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Fatal crash: Kogi governor critically injured •Moved to Abuja •ADC dead, eight others hospitalised G OVERNOR Idris Wada of Kogi State last night had a surgery at a private hospital in Abuja,hours after narrowly escaping death in an auto crash outside of Lokoja, the state capital. His Kaduna State counterpart, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, died in an helicopter crash in Bayelsa State two weeks ago. Wada’s aide-de-camp (ADC), Idris Muhammed, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), however, lost his life in the 3pm crash at Emi Woro village in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area of the state when one of the tyres of the governor's official car, a Lexus SUV , unexpectedly burst in motion. Eight others were injured. Emi Woro is about 12 kilometres from Lokoja. Wada had the surgery at Cedar Crest Hospital, Garki, Abuja after receiving initial treatment in the intensive care unit of the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. Details of the surgery were unavailable at press time. A source said: "When the tyre burst, the car somersaulted and other vehicles in the convoy rammed into one another. "In the ensuing commotion, state officials struggled to save the governor from the wreckage of his official vehicle and evacuated him to the Specialist Hospital in Lokoja. “Several others on the entourage were also seriously injured, but the ADC's case was the worst.” About 15 mobile policemen cordoned off the scene of the accident and prevented journalists from taking photographs of the wrecked vehicle and the scene. Wada was first treated in the intensive care unit of the hospital before he was moved to Abuja. Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yabagi Bologi, was one of the early

Suntai to Wada: A year of crashes

the Ministry of Aviation said six persons were rescued from the aircraft with varying degrees of injuries. He was immediately flown to Germany where he has since been receiving medical attention following his ill-fated flight. Unlike Suntai, it was outright tragedy for Yakowa who perished in a military helicopter on December 15,

while returning to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, from where he commiserated with one of the aides of President Goodluck Jonathan, Oronto Douglas, when the small plane crashed into the creeks. The helicopter was said to have burst into flames and burnt beyond recognition. While Suntai and Yakowa were seemingly fated to air crashes, the case of Wada was that of an auto crash. The crash, which involved several vehicles in his convoy, reportedly claimed the life of his ADC who died on the spot. The governor was on his way from a function in nearby Ayangba. Wada was believed to be critically injured and receiving medical attention at one of the hospitals in Abuja. While some of their colleagues were missing on the governance radar due to ill health, Yakowa was gone forever, just as the fate of Suntai and Wada remained uncertain.

immediate past Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, commissioners and other chieftains of the ruling PDP in the state besieged the hospital to see the Governor. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Jacob Edi, said of the crash: “The crash was caused by a burst tyre, but we thank God the Governor is in stable condition. “Others who were injured too are also being treated at the same hospital.” Asked about the condition of the ADC, Edi added: "I am aware that he is in the hospital receiving treatment. I do

not have any other information outside this.” In a telephone interview yesterday, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Richard Elesho, said: “I am very happy to announce to you that the Governor is not dead. He is not dead at all. I don't want to tell you where he is. The Governor is in stable and healthy condition. It is unfortunate that we lost the ADC in the auto crash. “I have also heard people saying the driver died. No. It is not true. There were just three people in the car, the Governor, the ADC and the driver. The ADC died on the

Linus OBOGO, Assistant Editor



IKE other facets of the country’s life which witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly, it was not quite rosy in 2012 for some public officers. While it could be argued that it was good for some governors, same cannot be said of others like Governors Danbaba Suntai of Taraba, Idris Wada of Kogi and Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna states. For Governors Danbaba Suntai and Idris Wada, it was anything but bad. Both cheated death by a hair’s Yusuf ALLI/Sanni ONOGU, Abuja and Muhammad BASHIR,Lokoja

callers at the Lokoja Hospital and later issued a statement on the accident, saying: "The convoy of the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada, has been involved in a ghastly accident. “The Governor survived the road mishap and is in stable condition. Sadly, however, the governor's aide-decamp (ADC), Idris Muhammed, an Assistant Superintendent of Police died on the spot. “The accident occurred yesterday afternoon at Emi

breadth, while Governor Patrick Yakowa was not so fortunate to be clawed back from death’s jaws. For him, it was a flight of no retun. While Suntai and the late Yakowa very nearly shared a similar fate of air mishap, Wada was yesterday involved in a ghastly auto crash which reportedly claimed the lives of his ADC. As at the time filing this report, Wada was reportedly still clutching on to life in the balance. The news of Suntai’s crash which occurred on October 26, 2012 hit the nation like a thunderbolt. A trained pilot, Suntai was said to be flying a helicopter with six of his aides on board which crashed at the Yola Airport. Earlier report had said the governor was the only casualty, while two others survived. However, a statement by Woro village, about 12 kilometres into the state capital, in between Prime Polytechnic and the Salem University, in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area. “The convoy was returning from an annual Igala Education Summit which the Governor declared opened at the state university in Anyigba.” A medical personnel at the hospital in Lokoja who spoke in confidence said the Governor was “critically injured and requires a more intensive medical care than could be provided in Lokoja.” Once the news of the accident broke,hundreds of sympathisers, including the


•Wada spot, but the Governor and driver are in stable condition. Why do you want me to tell you where he is? “If I am bold enough as a colleague to let you know that we lost the ADC, why do I have to lie to you? The Governor is alive, hale and hearty, but I don't have to disclose the exact location of the Governor to you; must I? I only have to tell you as a colleague that the Governor is alive. “He had the first treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. After we left the Specialist Hospital, we went to Government House. But I don’t have to tell you his exact location at the moment.” Reporters who had rushed to the National Hospital, Abuja for information in anticipation that he would be brought there for further treatment had to leave after waiting in vain for up to five hours. Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State was rushedto the same National Hospital in October after his light aircraft crashed in Yola. Suntai has since been moved to Germany for further treatment. When our reporter got to the Cedar Crest Hospital last night, he sighted a lot of Kogi State government officials and cars in and around the area. There was also a heavy presence of securitymen who prevented him from getting into the building.

Budget 2013: Row over benchmark deepens


HE disagreement be tween the Federal Gov ernment and the National Assembly over the benchmark for the 2013 budget is not about to abate. While the executive arm proposed $75 per barrel as benchmark,the Senate and the House of Representatives have adopted $79 for the same purpose and there are fears that the two sides may be on collision course over the issue. There were indications yesterday that the National Assembly may override President Goodluck Jonathan’s possible veto of the N4.98trillion budget. Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, told The Nation that the law is clear on what the National Assembly should do if the President decides to withhold assent to any Bill. Abaribe said: “The law will take its course. Yes. And what the law says is that any Bill that is not assented to by the President after one month, then the National Assembly will override the veto. The law is clear. “The National Assembly will follow the Constitution which says we can override the veto. “I mean, the matter is al-

•Senate, Reps vow to override Jonathan’s veto Sanni ONOGU/ Victor OLUWASEGUN and Dele ANOFI, Abuja ways very clear. It is not something that is subject to any other interpretation. We will follow the dictates of the Constitution.” On the possibility of a political solution to the brewing crisis, Abaribe said: “Well, let me say that the agreement between the House and the Senate does not give room for any other manoeuvre because the rule of the National Assembly is that once you have a difference and you go to conference and you resolve that difference, you have no other room to bring it back again. “Except you now want us to review the whole document called the budget that has already been passed and I don’t think anybody is willing to do that.” In a separate interview, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, said he believes President Jonathan would not want to go against the wishes of the Nigerian people as reposed in the National Assembly.

“I don’t think the President will do that, but if he does, there are laid down procedures to deal with such an issue. I don’t think he will do that for the sake of the Nigerian people and in order to move the country forward,” Mohammed said. The House spokesman, however, said the objections of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to the increase in the benchmark were personal opinions as the buck, this time around, stops at the President’s table. According to him, the House was also uncomfortable with the implementation of the capital projects in the 2012 budget and that was the reason for rolling over the capital components of the 2012 budget till the first quarter of 2013. The Chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Compliance, Marouf Akinderu-Fatai, said the National Assembly was reasonable in adopting the $79 benchmark and the President has no grounds to with-

hold assent to the 2013 Appropriation Bill. He said:”If you ask me, the $79 adopted by the National Assembly is not even enough. The executive said they are saving the excess on the proposed $75 in the Excess Crude Account. That account is another way to cheat the states. “The question is: How much are we selling a barrel of crude? The truth of the matter is that there are so many loopholes. You just discover that they will tell you tomorrow that they have used the excess for subsidy. It’s like you are allowing some free money for some people to spend. I don’t see the President withholding assent on this particular budget.” Ali Ahmad, Chairman, Committee on Justice said: “The $4 difference is not up for negotiation. By the constitution, the National Assembly performs its functions through resolutions and bills. This one is already a bill and if he refuses to sign it, although I see no indication towards refusal, we shall invoke the residual constitutional powers. “Our benchmark stays even if the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (which gratu-

itously campaigned for a lower benchmark) and their apologists don’t like it,” he added. Another member of the House, Raphael Igbokwe, who is the Deputy Chairman, FCT Committee said: “I believe the President is not one that would want to impose hardship on the people he is leading. Things might be tough today, I believe President Jonathan is doing his best to bring smiles to the faces of the greater majority of Nigerians. “Against this background, I believe he would look at the positives inherent in the slight increment of $4 and what it would do to address the specific purpose for which the National Assembly designed it for. “As a result of that, I believe he will accent to it just to avoid unpleasant event of crisis arising from his refusal because the National Assembly would not back down on the increment. “We are doing it for Nigerians and not for any particular interest group. The constitution empowers us to do this and we won’t be shy to invoke it, if it gets to that level.” However, the Special Ad-

viser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi, has ruled out any confrontation between the two sides on the issue as they “have been working harmoniously, and if there is any issue of concern over the budget, the president, being a gentleman, will always use dialogue. “He is not the type that will resort to fighting them, rather he will go back to the method that they have both been using to get to this point of getting the budget passed on time and that is dialogue. “When things are bad I should know. There was never anytime things are that bad. I don’t expect any rift to come out of this.” On the possibility of getting the budget signed, she said it will be signed anytime in January, stressing that the president just got the passed budget and he would need to study it before appending his signature. She, however, assured that if there is any concern, it will be resolved amicably. She further stressed that whatever the president is doing is for the good of the people, adding that all the president is concerned about is how to better the lots of the people.





Azazi’s funeral: Governors, ministers, other VIPs shun helicopters at airport


CORES of very impor tant personalities (VIPs) attending the funeral ceremonies for the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA),General Andrew Azazi (rtd), in Yenagoa this weekend have been avoiding travelling to the venue by helicopter. Azazi, the then Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State and four others died on Saturday, December 15 when the Nigerian Navy Augusta helicopter conveying them from Okoroba,Bayelsa State to Port Harcourt crashed minutes after take-off. They had attended the burial of Pa Tamunoobebara Douglas, father of the Presidential Special Adviser on Research and Documentation, Mr.Oronto Douglas, in the largely riverine state. Azazi is to be laid to rest today at the Ijaw Heroes Park in Yenagoa. However, mourners, including Governors Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State; Aviation Minister Stella Oduah and others who arrived Port Harcourt Airport en-route Yenagoa for last night’s service of songs for the deceased shunned helicopters and opted to travel to the Bayelsa State capital by road. Sources at the Port Harcourt Airport told The Nation on Saturday that on arrival from Lagos and Abuja,the VIPs all moved into the VIP Lounge, while arrangements were being made for them to be airlifted to Yenagoa by helicopters. But to the surprise of all the VIPs,one after the other, called their aides and instructed them to make provision for them to move to Yenagoa by road.



HE Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nige rian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, has been appointed a member of the Industry Leader Advisory Board of the Global Electricity Initiatives (GEI). The GEI is a joint initiative of the World Energy Council (WEC), the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP). GEI was established in Durban South Africa during COP 17. The advisory council is responsible for general guidance during the development and implementation of the initiative, for the provision of industry insights and promotion of the results. GEI membership will provide the Chairman of NERC a veritable platform to make the case for the much-needed international support of the fledgling Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

AIB to assist in investigating Navy helicopter crash, says boss Kelvin OSA OKUNBOR •From left: Governor Dickson of Bayelsa State; President Goodluck Jonathan; Alero, Azazi’s widow; and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State during the the service of songs in honour of the late Gen. Andrew Azazi held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State ... yesterday Efforts by the aides to convince their bosses that wellserviced and safe helicopters were available for the short journey and that the EastWest road currently being dualised is not in a particularly good shape were to no avail. It was, however, learnt that the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, flew in one of the choppers to Yenagoa from Port Harcourt on arrival from Abuja. Mr.Daniel Iworiso,the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dickson confirmed that his principal travelled by road from Port Harcourt to Yenagoa. Iworiso said: “Governor Dickson flew from Abuja to Port Harcourt International Airport and moved to Yenagoa by road between 9 am and 10 am.

“Governor Dickson’s convoy was already waiting at Port Harcourt International Airport. He left the airport before other VIPs arrived from Abuja and other places. “Governor Dickson can decide to travel by road from Port Harcourt International Airport or use helicopter. It has nothing to do with fear.” Governor Uduaghan’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr.Sunny Ogefere, also confirmed that his boss went by road to Yenagoa from Port Harcourt,saying going by helicopter was not on the governor’s schedule. “There was really nothing to it.If going by helicopter was scheduled,His Excellency would have gone by helicopter,” Ogefere said. Azazi’s kinsmen are protesting the decision to bury him in Yenagoa and not in his

Tight security around MMIA as counter-terrorism squad screens vehicles HERE was an un usual security sur veillance on all roads leading in and out of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos yesterday with counter terrorism policemen subjecting vehicles to screening. The operation caused a massive traffic jam on the Oshodi/Ajao Estate Road leading to the international wing of the airport and on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, leading into the domestic section. The securitymen took their time to search all vehicles on the road to ensure they were not carrying explosives or other dangerous devices. Many commuters had to disembark from the vehicles carrying them to their destinations. They had to complete their journeys by foot. Meanwhile, there was a lull in activities at the domestic wing of the airport as only a few passengers turned up for flights to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Calabar and other destinations. In a related development , passengers have continued to lament over the rising incidence of luggage pilfer-

NERC chair appointed GEI board member

Kelvin OSA-OKUNBOR age at the international wing of the Lagos Airport. Scores of passengers alleged that their belongings were tampered with by unknown people at the airport. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday said the security measure was in public interest. The General Manager (Corporate Communications) of the FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said: “The Federal Government, in its determination to ensure hitch-free holidays, has put all these measures in place at strategic locations, including airports, all over the country to forestall any form of security breach during this period. “We consider this a positive step designed to complement FAAN’s effort at ensuring maximum safety and security of lives and properties at all our airports. “The authority, therefore, encourages all passengers to leave their homes early so that the delays caused by these security checks will not hamper their pre-

boarding formalities at the airport, especially in view of the expected increase in passenger movements, both on local and international flights during this festive period.”

Peretorugbene hometown in the Ekeremo Local Government Area. In a tribute to Azazi at the service of songs, Governor Seriake Dickson said that with the death of Azazi the Ijaw “ have not only lost a kinsman, big brother, father, grandfather, friend and colleague; the Ijaw nation has clearly lost one of its finest and very best. He was a patriot who gave his all!” He added: “There may be no greater tribute to General Azazi’s illustrious military career than the fact that he was a first-class military officer who rose through the ranks as a professional soldier and duly earned his place in the history of the Nigerian Army as the only decorated fourstar general who truly earned his rank. “His career in the military was, no doubt, a feat and clearly he will be remembered as one of the most distinguished and outstanding officers of the Nigerian Army. And as the accolades continue to pour in to celebrate his noble stewardship from different quarters, we are further assured that General Azazi was really extraordinary, combining an enviable leadership character with a legacy of service and patriotism”.

Lagos Assembly passes 2013 budget


AGOS State House of As sembly yesterday, at ple nary session, passed the year 2013 budget after adopting the Appropriation Committee report and taking the third reading of the Appropriation Bill. The House approved a total budget sum of N499.105b out of which N229.777.729b is for recurrent expenditure while the sum of N269.376b goes for capital expenditure. The figure shows an increase in the amount presented by Governor Babatunde Fashola to the House on October 31. Fashola presented a total budget size of N497.227b in a budget he tagged as “Budget of poverty eradication and economic growth.” The budget, as approved by the House, shows an increase of about N2 billion. The House increased the allocations to some MDAs it said

had inadequate allocations in the original presentattion to meet up with their operations. Some of the benefitting MDAs are: Lagos State House of Assembly; Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM); Lagos Internal Revenue Service; Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission and the Office of the Auditor General for Local Governments. The House admonished the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions to speed up compilation on subventions required by all tertiary institutions in the state for their performance. The House also urged its Committee on Economic Planning, in conjunction with subcommittees of the House to conduct quarterly appraisal of the year 2013 approved budget performance of the MDAs. The bill is to be sent to Governor Fashola for assent.


HE Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is to assist in the investigation of the remote and immediate causes of the recent crash of the Nigerian Navy Augusta helicopter at Okoroba, Bayelsa State,the bureau commissioner , Captain Mukhtar Usman, said yesterday. He said the committee set up by the Federal Government requested the assistance of the agency to unravel the cause of the crash. Usman said while the primary responsibility of the bureau is investigation of civil aviation aircraft accidents, it could not but offer assistance on request to find out the cause of the military helicopter crash. “ The AIB cannot investigate military accidents in line with the rules setting up the agency, but this time around a request was made by the body named by government for the AIB to assist. That is precisely what we are doing,” he said. He also spoke of the collaboration with the Ghanaian authorities to assist in the investigation of the Allied Air cargo aircraft that crashed in Accra, near the Kotoka International Airport on June 2. He said : “ Nigeria was invited to participate in the investigation of the accident of the cargo plane belonging to Allied Air.”

South Korean construction firms to storm Nigeria


consortium of world-class South Korean civil engineer ing and construction companies has established working partnership with a leading Nigerian civil engineering and dredging firm to participate as major players in the Nigerian construction industry. The Korean firms, COSMO Engineering and Construction Company Limited and IKC Construction Company Limited, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CMD Limited, a Nigerian civil engineering firm to begin a working relationship in Nigeria that will cover a wide spectrum of civil work, architectural and plant work. The MOU was consummated and sealed in South Korea on December 7, 2012 where Chief Henry Ojogho, Vice Chairman/ CEO of CMD Limited, signed for his company, while Mr ByongJoon, CEO Cosmo E & C Co. Ltd, and Mr. Song Yong Sik, CEO of IKC Construction Company Limited, signed on behalf of their companies. Under the terms of the MOU, the South Korean construction firms are coming into Nigeria with very strong financial muscle to partner their Nigerian counterpart to bid for jobs from both the public and private sectors in the area of housing (low and highrise buildings), commercial buildings, harbour, tunnel, highway, rail roads, embankment water pipelines, power plants, as well as plant work which includes power transmission, telecom, steel plant, petrochemical plants, desalination plant, and environment protection projects. Speaking on the working relationship entered into with their foreign partners, Chief Ojogho said the Korean firms are coming with world-class expertise to team up with his company to take Nigeria by storm and become major players in the construction industry in Nigeria, seeking for high profile jobs from all arms of government and the private sector.

Pekahtek Project hosts corporate friends


PSCALE engineering, construction and procurement firm, Pekahtek Project Limited, located at Olowu Street, Ikeja, Lagos held its end of year party at Potters Continental Suite, Opebi, Lagos, last Monday. The event, which attracted some prime clients, staff and their families and friends of the firm, saw them being treated to sumptuous delicacies, good music, laced with prayer session by Pastor Bayo Odueso. Speaking at the fun-filled event, the managing director of the company, Engr. Oluwatosin Adeyelu MNSE, expressed gratitude to God and paid tribute to the clients for their trust in its professional and technical capabilities during the year. The staff were also appreciated for their commitment while their families were equally commended for understanding.


News 5

20 feared dead as gunmen sack police station, prison in Adamawa


O fewer than 20 persons were feared killed and inmates set free when unknown gunmen, Friday, struck in Maiha, Adamawa state. Report says the attack in Maiha, located in the local government that shares a common border with Cameroun, left many injured. According to eyewitnesses, the Divisional Police station, the prison, the Customs area office, the presidential lodge, all located at the local government headquarters were completely razed. According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen stormed the town at about 3: 00am with heavy artillery. It was gathered that the gunmen overran the police station, carted away arms and ammunition, then proceeded to the prisons where the inmates were reportedly set free. The entire town, according to the eyewitnesses was thrown into pandemonium as residents feared venturing out of their homes.

Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano, Jide ORINTUNSIN, Minna and Joseph ABIODUN, Maiduguri Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Godfrey Okeke who confirmed the incident said, “nobody should disturb me now, already I am in Maiha, you people should allow me to rest.” The Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Mohammed Ibrahim (DSP), said they (the police) were in Maiha already to assess the situation. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Maiha Local Government of Adamawa, Mallam Mohammed Jibrilla, yesterday said that the gunmen came on foot and motorcycles. Jibrilla told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the gunmen divided themselves into groups before attacking their targets. He listed the police station, prison, Presidential Lodge, Area Court, District Head’s office, Local Education Authority and the Nigeria Customs

•Father, son, three others killed in Borno Service offices as some of the affected public places. The chairman confirmed the death of two persons, including a policeman and a guest at the lodge during the attack. Jibrilla said the gunmen, who used explosives, engaged in gun shoot out with the policemen. “At the prisons, all the 35 inmates were released, but 11 of them are so far back or re-arrested,” he said. The Adamawa Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Mohammed Ibrahim, also confirmed the attack and the killing of one policeman and a civilian. “We lost one of our men and a civilian,” Ibrahim said. Several vehicles and motorcycles parked at the affected areas, including those of customs and policemen, were burnt. Also, unknown gunmen have shot dead a man and his son in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Hamper on display for sale at Wuse Market, Abuja, ahead of the New Year celebration in Abuja yesterday PHOTO: Abayomi FAYESE

Falana slams FG over alleged double standards in treatment of crash victims


CTIVIST and lawyer, Femi Falana, has ac cused the Federal Government of double standards in the treatment of victims of the helicopter crash which claimed the lives of Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi and their aides. According to Falana, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government had conveyed the impression that only Yakowa and Azazi were killed in the crash by their active involvement in the burial of the 'two VIPs'. He said the families of the other victims of the crash, including the pilots, Commodore Muritala Mohammed Daba and Adeyemi Sowore, as well as the Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal and Mr Dauda Tsoho, have been neglected by the govenment, He said: "Since the naval chopper which crashed in a swampy location in the Nimbe local government area of Bayelsa state on Saturday, December 16, 2012 killing all the six people on board the impression has been conveyed by the Federal Government that only two people- General Andrew Owoye Azazi and Governor Patrick Yakowa lost their lives. "Yet the two pilots of the helicopter, Commodore Muritala Mohammed Daba

Segun AJIBOYE and Adeyemi Sowore as well as the Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal and Mr Dauda Tsoho, the aides of General Azazi and Governor Yakowa respectively were also killed in the crash. "President Goodluck Jonathan and other government officials have since paid condolence visits to the bereaved families of General Azazi and Governor Yakowa. Apart from such condolence visits the Federal Government has been involved in the burial programmes of the remains of the two VIPs. Notwithstanding that some members of the families of the deceased pilots and aides have complained of official neglect the Federal Government has not deemed it fit to commiserate with them for losing their loved ones in an avoidable plane crash." Falana also recalled the October crash involving Taraba State governor, Danbaba Santai, and wondered why other victims of the crash were kept in a hospital in Yola while the governor was rushed to Germany. He said: "Also It would be recalled that when Governor of Taraba state, Mr Danbaba Santai and his aides recently missed death in a suicidal plane crash they were rushed to a hospital in Yola, Adamawa State. While the Governor was transferred to

the National Hospital in abuja and later to a German medical centre his aides were left in the local hospital in Yola. Not until I threatened to sue the Taraba state government for the discriminatory treatment meted out to the Governor's aides were they flown abroad for urgent medical treatment. "Since there is equality before the law the Government should stop giving the impression that the lives of certain Nigerians are more precious than those of others. As Nigerians continue to sympathise with the families of the all the deceased persons the Federal Government should, without any further delay, send a team of officials to pay condolence visits to the bereaved families of the two pilots and aides of General Azazi and Governor Yakowa who were killed in the illfated chopper. "And in line with the Public Service Rules the federal government should bear the costs of the burial including the publication of obituary for the deceased pilots and aides. Most importantly, there should be payment of adequate compensation to their families by the Federal Government which authorised the conversion of the military helicopter to an air taxi to ferry participants to a private burial ceremony."

According to sources, the assassins forcibly forced their way into the man’s house, located at the Shuwari Ward area of the town, on Thursday night, and shot dead the two victims. The remains of the man and his son have been deposited at the state Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri. Similarly, another gang of unknown gunmen killed another man in the Hausari Ward of Maiduguri. The gunmen, who were said to attacked the victim in his home, also inflicted serious gunshot wounds on the son who is said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the state capital. Security has been tightened across the North ahead of the cross over services to usher in the New Year. Suspected members of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, on Christmas Day, attacked two churches in Yobe and Borno States, killing 12 worshippers. Among the dead were a pastor and a deacon. Security agencies have intensified stop and check operations in the metropolis, while patrol of the streets has also increased. Commercial motorcycle operators and their passengers are made to disembark at checkpoints and roll their motorbikes for some distance before continuing their trip. Contacted, the State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, told our reporter that two weeks before the commence-

ment of the Christmas/New Year season, the Police Command consulted extensively and adopted comprehensive security measures to ensure the safety of lives and property of residents, during and after the festivities. According to him, there is no cause for alarm, as police officers, particularly those recently trained for to combat terrorism have since been placed on red alert to ensure a crime-free Christmas and New Year celebration. In his New Year message to the Christian community in Kano, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman ( Kano chapter), Bishop Ransom Bello urged Christians to turnout enmasse to worship the creator, as their security is in God’s hand. He urged Christians not to fear or panic during prayers to usher in the New Year, which he said will bring them good tidings. Christians in Niger State are also set for the cross over night with security agencies, assuring the residents of absolute peace. The State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Desire Deisye Nsirim, said the Police and other security agencies will provide adequate security during the period. The Police boss said: ‘’Any church that intends to hold its cross over service should conduct it without any fear as security agencies in the state intends to double up the security

around churches in the state’’. Nsirim said that in addition to the provision of over 50 vehicles for patrol, a large number of sniffer dogs as well as plain cloth and uniformed policemen and men of the bomb squad have been deployed to give adequate security before and during the new year celebration. Nsirim warned those that plan to cause any breakdown of law and order that ‘we are ready for them’. Confirming that churches will hold cross over service, the state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Reverend Musa Dada said Christians will gather in their various local assembly to observe the vigil. ‘’We have receieved the assurance from the security agencies of adequate security before, during and after the New Year celebrations. Our cross over service will hold. The God of peace will surely grant His people peaceful New Year celebration,’’ Dada prayed. The attack came despite the despite massive security network put together around the country to prevent killings during the Yuletide celebration. It will be recalled that no fewer than 12 worshippers were killed in Potiskum, Yobe State and Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Christmas Day when gunmen suspected to be members of Islamic sect, Boko Haram, attacked two churches in the Northern Nigeria towns.

THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012


N2.6b on education Nobody will come between us, says Osuninspent 2 years –Aregbesola Kaduna governor, as deputy is sworn in O T n Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo n

HE deputy governor of Kaduna State, Nuhu Audu Bajoga, was yesterday sworn in, with a pledge from the state governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero that nobody would be allowed to come between them and a pledge of loyalty from the deputy governor. The nomination of Bajoga, who was the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was confirmed on Thursday at an emergency session of the state House of Assembly. Speaking at the occasion, Governor Yero said that he opted for Bajoga as his deputy because of his age and experience, which he said is for the overall benefit of the state, and added that he is confident that they will have a good working relationship. According to the governor, "I chose Ambassador Bajoga because of his age for the benefit of the state, because, as they say, age is experience. We are going to work together harmoniously for the betterment of the state. "I know the office of the Deputy Governor and I will do my best to improve on the way I left it", he said. Governor Yero reiterated his resolve to carry on with the 3-points agenda of the late governor, aimed at ensuring security, unity and development of the state. In his acceptance speech, Ambassador Bajoga pledged his unalloyed loyalty to the governor and the people of Kaduna State, even as he appealed to the people of the state to be

n Tony AKOWE, Kaduna n

patient and to allow for peaceful development. Meanwhile, the umbrella body of the southern Kaduna people, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, has said that youths from the area who are opposed to the appointment of Bajoga as deputy governor were not working for the interest of the southern Kaduna people. Chairman of the Elders Committee of SOKAPU, Major General Zamani Lekwot, who led the group on a courtesy visit to Governor Yero, described the youths as misguided and with little experience on how things work. Lekwot, who lashed at the youths for kicking

against Bajoga’s appointment, said some of them did not get the right education, but rather go to tertiary institutions and come out with little or no experience. He noted that as people of faith, when death occurs, they all accept it as an act of God despite the pain and vacuum the death of Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa has created. He said: "We accept and support your ascension to power and we are praying for you." Lekwot said that with the governor and his deputy as qualified accountants, the state is sure of prudence and accountability in the management of the affairs and resources of the state. He prayed for wisdom and

sound health for the governor to champion the affairs of the state. Similarly, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the state pledged their full support to the government under the leadership of Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero. Led by the senator representing Kaduna Central, General Sani Saleh and the state Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Yaro Coca Cola, the party members said the visit was to commiserate with the family, people of the state and government over the demise of late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, as well as to congratulate the new governor on his elevation.


Police tighten security in Kano n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n

OVERNOR Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State has presented a budget estimate of N 107.893 billion for the 2013 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for consideration. The budget, tagged, “Budget of Determination”, the fiscal plan, which appropriates N 41.871 billion for recurrent expenditure and N66.021 billion for capital expenditure, posts N 14.358 billion increase on the previous year’s budget of N 93.535 billion. The budget is predicated on a revenue capital receipt of N 58.573 billion and revenue receipt of N 50.145 billion, with the bulk of it coming from the


ITH four days to the New Year, security has been tightened in the commercial city of Kano, with more stop-and-search check points manned by operatives of Joint Task Force (JTF) and mobile police officers at strategic locations in the city. Areas described as black spots in the city are also being patrolled heavily armed operatives of the JTF, while commercial motorcycle operators, also known as achaba, are made to disembark at checkpoints and push the motorcycle across on foot for a distance of 100 metres before continuing their trip.

W •Gov. Aregbesola (2nd right) distributing text books to some pupils with assistance from his deputy Mrs. Laoye Tomori (right).

•Party stalwarts pay tributes n Damisi OJO, Akure n He later worked at the University as Students affairs officer and rose to become the University Librarian. The late Adegbomire, who was said to be a committed Awoist in his university days, was one of the close associates of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Adegbonmire kept a powerful column in the Nigerian Tribune and the now rested Daily Sketch, under the

name, ‘Omo Ekun’. His facile pen endeared him to a lot of people because of his brilliant and incisive comments. He was a member of the Action Group (AG) and later the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). He was appointed chairman of Ondo State Investment Corporation during the administration of Chief Adekunle Ajasin as governor of the state in 1979 He was a strong member of

Gombe budgets N107.893bn for 2013

n Vincent OHONBAMU, Gombe n

include salaries and emoluments of the teachers, makes the state the biggest spender on education despite the fact that it ranks 34th on the table of federal allocation accruable to it. According to him, the first set of uniforms would be handed to the public school children all over the state free of charge, while subsequent ones would be bought at highly subsidised rate by those who want them. Aregbesola averred that the new uniform system would promote unity, ensure uniformity and foster sense of belonging in the public primary and secondary schools. "The idea of the Osun school uniform stems from our belief in the need to create a unique identity for our students in the public schools; and a good way to do this is through the unification of school uniforms which is, after all, what uniforms are meant to be. "Consequently, the schools uniforms will also help promote unity irrespective of the differences in the socioeconomic and cultural background of the pupils. It will also ensure uniformity and foster a sense of belonging in the state’s public primary and secondary schools."

New Year celebration:

Ondo ACN leader Adegbonmire dies at 77 HE leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Chief Wumi Adegbonmire is dead. Adegbomire, a former Secretary to the Government of Ondo State, was also the Asiwaju of Akureland. Family sources said Adegbonmire died peacefully around shortly after he celebrated his wife, Mrs. Solape Adegbonmire 75th birthday. He was born on July 23, 1935. He attended teachers' college before he got admission to study English Language at the University Of Ife ( now OAU).

SUN State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday said his administration has spent a total sum of N2.6 billion on education in the last two years. Making the disclosure in Ede during the unveiling of the new unified uniform system for public schools, the governor said part of the money was spent on provision of school uniforms to pupils and subventions for the public schools. According to him, the state government has provided uniforms for over 750,000 students free of charge, at two pairs of uniforms per pupil in the elementary and middle schools and students in high schools. He said the distribution of free uniforms and health education textbooks marks the beginning of free distribution to all public schools in the state. He said: "The school uniforms of three different types are designed according to the school structures as elementary, middle and high schools. "N800 million was expended on the school uniforms, while over N1.8 billion had been spent purely on grant for meals school and examination fees." The governor stated that the amounts, which did not

state statutory allocation share of N 37.5 billion and internally generated revenue of N 5.6 billion According to Governor Dankwambo, the 2013 budget will continue to draw inspiration from the broad goals and objectives of the administration’s action plan for the 2011 to 2015 period and Gombe State vision 20-2020. Among other things, the governor said emphasis would be on the completion of ongoing projects and programmes and the initiation of new ones that are considered very critical to the lives of the citizenry in line with the medium term framework and fiscal strategy paper. He said the financial plan

would also look to raise income levels, reduce unemployment, vigorously pursue youth and women empowerment with poverty alleviation programs while making efforts to enhance capacity building and human resources utilization. Under the sect oral arrangements, general administration is allotted N 13.336 billion, while the least projection of N 9.806 billion went to regional water supply. Economic sector got the lion share of N 22.510 billion, with emphasis on works and infrastructure sub-sector where N 17.400 billion was apportioned to underscore the huge investment plan to further infrastructural development.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ondo State. In 1999, he served as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) under late Chief Adebayo Adefarati (1999 to 2003). Until his death, he was the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State. Meanwhile, sympathizers yesterday besieged the Sijuade, Akure residence of the foremost politician. Among the earlier callers to the house of the late ACN leader were the widow of the former governor, Mrs. Adetutu Adefarati, ACN State Chairman, Hosea Adesoji, Aketi Campaign Director, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, and Otunba Gboyega Adefarati, Others include former Action Congress [AC] governorship candidate in 2007, Demola Adegoroye, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], Chief Segun Adegoke, ACN State Secretary, Prince Adedipe Adegoroye, State Treasurer, Ade Adetimehin and Women leader, Erelu Modupe Johnson. According to Mrs. Adefarati, “we thank God for a Christian humble and loyal life you lived. This is even demonstrated in the way you passed on. You were very close to Adefarati’s family. You took care of us after the demise of your friend. The last of the core Awoist in Ondo State rest in the bosom of your Lord.”

According to the State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the strategy was adopted as part of measures to ensure the safety of lives of properties of the people during and after the festivities, adding that police officers specially trained to combat terrorism have been placed alert to ensure a crime-free Yuletide celebration. Meanwhile, in his New Year message to the Christian community in Kano, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman (Kano chapter), Bishop Ransom Bello, urged Christians to go to Churches to pray, saying their security is in the hands of God.

Repair works begin at Obasanjo’s burnt mansion n Ernest NWOKOLO, Abeokuta n ALM has returned to the multi-million naira mansion of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as renovation works have commenced on parts of the sprawling country home affected by fire on Thurday. Domestic staff and labourers were seen cleaning and packing the rubbles of charred materials and other personal effects destroyed in the fire. A blue colour Mazda car drove into the compound carrying wooden materials, ostensibly for the renovation work. A source, who craved anonymity, told newsmen that Obasanjo had been receiving


calls from sympathizers and friends from within and outside the country who are showing concern over the safety of the former president and his family. The source said that Obasanjo has left Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, as the situation had been brought under control. It will be recalled that a section of the Obasanjo mansion, located at Chief Segun Osoba Hill - Top, went up in flame on Thursday evening. The fire was said to have disrupted the Yuletide celebration as the occupants of the building scampered for safety.

Ogun community holds election tomorrow HE Olorundara Community Development Association (Love Estate), Ilepa of Ifo Local Government in Ogun State, will tomorrow hold the election of new and executives to oversee the affairs of the community for the next four years. The election committee, which has promised a free and fair election, has approved the nomination of the candidates aspiring to contest for the office of chairman and other executives. The Secretary of the election committee, Mr. Osomibi Kayode, said that the election shall be unique, and promised that the committee will do its best to ensure that the people vote in a free and peaceful atmosphere. While commending the out-going administration for its excellent performance, Kayode said that the new administration is expected to deliver on all its promises to the residents of the community.


News 7


Senate to probe N262 bn supplementary budget, says Ngige T HE Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Power Senator Chris Ngige, says the Senate in 2013, will probe the implementation of the N262 billion supplementary budget to ensure fuel availability. He made the disclosure at a news briefing in Awka yesterday. The senator, who noted that in spite of the N262 billion supplementary budget, there were still long queues at filling stations, expressed concern that President Goodluck

Cross River to raise Calabar Festival to world standard -Deputy Governor The Deputy governor of Cross River State, Mr Efiok Cobham, says the state government will promote the Calabar Festival to a world standard. Cobham said this at a press briefing yesterday in Calabar, adding that there was a growing awareness about the festival among the people and as such, there was need to raise it to the world standard. “I am impressed with the influx of foreign and local visitors that came for the festival,’’ he said. He said that the government would take appropriate measure to control traffic, both vehicular and human traffic during future editions of the festival. The deputy governor said that the organisers worked in collaboration with security agencies to ensure free flow of traffic in Calabar during and after the festival. He said that there was room for improvement in the next year festival. Cobham said that the festival would be developed to a point that it would generate more revenue to the government.

Rivers sets aside 300 houses for public officers


HE Rivers State government has set aside 300 houses for sale to public officers in the employ of the state. The Head of Service, Mr Samuel LongJohn, gave the information in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday. He said that only officers with about 10 years left in the service were qualified to access the houses, located at the state government’s estate along Dr. Peter Odili Road. “Interested officers will undergo prequalification exercise; the beneficiaries will pay an initial 30 per cent of the total cost of the house. “Private mortgage institutions will then pay the balance while deductions will be made from salaries of beneficiaries,’’ he said. LongJohn said that arrears of 70 per cent salary relativity and minimum wage would be paid in 10 installments. He said that the payment in installments was due to the huge amount of money spent on wage bill. The Head of Service urged workers to be patient with the state government as everything possible was being done to meet their demands.

Jonathan had yet to appoint a new minister for the power ministry. “I had expected that with the exit of former Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji, about the middle of the year, a replacement would have been named by President Goodluck Jonathan given the precarious situation in the power sector. “Ordinarily, the president can decide to run the power ministry without a substan-

tive minister even when there is a minister of state on ground,” Ngige said. He said that the leaders of thought from the South-East zone under the auspices of Ohaneze-Ndigbo and the South East zonal caucus had met the president on the issue, and disclosed that the meeting stressed the need for the president to appoint the next minister of power from the SouthEast zone.

According to him, Nigerians will enjoy improved power supply as from 2013. Ngige said that efforts were in top gear to boost power generation, transmission and distribution across the country. He noted that most of the power generating sub-stations had been sited far away from their sources of gas supply, saying that the long distance between the sub-stations and their sources of gas sup-

ply was a major problem. He added that the result was the increasing cost of distribution and safe guarding laid pipes against vandalism. The senator explained that the 2013 fiscal budget and part of the 2012 budget would accommodate capital projects, especially for upgrading of transmission stations to ensure availability of power. “Also as part of efforts to boost electricity supply next year, studies have commenced on the possibility of having coal powered plants in parts of the country with large coal deposits.’’ he said.

•Ever busy Presidential Road in Enugu deserted as most residents have travelled to the hinterland for the New Year celebration. ...Friday. PHOTO:NAN

Rivers to spend N21b on Trans-Kalabari road –Amaechi R IVERS State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that the sum of N21Billion (Twenty one billion naira) will be needed for the construction of the Trans-Kalabari road, the major road project of his administration in the Kalabari-speaking area of the state. He said contract for the Trans-Kalabari road project has been re-awarded to Lubrik Construction Company (LCC). He stated this during a Town Hall Meeting with the people of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of the state at the Kings National College Field, Buguma. “Trans-Kalabari road is coming. We have awarded the contract to Lubrik for N21 billion. What I promised the chiefs was that I would stop at Bakana, but now we have agreed to take it to the end in Buguma and one assurance I give you is that by January, I will mobilize contractor to start work.” “We will do the roads in order of importance. The most important road for me is the Trans-Kalabari road and the money is heavy, N21 billion, allow me focus on that road first then we can talk about the other roads.” He said his administration has been working on completing old projects in AsariToru Local Government Area. He congratulated the Kalabari people and the youths on being peace-loving and on stopping kidnapping and other criminal activities, as

foreign contract workers now do their job undisturbed. “When I was campaigning here, I promised to consolidate on the old projects that we have. I did not say I will do too many new projects and if you look at it we have been trying to complete, they are the old projects. The only new thing we have done in Buguma or in Asari-Toru is the farm, but before I talk about the farm let me congratulate the Kalabari people, you have changed completely.” The governor said his administration would reclaim more land from the rivers in Buguma and finish up land

reclamation already going on in Abalama Community in Asari-Toru Local Government Area. Governor Amaechi assured the people of government preparedness to fully furnish the 10 model primary schools in the area and complete the model secondary school in Buguma. Three general hospitals to serve as referral points are to be built in each senatorial zone, according to the governor. He said: “We are looking at developing three general hospitals that will serve as referral points. The one for this area is in Degema. We will look at the Degema hos-

pital and renovate it between now and early next year so that anybody around here, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru can go there and be attended to.” Governor Amaechi promised to build skills acquisition centre in Asari-Toru to train the youth on various skills to keep them engaged, stressing that micro-economic activities will again grow with peace restored in the area. Earlier, Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree praised Governor Amaechi for developing the local government area. He also commended the governor for siting the N1.5 billion fish farm project and the ongoing multi-billion naira model secondary school in the area.

Civil Defence Corps graduates 109 armed squad for Bayelsa


HE Bayelsa State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has expressed its preparedness to fight crime in the state as it graduated 109 armed squad for the state. They were trained by the 343 Artillery Regiment, Elele Barracks, Port Harcourt, in weapons handling, arms drills, combat craft, range classification/exercise. Speaking at the passing out parade, Commander Desmond Agu, the Commandant of Bayelsa State Command of

Isaac OMBE -Yenagoa the NSCDC informed that some officers and men of the state Command had been previously trained in weapons handling and arms drills at various centres including Jaji, Kaduna State, Nigerian Prisons Training Schools, Owerri, Imo State and Counter-training at the Nigeria Army Depot. Agu siad in addition to the armed squad, all officers and men in the state command shall be duty bound to assist

in the maintenance of peace and order in the protection, crisis resolution and security to public infrastructure . The NSCDC has the power to arrest and prosecute any person suspected to have committed a criminal act, such as chemical poison or oil spillage, nuclear waste, poisoning, industry espionage or fraud, activity aimed at frustrating any government program or policy, civil disorder, revolt, strike or any religious unrest, damage to power transmission lines, oil pipelines, among others.

3000 to benefit from SURE-P empowerment programme in Imo Okodili NDIDI, Owerri THE Imo State Implementation Committee of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme(SURE-P), has disclosed that 3000 women and youths, including the disabled in the state, would be employed under its Community Service Scheme (CSS). Speaking during a press briefing at the federal secretariat in Owerri, the Imo State capital, chairman of the committee, Dr Jasper Ndubuaku, said that the scheme was designed to create short term employment for youths and women in rural communities across the state. According to him, the programme which will take-off before the end of the year, will be continuous, adding that the beneficiaries will be posted to their respective communities where they will be involved in community services. He also disclosed that unemployed graduates would be engaged in the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) of the programme, where they would be engaged in vocational training, while allowances would be paid to the trainees by the sure.

Slain politician’s family laments slow investigation by police DESPITE a series of evidence allegedly presented by the family of slain politician in Delta State, Chief Ogbe Onokpite, to the police to expedite investigation into the immediate cause of the murder of their bread winner, the police are yet to conclude its probe. The family lawyer, Mr Odiana Eriata and the deceased younger brother, Diemo Onokpite, at a press conference held in Lagos, said the police ought to have concluded investigation on the murder of the late politician. Earlier, Eriata said that investigation so far, established the fact that the killer gang of late Onokpite still parades the streets of Delta State. The lawyer alleged that there had been unsuccessful attempts to sweep the matter under the carpet. However, the family and their counsel made a passionate appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar to look into their case with the urgency it deserved.

Cleric dies at 102 THE death has been announced of the Most Venerable Joseph Oysanya Osinbowale the Spiritual Leader of the Holy flock of Christ Worldwide at 102 on January 18, 2012. Burial arrangements will be announced later.

8 News


Adegbonmire: Another progressive titan has departed - Tinubu



ORMER Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday extrolled the virtues of the departed chieftain of the party in Ondo State, Chief of Wumi Adegbonmire. Tinubu’s tribute reads: “So soon after the transition of former Oyo State Governor and frontline ACN leader, Alhaji Lam Adesina, I was saddened to receive the news of the death this morning of another titan of the decades long progressive struggle to transform Nigeria and salvage her from the debilitating grip of underdevelopment. I refer to none other but Chief Wunmi Adegbonmire, one of Nigeria’s most consistent progressive leaders who made such invaluable contributions to the evolution of our poli-

tics in the South West and Ondo State in particular where he hailed from. “Yes, Chief Adegbonmire led a truly fulfilling and inspiring life. In his loyalty to progressive values and his fidelity to the principles of honour and integrity, he was as constant as the Northern star; as immovable as the rock of Gilbratar. We should therefore not mourn but rather celebrate his eventful life. But it is sad that this rare tribe of committed, sincere, passionate and vastly experienced politicians and statesmen are diminishing at the very time when Nigeria is sinking ever deeper into the abyss and their counsel and guidance is most needed to redeem our people from poverty and avoidable indignity. “Chief Adegbonmire was a staunch member of the Action Group in the First Republic when, under Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s inspirational leadership, Western Nigeria was propelled on a trajectory of social, economic political and infrastructural development that is still unparalleled in Africa. He remained staunchly

PUBLIC NOTICE LOSS OF DOCUMENTS This is to notify the general public that the original copies of the following Land Documents and Sales Agreement Papers belonging to Fagbemi A. Samson of F15 Surami Road, Angwar Rimi, Kaduna is declared missing: a. Letter of Conveyance of plot No. 1327, 837 square meter, dated 18/12/98 b. Letter of Conveyance of plot No. 1296, 899 square meter, dated 18/12/98 c. Land Sale Agreement between Wumi Medupin and Fagbemi A. Samson, 20/05/01 d. Land Sale Agreement between Adewumi Stephen and Fagbemi A. Samson, 20/05/01 e. Location of the property: Gwagwalada Expansion Ext. Layout, FCT Abuja. All efforts to trace them proved unsuccessful.

PUBLIC NOTICE GRACE ALLIANCE MINISTRY. Notice is hereby given to the general public that the above named church related organization based in Makurdi,Benue state ,has applied for registration under the part C of the companies and allied matters Act No 1 of 1999. AIMS/OBJECTIVES 1. To preach ,teach and publish the word of God . 2. To impact the society through through commitment to the Christian life and social involvement. 3. To uphold the family ,it’s biblical and historical functions in the development of the human societies . THE TRUSTEES: 1. Reverend Matthew Oche Ameh, 2. Victoria Osinimun Ameh, 3. Ene Mercy Doris Ameh.

Director. Administrative sceteray.

Any Objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General,Corporate Affairs Commission,P.M.B 198,Area 11,Garki Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication. Signed: Victoria Osinimun Ameh Administrative Secretary .

PUBLIC NOTICE THE CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM CHURCH AGBO JESU WORLDWIDE The Above named church with its Headquarters situated at Agelu Jerusalem AdoAwaye Postal Agency Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State Nigeria intends to apply to the Corporate Affairs Commission for a Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Allied Matters Acts, No 1 1990 Part “C” The Proposed Trustees of the Church are: 1. His Eminence Samuel Olusegun Ajayi Akintobi – Baba Aladura 2. Senior Apostle David Folaranmi Oluwale 3. Senior Apostle Lawrence Aremu Bankole 4. Senior Superintendent Samuel Abodurin 5. Senior Superintendent Samson Oyeleke Olaoye 6. Senior Superintendent Emmanuel Olugbemiga Oladotun 7. Senior Superintendent Michael Abiye Akintobi 8. Elder Prophet Israel Rotimi 9. Barrister Adewale Gbeleyi Any person having any objection to the proposed registration should forward same to the corporate affairs Commission Plot 565 Ndola Square Wuse Zone 5 Abuja within 21 days of the publication of notice. Dated the 10th day of December, 2012. Signed: Adewale Gbeleyi Esq. Legal Adviser 3, Church Street Oshodi Lagos State.

faithful and loyal to his party and leader, even through the darkest periods of treachery and betrayal. In the Second Republic, he was a key member of the Unity Party of Nigeria ((UPN) and part of the path breaking Governor Adekunle Ajasin’s team that achieved still unsurpassed feats of development in Ondo State. He was also a strong back bone of the Chief Adefarati administration in Ondo State on the progressive platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) at the inception of this dispensation in 1999. “Chief Adegbonmire was a symbol of dependability. He did not predicate his progressive ideology simply on his closeness to Chief Awolowo or Papa Ajasin’s while dining and wining with those who stand for the very opposite of what these avatars epitomised. As a passionate and steadfast leader of our party, the ACN, he was undoubtedly fulfilled and elated not only by the redemption of the South West from the claws of the conservative vultures and scavengers in the corridors of power in the region between 2003and 2007 but also the giant developmental strides being undertaken across the region on the dynamic platform of the ACN. “Yet, as a patriot and nationalist, he must have been saddened that a greatly endowed country like Nigeria , a potential giant of the black race, is a pathetic picture today of humiliating poverty, chronic violence, crippling underdevelopment and virtual state collapse. But then, Chief Adegbonmire taught us never to despair. He inspired us never to give up hope. He challenged us never to relent in the struggle. He admonished us never to be intimidated by falsehood and blackmail. He encouraged us to believe that light will ultimately triumph over darkness and truth over falsehood. With his inspiration and example as our beacon and guide, the liberation and genuine transformation of Nigeria is only a matter of time. “This great leader was one of the longest serving members of the old guard politicians reputed for being principled and progressive in orientation. Adegbonmire epitomizes discipline, dedication, conviction and patriotism unequalled in his brand of politics. A firm believer in the notion that politics must be to serve the public good and not to be used to exploit the people, Adegbonmire invested his intellect and resources for the advancement of the society. When the history of our political development is written in the southwest and Nigeria at large, Omo Ekun as he was popularly called will be penned down as a political Titan, a quIet but effective mobiliser and a purveyor of genuinely progressive politics. “I condole with the people of Ondo State on the transition of a man who became a legend in his life time. May God console his family and loved ones, even as they carry aloft the noble and lofty banner he left behind. Omo Ekun, you left an enviable legacy. Sun re O!”




ET me start by stating that I start this piece today on the horn of a dilemma . This is because as this is the last Saturday of 2012 I initially wanted to pick a Man of the Year in the best tradition of Time or Newsweek Magazine , which is to identify someone who has influenced world affairs for good or bad in the past year . In this mode of identification , Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini , and before him Adolf Hitler had controversially but correctly graced the front covers of this great American magazines. However to my consternation and frustration I had a difficult time finding one person not because there was a shortage of such distinguished persons , but the dilemma arose in that if I chose one , I will be leaving out so many on the crucial divide of those who have influenced 2012 for good or bad . That dilemma crystallized into the topic of today and you are welcome to your verdict on whether I have taken the easy way out or given myself an uphill task to finish off a difficult and terror ridden year . Personalities and issues that have shaped the fortunes of 2012 for good and bad are many and varied. They have created moments that have made us happy and sad and on occasions created the pitiful dilemma that made us unable to decide whether to cry or laugh . This then is my new assignment today which is to line up and analyze such personalities and issues in the way they have influenced world affairs for good or bad in 2012 . The first set of personalities stem from elections which saw such leaders being reelected into another term or assuming a position they had before and that includes US President Barak Obama and Russia’s new President Vladmir Putin . These two gentlemen have by their offices influenced world affairs more than any other human being for good or bad depending on what part of the political divide of global politics you have found yourself . The next set of leaders are those who have excelled in their vocations and have blazed a trail in setting their nations on a new road in terms of diplomacy and international relations . I doff my hat then to two ladies of substance who bestrode the world in 2012 like Amazons in this regard namely out going US Secretary of State

Personalities and issues of 2012

Hillary Clinton and Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi who brought her nation in from the cold of international isolation and claimed a well deserved Nobel Prize in the process . In the Middle East where the Arab Spring of 2011 , a popular street uprising against entrenched despots in Tunisia , Egypt and Libya gave way in 2012 to a clash between Fundamentalists and Others in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood is using its majority to assert what Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi has been saying on CNN – there is no Islamic Democracy but only democracy. A statement of fact that is bound to shape the struggles for freedom and human dignity in the Middle East for the foreseeable future . In this wise while Mohammed Morsi of Egypt has influenced world politics for good in 2012 in spite of the opposition he faces at home. While the blood letting sit- tight President of Syria , Bashar Assad is the monster of the year in Damascus where he is using his army to suppress his people who have decided that he should go . In Sports laced with a tinge of security success Britain stands out as

a model of success in the way it organized the 2012 London Olympics without any security hitch or terrorism similar to the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes sometime ago . Just as one must lambast Norway and the US on poor policing and security lapses in 2012 that resulted in lone terrorists inflicting mass murder especially of children and youths in their respective communities . In Nigeria air disasters and Boko Haram bombings especially of churches on a weekly basis dominated the skyline in 2012 and that leaves a very sour taste in the mouth . One can only hope and pray that 2013 will be better . In politics however the Opposition ACN is taking on the ruling and complacent ruling PDP on all issues and positioning itself as credible alternative to a poor performing government especially on issues of security and safety of life and property . In this regard the leader of the party Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must take the credit for the domination of the South West by the party which has governors in four of the five states of the former Western region namely Lagos , Ogun ,Oshun , and Oyo states .

I doff my hat then to two ladies of substance who bestrode the world in 2012 like Amazons in this regard namely out going US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi who brought her nation in from the cold of international isolation and claimed a well deserved Nobel Prize in the process

These then are the issues and personalities that I feel dominated the horizon of our local and global politics in 2012 and I will briefly dilate on each but not necessarily in tandem . Let us start with the US where Obama’s reelection gave hope to millions of migrants who would certainly have been deported if he had lost the election . His support or his US policy of Engagement in the Middle East has promoted democracy and human freedom and dignity in a region that two years ago was agog with despotism and demagoguery . However tension and mistrust still exist between the secular and Islamist sections of the newly liberated nations of Libya , Tunisia , and Egypt and if that is not to escalate the US must amend its Middle East Policy to reflect new realities on the ground . It can do this by making Israel to return the lands it captured in the 1967 Six Days War and the 1973 War with the Arabs or by stopping the building of settlements by the Benjamin Netanyahu government on such land . This is because this is the cause of outrage and anti - Americanism in the Middle East and this will be exacerbated if democracy brings in elected, democratic but Islamist government, as as widely expected in the area . Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi because of the No fly zone imposed by NATO , Russia has opposed every thing that the US and EU nations have brought before the Security Council of the UN . This indeed is what has prolonged the political life of the hated Assad Dynasty and regime in Damascus . Vladmir Putin is the epitome and architect of this anti EU and anti American policy which has crystallized into blind and total support for Assad in Syria . This is because Putin believes the western powers were behind the massive demonstrations that greeted his 2012 election for another four years as president after a four year stint as Prime Minister , preceded by a two term, 8 -year tenure from 20012008 as president of Russia . You can only grasp the enormity of this Putin political abradacabra or magic if you can see George Bush , the US 43rd president [2001 – 2008] who served for the same pe-

riod as Putin returning to power again in the US . This was a major and successful political innovation that Putin imposed on his nation to the annoyance of the Americans who supported the opposition against him which he crushed, and is now using Syria as pay back time to thwart US backed Security Council support for Syrian Opposition, as was the case in Libya . The role of Hillary Clinton as the mother of the Arab Spring Uprising and its consolidation in 2012 is the stuff of history . So also is her beguilement of the military in Burma with the collaboration of Suu Kyi the famous prisoner of Burma that Hillary at last helped to free in 2012. That , together with the business trips to Asia to reinvigorate the ailing US economy that almost cost Obama his reelection made Hillary the most successful US Secretary of State of modern times and 2012 in particular. It is a tribute to the diplomatic dexterity of Hillary Clinton that the newly elected president of Egypt can claim that democracy has no religious color but is a game of numbers at the polls . Which is why I see the Egyptian president as speaking the truth and saying the obvious even though his party will use that majority eventually against the US because of its support for Israel , the arch enemy of the Palestinians and ipso facto that of all Arabs , including Egyptians . Lastly it is in the context of the leaders mentioned above that one must see the leadership of Asiwaju Tinubu of the ACN in the southwest which is the most politically sophisticated and articulate part of Nigeria . In 2012 this political leader provided an accommodating but firm leadership that placed political control of key western states under his control . More importantly the ACN - run states have become models in terms of efficiency and responsiveness to their neighbors . That is real regional power that can be harvested in elections in other places and Lagos State in particular is blazing a trail in this regard . Without mincing words Asiwaju Tinubu not only consolidated power successfully in 2012 he influenced Nigerian politics for good in the process of establishing his party as a credible alternative to the government in power in Abuja .



For the love of Hope


ARRIMAN the school boy – slim, tall, full of vitality and humour. Harriman of Government College, Ibadan, who earned a Grade One certificate and would not live it down to his dying day. Harriman the pioneer, who turned the real estate business not only into a profession of stature in the country but also into a sort of charity, bestowing homes on the unsheltered. Chief Hope Harriman passed on at the age of 79, two months to January 3, when he was billed to have an elaborate party for his 80th birthday. His daughter, Representative Temi Harriman, had already bought a present. She saw her father last in London when he came to console her over the loss of her son and his grandson. By the testimonies of friends, clerics, fellow professionals and business associates, Chief Hope Harriman was a man after many hearts. Bonhomie, fortitude, a faithful memory, a beloved father and husband, a scrupulous man of means and, of course, a man of the world. These yarns electrified the sombre night at

Sam OMATSEYE the tony Boat Club in the ambience of boats and quiet waters where a service of songs took place December 19. Monsignor Christopher Boyo captured the irony of the man when he recalled how Harriman, not much of a church person, connected him to personages to raise money for his church. But he celebrated that act of pious benevolence by signposting the fact that “Uncle Hope did not go to church.” Boat Club was where he “worshipped.” Others spoke, too. Rev. Oyebolu spoke as a fellow student at GCI, and he recalled how Harriman gained admission at the right age while doing an instant math that disqualified him – Oyebolu – who was 14 instead of 12 years old, which was Harriman’s age. They walked a long distance from the popular Ames bus station to school. His Cambridge school mate, Dayo Akinrele, was gung-ho about Harriman daring into choosing a profession not well known. He also referred to how, after many years when their mates started dying, he would quip that

“Dayo, you are next.” But if he went first, he would let him know how life was on the other side. Victor Oritsejolomi, son of the famous professor and surgeon, Oritsejolomi Thomas, described him as brave. Femi Okunnu (SAN) spoke of his generosity and sense of principle. Apart from the family, the strongest presence was GCI Old Boys, and they filed out beside the boats and sang for the departed. There were different stories. One of the stories was an invitation he gave to some friends to his Florida home, but they arrived and there was no Hope. They had to welcome him to his home. “but Hope had made arrangements for us before we arrived.” That was an example of a Hope, the loving but troublesome friend. They spoke of his high spirit, a sense of humour and accommodating temperament. He once joked to a friend that on his epitaph should be written that he “threw the best parties.” All of them spoke of his large heart, his progressive politics and love of family.

•Children of the late Hope Harriman, from left: Tuoyo, Rukky, Bawo, Ete and Oti Harriman at the service of songs last week.

•The widow, Mrs. Irena Hariman (right) with daughter, Hon. Temi and other children

•The widow, Justice Roli Hariman (right) and daughter, Toju

•From left: Former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Mrs Grace Egbagbe; Mrs Daizy Danjuma and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma

•Former Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited and ex-President of the Newspapers’ Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Chief Ajibola Ogunshola and wife, Iyabo.

•From left: Chief GOK Ajayi (SAN), Prof. Ada Elebute his wife, Oyinade

•Chief Anozie (left) and Olorogun Senator Felix Ibru

THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012


2 20 01 12 2::

Compedium of

terror, tension, tears

•See Pages 12 - 22






T the twilight of year 2011, many might have heaved a sigh of relief; a relief that the year of anomie and infamy had at last been dumped into the pit of history. But it soon dawned on all that it was a sigh heaved a little too early. Year 2012 opened on a very terribly dismal note. No thanks to the sudden withdrawal of subsidy on fuel consumption. So, the civil society, spear headed by the Pastor Tunde Bakare-led Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and the Abdulwahab Omar-led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), embarked on what they termed “mother of all strikes”, which for a week shut down Nigeria, especially Lagos and Abuja. While Pastor Bakare's group held sway in Freedom Square, Lagos, besieged by a mammoth crowd, Omar took control of things in Abuja. It was a week long free holiday foisted on Nigerians, a holiday they, however, bore with equanimity. The strike opened the year to a vista of tension that hallmarked the year. Shortly after, the quite implacable Boko Haram Islamic sect carried their violent campaign beyond imaginations, targeting the very soul of the nation and threatening the fragile tendon that binds the federation together. One after the other, the sect, in a derring-do, seized some of the strategic northern cities by the jugular, leaving sorrow, tears and blood in their wake. At a point, there were anxious moments. Following pressures from their people back home and the quit notice allegedly served nonnortherners, there began an exodus of southerners from the north southwards; many northerners in the south fearing reprisal attacks also returned home. The whole scenario actually almost re-enacted the 1966 progrom and the exodus of the easterners from the north, which preceded the civil war. The nation had not been this close to the brink since the civil war. During the year, there were plane crashes, which trailed the Boko Haram insurgency in the record of casualties. From official rewards, the sect killed more than 750 people this year alone, 160 more than the figure recorded last year. Through plane crashes, close to 170 people were sent to their untimely graves. The spectre of flooding, which had been a global phenomenon, hit Nigeria like a thunderbolt and sacked hundreds of thousands from their homes across the nation. So many became emergency refugees waiting for handouts to feed. People had to access their homes with canoes and boats. So many also died in the process. The whole thing was akin to a splattered mud, smearing people at will. It has been such a busy year steeped in terror, tension and tears. What a year!

•Muibat Salaam


The case of the abduction of Muiba, the first wife of Mr. Najeem Salaam, Speaker, of the Osun State House HE year 2012 will always be remembered for of Assembly, was one of the high profile kidnappings the new heights that the societal ill called in 2012. It was a major confirmation that kidnappers kidnapping took. It used to be a thing heard of had spread their tentacles beyond the eastern zone to only in other climes. But the truth now is that the fear the southwest and other parts of the country. of kidnapping is the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria! The Osun Speaker's wife in her own case, turned Before now, many in other parts of the country away out to be a very lucky woman because, she didn't even from the Niger Delta region had hoped that have to pay a ransom. Luck went in her favour. She kidnapping would remain the concern of Niger Delta. was rescued at Ogunmakin village in ObafemiBut the scourge gained notoriety in 2012 among other Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, along vices. Even Nigeria's powerful federal minister, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, by security operatives. Okonjo Iweala's mother Prof. Kanene Okonjo, Some of the kidnappers were shot and others like was not spared the hot dish of kidnappers. Chukwuma Usifo (28), Chukwudi Okereke (25), A prominent banker from Abia Ogbole Elijah and Okonkwo Lucky (27) were State, a famous kidnapping den, arrested by the police. Even then, Muiba, voiced his concern: “This year, the Speaker's wife, had a gory story many from my place, the to tell just like other lucky eastern part of the country survivors of kidnap cases. and other parts will not And these dare devil be taking part in the kidnappers were truly annual holiday ritual ready to brave the odds of travelling home to even at the most dreaded the countryside to of places in 2012. These be with their loved anti-social elements ones for the also knocked on the Christmas and door of a former New Year, for fear military governor of o f b e i n g the Old Western kidnapped.” Region, Brig-Gen Just when the Oluwole Rotimi noise of the (rtd.), and took his k i d n a p o f wife Titilayo away. Kamene Okonjo, She was picked up the 83-year-old right in front of her mother of Dr. company building, in Ngozi Okonjo Ibadan by the Iweala was dying kidnappers who were down following her fully armed. And the release, Nkiru kidnapping of foreigners, Sylvanus, a popular oil workers was also actress and Special stepped up with more Adviser to Imo State reported cases. governor, Chief Rochas So alarming was the issue of •Kamene Okonjo Okorocha, was abducted in Imo kidnapping in 2012 that it was a State along with a friend. She was source of concern to all and sundry, only released after a alleged N8, 000,000 only rivaled in terms of security threat by was paid. Boko Haram.




•Nkiru Sylvanus



THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012





Year of theatrical O most Nigerians, the story of corruption and its investigation in the country have always been a case of the more you look, the more you get confused. But 2012 brought the theatrical, shambolic and the bizarre side of corruption and trials into the country, leaving Nigerians even the more confused than ever before. Of all the probes instituted into cases of corruption in Nigeria in 2012, the fuel subsidy and the capital market probes by committees of the House of Representatives will go down as the two most sensational for their revelations and more for the comic reliefs provided.


Fuel subsidy probe HE fuel subsidy regime probe by an House of Representatives ad hoc committee, led by Hon. Farouk Lawan, would go down in the nation’s history as the most theatrical trial Nigerians have ever watched in recent history. It was a trial that turned the hunter into the hunted, eventually leading to the removal of Lawan as chairman of the committee. The story, which may one day be scripted for a Hollywood movie, may have become a Nigerian “corruption soap opera” as the nation was treated to a movie-like scandal story. The “movie” opened with a scene in which the co-lead character, Femi Otedola, chairman, Zenon Oil and Gas, alleged that Hon. Lawan, otherwise known as Mr. Integrity, requested and collected a bribe which was the part payment of the total money demanded from him. He alleged that when he told the diminutive parliamentarian that the money was in Lagos, the lawmaker suggested that a chattered aircraft be used to ferry it. Just like the other probes before it, the Lawan-led committee was set up to investigate the alleged fraud bedeviling the oil subsidy regime. But Mr. Otedola shocked Nigerians when he came out to allege that Hon. Lawan and the secretary of the committee


n Segun AJIBOYE n , Mr. Boniface Emenalo, had collected $620,000 from him in a sting operation masterminded by the security agencies. According to Otedola, the amount was a part payment of $3 million which he alleged Lawan had demanded from him to exonerate Zenon Oil in the ad hoc committee's report, despite the company’s managing director’s testimony that Zen Oil had nothing to do with the subsidy regime. Irrespective of the clarification made at the hearing, Otedola said Lawan still approached him a few days before the report was to be tabled on April 18, 2012 before the House of Representatives, demanding money so that Zenon's name will be kept out of the report. "When this happened, I was very angry, and reminded him that Zenon has never participated in the subsidy scam and that it would be criminal to rope in the company for something it did not do. "But Lawan responded, stating that many other marketers were playing ball and had offered the members of the committee large sums of money to ensure that their companies' names were not published in the report," Otedola added. Otedola, said initially he balked at Lawan's attempt to extort money from him and told the legislator that he would not pay up, as Zenon had not committed any crime, adding that "Then a day before the report was to be submitted, Lawan called again, informing me that Zenon's name had been included in the report. "I, of course, was very angry, and asked him to desist from his course of action, but Lawan insisted that I must pay up as other oil marketers had done before me." Otedola said he could not believe his eyes the next day when the report came out and Zenon's name had been listed under the category of companies that had bought foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but had not imported petrol. The amount ascribed to Zenon in the report was $232,975,385.13. The report

had recommended that Zenon and 14 other marketers that had bought the foreign exchange be referred to the anticorruption agencies to determine what they used the money for. Otedola said at this point, he again called Lawan, demanding that Zenon's name be removed from the list, as there was no way his company could have bought that volume of foreign exchange without importing products. "I reminded him that the amount ascribed to Zenon was wrong as what the company bought was over $400 million,”Otedola said. Continuing, Otedola said on April 21, the Saturday before the plenary, Lawan came in person to his residence and collected $250,000 in cash, as the first instalment, and "then the next Monday night, he came and collected another $250,000”. Farouk, however, owned up to the receipt of $500, 000 from the Zenon boss, but quickly added that it was intended as an exhibit. The lawmaker insisted that the allegation was diversionary, a ploy meant to make nonsense of the committee’s report that indicted many players in the oil industry. However, more theatrical of the entire episode was the fact that Farouk was allegedly recorded on video while receiving the bribe. Unknown to him, Otedola had a hidden secret pen that recorded the transaction. Aside from this, the money, which was allegedly given to Otedola by secret agents, was also marked. The case has, however, remained in the cooler since, leading tongues wagging over the future of such trials in the country.

Capital Market probe HE probe by the House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions turned messy when the chairman of the committee, Hon Herman Hembe, was accused by the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Aruma Oteh, of


demanding N44 million from the regulatory agency. Hembe’s job seemed very simple and harmless enough to handle at the beginning- To investigate the role of regulatory agencies in the crash of the Nigerian capital market. According to the House of Representatives, the probe was intended to address some of the issues discouraging many investors from returning to the market. But the probe assumed a dramatic twist when Oteh pointedly accused the House of Representatives committee of demanding a bribe. Oteh alleged that the committee demanded the money as the agency's contribution towards funding the public hearing. According to her, the demand came in two tranches of N39 million two weeks to the public hearing and N5 million 24 hours to the commencement of the investigation. She claimed that her refusal to part with the money appeared to have angered members of the panel and resulted in their seeming bias against her in the conduct of the investigations, adding that Hembe had last year collected from the SEC an undisclosed amount of money and a business class ticket to travel to the Dominican Republic for a conference, but said that Hembe neither made the trip nor returned the money. Funny enough, Otteh decided to “open” up when she came under fire as the probe delved into some extraneous issues relating to her recruitment, conditions of service, qualification, competence and personal integrity. Probably angered by the audacity of the committee to question her despite all she had allegedly done, Otteh said: “You had implied that as a regulator, that by having people on secondment from the private sector, it could undermine the capacity of the regulatory functions of the commission. In asking the SEC to contribute N39 million for this public hearing, don’t you think that you are undermining your capacity to carry out


THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012





probes and trials

Arrest and trial of oil marketers and others

HE arrest and trial of oil marketers fingered in the fuel subsidy scam followed a similar path like the other celebrated cases before it in the country. Nigerians received the news of the arrest of the oil marketers, most of them children of prominent Nigerians and politicians, with shock and disbelief. Among those arrested were the sons of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ibadan, Oyo State-based businessman, Alao Arisekola,



your duties? “When I took this job, I was warned that when you fight corruption, it will fight back, but I did not know that the fight would come from the House Committee on Capital Market,”Oteh said. Reacting, Hembe said: "I hope this is not a ploy to distract us from achieving the main objectives of this public hearing. Please let this not be a ploy to distract us from achieving the main objective of this hearing. I believe that we have the representatives of the ICPC and the EFCC with us. The issue of corruption or no corruption should be put aside. They are here and they will write their report. I think we should concentrate on the major issue here.” Even before the dust generated by the scandal would settle down, Hembe lost his position as the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market. He told the House that on the strength of the allegations against him, he considered himself no longer fit to continue to preside over the probe. Insisting that he was innocent of the allegations made against him, Hembe said: “In my innocence, however, I am aware of the impact of these false allegations on public perception; and as a legal practitioner, I am conversant with the principle of law that in the exercise of judicial or quasi-judicial functions, it becomes inappropriate to continue to preside when allegations on pecuniary interest are made against your person. “

fuel. GWVSL, a firm believed to be owned by a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, is executing a contract said to be worth $103.4 million for the supply of 20 vessels for the use of the military authorities to secure the waterways.

Farouk, however, owned up to the receipt of $500, 000 from the Zenon boss, but quickly added that it was intended as an exhibit


and former national chairman of the PDP. The three young men, Mahmud Tukur, Abdulahi Alao and Mamman Ali, were arraigned alongside others by the EFCC at a Lagos High Court for oil subsidy fraud. Tukur, Alao, Ochonogo Alex and Eterna Oil and Gas Plc were jointly arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo on nine counts, including an alleged fraudulent collection of about N1.899bn from the Federal Government as payment for subsidy on Premium Motoring Spirit, a.k.a petrol, which they never supplied. Also, Alao, along with his company, Axenergy Limited, in a separate charge of seven counts, was arraigned before Justice Habeeb Abiru for alleged subsidy fraud amounting to N1.472bn. But the much-expected trial, which many had hoped would serve as deterrent and benchmark for future cases, soon followed the path of previous cases, involving prominent Nigerians when

Ifeanyi Ubah HE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil & Gas Limited, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, also made the list of prominent Nigerian oil marketers allegedly involved in the oil subsidy scam. He was arrested by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police investigating oil marketers involved in the scam. Ubah was arrested alongside other directors of the company. They are: Joseph Orji, Executive Director, Operations; Afam Azubike, Executive Director, Special Duties; Chibuzor Ogbuokiri, General Manager, Operations; Godfrey Okorie, Depot Manager; and Nsikan Usoro, Head, Trading. Capital Oil & Gas Limited was indicted by the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede-led 15man presidential panel constituted to reinvestigate the findings of the report of an earlier investigation panel set up by the Ministry of Finance on fuel subsidy payments valued at over N2 trillion.

T •Babalakin news broke that the accused were entering a plea bargaining. The offences of the accused were said to violate Sections 1, 1(1)(2) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006. The arrest of a former Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho, over allegation that his company received stolen petroleum products in its depot, was another high point in the arrests and trials of oil marketers in 2012. Ihenacho was picked up by officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and armed forces personnel attached to the Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (GWVSL). The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, said that the vessel, which allegedly found on the premises of Ihenacho’s company, was used by pirates to hijack oil-bearing vessels and steal their

Dr. Wale Babalakin HE drama continued, even as the year was rolling to an end. Billionaire businessman and Chairman of BiCourtney, Dr Wale Babalakin, was arrested by operatives of the EFCC for alleged money laundering offences after a long hide-and-seek game. Babalakin was arrested as he left the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where he was said to be receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment which allegedly started shortly before he was to be arrested by the anti-graft agency.


THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012


2012 IN REVIEW •Shekau (middle) and bodyguards

•A scene of bomb explosion

INSECURITY: Implacable sect, sorrow and tears T sprang up as Boko Haram in 2009, a bomber and deadly Islamic sect in 2010 and 2011, and by 2012, it has become a routine and a staple on Nigeria’s political firmament. What started as an uprising between the fundamentalist sect and Nigerian security forces in 2009 soon began to spread in form of violent attacks across several states in northeastern Nigeria. By the time the casualty figure was computed, the death was put at over 1,000, with about 700 killed in Maiduguri alone, according to a military source. The attack no doubt was an onset of largescale terrorist activities that have since completely altered the socio-economic life of the North, and by extension Nigeria. The commando-like operation turned out the worst violence the country would experience since the civil war. Like an incubus, the country remained haunted every year by the specter of violent Islamic sect as each passing year has continued to witness its own scary bomb attacks and violent activities in parts of northern Nigerian. In 2012, there were so many issues that hustled for headlines- removal of fuel subsidy protests, endemic and crippling corruption, clueless leadership, probes, air crashes, heartless floods. But there was none that stole the headline like the unbridled activities of Boko Haram. It provided front cover for the media. Apart from the United Nations’ office bombing in 2011, 2012 would go down as the most horrific in terms human lives lost to the activities of Boko Haram. If the targets of Boko Haram were restricted in 2010 and 2011 only to Christians and their worship centres as well as government institutions alone, in 2012, the scope of their attacks broadened to include symbols of traditional Islam and facilities


n Linus OBOGO, Assistant Editor n belonging to GSM operators. Those who doubted the depth of Boko Haram agenda soon came to realise that the sect had neither friends nor foes. The audacity and seriousness of their challenge was quickly felt by those who thought they were either insulated or exempted from the sect’s indiscriminate violent attacks. For instance, the Shehu of Borno escaped death by a hair’s breadth, in a scenario that struck at the very heart of over a hundred years old Islamic heritage of old Bornu Empire. Following on the heels of this was the near-death experience of the Emir of Fika and Chairman of the Yobe State Traditional Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammdu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idrissa. Before the Borno attacks, Kano and Kaduna had become battle grounds. These attacks were worrisome because it was a clear signal that no part of the North was considered untouchable any longer. These attacks were regarded as a frightening turning point, the assault on emirs was even more chilling. If the emirs could no longer consider themselves safe under a chilling circumstance that signposted the desecration or collapse of the symbols of traditional institutions across the North, it meant therefore that there was no hiding place even for the heathen. That was the stark reality of the activities of Boko Haram in 2012. In 2012, Boko Haram seemingly grew more violent with a record number of people killed. More than 770 people were reportedly killed in Boko Haram attacks so far this year, making it the worst year of violence attributed to the group. A checklist of the activities of the sect in the year under review indicated that on January 5, 2012, gunmen opened fire at a

church service in Nasarawa, Gombe State, killing six people and wounding 10. January 6, 2012, Christian mourners at a hall in Mubi, Adamawa State, were attacked in which 18 were killed as they gathered to mourn the killing of three people the previous day. February 19, 2012, there was bomb explosion near a church in Suleja on the outskirts of Abuja injuring five people. February 26, 2012, a suicide bomber with a car containing explosives hit a church in Jos killing two people and injuring 38. It was carried out by Boko Haram, while Christian youths in apparent retaliation allegedly beat two moslems to death. March 11, 2012, suicide bomber attacked a Catholic Church in Jos killing three people. April 8, 2012, a bomb explosion on Easter Sunday near a church in Kaduna, killed at least 36 people and seriously injured 13 persons. April 29, 2012, a total of 19 people were killed when gunmen opened fire and threw homemade bombs at a lecture theatre in the University of Kano being used for Christian worship. About two professors were among the casualties. May 11, 2012, three explosions rocked Maiduguri: one after the other, three bombs went off in Maiduguri forcing residents out of bed and causing panic across the metropolis. The first of the bombs exploded at about 2am at Bayan Quarters, where the former headquarters of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, stood until it was destroyed in 2009. June 17, 2012, 25 were killed, three churches bombed in Kaduna, Zaria. Again, many worshippers died while an unspecified number of people were injured in Kaduna State on Sunday, when suicide bombers attacked three different churches in Kaduna metropolis and Zaria. About 25 people were reportedly killed in

•Abubakar, IGP the explosions, though the police, at press time, put the figure at 16. June 25, 2012, fresh bomb blast rocked the city of Bauchi. An explosion occurred near a cluster of bars in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi. The home-made explosive planted in an unfinished building next to a group of pubs went off around 10:00 pm on Sunday in the city’s Tudun Wada Dan-lya neighbourhood, Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan told reporters. June 22, 2012, explosion occurred at Abuja top night club, Crystal Lounge, located at Wuse II. An eyewitness who was at the club earlier before heading to the Beer Barn, another popular drinking spot close by, said he heard the bang at about past midnight. June 8, 2012, a bomb blast at a police station in Maiduguri killed many including officers. A police officer at the scene, who could not be named, said five police vans were loaded with the dead. October 28, 2012, a suicide bomber struck at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Angwar Yero, Kaduna State, killing eight people. October 29, 2012, gunmen stormed a drinking bar in Gindin Akwanti, Barkin Ladi LGA in Plateau State, killing six people. October 14, 2012, 24 people were killed in an attack by gunmen on Dongo Dawa village in Gwari LGA in Kaduna State. An alleged JTF reprisal attack for the

THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012



Constitution amendment blues HEN in mid-April, 2012, Chairman of the Constitution Amendment Committee and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP- Enugu), revealed that the exercise will be concluded by July next yer, it send waves of joy across the country. He gave the hint in Abuja while briefing Senate Correspondents on the activities of the Committee.  Many interest groups immediately converged to articulate areas where they would want amendment made to the 1999 Constitution which has been severely criticised as a document responsible for the political woes in the country.   Many a community which has been clamouring  for self determination and autonomy saw the opportunity as one to demand for the creation of their own state. Soon, demands for new states began to fly in from all direction.  As at the last count, about 50 requests for new states were already before the Constitution Review Committee.  But it came as a rude shock to many after they had undertaken many visits to the National Assembly and many presentations done that no state would've created in the on- going exercise.  Speaking ahead of the recent zonal public hearings which held simultaneously in the six geopolitical zones, Ekweremadu said the process that would see the creation of states was different from the ongoing process. He said the current Constitution amendment exercise will not produce new states, given the stringent procedure provided in Section 8 of the Constitution. He said, “Nigerians are confusing things and that is why anyone can begin to expect that at the end of this exercise, somebody will come up to announce that states have been created. That is not going to happen because the constitution does not make such provisions. “So, the issue of state creation is completely different from what we are doing because if you look at Section 8 and Section 9, there are two different issues. So, any group that wants a state can necessarily start the process without meeting any requirement of the committee of the Senate or the House dealing with the issue of constitution amendment. “It is something that can run its own course w i t h o u t involving the committee. What is going on really is that Nigerians are making their request for the creation of states based on the fact that they believe that these •Ekweremadu two committees can come up with criteria that will favour them.” According to Ekweremadu, the National Assembly can provide the leadership in attaining the aspirations of the different groups requesting for state creation by advising on the possible states to be created and where they would be created. He emphasised that in spite of such advice, the people making the request would still be required to generate their requests and submit to the National Assembly as well as generate resolutions of the requisite authorities, the local councils, the Houses of Assembly and then the National Assembly where a two third vote would be taken by both chambers. He explained that the process would then proceed to the stage of holding a referendum after which it would go to the Houses of Assembly of all the states in Nigeria. “So even if you are requesting for a State in Sokoto, the House of Assembly in Abia State will  also vote for it,” he added. It was a major blow to the 56 requests for the creation of more states. It was the single most requested for item in the country.  It was not the only major blues suffered by the Constitution review exercise.  The whole exercise was brought under scrutiny when the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) made a u-turn on the project. It had initially supported it but later queried the haste with which the National Assembly was pursuing the project. The Senate described the action as "shocking" but vowed not to be deterred by the


death of a military officer by an improvised Explosive Device (IED) of Boko Haram in Maiduguri led to the alleged killing of 10 people on October 8, 2012. This was, however, denied by JTF. In a confrontation with the Islamic sect on October 7, 2012, one of the sect’s top commanders was shot dead by JTF in Damaturu, Yobe State. About 30 members of Boko Haram were also killed. Earlier, the insurgents had opened fire on residents of a village, killing two people. On independence day, October 1, 2012, about 40 students were killed in Mubi, Adamawa State, by gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram sect. There are three tertiary institutions in the town – Adamawa State University, Federal Polytechnic and the School of Health Technology. Three students of University of Maiduguri were also killed. In Minna, Niger State, two policemen were shot dead by Boko Haram gunmen. On November 26, 2012, gunmen attacked the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Abuja, killing two officers leading to the escape of 30 detainees. On Sunday, November 24, Boko Haram bombed St. Andrew’s Anglican Church at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna State, killing at least 15 people. On Friday, November 22, 2012, 20 ladies on mini-skirts were reportedly slaughtered in Maiduguri just 24 hours after 10 people were killed by Boko Haram in Maiduguri. If 2012 was eventful, it will not be out of place to state that it was more so for all the unsavoury incidents of the Boko Haram activities that rendered the entire Northern Nigeria prostrate. Similar to last year’s Christmas Day gift of bomb attack on Christian worshippers of St, Theresa Catholic, Suleja, Niger State, the sect replicated the gesture this year when suspected Boko Haram militants killed at least six Christians and burnt down a church in Yobe State late on Christmas Eve. The attack

against the Church of Christ in Nations occurred in Peri village near the economic hub of Potiskum. The attackers killed a pastor and at least five worshipers during Christmas Eve services. "A group of gunmen came into the village at midnight and went straight to the church... they opened fire on them, killing the pastor and five worshipers. They then set fire to the church," Usman Mansir, a resident of the village, told an evening tabloid. Residents also claimed that the gunmen set fire to several homes surrounding the church, adding that many residents who lived near the church had fled during the attack and were still in hiding. Prior to the Christmas Eve massacre in Potiskum, Nigerian state security forces clashed with Boko Haram militants throughout Potiskum city. Militants bombed a local police station and attacked a bank branch before being engaged by the Nigerian security forces. A local police chief and 14 militants were killed in the clashes, which reportedly lasted for hours. Also a separate attack on worshipers at the First Baptist Church in Maiduguri, Borno State, killed a deacon and five church members. Boko Haram had yet to claim responsibility for the Christmas Eve attacks. Prior to the Christmas Eve massacre in Potiskum, Nigerian state security forces clashed with Boko Haram militants throughout Potiskum City. Militants bombed a local police station and attacked a bank branch before being engaged by Nigerian security forces. A police officer and 14 militants were killed in the clashes, which reportedly lasted for hours. The military last month made the most audacious move against the implacable sect when it placed a total sum of N290 millionbounty on the sect’s top leaders. The leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, alone had N50 million of the amount placed on him. But the efficacy of that move is yet to be seen as no leader of the sect has been arrested since then.

n Augustine AVWODE, Assistant Editor n development. Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who addressed newsmen early November, took a swipe at the NBA, warning the body not to cause crisis in Nigeria over the review of the constitution. The Senate Leader who noted that there was no going back on the Constitution review process by the National Assembly, expressed shock, surprise and bewilderment at the sudden U-turn  of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA on National Assembly’s proposal to amend the 1999 Constitution.  Ndoma-Egba said: “I am a bit surprised because of the current exercise. We have two memoranda from the NBA and the NBA was very active in the exercise of the 6th National Assembly. In fact, if I recall, we had a retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Constitution amendment and after that, they submitted a memorandum of their views to the National Assembly. “For this exercise that they have reservations about, they have participated actively. The law would say that you are approbating and reprobating at the same time. They have participated actively (in the process). “From 1999, the NBA has always responded positively to Constitution amendment by setting up its own committee for Constitution amendment. They have always responded to the process. So, the NBA has responded to the process by submitting memoranda; including this one." Besides the issue of the NBA, the House of Representatives was also forced to make u- turn on its stance on referendum.  The House retreated on its hard line position not to subject the outcome of the constitution amendment process to a referendum. Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, in a bid to give the people a stronger voice on issues for amendment, said the House would include referendum in the adoption process. He spoke at the flag off of the Peoples’ session which held nationwide in November. The event held in 360 federal constituencies. But the NBA criticized the choice of Peoples’ session adopted by the House to get the inputs of stakeholders especially the grassroots in the constitution amendment. Most profound of the Constitution is the 'people 's defeat' of the single term presidency n the country. They rejected the single term presidency, which was being canvassed by President Goodluck Jonathan during the House of Representatives Public •Ihedioha Hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution at the 360 Federal Constituencies in the country.  So also the people rejected the idea of rotating the presidency between North and South, as most of them voted for leadership by merit. At the various venues of the public hearing, delegates were asked to tick 'yes' or 'no' against each of the 43 aspects of the 1999 Constitution which is being amended by the National Assembly. In Tambuwal, the Federal Constituency of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the move to have additional states was unanimously opposed. During the People's Public Session comprising of 350 delegates representing seven districts in the Tambuwal/Kebbe Federal constituency being represented by the Speaker the people voted against it. What could be regarded as the mother of all Constitution review blues was the reported assault on some lawmakers by members of their constituents.  A first-term senator from the Northwest was reportedly dealt some slaps with his police orderly fleeing from the scene of the attack. The Senator was said to have defeated a political heavyweight to clinch the ticket during the primaries in the run-up to the 2011 election. The incident occurred during the town hall meeting organized by the House of Representatives member from the senatorial zone. He was allegedly accused of sitting back in Abuja to enjoy the perks of office without recourse to his constituency. 




•Dana plane crash in Lagos in June this year


•Peter Waxton

Simply wasted

•Pastor Cole and his wife

•The Anyenes

•Ehime Aikhomu, son of the late Admiral Aikhomu •LeviAjuonuma


HE aviation sector recorded the high est number of tragedies in the country in 2012. The nation suffered a total number of five plane crashes in which no fewer than 159 lives of eminent and promising citizens were untimely terminated. This excludes the 10people killed by a Nigerian cargo plane that crashed in Ghana. The crashes occurred all on weekends and two in each half of the year. The gale of air crashes started on June 2 when a Nigerian cargo plane attempting to take off from the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, crashed killing 10 people and injuring an unspecified number of others. The plane smashed through the airport’s fence before slamming into cars and a bus loaded with passengers on a nearby street.

Innocent DURU The crash happened in an area near the Kotoka International Airport, which sits near newly built high-rise buildings, hotels and the country’s Defence Ministry. The plane was labelled as belonging to Allied Air Cargo. Less than 24 hours after the fatal incident, the country experienced one of its worst air disasters when a Dana Airline passenger plane from Abuja- Lagos crashed into two houses at Iju, a suburb of Lagos State killing all 146 passengers and seven crew members on board. An unconfirmed number of the residents were said to have also been killed in the crash. The Boeing, McDonnell Douglas (MD-83), with registration number 5N-RAM crashed barely five minutes to touchdown at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.

The Dana Airline enroute Abuja-Lagos exposed the country’s shoddy response service, as the aircraft which was not engulfed in fire immediately after impact, took about an hour and 30 minutes after the crash before emergency services and the first rescue team arrived the scene. The late arrival of the officials of the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) provided an opportunity for scores of looters who scavenged the crash site, pilfering the personal effects of the 153 passengers who died in the crash. Dana Air Flight 992 has the highest number of aviation fatalities in 2012 and the worldwide highest death toll of any aviation accident involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-83. It is also Nigeria’s second-deadliest plane crash behind the January 22, 1973 – Royal Jordanian Airlines flight 707 carrying

171 Nigerian Muslims returning from Mecca and five crewmen, who died in crash in Kano, Nigeria. It has also gone down on record as the air crash that claimed the lives of multiple number of family members. For instance, Rev. Ayodeji Cole and his wife, Ngozi, died in the crash, leaving three children behind. He was the resident pastor of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (a.k.a Vision House Parish) Utako branch, Abuja, until his death. Mrs. Fortune David-Kolawole died in the crash alongside her baby, Eyinojuoluwa David-Kolawole. She got married to her husband David Kolawole, in March 2010 and was the group head, HR Outsourcing at Resource Intermediaries Limited. There was also the Anyenes that lost an entire family: Onyeka Anyene; Maimuna






Anyene; Noah Anyene; Kamsiyona Anyene and Kaiyenotochi Anyene. The same could be said of the Wasas and the Onyeagochas. Mrs. Ruth Wasa and her daughter, Awyetu died in the air disaster. Eleven-year-old Chimdinma Onyeagocha



and her mother, Ogechi, also lost their lives in the crash. Among other individual victims of the crash were the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma and Ehime Aikhomu, son of the late former Military Vice-President Augustus Aikhomu. Though many of the residents died in the disaster, few of them narrowly escaped death. One of the lucky survivors and owner of one the building on which the DANA Air plane crashed, Pastor Daniel Oluranti Omowumi, who attributed the survival of his family to God. But for an after service meeting at his church, Living Faith Church, Canaanland, Ota, Ogun State, which delayed him and his family, he said he would have been home with all members of his family and his aged mother before the plane crashed into his building. The meaning is that the entire family would have been wiped out if he were home before the crash. Few days after the incident, some relations of the victims engaged in mild drama over who should be the next of kin that would get the compensation to be paid by the airline. A victim’s wife and brother caused a scene when they simultaneously appeared at the airline’s office as the next of kin. Another drama ensued at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH) mortuary where some of the relations had problems getting the remains of their dead family members. The family of retired Assistant Comptroller of Fire Service, Mr. George Moses, a victim of the crash, had difficulty retrieving his body and raised the alarm over the whereabouts of his corpse. A member of the family, Mr. Moses Olajide, alleged that in June, the name of the victim was among the 29 identified names pasted at the Lekan Ogunsola Memorial mortuary of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja. He said the body of the deceased was intact when he entered the morgue, and even was identified by his ID card which was in his wallet. The name surprisingly disappeared on the list after the arrival of the DNA test results from the United Kingdom thereby aggravating the plight of the family. A photojournalist with Leadership Newspaper, Mr. Benedict Uwalaka was brutalised in the process of taking the pictures of the handing over of copse to the relations. Dana Air recently announced that it has started paying insurance claims to the families of those involved in the June 3 tragic crash. Then came the news of Taraba State Governor, Mr. Danbaba Suntai’s involvement in a plane crash on the 25th of October. No life was lost in the crash as he and the other occupants narrowly escaped death. The governor, his aide-de-camp and chief security officer, who were also in the plane that took off from Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, and three others were seriously injured. Suntai, who graduated as a pilot from the Aviation College in Zaria last year, was piloting the crashed plane. The plane, a Cessna 208, 5N-BMJ, owned by the state government, crashed at about 7.45 pm, near the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot, on the outskirts of Yola. He has since been moved to a hospital in Germany where he is currently receiving medical attention. The nation was again thrown into another round of mourning when, Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State and former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi and four others died in a helicopter that crashed in Bayelsa State on December 15. They were among many political figures who attended the burial of the father of senior presidential aide, Oronto Douglas, in the Nembe area of Bayelsa State. The naval helicopter in which they were travelling crashed and burst into flames in the forest of Okoroba, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, shortly after take-off. The four other persons on board the ill-fated helicopter were the orderly to Azazi, Warrant Officer Kamal Mohammed; a prominent politician from Kaduna, Dauda Psokho; the pilot, identified as Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba; and co-pilot, Lt Col. Adeyemi O. Sowole. The helicopter, a Navy Agusta, with number NN07, crashed and immediately burst into flame at about 3:30p.m. Yakowa was buried on December 20 with many dignitaries led by President Goodluck Jonathan in attendance.

•Fuel subsidy protest that shut down Lagos, Abuja

‘Mother of all strikes’ that shut down Lagos, Abuja


IGNS that the 2012 would be turbu lent emerged early in the year when President Goodluck Jonathan announced the removal of the controversial fuel subsidy. Nigerians woke up to the rude reality of what the year holds in stock for them when the President announced an unexpected increase in prices of petroleum products on January 1 when the citizens were savouring the joy of the New Year. The President jacked the price of petrol from N65 to N145. The unprecedendented price hike instantly triggered off a geometric rise in the prices of transportation, goods and services forcing Nigerians to take to the street to protest the anti-masses decision. The nationwide protest paralysed economic and social activities in the country throughout the period it lasted. The strike was widely observed, particularly in Lagos, where the usually chaotic streets were empty with shops, petrol stations and other businesses shut throughout the strike period. No business activities took place across the state owing to the prior notice given by the organisers to residents to stay off their businesses for the duration of the protest. Several thousand protesters also took part in the protest in Abuja despite massive security. In Lagos, the protest tagged “Occupy Nigeria” was organized by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) led by Pastor Tunde Bakare and supported by labour, civil organization groups, lawyers, doctors, musicians, students and others. The procession took place on Ikorodu Road, starting from the Nigeria Labour Congress office in Yaba. The protesters moved from Jibowu through Fadeyi towards Maryland on Ikorodu Road. It terminated at the Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota, Lagos. The protesters displayed placards, chanted against the government and made bonfires at many points on the major road. They demanded the reversal of the price to N65 without which the protest would not end. Speakers denouncing the fuel price hike in Lagos included, wife of the late fiery human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Ganiat ,who was assisted by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Chief Femi Falana; the Joint Action Front (JAF) led by Dr. Dipo Fashina, a former National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); and Femi Kuti, son of the late musical icon and harsh govern-

Innocent DURU ment critic, Fela Kuti. The protesters contended with the occasional skirmishes with men of the Nigeria Police Force. The exercise did not, however, end without the brutal murder of the protesters across the country. For instance, one Demola Abiodun, a young man in his early 20s, was shot dead by a trigger happy cop in Ogba area of Lagos. In Adekunle, Yaba, the police clashed with protesting youths on their way to Ojota. The youths, who sustained injuries, were rushed to the hospitals. Another was also killed by the police in Ibafo, a suburb of Ogun State.In Ibadan, a spare parts dealer identified as Olurin Olateju, was also murdered by the police. He was killed a few days after his wife gave birth. In the Nothern part of the country, protesters defied the pleas by Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State to take part in the protest. The governor had pleaded that the citizens should shun the mass protest, but angry youths stormed the streets, chanting antiGoodluck Jonathan slogans and demanding his resignation. Members of the police and armed forces were grounded, unable to exercise control over the protesting youths. In Abuja, the protest slated for the Eagles Square, was disrupted as heavily armed soldiers, men of the Department of State Security and the police attempted to stop Nigerians from appending their signatures to a register opened against fuel subsidy removal. A group, the Nigeria Unite Against Subsidy Removal (NUASR), led by a former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dino Melaye, had mobilized people in Abuja to show displeasure over the increase in the price of petrol. The NUASR had opened a register at the Eagle Square for people to come and sign against the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol and Dual Purpose Kerosene. Security agents had barricaded the Eagle Square as at 1.30pm to stop the protest aimed at mobilizing Nigerians to stand up against the increase in prices of petroleum products. Inspite of the heavy security presence, the group was still able to get residents of Abuja to come out to sign the register. Melaye described the removal of fuel subsidy as wicked and barbaric. The pro•Continued on Page 21




FLOODS: Refugees everywhere...


•Kogi flood victims




‘Mother of all strikes’ that shut down Lagos, Abuja CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19

South South, as the South South Youths Leaders' Forum directed its members across the country to withdraw from the protest and strike ordered by the organised labour. The groups said the facts and statistics at its disposal show it was a policy in the right direction. In Edo State, the protest was also highly effective, and the evidence of this could be seen at at the popular Kings Square, the heart of Benin City, Edo State. The non-violent protest, organised by the Coalition to Save Nigeria (CSN) which comprises all the civil societies and NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) in the state, barricaded the Ring Road city centre, chanting anti-fuel subsidy removal songs, just as youths and some okada riders joined in the march round the King's

Square. In the South East, the protest in Enugu State was partially observed by civil servants and those in the private sector, following the state government's ban on public assemblies, meetings and procession anywhere in the state until further notice. The governor, Sullivan Chime, banned public assemblies, meetings and procession shortly before the protest commenced. He said they were capable of leading to the breakdown of law and order. Following the government's directive, officials of the state chapter of the NLC, stopped their planned protest and rather converged on their secretariat at New Market area of Enugu. While some civil servants refused to show up in their offices, some banks were opened to customers, while others admitted customers through the back

doors. Most federal government owned offices, including the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, were shut. However, the Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, South East zone condemned the state government's ban of public assemblies, meetings and procession, saying the government had no right to make such a proclamation. In spite of the outcry against the policy, Jonathan alleged that the Occupy Nigeria anti-fuel subsidy removal mass protest, organized by civil society groups in Lagos in the wake of the removal of fuel subsidy in January, was manipulated by an unnamed class of people. Jonathan said the manner in which the mass protest was conducted smacked of a sinister motive. He noted that the best musicians and comedians were hired to perform while

participants were served with choice foods and drinks, an indication that the whole event was stage-managed. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) announced the suspension of the eight-day strike against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. The announcement was made after the price of petrol was reduced from N141 to N97 per litre by the Federal Government. The reduction was announced by President Jonathan in a nationwide broadcast. The NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, and his TUC counterpart, Peter Esele, said though the new pump price of N97 per litre was done unilaterally by the Federal Government, the experiences of the eight-day protest would ensure that no government takes Nigerians for granted again.

THE NATION, Saturday, December 29, 2012






•The late Awolowo

Fireworks over Achebe’s There was a country… n Linus OBOGO, Assistant Editor n

pity the Igbo. All the roads are impassable and there is no federal presence. The policies of federal character and educational country and there was genocide. disadvantage are created to deter the And the battle line was drawn. Yoruba progress of the Igbo people.” versus Igbo. Intellectuals, politicians, the Ebenezar Babatope, a former minister and media, none sat on the fence. It was a war of a protege of Awolowo, had said in a supports versus condemnations. Virtual statement: “While Achebe is free to write on commentators from the two divides deployed sumptuous invectives in defence of any topic that suits his fancy, he has no right whatsoever to irresponsibly murder history their ‘hero’. Even the philistines who would by his recklessly attacking a great leader like not hear of arts were not so phlegmatic this Papa Awolowo.” time. They joined the fray in their unbelief. For Yinka Odumakin, a member of the Some were armed while some were not so Save Nigeria Group, “It is unfortunate that a armed in carrying out the Achebe/Awolowo great man of letters of Achebe’s status has ‘war’, with the former brandishing transcript descended to the arena of Biafran of Awolowo’s interview in 1983 in response propagandists who are always ready to to the issues raised by Achebe. sacrifice the truth to achieve emotional In the interview, the late UPN leader blackmail. He has betrayed his intellectual during a campaign for the 1983 presidential calling by joining in the circulation of low election, admitted the policy, but denied it quality rumour against Awo. I had looked targeted civilians. forward to reading the book, but now I doubt He said the policy targeted the fighting if I would pick up a copy even if dropped at personnel, as a way to end the three-year-old my gate.” conflict, as food supplies dispatched for Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fanicivilians use in Biafra, were cornered by the Kayode, said by writing the book and soldiers. “making some of these baseless and In what appeared to be a fight to the finish, nonsensical assertions, Achebe was simply supporters of Awolowo and Achebe left no indulging in the greatest mendacity of stone unturned and fought gallantly. Nigerian modern history and his crude Secretary-General, Afenifere, Segun distortion of the facts has no basis in reality or Arogbofa, had fired Achebe: “He has the rationality. We must not mistake fiction and right to live anywhere he likes but to start storytelling for historical fact. The two are denigrating one of Nigeria’s founders and completely different. The truth is that builders like the Late Chief Obafemi Professor Chinua Achebe Awolowo is not only owes the Awolowo family unfortunate but a great and the Yoruba people a big abomination especially apology for his tale of pure when he knows that the fantasy. man is dead and cannot Achebe wrote He continued: “This defend himself.” what were purely subtle attempt to denigrate However, as if the Yoruba and their past responding to Arogbofa, his personal leaders, to place a question immediate past president reflections on the mark on their noble and of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dozie selfless role in the war and Ikedife, fired his own civil war, his own to belittle their efforts and potshot: “The facts are account of the war sacrifice to keep Nigeria naked, but only that truth is bitter. The Igbo would not as a chronicler, but together as one will always be vigorously resisted by start another war but for interestingly, it those of us that have the Nigeria to move forward, good fortune of still being she must acknowledge turned out to elicit alive and who are aware of injustice done to Ndigbo robust debates the facts.” during the war.” and controversy, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Similarly, former former governor of National Chairman of All leading to the Anambra State, lent his Progressive Grand Alliance distillation of voice in support of his (APGA), Chekwas Okorie, kinsman: “I have not read spoke in defense of Achebe: emotion on both the book. I don’t want to “It is a general knowledge sides of the speculate. During the civil that the civil war has only war, I was studying in the ended in the battle field but divides United States of America. it has not in reality. Go to However, I have absolute the South East and you will confidence in Prof Chinua


HE Nigerian Civil War may have ended about 32 years ago, but the ghost of the three-year-old conflict resurfaced, strangely in October, following the release of a book, There was a country: A personal history of Biafra, written by renowned novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe. In what was conceived as Achebe’s personal recollection of what went down during the war, turned out, ironically, a reopening of old wounds. While the conflict which formed the raw material for Achebe’s memoir was between Nigeria and the Igbo, the alleged genocide controversy as captured by the world celebrated story teller in his latest work ended up pitching not just a few of the disciples of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, one of the alleged perpetrators of genocide, but also some participants in the war from other zones of the country. The controversy stoked by Achebe which became a feeding frenzy for the media may not have been about whether there was a war or there was a country, it was so much about a war story, either well told, half told, told with jaundice or better still, should have been left untold. And like a bolt out of the blue, arose a groundswell of emotions and sentiments, with some laden with either loyal or ethnic hue. Before long, the argument began to oscillate between the parochial and the primordial. By the time the controversy was finally interred, it had taken another genocidal dimension of a media war and ethnic pyrotechnic. The controversial book which had yet to make its grand entry into Nigeria at the time, and which many had not availed themselves of its content stirred the hornet’s nest with excerpts in the The Guardian of London. While none of the warring parties in the controversial book was in dissonance about Achebe’s gift of artistry in painting pictures of some the events of the war, and his uncanny ability to still recollect the roles of actors in the conflict, despite his ebbing age, a little portion in the book reproduced below, seemingly stratified its expectant readers. “The wartime cabinet of General Gowon, the military ruler, it should also be remembered, was full of intellectuals like Chief Obafemi Awolowo among others who came up with a boatload of infamous and regrettable policies. A statement credited to Awolowo and echoed by his cohorts is the most callous and unfortunate: all is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder. “It is my impression that Awolowo was driven by an overriding ambition for power, for himself and for his Yoruba people. There is, on the surface at least, nothing wrong with those aspirations. “However, Awolowo saw the dominant Igbo at the time as the obstacles to that goal, and when the opportunity arose – the Nigeria-Biafra War – his ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to every length to achieve his dreams. “In the Biafran case, it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation – eliminating over two million people, mainly members of future generations.” Despite that Nigeria was at the time of the genocide saga battling with the unprecedented onslaught of floods ravaging the country, some Nigerians took time off their flooded and submerged homes to engage in some intellectual acrobatics. While some argued that the author of the world celebrated Things fall Apart merely helped to refresh memory and reactivate discourse on the bloody civil war, others differed, arguing why Achebe would not allow a sleeping dog lie, but choose to reopen an already healed wound. But while this wound was healed for others, but for Achebe, it was one still festering terminally and needing not only to be treated but permanently cured. And for having fired the first salvo, neither Achebe nor his fans could determine the direction this new ‘genocide war’ was going to take. By the time it assumed a fever pitch, it went viral and multi-frontier. The media war which saw the South West and South East furiously unified against each other, also helped to unify, albeit briefly, some of the ‘lost disciples’ of the late Awolowo, even as the controversy equally seemed to make the Igbo to be in accord with each other. And for some Igbo who thought they could never find reason to agree, There was a country… unexpectedly became a temporary unifying casus belli to agree that there was a


Achebe. He is an acclaimed international scholar and figure; whatever he says about the civil war should be taken seriously.” For Dr. A.B.C. Nwosu, former Minister of Health, “This was predictable. Achebe, true to his character, will be unfazed by the insults and abuses, but will welcome criticisms. A writer of his stature should be used to all these. ‘’In my view, the controversy including the orgy of abuse is desirable because it brings out into the public domain, bottled-up and vile ethnic prejudices. In my view also, it is preferable for such prejudices to be aired rather for them to remain and fester in the innermost recesses of ethnic minds, to be secretly whispered around from door to door, neighbour to neighbour and passed on from generation to generation. Closet ethnicism to me is very dangerous and militates against nation-building. ‘’There are many who believe that certain things are best not said at this time. I disagree. It is best for these things to be said so that brethren and compatriots will be aware of what others truly think of them. Therefore, let the criticisms, insults and even abuse continue to come out into the open so we can better understand ourselves as individuals, and as micro-nations within the macro-nation Nigeria.” Throwing his hat into the ring, Odia Ofeimun, a diehard Awoist, roared: “All that rubbish of children with ribs and swollen stomachs and the rest of it, what did you expect in a war?” Refusing to allow Achebe cast aspersions on her father’s memory, daughter of the late Yoruba leader and former to The Netherlands, Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, also took up the gauntlet against Awolowo’s accuser: “One is still trying to come to terms with the sense of disappointment about the person who wrote what is now a brewing controversy in the country. While a formal statement responding to the offensive comments of the writer is being prepared by the family, all I can say for now is that I feel so disappointed.” Achebe wrote what were purely his personal reflections on the civil war, his own account of the war as a chronicler, but interestingly, it turned out to elicit robust debates and controversy, leading to the distillation of emotion on both sides of the divides. Was Achebe worse for what he wrote? Not exactly, because he engineered a debate. Was the controversy necessary? Absolutely because it was healthy as it helped to let off steam. But in the final analysis, There was a country: A personal history of Biafra was the biggest beneficiary as the controversy only helped to popularise the book.








Tel: 07029013958



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E-mail: Tel: 07029013958 (SMS only)



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

Making the most of corporate endorsement in Nollywood


HE stars have clearly begun to align for Nollywood. Like the beautiful bride, corporate suitors it seems, have turned out in a duel for the hands of some of Nollywood's brightest stars. It gets better, many are renewing cool deals. How much is Monalisa Chinda's smile worth? According to industry sources, Vita500, a new energy drink from South Korea shelled out N30 million for her face on the energy drink. She was also the face of the Rivers state cultural fiesta and Glo sweated millions it has been reported, to have her as their ambassador. Monalisa's face is every photographer's dream and her smile conjures the memory of spring. Monalisa should insure her face. Perhaps, no corporate entity has demonstrated proven commitment to Nollywood in terms of endorsement than Globacom Nigeria Limited. The telecommunication giant at the last count has appointed close to a dozen Nollywood A-list thespians as ambassadors according to information on their website. In an industry long abandoned by corporate Nigeria, Globacom serves as a refreshing alternative. The rave seemed to have caught on. MTN Nigeria, the company with some of the most creative advertisements in Nigeria, in the past treated Nollywood with courteous indifference. But recently, Nkem Owoh and Patience Ozokwor have featured in the company's advertisements. Perhaps the days of the cold shoulder are over. The use of film stars in the marketing of products is not the exclusive preserve of Nigeria. If anything, we seemed to have taken a page out Hollywood's playbook. Gwyneth Paltrow has been tapped to be the latest ambassador for Swiss watch brand Baume & Mercier. Natalia Portman will also be the new face of the Miss Dior Cherie. Sylvester Stallone has been chosen as the brand ambassador for luxury pen manufacturer Montegrappa and popular martial arts film star Jet Li has been announced by Swiss Hublot timepieces as

The use of artistes as brand ambassadors by corporations is with the objective of linking their product to a winning athlete or personality to enhance their image and boost sales revenue their newest brand ambassador.The use of famous faces as brand ambassadors is not just limited to the use of actors and actresses. Corporations have been known to appoint as brand ambassadors sports men and women who have proven their mettle in the field. Rafal Nadal is a brand ambassador for Georgio Armani. The use of artistes as brand ambassadors by corporations is with the objective of linking their product to a winning athlete or personality to enhance their image and boost sales revenue. Corporations use these popular artistes as validation for their products and hope to transfer their goodwill and star power so as to influence the fortune of their offerings. Most endorsement deals are designed to offer mutual

Most of the deals are worded in such a way that the contract forbids them from other deals or restrict their use of close substitutes to the product they are endorsing. Release terms and other conditionality should be negotiated properly to avoid a conflict

benefits to both the star and the corporation. Nevertheless, there have been some endorsement deals that went south. At the height of his fame, Tiger Woods was the world's highest earning golfer and corporations were falling over themselves to have his face on their products until some recent misdemeanors came to light. Ambassadors of countries usually represent the values of such nations. Hence their personalities are expected to be demure, their actions reasoned and their lifestyles lofty. Similar standards are also expected of brand ambassadors. So beyond the hype and the effect on the bank balance, brand ambassadors must live the values represented by the products they endorse. O.J. Simpson was fired as brand ambassador of Hertz when he was charged with double murder. It is also pertinent that celebrities who sign the dotted lines in endorsement deals study the content of the contractual agreements and look out for clauses in small print. Most of the deals are worded in such a way that the contract forbids them from other deals or restrict their use of close substitutes to the product they are endorsing. Release terms and other conditionality should be negotiated properly to avoid a conflict of interest. It also makes good sense to seek legal opinion When effectively utilized, these endorsement deals can benefit both the artiste and the industry at large. On a personal level, it provides a source of income and boosts the popularity of such artistes especially when the terms include billboards and advertisement in the broadcast media. Endorsement deals like the Glo ambassador provides an avenue to network with those who call the shots in other industries and can be a platform to push innovative ideas for film sponsorship especially those that require a huge budget. When properly harnessed, this could help foster a good relationship between Nollywood and other industries. •Isaac Anyaogu, writes and edits feature film scripts

N4.5m Still needed to save Ngozi Nwosu


HE drive to save Nollywood actress, Ngozi Nwosu is taking a slow pace as plans to save her are yielding little results. As the last count, N4.5million is still needed to save her life. Sources handling the “Save Ngozi Nwosu” campaign have informed that about N1.5million has been realised at the moment which is still N4.5million less of the N6million needed

to save Ngozi's life, which is presently hanging on the balance. Though some good Samaritans have been responding to the call to save the ailing actress from dying, much is still expected from others and her colleagues especially to get the needed N6million urgently because doctors claim she has to be quickly flown abroad in order for her to regain her health.

Anita Hogan buries mum


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: or SMS your short comments to 07029013958





AMAA F ends screening, set for 2013

OLLOWING weeks of touring the country with some of the Africa Movie Academy Awards winning flicks, on Thursday, December 20, 2012, the screenings finally came to an end at the Silverbird Galleria, Abuja. The Chief Executive of AMAA, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe revealed that with this, the organization is fully set for 2013. “Entries are already being received for the 2013 edition” she said, adding that Filmmakers are encouraged to send in their films early as the event holds in April 2013. On screen were the Best Nigerian Film, Adesuwa, directed by Lancelot Imasuen and Man on Ground, which got the Best Jury Award. The Abuja affair was the last leg of the public screening which began in Benin in October and subsequently moved to Ibadan, Lagos, Enugu, and Port Harcourt before berthing in Abuja. Four films were screened at the different venues: Adesuwa, Man on Ground, Otelo Burning (Best Cinematography) and Alero Symphony (Best Set Design). Explaining the rationale for the screening which was introduced this year, the Peace Anyiam-Osigwe said it was for the wider audience to “see, screen and judge for themselves some of the films that got the AMAA laurels”. She stated further that at the various screening centres, people were excited to see that the Nigerian film industry, vis-a-vis the African film industry, is growing in terms of quality and depth.

Iyanya, Toolz, 9ice on Gidiculture TV Christmas special


EFFTA award nominated GidiCulture TV concludes its first season with an enthralling Christmas Special Finale featuring one of the biggest African artistes of 2012, Iyanya in a conversation with GidiCulture TV about the amazing year he has had, his forthcoming sophomore album and Yvonne Nelson's "waist" among other things. This Christmas Special also saw GidiCulture TV in conversation with one of the leading names in African Fashion, Anita Quansah, about her jewelry line, style inspiration for Christmas and much more. And as usual, this new episode of Gidiculture TV brought another dose of the very best of Urban African culture - from the very latest in African entertainment news - on Toolz, 9ice and Omotola Jalade - to Christmas Film and TV review with previews of favourite DVDs and Blu-Rays of 2012.



•Zik Zulu

Stakeholders laud Nollywood at 20 celebrations


EDNESDAY, December 4, stakeholders of the Nigerian movie industry popularly known as Nollywood, gathered at the exotic Zenith Water Margin Chinese Restaurant in Surulere for the presentation of the programes for Nollywood at 20. AMP President, Zik Zulu Okafor, who anchored the event urged the stakeholders to ensure that the celebration is a reenactment of FESTAC 77 if it could not surpass it. He listed Thisday and Vanguard Newspapers, Nigeria Television Authority and DSTV as potential partners for the celebration. The event which he said has been fixed for July 2013 will commence with international press conference that will attract major media organizations across the globe, including satellite television stations. Okafor added that there will be raffle draws, mini documentaries on the icons of Nollywood, special coaching clinics, inauguration of Nollywood Endowment Fund, Nollywood House Appeal Fund, Hall of Fame, Commemorative Award Ceremony, Special Screenings of Classic Movies, a Night of Stars and Veterans •L-R: Chisom Mbonu, Busola Adeogun-Philips, Mr. Ahmed Garba, winner of the Renault Duster car and Mr.Akinola Salu. Celebration, Nigeria Film Festival, VIP Novelty Matches and a special service in week after its mega also presented with their tickets. Church and Mosque. promo kicked off, MultiChoice also gave given out “Added to the above are anniversary MultiChoice Nigeria, tens of 40-inch LCD TV sets and again handed over the keys of the DStv Mobile devices to numerous film, social works, endowment of Excellence Awards and gala night. It is second Renault Duster SUV to winners. packed celebration of motion picture another lucky winner, Mr Garba “The promo is still in its early spiced with music and all the traditional Ahmed, a retired civil servant, stage, as this occasion marks the pomp and ceremony that befit grand from Northern Nigeria. presentation of prizes to the entertainment events,” Okafor adds. Presenting Mr Garba Ahmed second set of winners. Two The guild heads and stakeholders with the keys of his Renault Renault Duster SUVs out of five Duster SUV, Akinola Salu, have been won; there are three left present at the meeting agreed that the General Manager, Trade and to go. The same goes for AFCON programmes for the event is huge and resolved to peruse it before the meeting Distribution, MultiChoice Nigeria, tickets, as 15 tickets are up for scheduled to set up committees for the congratulated him and winners in grabs; 100 40-inch LCD TV sets; the other categories who were 500 DStv Walkas and over 10,000 execution of the massive project as countdown begins in January 2013. present at the special presentation other amazing prizes for our The committee spearheading the ceremony held at MultiChoice subscribers. It is indeed our premises in Victoria Island, Lagos. biggest promo ever, and it goes to planning of the occasion includes Fidelis Two other lucky winners of show the esteem we have for our Duker, Zeb Ejiro, Fred Amata, Okey Ogunjiofor, Zik Zulu Okafor, Victor DStv African Cup of Nations subscribers,” says Segun Fayose, Okhai, Francis Onwochei as well as (AFCON) tickets, Benjamin MultiChoice's Head of Public Nnanke Harry Willie. Fashama and Femi Tejuoso, were Relations.

Winners emerge in Dstv mega promo


Baarong Uranta celebrates birthday in style

•Baarong Uranta, Tony Uranta cutting the cake with family and friends



I am not in haste to get married 窶年iyola

I don't think getting married is all about money, there is more to it. I will only get married for the right reasons, for reasons that I love and whoever I intend to marry. I would want to spend the rest of my life with him



Chris Brown thrills Lagos fans


ATURDAY, December 22 will not be forgotten in a hurry as the city of Lagos stood still for what can pass as one of the greatest concert of the year. It was the day American pop recording artiste, Chris Brown, held the audience spell bound with his scintillating vocal and dance performances on-stage at the Expo Centre of Eko Hotel during his Lagos concert. Dubbed Lagos on My Mind, the concert had Telecom outfit, Etisalat, as prime sponsor, and was part of Chris Brown's African continent tour which began in South Africa about a


week ago. The 23-year old musician, who announced his arrival into the city with pictures and tweets via his Instagram and Twitter web pages respectively, performed his popular hit tracks to the excitement of the crowd. On the sponsorship, Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar said Etisalat was happy to be associated with a concert of such caliber and magnitude. “The Etisalat brand represents a company that is youthful, dynamic and innovative. What we do is to identify and support activities that resonate with the

passions of our customers and Nigerians in general. We are excited to be part of the growing music and entertainment industry in Nigeria as it is fast taking its place on the world stage”, he said. The show also featured performances by top Nigerian artistes including rapper Naeto C, Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay and WizKid as well as the winner of season two of the Etisalat sponsored Nigerian Idol competition, Mercy Chinwo, who put up an impressive performance to the admiration of the crowd.

Van Vicker pranked on The Big Friday Show

N the spirit of the season, The Big Friday Show comes with two studio guests on this week's special episode, - EME boss Banky W and rapper, Olamide. Shaking things up a bit, the BFS crew took the special edition a notch higher by having two up and coming artists Ruby and Kmos who were given this week's studio task to carry out. On this week's Celeb Surprise segment, a lucky Glo subscriber Ifeoma Anene surprised her friend Chi Chi with comedian and Big Friday Show host; Basketmouth right on the set of the Big Friday Show. This week's Celeb Prank was on movie star Van Vicker, while Dr. Love was also there to give his advice on relationship issues. As is customary, the show also had the Vlog segment with Stephanie as she lets guests in on all the juicy details in the world of entertainment. The other segments in the show include the Ask/Reply segment and the weekly Glo presents Big Friday Show Countdown.

Y! Magazine dazzles with Black Ball


Tiwa Sawage ,Tuface, WizKid for Lagos Crossover Festival

•Olamide, Basketmouth with Banky W

Pasuma thrills at Fuji Slam


•Tiwa Savage



wca o h







No doubt, 2012 has so far been an eventful year for the entertainment industry. It is a year that could be described as a defining moment, especially for the music and movie sector, owing to the numerous face-offs among practitioners who needed to get the rhythm of their associations and partnerships right, and on the other hand, between the practitioners and government, regulatory agencies and fund managers like BoI and NEXIM Bank, on the controversial USD200 million intervention fund. In this edition, VICTOR AKANDE attempts a review of the happenstances within the year.


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•Don Jazzy with Dbanj

ilokan ith Adem •Doris w

When my father started this struggle, I was 13. I will be 50 in six months time. My son is 16, we still have no electricity, no healthcare. People are poor. People are dying because of N10,000 in this country

•Enebeli Elebuwa

•Zaaki with wife

Continue on 38


CITY still in title race —Hart


I will make AFCON squad —Kwambe

Saturday, December 29, 2012

SHITTU rejects Nigeria’s call-up

•All players invited must show up, says NFF

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NIGERIAN sports in 2012


DOUBLE MISS for Manchester City

Bafana must reach final, says Serero


Kenyan refs get AFCON nod




Psquare and May D


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Continue from 37


splits eventually


NCE popular boy band Styl Plus have finally decide to call it a day. This is not for a lack of trying though, but after quite a number of comeback attempts, each act has decided to go their separate ways. But on third of the group, Tunde isn't giving up music totally though. He is rebranding

Duncan Mighty and Chris Aires

himself as Native Boy and has already released a new track called 'In Your Eyes' and also formed a new record label called B.A.T Records. The original group comprised Shiffi, Tunde and Zeal and were responsible for hit tracks such as 'Olufunmi', 'Imagine That' and 'Iya Basira'.

Uche Iwuji's hubby inspires youths

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QUARE Records, the label of sensational due Peter and Paul of PSquare fame dropped Akinmayokun Awodumila, aka May D. He was the first artiste to be signed on their record label. Jude Okoye, broke the news on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. He said the decision to part with the artiste was based on irreconcilable differences. It was however gathered that May D wasn't happy at Square records. Sources say the label wasn't doing much for his career. However, Square Records shot two videos for May D 'Soundtrack' and 'Ile Ijo' which were both directed by Clarence Peters.

Styl Plus





Brightest stars: of celebrities who were outstanding •Nse Etim-Ikpe: Phone Swap •Uche Jombo: The Damage •Gabriel Afolayan: Hoodrush and Heroes and Zeroes •Majid Michel: Somewhere In Africa •Rita Dominic: Shattered

•Duncan Mighty

Club Bangers •Iyanya's Kukere •Olamide's First of All •BurnaBoy's Like to Party •Dbanj’s Oliver Twist •Psy's Gangnam Style •Chris Aires

Movies that made headlines

Mo'Cheddah parts ways with managers

How to Steal Two Million is Best Africa Film of year 2012 Adesuwa is Nigeria's Best film of the year Heroes and Zeroes by Niji Akani

Skuki set to launch condom brand



OP group Skuki, made up of brothers Peeshaun and Vavavoom will launch their own brand of condoms next year. When asked why they decided to delve into that line of production, Skuki said: “We are great believers in the fact that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow and have to learn from a young age that if you can't abstain, you have to play safe. But not only that, we are

2012 Hollywood top grossing films

•Uche Iwuji

By Box Office mojo as at December 27, 2012 1. Marvel's The Avengers 2. The Dark Knight Rises 3. The Hunger Games 4. Skyfall 5. The Twilight Saga 2 6. The Amazing Spider-Man 7. Brave 8. Ted 9. Madagascar 10. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax




Fashion in •Vixen

•Ex-Mr. Nigeria Bryan Okwara

Elite Model look Nigeria winner Moyinoluwa Arowoshola

Winner of NNSM 2012 Favour Lucky •Chidi Mokeme



Iro and Buba OLEKU by skinnyhipster



•Alvin Dayaffin •Funmi Iyanda

Shoes that rocked 2012




‘The number of people involved in kidnapping, robberies should bother our leaders’

•Kike Ajibade


OMING from the Fawehinmi family, one would have expected that perhaps you took after the activism lifestyle of your uncle, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, but you seem to have taken after your father, Mr. Kayode Fawehinmi, his brother and an architect, who is known for his aristocratic lifestyle. It is just one family in Ondo State. The Fawehinmi family is like an institution. My dad's father and late Chief Fawehinmi's father are of the same father. So, he (Gani Fawhinmi) is my great uncle. Even then, I didn't fully take after my father because I am still like a people's person even though I am quite reserved. I am very accommodating may be a little bit of reservation I would say. I am not the outgoing type and I think it has to do with my background. I was always on my own and all that. Though I do not let it affect me much. I have five children, thank God for that. So there is no how I am going to restrict myself and come out from that background for a while. What were your dreams as a young lady? I had quite a few of them but the most important one was to be a force in life to be reckoned with. I didn't want to be a bench

warmer or someone that was just there. I dreamt of being someone that would be well recognised for a good purpose. Tell us about your educational qualification? I had my primary/secondary school education in Nigeria. I eventually went to Yaba College of Technology before I left for England where I did computer science. Then I did housing management at Middlesex University in London. I did my masters as well in that institution. I also engaged in short courses on several managerial disciplines. But my passion for looking good has always been part of me even when I was young; I believe one has to look good. I used to kind of copy my mother when she was dressing up and all that. So, that actually has always been part of me and I believe that no matter how good you are inside, the outward must actually portray what is inside. So, I usually pay extra attention to my looks, my skin and all that. I had some short courses until I realised that this is what I really wanted to do and I ventured into Health and Spa Care and I am happy I am in it. Tell us about Ann Marie Health and Beauty Spa? How did it start?

British trained health and beauty spa expert, Kikelomo Ibironke Ajibade, had an end of the year soiree at her popular 'Ann Marie' high brow office in the heart of GRA, Ikeja, Lagos a few days ago. Once again, the event had her style signature well spelt out. Since her return to Nigeria a couple of years ago from the United Kingdom, Kikelomo remained in the background, passionately taking to her job of making Nigerians and foreigners look beautiful and healthy, until she had a one-stop birthday party at Balmoral Hall last year, that left a great impression on society circles. The Yaba College of Technology and University of Middlesex master degree graduate left no one in doubt about what class and style means. Married to Dr. Owolabi Ajibade, a London trained Chemical Engineer, Kike, as she is fondly called by her friends, is a personality to be reckoned with, when it comes to healthy living. A niece of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Kike, despite her beauty and affable manners, has a bit of activism spirit in her, though she would not admit it. She spoke to PAUL UKPABIO on her revolving passion to see more women in leadership roles despite the challenges of parenthood and the home front. Yes, in Ann Marie, we look after you from head to toe: Your skin, your body, your face. Ann Marie is a place you can come in and have your massage done. Your skin detoxified and your body straightened up. Tell us about your early years, what was growing up like for you? Growing up for me was lovely. I am an only child, so I can't ask for more. They did their best and I was actually well looked after. I grew up like any other child. I was a bit energetic and I wasn't behind in any way, in anything. I was a very active, enterprising and forceful person by nature. My dad (Architect Kayode Fawehinmi) is still alive with us, unfortunately my lovely mother is late. As the only child of your parents, was there any fear that you might go badly due to the pampering? My mum (late Madam Modupe

Fawehinmi) would do anything to ensure I was good. She would even have laid her life down to make sure that I was fine. And on the other hand, I am sure he loves me but he didn't show it much. So he was able to put a bit of control, checks and balances to make sure that I turn out to be someone that is worth showing off with. It is normal that you would probably just want to do your own thing; get spoilt a bit and live your life that way, but thank God for what I have turned out to be; kudos to my father's disciplinary demeanour. What would you say were the challenges for you since you have returned to resettle in Nigeria? The biggest challenge on our hand is that of a very cynical labour force where hard work is no longer the hallmark of duty but what I call 'smart work'. People are no more ready to be loyal any longer; all they care for is what I call 'wealth lifting' or 'wealth



•Kike Ajibade

pilfering'. You know we have 'shop lifting'. People come to work with the aim of stealing things and becoming their own bosses without really taking time to be loyal to duty. The attitude of dedication is dead on arrival. The whole problem lies in the kind of economic problems the various systems of leadership have created for us in the last three decades or so; a system where the social engineering of the society is left in the hands of very crude and fraudulent people. You have it from the school teacher to the police, from the police to the man that offers you shelter down to the transporter. Everyone is encumbered with a sense of fast wealth to the detriment of the peace of every one. It is never like that in peaceful climes like Botswana, Ghana, Benin Republic. In Ghana for instance, you can trust a driver to handle your daily routine as a new comer. They sell trust because the cost of living is not too expensive for them. In Australia, the government takes responsibility for the 50% of the delivery of every single child. As a mother, you don't need to pay exorbitant bills to doctors to bring forth a new child. Medicare is almost free. Are you saying our government doesn't have good policies? The government has failed to enact deliberate social actions or policies that will help the way people live and direct the affairs of others in the mass society; and that is why as an employer, your employee finds it difficult to survive with the moderate amount you pay him or her. It is either he or she is afraid of the landlord that will be increasing his or her house rent in the first phase of a new year or the school managers of his/her children that often increase fees arbitrarily with no recourse to his or her earning pedigree; or the kind of money to be paid to the bus man on a daily basis for transportation. So, you discover that everyone is living on impulse, no peace of mind, no job concentration. From the cleaner to the driver, many people are pilferers because the money you think you are paying them and which should necessarily be enough for them is never enough for them to even survive not to talk of living. I think government has a role to play in ensuring that the social condition of its people is very considerate and moderate for better living. The number of people that indulge in kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child trafficking and other social vices is enough indication to tell us that something is wrong with our social contract regime. The government seems to be totally disconnected from the reality of its people. And this should bother a compassionate political leadership. But the government of Mr. Jonathan seems to be creating solutions, especially with the YouWin Initiative for Nigerian youths and women; don't you see this as a

great option at solving the social problems of the people? Of course, one needs to salute the courage of Mr. President and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy for fashioning out such a very lofty home grown reform project. But one thing I expect them to note is that economic reform without attitudinal reform boils down to zero percent. I am familiar with the YouWin concept but I am yet to see genuine benefactors come out to say 'yea, government did this for me or I contacted government and they were able to do this for me'. The kind of money they are even talking about is not something I think government is ready to give out to anybody, anyhow. We are still travelling on the same path of rhetorics without concrete action. The problem of the job seekers or entrepreneurs in Nigeria is more than that. We need power, steady power to start with. A country that lacks steady electricity is dead country. Sometime in 2004, President Obasanjo came out with NEEDS (National Empowerment and Development Strategy) and the man, I remember, was encouraging state governors to complement the idea with what he calls SEEDS State Economic and Empowerment Strategy. That idea promised to eradicate poverty at all levels and bring it to the barest minimum in 2007 but today, what do we have? Escalation of poverty and idleness among our youths. We also have NAPEP-National Poverty Eradication Programme that has also received more hype than realistic results. The problem is that government is not ready to appoint people that can solve the deepest problems of the people of Nigeria. What we often get is a vicious circle of elite who are ready to allocate what belongs to people at the lowest rung of the society to some selected cronies of theirs, who in turn re-allocate the 'goodies' to their political jobbers and hangers-on. We need a government that can come down from its high horses and look deep into the problems of the ordinary people. We need to fashion out policies and put in place projects, ideas and strategies that will

make life better for anyone anywhere. If we fail to do that, the rich and comfortable ones may not find peace with all they have acquired. That is why kidnapping is now the in-thing; we must be disturbed. The challenges of the common man must bother the ruling class. Stop talking about a multibillion naira banquet for the President or a multi-billion naira apartment for the Vice President; these are mundane responsibilities. We must come down from our elitist horse and reform attitudes. Give Nigeria back to Nigeria by making life simple for all. So, how do you think we can help ourselves out of the woods? The Yoruba people will say Ile lati n ke so ro de (Charity begins at home). Let's start with ourselves. The government must care for the way people live; nobody ever wishes to vote in a government that is never passionate about its people. I was watching the CNN a couple of days back and I saw how passionate President Barrack Obama became when he inspected the Connecticut School killings in the US. He was emotional, he was deeply grief-stricken and you could see through him an overwhelming grief from a number one leader of such a complex nation, America. That is a leader that cares, that is a leadership that is passionate. The other day, a granite carrying tipper killed eight students in Ogun State, we didn't get a presidential grief. It was like nothing happened. Before the June 3 Dana crash, we had the June 2 multiple trailer accidents on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as a result of the age-long notorious pedigree of that road, except for the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who visited the scene, nobody spoke about it. Yet, many ordinary people died. But the moment the Dana plane crashed the next day, it became a national issue. The president visited the scene yet the June 2 victims were not important. In our days, morals not money were the currency of good living but today everyone wants to see how cash-heavy you are. It is really bad. For instance, in our days, your teacher in class was like your god, so you couldn't dare misbehave. You were constrained. You were taught manners like a religion. You were made to do things and you dared not refuse. There was more discipline and regard for adulthood but today, it is

•Kike Ajibade

a different thing. Children grow at their own liberty because the parents are busy chasing money. No time for child development and you see such children also grow into a fast lane, money chasingmoney-does-it-all adult. We just have to go back to our disciplined lives. We have to revalue education and morals at all levels. We need to teach morals in schools, especially when the younger generations come from these private schools where there is so much permissiveness. Where you have the class/status divide and you dare not beat the child of a minister or say too many things to the child without getting yourself into trouble. Discipline, in all spheres of our national life should not be compromised. That is why great nations like Singapore, Brazil, Botswana, Ghana and even our little neighbour, Benin Republic are doing better than us in almost everything. These are countries we once fed. As for women, what do you have to say? In fact, women should be the real agents of change. All over the world, women have always been a source of inspiration in leadership. I can tell you, in every recession period, women have always come out to apply better sense to issues than their male folks. Recently in Malawi, Her Excellency, President Joyce Banda, who succeeded Bingu Wa Mutharika, decided to sell off the country's only presidential aircraft and a fleet of over 55 Mercedes limousines. She prefers to use private airlines for her presidential journeys because she realised that the work brief is in Malawi and not in junketing around the world. She didn't stop there, she announced a 30% cut in her salary from $37,000 to $26,000. By this action, she has demonstrated good leadership value by her modest lifestyle. I want to see Nigerian female politicians emulate Mrs. Banda. Our women must drive morals, they have the sixth sense and that sixth sense, if properly channelled and applied in political leadership, Nigeria's problems will be solved. The diplomacy we use in nurturing our babies from pregnancy to adulthood, if we apply it to nation building, definitely Nigeria will rise. Africa will rise. So, I look forward to seeing a lot of younger Nigerian women being more assertive, more genuine, more serious, more forward-looking so that these responsibiliti es can rest u p o n t h e m and we c a n salvage t h i s country together.



IME was 2 pm on Friday December 18, 2012 at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos. In an emotional scene, 33year-old Williams Owodo walked free from the prison after spending 17years and 10 months on death row. Expectedly, like a rat that had just escaped from the claws of a ravenous cat by a whisker, Owodo raised both arms skyward and then collapsed into the reporter’s embrace outside the prison yard. His sobs became the only sound in an otherwise silent environment. Owodo maintained his innocence, saying: “I made a statement of innocence when I was first arrested and questioned by the police at State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti, in February 1995. I made that statement of innocence several times and it became a refrain on my lips to date.” The statement that the then 16year-old Owodo gave shortly after his arrest was allegedly coerced as a result of torture and threats by detectives, the Court of Appeal judges found. Spotting a group of local boys playing football at a junction near the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway while on his way home, he wished he could have become one of Nigeria’s greatest footballers. He remembered a time when he was a popular SS3 student for his dexterity in football. “Men, I could have become an outstanding Nigerian footballer because I was known for my football artistry as a defensive midfielder in school and my neighbourhood. I was the in my final year at Creek High School, Ajegunle, but instead of making my way through school, I was living on borrowed times on death row for a crime I insist I was innocent of. “I had wanted to become a professional footballer when I am through with school but that dream was cut short when I was wrongly sentenced to death. Some of my football mates are now professional players in Europe and regrettably too ,many of them were no match for me as a budding footballer.” He was soon to acknowledge the transformation of Lagos when he sighted a number of BRT buses at the Ojuelegba axis of the state. “What kind of buses are these in red and blue colours?” he asked. When told that the buses were provided by the Lagos State government to ease transportation and that they have been around for about five years, he said:” Ah, Lagos has changed o.It was not like this when I was arrested during the military administration of Col. Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Then, it used to be Danfo buses that conveyed commuters to their different destinations. Lagos has indeed changed for good.” Moments later, Owodo took a bottle of table water, his first in 17 years saying: ”Before my travails began in 1995, there was nothing like this on the streets of Lagos. What we had then was water sold in nylon and the quality was far from being good. This is the first time I am going to take something like this and I can tell you that it would be my only ‘food’ for today because I am too happy to eat any food.” He made a brief stop-over at LEDAP’s office in Anthony Village before leaving for his residence at No 6, Ojo Lane, Ajegunle.The neighbourhood was agog as soon as he arrived at about 7.30 pm.It was turned into a crusade ground as neighbours chorused popular hymns to thank God for Owodo’s freedom from death’s jaw.Not a few of the neighbours who spoke on condition of anonymity said his


My experience waiting for the hangman for 17 years —33-yr-old Violation of any of these laws could earn culprits punishment ranging from frog jump, beating, washing of lavatory and discharge of faeces of inmates which is the most severe of the punishments because the faeces usually leaked from the bucket while the culprits carried it on their heads

•Williams Owodo


Kunle AKINRINADE case was shocking considering the fact that he was innocent of the crime he was convicted for. Reliving the unfortunate incident, in an interview with our reporter, Owodo said:” I was wrongly sentenced to death. I never believed I could be held for a crime I did not commit let alone earn a death sentence. At that time, I was a final year student of Creek High School, Ajegunle. On February 1, I995, I decided to play football with some of my friends in the neigbourhood, precisely at a place called Amaechi Lane. At about 6pm while I was on my way home after the football session was over, a police patrol van pulled up by my side and I was pushed into the vehicle and taken to Ajeromi Police Station. “I was accused of being responsible for the murder of one Daniel Obi. I told them that I was just returning from a football match and that I had been wrongly held for a crime I did not commit.

But my explanations to the policemen fell on deaf ears as I was refused access to my parents and relations. I was asked to write a statement not knowing that detectives handling the case were not comfortable with the fact that I insisted on being innocent.” He was subsequently taken to SCID, Panti, Lagos for further interrogation and that was where it dawned on him that he might not return home so soon. “On February 13, 1995, I was transferred to SCID, Panti where I was interrogated but I kept saying that I was innocent of the allegation and that I was being unjustifiably held. Then, a particular officer took me to a dingy room and asked if I was ready to say the truth or not. I reiterated that I was innocent and he became furious. He then

ordered me to get under a table inside the room and hit me with iron rod and gun butt and I started bleeding. “Not minding the fact that I was bleeding, the unfeeling officer tore my statement and brought out a prepared statement asking me to sign or get killed. At this point, I had no other option than to sign the contrived statement. The statement was what the police prosecutors presented during my trial at the Lagos High Court. Unfortunately, the court relied on the statement to convict me of murder and wrongly sentenced me to death.” He also recalled his years on death row inside the prison:” I was

put in Cell 36, popularly called ‘German Cell’. That cell is specially reserved for condemned criminals and it was so small that it could barely accommodate three people but that was where nine of us (inmates) stayed. I never stopped praying to God to exonerate and save me from being used as a sacrificial lamb for a crime I did not commit and I thank Him for saving my life.” There are, however, about 66 ordinances for inmates to obey, a violation of which, according to Owodo, earns the culprit punishments. “The prison is a peculiar environment. It is referred to as ‘Inside World’ by inmates and


THE NATION, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2012 there are 66 laws that must be strictly obeyed. My experience in prison has taught me to be more law- abiding because inmates who violate any of the laws risk minimum punishments and I had my own fair of the punishment when I violated some of the laws. “Section one of the ‘constitution’ says that the provost’s order or decision is final; section two says the ‘Chief Judge’s’ order is final; section three says that there should be no mutiny in the cell; section four says that there should be no sodomy in the cell; section five says that act of indiscipline shall not be tolerated; section six says that there shall be no expensive joke; section seven says that there shall be no noise after midnight; section eight says that there shall be no killing of lice or bed bug; section nine forbids the abuse of lavatory; section ten forbids pouring of water on the floor among others. Violation of any of these laws could earn culprits punishment ranging from frog jump, beating, washing of lavatory and discharge of faeces of inmates which is the most severe of the punishments because the faeces usually leaked from the bucket while the culprits carried it on their heads.” For Owodo, the freedom comes with pains and this much was reflected when he called the reporter on the telephone at about 1.30 am to complain of sleeplessness. He said: “Bros, sorry for disturbing you at this odd hour; it is just that I cannot sleep at all and I guess it has something to do with my days inside the prison. What can you advise?” The reporter however asked him to pick up a book or newspaper to read in order for him to fall into sleep. The case against Owodo was that he was part of a group of boys who fought and stabbed one Daniel Obi to death in February 1995 in Ajegunle, Lagos State. The prosecutors contended that he was among the eight other boys who were playing cards in the neighbourhood but spread dried cassava flour on the nearby street as bait to rob people. They were alleged to have had common intention that anyone who stepped on the cassava would be challenged, providing them the opportunity to rob such a person of his or her property which included the deceased person. But the defence of Owodo was that he had only gone out to play football with his friends and that he was on his way home when a police patrol van pulled up and he was pushed into the van and taken to Ajeromi Police Station. Owodo had explained that many other persons were also raided and arrested that evening and brought to the police station. Some of those arrested, he said, paid money to bail themselves out while he had no money to pay for his bail and could not reach his parents. He was arraigned for murder and subsequently sentenced to death on December 5, 2003 by a Lagos High Court. However, the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on November 30, 2012 delivered judgment (in suit CA/L/ 148C/2005) in favour of Owodo, a juvenile at the time of the alleged offence, discharging and acquitting him of the

•Williams Owodo

charges against him after 17 years on death row, following the appeal filed by Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), an organisation that works to free prisoners it

believes could be innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. In the well-considered judgment that resolved all the issues in favour of Owodo, Justices A.A Augie, Ibrahim Saulawa and Adamu Jauro held, amongst others, that “Undoubtedly, the findings of the learned trial judge are prejudiciously outrageous and rather antithetical to the well-cherished fundamental doctrine of fair hearing. There was no eye witness that testified and linked the death of the deceased person to Owodo. The judges said that the High Court which sentenced him to death failed to conduct a trial within trial when the accused person gave evidence that he was beaten with rod and forced to sign the written statement that the lower court relied on to convict and sentence him to death. “More so, at the time of the incident, the accused person was under aged and ought to have been taken to Juvenile Court for trial. Consequently, the conviction and sentence perversely passed upon the appellant by the lower court, in charge No.ID/28C/96, are hereby quashed. Accordingly, the Appellant is discharged and acquitted.” In his remarks, Owodo’s lawyer, Barr Chino Obiagwu, said:” Again, like I said earlier, this year following the outcome of the appeal of one Olatunji Olaide(who was also freed in similar circumstances by the Appeal Court), this is a case that calls for an in-depth re-evaluation and urgent overhauling of our criminal justice system, especially as it relates to the use of capital punishment. We cannot continue to be sentencing innocent persons to death, only for the appeal court to upturn the judgment after a decade or more when the appellant must have served unlawful sentence and deprivation of his personal liberty in the prison. “This case is very pathetic in the sense that a juvenile like Owodo should not have been charged with a capital offence in the first instance”, he added. Although, he may have lost the chance of playing professional football, however, Owodo, a native of Isoko, Delta State, did not allow despondency while on death row. He wrote and passed General Certificate Examination (GCE) in flying colours and subsequently enrolled for a degree in Cooperative Management at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons satellite campus of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). He said: “I don’t just want to continue to cry and I wanted to do something better with my life since my death warrant had not been signed yet. I knew that I could make up for my academic deficiency since my arrest and trial had truncated my studies in high school, hence, I wrote GCE and passed with good grades. My performance in the examination was what encouraged me to enroll for a degree course in Cooperative Management at NOUN satellite campus in Kirikiri; after all, If I miss playing professional soccer, I shouldn’t miss the opportunity of becoming a graduate in life.”

Ondo trader found in latrine 10 days after she was declared missing Kunle AKINRINADE


•Late Iyabo Ogunoye

EN days after she was declared missing, the body of a trader, Iyabo Ogunoye, was found in a pit latrine. According to eyewitnesses, the 48-year-old woman, who until her death was a trader at Iloro, Oke-Aro area of Akure, had just performed her ablution when an unidentified man visited her and they went out together. The disappearance of Ogunoye had caused panic in the area with fears that she might have fallen victim to kidnappers. Following her disappearance on November 16, 2012, her relations launched a search for her and also reported the matter at the B Police Division, Oke-Aro, Akure. A source who asked not to be named said: “It was shocking that the woman’s body had swollen almost beyond recognition by the time she was found in a toilet in the market. “On the day of the incident, the woman had barely finished performing ablution when a stranger visited her. Minutes later, she left with the unidentified man to an unknown destination. We had thought she would soon return but she did not until her body was discovered a few days later.” A trader in the market, Adenrele Aderomoye, who described the deceased as enterprising recalled the remarks of her relations, which brought a twist into her strange death. He said: “The deceased was an enterprising woman and was very prayerful. She would come to the market as early as possible to sell her wares, and she had a thriv-

ing business. That is why I do not share the theory that she might have committed suicide or fallen victim to kidnappers. “Whatever is responsible for her death should be left for law enforcement agents to unravel. She was very unassuming and pleasant to relate with. “However, I want to believe that there is more to her death than meets the eye. For example, one of her relations called Aderobagun claimed that the strange visitor had addressed her by her native name, Rolake, and that the name was only known to close family members. “In fact it was further revealed that she had stopped using the name a few years ago when she became a woman leader in her community. “When it was time for the removal of her decomposing body from the latrine, the foul smell prevented rescuer and policemen from picking it up. A Hausa trader in the market had to pay some Hausa men some money to remove the body.” The remains of the deceased woman have since been taken to the Akure General Hospital for autopsy. Another source who pleaded anonymity queried the attitude of traders at the market, saying: “It is rather astonishing that traders at the market were unconscious of their environment. How come the traders did not search the toilet where Ogunoye’s body was found? How come the traders at the market did not perceive the nauseating odour emanating from her decomposing body? All these should form the basis of investigation into the incident to douse the tension trailing the woman’s death.” Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr. Aremu Adeniran, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said:”The incident is true and the case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). Investigation is ongoing.”



ere we are, about to say goodbye to the year 2012. I’m feeling nostalgic already as I remember the great embraces of the year 2012… and the kisses too. Like a child, I opened my arms to the universe at the beginning of the year and like a child the year carried me up high and with God in every step of the way, I was not let down. The year 2012 offered me some of the best gifts life has on offer and it made me sail over many seas without drowning. As I surrendered to the dictates of God, I flew over many mountains and across the skies and to the


I won’t forget the kisses of 2012

greatest kisses of my life… to the beauty of God ever so sure. I stayed under the shadow of the Being who made me be where angels take dominance and make the sun comforting. I learnt the lessons of life and of love and of giving without wanting anything in return. I got to a place of freedom and so, I won’t ever forget the great kisses 2012 gave me. The year 2012 has been for me a good year. I lost some, I gained some and I look forward to 2013 with hope. I

pray we all get there with God steering the boats of our life. This year 2012 will soon become another yesterday in our lives, may our tomorrow be bright and beautiful. And may it offer us a lot of emotional kisses and embraces. To a lot of you out there whose love made me glow, I can’t help but appreciate you openly. Senator Umaru Dahiru (as usual), I bow my head and say thank you. Abiodun Saheed Hammed… thanks for watching my every step and never leaving me

alone. You sure made the year great and sweet. Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, I haven’t stopped saying thank you and God bless you. Bukola Daniyan, I feel your love today and always. Look at you all Hearts fans in whose voices I hear love and get carried to heights up, up there, I don’t know what I’d do without you all. May we all live happy lives all through 2013. May God grant my last wish for 2012 – May I will be here to welcome us by with love and kisses and warm embraces, amen.

I love my wife and I’m clean, but could she be unfaithful?


am indebted to you. I cry out of emotion when I see how you advice at times. My wife of 21 years, 16 of which was childless just asked me the effect and consequence adultery. I did not answer her but I have not been the same ever since. We have two 2 kids – boy and girl. Please advice; I don’t want to insinuate that she just asked me that question for nothing but I find it strange that she did. Could she have started anything? I love my wife and I’m clean, that’s why I am worried. •My dear brother, stop breaking your heart over nothing. There are so many ways a man can know if his wife is cheating, and one of them is NOT through innocent questions. If your wife is cheating on you, I bet, you wouldn’t be the person she’d be asking such a question. Most people who cheat are really discreet about it; in fact, you may be the last to know about it. I’m going to show you 10 signs to know if your spouse is cheating on you and 10 tips to help you rekindle your love if it is running low. Cheer up brother and make the New Year one to remember in your marriage: Here are 10 signs your partner may be cheating on you. 1) Cell Phone: If your partner is very protective of their cell phone, they may be trying to hide text messages or phone calls. Yes, I know you can erase text messages and phone calls. I honestly believe if your partner will not leave the phone in the room with you alone, they are trying to hide something. Text messages during late night hours is another sigh. A friend may once in a while send a text message but if they are getting text messages almost every night really late, I would be very suspicious. 2) Attitude: Attitude is everything. Mood swings to me is a sign to look for. If your partner goes out and comes home in a bad mood or is acting weird for say....not wanting anything to do with you, if they are cheating, they are feeling guilty but place the blame on you for it. In my experience, it’s easier for the cheater to push you away making you feel as if you did something wrong. 3) Clothing: This is a big deal. If you can smell perfume or cologne then it’s a huge possibility they have been around someone else. It’s not uncommon for people to hug others who wear large around of perfume or cologne. This by its self doesn’t make them a cheater. However, if they have been out late or all night for that matter and they blame it on a family member, be suspicious.

4) Bathroom: If your partner comes home and goes straight to the bathroom, showers, or whatever, this could be a sign too. If they take a shower and hide their clothes, it’s not a good thing. 5) Going Out: If you ask to go out with your partner and they tell you NO! You can’t go. There is a reason. Either they are meeting someone or they are not really going where they say they are. If for some weird chance they do allow you to go but act like you are not even with them, it’s time to take notice. Watch the room because it’s possible the person is going to show up. Most people who cheat don’t always tell the person they are seeing they are married or with someone for that matter. If you happen to see someone spending a lot of time around them that you don’t know, be weary. 6) Sex: This one is never an easy subject to tackle. This can go several different ways. First if they are not interested in having sex with you but once in a blue moon there could be a problem. I was always told if your partner is not getting it at home they are getting it somewhere else. However, they could be getting it at home and everywhere else too. You really just don’t know on this one. In my experience, if they are settled with one person they are cheating with then you are not going to be seeing much action from them. If they are still getting it from you on a regular basis, chances are they could be seeing more than one person. Change in sex habits is a sign to watch for. If they are trying out new things but in the past kept them the same all the time, I would ask why the new interest? If they just don’t seem to be enjoying it or seem to be a million miles a way it’s possible you’re not the one they are wanting to be with. 7) Truck/Car: If your partner keeps the truck/car locked and they don’t want you getting anything out of it unless they are with you, it’s possible a sign is there. If the keys to that car are not kept out in the open and they are hiding them from you. It’s a reason behind it. 8) Unexplained Receipts: Dinner for two, that’s not uncommon but if you find a receipt for jewelry or lingerie dated around Christmas and it’s March and you know you didn’t receive that type of gift from him that’s a clear bonus they are cheating. Don’t be surprised to hear they picked that up for a buddy or they lost it. The best excuse he could come up with was he placed the bag on the top of his car and drove off, forgetting about the purchase. Yeah right. 9) Friends: If your partner is hanging out with single people or married ones that you know cheat on their partner’s you should be concerned. Single people go out to mingle with

other singles. I am not saying it’s not ok to have single friends when you’re in a relationship but if they are out all the time and you’re never invited, this is a sign. 10) Your Gut Instinct: By far your gut instinct is the best source you will ever have. This feeling of sickness in the pit of your stomach when you see them

drag in at day break should never be ignored. I believe our mind and body know the fact that we are being cheated on long before our heart ever does. And now my brother, if you have checked all the hints and your wife is a saint, please give her a kiss and a hug and try out the following tips to put some fire into your marriage:

Hearts With Adeola Agoro

E-mail: Tel: 08023162609

Is it ok to marry a woman 7 years older than me?


ear A, good evening. How’re you and the family? Thanks for publishing my request on 17/ 11/12. Ask God to connect me to the right person. Is it ok to marry a woman 7 years older than me? Personally I don’t like it. Keep up the good job. Shalom. Rev Lucky. •Dear Rev. Lucky, I know so many couples whose marriages have lasted through the years and in some of the cases, the wives are older than their husbands. So, personally, I don’t frown at age difference in relationships. But it may call for alarm and concern if you want children (a must in Africa) and the woman is above child-bearing age.

10 Tips to help you rekindle the love for your spouse by Kristi Patrice Carter


f you and your spouse have reached a stale point in yourrelationship, don’t fear - help is near. Just about every marriage (whether you’ve been married a few months or years) may experiences a time when the two of you and your spouse need to reconnect. In this article, I’ll provide you with some proven tips to spice up your marriage and get the ball rolling again. Look for the good in your partner. Just like you did when you first got together, you should make an effort to see the good in your partner. When you first met, their nuisances were cute and attractive so try and ignore those annoyances once again. By seeing the good in your spouse, complimenting them and making them feel special, you’ll set the tone for a better marriage. Be more affectionate and loving. Touch your spouse more and tell them that you love them. For instance, when they come home from work, give them a welcome home kiss. Instead of saying gruffly, “Oh hey , it’s you.” Instead, give them a real hug and a kiss (even a wet one if the time is right. This will prove that you do love and care about them. Spend quality time together. Many relationships hit a stale point when they don’t make their relationship a priority. So, take time out of your schedule to

spend some quality time with your spouse. Whether you decide to cuddle while watching the news or go to a romantic movie, just do it. Make your spouse a priority now. Don’t wait. Be spontaneous. If you do the same old thing every single day, your marriage is bound to seem unexciting. Therefore, spice things up a bit. Do something totally unpredictable. For instance if you normally spend Sunday afternoons working in your garden and your hubby is a Cubs fan give up the gardening for a day and go to a Sunday game. Just do something to get out of the rut you’re in. Encourage time away. Although it is important to do fun stuff together, you should also spend time alone. Encourage your spouse to spend time with friends. For instance, if your spouse loves to play golf, encourage him to play a few rounds of golf with his friends. You can then have a spa date with some girlfriends. Enjoy your life. Don’t be so serous all the time. If your spouse is in a bad mood, don’t have a hissy fit. Everyone makes mistakes so lighten up and stop being so pessimistic. Learn to laugh instead of pout. Do the things that make you happy. You’ll then find that you’re more fun to be around. Listen to your spouse and communicate effectively.

Instead of talking all the time, really listen to your spouse. Concentrate on what they’re saying and let them know that you care enough to listen to them. Pay attention to them, especially about matters that are important to them. Make time for romance. Intimacy and passion are paramount to a healthy marriage. So romance your spouse and make lovemaking a priority to ensure that you rekindle your relationship and show how much you love and value your spouse. Control your anger. When you are angry, you often say hurtful things that you can’t take back. Therefore, you must learn to control your anger at all costs. If you need to take a “time out” then take it. This will ensure that you don’t say something harmful to your spouse. Ask for forgiveness. If you mess up and say something harmful or damaging, sincerely apologize right away. Often times when couples argue, there is a lot of tension. By admitting you were wrong, you demonstrate that you are sorry and care about your spouse’s feelings. In conclusion, a successful marriage is hard work but it is well worth the effort. If you notice that your relationship needs a little rekindling, try the above tips and in no time at all, you’ll rekindle the passion and love that’s there but just needs to be fired up.

•L-R: Chairman DHB Construction Ltd, Mr Hakeem Alobo-Bakare receiving a plaque and certificate from the President of the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration (CILGPA) prof. Adekunle Awotokun at the induction of the fellows of the institute held at the University of Lagos.... recently

In that case, you must talk it over. I don’t know how old you are and so I cannot say if this woman who is seven years older is right for you. If you however love her and think you will be happy with her, then go ahead. May God connect you to the right person. Good luck. Shallom!

I don’t think I have feelings for my boyfriend

Good day ma. My name is Joy, I am 17years old, I have a boyfriend that admire but I don’t think I have feelings for him, though he likes me. He is 8 years older than me and the problem is that he hardly calls nor texts till I do it myself. He is a nice guy though he works a lot but we hardly talk to each other. • Dear Joy, from all indications, you’re not in a relationship. First, you’re not sure of your feelings for this guy, second, he’s not helping matters y not showing he cares enough. Words of mouth alone cannot prove love, actions do. At 17, try to be preoccupied with things that will advance you in the future. Let this boy face the work he loves so much… more than he cares about you and you should face what you care about more than him too. From you to me •Aunty Adeola, it’s true you don’t know me, but only heaven can tell how much IMPACT your work is affecting lives generally, myself in particular. I cannot thank you enough. 08034065990. •Agoro Merry Xmas. My name is Ehi, a professional colleague of yours, based in Abuja. Kindly do me a favour. I want you to please help publish this in your column - l’m Ehi, male, 45, journalist and fromIshan in Edo state. I need a 30 to 35 year old lshan lady for marriage. She must be a qualified nurse and a good Christian, busty and butty. 08032138794. •Merry Xmas and Happy New Year in advance Deola. A short prayer, God will continuously bless you and all your expectations God will grantthem on time. A fan of your column. 07037497326. •May His Grace, Peace, Love, Mercy and Protection continue to be upon you and your family throughout this season and beyond. Merry Xmas & prosperous New Year. 08023033692. •Merry Christmas and Happy New & Prosperous Year to U & your family. In Jesus Name. Amen. God bless U. From All of Us-Adamma, Dami, Ayo, Lola & Richard Aguda. +2348033946969. •Beloved, compliments of the season. Imeba Davis Olayi wishes you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May it be a memorable season to remember. Be Blessed. •This text comes from one of readers, I’m using this medium to thank you for wonderful writing and the creative ways through which you touch people’s lives, Merry Xmas. Oliver. 08105384986. •Merry Christmas dear. Abdullahi, 08033288236. P.S: I’m indeed very grateful to all of you who sent season’s greetings to me. I’m sorry I can only publish these few. I will try to do more next week y God’s grace. One thing is sure, I appreciate you all. Thank you.




T ALL happened so quickly that before I knew what was happening, we were on the bed, tangled together... Obviously, Timi seduced me. But at my age, shouldn’t I have had enough self-control to resist, you might wonder. But what grown, hotblooded man could see a naked woman, with the kind of assets Timi had, and resist? Even a monk would have fallen to such temptation! Anyway, that’s how Timi and I became lovers. Initially, I just saw the affair as a fling, and Timi as someone to keep me company on lonely nights as my wife was so far away. I loved my wife and family and I didn’t want to do anything to hurt them. But I had reckoned without my errant heart. Before long, I had fallen madly in love with Timi. I spent most of my free time with her and I didn’t like her being away from me for long. Because of her, my visits to Lagos to see my wife and family reduced drastically and whenever she complained, I would tell her it was due to pressure of work. At the end of her service year, Timi wanted to return to Lagos where her parents lived to look for work. But I was against the idea as that would mean our being separated. The thought of her going so far away from me filled me with dread. My life would be completely empty without her. “I will get a job for you here, in Port-Harcourt,” I told her. I was true to my words. Shortly after, I spoke to the branch manager of a bank in the city who was a tennis partner of mine at the club. Within a month, Timi had been offered a job at the bank. By this time, she had left the corpers’ quarters she had been living in and moved in with me. “What if your wife comes to visit you unannounced?” she asked, a few days after she moved into my house. “We will cross that bridge when we get there,” I stated, holding her close in my arms and kissing her. My wife had only visited me twice in the four years I had been living in the city and she had in-

formed me well in advance on both occasions. Living with Timi was wonderful. She was quite caring and always concerned about my welfare. As for me, I loved her to bits and could not imagine life without her. I had no idea what the future held. I was just happy to spend my days and nights with her, to love and be loved by her. I was careful though, to keep the affair with Timi from my wife. Once in a few months, I would travel to Lagos and see her and the children and act the role of a good family man. But most times, I couldn’t wait to return to my sweet Timi, to hold her close to me. Things went on this way for about a year. Then a day came when things came to a head. It was a Saturday afternoon. There was no work so we were both at home. I was watching a football match on TV while Timi was in the kitchen, helping Johnson prepare lunch. “Lunch will soon be ready, honey,” Timi said, coming into the living room and sitting on my lap. She planted a kiss on my lips but at that instance, I was more interested in the action on the TV screen than in her caresses. “You and football,” she grumbled as she got up to return to the kitchen. Just then, the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it!” Timi said, making for the door. I could hear her speaking with someone at the door, then she came back in and announced: “Honey, there’s a woman at the door asking for you.” I got up to see who was at the door. Standing there, a sour look on her face was my wife!

The showdown The sight of my wife at the door, arriving so unexpectedly without warning, so shocked me, that I just stood there, gaping at her. Then I came to myself and said: “Mary, what are you doing here?” She brushed me aside and came into the room, dropping her traveling bag on the floor. “What kind of question is that? Is that the way to welcome your wife who has travelled all the way from Lagos to see you?” she demanded

Beyond pardon (2)

crossly, surveying the living room as if looking for something. “I’m sorry, but you gave me quite a surprise. You should have told me you were coming. I would have sent the driver to pick you at the airport,” I stated. “Do I need permission before coming to see my own husband?” she asked, going to sit on the couch. “I know, but...” I started to say when Timi came into the room. “Honey, lunch is ready. Should I serve it now?” she asked, coming to stand by me and holding my hand. Seeing Mary, she said: “Welcome, ma.” Then she asked me with some curiosity: “Is she your sister?” Mary stood up. “What’s going on here? Daddy Michael, who is this girl?” she asked.

“Em...This is Timi...” I said. “And I’m his girlfriend,” Timi quickly added. “What?” she exclaimed. “So, all the rumours I’ve been hearing are true. That you’ve been living with a girl in this house. How could you?” she shouted angrily at me. “Mary, calm down. Let me explain,” I said. “You say I should calm down? Is that all you can say? Anyway, this nonsense must end today! Little girl,” she addressed Timi, “I’m giving you ten minutes to pack your things and get out of this house. If you are still here at the end of that time, I won’t be responsible for my actions!” “And who are you to order me around in my man’s house?” Timi demanded, in an equally angry tone. “You still don’t get it? Well, let me tell you since you are so thick-headed. I’m his wife

and this is my home. So, get the hell out!” she screamed at her. “What?” Timi exclaimed, looking anxiously at me... **** “Look, Mary. Try to understand the situation. What happened was not planned. One thing led to the other and before I knew it, I was in really deep,” I stated. We were in my bedroom later that night. We had spent the past few hours or so arguing over Timi and what I should do about her. I had refused to allow her leave the house after Mary’s order to her to pack out. “She has no where to go. Give me sometime to make alternative arrangements for her,” I had told her earlier. “What situation do you want me to understand? That the moment my back was turned, you went and

brought in a girl into my home. A girl that’s about the same age as Kate, our first daughter? Francis, you should be ashamed of yourself!” “I’ve said I’m sorry. Besides, you are partly to blame too for the situation,” I pointed out. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, glaring at me. “Well, if you had moved here with me, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s not easy for a man of my age to live alone,” I stated quietly. “So, you are now putting the blame on me. Instead of accepting your mistakes and cleaning up the mess you’ve created, you are looking for a scapegoat for your misdeeds. You are really pathetic!” she stated. “It’s late so stop shouting. Do you want the neighbours to hear?” I told her. “Let them hear! I don’t care. At least they will know the kind of man you are; one who can’t control that thing in his trousers!” “Mary!” I cautioned her, glaring at her. She glared back before resuming the quarrel. I laid on the bed, silent, listening with half an ear to what she was saying, how my wandering eyes will put me in trouble one of these days, that did I not think of the children and the many years of marriage we had had before jumping into bed with any thing in skirts? Timi was in the guest room and I wondered whether she was asleep. She had been unwilling to move from my bedroom and I had had to plead with her, assuring her that she would be back once my wife was gone. Two days later, Mary returned to Lagos. Before leaving, she had given me an ultimatum: “The next time I come, somebody will.. •To be continued What was the ultimatum that Mary gave her husband? Find out next week! •Names have been changed to protect the narrator’s identity. Send comments/suggestions to or 08023201831.

For the rich to enjoy their wealth in peace (2) Land of show-offs, tax evaders

•Continued from last week HILE crimes of any sort including kidnappings should be condemned by any right-thinking person, the rich in the country have their own share of the blame for the sorry state of affairs. One reason for this is the manner they flaunt their wealth. In a country like Nigeria with so much poverty, disease and other developmental challenges staring us in the face daily, it smacks of the highest level of insensitivity for those with money to ‘show off’ their riches so flagrantly. It’s even worse when all this ‘flaunting’ is done by our elected leaders. It’s an open secret that those in elective positions in the country, like governors, senators, House of Rep members and other representatives live above the peoplemany live lifestyles of immense luxury and extravagance while most of the citizens whose interests they are supposed to represent live in grinding penury. They live in multibillion Naira mansions, fly around in private jets and helicopters and drive exotic cars that even the Queen of England (one of the richest women in the world), doesn’t drive. To them, the word ‘modest lifestyle’ doesn’t exist. And the sad thing about this is that most of the money used in funding their flamboyant lifestyles which they flaunt in our faces, are public funds, money that is desperately needed to develop our country. Looking at their lifestyles, one would think that Nigeria is a country with the resources of the U.S and China combined instead of a resource-rich but poor country still battling with the challenges of a developing country.


Nigeria must be the only country in the world where a man will announce to the world that he is a rich man. In other climes, especially in the Western world, the opposite is the norm-the rich live mostly modest lifestyles and hardly flaunt their wealth. The reason for this is obvious: to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to themselves and because of the taxman. For over there, the rich are heavily taxed and flaunting your wealth is an open invitation to the taxman to come and take his ‘cut’ of your wealth. Here, though, most of our wealthy class don’t pay taxes, at least not as much as expected, considering what they make. It’s the ordinary workers whose taxes are deducted at source from their meager salaries who are the real tax payers in this country. Besides tax evasion, the rich in our midst have no idea what wealth is meant for. To them, it’s just for living a life of affluence and grandeur: for acquiring the good things of life such as big houses, expensive cars, designer clothes, foreign holidays to exotic places, an Ivy league education for the kids and so on... Nothing wrong in living the good life if you can afford it, have worked hard and genuinely earned it (and not by looting public funds or through other unscrupulous means). But there’s more to wealth possession than the above. One man who understood clearly the real purpose of wealth was Andrew Carnegie, an American billionaire industrialist, philanthropist and at one time the richest man in the world. Carnegie believed wholeheartedly that the rich should use their wealth to enrich society, stating publicly that ‘the rich have a moral obligation to give away their fortunes’- that those with great wealth must be socially responsible and use their assets to help others. This belief was stated in his book, “The Gospel of Wealth.” He did not mean charity but philanthropy- his idea being

to use his wealth to give people the opportunity to help themselves. He did this by providing funds to build libraries, schools and other training institutions. In total he funded more than 2,500 libraries throughout the UK, the US and Canada and at his death in 1919, he had given away $350 million out of his wealth. Though small in stature at only 5ft 1in tall, he was a man with a very big heart indeed! In Nigeria today, we have a lot of Carnegies, but what do they do with their riches? Apart from a few who are humane, the majority do nothing but live ostentatious, flamboyant lifestyles, endlessly seeking after the pleasures that their money can buy, acquiring frivolous items like private jets that add no value to society. And all this smack in the middle of millions of deprived, hungry and needy countrymen who have lost hope in the system. Are you then surprised that kidnapping and other crimes are on the rise? The chickens have surely come home to roost! Now the rich live in fear. They can’t even drive their expensive cars on the roads anymore for fear of armed robbers or kidnappers. Has it thus, not become glaringly obvious that for the rich in the society (especially the ruling class) to have a peaceful environment to enjoy their wealth, they must care about the poor, the teeming masses in their midst? The days of ignoring them, pretending that they don’t exist must end. From history, we know what happened in societies that ill-treated the poor masses among them, while the aristocrats wallowed in their profligate lifestyles. The French Revolution that took place in 18th century France, which led to the demise of the Royal Family and other members of the ruling class, is a good example. Let’s learn from history and avoid the looming catastrophe hanging over us. •Concluded




Food poisoning F

OOD poisoning may be from bacterial action in food or from chemicals (toxins) added to food. From ancient times, we have employed poisons in social strife. Many rulers, including popes, employed a “taster” (generally a slave or servant) to eat from their food before they proceeded to eat. If the taster did not die, the ruler would eat. This is because some poisons, once you consume them, take you to a point of no return. They may act fast and destructively and may have no easy antidote. People who experience evil rivalries or enmities often find themselves wary of the possibility of being poisoned. The most toxic poison known to man is botulinum toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Fortunately, the bacterium can be destroyed by adequate cooking. Botulinum toxin can accumulate in rotten meat and feces and can contaminate foods and drinks. You need only one gram of it to kill about 80,000 people. Some poisons cannot be tasted in food but they are deadly and only a miracle can save you from them. No wonder our parents taught us to pray before eating. I often wonder that Jesus told his followers that they shall drink poison and it will not hurt them. Obviously in his time and always, poisons may appear in our foods because they are regularly employed by enemies and people who see us as threats. Undetectable poisons include arsenic, sodium cyanide, potassium cyanide, compound 1080 (pesticide) and many drugs. Ricin from castor oil seeds is also a deadly poison. Potassium chloride, injected or taken orally in overdose, produces cardiac arrest (stops the heart) and causes rapid death. For autopsy, it leaves a void. These are some of the tools of professional assassins and people

who have lost their minds. Inadvertent food poisoning may come from poor hygiene and bad cooking. If you consume food that contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms and poisonous chemicals that they produce, you get food poisoning. Some of the notorious microorganisms that cause food poisoning are: Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Norovirus (stomach flu), Rotavirus (common in infants), Campylobacter enteritis, Bacillus cereus (found in starchy foods such as rice), Toxoplasma, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes (may progress to meningitis (brain infection)), Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum (nerve poison causing botulism), Vibrio cholera, Vibrio parahaemolyticus (found in fish and causes undercooked fish poisoning), Shigella (causes traveller’s diarrhoea) and Hepatitis A virus. These bacteria in culture are sometimes employed maliciously as a biological weapon to poison foods and drinks. Clostridium botulinum can be airborne and is a potential terrorist weapon for mass destruction. Diarrhoea and poisoning by parasites tend to last longer than bacterial poisoning. Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma are transmitted through poor quality water and other means. Bacteria may act directly on the intestines to cause inflammation and impairment of water and nutrient absorption, hence diarrhoea or bacteria may produce toxins. These toxins can induce nausea and vomiting, kidney failure, and death. Bacterial food poisoning outbreak often occurs after large gathering feeding (picnics, social functions), during festivities, or in public eateries such as restaurants and school cafeterias. Travellers often get food poisoning in environments that they are not acclimatized to or lack immunity for (traveller’s sickness). Pregnant and breastfeeding women should especially take care to protect the foetus from Listeria and other infections. Older people and people with chronic illnesses may have weakened immunity and could be more prone to severe food poisoning. The common types of food poisoning start about 2-6 hours

after consuming the poison. Symptoms of food poisoning include: abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, fever and chills, headache, nausea and vomiting, and weakness. In many cases of food poisoning, the person recovers without any special treatment within one or two days. Generally, a person may need to manage the diarrhoea, control nausea and vomiting, and rest. Your pharmacist can assist you. If symptoms of food poisoning are severe or chronic, (e.g. bloody stools) you should get clinical attention. Some cases may be deadly. Salmonella, Toxoplasma, and Listeria can kill especially in people with kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, or those receiving chemotherapy for cancer and have weaker immunity. Hepatitis A virus causes jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). Food poisoning in children less than 3 years old, pregnant women, people with chronic illness, people who are on oral medication and are vomiting, and people with weak immunity such as HIV/AIDS or cancer patients should always be taken to a doctor. Non-bacterial toxic agents in foods can also cause food sickness. These include pesticides on fruits and vegetables. Some foods have natural toxins and should be properly prepared: cassava has cyanide, mushrooms and some fish have constitutive toxins, and some fish have toxins in algae they consume. If such fish are not safely prepared for eating they can produce sickness (e.g. ciguatera and scombroid). We may think we have stored meat, fish, and dairy products well by refrigerating them. While away from home or at work, long power-cuts may cause bacteria build-up even in foods that still look fresh. Improper storage, refrigeration, or handling of food can easily produce food poising. Life is short and we must enjoy our eating and drinking (as well as our fasting). Let us not spoil it with poison, through carelessness or through malice. Bon appetite! Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email or call 07028338910

Hand hygiene and your health Health Matters This season and throughout the year With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670



ESTIVE seasons like you have during Christmas and New year come and go , but some preventable problems declare them selves soon after, and may accompany affected persons in to the new year. Overindulgence, and carelessness especially with personal safety and hygiene during such periods often come with severe consequences. There is usually more than enough for every one to eat and drink, but understandably, some people may prefer to go way from the regular home meals which pattern have become quite predictable, to places where the spice of life they argue is variety. Whether or not you choose to eat and drink within the comfort of their homes,, and for those who travel out to celebrate a few issues are worth considering. Food hygiene involves every thing that has to do with food from the point it is manufactured or farmproduced to that when it is put on the dining table. Food processing attempts to make food as safe as possible while retaining its nutritional appeal and values. Food handling comes in at different stages in the long chain. Though other parts of the human body like the feet are frequently involved in the production of some types of food, perhaps the most common are the hands. Medical people refer to the hand as the portion beginning from the wrist, passing through the palm/back of hand, and ending in the fingers. The

hands are used voluntarily, but at times we use our them reflexly and without much effort as will occur when a house fly(Musca domestica) gets too close to our eyes , we very quickly get rid of it sometimes by crushing and rubbing the debris with the other hand, and within the next 2 hours, we have shared the remains of the dead fly together with the load of infective material, carried in its hairy paws with several unsuspecting friends and neighbours. The hands have been found to be very useful in other areas beside defense and food gathering, Finger prints for crime detection and genetic analysis, estimation of stature, sex determination in cases of hermaphrodites, evaluation of the degree of familial predisposition to cancer are some of the areas where scientists have found the human hand to be useful. Beyond that, Physicians routinely examine the hand for clues on diseases occurring elsewhere in the body such as finger clubbing, brittle nails, excessively dark pigmentation of the palms and fingers etc. These may not show diseases that may have arisen because of poor hand hygiene Infection may be caused either by organisms from the host's normal flora (endogenous infection) or by organisms transmitted from another source (exogenous infection).For en-

dogenous infection, the normal flora will only invade if circumstances permit, as in Staphylococcus aureus that are normally found in the nose; when food is contaminated with a type and volume of this organism high enough to cause disease, you have food poisoning and can result in mass death. In the same token, we pick up organisms from parts of our body where they are usually resident without causing diseases; we do this when we scratch armpits, nose, ear, vagina, anus, groin, scalp, beard etc In other instances the foundation for infection is laid when we use handkerchiefs for days and weeks without washing them, when we sneeze directly into our hands and hurry about our business. Some mothers especially the illiterate ones change baby under wears and simply clean their hands on their wrappers ,most educated women are less likely to run foul, Other women making the delicacy of roast plantain and fish along the roads bother very little about what they do with their hands or the condition around them; many cases of salmonella enteritis can be traced to these outfits but no one can dispute that they have come to stay. Patients considered neutropenic are particularly prone to infection from organisms normally held in check by the body's defenses.

In the case of exogenous infection, the most important source of human infection is other humans. On the other hand, animal pathogens may be spread to humans by direct contact or in food. Such infections are called zoo noses and are common among people who on commercial scale rear pigs for pork meat, those who have poultry farms in their compounds, and fish farmers(cat fish) etc Battery hens are especially prone to the spread of Salmonella Sp, and poultry farmers are expected to maintain high levels of hand hygiene, if they know the danger of outbreaks of salmonella food poisoning Humans can also become infected from organisms in the inanimate(abiotic) environment. For example, poorly maintained air-conditioning cooling towers can be a source of Legionella pneumonia. Listeria monocytogenes, is a Grampositive organisms found in soil or animal faeces and can grow at low temperatures (410 °C); Factory workers usually change to ordinary dresses before living the premises but may hurriedly leave without washing their hands . Chemicals like lead, Arsenic, Mercury and petroleum degradation products are taken home Where they can directly contaminate food, water and drink. Doctors and nurses are careful to wash their hands every now and then to avoid hospital acquired infections. Another very common

source of hand infection is money. Paper money can get diseases from scabies, staph and Candida sp from the skin of infected individuals to others that are healthy but lazy when it comes to personal cleanliness Mechanisms of microbial organism transmission and survival. The host can aid survival, when the infecting organism is able to persist for a long time in the host, this acts as a reservoir of infection. Diarrhoea associated microorganisms when excreted in faeces, spread to other people through food or water(faecal-oral transmission). In addition, microorganisms have developed unique structures and behavior patterns that enable them survive and reproduce; "Spore forming bacteria ,have a tough coat and other mechanisms that enable them survive for many years. "•The eggs of Helminth(worms) have a tough coat adapted for survival in the environment. Airborne. A single sneeze can propell a cone of organism from the nose and mouth and these can remain suspended in the air on droplet nuclei (5 ?m). Infection occurs when these are inhaled by another person. Chest infections are mainly transmitted in this way. Faecal-oral Food and water contain pathogens that may infect the intestinal tract (e.g. Salmonella). Toxoplasmosis

and cysticercosis, which infect organs remote from the gut, are also transmitted by this route. Vector-borne Insects that feed on blood may transmit a wide range of pathogens: most importantly female anophelene mosquitoes transmit malaria. Other mosquitoes carry Filariasis responsible for limb swellings(ELEPHANTIASIS) others transmit Yellow fever.Moreover, there are other situations where it is the wastes from the insect that carries pathogenic organisms, and so using your bare hands to kill mosquitoes and other insect is unhealthy and potentially dangerous to yourself and others around you Sexual transmission Sexual intercourse allows organisms to be transmitted. Examples include Hepatitis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chancroid, Candida albicans and HIV. Transmission of HIV, Hepatitis especially Hepatitis B and C as well as Hemophylus Ducreyi Chancroid is enhanced not only by genital ulceration, but also ignorance and bad personal hygiene Short term effecst for contaminated food or water for instance may include attacks in asthmatics or fatal reaction in persons with blood related disorders, Long term effects, may be slow to develop as in Cancer of the liver, breast, prostate and lungs. To be continued



Dying boy closer to world record vice. UPS and F e d E x delivered hundreds m o r e . Dalton has stage four c y s t i c fibrosis. In October, his m o t h e r s a i d , “Doctors had given up on him.” “We left

•Dying Boy Closer to World Record


NDER the Christmas tree was everything 9-year-old Dalton Dingus had hoped for — an iPad and an iPhone, a big red toolbox filled with real tools just like his grandpa’s, and a stack of Christmas cards nearly as tall he, each with the same wish: that he live to break a Guinness record, and for a long, long time after that. For a month now, cards by the hundreds of thousands have come from all over the world — well wishes and Christmas greetings from cities and countries the Kentucky boy had never before even heard of. The cards have come from Germany and Ukraine, from South Carolina and South Korea. They’re written in languages Dalton cannot speak, but they all deliver the same message, a wish that the little boy set a Guinness record for receiving most Christmas cards before he succumbs to a disease that has already made it virtually impossible for him to breathe.

As far as his mother, Jessica Dingus, is concerned, “It’s a Christmas miracle.” At first, the cards came in slowly. A family friend had posted an appeal for well-wishes on Facebook. Dalton’s mother would display them on the mantel and in his room beside his bed. Most came from neighbors and friends, a few from friends of friends. That first post on Facebook went viral, spreading across the Internet, getting picked up by a local newspaper and other media. Miss Kentucky showed up at Dalton’s house in Salyersville, Ky., carrying some cards. So did a unit of Kentucky State Troopers and the star of Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman.” By Wednesday, his mother estimated the boy had received 504,269 cards. On Christmas Eve alone, the postal service delivered 30,000 individual letters, plus 1,972 packages, some of which were filled with cards and 55 express packages, said David Walton, a spokesman for the US Postal Ser-

Dr Brendan Lambe of the University of Leicester was in Nigeria for a faculty visit. He was at the Leadmode Resource Centre, one of the leading UK university education providers. He visited both the Abuja and Lagos offices of Leadmode where he spoke to students about what is required of them in their pursuit of distance learning . VIVIAN OKORIE spoke with him in Lagos. He talks about his impression about Nigeria. Excerpts: ou were once a journalist, I want you to assess the Nigerian newspapers you have seen so far. There are plenty of them. They write properly, sometimes, I wonder about the style of writing, sometimes it can be quite emotive. I’m quite used to reading articles that are less emotive. There is nothing wrong with it. When you were coming, did the stories you were reading about kidnapping in Nigeria give you goose pimples? I’m not afraid of kidnapping because they will leave me after two days. They will be sick of me . When I come to Nigeria, I know I’m not alone. Leadmode looks after me. I don’t feel particularly threatened here. I think people are nice. I’ve been walking to many places on my own in Lagos. It is a nice place. You don’t hear about these cases in Lagos. It is in the Niger Delta area this happens. I know you should not take chances. At the same time I don’t feel threatened. I’m used to living in an unusual place. I see Nigeria as a friendly place. I usually feel welcomed. I don’t feel threatened. Tell me some of the changes you have noticed in the students since the last time you were in Nigeria The students are confident and happy, even with the difficult times Leadmode has gone through. We expected people to be sad. I’m happy to see people happy the way they were the last time I was here. That is good. When I came to the company and I spoke with the students, the system worked well. They are confident about what they are doing and confident about the learning process.Everything is going on well. Our university is happy about the way they provide the service. Nigerian government will soon commence screening foreign degrees being brought into the country, what is your take on this? As a good provider of high quality education and one of the great universities in the world, we will welcome this. What it does is that it reinforces the UK degrees. If the Nigerian


the hospital to come home. They gave him two to eight days to live,” Jessica Dingus told Dalton takes 18 different medicines every day, including “lots of pills and antibiotics,” his mother said. He goes through 12 liters of oxygen a day and wears a face mask to help him breathe, making him look like a miniature fighter pilot with an interest in coloring and playing with Lego blocks. For weeks since the cards started coming, Jessica Dingus said, Dalton’s health has improved. “He’s doing pretty good now,” she said. “It’s just been the best Christmas ever. “He’s excited for the first time in a long time,” she said. “He’s smiling more. He’s laughing more, he’s beginning to become how he was two years ago. “I think just knowing people really do care for him, that the cards let him know people love him, it has all helped,” she said.

The cards can longer fit in Dalton’s home. The letter carrier can’t fit them all in her truck anymore, and a local television reporter has taken to filling a trailer to bring all the cards to Dalton’s grandfather’s church. There, at the Bethlehem to Cavalry Apostolic Church, dozens of volunteers, 50 of them on Christmas Eve alone, sorted the mail firebrigade style, forming lines and handing off the letters to empty the trailer. The volunteers count the cards and open and read each of them, flagging special ones to be brought to Dalton for him to read. “We’re looking for those special cards we think Dalton would like to read. One little girl said she wished he was her boyfriend,” said Debra Williams, a volunteer at the church. “The big majority of the town has sent cards or is helping out. Everyone just wants to do what we can. We’re all just praying and hoping,” she said. Despite some reports that Dalton had already broken the record for receiving the most Christmas cards, spokeswoman Jamie Panas said Guinness “currently does not monitor a category for this.” However, Guinness does have an old record on the books. As of 1992, the last official time Guinness allowed for a Christmas card category, Canadian Jarrod Booth had collected 205,120. Jessica Dingus told that she has since registered Dalton in the hopes the record keepers will open a category for him. There are some reports that Dalton has only until Dec. 31 to break the record, but Panas said that was not true. To send Dalton a Christmas card, address it to: Dalton Dingus HC 62 Box 1249 Salyersville, KY 41465

a i r e g i N g n i t Get difficult visa is

government is screening degrees, it means the abuses of this system can now be curbed. It will protect our reputation and protects the degrees and awards given to the students. I think this is a wonderful thing, and I’m happy to hear that. You have had an encounter with the Nigerian students, would you take up an offer to come and teach in any of the Nigerian universities? I would be happy. I would have loved to do it for two reasons. I like the country and I like the environment. I feel comfortable here. When I work with students through Leadmode, I find people very eager to learn. They don’t take education for granted which is what we don’t see in the UK. Sometimes people take education for granted. Professionally as a lecturer, this will be a perfect place to work. I see a lot of respect for education. In a society where there is respect for education , the standard of education will flourish. You have interacted with some of the Nigerian students, how would you describe Nigerian students? I will describe them as ambitious, hardworking and conscientious with drive to succeed, not only to get a piece of paper. Sometimes in our own universities, the concern is to get the piece of paper. Here, I can see keenness to learn everything on the course, to go beyond getting the piece of paper. I can see that in the students I talked to . The quality of work by the Nigerian students is very high. Do you see foreign universities coming to Nigeria to have their physical presence in the nearest future? I see the market. Foreign universities could come over and raise the standard across the board. This will be a good thing, but they probably need to be encouraged by the government. Foreign universities will come over, if they could rely on the service, if they could access all the basic things any business would need to thrive here. The only thing I can say is that when I was coming here, I had difficulty to get a visa. To get a visa here is expensive. There are a lot of things to go through before you get a visa. Unless you book a trip to Nigeria very well in advance, there is a chance that you might not get there. That was my experience, but I think, this could be addressed. How would you access Leadmode as a UK university education provider in Nigeria? I was very fortunate to have met Dr. Fakunle Odifa, the founder of Leadmode, before he passed away. When I met him, it was apparent that Leadmode is not just profit-making organization. There was more to it. There was philosophy behind it. Having had education in England, he wanted to share it with other people. Leadmode, the way I see it, its philosophy is that people should educate themselves and move forward and they consider this to be very important. If I was a Leadmode customer, I would be very happy. I’m happy to be here.

, r e r u t c e L , e r b e t m s e a c L i e — L f o y t i Univers

Source: Yahoonews





•Victor Chukwueke (second from the left) is shown with his surgeon, Dr. Ian Jackson, the doctor’s wife and the nun who has cared for him since he came to the United States.

His journey started in Nigeria, a taunted teenager with large tumors on his face, driven into deep despair.


LEVEN years later, Victor Chukwueke has undergone numerous surgeries and is a step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a doctor. In a rare act, the United States Congress passed a private bill last week granting Chukwueke permanent residency after years of his living in Michigan on an expired visa. The bill is awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature. “The day Congress passed the bill was one of the happiest days of my life,” says Chukwueke, who left Nigeria as a teen in 2001 to get treatment for the tumors. Private bills — which only apply to one person and mostly focus on immigration — seldom pass. His is the only private bill to pass in Congress in two years. “I was overwhelmed with joy; it was nothing less than a miracle,” the 26-year-old says. “Only in this country can so many miraculous and wonderful things happen to someone like me.” Victor Chukwueke attends his graduation at Wayne State University, where he served as commencement speaker. Only in this country can so many miraculous and wonderful things happen to someone like me Victor Chukwueke. Before coming to the United States at age 15, Chukwueke lived in the southeastern Nigeria town of Ovim. He suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes massive life-threatening tumors on his face. Treated as an outcast because of his deformed face, he was depressed and humiliated, he says. His family abandoned him at an orphanage. Nuns from the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy rescued him from the orphanage more than a decade ago and arranged for a Michigan doctor to perform surgery on him.

U.S. lawmakers rally for undocumented Nigerian student living in Michigan He says he considers himself lucky to have developed the tumors. “Without them, I would not have met the nun, left Nigeria, arrived in the U.S. and had the miracle to attend medical school,” he says. He lives with the nuns in Oak Park, Michigan. They have cared for him since he came to the U.S., where he has undergone seven surgeries, including one that left him blind in the right eye. Doctors performed Chukwueke’s surgeries over a period of time, he says, which contributed to his expired visa. Despite the obstacles, he remains committed to getting an education. “My own personal struggles to receive treatment have motivated and encouraged me to pursue a medical career ... to alleviate the pain and suffering of others,” he says. “A medical career will allow me many gratifying years of making a difference in the health and lives of others. I strongly believe one can make

another person’s life worthy of living ... I have experienced it.” He finished his GED — the equivalent of a high school education — while undergoing treatment and enrolled at a community college. A benefactor later helped him attend Wayne State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and chemical biology last year. He had a 3.82 GPA and gave the university’s commencement speech. “Should I call myself a victim, or should I press forward to my dreams?” he asked during the speech amid thunderous applause. Soon after his graduation, the University of Toledo in Ohio admitted him to medical school. The only hurdle: The program requires him to have permanent residency status, also known as a green card. Though he qualifies for the DREAM Act, which gives immigrants who came to the

My own personal struggles to ‘receive treatment have motivated and encouraged me to pursue a medical career ... to alleviate the pain and suffering of other ,

United States as minors temporary residency, the measure would not give him the permanent status mandated by the university, according to his attorney. And so began Chukwueke’s journey to get legalized, a quest that has seen strangers rally to his help. His attorney Thomas K. Ragland took his case pro bono. “Victor’s story is remarkable,” says Ragland, who is based in Washington D.C. “Here is this kid who comes from Nigeria, he was taunted and teased for his diseases, and he comes to this country and excels, despite so many surgeries. It is a testament of not letting anything get in the way.” Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, sponsored the bill, S. 285. The measure passed the Senate in the summer and the House last week “Already, his example has enriched Michigan and our nation, but I know that his contributions to our country are only beginning,” Levin said in a statement. The number of illegal immigrants in the United States was estimated at 11.5 million last year. If Obama signs the bill, the State Department will reduce by one the number of immigrant visas available to Nigerians. That signature, Chukwueke says, will be his favorite holiday gift. •Source: CNN





Giving youthfulness a meaning in Gombe


AHAYA Abdellah (not real name) is my son. He had been giving us problems since joining this politics of a thing, and we never knew what to do with him. But now, we all have a cause to be happy because he is truly reformed . Thanks to Talba Youths Rehabilitation Programme. We have been coming to see him in camp and have observed that he now reasons and talks meaningfully,” said a parent during the graduation of rehabilitated youths . This and many other testimonies underscore the untold turnaround in the life and fortunes of some youths that went through a three-week reorientation-cumrehabilitation exercise initiated by the incumbent administration in Gombe State to set the stage for the return of peace and tranquility to the state. Youths are unarguably central to the development of any society because of the futuristic tendencies and the future that lies ahead of them. Therefore, every plan for tomorrow is built around them as good leadership ought to always be concerned about giving them the proper attention that would culminate in a brighter tomorrow for individuals and the nation at large. This had not been the situation in Gombe State where the powers that be for almost a decade succeeded in creating a monster out of the youths. They were transformed from agents of construction into agents of destruction to suit the whims of their benefactors. They were unleashing terror on well-meaning individuals with impunity. Concisely put, those were years terrible nightmares and school dropouts or stack illiterate youths formed the pool for recruitment. However, the ascendancy of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, to the relief of all and sundry, brought with it, the triumph of good over evil. He began by immediately dissociating himself from restive youths and their activities and thereafter busied himself charting a course for useful youthfulness. According to him, “the fulcrum of this administration would be to steadily rekindling the hopes of a better Gombe State in the led, while re-engineering their energies and the institution of governance to create better opportunities for positive change.” He gave this assurance with a pledge to lead an administration that would consistently match words with action in both policy formulation and implementation. Featuring prominently in this resolve is the issue of youth development. He adopted a holistic approach to matters of youth development to underscore the premium placed on the subject. The Governor’s resolution found expression through calculated policies and programmes designed to better the lots of this sensitive stratum of the population and approaching every other sector with an inclination to youth development. In building the capacity of the youths, Dankwambo has, since the proscription of the then political thug group ,otherwise known as Yankalare on May 29, 2011, unfolded quite a number of laudable programmes. Considering that hooliganism, as it was practised, was not just the thugs’ way of life, but a means of livelihood. Hence the administration


Vincent OHONBAMU, Gombe quickly came up with what it christened “Talba Youths Rehabilitation Programme”. Under the programme, erstwhile hooligans who succumbed to the idea of rehabilitation were made to surrender their weapons after which going about with dangerous weapons without a legal backing was outlawed in the state. And so, 1,200 youths comprising the repentant ones and those who saw the programme as a window of opportunity for employment got enlisted and were camped for three weeks for intensive re-orientation exercise. There they were reformed, polished and trained into ward, environmental and traffic marshals as well as put on monthly emolument. These marshals have so far made tremendous impact in the areas of ferreting information, sanitation, traffic control, maintaining orderliness and lots more. In recognition of their exemplary commitment, about three hun-

dred marshals were sent for leadership training in Plateau State. Suffice to note at this point that the wave of insecurity perpetrated by the sacked political thug group has reduced to the lowest ebb with the rise of the marshals. Prior to the rehabilitation programme, 320 youths which graduated in seven different trades from four skills acquisition centres were resettled with tools of the trades they learnt and an interest-free loan of N250,000 to enable them take off. The programme was later scaled up to accommodate 520 youths and 13 trades with the same take-off grants. Also as part of the continued determination to enhance the socioeconomic wellbeing of youths in Gombe State, Government has set up a machinery to float skills acquisition programme where five thousand youths will be trained per time. Plans to actualize this programme have reached an advanced stage as over one hundred master trainers have already been shortlisted to train the youths and

The drive to address the problem of youth development along the formal line culminated in the signing of a pact with the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to remediate 1,000 candidates of Gombe origin per batch


types of trades outlined. The youths would upon completion of their training receive a credit facility of two hundred thousand naira with kits of the trades they have learnt to enable them take off. But during the training period, each trainee would be given a monthly stipend of N6,000 to augment their transportation fees to the centre and to sustain their interest and commitment to the scheme. Also in the pipe line is the administration’s plan to procure buses, taxi cabs and tricycles (keke NAPEP) for distribution to deserving youths on hire purchase. But the training of 110 youths in energy saving and solar energy works has been completed and participants duly resettled to enable them take off. The drive to address the problem of youth development along the formal line culminated in the signing of a pact with the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to remediate 1,000 candidates of Gombe origin per batch. Students admitted under this programme study in Gombe under the guidance of the institution’s lecturers purposely deployed for the programme. They run the same curriculum with their colleagues at the main campus and take online entrance examination which is equally the same with those at the main campus. Those that pass the UNIMAID entrance examination and score a minimum mark of 180 in the

JAMB examination are offered automatic admission into any programme of their choice at the university. The ones that score the required entry points, but failed to meet the JAMB cut-off mark would retain their results and try the next JAMB examination. Candidates that fail to meet both examinations’ requirements are offered admission into certificate courses at the institution. Considering the huge number of candidates that are deficient in certificate examinations and the need to put their dreams of acquiring higher education back on track, Gombe State government decided to expand the School of Remedial Studies of the Gombe State University into a full blown campus in Kumo, headquarters of the Akko Local Government Area. The school, beginning from the ongoing first academic session, is expected to remediate 1,500 candidates per session over the next three years. The all-encompassing institution is designed to meet the remedial needs of both senior secondary and junior secondary schools candidates for higher education and senior secondary education respectively. It equally boasts of comprehensive sports facilities which are to help those who want to make careers in sports to develop their talents while being remediated. Similarly, provision has been made for those who are neither interested in higher education nor sports, but just want to have good senior school certificate examination results to learn trades in the school. “Like I have always said, education remains our number one, number two and number three priorities and then other things will follow. Therefore, we shall continue to run this kind of programme until the pressure from this category of youths reduces to the barest minimum,” explained Governor Dankwambo, while explaining his administration’s commitment to youth development through the educational fronts. Also not left out of the youth development plans are the unemployed tertiary institutions’ graduates. Their data have all been captured by the various ministries in which their courses of study are relevant. The aim is to engage them temporarily or permanently as opportunities present themselves. From the foregoing, few among the listless policies and programmes, it is obvious that it has undoubtedly been a one and a half year of consistent development restoration of the dignity of the youths by charting a course of making youthfulness useful. But for the Governor himself, it has been a challenging a one-and-half year of justifying the confidence reposed in him, despite the odds. It is, therefore, incumbent on all and sundry to put all sentiment aside and accord him the needed support, cooperation and even prayer to enable him do more for the betterment of the people who now see that promises could be as easily fulfilled as they are make, if we are determined and committed.



HE week-long bou quet of exciting and highly engaging ac tivities at this year’s Rivers State carnival, CARNIRIV, reaches the climax on Saturday, December 15, with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, leading scores of very important personalities and hundreds of participants in two epic closing events - Garden City Freestyle Parade and World Peace Concert. The parade was an artistic blend of contemporary cultural procession during which the governor, who is the chief celebrant as well as dignitaries, residents and tourists adorned different kinds of colourful costumes and matched through designated streets within Port Harcourt metropolis. The Director-General, Rivers State Tourism Development Agency (RSTDA), Dr. Sam Dede, said the morning cultural procession is one of the peak moments of CARNIRIV while the peace concert, a rhythm-filled musical ses-


sion accompanied by spectacular fireworks, brings the carnival to a grand close in the evening. The procession through Aba, Ikwerre and Stadium roads, was lit up by eight live bands in a bid to add to the exhilaration which the parade already promised. The cultural fiesta, which held from December 9 to December 15 in Port Harcourt, features a variety of indigenous and international displays. The Black African Music Festival (BAMFest), which held on Wednesday, December 12, featured Grammy Awardwinning reggae star and rapper, Shaggy, and fellow reggae singer, Patra, celebrated Nigerian music acts, Tuface Idibia, and Duncan Mighty. The artistes thrilled the crowd with a memorable performance. Another main attraction was the Ekere: Rhythm of the Tribes, a display of the rich cultural heritage and glamour of the Rivers people in the 23 local government areas. Each local government

•.Dancers area put of a show of glamorous costumes and captivating dance steps. Speaking about his assessment of this year’s edition of CARNIRIV, Dede expressed satisfaction with

•Uti Nwachukwu, Alex Ekubo and other indegenes of Rivers State

the organisation, attendance and active participation of the residents and other stakeholders at every aspect of the fiesta, while assuring them that subsequent editions would be better and bigger than what they have witnessed so far. He said: “It has really come with challenges, but they are not challenges that were insurmountable. The first important thing that we want to do with the carnival is to impact on the economy of the host com-

munity, that is, Rivers State. “We set out to employ data services company and they have been giving us reports and it has been positive. People are beginning to warm up to the carnival. We invited people to come out and own the carnival and they have really overwhelmed us with their participation. So, it is good thing. “We are going to make the data available. We had visitors from Trinidad and

Tobago, and we had a hectic time getting places for them. The hotels were booked. We really had a hectic plan getting things in place not because we did not plan for all these, but really did not envisage the huge turnout. It has been really enormous. It was overwhelming, but we are coping with it. People out there on the field are looking for accommodation for people. Our website is bursting and the transport system has been really over-

Tourism News


APITAL Hotels , owners of Sheraton Abuja Hotel and the management staff of Abuja Sheraton Hotel visited the less-privileged children within the F.C.T suburbs to mark the period of festivities with them. The team was led by the General Manager of Capital Hotels, Mr. Robert Itawa. Commenting on the reason for the visit to orphanages, Mr. Itawa said: “ Our community social responsibility team pays particular attention to the more unpopular and neglected children homes where we can play an essential role in adding quality and value to their lives. At the Hope for Survival Orphanage, Gishiri, Maitama Extension, the caretaker,Madam Naomi Maman, and kids eagerly received the teams.

Capital Hotel marks Yuletide with orphans

The visit to Kubwa Divine Orphanage Home was very heart-stirring as the team doted on many babies from four days old to three months. The caretaker, Mrs. Gloria Enearu,

explained that she prepares these children for adoption by worthy parents. Prayers were said and goodwill was shared as the children were treated to sumptuous packed meals

alongside other items. The spokesperson for the team, Ms. Margaret Amade, introduced the members of the CSR team. She added that lifting up the weak and downtrodden

of the society should be a key virtue embraced by worthwhile organizations. The climax of the day unveiled with the goodwill handover of electronics , household items, provisions, foodstuff, toiletries, stationery and clothes for the children’s use. Meanwhile, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, owners of the Sheraton brand, are currently leading the way in seafood sustainability. The global hotel group is collectively committed to being a change leader ensuring that customers make the right choice in order to preserve our ocean’s ability to continue feeding billions of people today and for generations to come. Starwood Hotels and

Resorts Worldwide maintains that “many species are either endangered, being fished to extinction or virtu-


•.Participants whelmed by the number of people. I think that is what the aim of the carnival is about. People must begin to feel the impact of the carnival just they way that we also expect them to come out as spectators or as volunteers. If you look around, you see over 500 volunteers and some of them have volunteered their services for free; some of them we are going to pay. We are really happy about that.” On this year’s theme, Dede said: “The theme for this year’s carnival is reminiscing our past, consolidating our future. It is not unconnected with the Port Harcourt’s 100 years celebration. I think that after 100 years, you should be able to sit down and look at your past and then seriously assure yourself that the future is going to be bright. So, that is what we’ve sat back to look at. If you recall, we had Professor Wole Soyinka giving us a keynote address at the CARNIRIV colloquium and then we have looked at our culture in the last 100 years. We have looked at our economy. We have looked at the struggle of people in the last 100 years, and I think for sure we are assuring ourselves that the future can only get better.” Dede said the Amaechi government has a five-year rolling plan for the carnival within which it will be turned into a world class spectacle: “We have a five-

year development plan for CARNIRIV and this year’s is the first year of the development plan.That is why we call it a road map for the carnival. The idea is that in the next five years we would have a brand that is recognizable in every part of the world. “From five bands last year, we have 10 because the existing bands that we have are bursting with application. So, what we have is five new bands, two were created by individuals and we have created another two and one other official band. The membership of these bands is enormous, but for purposes of control and administration, we are trying to restrict each to

about 450. In some bands, they have registered over 1000. So, we threw out an invitation to our people and they responded in a way that we are even over-

whelmed.” While the enthusiasm of the people for the carnival is unmistakable, the logistics for the carnival needs to be worked out better in terms of route crowd control and vehicular movement. One major minus for this year’s carnival was the poor timing. The float left Silverbird Galleria starting very late when the sun was at its brightest. It will be difficult to get the best out of the participants. It is very important for organisers to allow the float to move early. The freestyle bands would need to improve on the costuming and float decoration. Overall, it was a showpiece that had the people of River State rocking for one week. This is a testament of peace in the state, a sine qua non for tourism to thrive.

•.Traditional wrestling match


Oritsejafor calls on Israel to facilitate easy HE leader of the clearance of pilgrims federal government


ally extinct already. At this pace there will be no viable commercial fisheries remaining by 2050 unless we act”.

delegation for the 2012 Christian pilgrimage, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has called on the Israeli authorities to help in facilitating the easy and smooth clearance of Nigerian pilgrims at the Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel. He made this known in Jerusalem while meeting with the Israeli foreign affairs officials recently. The meeting, which was attended by other members of the federal government delegation, members of the house committee on foreign affairs and the executive secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission ( NCPC), Mr John Kennedy Opara, was important in order to strengthen the entire pilgrimage exer-

•Oritsejafor cise. Pastor Oritsejafor, who is also the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), further canvassed for a permanent

permit for Nigerian pilgrim desk officers in Israel. He equally appealed to the Israeli foreign affairs officials to reduce the visa approval period for Nigerian pilgrims from five days to three days. He also charged them to help in facilitating and fasttracking the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Israel as this would reduce the stress the pilgrims go through. Earlier, the Israeli head of African division in the ministry, Mr Ari Granot, described the visit of the Nigerian delegation to Israel as a home visit as the country has become a second home to Nigerians who yearly come to Israel to fulfil their spiritual desires.

59 COSON , hoteliers agree on royalty as NTDC settles rift

• Otunba Runsewe presenting the agreement to Chief Alabi in Abuja, while Engineer Ekong and Chief Okorogi look on with interest.


ISTORY was made in Abuja recently as hoteliers in the country under the aegis of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and Hotel Employers and Personal Services Association of Nigeria (HOPSEA) and the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) signed an agreement seeking to ensure the payment of royalties to music artistes across the country. The agreement, which was brokered by the DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, was signed at the Bolingo Hotel and Towers and had the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the Hotel Owners’ Forum Association (HOFA) as witnesses. The agreement for payment of royalties by hotels and similar establishments took two days of intense negotiations between all affected parties with Otunba Runsewe having to intermittently calm frayed nerves. In his remarks just after the signing ceremony, the NTDC chief expressed his joy at the landmark achievement saying his passion for the growth of the hospitality and music industry necessitated his resolve to find a lasting solution to the impasse, while thanking all concerned for their cooperation, especially the NCC whom he described as a major witness to the event. Fielding questions from journalists, Runsewe said, “Today is very historical because, for a very long time, there had been some disagreement between the copyright and different stakeholders and our corporation has taken the lead by resolving the entire issue. We have signed the agreement and all hotels across the country will now be able to pay the royalty fee for using intellectual materials”. Speaking further, he revealed that all court cases had been withdrawn, stressing that what obtains now is a level-playing field for all parties. In his words, “Most importantly, all court cases have been withdrawn. No more court cases and so it’s now a level-playing field for everyone” Displaying the documents to journalists, Otunba Runsewe noted that all parties involved signed the agreement, saying, “I would like to show it to you. All parties have signed, from the Copyright, HOPSEA and HOFA whose presidents are here, my good self and the NCC have all signed this agreement.” He observed he was particularly happy and proud as a Nigerian that we can resolve issues among ourselves instead of dragging issues, thereby overheating the polity.He said the historic event represented a boost for tourism development and victory for the generality of Nigerian artistes. Runsewe used the platform to appeal to other sectors to take a cue from the momentous occasion by resolving issues expeditiously and amicably, advising that such moves would help the country by creating more jobs and making the environment better for Nigerians. Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, was visibly excited, averring that, “The basic issues are that music used in Nigerian hotels and similar establishments from now on would be paid for so that the musicians will no longer be working in vain”, adding, “This has taking many decades of fights, but finally we have put pen on paper and we have all agreed that this is worth doing because it is what is done everywhere in the world.” He was upbeat that the move will create employment for Nigerians, while young people will now be excited expressing their talents because, according to the COSON chair, “A lot of our young people who will want to get employment in the area will be excited because they know that they will be reward for the work that they do, and creativity will thrive in Nigeria” At the end of the signing ceremony, all parties involved including HOFA President, Abuja Chapter, Engineer Onofiok Ekong; HOPSEA boss, Chief Samuel Alabi, who also doubles as president of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN); representative of NCC, J. S. Fagbemi and DG, NTDC shook hands in a show of friendship and unity which they agreed was necessary in taking the industry to the next level.

•Southern Sun hotel





ESS than three weeks to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) the Local Organising Committee (LOC) may fail to realise the 500,000 tickets sales’ target before the end of December. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that about 38, 000 tickets had been sold for the opening ceremonies, and over 20, 000 tickets for the final match. The LOC said that about 200, 000 tickets had been sold so far for all the matches; this is short of the expected target before the end of the year. Mvuzo Mbebe, Chief Executive Officer of the LOC, however, expressed satisfaction at tickets sales so far. ``Look, I am content. I am not happy. I think that we are fearful that people are going to have to rush again and I think people will be disappointed. ``That's why we are creating

2013 AFCON: LOC fails December tickets sales target the special packages today (Dec. 28). I think it will be a sad day if people on the last three to four days, rush to purchase tickets,” Mbebe said. Johannesburg will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament. The naming right dispute of the FNB Stadium venue of the opening and final matches between the Department of Public Works and First National Bank (FNB) adversely affected the printing of opening and final match tickets. The two parties had been

Fashola draws curtains on BRF Wrestlemania today • Tinubu, Oshodi to grace occasion


O V E R N O R Babatunde Raji Fashola is expected to grace the closing ceremony of the second BRF Wrestlemania 2012 on today at Molade Okoya Indoor Sports Hall at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The championship is organised to honour Governor Fashola for his contributions to the development of sports in the state. According to the Coordinator of the competition, Prince Olanrewaju Mohammed, who is also the President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, dignitaries such as the wife of former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Sports Commissioner, Enitan Oshodi, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ademorin Kuye, his counterpart in the Transports Ministry, Kayode Opeifa, Chairmen of local councils and members of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in the state. Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, LOC, Primate Charles Odugbesi commended the turnout of fans despite the festive period,

By Innocent Amomoh adding that the performance of the wrestlers also show that the future of the sport is bright in the country. Meanwhile, Teslim Balogun Stadium has been a beehive of activities since the tourney started on Wednesday. Lovers of wrestling in their numbers trooped to the venue to watch exciting wrestling bouts among Nigerian professional wrestlers who are fighting for 10 title belts at stake. In some of the bouts decided, Tony Destroyers defeated Mr. Kix, Super King beat Silent Tiger, Atom Ant was too much for Flying Danko, while Rushing Belt took Super Rosco to the cleaner. The fight between the Batters' Brother and The Grippers was the most entertaining bout of the night with The Grippers winning the contest. Rocky Johnson beat Iron Scatter in another thrilling bout, while Mighty Man and Big Fish's fight was disqualified due to Mighty Man's unprofessional action when he broke chairs on the head of Big Fish leaving him in his pools of his blood. In the female's contest, Lady Terror terrorised her opponent, Lady Bunmi to submission in another grudge fight.


Nigeria strikes deal with Villarreal T HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Spanish club Villarreal have reached an agreement for striker Ikechukwu Uche to

• Ike Uche

feature for The Yellow Submarine against Barcelona B on Saturday, January 5. Uche has been named in Nigeria's provisional African Cup of Nations squad and FIFA regulations stipulate that he must link up with the national team at a training camp in Faro, Portugal latest next Saturday. The Villarreal attacker, who is the most experienced striker in the Eagles’ provisional squad, will join the Eagles camp on December 31 . Immediately after the friendly against Catalonia on January 2, he will return to Villarreal and remain at the club until after the game against Barcelona B. 28 - year - old Uche has scored nine goals in his last ten matches for the national team.

able to resolve the dispute with the stadium now to be known as National Stadium during AFCON. Apart from the dispute on name-branding, the other challenges faced by the LOC had been a lack of publicity

and marketing of the tournament. Sipho Sithole, LOC, Chief Communications Officer blamed the inability of the government to release funds, for the lack of adequate publicity and

marketing for the tournament. Some the football fans that spoke with NAN Correspondent in Johannesburg said there had been a lack adequate publicity and awareness for

the tournament. Laolu Oni, a Johannesburgbased Nigerian doctor said unlike the 2010 World Cup, there has been very little awareness about the hosting of the biggest football tournament on the continent.

Eagles’ AFCON campaign threatened


IGERIA’S 2013 AFCON quest is in danger after a Federal High Court in Lagos froze the accounts of the Nigerian FA over a TV rights dispute. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are about to receive from the government 1.4 billion Naira (about $9 million) for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Both NFF general secretary Musa Amadu and media director Ademola Olajire told they are not aware of the court ruling. “I'm not in the office now and I can't confirm that to you now until I get to the office,” Amadu simply answered when he was contacted. “I'm not aware of that development. I've not been around, I just got back to Abuja,” Olajire added. specially gathered that Minaj Broadcasting Corporation dragged the NFF to court over

• As court freezes NFF’s account a $4 million broadcasting right that was paid 10 years ago for the broadcast rights of the Nigeria Premier League when it was still managed by the NFF. Last year, Minaj took its case to court and the company reportedly got a ruling for the NFF to repay half of that amount, but this was not done. On Thursday, the high court in Lagos froze the federation’s

accounts, meaning money can not be withdraw or received from the account. This then means that part of the cash the NFF are expecting for the Nations Cup could now be awarded to Minaj by the court if the money is lodged in the federation’s account.


Grow up, don’t be reckless


UPER EAGLES’ captain and Fenerbahce player, Joseph Yobo has reacted to the outburts of teammate Osaze Odemwingie, who was omitted from the AFCON list. It would be recalled that Odemwingie criticized the Fenerbahçe central defender, saying that the Super Eagles do not have a team leader. ''Osaze has been reckless, disrespectful to most people, He's not a kid, he should grow up. We cannot continue to baby sit him. He is responsible for his problems," Yobo told Brila FM. He added: "This is not the first time he has been disrespectful. He is fighting all the coaches and at the World Cup he also disrespected me and he later apologized. He is not the (Lionel) Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo of Nigeria. He should look at himself in the mirror." Joseph Yobo concluded by commending Eagles gaffer Stephen Keshi for the provisional squad he picked for the African Cup of Nations.

• Yobo


HE new Nigeria Premier League season will now kick off on February 16 after several dates were announced earlier, officials said. The NPL congress first announced February 16 as the new kick-off date for the 2012/ 2013 season before the congress of the Nigeria Football Federation ruled the championship should begin in January before the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. However, the chairman of the interim management of the NPL, Nduka Irabor, has said the new season will begin on February 16. "After our deliberations and considerations we have decided that the 2012/2013 will kick off on Feb 16,” announced Irabor. “This is to give us some time to address several gray areas that need attention. That is not to say that even if these issues, which have proved to be bottle necks, are not addressed

NPL kick-off for Feb 16

that league would not go on. It would go on as planned on the 16, which is six days after the Africa Cup of Nations." Irabor also disclosed that all 20 NPL clubs will be asked to put forward a 50 million Naira (over $300,000) before they could feature in the new season. "All teams that would participate in the league would be required to provide a prove of indemnity of fifty million Naira while all players in each team must pass a mandatory medical test before they would be cleared to play this season," he said. "We also want to appeal to sponsors to please pay up outstanding monies because we need money to run the league." A pre-season tournament involving the four clubs who will play international football in the New Year will

also be staged in Kano in January. This is to prepare the teams for their CAF competition fixtures in February. Champions Kano Pillars and

Enugu Rangers will represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League, while Heartland and Lobi Stars will play in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Ghanaian trio dumps Dolphins


UPERSPORT.COM can reveal that Dolphins’ Ghanaian trio of James Amankwei, Owusu Addae and Seidu Abuu have headed for greener pastures. Owusu, who won the Nigeria Premier League with Dolphins in 2011, joined the Port-Harcourt side from Heartland, while Amankwei also joined from the Owerri side after several seasons at Juth. Abuu made his NPL debut with Dolphins last term. “I have offers from other Nigerian teams, but I might

consider a move to Malaysia, where there is a serious proposal,” Amankwei said to Bayelsa United are one the clubs interested in Amankwei since club gaffer, Ladan Bosso, remains a long time admirer of the Ghanaian. reliably gathered that the duo of Addae and Abuu are also considering offers abroad. The trio made history as Dolphins emerged the club with the largest foreign contingent last term.




NFF wants prompt release of Mikel, Moses • Accuses Chelsea of delay



Glo Soccer Academy Eviction: Benin celebrates Alobo


ABRIEL ALOBO, one of the youth footballers evicted from the Glo Soccer Academy was accorded a rousing welcome from the Academy by his friends and neighbours, who thronged the Oko Ogba, Airport Road home of the footballer. The Esogban of Benin kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, (COO), who received Gabriel from Globacom representatives, was effusive in his praise for Globacom and its promoters. At an elaborate reception in his palatial garden, located off Ogba/Airport Road, Chief Edebiri said that Gabriel’s exploits at the academy is sufficient pride, given that he was among the top 33 best players in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. “You are a true Ambassador and a worthy representative of our people”, he said. Chief Edebiri noted the contributions of Dr. Mike Adenuga in sports, particularly football in the continent where his interventions have raised the quality of the game and opened a new vista for the discovery of young and new talents. “Dr Adenuga’s foray into sports development is incomparable,"

he noted, adding that "he (Adenuga) is easily the leading light in Africa and the idea of an academy of true youngsters will ensure that the continents’ place in the beautiful game is secured in the future”. Gabriel Alobo was one of the 33 players selected from over 7,000 youths screened in Nigeria, Ghana and the Republic of Benin for the Glo Soccer Academy. While at the Academy, Gabriel had the rare opportunity of being trained by two UEFA Grade ‘A’ Coaches from the youth arm of the popular Manchester United football club in the UK, and the technical team of the academy led by ex-international, Victor Ikpeba. Five players were evicted from the academy during the first eviction exercise. 16 finalists will emerge at the end of the exercise and they will go on a training tour of the Manchester United Soccer Schools in Carrington, England as well as enjoy the G-Bam Scholarship of N750,000 each as part of the prizes. In addition, one of them who will emerge as the Most Valuable Player will earn N5 million, while the remaining 15 will go home with N1 million each.

IGERIAN football authorities have said they expect Mikel Obi and Victor Moses to be released by English club Chelsea in time for the AFCON next month. Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has been reported as saying he wants to keep Mikel and Victor Moses till at least January 9 for their FA Cup tie against Southampton and Swansea before releasing them for the Nations Cup, according to The Daily Mail. Mikel and Moses, integral players since Benitez took control at Stamford Bridge, are in the Nigeria AFCON squad. “The tournament starts on the 19th (January), so they will go one or two weeks before,” he said. “Maybe we can manage to keep them a little bit longer. We will talk with them. They know sometimes the players do not need to go early. “But at least one week before the 19th, they have to be there.” However, NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told that they have not been informed of

By Paul Oluwakoya

Olympics World Winter Games was chosen during the Lagos State Special Olympics Nigeria State Competition held at the University of Lagos Sport Complex in June. “The Special Olympics Nigeria Team of 12 athletes from a national competition recently held in Lagos. They will be joining nearly 3,300 fellow athletes and teams from over 120 Countries around the world in PyeongChang, Korea in January to compete in an atmosphere of acceptance and dignity, showing how through sports they could bring justice, build acceptance, foster inclusion and change the world”. She said. Acknowledging the financial implication of participation at the games, Mrs Bolumole expressed gratitude to the Lagos state government for its support so far while appealing to corporate


FFICIALS have disclosed that the Super Eagles will fly out of a training camp in Portugal for South Africa on January 16 for the AFCON. Nigeria’s opening Group C match is against Burkina Faso on January 21. Zambia and Ethiopia are the other teams in their group. The Eagles arrived Faro, Portugal, Friday and have already settled in to have their first training same day in the afternoon. Coach Stephen Keshi led 12 players, his four assistants and backroom staff to the Faro camp after flying to Portugal from Accra, Ghana on Thursday night. The team left Abuja for Accra at about 5:30pm Nigerian time after initial delay of the flight that was scheduled to leave earlier. The TAP Portugal flight that was to take the team from Accra to Lisbon in Portugal was also delayed but finally took off at about 12 am Nigerian time after a one hour delay. At exactly 5:25am Nigerian time, the plane touched down at the Lisbon International Airport. Nigeria is one hour ahead of Portugal in time zones. After immigration formalities, two buses were waiting to convey the team to Faro, Portugal. The smooth bus ride took exactly three hours, which meant the players and officials had breakfast in Faro at the serene

Browns Sports and Leisure Club in Vilamoura area of Faro. Weather in Faro is fair, as it has been hovering between 13-16 degrees celcius, which will be similar to what the players will experience when hostilities start at Afcon 2013. Players were immediately attended to in terms of accommodation and training effectively took off at 4:30 local time, which is 5:30 Nigerian time. The 12 players currently in camp in Faro are Goalkeepers Chigozie Agbim and Dan Akpeyi, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke as well as Solomon Kwambe. Others are Papa Idris, Henry Uche, Sunday Mba, Gabriel Reuben, Ejike Uzoenyi, Benjamin Francis and Norway-based Fegor Ogude. Most of the foreign pros are expected to start arriving from Saturday.


Governor’s Belt 2012: Edun promises more


HAIRMAN, Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame (LBHF), Olawale Edun has promised more in their quest to continue in the discovery and development of budding talents in boxing, charging parents to encourage their wards to embrace the pugilist sport. Speaking after the 37th edition of the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show, tagged The Governor’s Belt, held at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Row Park, Yaba, the brain child of the LBHF, Edun explained that the competition can only get better from one edition to the other. “Like you all know the special edition of the boxing show

Team Nigeria debuts Special Olympics World Winter Games F OR the first time since setting up, Special Olympics Nigerian athletes will be participating in the 2013 Special Olympics world winter games billed for Pyeongchang, South Korea between January 29 and February 5, 2013. Team Nigeria will be competing in 8 Olympic-type sports which include: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow Boarding, Snow Shoeing, Short Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey and Floor Ball demonstration. In a statement made available to NationSport, National Director, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mrs Folashade Bolumole said this noting g that “this will be the first time Nigeria will be participating in Special Olympics World Winter Games after participating in three World Summer Games with great expectation to qualify”. She added that the Nigerian team for the 2013 Special

such arrangement . "Well, we have not been contacted by Chelsea over their wish to delay the release of our players for the Nations Cup,” stated Olajire. “The players are expected latest by January 4 according to the plan and schedule of the coach, so if anything will change, we have to be notified by the club.” The Chelsea stars have been granted permission to stay in London until after the New Year, but Benitez is negotiating to keep them for as long as possible as his team become embroiled in a cluttered fixture list. ‘The Blues’ will start their defence of the FA Cup at Southampton on January 5, four days before the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal at home to Swansea. Interim manager Benitez accepts he is unlikely to have them around by the time they play Stoke in the Barclays Premier League on January 12. Nigeria are already locked in a tug-of-war with another EPL side Newcastle United as regards the release of Shola Ameobi for a training camp in Faro, Portugal.

AFCON 2013: Eagles to land in South Africa Jan 16

organisations to partner with Special Olympics Nigeria as it seeks to represent the country at the Games. Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, politics, gender, age, culture and religion to come together for the largest sporting and humanitarian event on the planet – The Special Olympics World Games. At these Games, thousands of Special Olympics athletes worldwide come together to showcase their athletic skills and celebrate the spirit of Special Olympics. Alternating between Summer Games and Winter Games, Special Olympics World Games bring public attention to the talents and capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities, helping to change attitudes and break down barriers that exclude them from the mainstream of the community.

•Urges parents to encourage their wards By Innocent Amomoh come every December 26 as the Governor’s belt. We won’t relent in our efforts. The gymnasium at Ikate was build for this purpose. We expect parents to encourage their children to take to boxing as a way of engaging them physically and taking it as a profession. Meanwhile, National Sports Festival (NSF) gold medallist in the 64kg weight category, Olaide Fijabi has now crowned his three festival reign with the 2012 Governor’s belt title. To win this year’s edition of the prestigious belt, Fijabi knocked out Hammed Rufai to bid goodbye to amateur boxing

at the special edition of the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show, an initiative of the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame (LBHF) Wednesday. In the other bouts of the night, Abua Christian defeated Oyegunwa Taiwo in the 69kg weight category, while Shina John could not withstand the punching power of Michael Oriyomi in the 75kg weight category. Also Elijah Eniola defeated Muri Sango in the 81kg weight category, as Segun Ibrahim proved that his gold medal win at the just concluded festival was not a fluke with a win over hardfighting Sunday Okoro in the 91kg weight category.

In the +91kg weight category festival gold medallist Gabriel Francis defeated Sunday Godwin, and in the only female bout of the day, up-coming boxer, Aisat Oriyomi, who won a gold medal at the festival, gave Mutiate Adebayo the fight of her life in the 52kg weight category, as Adebayo emerged winner. Meawhile, earlier in the contest, Akeem Akinade knocked down Isaac Oloyade in the 52kg weight category, and the controversial bout of the day was between Rilwan Oladosu and Otto Joseph in the 60kg weight category. Oladosu had thrown caution to the winds to protest the verdict of the judges that awarded the match to Joseph.

• Gov. Babatunde Fashola acknowledging the Governor’s Belt winner Olaide Fijabi as Chairman of the LBHF, Olawale Edun looks on




NSE-ASI approach 28,000 basis points


T the close of business yesterday, the equities’ market maintained prior day bullish sentiments as lead indicator added 46 basis points, returning the week on the uptrend of 28,000 points. The index closed at 27,866.51.This is the higest the index has gone since the beginning of the year when it opened at 20,730.63 basis points. The uptrend yesterday pushed the benchmark index to 32-month high last seen on April 20th, 2010 when it opened at 28,029.78 points and eventually closed at 27,400.21 points that year. GTI stock brokering firm, a prominent player in the market said a repeat of the trend was witnessed last December 2011, when the market maintained an uptrend during the yuletide season. Unlike previous years characterised by downtrend as a result of massive sales of shares for raising cash in order to handle expenditures

By Tonia Osundolire

that comes with the season, the firm said market maintained uptrend stimulated by bullish sentiments arising from wide range of investors. In summary, lead benchmark index, NSE-ASI gained 128.82 absolute points, representing 0.46 per cent growth, to close higher at 27,866.51 points. The market weight indicated by Market Capitalisation gained N45 billion, representing 0.51 per cent growth, to close higher at N8.907 trillion. On Thursday, both indicators appreciated by 1.43 per cent in the previous session. Growing demand for Transcorp led to a surge in its price yesterday, closing with unsatisfied demand in excess of 36 million units at limit up, the current bullish trend is likely to extend to early sessions next week. Others in the sector recorded no change at the close of proceedings.. Bearish sentiments held

sway in the food and beverages sector, Nascon up by 8.1 per cent buoyed by dwindling offers and healthy demand posted the only gain in the sector yesterday. On the flip side Nestle held steady at the lower N700 levels while Dangote cement and UTC lost 0.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. Mid –tier banks were top gainers in the banking sector yesterday, FCMB and Diamond Bank rallied with gains of 4.5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, Skye Bank and Stanbic IBTC Holdings were also up slightly. FBN Holdings and UBA however caved to selling pressure that trimmed 0.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent from their prices respectively. However, the market recorded a total of 216.849 million shares worth N1.994 billion across 2,928 deals. Financial Services topped the activities chart with 154.411 million shares worth N1.266 billion in 1,807 deals. Others with significant volume were Services, Consumer Goods, Conglomerates, Construction/Real Estate, Industrial Goods and Oil & Gas with 17.746 million shares, 14.566 million shares, 14.041 million shares, 8.259 million shares, 2.851 million shares and 2.389 million shares respectively.




Relax Osaze, relax •Continued from Back Page

awardees. Hence, this writer wasn’t surprised when many in the crowd went for the choice of Manchester City FC of England’s midfield pearl Yaya Toure as the 2012 Africa Footballer of the Year. Of significant importance is the fact that such choices done by a voting audience of technically minded football coaches, captains and icons of the game were bound to throw up surprise winners. Indeed, such awards of excellence won’t be a popularity contest since the selection criteria are such that partisan fans wouldn’t be able to comprehend. For the ardent football fan, Didier Drogba was the obvious choice. No problem. He scored goals for Chelsea. Drogba’s equaliser changed the outcome of the Champions League finals against Bayern Munich. His penalty kick decided the game. Indeed, Chelsea has not found its rhythm since Drogba left. These accolades ought to have fetched Drogba the diadem. But this is one side of the coin. The choice of the winner isn’t for the fans, but the game’s technocrats who did through votes. Technically, Yaya Toure is better than Drogba. He plays as a defensive midfielder, yet he runs the length of the field to score vital goals for Manchester

City and for Cote d’Ivoire. Looking at Yaya’s big stature, many have wondered how he carries himself effortlessly. He is the busiest player on the pitch and his absence during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations held in Equatorial Guinea grossly

affected his English team’s quest for their maiden EPL title. Little wonder Manchester City nicked the EPL title in the most dramatic circumstances last year, only after Yaya returned to the team. This is not forgetting others’ con-

tributions. Yaya Toure’s choice marked another milestone for Globacom as one that stands for excellence. Others would have sought to influence the eventual winner. Yaya emerged from a transparent voting system. He

Travelers pass night along Lagos-Ibadan expressway


HOUSANDS of passengers were forced to pass the night along Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Thursday as a result of gridlock caused by an accident involving two articulated vehicles. The Sagamu Unit Commander of FRSC, Mr Lasisi Ogundele, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Sagamu, Ogun that the accident occurred at about 10.30 p.m. on Wednesday. According to him, the accident, which claimed two lives, occurred when a pay loader marked Lagos KJA 894 XB pierced an articulated vehicle conveying fuel with registration LAGOS 270 SD. “The pay loader was trying to overtake the tanker, in the process, it pierced it and the content (PMS) started gushing out, five persons were involved in the accident. “Three persons were seriously burnt beyond recognition and one of them died on the spot, while another died in the hospital,

the third person is in critical condition,’’ he said. Ogundele, who attributed the accident to dangerous overtaking, disclosed that officials of the corps passed the night at the scene trying to control traffic in the area. “You know it was late; we could not get a crane to the scene by that time to move the vehicles, that is the reason for the delay till this morning, ‘’ Ogundele said. It was, however, observed that the two vehicles had been taken off the road as at 10 a m. on Friday. The combined efforts of FRSC, Ogun Traffic Compliance Agency (TRACE), Police, soldiers and NSCDC had reduced the gridlock at about 10.30 a.m., especially for those going to Ibadan from Lagos. Speaking on the development, the South West Public Relations Officer of NEMA, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told NAN that “it is unfortunate that this kind of incident is

repeating itself on this corridor. “There is an existing traffic law which stipulates how an articulated vehicle should move and overtake while on this type of road.’’ The NEMA spokesperson, promised that the agency would collaborate with traffic officials on federal highways to ensure compliance of the law in order to reduce carnage. Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Mr Ikemefuna Okoye, who was also at the scene for an on-the-spot assessment, said that police would ensure that the situation did not degenerate. “We are here to ensure that hoodlums do not hijack the process and turn it into something else, a lot of people are travelling and you know what that means. “We have a duty to protect lives and property until this road is totally free, my men are not leaving here at all, ’’ he said.

wasn’t hand-picked nor was CAF told what to do by Globacom. Yaya represents the future of Africa football. It is also important that Africa’s best plies his trade in one of the best leagues in the world, not in far flung countries renowned as footballers’ retirement benefit zones. This is not taking anything away from the remarkable landmarks made by King Didier Drogba for club and country. Surprise is the hallmark of such awards and one must thumbs up for Globacom for changing the face of the Africa Footballer of the Year, which the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) is believed in many circles to have bastardised. Keshi’s list Since the provisional list of Super Eagles squad of 32 was released last week Fri-

day, tongues have been wagging and potshots have been fired at the chief coach, Stephen Keshi. The noise shows that the list met most people’s expectation. Of course, no list is perfect. Yet, I was disturbed reading in CompleteSports stating that Danny Shittu was forced on Keshi. Reading through, I saw that Keshi accepted this claim and my heart sank. Keshi’s stoic silence on this subject is worrisome and I hope he would not tell us after an uneventful Africa Cup of Nations that the list wasn’t his. Interestingly, Keshi has the chance to redeem his image in Faro, Portugal, where the final 23-man list would be made. He should drop any player he doesn’t need. The final cut should be Keshi’s so that we know who to blame, if things go awry – God forbid - in South Africa..


•The late Mrs. Ojo


HE 2nd anniversary of the death of Alhaja Sadiat Abake Ojo holds today at her residence.

According to a statement by the family, a prayer in her honour holds today in her residence, 10 Wuraola Ojo close Idimu. The prayer will be presided by FOMWAN, Alimosho branch . Until her death, she was the Aare Alasalatu Darus-Salam Central Mosque, Paiko, Lagos. Matron, Alasalatu of Ramat muslim Society of Idimu, Lagos.





Fingering governors as forces that can scuttle the amendment process may not provide the total picture of problems that can militate against the ongoing constitutional amendment


N THE beginning was the word. That is true not just in the spiritual, religious sphere. It is also particularly true of politics. At the beginning of politics, there is the word. But for the continuous and sustenance of politics, there must continue to be the word. For, the essence of politics, it’s central nervous system, is communication. And the building blocks of communication are words. In despotic politics, it is the tyrannical, unquestionable word. In democratic politics, it is the seductive, persuasive word. But that is a central dilemma of democracy. When does persuasion become cynical and devious manipulation? After all, the iconoclastic Professor Noam Chomsky has warned that in supposedly democratic societies, corporate monopolies easily ‘manufacture consent’ through the manipulation of the media. Words can be honest and true. But words can also be deceitful and false. President Obama rode to power in his first term largely on his soaring rhetoric of hope. He has won re-election by persuading Americans of his sincerity and good intentions even if his promised hope remains, largely, a dream deferred. But Hitler also rose to power substantially on the power of his xenophobic oratory. Will the most eloquent orator or the most clever debater capable of beguiling the gullible majority necessarily make the most effective and patriotic leader? That remains a central riddle of democracy. In Nigeria, politicians also love words. This year, for instance, our leaders have issued a torrent of words. But they have been largely sad, desolate, despondent words in the form of condolences, regrets and expressions of shock after suicide bombings, assassinations, air crashes and sundry other avoidable tragedies. But in this festive season we have been drenched in a surfeit of words offering hope and optimism for the coming year. President Goodluck Jonathan, for example, has solemnly assured us that he would continue to move towards his promised transformation Eldorado at his current snail’s speed so as not to make mistakes associated with undue hastiness. He indeed gave his teeming Facebook friends the good news of improvements in the country ‘s power and transportation sectors. A substantial proportion of the President ‘s Facebook friends appeared not too pleased with what they probably considered a strange gospel from St. Jonathan. Many of them sounded quite unfriendly in vehemently pointing out to their presidential friend the vast gulf between his rosy assertions and their harsh existential realities. A good number of them appeared somewhat in a hurry for the arrival of 2015 to enable them pass a verdict on a President’s self satisfied leisurely stroll through the pleasurable corridors of power in a country obviously in a hurry to unravel under the weight of multiple tragedies. This is a good sign. For democracy to survive and be strengthened, more and more people must develop the capacity to weigh and consider the words of elective office holders, compare them with reality and take ratio-

BRF: My man of the year

•Fashola nal decisions at the polls. Since his assumption of office in 2007 and especially in his second term, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State has most times neither spoken nor acted like a typical politician. He is not a soaring orator. His public discourse often sound more like the coldly logical reasoning of a sober Senior Advocate in a court of law. In a way he sometimes reminds me of President Obama. Some of his actions may be unpopular even if necessary. He may not have satisfied some of the high hopes his outstanding performance has raised. But you always have a feeling that he means well; that some of his apparently harsh decisions are actuated by the purest and noblest of motives. During the last electioneering campaigns in Lagos State, some of his opponents made a big deal of the issue of taxation in Lagos State. One of them in particular promised to reduce taxes, increase workers’ wages and at the same time provide Lagos with a new network of ring roads. Of course, Lagosians saw through the elaborate fakery and gave Fashola a re-

sounding victory at the polls. Some people have told me that Fashola has slowed down considerably in his second term; that his performance since 2011 has been below par. Of course, I disagree . First, I think the Fashola administration’s exemplary first term performance had raised hopes abnormally of a super human second term outing. Even then within the limits of resource, institutional and constitutional restraints, I am convinced that the administration continues to pose a path-breaking performance in diverse spheres. Lagos continues its steady pace towards being Africa’s model Mega city with so much going on in diverse spheres - education, health, the environment, infrastructure provision and poverty alleviation among others. More importantly, having laid a firm foundation in his first term, it seems to me that Fashola has opted for a less obtrusive and intrusive style in his second term allowing Institutions and processes to work routinely rather than personally projecting himself. Of course, there are rare exceptions like when he was forced to personally apprehend a military officer driving on the BRT rote contrary to the law. But this is unsurprising since Fashola himself has never used the siren or used the BRT lane even when held up in traffic. Fashola has phenomenally accelerated the radical modernization and expansion of infrastructure commenced by the Tinubu administration. As that process intensifies, it becomes imperative to commence the radical adjustment of the mental infrastructure of the people who will utilize this in accordance with the demands of a fast developing Mega city. This is what has apparently necessitated such tough measures as the new traffic law, the severe restriction on the operation of Okada, the introduction of tuition fees at the Lagos State University (LASU) and the collection of tolls on the Lagos-Épé Expressway - a Public-Private-Participation (PPP) project. Yet, the critics have also not appreciated some of the palliative measures of the administration including the provision of alternative artisan training skills for ex-Okada riders, the maintenance of a hugely funded scholarship scheme for indigent students of LASU and indeed the non-commencement of the tuition fees with students already admitted into the university.

—Ropo Sekoni

As patron of the Island Club, Governor Fashola utilized the opportunity of the annual Christmas Eve dance to reiterate his beliefs about government and his expectations of Lagosians and indeed Nigerians. In his thoughtful words: “ I believe that the dreams we aspire to as a people and as a country cannot be delivered to us by anybody. We must want it hard enough to begin to act to earn it. Law and order must be our gold standard. No revolution will bring a better life to us either, because I have heard the various calls for revolution. But the revolution we need is in our hearts. No leader can also force us to do that unless we are persuaded that it is necessary and I believe that it is necessary”. His central message was that a societal revolution must begin with a revolution in the habits, attitudes Andy values of the individual. This is probably why he places so much premium on enforcing law and order and ensuring that individual conduct is compatible with societal harmony and sanity. Continuing he told his audience “Sometimes I struggle to understand where we want to go. But in spite of these struggles, I am clear in my mind what kind of society I want to live in, grow old in and die in. In my life time, I want to see a reliable electricity power supply in Nigeria. It is not just praying about it. It is about talking about it and doing something about it”. Those could easily have been from Barak Obama’s lips talking about America. Fashola is certainly serious about what the award winning columnist, Sam Omatseye, calls building “a decent society”..This requires courage and Fashola has shown lots of it in 2012 for which he deserves commendation. But it also requires tact and patience so that the hawkish and selfish proponents of an indecent society are not given the opportunity of restoring the years of the locusts. Yes, the politician thinks of the next election and the statesman the next generation. But it will certainly help the next generation a great deal if the patriotic, statesman wins the next election. Here I would like to refer to President Obama’s interview in the current edition of Time magazine, which chose him as Man of the year. Obama said what struck him most about a new film on Lincoln he had watched with his staff were the compromises and deals the 16th President had to make in pursuit of his effort to abolish slavery. Obama noted that you sometimes have no choice but to get your hands dirty even in the pursuit of high minded ideals. Lesson: Governor Fashola must consider in some instances short term tactical compromises to win long term strategic objectives. Even then, BRF has had the courage to take tough decisions that may make him personally unpopular in certain quarters but are in the long term interest of Lagos State. It takes leadership to insist that Lagos State cannot run an Okada economy in the 21st century and that LASU cannot continueto be run like a glorified secondary school. Yes, for focus, vision, selflessness and tenacity, he is my man of the year.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

Relax Osaze, relax


SAZE Odemwingie has fouled the air with his uncouth utterances. He poured odium on the football fraternity over his exclusion from the country’s provisional list to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. That is okay because it is his right to do so. But he should also know that time was when he was picked head of others in the Super Eagles and heavens didn’t fall. When it favoured him, the coaches were immaculate. Anytime he is dropped, the coaches lacked personality, the players are undisciplined and NFF chiefs are inept. His jibes at Stephen Keshi, NFF, former captains of the Eagles and some stakeholders are unnecessary, especially after he hinted that he would love to be with his wife when his first child (a boy) is delivered. One had thought that his exclusion would have lightened his burden of choosing be-

tween his wife and the country. Nowhere is it written that fathers should witness the arrival of their kids. People do so at their discretion, more so when Osaze isn’t the doctor to deliver the child. One is also alarmed that Osaze feels that the coach must inform him about his exclusion. Indeed, it is pertinent to ask what Osaze did when Keshi didn’t contact him. Simply put, Osaze disregards his elders and needs to be told that African tradition recognises respect for older ones. Osaze has misconstrued being outspoken for rudeness. He ought to have called up Keshi to find out why he was dropped instead of lashing the tactician on Twitter. If he expressed those unkind words to Keshi on the telephone, the Big Boss would have understood, having faced such circumstances in the past. A shouting match could have ensued, yet he could have persuaded people to beg the coach after realising his folly. I wonder what he would do, if asked to apologise to Keshi and the football frater-

nity whenever he need something good from the system. He could wave his hands but he can never tell. Curiously, it was being rumoured on Thursday night that Osaze sought to leave the camp for England to witness his child’s birth. He also wanted to be shuttling between England and South Africa, baby-sitting and playing Nigeria’s matches at the Africa Cup of Nations. What a superman. We are told that Keshi rejected both requests before releasing the list. Could that be true, given the whiplash on Twitter from Osaze? Was Osaze trying to remind Keshi of what he did at the Maroc ’88 Africa Cup of Nations where he was flying in and out, playing for the country and his European club? This is Keshi’s full cycle. If Osaze has a grouse with Keshi, what would he say informed his decision to call NFF Board member Chris Green an idiot? Green called Osaze, following the prompting of those who knew about their firends. Osaze didn’t allow him to talk. He abused

Green, a fact he confirmed on his twitter account on Monday. Green took it in his strides, but the pain was in his voice. Osaze should know that there is life outside football. He should understand too that no employer would touch him, given his antecedents with superiors. One is not sure if he would be welcomed into the Super Eagles again. He should always put himself in others’ position when he is angry. I don’t expect Keshi to join issues with Osaze. It would be foolhardy. I’m glad that Keshi has instilled discipline in the Eagles, but he must ensure that the stick is used without discrimination. A child that has just been flogged will definitely cry. That is what Osaze’s anger amounts to. Keshi should forgive him whenever he retraces his steps. That is the hallmark of a good leader. Glo: giant among stars The Glo/CAF Africa Footballer of the Year award in Ghana was always going to be a spectacle. A night of surprises. One in which the audience would detest some of the

•Continued on Page 63

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