the centre of the festivities. If you do not have one, you can buy red set of plates to compliment the season. Red flowers, especially seasonal flowers, is nice for the table. Choose something neutral, but opulent. White flowers with silver, or cream with gold, or choose a peacock theme, with turquoise, purple and gold. Add peacock feathers to your flower arrangements for height, and decorate your table with the same jewel colours. You could also add candles and ornaments, such as cones, evergreens, or small fir tree branches. Get the best colourful Christmas napkins you can find, with Christmas bells and decorations drawn all over. Ribbons could easily be untied and retied to all sorts of items in your house, such as chairs, stair railing, flower basket handles and even door knots. You could even reuse the bows another yuletide season. Scented candles could be used to collaborate the mood. Adorn your trees and shrubs with lights if you have them in your compound. You could hang Christmas lights in your garden, balcony and compound. Not only do they look nice, they give out a lovely aroma to the entire home. Remember it is supposed to be fun. Keep it simple because easiness is elegant and beautiful.

• Christmas decoration.

• This love clock would make a beautiful decoration.

Shopping Right with

Shopping, dining, touring


OR decades, consumer motivation has been attributed to the shopping and tourism industry. More interests are being developed along these lines as means of promoting diverse cultures. Wherever you think about tourism, it is impossible not to talk about shopping because it is the selling point of not just tourism but every endeavour. Without the process of shopping to transfer an asset to its target benefactor, every one could as well remain an island. When people visit other countries or any tourist attraction, they always endeavour to buy things depicting their presence at such a place for a memorial. Many countries hold exhibitions to promote tourism and on display are products to JANICE NKOLI IFEME showcase their rich cultural heritage and economic development; such as the one held in Nigeria at the Eko Hotel recently. And during such events and indeed any happening, dining more than just ‘heads in beds.’ Several research studies will be presented at the conference to unis a must, as it is necessary for survival. And shopping? It is the great exchange. Many derscore the synergy between shopping, dining talk about other disciplines but refuse to think and cultural-heritage travel and how to market of shopping as a universal entity. It is the very to these lucrative visitors. At the conference, we soul of existence. People are beginning to ex- will be exploring and celebrating the best pracplore this important field of human endeavour tices in promoting these important travel secwhich is often treated as inconsequential but tors. The program, developed with input from nonetheless invaluably patronised by all. This our advisory committee of industry leaders, will is why the One Travel Conference on Shopping, focus on delivery through the power of partnerDining and Cultural Tourism coming up 15 to ships”. Executive Director 17 next month is apt. of the US Cultural and It is a power packed proTourism gram to promote experien‘And shopping? It is the great Heritage Marketing Council tial travel. Venue is the exchange. Many talk about and co-producer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel in Orlando, other disciplines but refuse to One Travel ConferSheila Florida. Organised by Shop think of shopping as a univer- ence, Armstrong said: “Our America Alliance, United sal entity. It is the very soul of goal is to continue to States (U.S.) Cultural and Heritage Tourism Marketexistence. People are begin- unify these powerful industry seging Council and the Culning to explore this important travel ments to speak with tural and Heritage Tourism field of human endeavour one voice on the imAlliance, it is being presented in partnership with which is often treated as in- portance of promotthese top travel Visit Orlando, Visit Florida consequential but nonethe- ing experiences. They are and American Express. less invaluably patronised by the key economic Keynote presenters, Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. all. This is why the One Travel drivers and job pro“The establishTravel Association; Helen Conference on Shopping, Din- viders, ment of the CorporaMarano, Executive Director, ing and Cultural Tourism tion for Travel PromoU.S. Department of Commerce/OTTI; Chris coming up 15 to 17 next month tion offers new and exciting national and inThompson, CEO of Visit is apt’ ternational marketing Florida and Gary Sain, opportunities. DelPresident and CEO of Visit egates, destination Orlando, will be joined by more than 35 influential presenters for execu- marketing organisations (DMOs), shopping, dintive level idea exchange and partnership devel- ing and cultural-heritage leaders along with international tourism partners will learn of new opment. In addition, the conference will present the opportunities to shape their future marketing iniSasi-One Awards for innovative marketing and tiatives.” Also, Director of Consumer Markets of the AtVIP Mobile Experiential Tours featuring shopping, dining and cultural destinations in the lanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Cultural & Heritage Tourism Alliance (C&HTA) Orlando area. Shopping, Dining and Cultural-Heritage Steering Committee Co-Chair, Jo Ann HadenTravel are consistently ranked as the top three Miller said: “The C&HTA is pleased to take a travel activities in the United States, according lead role in planning and promoting the conferto data tracked by the U.S. Department of Com- ence. “Our cultural and heritage partners are inmerce/Office of Travel and Tourism Industries dustry leaders who look forward to sharing their (OTTI) and the U.S. Travel Association.The theme expertise and best practices with this expanded of the conference is ‘Cooperation and Connec- audience and developing new partnerships.” President and CEO of Visit Orlando states, Gary tions’. With the recent establishment of the Corporation for Travel Promotion that is charged Sain noted: “We are pleased to welcome the One with increasing international inbound travel to Travel Conference to Orlando and to be a partthe U.S., along with the ongoing economic re- ner in the planning and promoting of this imcovery fueling domestic travel, it will focus on portant industry event. Orlando is internationaddressing the new opportunities for business ally known for its world class theme parks. development and growth for the travel industry. Hosting the conference is an opportunity for us “It is a win/win for all involved,” stated Rose- to showcase our wide array of superb shopping, mary McCormick, President of Shop America trend setting dining and rich collection of culAlliance and co-producer of the conference. “Ex- tural and heritage treasures that we also offer to periential travel is what consumers want today, visitors.”

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992






FIIRO, farmers partner


EDERAL Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), is collaborating with farmers to address food security challenges.

Initial exploratory talks, which had just been concluded, will be followed soon with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Group seeks PPP in Osun


•From left: Star prize winner, Abubakar Muhammed, his wife, Managing Director, Unilever Nig Plc, Mr Thabo Mabe, Brand Building Director, Unilever Nig Plc, Mr David Okeme and Category Manager, Savory, Mrs Nsima Ogedi-Alakwe, at the Royco celebration Season 2 prize presentation.

SON plans new building code


HE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is working on new building codes to check the incidence of collapsed buildings. The code will come into effect in June, next year. SON Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu made this known when he visited Haano Fisheries Nigeria Limited, a cold room which collapsed in Lagos a few weeks ago. He said there was need for a system that ensures that buildings are made to last for a specific period after which they must be re-certified or be brought down. “Also, somebody must be responsible for every building and it is that person that will re-certify the building after lasting for a specific period,” he added. As regards the collapsed cold room owned by Celetial Properties, Dr. Odumodu said that the problem was not as a result of d reenforcement bars but the design, the structural engineering and the building itself. He added that the reinforcement bars are of good quality but the concrete was not given enough time to cure before loading with additional reinforcement. He directed the company to stop sales, invite the Natural Agency for

Stories byToba Agboola

Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to re-certify the quality of the fishes for human consumption and remove the ones that have compromised quality. He also said that the building must be brought down totally. Speaking on behalf of Celetial Properties, the Safety and Security Manager, Mr. Osasu Kingsley said that Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) monitored the evacuation process so save lives. “Only four people were injured but they have been discharged from hospital,” he said. In a related event, Director-General ,Dr Odumodu has said the organisation is worried by the growing patronage of substandard products imported into the country. He said the patronage of these products has caused undue competition with foreign companies producing similar products as Nigerian firms. This he noted, which has led to closure of Nigerian industries, exacerbation of the unemployment situation, loss of revenue, waste of hard earned resources and loss of lives. Odumodu said most of the prod-

ucts find their ways into the country through the ports of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar, noting that these products also came in through Abuja and Kano. He said: “As a result of the renewed onslaught on importers of substandard products in Lagos and losses incurred by the personalities behind such acts, we discovered that some importers had diverted their operations to Port Harcourt, Calabar, Sokoto and Katsina.” He said that patronage of substandard products could lead to domestic and industrial accidents thereby leading to death. He said: “if much of these substandard products are motor vehicle parts, you can imagine how much of the accidents on our roads and indeed the loss of lives could be attributed to the patronage of substandard products.” Speaking on the efforts being made to curtail the substandard products finding their way into the country, Odumodu said: “I must say that in the battle against substandard products, we are dealing with highly organised and smart set of human beings. When you are faced with a group so smart, so desperate, you have no option as a regulator who wants to deliver on your mandate, to become smarter”

Industrialists bank on BoI, ministries for success


HE Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) is seeking the Bank of Industry (BoI), the Ministry of Trade and Investment and the Ministry of Agriculture to enable it impact on the economy. A statement from NASSI said it is taking steps that would give it access to finance, training and other benefits for it to operate effectively. NASSI President Chukwu Wachukwu said the association will also discuss with governors, commissioners for agriculture to harmonise key areas that will help the sector move forward. Wachukwu said to substantially grow the sector and economy, there must be renewed focus on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and small scale industrialists. The statement said NASSI has taken steps that would guarantee funding and attention for the sector. Besides, the NASSI leadership is canvassing the support of stakeholders to enable it achieve its

objective. “Last weekend, we paid a courtesy visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and requested that he becomes our Grand Patron. We are confident of getting a favourable response,” Wachukwu said. The former president, he said, started the association in 1978 and had advised NASSI leadership on the need to further drive the sector to a level where it can get further attention from ministries, departments and other government agencies. “We need to drive support for SMEs to a level where it is no longer paid leap service,” he said. He noted that Obasanjo said that it is the small firms that turned multinationals and that can only happen where the companies enjoy favourable policies and financial supports to drive their operations. He said that NASSI has moved from point of obscurity to relevance, and is ready to play its expected roles in the growth of the growth of the economy.

Wachukwu said government should take step to deepen the economy as such would bring multiple streams of income. “There should be emphasis on transformation, deepening with the economy. I would want to suggest that developing healthy small scale industries, encouraging the informal sector among other things to create wealth in the economy,” he said. He said NASSI is committed to ensuring that government creates enabling environment and infrastructure that would make it easier for SMEs to access loans from financial institutions without ease. According to him, since it has become difficult for several members of his group who do not have the right collateral to obtain loans, the association will going forward guarantee the credits for its members. He said that the problem of the real sector has been on policy implementation, insisting that whatever policies he set for his members to secure loans will be implemented.

OVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has been urged to consider Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiative as a driving force to enhance rapid transformation of the state. A non-political group, Osun Development Association (ODA) noted that the challenges facing the state are so enormous that it would require PPP to effectively move the socio-economic development of the state out of the woods. Chairman of the association, Prof. Olu Aina, who led the executive members of the association on a courtesy visit to the governor, said the association was ready to partner the government to achieve the development agenda fashioned out in the state. Aina noted that significant growth could be attained if the state concentrates its efforts on

areas of comparative advantage over other geographic entities within the federation. He listed such areas as education, agriculture, health, tourism and industry, adding that the plan by the state for restoration of qualitative education would be accelerated if the state considered unhindered private sector participation. His words: “A step in the right direction will be the return of private schools hitherto taken over by government to their previous owners under whose management the state recorded the acclaimed educational feat, which has stood the state in good stead.” He noted that Osun State could become a renowned destination for tourists due to the abundance of cultural and physical touristic assets through collaboration with private institutions in its development plans.

Consumers get cars


OYCO, one of the seasoning products of Unilever Nigeria Plc, has given away two KIA Picanto cars to a winners of the Royco Celebration Season 2. Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria PLc, Mr. Thabo Mabe, said the Royal Celebration Season 2, which ended with the presentation of the cars to began in June with events, such as the Royco Aroma Challenge and Door-to-Door activation. He said the idea of this challenge was to create a better family, community and country. “Every year, in driving the Royco brand, our focus has been on the emotional enjoyment that women derive by using the product be-

cause it not only gives their meals unique flavour and aroma, but it also brings the person that matters most beside her on the dining table, her husband. “And that is why this year’s celebration is no different. It is now bigger with more exciting gifts. Royco is giving away three brand new cars and lots of motor bikes to ensure husbands hurry home o their wives’ irresistible Royco meals. We fully support the joy every woman derives from marital bonding , and believe this need to be constantly celebrated by Royco. This is fully in line with our corporate mission, he said.

Entrepreneur bags award


LAGOS-based businessman and Managing Director, Sokka International, Mr Godwin Ezeemo has been recognised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, following his contributions to nation building and media development. Recognising the industrialist along with other prominent sons and daughters of the state, the leadership of Anambra State Council of the NUJ said they decided to recognise Ezeemo for his hard work and commitment towards creating job opportunities through his companies, the Union Haulage Nigeria Limited; Sokka International and Orient Magazine, which have employed over 50 Nige-

rians. The Council said the Anambraborn businessman is a firm believer in hard work, persistence, perseverance and diligence, adding that he is one of few Nigerians that have uncommon business visions and ability to grow petty businesses into conglomerates. “Unlike many of his contemporaries, who establish business today and expect to reap dividends tomorrow, Ezeemo is a rare breed, an attribute that has made him an uncommon businessman and has endeared him in the minds of many people. “Ezeemo has human meekness and kindness. This is why we decided to honour him with the award.

UAC promotes staff


AC of Nigeria Plc (UACN)has announced the promotion of Assistant Managers to full management position. The company, a leading food diversified company, operates a sound management development programme that upgrades the knowledge and skills of its managers for the challenges of running a modern business. The programme provides opportunities for employees on Assistant Management grade to broaden their competence and experience on various job functions before they are promoted to full management positions. The successful managers are Joseph Gyang Dung, Regional Manager, North East, and Pius Chomo Gyang, Regional Manger South East of Grand Cereals Limited; Mrs Adetilewa

Olajumoke Akinradewo, Quality Control Manager and Mrs Etatohwo TOS Anagafo, Customer service Manager, Projects of CAP PLC; Mrs Glory Okon Ekpenyong, Procurement and Planning Manager; Oyetola Oluwakemi Oyeyemi, Product development Support Manager, Terence Adeolu Openibo, Network and Systems Manager - of UAC Restaurants; kelechi Erondu Alaribe, Production Manager Snacks; Nnamdi Uchenna Nnadozie, Utility Manager; Mrs Eugenia Njideka Udenkwoe, Key Accounts/ Market Development Manager, Musa Umar Salihu, Field Sales Manager, North Central; Olusegun Akintunde Shogbesan, Field Sales Manager, West and Gbenga John Olawoye, Management Accountant, SWAN of UAC FOODS Limited.




ETI issues 2.49b shares to Oceanic Bank’s shareholders


C O B A N K Transnational In corporation (ETI) Plc consummated its acquisition of Oceanic Bank International with the listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of about 2.49 billion shares issued to acquire the bank. This has paved way for shareholders of defunct Oceanic Bank to trade on their investments. The listing increased ETI’s outstanding shares from 9.87 billion shares to 12.36 billion shares while market capitalisation of the bankholding company rose from N102.59 billion to N125.48 billion. ETI’s market consideration also gained 15 kobo to close at N10.15 per share in spite of the overtly negative overall market situation that saw the benchmark index down by 0.49 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI), which measures the pricing trend of all quoted companies, slipped to a low of 19,732.34 points as against its opening index of 19,829.29 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities meanwhile dropped by 0.08 per cent from N6.240 trillion to N6.235 trillion, partly compensated by the listing by ETI. With the continuing decline, the year-to-date returns at the stock market worsened to -20.34 per cent, indicating a whopping loss of N1.7 trillion.

• Market returns drop to-20.34% By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Guinness Nigeria topped the losers’ list with a loss of 175 kobo to close at N213.50. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria lost 124 kobo to close at N23.65. UACN Property Development Company dropped by 64 kobo to close at N12.16. Cadbury Nigeria slipped by 55 kobo to close at N10.50. Nigerian Breweries lost 54 kobo to close at N93.50. Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by 50 kobo to close at N62.50. Ashaka Cement dropped by 48 kobo to close at N12.70 while Stanbic IBTC Bank and Oando dropped by 34 kobo each to close at N6.56 and N23.90 respectively. On the upside, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) topped the few gainers with 23 kobo to close at N5.08. First City Monument Bank followed with a gain of 18 kobo to close at N3.96. United Bank for Africa added 9.0 kobo to close at N2.35 while RT Briscoe rose by 6.0 kobo to close at N1.28 per share. Total turnover increased to 208.6 million valued at N1.56 billion in 3,363 deals as against 234.2 million shares worth N1.14 billion

traded in 3,063 deals in previous trading session. Access Bank led the most actively traded stocks’ table by 37.24 million shares valued at N160.1 million in 134 deals. Market analysts however, maintained that the stock market has been heavily discounted by the continuing price decline, giving longtime investors opportunities to accumulate high yields over the long term. According to analysts at GTI Securities, more than 65 per cent of stocks on the NSE are now trading at highly discounted prices. Analysts noted that a closer look on performance of some of the quoted firms, especially their recent third quarter’s results revealed firmer performance against comparable periods of 2010. In spite of the stronger fundamentals, the market has lost 20.05 per cent so far this year, overwhelming the gain of 18.93 per cent returned in 2010. “This shows that the decline witnessed so far in 2011 is more of weaknesses in general economy and market fundamentals-administrative and regulatory activities, than individual firm’s fundamentals,” analysts stated in a note to investors.





‘CBN’s autonomy will prevent economic crisis’


HE Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said financial and budgetary independence of the apex bank will prevent economic crises in the economy. He also reiterated the need to guarantee independence of the CBN as one of the key imperatives for a sound financial system. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2011 National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges, in Lagos, yesterday,

By Collins Nweze

Sanusi, said the objectives of maintaining price stability and promoting a safe and sound financial system are peculiar mandates of all central banks. He said the effective discharge of these two key mandates, requires central banks to be truly independent both operationally and financially, while at the same time, observing the hallowed principles of transparency and accountability. “A key imperative of financial

dependence of the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to safeguard the integrity of the financial system and ensure its stability,” he said. He said the apex bank has since 2009, following the banking crisis occasioned by the global financial melt-down, embarked upon a series of reforms aimed at repositioning the banking sector in order to enable it play its critical role of driving development. Sanusi, who was represented by Director, Legal Department at the

system stability is the need for financial/budgetary independence for the CBN. The under-pinning for this is that in the event of a crisis, particularly one that is systemic in nature, the exercise of the function of lender-of-last resort cannot await the outcome of parliamentary debate without unnecessarily exposing the financial system to the risk of collapse. It is for this reason that we urge the National Assembly to continue to take steps to strengthen the operational and financial in-

Cash-lite: firm, MFBs sign MoU


HEAD of the January 2012 take-off period for cashlite economy, Fortis Mobile Money and 200 microfinance banks in Lagos have entered into an agreement to mutually work together. Fortis is one of the 12 mobile money operators licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently, while the banks are under the umbrella of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Lagos Chapter. By this agreement, Fortis would train the banks on the ru-

By Akinola Ajibade

diments of mobile money and further avail their customers the opportunity of using various mobile payment options for transactions. Also, the banks would serve as agents and get paid in return. Speaking during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in Lagos, yesterday, the Business Development Manager, Fortis Mobile Money, Kunle Ogunmola, said the company is partnering with

Ecobank launches Middle Africa’s bond index

NAMB because of its reach in the country, adding that the firm would leverage on the large customer base of microfinance banks to promote cash-lite banking. He said: “We are partnering with the National Association of Microfinance Banks because of its reach at grassroots level. Every human being that has phones would automatically key into mobile money system. Their phones serve as mobile wallets through which they can send money to their loved ones, and pay for goods and services”.


HE Ecobank Group yesterday, launched a benchmark index to measure the performance of sub-Saharan African domestic bond markets (excluding South Africa). Paul-Harry Aithnard, Group Head of Research at Ecobank, announced the launch of the Ecobank Middle Africa Bond Index (MABI) whilst addressing an audience of corporate executives and financiers attending Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Finance’s African Capital Markets Conference in London. The Ecobank MABI fills a notable gap, given that previously, there was no such index dedicated to sovereign local currency denominated debt in Sub-Saharan Africa. The index, developed in partnership with Nedbank Capital, will also enable both institutions to further build on their extensive local market expertise in issuing, managing and trading fixed income securities and local currencies across Sub-Sahara Africa. A statement from the bank, said the Index has been developed as a volume weighted benchmark to replicate the underlying perfor-

Skye bank’s boss seeks autonomy for audit units


persecution and free them from becoming an appendage of the chief executive. Durosinmi-Etti expressed this view in a paper titled, ‘Preventing Another Banking Crisis: What Role for the Internal Auditor,’ which he presented at the monthly meeting of the Committee of Chief Inspectors of Banks in Nigeria (CCIBN) hosted by Skye Bank Plc. He maintained that strict implementation of this reporting line would help ensure liberty of the auditors in the discharge of their re-

HE Group Managing Direc tor/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, has canvassed independence of the internal audit function in banks. The bank CEO said there is need for the head of the audit department to report to the chairman of the bank, rather than the chief executive officer of the institution to ensure objectivity. According to him, this would embolden the internal auditors to carry out their jobs without fear of

sponsibilities. Besides, he advised that the audit committee of banks, comprising mainly non executive directors, should be responsible for reviewing and approving the internal audit work plans, as well as ensuring that appropriate actions are taken by management on issues raised. He stressed the need for aligning the audit function with stakeholders’ expectations by assuring the Board and the Audit Committee on the effectiveness of risk management practices, adequacy of financial and operational controls.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016


Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




1.22 3.78 4.85 0.66 0.96 2.26 0.52 10.00 5.07


1.28 3.96 5.08 0.69 1.00 2.35 0.53 10.15 5.10


0.06 0.18 0.23 0.03 0.04 0.09 0.01 0.15 0.03




12.80 3.80 24.89 11.05 2.21 6.90 3.74 2.51 1.59 0.71 1.00 13.18 8.81


12.16 3.61 23.65 10.50 2.10 6.56 3.56 2.39 1.52 0.68 0.96 12.70 8.50


0.64 0.19 1.24 0.55 0.11 0.34 0.18 0.12 0.07 0.03 0.04 0.48 0.31


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


OBB Rate Call Rate

mance of selected domestic sovereign bond markets. The weighting formula reflects the influences of changes in GDP indicators, liquidity levels and the regulatory environment and, based on public information sources, provides an objective and largely independent view. The Ecobank MABI currently consists of sovereign bonds from Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Togo, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, with a further eight countries being considered for future inclusion. “Investor appetite for domestic African bonds is increasing as a result both of the Continent’s strong and sustained economic growth prospects and the global search for yield. The Ecobank MABI provides a unique performance benchmark for investors looking to diversify their African fixed income portfolio or to broaden their overall exposure to frontier markets. By providing a highly visible way of measuring returns, the Ecobank MABI is likely to attract more investors to Middle Africa’s bond markets and, ultimately, improve market liquidity,” Paul-Harry Aithnard observed.




CBN, Simon Onekutu, explained that the first part focused on restoring financial stability which was severely threatened as a result of the crisis, saying it entailed taking proactive remedial measures to restore public confidence and prevent the collapse of the financial system. He said the key initiatives taken by apex bank included injection of N620 billion of convertible loan in the form of tier II capital into eight banks that were adjudged to be in grave danger.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’11





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 97.65 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011










NEWS Ekiti West rerun: ACN alleges PDP’s plans to cause mayhem By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

ACTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday raised the alarm over plans by the chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to cause confusion in Ekiti West Federal Constituency by invading Efon, Ekiti West and Ijero Local Governments with thugs during the rerun House of Representatives election. The secretary of the party in the Southwest zone, Ayo Afolabi, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and police to nip in the bud plans by the PDP leaders to perpetuate malpractices. He alleged that thugs have been detailed to invade the constituency and create panic during the exercise. Afolabi said: “It has come to our notice that PDP leaders in Ekiti West Federal Constituency, which is the stronghold of ACN in Ekiti State, are mobilising thugs to create confusion at the parliamentary elections holding in Ijero, Ekiti West and Efon local governments. “We are expecting INEC staff from neighbouring states and NYSC members to assist in the conduct of the election. However, we learnt that some PDP hatchet men are recruiting thugs and sewing fake NYSC uniform and other kits for them so that these fake NYSC members in PDP’s image would pose as genuine corps members.”

NGO awards Niger governor N1m GOVERNOR Mu’Azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State is expected to receive a cash reward of N1million for being rated the best governor of the year 2011 by Patriot Platform Organisation, a non-governmental Organisation based in Lagos. President of the organisation, Daniel Ede-Osagie Okhiria told reporters that a letter of notification has been sent to the governor. He said the date for the ceremony will be determined by the governor’s response. He however expressed the hope that the presentation would hold this month. Okhiria said the governor was being voted by his organisation following a careful study of the 36 governors and their style of governance, the Niger State helmsman came across as the most detribalised governor and a future pillar of reliance. “Having observed your utterances and your fearless contribution to national issues, aimed at strengthening security, national peace and unity, which is essential in today’s Nigeria, we applaud your giant developmental stride in Niger State and with this award hope to encourage you to keep it up”.

Police intercept arms at Benue tribunal


HE Benue State Police Command yesterday intercepted a Toyota bus marked AE710KAL. All eight occupants of the bus were arrested within the premises of the governorship election petition tribunal in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. It was learnt that four vehicles were arrested and taken to the police headquarters, but on a search, three of them were released as no incriminating items were found on them. A source told The Nation that a retired army sergeant was among those arrested and being interrogated by police detectives. When reporters visited the police headquarters, an officer, who pleaded anonymity, said an official statement would be issued after a proper investigation. Spokesman of the command, Alaribe Ejike, an Assist-

•Eight arrested From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi ant Superintendent of Police (ASP) told reporters: “I am just returning from a workshop in Kaduna and has not been briefed”. He promised to speak on the matter today. But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) labelled the suspects as thugs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose mission was to disrupt the tribunal sitting. According to a statement by Abba Yaro, the ACN chairman , the suspected thugs took off from Katsina-Ala in a convoy of buses. The statement reads: “The attention of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Benue State chapter has been drawn

to the arrest of PDP thugs in Makurdi this morning by men of the Benue State Police Command. “The thugs who were being conveyed to Makurdi from Katsina-Ala in seven buses heavily armed in order to disrupt the sitting of the governorship election petition tribunal in Makurdi, were intercepted by the police and taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in Makurdi. “One of the buses with registration number AE 710 KAL and is currently parked at the State CID.” The ACN accused the ruling PDP of resorting to the use of thugs to disrupt tribunal proceedings and cause injury to the members of the panel after its alleged failure to com-

promise judges. It said: “The thugs were also given a mandate to deal with members of the opposition in the state since they have refused to give up on their mandate recovery bid. “In the meantime, Governor Gabriel Suswam, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state is making frantic efforts to secure the release of the thugs by directing that the case be transferred from the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit to a particular officer in the Statistics Department of the CID for further investigation, a move that is questionable.” The ACN praised the efforts of the security agencies in the state, especially the police under the leadership of its Commissionership, Mr. Emmanuel Obiako, in ensuring that peace and tranquility prevail despite

the desperation of the ruling party to cling on to power. “We urge that the law be allowed to take its full course by prosecuting the thugs so far arrested so as to serve as deterrent to others”, the ACN said. The party hailed the dismissal of the motions filed by Suswam and the PDP, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal that the statutory 180 days had lapsed. It said: “We are confident that if the petition is determined on its merit as directed by the Supreme Court, our party will be vindicated. “We call on our supporters as always to remain calm, law abiding and above all be security conscious especially now that the PDP desperation is heightened. We stand for justice and the rule of law and the God in heaven will not let us down.”

Govt to residents: there is no epidemic in Lagos


HROUGH its Environment Commissioner, Mr. Tunji Bello, the Lagos State Government yesterday debunked claims in certain quarters that there was epidemic in Ikeja. The commissioner allayed residents fears as he said there is no epidemic in their neighbourhood, or in any part of the Centre of Excellence. Residents around Oba Akran Avenue had earlier cried out over a looming pollution from the decomposing frozen products in the rubble of a cold room, which collapsed last week. The cold room belonging to Haano Industries on 44, Oba Akran Avenue, went down in the early hours of November 28, while workers were loading items believed to be fish and chicken from the containers. The residents had alleged that their environment was fouled by the offensive odour which started to ooze out of the premises two days after the collapse. It was learnt that the management of May & Baker, had drawn government’s attention to the offensive odour. But Bello led government officials, including the General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Mr. Rasheed Shabi and the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Environment, Dr. Titi Anibaba to the scene for first-hand information yesterday.

Bello (second left), Femi Oke-Osanyintolu (left), Shabi and Dr. Anibaba...yesterday The commissioner said relevant emergency agency of the state swiftly responded to evacuate victims of the collapse and that nobody died. According to him, the state government had demonstrated since the incident that it was up to the task of bringing the situation under control as its agencies took prompt actions by cordoning off the area and evacuated the cold room. Besides, he said the cold room was fumigated. His words: “This incident again is a demonstration of the responsiveness government agencies. As a matter of fact all our

relevant emergency agencies including LASEMA , LASEPA , Ministries of Health and Physical Planning and Urban Development moved in immediately the incident occurred on November 28 and they have been working for 24 hours daily since then. “The Ministry of Physical planning had taken over the building and it is already investigating the cause of the collapse. The place has been fumigated severally, LAWMA had carted away the fishes and those injured had been taken to hospital and certified fit.” Responding to rumour of

epidemic, Bello said: “There is no epidemics. If there is an epidemic, we all cannot be in this environment. The ministry of health has been here and has not reported any epidemics.” The commissioner explained that the odour perceived from the waste water in the cold room might have been accounted for the panic and fears being expressed by residents within the vicinity. Bello said: “However, this fear has now been allayed as reporters were conducted round the collapsed facility and there was nothing indicat-

ing an outbreak of epidemic during the visit. “You can see that the situation is very much under control as LASEMA equipment can still be seen working here.” He urged Lagosians to desist from listening to rumours and appealed to alarmists to thread with caution. “Our people should not forget that unnecessary rumour can cause panic and death as it happened during the bomb blast of 2000 at the Ikeja Cantonment when many people lost their lives, a situation that we pray, will never occur again in the state”, he said.

NDDC’s N500b trapped in Fed Govt’s coffers, says ex-MD


NE week after President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated a new board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), its former acting managing director, Pastor Power Aginighan has challenged the presidency, members of the National Assembly as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance to ensure the speedy release of the commission’s fund he alleges, has been trapped in theFederal Government’s coffers. Aginighan, in a statement yesterday, cautioned that unless the fund, which he puts at over N500 billion was im-

mediately released, the task ahead the new board will be a herculean one. The NDDC chief, who is the immediate executive director of finance and administration at the commission expressed regrets that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance, has ‘flagrantly’ violated some sections of the Act establishing the interventionist agency. “While I congratulate the Chairman of the reconstituted NDDC Governing Board, Dr Tarila Tebepah, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr Christian Oboh and other members of

the Board on their well-deserved appointments. I wish all of them God’s protection, divine wisdom, courage, the spirit of team work, mutual trust and respect as they settle down to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region. “As one of the dramatis personae in the drama of irreconcilable conflicts that culminated in the dissolution of the last Governing Board, I am bold to say that the task of repositioning the NDDC to deliver on its mandate of providing sustainable development for our long traumatized and beleaguered Niger Delta requires the ac-

tive co-operation of all who crave for improved quality of life for our people. “It is in pursuance of the above imperative that I join all well-meaning Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora to demand the immediate release of the arrears of Federal Government statutory contribution to the NDDC from the inception of the Commission to date which is already in excess of N500billion. This shortfall has arisen from the brazen violation of section 14(2) of the NDDC Act 2000 which unambiguously provides that the Federal Government shall contribute to the funds

of the NDDC an equivalent of 15% of the statutory allocation due to the nine-member States of the Commission. “The Federal Ministry of Finance that provides inputs for the Annual Appropriation Bill forwarded by the President to the National Assembly and the National Assembly that has the sole power of appropriation owe the NDDC, the Niger Delta and the Nation the duty of ensuring that the NDDC is funded according to the letters of the enabling law and not by the adoption of arbitrary figure”, Aginighan said.




Four policemen killed in Kogi


OUR policemen attached to the Area Commander’s office in Okene, Kogi State, were shot dead yesterday by suspected armed robbers. The attackers were said to have stolen four AK47 rifles belonging to the slain officers. The police earlier intercepted a Golf car conveying 10 Ak 47 riffles. Sources said the owners of the guns, who are suspected to be armed robbers, escaped. The driver and a female oc-

cupant of the car have been arrested. The police men, it was gathered, were ambushed on the Okene-Auchi road at Ahache junction, by the escaped robbers.They killed the policemen and stole their guns. It was learnt that eight of the 10 arms were allegedly stolen from Kabba during last month’s raid of the police division. In a reprisal attack, the police allegedly invaded Ahache village in Agassa area, burning a house sus-

pected to be the hideout of the suspects. A 19-year-old boy was said to have been hit by stray bullets, while another boy, suspected to a thug, was also shot in the leg. Police spokesman Ajayi Okansomi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident. He said efforts were being made to apprehend the perpetrators. Okansomi said the recovered 10 AK47 rifles indicated a major breakthrough for the police command.

Four officials arrested over Bauchi bank robbery F OUR officials of two new generation banks attacked by unknown gunmen at Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State, last Sunday, have been arrested by the state police command. The robbers attacked the Police Area Command, the Police Divisional Headquarters in Azare and killed a soldier, a policeman and a civilian, Police Commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba told reporters yesterday. Aduba said over N32,436,750 was stolen during the operation. He said: “Facts by investigators have revealed that the crime was perpetrated based on organised conspiracy masterminded by some unscrupulous bank officials.” The police chief said N7.3 million and N25,136,750 was stolen from both banks. Aduba said millions of naira were “well removed in advance and the bombing of the banks was a mere rubber stamp meant to hood-

‘at about 11pm on December 3, they received an anonymous call from a customer having problems with his ATM card, and immediately rushed down in aid of the distressed customer’ From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

wink security operatives and members of the public” as the vaults of the banks were intact. According to him, statements by bank officials to the police indicated that “at about 11pm on December 3, they received an anonymous call from a customer having problems with his ATM card, and immediately rushed

down in aid of the distressed customer.” The police chief alleged that the officials might have gone to the bank with the vaults’ keys in their pockets and were held up at gun point by the robbers. He said an operational manager and an accountant in one of the banks are helping the police in the investigation. The officials, Aduba said, later made new statements, saying they forgot the vaults’ keys in their drawers after servicing the bank’s ATM machine with cash a few hours before the robbery. On the other bank, the police chief noted that checks by “EOD experts have revealed that the damage and after-effect of the explosion are a manifestation of interconnectivity of planted bombs within the banking hall. It was not just a twohour operation at midnight”.

Suswam loses bid to stop ACN’s petition From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi



HE Benue Sate Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, the state capital, has dismissed a motion brought by counsel to Gov-

ernor Gabriel Suswam. The governor is asking the tribunal to terrminate the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Prof Steven Torkuma Ugba, over the timing of the petition. The tribunal held that the petition by Suswam lacks merit because Section 285, Sub-Section 6, which the defence counsel interpreted, does not preclude the tribunal from hearing the petition on merit. The tribunal said it would hear the petition by the ACN candidate.

Delivering a ruling on the motion on notice filed by Mr D. D. Dodo, the counsel to Suswam and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Justice Halima Mohammed said technicalities would not be allowed to frustrate the course of justice in hearing the petition on merit, as ordered by the Supreme Court. She told the parties that no new issues should be formulated because pleading has closed and trial would continue where it was stopped. Justice Mohammed warned that the tribunal would not accept frivolous applications since the petition is time-bound.

Robbers attack Abacha’s daughter in Kano


HE Police yesterday in Kano foiled a robbery attempt at the home of Hajiya Zainab Abacha, daughter of the late Head of State Gen Sani Abacha. They arrested one of the suspects. The robbery occurred at 8pm at her home on Hospital Road in tKano. The Nation learnt that four robbers stormed the home and started shooting. They reportedly stole some of the woman’s belongings but were confronted by the police when they wanted to leave the scene. A gun duel ensued. Police spokesman Auwal Umar, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident. He said the police responded promptly to a distress call,

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

which led to the arrest of a member of the gang, who was injured. He explained that the police are on the trail of the remaining three, who escaped. Umar said the police recovered an automatic pistol, 60 live ammunition, an automatic gun and other valuables belongings to Hajiya Abacha. Kano State Governor Musa Kwankwaso hailed the police for their prompt responses. He urged the residents to be security-conscious and call the police distress numbers in case of a breach of security. The governor added that security is a collective responsibility.




Faith brings promotion, says Oyedepo

Enugu holds council poll tomorrow



NUGU State will hold local government elections in the 17 local governments and 260 wards tomorrow. State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vita Abba urged members of the party to remain focused during the elections. Abba enjoined them to live by the party’s ideals as it prepares to kick start the ward, local, state, zonal congresses and national convention of the party. Addressing reporters in Udi Local Government yesterday, Abba thanked the members for their support and attributed the success of the just concluded campaign to the excellent performance of Governor Sullivan Chime. Abba assured of hitch-free

•Chime From Chris Oji, Enugu

congresses. The PDP chieftain warned those who challenged Governor Sullivan Chime’s victory to desist from such act of indiscipline aimed at distracting the state governor from transforming the state.

Appeal Court upholds Chukumerijie’s election From Emma Mgbahurike Owerri


HE Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, yesterday explained why it upheld the election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate in the April election for Abia North, Uche chukwumerije. The Abia State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia had struck out a petition filed by the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate, Dr. Orji Uzo Kalu, challenging the election of Chukwumerijie for lack of merit. But Kalu, through his counsel, urged the appellant court, among other things, to set aside the ruling and declare him winner. But Justice Omojid Uwadi said the case lacked merit. He said some paragraphs of the petition were struck out for being vague and nebulous.

RESIDENT, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo has enjoined worshippers to have faith to enable them move from one level of glory to another. Bishop Oyedepo spoke yesterday during one of the sessions in the on-going Shiloh 2011. He said the convention will empower worshippers to move from faith to faith. According to him, faith has spiritual virtue with unlimited power for growth. Bishop Oyedepo said those who have faith would become

By Wale Adepoju carriers of spiritual bombs that could devastate enemies and enthrone the dominion of God. Admonishing the congregation, he said they should practice faith the way it was demonstrated in the Bible, adding that unique Biblical faith was rooted in the heart, and spoken boldly through the mouth. It dominates the world of spirits. Recounting his early Christian days, Papa as he is fondly called, said his accomplishments were by hearing from

God. “Those who truly know God don’t go about begging men, and man, particularly the black man, is not poor because he is black but because of his spiritual blindness and deafness,” he added. Bishop Oyedepo said God’s words that were based on the scripture carry power to secure man’s future, saying man could not hear from God and doubt Him. “When you hear from God, it puts an end to every form of doubt and terminates every form of uncertainty. He identified the key to hearing God’s voice as dig-

ging deep into anointed books. Bishop Oyedepo, who taught business men and women at the business summit, said a heart for God would bring prosperity, saying divine secrets are assets of inestimable value. Speaking on Engaging the law of spirit for exploit, he alluded from the Bible, citing Job, who became the wealthiest business man of his time as an example, saying he achieved the success because he located and engaged divine secrets which guarantee his star-like future.

Govt: 11-year-old girl not raped in Abia


HE Abia State Government has dismissed the report that an 11- yearold girl was raped in the state. It urged the police in Okigwe, where the incident took place, to ensure that justice is done. Addressing reporters in Umuahia, Orji’s Chief Press Secretary Ugochukwu Emezue said the government was embarrassed to read in

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

the internet that a rape case took place in Okigwe, Abia State. He explained that Okigwe is in Imo State, not Abia. Emezue said the clarification became necessary because a similar rape incident was recently attributed to some students of the Abia State University.

He said the report on Linda Ikeji’s site wrongfully attributed the town to Abia State. According to Emezue, the rapist has been caught. He is currently being interrogated by the police. He urged the Investigating Police Officer to bring the culprit to book. IPO Ossaih confirmed the incident , saying that the police are on top of the situa-

tion. Emezue said the rapist hails from Isuikwuato, Abia State, “but he lives in Okigwe and we are asking the police to get to the root of the case even if the man is from our state, let justice be done”. “Some people are getting their facts mixed up. They are either being mischievous or do not have the geographical knowledge of the country,” he said.

Ogun PDP chair raises alarm over ‘fake party register’


HE Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Chief Dayo Soremi, has raised an alarm over the influx of fake party registers in the state. He said the fake party registers, which are mostly in Ogun West Senatorial District,

were allegedly brought into the state by Bode Mustapha. Soremi warned party members to shun fake registers, saying they were coming a day after the December 7 closing date for party membership registration as directed by the national headquarters of the party.

“It stands to reason why a supposed party chieftain will wait till after the close of party membership registration to begin a fake exercise to mislead the people. “One wonders why Bode Mustapha, who is from Ogun Central, will be dabbling into the affairs of the party in Ogun

West Senatorial District. Clearly, by his action, Bode Mustapha wants to create a faction out of the mainstream PDP in Ogun State. This is anti-party and anti-democratic. It should be discountenanced by all well-meaning members of the party,” he said.




Maku blames insecurity on North’s leaders


INISTER of Information Labaran Maku yesterday in Kaduna reviewed the state of security in the North. He concluded that unless leaders of the region address the situation, the region would be doomed forever. The minister said the region’s political and religious leaders should be blamed for the insecurity in the region. He called for a code of conduct for Muslim and Christian preachers in the region. Speaking at the Second Kaduna Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chairman’s Roundtable as part of the Press Week, Maku lamented that unless the insecurity and ethnoreligious crisis in the region is addressed, opportunity for investment and development would continue to elude the North. He said: “Fire is on the roof of northern Nigeria and the

PDP submits Dickson’s, Jonah’s names to INEC From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday submitted the names of Henry Seriake Dickson and Rear Admiral John Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd) to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate and running mate for the Bayelsa State governorship election. A statement by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, said the submission of the names brings to a close all issues concerning the PDP governorship nomination in Bayelsa State. The statement reads: “The PDP wishes to thank all stakeholders, leaders and members who contributed to the success of this nomination. “All stakeholders and party members in Bayelsa State are therefore urged to support our governorship candidates and ensure that we win the election.” The party had disqualified Governor Timipre Sylva, who is challenging his disqualification in court. In what appeared as a defiant move, Sylva has set up his campaign office in Yenagoa, the state capital, apparently awaiting a favourable decision from the court as to the validity of his candidature.


• Minister: we’ve all failed From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

implication is that poverty will be on the increase, for an area that is already lagging behind in all developmental indices.” The minister described as shameful and unacceptable a situation where northern leaders allowed the situation to degenerate. Maku urged them to redefine their values and allow justice to reign in the area. He noted that with the current trend, “the North is marching backwards and the current developments will take the North 50 years back. “If this situation is not arrested in the next two years, nobody will go to certain areas in the North and if we do not put out this fire, it will spread to other parts of the country. “What is happening today in the North calls for greater responsibility because we have sinned and must return to the right path, otherwise

we will continue to have crises in the North. “Killing fellow human beings has become a norm in our communities and our religious beliefs have been turned upside down and we just have to stop playing games. “Religion is subject to quick abuse and that is why there should be standards before anybody becomes a preacher or religious leader, in any of the religions.” Outlining some of the steps of the Federal Government to address insecurity and unemployment, the minister said the Jonathan administration was exploring avenues towards the restoration of peace. His words: “The Federal Government has set aside N450 billion to promote the development of agriculture, especially in the North as the area has been segmented to produce certain agricultural crops, not only for local

consumption but also for export and we estimate that this will create about two million new jobs for the North. “Very soon, government will ban the importation of rice because there is no reason why we should continue to import rice.” He said the government has embarked on the building of 37 special schools across northern states, to tackle the menace of the Almajiris. Former Secretary to the Kaduna State Government Hakeem Baba-Ahmed blamed the Federal Government for the recurrent religious strife in parts the country. “It is the responsibility of government to enforce the constitution but it has failed to do so because nobody or government has the right to stop any religious group to build mosques and churches in any part of this country,” he said. Baba-Ahmed described the just concluded northern peace and unity conference as

Virement: Senate agrees with Reps From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


a gathering of spent forces that have nothing to contribute to the resolution of the current security problem in the North. “Majority of the participants at that conference are old northerners who have become intellectually bankrupt and the fact that they engaged the services of over 1,000 policemen to guard them shows that there is no way they can ever make any headway,” BabaAhmed said.

Man held for defiling minor in Ekiti


35-YEAR-OLD man, Innocent Eze, has been arrested by the Police in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, for allegedly defiling a 12-year-old girl. The girl, an orphan, lives with her grandmother. Narrating her ordeal, the victim said: “When I returned from school around 3pm, I went to fetch water at a neighbour’s house and I met this man (Eze) there. “I have never seen him before. He said I should fetch water for him and I refused. “He fetched the water and said I should carry it inside for him, but I refused. “Then he stuffed his hand-

Railway to link Port Harcourt with Uyo under way


HE Akwa Ibom Government plans to link Uyo with Port Harcourt is one of the plans of the Akwa Ibom State Government to unlock its maritime potential. Governor Godswill Akpabio spoke yesterday at the quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council Maritime Summit. Akpabio presented a paper on the topic ‘’Unlocking the Maritime Potentials of Akwa Ibom State for Accelerated Economic Development in Nigeria.’’ He said it was important to link all states, economic zones and mining areas for easy movement of goods and people. His words: “The Ibaka Seaport would not require perennial dredging because it has a depth of 13-15 metres. “It also has the added advantage of proximity and centrality to deep offshore operations and the West Africa Region Joint Development Zone. “Added to this is the security and peaceful nature of the community and the availability of ample undeveloped land.”

•Two arrested in Edo From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti and Osagie Otabor, Benin

kerchief into my mouth and carried me into the house, where he forced himself on me. “When he saw that I was bleeding, he tried to stop the blood with a handkerchief, but I threw it at him. “He then gave me N100 and ran away.” The victim’s uncle, Gbenga Omotehinse, said Eze has allegedly confessed to the crime. Police spokesperson Victor Babayemi said he has not been briefed on the incident. The Special Assistant to the Governor on Legal Matters, Olanrewaju Kunle, said three suspects had been

arrested before Eze allegedly confessed. Olanrewaju said: “The government is concerned about this case. The offence is a contravention of the Child Rights Act and the Gender-based Violence Prohibition Law that was just passed by the state.” Also in Edo, two persons have been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and defiling a girl, identified as Joy. The suspects are Patrick Uche (19) and Blessing Omoruyi (18). A third accomplice, Michael Idubor, is said to be on the run. The victim was reportedly lured through a social networking site where the suspects posed as female friends.

Edo State Police Commissioner David Omojola said Omoruyi took the victim to Uche’s house at Isekhere in Benin City. Omojola said Uche and Idubor ordered the victim to remove her clothes before sleeping with her in turns. He said: “While one person was performing the sordid deed, another was taking photographs and taping the affair. “They threatened to post the pictures and videos on the Internet, if she refused to part with N20,000.” Uche said they held the victim from noon till 7pm. He said the victim was gay and had wanted a female friend. Omojola said the suspects would be charged to court soon.

THE Senate yesterday agreed with the House of Representatives to slash to to N31.9 billion President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to vire N98.4 billion to some ministries. The upper legislative chamber also agreed to extend the 2011 budget from December 31 to March 31, next year. Senate President David Mark said unless the period of the 2011 budget was extended, the virement would be futile as the ministries needed time to execute the projects contained in the virement. Like the House, the Senate slashed the request to N31.9 billion. Nine ministries are to share the vired funds. This was contained in a report presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmed Maccido (Sokoto North.) The ministries and agencies that will share the approved money are Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (N10,900,000.000); Federal Capital Territory Administration (N940,703,866); Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (N820,650,668); Ministry of Education (N538,285,620); Police Formations and Commands (N3, 400,000,000), Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health (N6,549,000,000); Ministry of Aviation (N3,953,000,000) and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (N2,900,000,000). The virement, according to the report is mainly for capital projects. Before consideration of the report, Mark cautioned senators to be mindful of the fact that the House of Representatives has already approved the virement.



NEWS Vendor wins Etisalat’s $10m promo From Abayomi Fayese, Abuja

AN Abuja based newspaper vendor, Bishop Jonah Abah, has emerged the first winner of the $10 million promo organised by a telecommunications company, Etisalat. Abah, who received his prize in Abuja yesterday, said he was selling newspapers when he received a call from Etisalat, informing him that he had won the prize. Abah said he would use the money to start an electronic dealership business. Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Mr. Steven Evans said the promo is the company's way of thanking its customers.

Nigeria protests South African Police siege IGERIA has protested the siege to its chancery building in Johannesburg by 13 armed men of the South African Police Service, it was learnt yesterday. The officers laid siege to the chancery building for two-and-a-half hours on November 29 to protest a perceived delay in the issuance of visas to 66 South Africans planning to attend a church programme in Makurdi, Benue State, between December 3 and 4. Nigeria’s Consul-General in South Africa Mr. Bashar Erubu consequently wrote letters to the Head of the South African Diplomatic Police and the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt.Gen Mzwandile, to protest the action. He stated in the letters that “this blatant and unacceptable action by the officers is a gross violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on consular relations pertaining to inviolability of the mission’s premises, officers and archives in a host country.” Erubu also demanded unreserved apology from the South African Police over the incident.

Army, police testify in ‘murder’ of T Boko Haram leader HE Police and Army yesterday engaged in a supremacy battle over who had better control of the security situation in the wake of the Boko Haram crises in Maiduguri, Borno State. This occurred at the trial of five police officers and men for the alleged murder of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf before Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Abuja Federal High Court. Those on trial are Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) J.B. Abang and Y. Akeera; Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Mohammed Ahmadu; Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mada Buba; and Sgt. Adamu Gado. They are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit an offence. A prosecution witness, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kabiru Dandibi

•No regret killing sect members, says Army boss •Police: how we saved 400 persons From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

yesterday told the court that the Police rescued about 400 people from the den of the terrorists on July 30, 2009; the day the late Boko Haram leader, Mallam Mohammed Yusuf, was killed. Another prosecution witness Col. Benjamin Ahanotu of the Nigerian Army had earlier told the court that he led the taskforce team that arrested Yusuf, “when the police could not curtail the crisis.” Led in evidence by Prosecution Counsel R. N. Ojobo, Dandibi said he was in the of-

fice on the day the late Yusuf was driven to the Borno State Police Headquarters by the first, second and third accused. The witness who was then ACP in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said on July 30, 2009, the late Yusuf was brought to the headquarters in handcuffs, with over 90 members of his sect, some dead and others injured. He said: “I was in my office with ACP Audu Mohammed, who was in charge of admin, when we sighted, through my window, a convoy of patrol vehicles come into the headquarters. I saw the late Yusuf

in handcuffs. They drove and parked near the CP’s parking space, but they did not stay long. They later drove out and headed towards the mobile barracks.” Danbibi said some of the bodies left at the police headquarters and he ordered his men to take them to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. Attempt by Ojobo to tender a mortuary register to show that the remains of the late Yusuf was deposited in the morgue was met with stiff objection by the defence counsel. They argued that the document is not admissible be-

WAEC honours 69 officials, best pupils From Osagie Otabor, Benin


•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (right) inaugurating the Women Skills Acquisition Centre at Fapo, Iwo Local Government...yesterday. With him are Commissioner for Women Affairs Mrs. Adefolake Adegboyega and Special Adviser to theGovernor on Rural and Community Development Mr. Kunle Ige. PHOTO STATE HOUSE

House to investigate cause of Kaduna blast


ELEVANT committees of the House of Representatives were yesterday mandated to investigate the cause of Wednesday’s explosion in a spare parts market in Kaduna State. The decision followed a point of order raised by Karimi Sunday under matters of urgent national importance, where he called for proactive solutions to recurring explosions across the country.

cause it offends the Evidence Act. Col. Ahanotu said it is legitimate to use reasonable force on the members of the sect by shooting, if possible, to kill. He said: “Various kinds of weapons were used by members of the sect and in the cause of trying to stop the uprising, we fought back, using weapons at our disposal and there were casualties on both sides.” Col. Ahanatu said the army did not invite Boko Haram members for settlement during the crisis, but fought back to save the state. He said: “I cannot state the circumstances under which Yusuf or other sect members died. After handing them over, I didn’t follow the police to their station.” The court adjourned till February 13 and 14, next year, for ruling on the admissibility of the mortuary register and continuation of cross examination of witnesses.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Sunday regretted that the perpetrators of such acts have never been adequately punished by the law. He said a bill before the House on the handling of explosives would benefit Nigerians. Sunday said: “There is need to put a permanent stop to these explosions, be-

cause if not properly curbed, they may spread to other parts of the country.” He said blasts have been scaring investors away and affecting the country’s economy negatively. Sunday urged security agencies to investigate the Kaduna incident and identify the culprits for prosecution. Akinloye Babajide (Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Lagos), Adams

Jagaba (Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna) and Kigbu Haruna (Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Nasarawa) all advocated commensurate punishment for perpetrators of such acts. However, Sunday’s prayer that the blast be condemned by the House was amended. During a voice vote to condemn the blast, some lawmakers raised objec-

tions on what to condemn. They wanted to know if it was bomb blast or explosion. Deputy Leader Leo Ogor advised that relevant House committees should ascertain the cause of the explosion before deciding on the next legislative step. Ihedioha amended the prayers and it was unanimously agreed that the House should investigate the explosion.

HE West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) has given Long Service Awards to 69 members of its staff for “20 years meritorious service without blemish.” Also honoured were best male and female candidates in the May/June 2012 West African Secondary School Examination (WASSCE); schools that produced the best male and female candidates; and the secondary school with the best aggregate result. The honours were presented yesterday in Benin, Edo State, during the 49th annual meeting of the Nigeria National Committee (NNC) of WAEC. NNC Chairman Mrs. Mabel Ozumba said the award was their way of thanking dedicated staff for their contribution to the council’s growth. Mrs. Ozumba said the staff have endured difficult circumstances in carrying out the council’s assignment in Nigeria. She said the awards for the best students were to encourage students to always strive for excellence. WAEC Registrar Mrs. Mulikat Bello urged the staff to continue to put in their best in their work. The best students in the May/June, 2010, WASSCE are Akinwale Oluwatola and Lawal Ibironke.

PDP govt not fair to Oyo, says ex-Governor Ladoja


ORMER Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja yesterday said Oyo has suffered more under Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations. He said the state has been nelegated in the nation’s politics. Ladoja spoke with State House correspondents when he visited President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa. He was accompanied by Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State Olajumoke Akinjide. Ladoja said since 1999, Oyo has been relegated to the level of Minister of State. On his visit to the President, the former governor said it has nothing to do with his rumoured

•Kicks against oil subsidy removal From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

return to PDP. He said: “We are still talking. I said they should convince me that PDP does not hate Oyo State. When they convince me, then we will sit down to talk. That is where we are. “Oyo State, under PDP, has gone worse because they have relegated us to the level of minister of state. Since 1999, we have always been having ministers of state. What is happening to us? “I don’t think there is any state that has suffered as much as Oyo State under PDP. Mind you, this

time around, it is even worse, because PDP has seven lawmakers in the National Assembly. Six are from Oyo State and yet, what we can benefit is just minister of state. Do you think it is fair? “You know we were the capital of western region. That is our grouse and the people of the state are behind me on this issue. What is the Federal Government’s presence in Oyo State? “They did 100km road from Ibadan to Ilorin, Kwara State; that is about the only thing. Look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; it is as good as a bad village road. We don’t feel its impact. It

doesn’t take us seriously. We are not happy that we have been relegated to that level having been number one.” On the planned fuel subsidy removal, he said: “I don’t support it. There are other ways of solving the economic problems. Government’s explanation for the subsidy removal is not tenable. They said people are not investing in refineries, I don’t think that is the primary reason. “You can’t remove subsidy on petroleum, kerosene, gas oil and non-cooking gas at once. It has to be gradual. “If people actually import petroleum products and you force them to sell at a lower price, government should be prepared to pay the difference.”



FOREIGN NEWS New clashes in Somali capital, Mogadishu THE Somali capital, Mogadishu, has been hit by some of the fiercest fighting in the city in months, in what is seen as a major setback for the government. The clashes began shortly after dawn between Islamist alShabab militants and government forces, backed by African Union (AU) troops. The AU forces are reported to have used tanks and heavy artillery. Al-Shabab withdrew from Mogadishu in August and the government then declared that the city was under its control. The fighting occurred in the northern districts of Karan and Huriwa on Thursday. BBC East Africa Correspondent Will Ross says the fighting lasted for several hours as al-Shabab tried, but it seems failed, to seize ground. A spokesman for the Islamist insurgent group said four African Union soldiers had died, along with nine government troops. A spokesman for the government forces told the BBC they had killed six alShabab fighters. Neither claim has been independently verified. The fighting followed an attack by al-Shabab on Wednesday on a military training camp run by AU troops in Wadajir to the south of Mogadishu. That area had previously been considered relatively safe. Since the Islamists made their “tactical withdrawal” from Mogadishu, there have been several suicide attacks in the city.

Sarkozy warns Europe of disintegration risks •Sarkozy


RENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned that “never has the risk of disintegration been greater” for Europe in a speech in Marseille. He was addressing a gathering of European leaders of the centre right. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it would take years to overcome the crisis but “we need to have more Europe”. EU leaders are preparing for a key summit in Brussels, where they will be trying to clinch a deal on how to tackle the eurozone debt

crisis. Mr Sarkozy said Europe was in much danger. “Never has Europe been so necessary. Never has it been in so much danger,” he said. “Never have so many countries wanted to join Europe. Never has the risk of a disintegration of Europe been so great. Europe is facing an extraordinarily dangerous situation.” He said the eurozone economies still had a few weeks to decide, but that time was working against them. The Europe Minister for Ireland, Lucinda Creighton, said: “We have our red lines too. This is not a fait accompli just because two have found agreement.” There are other reservations among the Swedes, the Finns and the Czechs. Among

the club of the smaller nations, there seems to be greater inclination towards Herman Van Rompuy’s proposals of an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty - easier to agree, quicker and less messy for national parliaments. And so after the optimism that surrounded the FrancoGerman deal earlier in the week there are doubts emerging. “The diagnosis is that we have a few weeks to decide because time is working against us. If we aren’t in agreement on this, I fear that we won’t be able to agree on anything. That’s the analysis.” Mrs Merkel has said changes to the European constitution are necessary. She said all 27 member states in the European Union had a duty to Europe, and had to work together to overcome the cri-

sis in the eurozone. National egos and interests had to be put aside, she added. Germany and France are pushing for new EU treaties, saying stricter fiscal rules should be enshrined there. As the leaders were speaking, the European Central Bank cut its interest rates back to their historic low of 1%, as expected by financial markets. Earlier, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who is also in Marseille, urged EU to “do everything” to save the euro ahead of the Brussels summit. “The entire world is watching. We must do everything” to save the euro, he said, adding: “It is extremely important that we all together, all the EU, show that the euro is irreversible.”

Putin accuses US over Russian poll protests


USSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of being behind protests over the results of Russia’s parliamentary elections. Mr Putin said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “set the tone for some opposition activists”.

She “gave them a signal, they heard this signal and started active work”, he said. Mrs Clinton maintained that her concerns were “wellfounded”. Election monitors have also been critical. About 1,000 people have been arrested in Moscow during three days of protests al-

leging election fraud. Organisers have called another protest for tomorrow. Earlier this week Vladimir Putin’s spokesman predicted the world would soon see a new Putin - a Putin 2.0. But these comments blaming the West for the street protests are very much old “software”.

In recent years, revolutions on Russia’s doorstep - in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan - have convinced Mr Putin that the West is funding and fanning regime change in former Soviet republics. He now appears to believe that the United States wants to push him from power.

DR Congo election: Mediation effort to avert violence


EDIATORS have intervened to avert violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the release of complete election results, officials say. Opposition supporters have warned they will reject President Joseph Kabila’s victory,

alleging widespread rigging. With about 90% of votes counted from last Monday’s polls, Mr Kabila has 49%, against 33% for his main rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, official results show. Riot police have been patrolling the capital, Kinshasa.

Tear gas has been used to disperse Mr Tshisekedi’s supporters on several occasions this week in the capital, which is seen as an opposition stronghold. The last election, in 2006, was marred by weeks of street battles led by supporters of the losing candidate, Jean-Pierre Bemba. He is now on trial at the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in neighbouring Central African Republic. DR Congo, a country two-

thirds the size of western Europe but with hardly any tarred roads or other basic infrastructure, is trying to recover from the 1998-2003 war which claimed an estimated four million lives. A mediation team - formed with the backing of the election commission and the United Nations mission in DR Congo - has held talks with Mr Kabila and Mr Tshisekedi in a bid to defuse tensions, its chairman, Cheikh Abdallah Mangala, a Muslim cleric, told the BBC.

‘Pakistan’s Zardari stable, to undergo more tests’


AKISTANI President Asif Ali Zardari is stable and resting in a Dubai hospital and will undergo further tests, according to his doctor, the presidential spokesman said yesterday, hoping to quell speculation the unpopular leader might resign. “The president is stable, comfortable and is resting. Initial tests and investigations have been within normal range,” spokesman Farhatullah Babar said in a text message. Zardari is in Dubai for treatment for a heart condition. “Further tests will be carried out. The president is recuperating,” said Babar. One source said Zardari had suffered a minor heart attack. His hospital stay has added a new element to uncertainty in Pakistan, an unstable, nuclear-armed United States ally facing everything from Taliban suicide bombings to crippling power cuts. Babar later quoted the doctor as saying that Zardari had been moved out of the intensive care unit “to the normal hospital room in Dubai where he is resting”. Zardari has been under heavy pressure in recent weeks following the resignation of the country’s ambassador to Washington over an alleged memo to the Pentagon asking for help in forestalling a feared coup attempt in May.

Climate talks ‘lacking urgency’


ACK of urgency in the Durban meeting halls and pressing issues elsewhere threaten to block progress as the United Nations climate summit enters its final days. Some delegates said there was no clear process for bridging divides. Others suggested that the EU summit would see the leaders “thinking of the euro crisis, not the climate crisis”. United States climate envoy Todd Stern’s set-piece speech was heckled by a campaigner protesting that the US was blocking a deal here, which Mr Stern denied. Most nations appear to want a strong deal - but the exceptions are some of the world’s most powerful countries. The US, India, China and Brazil are among those likely to oppose parts of the solution sought by the EU and the majority of developing countries. As those four together account for nearly half of the world’s emissions, the diplomacy is harder than the mere numbers might indicate. With two days left to run in the South African city, some experienced delegates said the talks appeared to lack urgency. One minister told BBC News there was no sign yet of a text that would contain the essential top-line elements of a political deal By this stage in last year’s meeting, they said, the Mexican hosts had already decided a process to resolve outstanding differences; but that is not the case here.




NCS endorses Court of Arbitration in Nigeria T HE National Council on Sports in Nigeria yesterday overwhelmingly endorsed the establishment of the Nigerian Court of Arbitration in Sports, NCAS, by the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC. The Council which met at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Lagos to review sport activities in the country as well as confirm dates and venues for the 18th National Sports Festival to be held in Lagos from November 27 to December 9, 2012, hailed the decision of the NOC to put a stop to the Court of Arbitration in Nigeria to waive off the washing of Nigeria’s dirty linens outside the shores. The President of the NOC, Engineer Sani Ndanusa had briefed the council on NOC’s

efforts so far in establishing the Court which would entertain all petitions of sports in Nigeria and sporadic applause punctuated his speech as most Commissioners of Sports in Nigeria, Sports Directors and Zonal Cocordinators commended the NOC for their novel idea that would bring sanity to the Nigerian sporting scene. “ Nigeria is good to go for the Olympics. Thanks for the beautiful relationship between the NOC and the National Sports Commission, We have done our best administratively. Importantly, we have a committee saddled with the responsibility of setting up the Court of Arbitra-

Nsofor loving Russian life


BINNA Nsofor in an interview with the official website of Lokomotiv Moscow attention to the great contrast between life in Moscow and in provincial towns. The Nigeria international also stated that he has developed excellent relationships with his team-mates at the capital club. ''I was most struck by the contrast between Moscow and the provincial cities. In Moscow, I feel very comfortable as in a large European metropolis. But when we go somewhere for an away match, every time I wonder how much different life in

the regions of life in the capital. Contrast is huge!'' Obinna added: ''We simply have a great team and it really helps on the field. Most of the time I spend with Da Costa. We had played together back in West Ham. We rented an apartment in the same house, we go together to train. But even with all the other guys I have a good contact. Even those who do not speak in English. Glushakov, for example, does not know any foreign language, but if you look at it, you would think that he speaks in English and in Serbian, and Portuguese. He is always joking with the foreigners. Great guy!''

tion in Sports and we have gone far to ensure that we comply with all international rules . We have been to CAS in Lussaine and will soon meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Senate as well as the House of Representatives. It is going to be an inde-

pendent court in sports”. No sooner has he finished than the council pay glowing tributes to the NOC and the NSC and urged all Nigerians to embrace the NCAS. The committee saddled with the responsibility to set up the Court of Arbitration in Sports in Nigeria is headed by eminent exinternational, Chief Adokie Amiesmaka.

Football academy launches camp site in Ogun


s part of efforts to ensure a conducive environment for its players to learn the rudiments of modern days football, management of Wusu Football Club and Academy, Idiroko, Ogun State on Saturday launched a camp site for its players. The launching of the camp site, situated at Taiwo Street, behind old Immigration Office, Ajegunle, Idi Iroko, was held at the playground of Iko Grammar School in Ajegunle, Idi Iroko, Ipokia Local Government area of Ogun State. Chairman of the event, Elder Toyin Taiwo, described the project as a positive initiative ever seen among academies in Ogun State and called on wellmeaning Nigerians to support the dream of the management of Wusu FC, Wal Royal Nigeria Limited to give the Nigerian youths a well-secured future. Raymond King, assistant goalkeeper’s trainer of Gateway FC, who represented the

Abeokuta-based football club at the occasion, enjoined the players to make best use of the opportunity giving them by Wusu FC, adding that with commitment and determination of both the management and players of the grassroots football club, the sky is their limit. Team Manager of the club, Coach Tunde Oyebande said that the camp site is a home away from home for the players. He called on the players to be good ambassadors of their parent during their stay in the club. He said Wusu FC/Academy is out to add value to Nigerian football with the aim of discovering, grooming and nurture young players to the stardom. He noted that with connection around the world especially in European countries like Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Denmark and United Kingdom, talented Nigerian young players will have the opportunity of plying their trades with clubs in these countries with assistant from the club.

Shell Cup: Prize money jacked up N8m


INNERS of the 14th edition of All Nigeria Secondary School Football Championship tagged Shell Cup will share the sum of N8 million among themlves. The overrall winner will pocket N3.5 million while the first runners-up will receive N2 million just as the third and fourth position will receive N1 million each. Speaking in Lagos yesterday at a pree brief, Mr. Tony Attah, vice president, HSE and Corporate Affairs, Shell Development Petroleum Company of Nigeria (SPDC) noted that the company is particularly challenged by the recent developments in Nigeria football and the accompany call for the immediate intervention of stakeholders operating at school level.

By Bimbo Adeshina "We wish to commend the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for his initiatives aimed at bringing about a re-generation, within our sports development structure, especially as it concerns football at the secondary school level throught the country," Attah said. The state finals will holds between January 20 and 21 while the zonal preliminaries is scheduled for January 27 to 31 in nine centes which includes Ijebu Ode, Osogbo, Enugu, Owerri, Calabar, Kaduna, Minna, Katsina and Gombe. The quarter-finals is slated for Ilorin, Akure, Kano and Lagos between February 9 to 12 while the semi-finals and finals holds in Port Harcourt between February 23 to 27, 2012.

Samba backs Yak to hit 20goal mark


LACKBURN Rovers skipper Chris Samba believes Yakubu Aiyegbeni can hit 20 goals for the club this season – but admits they now need to stop conceding at the other end. Yakubu’s four-goal salvo fired Rovers to a crucial 4-2 win at home to Swansea City on Saturday, taking his season tally to 10, and Samba has backed him to continue his exploits in front of goal. Only Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy have reached the magic 20 mark for Rovers over the past decade but Samba knows they have to tighten up defensively

to make the most of Yakubu’s prolifics. Rovers have conceded 32 goals in just 14 Premier League games this season, the second worst defensive record in the division, and Samba is desperate to see that change, starting with Sunday’s trip to Sunderland. Samba said: “What Yakubu did for us is no surprise to any of us at all. We know if you give the ball to theYak heisgoingtoproducesomething on the right spot for you all the time. It is no surprise at all he got four and we are very happy for him.




VOL. 7 NO.1969

Tomorrow in THE NATION ‘Sometimes, I wonder if Jonathan is not treading the self-destruct path with his fixation on the so-called fuel subsidy matter. It is as if his Transformation Agenda is solely built on that platform. Perhaps there is an unconscious drive towards speeding up historical processes that may include mass revolt. ’ YOMI ODUNUGA



N Nov., 3, 1981, the CVU 4200R was filled with 14litres of petrol at National petrol service station with a total of two naira. On Nov., 11, 1981 the CVU car no. 942 bought a full tank of 32.7 litres for a total cost of five naira. Also on Nov. 13, 1991 another CVU car no. 480B attached to my office bought 19.6 litres for three naira. All the receipts from the petrol station on Ikoyi Road, Obalende, Lagos are verifiable in my records. There are many others as I always insist on receipts to clear any advance given to the drivers. At that time, I was the Federal Director of Budget. By 1990 the records presented remained continuous until 1992 when the price escalated to 70 kobo per litre. In 1993 the government decreed a price of N11 per litre. The records presented were without any subsidy paid by the government. At that time we produced the crude oil which we refined in our local refineries earlier constructed with a processing capacity of 440,000 barrels per day. By 1993, for lack of maintenance, the production of the refineries reduced to 240,000 barrels per day. That started our journey to importation of petroleum for our use. By the time the so-called civilian administration came in 1999, a price of N40, later raised to N65 and now about to be raised to N145 per litre by January 2012. Clearly, the record of the CVU cars already given indicates why subsidy should never have existed in Nigeria for petroleum products. We produce crude oil at some cost – perhaps $4 per barrel. If, in the years when we refined our crude oil we were selling petrol at 15 kobo per litre and the cost of production has not changed astronomically as we are being made to believe, why does the Nigerian government insist on the removal of subsidy that, in the first place, could not be justified? If they are justifying it by the import price plus other costs and transportation, why can’t we build more refineries as was done by previous administration? There is a danger signal if that incorrect, unsupported decision is stubbornly carried out in 2012 as we have been told. The most important case against the removal is that prices of everything will rise. Transportation will become more expensive for all the commuters whether car owners or ordinary passengers. The farmers in the villages will pay higher transportation cost for food items to be brought to towns and cities. Students will pay more for schools. Workers will pay more. Market women and men will raise their prices. The recently announced N18,000 minimum wage will buy less than when the workers earned N7,500 as minimum wage. The President should, consider constructing, a big refinery in Lagos to refine some 400,000 barrels per day. The cost of the so-called subsidy will finance the construction of such refinery. The refinery will not only make Nigeria self-sufficient in domestic supply but will have some excess for export. At today’s cost, considering the one that was just


...with those DANE GUNS?



The case against fuel subsidy removal and SWF

• President Goodluck Jonathan

built in Indonesia to refine 400,000 barrels per day at the cost of four billion US Dollars, you will sell a litre for far less than today’s pump price of N65. The undefined, non-specific promises of spending the subsidy to be withdrawn on infrastructure are unacceptable. The prices to be paid are specific and certain. The promises of the President can not be evaluated. Will the President tell Nigerians what items of their current expenses will the additional infrastructure to be provided replace? Nigerians are not willing to accept a general statement of benefits undefined. The president should not sell to Nigerians a pig in the poke. Nigeria is an economy that is not yet committed to providing jobs for her workforce. There is no reason why Nigeria should use the price of imported goods processed from her raw materials (crude oil) abroad to determine the pump price of oil in Nigeria. That is certainly not the correct price as it has already included two ways additional costs of transportation, more expensive labour costs of refinery abroad, demurrage, storage costs plus the profit mark-up of the marketers. The present price of N65 per litre is not the correct price. It is a lazy economic thought. It is an economic principle unknown to all economic textbooks. Yet, the

importers must recover their cost and profit mark-up. Nigeria must process her crude at home. Nigerians must be challenged to create jobs for their children roaming the street by being employed at the refinery. To challenge Nigerians, the President should get the amount being brandished around as subsidy to build refinery at the Lagos port to process 400,000 barrels per day or more. He must fix the existing refineries to refine 440,000 barrels per day or not less than 300,000 barrels per day. A board should be constituted from our brightest businessmen and women. Some names that keep coming to me are General IBM Haruna (Rtd), Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Osunkeye, Malam. Nuhu Ribadu, Malam el-Rufai, Mr. Fola Adeola, Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr Atedo Peterside, Mrs Yewande Zacheus, Chief (Mrs) Bola Shagaya, Dame (Mrs) Princilla Kuye and Chief (Mrs) Bola Doherty. A loan of $4billion will provide for the construction with a two year moratorium, payable annually for 15 years at the market rate of interest in U.K. or European countries. The President should see this as a better choice than the removal of subsidy with undefined promise of compensatory infrastructure to which Nigerians will not be able to hold onto. Do not remove oil subsidy. Nigeria will not be able to bear the chaotic consequences. The President should therefore not regard the opponents of the removal of oil subsidy as enemies of his administration as he was quoted to have said in Tribune of November 14. To declare that “the opponents want to topple my government” sounds like blackmail. And, for the President to insist that “no going back on oil sector deregulation” sounds dictatorial. It means once we have voted for him we have surrendered our rights to complain. His administration will be worse than that of mili- • Kuye is former Federal Director of Budget and tary dictatorship although he told Nigerians Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland. few weeks ago that he was not “a Military General’. A military General cannot be worse. •Segun Gbadegesin returns in a fortnight



HREE days ago, President Goodluck Jonathan told Nigerians that though he supported state police in theory, he thought it was premature to institute it now. He stated his position in Ilorin at the opening of the second quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), Northcentral Zone. “State police, theoretically, is good,” said the president, “but given the Nigerian political environment, it can be extremely abused.” He goes on to say: “Until the leaders at the state level can remain neutral about issues that affect the people, and until we begin to see free and fair elections, (it is only then) we can have confidence that the state apparatus will not be used against the people, and then we can talk of state police.” The sum of the president’s message is that the federal government is mature enough to run the police, but states are immature and prejudiced. This is extraordinarily fallacious. The federal government is itself seldom neutral on anything. Jonathan’s position on state police is the conventional view, but it is a grossly unscientific view. Since states have never been allowed to run their own police establishments, there is no proof, no matter how cleverly we extrapolate from state policies and

On related issue of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), the Minister of Finance, declared on the television few days ago that “there is no going back on the account of SWF” adding that it has already been opened with the $1 billion from the Excess Crude Oil Account. In the 1999 Constitution, there is no provision for Excess Crude Oil Account. The constitution provides that “the Federation shall maintain a special Account to be called “the Federation Account: into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the government of the Federation, Section 162 (1). And, Section 162 (2) provides that subject to the advice from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission Any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal, State and the Local Government Councils in each state” Section 162(3). However, the coordinating minister has told Nigerians that the account has been opened “with $1billion taken from the excess crude oil account and that there is nothing anybody can do about the SWF account”. One believes that Nigerians want to be governed by law. It is difficult for many of us to accept this blunt statement in view of the subsisting law suit by some governors at the Supreme Court and, the provisions of the constitution. There are no countries in the world that operate their economies without subsidy of one kind or the other. The freest economies in the world are: the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the European countries. All of them subsidise their agriculture. If they also decide to introduce new products, they encourage their investing citizens with all sorts of financial assistance. It is only the economies of poor countries caught by the new (IMF) International Monetary Fund doctrinaire of free importation without protective import duty and total removal of subsidies that are propagated by the theories of the IMF economists as if there is no economic principle of infant industry. All economic textbooks, no matter how elementary, granted to non-developed countries the right to protect their infant industries behind a high tariff wall so as to get them to industrialise. Without such policies no developing country will ever be industrialised. They will never acquire modern technology without subsidy and other assistance from their government. They will not be able to provide jobs for their workers. They will remain perpetual exporters of raw materials to the developed world. They will not be able to raise the standard of living of their people. Those countries will remain perpetually poor.

State police not premature behaviour, that most states cannot in fact behave with greater maturity and neutrality than the federal government on general security or management of autonomous law enforcement organs. Indeed, there are few Nigerians who think the federal government has behaved responsibly in its management and deployment of the police force, or that it has done both efficiently. The Nigeria Police is not only poorly funded and badly trained, it is also poorly equipped and badly managed. Discipline and morale are low, and the police’s penchant for brutality, extra-judicial killings and sundry malfeasances have risen in leaps and bounds. It is unrealistic to say states could fare worse in managing the police if they had the chance. Already, even circumstances have made federally-run police antiquated. Apart from salaries and other inefficient and cumbersome administrative responsibilities still under the supervision of the federal government, states are heavily involved in funding and ‘managing’

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above the inefficient organisation. Without states funds, the police would have collapsed everywhere in the country. It is a disturbing paradox that though states virtually fund the police, they have little say in deployments and promotions. The simplest argument for state police is that the federal government has lost control of the security situation, not only at state level, but also at federal level. Nowhere is safe anymore. The federal government needs its security burden to be lightened. It is not only when we have a central police organisation that we can guarantee that state police is not ‘extremely abused.’ The security situation in all 36 states is worsening, and the federal government neither has the money nor the time and acumen to run the police. It should wisely and proactively devolve control to the states while putting constitutional and legal safeguards to ensure states manage their police organs well. If states run their judicial systems and citizens still have the opportunity to appeal to higher judicial authorities to get redress for unjust state actions, there is no reason to bar them from running their police establishments within constitutional limits. President Jonathan’s views on state police are anachronistic, unproductive and stifling.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation December 09, 2011  
The Nation December 09, 2011  

The Nation December 09, 2011