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HowI met my husband

World Cup bribery case Page 23

—Nollywood actress, Ronke Oshodi-Oke

Adamu loses CAS appeal Page63

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL.07 N0. 2046


The Ojukwu we knew, by Amaechi, Odili, Orji Page 5



From left: Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Tokunbo Fayokun; Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye; Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Chairman Elizade Group, Chief Michael Adeojo; founder, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasehun and former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Wale Omole during the courtesy visit to the governor by the Governing Council of the Yoruba Education Trust Fund in Ibadan... on Thursday

North ready for restructuring, say Lamido, Aliyu, Ayu, others 4 Page

Boko Haram: Leaders accuse soldiers of rights abuses Explosions rock Gombe Sect kills five in Kano EFCC charges ex-Bayelsa Page 5 governor with N2.45bn fraud

Police deploy 9,000 men as Cross River elects new Page2 governor today

Senate traces N21bn pension fund for retired police officers to Page 5 bank

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Ex-LP chair Oni kicks as Ondo’s N27bn bond is over-subscribed

2 News



Police deploy 9000 men


HE Cross River State Police Command is to deploy 9,000 personnel in today’s election in Cross River State. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Samson Wudah, told newsmen in Calabar yesterday that 7,469 personnel would be deployed from the state command while the remaining 1,531 would come from other contingents like Benue, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom. Wudah said the police had been patrolling strategic locations in the state to ensure adequate security. He urged the youth to refrain from being enticed by politicians to create unnecessary problems. “If they do that and the law catches up with them, we will not spare them,” he warned. The Commissioner advised the electorate to conduct themselves peacefully during the election. He urged politicians in the state to play the game according to the rules by cautioning their followers to be law abiding during the polls. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Hogan Bassey, also said yesterday: “Preparations are in top gear and we don’t envisage any hitch. Even if there would be any hitch, it will be quelled. Proactive measures have been put in place. Cross River is generally a peaceful state, but we are not taking anything for granted.” After a meeting between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ) and other security agencies in the state on Thursay, they promised to work with the police to ensure a hitchfree election. According to Bassey, men of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air force, Civil Defence, Customs and others will today assist the police in ensuring law and order. Meanwhile INEC has said it is fully prepared to conduct a free and fair governorship election in the state today. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),

Nicholas KALU, Calabar Mr Mike Igini, assured all the parties involved in the election in the state of a level playing ground. The state has 18 local government areas, 193 registration areas and 2,283 polling units. Working for INEC in the polls are 212 collation officers, 2,283 presiding officers and 4,926 trained ad hoc staff. There are 1,252, 906 registered voters in the state. Non-sensitive materials like cubicles, ink and stationery were deployed to the INEC offices in the local government areas earlier in the week. The lectoral body also started deploying sensitive meterials like ballot papers and result sheets at about 5.30 am yesterday. Twelve political parties will participate in today’s election. The parties, their candidates and running mates are: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Liyel Imoke and Mr Efiok Cobham; Action Congress of

Nigeria (ACN), Pastor Usani Usani and Mr David Okon; All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr Patrick Okomiso and Mr Edem Eyo-Ita; African Political System (APS), Mr Odey Ekunke and Mr Igba Julius; Labour Party (LP), Mrs Imah Nsa-Adegoke and Mr Tony Bassey Nneji; Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Mr Goddie Akpama and Mr Obo Okey; The United National Party for Development (UNDP), Dr Ebiti Ndok and Mr Ogar Okang. Others are Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Dr Theophilus Onyuku and Mrs Grace Essien; Democratic Front for a People’s Federation (DFPF), Mr James Ebri and Mr Offiong Henshaw; Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Miss Mary Ekpere and Mr Mens Ikpeme; Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Mr Cletus Inyang and Mr Ekanem Bassey; and African Liberation Party (ALP), Mr Victor Udom and Mr Frank Achums. PSC mobilises 628 observers


ROJECT Swift Count (PSC), an election observer group, says it will deploy a total of 628 observers to observe the governorship polls in Cross River State today. Addressing newsmen in Calabar, the state capital on Friday, the first co-chair of the group, Dafe Akpedeye, said 600 would be deployed to pre-randomly selected polling units spread across the 18 local government areas in the state, while the remaining 28 would rove. Akpedeye, who spoke through the second co-chair, Mashood Erubami, said the PSC would use the swift count methodology to observe the election. The methodology involves the use of information and communication technology and statistical principles which enable observers to provide more representative and accurate information about the electoral process in real time to voters, political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He explained: “In the course of observing any election, PSC observers are deployed to pre-randomly selected polling units where they collate information based on a checklist provided for them. ‘’They will then forward the information via coded text messages to the National Information Centre in Abuja where the messages will be analysed by a statistician. ‘’Afterwards, PSC will share its findings with the public through the media and also make recommendations, where necessary, to relevant stakeholders in the electoral process.” According to him, PSC’s plans to observe the Cross River governorship election is in line with its vision and mission, which is to build the confidence of voters in the electoral process and promote free, fair, peaceful, credible and legitimate elections in Nigeria.

Amaechi, Odili, Orji eulogise Ojukwu


IVERS State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi yesterday paid glowing tributes to the late former Military Governor of the defunct Eastern Region of Nigeria, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, at a public lecture in Ojukwu’s honour in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Others who paid tributes to Ojukwu at the event included Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili and the former President of Nigerian Bar Association, O. C. J. Okocha (SAN). At the auditorium of the Rivers State House of Assembly, venue of the event, Governor Amaechi lauded the character traits and leadership vision of Ojukwu, highlighting Ojukwu’s willingness to fight the perceived injustice against his people. “My understanding then of Ojukwu was that he was a man who could not withstand injustice, and as a student of art or history, you know that the beginning of a struggle is the presence of an attempt by a group of people to deny the rest their right of existence, and Ojukwu felt that he could lead his people out of the in-

justice meted on them by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “What all the Igbos and all of us who belonged to the old Eastern Region then are doing now is to celebrate Ojukwu’s achievements as a governor and as leader of his people.” Amaechi noted that while Ojukwu did not win the Nigerian civil war, he brought political victory to his people. “The Nigerian Government may have won the military victory but the political victory was won by the Ibos because they established the fact that they are not a people you can ignore in the Federal Republic of Nigeria anymore...” Also describing him as loving and kind, Governor Amaechi encouraged those in the former Eastern Region to emulate Ojukwu’s laudable qualities that distinguished him in the social and political landscape. On his part, Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, described Ojukwu as charismatic and eloquent, noting also that the Nigerian civil war had taught Nigerians the true meaning of peace. Former Rivers State Governor, and Chairman of the occasion, Dr Peter Odili, also lauded Ojukwu for his fore-

sight and courage, saying that Ojukwu “came in his time, saw way above his time, confronted the challenges of his time, took a stand, made decisions and backed those decisions with action in defence and protection of the future of his people”. “Ojukwu was brilliant, intelligent, focused, vibrant, deep, persuasive, inspirationally and motivationally eloquent. Ojukwu could change your mind on any topic he decided to support. He was a man who was forthright, he was a man who had no problems with making decisions and when he made decisions he had no difficulty in backing those decisions with executive action. “And so we could understand why he would confront the challenges he confronted and made the bold moves he made that have now become part of history that created what we cannot delete – the Biafra war with Nigeria”. Guest Speaker at the lecture and former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, O. C. J. Okocha (SAN), described Ojukwu as a man of principle, truth and justice, adding that he was also a philosopher, a great thinker and visionary leader.

•From left: Chief O.C.J.Okocha (SAN), guest lecturer; Dr. Peter Odili, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of River State observing the national anthem during a public lecture organised by the Rivers State Government in honour of Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu in Port Harcourt... yesterday

It’s an illeggal poll, says ANPP candidate


HE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate for the Cross River governorship election, Mr. Patrick Okomiso, has declared that it is illegal for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the election today. Okimiso, who spoke in Abuja, said that INEC’s decision to bring forward the election after the Supreme Court sacked five governors from office last month is contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act as amended and the 1999 Constitution. Bringing the date forward to 25th February, he said, means that candidates were not given the mandatory minimum of 60 days to campaign for the elections as provided in the Act. He also warned that all indications have shown that INEC is bent on rigging the election in favour of the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.

Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja

He said: “Do you know that up to this point in time INEC has not written any political party to give them the new election timetable? INEC officials released a press statement saying election date has been fixed for February 25. “They are supposed to release the timetable for candidates to campaign, get voters register for the candidates to know the number of voters and where they should go and campaign.” According to him, his party conducted its primaries on February 10, 2012 and submitted the name of its candidates to INEC on February 10. “If INEC goes ahead to conduct the election on February 25, the implication is that they have barely 15 days to campaign, contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.” Stressing that the outcome of the election will be rejected

by him and the ANPP, he said: “If Jega has decided to rubbish his good name and hopes to rig the election for the PDP, we should know. Otherwise, Haram should be added to his name. ‘’This is totally unbelievable. Why would you rig election for a political party? Why should you shift the goal post in the middle of the game?” He also faulted Section 130 of the Act, which INEC relied on to bring the election forward, saying: “INEC responded quoting Section 130 of the Act. But that section only applies in the event that a governor and his deputy die and there is no state House of Assembly and INEC has to organise election as quickly as possible to enable the gap to be filled. “But this is not the situation in Cross River State. There is no gap since we have the Speaker who is already the Acting Governor of the state.’’

Adamawa ACN candidate, Marcus Gundiri, files petition against Nyako


HE Adamawa State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in the February 4 governorship election, Engr. Marcus Gundiri, has filed a petition before the State Elections Petition Tribunal over the declaration of Governor Murtala Nyako of the PDP as the winner of the election. Engr. Gundiri, his deputy Alhaji Namdaz Saad Abdulrazak and the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, including their teeming supporters, appeared before the Registrar of the Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Yola last Friday at about 4.45 pm to file a case against Governor Murtala Nyako, deputy Gov. Bala James Nggilari, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Resident Electoral Commissioner and the State Returning Officer as respondents. The 391-page suit was filed on Gundiri’s behalf

Barnabas MANYAM Yola by Chief Charles Edofonwan (SAN), Chief Kemi Pinherio (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN). The plaintiff alleged fraud by Nyako and thus wants his victory overturned by the tribunal. He wants the results of the election in such areas as Fufure, Maiha, Mayo Belwa, Yola North, Yola South, Girei, Madagali, Mubi North, Tongo, Numan and Demsa local government areas voided over alleged breach of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). Gunduri is also praying the tribunal to declare him the winner having scored the majority of the total number of lawful votes cast, as well as at least 25percent of lawful votes cast in at least 21 local governments of Adamawa State in the election. No date was has been fixed for hearing the petition.

Why Nigeria can’t conduct T free, fair election –Onu

HE National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said Nigeria is still far from conducting a free, fair and credible election. Nigeria, Onu explained, will continue to witness rigged elections if the government in power intimidates the electorate and use security agencies to achieve its 'selfish' aim. Speaking in Abuja when the leadership of the International

Gbenga OMOKHUNU, Abuja

Republican Institute (IRI) visited him, Onu expressed disappointment that the country is passing through difficult times where people just do whatever they like because of power. He also accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of rigging the just concluded Sokoto State governorship election. His words: "We are working very hard to win elections at all

levels. For too long, politics in Nigeria has been based on personality. That is not right. We ought to base our politics on ideas. ANPP is determined to do so. We have a personality that can attract trust. "We are passing through very difficult times in our country based on insecurity, and we believe that ANPP can solve the problem. We know that there is no way democracy can endure in any nation unless there is free and fair election. Continued on Page 4



4 News


Boko Haram kills five in Kano mosque • Explosions, gunfire rock Gombe Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano


•From left: US Consul General in Lagos, Mr Joseph Stafford; Miss Tamara Klajn, Staff Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during a courtesy visit to the Asiwaju in Lagos

North ready for restructuring, say Lamido, Aliyu, Ayu, others

•Boko Haram: Leaders accused soldiers of human rights abuses


HE North picked up the gauntlet yesterday and declared it is now poised for the restructuring of Nigeria in the face of what it called identified threats confronting the region. The region’s who is who in politics, academia and media at a meeting in Abuja expressed hope that the lopsidedness in the polity “will be a key issue.” The Coalition of Concerned Northerners meeting came against the background of the call for the review of the present revenue sharing formula by the governors of the 19 northern states; the recent agitation by South West governors and other stakeholders for Sovereign National Conference (SNC); and the state of insecurity in the country. Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum,Alhaji Babangida Aliyu, speaking at the inauguration of the Advisory Council of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation in Abuja on Thursday, described as unfair a situation where his state (Niger) would be receiving a monthly allocation of between N4.2 billion and N4.5 billion while some others would be getting about 20 times of that; a veiled reference to the 13 per cent derivation paid to oil producing states. This, he said, was responsible for the wide gap in development between the North and the South. He was echoing a statement made by the Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi last month, in an interview with the Financial Times of London. Sanusi, in the interview, linked the prevailing poverty in the North and the violence being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect to uneven distribution of the nation’s wealth. In a communique at the end of yesterday’s meeting, the Northern leaders, among whom were two serving governors, a former Senate President, a former deputy Senate president and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, expressed concern over the activities of Boko Haram, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). The communique reads: “A

Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja coalition of Northern politicians, academics, professionals and businessmen met yesterday (Thursday) at Asokoro in Abuja to deliberate on matters of serious concern to the Northern States of Nigeria and their peoples. “In the course of the meting, the Northern Group reflected on the deteriorating security situation in the region, particularly with regards to the growth and spread of attacks and impunity by the Boko Haram insurgents and other ethnic and religious militias in the North. ‘’In addition, the meeting dwelled on the threats posed by the resurgent activities of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), other Niger Delta militant groups, Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). In addition, the meeting dwelled on the threats and recent calls by groups for a Sovereign National Conference. “The meeting reflected on the elements that bond the Northerners and their cultures together, irrespective of ethnicity and religion over many years at their association, and expressed their sadness that the basis of unity of the region has of recent come under a serious assault. The meeting noted the positive fallouts of the recent nationwide strike, in the course of which the ordinary people of the North and of the rest of the country manifested a refreshing desire to support and protect one another against the clear evidence of orchestrated designs to polarise and keep the people apart. “The meeting also received the shocking details of the several excesses of the JTF (Joint Task Force) which amounted to no less than gross human rights abuses. The meeting expressed the view that the threat posed by Boko Haram insurgency could best be attended to without the attendant attacks on individual rights and on businesses. “The meeting resolved to support the calls for the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation in the hope that the lopsidedness in the structure of the nation’s politics and economy will

be a key agenda issue. “It then called on the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) to liaise with other stakeholders in the North, such as the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Union (NU), Jama’atul Nasirl Islam (JNI), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), women, youth and student bodies and other groups to join hands together to tackle the identified threats confronting the region. “Among those who attended the meeting were the governors of Niger and Jigawa states, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, OON, CON and Alhaji Sule Lamido, CON; the convener of the meeting, Dr. Junaidu Muhammed; a former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu; a former Deputy Senate President, Dr. John Wash-Pam, CON; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, CFR; former ministers, such as, Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri and Mallam Lawal Batagarawa; and a former Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, Prof. Nur Alkali. “Others were a former Chairman of Langtang South Local Government Council, Mr. Solomon Dalung; former Presidential Legal Advisers, Ibrahim Ismail and Prof. Awwal Yadudu; as well as newspaper publishers, including Sam NdaIsaiah and Mohammed

Haruna. The rest included university vice chancellors, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Prof. Risqua Arabu; businessmen such as the Chairman of Mainstreet Bank, Alhaji Falalu Bello; a former Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Hamman Tukur; a former Solicitor-General of the Federation, Prof. Ignatius Ayua; Prof. David Iyornem; Alhaji Dahiru Mohammed and two former managing directors of New Nigeria Newspapers. “Others included the first female editor of New Nigeria, Mrs. Bilkisu Bintube; another female editor from Trust Newspapers, Mrs. Aisha Kabiru Yusuf; Dr. Bashir Kurfi of Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU, Zaria) and Timaus Mathias, a veteran journalist. “Also present were Mr. David Garnva, former President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mallam Abba Gana, former Deputy Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Alhaji Shehu Kaikai, Sanusi Abubakar, Garba Shehu, Mr. Simon Gunkat, Mallam Adamu Yakubu, Barr. Zannah Mustapaha, Mallam Sambo Ingawa, Kalli Ghazali, Abubakar Michika and Prof. Abubakar Mustapha. It was signed by Second Republic member of the House of Representatives,Dr. Junaid Muhammed, the convener.

‘Why Nigeria can’t conduct free, fair election’ Continued from Page 2 "The last election was an improvement over what we had since the Fourth Republic and since 1999. But definitely, it is not what we wish for our country. ‘’We are still very far from having truly free, fair, peaceful and credible elections. We are convinced that so long as we allow malpractices, it will be very difficult for every vote to count. ‘’Every vote must count and every voter must be seen to be important. This is what will make people to participate fully in the electoral process. "There are so many things that have happened lately that worry us. But if we must have free and fair elections in Nigeria, we must insist that elections are held in one day. When that happens,

you will have full participation. All the rigging will be difficult. The bandwagon effect will be eliminated.” ‘’If you allow citizens to be intimidated, harassed either before or during elections, there is no way you can have full participation. ‘’It is important that security agencies understand that they are supposed to serve every citizen. They should not reserve their loyalty only for those in government. They should be neutral. This will help curb intimidation. "The Sokoto State election was rigged by the PDP. Our members were harassed. Our party offices were vandalised. Observers were fighting over the one million naira given to them. The issue ought to be addressed."

HE Moghrib prayer at a mosque at Shaka,Kano, ended on a bloody note last night after suspected members of the Islamic sect,Boko Haram, invaded the mosque and opened fire on the mosques. Five worshippers died in they attack The Moghrib is the fourth daily prayer by Muslims said at 7pm. The prayer session was about ending when six armed men stormed the mosque and began to fire sporadically. Spokesman for the State Police Command,Mr.Magaji Majia,an Assistant Superintendent (ASP) confirmed the killing and said investigation had begun. “They came on the back of a motorcycle and shot sporadically at worshippers this evening... the situation is now under control. An investigation has been launched,” he said. Pandemonium soon ensued with other worshippers fleeing in different directions. An eye witness said residents were baffled by the development. But he could not confirm whether the assailants or the victims were Boko Haram members. He said the corpses had been taken to the mortuary. It was also gathered that nine the police in Kano yesterday arrested nine suspected members of Boko Haram. On Friday,April 13, 2007, assassins invaded the Dorayi Juma’at Mosque, Kano during the morning prayer of Subhi and killed the Imam, Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, a renowned Kano_based Islamic scholar and founder of Usman Bin Affan Centre. Two other worshippers were killed while several other worshippers were injured in the attack. In a related development, numerous explosions and gunshots echoed through Gombe yesterday. The city was previously targeted by the Boko Haram sect. People fled the violence as gunshots rocked the city. It was not clear at press time what was responsible for the ugly development

Benue guber petition Akume allays fears over Supreme Court’s controversial ruling


ENATE minority leader and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Benue State, Senator George Akume has urged members of the party in the state and its supporters worldwide to remain calm. In a statement by his media aide, Mrs Orpin Beckie, Senator Akume urged the people of the state to disregard the rumours and propaganda being churned out by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regarding the petition of the ACN against the PDP in the state. “My attention is drawn to the Supreme Court’s judgment of a Panel of 5 renowned jurists headed by Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen in the governorship election petition between ANPP and PDP in Borno state. “The apex court in its judgment, evoked the provisions of the section 285(6) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). This section provides a time frame of 180 days within which a tribunal must deliver its judgment in writing. “However, the PDP government in Benue State, for want of deep knowledge of the law, judicial practices and procedure, embarked on mischievous spread of wild falsehood, using particularly the stateowned electronic media, Radio Benue, alluding to the fact that the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria before the Justice Halima Mohammed’s Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, is also dispensed with. “ I, with our team of lawyers, other eminent legal practitioners and jurists did a vivid analysis of the Borno judgment. I wish to state therefore that: “The facts and circumstances of the Borno State’s case differ fundamentally with those of Benue State. The circumstances leading to the decision of the Supreme Court on February 17, 2012 are not on all fours with the case of the ACN before the Tribunal in Makurdi. “The PDP -led government in Benue ought to have appreciated that the decision of a Panel of seven justices on the interpretation of the Constitution cannot be set aside by a panel of five justices of the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court is emphatic about the need for laws to be made and interpreted to meet the ends of justice, with its underlying principles being fair hearing. Therefore, any law that does not shield the fragile egg of fair hearing should be faced with legal enquiring, especially at the Supreme Court, which usually fills up the vacuum that exists in extant laws. “We are also aware that the period of 180 days was not entrenched in the Constitution to chase aggrieved petitioners out of the temple of justice, but designed to arrest the wanton delay in the trial of election petitions. “The Justice Halima Mohammed-led Governorship Election Tribunal is sitting in Makurdi because the Supreme Court ordered so. “The provisions of the law are given strength only through the courts and not through radio or newspaper propaganda. The Supreme Court ordered in the interest of justice, being mindful that everybody is watching the judiciary, and the tribunals are expected to give judgment within reasonable time. “I want to appeal to our teeming supporters to remain calm and resolute, with abiding faith that the judiciary will resolve this jigsaw puzzle. Because it is evident from documented precedence that the Supreme Court in Nigeria has never shied away from philosophical application of the law interpreting same in order to cure injustices. “Of all the 36 governors in Nigeria, only Governor Gabriel Torwua Suswan of Benue State has not been able to come clean on the issue of certificate forgery and non–presentation of certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a fundamental prerequisite for standing election. And he is doing everything possible to subvert the course of justice by ensuring that the election petition challenging his qualification and presentation of a forged certificate to the electoral body, the INEC, is not heard and determined on merit. “I therefore urge our members and teeming supporters to remain calm, resolute, prayerful and confident that the judicial process will take its full course in the ACN’s case and a decision will be reached on the merits and not on the basis of technical justice.

News 5



HE Supreme Court yesterday sacked Governor Usman Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi State. He was the sixth state chief executive removed by the apex court in the last one month. The court ordered a fresh election within 90 days. Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Ibrahim Idris (Kogi) were removed on January 27 on the grounds that their tenure expired in May last year. Ruling yesterday in an appeal by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and its governorship candidate, Abubakar Gari Malam, the Supreme Court nullified the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had affirmed the election of Dakingari. Dakingari contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Supreme Court, in the judgment read by Justice Walter Onnoghen, affirmed the subsisting judgment of the Kebbi State Governorship Electition Tribunal, which nullified the election

Supreme Court sacks Kebbi governor •Speaker sworn in as Acting Governor • PDP faults judgment Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja and Khadijat SAIDU, Birnin Kebbi of the governor. Citing Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution, the apex court held that the judgment had become a nullity because the reasons for the decision were given outside the 60 days stipulated by the 1999 Constitution as amended. Section 285 (7) provides thus: ”An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or court of appeal in an election matter shall be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the date of the delivery of judgment of the tribunal or Court of Appeal.” Section 285 (8) of the constitution states that: “The court in all final appeals from election tribunal may adopt the practice of first giving its decision and reserving the reasons therefore to a later date.”

Justice Onnoghen held that the Court of Appeal is a final court in petitions arising from National and State Houses of Assembly Elections but not on governorship elections. He declared that as at December 28 when the Appeal Court delivered its judgment, it still had two weeks to fall within the 60 days. He therefore faulted the Court of Appeal for not giving reasons for the judgment until it was almost impossible for the appellants to file their appeal against the deicison. “The Court of Appeal must determine and give reasons within 60 days. There is no precedent in support of the Respondnets on the issue. The judgment and reasons must come hand in hand. The court has no power under Section 285 to give reasons outside 60 days. This renders the exercise a nullity. The Judgment of the Court

of Appeal is hereby annulled. The judgment of the Tribunal is hereby affirmed.” The appellant’s counsel, Sam Kargbo, commended the apex court for the judgment. PDP’s counsel, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN) said the apex court is the final court in the land. The party however faulted the judgement. In a statement through the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prof Ahmed Rufai Alkali, the Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, described the judgment as a great shock and temporary setback. He said: “While our faith in the judiciary remains unwavering, we are deeply concerned with the trend of judgments, some of which breed unnecessary tension and instability.” He asked “ our teeming supporters in Kebbi State to remain calm, law abiding and continue

to support the Peoples Democratic Party which remains the most formidable and purposeful political party in Nigeria.” “We however wish to commend Alh. Dakingari for all his efforts in the courts and urge him and his team in the State to be steadfast, courageous, while the Party prepares for a re_run elections which God willing, we shall win.” He added The tribunal chaired by Justice Mairo Laraba Yusuf had on November 13, 2011 nullified the election of Dakingari on the basis that the INEC’s documents presented as exhibits were not on the prescribed forms. Dissatisfied, Dakingari approached the Court of Appeal, Sokoto. On December 28, the panel in its judgment by Justice Aminu Sanusi upheld his election. It stated that the INEC’s exhibits that were not on the prescribed forms did not nullify the result of the election. The appellate court also noted

that it was empowered by Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution to make a pronouncement on the matter and that based on reasons adduced and oral submissions made, Dakingari’s election was in order. The court also dismissed the CPC’s cross_appeal where it demanded that a certificate of return be issued to its candidate, for lacking in merit. But the court which deferred the reasons for the judgment did not do so until the 60 days it was allowed under the Constitution to hear and determine the appeal expired. Meanwhile, the speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Alhaji Aminu Musa Habib Jega, has been sworn in as the Acting Governor of the state. His inauguration took place at the Government House council chamber, Birnin Kebbi at about 9 pm yesterday. It was conducted by the Chief Jugde, Justice Ibrahim Umar.

Senate traces N21bn pension fund to bank


•Wife of the Owa of Odo-Ayedun, Olori Elizabeth Ajibade; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Owa of Odo-Ayedun, Oba Ilesanmi Ajibade; and Chairman, Ekiti State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Chief Aaron Komolafe, during a courtesy visit by the Odo-Ayedun Community leaders to the Governor, in Ado-Ekiti... on Thursday.

EFCC charges Sylva with N2.45bn fraud


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has slammed the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, with a six-count charge concerning his alleged mismanagement of N2.45 billion while in office. Chief Sylva has not been seen in public since he was sacked by the Supreme Court last month along with four other governors on the ground that their tenure expired in May last year. He claims persecution by his party (PDP) and President Goodluck Jonathan who is a Bayelsan, for allegedly denying him the party’s ticket for the February 11, 2012 governorship election. Chief Seriake Dickson won that election. Prosecuting the case against Chief Sylva is Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo. The accused is alleged to have committed the offences through proxies under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government. The alleged offences are contrary to Sections 14(1) and 17(a) and punishable under Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004. They are also contrary to Sections 1(1)(b) and 8(a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004. The proxies allegedly used by the former governor are one Habibu Sani Maigidia, a Bureau De Change Operator with Ac-

Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, count No. 221433478108, in Fin Bank, Plc; Enson Benmer Limited with Account No. 6152030001946, in First Bank Plc and John Daukoru with Account No. 04800250000418 in United Bank for Africa Plc. The charge reads as follows: COUNT 1: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October 2009 and February 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did conspire to commit a crime to wit: conversion of properties and resources amounting to N2,000,000,000.00 (two billion naira) belonging to Bayelsa State Government and derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said amount and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act. COUNT 2: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 22nd of January, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N380,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Eighty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Habibu Sani Maigidia, a Bureau De Change Operator with Account No. 221433478108, in Fin Bank Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an il-

legal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act. COUNT 3: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (fifty million naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Enson Benmer Limited with Account No. 6152030001946 in First Bank Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act. COUNT 4: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one John Daukoru with Account No. 04800250000418, in United Bank for Africa, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence con-

trary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act. COUNT 5: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October 2009 and February 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did conspire to commit a crime to wit: inducing Union Bank Plc, with the intent to defraud, to deliver to Bayelsa State Government the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (two billion naira), under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004. COUNT 6: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, induced Union Bank Plc, with the intent to defraud, to grant an overdraft facility of the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (two billion naira) to the Bayelsa State Government under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2004 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

N ongoing investigation of pension payment and management by the Senate has led to the shocking discovery of N21 billion of police pension in a commercial bank. The sum, which was traced to the unnamed bank by the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment,Public Service, States and Local Governments, is believed to be part of the N24 billion released for payment of pensions to retired police officers. The Committee Chairman, Senator Aloysius Etok, told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the reason for ‘’warehousing’’ the money was not clear after only N3 billion was paid. Etok said from the committee’s preliminary findings, “the issue of pension and gratuity payments in Nigeria is a time bomb” which could explode and cause collateral damage if not resolved immediately. He recalled that some states are indebted to pensioners in excess of 10 billion. He said the committee will investigate the amount released to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for pension payment yearly. He said the committee would also ascertain how such money is disbursed “especially as part of such funds were traced to some accounts in some commercial banks yet to be verified.” Asked how much of pension funds the committee discovered to have been misapplied, Etok declined comment, saying investigation was still going on. He, however, said that apart from the police pensions, those of Customs, Immigration and Prison Officer (CIPO) are also being scrutinised. He called for the harmonization of pensions being paid to Permanent Secretaries who may be directed to retire with the administrations they served and the current retirees to ensure fairness and equity. He said while the current generation of retired permanent secretaries are taking home about N150,000 monthly, those who retired before the new scheme was intro-

Onyedi OJIABOR and Sanni ONOGU, Abuja duced are paid a paltry N2,000 monthly. Etok said: “The case of retired permanent secretaries who were affected by the policy directing such officers to retire with the administration they served was presented and a request sought for harmonization of their pension with current retired permanent secretaries. He said: ”The amount paid as lump sum on retirement under the new scheme was found to be grossly inadequate and should be reviewed.” He said the committee had information that some pension offices were burning their cheque stumps to thwart the ongoing probe. But he noted that that this would not be a hindrance to the committee. He said the committee had received 224 memoranda in the four zones where it had held public hearing, namely Lagos (37), Enugu (39), Makurdi (81) and Uyo (67). He added: “For instance, the presentation made by the Lagos State Government attracted series of reactions from the unions e.g. the decision of the Federal Government in 2002 to stop state governments from paying the federal share of pensions led to mounting arrears of pensions and gratuities of pensioners with federal share. “The committee observed that the Federal Government was indebted to almost all the states that have made presentations. “The state chapters of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) alleged that they were owed various sums as arrears of federal share of pension. “The endless verification exercise has not helped matters either. Rather, it was noted to be very cumbersome. “Most of the pension unions present advocated their inclusion in Pension Commission Administration (PENCOM). “It was alleged that the desk officers at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation were inaccessible, arrogant and brutal.”




HE Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has warned that any contractor who compromises on quality in the ongoing construction of 52 roads being handled by contractors in the state will be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The governor made this known on Thursday through his Commissioner for Works,


Oyo to hand over contractors to EFCC Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, while on an inspection of roads being constructed in the Ibadan metropolis. According to him, the government had zero-tolerance for shoddy work, especially low quality of road constructions, as typified by past administrations in the state, stating that any such subversion

of the contractual agreement between contractors and the state government in shoddy execution of works would be sanctioned. While inspecting the ElebuHealth Centre Road in the Ido Local Government Area of the state capital, the governor said that neither him nor any official of government in the

•Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (left), in a warm handshake with a former ICAN president, Emmanuel Ijewere, at the commissioning of the multi-million naira ICAN complex at Ebute-Meta, Lagos.

Sound accounting policies, key to economic development— Amosun GUN State governor,


Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described sound accounting policies and practices as a prerequisite for good governance and economic development. The governor stated this yesterday at the commissioning of the new Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Building at Ebute-Metta, Lagos. He called on members of the professional body to ensure accountability in all things and maintain “ethical standards of this noble profession at all times.” He lauded the achievements and contributions of individual members and the institute towards the financial stability and the overall development of Nigeria, which “has, without doubt, earned us international rec-

ognition both in Africa and other parts of the world.” Senator Amosun described the completion of the building as a major achievement, especially in the light of the prevailing economic condition of the country. He commended the corporate social responsibility gesture of the institute, adding that other professional bodies should follow in the footsteps of the ICAN. Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the ICAN, Prof Francis Ojaide, said the project, which cost N618m, was embarked upon to meet the challenges posed by the rapid growth of students and staff of the institute and provide a place for all stakeholders of the accounting profession. He said the institute reno-

vated the Jebba Street adjoining the edifice as part of its corporate social responsibility. He condemned the spate of abandoned projects in the country, adding that no reason could justify it.


tion. He described the genial arrowhead of the progressive forces as a distinguished leader whose life of service to the nation and humanity epitome the highest expression of goodly virtues and the deepest reverence of his name. “There is no doubt that Asiwaju is a man of destiny and a great divine messenger of God sent to accomplish special missions to mankind and Nigerians in particular”, said the ex-chairman, Committee on Housing in the immediate past legislative dispensation. “He is a special man among men and a leader of leaders who is simply acting out his divine mandate and

ing on behalf of the Alaro Elebu community, also commended the administration of Governor Ajimobi for making life worth living for the people of the state, especially in the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the state, while also appealing to government to create more voting centres in the area. The commissioner and his team also inspected the state of work on the construction project of an overhead bridge at Mokola area where he assured the people of the state that it will be completed in record time of 12 months. Other road projects inspected by the team includes the Ajibode-Apete Road, Ajibode-Akingbile OluanaAkinyele Road, all of which the Commissioner assured will be completed within three months.


Non-Governmental Organisation, Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation, ASYARF, has donated excise books, writing materials, food items, customized feeders, T-shirts, mugs and cups to the Lifetime Caring Orphanage in Rivers State. In his address on the occasion, Mr. Ekechi Grant, the Rivers State Co-ordinator of the ASYARF noted that “ASYARF members are happy to be in the midst of this wonderful creatures of God who has purpose for everything that happens to man.” He stressed the need for well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to always come to the aid of the little ones to show sincere concern by way of building institutions that can promote, sustain and internalise their causes.

Ex-LP chair Oni kicks as Ondo’s N27bn bond is oversubscribed


HE former Labour Party (LP) Chairman in Ondo State, Dr. Olaiya Oni, at the weekend kicked against the oversubscribed of the N27bn bond by N2.1bn which the state government put in the capital market Oni said that it was another act by the present administration in the state to put the poor masses in a huge debt after Governor Olusegun Mimiko might have ended his tenure. It will be recalled that on Thursday, while signing the 2012 appropriation budget into law, Governor Mimiko said the state N27bn bond in the capital market had been oversubscribed by N2.1bn. In a statement made available to The Nation, the former chairman warned the market community the governor said had confidence in his administration not to in-

Leke AKEREDOLU, Akure volve itself in projects that would increase the rate of poverty in the state. The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s statement while signing the Ondo State 2012 appropriation bill into law that as a result of confidence which the market community had in his administration, it oversubscribed the 27bn bond by over N2.1bn within one week. “Already, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has instituted a legal action against the bond and it is only reasonable for both Mimiko and the capital market to take account of this fact in handling this matter.”

PDP leaders urged to shun sentiment in electing national scribe


EMBERS of the Na tional Patriots, a socio-political pressure group, with tentacles across the entire federation, have advised PDP leaders to allow reason to prevail, rather than lopsided sentiment for big names with nothing to offer, as they commence the process of choosing the next National Secretary of the party. The group expressed in a statement signed by its National President, Dr. Ajibade

ACN chieftain congratulates Tinubu over new title N ex-lawmaker in the Lagos House of As sembly, Hon Kunle Ademoye, has expressed that he has the feeling that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would in future, play a more elevated role in the political affairs of the nation or even preside as President over it. The politician, who expressed this in his message of congratulations to the exLagos State governor over the recent conferment on him of the Agba-Akin Adinni of Ijeshaland, said that his implicit faith in the greater future political destiny of Tinubu was anchored on his many sterling qualities which are worthy of emula-

administration had collected a dime as kickback from any contractor and would thus not hesitate to make a public example of any contractor who tries to cheat the government by constructing shoddy roads. “It is the mission of this government that we will not compromise on the standard of quality work to be done by the contractors. I am saying this with all boldness that, as we awarded these contracts, neither the governor, nor anyone of us took a kobo from any contractor as kickback. We have given them the job and the government is paying them for the job; so if a contractor is not working, inform us. I want to assure you that a decision has been taken by the executive council of this administration that if any contractor tries to outsmart the community or the government, such a contractor will be handed over to the EFCC,” he said. While urging the benefiting communities to cooperate with government in ensuring that quality jobs are done, the commissioner said that government would arrest anyone vandalizing the roads. “I urge you to pay your tax at the right time. The money used for the construction of this road is yours and as such, it is your responsibility to monitor the project. Report any shoddy work to the chairman of your local government or your representative in the government, and we will take action immediately. Any contractor that cannot meet up to standard should either quit or refund our money,” he said. In his remark, the chairman of Ido Local government, Prof. Niyi Olowofela, described the Elebu road project as a laudable one being championed by the Governor Ajimobi-led administration. The Baale of Oke Alaro, Alhaji Yekeen Salam, speak-

Foundation donates to orphanage

destiny, and this is why no opposition or weapon fashioned against him shall prosper. “Even the blind or the politically uninformed knows that all sorts of bobby traps laid for him in the past had not only fainted, but failed woefully too. “Only yesterday, it was the code of conduct, they failed. Later, they started peddling rumours that he was ill. But the famed Lion of Bourdillon confounded them, as he came out to show them that he was hale and hearty. “This should be enough to prove to them that Asiwaju is an enigma and a legend who towers far above the vicious hordes of his envious traducers,” Ademoye said.

Amao, that premium should rather be placed more on individual capacity than the sentiment of mere big names either attained by sheer opportunism. “If this singular parameter is religiously stuck to, we have no doubt that Barrister Owolabi Salis will emerge distinctly victorious, and not only the party, PDP, will be the better for it, but the entire Nigeria as a whole”, the group said. They described Salis as a man of remarkably wide vista, who over the years, had never wavered in utilizing his legal expertise to fight for the oppressed blacks and Nigerians resident in America where he is based. “This is apart from the sustained philanthropy he renders to indigent students abroad, many of whom he feeds on daily basis, in addition to bearing the financial costs of their education. He employs quite a lot of them in his firms, just as he had been instrumental in fixing several others elsewhere. “It is also a tribute to his detribalised pan-Nigerian worldview that he had played frontline role, at one time or the other, by organizing public rallies and demonstrations or convening symposia at his base in America on crucial national causes like Igbo marginalisation and the agitation of the Niger Deltans, among others”, said the group.

They stated further that back here in Nigeria, Salis had played the role of strengthening the PDP in Lagos State. In this respect, the patriots recalled how during the last local government election, Salis printed posters for all the 300 councillorship aspirants in the state, all at his personal expense, while also helping a good many of them financially. “These are apart from his initiative in establishing the youth vanguard and the women van-

guard which he financed and also supports even for their private needs in spite of the fact that he never enjoyed party patronage in whatever form but rather sacrifices his own personal resources. “It is also an open secret that today, a lot of PDP members are constrained to still remain in the party mainly because of Salis to whom they have often taken recourse in meeting their various financial needs,” the group concluded.

Sisters in Worship holds concert


ISTERS in Worship, a group of female gospel musicians will be holding a concert at Sure Word Assembly, Okota, Lagos on Sunday by 4pm. According to the co-hosts of the Lagos episode, Pastor Mrs. Aity Dennis and Hope David, “the concert will feature Chinelo Dilimono from Port Harcourt,

Uduak Daniel from Calabar, Charity Winner also from Calabar, Ethel Odungide from Uyo and Moji Alawiye from Ibadan, among others.” They went further to say that “the objective of the group has been to take the gospel of Jesus Christ through music to every city in Nigeria and beyond”.

Apostle Solomon Balogun passes away


POSTLE Solomon Omodamiro Balogun is dead. He died on January 31 at the age of 82. The funeral rites started yesterday with a wake at Apostle Balogun’s Compound, opposite Base 10, Itedo-Makutu Isanlu, Kogi State. He will be buried today at Makutu cemetery and the out-

ing service takes place immediately at Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Back of Base 10, Itedo-Makutu Isanlu. Guests will be entertained after the outing service at an open field, opposite Customary Court, Itedo, Makutu-Isanlu. He is survived by a wife, children, grandchildren and greatgrand children among who is Mr Dele Balogun.








HEN I was think ing on this write up I contemplated writing in good faith about my positive experience on the cancellation of the police check points in the nation by the new Acting Police Inspector General Mr Mohammed Abubakar. My decision on this was prompted by a cartoon I saw in the media in which a concerned police wife was trying to console her crest fallen and frustrated husband over the cancellation .She was telling him that the new IG is a novice that would learn fast and reinstate the check points which would make the good times roll again for her husband. The good times meaning the illicit proceeds from the check points which have made the family live above its budget and the husband’s salary. I still stand by that commitment to write about the police check point in good faith as this is a fact which has brought a gale of fresh air and comfort to the private and business lives of millions of Nigerians. Nevertheless some events popped up in the week which not only changed my initial thinking on today’s topic but may suggest that I have not praised the new IG on the police check point cancellation in good faith. Far from it. What ever I end up with in this piece should not detract from the goodwill I had and still has towards this new IG on the cancellation of the check points in the public interest in spite of the resistance within and without the police by unethical policemen who have made money from the check points to the detriment of public interest and overall security of our nation. The first set of events happened both locally in Nigeria in Abuja and Calabar and have to do with the President of the Republic Dr Ebele Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling party, the PDP. The next concerned his trip to London to attend a conference on Somalia on how to combat the menace of Al Shabab, the terror group that has made Somalia ungovernable for sometime now. At the 58th meeting of the Executive Committee meeting of the PDP last Monday in Abuja the President berated his party men especially his appointees not to jump the gun in campaigning and seeking re election in 2015 when they have not even attempted to put anything on the ground in terms of promises fulfilled for the victory at the last elections of 2011 . According to himGovernment must not be distracted. ‘Nigerians are interested in what we put on the ground not in how many elections we win’. President Jonathan then concluded most graphically that –‘What Nigerians want are good roads, health facilities, power , and so on, not people wearing boxing gloves and doing shadow boxing in different forms‘. This to me is a timely and well directed admonition by the President who is also the leader of the ruling party. Especially now that even boxing is in disrepute

n of the Nigerian citizenry. in Nigeria.

Elections, police and politics

with British world heavyweight champions ‘glassing’ each other at post-boxing match press interviews in Germany, when boxing is said to be a sport for gentlemen. What remains however is for the president to live up to his own words and enforce what he has said so that he can truly dispel the gathering rumor that he says one thing in public and does another thing ‘inside’ with his party men. In similar vein, at an election campaign in Calabar Cross Rivers State, the same president pleasantly shocked all Nigerians when he said that he is committed to having police-free elections in Nigeria at subsequent votes to his own at the last presidential elections of 2011. I really do not know, and would not really care, how some policemen who made it in past elections would react to this . But I am sure they will not like it .But that won’t really bother me one bit, as long as the president goes on to achieve his stated objectives in this regard .In conclusion in Calabar, the President said –‘That is our next campaign and God willing before2015, we would conduct elections without security carrying guns to follow us . We are disciplined people. We know we have disciplined

people. We know Nigerians are disciplined people. ‘These really are morale boosting words for the Nigerian people and nation. What remains is the danger of not fulfilling them in tandem as the Labor leaders are already calling for the fulfillment of the fuel subsidy promises on infrastructure and a revert to the N65 fuel price before the strike and the negotiated price of N97. These days however the Nigerian president is playing his role well in alerting Nigerian politicians and leaders legislators alike that elections are a means to an end and not an end in themselves for those in power and those seeking it. Who really can fault that?. After delivering these public spirited homilies during the week the Nigerian leader led a handsome delegation to London for a conference on Somalia and the threat to the existence and sovereignty of that failed state by an Islamic terrorist group Al Shabab. UN Secretary General Banki Moon and US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton are among world dignitaries that attended the Somalia confab on Thursday. I later saw the Nigerian president in audience with British PM

David Cameron at 10 Downing in a Nigerian daily and I found the posture of my president very calm and comfortable, as pictures rarely lie. But then there are things to be said and learnt by the composure of the two leaders and the way they lead their nations and wield power. We have already said some things about the Nigerian leader and his leadership ideas. Let us discuss the two leaders in the context of the Somali Confab and Al Shabab. David Cameron in London had earlier told a news conference on the reason for the conference which was that the threat of Al Shabab to the security of Somalia and the Horn of Africa was genuine, substantial and growing and needed to be curtailed in terms of piracy and terrorism in the region. British interests in the area involve open and safe trade routes on the high seas and protection of investments in former colonial E Africa and Britain is standing as proxy for the interests of the US and EU nations in the region. David Cameron said Al Shabab has openly identified with Al Qada against whom the war of terror is being

waged by the west and should consequently be fought and eliminated as such. Al Shabab has already said that it will face the results of the conference which is to plan its down fall with equal force .What then is Nigeria’s interests in Somalia and Al Shabab? At home Nigeria faces the threat of piracyand kidnapping on the Gulf of Guinea and in the Niger Delta Creeks from where the president ails. It also faces the threat of Boko Haram with daily bombings in the north and Boko Haram like Al Shabab has declared links with Al Qada. In attending the conference is Nigeria not in advertently giving Boko Haram further ammunition for terrorism as Al Shabab is by nature an ally of Boko Haram through the conduit of AL Qada? What lessons are to be learnt from the emasculation of Somalia, a failed state kept in place by UN forces. Whereas Nigeria still has a standing army contributing to UN forces in Sudan and Somalia, that can and should send Boko Haram to sleep prematurely sooner than later, if that army is given the marching orders to perform its duty According to news report just as the President was attending the Somalia conference a 4-day international Maritime military exercise code named Obangame Express 2012 began on Monday this week in the Gulf of Guinea and was being hosted by Nigeria through the East Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy. 12 nations including some of those in London for the Somalia conference were involved in the military exercise which involved four Nigerian warships. Nigerian Admiral

Usman Jubrin, was the Chairman of the Organising Committee. Although piracy on the Gulf of Guinea is not on the same scale as the Horn of Africa the organisers noted that the Gulf of Guinea which runs from Guinea on Africa’s NW tip to Angola in the South, has had its maritime environment threatened in recent times by security challenges such as piracy, poaching, smuggling, oil theft, trafficking and other transnational crimes. If you add to these the frauds on the high seas involving the alleged importation of water as gasoline and the earning of demurrage such by fuel importers over the fuel subsidy and importation scam, then you should see where the president should have been in the same week he went for the London conference on Somalia and Al Shabab. Interestingly Seychelles a tiny island ocean in the Indian Ocean provided a good lesson on how to effectively combat piracy, for all nations big or small gathered at the London Somalia Conference . In an interview on BBC, Seychelles President James Michel gave an insight on how his nation has been able to deal with piracy to international acclaim. According to him the government in Seychelles has put in place new pragmatic laws on piracy and has practical rules of engagement unlike the types that hinder big nations in tackling piracy. As a result the jails in Seychelles are full to the brim with caught pirates awaiting trial or jailed for piracy and that has been a real deterrent in checking the rate of piracy in the area. This is the sort of policy Nigeria needs to adopt in the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta instead of going to London on Somalia and naively courting the escalation of the terror threat in Nigeria.



Thanks, IG, but will this respite endure? ‘ I

F this is a dream, I don’t want to wake up. For 10 days now, I have driven home from office without being molested by policemen at the Alakuko and Toll Gate sections of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. This is on account of an order the Acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, issued on February 13, directing that all police checkpoints across the country be dismantled. Although it took three days for the policemen at the two notorious checkpoints to comply with the directive, motorists who ply the route have been relishing their respite from the hardship they experienced at the hands of the policemen who mounted the checkpoints. In the days preceding February 16 driving through Alakuko and Toll Gate was as challenging as the biblical passage through the needle’s eye. While the distance between my office and my residence would ordinarily take less than 40 minutes, there were days I spent more than two hours in the snarl of traffic caused by the road blocks mounted by the uniformed men with the sole aim of extorting money from hapless motorists and operators of commercial motorcycles. Deploying disused tyres, drums and planks, they would narrow the ever busy three-lane expressway into one, causing the sea of vehicles to crawl for hours. At times, the heavy traffic would build over 10 kilometres. You would become weak and frustrated only to get to the checkpoint and

see the policemen relaxed, extorting money from danfo drivers, oblivious of the anguish they were inflicting on road users. It mattered little to them that some of the people trapped in the artificial traffic jam were workers on essential duties. Some of them were doctors and nurses with emergency patients waiting for them at various hospitals. And to worsen matters, there was never an instance of a major security breakthrough occasioned by the checkpoints. Hence, it was with great rejoicing that millions of Nigerians received the news of Abubakar’s directive that the checkpoints be dismantled with immediate effect. His argument was that the policemen at such checkpoints constituted a “nuisance”, a word the Acting IG must have employed in want of a better adjective. In an instalment of this column in October last year, I recalled some instances in which policemen had constituted themselves into heartless terrors at checkpoints. I recalled how some policemen from the Area G Police Station in Ogba, Lagos accosted a commercial bus driver named Innocent Onovo around 9 pm on May 11, 2006 and ordered him to take them in his vehicle for allnight patrol. Onovo pleaded with the policemen that he had closed for the day and was on his way home to meet his heavily pregnant wife. To substantiate his claim, he showed the policemen some baby items he had just bought and was taking to his wife, but all his pleas fell on the deaf ears of the policemen who considered his explanation an affront to them. The policemen jumped into Onovo’s bus and forced him to take them round the area. And rather than allow Onovo to go home when they returned to the station, they put him in the cell for arguing with them before taking them on patrol. While he remained in the cell, the policemen got a distressed call around midnight that a robbery operation

The reluctance with which the policemen complied with Abubakar’s order in many parts of the country is an indication of the attachment of many policemen and officers to checkpoints. In Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Port Harcourt and several other Nigerian cities, the checkpoints persisted for days after Abubakar’s order that they should be dismantled

Wale Oladepo: A ‘good man’ walks into eternity


N this country, it is rare for journalists to celebrate one another. They hardly engage in those occasional moments of idolization or mutual appreciation that we see daily in other professions. There may be nothing wrong with convivial nay sefl-celebratory patter once in a while but journalists hardly have the time. Perhaps, they are too engrossed with making sense out of the seeming endless charade that goes on in the name of governance to take time off and regale in light-hearted banter. And here, one is not talking about those who only get their bearing right at the beer joints. For a profession where one’s relevance is as good as one’s last story, it is not surprising that the death of a colleague; be it natural or otherwise, is seen as just ‘one of those stories.’ Many in the pen-pushing profession have died unnoticed, uncelebrated. They just disappeared from the newsrooms and the beat, as they say, goes on. Their memories are scripted in unwritten words and in flashes of what could have been if they had been around. However, in most cases, their stories are never told. Veterans in the profession just walk out of the newsroom into utter oblivion. Yet, in every rule, there must be an exception. Precisely why I remember, today, a man whose simplicity and good nature etched his continuous presence in my heart in the brief moments we spent together. This is in memory of the one who strode into our lives in Abuja and enraptured many with his love, prayer and fatherly advice. It is tough to accept the fact that God has called him to His eternal glory. Nevertheless, that was exactly what happened when, in the early hours of Saturday, February 12, 2012, the iconic journalist par excellence, celebrated reporter, newsroom guru and manager, Wale Oladepo, died few weeks to his 56th birthday. Though Oladepo breathed his last in his modest apartment in Lugbe, Abuja, the news of his death spread like wildfire across the country, as many of those who had the privilege of tapping from his fountain of knowledge tried to confirm the veracity of the story. Could the news of this fallen Iroko tree be true? His demise came as a rude shock not just to members of the journalism profession but also to those who encountered him in the continuous struggle to make a meaning out of life’s many troubles. If Wale Oladepo is being mourned and, at the same time, celebrated today, it could not have been because he opted to be a print journalist at a time when other lucrative business ventures were beckoning. Until death, Oladepo was a study in man’s ability to conquer challenges and be resolute in sticking to principles. He was not just a man of virtue and faith; he influenced many to embrace peace. His laughter, jokes and even command resonated in the newsroom whilst in active service. His pungent writings, earth-shaking exclusive stories and news analysis remain subjects of discourse today at the different levels of human engagement. Personally, I did not meet “Baba o!”, as he was fondly

called here, until sometimes in July, 2007 when he joined the Abuja office of Vintage Press Nigeria Limited, publishers of The NATION newspapers, as Senior Manager, Press Operations. He came in with rare warmth that, I confess, was not expected from someone who was once an influential Commissioner for Information in Kwara State between March 14, 2001 and May 29, 2003. Many of the members of staff were not only astounded by his sense of humour but also by the way he settled into the fresh challenge of running the company’s press. If there was anything to be sorted out and such required going out in the dead of the night, Oladepo was always on hand to take up the job when all he needed to do was to order any of his subordinates. For him, the most important thing was to get the job done and on time, too. He brought such depth of personal commitment into the job. He was always guided by his conscience. In the process of impacting lives, Oladepo brought to bear the experience garnered over the years. Writing was his forte and he made such a good job of it. He was always there to offer his advice in those moments of madness in the newsroom when everything seemed to have fallen apart. Somehow, he never failed to put the situation under control, calming frayed nerves. That was the Wale Oladepo that passed through the


was going on in the area. The policemen brought Onovo out and ordered him to take them to the spot. In the crossfire that ensued between the policemen and the robbers, Onovo was shot dead. Then there was the case of Muritala Saliu whose three-year-old daughter was shot dead by policemen at a checkpoint in Alapere, Ketu, Lagos. The man and his wife had attended a graduation ceremony of the child of one of their family friends and were returning home in the vehicle of another family friend when a gunshot fired by policemen at the checkpoint brushed Saliu’s arm and shattered his daughter’s head. For daring to challenge the policemen, they dragged Saliu to their station and detained him, ignoring his pleas to be taken to the hospital to take care of his bleeding arm. Of course, Nigerians have lost count of the other cases of shooting and killing by policemen at checkpoints, including the one re-

ported in this paper today. The trend was worsened by the fact that armed robbers were disguising themslves in police uniforms and mounting checkpoints through which they snatched cars from unsuspecting motorists. The poor motorists had no way of knowing that the robbers who mounted such checkpoints were fake policemen. There were reports from Kano recently of how members of the Boko Haram sect disguised themselves in police uniforms and mounted road blocks where they stopped vehicles and shot their occupants dead. The foregoing considered, one would be right to say that blessed is the country without police checkpoints. But the genuine fear being expressed in many quarters is that the directive could be yet another flash in the pan, considering that other IGs before Abubakar had issued similar directives and the policemen had complied only for the checkpoints to resurface in a matter of weeks. Even his immediate predecessor, Hafiz Ringim, once announced a ban on police checkpoints, but his men only complied for about two or three days before they returned to the roads. The swiftness with which the checkpoints returned caused many to ask if Ringim did not only act to the gallery. Some even said he must have gone back to the policemen and told them he did not mean what he said. The reluctance with which the policemen complied with Abubakar’s order in many parts of the country is an indication of the attachment of many policemen and officers to checkpoints. In Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Port Harcourt and several other Nigerian cities, the checkpoints persisted for days after Abubakar’s order that they should be dismantled. There are fears in some quarters that the measure could be a mere ploy by the Acting IG to gain popularity in order to secure the legitimacy and credibility he needs to become the substantive IG. Will this honeymoon last?

Knucklehead With

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

Abuja office—a father, a friend and a colleague. He was not one to boast about his lofty achievements in the pen-pushing profession. Yet, here was a man who, through dint of hard work and commitment, was appointed, on merit, as a commissioner in his state. Here was a man who was Deputy Managing Director with THISDAY Newspapers from June, 2003 to March 2006. Here was a man who established his own printing firm, RightEdge Printing and Publishing Company Limited, in April 2006. Here was Wale Oladepo, the man whose names reminded one of the veterans who made writing such an exhilarating vocation. He could have died quite early but he left a worthy legacy. Wale Oladepo was many things to many people. However, to us at The NATION, we mourn the passage of a good man. We mourn ‘Baba o!’ today because we lost someone who, despite resigning from the company voluntarily, had never failed to monitor our progress. Occasionally, he would breeze into the office to throw banters and relive the wonderful times we had together. We will surely miss him—this man who never believed in operating from the bully pulpit. He never indulged in self-glorification. We thank God for his life as we remember the journeys he made across the North, sourcing for adverts and promoting the paper. We remember his incisive writings; his wits and his immaculate presence. He came in as a good man. And he left in good faith. Ever duty conscious, self-effacing and unswerving in his loyalty to his God as well as his employers, peers and subordinates, Wale Oladepo will forever be remembered as a representation of humane simplicity, a soul that can stand before God or man, strong in faith, rich in hope and worthy in service. Indeed, those he left behind have a great duty to live up to the legacy of spiritual wealth that Wale Oladepo has left behind. What else can one say of a man who loved Christ and propagated his saving grace even while breathing his last? What else can we say other than to give God the glory for calling our friend, the ‘good man’, Wale Oladepo, to His bosom? . His remains were interred in his hometown, Erin Ile, yesterday. Adieu, Mr. Wale Oladepo.

Michael O’

We are being forgotten, owners of damaged buildings cry out

Panic as landslide ravages Ekwueme’s, Akunyili’s communities

Feature/ 17

Madalla bombing

Thriller/ 19


‘In the US, my agbada attracted eight TV stations and they beamed my lecture live’



He was found in Jos by a man who said he found him loitering around in a local cemetery. The man said my son gave his name as Michael or Gift... Some of our church members who are now based in Jos saw him on the TV and alerted us. We promptly informed the Police

18-month-old found in Jos cemetery

e h r e t f a s h t n ...three mo s o g a L n i d disappeare

Relat io





Row over 18-month-old found in Jos cemetery ... three months after he got missing in Lagos

•Mrs Adeojo


IKE every other day, oneand-a-half-year-old Michael Osarentin was woken up and prepared by his mother for another day at school at Igando, a Lagos suburb, on November 14 last year. He was assumed by his teachers to have left for home with his elder brother at closing time only for the parents to realise that they could not find him. It was not until three months later that a good Samaritan found the toddler at a cemetery in far away Jos, the capital of Plateau State. His worried parents had reported his disappearance to the Police. They launched a search party and made announcements in the media to no avail. His disappearance generated a serious crisis. Both the proprietor of Michael’s school, Homes International School, and his class teacher were arrested by the Police and detained for three days. Recalling the incident, Micheal’s mother, Mary, who now carries another pregnancy, said: “Michael went to school on that day and I was expecting him to return in the afternoon. When I did not see him, I contacted some of the teachers in his school, which is just a stone’s throw from our residence, but I was told that he left for home as soon as school was over. “I went back home but still could not find him. I became confused. I told my husband about it and we reported the matter to the Police.


•Mrs Odebunmi

•Mary, Michael’s mother

The boy’s parents are not saying the truth about the disappearance of their son, based on their conflicting accounts. To be honest with you, there was nothing I did not do in order to unravel the mystery behind Michael’s disappearance. I even had to consult spiritualists because the matter was beginning to tarnish my image


Kunle AKINRINADE His teachers were invited for interrogation and we all started looking for him but to no avail.” Explaining how her son was

later miraculously found by a Good Samaritan at a cemetery in Jos, she said: “He was found in Jos by a man who said he found him loitering around in a local cemetery. The man said my son gave

his name as Michael or Gift. “He was taken to the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Jos, and some of our church members who are now based in Jos saw him

on the TV and alerted us. We promptly informed the Police. The Police actually facilitated how •Continued on Page 16



With 12 dependants and having lost my job, where do I go from here? •Man shot by Police Inspector over over N200 N200 cries out •Police: we’ve not abandoned him

•Odiete on hospital bed


POLICE Inspector attached to the Alakuko Police Station, Lagos (names withheld) has allegedly abandoned a father of five in the hospital after shooting him at an illegal checkpoint in Lagos. Mr. Godspower Odiete was allegedly shot by the policeman over his refusal to drop the sum of N200 at a checkpoint he and four junior colleagues mounted at Yusuf Junction in Alagbado area of the city on January 29, 2012. Before the tragic incident, the errant policemen were said to have operated for many days on Kolington Street, also in Alagbado part of Lagos, where they had subjected all manner of vehicles, including bicycles, motorcycles, tricycles, commercial buses, trailers and private cars to illegal search during which they extorted various sums of money from their owners. Some residents of the area, who spoke with our correspondent, alleged that the errant policemen extorted the sum of N200 from commercial tricycles popularly called Keke Marwa, N300 from private cars and sums ranging between N500 and N1,000 from trailers who passed through the street. Their operation, however, took a tragic turn at about 8.30 pm on January 29 when they shifted their stop-and-search duty to Yusuf Junc-

Ebele BONIFACE tion. There, the trigger-happy police inspector allegedly shot Odiete, who was returning home from his office at Phidan Engineering Services Limited, located at No 43, Kudirat Abiola Way, Ikeja. The police inspector allegedly shattered Odiete’s leg with an AK 47 rifle for failing to observe the ritual of dropping the sum of N200 with the policemen as a private car owner. At press time, orthopaedic specialists at a hospital in Ikeja, Lagos, were battling to save Odiete’s leg. Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the Inspector in a chat with our correspondent on his hospital bed, the victim said: “I am an employee of Phidan Engineering Services Ltd. at 43, Kudirat Abiola Way, Ikeja. But as I am talking to you now, I have lost my job for being hospitalised since January when the incident occurred because the work must go on. “At about 8.30 pm on January 25, this year, I was coming back from work when I saw five policemen near Yusuf Junction, Alagbado, Lagos. They said they were on stopand-search duty. They lined themselves up on the road, forming three checkpoints. Already, there were bumps on the road. Hence, the traffic was very slow because the po-

•Lagos CP, Alkali

licemen were checking every vehicle, including tricycles, motorcycles, buses and trailers, and extorting money from them. “I was in my car with my brother.

On getting to the first stopping point, two police officers asked me who I was and where I was coming from. Already, my inner light was on and they were seeing us clearly. Later, they asked me what I had in the boot and I told them I had nothing in it. Then they asked: ‘Anything for the boys?’ I told them I had nothing for them and one of them said I should go. “As I made to move, the second set stopped me. They were two policemen also. They repeated the questions and asked me to go. “Then, I got to the third point manned by the inspector, who was carrying an AK47 rifle. The glasses of my front doors were wound down. He brought out his torch and pointed it in the car, searching. Then he saked: ‘What do you have in your boot?’ I told him that his ‘boys’ had already checked and that there was nothing in it. He became furious and said if his ‘boys’ had checked me, did that mean he too could not check me or was I trying to teach him his job? ‘And what did you give my boys?’ he asked angrily. I said I did not give them anything. ‘Why didn’t you give them money?’ he asked. I said I did not give them any money. He became more furious and cocked his rifle. Then he asked in a terrifying voice: ‘Where are your particulars?’

“Before I could reach for my particulars, he started insulting me; brandishing his rifle up, down and sideways, saying: ‘When it comes to seeing the police, you won’t have money. If you steal money in the office with your pen or biro, you hide the money. When you come to the police, you pretend that you don’t have money, but you steal millions with biro.’ “I replied that I am not a politician but a mere worker who receives pay for work done. As I was talking, he hit me at the mouth with his torch. The argument caused heavy traffic and attracted the other policemen who asked what the matter was. As I was explaining to them, the inspector attempted to hit me again with his touch, but the policemen asked me to enter my car and go. “As I was about entering my car from the left side, he fired his rifle at my left leg, making the other policemen to ask: ‘Oga, why? Why?’ The inspector attempted to escape. My brother and I started shouting. Our cry attracted other people who had heard the gunshot. They formed a mob. They gathered disused tyres to set the inspector ablaze. But they were still looking for fuel when a reinforcement of •Continued on Page 16



Gunmen kill businessman moments after he staged remembrance party for father

•The mosque built by the deceased


T was meant to be a day of festivity, but it turned out a tragic day for Yakubu Azeez, an Ibadan-based jeweller. A few hours after he organised a befitting thanksgiving service for his late father, gunmen stormed his residence in Olomi-Olunde area of the city and shot him dead. Sources, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said the incident occurred just as Azeez retired into his room after observing the 22nd anniversary of his father’s death on February 3, 2012. His assailants were said to have scaled the fence of his residence and gained access into his room through the ceiling at about 2 am. The deceased, whose trader-wife, Morufa, was said to have travelled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to buy goods, was allegedly shot in the chest. The assassins were also said to have dragged Azeez’s aged mother out of her room to see her son’s body in a pool of blood. Not done yet, the unwanted guests vandalised a Pathfinder Sports Utility Vehicle the deceased had just bought and carted away assorted jewellery kept in the vehicle. Our correspondent learnt that but for providence, the deceased’s younger brother, Isola, would also have been killed by the aggressors. Isola was said to have been aroused by his late brother’s shout for help while he was being tortured by his assailants. But as soon as Isola made his way toward his late brother’s room, the attackers shot sporadically in his direction, asking him to go back to his room or get killed. A younger brother of the deceased, Abiola, who spoke with our correspondent, said he received the news of his brother’s assassination with shock. “It was a rude shock when I was told on the telephone that my brother had been killed by suspected assassins. He had just organised a remembrance bash for our late father before he was killed. “He had never fought with anyone because he was an easygoing person. He never engaged in any shady deal or unholy



•Late Azeez

•The broken ceiling through which Azeez’s killers gained access into his room

Kunle AKINRINADE partnership with anyone. He led a pious life. He was a likeable fellow because of his generosity and he was a devout Muslim. He even built a mosque for the community. He will be greatly missed.” While describing the deceased as a devout Muslim and philanthropist, one of the leaders in the mosque built by the late Azeez said: “I knew that something had gone wrong when I was

summoned on the phone at 2 am to the residence of the deceased. The news of his death confirmed my premonition that all was not well. “The Police were invited by neighbours and his body was taken away at about 8 am for autopsy at Adeoyo General Hospital, Ibadan. It was not long before his remains were released to us for burial, because he was a Muslim. ”He was such a courageous man. In spite of the challenges he faced when his father died, he summoned

courage to serve as an apprentice with a goldsmith. After completing his apprenticeship, it did not take long before fortune smiled on him.” The deceased, according to a source who asked not to be named, was a self-made person. The source added that Azeez went through a lot before things started looking up for him. When success came his way, he built a house and bought a fleet of cars.” Another younger brother of the deceased, Muniru, said his late brother was the breadwinner of the

family, adding that his death had created a vacuum that could not be easily filled. Muniru said: “My brother was the one taking care of the family, including our mother. There is no doubt that his death has created a big vacuum that would not be filled for a long time to come.” The Public Relations Officer of the Oyo State Police Command, Mr. Femi Okanlawon, declined comments on the matter when our correspondent called him on the phone.



•Stand where Ojukwu's books and other memoirs are sold in his compound

‘I didn’t visit my family for 21 years while working as Ojukwu’s gatekeeper’ M

R Dennis Okoye fought in Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, the Nigerian civil war Nnewi, Anambra with the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu telling him to step aside for them. He did not want to allow anybody Ojukwu ,the Ikemba of to take over from him, as, Nnewi. He became fond of according to him, he the gallant soldier and enjoyed his longed to work for him. job Luck smiled on him when in 1991 Ojukwu employed him as his gatekeeper, and he worked conscientiously as one for about 21 years. While Ojukwu was alive, Dennis never allowed people to enter the compound unless on strict instruction of his master. That manifested when he died •Ojukwu's and the people gatekeeper, that came to Okoye, on duty break the news to him were not allowed in. Even the journalists that called early at the N n e w i residence were not given the opportunity. The Nation was the first to succeed in eliciting information and from him for the first time since wanted to die the death of Dim. as Ojukwu’s For four hours, he sat down in gatekeeper. sorrow, and members of the But he had to leave the job for Movement for the Actualisation MASSOB members in accordance of the Sovereign State of Biafra with the instruction of the Ojukwu (MASSOB) were repeatedly family.

Dennis is from Uruagu Nnewi. His only companion was a dog called Lion. It died recently. He mourned it like a human being before purchasing another one called Police Dog. ’’I am mourning my master who died when we needed him most. I am very cold or are you not cold? Why are you even asking me questions? Will you give me money? What will you use my answers for?Why are you asking for my picture? No more answers to your questions, unless you pay because if not because the MASSOB people had taken over my gate, I would not have allowed you to enter the compound. ‘’Nobody could enter this gate when I manned it.I was always on duty with my dog. I only allowed people to enter on my master’s instruction. You can see I have been here all along looking quiet. You cannot realise the extent of my power until you see me in action’’. Certainly Dennis appeared unhappy and did not know how to open up on his agonies. He wanted to speak his mind, but when he noticed that there were many people around, he said: ’’I did not go home to visit my family for 21 years. I was always here with my dog because the Ojukwu family was always away in Enugu or London and other places. My family used to visit me here. “I don’t know what to say or what do you want me to say when my general is dead and the preparations for his burial are

•Okoye mourning

going on.I don’t know what to say, but the only thing I know is that my master was a great man and will be buried as such. His soul will rest in perfect peace because Nigeria and Biafra would honour him as a great man.’’

Dennis, in his early 70s, lamented that Ojukwu died without fulfilling the promise he made concerning his retirement package because his death was a sudden one. He hopes to get the package from the Ojukwu family before his death.

16 policemen came from the Alakuko Police Station and stopped the mob from setting the inspector ablaze. “When the crowd insisted that they would lynch the inspector, I held him and dragged him inside my car with the help of a police woman who claimed to be attached to the Area G Command, Ogba. The reinforcement was led by an inspector who begged me to take it easy and release the inspector so that they could take me to a hospital as I was losing more blood. But I said no. “There were many people, including Air Force personnel. Their concern was that I was losing too much blood. They were not wearing any stop-and-search barge as directed by the Inspector General of Police. Although they promised that the Police would take care of the bill, I still held him. The lady police, my brother, my wife and younger brother entered my car and we drove to Jeffis Hospital on Alakuko Road that night, where I was put on intensive care. I told them to chain the errant inspector to my sick bed so that he would not escape. “But at about 10 pm, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) came to the hospital with other policemen. The inspector tried to explain but the DPO said he had heard enough. He (DPO) ordered his arrest and detention but I refused to let him go. I asked them to chain or handcuff him to my sick bed so that I would be seeing him until my leg would heal. “At this point, the DPO begged me and promised that whatever identity I required, he would give it to me as the DPO. He gave me his phone number and promised to produce the man anytime he was needed. I then handed the inspector over to the DPO. The other policemen handcuffed the inspector and took him away, while the DPO was with me at the hospital as I received first aid. “The following morning, the doctor gave me a paper to Soneye Laboratory at Adura Bus Stop on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. On seeing the result of the X-ray, the doctor said the gunshot had affected my bone and it could not be treated in his hospital. He referred me to Lagoon Hospital at Apapa for better treatment. “We waited for the police to come to clear the bill but they did not turn up. The hospital said I should pay

Man shot by Police Inspector at checkpoint over N200 cries out


the bill or they would not carry out any treatment. I paid the N11,500.00 bill. When the police eventually came, they brought a police report that was not stamped. At a point, I fainted. The doctor checked my BP and it was 220/140 because of the pain. They treated me and I recovered; I paid N35,000:00 emergency fee and N25,000 card fee. “The following morning, I called the DPO and told him the bill. He advised that we should look for another hospital, promising to offset the bills. I was then referred to General Hospital Ikeja where I did

another X-ray. They then referred me to the National Othopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos. When we gave them the police report, they rejected it, saying it was not stamped. The leg started bringing out pus because I was not admitted on time. “I was taken back to the General Hospital Ikeja but there was no bed. They gave me one Dr. Kayode’s GSM number. I called and begged him to come and open the leg. Later, we went back to Alakuko where the investigating police officer (IPO) stamped the police report. We went back to General Hos-

pital, Ikeja in the evening and they agreed to treat it, but that I could look for any private hospital where the doctor would be coming to treat me. “The DPO called the inspector’s family and they came here. I told them that this machine that holds my leg was imported, and it cost N280,000, while the surgery cost N1.2 million. I told them to go and bring the money to offset the bill, promising not to press charges against him to protect his job since the DPO promised that he would see that I was not disappointed; that what I needed was to offset the


•Continued from Page 13


I am supposed to be discharged today yet they have not come to clear the bill. I have five children, my wife, myself my mother in-law, two of my younger brothers, one of my wife’s brothers, one of my sister’s brothers. I am taking care of 12 people under my care


medical bill and pay some compensation in lieu of my job. “Meanwhile, I had to deposit N800,000 with the hospital for treatment, feeding, accommodation and operation. The balance is N700,000:00. In all, the total money they should pay is N1.680, 000. The DPO said they had contributed N100,000 while the inspector’s family contributed N50,000:00 which is nothing compared to the total sum. I am supposed to be discharged today but they have not come to clear the bill. I have five children. There are 12 people in my care. They include my wife, my mother-in-law, two of my younger brothers, one of my wife’s brothers and one of my sister’s brothers. “Surprisingly, on Thursday, the investigating police officer (IPO), Inspector Kehinde called me at about 7.25 pm, saying that I should try and come to Area G, Ogba where they have transferred the inspector for interrogation. They never told us to go to Area G all this while. I don’t know the trick they are trying to play. With the condition I am in now, I don’t know whether they want me to trek to Ogba or move to Area G in my sick bed. “They cannot sweep my case under the carpet. I did not commit any offence before he fired at me. That was why I wanted the inspector to be chained to my sick bed. They cannot escape. I am a law-abiding citizen of this country. I am not afraid of their tricks.” Contacted for comment, the Commander of Area G, Ogba, Ishola Abdulahi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said Odiete was not abandoned. He said he had sent some police officers from his area command headquarters to visit the victim in the hospital and furnish him with his condition. The Divisional Police Officer, who is said to be new at the Alakuko Police Station, could not be reached for comment. But the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, a Superintendent of Police, pleaded for more time to contact the Alakuko DPO for the true position of things.

Row over 18-month-old found in Jos cemetery ...three months after he got missing in Lagos •Continued from Page 12 he was subsequently brought back to Lagos. We are so happy to see our son hale and hearty. All glory goes to God.” However, the Proprietor of Homes International School, where Michael attended, Mrs. O. Odebunmi and his teacher, Mrs. Beatrice Adeojo said the toddler’s disappearance had caused them pain following an allegation of complicity levelled against them by Michael’s parents. Adeojo said: ”The incident occurred on November 14, 2011. On that day, the pupils had taken after-school lesson and Michael’s brother came to pick him up at about 5 pm and left, presumably for home. There is no agreement between the school and parents that pupils would be brought home by teachers. That is the more reason why I was stunned when I was held for complicity in the matter. “Not long after the boy was

taken away by his brother, his mother stormed the school, asking for the whereabouts of his son. I told her that he had been taken home by his elder brother. She later returned to say that he still had not been found. Before I knew it, she had invited Police. I was locked in police cell for three days for something I knew nothing about. “The boy’s parents are not saying the truth about the disappearance of their son, based on their conflicting accounts. To be honest with you, there was nothing I did not do in order to unravel the mystery behind Michael’s disap-

pearance. I even had to consult spiritualists because the matter was beginning to tarnish my image.” Still recalling the incident, Odebunmi said but for God, the controversy engendered by Michael’s disappearance would have cost her school the reputation it had painstakingly built for about two decades. She said: “I was attending a programme in my church in Egbeda at about 9pm when words got to me that Michael was missing. I quickly abandoned the service and headed straight to his parents’ residence to confirm the

veracity of the story. We then went to report the matter to the Police in Igando and I was locked in cell for three days together with Michael’s teacher. “After we were granted bail, I consulted some landlords and the traditional ruler of the community because of the impression the incident could create about the school, and they all promised to assist. “The school had been in existence for 19 years now and we have never had any case of a child missing from school. I believe the parents of the boy are hiding something or simply could not

Reacting to the allegation that Michael’s parents are hiding something, his mother, Mrs Mary Osarentin, said the family had nothing to hide concerning the boy’s disappearance. “It is also not true that his elder brother brought him home from school,” she said


admit their negligence. “I later learnt that the boy was found in Jos. But while some people claimed that he was found in a cemetery, others said he was found in the home of one of the relations of his parents. “However, I thank God that he has been found and my hands are clean. They just wanted to use the matter to tarnish the image of the school, but the God I serve has exonerated me and my school.” Reacting to the allegation that Michael’s parents are hiding something, his mother, Mrs Mary Osarentin, said the family had nothing to hide concerning the boy’s disappearance. “It is also not true that his elder brother brought him home from school,” she said. At press time, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, was yet to get back to our correspondent who had sought his comment on the incident.



Panic as landslide ravages Ekwueme’s, Akunyili’s communities

•One of the affected sites

•The abandoned drainage now cut into two

•Residents send SOS to government, World Bank I NDIGENES of Oko and Nanka communities in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State have sent a save our soul message to the state and federal governments as well as the World Bank, following a landslide that rendered some members of the two communities homeless. The landslide, which occurred around 8 am last Saturday, it was gathered, wreaked more havoc on the communities already ravaged by gully erosion. Oko is the hometown of former Nigerian Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, while Nanka is the native town of former Minister of Information and Director General National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili. The erosion, which claimed many lives and destroyed property estimated at billions of naira, according to residents of the communities, including the students of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, took a more dangerous dimension at the weekend when without any rain or

Adimike GEORGE

seismic signs, it cut the major drainage that has controlled the gully erosion in the two communities. As a result, residents of the affected area, out of panic, fled to other parts of the communities. But when the signs of danger subsided on Monday, they returned to move out their property. When reporters visited the area on Tuesday, the residents who were moving their things besieged them, wailing and calling on the government and the World Bank to come to their aid. The traditional ruler of Oko, Prof. Laz Ekwueme, in an interview with reporters, decried the menace of the landslide and erosion in his community and called on the World Bank to come to their assistance. He disclosed that the contract for the control of the erosion, which probably triggered the landslide, had been awarded for a very long time but was abandoned for no known reasons. He decried a situation where government plays politics with important projects that would affect

the lives of the citizenry. According to him, if the menace was not checked before the rainy season, many buildings , including his ancestral home, will be eroded because the abandoned drainage project that has been controlling the erosion has been cut off by the landslide. One of the victims, whose house stands less than two metres away from the landslide site, Mr. Martin Ezeofor, said he had been forced to move his family to a safer place. He appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid before the entire communities were washed away. He recalled that the menace of erosion had plagued the communities and the environs, including Ekwulobia and Amaokpala, for more than a century without any efforts by the government to address the issue. Other residents who spoke to reporters at the landslide site were Ichie Barnabas Nwafor, Bomboy Onyeagba, Cyprian Ezeokeke, Joseph Ibeakamma, Hilary Ezeofor and Nneka Ezeokeke. They all decried the devastating effect

•Some of the lamenting residents

of the landslide, adding that the cutting of the drainage will trigger off more menacing landslides once the rains start. This, they said, informed the evacuation of people and property from the area. The residents lamented the loss of lives to the menace in the past, as well as buildings and large expanse of farmlands in recent times. They called on the Federal Government and environmental protection bodies to come to their rescue. The Public Relations Officer of the Federal Polytechic Oko, whose extension site was ravaged by erosion, Mr. Obini Onuchukwu, noted that the students of the institution were also affected by the landslide. He noted that some of the students who live outside the campus have relocated because of the menace, adding that the extension site of the polytechnic was also ravaged. Onuchukwu urged the relevant authorities responsible for tackling environmental challenges to intervene as quickly as possible to avert further disaster.



Waiting to see the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, is almost akin to a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle. On every visit to the palace, you are confronted with a heavy traffic of people who also want to see him for one reason or the other. Irrespective of the time he goes to bed, tradition says he must wake up at 5 am when the palace praise singers beat their bata drums. The Alaafin knows Yoruba history like the palms of his hands. He speaks with facts and figures, quoting dates as if he were a mobile calendar. You would marvel at the volume of books, magazines and journals that surround him. In his private visitors’ room, books and people compete for space. In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI, Oba Adeyemi speaks about his life as a monarch and explains why he remains strong and agile in his 70s. Excerpts:

In the US, my agbada attracted eight TV stations and they beamed my lecture live —Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi •Oba Adeyemi


noticed that you have so many cars in your garage. Is that an indication that you are a lover of cars? It is not that I love cars. But if you say as the son of the Alaafin, you are very happy with me and you say ‘Baba, I want to give you a car’ and I say I have many cars, it will sound very odd that you want to honour the Alaafin and he says no. From time to time, people go out and ride in these cars. Three or four are reserved for me. For instance, if you come with your brother and there is an emergency, you want quickly to go to Ibadan and your car has a fault, do I go to the garage to rent a car for you? You must use the Alaafin’s car, because if you come to the palace, you are also an embodiment of the palace. As we are talking right now, one car is in Ilorin, another one is in Lagos, another one is in Oyo North. A car is in Ekiti. I’m not renting cars. Imagine if I have to rent cars. If you brought a car to me, you must register it. The papers must be correct. People appreciate that this Alaafin is a phenomenon. I’ve never seen you in any other thing kind of dress outside your agbada (flowing robe). Does it mean that when you go outside the country you also dress this way? The Yoruba have one of the best dress cultures. When they go out, they dress in four pieces: the trousers, the underwear, the outer garment and the cap. There is a distinctive dress an oba wears in Yorubaland. I put on my garment. The cap I put on is called abeti aja, and this is the cap of the elders. The dress I put on is meant to illustrate the richness of the Yoruba culture. I appear in this garment in order to illustrate to the outside world that we

have a culture for proper dressing in Yorubaland and that is the proper dress for the Yoruba oba. When I started it, people didn’t know the significance. Even young men now getting married wear the cap. I’ve been able to tell them that the Yoruba have a distinctive style of dressing. Probably if I’m going out, I will not go out in a lace material but in another traditional material they call aso oke. I still dress like this outside the country. When I went to America in 1999, I put on this agbada of a thing and eight television stations beamed it life when I lectured at Dallas Chamber of Commerce. I also went to Afro American Museum where I gave a lecture on Yoruba dressing. They were so impressed with Yoruba dressing. The second day, as I was speaking, television stations were beaming it live. I noticed that your wives and children were among the train of people waiting to see you. One would expect them to have direct access to you. The Alaafin inherits the attribute of divinity, which the Yoruba believe means deity. You can’t go to a divine person and he just asks you to come and sit down. There is a person whose duty it is to liaise between the Alaafin and other people. That is an aspect of discipline that Oyo palace represents. Yoruba people respect their leaders, their culture and their system. Here, we try to prove the fact to you that in Yorubaland, in Oyo, we respect the culture and personality. You must be disciplined to come to the palace. And when you come, you don’t make a noise. You can’t come to the palace and say you want to smoke. They will not allow you. And after eat-

the Old Oyo. It was there the Alaafin received the common people in the town or the empire. Where you are now, you couldn’t have gained access to it if it were to be in the past. This palace is so big. How do you manage it? The palace is divided into three broad sections. There is a section inhabited by the people who take charge of the day-to-day cleaning of the palace. If you noticed when you were coming in, you would see that the palace was very clean. If you noticed when you were coming to the palace, you would notice its vastness. Another section is where you have a big tree. That is Agbala Ogun. That is where they worship Ogun (god of iron). Then there is another place where the ing, you can’t say you want to take beer. The pal- Alaafin holds the council meeting (cabinet). The high chiefs and the Oyo Mesi hold court every ace is a sacred place. The palace is a disciplined place. You must con- morning to decide what to be done. They have form to certain standards that have been set and done that this morning. It is like the consultations have made the palace the cynosure of all eyes and that you make in the cabinet system. If you go the pride of the Yoruba nation. That is why if my round, you will marvel at the cleanliness of the wife or my children want to see me, they must be palace. There is a section of the palace where you will disciplined. The message is passed to the Alaafin. I have drawn my programme, giving everybody see the Aremo’s (eldest son’s) residence. Further down, you have the Bashorun. Further down again time to see me. I saw so many shoes at the entrance to the pal- is the Osi Efa’s compound. The buildings surroundace. Why is it that visitors to the palace have to ing the palace are the outer section for the officials of the Alaafin, who were his favourites. But now, remove their shoes? Aafin Oyo (Oyo palace) is the palace of palaces. they are being inhabited by the Aare and the Ilari, Historically, Aafin Oyo was the cynosure of all eyes those who are in charge of the administration of during the ancient empire. The maintenance and the palace. Those things are for defence purposes. the upkeep of the palace revolved around the If you get into the palace, to get out will be very working population of the empire, male and fe- difficult. Nobody attacks the palace and goes out male. The people of the empire repair the palace scot free, even if you have a battalion. There is or any section of the palace that needs repairs, and another one if you are coming into the palace. they provide for the palace. Incidentally, you have That is where the palace officials stay. There are different sections. Each section is divided such that two of them: those who stay outside the palace you have people from various parts of the em- and report for duty every morning and those who reside permanently in the palace. pire. They know where they have to work. Kudeso is the governor. He stays here permaBecause the palace is a sacred place, when you come into the palace, you must remove your shoes nently with his family. Ilusinmin is an official who and your outer garments as a mark of the sacred- liaises with the chiefs and the Alaafin. If any chief ness of the institution of the Alaafin of Oyo. Not wants to see the Alaafin, he can’t come straight many people had the opportunity in those days to and see the Alaafin. He books an appointment come to the inner side of the palace, because they with the Ilusinmin, who tells the Alaafin and gets had no business being there. The limit to which the permission of the Alaafin for an appointment. common people could gain access into the palace Then you have the Gbopenpa, then the Oridilu who was the large imposing building they called is in charge of security at the palace. He mixes Agandu hall. That Agandu hall was built after the with the people outside the town to know areas of fifth Alaafin of Oyo who first locally introduced disaffection, where people hold the Alaafin in high brass as pole pillars in the building of the palace in •Continued on Page 22





Scene of the blast. Inset: One of the affected buildings

g n i b m o b a l l a d Ma

s r e n w o , n e t t o g r o We are being f t u o y r c s g n i d l i u of damaged b



‘All we have witnessed is the sharing of cheques while the rest of us have been left homeless’ Nthe last Christmas Day, global attention was drawn to Madalla, a serene town in Suleja Local Government Area, Niger State, by an inglorious act of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. The group bombed St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in the town, dispatching no fewer than 44 people to early graves. More than 100 other innocent worshipers and passers by were also seriously injured, with seven of the victims now permanently blind. The outcry and condemnations that greeted the attack attracted massive sympathy from individuals, corporate bodies, religious bodies and international organisations. The federal and Niger State governments, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NISEMA), did not only sympathise with the relations of the victims, the injured and the four churches that were affected by the blasts, they also promised to come to the aid of the victims of the dastardly act . True to its pledge, Niger State Government gave out the sum of N150 million as compensation to recognised family members of the 44 victims, the injured, some business outfits and the four churches that were affected. On its part, NEMA, on Wednesday last week, rushed down to the town with relief materials like corrugated iron sheets, planks of different sizes, bags of cement, nails and blankets. The Israeli government led the international community to donate relief materials to the victims. Religious groups were not left out as donations started to trickle in for the victims of the bomb blast. Akwa Ibom State governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio, doled outthe sum of N50 million, while the Central Bank on Monday joined the donor list. The governor of the apex bank, Lamido Sanusi, announced the donation of N25 million to the victims. Many other agencies have reached out to the church and relations of the victims of the bomb blast. However, a group of persons are crying foul over the management of the donations. They are 30 property owners in the neighbourhood of the church whose property were damaged by the blast. They are alleging that in spite the promises and donations made in their names, nothing has got to them. They believe they have been sidelined, short-changed and totally forgotten. Although the group admitted that NEMA had brought some relief materials to them, they believe that what was brought by the agency was a far cry from the damages they suffered. Some of the buildings will require renovation while others will need to be reconstructed. The affected persons, under the aegis of


•Some of the houses affected by the blast


Owners of Madalla Damaged Property, claimed that since the explosion, they have not been able to live in their houses for fear that they might collapse. “Majority of us are now living like refugees, squatting with friends and relations within and outside the town. Everybody seems to have forgotten us. The attention is given only to the relations of the dead and the injured, while those of us whose houses were damaged by the blast have been left to carry our cross,” said Mrs. Gladys Anakwe, one of the affected persons. Speaking for the affected persons, their Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ehikwe, whose three-storey building beside St. Theresa’s Church had its roof and all the glass win-

dows shattered by the explosion, said the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan and Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu to the scene of the blast and their subsequent promises to assist the victims gave his members hope that their damaged buildings would be rebuilt. But two months after, their hope seems to be turning into a mirage. Ehikwe said: “Besides the relief materials we got from NEMA, we have not received anything from either the state or the Federal Government. We only hear of donations to victims of Madalla bomb blast through the media, but we have not received any of these donations. “We heard that Governor Akpabio donated N50 million, but up till this day, we have not been called to receive a token. All the donations are going to the church alone and nobody is talking about the

owners of the houses that were damaged by the blast.” Ehikwe also lamented that the state government, to whom the affected property owners are paying tax, had abandoned them to their fate by referring them to the Federal Government. “We were shocked when the Director General of Niger State Emergency Management Agency told us that the Federal Government, through NEMA, will take care of all the damaged property. But to our chagrin, the same state government gave money to all the churches affected in the blast and left us out. “St. Theresa’s was given N3 million. Two other churches were given N1 million each while another church got half a million naira from the state government. We are forced to ask if we are not



Majority of us are now living like refugees, squatting with friends and relations within and outside the town. Everybody seems to have forgotten us. The attention is given only to the relations of the dead and the injured, while those of us whose houses were damaged by the blast have been left to carry our cross

es e •Governor Aliyu

•Another of the affected buildings

•Ehikwe, who spoke for the 30 property owners

Nigerlites like those that the state government gave money to, when the governor had promised to assist all the victims of the blast. “We pay our tax to Niger State. For me, I have been paying my tax to the state in the last 17 years. How come the state will now abandon me? We were so happy when the governor promised to compensate everyone affected by the blast. But to our surprise, the state government has excluded us. Government officials came and verified the extent of damage to our property, but when the state government was to pay compensation, we were shortchanged. We were asked to wait for the Federal Government. “But when the Federal Government, through NEMA, came up last week, they came with what they called relief materi-


Majority of the affected property owners are civil servants who took loans to build their houses. Where do you want them to get money to rebuild the damaged houses? It is not enough that NEMA brought a few items, we need money to put all these items together

als. Although we thank the Federal Government, the materials were grossly inadequate to meet the level of destruction to our property.” Using as example his building , which

was almost completed before the blast but will now require about N11 million to renovate and complete, Ehikwe said: “I have a modern house. I used aluminium sheets and other modern materials, but

what NEMA brought were short of the standard of the items I used. NEMA brought ordinary roofing sheets, nails, woods and bags of cement.” While the group says it appreciates the gesture of NEMA, they wondered where the government wanted them to source money even if they want to use the inadequate materials. Chukwuma Nwankwo, another victim, asked: “Where do they want me to get the sand, the electrical fittings, plumbing materials, ceiling and other fittings that make a house? Where do I get the money to pay the bricklayers and other workers? What about the paint and the painters? We were not responsible for the blast. Government, especially the state government, should come to our aid. We have not been considered in all these monetary donations. “Majority of the affected property owners are civil servants who took loans to build their houses. Where do you want them to get money to rebuild the damaged houses? It is not enough that NEMA brought a few items, we need money to put all these items together. We need government’s assistance and support.” Recounting his own ordeal, Mr. Austin Iloba, whose three corner shops, a onebedroom flat and a two-bedroom flat where he has been living with his family for years were damaged to their foundations as a result of the blast, said; “After the blast, the leadership of the church asked us to produce the estimate of the damages done on our property, which we did. A joint task force constituted by the Niger State governor came and looked at the houses with promises that something would be done. But till date, nothing has been done. “Every dignitary who visited this place and was taken round our property promised that we would be duly compensated, but all we have witnessed is the sharing of cheques to families of the deceased and the injured while the rest of us have been left homeless and some of our business premises shut down,” Iloba complained. Hope, however, came the way of the aggrieved property owners on Monday when the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, announced the donation of N25 million to the families of the dead, injured and the entire people in the community who were affected by the blast. Maybe this will be the beginning of answered prayers for the affected property owners.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012 •Continued from Page 18 regard, and those who have complaint and could not tell the Alaafin. It is just like the SSS. He tells the Alaafin straight and correct whatever misinformation where people are dissatisfied about certain aspects of his administration or policy. Then you have the officials of Gbopenpa. He distributes food to the people in the palace. Up till today, we don’t know how many people eat in the palace. It is the duty of Gbopenpa to cook and feed the palace people, because a well fed person is not angry. A hungry man is an angry man. You have not told us where your wives live. The inner section is the wives’ apartment, where the Alaafin stays. But no one knows where he sleeps. The palace officials, who live in and surround the palace do not even know where the Alaafin lives or sleeps. There is no way you can capture anybody in the palace and tell him to lead you to where the Alaafin sleeps. He doesn’t know. Why do you have a mosque and a place for Christians in the palace? My father, being the first Muslim to occupy the palace, built the first mosque in the palace. When I came in, I realised that I was brought up in a very strict Christian home, but I retained my religion. I’m a devout Muslim. Because I studied in a Christian institution, I realise the value we get in Christianity. I allow Christians to have their service in the palace. We gave them a space. Discussion is going on on that. I allow them to use the Agedu hall for their service every Sunday. Sometimes, they make use of the open space to do their normal service or anything they want to do. I allow Christians to function. There are other religions. Every five days, you have the Jakuta and you have the Sango. You have the Ogun people. They all come in to do their thing. Because we have people down from age, the Yoruba know the essence of secularism. They promote every religion. You don’t discriminate. That is why everybody marvels at the ingenuity of Yoruba people. We allow everybody to function, whether you are an Oro worshipper, a Sango worshipper or an Ifa worshipper, you are accommodated. What is important is your worth and contributions as an individual, group or section, to the advancement of the town. There are so many people here who have come to see you for one thing or the other. I am sure you won’t be able to attend to them till late in the night. And by 5 am, you must be up. Where do you get the energy to do all this? That is part of the mysteries of the Alaafin. When you become an Alaafin, you are taken to the grove and a sacred shrine of your ancestor. You are made to go through the cleansing and purification exercise. You are trained on what to do. You are now inducted into the mysteries of the gods— the Sango mystery, the Ifa couples, and all the mysteries of the gods. You now receive their attributes and their corresponding obligations; the attributes of Sango, the attributes of Ifa. I know Ifa because I was inducted into it. I know a little bit of Sango; how to worship Sango and other gods. You become their representatives on earth. You now take a covenant. Once you are an Alaafin selected, you are first of all taken round. Before you are crowned, you are inducted. Before you are crowned, you are given the assignment that you are within the total embodiment of the culture, history and tradition of the Yoruba people. You must be conscious of that at all times in your speech, public appearance, demeanour in public and even in the dress you wear. The energy comes because you have a date with destiny. You are representing a nation, a race. You are no longer an individual. There are two personalities in you: the Alaafin and those things that reside in you. It makes you to go round and know the history of not only yourself, your town or family, but the history of other parts of the country. It is your duty to do that. And one of the things I do is to have a very rich library. You must study at all times. Study the history of important obas (traditional rulers) in Yorubaland—the Ooni of Ife, the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, the Orangun of Ila, the Awujale of Ijebuland, the Alake of Egbaland and all other history. You must know the history of the obas that had reigned and the time they reigned. Every morning, the drummers stay at very strategic places in the palace to give me the history of every oba in Yorubaland, especially in Oyo. The first note they sing in the morning is: Olayiwola, dide o bo sokoto, Atanda dide obosokoto, enikan i fise igbonse romo eni ( Olayiwola, wake up and gather your loins; the duties assigned to you should not be delegated to other people). After they had sung the praise song and sketched through the reigns of the Alaafin one by one until it comes to your reign, they will now tell you what you want to be remembered for when you are gone.

‘Why my children, wives queue up like visitors to see me’ It is now time to leave your imprint on the government, the progress, the peace of the town, the country and the Yoruba nation. You must make an impact, just like your forefathers. You are reinvigorated by these things, so you must learn. Also as an athlete, I’ve learnt that a sound mind must be encased in a sound body. I do regular exercise. When I was much younger than this, I think weekly, I was doing almost 67 kilomteres of running. Apart from jogging, I skip the rope in order to see that my body is attuned. Another thing you must learn as the Alaafin is that there are two persons in you: the spiritual and the physical. The physical aspect is you. You must relate with the spiritual. If you are sick, you have a headache, the physical aspect is being damaged. The spiritual will not be able to work with the physical. The spiritual aspect and physical aspect must be in agreement. Now, you are a dual being. According to the Yoruba belief, you have two eyes, two noses, upper and lower lips, right ear and left ear; they must function together. If the right ear is impaired, you must use the left and the agreement is disturbed. The spiritual and physical must work together. Just like you are tendering the physical, you must make sure that the spiritual is alright. The spiritual, your forefathers, you invoke them when you wake up in the morning. Apart from that, after I must have gone to the mosque to pray, I do meditation. The meditation is meant to commune with the ancestors. I can sing the reign, the history of every Alaafin that is dead offhand. That is what you are taught. That is the difference between the Alaafin and other traditional rulers. He is tradition and culture personified. If you see me outside, you may not like me. But with the carriage, once you see me, instinctively, you are motivated. You mention your library. Does that mean you still read? You see, I like to be current. If you leave this place (private visitors’ room), go to other places in the palace; five, six or seven places. There are books. Instead of putting ornaments, putting decorations, what I put in my house, my bedroom and my sitting room are books. I’m at home here reading. I still read. You must have books. You must have newspaper cuttings. Those who have written about these things, that is why I continue to read and read, so that when I go out and speak, it is not autocratically but authoritatively, because you expect me as an Alaafin to know what is going on if I want to speak about government. I have written a lot of articles. In 1996, I was the

first to say look, what we are practising is a federalism of might, we are not practising true federalism. Nobody has been able to controvert what I said. I wrote an article again that the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board Examination (JAMB) thing is jamba (disaster). Nobody has been able to controvert it, that look, you are conducting University Matriculation Examination into federallyowned universities, you have a situation where candidates from a certain section of the country who score 130 will be admitted, but the students from other sections will score 240 and would have no place in the university. Why don’t you allow universities to conduct their own examinations? They are doing it now. I was the first to advocate it. They want to use the JAMB thing to get people who are not academically sound into the university. Now the university has come into what I advocated about 15 years ago. You know in foreign universities, you can’t have a body that will distribute students to them. They must conduct their individual examinations. Probably, you attended a university and you want your children to go there because you know the tradition of excellence in that university. If you take UME now, you still have to go to the university. They still set their own examination. Some people are saying it is not good. Why is it not good? If you want your child to go to the University of Ibadan, it is your responsibility to train him in such a way that he would have the touch of their educational standard. It is widely b e lieved that

The palace officials, who live in and surround the palace do not even know where the Alaafin lives or sleeps. There is no way you can capture anybody in the palace and tell him to lead you to where the Alaafin sleeps. He doesn’t know

Yoruba people are arrogant, and that is why they are always at the forefront of every agitation in Nigeria. What do you have to say to this? It is not a question of arrogance. It is because we operated one of the best systems of government an African nation has ever had. How much was the money given to the Western Region at that time? They had proper management of the economy. There was seriousness in the affairs of government. I have written about that, I have written about the development of the local government throughout Nigeria. That was published and nobody has been able to criticise it. You could not go about stealing government’s money without being sent to jail. If you put up a building, you must tell the government how you came about the money. There was no way you would not pay tax. Now we don’t pay tax. There is a breakdown of the system. We don’t have any value. We don’t have any culture; culture of responsibility; culture of respect for elders; culture of maintenance; culture of sincerity and accountability. Everything is broken down. But at that time, the Yoruba people were conscious of the fact that you carry your family’s name. You don’t go out and mess up or tarnish the family name. Anywhere you went, people knew you. Go to every house in Yorubaland, you must have a professor. It is not a question of being proud, it is a question of being trained to understand how things work. Probably when Aristotle and Socrates were propounding their philosophy on ethics and metaphysics, the Yoruba already had their own. We’ve had the concept of Omoluabi (A wellbehaved child) long time ago. When you are eating with your father or brother, you don’t take meat before your brother or father. You know what to do after eating; you clear the table. You can’t see your brother or father coming from somewhere or going to fetch water and you would be playing. You would go and take it from him. It was a culture of civility and responsibility. But it has broken down now because of the culture of amalgamation. You brought together people from different places; there is no more culture. You can’t bring four or five cars to the town and ask people to celebrate. They will ask you where you got the money to buy the cars. We have the culture of accountability. That is the training of the average Yoruba. If you want to assert yourself, you must not abuse the way you eat. You can’t expect me to smoke six or seven sticks of cigarette a day and drink beer which destroys the body, and use that body very well. A sound brain must be encased in a sound body.

•Oba Adeyemi








Tel: 08077408676





See page 28-37

HowI met my husband

窶年ollywood actress, Ronke Oshodi-Oke




VICTOR AKANDE E-mail: Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)



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Ramsey y Ramse backs out of deal

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 brand. She was also the face of the Rivers state cultural fiesta, while telecommunication company, Globacom, also dolls out millions to her as its 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, had 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 merely taken a page out of 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's manufacturer, Montegrappa, and popular martial arts film star, Jet Li has been announced by Swiss Hublot timepieces as their newest brand ambassador. The

fortune of their offerings. Most endorsement deals are designed to offer mutual 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 misdemeanours 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 use of famous faces as brand products they endorse. O.J. ambassadors is not just limited to the use of actors and actresses. Simpson was fired as brand ambassador of Hertz when he Corporations have been known to appoint as brand ambassadors was charged with double murder. sports men and women who It is also pertinent that have proven their mettle in the celebrities who sign the dotted field. Rafal Nadal is a brand ambassador for Georgio Armani. lines in endorsement deals study the content of the contractual The use of artistes as brand agreements and look out for ambassadors by corporations is clauses in small print. Most of with the objective of linking the deals are worded in such a their product to a winning athlete or personality to enhance way that the contract forbids them from other deals or restrict their image and boost sales revenue. Corporations use these their use of close substitutes to popular artistes as validation for the product they are endorsing. Release terms and other their products and hope to conditionality should be transfer their goodwill and star negotiated properly to avoid a power so as to influence the conflict of interest. It also makes good sense to seek legal opinion When effectively utilized, The use of artistes these endorsement deals can as brand benefit both the artiste and the industry at large. On a personal ambassadors by it provides a source of corporations is with level, income and boosts the the objective of popularity of such artistes especially when the terms linking their include billboards and product to a advertisement in the broadcast Endorsement deals like winning athlete or media. the Glo ambassadorship personality to provides an avenue to network enhance their image with those who call the shots in other industries and can be a and boost sales platform to push innovative ideas for film sponsorship revenue. especially those that require Corporations use huge budget. When properly harnessed, this could help foster these popular a good relationship between artistes as validation Nollywood and other industries. —Isaac Anyaogu, writes and for their products edits feature film scripts

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...

WRITE TO US! Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: or SMS your short comments to 08077408676


EEKS ago it was reported that Ramsey Nouah and Mercy Johnson were recently engaged to be the hosts of a reality TV show in a deal worth millions of naira. But sources have revealed that Ramsey has backed out of the deal due to a tight schedule. Ramsey has abandoned the

project tagged Next Soap Star and has moved on with other things. In his place, actor, director and producer, Fred Amata was contacted and has accepted the offer. Mercy Johnson on her part is gearing up for the TV reality show and she is also relishing the opportunity of tagging with Fred Amata as a co host.

Sikirat Sindodo throws birthday bash for Malaika


UJI artiste Sule Alao Malaika was a year older recently and he was surprised at the number of people who turned out to celebrate with him. The artiste was hosted to a surprise party by actress Sikiratu Sindodo (Tayo Odueke). The surprise party witnessed the attendance of few family members, friends, colleagues and fans who all trooped out to celebrate with the young man who has influenced the lives of many young people. It was further gathered that the reason Sindodo hosted the party was because she wanted to show appreciation to the singer for standing by her when she was on hospital bed.

Yul Edochie moves into Lekki mansion


HINGS are surely looking up for talented movie star Yul Edochie. The handsome actor has moved into a sprawling duplex in Lekki and he surprised many when he presented a brand new Toyota Camry to his adorable wife, Mary, on Val's Day. Yul's acting skills and dashing looks have placed him among the wave-making list actors in the Nigerian movie industry and he is gradually becoming a major force to reckon with on the movie scene. His union with his wife is blessed with three lovely kids also placing him among the list of showbiz stars blessed with blissful marriages.

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Harry Iwuala






ALERMO boss Bortolo Mutti has brushed aside comparisons with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho. The tactician has been likened to the Portuguese tactician in recent weeks by Rosanero President Maurizio Zamparini. “These things don’t concern me, the parallels with Mourinho leave me indifferent,” the Italian told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Everyone is their


own person…” Mutti replaced Devis Mangia on the Sicilian bench before Christmas and, after some initial struggles, there is talk that he could be handed a new deal after some impressive form. “I’ve seen so much happen in football that there are no certainties in this game,” continued the former Bari man.




This me tosoul be like his late wife Go onwidower Whitney,wants may your continue to sing! Hi, my name is C, I want to commend you on the great job you’re doing. I want you to advise me on this issue: I met this man last year and we started dating. On several occasions, he makes comments that show that he has the intention of settling down with me. He had been married before but he lost his wife mid-last year. My problems with him are; one, I’m scared that if I marry him, he’ll always want to compare me with his late wife and will want to change me into his late wife. On several occasions, he told me certain things about his late wife and wants me to act like that. Two, I’ve always loved men that are romantic and can freely help me with house chores but he is not that type and I don’t think he is even willing to be. Three, I’ve always dreamt of marrying a man with whom we can both experience marriage for the first time and set our standards. Marrying this man may mean me living according to the standards he is used to which have been set by his late wife. Despite all these, he is a nice and great man and I love him so much.

Family jokes for the weekend Wife: Why do you always go out in the balcony, when I start singing? Husband: Because if I don’t the people would think I am beating you. ********************************** Wife: “What are you doing?” Husband : Nothing. Wife : “Nothing...? But you’ve been reading our marriage certificate for an hour.” Husband : “Yes, I was looking for the expiration date.”

Should I confront him with my fears or should I just leave the relationship since he is looking towards marriage. Please, I really do need your advice. Thanks. In my years of being a counselor on the pages of a newspaper and in the privacy of my home and office, I have never met widows and especially widowers as I have in the last few months. Two things stand out from the lessons I have learnt about this set of people, one, they grief seriously about their spouses because most times, death came calling just when they are beginning to enjoy life after years of hardships and two, which is closely related to the first, they want unconsciously want to see their late spouses in the new man or woman. Now, that second part is really difficult. Before you go into a relationship with a widowed person, you have to be sure that they have grieved enough. One year to a person who loved his or her spouse is such a short time for memories to go away. They still mistakenly call the dead person’s name while calling you. They still talk endlessly about them and they still see them vividly in their dreams. It’s always better to allow widowed people that period of mourning and grieving and coming out before rushing to go into a relationship with them. So, if you’re in a relationship with a widowed person too early into his/her bereavement, be strong for them because you’re going to play the role of a nurse and a counselor. However, you’re a new partner in this person’s life and he must realize that you have your own feelings too. Getting involved with a widowed person means you’re going to put up with a lot of things. For instance, he’s going to involve you in her memorials, he’s going to involve you in the care of her children and her family members may give you a piece of problem as you’re seen as occupying her space. You must make it clear that you have your ex-

pectations in the relationship. You must let him understand that he can never find a woman who is exactly like his late wife. It’s either you’re better in some things or otherwise. No two women are alike. Let me know that to think you’ll live by the standards of a dead person is like asking you to be cloned. Also let him know how often he’s going to be changing women if he thinks another woman would be like his late wife. You must have met some really nice guys in the past; can he be exactly like them? You must both come to the drawing table and talk about starting afresh. You’re a new person with different ways of doing things. He should respect that. So if she loved making love on the rooftop and you’re not all that adventurous, he will expect you to learn doing it on the rooftop and fall down? He’ll become a widower two times over. So if she likes wearing brightly colored dresses with bright red lipstick on sunny days and you prefer nude makeup and a conservative dressing style, you must conform to be like her? That would be pretense. The day you would revolt would mark the end of the relationship. On the issue of house chores, I think you’re being too romantic! If you marry a politician who is always so busy, would you expect him to sweep the house for you? Have you even seen him around enough already before wishing he would wash plates for you? Common, don’t be spoilt. If he can afford to get a house help for you, then you have no reason to complain. There may not be the need for a house help anyway if he has grown children and you can distribute house chores. This is a note of warning to us women, our men are like their fathers – they expect all domestic chores to be done by their wives, After all, their mothers, sisters and aunties washed, cooked and swept when they played football or did gardening and other ‘manly’ chores. If your man shows that he’s comfortable with such things, then you’re lucky. If he’s not comfortable, don’t even push it.

She frolics with other guys, yet she doesn’t have my time Aunty good day, I just like your articles. I met a girl sometime March last year. I got to know her, like her and love her, care for her and show her love. I asked her out but she told me she’s not ready for any relationship! But what amazes me is that each time I get to go to her place in school, I see different guys who also want to see her. On one fateful day I saw her with a guy in a lonely place. I don’t usually go to her place, but this has been her habit so I keep wondering why a girl would say she doesn’t want any relationship keeps frolicking with guys. Another thing which I hate about this girl is ever since I met her, she has never called me for once except if I send a card to her and she says thank you, after that, nothing again. I’m the kind of person that believes that when you get to meet a girl and you’ve known her for say two months and

you’re her friend and she never gets to call you, beware of such girls. I need your advice o. - S. Dear S, what you’re experiencing is un-reciprocal affection. A real relationship should include ingredients such as equal show of affection, attention, loyalty and respect. I’m sure you can see that what you have with Miss Popular is no way near a real relationship. From what you just described, the same way you like her is the same way a hundred other guys like her. She must be pretty, likeable and good mannered, so she’s obviously not short of attention from guys, including you. I’m sorry to make you sad, but it does appear like she doesn’t fancy you enough to give you attention. It’s not any of her faults that you buy recharge cards for her. It’s also not any of her faults that you see her with other guys; after all, she made it very clear to you that she’s not ready for a relationship. That might be her way of shaking you off and that’s her business. What she does

with her time and her life is her business! For every man, there’s a woman and vice versa. If indeed she’s seeing another guy, then that’s the guy for her (at least for now). She might have said yes to the other guy before you came calling; you know. She won’t say yes to every guy that comes along just because they sound desperate to have her. If she were to say yes to every guy, then you’d give her a bad name. That she frolicks with guys doesn’t mean she’s a bad girl. They may be her male friends and I see no reason why that should hurt you. If she doesn’t call you, it means she has no time for you. It means she’s not thinking about you. Leave this girl alone and find your grove somewhere else. It is not by force to get somebody to like you. Stop sending her recharge cards if that’s how you want to buy her love. When you do find love, you will recognize it immediately because you won’t need to fight to get it.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro


May God save us from our Frenemies This is another weekend and I actually should be reminiscing with joy about last weekend but here I am packing for a trip and feeling gloomy. Last weekend was a blast! When you have a friend who would do anything, including flying miles and miles to be where you are, then you should be counting your blessings. A dear friend defiled all odds to keep a promise and flew all the way up here to see me and I can’t thank God enough for making beautiful people. Here I am, ticket bought, bags packed and everything set for my trip, but I keep foot-dragging and feeling blue. I wish I could have wings and fly to some places and listen to conversations of certain friends instead of making this trip. Maybe it would make me understand even more the world of friends who turn out to be a little worse than friends. These days they are called Frenemies. They are friends you can’t do without, yet they are enemies. We all have them. You wonder why they’re good this minute and the next they’re doing things to hurt you. The consolation is in knowing that you have great friends who are your angels so, all we have to do is pray for God to save us from our frenemies.

I’m 30 and attracted to older women; is this normal?

Dear Adeola, kindly advice and assist me. I am 30, male, graduate and self-employed. For years now, I have not been involved in any type of relationship. Now I feel very empty and wish to sincerely care and show love to someone. But I have a challenge. I am highly attracted to older ladies and particularly plussize. Age mate or younger ladies do not appeal to me that much no matter how I try. I am afraid if this is not abnormal and if i will ever get settle down. Please help.

Dear brother, in a world where your age mates are dying for same-sex marriages and longing for crazy things, I don’t see any reason why your love for older women is abnormal. You haven’t said you need an older man, so I’m totally

Memorable Mails Adorable and precious Adeola, thank God for your sweet life. You are indeed a precious jewel of inestimable value endowed by nature with superfine beauty, intelligence, knowledge and wisdom. Also, you are very liberal, amiable, caring, genial and God – fearing. For a delectable lady of so much intellect, exemplary character, energy, diligence and a burning passion for lending a helping hand to others with diverse problems, the sky is your limit. In fact, you are one in a million, touching many lives positively in a unique way! Kudos May the Most High God grant you the marvelous wisdom of King Solomon, the integrity of Joseph (the dreamer) and the superfluous favour of King David so that you will continue to offer more positive and selfless service to humanity, amen. Best wishes - Jackson Nwadike Can I shock you, guess what? God has positioned you for greatness. Believe me when I say you’re making a difference. Keep striving for excellence. I see you there. (08025381009). Aunty, I was going through your column in The Nation and I couldn’t help but laugh when I read some stories there. Well done Aunty, more power to your elbow. I also learned something from your write-up, “… It may sometimes be tough, but it’s a wonderful world.” You’re the best. Dare from Ilorin (07035721122).

L-R: Nnenna Onyenacho of Honeywell Superfine Foods Ltd (HSFL); Abiodun Adejola, Stock Controller, SOS Children’s Village; Lanre Jaiyeola, (Commercial Director, HSFL; Benjamin Buraimoh, Village Director, SOS Chidlren’s Village,; Sola Abati, Marketing Manager (HSFL); Nike Adedeji (HSFL) and Raymond Ofili (HSFL), at the Honeywell Noodles Valentine’s Day visit to SOS Children’s Village, Isolo, Lagos

in agreement with you. My fear, however, is that since you’re just 30, your quest for an older woman should be well measured before you settle for any particular woman. There are things to consider and here are some of them: can she still have babies? Children are an integral part of an African marriage so marry a woman who hasn’t reached her menopause. What would be the reactions of your family members if the woman looks much older than you are? They may think she has jazzed you. If you marry a plus size, be conscious of the fact that she may continue to balloon in size; would you be comfortable with a woman who drags herself to events with you in her parachute-like dresses? I’ve seen a man who had to put his large wife on a wheelchair. You wouldn’t want that; would you? Be wise about your desires.

Hon. Adeola, can you still remember my prediction? Somebody somewhere will recommend you for an uplifting this year.

Oloyede from Iragbiji, Ondo State (08076956254). Aunty, keep up the good work, God will surely reward you. Thanks from Chagh (07086602221).

Knowing how to say ‘no’ to sex I have been inundated by a lot of youths about their friends of the opposite sex asking them to do sex when they’re not ready. I haven’t been publishing such questions anymore because it may be all we have to talk about these days if I gave in to pressure to keep talking about it. I understand that some youths may not have the opportunity of reading my response when I do find the space to answer it. I have said over and over again that when it comes to sex, it’s your body and it’s your decision. I decided to get expert tips that work; here are they, simple and short: • Be confident in your response and follow though by repeating until he or she gets the point. • Knowing the common pressure lines and practicing what you say before the situation arises will eliminate some of that on-the-spot pressure. • If a situation feels uncomfortable or “funny” to you simply walk away and stay away. • Your body language can sometimes send mixed signals. Use body language that will get your point across clearly. Stand tall, speak clearly and be assertive. Eye contact is important when delivering your message that you are not ready.



How to break up with someone on Valentine’s Day


F timing is everything, then breaking up with someone on Valentine’s Day may be one of the most difficult days to get out of a relationship. On the other hand, the very fact that this is Valentine’s Day may feel like the last straw in a relationship that has started failing badly from your perspective, given that you have to act romantic and dedicated; you may even be worried that you’ll be liable to do or say something stupid that might really hurt your current date’s feelings if you aren’t as honest as possible about how you don’t think the relationship’s working anymore. Indeed, studies have shown that Valentine’s Day is a common day for breakups, with 47 percent of couples choosing this day to break up. With a little finesse and strategic planning, you can manage to leave your significant other on this most romantic of days. 1. Identify the reason why you want to break up. Initially, it’s probably because you’ve lost that “loving feeling.” However, it’s important to explore your reasons so that you can come up with plausible and kindly ways to extract yourself from the relationship. 2. Assess why you want to choose Valentine’s day to break up on. Is it be-

cause you just can’t bear the thought of having to go through the day living a lie? Is it because you haven’t been free to catch up with your date until this day? Is it because a huge event has been planned for the day and it has catapulted you into realizing that the relationship is fizzing but you still have to go through with booked and paid for plans? Maybe you think that it’s a day in which you can explain away the break up by showing that there is plenty of love to go around, as seen by all the romantic couples about. For some people, it’s a reawakening of purpose with the first signs of being able to get fresh air after months of cabin fever; it’s a holiday that marks a change of pace since New Year and therefore holds significance in terms of moving on. The reason for choosing to break up on Valentine’s Day may not even strike you until you’re going through the relationship motions on the day itself, with the romance bringing out a sudden realization that you’re unhappy with this person. Whatever the reason, decide if this is the right day to be breaking up. Conflict is common on Valentine’s Day, especially where one partner is romantic and the other is cynical and views the day as a marketing ploy and detests it. This can easily

give rise to other feelings about the direction of the relationship in general and compatibility. Interestingly, it can actually be the romantic partner who initiates a Valentine’s Day breakup because things didn’t turn out perfectly from the moment the day started––be aware of this! 3. Determine the time of day you’ll lower the boom. Evening on Valentine’s Day is usually the roughest time to break up. Valentine’s Day night is a time when couples go to dinner or go on dates––not a great time to turn your steady into your ex. However, breaking up with someone in the morning will leave him or her miserable for the entire day, which may have negative consequences on your life (such as phone calls coming from your new ex all day or having him or her come to your office to talk about the break up even further). Rather than choosing “day” or “night” think about both of your schedules. When will you have the most time to properly discuss the break up, but avoid having the conversation coincide with the height of romance? Also, have you noticed that your boyfriend/girlfriend seems to be more rational or open minded earlier or later in the day? Find a time during Valentine’s Day when you think he or she may take the news the best (if it’s at all possible to as-

sume that). If you had already booked plans to do something together, perhaps suggest that you’re happy to arrange for his or her friend or sibling to go along in your stead after you’ve broken up. At least they’ll still get a meal out or an activity experience. Judge the worth of this suggestion according to the person and the context; it might even be you who chooses to go out with someone else platonic for the evening! 4. Choose an unromantic location. Unfortunately, romance is even sprinkled on your rigatoni on Valentine’s Day, so finding an unromantic location may be slightly impossible. Avoid cozy restaurants where you’ll have to see couples nuzzling and celebrating. Also, places like the movies, cafes, the beach or historical monuments or statues with romantic connotations (such as the Empire State Building in New York City) are places to avoid like the plague. Other places to avoid include your house, the office, at someone’s wedding, at a relative’s house, in your car or by text or phone. While that may seem as though the only place that is safe for a breakup on Valentine’s Day is in outer space, places that may work include a community park or any other public area that isn’t full of happy couples

When you should forgive a guy 1. Think about how bad the situation is. Was it a harmless joke or something that embarrassed you in front of the whole world? 2. Do many people know about it? 3. Did he two time you? If he did, think carefully, ask yourself would he ever do it again?, most men will two time a hot beautiful lady, if he does, he is not worth it, he doesn’t care about your feelings and emotions. 4.Have we shared any pain together over a lost one? For example someone who we each miss on our own lives? 5.Likewise, have you two shared any happiness together? When both of you were down at the same time, did you both make each other feel good about yourselves? 6. Does he keep saying sorry? Chances are he does. If he doesn’t, that just goes to show he doesn’t really care whether he has you or not. He just wants you as an “extra” in his life. 7. Think, has he been nice to me all along? Did I like him at one point where I thought he was a true

friend? Has he ever said nice things to me to make me happy when I’m down? Has he told me I’m beautiful instead of being “fit” or “hot”. 8. Does he say goodnight or something sweet to me when we leave each other? 9. If it’s something small, just forgive them, life is too short to dwell on the tiny details in life It’s just something minute. An apology is not needed, but it would be nice. 10. Think about if they did anything similar in the past. Chances are if they hadn’t, they won’t do it again and are truly sorry. 11. Remember: You shouldn’t ignore them and not accept their apology if they were nice to you all along. Everybody makes mistakes and they should be forgiven if they don’t do it constantly. 12. Say you forgive them if you feel they are truly sorry and they won’t do it again. If not, simply wait until the time is right. 13. Remember, if this is the first time and it is something small, forgive him, he might not have known

what would hurt you and what wouldn’t. 14. Give yourself time to think it over, but if the conflict is something that you do not feel you can move past, it might be the best thing for both of you, in the long run, if the relationship ends then. 15. If the guy intentionally hurt you emotionally, that is a powerful sign that the relationship is unhealthy and that you should end

the relationship.

and big red hearts and roses splashed throughout the landscape, taking a walk along a beach or in the woods, a quiet cafe or even their house if you’re concerned about their fragility. 5. Prepare your approach. Choose a politely worded and plausible reason why you want to break up and select the best time of day and place to formulate your approach to the break up. Because this may be the most delicate break up of your dating career, you will want to construct and prepare what you plan to say well before Valentine’s Day: Write down a concise, straight forward reason as to why you want to break up. Don’t be mean or take shots at the other person’s character or personality (even it the reason you want to break up is because of their personality), but be sure the person understands that you are breaking up with them and why. For example, if the reason you want to break up with your girlfriend is because she is negative, tell her that you need to make a break because the relationship is impacting your life in a negative way. Keep your break up speech to under 20 minutes. Dragging it out and talking it over can become a long, more painful process for both of you. If the other person suspects that you plan to break up with him or her, the shorter the speech the better. If this will come as a total surprise, you may want to build in some time where you can allow the other person to

16. If the guy intentionally hurt you physically in any way you should not forgive him. Immediately remove yourself from the situation and contact professional help (doctor and lawyer). If you, and especially he, are committed to the relationship, you should still take yourself to a safe place immediately and seek assistance from professionals before you decide to continue the relationship (consult your doctor and lawyer).

...healing after a breakup 1.Accept that it is over. Your sweetie is gone. It’s no ones fault, it happened. If it was meant to be, it would be. 2. Don’t blame yourself. It takes 2 to tango. A relationship is built on mutual trust and understanding. If you made a mistake - admit it, but don’t dwell on it for too long. Beating yourself up for months on end isn’t healthy. 3. Give space. Space gives perspective. Now is time to live in the present. Think about things but don’t obsess. The other person needs space too. It’s

not just hard on you, but them as well. 4. Be strong! You can do it. Use this time and energy to better yourself. Eat well, exercise and get sleep. 5. Nurture the relationships that you to have. Your friends know you’re hurting. They are there to help you, but also be grateful for them. Now is the time to strengthen the relationships that maybe you were neglecting before. Buy your mom flowers, take your friends for dinner, buy your dog a collar. Flip the script and show them you’re the strong one!

Rihanna and Chris-Brown

digest and ask questions. Avoid exceeding an hour to break up because after 60 minutes of trying to convey three simple words––let’s break up––your intent can become diluted and your break up resolve might weaken. 6. Practice your delivery. Stand in front of the mirror and practice your delivery. Pay close attention to your facial expressions while you are delivering the news. Cultivate a caring, concerned expression, but also one that is focused, serious and firm. You want your soon-to-be ex to know you mean business but at the same time, you aren’t trying to be mean. Practice your delivery several times until you feel as if you are ready 7. Be on time to your break up meeting with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Be respectful and arrive on time, ready to get down to business. If he or she is late, allow for at least 15 minutes and then either call or send a text to confirm that you will be having the meeting. 8. Stick to your guns. During the break-up don’t allow the other person’s reaction to sway your resolve. If need be, recall why you wanted to break up with the other person and why you needed to do it on Valentine’s Day (and couldn’t wait until another day). Be strong. Even though Valentine’s Day is not the best day to end an relationship, remember that breaking up will ultimately be what’s best for both parties involved and that in all likelihood, you’re not the only couple breaking ties this holiday.



Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, FEBRUARY 25, 2012

See Pages 44-45

STYLE Gossip Interviews


e h t f o e c n a r e b u ‘Ex s u d e b b o r s a h youth t h g i n l u f i t u a e of the b ’ d e y o j n e e c n o life we



OW did the journey begin? I was born in the early 60s. I attended primary school in Lagos before proceeding to Olivet High School, Oyo, where I did my first school leaving certificate and A’ level. I moved to the University of Lagos, where I did first degree in Sociology and went back for my masters in International Law and Diplomacy. Thereafter, I served in the north–NTA Minna–as a producer and presenter before I came back to Lagos and the journey began. I started my career with PZ industry as a marketing officer. From there, I moved to Smithkline Beecham, now GSK, as a management trainee. From there, I started marketing before I moved to Nigeria Distillery. After a while, I felt I needed a fresh experience in some other industries before I moved to IDL four years ago. That has been my journey so far. My father was also a sales and marketing person, and he also influenced my going into marketing. I am happily married with kids. I enjoyed reading and travelling. I am a member of Lagos Country Club; a fellow of the Institute of Marketing and Institute of Management. I have been going to so many countries. How was social life then compared to now? The social terrain then was more peaceful. You could move around in the evening till the following day. Things were also relatively easier to come by. Security was there. We never bothered about such things. Now, it is a little bit hazy. You have to think twice before staying till say 7 pm, except you are in the traffic. Much of the youthful exuberance that we see now was not present then. We had a responsible night life then. But now, pardon my words, it is something else. Then, you could walk on the street late at night. Even if there was no taxi to pick you, you were sure you were safe and sound. What does money mean to you? Money is something you spend when it comes. It is not something you go out of your way to start looking for. Money is not something that should be worshipped. When it comes legitimately, use it wisely and keep as much of it as you can. To me, money is not everything. Yes, it is essential for you to get some basic things in life, but it is not everything. What would you spend your money on? The basic things of life like food, shelter and education. I had a very good education when I was growing up, comparative to what my father could afford. And that is what I also have been doing. It is not about building estates, buying cars or giving huge sums to your children. It is about investing on your children. Give an investment to them; which is quality education. Liberate them. That is one of the primary things I invest my money

THE NATION, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012 on. And I thank God I don’t have so many, so, I can afford to give them the best with my little salary. What drives you? Challenges, discovering something new and filling-in the gaps in people’s lives. Those are the things that motivate me. What book have you read lately that you enjoyed? The Daily Drucker-365 days with Peter Drucker, It is a book that treats management challenges. What you pick/treat today is not what you will treat tomorrow. It is a way of refreshing what I have learnt and what I have not learnt compared to what I will be doing now, and getting new ideas. I read about it four years ago and I picked it up again. Who has had the biggest influence on you in life and why? My father. He was working with Shell before it became National Oil, and he was also a salesman. While we were in primary school, that is why most of our education was scattered. He kept taking us along until we entered secondary school and all of us went into boarding house. For me, he was what sales and marketing is all about and he was enjoying it very much. He had a book shelf at home, and most times, I sat down and read his books until I started getting fascinated. It got to a stage when I was to go to the university and I put in for Marketing. He asked why I wanted to do Marketing and I said I could see he was enjoying Marketing. He said I should go for Law but I said no, I would go for Marketing. Unfortunately, in UNILAG, I was able to get Sociology. And I had an uncle then who said, ‘Come on, everything is about understanding the environment and the society.’ The way he lived, he was a modest man. He was not acquiring property. He was always saying we must go to school; that it was only when we had finished from the university that we could go on our own. He encouraged us a lot to develop ourselves in terms of academics. He has influenced me a lot. What is your best memory of childhood? Most times, when my father came back from a trip, like I said, he was a salesman. We always looked forward to his coming home with packs of candies, biscuits and sweets. Those were the things that thrilled us in those days. What determines the way you dress? My mood and sometimes the occasion. Is it office? Is it outside office or party? I am not a heavy dresser; I just try to dress simply to fit the occasion. What is style to you? Style is something that keeps changing. It is a way of life, and it is supposed to be very simple and not complicated. Style is not supposed to be expensive in nature. It is what

Much of the youthful exuberance that we see now was not present then. We had a responsible night life then. But now, pardon my words, it is something else. Then, you could walk on the street late at night. Even if there was no taxi to pick you, you were sure you were safe and sound you like; what suits you and the environment. It is a way of doing things the way the environment permits; not a huge investment. That is what style is all about. Have you ever fired someone? How did you feel about that? You hire people and you fire them. You hire people for an objective, and once the objective is met, you don’t need to fire them. There is an entry procedure into any organisation and there is also an exit procedure. As long as the person fulfils the entry procedure and keeps meeting the objectives, he wouldn’t go into the exit procedure. You don’t fire somebody just like that. There are stages, and the job must be done.

What kind of person would you decline working with? A lazy man. Somebody who just coasts along. I can’t work with somebody who does not think or have an ambition. I like people who can think ahead and those who make me to also think. I hate lazy people. What has been driving you as the General Manager (Sales and Marketing)? I started my career in PZ and I have moved round most of the multinational organisations we have around. My background has been my drive. I read strategies and processes that people have used. I interact mostly on the Internet.HOW is IDL faring in the face of stiff competition? Healthy competition is good for the business. It is consumers who benefit the most in competition. You cannot afford to offer low quality. It brings out the best in you. It makes the job more exciting. It is easy to survive. What is important is that competition will always be there. You must always understand what the market is like and have your own strategy. How to get to the customer should be your focus. You don’t try to be like any other person. That can be a difficult way for you to survive. And you just don’t keep following them. But if you chart your course and you follow it with zeal and determination, you will continue to innovate to survive. A lot of us don’t like change. What is change? Ability to adapt and survive in any environment. We don’t want to serve everybody. Our brands are not for everybody. We specifically determine who we want to sell to. The market is large. We decide that out of all these customers, which is the segment we want to take and how do we want to satisfy them? What are they looking for? That thing they are looking for, can they pay for it? Where do they want it? How do they want it? Once we know all these, we sell to satisfy them. Like my father would always say, if you want to be noticed in the market, walk on your head while others are walking on their legs. How do you think the government can increase patronage of goods made in Nigeria? The government can place a kind of sanction on products competing with locally made goods. The regulatory authorities can also help by preventing smuggling. Once those goods are banned or high tariffs are placed on them, people will turn to made-in-Nigeria products. Beyond that, there are other facilities like infrastructure. Infrastructure is one of those things that are not making locally-produced goods to compete with foreign ones. In Nigeria, every industry is like a government on its own; you provide your own water and generate electricity. These make the cost of production to go up. If the government can help to make these things available–good

‘How letters I bore landed me in jail’ Y


OU are looking strong this morning I am a bit strong, but you know the age is catching up with me, I am getting weaker. How old are you? I am 76 this year, but I thank God for taking care of me till this moment. The country that I served has refused to take care of me, but God does not forsake one like that, and He has been keeping me on till date. Why did you say your country refused to take care of you? Because this is the 31st year I was granted national pardon by the Federal Government of Shehu Shagari in 1980. The pardon means that I am entitled to all the entitlements of a retired military officer, but, up till now, nothing has been paid to me. I keep writing letters to remind them of my case. My last letter to the present Chief of Army Staff was towards the end of 2010. He has not replied to the letter. Before your pardon, were you convicted? Yes, I was implicated in Suka Bukar Dimka’s coup of 1976, but God rescued me because God knows I had no hand in it. I was arrested, but I was not executed like others. I was sentenced to life imprisonment. If not for God, I would have been executed. After five years in

prison, the Shagari government came in 1979, and gave some of us national pardon in 1980. How were you implicated in that coup? I was given letters by my superior officer to the family of one of the victims. The officer gave me two letters to give Dimka’s two wives. The letters, as I later discovered, contained cheques. As soon as I delivered the letters, the wives went to cash them. They were interrogated on how they got cheques from Dimka who, at the time, was under arrest. The women said the cheques came through letters, and when the envelopes were presented, there were no postage stamps on them,indicating that they didn’t come through the post office. The women revealed that I was the one who brought the letters to them. They had to arrest me. But I told them



The General Manager (Sales and Marketing) of International Distilleries Limited, Mr Bayo Oke relives his childhood and speaks about his career and social life in this interview with KEHINDE FALODE

‘You have to think twice before staying till say 7 pm now except you are in the traffic’ road network, power–and then a lot of orientation must be done. People must be made to think and buy Nigeria. It is a social thing that government needs to do. Years ago, we had MAMSER, which was supposed to change the way the average Nigerian thinks. It is not out place that such things be put in place again. For instance, in Ghana, even in terms of food, you hardly see Ghanaians eating rice or bread. They eat their local foods, like Dokunu. You see a lot of Ghanaians with what they have, like the kente and so on. But Nigerians want to buy imported things–Italian bag, Italian shoes and so on. We need a lot of re- orientation to think and live Nigeria.

What are the challenges your business faces? The challenge of infrastructure is the most critical. You provide everything by yourself. The environment is not that friendly. For our business, there is a lot of adulteration and people trying to fake your products. And we don’t have a strong law to stop them from doing it. You can imagine if you alerted the authorities about where they are faking your products and the culprit are arrested you may be in court for •Oke

re for my boss ail’

Pa John Wushipba Bupwatda joined the Nigerian Army in 1962 as a Private,and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was jailed for his involvement in Dimka’s coup of 1976. He was later pardoned by the Shagari government in 1980. In this interview with YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU in Jos, Plateau State,Bupwatda relates his predicament in prison and explains what he went through during the Nigerian civil war.He also gives his opinion on salient national issues. Excerpts:

I was sent by my superior. I was taken from Kaduna to Lagos where I was thown into detention. Most of the people arrested were executed, but you are alive today. How did you escape the firing squad? I can’t tell. That one was an act of God. Instead of facing the firing squad, I was given a life sentence because I was not directly involved. I spent about five years and seven months in prison before the Shagari government came in and granted us pardon. That was when I regained my freedom. We were 12 in number, serving a life

sentence over the coup. We served in different prisons. I was later moved from Lagos to Makurdi. The rest served at various places. When did you join the army? I joined the Nigerian Army sometime in 1962. I was recruited as a private officer. Which unit of the army did you start your service? I started in the battalion. Which unit were you when you were implicated in the coup? •Continued on Page 49

the next 10 years. And eeven where the person is found guilty, you would fiund that the penalty is so mild and you just don’t want to bother your head. The other one is the issue of importation and smuggling. They are two different things, but the products are coming from these sources. Some importers pay duties, others do not, and the products come to compete with ours. Smugglers also don’t pay. You see a lot of dumping of products here. Government can help to safeguard us beyond our innovative approaches. Some of the regulations and infrastructure must be put in place. Piracy has been a general problem. How are you tackling the issue of piracy? If you don’t want people to come after you, then you don’t want to be successful. Success is a bastard, so they say. The only way to be successful as a company is to continue to change your presentation format so that you can be ahead of competition most of the time. We approach it from two angles. The first is the external one, which we have no control over. This concerns the regulatory bodies– National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), the police and other law enforcement agencies. Once we identify any area we call hot spot, that is, where the fakers are operating, we inform the appropriate agencies to swoop on them. On our own part, we try to enhance our presentation once in a while. We change labels, corks and bottle shapes to destabilise those who are doing this and to discourage them once they realise it is going to gulp a lot of money. We have changed some of our labels just to destabilise them and see how we can move ahead of them. We also ensure that our products are available in the markets. We discovered that fakers capitalise on product scarcity. If the products are available and accessible, there will be no point faking it How has your company fared in terms of corporate social responsibility? We are involved in community relations in the areas where we operate, especially where our factories are located. We support the community a lot. We support motherless babies’ homes in such areas. We support community policing. We support the primary schools and communities. We also support the markets and agriculture. We walk to community leaders and ask them what they need. We make a lot of donations to community projects. Most of those things, we shouldn’t blow them up so that it also becomes an advertisement platform for the company. Do you support for cultural activities? It can only get better. We got involved in a lot of activities across the nation; like the Osun Oshogbo festival, Eyo festival and Ojude Oba feestival. And we are not limited to the big ones; we also get involved in other cultural activities at the lower level, even in our local communities, like the Ogun Ajobo, playing the role of a social lubricant. All these activities involve money, because you need to settle the traditional leaders. I think the most important thing is that basically, apart from what we have done, we also live our imprint in most of these places. You know sometimes we do portraits for various traditional leaders and put them in the palaces Sometimes, we put in some other things that can even make life easier in the palaces. We give them water dispenser or freezer. And like I said, it is going to get better this year. We can’t leave culture behind because it is a way of life. We must continue to nourish those things. So, whatever way you have benefited through the community till this stage, should not be wiped off and the children that are coming should see it. If you look all over the world, the Indians, the Japanese, the Chinese all have their culture, even in the face of serious technological breakthrough. Culture is a way of life. Before Christianity came, our fathers had practised some kind of religion. Before Islam came, we had practised some kind of religion. During the last Christmas, we took part in the street carnival popularly called Street Jamz. We were involved in more than 200 Christmas carnivals involving the youth. You know the youth have a way of celebrating Christmas and New Year carnival in various communities and streets. They call it Street Jamz. So, we were involved in 200 carnivals in December alone in Lagos, and we use that as a pilot, hoping that this year, we can take it across the country with what we have learnt in Lagos. There are lots of ‘bitters’ products in the market. Is there a plan to have Eagle Bitters, Chelsea Bitters, and so on? (Laughs) It is a matter of time. When the time is ripe, we will get there. IDL is a company that responds to the yearning of consumers. We are not just lying fallow. At the appropriate time, they will see what we are doing. Not only bitters, there are some other products that we are also looking at.



Jonathan Saunders’s Equestrian Lady

Jonathan Saunders’s Equestrian Lady

Temperley Lond’s Religious Opulence

Katie Ermilio’s Modern Elegance

Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label

Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Todd Lynn’s Corrupted Elegance

Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label

Todd Lynn’s Corrupted Elegance



Creativity at London Fashion Week


HOUGH the London Fashion Week took place thousands of kilometres away, we bring you the creative designs of some professionals who showcased at the shows. Many collections really made headlines, and some of these are here for you. Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label show on Tuesday draw the street style, in the form of weird hats, lots of piercing and a throwback punk or two. Westwood is beloved in London and her usual motifs were there, like plaids and tartans, but in a more muted palette of grey and light blue. Temperley Lond’s Religious Opulence Temperley’s collection this season brought to mind one word- affluent. Think of lace on top of brocade with a side of fur and a sparkly necklace topping it all off. Temperley threw in a few slim leather looks to up the sexy ante in the form of slim skirt suits. Jonathan Saunders’s Equestrian Lady Jonathan Saunders was this year’s winner of the Vogue/British Fashion Council Designer Fashion Fund Award, which means he won £200,000 and a very high level mentorship from the BFC. Todd Lynn’s Corrupted Elegance Set to the tunes of somber, almost haunting rock, Lynn’s collection at the show was just as structured, precise and brilliant as it usually is. The expert tailoring, as we have come to know and love as the

hallmark of Lynn’s talent, highlighted the contrasting textures and feeling of the collection. 28 pieces of structured viscose silk mixed with fur stoles, jacquard wool silk, finely cut leather and wool felt paved the way for this sort of “corrupted elegance” he believes defines his ideal muse. Louise Gray‘s Everything At Once Eclectic Louise Gray designs were a barrage of fiercely colourful prints on top of one after another. Each of the looks sent down the runway revealed Gray’s source of inspiration. She claims “the collection is everything all the time.” Practically speaking, the show was more like a glammed-up and wildly eccentric 8o’s. Tangerine oranges, neon yellows, grassy greens, lipstick reds and cobalt blues mashed together added the punch of brightness, allowing the textural undertone of the prints to really shine. Katie Ermilio’s Modern Elegance Katie took her signature feminine simplicity to the next level with her tightly edited and worthy assortment of flirty, but yet sophisticated wear. That perfect dress for a special occasion is what you can count on from Ermilio season after season. Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren opened his fall show to the theme from the hit British period drama and the weary crowd of editors literally squealed with delight.

Louise Gray‘s Everything At Once

Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label

Michael Kors

Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label

WED EXPO 2012: Mai Atafo, Frank Osodi others lock horns



HE organizers of WED Expo Lagos has unveiled the names of exhibitors billed to display their paraphernalia at the exhibition which will take place on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, 2012 at The Haven, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos. The expo which will feature the biggest players in the wedding and events industry under one roof will have the bridal makeup industry, bridal accessory retailers , photography studios, dress makers, designer couture, cake makers, and many others who are directly and indirectly concerned with weddings. The names of the power brokers who will be attending the WED EXPO 2012 are Kosibah, BM Pro, Concepteur De Fruitee, Khuraira Cosmetics, Cakes by Tosan, Eru Iyawo, Gaterie, Mai Atafo, 9cer Tiddies, Sweet Kiwi, Zapphire Events, Frank Osodi, Sit Pretty MakeOvers, Caleb Videography, Finesse Events, Scentuals, Photography by Abi, Couture Cards, Planification Events, Cakes by Andy Clark, BusyBee Events, Lizbob Accessories, Renies AsoOke, The Event Crew, Kingserve Drinks, Event Backups, Larry Peniel, 9-cer Tidies, Caleb Videography, Enthral Events, Distinct Crown Events, Am Victorious, Molbaks AsoOke, Torge Events, Xqwizit Events, Classy Touch Events, Damell Photography, Tsoule Events, Akara Photography, Tent Republic, B’Signature, Bree’s Aura, Grooms Place @ The Wardrobe, I Luv Dessert, Dap Galleria, Gong Photography, Swallek bridals, Nabilla Bridals, Gaterie and many more. Latest new from the camp of the organizers has it that over 1500 guests has already registered on the expo’s website. There is no gate fee charged to attend the event. The WED EXPO Lagos 2012 is a product of an upscale wedding and relationship magazine, WED, a magazine which is presently sold in Nigeria, UK and the US.




Rhema Chapel founder's wife celebrates at 50 February 19 will for long be remembered by many people who where at the grand reception held at the International Convention Centre, Tipper Garage, Ilorin in honour of Rev. (Mrs.) Oloruntoyin Adegboye. It was an opportunity to thank God for allowing her to attain the age of 50. In attendance were Pastor Tunde Mabinuori; Rev. Emmanuel Oset, General Overseer, Champions' Church, Ilorin and wife, Grace; Dr. and Mrs. Rilwan Sadiku, both of Sadiku Hos-


pital, Ilorin; Pastor and Mrs. Jonathan Tobin, Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja; Barrister Teju Oguntoye and wife, Olufunke, among others. Friends, relatives, associates and the church members were all in a festive mood, as they rejoiced with the host. Before the cutting of the birthday cake, the President of Ever Increasing Word Ministries, a.k.a, Rhema Chapel International Church, Rev. George

Adegboye, the celebrant's husband, spoke on "Measuring Impact". He said: "People often measure impact with different things. Impact can be simply defined as contributions made in the lives of others. The true measure of a man's life is the impact made on the lives of others". He described his wife as a real Christian and an enduring mother of three children. The celebrant and her guests were entertained by the Harmonica International Band.

•From left: Faith, Faithful, the host, Faithfulness and Rev. Adegboye

•Engr and Mrs. Ademola Adesiyun

•Prof. and Mrs. Folu Ologe

•Pastor and Mrs. Jonathan Tobin

•Pastor and Mrs. Tunde Mabinuori

•Rev. and Rev. (Mrs) Emmanuel Oset

ng cake

•Barrister and Mrs. Teju Oguntoye

•Mr. and Mrs. Tosin Olaniran

•Abosede Adebayo

49 •Continued from Page 45 I was at the Artillery School, Kaduna. As at the time you joined the army, Nigeria was depending on Agriculture. Now we are depending on crude oil. Do you think this has helped us? No, I think Nigeria has missed the road. The Federal Government has abandoned agriculture. They have abandoned mining. Now the masses are hungry because we lack food to eat. We import food and agricultural products from neighbouring countries. I don’t think this is good for us. I am not saying crude oil is bad, but the Federal Government was wrong to have abandoned agriculture. The government has realised that crude oil alone cannot sustain this country. How do you see the Nigerian Army of today? The Nigerian Army is not the same again, I doubt very much if the army today is what it was in those days. Why? Because the soldiers we had did not know what we called corruption. There is no more a tradition of discipline, commitment, patriotism and professionalism. The army is no longer a unifying factor as it was during our time. There was no tribalism in the army. We were one in the army of my time. There was no religious difference as we see today. Are you regretting serving your country as a soldier? Not at all. I feel proud having served in the Nigerian Army. As a Christian, have you forgiven those who implicated you in the coup? Yes, I have forgiven them. Whoever they are, I have since forgiven them. Some Nigerians are expressing fears the country might disintegrate. Do you share the same view? No, there is no way I will share this view. I want Nigeria to be one as we have been since independence. We don’t need to revert back into regions. I believe in one Nigeria because some of us fought the civil war

THE NATION, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012 to keep the nation one. So I will never support the division of the country. The country is passing through a very serious challenge in the area of security. I don’t go out due to my poor health condition; most of the news I hear is that of insecurity, but I m confident that Nigeria will come out of these challenges and remain one. Are you in support of the introduction of the state police as being advocated by some sections of the country? Not at all, I don’t believe in the state police. I am already advocating the continuous unity of this country. So I cannot contradict myself by supporting the call for the state police because such policy will further divide the country rather than uniting us. Without gratuity and no monthly pension, how have you been surviving since 1980 when you were given pardon? Initially I was employed by Highland Bottling Company in Jos here and I later had to retire due to my age. Since my last employment, it’s my children that have been taking care of me. How many children do you have? Seven, but two of them are no more. I am left with five and many grandchildren. What role did you play in the Nigerian civil war? I was in the infantry when the war started, but I was sent for an o v e r s e a s t r a i n i n g during the war. I was trained in gunnery (science of guns and t h e i r usage). I w a s particularly trained to

'I was jailed for carrying out my boss' instruction' use guns in the aircraft. I finished the training successfully. I came back to meet the war. So we were waging the war from both air and land. You lost some of your colleagues during the war, but you came back alive? That is true.I lost many of my colleagues, very many. What is your view on how General Gowon handled the Nigerian civil was? Do you think the war could have been avoided? The war became a necessity. It was not the fault of Gowon. Gowon, to me, is an excellent man. He handled the war as a true soldier. He holds no grudges against anyone, and that explains why he is still alive and strong today. He was religious, and till now he holds on strongly to his religion. You commanded a unit during the civil war. Not a unit, I led a detachment. How many wives have you? I have one, still with me. Soldiers in those days were known for marrying many wives. Why did you stick to one since then? You are right, but personally I don’t see any reason to marry many wives, and may be because of my Christianity, I hold on to my wife.

The women said the cheques came through letters, and when the envelopes were presented, there were no postage stamps on them,indicating that they didn’t come through the post office. The women revealed that I was the one who brought the letters to them. They had to arrest me...





Cross River: Waiting for the electorate T

HE die is cast and the electorate will today decide the fate of former Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, who along with four other governors, was sent packing by the Supreme Court in January. Will he return to his office or will any

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor of the other 11 challengers cause an upset in today’s election? On paper, today’s election is a fait ac-

compli for Imoke. Political pundits have all been swearing by whatever they hold dear that Imoke will be announced as the governor – elect in the next 36 hours from this morning. They hold that it would be a miracle for any of the candidates of All Nigeria

Peoples Party (ANPP), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the Labour Party (LP) and the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), among others, to breast the tape. At the party level, the PDP has demonstrated its readiness to secure once again the state it has ruled from May 29, 1999, when the country returned to the path of democratic governance. It sounded its intention at the inauguration of the party’s committee for the re-election of Imoke on Wednesday, February 8. Vice President Namadi Sambo, who was nominated to chair the committee for the party’s campaign towards the election, said then that unlike other states where the PDP had recently won the governorship elections, Cross River State would be a walk- over for the party as it was “a one-party state”. He observed that the former governor of the state, Imoke, who is also the flag bearer of the party in the election, was on a short break and would soon resume his duties to continue with the good work he had started. “Cross River State is PDP and PDP is Cross River State. There is no other party. Imoke is only on a short break. He will come back soon to continue with the good work,” he said. However, mindful of what disunity in the party could do, the VP called on all party members to join hands with the campaign committee “to ensure that we return the governor to continue the good work he has started in the state”. For the record, Sambo had also been the party’s campaign committee chairman for Kogi and Adamawa states and the result is already known to all and sundry. Sambo on Tuesday was able to rally the who-is-who in the party to grace the grand finale of the Imoke campaign in Calabar. Present were President Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo himself, Senate President David Mark, Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, among others, to canvass for votes for the PDP in today’s poll. Jonathan, in his speech, said: “We need to be here. I am here, Vice-President is here, Obasanjo is here, Senate President is here, and Speaker of the House of Representatives is here. All the PDP governors of the south-south are here, and, of course, all the senior citizens. “So for those of us from Cross River State, we urge you to come out and vote on Saturday. You go there and make sure you vote Liyel Imoke back.” Notwithstanding the fact that PDP seems to be coasting home, the sheer number of political parties challenging it in the state should be of concern to it. Ordinarily, one would have thought that the number of parties in the opposition camp would be diminishing. But that is not the case just now. The party is being challenged by 11 others. It is a development that makes the claim of a one party state suspect. In the opposition camp are such parties as the ACN, ANPP, HDPand LP. Pastor Usani Usani and his running mate, Elder David Okon, are flying the flag of the ACN in the election. Usani is from the Central Senatorial District like former Governor Imoke. Usani was at various times the commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and Rural Development; Infor-


THE NATION, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012 mation, Youths/Sports and Social Development in the state. He can, therefore, be described as a highly experienced politician in the state. Usani defeated Mike Ogar in the party’s primaries to emerge its candidate. For the ANPP, Mr Patrick Okomiso and Edem Ita Eyo are the candidates. Okomiso is also from the Central District. He defeated Wabili Niam and Iheke Awa Solomon to pick the ANPP ticket. He was until recently a member of the PDP. He said he was not comfortable with the arrangement in the PDP as he was not sure there would be a level playing field. He approached an Abuja High Court to grant an order restraining the INEC from conducting the election as scheduled by the umpire. He exudes confidence that he would win the election when it is obvious that he may not have the structure or the popularity that can compare to those of the former governor. He once declared to newsmen that “my administration will not depend solely on federal allocations. Cross River State is so blessed with natural resources that it cannot be poor. This state is blessed with forest, cocoa and many natural resources that are yet to be harnessed. My administration will look inward to generate revenue. Our state is not poor, but has leaders with poverty of ideas. With the right ideas, we can generate enough to pay salaries and execute development projects. Besides our natural resources, we have a seaport that is yet to be fully utilised, Calabar Free Trade Zone and Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort. We will also cut down waste and expenses of government”. Also on the race for today’s election is Miss Mary Ekpere of the CPC and has as her running mate Mens Ikpeme. Also a lawyer, she said she would make the restoration of the Bakassi Peninsula. According to her, “As a Cross Riverian, this is one of my reasons for running. Nigeria is not a piece of meat that you just cut and share without recourse to the people. I am going to ensure that Bakassi is returned to Nigeria.” Flying the flag of the LP is Mrs Ima Nsa Adegoke with Mr. Tony Bassey as his running mate. A 1979 Law graduate of the University of Lagos, Imah said the need for social justice and equal opportunities to everyone are some of the things that motivated her to enter for the race. Mrs Adegoke emerged through a popular affirmation of the party’s delegates after it was discovered that she was the sole candidate of the LP. Mrs Adegoke’s manifesto has been succinctly captured in her “I HEAR U”, with I for Infrastructure, H for Health, E for Education, A for Agriculture, R for Research and U for You (the people of Cross River State) And for the HDP, Dr. Theo Onyuku is flying the flag while Mrs Grace Offiong Essien is his running mate. Onyuku, a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is a consultant psychiatrist. He promised an urgent exploitation of the agricultural re-




sources of the state through the establishment of small/medium scale agro-based industries which he hopes will employ and engage the youths in the state. Onyuku, who emerged as the sole candidate of the HDP, was the former Chairman of the LP pushed out of the party in 2010. As for Imoke, he has been very

aggressive in his campaign. Unlike what happened in Bayelsa, the exit of Imoke did not mean an end of his aides in government. He is firmly in control of government affairs in the state. Importantly, his promise to hand over power to an individual from the North Senatorial District in 2015 seems to have struck a

great chord with the electorate. Beside, many people still want the office to remain in the Central District to complete the two terms for the zone before moving to another. Imoke is from Yakurr and all things considered, it could be, as many have opined, that the election may be a mere coronation. But that the election is going on today as planned could be said to be the result of the determination of the electoral umpire. Despite Monday’s ex parte order of an Abuja High Court allegedly stopping the planned election, INEC maintained that it will go ahead to conduct the election. INEC’s Acting Director in charge of Legal Services, Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, made it known to newsmen that the commission never got any court order from anybody stopping it from conducting the election. Kayode Idowu, spokesman of the INEC chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, also stressed the same point that the commission got no order from anybody. Bawa said the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) prohibited any court from stopping the conduct of elections, pointing out that it would be grievous for a court to stop the conduct of the election without putting the INEC on notice. “We are going ahead. We have not been served with any order. So, why do you stop an election just because of speculation that the election has been stopped? That cannot disturb the election.’’ Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court allegedly stopped the INEC from conducting the governorship election in

We are going ahead. We have not been served with any order. So, why do you stop an election just because of speculation that the election has been stopped? That cannot disturb the election


Cross River, pending the determination of a suit filed before it by the ANPP. The trial judge gave the order following an ex parte application by the ANPP and its candidate. The plaintiffs had argued that the INEC lacked the power to reschedule the election less than 48 days to the date that was earlier slated for the poll. They said the election which had been earlier scheduled by the INEC to hold on April 14, 2012 in view of the mandatory timetable set by the Electoral Act for submission of names and addresses of party candidates for that election. They said: “Apart from the inconvenience to the parties of suddenly shortening the period they had already taken for granted as available for their preparations for the election, the abridgement of time is ultra vires, null and void and would be a ground for nullifying the election, if conducted.” In an affidavit attached to the application, the ANPP said that INEC’s reason for bringing the election forward because of the judgment of the Supreme Court, which removed five state governors from office, was not tenable in law. “That the Supreme Court judgment did not place any constraint on the INEC to abridge or tamper with the timetable it had set on the August 11, 2011 for the governorship election in Cross River State nor has it created any situation which the 1999 constitution can not cope with as the governor and his deputy duly vacated their pursuant to the judgment and the Speaker of the House of Assembly has taken over as Governor pursuant to Section 191(2) of the Constitution,” the affidavit added. But with the all now set for the election, ANPP’s efforts to stop the election can only be described as an exercise in futility. The people, the commission and the security agencies are ready. Soon, the state would have a substantive governor, and it would be a surprise of the century if it is not Imoke.




God's design for a successful family life (4)


EAR Reader, This month, we have examined God’s design for success in marriage and family life. Perhaps, one of the most important secret to a successful family life is what I shall be teaching on this week. It is the undisputable foundation upon which every home must be built, for any lasting and meaningful impact. Most families are thirsty for life, yet they do not know what to do to be satisfied. Are You Thirsty At Home? The Lord can quench any thirst you may be experiencing in your family. This is because He said: If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink ... He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out

of his belly shall flow RIVERS OF LIVING WATER (John 7:38). Just as God planted the Garden of Eden and placed in it a river to water it, and caused everything in it to remain fresh (Genesis 2:8), He also instituted marriage and family life (Genesis 2:18, 2 1-25), desiring that with His living water, you will experience pleasure and delight. Rivers are of tremendous help to humanity. It provides water for several uses: quenching thirst, bathing, refreshing and for cleansing. God’s intention for you is for every thirst you are experiencing in your marriage and family life to be quenched by the ‘river of living water’, which the Lord Jesus gives. Thirst will make a family man or woman go after someone else

other than his or her spouse, and refuse to return home. It is thirst in the family that makes children prefer to seek for dangerous adventure outside the home; it also makes a married man stay back in the office, even when he does not have anything doing. Such a home lacks fulfillment. Thirst makes some women prefer to compare their husbands with other men, and to give excuses rather than fulfill conjugal rights. They lack the refreshing needed for a cool atmosphere at home. This is far from God’s plan for the family. Return to the Lord Jesus because He said: If any man thirst let him come to me and drink (John 7:37). He will quench your thirst and place a river of refreshing in your home. What are the characteristics of a River in your family? Firstly, the presence of a river among other things is for cleansing. Jesus in your home, therefore, should produce a cleansing, which helps the Christian live a life of righteousness and a life of cleanliness inside and outside. When besieged by all types of unclean habits, immorality, etc., whether introduced by friends, inlaws or relatives, with the Word of God you will have heaven’s

backing and equipment to deal with it. God’s Word says: “…Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Bringing your home and family life to Jesus guarantees that “rivers of living water” are made available to you and your family members. Secondly, a river gives water, and water is a principal component in the growth of a plant. The Lord Jesus, the provider of the ‘river of living water’, is a principal party in the growth of a healthy, homely family. Rivers can generate electrical light supply to various homes. The ‘rivers of living water’ Jesus brings also generates spiritual light and heat to create a warm atmosphere in your home. Thirdly, just like physical rivers have mineral deposits, precious stones and treasures in them, there are diverse treasures in this ‘river of living water’ that Jesus brings into your home. Some of them are laughter, inner peace, rest of mind, satisfaction, joy and love instead of fears, insecurity and instability. Instead of depression, Jesus brings comfort, hope and a future. Instead of shame, He brings honour, respect, dignity and quiet.

These are all treasures money cannot buy. Only the presence of Jesus and His Word in your home can bring such treasurable experiences. So, make sure you have or better still, invite Him into your life and home today. Jesus is the only one that can quench your thirst. Be controlled by His Word (the Bible). Invite Him in, ask Him into every aspect of your life and home, and you will begin to experience changes from that moment as you obey His instructions. If you are ready to invite Him into your life and family, please pray this simple prayer: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Till I come your way again next week, call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches, and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, and Building a Successful Family.

How stress affects your oral health


XCESS stress may give you a headache, a stomachache, or just a feeling of being “on edge.” But too much stress could also be doing a number on your mouth, teeth, gums, and overall health. The potential fallout from stress and anxiety that can affect your oral health includes: Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism) Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease So how can you prevent these oral health problems? Mouth Sores Canker sores — small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even

greater numbers. Although experts aren’t sure what causes them — it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses — they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious. Most canker sores disappear in a week to 10 days. For relief from the irritation, try over-the-counter topical anesthetics. To reduce irritation, don’t eat spicy, hot foods or foods with a high acid content, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits. Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that often appear on or around the lips, but can also crop up under the nose or around the chin area. Emotional upset can trigger an outbreak. So can a fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion. Like canker sores, fever blisters

often heal on their own in a week or so. Treatment is available, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Ask your doctor or dentist if you could benefit from either. It’s important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore forming. Teeth Grinding Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth — during the day or at night, and often unconsciously. Teeth grinding is also known as bruxism. If you already clench and grind your teeth, stress could make the habit worse. And, grinding your teeth can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. See your doctor and ask what can be done for the clenching and grinding. Your dentist may recommend a night guard, worn as you sleep, or another appliance to help you stop or minimize the actions.

•Caring for the teeth goes beyond brushing, it also involves flossing for total oral hygiene

The mouth-body connection: 6 ways oral hygiene helps keep you well


AKING good care of your mouth — teeth and gums — does more than help ensure you have a bright, white smile. A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand in hand. Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease and perhaps even preserving your memory in your golden years. The phrase “healthy mouth, healthy you” really is true — and backed by growing scientific evidence. Every six months, it is important for you to visit the dentist for a cleaning — and likely a lecture about the importance of flossing. But if you’re like many dental patients, the advice travels in one ear and out the other — much like, well, dental floss gliding between the spaces of your teeth. “There is no instant gratification with flossing — that’s the problem,” says Alla Wheeler, RDH, MPA, associate professor of the Dental Hygiene Program at the New York University School of Dentistry.

It’s never too early to start teaching your children to take care of teeth and gums — healthy habits learned in childhood can pay off in adulthood. And, if you’re tempted to shrug off your good oral hygiene habits — brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly — remember that you’re a role model for your kids. Keep in mind these six ways having healthy teeth and gums helps boost overall health. Boosts your self-esteem and confidence Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated not only with an unsightly mouth but very bad breath — so bad it can affect your confidence, self-image, and selfesteem. With a healthy mouth that’s free of gum disease and cavities, your quality of life is also bound to be better — you can eat properly, sleep better, and concentrate with no aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you. May lower risk of heart disease

Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes. Experts stop short of saying there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and these other serious health problems, but the link has shown up in numerous studies. The findings of these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health. Preserves your memory Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Those with gingivitis were more likely to perform poorly on two tests: delayed verbal recall and subtraction — both skills used in everyday life. Reduces risks of infection and inflammation in your body

Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body. Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar. Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss once a day. Using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis. Helps keep blood sugar stable if you have diabetes People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease.

And some experts have found that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop more severe gum problems than someone without diabetes. That, in turn, may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health may help with blood sugar control if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. Helps pregnant women carry a baby to term Women may experience increased gingivitis during pregnancy. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and preterm, lowbirth-weight infants. Not all studies have found a solid link, but maintaining good oral health is still the best goal. If you’re pregnant, visit your dentist or periodontist as part of your prenatal care. Consider it good practice for the role modeling that lies ahead for all new parents.



Questions on pests

I read your article, Creatures that Affect Your Health, Mice and Rats. It was incisive and analytical. You are an icon. Keep it up. Please give some tips on how to keep them at bay. John Dear John, Thank you for your comment. Ofcourse, there are many ways to deal with pests. There are many chemical products but they are poisons and you, yourself, or a child might end up being harmed if you make a mistake with these products. Perhaps, I am being too simplistic, but I find the rat glue pad is very useful. It traps rats, mice, wall geckos, cockroaches, bugs, and even mosquitoes can mistake it for water surface. It seems to gather the entire club unwanted. Once you get rid of the existing club, it is hard for new pests to settle in your home. There are no animal scents to encourage them. If you seal up any area where they can pass into your home, you will have


ELVIC inflammatory dis ease (PID) is a serious infection of the female reproductive system that can develop when certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) go untreated. In most cases, it occurs when bacteria from the STD in the vagina or cervix move into the uterus and upper genital tract. The most common organisms that lead to PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia, highly contagious STDs. Because STDs can lead to PID, the best way to prevent it is to abstain from having sex. Sexual contact with more than one partner or with someone who has more than one partner increases the risk of contracting any STD. When properly and consistently used, condoms decrease the risk of STDs. Latex condoms provide greater protection than natural-mem-

peace from absence of pests. I generally keep a few glue pads in a few corners around the house. The last pest that was caught a few days ago was a tiny wall gecko. I did not want to dispose of the glue pad immediately because it seemed like a waste so I covered the tiny thing with salt so that it would not breed bacteria. After two days, no other creature was caught so I disposed of the glue pad. In another circumstance, I had lived in an environment where a single glue padcould trap a mixture of rat and mouse and cockroach and ants overnight. The glue pad looked like Saint Peter’s dream of unpalatable unclean animals in Joppa. The glue pads are effective but you should remember to check them and to dispose of them when they have trapped a pest. Rat poison and insecticides kill the target pests but these can die and be stuck in a place you do not know or suspect, causing foul odor, contamination, and even sickness. The mosquitoes are the most difficult to keep

out of the home because you always need to open your doors to go in or out and they are always quick to glide inside when a door opens. Insecticides are not ideal for a big home simply because you need a lot for the whole house, making routine use of them a significant expense. Mosquito coils can be burnt or insect repellants can be plugged into your electric socket to keep insects away from your vicinity. Always read the instructions and take note of the information on the package about the chemical content.You may decide to stay with one formula if your body does not react to it or to switch from one formula to another every now and then to limit your exposure to any single toxin. Ultra violet light insect traps are useful to have in the home. Even if you have only one, you can move it around to work in different parts of the house periodically. I hope you enjoy your home. It is a pity that pests often enjoy our homes much more than we do and on top of that, they bring us ill health. Hi,Enjoyed your write up on the above subject (cockroaches). Could you please advise on how to get the IGRs you wrote about. The small tiny cockroaches are particularly a menace in my kitchen. Regards, O. Adesua

Sound Health with Banji Filani 07089729930, 07034809006

Pelvic inflammatory disease brane condoms. The female condom, made of polyurethane, is also considered effective against STDs. Although birth control pills offer no protection against STDs, they may provide some protection against PID by causing the body to create thicker cervical mucus, making it more difficult for bacteria to reach the upper genital tract. Using douche can actually increase a female’s risk of contracting STDs because it can change the natural flora of the vagina and may flush bacteria higher into the genital

tract. A teen who is being treated for PID also should be tested for other STDs, and should have time alone with the doctor to openly discuss issues like sexual activity. Not all teens will be comfortable talking with parents about these issues. But it’s important to encourage them to talk to a trusted adult who can provide the facts. Treatment PID can be treated with antibiotics, which kill the bacteria that cause the disease. If damage has already occurred in the reproductive organs, antibiotics will not be able to reverse it but will stop further spread of the infection. In some cases, girls with PID do have to be hospitalized, particularly if they develop a high fever, severe nausea, and vomiting; if they need intravenous antibiotics; or if the diagnosis is uncertain. In trying to diagnose PID, the doctor will likely ask questions about your daughter’s medical history, method of birth control, and her sexual activity and that of her partner. The doctor may then perform a pelvic exam to find out if her reproductive organs are tender or swollen and to identify the location of the infection. Diagnosing PID is not always a simple procedure because the site of the infection cannot be examined easily and PID symptoms are similar to other conditions such as appendicitis. During the pelvic exam, the doctor may take samples to look for the germs that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia infections. Blood tests also may be done. Other procedures

Dear Adesua, I can imagine the sight of numerous tiny cockroaches in your kitchen and why you want to make sure the pests do not reproduce again. IGRs are actually industrial products. You would need to know how to use them safely without contaminating foods and such mistakes. They are used by pest control agencies. One company that sells IGRs is Professional Pest Control Products, in Pensacola, Florida, USA. They have Do-ItYourself Pest Control Supplies. Their phone number is 1-800434-4555 or 850-944-4567 and they are available 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Central Time (American) on weekdays. One of their products is NyGuard IGR concentrate which contains a chemical called pyriproxyfen. It is $59. It affects various kinds of insects: ants, cockroaches, fleas, flies, moths, mosquitoes, drain flies, fruit flies, gnats, house flies, midges, and stored product insects such as flour beetles, grain borers, and warehouse beetles.The tiny cockroaches in your kitchen may take a while to get rid of. Obviously, some adult cockroaches have laid hidden eggs there and while they are still hatching, the tiny ones will continue to appear. You seem to have gotten rid of the adult pests therefore in a short while you will not be seeing cockroaches again. I guess I shouldn’t ask you if the tiny ones are cute.

may be required to determine whether the fallopian tubes are swollen or if an abscess (collection of pus) is present. Prompt treatment of PID and follow-up care can cure the infection and prevent complications. Rest can help your daughter recover. Hot baths and heating pads applied to the lower back and abdomen can help relieve discomfort. Your daughter should finish all medicines as prescribed because the PID infection may continue even after the symptoms disappear. To prevent re-infection, her partner also should be examined and treated. It’s important to abstain from sex until treatment of both partners is completed and the doctor determines that the infection is gone. Getting Help If your teen is thinking of becoming sexually active or already has started having sex, it’s important to talk with him or her about it. Make sure your teen knows how STDs can be spread (during anal, oral, or vaginal sex) and that these infections often don’t have symptoms, so a partner might have an STD without knowing it. It can be difficult to talk about STDs, but just as with any other medical issue, teens need this information to stay safe and healthy. Provide the facts, and let your child know where you stand. It’s also important that all teens have regular full physical exams — which can include screening for STDs. Your teen may want to see a gynecologist or a specialist in adolescent medicine to talk about sexual health issues. Community health organizations and sexual counseling centers in your local area also may be able to offer some guidance.

53 Coping with diseases with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Prostate enlargement


ROSTATE enlargement is generally a disease of elderly men; and it is characterized by urine retention, leading to severe pains, anxiety, discomfort, and sometimes, loss of consciousness. The full function of the prostate is not yet fully understood by scientists all over the world. However, it is known that as a gland, it produces fluid called ‘semen’ which is released by men, at the climax of sexual activity. The prostate gland will only grow and function under the influence of male hormones, the most important of which is called TESTOSTERONE, produced from the testicles. The prostate gland surrounds the neck of the bladder and the first part of the urethra goes through it. An enlarged prostate, presses on the urethra and decreases the size of the opening through it, or it forms a dam which holds back part of the urine. The causes of prostate enlargement are not very precise, but they are associated with hormonal imbalance; and available information indicates that most men who use drugs to improve their sexual performance tend to activate the level of their Testosterone hormone beyond the threshold, and consequently, they often end up developing prostate enlargement and related complications. The enlargement can be a simple type called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or it may be cancerous, that is, Malignant Prostatic Hyperplasia. Both the benign and malignant types usually present similar symptoms of frequency in urination, hesitancy, urgency, trickling flow of urine and in advanced stages, there is acute urine retention as a result of blockage of the urinary tract. A man suffering from enlarged prostate will first notice that he has to get up oftener than usual, to pass urine at night. The stream will be small and slow to start. A long time may be required to empty the bladder. Many men with enlarged prostate may have no further disturbance than the “nuisance” symptoms stated earlier. Other cases will get worse until the patient cannot empty the bladder, and must resort to a catheter for relief. Unfortunately, after the urine has once begun to be drawn by catheter, the danger of bladder infection is great. Also, the symptoms and problems of cystitis are likely to occur. Treatment and Control In Holistic Lifecare, it is strongly advocated that the best prospects of controlling Prostate Enlargement, is by going back to Nature. When symptoms of an enlarged prostate are noticed, it is advisable to avoid spices, condiments and alcoholic beverages; to lessen bladder irritation, which may promote infection. It is also important to avoid cold conditions or getting the feet wet, or holding the urine for too long. Prostate Enlargement is not new in African context. In fact, ethno-medicinal research has shown that herbal remedies are very effective, without complications or side effects. The holistic natural remedy being suggested for Prostate Enlargement is a combination of natural extracts of herbs such as Saw Palmetto, Cocos nucifera, Khaya ivorensis and Lycopersicum esculentum. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-3303897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.



•Chinese Students’ Cultural Troupe from the Xiamen University, China performing

When Chinese took culture to Igboland


T was a tale of two cultures at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State when the institution consolidated on its international cultural exchange programme hosting the Xiamen University of China cultural troupe. The event, which attracted many dignitaries, including the former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, many traditional rul-

Adimike GEORGE

ers and academics, held both the visiting Chinese troupe and hosting members of the polytechnic community spell- bound for several hours while the cultural displays lasted. The Chinese troupe that opened the floor with Chinese traditional instruments followed by an opera dance titled Qiao Huadan (Viva-

•From left: Dame Beatrice Ekwueme, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and Prof. J.E. Ahaneku

cious Ladies) marvelled at the hospitality of the polytechnic. One of the traditional displays by the Chinese troupe that shook the convocation arena venue of the cultural exchange was an ethnic dance to portray Chinese multi ethnic background titled “Bamboo Grove in the Rain”. But when the Igbo traditional Mkpokiti took the stage, the ovation became thunderous, especially from the Chinese troupe who besieged the dancers in the arena clapping, cheering and videoing the acrobatic displays by the mkpokiti dancers. This particular cultural troupe, it was gathered, has brought many international laurels to Nigeria on many occasions, including representing the African continent during the last women conference in China . Welcoming the foreign visitors earlier before the cultural displays, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof. Godwin Onu, who was represented by the Deputy Rector, Dr. Don Muo, said that the polytechnic was very committed in international cooperation of

•Mkpokiti Cultural Troupe from Umunze

which this visit would help consolidate. He said the polytechnic had commenced the construction of the Confucius Centre which would house the Confucius Institute for the training of students, studying the Chinese language, culture and technology. He said the polytechnic was ready to tap from the experiences and developmental strides of China in its effort to fast track intellectual and technological transformations. He equally commended the management of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka for partnering the institution, especially in both academics and other areas of positive developments. Onu said some members of the polytechnic community were recently sent to China for various trainings,adding that they would in turn teach other students, studying at the Confucius Centre. He added that the polytechnic had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with about three other foreign institutions on research and exchange programmes. Expressing gratitude for the cooperation between the Confucius Centre and the polytechnic, the National Director of the Confucius Institute in Nigeria and Deputy Vice

Oko remains one of the few institutions where the study of the Chinese language, culture and technology thrives Chancellor (DVC), Academics, NAU, Prof. J.E Ahaneku, said the Federal Polytechnic, Oko had distinguished itself, especially in creating the enabling environment for learning. He added that “Oko remains one of the few institutions where the study of the Chinese language, culture and technology thrives” and commended the polytechnic for living up to expectations. Ahaneku stated that the cultural visit by the Xiamen University, China cultural troupe was as a result of the MoU signed by Continued on Page 55



When Chinese took culture to Igboland Continued from Page 54

the Confucius Institute, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka with both the Chinese government and the university during an earlier visit to China last year. He pledged to carry along the polytechnic in all matters, relating to the study of the Chinese language which, he said, would benefit Nigerian business interests because of the entrepreneurial prowess of Nigerians and called on the polytechnic’s management not to relent in providing the enabling environment for learning. The Vice President of the Xiamen University, Prof. Daguang, and the Dean of the Confucius Institute, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Ji Nengwen, who accompanied the cultural troupe expressed gratitude to the polytechnic community for the hospitality and willingness to exchange culture with China . They lauded Dr. Ekwueme for identifying with the polytechnic and the Confucius Centre, stressing that his fatherly advice would always strengthen the ties.

They commended the polytechnic for being a responsive part of the institute, adding that the institution had become a part of their international affiliates. Dr. Ekwueme, in an interview with reporters, commended the cultural exchange programme which he described as a noble idea and called for a regular interexchange programme that would sustain the benefits of the participating countries. The co-ordinator of the centre in Oko, Mrs. Obiageli Okoye, who was visibly elated on the success recorded by the programme lauded the polytechnic management for the support given to the centre. She pledged not to relent in her efforts to maintain the visions of the centre and urged both the students and other members of the community to enroll into the programme so as to benefit from the international relationship that exists between the centre and China. The traditional ruler of Oko,Prof.Lazarus Ekwueme, in an interview, lauded the cultural exchange programme and called for its sustenance.

He decried the paucity of funds with which communities in the country could export the rich culture of Nigeria, but thanked the polytechnic for the initiative. It would be recalled that the polytechnic used the occasion to showcase some of the products of the Fine and Applied Arts Department like artefacts and locally designed batiks, sculptures, among others. The exhibition, which was held at the end of the cultural display, excited the Chinese visitors.

•Prof. Ahaneku (left) discussing with Prof. Laz Ekwueme

•The troupes with Dr. Ekwueme, his wife, and principal officials of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, both in Anambra State

Kehinde FALODE: 08023689894

Pineapple cake

Health benefits of eating bitter kola

Pineapple juice

If you are a lover of cake, here again is an amazing recipe of fruit cake which we make you ask for more and more. Ingredients 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained, divided 1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks) 2 cups granulated sugar 6 large eggs 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar Preparation Put 3/4 cup of undrained pineapple with its juice in a small bowl and set aside. Drain remaining pineapple and measure 1 cup of drained crushed pineapple; set aside cream shortening, butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together; add

to creamed mixture, 1 large spoonful at a time, alternately with milk. Add vanilla; stir in 3/ 4 cup undrained pineapple with juice and blend well. Pour butter into a well greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 325° and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger. Let pineapple pound cake stand for few minutes in pan. Run knife around edges to loosen and remove pineapple cake carefully to a rack. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup crushed pineapple, heat and stir until melted Pour pineapple sauce over cake while still hot.

Pineapple juice is a delicious and healthy drink. It contains bromelain which aids digestion, making it ideal for finishing a meal. It can be used for a tasty treat on a hot summer day. Actually it is very refreshing and juicy. Most importantly, the juice is fresh and nutritious. Ingredients Pineapple chunks 4 or 5 saffron seeds (optioner) 3 teaspoons of sugar (optioner) 1 1/2 cups of water Blender Strainer Method Cut your pineapple into pieces discarding the pores. Add pineapple, saffron, sugar and water into a blender. Blend on the highest speed setting until smooth. Once the juice is well blended, strain it and pour into chilled glasses. Add your ice cube.

Bitter Kola also known as Garcinia kola is a tropical flowering plant found in western and central Africa and it produces brown, nut-like seeds. It has been used in African culture for centuries for both traditional and medicinal purposes. It contains dimeric flavonoid, lipase inhibitor which is believed to have many healing benefits.

who have hardening of the arteries.

Cultural and traditional uses Bitter Kola is a masticatory used in traditional hospitality, cultural and social Ceremonies such as naming ceremonies and weddings. Medicinal Significance Garcinia kola is used in many tropical countries to fight infectious diseases such as Aids and the Ebola virus. It has shown to posses antiinflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Immunity Garcinia kola is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is used to prevent infections and viruses, especially of the immune system.

Cold Remedy Garcinia kola is often used to treat the symptoms of colds. It is particularly very effective for coughs, nasal congestions and help coagulate phlegm. It is also effective in alleviating sore throat. Impotence Garcinia kola, is sometimes believed to cure impotence. It increases blood flow to the genital area in men

Knee osteoarthritis Garcinia kola has been successfully used to treat patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. It reduced pain and swelling and improved movement.

Weight loss Bitter Kola has been known to be a natural hunger suppressant and also increases the urge to drink more water. Hop substitute Garcinia kola is used as a substitute for hops in brewing lager beer. It is especially useful in preventing beer spoilage. Source:



Govt should come to the rescue of tourism industry, says FTAN BoT chairman


HE Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and Managing Director of Colonades Hotels, Chief Charles Odunukwe, has called on all tiers government in the country to pay greater attention to tourism . He said the tourism industry, if fully harnessed, would help in the government’s quest to diversify the economy and help income generation for the government. Odunukwe made this disclosure in a recent interview with The Nation. Speaking on the state of tourism in Nigeria,he said: “ I would start by saying that the tourism industry in Nigeria as it is today has not done well as one would expect it, and there are so many reasons for this. Some of these reasons are: the practitioners in the industry need to be financially assisted by the government. When I mean government, I mean government at both the state and federal levels. “That is part of the reason why we at the FTAN wrote to Mr. President, requesting for N500billion intervention fund to help us move the industry to the next level to meet up with what is obtainable in different parts of the world. “Tourism, all over the world, constitutes a very important sector of the economy. In Nigeria, we depend majorly on oil, neglecting some very important sectors and not paying much attention to some of these areas. I think there is need for us to pay special attention to the tourism sector because it is something that can affect positively the lives of so many Nigerians. “The second thing is the issue of energy. We need electricity energy to move that sector forward. Inasmuch as I have heard the Minister of Power telling us arrangements are being put in place to improve electric-

•Charles Odunukwe ity generation, so far nothing has come out of it. We are looking forward to it to materialize in a year or two. As at today, there is a need for us to have a steady power supply to help the industry achieve its potential. “The third one is security. Tourism cannot move forward, if the issue of proper security is not taken care of. It is the visits by both foreigners and the locals that drive tourism forward. These are the three things that are hindering the sector from moving forward at the moment and these areas should be addressed by the government.” Odunukwe commented on the recent rumours within the industry that the government has approved a tourism development fund. He said: “Like you rightly said, you used the word rumours. We don’t work on rumours. We work on facts. As it is today, we as the FTAN or I as the BoT chairman of the FTAN, I will tell you that I don’t have any idea of such.

We have not been officially notified, but whatever may be, I must say that any fund that is meant for the tourism sector of the country must be channelled appropriately and directly to the FTAN as a body. “It has to come through the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the FTAN. What I am saying in a nutshell is that the FTAN must be carried along so that we will know when the money comes, and when it comes, it must go genuinely to people in the industry who genuinely need this money to move the industry forward just like the government has done in the other industries. ” Odunukwe spoke on the plans of the FTAN for 2012. “A lot could be achieved if the government would come to our rescue with the fund. We will find it difficult to do something meaningful without fund. Having said that, we are working seriously with what we have. If you look carefully, you will find

out that the industry has not done very well when compared with what we have in the western world and in a few countries in Africa. “Look at South Africa, a lot of us go to the country for our holidays. Look at even nearby countries here, Ghana and Gambia. They are all seen as tourism countries, but that is not the case with Nigeria. That is what I mean when I say we have not done well. “Our mission is to make Nigeria a tourism country, a country where people troop to rather than Nigerians trooping out to different countries in July and August in the name of the summer holiday. Instead of that, we would carry out our holidays within Nigeria in different states. “You know the funny thing. Most Nigerians, except for a few of you in the media that could boast of visiting the majority of the states in Nigeria, many Nigerians have not travelled outside their states. Where they have, it is just maybe Lagos and Abuja. How about the other states? What that means is that you don’t even know about your own country. Many of us have not visited any country in West Africa. So, we must start from making people to be involved in local tourism.” we need to pass this message across. Once we are bale to make Nigeria a tourism country in the breal sense of the word, you can imagine the kind of money that will generate for the country and also the employment opportunities that would create. Tourism employs more than any other industry that you can think of. It creates a lot of jobs and a lot income generation opportunities starting from the souvenir sellers, the cab drivers and so on. So, there is a need for this industry to be made to thrive. It is an industry where the government assistance is very necessary.

Hotelier stresses need for maintenance culture


HE Chairman of Heritage Hotels, Osogbo, Osun State, Chief Jimoh Buraimoh, has said that hotels and hoteliers should embrace maintenance culture in order to stay in the business. Speaking to The Nation in Osogbo, Buraimoh said apart from moving with the trends in the hotel business, it was part of the policy of the hotel to make their customers comfortable. According to him,” my plan is to turn this place around and make it more modern.” Buraimoh disclosed that “when the hotel started, terrazzo was in vogue, but today, the world has moved into marble tiles, cubicle bathroom and plasma television. Therefore,we had no choice than to move with the trend.” He said “the management has modernized the hall in the hotel. Plans are underway to expand the hall in the nearest future. We don’t want people to look at us as if we are stagnant. We are not stagnant. You don’t come here twice and meet the same thing. We keep improving on our facilities. That is why people visiting here from abroad prefer to stay in this hotel.” He further said: “If we do not have a maintenance culture, we would pack up. But we have maintenance culture.” He said some hotels which had been in existence before and after Heritage had faded out,stressing that Heritage was solid and moving with the trends in the industry. He debunked the insinuation in certain quarters that hotel is meant for the rich. He said ”there are different types of services for different classes of people. Therefore, a visitor to the hotel does not have to break banks to get accommodation.” Buraimoh said he was not against paying for good services,adding that he could not understand why some hotels in Osogbo would want to charge their customers as much as what the hotels in Abuja would charge. “To me, this is unfair. Whatever the customers can find in those hotels could be found here. The charges of these hotels have nothing to do with standard.We give quality here,” he said. On his plans for the future, Buraimoh said: “The 60- room hotel will get a modern bar very soon.We shall enlarge the hall that had just been renovated and make our kitchen serve intercontinental dishes.”

•Heritage Hotel

Boeing announces next segment of dreamliner tour Exhibition industry continues to flourish —Report


OEING will conduct the fourth segment of the 787 Dream Tour beginning March 1. Stops will include visits to cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In addition, the Dream Tour airplane, ZA003, will be featured at the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, in late March to kick off the fifth segment of the tour. “During the first three segments of the tour, we’ve had almost 25,000 visitors come through the airplane,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager, 787 programme. “Our customers, partners, employees and the finance and leasing communities have all expressed their delight with the airplane,”he said. The Dream Tour airplane is outfitted with the 787’s special cabin features, including a welcoming entryway, dramatically larger dimmable

windows, bigger bins and dynamic LED lighting. The airplane is configured with a luxurious business-class cabin, an overhead crew rest compartment and an economy class section.Dates and locations for additional tour stops will be announced approximately one month in advance. At many of the stops, local media will have the opportunity to participate in tours of the airplane and discussions with Boeing executives and pilots.


HE Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), in its analysis of the latest data collected for the CEIR Index, reports that overall exhibition industry activity increased by 3.8 per cent from the level one year-ago during the fourth quarter of 2011, and rose by 2.7 per cent for the year 2011 as a whole. After a brief pause in the second quarter of 2011, the growth of the exhibition industry picked up its pace. The industry’s performance continued to surpass real GDP, which only grew by 1.6 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to the final quarter of 2010. The forecast for 2011 was for 2.3 percent industry growth; however, actual growth was 2.7 per cent which is 15 per cent better than forecast. The exhibition industry outperformed GDP for three of the four quarters during 2011 and by one per cent for the year. Since most exhibitions are typically trailing economic indicators, only time will tell if the industry can continue to outperform the

overall economy. CEIR’s economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc., said, “The positive momentum of the exhibition industry, which has experienced six consecutive quarters of growth, gives strong reassurance that the industry has emerged from the economic downturn and is making progress toward recovery.” CEIR Index data for the fourth quarter of 2011 show increases in all four metrics of measurement. The metrics are Net Square Feet (4.2 per cent); Revenue (5.1per cent ); Professional Attendance (3.6 per cent); and Number of Exhibiting Companies (2.4 per cent). The exhibition index showed a year-on-year gain that was 1.1 percentage

points higher than the corresponding figure for the third quarter, from 2.7 per cent in 2011Q3 to 3.8 per cent in 2011Q4. This is an impressive achievement given the fact that the macro economy was still sluggish, with the unemployment rate stuck at a relatively high level of 8.7 per cent. The 2011 CEIR Index will be published this spring and will detail the exhibition industry’s progress, longterm comparisons and predictions for the next three years. CEIR President and CEO Doug Ducate, CEM, CMP, said, “We are very pleased with the results we are seeing. The data continues to show a positive upswing and confirms the prediction of moderate growth made in last year’s Index. This is very positive for the industry and the individual sectors.”







60 News


N6.8m scam: EFCC drags Amobi Nzelu to appeal court Yusuf ALLI


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an appeal against a judgment given by the Federal High Court, Abuja in favour of a lawyer, Mr. Amobi Nzelu, who was tried on a threecount charge of impersonation and criminal misappropriation of N6. 8 million. Nzelu’s ordeal followed a twopage petition authored by the Managing Director of Range Multi Universal Limited, Omulu Charles Chinweuba, dated June 14, 2010 and addressed to the Chairman of the EFCC. The petitioner accused Nzelu of impersonation and fraudulently obtaining N6.850 million by false pretences in the name of the Nigerian Customs Service. He was docked on Monday, January 17, 2011 before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja . But the Federal High Court on February 7, 2012 quashed all the charges against Nzelu on the strength of preliminary objection before the trial process. The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, however, said in a statement yesterday that the commission has filed an appeal against the judgment. The statement said: “In the appeal filed by the prosecution counsel, Barrister Wahab Shittu, ground one of the appeal states that the learned judge wrongly and incorrectly stated the provision of Section 14(1) (a) of the Money Laundering Act 2004 on page 17 of the Ruling. The EFCC also pointed out that the learned judge wrongly constructed the purport and effect of Section 33(2) of the Federal High Court Act stipulating that “All criminal course of matters shall be tried summarily. “ According to the third ground of the appeal, the learned judge erred in law when in constructing the provision of Section 217 of Criminal Procedure Act vis-àvis the plea of not guilty, His lordship held that the Accused “….challenged the charge against him and be deemed to have put himself upon his trial”; while the fourth ground held that the trial judge erred when His Lordship held that ‘The decision I have reached is that the charge dated

11/11/10 is nothing but a gross abuse of the court process. “The EFCC also disagreed with the judge and maintained that the judge erred by holding that the counts in the charge against the accused person were “hollow and lacks any credible materials upon which a prima facie case can be sustained even when those facts are proved against the accused person.

“While seeking the setting aside of the ruling, the EFCC argued that the ruling of the trial judge quashing the charge is wrong against the weight of evidence and the spirit and intendment of 14(1) (a) and 17 of the Money Laundering Act 2004. “The anti-graft agency is therefore praying the appellate court to direct the trial of the accused person by another judge of the

Federal High Court having regard to the prejudicial conclusions on the merits of the case reached by the learned trial judge. “It would be recalled that the petitioner had alleged that sometimes in February 2010, he was introduced to the accused person who claimed to be an agent of the Nigerian Customs, with the understanding that he was in a position to assist in their

business relationship with the Nigeria Customs Service. “Thereafter, we intimated the suspect of our intention to buy/ acquire some containers of goods which he convinced us that he was in a position to help us.

“Our negotiations progressed smoothly and he eventually demanded that we should give him the sum of N6.850 million being the cost of 2 times 40 ft containers,” the petitioner alleged.

We remember you today and always. Three (3) years like yesterday you departed this world. But no day passes by without memory of your fatherly Care and lasting legacy you bestowed on us. You are indeed a father in a million. We miss you greatly! Continue to rest in perfect peace. We miss you but we shall meet on the resurrection day. Fondly remembrance by: Wife, Children grand-children, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins, In-laws, friends & associates.

Chief Macdonald O. B. Omolemen For the family








Adamu loses CAS appeal F

ORMER FIFA official Amos Adamu has lost his appeal against a threeyear ban from football for seeking bribes during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a judgment by FIFA’s Ethics Committee to expel Adamu from football until October 2013. The panel even said the ban “was relatively mild given the


seriousness of the offense.” Adamu was secretly filmed by British undercover reporters asking for $800,000 to influence his World Cup vote. He said the money would pay for artificial pitches in his native Nigeria. The scandal implicated Adamu and five other senior

officials, and plunged FIFA into turmoil weeks before the December 2010 votes. No player has been more synonymous with the glory years of Manchester United Football Club over the past two decades than right-back Gary Neville.

Keshi drops 6 home-based players •16 to battle for 11 spots


UPER EAGLES’ Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, on Thursday night eased 6 players out of the 22 in camp, to their various club sides ahead of this weekend’s Nigerian Premier League games. That effectively rules out the players from those who are likely to make the team for the battle of Kigali , though Keshi said the released players that they will be recalled for two upcoming friendlies being planned by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the month of April. Those released are Henry Uche of Enyimba International, Heartland’s trio of Uche Oguchi, Kingsley Salami and Kabir Umar, Osasco Omoma of Sunshine Stars and Niger United’s Daniel Essien. Keshi said of the dropped players; “it was a painful decision, but it must be done for the sake of the nation and because we have our brothers coming from Europe, but it’s not to say the players are not good, they are very okay and we’ll call upon them soon again when we have friendlies lined up for the national team”. The players have since left camp for the various clubsides and Keshi said he would continue to monitor them for discipline and how regularly they feature for their teams, as that will largely form the basis of their recall to the national team. Meanwhile, the 16 players left

in camp have intensified the battle for shirts in the national camp, with no one showing signs of dropping out for the other inspite of the intensive workouts that the coaching crew has introduced into the training sessions. Veteran journalist and Groups Sports Editor of Vanguard Newspapers, Onochie Anibeze, who watched Friday’s training was so impressed with the players output that he declared that the good days of Nigerian football have returned. “This was how Clemence Westerhof made superstars out of local players and Keshi was one of his generals, I’m happy that he’s towing this line of total rebirth for Nigerian football and the Super Eagles. I’m really excited”, he said. Players Still in Camp: Chigozie Agbim, Okemuteh Odah, Godfrey Oboabona, Juwon Oshaniwa, Papa Idris, Azubuike Egwueke, Gabriel Reuben Uche Ossai, Sunday Mba, Bathlomew Ibenegbu, Barnabas Imenger, Obinna Nwachukwu, Izu Azuka, Ejike Uzoenyi, Solomon Jabason, Uche Kalu.

Hodgson to keep Osaze in Baggies’ attack


EST BROMWICH manager Roy Hodgson says Peter Odemwingie and Marc-Antoine Fortune will continue to be the club’s

Maigari visits Eagles’ camp


IGERIA Football Federation (NFF) President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, was the August visitor to the national team’s camp on Friday to pep up the players ahead of their encounter next Wednesday in Kigali , Rwanda . Maigari, who had earlier heaped praise on the team following their 2-0 win in Liberia , said the battle for



the rebirth of football in the country had just started and that the NFF and indeed the Federal Government and the Nigerian people are solidly behind the team. All entitlements due to players and officials he assured, are fully ready and will be given as and when due, urging the players to be fully focused on the task at hand and win back the confidence of the teeming Nigerian football fans including President Goodluck Jonathan. Head Coach Keshi assured of the team’s readiness, saying he was aware of the expectations of Nigerians and the team will not let the nation down in the battle for places for the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup and the Brazil 2014 World Cup. The NFF President is expected to lead the Nigerian delegation for the match in Kigali and will be joined by some of his board members. The team departs Abuja for Kigali on Monday night via a chartered flight.

starting forwards. Hodgson added that he is predisposed to playing Odemwingie from the right wing, a position from where he hurt Wolves two weeks ago. “He has been quite lively since he’s been back in fulltime training,” Hodgson told the club’s website. “The goals were just the icing on the cake for him. He now has to keep it up for the next 13 games, that’s the most important thing.” Hodgson said Odemwingie was primarily a right-winger when he joined the club last season

from Locomotiv Moscow. “He came to the club as a right-winger so it’s nothing new for him. It is not unusual for him to play there and he did it last year for us on a few occasions,” Hodgson said. Odemwingie, who scored 15 league goals last season and has added seven this term, is expected to do better in his wide role as he seeks more league goals. “If he’s getting enough of the ball then I’m sure he’s happy out there, otherwise he’ll be wanting to move back into the centre,” Hodgson said.

COPA-Coca-Cola & Eaglets Continued from back page having played several years in the domestic league as professionals. The COPA Coca-Cola project is another form of investment devoid of government interference. This is why European football is better developed than ours. The beauty of the COPA Coca-Cola project is the fact that the sponsors, Coca-Cola Nigeria, painstakingly chose those to fish out the boys from the grassroots. The initiative also serves as the best platform of the NFF to have a credible data base for the players’ ages. Indeed, the fact that the COPA Coca-Cola project is targeted at the kids in the schools shows that their ages could be accurate. The benefit of having the kids head for England to train in Chelsea’s facilities raises the stake among those who missed the cut in the last dispensation. It introduces the bigger picture for the kids- playing professional football. Associating with the Chelsea stars they watch weekly will propel them to aspire for greater heights. Back in school, the lucky kids challenge others to improve on their game. It is only in Nigeria that an initiative like the COPA CocaCola, a global brand would be compromised by quota system coaches who must be told that the U-17 category is a developmental platform to discover new kids, not necessarily a win-at-all-cost series. The NFF won’t lose anything if its coaches are integrated into the COPA Coca-Cola team. Why? Simple; other initiatives have failed to check age-cheats because those who run them look forward to the profits arising from exposing age-cheats to European clubs. The COPA Coca-Cola model would certainly not be interested in what comes to it from developmental fees, unlike the other academies that consider this fee as returns on their investments. COPA Coca-Cola ideal is structured in such a way that facilities would be built in six geo-political zones of the country- a noble idea. The NFF should immediately deploy coaches to learn from what is being done there. Whereas COPA Coca-Cola initiators have willingly accepted NFF as partners, others loathe the football house chieftains and perceive them as enemies who want to reap from where they have not sown. Nigerians are tired of watching our age-grade teams become world champions and such feats cannot be repeated at the senior level because we fielded adults as kids. Enough is enough. No Ekeji, no! Patrick Ekeji, the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC) is eminently qualified for the job, given his antecedents as a school kid, an academician, coach and administrator. But my quarrel with Ekeji is that he doesn’t like to be put on the spot. Ekeji likes to listen to himself. If he holds any opinion, nothing changes it, even when the roof is falling on his head. He wants to leave his footprints on the sands of time, but has refused to consider our peculiarities. I subscribe to the idea of not making the 2012 Olympic Games a jamboree. But, I disagree with Ekeji, in stopping athletes who have qualified with wild card system from going to the games. I challenge Ekeji to put his job on the line that Nigeria will win a medal of any shade at the London Olympics. Wild card in swimming and some other sports is the equivalent of a soccer team qualifying for the next round of the World Cup as best losers. I ask Ekeji, in the event that Super Eagles qualifies for the next stage of the 2014 World Cup as best losers with the next fixture against Spain, will he suggest that the Eagles pull out of the game simply because they stand no chance against the Spaniards? Doesn’t he know that upsets are the hallmarks of competitions? Have we not seen Argentina play up to the finals of the senior World Cup as lucky losers? Please, Ekeji, let the swimmers go to the Olympics. Shouldn’t Ekeji be proud that the swimmers got the wild card for an event that the NSC treats with levity? Is this not the best chance to reinvigorate our swimming? Ekeji, your argument against the swimmers is warp. Wild system is another way some international federations encourage catchment countries such as Nigeria to develop the sports. After all, what is the spirit of participating in the Olympics sir? Larry Izamoje at 50 Today, Nigeria’s quintessential print and electronic media guru Larry Izamoje is 50. A young man many would say. But his achievements in the sports industry could compel others to say he is 70. This permutation has shown that Izamoje would attain the age of 70 and we all say why not 100 years? As we celebrate an icon today, my sights would on Izamoje’s wife Bridget and of course his kids. This is certainly their best day and who would blame. Big Larry, welcome to the world of 50s.

•Janet Oladunni Awoeyo (r) and Kayode Samson Alao on their wedding at Rhema Chapel Church, Lagos today.



But for how long are we going to continue to sustain people who are consuming unproductively in government? The President should forget this idea and let Nigerians have the value for the hefty sums that we are spending to keep our public officials —Tunji Adegboyega


AGOS, Nigeria’s economic capital and West Africa’s commercial hub has certainly come a long way from those days when she was routinely described as one of the dirtiest and ugliest cities in Africa. In fact, if I can remember correctly, the narrator in Professor Wole Soyinka’s devastating musical critique of the debauchery of the Second Republic, ‘Unlimited Liability Company’, recognized he was overflying the country’s airspace by the skyscrapers of rotting waste that defined the landscape of Lagos. But then, that was another era. Building with characteristic efficiency on the foundation laid by his immediate predecessor, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has clearly elevated Lagos to new heights of environmental excellence. Environmental regeneration and renewal is clearly one of the strongest points of the Fashola Administration. Indeed, so passionate was Fashola about the clearing and beautification of open spaces at the inception of his government that some of his political detractors derisively asked if he expected unemployed and hungry people to eat flowers! In the various debates that preceded the last general elections, Fashola’s opponents repeatedly queried his government’s expenditure on beautification and tree planting suggesting that such funds could be better utilized on more useful and less elitist ventures. His emphatic victory at the polls was, however, an indication that the majority of the electorate was not swayed by such populist posturing and identified with their governor’s vision of a liveable and sustainable environment. The destruction of lives and property attendant on the unprecedentedly heavy rainfall of July 10, 2011, in Lagos surely vindicated Fashola’s insistence all along that enhancing the beauty and safety of the environment is not simply a matter of aesthetic fancy. A well managed environment can indeed make the difference between life and death for a given community. But for the massive clearing and expansion of drainage channels across the state as well as the rigorous even if sometimes unpopular enforcement of environmental sanitation laws by the administration, the havoc wrought by last year’s flood could have been more devastating. Warning that this year’s rains are likely to be far heavier than experienced last year, Fashola and his Environment Commissioner, Tunji Bello, have been working round the clock taking pre-emptive measures to minimize the dangers associated with flooding this year. Drainage channels are being massively cleared in flood prone areas, hundreds of vulnerable schools have been de-flooded, tree plant-

Why the environment matters Indeed, so ‘ passionate was


ing has been intensified across the state and illegal structures blocking drainage channels are being removed. Already, a foretaste of the heavy rains to come was experienced on the 13th of this month when heavy down pour accompanied by fierce storm caused devastation in different parts of Lagos including Yaba, Okota, Lekki Phase1, Ijesha, Festac Town, Okokomaiko, Ebute-Metta, Sabo and Obalende among other areas. Disturbed at the phenomenon, the Lagos State House of Assembly summoned the Environment Commissioner who explained that his Ministry had been aggressively educating the populace to desist from such environmentally harmful habits as indiscriminate felling of trees and deforestation, bush burning, discharge of spent oil into drainage channels, dumping of refuse into drainage channels and water bodies, as well as illegal constructions on drainage channels

Fashola about the clearing and beautification of open spaces at the inception of his government that some of his political detractors derisively asked if he expected unemployed and hungry people to eat flowers!

and alignments. Perhaps the Lagos State Government and especially the Ministry of the Environment must seriously consider re-structuring and re-orientating the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) outfit from its present preoccupation with apprehending and punishing offenders. Rather, KAI can become an agency that places premium on educating the citizenry positively and making them see the necessity of avoiding such negative practices as defecating and urinating in the open, street trading, trampling on green areas, or construction of sheds and mechanic workshops on highways. Interestingly, Lagos is served by a network of drainage channels that reveal so much about the foresight and professionalism of those who conceived, designed and constructed them over the years. For example, System 5 channel is the biggest among the six designed for Lagos Mainland in the 1974 master plan. This 16 Km long channel starts from Tejuosho and

spans Jibowu, Gbaja, Akerele, Alhaji Masha, Coker, Orile, Iganmu, Ajegunle and Apapa up to Tin Can Island. In a similar vein, System II channel, which measures 10Km begins from Onipanu and runs through Bajulaiye to the University of Lagos and across five Local Government Areas including Lagos Mainland, Bariga, Kosofe and some parts of Mushin. Ah! I recall with nostalgia the late Engineer Olubunmi Santos, Permanent Secretary of the Office of Drainage Services, who had all drainage channels in Lagos ingrained in his capacious brain! The present occupant of that office, Engineeer Akinsanya, is another mobile Encyclopaedia of Lagos drainage channels. Dear reader, amid the rot of contemporary Nigeria, there are still many competent and dedicated professionals quietly offering unstinted public service. A little over a year after he assumed office, Governor Fashola undertook an extensive inspection of the various collector drains on Victoria Island. These are located on Ozumba Mbadiwe road, Itirin canal near UAC properties, Ligali Ayorinde Street, Kayode Akingbade Close, Oko Awo Street and Louis Solomon Close among others. It is an intricate network that ordinarily should shield Victoria Island from floods but for the gross indiscipline of our elite. On that occasion Fashola lamented: “What we are seeing from Aboyade Close to Prince Akinkugbe Close to Karim Kotun even up to Solomon Close and Ahmed Onibudo is that people have simply abused the canals and drains. I think our elite must realize that this kind of life style is certainly not sustainable”. Under Fashola, the annual Lagos State international Summit on Climate Change has become one of the most important fora in the world for discussing and seeking solutions to a problem with serious consequences for the future of the human race. Justifying the role of Lagos in this regard, the governor said “Obviously, the motive for Lagos State’s leading role in addressing Climate Change is not far -fetched. Given its topography, it is highly prone to some of the vagaries of climate change especially flooding and coastal erosion”. But then, how does the administration communicate the highly specialized, scientific concepts of climate change and global warming into everyday language that the common man can understand? How do we communicate effectively so that people will understand that planting a tree or flower cleanses the air, increases oxygen, reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and thus helps mitigate the global warming that causes the sea level to rise and makes a state like Lagos vulnerable to flooding?

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

COPA-Coca-Cola & Eaglets


S Golden Eaglets chief coach Garba Manu still at work? Where is the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) when the coach is suggesting- ridiculously- that we need to recruit in Europe young boys to play for Nigeria? Manu should be fired. Yes; he should. Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi hinted at a forum in Lagos that 63 million youths are eager to burn their energies usefully and he felt strongly that sports could provide the platform, if managed properly, devoid of selfish interests. Abdullahi reckoned that the 63 million youths are about three times the population of Ghana, hence the need to ask Manu why he must head to Europe to pick his boys. I don’t want to believe that the NFF would

approve the European trip, not when we have the COPA Coca-Cola initiative that has discovered enough boys to graduate into the Golden Eaglets. No country develops its game from outside. If there are Nigerian kids outside our shores, they should be prepared to come home to prove their mettle. Sometimes, I wonder if coaches truly know their onions. Over time, we have been insulted by those overseas, many of whom have rejected calls to play for their fatherland on grounds of orientation and culture. These Nigerians in the Diaspora have never been here before and would rather grow with their peers than acquire new friends. There is the culture shock and, of course, the difficulty in eating our food. My biggest worry with this trip to Europe is that our coaches have this mercantile mentality of being players’ scouts. This

makes it difficult for them to be fair in selections since they would always favour their wards. Overseas’ trips provide the opening for coaches to perfect their dubious plans with shylock agents looking for cheap talents to sell into slavery. Have we asked what became of all the late Yemi Tella’s boys who gave us the U-17 World Cup in 2007? They are lost in the transfer markets- no thanks to these shylock agents. Such criminality happens because these boys don’t know their rights and their socalled players’ unions don’t appreciate the enormity of the platform that they hold in trust for others. But with the COPA Coca-Cola project, it would be easy to free the kids from slavery because their data would serve as evidence to seek justice through the Federation of International Football

Associations (FIFA). Manu’s suggestion to head for Europe in search of talents is the usual Nigerian coach’s way of corrupting a system that would expose their inadequacies as a tactician. They do this always because they want to field age-cheats and would do less work since the advantage of parading adults as kids would sway victory in our direction. These coaches cheat because they have seen their predecessors reap bountifully from the government’s largesse. Even parents aid this cheating. In other climes, age-grade teams are rewarded with scholarships, bonds from the stock exchange, not cars, houses and huge cash like we do here. This is the chief reason why we always cheat in age-grade competitions. We parade adults who know the value of money. Tell me, what would a 16-year-old kid do with N2 million? A few would argue that he would give it to his parents. But most times these adults are already bread winners in their families, •Continued on Page 63

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The Nation February 25, 2012  

The Nation February 25, 2012

The Nation February 25, 2012  

The Nation February 25, 2012