Issuu on Google+

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

THE BIG PROTEST

Union leader jailed in Enugu Protest turns violent in Kogi Activist Sani defies Kaduna curfew Ibadan PHCN office razed Govt to deal with violent protesters Rallies resume in Kano Nigeria loses N82b daily to strike, says LCCI Analysis Pro-subsidy removal rally in Yenagoa SEE PAGES 2-8 & 58-63

www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 2002 THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE)

ACN senators attacked in Ibadan

F

OUR Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senators had a bad experience with hoodlums posing as anti-petrol subsidy removal protesters yesterday. Senators Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central); Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central); Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) and Babajide Omoworare (Osun East) were travelling by road from Lagos to Abuja in a convoy of vehicles. They could not travel by air due to the ongoing strike. In Ibadan, they were attacked by the hoodlums, who extorted money from them, smashed their vehicles and turned them back to Lagos. The youths, who claimed to be jobless and hungry, threatened to “deal” with them, if they refused to give them money, the senators said they brandished dangerous weapons, including cutlasses, broken bottles and knives. For some minutes, the senators were held to ransom. They were eventually allowed to go back to Lagos. Narrating their ordeal, the senators complained that the system had broken down. Senator Tinubu said: “We were trapped in Lagos since Sunday. We could not fly

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

to Abuja because of the strike. “But we need to make our contributions on the floor of the Senate. So, we decided to leave for Abuja by road. At Ibadan, we were stopped by youths who complained to us that they were hungry and jobless and that they wanted the petrol subsidy issue to be addressed. They also demanded for money. They said they would want to see the money we were carrying.” She added: “They have lost faith in the system. The President has no time frame for what he intends to do. It is promises upon promises.” Ojudu warned that a revolution was fast approaching. He urged the President to avert the calamity by doing the wish of the people. He said: “We ran into protesters. Before we could introduce ourselves, they pounced on our vehicles. The experience of today at Ibadan points to the fact that a revolution is looming. “What we experienced today was the magnitude of the anger by Nigerians. They are angry at the system. This can spark off a revolution. The youths were saying they are jobless, they are unhappy. They smashed our

•TOP: One of the vehicles ... last night •From left: Senators Ashafa, Ojudu, Tinubu and Omoworare ... last night PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Continued on page 61

Mark, Tambuwal lead peace team to Jonathan Govt: no talks unless strike stops NLC: it’s N65 or nothing

L

•Omar ... yesterday

EGISLATORS were planning last night a peace mission to the President this morning. The team, which will be led by Senate President David Mark, will comprise all principal officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, including Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. From each of the chambers will come 10 representatives. They will together advise President Goodluck Jonathan that “it’s time to end the cri-

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

sis”, a source told The Nation last night. President Jonathan will be told to consider the agitation of Nigerians that petrol price should be rolled back to N65 per litre to pave the way for dialogue with Labour. Workers have been on strike since Monday over the New Year’s Day’s sudden withdrawal of fuel subsidy,

which raised petrol price to between N138 and N200 per litre, up from N65. Businesses are paralysed, with airports and seaports shut. A meeting held by the Senate leadership, which was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, and Labour Minister Emeka Wogu failed to restore the deadlock. “Labour was told to call off the strike, but Labour leaders refused,

saying they needed to take “something” away from the struggle. The government team stressed that they had no instruction to promise “anything”. “So, the meeting achieved little,” a source said. Another meeting expected to resolve the crisis failed last night in Abuja. Continued on page 2


2

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE)

F

OR the third day running, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was grounded yesterday by street protests, which got bigger. The strike also assumed a new direction, with workers marching from Julius Berger Roundabout to Obafemi Awolowo Way (along Utako and Jabi axis) and the long stretch of Berger-Nnamdi Azikiwe Way to Area 1. Besides, the rich and their wives joined the action, providing free food, drinks and cold water for the protesters. Civil servants rebuffed the “no work, no pay” directive of the Federal Government by staying away from their offices. Instead, they joined the protesters around two major highways in Abuja. Altogether, the protesters trekked about 20 kilometres, singing as they marched. A major highlight of the strike was a beautiful display by a group of power bike riders, who were led by the artiste, Charly Boy. When the march was halted at about 1.47pm at Area 1 Roundabout, both Muslims and Christians came together to observe the Zuhr prayers for the liberation of Nigeria. Addressing the protesters, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, said the strike would not be called off, if petrol price is not returned to N65 per litre. He said: “We are the true children of our parents. They said we will be tired. Are we tired? No. What is our message to Nigerian government? Go back to N65. “On N65 we stand, no matter, whatever happens. They have been calling us propagandists. They said they brought in thugs to come and clash with us. “But I wonder which thug is going to clash with this crowd. So, I want to appeal to us that as we are marching, we will not touch anybody. We must be law-abiding.” Omar told reporters that

We may shut down oil installations, says NLC President From Yusuf Alli, John Ofikhenua ready to back out. I do hope and Gbenga Adanikin, Abuja that it is not going to be a long

labour might shut down oil installations, if the strike gets to the “extreme”. The NLC President said: “Let me tell you how we work. We are also very patriotic Nigerians. We do these things in stages. Our intention is not to cripple the economy or to bring further hardship to Nigerians. “The oil installations are the last things we will tamper with because of the technicalities involved. It is only when this thing becomes protracted that we will do that. We know that (oil) is the livewire of Nigeria where you produce 2.2 million barrels of oil per day. And by the nature of these installations, if you shut down an oil well that produces about 200, 000 barrels per day, it will take at least four months before you can get it back to normalcy. It is only when it gets to the extreme, that government is not ready to listen, that we will also close our eyes to do that.” He expressed regrets that the government has not listened to Nigerians. Omar added: “But government must come back and respect our own view. The whole world is watching and it is behind us. “What we are saying is that ‘no to the removal of fuel subsidy, and what Nigerians want is a reversal. We in the organised labour and civil society coalition have given the government a new way out by saying that ‘reverse’ and we would stop this protest. And we will go back and see how we can discuss the entire thing about the removal of the fuel subsidy, what is doable and what is not doable. “Unfortunately, it appears the government, despite the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, is not ready to back out of the removal and Nigerians have agreed and are not

jump strike between the government and the people on the other side. “I do not know how the government feels, but if truly we are in a democracy where the majority of the people are talking. I believe this government should listen. I have challenged the government in the past, if they think this is a popular policy, let them subject it to a popular referendum so that Nigerians will really determine whether or not the subsidy will be removed or not.” On what labour discussed with the Senate leadership, Omar said: “It is just a discussion because they want to intervene. The onus is on the executive and not the legislature. What they are doing is to intervene; and not that we are dialoguing with them to agree or disagree. On the casualties, the NLC President said: “We are addressing the issue. We are asking our lawyers to do some work to see the possibility of filing a case against the Nigerian state and the Nigerian Police in the International Court of Justice regarding these casualties. I can’t tell you the number of casualties so far, but I know of five in Kano, three in Lagos, two in Oyo and one in Kaduna. I think they are about 12. It is really unfortunate.” Concerning the no work, no pay directive, Omar said: “That is secondary to us. We are going to address it later, but the primary thing is that let government revert back to N65.” The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele, urged protesters not to provoke the military into coming out to settle the row. Esele said recourse to violence could lead to the military and the police coming out to

Policeman killed, houses, cars burnt in Minna

T

HE petrol price protest turned violent in Minna, the Niger State capital, yesterday. A policeman was killed, houses and offices, including that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were razed down. Soldiers were drafted to the streets and Governor Babangida Aliyu declared a curfew in the state. A team of soldiers was deployed in the Government House. The major roads leading to the governor’s residence were manned by a combined team of soldiers, policemen and State Security Service (SSS) operatives. In what looked like an organised action, youths in various sections of the town, as early 8:00 am, blocked the major roads. Another group gathered at Mobil, the heart of Minna. Governor Aliyu’s Campaign Secretariat on fire. But for the intervention of policemen, who quickly mobilised to put the fire under check, the Governor’s campaign office would have been razed down. A policeman was injured in the course of putting out the fire. The mob invaded a popular privately-owned bakery

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

in Tunga, carting away loaves of bread before vandalising the bakery. The hoodlums also torched the law firm of the Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Tanko Beji, on Bosso Road. The newly built Muritala Mohammed Amusement Park on the same road was vandalised. The residence of Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character was spared by the timely intervention of his neighbours, but two cars and a motorcycle parked in front of the house were burnt. Also torched by the hoodlums was the constituency office of Hon. Jumai JafaruMariga on Bosso Road, near the Park. The irate youths also destroyed the beautification project going on at Onigbinde Roundabout. Some cars were also destroyed at Kpakungu. At about 11 am, gun shots rang out on Bosso Road- a stone throw to the Government House. Gun shots were

reported in Chanchaga and Kpakungu. The hoodlums also barred people from moving around. They insisted that people should stay indoors. The development stalled the state executive council meeting. Some of the irate youths said their action was informed by the radio and television announcement of the Head of Service, Ibrahim Matane, directing civil servants to return to work. “It was wrong for the Head of Service to direct people to go to work. We are not going to allow anybody to go to work, until Jonathan reverts the pump price to N65 per litre,” one said. The State Government condemned the wanton destruction of public and private property. A statement by Commissioner for the Environment and Solid Minerals Development Abubakar Baba Jibreel said: “It is an irony that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that is on strike to press for improved welfare condition of the general public will encourage miscreants to destroy structures that have been put in place to also promote the wellbeing of the Continued on page 3

protect lives and property. He said: “If you destroy anything, Army will come out, police will come out. We will not be able to go round. It has happened in Benin, Kano and Kaduna. We want to own the street. They almost broke the windscreen of one of us. Please, don’t do that so that they don’t come and attack us. “So if you want your life to be better so take your destiny in your hand. We must behave in a very civilized manner. You see this crowd, we have over 100,000 people. “Now we have telephones that are missing and people will see the phone and bring them here. That shows that Nigerians are not thieves. So, if your phone is missing people will see it and will bring it here. That shows that we are one. “See, poverty does not know Christians, poverty does not know Muslims. Don’t beat anybody because he is a Muslim. Don’t beat anybody because he is a Christian. That shows that we are one indivisible Nigeria. We are one Nigeria.” The Vice-President of the NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu, urged the President to avoid desperate measures. According to him, “desperation” will confirm that there is a crisis of governance.

•Protesters in Ojota, Lagos Mainland ... yesterday

Mark, Tambuwal lead peace team to Jonathan Continued from page 1

The Federal Government and organised labour could not find a common ground on the issue. The meeting, which took place at the National Assembly, was brokered by the Patrick Ikhariale – headed House of Representatives ad hoc committee set up to mediate between the government and labour. Labour said it would not call off the three-day old national strike, unless the government reverts to N65 per litre. The government demanded that labour should get workers off the streets for talks to begin. The event became dramatic when, a few minutes into the meeting, Anyim, with whom were Nwogu and former Chief Justice of Nigeria Alfa Belgore, said the agenda of the meeting had changed. Anyim said as he was sitting at the meeting, he received a text message stating that the protest had spiralled into arson. Anyim said though he was sure that labour leaders may not have had a hand in the violence, they provided a platform for it. “I think the agenda for the meeting has changed. The mayhem carried out in Niger State and other parts of the country suggested that although labour provided the platform for the protests and violence, the whole issue has gone beyond labour. We should respect the sanctity of lives. The socio-political environment must be calm before any meaningful dialogue can take place. Whatever may be done can only be done in an atmosphere of peace,” he said.

The SGF asked that labour should denounce those committing the violent acts, call off the strike and the government will be willing to dialogue. Nwogu, who also spoke in line with the SGF’s position, said: “Labour leaders do not condone this type of violence. So, it’s clear that other people are taking advantage to cause mayhem. Labour should denounce it so that the real talks can begin.” Abdulwaheed Omar, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said they were going to stand by the resolutions of the House of Representatives, which states that the Federal Government should halt the removal of subsidy and dialogue with labour. “We believe in Nigeria and there’s no other place we can call our own. We take the resolution of the House as that of labour. Labour has never shifted ground on the issue. Reverse and we call off or nothing.” He said there would be no concession on Labour’s position. “Our understanding is that we revert to the status quo and then let’s come up with a price that Nigerians will be able to live with. We take hook, line and sinker the resolutions of the House and

We believe in Nigeria and there’s no other place we can call our own. We take the resolution of the House as that of labour. Labour has never shifted ground on the issue. Reverse and we call off or nothing.

•Tambuwal

we hope you impress it on the President so that we can move forward.” Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Peter Esele said though labour does not condone violence, sometimes members of the Executive are the ones making inflammatory statements that incite the ordinary Nigerian on the street. He criticised the Minister for saying that the Federal Government cannot be swayed by street protests. The chairman of the government’s team, Belgore, in his opening speech, said in 2008 there were predictions that Nigeria would disintegrate. There is also another prediction for 2015, he said. The former Chief Justice went on: “I am always afraid of strikes and protests because hoodlums will take over and start killing people and anything can happen. Government has taken this step, which many people don’t like, including lawmakers. The House easily has just removed it. Please, let’s think of the country Nigeria first. Let’s negotiate; let’s look for a middle way.” Ikheriale said it was necessary for the two parties to arrive at a midpoint by softening their hard stances for the sake of the country.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

3

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE) Govt to deal with violent protesters, treasonable critics

A

S the nationwide strike gathers more steam, the Federal Government yesterday threatened to deal with protesters who engaged in arson. Those making unguarded statements to overwhelm the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan will not be spared, AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke (SAN) said yesterday. In a statement, Adoke said: “It has come to the attention of the government that some persons or group of persons are perpetuating criminal activities under the guise of participating in the on-going demonstration against the subsidy removal

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

policy of the government. “Since the demonstration began on Monday, 9th January 2012, these persons have among other things engaged in arson, wanton destruction of lives and property, as well as making unguarded statements bordering on treason with a view to overwhelming the government. “As a result, several state governors have imposed curfew in their respective states in order to prevent further breakdown of law and order. “While government recognises the right of Nigerians to peaceful demonstration, it will not fold its arms or stand

idly by while the current situation deteriorates into a state of general insecurity. “Henceforth, government will not hesitate to bring to bear the full weight of the law on erring persons or group of persons howsoever called that engage in any act that threatens the peace and stability of the country or its corporate existence. “Government reiterates its earlier position that those who have genuine grievances as a result of the implementation of the fuel subsidy removal should express such grievances within the confines of the law and dispute resolution mechanisms as established by law.”

Policeman killed, houses, cars burnt in Minna Continued from page 2

PHOTO: AFP

same public.” But the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Yahaya Ndako, dissociated the union from the activities of the hoodlums. In a telephone interview, Ndako said: “The congress is not and cannot support the wanton destruction going on now in the state capital. We are not party to it. Our action was and is still a peaceful protest and not looting, burning and destruction of public and private property.” A Police Inspector attached to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Minna was killed by the

hoodlums who invaded and burnt the office complex of the electoral body. Eye witnesses said the slain policeman was attacked while trying to appeal to the hoodlums not to take laws into their hands and that they should go about their protest peacefully. His entreaty did not go down well with the mob who pounced on him and rained stones on him till he died. The irate youths also burnt 10 cars and smashed windscreen of 15 Hilux Pick-up trucks packed in the INEC premises. Police spokesman Richard Oguche said: “It is true we lost

one Inspector to the hoodlums at INEC. For now, I don’t know and I cannot give details of victims. All I know is that we lost one Inspector at INEC office.” Another group of hoodlums stormed the Minna office of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Old Airport Road. They burnt eight vehicles and attacked the neighboring office complex of the Niger State Development Company. Reports from Bosso in Bosso Local Government Area also said the house of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Mr. James Bitachi, was vandalised.

Day Three: Protests increasingly difficult to control

T

HE crowd of protesters in Lagos on Day Three grew to an unmanageable size. The Gani Fawehinmi Park, which has been renamed Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park by protesters, is no longer able to contain the crowd. The question of the protests weakening is no longer an issue in all of Southwest, Northwest, Northeast, North Central and some parts of the South-South. In fact, the fear is that the protest has become a tinderbox barely kept in check by the thinnest of margins, a movement that is fast acquiring its own momentum, as Minna, Kano and Kaduna showed, and a protest now quite capable of spiralling rapidly out of the control of both the organisers and the government itself, if a resolution is not found quickly. While protesters have made up their minds to keep occupying the Gani Park, in a symbolic gesture of Occupying Nigeria, the dominant message of the protest is yet to be resolved between compelling Jonathan to revert fuel price to N65/ litre and forcing him to either resign or be impeached. The organisers are still battling to control the restive crowd and to ensure that some sort of peace is achieved in the immediate environments of the rallies and on the streets. They may soon have little or no control over what the final objective of the protests should be: whether to stop at price reversal or, like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria, to ask for the overthrow of the Jonathan government. It was somewhat resolved yesterday that in the next two days, the struggle and the message could shift gear from price reversal to probably impeaching the government. To underscore this impending shift, a mock trial of Jonathan was twice held in the early part of the rally in Lagos. Naturally, the president was found guilty and the National Assembly was directed to begin impeachment proceedings. But the protests would be fortunate if they are able to achieve a smooth transition from subsidy reversal to impeachment. So far, however, the

NEWS ANALYSIS By Kunle Fagbemi

pro-impeachment group has not been able to override the subsidy reversal group; but there is nothing to say that that cannot be done given the very fluid and explosive contexts in which the protests are being conducted. Much more than the first two days, entertainment has become even more central to the success and stability of the protests. But unlike the first two days when Fela’s protest music dominated the airwaves in the Lagos rally, there was an assertive shift to the more contemporary musical genres of hip-hop and its subset of rap, and funky Afro/ juju. Each musician who mounted the congested platform to address the protesters made improvised adaptation of his great hits to suit the demands of the moment. Femi Kuti swept the crowd again. Funky Mallam attempted an ensemble. Then there were Shina Peters, Dele Taiwo, Wale Thompson, Orits Williki and a host of other musicians who thrilled the crowd and kept them panting for more. Money couldn’t buy these. It was hard to tell who wanted whom the more: the musicians, some of whom had been mothballed, in a manner of speaking, or the protesters who by their age range, social standing and cultural disposition apparently felt drawn to the rally ground both to be entertained and to vent their anger against a most absurd economic policy. But anyway, both groups met each other again on Day Three and were satisfied that their goals were met. They will return tomorrow, perhaps in greater number than had attended the first three days, and perhaps, too, more impatient, more resentful, and more prone to mistakes and explosion. It is also likely that both the organisers and the government may be running out of patience, and either could pull the trigger. The reason for impatience is

simple. Majority of those who throng the rallies seem to be selfemployed daily workers: they are unlikely to have financial reserves that would last for more than a few days more. In the coming days, they will be hard put to fend for their immediate and family needs. On the other divide, the government will be under pressure to resolve the matter one way or the other, for the economic loss the country is sustaining runs into hundreds of billions each day. Alarmingly, it is beginning to appear that the Jonathan government is losing composure, and is as capable of acting irrationally as it has acted lethargically on many other grave national issues. It is difficult to predict which way the president’s cat will jump. That the crisis has lasted so far, and that there is this sort of crisis in the first instance, is both a reflection of the president’s apparent lack of leadership skills and the dismal composition of his corps of advisers. If the president and his aides had the expertise required to build scenarios, if there were thorough debates in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and not ministers secondguessing him before making contributions, the country would not be in this pass nor be facing the gravest threat to its survival since amalgamation. The more the self-made crisis endures, the less likely Jonathan will make a rational decision on the matter. He didn’t make a rational decision on Boko Haram, for that nuisance was left unattended to for much longer than was reasonable; there is now nothing to give the country confidence that he would find a sensible solution to the worsening subsidy crisis. But it is not only government and protesters that are under pressure. Most parts of the Southeast and some parts of the South-South states, citing commercial reasons and financial pressures, have repudiated the NLC/TUC call for national strike action or even protest. If there is any semblance of strike in those areas, it is kept alive by the banks and government offices which have

so far refused to open. The moment they open, the strike would collapse in those regions completely. The protests will continue in Abuja tomorrow because the NLC and TUC have said that they would be doomed by surrender, not only economically, but also in terms of their credibility. Dino Melaye, a former House of Representatives member, is still working the crowd and regaling them with his improvised musical pieces and intuitive appeal to Abuja protesters’ unusual tastes. The NLC leader himself, Abdulwaheed Omar, has kept his nerve in the face of the relentless intimidation by Abuja’s stifling security system. Indeed, by Abuja standard, the crowd of protesters in the NLC/TUC rallies is impressive and courageous. The Lagos rallies, as this analysis noted yesterday, are unlikely to flag any time soon. Not only have they splintered into three dominant cells and many other small and autonomous cells, they have enjoyed tremendous patronage and made highly creative additions to protest psychology. For instance, the Day Three major rally which took place at Gani Park saw the presence of a host of comedians who gave brilliant performances. Klint the Drunk was there as ribald as ever; and so were Princess, Toyin, and Basket Mouth, among many others. They gave priceless shows, as it were, under one roof, which no audience anywhere in Nigeria outside protest rallies is likely to get again in a long time. Their repertoires were unassailable and impeccable. The platform itself was star-studded. Apart from musicians, comedians and popular Nollywood actors, many top and respected religious figures and professionals came calling to lend support, promising they would accompany the protests to the ends of the earth, or something like it. There was the Chief Missioner of the Ansar-udDeen Society of Nigeria who spoke eloquently, knowledgeably and passionately about the protests and government intrigues. Representa-

•Dr Jonathan

tives of the Nigerian Medical Association and Nigerian Bar Association also came. All of them became instant troubadours. Protesters will expect something new tomorrow, and interestingly, top Nigerians in religion, politics, culture and entertainment will also come to ‘mark the register’ of attendance. It is, however, not only the curiosity about which groups or persons will come tomorrow to stir or entertain the crowd that will be uppermost in every mind; the greater apprehension will be how the protest will finally play out – peacefully or violently, successfully or otherwise. The troika of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and Diezani Alison-Madueke would of course hope for a peaceful end, though hopes of that are fading with the curfews imposed in many states. The three not only stuck their necks too far out for the hated measure, they have also been demonised to the bargain. Everyone knows that being demonised in Nigeria carries its own special risks, as the unforgiving Southwest can testify. The first three days have been spectacular; tomorrow is unlikely to be different except in terms of the possible danger such a large crowd relentlessly inflamed against Jonathan’s subsidy policy constitutes.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

4

NEWS THE PROTEST (DAY THREE) NEWBIG YEAR MESSAGES

Civil disobedience likely, say protesters P

ROTESTERS yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to promote civil disobedience over his refusal to return fuel subsidy. Aggrieved Nigerians trooped to the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos. Speaking at the protest venue, Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) Pastor Tunde Bakare, who hailed the dedication and resilience of the crowd, enjoined them not to relent. He said only an insensitive government would ignore the people. Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) chieftain Dipo Famakinwa berated Jonathan for ignoring the people, saying he had lost legitimacy to continue in office. Foremost fuji musician Alhaji Saheed Osupa, and comedian, Babatunde Omidina, said the liberation of the poor was near. Osupa said any government that fails to listen to the people would crash. Many Lagosians trekked several kilometres to participate in the protest, carrying placards with several inscriptions and chanting anti-government slogans. Among the protesters were university teachers, doctors, lawyers, members of other professions and children. The protest was not limited to the Park. In Adekunle, Yaba, the police clashed with protesting youths on their way to Ojota. The youths, who sustained injuries, were rushed to the hospitals. Around 3.pm, normalcy returned to the place, following the intervention of community elders who brokered peace between

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

the youths and police. In Ikorodu, irate youths barricaded the roads from 8 am, turning commuters back. Around Agric Bus Stop, there was a clash between protesters and motorcyclists plying the Mile 12/Ikorodu road. Around 9 am, police restored peace. In Ogba, youths held a peaceful procession in honour of Ademola Abiodun, the man allegedly killed by a Divisional Police Officer (DPO),. They demanded the prosecution of the policeman and compensation for the bereaved family. Speakers at the Ojota rally berated the president and warned him not to push the country into civil disobedience. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Isiaka Adekunle-Ibrahim, advised the President to revert to N65. He said the protest might snowball into a revolution. Adekunle-Ibrahim said: “Nigerians have rejected the IMF and World Bank ambassadors in government. Let them go and fix the economies of American and European countries that are nose-diving. If anybody wants to resign as Finance Minister, we have a million experts ready to serve in that capacity. A tree does not make a forest. Why should the President obey just a single individual and ultimately disobey 180 million Nigerians? Subsidy removal is a disaster because they will only have more money to embezzle at the expense of development”. Lagos lawyer Femi Falana advised

the President to be prudent with the country’s resources. Ace television presenter, Funmi Iyanda, said there was no justification to increase fuel price. The Chairman of Coalition of Oodua Self-Determination Groups (COSEG), Dayo Ogunlana, urged labour and civil society organisations to fight the battle to the end in the interest of the masses. He said: “We reject the arbitrary decision to remove fuel subsidy. it is callous, it is inhuman, it is reckless, it is wicked.” COSEG Secretary, Rasak Olokoba, said: “Never will any government take Nigerians for a ride again. I urge labour, students, civil societies, other professionals, artisans and peasants to resist this injustice to the end.” In a statement, the family of the late Afenifere leader, Senator Abraham Adesanya, decried the fuel price hike, saying it is an unnecessary punishment for the masses. His first son, Adebayo, who signed the statement, said: “The government should have tackled the cabals and saboteurs who did not allow the refineries to work, instead of transferring the punishment to the masses.” House of Representatives member Opeyemi Bamidele , in a statement, condemned the act of brutality against protesters by police. He added: “It is sad that the man people protested to get to office as the Acting President has turned against them.”

•LAGOS: From left: Adegunwa, Shafi'I, Ahmad, Shuaib, Adangba, AbdurRaheem, Badrudeen and others.... yesterday PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

•ABUJA- Minister of Labour and Producitivity Emeka Wogu, TUC President Peter Esele and SSG Anyim Pius Anyim after a meeing on petrol subsidy removal.... yesterday PHOTO: NAN

Clerics, dons lead Muslim protesters A HUGE crowd of Islam’s faithful yesterday took Lagosian and security agencies by surprise as they joined in the protest against the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government. Forming a queue that stretched from Fadeyi to Jibowu, they chanted the various names of Allah. The Muslims, who filed out under the auspices of the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), marched from Jibowu bus stop to Ojota. They were led by the National Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria (ADS) Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad; Mufti of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’I; Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) Dr Is-haq Akintola; National Missioner Fatiu Quareeb Society of Nigeria Sheikh AbdurRahman Adangba; Dr Abdul Wasii Gabadeen; Dr Ismail Bidmus; Imam Abdullahi Shuaib; Amir The Muslim Congress (TMC) Luqman AbdurRaheem; Amir Muslim Stu-

T

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

dents’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit, Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen; Chairman Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation Prince Sulayman Olagunju; Cordinator Al-Mu’minaat Social Advocacy Programme Hajia Sherifah Ajibade-Yusuf and National Amirah Hajia Munirat Salith. The crowd was received by the Pastor Tunde Bakare-led Save Nigeria Group (SNG) at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos. Sheikh Ahmad urged President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind the policy. Religious leaders, he said, decided to join the struggle to show their discomfort with the hardship foisted on Nigerians by the government. “Nigeria is what it is today because we have been silent for too long. Our patience seems to have no elastic limit; this is the time to define the limit of our patience and tolerance.

“Let Mr President know that this is the beginning, we are going to come out in more numbers during our subsequent rallies. Let him consider the negative impact of the policy on the majority of Nigerians, especially the students, whose parents have already been overburdened by other economic challenges in the country,” he said. Akintola said:”It is also a betrayal of trust because it was never mentioned during President Jonathan’s campaign. To that extent, subsidy is a fraud. Nigerians did not vote for fuel subsidy. It is therefore immoral, unjustifiable and provocative. By removing fuel subsidy at a time when government has not implemented minimum wage, Jonathan has stabbed the Nigerian people in the back.” AbdurRaheem described fuel subsidy removal as a diabolical agenda orchestrated by the ruling elite in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to deregulate the downstream oil sector for self motives.

PENGASSAN to shut oil installations

THE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has directed all oil and gas production platforms to be on red alert, in preparation for a total production shutdown, over the indefinite nationwide strike. It also stated that the Federal Government decided to be callousminded over the removal of fuel subsidy. The President of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Ogun, spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Ogun spoke through PENGASSAN’s National Industrial Relations Officer, Mr. Chika Onuegbu, who is also Rivers Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC). The President of PENGASSAN, an affiliate of TUC, said: “PENGASSAN is fully in support of the action (indefinite nationwide strike), as directed by NLC and TUC. “No report is currently being generated from production locations to

both DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) and FGN (Federal Republic of Nigeria). “This is one of the very first steps in shutdown process. We believe that a government that is alive to its responsibilities will not allow this strike to degenerate thus far “Now that the Federal Government has decided to be callousminded, we hereby direct all production platforms to be on red alert, in preparation for total production shutdown. “Before the removal of fuel subsidy, some conditions must be met.

••LAGOS: Policemen discharging petrol into their patrol van’s tank from ‘jerrycan reservoir’...yesterday

No work, no pay: Govt can’t intimidate us By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

T

HE Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) has reacted to the government ‘s threat of no work, no pay for those participating in the nationwide strike. It directed all workers to ignore the threat and continue with the strike. According to the body, the National Industrial Court (NIC) has no jurisdiction to stop Nigerians from protesting obnoxious government policies. In a statement by the National President and the Secretary, Kiri Mohammed and Machus Omokhuale, the Council said: “The attention of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council has been drawn to the Federal Government’s threat, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, to invoke ‘the No Work No Pay Clause’ on the striking workers. “We wish to maintain that the National Industrial Court (INC) has no jurisdiction to stop Nigerians from protesting on their fundamental human rights over obnoxious government policies that are inimical to the people’s welfare. “We stress unequivocally that workers, who deliver services to the people that create the wealth of this nation, have the constitutional right to protest policies that deny them enjoying this wealth. “We note the government’s insensitivity to the general safety and security of workers to call them back to work in this electrically charged atmosphere and direct workers to disregard this threat and stay at home until government reverts to the N65.00 per litre pump price.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

5

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE) QUICK TAKES

Baba Suwe cheers up protesters

A

CE comedian Babatunde Omidina, known as Baba Suwe, caused a stir yesterday at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos where the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) was holding a rally against the removal of petrol subsidy. Baba Suwe, who took photographs with some of the people on the podium, was hailed by the crowd. They yelled at the comedian with different slogans such as O yagbe ti, Eni lo lobo, Effortless millionaire among others. He told the crowd not to be deterred that victory was certain. “We are all in this struggle to liberate our nation,” he said.

Policeman caught ‘snapping’

S •LAGOS: Baba Suwe with fans at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota.... yesterday PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

OME police officers yesterday abandoned their duty to join the onlookers during a protest organised by some Islamic organisations under the aegis of the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) on the Ikorodu Road, Lagos. The officers seemed to have been ‘wowed’ by the mammoth crowd that stretched from Fadeyi to Jibowu bus stops. Some of them were caught saying: “Our President is in big trouble. These are the real Boko Harams. I have never seen Moslems coming out in this large number.” Out of curiosity, one of them brought out his camera phone to take shots of the protesters. He was so engrossed taking the photographs of the protesting Moslems that his gun became a secondary tool.

And they occupy bars

M

ANY Nigerians, forced to stay indoors by the nationwide strike called by the Organised Labour to protest against the removal of fuel subsidy, have resorted to patronising bars. A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the strike in Agbado, Ijoko and Sango areas, border towns between Ogun and Lagos States, reports that many residents now spend long hours at the drinking joints. A civil servant, Mr Laide Ogunesan, told NAN that he took to drinking in the morning because he was bored staying at home. NAN observed that the bars, which prior to the strike opened for business at noon, now receive patrons as early as 9a.m., in spite of the increases in the cost of drinks. A bottle of Gulder beer, which was sold for N200 prior to the removal of fuel subsidy, now costs N250, while a big bottle of Guinness Stout goes for N350, up from the previous N300 it was sold. The NAN correspondent also noticed the presence of some young and middle-aged women who were at the drinking joints in search of fun and money. One of them, who claimed to be a trader, told NAN that she was at the bar in search of money to fend for her family, as she could not go to town to do her normal business. A commercial motorcyclist, Mr Abel Obadara, said business had been rough with the removal of fuel subsidy. He said the strike had forced commercial motorcyclists to ply short distances

It’s time for football S the nationwide strike enters its fourth day, the Bauchi Central Motor Park, devoid of passengers and vehicles, has been turned into a football pitch by youths. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited some motor parks in Bauchi yesterday witnessed some youths playing football at the park. Drivers, fearing violent acts by protesters, had removed their vehicles from the park, creating space big enough for the youths to play football. One of the players, Bala Ali, said that it was interesting seeing the Central Motor Park devoid of activities. “We cannot help but play football here as the space looks okay for the game. Everywhere is flat, no stones and the ball flows unhindered. “How I wish the strike will last for long for us to enjoy the place for some time,’’ he said. As usual with the round leather game, the encounter between the sides attracted spectators.

A

‘Secret’ banking services in Jos LAGOS: A policeman taking pictures of protesting Muslims on Ikorodu Road .... yesterday PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

ASUU wants Jonathan impeached

T

HE National Assembly got an “important” assignment from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday. The two-chamber Assembly was asked to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan. ASUU accused the President of letting down the academic. Former chairman of the association at the University of Ilorin, Dr. Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, dropped the hint in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital during a rally against government’s decision to withdraw fuel subsidy. He said such step became imperative following the failure of

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the President to heed the counsel of the federal lawmakers. Organisers of the protest, the Labour and Civil Society Organisations (LASCO) yesterday immortalised the slain Muyideen Opobiyi by renaming the popular Post Office Roundabout in the state capital as Muyideen Opobiyi Freedom Square. An Islamic cleric, who joined scores of protesters yesterday, led a prayer session against the removal of petrol subsidy. The cleric said the prayer was symbolic. The cleric asked the protesters to put their shoes on their heads

and after reciting some Quaranic verses, directed that they begin to clap with the shoes. There were also prayers from Christian leaders and traditional worshippers during the session which lasted about one hour. At the rally, protesters marched through Sabo-Oke and Muritala areas before camping at the square where several leaders took turns to speak. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) promised to offer free legal services to all workers involved in the protest. Represented by its chairman, Rafiu Balogun, the body insisted on the sustenance of the subsidy, until Nigerians are able to meet its challenges.

S

OME banks yesterday started running skeletal “secret” services in and around Jos, the Plateau capital. Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who went round some of the banks, report that some staff reported for duty but that the gates were still locked. NAN, however, observed that customers could make withdrawals by “arranging’’ with some bank employees, especially the security personnel. Customers who could reach the personal telephone numbers of some bank officials were also able to make transactions. At a branch of one of the new generation banks along Ahmadu Bello Way, vehicles were not allowed to enter, but NAN correspondents were advised to “turn to the gate behind’’ if they wanted any transaction. The situation was the same in Bukuru as customers were secretly served, if they could enter through the back gates of the banks. A senior staff of one of the banks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the main gates were being locked because of threats to picket the banks by labour leaders. “You can see that even our cars are parked far away. We do not want the labour officials to know we are in the office.’’ NLC Chairman Jibrin Bancir warned on Tuesday that the labour officials would picket any office found to be open. Bancir had vowed that the strike would continue until the Federal Government reversed the fuel pump price to N65 per litre. The union picketed some filling stations which were dispensing fuel around the Terminus area of Jos. The labour union’s action, has however, not deterred some filling stations from carrying out their businesses as many of them were seen dispensing the commodity yesterday


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

6

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE) NEW YEAR MESSAGES

• ABAKALIKI: Ebonyi Youth Assembly in action in Abakaliki...yesterday

•MINNA: MINNA: IBB’s Office torched by arsonists...yesterday

How I escaped death, by Ogun police boss

O

GUN Commissioner of Police Mr Dauru Nkemdem said he escaped death at Ibafo on Tuesday when he tried to curb the activities of hoodlums. He said he was at Ibafo to restore peace following reports of hijack of the protests by miscreants. He said: “I heard there was problem at Ibafo and that hoodlums came and took control of the road. I learnt they were robbing people and vandalising vehicles and I therefore directed my Area Commander to move there. “But later, the situation got worse

and I decided to go myself with some of my men. On getting to the place; the people battered my car and other backup vehicles. We had to retreat because nobody could pass; people from Lagos and people from Ogun to Lagos could not pass. We now had to mobilse and try to make way until we were able to make people pass. “Two of my men were wounded in the process and right now they are in the hospital. As soon as I finish here, I will be going to the hospital for treatment because I was hit in the leg and stomach with stones and bottles.’’ Although eyewitnesses told NAN

that one person was killed by a stray bullet while the policemen shot into the air to disperse the miscreants, Nkemdem said there was no death. “In this course of resistance, there was no shooting. As far as we are concerned, there was no shooting. What happened was that at the height of it, I had to deploy my Armour Personal Carrier (APC) and we tried to use smoke to disperse the people. “The APC was blocked by a vehicle they used to block the road and in the process of using the APC to push the vehicle, some of the boys who persisted in staying were pushed with that car and I think some of them sustained injury,’’ he added.

Southsouth elders demand probe of fuel subsidy

T •MINNA: MINNA: A building burnt by arsonists.... yesterday

• MAKURDI Benue Labour officials in Makurdi...yesterday

HE Southsouth Elders and Leaders have asked the Federal Government to set up a high-powered committee to investigate the petroleum subsidy. In a communique at the end of their meeting in Abuja, the forum expressed concern that the beneficiaries of fuel subsidy are from regions other than the Southsouth. They expressed worry that the civil society organisations have been infilterated by a powerful cabal to resist the fuel subsidy removal so that they can continue to benefit. The communique was signed by Chief Edwin Clark, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas and 29 others. The statement reads: “That the principles of equality, equity and justice enshrined in the constitution of the

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Federal Republic of Nigeria demand a deliberate redistribution of wealth of the nation to bridge the social and economic gap between the impoverished masses and the middle/upper class of the Nigerian society, which the current policy of fuel subsidy removal hopes to achieve. “ For example, the poverty indices in the country indicate that a State like Jigawa in the North have a poverty population of about 95%, implying that only about 5% of the people of Jigawa State have been actively enjoying fuel subsidy. This can be said of so many other states of the federation. On the contrary Lagos consumes 65% of the country’s total fuel stock. This shows that Lagos alone enjoys over N900 billion of the subsidy on fuel to the detriment of other states in the country.”

• ACCRA Publisher, Ovation International Magazine Chief Dele Momodu (mi Nigerian protesters in Ghana...yesterday


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

7

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE)

rday

•MINNA: MINNA: Cars burnt at INEC’s Office

Crisis to end in 24 hours, says Rep

A

MEMBER of the House of Representatives has said the face-off between the Federal Government and the Organised Labour on the removal of fuel subsidy would be resolved within 24 hours. The Chairman of the House committee on Labour, Pastor Essien Ayi, spoke with reporters yesterday. Ayi is also a member of the ad hoc committee set up after the emergency meeting by the House to meet with the Federal Government and representatives of Organised Labour. According to him, the committee has got positive responses from the leaders of the Organised Labour and those of the Federal Govern-

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ment at the parley with the two parties. “We are making progress and I sincerely believe that in the next 24 hours or so, the effort of the House to resolve this matter shall be acheived,” he said. Ayi said during the parley, labour insisted that certain conditions must be met before the Federal Government could go ahead with the deregulation policy and said it was unfortunate that none of the conditions was met by the Federal Government. He said such conditions include fixing of the nation’s refineries, roads, power supply and functional transportation, among others.

His words: “Today is the third dayof the trike and you will agree with me that government has lost a lot of resources running into billions of Naira as a result of the strike. I am made to understand that Nigeria has lost as much as N158.9 billion on daily basis from the ongoing strike. “What is to accrue to the Federal Government from her own share of the deregulation for 2012 is about N500billion from the N1.3trillion. Then if the strike is sustained for about 5 days, the government shall lose more than expected income and it shall thereafter become a wasted venture.” According to the lawmaker,hope was not lost as both parties have seen reasons why the matter should be resolved amicably before further damage was done to the nation’s economy.

CORA expresses concern

T

HE Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) yesterday expressed concern over the lingering nationwide strike, which has grounded the country for three consecutive days. It described as worrisome reports that security agencies were applying lethal force to disperse protesters. Its spokesmen, Toyin Akinosho

hief Dele Momodu (middle) and some

and Deji Toye, said: “We note with even more concern reports of the use of lethal force by overzealous security operatives which has resulted in the death of some protesters in Lagos and Kano. “It is on account of such sad, avoidable fallouts that CORA has always preferred the path of national consensus through conversations and debates.

“Indeed, it is in order to increase the space and capacity for popular participation in national conversations that we have placed literacy at the top of our organisational agenda. “After all, the nation building project is, at core, a series of conversations. In our view, the current situation cannot support any enlightened and productive dialogue – not on the subject of fuel subsidy removal nor indeed national development.”

•YENAGOA: YENAGOA: A deserted street in the Bayelsa State capital...yesterday

•YENAGOA: YENAGOA: Pro-fuel subsidy removal protesters in Bayelsa State


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

8

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE)

Hoodlums raze PHCN office, nine vehicles in Ibadan

Praises for Ekiti protesters From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

T

HE Ekiti State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Kolawole Olaiya, has praised the determination of the protesters. Olaiya spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during yesterday’s protest against oil subsidy removal. He also criticised Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayodeji Aluko praised the protesters for their determination and urged them not to despair. A Muslim cleric, Alhaji Ganiyu Suleiman, urged religious leaders to mobilise their followers for the protest. “If we disregard religious discrepancies, we shall win this battle,” he added. Bishop Felix Ajakaye of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, who was represented by Rev. Fr. Raphael Borisade, said: “The government has disappointed us in every sphere of life. Everybody should come out tomorrow (today); we need not relent. We thank the security agencies for conducting themselves peacefully. It is only the uniform they wear that makes them different, we all buy things from the same market.”

H

OODLUMS in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have added a new dimension to the protest against fuel subsidy removal. They burnt down the office of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Olorunsogo on Tuesday. The hoodlums, in their hundreds, were said to have mobilised from Beere. They also burnt six Hilux vans belonging to the com-

•Coffin filled with cash looted From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

pany, three other vehicles parked in front of the building, one brand new transformer and two others. The hoodlums looted the building of computers, furniture and other valuables. They also extorted money from motorists. It was also learnt that a Previa bus conveying a cof-

H

Deputy Political Editor

Police ‘shoot’ three protesters in Ogun

P

OLICEMEN in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, allegedly opened fire on fuel subsidy removal protesters yesterday, injuring, at least, three persons. They also arrested a protester in Olorunshogo. An eyewitness said a senior police officer in a patrol vehicle ordered his subordinates to shoot the protesters to dislodge them. The source said a young man, simply identified as Busayo, was one of those injured. Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi debunked the allegation. He alleged that the protesters attacked a police

•Urges protesters to be peaceful

By Emmanuel Oladesu,

the House Committee on Diaspora, is on a visit to New Delhi, India. She told the Nigerian community in the Asian country that the Lower Chamber passed a resolution affirming the wish of the people on the issue. Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said the protest against the policy is in order, stressing that it was provoked by government.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

officer, but he is not aware that the police shot anyone. Also yesterday, the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Michael Sonariwo, addressed protesters in Sagamu. He said Nigerians have the right to express their opinions about government’s policies peacefully and urged Labour to continue to conduct its protests civilly. The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Akeem Ambali, urged the people to remain resolute in their demand.

•Fashola

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday received another set of prominent Nigerians protesting the removal of fuel subsidy at the Lagos House, Marina. The protesters were led by activist Professor Pat Utomi and the former Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Mr. Fola Adeola. Fashola urged them to

L

conduct their protests peacefully. He urged security operatives to be professional in the discharge of their duties. The governor said: “I commend the spirit that all of us have demonstrated to express our displeasure at a policy that affects our lives. I also recognise that from time to time, we will have the need to be displeased about actions that government takes on our behalf. “Those who express their displeasure have a right to protest and are not rioters. “As you are protesting here, other people are protesting in other parts of the country. The protest at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, where several thousands of people gathered yesterday,

‘As you are protesting here, other people are protesting in other parts of the country. The protest at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, where several thousands of people gathered yesterday, was not an accident’ was not an accident. “It was a conscious policy of this government, in recognition of the fact that people will have the need to publicly express their displeasure, that we created the park for aggrieved persons to express their displeasure. “Everybody who has a

right to vote, and even those who do not have a right to vote, have a right to complain. “It is our duty to listen to those complaints and find ways to make things better.” Fashola said he would pass the protesters’ message to the President. Adeola said: “The government has a duty to involve the people in policy-making and carry them along. They have promised the people several things in the past without fulfilling them. “Every time there is a crisis, they ask the people to deny themselves of several necessities, without the leaders showing corresponding frugality. “Instead, they continue to wallow in abundance. We have no reason to be where we are today.”

Jonathan advised to back down on fuel price FORMER aide to the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, Mr. Lisa Olu Akerele, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to back down on the removal of fuel subsidy. In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Akerele said insisting on fuel subsidy removal could lead to the

A

country’s disintegration and urged the president to consult more widely on the way forward. Akerele said: “Taking a look at the mass rallies across the country against the removal of subsidy, it is clear that the people are not happy with it. Barely eight months ago, the peo-

ple voted massively for Jonathan to become their president. That the same people have turned against him in less than one year shows that there is something awfully wrong with his policy on the removal of subsidy. “In the history of trade unionism in the country,

30 suspected cultists held in Osun

no agitation has been as effective and successful as the current one. The president should take the escape route offered by the National Assembly to land softly by reverting petrol price to N65 per litre.” He advised security agents to exercise restraint in controlling the protests.

Senator urges dialogue From Damisi Ojo, Akure

S

T

HIRTY members of a church in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, were yesterday arrested by the police for alleged cultism. Commissioner of Police Solomon Olusegun confirmed the arrests. The church, called Millenium Gospel Church, is situated on Oremeji Street, Alekuwodo. Residents challenged the church members when they saw them engaging in allegedly fetish activities. Six cars and other property belonging to members of the church were vandalised. A cyber cafe and another shop within the premises, owned by members, were also burnt. An eyewitness said: “Around 2pm yesterday, members filed out of the church carrying baskets filled with pap and some fetish objects. “They were inviting passers-by to come and buy plantain and pap. A boy of about four years old led them. Then, suddenly, one of them dropped a N20 note and urinated on it. “At that stage, a resident challenged them to pick it up and when they refused, people attacked them and started beating them up. But the police came to their rescue.” Residents gave the name of the founder of church as the late Joseph Adebayo Oladele of Oke-Imesi. Investigation revealed that the church has been in existence since the late 80s. It was learnt the police arrested members at the church’s headquarters in Ido-Osun about a year ago, while

He said some arrests had been made. Yesterday, the protest was intensified in Ibadan by labour leaders and civil society groups. Addressing the protesters at Idi-Odo and Challenge, two members of the House of Assembly, Ibrahim Bolomope and Segun Olaleye, urged them to sustain the tempo. The protest was peaceful.

Fashola cautions security agencies

Dabiri-Erewa urges government to rescind decision OUSE of Representatives member Mrs. Abike DabiriErewa yesterday advised the Federal Government to halt the crisis on fuel subsidy removal by reverting to N65 per litre. She said the mood of the country could not accommodate fuel price hike at this moment, urging President Goodluck Jonathan to respect the wishes of Nigerians. The legislator, who chairs

fin filled with N1,000 notes was intercepted by hoodlums on Tuesday night at Academy and looted. At Ogbere/Target in Olunloyo, policemen had a hectic time controlling protesters. Police spokesman Femi Okanlawon said hoodlums attempted to take over the protests, but the situation is under control.

•Some of the suspects...yesterday From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

worshiping the body of the founder. Residents of Alekuwodo alleged that some powerful

people are behind the church. They said any time the members were arrested, they were always released without being charged to court.

PHOTO:ADESOJI ADENIYI

Policemen were deployed in the area to forestall a further break down of law and order. Men of the Fire Service were also on the scene.

ENATOR Ajayi Boroffice, representing Ondo North District, has urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the Organised Labour. Boroffice, who recently dumped the Labour Party (LP) for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), spoke with The Nation’ yesterday. He said the crisis between Labour and the Federal Government has not done Nigeria any good, adding that the Senate is determined to resolve the dispute. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said: “I share in the pains of Nigerians, but advise the warring parties to find an amicable resolution to the crisis.” He sympathised with the family of those who died in the protest and advised security operatives to be more civil with the people.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

9

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Investments in renewable energy have a large potential for growth given the large gap between energy demand and supply and the enormous renewable energy options available to the country. - Evelyn Oputu, MD, Bank of Industry

Naira trade falls as strike continues

Strike affects oil output

N

N

AIRA trading was limited for a third day on the interbank market as a general strike to protest the end of fuel subsidies shut banks for a third day. The currency was little changed against the dollar at N162.05 in Lagos, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stoppage “continues to effectively shoot down the economy,” Leon Myburgh and Coura Fall, Johannesburg-based Africa strategists at Citigroup Inc., wrote in an e-mail note to clients yesterday. “Both the interbank foreign exchange and money market are effectively closed, even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues with its normal operations.” The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), representing more than eight million workers, called an indefinite action to force President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse a decision to scrap fuel subsidies from January 1. The strike shut down banks, businesses and ports across the country. “Trading remains lull on the demand and supply side of the foreign exchange market” as there are hardly any import and export activities, Tunde Ladipo, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Valuechain Investment Ltd., which trades currencies, said on the phone yesterday. Mohammed Abdullahi, a spokesman for the CBN, could not be reached on phone for comments on foreign-currency auction billed for yesterday. At least eight people were killed in protests, the NLC and Tuc said on Tuesday. Jonathan, who won a fouryear term in April, has pledged to use savings from the N1.2 trillion ($7.4 billion) subsidy to invest in power plants and roads in the country. He’s also vowed to curb wages and create a sovereign wealth fund.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $33.01b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL

-

FOREX

0.2958 206.9 242.1 156 1.9179 238 40.472

• EMPTY: Departure wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos ... yesterday.

ATCON to Fed Govt: don’t compare oil with telecoms sector P

RESIDENT of the Associa tion of Telecommunica tions Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Titi OmoEttu, has criticised the Federal Government’s comparison of deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with liberalisation of the nation’s telecoms sector. He said such a comparison “is entirely without basis.” He said it betrays a lack of understanding of what is required by the government officials to justify hike in price of petroleum products with achievements in the nation’s liberalised telecoms sector. Speaking with The Nation on the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy, Omo-Ettu, who was responding to the

By Adline Atili

budget speech, where President Goodluck Jonathan said the oil sector can benefit from liberalisation and privatisation in the same manner the telecoms sector has done, said it is “disingenuous as it is inaccurate to expect that the level of achievements in the telecoms sector can be replicated in the face of the present government’s direction of travel.” Omo-Ettu urged the government not to rewrite history by pretending to take something from past development efforts into its power and oil sectors reform agenda which, he described as seriously flawed. According to him, government’s decision to re-

move fuel subsidy on the first day of a New Year with insufficient consultation was “insensitive, untimely and undemocratic.” He said although the Federal Government made moves to restructure the Information and Communications Technology sector recently, it was a half-hearted response, which failed to consider all the true arguments for restructuring. The ATCON chief lamented the shoddy job done by the government, saying it was executed incompetently. He condemned the Federal Government’s ignorance of happenings in the ICT sector. “With such demonstrable and breath-taking ignorance of what goes on within the industry, it is difficult to respect and trust the government’s

decisions in other sectors,” he said. According to him, persistent increase in the cost of diesel and seemingly intractable power supply problems in the country had taken its toll on the modest achievements of the telecoms sector, which runs on 100 per cent diesel. He noted that since the government increased the pump price of diesel, about 45 per cent of players in the ICT sector had closed shop, unable to cope with the harsh operating environment. Omo-Ettu added that in one fell swoop, the government’s move had raised the operating costs of service providers who strategically, pass same on telecoms consumers with detrimental effects on cost, scope and quality of service.

LCCI: Nigeria loses N82b daily to strike

T

HE Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, has said the country is losing about N82 billion daily to the ongoing strike. The labour unions and civil liberty organisations started a national strike on Monday in protest against the removal of subsidy on petrol. The strike entered the third day on yesterday. Yusuf told the News

Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, yesterday, he arrived at the figure based on the country’s national output. “We have an estimated national output, which is a GDP of N30 trillion. If you estimate the daily output, you are looking at N82 billion,” he said. The informal sector is also losing a lot as operators in the sector are sustained by daily transactions. “The informal sector, micro enter-

prises and some small businesses must be feeling big pains arising from the strike because th e y a r e d r i v e n by daily transactions. It is even worse now because they don’t have the opportunity to do any business,” he stated. Yusuf said investors were also not left out because many of those who imported one thing or the other had vessels stuck at the ports. “You

cannot discharge your cargoes from the vessels without paying port charges, or pay demurrage on the cargoes to the port authorities, and all these things are financed, most often by borrowed funds, so interest cost is accruing on all these funds; yet, there is no transaction, no movement, that again is another burden on businesses,” he stated.

Fares not likely to rise, say airline operators

D

ESPITE the slight in crease in the pump price of aviation fuel, there are no plans to increase the flight fares, the Assistant Secretary-General, Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, has said. And like in the last two days, the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport was empty yesterday as the nation-

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

wide strike led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) , the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and a coalition of civil societies forces entered the third day. Speaking on phone with reporters, Tukur explained that a major marketer, MRS, was the only only one that has increased aviation fuel from N162 to N175 per litre.

He said other marketers still retained the old price and aircraft owners and operators were advised to patronise those that have not raised their pump price so as not to shoot up the flight fares. Tukur said MRS increased the pump price of aviation fuel as soon as the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced the deregula-

tion of the downstream sector of the petroleum sector on January 1, this year. He said the major marketer’s action came after the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, had written the airlines through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) Director-General, Dr Harold Demuren, not to increase air fares.

IGERIAN crude slowed and the tone was weaker yesterday due to concerns over the potential impact on output from current strikes. Traders said about 15 cargoes of February Nigerian crude remained unsold while the Angolan cargoes were sold out. “Light sweet is getting long now,” a trader said. “I would expect 10 -15 cents lower from here.” Oil workers threatened yesterday to shut down output in the country, deepening a national strike over a more than doubling of petrol prices. Although future prices might rise in response to any shut-ins, spot differentials on crude could fall, traders said. “Shut-ins mean delay on loading and unreliable loading should depress differentials,” one buyer said. Qua Iboe for February was assessed around Dated Brent plus $2.80 a barrel. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) late last week bought 4.6 million barrels of light sweet through tender, including Forcados, Escravos, EA, Erha and Libyan Es Sider. But traders said the country’s barrels, which were sold into the tender, were for March loading. India’s second largest state-run refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL), has bought three million barrels of Nigerian crude to load in February and March via a tender, traders said on Wednesday.

‘Global Fleet got no subsidy’

T

HE Chairman of Glo bal Fleet Oil and Gas, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, has refuted claims that the firm received subsidy from the Federal Government. In a statement issued yesterday, Ibrahim, said such insinuation is “at best the imagination” of the uninformed... He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, my oil company, the Global Fleet Oil and Gas, has never collected any money called subsidy from the Federal Government or its agents.” He challenged anyone with contrary information to publish it. “We have never applied to any government agency for petroleum subsidy, he declared, saying, “ our companies and their operations in Nigeria do not fall in the category of companies that require government subsidy to operate.” Ibrahim explained that since his firm is not accorded such treatment in other foreign countries “where we carry out similar operations, there is no need, therefore, to put a burden on the Nigerian government,” he stated.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

10

INDUSTRY The Organised Private Sector (OPS) has reacted to the removal of the fuel subsidy, describing it as a deliberate move to worsen the already decaying industrial sector. TOBA AGBOOLA reports.

OPS: Subsidy removal will kill small industries T

HE Organised Private Sector(OPS) is not happy with the removal of fuel subsidy. It described the policy as a deliberate move by the Federal Government to worsen the decaying industrial sector. OPS said it may be forced to pay more for providing generating plants at its factories if government does not reverse the policy. It said the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be generally affected, since most of them use petrol for their relatively smaller power generating plants. Chairman, Apapa branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), John Aluya expressed concern over the effect of the policy on the industrial sector. He explained that indications show signs of greater pains to come. Aluya urged members to brace for the challenges ahead, saying the economic climate leaves much to be desired. “We hope our pursuit for industrial excellence will be accomplished such that the attendant hype associated with changes in petroleum pricing that culminate in strike actions will be avoided,” he said. According to the Director-General, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Segun Oshinowo, the OPS comprising NECA, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACIMMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) were neither invited nor represented in its institutional capacity at the meeting held with the government and the business operators signed the agreement in their individual capacity and not on behalf of the OPS saying, “We want to say that the meeting of some business operators with President Goodluck Jonathan is not indeed representing members of the OPS. They are OPS in their individual right. “The OPS as a group has about 45 companies and they are not represented in the meeting. We are yet to

Stories by Toba Agboola

meet with the government and we have not taken any decision on the removal of fuel subsidy,” Oshinowo said. “NECA cannot take a position on the issue of subsidy. It will be a general consensus. We will take a stand on the issue after our meeting in two weeks, and advise the government to always collaborate with stakeholders in the business sector when an issue affecting the economy is discussed.” He explained that the removal of subsidy on aviation fuel, FPLO and diesel already had more negative impact on the economy than the removal of petroleum subsidy. However, Osinowo described the removal as a bold step on the part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. He admitted that it would have short-term effects, including a rise in the prices of goods and services, general cost of living and the living standards of the people. He said the benefits far outweighed the disadvantages, if well and transparently implemented. According to him, some of the expected benefits to the economy are the imminent reduction in the pressure on Nigeria’s external reserves (which are usually depleted in the process of making foreign exchange available to fuel importers), the prospect of infrastructure development through savings from the policy implementation and the prospect of private investment inflow into the country. “All these have the potential of lifting the economy. Investments in the

economy will open a new vista of job creation and other multiplier effects. If well and transparently implemented, I believe Nigerians have been freed once and for all from the shackles of the rhetoric of fuel subsidy removal,”Osinowo added. He disagreed with the current agitation in the land, saying it was an illwind that would bring no one any good. Rather, he advised labour unions to explore the instrumentality of the Belgore committee on subsidy reinvestment to ensure that their grievances were addressed. On its part, the LCCI, in a statement by its President, Mr Goodie Ibru, said in spite of the enormity and dimensions of the impacts of this policy on the economy and the citizens, the body said: “If well implemented, however, it is expected that the policy will benefit the economy and the citizens in the medium to long term.” Some of the expected outcomes of the policy, according to Ibru, will include increased private investment in the downstream oil sector, with a corresponding impact on the creation of quality jobs; reduction in the pressure on foreign reserves, a huge chunk of which is being used to fund fuel importation; and a better fiscal space to ensure macroeconomic stability, with a resultant positive effect on the economy. However, in the light of the prevalent poverty and high rate of unemployment, Ibru said it had become expedient that the government demonstrated sensitivity and concern to the plight of ordinary Nigerians. He said the government can do this

•Goddie Ibru

by focusing urgently on acceleration of the delivery of palliatives to cushion the adverse outcomes of the subsidy removal; demonstration of prudence in governance by the political class as a moral basis to demand sacrifices from citizens, through a more cost-effective and corruption-free governance; sustenance of the momentum of dialogue and enlightenment to stabilise the polity; ensuring a regime of accountability and transparency in the use of the savings from this policy, as promised; and fast tracking of the turnaround maintenance of the refineries and encouragement of the building of new ones to reduce dependence on importation of refined products, among others. On the part of the citizens, the LCCI boss called on stakeholders to cooperate with the Subsidy Reinvestment Board to make this happen. Most importantly, he said there was the need to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of the savings from this policy decision for the benefit of the people, as promised. As a way of finding solution to the initial logjam that might be created as a result of resistance to the new

•Ademola Ajayi)

policy, Ibru advocated that stakeholders should cooperate with the Subsidy Reinvestment Board to make this happen. “The promise made by government on this matter is a covenant that should be respected. Therefore, there is the need to fast track the turnaround maintenance of the refineries and encourage the building of new ones to reduce dependence on importation of refined products and protect the economy from the volatility of global oil prices, he said.” President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Dr. Herb Ademola Ajayi, said the kick-off of the policy will certainly increase the hardship that many Nigerians face. According to him, most Nigerians are already hard pressed and this new step will place many more in greater suffering. “So, the government has to know what it is doing. They must understand that the frustrations that will result from the pangs of this subsidy removal can burst into chaos if the people get the impression that the government is not managing their interest properly.”

How to export agric produce to US market, by NEPC

T

HE Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry have introduced the United States of America model of exporting agricultural products to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Speaking at a seminar organised by NEPC, Senior Commercial Specialist from the United States Embassy, Lagos, Anyo Agu said small-scale producers must understand the market

condition of products to enhance their growth. Agu said: “exporters must be competent in the identification of specific users of a product.” He added that it was necessary for producers to differentiate themselves from the product, adding, “structure determines the vision of their business.” He added, “the modern situation of market has made it necessary for SME to get the fundamentals right and understand the basic culture with appro-

priate approach to tackling them.” According to him, it should be the initiative of the government to build SME capacity for achievements. He added: “Export promotion should be the initiative of the Presidency. They must build a capacity to take advantage of the goal and mindset of the people.” Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Olusola Oworu, noted that the role of the SMEs in economic development could not

be over emphasised. “SMEs currently provide employment for over 60 per cent of the country’s workforce, with the utilisation of local materials for their production to stimulate growth of primary production,” she said. NEPC Executive Director, David Adulagba, who was represented by the Director, Special Services, Olajide Ibrahim, said SMEs should be promoted and nurtured in order to optimise their potential.

Govt removes import duty on agric equipment

T

HE Federal Government has removed duty on agricul tural equipment as part of measures to diversify the country’s economy, the ComptrollerGeneral of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko has said. Dikko told reporters that the gesture will boost local agricultural production, generate employment and reduce youth restiveness. Dikko said the government was moving towards agriculture to help grow the country economically and politically, adding that “agriculture is one of the back bones of any economy’’. “We have realised that we have to face the reality of time. Agriculture is a back bone of any economy. We are now moving towards agriculture. “The President has removed all import duty on agriculture equipment and we are trying to patronise goods that are being manufactured in Nigeria to boost our own production, create more employment opportunities and reduce restiveness, so that, at least, the

country will have peace and we will move politically and economically.’’ In a related event, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has revealed that the Cassava Transformation Plan of his ministry is meant to revive the economy and create jobs for millions of Nigerians. Speaking during a meeting with partners from the bakery industry, the minister explained that Nigeria’s food import bill is exceptionally high; with the top four imports consuming over 1.3 trillion naira in foreign exchange every year. “Our food imports are growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent per annum, fueling domestic inflation and driving poverty. We are importing products that we can either produce in abundance, such as N356 billion naira worth of rice, N217 billion naira worth of sugar and N97 billion worth of fish; or are importing products that we can easily find local alternatives for us to reduce our import bill, such as N635 billion being spent on importing wheat. “

•Mohammad Sidi; Chief Legal Metrology Officer, Weights and Measures Department, Shamm Kolo; Consummer Protection (CPC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) inpecting dispensing pumps at the Conoil Filling Station in Abuja as part of measures to prevent sharp practices by filling stations.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

11


12

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

13


14

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012


French coach set CSKA Moscow welcomes Ahmed Musa in Spain to lead Falcons

Pg. 49

Pg. 16

Nation Thursday, January 12, 2012

PAGE 15

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

B Eagles holds AFCON-bound Angola Pg. 49

Pg. 24


THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

16

49

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

3SC’s ace Ebiaku thrilled to join Dolphin

S

HOOTING STARS defender Sylvanus Ebiaku has said he joined Nigeria Premier League champions Dolphin for a fresh challenge. “I need another challenge and so I joined Dolphin. It will boost my career as I will play in the CAF Champions League,” the rightback told MTNFootball.com. “I also wish to help Dolphin retain the league title they won last year.”

Ebiaku, a dashing wing back who loves to join the attack, has been part of the team of players from the NPL recently called up by Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi. Another 3SC player on the move is former U17 striker Kareem Shuaibu, who has teamed up with another NPL outfit Niger Tornadoes. The experienced Shuaibu was one of the players 3SC placed on transfer before the commencement of the season.

Owello down with malaria, hospitalised F ORMER youth international, Solomon Owello has been hospitalised in an undisclosed hospital in Lagos over malaria symptoms. The Canada 2007 Under-20 World Cup star was scheduled to resume training with IK Start on Monday but could not make the trip back to Norway. “He has malaria and has been admitted to hospital in Nigeria. He has been sick almost the whole of December,” teammate Olufemi

Oladapo said. The report further added that IK Start will examine Owello to know the extent of illness when he returns to the club from vacation. The 23-year-old play-maker it would be recalled started 27 games in the league last term. The Kristiansand based club were relegated from the Tippeligaen last term, after finishing 15th on the log.

Udeh keen on Wolves switch

A

TTACKING midfielder Damian Udeh is courting NPL side, Warri Wolves for the 2011/2012 season. Udeh featured for Heartland in the 2010/2011 season and was prominent in the Owerri-based team Federation Cup victory last year. A short stint that is yet to be cemented, Udeh told SuperSport.com that he is hopeful of securing a shortterm but favourable deal with Wolves. “I am not with any club at the moment but may end up at Warri Wolves once the terms are

satisfactory. “It will be for a nine-month duration as I intend to head outside the country later in the year. “I am no longer with Heartland because of my plan to take my football future outside,” Udeh said. The former Enugu Rangers combative playmaker hinted SuperSport.com of a likely spell in one of the Asian states. “My contact person is still working very hard in that direction. “Hopefully, the next bus stop may either be in Qatar or Dubai,” said the former Esperance of Tunisia player.

Ameobi facing long-term absence

N

EWCASTLE striker Sammy Ameobi is facing several months of rehabilitation after suffering an unconfirmed injury. The England Under 21 international

• Ameobi

sustained the injury in the Premier League club’s reserve-team win over Wigan on Tuesday. Ameobi, 19, was forced off as a result of a challenge in the match and is now expected to be out of action for a ‘couple of months’. The forward has made a total of 13 appearances for Newcastle so far this season - 12 of them from the bench. Newcastle said in a statement on their official website: “Sammy Ameobi will be sidelined for a period of time, likely to be a number of months, as a result of an injury sustained in the reserves’ win over Wigan.” The fitness setback is another reason Newcastle manager Alan Pardew could consider an attempt to sign a striker in January amid resurfacing reports of interest in Paris Saint Germain’s Turkish international, Mevlut Erding. Pardew is already without star man Demba Ba during the early weeks of 2012 due to the Senegal international’s African Cup of Nations commitments.

French coach set to lead Falcons A

FRICAN women champions Super Falcons of Nigeria are likely to be handled by French woman Elizabeth Loisel, MTNFootball.com can exclusively report. The former France skipper is one of three coaches shortlisted for the vacant Falcons post after the contract of Eucharia Uche was not renewed. Loisel has handled her native France as well as the national women’s team of China. She guided France to fifth place in the FIFA ranking, but failed to qualify the team for the 2007 World Cup in China. “Elizabeth comes highly recommended and she is the front runner to take over the Falcons,” a top official disclosed. “It is high time that a foreign coach took charge of the team, who need a complete overhaul.” Top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials informed MTNFootball.com that the other shortlisted coaches are Dutch woman Hesterine de Reus and Rivers Angels coach Okon Edwin. De Reus has handled the Dutch women U19 team and also Jordan

women’s team. Okon Edwin has been proposed as third coach for the team. Former Nigeria internationals Rita Nwadike and Mercy Akide had also applied to handle the Falcons. Nwadike, who is an assistant coach at Rivers FC, has now been proposed to assist the new foreign coach. The other proposed assistant coach is Justin Madugu, who was assistant coach of the female U17 team. Bala Mohammed has been recommended to be the goalkeepers’ trainer. The Falcons reclaimed their African crown in 2010, but they failed to shine at last year’s World Cup in Germany. They also failed for the first time ever to qualify for the All Africa Games as well as the 2012 Olympics. They were eliminated by Ghana and Cameroon, respectively. The executive committee of the NFF are to meet this month to appoint a coach for the women’s team as well as for the country’s U20 team, the Flying Eagles.

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS

Chukwumerije claims ticket

N

IGERIA’S Chika Chukwumerije yesterday confirmed his place in the 2012 London Olympic Games after making it to the final of the men’s +80kg of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)-organised qualifiers in Cairo, Egypt. Despite sustaining a nose injury during the fight, the 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medalist overcame his conqueror at the 2011 All Africa Games in Mozambique; Cote d’Ivoire’s Zokou Saint Nom Firmin, 14-9 to clinch a place at London 2012. Although the fight against the Ivoirien was not without any hassle, as Chukwumerije’s opponent decided to throw caution to the wind after the Nigerian took the lead in the second round of the bout with 12-6 lead. The uncoordinated style of the Ivoirien caused Chukwumerije a nose injury in the second round and this

• Compatriot to know fate today By Innocent Amomoh gave the Ivoirien opportunity to reduce the lead to 12-9. But Chukwumerije sealed his lead by amassing two points to end the fight at 14-9. The win serves as a revenge of the defeat the Nigerian suffered in the hands of the Ivoirien during the semifinal stage of the All Africa Games last September. Also in Chukwumerije’s weight category, two-time world champion, Mali’s Keita Daba Modibo failed to make the London Games after losing to Gabon’s Anthony Obame in the second semifinal bout. With this development, Chukwumerije and Obame will represent the continent in the men’s +80kg in London. However, it was not same story for Nigeria’s Joy Ekhator in the women’s

Peter Utaka not training with Odense

P

ETER Utaka is not training with OB Odense because the Danish club are interested in his sale. Recently, negotiations between Odense and Evian for Utaka stalled, as the French team could not match Odense’s 350,000 euros valuation of the ex Antwerp forward. Utaka, who runs out of contract in the summer, is now free to negotiate with any interested suitor. A move to Germany is being mooted. Cologne and Freiburg are reportedly interested in signing the 27-year-old. ‘’Peter Utaka has a contract which expires this summer, and it’s no secret that there have been several interesting possibilities for a club move for him. Currently, he has an exciting opportunity on the table, and therefore we have given him permission so he can look into the personal details which buried in the offer. ‘’We can not comment further on what club they are, but it is not a Danish club. When there is a clarification, we obviously have enough talk about it,’’ sports director Poul Hansen told the club’s official website, ob.dk. Utaka missed out on a deal to Ligue 1 side, Evian because his high wage demands.

E

we would have no option but to call off Week 2 matches billed for this weekend.” Babalola also disclosed that due to the on-going protest, the NPL has been forced to push forward by 24 hours to Thursday the Week 1 game between Kaduna United and Jigawa Golden Stars earlier slated for Wednesday. “The strike has forced us to call off Wednesday’s game between Kaduna United and Jigawa Golden Stars. The game was to be played on Wednesday, but we have pushed it to Thursday with the hope that the strike would be called off before then.” In the meantime, president of the Nigeria Colleges of Education Games (NASEGA), Sanusi Mohammed, has announced the indefinite

postponement of the games earlier billed to begin next week in Port Harcourt. Mohammed disclosed that NASEGA was forced to call off the games due to the on-going strike in the country. “We are very sad that we have to postpone the games. But we the executive board of the NASEGA believe this is the best decision,” he said. “Going ahead with the games would mean putting the lives of innocent students at risk with the security situation in the country. And that is not something we would want to do. “I want to apologise to participating schools and hope they understand that with this nationwide protest it is in the best interest of NASEGA that we put the games on hold.”

N

IGERIAN forward Ahmed Musa will meet up with his new teammates at Russian club CSKA Moscow in Spain this week. The former VVV Venlo of Holland star is undergoing a medical in Germany which ended Wednesday after which he will fly out to Spain to join CSKA Moscow, who are preparing for a playoff involving the top six clubs to determine the Russian league champions. Speaking exclusively with MTNFootball.com from Germany, the former JUTH FC and Kano Pillars star said his medical is going well

and he cannot wait to join his new club. “I have been undergoing my medical here in Germany since Monday and it will end on Wednesday, everything is going on well,” he disclosed. “I will be in Spain by Thursday or Friday to join my team in Spain and will be presented to the team’s fans in Russia when we return from the tour. I can’t wait to be with the team.” Next month, CSKA will host Spanish giants Real Madrid in a Round of 16 UEFA Champions League first leg match.

Anichebe rates Stracqualursi partnership high

V

ICTOR ANICHEBE believes he and fellow Everton substitute Denis Stracqualursi can become a pair of Blues Bruise Brothers after their impact helped outmuscle West Bromwich Albion on New Year’s Day. The powerful Anichebe (right) was Everton’s matchwinner at The Hawthorns, while Stracqualursi also made a physical impression. Anichebe only needed one glance at the Argentinian to realise the impact the pair could have. “Denis is similar to me in a way. He came on today and I was shocked at how fit and how strong he is,” he declared. “He’s a really strong guy. He’s seems to be getting into the team more now and he’s doing quite well. “Tolos (Apostolos Vellios) wasn’t involved today and he’s done well for us this season. I can bring a bit of power and we’ve got Louis (Saha) as well. We’ve got great players. If we can just keep going we can get some results.” Anichebe’s 84th minute strike underlined Everton’s impressive record for grinding out late victories this season. A remarkable 72 per cent of Everton’s goals have come in the second half of matches this season, with 12 in the final 12 minutes of

matches. Anichebe paid tribute to the Blues backroom staff – plus his own support unit of friends and family – for helping him overcome another long-term injury absence. Still only 23, Anichebe said: “It was a big relief when that goal went in – and it was a reward for all the hard work everyone’s put in to get me back out there. “It was also for my dad who’s not too well at the moment. He’s in hospital now so that goal was dedicated to him so hopefully he can get better and come out. “It’s always good watching the lads, but when you’re not playing it’s hard. But I’ve been there before. The players, the manager, my family and friends have all helped me get through. They’re my team as well. I’ve got a team behind me and they’ve helped me get through it. I’ve had a few setbacks throughout my career now but hopefully in the New Year I can put that behind me.” Anichebe added: “You could see towards the end I was quite tired but hopefully I can keep getting some minutes on the field and get some confidence back. “I’m not going to get ahead of myself and turn back. I’ve been out for such a long time and I’ve only been training for two weeks, so hopefully I can stay on the pitch and improve.”

Stoke deal

S

TOKE'S £1.5m move for giant Nigerian striker Michael Uchebo is in danger of being hampered by work permit problems. Uchebo, who began a short trial at the Britannia Stadium on Monday, stands at 6ft 8ins and is hoping to persuade boss Tony Pulis to offer him a permanent deal. The 21-year-old VVV Venlo forward has attracted interest from several clubs in England after impressing in Holland, while he also has an attractive price tag with his contract due to expire this summer. But it's understood the Nigeria Under-20 international, may struggle to obtain a work permit as the Home Office look to clamp down on certain cases. Pulis has said he is not looking to do much business in this month's transfer window but he could make a move for Uchebo if Wolves follow up their reported interest in Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones.

• Uchebo

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

B Eagles’ hold AFCON-bound Angola

Nigeria team made up of players from the Nigeria Premier League drew 0-0 with 2012 Africa Nations Cupbound Angola in Abuja Wednesday. The ‘B’ team gave a good account of themselves. They created more of the chances against a team who paraded the likes of Flavio Amado, but poor finishing robbed them of victory in front of a fair crowd of over 6,000 fans at the Abuja National Stadium. Nigeria started out the brighter of the two teams with strikers Ejike Uzoenyi, Kabiru Umar and Sunday Mbah piling pressure on the Angolans. Rangers winger Uzoenyi stood out and narrowly missed target for what would have been the opening goal for the home team. He would soon set up Sunday Mba, who somehow failed to put away the best chance of the first half. Heartland midfielder Ikechukwu ‘Mosquito’ Ibenegbu, who replaced Ossai Uche in the second half, was also impressive. He would force Jose Pierre to be booked for a foul on him late in the game.

A

Strike may disrupt NPL matches XECUTIVE secretary of the Nigeria Premier League Tunji Babalola has announced that the NPL will be forced to cancel Week 2 matches for this weekend, if the nationwide strike continues. Babalola told MTNFootball.com that the NPL cannot guarantee the safety of clubs with the nationwide protest on and as such would call off Week 2 matches should the protest continue by Thursday. “We cannot guarantee the security of teams with the on-going protest and strike action over the withdrawal of fuel subsidy,” he said. “But we want to remain positive that the strike would be called off before Thursday. “However, if the strike continues,

-49kg. Ekhator’s tenacity met a brickwall in the second round against top seed, Morocco’s Atabrour Sanaa. But she had won her first round fight against Ghana’s Hannah Akua Humpher. This defeat had halted the country’s hope of presenting a female taekwondist at the London 2012 Olympics. Today, quarterfinalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Issa Muhammad Adam will take to the match against South Africa’s Mahlangu Duncan in the first round bout of the men’s -68kg. Eight places were confirmed yesterday with the remaining eight to be confirmed later today. Over 83 athletes from 30 countries are taking part in the two-day qualifiers with 23 international referees drawn from Europe, Asia, Oceania and Pan America handling proceedings.

Work permit CSKA welcomes stall Ahmed Musa in Spain may Uchebo’s

• Super Falcons players celebrates a goal at the African Women Championship in South Africa. Inset: French coach, Elizabeth Loisel

Nigeria’s second team were equally up to the task in defence as papa Idris and Azubuike Egwueke contained the threats of The Palancas Negras. Skipper and goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim was called to duty early in the second half, when he saved a deadly free kick by Angola. The Eagles continued to create chances but failed to convert them as the Angolans looked stunned by the spirited showing of their hosts. Nigeria are due to depart for Liberia Thursday for a match to mark the inauguration of the country’s president. Nigeria vs Angola Chigozie Agbim (skipper) – Godfrey Oboabona, Juwon Oshaniwa (Uche Ogochi), Gabriel Reuben, Azubuike Egwueke, Papa Idris – Sunday Mba (Barnabas Imengar), Ossai Uche (Ikechukwu Ibenegbu), Ejike Uzoenyi – Obinna Nwachukwu (Sunday Emmanuel), Kabiru Umar (Uche Kalu) Subs: Godwin Paul, Moses Ocheje, Stephen Morah, Gbenga Arokoyo, Rabiu Ali, Izu Azuka, Ajani Ibrahim

Kabiru Akinsola faces fine at Cadiz

K

ABIRU Akinsola was considered by Cadiz Coach, José González for the home game against CP Ejido on Sunday despite arriving late from vacation. Clearly, the Nigerian striker, who is top scorer for the promotion chasing Segunda division club, was lacking match fitness. Akinsola was supposed to give up his place in the squad to Wilson Cuero, but the Colombian striker had a bout of flu just before the game. The 20-year-old Nigerian had to be re-instated to the first team. After returning late to Spain citing travel hitches, Akinsola must now explain his version of events to Coach José González. Although his delay in arrival is justified, he faces a fine from the second division table toppers. Kabiru Akinsola is on the wish list of CD Numancia and Cartagena in the winter market.


17

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Oyo: Ajimobi and ides of 2012 Governor Abiola Ajimobi has presented his first budget to the state House of Assembly, spelling out the plans of his administration. But, the journey has been rough in the past seven months. Correspondent BISI OLADELE presents the rumble among the major political parties in the state, captures the post-election pangs of the administration and projects into the journey in 2012.

S

INCE the creation of Western region, now split into five states, Ibadan has been the centre of political development in the zone. After the elections, there have been contentions over the pace of development by the Ajimobi government. The road to the Government House was rough and tough as the three major contenders fought hard. Abiola Ajimobi of ACN emerged the favoured candidate as he polled 420,822 to beat his closest rival, Adebayo Alao-Akala of PDP with 33,690 votes. The latter scored 387,132, while former Governor Rashidi Ladoja who was Accord’s candidate polled 275,000 votes. It was a keen contest not only among political parties and politicians, but across cities, towns and villages that make up the state. Ajimobi’s narrow victory indicated that the ACN administration would have to post stellar performance to sustain the confidence of the people and retain the state in the progressive fold in the next general elections. The poll result reinforced the voting tradition of the state as no governor has ever won a second term bid.

• Ajimobi

But the Ajimobi administration responded to the disaster with impressive dispatch. With two relief camps immediately opened for displaced victims and emergency telephone numbers dedicated for 24-hour distress call, taking care of victims became fully coordinated. The Deputy Governor, commissioners and other top government functionaries worked all day to ensure victims were recovered from submerged buildings while the camps became centres of distribution of relief materials donated by the government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and philanthropists. It was lauded for effective management of the crisis. But, the PDP, which was rejected at the polls and still nursing the wounds, was quick in criticising the new administration. It weighed Ajimobi’s activities against its performance in the first 100 days and at subsequent times in office and spread conclusions that Oyo voters made a mistake by casting their votes for the ACN. Still the new administration explained with pain that it takes time, first to cleanse the Augean stable as well as plan for the transfor-

• Alao-Akala

mation promised. Seven months after the swearing-in of the former Chief Executive of a major multinational oil company, National Oil, as governor, Ajimobi has proved that it pays to take enough time to plan in order to accomplish its goals. Aside the effective response to and management of the flood crisis, the Ajimobi administration has since redefined the governmentlabour relations with its welfarist approach to governance. Apart from bringing up the unmotivated work force he inherited to the same level with their counterparts in the Southwest salary-wise, Ajimobi has introduced e-governance with the take off of e-payment of salaries which has made it possible for the state’s civil servants to receive their salaries on or before 25th of the month. Training for all workers, including overseas training, is now part of the 2012 budget. The elated workers were full of praises for the governor for paying them a full 13th month salary last week. The August flood was preceded by the bloody crisis in the state’s chapter of the National Union

of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). The crisis, which could not be managed by the PDP administration due to pitching one faction against the other, was immediately resolved by Ajimobi. The killing of innocent people at major motor parks and vandalism of members’ vehicles and property became a thing of the past while residents began to live in peace in the city. He banned the activities of the union and ordered police presence at the parks. In September and October, an introduction of the Free Health Mission by the administration, saw over 65,000 patients receive free treatment and drugs across the 33 local government areas of the state. It also came as a novel idea in Oyo state. In quick succession, the administration began the construction of modern parks to accommodate commercial drivers who occupy strategic portions of main roads thereby causing traffic for other motorists, particularly in Iwo Road and Challenge. The parks, which are expected to be completed in the next few weeks, will feature modern facilities and will free the city of Ibadan of needless traffic. That had been preceded by reduction of tuition fees by 50 percent in state owned tertiary institutions and peaceful resolution of the crisis that had ridden the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso with the Osun State Government. LAUTECH students had witnessed two sessions filled with crisis threatening the credibility of certificates issued by the institution. Ajimobi returned the institution to its joint ownership status with the Osun State Government to the admiration of all stakeholders. The two governors also approved the gigantic structure constructed by the AlaoAkala administration in Ogbomoso as the second teaching hospital for medical students f the institution with a view to creating more jobs and improve economic activities in the large town. The following months witnessed rehabilitation of roads in the three senatorial zones of the state. Ninety roads were rehabilitated in the exercise. The month of November and December witnessed many bold steps taken by the Ajimobi administration. First was the launching of the 20,000 jobs pledged during his campaign. Dubbed the Youth Empowerment Scheme of Oyo State “YES-O”, the governor employed 20,000 jobless youths in the 33 local governments. They will Speaking at the occasion which held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ajimobi said: “The statistics of unemployment in Nigeria is indeed alarming. It is said that of Nigeria’s 150 million people, about 40 million are unemployed. Because 45 per cent of the Nigerian population is between the ages of 15 to 40 years, unemployment critically affects the youth. The menace of unemployment poses great danger, not only to •Continued on page 44

Tribunal tussle The PDP has not given up on its bid to take over the state. It approached the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to nullify Ajimobi’s election. It took the plea to the Appeal Tribunal after losing at the lower tribunal but the court, last week, upheld that it failed woefully to prove its allegations against Ajimobi. Seven months after the election, however, can voters in the state still beat their chests of having taken the best decision by voting for Ajimobi on April 26, 2011? The new administration, which prides itself as one on a mission to transform, reposition and restore the state’s old glory, was at the mercy of many residents, particularly those belonging to the opposition parties in its early days. At times, it was adjudged as slow.

Testy moments Its fortune was also battered by the downpour, which flooded several parts of Ibadan, the state capital and some other towns in the state on August 26 last year. Residents are still counting losses whose cost Ajimobi insisted runs into billions of Naira.

From left: Seriki Hausa, Ekiti State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu; Governor Kayode Fayemi; chairman of the community, Alhaji Adamu Liman; Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi; Legal Adviser, Hausa Community in Ekiti State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani, shortly after a meeting with the leadership of the community in Ado-Ekiti.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

18

POLITICS The Oyo State People Democratic Party (PDP) faced legions of problems before the April 2011 general elections which led to its defeat at the polls. Its failured was credited to division in the ranks. Recently, the party initiated reconciliation efforts. JEREMIAH OKE reports.

Stormy fence-mending in Oyo PDP

• Ladoja

P

OLITICS of Oyo State took a dramatic turn after the death of People Democratic Party (PDP) political godfather in the state, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, who was also regarded as the strong man of Ibadan politics. Before the April 2011 general elections in the state, the PDP faced a lot of problems which led to the misfortune of the party at the polls. The problems started when the former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala refused to believe the political saying of the state that “the state does not serve a governor twice”. While in office, the governor decided to run for the second term by fiat with the presidential might which was behind him for supporting President Goodluck Jonathan during his bid to contest for the nation’s presidency. So also, the influence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo could not be under-estimated in that regard. Precisely on November 5, 2010, the party set up a committee to investigate and recommend the way out of the terrible condition of the party in the state. The panel which was led by Senator Ike Nwachukwu recommended the dissolution of the executive of the party in the state which the party implemented without hesitation. The dissolved executive was later conducted a ‘kangaroo’ primary of the party. At the primary, other aspirants such as former deputy governor Hazeem Gbolarunmi among others shun the primary held at the Liberty Stadium (now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium) in Ibadan, the state capital. Other stakeholders of the party such as the former senate leader Teslim Folarin, Senators Lekan Balogun and Gbenga Babalola, and some other notable PDP leaders in the state did not attend the primary because of the lack of credibility and transparency vis-à-vis the verdict of the court and the recommendation of the Nwachukwu report that the party executive be dissolved was also ignored. Now, the problem allegedly masterminded by Alao-Akala has escalated, leading to fears about the fate of the party in the state. The party is now clamouring for reconciliation. But are some of the leaders of the party such as Balogun, Gbolarunmi, Folarin, including other stake holders in the party outside Ibadan ready for settlement? Recently, at a closed-door meet-

• Akinjide

ing held at the Premier Hotel, Mokola, notable leaders of the party from the Ibadan/Ibarapa axis such as Folarin; former deputy governor and Ambassador-designate, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja; Alhaji Yekini Adeojo; former Minister of Sports, Professor Taoheed Adedoja; former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide represented by Mogaji Jiire Obisesan; Elder Wole Oyelese; Alhaji Yekini Adeojo, Chief Dejo Raimi; Gbolarumi; former Commissioner for Environment under Alao-Akala, Alhaji Mukaila Aborode; Alao-Akala’s second term campaign director, Demola Ojo and a host of other bigwigs of the PDP, declared in one voice that the party’s warring days were over. After the meeting, one of the participants said the party’s crises were over, saying: “I am telling you that with this sort of meeting, those at the Government House today will start getting jittery because we have laid down our differences and we have accepted to work together. Now, we are together and we are saying that we are brothers; there is no reason to fight because of politics; all we need is more understanding among ourselves. From now on, we can forge ahead.” “Being together today means a lot and it is a signal of the good things to come; this is a signal for the beginning of the removal of those who are in the Government House today,” he concluded. Reacting to the question on what to expect in the forthcoming congress in terms of choosing the leadership of the party, he said: “When the time comes, we will sit down and see who is capable of leading the party. When we get to that bridge, we will cross it.” But Dr Laolu Adepoju, a chieftain of the PDP in the state has a different view about the move to reconcile without flushing some of the members of the party who are not committed in the state. He had this to say: “It is high time the true members of the party were recognised, especially in the South West, to have a true reconciliation and move the party forward. Now that the leaders are trying to reposition the party from the ward to the national levels, it is also important for the party to know its true members, especially in Oyo State. Party leaders in Oyo State

• Folarin

were not sincere. Before the party could have a true reconciliation, members must have recognised themselves and know where they belong to.” Also, there was confusion at the meeting of the Ibadan/Ibarapa PDP stakeholders held recently at the Premier Hotel Ibadan, to fashion out ways to reconcile the aggrieved members. Shortly before the meeting, secretary of the stakeholders, Mr. Lukman Agboluaje, sent text messages to members to boycott the meeting, saying those behind the meeting were out to divide the party. Lukman described such meeting as “illegitimate and fraudulent.” But some of them including AlaoAkala, Arapaja; Adeojo, Folarin and Balogun were not at the meeting. Minority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Rafiu Olatunji said the reconciliation moves would fail, if ex-Governor Rasheed Ladoja was not carried along because Ladoja is a formidable force in the state’s politics, considering his number of followers. However, with the situation of things in the state, the reconciliation may be slightly difficult because Folarin who allegedly killed the fractional leader of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, Alhaji Salako Eleweomo may not be willing to be reconciled with the former governor who remanded him in Agodi Prison for the offence he said he did not commit. Also, Ladoja was impeached unduly. His impeachment and his claim that PDP at the national level hated his state may not help the reconciliation efforts. Another factor that may also affect the reconciliation is the supremacy tussle among the party leaders in the state. Alao-Akala may claim to be the party leader, which others will never accept. Recently, Alao-Akala’s faction announced the suspension of some factional leaders. Among those kicked out were Balogun, Adeojo, Folarin, Gbolarumi and Senator Babalola. But Balogun described the expulsion as “a huge joke,” insisting that the PDP state executive was illegally constituted. There’s nothing wrong, he said, in rejecting anti-people candidates at the polls. The battle, he said, might not be solved even after the coming convention of the party in the state. As the situation stands, the stakeholders may have to do more to restore the health of the sick party in the state.

Parties endorse new Adamawa poll’s date

P

OLITICAL parties in Adamawa have accepted the shift in the Adamawa governorship election date from this Saturday to January 21, expecting free and fair polls. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Tuesday decided to shift the election by one week owing to the prevailing situation in the country Yesterday, the five political parties fielding candidates in the election accepted the INEC decision that was necessitated by the spate of violence that has seized the state and the paralysing nationwide anti-fuel hike protests. They told the News Agency of Nigeria that they hoped that the shift would would make room for a free, fair and credible election. “Though we all met with INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner on Tuesday before the announcement of the shift where we, all the five political parties, declared our readiness for Saturday’s election, the new shift took us by surprise but all the same we accept it in good faith,” Mr Alfa Ephraim, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Chairman, said. The Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr Yohanna Matthias, tsaid the party was aware of the challenges facing INEC in the face of the ongoing nationwide strike, and had no option than to accept the new date even as it affected its arrangement for the election. “We just want to urge our supporters not to be disenchanted by the development but to remain calm and come out en masse to vote on the new date,” Matthias said The state All Nigeria Peoples Party’s(ANPP) Chairman, Alhaji Umar Duhu, described the extension as welcome as it would enable the party cover areas it was unable to touch because of the delay in the take-off of its campaign tour. “We also hope that the one-week extension will lead to the lifting of the curfew in the state as it is not proper to hold election under curfew,” Umar said. His Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) counterpart, Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri, expressed the party’s disappointment with the

development, but said it was ready and hoped the extension would help INEC to prepare for a credible election. Speaking for the ruling party, the Secretary of the Nyako/Ngilari Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Usman Ibrahim, said the PDP and its candidate, Gov. Murtala Nyako, also accepted the new date in good faith and would wait patiently for the polls. “There is no cause to worry; we are ready anytime INEC is ready to conduct the election.”

• Nyako

• Marwa

Ajimobi and ides of 2012 in Oyo •Continued from page 43

the Nigerian nation, but to the peace of this country at large. As it is said, if we don’t engage the youth, they will engage us!.. “Only a system that gives dignity and voice to the unemployed can succeed in wiping away their tears. As it is designed, the YES-O is projected to give the employed a sense of belonging, acting as a resource base for the state in other areas of need. “This administration in Oyo State, right from inception, was aware that, for it to effectively affect the lives of a great number of its population of which the youth is key, it must tackle the monster of unemployment headlong. This was why, at the outset of this administration, we made it clear that provision of job for our teeming unemployed youth is primary in the list of our ‘firsts.’ The employed youths are involved in environmental sanitation and beautification, sensitization and enforcement of traffic rules, provision of support in emergency situations in the state, maintenance of public in-

frastructure and farming in the state farm settlement. In December, the governor also added another initiative to transformation of the transportation system by launching 1,000 tricycles tagged Keke Ajumose with the aim of eradicating the use of commercial motorcycles on city roads. It is believed that commercial motorcycles are involved in too many road accidents, which end up maiming commuters. Besides these, several other projects Ajimobi has introduced other projects including civil service reforms and creation of new ministries, signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Okerete Trans-Border Market and the flag off of the Mokola Roundabout flyover. The successive projects seem to have forced the opposition into some break as flow of criticism is becoming increasingly low. Analysts say opposition parties may have little or nothing to say if the administration sustains its progress in coming months.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

19

EDITORIAL/OPINION Comments

EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

Another ambush strategy •Adoke’s rush to court to stop strike shows the quality of advice the President gets

T

HE Goodluck Jonathan administration’s ambush strategy of securing an interim ex parte injunction from the National Industrial Court, on the last working day, before the commencement date of the ongoing national strike appears to have spectacularly backfired. The leadership of labour, while denying any service of any order of court, called any such purported order; a ‘black market’ injunction. Their civil society coalition partner in the struggle to force the Jonathan administration to revert the pump price of fuel has also stated that they are not affected by any such order, as they are not parties to the suit. Interestingly, the court which made the interim order, like the entire country, has

‘But, acting in desperation, the AGF tried to foist on the courts, the responsibility to resolve a lingering socioeconomic challenge of the executive. As many have asked, would the federal executive obey an interim order of a court to immediately pay all the outstanding entitlements of the labour force under the new minimum wage?

since the beginning of the nationwide strike remained shut down. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, sensing that his wrong foot forward may have unwittingly sucked the judiciary into the mess created by the fuel subsidy crisis, has belatedly threatened that the Federal Government will not hesitate to enforce the “no work no pay” policy. Despite his threat, the nationwide strike has continued to take its toll on the nation, even in government offices. While the substance of the matter remains subjudice, we are surprised that the learned Attorney-General of the Federation would, out of desperation, take a step that has only succeeded in embarrassing the court. How he thought that such an order obtained ex parte on Friday, January 6 would be enough to stop a strike called for Monday, January 9 shows how shallow the quality of advice he probably gives to the President. While we agree that the courts are entrusted to grant interim ex parte injunctions when the propriety and the urgency of the matter at hand calls for it, the issue that the AGF took to court was more political than legal. But, acting in desperation, the AGF tried to foist on the courts, the responsibility to resolve a lingering socio-economic challenge of the executive. As many have asked, would the federal executive obey an interim order of a court to immediately

pay all the outstanding entitlements of the labour force under the new minimum wage? Were such order of court to be obtained against the Federal Government, the AGF would probably think worse of such an order of court and most likely would not obey it. We also think that the court should have asked the Federal Government to put the defendants on notice; so as to ensure that the justice of the case is met; and that the parties are put on notice of any decision the court would make. As we have continuously argued, those on the corridors of power must always desist from abusing our institutions for interim gains. The lack of trust in the political arena is disheartening as it is, and the politicians should not extend this disdain to the judiciary. We believe the AGF should have realised that nothing would come out of his ambush strategy, and if we may advise, he should know that nothing would come out of his threat. What the AGF can do is to appeal for a peaceful resolution of the crisis, and quickly too. The threats of fire and brimstone only bring misery for the nation. So, we advise the AGF and indeed the other members of the National Executive Council that their primary responsibility is to take positions that would make for the greater good of Nigeria; to act differently leads to the kind of embarrassment that this crisis has foisted on the nation.

AGF’s damning report •An example of how the country is being milked dry

O

PERATING within the statutory powers of his office, the AuditorGeneral of the Federation (AGF), Samuel Ukura, has alleged the plausibility of gross distortions in the day-to-day running of the Federation Account. In the 2009 yearly report, which is before the National Assembly, the AGF alleged illegal conversion of equity and missing records of some huge financial transactions. In section 2.32 of his report titled: “Omission of N10,000,000,000. 00 for Federal Mortgage Bank’’ submitted to both Senate and the House of Representatives, the AGF said: “The sum of N10,000,000,000.00 debited to Consolidated Revenue Fund in favour of Federal Mortgage Bank for investments in affordable Housing Mortgage Scheme for civil servants could not be traced. The Accountant-General of the Federation has been requested to explain this omission from the financial statements.”

‘It is not in the interest of the Federal Government to sweep these alleged financial scandals under the carpet. Government must recognise the fact that other countries are watching these unsavoury developments. Official response is required, first as a face- saving measure, and secondly, as a tool for shoring up the badly deflated public confidence in the system’

On illegal conversion of loans to equity, the report said: “The loans converted to equity, as earlier reported in my annual reports for years 2004 to 2006 have now been converted to loans without authority and to the knowledge of the beneficiaries.” The report listed the beneficiaries as Ajaokuta Steel Company (N72,756, 239,000.00) and NITEL (N42,395,300,872.00), totalling N115,343,932,195.00. Nigeria Airways, Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Coal Corporation were similarly affected, even as loans granted to Ghana and Republic of Sao Tome and Principe were not reflected in the accountant-general’s financial statement forwarded to the AGF. If these scandalous allegations by the AGF are sustained, and there are no compelling reasons to doubt his assertion, then, there are urgent and legitimate grounds for Nigerians to be agitated. First, we commend the forthrightness and patriotism of the auditor-general for toeing the path of honour in discharging his responsibility. The AGF has pointed the way forward for credible and purposeful prosecution of the culprits. So, relevant agencies of the Federal Government should swing into action, on the strength of these allegations, and commence investigation into the cases immediately. It is not in the interest of the Federal Government to sweep these alleged financial scandals under the carpet. Government must recognise the fact that other countries are watching these unsavoury developments. Official response is required, first as a face- saving measure, and secondly, as a tool for shoring up the badly deflated public confidence in the system. Without doubt, a cursory look at the

AGF’s litany of allegations, which range from missing and inaccurate records of huge financial transactions, illegal conversion of equities (with the intent to defraud), and a total disregard for global finance and accounting standards suggest that corruption has taken root in the federal bureaucracy. The implications are quite dreadful; public administration in Nigeria has gone bananas. The regime’s rhetorical slogan of ‘zero tolerance’ for corruption has lost its vitality and has therefore become a laughable pastime among Nigerians. Secondly, since governance is tied to public finance and accountability, which is in short supply in this country, future policy statements from government will be treated with derision; after all, the Federal Government has failed to demonstrate its seriousness and or, preparedness to fight corruption headlong. A case in hand is the subsidy removal issue in which Nigerians believe that the Federal Government would be pleasantly surprised at the recoveries it would make if it concentrates on blocking the leakages in the domestic economy than chasing petroleum subsidy removal. Within the last five years alone, diverse allegations of corruption (proven and otherwise) in the government bureaucracies have left no one in doubt that corruption is not only ubiquitously pervasive in the Nigerian society; it is endemic. Again, another opportunity has provided itself for the Federal Government to begin to address the issue of corruption. Missing records of transactions in the Federation Account did not just happen; they were made possible by some people. Government’s investigating agencies must ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Abuja’s fire hazard

N

IGERIANS are justifiably angry. Since President Goodluck Jonathan’s government lifted a longstanding subsidy on fuel last week, the pump price of petrol has more than doubled, transport costs have soared and food prices jumped. For tens of millions of Nigerians living on the edge this represents a hardship too far. Moreover, it is one that has been imposed before the government can claim either to have raised living standards or significantly improved service delivery. Predictably, the unions have taken advantage and on Monday launched a debilitating general strike. Yet the fuel subsidy had to go. Every government for the past 30 years in Nigeria, both civilian and military, has known as much. It is not the cost of the subsidy itself so much as the associated corruption and waste that is problematic. In practice money spent capping the price of fuel subsidises the accumulation of wealth by select importers, middlemen and top officials in the loop more than it helps the general population. It distorts the market, discourages investment in refineries and promotes smuggling across borders. In many areas imported fuel is diverted to the black market before it reaches the pump. Under Mr Jonathan’s brief presidency this waste has spiralled out of control. There is no real explanation, for example, for the near doubling of the cost of the subsidy last year to a record $8bn, and there is reason to suspect some of the proceeds were diverted to electioneering. The cost of the subsidy has risen so much it is now equal to federal capital expenditure, contributing to a yawning budget deficit and mounting public debt. The rationale for lifting the subsidy is sound: it is simply unsustainable if Nigeria is to maintain its recent record of growth. What is questionable is the timing. An Islamist insurrection is threatening the fabric of the federation and dividing Nigerians along religious lines. Extremists in the barren north are tapping into widespread disaffection. Abuja, under a Christian southerner’s control, is seen as doing too little to help the north develop. To reverse this perception the government needs to free up extra funds for investment in social and physical infrastructure. Scrapping the fuel subsidy is the obvious way to do this. What Mr Jonathan failed to do was convince the population in advance that this is where the savings will actually go. The policy is the right one, but the reckless way he has gone about it risks pouring fuel on existing fires. The Financial Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile •Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon •Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu • Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge •Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

S

IR: “The job of the leader is to speak to the possibility” — Benjamin Zander. Governor Ibikunle Amosun is bringing something refreshing to the governance of Ogun State. He is edging the state closer to attaining the status of one of the safest states in Nigeria. He decided to take the bull of by the horns by initiating several moves towards making the state a safe haven for residents and investors. Before his advent, residents looked forward to the EMBER months with horror and trepidation. They had reasons to quake because armed bandits always— at least in the last four years—held residents in the jugulars by raiding banks and homes while paid assassins had field day. The men of the underworld capitalised on the absence of an effective security measure to wreak havoc on the citizens. The immediate result was robbers found Ogun a fertile ground after escaping from Babatunde Fashola’s blitzkrieg in Lagos.

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.net

Amosun takes Ogun security to next level The location of the state as an international border route as well as access route to the East and Southsouth further worsened the situation. In the face of the inertia, the hoodlums operated with relative ease within the state. They attempted to re-enact their trade when Governor Amosun assumed office assuming it would be business as usual. The governor, who was visibly shocked at the bravado displayed by the bandits during raids on some banks in AgoIwoye and Sagamu towns, issued a red card to robbers vowing to make the state a cauldron for them. To give fillip to his threat, he made representations to President

Goodluck Jonathan to approve the operation of a Joint Police/Military (JTF) patrol to protect Ogun from the menace of bandits. He got his desire. But because the governor is not known for half- measures, he asked that the deployed mobile policemen and military personnel should take permanent residency in the state. That request instantly threw up the challenge of housing the security personnel. By the governor is not known to shy away from challenges. He commenced immediate construction of mini-barracks across the state. To complement operations of the JTF, he renamed the largely

ineffective Gateway Response Squad as Quick Response Squad (QRS) and floated a Security Trust Fund (STF) to raise and manage funds for the task. On December 22.2011 when the activities of the JTF/QRS was flagged off along with the inauguration of STF, the governor unveiled plans to install surveillance cameras all across the state to be coordinated by a central control room. He disclosed that enquiries from Lagos and Rivers States where such facilities exists revealed that the person that constructed the communication control rooms is from Ogun state and works with London Metropolitan Police.

Why citizens are skeptical about government policies

S

IR: The ongoing impasse over removal of fuel subsidy can be traced to four factors in governance in our country. The first is the lack of seriousness by government in the handling of corruption by highly placed government officials. Second is the seeming refusal and stony silence on the part of the Federal Government at unmasking and bringing to book the cabal in the nation’s oil industry. The third is the already rooted mistrust between our governments at all levels in the country and the people, an unfortunate situation that has been brought about by the unhidden lavish lifestyles of our leaders made possible through misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds at all levels. Fourth is the unchecked high cost and the unpreparedness of our governments to block all wastages in the running of democracy in our country. Until these enumerated factors are addressed at the three tiers of government, the task of convincing the people, labour movements, human rights bodies and the various corruption watchdogs for good governance in

Nigeria to accept the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy may pose a hard nut to crack. The Federal Government has done nothing but put the cart before the horse. What the Federal Government should have done before the hurried change in the pump price of fuel at filling stations is to address the stinking rot in our oil industry, a fact that has already been accepted by two key players

S

in the administration of Goodluck Jonathan – the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and the Governor of Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. There is no doubt that the pervasive rot in the oil industry would have been checked had the private bill on asset forfeiture sent to the National Assembly by the immediate past chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chief (Mrs.)

Farida Waziri had been acted upon and not left in the cooler by the lawmakers. Until corruption in governance is seen to be tackled headlong at all levels of government, measures such as the fuel subsidy removal and future government policies that may be considered as lofty will continue to be greeted with skepticism. • Odunayo Joseph Mopa, Kogi State

Senator Amosun said he had already contacted the person and he had expressed his willingness to lead other experts from England to construct a similar centre in the state. He disclosed that his administration has already purchased 10 sophisticated Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC’s) as well as 120 patrol vans for the use of the JTF/QRS. He said his administration has already included the allowances of the security personnel, the purchase of additional 180 patrol vans, 20 APC’s, 1000 bullet proof vests and several helmets in the 2012 budget. He however informed his audience the state needs huge financial inputs to bring to fruition his security vision, pointing out that the government cannot shoulder the responsibility alone, hence the need for their support. He told the gathering that he was not asking for donation into the fund but an investment into the security of the state and by extension, their businesses. The governor enjoined the industry chiefs to see any contribution into the STF as a way of expanding their own businesses and branch network. The effect of the moves was instantaneous. Morale among policemen in the state shot through the roofs. They successfully thwarted two bank robberies for the first time in a long while. Surely, Governor Amosun is walking the talk of providing adequate security as a way of attracting investors into the state. • Olusola Balogun, Abeokuta, Ogun State

Letter to President Jonathan

IR: I believe your emergence as Nigeria’s President in this season was by God’s ordination. However, I am concerned that you have lost so much goodwill in just seven months with the same people who supported you vigorously and voted you into office as President. Unfortunately, it apperas that you have unwittingly played into the hands of your opponents and detractors who want you to fail God and Nigerians. You must not allow this! Your people must be the priority of your government not the “Forces of Demand and Supply”. In a nation with no social safety nets, good

healthcare, poor infrastructure, an impoverished populace and a kleptocratic ruling class, fuel subsidy removal should have been phased. Gradualism is a well-established principle in economic policy management. The shock impact of the January 1, announcement has been more disruptive economically, socially, mentally and even spiritually than the proponents of fuel subsidy removal could have ever imagined. Now, there is a real threat to the continuity of Nigeria as a nation! Please, permit me to suggest the following as a possible way out of the national dilemma we are now in: Immediately revert the pump

price of petrol to N65. This may make you look weak to your enemies and detractors but would actually be an indication of your true strength and statesmanship. Get a Special Appropriation Bill sent to the National Assembly for the investment of about US$5Billion, or whatever is required, to build new refineries and refurbish the existing ones in the country to produce petroleum products beyond our local consumption so the excess is exported. The old and new refineries should be concessioned for private management by international refineries operators for a period of 25, over which period the initial

investment of $5Billion would have been recovered and some profit made by the government. Upon building the refineries and concessioning them, the deregulation of petroleum prices could then take effect possibly by 2014 or whatever time is required to build and concession the refineries. I am convinced that, if products are not imported and subject to the vagaries of the international market price, Nigerians can cope with petrol being sold above N65. May the Lord God grant you His wisdom and grace to discern His will at this time and the courage you require to obey Him. • Eghes Eyieyien, Lagos.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

21

EDITORIAL/OPINION

Fuel subsidy removal: why the hurry?

E

XPECTEDLY most Nigerians have criticized and rejected the fuel subsidy removal presented as a shocking and punitive New Year gift by the government. This inscrutable and unscrupulous decision by the government has generated a lot of hues and cries, anger and frustration amongst the populace. While I do not intend to delve into the nitty-gritty, criticize or justify the plausibility of the reasons touted or adduced for the hike in fuel prices, my major concern is the timing. The point must be made that even the best of policy reforms, with all the good intentions, right motives and plausible justifications, if introduced or implemented at the wrong, inauspicious or inappropriate time, are likely to boomerang and meet with a brick wall, vehement opposition and stiff resistance by the stakeholders. Wrong or inappropriate timing creates a potential mine field, landmine and ‘time-bomb’ that is capable of undermining or jeopardizing the success of any policy change or reform. Experience has shown that, in many cases, the difference or missing link between the success and failure of a policy change lies in timing. Timing is a crucial, critical and sensitive factor in determining the success or failure of any policy reform or transformational change. A positive or progressive change could loose its meaning if it is not balanced by appropriate timing. For a change to be successful and enduring, therefore, it has to be well timed. Any policy change or reform that is hastily introduced or implemented without due consideration to appropriate timing and adequate consultations with key stakeholders is not only meaningless, worthless and purposeless but also amounts to a travesty and a pipe dream which cannot stand the test of time. Effective and visionary leaders recognize that when to effect a change is as critically and strategically important as the change itself. According to the Nobel Laureate and

‘Concomitantly, an increase in the cost of transportation will have a spill-over effect on the cost of consumer items which are mainly distributed via the transportation system thereby engendering costpush or consumer price inflation with the attendant socio-economic costs. n and insecurity in the country’

D

ESPITE their brilliance, the duo of Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi Lamido, did not sound convincing. It was on the programme, Matters Arising, on the Africa Independent Television (AIT), on Tuesday in the heat of the nationwide protest over fuel subsidy removal. Naturally, they defended the policy, describing it as the best way to salvage the economy. But they were truthful enough to admit that others could have what they think is the alternative to the policy. For that statement, I hold them in high esteem because that is where they parted way with their colleagues who have been haranguing us with the declaration that it is either subsidy removal or nothing, as if life is a one-way traffic. Before I watched the programme, I had found myself in a dilemma over the title of this article. I had made up my mind on what to write, but getting an apt title for it , appeared to be a problem. I toyed with the above title for a while, but I was worried about referring to our leaders, especially the president as public enemies. If they are so called, I thought what will we call the Boko Haram elements and their cohorts. But my doubts about using this title disappeared as soon as I heard what Lamido said about the ongoing subsidy strike. According to Lamido, some protesters had stormed his Kano residence on Monday to burn it down because they consider him and others in support of subsidy removal as enemies of the people. There was

By Kayode Oluwa playwright, Prof. Wole Soyinka “Timing is a crucial part of leadership intelligence and sensibility”. A truly positive change must,therefore, be time sensitive and effected with a “human face”. The change leader must ensure the right change at the right time, for the change to win the support and enjoy the acceptance of the stakeholders. This is because a good change at the wrong time is as good as a bad change which, ab initio, is a futile attempt, and, ipso facto, programmed and doomed to fail. In this context, therefore, it will be considered insensitive, inconsiderate, ill-conceived and ill-timed to introduce an upward change or increase in the prices of petroleum products at a time when the problems of inadequate infrastructureshave not been effectively addressed. In a situation where there is poor and inefficient mode of public transportation system, as we presently have in Nigeria, coupled with widespread poverty, it will be insensitive and counter-productive to hike the price of such a strategic commodity as fuel, as this is likely to shoot-up the cost of public transportation which is used by the vulnerable mass majority of the populace. Concomitantly, an increase in the cost of transportation will have a spill-over effect on the cost of consumer items which are mainly distributed via the transportation system thereby engendering cost-push or consumer price inflation with the attendant socio-economic costs. This will further exacerbate the level of poverty with the resultant worsening and aggravation of the level of tension and insecurity in the country. It is even more regrettable that the government is now talking of the so called inadequate and ineffective palliatives after the deed (removal of subsidy) has been done, rather than before. It does not make sense. It’s an afterthought; medicine after death. It is unacceptable. It’s like a dentist giving anaesthetics after removing a rotten tooth! Just like a doctor will give a tranquilizer before (and not after) an operation to calm a patient, so also a dentist will normally apply anaestethics to deaden the pains before (and not after) removing a rotten tooth. In effect, the palliatives should have been in place before removing the subsidy. The removal of subsidy on petroleum products, at this point in time, is to say the least, inimical, iniquitous, injudicious and untenable as this will have adverse and deleterious effect on the well-being of average Nigerians. Apart from offending the sensibilities of the Nigerian people [at a time they are goingthrough some excruciating and debilitating economic difficulties], the removal of fuel

subsidy, without any form of intervention or social safety net (“human face”) by the government to mitigate the possible hardships, cushion the likely inconveniences and alleviate the initial adverse or harmful effects, will cause the critical mass of our people, especially the under privileged, downtrodden and vulnerable class in the society to feel disempowered, disenchanted and cheated (rightly and understandably so) and may consequently revolt, savage and resist the change, as we are presently witnessing. Against the foregoing backdrop, I wish to fully align myself with and commend the motion of the House of Representatives urging the federal government to suspend its decision on fuel subsidy removal to allow more time for wider, adequate and conclusive negotiations and consultations with relevant stake holders. Finally, let me sound a note of caution and make it abundantly clear to our leaders, that it is delusional, incorrigible, timid, provocative and, indeed a grave mistake, fallacy and misconception to believe that they can introduce or implement policy reforms without considering appropriate timing, peculiarities and realities on ground as well as their compatibility with the mood, feelings, demands, wishes, hopes, expectations, yearnings and aspirations of the people – for whose benefit the policies or reforms are supposedly meant in the first place – and expect the change to succeed. Such leaders must be living in fool’s paradise! Indeed such a scenario or situation clearly shows that there is a gulf or disconnect between the leadership and the people which in itself is a major hindrance to change. The government should know, as the popular maxim goes, that you can fool some people some time, you can fool all the people some time, you can fool some people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. • Oluwa, wrote from Lekki, Lagos.

‘The change leader must ensure the right change at the right time, for the change to win the support and enjoy the acceptance of the stakeholders. This is because a good change at the wrong time is as good as a bad change which, ab initio, is a futile attempt, and, ipso facto, programmed and doomed to fail’

Public enemies all no further proof than that, that I could use the headline which for days had given me sleepless nights. Who is a public enemy? According to the 21st Century Chambers Dictionary, he is someone whose behaviour threatens the community... To say that President Goodluck Jonathan's removal of fuel subsidy threatens the country will be an understatement. The policy is more than a threat, it is a declaration of war of sorts against the people. But the president and his men do not think so. The president believes that he and his team have taken a decision which is in the best interest of the nation which should not be queried by the people. That is where they are wrong. The president did not put himself in office. He got to Aso Rock by the powers of our votes. So, he is beholden to us, except if he is saying that we no longer matter . It is to show him that the people still matter, especially in a democracy, that the nation is convulsing today. The cause of the convulsion is the subsidy removal to which the government says there is no alternative. But Okonjo-Iweala and Lamido have debunked that claim. There is alternative to subsidy removal, but the government is not interested in the alternative. All it is interested in is removing subsidy in order to, in its words, save the money therefrom to fix infrastructure and undertake other projects. There is nothing spectacular about these projects; they are projects which we have been told over the years the govrnment has been

‘Assuming there was no fuel subsidy to fall back on, where will government have got alternative funding for the execution of the outstanding projects said to be 6,000’

working on. If this is so, why then does the government need money now to do them. Is it that the money earmarked for them in the past budgets was not enough? Why did government award the contracts in the first place when it knew there was no fund for their execution? Is it the practice to award contracts when there is no money for their execution? Assuming there was no fuel subsidy to fall back on as the government seems to be doing now, where will it have got alternative funding for the execution of these projects said to be 6,000? If government could not complete these jobs with the allotted funds, how are we sure that it willl do so now with its so-called gains of subsidy removal? If the government could remove subsidy stealthily as it did on January 1, what else can it not do? It told us that it was still consulting over the issue, only for it to introduce the policy and later raise a panel to discuss with the people on the propriety or otherwise of the policy. Is that how to do things? Well to them, that may be the way. But the people feel otherwise. This is why they have taken to the streets since January 9. The strike being led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the civil society organisations is a clear sign that the people are not happy with the policy. Beyond that they are bitter with the ambushing tactic adopted by the government in removing the subsidy. A government with the welfare of the people at heart does not act that way, they seem, to say. But the government is not moved. It does not have answers to the protests sweeping across the country over subsidy removal, which it says is the only way to save the economy from total collapse. Was the policy introduced because the country is broke? What

will be our fate in say three or four years if the policy is not adopted now? Again, thank God for OkonjoIweala and Lamido for being candid and forthright in answering these questions on AIT. They said the country is not broke, but warned that it stood the risk of being insolvent in two, three years, if subsidy is not removed now. This is their opinion because for now, they are in control of the public till. But can we take that as the sacred truth? How are we sure that other economists and accountants will not arrive at a different conclusion if given the opportunity to look into the same book? I am not doubting the integrity of Okonjo-Iweala and Lamido, but in matters like this , one has to take certain statement with a pinch of salt. Is it the continued payment of subsidy that will ruin the economy? No, I don't believe so. We are in this quagmire becuse of the mismanagement of the economy. After frittering away our foreign reserves on the 2011 election campaigns, the government now wants the people to pay for its profligacy. This is impossible. It cannot eat its cake and have it. When they were carrying billions of naira and dollars about for people to vote for them, they didn't know the danger they were doing to the economy then. Now the chickens have come home to roost and they want to punish the people for their misadventure. So far, the government has said nothing about the strike because it believes sooner than later the people will be tired and things will return to normal. It will be a grave mistake to think like that. The best thing for the president and his men to do in the present circumstance is to listen to the people and not to engage in the wishful thinking that the protesters will soon be tired and begin to return home one

Lawal Ogienagbon

lawal.ogienagbon@thenationonlineng.net

after one. It is not a good thing for those we elected to be perceived as our enemies.

How sure is their SURE?

T

HEY call it the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE). It is the magic wand with which they intend to reinvent the economy following the withdrawal of fuel subsidy. The Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, calls it subsidy transfer. But what does it matter? Whether removal or transfer, it boils down to the same thing. My quarrel is how sure is this SURE thing? Is it not another ploy to shortchange us under the guise of improving our lot? We have heard all this kind of sweet talks before, so, many of us are not impressed. I just feel sorry for the old man, Christopher Kolade. I hope he knows what he is getting himself into by accepting to lead SURE. I wish him all the best. But let him remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. SMS ONLY: 08056504763


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

22

EDITORIAL/OPINION

N

IGERIAN textbook economists have always been out of touch with the reality of their environment. Arrogant and myopic, they are often intolerant of superior argument. Many are slaves to economic theories constructed by model builders to address specific problems of their society without an eye necessarily for their universal applicability. And long after most western and non-western developed economies that once saw capitalism as their reigning god have introduced welfare policies in form of subsidized housing, transportation and healthcare for the protection of the less privileged in their societies, our text book economists have become more catholic than the Pope. We once had Chief Olu Falae who self conceitedly gleefully proclaimed there was no alternative to SAP. That intellectually fraudulent claim turned our nation to a dumping ground for manufactured goods, a development that finally killed all our budding industries. Today we have our currency exchange for 160 naira to a dollar as against pre IBB and Falae’s three naira to a dollar to show for it. Economics Professor, Chukwuma Soludo ignored the Nigerian environment and insisted big banks were the solutions to the problems in the banking sector as if there were no small banks in Europe and America. Soludo’s policy, fostered on us without debate led to criminal deployment of unutilized depositor’s money by the bank operators for buying private jets and hundreds of choice properties all over the world. While Nigerian poor masses who invested their savings and pensions on stocks at about 30 naira per unit in the open market had hoped Sanusi’s further injection of billions of the nation’s tax payers money and the proceeds of the confiscated private jets and choice properties would shore up prices of their stock, it was a forlorn hope. The worth of those shares remains about 50k per unit as he disposes off some of the banks to a new set of his elite members whose source of wealth could only have been the state. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Like their preceding arrogant text book economists strut around with disdain for others with superior argument. Iweala has no coherent defense for the removal, while Sanusi rightly identified the problems and the culprits but insisted others should pay for the sin of the mindless looters of the nation’s treasury. Their condescending attitude has done more damage to government position on the removal of fuel subsidy.

T

RIBUTES and encomiums have poured forth since the New Year for Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Nigeria’s former Minister of External Affairs on his 70th birthday – Jan. 4. Akinyemi has dominated the country’s foreign policy landscape, in and out of office, for about 36 years since his 1975 appointment as the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), the nation’s foreign policy think-tank. I cannot claim any close relationship with Prof. Akinyemi but have had professional interactions with him, on and off, for the years he has been in public limelight. The interactions began at the serene environment of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs on Victoria Island, Lagos, in 1976 when this writer started his formal journalism career with the Daily Times as a senior journalist. I had the privilege of taking a course on International Relations with the erudite Mazi Ray Ofoegbu as lecturer during which I naturally became attracted to the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. It was not a popular beat then because of the intellectual demands of reporting the rather academic presentations at its seminars and symposia. But Prof. Akinyemi, as DG, was very innovative in creating news making events. One high point of such news making events of the time was a provocative three-part lecture series in 1978 by Ayodele Awojobi, the prodigious professor of engineering at the University of Lagos that x-rayed Nigeria’s socio-economic condition. The profundity of the presentation, coming from an engineering professor, established Awojobi as a precocious scholar. Prof. Akinyemi not only brought intellectual fire-power to NIIA from University of Ibadan where he was a senior lecturer in the department of political science, he came with panache – an impeccable dresser with his trademark bow-tie. His other unique trait is that he talks in an indulgent, measured pace. No fast-paced speech. Easy does it for this Prof. The NIIA position launched him into national and international prominence. He earned a reputation as an ideas man. For instance, he conceived the idea of ‘Dialogue’ with countries

Fuel subsidy and our textbook economists The more coherent and plausible arguments of professionals in the oil sector for the removal of the fuel subsidy ironically turned out to further consolidate the perception of Nigerians that government is the problem. It is the government and its institutions that have for 13 years presided over fraudulent payment on phony imports of PMS, diverted to other West African countries but certified as imported to Nigeria. It is government agencies such as Nigerian Customs, the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), PPMC and PPPRA, that supervised the monumental fraud. Beneficiaries are known PDP members or the party supporters. But curiously, President Jonathan is saying Nigerians are culpable for the inefficiency of successive PDP administrations that have failed to supervise government policies such as Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), and temporary ‘bridging’, designed to avoid scarcity arising from broken or vandalized pipes. As for our World Bank celebrated economist, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, her concern is twofold. The removal of fuel subsidy will stop government from borrowing money. It will also enable government pay its creditors. The problem however is that this well known expert who has been part of PDP government for a number of years has not been able tell Nigerians why government is borrowing to fund profligacy .While insisting we must pay unverified debt to local creditors, just as she did with the Paris Club, she has not been able to tell Nigerians who these faceless government creditors are. Could they by any chance include those government probes have indicted for contributing to the collapse of some

banks or some PDP legislators, who allegedly collected payment for contracts not implemented of badly executed? The finance minister doesn’t deem it necessary to tell Nigerians why fuel subsidy that was N300 billion during Obasanjo administration increased to N561 billion in 2010 and N1.3 trillion in 2011, all under President Goodluck Jonathan. And as for our CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is ever proud to advertise himself as an economist, the removal of fuel subsidy will only affect the middle class that he claims drive around cities and across the country in personal cars. This is in line with his earlier claim, that the removal of subsidy on diesel by Obasanjo government seven years ago affected only the middle class white collar workers retrenched by factories. (He has been proved wrong as many factories closed down on account of the policy). If Sanusi has contempt for the middle class in Nigeria, all he has for the lower class is disdain. It was reported he once wondered aloud, ‘where will government find N18, 000 minimum wages’? But this is purely intellectual deceit. Sanusi knows that in the home of capitalism, the middleclass form the bedrock of society. It is the salt of the earth. They are the intellectuals, lawyers, doctors, engineers bureaucrats and other professionals society depend upon for the education of their youths, the health of the aged, the roads they use, the water they drink and sometimes the air they breathe. Without them society will decay. But even as important as the upper class and the middle class are, the western developed societies realize neither can exist nor survive

Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi at 70 By Bisi Olawunmi considered of strategic foreign policy importance to Nigeria as a way of broadening collaboration. Such NIIA dialogues, which he led as DG, include Nigeria-United States Dialogue (1978), Nigerian-Soviet Dialogue (1978) and Nigerian-Brazilian Dialogue (1980) When Akinyemi was appointed Minister of External Affairs in 1985 under military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, it was no surprise, given his antecedents. He demonstrated his innovative ideas by instituting the Technical Aid Corps Scheme which radically changed Nigeria’s manpower assistance programme to needy nations. As Director-General of NIIA and minister, one attribute that gave Prof. Akinyemi an advantage was his thorough understanding of the media and the ability to deploy media in support of his agenda. He respects the media and journalists and generally acknowledges their contributions to his career progression. He is a reporter’s delight and always creates time to accommodate journalists. A particular incident typifies his accommodation of journalists. It was in Washington D.C. in late 1985 on one of his visits to the U.S. capital as Minister of External Affairs. He was staying at the Watergate Hotel, in Foggy Bottom area of D.C. and I had an interview appointment with him. I was then resident Washington correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and was about four months old in the U.S. I just got a car and was not familiar with the labyrinthine road network in that area. I lost my way. By the time I finally got to the hotel, he was preparing to go out for another appointment. The embassy protocol official, pointing out my lateness, noted: Bisi, you have been keeping the minister waiting, he can’t see you again. There were other embassy officials and I asked them to do me a favour: just go and announce my presence. They refused. At that point, I became insistent, so one of them went in and

they were surprised when Prof. Akinyemi called out: B – i –s – i, come in, I have been waiting for you. He still granted me 30 minutes interview. There is an aspect of Akinyemi which Dapo Thomas, in his tribute in Daily Sun newspaper of Jan. 3, described as Akinyemi’s “reverential arrogance” as a public officer. I call it a kind of condescending aloofness that many find offensive. He exhibited this perceived officious “arrogance” at an event at the Nigerian embassy in Washington D.C. when Ignatius Olisemeka was ambassador and he didn’t take kindly to it. Apparently, the ambassador felt miffed that his younger brother’s classmate at Igbobi College in Lagos could relate to him with condescension, whatever his temporary position as minister. I was with Prof. Akinyemi at a dinner in his honour by Prof Carol Lancaster, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, at Georgetown University in Washington and in an after-dinner discussion at his hotel suite, I raised the issue of the ambassador’s anger with the minister. He parried my observation. Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, his predecessor as External Affairs Minister under Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and currently UN Under Secretary General, also had his own grouse about the poor treatment he got from some Nigerian embassies, after leaving office, allegedly on Prof. Akinyemi’s instructions. He parried that too. Incidentally, Ambassador Olisemeka, a supremely confident and consummate diplomat, also later became Minister of External Affairs. Two other controversies, outside of human relations, centre on Akinyemi’s innovative ideas – Economic Diplomacy in Foreign Policy and the concept of Concert of Medium Powers. The Nigerian diplomatic establishment poohpoohed his idea of economic diplomacy but it is measure of his intellectual fecundity that 25 years later, it has become an idea whose time has come as the Jonathan administration is

without the lower class which Sanusi seems to have so much disdain for. The peace and progress of the lower class is the only guarantee for the safety of those who have taken more than their own proportionate share of our resources. But Sanusi the economist, has not told us why he has chosen to ignore those he alleged wrecked banks by refusing to pay loans after collecting subsidy, Obasanjo that he claimed institutionalized corruption in NNPC by authorizing deductions before payment to the federation account and the small ‘group of marketers and government officials’ he claimed are the real beneficiaries of subsidy. He chose instead to focus on the middle class. In any case where does Sanusi situate the PMS consumed by salon operators, tailors, carpenters, commercial motorcyclists, intra and intercity commercial vehicles, ‘vulcanizers’, those who engage in commercial grinding of pepper and tomatoes in our markets etc? Or is it that because they also create wealth, their consumption is no more part of the calculation? It is this type of hypocrisy and intellectual fraud of our text book economists that has enabled developed nations sustain the running of welfare states partly funded by the poor nations whose citizens live below two dollars a day. Ms Christen Largade, IMF president who was recently brought in to give moral support to Okonjo-Iweala, was accused as her country minister of finance by her European colleagues of exceeding the level of EU approved subsidy for agriculture and transportation. And for us the tragedy of attempts to emasculate the middle and lower class will only further unleash its sociological consequences in form of corruption in the bureaucracy, chaos in our universities, ineffectiveness of our police and incidents of armed robberies and misplaced aggression under the guise of religion by irreligious hungry and angry poor.

‘The tragedy of attempts to emasculate the middle and lower class will only further unleash its sociological consequences in form of corruption in the bureaucracy, chaos in our universities, ineffectiveness of our police and incidents of armed robberies and misplaced aggression under the guise of religion by irreligious hungry and angry poor’ making it a pillar of foreign policy. With regard to the Concert of Medium Powers, where he advocated a grouping of some emerging influential nations, including Nigeria, Brazil, and India as moderators of international power relations through collaborative and cooperative agenda as against current coercive mechanism of Western powers, the idea was dismissed in some quarters as hare-brained. Thomas, one such critic, employed a definition of ‘Medium Power’ nations as “those which by reason of their size, their material resources, their willingness and ability to accept responsibility, their influence and stability are close to great powers” and contended that Nigeria did not meet the criteria. He charged that Prof. Akinyemi “took his nationalistic sentiments too far”, based on what he (Thomas) considered as Nigeria’s “pretentious strategic relevance as a regional power in Africa” and asked rhetorically: “When did regional swaggering become sufficient criterion for Middle Power qualification?” But how can being a continental regional power be dismissed summarily as irrelevant in terms of international relations? This is instance of national self denigration. For Thomas, a lecturer in history and international studies at the Lagos State University, Ojoo, his denigration of Nigeria shows both historical and contemporary knowledge gap given Nigeria’s big size, its material resources, willingness and ability to accept responsibility, exemplified in its willing contributions to international peacekeeping, and its influence in Africa, the major criteria he listed for Medium Power membership. Perhaps, if similar idea had been floated by an American or a European, it would be more acceptable! However, like the concept of Economic Diplomacy, the Doctrine of Concert of Medium Powers may yet evolve, given the emerging dynamics in international relations. I salute Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, an Ideas Man, at 70. • Olawunmi, Lecturer, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State is former Washington Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

23

NEWS

Senate approves emergency rule in 15 councils

T

HE Senate yesterday approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of a state of emergency in 15 local governments in the country. This followed a motion by its leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, entitled: “Proclamation of State of Emergency in certain Local Governments Areas of the country.” The Senate invoked the powers conferred on it by sections 305(2) and (6b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and approved the state of emergency in the affected councils. Some senators, who supported the motion, however, regretted that bombings have continued despite emergency rule in the affected areas.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The affected states and councils are: Borno State (Maiduguri Metropolitan, Gamboru Ngala, Banki Bama, Biu, and Jere); Yobe State (Damaturu, Geidam, Potiskum, Buniyadi-Gujba and Gasua-Bade); Plateau State (Jos North, Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom) and Niger State: (Suleja LGA). Ndoma-Egba said the Senate should note that the country has been going through serious crises, which constitute threats to peace, order, good governance, security and safety to the nation and citizenry. He said these crises transcend religious, political and ethnic divide, with the

‘The Senate leader observed that the crises have overwhelmed the response capacities of the concerned state governments and councils, which have been unable to manage, curtail or eradicate the situation leading to the total breakdown of public order and security in the affected areas’ perpetrators using terror tactics to cause a serious breakdown of law and order. The Senate leader observed that the crises have

overwhelmed the response capacities of the concerned state governments and councils, which have been unable to manage, curtail or eradicate the situation leading to the total breakdown of public order and security in the affected areas. He said the Senate should be worried that there is a clear and present danger of the crises spreading beyond their boundaries to other parts of the country. Ndoma-Egba said there is need to secure the borders of these local governments and the states concerned by temporary closing contiguous borders with neighbouring countries to prevent such areas from being used as entry and escape routes by perpetrators of terrorists acts within Nigeria.

He said he was convinced that extraordinary measures are required to restore peace, security and order in the affected local governments. The Senate leader said the ‘’the President has published and transmitted copies of the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation containing the proclamation, including the details of the emergency to the President of the Senate in accordance with Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).’’ Through a voice vote, the Senate invoked the powers conferred on it by Section 305 (2) and (6b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and approved the state of emergency in the affected local governments.

Akingba against subsidy removal THE Chairman of Nigeria Reinsurance Company, Dr. Amos Akingba, yesterday said he is not in support of petrol subsidy removal. Akingba, in a reaction to a story published in this paper yesterday, said what should be removed is the subsidy on corruption. He said: “Your reporter got me wrong; what l said was that the subsidy on corruption should be removed. For now, it appears the real cost of fuel should not be more than N34. That means N65 is too much. There is no fuel subsidy, but corruption subsidy. You can’t remove what is not there. Government should tackle corruption and end ‘cabalocracy’. The people should not be made to suffer for government’s inefficiency.”


24

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012


25

THE NATION

EDUCATION Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

email:- education@thenationonlineng.com

The removal of fuel subsidy is taking its toll on the return of pupils and students to school. KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE, MEDINAT KANABE, PASCAL OKEZU and JANE CHIJIOKE report on hassles parents are facing.

•Ben

F

•Okoro

•Ogoukwu

•Ojokan

Agony of parents, pupils over subsidy removal

OR parents whose children are returning to school for the new term, things are not easy. They are not finding it easy with the hike in petrol price brought about by the removal of fuel subsidy on January 1. Parents feeling the heat most are those whose children are in boarding schools which resumed before the strike. Also, undergraduates are feeling the heat of the drastic hike in transport costs and consumables needed for sustenance in school. It was tales of woe all the way when parents who dropped their wards off for the second term at King’s and Queen’s Colleges told of the hardship they went through, adjusting already stretched resources to provide essentials for their wards. Undergraduates of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State Polytechnic and other institutions are also bemoaning their fate. Many parents described the current situation as “harsh”, complaining that added to the hike in the price of a litre of fuel from N65 to N141, they have to spend much more to get their students back to school. Mr Jacob Odus, who works for Abel Pharmacy, said he could not afford to give his daughter, a pupil of Queen’s College, Yaba, up to N1,000 as pocket money because of the sharp increase in living expenses. “It is difficult, tough, harsh. I was planning for it, but the extent at which it has come, I am not prepared.Since I returned on the 2 nd to 8 th I have spent N10,000 on fuel and I have not bought up to full tank. Today, as I drop my daughter in school, I cannot give her up to N1,000. If I give her up to that I am not sure I will have enough to buy fuel to return home,” he said.

Another parent, Mr Andrew Onyia, also complained of the added cost when he said: “To get here is a problem. The amount used in buying fuel has tripled. I stay as far as Ikotun. Prices of things have gone up. But there are things you cannot do without. I will cut back on her pocket money. Already, she too is seeing the reality. It is harsh. If I say I cope with it, I am just suffering and smiling.” Mother of four Mrs Rachel Oguguo described the situation as disheartening. With her wards in four federal government colleges, she said the cost is stifling. “Before if I want to drop my daughters I buy 10 litres for N650 but now I spend N1,400. It is so disheartening. Before, if my daughter is returning to school, she would take a big Ghana must go bag filled up with goodies but now she came with a

small bag. I have four children – two in Queen’s College, and two in other federal schools. Before it used to cost me N27,000 to take care of their provisions but I spent between N35,000 and N37,000,” she said. Mrs Funke Awoyemi has also had to increase her expenditure on provisions and is worried that the college will be forced to ask parents to pay more to meet the shortfall. “Before I was buying provisions of N2,500 but now it is N3,500, and even at that it is not enough. We have to cut our coat according to our size. I am sure the school fees will rise by next term. For boarding house students, the food that they are eating, the cost will be double. I am afraid they will ask us to pay additional money to what we paid now,” she said. When she went to the market, Mrs

It is difficult, tough, harsh. I was planning for it, but the extent at which it has come, I am not prepared. Since I returned on the 2nd to 8th, I have spent N10,000 on fuel and I have not bought up to full tank. Today, as I drop my daughter in school, I cannot give her up to N1,000. If I give her up to that I am not sure I will have enough to buy fuel to return home

Olanrewaju Kannike expected that N5,000 would cover her daughter, Anu’s needs in school. However, by the time she had purchased some toiletries like bathing soap, washing soap, detergent, hair cream, toothpaste, sanitary pad; and provisions such as cornflakes, golden morn, powdered milk, beverage and sugar, the money was exhausted. Yet, she still had not bought other necessities like garri, the student’s companion, body cream and the like. She said she had to resort to buying cheaper substitutes of each product in place of preferred brands. “To save money for other things, I had to buy Safeguard Soap in place of a pack of Dettol soap because of N200 difference. I also had to exchange Bournvita beverage for Richoco,” she said. Tolani Galadima, an SS3 pupil, said she has to be content with less provisions as her mother was forced to cut down on the amount she spent. “My parents told me that everything has gone down now and they said I would be taken care of in school. I told them there is strike but they said, ‘see you on visiting day.’ I went with my Mum to shop for school. The money she took to the market reduced. She used to spend N7,000 but this time she took N5,000. The complaints were similar at King’s College. Mr Mbanugo Ben lives close to the Race Course campus of the college which houses senior secondary pupils. However, the difference in transport cost is not minimal, considering the distance. “The subsidy removal affected virtually everything. Like today, I couldn’t come here with my car and the cab I took to this place; instead of the normal N800, I paid N1, 500 and today is Saturday. I didn’t ar•Continued on Page 26

•LASU GRADUATE WINS TOP PHOTOJOURNALISM PRIZE - PAGE 27 • TECHNILOGIST INVENTS ELECTRICAL GADGET - PAGE 37


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

26

EDUCATION AAUA FILE VC enforces wearing of IDs THE Vice Chancellor of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Prof Femi Mimiko, has directed the security unit of the institution to accost members of staff and students who do not conspicuously display their identity cards on campus. Speaking at the 2012 New Year service held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Multipurpose Hall, Tuesday last week, Mimiko said defaulters shall be sanctioned. He said: “As a minimum, I expect every staff and student to put on their ID cards without which every responsible officer should not allow all those who chose not to comply to transact any business on campus. The Security Unit shall be asked to enforce this, such that whosoever chooses to compromise our security by not wearing their ID card shall, henceforth, be vigorously sanctioned in the interest of our university.” In the New Year, Mimiko urged members of staff to rededicate themselves to the vision and mission of the university.

Building projects to be completed BY the end of the year, AAUA staff and students will be more comfortable, thanks to the management’s plans to complete ongoing projects. Prof Mimiko said during an interview to mark his second year in office that almost all the 11 ongoing infrastructural projects will be completed this year. He said: “We have about 11 ongoing projects and most of them, if not all, will be completed before the end of this year. And I have the confidence that by the time these projects are completed, at least, for the first time in 12 years, we would have solved the problem of inadequate space which we have always faced.” The projects include two 500seater lecture theatres, an internet resource centre, the health centre, a 250-bed space hostel being constructed by the Ondo State Oil-mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), a 26-classroom block, four other lecture theatres, and alternative Sports Centre.

Tricycles to boost transport THE university is to purchase 20 tricycles to boost transportation on campus. Mimiko said the tricycles, which will be delivered in the current semester, will improve the campus shuttle scheme. “Our target is to provide at least 20 new tricycles on campus during this new semester. The Campus Shuttle Scheme introduced two years ago with a Coaster and one 18-Seater buses can no longer cope with the level of expansion in the physical space of the university and we felt we needed to do something,” he said. Mimiko also said poor power supply and water shortage would soon be a thing of the past. On electricity, the VC said the university was hoping to get funds to improve supply, while there are plans to build a huge dam and use the facility to harness rain water.

UNILAG moves towards postgraduate training •Graduates 8,159

T

HE University of Lagos (UNILAG) is gradually repositioning itself to train qual-

ity lecturers for other universities, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, has said. At a briefing to announce the university’s convocation on Tuesday at the Senate Chambers, Sofoluwe said the number of postgraduate students it trains is catching up with that of undergraduates and would soon surpass it in the nearest future. He added that postgraduate facilities have been expanded. This year, the university will graduate 3,784 post graduate degree holders while 4,375 will receive first degrees, bringing the total to 8,159 during the convocation holding on Wednesday and Thursday next week. “We are getting closer and closer to a limitation point when the number of postgraduate and undergraduate will be the same and gradually will tilt the other way. While we continue with all our undergraduate programmes, there is going to be a preponderant shift towards postgraduate education in the University of Lagos. This will enable the university to produce lecturers both qualitatively and quantitatively for younger universities. In this regard therefore, our postgraduate facilities have been expanded to enable the university to make significant increase in our postgraduate intake,” he said. He also said the university, which

•Prof Sofoluwe (middle) flanked by Mr Olurotimi Shodimu, Registrar (left) and Prof Ramon Bello Deputy ViceChancellor Management Services (right) at the briefing. By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

has a student population of 40,000, will soon be able to admit more through the open and distance learning platform. Giving the breakdown of the graduands per faculty among whom 122 made first class, Sofuluwe said Faculty of Arts produced 348; Education, 449; Environmental Sciences, 278; Science,

539; Distance Learning Institute, 985; College of Medicine, 94; Business Administration, 474; Engineering, 393; Law, 216; and Pharmacy, 96. In the School of Postgraduate Studies, 421 will receive Postgraduate Diplomas, 3,289 Masters, M.Phil, one, and PhD, 73. As part of the convocation programme, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the institu-

tion, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Femi Bamiro will deliver the Convocation Lecturer entitled: “Nigerian University System and the Challenge of Relevance” today at the main auditorium. Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I will chair the occasion. Other activities lined up include a convocation play entitled: The Troubadour and an alumni reception to hold on Thursday next week.

Agony of parents, pupils over subsidy removal •Continued from Page 25

gue much because I see what is on ground and I understand,” he said. Mr Clem Okoro felt the pinch too when he dropped his son off last Saturday. He said: “Look at the transportation aspect; cost of food stuffs.We are not even sure whether school fee will go up. Before the removal, if I buy N1,000 fuel, it would bring me here and take me back. Ten litres is N1,400 and it cannot take me back. So, obviously, it has a triple effect coming here.” Like other mothers,Mrs Muoneke Ogoukwu did not find shopping easy this time around. “Yesterday, I went to buy things that my son would take to school but it was double the former price. The government should have mercy on us; let them think of the poor masses before doing what they do. The rich is getting richer while the poor is getting poorer. All fingers are not equal; if I can buy it another parent may not be able to buy it.” However, Mr Lawal Busari, an IT consultant, believes parents with wards in the boarding house are luckier than others as they spend less in the long run on them than on children who commute from home to school daily. “The luck that we have is that our children are in boarding school. As long as we can afford the school fees and other things, we are not likely to be largely affected. If they were day students, it would have affected them more. Something like this is a chain reaction, everything will definitely become expensive. That was where I felt it the most; prices of commodities were adjusted along with the fuel subsidy removal,” he said. When primary and secondary schools resume after the strike, parents are anxious that schools will hike fees and transport cost – for those that patronise school

buses. Mrs Bolade Ayanwuyi, Mrs Abosede Ojokan and Mrs Magdalene Momoh said they are preparing ahead for increased cost. “My son is supposed to start school on Monday. I am prepared to pay anything because I already know that the fee cannot be the same because of the fuel subsidy removal,” Mrs Ayanwuyi said. On her part, Mrs Momoh said: “I know that my daughter’s school bus money will increase even though they are using diesel, they will say they are using fuel. If I say I should take my daughter on bike to school everyday, it will cost me N280 per day and N5,600 in a month. What they should do is find a way that the fuel subsidy will work. They should sack all those embezzling the money. If we have constant power supply in the country and the subsidy is removed, companies and other businesses will not feel it.” Mrs Ojokan said it will also make teachers demand salary increase, which inevitably drive up tuition fees. ���It will affect the cost of the children’s school bus and even the school fees because the teachers will complain that where they are coming from is far; that their food cost has increased; that all other expenses have increased and will demand salary increment from the school. It is the parents of the children that will suffer it. Fuel now is so expensive, see my two generators; I can’t put on anyone. Yesterday, all of us used torchlight. I don’t know where this country is going,” she said. For those undergraduates whose schools are in session, transportation cost is hitting them hard. Helen Osagie, a student of the Yaba College of Technology YABATECH, said the hike has affected attendance.

“The removal of fuel subsidy has greatly affected me in so many areas – transportation, food and other things have increased. Some students did not even come to school today because of high cost of transportation,” she said. Another YABATECH student who did not want to be named also lamented the effect on her pocket money. “The little pocket money I collect from my parents is now channelled to transportation. The cost of handouts definitely will increase because lecturers will want to cover their own expenses,” she said. While universities may be shut because of ASUU strike, students acknowledged that things will be different when they resume. Uche Anagor, a 200 Level Mass Communication student of the Imo State University, Owerri, said transport cost hike may make it diffi-

cult for students to resume after the strike. “Students will not be able to go back to school after they call off the strike, because where will parents see the money to give us? The fees of schools that have not been increased will be increased and those that have been will skyrocket,” he said. Philip Ehiemiri, a 300-Level Mass Communication student of the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, said surviving will become an issue. “It will be devastating because all the activities in school like intra and inter transportation will be increased, lectures will increase their handout price because where it will be produced definitely they use fuel; in feeding the amount will increase and quality will be small. In summary it will be survival of the fittest,” he said.

“With widespread unemployment, they must convince us not to BREAK the rules of success!”


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

27

EDUCATION IBBUL FILE

LASU graduate wins top photojournalism prize A PHOTOJOURNALISM and Cinematography graduate of the Lagos State University (LASU) Adebola Adegunwa School of Communication (LASUAASOC), Mr Yinka Adeparusi, has won the photojournalism prize of the Sixth Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Reporting. His picture captioned “Corporal punishment lingers” showed a scene of corporal punishment in a Lagos’public school, where two pupils, lying, receive some strokes of their teacher’s cane in the full glare of other pupils. Adeparusi’s winning entry was among the 90 submitted for the award this year. About 75 made it to the pre-assessment stage. He was rewarded with a cash prize and a laptop with half a year of access to the Internet. Since the news of his success reached his alma mater, encomiums have poured forth. While congratulating him, Dean of the School, Prof Lai Oso, said the prize is good for the school’s reputation and shows the quality of its graduates. “I congratulate him. The prize is a good one for the reputation of this foremost School of Communication because it shows the quality of our products and confirms the emphasis that we place on skills acquisition,” he said. Mr. Jimi Kayode, who is the Acting Head of the Department of Journalism, from where Adeparusi graduated in the 2009/2010 academic session, has also praised the Adeparusi. “Yinka had always been one of the best Photojournalism students during his undergraduate days here. I was not too surprised when I heard of his triumph in the keenly contested awards; he is a profes-

sionally trained photojournalist”, said the former Director, Nigerian Institute of Journalism. Similarly, Mr Tunde Akanni, who supervised his undergraduate research project, has described Adeparusi in the superlatives. “He is most respectful, reliably creative and attentive and has matched academic brilliance with professional confidence. I feel proud that the effort of one of my students has successfully competed with those of established professionals in the

Don wins ASUU thesis award

field. Not even the sky will limit him,”said the ex-features writer with the National Concord. His trainer for most of his years in LASU and renowned photojournalist, Mr Bola Dada, could not hide his joy in a chat from his United Kingdom base, where he is currently holidaying with his family. “Oh, Yinka (the phojournalist) has been my beloved since his very first session in the sschool. So I knew he had the stuff required of a sound photojournalist. He winning the prize has further confirmed the conviction I had at the outset. He can even win the Pulitzer,” said the septuagenarian.

‘Yinka had always been one of the best Photojournalism students during his undergraduate days here. I was not too surprised when I heard of his triumph in the keenly contested awards; he is a professionally trained photojournalist’

•Adeparusi

With the award, Adeparusi may also get a chance to train abroad courtesy of the organisers, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, a registered not-forprofit, non-governmental organisation.

Faculty holds workshop

Unit holds party

T

HE Bursary Division of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo has held its new year party. The party was attended by the Provost, Prof Adeyemi Idowu; Deputy Provost, Dr Olufemi Olajuyigbe, Registrar, Mr Felix Aderiboye, Librarian, Dr Rotimi Egunjobi and the Director of Physical Planning and Works Services, Mr. Francis Ajayi. In his welcome address, the Chief Host, the Acting Bursar, said the purpose of the party was to thank God for life, good health and job. In his address, the Provost thanked workers in the bursary for the turnaround in the division. Besides the merriment, awards were presented to the oldest staff of the division and professionally qualified colleagues. During a similar event by the Registry Unit the next day, Prof Idowu urged the workers to be diligent in the discharge of their duties and continue to work hard to move the College forward. He commended the Registrar, Mr Felix Aderinboye, for the tremendous improvement witnessed in the Registry in the past five years.

•Pupils of Mictec International School, Ogudu, Lagos, presenting a song during the Yuletide celebration

AUN partners Tulane Varsity

T

HE American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, has established official relationship with Tulane University in the United States. Its action followed the mandate of the Board of Trustees to expand relations with other universities that can contribute to the growth of the institution. Tulane University of New Orleans, Louisiana is a private nonsectarian university nearly two centuries old, ranked number 50 in the US News and World Report rankings, and in the top 225 Worldwide University ranking of the

Times of London. Tulane is expected to assume the role of prime partner with AUN in the establishment of new graduate programmes, the training of faculty and the exchange of students. Tulane will also assist AUN in pursuing US accreditation and provide other resources with respect to library, institutional development and grant and proposal writing. Tulane has been chosen for its status, its commitment to international development and its long history of African experience and activities. Discussions are underway be-

tween the two University administrations to explore specific avenues to expand the relationships with a specific action plan for the next two years. The administration of the agreement from the Tulane side will be under the direction of Dr. Eamon Kelly President Emeritus of Tulane as well as former Chair of the Board of the National Science Foundation in the United States. Dr. Kelly is also a member of the Board of AUN, and will provide direct support to AUN senior administration as requested.

Health provosts inaugurate new officers HE Provosts and Principals of Colleges and Schools of Health Technology have elected officers to run their affairs. At the maiden meeting of the body, Provost of Ogun State College of Technology, Dr Tunji Dawodu, emerged as the Chairman while Dr. Ado Bello of Kano State College of Health Technology was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Other new officers include, Alhaji Ganiyu Elelu (Ebonyi State College

T

A LECTURER in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL), Mr Ololo Kennedy, has won the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) postgraduate thesis proposal award of N150,000. The research proposal, which is on “The impact of human resources management system on productivity - A case study of Coca Cola Plc. is being undertaken at Ph.D level at the University of Abuja. Receiving the winner of the award in his office, the ViceChancellor, Prof Ibrahim Adamu Kolo, commended the brilliant performance by the lecturer, saying that the feat has actually done the university proud. He disclosed that the University would further recognise his efforts and urged him to keep it up. The ASUU postgraduate thesis award is in categories and awarded to its members who demonstrate luminous wizardry in their thesis proposals at postgraduate level.

of Health Technology), Mr Siyona Dasihil (Plateau State College of Health Technology) while the Provost of Kwara State College of Health Technology, Alhaji Shehu Ajide, was appointed the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. In his acceptance speech, Dawodu promised to put the body on a higher pedestal that would make it a focal point of the health sector in Nigeria, adding that it was high

time specialised institutions be allowed to access the Tertiary Education Fund. He said: “I want to thank my colleagues for choosing me as the helmsman of this great body and I promised to pilot the affairs of the body in such a way that would make it relevant in the Nigeria’s health sector. “One of the objectives of this body is to attract more recognition, relevance and Federal Government

support for infrastructural development of colleges of health technology thereby improving the health care training programmes offered in our various institutions. To this end, I want to appeal to authorities that specialised institutions like ours should be included as beneficiary of the Tertiary Education Fund (TEF).The present situation whereby only the polytechnics and universities are considered eligible for the fund is not right at all.”

THE Faculty of Applied and Natural Sciences, IBBUL, has held oneday sensitisation workshop on best practices in the university system. In a paper presented at the event, a Professor of Geology and the Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, Nuhu Obaje, said adopting best practices in the University system entails attaining world class standard by internationalisation of curriculum, standardisation and benchmarking of academic programmes, among others. He also stressed that the university must ensure transparency in all its operations for accountability and discharge its core mandates of teaching, research and community service with seriousness.Other areas the presentation highlighted were on students continuous assessment, examination administration and results presentation as well as students guidance & counseling and discipline. Speaking as the Chairman of the occasion, Dean of the Faculty, Prof Timothy Gbodi, urged members of staff to be committed to their duties. The workshop had in attendance members of academic and nonacademic staff of the faculty as well as members of SERVICOM unit of the University.

Varsity exploits hydro-carbons THE Central Research Team of IBBUL has started a pilot geological study to ascertain the commercial deposits and drillable sites of petroleum and other related hydrocarbons in Bida Basin. Briefing reporters about the project, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kolo said the university considers the study as critical given its potential to reposition the economy of Niger State. He disclosed that the research, which is expected to cost about N850million, would adopt world best technologies and collaborate with some research institutions within and outside the country to achieve results that would not only be of immense benefits to the state but the country in general.


28

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

EDUCATION EKSU FILE SLT programme to get support THE Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) programme of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, will soon get support, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina, has said. He spoke during a tour of the Ifaki campus of the university where the programme has relocated to. Aina inspected all the facilities of the SLT, including Physics, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry laboratories, library and the ICT Centre. He promised that the programme would be assisted to enable the University to produce graduates who could be relevant to the society in line with the new vision of Ekiti State University.

Govt donates buses TO ease movement of workers and students, the Ekiti State Government donated two Leyland buses to EKSU last Friday. At the presentation, which took place at the Governor’s lodge, the state Governor Kayode Fayemi said the buses had been purchased before the Federal Government removed subsidy on fuel. Responding on behalf of EKSU and other beneficiaries, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Aina said the buses would ease staff and students of the University transport problem, especially as the hike in fuel price has made fares more costly.

Alumnus is fastest 400m woman AN alumnus of EKSU, Miss Bukola Abogunloko, who holds the 400m athletics record in Nigeria, has appreciated the support for sports by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oladipo Aina. Miss Abogunjoko, who graduated from the Department of Banking and Finance in 2008, urged the Vice-Chancellor not to relent in making the university sports friendly, noting that it has produced great athletes, such as Osayomi Damola and Olusoji Fasuba. Prof Aina congratulated her for the achievements in long distance races and urged other students to emulate her.

Aregbesola, Olukoya to get honorary degrees O SUN State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, Dr Daniel Olukoya, will be conferred with honorary degrees of the Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State during the third convocation of the institution today. JABU Vice-Chancellor Prof Sola Fajana told reporters that the ceremony will be witnessed by the governors of Ekiti, Lagos and Edo states, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Mr Raji Fashola and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The private university established by Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide would also award 14 first class, 86 second class upper, 137 second class lower and 34 third class degrees. Fajana said 271 students graduated from the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social and Management Sciences. Among the projects to be inaugurated during the event

include the Guest House, which boasts of an Olympicstandard swimming pool, entrepreneurship skill acquisition and innovative centre, three ultra-modern laboratories and newly completed central stores. The vice-chancellor said the university also arranged the purchase of a tractor under the Osun State scheme for institutional agriculture to boost productivity of the university farm. With such additional facilities, he said the university has

gained the required momentum to reverse the misfortune of the nation’s great potentials in agriculture and enterprise. He, however, regretted that despite being endowed with abundant natural resources, many Nigerians are still suffering in the midst of plenty. “I am speaking of our natural endowments in diverse resources both intellectual, natural, human creativities and gifts of nature. With the revolution for entrepreneurship gathering speed, a reversal of our misfortune is in the offing,” he said.

•Aregbesola

Registrars want two-term tenure retained

T

HE Committee of Registrars of Nigerian U n i v e r s i t i e s (CORNU) is urging the government to maintain status quo on two-term five year tenure for its members. It is also seeking the reconstitution of governing councils, which were dissolved last August. In a communiqué, which it issued at the end of its Sixth Annual Retreat and 51st business meeting at the University of Calabar, the registrars noted that the expectations that they should retire after five years was inimical to continuity in their institutions. The communiqué signed by the CORNU Chairman, Mr Ayorinde Ogunruku, stated: “The proposal being made for University Regis-

•Seek reconstitution of governing councils trars to retire at the end of one tenure of five years will not augur well for Universities considering the attendant implication of challenges to maintenance of procedures that are bound to arise as is likely in the new Federal Universities where both the Vice-Chancellors and Registrars were appointed the same time. “For the stability and continuity in the Nigerian University System, the two-term tenure of Registrars should be sustained in conformity with the existing laws.” In line with the theme of the meeting, “Realising institutional goals through sustainable human capital development in Nigerian universities”, the body is also

seeking training for Registrars and other non-academic staff cadres who it claims are usually overlooked. “Whereas the University as an organisation is one system, adequate attention has not been paid, over the years, to human capital development, particularly as it affects non-teaching staff, with the attendant challenge of attracting and retaining quality graduates into the non-teaching sectors of Universities in Nigeria. “The National Universities Commission (NUC) should facilitate the training of and provide other capacity building strategies for Registrars and other non-teaching staff, including study tours for

newly appointed Registrars of Nigerian universities, as part of its human capacity development programmes,” the communiqué stated. Deliberating on the dissolution of governing councils last year, CORNU condemned the move, given that the councils still had two years to spend. “Mr President should note the obvious adverse effect on the trend of activities in our universities and tertiary institutions when the tenure of members of council and the life span of the councils are suddenly brought to an end under the dissolution of boards and parastatals with the universities and institutions inclusive. This has unimaginable disruptive consequences on the development of the uni-

versities and educational institutions.The present Council members have only spent two years, three months as they were inaugurated in 2009. “The Councils have fewer periods from now to complete the current term.The end of tenure has been found to be more productive since the initial period was used for settling down and laying down foundation for policy. We plead that the university Councils and other educational institutions should be exempted from the current dissolution of boards and parastatals since the government would still be in power in 2014, new Councils could be constituted before the end of this present administration,” the group stated.

Lecturers face students, others at town hall parley

I

T was a session at which lecturers were put on the spot. They were made to prove their onions before students and other guests at a seminar on latest teaching technologies at the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD). The lecturers were expected to go beyond dictating notes to incorporating multimedia platforms to make their lessons more interesting and clear, using the smart boards installed in each classroom in the university. At the end of each session, the students were to evaluate their lecturers. The exercise took a substantial part of the second day of the seminar on improved teaching methods in Nigerian universities which held between Friday and Saturday last week. The event had featured distinguished scholars both from within and outside Nigeria mounting the podium to educate participants, especially teachers in ABUAD of 21st Century teaching meth-

By Adegunle Olugbamila

ods and how they can be fully maximised to the students’ advantage. Some of the topics treated include: Teaching pedagogy and methodology across disciplines; practical teaching and application of modern teaching; fundamentals of effective teaching; improving the development of instructional materials through research for the development of teaching and learning process; ABUAD teaching Philosophy, among others. Addressing participants after the workshop, Founder/ President, ABUAD, Chief Afe

Babalola said computer literacy and the use of interactive boards were a pre-requisite for employment of prospective teachers in the university. Babalola said the aim of the seminar is to improve the quality of lecturers in the school. He said: “The seminar is to groom teachers to teach purposely to ensure that the students assimilate what they are taught by using the most modern method of teaching, which would enable the students to assimilate and learn and be prepared to do research. Our teachers must identify and implement the

•Some of the participants at the ABUAD workshop

most applicable teaching methodology and adapt same to meet the ever changing dynamics of tertiary learning and also apply what they learn to solve problems and expand learning.” As an accomplished lawyer, who has also been involved in teaching at basic, secondary and tertiary levels, the legal luminary gave certain principles that teachers must follow to be successful, including flexibility in teaching; making oneself likable to students; thorough knowledge of the subject matter; categorising students according to their socio/economic backgrounds; preparing good

lesson notes and power points knowing the students by names, among others. Speaking earlier, ABUAD Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sidi Osho, said the workshop was an eye opener. “The good thing is that we have identified the best practices for teaching and improved teaching practices in our classrooms. The combination of course descriptions, presentations, interactive strategies and others good material like interactive board are all geared to improving our teaching practice. We are glad that it is now obvious that we have hired the best hands,” he said.


29

Ekiti students protest subsidy removal

How students survive on campus Page 34

Page 31

*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS

THE NATION

CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: ladycampus@yahoo.com THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.net

email:- campuslife@thenationonlineng.net

All for peace on the Plateau The Centre for Conflict Management and Peace Studies, University of Jos (UNIJOS), has donated relief materials to victims of the recurring crisis in Plateau State. ESTHER MARK (400-Level Mass Communication) was there.

T

HE Jos crisis has continued to attract attention world wide. Some say the recurring crisis has blossomed to a full blown violence, breeding hatred among the people. Over the years, students are seen as neutral in the crisis. But, with time, they are being seen as part of the conflict, and as such, judged on religious grounds. The crisis became more violent as more dangerous weapons, such as sticks and tree branches, to small arms and light weapons, were being used. This has affected many higher institutions in Plateau State. It is against this backdrop that the Centre for Conflict Management and Peace Studies, (CECOMPS), University of Jos, in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy, Abuja, organised a four-day advocacy visit to some communities considered as major flash points. They also distributed relief materials to some victims. The communities include Anwan Rogo (the host community of UNIJOS), Angwan Rukuba, Jenta Adamu, Rikkos, Filin Ball and Jos Jarawa communities. The parties spoke their minds on the issues surrounding the crisis and ways to move forward. Hausa, the predominant language of the communities, was used for the discussions. There was heavy security presence at Angwan Rogo, the first port of call. The community is reputed as notorious and deadly. Despite the security presence, this reporter was scared. It took the persuasion of many to have her join the crew. On getting to GSS Angwan Rogo, venue of the parley, the place was packed full. Despite the delay on the part of the visitors, the people were all seated. They waited for close to two hours before the team arrived. They were all smiles and happily welcomed the guests as they took their seats. This gesture alone showed the

readiness of the people to find a lasting solution to the crisis. In each of the communities visited, the Department of Theatre and Film Arts, UNIJOS, staged a thought-provoking community action initiative drama tagged “Bond of peace”. The drama, which chronicled the crisis and the challenges people face, set the ball rolling for the various comments by the people. Speaking, the youths in the community said they were a peaceful set of people and debunked rumours and notions people had about them. Some of their leaders who spoke called on the university authority to grant them admission, provide menial jobs for the jobless youths and stop the discrimination against them as the host community. Representatives of the men, women, elders and children also spoke at the event. They all called on the government to provide lasting measures for peace on the Plateau, emphasising that “the presence of security men is not peace. Their mere presence frightens us. Real peace is when all live together without the presence of heavily-armed security personnel”. At the end, refreshments were served while a photo session was held. It was amidst cheers and hearty goodbyes that the convoy set out to the next community. At Angwan Rukuba, a sizeable number of about 400 people were out to discuss. It was another thought-provoking visit as the community also had its reputation smeared by others in the state. It was also reputed to be notorious. However, an interesting aspect of the visit was that some women from the Angwan Rogo community joined the convoy to Angwan Rukuba. Youths here also called for admission and employment into

•The relief materials being shared to the people in the community

•A truck load of relief materials waiting to be shared

UNIJOS and other government parastatals. They called for peaceful coexistence. From there, the convoy retreated for the day and, next day, converged at Jenta Adamu community where youths, children, men and women including elders aired their grievances. The next visit, to Rikkos, also had the people turning out en masse. A thought-provoking

scene was when a little boy of eight pleaded with the people in Hausa language to desist from bloodshed. He said: “Some people here refer to others as arna (those without God) while they are the real arnas. They kill and maim people who did nothing to them. I want them to please stop so that we all can live in peace.” With such soul-touching plea, the convoy moved to Filin Ball

community where, as usual, the people were eagerly seated, waiting for them. After the drama came the discussion. A youth leader, Ahmed Nabardi, debunked allegations of tribalism against certain people and groups. He said: “We are religious and peace-loving people. But for us to be marginalised means peace is •Continued on page 30

•Student group rejects subsidy removal PG 32 •Corps member trains students-PG 33


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

30

CAMPUS LIFE Commitment to responsibilities

T

HESE are no doubt trying times for us all. I have written many times in this column that we all are creatures of influence: we are influenced by those around us, and we influence them in return. The difference is in the sphere of the influence some of us wield. This is why we have the President of the country, for instance, whose decisions/actions or indecisions/inactions affect more than 150million of us. We also have a parent who directly influences or affects his immediate family. This does not mean that members of his family are the only ones the parent affects. We must remember that the President is a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend, a colleague and many other things to many people. That is how each of us is: different things to different people. We all are creatures of influence who must take seriously our different responsibilities towards people. I take my duty (that is what it has become: an obligation) towards writing Pushing Out very seriously. In carrying out our responsibilities, we are often confronted by many challenges – hindrances more like. What make the difference at the end of the day are the steps we take to overcome or circumvent those hindrances. Do we quickly grasp at excuses for failing in our duties, or do we genuinely feel sorry and say to ourselves “never again!” The choice is ours: you make yours and I make mine. The Bible says: “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” Henry Ford, one of the greatest American entrepreneurs, billionaires and philanthropists (remember Ford Motors, Ford Foundation?) said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are right”. This means that when we grasp or even

Pushing Out

carelessness happens when we are not responsible to our duties. If a driver periodically takes his vehicle for servicing as well as fuels it as at when due, road carelessness and vehicle breakdowns will reduce drastically. In the same vein, when a student or anyone else studies well and prepares with for exams, presentations and meetings, failures will be greatly minimised. One thing we must all realise is that 08054503104 our individual failures translate to (SMS only) the country’s failure; just as the •campuslife@thenationonlineng.net country’s failure translates to our individual failures. Of course, the •ladycampus@yahoo.com “smart” Christians among us will create excuses for ourselves, those excuses readily “reject” what I just wrote or, better will become real and actually work against still, exclaim: “It is not my portion!” When we read or are told about being reour delivering or performing optimally; but when we purpose in our hearts that no ex- sponsible and committed, more often than cuse or challenge will stop us, we will soar. not, our thoughts go to the Jonathans, the So, what do you think? That you can be the Obasanjos and so on. This is because the imbest student, the best child, the best friend, mature (undeveloped) mind shies away from the best employee, the best Christian, the best responsibilities and blame, and would rather Nigerian? Yes, indeed, you can. That you can- shift them to someone else. As far as we are not be the best anything? Yes, again, you can- concerned, if those “thieves” have been renot. Whatever you think, you are quite right. sponsible and all that, we would not be Take for instance President Goodluck where we are today as a people. Often times, Jonathan’s seeming rigid mindset that the we fail to understand that those people are only way forward for the country right now spent. Nigeria is not about them; it is about – irrespective of the amorphous Boko Haram us. I do not bother about those “thieves” beinsurgence and hardships – is removal of fuel cause doing so will be dwelling in the negasubsidy. He clearly believes there is no other tive past – something that has done me little, way, and that has become the reality for him. if any, good. My first degree at UNN was in This rule, a natural order more like, does English Language; I must add that studying not just affect the big things of life. It has to English taught me a lot about British and do with everything, including the mundane American histories. But my quest to understand what really went wrong with us as a everyday things. If all of us appreciated the need to be re- people, vis-à-vis what developed nations did sponsible and make positive influences, we well, led me to do a Masters in Public Adwould have a better country in every respect. ministration and International Affairs at When anything happens then, we would UNILAG. With the knowledge I acquired from the know it is an “accident”. The truth, I make bold to say, is that more than 50 percent of two programmes, as well as from books I what we call “accidents” and “failures” in read on my own, I have come to a realisation this country are actually “carelessness”. And that bothering myself about some of the “yahoos” we have had and even still have in gov-

Ngozi Agbo

ernment will not help our today or our tomorrow. In their wisdom, they were not responsible, committed or interested in making any meaningful difference; why should I bother with them now when I have a chance to do something, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, to make things right? Knowing our individual purposes and being responsible to them (giving them all that are required) is the best way we can build this nation. Individual success and that of Nigeria are intertwined. When we have a proper understanding of purpose and responsibility, and the effect our individual actions have on Nigeria, we would better appreciate the harm we do to all, especially our children, when we support people for public offices just because they are our friends or relations. That is the height of selfinflicted underdevelopment! Many of those who voted for Jonathan less than a year ago are ruing the day they cast that vote. This can only be because they did not vote based on any value system save pure sentiment. I reiterate: this is the height of irresponsibility. As a political correspondent in 2004, a senator (who, sadly, is still a serving senator) told me that in Abuja, nothing is real. It’s about you, caucuses and how much you can grab, I learnt. He added that when he wants to face the real world, he travels out of Abuja. And he is one of those I should bother with about taking Nigeria somewhere important? Please do not think he is in the minority among the political elite running things now. He is in the majority: they are in many of our state government houses, in Aso Rock, at the National Assembly and most of the federal parastatals. But we are going to take over, soon. It does not matter how much they want to remain perpetuated in power, their days are already numbered because nature must take its course. No man can stop it. If we do not start now to get real serious about our responsibilities, we’d be doomed indeed. Now, I exclaim: “It is not our portion!” Ciao

‘We must work hard to succeed’ Ayomipo Sodipo, also known as Tabitha, is a 200-Level Law student at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). She is also the pastor of Christian Law Students Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON), OAU chapter. OPEOLUWA SONUGA (300-Level Law) chatted with her. roses and I think we need hard OW do you feel being a work and determination to achieve class pastor? our heart desires. My being a class pastor is What advice do you have for latruly by divine orchestration. I dies? never expected it. I feel elated and I want them to be strong, ambihonored being a pastor on over 400 tious ad unique. We should build people. It gives me a sense of reourselves in all areas, discover and sponsibility and commitment and develop our purpose. I thank God for the opportunity to serve. How have you been coping as a class pastor? God has been merciful. I have faced a lot of challenges but God has actually been helping me. I believe God called me and I have this conviction in my heart. So when I have challenges and I remember this, I become relieved. Is it true that you don’t socialise? No. I try my best to mix but when you know what you stand for, that is no problem. There are times I listen to some people but at the end of the day, I weigh them and if it doesn’t meet my standard, I discard them and sometimes, I have to check myself to make some changes. Have you held any similar position? Yes! I was the Vice-President of my secondary school fellowship. I was also the Assistant Head Girl. Being a pastor, do you see yourself in ministry in future? Yes, I do. I got the vision since my SS2. What do you see is the biggest challenge of this generation? The major challenge facing my generation is the lack of focus and determination. Life is not a bed of •Ayomipo

H

•People taking the relief materials

All for peace on the Plateau •Continued from page 29

only a fantasy on the plateau. Marginalisation would only hamper the development of the state. We would continue to be peace loving but, if attacked, would be forced to defend our rights.” The last port of call, the Jos Jarawa community, also witnessed a large turnout of people who attributed the crisis to economic, social, cultural and religious factors. They called on the government to implement the various recommendations of the commissions of enquiry into the crises for sustainable peace. The community sang: “an fara zaman lafiya a plateau” (peace has been restored on the Plateau). Speaking at the end of the visits, the director, CECOMPS, UNIJOS,

Dr Audu Gambo, said: “We have noted your grievances and will surely refer them to the relevant authorities. For the admission and employment, we would look into it and see how to address such next session.” To round off the visits, the UNIJOS Alumni, Lagos State chapter, donated items worth N4 million to victims of the crisis in the communities. Distributing them, Dr Gambo urged: “Let us be peaceful and propagate peace. Let’s be the change we want to see. Let us expose external forces that are not interested in the peace process in the state. Let’s arrest this cycle of violence once and for all. Identify the refugees in your community, those affected by the crisis and distribute the items to them.”

In his response, Apeh Shir Peter of the Jos Jarawa community, thanked the centre for the gesture, saying: “We appeal to the people not to see the gesture as a moneymaking avenue by stirring up crisis to solicit further relief materials. The items were clothes, shoes, bags, baby kits, baby toys and travelling bags. Though it is small compared to what we lost, we want to express our thanks to both the center and the university as a whole for such gesture and pray the reason for the effort is established. This would only pay when relative peace finally returns on the plateau.” The items distributed include bags, clothes, shoes, baby kits, baby toys, and 35 cartons of Indomie noodles per community.


31

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

CAMPUS LIFE

Ekiti students protest subsidy removal Students in Ekiti State have protested the removal of petrol subsidy. But the protesters returned home happy following Governor Kayode Fayemi’s distribution of buses to institutions in the state. OLUSEGUN ADEGBENRO reports

A

LL roads leads to Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State on January 5 as students and youths of Ekiti protested removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. The aggrieved protesters argued the removal of fuel subsidy is another anti-poor policy of the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. The protest, which began the previous night on popular social network, Facebook, soon gathered momentum as students converged at Okeyinmi, Ado Ekiti. The students, who carried different placards, stormed major roads and streets in Ado Ekiti in anger to register their displeasure against the policy amidst chants of abusive songs. Men of the Nigeria Police Force(NPF) and State Security Service(SSS) were deployed to monitor and guide the demonstration as Ekiti labour leaders, motorists and workers join the protesting students. The students called for the resignation of Finance Minister, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and urged President Jonathan to reverse the decision. The students, who distributed leaflets to the populace, said the Federal Government is not sensitive to the yearning of Nigerians. Addressing the protesters at Ekiti State Government House, Comrade Adeoye Adewale, a labour leader, lamented the bad leadership while saluting the courage and confidence of the students in joining aggrieved Nigerians to fight the removal of fuel subsidy. He urged the students “not retire to silence”

until favourable result is achieved. “We adopted peaceful demonstration because we are law abiding citizens. Nigeria is for all of us. We are giving the President seven working days ultimatum to reverse the decision or face the wrath of the students. Tell Mr. President that the students are consciously moved to struggle and we are not happy with unscrupulous policies, state of insecurity such as bombings and economic degradation in Nigeria,” said Adebayo Ayiti, the president of Federation of Ekiti State Students Union. A student, Lekan Soyombo, said: “The gap between the rich and the poor has always been spacious but by covering the cartel has not only breached the constitution but violated all his democratic promises and Ekiti students and youths say no to such act.” However, on arrival of Governor Kayode Fayemi, the protest took another dimension. The governor assured the students and youth of solidarity and promised to relieve them through transportation by donating two Marcopolo buses to the students of Ekiti State University (EKSU). The workers in the state got a bus, students of the Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti (ADO POLY) were also given a bus, while a bus was given to each of the Ekiti State College of Education (COE) and Federal University of Oye, (FUOYE). Council of Obas also benefitted from the largesse. Reacting, Governor Fayemi promised to deliver the message to the President. He, however,

•Ekiti students during the rally

•Some of the buses donated by Governor Fayemi

emphasised that his government had foreseen the situation and had prepared palliative measures to reduce the pain of the workers in Ekiti State. He urged the students to conduct themselves peacefully. “Don’t allow yourselves to be used. Defend democracy and let us build a Nigeria of our own. Our government does not support the

cover up of the cartel and the removal of fuel subsidy. It is the decision of the President but together we’ll make life meaningful for ourselves,” Fayemi said. The Vice-Chancellor of EKSU, Prof Patrick Aina, the Rector of ADO POLY, Mrs Theresa Akande, Acting Registrar of COE were at the presentation of the

buses. The students, after the distribution, chanted solidarity songs to praise the gesture of Dr Fayemi. Funmi Fature, a student of EKSU praised the efforts of the governor, saying “many of us had thought otherwise about his interest in education but this is a sign of better life in the sector.”

The security situation in the North have been of concern to the corps members serving in the region. NOSAKHARE UWADIAE (NYSC Kano) write.

At the mercy of Boko Haram

F

OR corps members serving in the northern part of Nigeria, the fear of dreaded Boko Haram sect seems to be the beginning of wisdom. The sect, which abhours western civilisation, has issued threat that all southerners should vacate the North with three days ultimatum. After the expiration of the deadline, Boko Haram members struck in Adamawa and Gombe states. Worshippers in Deeper Life Bible Church were bombed. The incident has raised fear, especially among the corps members from the south. A corps member serving in Kano State, who simply identified himself as John, said the insecurity caused by the activities of Boko Haram discouraged him to continue his service. He said: “I don’t want to die in the hands of these extremists after my suffering in school.” Anna Azubuike, who is serving in Gombe State, said she was in a confused state. Anna returned to his place of primary assignment from Edo State after she spent the Yuletide with her family. “I paid outrageous transport fare to Gombe because of the subsidy removal and it gulped a large

•Batch ‘A’ 2011 corps members in Ogun State receiving instruction from a platoon inspector

chunk in my monthly allowance. Now, the environment is tense in the state as Boko Haram members struck last week,” Anna said. She was grateful to God for sparing her life because “the Deeper Life Bible Church which was attacked at Gombe State metropolis last Thursday is a stone throw from Corpers lodge where I reside.” Ola Adesina, a graduate of Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, is serving in Zamfara State. He said he now sleeps with one eye closed in order to be alert against any attack. Christopher Owoicho said many

corps members who travelled home for Yuletide break have refused to return due to the threat coupled with the high fares of transport across the country. He posited that the affected corps member may have been held down by their parents and guardians, because “everybody is now wise after some corps members were killed in Plateau and Bauchi.” The corps members added that they lack confidence in government over security of lives and property. On the removal of fuel subsidy, the serving youths faulted the Federal Government over the decision.

PHOTO: WALE AJETUNMOBI

Jacob Philips, a corps member serving in one of the states in the Northwest, told CAMPUSLIFE: “We ensure that 2011 general election was free and fair and removal of subsidy on fuel is what President Jonathan will pay us. They increased our monthly allowance only to take it back through the back door. I paid half of my allowee to get myself transported back to this place last week.” Gabriel Osazee said he had spent his money on transportation and foodstuffs, and he was unable to leave his home to the bank to withdraw the money sent by her parents, because, according to him, “Gombe

is now volatile and anybody could be a victim.” Meanwhile, the state coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Kano State, Mallam Lawal Zariya, has provided a security network for corps members who are serving in the state. He told newsmen that he had liaised with traditional rulers in the state to assist the directorate to ensure the security of corps members and has written to the security agencies in the 44 local government areas of the state to double their security consciousness. According to Zariya, the essence was to ensure they post their men to various Corpers’ lodges in the state or a routine patrol of the areas, especially the metropolis. It should be recalled that the insecurity of corps members in the North has formed the basis for the scrapping or otherwise of the scheme. Lately, corps members have been the victims of unprovoked attacks.The post-election violence, which claimed 10 corps members in Bauchi State, is still fresh in the memory of the corps members. Barely four months after, another corp member identified as Stephen Enyinnaya Nwosu was mowed down by soldiers in Adamawa State. The most recent is the gruesome murder of a corp member and a graduate of Psychology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, identified as Remi, by Boko Haram at Damaturu, the Yobe State capital while he was distributing Christ Embassy Rhapsody of Realities pamphlets.


32

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

CAMPUS LIFE

Student group rejects subsidy removal •Calls NANS to order

D

EFENCE for Students Right Initiative Concern (DSRIC), a student group, has berated some faceless National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) officials for supporting the government action over the removal of fuel subsidy and deregulation of the downstream sector. The group also called on the legislative arm of NANS and all Joint Campus Committee axes of the association to reject the opinion of certain executive members. The group stated this during a rally at Oyin Ekiti, in Ekiti State, to sensitise students on the need to reject government action on subsidy removal, saying the action was to further impoverish their parents. The president of the group, Adebayo Adekunle, said Nigeria’s political elite is selfish and mindless. Adebayo, who spoke in Yoruba, urged students to come together and speak in unity. The General Secretary of the group, Opeyemi Akomolafe, said President Goodluck Jonathan has shown Nigeria that he is a betrayer. “Why did he not tell us he would remove subsidy during his campaign?” Opeyemi asked. He enjoined the students not to give up the struggle to revert the

‘NANS does not support subsidy removal’ •Says FG bent on destroying body

T

•Students lameting after the demonstration From ‘Tosin Ajuwon EKITI

price of litre of petrol back to N65. Some of the students at the rally told CAMPUSLIFE that the Federal Government wanted life to be dif-

ficult for their parents. They said the government should concentrate on pro-masses policy that can bring good economic order and employment opportunities.

HE executive arm of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has absolved the body from the purported endorsement of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government. According to the statement issued by the NANS President, Dauda Mohammed, and made available to CAMPUSLIFE, the body said the purported president of NANS, who endorsed the subsidy withdrawal, Adakole Ochai, is not a member of the body. It reads: “The attention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has been brought to the purported endorsement of the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy by one Mr Adakole Ochai who impersonated and called himself the President of the NANS.” “It should be recalled that the President of NANS, Dauda Mohammed, had on December 12, 2011 alongside other executives of NANS, met President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss issues of subsidy removal in a meeting facilitated by his Political Adviser, Mr Ahmed Gulak. Having pledged to us that the government will further its consultation

College set to improve standard HE Nigerian Television Authority Television College (NTA TV College), Jos, Plateau State has constituted three committees to look into how to improve the institution’s academic standards in the new 2011/2012 academic session. The committees are examination malpractice, project defence and editorial board of the academic journals. While inaugurating the committees, the Rector of the institution, Dr Ayo Fasan, said the motive was to improve the standard of the college in academics and morality. He disclosed that the college has acquired modern and professional equipments to improve practical training exercises for the students, charging mem-

T

•Prof Oyebode (right) with the new VC of Ekiti State University, during the inaugural lecture last December

‘Fed Govt must encourage informed inputs’

R

ENOWNED Law lecturer, Prof Akin Oyebode, who doubles as the head, International Law and Jurisprudence department, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has advised the Federal Government to pay more attention to the nation’s involvement in international matters. Prof Oyebode made this known during his inaugural lecture held in December at the main auditorium of of UNILAG. The former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ado Ekiti (now Ekiti State University) said efforts must be made to encourage informed inputs from academics and experts on international law and related fields, in order to spare the nation of a repetition of its ugly experiences in international issues. Prof. According to Oyebode, nominees for appointment to important international positions of bodies such as the International Law Commission (ILC), International Court of Justice (ICJ), In-

From Ayodeji Adesina UNILAG

ternational Criminal Court (ICC), African Court of Justice and Human Rights and the Community Court of ECOWAS should be drawn from experts in international law as against the current practice of political patronage. He said there is an urgent need for “collation and regular publication of Nigeria’s treaties” in force as is being done in better organised countries with a view to equip legal practitioners and the general public with requisite information concerning Nigeria’s treaty obligations. The don also cited the Nigeria’s rising profile in the world and the leading role of the country in Africa and beyond, saying it was time to consider making international law a compulsory course in the curriculum of Law faculties in all Nigerian universities. “This would not only ensure a

broader horizon of lawyers produced from this university of first choice and the nation’s pride, it would go a long way in putting our graduates at a better pedestal and help enhance the quality of legal expertise that would be available to drive the making and execution of the nation’s policies in its foray into the global scene,” Oyebode said. Ekiti State, Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was at the event, described the lecturer as a legal colossus. He said Prof Oyebode deserved whatever honour students and staff bestowed on him. “I know him as a radical and robust scholar,” Fayemi noted. Adding that Oyebode has served his university, state and nation creditably well, saying the Law teacher saw the law as a tool for social change. The Secretary of Law Students Society (LSS), UNILAG, Segun Ojienoh, a 400-Level student, described Prof Oyebode as a phenomenon in Nigerian Law firmament.

Students re-launch newspaper

S

TUDENTS of the department of Mass Communication at Benson Idahosa Universityhave released a publication of the department. The magazine, which is titled Biu Herald, was released after six years of previous edition. The newspaper was published by 300-Level students of 2010/2011 who are in their final year. The publication is a practical knowledge of the course titled Newspaper Writing and Production (MAC 326) which was to be

From Wale Ajetunmobi LAGOS

till April 2012, we were surprised to hear the government announced the subsidy removal to the shock of Nigerians on January 1, 2012. So, there was no way NANS would have supported the removal of the subsidy. We, therefore, claim that Ochai is not a member of the body and would not have been the president of the students in Nigeria.” Dauda said Gulak has been mounting undue pressure on the body to support subsidy withdrawal. “But when it was clear to him (Gulak) that the students were not ready to yield, the Federal Government planted a mole in NANS and courted an amorphous group headed by Ochai to destabilise the NANS,” Dauda said, warning the Presidency not cause disunity in the group. “We see the latest move by the government as a desperate attempt to railroad the student body into supporting the fuel subsidy removal despite our initial position that government must broaden its consultation and put in place necessary requirements before embarking on deregulation. We hereby restate to the general public that NANS has not at any moment endorsed the unpopular removal of fuel subsidy and shall join Nigerians in resisting it to the last day.” From Musliudeen Adebayo TV COLLEGE

bers of the committees to be committed to their assignment for the benefit of the students. The Rector decried the incidents of examination malpractices in the last examination the school held and urged students to take advantage of the institution’s academic journal to contribute articles that will improve their writing skills. He also used the medium to announce that students will be subjected to thorough defence of their projects to meet the accepted standards of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria to which the college is affiliated. The Dean of students and chairman, editorial board of academic journal, Mr Aleichenu Odumu, who spoke on behalf of other members of the committees, said all the committees will work to justify the confidence repose in them. From Gilbert Alasa BENSON IDAHOSA

out during convocation initially slated for July, 2011 but was postponed till December 2011. The publication was released during the convocation ceremony. CAMPUSLIFE correspondent, Joyce Marcus, is the editor while the editorial adviser is Mr Ekeli Emmanuel, the acting head of department of Mass Communication. Joyce Marcus told CAMPUSLIFE that the publication was welcomed by staff and students including principal officers of the institution as the front page covered the convocation ceremony and honorary degree given to Governor Adams Oshiomole, Gen. Godwin Abbe (Rtd) and Mrs Stella Okoli.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

33

CAMPUS LIFE Varsity postpones resumption

T

HE management of University of Calabar (UNICAL) has postponed the resumption date earlier scheduled for January 6, 2012. In a statement signed by the Registrar of the school, Dr Julia Omang, the school authority said the reopening date was postponed following the on-going strike of the Association Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The institution was shut down late last year after a protest by the students of the school against infrastructural problems. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE on the development, the Public Relations Officer of the School, Mr Eyo Bassey, said

From Emmanuel Shebbs UNICAL

there was no need calling the students back when there would be no lecturers to teach them. “We all hear about the on-going ASUU strike. That is what is pending everything. University of Calabar is set to resume academic activities fully without obstruction. Everything is ready. What will the students come back to do when the academic staff are striking? As soon as the strike is called off, everything will start. The resumption date will be announced later,” Bassey said.

Poly expels students

E

•Prof Epoke... UNICAL VC

LEVEN students of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida (BIDA POLY) have been expelled just as 373 others were rusticated for various examination malpractices during the 2010/2011 session exams. Rector of the polytechnic, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, said in a statement in Minna, that the students were found guilty to have been involved in malpractices by the examination misconduct committee. He added that some of the affected students, who refused to appear before the committee, had been on indefinite suspension. The Rector disclosed that the names of the expelled and rusticated students had already been put on

From Folajimi Orintunsin and Faith Olaniran BIDA POLY

the blacklist of the institution, saying that “anyone of them seen within the campus after resumption will be shown the way out by our security personnel.” “The security personnel within the campus area have been given the list of the affected students and will arrest anyone found within the premises,” Abdullahi said. He reassured the parents that the school would not relent in its determination to get rid of examination malpractices, stressing that his management would never compromise the set standard for the training of the students. Abdullahi advised students to shun drug abuse, cultism and examination malpractices.

‘The security personnel within the campus area have been given the list of the affected students and will arrest anyone found within the premises’

Corps member trains students •Prof Shofoluwe speaking during the inaugural lecture while Prof Arotiba looks on

UNILAG holds inaugural lecture

O

N January 4, 2012, when staff and students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) were still enjoying the yuletide break, the management of the institution held an inaugural lecture that was delivered by Prof Godwin Arotiba, head of the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, IdiAraba. The invited guests had thought the lecture would be postponed because of the on-going strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). But the programme was held as scheduled. The UNILAG ViceChancellor, Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, personally notified the

From Ayodeji Adesina UNILAG

guests of the lecture. By 4pm, the main auditorium of the institution was full to the brim. The lecture was entitled: The Society, Ivory Tower, Mouth, Jaw and Face Surgery in a Developing Economy. Prof Arotiba suggested university authorities should consider four weeks leave to allow the inaugural lecturer pay full attention to his papers. He added that post fellowship training opportunities should be developed locally to allow dental surgeons enhance their skills in the different sub-specialties. According to him, medical and

dental curricula at the colleges of Medicine must be streamlined with a view to make both degrees attainable in reasonable time for those who desire double qualifications. Prof. Arotiba also called for the inclusion of evidence-based dentistry and clinical dental research in the college’s curricula and investment in the dental faculty. “The authorities must invest heavily in the dental faculty with the sole objective of returning it to its former status as the foremost centre for oral health care education in sub-Sahara Africa,” he said. The President, UNILAG Joint Christian Fellowship (UJCF), Oyebola Odeleye, said the lecture was worth the time.

•Oyo State House of Assembly lawmaker representing Ibadan North Constituency II, Olusegun Olaleye (second left), presenting books to a pupil when he distributed over 2,500 textbooks and 1,500 exercise books to the students in the constituency recently. PHOTO: MUSLIUDEEN ADEBAYO

A

CORPS member serving in Lagos, Ayodeji Abimbola, through Fresh Streams Youth Organisation, a non-governmental organisation, has organised a training programme for students of various institutions across the state to improve their skills and prepare them for the future. During the workshop, which was tagged “Professionals unveiled”, students were trained in various courses such as website design, graphics, animations, creative works, project management and strategic leadership management among others. The seminar also featured performances from budding artists and speech from motivational speakers. A motivational speaker, Mrs Juliana Adegoke, spoke on the psychological development of youths

From Jeremiah Oke NYSC LAGOS

from childhood to adulthood and the impact parents have on their children. She encouraged the participating students on the usefulness of education, urging them to attend self-improvement programmes. Mr Adedayo Adekoya spoke on the Roles of Youths in the Development of African Nations, while Ayoade Adedayo spoke on the need for youths to be self-developed. Ayodeji called on the students to plan for their future and that of the country. Some of the participants who spoke to our correspondent stated that the programme motivated them to put more effort in their career. Kareem Ayodeji, 200-Level student of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), said he was happy to attend the programme because it helped him to discover opportunities in his course of study. Helen Imah, an ND graduate of the Polytechnic Ibadan, said she learned how to be industrious and not to depend on anybody for sustenance.

OAU is among Africa’s top ten BAFEMI Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife has been ranked among the best 10 research varsities in Africa. OAU came second among universities in Nigeria. In his reaction to the latest ranking released by the SCimago Institutions Ranking World Reports by SCimago Laboratory in Spain, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Bamitale Omole, said the ranking by a foreign-based body was an added tonic to the avowed and dogged commitment of his administration to deepen academic research and reposition OAU in the intellectual highway of the 21st century. A release by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr

O

From Sikiru Akinola OAU

Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that the VC, although very delighted, also appealed to the Federal Government to radically increase the funding on research activities in universities as “this is the bedrock of any nation’s development.” Prof Omole also appealed to all stakeholders to join hands and work together to take the university to the higher level as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Vice-Chancellor congratulated other universities that made the ranking, saying if enabling environment is provided, Nigerian universities will stand tall among its peers in the world.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

34

CAMPUS LIFE There is confusion over which of two warring groups is the legally elected executive of the national body of the Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU). The squabble, MUSLIUDEEN ADEBAYO reports, started last October.

W

ILL two separate executives concurrently lead tertiary institutions’ students of Oyo State extraction this 2011/2012 academic session? This is the rhetorical question on the lips of students and other stakeholders within and outside the state. Two “independently elected executives” have been flexing muscles, physically and politically, since the country’s 51st independence anniversary day. The controversy, which many observed may lead to proscription of the union, started shortly after the constitution of the Samuel Oloyede-led Electoral Committee (ELCOM) by the outgoing president, Taiwo Okunlola (who has been in office since October 2009) at Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in August 2011. The election chaired by Oloyede took place at The Polytechnic, Ibadan Saki Campus on October 1. It saw the emergence of Ahmad Muili of Adult Education, University of Ibadan (UI), as president. But there were allegations of irregularities which include intimidation of some aspirants and campus journalists, insecurity, sale of nomination forms at outrageous sums of between N10,000 and N15,000. Then, three of the five geo-political zonal presidents and two members of the ELCOM decried what they termed the imposition of six ex-students to make up the nine members of the ELCOM. This they described as “null and void”.

One union two leaders They went further to announce a fresh election and this took place at the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igbo Ora, on October 13. This election produced Adedapo Adekunle, in 300-Level Business Management, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, as president. Results and names of the winners and electoral members of the two “elections” have been forwarded to the Office of the Governor, local government chairmen, commissioner of police, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and other agencies. But a source at the Government House told CAMPUSLIFE that the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, is confused over which is the real executive. Samuel Oloyede, while inaugurating the Ahmad-led faction on October 19, at the House of Chiefs Secretariat, Ibadan, said the election he conducted was free and fair. He argued that his committee was legally constituted by the Senate in line with the union’s constitution, wondering why some people conducted another election. In attendance at the inauguration included Mr Ahmed Ambali Care-

•Adedapo and his executive members

taker Chairman Akinyele Local Government, Chief Okiki Abiola Director of Oke-Ogun News. Taiwo (the former president) handed over the union’s property to Ahmad. Adedapo Adekunle, who is planning his inauguration at the same venue next week, said his executive is the “authentic exco” because the three zonal presidents and two ELCOM members who annulled Ahmad’s election conducted his election in line with the union’s constitution. The leadership tussle has since

crippled the union’s activities. But, the Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Students and Youth Matters, Mr Obodo Godeons, who frowned at the students’ action, urged those involved to speak in one voice so that they can get their own dividends of democracy from the government. He said the continued crisis would not allow them to recognise any one and to benefit from the goodwill of the government. Unfruitful meetings have been held to persuade the two to either reconcile or conduct a fresh elec-

tion. But none of the parties seems ready to sheathe its sword. A student advised the duo to stop parading themselves as he urged those involved to allow peace to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the state. A student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, who begged not to be named, urged the government to wade into the leadership tussle saying if care is not taken it could result to what he called ija agba meji (fight of two elders) that may lead to loss of lives and property.

The Poor Dad says, “Love of money is the root of evil” while for the Rich Dad, “Lack of money is the root of evil”. The above, coined by Robert Kiyosaki, has become a popular adage among students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State, who claim the saying captures their life on campus. GERALD NWOKOCHA (NYSC, Abuja) examines what students do to survive.

•Mabel

•Footwears business owned by a student

How students survive on campus T

HERE is a saying that not all fingers are equal. It is true that some people are born with a silver spoon while others are not. From findings, students engage in many activities on campus to survive. Some are sponsoring themselves; others depend wholly on their relations. Most students who do business on campus have to sell below the prices obtained outside; this is the only way they get students to patronise them. There are those who push trucks during holidays to earn a living but when they come back to school, they live normal student life. Some other students engage in evil activities in the quest to make quick money. CAMPUSLIFE spoke to some on the things they do to survive. Chinyere Nnalue, in 500-Level

Agricultural Extension, sells female underwear. She said she gets them at cheaper rates from Cotonu in Benin Republic and then sells at a price lower than what is obtainable in Aba, Abia State and other markets around. “Students are my immediate customers and they are good customers as my wares do not stay long before they are finished. Part of the profit I make, I plough back into the business while the rest I use to take care of myself on campus.” Chima Kingsley Mbonu who stays in Hostel E said he chose to reside in the hostel because of the business he does. He sells shirts, trousers and footwears. He carries the products from room to room. Most times, he takes them to offices for staff members to buy. He said his entrepreneurial ability has

made his lecturers to like him. According to him, he travels to Lagos from school almost on monthly basis to buy the goods. There are students who own phone booths where students make calls and buy recharge cards. They also make big money, especially when there is power outage in school, as students queue to charge their phones. They pay N30 per hour spent in charging phones. Multiple sockets are provided. Charles Ekeocha, in 200-Level Industrial Chemistry, is a part-time staff of Mbaitoli Local Government, Imo state. He said he combines his work and schooling. He is the eighth of nine children and has been responsible for his training since secondary school. Michael Okoro and Charles Opara are friends and classmates. They

said they make money by selling lecture notes they prepared for 100Level students. “We also sell Engineering drawing materials and post-UTME past question papers to make money.” Ben Okeke, a 400-Level student of Microbiology, makes money from his photography business. His studio is Beno Concept. Chidiegwu Nmeri of Project Management Department said he does menial work wherever he sees them, especially during holidays. He said: “While others rest or travel during the holidays, I use mine to do tedious work because from them I eat and train myself. I have assisted builders; I do farm work for people like constructing ridges, weeding and clearing the farm with my friends. Initially, I used to pretend to my friends for

•Uchechi

fear they would laugh at me. But that changed the day one of our lecturers told us a story in class about his own student days. Since then, I stopped being shy. Most times, after the holidays, my friends would complain that I looked dry and stressed out. I know that it is for a while.” Ifeanyi Nkwoala, a fresh graduate of Civil Engineering, said he lived the big boy life as an undergraduate not because his parents were rich but because he was proactive. “Many students were involved in selling clothes, so I had to go into something else. With the little knowledge I had about printing, I went in and ended up doing many printing jobs like magazine, stickers and postcards, posters, souvenirs, almanacs, diaries etc. I was well patronised by student politicians who I lobbied. With time, churches and fellowships started coming for me too. I don’t own a •Continued on page 36


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

35

CAMPUS LIFE

Subsidy and the poor

By Zeenat Ibrahim blackqueen0110n@yahoo.com

T

HE most commonly discussed issue in Nigeria today is fuel subsidy which the Federal Government has withdrawn with effect from January 1. Some have said the action is a callous New Year gift from the Federal Government. Each time this writer opens discussion on this vexed issue in unofficial circles, the atmosphere is always charged with

anger and revulsion, which goes to show that the policy is not, by any standard, popular, especially among the poor masses. The government’s action tells us the contempt with which the poor masses are treated by the government that claimed to operate via pan-Nigerian mandate. The readily available excuse to the hapless public from the presidency is the faceless cartel feeding fat on fuel subsidy which, ordinarily, is aimed at cushioning the effect of high prices of petrol on consumers. The same old excuse had been severally packaged and delivered anytime the government felt like inflicting more injuries on the impoverished and deprived citizens. Since independence, Nigeria’s successive leaderships have not displayed any remarkable political savvy to solve the myriads of problems bedeviling the nation. The manner with which the issue of fuel subsidy came to existence could be identified as a direct result of dysfunctional state of Nigeria’s refinery. It still beats

many a Nigerian’s imagination as to why a nation so endowed with crude oil and other hydrocarbon products still imports the same products it has in abundance. It further confirms the West’s rude joke on Nigeria during the era of Gen. Sani Abacha, who, as a military Head of State, took his gospel of democracy beyond the border of Nigeria. He ruled with an iron fist, and meddled in the affairs of another African nation that had just witnessed a putsch. Trust the eversensational western media, which responded as thus: “Nigeria imports what she has in abundance and exports what she lacks.” This is the context in which to explain the embarrassing situation of subsidising oil, a commodity that ought to be naturally abundant in our country. Nigeria, with its population put at slightly above 160 million people, cannot boast of optimally functioning refineries to separate the constituents of the crude oil. The four refineries built by the past administrations have been mis-

managed by successive governments and their colluding civil servants. Our leaders are only interested in taking the crude oil outside to refine and bring the refined products back for sale at exorbitant prices notwithstanding the phantom government’s subsidy. Many of these politicians and army Generals own private refineries abroad yet four national refineries fail to function. In their own logic, Nigerians must be forced to be dependent on “subsidised” imported fuel if only to remind us that the government cares for the citizens. But the nagging question is: what is the faith of poor masses as the “subsidy” is removed? The result, no doubt, is being seen in socio-economic life of the masses. Education which is seen as nutrient for growth of any nation would be seriously affected as students may not afford certain fees anymore. Transportation fares have been hiked and food prices have naturally soared and all essential items such as drugs would equally have their prices astro-

nomically high. Hypertension cases, of course, would follow! Let no Octopus Paul remind President Jonathan and his coterie of ministers that Nigeria needs to fix her refineries if we don’t want to witness revolt that may finally unravel the this colonial settlement called Nigeria. How many Nigerians can afford to eat three times a day? The series of protests that have attended the removal of subsidy is enough to tell Jonathan and his ministers that Nigerians are fed up with their incompetence. A government that cannot estimate the litres of petrol its citizen consumes daily; a president that is afraid to prosecute the criminals declaring empty vessels at port and benefiting from subsidy largesse; a leader that cannot defend his country against the corruption of few can never be said to have a pan-Nigerian mandate. The poor are suffering. Let there be modicum of mercy in the land, so that the poor would be proud of their humanity just as the rich politicians are arrogant with their ill-gotten wealth. Zeenat, 400-Level Mass Comm., BUK

Corps members’ role in community development O VER the years, there have been controversies over the insecurity of corps members due to the increasing activities of the Boko Haram sect, which detests western culture and civilisation. Most Nigerians believe that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme should be scrapped without minding the role of corps members in community development. While some have kicked against the idea, the need to critically reexamine this view is important. Despite the controversies surrounding the scheme, NYSC still lives up to its billings and purpose. Having said this, community development is the responsibility of every responsible citizen, whether you are in Nigeria or outside the country. The term “com-

munity development” is a structured intervention that gives communities greater control over the conditions that affect their lives. This does not mean that all the problems faced by communities are solved, but it does build up confidence to tackle such problems effectively. Community development works at the level of local groups and organisations, such as the local government council. Community development is a skilled process and part of its approach is the belief that communities cannot be helped unless they offer opportunities to the volunteers. A good community development, accord-

ing to Elias 1974, as quoted by Hoggett 1997, “is a planned action that helps people to recognise and develop their ability and potential and organise themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share”. What then are the roles of corps members in community development? First, they work with their host communities to identify issues affecting the generality of the inhabitants in such community and design goals to champion the cause of the society to facilitate development. In the area of education, corps members’ services are most noticeable. They are either seen con-

structing or renovating dilapidated buildings and equip these buildings with chairs and desks. This is with a view of ensuring that students learn in a conducive atmosphere to enhance their intellectual growth. Again, corps members go as far as constructing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres for schools in their host communities and equip vital and critical aspect the government should look into. Community development service of the NYSC has been so useful to the communities and for the development of Nigeria in general. While Corps members will continue to play a viable and instrumental role in the community, the governments at all levels should join hands and support this scheme so as to have a brighter tomorrow

M

By Chimere Orji dcross4christ@yahoo.com

recorded as failed courses, which the student is expected to carry over and re-sit, even though the student may have performed excellently well in the exams. This predicament, consequently, increases the students’ unit load and as well reduces their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). In some very bad situations, scores of students or even the result of a class may not be released or graded. It is obvious that, in such cases, the fault does not lie with the students but the staff. Yet, no explanation is always given and little or no effort is made to rectify these problems and the students are made to carry the albatross. Among all the failures of the academic system in Nigeria, this is one of those that hit the students hardest. In fact, at the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), it is usual for a class to get its results with one or more missing results affecting certain students. I received such treatment in my first semester in the institution and even though that problem was rectified, similar ones came up along the way. I call on all university authorities, lecturers and examiners to tackle this problem from its roots and reduce it to the barest minimum. And in cases of its reoccurrence, the students should be spared of bearing the consequences or punishment as this is very unfair on us. Measures should be taken to see that the students are rightly compensated by retaking the courses and then substituting the results for the missing ones to avoid any harm to the students’ CGPA, and general academic performance. Chimere, 400-Level Industrial Microbiology, FUTO

Hassan, is a corp members, NYSC Lagos

Alcoholic effect on human physiology

Mystery of missing scripts ISSING scripts have become the plight of students in tertiary institutions. Students write examinations, tests, practical reports, assignments and submit to the appropriate quarters. But, unfortunately, when the results of these are released, some students don’t see their scores or grades, leaving them in a confused state and worry. The fact about this malady is that most of the time, the personnel in charge of these papers are responsible for missing scripts. From the examiner who receives the scripts on the day of the exam to the secretary who types the results, papers, scores, grades and names disappear into the thin air. The examiners, sometimes, misplace some scripts during and after submission. Also the course coordinator and other lecturers who mark the scripts can also lose some, especially during recording. The secretary or typist who types the result sheets could also leave out some people’s details. These are the ways the fault could be on the part of the lecturers or authority. On the other hand, students contribute to their woes through late submission of scripts or papers, leaving them vulnerable to omission. Some fail to write their names in the necessary attendance lists or fail to sign in and out as required; hence, they will see no results because this is a prerequisite for the release of such results, as it proves that the student actually took the exams. In cases of exams with multiple choice questions, poor shading of the computer sheets is another factor that may cause students to sit for the same exams twice or thrice. However, the ugly face of this misfortune is that, no matter whose fault it is, the affected students are compelled by the system to bear the brunt. The courses involved are

By Hassan Afegbua hassanluv2@yahoo.com

By Charles Edet cdet1122004@yahoo.com

H

EAVY drinking does not have any benefit to our health. Apart from a wide range of negative consequences to our body system, including an increased risk of cancer, alcohol also contributes to increased body weight and impaired cognitive functions as well as violence against fellow human beings. In the United States (US), alcohol is said to be responsible for about 79,000 deaths yearly. The US government’s dietary guidelines for Americans define moderate drinking as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two for men. Women are considered heavy drinkers if they have more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks per week. Four bottles of alcohol daily or 14 alcohol intakes per week is the limit for men and anything beyond is regarded as heavy drinking for me. A drink is defined as 0.6 ounces (a unit of apothecaries’ weight equal to 480g) of alcohol; that is roughly the amount in 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of proof liquor. The effect of excessive intake

of alcohol can never be overstated. Drinkers are liable to be saddled with an increased risk of diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure and stroke. Excessive drinking of alcohol can also increase the risk of mouth, larynx (voice box), esophageal, breast, liver and gastrointestinal tract cancers. Uncontrolled heavy drinking also changes the size of human brain and its cells. These and other effects can reduce human mental abilities, with deficits in learning, low memory and problem-solving ability. Heavy alcohol drinking can also affect mood, sleep and motor skills. Abstinence and avoiding alcohol can partially reverse these medical effects. There is also very strong evidence that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with lower risk of heart disease, according to the United States government dietary guideline for Americans. According to the American Heart Association, red wine may have a protective effect against prostate cancer and other cancers, probably because of antidioxidant and a substance called resveratrol. However, it does not appear to protect against breast cancer. The notion is that moderate intake of red wine raises the level of good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein). However, the keyword here is moderate. Long term and heavy drinking weaken the heart muscles and can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular ailments. Drinking alcohol and caffeine together •Continued on page 36


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

36

CAMPUS LIFE

•Vendor kiosk being run by a student

•AUCHI Poly gate

Suspended union president resumes

From Nosakhare Uwadiae AUCHI POLY

T

HE suspended union president of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Musa Kassim Alaba, who was rusticated barely three months into his tenure on issues of gross misconduct, has regained his studentship after losing a session. The former president has been asked to resume but barred to hold elected post till he graduates from the polytechnic. This was part of recommendations made by the Students Disciplinary Committee constituted by the institution, which members included the Dean of Students Affairs, SUG chief judge among others. It should be recalled that in November 2010, MKO, as Musa is fondly called, had an accident in an 18-seater Toyota Hiace Bus donated by the Edo State government to the Students’ Union Government of the polytechnic to assist the union’s activities. The accident happened less than two hours after the bus was donated to the students. Two persons, a student and medical doctor, were reported to have been involved in

On and Off Campus

the incident, which occurred at Irrua along the Benin-Auchi-Abuja express road. Musa, who drove the vehicle, had a fracture in his leg. The student who died in the accident had just graduated from the department of Information Technology Management but was in school for clearance for her mobilisation for national youth service. Musa’s suspension paved the way for Judith Ifi to become the first female SUG president in the school. While speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Musa described his suspension as “the will of God.” He said: “I believe in God and I believe in destiny. What happened is already past tense, and I believe it is the will of God. The management asked me to resume after one year and the year is gone and I hope to be in school by Monday (next week) by the grace of God.” Meanwhile, management, through the Dean of Students Affairs, Mr George Umoru, told our correspondent in a telephone interview, that the school was not aware if Musa had begun the process of re-admission.

By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

How students survive on campus •Continued from page 34

printing press. I’d collect jobs in bulk and push them to a printing press. Peter Nwafor, a final year student of Information Management Technology, is a software vendor. The fact that the greater percentage of staff and students use laptops means a booming business. He also supplies laptops to whoever needs them “no matter the specification.” Some other students said they make money by forming pressure groups. The group would pay courtesy calls on politicians, prominent personalities and establishments and, in return, they would be given money. One of such students said sometimes they visit three places a day and always go home smiling. “Politicians like awards, we learnt that quickly, and we use that to get cash,” he added. Some of these groups align themselves to particular politicians or aspirants. They are mobilised and are well paid. The truth is that the parents of these students may not really know what their children are doing on campus. However, there are those students who

engage in stealing, kidnapping and other vices. It was reported last year of a student of Imo State University, Owerri, who was arrested when he came to collect N5 million ransom for kidnapping a traditional ruler. Many go into Student union politics because they believe they will get much money from it to train not only themselves but also their entire families. In FUTO, the union is called “oil well” because students believe that there is much to gain. They include the right to sell your own bed space as a union official. Every union official is entitled to a room. The hostel governors enjoy more because they have access to sale of the rooms not allocated. The hostel governors also bring in more bed space to any room that is scanty and they collect money from the students. The activities of most hall governors have not been friendly as it put some students to a hard condition. They also make money from their annual hall week. Some others make money by being fellowship presidents and pastors. Cynthia Uchechi, in 400-Level Public Health, said some of her friends have made money by being pastors. In FUTO, these pastors are given free accommodation, and sometimes official cars depending on the fellowship.

•Some leaders of the Students’ Union Government from various higher institutions during a leadership programme organised by African Liberty in Abeokuta recently.

Alcoholic effect on human physiology •Continued from page 34

may lead to hazardous behavior because caffeine can mask clues about a person’s level of intoxication. Women are more vulnerable to alcohol for a variety of reasons. First, women tend to weigh less than men, and so alcohol concentrates the body system. But even in the case of men and women who weigh the same, alcohol hits women harder because they metabolise it differently. Alcohol is diluted by the body water content, and women tend to have lower water content. This means alcohol is not as diluted

in their bodies and their organs are exposed to more alcohol. Women are at higher risk for negative health consequences of drinking including liver, brain and heart damages. Alcohol abuse can lead to alcohol dependency which is also known as alcohol addiction or alcoholism. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), alcoholism is a disease marked by a strong craving for alcohol, an inability to limit drinking and continued drinking, despite repeated physical, psychological or interpersonal problems. Drinkers must see reason to stop alcohol abuse today. Charles, 600-Level Medicine, UNICAL


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

37

EDUCATION

Technologist invents electrical gadget

A

2009 graduate of the Institute for Industrial Technology (IIT), Isheri Olofin, Lagos, Dele Osunde, has invented an electrical gadget that can automatically switch to alternative sources of power supply. Demonstrating how the device, which he named Automatic Change over System, works at the Ninth graduation of the institute, Osunde said: “This is an Automatic Change-Over System. It can be installed in your apartment and connected to your generator. When there is power failure, this gadget automatically switches from

By Adegunle Olugbamila

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to generator and then back whenever power is restored.” Osunde, 27, who works for Total Nigeria Plc, came up with the gadget a few years ago while experimenting in his apartment. The lover of engineering is optimistic that his invention will make it to the market soon. “In Nigeria, we don’t have steady power supply. So, I knew that the product will sell because Nigerians need it. I’d already had

the design when I was in IIT. I now asked myself what I can do for a school that gave me scholarship for two years. “This project is in partnership with IIT. When I first designed it, I approached our director on how to get a market for the product. He told me of some companies that might have interest. “As a matter of fact, I love the IIT and I’m grateful to what the institute has done in my life; and this is the time for me to give back to the institute that has made so much impact in my life.” Highlighting some of the advan-

tages of the gadget, Osunde said it reduces fuel consumption by generators; reduces in risk of electric shock, as well as valuable time saved in switching from power to generator and vice versa. Osunde said he made the device with some components he purchased from Alaba International Market, Lagos and added that it would hit the shelves before month end. In future Osunde has plans to design more home-friendly gadgets. “I am trying to promote entrepreneurship in Nigeria. My plan is to design an automated house,” he said.

Varsities seek divine guidance in 2012

NUC visits COLAW THE National Universities Commission (NUC) has visited the new College of Law (COLAW) of Crescent University, Abeokuta, as a pre-requisite for the start of its law programmes. During the two-day visit, the team leader, Prof Chukkol K S emphasised that its job was to ensure standards and compliance with the NUC regulations on minimum requirements for law programmes. The team inspected the moot court, judge’s chamber, lawyers’ robbing room and the law library, not leaving out the academic and administrative members of staff of the college.

Parents donate computers

M

ANY universities and other tertiary institutions are seeking divine intervention for the New Year. During the sessions, prayers were offered to God for seeing the schools through to the New Year. Prayers were also said for the institutions progress in the next 12 months. At the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), the Deputy General Overseer, Gospel Faith Mission International, Prof Samuel Ewuola, said the institution has positioned itself in the realm of success and narrowed its chances of failure by dedicating the first working day of 2012 to God. Ewuola, who spoke on the topic, “Dawn of a Blessed Season”, called on members of staff to follow the example of the biblical David who ascribed all his victories to God and admonished them to put God first this year. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adebisi Balogun, reiterated the need for FUTA to give glory to God for the height it has reached among its counterparts, particularly the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) ranking that proclaimed it the best university of technology in Nigeria since 2004, a position it has maintained to date. Balogun added that the Institutional Accreditation Team that recently visited gave the nod for full accreditation of the institution. At the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun described the 55 months of his administration as “a testimony of God’s answered prayers”. Speaking at the joint prayer session held at the Julius Okojie Lec-

CRESCENT FILE

AS part of its contribution to knowledge, the Parents Forum of Crescent University, Ogun State has donated 10 computers to the institution. Presenting the computers to the management, Chairman of the forum Alhaji Ishaq Oguntade said the donation was a token of what the body has in stock for the institution. He added that a new cafeteria would soon be completed for students and workers. Receiving the donation, the Proprietor, Prince Bola Ajibola, thanked the parents for contributing to the development of the school. “When we started, we thought we should have the assistance of parents whose children are here. I am overjoyed. We shall forever appreciate your donation of today,” he said. •Workers praying during Redeemer’s University New Year prayer session By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

ture Theatre Complex, Balogun, who traced the genesis of the annual prayer session to January 2008, said God had been faithful to every of his Biblical declarations to the university, such that testimonies usually abound at the end of each year. Balogun said, for instance, during the 2010 Joint Prayer Session where he read from II Kings, Chapter 2 Verses 1-10, he declared that the university will enjoy double portion in all ramifications. He said God kept to His word because, thereafter, the University

got a N2.4billion grant, even though, not all was released by the Federal Government but the university had since recorded an unprecedented harvest of projects. Announcing God’s divine promise for FUNAAB in 2012, Balogun said God would do new things according to Isaiah 43: 9. He pointed out that since God had spromised to do new things, even though his tenure ends in barely four months, His promises will work like never before in the remaining days of his tenure. Workers at the Redeemer’s University (RUN) spent last Tuesday at the University Chapel raising a

strong altar for the Lord. The prayer session entitled: “Operation dry up” was led by Pastor Peter Olawale, during which he said nobody could be higher than his or her prayer life. Speaking after the event, the ViceChancellor, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, established the session as a necessary obligation for every worker on the first working day of every year to provide adequate spiritual covering for the university for the year. Workers at the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo Tuesday last week were told to trust in God for all their needs in the New Year.

Group supports new programme THE Ogun State Chapter of National Institute of Estate Management and Valuers has canvassed support for Crescent University to produce more estate valuers for national development. Its Chairman, Alhaji Jubril Olalekan, spoke when the institute visited to appraise its Estate Management programme in the newly established College of Environmental Sciences. Calling for a synergy between the group and the university, Olalekan said the institute was interested in the institution’s development and pledged assistance, such as finding placements for students on Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) as well as giving lectures when the need arise.

CES holds seminar

•Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State (middle), flanked by Prof Patrick Aina, Vice-Chancellor, Ekiti State University (right), and Dr Theresa Akande, Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti while inaugurating the mass transit buses distributed to tertiary institutions and other groups in Ekiti State.

THE Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES), in partnership with Allclear Limited, has held its first entrepreneurial training seminar for final-year and 300-level students of Crescent University. Director of the centre Dr R. O. Kareem said the essence of the seminar is to equip students with vocational skills that can help them to be self employed. “The aim is to focus more on the practical training of our students in different entrepreneurial/vocational skills likeproduction of liquid detergent, laundry soap, disinfectants, antiseptics, hair cream, body cream, air freshener, kampala production, graphic design, printing technology, fisheries and aquaculture and bee-keeping”. Kareem advised the students to avail themselves the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in the nearest future.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12 , 2011

38

EDUCATION FUNAAB FILE Honour for workers, students THE Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) celebrated deserving workers and students with awards of Excellence and Productivity on New Year day. The awardees were presented with cash and other prizes at the event tagged 2011/2012 FUNAAB’s Third Night of Excellence which held at the Jubilee Multi-purpose Hall, Bishop’s Court, Onikolobo. The recipients in the staff category included Prof Olutosin Oduguwa (Research Productivity Award, Senior Academic Staff Category), Dr Oluwatosin Mewomo (Research Productivity Award, Junior Academic Staff Category). Those rewarded in the students category included an outstanding, Physically-Challenged Student, Mr Dagunro Emmanuel (with CGPA of 4.32), outstanding FUNIS Student, Miss Adeleke, Oluwafisayo Temiloluwa, and outstanding FUNAAB Staff School Pupil, Miss Adeosun, Tunmise Ayodele. Speaking on the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, expressed optimism that FUNAAB would continue to “raise the bar” of excellence, for which it has now become synonymous with. Balogun, who pointed out that the 2011/2012 Night of Excellence would be the last he would organise as vice-chancellor, charged members of staff, students and alumni not to be contented with their present level of success.

Dedicated DPO gets reward THE FUNAAB has lauded the immediate past Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Obantoko Police Station, Mrs Medinat Lawal, for her selfless service to the university and the public. The Acting Registrar, Mrs Christiana Kuforiji, spoke while presenting a giant refrigerator, on behalf of the university, to the retiree. On her commitment, Mrs Kuforiji said: “Whenever she is called upon by the Vice-Chancellor or the university management, her response is always very prompt. In fact, she handles FUNAAB assignments as if she owns the university.” She added that as a mark of honour for the DPO, the university assisted in roofing the uncompleted Obantoko Police building.

New unit to manage grants THE FUNAAB has established a directorate to facilitate research efforts, negotiate research contracts and administer external funds. The Vice-Chancellor, prof Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun has named Prof. o. B. oyewole director of the body tagged Grants Management Directorate. A statement by the Acting Registrar, Mrs Christiana Kuforiji, noted that Oyewole of the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), would serve for two years with effect from January 1. According to the blueprint for the directorate, its goals include meeting global standards and expectations of donors for accountability, transparency and effective management of research funding, for maximum output.

SCHOLARSHIP APPROACHING DEADLINES Scholarship Description: A postgraduate scholarship for a woman graduate is being offered by the University Hall St Andrews Graduate Association (UHStAGA) for two semesters of study in the academic session 2012-2013. The University of St Andrews, Scotland’s oldest University, founded in 1411, enjoys a high reputation for excellence in learning. In 1992 it celebrated the centenary of the admission of women as graduating students, and in 1996 the centenary of University Hall, the oldest purpose-built Hall of Residence for women students in Scotland. The Association for graduates of University Hall (UHStAGA) was founded in 1898. In offering this scholarship, UHStAGA wishes to continue its tradition of furthering friendly relations and international relations among students. To that end it is open to postgraduates both from home and from overseas. It is also open to current postgraduates who are experiencing financial difficulty in completing their research at St Andrews. How to Apply: By Post Scholarship Application Deadline: April 16, 2012. 2012-2013 International Student Entrance Scholarship at National University of Ireland, Ireland Undergraduate or Postgraduate Scholarship for students from Canada , China , India , USA in Different subjects at National University of Ireland, Galway 2012 Study Subject(s):Various Course Level:Undergraduate, Postgraduate Scholarship Provider: National University of Ireland, Galway Scholarship can be taken at: Ireland Eligibility: 1. Applicants must be normally resident in one of the following countries prior to commencing their programme of study at NUI Galway: • Canada • China • India • United States 2. Applicants must be new entrants and categorised as Non-EU students for fees purposes. 3. Applicants must not be in receipt of a merit based scholarship or award from any other institution worth more than •3,000 (per anum). 4. Applicants must hold a full or conditional offer for admission to one of the eligible full time undergraduate or postgraduate degree programmes listed overleaf. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries:• Canada, China, India, United State Scholarship Description: Students awarded an International Student Entrance Scholarship have the value of the award automatically deducted from the standard non-EU tuition fee for the first year of study. The student will pay the balance of their tuition fee as normal in line with the normal rules and regulations of the University. How to Apply:By Post Scholarship Application Deadline: May 4, 2012. 2012 ICRAR International Postgraduate Scholarship, Australia

Merit Based Postgraduate Scholarship in Engineering Science or Mathematics at Curtin University, Australia 2012 Study Subject(s):Engineering Science or Mathematics Course Level:Postgraduate Scholarship Provider: Curtin University Scholarship can be taken at: Australia Eligibility: Applicants should: -be international candidates; -have excellent undergraduate academic record with a First Class Honours or its equivalent in the area of physics, astrophysics, ICT or electronic engineering; -meet the Curtin’s level of English language proficiency requirements; -and have excellent academic references Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Description: A scholarship is currently being offered to international students wishing to commence a PhD in radio astronomy at ICRAR in 2012. You are required to nominate one or more research projects that interest you. Example projects are: -Analysis of galaxies in the GAMA database - Radio astronomy (VLBI, MWA) technology and algorithms -Supermassive black holes, galactic X-ray binaries and pulsars - Aperture arrays in radio astronomy -Dynamics and star-formation in galaxies -Galaxy evolution driven by mergers The scholarship consists of a stipend valued at $30,000pa plus a tuition fee waiver for a period of three years with a possibility of a six-month extension. How to Apply: Email, Post Scholarship Application Deadline: January 31, 2012. National Scholarship Programme at the University of Worcester, UK University of Worceste offers National Scholarship Programme 2012, UK Study Subject(s):Courses offered by University of Worceste Course Level:Higher Education Scholarship Provider: University of Worceste Scholarship can be taken at: UK Eligibility: Those students not eligible for a scholarship under the National Scholarship Programme are; NHS Funded students Students funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools Students directly continuing from one course to another (eg from a foundation degree or HND to the final year of an honours degree) Students transferring in from another institution Students taking a postgraduate qualification Part-time students studying at less than 25per cent intensity of the full-time equivalent Any other students whose fees are paid or part-paid through a sponsorship arrangement Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes

Varsity seeks govt support for programmes’ accreditation

V

ICE-CHANCELLOR of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL) Prof Ibrahim Kolo has sought the Niger State government’s help for facilities to hasten accreditation of programmes. Kolo spoke during a recent visit by the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Dr Mustapha Ibrahim Lemu. He explained that the situation at IBBUL requires urgent attention of the government for the accreditation of some programmes that have been on interim status. Kolo said though concerted efforts have been made to access all unutilised TETFunds in the previous years, more government’s support would also be needed to meet the basic requirements of the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the accreditation. He disclosed that the university was committing about N175 million TETFund to the construction of s new Faculty of Agriculture complex this year, adding that in pursuance of the vision of Niger State, some academic programmes have been restructured. He lauded government’s support to the university and also commended the cordial working relationship between the management and the Academic Staff Union of Universities. Responding, Lemu re-affirmed the state’s commitment to the development of the university towards making it among the best in the country. He said the Chief Servant of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, desired that IBBUL plays a critical role in the realisation of his administration’s Vision 3:20:20, pledging to give thenecessary support. He commended the initiatives taken by the university to develop a five-year strategic plan. He said ar-

rangements were being concluded by the government to collaborate with the university towards organising a workshop on strategic planning for tertiary institutions in the state. Lemu, who pointed out that the visit afforded him the opportunity to appraise the daunting challenges faced by the university, assured that steps would be taken to improve the

funding system to overcome the teething problems. He, however, urged the management to strengthen the utilisation of its Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund) to complement government’s efforts. While expressing satisfaction with the university’s linkages with other institutions, Lemu also said the government was discussing with the

State Universal Basic Education Board to provide a three-classroom block for the take-off of the Staff School. He commended the understanding of the members of the academic staff, despite the enormous challenges, and enjoined them to call off the ongoing strike, as government was ready for a positive dialogue.

•The Deputy Senate President/Chairman Board of Trustees Ikeoha Foundation, Ike Ekweremadu (right) presenting a cheque of N50,000.00 to Mr. Aja Samson, a student from Aninri LG of Enugu State during the 2011/2012 Ikeoha Foundation Annual Scholarship Awards. PHOTO: CLETUS OBI


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

39

EDUCATION

Senator to sponsor bill on public officers’ children’s education

S

ENATOR Basheer Garba Lado, representing Kano Central, is to sponsor a bill that seeks to ban public office holders from educating their children outside the country. In a statement signed by his Legislative Aide, Ibrahim Khalil, the Senator explained that the bill is aimed at compelling public office holders to realise the need to develop the education sector The statement noted that collective effort towards the development of the sector will help reduce the decay in the system, thereby making institutions to meet international standard. Lado stressed that if the political office holders are banned from sponsoring their wards abroad, they would be compelled to pay ad-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

equate attention to the numerous challenges facing institutions in the country. “If they should spend huge sums of money to sponsor their children’s education abroad why can’t they spend the money here on something else while all public schools are elevated to the required standards to be able to give the quality education sought abroad? Nigeria cannot continue to lag behind in the comity of nations in all aspects of human endeavour because we have all it takes to be great,” he said. Lado said he was seeking the support of his colleagues in the Senate to ensure easy passage of the bill when it is presented on the floor of the Upper Chamber.

UNILAG DLI to change name

T

HE University of Lagos (UNILAG) Distance Learning Institute is to change its name to Open and Distance Learning Institute (ODLI). This was made known during a press briefing on the institute’s public lecture coming up soon at UNILAG. The Director, UNILAG Distance Learning Institute, Prof Funke Lawal said public lecture is one of the most important activities in any organisation. She said it is an intellectual and educational activity that brings people into the university. “These people usually include highly-placed and sound people in the academics and some of them deliver educational lectures. An example is Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo,

F

By Medinate Kanabe

former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan who would be presenting a lecture at the event,” she said. Explaining why the theme “Open and Distance Learning: An Imperative Tool for Educational and Economic Development in Nigeria,” was picked, the professor said that all the regular universities put together cannot meet the demands of those who have the need for education. “The regular universities cannot admit up to 10 per cent of those who want to go to school. We at the Distance Learning Institute give everybody an opportunity to study as long as you meet up with our criteria, even those in employment. The regular university cannot do it alone; we are the only viable option.”

•Mr Bosun Falore, Chairman, Board of Governor, Mind Builders School, Ikeja (right) presenting a long service award to Mrs Kemi Oluwasona, Nursery Supervisor during the school’s long service award/end-of-year party for workers

Old pupils float alumni association

T

HE old pupils of Access International Schools, Magboro, Ogun State, have inaugurated their alumni association. The Proprietor, Dr Jonathan Akpan, who expressed happiness at the development, urged the alumni to show the world the positive values they imbibed while in the school. “Today it is a thing of joy to know that an alumni association is being inaugurated, despite the young age of the school, something many older schools have

failed to realise. This joy is doubled when one considers the fact that ex-pupils are presently studying or graduates of universities within and outside Nigeria, and excelling in various fields of endeavour. “Since you are convinced that this school is the bedrock of the knowledge you have acquired and has equipped you with values and skills needed to excel in the world, you should contribute positively to the school, your environment and the world at large,” he said. Also, the pioneer alumni, Presi-

dent, Mr Seun Olajide, expressed the determination of the old students to work hard at lifting not just the image of the school but also to contribute to its academic and physical development Olajide said the association would start giving awards to brilliant pupils during the next valedictory service. Highlight of the events was the swearing-in of the pioneer members of the executive of the association, and a meeting where the way forward was discussed.

400 schools for Lego competition to boost creative skills

OR some public primary school pupils in Lagos and Bayelsa states, 2012 is going to be a busy year. Reason:They will participate in the Lego Creativity and Innovation Competition anchored by Arc Light Ltd, the sole representative of Lego educational solutions in Nigeria. In Lagos, 20 teams will be using Lego tools to create brick toy city models in line with the theme of the competition which will hold later in the year. The theme is “My Dream City”. The Managing Director of Arc Light, Mr Tayo Obasanya, said in an interview with The Nation that the aim of the competition is to develop the creativity and imagination of pupils to enhance innovations. “It is a subtle way of making children learn to follow simple instructions. It also allows for creativity. Beyond following instructions, the child learns to express high level of creativity and innovations,” he said. Obasanya said 400 schools will be involved in the project. He added that selection of pupils that will make up the teams started last year with Arc Light visiting public primary schools in Lagos in search of pupils with imagination and creativity. He said: “We will go to 400 schools in local government areas in Lagos and Bayelsa States for the Creativity and Innovations Competition. The Lagos one is titled: “My Dream City” in line with the mega city programme of the state government. They (pupils) will use tools to build a city. It is our way of engaging their creativity and innovation. We are saying children have high level of creativity which can be applied in learning science, mathematics, etc. “To select the teams, we go to the schools and engage at least 100 pupils

•Pupils of one of the public primary schools during the selection process By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

to just play with Lego bricks. We identify at least 20 that are creative. They built without instructions. They showed that with resources they can do even more. “Twenty children teams will work with a technical adviser who will guide them and they will build their structures and do presenta-

tions. We have started in Eti-Osa Local Government. Sahara Energy supported five schools in Obalende area. We are working with corporate organisations to support schools.” The competition is just one aspect of Arc Light’s activities to get Nigerian schools to incorporate Lego educational solutions as teaching

aids for learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Obasanya said Robotics is another area the firm is seeking partnership with schools. Robotics, which works with ICT, can be used to learn about energy, force, speed, mathematics and other aspects of science. Last year, with the backing of

Lego, Arc Light organised the first National Robotics Competition (Mindstorm Nigeria) at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, in October with 20 teams participating. Two teams travelled to Abu-Dhabi for the World Robotics Olympiad between November 18 and 20, the first time Nigeria would be participating in the seven-year-old competition.


40

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

EDUCATION EDUTALK

Don scores UBE high

A

PROFESSOR of Biology and Education, Benedict Duyilemi, has scored the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme high in training and quality assurance. Duyilemi said in an interview that, over the years, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja, has increasingly devoted resources to improving teacher quality at all levels under the scheme which includes Early Child Care Development Education (ECCDE), primary and junior secondary schools. The don, who teaches in the Science and Technical Education Department of the Adekunle Ajasin University,Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, added that provision of instructional materials and facilities have also contributed to improving completion rates and learning outcomes among pupils. He said: “Nigeria’s UBEC has improved tremendously in the last three years in its activities to improve teacher-training and to improve teachers’ lots as professionals. UBE, in training has in the past years successfully dealt with Early Child Care Development Education, Primary level, Junior Secondary School, Assessment processes, and training of school administrators. They have been able to cope with and insist so far on quality maintenance. This is done in terms of input (textbooks, desks, black boards, teachers), outputs (promo-

Understanding fuel subsidy protests

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

tion and completion rates, measures of achievement/skills learnt) and process (effective organisation of lessons, child-centred learning).” However, Duyilemi said policy summersaults undermine progress and cautioned the government about discarding programmes without assessing their worth. “The phenomenon of policy summersault must be prevented. Succeeding Nigerian governments have not been allowing the practical aspects of theoretically formulated education policies and formulae to be blended and sustained. For example, we should avoid situations where after one or two years of a minister’s performance, and for political exigencies, another one is appointed. Without assessment and evaluation, the new minister just discards the former policy dubbing it as not good,” he said. He also called on relevant educational organisations to co-operate to improve quality of the UBE scheme. “Combined efforts at co-operation among all educational establishments or parastatals are very essential for improvement. Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), National Teachers Institute, Federal, State and Local Governments have to work together (with other stakeholders) to improve Nigeria’s education infrastructure at this critical time,” he

S •Prof Duyilemi

said. Duyilemi was recently appointed Deputy Director-General of the International Biographical Centre for Africa. He is a chief consultant with UBEC for Ondo State and facilitates regular training for primary and junior secondary school teachers in the state. He has been involved in research into the successes and failings of the UBE scheme in Nigeria, findings of which he revealed in a paper he delivered during the Nigerian Education Conference, Book Fair and Exhibition in Abuja titled “An Examination of Past Universal Education Strategies and Initiatives: Lessons Learnt from Other Countries Success Stories,” last year.

•A cross section of the matriculants. Inset: Dr Fasan

TV College matriculates 320 freshers

T

HE Nigeria Television Authority (NTA)-owned Television College, Jos, Plateau State, has matriculated another set of 320 students for the 2011/2012 diploma programme. At the matriculation, the Provost, Dr Ayo Fasan, told students to be prepared for hard work. The 31-year-old college, an affiliate of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, was initially established to train NTA workers. But, over the years, due to popular demand, it opened its doors to those who chose broadcast journalism as their career. The provost urged the new intakes to embrace hard work. “You should, therefore, prepare yourselves for real hard work. Let me assure you that, in a university environment, it can really be very tempting for you to embrace your new-found freedom from parental control with reckless abandon and

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

lose focus of the primary objective that brought you here in the first place. My candid advice to you is do not fall prey to that temptation.” Telling the students what to expect, Fasan said: “What the college offers is not just academic theories. Integrated into the normal theories you learn in the conventional universities are relevant practical and professional tools that will make you industry-ready for the broadcast world. We will, therefore, try our best within available financial ambience to provide the necessary equipment and conducive environment for you to be creatively engaged.” Noting that the broadcast industry is very demanding and growing competitive by the day, Fasan, however, assured the students that products of the college have been

with

winning laurels in local and international competitions. He said: “This ceremony welcomes you to join a select group of achievers and league of winners. To remain a bonafide members of this college’s Hall of Fame, ensure that you keep faith with the matriculation oath that you have taken today along with other rules, regulations and protocols of this college, so that we can remain good friends.” He also prayed for their safety given the security challenges in Jos. “There are many challenges facing our dear nation today. Indeed, Jos has become a metaphor for those multifaceted challenges. I, therefore, advise that as you settle down, be part of the solutions rather than compounding these challenges.As you take part in today’s matriculation ceremony, I pray that it shall be well with you.”

INCE dawn broke on New Year day Sunday last week, Nigerians have thought of Kofoworola little else but the fuel subsidy removal. There was hardly time to reminisce over the fun time Kofosagie@yahoo.com shared with family and friends 08054503077 (SMS only) during the yuletide season or recall how the turkey tasted with the Christmas jollof rice before the effect of the change in fuel price from N65 to N141 hit us square in the face like a heavy stone thrown with malice. We are still nursing the bump that resulted from the ferocious hit and the pain is spiraling to other parts of the body. Stories abound of families that travelled down to the Southeast, Southsouth and other far distances from the big cities for the holidays and became stranded because transport costs more than tripled. Take the case of a man who travelled with his wife, three children and two relatives to Enugu at the cost of N4,000 per head only to be told to pay N17,000 per head for the return leg to Lagos. He certainly could not have understood what hit him. Added to the challenges of feeding daily (not necessarily thrice) and paying exorbitant amounts for public transport or to fuel their cars, parents now have to bear extra cost to educate their children. Were this to be the first term of the school year, I sincerely wonder how they would have coped because it is at the beginning of every session that fees are at their peak. Not only do parents pay high fees during the first term, they also have to buy books, uniforms, and pay for other levies or perks that schools manage to include in the bill. So, there is at least something to be grateful for: Thank God it is not first term. For if it had been, what would parents do? First term or not, right now, parents are complaining. Thankfully, schools issue bills at the end of each term so pupils expect to pay the amount stated on the bills for the new term. However, parents are worried that the schools will ask for more given that times have suddenly changed. For those whose children are in boarding houses, the cost of providing them with toiletries and provisions in addition to paying fees has risen sharply. Many can no longer afford to buy the amount of fuel for their cars that they used to, neither can they afford to give the same amount as pocket money. With those children attending day schools, parents also need to seriously worry about increased transportation cost. Some of the pupils ride in their parents’ cars to school, while others either go on their own or go on buses provided by schools. Whichever is the case, it involves spending more money that may not be readily available. Maybe those in authority need to understand that these are the challenges before the average Nigerian family that makes it difficult for them to just accept the subsidy removal. President Jonathan and his ministers have told us the removal is for our own good in the long run. However, Nigerians do not believe them. Nigerians do not believe public office holders understand the pains they are going through. One of the respondents to our query on the effect of the fuel price hike said our leaders are living subsidised lives at our expense. True talk! They get allowances for everything under the sun – security vote that runs into hundreds of millions, feeding, transport, education of their wards, and travel, name it. They can live comfortably on these allowances without touching their salaries throughout their stay in office so they genuinely may not understand what we go through. They can afford to pay the new price of fuel without batting an eyelid. They can also afford to pay the increased amount on essential and luxury goods and services, without changing their lifestyles, and, still send their wards to schools abroad. So, there is a gap. For there to be meaningful progress, government needs to mind this gap and help the average Nigerians overcome these

Belo-Osagie

‘Maybe those in authority need to understand that these are the challenges before the average Nigerian family that makes it difficult for them to just accept the subsidy removal. President Jonathan and his ministers have told us the removal is for our own good in the long run. However, Nigerians do not believe them’

From my Inbox Hi Kofo, I am a regular reader of your articles in The Nation and I do enjoy your write ups. Please help to educate our parents on the idea of taking their children to so-called ‘miracle centres’. It is not helping our education system in Nigeria. Happy New Year to you. Keep the flag flying and more power to your elbow. From Kolawole Oluwafemi, Akure. Dear Kofo, good day. Please can you highlight the incessant accidents killing UNAD (EKSU) students so often in your column? Thanks. Conerned parent. Good evening ma. Please ma, I have your articles on (sic) the newspapers and I am pleading for your help. I gained admission in (sic) a private university to study Economics but because of their fees, which my parents are not able to pay, I am yet to be in school. Please ma, am (sic) pleading if you know anybody who will be of help to me, I will sincerely appreciate. The fee is N313,000 including accomodation and hand-outs.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

41

THE NATION

NATURAL HEALTH E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

After a protracted illness, 61-year-old Founder of Iris Medical Foundation Prof Paul Ojeih died on December 28, last year. A befitting funeral is being planned by his family. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA writes on the life and time of the deceased.

Ojeih, alternative medicine advocate, dies at 61

T

HE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alternative Therapy and Herbal Medical Centre, Prof Paul Olisa Ojeih, is dead. The Comparative Medicine Practitioner died last December 28. He died of heart attack after a protracted battle with kidney and liverrelated ailments, a source said. The late Ojeih was said to have been placed on oxygen for about 48 hours before he died. He was active in championing in natural medicine in the turf of healthcare delivery. He was also a propagator of Urine Therapy as a cure for many ailments. He was seen by many as controversial because of his outspokeness, especially on issues germane to complementary and alternative medicine practice. The late Prof Ojeih was born in Asaba, Delta State. He attended St. Patrick College, Asaba; Nolan Institute of Natural Medicine Idaho, United States and International University Bologna, Italy. He obtained the following certificates: Ph. D (Comparative Medicine); Doctorate (Reflex Sciences and Natural Medicine); Diploma (ElectroAcupuncture); Diploma Apitherapy (German society); Fellow of international Academy of Lymphology ( New York ); Research Fellow Tropical Medicine; Fellow Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Communication Arts and Public Administration, California Christian University USA; Ph.D (Business Administration ( Evangel Christian University , California ) and Professor of Human Science ( Evangel Christian University California ). He had the following subsidies under the name Iris Group: Iris Medic, United kingdom; Iris Medical Foundation Inc., USA; Iris Medical South Africa; Iris Medical Limited, Ghana; Iris Health Products Nigeria Limited; Iris Foods and Drugs Limited; Iris Medical Clinics; Iris Farms Limited; AB Waters Limited and Top Health Magazine. He was a teacher with a vast knowledge of the human body and established a college, Iris College of Natural Medicine, where people who are interested in the field of herbal and alternative medicines can be trained.

•The late Ojeih By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

His publications include Man and Diseases; diseases and cure; AIDS: The untold truths and cure; AIDS: The plague that never existed; Sickle cell Anaemia: causes, prevention, cure; Redemption of sickling Haemoglobin: Change of Genotype from SS to carrier stage or normal genotype from SS to carrier stage or normal genotype (AA); Cancer: Causes, prevention, cure; Total Redemption of cancer cells to normal healthy cells; Understanding the true concept of human physiology; Heart Disease: The New Death Wave; HIV/AIDS Virus: Real or Western Propaganda? Others are: Stress Management; The dangerous consequences of high protein consumption; Natural medicine, leading edge over conventional medicine; A critical value for African Health Renaissance; Diabetes Mellitus: Causes, prevention, natural medicine to the rescue; Understanding breast cancer and uterine fibroids; AIDS- a new perspective: Herbal Medicine to the Rescue; Dr. Ojeih’s treatise on urine therapy- Your own urine is nature’s number one healer; Alternative approach to the treatment of HIV/AIDS and AZT: American pill of

Immunocal bags best diabetic management product 2011

Diet, exercise will prevent hypertension IFESTYLE adjustment through consumption of appropriate diet and exercise have been identified as key components in the prevention and management of hypertension, a traditional healer, Dr Lambo Adebisi, has said. According to him, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, reduce salt intake, reduce alcohol intake, and stress among others. Adebisi said lifestyle changes were the major preventive measures, adding that the use of herbs would aid the process of healing, thus ensuring a better outcome. He said: “To prevent damage to critical organs and conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure that may be caused by high blood pressure, it is important to screen, diagnose, treat, and control hyper tension in its earliest stages. This can also be accomplished by increasing public awareness and increasing the frequency of screenings for the condition.” Adebisi said there were concoction made from roots and leaves that are blended together for the treatment of hypertension. He said the exact causes of hypertension were usually unknown, adding that there were several factors that have been highly associated with the condition. They are smoking, obesity or being overweight, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle, he said. Others are lack of physical activity, high levels of salt intake (sodium sensitivity), insufficient calcium, potassium, and magnesium con-

death. As a Professor of Natural Medicine with very deep understanding of the human body mechanics, he bagged many awards in recognition of his dedication and contribution to healthcare delivery in Nigeria. He ran interactive health programmes on national television stations and London-based Ben TV. Other awards he obtained were: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Africa Leadership award; Citizens Image Special Recognition award; Intra Continental Media Networks award; the African Virtuous Leadership Gold award; Nigerian Alternative Medicine award of Excellence; Nigerian Alternative Medicine Award of Excellence; (Alternative best health magazine of the year 2004 (Top Health); Nigerian Alternative Medicine award of excellence (natural medicine award for distinguished practitioner of the year 2004); Nigerian Alternative Medicine award of excellence (Innovative concepts in natural medicine); Nigerian Alternative Medicine award of excellence (Emancipation and promotion of Alternative Medicine); National Association of Ghanaian Communities in Nigeria (NAGHACON); Lagos State (Outstanding Leadership Award); Daily Times One Hundred Heroes of Modern Nigeria and The News Magazine Fifty Nigerian Integrity awards, among others. He was survived by his Ghanaian wife, Mrs Janet Ojeih, many children, eldest being Paul Ojeih Jnr, six grand children and an aged father. He was noted for his unique preparation of his drugs through his companies and farm covering 20 hectares of land at Ota. He had a fishing farm that is fully equipped with sophisticated tools, poultry farm, herbs and other things at this herbarium. To ensure good manufacturing practice (GMP) in his choice of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) at this herbarium and to meet the production target, he imported raw materials from abroad through the approval of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) instead of sourcing them locally and this method has enhanced efficiency in the production processes. The United Nations made him a Justice of Peace, and was late last year inducted as one of the Patrons of Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN. The certificate of the appointment was presented to him by the National President of the guild, Segun Arinze and Abubakar Yakub, the Public Relations Officer. He was honoured as His Royal Majesty An-Najashi, for his relationship with Islamic Community by an Islamic Organisation, publishers of the Ar-Salaam Peace magazine.

L

I

•Adebisi By Wale Adepoju

sumption, Vitamin D deficiency, high levels of alcohol consumption, stress, aging, ingesting drugs such as birth control pills, genetics and a family history of hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and adrenal and thyroid problems or tumours. Adebisi said: “The normal level for blood pressure is below 120/80, where 120 represents the systolic measurement (peak pressure in the arteries) and 80 represents the diastolic measurement (minimum pressure in the arteries). Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called pre-hypertension (to denote increased risk of hypertension), and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension.”

MMUNOCAL, a dietary supplement scientifically proven to consistently raise glutathione levels, has won the Best Diabetic Management Product 2011 at the African Gold Awards and African Product Forum 2011 from the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology (IGRLT). Immunocal works by optimising the immune system, which enhances energy levels and vitality for an improved quality of life. It is a product of Immunotherapy Nigeria Limited. The announcement was contained in a letter from IGRT to the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Immunotherapy Nigeria Limiteden titled: Best Diabetic Management Product 2011 and signed by the IGRT’s Country Director (Africa and Middle East), Moses Essien. Excerpt of the letter stated: “… the technical committee has the honour to make the aforementioned award in favour of Immunocal having outperformed other diabetic management products in the market. “Some of the parameters and performance indicators used, product of high quality, value creation and tropicalised, product acceptability, track record and competitive edge, product good for diabetic patients, product suits the harsh African environment and terrain, product best for medical application assignment, compliance with profes-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

sional codes and ethical standards, compliance with international standard and certification, compliance with government regulatory laws and guidelines, etc…” Immunocal is recommended by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) as immune-booster in cancer patients and other patients suffering from debilitating, lifethreatening diseases in combination with other therapies. Immunocal provides the necessary components of glutathione GSH that, when absorbed into the body, stimulate the body’s own production of glutathione to be used by every cell. Immunocal is an all-natural formula designed to increase intracellular glutathione, one of the most powerful and most prevalent antioxidants in the body. In simple terms, this means that Immunocal provides the essential nutritional building blocks that promote the body’s natural ability to fight inflammation and can help strengthen the immune system. Immunocal may be the most important supplement for 21st century mankind. Glutathione plays a major role in the state of health and well-being and longevity. It can increase the production of Glutathione threefold and help protect from a polluted environment. The concentration of glutathione declines with age and in some age-related diseases.


42

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

NATURAL HEALTH

New Year resolution: Healthier digestive system (2)

I

N his BACK TO EDEN, famous American Physician JETHRO KLOSS excited the interest of many people for intestinal health in this column last week. His autopsy reports on some people who complained of tummy or abdominal pains for some years before they died showed that they actually had multiple cancers in various stages of growth. Such people would have tried to quieten the pains with antacids or other pain blockers, unknown to them that pain, as an early warning signal, had merely been blocked or suppressed and that the root cause of trouble was still festering. Last week, this column proposed a healthier digestive system as 2012 New Year Resolution, and began to address various stations or organs of the digestive system, starting from the mouth which many people take for granted. For one gentleman who has called to say he has a tumour on the tongue which has kept him out of circulation, I am searching for an old book in my library which details how a doctor in England dissolved such growths and those in the throat with Blackstrap Molasses. This is a byproduct of the refining of cane sugar which had lost its reputation with some physicians simply because they believe it is a byproduct of the destruction of cane sugar in the refining process. Nevertheless, blackstrap molasses is still popular today, and molasses obtained from the second boiling of cane sugar syrup and with about five percent less iron. Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling. (More about this later). Meanwhile, it shouldn't be forgotten that • Growth emerges from irritation and inflammation, • Irritation comes from poisoning , • On the adult tongue are about 3,000 taste buds which are the terminals of several more thousand hair-thin nerves. Could these buds and nerves have been damaged by food, drink, tobacco or could the growth have occurred from insufficiency of biochemic cell salts? After all, the cell is all about the presence of certain salts in certain proportions. Relying on the hypotheses of many researchers and doctors that growths result from a deficiency of potassium salts, I'd suggest the use of the following biochemic cell salts • Potassium sulphate (kali sulph.) • Potassium phosphate (kali phos.) • Potassium chloride (Kali mur.) As oxygen burns growths and disease, ferrum phosphate, also a cell salt, may be added, as it breaks congestion, promotes circulation and oxygenates. Potassium sulphate should be particularly useful if the tongue is yellow or the discharge of the growth is. Potassium chloride is more for white discharges. This principle of cell salts is appropriate for the colour of discharge in the tongue, vagina as well as those thrown up in asthma or other cough, and eye discharges. It is potassium phosphate

through the delicate fibres into the blood vessels. The forcing widens and injures the pores of the intestines. Immune cells will recognise Polysaccharides as strangers or enemies and "open fire on" any organ which harbours these unusual molecules, starting an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself, with inflammation all over the place.

M

which " works wonders on jangled nerves", according to Nigey Lennon and Lionell Rolfe in their HOMEOPATHIC CELL SALTS. There will be another opportunity to mention how this salt is reported to help clear nerve related headaches, intestinal troubles, heart problems, asthma, coughs and blurry vision.

The teeth

T

HEY are no decorations. Meant to break down food for saliva to soften it, the teeth must be strong and well held in their sockets. The gums of some people are inflamed, the teeth loose in their sockets. The teeth can be irritated by cold or heat. Sometimes, the enamel, the outer hardening substance, begins to peel or break. If foods are not well chewed, ptyalin, an enzyme in the saliva, will not convert complex carbohydrate, polysaccharides, to intermediate ones, disaccharides, which the intestines will then convert to monosaccharide, the simplest form of sugar that the healthy intestines allow to cross into the blood stream. I learned in high school physiology and lessons that it is wrong to swallow carbohydrate food before the taste has changed in the mouth, that is before ptyalin has done its job, converting from maltase to maltose. The danger in disobeying this simple rule is obvious. Polysaccharides, not disaccharides, will enter the intestines, force their way

EANWHILE, the intestines, now with bigger pores, are leaking. In the colon, leakages to the prostate gland nearby may cause infection and inflammation in that organ, bacteria and viruses will emerge to feast on leaked fecal matter, to help clean up the rubbish, creating their own poisonous waste products. The doctor who is not familiar with leaky gut syndromes pursues ringworm instead of leprosy. As the Yoruba say, that is chasing shadows instead of their roots. Calcium, magnesium and zinc are good for the teeth but, often, prescriptions fail, because the wrong types or those with too much fillers and binders are used. Lately, through experience, I have found the personal biochemical, homeopathic calcium recipes effective. From Dr Wilhelm Heimlich Schuesseler, arguably the father of cell salt medicine, I've learned that calcium fluoride ( cal. fluor.) and calcium phosphate (cal. phos.) stop enamel wear and harden the enamel. Cal flour. Is good news for areas of the body which require suppleness, such as frozen joints (arthritis) and varicose veins (inflamed veins). Both cell salts also help the gums. To conclude this part of the series, I'd like to refer to Nigey Lennon and Lionel Rolfe in their HOMEOPATHIC CELL SALT REMEDIES subtitled Healing With Nature's mineral compounds. They say of the eyes and teeth: "If your mouth is always dry and your teeth are deficient in enamel which leads to rapid decay, cal. flour. is indicated immediately. When your teeth are loose in their sockets, this is the remedy to use, and do not lose any time using it. Take cal. flour. in the 6x potency before meals and cal. phosph. after meals. In the same potency. Some doctors indicate this remedy for children with delayed dentition. Another use of cal. flour. is in treating certain kinds of eye problems. Eye problems should usually be treated with a variety of cell salts for the different symptoms. Cal. flour. is the main remedy if you see sparks or flickering lights before your eyes and in cases of spots on the cornea, conjunctivitis and cataracts. One doctor reported that, in thirteen cases of cataracts, 11 were cured with regular doses of cal. flour. For some people, problem in their joints (arthritis for example), or brain come from unhealthy teeth, and gums. Any-one who had toothache knows how near to wishing death the sufferer can be. Gums are sometimes sick and inflamed. Dead teeth are hiding places for germs, the toxins of which may cause damage in distant parts of the body. • The Series Continues.

For Jonathan and Kolade

D

ESPITE high hopes for a brand new year, nothing typically Nigerian seemed to change in the 2011/2012 crossover. The price of petrol doubled as speculated, strikes followed, prices and rents skyrocketed, and frowns may adorn many faces, homes and lives. Typically, the government promised the billions of naira it would save from ambushing and plunging the citizens into the cold new year will be spent on soft landings to re-warm the cold weather for them. But wouldn't this be a typical, unfulfilled promise at the end of the day? Why does the president not maintain the status quo and confront corruption in oil industry which, every year, must gulp trillions of Naira, recover this loot and spend it on his plans to develop Nigeria? In the days of Augustus Aikhomu as deputy to Military President Ibrahim Babangida, I made the following suggestions to him. When it became clear the socalled subsidy would go then, Nigerian people were not as bold and wise as they are today. Augustus Aikhomu was a big brother at the Police Barracks, Ibara, Abeokuta, who played football with me, then a kid, whenever he was on holiday from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. He came to spend the holiday with his brother, nick-named E DEY ENJOY, a policeman colleague of my father. I made the suggestion again to Chief Bola Ige after the disputed victory of Olusegun Obasanjo at the Presidential polls. The preambles were: • The Southwest, though cheated in the polls, hurt and angry, shouldn't make the country ungovernable for him in the election. And that is not because "he is our son". • I told Aikhomu Nigerians would believe the government of Babangida if he came out and said: "Hang me if I touch one kobo" and then outlined how he would spend the money. I make the same suggestions to president Jonathan today because I suspect he had no plans for the money he wishes to scrape off the pockets of Nigerian people, if they let him. The Christopher Kolade committee seems to me an after-thought. Military regimes tend to implant retired military officers to head successor civilian governments • Push for equitable allocation of sales tax, petroleum tax revenues and petroleum subsidy savings among the six geopolitical regions, and spend that for the Southwest to transform it into a model region for Nigeria. Chief Ige read that suggestion to the newly elected governors at a meeting with him in Esa Oke. I read, and agree with Professor Sam Aluko's analysis circulated via the internet in which he exposed the

grand thievery called oil subsidy. We needn't waste time and energy and emotions on this new round of harm inflicted on prices and the economy. If we can't stop the rain before if falls, we can at least find ourselves raincoats, umbrellas or safe shelters. That's the purpose of this old idea on how to spend the so-called petroleum subsidy saving. So, to President Jonathan, I say … • Do not share the saving among the states. It will be money poured down the drain. The Governors will squander it. • Do not worry that some regions consume more petroleum products than others. Although sharing of the saving on this basis is equitable, it may cause uproar and slow, if not derail, the coach. Divide the saving equally among them. Equity will be a question of the future. This is an emergency. • Invest the entitlement of each region on business with potential for multiplier effects in that zone, taking one project each year. • I am familiar with the Southwest. So, what I say of the Southwest may the appropriate for the peculiarities of other regions. This plan may create four million jobs in four years.

The Plan For now, I can think of the following major projects in the Southwest. • Lagos Metro line • Ondo tar sand • Iwopin paper mill • Igbeti Mines • Oshogbo steel rolling mills.

Year 1 Pump all the Southwest allocation into Lagos Metro line. If workers on Victoria Island who live in Abule-Egba or Agbado Crossing spend not more than N200 return ticket in rail transportation every day, as against N1500 before the Jonathan fuel price hike, and double that after the President should have no need for a campaign in this region to earn a second term. The metro line will employ thousands of people directly or otherwise. With a project such as this in other five regions, warm air will below over the Nigerian cold.

Year 2

Sell off the metro line project on the Stock Exchange, and re-

e-mail: femi.kusa@yahoo.com or olufemikusa@yahoo.com

invest the proceeds on another major project in the Southwest, maybe the tar sand industry which, as Prof. Aluko said, can save Nigeria almost a billion dollars yearly in foreign exchange from asphalt import. Proceeds from metro line sale and new seed capital from petroleum subsidy saving in the second year will mean two major investments with multiplier effects in the second year. And that will mean three projects in two years in one region or 18 major projects nationwide!

Year 3 Sell off the projects of Year 2 and pump in fresh seed capital from petroleum subsidy saving of that year, and you'll have three new investments that year. In other words, in only three years, there'll be four major investments in the South-West alone or 24 major investments nationwide. If we remember what the GSM did to Nigeria, finding jobs for many men and women previously unemployed but now repairing cell phones, selling phones, phone cards or expanding their businesses every day through easier accessibility to the marketplace, we may have an idea of what economic transformation may happen in the country. Five major investments in the Southwest alone in four years would translate, for all the zones, as 30 major projects nationwide. If we look at the base of the GSM project in Lagos, and can see no fewer than a conservative 100, 000 people selling recharge cards in Lagos City alone, we should see savings from petroleum subsidy, well invested and not given to profligate governors to squander, creating at least three million jobs in three years alone, an all-time Nigerian record, an unassailable ticket for a second presidential term for a performing President. More people would have been employed. The rate of robberies would have reduced. The stock exchange would have been so busy that everyone would have been so busy making more money to buy more shares that political, ethnic, religious and other rancours, starved of energy from poverty, would have beaten a retreat. If the president successfully rides this storm, here's an idea for him. If Nigerian people succeed in telling the president they own the resources of Nigeria, the elected presidents to manage them in accordance with their Will, here, also, is an idea on how they can spend the money they should recover from oil industry looters.

Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303


43

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

NATURAL HEALTH The Chief Executive Officer, Pax Herbal Medical Research and Laboratory, Ewu- Isan, Edo State, REVD FATHER ANSELM ADODO writes on the potency of garlic as an anti-biotic.

Garlic: A potent antibiotic G

ARLIC known as allium sativum belongs to the alliums family, which comprises some 700 species. Garlic is among the earliest known medicinal plants. The Babylonians (c. 3000 BC) are said to make profuse use of garlic. The Jews love garlic, and when they were deprived of it in the wilderness, they grumbled: “The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to it! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost-also cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite: we never see anything but this manna!” (Numbers 11: 4 to 6). Garlic would surely restore their lost appetite. Garlic was widely consumed in ancient Greek and Rome. Aristotle recommended garlic for those who wish to remain strong and healthy. The Roman soldiers were fond of planting garlic in vegetable pots near their abode, since they believed that eating garlic would improve their fighting spirit. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, prescribed raw garlic for bronchitis. The tomb of the Egyptian king, Tutankhamen, was said to contain six bulb of garlic, perhaps to ward off dangers on his way to the other world. There are many myths and legends about garlic. One Muslim legend said when Satan left the Garden of Eden after the fall, garlic sprang up from century Europe, garlic was believed to ward off vampires and make moles to jump out of the ground. Greek athletes were given garlic to chew before competitions in the Olympic Games to make them run faster or excel. In ancient Greek, those who smelt of garlic were not allowed to enter the temple of Greek gods. In the middle ages, physicians used a mask smeared with garlic when treating patients with infectious diseases. In Ayurvedic medicine, garlic is called rashona, meaning, “Lacking one taste.” This refers to the fact that garlic posses all the other five tastes, namely, purgent (root), bitter (leaf), astringent (stem), saline (stem) and sweet (seed), but “Lacking in one taste,” sourness. In Nigeria, there are some beliefs about the powers of garlic. In eastern Nigeria, the smell of garlic is said to be offensive not only to the human but also to evil spirits. Hence those who wish to ward off evil spirits use it. In some parts of Yoruba land, garlic is used to neutralise harmful charms. Rubbing mashed garlic on one’s hand does this. As soon as one touches the charm, it becomes neutralised. An Igbo lady recently shared her experience with me. According to her, she had been experiencing strange disappearance of money in her house.

•Understand what stress is Stress is defined as what happens when the demands made on a person exceed that person’s ability to cope. The word is derived from the Latin stringere - “to draw tight”. Some stress is good - it keeps us on our toes and driving onwards. Its origin lies in the “fight or flight” response that evolved in our ancestors and was essential for survival in prehistoric times.

• Get your company on the case Long hours and a macho culture are among the chief causes of workplace stress. The Health and Safety Executive launched a tough new code to reduce stress at work in December 2004. The code sets six standards, including increasing support and giving staff more control. Employers who ignore the standards are at risk of legal action.

• The best cures are free The single most popular response to stress is to have a drink. This was mentioned by one respondent in three in the Samaritans survey, up from one in four in 2003. Similar proportions say that they watch television or listen to music.

•Live abroad - or move up north Many people dream of moving abroad

•Garlic

Whenever she kept some money in her wardrobe, she would soon discover that half of the money had disappeared mysteriously, even though she was living alone. This experience had been on for some time. Then one day, as she was praying, she received an inspiration to keep a bulb of peeled garlic in her wardrobe. This she did and ever since there has not been any incidence of disappearance. She said she even recommended it to others and it has worked in all the cases. All these show that indeed, garlic was seen from earliest times to be a mysterious plant. When garlic is eaten, its odour impregnates all the body secretions: breath, sweat, urine, belches, saliva, and even the milk of breastfeeding mother. The peculiar smell of garlic is due to the presence of diallyl disulphide, an enzyme derived from alliicine, which is a by-product of alliinase. Garlic contains alliin, niacin and vitamin A1, B1, B2. As volatile substances, alliin and diallyl dysulphur easily permeates all body organs and tissues, making it impossible to hide the smell. The body organs, which benefit most from garlic, are the organs of elimination such as the lungs, bronchi, liver, kidneys and the skin.

Method of applying garlic • Swallow four cloves of garlic three times daily, same way as you swallow tablets or capsules. This is by far the simplest and most convenient way to take garlic. It also solves the problem of the smell. However, note that anything less than the stated 12 cloves daily will give very little therapeutic effect. • Mash three bulbs of garlic and soak in one bottle of hot water overnight. Drink a glassful

•Father Adodo

three times daily. • Blend 10 bulbs of garlic with two bottles of honey. Please do not add water. Drink two dessert spoons three times daily.

Medicinal properties of garlic Anti-biotic: garlic is one of the most effective natural anti-biotics there are. It is scientifically proven that garlic works powerfully against the following bacteria. • Escherichia coli, which causes intestinal dysbacteriosis and urinary infections. • Salmonela typhi, which causes typhoid fever. • Shigella dysenteriae, which causes dysentery. • Staphloccocus and streptococcus, which cause inflammation to the genital organs, damaged sperm cells, and skin infections and blemishes. Unlike synthetic anti-biotic, garlic has no side effect whatsoever.

Hypolidemic: Garlic is found to lower noxious cholesterol level in the blood. This makes it indispensable for many Nigerians who consume a lot of fat, palm oil and butter. Over-consumption of palm oil is partly responsible for cases of high cholesterol level in Nigerians today, thereby increasing the risk of heart problems.

Anti-diabetic: Combined with other herbs, garlic has proved useful for lowering blood sugar. Those who are afraid of developing diabetes because of the fact that their parents are diabetics should make friend with garlic, as it is very good pre-

10 ways to beat stress to a stress-free life sitting around the pool sipping cocktails as the sun goes down. But what about working abroad?A survey by Ipsos, the polling organisation, conducted in nine countries and published in December, found that Germany topped the stress league, while Mexico was the least-stressed nation. Britons were the most likely to claim their life was beyond their control, although they reported less stress overall than the Germans.

• Lobby the government for more help Almost 13 million days a year are taken off sick from work as a result of stress, according to the charity Mind. Stress costs the economy almost £1 for every £10 generated.Stress leads to anxiety, depression and mental distress. Mental illness is now Britain’s biggest social problem, worse than unemployment and as important as poverty, according to Lord Layard, the Labour peer.

•Go out to work Women suffer more from stress than men. In the Samaritans survey, more than half of women said they felt

stressed more than once a month. Worst affected were mothers at home with their children and other women without formal employment. Having a workplace to go to, and colleagues for company, may relieve stress as well as cause it. For many people, a life without work is a life without meaning.

•Avoid joining successful organisations This may sound odd, but the adage that success breeds success is undermined by research showing that working for an expanding organisation is more likely to make you ill. Change is stressful, and organisations that are growing rapidly impose greater demands on the workforce than those where there is less change and more stability, even when the change is positive and increases job security.

•Turn off your mobile and take a nap Almost one-quarter of the working day is lost to interruptions from e-mails, phone calls and text messages, American research suggests. While sociability is good for health, too much of it can lead

vention against diabetes. Anti-tumour: garlic strengthens the blood cells that protect the body against micro-organism. If these cells are weak, the body becomes prone to vital infections, such as HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia and cough. Garlic also destroys cancerous cells in the body. It I no wonder that the people of Central Asia, who are reputed to be great consumers of garlic, live longest and recorded the lowest incidence of cancer. In Nigeria, cases of cancer, especially of the breast, are increasing daily. I wish to suggest that our women should take garlic as much as possible. Garlic will act as a good prevention against cancer as well as help in dissolving cancerous tumours. Anti-hypertensive: garlic has been a beckon of hope for hypertensive patients all over the world. It not only helps to regulate the blood pressure, but also helps to keep it normal. Worms: garlic is very good against intestinal worms. Follow method two or three above. Garlic is also good for indigestion, as it promotes catabolism (waste excretion). Follow any of the three recipes above. For various illnesses such as bronchial infections, diarrhoea, general weakness, tiredness, lack of appetite, arthritis, convulsion and epilepsy, garlic is your best bet. Smokers and alcoholics, the result has been impressive. In the first place, garlic takes care of the ailments often associated with drinking and smoking, namely, hypertension, kidney and liver problems and lungs infections. Garlic helps to overcome the urge to smoke or drink, perhaps because of its peculiar odour. For smokers, I often recommend chewing three cloves of garlic three times daily, while drinkers blend garlic, carrot and honey and water together. The dosage is one glass three times daily.

to work piling up, adding to stress about getting too little done. A failure to switch off from work is driving up stress levels. The problem is exacerbated by omnipresent electronic gadgets such as mobiles and BlackBerrys, which mean that the office is never closed.

• Grow older One of the puzzles about stress is that those carrying the least responsibility teenagers - suffer worst. The Samaritans survey of 2,000 people, conducted over the internet in December, found that pressure had increased most on the young, with 70 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds saying they felt more stressed than they did five years ago.

• Talk to someone Bonding with colleagues is one of the most effective antidotes to stress in the workplace. Chatting over the photocopier, going out for lunch and sharing troubles is the best form of therapy.Yet fewer people are doing it. Professor Cary Cooper of Lancaster University, an expert on workplace stress, said this was the most worrying finding of the Samaritans survey. Culled from www.independent.co.uk


44

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

45


46

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

NATION SPORT

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL...EUROPEAN FOOTBALL...EUROPEAN FOOTBALL...

Agent: Podolski is comfortable at Koln

T

HE agent of Koln striker Lukas Podolski has insisted that his client is comfortable with his current situation, but refused to rule out the possibility of a move to AC Milan. Representative Kon Schramm recently declared his client would not leave his hometown club in January. However, the player has not yet committed his long-term future to Koln, having declined to discuss a potential contract extension before the summer. "Milan? We don’t comment on these rumors," Scramm exclusively told Goal.com. "There are a bunch of rumors on him, every day there are calls from Italy, from England and even from Russia. "The real truth is that Lukas has a contract with Koln and he is comfortable there. At the moment this is how things are." Podolski has scored 14 goals in 16 Bundesliga appearances this season, prompting interest from Milan and Arsenal, among others. The 26-year-old has a contract that will expire in 2013 and Koln have pledged to sell him before summer's end should he opt not to extend his stay.

Neuer out for Bundesliga glory

B

AYERN MUNICH goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says his biggest goal this season is winning the Bundesliga title for the first time in his career. Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says his biggest goal this season is winning the Bundesliga title for the first time in his career. Neuer, 25, has yet to lift the German league title after failing to become champions with Schalke before his move to Bayern in July, and is determined to finally add the Bundesliga crown to his trophy cabinet in 2011/12. "I want to win the league at last. That's my biggest goal, even if some of the lads who've been here for a while and who've frequently laid hands on the championship shield might not want to hear it," Neuer told Bayern's official website.

•Cologne's striker Lukas Podolski vies for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match

Lloris looking to kick-start season Conte: Inter still a title threat

L

YON keeper Hugo Lloris has called on his side to relaunch their season following the winter break with a Coupe de la Ligue win over Lille. After Lisandro Lopez's hat-trick saw Les Gones past local minnows Lyon Duchere in the Coupe de France on Sunday, in the club's first game since December 21, Lyon face

the reigning champions in France's second cup competition before returning to Ligue 1 action against high-flying Montpellier. That creates the need to hit the ground running, and Lloris said at a press conference televised on lequipe.fr: "We know this match can launch the second part of our season. There is everything to gain.

Borriello wants to win over Juve fans

M

ARCO Borriello has vowed to take revenge against those who protested against him during Sunday's 1-0 victory at Lecce and win over Juventus' fans. Supporters held up a banner saying: "Borriello, a mercenary without honour or dignity." That was an allusion to their belief that the 29-year-old turned down the opportunity to join the Old Lady of Turin a year ago when he left AC

•Borriello

Milan for Roma. But having now joined the Turin giants on loan, with a permanent eight million euro ($10.2m) deal lined up for the summer, Borriello wants to set the record straight. "I was disappointed to see this banner at Lecce. In my life I've always conducted myself with dignity, both on and off the pitch, and I have a lot of respect for the Juve fans," he said. "Milan decided to sell me after signing Ibra (Zlatan Ibrahimovic). Roma showed their interest straight away to buy me outright, while Juve were not in a position to do so. "I have never boasted about turning down Juve and if today I have been given the opportunity to wear the black and white shirt, it's because I've always behaved in the right way. "I want revenge and I want to show what I can do. I have five months to convince Juve and their fans." Revenge is not just against those who have doubted him, though, as Borriello also has a point to prove to those who have discarded him. Although he has played seven times for Italy and long been regarded one of the top forwards in the country, Borriello has twice already found himself surplus to requirements at a big club, first Milan and then Roma.

"I have a lot more to give than what I've done so far," he added. "I've been a bit unlucky in my footballing life: I started playing seriously at Genoa, scoring 19 goals, but then the next season I was out injured for 10 months. "Then I scored 15 goals in eight months but when I was establishing myself at Milan, Ibra arrived and two days later I decided to go to Roma with a five-year contract. "Then they changed both coach and owners, and from one moment to the next I was no longer part of their project."

J

UVENTUS coach Antonio Conte believes Inter are still capable of challenging his side and neighbours AC Milan for the Serie A title. Juventus coach Antonio Conte believes Inter are still capable of challenging his side and neighbours AC Milan for the Serie A title. Inter have climbed to fifth spot on the Serie A table after a disappointing start to the 2011-12 campaign, and currently trail joint table-toppers Juve and AC Milan by eight points. Despite the relatively big gap between the two top teams and the Claudio Ranieri's side, Conte has refused to dismiss Inter as title candidates. "In my opinion, after AC Milan, Inter are the best-equipped squad in the title race," Conte told Tuttosport. "They have the best team after Milan. Then there's Juventus and the other teams." "There's also Udinese in the Scudetto race, and Lazio deserve to be considered as well, regardless of

their loss against Siena, and Roma are still there, too." Juventus are currently preparing for the home game against Cagliari on January 15.

•Conte

Quagliarella undergoes surgery

J

UVENTUS have announced on their website that striker Fabio Quagliarella has successfully undergone surgery on his fractured cheekbone. Juventus have announced on their website that striker Fabio Quagliarella has successfully undergone surgery on his fractured cheekbone. The former Napoli and Udinese attacker sustained the facial injury in Sunday's 1-0 Serie A win over Lecce, forcing him from the pitch just

23 minutes into the first half. It has not been announced how long Quagliarella will be out of action for following the surgery, but the forward will have to rest for at least the next seven days. "Fabio Quagliarella has undergone surgery after sustaining a fractured cheekbone in Sunday’s victory over Lecce. The operation lasted 20 minutes and was supervised by Dr Libero Tubino at the Fornaca clinic in Turin," a statement on the site read. "The 28-year-old is set to be

discharged Tuesday and has been ordered to rest for a week. On his return to action, the striker must avoid contact to the affected area for a certain period, before stepping up his workload with the use of a carbon fibre protective mask." After scoring nine goals in 17 Serie A matches last campaign, Quagliarella has found the net just once in nine league games in 2011/ 12 and has slipped behind Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic in the pecking order.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

47

NATION SPORT

AHEAD OF 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

Bolt seeks to surpass own feat I

F IAAF Male Athlete of the Year, Usain Bolt has his way at the fastapproaching Olympic Games in London, then the entire world is in for a real treat, with the double world record holder hell bent on bettering his own lofty Olympic standards. Bolt, who propelled himself into the pantheon of international sprinting at the last Olympic Games in Beijing , setting world records in the 100m (9.69) and 200m (19.30) before lowering both marks a year later at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin with times of 9.59 and 19.19 respectively, is now looking to further test his own limitations at what would be his third Olympic appearance. "For me this is going to be my biggest Olympics, so I am definitely focused and I am looking to go out there and surpass my own feat that I accomplished in Beijing so I

am definitely working on that," Bolt told The Gleaner. "I am putting in the work and hopefully, with God's willing and the weather, it should be good for me there," he added. The two-time world 200m champion reported for training at the back-end of 2011 with a clean bill of health, meaning that for the first time in many moons he has conducted his background training at optimal levels and has been able to push himself, which could spell bad news for his rivals. "The back won't be a problem this year because we have put in a lot of work on that as well as my strength work and core work. One of the main focus is to try and keep away that (back) problem this season," Bolt noted. "My fitness has been holding up and that is key for me. Being able to start the

season in the best of shape ensures that I can push myself really hard, so I am very happy with the progress that I have been able to make up to this point in training and I am focused and ready to work even harder. "It's been going great, training has been wonderful. I haven't been having any problems so I have been doing well. All my strength work has been going well, so I can't really complain, I'm just trying to stay focused and keep working hard," said Bolt, who has had trouble with injuries over the years due to his scoliosis condition. Bolt ended 2011 unbeaten, with the only blemish on his season coming at the World Championships in Daegu, where he false started in the 100m final. He did, however, retain his 200m world title, before posting the fastest 100m time of the year (9.76) to close out another big year for himself.

• Bolt

Klitschko: Lennox is a mummy’s boy V

ITALI KLITSCHKO accepts he will never get the chance for a rematch with Lennox Lewis, but will derive almost as much satisfaction from destroying David Haye to complete the job his brother Wladimir started. WBC champion, Vitali wants to knock out Haye after younger sibling and WBA and IBF holder beat the Briton on points last July, but he still hankers after avenging his sixth-round loss to Lewis in 2003. Terrible cuts caused that stoppage for Vitali, who was winning on points, and he has never forgotten. “I have a dream to fight Lennox,” he said. “I think about that fight often, it was my biggest one. Lennox promised to give me a rematch. He invited me to come to London to talk person to person. I came, and it was Lennox and his mum. “I spoke for 30 minutes, his mum scanned me from top to bottom. I flew back to Germany and he rang me and said he would not fight – the decision of his mum.” Vitali, 40, defends his title against British underdog, Dereck Chisora in Munich on February 18, but is relishing putting Haye firmly in his place. That could happen at Wembley in June and Vitali said: “After my brother beat Haye I was happy and unhappy at the same time. Haye is like an itch I can’t scratch. It’s unfinished business. I remember his bad words, what he said about me and my brother. “I want to send him to the floor, knock him out, it’s

my goal. After that, Haye doesn’t have excuses, his toe, whatever. It is genuinely personal and I am ready to fight him anywhere on the planet. But we are a mile away from signing a contract.”

But waiting in the wings to spoil those plans is Chisora, 29, who said: “ The Klitschkos win their fights by being too nice. But my work-rate is going to be so amazing, he won’t be able to live with it.”

London 2012 marks 200-day countdown

T

HE organisers of the London 2012 Olympics marked Monday’s 200day countdown to the start of the Games by confirming legacy plans for three of the event’s key competition venues. Construction giant, Balfour Beatty PLC has secured the contract to run the Olympic Park, which includes the 115metre high AccelorMittal Orbit feature, following the Games in a 10-year deal worth a reported £50 million. Meanwhile, the Aquatics Centre and multi-use Handball Arena will be operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL). The new contracts are expected to create at least 254 jobs on the Park, which will host events such as athletics, track cycling and swimming when the Games commence on July 27. By combining two venues in one contract, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has ensured that the Aquatics Centre will not require any additional public subsidy as the Arena will cross subsidise it. Further revenue will be generated from naming rights for both venues, which will be on offer

at a later date. The agreements mean that only anchor tenants remain to be found for the Olympic Stadium and Press and Broadcast Centre, with organizers claiming their progress puts them ahead of any other Olympic host city at a comparative stage. “GLL and Balfour Beatty WorkPlace will play a key part in creating a Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that is a thriving visitor destination with worldclass sporting venues that are both affordable and accessible to the public,” said Baroness

Margaret Ford, chair of the OPLC. “Today’s appointments are just another example of how London’s legacy plans are further ahead than any previous host Olympic City. By working closely with sporting bodies and our local communities now, we can ensure that these venues will have a full and compelling programme of activities when they reopen after the Games.” As part of the 200-day countdown, London 2012 also released details of new

Games-time naming for selected venues and spectator areas in the Olympic Park. The Hockey Centre will now be known as the Riverbank Arena, reflecting the venue’s location next to the River Lea in the Olympic Park. Meanwhile, the Handball Arena will be renamed as the Copper Box with a view to the venue’s boxed-shape and distinct copper cladding. Monday also saw UK Prime Minister, David Cameron hold his first cabinet meeting of the New Year at the Olympic

Park, instead of Downing Street. The British government will stage a number of business summits during the Games, which it hopes will raise an additional £1 billion of revenue for British companies. “I want the message to go out loud and clear, from tourism to business, sport to investment, we are determined to maximise the benefits of 2012 for the whole country,” said Cameron. “Today, as we mark 200 days to go, and six out of the eight Olympic venues having already secured their future, we are well on track to delivering a lasting legacy for the whole of Britain.”

CAS denies prejudice in Contador case

T

• Contador

HE Court of Arbitraiton for Sport (CAS) has denied that Israeli judge, Ephraim Barak will be influenced in his decision in the Alberto Contador case by the fact that Team Saxo Bank held its training camp in Israel last month. RadioShack-Nissan team owner, Flavio Becca had indicated that the Israeli connection would lead to an acquittal for Contador. “An Israeli judge will issue a ruling on Contador, and Saxo Bank is doing its training camp in Israel, even being

officially received by the government. There are two facts that cannot be separated. At this point, I think everything is already decided,"Becca said last week to Le Quotidien. “Normally, I would not comment on such allegations. But it's so sad that accusations against our authority, credibility, and one of our arbitration panel are made that I will note that it is untrue speculation without any basis in reality” CAS spokesman, Matthieu Reeb told sporten.dk “He is not for sale. We are

quite confident about his independence, and if you review his resume, you will also notice that he neither has any connection to the world of cycling or the Israeli government.” Barack is the president of the three-man commission on the Contador hearings, and the only one independently assigned to the case. The other judges are Ulrich Hass, of Germany, chosen by the UCI and WADA, and Quentin Byrne-Sutton from Switzerland, selected by Contador.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

48

NATION SPORT

T

HE romance of the FA Cup may be fading yet this year's third round has been reigniting old flames. Paul Scholes' return to Manchester United had happened in characteristically downbeat fashion on Sunday. In contrast, Arsenal fans have had time to greet the return of their king in the ostentatious style he was once accustomed to; he repaid their ardour with what they will consider the sweetest of gestures. From his presence on the substitutes' bench being announced amid the type of primal roar that greets a winner against Spurs, the stage was set for Thierry Henry. Bench-bound for a drab first half, he soon lifted spirits with a lithe shuttle run to begin a warm-up. With 22 minutes to play, the Arsenal fans knew their wish was coming true as he stood stripped and ready. Then, the roof was raised in a fashion as loud as when Barcelona were beaten at the Emirates a year ago, as their hero finally took the stage. The noise levels were to be raised yet higher. The homecoming king took a little time to take a meaningful touch, waiting seven minutes to hold off Andros Townsend and play a pass out to the left wing. The days of putting on the afterburners and blazing away from defenders looked gone, yet a minute later, the old Henry reappeared. Arriving into space from the left of the penalty area, he seized on a weighted pass from Alex Song, opened his body up in familiar style and placed the ball unerringly past Leeds United

The return of Thierry Henry keeper, Andy Lonergan. That right foot still knew what to do. Henry had proven he can still write the scripts for Arsenal. "I thought, 'Oh, that's your angle'," a smiling Arsene Wenger said of the winning goal. "But it's a little too close and that's where he surprised me. He made it just look easy. "He's seen it all, done it all. He was already a legend here, and tonight, he's added a little bit more. He's a proud guy. He knows he will be compared to what he's done before. It's a kind of comeback and you want that to be a success." Since a statue was unveiled to the club's all-time leading scorer last month, it was obvious that Henry could provide a lift to the dark winter months of a highly confusing season for Arsenal. He follows Jens Lehmann and Sol Campbell in providing a familiar

stopgap to a problem position. Arsene Wenger has never much liked the January transfer market, choosing instead to work with the tried and trusted once more. "It looks like in the January transfer window you look to old players," he joked. An early miss from Andrei Arshavin, himself a January arrival three years ago, revealed something of Wenger's logic. The crowd's anger at a poor finish from the Russian illustrated why Henry has been recalled. Too many of the current generation have question marks placed against them. With Marouane Chamakh looking as poor a stand-in for Robin van Persie as Francis Jeffers and Jeremie Aliadiere once did for Henry in his Highbury prime, it serves as little wonder that Wenger looked back to the future. Chamakh now looks a player unwilling to enter the opposition box in fear of missing a chance, and may well be done some good by playing at the forthcoming African Nations Cup. He exited the field for Henry, already a forgotten man in the light of his replacement's exploits. Such is the reliance on Van Persie, holidaying with Diego Maradona in Dubai, that any Arsenal team without him looks understrength. However, this was not a truly weakened team since resources are spread so thinly that there are few reserves left to call on. A hamstring injury to a young blood like Francis Coquelin was a bad blow in the face of a full-back crisis, and though Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon

were in the building, Wenger must ignore temptation and look to play more players out of position. Leeds United, under the fiery control of chairman Ken Bates, are a club looking even further down memory lane for comfort. A fixture against Arsenal will always conjure memories of the 1972 centenary final, where Allan 'Sniffer' Clarke won the cup for the only time in the club's history. There have been too many lean years since then - it will be two decades this summer since their last league championship - and this was a team reduced even from just a year ago, when they took the Gunners to a replay at the same stage of this competition. Of the Leeds team that ran Arsenal so close last year, Max Gradel has been sold and Robert Snodgrass and Jonny Howson were injured; boss Simon Grayson, a man with his head on the chopping block at the Bates Motel, if rumours are to be believed, could only hope for containment and an unlikely breakaway. A late Mikael Forssell chance was Leeds' best moment to spoil the party but "1-0 to Arsenal", via a Thierry Henry winner, was all but preordained. "It was written in the stars that what happened would happen," Grayson said. "How many times has Thierry Henry been in that lefthand channel and bent one in?" And how many more times will Henry do it for Arsenal? "He has six and a half weeks," Wenger said, before admitting he might be able to lengthen the deal to eight weeks. So it will have to be a

holiday romance, but Arsenal and Thierry Henry's love for each other has been reaffirmed in storybook style. MAN OF THE MATCH: Thierry Henry. Rarely does a sub gain such a garlanded honour, but this was a game all about one man even before he took the field. Henry perhaps took six touches at maximum in his cameo, but he supplied a sole note of class, and with it a thousand headlines. ARSENAL VERDICT: Clearly superior yet lacking in cutting edge until a certain someone arrived, they had the blunt look of rather too many Arsenal performances this season before being supplied the single goal they required. Arshavin, after his early miss, looked a little livelier than normal while Alex OxladeChamberlain perhaps tried to force things too much. LEEDS VERDICT: If Arsenal were blunt then Leeds were positively edgeless until the very death when the impressive Andros Townsend set up Forssell. Goalkeeper Lonergan was their best player, behind a hard-worked defence who let their guard drop one too many times. Luciano Becchio was not the force he was a year ago but ran many a channel in thankless effort. A replay was denied them. "The chairman would have been happy for a bit more revenue," a wry Grayson said. • Culled from soccernet

“Rarely does a sub gain such a garlanded honour, but this was a game all about one man even before he took the field. Henry perhaps took six touches at maximum in his cameo, but he supplied a sole note of class, and with it a thousand headlines”


SLIDING TACKLE

Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini declaring the club will not underrate any small club for the opportunity to win trophies.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

50

Mancini: we wants to win everything

Mancini ROBERTO MANCINI says Manchester City are not big enough to treat any competition lightly. Manchester City have plenty of cash – but they do not have the kind of bulging trophy room that many of their Premier League rivals possess. That’s why Mancini wants to take a step towards another Wembley appearance by getting a healthy lead over Liverpool in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium tonight. The Italian said: “We are not a Manchester United and we are not Chelsea. We need to win

•Khan

•Maradona


51

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

e-Business Broadband Internet access, quality of telecommunications service delivery and increased spectrum allocation to drive development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are critical areas stakeholders want the Federal Government to look into to ensure growth in 2012, ADLINE ATILI reports

A peek into 2012 T

WO thousand and twelve(2012) is expected to be a revolutionary year in telecommunications service delivery, as the year will witness the implementation of the Federal Government’s broadband plan, according to stakeholders. According to findings, broadband penetration in Nigeria is 12 per cent. Broadband, in its basic sense stands for ‘broad bandwidth,’ that enables faster speeds. Already, the Ministry of Communications Technology has taken up the challenge by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to make broadband Internet connectivity accessible to all by 2015. While presenting her ministry’s roadmap to the House of Representatives Committee on ICT, Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson said availability of broadband at cost effective prices is key to development. She reiterated that in 2012, the ministry will focus on deploying a nationwide broadband infrastructure that will enable Nigeria expand universal access beyond basic voice to provision of high speed broadband access. Also at the ITU Telecom World Summit in Geneva last year, the Minister led a delegation of stakeholders and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in unveiling a broadband strategy aimed at attracting foreign interests and investments in the sector this year. Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah announced the adoption of an ‘open access’ model for the deployment of broadband across the country, and called for full participation of the international community. “The NCC has decided to explore the ‘open access’ model for the effective deployment of a national fibre network that will ensure an even platform and playingfield for retail service providers and enhance the achievement of the nation’s eeconomy goals,” he said. Juwah said the commission had already started preliminary studies and appraisals that would put it on solid ground for full implementation of a broadband marshal plan for Nigeria. Mrs Johnson, while speaking on the targets of the ministry said software development will be one of the key areas of focus for the growth of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. She noted that to give verve to the drive for software development, the ministry had set up the IT Business Incubation Centres Committee. This committee, she said, will develop a framework that will help incubate and develop IT companies that will contribute to national development. According to Mrs Johnson, proliferation of mobile devices and a youth generation that is technology-savvy requires support for the ICT sector to nurture, develop and push out to the market, Nigerian software entrepreneurs “that will become the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of Nigeria and of the

•Mrs Johnson

•Juwah

•Ogunbanjo

world.” NCC on its part has declared that the main focus of its regulatory mandate in 2012 would be to ensure that telecommunications operators comply with regulations and directions, as well as provide quality service to subscribers. As part of measures to ensure operators improve on quality of service delivery, the commission has said it will implement the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) initiative this year. MNP will allow phone users to move from one network to another without losing their original numbers. The commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo, said with the implementation of MNP, there will be intense competition among service providers to improve quality of telecommunications service delivery. According to him, this initiative will empower subscribers to choose service provider based on service quality. He assured that “in 2012, we are going to see a remarkable improvement in quality of service as a result of competition and power now in the hands of the consumers because they have a choice.” In October last year, the commission announced the appointment of a consortium of three companies to implement the service in Nigeria. According to the commission, the consortium made up of Interconnect, Saab and Grintek/Telcordia, will be responsible for the set up and implementation of an MNP Clearing House in Nigeria, as well as provide MNP solutions administration in the country within six months of receiving the licence with a testing period of two months. This year also, NCC has said it will ensure operators get adequate spectrum to support telecommunications, adding that

there are plans in place to go to the ITU for more spectrum allocation to boost telecommunications services this year. The commission noted that there is at present, little or no spectrum in the country for quality telecommunications services. Executive Commissioner at the NCC, Dr Bashir Gwandu, observed that non-availability of spectrum has been a major challenge, not only in Nigeria but in other African countries. He stressed that the reason for this was because of the heavy reliance on wireless communications. Gwandu added that non-availability of vital infrastructure including fibre and copper among others, have hindered quality telecommunications service offering in the country and other parts of Africa. He said: “Availability of spectrum has been a major challenge for African countries including Nigeria. This is so because we rely heavily on wireless communications, coupled with the fact that, the needed infrastructure including fibre, copper are not fully available. “Though we can say, we have some in Nigeria; the transmission channel has been a major challenge.” Gwandu said Africa has not got the digital dividend as canvassed by ITU. He said this could be achieved if more spectrums are available for telecommunications services. He said: “In Nigeria, we have huge population and this is affecting our networks. They are congested and the expansion is not there yet. You can only address network congestion by increasing capacity and you can only increase capacity when you have more spectrums.” He said at present, the commission does not have more spectrums to offer operators but will go to ITU in 2012 for more allocation. “I can tell you that at

present, we don’t have more spectrums to give at NCC. “The spectrum we have as you know is the 2.3GHz and we are trying to auction its last slot. Then we have 2.6GHz, which we have not really licenced for international mobile telecommunications services. “We are going to ITU in 2012 to ask for more spectrums. We will not go as a country alone but also as a continent to say we want more spectrums because of the huge data that is going to be growing in the continent. That growth has to be accommodated. We also have affordability challenges and to overcome this, we are pushing for additional spectrum,” he said. Already, other telecommunications bodies, analysts and operators have urged Nigeria to unlock more spectrums to meet up with the country’s digital transformation agenda. Speaking in South Africa recently, Director of Market Development and Spectrum Policy, Africa and Middle East at Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA), Peter Lyons, said aside meeting the 2015 target of analogue-todigital transmission, for telecommunications operators to improve on poor quality of service and expand access, the government must be prepared to unlock more spectrums for usage. To Gwandu, in 2012 there would also be more focus on improvement in Quality of Service and Quality of Experience. Gwandu affirmed that data services would be of better standard than it had been in the past. He further said there would be more investment in infrastructure to meet with the growing capacity requirement for voice and data. He assured that the NCC would ensure that operators meet up with these expectations. He advised operators to boost their networks by increasing capacity based on the limited spectrum allocation and improving the capacity on the spectrum unit, either by upgrading to improved technologies such as High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), Long-Term Evolution (LTE), increasing the number of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and co-location. President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr Deolu Ogunbanjo, said if the trend of investment in the telecom sector and the steady improvement in Quality of Service continues, subscribers will witness better service delivery from the operators this year.

‘The main focus of our regulatory mandate in 2012 would be to ensure that telecommunications operators comply with regulation and directions, as well as provide quality service to subscribers...in 2012, we are going to see a remarkable improvement in quality of service as a result of competition and power now in the hands of the consumers because they have a choice’


52

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

e-Business

Intel launches first ultrabook, Aspire S3

W

•From left: Winner of N1million in the Airtel ‘Know Your Customer’ promo, Augustine Chukwuma with Airtel’s Head of Public Relations, Emmanuel Otokhine at the prize presentation ceremony in Lagos.

Ministry unveils ICT policy

M

INISTER of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson has unveiled a draft national Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy document for development of the sector and transformation of Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy. According to the ministry, the policy document, available on the ministry’s website, www.commtech.gov.ng is the harmonisation of the disparate policies governing the ICT industry. It will be the overarching guide and platform for the overall development of the ICT industry and will facilitate the creation of a digital, knowledge-based economy. Mrs Johnson noted that though there have been significant achievements in the telecom sector, the lack of industry convergence in the ICT industry has resulted in fragmentation and inefficiency in the management of resources. “The reality of ICT convergence has not yet been reflected in Nigeria where the institutions that regulate and/or develop the ICT sector still function as distinct actors in the industry, without much coordination. “The goal of this National ICT

Stories by Adline Atili

Policy therefore is to provide a framework for streamlining the ICT sector and enhancing its ability to help address some socioeconomic and development challenges while facilitating the transformation of Nigeria into a knowledge based-economy. “In addition, the ICT Policy shall be used to develop action plans, sub-sectoral policies and specific implementation guidelines as appropriate,” she said. Stakeholders in the ICT sector had for long canvassed the harmonisation of disparate ICT policies in the industry to fast-track the nation’s development into a digital economy for sustainable development. The harmonised policy, according to the minister, is expected to lay the foundation for the overall development of the nation’s ICT sector. The minister noted that, broadband Internet access and proliferation of related facilities and applications are top priorities for the ministry in the drive to transform the nation’s economy to knowledge-based. She disclosed that as part of strategies devised by the ministry to tackle this challenge, the ministry is working to enable fibre optic de-

ployment, complemented by microwave and satellite to enable access to core underserved areas. In the draft ICT Policy document, tailored after the nation’s Vision 20:2020, Mrs Johnson said some of the issues to be considered to ensure universal ICT access in the country include: universal access funding and programmes; Internet connectivity and telecommunications access network extensions. Others include: encouragement of private operators to roll out nationwide high-speed broadband and data infrastructure and use of appropriate and existing government structures, including post offices, schools, and libraries, as platforms for extending ICT to rural communities. She, however, said for the country to meaningfully participate in the information age, the numerous challenges plaguing ICT development, including lack of a comprehensive and harmonised ICT policy, inadequate infrastructure, legal and regulatory framework, universal access/ service, security and local content, must be effectively addressed. She stated that the policy will be on the ministry’s website for two weeks and stakeholders and members of the public are expected to view it and make comments before it is presented to the Federal Executive Council.

How firms can cut costs, by experts

R

ESOURCERY, a systems integration company, has said deploying Unified Computing System (UCS) for data centre management can cut organisations’ operating and capital expenditures by 50 per cent. UCS, developed by the US technology solutions giant, Cisco, helps Information Technology (IT) companies effectively manage disparate components of their data centres. At a media briefing on the upcoming customer interaction forum on Cisco’s UCS, Business Solutions Manager, Servers and Storage at Resourcery, Nsikan Udo, explained that Unified Computing System is a converged data centre platform which delivers smart and programmable infrastructure. He said the solution offers exceptional architectural flexibility, adding that a single infrastructure can support a diverse set of emerging requirements, such as cloud computing, big data, virtualisation and service provider-level scale. “It generally helps an organisation protect its investment while add-

ing innovative capabilities without having to deal with operational inconsistencies,” he said. Udo noted that most organisations spend 70 per cent of their IT budgets on managing their data centres, saying this has become a source of worry to organisations in the face of increased capital crunch and the need to cut costs. He said the UCS solution, introduced in partnership with Cisco, enables organisations save 30 per cent of operating expenditure and 20 per cent of capital expenditure required to set up and manage a legacy data centre. “The Cisco Unified Computing System is a new data centre platform that brings together server, network, storage access, and virtualisation resources in a single energy-efficient system that can reduce IT infrastructure costs and complexity. This also helps to extend capital assets and improve business agility well into the future. “The UCS brings scalability without the complexity. It comes

with one point of management for all its component parts. This is one of the unique selling points of this solution. So whether the platform has one or 320 physical servers with thousands of virtual machines, it is managed from one console. It is also designed to be energy-efficient and greatly reduces cost of power, cooling and floor space,” he said. Udo further explained that the architecture of UCS was based on industry standards, adding that it has a seamless integration with other industry standards-based infrastructure. Speaking on the customer forum being organised by the company, the company’s Business Solutions Manager, Enterprise Network Infrastructure, Mr Bisike Uba, noted that the event, is aimed at sharing with top IT managers how the solution can enhance their organisations’ IT processes. According to him, the forum is expected to bring together Chief Information Officers, Heads of Data Centres as well as Heads of IT Infrastructure in leading Nigerian banks, Telcos, as well as oil and gas companies.

ORLD’S largest chipmaker, Intel Corporation, has demonstrated its commitment to re-inventing the mobile computing experience with the introduction of a new device that delivers best-in-class performance and highly-satisfying computing experience. The company, in collaboration with Information Technology firm, Acer, has launched a notebook laptop in thin, light design and powered by second generation Intel core processors. According to Intel’s Vice President and General Manager of PC Client Group, Mooly Eden, the Acer Aspire S3 integrates the best features of notebook and mobile devices offering users powerful performance for digital creation in addition to ultra-fast responsiveness and interaction for content consumption, enhancing the freedom and overall computing experiences of users on-the-go. He said the device resumes quickly, delivering a 50-day battery life, large hard drive capacity and connects to the Internet in 2.5 seconds. “The feature of the Aspire S3 includes Instant On, Instant Connect, long battery life, in addition to its elegant slim and light design. The Aspire S3 is encased in a thin, light metal design that’s sturdy and aerodynamic.”

Speaking in the same vein, President of Personal Computer Global Operations at Acer, Campbell Kan, said the Aspire S3 is designed to meet notebook users’ needs combining essential features of the smartphone and tablet PC, such as fast startup and Internet connectivity. “Matched with its slim form, the Aspire S3 will provide a fresh experience and set a major milestone in the history of Acer’s notebook development. “For easy-to-carry convenience, the Aspire S3 measures 1.3cm thin and weighs less than 1.4kg. It’s also equipped with a full-size Acer FineTip chiclet keyboard, designed for comfortable use and maximum productivity. The aerodynamic design of the Aspire S3 features a strong and light-weight aluminium/magnesium alloy chassis, and a lid with a fingerprint-free metal finish that feels as smooth as silk. “With professionally-tuned Dolby Home Theatre v4, the Aspire S3 delivers vibrant, cinemastyle sound and enhanced dialogue quality for premium listening experience. Users can keep in touch with friends and colleagues with high-clarity video conferences with the aid of the integrated Acer Crystal Eye 1.3megapixel camera and microphone and superior Wi-Fi connections,” he said.

Firm launches e-commerce site

T

O aid transition to cash-less economy and promote the development of electronic commerce (e-commerce), BidMonster Online Nigeria, has launched an online auction and shopping website, www.mybidmonster.com.ng. Chief Executive Officer of BidMonster Online Nigeria, promoters of the service, Mr Femi Fatokun said the site, which has all the payment gateways integrated into it, is a provider of safe and user-friendly ecommerce platforms for connecting Africans to global trade opportunities, adding that people and businesses can list their products, auction, bid, buy and sell variety of goods and services on the website. Speaking on security of the platform, he said: “The website provides members with worldclass secure encryption features, ensuring the protection of your details, multiple payment gateways, ability to engage onthe-go and features that enable users have a smooth, convenient

and successful bidding, buying and selling experience. “Installed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology ensures that transactions are transmitted under a secure platform thus ensuring that customers’ details are protected. MyBidmonster has integrated features and systems to help reduce fraud, protect both buyers and sellers and ensure that members promptly receive products and items paid for.” He said aside from South Africa, Ghana and Kenya where the website has gone live, plans are in place by the company to extend the service to other countries, providing members a wide range of customers and suppliers. He explained the process of joining the service: “Simply start by registering. Then confirm your registration, list your item with detailed description, pictures and videos either as auction for people to bid on or as “buy now” for outright purchase if you want it purchased.”

Visafone rated high

C

ODE Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator, Visafone, has emerged tops in the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) 2011 Quality of Service Key Performance Indicators (KPI) assessment. Visafone beat other operators in the CDMA and the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) segments with an overall evaluation score of ‘Excellent.’ This was contained in NCC’s annual 2011 summary report on Quality of Service KPI. In the GSM segment, the commission rated the network operators in the following order: MTNImprovement; Globacom-Improvement; Etisalat-Good and Airtel-Improvement. The report benchmarked five

key service delivery areas such as Call Setup Success Rate (CSSR); Traffic Channel Congestion (TCH Cong); Call Drop Rate (CDR); Call Completion Rate (CCR) and Paging Success Rate (PSR). Visafone was rated ‘Excellent’ in CSSR, TCH Cong and CCR, while in PSR, the network received ‘Improvement’ rating, ahead of the other CDMA operators, Starcomms, Multi-Links and Zoom Mobile. Chief Executive Officer of Visafone, Sailesh Iyer, said: “We are set to provide our loyal customers a rewarding experience through expanding our network capacity for voice clarity and broadband coverage. Our focus this year would be to showcase CDMA’s technological superiority in service delivery,” he said.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

53


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

54

EQUITIES

Nationwide protests hurt investors as market declines

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 11-1-12 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. PRESCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 1 4 7

Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC SKYE BANK PLC. STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 6 1 5 16 28 1 2 5 11 42 118

Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 7 43 50

Quotation(N) 0.85 24.25 8.67

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 50,000 40,500.00 10,000 230,400.00 25,000 219,200.00 85,000 490,100.00

Quotation(N) 4.80 2.00 3.91 1.39 8.84 14.15 8.00 3.88 0.93 2.30 12.15

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 16,340 75,000.60 6,000,000 12,000,190.00 59,193 231,444.63 1,214,184 1,691,655.76 9,562,463 85,600,889.61 3,137,273 44,337,239.06 2,000 16,680.00 11,000 41,800.00 1,030,000 958,000.00 372,100 835,943.00 18,431,765 225,276,279.51 39,836,318 371,065,122.17

BANKING

BREWERIES Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 235.00 400,062 94,014,570.00 96.10 857,191 82,359,130.04 1,257,253 176,373,700.04

BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name No of Deals CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC 3 DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 1 LAFARGE WAPCO PLC 4 Sector Totals 8

Quotation(N) 4.83 116.51 43.65

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 80,000 404,600.00 625 75,000.00 101,000 4,493,660.00 181,625 4,973,260.00

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name No of Deals COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC 1 RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 2 Sector Totals 3

Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 0.50 50,000 25,000.00 2.58 90,000 221,400.00 140,000 246,400.00

CONGLOMERATES Company Name PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 3 7 8 18

Quotation(N) 29.00 29.70 29.00

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 9,441 273,789.00 11,600 345,320.00 13,436 384,894.00 34,477 1,004,003.00

FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name No of Deals 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC 1 FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC 7 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC 9 NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC 2 Sector Totals 19

Quotation(N) 46.00 64.00 423.38 21.48

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,000 44,510.00 77,000 4,774,770.00 34,736 14,138,852.00 4,626 94,416.66 117,362 19,052,548.66

HEALTHCARE Company Name No of Deals GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 2 Sector Totals 2

Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 21.85 2,230 48,530.00 2,230 48,530.00

INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 5.54 92,000 484,840.00 92,000 484,840.00

INSURANCE Company Name AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 33 35

Company Name FORTE OIL PLC OANDO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 22 23

Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 0.50 100,000 50,000.00 0.73 5,500,000 4,015,000.00 5,600,000 4,065,000.00

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 12.18 850 10,854.50 22.05 497,794 10,573,408.60 498,644 10,584,263.10

REAL ESTATE Company Name No of Deals UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC 3 Sector Totals 3

Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 12.00 63,800 765,600.00 63,800 765,600.00

THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name No of Deals ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 4 Sector Totals 4

Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 10.50 5,629,250 59,777,097.50 5,629,250 59,777,097.50

Overall Totals

294

53,537,959

648,930,464.47

T

HE biting effect of the continuing nationwide protests and general strike over the removal of fuel subsidy caught up with the Nigerian stock market yesterday as cash-strapped investors dumped equities, sending the benchmark indices into negative. With only 12 price changes, there were two losers for every gainer while staff of the NSE said the online trading was becoming challenging with every day of the protest. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities dropped to N6.579 trillion as against its opening value of N6.588 trillion. The benchmark index, All Share Index (ASI), which tracks prices of all quoted companies, relapsed to 20,878.71 points compared with its opening index of 20,905.35 points. The decline was orchestrated by highly capitalised stocks, especially in the banking sector which constituted nearly all the losers yesterday. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies and susceptible to banking stocks’ positions, dropped from 939.09 points to 937.76 points. The NSE Banking Index nosed down to 269.89 points as against its opening index of 271.23 points. The NSE Insurance Index also dropped marginally from 128.86 points to 128.18 points. However, the NSE Food and Beverages Index rode on

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

the back of gains by Nigerian Breweries to 1,717.19 points compared with its opening index of 1,716.78 points. With Oando on the rise, the NSE Oil and Gas Index also improved from 228.34 points to 231.13 points. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) led the decliners with a loss of 20 kobo to close at N10.50. First City Monument Bank followed with a loss of 19 kobo to close at N3.91. Zenith Bank lost 15 kobo to close at N12.15. First Bank of Nigeria dropped by 11 kobo to close at N8.84. Sterling Bank dropped by 4.0 kobo to close at N93 kobo. Continental Insurance slipped by 3.0 kobo to close at 73 kobo while Fidelity Bank and Diamond Bank lost one kobo apiece to close at N1.39 and N2 respectively. Total turnover stood at 53.54 million shares worth N649.34 million in 295 deals. Banking subsector accounted for 45.47 million shares worth N430.8 million in 122 deals. Most market analysts have said abrupt removal of fuel subsidy without commensurate improvements in utilities and social safety nets would adversely affect the stock market and investors’ returns. According to analysts, removal of fuel subsidy without necessary infrastructural cushions

could undermine the profitability of quoted companies and worsen the recession at the stock market. Managing director, GTI Securities, Mr Tunde Oyekunle said the impact of the fuel subsidy removal on the capital market would be negative citing the possible increase in costs of operations and dwindling investment funds of investors. According to him, considering the essential use of petroleum products in the daily living of an average Nigerian, as evidence in its usage to generate power personal and official and transportation, the removal is likely to reduce the disposable income of Nigerian and ultimately reduce their investment appetite. “Also, with the current challenge of restoring investors’ confidence in the market, the short term inflationary effect of the subsidy removal may affect the investment plans of the few investors that are currently patronizing the market, and if not well handled may delay the expected recovery in the market,” Oyekunle said. He noted that the removal also has the possibility of negatively affecting the earnings performance of listed companies pointing out that the necessity of petroleum products and associated inflationary effect of the removal , if not strategically managed by quoted companies may averagely reduce the profitability of these companies.

US stocks fall as europe threatens growth

U

S stocks fell, snapping a two-day advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid concern that Europe’s debt crisis will stifle global economic growth. Energy (S5ENRS) shares had the biggest decline in the S&P 500 among 10 industries as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) dropped 1.3 percent. Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) tumbled 17 percent after its chief executive officer resigned. Supervalu Inc. (SVU) retreated 12 percent as earnings at the supermarket chain missed analysts’ estimates. Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) advanced at least 2.3 percent to pace gains among financial companies. The S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent to 1,289.85 at 1:02 p.m. New York time. The benchmark gauge for American equities rose 1.1 percent over the previous two days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39.88 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,422.59 today. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 2,705.78. “Nothing has really been done to stimulate growth in Europe,” Madelynn Matlock, who helps oversee about $14.5 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, said in a telephone interview. “Without growth, you can’t fix this issue. If Germany slows down, then, you start to have a real problem on how to make that happen. There’s more risk on the earnings side as to how companies are going to come through all this.”

Global stocks fell as Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said the economy probably shrank in the fourth quarter from the third, and the European Union cut euro-area growth to 0.1 percent in the third quarter, from 0.2 percent estimated earlier. The US Federal Reserve is due to release its Beige Book survey of economic conditions today. Spain and Italy will sell as much as 17 billion euros ($22 billion) in debt tomorrow. Equities rose yesterday, sending the S&P 500 to its highest level since July, amid bets that China may act to spur economic growth. Investors also watched fourthquarter earnings reports. S&P 500 companies, which beat analysts’ estimates in the previous 11 quarters, are forecast to report a 6 percent increase in per-share profit during the September-December period, according to projections compiled by Bloomberg. A measure of energy shares in the S&P 500 fell 1.5 percent. Oil dropped on concern that slower global growth may curb demand. Exxon retreated 1.3 percent to $84.64. Urban Outfitters plunged 17 per cent to $24.48. The clothing retailer said Glen Senk resigned as chief executive officer and will be succeeded by co-founder Richard Hayne as the retailer seeks to turn around falling profit. Supervalu sank 12 per cent to $7.41. Chief Executive Officer Craig Herkert said the

company was working to keep prices low amid the “difficult economic environment and pressured consumer.” Supervalu said sales in its fiscal 2012 may be $36.1 billion. The average estimate of 13 analysts was $36.4 billion. Rating downgrades from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also contributed to losses at some of the biggest companies today. 3M Co. (MMM), the maker of LCD television parts and Scotch-Brite sponges, lost 1.1 percent to $83.35. MasterCard Inc. (MA), the world’s secondbiggest payments network, slumped 2.4 percent to $340.40. Banks gained. The S&P 500 Diversified Financials Index added 0.8 percent. Citigroup rallied 4 percent to $31.19. Bank of America advanced 2.3 percent, the most in the Dow, to $6.78. Technology shares in the S&P 500 erased an early decline as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was little changed. The shares slumped as much as 1.7 percent earlier after saying that industrywide sales of personal computers will probably be lower than analysts projected in the fourth quarter because supply was hurt by flooding in Thailand. A gauge of homebuilders in S&P indexes jumped 4 percent. Lennar Corp. (LEN) gained 6.7 percent to $22.15. The third-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue reported a 20 per cent jump in new orders for the fourth quarter from a year earlier.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

55

MONEY LINK

A

BOUT 24 states participat ing in the Commercial Ag ricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) are jostling to access N66.8 billion, out of the N200 billion allocated for the project, The Nation has learnt. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last year, disbursed N133.1 billion out of the N200 billion earmarked for the project leaving the balance for states to access. A CBN circular said since inception in 2009, it has released N133.11 billion for disbursement to 139 beneficiaries. They include 115 private/ individual promoters, as well as 24 state governments that accessed a minimum of N1 billion each. Bayelsa, Ogun, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Enugu, Gombe, Kebbi, Kogi, Imo, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo and Sokoto states are currently under the scheme. Others are Taraba Zamfara, FCT, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Plateau, Edo, Kano and Benue states. The state governments requested the CACS funds for onlending to farmers’ unions and cooperatives and to finance other areas of agricultural interventions in their various states. The scramble came after the apex bank held discussions with state governments among other stakeholders, on how to boost the agricultural sector in the country. The fund is expected to help in food production, ensure food security, job creation and development of the country’s economy. The agric sector, which enjoys little consideration by banks, will be the biggest beneficiary of a new policy that mandates banks to maximise lending to it. Already, the CBN has advised banks to increase lending to the sector from one to five per cent. CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said agriculture contributes 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the larg-

States scramble for N67b agric fund Stories by Collins Nweze

est employer of labour, but regretted that it receives one per cent of lending, a situation Sanusi said, is not good enough. He said the government needed to pay more attention to agriculture, which still has one of the

hancing the productive capacity of an economy by using available resources to reduce risks, remove impediments, which otherwise could hinder investment. He said the financial system, with banks as its major compo-

greatest potentials of growing the economy, stressing that one way of achieving this, is by collaborating with the banking system to fix the value-chain problems in the agricultural sector. Sanusi explained that economic development is about en-

Expert wants SMEs loans guaranteed with pension funds

T

HE managing director, SPNS Consulting, Debo Adebayo has advised state governments desirous of promoting entrepreneurship in their states to use pension fund contributions of their workforce as security for securing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) loans from banks. Speaking yesterday at media brief-

ing in Lagos, Adebayo said that staff that want to exit the public service to start their own businesses can be assisted to secure soft loans from banks, using their pensions as guarantee. He said that since many state governments may not be able to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage approved by the government, the best option is to prune down their

workforce, but not without a loan guaranteed with pension contributions to enable disengaged staff assume a new life. The states are expected to plan the modalities for the exercise with pension fund administrators who are now custodians of contributions from workers. He said that in many states of the federation, the inter-

Europe’s $39tr pension grows as regional economies sputter S

TATE-funded pension obliga tions in 19 of the European Un ion nations were about five times higher than their combined gross debt, according to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank. The countries in the report compiled by the Research Center for Generational Contracts at Freiburg University in 2009 had almost 30 trillion euros ($39.3 trillion) of projected obligations to their existing populations. Germany accounted for 7.6 trillion euros and France 6.7 trillion euros of the liabilities, authors Christoph Mueller, Bernd Raffelhueschen and Olaf Weddige said in the report. “This is a totally unsustainable situation that quite clearly has to be reversed,” Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, said in a telephone in-

in the world, and that is forecast to rise to almost 35 percent by 2050 from 22 percent in 2009, according to a report from the United Nations. That compares with a global estimate of 22 per cent by 2050, up from 11 per cent in 2009. The number of people aged over 65 in the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecast to more than quadruple to 350 million in 2050 from 85 million in 1970. Life expectancy in Europe is increasing at the rate of five hours a day, according to Charles Cowling, managing director of JLT Pension Capital Strategies Ltd. in London. In so-called developed countries, the average lifespan will reach almost 83 by 2050, up from about 75 in 2009, the UN said.

terview. A recession threatening the world’s second-biggest economic bloc, along with efforts to reduce debt across Europe, is exacerbating the financial risks. Stable or falling birthrates, plus rising life expectancies, are adding to pressures, with the proportion of economic output devoted to spending on retirement benefits projected to rise by a quarter to 14 percent by 2060, according to the ECB report. Increased retirement ages and lower benefits must be part of any package to hold the 17-nation euro area together, according to analysts, including Fergal McGuinness, the Zurichbased head of Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s Mercer’s pensions consulting unit for central and eastern Europe. Europe has the highest proportion of people aged over 60 of any region

FGN BONDS Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate

7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

GAINERS AS AT 11-1-12 SYMBOL

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

CHANGE

OANDO

21.00

22.05

1.05

UBA

2.24

2.30

0.06

GUARANTY

14.08

14.15

0.07

NB

96.04

96.10

0.06

LOSER AS AT 11-1-12 SYMBOL

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

CHANGE

FCMB

4.10

3.91

0.19

STERLNBANK

0.97

0.93

0.04

CONTINSURE

0.76

0.73

10.70

10.50

0.20

FIRSTBANK

8.95

8.84

0.11

ZENITHBANK

12.30

12.15

0.15

FIDELITY

1.40

1.39

0.01

DIAMONDBNK

2.01

2.00

0.01

Amount

Exchange

Sold ($)

Rate (N)

Date

450m

452.7m

450m

150.8

08-8-11

250m

313.5m

250m

150.8

03-8-11

400m

443m

400m

150.7

01-8-11

EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD

147.6000

149.7100

150.7100

-2.11

NGN GBP

239.4810

244.0123

245.6422

-2.57

NGN EUR

212.4997

207.9023

209.2910

-1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

Parallel Market

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NSE CAP Index

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

(S/N)

153.0000

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Aug ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

8.75%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

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

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

ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

NIBOR

0.03

ETI

Amount

Offered ($) Demanded ($)

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

nally generated revenue (IGR) and monthly federal allocations are not sufficient to pay the minimum wages. He suggested that government may also relief staff not fully utilised of their duties to enable them find alternative means of livelihood. “In many government agencies, role duplication and correcting this will help and government cut down on its spending by blocking the loopholes in its finances. He said that making such options open will even make some staff nearing retirement age to opt for the loan. He however, said that the government should provide entrepreneurship training to help the staff adapt well in the course of the business. He said different states have to improve on their IGR using areas of strength. He said IGR can also be improved on by blocking leakages in the system. Adebayo said that in many cases, pension contributions are deducted from sources, making it difficult for employees of government and other private companies not to pay. In many other cases especially in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), contributions are also deducted from sources by the Budget Office of the Federation. In other words, the core personnel costs of the MDAs, the budget office would deduct what is specified from the personnel cost and also add the employers’ contribution among other procedures.

DATA BANK

Tenor

NIDF NESF

nent, provides linkages for the different sectors of the economy, adding that it is also expected to encourage high level of specialisation, expertise, economies of scale and conducive, environment for implementing various economic policies of government.

Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous

Current

04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

57


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

58

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE)

NEW YEAR MESSAGES

Labour leader jailed in Enugu

A

LABOUR leader has been jailed in Enugu for attempting to enforce the nationwide strike ordered by Organised Labour against petrol subsidy removal. Festus Ozoeze was arrested on Tuesday, tried by a mobile court and remanded at the Enugu Prisons. Governor Sullivan Chime was said to have ordered the setting up of the special court to try any worker or member of the Organised Labour who violates his order banning public assemblies, meetings and processions. Ozoeze, who is the unit Vice-Chairman of Amalgamated Workers Union in the State Water Corporation, was reportedly arrested by the police, tried by a Magistrate for alleged conspiracy and breach of public peace. The Head of Service, Dennis Eze, who led some officials to unlock some government offices shut by labour leaders, reportedly testified against Ozoeze, Timothy Ojielo and the union’s State Chairman Chris Elibe. He allegedly accused them of violating the governor’s order. The labour leaders were said to have been declared wanted by the police. The State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Igbokwe Chukwuma, condemned the action,

Unions, police clash

M

EMBERS of labour unions, who attempted to protest in Enugu yesterday, clashed with the police at the entrance of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat. The unionists had attempted to take off from the secretariat but were prevented by 50 armed policemen. The policemen, who were reportedly warned not to allow Organised Labour to protest in Enugu, cordoned off the NLC secretariat early yesterday morning. Workers and members of civil society organisations retreated and regrouped at the NLC conference hall to re-strategise. The Police Command said the workers

From Chris Oji, Enugu

saying the information got to them late on Tuesday. “However, we discussed it at our meeting and we are going to follow it up. “ We learnt he was arrested and tried within the state police CID and sent to prison. “This is something we cannot take. “We have met and decided to see the Attorney-General to register our protest; we are also in touch with the labour headquarters. “So immediately after meeting with the AttorneyGeneral, we will take a position on that,” Igbokwe said. Giving reasons why Labour failed to hold the

From Chris Oji, Enugu

were prevented from carrying out the protest “because hoodlums may hijack it and disrupt peace in the state.” NLC Chairman Chukwumaife Nze condemned the police’s action. He said the police prevented them from joining other Nigerians to protest the removal of fuel subsidy, despite the assurance that the planned protest would be peaceful. Nze, however, maintained that the police “cannot prevent them from joining other states in the nationwide protest”. On the No-work no-pay policy of the state government, he told workers to disregard the policy and continue with the strike.

planned anti-fuel subsidy removal protest , Igbokwe said: “Since Monday we’ve been on it; we woke up on Monday to hear that government had issued a proclamation banning gatherings and protests. “ We saw it as something very unfair; we tried to move like other states but policemen have been stationed in front of our secretariat, which is our meeting point, and you see they have remained there. “Actually today, we wanted to go to the streets again, but we were restricted; we were even pushed. “So, we are saying that this is very unfair; what is happening in other states should happen in Enugu.

“This is a national issue. It is not a state issue and Enugu State workers have not been associated with violence in all of our demonstrations.” NLC State Chairman Nze Chumaife said the strike was still on. He said: “The police again tried to stop us and we challenged them and we have refused to be intimidated. “We did what we can to show Nigerians that we are against the removal of the oil subsidy. “The civil society groups, students, youths, okada riders are all with us. “We thank God we were able to demonstrate in our own little way.”

Banks, offices closed in Akwa Ibom

B

ANKS and government agencies in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, were still closed yesterday. It was observed that normalcy has retuned to the state capital but there is still heavy presence of security operatives around major streets of Uyo to forestall a breakdown of law and order. After Monday’s protest by members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and Judiciary Workers Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) , residents have gone

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

back to their normal businesses. A litre of fuel is sold from N150 to N170 in most of the filling stations that opened for business. Transport fares have increased by more that 200 per cent at most of the motor parks visited by The Nation. Many passengers are stranded as some of them could not afford the increase in the transportation cost. A passenger, Ekenem Usoro, appealed to the Federal Government to reverse the pump price of petrol to N65 in the interest of the people. Usoro explained that since democracy is all about the people, the government should listen to the masses.

Oshiomhole: no mosque burnt

C

ONTRARY to an allegation by the Chief Imam of Benin, Abdulfatai Enabulele, that five mosques were razed by hoodlums in the Edo capital city, Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said no mosque was burnt. Oshiomhole said he had received first-hand information and discovered that no mosque or church was torched. The governor alleged that some persons hid under the subsidy removal protest to sponsor miscreants to cause mayhem. He said: “There are people with political grievances. “There are people in Edo State who have been out of office and want to hide under this to sponsor some miscreants to cause trouble. “The story was placed in the newspapers to create fear. “The grievance of the protesters is the subsidy removal and not a religious issue. “The agenda is fuel price increase; let nobody hide under this to cause tension in the state. Let us put Nigeria first and the interest of the ordinary Nigerians.” Oshiomhole took reporters round the state capital, showing them mosques at the Oba Market, Esigie Police Barracks and Airport road where worshippers were

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

seen praying. He said the government would deal with politicians and criminals who hide under the subsidy protest to forment trouble in the state. "You don't have to be afraid. We are ready to deal with any criminal. Anybody who is planning to foment trouble will be dealt with." The governor said Nigeria is one country, adding that wherever you live you are an indigene of that place. "In Edo State, everybody is an indigene. You are free to live in Benin. Nobody can drive you from Edo State. You don't have to be afraid. “Those people who are behind this, we will fish them out and deal with them according to law," he added. Assuring the worshippers of protection, Oshiomhole said the Army and the Police have been briefed to take adequate measures to protect life and property. "Nigeria is undergoing some difficulties. This time will come and go. We are one and the same. Nobody can own Nigeria more than the other. You can see these people are not protesting over oil .Their motive is different. They plot mischief and spread fear in the land."

Ex-council chief challenges Jonathan By Tajudeen Adebanjo

P •Oshiomhole addressing residents ....yesterday

Edo bureaux de change operators count losses

B

UREAUX de change operators in Benin, Edo State, are counting their losses after hoodlums, who hijacked the subsidy removal protest, invaded their offices. Areas affected included Erie Street, 3rd Junction on Sakponba Road, Lagos Street, Igun by 1st Junction and many others. At Erie Street, the traders were seen taking stock of what was left. A trader, Ibrahim Alli, said he was confused. He said he was at a loss why their shops would be looted. “They took many air-con-

•Commercial activities resume From Osagie Otabor, Benin

ditioning units and money. You can see the whole place. “More than seven houses in this vicinity were vandalised,” he said. Another trader on Lagos Street, Dambo Mohammed, said his shops were looted. “They took everything. They came here with cutlasses and dangerous weapons. They took my gold, beads, and money. “People gave me gold to keep for them. I am an indigene of this state and I have

lived here all my life . “Whatever it is, I will remain here. I lost more than N500,000.” A community leader, Monday Osahon, condemned the attacks. He said: “This is not strike protest but stealing. People came here to rob and steal. This is not fighting but robbery. “They stole gold, beads. Anybody caught should be prosecuted. In this office, they stole air-conditioning units. “Protesters don’t steal. We are trying to reach the police

to provide security.” Businesses have resumed in many parts of Benin. Motorists and commercial motorcyclists were seen conveying passengers. Some stores, which had been locked since Monday, opened. But businesses are yet to resume at commercial areas, such as Airport Road, Mission Road and New Lagos Road. There were no protests on the streets, following the directive by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) that workers should stay off the streets.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to revert to the former N65 price of a litre of petrol. A statement by former Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Prince Bayo Osiyemi, said the advice became necessary because of the worsening mass protest against the increase in the pump price of petrol. Osiyemi noted that it was bad enough that the President gave a new meaning to honour by increasing the price of petrol in the first week of January, contrary to his government’s promise not to do so until the end of the first quarter of the year. This act, he said, is not only capable of inciting the people to violence but also exposes the government as a “fraud posing as a friend”. The statement reads: “When Jonathan was invoking God’s wrath on himself on TV a few days ago if he did not mean well for the citizens he was elected to govern, I felt a compulsion to be swayed to his line of thinking, but what can one make out of the seeming indifference of Mr President to the avoidable of pains of citizens in the last few days, without any soothing words of relief from ‘citizen innocent’. “Worse, his political party, the PDP, was on a revelry at a political rally in Adamawa State on a day nothing worked in the nation and innocent lives were being wasted by some mindless and trigger happy cops: a case akin to Rome burning while Nero fiddles,” he said. Prince Osiyemi, who said it is only in an atmosphere of peace that progress can thrive, pleaded with Jonathan to rise above the goading of soothsayers.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

59

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE) Fares still up in Port Harcourt •ACN faults palliatives From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

C

•Protesters in Lagos...yesterday

4,000 youths in Ebonyi pro-subsidy rally

O

VER 4,000 people yesterday marched on the streets of Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, to support the subsidy removal . The protesters include members of the Ebonyi Youth Association, Vanguard for Attitudinal Change, Clamour for Continuity Initiative, Nigeria Amalgamated Traders Association, National Association of Ebonyi State Students, National Association of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Neighborhood Environment Watch. They converged on the Abakaliki Township stadium as early as 8am singing solidarity songs in support of the removal of the subsidy. They carried placards with inscriptions, such as: “We support the deregulation of the downstream sector”;” Jonathan is a courageous president”; “Deregulation would enhance development”; “Subsidy cabals should be prosecuted”; “Give our President a chance” and “Mr. President meant well for the country” among others. The protesters marched on the Abakaliki Township Station on Abakalikii-Ogoja Road to the Government House amid tight security. The protest disrupted vehicular movement for more than

•Elechi accuses labour of double standard •Thousands in pro-subsidy march in Bayelsa From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Akakaliki and Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

two hours. At the Government House, they were received by Governor Martin Elechi. Their leader, Chinedu Ogah, said the groups share the pains of the people over the economic overhauling and urged Nigerians to be patient with the President. Elechi alleged that some members of the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have been compromised by the subsidy cabal. He said the protest has been hijacked by the cabal which does not want the subsidy removed. The governor said no amount of protest and demonstration would make the Federal Government reverse the subsidy removal. Also in Bayelsa, there were several pro subsidy removal rallies in Yenagoa, the state capital. President Goodluck Jonathan is from the state. The rallies were organised by various groups, including

Ojukwu: MASSOB declares curfew Feb 3 From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

T

HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has directed Ndigbo across the country to stay at home on February 3 as a mark of respect for the departed Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. In a statement in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, MASSOB’s Director of Information Uchenna Madu said all shops, markets, motor parks, schools, airports, banks and offices in the five states of the Southeast would be closed. Madu said the closure would be from 7am to 4pm. He mandated Ndigbo residing outside the Southeast to also observe the sit-at-home as a mark of respect for the departed warlord. The MASSOB spokesman said anybody or institution which flouts the order would have itself to blame. “MASSOB security personnel would be drafted across the five states to ensure strict compliance. We urge all Nigerians and foreigners wishing to attend the funeral to travel to Ojukwu’s country home on February 2 as there would be no movement on the day of the funeral.

the Concerned Citizens of Bayelsa (CCB) led by Famous Daunemugha, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) led by Preye Agama and Oyenfie JonJon. Others were the Jonathan Goodluck Ambassadors of Nigeria (JOGAN) led by its National President, Francis O Francis and the National Coordinator of the Peace Advocate, Kalaite Jephathah which took place at the Sports Complex, Yenagoa and terminated at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre. Jonjon said the rally became necessary because the Federal Government policy would boost the nation’s economy. “We are on the streets not because the President is from the Southsouth, but because the policy will lead to a productive economy. “We need jobs for the youths, development and other social amenities. “The major problem in our country is the corruption in the civil service, oil and gas sector.” The protesers carried placards with insciptions, such as

“National Assembly please shut up and face Boko Haram”; “Why grumble on subsidy, think security, Boko Haram”; “Boko Haram is more deadly than the holocaust”. Francis said the subsidy removal would lead to true federalism as the money saved would be re-invested in the nation. Daunemugha said the subsidy removal is the best way to develop Nigeria and to eliminate corruption. Also supporting the subsidy removal are elders from the state. In a communiqué at the end of a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa Elders Consultative Council said: “It is the position of the council that the Organised Labour, the civil society and stakeholders should exercise some restrain. “We urge Labour to trust President Goodluck Jonathan. “We say so because we have known him and dealt with him from birth. “He has performed well as a deputy governor and governor.”

Delta sacks 10 for alleged corruption

T

HE Delta State Government yesterday dismissed 10 workers of the state- owned Delta Line Transport Company over alleged sharp practices. Others have been sanctioned while some have their portfolios re-assigned. It was gathered that the government invested over N1.3 billion in 2010 to recapitalise the company. The Commissioner for Transport, Ben Igbakpa, told reporters in Asaba that it was regrettable that 40 per cent of the buses purchased have been lost to accidents. Igbakpa decried the decay in Delta Transport Company, operators of the Delta Line buses, describing the com-

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba pany as a major drain. He said the company was being re-organised to allow a private company run it for maximum profit. The commissioner said the government would reposition the company and has set up a committee to work out new transport fares charged by the transport company. It was gathered that the government-owned buses charge the same fare as private operators. Igbakpa said the government would increase the number of its fleet to 1,000 to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.

OMMERCIAL drivers yesterday defied Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s directive to reduce fares in Port Harcourt, the state capital, . Amaechi had on Tuesday announced an “immediate” reduction of transport fares. The fare from Mile 3 to Education Bus stop was pegged at N50; Education to Lagos Bus stopN50; Lagos Bus Stop to Borokiri-N50 and Aggrey to Garrison-N50, among others. Investigations revealed that the 100 per cent increase in transport fares, shortly after the January 1 removal of fuel subsidy, still remained. Mile 3 to Education Bus stop is still N100 and Education to Lagos Bus stop still N100, among others. A bus driver, Mike Godwin, said he bought petrol at N141 per litre, contrary to Amaechi’s directive that petrol should not be sold above N137 per litre in the state. Godwin said with the hike in the price of petrol, it would be impossible to reverse the fares to the pre-January 1 rates. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) faulted Amaechi’s palliative measures, stating that they lacked elements of functionality. Publicity Secretary Jerry Needam stated that the palliative measures announced by the governor were not realisable, both in terms and principles. It expressed displeasure that Amaechi could support the Federal Government’s withdrawal of the “contentious” removal of fuel subsidy and still announce palliatives. ACN said: “Fixing transport fares for certain routes in Port Harcourt, as though no other town exists in the state, has exposed Amaechi’s vision and scope of Rivers State. “The arrangement cannot work, because what informs the rise in transport fares is not only the hike in the pump price of petrol, but the total economic convulsion stirred up by the subsidy withdrawal in the markets. “On the discount markets, the governor should not pretend not to know that the Christmas experimental exercise of the project was a woeful failure.”

Angry protesters mob Abia NLC boss

T

HE Abia State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Silvanus Eyeh, was yesterday mobbed by angry workers, who gathered for a planned anti-subsidy removal rally in Umuahia. Eyeh was attacked when he called off the rally scheduled to hold at the Urban Primary School and asked the protesters to go home and reconvene tomorrow. Eyeh had last Tuesday met with NLC’s affiliate unions where it was resolved that labour should organise a rally and get market associations and motor unions to comply. He announced that the rally would hold yesterday morning and asked members of the unions to join the exercise. But when the protesters gathered at the venue at about 9 am, Eyeh and other labour leaders were absent.

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

The confused protesters waited until it was learnt that the labour leaders were meeting with Governor Theodore Orji at the Government House. It was gathered that during the meeting, the governor requested Organised Labour not to hold any rally as hoodlums may capitalise on it to cause mayhem. Orji was said to have urged Labour to allow the workers to return to work so that they could prepare payment vouchers for contractors. Eyeh reportedly told Orji that the strike was a national issue and Abia would not exempt itself. He urged him not to punish the workers for joining others on the strike. Some of the angry protesters said they were unhappy because no rally has been held in the state.

NLC pickets offices in Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

M

EMBERS of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Anambra State yesterday stormed some federal offices and banks believed to be rendering skeletal

services. Also, the NLC leadership and its Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterparts and other civil society groups will storm Nnewi today to inspect some of the offices. Banks, government offices and schools have remained closed in the state, but filling stations have started selling fuel. Most of the workers, who spoke with The Nation, believed that the strike will touch the heart of the Federal Government. NLC Chairman Patrick Obianyo told The Nation yesterday that the strike continues in Anambra State, until the decision of the Federal Government is reversed. According to him, “we visited Onitsha yesterday to make sure that no office was opened because we heard that some of the federal offices, especially federal schools, were working. “But when we got there, we saw all the offices closed and we are heading to Nise and its environs and by today, God willing,we will move over to Nnewi and that is the situation now,” Obianyo said. The state chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Aloysius Attah said there was no going back , adding that every thing had been put in place.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

60

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE) Activists defy Kaduna curfew

PDP chieftain urges NLC, others to end strike

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

IGHTS activist Mallam Shehu Sani yesterday defiled the 24-hour curfew imposed by the Kaduna State Government as he and two others marched on Independence Way, Kaduna, for the ongoing Labour protest against petrol subsidy removal. Those who joined him were Nasir Abbas of the Human Rights Front and Sulieman Ahmed, also the Director of Publicity of the Civil Rights Congress. Dressed in a dark suit, Sani led the two others on a march from the Gamji gate through the Police College, to Kaduna Prisons. They passed through the Kaduna Township Stadium, located beside the police headquarters and to the House of Assembly. They also passed through various checkpoints manned by policemen and soldiers on Independence Way without being harassed or stopped by security agents. Addressing reporters at the Lugard Hall Roundabout. Sani condemned the imposition of the curfew by the Kaduna State Government. He alleged that the government was planning to use the curfew to forcefully end protests against fuel subsidy removal. He said: “Today (yesterday), the government of Kaduna State decided to muzzle the people by imposing a punitive and cruel 24hour curfew on the state. “This curfew is aimed at nothing but putting a stop to the non-violent protest against the removal of petroleum subsidy by hundreds of thousands of our people who came out in the last two days to demonstrate their objection. “As leaders of this protest, we have chosen to come out today to defy this reactionary curfew. We are quite aware that we risk being arrested or even shot at by state forces with penchant for extra-judicial killings. “We are breaking this curfew because we consider it a state violation of our fundamental right to protest. “In the last general elections, curfews were used to rig elections and today it’s being applied to extinguish a popular agitation for social justice. We reject all the security reasons given by the government to justify the imposition of this curfew.”

R

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

F

•A cross section of transport owners and operators during a meeting with representatives of the Enugu State Government on palliatives to reduce transport fares in the state...yesterday.

Academics protest petrol price hike

F

OR members of the university community, the fuel subsidy removal was poison forced down the throat of Nigerians. They urged them to vomit it to remain healthy. Their decision came on the heels of the call for the sack of the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, by the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero. He said: “We demand that Dr Okonjo-Iweala be sacked for misleading the government and bringing untold hardship upon the people. There was no subsidy; they finished the little reserve left by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. “Hunger does not have a tribe. Whether you are Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba, when you are hungry, you are hungry.

T

NLC calls for Okonjo-Iweala’s sack By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

So, let’s unite to fight hunger.” Dr Sola Fosudo, a senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts and Director of Information, Lagos State University (LASU), said President Goodluck Jonathan gave Nigerians poison through fuel subsidy removal on January 1. He added that they should vomit the poison to remain healthy. The renowned Nollywood actor said the policy was an ill-wind that would blow Nigerians no good. He said the strike should continue until the government does the will of the people.

Fosudo spoke when Labour took the anti-fuel subsidy removal protest to LASU. Trade Union Congress (TUC) Deputy President Sanni Adeshina Lasisi said the only way out of the subsidy logjam is for the government to revert to old price of N65 per litre of the petrol. TUC Secretary-General Chief John Kolawole said there are two categories of Nigerians now. He identified them as the government and the people. Saying the people have shown their position on the matter, the union leader wondered why the government continued to chase shadows instead of addressing the issues.

Civil Society groups free to protest, says Industrial Court

HE National Industrial Court (NIC) has defended the ruling against the ongoing strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Following an ex parte motion by the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), the President of the NIC, Justice Babatunde Adejumo granted an injunction against the labour unions. The strike is against the removal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government. But the order has attracted criticisms from the public. A coalition of Civil Society Organisations

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

(CSOs) has called for the removal of Justice Adejumo. Addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja, the NIC Chief Registrar, Mrs. Rekiya Bosede-Haastrup, said: “The court has not made any pronouncement on any civil society group because they are not before the court.” She noted that the “court has only given an order, which is binding on the parties that have appeared before the court. That is, the AGF, NLC and TUC. That

order is till subsisting and ought to be respected by the parties”. Debunking insinuations that the order was obtained by fraud, Mrs. BosedeHaastrup said the court relied on the precedent in a Court of Appeal decision in Oshiomhole &Anor V FGN & Anor, reported in 7 Nigeria Weekly Law Reports (NWLR) per Justice Ibrahim Tanko, then of the Court of Appeal. According to her, Section 7 (1)b of the NIC Act, 2006 and Section 254 C(1)c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, confers jurisdic-

Give Jonathan a chance, minister pleads HE Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Morro, has urged Nigerians to give President Goodluck Jonathan a benefit of the doubt over the removal of fuel subsidy to enable him tackle the economic problems confronting the nation. In a telephone interview with The Nation, Morro noted that if Dr Jonathan said the problems confronting the nation would be tackled through the removal of subsidy, it is necessary that Nigerians give

T

Faulting the government’s claim that Labour was being sponsored by some politicians, the NLC Deputy President Promise Adewusi said Nigerians have a common grievance. According to him, every citizen has the right to protest against an obnoxious policy. Adewunmi said: “We don’t have any link with any failed politician. Nobody is funding our protest. We contribute our own money to fund the protests. Therefore, we must disabuse the minds of the people.” Labour and its civil society allies have zoned the monitoring and enforcement of the ongoing strike.

•Benue residents obey strike From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

him a chance so that they can prove him wrong, if he fails. Moro said: “Mr. President said if we don’t remove oil subsidy now, our next generation will pay for it one day. He said he will use the money from subsidy to plough back into infrastructural development in critical sectors. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.”

The former Benue State Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and ex-Chairman of Okpokwu Local Government Area noted that the pains of the subsidy would be for a while but its gains would surpass the pain. He called for dialogue from Labour for the peaceful resolution of the subsidy logjam. Protests continued yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue

State capital, as the Labour strike entered the third day. Shops, banks, markets and offices remained closed while the roads were deserted. Commercial bus drivers stayed off the roads. The state’s chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Simon Anchaver led protesters to march on major streets in the metropolis. This forced those who opened their shops to quickly shut them.

tion on the court on matters concerning strikes. This, she noted, was why the court declined two prayers by the AGF because they were clearly outside the jurisdiction of the court, before it adjourned till today for motion on notice. Mrs Bosede-Haastrup said: “The insinuation from some quarters that a black market injunction was obtained by the AGF from the National Industrial Court is no doubt misleading, baseless and has no iota of truth whatsoever. “All rules of court were carefully observed and followed to the letter for avoidance of doubt and preserving the credibility of the court in such a sensitive issue. The gamut of the case file and filings were published in The Nation of Tuesday, January 10, 2012 on pages 54 to 58. “The essence of the order of the court is to preserve the res to avoid a breakdown of law and order and to ensure that there is industrial peace and harmony in the country.” The three-member panel of Justices, chaired by Justice Adejumo, had granted the ex parte application filed by the minister and moved by Matthew Echo.

ORMER National Deputy Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Stephen Oru, yesterday urged Labour and the civil society organisation to suspend the ongoing strike over the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. In a statement, the politician enjoined Nigerians to be patient and stand by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said they should know that the President means well for the country, adding that he took a hard but necessary decision in the present circumstance to avert a national disaster. Oru urged Dr Jonathan to realise that he was elected to be criticised by the people. He said as a good leader, he should ignore all the abuses hauled at him and remain focused to pilot Nigeria to where it would proudly be among the 20 most developed countries by 2020. The statement reads: “Considering the gains that would come to Nigeria through the fuel subsidy removal, I hereby appeal to Labour and organised civil society and indeed every Nigerian to join hands with Mr. President and support fuel subsidy removal and a total deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

PDP chief: it’s the best option

A

CHIEFTAIN of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State , Bimbo Owolabi, has urged Organised Labour to show understanding with the Goodluck Jonathan administration on the petrol subsidy removal. He noted that the Governors’ Forum would not have supported the policy if it would punish the poor masses. Owolabi addressed reporters in Ise-Ekiti, Ekiti State. He noted that though his view might appear unpopular on the face of the lingering crisis, he said the decision is the best for the country. “I support subsidy removal, even though I am suffering from its effect,” he said. The PDP chieftain said the economy is heading for the rocks as a result of the huge resources government is committing on fuel subsidy. He praised President Jonathan for taking what he described as “a bold step”, noting that as long as the nation’s recurrent expenditure is above the capital vote, democracy cannot succeed. Owolabi said: “We have allowed our common wealth to be bastardised for over 50 years and our economy is moving close to nothingness. It requires somebody with courage to check the trend. The $8billion the government is planning to save from subsidy removal is not even enough to fix our roads.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

61

NEWS THE BIG PROTEST (DAY THREE)

Civil society groups accuse Fed Govt of planning State of Emergency

C

IVIL society organisations yesterday accused the Federal Government of working with some governors to impose a state of emergency in the country. This is coming as residents of Kaduna metropolis and environs deserted the roads in compliance with the 24-hour curfew imposed on the city. The coalition accused the government of sponsoring people to infiltrate the protest and create chaos to pave the way for a state of emergency to enforce the implementation of its removal of fuel subsidy. A statement by the civil society groups was signed by Festus Okoye (Human Rights Monitor); Y.Z Yau (CITAD); Anyakwee Nsirimovu (Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law); Innocent Chukwuma (CLEEN Foundation); Funke Aluko (Centre for Genders Rights Protection); Emma Ezeazu (Alliance for Credible Elections); Saviour Akpan (Community Policing Partners); and Faruk Umar (Secretary, Transpar-

•Why curfew was imposed, by Yakowa From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

ency in Nigeria). The statement reads: “The Federal Government is setting the stage for the imposition of a state of emergency in Nigeria. It is clear that the Federal Government and some of their collaborating state governments are resolved to impose curfew in different parts of the country and ultimately impose a state of emergency throughout the Federation. This will enable them ram through their fuel subsidy removal decision on the Nigerian people.” The groups accused the government of using several antics to push through its fuel subsidy policy. They said these include: “Abusing the machinery of the National Industrial Court and obtaining a backdoor injunction knowing full well that the said court has seized with no jurisdiction to

make the orders it made; and “the deliberate contravention of an existing direction from the Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council warning judges against the grant of ex parte orders by Judges of various courts”. Kaduna State Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa yesterday said the sincere agenda of Labour over the fuel subsidy removal protest has been hijacked by those with ulterior motives. The governor noted that the “hijackers” want to cause a breach of the peace in the state. In a broadcast yesterday evening, Yakowa praised Organised Labour and civil society groups for the peaceful protests and for swiftly calling protesters off the streets when the exercise was being hijacked by hoodlums. He said: “I must once again salute the organised labour – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other organisations - for the

orderly manner they conducted the demonstration on the first day and to commend the security agencies, traditional, religious and community leaders for their roles in ensuring peace, order and security in parts of the state. “However, it is regrettable that the strike was hijacked by overzealous elements who cajoled under-age children and pregnant women to come out on an issue they know nothing about. This is most unfortunate and clearly shows that the good intention has been taken over by those with a hidden agenda. “This led to intimidation and harassment of innocent citizens and heading towards the breakdown of law and order; hence the imposition of a curfew. “It is needless to stress that we have had enough of violence, killings and destruction. So, I am calling on parents to closely monitor the movement of their children.”

Nigerians in Ghana to Jonathan: go

T

HE Coalition of Concerned Nigerians in Ghana yesterday occupied the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, calling for the resignation of President Goodluck Jonathan. The group condemned the killing of more than 15 Nigerians during the petrol subsidy removal protests, blaming the President for the killing of innocent citizens protesting for their better future. “This government is murderous; President Jonathan may end up like Mohammed Ghaddafi, if he continues to kill the people who elected him,” said Omolara Balogun, a policy advocate officer for West Africa Civil Society Institute. Michael Ajayi, a Coordinator of Occupy Nigeria Movement in Ghana, read the communique of the rally. He said there is a need for an urgent conference to discuss the Nigerian project. “Nigeria needs immediate convocation of a Sovereign National Conference to renegotiate our existence as a nation,” said the communiqué by all participants at the rally. Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation Magazine, said: “The government of President Jonathan should remove corruption not fuel subsidy.”

Police APC runs into protesters in Kogi S the protest over the removal of petrol subsidy entered the third day yesterday, a police Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) ran into protesters in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, and broke the leg of a boy in the crowd. Protesters attacked a police Inspector and broke his right hand, apparently in retaliation. Spokesman of the command, Ajayi Okansami, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident. He said the police were trying to restrict the protesters to the Freedom Square, formally Obasanjo Square, when the APC ran into them. He said it was in the process that the boy broke his

A

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

leg while the policeman was injured in what he called a “mild clash”. The clash began when a mass transit bus from the East wanted to force its way through the protesters. The driver of the bus allegedly insulted the protesters who in turn wanted to burn the bus. The police attempted to disperse the protesters. In the melee, the police Inspector broke his right hand. The driver of the police APC allegedly drove dangerously into the protesters, knocking down the young boy. The spokesman of the protesters Comrade Abdul Umar accused the governor of trying to unleash terror on the protesters.

Suswam sets up committee to manage subsidy fund •Buys 200 vehicles for mass transit

B •Protesters in Abuja...yesterday

Saraki urges Fed Govt to revert fuel price to N65

HE senator representing Kwara Central in the National Assembly, Dr Bukola Saraki, has urged the Federal Government to revert to the N65 per litre price for petrol. Saraki, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, advised the government and all parties involved in the ongoing dispute over the removal of fuel subsidy in the country to restore the status quo. In a statement by his media aide, Akintoba Fatigun, the former Kwara State Governor noted that an agreement by both sides to settle the matter amicably “is a standard practice for all industrial dispute resolutions all over the world”. He added that this is necessary to ensure a resolution of the matter. Saraki said: “I had no doubt

T

PHOTO:ABAYOMI FAYESE

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

in my mind that the subsidy scheme was not working, as envisaged, and obviously was not serving the interest of the masses for whom it was put in place. I knew we had to investigate why we spend so much on the scheme, in order to determine if it was being abused and identify the culprits responsible for this and allow the law to take its full course. Based on what is happening today, peace and stability of our country is what is paramount considering the loss of life. “I believe that the Senate’s current role as an arbitrator between the Federal Government and Organised Labour is the right one, which is to find a meeting point for a peaceful resolution to this

strike.” He noted that “the mood of the country requires that we find a solution to the fuel subsidy dispute which has pitched the Federal Government against NLC, civil society and the citizens. It is my candid opinion that all parties involved are driven by patriotism”. Saraki recalled that everyone agreed that something was wrong with the fuel subsidy scheme. “As you are probably aware, a few months ago, I raised a motion on the floor of the Senate concerning the potential dangers of the management of the fuel subsidy scheme and the effects it could have on the economy and development of our dear nation,” he said. The Senator noted that as

elected representatives of the people, the lawmakers “must hearken to the anguish, feel the pain of the people and also provide support for the Federal Government”. He added: “So, the government should shift ground and Labour the same. This will create room for dialogue. To revert to the previous position by all parties is not a sign of weakness but an act of sacrifice in the interest of all; anything to prevent further loss of life.” According to him, there are times in the history of a nation when empathy supersedes economics. He said this is one of such moments. “Also, we must swiftly face other national issues, which are threatening our unity, by engaging across party lines. Terrorism is still a big issue we have to tackle, which, like fuel subsidy, requires dialogue,” Saraki said.

ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam has set up a committee to manage the petrol subsidy re-investment fund. The governor has ordered the purchase of 200 mass transit buses to cushion the effect of transport fare increase arising from the subsidy removal. Addressing reporters after the State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting presided over by the governor, Commissioner for Information

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

and Orientation Kuhe Ikya Wergba said members of the committee include the Commissioners of Finance; Youths and Sport; and Works and Transport. He added that the Permanent Secretary, Special Duty, would serve as the committee’s secretary. Wergba said the EXCO had directed graduates of the state origin to register with their local government headquarters in the next two weeks.

ACN senators attacked in Ibadan •Continued from page 1 windscreen. We appeal to the federal government to hearken to the voice of the people”. Omoworare said: “The federal government is adamant. Nigerians are insisting that the pump price should be reversed. The ACN has said that the federal government should listen to the people. Our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, still said it yesterday. Subsidy is now new. Why it is an aberration in Nigeria is that we have oil, but we don’t have refineries. People do not believe in what the executive is telling them about what to use the proceeds from subsidy removal for. To them, it is rhetoric. People are telling the President to rescind his decision”.

Omoworare said the anger on the faces of protesters sent a dangerous signal which the country can only ignore to its peril. Lamenting what he described as the disconnect between Aso Rock and Nigerians, he added: “People do not have confidence in the palliatives being reeled out. The solution is to build refineries. Ashafa, who looked ruffled, said the experience at Ibadan demonstrated that “things are not well in the country”. He urged the President to halt the crisis by reverting to N65 per litre of petrol. “Let the President accept the mistake of introducing the new policy on January 1. The people are ready to forgive him, if he reverts back to N65. People will applaud him. He is not God who cannot make a mistake”, he said.


62

THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

NEWS BOKO HARAM MENACE

Senate seeks resignation of security chiefs

Gunmen kill four in Yobe attack

•Igbo will protest to UN if killings continue, Chukwumerije warns •Senators get threat sms •To meet with CDS, COAS, IGP, SSS DG

I

F the sentiments expressed by Senators yesterday are anything to go by, the days of the Service Chiefs may be numbered. The Senate sat for over five hours, debating the state of insecurity, especially bombings in parts of the country. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and 72 other senators sponsored a motion entitled: “General insecurity in the nation.” The session was marked by an outpouring of emotions by senators, who described the state of insecurity in the land as worrisome. Senators Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North), Uche Chukwumerije (Abia North), Nkechi Nwaogu (Abia Central), Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa East) and others called for the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs for their abysmal failure to arrest the worsening security challenges in the country. Ekweremadu, in his lead debate, urged the Senate to note with deep sense of grief the dastardly bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State on Christmas Day. The Senate, he said, should note with sadness the bombing spree at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church, Jos, many other churches and the State Security Service office in Damaturu, Yobe State on the same date. He urged the Senate to observe with serious concern recent related episodes of bombing, and indiscriminate shootings of worshippers in other parts of the country, notably, Gombe, Mubi and Jimeta between January 5 and January 6, 2011 leading to loss of scores of lives. The Senate, he said, should also observe that “while violent attacks and bombing of any form is callous and condemnable, the new waves of attacks on innocent and unsuspecting worshippers and places of worship, be it a church or a mosque, are bizarre affronts on our collective cultural and religious values, the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of worship, and an outright offensive against the Almighty God Himself.”

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

He added that he was aware that the Madalla attack was not only a direct onslaught on a place of worship which should otherwise be held sacred, but a clear and grave assault on Nigerians of Souteast origin who obviously constituted both the majority of worshippers at the said church and “most sadly, the overwhelming majority of both the dead and the wounded as the list of casualties published in national dailies including The Nation Newspapers showed.” According to him, the singular Christmas Day bombing attack on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla and other places of worship are capable of plunging the nation into ethno-religious crises and further aggravate the present security challenges in the nation. Another prayer which sought the invitation of heads of security agencies to update the Senate on their efforts at mitigating the worsening security challenges was stepped down because of the information by Senate President David Mark that heads of security agencies would meet with the joint committee in National Intelligence, Police, Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force today by 3pm. Before the prayer were endorsed, Senator Dahiru Kuta, (Niger East) seconded the motion. Adetunmbi (Ekiti North) noted that the country has very serious problem at hand. He said that the main question to ask should be “where is our humanity.” He noted that while “our humanity is universal, ethnicity is peculiar to us.” He added: “Let us look at the motion not just in the manifest assault on our brothers from the Southeast but our collective humanity. “This motion is on the infractions of chapter four of the Constitution that spells out the human rights of the average citizen in this country. “It is because the rights of Nigerians have been infracted and taken away.”

He wondered where compensation would start, asking “is it the UN House bombing, Police headquarters bombing, or the Independence Day bombing.” He noted that the major problem is that the country’s Constitution is fast becoming a tissue paper. He asked “Do Nigerians have confidence in the security. If we don’t have men to do the job here maybe we should import security.” Urging the Senate to say it as it is, he noted that there was no need to invite the security chiefs to come and tell the Senate the same old story. Rather, he said that the Senate should take steps to ensure necessary changes in the management of security in the country for effectiveness. Senator Uche Chukwumerije noted that the impression all over is that the Nigerian State is no longer able to protect itself. The Abia Senator called for a drastic and immediate overhaul of the security agencies. He recalled that about two years ago, a foreign intelligence agency predicted that the country might collapse in 2015. The reality of recent events, he said, has given credence to the forecast. He noted that what happened in Mubi, Adamawa State gives the indication that the attacks have been zeroed down to one ethnic group. Insisting that Nigeria was lucky to have survived the civil war, he added that though Igbo are prepared to support the project Nigeria, “if Nigeria cannot protect Igbo, we are going to protest to the United Nations to protect us.” According to him, “Igbo are tired of being offered as sacrificial lambs.” Senator Mohammed Magoro, Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, called for the arrest and prosecution of former governor of Borno State Ali Modu Sheriff. Magoro said Sheriff has been allegedly duly indicted, and identified as a mastermind of Boko Haram sect. Sheriff, he added, having known much about Boko Haram’ s origin and operations

Soyinka raises alarm over alleged impersonation

N

OBEL laureate Prof Wole Soyinka yesterday raised the alarm over alleged impersonation of his name to circulate some electronic messages. In a statement entitled: A Dangerous Game of Impersonation, the renowned playwright expressed anger over the use of his name for indecent circulation of electronic messages. He urged security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and prosecute them. The statement reads: “Once again, taking advantage of a situation of national unrest, some unscrupulous individuals have taken to circulating comments, often of a most distasteful, uncouth and unprincipled nature, in my name. I wish to inform the public that I do not Tweet, Blog, Facebook etc. etc. My public statements are

signed and/or go through authorised channels that the media recognise and can authenticate where in doubt. Any electronic message that purports to emanate from me for general circulation through Mobile phones or Internet should be taken as a complete concoction, in most cases by deranged minds with their private and sick agenda. “I must remind the public that these are not normal times, and that extreme caution and personal responsibility are needed. It is no time to be taken in by spurious propaganda by cowards who cannot speak in their own voices or acknowledge the names given to them at birth or even acquired during their nefarious careers. “Even more than the nausea one feels by being subjected to such identity embezzlement is

and therefore should be arrested. Senator Sola Adeyeye (Osun Central) added a philosophical dimension to the debate. He said: “Even when we cry we must retain our capacity to see.” He noted that Boko Haram is not mainstream Islam. He added that the Yoruba nation would suffer more if there is a religious war in the country. He said: “Violence is like cancer, unless you cut it off it can only spread. He called for local involvement to solve the problem. All political office holders in areas of violence, he said, must be sent home to reach their people when violence occurs again. “Let’s have local and state responsibilities as well,” he said. Senate President Mark, who summarised the debate said: “I know that when it comes to the issue of Boko Haram, people have been very scared of sticking out their necks in making comments. “But today we have broken that jinx and because we have been able to speak out, I hope that other well-meaning Nigerians, highly-placed Nigerians will join us in condemning in its totality the existence and the operations of Boko Haram in this country. “Whatever it is. it does not portray Nigerians as we are. Nigerians are peace-loving people, we love ourselves and we love our neighbours. “This idea is absolutely foreign to us and it does not represent us and we hope that it will stop. He added that all the time people talk as if it is only the Federal Government that exist, saying “there are three tiers of government in this country and if a local community can manage their own vigilance and security it will be very helpful.” He said: “I know that the Federal Government has a share but people hardly mention state governments, as if they don’t exist at all yet they do exists and have a responsibility. “Local governments cannot be blamed much because very few local governments get their proper allocation at the end of the year or at the end of the month.

GUNMEN yesterday shot dead four people at a petrol station in Potiskum, Yobe State where on Tuesday suspected members of Boko Haram shot dead eight people at a bar. Boko Haram’s increasingly violent insurgency has become a major security problem for President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. “Four people were shot dead this afternoon but I cannot confirm whether the attackers were Boko Haram,” said Tanko Lawal, police commander in Yobe State. Yobe government said it has banned the use of motorbikes, which have often been used in Boko Haram attacks, in volatile areas of the state. • Mark “So, they may be helpless but at least state governments have a role to play and no state government worth its salt will distance itself from what is happening within the state because every state has some level of responsibility in providing security for the people in making sure that things don’t go wrong because they are the chief security officer of the state and I think that they have a lot of responsibility.” Nigeria, he said, has terrorism and insurgency in its hands and” if we don’t handle them properly they will get out of control.” “We all receive threat messages, the northern senators received more sometimes from proper Boko haram and others from fake Boko Haram but people sent text messages saying if you say this we are going to kill you. “We are going to finish your family. The moment you accept a public office, your security is no more in your hands, it is in the hands of God. “If they want to kill all of us, the 109 senators here for Nigeria to survive, I am sure that we will offer our lives on a platter of gold for them to do but that is not going to solve the problem in this country. “I urge those who receive text messages to disregard them completely because they cannot do anything and that will not solve the problem. “I know that so many of us received these text messages. It has nothing to do with religion because all the clerics of both Christians and Muslims have condemned the acts of these terrorists or people who are their sponsors.

Sect leader defends attacks in video message

T

•Prof. Soyinka

the danger it poses generally, since it is certain that there are others who are similarly afflicted. One hopes therefore that the Security services, when called upon to assist in tracking down these felons, will recognise this goes beyond individual clamour and will act promptly, not only in unmasking, but in prosecuting them as befit criminal minds with the capacity for incalculable damage to an already fragile social fabric.”

HE leader of Boko Haram Islamist militants has defended recent attacks on Christians, saying they are revenge for killings of Muslims. In his first video message, posted on YouTube, Abubakar Shekau referred to attacks on Muslims in recent years in several parts of the North. Boko Haram militants attacked several churches on Christmas Day, killing dozens of worshippers. Thousands of people have fled their homes following the recent attacks, leading some people, including President Goodluck Jonathan and Christian Association of Ni-

geria President Ayo Oritshejafor to make comparisons with the 1967-70 civil war when the Southeast tried to secede. In the 15-minute video, Shekau, wearing a red and white turban, a bullet-proof vest and sitting in front of two Kalashnikov rifles, said he was responding to recent statements from Jonathan and Pastor Oritsejafor He warned that Nigeria’s security forces would not be able to defeat the group. Defending the latest spate of violence, Shekau referred to the killing of Muslims in places like Jos, Kaduna, Zangon Kataf, Tafawa Balewa in recent years.

Govt:International community safe From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

THE Federal Government yesterday assured members of the international community of their safety. Briefing members of the Diplomatic Corps in Abuja, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri declared that the two issues-Boko Haram insurgency and the current strike and protests by the organised labour are not out of government control. She noted that the NLC/ TUC strike that started nationwide since Monday has been generally peaceful. She said: “I thank you all for attending this briefing session, and through you, your Governments also, for their understanding. I wish on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan to assure each and every one of you that the situation is under control and will continue to be so, until we achieve total peace in the land.” “I will continue to urge you as I had done before, to let the cordial relations between our countries be uppermost in your minds and to be objective in your assessment and reportage of events that are happening now.”

‘US watching development’ NIGERIANS have the right to protest but must do so peacefully as security threats from Islamic sect Boko Haram mount, a United States State Department official said. Nigerians turned out in droves to protest an end to a fuel subsidy that was in force for nearly 40 years. Labour unions called for nationwide strikes as prices for petrol at service stations reach record levels for impoverished Nigerians. Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said Nigerians have the right to protest peacefully. “The Nigerian people have the right to peaceful protest, we want to see them protest peacefully, and we’re also urging the Nigerian security services to respect the right of popular protest and conduct themselves professionally in dealing with the strike,” Nuland told reporters during her regular news briefing.


THE NATION THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

63

NEWS BOKO HARAM MENACE

Killings make me cry, says Obi

Yobe emirs back move to end attacks

T

RADITIONAL rulers in Yobe State have thrown their weight behind the fight against Boko Haram attacks. This is coming on the heels of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam’s appeal to the Federal Government to deploy more police and other security personnel in the state to match the security challenge there. At separate meetings with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Audu Abubakar Karasuwa, the Chairman of the State Council of Chiefs, who is the Emir of Fika, Alhaji Muhammed Abali Ibn Muhammad Idrissa; Emir of Potiskum, Alhaji Umar Bubaram Ibn Wuriwa Bauya, as well as the Emir of Damaturu, Mai Shehu Hashimi ll Ibn Umar El-Kanemi promised to support security agencies to end the sect’s killings. “I will live up to expectations, and will augment the

I

A

•Gaidam calls for more policemen From Duku Joel, Damaturu

efforts of the Federal Government to attain peace in the state and the country at large,” said Gaidam. The emirs said they have been holding meetings with key members of their emirates to work out the best solutions to curb the Boko Haram activities. The monarchs said they would not sit back and watch the sect continually kill innocent people. They promised to work with the police and other security agencies to put the Boko Haram nightmare behind Nigerians. According to them, everyone is scared by the level of destruction to life and property by the sect. The traditional rulers, however, warned security agencies not to divert the wel-

fare of their personnel so that they would be willing to put in their best. Karasuwa told the monarchs that the police had done an analysis of the Boko Haram activities as well as other criminal elements, which cause insecurity in the country. The police chief said the Boko Haram problem would soon become history, urging the people to cooperate with security operatives. He said: “No good Muslim and no good Christian would support the destruction of life and places of worship, be it a church or a mosque.” Karasuwa hailed Gaidam for supporting the police, urging other governors to emulate him. He noted that “all places of worship remain sacred and anyone that destroys them commits a sacrilege”.

•Gaidam The police chief advised Nigerians to think of how best to tackle the nation’s security challenges. According to him, members of the Boko Haram may not have been responsible for the house-to-house killing, which he said is a new dimension to “terrorism”.

Igbo leaders to Fed Govt: let sect withdraw its threat to southerners

GBO leaders yesterday held a meeting on the state of the nation and the need for the Federal Government to ensure that the Boko Haram sect withdraws its threat to Southerners and Christians. The sect had ordered southeasterners to leave the North. The order had generated concern among people from other regions, including the Igbo. They urged the Federal government to stop the sect

From Chris Oji, Enugu from carrying out its threat. The meeting, held at the home of the late Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, was attended by former presidents of apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd) and Dr. Dozie Ikedife. Also in attendance were publisher of Champion newspaper, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyan-

wu; Chairman, Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya; the Eze Nri, Eze Onyeso; Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca; the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike, among others. A communiqué by Ikedife and read by Uwazuruike on behalf of Igbo leaders and other stakeholders reads: “From all indications, it would appear that the majority of victims of

Fed Govt begs labour to drop strike option

T

HE Federal Government has appealed to labour and civil society organizations (CSO) to end the nationwide strike over removal of petrol subsidy. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku who spoke yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting said State Governments have been advised to engage in negotiations with labour. He said: “The Federal government remains engaged in the process of dialogue with labour, we have never dismissed the process of dialogue. Even before the full deregulation was announced, Mr. President discussed with labour leaders, we discussed with the NLC, TUC, and we discussed with other stakeholders outside labour knowing that this key economic policy will affect the general population. “We have never closed our doors to negotiations or discussions with labour or any other social group that is involved in the current protest, what is very clear to us is that government is taking up its responsibilities at the Fed-

•Says it is still open to negotiation From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja eral level. State governments are engaged in direct discussions with trade unions as well as civil society groups. “In some states we have noticed some progress in the ongoing dialogue between the state governments’ and labour and civil society groups. So the federal government as far as we are concerned the process of dialogue is continuous. “But we will continue to appeal because this protest is only adding more pain to the people of Nigeria and in some places we are also beginning to see that elements outside labour are already virtually in the forefront and this is creating a lot of security problems in some states. You saw the situation in Kaduna, Edo state, etc. “We are appealing to labour to drop this option of protest which is increasing the pains out there for the people. It is our believe that anything that cannot be achieved through discussion will not really be useful when you call the gen-

eral population to the streets. “So we are appealing to Nigerians, civil society organisations, and labour to understand that we believe that this option that has been taken is adding more pains to our people and we hope that in the days ahead, they will see reason and drop the protest and continue the process of dialogue. “This issue of deregulation is not an option that the government arrived at in comfort or happiness. It is something that has been reviewed over a year and a half”, he said. The Minister explained that the FEC meeting discussed the fundamental issue of performance, as it relates to government agencies and their leadership. “The meeting focused essentially on the presentation by the minister of National Planning relating to the implementation of our projects and the results expected for 2012. Project implementation strategy and the transformation programme and what we must do from this year to ensure we begin to mark down goals and get the results as planned.

Disregard govt’s threat, labour tells workers

T

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday said he weeps over untimely deaths and killings among people without legal reasons. Addressing reporters at the Government House, while reacting to the killings of Ndigbo in parts of the country, the governor said any complaint on the matter is like the complaint on marginalisation. He said: “If we are marginalised, it is because we do not attend meetings where certain things were shared. The solution is to strive to be part of the sharing rather than shouting it for political reasons, which most times achieves nothing.” Obi said governors of the Southeast have tried their best to prevent the killing of Igbos in parts of the country. He noted that those who wanted the governors to shout and incite the people because of this, are wrong. He said: “I want to assure Ndi Anambra and all Southeasterners resident in the North, especially the troubled areas, that Southeast are very much concerned about what they have had to endure. “We are working round the clock with the governors and the leadership of the North on how to ensure that the killings do not continue. “Our people in Adamawa State have already met with the governor over the unfortunate development in the state. Even yesterday’s night (Tuesday) around 12.30pm, I spoke at length with the Governor of Adamawa State (Murtala Nyako), who himself is saddened by the development. “The Igbo blood cannot be continuously spilled unnecessarily, and we are committed to ensure that.” The governor urged Southeast residents from other parts of the country to remain calm and law-abiding.

HE Joint National Public Services Negotiating Council yesterday urged all striking civil servants to disregard the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke’s threat of “no work, no pay threat.” The association, in a statement by its National Chairman, Mohammed Kiri and National Secretary, Omokuale, noted that the Na-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

tional Industrial Court has no jurisdiction to stop Nigerians from protesting on their fundamental human rights over obnoxious government policies that are inimical to the people’s welfare. The statement reads: “The attention of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council has been drawn to the Federal Government’s threat,

through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, to invoke “the No Work No Pay Clause” on the striking workers. “We wish to maintain that the National Industrial Court has no jurisdiction to stop Nigerians from protesting on their fundamental human rights over obnoxious government policies that are inimical to the people’s welfare.”

these senseless attacks have been Igbos.” They said Igbo leaders have found it very difficult to persuade their sons and daughters to continue to stay on in the affected areas because Boko Haram has make good their threats to life and property of Southerners, especially those of Igbos. The leaders urged the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, to set up an emergency desk

at Ohanaeze headquarters in Enugu with dedicated telephone lines that Boko Haram victims and their relations can use to notify Ndigbo of their plight. They said this would ascertain the exact number of Igbos who have been killed in the North. The communiqué reads: “In our history, in Nigeria, Igbos have made a lot of contributions towards the economic development of this country.

But regrettably, they have been the greatest victims of every civil upheaval in this country. “It has become necessary for the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to immediately set up an emergency Relief Committee to seek relief from individuals, groups, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), governments - both from within and outside Nigeria - to assist most of these victims, who have lost not only their lives but also all their life savings.”

FOREIGN NEWS South Sudan says Sudan blocking its oil exports

S

OUTH Sudan has accused the Sudanese government of blocking 3.4 million barrels of its crude oil exports, diverting over half a million barrels to its refineries and building a pipeline to keep diverting its oil. Six months after landlocked South Sudan seceded from Sudan, the two countries have failed to agree on how much Juba should pay Khartoum in fees to transport its production of 350,000 barrels per day to port. South Sudan’s minister of petroleum and mining, Stephen Dhieu Dau, said Sudan was re-routing all of the

new nation’s Nile Blend crude oil entitlements for December to refineries in El Obeid and Khartoum. “Any diversion of (South Sudan’s) oil without its consent is nothing less than theft, and preventing crude oil from leaving port is unlawful and a violation of international laws and norms,” Dhieu Dau said in a statement obtained by Reuters on Wednesday. The Sudanese foreign ministry could not be reached for comment. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said this month Khartoum would impose a fee on Juba until a deal was reached on a transit fee but gave no details.

Already tense relations between the two nations soured in November when South Sudan accused Sudan of temporarily seizing 1.6 million barrels at Port Sudan. Sudan threatened to take 23 percent of South Sudan’s oil exports as payment in kind until a final deal. Dhieu Dau said Khartoum had sold over half a million barrels of South Sudanese oil to an undisclosed Sudanese buyer and had started construction of a pipeline that would permanently deliver 13 percent of the South’s Dar blend to refineries in Khartoum.

Germany’s economic recovery stalled

G

ERMANY’s economic recovery went into reverse at the end of last year but the country still notched up three per cent growth in 2011 — twice as fast as in the United States and the rest of the eurozone. Highlighting the robustness of Europe’s largest economy — even as the eurozone debt crisis escalated — the Wiesbadenbased federal statistics office reported 2011 overall had seen only a modest slowdown from the 3.7 per cent growth seen in 2010, which was the fastest since the country’s reunification in 1990. However, yesterday’s figures did not dispel fears

•German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) and Italian Prime Minister Monti at a press conference in Berlin...yesterday

that even Germany was being hit by the eurozone crisis. The statistics office estimated German gross domestic product had fallen by about a quarter of a per cent in the fourth quarter. That

increased the chances of German falling into recession — defined as two quarters of contracting activity. Economists expect this year to see sharply slower growth or even stagnation.


WHO SAID WHAT ‘Nigerians have the right to complain. It is our duty to listen to those complaints and find ways to make things better.’

www.thenationonlineng.net

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL. 7, NO. 2002

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

I

T was a moving scene. A young man on a wheel chair rolled through a sea of heads to perch on a huge podium, his mum beside him and the statue of his late father with whom he shares more than a striking resemblance overlooking the vast arena. He possesses, for obvious reasons, neither the agility of his father nor the stirring resonance of his voice; nor his repertoire of denigratory lexicon and his emotional softness that often drew tears out of his eyes, even in public. But Mohammed, son of the late legal giant cum activist par excellence, Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi, has surely kept intact a long family chain of activism. As he held the microphone, the excited crowd went quiet. In a soft mellifluous voice, he urged that there should be no let-up in the struggle to force a reversal of the shocking withdrawal of a dubious subsidy that has sent petrol prices hitting the roof and crashing through, nestling at between N139 and N200 per litre, up from the pre-New Year’s Day N65. His mum displayed one of the late Fawehinmi’s books that dismissed the socalled subsidy as nothing but a huge scam and advised Nigerians to stand firm in challenging the price increase. The old warhorse, Tunji Braithwaite, 76, was there in his trade mark sleeveless jumper, a necklace with a cross pendant dangling from his wrinkled neck. The frontline activist-lawyer railed and railed against the government, proclaiming that the revolution had begun and no force could stop it. It was all at the protest rally at the beautiful – the sheer lush greenery and wonderful floristry – Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos. Also there was Femi Falana, the foremost rights activist and lawyer, who came with his son, Folarin, also a lawyer. The late songster Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s son , Femi, was there, wondering why the ills his father fought against are still with us. So were his brother, Seun, movie star Jide Kosoko, singer Dede Mabiaku and Fuji giant Wasiu Ayinde. Ovation publisher Dele Momodu was there. There were many others, including Eedris Abdukareem, who recalled his song, Nigeria Jagaga, which he sang some 10 years ago. Olu Maintain, zestful as ever, threw his handkerchief at the crowd as a mark of appreciation, but he was not done yet. He threw his shirt, then his wristwatch and his pair of shoes. With one voice, the crowd told the government: roll back petrol price or face trouble. That was on the first day of the protest. The next day, the demand changed; Jonathan must go, they cried. But Hon. Wale Oshun, another old hand in the struggle and a former House of Reps member, warned that the matter at hand was a civilian knot that the military must never think of coming to help

RIPPLES

GBENGA OMOTOSO

EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

gbenga.omotoso@thenationonlineng.net

Mend it or end it

•In the spirit of the times

untie. Activist-pastor-politician Tunde Bakare called on the government to retrace its steps because the people have said “no”. The Jonathan administration must listen, the preacher said. At a point, he exuberantly declared Jonathan and his cabinet fired! The crowd roared in agreement. A young man, Ademola Aderinto, 28, was shot dead in Lagos; many others were injured. In Kano, some youths attempted to seize the Government House, but security agents resisted them. A teenager died. There were reports of deaths in Edo where a Bureau de Change was looted. Literary giants Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and J.P. Clark urged the government to pull the brakes on the subsidy withdrawal and restore peace. The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, the Most Rev Felix Femi Ajakaye, led the march in Ado-Ekiti. He urged Jonathan to stop running a government of “deceit”. Airports were shut. Thousands were stranded. Troops were deployed in Warri.

From city to city, rally centres swarmed with crowds – of professionals, including lawyers, doctors and university teachers, and ordinary folks who are disenchanted with the system. How did we get here? The suspicion that the doubtful subsidy was gone came with the budget that had no provision for it, but the government said it was nothing to fret about and that, in fact, it would not be removed until April. We relaxed. Then, like a thief in the night, subsidy removal came stealthily on New Year’s Day to foul the air of festivity. We were all dazed. A Boko Haram suicide bomber had just killed 42 in a Catholic church in Madalla, near Abuja, the Jos bloodletting was on and 67 people had just been killed in Ezillo, Ebonyi State, which has been at war with its neighbour, Ezza. The feeling of insecurity was so strong. Then, the government, in a shocking show of utter insensitivity, surreptitiously threw in this haram that is deadlier than boko. Why the ambush? The government says a cabal has, a la YahooYahoo boys, duped the country through the subsidy, which it claimed cost N1.3 trillion last year. Now, people are asking: Can’t we retrieve what the cabal has taken? No; going after them is not feasible, says the government. The only answer is deregulation, a euphemism for higher petrol prices. Should the people be forced to pay for the government’s fecklessness? Uproar. The government responded by setting up the Christopher Kolade Committee to manage proceeds of the subsidy removal, but people are asking: where will the cash come from? Is it from what the NNPC plans to send to the Federation Account? How legal is this committee? Aren’t we creating another bureaucracy when we should be shedding weight? I think the government should not misread the mood in the land and underestimate the resolve of Nigerians to insist that enough is enough. It should either mend or end the petrol prices, call for talks with labour/civil society coalition, with the President leading the way. This is after putting the gear in re-

HARDBALL

DEREGULATION NOT TO PUNISH NIGERIANS–Minister

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASHOLA

verse to N65 a litre to boost its account that is already in the red in the bank of credibility. It has lost the trust of the people. It is amazing the way the crisis has brought out the hilarious creativity of Nigerians. From the girl who asks her boyfriend to take her to an expensive place and gets an offer to visit the petrol station to the big government official’s wife who keeps asking her husband: “Who is Subsidy?” She says “Subsidy” must be so popular, considering the massive calls for his return. “After all, when Waziri was removed, nobody made any noise. Let Subsidy go back to his place o,” she is quoted as saying. Besides, it is common now to be greeted Barka de strike. And this: “A Yoruba man whose car was snatched by robbers in Onitsha put his hand on his head, crying. Nna wetin hapin; ogini? people asked him, but the man kept hollering: “Oh my fuel o! Ah my fuel o; mogbe o!.” From Benin, former House of Representatives member Patrick Obahiagbon, a.k.a Igodomigodo, is quoted as saying: “ I have read with acatalectic disgust, government’s asinine and puerile ratiocinations attempting to justice ate the proposed removal of subsidy on petroleum products. It has asseverated that its intention is guided by the need to checkmate the odoriferous excesses of a Machiavellian and Mephistophelean cabal and I have said to myself, what a shame!. What a self - indicting admittal of the failure of governance? What an hocus pocus! What an anathematous disdain for its citizenry? “Must the people now bear the brunt for the government’s ineptitude, inefficiency and pusillanimity in squaring up with these economic philistines and fat cows? I feel even more nauseated and vexed that the Governors Forum has posthaste conferred an apocalyptic imprimatur on this genie. Let’s not forget that majority of these governors had earlier called for this state of affairs as a condition maalu. Petrol sine qua non for paying the minimum wage. What an opprobrium! What a depreciable descent from the sublime to the ridiculous. “It’s up to us all to put this presidential and gubernatorial genie back into the bottle. But, are we prepared?” And yet another: “ Kai! Haba! Walahi, Jonathan is a wicked President por Nigeria. Why? Puel frice don go uf… prom sixty pipe naira (N65) to wan handred and porty one naira (N141) for ebli where. Why? Nigerians, we must pite for awa rite… now! We cannot ofun awa eyes and look at Jonatan to make us like maluu. Eblibody, weda you are cibu sabant, student, tisha, hajia or housepipe, mai suya, mai tea, fastor or imam, we are not maalu! Fetro must be sixty pipe near! Daburuba. Shikenah! Thank you. Alhaji Boko Audu, PRO, Hausa Ut Association, Sabo. Despite these hard times, I wish all Editorial Notebook fans a hilarious 2012. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Subsidy protests and parochial undertones

M

Okay, it’s to make them RICHER...ehn?

INISTERS and aides of President Goodluck Jonathan are under a self-imposed pressure to mobilise their own crowds in favour of the removal of fuel subsidy and to shore up the dwindling popularity of the president. The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development has organised at least one nondescript association involved in women issues to rally before the media in support of the Jonathan government. Justice Minister Adoke Bello has also issued strongly worded statements warning protesters, the Nigeria Labour Congress/Trade Union Congress, and other workers the government has control over, against defying the National Industrial Court (NIC) order barring the unions from protesting. In addition, he has pressured contract workers to honour the terms of their engagements with government and announced that the government could invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ rule. Other gov-

ernment officials and ministers have made similar moves, with some directing their staff to sign attendance registers. There will be many more such tactics. But it is doubtful whether they will work. The government may have also adopted the styles of former administrations, which raised their own armies of thugs to counter popular protests. But this too is unlikely to amount to anything. Probably the most saddening fact to emerge from the ongoing protests is the increasing resort to parochial tactics by supporters of the president. However, it would be shocking if the president is impressed or comfortable with such deeply polarising methods which his aides are embracing. The most typical of these parochial tactics was advanced by Chief Edwin Clark who premised his group’s defence of the president on the fact that Jonathan is a son of the Niger Delta. According to him, the

Southsouth Elders and Leaders met in Abuja on Monday and have determined to denounce the attacks against their son, Jonathan. If necessary, he added, they would also forcefully resist the attacks. No one had monopoly of violence, the elders concluded. But they said nothing about the germaneness and relevance of the issues raised against their son. They said nothing about the fact that while Jonathan may be their son, by his election as president, he had ceased to remain their son and had become in addition Mr President, the father of the nation. And more disingenuously, they subsumed the protests against subsidy removal under the Boko Haram menace. With such egregious tactics, it is not surprising that the Southsouth has worsened the case of their son whose main weakness is fundamentally one of poor judgment and wrong policies than anything related with his place of birth.

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


The Nation January 12, 2012