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‘Ex-President's shuttles not political’ www.thenationonlineng.net


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012


THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

2015: Northern leaders wary of Obasanjo’s anti-Jonathan moves

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N spite of rapprochement by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Northern leaders are wary of his 2015 permutations to appease the region against President Goodluck Jonathan. Northern leaders are weighing options on the need to weather the storm alone instead of allowing Obasanjo to have his way for the third time. The former President was instrumental to the imposition of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007 and the incumbent President in 2011 to frustrate the North’s desire for two terms in office. But following sharp disagreements with President Jonathan, the ex-President is alleged to be leading a discreet campaign to deny Jonathan a second term ticket in 2015. Obasanjo’s latest move is seen as a step to “appease” the North for the alleged “political errors” in 2007 and 2011. The spokesman for the former President, Mallam Garbadeen Mohammed, however, said the recent shuttles of his principal to some leaders in the North and in the East had nothing to do with 2015.

•’Ex-President shuttles not political’ Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation Investigation by our correspondent showed that Northern leaders are still not favourably disposed to realigning with Obasanjo in their 2015 agenda. It was learnt that some members of the National Assembly from the North also do not support a fresh romance with Obasanjo by the region. A top member of Arewa Consultative Forum, who spoke with select newsmen in Abuja, said: “Going by what the North has gone through in the past few years, it will be a political suicide to entrust our political destiny in Obasanjo’s hands in 2015. “Obasanjo has a track record of those he had moved against because they disagreed with him. They include past Senate presidents, and his VP, Abubakar Atiku. Even at a critical moment, he made some remarks against the late President Umaru Yar’Adua when the latter was sick. “The North does not trust him because he has a history

of imposing his views on people. During the choice of who succeeded him, he picked Yar’Adua despite opposition from his (Yar’ Adua’s) constituency (the North). “Obasanjo insisted it must be Yar’Adua, who his kinsmen felt was too ill to face the rigors of office. Now, the North detests Obasanjo because they feel he deliberately planted a southerner, Goodluck Jonathan as VP, who eventually threw spanner in the works. “The North feels sticking out their neck will be a big gamble because if the SouthSouth, South-East, and the South-West where Obasanjo is abhorred should throw their weight behind Jonathan, they (North) would be left in the lurch. Responding to a question, the source added: “Another problem Obasanjo has with the North is his prescription of Odi massacre for Maiduguri, which is the Boko Haram’s haven. The Northerners are not happy about this option and a former Minister of Communications, Alhaji

Shettima Ali Monguno, said so recently. “Obasanjo had moved against Atiku, blocked his ambition when Atiku ran against Jonathan during the PDP primaries. He had also fought another Northerner, exHouse of Representatives Speaker Umar Ghali Na’Aba and removed a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Audu Ogbeh. “Obasanjo met with Kebbi, Kano , Sokoto, Katsina state governors after his mosque fund raiser in Abeokuta. He was unable to sell his project. Sule Lamido who he had favored to step in did not attend the event. “The South-East does not trust him because he was one of those who masterminded the removal of the chairmanship of PDP from the SouthEast.” A former presidential aspirant in the North said: “We are weighing options on 2015 but I am sure by now all our leaders, including Northern governors, know where we are going. We won’t play a second

fiddle again. The ACF has submitted a roadmap to the Northern Governors Forum to serve as a guide. “I can just say that this time around, no one will dictate to us.” A reliable source at the National Secretariat, who spoke in confidence, said: “His move against Jonathan will fail. The move is symptomatic of his penchant to reject anything that does not serve his interest. Obasanjo is a man who likes to play god on any national issue because of his erroneous belief that he has played more prominent roles than anybody in Nigeria. “For this, he believes that he has monopoly of knowledge. He has this false sense of acceptability nationwide. It is clear Obasanjo has no clear electoral value; he has no interest of the North or SouthEast at heart but just vendetta. “The PDP lost in his ward but he still believes he has the South-West in his grip. His daughter failed in her return bid. Most of those who worked with him as individuals or group lived to regret it, so no one trusts him. Even a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, who is defending the former President, once disagreed openly with him. “The South-East does not see him as an ally, he has shortchanged them several times. Ask what happened to the chairmanship of PDP that was for Igbo.” But speaking with our correspondent, the spokesman for the former President, Mallam Garbadeen Mohammed, said the recent shuttles of his principal to some Northern and Eastern

•Obasanjo states have nothing to do with 2015. Mohammed said: “There is no disagreement between President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. To the best of my knowledge, their relationship is very, very cordial. Whatever you are reading about any disagreement, it is a creation of people in the media. “The launch of the mosque project at the Obasanjo Presidential Library was purely a spiritual development, there was nothing political about it. I was in Abeokuta , there was no political undertone to it. It is a project towards the development of unity and religious harmony in the country. “There were people that are not Muslims at the launch of the mosque. As a matter of fact, the Kaduna State Government even donated N20million to the project.” On the 2015 politics, Mohammed added: “I have no authority whatsoever on 2015 on what is going to happen, I have no authority to say anything.” Asked why Obasanjo had been embarking on political shuttles, the spokesman said: “Since His Excellency, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, left office, he has been in demand in the country and outside to play the role of a statesman. The reality is that people appreciate him at home and abroad, those shuttles were not political at all.”

NAFDAC destroys N20m goods

T •President, New Era Foundation, Senator Oluremi Tinubu; the winner of the Spelling Bee 2012 Miss Lilian Ogbuefi (secdond left); Miss Ireti Ogedenbge (extreme right) and Jonathan Chibueze during a courtesy visit to Senator Tinubu in office, Yaba, Lagos.

HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) on Friday destroyed stockfish worth about N20 million in Aba, Abia State. NAFDAC’s Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, Aba Special Zone,Mr Emeka Onwuasoanya, told The Nation correspondent at the site of de-

Court didn’t stop us from prosecuting Babalakin ––EFCC

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HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said the court did not stop it from prosecuting the Chairman of Bi-Courtney, Dr. Olawale Babalakin. The EFCC made the clarification in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren. The statement reads: “Contrary to reports by a section of the media, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has not been stopped from arraigning Dr. Olawale Babalakin by any court order. “The ruling by Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court, Lagos which many have construed as a restraining order, merely granted leave to the applicant to apply for an order of prohibition preventing the EFCC and the Attorney-General of the Federation from going ahead with his arraignment. “This was one of three prayers sought by Babalakin through an ex-parte application. But Justice Idris turned down the two other prayers, which included an order to restrain the respondents from prosecuting the applicant. “Their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction against the EFCC and the AGF is scheduled to be heard on December 12, 2012. “Babalakin was to have been arraigned on Thursday November 30 before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on money laundering charges but failed to show up, claiming sudden illness that necessitated his hospitalisation at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. “Justice Onigbanjo has adjourned the case to Decem-

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation ber 12, 2012.” The businessman and four others - Alex Okoh, Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Remix Nigeria Limited- are facing a 27-count charge for fraudulently transferring various sums of money on behalf of the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, through third parties to some foreign accounts under the guise of purchasing a Challenger Jet Aircraft. In the charge sheet, however, all the suspects will be

arraigned in court for alleged “conspiracy to commit felony to wit: corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP. C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003.” They are also to respond to allegation of “corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action contrary to Section 98A (1) (a) of the Criminal Code Law, CAP. C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003.” The third peg of their trial borders on alleged “retention of proceed of a criminal conduct contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.”

Court rules on Capital Oil and Gas boss December 11

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FEDERAL High Court, Abuja, will on December 11 decide whether to set aside its November 13 interim order forfeiting properties belonging to Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited and its Managing Director, Ifeanyi Ubah, to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Justice Abdul Kafarati fixed the date after parties adopted their addresses. It will be recalled that Uba and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited were among the 113 companies and 419 directors/shareholders that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) listed as AMCON debtors. At the resumed hearing, counsel to Capital Oil and Gas, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, asked the court to vacate the interim order in the interest of the general

Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja public. He said the interim order had created artificial scarcity of petroleum products across the federation. Besides, he contended that AMCON was yet to commence the debt recovery action, which was to be carried out within 14 days from the date the interim order was granted. Opposing the application, AMCON urged the court to issue an order for the sale of all the petroleum products within the disposal of the company, insisting that it intended to keep proceeds of the sale in an interest yielding account to be opened in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court.

Sunny NWANKWO,Aba struction that the stockfish was mopped up after 100 per cent inspection from two 40 feet containers. He said over 500 bags of stockfish were discovered to have been spoilt after the inspection and no longer good for human consumption. The NAFDAC officer, however, commended the importer for giving the agency the required support during the inspection. “It is true that the company lost huge sums of money, but the destruction was inevitable to avoid being consumed by unsuspected buyers,’’ . Mrs Emmanuela Okorie, Managing Director of KC Nnodim and Son Ltd. and importer of the goods, said that the stockfish was imported from Norway, attributing the damage to the leakage of the containers while on the sea. “We imported the goods from Norway and during off-loading, we found out that most of them were damaged,’’ the owner of the goods explained. She said the problem was a normal thing in such business, but the loss in the present transaction was enormous. Mrs Okorie said she borrowed money from banks to buy the goods with no insurance to cover for such a loss. “I really felt bad, particularly in this very one where I lost 90 per cent of the goods to water leakages,’’ she said.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Over 3 million Nigerians live with HIV/AIDS, says Health Minister

Ojukwu's Will shocks Bianca

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HE much-awaited will of Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, was read yesterday, with Bianca, his widow and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, expressing shock over the appearance of the name of a hitherto unknown daughter of the exBiafran leader in the will. The will identified unknown Tenny Haman as one of Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s children. She was said to have been fathered by Ojukwu through a Sierra-Leonean woman she met when he was the Commander of the 5th Battalion in Kano in the 1960s. Expressing shock over the sudden emergence of Tenny Haman, Bianca said her husband never spoke about her while he was alive. The late Ikemba Nnewi’s will was presented to the family by the Chief Registrar of the Enugu High Court, Mr Dennis Ekoh, with Bianca getting the lion’s share.

...as unknown daughter is listed Linus Obogo and Chris OJI, Enugu Besides Bianca, the presentation of the will was also witnessed by Mr Mike Ejemba and Ojukwu’s first cousin, Mr. Val Nwosu. None of Ojukwu’s children was present at the presentation of the will. Other Ojukwu children listed in the will include Chukwuemeka Jnr, Mmegha, Okigbo, Ebele, Chineme, Afam and Nwachukwu. According to the will, the late Ikemba Nnewi’s Casabianca Lodge at No. 7, Forest Crescent, GRA, Enugu; two of his properties at Jabi and Kuje in the FCT as well as all his money and personal effects belong to his widow. Bianca will also replace him as the trustee in the family company, Ojukwu Transport Ltd, in

addition to two plots of land in Nnewi. He however added a caveat: Bianca will forfeit the land if she remarries. His eldest son, Emeka Jnr., got the family house at Nnewi, while the newly-mentioned daughter, Tenny Haman, got Jubilee Hotel, located in Zaria, Kaduna State. The Biafran warlord also shared other landed property in the village among all his children. Ojukwu listed the trustees and executors of the will to include Bianca, Emeka Jnr and Mr James Chukwuneme. Reacting to the will, Bianca expressed satisfaction with its contents. “It was a fair will. This time round, he did not disappoint us,’’ she said. But the most shocking aspect of the will would be the conspicuous omission of Ojukwu’s look-a-like son, Debechukwu

•Gov Rochas Okorocha in warm embrace with the visiting Head of European Union in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr David Macrae, during a courtesy call at Govt House, Owerri.

Election tribunal dismisses appeal against HE Court of Appeal Tinubu’s son-in-law sitting in Ado-Ekiti,

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Ekiti State yesterday dismissed a case brought against Hon. Oyetunde Ojo by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Mr Kehinde Odebunmi. In a judgment delivered by a member of the Appeal, Justice Ejembi Eko, the court awarded N50, 000 cost to the respondent. In the judgment, the court held that section 17 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and section 36 subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended cited by appellant applicant is misleading, noting that section 285 is very clear on the matter. Justice Eko said the preparation of Appeal as pre-

Augustine EHIKIOYA and Faith YAHAYA, Abuja.

•Ex-beauty queen gets lion’s share •Eight children recognised

scribed by the law is within 60 days. He noted that like the Rock of Gibraltar, time fixed in election petition cases cannot be extended or expanded. He added that no court would ever submit to the fantasy or fallacy in the argument of the applicant. He, therefore, struck out the appeal as the time had lapsed. It will be recalled that Hon. Oyetunde Ojo had filed an application praying the Appeal Court to strike out the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Odebunmi had gone to the tribunal after losing both the general and re-run elections in the Ijero/Efon Alaaye/Ekiti West Federal Constituency, won by Oye Ojo of the Action

Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The dismissal was hinged on late filing, having failed to adhere to the sixty (60) days stipulated by law. Speaking shortly after the judgment, Ojo, who is a sonin-law of the ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he at all times believed in justice and equity. He stressed: "I bear no grudge against my opponent for exercising his rights. But politicians should learn to accept defeat, particularly when they lose to very popular and widely accepted candidates." He said elections should not be an all-out war, and thanked his party leaders and supporters throughout the country and beyond.

Odumegwu-Ojukwu. It will be recalled that Debe, who had persistently claimed to be Ojukwu’s eldest child, had been locked in serious battle with other members of the family. The simmering feud in the family came into the open at the funeral of the late warlord on March 2, where Debe was conspicuously missing from the venue. He later disclosed that his absence was not unconnected with a matter that was already in court as his father’s brothers insisted that they would not work or relate with him in respect of his father’s burial because of the court case. Debe also revealed that litigation involving some of the family members over the vast estate of their patriarch, Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, dates back to the 1970s. But the matter took a turn for the worse when the two parties chose the media to exchange words. Debe had insisted that he is the first son of the late Ikemba and, according to Igbo tradition, he should be allowed to perform the dust to dust rites during his burial. Only recently, Debe slammed a N100 million suit on Bianca and six others at a Federal High Court in Lagos, accusing them of preventing him from managing his father’s estate and performing the dust to dust rites during his burial. Also joined in the legal battle are Ojukwu Transport Limited;

T •The late Ojukwu Prof. Joseph O. Ojukwu; Engr. Emmanuel N. Ojukwu; Mr. Lotanna Ojukwu; Emeka Ojukwu; Mr. Patrick Ojukwu; Mrs. Margret Mogbo nee Ojukwu; the Inspector-General of Police and a former Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, now an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Mukhtar. Reacting to the will last night, Debe said he was yet to see a copy of it. But was quick to add that his exclusion from the will would not in any way alter his DNA and that he is not hungry. He said: "I have not seen or read the will. I heard about it the same way you heard about it, and I cannot uphold or dismiss the will since I have not seen or read it. “However, as a lawyer, I must add that a will is not sacrosanct as it could be manipulated or forged. And it can be challenged in court. "Even if I am excluded from the will, it does not change my DNA as Ojukwu's son. But permit me to say that I am not hungry, as God has blessed me enough."

HE Federal Ministry of Health has disclosed that more than 3 million Nigerians are living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a press briefing to mark World AIDS Day with the theme "Resourcing the National Response towards Getting to Zero AIDS Related Deaths". The Minister, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Mansur Kabir, explained that the virus has claimed over 20 million lives globally, with an estimated 33 million people living with it. He said: "Globally, the HIV/ AIDS epidemic has claimed over 20 million lives, with an estimated 33 million people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)" "Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 25 million of these people and Nigeria is home to about 3,130,000 infected with the virus. Presently, Nigeria bears the second highest burden of HIV/AIDS, next to South Africa and third in the whole world after South Africa and India" To achieve this year theme, the Minister explained that efforts will be stepped up towards successful passage of the HIV/ AIDS and anti-stigma bill and the upscaling of awareness creation strategy.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Anxiety over 424 awaiting trial inmates at Kuje Prisons •'Only 83 of 507 inmates convicted' Gbenga OMOKHUNU, Abuja

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F the 507 prisoners at the Medium Security Prisons in Kuje, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, 424 are awaiting trial while only 83 were convicted, it was learnt yesterday. According to sources, many of the awaiting trial inmates have been there for more than 20 years without even going to court while those who are fortunate to scale the huddles have been experiencing slow dispensation of justice. The situation, according to our correspondent who visited the prison yard, was pathetic for the awaiting trial inmates who did not know the day they would leave the vicinity. The capacity of the prison has been overwhelmed by prisoners who during a visit by the Abuja branch of the St. Gregory College Old Students Association, Ikoyi Lagos called for help out of their situation, which many of them described is getting out of hand. A sum of N150,000 was given to the inmates through the prisons authority to help speed up their trial and alleviate their suffering. The President of the association, Chief Kimashinor Nwakalo-Imu told The Nation that the old students felt the pains of the inmates and that was why the body came to see them and worship with them. Nwakalo-Imu, a lawyer, said efforts were on to ensure that the trial of the prisoners were quickened. He encouraged the inmates to remain calm and abide by the rules of the prison, adding that they would not be left alone. There was heavy security to forestall unforeseen incidents while visitorsd were subjected to serious screening before they were allowed into the prison yard. One of the visitors who was there to see his brother who had been awaiting trial for more than 20 years, said on condition of anonymity: "It is sad. My brother has been here for 20 years now awaiting trial for fighting with a woman in his compound. All efforts to get him out of here have been futile. We are calling on government to speed up his trial. I can't wait for him to be released."

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FIRM, Stallion Group has disclosed plans to give out 316 low cost

trucks for genuine farmers in the country. The Brand Manager, Foton, Mr. Prashant Sinha, stated this yesterday during a briefing in Abuja. He said the gesture was to support farmers in transporting their produce, especially after harvest. According to him,

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Bomb factory uncovered in Zaria

ECURITY operatives have uncovered a bomb making factory in the Zaria area of Kaduna State, recovering improvised explosive devices in various stages of completion and arresting a 60-year-old man, Umaru Mohammed, in the process. The raid, which was carried out by a combined team of officers of the Nigerian Army, the Police and operatives of the State Security Service, is coming barely four days after the explosion at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji. The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations in charge of the One Mechanised

•60-year-old arrested Tony AKOWE, Kaduna Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, told newsmen in his office that the exercise took place in the early hours of Thursday, November 29, 2012. He also disclosed that in line with the resolve of security agents in the country to fight terrorism, the two-bedroom bungalow housing the bomb factory had been demolished while the suspect and the items recovered were in custody. Usman said: "We invited you to inform you that following a tip off from well-mean-

ing citizens of this country, a combined team of troops of the Nigerian Army, elements of the Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Security carried out a cordon-andsearch operation at Kwanar Shahada, Jushin Ciki, Zaria city, Kaduna State yesterday, Thursday 29 November, 2012 from 01300 -0800 hours (1.308.00am) local time. "During the operation, a two-bedroom bungalow of bomb factory was discovered in which Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in stage one of readiness and several IED

making components were recovered as follows: 17 sensor mechanical timers (remote controls); 11 primed suicide bombers vests; 36 IEDs in bobo cans; one military kitbag with support items like saw, hammer, cello tape and gums; two gallons of paints containing prepared IEDs; two gallons of Turkey oil brand with prepared IEDs; seven rolls of wires of various lengths; one bag containing several sensors and 25 9-volt batteries. "A 60-year-old man, Umaru Mohammed, was arrested within the premises and in line

with our resolve to deter terrorists, the building housing the factory was demolished. Both the suspect and the items recovered are under custody. "Headquarter, 1 division, Nigerian Army would like to use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the wellmeaning citizens that reported the matter and also reiterate our resolve to fight terrorism in this country. "We also wish to appeal to the general public to report any suspicious movement, establishment or persons in their environments. We wish to assure you that any information provided would be treated with absolute confidentiality."

Sexual assault: Ex-IMF boss Strauss-Khan in $6m deal with maid

From left: The Pro-Chancellor, Igbinedion University (IOU), Okada, Prof David Awanbor; Deputy Chancellor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion and Guest Lecturer/Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, during the 10th convocation ceremony of the university in Okada, Edo State... yesterday.

PDP BoT chair: Anenih, Ali, Nnamani to know fate January 8

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HE Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees will elect the successor to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on January 8, 2013. Interested persons have up to one week to submit their letters of intent. This was disclosed yesterday at the end of an emergency BoT meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa. BoT National Secretary, Senator Walid Jubril, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting, said the emergency meeting which had the BoT chairmanship as the only business of the day, was intended to look at the modalities for electing Obasanjo’s successor. He said: “The election will come up in January. But before then, we have to get intent from members of the committee. Up to the moment of the meeting, the board was yet to get any intent from any member. “The discussion gave an insight into how to bring in the new chairman. We are not in a hurry to bring in a new chairman. “We want to come up with a chairman who is sound, credible, acceptable and with proven integrity and has a clear vision for the party.” He also said the position is open to any member of the board. Former President Obasanjo had resigned his appointment as the BoT chairman, creating the vacuum that party leaders are expected to fill. “Whoever emerges, according to the party constitution,

Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja will serve a single term of five years. Main contenders for the office are former national chairman of the party, Dr Ahmadu Ali; former Works Minister, Chief Tony Anenih; former Senate President, Dr. Ken Nnamani and Chairman, Champion Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. Anenih served as BoT Chairman of the party from 2003 to 2007 after Dr. Alex Ekwueme’s five years’ tenure as pioneer boss of the board. Ekwueme, a vice president in the Second Republic and the founding protem National Chairman of the party, served as the BoT boss between 1998 and 2003. However, Anenih was displaced by Obasanjo in 2007 in what was akin to a palace coup, barely a month after the end of his second term as President. Some of the notable personalities present were PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; Senate President, David Mark; former vice president, Alex Ekwueme; former Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; former Chairman of the party, Dr. Haliru Bello; former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Adamu Abdullahi; Jim Nwobodo; former Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba; former Chairman Barnabas Gemade; Chief Bode George; Mrs. Mariam Amodu Ali; Vincent Ogboulafor; Sunny Odogwu; Kema Chikwe; Danjuma Goje; Ebenezer Babatope and Ibrahim Mantu, among others.

Low cost trucks for farmers Olugbenga ADANIKIN, Abuja beneficiaries are to pay N2.7 million instead of N4.5 million on instalment of two years through what he called "pay small small" (PSS) method. He regretted that despite the nation's huge agricultural produce, the larger percentage accounts for post harvest losses. Sinha said: "You will agree

with me that one of the greatest challenges of farming in Nigeria is transportation and, to a large extent, appropriate solution is needed for enhancing good yields." The Executive Director of Admiral Environmental Care Ltd, AEC, Mr. Shedrack Madlion noted that Nigerian farmers had been faced with many challenges over the years, including the problem of transportation.

He said with the trucks, farmers could make food available, as the trucks will foster easy distribution of staple foods. Earlier, a former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Shettima Mustapha, blamed some of the challenges facing the sector on overdependence on the Federal Government for support. Mustapha, an executive member of All Farmers

Association of Nigeria (AFAN) reiterated that the association was set up to encourage farmers before external supports. However, he described the initiative as commendable. The Deputy National President Admin and Operations of AFAN, Mr. Ike Ubaka admitted that the FG could not take care of the entire farmers problems thus, there was need to engage the private sector.

FORMER International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has reached a preliminary agreement with the hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault last year to settle a civil lawsuit she brought against him, sources familiar with the case said. While a source in New York cautioned that the agreement could still fall apart, influential French daily Le Monde reported, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn, that the parties had agreed on a payment of $6 million to settle the case an element dismissed by Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers as “fanciful”. Le Monde said 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn and the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, would meet a judge in New York on 7 December to sign the deal and close an affair that ended the Frenchman’s IMF career and wrecked his presidential ambitions. “The discussions have been going on for weeks, months. The agreement should be confirmed at the start of next week,” Michele Saban, a friend of Strauss-Kahn who saw him recently, told Reuters in Paris. She could not confirm the sum involved. “We are moving towards the end of a tragedy,” she said, adding that Diallo had always been open to negotiating a settlement despite reticence from her lawyers. Le Monde reported that Strauss-Kahn planned to take out a bank loan for $3 million and would be lent the other $3 million by his wife Anne Sinclair, despite the fact the couple separated in the summer and now live on different sides of Paris. infrastructural development, the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office would not find it expedient to have the input of the MDAs that actually know what they needed before being given whatever they feel. “It is disheartening to hear from one agency to the other that they have no input in the final budget proposal sent tot the National Assembly by Mr. President. “The Ministry of Finance should not just give a blanket amount to MDAs telling them to spend it anyhow they can. If they spend the money given to them anyhow they can, won’t they be violating the Appropriation Act if they really want to meet their needs with the inconsiderate envelope thrown at them by the Presidency?”


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THE NATION, Saturday, DECEMBER 1, 2012

I lo st e v e r y thin g –my ho me , m y p are n ts, w i f e & k i ds –56-yr-old freed after 24 years on death row s See page

18&19

Whoever is denying that starvation was used against the Igbo is living in denial –Ex-Biafran war commander Achuzia –Pages 20 - 21

At 50 plus, Tessy Yembra says:

I’m still available –Pages 44-45


THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Owonikoko family HE story of the Owonikoko family is as shocking as it is interesting. For them, the period between 2005 and 2010 was a trying one. How else would they describe a situation where three members of the family were clamped into detention at the same time? One of them, Quadri, was remanded in prison for several years over an offence he insists he knew nothing about. His brother was also convicted of murder and he was awaiting the hangman’s noose before he was set free. An elderly member of the family, 71-yearold Suleiman Owoniko, was arrested a day after the April 14, 2007 governorship election in Osun State. According to him, he was arrested at about 1: 45 am and was taken to the police station. “There, I was tortured on a daily basis. The police were beating me with hot machete on a daily basis for 10 days before they sent me to Ilesha Prison. After spending 11 days in prison, I was set free,” he recalled. Suleiman was rearrested on November 11, 2009. This time, he was accused of killing somebody and was again remanded at Ilesha •Famodun •Oyedele Prison. He said: “I spent three years, three months and nine days there. I was there when my mother died. I did not hear about my mother’s death until nine months after. “I fell sick. I was operated upon, yet I was not allowed any bail. I was at the General Hospital, Ilesha for four months and 14 days without being granted bail. But later, I was discharged and acquitted.” Today, Suleiman still bears the scar of the doctor’s knife on his stomach. But he is full of The period between 2005 and 2007 is one that opposition groups and supporters of the praises for Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesla who Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State, particularly the political associates of footed the bill for his treatment. Recalling how his son, Ahmed, was Governor Rauf Aregbesola, will not forget in a hurry. It was a time that many of them sentenced to death, he said: “I begged them to suffered harsh treatment in the hands of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), led let me take his place but they would not listen.” The aged man said life has not been by the then Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. For acting according to their conscience, the same for him again because the power that be in Osun State between 2005 and 2007 ruined members of the opposition parties, particularly those of the ACN, were rewarded with him. He said his businesses were crippled as a holidays in prison custody. For opposition groups, the environment was far from being result of long term detention and the physical damages he suffered. clement; a situation that forced the lucky ones among them to flee the state for refuge Showing our correspondent the remnants of elsewhere. And those who were not so lucky were consumed by the political crises that broken chairs which formed part of his rental business and the carcasses of his grinding engulfed the state. Majority of the victims of the political upheaval have put the machine that were left of his business, he said: experiences behind them, but they have not forgotten the period described by some of “As at today, I am yet to recover. The thugs that invaded my house destroyed everything.” them as the years of the locust. Some of the actors who claimed to have seen hell before a If Quadri had known the fate that awaited his ruling by the Appeal Court nullified Oyinlola’s election as the governor of the state family, he probably would have faced his cocoa business instead of dabbling into the murky relive their experiences to GBENGA ADERANTI, as Governor Aregbesola marks the waters of politics. But his resolve to serve his Oba Oke community in Olorunda Local second anniversary of his administration. Government Area as a councillor pushed him into politics. current Secretary of the party; the late Hon. Biyi Adedotun and He said: “It was on April 15 that SARS men invaded our His problem started when the PDP took over the reins of Alhaji Suleiman Aderemi. house at Oba Oke. I was arrested and detained for three days government in Osun in 2003. He was the only candidate in his Unfortunately, they were remanded in prison. in their office. They said I burnt somebody’s house in Osogbo. local government elected on the platform of the Alliance for He said: “In my own case, the witness that police brought But when they could not pin anything on me, I was released. Democracy (AD) after the 2003 election. According to him, his said I inflicted injuries on him on April 21, whereas I was But that was not until they had made me to suffer.” colleagues in the PDP chose not to have anything to do with nowhere near Osogbo on the said date. I left Osun State on If Ahmed had thought that was the end of the case, he was him. April 17. I challenged the police to show me where I had mistaken. On November 10, 2007, persons suspected to be PDP His problem started when the PDP discovered that he had inflicted bodily harm to their witness. Rather than listening to thugs allegedly invaded his shop, beat him up and arrested pitched his tent with Aregbesola in the ACN, which was then me, they detained us. In the morning, we were taken to the him alongside his father. He was accused of murder and they considered as the party’s arch rival. Magistrate’s Court. From there, we were remanded in Ilesha were remanded in prison. Ahmed was eventually convicted of He said: “I saw hell from 2004 when the PDP took over the Prisons where we spent a week before we were sent to the Ife murder. It was in the process of waiting for the hangman that reins of power in Osun. In July 2004, my house was torched by Prisons where we spent another 49 days before we were he regained his freedom. He spent four years in prison. PDP thugs. The house was completely burnt down.” granted bail. The first three days we got to prison, none of us Recalling his prison experience, he said: “The situation in the Quadri was also one of the people manhandled during the could sleep because the spirit of prison is something I can’t prison yard was hellish. There was a thing we called ‘bound 2005 Oroki Day celebration in Osogbo. In the melee that describe.” over’ or ‘no talking tone’. If you are sentenced to no talking occurred during the event, Quadri was stripped naked by Although he was freed, he was later rearrested and he spent tone, you weren’t allowed to talk or be talked to. It is only thugs believed to be loyal to the PDP. about three years in prison before Aregbesola came to his people that God really loves that go to prison and come back And after the 2007 governorship election in the state, events rescue. alive and are still useful to themselves and the society.” took a turn for the worse for Qaudri. He was declared wanted Besides the psychological trauma he went through, he said Ahmed said he knew from the time his case started that his by the police. With his party winning the governorship he lost money too. The house he rebuilt but was torched the travails would not consume him because he had shut his mind election, thugs of the then PDP connived with security agents second time by the PDP thugs remains in ruins. His cocoa store against his problems. "When I was sentenced to death, I said I to invade his house. was destroyed and the thugs made away with N1.1 million was embarking on a journey and I would still return home. I He said: “On April 17, I heard it on the radio that I was one worth of coacoa seeds. This was besides the two scales they did not kill anybody. I knew I was not going to die but live. of the people declared wanted by the police. By 2 am, a damaged while his store was raided. The first thing I did was to shut my mind out of the good policeman led a team of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to “Since then I have not been able to rebuild the store and the things of life and my wife, my children and material things my house. I scaled through the fence and walked a long house,” Quadri said. that I possessed. I knew that if I had to think about those things distance to another town before I went to Lagos.” Ahmed has every cause to thank God. He had been I could die suddenly." Since he was convinced that he did not commit any crime, sentenced to death but escaped the hangman by a whisker. Ahmed is not happy that many who benefitted directly from he later returned to Osogbo and surrendered himself to the Fully dressed in a Muslim outfit on a Monday morning, he cut their travails have looked the other way. “If not for the police alongside other ACN members like Alhaji Moshood the image of a man that would not hurt a fly. But for governor (Aregbesola), things would have been too tough for Adeoti, who was the chairman of the party and now Secretary providence, he would have been killed for a crime he said he the family," he said. to the State Government; Prince Gboyega Famodun who is the knew nothing about. Sunday Akere, Commissioner for Information

T

We saw hell wresting


THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

•Fayemiwo

13 a tiger, which is said to be no indication of timidity. He has the gift of displaying candour in the face of threat and oppression. And like Oyeduntan, he is not easily intimidated. Famodun was one of the arrowheads of the party when it started, which soon began to attract serious and deep-seated concern from the ruling party. "When we were eventually permitted to hold gatherings and rallies, they were done with fear. Most of the time, we were attacked," he said while stating the plight of the ACN. As a way of intimidating the leaders of the ACN, they were declared wanted by the police, who claimed that they instigated the protest that followed the announcement of the results of the governorship election. This singular act forced the majority of the leaders of the ACN out of the town for three and a half years. Matters got to a head when 14 of the ACN leaders were declared wanted by the police. “I could recall one nasty incident. One day, after I had left home, about 20 policemen converged here looking for me. •Akere They came in the middle of the night, and when they did not see me, they returned very early in the morning. A lot of leaders and people died as a result of all these happenings. So, for three and a half years, one could recall some events and some others we couldn’t because the momentum was so high that about three times, we were put in prison for frivolous charges. “They used all the tricks in the books to get the leaders of ACN behind bars. The most ridiculous of all the charges was the issue of the explosion at the Osun State Secretariat, which was blamed on the ACN leaders. They were charged with attempted murder, arson, and when they were eventually detained, "the experiences there. The following day, around 2 pm, the other leaders were not too good," Famodun said. and I were arraigned. The Magistrate said a formal He continued: “The situation looked like a script from application for bail should be made. He said pending the children television cartoon series, Tom and Jerry. when the bail would be perfected, we should be They used other sinister and covert means to monitor remanded at Ile Ife Prisons." the activities of the ACN leaders. For instance, the But whatever hope Akere and his lawyer shared about telephone lines of most of the leaders were bugged. But his bail soon came to naught when they realised that the unknown to the PDP, the ACN leaders knew that their Magistrate had changed his earlier stance and refused to telephones were no longer safe to discuss strategies. We grant Akere and his co-accused persons bail. After the had to employ another strategy.” formal application had been perfected, there came Famodun said the night before his house was invaded, another shocker for Akere. “The Magistrate said he had no formal jurisdiction, and he had received a warning from the most unlikely quarters. A stranger, who knew the details of the invasion that we should be remanded. Two weeks after they plot called and asked him to run, warning him of the dire remanded us, we decided that our lawyer should go to consequences of his failure to heed the advice.   the high court to fight for the enforcement of our human Fatai Oyedele, ACN chieftain rights and he went." Alhaji Fatai Oyedele aka Diekola was arrested at the It was a harrowing experience for Akere and his partners in prison. He said from the way they were being wrong time. The two-time chairman of Osogbo Local treated in detention, it was obvious that they wanted him Government was battling serious health problems when he was arrested. He was a chieftain of the PDP before he dead. He said overtures were made to a fellow leader moved to the ACN. who was arrested with him to be released on bail while He said: "When I met Aregbesola in 2005, I told him leaving Akere in the detention. Rather than consenting to that it was not going to be easy for us. They were ready what could be described as an easy way out, the man, for battle the moment they realised that I had pitched my according to Akere, insisted that the two of them were tent with the ACN. brought in together and would leave together. "It was a long process. There were "They transferred the doctor at intimidations before the election. the clinic because he Even I had a meeting with Oyinlola a recommended that they should week to the election. I said: ‘Look, I give us bail. don’t look back.’ As far as I was “After four weeks, the High On the day I was to be concerned, we were going to meet at Court granted bail to the two of the April 14 election.” us, but with different conditions. arrested, as I was He left for Lagos after he had made While my partner was granted driving, I saw a Peugeot sure that his party won in his immediate bail, they said a public This angered the office holder, preferably a Boxer car coming behind constituency. government and he was declared member of the House of wanted. Because they were unable to me. The night before, I Assembly, must sign my bail arrest Diekola, his father was picked bond. Unfortunately, all the learnt that they arrested up. The old man was in detention for members of the House of weeks. Assembly then were on vacation one of our leaders. I told three Diekola was hauled into prison the in the US. my brother who was day after he surrendered himself to “You needed to be at the prison the police. He was there for two that day; it was an emotional sitting beside me that weeks. “But they were very cautious thing when my partner insisted because at that time, my health the bus belonged to the that he would not leave the condition was bad. I told them that if I prison; that he would prefer to police and I was sure died there, their government was stay with me. “Everybody was finished because I believed that my they were coming for crying. I said it was just for seven people would not allow that to go in days and that we have people me. As I accelerated, vain.” He was later released. who do all- round fasting for 21 Israel Oyagbile, an activist or 41 days. I decided not to take they did the same thing. Sixty-year-old pharmacist human any food from anybody except I slowed down and they rights activist, Israel Oyagbile, is my blood relations for those that he is alive to tell the story seven days. But to the glory of did the same thing. And excited of the trying times in Osun State. God, it was an experience." Oyagbile said it was a bad period for suddenly, four of them Gboyega Famodun, ACN rights activists, as they were scribe came down fully armed. human molested not only by the government Soft-spoken Gboyega Famodun but security agencies too. They said I was under is the Secretary of the Action "They molested us. Twenty four of Congress of Nigeria in Osun arrest us were arrested. We spent five days State. He is a prince with the in police cell before they decided to mien of a reverend gentleman. But his gentility is akin to that of •Continued on page 14

power from PDP

—Osun commissioner, ACN scribe, others

,

Sunday Akere was the Director of Information and Strategy of the ACN between 2004 and 2011. Among the ACN chieftains, he would qualify as the most loathed by the PDP. A fearless man, Akere, who would most likely have been a gladiator in the old Roman Empire, was a thorn in the flesh of the PDP during the early days of the struggle to reclaim Aregbesola’s mandate. He was in charge of most of the articles and stories the ACN published in the media. For every move made by the ruling party, he had a counter-move, and he did this effectively. He was famous for saying things that hit the opponents where it hurt most. Several times, he was fortunate to escape from the claws of security agents and those who planned to ‘take care’ of him. He would have been arrested and detained long before the October 17 episode, but he was always lucky to have his ears close to the ground, especially in the camp of the then ruling party. Right from the time that INEC declared that the ACN had lost the election, Akere knew there could be trouble for the ACN leaders. His fear was confirmed earlier than he had thought. He said: “I was in my house when the journalists that were covering the Magistrate’s Court called me and said the Magistrate had just declared me wanted and that I should be arrested anywhere they saw me. I did not take anything from my house that day. I could not drive into town again, so the only thing I did was to get two or three pieces of clothes and left the town.” For the about three and a half months that this lasted, Akere became a persona non grata in his homeland, and could not walk the streets of the state as a free man. "On the day I was to be arrested, as I was driving, I saw a Peugeot Boxer car coming behind me. The night before, I learnt that they arrested one of our leaders. I told my brother who was sitting beside me that the bus belonged to the police and I was sure they were coming for me. As I accelerated, they did the same thing. I slowed down and they did the same thing. And suddenly, four of them came down fully armed. They said I was under arrest. It was Sunday, September 17, 2008. I said they could not take me away unless I saw an arrest warrant. The man showed me the folder he was holding and brought out the arrest warrant that was signed by a Magistrate." To his surprise, the warrant had been signed five months before the day he was arrested. As he was being taken away, he was not sure of what was going to happen. They all wore bullet-proof jackets and were carrying AK 47 guns. It was a harrowing experience. "Unfortunately, the day I was arrested, I was wearing a pair of shorts. And in detention, it was extremely cold. So, I had nothing to cover myself. I just squatted until morning. The detention room was full of faeces and smelled badly. I was put in the midst of the people that had been tortured by the police and were nursing their wounds." It was a success of sorts for the special force because Akere was a big catch. Not minding his big frame, he was put in an overcrowded cell where sitting down or standing up was a luxury. At that point, for the first time since the struggle, Akere thought he might not survive. "Within minutes, they opened the detention camp where they were keeping hardened criminals and dropped me

,


THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

14

•Ahmed Owonikoko

•Oyeduntan

•Laoye

‘We saw hell wresting power from PDP’ •Continued from page 13 take us to court," he recalled. He said at a time, 24 of members of the human rights community in the state were clamped into Ilesha Prisons for participating in a protest against the government. He recalled that after they were released the first time, they became regular visitors to the prison yards in the state. "They were sending us to prison whenever there was going to be judgment at the tribunal, thinking that we would make trouble. Each time there was going to be judgment, they would cancel our bail and send us to prison,” he said Some of them would not forget in a hurry how they missed their examinations and the risks they had to take to attend court sessions in Osogbo from their hideouts in Lagos and other parts of the country. “But the spirit was there,” Oyagbile said with excitement. Sunday Laoye, deputy governor’s brother Sunday Laoye is the elder brother of the Osun State deputy governor, Titi Laoye-Tomori. The Gestapo invasion of his home at about 3.30 am on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 over the June 14, 2007 bomb blast at the Osun State Government Secretariat irked his friends and foes. Many were shocked that the old man could be linked to a bomb explosion at the Governor’s Office. On the day he was arrested, the 10 armed policemen who invaded his house in the early hours of the day didn’t disclose their identities or where they were taking him to. Those who were conversant with the political chess game that was playing out in Osun were not surprised because they saw it coming. He was a big factor as far as Osun politics was concerned. Laoye, a kingmaker of sorts in Osun State, had been a big loss to the PDP. His Renaissance Front was a force to reckon with in Osun. At the risk of being tagged boastful, he is not afraid to flaunt his influence. Recalling his travails, he said: “I was picked up by the police. They wanted me to implicate my good friend, my leader, the governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, but I refused to do so. They took my statement away. “The following day, they sat me down. I was surrounded by three AK-43 guns, during interrogation.” After 33 days as a guest of SARS, he was taken back to the Magistrate’s Court. From there, he was sent to Ife Prisons. At Ife Prisons where he spent another 30 days, the experience changed. He was to share a cell with 32 other inmates in Cell B, Awaiting Trial Male (ATM).  Having stayed with prison inmates for more than 30 days, he had become accustomed to prison life. So, when it was time to go, it became a problem of sorts. Although it was not the first time he

•Oyagbile

would be detained, this time around, he had developed emotional attachment to the inmates. It became very difficult for him to leave the prison yard. It took some scolding from his wife to summon the courage to leave the prison yard. Recalling the experience, he said, “I was almost weeping. There was this emotional attachment.” In fact, he still has not forgiven himself that he did not say goodbye to the people that ‘accommodated’ him for more than 30 days in Ife Prisons. Gbenga Fayemiwo, Aregbe’s exmedia aide Fayemiwo knew the near-death implication of his actions when he decided to team up with the Aregbesola group to confront the opposition. As Aregbesola’s spokesperson during the turbulent times, the opposition gave him close monitoring. He said: “I was in my house on a certain night in 2006 when I received a strange telephone call. The person just called me, saying, ‘Gbenga, where are you?’ and I said I was in my house. Then he asked, ‘What are you doing?’ I said I was trying to sleep. He then said, ‘Leave that house now with your wife and children.’ Strangely, he hung up.” Shortly after the call, memories of what Aregbesola told the party members at the beginning of the struggle started flushing back. He did not need a seer to tell him that the brief encounter with a stranger, if not addressed, could spell doom. He knew he was in big trouble. Consequently, he became a nomad, moving from one place to another at the shortest notice. After surviving the first attempt on his life and those of his family, he started playing hide-and-seek with his assailants.

•Quadri Owonikoko

But he was arrested while reporting a case to the police. According to him, “We got to the police headquarters in Osogbo so that I could report an incident I considered a crime. I thought I had a right to protect the law as a citizen. But immediately a police chief saw me, he ordered my arrest. I was taken back to Ibokun for detention.” All efforts to explain his actions to the police chief fell on deaf ears. At Ibokun, the accuser became the accused. “My ordeal started from there. They ordered me to write a statement. I wrote a statement and I was transferred to the state’s CID, where the case was being investigated. Consequently, the accused person that we brought now turned to be a witness against me.” He was later left off the hook. He had a long spell of freedom before he was arrested and detained again in 2009. Layi Oyeduntan, former commissioner Those who know Layi Oyeduntan, a former health commissioner and local government chairman in Osun State, would tell you that he does not brook nonsense. A devout Muslim, Oyeduntan has been described by close associates as having the spine of steel. Unfortunately for Oyeduntan, he also became a target. And it was an open secret that he was Aregbesola’s friend. He said: “There were assassination attempts, threats and, of course, all kinds of harassment. This continued until we won the nomination of the party and then it became full blown. During the campaign for the governorship, we were attacked with guns and cutlasses. “We experienced all manner of harassments to the extent that at the Oroki Day 2006 celebration, our

candidate, Aregbesola, was virtually manhandled and prevented from honouring my invitation to the festival.” Knowing that coming to the PDP would weaken the opposition, entreaties were made to him to defect. But rather than do so, he acted his conscience and stayed put in the ACN.  Unfortunately, the bubble burst on the evening of October 18, 2008 when at about 8 pm, some men invaded his house. “They came to my house early evening, around 7:30 pm and with blazing guns. They shot their way into my premises, killed my guard dog and put the residents under severe and terrible intimidation at gun point. Fortunately for me, they were unable to get into the house.” It was in the heat of the invasion that he called his friend, the then governor, Prince Oyinlola, for assistance. Although Oyinlola was then outside the country, he promised to help. “By the way, Oyinlola is a friend, and he is still a friend. I had known him even before Osun; we played golf together. He is a friend of quite a large number of people. I refused to join the PDP. “At that time, I thought I was being attacked by armed robbers. I made calls to several people, including the Commissioner of Police. A lot of people from outside the state started making calls, seeking to know what was going on and whether to mobilise the police to my side.” He was shocked when he discovered later that the intruders were working in tandem with the police. “The police told me they knew they were arresting me. There were witnesses to the assault. I was never invited by the police. There was no warrant of arrest.” With the gunmen gaining access into his compound and his guard dog killed, it was still impossible to arrest him. The steel doors of his house were too much of a task for the them to break down. As this was going on, the ‘drama’ was being reported on TVC. “When they were frustrated and some neighbours came out and it was impossible for them to continue the dastardly act anymore, I surrendered and was taken away from the house. “From about 9 pm to10 pm, they could not determine what to do with me. It was around 3 am that they decided to charge me with throwing bombs. “It was so strange. I was told to write a statement on the bomb explosion that occurred at the Secretariat, and I kept asking, ‘Which bomb? What bomb in Osogbo? “They asked me to write a statement on bombs. I was never a soldier, and I couldn’t imagine bomb. I became frustrated and refused to write any statement. I spent two days in detention before I was sent to jail. We were remanded in the prison, where we spent 33 days.’’


15

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Saturday

THRILLER

Murder by medicine Olatunji OLOLADE, Assistant Editor

H

er brown face bloomed amidst the faded blanket. It looked pasty and shiny with sweat. There, on the wood-framed bed, a scant sheet of hope moulded itself into what should have probably been a smile but passed as another painful wince from a child in pain. Her name is Chiamaka Offor, and every time she winced, her eyes flickered like dying coal lights in recently put out ash. That dying glow is what keeps her mother's hope alive. The latter, popularly known as Mama Princess, a sobriquet she earned by the name of her makeshift soup shop and bar, didn't think much of it when her only child, Chiamaka, developed a slight fever about three weeks ago. According to her, when she realised that the seven-year old had suddenly lost appetite, she became concerned. “I touched her neck and discovered that she had high temperature. Then I sent one of my girls (waiters) to get her malaria drug (artesunate brand). I gave her the drug but she did not get better,� she said. Consequently, she took her daughter to a neighbourhood chemist who prescribed a cocktail of drugs for the sick child, over the counter. Despite sticking religiously to the dosage, Chiamaka didn't get better. Two weeks after she fell ill, she totally lost appetite and could only manage to ingest few spoons of rice or fish stew that her mother forced down her throat every day. She had grown lean and pale all over her body, save her face which


16 constantly dripped with sweat. Things however got to a head when Chiamaka fainted as her mother guided her to the bath on Sunday evening. “I don't know what came over her. She didn't show signs that her condition had worsened…It was very scary. I had to call on our neighbours to help me rush her to the neighbourhood clinic,” said the mother. At the clinic, Chiamaka was diagnosed of acute malaria and typhoid fever. “Had she being kept any longer from the hospital, the poor girl could have lost her life,” stated Adebisi Olurinde, the resident doctor who attended to her. Olurinde, while ministering to the sick child requested that her mother come with the remainder of the drugs Chiamaka had been using. “And we discovered them to be counterfeit. It was only the analgesic within the cocktail that had active ingredients. The rest were ordinary chalk…the poor girl's life was endangered by her mother,” she said. And Olurinde could not be any closer to the truth. Already, Chiamaka cuts a pallid picture to the bubbly girl she once was. She is not as pretty as she used to be. Her breath is hot to the skin and oftentimes punctuated by a guttural wheeze. More frighteningly, she whimpers like a newborn child suffocating in a woolly shawl every 12 seconds or thereabout. Contrary to her mother's intention, Chiamaka didn't get better by selfmedication. Although for a N250 cocktail of malaria drugs, it proved cheaper to consult the neighbourhood chemist, Chiamaka might have suffered a devastating end, as her physician implied. So would have Hannah Onoh. The kindergarten teacher almost lost her life after ingesting a four-day dosage of antibiotics to treat a vaginal infection. No sooner had she began using the pills than her condition worsened. She started emitting pus from her vaginal walls and an unbearable stench emanated from her private parts, “Particularly when I sweat,” she said. According to her, she would have gone to the clinic, but having spent N11, 000 seeking cure for the disease unsuccessfully at the state General Hospital, she decided to try a pharmacy two streets away from hers. “It was my neighbour that recommended it claiming the pharmacist there gives better treatment than any doctor and at reduced rates. When I got there, he told me that the antibiotic I was given at the hospital was outdated. He said the strains of virus afflicting my vagina were resistant to that form of medication. So, he recommended a N2, 700 cocktail of herbal capsules and orthodox medical antibiotic to me,” she said. And that proved her greatest undoing. “Two days after I started using the drugs, my vagina developed a nauseating odour

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

‘It is the highest form of

•A counterfeit drug cottage factory

and a terrible itch. In a nutshell, my condition worsened,” she said. But for a close relative of hers who forced her to visit a private hospital, owned by a senior practitioner at the General Hospital she initially visited, Onoh's predicament would have worsened. “They told me if I had delayed treatment any longer, the problem would have affected my womb. They said it could have rendered me childless,” said Onoh. Although she ended up spending N14, 650 at the private clinic, Onoh is thankful that she is past the perilous stage of her disease. “The itching has reduced considerably and the odour is not as strong as it used to be,” she noted, adding that she ended up spending a total of N28, 350 treating an infection that could have been treated at a paltry N4, 000 or thereabouts according to Folashade Odukola, 38, a doctor. The Nation findings revealed that there is

irrational use of drugs in the country. Idayat Osuntokun, a pharmacist and social health worker, acknowledged that many patients admit purchasing medicines without valid prescriptions, and from unregistered channels. More worrisome is the fact that roadside hawkers and commercial bus drug vendors readily cater to the needs of many more who would rather acquire their drugs at reduced rates through such channels than visit appropriate hospitals or health centres. Why counterfeit? The growing demand for inexpensive lifesaving drugs by many impoverished nations of the developing world gives the counterfeit trade in pharmaceuticals a remarkable fillip. According to WHO, laws and levies added 69 per cent to the cost of legitimate drugs in 2003, thereby making it impossible for most Africans to afford medicines from legal sources and further

•A health officer displays counterfeit and original packs of an analgesic

driving illicit drug markets. Olumide Gbobaniyi, a medical doctor and hospital proprietor confirmed WHO's contention, arguing that governmentimposed distortions of the medicines market through taxes, tariffs, price controls, and licensing regimes contribute to the counterfeit drug epidemic. Another reason Africa remains an attractive target for such crime is that counterfeit drugs syndicates find it easy to trade in fake drugs with very little risk of being caught. “Salting,” corruption and porous distribution channels The often flawed legal systems of developing countries as well as lack of resources to invest in technologies to test and identify counterfeit drugs contribute to this process. The most common techniques counterfeiters employ to evade detection is to disguise counterfeit drugs as legitimate imports by changing the appearance of the items, providing fraudulent documentation with forged signatures, or both. More sophisticated criminals use small amounts of the drug's active ingredient, referred to as “salting,” so when and if a drug is tested, it passes as the real product. It is not a single pathway from the manufacturer of counterfeit drugs to the distributor and then the consumer. The Nation findings reveal that every point in the average drug supply chain gives room for illegitimate activity. The process relies on a wholesale distribution network which often includes numerous distributors, intermediaries, and secondary and tertiary wholesalers. Although this process is multifaceted and often seems confusing, it actually makes the delivery of drugs more efficient and economical for the supplier. The process begins with the manufacturer, who can be a legitimate pharmaceutical company or an illegitimate high or low-level producer. The producers may directly enter the product into the local licit or illicit market or they may pass it on to a distributor who is often connected to a criminal network. The distributor may then directly enter the product into the local licit or illicit market or sell the counterfeit drugs to wholesalers in the international market. These secondary wholesalers may then pass the product on to the local licit and


17

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

terrorism against public health’ illicit markets, or pass it on to a tertiary wholesaler who continues to forward the drugs along the supply chain. In some cases they may even sell the drugs directly to patients or healthcare providers. The process also works in reverse. Drugs that are damaged or expired are returned to the producer for destruction. However, many of these drugs never make it back to the manufacturer but are instead diverted, repackaged or relabelled, and then reintroduced into the supply chain to be resold to consumers. Devastation to health and economies The danger of receiving drugs with inadequate levels of active ingredient is two-fold. First, the individuals receive no therapeutic value from the drug, which increases their risk of death, and secondly, the low levels of active ingredient assist the microorganisms in developing resistance and adapting to the drugs, thus making the drugs ineffective. Thus the naive and consolatory view that counterfeiting is a crime without victims indeed breaks down in the wake of grievous deaths and neardeath experiences suffered by victims of drug counterfeiting. A case in point is that of a former president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), who had developed extremely high blood pressure, became comatose, and was hospitalised for three months, after unsuspectingly taking fakes of his usual treatment. Commenting on the damage done by fake drugs, former NAFDAC boss, Dora Akunyili, doubted whether “there is any Nigerian family that has no story to tell.” This included her sister, who died as a result of receiving counterfeit insulin. The most vulnerable victims are usually impoverished folks with little or no purchasing power to seek appropriate medical treatment whenever they fall ill. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) estimates that 200,000 children die each year after taking counterfeit anti-malarial medications. However, when the total deaths from malaria and tuberculosis are combined, the estimated number of deaths attributed to counterfeit drugs rises to about 700,000 annually. Although this is an alarming estimate, some researchers claim it is actually a conservative one. Empirical studies in bacteria and parasite drug resistance and tests of active ingredient levels in counterfeit drugs have been conducted and a recent study published in The Lancet, an international health journal, concluded that about 40 per cent of products labelled as containing the antimalarial agent artesunate contained no active ingredients. Besides anti-malaria drugs, counterfeit drug manufacturers are adept at faking drugs for many other ailments and diseases. For instance, 109 children died soon after using locally produced “My Pikin” teething syrup tainted with diethylene glycol, commonly found in antifreeze and brake fluid. NAFDAC said that the children died of kidney failure and in response shut down the manufacturer of the syrup. And hardly anyone will forget in a hurry the monumental shame Nigeria had to endure in the wake of neighbouring country, Niger's meningitis epidemic. In response to the crisis, Niger authorities organised a countrywide vaccination campaign and in an effort to support her neighbour, Nigeria donated 88,000 vaccines which were given to over 60,000 people. After the vaccines were administered, more people died and the Niger authorities suspected that the donated vaccines might have caused the deaths and conducted an investigation. The findings confirmed their suspicions that the drugs supplied had been substituted with counterfeit drugs that contained no active ingredients.

•Orhii

China, India, Nigeria: Hubs of fake medicines? Counterfeiting gangs based in China have been blamed for producing sophisticated copies of the world's highest selling pharmaceuticals. The problem is now so great that Interpol's Secretary-General, Ronald Noble, opened an anticounterfeiting conference in Africa recently by admitting to being "shocked" at

discovering that fake drugs were more deadly than terrorism. Forty years of terrorism, he said, had killed 65,000 people, compared with 200,000 in one year alone in China from counterfeit medicines. Figures released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicate that almost 75 per cent of fake drugs exported world over originate from India. In Nigeria, there are many fake drug manufacturers and importers against whom Akunyili, former NAFDAC boss waged a relentless war in the face of threats and intimidation. “Counterfeit drugs are murder,” says Dr Akunyili. “It is the highest form of terrorism against public health because it kills a mass number of people.” Consequently, Akunyili's efforts yielded fruit but pitted her against some of Nigeria's wealthiest businessmen. There was even an attempt on her life by local drug distributors who allegedly hired contract killers to assassinate her. Many offices of the agency were burnt down and there were more threats to kill her and her children. The former NAFDAC boss was eventually credited for the reduction in the level of fake drugs in Nigeria to 35 per cent, from around 70 per cent in 2001. Consequently, between 2001 and 2006, over US$ 109 million of fake drugs were identified and destroyed. In 2006, a WHO IMPACT report announced that the amount of counterfeit drugs had been reduced to 16 per cent of the total drug market in Nigeria. And recently, NAFDAC's new directorgeneral, Dr. Orhii, reported that over the last eight years, more than 120 destruction exercises of counterfeit and substandard drugs have been carried out by NAFDAC, with 45 counterfeit drug offenders being convicted for their crimes.

•Akunyili

•NAFDAC quality control officers verify authenticity of drugs in a local pharmacy

The war so far… Recent seizures and prosecutions on the watch of NAFDAC's incumbent boss, Paul Botwev Orhii, have so far revealed the pervasive nature of the drug counterfeiting network in Nigeria. In a recent suit, a drug counterfeiter from Anambra was docked by NAFDAC for sealing ordinary water instead of sterile water inside an injection pack. He was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment without any option of fine. Recently, estimated N34 million worth of expired drugs were destroyed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria with supervision from NAFDAC. Also NAFDAC seized N20 million worth of fake drugs from an illegal factory in Onitsha, Anambra State. Benson Kine, the deputy director of NAFDAC Special Zonal Office, Onitsha, disclosed that the illegal factory had been functioning as a family cottage business until it was discovered. Counterfeit drugs and the quantities recovered from the factory included: Minadex Tonic and Multi-Vitamin for Children (100 cartons containing a dozen 200 millilitres bottles) and Merit Liquid Quinine (17 cartons containing 40 bottles each). Others are: Festdrine (anti-malarial) 16 cartons containing 100 100millilitrebottles; Glibebenclanide (anti-malaria) 37 cartons containing 1,000 tablets each and Geofage 500 (anti-diabetic) 70 cartons of 500 tablets each. Equipments at the factory included three hot-air-gum machines for shrink wrapping, two cartons sealing machines, improvised vice device for printing numbers and a nylon sealing machines to mention a few. From available sales receipt recovered from the outfit, it was discovered that the drug counterfeiters supplied their products to Idumota Market, Lagos; Kano and Maiduguri in Borno State. Worried by the trend, NAFDAC has resolved to tackle the problem head-on by preparing a draft bill seeking severe punishment for drug counterfeiting. According to the agency's new boss, the agency is working on a bill that will make counterfeiting of drug punishable by life imprisonment. The bill will also make it impossible for those that engage in importation of fake drugs to get bail from the courts. Besides the penalty advocated by NAFDAC, it also seeks to sell the properties of convicted drug counterfeiters and use the proceeds to compensate victims. While the presentation of the bill is on course, the agency has adopted a holistic approach in detecting fake drugs and adulterated products Nigeria. In collaboration with WHO and the British Department for International Development (DFID), the agency plans to assess the impact of using Truscan, an anticounterfeiting device, in taming the scourge. Truscan is a hand-held device used for onthe-spot detection of fake drugs The Agency has about six pieces of Truscan and each costs N7.75 million. Other advanced technological devices for detection of fake drugs and documents adopted by NAFDAC are the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which helps in authenticating sensitive documents, the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) using SMS Text Messaging System, and the Black Eye. The use of these devices has earned NAFDAC international honour as one of the top 18 medicine regulatory agencies in the world. However, despite NAFDAC's painstaking measures, the success of its efforts will be seen in its number of convictions and ability to rid Nigerian streets and drug counters of counterfeit drugs. Until then, counterfeit drug syndicates home and abroad will continue to devise ingenious methods to evade arrest.


THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

18 Arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to death in 1998 for a crime he insists he never committed, Olatunji Olaide spent 24 years waiting for the hangman. By divine intervention, however, he regained his freedom about five months ago. He shares his ordeal in those traumatic years with KUNLE AKINRINADE.

I started stooling day eight of my inmates were marched to the gallows and hanged

OR 24 odd years, Olatunji Olaide was at death’s door, awaiting the hangman’s noose. By sheer providence, however, he returned home alive, but not without some deep injuries he would have to nurse for the rest of his life. He said: “My travails began at 32. I was a victim of an inept police force and impatient judiciary. I spent 24 years on death row for a crime I knew nothing about, I did not only suffer headquarters where his journey into torture began. brutality, torture and He said: “We were first taken to the headquarters of the psychological State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in trauma, I came out Kwara State. We spent seven days there before we with an arm were transferred to the Federal Special Anti-robbery broken and an Squad (FSARS) headquarters in Adeniji Adele, Lagos eye permanently State. damaged. “Eighteen of us were later paraded in presence “My of the then Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge predicament of FSARS, while the Investigating Police Officer took a toll on in charge of my case was one Inspector Ojo. The my parents’ CP asked me to explain what I knew about the health and assassination case but I told him I knew nothing both of them about it. A few days later, I discovered that 12 of died a few my colleagues had been released. years after I was “A few days later, the CP came to the cell where I was condemned to detained to ask whether I had written a confessional death. Now, at 56, I statement. He was livid with anger when his men told have not only lost my youth, in him that I insisted that I was innocent. He then ordered my future too has been the his men to take me to the ‘theatre’. I didn’t know that he fractured.” meant their torture chamber. Convicted of murder and “As soon as I was taken into the torture chamber, I stealing by a Lagos High saw about five police officers holding iron bar, Court in 1988, Olaide was horse whip, wire, cudgel and other items. They until his travails the descended on me and beat me until I became Purchasing and Marketing unconscious, just to force me to admit Officer of Abosek Frozen complicity in the killing of one Paul Foods, a company owned by Obusez, a Lagos-based businessman. his late father in Ojodu, “They said the man’s assailants had Lagos State. He was on a trip •Olaide after his release from prison fled Lagos and had been sighted to Gwari, Kwara State (now around the village where I was in Niger State) to purchase arrested. But I insisted I knew some cattle the company nothing about the case. I had left intended to package into Lagos early on the day of the frozen beef when he was incident while the said Obusez arrested by policemen as a was killed in the afternoon. suspect in the murder of a Instead of listening to my Lagos businessman. explanation, they continued to Fighting back tears beat me until I passed out. repeatedly as he relived his “When I regained experience in a chat with our consciousness, I was asked if I correspondent during the week, could write but I said I could Olaide said: “I was 32 when I not. They wrote a statement for embarked on the trip that cost me and asked me to sign it, me my freedom and subjected threatening to further deal with me to serious psychological me if I refused to do so. Fearing torture for 24 years. further torture, I only put my “To be precise, on May thumbprint on the statement. 29,1988, I set out for a trip to “Apart from this, I was constantly Gwari, then in Kwara State but subjected to deadly blows on the face now in Niger State, to buy cattle such that on a particular day, I started which we would package into •Olaide at 32 shortly experiencing itching in one of my eyes as if frozen beef. The trip became before his arrest a speck had fallen into it. When the itching necessary because we had run community became unbearable, I pleaded with prison out of stock and many of our and that my wardens to take me to the hospital for treatment. My customers had ordered for host should release request was turned down. A few days later, I lost the frozen beef. us. My host, who knew me very affected eye. “My father gave me the sum well, told them that I was not a “I was arrested a hale and hearty man, but I returned of N325,000 to purchase cattle so criminal and that he had been home with multiple disabilities. that we could meet up with doing business with our company “Not minding the pains I was going through, they demands from our customers. I for a very long time. But the returned me to the cell. The next day, I was` transferred to left Lagos in the early hours of policemen took me away with a police cell on Milverton Road, Ikoyi. I spent another the day and got to Gwari village some people they had arrested in eight months there. I was first arraigned on holding in the evening. Because of the area.” charge at the Apapa Magistrates’ Court and was language barrier, I got an Olatunji, who is currently a remanded at the Ikoyi Medium Prisons alongside three interpreter. We passed the night squatter with his immediate other persons I was seeing for the first time but who the at the home of the cattle younger brother, said he had prosecutors referred to as my accomplices. supplier who had been a loyal thought the policemen were only “Four of us were again arraigned at a Lagos High business associate of our carrying out a routine exercise to Court. Surprisingly, a copy of a confessional statement company. ensure that there were no criminals purportedly written by me was presented before the “The following morning, in the community. But he knew better when he and other judge. In spite of my protestations during the trial that I some elders of the community stormed the home of our knew nothing about the crime and that I was not the host with policemen and said some criminals were hiding arrested persons were taken to the state police

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–56-yr-old who spent 24 years on death row

,

My predicament took a toll on my parents’ health and both of them died a few years after I was condemned to death. Now, at 56, I have not only lost my youth, my future too has been fractured

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THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

19

•Olaide at the graveside of his parents

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author of the purported confessional statement, I was sentenced to death by hanging. “My father, mother and siblings, who were in court the day the judgment was delivered, were shocked that I could be sentenced to death in spite of my father’s testimony that he was the one who sent me on the trip to Gwari to buy cows. “Ironically, two others were freed while one was jailed for stealing. The police claimed that I committed murder at a time I was actually on my way to Kwara State,” With tears rolling down his cheeks, he recalled how his predicament did not only destroy his father’s thriving business but also led to his death a few months after he was placed on death row. He said: “My father had spent so much money right from the day I was arrested to ensure that I was freed before I could be taken to court, but all to no avail. He was extorted by policemen who promised that they would facilitate my release. He also spent so much on my legal representation with all kinds of lawyers collecting money from him. “The situation weighed heavily on his company’s finances, such that he had to close down the company, having spent all he had in the bid to secure my freedom. Not long after that, I was told that he kept thinking about me until he developed hypertension, which eventually led to his death. My mother also did not survive the trauma of my death sentence. She died not long after my father died.” Olaide had only enjoyed a few years of conjugal bliss before the unfortunate trip that cost him his freedom for more than two decades. He lamented the situation, saying: ”I lost everything I had—my home, my parents, my money, my freedom and, painfully, my wife and kids. I had only been married for three years before my arrest and prosecution. “As a matter of fact, my wife had just been delivered of our son, Bola, three weeks before I was arrested. My wife was optimistic that I would triumph in court, but she lost hope when I was pronounced guilty and sentenced to death. She has since remarried, while my two sons are adults now and may not even recognise me, considering the fact that they were toddlers before my ordeal began and I have not set my eyes on them since I regained my freedom. “I didn’t expect my wife to wait for me to return someday, considering the fact that she was then a young woman and no one knows the fate of a prisoner on death row.

expunged from our laws so as to discourage a situation whereby innocent people would be killed for offences they know nothing about.” Asked how he felt in his years on the death row, Olaide said: “I was put in the condemned cell. The situation there can be likened to hell on earth. Nine of us were kept in a dingy room which ordinarily could barely accommodate three people. And that was where we took our bath, slept, ate and defecated. We had no bed to lay our heads on and I hardly slept. “During my 24 years on death row, no fewer than 400 inmates were killed, and that usually terrified some of us. On a particular day in 1996, eight of my mates were executed while I was the only one left in my cell. I started stooling the moment they were marched to the gallows, which is located near our cell. “But one more thing: I need Nigerians to assist me so that I can start doing something in order to get over the trauma of my unfortunate incarceration on death row. Already, I am planning to go into agriculture. But I need money to start, even if it is on a small scale.” Speaking with our correspondent, the National Coordinator of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Barrister Chino Obiagwu, who is also the counsel to Olaide, said: ”LEDAP has over the years carried out its campaign for the abolition of the death penalty by focusing on individual cases of injustice through direct free legal assistance to death row inmates, supporting work for death penalty repeal efforts through the states Houses of Assembly, and educating stakeholders and the public about the fatally flawed I was put in the condemned nature of the Nigerian cell. The situation there can be Criminal Justice System. likened to hell on earth. Nine ''This manifested vividly in of us were kept in a dingy the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal on June room which ordinarily could 5, 2012 exonerating Olatunji barely accommodate three Olaide, a former death row people. And that was where prisoner, following the appeal we took our bath, slept, ate filed by LEDAP on his behalf. ''Mr. Olaide was arrested on and defecated. We had no bed May 29, 1988 on allegation of to lay our heads on and I stealing and murder and was hardly slept. During my 24 subsequently convicted and years on death row, no fewer sentenced to death on than 400 inmates were killed, February 15, 1995 by the Lagos High Court. and that usually terrified some A panel of three Justices of of us. On a particular day in the Court of Appeal, Lagos 1996, eight of my mates were Division, to wit; Honourable executed while I was the only Justices Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, Rita Pemu and one left in my cell. I started Muhammed Danjuma in the stooling the moment they judgment unanimously were marched to the gallows, allowed the appeal, which is located near our cell discharged and acquitted Olaide of his conviction and sentence to death after 24 years on death row, in a landmark judgment,which manner of identification of the appellant resolved all the issues raised at the appeal by police prosecutor was manifestly in favour of Olaide. unreliable and the evidence against the ''Olaide, now 56, was 32 years old when appellant grossly conflicting in material he was arrested in 1988. He was married details. with two kids and the bread winner of his ''In the circumstances, I find that the family until his arrest. However his wife conviction of the appellant was unsafe left him for another marriage while he and his conviction cannot stand. I hereby was in prison, leaving his two kids to his allow this appeal. The conviction and brother. Olaide was one of the oldest sentence of the appellant for stealing and persons on death row in Nigeria and has murder is hereby quashed.'' witnessed numerous executions without Olaide said of the judgment: “My joy knowing whether he was going to be knew no bounds on that day, such that among, particularly in 1996, when 43 ‘Halleluyah’ became a refrain on my lips in prison and I was sweating profusely. death row inmates were executed within The three justices of the Court of Appeal, the four walls of Maximum Security Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, Rita Pemu and Prisons Kirikiri, Lagos. Olaide’s Muhammadu Ambi-Usi Danjuma, experience on death row has seriously unanimously held that the lower court affected his health and also affected his erred by pronouncing me guilty and right eye. eventually sentencing me to death ''The death penalty is the ultimate, without confirming the veracity of the irreversible denial of the right to life. The police prosecutor’s account, based on a reports from the public poll survey on the contrived confessional statement which use of death penalty in Nigeria conducted the judges considered to be lacking in in 2010 by Nigeria Death Penalty Group evidence. reveals that death penalty has no proven “I thank God that I am free today. But I effect on trends in violent crimes and it owe my younger brother, Rilwan, a debt mostly affects underprivileged people. of gratitude for standing by me What deters crime is the possibility of throughout my time of trouble. I want to apprehension of the offender and not the advise that death penalty should be weight of punishment.''

•Olaide with a damaged shoulder

“On a particular day, officials of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) got in touch with me through one Pastor Ariyo Popoola, who runs a prison outreach. He told me that the National Coordinator of LEDAP, Barrister Chino Obiagwu, was willing to take up my case, but I dismissed the offer as rubbish. “Following Pastor Popoola’s insistence, I agreed to allow LEDAP to file an appeal on my behalf. I was shocked when I was informed that my appeal had been granted by the Court of Appeal, Lagos on June 5, 2012 while I was finally freed on July 13, 2012.’’ Delivering the leading judgment in the suit (Appeal No:CA/L/479/99), Hon. Justice Helen Ogunwumiju of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, pronounced a verdict of not guilty on Olaide, citing the inability of the prosecution to prove the case beyond reasonable doubts. She said:” I am of the view that if the learned trial judge had given due and sufficient consideration to these pieces of contradictory evidence of the prosecution witnesses and inconsistency of the story and the confessional statement, it is doubtful if he would have come to the same decision. The evidence adduced by the prosecution more particularly the

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THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

20

Col. Joseph Achuzia was not only a participant in the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970) but one of the top Biafran war commanders and a very intimate associate of the late Biafran warlord, Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu. In this interview with Assistant Editor, LINUS OBOGO, the British-trained Aeronautic engineer and one-time Secretary-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, took issue with those who accused Prof. Chinua Achebe of distorting history in his book, There Was a Country, where the celebrated story teller alleged genocide and the deployment of starvation as a weapon of war against the then Federal Government. Excerpts:

•Achuzia

Whoever is denying that starvation was used against the Igbo is living in denial –Ex-Biafran war commander Achuzia

HE ongoing Constitution review by the National Assembly has afforded the South East the opportunity to seek redress of perceived marginalisation including the demand for an additional state for the purpose of balancing and equity, but some Northern interests have vowed to frustrate the region from realising its wish. What do you make of this strong position coming from the North against the agitation? Most people do not seem to understand the meaning of marginalisation. For a people to continue to sing or cry about marginalisation, there must be a reason. And for a certain people to continue to carry on or do the same thing that creates a sense of inferiority towards others that makes them feel marginalis....ed, means there exists marginalisation. In this instance, year in, year out, the arrogance of the North makes us as a people feel that we do not belong to the rest of the country. And what they do not seem to appreciate is the fact that the states created for them was not through any constitutional means but through the barrel of the gun. The North, after the

T

pogrom visited on the Igbo during the civil war, continued to carry their arrogance even into an era of peace. The military carved out states for the North which gives them advantage over other regions like the South East. This is part of what Prof. Chinua Achebe wrote in his book, There Was a Country, which is making some people angry. I cannot stop talking about the arrogance of the North because they are still perpetrating that same arrogance that makes them see the Igbo as a conquered people, over three decades after the pogrom against them. Recall the various crises that have taken place in the North where the Igbo were made targets. Their shops and property were targeted and destroyed in the North simply because they had to earn a living. Most of the attacks were unleashed on the Igbo for the simple reason that they are Igbo. That is why I am compelled sometimes to ask my people why they continue to reside in a place they are not wanted. Today, we are told the constitution is being reviewed. But may I ask, what constitution? Is it the

same document crafted by the military to protect the Northern interest? As far I am concerned, the constitution the military handed over to the civilians at the end of their incursion into governance should have been suspended by the civilian regime and an entirely new but people’s constitution be fashioned by the people. My people have a saying that if you are in the midst of soldier ants and if one climbs up your feet, you do not remain there for more to climb your body. You just have to step out from there. So, I don’t feel comfortable to start talking about the state of the nation in the midst of terror. Nigeria is facing a security situation which I think there are thousands of ways it should be addressed. That is why somebody was complaining about former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement that President Goodluck Jonathan was not handling the security situation confronting the country as he should. Of course, Obasanjo was a military man and I understand his position. Militarism came to be by virtue of a mission to ward off all forms of attacks that would put the citizens in jeopardy, internally or externally. And in


THE NATION, Saturday, December 1, 2012

21

this instance, it is a combination of the two but we are trying to treat it with kid gloves. I don’t subscribe to this approach. This is the most I can say for now. In other words, you do not think that Jonathan has done enough to tackle the issues of insecurity in the country? For me, he has not done enough. He has not done enough because he is the Commander-in-Chief of the country’s Armed Forces. He should be seen to be exercising the power given to him as Commander-in-Chief, which he is not exercising. It would be a terrible thing if he makes the same mistake which the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe made in the First Republic, when he watched helplessly while the South West was going into operation Wild Wild West. Elections carried out were inconclusive and people were saying that Zik could not do anything because he was only a ceremonial president. There is nothing like somebody being a ceremonial president when you are closest to all the paraphernalia of office which is being the commander in chief of the armed forces. The armed forces have the instrument of authority of anybody in power. You use it to make sure that your people don’t suffer terror internally or externally. That is why I said that he has not done enough. He has not made good use of the power at his disposal. Do you subscribe to the Obasanjo’s Zaki Biam and Odi strategy in dealing with the Boko Haram menace? As a security expert, when you have a group of outsiders coming into the country to terrorise your people, my job, first and foremost, is to use everything at my disposal to repel and stop them. If it is internally orchestrated, I will use all the security apparatus to unsettle all the groups so that it does not escalate and affect other regions of •Achuzia the country. You don’t have to resort to dialogue. Dialogue should not be an option. Who would you dialogue with? Dialogue with faceless people? No my friend! A complete different orientation is needed in tackling the state of insecurity in the country. There is a raging controversy arising from Prof. Chinua Achebe’s new book, There Was a Country, where he accused the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), of genocide and using starvation as a weapon of war during the Nigerian civil war. As an active participant in the war, how agreeable are you with Achebe’s allegation? There are always two sides to a story. On one side, Achebe has presented the facts as he saw them during the war. On the other hand, Awolowo, during his life time, tried to present the other side of the story the way he saw it. So, whichever side you are and if you choose to believe either side of the story or not, it is immaterial because you can’t change our stance over our perception of what we think of the wrongs done to us. The same way, Gen. Gowon saw from his own point of view that the action he took was the right thing to do. He had a war, fought it and took his responsibility. On our own side, we had a war on our hand and tried to defend ourselves. No amount of argument or criticism can alter what happened at that time. So, I believe that the media has a job to document facts for posterity. I believe that if you look into the archives, all the things written about the civil war are either written to create more disaffection or that the media lacks the necessary documentation which it should have done during the period of that civil war. I did not fight on the side of those who used starvation as the weapon of war. Consequently, I could not judge their frame of mind. I can only tell you how I felt being a recipient of the pressure of starvation. Also, I cannot tell you how the person who thought it up and decided to use it on us felt that it would expedite the objective at that time. In other words, Achebe is right that starvation was deployed as a weapon against the Igbo during the war? Look, I repeat again, Awolowo did not deny taking such a decision neither did Gowon. They were the ones who executed the war and they deployed starvation for whatever reason that guided their action. I was the recipient of starvation and its pressure as all borders, ground, air and sea, were closed against us so that we could not retreat. We were as encircled as to be exterminated. That was how I felt at the time. But whether the intention was to exterminate us, I cannot tell. Those of us who survived the war saw it like that

because there were many others who did not survive. So, whoever is denying that starvation was used or the war itself was not genocide against the Igbo is living in denial. But now, we should be thinking of showing love and understanding towards one another. Achebe did not go out of his way to stoke controversy. He is a journalist and a writer. The basis of people gifted to write is to chronicle events for posterity. And that was what he did. Ahead of 2015, would the Igbo be ready to stake a claim to the Presidency? When Jonathan was canvassing for the presidency and the North stood in opposition, my people and I stood behind him. I made a statement at the time that after Jonathan, it would be the turn of the Igbo. And because Jonathan at that time said that he could manage only one term, I also said that in 2015, if Jonathan did not go for a second term, it would be our turn and it would not be negotiable. I still stand by that statement that it is not negotiable. And by that I mean that you either concede to the Igbo their right to aspire to the office of the president or otherwise, it is to your tent oh Israel. How sincerely prepared are the Igbo for the challenges of wresting power, given their lack of unity? You seem to have spoken the minds of most Igbo, but how prepared are the Igbo for this? The seemingly lack of consensus by the Igbo, as people see it, is the fact that the Igbo have an organisation which is trying to arrive at what you just noted, consensus. But we fail to address one issue, our collective political interest. And Nigeria took advantage of it. The North, during the period they were ruling, took advantage of it. During the census, they said that everybody should be counted where he was, knowing that most of the northern areas are populated by the Igbo, as a result of the Igbo penchant to pursue wealth. When it is time for census, they are not allowed to go to their ancestral home to be counted. We have been singing and asking that for the sake of equity in the country, there must be fair, honest and transparent census and the Igbo should be allowed to be counted in their states of origin. It is there in the Bible. When the Jews were ruled by the Romans and they realised that they were being sectionalised by the Romans, they persuaded Rome to pass a law to enable everybody to return to their ancestral homes to be counted during census. This is what we are asking. As long as they are not allowed to return home and be counted, the South East would always remain a minority region. The whole of the South East and South-South combined cannot contain all the Igbo in Nigeria if they are allowed to go home and be counted. For 2015, we have set in motion an organisation that embraces all Igbo to take care of the political activities of Ndi Igbo and that also accommodates our cultural heritage and our social behaviour. We have been on this for the past eight years – pursuing Igbo zuru me (Igbos gathered together to accomplish). How do you mean ‘to your tent oh Israel’ should the Igbo not get the presidency? I am not the first person to use that clause “to your tenth oh Israel.” As I have said, if in 2015, Jonathan decides to run for the presidency, he can count on our support but if he does not, we would have the slot. And for anybody to say that it is not our turn, we have to be pushed out of Nigeria. How are you prepared as a socio-cultural organisation to deal with traitors among the Igbo? We don’t have such people in Igbo land. If we do, we will deal with them the traditional way. And don’t ask me what is the traditional way. What is your position on whether or not the six-zonal structure should be included in the revamped Constitution to be offered Nigerians? The constitution we inherited was crafted and skewed against the interest of the Igbo. And our position as NdiIgbo is that the current zonal arrangement should really not bother anybody because it has no legal backing in the constitution. Operating under the current constitution has given rise to maps being redrawn, boundaries being adjusted and ethnicities being rearranged through illegal activities of the boundary commission. I will repeat again as civilians, we must first suspend this present constitution. There is no need to amend what has been bastardised. That is my stance and that is why I am not prepared to discuss constitution review.

,

I was a recipient of starvation and its pressure... That was how I felt at the time. But whether the intention was to exterminate us, I cannot tell. Those of us who survived the war saw it like that because there were many others who did not survive. So, whoever is denying that starvation was used or the war itself was not genocide against the Igbo is living in denial. But now, we should be thinking of showing love and understanding towards one another...

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

s u o r e m u n d a ‘I h e m o c n i f o s e c r u so g n i r u t n e before v ’ y r e b b o r into Ebele BONIFACE

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SUSPECTED member of a three-man robbery gang, Ojobo Olise, has said he joined the gang because of his jeep desire to enjoy life to the fullest and also secure enough money to build a hotel in Lagos. However, the 21-year-old native of Umutu in Obiapu, Delta State, who claimed he had worked as a barman with a Lagos-based, was arrested by a mob in Ojo area where the gang had gone to rob a supermarket. The operation failed basically as a result of the alarm raised by the sales girl who the gang initially held hostage but escaped her boss arrived and she had an opportunity to escape from the supermarket to alert the neigbours on the presence of armed robbers. In the ensuing confusion, the armed robbers run away to avoid the wrath of the mob who were closing in on them. Unfortunately, Olise could not make good his escape like his two colleagues who scaled the wall. He was apprehended and given the beating of his life and later handed over to policemen at Ajangbadi Police Station, from where he was transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command at GRA, Ikeja. Narrating his journey to the underworld, Olise said: “I was a barman. I was arrested for robbing a supermarket at Ilufe Alaba in Ojo, just immediately after the Alaba International Market. We were a three-man gang, including Old Baba and Fever. We used to collect people’s handsets. We were not able to open the drawer because of the alarm raised by the sales girl. “Fever and Old Baba were our customers at the hotel where I worked as barman. They used to lodge in the hotel after their robbery operations, and they usually came to the hotel bar to drink and eat goat head or cow tail pepper soup. “Prostitutes used to sleep with them till daybreak and they used to pay the prostitutes well. Any time they came to drink in the bar, they would buy between two and three bottles of beer for me. They used to give me money too. So, with time, they became my close friends and I used to discuss my personal problems with them. “My monthly salary was N10,000, but I was contented and happy because of the extra money I got as a barman on a daily basis. For instance, some of our wealthy customers at times left their balance for me. Before you know it, I would have got about N2,000 in one day. Some of them also used to buy drinks for me. Some days, I used to get between three and five free drinks. “On the days I did not get free drinks, espe-

cially when Fever and Old Man were not around, I used to drink one or two bottles from my stock and count them as flat beer. Flat beer bottles are bottles of beer which had problems, like leaked bottle, which makes the beer to lose taste. Customers normally return such beer and the hotel counted them as waste. “So, I was very comfortable as a bar man. I even used to save enough money to send to my parents and the continuation of my education was also paramount in my mind. Another source of the money I got as a bar man was the money I got from prostitutes for keeping their money for them any time they wanted to follow a customer home. They usually gave me 10 per cent of whatever they charged customers outside the hotel. “The idea to keeping money with the bar man was necessitated by the fact that most customers who took the girls to their houses either ended up not paying them the agreed sum or steal the money they gave the girls when they are asleep. So, I made good money from keeping money for prostitutes. “At times, I would send somebody to follow them in order to know where the customer is taking the prostitute to. They usually paid some money also for such protection or monitoring efforts. “Fever and Old Baba paid me well for helping them to monitor the movement of the police any time they came to raid the hotel. Even the chalets they used to pay for, I did not allow some other guests to take them to prevent them from seeing the two men. They used to come to the hotel almost every day, except they were on robbery operations. “To show you how loaded they usually were after operations, they gave me as much as N10,000. I did not know initially that they were armed robbers. I thought they were some of those boys who made it through drug pushing, thuggery, smuggling, embezzlement of public funds or even oil bunkering until they told me that they were robbers. “The night they told me to refund all the money they had given me if I would not join their gang. They had been giving me money in bits, like N10,000, N5,000, N1,000. But there was a day they gave me N50,000. On

I was very comfortable as a bar man. I even used to save enough money to send to my parents and the continuation of my education was also paramount in my mind. Another source of the money I got as a bar man was the money I got from prostitutes for keeping their money for them any time they wanted to follow a customer home

,

•The suspect

a n other day, they gave me N100,000, bringing the total sum of big money they gave me to N150,000. I never wanted to go into robbery with them.” Asked how he became the guest of the police, he said: “Let me tell you the truth: on that day, a Tuesday morning, they asked me what my plan was for the day. I told them that I wanted to go to Alaba International Market to repair my phone. They said they wanted to go there as well, and we all left together. “When we got to Ilufe area, they asked me to enter a nearby supermarket and buy cold sachet or bottled water for them to cool off from the hot weather. As I entered to buy the water, I did not know that they had entered through the front gate. When the sales girl went to get the water from the freezer, Fever and Old man entered, brought out two locally made pistols and ordered the sales girl to handover the day’s sales, her Nokia handset and some other items in a polythene bag. “The girl complied and handed over the money and handset. But as she was about to go round to collect those items, like choice wine, hot drinks, perfume, wrist watches and necklaces, among other items, the woman who owned the supermarket entered and was calling the sales girl to know where she was. “When we saw the woman, we hid ourselves while the sales girl seized the opportu-

nity to escape through the back door. As soon as she ran out from the supermarket, she started shouting that we were thieves. Her alarm attracted neighbours and passer-by who rushed to the spot to apprehend us. But they were only able to capture me and started beating me. “They nearly set me ablaze with disused tyres before some of them suggested that I should be handed over to the police. I even heard some of them saying that it was better to hand me over to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command so that Fever and Old Man would be tracked down quickly. “I am grateful to God for keeping me alive. I am also grateful to God for protecting the life of the salesgirl whom Old Man shot at while she was escaping but the bullet missed her by a whisker. If the bullet had caught her, the mob would not have spared me.” Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, has ordered the O/ C SARS, Abba Kyari, to track down Fever and Old Man.


LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 07029013958

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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SEE PAGES 28-37

e n e a y n A e z e n i h —C

How I controlled Omotola and Genevieve on set


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STAND BY! h

Wit

VICTOR AKANDE

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 07029013958 (SMS only)

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

THINK

SNAPSHOTS

nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a factors th f other success o s.—Eric civilisation rt Reine

A pleasure trip around Channel O

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OUTH Africa-based music video hub, Channel O, released the ninth track of an ongoing album penultimate Saturday. You may want to ask if the song, at first hearing, got the anxious crowd dancing. Yes it did. It was an all-African tune with the dominating tone coming from Nigeria's potpourri of Afro-centric hip hop and RnB. Thanks to Dbanj's “Oliver Twist”, P-Square's "Chop My Money"; Brymo's “Ara”; Davido's “Dami duro”; Ice Prince's “Superstar”; Flavour's “Oyi” and South Africa's sensation, Zahara, with her breaking through single, “Loliwe” among others. It was the popular annual Channel O Music Video Awards. And this year, the showstopper got Soweto, Nelson Mandela's notable base, bubbling with enviable convergence of music buffs from Africa and beyond. Venue for the event, which was broadcast by DStv and DStv Mobile was the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown. Nigeria continued its dominance on the Africa music scene, as Nigerian superstar, Ice Prince of Chocolate City joined South Africa's 'home girl' Bonang in hosting the show. The supremacy continued with 70 percent of the laurels coming to Nigeria; top of them all was D'Banj's new hit video, “Oliver Twist” carting away the Best Video of the Year and earning the former Mo'hit co-honcho Most Gifted Male Video of the Year. It would be recalled that although the video is the first to have emerged from D'Banj's deal with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label, the Koko Master, as he is fondly called got the 2011 Special Recognition awards at the Channel O. And as I was made to understand later aboard an SAA flight to Lagos, it was God that sealed the fate of Oliver Twist rather than his new deal with Kanye. But the story of the 2012 edition of Channel O Awards wouldn't be complete for me if I do not talk about the surround

A lavish lunch at Kream Restaurant only set the mood for the Channel O Awards that did Nigeria proud later that night. This was the first phase of the SATsponsored trip with much more for the diary of a reporter on holiday

A cableway experience and canopy tours and its offer of panoramic views of the beautiful Magaliesberg, Hartbeespoort Dam and surrounding areas only reminds one of the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State and the thoughts of how best that facility and others like it can be made functional and profitable hospitality provided by the South Africa Tourism (SAT) before, during and after the show. It was altogether a six-day of supposed leisure outside of Nigeria. TOPCOMM, the SAT Public Relations agency in Nigeria, run by former journalist, Tope Ogbeniawe, had said to me that since I was on vacation this time, the Channel O experience may just add up to my leisure. I thought so too, except that it ended up being six days of 'laborious ecstasy'. How else do you describe a treatment to three course meal, whereby you had hardly got over breakfast before lunch comes knocking? How do you explain to the beautiful and courteous SAT ladies who come to take you out for dinner and to a dance after that you are tired? Trained for the job, their desire was to make you visit all the top restaurants, leisure spots, recreational centres and historical attractions that make South Africa a tourist's destination. That trip, like others in the past, brought Africa together. The Nigerian contingent, which included Yaw of Wazobia FM, Freeze of Cool FM, Musa Jibril of Entertainment Express, Kola Oshalusi of Bella Naija, Mohammed Abdullahi of TOPCOMM and I, shared the great moments with Radio Deejays, journalists, and winners of Channel O raffle from South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and Kenya. Legend Tours, the appointed SAT tour operators sprang to action with Snowy, a middle-age woman running commentaries on sightseeing during that early morning drive from the O.R Tambo Airport to Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, a stunning region of South Africa. The fivestar hotel provides convenient access to the best local

attractions, such as Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City Shopping Mall, Golf courses, Jo-burg Theatre, etcetera. I was still living with jet lag when lunch at the Trumps Restaurant came calling. There was a little time afterwards to walk into the City Mall that afternoon, at least for a window shopping. Imagine a place where the likes of Jenni Button and Louis Vuitton, Carrol Boyes and Apple showcase their very best ranges; a place where you can sip on the world's finest coffee or enjoy a French croissant or a slice of local Milk Tart all under one roof. If you can imagine it, then you've pictured Sandton City, one of Africa's leading and most prestigious shopping centres, located within walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain station. Away from this fashion and leisure destination, the first day dinner at Pigalle Restaurant amidst a pleasurable nightlife experience drew the curtain on the first scene of luxury that was to continue each passing day. A cableway experience and canopy tours and its offer of panoramic views of the beautiful Magaliesberg, Hartbeespoort Dam and surrounding areas only reminds one of the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State and the thoughts of how best that facility and others like it can be made functional and profitable. Such was the exciting cable car trip on the longest monocableway in Africa and an incredible 360° view of one of the most gorgeous areas in South Africa. A lavish lunch at Kream Restaurant only set the mood for the Channel O Awards that did Nigeria proud later that night. This was the first phase of the SAT-sponsored trip with much more for the diary of a reporter on holiday. •To be continued…

Mosun Filani welcomes baby girl

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IGHT-SKINNED actress, Mosunmola Filani-Oduoye, who tied the knot sometime early, has been delivered of a baby girl. The pretty Tai Solarin University graduate delivered the baby a few days ago at the St.Ives Hospital in Ikeja. It will be recalled that the

popular Yoruba Nollywood actress's marriage made several headlines when she tied the knot with her a Lagos-based businessman. For those who have been missing her on screen lately, the days of 'waiting' is not yet over as they may have to endure the wait for a few months to come.

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different from the one I have. “For the avoidance of doubt, on the fake account managed by the faceless elements, my photographs are interchanged almost on daily basis while my genuine facebook account has the bromide of one my films called Aina Orosun. The intention of the mastermind of the account is not only dubious but evil as they have been posting all kinds of unreasonable jokes on the site to deceive people. Therefore, I want to advise my fans to discountenance the site,” he added. Meanwhile, Sanyeri's latest work Okola Lamerika which was shot in United States of America (USA) during his recent working trip is due for premiere on Sunday December 9, 2012. The event will hold at the Anchor Events Centre, Ikeja, Lagos State.

Yoruba comic, Sanyeri cries out over fake Facebook account

ORUBA comic, Olaniyi Afonja popularly called Sanyeri, has called on his numerous fans to discountenance a facebook account opened in his name by unidentified persons. In a statement, Sanyeri described those behind the facebook account as dubious and evil. “It has come to my notice that some unscrupulous elements have been using my name to deceive and mislead my fans and members of the public by creating a facebook account

WRITE TO US!

Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: victor_akande@yahoo.com or SMS your short comments to 07029013958

•Sanyeri


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

RE ELNEW S

Preach peace through Nollywood —Hotman

COSON to dole out largesse to musicians

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ICE President of the Actors' Guild of HE Copyright Society Nigeria, Comrade of Nigeria (COSON) Salihu Othman Isah, has called will on the December on the Northern Governors Forum to engage the movie 11, hold its Extra-Ordinary industry through the body to General Meeting. The main promote its policies and item on the agenda is the programmes as well as preach passage of a resolution messages of peace and approving the distribution togetherness. Othman gave this of the sum of N100 million advise in an interview with as copyright royalties. newsmen in Dutse, the Jigawa This follows the decision •All the partners for the project (from left to right) Roland Odiase, Salami Abolore, Clare Mshelia, Katung Aduwak, Bioye state capital last Monday. of the Board at a meeting on Adelekan, Tenyen Ikpe- Etim, Hyke Akukwe and Yvonne Edozien Popularly referred to as Hotman, the Vice President November 15, 2012 that a NE-0-EIGHT Media, a said it becomes necessary as scheme for the distribution production outfit owned the various governments in the of the sum of one Hundred and run by winner of Big north should see actors as Million Naira to members Brother Nigeria Reality Show, partners in progress. According on the register of the society Katung Aduwak has announced a to him, governments in the as of May 19, 2012 be northern region have partnership with Delyork approved. continued to carry on as if the International for a feature film, If the payment is movie industry does not exist Heaven's Hell. Other partners in the approved, the distribution in the part of the country, production deal include BGL Assets advising that Thespians should of the money will Management Limited and Hashtag be carried along in the scheme commence immediately at Media House Limited. of things. the venue of the meeting. Making the announcement on Heaven's Hell is designed for lasting required greater participation and “In Europe, America The Chairman of Wednesday, November 28, impact in the minds of the world dedication from business, financial (Hollywood) and India COSON, Chief Tony Aduwak said that like a few other about movies from Nigeria and and creative minds working with (Bollywood) for instance, new generation movies which have Okoroji, said that the Nigerian Filmmakers. the right international partners movies are used to pass very been produced by Nigerians, the gesture is a result of the Abolore Salami, Head Enterprise useful and vital messages, to where and when appropriate. “This Heaven's Hell Movie Project is hundred per cent Development and Technology for is what the Heaven's Hell Project promote programmes and Delyork International said as a Partners have achieved in putting commitment COSON tof the designed to create real-change in policies of government. The the African Movie Industry with a creative enterprise company and together this movie to be released governments see movie development of the message supporting the fight practitioners as partners in partner on the Heaven's Hell internationally in early third Nigerian music industry. against Woman and Child Violence progress in these climes and quarter of 2013,” he said, describing Movie Project, Del-York seeks to “What appeared He described the need for are carried along,” he said. produce outstanding promotion the project as international in every impossible just two years Since movie actors and partnership as a response to the and PR, promotional sense of the word. ago is happening before our actresses are seen as role need to create real change in the considerations and profitable With international distribution eyes. I have great faith that models in society, Hotman Nigerian and African movie international distribution for this deals in the US, Wales/UK, South if we continue on the path added, it behooves on the industry. This need he said movie. Africa and other countries, he said, that we are following, in a government to use them to few years, COSON will be endorse its programmes and activities. “In Nigeria, only distributing a billion naira non-Governmental or more on annual basis to Organisations (NGOs) are ASHING in on the success of stakeholders in the Nigerian of Tourism and Intergovernmental Diamond Bank, Standbic IBTC Bank, presently collaborating with the Nigerian aspect of A Tale music industry. COSON is Affairs and other dignitaries. MTN, SAA and a host of others, in the entertainment and movie of Two African Cities, attendance were Mr. Foluso Philips without doubt a Nigerian Artistes on the bandstand to thrill sector to reach-out to the organisers say that plans are in top (Chairman NESG & Nigeria South success story,” he said. the guests include The Dotun populace,” he added. gear for a repeat performance when Africa Chamber Of Commerce), The Bankole Band, Daniel Bankole and the South African leg holds sway in South African High Commissioner His lover's band, Samson Iroko the the first half of next year. (H.E. JNK Mamabolo), Ms. Thandi versatile percussionist, Ace 5 string Mgxwati (Political Counselor One of the objectives of the bassist Bright Gain, South African SAHC), Ambassador Monaisa of the recently held show, a mixture of based Tungba Star Ayodel who was SAHC, visiting South African Golf business, pleasure and the arts, assisted on stage with Tosin Alao on professional James Kampte, top organisers say, was to amongst other bass and Germany based virtuoso officials of the Lagos State Ministry things, promote the rich arts and pianist Dapo Dina. culture of both Lagos and The headline for the show and Johannesburg. “It didn't matter special guest were the multi that the preceding 3 days before award winning South African this event, people had attended Classic group Soweto String Business sessions, Exhibitions, Quartet. They for over an hour, literary fests, film shows and they thrilled the audience with more. The Jazz Nite was the their compositions and remakes grand finale and wasn't to be of South African missed,” says Ayoola Sadare, classics/standards from artistes CEO of Inspiro Productions, like Hugh Masekela and Mama conveners of the week-long show. Africa Miriam Makeba. The Organised in partnership with Johannesburg leg of the event is the South African High expected to hold in first half of •Hotman •Tony Okoroji Commission and sponsored by 2013. •Daniel Bankole & Band

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One-0-Eight partners Delyork, others for

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Heaven’s Hell

A Tale of Two African Cities 2013 beckons

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Artsites excite at Star Time to Shine promo

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T was a mixture of comedy and music as Gandoki, Seyilaw and winners of Star Quest 2012 Crystals were the star attractions at the final draws of the Star Time to Shine promo was held amidst fun and excitement in Lagos. Held at the Okiki Events centre, Ejigbo, Lagos, the night kicked off on a funny note as Gandoki set the tone for a fun filled evening rolling with his rib cracking jokes. The show featured live music performances by Star Quest 2012

winners, Crystals. Humour merchant, Seyi Law also had his turn on stage to spice up the event with his repertoire of jokes. He didn't fail to disappoint as he sent the audience reeling with laughter. There was also a special dance competition which saw members of the audience slugging it out for the brand new Samsung Galaxy phone. The Ejigbo draws would mark the second time that Lagos would host the Star Time To Shine Promo after the second round of

draws was held at Kingsize Bar, Oregun, Lagos. In all, seven draws were held in cities across the country including Enugu, Port Harcourt, Benin, Abuja and Ibadan. Anchor, Gideon Okeke, actor for award winning TV series, Tinsel, supervised proceedings for the draws on the night. The draws saw winners emerging for the N20, 000 and N50, 000 cash prizes respectively while winners of LCD television sets and the grand prize of three brand new Toyota Corolla cars were also revealed.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

He is a new act on the block. With eyes fixed on the top, Kola Soul, whose interest in music started early in life, believes it is only a matter of time for him to become a 'super star'. He is coming on to the music scene with powerful vocal capabilities and focused energy. Having experienced many lifechanging events, including losing his mother and father, Kola Soul channeled all his energies into tremendous creative output and some of the best music of his career. In this interview with SAMUEL OLAYAKI, Kola Soul, a Marine Engineer and Agronomist graduate from the University of Ibadan, disclosed how his mother, a Ghanaian, influenced his interest in music.

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OU sing R&B. Why do you choose this genre?

That's just the gift I have. It was what I found I could do most. It is the gift I found I can make most impact. I've always had a special connection to music and I am blessed with how it affects my fans, especially the females. Why did you choose to go into music? I am a Marine Engineer and Economist. I studied at the University of Ibadan, where I grew up. I also studied marine engineering at the Marine School. I had second class upper. So it wasn't that I didn't have any option. For me, it is love and passion I have for music that made me stay with music. I see music as a profession and big business. I realize that music is not just going on the street and singing, it is a massive business that is begging to be tapped in Nigeria. You spent five years to get a degree. Where have you kept the certificate? Prolonged laughter… It's in my files, my drawers. But you know the funny thing is that when we were in school, most of the professors were always advising us to be employers of labour. They advised us not to go in search of jobs. In my own case, nobody can say I am into music because I don't have anything to do. I went to school and acquired the certificates, which are mine for life. But the passion for music is too strong for me to resist. How though was it for you to convince your parents about music? It wasn't though at all because I have very liberal parents, though both are dead now. My father hailed from Ondo, while my mother is a Ghanaian. But they both believe that you can do whatever you want to do in life, as long as you don't joke with your education. Their reason as that you'll have something to fall back on if your plan fails to materials. However, growing up was really though. It was a one meal a day experience. And that meal could be Garri and Akara. Was this because dad and mum were not there for you? Life was tough even when they were still alive. I just lost my dad five years

I've always had a special connection to music and I am blessed with how it affects my fans especially the females

I’m blessed with how music affects women —Kola Soul ago, and my mum about two years ago. But there was a big blow to their business, and we had to struggle as kids. But we made our parent proud at the end. We found it really hard. But there was a lease of life when I started singing at competitions and wining money. It helped because I can now give my mum some money to assist her in the home. I found out that I could sing without a band. It was at that point that people began to realize that I could really sing, that I have the voice to sing good music. So it happened that I was signed onto a label soon after I left the university. But I had to quit after to years because it wasn't working out the way I had hoped. So professionally how long have you been in music? Waoh! I think I have been singing now for about ten years. Have you recorded any album? Yes I recorded one album with the last label that I worked with. But I have my own album now. Do you have any other artiste on the label? We have another artiste on the label. She is a UK-based female rapper. But she is presently in Nigeria. We are now searching for the right mix of producers to work with her. I am sure that by the time we are through with what we are working on, Nigerians will see that the country has many talented acts that are begging to blossom. Which of the shows you have done would you say is the biggest ever?

The biggest event I ever did was at the anniversary of Kelwarams about three years. I performed alongside Yemi-Sax and another international violinist. The event was fantastic, and I performed my live band at the Eko Hotel and Suite. I think that was the biggest, in terms of my live band. I also performed at a show where I opened the show for 2face. It was at the show for the Super Eagles, preparatory to the 2010 world cup. Who is your role model in the Nigerian music industry? The truth is that I picked these people because of what they have been able to do. One of them is D'Banj, because of the fact that he understood the act of entertaining. His record label is also the epitome professionalism when it comes to organization. Other role models are P'square, Don-jassy and Onyeka Onwenu. Her songs are very tight. What inspires you? When I'm writing a ballad, I tend to be more introspective and when I'm creating a club track, I vibe with people that have lots of party energy in high energy environments. But regardless, I always draw from within, that way I'm always true to my fans. Everything around me does. But one thing is that whenever I want to write a pop song that has to do with club and everything I tried as much as possible to be at high energy environment. So most of your songs are true-life stories? Yes. There is one I did that was in the

old album. It was at a point when Nigeria had a lot of issues going onbombings, killings, kidnappings and several other things. I came out and did a song that I called 'Four Minutes'. It was to tell Nigerians that no matter where you come from, whether you are Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa, that we are one. The chorus of the song is 'let me talk to you for four minutes'. It also had another track which is directed at ladies. We understand that that ladies and music are good couples, and that they go hand in hand. So we wanted to create a Nigerian fantasy for the ladies and try as much as possible to encourage them to continue to listen to our music. That is part of the brand that we are trying to create. You look good Thanks very much I'm sure that ladies are falling over themselves to get your attention. Cuts in… I try as much as possible to maintain a cordial relationship with everyone out there. I also understand that my market is also directed towards women. So there has to be a balance. As an artiste, you don't have to lose your head in trying to be friendly with the opposite sex. But you'll agree that women are also central to your kind of business. Well I have a team of people that you have to get through before you get to me, and one of them is a woman. So she knows what to do once she suspects anything. We also have to understand that women are important to the trade. So we need to maintain a balance between friendship and business. And my education and all the experiences that I gathered in the university have combined to help me in my relationship with the opposite sex. Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years? In the next couple of years, I see myself in the best record label in Africa. I also see myself as one of the best R/B artiste ever to come out of Nigeria. I also want help children who have no parents and those who have difficulties in funding their education. Those are what I want to do. Is this because of your own experience? Yes. I must confess that it was really rough. And I'm thanking God for where I am today, because I understand that a lot of people are going through what I went through some years back. You know it was somebody who picked interest in me and raised me up. So I am determined to reciprocate the good gesture that was done to me to all children in need just to make Nigeria a better place. The trend now is for musicians to also own a label. Is this why you established your own label? Well, there are record labels and there are record labels. But it's the trend because when you have your own record label, you are able to diversify, you are able to re-event yourself, do some stuffs plenty of freedom. Most of the labels don't allow you to express yourself. They dictate to you what they want you to do. And unfortunately, such don't work well for you all the time. But with your own label, the sky is your limit because you can try your hands on several things. So that was why you decided to float a record label. Yes. One of the reasons was that I wanted to be able to express myself in ways that I might be limited in doing under another record label. But that does not mean that I won't jump at it if a world-renowned label like Universal Record comes up.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Movie Review:

Olamide to thrill Nnena and Friends end-of-year gig

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ESPITE the huge challenges of producing movies in Nigeria ranging from underfunding, the use of inadequate equipment and the unfavorable economic clime that currently prevails, Nigerian moviemakers have continually churned out a handful of movies which has kept the watching audience on the edges of their seats. Movies like Amazing Grace, Figurine, Tango With Me, Alero's Symphony, Phone Swap, Ties that Bind and others show that Nollywood has the capacity to deliver bigbudget movies that can compete favorably with other movies on the international scene. Like others in its ilk, Desmond Elliot's In the Cupboard, a movie coproduced with former actress, Caroline Danjuma is a great example of how a movie transcends national boundaries; but yet still resonates with its indigenous audience. In the Cupboard is a story that revolves around the lives of six siblings born into the rich, aristocratic De Souza family; a name synonymous with wealth and power. Everything seems perfect in their lives until their father dies unexpectedly and all of them gather together from different parts of the world to be with their mother, the elegant matriarch Veronica “Ronnie” DeSouza played by legendary actress, Biola Williams. What ensues is a

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HE management of Wale Adenuga Productions, producer of multi award-winning TV programmes Superstory, This Life, Papa Ajasco & Co as well as the Nnena & Friends TV Show, says that it is currently mopping up plans to ensure that loyal viewers are treated to quality entertainment as the year comes to a close. Scheduled to hold is this year's edition of the Nnena & Friends End-of-Year Show in which Coded Tunes artiste, Olamide, will be performing. Nnena, one artiste who is adored by kids and teens all over the country, will be hosting the event which will also feature performances from Elenu, Akpororo, K-Baj, Nnena & Friends Musical Group, Lolly Kid, DJ Walex and Gentle Explosion. As is the tradition, Papa Ajasco & Company will be there to perform live on stage with their unique brand of comedy. The live event, according to the organisers, will consist of two shows which will both take place on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at the National Theatre, Iganmu-Lagos at 12noon to 3pm and 3pm to 6pm. The latest in a series of live shows by the Nnena & Friends Brand, the Nnena & Friends End-of-Year Show 2012 has secured the affiliation of top corporate bodies in Nigeria including Indomie Noodles, Ribena, Bigi Sausage, Yoyo Bitters, McVities Happy Faces, Spectra Limited and Beloxxi Biscuit which will all ensure that there are lots of gifts and prizes to go round.

•Olamide

Don Moen, Sammie Okposo others for The Experience 2012

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ATED as one of the biggest annual gospel music concert to be staged in the country, The Experience takes place this year at the traditional Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, come December 7. Beginning from 6pm till 5am the next day, reports have it that international gospel music ministers on the bill are Don Moen, Paul Adefarasin, Israel Houngston, Deitrick Haddon, Soweto Spiritual Singers, Chevelle Franklin, Mike Aremu, Sammie Okposo, Wale Adenuga, Fred Hammond, Micah Stampley and others. Last year's edition featured one of Nigeria's most loved gospel artiste, Panam Percy Paul, Worship Leader, Don Moen, popular gospel ministers Kirk Franklin, Micah Stampley, Chevelle Franklin and House on the

Rock Choir, Chosen Treasure. According to the official website of The Experience “an opportunity for tens of thousands of people to come together in concerted praise, prayer and preaching to offer our biggest sacrifice to God as one people under God in a spirit of excellence, truth and gratitude. It's a time for people to experience God, His joy, peace, presence, power, wisdom and more. It's a time to know that they are not alone in the fight of life, that they're surrounded by the Body of our King, the Church.” The Experience is an initiative of House on the Rock Churches in collaboration with other ministries across Nigeria, and is in Zjolt's opinion, to date one of the most successful partnerships of the Body of Christ in Nigeria.

In The Cupboard

Basketmouth, Tiwa Savage to compere NMVA

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HE anticipation is currently very high in different quarters of the entertainment industry as to what to expect from the sixth edition of the Nigeria Music Video Awards, NMVA. Acclaimed as one of the most credible and respected awards out of Africa, the event comes up December 20, at the Exhibition Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. Already confirmed to host this year's awards ceremony are two frontline entertainers, Basketmouth and Tiwa Savage.

Unveiling DelCity

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•DelCity

series of events that threatens to shake the family to its very foundations. Aside stellar performances by most of the cast Ini Edo, Uti Nwachukwu, winner BBA, Ghanaian Actress, Lydia Forson, Biola Williams, Alex Ekubo, and others, the movie tackles subjects that are hitherto seen as a taboo in the Nigerian context. Issues like Lesbianism, drug use and adoption receive the full focus of the producer who somehow makes those subjects more believable. The inclusion of actors from Ghana and Senegal adds a true African authenticity that is becoming more prevalent; and this definitely signals a positive development and perception for movies out of Africa. Marketed under the Denziot Productions, the movie which was released on DVD on Monday 26th November 2012 has received 5 awards since its release in August. It won Best drama, Best Original Story, Best New Actor and Best Supporting Actress at the 2012 GIAMA Awards in the USA. It also won the Most Promising Actor at the 2012 Best of Nollywood Awards.

ELCITY, real names Bamidele Citizen is a Nigerian rapper born and raised in the Northern part of Nigeria. A graduate of Theatre Arts and Radio Production, Lagos State University, he grew up listening to the likes of Shabba Ranks, Aswad and Fresh Prince. His later influences in music however were, Tupac and Nas. Currently signed on DDD Entertainment label and working with Fluid Entertainment owned by Baby (Augusta Bernard) as his PR agent, DelCity recently released three new singles titled Carry Turkey ft. Sossick, Kejie and C Me Now ft. Tyrone, Bio and Otis. Budding producer, Sossick produced Carry Turkey and Kejie while Tyrone produced C Me Now. The songs are getting considerable airplay on different radio stations.

•Tiwa Savage

Basketmouth is currently one of the biggest comedians in Africa while Tiwa Savage is one of the most sought after female artistes in the country. Earlier in the year, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) announced its part nership with the NMVA to help broaden the reach of its public enlightenment campaign against counterfeit drugs, unwholesome food, corrosive cosmetics, poor quality packaged water and other substandard regulated products.

•Basketmouth


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

If you haven't heard of the movie, entitled Ije, it's either you're not as passionate about Nollywood movies as you thought or the Nigerian movie web may just have caught you napping and passed you by. Whatever the case, MERCY MICHAEL came across the name behind the movie, Chineze Anyaene, and she opened up on several issues, including her experience on the set of the movie. With Ije gradually setting a record as the highest box office movie in Nollywood, Chineze is hopeful that she is set to make more money. She also talks about her encounters with two of Nollywood's celebrated actresses, Omotola and Genevieve. She also speaks on lessons she learnt as a first time filmmaker. Excerpts:

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I chased her and chased her. In fact, I started with Facebook, harassing her via Facebook. She refused to listen to me. I came down to Nigeria to shoot the Nigeria scene. I came to shoot, based on faith. Omotola later gave me audience

‘My ideal man is personal to me’

NE of Nigeria's boxoffice movies, Ije, is finally coming out on DVD. How do you intend to distribute it without facing the wrath of pirates? Distribution has always been a challenge in Nigeria for filmmakers. And that's why people like me have not gone back on set. It does not make any sense for you to release a movie and then have it in your cupboard or give it to pirates to handle. We spent over fourteen months working on distribution channels. First of all, we decided to go to the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board to get a license. Then, we registered with the Marketers Association in Lagos and Onitsha. In the last fourteen months, the company has been working, gathering outlets around West Africa, to be precise. It was very challenging because we tried to convince them that the only way we can stop piracy is for them to support us to get the films out there. If the movie is available, then there will be no piracy. Distribution is a challenge. But for me, I really want to remain in this industry for a long time to come. The cinema aspect has been taken care of, but there is no structure in DVD. So the company decided that instead of us going back on set to shoot another movie, we should rather invest in distribution, using, Ije as a sample to see how the distribution turns out. Until I distribute Ije I can't go back on set. Quite a number of filmmakers have said that presently the cinema is a reap-off. As a filmmaker, what was your experience, and would you honestly say you made money going to the cinema? From my point of view, I won't say the cinema owners are reapingoff producers because I understand the business of filmmaking. Cinemas have rules and regulations. They work with 40 percent, 60 percent, depending on the contract you have with them. It's the same thing internationally. It's even worse in London and America, because you get less percentage and the cinema gets more. So I don't see what Silverbird or Genesis or the Ozone is doing that filmmakers claim they are being reaped off. I don't think that is correct. If you work with international distributors, you will see it's the same model they use everywhere. As a producer and director, I haven't still made my money from Ije yet, but I think we have limited cinemas. I released in only six cinemas. I think it did well for six cinemas at that point. But like I said, I haven't made my money yet, and that's why I decided to release the DVD. Most filmmakers on the international scene don't even make their money from the cinemas because of the whole sliding scale of percentages, so they rely on on-line or DVD's to

get the buck of their money. I haven't made my money yet, but I hope to. However, I made lots of money from the cinema because the percentage was fair to me, and I think it was a good deal compared to what I was getting from London and America and even South Africa. But with on-line and DVD, I'm sure to make my money. You were said to have made N60million at the cinema, yet you say you haven't made your money. How do you mean? I spent a lot of money shooting that movie. I also spent a lot of money on publicity. So I haven't made my money yet. By the time you remove your capital, you will see there really isn't much left. But of course, the film business is over a period of time. For the next hundred years, I can continue to make money from this film. Even if it's pirated, I can still get royalty. Now it's out on DVD, I will get money from there. I have money coming from on-line, TV rights. That's how you make your money. But I haven't made my money yet. Was Ije really your thesis back at the film school? Yes, that was a thesis. It was a school project. So how did it translate into a commercial film? I was in the film school for four years. At the film school, we shoot short-films, 15 minutes, 5 flew straight from Nigeria to London. I met her minutes and we spend a lot of money. You in a coffee shop. She looked at me and said, spend as high as 20 thousand dollars to shoot a 'you've been harassing me Chineze'. And I was short film that will not get you your money like yes. back, apart from festival accolades. So when I decided to do my thesis in school, my project, I She said she read the synopsis and that she was looking at spending a lot of money, so I had liked it, but she's really worried about how I was to look for a way to make it commercial. The going to pull off the prison and the court-room. reason I decided to use the celebrities in the She said she didn't want any hazy stuff. As a movie, Genevieve and Omotola is because the filmmaker, you are like a marketer. You have to first time I went to film school, it was a diploma. sell yourself. But even after that, they still didn't believe me. But I was very persistent. I was like I finished my short-film and I came back to if you don't like what I'm doing, Nigeria. I was all over the places telling whoever cared to listen that I I don't like three days after you come on set, you go back. It wasn't really about the could shoot a short-film, but nobody gossips. I don't can money for them. Yes I had to pay was listening, so this time I decided believe in them. Yes I paid them well because to be smart. Like they always say, your last project is your calling card gossip. I heard it's show-business, and I will love someone to pay me back. Nothing is into the industry. So since I could not afford to use American stars, I decide about the stories free. before I came. on them, so maybe from there But for them, it was about the story someone will see and hire me for People said to and the fact that they saw that I was their project. So I called Omotola and going for something different. And me, oh you Genevieve on board and they were when they came on set, the first day, want to cast the I didn't bring any of them on set supportive. When they saw the script, they two of them? I according to schedule because I was nervous. But they were there that decided to give it a try. Back at couldn't be first day to see what I was doing. school, my supervisor was like this bothered And they were like oh she's serious. project is too big for you. You are a first-time director; you can't be because I was You won't blame them. They are It was my first time. I shooting a court-room drama. Just do after what they experienced. was a novice. I'm still learning. But like a simple story, two people in a had to offer, like I always tell actors, don't room. But I was like no. I need to underrate people. You never know push myself further because if I don't their talent who will be the next James Cameron. start that way, I will keep limiting It could be one small boy on the myself. In fact, initially my supervisor street. So you have to learn to give people a said no to the idea because a court-room drama chance. I kept asking them to give me a chance. is deemed for professional filmmakers. Besides, how do you support the industry if you Genevieve and Omotola are two of the don't give people a chance because they are not acclaimed highest paid actresses in Nollywood. big names? As a student back then, how were you able to convince them to come on board? There has been this notion over the years that Omotola and Genevieve don't see eyeballAs a student, it was very challenging. I had to to-eyeball. On set, was there any kind of fly down to Nigeria to look for Omotola. I tension between them? chased her and chased her. In fact, I started with See ehn, I don't like gossips. I don't believe in Facebook, harassing her via Facebook. She gossip. I heard about the stories before I came. refused to listen to me. I came down to Nigeria People said to me, oh you want to cast the two to shoot the Nigeria scene. I came to shoot, of them? I couldn't be bothered because I was based on faith. Omotola later gave me audience. after what they had to offer, their talent. So I I got the synopsis across to her and she didn't care if they had problems. Like I always promised to get back to me. Then, I started say, the director is the sailor that sails the ship. looking for Genevieve round Lagos. She's here So whatever you bring on is what the cast and today; tomorrow she's in another country. crew pull-off. They were very cordial. They Finally, she told me that she was in London. I

respected each other on set. And I respected the two parties. My set was strictly professional. According to Omotola, 'there was no time to smile'. You only smile during coffee or launch break. I had a mission, and that mission was to finish the film. I made sure their egos didn't clash. And the best way was just to ignore the notion. There must have been so much tension on set… There is always tension on set. But talking about having both of them on set, I think I had it easier with them. Whenever it was their scene, I always smile because you know they are professionals. When my camera rolls, it's like I'm always smiling because whenever I see the two of them acting, you see that chemistry and you see professionals acting. When they are done, I'm always like 'oh my God! These people are so good'. You are so happy, you forget the tension. But prior to them coming on set, you are like I hope everything is going to be fine today. In as much as you do not want to believe the notion, you can't but pray nothing goes wrong. When they come and I say action, they start to do their thing. They love their work. I saw that on set. These girls love to act. They are not in there to play. They are there because they love acting. Whenever the cameras are ready, you see them change and they are ready. At the end of the day, if a director cannot control his set, he has failed. Like I always say, if you give me Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Anniston tomorrow I will still control them. Will it be right to say that Ije brought these two together? I don't know. Professionally, I think they do well together. I don't know anything about my artiste's private life. I don't want to know. I think they did well. We partied together. We ate together and did everything together. You said you paid them well. Did you have sponsors? It was family. My mum, I'm grateful to her. My mum has always been bankrolling all my projects. So it was family that bankrolled Ije. Did you grow up without a father? I've always had my mum and my dad. It's interesting to know that it was your first attempt and it was a success. What are some of the lessons you learnt. And secondly, what would you describe as the secret of your success? Lessons that I have learnt so far are in the area of marketing and distribution. I've always thought that shooting a film was tough until I got into selling a film. I've learnt to plan marketing and distribution ahead of time. And the secret of my success are hard work, persistence and patience. That's just it. I've always been patient. As you can see, I shot this film in 2008, I released it in 2010 and I'm doing DVD in 2012. So it's all about

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patience, persistence and hard work. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up with the project? Of course there were times I cried and felt awful, like just forgetting about the project and go and start selling Brazillian hair (laughs). So what kept you going? Like I always tell people, I think success is doing what you love doing. And that has always been pushing me. But whenever I try to give up, there is a thing that always rings in my head. I remember when I was doing my post production. I told my mother, I was done with it, but she said to me; 'do not come back to this house until you finish this project'. I come from a stuck of people who do not quit. To quit is like a taboo. So I didn't have a choice than to continue. With 6000 outlets splashed everywhere. Do you see any room for piracy? Every film is pirated in spite of whatever you do. But the reason why we have more outlets is to reduce piracy. And that's why we cut down the price. We got like a professional price. Pirates might have space, but I won't give them that chance. And if I get a pirate, I swear to God, I'm going to invest in him. But like I always say, pirates will sell and I will sell. But I won't be happy if I get a pirate. I will push it to the end. You look like the regular Nollywood actress. Any plan of acting in future? No, at all… Are you saying you are never going to act even if the script is good? I can't act. It's funny because I read Theatre Arts. But all I ever did were extras. I can never act. Even Genevieve… said it, but they saw it that I can't act. Why Theatre Art in the first place? It was by chance. I was supposed to go and read law, but somehow I found myself studying Theatre Art at the University of Abuja. But I found out that Theatre Art department in Nigeria focus on acting, and I knew I wasn't cut out for acting. I've always known uncle Zeb, and he will say to me 'you look like an actress you should act'. But at the end of the day, I realized that it was directing, and I went into directing. So I won't fool myself and I won't fool myself on the screen. I respect actors because it's not easy to constantly change to different characters that are not your real self. I'm being me now, but to be somebody else is difficult. It's challenging. Being an actor is tough. So I respect them. What was the first thing your mum said to you when Ije became a success? She said: 'I'm proud of you darling. But you have more work'. We've seen Ije. What next? Do you have anything in the pipeline? Yes. As filmmakers, we always have like screen plays lined-up you know. I will go back on set next year. I hope to release in 2014. You hope to… Yes. It depends on when I go back on set next year. Of course, I have a lot in the pipeline. But I have to do something better than this. Tell us about your background. I'm from Enugu State. I'm the third of four children. I was born, bred in Abuja. I had my primary, secondary and university in Abuja, and the rest you already know (smiles). My father is Architect. My mother is a teacher, educationist. The fame that came with Ije, what has it changed about you? The colour of my hair (laughs). What your idea of an ideal man? God fearing…please I don't want to answer any personal question.


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THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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By

Harry Iwuala The policy dilemma of National Sports Festival

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T is understandable why the National Sports Commission (NSC) is in a quandary on policy direction for the National Sports Festival (NSF). We live in a nation people by corner cutters who devote considerable energy and faculty seeking out devices to circumvent all the beautiful regulations we design or copy from other climes. The recent pronouncement by the Honourable Minister for Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi signposted the frustrations they have faced over the years in making sense out of the NSF. Here is a meet that was designed from inception with a twin objective of identifying latent talents for nurturing to stardom and strengthen national unity through sports. Pursuant to the discovery objective was the emergence of such names in the nation’s sport like Thompson Usiyen, Felix Owolabi, Davidson and Osmond Ezinwa, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, Chidi Imoh and many others. I had the privilege of growing up in the same neighbourhood with Imo and tracked his rise from School sports in Aba to the Imo State sports festival from where he was picked for the National Sports Festival in Benin. Imo will go on to emerge on the national athletic scene at the AllNigeria Mobil Athletic Championship from where he got scholarship to an American college. Many other Nigerian track and field athletes threaded this path to Colleges in America. But the NSF began to decline for several reasons, the most common of which was postponements and the obsession to win at all cost. States slated to host the festival began to default and causing it to be severally postpones in some cases by two years. In a bid to add glamour to the festival and possibly attract commercial value, the NSC in the 1980’s sought to allow established professionals to compete and this in turn led to states willing to spend good money to embark on athletes’ poaching. Chiefly noted for this was Mr. Brown Ebewele, a former national decathlon champion who was hired by the Kano State government to manage their athletic team. Ebewele will emerge again in 2001 in Asaba as consultant to Delta State and spending like Roman Abrahamovic of Chelsea, collected nearly all available medals to win the festival. This trend has continued with Rivers State government hiring a former Ogun State Commissioner, Olopade as consultant for hosting the festival in 2011. Increasingly, what has happened is that rather than glamour and the attendant commercial equity, the games have become a haven for corrupt state officials to siphon funds through the mercenary practice of poaching ‘ready-made’ athletes from less financially endowed states. None of the states design a developmental blue-print that sees the athletes evolving from rookie to stardom. Athletes are shabbily treated, denied of funding and housed in places not good enough for dogs. The Minister’s pronouncement is no doubt borne out of a genuine

desire to transform the games but my fear is that it hasn’t been sufficiently resourced to reach certain outcomes. First, we risk the situation where our sportsmen and women will rather than aspire for international laurels will begin to look back for national peanuts. It is no secret that some of our athletes abroad don’t live well and any opportunity to occasionally fly home and make money won’t be passed on. Their exposure to better facilities and faculties abroad will give them competitive advantage over their cousins here. This will stunt development of domestic games. Secondly, rather than discover and nurture local talents, out coaches would have been offered a cheap route to honours. We will be inundated with requests for foreign trips to monitor athletes especially in states where funds are awash. This will again lead to neglect of local athletes and spark off an inordinate rush for visa to Europe and America. There are many other pitfalls to this policy but let us restrict it to the above two and contemplate solutions. One way to attract commercial value to NSF is by adequate planning and involvement of marketing communication experts. Perception is the key issue here and it is only persons with backgrounds in ‘make-believe’ than can work on changing the skewed perception of local sports. A properly orchestrated 360 degrees communications campaign will crack the challenge of sponsorship. This also is applicable to the Nigeria Premier League that has been dragged down by schemes to supplant the leadership. This will require enormous budgeting but we can only invest wisely to build an acceptable brand. Some years back, officials of the NPL had approached my former employer to tinker with the perception issues of the league and we sat down to work out a communications’ campaign with time lines. They applauded it but did nothing. The other solution is investment in the industry by states. Most states wait till the year of the festival to budget for athletes’ training and camping and this explains our attitude at the federation level to international competitions such as the Olympics Games. I don’t know what provisions have been made in the 2013 budget for athletes’ training and camping with their coaches. Lastly is the issue of school sports which some persons try to obfuscate the process by creating bogus national school sports project with no involvement of the states. School sport is a bottom-up process that starts from the school to the council and rising to the state to regional championships. It is the entrenched corruption in the system that has completely wiped out what used to be a springboard for kids. Ten Years and Counting on God Ten years ago yesterday, I walked down the aisle with a wonderful woman who has made home a place to long for always. I celebrate her today on this page along the three angels we have been blessed with. This is to my dear wife, Udodirim, sons- Tito and Nomso and my mama-girl, Ugochi who won three awards at the Woodland Nursery and Primary School Prize giving day on Thursday.

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Nigeria can produce the next Usain Bolt if... —Onyali W

HAT are your expectations towards this game? I expect this edition of the festival to be better than last year's. The standard of athletes should be better than before. All the athletes discovered last year, I want to see them here running better or performing better thanthey did last year, and so on and so forth. Can you say the National Sports Festival has been able to fulfill the aim of its establishment, which is discovering talents at grass root? We do discover the talents at the festival, but what we do with the talents afterwards is the big question. That is why I'm a little bit hesitant about giving the festival all the kudos that it deserved. I want them to be able to do something with the talents after they have been discovered. This is because we make all these promises about what we are going to do with them afterwards, but they eventually disappear into the thin air. This, however, ends up becoming a wasted effort for the state or the states and eventually the national loses out because we can't train these athletes or follow them the way they are supposed to and get them into the national level to get us medals. In order to get medals, so much money h a s been spent a n d

Former African Sprints Champion, Mary Onyali Omagbemi is of the opinion that with the abundance of talents abound in the country, Nigeria is capable of producing the next worlds fastest man in the likes of Jamaicas Usain Bolt. In this chat with Nationsport duo of AKEEM LAWAL and INNOCENT AMOMOH, Omagbemi, who won the bronze medal in 4x100 metres relay at the 1992 Summer Olympics however believes various developmental programmes for discovered talents should be put in place before such feat could be achieved. Excerpts: this has not been able to translate into national glory, what do you think is the problem? Like what the sports minister said during the opening ceremony that after what happened in London it's now apparent that we have to do somet hing with the discovered talents from t h e festival. S o we've created NASC O M a n d host of

•Onyali

other well meaning organizations that want to get Nigeria to the podium on the world level. Let's see and hope that all the new committees and the sub committees that have been put together can take us to that Promised Land. There is this argument that elite athletes should be allowed to take part in the National Sports Festival, what is your take on that? I've been an advocate of 'yes and no'. But right now, will the NSC really, finally channeling the sports festival the way it supposed to be, I think yes. We should throw it open on this level. Then we also need to

develop the junior and youth level as well, so that those primary, secondary and athletes that are in between the festival and the national level will also have their own category of competition. So that they will be discovered at different level and then eventually graduate and then to the national level. During your days, the sports councils were very effective, employing athletes and engaging athletes from their various states, but these days we see richest state poaching, buying up athletes in order to get medals, does this potent well for the game? The use of the sports council is one of the levels that I'm talking about, if the sports councils are

activated again, they will focus on the area of their potential discovery. All that put together, NASCOM, Sports Council, YSFON, we can discover lots of talent. We are over 170 million in Nigeria; create as many sports council and many discovering channels as much as possible to get these athletes together. This is because when you discover them and you have competitions and you monitor and follow their progress, there is no way we are not going to find the next Usain Bolt in this country or better. We have just too many talents and they are being wasted away. So with the sports festival, yes, it is a step in the right direction, but we need to do more, the athletes are hungry, they are looking for good

coaches, they are looking for good competition both locally, state, LGAs, get them working. Get everything working from the grassroot to this level. This sports festival, some people misunderstand it as a discovering area for grass root, no. These are way beyond grass root. In the grassroot, all the athletes that you can discover in the LGA's that will eventually be brought up to the sports council and eventually be brought up to the state level and eventually be brought up to the national level. So there are so many steps but we need to organize ourselves and get it right.

Open National Sports Festival to elite athletes — Amaju H

OW will you asses t h e National Sports Festival so far compared to that of the 17th edition in Rivers state? I think I am impressed. On like Rivers the put up a lot of efforts to achieve the feat while Lagos achieved the same feat with little effort. I will say that they both did very fantastic and projecting Nigeria in positive light. Rivers State was historical; Lagos was both historical and contemporary in the various forms of entertainment. So overall it was a good show. Delta State has been known to churn out talents that have represented and brought glory to Nigeria in the past. What should we expect from the state in this festival? Our success at the National Sports Festival has been because we have a formidable platform in Delta State that even if i am not there it

Recently, the honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi revealed plans to throw the National Sports Festival, open to elite athletes in the nearest future. Though mixed reactions have trailed the idea, more eminent Nigerians have thrown their weight behind the Minister's position on the issue. In this interview with Journalists at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Director of the Delta State Sport Commission, Pinnik Amaju beard his mind on the need to imbibe the resolution as a means of improving sports in the country and other issues. INNOCENT AMOMOH and AKEEM LAWAL were there. Excerpt. operates as an institution where you train, groom, condition, prime and prepare athletes. It is a tradition that has been and right here in Lagos I can assure you that Delta at the end will win the festival. When we left PortHarcourt we sat down and looked at what went wrong. We noticed that there were things that transpired that we don't want to expose to the public. Things that didn't give the festival the kind of credibility it deserved. We also had lots of infightings in the team. We were able to address those issues. One of the things we did was to get our athletes that competed for other states back, and created a platform for other athletes to join us. We have done all we can and i believe that success is the only thing we can ask for.

The Minister has mentioned the intention of the Ministry of Sports to open the National Sports Festival to elite athletes. What is our view on this? That is what I have always craved for. You have the junior Championship that we restrict to U-17and there must be a connection between the junior athletes and the elite athletes. You can imagine the elite athletism, somebody like Blessing Okagbare running for Delta for instance; imagine the kind of crowd she will pull to the Stadium. Imagine an Osayomi running for Ondo State, a Joke Odumosun running for Osun State and some other state they will want to come showcase their talents i can assure you. So it is going to be supper and its immediate impact is that you will get athletes for the

Commonwealth, Olympics and other world champions, and so there must be a connect between the various. At time when you day national championship, we can generate a platform where invitational relays can be organised. Athletes like Usain Bolt, the Gatlins and other big names in America, athletes from Great Britain, and even China will be invited, and we can get companies that can package such an event for the invitational relay, do you what that will do for the crowd that will come to the Stadium. That is what I have always canvassed for with due respect to the National Sport Commission (NSC). This is the time to appreciate what the Minister is trying to do and we must support him to achieve it by making the festival open.

AKINLOYE

AT LARGE

08050246155 atlarge84@yahoo.com

Keshi’s contract can’t make Eagles win—2

H

OW far would Super Eagles go in the 2013 African Cup of Nations will depend largely on the consistency of the team in goal scoring and how the defenders are able to keep the strikers away from their goal-mouth. The team has scored nine goals in two games, one coming from the strikers, with the wingers and midfielders showing more sharpness in front of goal. The 1980 squad, led by Christian Chukwu, won the Nations Cup trophy parading a crop of skillful players and a poor striker. They worked hard for one another and goals came from every department of the team. Main striker Thompson Usiyen left for the USA in the late seventies, leaving a wide gap in the forward line and the replacement was a story in mediocrity as Usiyen was a deadly good striker. The 1994 squad that won in Tunisia was blessed with a good striker in Rasidi Yekini. Surrounded by exceptional players, though not hard working on the pitch, the team won through divine miracle as they had to come back from the dead several times to get to the final. The final against the Zambians was not an exception either. The 2000 squad, which lost to Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the final in Lagos through penalty shoot-out, had no distinct striker but comprised fairly good players and relied on its strength in the middle and the wings to get goals and reach the final. The 2012 Zambian squad that won in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea had a poor striker surrounded by average players but emerged champions through a dint of luck ahead of a balanced Ivorian team. I had cause to disagree with Stephen Keshi early in the week when he reportedly gloated over the retinue of forwards he has in his team, describing them as quality strikers. Nigeria has produced only one quality striker in her 52 years of soccer history in Richard Owubokiri. The former Sharks of Port Harcourt forward won the golden boot in Portugal in the nineties and was among the top five in the world in the height of his career. The striker, who finished his professional football in Brazil, scored over 30 goals in that particular season and is comparable to the likes of Lionel Messi, Chriatiano Ronaldo and Robin Van Persie of this age. Keshi’s team comprises strikers who hardly score 15 goals in a season and solely depend on defenders’s gaffes to get into the scorer’s sheet compared to strikers who also score goals through sheer brilliance. Quality strikers come with the gift of scoring. They are born footballers, anointed or called solely to operate in that particular realm and in that their natural habitat. Whatever they touch become

gold and would always show consistency through out their soccer career in the act of goal scoring for both club and country. The Schalke 04 Jaans Hunteerlar and Athletico Madrid’s Rodamel Falcao, hot in demand of late in Europe, shine consistently for both club and country, and complete the distinguished class of quality strikers in the modern time in Europe. Since mercurial Owubokiri, the further Nigeria has gone in producing a great striker has been the emergence of late Yekini and arguably Yakubu Aiyegbeni who can be classified as good and not quality forwards. Yekini was consistent in goal scoring with the national team for over 10 years but operated among top strikers just for one season in Portugal. Aiyegbeni was consistent for clubs for several seasons in England but found it difficult transferring the spirit to the national team, a problem all the strikers in the national team have had for decades. Brazil’s Edson Arantes du Nascimento, known as Pele, remains the greatest footballer of all time despite Messi breaking his goal scoring record at the club level. Argentina’s Diego Maradona is distant second while Messi still has a lot to do to dethrone the Brazilian as the god of soccer. Pele has won the World Cup severally; Maradona once and Messi yet to get to the final of any. With hind sight, I do not foresee the young Argentina winning the World Cup about five times to put Pele in the dust-bin of history. Pele had the Presence from God as his driving force while playing and no other after the coming of Jesus Christ has had the grace of operating with the His Presence beside the Brazilian. Maradona was also a god with the presence of another and he is only one from that realm to operate with that halo till date. Messi and Ronaldo have the anointing to function and the anointing is incomparable with the presence. Hunteerlaar, Falcao and Van Persie play with the gift of scoring but the creature is not with enough energy to keep them on top for more than few seasons. While late Yekini and Aiyegbeni operated with the spirit, Owubokiri had the auction and Keshi’s strikers are lower levels with the incubus to function. Another word for incubus is skill. Every man has the skill to play the game, but it is not enough for one to make football his career without going the extra mile. Keshi should not gloat. He has not strikers with quality in his fold. They are all average strikers who have gone the extra mile to get to where they are at the moment. Getting our strikers transfer their club forms to the national team will continue to be a mirage until the 18 yearold yoke is destroyed.

•Keshi


THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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HE nominees for the maiden edition of the Sports Business and Media Award scheduled for this weekend have been released, even as the deputy governor of Lagos State, Princess Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire has confirmed her attendance. According to the CEO of Hally Sports International, Godwin Spiff-Sagama, all is now set for the event, even as he assured that all the nominees were painstakingly selected on merit. Below are the lists of the nominees: 1. Sports Administrator Of The Year. Loc, Lagos: Deputy Governor Lagos Her Excellency Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire Mike Idoko--Sunshine Stars Of Akure Patrick Ekeji 2. Sports Personality Of The Year (Gold Paralympians) Esther Oyema Joy Onaolapo Yakubu Adesokan 3. Sports Governor Of The Year Hon Chibuike Amaechi Rivers State Barr Babatunde Fashola Lagos State Alh. Ibrahim H. Dankambo. Gombe State 4. Sports Developing State Of The Year. Hon Chibuike Amechi Rivers State Barr Babatunde Fashola Lagos State Alh. Ibrahim H. Dankambo. Gombe State 5. Sport TV Of The Year Channels LTV STV 6. Sports Tv Program Of The Year Sports@ 9---Channels TV Sports Splash-----LTV Sports Café ---Silverbird TV

SPORTS BUSINESS AND MEDIA AWARDS

NationSport's Ojeikere, Amomoh nominated •SportingLife listed too 7. Sports TV Presenter Of The Year Toyin Ibitoye---Channels TV Charles Anazodo----Supersport Godwin Enakhena---LTV 8. Sports Tv Producer Of The Year Joe Ighile------Channels Deji Balogun----LTV Idigbonon Ahagbame---AIT 9 . Sports Radio Of The Year (Regular) Rhythm FM Raypower FM Star Fm 10. Sports Radio Of The Year (sports Based) Brila FM Nig Info 11. Sports Radio Presenter Of The Year (Regular) Femi Obong Daniels: Nigeria Info Bimbo Adeola: Syndicated Stations Deji Omotoyinbo: Syndicated Stations 12. Sports Radio Presenter Of The Year (Sports Based) Babafemi Raji: Brila FM Obong Daniels: Nigeria Info 13. Sports Radio Programme Of The Year (Regular Radio) Milo Word Of Sports: Raypower · Rhythm Sports: Rhythm Fm · Sports@dawn: Rainbow Fm 14. S p o r t s R a d i o Programme Of The Year (sports Based) Sports Machine: Brila FM Sports Drive: Nig Info Mega Sports: Star Fm

15. Sports Radio Producer Of The Year. Brila Fm Nig Info 16. Sports Radio Producer Of The Year (Sports Based) Kingsley Idehen: Brila FM Femi Obong Daniels: Nig Info 17. Sports Newspaper Of The Year (regular Newspaper) The Guardian The Punch The Sun Newspaper 18. Sports Newspaper Of The Year (Sports Based) Complete Sports Soccer Star SportingLife 19 Sports Editor Of The Year (Regualr Newspaper) Pius Ayinor---The Punch Onochie Anibeze ----The Vanguard Christian Okpara-- The Guardian 20. Sports Editor Of The Year (Sports Based) Dare Esan--- Complete Sports · Kunle Solaja--Soccer Star Ade Ojeikere-- SportingLife 21. Sports Writer Of The Year (Regular Newspaper) Lekan Okusan—The Guardian Innocent Amomoh -The Nation Wale Ajimotokan---This Day 22. Sports Writer Of The Year (sports Based) Romanus Ugwu---Soccer Star

Sab Osuji---Complete Sports Mike Oboh----Sports Day 23. Sports Brand Of The Year (Finance) Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Zenith Bank First City Moment Bank (FCMB) 24. Sports Brand Of The Year (Telecoms) Globacom Airtel MTN 25. Sports Brand Of The Year (FMCG) Alcoholic Drink Guinness-Guinness(diageo Group) Gulder----NBPLC Squadron Dark Rum--Idl 26. Sports Brand Of The Year (FMCG) Non Alcoholic Drink Coca-cola Pepsi Lucozade Sport-GSK 27. Sports Brand Of The Year (FMCG) Confectionary Milo---Nestle Cowbell-----Promasidor Indomie-------Dufil Prima Foods 28. Sports Photo Journalist Dele Ojo--The Sun Newspaper Stanley Ogidi-- Punch Newspaper Agori James-Thisday Newspaper 29. Football Academy Of The Year Oscar Ezenwa Academy Pepsi Football Academy Cowbell Football Academy 30. Sports Driven Advert Of The Year Airtel Copa Coca-cola Squadron Blended Dark Rum

ORANGE 2013 SOUTH AFRICA NATIONS CUP

It will be celebration of Africa- SA Tourism boss

L

ESS than six weeks to the first shot to signify the commencement of the South Africa 2013 Orange Africa Nations Cup, the head of South Africa Tourism for Africa for Market Phumi Dholo says the Rainbow nation is more than ready to host thousands of the members of football family and tourists again. Given the hosting right about a year ago, many are surprised at how South Africa has managed to prepare adequately in the short time. But Dholo who has seen his country host excellent Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, Football World Cup and dozens of other global and continental events is not surprised, ‘’ Yes, South Africa is very well prepared. We are excited and look forward to welcoming the continent back to South Africa for the Orange AFCON 2013. Our hospitality industry is ready to recieve you, make you feel at home and give you the warm, welcoming South African hospitality to make AFCON a fantastic, celebratory experience. The stadia are ready. The restaurants, nightclubs, pubs

and shopping malls are ready in each of the five host cities and across South Africa, too We are excited about Orange AFCON and we look forward to welcoming you’’ For Phumi, the Nations Cup is not just about the the stadia and football, but “ Orange AFCON is very important to us in South Africa for a number of reasons. It gives us another opportunity to welcome African tourists to South Africa and show them a great time. It gives us an opportunity again to showcase our destination, our welcoming people, our capability and infrastructure not only to the continent, but also to the world’’ For the Nations Cup, Phumi revealed that SA Tourism is targeting 150 000 from other African countries. For a country like Nigeria where tourism is still in the back seat, Phumi's revelations are food for thought, “So far (in the first seven months of 2012), African tourists to South Africa have contributed about US$6 billion to the South African economy. this figure is almost eclipsing, by the end of July, 2011 spendings and contribution to the economy.

We expect AFCON fans to contribute about US$154 million to the economy when they come in January next year. T h e A F C O N championship will provide a boost for our hospitality industry: boosted hotel room occupancy, busier restaurants and other entertainment venues, and the creation of more jobs for South Africans in tourism and hospitality’’ The games may be days away, but Phumi and other top shots in SA Tourism and Local Organizing Committee are already talking about the games' legacy ‘’Organising, managing and delivering the tournament itself is labour intensive. The Local Organising Committee of AFCON estimates that the event is creating about 16 100 jobs (in areas such as venue management, stewards, security and support staff). 2 500 South Africans will work as volunteers at AFCON, and gain valuable experience of big event management and delivery At the end of the tournament, one team will lift the champion trophy... but the whole continent will have

scored a decisive victory for celebrating unity and celebrating Africa’s favourite sport’’ To celebrate, Phumi revealed thet South Africa will be investing US$53.5 million “The fact that South Africa built stadiums for the FIFA 2010 World Cup makes hosting AFCON that bit easier. Of the US$53.3 million, US$37 million will go to South African national departments to cover costs associated with hosting (including security, protocol and migration services). A further US$2 million will be used by the provinces and another US$14 million will be used by the five host cities to cover various hosting costs"

•Keshi

Can school sports achieve success without Physical Education?

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ONCEPTUALLY school sports is the aggregate all sporting activities organized for pupils and students in primary schools under the umbrella of the school. On the hand other hand, physical education consists of all formally designed and structured programmes of physical education for pupils and students to promote their education through the medium of instructional, intramural and extramural sports experiences. From this conceptual clarifications of the meanings of school sports and physical education, it can be seen that both are related to one another except that physical education involves structured teaching and learning of sports skills, knowledge and values. Hence, school sports is an integral part of physical education. A school sports programme erected on a quality physical education curriculum, enables pupils and students to know more about sports as an educational experience. The paradox however, is that operators of school sports programmes have a tendency to discount physical education. Discounting physical education in school sports is comparable to a situation where a society expects to make a rich harvest of quality doctors and engineers, for example, without entrenching quality science education in primary and secondary schools. It is unthinkable not to recognize the linkage between science subjects and mathematics in primary and secondary schools with the study and production of personnel in medicine, engineering and technology. Producing athletes without an earlier knowledge of physical education, has its deficits. Sports is often made to look like an inferior domain of human endeavour requiring no knowledge of its principles and values for excellence. This is a fallacy. The sports experience and its performance will definitely be aided if the sports boy and girl are made to understand the relationship between it and the psychology, physiology or biology, sociology, history and philosophy and the sporting process. After all, the sports experience is a form of human behaviour that unfolds in a social contest. These are the added values which physical education brings to the sporting experience and process. Doing sports as well as studying physical education in primary and secondary school is the best way to lay a solid foundation for sports participation for young people. In some ways, the national policy on education and the sports development policy have made provisions for physical education in schools. The tragedy is that at the level of implementation of these policies, physical education is thrown to the dustbin and nothing happens about teaching this subject. Considering the importance of sports to nation building as often spoken about and as enunciated in various educational and sports policy documents, it is conceivable that teaching physical education in schools is an imperative instrument for nourishing sports in schools. Is not a given that development in any aspect of national life is best achieved through educational support? Is sports going to be different? Will schools sports reach the zenith of its potential without physical education? The answer is emphatic no. Education Agencies at the Federal and State levels must ensure that physical education is well entrenched in schools because of the unarguable and valuable role it plays in sports development. Through physical education more people can gain access to sports participation. Nigeria now needs physical education more than ever as it aspires to be one of the best 20:2020 sporting nations of the world. Physical education must not die in our schools. secondary schools. It is unthinkable not to recognize the linkage between science subjects and mathematics in primary and secondary schools with the study and production of personnel in medicine, engineering and technology. Producing athletes without an earlier knowledge of physical education, has its deficits. Sports is often made to look like an inferior domain of human endeavour requiring no knowledge of its principles and values for excellence. This is a fallacy. The sports experience and its performance will definitely be aided if the sports boy and girl are made to understand the relationship between it and the psychology, physiology or biology, sociology, history and philosophy and the sporting process. After all, the sports experience is a form of human behaviour that unfolds in a social contest. These are the added values which physical education brings to the sporting experience and process. Doing sports as well as studying physical education in primary and secondary school is the best way to lay a solid foundation for sports participation for young people. In some ways, the national policy on education and the sports development policy have made provisions for physical education in schools. The tragedy is that at the level of implementation of these policies, physical education is thrown to the dustbin and nothing happens about teaching this subject.


I am deadlier in front of goal — Walcott

Barclays Premier League

FIXTURES Saturday West Ham v Chelsea Arsenal v Swansea Fulham v Tottenham Liverpool v Southampton Man City v Everton QPR v Aston Villa West Brom v Stoke Reading v Man Utd Sunday Norwich v Sunderland Monday Newcastle v Wigan

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Team P Man Utd 14 Man City 14 Chelsea 14 West Brom14 Tottenham 14 Everton 14 Arsenal 14 Swansea 14 Stoke 14 West Ham 14 Fulham 14 Liverpool 14 Norwich 14 Newcastle 14 Wigan 14 Sunderland 13 Aston Villa 14 Southampton 14 Reading 13 QPR 14

W 11 9 7 8 7 5 5 5 4 5 4 3 3 3 4 2 3 3 1 0

D 0 5 5 2 2 7 6 5 7 4 5 7 7 5 2 7 4 3 6 5

L 3 0 2 4 5 2 3 4 3 5 5 4 4 6 8 4 7 8 6 9

GF 33 27 24 24 25 24 24 21 13 16 25 18 11 14 15 12 11 21 16 10

GA 18 10 13 18 23 18 14 17 12 16 23 18 20 21 25 16 22 31 23 26

GD Pts 15 33 17 32 11 26 6 26 2 23 6 22 10 21 4 20 1 19 0 19 2 17 0 16 -9 16 -7 14 -10 14 -4 13 -11 13 -10 12 -7 9 -16 5

GOAL SCORERS Player Suarez van Persie Demba Ba Michu Defoe Fellaini Tevez Dzeko Bale Lambert Fletcher Berbatov Hernandez Nolan West Jelavic Lukaku Aguero

Team

Goals

Liverpool 10 Man Utd 9 Newcastle 8 Swansea 8 Tottenham 7 Everton 7 Man City 6 Man City 6 Tottenham 6 Southampton 6 Sunderland 6 Fulham 5 Man Utd 5 Ham 5 Everton 5 West Brom 5 Man City 5


THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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S we cruise into the last month of the year 2012, the expectations of the entire Executive Committee and Management of the Nigeria Football Federation includes seeing the Golden Eaglets grab a ticket to the 2013 African U-17 Championship in Morocco; a highly successful Annual General Assembly and a successful camping programme for the homebased professionals ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa. Following a 2-0 win in the first leg against their muchbigger and heavier Malian opponents in Calabar on 18th November, the Eaglets take on the Junior Eagles in Bamako tomorrow determined to overcome. No doubt, the Eaglets would have finished the job right here with a handsome win in Calabar, if they had not thrown away so many chances that came their way. But in football, this happens and we just have to understand with the young men and encourage them for the return leg. There were widespread fears about the team’s safety in a volatile Bamako and many expressed uncertainty, hoping the boys and their officials would not suffer the same

Inside The

Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI

Expectations for December fate as befell players and officials of Sunshine Stars FC when the latter went to Mali for a CAF Champions League match against Djoliba earlier in the year. I received a number of text messages and mails wondering what we had done as a Federation to guarantee the delegation’s safety. Of course, as is our practice, we had reached out to the Embassy of Nigeria in Bamako much earlier, pleading with them to extend all possible courtesies to our delegation members and also mobilize Nigerians in Bamako to make the team feel at home during and after the match. Our heartfelt appreciation

goes to the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Mali, His Excellency Iliya Nuhu who was personally present at the Aeroport International Bamako Senou on Wednesday to receive the delegation, as they arrived aboard ASKY airline flight. He welcomed the team heartily and led them to their Hotel Columbus, while promising that the Embassy would ensure the team does not miss much even though most of the Embassy staff are in Accra, Ghana for a conference. I am also happy that the Head Coach acknowledged that the Hotel Columbus is much better than the accommodation the team

had in previous away matches in Niamey and Conakry. The NFF also made arrangement for the team to be served Nigerian food. For all these, we expect the team will feel absolutely in comfort and will go all out for victory on Sunday. It is unthinkable that a leading youth footballplaying nation like ours has not been at the African U-17 Championship since lifting the trophy in Togo in 2007. In 2009, the team coached by Alphonsus Dike lost out to Benin Republic and Nigeria was missing at the African finals but Nigeria played in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup by virtue of being host nation. In 2011, distractions here

and there meant the NFF Board was unable to provide the team coached by Monday Osagie with adequate attention and the team faltered against Congo Brazzaville. The present NFF administration is also keen to see the U-17 team reach the finals in Morocco, as it will help the development process of a group that we see as the future of Nigeria football. Away from U-17 football, the NFF is getting set for its 2012 Annual General Assembly, which the Board approved on Wednesday to take place in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State. As usual, the Annual General Assembly will welcome all members of the Congress: Chairmen of Football Associations of 36 States and FCT; Secretaries of 36 State Football Associations and the FCT; the Chairmen and Secretaries of the Leagues; Chairmen and Secretary of Coaches Association, Referees Association and Players’ Union. There will be a number of special guests, past presidents and general secretaries of the NFF and several observers and stakeholders of the Nigeria game. Two days later, in Lagos,

a fund-raising dinner for the Super Eagles’ campaign at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa will be held with His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) as chief host. There will be another dinner somewhere in the south-south zone to raise funds for the team before the camp opens for the homebased professionals on 17 December. We expect the Head Coach, Mr. Stephen Keshi back from the United States of America next weekend, and by Monday, he would be in Abuja to supervise arrangements ahead of the camping. It is from this camping programme that the best of the home boys will be picked for the final phase of the preparation in Portugal. The home boys will depart the country some days before the end of the year and will be joined by the overseasbased pros on 4th January. The Nigeria Football Federation also expects that sometime this month, the Nigeria Premier League will be able to hold its Seventh Congress and announce a day for the commencement of the 2012/2013 League Season, after all lingering issues and oustanding matters must have been conclusively resolved.

NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL EKO 2012

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HE Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has set up a team to monitor budding athletes that can be nurtured to stardom as the track & field events of the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos begin tomorrow. President of the AFN, Chief Solomon Ogba, said on Thursday that those saddled with the responsibilities of the talent hunt have been briefed on what to look out for.

AFN appoints Monitoring Team for Festival “We want to use the festival to see what the states are offering in terms of fresh talents. Those with prospects will be identified and a programme put in place to let them achieve their potentials,” stressed the AFN chief. Ogba reminded states that AFN’s zero tolerance for performance enhancing substances was still in place.

“We are urging states to bring athletes that are dope free to the track & field arena. We are going to carry out dope tests on all winners and anyone caught will not only forfeit the medal but face other sanctions like being banned,” stressed the AFN president. He expressed his happiness with the organisation put in

place by Lagos State and hope that the athletic events will live up to expectations of attracting more fans to the stands.

•Volleyball action

“Track & field is all about crowd. Athletes love to see fans cheering them. I just hope more fans turn up to

watch the athletes from the states perform on the track and in the field events” stressed Ogba.

Photo: BOLA OMILABU

Eko 2012: Boxing fans lament power outage, poor ventilation at NISports Hall

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OXING fans at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos on Thursday lamented frequent power outages and lack of ventilation at the hall of the National Institute for Sports (NISports). The fans told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the problems did not allow them to enjoy a steady flow of bouts as matches were being regularly disrupted due to power failure. The fans added that the lack of ventilation in the hall did not allow for fresh air, compelling the spectators to fan themselves with either hand fans or handkerchiefs. Segun Alobo, a fan, said that the frequent power outages was unbearable and was disturbing the crowd from enjoying free flow entertainment. ``I don’t know why the organisers cannot provide a stand-by generator for a big event like this. Several

times, the power outages have disturbed the free flow of entertainment,’’ Alobo said. Idayat Kazeem, another fan, said that the lack of ventilation in the hall increased the heat which she said also distracted the concentration of the boxers. ``Look at my handkerchief; it is already soaked with my sweat. How can one enjoy the game in this kind of environment? It is indeed, sad,`` she said. Another fan, Fatai Kamil, appealed to the organisers to help find a solution to the issue, adding that the boxers were also being affected by the issues. NAN reports that a 30minute power outage stopped the fight between Saliu Kadri of Kwara and Wahab Kamoli of Bauchi in a 60kg preliminary bout. The match was later decided at 7-6 in favour of Kadri. NAN also reports that Team Lagos boxers began their campaign for laurels at the event on a good note as three out of the team’s six boxers have moved into the

second round. Dauda Azeez in the 49kg defeated Yusuf Olalekan of Rivers, Akeem Akinade in the 52kg defeated Sodiq Moammed of Kano, while Kazeem Oliwo defeated Oyekola Rilwan of Gombe in the 56kg category. No fewer than 22 of the 108 boxers in the 54 categories of the event had already qualified for the second round.

•Local boxing action

Nigeria may regain lost glory in 3 years — Handball referees boss

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OSES Balogun, C h a i r m a n , Nigeria Handball Referees Association, on

Photo: BOLA OMILABU

Thursday said the sport would regain its lost glory within three years, if players were properly selected and monitored. Balogun made the remark during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the opening match of the event at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos. ``With proper selection and nurturing of the calibre of players I see here, into the national team, the country would bounce back to reckoning. ``These athletes have height advantage and are focused, so if they are given a very good follow up programme after the

Games, they will be there. ``Nigerian Handball will be a force to reckon with in Africa and the world in the next three years, if players are identified at the festival and groomed,’’ he said. NAN reports that Team Kano defeated Enugu 3533; Team Niger beat Ogun 27-22, while Team Ondo defeated their counterparts from Abia 31-24 in the male category. In the female category, Team Kaduna defeated Zamfara 16-8; Team Rivers also defeated their counterparts from Borno 26-15, while Team Lagos defeated Imo 25-18. The 14-day festival which started on Nov. 27 in Lagos will end on Dec. 9.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

36

GOLFLINE

with

Tony Akhigbe golflineintl@yahoo.com 08094863638

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•Rory McIlroy (l) with Tiger Woods

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HE putt was meaningless because it was the final hole of a pro-am in what amounts to an 18-man exhibition at the end of the year, even though ranking points are available at the World Challenge. But it was hard not to look at the end of the putter pressed into the belly of Keegan Bradley. Golf's rules makers got it right on banning anchoring strokes, Robert Lusetich argues. The decision to ban the anchor stroke used for belly putters and broom-handle putters was not because of Bradley, even though he became the face of a style that was gaining popularity, not to mention credibility. Bradley became the first player to win a major using the belly putter when he rammed in a 35foot birdie putt on the 17th at Atlanta Athletic

Club in 2011 during a remarkable comeback. It was in the news conference after the PGA Championship that Bradley spoke about a number of players on the Nationwide Tour who were using belly putters. The next year, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els won majors with a belly putter. The US Golf Association and Royal & Ancient, which announced Wednesday a proposed rule that would ban anchoring the club to the body, said the major champions were only part of what got their attention. Mike Davis of the USGA and Peter Dawson of the R&A both spoke to a spike in number of players using such putting strokes, how it trickled down to younger golfers, and their concern that the stroke was taking too much of the skill out of the game.

EVEN YEARS AGO, could make even Tiger the Senate President, Woods ask: “Are we really David Mark,the big playing golf here?” Sampler, man who could offer his right Lateef Lasisi, the ‘black hand just to have a round of bomber’ who won the pro golf turned 57. Naturally, he event carded an amazing 10would not be celebrating on a under that left a lot of golfers high podium where the likes standing, gawping. Well, of Wabara and Osuji would you could expect that from be reeling out citations like Lasisi. I mean this is a guy they reel outfresh naira notes who remains the only from the mints. All the Nigerian to have lifted the Senator craved for was a prestigious Nigerian Open lonely celebration on the golf trophy. But here is the course with his golfer friends miracle. The best score on purring on divine swings. the Otukpo course, built Mark’s own course in some twelve years ago, was Otukpo came out as the r e c o r d e d b y B r i a n theatre of dreams where the Gberevbie, a pro who plays whole birthday bash played on the Senior Tour. In one out.Some 25 minutes drive to day alone, Gberevbie carded Otukpo, that is if you are an astonishing 8-under. approaching from 9th Mile, Well, another miracle. Ben you would get to this little Agbi, who does more of starting off village called Otukpa. From here, you golfers than wouldknow what playing recorded Otukpo had in stock for an unbelievable you. So much heat you 3-under to even would be wondering pip Nigeria’s how their yams ever best amateur at grow. the time, Edet Umoh. What But this is golf else can we say and you could here than pro endure anything nounce the Otu to get the best of k p o cours it. Yes, Otukpo e as the cheap t o u r n e y est in t h e provided a sort uni verse. of spectacle… The man like you are w h o watching Tiger owns the W o o d s course, producing Senator seven birdies •David Mark D a v i d in a row at Mark, will not the 2006 hear of this. Masters in Augusta, H e a r t h e Georgia. Senator: ”The Otukpo course is T h e designed like spectacle any other took off standard course with the in the world. professiona We have the ls hitting same playing the course surface like f o r a you would see million in IBB course naira, cou in Abuja. The rtesy Davi o n l y d Mark. difference I t could be here is that in years our putting past you see surface is still Nigerian pros brown. We carding an over could have score as if they had a green were some lazy, but there is pregnant women. In shortage of Otukpo, the pro guys water in poured on the gear, Otukpo. like they do on Sure, the Hummer jeeps and c o u r se is not came out with scores that

meant to kill you. It appears simple enough. But if you get careless, you could suffer. Forget all the under people are recording in this tourney. They are getting this far because the course is hard. You can imagine people using a putter to play a second shot in a par four hole. For those who say the course is cheap, I say come play it during the rainy season. All I can add again is that we won’t redesign the course. As far as I know, it is hard enough’.The big news. The Otukpo course was selected to host that year’s President Cup. David Mark indeed put on big works to ensure that the tourney surpassed any other tourney ever staged in the country. Moving on this wave length with Mark was Larry Ossai, the then Shell heavyweight who was gunning to be the Vice Captain of the prestigious IBB Golf Club. Know what Larry did? He just doled out N350,000 to shape up the Otukpo course for the President Cup. Sweet memory you coul d say. But the Otu kpo course is on for ano ther glory. From December 6th, the club will be hosting the costliest golf tourney in the history of Nigerian golf. Professional golfers, numbering about 120 will be playing for a stunning N20 million, courtesy the Globacom golf tour. Anywhere in the world, a N20 million purse for a fourday game is huge enough. This could be reason some hard core pros from Europe and America are already angling for a space in Otukpo. In all sincerity, Globacom has come to re-difine the state of golf in Nigeria. In past glorious years of golf, we were having the Nigeria Open and the Great Britain versus West Africa, something akin to the evergreen Ryders Cup. Yes. golf is back in Nigeria. And with just four years to the Olympics in Rio, Brazil. Golfers all can now smile broadly. While doing this, they should send prayers to Globacom's Mike Adenuga who put some N60 million to ensure an enduring Tour in four cities with Otukpo hold a whole N20 million. Then thanks must go to the Senate President, David Mark, who prevailed on a bossom from, Mike Adenuga, so the Glo Tour could happen. David Mark will still have to do more. He should prevail on Adenuga to embrace the game of golf. If this happens, next year's Glo Tour could weigh some N150 million. This could be enough to bring in quality pros from Europe and America. And not a Tour divided among Ghanaians duo of Torgah and Korblah... and yes, Ochei Udih who the Shagamu Glo game.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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Crack Ya Ribs for

Christmas Day

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RONTLINE comedian Julius Agwu is once again set to ignite the bubbling city of PortHarcourt this Christmas with his popular comedy brand, Crack Ya Ribs. Over a decade, Crack Ya Ribs has been an exciting night of music and comedy both within and outside the African continent. Billed to hold on December 25 at the Aztec Arcum, Stadium Road l, Julius revealed that he is going all the way to make the event the biggest in Port-Harcourt in 2012. “Crack Ya Ribs on Christmas day is going to be my Christmas gift to my Port Harcourt people and the whole South-South. The event also marks the end of this year JAFFY Football Talent Hunt competition which I started last year”, Julius says. As always, the show will be hosted by Julius Agwu and billed to thrill the audience are music and comedy acts including Okey Bakassi, Seyi Law, Daniel D'humorous, Aje baba, Funky4, Iyanya, Burna Boy, Ijaw Boys and Dj Abi. The audience it is said would be treated to rib cracking jokes from the comedians and breathtaking music performances from the music acts. Proudly supported by Aero Contractors and Moni Pulo, the comedy concert is expected help Port residents and people on holiday to celebrate the coming festive season in a grand and entertaining style.

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HE grand finale of the 4th annual Odudu Music Awards 2012 holds on Saturday December 1, 2012. The most anticipated music event in the Garden City is billed to take place at Hotel Presidential starting from 6 pm prompt. Acclaimed to be the biggest awards ceremony in the whole of the Niger Delta Area, this year's edition which will be hosted by popular onair personality, Andre Blaze and a UK based musician, Enyioma has been revealed to be a spectacular edition. Billed to perform at the event are The Mayor of Port Harcourt City who is billed to perform his tribute song to his late wife, Nigerian Idol winner-Mercy Chinwo, Korkormikor, Soty, Wacomzy, Burna Boy, Dantonio, Nelia, Fortune, and a whole lot of other good singers. This 4th edition will Honour Nigerian Music Stars like Timaya, Duncan Mighty, Timi Dakolo, American based singer-Pupa Say, London based singerSody Cookey and Enyioma, another UK based singer.

Burna Boy, Wacomzy, others for Odudu Music Awards Channel 0 award winner, MTrill is also to be honored as they all started their music careers from Port Harcourt. Speaking on this year's event, the executive producer, Micheal Ogolo said they have put everything in place to give Port-Harcourt another mind blowing edition of Odudu Awards. “This year alone, we received over 200 entries and made 83 nominations for the 40 Categories of the awards. We have been able to host three successful editions which had elicited lots of cheering support from the Niger-Delta people. We have also had an array of Nigerian Stars , like Ali Baba, Julius Agwu, Gentle Jack, Bobby Ogoloma and others in attendance and the wife of the Governor of

Rivers State witnessed the last edition and also presented the an awards in the Gospel category for male and female”. Micheal Ogolo added that “we expect the entire Nation to come and see the best of Port Harcourt and the Niger Delta on the 1st of December, 2012. This year's Odudu Music Awards will have more musical performances on stage than the presentation of awards proper”. Odudu Music Awards is set up to serve as a reward and appreciation mechanism for the abundant talents in entertainment, especially music, in the Niger Delta.

Shank, Solid Star light up Funke Akindele St-Remy Gbedu Slam Jam is final judge for

•Solid Star

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RIDAY, November 23 witnessed another riveting night of extreme fun and excitement as French Brandy St-Remy held this month's St-Remy Gbedu Slam Jam at the upscale

Moore Entertainment Club, Festac, Lagos. Parading a unique blend of top artistes backed by some of the brightest upcoming acts, this month's event featured Solid Star, Shank, Eminic, Ne-Mo, and other acts. The memorable night also had the ever energetic DJ Atte of Naija 102.7 FM on the wheels of steel. St-Remy Brand & Markets Manager, Antoine Couvreur, expressed delight on behalf of the brand because of all the support the brand has received so far. “The party train heads to La Mango Lounge, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos on December 14 for the last of our events in 2012, and you can be sure that the brand is going to sign out

ET to take place be Nigeria's Mai Atafo on Sunday 2nd and Asake Oge from the December 2012 is UK and Ghana's the third edition of the Christie Brown FAB Magazine Night showcasing creative Out where the African-inspired publishers will host an designs. Beyond fashion evening of celebration. and entertainment, FAB Billed for Landmark Night Out will feature Village in Victoria spoken word by Sage Island, Lagos, with Hasson and a keynote black carpet starting at address by author and 6pm prompt, FAB Night Out 2012 change agent Adewale Ajadi. will play host to a bevy of VIP guests FAB Night Out 2012 is supported from the world of business, fashion, by Pattaya Oriental, Newton and entertainment and lifestyle. David, Jack Daniels The night, according to the and Hewlett publishers of the magazine, will see Packard. Two awards presented to winners of 26 lucky winners on categories. Also, three lifetime the night will get achievement awards as decided by two brand new FAB Magazine to be given to Fashion HP laptops as a Icon of the Year, Fabulous African FAB gift, Business and Fabulous African courtesy of Business Person. Hewlett To perform live at the event are Packard. eLDee and Da Trybe 2.0 including Aramide, Sojay and K9; Darey and the Soul Musik crew including MoEazy, SeyiShay and Zaina; Brymo from Chocolate City and Aje Butter. On the runway showcasing their latest designs will •ELDee

this year in grand style,” he said. Ugly Temptation crooner, Eminic had a blast, as did Ne-Mo who also gave a good account of himself. But, the unarguable headliners on the night were Shank whose monster hit Ghetto had everybody rocking heavily all through his performance which he wound down with another of his past hits Julie. Skibo crooner, Solidstar was the other headliner as he also tore the place up with his performance. DJ Atte maintained the frenzy in between and subsequently after all the performances, even as he kept the Festac crowd gyrating and rocking till the wee hours of the next morning.

Adesuwa hits stores

All set for FAB Night Out 2012

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Lagos Cuban Night set to hold today

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HE city of Lagos will come alive with some Latino excitement as scores of fun seekers get set for the Lagos Cuban Night set today at the Lagoon Restaurant & Bar. It promises to be a night of unlimited razzmatazz, delightful scenery, exotic music, fun, magic and unforgettable scenes. Tickets for the show are already on sale and interested participants are to log onto www.afritickets.com for more information.

FTER a successful cinema run, award winning movie and one of the biggest productions of 2012, Adesuwa has hit the movie shelves. Executive Producer of Adesuwa, John Chukwuma Abua, CEO of John Sources Films said that the movie was released on DVD on Monday, November 26. Directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, the movie has various stars like Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Ngozi Ezeonu and Olu Jacobs. Earlier in the year, the movie was enmeshed in an ownership tussle which was amicably resolved.

MTV VJ Search

•Funke

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OVIE writer, producer and director, Funke Akindele has been revealed as the final judge for the MTV Base VJ Search. She joins an impressive looking panel that already has EME head honcho Banky W, Beat FM OAP Toolz and MTV Creative Director Tim Horwood on it. The panel will be looking to select a brand new VJ to become one of the key faces for the network hosting programmes on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and on the MTV Base block on STV. “I feel honoured to be working with one of the biggest youth entertainment brands in the world. It is very inspiring to be involved in a project like the MTV Base VJ Search which offers such an exciting opportunity for young people who want to break into the entertainment industry” Funke said. The winner of the competition which kicks off Saturday 1 December at Fantasy Land, Lagos will follow in the footsteps of veteran MTV Base VJ Cynthia “CVon” Okpala who triumphed in MTV Base's first ever Nigerian VJ search in 2007.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Gossip Interviews

39

Why my marriages failed —Tessy Yembra PAGE S

44&45


40

THE NATION SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

With KAYODE ALFRED

E-mail:kayflex2@yahoo.com

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Namadi Sambo plans jaw-dropping wedding for daughters

Of Dapo Sorinolu and estranged wife

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hat could be responsible for the sudden disappearance of Dapo Sorinolu, estranged husband to Bimpe Sorinolu? A few years before his divorce with his wife of 13 years, he was a man about town who made the social scene his oyster. No event could be said to be complete without his presence. He was one of the big boys who had the right words in the right ears. He was a regular face at many high octane events and was never found wanting in all the happening places in society. His sudden vacation from the social arena however caused some discomfort as those who knew him felt his absence deeply. He was one of the few who bestrode society like a colossus. Since former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose's sudden departure from office, however, the man-about-town has not been visible, leaving many to wonder why. The muscular dude, who some years back went through the messiest of divorces, was expected to remain in the eye of society, but he surprisingly fizzled out. His wife of 13 years, who was said to have linked him to Fayose, her elder brother, soon realised that she was no longer in Dapo's reckoning. The dude was said to have turned his back on the marriage to concentrate on building a relationship with Fayose. Unfortunately, Fayose left office unceremoniously and Dapo also vanished from public glare, leaving many to wonder where he is. On the other hand, his estranged wife, Bimbe, currently lives in London. She recently launched a movie on cancer.

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igerian Vice-President, Architect Namadi Sambo, is over the moon at the moment. Happenstances gathered that the former governor of Kaduna State is planning a high-profile wedding for his two daughters, Huwaila and Aisha, on December 7 and 8. Those who should know informed Happenstances that Mother's Night will come up in Abuja, while the wedding fatiha and walima will take place in Kaduna. Aisha, who is in her late 20s, will be getting married to Muktar, her heartthrob of many years. They met at the American University in Yola, Adamawa State. Huwaila, on the other hand, will be getting married to Awalu, an indigene of Kano State, who is said to be related to Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, a former Inspector General of Police. And if what we hear is anything to go by, the the Vice-President and his lovely wife, Amina, are pulling all the strings to ensure a grand ceremony for their lovely daughters. Already, invitation cards have been sent out to about 3,000 guests expected at the wedding. Right now, there is excitement in Sambo's home. The event promises to be a grand one.

Happy times for Pastor Madubuko

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oy has returned to the household of the General Overseer of Revival Assembly Church, Apostle Anslem Madubuko few weeks after the death of his lovely wife, Connie Madubuko. Velma, the lovely daughter of the clergyman who had her traditional wedding on Thursday last week, is set for her high-octane wedding today. The event is billed to take place at the Revival Assembly Church, Ogba, Lagos. Apostle Madubuko is doing everything he can to ensure a grand ceremony for a child in whom he is well pleased. He is once again set to show what hospitality is all about. Already, there is excitement in the air around the home of the Madubukos, which is easily perceivable even

Layinka Oyedeji loses father

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he death of a kith or kin usually leaves one in grief. The situation is not any different for Layinka Oyedeji, the former manager of masked musician, Lagbaja. Only recently, Oyedeji lost his father, Oba Bamidele Oyedeji, the Onigosun of Igosun, Kwara State, at the age of 78. As saddening as his father's death was, the ebullient entertainment guru and event manager has shaken off the shock and is now poised to give the deceased a befitting burial. The event is billed to commence on Thursday, December 6 with a night of tributes and commendation service at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sabo-Oke Ilorin. The interment will take place at the Onigosun Palace on Saturday, December 8. There will also be a thanksgiving service at First Baptist Church, Igosun, after internment. The entertainment of guests will follow immediately at Muslim Community Primary School's playground at Igosun.

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by a first time visitor. Based on information gathered from the church, the event promises to be memorable. The absence of the late Pastor Connie Madubuko, who died a few weeks ago, is bound to be conspicuous. She was reputed for supporting her husband through thick and thin.

Abiola Akinsulire celebrates one year of Igbadun Concept

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biola Akinsulire, the boss of Igbadun Concept, is the new face of entrepreneurship. Igbadun Concept Boutique is a fashion and apparel firm that focuses on the importation of ready-to-wear clothes, body accessories and interior dĂŠcor. Its range of fashion items include clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. A unique quality of the firm is its well designed African wares and accessories. The firm's Ogba shop opened to customers on November 26 last year. In celebration of its first year anniversary, Igbadun Concept is organising a fashion event tagged Ankara Fashion Week from December 3 to 8, 2012 at 3, Ogba Ijaiye Road, Lagos. Igbadun Concept is run by Abiola Akinsulire, a Mass Communication graduate of the University of Lagos. Prior to Starting the firm, she had worked in a number of firms like Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited and Lloyd Anderson. She is happily married.Top fashion buffs, entertainers and socialites are expected to grace the five-day event.


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Yemi Onabowale gives mum rites of passage

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enowned medical practitioner and Chief Medical Officer of Reddington Hospital, Dr. Yemi Onabowale recently lost his mother, Omoba Josephine Alaba Onabowale (nee Ladejobi). While that may no longer be news to many, the loss of his has brought to the fore the passion his numerous friends and associates have for him. The burial of the late mother-in-law to Charis Onabowale, the boss of Mama Cass eatery, attracted dignitaries from all walks of life to Ogere Remo, Ogun State to pay their last respects to her. She died at the age of 92, survived by seven sons. She was born into the royal family of the Onabowales. There was service of songs at the Catholic Church on Catholic Mission Street, Lagos. The funeral service was held at Christ Anglican Church, Ogere-Remo. Reception and entertainment of guests took place at Ositelu Memorial College ground, Awomosu Agbato Drive, Ogere-Remo.

Sani Bello in low celebration at 70

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New Jasmine Murray Bruce on the horizon

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ntil recently, Jasmine Murray Bruce was not a popular face in social circles. Fair-complexioned and beautiful, the soft spoken daughter of the Chairman of Silverbird Group, Ben MurrayBruce, is not all beauty without brain. She happens to have inherited some of her father's entreprenural traits. In her 20s, Jasmine calls the shots at Monae Spa, located inside the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos. The only daughter of Murray Bruce, she attended prestigious institutions abroad, and is no doubt highly sought after by men who are taken in by her pedigree, among other qualities. Jasmine dazzles at red carpet events with her awesome clothes and matching accessories. Owing to the generous interest her personae arouses, her love life, which is shielded from prying eyes, has dominated discourse, with speculations about the identity of her date making the rounds. She was once very close the poster boy of the music industry, Dbanj.

he age of 70 is widely regarded as a major milestone in life, especially in a clime where the average life expectancy has dropped to about 45 years. Hence, when retired Col. Sani Bello attained the age of 70 a few days ago, quite a number of family members, friends, relations and admirers had looked forward to a lavish birthday celebration and high-octane party to mark the occasion. Many others had also looked forward to seeing endless number of congratulatory adverts in newspapers pouring encomiums on him for his huge achievements. For someone who diligently served the Federal Government, one had expected accolades to come from far and wide. But that was not to be. While a few congratulatory adverts were placed in some newspapers, those who should know informed Happenstances that Bello cherishes his privacy a lot and could have instructed against lavish congratulatory adverts. He is said to prefer spending his hard-earned money on the less privileged. No doubt, his philanthropic gestures have brought succour to many.

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new wind is blowing in the beauty and lifestyle sector in Lagos. Fashion icon, Niki Ogbuefi, who opened a multi-million naira unisex salon a few months ago, has added another feat with her new Niki O salon. The new beauty place is located on Victoria Arobieke Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. It boasts of all the features world class salons are known for. Ogbuefi, the proprietress of the new salon, who claimed she was challenged to build the biggest and the most equipped salon in Lagos, said the new salon was an A-list one built for men and women who love good treatment and class

Double celebrations for Lagos SSG

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he Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule is in celebration mood. But she decided to make it a private affair unlike other political office holders who by now would have painted the state red with congratulatory messages on the pages of newspapers and throw parties here and there. Few months ago, she added a Doctorate degree to her education status from the Lagos State University. Arguably, the first Lagos SSG to achieve such feat in office. Her 42 birthday on Tuesday November 27 was equally marked in an unusual manner -

Marifa Whyte back on social scene

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Niki Ogbuefi steps up

he whirlwind that threatened to sweep away the boss of Saver Q Limited, Marifa Whyte, from the Lagos social space has calmed down. The beautiful lady is pleased with herself at the moment. You sure would not have forgotten how her social claws were forcibly sheathed when the news broke sometimes ago that she was pregnant and later delivered of a baby boy for her married lover, Mohammed Asibelua. After she was delivered of her baby, many from her lover's family and friends started hurling verbal missiles at her, wondering why she wanted to break Asibelua's happy marriage to a popular Abuja-based designer. Today, Marifa has put all of that behind her and has embraced life with renewed vigour and jollity.

her immediate family just organised prayers for her. The birthday coincided with the opening of the National Sport Festival being host by Lagos State Government and the second year anniversary of the Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola who she regards as a political mentor. Indeed, the 16th SSG in the state has more to be grateful and thank God for. Being an engine room of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola's second time administration, the PhD holder has brought in vigour and dynamism in helping the State of Excellence maintain its enviable status.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Bringing the Christmas spirit into your home

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hristmas is almost here again. It time to start thinking about decorating your home. Do you know that the traditional time for putting up Christmas decorations is the first day of December? Generally, Christmas decorations are as simple as putting up a Christmas tree and a festive wreath on the front door. Christmas home decorations are the main thing that gives life and colour to our home every season. For others, decorating the home for Christmas is such an important family tradition that the decoration is a well-organised and thorough annual event where all members of the family participate, and choosing the right one is difficult, especially when there is so much to choose from. For most families, Christmas is the time to really celebrate goodwill to all men; it's about the family and close friends, good fun, good times, togetherness, remembering Christmases past. How to best display Christmas ornaments

Vintage Christmas ornaments

Christmas candles: To decorate the Christmas tree with Christmas candles is a tradition that dates back to the 16th century. The candle symbolizes life and joy in a dark time, and is perfect for Christmas

Christmas balls: As far back as three hundred years ago, glass balls were already used as Christmas decorations. Today, the big, shiny balls of thin plastic or glass are used.

British Airways dazzles Lagos with uniform catwalk show

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eading airline, British Airways, couldn't have chosen a more stylish way to celebrate its operations in Nigeria. At a star-studded event on Friday, November 23 hosted by the airline's global Chief Executive Officer, Keith Williams, the mega brand dazzled guests at its guests with a stunning fashion show featuring crew uniforms, old and new. Worn by BA staff over the last decades, the designs tell much about the history of Britain's favourite airline as well as the ever-changing role of men and women in the workplace,

offering the guests with an intriguing journey back in time. The models included British Airways staff and professional models. The event, held at the Sky Lounge of the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites, had in attendance prominent Nigerians, including Pastor Paul Adefarasin, Oba Otudeko, Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary General, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Bola Adesola, and Nollywood celebrities, among many others.

Christmas Trees The Christmas tree has become one of the best known festive symbols. A highly decorated evergreen tree with coloured lights ablaze inspires warm memories of Christmas. Decide where to place the tree, giving it a focal point, but keeping it out of high traffic areas where it might be bumped or where someone might trip on light cords. Place lighting on first, then wreaths as they both need to be spaced well and tree ornaments could be bumped off, if they are in the way. Arrange lights about halfway from the tips of the branches to the trunk of the tree, as well as on the perimeter of the tree Christmas lighting In addition to lighting your Christmas tree, it's nice to have some window lighting that shines out. Table centre pieces A table centre piece can be an excellent focal point to inspire your visitors. So, go for table centre pieces with Charismas logo. Table settings Use Christmas tableware for every meal in December Bows and ribbons When it comes to bows and ribbons, you don't have to stick with red and green and the colours you choose should blend with the rest of your decor. Bows and ribbons look very festive.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

le-Oloy Akinde •Funke

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lamour is what makes a man ask for your telephone number. But it also what makes a woman ask for the name of your dressmaker. What makes you stand out in a crowd is definitely not what you have spent on your dress, but it is how you have decided

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•Fatima Garba

Ibironke ARIYO •Tiwa Savage

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•Sola

Nine designers compete at Music Meets Runway Stand out in F

iss Oyinwonuola Olaide Olatunji, from the Ibadan North Local Government Area, has won this year's Oreke Ibadan Beauty Pageant 2012 Competition held at Ibadan Civic Centre, Idi-Ape, Ibadan on Sunday, November 25 as part of the activities marking Ibadan Week Festival 2012 which started on Thursday, November 22, and it will end on Saturday, December 1 at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, beginning from 9 am. Oreke Oyinwonuola Olatunji beat eight other contestants after a keenly contested competition; Miss Tomiwa Ojewale, from the Ibadan North East Local Government Area, was second and Miss Bimbo Oni, from the Akinyele Local Government Area, came third. The event was witnessed by a large crowd, including GMD/CEO of Odu'a Investment Company Ltd, Mr. Adebayo Jimoh (chairman of the occasion); Chairman, Odu'a Investment Company Ltd, Barrister Abiodun Alli; and Chief Bayo Oyero.

Ibironke ARIYO

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he maiden edition of Boisey Fashion fair comes up December 8 at Ojodu-Akute Road, Ajayi Farms, Lagos. The event, which is being organized by Mrs. Bola Oshinyemi is to showcase her products and create awareness for various product offerings. It promises to be a glamorous occasion, as there will be music and lots to buy.

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to style it and how you have decided to wear it. Leggings and jeggings in vogue have won the hearts of many ladies. Many ladies feel comfortable when on leggings because they are more pleasant and full of comfort unlike jean which has a hard texture. Anything goes with jeggings when you talk of shirts, tops, round neck shirts and also the latest ankara jacket.

18-year- old wins Oreke Ibadan Beauty Pageant

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•Mura

ashion industry and fashion business over the years have evolved to become a major industry in Nigeria. Old hands are struggling to remain relevant, while new ones are springing up on a daily basis. In this piece, Trend takes a look at nine talented fashion designers who will be going head to head in the popular show- Music Meets Runway. Music Meets Runway is a yearly fashion show where ten fashion designers strut their stuff on the runway with 10 artistes performing live to the delight of the full house. The fashion fiesta is taking place at the prestigious Eko Hotel , Victoria Island, Lagos on December 24. Anthonia Yetunde Alabi of Eclectic By SashaEclectic By Sasha is a Nigerian retail brand that seeks to provide the allure of high street fashion at affordable prices to the upwardly mobile woman who is not afraid to stand out in a crowd. Created by Anthonia Yetunde Alabi, popularly known as Sasha, the award winning First Lady of African Hip Hop began her foray into fashion as a bespoke designer in 2004. Tolani Nkili Onajide of Nkili-Nkili, meaning Seeing Beautiful Things, is a women's luxury shirt-making brand focused on bringing light to the traditionally neglected ,yet single most important garment in a wardrobe, the shirt. American celebrity, Angela Simmons, has been spotted wearing the Nkili tattoo shirt. Creative Director, Tolani Nkili Onajide, has won awards, investments and grants for Nkili from business organizations. Dumebi Iyamah of Andrea Iyamah-19-year-old Dumebi Iyamah is the founder and designer of the Andrea Iyamah brand founded in March 2011. Inspired by a diverse range of ideas, Dumebi Iyamah seeks to exhibit her creativity from the sketching stage to the delicate end details of the production process of every piece. Olakunbi Oyelese of April By Kunbi-April By Kunbi is the brain-child of Olakunbi Oyelese, a graduate of the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. April By Kunbi is a fashion label that specialises in couture and ready to wear fashion for women who place a premium on the principles of fashion, fit and functionality. Toyin Lawani of Elegante by TiannahStyling-Toyin Lawani is a serial entrepreneur, a graduate from the University of Lagos and the CEO of Tiannah's Place and the creative director of TiannahStyling, her umbrella for her styling and designing endeavours. Her designs carry a modern vintage touch which can be made to order or are ready to wear. Ewemade Erhabor-Emokpae of Shakara Couture-Founded in 2004, the Shakara Couture label is a family-run business with a design team led by the creative director, Ewemade Erhabor-Emokpae. The label is recognized for being heavily influenced by vintage glamour Fashola Olayinka of MOOFA-Fashola Olayinka is the creative director of MOOFA. The label is characterised as being classic with a twist for today's modern woman who loves bold, contemporary and edgy pieces that provide directional styling for her wardrobe. Pade Bowler of David Bowler-David Bowler has an authentic African heritage with its unique style that expresses new forms of elegance, presenting itself as a modern classicism based on superior sartorial content and creativity. Hakeem Balogun of Kimono Kollection-Kimono Kollection is the brain-child of a fashion guru, Hakeem Balogun. Hakeem's passion for fashion was bred during his university years in the United Kingdom. Whilst the structured tailoring adheres to the principles of a bygone age, the brand's appeal is to the diverse, multi- lifestyle of the modern day gent.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

At 50 plus, Tessy Yembra says: With her elegant figure, enticing body, wide eyes and a voice that appeals to the male heart, youthful Tessy Yembra danced her way into the hearts of Nigerians and top musicians who celebrated her dance steps in their hit songs and albums in the 80s and 90s. She popularised the late King Sikiru Ayinde Barrister's Fuji Gabbage, Sir Shina Peters's Ijo Shina and many others. Here she speaks with PAUL UKPABIO on her failed marriages, accomplished dreams, struggle with cardiovascular disease and why true love has continued to elude her.

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any are really confused about your state of origin because you speak many Nigerian languages and most fluent in Yoruba. So which part of Nigeria are you from? I am partly Irobo and partly Itsekiri. I have Rivers blood in me too. But I can say I am from Delta State. My father was the late Chief Dickson Yembra. He was a Chief Accountant with UTC before he passed away. My mother, the late Victoria Yembra, was a trader. She was a hardworking businesswoman before she died. My mother used to tell us that you could not go bankrupt with hard work. She was popular. She sold clothes, bags of cassava flour, bush meat and later operated a restaurant. She was famous in her life time. Everyone knew her. If you go around and say you want to know about Mama Fadeyi, they will tell you about her. That was what she was called. She was also called “Mama Baby”. They had just two of us. My elder brother, Richard Dickson Yembra, is now late. Tell us the most interesting thing that life gave to you? That was my feature in Fuji Gabbage and Ijo Shina. It was a great experience that is unforgettable. The way the media rated me makes me really happy. The honour brought a lot of recognition and respect for me, and till today, I am still

‘I’m still available’

being rated as a super dancer. I thank God for it. The second experience was the day my daughter gave me a grandson. I really thank God for that day. So, those are my most memorable days on earth. Recently Dolapo, your daughter, made you a grandmother. Tell us about the experience? Oh exciting! I am more at home these days babysitting. It is such a great experience. The boy is eight months old and I have learnt a whole lot of new things about babysitting this modern time. The boy spends time with me. I am like her chaperon. When the baby cries in the night, we both wake up and watch as she breastfeeds him. He eats like four to five times before the morning . In the morning, we wash his clothes and make sure he comes clean for the day. The experience is like a nostalgic recall; it is like doing motherhood all over again. But the most exciting part of it is that I am seeing someone that came out of someone that came out of me. There is no greater human experience that can match that. I give all thanks to God through Jesus Christ. I thank God for the life of my daughter, Dolapo, her husband, Femi, and their son, Damilola. It is a rare grace. Did you have challenges when your daughter took in? It is the dream of every good mother to see her daughter leave school for marriage. Like Senator Isiaka Adeleke will always say: 'Nnkan meji lobirin n se. Ko kawe, ko foko, ko de bimo’ (A woman does two primary things after her education. She gets married and rear children). Dolapo has made me proud. She read Sociology at the University of Benin. She had a work experience at MITV and Sublime Children World under the leadership of Chief (Mrs.) Adunni Bankole. She didn't stop at that; she also took some courses in Catering , Event Decoration and Event Management. She matured with Femi Araba, and after some formalities, they went into the relationship. They are adults now and I can see their future is very bright as husband and wife. I created Nigeria's two most popular dancing steps:

Fuji Gabbage for the late Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and for Sir Shina Peter's Ace. I am proud these albums from different musicians became monster hits. I was part of the success story. I remember when Dele Momodu published the second edition of Ovation in 1996, he wrote a story on “Hundred Influential Women in Nigeria” and I was shocked to find my name as number 45th. That was the day we were burying Papa IK Dairo, Paul Play Dairo's father. I was in Ilesa when someone brought the magazine to me from London. I never imagined I could be remembered for creating those two dance steps. I was highly celebrated. The late Barrister himself crowned me as “Fuji Gabbage Queen”. I introduced Afro-Juju dance steps and the media crowned me as Afro-Juju Music Queen. Today we have many dancers who are doing exploits in the industry. Yeni Kuti is one of them, and I respect her for it. Look at Kaffy; she has brought in a lot of innovations to her music and dance. So, I am very proud that I initiated something that became a source of income. Till date, people still consult me for dancers. I am into event management. I handle artiste promotional stuff for old and up-andcoming artistes. It is my pride to see the industry grow. It is my pride to be a custodian of the industry. I thank God for His mercy and for keeping me alive till this moment. What would you say life has taught you? Maybe we shouldn't be even talking about what life has taught me because life is a timeless university; no summer holiday, no semester holiday and no midterm holiday. The only holiday you get out of life is the one the grave gives you and no one really want to touch that end of life without spending a reasonable time on the surface. I think I should be much grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to become


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012 a grandmother at this point in time. The devil played a fast one on me last year. I was down with a sudden cardiovascular disease, but Jesus, the greatest king of all kings, the one that reigns in kindness and mercy, showed me His mercy in good time. I thank God I was revived and today I am a living soul. My daughter was blessed with a husband last year and early this year, she put to bed a bouncing baby boy. I couldn't hide the excitement of being a grandmother and that really calls for joy and celebration. So, the biggest lesson life has taught me is that Jesus is Lord over all our affairs in life. You pioneered the modern dance aspect of the entertainment industry. Would you say it has come of age? If there is anything to say, I will say the dance entertainment industry has gone far in terms of prestige and honour. Dancers today are being far respected than in our own time. During our time, our parents try to discourage us and they labelled us as 'never-do-wells', but today the story has changed. We have a credible indicator in the way corporate Nigeria is beginning to invest in dance as a creative venture. Dance is not just all about entertainment, but it is a form of relaxation for those who care to view or come to an occasion. Dancing is now a big business, and that is why you see a big company like Nigerian Breweries pumping millions of naira in the promotion of Dance Competition. We have the Multina Dance Hall event that gives fame and fortune to hundreds of thousand homes in Nigeria every year. The winner takes home a car and a great fortune which is how to measure success. We can point to many successful dancers today who have done the industry proud. You are close to former Osun State Governor, Senator Isiaka Adeleke. Rumours had it that you had a fling with him. How true is this? That is a very unfortunate impression that people had about me and the much respected senator. Senator Adeleke is like a father to me. In fact he is both my father and mother. When I was ill last year, he was the first person to send a huge sum of money to my account. He is a very kind person, and one of his weaknesses is that he hates to find out that people are in distress. When I was ill, great minds like Princess Toyin Kolade, Are Remi Bakare, Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere and so many other people stood by me. Senator Adeleke is more like a father; he even supported my daughter's education when she was in school. Throughout her time at the University of Benin, Senator Adeleke was there for me. My son, Henry Okupe, met him in America and was able to facilitate the sending of some goods through him to me, yet he didn't see it as bad. Some people will feel proud and say: “se omo odo e ni mi ni?� (Am I your servant?). But that is not his character. He loves my two children, Dolapo and Henry. So, Senator Adeleke is my godfather, and if they say I am dating him, that's quite unfortunate. There are allegations that you are not in good terms with Sir Shina Peters, the man you helped market his album with your dance step. How true is this? I don't have any problem with Shina Peters. When he heard that I had a grandchild, he was so happy. I met him at Oba Adekeye's party and when he saw me he was the first to announce my new status as a grandmother. He started praising me and even named my grandson, Ayomiposi. He was so delighted and for a whole hour he was singing my praise. We do talk; he is my brother and boss for life. When he played at Ifako Ijaiye LGA Chairman Toba Oke's mother's burial, I was there. We played together and I can say to you that he remains my friend, my brother and my boss for life. Yes, God is my supreme boss, but Shina Peters remains my boss for life. Going back memory lane, you had your first issue, Henry, for Dr. Doyin Okupe's brother, Tayo. What is your relationship with the Okupe family? I have a good relationship with the family; there is no event they organise that I don't attend. How did you react to his new

appointment? I was actually happy when President Obasanjo first appointed him. But when President Jonathan again appointed him, I saw it on TV and I was full of joy for him. I had called one of his sisters, Madam Toyin Okupe, to congratulate the family; she runs a school in Bariga. I called her and congratulated the family through her. I just want to let you have knowledge of my relationship with the family. I do attend their events and I am at home with them. So, what led to the break-up in the first place? It is a long story and I don't feel comfortable saying much of it on the pages of the newspaper. Maybe everyone should wait for my memoirs. No, no, it is something we think a lot of young ladies can learn from and you just have to help them with it? I don't want to discuss it. I think the whole essence of it is to educate people. We suffered youth exuberance then; our marriage couldn't work as a result of our immaturity. We were all young with various interesting and varying ambitions. He wanted to travel to America and I wanted to hit the television as a newscaster. I became pregnant and I couldn't proceed further because I couldn't work as either a newscaster or air hostess when pregnant. Already Caroline Akinloye and I were signed then for the television, but when I became pregnant, I couldn't go further. And on his side, he was equally angry that if his mother should know that I was pregnant,

she wouldn't allow him to travel again and all that. And I said to him, 'you can go and study, if you are successful, it is my son's grace. I won't try to stop you. And that was how he left for America. He was the one that jilted me. How? He got there and married another woman after his studies. What do you expect me to do? Life has to move on; I can't kill myself. But it never came easy then but I had to face the reality and move on. Have you forgiven him for jilting you? Why? I am not God; I have a son for him. I relate with his family. My son is doing well in the United State of America. He has a sister, Titi Okupe. I have forgotten her husband's name. She is in the US. She was the one who reconciled us and started doing the necessary things for their son until they took him to America. So, once they are good enough to recognise their responsibilities, why am I angry? I thank God for my life. The boy is doing fine in the United States and he relates well with me and his father. You had a second marriage which didn't work out. Can you tell us the experience with your daughter's dad? He was a gentle, motor dealer. He was easy going guy from the Ilaje area of Ondo State. I am very close to his family and he has a twin brother called Federick-Jaburata Egbayilo. He has a mechanic workshop at Fola Agoro; he is doing well. Recently when they lost their mother, I was there. I played my role as a wife. I even anchored the event. And when he celebrated his birthday recently, I was there. We are in very good terms, and his daughter has made both of us proud in the sense that she has made me and him grandparents. I don't have problems with him. Yes, I am a single parent and maybe that is what destiny chose for me at this moment. The two men had their shortcomings; they had their flaws, but life had to continue. A philosopher once said life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think. For me, life remains a comedy. Would you say he too jilted you or what really happened? Maybe I didn't like polygamy. That is my simple response to that question. I never wanted life to be a tragedy for me. So, I married my children and Dr. Jesus was my husband and He is still my husband. With your experience, would you say marriage is not a good institution? No, I can't say so. Marriage is for better or worse. Some people celebrate 30, 40 years of marriage. I was not lucky with my own marriages. I had bitter experience with my two marriages. It is not that I am happy to be

•Tessy (first left) at a function

a single mother, but you have to create your own happiness within you. If life throws darts at you and you feel bad with your current situation, find a new thing that will burn your energy off. You need to be happy. Life should really be a comedy. For me, marriage didn't work and I cannot say I am happy about it. That is my honest submission. Do you have a message for young women in marriage, having been a victim of marital heartbreaks? If you are married and happy in your marriage, I congratulate you. If you are married and your marriage broke up, I also congratulate you. Life, as I said earlier, is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think. There is lot of bondagemarriages in town and you can also find many single parents who are taking it in their own stride. Men of today are lazy. They want to marry ready-made women who will feed them and clothe them. In those days, men and women complement each other in their activities. I remember when I was married to my last husband ,Prince Segun Beckley (Dolapo's dad), there was a way we did things to complement each other, but the story is different today. The marriage of today is one-way marriage. The man does the homework while the wife wins the bread. These men want to date ready-made women. They want to date women older than them for material gain. No love again. There is no love in marriages again. What they now target is money. I don't want to mention names because you already know them. You now have men who ask for your bank accounts before they marry you. So, if you even ask those who stayed in their marriages for years, they will tell you their experience which in most cases is not often rosy. So if you are lucky with your marriage, I congratulate you. If you have it other way round, I congratulate you as well. But in the real sense, would you have loved to be in marriage? Of course, I would have loved to marry if my men were not funny. I would have loved to live with my husband till death do us part. But see what fate has done to me in the long run. Would I kill myself? I have taken it in my stride; I am married to my children and their wellbeing. I don't pray it happens to any of my children. I want them to be happy in marriage and live in happiness. But for me, that was my fate. I am looking forward to having my daughter and my son finding true love for marriage. That is my prayer. I think my own fate was bound to happen and like someone who thinks, life to me is a comedy. Are you available for marriage? That is it. I am fully available. Love and marriage have no barrier. We have seen women in their 60s remarry. Pastor Kumuyi's case with his new wife is a classical example. Apart from that, I am still very young. I am looking up to what God has in stock for me. Joke apart, marriage is good, and I so much desire it like any other woman. That I failed in my early marriages does not mean I will fail in a subsequent one. All I want is the man with the right attitude.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Lawrence Ayo Ladigbolu is a retired Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria , a Prince of Oyo dynasty who has devoted his entire life to the service of the people through philanthropy, charity, community development and ministering to the needy. In this interview with OSEHEYE OKWUOFU in his Oyo residence, the minister of God spoke on his early childhood , life in the palace and how he was sent on exile from Alaafin’s palace for embracing Christianity. Excerpts •Ayo Ladigbolu

My community ostracised me for four years when I encountered Christ — Retired Methodist Archbishop Ladigbolu

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AN we know you sir? My name is Lawrence Ayo Ladigbolu. I am a retired Methodist minister and my last position was that of Bishop of Ilesa and Archbishop of Ilesa Diocese Methodist Church of Nigeria. As a young prince, what motivated you into the ministry as a career? Well, I grew up in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo. And there was really nothing in my beginning that could have given anybody an idea that I would end up as a clergy. When I was growing up, I was sent to the Arabic/ Islamic training school. I was tutored in the traditions and culture of the royal court. So, that was really my foundation. I could not have imagined that I could one day be a Methodist minister, talk less of becoming a Bishop or Arch-bishop. My growing up was fun in those days, especially in the palace because of the colour, grandeur, beauty and fan-fare that attended life within the royal court of the Alaafin of Oyo. It was a play ground for making friends, for meeting people of various tribes and cultures and of course, for the children then, it was a good place to grow up because it was a melting point of the richest of the Yoruba and other Nigerian cultures. So, I still have very good memories of my growing up in the palace. How would you describe your years in the primary school? Oh! they were very good years because the up-bringing in the palace did not allow anybody to feel important and as a child of the king, we were subjected to all kinds of manual labour that ordinary people performed. We would join the horse tenderers to get grass for the horses. We would join the labourers to work within the precinct of the palace. We were subjected to normal ordinary life of an average

Oyo person. And so, going to school, we did not get any preferential treatment. We were treated like all other children. We were beaten when we deserved to be beaten. We were scolded when we deserved scolding. And we were not spared any discipline that normal school child should get. But then, going to school too was very good, myself and others with whom we grew up together were never lacking behind in our education. Most of the time I took first position. I can’t remember anytime I was second or third throughout my primary education, and indeed, I had then what they called automatic promotion from primary one to standard one. And that meant that I skipped primary two because they thought I knew enough to move up to the standard classes as they were called then. That was when education was education and teaching were devoted, teaching as if they wanted you to succeed. They taught you as if they were determined to make something out of your life. And so, I still remember with great nostalgia my teachers, although late because they were truly teachers, molders of characters, determinants

of destinies. While in these classes, what subject did you love most? I don’t think I had any favorite subject because I did well in all my subjects. But looking back, I think, apart from General Knowledge, Arithmetic, Hygiene and the Physical and Health Education, I had a liking for English Language; Literature and Writing. In my fourth year in primary school, I was made the editor of the school Magazine. And so, from about 1954, I had been involved, one way or the other, in the business of writing and editing and so on. And later in my fifth year and final year in the primary school, I was leading the campaign for free education because free education was then being introduced in the Western Region. And I was leading the campaign and speaking at forums where parents and stakeholders were assembled to explain to them the value of education. They (parents) were encouraged to let their children come and enjoy the benefit of free and compulsory education that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was introducing during that time. So I think that writing and speaking were my favorite subjects from that

I had even gone beyond learning the Quran to the point of learning the interpretation. And because of my activities in the community, whenever a Christian evangelist came to Oyo to preach, I was the one who would go out and confront them. We would argue with them in order to look for a weak point in the Christian faith and seek to exploit them

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time on and I think it has stucked. Was there any day you played truant in the school ? Indeed, I remembered one occasion when I tried to play truant. I think I feigned illness and didn’t want to go to school because there was an event coming up in our area that I wanted to watch. And it was discovered that I was feigning ill. So, they delegated somebody to take me on a bicycle to school and when we got there, the headmaster was informed that the reason somebody had to bring me to school was that I didn’t want to come. And so, they assembled all the pupils and asked two of them to hold me and one strong old student to cane me. He gave me 12 lashes of the cane just because I didn’t want to come to school. And you could see that there was no preferential treatment because you were nobody because students were students, teachers were teachers and discipline was enforced in those days. Can you still remember some of your classmates back then at school? Oh yes, I still remember my mates in primary and secondary schools. I went to what they called then Secondary Modern, which was not a regular secondary school at that time. I remember names but I am not sure of many who are still alive. Probably two or three names that I have not heard of. And it’s been sometime because we are talking of between 1951, 1952. So, it is some distance in time. And of course, in the post primary, there are still a number of my classmates and colleagues who are still alive till today. In fact, I heard of one of them about two weeks ago who lives in Ibadan and he was one of my closest friends. Not long ago, someone gave me a message from Adewole Owobamirin. There is another Oyeniyi who I saw about a forthnight ago and of course, a number of them have passed on including Rev.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012 Dr. Julius Olayode who became a distinguished Baptist Minister and has since passed on. And there are still a number of them but because of distance and everything else, we have not been in communication for a long time. What was your experience when you made the decision to become a Methodist priest, I mean, how did your parents react to your decision? That is a fairly long story. First was when I became a Christian and that really came before the issue of becoming a minister and there was a very strong opposition from the family. Serious and severe opposition because as I told you earlier I had gone to Arabic school to learn and I had gone through the process of initial graduation. And I had even gone beyond learning the Quran to the point of learning the interpretation. And because of my activities in the community, whenever a Christian evangelist came to Oyo to preach, I was the one who would go out and confront them. We would argue with them in order to look for a weak point in the Christian faith and seek to exploit them. We tried to denigrate the religion and its adherents. So, it made me a bit more popular among the young people of my age and even among some adults then. And so, when suddenly I encountered Jesus Christ and surrendered my life to Him, people thought I had gone crazy. They assumed that I had gone mad actually. And when they assembled my family, my mother was crying believing that somebody had bewitched me and that in my right mind, I could not have suddenly turned from what I was to what I then became. And so, it was an uproar and the entire community joined to the point that I was ostracised by the community. Some people took me in and and hid me for about three to four years. But finally, I didn’t know the family was monitoring, they had a network of monitors. They were monitoring my movement, my pronouncements and my utterances. And suddenly, after about four years, I got a message to come home, to the same palace. I was told that ‘all the comments about you and your behaviour in all these years of your exile have been positive and so we know that what you are doing is what God designed for you to do. Though it is against our wish but we cannot argue with God. So, you can go ahead and carry on from there.’ And all these four years that I was in exile, I was learning more about the Bible. I went to the United Missionary Theological College in Ilorin and got a Diploma in Theology, which equipped me to be a better teacher of the Bible and evangelist. My family told me ‘you could return home and rejoin us because we believe that you are not fanatic or so to say but you are a convinced believer in what you are doing, we will let you come back.’ And so, I did come back and later on became an ordained minister when I received God’s call to become a minister and eventually I became a bishop. The Alaafin of Oyo sent his staff of office and through his queens, to witness that event at Methodist Church, Tinubu, Lagos. And that was the greatest sign of the family acceptance of me and of my conviction of faith and of my choice of vocation. So that is the long story that I sought to tell you in a nutshell. Throughout your years of service as a minister, do you have any regret? Certainly. Not because coming from such a very humbl beginning, humble in the sense that before the Lord all of us are equal whether you are a prince or a pumper, we were all created equal and we will be judged equally. Of course, the judgment of some will be more severe because of their knowledge and their privilege. Being called by God and being given all the opportunities of good training, the church still insisted that I had to go to Ibadan Emmanuel College for some further training because that was their own prescribed training, regardless of what training I have had before. The church also gave me a scholarship to go to United States of America to attend a seminary as well as to study Mass Communication degree programme in a University because they knew of my flair for journalism and communication. There was the benefit that would be to the church. I also had the opportunity to head a training institution for ministers, male and female workers in the vineyard, Sagamu. It is called the Methodist Theological Institute. For about seven years, I was the principal and I laid the foundation for the training programme in Methodist Church. I helped in some way to establish the communication unit

•Ayo Ladigbolu

of the church, its publishing organ and so on. I rose to the position of a bishop and became the Archbishop. There were challenges alright, but all said and done, the Lord has been good, He has been extremely good to us, to me as a person, to our family. So, no regrets at all because God has just been good. You talk of challenges, what were these challenges in the course of your labour in the vineyard? You know, in the ministry, if one is truly called, if you planned to be a rich man, rich man in terms of fame, luxury, opulence, you are out of the mission. So, our needs have also been supplied. There had been times when from morning till night, you wonder where will the next meal come from? But the Lord, in His mercy, will open doors and more than enough food will come, if you learn to trust in Him and look up to Him always. Challenges like, how do I pay my child’s school fees with the little salaries that a minister receives, will always come, but then you will find the Lord, in His mercy will send you help from heaven and you will meet those kind of needs and you will still have little left to take care of other needs. Even health challenges, you feel like oh, in case of incapacitation, how do I continue to serve the Lord? But the Lord will renew your strength. These are the kinds of challenges that I believe are normal for human beings and we have not been excluded from them. But in all of these, we have found the Lord faithful and good. Before your voluntary retirement, what did you plan to do in your post-retirement? Well, there was some unique aspect to my own retirement because I took voluntary retirement. Just about three years ahead of the statutory time for me to retire, I felt God was prompting me to retire before I was to retire. And it took me some time to convince both the authorities of the church and even some members of my own family. When I became a minister, God spoke to me. I felt His hand, His touch, and so, when this prompting from God came saying: ‘Hey, Ayo, three years ahead of your retirement, you should retire. And he kept saying it and showing it and drumming it, I could not resist. And so, people could not understand, considering the condition of service in the church that was being improved. Maybe I should have gained

My mother was crying believing that somebody had bewitched me and that in my right mind, I could not have suddenly turned from what I was to what I then became. And so, it was an uproar and the entire community joined to the point that I was ostracised by the community

,

some material benefits but the call of God and His message to me was stronger. And I chose to obey. So, I retired seven years ago and decided to come home to Oyo . I had a choice of settling in any part of Nigeria, but I felt the spirit was leading me to come to Oyo to help this community, because having been gone for more than 40 years, travelling all over the world, I had Him saying: ‘when you retire, go to your people and serve me through them in the areas of community development in the areas of wholislic healthcare and in the area of ministering to the needy. In fact, that really brings us back to the issue of what is going to happen on Tuesday (December 4) because all along, in all the years of my service I have been connected with philanthropy and charity. When I was bishop of Ibadan, the late former Governor Lam Adesina and I and a certain Victor Taiwo started an organization called New Generation Foundation for the disabled and I was chairman. Governor Adesina was my deputy

and Victor Taiwo was our secretary. We tried to help the disabled people find solace. Before that, I had worked with various development agencies for the poor and the needy and that really also led me to becoming involved in the work of Bode Akindele Foundation because it was that Foundation that built the Ayo Ladigbolu house as a donation to the Methodist Church, Ibadan Diocese. They chose to name it after me because from my years of connection with that foundation, I was rendering services to other organizations and various entities all over the country free of charge. So, the Lord was saying to me go back home when you retire and help your people; serve them the way you have been serving people of different climes while you were in active service. And so, when I came back , we started New Hope Global Associate Family Care Services, which was looking for people living with HIV/AIDS. We have a support group of more than 2,000 coming from different parts of Oyo State to receive help and counseling and we are glad. And I can go on and tell you several things that had happened including the recent Oranyan Festival celebrated by all of the Yoruba nation which our people, our brothers and sisters in diaspora also joined us. I have also been involved in cultural issues. I’m a member of Yoruba cultural groups and associations and I have been very very busy in my retirement still serving the Lord, still serving the people, still seeking to be useful to the very end of my life. Throughout your service in the vineyard, can you recall an event that caused you sadness and the greatest happiness? Well, its very difficult to pin-point any at the professional level, but perhaps the death of my mother. My greatest joy and my greatest sadness will all be related to my mother. My greatest joy was when she openly confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior voluntarily and that was about two years before she died and she became a Christian. Throughout the years I left her to her own conviction. We kept lifting Jesus before her, in the things we did, in the things we said, in the ways we carried on, until she came to a point where she said I want to belong to Jesus and that was my greatest and happiest day. And then of course, I wish she had lived longer and seen me move up in the ministry and maybe get to see a bit more of the world and enjoy the benefit of caring for her only son and loving me so much. So, I will say my happiest and saddest moment will be related to my dear mother. On the national scene, many are of the opinion that Nigeria will be better off if it breaks, do you share this sentiment? I don’t share that sentiment and it will take some persuading for me to change that position, not because I am happy with the way things are, not because I see any bright prospect of change in the nearest future but simply because we know and we are aware of the history of nations that have been pushed together like us that have found themselves in uncomfortable partnerships like ours but which, in the process of wanting to go their separate ways ended up creating more problems within their own smaller entities than the ones they were running away from. And so for me, I think the best thing we can do is to keep talking, leave the doors open for talks, leave room for ideas that can help us to further cement this fragmenting structure that the British have established for us because there will be more benefits in having one Nigeria than having for example a South West zonal country. Before you know it, the Ekiti will now see more of how the Oyo people are cheating them, the Itsekiri will see more of how the Egba are ‘chopping’ everything and leaving nothing for them. And before long, there will be internal strife and disintegration will come again. So, I feel like if we have a constitution in this country that allows each of the zones to develop at their own pace, to manage their own resources, to make adequate contributions to the centre so as to sustain the centre and strengthen the units and weaken the centre, without making the centre subservient to the federating units, we can live together as a nation where no man is suppressed. It is the issue of suppression, it is the issue of marginalisation that usually pushes people to want to go their own ways. But I think we are better off going it together, than going it our separate ways. That is my own position. We will be happy to have a more humane Nigeria than a regional or zonal set up called zonal country or whatever name it will be called, where, before you know it, people will begin to disturb each other and beginan to destroy one another.


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Samuel Joseph Samuel is passionate about agriculture and the need to develop the sector. According to him, progress in the sector is being hampered by a number of reasons including what he described as internal bickering among various stakeholders and groups. He spoke with our correspondent, DELE ANOFI, recently in Abuja. Excerpts:

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HAT is the essence of the government, private sector partnership in Agriculture value chain to support Agriculture Transformation Agenda put together by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group? With this inaugural government/private sector partnership in Agriculture Value Chain to Support Agriculture Transformation Agenda, the Nigerian agriculture is having a voice, it is having a direction and this direction for the first time is being driven by the real sector; and the private sector players. Over a long period, we have observed that there are several coming together of groups to support agriculture in Nigeria, but we have not seen the effect of these groups on the economy and agriculture itself. Associations have been there over the years and there has being increase in the number of imports of agricultural produce into Nigeria like rice and tomatoes. In 1993, Nigerian agriculture was up the ladder and it came down and down until 2003 when we had a stablilty and then we are going up a little bit now, but we are not yet where we were in 1993. What is the effect of this association? Our thinking is that with an association like this, you can have the private sector player driving the agricultural sector, which in turn will give direction to other sectors of our economy. For the first time, stakeholders came together to discuss real issues, share experiences and collate data of their members in various states of happenings in the various sectors. It is significant to say that feat is informed by the fact that for the first time also, we have a major contributor, a private sector player as our Minister of Agriculture. We are also very lucky at this time that there seems to be planning in the process of governance and management in Nigeria. So, for us in the agric sector, this new group is a rallying point where you can go and find data of what is happening in Nigeria. Of course, our core challenge over time is how much data do we have locally, shortfalls and the need areas and how do we harness these need areas if they are available? So, with this group, we are definitely going to have the areas plumbed. How would all of this impact on Nigerians, put food on their tables and ensure food security? Now, you are going to have to know that we have X number of tomato farmers and these are the capacities of these tomato farmers and the challenges they are facing and this is what government is doing to solve it. Also, it will become accessible, where government has made a policy that will support, for instance, tomato growers, the cocoa farmers, cotton farmers. That policy will be able to flow down quickly to the farmers or the people who need this information which is a gap that we used to

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012 have. You will also be able to have for the first time, real sector players approach as a group and say these are your problems and this is what we want to do. Basically, this is the kind of solution that I feel the sector wants and is given now. In a nutshell, this development will lead to the maximisation of our agriculture potentials as knowledge and experience are shared with larger group for greater effect. The eventual result can only be a multiplier in dimension with more agricultural produce and products for local consumption and export. The effect will not only rub off on other sectors, employment generation, wealth creation, but the sustenance of the middle class is also assured. Don’t you think land development as a challenge can impede whatever growth envisaged by this development and how do you think farmers can overcome the challenge? Land development is a big issue for farmers and the agriculture sector in general. The core challenge with it is the cost of land development. In some areas, the cost of maintenance is the main challenge which is the reason why the North has an edge over the South. But again, government is putting together bodies to be able to solve some of these issues, but I can say clearly that most of the challenge of land development has a lot to do with consistency. I give you an example, invest N100m to open up a land in Ekiti and after one year, you abandon this land, before you go back the next year, the land has turned to a forest. So, if there is no consistency in maintaining some of this land, there will be problems. We have a lot of farm estates in the South West for example, that were opened up, cleared, groomed for some years and then abandoned. All these farm estates have now turned to gigantic forest. Policy consistency which would interest the farmers to want to continue in that sector is an area that requires proper attention. Funding is key, if you put in fund that requires 10 years to recover, then, it means that farmers need to be there for the 10 years to be able to pay for it. On the other hand, if the farmer abandons the land after two years,

what it simply means is that the man won’t have his money back. As of now, there is no interest in land development, they are critical issues that need to be looked into in the area of agriculture. Government has a lot to do in that aspect because it is too huge for small holding or medium scale farmers to embark on, if we are looking at maximum impact on a national scale. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina commended your organisation for its Green House initiative, what motivated you into that initiative? It won’t be wrong to say that for the first time, Nigerians are responding to government, particularly the call to have more investors and more money put into agriculture. That goes to show that there is a semblance of conscious effort on the part of government and that was what informed our group’s desire and continuous investment in agriculture. The Green House initiative is very clear, what we are saying is that there are areas where states have competitive advantage. For instance, a state like Lagos does not have a huge land mass like Ekiti or Oyo States in the upland of Kano and Bauchi, but can play a big role in agriculture through the Green House system. The investment outlay may be huge, but of course, the impact on the economy is large. So, we decided to go into Green House development and it is in response to the continuous calls by government and of course, the stable environment that we are having now. Vegefresh seems to be blazing a trail in its chosen area. What’s your view? Well, what Vegifresh did and what our interests are, what are the problems and how we can solve them are some of the issues. One, the problem is that we don’t have improved yield, there is no enough tomatoes for processing, processing is not taking place. So our group took all the effort by researching into improved yield by investing in the tomato value chain. With that, we set up tomato farms in Nigeria and we have pro-

‘Clueless policy, cost of land development, bane of agricultural growth in Nigeria’

cessing capacity in Bauchi, Ekiti and Lagos. This processing capacity is what we are now giving back. That will help the farmers have a place to process their tomatoes, reduce wastages and reduce importation of tomatoes. When we started in Lagos, we realised that you could not grow tomato in Lagos, so we went into Green House farm in Lagos. In cassava, we realized that there was no processing capacity, we built it. Most of what we do is to create capacity where there are challenges and that is what we have been able to successfully do in the area of agricultural mechanisation. So our mechanics of agric development is more of the interest where Vegifresh is working very hard to develop. How do you meet funding challenges, either in partnership with government or some private sector players? We are wholly private sector funded and we are looking at the possibility of partnering with several governments because no one can do it alone. We are also looking for loans to finance our project. For example, if you want to develop 10,000 acres of land, land clearing and development in a place like Osun, it will cost you N420m for 10,000 acres. The implication is that if you do 20,000 acres of land just for land development, you have N840m. We are not talking about how to develop the crops, among other attendant factors before getting to the consumer. So, these are the areas where Vegefresh group is working very hard to partner with the government and the people. Meanwhile, at Vegefresh, we have a programme to encourage more farmers to serve as our Argo workers and the key thing is to reduce entry requirement, that is the cost of entering into a farming interest for new farmers. Basically, what we are doing is to look at the possibility of preparing the land and bringing on board farmers we can mentor to grow. Up and coming farmers are the future of Nigeria and there are no two ways to it and we are encouraging them.

•Joseph Samuel

•Cross section of people listening to him


THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER

Dr. Joseph Inyang is an environmental activist based in the Niger Delta region. In this encounter with SANNI ONOGU in Abuja, he speaks on the many environmental ‘sins’ of oil majors and why multinational oil companies take communities affected by oil spillage for granted. Excerp ts:

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1, 2012

‘Why oil majors take affected Niger Delta communities for granted’

•Dr. Inyang

R

ecently, your people protested to the Federal Government over oil spill, what really happened and why were they protesting? What happened recently to be very precise is that there was a massive oil spillage which occurred from Exxon Mobil facility on Monday November 12, 2012. This time it was more massive than what happened in 1998. All along, there have been a lot of oil spillage occurrences and they have been hiding it. In fact, only very few came to limelight but this other one came in so much that they could not hide it. In fact, on November 18 there was an oil spillage but it was not as massive as what happened on November 12. All along our people did not get the tricks of Exxon Mobil. If they could succeed in getting one of these DPR guys not to report the matter officially, they will call it mystery oil spillage or whatever. This time it came so much that Exxon Mobil could not conceal it. I don't know their unfortunate policy because last time it was January 12, 1998 that oil spillage occurred. th This time, it is the same 12 that this one took place; I don't know whether it is a repeat of June 12. They are now begging and mopping. They employed more than 30 local contractors to mop the oil. How many communities were affected? The ones I know well are Eket, Onna, Esit Eket and Ibeno local government areas. They were all heavily and terribly impacted because there is the Akwa Ibom River Estuary that has a common inlet and outlet from the Atlantic Ocean. It transverses Ibeno and spread into some other places. It has gone wider than what I am telling you. What is the fate of the communities around the oil spill site now? The communities are in terrible condition because we are the first line of victims. Though the oil sheen when there is oil spillage may spread to other communities by tidal movement but the immediate communities that were impacted are the four local governments that I have mentioned to you. You have been engaged in the struggle to ensure that Mobil and other oil majors take responsibilities for their action where they have impacted on the environment negatively in the Niger Delta, what is the position now? I want to be emphatic. The 1995 oil spillage is the most devastating oil spillage in the history of mankind in the region. I said so because the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria fashioned by the Department of Petroleum Resources, an arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation having Joint Venture Partnership with the oil majors states unambiguously that when there is an oil spillage, whether the spill is from your facility, that is the facility of the oil majors or not, it is provided that the oil companies should not allow the sheen to remain for 30 days, that is, one month on the surface of the water no matter how heavy the spill is. That is what the rule says. That is the law prepared by the oil majors with their Joint Venture Partners but in the case of 1995 oil spillage the oil remained for good six months on the surface of the water. We had to protest to DPR. We protested to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt. We had to protest to DPR in Eric Moore in Lagos. I made personal representations, took some victims and even some village

heads, mobilised lawyers and tried to drum this ugly situation and occurrences into the ears of the authorities concerned with oil matters. The DPR now sent a letter to Shell and copied us directing Shell to link Mobil and ELF, the three major oil companies operating their facilities downstream or upstream in that area and asking Shell to take the lead to clean up. They belatedly cleaned up the oil sheen by September 1995. From March to September, is that not six months? Aside from the clean up, Section 2 subsection 2 (1) of the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria states clearly that the oil majors have to rehabilitate the impacted environment to its original state before the spillage occurred. That is, outside the clean up, you must - Shell must, Mobil must, ELF must - rehabilitate the impacted environment to its normal state. We are now in 2012. We are talking about 1995. When they carried out their seeming clean up, because they said do this within 30 days, you now did after six months. It is a seeming clean up and after then nobody cared to rehabilitate the impacted environment and we followed up to when Shell awarded the contract to Messrs Mafidon Nigeria Enterprises to carry out the clean up and we were there on the site. I am not telling you that I came from London or America or they told me that my community was impacted with oil spill. No. I followed up to the swamps and to the creeks. I was there. As at today after that seeming clean up by September 1995, after allowing the oil sheen to remain for good six months devastating, ravaging, destroying the entire ecosystem, and having put the people there in total impoverished situation, the oil majors refused to rehabilitate the impacted environment. The problem we are facing in the region is that

Niger Delta is not called Freetown. We have Freetown in Sierra Leone. Look at what is happening between Gaza and Israel. I can't see the reason why a lot of them are taking us for granted. The Federal Government has to wake up to its constitutional responsibilities to prevent further escalation of conflict in the region. Right now, they are giving the oil majors too much latitude to operate unchecked

most of these Western boys that came into this country operate - like in Shell, like in Mobil, like in ELF in a nonchallant manner. I mean, DPR is headed by Nigerians. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, is she a white woman? Is she not a Nigerian? But upon all these spillages there was no delegation from the NNPC to tell the oil majors 'my friend, you can't do this in our communities, you can't do this in our states, and you can't do this in our nation.' Till today nobody rehabilitated the impacted communities. Have you made any representation to the Federal Government concerning your predicament? We have cried out. By that same 1995 I sent an open letter to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the issue. We cried out but nobody cared because everybody cares about how to take oil money; how to maximise oil money but not how to control the impact of oil spillage and help the oil producing communities. We cried to the former heads of state, Late Gen. Sani Abacha and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and they did not care to listen. In fact, as I am speaking to you now, our son, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been apprised of this matter since one year ago, but we have not heard from him. How true are the fears that some of the victims of impacted communities may take laws into their hands if remediation activities do not commence in the area soon? What are you doing to ensure that there is continuous peace in that region? You know, everybody has control in his own house but as far as this matter is concerned, the people have divested their interests by way of executing legal instrument called power of attorney in our favour. So if anybody goes and takes the laws into his hands, that person is on his own. But let me tell you that these oil majors take us for granted simply because of our peaceful nature and they are saying 'This people cannot do anything.' It is not about guns or bombing. The fact is that we are going to resolve this issue if the people can remain calm. I am an activist. It is in my nature to fight for the oppressed. I have been fighting with Shell. I brought them to a standstill in my place in 1995. I got redress for the people in terms of compensation and employment. I did not go to court even then but I believe that we should persuade the people to remain calm. For instance, if we want to go to court and you are causing trouble on the other way, you are on your own because if you take the laws into your hands or do anything that is prejudicial to our court action, you will be held responsible. I believe our people will not do that. People believe that the Federal Government is not showing the expected concern about oil spillage especially to get the oil majors to remediate the impacted environment. What is your view on this? In those days they were thinking that Niger Delta is no man's land. That land belongs to people. There is no free land in this country. Niger Delta is not called Freetown. We have Freetown in Sierra Leone. Look at what is happening between Gaza and Israel. I can't see the reason why a lot of them are taking us for granted. The Federal Government has to wake up to its constitutional responsibilities to prevent further escalation of conflict in the region. Right now, they are giving the oil majors too much latitude to operate unchecked. What is the way forward? I have instructed my lawyers, Chief Afe Babalola SAN and Co., Chief Muoma SAN and Associates and Professor Tony Okam of Wisdom Chambers, Calabar to go to court and institute a legal action against these oil majors to stop this nuisance because it is a continuous nuisance. You belatedly cleaned up the area according to you but you have not rehabilitated the impacted environment. In fact, we have commissioned some environmental experts from the River State University of Science and Technology and the University of Port Harcourt to carry out Post Impact Analysis (PIA) in that same area. We first commissioned them a long time ago and we now said 'This time, can you come back and find out what is happening to the environment?' And in their report they said that the environment will recover itself after 25 years from the date of the spill. Some people have gone abroad to sue the oil companies but we will sue them in Nigeria because we have confidence in the Nigerian legal system. It is a slap on the face of this country that most of us leave this shore to sue the oil companies in America. But we are not going to do like that.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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I was raped at aged 4 now the guy I love is She is refusing to marry my asking me for sex married friend; Aunty Adeola Agoro, I love everything about you. I lost my virginity at the age of 4 through raping, I am in a relationship for just one month and 3 weeks now but the guy is asking me for sex. His character is changing every day, I need your advice should i stay or leave. The truth is I love him. My dear, if as a child you were molested by a shameless pedophile, you didn’t have control over that then. You were just a defenseless little girl whose privacy was soiled. As an adult, you should do

everything in your power to protect yourself from deceivers who come in the name of love. I don’t feel comfortable with this kind of guy who comes into your life and begins to misbehave just because you won’t spread your legs. He’s not like the first guy that debased you only in the sense that he wants your consent as against that one who forced you. However, they are the same in the sense that he wants to use ‘style’ in the name of love

to get your back down. Please, let him go if he wants to go. You have had enough bad experiences already, so you must love yourself and your feelings first before giving in to somebody who is so silly as to be misbehaving just because you refused to give him your body. Your body is yours and you have the power now to say no to sex when you’re not ready. Whether you give in to a bad guy or not, he will leave you when he has had his fill. Be wise!

please help Good day ma, may God bless you and your family. I’m 25 and just finished my masters degree. I have a friend who loves a girl and the girl loves him too. He wants to marry her but the girl refused because she said that he has a wife, so because of that she will not marry him. Please ma help us. God bless you.

My guy found out about the other guy Dear aunty I’m IJ, I’m 22 years old and I’m and asked me to go dating a guy whom I once loved but I’m falling in love with another guy and I have been hiding it away from him but he later found out and asked me to go. Please help me; I don’t know what to do. Sooner or later in the game of double dating, the secret will leak and one party will have to take a walk. In relationships, you can’t continue to eat your cake and have it. It is either you stick to the one you loved but whom you have fallen out of love with or embrace the new relationship and enjoy it as it unfolds while you say bye-bye to the other guy. He’s a real man that’s why he asked you to go. That is even good for you as he still has something to hold on to, after all, he can console himself with the fact that he ended it. It is more

Link me Please link me up with former Miss Funmilayo Onasanya, a native of Ikorodu who worked with the defunct National Bank Of Nigeria around 1990. She was then living at Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate, Akinyele B/Stop, Ipaja. I am Mrs. Anike Adedotun of No 6 Adisa Lane, Sango with tel no 08022590052.

painful when the cheating person is the one who has the upper hand to end a relationship. In this case, you were the cheat and he can at least rest in the fact that he caught you and sent you packing. This should teach you a lesson in your new relationship – stop cheating. It is better to end an old relationship and start a new one on a clean slate. Face your new guy and learn the art of faithfulness.

Safe from using a rope to tie this girl’s neck and forcing her to marry your friend, I don’t know what I can do to help you. The poor girl has said she cannot marry the guy and she has given her reasons.Final! It is one thing to love a guy for certain reasons, it is another to marry him. What is your own sef that you’re the one asking this question on your friend’s behalf and why are you taking it as a joint problem. Leave this girl alone and go and look for a job.

From you to me Dear Adeola, I love reading your page a lot. I am particularly fascinated by the edition of 24th November 2012. I like the way you answered the issue raised by the 16 year old girl. Without reading your reply, I felt very bad about what the girl wrote. Your answer drew my respect for you as a mother. You were truthful in what you said. I want you in future to chastise such girls and go a step forward to reprimand parents under whose carelessness such things happen. At 16, such girls should be tied to their mothers’ apron learning how to sweep, how to prepare food and should be made to carry bibles on their heads while going to church. On the issues of love discussed, you did well. But can you say something about girls who are due for marriage but despise men so much and think that by shunning men, they will get a suitor. Can you please write on the right attitude expected of a girl of 30 whose hopes to marry in life. I would have told the attitude of a particular girl, but I do not want to taint your thinking with my bias. Please let us be educated again as usual. Is this attitude of ‘I must drag it with him’ right from a lady? Is festering every issue a positive attribute from a lady? Thank you. - Ifeoluwa N.B: Thanks for your mail. I was actually going to treat an issue similar to

your query this weekend, but I decided to do a little bit of matchmaking instead to satisfy my fans who need partners. On a recent trip, I met a diplomat who was travelling Business Class and looked every inch a successful man. I soon learnt that really, the world is full of terrible women when he started telling me the story of his wife, even without knowing my name and what I do. He just needed to speak with somebody. A lot of women have missed the road, whether single or married and I think generally, women should be reminded about the roles of men in a relationship. Words like equal rights are being misunderstood and words like submissiveness and respect are fast going out of relationships. I promise you I will treat these germane issues next week. I will however reply your mail privately to meet your specific needs. Take care! •Thanks for the great work you have been doing. Please help publish my request, this the third time without it being published. I am Adebiyi Alex, residing in Ibadan, a man of 34 years of age working with packaging company. I need a beautiful, God fearing and working-class woman for a relationship that can lead to a marriage. Interested woman can call me on 08123864510. Thanks. N.B: Hope you’re now happy.

I have a problem of sleeping with guys after my first guy hurt me Good morning, I am Isabel. I don’t know how to start it; I have a problem of sleeping with guys after I got hurt by my first guy. I have lost several guys as a result. I want you to advise me please.

•Mrs Taiwo Omoniyi cutting his 40th birthday in Lagos

I don’t seem to understand why guys are so selfish that they walk out the door the moment a woman refuses to remove her panties. You are normal and you’re just being careful, so don’t despair if they keep leaving you just because you’re not playing games. The one that will stay will stay and understand where you’re coming from. You have been hurt and it is natural for you to be suspicious of the intentions of the men you meet. The ones who do not understand that are free to get out of your life. Your true friends will stay and offer their hands of comfort until you begin to trust again. Wait for that special person, he will soon walk in and stay by you – sex or not.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: libranadeola@yahoo.co.uk Tel: 08023162609

Females for love

•Jenifer, 30, fair complexioned, busty, 5ft 3 inches tall, sexy, very romantic, needs a caring man within ages 35 and above for a serious relationship that can lead to marriage. 07083766382. •Temitope is 26 years of age, responsible and decent and seeking for a Godfearing, caring and loving man btw 35 to 50 for marriage. 08154594169. •Tola, 26, sexy, responsible and decent needs a responsible, decent and caring man btw 30 and 45 for marriage. 08066642286. •Mercy 38, a virgin, needs a God fearing, tall handsome looking and well-to-do man for a relationship that may lead to marriage. 08164085411.

Males for love •Yusuph R. Balogun a 40-year-old film actor in Offa, Kwara State needs a Muslim lady btw ages 25 and 35, educated. 07064693037. •Tobiloba, 46, civil servant from Osun state needs a Godfearing ladybetween 28 and 45 for a serious relationship. 08109655702. •Ade, 36, Muslim, handsome, employed from Ibadan but based in Lagos needs a responsible pretty caring loving God-fearing, BSc, graduate and working Muslim lady based in Lagos age b/w 22 and 26 for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage. 08060528558. •Lucky, 31, graduate, from Niger/Delta, 5.4ft and simple needs a slim, God fearing, understanding, working class lady btw 20 and 28 in Lagos for marriage. 08071034710. •I’m Chidi A. from Abia, age 31, graduate, 5.5ft height, not yet employed, desires a committed born-again with height 5.6 for a serious relationship. 08080602643. •Tunde, 38, Yoruba, Christian, 5.9ft, fair complexion and employed needs a woman, 30/35, yoruba, Christian, moderate, chocolate, employed, loving and God fearing for wedding. 08059369599. •Tagwai, Abuja based, works in a radio station, 52, needs a Muslim woman of 50 for a relationship. She should be Abuja based or any part of the North. 08028854461. •Sunday, 34, from Anambra needs God fearing practical Christian lady, likely teacher or nurse, well employed lady for marriage. 08061376007. •Ramk 53 Muslim bizman divorced need a working class or bizwoman who is pretty cheerful romantic and sexy age 30 and 50. Country or tribe are no barriers. Christians ready to be a Muslim can apply. No flashing please. 08079799697. •Bobby, 30, living in Lagos needs a single lady or business woman for relationship. 08101936104. •Sunday, 31, base in Bauchi, handsome needs a pretty, sexy, romantic lady, ages 20 to 32. 08183152453. •David, 44, Christian, self-employed in signage, needs a Yoruba lady, Christian, (in RCCG) employed in Lagos, between 28 and 33yrs for marriage. 08122196089. •Nnoluka Ferdison, a business man, 34, needs a real born again Christian nurse by profession as a wife between ages 25 to 30. 07026101539. •Tayo, 37, a teacher, based in Lagos needs a working class lady for marriage. 0806209826I. •Febisola, 28, tall, chocolate, final year student, need a tall, fair lady who truly knows the meaning of love for a serious relationship. 08034674076, sms only. •Daniel, 38, a house builder, godly, caring and responsible based in Lagos needs a very beautiful, responsible and neat lady for marriage. 08102515566. •Harry, 38, based in PH, single father of a six-year-old girl, a make-up artist needs God fearing lady for marriage. 08102262495. •Dotun, 29, works with one of the exam boards, needs a caring and responsible lady who is based in Ibadan for a serious relationship. 08106029906, 08183559130. •Tokunbo, 42, graduate, into biz, Yoruba, needs a woman btw 45 and 60 for a romantic relationship from Nigeria or any part of the world. 08033842683.

Cheating Jokes

Efe must come with me Adam and Chinedu were talking one afternoon when Adam tells Chinedu, “You know what, I reckon I’m about going for a vacation. Only this year I’m going to do it a little different and not listen to your advice! The last few years, I have taken your advice about where to go. Three years ago you said to go to Obudu Cattle Ranch. I went there and my wife, Efe got pregnant. Then two years ago, you told me to go to the Bauchi Games Reserve, and Efe got pregnant again. Chinedu asks Adam, “So, what are you going do this year that’s different?” Adam says, “This year I’m not going alone, I’m taking Efe with me.”


51

THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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Y words must have surprised her for she gazed at me in amazement. “A what?” she asked. “A P.A. Can you work as my personal assistant?” I repeated my question in case she didn’t hear me properly the first time. To my surprise, she burst out laughing. “What’s so funny? I’m offering you a job and all you can do is laugh?” I queried curtly. She shook her head. “Don’t get me wrong, Bari,” she stated. “It’s the whole idea that I find funny. I told you earlier that I didn’t finish school so how can I then work as a P.A? I’m sure you work in a very big firm. And having never worked in a corporate environment before, I will feel out of place and maybe make a lot of mistakes...” I placed a finger on my lips to shut her up. “It’s ok. I understand how you feel. You feel insecure, with little self-confidence because of what you went through with your ex-husband. But it’s time you put the past behind you and forged on with life. You are still young so you can have a fresh start. Learn to believe in yourself and there’s nothing you can’t achieve. And I will be there to help you all the way,” I assured her. She was silent for a while as she stared down at her hands in her lap. Then she looked up at me. “Alright,” she said quietly. “And thanks so much for your kindness,” she added softly. I smiled at her. “That’s alright. Just work hard so I don’t regret hiring you,” I said. “I will! So when do I start? And what does the job entail?” she asked excitedly. Two weeks later, Flora resumed for work at my office. I worked with an international aid organization that did a lot of projects in the country and other parts of Africa especially in the rural areas. As a projects director, I had to oversee the various projects we were doing, meet with the community leaders, beneficiaries and other things. It involved my travelling out of town frequently and I needed someone to co-ordinate all my activities. “There was a lady doing the job before but she left recently to join her husband in

Canada,” I told Flora on her first day at work. She had showed up looking very smart in an ash-colored skirt suit with black shoes to match. She looked even more beautiful than usual. “This is the kind of work you will be doing...” I said, briefing her on her duties. “My secretary, Mary will make arrangements for an office space for you,” I said when I was through. “Do you know how to use a computer?” I asked her as she made to leave my office. “Yes, sir. My sister, Janet has one. She taught me how to use it,” she replied. “Good,” I stated nodding. “And Flora,” I said. “You don’t have to be so formal with me now, because we are in the office. You can continue to call me by my name as you’ve always done.” “But I can’t do that, sir. This is an office and it won’t be right if I call my boss by name. It will sound rude,” she noted. “Ok. But you will stop being so formal once we are outside these premises, won’t you?” I said. She nodded. “Alright, then. Go and meet Mary to sort out your office space and see me later,” I stated, turning on the computer on my desk to begin work. Nikki “So, how are you enjoying your new job? Hope my darling here is not overworking you, giving you too much stress,” stated Nikki to Flora. Nikki was my girlfriend of several years. She had broken off the relationship about a year before when she found out about another girl I was also seeing. But we had got back together about four months earlier and in that time, she had already started talking about our settling down. We were at my house having dinner, nearly five months after Flora began work. In that period, she had really impressed me with her capacity for hard work and her eagerness to learn. I had no regrets hiring her but I was curious to know how she felt about working with me. “I love the job. And Bari has been very good to me,” she said, turning to smile at me. “Ah, don’t be so diplomatic. You can say the truth, call him a slave master or whatever! He won’t fire you!” Nikki said

arms out to her. She came then and I held her close to me. As we swayed to the music, her perfume filled my nostrils. But all I could think about was a lady in a blue top and jeans that showed off her rounded hips and a smile that could light up a dark room...

Flora forever (3) teasingly. Flora laughed at that and I joined in too. It was good to see her looking so cheerful and confident, so unlike the girl I first met about six months earlier. It was a Friday and she was dressed casually in a light blue top and pair of jeans. Her long hair was combed up and styled in a knot at the back, a style that suited her well as it showed off her lovely face in all its glory. “Yes? You were saying something?” I said, tearing my gaze away from Flora to Nikki who was talking about something that happened at her office earlier that day... “Flora’s really beautiful,” Nikki commented. It was about an hour later. My driver had taken Flora home and Nikki and I were relaxing in the living room. I sat sipping a drink while she was

stretched out on the couch, her head on my lap. “And she still looks so fresh. It’s hard to believe she’s been married and even had kids!” she added in a wondering tone. I glanced down at her. “You talk as if she’s a hundred years old. She’s still young. Just 26 or thereabouts,” I stated. “Beauty and brains,” Nikki noted. “You love her, don’t you?” she asked unexpectedly, looking up at me. “Of course I do! Like a younger sister,” I replied promptly. “But you don’t look at her like a brother would a sister. I see the way your eyes follow her, like that of ...,” she began then stopped speaking. “What are you talking about? Don’t tell me you are jealous of the poor girl?” I queried.

“Do you blame me? See the way she looks! And she’s with you all day long...” she grumbled. I began to laugh. “You think this is a joke?” she said with annoyance, sitting up and glaring at me. “You women are all the same! Too jealous! Flora’s just my P.A. I gave her the job because I felt sorry for her maybe because of the circumstances under which we met. The poor girl has really suffered. So, you have nothing to fear from her or any other woman. Trust me!” I said. “You mean that?” she said with a serious look in her eyes. “Yes, my jealous darling!” I said. Then jumping up, I put a CD in the sound system and soon, the plaintive sound of Enrique Inglesias’ hit tune ‘Hero’ filled the room. “Come on, baby! Dance with me!” I said, holding my

**** “Welcome, sir! And how was your trip?” Flora said as I entered the large outer office where my secretary stayed. They had been chatting when I got in. “Fine. Have you all been well?’ I asked. I had been away to South Africa for a conference for about two weeks. I chatted with them for a while before going to my office. Flora came in later with some letters and documents for me. I gave her some gifts I brought from the trip and she sat admiring the beaded jewelry, clothes and other stuff I had got for her and her children. “Wow! These are lovely! Thanks so much, sir!” she said, smiling brightly at me. “How are the kids?” I enquired. “They are doing fine. They are home on holidays now,” she replied. “Good,” I said, looking at her closely, noticing the sparkle in her eyes that usually appeared when she was happy. Seeing her again made me realize how much I had missed her. During the trip to S.A, she was on my mind most of the time, superseding thoughts of Nikki. Was Nikki right after all, that I was beginning to have feelings for Flora? How did that happen and when? I shook my head to clear such thoughts from my mind... About a month later, I had to travel to our branch office in Ghana and I took Flora along to assist me in the work I would do there. Considering the incidents that took place during the trip, it was perhaps, not a very good idea to have taken her with me... To be continued Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals What went down between Flora and Bari in Ghana? Book your copy of the Nation for the exciting details next Saturday! Send comments to 08023201831 (sms only) or psaduwa@yahoo.com

Football obsession and ennui in the land (1)

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ARLIER in the week, a few of my male colleagues were watching the opening ceremony of the National Sports Fes tival, presently taking place in Lagos on TV. A remark made by one of them caught my attention and got me thinking. One of them commented on the few spectators at the event, comparing it to one he had seen some years before which was better attended. The second guy chipped in that the organizers were lucky that night there was no match in the on-going UEFA championships that or the stadium would have been empty. “I’m sure even the chief host would have been absent and would have probably sent a representative,” he opined mischievously. He could be right, considering how the menfolk and (some women too) have become so obsessed with football in the country. That the round leather game has captured the minds, bodies and souls of many in this country is stating the obvious. And it’s not just any football, mind you. It must be the English Premier league, leagues in mainland Europe or UEFA championships. What about our own local league? Why are people not crazy about it? “What local league; does it exist?” some foreign teams’ fanatics would retort contemptuously when asked of their preference for foreign teams while ignoring local ones. Many have their favourite teams and they follow the fortunes and misfortunes of these teams with the devotion that is usually shown by a religious adherent for a deity. It’s like a form of

religion, a type of worship. It can create instant friendships, break old relationships and cause enmity among old friends. Whenever there’s a major league match, especially between two rival teams with strong followers, it’s like ‘war’ is about to break out. The tension and expectation in the air is palpable. Great debates-on TV, radio, newspapers, social media, offices, homes, mama put and drinking joints, schools, even places of worshiptake place. Listening to the analysis, passion and excitement displayed over games, you will think a new vaccine for a world threatening plague had just been discovered. And seeing two fans of rival teams ‘yabbing’ each other, is great fun to watch. “Look at you! You call your club a great club! How much did you spend buying players this season?” a fan of Chelsea for instance would taunt an Arsenal fan. When his opponent fails to reply, the Chelsea fan would say with the arrogance of one with the wealth of Bill Gates: “As for me, I spent over 200 million pounds this season alone buying new players. I’ve brought in ‘fresh blood’ to replace old, tired legs like the ones you have in your club! All you do is buy cheap players that can’t play!” The other guy, unable to bear the insult any more, would retort: “Despite all the money you claim you spent on new players, Man U still beat you to the league title! Money-miss-road club like you!” Listening to these fans talk, one would think they have personal interests in these clubs maybe through the ownership of shares or other stakes. For as the saying goes: ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be.’ The shocking fact is these fans don’t have a single stake in terms of money or other interests in

these clubs. All they have is their passion and godlike devotion to their teams. But is there more behind this passion for football in the country than meets the eye? Is this obsession normal? Nothing wrong with having something one can be passionate about, something to add some spice to life, which can be dreary at times. For some, it’s their jobs or businesses while some people obsess about their spouses, partners or children. Others have certain hobbies they can’t live without. But when the obsession gets to the level displayed by many football fans in the country, then there must be a problem somewhere. I got a clue of what the problem could be through a conversation I had with a couple of die-hard fans of two foreign teams recently. When I asked one of them why he was so crazy about football, that he refuses to eat whenever his team loses a match, he stated: “It’s what makes me happy. I’m annoyed with so many things in this country. So I need something to help me keep my sanity. Football does that for me so why shouldn’t I be crazy about it?” The other spoke in like manner, stating he watches football to, “take my mind off the horrible things happening in the country so I don’t go mad. The news in the papers and TV is always bad: it’s either a multi-billion naira fraud has just been uncovered in one government ministry or terrorists have killed hundreds of people in a bomb blast. I’m sick and tired of it all!” In other words, for many, football has become a form of distraction from boredom or ennui. Ennui is a feeling of being bored, tired and dissatisfied. Something you will agree with me is a ‘disease’ afflicting many citizens now… More next Saturday


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

Keeping your teenagers pure (4)

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EAR Reader, You are most welcome to this wonderful, and life changing edition. In the first week we discussed the beauty of teenagers. In the second week, I shared with you how to understanding your teenagers. Last week, I taught on Reasons for keeping your teenagers. This week I shall be exploring the Tools for keeping your teenager. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). To train means “to mould the character, to instruct by exercise, drill; make obedient; to put or point in an exact direction, to prepare for contest.” A necessary part of child training is discipline; it is what completes and makes it effective. There is a way to train up a child, and discipline is a part of that way. Discipline means training, especially of the mind and character, aimed at producing self-control, obedience, etc. The child who refuses to go to bed at night, is the same child that refuses to learn scriptures and follow the Lord. Just as surely as I’d see that child so to bed, I’d see that child come to God. To refuse to discipline your child is to prepare Him for your destruction. That was how Phinehas and Hophni, the two sons of Eli were destroyed. Their father refused to discipline them. He knew about their immorality,

yet he was complacent. 1 Samuel 3:13 says: For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. Child training is the responsibility of the parents (both father and the mother); It is God who opens our ears to discipline and commands us to return from iniquity. How does God expect us to discipline our children? He expects us to do it with the “rod.” The rod is the tool of discipline; it must be used to mould the character and give shape to the live of our children. Scripturally, there are two types of “rod”- the spiritual and the physical. The Spiritual Rod The spiritual rod is the Word of God. It is the strongest rod you can use in disciplining your child. It has the in- build capability to change and transform the life of your child, more than any physical cane can. Only the Word of God can reach into the soul and spirit of a man, penetrating deep into places where a physical rod cannot go. I want to challenge you to use more of the spiritual rod than physical; it has a more lasting effect. The Physical Rod The physical rod is the cane. Never form a habit of always beating your child with cane. It may, however, become necessary to reprove a child with a cane once in a while. There’s an adage that says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” This has some truth to it, particularly when you understand the rod to mean both the Word of God and the physical rod. But spanking a child should be very occasional, or else the child becomes hardened. You must never beat your child out of anger. Otherwise it would be just to placate your anger. Prayer We can never underestimate the life-changing effect of

Your health and anti mosquito products

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HE war against malaria has obviously taken new di mensions, with products directed against mosquitoes now coming to the market in various forms. Insectilocutors are not new and from their names, they were not specifically directed against mosquitoes. Insect repellant creams are all over the place, as are different types of insecticide treated nets. Very soon, we will have mosquito’s repellant shirts, trousers, window blinds and eclectic fans. Current innovations in the armamentarium against mosquitoes are commendabl, but what need to be addressed is the issue of health hazards associated with anti mosquito products. Foremost, the honesty and truth behind the claims of those producing them need to be seriously evaluated for the fact that, repellants directed against insects generally may not be effective against the female Anopheles mosquito; the insect which injects the plasmodium parasite into the body when it takes blood meals. Second, it is not that easy to target this female Anopheles mosquito, which unlike its male counter part is not a liver of vegetables, but sucks blood relentless now and then in all seasons mainly for ovulation; this is partly responsible for the inability of research scientists to fully understand metabolism of the female anopheles musquitoo. Perhaps the best preventive measure would have been the biological control method where by the mosquito is either completely wiped out or so biologically incapacitated that the need to take for blood meals no longer exists.

This has not been easy. Over 500 female anopheles mosquitoes have been identified and they have such few distinguishing characteristics that previous attempts at biological control failed very badly because the particular control measure targeted the wrong mosquito. It therefore becomes necessary to explore in detail every information that can be made available concerning any mosquito repellant, cream, powder, lotion, spray, nets, air conditioner or electric fan, that has been introduced Some questions may guide us, What do those charged with the responsibility of ensuring minimal harm or damage from such products know about them?. What do experts know and what do the ordinary people know? What research support do they have?, who carried out the research, when, how ?,and who were the subjects, human now human, age, sex, race. What ethical considerations did they bring in and where are the results?. How do they Intend to continue research into the effects of these products within and between house holds? Unless things are done properly and answers can be provided, it makes nonsense of the presence of the relevant agencies and consequently Government to have these things in circulation and instead of solving the problem of malaria leads to the development of such more dangerous diseases as cancer. About cancer, it is now almost everywhere and the basic mechanism is the same; insult or challenge to genetic mate-

Seven hours sleep a night helps reduce heart problems

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ETTING enough sleep can be difficult for many juggling the demands of work, leisure and family. But experts said yesterday that those who clock up seven hours of shut-eye a night can slash the risk of health problems. Those who manage fewer hours double the risk of heart problems, warn researchers. Sleeping yourself to good health: those people who can clock up seven hours of shuteye a night can slash the risk of health problems Long-term studies show that those who drop down to five hours or fewer face a 70 per cent extra risk of dying from all causes. They also face twice the risk of death from a cardiovascular problem. However, getting more than seven hours can also be a risk, according to the study by the University of Warwick and University College London. Those who slept for eight

hours or more a night were more than twice as likely to die as those who had not changed their habits. The study looked at how sleep patterns affected death rates among 10,308 subjects, mainly white-collar civil servants. Researchers examined data for 1985-8 and for those still alive in 1992-3. Once adjustments were made for factors such as age, smoking and illness, the study was able to isolate the effect of changes in sleep patterns. The average night’s sleep is seven hours but around a third of adults in Britain regularly sleep five hours or fewer a night. Professor Francesco Cappuccio, of the University of Warwick medical school, said: “Fewer hours of sleep and greater levels of sleep disturbance have become widespread in industrialised societies.

“This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shiftwork, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common. Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects. “Our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around seven hours per night is optimal for health.” He said insufficient sleep was a risk factor in weight gain, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But it is unclear how sleeping too long could cause illhealth, he added, although possible causes included depression and low socio-economic status. Last week, researchers showed that children who did not get enough sleep were more likely to become obese as adults.

rials in the cells and tissues, body tries to repair and cells and tissues react when errors emerge from such repair mechanisms. Because we all have the POTENTIAL to develop cancer, though at different levels and no one knows for sure what direction cancer may go it is desired that ordinary citizens be adequately protected from products they know very little about Let us kook at an ideal comfortable house where you have normal or natural radiation from the refrigerator, deep freezer, micro wave, television sets, computers, radio and hand sets, then chemicals from electric gas cooker, wall paints, jewelries etc, it is difficult to know exactly where to direct your attention when for instance cancer of the breast or brain develops.

prayer. Prayer releases the power of God to be at work in the lives of your children. The physical world is controlled by the spiritual. In prayer, you wield control over the physical realm. As Christian parents who desire to see their children brought up in the way of the Lord, make out time to pray with and for them. Praying with them is important, because in the process, they learn the art of prayer. On the other hand, praying for your children will help them walk in God’s plan for their lives. LOVE Love is very patient and kind… it is never glade about injustices whenever truth wins out. 1 Corinthians 13:4, 6 (LTD) Your use of the rod and prayer should be to ensure that what is right should be done by your children. However, when administering these instructions of discipline, remember that love is patient and kind. Always let your children know you love them, and that your reason for disciplining them is because of your love for them. However, for you to be able to keep your teenager in the way of the Lord. You need the help of the Holy Spirit, for Him to help you. You need to accept Him into your life as your Lord and Saviour. Are you born again? If your answer is no, please say this prayer with me. Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Until I come your way next time, please call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: Email: faithdavid@yahoo.com; Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8, 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores: Singles with a Difference and a Living Witness

Health Matters With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670 email: drmikeoyakhire@yahoo.com The problem is that we are becoming confused and desperate as more people seem to be dying from malaria now than HIV/AIDS .Out of five children rushed into the children emergency ward (CHEW) in a busy centre, 3 are likely to die from malaria related complications such as high out put Heart failure as may be the end of severe anemia. Pregnant women especially the young ones, those who would not give themselves space fair badly because of the additional problem of ignorance and extreme poverty. At the moment, money is being spent by house holds on getting expensive anti malaria dugs with very little left for feeding. The problem of ignorance in such that people still don’t even know the different between typhoid, a febrile illness caused by a bacterium, salmonella spp and malaria, an equally febrile disease caused by plasmodium sp. carried by the female anopheles mosquito. Where are the insecticide treated nets ? You may ask. They have disappeared with the result that in the schools, from secondary to University campuses , there is heavy infestation with relentlessly bitting mosquitoes. Students are unable to concentrate With this state of hopelessness, it is not surprising, we have begum to see the emergence of claims and counter claims with no clear cut direction in the war against malaria. Private institutions have really done well to keep mosquitoes away from their students, but for public stools. The situation is quite pathetic No doubt, some of the policies in the past were well intended but the issue of health hazards from penetration of the active components of these preparations into the blood stream, in children, pregnant women, those on other medications. Need to be taken seriously Inhaling chemicals of unknown origin is bad enough but you can avoid doing so because you can’t actually see them. Others that are more soophisticated like elastic fan and air conditioned giving out bioactive agents that you can’t see is hard to sell. Before endorsing these products for what ever they are we should think not only of the affordability of such products, but more importantly, the health hazard, both immediate and long term health hazards. Like HIV/AIDS, health awareness gingles have faded, the role back malaria slogan is dying off and things will.


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Government bans street trading, parties in Ibadan

TREET trading, hawking and parties in Ibadan were banned by the Oyo State government yesterday. The state Commissioner for Environment and Habitat, Barrister Lowo Obisesan, disclosed this at Agodi, Ibadan. “The government is now out to enforce all environmental laws to the letter. Ibadan is not a rural environment where anybody does what he likes. As a result of this, we are banning street trading, hawking and parties in the metropolis," he said. Obisesan specifically men-

Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan tioned Agodi-Gate Bus Stop, Dugbe, Mokola, Challenge and Ring Road, among others, as places where street trading and hawking would not be permitted. "It has become an offence for anybody to hawk in the streets.

Any defaulter shall pay a fine of N5,000. It has also become an offence to hold parties in the streets or roads in the state. The punishment for the offender is one-month imprisonment or a fine of N100,000. "It has also become an offence for any truck, either light or heavy, to be off-loading at any of the following places: shops, offices, commercial pre-

mises, on the roads or streets, between 7.00am and 6pm. The punishment for the offence shall be a fine of N250,000", he said. On how to enforce the laws, the commissioner said: “Environmental monitoring officers will be operating in Ibadan from Monday to Fridays, and anybody caught breaking the law will be prosecuted.”

Nyako defies PDP over LG polls Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja

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DAMAWA State Gover nor, Murtala Nyako, has defied the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the recent local government election in the state. The party leaders had faulted the process leading to the selection of candidates for the polls in which the governor narrowed the nominations to his anointed candidates. The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) had returned only PDP candidates as winners of the elections in all the local government areas. Disagreement between the governor and the party leaders had culminated in the sack of the party’s state executive committee and the suspension of the national vice chairman of the PDP in the north east, Alhaji Girigiri Lawal. The PDP national leaders had cancelled the list of nominations for the elections, but the governor went ahead to overrule them. Nyako, who appeared before a panel of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja yesterday, told newsman that “the results of the elections stand and that there is nothing the party leadership could do about them.” The governor was at the party secretariat to answer the summon by the national leadership of the party. There was no reaction from the NWC after the meeting with the governor that lasted about three hours. The governor, who was questioned by NWC members for more than two hours yesterday, maintained that the issue of the local government elections will not be revisited as the results of the elections cannot be determined by the party. Nyako stated: “Of course, the elections stand. The results of the elections are not determined by the party. They are determined by the State Independent Electoral Commission.”

CCC Temidire holds harvest

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EMBERS of the Celes tial Church of Christ, Temidire Parish, Sango Circuit Headquarters will hold their 30th Adult Harvest and Thanksgiving tomorrow at the church. The minister in charge of the church advised all members and their guests “to be punctual as blessings of God await them.”

Oyo lawmakers to attend US parliamentary session

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EMBERS of the Oyo State House of Assem bly will be on their way to the United States of America (USA) tomorrow to observe the parliametary session at the state of Georgia from December 3 to 10. The lawmakers will be building on the experience they gathered at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association confernce in South Africa earlier in the year. The journey is part of the statutory annual parliamentary tour budgetted for by the government. The journey, according to the Speaker, Hon. Monsurat Sunmonu, is in lieu of the international CPA slated for Sri Lanka in September. Hon. Sunmonu said the Assembly reasoned that it would be also profitabe for lawmakers to observe sessions in a very developed democracy and presidential system of government

Bisi OLADELE, Ibadan along which the Nigerian presidential system is patterned. “This tour is the annual parliamentary tour approved by the government. It is always in the budget every year. It is either done as a whole or at committee levels. This is in addition to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference which legislators in Commonwealth countries attend twice yearly. The local CPA meeting held in South Africa this year and we were there. But we decided not to attend the international edition of it in Sri Lanka in September because of this arrangement we made with Georgia State Assembly to observe proceeding in December. “Besides, we will meet with leadership of the Georgia House and exchange ideas and also look at possible areas of collaboration.”

Ogun PDP to Tukur, others

Beware of Daniel's antics

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•Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University protesting power outage on the campus yesterday

Bill to prohibit smoking in public places scales second reading at Lagos Assembly

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bill to prohibit smok ing in public places scaled through the second reading at a plenary in the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) yesterday. The private-member bill sponsored by Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa II) and aimed at safeguarding the people against diseases generated heated debate at the plenary as members differed on the strategy to be adopted in the enforcement of the law when finally passed. While giving his explanation on the proposed law, Yishawu argued that ‘’though smoking has been in existence from time immemorial, there is the need for its restriction because of the danger inherent in it, especially for those regarded as second smokers.’’ The lawmaker reasoned that

Oziegbe OKOEKI smoking of cigarettes causes a lot of diseases such as cancer, asthma and other heart-related diseases which must be curbed in order to save the citizenry. He noted that people should not have the impression that the proposed law is targeted at the outright ban on smoking, but an attempt to prohibit smoking of cigarettes in public places like hospitals, schools, markets, restaurants and other similar places. Funmilayo Tejuosho (Mushin I) who also supported the bill said: ‘’It is a matter that is long overdue. A smoker has already decided to smoke which is his right to do but danger arises for someone who does not intend smoking, but ends up inhaling the smoke which is even more dangerous

than smoking itself.’’ Tejuosho maintained that a former Minister of Health, Prof. Olukoye Ransome-Kuti, had once warned against smoking in public places which, according to her, has not been taken very seriously in the country. Also speaking in support of the bill, the Chief Whip, Razaq Balogun, disclosed that ‘’over 40 diseases are caused by smoking.’ However, Mufutau Egberongbe (Apapa I) wondered how the enforcement of the law would be carried out. In his words: ‘’How would you enforce the law? Problems facing us as a country go beyond smoking. Now we are talking about the traffic law that the police is battling with. Are we going to compound it with another?’’

53 chairmanship candidates battle for 23 slots as Kaduna holds council polls today

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NLY 53 chairmanship candidates and 578 coun cillorship candidates are contesting today’s local government elections in the 23 local councils and 200 wards in Kaduna State, the Chairperson of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Mrs. Hanatu Biniyat, has said. Biniyat, who addressed the press on the preparedness of the commission for the conduct of the elections across the state, said “only 10 of the 50 registered political parties in the country are fielding candidates for the elections.” She disclosed that over 10, 000 adhoc staff had been recruited to assist the commission in the conduct of the exercise, adding that about 100 domestic and international observers had been accredited for the election.

Tony AKOWE Kaduna She said “voting is expected to start by 8 am and ends by 4pm,” adding that “the results of the councillorship elections will be announced at the ward levels, while those of the chairmanship positions will be announced at the local government levels by the returning officers after which I will collate all the election results and make formal and overall announcement at the SEICOM secretariat. “The security has been beefed up because the arrangement is that every vehicle carrying all the voting materials will be fully guarded by security men. “So we are fully prepared to conduct elections that will meet world standard even though

we will be using the formal voter register because the INEC has not provided us with any new one.” She, however, did not give a breakdown of the contestants and their parties, but sources close to the commission said “only the PDP is fielding candidates for the chairmanship election in the 23 local government areas of the state.” It was also gathered that in seven out of the eight local government areas that make up zone three in the state (Southern Kaduna), the chairmanship candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are running unopposed, while the only contest is likely to be in the Sanga Local Government Area where the Congress for Progressive Change is said to be fielding a candidate.

HE Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the national leadership of the party to be wary of the antics of the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. In a statement issued yesterday by the Chairman of the state Executive Committee (Exco), Engr. Adebayo Dayo, the party pleaded with members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP, especially the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, not to be swayed by Daniel's antics". The party accused him of "insincerity and a grand plot to weaken the PDP while using its resources and goodwill to float and fund other platforms", describing his conduct as "an unconscionable anti-party act". Specifically, the party wondered why the former governor said he would not direct his followers in the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) to defect to the PDP "until the last minute". "The answer is not far-fetched. Daniel is strong-headed. And this much he confirmed at a meeting held on Monday, November 26 at the Lekki, Lagos home of Chief Sule Onabiyi. Daniel said he and the former Minister of Solid Minerals, Alhaji

Sarafa Tunji Ishola have alternative platforms in Labour Party (LP) and Accord Party (AP). In fact, he said they control the Exco in Accord Party (AP) in Ogun State, ostensibly in preparations for Ishola's governorship ambition in 2015. Those present at the meeting included Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye, Prince Buruji Kashamu, Chief Ayo Otegbola, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Hon. Dave Salako and the host - Chief Onabiyi," the statement read in part. The statement added: "Daniel told the meeting that the Accord Party (AP) office in Abeokuta belongs to one of their own and he asked Ishola to fill the exco with their people. Hence the exco belongs to him and Ishola. "He also told the meeting that Martins-Kuye was aware of his dealings with the PPN, AP and LP as well as his meetings with his predecessor and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader, Chief Olusegun Osoba, just as he and Ishola are working on members of the NWC with a view to getting them to agree to dissolving my exco so that he (Daniel) will produce the chairman of the party in the state, the ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo the deputy chairman and MartinsKuye the secretary.”

Fayemi renews call for regional KITI State Governor, Dr. government Kayode Fayemi, has said

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that Nigeria must embrace regionalism for development to serve the ends of freedom and empowerment. Dr. Fayemi said regionalism as being currently re-invented as a programme in Western Nigeria sought to enable the process of political, legal, economic, social and cultural cooperation among juridical states as a way of rapidly boosting and expanding their growth and development. He spoke at Okada in the Ovia

Osagie OTABOR, Benin

North East Local Government Area of Edo State while delivering a lecture at the 10th convocation ceremony of the Igbinedion University, Okada. Dr. Fayemi who spoke on the topic ‘Towards the Resolution of the National Question in Nigeria – A Regional Response’ said the national question surfaced as a result of the faulty political architecture of the country as passed down from the period of colonial rule.

Aare Ago: Omonigbehin hails Tinubu

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veteran media practitio ner, Primate Ayoola Omonigbehin, has hailed the installation of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the Aare Ago of Egbaland. In a press statement, Primate Omonigbehin described Tinubu’s title as the best thing to happen to the Yoruba race. “Your installation came at a time that the people need a sense of direction which you have

shown in all your endeavours. I believe this is the best thing to happen to the Yoruba race in recent times.” The primate described the conferment of the title on Tinubu as a confirmation of the confidence the people of the nation repose in him, and urged the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to continue in his quest to ensure true democracy in Nigeria.


58News

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T WAS like a scene in one of James Bond’s many flicks. Thousands of wheelchairs ridden by the invalid and other physically challenged persons replaced exotic and sleek cars that had hitherto dominated the roads. Endless ear-bursting siren from security vehicles, added to the confusion as enraged commuters blared their car horns to no avail. It was the day the physically challenged persons in Imo State took to the streets in protest against various deprivations and inhuman treatment, ranging from non-payment of their salaries and entitlements to discrimination by government and other members of the public. The Special Citizens as they are referred to in Imo, numbering over 5000 took over the major link roads in the capital city as early as 9.30am and defied all entreaties to re-open the roads by representatives of the state government, even the threat by security agents to apply force, could not sway the adamant protesters. Most of them who could not stand on their feet were either confined to their wheelchairs or on mats on the pavement, chanting anti-government slogans. Even the blind carried placards that spelt their anger and demands, which they said must be addressed before they could re-open the roads. The Nation gathered that the aggrieved disabled persons, who were earlier at the Government House to stage the protest but were dispelled by security men, demanded, among other things, the payment of all their outstanding

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MAGISTRATE Court sitting in Benin, yesterday discharged and acquitted renowned human rights activist and the Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor in the alleged murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, slain Principal Private Secretary to

THE NATION, SATURDAY DECEMBER 1, 2012

Rage of the disabled in Imo …as the physically challenged shut down Owerri Kodili NDIDI, Owerri allowances and and the sack of one of the governor’s Special Assistant rotest, one of the disabled persons, who simply gave his name as Okpara, said that the governor’s aide has been meddling in the affairs of the body. “She wants us to change the name of the organisation to the Joint National Association of

People living with disabilities to Imo Special Citizens and we can’t do so because we are a national body.” The source further alleged that “the governor’s aide has been fond of diverting gift items and money meant for the body by well-meaning Nigerians and deceitfully present it as if it was given by the government,” adding that “she will make us pose for pictures

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which she will post on the internet without our knowledge.” A deaf and dumb protester, Mr. Paul Ikechukwu, who spoke through an interpreter, said that the disabled people were not keen on taking pet ” But when contacted, the governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa, said that the demonstration was unnecessary.

Uzoukwa said: “The Special Citizens as they are called in Imo, came to the Government House last week and met with the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Eze Madumere, and wanted the Governor’s SA on disabled persons sacked and replaced with one of them and government is considering their proposal and today they took to the streets causing havoc and security breach .”

•The physically challenged persons converged on Oweeri, the Imo State capital, in protest against government alleged neglect...yesterday

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S if in fulfillment of his vow to turn Anambra State into a huge “construction yard”, Governor Peter Obi, yesterday flagged off three bridges of 60, 45, and 45 meters on Atani-Ozubulu road, vowing to complete them within his tenure. The flag-off was preceded by similar events in the state as well as many other projects that set the people of the state wondering where he got the money to execute those projects. Valued at a combined cost of over N2 billion, the bridges, excluding the 12 kilometer roads component, are handled by TAMAD construction firm based on their satisfactory execution of Amansea-Ebenebe Bridge. Already, the government is constructing the OnitshaOgbaru- Akiliozizar-AtaniOgwuikpere road terminating at Rivers State. The over 60-km federal road with difficult terrain is costing the state more than N16 billion. Speaking at the flag-off, Governor Obi said that he would continue to satisfy the yearnings of the people of the state till the last day of his government. “We have seen those in authority flagoff many projects even when they did not save money for their execution, but in our own case, for any project we are flagging off, we have saved money for that,” Obi said.

Oyerinde: Court acquits Ugolor Osemwengie Ben OGBEMUDIA, Benin the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole Also cleared along with him was Wilfred Iserhienrhien who was alleged by the police

of being in possession of some quantities of AAA cartridges without lawful excuses. The two freed men were accused of conspiracy, armed robbery and murder in the police caseNo: MOR/326c/2012. They were both physically present in court as civil society activ-

Jonathan, Oshiomhole, Northern governors condole with Buhari RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday commiserated with former head of state, MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) on the death of his eldest daughter, Zulaihatu. The President, in a condolence letter to Buhari, according to statement by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, prayed that God Almighty would comfort him and grant him and members of his family succour from the pain of losing a beloved child who has been nurtured and raised to adulthood. "I write to extend sincerest commiserations to you and your family on the death of your eldest daughter, Zulaihatu, yesterday November 29th, 2012. "I can well imagine the profound pain, sadness and sorrow brought upon you by the tragic loss of a beloved child whom you have nurtured and raised to adulthood. My heart goes out to you as you mourn Zulaihatu. I pray that God Almighty comforts you and grants you and your family succour at this very traumatic time for all who knew and loved her," President Jonathan wrote. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has also condoled with Buhari on the death of Hajia Zulai.

Obi flags off three bridges, vows to complete them

Vincent IKUOMOLA & Abuja, Jide ORINTUNSIN In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, Comrade Oshiomhole said: “We learnt with rude shock, the death of your beloved daughter, Hajia Zulai. I wish to offer my profound condolence and the commiseration of the people and government of Edo State. “Our hearts are with you at this very difficult period, as the death of a beloved one can be traumatic. “While we grieve over her death, we take solace in the fact that she lived a worthy life as a mother, an accomplished economist, a devout Muslim and a hard-working young Nigerian who did not rely on her father’s name and influence to get an upper hand in life, but rather relied on her intellect and hard-work to carve a niche for herself. “We pray Almighty Allah to grant you and the rest of the Buhari family the courage to endure the loss of Hajia Zulai and also pray for the repose of her soul.” Similarly, governors of the 19 Northern states under the aegis of the Northern Governors Forum (NSGF) yesterday commeserated with former head of state and leader of the

Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), on the death of his daughter, Zulaihat. The Chairman of the forum and governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu urged the CPC 2011 standard bearer to take solace in the fact that it is only God that gives and takes life whenever He pleases and that no living soul shall escape death as it is the necessary end that would come when it would. In a condolence statement signed by Aliyu's Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, the forum enjoined the former military leader and members of his family to be encouraged by the fact that although Zulaihat died at a relatively young age, she lived an inspiring and a fulfilled life. The statement reads: ''Life is not about how long people live, but how people impact positively on the environment around them. ''Though Zulaihat lived a short life, she brought change to her immediate family, her community, and all those she met,especially women and children.” The Forum advised the CPC leader that the best tribute he can pay to his late daughter is to sustain her good deed of touching the lives of the weak and poor.

ists from all walks of life and the media filled the court room and its immediate surroundings. Lead Counsel to Rev. David Ugolor and Wilfred Iserhienrhien, Barr Olayiwola Afolabi prayed the court to erase the names of his clients from the list of accused persons in the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde as the DPP report which was with the court had exonerated both men as there was no prima facie against them. He lamented that Ugolor had spent 41 grueling days in an unlawful detention over the matter. Delivering his ruling, Chief

Magistrate Francis Idiake upheld the prayers of Afolabi and directed the unconditional release of Rev. David Ugolor and Wilfred Iserhienrhien in line with the DPP advice. “This is to reassure Nigerians that the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man. We all know you (Ugolor) as a human rights activist,” Idiake said. Other accused persons who were recommended for prosecution over the murder of Comrade Oyerinde by both the police and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) are: Garba Usman Maisamari, Muritala Usman, Moses Asamah Okoro, Auta Umaru

Ali, Umaru Adamu, Wilfred Isrhienhi, Hassan Aliyu Babete and Idris Abdulhamid were not in court as they are still being remanded in prison custody. Usman Maisamari was the suspect used by the police to frame up Ugolor as the sponsor of Oyerinde’s murder. Shortly after the ruling, the jubilant crowd which thronged the court premises poured out celebrating with Rev. David Ugolor. “The Judge has confirmed that the police framed me up. Impunity by the police must stop, if not, the people might resort to violence,” Ugolor said.

Akpabio, ex-Gov Attah, exchange banter at ex-First during her time. Kazeem IBRAHYM, Uyo Lady’s burial “If a man cannot open up to

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ORRIED by the protracted political rift between Governor Godswill Akpabio and his former boss, Obong Victor Attah, the Bishop of Uyo Diocese of the Catholic Church, His Lordship, Joseph Ekuwem, yesterday urged the duo to sheath their sword for peace to reign. Ekuwem advised both parties to use the period of grief to reconcile any differences between them for the sake of God, adding that he would be willing to serve as a mediator to broker peace between the two political gladiators. The bishop spoke during the burial ceremony of Obong Attah’s wife, Nnenyin Alison Attah, at Cardinal Ekanem Seminary field in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. In his homily, Ekuwem warned those cashing in on the political misunderstanding between Attah and Akpabio to jettison the idea. He urged them to look for a way of bringing the two politicians together for the sake of

peace and in the interest of Akwa Ibom State The cleric, who drew his theme from Mathew 35:34, said it was in times of peace or sadness that those who quarrel always settle their differences, stressing that by so doing, it would bring about the needed peace and development into the state. The bishop’s 22 minutes preaching, however, centered on love, peace and justice. He noted that with such attributes, the will of God for man would be fulfilled as God’s number one commandment is for man to love his fellow man. When the bishop announced that the congregation should exchange greetings with one another, Attah and Akpabio became the focus of all eyes as the duo exchanged pleasantries. Ekuwem said: “Alison was a bridge builder and as a mother of the state, she reconciled a lot of persons, from this, she was able to preach peace in the state

another in love, such a man is not fit to live because God has commanded us to love one another. In spite of all the evils in the world, God still loves man. “Reconciliation can come either in time of peace or sadness, this is the time of sadness and people who are quarreling should make peace, let all quarrels seize because of the death of Alison Attah.” Dignitaries that attended the burial ceremony included Governor Godswill Akpabio; former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, Action Congress of Nigeria governorship candidate, Senator James Udoedehe, former Minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, Chief Nduese Essien; Senator Effiong Bob, Senator Udo Udoma, former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Ufot Ekaette, members of the National and state Assemblies, executive members of Akwa Ibom State government, amongst others.


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As Danfodio varsity honours Tambuwal today T

ODAY, in the caliphate city of Sokoto, Nigeria’s Number Four citizen and the Speaker of the House of Rep-resentatives, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, will be conferred with a honourary doctorate degree by one of the country’s premier institutions of higher learning, the Uthman Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS). For many Nigerians, the emergence, ability and Tambuwal’s foresight in managing the affairs of the lower chamber of the National Assembly have given much hope for optimism. The reason for this is not far-fetched. As the leader of a vanguard of new breed politicians determined to halt the drift and make the system work, Tambuwal’s contribution towards national development and integration is gradually boosting confidence of the people not only in their leaders but in the polity as a whole. The little he has done as Speaker in the last one and half years has increased transparency in governance and made for a better economic management of affairs in Nigeria. I am sure the authorities of the Uthman Danfodio University are not oblivious of the effort put by the seventh session of the National Assembly to halt the falling standard of education in the country. Tambuwal, himself an alumnus of the institution, recently told a gathering of his former school mates that allowing the present state of things in the education sector to continue would lead to catastrophic consequences. He said any country that desires to achieve its maximum potential must take the education of its citizenry seriously. In the same vein, speaking when he inspected the construction of school infrastructure at the Nigeria-Gambia International School in Banjul, The Gambia last July, Tambuwal made it clear that the future of Nigeria is closely tied to how it handles the education sector. He said while Nigerians have excelled in schools abroad, only a small fraction perform to acceptable standards at home, a situation he said must be changed. Not only does the Speaker mouth his concerns at what is happening in our schools, he has taken practical steps to make his mark where necessary. Apart from building school infrastructure from his earnings in some schools in the country, Tambuwal recently gave scholarships to about 20 young girls of an Abuja-based girl-child education foundation to enable

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•Tambuwal

Imam IMAM them realize their future dreams of having qualitative education. Realising the importance of Information and Communication Technology as a tool for socio-political emancipation, the Speaker made it a point of duty to encourage all legislators in Nigeria acquire computer education in order to enhance their lawmaking capabilities. For those in the House of Representatives, becoming computer literate is a mandatory requirement preparatory to the full implementation of the e-parliament component of the House Legislative Agenda. The electronic parliament blueprint seeks to elevate the National Assembly operations to inter-

national best practices and ensure public access to parliamentary information and process. It is not just in his contribution to the education sector that the UDUS authorities found Tambuwal a worthy recipient of their honourary degree. In words and deeds, the Speaker has proved himself adept at providing quality leadership needed to make the necessary impact in the polity. Of particular reference here was his speech to the extra ordinary session of the House of Representatives in the wake of the bribery allegation against members of the ad hoc committee that investigated the management of subsidy funds in the country. On that memorable Friday, Tambuwal gave a doughty and inspiring speech, one that matched the occasion and rose to a high level of succinctness and elegance comparable to any speech anywhere. He proved that when the time and place are right, a leader is often judged not by the rightness or wrongness of what he had to say, but by the dashing jauntiness of his words, the sweet cadence of his expressions and how effectively the words persuade the heart rather than the head. As we’ve seen times without number, Tambuwal has demonstrated courage, intelligence and goodwill towards the Nigerian masses through his actions and commitment regarding issues that affect them. This is no surprise considering his apparent willingness not to be encumbered by the political exigencies that had stunted our progress in the past. For him, what matters is the nation’s interest. The exemplary conduct of Tambuwal as the Speaker of the House of Representatives signifies the end of an era of self-representation, when lawmakers took decisions that were at variance with the wishes of their constituents. Thanks to Tambuwal’s leadership credentials, the present House has proved to be what a parliament should be: focused, vibrant, independent and one that gauges the pulse of the nation and works in tandem with the needs of the people. As he steps out today among his kinsmen in Sokoto to receive his doctorate degree, we can only say congratulations and more grease to your elbow, Mr. Speaker. •Imam is the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Speaker Tambuwal

The doctorization of Rotimi Amaechi

T was one of those early winter evenings in London. Windy and very cold, despite the absence of snow. It was the first business trip of the new, freshly minted Governor of Rivers State, the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to Queensland. Weeks back, Amaechi had won a resounding, earth-shaking Supreme Court victory to emerge as governor of the oil-rich state after an exhausting, long-drawn judicial and political battle with forces that were anything but democratic, behemoths who wanted to play God. Many years after, echoes of this landmark judgment continues to reverberate in Nigeria’s judicial and political landscape. As we rode in a black cab from our central London hotel to an appointment somewhere in North London, I asked the Governor when he thought we would be able to build a country like the United Kingdom or something pretty close- steady power; good roads; potable water; decent and affordable housing; health facilities that are not death centres; an education system that truly educates etc. “David, honestly I don’t know,” he shot back rapidly, staring into the glitzy streets. “But I do know that things have got to change and I will spend my time as governor ensuring that things change for the better in Rivers State, building a Rivers State that all of us, every Rivers man, will be proud of…”,Amaechi continued after a short pause. He went on to talk about the changes he wanted and the kind of state he wanted to build during his time as governor. Indeed, in the past five years, Governor Amaechi has not only talked the talk but also worked the talk. He has spent the past five years building a Rivers State that has transformed significantly from what we used to know. Passionate about his State, committed to serving his people, Amaechi has made changes, small and big, that have impacted tremendously on their lives. And he was under no illusion that these changes must of necessity come with a heavy price. It is in the nature of change to cause a lot of discomfort, especially to the few who benefit from the rot, who would want the old ways of rot, decay, corruption and the sharing of the collective wealth of the people by a few privillegentia to continue. Amaechirealised early enough that the task was daunting Hand the road would be tortuous. The signs were too obvious. It was a tumultuous period in the history of the State. The economy was in near collapse. Criminals and armed bandits were fully in control of the streets. Sporadic outbreak of gun-shots was not uncommon on the streets of Port Harcourt. The few businesses that stayed back in the city because they probably had no choice but to stay back and eke a living, did fasting and prayers daily to keep the lawless marauders from invading their

David IYOFOR businesses. These lawless bandits had grown beyond the law and no one seemed able to arrest the situation. Am sure those in Port Harcourt will not easily forget those dark days. They certainly will not forget quickly how a notorious crime suspect broke free from government custody, after the holding facility was bombarded by superior fire power. There was dusk to dawn curfew, which finally nailed the coffin on the social scene in the city. Nightlife, which use to be one of the hallmarks of the city, was practically dead. Occupancy rate in hotels and related hospitality businesses were at its lowest. This was the scenario Amaechi met when he became governor. I won’t bore you with the deplorable state of infrastructure, health services or education. As a matter of fact, it was so bad in the educational sector that Amaechi had to declare a state of emergency after a group of consultants brought in to look at the state of education in Rivers State came out with their report. This was the basis for his building of the first class new model primary schools all over the State. The infrastructural and urban decay was so alarming that he to immediately and aggressively pursue and implement an urban renewal programme that would give the city a facelift. Amaechi set out to build a new educational system that is effective and efficient. He took the funding of primary education away from local councils that could barely fund it. Apart from the building of new schools, he started the continuous training and re-training of teachers in the state educational system. This was done in collaboration with the prestigious British Council. Besides Port Harcourt, he took quality healthcare service to the hinterland and started rebuilding the state’s infrastructure. He blocked all the unnecessary financial loopholes and clearly said NO to the hitherto mindless bazaar of sharing of the collective wealth of the people among a privileged few. A new city-Greater Port Harcourt,which will decongest Port Harcourt, the state capital, and give the citizenry a big sense of pride, is coming up. His administration’s investment in human capacity development is indeed remarkable. Thousands of students are benefiting from State scholarships and training in some of the best institutions you can find. Besides, agriculture is a focal point of the State economic development and employment generation policy.Risonpalm, the vast palm plantation in the State- one of the largest in the West coast of Africa- which was the pride of Rivers State in the good old days, is been restored even beyond what it was, in its glory days. New farm settlements and plantation are springing up all over the State. The enor-

•Gov. Amaechi mously large Songhai Farm and the vast banana plantation in Tai, Ogoni land are just two of his new agricultural initiatives. The Garden City, as Port Harcourt is fondly called by residents and visitors, has regained its peace, after years of siege by criminals – thanks to Amaechi’s priority to security. He knew nothing could be achieved without peace and security. He invested heavily in security, security equipments and practically fund our federal security agencies to fight the insecurity in the State. But far and above all that, he showed the political will, strength and commitment to fight the lawless lords who had taken over our beloved State. With the heart of a lion, Amaechi dared, fought and ran the arms carrying bandits out of Rivers State. Now, nightlife is back, bigtime. The hitherto comatose social scene is alive again. New fun-spots are springing up in the city, every now and then. Hotels and hospitality spots are now smiling to their banks. And soon, there will be stable and steady power supply in the State, which have been welcoming businesses with open arms. The governor has invested heavily in building power stations and sub-stations in the state. There are many ways Governor Amaechi has altered for good the lives of Rivers people. These changes will forever enhance the fortunes of those who live in the geographical location called Rivers State. These are far-reaching changes that no other governor has been able to do since the days of the first Governor, Alfred Diette-Spiff, who was a military administrator. The visually appealing Amaechi Schools, as folks tend to call the new model primary schools scattered all over the State, are properly furnished and fully equipped for learning with computers and other toos. Each of these schools has more than enough space for sporting and

other recreational activities. The target is to build about 750 of these primary schools all over the state. Many years after Amaechi would have served out his term as governor, Rivers people will continue to remember him for these schools and for delivering quality education at absolutely no cost to parents. Modern health centres have been built, furnished and equipped in the rural communities and urban centres. These health centres have changed the way healthcare and medical services are delivered to the rural folks who used to be at the receiving end of poor and less than humane medical care. The vast network of roads Amaechi has constructed, reconstructed and expanded in Port Harcourt and the entire State will forever be there as a testimony to his commitment to Rivers people and determination to rebuild Rivers State. In a short while, there will be a road with several bridges connecting the historical town of Opobo to the rest of the world for the first time. The traffic situation in Port Harcourt may not yet be perfect, but residents know that if not for these new roads, the city would have been choked on its traffic. There are more vehicles in Port Harcourt now than ever before. As more roads are completed, it will definitely get better. With his leadership style, administrative acumen, strenghth of character and passion to better the lives of his people, Amaechi has clearly shown that change, positive change, is indeed possible in Nigeria. He has shown that our country can achieve greatness if leaders at all levels match their words with actions for the good of all. With his clear leadership example in Rivers State, Amaechi has shown that with a clear vision, strength of character and commitment to implement, our country can be turn around. That Nigeria can indeed be great again with right and committed leaders. He has shown that there is hope for Nigeria A goldfish, they say, has no hiding place. Amaechi’s exemplary, sterling leadership qualities and uncommon service to humanity have been noticed by the UsmanDanfodiyo University, Sokoto. Today, that great institution in the epicenter of the Caliphate will honour him with a well deserved Honorary Doctor of Law(LLD),HonorisCausa. For those of us who have been with him over the years, this honour does not surprise us. It is a reaffirmation of what we have always known – that this country needs leaders like ChibuikeRotimiAmaechi for it to attain his full potentials and be a much more better place for us, a country of our dream. A Nigeria we can all be proud of to call our own. Congratulations Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi!


THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012


News 63

THE NATION, SATURDAY DECEMBER 1, 2012 •Continued from Back Page ing case where it was alleged that Fenerbahce officials had fixed that season’s match against Karabukspor, demanding that Karabukspor should not name Emenike in its team. The caveat to this match fixing case was for Emenike to dump Karabukspor for Fenerbahce after the game. Ememike said in his defence that Karabukspor’s doctors asked him not to play the fixed game because he was injured. Emenike added that he called the Super Eagles coach, who asked him not to play the game with pain killers, obviously because of the repercussions. The questions to ask this prosecutor are: Did the Karabukspor doctors dent their medical advice to Emenike? Is it Emenike’s duty to field himself in a match? Did Emenike go the hospital? If yes, has the hospital denied that he didn’t come there? Did they discover any transaction where money was transferred from an account to the Nigerian’s? Is it not laughable that a player would fix a match and yet prevent himself from featuring in the game? How then would he facilitate his team losing to the opponent? From off the pitch? There are certainly more questions than answers. But my plea to NFF chiefs and officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) is to immediately contact Emenike and his lawyers to get the brief of the case. A Nigerian international as a match fixer is no palatable news. We shouldn’t fold our arms and allow an incompetent lawyer send our soccer ambassador to jail. We need to fortify Emenike’s legal team. He must not be left alone. The time to intervene is now. It could start with an appeal. Emenike must not go to jail, except he is found guilty after a transparent trial. Over to you Sports Minister Bolaji

NFF’s, Keshi’s sack letter

Abdullahi. We must save our son from this show of shame. Emenike gives his best during Super Eagles matches. We need to show concern in this matter, please sir.

Good night Dr. Anthonia Onouha

Last week, I refused to disclose the ailment of Nedum Onouha’s mum, Dr. Anthonia Onouha, even though she told me. She didn’t ask me to rebroadcast it. But I was shocked to the marrow on Wednesday night while reading through my emails. A message from one Davis broke the sad news that Dr. Anthonia Onouha had died on November 8. She may

be buried this weekend in Manchester in the United Kingdom. My heart sank. I never met her. But from our telephone discussion, she was quite a homely person. It still hurts to know that she has passed on. My prayer is for God to grant her soul eternal rest and give Nedum the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. I just hope that chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and indeed, Super Eagles Chief Coach Stephen Keshi will remember to call Nedum to express their condolences. That is the way forward. Nedum may embrace us, you never can tell. Sleep well Anthonia.

PUBLIC NOTICE J9 COLLECTIVE This is to inform the general public that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Mr. Abisoye Fagade 2. Mr. Jide Adediran 3. Mr. Kunle Afolayan 4. Mr. Wole Olagundoye 5. Mr. ‘Seun Soyinka AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To promote good governance through awareness and education 2. To improve the social and economic status of its members Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to The Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

Signed: Trustees

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01-12-12


TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2326

I

write this piece overwhelmed by the drudgery of having spent too much quality time reflecting on the tragic maladies plaguing the nation. I have struggled within myself to find some order amid the sickening madness but there seems to be none. These days, the headlines are soaked in gloom, blood and tears. Occasionally, there is some hearty laughter and robust giggles in the homes and along our streets. People still throw banter and share jibes at pubs. Nevertheless, all this, though cheery, does not preclude the fact that the Nigerian story is being told in parenthesis of pain and sorrow. In that sobering moment of deeper reflections over the endless splattering of blood across our landscape, the comments posted by my old pal at the university, Abiodun Shasanya, came streaming in. How on earth could I have missed the crying witticism in that posting which dubbed the newscaster as a bloody liar? Shasanya quipped on his wall: “This newscaster is a liar. He starts the news by saying good afternoon and then spends more than 30 minutes telling us why it is not!” All I see is the paradox and pun in the Nigerian story as being told today. Hardly can you lay your hands on any newspaper with soul-lifting headlines. Crude barbarity has taken over the front pages no thanks to a collapsed moral ethos; deepening intolerance and a growing gang of irritants. Death has become too cheap. In the past, distinguished members of the free readers association often congregate at the newsstands to unleash their verbal venom on the looters of our collective wealth and the shambolic handling of their cases by the anti-graft agencies. We had thought that was the zenith of our lunacy—the crazy lure for filthy lucre. However, we were dead wrong. Today, we are faced with crazier and deadlier realities threatening the basis of our collective existence. The irony? It appears those who should put an end to the glaring regression into a state of anarchy have run out of the usual tendentious excuses and empty platitudes! Truly, the newscaster and her co-travellers in the print media are nothing but a bunch of bloody liars. Looking resplendent in shimmering attire with an infectious smile to boot, she captivates the audience with a soothing voice that announces the ‘goodness’ of the moment. However, what follows after those peripheral gestures are

People calling for death penalty for corruption have to be careful. There may be a need for Sharia sensibility, given the enormity of corruption in the land —Ropo Sekoni

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913

So, what further excuses would they give? details of news items that touch on the absurdities going on around us. These are stories of bombs, killings, maiming and slaughtering of the humankind; the decimation of families and desecration of worship places. Suddenly, we are faced with the stark reality of the Hobbesian prognosis of the primitivism of life as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Violence of the meanest kind has taken over our streets and we have become living victims. That is not an easy thing that can be easily covered up by the plastic grin etched on the face of the newscaster or the newshound. The actuality of our vulnerability was brought home by the events of this week. It beggars belief that the hawkers of terror could so easily infiltrate places that we thought were immune against their weapons of sorrow. The hands of terror have made hitherto impregnable fortresses to appear so vulnerable. In less than 48 hours, the Command and Staff College, Jaji and the Abuja headquarters of the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) were demystified. As I write this, the security apparatchiks in the country are busy knocking heads together, trying to fathom how suicide bombers could wreck the kind of havoc that took 17 lives and left more than 30 persons injured in a church attack last Sunday, at the uniquely prestigious training institute for the military. It must be noted that no military officer in Nigeria rises to the ranks of Colonel or General without passing through Jaji. Also, the authorities are obviously at a loss and are determined to unravel the sort of daredevilry that would push gunmen to attack the SARS base, freeing over 30 detained

robbery suspects after a prolonged gun battle with the police. No wonder the VIPs at the National Assembly are expressing vocal concerns in view of the worsening trend of insecurity. You are right if you call it stuffs Nollywood films are made of. Just that this is no movie. It is real and scary. Loss of lives, blood-curdling violence, bombs, bullets and dynamite recur in our daily nightmare. Even, rocket launchers, weapons of mass destruction, human arsenals and such other nightmarish words now confront us daily. News headlines are not in any way comforting. On Monday, following the Jaji attack, this paper screams: “11 die as suicide bombers hit church in military base…30 hospitalised…Mark, Tambuwal, North’s governors: it’s barbaric.” On Tuesday, the headlines were crying blue murder in bold, black font: “Gunmen free 30 detainees in Abuja police office attack; Eight shot dead in Plateau….bloody attack at drinking joint; Police Station, banks bombed in Auchi; Jaji death toll hits 30; and Boko Haram sends dialogue offer through letter. And on Wednesday? It was made worse by the graphic details of how robbers unleashed terror on a “Day of dynamites, bombs and bullets in Edo: 15 die…government takes stock of massive attacks on four banks, others. It was a week where, for once, the government at the centre was wise enough to keep mum. What would the government’s spokesmen and apologists have said, anyway? Would they have blamed the chilling news of killings, bombings and callous murder of the revellers at the pub on

the ‘lying’ newscaster? Would they have commiserated with families that lost their loved ones and then renew the tasteless official vow to apprehend the culprits? Would they have denied that the twin attacks on security formations in Kaduna and Abuja portend very bad omen for the rest of us? Or, on the other hand, would they have reassured us that they are on top of the situation and suggest again, that we should go to bed with our eyes closed? Well, it does not really matter what excuses they would have given for the state of anomie that we have found ourselves. What is clear is that most Nigerians now live in fear of the unknown. Death is becoming cheaper by the day. It could just meet you on the way to church just like it happened to the family of three that was gunned down on Sunday in Kano. It could come through the clinical elimination that has become a regular occurrence in some states in the North. It could reduce bubbly lives to charred remains in worship places as witnessed in the numerous suicide bombings. We now know that we could end up in body bags for daring to take a trip to the local banks. You can even be marked for death from Ak-47 bullets, just for daring to share a drink or merely hang out at a drinking joint. Whichever way you look at it, you are damned to die, anyway. Unfortunately, that is the hallucinating reality that many Nigerians now bear without daring to talk about it. Yet, if the responsibility of the government is the security of lives and property, then it must be seen to be doing just that. In a society where it has become fashionable to blame the sheer incompetence of a do-nothing regime on ‘evil spirits’, it would not be surprising if those who swore to an oath to protect us take the cagey of nibbling at their fingers or, at best, offer excuses. My candid advice is this: if the many months of being ‘on top of the situation” has only helped to embolden terror gangs to be more brazen, then it is high time these folks get under the situation in order to “exorcise the evil spirit behind this darkness” that has taken over our land (due apologies to the Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi who recently blamed our wobbly electricity crisis on ‘evil spirit’). And the faster they start thinking of this, the better for all of us. Need we remind them that, with worsening security challenges, platitudes are simply not enough?

ILLUMINATIONS returns next week

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

NFF’s, Keshi’s sack letter

T

HE presidential directive that the Su per Eagles must lift the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations’ diadem in South Africa is clear to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Equally instructive is an NSC chieftain’s fiat to NFF chiefs to sign the performance bond in the aftermath of the presidential order to ministers in the Goodluck Jonathan’s government. Jonathan’s message is meant to motivate the players and challenge the NFF chiefs to ensure that we present a good team at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Or was anyone expecting the president to ask the Eagles to lie down for their opponents without a fight in South Africa next year? Besides, the presidential performance form was served on those appointed as government functionaries. People shouldn’t hide under such umbrella to set traps for perceived enemies in the NFF and the Eagles. The NFF board came into effect through elections, not as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters but as apolitical Nigerians. I ask that the NSC chief who is insisting that NFF must sign the performance form, if the decision is binding on distinguished members of the National Assembly. Are we not witnesses to the country’s

worst outing at the London 2012 Olympic Games? Did anyone ask those hounding the NFF with this form to quit? Anyway, Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi warned me to discountenance any government policy not signed or/and voiced by him. I digress. Yet, these two instructions may be the death knell on Nigeria’s quest to appear at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I don’t need to be a seer to know that the Eagles won’t lift the diadem in South Africa. We are rating the Eagles based on their talents and exploits in European clubs. What we have failed to appreciate is that the depth of talents in these European clubs is not what we have in the Eagles. We have also not recognised the fact that the players in these European clubs have spent more time together as a team, playing matches weekly. These matches provide the platform for the players to gel and produce scintillating performances that send the fans into a frenzy. Rebuilding a national team is not a hasty assignment. It includes identifying new talents, weeding out ageing ones through competitions and finding the right combination of players to do the job. I don’t think that the Eagles have played 14 games under Keshi. And it would be the height of unbridled patriotism for anyone to expect such a team to win the Africa Cup of Nations. It is true that football is unpredictable.

What is also true is that no ill-prepared side such as the Eagles, in terms of quality time to prepare the players for the assignment, wins big trophies. Unfortunately, that NSC chief didn’t have the balls to explain to President Goodluck Jonathan why the Keshi-led Eagles won’t carry the day in South Africa. Is anyone surprised? Don’t ask me if he was a member of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) that wrongly advised the president to withdraw Nigeria from all football competitions. Since those PTF foes lost face after the President’s recant in 2010, they have latched onto any opportunity to sustain their campaign with every poor outing by our football teams. The President has listening ears from what I saw during the Presidential Sports Retreat in Abuja two months ago. Super Eagles has the highest population of Europe-based players who warm the bench in their clubs. This presidential fiat seems to me another way to prepare the ground for Stephen Keshi’s and the NFF’s board’s sack in the event that Nigeria doesn’t win the Africa Cup of Nations. If that happens, the hawks in high places would pounce on the confused setting. And I can take a bet that Nigeria’s flag will not be hoisted at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. If we don’t lift the Nations Cup, it would be because we wasted time in recruiting the

last Eagles coach. It also should serve as a lesson because asking Keshi to step aside (God forbid), will destroy what he has painstakingly built. The ripple effect will stop us from the Brazil 2014 World Cup. I have prayed fervently that we don’t win it. My prayer stems from the fact that we would spend precious time celebrating and end up not qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil. We don’t need a pilgrimage of appearances at the World Cup to become the first African nation to play in the semifinals and ultimately win the trophy. That dream will be actualised if we build blocks. And that includes taking the positives from whatever happens to the Eagles next year in South Africa and build on it.

God forbid jail term for Emenike The media was awash with the heart wrenching story Wednesday that Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike will be jailed for close to three years, having been indicted in the match-fixing case in Turkey last year. The manner of speech of the prosecutor Ufuk Emertcan clearly indicated that they had sufficient evidence to hound Emenike to jail, if he had been in the court on Tuesday. The prosecutor submitted that Emenike feigned injury in the landmark match-fix •Continued on Page 63

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-08094000052, Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, E-mail: Tel/07028105302 Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 `Website: www.thenationonlineng.net saturday@thenationonlineng.com ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: DELE ADEOSUN


The Nation December 1, 2012  

The Nation December 1, 2012

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