Page 1

Fashola requested for soldiers in Lagos since 2010, FG insists

Diezani raises panel on oil Page 5 industry reforms

It’s not true, Lagos maintains stand... berates Police for Page attack on elder statesmen 2

Moves to eliminate rent -seeking and arbitrage

Save Nigeria Group calls off ‘Victory Rally’ ... cites Kano terror attackPage 2

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL.05 N0. 20011

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

N150.00

Boko Haram

Scores feared dead in Kano multiple explosions Channel TV’s reporter among victims 24-hr curfew imposed

Within a few seconds, I could not see him again with gun shots renting the air. Soon, some soldiers came around .The gun shots then subsided. I called Akogwu's two lines, which kept ringing but there was no response from him. I then tried locate him only to find him in a pool of blood, having been shot on the chest. He died on the spot...

Yusuf ALLI and Kolade ADEYEMI with agency reports

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Akogwu, the slain Channel TV’s reporter

’ Ringim's fate hangs in the

ano practically became a war zone last night after multiple bomb blasts rocked different parts of the metropolis. Scores of people died in the blasts, one of the victims being Channels Television's cameraman in the city, Enenche Akogwu. Many other residents were injured. The State Government immediately imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state. A report said up to eight explosives went off one after the other and bore similarities to earlier attacks by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Potiskum, Gombe,Abuja and Madalla, Niger State.

Continued on Page 5

Madalla bombing suspect’s escape

Page 3

balance as 24-hr ultimatum expires NSA raises team on his reply to query


2 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Save Nigeria Group calls off ‘Victory Rally’

THE BIG PROTEST (DAY FIVE) NEW YEAR MESSAGES

...cites Kano terror attack •Lagos ACN flays disruption of NACO protest

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• Governor Fashola (in white) receiving Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (3rd left), and other members of the NBA Ikeja Branch protesting troops’ deployment in Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Fashola requested for soldiers since 2010, FG insists

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ATIONAL Security Adviser ( NSA), General Andrew Owoeye Azazi, yesterday said there was nothing unusual about the deployment of soldiers in Lagos, State because Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in October 2010, allegedly wrote the Federal Government to assist with the deployment of military personnel to assist the Nigeria Police Force in combating crime in the state. Azazi, who spoke in an interview with reporters at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, claimed that it would amount to being economical with the truth for the same state government that wrote a letter requesting the deployment of military, in one breadth, to now be condemning the presence of the soldiers who have been in the state since 2010. He said: “ Is this the first time that soldiers are deployed to Lagos State? But the troops have been here for a long time; it does not matter how many. You see, if a governor wrote a letter for troops to be deployed his state , they will come. “This dates back to 2010 when the governor made a request for soldiers in his environment. So, since 2010,

Kelvin Osa- OKUNBOR for those of you that have been in Lagos, the soldiers have been here for joint patrol with the police to combat crime in the state. So, why is it so bad that the same soldiers that the governor requested to join the police, you now find it very strange.. “Let us be frank with ourselves. In 2010, Fashola wrote a letter to the president that he wanted soldiers to have a joint patrol to work with the police in the state. He promised he pays for them, and he funds them till tomorrow. So if the police finds out that they need more soldiers to assist and they request for more...” Azazi denied that the current troops deployed are from other states, saying: “ You can find out.” The Defence Headquarters spoke in the same vein on Thursday, claiming that the soldiers seen on the streets during the week were part of the Task Force, code-named OP MESA. “The men of the Task Force who are currently in Lagos have been there and were not brought from outside Lagos. They are members of the Lagos State Government sponsored Operation MESA and the

demand for their withdrawal is therefore uncalled for,” the statement issued by the Defence spokesman, Col. Mohammed Yerima, said in part. The statement from the Defence Headquarters, however, was contrary to the utterance of the Defence Minister, Dr. Haliru Bello, who said that the troops were deployed to prevent anarchy. “The deployment of soldiers was meant to forestall anarchy”, he was quoted to have said on Thursday in reaction to the wide condemnation of the government’s action. And promptly, the Lagos State government faulted the claim of the Defence Headquarters. A statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Aderemi Ibirogba, had said inpart: “The claim by the Military authorties that the deployment of soldiers on the streets of Lagos is at the request of the Lagos State Government is not only false but missleading. “The State Goverment challenges the Military authorities to show proof of the request for troops deployment in the street of Lagos State.”

... it’s not true, Lagos maintains stand

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AGOS State Government yesterday berated the Nigerian Police for firing teargas at eminent Nigerians protesting the deployment of soldiers in the streets of Lagos. The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, who briefed journalists in Alausa, Ikeja, also insisted that the Defence Headquarters’ position that soldiers on Lagos streets were members of the special task force, code-named OP MESA, drafted by the Lagos State Government, was far from the truth. Ibirogba said it was not necessary for the police to fire teargas at the senior citizens because were on a peaceful protest. He said: “We did not call for the protest. We were not even told they would protest; they did not even seek government’s attention of any sort, but as much as we believe that it is the constitutional role of the police to maintain peace in a democratic setting, they should be very conscious and ensure that they exhibit professionalism in doing

Miriam NDIKANWU their job.” On the claims by the Defence headquarters that the soldiers on the streets of Lagos were part of the security team in the state, reiterated by the NSA yesterday, Ibirogba again challenged the Military authorities to show proof of the request for the deployment of the troop in the state. He added that the military should not confuse the public. He said there is a clear distinction between the soldiers deployed by the Federal Government to subdue protesters in the state an OP MESA. “OP-MESA had been a long standing arrangement since the days of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Indeed, the military men involved in OP-MESA were deployed purposely to join the Police in fighting crime and were never at any point in time drafted to occupy the streets. “For the avoidance of doubt, OPMESA men are still working with

the Police in the fight against crime. The men of OP-MESA should not be confused with the soldiers deployed in the last one week to suppress a civil protest in a democracy,” he said. Ibirogba added that there was no reason for the deployment of the troops in the state since there was nothing to warrant such an action. He said the protesters in Lagos were peaceful and law- abiding while the protests lasted. Ibirogba revealed that the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashol, has written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, expressing his disapproval of the continuous presence of soldiers on the streets of Lagos and demanding an immediate withdrawal. It would be recalled that the Director of Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima on Thursday said the troops were not deployed by the federal authorities, insisting that the soldiers were members of a joint police-military security team set up and sponsored by the Lagos State Government.

AVE Nigeria Group (SNG) , late last night called off its "Victory Rally" scheduled for today at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Lagos. The decision, according to the convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare, was based on “the unprecedented terror attack in Kano in which several police formations and other institutions were rocked by bomb blasts with unspecified number of deaths recorded 24 hours to a planned protest”. He said: “This tragic occurrence has made us to take more seriously intelligence reports we have received to the effect that militants have been posted to Lagos and lodged in various hotels with alleged instructions to infiltrate our gathering in order to cause mayhem that would lead to loss of lives. “As we do not want to give the blood of the people we are fighting for to those who are blood-thirsty, we have taken the decision to stay off the streets tomorrow. “We enjoin our people to remain calm and await further directives in the days ahead. May God console all the families who have lost dear relatives in the Kano bomb attacks”. The ‘Victory Rally’ was designed to thank Nigerians who participated in the five-day demonstration against fuel subsidy removal last week. But before it called off the rally, the group had dissociated itself from text messages intimating Lagosians about a proposed rally in Lekki, Lagos Island, at the same time. Bakare, who spoke through Yinka Odumakin, had said: “SNG is only planning a Victory Rally on Saturday and the venue is the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota”. No fewer than 25 musicians had been arranged to entertain the crowd at the rally. They include Daddy Showkey, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, Alabi Pasuma, Waheed Osupa, Dede Mabiaku, Femi

Augustine AVWODE, and Emmanuel OLADESU Anikulapo-Kuti, and his younger brother, Seun. On Monday, protesters who had arrived the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, were dispersed by soldiers and policemen, who threatened to shoot them. The protesters trekked long distance to arrive the venue from Ikorodu, Ikeja, Kosofe, Mainland, Alimoso and Lagos Island. Royal fathers, religious leaders and leaders of political parties in the state have condemned the troops deployment, saying that the President acted in bad faith. In a statewide broadcast, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) also complained about the invasion of the military, saying that it was unwarranted because the state had been peaceful, despite the five-day strike and massive protests by aggrieved Nigerians. On Thursday, the soldiers bared their fangs in the city-state, dispersing members of the National Action Coalition (NACO) protesting the troops deployment. There was pandemonium during the peaceful profession as police fired tear gas at protesters including the former Education Minister, 79-yesr old Prof. Ben Nwabueze, former Finance Minister Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, radical lawyer Dr Tunji Braithwaite, Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo, former university don, Prof. Adebayo Williams, Dr Lakin Akintola and Nelson Ekunjimi. Flaying the President for converting Lagos into another war zone, despite the fact that the city is at peace, Lagos State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Joe Igbokwe said: “President Goodluck Jonathan is leaning on a shaking legitimacy now that he had shifted to the anti-democratic, barbaric, uncivilised and Continued on Page 5

...Police have no right to ban protests __ Legal experts

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MINENT lawyers yesterday condemned in very strong terms the attack by the Nigeria Police on elder statesmen during a peaceful protest against the deployment of soldiers in Lagos, describing it variously as barbaric, atrocious and an attack on the very essence of Nigeria. Constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), former president of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) and human rights activist, Barrister Bamidele Aturu all berated the way and manner the police dispersed the elder statesmen by teargasing them. The legal luminaries who were all in agreement that those involved in the peaceful protest never breached any law to warrant the treatment meted out to protesters blamed President Goodluck Jonathan for not restraining the police from brutalising those old enough to be his fathers. Speaking to The Nation yesterday, Sagay said the elderly men were merely exercising their right to freely express their opinion and in a peaceful manner before the police “inflicted violence on them”. Sagay said the implication of what happened yesterday is that “the country is gradually losing its status as a democratic country”. He stated that in most societies of the world, when such eminent personalities come out to take a stand on any issue, the leadership of such a country immediately bends backward to consider whatever they are asking for. In his words: “ What happened in Lagos to these elder statesmen means this country is losing its status as a democratic country and is progressively crushing the rule of law and thereby sliding into dictatorship. “In most societies of the world, apart from the fact that people have the inalienable right to protest, when

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor

people like Prof Ben Nwabueze, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Dr Tunji Braithwaite and a host of other important personalities come out, the president would say I dare not touch them because it will amount to attacking the soul and essence of Nigeria itself. “These people represented the very essence of Nigeria. In the days of Charles de Gaulle of France, a very prominent philosopher went out to protest and de Gaulle publicly said he dare not touch him because he represented the very essence of France. The attack on them yesterday was not only barbaric but essentially an attack on Nigeria”, he declared. Ahamba said the protest against the presence of soldiers on the streets of major cities in Nigeria, particularly Lagos, was justified. He declared that dictatorship usually starts with the way the state, using the police, handled the peaceful protest by eminent Nigerians. Ahamba recalled that the deployment of soldiers or the armed forces in civil matters was one point he contested in the 2003 general election but that the courts failed to make concrete pronouncement on it. He stressed that had the court adjudicated on it by now, the president would know when he could just order members of the armed forces. Ahamba called on all Nigerians to stand up and condemn the attack on the elder statesmen in Lagos. He warned President Goodluck Jonathan to be wary of those who are giving him wrong advice, saying they are his number one enemy. “We must first establish that the constitution makes provision for division of labour between the police and the armed forces. It is a procedural thing.”


NEWS 3

THE NATION, SA TURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Niger Deltans urge Jonathan to take drastic action against Boko Haram, sponsors

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•Biu

•Ringim

•Sokoto

S Nigerians continue to express disbelief and anger over the escape of the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bomb blast at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, Kabiru Umar, prominent Niger Deltans have called for more drastic action against Boko Haram. Comrade Joseph Evah of the Ijaw Monitoring Group called for the trial of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, and the Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, who was with Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto) when he staged the ‘mysterious’ escape. Speaking in a telephone interview with The Nation yesterday, Evah said: “What surprised me is the conduct of Biu. I am not surprised that the man escaped. I am surprised because this man is still in the force in spite of the allegations against him during the MKO Abiola incident.” Evah reserved his harshest criticism for IG Ringim who he said should be sacked immediately along with Biu and made to stand trial for the

Madalla bomb suspect’s escape

Ringim’s fate hangs in the balance as 24-hr ultimatum expires T HE future of the embattled Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, in the force will now possibly be determined in another one week at the earliest. He had been queried by the Police Affairs Minister, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), to explain the circumstances surrounding the escape from police custody of the suspected mastermind of the Madalla bomb blast,Kabir Umar, also known as Kabir Sokoto. Umar was seized by some youths at Abaji near Abuja last Monday from a team of policemen who went to search his residence in the town. He was arrested on Saturday along with an air force officer and a post graduate student at the Borno State Governor’s lodge in Abuja. Navy Captain Olubolade said yesterday that action on the future of Mr. Ringim would have to wait until the consideration of his response to the query by a committee set up bythe National Security Adviser (NSA), General Owoye Azazi. The committee of security experts will probe Umar’s dramatic escape as contained in the IG’s account. The minister told newsmen at the Presidental Villa, Abuja that the committee had a week to complete its work.It is made up of “senior officers, military officers, officers from the ministry and other agencies.” The minister explained that the committee will also ex-ray the response of the IG to the query. “Like I did say the other time, I have given some directives. The Inspector General of Police has responded. A committee has been set up above the police which takes into cognisance experts in various aspects to come together and conduct another investigation. So that has been assembled and they have set to work. I think this is how far we have gone,” he said. Asked if he was satisfied with the explanation given by the IG, the minister said, “Yes. One thing is to explain and another thing is to look at the contents of those explanations. That assignment will be done by the investigation panel set up by the National Security Adviser. I am not a member of the committee.” He also said the purpose of the query had been achieved. “I have to tell Nigerians that because an investigation panel has been set up, Nigerians should be patient and allow them do their job very briefly.

• NSA raises panel on IG’s response to query •••loses tenure extension the suspect was treated was unproYusuf ALLI and Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja

A time line has been given to them and at the end of that something will come out, so we should not preempt”, he said. But sources said even if Mr.Ringim survives the Umar saga, he stands no chance of getting a tenure extension. His current tenure expires next month. It was learnt that the presidency is already shopping for a replacement. Some police sources alleged a crack in the rank of the police management which could have been responsible for what the sources called conspiracy against the IG. This “conspiracy” they claimed led to Umar’s escape. The police were also yesterday working on fresh clues, including an allegation that the fleeing Boko Haram suspect had applied to a foreign embassy in Abuja for visa for a medical trip abroad for one of his cousins. He was said to have travelled to Abuja on January 13 ahead of the visa interview. Investigation by our correspondent showed that there had been pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan before Umar’s escape to extend the tenure of Ringim. While a reliable source alleged that the IGP actually applied for tenure extension before the incident, another source indicated that it was a group of eminent Nigerians that was pushing it. A reliable source said: “Prior to the escape, what was on the card was the extension of the tenure of the IGP. But with this development, the presidency has foreclosed the extension because it can no longer be justified. “In fact, the IGP had wanted to use the arrest of Kabiru Sokoto to strengthen his case for the extension of his tenure and justify the President’s claim that Boko Haram has infiltrated government circles. “Those pushing for the extension

of Ringim’s tenure had cited the prevalent insecurity in the country, especially the Boko Haram menace. They told the President that it might take a new IGP three to six months to settle down and members of the dreadful sect might take advantage of the situation to unleash more terror attacks. They wanted oneyear extension for Ringim. “But that extension agenda has backfired now with his job on the line and his entire career overshadowed by the escape of the Boko Haram member.” A source in government said: “It is difficult for the presidency to consider or contemplate extension of Ringim’s tenure at this particular time. “I will rather tell you that since his tenure ends in February, the government is shopping for his successor who can either come from the present management structure or completely outside. “The President and the Nigeria Police Council will appoint the new IGP based on security checks.” The present Deputy InspectorsGeneral of Police who could succeed Ringim are: Mrs. Ivy Okoronkwo, Second in Command (2i/c); Mr. Azubuko Udah DIG “A” (Administration); Audu Abubakar DIG “B” Operations; Saleh Abubakar DIG “C” (Logistics and Supply); Alhaji Sadauna Abubakar DIG “E” (Training); and Mohammed Yesufu DIG “F” (Management Services). Another source added: “I think some senior police officers were opposed to the proposed tenure extension for Ringim leading to the conspiracy behind the escape of Kabiru Sokoto. “There has been no doubt a crack within the police management. They have just been tolerating one another . “The ongoing investigation is also being viewed from the angle of a syndicate within the police working covertly against the IGP. “Although no one has been identified with this conspiracy theory, the police believe that there might be more to the escape as the way

fessional. “Those policemen arrested in connection with the incident might provide further lead on this argument.” The search for Kabiru Sokoto has been intensified but all the security agencies have not been able to record any breakthrough. It was gathered that the security agencies had been working on fresh clues on the movement of Kabiru Sokoto. A police source said: “We are working on fresh clues on his whereabouts of Kabiru Sokoto. “The police have quizzed the wife of the suspect, who is in protective custody with three children. We may also interrogate a traditional ruler on his alleged link with the Boko Haram suspect. “There is no hiding place for Kabiru Sokoto at all. We are hunting for him in all the neighbouring states of the FCT.”

•Jonathan

Shola O’NEIL, Port Harcourt disappearance of the Boko Haram suspect, stressing that President Goodluck Jonathan must be bold and decisive at this critical time. He said: “This man (IG) and Biu should face trial. I advised President Jonathan before to declare a state of emergency in at least two states in the north to serve as deterrent to other politicians who could be harbouring and aiding Boko Haram. “The president must be bold in handling this issue now just like former President Olusegun Obasanjo did with the Jos crisis. He should declare a state of emergency and sack the houses of assembly. “In the present disgraceful act, Ringim should not just be removed. He should be made to face trial. This is not an issue that can be swept under the carpet; it is a big shame. I cannot believe that Biu has been placed under house arrest! We need total investigation and those found culpable should be brought to book,” Evah added. For his part, the National Coordinator, the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, Comrade Oghenejabor Ikimi, said the incident has made the Nigeria Police a laughing stock across the world. Ikimi, who called for the immediate sack of Ringim and other top police brass from the force, said only such drastic move would restore some respect for the nation and the force. He said: “The culpable act of negligence has made our police force the laughing stock before the comity of nation, and, as such, we call for the sack of the IGP and CP Biu and the prosecution of all those policemen found culpable in the entire saga in a bid to restoring public confidence in the force.” Speaking in the same vein, AnnKio Briggs of the Ijaw Republican Assembly expressed anger at the “unbelievable incompetence of the police force that led to Umar’s escape,” hinting that there was more to it. She lamented perceived double standard in security agents handling of situations in the nation, saying, “Some criminals and perpetrators of despicable acts of terrorism in this country seem to find a way of escaping from custody. “Someone who is believed to have carried out this heinous crime that led to the death of over 30 Christians on such a significant day managed to escape from police custody. This follows the trend where some criminals manage to get bail or escape while others rot in jail,” she said.


4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Gunmen kidnap American in Warri

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NIDENTIFIED gun men yesterday kid napped an American working in the Niger Delta region, allegedly killing his driver and demanding a N50 million ($310,300) ransom. According to reports, the incident happened in Warri, Delta State. The spokesman for the Delta State Police Command, Charles Muka, was quoted as saying that “ a

Augustine AVWODE, Assistant Editor, with Agency reports foreign national was kidnapped this morning in Warri by gunmen who trailed him from Sapele. They killed his police escort and forcefully took him away from the car. He was going to the bank when the attack occurred. We do not know his nationality

yet, we are still investigating,” he said. A source who would not disclose his identity, however, informed that the expatriate was an American working for Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, but did not give further details. Before the Amnesty Programme was declared by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on August 6,

2009, militant activities involving kidnapping, sabotage of oil facilities and sundry criminal activities were common place. The Niger Delta region however began to experience some forms of peace with the voluntary embrace of the Amnesty which lead to the surrendering of arms and ammunitions by the militants.

Gombe honours slain Deeper Life members, others

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HE Chritian commu nity in Gombe on Thursday assembled at the CAN Centre in Gombe metropolis for the funeral service of the eleven martyrs ruthlessly murdered in the state over the last two weeks. Pastor Yahaya Wuro-Buntu was last Sunday killed and dumped opposite his house at Bajoga by unknown persons while ten others lost their lives at the Deeper Life Bible Church massacre about a week earlier when unknown gunmen opened fire on worshippers during Thursday evening service, killing six on the spot. Chairman of the state chapter of CAN, Reverend Abare Kalla at the occasion expressed bitterness over the wide spread rumour that an

Vincent EKHORAGBON, Gombe Ibo person was caught in connection the shooting at Deeper Life Bible Church. He said the leadership of CAN upon hearing this quickly rushed to the police and other relevant security outfits which confirmed it a rumour and falsehood. He condemned the attempt to cause confusion in the state and told the perpetrators to desist form it as everyone would always reap what he has sown because nobody can deceive God. Gombe state Governor who paid tribute through his Deputy, Mr. Jason Tha’anda Rubainu condemned the killing saying “they should be regarded as martyred heroes and heroines of our time.”

Amaechi to partner judiciary

A •Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his wife, Judith (in the middle ), Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu, and his wife, Deputy Governor of Rivers State Tele Ikuru (wearing bowler hat) and members of the judiciary and clergy at the rededication service for the opening of the 2011/2012 Legal Year for the Rivers State Judiciary at St. Cyprian's Anglican Church, Port Harcourt... yesterday

Controversy over arrest of 23 MASSOB members

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HERE is confusion in Anambra State follow ing the arrest of 23 persons alleged to be members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) by the military in Onitsha. After their arrest, the military men quickly handed them over to the state police command for further interrogation. The group mem-

bers were arrested at their camp in Obeleagu Street in Onitsha along side those detained in their camp. According to the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department (ACCID), Mike Okoli, who spoke with the Nation yesterday, said the group has developed into arresting people and holding them hostage.

Not only that, Okoli further said that the group of boys had gone to the extent of charging their suspects for money before they are released, claming they are MASSOB members. He said that it was a kind of thing that Anambra State police command would not tolerate, adding that the command would not allow anybody or group to heat the

peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in the state for some time again. He said that the boys had already been charged to the magistrate court in Onitsha after thorough investigations by the state police command. However, the group told the Nation yesterday that they are freedom fighters for MASSOB

Ondo LP chieftain resigns appointment

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chieftain of the ruling Labour Party(LP) in Ondo State, Mr. Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, has resigned his appointment as Education Secretary in the Akure North Local Government Area of the state over alleged threat to life. He was the LP Secretary in the local government area before his appointment as SUBEB Secretary in the same local government area in 2009. Sources hinted that his offence might not been unconnected with the hosting of some ACN leaders during the burial of his late father at ObaIle on December 31,2011,among whom were Senator Olorunnimbe Farukanmi,Otunba Omoniyi Omodara and Chief Tayo Alasoadura. In a two- page letter addressed to Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday, Yusuf-Ogunleye said though his decision to resign was painful, but “I was the first serving political office holder in the state to have been embarrassed to the extent that the government directed the police to seize my official car. “I did not receive any query from any quarters, neither did

Damisi OJO, Akure I receive calls nor text messages from anybody on the subject matter. The police did not give reasons, nor a written document for their action, but as a law-abiding citizen, I had to comply. Yusuf-Ogunleye said apart from the seizure of his official Hilux car now parked at Oba-Ile Police Station, he had been receiving threat messages and calls that forced him and the household to vacate his residence. He said: “ I have been ac-

cused of hosting the ACN chieftains, namely, Senator Farukanmi, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, Hon. Saka Lawal, Hon. Omoniyi Omodara and Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, the LP House of Representatives member for theAkure North/ South Federal Constituency during the final burial of my late father on December 30, 2011”. The Former Education Secretary said: “As a pioneer executive member of the LP, I will remain in the party and I have told my supporters that we should remain together,

so that we don’t allow tenants to take over our house”. Yusuf-Ogunleye denied the rumours that he converted a bungalow rented by the LP at Oba-Ile which is now being used by the ACN. According to him, the house belongs to Mr. J.I Oguntoyinbo, a former member of the LP, now a strong member of the ACN. A government source said the former Education Secretary must have personal reasons for his resignation, stressing that he should not blame the state government for his action.

Ogun first lady tasks women on development

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IFE of Ogun State governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, yesterday tasked women at the local government level to actively participate in the development of projects that will benefit people at the grassroots in order to rebuild the state. Speaking while receiving members of the Olufunso Alliance Sisters in Abeokuta, Mrs. Amosun said developmental projects at the grassroots should be seen as family projects through which we could collectively ensure com-

munity development through youth empowerment and wealth creation. According to her, “As mothers, we should always strive to encourage one another to get involved in the grassroots politics to engender even development across the state. We should always strive to live in unity among ourselves because it is only in an atmosphere of peace and unity that development can thrive.” She said the focus of the present administration in the state was to evenly develop the state, explaining that “we

should also endeavour to come forward with ideas on how to help our leaders in order to move our state forward.” Mrs. Amosun said she had concluded arrangements to bring together under one canopy all the interest groups in the state under the aegis of the Mission to Rebuild Ogun State Group to support the government in achieving its five cardinal points. The Olufunso Alliance Sisters comprises of women from all local government areas of the state.

ware of the prominent roles played by the Judiciary, the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday pledged to continue to collaborate with members of the Rivers State Judiciary to promote development in the state. Governor Amaechi reiterated his pledge to work with the Judiciary at the rededication service for the opening of the 2011/2012 Legal Year for the Rivers State Judiciary at St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church, Port Harcourt. “I reassure members of the Judiciary that we will continue to partner with you for the progress of Rivers State”, Governor Amaechi said. “I promised at an earlier event that if fund is what determines the independence of the Judiciary, that I would give the Judiciary all the money they need.” “I also promised that the executive would obey the law and would implement all judgments coming from the Judiciary even if we disagree,” Amaechi further said. Governor Amaechi who is also Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum urged Judicial Officers in Rivers State to be courageous in the dispensation of justice. “In the face of challenges and temptations, our judges and magistrates must be courageous in the dispensation of justice. Be rest assured that if you discharge your responsibilities according to your conscience, you can sleep peacefully” In his sermon, the Rt. Rev. Innocent Ordu, Anglican Bishop of Evo Diocese, charged Judicial Officers in the state to dispense justice with the fear of God.

Samsung seeks partnership with Osun on ICT, youth employment, others

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HE management of Samsung Electronics in Nigeria has sought partnership with the Government of Osun State over the deployment of Information Technology to drive educational transformation, youth employment generation and enhanced living standards for the people. At a meeting with the governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in his office on Thursday, the management team led by the Managing Director, Mr. Idorenyen Enang, highlighted the various ways the company plans to partner the state to accelerate development in the areas of education, job creation and better living. The company listed deployment of ICT in the area of rates collection to reduce fraud; ICT for educational transformation (which involves distribution of netbooks for students and mobile tablets for teachers); internet training schools, establishment of Samsung Life Academy, Home Appliances Ownership Scheme and others as some of the ways it could boost development in the state. Enang said the comprehen-

sive ICT programmes were patterned after an in-depth appraisal and understanding of the six-point development agenda of the Aregbesola administration. Briefing the team on the giant strides his administration has made in the area of Information Technology, Governor Aregbesola informed the Samsung team of his government’s advanced plans to deploy ICT to enhance learning, communication among the citizens, enhance health care delivery and others. Specifically, he informed the team of the feat already achieved in the production of Opon Omo (Tablets of Knowledge) which the administration plans to distribute to no fewer than 150,000 students in the state to help them pass their examinations and cultivate the ICT culture early enough. The governor said because of the commitment of his administration to youth employment generation, the government is interested in the Samsung’s Life Academy which also goes along with the plans of his government to set up one Life Academy in


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SA TURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Boko Haram: Scores feared dead in Kano multiple explosions •Continued from Page 1

Their main targets were the State Security Service (SSS) office at Sardauna Crescent,Zone 1 headquarters of the police, the State Police Command at Bompai, the Fegge, Farm Centre, Naibawa and Jedijedi police stations as well as a motor park on New Road,SabonGari and the Immigration office at Farm Centre. The attack at the Zone 1 office was suspected to have been carried out by a suicide bomber who crashed into a nearby compound in his explosive-laden car. The invaders were repelled at the SSS office and the Customs Training School by officers who engaged them in a gun battle,killing several of them. . A top source said: “Preliminary report indicated that the suicide bomber in a Honda Civic Car, a fairly used vehicle, had crashed into the gates of a vocational training centre which is not far-away from the office of the Assistant Inspector-General of the zone. “I think their target was the Zonal AIG’s office but they could not breakthrough the water-tight security. “The impact of the suicide bombing however affected many structures within the complex. The Zone 1 Police Station was completely burnt. Many residential houses were razed too. The AIG’s residence is said to be within the complex. “While security agencies were grappling with the situation at the Zonal headquarters, simultaneous explosions were recorded in many places in the city.” Yesterday’s attack sparked commotion across the city with panicstricken motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians scampering for

their lives. The assailants were said to be mainly teenagers who launched their commando style invasion at about 5pm.They rode on motorcycles . They first struck at the Immigration Office, Farm centre,throwing a bomb into the compound.They then proceeded to shoot three Immigration officers dead.The bomb destroyed six vehicles parked in the complex. From there they moved to the nearby police Station giving the men and officers there no chance to escape.The number of casualties there was not immediately known. The situation appeared to have been brought under control by soldiers who were drafted there.The assailants ,on sighting the Armoured Personnel Carrier (ACP) brought by the soldiers took to their heels only to regroup elsewhere throwing bombs and shooting at the same time. Many fell in the process. An example was Channels TV’s Akogwu. Our reporter,Kolade Adeyemi who was with Akogwu,31,up to the last seconds writes: “We were at Government House when the bombs began to rain.We quickly left to go and find out what was happening.But as we approached the Farm Centre police station,some residents warned us to turn back.We parked our car while Akogwu got down with his camera to record the unfolding scene. “Within a few seconds he was out of sight with gun shots renting the air.Soon,some soldiers came around .The gun shots then subsided.I called Akogwu’s two lines which kept ringing but there was no response from him.I then tried to go and locate him only to find

•Continued from Page 2

•Smoke billowing at the background as residents scamper for their lives in Kano... yesterday

him in a pool of blood having been shot on the chest.He died on the spot. “Earlier in the day,we had both had an interview with the Police Commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.” The streets were deserted last night while armed soldiers patrolled the streets. The blast at the Police Zonal office tore away the building's roof and blew out the windows. "Scary," was the description given the attack by Yushau Shuaib,spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). "Multiple explosions at different spots targeting security agencies in Kano today,"he said in a text message,adding :"Rescue workers evacuating victims to hospitals." Spokesman for Boko

Haram,Abdu Qaqa said last night that the sect was behind the coordinated attacks because the state government refused to release its members who were arrested for alleged robbery. The police could not be reached for comments. But a top military officer said: “We have been directed to secure vital installations which are the targets of the members of the sect. “Some soldiers and Air Force personnel have been drafted out on 24-hour patrol of the city.” An official of the National Emergency Mana g e m e n t Agency,Mr.Abubakar Jibril said officials of the agency could not reach the scenes of the blasts because they were stopped by security forces. A cloud of smoke descended on the city on ac-

count of the explosions. The Federal Government recently declared a state of emergency in parts of the country in a bid to curtail the menace of the group,which on Christmas Day bombed St.Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, near Abuja.Over 40 worshippers abd passers by died in that incident. In a video released last week, Imam Abubakar Shekau, a Boko Haram leader, said the government could not handle attacks by the group. A l s o recently,President Goodluck Jonathan said he believed the sect has infiltrated security agencies and government offices in the country, though he has offered no evidence to back up the claim.

Diezani raises panel on oil industry reforms

T

HE planned reform and transformation of the petroleum industry got underway yesterday. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke set up a task force on Governance and Controls in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other

•Moves to eliminate rent- seeking and arbitrage parastatals under the ministry. The aim is to ensure transparency and accountability in the sector. The 11-man task force is headed by Mr. Dotun Sulaiman. It is charged with the responsibility of: Reviewing all management controls in

the NNPC and other parastatals; designing a new corporate governance code for ensuring full transparency, good governance and global best practices; designing a blueprint for separating policy from operations; setting key performance indices; and de-

signing a blueprint for eliminating all rent seeking opportunities and arbitrage in the system. Others are: Designing a blueprint for professionalism of management and personnel; designing a road map for transition to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB);and working with ex-

ternal consultants as may be required to produce a report within 30 days. Members of the committee are: Alhaji M. I.Yahaya, Mr. asil Omiyi, Mallam Mahmud IsaDutse, Chief Raymond Ihyembe, Dr.Ayebaemi Spiff, R. Ernest Ebi, Ms.Mairo Bashir, Mr.Ik Osakwe, Mr. Mac Ofurhe and Ms.Lois Machunga.

Bayelsa Governorship: INEC okays Dickson as PDP candidate

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HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday complied with an Abuja High Court order and restored the name of Hon. Seriake Dickson as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 11 election. Dickson would be handed the flag of the flag of the party on Monday at a grand rally. President

•To get flag on Monday Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja

Goodluck Jonathan and other top stalwarts of the party are billed to attend the rally. Meanwhile, governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were on Thursday conspicuously absent from the inauguration of

Save Nigeria Group calls off ‘Victory Rally’

the party’s National Campaign Committee for the Bayelsa State Governorship election. While the PDP after its primary election gave the ticket to Hon. . Dickson, most of the governors have stood behind Governor Timipre Sylva to retain the office in the forthcoming February 2012 election. Also absent were

Ministers, who are members of the party. Apart from the former Nasarawa State Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, no serving senator attended the inauguration. The committee, which is headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo was inaugurated following the Federal High Court, Abuja order directing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include the PDP candidate, Hon

Henry Seriake Dickson’s name among the list of candidates for the election. Inaugurating the 28 member committee yesterday, the Acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje maintained that the process which made Dickson as the flag bearer in the coming election was transparent and followed due process and laid down laws.

shocking option of using force to ensure compliance with his obnoxious fuel increase policy”. He added: “We owe it a duty to prevent the emergence of another civilian dictator in postObasanjo era. The deployment of troops for mere police duties does not attest to the maturity of our emerging democratic polity. It is also confounding that the right of citizens to hold peaceful protest as guaranteed in the constitution can be seized by a supposedly democratic government. “Our struggle should not be tailored towards the achievement of the freedoms of speech, assembly and association at this time. We are not in pre-1999 period. Let it be known that the fear of demonstration, the fear of protest, the fear of agitation, the fear of complaint against government policy is the first step in the unconscious attempt at derailing democracy and uprooting the very essence of the rule of law and constitutional order by the government”. However, Odumakin said that today’s protest would go on as scheduled, in spite of the presence of soldiers on Lagos streets. He said the rally would be peaceful like the ones held last week and urged security agencies to shun over-zealousness. Odumakin, who maintained that SNG had no affiliate group, ally or branch in Lekki, said: “We don’t know anything about “Occupy Lekki. There is no chapter of SNG in Lekki. The messages being circulated are not from SNG. The only rally we are organising is the victory rally at Ojota on Saturday.from 9 am, we will be at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, for the peaceful rally. “The fear of tear gas will not deter SNG. A government that cannot prevent the excape of Boko Haram suspect from police cell is deploying troops to Lagos. This government is not serious”. During the week, Bakare who addressed reporters at SNG office, Ikeja, explained the rationale behind today’s rally, saying: “As a mark of appreciation of the new found spirit of our people demonstrated in the five days of peaceful protest at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, we shall be holding a victory rally at the same venue on Saturday, January 21, 2012”. He added: “We must appreciate all members of the entertainment community in Nigeria who added colour to the five days at Ojota without charging us a kobo. Our gratitude also goes to good spirited Nigerians who without solicitation brought water and food to the crowd at Ojota as their own contribution to the nationbuilding project”.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

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N the evening of the day the Labor Unions called off the protests over the removal of the oil subsidy, and the government imposed the price of 97 naira a, decline from the 140 that sparked off the protests, I saw in the traffic, a sign post at the back of a danfo bus plying Ojo Cantonment and CMS bus stop which says –‘ Fear God, Respect Army‘. I moved closer to the vehicle to ensure that I was not hallucinating and it dawned on me that the sign was an old scribbling on the danfo and had nothing to do with the deployment of heavily armed soldiers and tanks on the major streets of Lagos by the Federal government to ensure that protesters do not come out again to protest the abrupt removal of the fuel subsidy. ‘Fear God , respect army’ could have been written on the danfo by an admirer of the traditional role of the army in protecting the father land as expected by the citizenry of any state. It could have been put there by the owner of the danfo who could have been an army officer. That danfo however plies that route carrying that innocuous message until last Monday when I saw it, and read ominous meaning to it given the circumstances that brought the army in to stop all protests on the subsidy removal. Indeed for a long time after seeing that danfo I could not make out whether that message it carried was an advice or an order. But the message gripped my attention and focus so much that I decided to make it the theme of my discussion today in terms its import for the practice of democracy in global terms. Readily three nations where the military was playing a critical role in their affairs in terms of security and stability in the last week came to mind and Nigeria, given the deployment of the army to stop democratic protests last week, is one of them. The other two are Pakistan and Egypt. To start, let me make a perfunctory statement on each before I proceed to illustrate the angle from which each nation is affected by the danfo sign post of ‘Fear God, respect army ‘. With Nigeria, the introduction of the army to quell a democratic protest very rudely and starkly reminded Nigerians that the army that they thought had been remanded in the barracks, is still a force to reckon with in our democracy and that really is a nightmare or hazard for our democratic process and stability. In Pakistan, bold but desperate politicians are daring the army to stage a coup because they feel the army is instigating the judiciary against the government of the day and that is a danger too to Pakistan’s democracy. In Egypt a presidential candidate withdrew from the presidential contests because according to him the army in power is behaving as if the street revolution that swept former President Housni Mubarak out of office had not happened. Starting with Pakistan, it is obvious that the politicians, the Supreme Court and the army have boxed

Democracy, the Military and Stability

themselves to a dangerous corner in the power struggle between them, and history is on the side of each in terms of courage and determination in that struggle. This week the Parliament passed a vote of confidence in the democratic process at the behest of Pakistani PM Gillani. After this the PM went to court on Wednesday to answer a court summons charging him for contempt for failing to act within the court’s deadline for charging some politicians the court had identified, including the President of Pakistan, for corruption. Historically in Pakistan the army has staged several coups since independence in 1947 to checkmate erring politicians reaching a climax when late General Zia UL Haq had late PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto executed after a coup. This has not however deterred the politicians in Pakistan like former subsequent PM Nawaz Sharif who flew to Pakistan at the risk of his life when told not to come by then military ruler General Pavez Musharaff who ordered the plane conveying Nawaz to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia instead, to avert obvious political murder. The judiciary too is no less brave as the CJ in Pakistan was once removed by the military under Musharaff for ruling that the general could not succeed himself in military uniform but must resign from the army first. It was the politicians who rallied round the judiciary

then to ensure that Musharraff not only resigned from the army but eventually left office. But now there is no love lost between the Supreme Court and the politicians as the politicians say the army is instigating corruption cases against politicians and the Supreme Court is playing ball. So really there is no shortage of mettle or courage on the part of the trio involved in the political imbroglio in Pakistan. Which means no matter how the issue is eventually resolved it is obvious that being an Islamic state politicians, judges and even the military fear God in Pakistan but have scant regard for the army after the Americans killed Bin Laden in a military town in the country right under the nose of an unsuspecting but incompetent military. So, the US ‘ disgrace of the Pakistani military over the Bin Ladin issue, the US funding of the Pakistani economy to fight terrorism via the politicians and the army with no positive results for the US, the renewed activism of the judiciary on corruption targeted at the politicians, have all become a nasty Gordian knot, difficult to unravel in the daily quest of all stakeholders to create security and stability in Pakistan and the world can only watch with baited breath and wonder on what will happen next . In Egypt where Parliamentary elections were on course

last week former International Atomic Energy Agency–IAEA–director, Nobel laureate and presidential candidate for post– Mubarak Egypt Mohammed Al Baradei was a lesson in frustration as he withdrew from the presidential elections saying that the army is still very much in charge. What Baradei is saying in so many words is that the military is still in charge even after the successful street revolt that ousted Mubarak, and Baradei is right. Initially the military was rattled by the fury of the Tahrir Square revolt in Cairo and the pressure from former friends of Egypt like the US, Britain and France that Mubarak should go. The military played along but was faceless in terms of leadership so as not to be consumed like Mubarak. But given events in Yemen and of recent in Syria the military in Egypt has become bolder and is asserting itself so that there is no power vacuum in the country. From all indications it would support the Islamic Brotherhood rather than submit to the will of the protesters asking for the execution of its former leader the bedridden prisoner Mubarak on trial for ordering the army to shoot street protesters in Cairo . Now the once faceless military leadership is asserting itself as its hitherto ‘hiding leader’ Field Marshall Tantawi, a Mubarak appoin-

tee and subordinate of four decades recently paid a state visit to nearby Libya which shows in clear terms that the army has recovered from the street revolution and is ready to recover whatever prestige or power it lost during the turbulent days of the protests. If the army is ready to cede power to the Islamic Brotherhood it stifled during the Mubarak era or make a bargain with them on power sharing as seem most likely, then the Cairo street revolts would have been in vain like Baradei so rightly observed., With regard to Nigeria the use of the army to intimidate protesters out of the streets was uncalled for because the protesters according to even the police were well behaved. In a nation where the army is fighting insurrection in Jos, the Boko Haram in the North, militancy in the Niger Delta and is expected to protect all Nigerians the use of the same army against mere protesters is an overreaction. I think that was a genuine mistake which hopefully will not repeat itself. I refuse to concede to the mischievous nagging thought in my head that the president might have learnt a few things on his visit to President Paul Kigame in Kigali in Rwanda. Kigame was an army general who has just been elected to a second term but who is notorious for strong arm tactics in dealing with his opponents one of whom was attacked by a hit squad even in exile in S Africa. Although it is said that evil communications corrupt good manners our president has nothing to learn from such leaders who are products of ethnic war, pogrom and genocide the like of which we never wish or pray for in Nigeria. Our major problems as at now roam around corruption; high cost of governance; economic mismanagement; the anxiety of our people over cost of living arising from the fear of future removal of the fuel subsidy; insecurity arising from the bombings of

Boko Haram and expulsion of Christians from the north and the threat to our stability from our side stepping these nagging problems; or applying wrong solutions that have no bearing on our unique circumstances as a big nation of many people and cultures with high hopes and expectations for a better life in a democracy. Needless to say the soldiers deployed to snuff out the protests are Nigerians too some of whom have been killed by Boko Haram and other insurgents roaming the nation and causing murder and mayhem in our cities. The army is to protect us against foreign aggression and they should be kept and used for that in our democracy given their well known history of coups and political misadventure that got us where we are now. The police instead should be made to face its duty of maintaining law and order while intelligence gathering should be funded and made proactive . The escape from prison of the Boko Haram Xmas day planner shows that Boko Haram has enemies in high places in our security institutions and not only the police like the president has said . Having said that however the same president should not have deployed the army he is using to fight terrorists against the people who voted overwhelmingly for him in the southwest especially Lagos . It was an action in bad taste that has generated bad blood which needs to be appeased in the interest of democracy . Good leaders thrive on rapport with their followers in spite of differences and difficulties . We look for signs of remorse from a president who has killed an ant with an hammer over a legitimate protest begging for resolution through dialogue and negotiations rather than the deployment of armored vehicles and AK 47s which have often been the hateful instruments for truncating democratic governments in the past in the chequered history of our nation.


READERS’ VIEWS

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Sovereign Wealth Fund:

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IGERIA is of much interest to us. The political class plays a game of chess with the people they are supposed to cater for. In the end, there is a lot of mistrust; having so far pushed the decision to establish the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Federal Government has no doubt made a bold statement that it is willing and ready to subscribe to global best practice in the management of its economic and financial resources. The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) replaced the Excess Crude Account (ECA). The ECA had been widely held to be inappropriate, in view of recent global trends. The ECA was also adjudged to have fallen short of meeting the basic standards for transparency and accountability. Beginning from the 27th of May 2011 when the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Bill received presidential assent, it is envisaged that excess income (income beyond the annual budgetary benchmark) from the exploitation of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources (mainly crude oil for now) will be channeled to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. Sovereign wealth fund could be defined as pools of money derived from a country’s reserve, which is set aside for investment purposes that will benefit the country’s economy and citizens. It is investment funds owned and managed by national governments. SWF, originally created in the 1950’s by oil and reserve producing countries to help stabilize their economies against fluctuating commodity prices and to provide a source of wealth for future generations. Although SWFs pose a complex challenge for policy makers. On one hand, SWFs are long term investment vehicles looking beyond quarterly results and therefore

THE NATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Its benefits to Nigeria serve as stable funding sources during financial turbulence. Then on the other hand, there are operational concerns stemming from government control (that is lack of transparency and possible non-commercial investment goals). Without transparency it is difficult to attain a clear picture of SWF investment activity. And this is the fear of most Nigerians concerning our own SWF. A lack of SWF transparency can also obscure government and risk management problems within SWF. SWFs are typically created when governments have budgetary surpluses and have little or no international debt. This excess liquidity is not always possible or desirable to hold as money or to channel into immediate consumption. This is especially the case when a nation depends on raw material exports like oil, copper or diamonds. In such countries the main reason for creating a SWF is because of the properties of resource revenue: high volatility of resource prices, unpredictability of extraction and exhaustibility of resources. The first sovereign wealth fund was established in Kuwait in 1953 as a means to help stabilize the economy from fluctuating oil prices. In 1956 the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati) established the revenue equalization reserve fund to manage profits from phosphate mining. Following Kuwait and Kiribati, the next major SWFs were created in the 1970s in the wake of the oil stock. The most recent wave

•Let Jonathan tell us the names of the people that form the cartel and we Nigerians will then take it from there! I guess that is quite simple. Babade J.O, Ekiti State, 08060180709 •Let the government add the money it has been using on pro-subsidy adverts to the N1.3tr it claimed had been spent on subsidizing petrol. We, college kids, know our problem areas. What we all know well and fear most is that this government can’t be trusted to build one kilometer of road even with the United States of America budget! 08038000809 •Subsidy is indeed a farce. The so-called palliatives are basic provisions not concessions in exchange for the removal of oil subsidy. 08080894728 •What has the government been doing with the capital votes every year? I believe this agitation for accountability and transparency in governance must be pursued to a logical conclusion. No more cajoling the masses. Pastor Odunmbaku, 07051594699

began in the 1990s with the Norway government pension fund-global in 1990 and continues to this day. In the last five years, funds have been established by China, Iran, Russia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

Benefits of SWF to Nigeria The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority is to act as an investment fund meant to promote the achievement of multiple economic objectives for the country. This in turn is expected to serve as an economic transformation mechanism impacting positively either directly or indirectly on most of the nations’ citizenry. From the moment crude oil was discovered sometime in 1956 in a community called Oloibiri in Nigeria, adequate measures would have been put in place to ensure the nation was not unduly exposed to the resource curse syndrome. The following are the benefits of fund: 1. Economic Competitiveness: The Nigerian economy will certainly become more attractive for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). The high level seriousness which the establishment

Conculsion: As young students, we believe in the future, we believe our future lies within the AGRICULTURAL SECTOR. Our oil reserves won’t sustain our fragile economy for too long. We need a way to provide funds to strengthen a much more profitable sector of the economy, the SWF is the answer. From all indications, SWF would be beneficial to Nigeria in the long run if used properly and is under HONEST supervision. By: 200 Level Students of Economics Department, Caleb University, Imota, Ikorodu, Lagos. Under the supervision of Njogo Bibiana (Mrs).

Reactions to Knucklehead Re: As the fuel subsidy farce continues…. President Jonathan on this and put him on the hot seat. This is best for our growth. Thanks. Peter, Esq., FCT, 08186334857 •Yomi, your position on the subsidy issue is accurate. However, you must respect the right of a security officer to defend himself. Is it not suicidal for anyone to confront an armed man, more so, one detailed to protect high ranking officer? Is it not bad enough that nobody has said anything about dead policeman? No. they are not human beings, not Nigerians either! Sunny, Portharcourt, 08033390480 •90% of the protesters joined the protest because the President offended our sensibilities as the December 2011 town hall meeting was already carrying some people along on subsidy removal. After all, the president watched

•Goodluck? What good luck? This man has brought more bad luck to us than any other Nigerian leader. Is this the fresh air? Transformation indeed! He said he has no enemy to fight but he has been killing us. May God deliver us from Brother Jona. Arc. Chigbo OMC, Bauchi, 08033666410

Nice submission. It would have been better if you have converted those Singaporean dollars to naira. We now know a litre of oil sells for 3 naira in Venezuela, 25 naira in Libya, 48 naira in Algeria, 28 naira in Qatar and 15 naira in Iran. On top of this, Prof. David West submitted that fuel price should not be more than 41 naira per litre in Nigeria. Rather than counter this realistic data, Jonathan and his crew are just relying on good luck. I therefore submit that, a country that looks up to a good luck will end up like a ‘kalokalo’ machine! •Kayode A, Abeokuta, 08073821313

Yomi, we have agreed for long on issues in knucklehead but on subsidy removal, I beg to differ. Your views are on the matter are idealistic, academic without the way out and not realistic. Sentiments apart, let us support

Dear Yomi, if the political leaders can forgo some of their excesses, the country will not need to remove fuel subsidy at a go. Imag-

•Yomi, thanks for the write-up of January 14. I hope the President listens to the voice of all the reasonable people that voted him in. Yet, I was surprised about some adverts in the papers with some persons introducing some ethnic colouration into this issue. It is obvious that these are people benefiting from the government to the detriment of their kinsmen. Please check the names of the sponsors of these adverts and you will know what I am talking about. Seye Akure, 08033894418

As noted previously, the recent growth of SWFs is a consequence of rapid growth in emerging market reserves driven by; 1. The impact of rising oil prices for Middle eastern economies and 2. Large trade surpluses, net foreign direct investment flows, and high savings rates among Asian economies. Reserve accumulation has been especially sharp in the case of china, where there has been extensive intervention in the foreign exchange markets to limit the yuan’s appreciation against the dollar.

of the NSIA will signal will be a good yardstick for measuring government’s commitment to the global standards of transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources. 2. Prudence in Resources Management: The culture of unrestricted spending of unanticipated income will be curtailed. Investments will be based on sound, clear and beneficial economic/financial parameters. 3. Availability of a Pool of Savings or Back-up Funds for future generations. 4. Availability of a Counter-Cyclical Economic Stabilization Fund: This will assist in smoothening budget variations in income over a period of time. 5. Availability of an Infrastructure Fund to provide intervention in critical areas of the Nigerian economy. The infrastructure deficit of Nigeria is a major challenge that requires massive investments in resources. This benefit will cut across different sectors in line with due to the multidimensional nature of the potential/actual interventions.

the debate, suggestions and decisions. The ministers of Finance and that of Petroleum Resources must have given a feedback to the President. So what led to the spontaneous January 1, 2012 pronouncement? An African adage says; ‘A message of slavery should be honourably delivered by an intelligent person’. Lanre Oseni, Lagos, 08033518726. •Yomi, I am afraid we are not asking one of the pertinent questions! President Jonathan has breached the 2011 Appropriation Bill by spending N1tr. over and above the budgetary allocation for fuel subsidy, which is financial recklessness, economic sabotage and an act of gross misconduct. Dr. Fehintola, UCH, Ibadan, 08055202959

of Nigerians of all shades are poised to resist, and force the return of subsidy. Whether the fuel price is reverted to N65 or not, Jonathan is the loser in the epic encounter. •Adeycosimi, Oshodi, Lagos, 07057631041 •Thanks for not keeping quiet in the face of tyranny and the betrayal of the masses by a clueless government. By the time the president returns to the creeks soon to pick his old canoe for fishing, he will know the real meaning of poverty this time around. It is like his shoeless background is making him a clueless leader. But the dustbin of history is full of leaders like him that rode to power on popular mandate but ultimately damaged the goodwill. •Elder Johnson Debo Adeoye, Ibadan, 08025195305

•Yomi, the agitation by labour and coalition

Re: How about the breath of fresh air? ine a public official having 22 vehicles being maintained by public fund in his office! Late last year in Ondo State, a certain legislator that has spent less than four years in office gave out N22 million worth of items in his constituency. The man needs to tell us how much he earns that enables him to give out such a huge goodies. Also EFCC has to be more interested in such lavish display of wealth. From Seye, Ibadan, 08033894418

at present? No. not with shootings/ bombings at will and the inhuman proclamation of subsidy removal on oil January 1, 2012 and January 6, 2012 insistence on policy non-reversal cum price-stay of N141. The president really meant business. One hopes he now possesses the mind and energy to contain the January 9, 2012 planned strike by the labour. Lanre Oseni, Lagos, 08033518726

•A journalist entertains by analyzing of issues. Where a leader gets it right, praise and caution. Where he is lagging, tongue lash, caution and proffer solution. President Jonathan should buckle down and accelerate. The country is drifting in most fronts and honestly speaking, this is not the time for dragging to ‘just’ follow Jonathan no matter what and how he does things especially when insecurity is progressing geometrically, economy crawling and infrastructure decelerating! Do we even have a breath of fresh air

Happy new year Yomi, I think you should also ask the nitwits in Jonathan’s Economic team, who think they are wiser than everybody, how the importation of 1600 ‘diesel’ buses would benefit the Nigerian economy? Boosting the economy of other nations is their idea of palliative, isn’t it? Seems also nobody is asking the CBN governor to publish data on the continuous depletion of our foreign reserves. Do we keep the economy in top shape by depleting our foreign reserves or keeping people on the job in other nations while our own youths roam the

streets in spite of the huge influx of cash from crude oil sales? These people really think Nigerians are dumb, don’t you think, yomi? Olu, 08033013597 •Good afternoon Yomi, I do not expect to read a radical departure from your line of thought, reason being that you are driven by a supposed passion without sufficient openmindedness to situate the import of certain actions you would want Mr. president to take. Could you be kind enough to read the interview of the ever amiable Prof. Bola Akinyemi where he was asked to advise the President on how to tackle Boko Haram? Nation building is not a tea party where every opinion or action suffices. If people like Akinyemi reasons the way he does, then certain reactions of those of us outside need modification. However, that’s not to say I disagree with you on other national issues as regards the government and the polity. Mr. Kedi. 08027795840.


Life & style 41

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rise The The rise of of female female producers roducers p

• Subsidy strike was like honeymoon in our homes, say housewives

Day I sneaked out of Govt House

-Osun Governor’s wife, Sherifat Aregbesola

Weekend

PEOPLE THE NATION, Saturday, JANUARY 21, 2011

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An old man like me does not run for nothing; the horror brought to Yobe State by Boko Haram is too much to be described by words of mouth, but I thank God, no member of my family was harmed. I brought them safely to Jos but as for our house, we can’t tell...

’ Emergency refugees

The story of Yobe natives fleeing from Boko Haram -


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OR President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and millions of Nigerians, things may never be the same again. In just two weeks, the President, who rode into office on massive support and enormous goodwill across the country, lost much of it. He has emerged badly bruised for the sudeen removal of fuel subsidy, leading to massive protests, which virtually shut down the nation for a whole week. It was unprecedented. The direct beneficiaries of government’s low rating, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), though received nationwide applause for calling out the stike, they also were given some knocks by some Nigerians who believed that they abandoned the struggle midway. But as life gradually returns to normal, Nigerians have been counting the losses incurred from the six-day strike. And though the price of petrol has been reduced from N141 to N97, the product, as at press time was still not readily available. There were queues in most filling stations in Lagos and other major cities. Hawkers of petrol in jerry cans continued to enjoy patronage as citizens who were eager to move on with their lives bought just five litres for as much as N1,000. Though analysts have put the loss by both public and private organisations at between N500 billion and N800 billion, but in a country where millions do business outside the formal sector, the loss could be more. For artisans, traders, drivers, and other class of business people who are neither members of the NLC or TUC, what was lost to the strike is simply immeasurable. In Lagos, it is one tale of woe or another as respondents who spoke to The Nation lamented their losses. When the strike was declared, Emem Akpan, a bus driver in Ojuelegba, Surulere was happy. “When the price was increased to N141, virtually all of us were not happy, because it affected our business badly. We all co-operated with labour, but we were disappointed when they called off the strike, what is the difference between the new price, we could just have appealed to government to reduce the price instead of embarking on strike and losing a fortune and abandoning the fight mid-way. Personally, I lost close to N40, 000 for the seven days that I did not work. Next time when Labour calls us, all the drivers in Ojuelegba will not join them; we have made up our mind not to heed their call again. Only Save Nigeria Group can call and we will heed their call,‘’ said Akpan. Mrs Yomi Badejo is a drink supplier along Ponle Street, near Moshalashi bus stop, Ipaja, Lagos. She said the removal of subsidy has affected her business badly. “Since the removal of the subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan, things have not been easy. In fact, life has been tough. Drinks business that used to boom for us have now become a dull one. For instance, before the subsidy, customers who used to buy up to about N3,000 worth of drinks from me now come and buy just less than N1,000 because they don’t have money and their own customers are complaining too. “I will say that the situation in the country is very bad. And it is not only my business that has been seriously and drastically affected, even daily survival. And as you can see, it is not only my own customers that have been complaining; it is everybody. Coupled with the increment in the price of the fuel, everyone is now forced to cut his or her coat according to size. We all have to adjust. The difference in the cost of everything is just too much. “And the last six days were quite hellish if I must confess. But I thank God that He took over because if not, we don’t know how things would have turned out in the country today. But I still believe that the government can help us to reduce the price. Life for the common man has not been easy.” Nureni Lawal, a tailor, said if the government had reverted back to N65, it would have justified the loss he incurred as a result of the strike. “All my machines need to be powered by electricity. With PHCN epileptic supply of power, I use generator all day; with new price of N97, the cost of sewing will go up. I don’t know how we will make ends meet. I wish Labour had not abandoned the strike mid way, we could have achieved our objective”. Emmanuel Chukwu, a rug dealer at Positive Strokes Stores, Akowonjo, Lagos, said: “I know that the idea of subsidy is well- intentioned for Nigeria. The only area I am personally opposing it is the timing and the way it was introduced on Nigerians. The time government imposed it on Nigerians is very bad. Everybody has just finished spending money on Christmas and the New Year. “I have been selling rugs for the past seven years. Well, it may not be easy to give you daily assessment of what we make in our business because no two days are ever the same in terms of sales. Sales since January 1, especially with

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

‘How subsidy strike

•Emmanuel Chukwu, rugs dealer

•Beji Olukayode THOMAS; Joke KUJENYA; John OFIKHENUA, Abuja; Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano; Jide ORINTUSIN, Minna; Damisi OJO, Akure; Bisi OLADELE and Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan the subsidy palaver and later, the strike, business has been very bad. Before the whole problems, for instance, we used to make between N50,000 and N100,000 per day. And because we did not open throughout the six days of the strike, I tell you, things have been harder. Since we opened today (Tuesday) for instance, no sales. No one has even walked in to ask us how much we sell a yard of rug for that matter.” However, Prince Chidiebere Isaac, a businessman at Dopemu, Lagos, vehemently defending the subsidy, said: “As Nigerians, I believe that we all joined hands in choosing who our leader should be. And since we have made President Goodluck Jonathan our choice, I believe that he hasn’t come to spoil Nigeria. What we need is to allow him to lead Nigeria in the way he knows. Whenever something good has to come to people, it often comes with some pains. “On the subsidy and the strike, both of them ‘don tire me. I just pray make government and Labour leave us alone. Dem tell us make we no go work, we no go work, so, we no get money. Now, me I go say Labour was not so good to us because after them tell us say make we no go work, and people no get money at all, them come settle for N97 and say, go back to work again. Ah, Labour do bad, I beg. Labour wicked us by making us poor more when dem know say dem no fit fight to finish for us. Na that one be my own. Business wey no good before don bad more. Our customers no get money to patronise us again as their own business too don fail. Our economy is getting bad as Nigeria dey ‘old’, things cannot be the same for our nation,” he said in Pidgin English Solomon Asanye, an Okada rider said: “Both the subsidy and the strike really affected our own business very badly. Since the subsidy was announced on January 1, business has been terrible, I must confess. And when we even tried to do our business since after the subsidy was introduced, the rate at which we were buying

•Mr. Ralph Okoye, a

•Jonathan Vasta fuel has been so high that when we charge passengers, they leave us to go and enter bus. Our charges are now very high. And it is not our fault because we too have to make gain from the fuel we ‘buy’. Today (Tuesday), for instance, I bought two litres of fuel for N250. Now, imagine how many passengers I will carry before I could think of making my own profit. So, it really affected not only our businesses, but even our families.” Ralph Okoye, a commercial bus driver, also lamented: “I have been in this business for over five years but I have never experienced the kind of tough times we have faced since January 1 and worsened by the strike of last week. You know that before the subsidy, we were all buying fuel at N65. Then, we were having more number of passengers patronising us. But after the subsidy, the price of fuel went up and so we too raised our transport fare and sometimes, we would be on the queue for longer than before to load our buses. I want to say, however, that though the six days we stayed at home were for the good of everybody, both on the side of the government and Labour, but they need to realise that life for the common man is very tough at these times. I urge them to be more considerate and make life easy for us because that was why we voted them into power.”

•Prince Chidiebere Isaac, businessman A retired Customs Officer, who now sells drinks at Olugbede Shopping Complex, Orelope, Lagos, Mrs. Christiana Ishola, was about to open her shop for the day’s business when The Nation reporter got to her. She said: “The removal of subsidy by President Jonathan has affected us very badly. Before the removal, sales have been very poor because it was even hard for us to make profits due to high cost of everything. Now, plus subsidy crisis, a person like me of average wage, if I could be complaining, you then need to imagine how a very low income person would be wailing. Then, we still have those ones we call the lessprivileged people. “A carton of small stout before the subsidy removal was sold for N3, 100; but now, it goes for close to N4, 000. So, with that gap, business has been bad. The last Christmas season was very dull because if you came here, you would hardly believe that there was anything going on in the world. We recorded very poor patronage because people did not buy drinks as they used to do. And that was a time we used to look forward to high sales. The difference between this time and years back is so wide. “So, it is really hardship that they have brought on Nigerians. And that is why I personally appreciate Labour for fighting our battle for

What pained me most in the inferno was the damage done to my library. Having practised for 20 years, I have tried to build my library to an appreciable level and today I am left with nothing. I feel bad. The library and my secretary’s office were the engine rooms of the chamber and I lost the two vital places to the fire


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

e affected us’

•Mr. Ralph Okoye, a commercial bus driver

•Mr. Solomon Asanye, Okada rider the last six days by organising the strike. I feel sorry for government because they have not even been able to explain clearly for us to understand what ‘subsidy removal’ really means so that the common man can have good understanding. And this lapse even exposed our government more. So, it shows Nigeria is going nowhere yet. Because people were not aware of their atrocities very well before, but in the last few days, everybody now knows better what has been going on inside the government. Nigerians are now very aware of what the government is doing with our resources. And what we are hearing is not making us very happy at all. They should stop playing with our lives and the future of our children.” For Daniel Akinola, CEO, Shodan Travels & Tours Ltd, a travelling agent, “Our outfit has been in operation for about two years, but we have not witnessed the kind of lull we are currently experiencing in business lately. You know this is a kind of essential business. But since the so-called removal of subsidy, everything has really gone down. And the last six-days of strike have not been easy, to say the least. Really before the close down of shops and businesses across the country, the first week of the year with the subsidy news, the few people that came to patronise us were full of complaints. Then the strike week grounded our business and even family lives. I even became sick because I am not the type of a person that can afford to be idle for too long. It is just painful that at the end, no matter what you do or even Labour did, the government would always have their way. But I thank God for allowing President Jonathan to at least listen to the cry of the people. If not, it was obvious with the way Nigerians were ready to fight for their rights, the strike could have resulted in a bloody scenario that could be hard to contain. I just pray that now that everything is over with, our businesses will pick up for the better again.” n Minna, the capital of Niger State, it was the same tales of woes. For Jonathan Vatsa, an estate surveyor and an activist, the loss during the six days anti-fuel subsidy removal

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protests was better seen as gains. According to him, his block making site in Minna may have made some sales and recorded some profits during the sit-at-home protest by the organised labour, he saw the shutting down of production line as a sacrifice that all well-meaning and lovers of Nigeria must make. “To be honest, I never saw the period that way. It was an opportunity for me to make sacrifice for the future of this country and that of our children. Yes, I would have made some gains, but of what benefit is it if I mortgage my future and that of my children for the few gains of today. The period to me was for sacrifice and I am happy I did it and I will be ready to make more of such sacrifices.” Vatsa, who is also the national coordinator of National Democratic Front (NDF), a prodemocracy group, said counting losses during the protest against “leadership insensitivity” would amount to an unpatriotic act. “Nigerians should not only be ready to part with their money, but possibly with their lives for the survival of this country. I think we should be counting the gains and not the losses of the protests. “It will be defeatist if we start to count losses. To me, the six-day strike was a huge gain. It helped to reunite Nigerians. Irrespective of tribe, religion or sex, we all came together, bury our differences and spoke with one voice. To me, it was a gainful moment. The protest also helped to send signals to our leaders that we can no longer be taken for granted. If Nigerians could endure for one week and were still willing to go on, our leaders should watch out. “But for the protest, all the shoddy deals in NNPC that are now being exposed would have gone under cover. The protests have further brought to the fore the need for good governance, accountability and transparency in government. For me, the protests were gainful and I will be ready to close shop for another week”. But by far one of the worst hit individuals, perhaps across the country, would be Barrister Tanko Beji. His was a very sour story to tell. It

had taken him almost two decades to build his law firm, but within a twinkle an eye, all he laboured for went up in flames. His beautiful law firm office, one of the best in Minna, in fact described as the most beautiful architectural piece in the town, a one-storey glass house edifice had all the glasses smashed before it was set ablaze by protesters. Recounting his loss, Beji, who is also the deputy chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he was the worst hit. For the Gwari-born lawyer turned politician, the six-day anti-fuel subsidy protests shook him to his professional foundation. According to him, “The entire building of my law firm was razed down by fire and all the contents in the office were burnt. It is going to be difficult for me to quantify the loss. No matter how hard I try, I know I cannot, because I may not recollect some things now, some may be missing now. So, it will be difficult to give the value in naira and kobo.” Beji believed that his ordeal was politically motivated. Hear him: “What pained me most in the inferno was the damage done to my library. Having practised for 20 years, I have tried to build my library to an appreciable level and today I am left with nothing. I feel bad. The library and my secretary’s office were the engine rooms of the chambers and I lost the two vital places to the fire. “I started building the burnt library 19 years ago. If you take the Weekly Law Reports alone for the past 19 years, you can imagine what it will cost. This is aside from other valuable law books and my electronics. Honestly, without exaggerating, my office and indeed the library were so equipped in such a way that when you go there, you are sure you get the best of service any top law firm can offer. But all went with the flames within a twinkle of an eye,’’ he lamented. Beji said he was at home when at about 7:45am, he was alerted that a group of young boys were around his chambers and before he could reach his security officer on duty, the irate youths had set the office on fire. “By the time I got to my office and I saw the level of damage, I was unable to stand the sight of the destruction. I went back home and when I summoned courage the next day to visit my office, I was taken aback by the level of destruction”. Beji vehemently denied the allegation that he lost bags filled with money to the hoodlums that set his office ablaze. “For me and the firm, there was no money in the office. I had no kobo in the office, talk less of keeping money in ‘Ghana must go bags’ in the office. To the best of my knowledge, the only money lost to the hoodlums and the inferno was N130,000. The money was the balance of the N400,000 contributed by some permanent secretaries for the Beji Central Mosque under construction. I had no money in the office. I did not fill any bag with money in my office.” Down but not out, Beji has vowed to remain focused. “They have done their worst, but I know I am coming out stronger from the ruins of my office. I am strong in my faith. It is just that I will have to start all over again”, he said with philosophical equanimity. n the same vein, as socio-economic activities gradually pick up in the ancient commercial city of Kano, following the suspension of the strike over fuel subsidy removal by the organised Labour, business owners in the city are now counting their losses, which they say amount to several billions of naira. Those worst hit are operators in the Organised Private Sectors (OPS) and those in the informal sector of the economy, who were forced to shut their operations for six days the strike lasted. For this set of people, the last few days since the end of the strike represent an immense struggle for recovery from the pains, agony and even outright misery occasioned by the crippling action. Manufacturers in the ancient city are writhing in what some of them described as colossal losses, which would no doubt take several months if not years to fully recover from. Our correspondent in Kano travelled down to Bompai Industrial Estate, which is at the out skirts of the ancient city, to ascertain the extent of losses suffered by the industrialists. Kano is one of the textile hubs of the nation, and textile manufacturers at the industrial layout have a harvest of complaints. Speaking to The Nation on the impact of the nationwide shut down of commercial activities, the Director of Holborn Nigeria Limited, one of the textile companies in Kano, Alhaji Mukhtar Muhammad Kwaru, disclosed that his company lost more than N300 million to the strike. According to him, the losses were as a result of several man-hours that the company missed as a result of the directive of Labour to shut down marketing and sale outlets of the company, where products of the company are usually delivered to consumers. “From what you can see, owners of private

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business ventures are the most affected by the strike. In our company alone, the loss we have computed runs into about N300 million. We are talking of the total loss suffered because of the shutdown of operations by the company. Even up till now, the company is still suffering as things are yet to come back to normal. However, I am happy that finally, the strike seems to have come to an end, and we are back to production,” Kwaru noted. He further lamented that the company is under obligation to pay workers’ salaries even though productivity was at its lowest ebb in the month of January. “We are now compelled to look for a way out to pay our workers’ salaries by the end of the month.” The tanneries are also not left out. They suffered immeasurable losses, and are now biting their fingers. At one of the tanneries, the stench of rotten skins and hides that could not be preserved during the strike has made surrounding environs very appalling. The raw skins, most of them procured for processing before the strike action, have decayed and the only option left to them now is just to throw them away. Similarly, Jagdeesh Manglani, who is also a director with Jaykay Carpet Industries Limited, the biggest carpet manufacturing company in the state, said the strike impacted negatively on the company. “The strike has affected our company in a very big way. The loss is in form of revenue that the company would have got, if the strike had not occurred. I don’t want to mention figures, but in our estimate, it runs into several millions of naira. We are praying that the resolution reached between Government and Labour will last,” he stated. Ordinary Nigerians, who have to work on a daily basis to make a living, now wear faces that clearly suggest that the strike dealt a decisive blow on them. A butcher at the Kano Central Market, popularly called Sabon Gari Market, Mallam Abdulrasheed Olasa’id, recounted his ordeal during the strike, saying: “I slaughtered two cows but was unable to sell a large portion of the meat, and they have gone bad now. I lost about N110,000.00. The only option left for me now is to contact my friends to give me a helping hand to enable me stand on my feet. And if that is not possible, the only alternative is to go a borrowing, because even my capital has been exhausted because market or no market, I have to feed my family.” An operator of a popular internet café in Kano, known as M & M Café, Mr. Aaron Agyimanku, recalled that the six-day strike left his business practically paralysed. “Within the eight days of the strike, I lost close to a quarter of a million naira because patronage was very low because customers do not have enough money to spare for browsing,” he cried. Mallam Shuaibu Hasheem re-echoed the woes suffered by his counterparts in the internet business, saying: “If the strike had lingered, my business would have collapsed.” For many Nigerians, the strike left behind an untold hardship. But beyond the losses suffered by the people of the state, the general consensus among Nigerians is that the lessons from the strike and the protest rallies should never be lost. n Ondo State, a human rights activist and lawyer in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Charles Titiloye, who served as a member of the technical committee set up by NLC to spearhead the recently suspended strike on oil subsidy removal, said his losses could not be quantified in naira and kobo, stressing that for the period the stay-at-home order lasted, he could not go to his chambers or attend court session. Besides, Titiloye said his numerous clients were confined to their respective homes, thereby depriving him of his earnings. He, however, described the action of Labour calling off the strike over the N97 per litre offered by the Federal Government as a betrayal of trust reposed in them by the people. According to him, “the implication of the new price regime is that the cost of living will be expensive. He noted that lawyers would be reluctant to handle cases for indigent clients in view of the high cost of such brief. Titiloye, who served the NBA Akure branch as its secretary for many years, said: “Unless the government and NBA intervene, the ‘pro bono’ services rendered by lawyers to indigent clients would no longer be available, saying access to justice would be adversely affected. He urged Nigerians to take their destiny in their hands because their leaders think more of themselves and guided by survival instinct not the need to protect the interest of the masses. Also,the immediate past Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ranti Akerele, said the strike created untold hardship for the masses. According to him, he remained indoors through out the six days, stressing that many

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012 drivers because if we do not work on a daily basis, we cannot feed ourselves and our family members, bearing in mind that none of us was prepared for the nation wide strike. It came at a time we were not expecting. We had to feed from hand to mouth during that crisis. “Our loss is unquantifiable because some people even lost their loved ones during that period as a result of their inability to afford the hospital bills and most of us are still wallowing in debt. I do not think we can pay up on time because we are short of passengers. People are not able to afford the transport fare. So taxis that normally go up to 10 trips in a day now find it had to attain five trips per day. That is the reality.” he nationwide action may have come and gone but it is regrettable that some victims are yet to quench the ember of the fire that the action ignited. Although it was only a six-day-old strike, victims who recounted their experiences of losses to our correspondent, lamented as if the industrial action lasted for a month. To some, the labour movement and the Federal Government should have averted the quagmire that engulfed the entire country. To others, it was a cause worth dying for since freedom is not free. Mr. Yakubu Jibrin, a small scale transporter at Yateco Enterprises in Deidei market of the Federal Capital Territory, canvassed the former view in a chat with The Nation. He out rightly condemned the unions for declaring a strike that shut down the economy. Jibrin was mostly worried that had the labour movement allowed him to work, he would have transported goods for his clients according to be cost of fuel. He added that he was making more money than he did prior to the withdrawal of subsidy. However, his opponent, who seemed to have a rudimentary idea of economics was quick to counter the view as he simply said: “A time will come that your N20,000 cannot purchase what you used to buy for N8,000. For example, your children’s school proprietor will definitely recoup their own cost by transferring the burden to you through increased fees.” In the case of the President, Association of Miners and Processors of Barite, Chief Steven Alao, the story is different . Alao, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Fugard Nig Ltd, depicted the strike as a “total loss of production hours.” While stressing the irony of his own situation, he noted that he could not enforce the ‘no work , no pay’ principle of the Federal Government. In other words, he said: “Despite that there was a total loss of production hours, I have to pay my staff who observed the strike.” His colleague, the National President of the Miner Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sanni Shehu, described the losses as unquantifiable. While driving home his point, he noted that banks were not opened for him to withdraw money . Besides, he said even if he had the money, there was no market to spend it. The miners’ helmsman simply concluded that everybody was a victim. Another businessman, a petroleum marketer, who is a member of the Independent Petroleum Marketer Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), who spoke in confidence, said : “I don’t know if the bank that lent me some money will accept the explanation that there was an industrial action when they calculate the interest.” He added: “What people don’t know is that we enjoy going on strike but it is not so. If you obtain a facility, you become worried whenever there is no movement.” The strike, according to Mr. Jacob Iku, who is the Managing Director, Jalik Motors Enterprise, was a sheer waste of time, colossal loss of money and opportunity. He noted that the strike unsettled him, especially as his movement and that of his customers who had appointment with him was curtailed. Iku noted that the labour movement and government who shied away from negotiation before the commencement of the industrial action eventually settled the crisis on a negotiation table. “The strike was entirely a colossal loss. The unions and government should have negotiated before the strike, but they turned down negotiation and later negotiated when losses were already incurred,” he lamented. Speaking with The Nation, a secondary school proprietor, who pleaded for anonymity, lamented that despite the loss of study hours, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) will examine his students this year.

‘How subsidy strike affected us’ •Continued from Page 15 Nigerians who voted for President Jonathan did not bargain for this. He said:“I am pained and I know that many are in my shoes. I have the right to protest the unjust increase in fuel pump price.” Akerele said Jonathan and his cabinet members failed in the manner they communicated the removal of oil subsidy to Nigerians, saying that the President used military language to speak to the citizenry. A leading newspaper distributor in Adegbola Junction,Akure, Mr. Bayo Olabode a.k.a S&B, described the six- day strike due to oil subsidy removal as hellishs. According to him, “there was visible and unprecedented distruption of our business (newspapers sales and distribution); we experienced low sales from our prospective customers and readers.” He noted that in Ondo, being a civil service state, most of their sales are direct supplies to ministries and parastatals. Olabode said newspaper agents and vendors found it extremely difficult to make profit on their sales because of low patronage. However, he enthused that since the strike had been called off, vendors are back on the streets and business has picked up again. Mrs. Wumi Olatoye, a manager in one of the pure water production factories in Akure, said the company lost a substancial amount of money during the six-day strike which she attirbuted to low patronage and high cost of fuelling. According to her, immediately the oil subsidy was removed on January 1, “there was no option other than increasing our price of a bag of pure water from N70 to N140 in order to meet up with the production cost; and with this development, our sales dropped tremendously, and we reduced our turn out. The N141 per litre was injurious. It affected all businesses, however; we expect normalcy before the weekend runs out. An okada operator plying Adegbola-AyedunGrammar School area in Akure, James Okoye, lamented that the strike brought untold hardship to his entire household. He said while it lasted, he could not meet up with the payment of his daily contribution and that forced him to be indebted to the tune of N8,000, which he is now struggling to offset. Okoye said his family members were completely starved during the sit-at-home order, stressing that the few food items they stocked at home before the strike had been exhausted. He said: “It got to a stage when I pleaded with my wife to visit her mother who resides in Akure to secure some quantity of garri and rice for us to eat when there was no alternative”. everal entrepreneurs, commercial drivers and artisans are still counting their losses in the six days’ strike and street protests that paralysed economic activities in Ibadan and other parts of Nigeria over government’s removal of fuel subsidy. In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, dealers in used vehicle spare parts complained of losing huge sales and profits during the period. For a business that sees many of them realise about one N1 million weekly with a good profit margin, the protests and strike dealt a blow to their expectation. Some of the traders who spoke to The Nation lamented that the situation was worsened by the fact that they had spent so much during Christmas with the expectation to neutralise some of the expenses during January sales. Besides, sales are now down due to the increased pump price, which they explained has taught many vehicle owners to reduce journeys and ultimately maintenance of their vehicles. “If somebody has three cars, he will now think twice before he allows the family to put the three cars on the road at the same time due to the rising cost of petrol and other maintenance costs. Definitely, you see people embarking on only compulsory journeys and wait until after the homefront is settled before going for spare parts for their vehicles. You can see for yourself that customers have compared to what we were experiencing before the crisis. People are resetting their priorities due to increasing expenses and you cannot blame them. That is the situation we have found ourselves in the business now,” lamented a dealer who is simply identified as Ugochukwu. The dealer, however, explained that the total blame may not fully go to the subsidy crisis as he noted that business is usually dull in January and early part of February. Ugochukwu urged both the organised labour and the government

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•Mrs Yomi Badejo, drinks supplier

•Mr. Daniel Akinola, CEO, Shodan Travels & Tours Ltd

Our loss is unquantifiable because some people even lost their loved ones during that period as a result of their inability to afford the hospital bills and most of us are still wallowing in debt. I do not think we can pay up on time because we are short of passengers. People are not able to afford the transport fare. So taxis that normally go up to 10 trips in a day now find it had to attain five trips per day. That is the reality

to always find an amicable means of resolving their differences in a way that will enable ordinary Nigerians to do their businesses peacefully. Lamenting its loss to the protest, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC (PHCN) yesterday released a statement detailing the huge loss it suffered in the protest during which its office was set on fire. The statement by the Principal Manager (Public Affairs), Mr Jide Oyenuga, explained that some irate youths numbering about 2000 “marched to the newly created Business Unit at Olorunsogo Bust Stop on the Lagos-Ibadan Road on Tuesday January 10, 2012 and looted the entire office.” It added that the mob carted away computers, air conditioners, stationery, office equipment, furniture and cash receipting machines. It further noted that the items were newly purchased between November and December, last year. According to the statement, a batch of eight policemen were drafted to strengthen the five men on site when the police were informed

but that the mob overpowered them and looted the office. “The mob later set the Business Unit and the 11 KV control room on fire completely destroying the two buildings and all the valuable equipment that included control room panels, a set of batteries, fire extinguishers, furniture and air conditioners,” the statement added. The company also stated that eight different vehicles parked on the premises were set ablaze by the hoodlums, adding that the actual loss cannot be immediately quantified but that it runs into several millions of Naira, “taking into account the two buildings, power equipment, the vehicles, computers and office equipment either carted away or destroyed.” In their own experience, commercial drivers in the city described the protest as a shock. According to them, they did not prepare for the protest which saw them lose a week income. A transporter, Mr Akeem Ajagbe, who spoke to The Nation, said: “It has really affected we

• Subsidy strike was like honeymoon in our homes, say housewives —Pg51


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Man accused of beating girlfriend to death for seeing her with another man •I’m not responsible for her death — Suspect

•Martha’s body

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When Martha noticed that Agbonrin was becoming angrier while seeing off her visitor, she said she would make out time in the evening to explain to him. Shortly after, they both left her shop for Agbonrin’s home in the evening not knowing that he was nursing a sinister agenda against her

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•Adeola

I

T looks like one of those fictional stories commonly seen in Nollywood movies but it is real. Two lovebirds, Adeola Agbonrin and Martha Farinmade, started on a lovely note, but their relationship later

Kunle AKINRINADE became tempestuous and ended on a tragic note. Sheer jealousy was said to have overwhelmed Agbonrin, when

he saw his girlfriend with a male acquaintance and he could not stomach it. He allegedly invited her to his house that night and beat her to death during a quarrel over the incident. It all started in the early hours of January 6, 2012, when the deceased fashion designer hosted a man said to be her acquaintance in her shop located in front of her residence at No 30, Majolate Street, Mushin, Lagos. Trouble, however, began when the deceased was sighted by the suspect while seeing off her visitor. On sighting the deceased with the man, Agbonrin became furious and he allegedly threatened a showdown with the deceased for her ‘despicable’ attitude. To convince Agbonrin that she was still faithful to him, the 34year-old deceased was said to have visited him at his residence on No 32, Awoyokun Street, Mushin, which is a short distance from her residence. But unknown to her, she was embark-

•Martha’s mother

ing on a journey of no return. A hot argument soon ensued between the duo and an apparently enraged Agbonrin allegedly dealt several blows on the deceased. The battered Farinmade gave up the ghost shortly after, while the suspect allegedly took her body in a wheel barrow in the wee hours of January 7, 2012 and dumped it in a gutter close to the residence of the deceased at No. 30, Majolate Street, Mushin. A highly placed source, who spoke in confidence, recalled the Farinmade’s last moments before her untimely death. “”We were together in her shop that very day when the man (her visitor) who was passing by stopped to say hello to her. She wanted to order food for him but he declined. We were all chatting together inside the shop when

Agbonrin, who was passing by, sighted us and became angry seeing another man with his girlfriend, not knowing that her visitor was just an acquaintance. But Martha decided to ignore him because of her conviction that she had not wronged or engaged in promiscuity of any kind. “When Martha noticed that Agbonrin was becoming angrier while seeing off her visitor, she said she would make out time in the evening to explain to him. Shortly after, they both left her shop for Agbonrin’s home in the evening not knowing that he was nursing a sinister agenda against her. “We learnt that on getting there, Martha was subjected to severe beating by Agbonrin while the hapless tenants of the


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Man accused of beating girlfriend to death for seeing her with another man

•The house where Martha lived

•The drainage where the body of Martha was allegedly dumped

“A few minutes later, he called to inform me that he had just been given a job somewhere which was strange because he does not call to inform me about his itinerary. I then summoned the courage to ask him to come over and that my daughter was sick. He probably thought she had miraculously come back to life and that was the trick that made him to come over because he had earlier told me on the phone that he was so busy. He was lucky that the Police were on hand by the time he arrived; otherwise sympathisers would have lynched him to death. “He was subsequently arrested by the Police and I am sure the spirit of my daughter would never let him escape justice. He is such a callous man. Even his mother and other members of their family came here to sympathise and plead with me, but I have told them that all I want is for justice to be done on this matter.“ A source, who asked for anonymity, recalled what transpired that night at Agborin’s residence. “That night, as soon as he got home with the lady, he dragged her into his room and started beating her for daring to date another man. A female relation of his even knocked severally on his door in a bid to stop him from further beating the lady, who was then shouting for help but he refused to oblige her. Then, after sometime, the noise from his room went down and it was thought that they had settled their quarrel, not knowing that the lady had died.” At the Ilupeju Police Division on Monday January 9,2012,where the suspect was initially detained before being transferred to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department(SCID) Panti Street,

,

building could not do anything to rescue her from the grip of her boyfriend while she was being beaten and crying. We gathered that the tenants felt all was well when the noise from Agbonrin’s room suddenly went down, not knowing that she had given up the ghost.” When our correspondent visited the residence of the deceased, the septuagenarian mother Mrs. Elizabeth Farinmande, amid tears opened up her mind on the incident. She said: ”I have always had my reservations about my daughter’s relationship with Adeola Agbonrin because I have a feeling that he lacks the character of a well brought up person. When I told my late daughter about my instinct, she explained that there was no one that God cannot change and that she believed that God would use her to change him. And truly, she made efforts to change him by persuading him to worship with her in a branch of a white garment church she attended. “Then, not too long ago, she had a feud with him; he brutalised her by dipping his fingers into her eyes and beat her mercilessly. When I learned about the incident, I summoned him and warned him never again to raise his hands on my daughter because her father never for once beat me. He apologised and even sent text messages to her brothers promising not to beat her again.” In one of the text messages sent to a brother to the deceased on December 21, 2011, Agborin had apologised for his action, promising to turn a new leaf. The message reads: ”To err is human and to forgive is divine. I know I have offended you so much and nothing of such will never (sic) repeat itself again. I beg of you, please draw me nearer to you. I have realised my mistake and I promise to make amendment (sic).” The crest-fallen mother of the deceased explained further how Agborin had brought his siblings to her in order to convince her of his readiness to marry her daughter. “He later brought his siblings to me promising to formally seek the hands of my daughter in marriage. I told them that I had given my daughter one of the shops in my house so as to make her self-reliant and that he should behave himself very well if he really desired my daughter as wife. “On the day of the incident, I was at home when words got to me that Agborin was fuming with anger when he saw another man with my daughter. I later found out that the man was just an ordinary acquaintance of her and that the man did not even stay long in her shop. “He later invited my daughter to come and give him explanation, not knowing that he would kill her. After beating her to death, he brought her corpse in a wheel barrow covered with refuse in the wee hours and he dropped her body in a gutter, not knowing that some people sighted him. He hurriedly left without taking his wheel barrow along and for the first time in their three-year-old affair, he called me on the telephone at about 6.30am asking after the whereabouts of my daughter and I told him that I knew how he had come to pick my daughter from her shop the previous night.

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

I don’t know anything about her death. It was her family that got me arrested and I was taken to Ilupeju Police Division where I was initially detained. But I have since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti Street, Yaba where I am currently detained

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Yaba, Lagos, the suspect was sighted by our correspondent in handcuff, while he was being led to his residence for investigation by police officers. The trip, however, failed following a disagreement between the police officers and relations of the deceased on the number of persons who could be allowed to accompany them. In a telephone conversation with our correspondent, Agbonrin said he was not responsible for the killing of his deceased girlfriend. “I don’t know anything about

•Martha

her death. It was her family that got me arrested and I was taken to Ilupeju Police Division where I was initially detained. But I have since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti Street, Yaba where I am currently detained.” The spokesman of the Lagos

State Police Command, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) of Police was yet to comment on the incident as promised at press time. Meanwhile, the remains of the deceased have been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital mortuary pending the conduct of autopsy on her body.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Saturday

THRILLER

Bleak house… The misery and curious economics of fuel subsidy removal


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

The misery and curious economics o ?

•Shanty kids like these are forced to grow in extreme living conditions

I

N silence, her eyes raved. They uttered words that had no measure. Sitting on a corner bench in her shanty porch, she cut a perfect picture for a “Save-the-needy” campaign. But Gladys Nenghe spotted no need. She gave up on that two months before she turned 21in March last year. That was after it became apparent to her that her father couldn’t pay her school fees as he promised. Thus she had to forgo her admission into Lagos State University to study History and International Relations. Stoically, she counted her losses and cast them behind her; and just when she managed to secure a job as a sales girl in a neighbourhood grocery store, the pretty young adult became the victim of an unavoidable and long-drawn war between the Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). Sitting pretty on the bench in her filthy porch, Nenghe cursed the day the strike action began. “I prayed fervently that we are allowed to go back to work. It didn’t matter what the government and NLC decided. Me…I needed to make money for my schooling. I needed money to survive. I have no mother to assist and my father can do nothing. He is an old man. He was a civil servant in Benue State before he was sacked. Now, I have three brothers and a father depending on me. The strike almost ruined us. We had nothing to eat,” disclosed Nenghe, adding that the hope of her entire family currently rests on a paltry N240 she had been holding on to like her dear life since the strike action began. Miles from Nenghe’s shanty penthouse in Makoko, Lagos, Ngozi Iroha excites a different story. The bean cake seller enjoyed a rare boon while the strike lasted. “I have made more money in the past six days than I made in the past one month,” she said. And the reason is not far-fetched: many people in her Agege, Lagos neighbourhood spent more time at home during the strike. Consequently, many of them were forced to patronise Iroha in the face of rising food costs and absence of preferable alternatives. Unlike Nenghe, Iroha considers the strike a blessing of sort. More decent miles from Iroha’s neighbourhood and some indecent distance from the spot where a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) shot and killed a protester, a group of neighbours got together to discuss the recent impasse. Their political affiliations spread across major registered political parties in the country, particularly the Peoples Democratic

Olatunji OLOLADE, Assistant Editor Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP) and the Labour Party (LP). They were the sort of people who endeavoured to keep abreast with the latest newsbreaks every day. They were also the sort of people who voted and passionately analysed both local and international politics and commentary. “Trust…” said Segun Lawson, a civil engineer; “…an atmosphere of distrust has submerged the trust we initially reposed in Mr. President. And it extends beyond his office to every other public officer. We do not trust our leaders anymore. And they do absolutely nothing to correct the situation. You see, the recent strike action was the result of government’s insincerity to the general public. Life is scarier today than it used to be. Since the fuel subsidy removal, I have been forced to apply more stringent measures to my expenditure.” On another note, Ifeoma Morha, a medical doctor, surmised that the recent impasse would have degenerated into a “much more volatile and unwieldy situation” had the civil society groups not striven to prevent an anarchic situation.” Speaking coolly and very firmly, she stressed: “Every day, I saw people engage in very ugly arguments and fisticuffs in my neighbourhood over the fuel subsidy removal and other policies. They seemed to have forgotten the philosophy behind the protest and mass action. Now we are seeing the manifestation of a very ugly situation; some people have adopted a myopic and tribal approach to the situation.” Those fights oftentimes extended from the streets, public bar soapboxes and the newsstands at the junction into the living rooms of average Nigerian families, noted Morha. According to her, a couple living next door recently engaged in a heated argument over the legitimacy and sincerity of President Goodluck Jonathan’s action. “It was crazy. I tried desperately to steer them back to an agreeable point but the wife, who hails from Bayelsa and thus considered herself the President’s sister, flew into a rage. Perhaps it was because she was pregnant that she got quite emotional but very terrible words were exchanged between her and her husband and two days after the incident, they were still being grumpy to each other.” It all started with President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to remove fuel subsidy. According to

him, the measure was necessary to stop the N1.3 trillion being squandered on subsidy which is believed profits only a cabal of powerful stakeholders in the nation’s oil industry. The immediate fallout of the president’s decision was that Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) sold between N141 and N160. And even though the price has been slashed to N97, some filling stations are still hoarding fuel and the few that are selling offer it at exorbitant prices. For instance, some filling stations in Sango, Itele, Ado Odo in Ogun state are still selling fuel at the ridiculous rate of N120. More worrisome is the fact that the price of food items that sky-rocketed in the wake of President Jonathan’s decision are yet to plummet. The Nation findings revealed that food traders are reluctant to reduce prices of food items although they were quick to increase food prices in the wake of the government’s removal of fuel subsidy. For instance, at the Oke Odo, Agege market in Lagos, a small bowl of tomato now costs N100 although it sold at N50 few weeks ago. A small bowl of crayfish costs N1000 and N1, 200 although it sold at N500 last December. The prices of fruits like oranges, pineapples and banana have also risen with a bag of oranges now selling at N7, 500 from the previous N4, 500 and N5, 000. A big bunch of banana now goes for N1, 500 and N2, 000 from the previous N700 and N1, 000 while the price of water melon has increased from N400 to N600. A bag of rice now sells at N9, 500 and N10, 000 from the previous N7, 000 and N7, 500. A day before the strike began, a bag of rice sold at N14, 500 at the Ogba retail market. The price of a goat has increased from N12,000 to N17,000, while a sizeable ram currently sells at N35, 000; about N11,000 higher than its previous price. A cow currently sells at N140, 000 as against its initial price of N80,000. Consequently meat prices have increased in Sango Ota, Ifo, Oyingbo and other markets. A small chunk, which sold at N500, now sells at N1,200. Curious economics of fuel subsidy According to Dr. Izilien Agbon, a former Head of Department (HOD), Petroleum Engineering Department and former Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Chairman, University of Ibadan, “On December 10, 2011, if you stopped at the Mobil filling station on Old Aba Road in Port Harcourt, River State, you would be able to buy a litre of petrol for 65 naira or $1.66 per gallon at an exchange rate of $1/N157 and four li-

•Harsher economic climes foster the spread of shanty settlements across Nigeria’s major cities tres per gallon. This is the official price. The government claims that this price would have been subsidised at N73/litre and that the true price of a litre of petrol in Port Harcourt is N138/litre or $3.52 per gallon.” Thus they are desperate to sell it at $3.52 per gallon. But, On December 10, 2011, if you stopped at the Mobil Gas station on E83rd St and Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, USA, you would be able to buy a gallon of petrol for $3.52/ gallon. Both gallons of petrol would have been refined from Nigerian crude oil. The only difference, according to Dr. Agbon, is that the gallon in New York was refined in a US North East refinery from Nigerian crude exported from the Qua Iboe Crude Terminal in Nigeria, while the Port Harcourt gallon was either refined in Port Harcourt or imported. The idea that a gallon of petrol from Nigerian crude oil costs the same in New York as in Port Harcourt, he claimed, runs contrary to basic economic logic. What really is the true cost of petrol? In an attempt to answer the question in the simplest economic terms, Agbon stated that at the refinery gate in Port Harcourt, the cost of a barrel of Qua Iboe crude oil is made up of the finding /development cost ($3.5/bbl) and a production/storage /transportation cost of $1.50 per barrel. “Thus, at $5 per barrel,” he said, “we can get Nigerian Qua Iboe crude to the refining gates at Port Harcourt and Warri. One barrel is 42 gallons or 168 litres.” According to him, the price of one barrel of petrol at the depot gate is the sum of the cost of crude oil, the refining cost and the pipeline transportation cost. Refin-

ing costs are at $12.6 per barrel and pipeline distribution cost is $1.50 per barrel. The distribution margins (retailers, transporters, dealers, bridging funds, administrative charges etc) are N15.49/litre or $16.58 per barrel. “The true cost of one litre of petrol at the Mobil filling station in Port Harcourt or anywhere else in Nigeria is therefore ($5 +$12.6+$1.5+$16.6) or $35.7 per barrel . This is equal to N33.36 per litre compared to the official price of N65 per litre. Prof. Tam David West is right. There is no petrol subsidy in Nigeria,” claimed Agbon. According to him, “The government claims we are currently operating our refineries at 38.2 per cent efficiency. When we refine a barrel of crude oil, we get more than just petrol. If we refine one barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil, we will get 45 gallons of petroleum products. The 45 gallons of petroleum products consist of 4 gallons of LPG, 19.5 gallons of gasoline, 10 gallons of Diesel, 4 gallons of Jet Fuel/Kerosene, 2.5 gallons of fuel oil and five gallons of bottoms. “Thus, at 38.2% of refining capacity, we have about 170, 000 barrels of refined for about 13.26 million litres of petrol, 6.8 million litres of diesel and 2.72 million litres of kerosene/jet fuel. This is not enough to meet internal national demand. So, we send the remaining of our nonexport crude oil volume (275, 000 barrels per day) to be refined abroad and import the petroleum product back into the country. We will just pay for shipping and refining. “The Nigerian government exchanges the 275, 000 barrels per day with commodity traders in a swap deal. The landing cost of a litre of petrol is N123.32 and the distribution margins are N15.49, according


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

of fuel subsidy removal

•Many Nigerians took to the streets to protest the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy

•President Jonathan (2nd left) welcomes Christine Lagarde, IMF boss (Middle) amid fears that the latter had come to impose unpopular IMF policies on the nation to the government. The cost of a litre is therefore (N123.32+N15.49) or N138.81. This is equivalent to $3.54 per gallon or $148.54 per barrel. In technical terms, one barrel of Nigerian crude oil has a volume yield of 6.6 per cent of Diesel (AGO), 20.7 per cent of Gasoline, 9.5 per cent of Kerosene/Jet fuel, 30.6 per cent of Diesel, 32.6 per cent of Fuel oil / Bottoms when it is refined. Using a netback calculation method, he calculated “the true cost of a litre of imported petrol from swapped oil.” According to him, the gross product revenue of a refined barrel of crude oil is the sum of the volume of each refined product multiplied by its price. Domestic prices are $174.48/barrel for AGO, $69.55/ barrel for Gasoline (PMS or petrol), $172.22/barrel for Diesel Oil, $53.5/ barrel for Kerosene and $129.68/barrel for fuel oil. Substitution of the government imported PMS price of $148.54 per barrel for the domestic price of petrol/gasoline will produce a gross product revenue per swapped barrel at $142.32 per barrel. We have to remove the international cost of a barrel of Nigerian crude oil ($107 per barrel) from this to get the net cost of imported swapped petroleum products to Nigerian consumers. The net cost of swapped petroleum products would therefore be $142.32 - $107 or $35.32 per barrel of swapped crude oil. This comes out to be a net of $36.86 per barrel of petrol or N34.45 per litre said Agbon. “This is the true cost of a litre of imported swapped petrol and not the landing cost of N138 per litre claimed by the government. The prosubsidy Nigerian government pretends the price of swapped crude oil is $0 per barrel (N0 per litre) while the resulting petroleum products is

$148.54 per barrel (N138 per litre). The government therefore argues that the “subsidy” is N138.81-N65 or N73.81 per litre. But, if landing cost of the petroleum products is at international price ($148.54 per barrel), then the take-off price of the swapped crude oil should be at international price ($107 per barrel).” This is basic economic logic outside the ideological prisms of the World Bank. The traders/petroleum products importers and the Nigerian government are charging Nigerians for the crude oil while they are getting it free. So, let us conclude this basic economic exercise. The true price of 38.2 per cent of our petrol supply from our local refinery is N33.36/litre and the remaining is (0.382*33.36+0.618*34.45) or N34.03 per litre. The official price is N65 per litre and the true price with government figures is about N34 per litre – even with our moribund refineries. Nigerians, he claimed, had never enjoyed fuel subsidy. Rather, there was a high sales tax of 91.2 per cent at the former price of N65 per litre. Not a few functionaries would join President Jonathan to contest Agbon’s arithmetic of the truth. According to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the government owes it as an economic and moral responsibility to remove the fuel subsidy because it does not reach the poor. According to them, only the rich and the middle class were the beneficiaries. Okonjo-Iweala, for instance, posited that Nigeria had spent N3.6 trillion on subsidy in five years, an average of N660 billion yearly, even as she failed to explain how the figure rose to N1.3 trillion in 2011. Using Okonjo’s statistics, the average

crude oil price in 2008 was $101.78 dollars, compared with $113.98 in 2011. The amount of subsidy in those years was at variance by more than 10 per cent. But the issue, argued Mallam Nasir el Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) asides the suspicious removal of the subsidy borders squarely on endemic corruption is deeply rooted in the administration. According to him, government needs to seriously cut down on its recurrent expenditure. Sanusi, CBN governor, had earlier accused NASS members of consuming 25.41 per cent of the national budget. Using figures from the Budget Office to buttress his point, he had explained that the lawmakers’ vote stood at N136, 259,768,102 billion against a national overhead of N536.2 billion. According to him, the figure represented 25.41 per cent of the total Federal Government overhead for that year. In the same vein, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), a renowned constitution lawyer, had noted that the NASS members were the highest paid in the world. According to him, “A (Nigerian) senator earns N240 million (About $1.7 million) in salaries and allowances, while his House of Representatives counterpart earns N204 million (about $1.45 million) per annum.” He compared this with a United States senator, who is on a salary of $174,000 per annum, and a British legislator who earns $64,000 per annum. He noted that the Senate President’s monthly salary and allowances totalled N88 million while that of his deputy is about N50 million. In essence, the United States President and the British Prime Minister earns much lower than a Nigerian lawmaker with their $400,000 and

£190,000 salaries. More worrisome is the fact that taxpayers will spend a fortune feeding the president and his deputy this year as the Federal Government plans to spend approximately N1 billion in feeding Nigeria’s first and second citizens. The president and his deputy will together enjoy N992.57 million worth of food and general catering services in 2012. According to a detailed analysis of the N4.749trillion budget the president presented to lawmakers, the cost of purchasing food stuffs, catering supplies, kitchen equipments for the president and his vice, and their offices, will cost the nation N992.57 million, about N7 million short of a billion naira. Further breakdown shows that taxpayers would have to pay approximately N477million for foodstuffs and “catering materials supplies” for the president’s office. An additional N293 million is earmarked to provide “refreshment and meals” for the president’s comfort at his home and office. Yet, an additional N45.4 million would be needed to buy canteen and “kitchen equipment” for the president’s household, although similar purchases were reportedly made last year. For the vice president’s office, the foodstuff, catering and materials supplies are to cost N104 million, while cooking gas and cooking fuel will consume N6.2 million. Refreshments and meals at the V.P’s office and home are estimated at N20.8million. At N70, 000 a month, the amount budgeted for presidential feeding would pay the wages of 1, 200 Nigerians for a year. The current structure, no doubt, suits political office holders to the consternation of the citizenry. For instance, each state has a governor who appoints all manners of aides, commissioners, advisers and associates, all sustained through public funding. He also controls an unspecified amount of money, which is referred to as security votes. This is never accounted for. Add to that the cost of funding the state legislature. In the end, some of the states can hardly pay the current minimum wage of N18, 000. The anomaly is replicated at the local government level and gets worse at the national level, where the president can appoint a countless number special advisers, assistants and ministers. Constitutionally, the president is required to appoint a minister from each state, but there are over 40 ministers. And each minister keeps a retinue of at least 20 special assistants, according to

Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. The current system of remuneration of Nigerian public office holders no doubt paints a very sordid picture of the nation’s democratic experiment. America, with 50 states and a population double that of Nigeria, has a cabinet of just 21 members, comprising 14 heads of department – an equivalent of ministry in Nigeria – and seven other appointees. Britain also has a similar cabinet size of about 22 members. A recent economic development index report stated that the nation has the second highest rate of inflation among 12 major oil-producing nations. Nigeria was also ranked 142 out of 169 least prosperous countries globally, according to the United Nations and grouped among 41 countries considered to have the “least human development” in the 2010 Human Development Report, compiled by the UN Development Programme. The report assessed countries in terms of their education, wealth and life expectancy, measured through what it called Human Development Index (HDI). Despite this, the cost of running government persistently escalates to unimaginably high levels. It is at the background of this unnerving situation that President Jonathan has decided to remove fuel subsidy in a touted bid to prevent the money from being mopped up by an enfant terrible cabal. But to discerning Nigerians, the glib argument of the government that a so-called cabal has hijacked the subsidy on oil smacks of admission of failure in governance. Given that the government controls the police, the armed forces and other apparatuses of power, the citizenry wonders why President Jonathan appears to dither in confronting the oil cabal. According to Kanmi Erinle, a lawyer, “They have decided to shift the burden of their inefficiency on the poor, struggling average man on the street. We are angry because the government has chosen to compound our woes and they expect us to be understanding and agreeable while they do that. Look around the country, nothing works. There is no electricity, no job or at least the hope of securing one. Add to that, pervasive insecurity, poor infrastructure, substandard education and healthcare and you have a country sitting on a tinderbox. It is in this situation that Mr. President and his advisors deem it fit to make life more unbearable for us. Our government has failed us. That is why we are angry.”


T

HERE is this programme you are currently doing in the church, what is it all about? We are doing quite a number of things, resubsidising Nigerians. We have one on feeding people. We have one in the education sector; we have one in the transport sector. We are also in medical sector. These are the programmes we started last year. Let me first of all talk about the transportation. God just spoke to me, long before the issue of the removal of subsidy came, in a vision and showed me buses with school children who were in uniforms. When I saw that, I was so challenged. I didn’t even know that there would be the removal of fuel subsidy then. What I did was that I went to the United States where I had the outreach office and we imported two buses. Our intention is to help students who are in uniform, to take them to school free, no condition, nothing. Once we know the areas students are are, we park there and pick them and go to other schools. We do that for resumption in the morning and we do that in the afternoon. If we discover that there are more students than the buses can carry, we intend to bring more buses. That is not where I’m going; I want to put buses in Ilorin community. I’ve been here for 39 years and I have been thinking about how and where to help the community. So when the issue of the fuel subsidy came, I said whao! It was so timely. That is the way of re-introducing subsidy into people’s lives. I have the passion to help people. When I was in school, that was when my father died and I know how I suffered. We just want people to know that no matter how hard it is, God loves them. We want them to know that when we say Christians love, it is not just in words but in deed and truth and that is not our first time of doing things. Here, every second Saturday of the month and every last Saturday of the month, we feed people free of charge. That is not the only thing, we’ve been distributing dry food. We did that for the first time when Muslims were doing their Ramadan. Shortly before the Ramadan, we distributed about 2,000 bags of rice, guineacorn, beans, garri, we distributed them in Tanke (a community in Ilorin) here because God has put us in Tanke and we want to make the difference in Tanke. We renovated the house of the local king in Tanke. He even wrote us to thank us. We are involved with the Police. We gave the Police generator. And recently when they said they needed blocks to build their fence, we also sent them blocks worth N350,000. That is the little we do in this community. We have plans to sink boreholes because water is a serious problem in Tanke. We have been in these philanthropic programmes because Jesus came to help the poor and if we are able to help the poor in our little way, it will go a long way. People have been coming here to appreciate us. The Mogaji Tanke has come to thank us. His house was an eye sore, we went there . We have an extra-mural school here. You know, when students are in the secondary school, parents pay twice. They pay school fees and they are also paying for extra murals. We have over 120 students who are coming in, taking lessons. We want to put a human fac. Christianity is more than coming to church and singing, it also involves changing lives. Medically, we have clinics here, anybody can just walk in freely

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

INTERVIEW

We so much co-exist with the mosque opposite our church in Ilorin that we use each other’s premises —Rhema Chapel International President, Rev. Adegboye

•Rev. Adegboye

from the street, we have doctors, they will attend to you. These are doctors who get paid where they work, the church does not pay them. They are our members, they consult free. If your drugs are something that can cover a week, we supply the drugs but if it goes beyond a week, you have to provide that one. We have a plan to have a full-fledged hospital. You don’t have to pay to come there. What is your relationship with the Muslim community here? I’m enlightened and I have seen many things the way they work, and I have seen that churches can make a difference. We have good fellowship with the mosque opposite us. One time, they wanted to have a special programme and they were thinking of what to do and where to have it. They came to us and they said they wanted to do it in our car park; we gave them our car park free of charge to come and do it there. When a professor of a university was writing a thesis, he wanted to know how we’ve been able to co-exist. When they want to do their programme, they invite us and when we want to do our programme we invite them. Funny enough, when they were doing their fence, we sent some bags of cement to them. We’re friends. We’re close to them, they are close to us. There were instances when we had no parking space; we went to them and they

allowed us to park our cars inside their compound. In fact when some people saw it, they said why is this happening? They said they wanted to do public lecture to denounce terrorism, they were going to talk about world peace and good neighbourliness. In fact, the Mogaji Tanke had to call us and express his happiness that he heard what we’ve been doing for the mosque in Tanke. In the beginning when we came, we had issues because we didn’t understand each other. Over the time, we became good neighbousrs. They don’t have complaints about us, neither do we have complaints about them. They allow us park in front of their mosque on the day of our worship and they can also park in front of ours. There is nothing we’re struggling about. Everything is about changing our society. The problem with our country is

Rev. George Adegboye (a.k.a Walking Bible), the President of Rhema Chapel International Churches, was for many years a lecturer at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, Kwara State. He is in the league of Alist pastors in Nigeria. In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI and GBENGA KUTELU, Rev. Adegboye talks about how he has lived in harmony with his muslim neighbours in Ilorin for 39 years; why he would not allow anybody to suffer irrespective of religion or creed; his view about removal of fuel subsidy; how to tackle Boko Haram, among other issues. Excerpts: that we claim that we love God, but we don’t love one another. The heart of Christ was open to all, He never discriminated. He helped everybody, He never asked them whether they were Christians or not before He healed them. The Bible said He healed them all. I think that is the heart of Christianity. We have to open our hearts to them. God has given us the heart and ability to do it. I have suffered in life; I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through. You said you had suffered in life; what kind of suffering was that? I was born into the family of 13 children. My mother died when I was seven. If I was to see her now, I would not recognise her. When I was 15, going to 16, I was preparing for my West African School Certificate Examination, one day they just came to my

We have good fellowship with the mosque opposite us. One time, they wanted to have a special programme and they were thinking of what to do and where to have it. They came to us and they said they wanted to do it in our car park; we gave them our car park free of charge

22

school and told me that my father wanted to see me. I can never forget January 26, 1973. My father who had been sick for a while, he had cancer of the liver, he died. I was left on my own. Whatever the money my father left behind, it was not substantial. I had to begin to fend for myself . When I was in the university, I was selling newspapers and I was doing bricklayers’ work, carrying pan at sites. I had to wake up very early to work. I was doing that to pay for my tuition. I sponsored myself through university education. It wasn’t easy at all. I had to work seriously. If I did not work, there would be no money, if there was no money there was no school fees. On the other hand at home, there was no food. My father died leaving a widow behind. The widow had four children apart from us who were there, other children from other women my father left behind. We were all in the house, everybody for himself and God for us all. At times for the whole day, there would be no food. I don’t want anybody to go through that. Some people would have blamed their lack of education on that, but I picked up courage. I served in Borno State, that time there was no money, I was suffering. When I started working, there •Continued on Page 48


LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

The rise of female producers

•SEE PAGE 28 - 27

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STANDh BY! Wit

VICTOR AKANDE E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

THINK

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

SNAPSHOTS Oby Edozieh wears new look

Playing corn with movie contract

I

N view of the viability of Apparently, this is the reason Before the advent of the creative industry to the that almost every actor in the television, was the economy of some great Yoruba film sector doubles as a Yoruba travelling nations in the world, there has producer. been constant cry on the theatre. In those good Before the advent of Nigerian government to old days, art was done television, was the Yoruba harness the potential of the travelling theatre. In those for art sake. Artistes Nigerian motion picture good old days, art was done were satisfied with industry, which is one of the for art's sake. Artistes were mere applause for a non-oil sectors capable of satisfied with mere applause good performance. They for a good performance. They boosting the national treasury. If indeed some countries in the would have travelled would have travelled across world survive largely on across rivers and hills to rivers and hills to perform for tourism, an intangible product, perform for kings; they kings; they were okay with which is delimited by export sumptuous feast and gifts and were okay with and import, there is no the attendant fame and sumptuous feast and denying the fact that recognition. Within this commercialisation of music gifts and the attendant practice, different theatre and film which have such fame and recognition groups emerged. And because trading value has helped the commercial value was not so economy of some nations; much attached to the job, there United States for example. was the need for joint Experts have identified that for a resourceful participation each time a particular theatre film business to be achieved in Nigeria, factors group had a performance to render. There was like proper distribution channel and a conscious little difference between theatre then, and effort at curtailing piracy are of essence. communal farming, a method where by the However, beyond the aforementioned factor, community help one man on his farm today and which is largely dependent on government and move to the farm of the other man the next day policy makers to advance, there is one aspect of to help with the farm work. That scratch my back, the business of filmmaking that most I scratch your back phenomenon, or what could be practitioners have handled with levity; glorified with the nomenclature called Barter formalising the business of filmmaking through still exists today in the Yoruba language wing of contracts. the Nigerian film industry. We have seen a situation in which a producer I do know that the old system of Barter cried out that an actor did not show up after business is not totally dead to all aspects of our being paid for a job. The actor in turn replied, economy. I know for example, of newspaper saying the reason he didn't show up was houses that leverage on barter to improve because the producer owed him the balance of resources and staff welfare, but could this be an old job. Such happens, not just in Nollywood, applicable to the film industry? Perhaps the but also in the Ghana movie industry. There is barter system is not relevant to all businesses. too much unwarranted romance in the industry Mr. Phillip Phil-Ebosie, a novelist, and TV that has left many to learning their lessons the director, believes that the Yoruba film industry's hard way. Bukky Ajayi had paid her way to system of communal movie participation is self Enugu to do a job for a producer on credit. One defeatist because the character you are indebted year after, she was still asking to be paid. If in to may not be the best for the role you are 2005, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal asking him to play. But film had signed all documents to director, Tunji Bamisigbin There was no much act in the M-net production chose to look at it as a credit difference between entitled Doctors Quarters, she system which if well utilized could have advanced her communal farming, a will go a long way in achieving protest before being eased out method whereby the desired result, especially now of the series. There are so many community help one that banks are reluctant to give of such examples that leave man on his farm today loans to practitioners to shoot one to wonder why we have and move to the farm of their movies. What do you chosen to treat a serious think? Wait a minute! Mr. the other man the next business with so much levity. Emeka Mba, the Director day to help with the This also brings to mind, General of National Film and farm work. That scratch especially, the Yoruba movie Video Censors Board (NFVCB) my back, I scratch your sector and their age-long says Barter system is age-long back phenomenon, or culture of communal and as such, going back to it what could be glorified filmmaking; a situation could mean that we are not with the nomenclature whereby services are provided progressing because the system for a producer free of charge in called Barter, still exists erases the basis for formality the hope that he is going to today in the Yoruba and contract, as well as value reciprocate when it is the turn language wing of the and documentation. Again, of other members of the crew Nigerian film industry what do you think? or cast to produce a movie.

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

The long overdue absence of Yemi Blaq

S

INCE this actor finally married his long time lover, Remi, shortly after emerging the 2010 winner of Celebrity Takes 2, a Spirit of David's dance competition, little has been seen of him in the movie industry. Fillers have it that Yemi Blaq, whose presence is also rare at social functions, is trying his hands on other projects aside movies. This is further strengthened by his renewed love for stage plays in the year 2011.

Aishat Ibrahim’s first social outing!

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HE is one of the few Nollywood actresses who could be said to be relatively free from scandals since she started acting many years back. Popularly called Omoge Campus, Aishat Abimbola Ibrahim who just got back to work after taking a long break

to enable her cater for the home front was sighted at Sola Kosoko's wedding looking splendid in a yellow attire. A graduate of Hotel Management, the actress shot into limelight through her performance in the film entitled, Omoge Campus in 2001.


25

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2012

SNAPSHOTS

RE ELNEW S

E

Stella Damasus breaks from the norm

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HE reappeared on the movie scene towards the end of 2011 in Blessing Effiom-Egbe's Two Brides and A Baby, and some of her fans who were at the premiere of the movie have continue to pour encomiums on the actress for veering effectively from the lovey-dovey role she is known for, to the tough character of Ama, a bitter ex fiancée, who is hell bent on taking her pound of flesh from Bankole, played by rising star, O.C Ukeje. The story seeks to reveal the in-depth aspects of relationship between different types of couples. Speaking on her role, the star actress says 'it is the kind of role actors are born to play'.

Baba Suwe plans movie on NDLEA ordeal

ITSALAT sponsored Nigerian Idol is back on the screen this weekend, after about two weeks hold, following the nationwide strike on the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. And just as its huge audience and cult-like fans of the budding talents are eager and ready to know who and who makes it to the top-10, the 30 initial contestants themselves have engaged in fierce battle to grab one of the top 10 spots from which a winner is expected to be crowned at the close of the contest on April 1, 2012. The stake for the eventual winner, organisers have put at USD100,000, plus a recording contract, a brand new SUV, and mementos like Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod. The first runner-up is expected to grab N1.5 million, a Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod, while the second runner-up gets N1 million, a Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod. Opposed to a winner-takes-all format, Etisalat is ensuring a winwin situation as finalists from the fourth to 10th place will each receive N100,000, a Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod. Meanwhile, the Head of Youth Segment, Etisalat, Elvis Daniel, has restated the reason why the

•Baba Suwe

—Blue Pictures

•Nigerian Idol Judge: Charly Boy, MD Youth Segment Etisalat Nigeria, Idiare Atimomo, with Jeffery Daniel

Nigerian Idol resumes telecommunication giant is throwing its financial muscle behind the competition. “Etisalat-Nigeria, is committed in its goal to continually empower and ignite the dreams of Nigerian youths. Etisalat is committed to the complete development of young people in Nigeria. Music is a universal language and a unifying platform

for this segment which is synonymous with the Etisalat brand and lifestyle. Nigerian Idol serves as a veritable platform and an opportunity for harnessing young talents to be groomed, tutored and guided towards a worthy career path in music, thereby making their dreams come alive,” says Elvis Daniel, Head of Youth Segment, Etisalat.

Akintola, Keppy return in 90 Ninth Day

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OLLYWOOD sweethearts, Bimbo Akintola and Keppy Ekpeyong, who perhaps were last paired in Freedom in Chains, a film on genderbased violence

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OMIC actor, Babatunde Omidina, better known as Baba Suwe, has revealed that he will be shooting a movie based on his recent detention experience in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) custody. Speaking during a ceremony in Lagos, the comedian said he will surely shoot the movie. “I must do a movie on my alleged drug saga. As long as I live and breathe on this earth, I must put it in a film for people to watch and learn from.” His fans, by this statement are rest assured that, like Yetunde Wunmi did after her drug ordeal with the NDLEA; such movie is in the making.

We'll project Nollywood as people of quality

•Keppy

have reappeared in a new flick entitled 90 Ninth Day. Produced by Paul Tavershima Apel, the movie which had five nominations at the last Best of Nollywood Awards and also clinched the Due Process prize in the feature films category of the Home Video Integrity Award (HOMEVIDA), in Abuja last December, is scheduled to screen in cinemas across the country from January 27. 90 Ninth Day is the captivating story of Jack (Paul Apel) who is awarded a power plant contract by the government.

Rush for WED Expo 2012

F

OLLOWING the announcement by organisers of the much anticipated WED Expo to close accreditation due to limited spots for the coming exhibition, fashion houses, wedding planners, make up lines, jewelers, photography channels, beauticians, caterers, cake makers, and bridal accessory retailers among others have been scrambling to get last minute accreditation. The event which has been slated to hold at The Haven located in Ikeja G.R.A, Lagos will serve as a platform for singles, people in serious relationships and lovers getting ready for marriage, to meet with the power brokers in the industry with the aim of getting rightly informed, inspired, and

acquiring relevant products and services at affordable prices. Participants at the 2-day Expo are expected to be treated to a Runway show which will showcase the newest trends in suits and tuxedos, bridal wears and accessories and other fashion stand points which are now in vogue. The event it is said, will also feature top Nigerian designers from within and abroad.

•Akin Eso

This begins a chain of treacherous and tragic events for himself and his family. On the other hand, Susan (Bimbo Akintola), who lost out of the bid, embarks on a blind revenge. In the dangerous triangle is one of Jack's friends Col. Ben (Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey) whose obsession with becoming an Army General turns him into a psychopath. “This movie is coming at the right time as we are all concerned with the level of corruption in the land and we are therefore using the movie to send a message and also make a huge statement in terms of production techniques,” says the producer.

•Joy Ilibeno

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OVIE distributors, Blue Pictures were said to have put into circulation, some of the very best of Nollywood movies across the cinemas in Nigeria last year. Among them were the much talked about The Return of Jenifa and Mirror Boy. Joy Ilibeno, the brain behind this fast growing movie distribution business said recently that her company is committed, more than ever, to project Nollywood filmmakers as people of quality. “Our overall objective as film distributors is to project Nollywood as people of quality, hence we do not accept movies that do not take quality to heart, and it is not about quantity but quality. 2011 was a wonderful year for us, but that was little compared to what we have in store for movie lovers in 2012.” The company at the moment, is in the fore front of distributing movies to cinemas in West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria). In partnership with Crimson Multimedia Nairobi (Top Notch Distribution Company based in Kenya), the company has been responsible for distributing blockbuster Nollywood and Hollywood movies such as- Avatar, X-Men, Prince of Persia, Sex and the City, Inception, The Proposal, Unstoppable, Hangover, and Harry Potter among others. Other Nigerian movies that the company has distributed include Mirror Boy, Anchor Baby, Unwanted Guest and Bent Arrow.


26 When Uche Cosmos emerged winner of the maiden edition of Dance 234 reality show, friends, and five other finalists were full of admiration for him for being a proud owner of a brand new car, cash prize of 1million naira, and a dance training abroad. But not many knew that the journey that eventually shot Uche into limelight started as far back as 2001. The undergraduate of Abia State Polytechnic in this interview with MERCY MICHAEL opens up on his rough path to stardom, schooling, and aspirations.

A

S the winner of Dance 234 did you ever know you would come tops? To be honest, with the 22 soldiers that were around, I didn't see myself becoming the winner. But it was like a dream come true. Words are not enough to express my feelings, but I really give thanks to God. I didn't see it coming but I had faith all the same. My mum told me that it's my time. Many people kept telling me that I had the prospect of winning; even among my fellow contestants. I want to really thank my mum because I was always calling her at every stage of the competition and she would cry and pray for me, because she knows all I have had to pass through to get to where I am today. When you were announced as the winner of the competition, you kept gazing at the ceiling and murmuring some words, what exactly was going through your mind at that point? I was saying 'thank you God' because to be frank with you, I have come a long way. I started this journey in 2001. One of my mentors was among my choreographers. He'd won Maltina Dance All in 2007. The other was our logistic manger, Timi Dakolo, who also won West Africa Idol. So, for me, it was like 'who will be the next to make a mark'. I had attempted two competitions earlier, but it didn't work out. At a point, I gave up and wanted to stop dancing. However, for this

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Why I won’t give up dancing —Uche Cosmos, winner, Dance234 particular competition, I enrolled reluctantly. I didn't even have my bath before going for the audition, but now, I am glad that I took the step. When did you start dancing? I joined a group in 2002, but before then, I had been dancing. Dance competition started for me in 2007, but things weren't working out because I was doing a group thing, until I went solo, after which I took my parents to Maltina Dance All competition, but we didn't win. After your last performance at the grand finale, it became clear that winning was either for you and Bryan; was he a threat all the way? To be honest to you, Bryan is one of the best dancers that I've ever come across. Each time we rehearsed, I got scared. At the grand finale when I saw his first performance, even I thought it

deserved a 100 percent. But after our second performances, and names were being called, starting from the 3rd runner-up, and it got to the point that I was left on stage with Bryan, I must confess that at that point, I didn't know what to believe. I didn't even want to imagine that scenario one more time. Though second position wouldn't have been a bad one, but as God would have it, I emerged the winner. But Bryan, I must say, is an amazing dancer. He was indeed a threat. Would you have stopped dancing if you had not won the competition? Not anymore. I wouldn't have stopped dancing because Dance234 gave me a reason to believe I could make something out of dancing because back then in Port-Harcourt where I was trying to break into spotlight, it wasn't really forthcoming. I even had to move now to Enugu in pursuit of a dancing career, still it was difficult. When things appeared not to be working out, I then took up a job in a small firm where I started working before I eventually went for this audition, and here I am today. So, even if I hadn't won, I would have enrolled

myself in a dance school. Although I know that even that would have been difficult, because of sponsorship. So, I needed to have money to pursue my dream. If I hadn't won the competition, I probably would have taken a break, and perhaps enroll in a dance school afterwards. What is the next step for you now? Like I said, this is a platform. One thing I love about myself is that, whatever I find myself doing something, I do it well. What I am sure will happen now is that, since Dance234 has given me a platform, I will continue to pursue my dream, but I'm still going to continue with my schooling because I know that education counts in anything that one does. You mentioned earlier that you owe your success to your mum; what about your dad? Really, I would say, I owe it to both of them. They both knew I love dancing but they didn't really know how much, until I took them to Maltina Dance All reality show. That was when they realized how big a dream I had, and then supported me fully. But my mum believes in me; even when I go for competition and I fail, my mum would always encourage me to continue. How old are you? I am 24 Tell us about your fun memory during Dance234? The most interesting experience was when I met with the other dancers in camp. About six of them were people I already met before in the course of this career. In camp, we were like families. But then, because they knew me, they knew my strength and weaknesses and that wasn't an advantage to me, you know. But one thing I did was not to undermine any of the contestants. How do you intend to spend your prize money? I am going to pay my tithe. I have five siblings, and as the first son, they are my responsibility and I am going to assist them with it. I have a younger brother who is a footballer in Ghana, and it is has been really difficult. I am going to assist him with whatever I can. Who was your favourite among the judges? The three of them I would say, because they saw things from different angles. Brandiny pushes me and makes me feel that I could do better. I like Preye so much, not because she always made a positive remark about me, but because her optimism gave me courage. And Maryann, she's one of the best things to happen to the competition. She was very thorough. The three judges, I believe were carefully selected. So, I would say kudos to the organizers of the competition.

I am going to pay my tithe. I have five siblings, and as the first son, they are my responsibility and I am going to assist them with it. I have a younger brother who is a footballer in Ghana, and it is has been really difficult. I am going to assist him with whatever I can


27

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Daddy Showkey, Tony Tetuila resurface

2face expecting baby number 6

A

FRICAN Queen crooner, Innocent 2face Idibia, is eagerly expecting yet another baby through his longtime girlfriend and mother of two of his five children, Pero Adeniyi. Sources have also revealed that the unborn baby, who is said to be a boy, is due to arrive in

B

ORN John Asiemo, Daddy Showkey's silence in the music scene appears to have reached an alarming peak as he has not released a song for a long while. The Ajegunle groomed artiste, it would be recalled was popular in the early days of Nigeria's new generation music for songs like Diana and Somebody Call my Name. But the dreadlock-wearing performer who was at the recent fuel subsidy protest in Lagos, got people wondering if his participation was a comeback gimmick. His counterpart, Anthony Olanrewaju Awotoye known as Tony Tetuila, also did not miss out of the opportunity provided by the fuel hike protest as his sudden appearance could be described as his first, after a very long silence in the music scene. Tony was a member of the defunct Remedies which had Eedris Abdulkareem and Eddy Montana, before parting with the group to pursue a solo career. He was reported some time ago to be eyeing a shot at the movies too, especially given his role in Funke Akindele's The Return •Tony Tetuila of Jenifa.

March. 2face is said to be excited over this expected new addition to his family when he said, "children are a gift from God, and I'm glad to have this bundle of joy". It was gathered that although US-based Pero and 2face tried to keep it as a secret in the meantime, decided to let it out following strong probing from friends and well wishers.

Jaywon to release videos soon

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•Daddy Showkey

•Jaywon

UDDING hip hop artiste from the stable of Kennis Music, Jaywon, is currently working full time in the studio, all in a bid to push out his new singles and shooting of their videos. Desiring to become the biggest Afro-pop musician to have surfaced from Nigeria, the artiste says he is currently driving himself hard, which is part of the effort that earned him a recording deal with foremost record label, Kennis Music. He recalled that his meeting with the management of Kennis Music happened during the performance of the song Lanko Remix, which Slizzy E had featured him alongside Konga.

Saint Paul makes a debut with No Dulling video

P

RESENTLY enjoying airplay on local and international media, No Dulling is the new video and the latest effort of Saint Paul, whose real names are Osayande Paul Ero. An eclectic singer and song writer, the fast rising act has recorded songs in genres that include Pop, R'n'B and Regga e. Thus, with an album

in the pipeline, Saint Paul says he is poised to make a grand entry into the industry with his more-than-enough songs to make an album. Signed on to Crossroads Records, Saint Paul hopes to be one of the revelations of 2012 I the music industry. The No Dulling video was directed by the award-winning Capital Hills' Chief Executive Officer, Clarence Peters. An alumnus of Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Benin, Paul started his music career from his High School days, where he was once a choir prefect.

O

•AY

and other press ads. Speaking with The Nation, the artiste said that 2011 was a year of overwhelming success due to what he said was an impressive reception of the AY Live comedy concerts. He said the AY brand is set to make a landmark statement with the 2012 Comedy Concert Tour which kicks off in Lagos on Easter Sunday. “Sometime in June, we will move to Abuja. In November, Port Harcourt will get to experience AY Live while the Asaba edition will come up in December,” he enthused.

Felix Duke says never-say-die

D

ANCEHALL artiste, Felix Duke, seems to be finding his way into reckoning again. The artiste who in the 90s made waves with Joanna, a song which endeared him to lovers of reggae/hip hop blend of music is said to have returned to Europe, to record a new single entitled Chingalingali. Duke explained that Chingaligali connotes the sound of a bell. Thus, he said, “I want to tell the world that my bell is still ringing and will never cease to ring,” in anticipation of his coming work. Duke who boasted at a recent event held in honour of Nigerian artistes, added; “I am going to be a bang in 2012. People should watch out for me”.

Date with Seun Kuti on state of Nigeria

•Saint Paul

AY gears up for nationwide tour NLY last December, celebrated comedian, Ayo Makun (AY), landed a mouth watering endorsement deal with Haven Homes. Elated at the prospects of the deal, the comedian had said, “I always strive for excellence in the implementation of my events and my performance to be singled out by a brand as unique as Haven Homes is indeed an honour.” By that deal, AY is expected to grace the various publicity campaigns of the Haven Homes brand within this year, and also feature on the brand's billboards, televisions, commercials

•2face

I

N a bid to continually keep the fire of Afrobeat music burning, Seun and Fela's Egypt 80 Band will be performing live on stage at the New Africa Shrine this Saturday. The show which is scheduled for 10pm, is expected to be 'loaded' as fillers have it that the son of the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

will be trilling Afrobeat enthusiasts with strong political commentaries, especially on the present state of the nation. The scion of the late of the late Afrobeat legend will also dish out songs from his current album entitled From Africa with Fury-Rise- a collection which boats of politically charged songs.


28

R C O V E ER V

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

COVER COVER

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Despite the huge challenges of producing movies in Nigeria owing to myriads of problems including underfunding, inadequate equipment, and the prevailing unfavourable economy, Nigerian moviemakers, especially actresses-turned producers, have continued to churn out movies. Most of the flicks gathered so much buzz in 2011. AHMED BOULOR takes a look at this trend vis-à-vis a recent survey which revealed that 50 per cent of the movies released in Nollywood last year were produced by female filmmakers.

The rise of female producers in Nollywood Y

EARS back, the business of moviemaking seemed to be exclusive to men. This is much so, because if a roll-call of the veterans of the Nigerian motion picture industry were to be listed; hardly would a female name be mentioned. No apologies to the days of the Yoruba travelling theater, when a filmmaker would need to marry several wives to sustain the business. But in recent times, women in Nollywood have taken the bull by the horn in that sphere, and statistics reveal that half of the movies produced in Nollywood in 2011 were produced by notable actresses, who have gradually evolved into filmmakers. Thus, the era today, could be described as a rising generation of young Nigerian women who are poised to give a better meaning and gender balance to Nollywood. Apart from producing and directing, there is also a growing number of female scriptwriters, cinematographers, and sound editors whom, if given more opportunities and needed encouragement, will match their counterparts anywhere in the world. The story of female incursion in movie producing in Nigeria would not be complete without mentioning the giant strides made by foremost producer, writer, director and a leading

player in the Nigerian motion picture industry, Amaka Igwe. Her effort as a practitioner has drawn international recognition to Nollywood. Some of her earlier efforts such as Checkmate and Violated have largely remained a turning point in the history of soaps and movie productions in Nigeria. C.E.O of Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), Peace Ayiam-Osigwe also stands tall in the sphere of movie production. The publisher, movie producer, TV/film director and poet has produced a number of movies, one of which is Hidden Paradise (Nigerian version), and her latest series entitled GRA Women. It is also on note that the number of African films that are screened in international competitions have increased immensely. This quantum leap can be credited to Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, through her AMAA initiative. Another notable female movie producer who has made a mark on the scene is Lillian Amah Aluko. The incumbent vicepresident (the first female to attain that status) of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) has had her fair share of success in the movie industry with the production of movies such as Sweet Revenge (co-

R E V O C It is fantastic and it is the usual thing. Most actors in Hollywood who know their onions are now movie producers. One of such is Mel Gibson; the truth is, actors make the best producers and directors of movies because they understand the dynamics of movie making. It is very easy for a good actor to become a good producer

produced by Emem Isong), She Devil, The Triangle and Jungle Ride. Perhaps like an outburst, the year 2011 witnessed the significant rise of female movie producers as a recent survey revealed that 50% of cinema releases were produced by women. Noteworthy was Funke Akindele's Return of Jenifa which was reported to have sold close to N30million since its release. The movie which was screened at the Silverbird, Genesis De Luxe, and Ozone Cinema in Lagos, as well as the Genesis De Luxe Cinema, Port Harcourt among others made waves till last December, and according to the management of the cinemas, the long stretch was due to the movie's record sales. Other cinema releases that made the headlines in 2011 include Bursting Out and Holding Hope produced by Emem Isong, and Damage by Uche Jombo. Shan George also made an effort with Finding Goodluck, while Blessing Effiom-Egbe also announced her entry with Two Brides and a Baby. Ini Edo was not left out. She too produced a movie entitled I will Take My Chances, while Monalisa Chinda's Kiss and Tell also made the headlines. But on a second thought, does the mere fact that one is an actor/actress and has considerable experience in the world of make-belief automatically qualifies one as a movie producer? Do they not need some form of training? This poser was put across to a cross section of Nollywood players; some of whom are movie producers themselves. First to comment was Omotola JaladeEkeinde:

Actors make the best producers —Omotola

It is fantastic and it is the usual thing. Most actors in Hollywood who know their onions are now movie producers. One of such is Mel Gibson; the truth is, actors make the best producers and directors of movies because they understand the dynamics of movie making. It is very easy for a good actor to become a good producer. “On the other hand, I think everybody needs some level of training to become whatever they want to be. There is absolutely no excuse for anybody coming into the industry at this time without any form of training. When we ventured into the industry, there were only a few Universities offering Theatre Arts as a course. When we even started, acting was not popular because most parents at that time felt that acting was meant for the never-dowells. But now, it is attractive and I have countless of parents who want me to serve as a mentor to their kids who want to become actors. That is what actors in my generation have been able to achieve,

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I have successfully produced four movies such as The Earth, Show Stoppers, Unbreakable Love and the recent on which is Save our Souls. I have also shot another one entitled Sweet Breeze. I think I have done well to an extent. I think knowing what to do and doing it at the right time is all that really matters. by making acting an acceptable career. Most actors in my generation are trying to get training and re-training. Some of us are trained on the job because experience is the best teacher. And if you ask me, training is really important.” She added.

I've learnt a whole lot on the job and that's enough qualification —Oby Edozieh

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BY Edozieh, an actress and movie producer bared her mind too: “I have successfully produced four movies such as The Earth, Show Stoppers, Unbreakable Love and the recent on which is Save our Souls. I have also shot another one entitled Sweet Breeze. I think I have done well to an extent. I think knowing what to do and doing it at the right time is all that really matters. It took me close to three years to shoot Save our Souls; we were in London and India for location shoots for the movie and that afforded me the needed experience in movie making. I would say I have learnt a whole lot on the job and that is enough qualification for me.” She said.

Actor should be trained in movie production —Ayo Adesanya

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ORUBA actress, Ayo Adesanya who recently made a debut as a movie producer with her movie entitled Amope Alasela says she doesn't see anything negative in actors becoming movie producers but she also thinks training is necessary. “My take on actors becoming producers is that I really don't see anything bad in that as long as they are sure of what they are doing. I was also first an actor before taking that bold step of becoming a producer too. There are a whole lot of thespians who have embraced movie productions and the industry is benefiting from it. “It's not an easy task for an actor to become a producer, and I believe they should go through some form of training before becoming movie producers themselves. There are some basic steps that need to be taken for a successful production to take place.” She averred.

Stella Damasus was making her production debut, travelling to neighboring Cameroon for shoot. She teamed up with one of Nigeria's emerging movie directors, Daniel Ademinokan for her film entitled Unspoken. She reveals more about her experience: “Filming in Cameroon was an awesome experience for me. The movie I went to make is actually my first attempt as a producer, and I must say that it was worth every single minute. I had the privilege of discovering some amazing talents in Cameroon. The movie is entitled Unspoken and it was written by one of Nigeria's top directors Daniel Ademinokan. He also coproduced the movie with me.”

Filming in Cameroon was an awesome experience —Stella Damasus

Trend is commendable, but there's need for training in human capital management —Fidelis Duker

HILE the rumour about her purported interrogation and eventual arrest by NDLEA officials was being rumoured last year,

EASONED movie producer and organiser of the Abuja International Film Festival, Fidelis Duker is of

W

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the opinion that the trend of thespians becoming producers should be commended. He also says that as long as one can source for funds for a movie and manage the human resources therein, then, that person qualifies to be a movie producer. “I must commend the sudden rise of female producers in the industry of late. It is simply development and growth for the industry and these ladies must be given a pat on the back. They have kept the industry going and they have also created employment. It is also capacity building for Nollywood; to me it is healthy and it should be encouraged. “A producer unlike other aspects of the business of moviemaking is more of an entrepreneur. A businessman or woman who invests in movie making with a view to making money is a producer. As long as you can source for funds and manage the human resources therein you are automatically playing the role of a movie producer. “But there is also a need for training in human capital management as entrepreneurs because movie producers are C.E.O's of the movie production. A movie producer must know how to engage and manage his cast and crew. It is also important to have training in administrative and financial issues. Management skills are really important.” He added with emphasis.


Mikel returns for Chelsea

Pg. 31

Mourinho under pressure Pg. 33

Nation

•Mourinho

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blackburn N

IGERIAN international Victor Anichebe believes the absence of country man Yakubu Aiyegbeni will give him the chance to wreak havoc on relegation-bound Blackburn Rovers today at the Goodison Park. Aiyegbeni moved from Goodison Park to Ewood Park at the end of the last transfer window and his goals have been one of few positives during a torrid season for Rovers. Anichebe noted that Yak suspension which stop him from playing against his old teammates as a result of a red card against Fulham last weekend is a boost for Eveton. "It's a blow for Blackburn, but it's great for us. Yak's been in great form this season. He was saying how he was looking forward to coming back and playing against us. He was saying he was going to bully Sylvain!," the Everton striker said. Anichebe, who has goals against West Brom and Aston Villa already this month, also revealed how he took advice from his fellow Nigerian when making his return from injury. "I've been talking to him when I was just coming back and saying how I wanted to try and emulate him and how he's getting so many goals. He's a great friend to me, so it's

By Bimbo Adesina sad that he's missing the game but it's great for us," continued the 23year-old striker. The Toffee’s have had a poor start to the year and will be grateful that they avoided a third consecutive defeat after losing to Bolton and Tottenham in their last two games. Blackburn would love nothing more than to take three points away from their trip to Merseyside and win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Steve Kean’s men moved out of the bottom three for the first t i m e s i n c e Septemb er after beating Fulham 3-1 at Ewood P a r k despite playing much of the game with 10-men.

•Anichebe


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SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2011

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT AFRICA CUP OF N ATIONS ...AFRICA CUP OF N ATIONS ...AFRICA CUP OF N ATIONS ... NA TIONS...AFRICA NA TIONS...AFRICA NA TIONS...

Black Stars will be champions' •Ghana pays •2m for AFCON rights "G HANA are going to be champions". That is the sentiment of national team coach Goran Stevanovic ahead of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars have lifted Africa's most coveted trophy four times in their history, although their last AFCON title success came way back in 1982 in Libya when they beat the host nation 7-6 on penalties in the final. The African titans came within inches of claiming a fifth AFCON crown in the 2010 installment in Angola, only to lose 1-0 to record winners Egypt in the final. And Coach Stevanovic feels that result just does not cut it. "We were runners-up at the last Cup of Nations in Angola two years ago and a repeat of what has already been achieved is not good enough," said Stevanovic. "My players and I are motivated. All of us have spoken a lot about this African tournament and we agree Ghana are going to be champions. We are under pressure, but that is normal in football.

"The record of Ghana in the Cup of Nations means they will always be among the favourites and we accept that playing in the final is the least our supporters expect from us." If the Ghanaians are to reach another final they will need to come up against some of Africa's biggest footballing nations, such as Cote d'Ivoire and/or Senegal, but Stevanovic feels Mali will also be one of the front-runners in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. "In my humble opinion, Ivory Coast and Senegal should reach the last four and one of them will probably play in the final. Meanwhile, the government of Ghana has completed payment for the television rights needed to secure broadcast coverage of the Nations' Cup which starts tonight. On Thursday, it was reported by state media that 2 million euros was paid to SportFive in order to show both the 2012 and 2013 African Nations Cup tournaments. The rights will be held

Will Africa's new stars shine ?

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OST of the talk leading up to this weekend's start of the 2012 African Cup of Nations has focused on the teams who won’t be there, rather than on the ones who will. It's understandable, considering Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria – who have a combined total of 13 titles – didn’t qualify for the tournament, which will take place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. That means we won’t be seeing the likes of Mohamed Zidane, Samuel Eto’o or Jon Obi Mikel, among others, in action over the next month. However, just because three traditional contenders didn’t make it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about the competition. Quite the opposite. There are other emerging powers on the continent and plenty of new players to discover over the event's three weeks. Here are my tips on some of the teams and young players to watch out for. What do you think? Please let me know if you've spotted players that I've missed. The contenders Ivory Coast: My favorites to win the competition. The Elephants are the complete package: they have the talent, the spirit and the experience, with eight players of the regular starting XI boasting over 50 caps each. With a backbone featuring the Toure brothers and Didier Drogba, this is a team that will be hard to beat. They won all six qualifiers, scoring an average of over three goals per game, and are on track to capture their first crown since 1992. Morocco: So much potential, so little substance. For years and years, Morocco has produced skilful players only to see them underachieve in major tournaments. This year it could be a different story. Manager Eric Gerets, one of Belgium's most-capped internationals, has introduced a winning mentality and the players seem to be taking to it. Watch out for the trio of talented midfielders: Houssine Kharja, Mbark Boussoufa and Adel Taarabt, who play in Italy, Russia and England respectively. Senegal: The Lions of Teranga shouldn’t have any trouble finding the back of the net. Their forward line boasts the likes of Demba Ba, Moussa Sow and Papiss Cisse, all players who have been scoring goals for fun in England, France and Germany respectively. Add captain Mamadou Niang to the mix and you get an idea of just how good Senegal will be going forward. What about their defense? Well, they showed during qualifying that keeping clean sheets isn’t a problem either, conceding only two goals in six matches. Believe or not, the western African nation has never won the title. This year could change that. Young and promising players Mehdi Benatia (Morocco): Finding skilful attacking players has never been a problem for Morocco, but to get a defensive general like Benatia is truly a blessing. The 24-year-old center-back has marshalled the last line impressively for Italian Serie A club Udinese and is now looking to carry over his stellar form into the African Cup of Nations. Kwadwo Asamoah (Ghana): When talking about Ghana, it’s easy to praise the talents of Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari. However, there is a new kid on the block who we should definitely not overlook. Kwadwo Asamoah is a central midfielder who could be the heir to Stephen Appiah’s throne. The 23-year-old, who also plays for title-chasing Udinese, is calm and composed on the ball. His tenacious tackling earns him a lot of respect in the center of the park. Djalma (Angola): The speedy striker has improved dramatically over the last couple of seasons, plying his trade in Portugal’s first division. He impressed at Maritimo, earning a move to Europa League champions FC Porto in the summer. Many pundits expected him to struggle to make an impact, but Djalma has broken into the starting XI and at the age of 24 is showing that he could have a bright future with his club and country.

FIXTURES Group matches No.

primarily by the state broadcaster Ghana Television (GTV) but the nation's private TV stations are expected to get deals in order to show it on their platforms as well. The tournament kicks off on tonight and there are frantic moves to get as many stations as possible to be involved in showing the games. Ghana's games are priority and for the nation, the Black Stars' first game is on Tuesday against Botswana in Franceville. Upwards of 25 million Ghanaians will be cheering on the team when this 28th African Cup of Nations kicks off. SuperSport will also show all games live on several platforms: TV, web and its mobile devices.

03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13.

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14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

• Didier Drogba (l) of Ivory Coast vies for the ball with Karim Hugui of Tunisia during a friendly match in Abu Dhabi

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FRICA Cup of Nations debutants Botswana have suffered yet another blow after winger Joel Mogorosi was ruled out of the finals. Mogorosi fractured his lower left arm during training on Wednesday evening in Douala, Cameroon, where the team is presently on a 10day training camp. Botswana's FA plans to call up Township Rollers midfielder Abednico Powell. "Joel has been ruled out of the tournament because of the injury," said BFA media officer Sakaeyo Jani. "He broke the bone between his elbow and wrist," Jani told BBC Sport. Zebras coach Stanley Tshosane already has to do without his most capped player Diphetogo 'Dipsy' Selolwane, who will miss the opening Group D game against Ghana on Tuesday owing to suspension. Selolwane picked up yellow cards during the last two qualifiers against Malawi and Togo, but Tshosane is remaining positive despite the setbacks. "I spoke to Dipsy and he has accepted that he will miss the Ghana game and we are happy because we got to know while there is still time to make changes," Tshosane said. Tshosane's side has been boosted by the return of defender Mompathi Thuma, who missed the team's December training camp due to a hamstring injury. Thuma played the full game when Zebras drew 1-1 with Cameroon's elite league runners up, Les Astres FC, in a practice match on Tuesday.

22. 23. 24.

Botswana's Mogorosi to miss Nations Cup with broken arm The Zebras leave Douala on Saturday for Gabon and the former army major, Tshosane, has declared that his troops are ready to do battle in Gabon. "I'm happy with the preparations we have done - I believe we are ready for the Nations Cup," he said. "We are the least experienced side in our group, but we have done our homework and I can assure Botswana that we will not just add numbers at the Nations Cup."

• Mogorosi

Last chance for Ivorian stars C

HELSEA striker Didier Drogba could be walking into the lastchance saloon when the doors of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations swing open this weekend. At 33 he is must be aware that time is not on his side and goalkeeper Boubacar Barry, 32, midfielder Didier Zokora, 31, and defender Kolo Toure, 30, are other likely first choices desperate to grasp the elusive trophy. "I think it might be the last Cup of Nations for players like me, Kolo and Didier. A lot of us could stop and give younger stars like Salomon (Kalou) and Gervinho a greater role," says Turkeybased enforcer Zokora. Ivory Coast start the January 21-February 12 tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea as co-favourites with Ghana, and virtually every pundit predicts they will clash in a west African climax. But despite parading so many skilful and experienced footballers, there is no guarantee the Ivorian Elephants will go all the way as they 'choked' in 2008 and 2010 when the hottest of favourites. Drogba, who has been the face of Ivory Coast football for a decade, does

• As Nations Cup kicks-off today not accept that winning the championship will be easier this time round because 'big guns' Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa failed to qualify. "I think the 2012 Cup of Nations will be very difficult -- perhaps even more difficult than previous editions," he warns. "Our ambition is to improve on two years ago when we were elimi-

nated in the quarter-finals." Ivory Coast appeared to have a lastfour place sewn up when they led Algeria 2-1 with time ticking away in Cabinda only to concede a last-minute equaliser and another goal in extra time. Newcastle United midfielder Cheik Tiote, who was sent off during a warm-up victory over Tunisia in Abu Dhabi last weekend, cannot accept that

Libya takes own chef to prepare LIBYA'S players will enjoy a taste of home despite being players' food away at the African Cup of Na-

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tions after the team decided to take its own chef to the tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Salah Mrad, a Tunisian, will prepare halal meat and traditional north African dishes such as couscous and chicken meshui to ensure the squad has a familiar diet. Rice, pasta and fresh fish, fruit and vegetables will be staple dishes rustled up by Mrad, who tells The Asso-

ciated Press that he has also brought bags of mixed spices like cayenne and paprika for flavoring. Mrad, who has worked with the Libya team for several years, says his job is to "give the players the food they like to play well.'' Libya opens the tournament against co-host Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

Group(e)

GUINEA EQ. A vs. LIBYA SENEGAL vs. A ZAMBIA COTE D’IVOIRE B vs. SUDAN BURKI NA FASO B vs. ANGOLA GABON vs. NIGER C MOROCCO vs. C TUNISIA GHANA vs. D BOTSWANA MALI vs. GUINEA D LIBYA vs. ZAMBIA A GUINEA EQ. vs. A SENEGAL SUDAN vs. ANGOLA B COTE D’IVOIRE vs. BURK/FASO B NIGER vs. TUNISIA C GABON vs. MOROCCO C BOTSWANA vs. D GUINEA GHANA vs. MALI D GUINEA EQ. vs. ZAMBIA A LIBYA vs. SENEGAL A SUDAN vs. BURKINA FASO B COTE D’IVOIRE vs. ANGOLA B GABON vs. TUNISIA C NIGER vs. MOROCCO C BOTSWANA vs. MALI D GHANA vs. GUINEA D Quarter Finals 1st A vs. 2nd B 1st B vs. 2nd A 1st C vs. 2nd D 1st D vs. 2nd C Semi-Finals Win. 25 vs. Win. 28 Win. 27 vs. Win. 26 3rd Place match Loser 29 vs. loser 30 Final Win. 29 v Win. 30

02.

Morocco, Tunisia braced for early showdown orocco and Tunisia are braced for an early showdown as both teams hope to lead the North African challenge at the African Cup of Nations. The teams will get an immediate indicator of which is better off when they meet in their opening match in Group C on Monday, a game that could be a fiery start to the tournament for the fierce rivals. After co-host Gabon and Niger open the Gabonese side of the tournament at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, Morocco and Tunisia face off in a showdown which may define their tournaments. The winner is a good bet to top Group C and enjoy an easier run to the semifinals. The loser could be left to scrap for second place in the group and a possible meeting with likely Group D winner Ghana in the quarterfinals.

Match

01.

25. 26. such a talented squad has not won the 27. tournament. "We have great players so 28. we have to win something -- we have to win this Cup of Nations," he said of a 29. country whose sole success in the con- 30. tinental showpiece came 20 years ago in Senegal. "Every time there is an Afri- 31. can tournament people tell us that we are favourites to win, but when you 32. look at our trophy cabinet there is nothing there. Absolutely nothing." Ivory Coast were rarely troubled as they defeated Tunisia (2-0) and Libya (1-0) in the United Arab Emirates with Kalou scoring in each game and Chelsea team-mate Drogba calmly slotting home a penalty. The Elephants also had STV Mobile Nigeria has it easy in the 2012 qualifiers, winning launched one of the most innohome and away against Benin, Burundi vative products into the Nigeand Rwanda, and no one gives Group rian market, the WALKA. The WALKA B rivals Sudan, Burkina Faso and An- is a DVB-H handheld TV device which gola a chance of stopping them in will enable DStv subscribers to watch Equatoguinean capital Malabo. They television on the go and at anytime. defeated hosts Sudan 1-0 in 1970, AnThe launch of the WALKA follows a gola 5-2 in 1998 and drew 0-0 with long line of technology innovations asBurkina Faso two years ago and the sociated with the DStv brand - includfirst serious test for Drogba and com- ing the Drifta, DStv Mobile (access to pany could come in the quarter-finals DStv channels via mobile phone), High with Libya or Zambia probable oppo- Definition PVR decoders and integrated nents. customer service tools. General Manager of Digital Mobile Television (Nigeria) (DMTV) Limited, Mayo Okunola, says that with the new Walka device, subscribers within DStv Mobile network coverage areas in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Ibadan, Enugu, Benin, Onitsha, Aba and Asaba will now have access to the channels on the DStv Mobile DVB-H network. “DStv Mobile is proud to once again be at the fore-front on the cutting edge of mobile technology and in responding to Nigeria’s’ increasingly mobile • Libya coach culture. A new technology such as the Marcos Paqueta Walka requires significant amounts of investment, however, it is an invest-

Date

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21/01/12

19H:30

Bata

21/01/12

22H:00

Bata

22/01/12

17H:00

Malabo

22/01/12

20H:00

Malabo

23/01/12 23/01/12

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Libreville Libreville

24/01/12

17H:00

Franceville

24/01/12

20H:00

Franceville

25/01/12 25/01/12

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Bata Bata

26/01/12

17H:00

Malabo

26/01/12

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Malabo

27/01/12

17H:00

Libreville

27/01/12 28/01/12

20H:00 17H:00

Libreville Franceville

28/01/12

20H:00

Franceville

29/01/12

19H:00

Malabo

29/01/12

19H:00

Bata

30/01/12 19H:00

Bata

30/01/12

19H:00

Malabo

31/01/12

19H:00

Franceville

31/01/12

19H:00

Libreville

01/02/12

19H:00

Libreville

01/02/12

19H:00

Franceville

04/02/12 04/02/12 05/02/12 05/02/12

17H:00 Bata 20H:00 Malabo 17H:00 Libreville 20H:00 Franceville

08/02/12 08/02/12

17H:00 20H:00

Bata Libreville

11/02/12

20H:00

Malabo

12/02/12

20H:00

Libreville

DStv launches WALKA for Nations Cup

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By Danmole Olaitan ment that we are committed to make to ensure that Nigerians and DStv subscribers have access to the latest media and technology available in the market.” Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, says that the launch of WALKA underlines the vision of the company to surround television viewers with compelling content anywhere they may find themselves. He noted that, “whether at home, at work, at play or while sitting in traffic, we are determined to provide the avid TV viewer with varied options to catch up with breaking news, sports, current affairs and other programmes.” General Manager of SuperSport Nigeria, Felix Awogu, says that sport loving Nigerians are best placed to enjoy the benefits of a mobile device like the Walka: “This device couldn’t have come at a better time for sports lovers in the country especially with the African Cup of Nations, UEFA Champions league, EURO Cup and the Olympics all taking place this year. With WALKA, I guarantee sports-loving subscribers that they will not experience any dull moments throughout the year,” he notes


THE NATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

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NATION SPORT

Time to occupy sport P

RESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should be the happiest politician following the collective expression of angst by a broad section of the citizenry in the second week of this month. Yes, he should be happy because he got a firsthand feedback of what the people thought of a major government policy. Even in the self-righteous profession of a desire to better the lots of the people, a Nigerian ruler for once didn’t have to read spurious pan-caked reports compiled by Political aides that have been found to be more fawning in character than Uriah Heep. He should therefore ignore those inciting him against the populace concerning the many names he was called at the various centres Nigerians gathered to ventilate thier anger. He must bear in mind that there are many Nigerians who like him did not wear shoes to schools miles away but that it is a singular privilege for him to become a symbol for the millions of shoeless s t u dents in Nigeria. It is that privilege that earned him the socalled personal insults which my father, a shoeless student cannot enjoy because he is not a Mr. President. Therefore as the nation collectively takes stock of the events of the popular revolt against the government’s attempt to raise petroleum tax by over 200%, it is imperative that the sports industry activists latch on to the nation-wide discussion on accountability in the developmental processes of the country. Another big benefit of the mass protests has been government’s admission of an inadequacy in policy formulation which has led to frantic efforts at getting the Petroleum Industry Bill fast-tracked through the legislature. We are also seeing government interrogating its operations in the oil and gas industry with a view to exposing corrupt practices that has held down not only the industry but the entire economy. It has led to government admitting that budgeting 74% of the national income for recurrent expenditure is irresponsible and anti-development. In sports, we must therefore draw down the benefits of the ‘New Nigeria’ to our industry to ensure that the role of sports as a tool for social engineering is accorded premium position in national planning. While it is beneficial in the short term to provide mass transit platforms to cushion the immediate impact of the pro-inflation subsidy removal policy, the long term effects of reviving the sports industry should not be relegated to the back bench. Participating in the week-long protests at the Gani Fawehinmi

By Harry Iwuala Freedom Park brought back memories of the recent past in the sports industry when we had whistle blowers and activists in the mould of Brown Ebewele and Jerry Okorodudu amongst many others. Even though their activities mainly kicked against perceived sharp and anti-athletes’ administrative practices and not a template to drive long term development, they provided a watchdog role that we don’t seem to have today. That was the era when attempts to abort participation in international tournaments such as the recent African Handball Championship were exposed early and tabled in the public domain to sensit i s e those i n a u thority a n d elicit posit i v e calls to action. W e

• Chukwumerije

therefore must seize the popular momentum to force a sports agenda in the on-going review of operations of government at all three tiers. Sports industry stakeholders must begin with the National Sports Commission budget for 2012 to ascertain that we have a forward looking and development favourable plans in the fiscal proposition before the National Assembly. It is imperative that as the economic activists have spotted and decried certain aspects of the 2012 budget as it concerns presidential expenditure, we also need to microscope the sports appropriation on a line item basis to determine what has been provided for infrastructure development. We must not accept the Minister of Finance’s whimsical declaration that she would have loved to be a Sports Minister in this Olympic year simply because money will be set aside for jamboree. While funding the 2012 Olympic participation should be one of the high-

lights of this year’s budget, it cannot over-shadow the need to set out the financial foundation for the building blocks of sports development. Assigning last minute huge funds for the Olympic games in one year defeats the essence of developmental budgeting which is what the January uprising in the country is all about. This is the time to force the hands of Sports Ministry officials to begin planning for Olympic Games over a four year period. We must be demanding that budgets are drawn up in such a way that preparations for the Olympic Games and the All Africa Games are made long term and not the current competition-obsessed mode we operate. The time has also come for planners in the sports industry state rolling objectives that are clearly defined and measurable as our youths can no longer be subjected to the secrecy that previous budgets have been made. What about vigorous debates of planning options at Sports Town Hall Meetings? Is there any connect between the Local governments, states and federal sports agency programs? The time has come for us to hold those at the helm of affairs at all levels of administration to annually unveil

their course of action at the beginning of the year and come back at the end to submit their report sheets of performance to the people. This is one sure way of eliminating mercenary administrators who come to dig sports gold through spurious political appointments. We now appreciates the need for citizens to ask those elected or appointed into office to be responsive to their

“We therefore must seize the popular momentum to force a sports agenda in the on-going review of operations of government at all three tiers. Sports industry stakeholders must begin with the National Sports Commission budget for 2012 to ascertain that we have a forward looking and development favourable plans in the fiscal proposition before the National Assembly” duties and starting from the Youths and Sports departments in the Local Governments through the States’ Sports Councils to the National Sports Commission, we can always questions. For the media, it is no longer sufficient to be passive when it comes to legislation and appropriation as we owe the constituency a duty to inform them of the plans or non-plans of the various sports administrative units. Enough is indeed enough.

Mikel returns for Chelsea

N

IGERIA'S Mikel Obi returns to Chelsea squad today against Norwich City at Carrow Road in the English Premier League after after a month on the sidelines. Mikel who last played in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Tottenham on December 22 at White Hart Lane, returned to full training on Monday and has been penciled down by coach Andre Villas-Boas for today's clash. The Chelsea boss who needs to find a level of consistency and maintain current run of form following three successive victories, may have come too soon for Mikel. "We need to find consistency in our own performances, it will be better if we beat Norwich, but I don't care what happens in the other matches this weekend, we need to do our own job first and foremost," Villas-Boas said. Norwich have surprised many on their return to the Premier League this season, with a blend of consistent home and away form providing the backbone, not only to avoid

•Osaze aims to end West Brom’s woes •As Newcastle charges Ameobi on top six

By Bimbo Adesina relegation, but propel them to their current and loftiest position of ninth. However, with West Brom boss Roy Hodgson confirmation that Osaze Odemwingie will not be sold, the Albions will rely on the Nigeria international to end a run of five Premier League matches without a win at Britannia Stadium against Stoke City. West Brom have not recorded a league victory since beating Newcastle United 3-2 on December 22. They then managed a credible 0-0 draw at home to league leaders Manchester City, but have since followed it up with successive defeats to Everton, Tottenham and Norwich. Albion fans can take heart from the fact that four of their six league wins have been on the road - the same tally as Arsenal, and level with Everton as the most away victories among clubs in the bottom half of the table.

But that strong away form is likely to be tested at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke have lost just twice in 10 matches, giving them one of the best home records in the league. Stoke are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions, and are eighth on the table after earning a point from a 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Saturday. Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has challenged Shola Ameobi and his teammates to keep themselves in the hunt for a top-six finish after making a major move in the transfer market. The manager insists Newcastle will give it everything they have got to upset the established order. Newcastle travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham. The Magpies have roared back into life in the New Year beating Manchester United and QPR at St James’ Park to leapfrog Liverpool into sixth.

• Chelsea


32

33

NATIONSPORT SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

M

ASSIMO Mezzaroma has warned Napoli that Siena’s weakened state does not mean that they are going into Sunday’s match with a beaten mindset. The Robur go into the weekend’s clash with Walter Mazzarri’s men with a number of absences from the team through suspension and injury. However, club patron Mezzaroma is insistent that it will not deter the team from believing they can take

•Walter Mazzarri

A

TALANTA midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura states that Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero has exerted the greatest influence on his career to date. In an exclusive interview with Goal.com on Thursday, the 22-yearold revealed the World Cup winner was his boyhood idol, and added that he would declare his career a success if he attained even a quarter of the striker's achievements.

"When I was little I liked [Del Piero] a lot. It will be really nice to see him. He is an example to follow. Even if I am able to replicate only a quarter of what he has done in his career, it'd be very fulfilling for me," Bonaventura said. Bonaventura then discussed Atalanta's forthcoming opponents Juventus, whom he described as a genuine title contender, before speaking highly of the club's coach Antonio Conte.

Saturday Roma v Cesena Atalanta v Juventus Sunday Bologna v Parma Udinese v Catania Cagliari v Fiorentina Novara v Milan Palermo v Genoa Lecce v Chievo Siena v Napoli Inter v Lazio

Di Natale Udinese 14 Denis Atalanta 12 Ibra Milan 12 Cavani Napoli 11 Klose Lazio 9 Giovinco Parma 9 Jovetic Fiorentina 9 Matri Juventus 7 Milito Inter 7 Calaio Siena 7 Osvaldo Roma 7 Palacio Genoa 7 Mutu Cesena 6

I

Table

Italia Seria A league Table - as at Jan 16 Juventus AC Milan Udinese Lazio Inter Napoli Roma Genoa Chievo Cagliari Catania Parma Fiorentina Palermo Atalanta Bologna Siena Cesena Lecce Novara

18 18 18 18 18 18 17 18 18 18 17 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18

10 11 10 9 10 7 8 7 6 5 5 6 5 6 6 5 4 4 3 2

8 4 5 6 2 7 3 3 5 7 7 4 6 3 8 4 6 3 3 6

0 3 3 3 6 4 6 8 7 6 5 8 7 9 4 9 8 11 12 10

29 37 26 26 28 33 23 22 14 16 20 24 18 19 23 17 19 12 18 18

12 17 13 17 19 20 19 29 20 18 25 32 16 24 23 25 19 25 34 35

17 20 13 9 9 13 4 -7 -6 -2 -5 -8 2 -5 0 -8 0 -13 -16 -17

38 37 35 33 32 28 27 24 23 22 22 22 21 21 20 19 18 15 12 12

something from the game. “It is a shame to be facing a team like Napoli at this time. However, we know our goal is survival at this time and we must always try to win points in every game. “De Laurentiis’ club have never won at our ground and we hope to continue this tradition. Theirs is a team full of champions and it will be hard, but with the support of the fans I am sure that we will do ourselves justice. “Even a draw would be nice, it is important for us to move up the table.” Mezzaroma also commented on the future of his sporting director Giorgio Perinetti, who has continually been linked with a switch to Palermo, to become Maurizio Zamparini’s general manager at the Renzo Barbera.

NTER •Forlan Milan h o s t Lazio on the back of six straight wins in t h e Serie A o n Sunday, without the services of injured striker Diego Forlan. Inter Milan host Lazio on the back of six straight wins in the Serie A on Sunday, without the services of injured striker Diego Forlan. The Uruguayan, who missed 10 weeks from October with an injured hamstring, was on his way back to fitness, having made four league starts since December, but has suffered another setback with a suspected injured thigh. Claudio Ranieri's men moved to within six points of leaders Juventus with a crucial 1-0 win over rivals AC Milan last Sunday and will displace Lazio in fourth if they take all three points at the San Siro. Inter's purple patch has seen them take all 18 points from their past six starts in the league, where they have scored 14 and conceded only one goal, a run that has catapulted them up to fifth in the table from as low as 16th on December 4.

•Cahill

A C

HELSEA recruit Gary Cahill is itching to make his debut in tonight’s clash with Premier League newcomers Norwich. The centre-back, who

K

•Agger

ENNY Dalglish expects Daniel Agger to come back into his plans for Liverpool's trip to Bolton tonight. T h e D e n m a r k international sat out last weekend's Anfield stalemate with Stoke after suffering a slight knock, but he has returned to

campaign with damaged knee ligaments. "We're alright," Dalglish told the Reds' official website. "We just need to have a look at Jay, see how he goes. Apart from that, I don't think there's anybody else we need to worry about.

training and is looking to put himself back in contention. With Agger poised to make his return at the Reebok Stadium, Dalglish has few injury concerns to contend with.

"Agger is okay." Pressed on what Agger has been struggling with, the Scot refused to go into specifics. He said: "I said the injury was ongoing last week, so we've just got to manage it."

TOP SCORES RVP Arsenal Ba Newcastle Aguero Man City Rooney Man Utd Yakubu Blackburn Dzeko Man City Sturridge Chelsea Adebayor Tottenham Lampard Chelsea Fletcher Wolves Balotelli Man City Morison Norwich Graham Swansea Bent Aston Villa Bale Tottenham Holt Norwich

FIXTURES Saturday Norwich v Chelsea Everton v Blackburn QPR v Wigan Stoke v West Brom Sunderlandv Swansea Wolves v Aston Villa Fulham v Newcastle Bolton v Liverpool Sunday Man City v Tottenham Arsenal v Man United

18 15 14 13 12 11 9 9 9 9 8 8 7 7 7 7

Jay Spearing is still nursing a h a m s t r i n g problem, but could be ready, while Lucas Leiva will miss the remainder of the

signed from Bolton last week, missed the recent 1-0 win over Sunderland as he finalised personal terms with the Blues. With a deal now thrashed out, Cahill is eager to prove his worth at Stamford Bridge. "Sitting on the side and watching, you see how big this club is," Cahill told Chelsea TV after watching the Black Cats clash from the stands. "It's a massive club. "It was fantastic to get the win, 1-0, and it's a great atmosphere. "Any player, when you're watching, you just want to go play - I was ready to get down there and get my boots on and play in that arena." Cahill added that he is excited to be in a squad that boasts top stars such as England captain and team-mate John Terry. "I was over the moon to make my England debut, and coming

in alongside John was even more special," he said. "The squad is full of top international players so I'm under no illusions, it'll be hard to get in the team and keep hold of the shirt. "There's a mixture of some young boys, like Daniel Sturridge, and the experience of people who've won things. "It's a fantastic squad and I'm glad to be a part of it, a n d hopefull y I can help mov

•Vidic

e the c l u b forward.

will keep

on winning trophies

Barclays Premier league Table - as at Jan 16

N

EMANJA Vidic insists United don’t fear City and believes the Reds are the only team in Manchester who will win trophies year after year. The Old Trafford skipper, who is recovering from knee surgery which will rule him out for the rest of the season, believes Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have the right mix of youth and experience to win the Premier League title ahead of the Blues. And he believes United will only improve knowing they are battling with their rivals for silverware. “If you look at our history and commitment, you know we like to win all trophies and I believe we are the team in Manchester who will

keep doing that every year,” Vidic told M.E.N. Sport. “Of course we are confident. We are challenging for the title and we are only three points behind City. “We have had problems with injuries but I think against Arsenal this weekend we have a good chance. We have a few players back which will h e l p t h e manager. We have a good squad – a good b a l a n c e b e t w e e n experience and youth.

NOTHER loss to Barcelona has piled pressure on Jose Mourinho, with support for the Real Madrid coach ebbing after another ill-tempered and ineffective display against its biggest rival. Barcelona rallied for a 2-1 Copa del Rey victory on Wednesday for its 10th victory in 13 games, and sixth win against Madrid since the Portuguese coach took over in 2010. Mourinho’s defensive tactics

B

and use of centerback Pepe in midfield did little to stop Barcelona’s attack, while his aggressive approach and lack of offensive inspiration drew jeers from the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Even daily sports paper Marca, a staunch Madrid supporter, labeled Madrid’s performance “woeful” and Pepe’s stamp on Lionel Messi’s hand “repugnant.”

ARCELONA may enter this weekend's round of La Liga fixtures with a psychological advantage after beating Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. Barcelona may enter this weekend's round of La Liga fixtures with a psychological advantage after beating Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. League champions Barca came from a goal down to beat Cup holders Real 2-1 in their quarter-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. It was a third win for the Catalan giants from four meetings with Real this season, including the two-legged Super Cup in August. Several minor slip-ups in La Liga mean Barca find themselves five points back from Jose Mourinho's league leaders. But their dominance over Real in individual contests cannot be denied, and it remains to be seen what impact

the Copa del Rey duel, if any, will have on the destiny of the championship. Fresh from their latest success in the capital, Barca travel to La Rosaleda to face Malaga tonight. The Q atar-owned club spent big in the offseason as they seek to make an impression on the traditional balance of power in Spain. B u t t h o s e expectations are yet to be fulfilled - Malaga sit eighth just past the midway point of the season, and are without a win from their past six matches in all competitions. They went down 2-1 away to Sporting Gijon last Sunday, and exited the Copa del Rey with a 4-

Spanish La liga Table - as at Jan 15

•Mourinho

Injury blow for Garcia

E

SPANYOL have confirmed that striker Sergio Garcia is set to be sidelined for between "six and eight" weeks after successfully undergoing an operation on his knee injury on Thursday morning. That means the 28-year-old Spain international, who has scored seven goals in all competitions this season, could miss up to 10 Primera Division matches as well as next week's Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg against Mirandes. Espanyol are ninth in the league standings on 25 points.

2 aggregate defeat to Real in the round of 16.

Ronaldo Madrid Messi Barca Higuain Madrid Falcao Atletico Soldado Valencia Benzema Madrid Fabregas Barca Barral Gijon Llorente Bilbao Sanchez Barca Kone Levante Juanlu Levante Xavi Barca Castro Betis Hemed Mallorca Negredo Sevilla

21 19 14 12 11 10 9 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 5

•Garcia

Saturday Espanyol v Granada Racing v Getafe Sociedad v Atletico Real Betis v Sevilla Sunday Osasuna v Valencia Rayo v Mallorca Malaga v Barcelona Levante v Zaragoza Madrid v Bilbao Monday Villarreal v Gijon


THE NATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

34

NATION SPORT

Inside The Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI

Our Expectations for Year 2012 (1) O

UR expectations for the Year 2012 include laying a very solid foundation for the National Teams to bounce back from the below-par runs of 2011 and launch forward with absolute confidence to confront the world at their various levels. Also, the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation will consider the membership of the special committee that will fashion a roadmap for the sustainable development of Nigeria football, as we have been mandated by the Annual General Assembly in Kaduna last month. In Kaduna, the Congress stated clearly: “Congress mandated the NFF Executive Committee to constitute, as a matter of urgency, an independent Task Force to fashion a roadmap for the sustainable development of Nigeria football”. It can also be recalled that Congress regretted the poor results of some of our National Teams in the year 2011, but acknowledged the excellent support services rendered to the teams by the Nigeria Football Federation. In order to stop the tap of poor results and ensure that teams imbibe the spirit of winning and WINNING

only, we have put measures in place to provide stiff competition for places in the various teams, motivate the teams maximally in every way possible and make losing absolutely unattractive to players and members of the technical crew of the various teams. While it is illogical to expect to win every single football match, patriotic fervour and commitment can go a long way to usurping the ambition of the opposition, because it is those who want it more that get it. We are absolutely committed to the project of the home based players’ residential training programme, which has taken off in Abuja in December and saw the boys holding the ‘A’ team of Angola (which will take part in the 2012 African Cup of Nations starting today in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon) to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, 11th January in Abuja. The result was actually not what thrilled the people at the venue; it was the high octane determination and skills not thought to be prevalent among home based players. The home boys held their own firmly and even created better chances, and could have won it in the second period.

• Keshi

The excitement and ecstasy unleashed by the home boys against the Angolans lit up the National Stadium on an unusual day and all those who were there applauded the NFF for the initiative, which now reminds all of the way that Mr. Clemens Westerhorf, Dutchman, started it all in 1989 when he arrived and decided he would give the home boys opportunity to shine. Perhaps, many don’t remember why Westerhorf decided to set much store by the home boys. The Dutchman arrived in Nigeria prior to the 1990 World Cup qualifier against Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos, but was simply watching from the stands as Mr. Paul Hamilton stayed in control. That was the day the unfortunate happened – midfielder Samuel Okwaraji died in action. Following this calamity, the players pledged to go to Cameroon and battle for the minimum of a draw – which was what Nigeria needed to qualify for Italia 1990. Yet, when it mattered most, when the plane was ready to head off to Yaounde, some of the players arrived at the airport, only to say they were heading to Europe, not Yaounde. The man was shocked beyond words. Beside that, the players who eventually went refused to leave the hotel for the airport until some monies being owed them by the then NFA were paid. All these put Westerhorf off and he made up his mind. The difference with what we have decided to do now is that it is deliberate policy. Following the heartbreak failure to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations (the tournament starts today in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, and naturally, Nigeria was supposed to be there), the angst in the land against the low level of commitment of our players defined a new course of action. Things have started on an encouraging note with the draw achieved by the home boys against the Angolans, in their very first match. A shame that the game against Liberia in Monrovia had to be postponed, but looking at it again, it simply means the players would have time to refresh before the trip to Monrovia. Surely, we expect them to do better against Liberia than what they showed against the Angolans in Abuja. Competitively, the year really begins for us today when the U-17 Women National Team, Flamingoes

step out against the U-17 Women’s Team of Kenya in a qualifying match for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012. The ladies left on Thursday aboard Kenya Airways flight and I was able to make it clear to them that the nation is expecting so much from them, and nothing but outright victory would do. It is important that at this young age, the players are made to realize that every match must be won. It is not a matter of ‘let us try a little and get a draw, because the second leg is at our home’. That is not acceptable. I was happy to read the charge of the Head Coach who told his players to go in there and play as if there would be no second leg. A comfortable victory would definitely help the team’s preparation for the second leg, which comes up in a fortnight. And since the girls have only one more hurdle after that, it would excite them to be looking at that final hurdle well in advance. Also coming on the heels of that would be the U-20 Women’s challenge against their counterparts from Sierra Leone, in the qualification series for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Uzbekistan 2012. That tournament is coming up between August and September and Nigeria has an image to protect. At the last FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup finals in Germany (2010), the Falconets upended the applecart by reaching the Final, losing by two goals to host Germany. The least that is expected of the new crew, called into camp on Friday, is to match that performance in Uzbekistan. Of course, after the team must have qualified for the finals! Following this would be the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying between the Super Eagles and the Wasps of Rwanda. That would be a big one. Following the Eagles’ failure to reach Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, everything would go into the qualifiers for 2013. We MUST secure victory in Kigali on February 29, because the return leg is not two weeks later, it is coming up mid-June. Should the Eagles be able to win and win well in Kigali, there would be peace of mind ahead of the second leg in June. The excitement of a loaded June comes after the U-17 Women, U-20 Women and the Super Falcons have been in action. While the Flamingoes have only two rounds of the qualification series before berthing at the FIFA World Cup, the Falconets have three rounds, starting with the fixture against Sierra Leone. And the Super Falcons, champions of the African continent, will start their qualification series for the African Women Championship Equatorial Guinea 2012 with a clash against the winner of Botswana and Zimbabwe at the end of May. The 8th African Women Championship has been scheduled for Equatorial Guinea, hosts and winners of the sixth edition in 2008, in November of this year. Next week, we will talk about the SUMMER OF GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

AKINLOYE AT LARGE 08050246155 atlarge84@yahoo.com

Commitment is the key

I

T is great seeing Victor Anichebe back on the turf after a four-month lay-off due to his injured knee. He got the injury playing for Nigeria in an international game in Abuja and the Everton striker's experience has been harrowing. The joy is that he is back scoring goals. Nigeria identified with him at the initial stage of the injury and it would be terrible if he was left to himself afterwards. If that is the case, it would be difficult getting Anichebe to be committed to his country in future engagements. Fear of injury on national duty is the reason why Nigerian players do not apply themselves fully to national team games. To them, it is better to get injured playing for their clubs than the national team. When a player gets injured playing for the national team, it is always difficult to get back to the first team. Players are warned not to cop by their managers before they leave for international duty and to have fallen prey gets the player into the bad books of the manager. The player may not taste first team football for a long time. Commitment is the key to Nigeria returning to its rightful place in football. The foreign-based professionals are not committed to the country because their clubs pay their wages and look after them properly. They are spoil by the club and are treated very wanted. Arsenal allowed Robin Van Persie to go on break by flying to Dubai with his family during the season. What a way to spoil a player! When a player is injured in Europe, the insurance company comes in and pays the player so that he does not feel the financial loss. I wonder how much Anichebe got for the injury he copped playing for the country. I would be surprised if the players are insured while playing for the country. If they are insured, I hope the Nigeria Football Federation is maintaining the policy by paying as at when due. Anichebe should get something for getting injured playing for his country. The players should be told that they are insured and how much it is worth so that they apply themselves more while playing for the country. Our players do not tackle opponents because the fear the state of the pitches. The pitches, considered top grade in the country, are third-rate in Europe!. We should learn how to maintain our pitches. The groundsmen must be put into consideration. They need to be exposed to how to maintain a pitch in modern time. May be an expert should be brought from abroad to teach our groundsmen the rudiment of pitch management. If the pitch is bad, good football cannot be played on it. We cannot see our players celebrate goal as they do in their clubs. We cannot see them play with commitment any time they play for the national team. The pitches around the country do not belong to NFF and the Nigeria Premier League. They belong either to the federal or states. Therefore, the ruling bodies have to wield the big stick by banning football from being played in pitches that are not up to standard. International matches should cease being played at stadiums which pitches are not top grade, even if their owners agree to bankroll the cost. The interest of the players and football must be put into consideration in choosing venues for international games. The amount being paid to the players as camp allowance and match bonus need to be reviewed upwards. Five thousand dollars ($5000) as winning bonus is peanut to a player who earns $60000 a week. This is the reason why some Super Eagles’ players will not die a little playing for the country. The camp allowance and match bonus are not worth dying for. I suggest that the winning bonus be increased to $15000 while the allowance is pegged at $1500 a day. The increases may seem too hefty considering the economic situation, but there is a price to be paid for everything. Commitment also has its won price. KESHI AND THE PUNDIT JOB Super Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi and his assistant, Daniel Amokachi have the right to watch the African Cup of Nations live in Gabon and Equitorial Guinea but not as television pundits. They have signed the contract to tinker the national team for three years so cannot operate a contract within another. Super Sports will pay them for the role of television pundit for as long as the Nations Cup lasts, while their salaries will be running with the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF).The Secretary General was holding a meeting with them on Monday on the issue and I expect him to give it to them straight. While denying them the pundit job, arrangement should be made by the Glass House to sent them to the Nations Cup venues to watch the games live.


U-17 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Flamingoes ready to do Nigeria proud – Falode SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

36

Golf...Golf...Golf...Golf...Golf...Golf...Golf...Golf...Golf

W

E must all share in this blame. Some two decades back, it was all glaring that if you do not have good money in the hip of your trousers, you dare not move onto the golf course. But through surplus emotions, we quickly wrote the moneybags off from making the game of golf an exclusive thing, like they are doing with the game of polo. Now, the whole thing is reading like we veered into one thick rough. Look at the game of polo, and you dare not come up with a story. It is a straightforward thing. You will have your cash in one hip of your trousers and your will in the other hip. The will is necessary, in case you fall off your horse and end up in the morgue. But the bucks, you must have. For God’s sake, no one is going to allow you hop around in his pony. The horse does not come cheap either. This is why polo is the real elitist game. Golf could have been worse. But we waded in. We made golf to be open… to that point where a caddy could borrow a set and hit the course. To that point where a scraggy fellow who cannot afford a good meal could be on same golf tourney with the likes of the Senate President, David Mark, Diette Spiff, John Shagaya, Lucky Omoluwa, and even Otunba Olusola Adekanola. Are we not really making mistakes for allowing all these? Let’s get back to the real deal. What defines a golfer? At this point, we can forget about the big bucks. Let’s talk about what defines the typical golfer. We are now going to talk about a large degree of sociability, concentration, and the ability to analyze and plan actions. And at this point, someone who is on the breadline… someone who lives off the club can never meet up with these high orders. But we pushed them along to meet up and this is why golf is getting dirty. In years past, you must know your blessings, no matter how modest, and count them before you even move close to the gates of a golf course. In those good years, the doors to the golf course is like a cathedral. Once you are in, you are there to worship. You must be prepared to have a relationship with the golf course. The truth is until you bag a handicap, you are confined to the range. We are talking of the days of Mobolaji Johnson and Sam Iredia. In their years, you have got to have a jeweller’s touch before you ever make it to the course. But in these days, we

GOLFLINE

NTDC brings for

WITH

Tony Akhigbe golflineintl@yahoo.com 0 8 0 94863638

Army set to rescue decline in golf have really got something horrible and emotions have ceased to flood all over us. Today, any idiot, but youths, who can pay an annual subscription can as well swoop on the golf course and its amiable members. Where is this leading golf? Jobbers, gold diggers and side road contractors are now flooding the golf course. The more they flood the courses, the more they raise against the youth and the development of the game. In those years, to serve in the committee is like the ‘real’ service of Dora Akunliyi and former EFCC chief, Nuhu Ribadu. In those years, you will even have to spend your own fund as a committee member so the club could run like those machines on Formula One. But those were the years of the late

Afun Ogidan and the late General Armah. These days, golf is walking on its head. Charlatans and hungry buffs have taken over. People now kill themselves just to be on the club committee. Why? Today, being a committee member is a clear license for you to defraud co-members. It’s happening everyday and the game is suffering. Just imagine. How on earth would a golf club member turn into an ordinary hawker who prints and sell T-shirts to comembers. Check the rules of St. Andrews and you will learn something. What you will learn is that the Pro Shop of every club is where you buy all you need for your game. Now that the game has been royally messed up, there will still be need to

•Brigadier ETI Nienge

bring the game back, even if it is through the rear door. And too good, this can only happen if we can restore a youth program where golf could be taken to schools. But this could still be difficult. Reason is if you even get school kids interested in the game of golf, where will they ever get the chance to play on a course since virtually all courses in Nigeria are for paid members alone? And share in this shame, as huge as Nigeria is, we don't have one public course... not even a Range. The whole thing is so annoying that the DG of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe OON, promised that something will be done to ensure the country provides public courses in regions across the nation. Runsewe knows too well that golf is bedrock of Tourism anywhere in the world and that Nigeria cannot fail to toe the fruitful line that will boost Tourism. All the same, it appears there is a added way out here. The Army, that aspect of the Military, that initially threw the game open for everyone, both rich and poor, is set to redeem the game to that point the youths could have a chance. The Chairman of Army golf, and indeed the Commandant of the S&T in Benin, Brigadier-General ETI Nienge, disclosed that the Army could provide a platform where talented youths could exhibit there golf sense in areas where 'Members Only' gates will not be shut in their faces. He believes this is the right time talented youths need all kinds of encouragement since the game of golf will count at the Olympics in 2016. "You must know that about every Army huge areas have golf courses", Nienge said. "In these areas, the chance is always there for everyone to play. Especially in Minna and Ibadan where we have courses that are 100% free for everyone, especially the youths. "I will really want the youths to have free access to golf courses. The 2016 Olympics where golf will count is around the corner. This is time to open the youths to serious golf training. But the Army cannot do it all alone. Okay, we can provide facilities where they can play and train since Members Only clubs will not allow them access to such facilities. But this goes beyond providing the platform to train and play. I mean who will take charge of other things needed to make to prepare a youth that is expected to contest at the Olympics in 2016".

T

HE Nigeria Under-17 Women’s National Team, nicknamed Flamingoes, have vowed to do the nation proud when they confront the Kenyan U17 Women’s Team at the Nyayo National Stadium tonight, says the Coordinator of all Women National Teams, Aisha Falode. Falode, who travelled to Nairobi with the team on Thursday night, said she had spoken to the players and they are determined to stop the tap of poor results for Nigerian National Teams in competitive international football. “I have been assured by the girls that they will give it their all. Nigeria is top of the Premier League table in women football in Africa, and we cannot afford to slip. The Flamingoes know what this means and they have assured the technical crew that they will go all out tonight against the Kenyans. “I have also watched their training sessions and the practice matches they have

played and I am convinced they will fly the flag well”, stated Falode, a member of the Media Committee of the Confederation of African Football. The Flamingoes square up against the Kenyan U17 Women’s Team in the first leg, first round of the African qualifying series for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which takes place in Azerbaijan, September/ October this year.

•Falode

Anyansi: Salami 'll be transformed in Enyimba

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N Y I M B A International FC Chairman, Felix Anyansi Agwu has asserted that Gbolahan Salami’s switch to the Peoples Elephant would be a process leading to his transformation and an opportunity to be a better player besides what he was renowned for. Anyansi in a telephone chat with NationSport opined that the movement of Salami to Enyimba despite the club’s lack of action in the CAF Champions League this term was a pointer that the club still commands respect among established players in the NPL. He added that Salami has thus far displayed the reverse of what had been attributed to him in the media, stressing that the club was happy to have him

•Salami

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri in Aba. “It is a good omen that we have signed a player like Salami and it goes to show that Enyimba is still among the best in the league despite the fact that we are not participating in the CAF Champions League this year.” “Salami has been a good boy since he joined us and he will continue to remain so while here. Enyimba is an institution and everyone that is willing to be part of that institution will be willing to be part of all its ideals and I believe that Salami will be a better player than he was before he joined us. There is no problem with him at all.”


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

HO LLYWOOD Lohan

T'S probably not the wisest thing to do after working up a sweat but pop star Rihanna seemed extremely relaxed after puffing on a suspicious hand-rolled cigarette following a rigorous exercise session this weekend. The brown papered roll-up looked remarkably similar to a 'blunt', which is slang for a marijuana filled cigar, the type favoured and popularised in hip-hop music. While some people undoubtedly just smoke the cigars, Rihanna did look rather laidback as she lolled on her sun lounger. Rihanna looked blissful and deep in thought while taking a private moment for herself. The singer has been quite vocal on her Twitter page recently, telling fans how she has been enjoying her time off. Last weekend she tweeted a message saying: 'Kush rolled, glass full...I prefer the better things.' The line refers to a lyric taken from Drake's song, Up All Night, where the rapper talks about smoking marijuana. Earlier on in the week the Rihanna tweeted: '4:20...Hi.' The figure 4.20 is another slang term for marijuana.

gets another glowing probation report

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Pop star Rihanna takes a puff

Bruno Mars cleared of drug charges

•Bruno

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OW that he has completed the terms of a plea deal linked to his arrest September 2010

after police said they found him in possession of cocaine in Las Vegas, singer, Bruno Mars has been cleared of drug charges. A judge dropped the charges against the Grammywinning "Grenade" singer, whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, after confirming that he completed 200 hours of community service and eight hours worth of drug counseling and paid a $2,000 fine, which had been in accordance with the deal. Mars had been arrested in a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino after a nightclub performance

on Sept. 19, 2010, and surrendered a bag containing 2.6 grams of cocaine, according to police reports. "Bruno earned the dismissal," his attorney Blair Berk said. "He exceeded the expectations of the court." The "Just the Way You Are" singer, along with his producer-buddies the Smeezingtons, is nominated for six Grammy Awards, including record of the year ("Grenade"), album of the year ("Doo-Wops & Hooligans") and song of the year ("Grenade"). He is scheduled to perform again at the award show on Feb. 12.

CTRESS Lindsay Lohan stayed on track last month toward completing her probation requirements and avoiding the possibility of jail, the judge in her case said Tuesday. "She's done it all on schedule," Los Angeles County Judge Stephanie Sautner said, after reviewing the January progress report from Lohan's probation officer. Lohan, 25, must work 12 days a month at the Los Angeles County morgue and visit a psychologist four times each month. "Just keep doing what you're doing," Sautner said. "You appear to be doing it well." Lohan must return to Sautner's courtroom on February 22 for another progress report. If she completes the remaining 29 days of community service work at the morgue by a March 29 hearing, it could be the end of her supervised probation. If she fails, she could spend months in a jail, the judge has told her.

•Lohan

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HE luckiest Ghanaian female musician in the world right now could be Naa Adjeley Tubua who simply goes by the stage name, Adjeley according to reports. Aside from the fact that she already has a very successful man, Terry Masson on her side as the love of her life, the rising silky voice singer is presently rocking the most valuable white diamond ring in Ghana, on her finger as her engagement ring. Information gathered say that that Terry Masson, CEO of TM Entertainmentz, the event company responsible for organizing the Sarkodie Live in USA tour, bought Adjeley, a $30, 000 white diamond ring.

•Adjeley For Terry, “Obviously the money isn't a factor but for lucky Adjeley, she will be touched that out of everything her fiancé could have bought her, he chose something she'll treasure for years,” a close source revealed.

Juliet Ibrahim Launches JIF

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NE of Ghollywood's finest actresses, Juliet Ibrahim along with her sister, Sonia Ibrahim, have launched the Juliet Ibrahim Foundation at Zanzi Bar in Accra, Ghana and was hosted by comedian Okey Bakassi. The foundation is dedicated to bringing awareness to kidney cancer. “JIF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on creating awareness on kidney cancer and providing necessary

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ONTROVERSIAL hiplife musician, Kwaw Kese popularly known as Abodam has been robbed by unknown assailants at his residence at the Manet Gardens at Spintex. The incident took place at about 4:30 am when the artiste and four other occupants of the threebedroom apartment were asleep. According to Kwaw, known in real life as Emmanuel Abrompah Botchwey, the assailants “broke through one of the windows and took two laptops (including a Mac Book Pro) and an iPod.” He said they did not see the assailants but were certain that they could be coming from the neighborhood. The King of the Streets further narrated that, the thieves used a glued stick to pick the laptops and subsequently pulled them through the window, saying that but for an

interventions to ensure a society free of such issues in Ghana and Africa at large,” the actress says. The foundation is founded by the award winning and celebrated Ghanaian actress Juliet Ibrahim in her bid to give back to society and be socially responsible. This choice was however motivated and inspired after having a personal experience with this live threatening disease by way of close relatives.

•Sonia, John Dumelo with Juliet Ibrahim

alarm from one of the occupants of the house the burglars would have made away with all four laptops. He said the laptops contained several important materials including yet-to-be released songs and videos which are “worth thousands of dollars. It is worth a lot. ” Asked if he had reported the incident to the police, Kwaw was quick to say, “I think the society can help me better,” calling on his fans and the general public to be vigilant to help him get his laptop - which is being protected by a password and has his images on it at the back. He explained that although he believes the police can work on the case for him, “it takes a whole lot of time” to get results adding, “I want my thing now … the world should help me find it.”

Ghanaian star chooses advertising over acting

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Crane over Ghollywood

$30,000 engagement ring for Adjeley

Kwaw Kese robbed

NGELA Tabiri one of the newest faces in the movie industry after getting the opportunity to star in the just released movie titled “Sons of Satan” has revealed some of the reasons why many upcoming movie stars in Ghana are going into adverting, especially the ladies. she stated that most of the time, the upcoming actresses' who want to enter into the film industry go into TV advertisements because they feel the advertizing agencies that handle the TV adverts work with more professionalism than production houses that handle film productions. Explaining what she meant by professionalism she said that in the advertizing field there are no reasons to sleep with any agent or date any agent before you get the opportunity to star in the advert. Secondly, the payment is very good compared to the film industry and thirdly the advertizing agencies work with time unlike the movie industry where everything is otherwise. Angela has starred in

about 50 top adverts like; Vodaphone, Captains Dry Gin, Premier Soap, Playboy, Languor, Sun Silk Hair Pomade, Pusher Bitters, Merchant Bank, Pretty Lady with Stacy etc. Also music videos like Kwasi Pees latest video currently enjoying massive air play, Reggie Rockstone ft Beenie Man, Amakye Dede, Rex Omar as well as Okyeame Kofi. She also has about 4 movies to credit, with titles like Hot Fork, Adults Only, Sons of Satan, Upcoming Hotel Babylon. She believes The Captain Dry Gin brought her to the lime light.

•Angela


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

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HE strike has come and gone. For some it was a mission accomplished ; while for some others it was a battle that was fought and lost. Some have even opined that it was a wasted and futile effort indeed. Some lost their lives, some even felt betrayed. What are battles for anyway; it has always been a win for some while others lose. I must not forget to mention too that for a good some; the strike was an opportunity to rest at home with their family members , not minding that it was orchestrated as a matter of compulsion. A pastor who says that he is an addicted reader of this column has decided to share with us a testimonial of how the sixday strike has saved his marriage. Please read on. “Oh dear Vera, it is with a gladdened heart that I share my story with you. A story of how six days saved my twelve years marriage. But first, I must applaud your efforts and also encourage you to consider giving lectures from time to time , and talks , organize seminars and so on. Awareness is very key in a field like yours. My wife and I have been married for twelve years and are blessed with three wonderful children. Over the years, my wife has developed a solid career for herself and I will like to describe myself as supportive. I have supported her in every way I possibly can. I love

I assumed “until” death do us part” to mean mariage to my spouse until I die. It took a long time for me to realize that she could predecease me (she is still alive). I think spousal loss is better imagined than experienced. Your thoughtful article forearms one against a sad reality of life.

‘How subsidy strike saved my marriage...’ her dearly , so for her, it is easy to go the extra mile. When there is need for me to drop her at work even on a daily basis , I do not hesitate to do. I run a full time ministry so this makes my time very flexible. When she needs to write external exams I try to the best of my ability to ensure that the kids do not distract her in anyway and when she eventually passes such exam , everyone is happy. The reason is because her successes in such exams translates to her promotion at her work place. I am sure that at this point you are beginning to wonder where the trouble lies then if we seem to be so happy? Well , if you will just give me a little more time I promise not to waste your time. Like I earlier said , my wife and I have been married for twelve wonderful and fruitful years which I am

grateful to God for. But you see, my mother in- law, a wonderful woman no doubt, has stayed with us right from the first year of our marriage. Yes, its true. She has lived with us for eleven whole years. So , towards the end of last year, I called for a mini-meeting that involved myself, my wife and my mother in law. It was at that forum that I made my stand known to both my in-law and my wife. My sister, the aftermath of that meeting is better imagined. I told them that my reason was very simple, I wanted to enjoy a little privacy with my immediate family. I went further to commend my in law for support throughout the eleven years she had stayed with us. I made her know that I bear her no grudge whatsoever. She reacted by packing her things and leaving first thing the following morn-

ing. My plea that I did not mean any harm nor meant for her to leave immediately was rebuffed. My wife felt I had unceremoniously thrown her mother out of our home. She threatened to divorce me thereafter. My house became a war zone. For days , my wife and I were not on speaking terms. I had to plead and plead that my decision was nothing personal and that all I wanted was privacy with my family. Seriously, I do appreciate my in- law but my mind was made up. So , I spent those trying days trying to let my wife see things from my point of view. The more I tried to woo her the more determined she was to end our marriage. After I had exhausted all I could to persuade her into staying; I then told her to leave. First she was shocked and then she burst into tears claiming that she was con-

vinced that I had another wife in the offing! Imagine that. Me? A pastor? Another wife? The thought had never even crossed my mind. What just crossed my mind was that women; no one can ever completely understand them. My apologies to women though, but its true. My wife threatens to leave me, I plead and plead ; she says “no” that she is determined to end a twelve -year marriage , I now said leave ,

All I wanted was privacy with my family. Seriously, I do appreciate my in- law but my mind was made up. So , I spent those trying days trying to let my wife see things from my point of view

Text messages

Spousal loss: when to move on Many thanks Aloysius, Abuja You are a great woman of virtue, I just finished reading your piece, ‘Can a grown man be stolen?’ and your advice to

women is a hard truth that needs to be spoken like gospel because many have lost out in this process of looking for their stolen when in some cases sold theirs...out to Mabel and

others by their deed. •Baby Vera, I send the best of compliments at Christmas and new year, I wish you the very best with God’s blessings, joy good health, success, adryless pen and a bountiful new year, wish you the best always. God bless our secret admirer and fan Dave Blankson I will prefer the previous photo tag to your column up to January 7th, 2012. If for a change anyway, you can alternate every 2 weeks. Cheer Lanre

•Mr. and Mrs Chuks Juliet Nwanze during their traditional marriage at Abogo, Umunede, Delta State recently.

Thumbs- up for your highly educative write-up, when to move on in life after the loss of a spouse depends on how emotionally strong the person is. A close family friend had this experience and she had not fully gotten over the trauma many years after the loss. However, the best thing we can do for anybody going through this problem is to show some love and to pray for them, because it is not easy at all, it takes the grace of God to get over such loss. May God help those who

and she accuses me of keeping another woman? Hmm! Interestingly, it was in the middle of all this that, Organized Labor called for the strike protesting the fuel hike. I thank God Almighty for that strike because it compelled my wife, kids and I stay home. My wife had enough time to talk and sought our differences. Both of us have come to the conclusion that our marriage is worth keeping. Thank you”

are going through this challenge (amen). Have a glorious day. Kola Alao Your pick in today’s Nation (Sat January 14) brought out the real and new you. Hope the guys would not start disturbing and bring hambug on you •It all depends on the age of the widow. If its a young couple , the emotional feelings will still be there for some couple of years, but tradition demands six months whether old or young. Glory Chi •As a married person , the probability of falling into this category is 50per cent. Nevertheless , we all pray to grow old to reap the fruit of our Labour. Emotions, though quantifiable are relative and are dependent on the circumstance and the basis of the union, hence , it will be incorrect to say a party should mourn his or her spouse for a particular length of time . For a very old couple , it will be shorter though still relative ; for a very young couple , it will be longer, yet still relative. My definition of relative is premises

on so many factors, including love, closeness, etc. For some other people it is a dream come true. They enter such marriages for selfish reasons. They do not mourn at all; never mind their “crocodile tears” A demola Ola tunde Ola Oti. Your last paragraph summarised it all making relativity that, ‘recovering from a spousal loss, varies from person to person. Your observation on how to move on and suggestions on helping supports are all real. Notwithstanding, they all depend on how the affected receives them and also how the affect wants to activate the availability coping strategies. May Almighty God help to avert spousal losses as that event at younger ages could be terrific! thanks. Lanre Oseni •It depends on the age of the widowed person. If still very young and energetic; I feel the need for a minimum of two years is okay to mourn and then carry on depending on individual because even the bible says they have become one till death do them part. Segbeji Sicko Peters.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

If papers could talk, this page would tell you how much I love you

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ELL, here I am, back to what I love doing most – doing the Hearts page - and that’s because I love you all so much and I’d hate to disappoint you. Phew! I just remembered now that I’ve only had a can of some fizzy drink in my stomach all day. It’s okay, as long as I’m there for you and you’re there for me. As the Valentine’s Day draws closer, I have the mind of hosting our Abuja readers to a nice party. I have already spoken to the managers of the park in front of my house. We could use that and get some good musicians to entertain us. It won’t be free though, so if you’re interested, please call me and we’ll work it out. I’m sorry I can only answer a few questions today, I’ll make it up to you all next week. And for those desirous of meeting new people, we have a lot of them in their late 30s and 50s now. Those are the ones I want to attend to for certain reasons. However, to sort the chaff from the wheat, this service is no longer free. Call me for membership details. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the joke I’m ending the page with. Love you all.

What will I do? I can’t afford the lavish society wedding which my fiancée and her people want Hi, I’m in my 30s preparing for my wedding in March but my fiancée and her people want us to have a lavish and society wedding which I can’t afford. They are always complaining of what people will say. I’m gainfully employed but I tried explaining to them but they are insisting on what people will say. What do i do now? P. Dear P, to have your head above economic waters, you should learn to spend only about 65% to 70% of your earnings so that you would save the remaining for rainy seasons. Although there are really no hard and fast rules about how much of your earnings you should spend on your wedding, but I assume that before now, you should have had a budget and some savings to match the budget. In case you do not have a particular amount set aside for your wedding, then, this is the time to set the way forward on how you and your wife will agreeably walk the work of marriage based on finances. Since she and her family want a big society wedding, they should be prepared to feed their guests. In matters of finances, never allow anybody take you down a pit of debt. Starting to borrow to start a new union is like sinking the very hole which might swallow you up. Let your wife’s family know what you can afford for now and be nice but firm in your decision not to go aborrowing. The wedding day lasts for just one day. Imagine all the money that will go down into impressing people that you have arrived when in actual fact you know that you’re just managing. Plan the wedding that will make you have more than enough to start life as a family man. Don’t forget that after your wedding, you now have your wife’s family as well as yours coming to spend the weekend and holidays and they will be feeding and using up provisions. Put some money away for this. Instead of trying to please your wife’s

family for the wedding, start out by looking ahead to your days as a husband by tracking your expenses from now on. Enter all your expenditures into a personal finance booklet and arm yourself with your calculator and pencil. Review all expenditures for each month and have ideas for ways of cutting unnecessary expenses of any kind. Put in mind that factors like food at home, food away from home, beverages and provisions, houserent, transportations cost (or fuel for your car without subsidy), aso-ebi, gas, parents, church/mosque expectations (now that you’re a ‘responsible’ man), personal

care products, cash contributions and saving all need to be tabulated. If you’re lucky and a month passes without some of these things featuring, put the excess in your investment funds. They may say you’re stingy; it’s okay as long as you have enough to give you peace of mind and to take care of investments. Remember, the most important thing is that you’re managing your money in such a way that you’re able to invest and save significant amounts of money to meet financial goals and prepare for your future.

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

My phone lover was my friend’s boyfriend Good day ma. Please I have a problem; a friend of mine asked me to ask her guy out on phone to see the kind of person she was dating. Unfortunately, he accepted and this thing started in February last year till December when I told the guy myself that that I was his phone lover. He said he knew all along that I was the one. Now he’s claiming to love me. What should I do because I was the one who volunteered to help my friend when she brought up the idea? My friend has left him after the whole phone things started. First, your friend made a big mistake by trying to test a guy with that kind of thing. Most guys would fall for it. The reason for that is simple – it is not every

I’m 19 and he is 35, is it proper for me to get married to him? Hello Aunty, I’m a girl of 19 and there’s this guy that I love and he wants to marry me, but he is 35 years old. Is it proper for me to get married at the age of 19 to a guy who is 35? Please help me – G. Dear G, we live in a world where young girls of 15 do sex openly and in fact, some get unwanted pregnancies in the process and find themselves in the other end of a pleasant life. So, if at 19, a man is genuinely interested in marrying you and not just wanting to mess around with you, marry him! You have 16 years between you; that’s much, but it’s not unbearable. Women have always been known to marry up (age wise and social) and men marry down, so, you’re not going to be doing something extraordinarily if you marry him. However, you must know a few things before you finally say ‘I do: You will need to plan a lot for your future and make education a priority. You will need to set all plans in motion and get him to agree that marriage will not affect this. If possible, make a written agreement on this. If, however, you’re not educationally inclined, make sure a tidy amount is set aside for you to start a vocation or a trade with. This is important. Remember, life is very unpredict-

able. Don’t fall into method where you will expect him to be your big brother or fatherly figure. He’s going to be your husband and he will expect you to be matured enough to advise him when he needs it. His friends are definitely going to be older and more exposed than you are. They will be coming to the house and may be sharing some wide jokes men share at that age, you must be ready to share their fun with them without seeming to want to break them apart. There are going to be normal challenges of marriage, be sure you’re ready to cope with them. Marriage is not all

about wearing the ring and answering the name, ‘Mrs.’ Be prepared to become a grown woman fast. Here’s wishing you the best of luck. P.S: I have been getting hate mails from a particular person who has threatened to kill me because I say my mind on the issues we treat here. He/she was particularly pissed after I said I didn’t see any reason why a woman should leave a cheating husband if the man is doing his duties. Of course, I highlighted what the woman might be doing wrong and I proffered some solutions. I may be erring again with my views here on this. This is just my opinion, whoever does not like it should simply ignore it.

Marriage joke - The prisoner escaped The bride tells her husband, “Honey, you know I’m a virgin and I don’t know anything about sex. Can you explain it to me first?” “OK, Sweetheart. Putting it simply, we will call your private place ‘the prison’ and call my private thing ‘the prisoner’. So what we do is: put the prisoner in the prison. And then they made love for the first time. Afterwards, the guy is lying face up

on the bed, smiling with satisfaction. Nudging him, his bride giggles, “Honey the prisoner seems to have escaped.” Turning on his side, he smiles. “Then we will have to re-imprison him.” After the second time, the guy reaches for his cigarettes but the bride, enjoying the new experience of making love, gives him a suggestive smile and says, “Honey, the prisoner is out again!” The husband rises to the occasion, but with the unsteady legs of a recently born foal. Afterwards, he lays back on the bed, totally exhausted. She nudges him and says, “Honey, the prisoner escaped again.” Limply turning his head, He says at her, “Hey, its not a life sentence, OKAY!

Re: I told her I don’t mind sharing her with the other guy Adeola, this guy that wants to share a girl with another man is disgusting. If there’s another word to describe him, I’d use it for being so in love. I advise him to be patient until she falls out with the other guy. Then three years down their marriage, the girl will present another husband that wants to share her with him. That’ll present him the real test of love – Frankie (08038000809). P.S: Hi Frankie, long time! I thought you had left the Hearts fan club until I saw your text. Hope you’re good? How’s the practice?

Lost Contacts

•Mrs. Folake Olorode, Chairperson Afijio Local Government, Oyo State(left) presenting a cash gift to a widow, Mrs. Adeola Temitayo at the Afijio L.G. Secretariat premises, Jobele, Oyo State.

Hi Adeola, please help reach out to my schoolmates at FGC, Wukari, Taraba State: Emmanuel Musa, Nancy Chinyere and Sunday Anya –Amos Attans (07030324447).

time a guy has the opportunity of being toasted, so when a girl suddenly appears from somewhere to show interest, the excitement of it all will make him want to play along with it. To guys, it’s like a game. He won’t stop until he sees the babe faceto-face, after which he might be disappointed or even more excited. So, she shouldn’t have left him because of that. After all, he wasn’t the one going all out to check out another girl. On your part, what was your motivation for going along with the game for so long? You had already proved what you wanted to prove, so you should have stopped there. Going on for eleven months meant you also wanted to get something for yourself there. And it appears that now that your silly game has ended their relationship, you plan to take over. Hmmm… that is wickedness o. Think of the other girl, not only has she lost her boyfriend, she would now realize that the girl who contributed to it has now taking over. That will kill all trust she has ever had in the thing called friendship. Don’t even go there. On the other hand, if this guy were trustworthy in the first place, your friend would not have used cheap baits like telephone calls to tempt him. That he failed the test means that he wasn’t so serious about their relationship in the first place. If he failed her, he will fail you too. In fact, your own case would be worse because you looked for him (whether by trick or not). Be loyal to your friends matter what. Leave their boyfriends for them and the world would be a better place.

From you to me Dear Adeola, I’m very impressed about the display of wisdom in your column. May DGod continue to increase you. I have a problem with an issue and I need a solution. You talked about lovemaking and sex and I understand what you meant. Does it mean you must attempt lovemaking to a woman you pick interest in, in order to her attention for intimate relationship? – Grandpa from Calabar. I’m a regular reader of The Nation and a friend of one of your senior managers. I enjoy Hearts with Adeola Agoro a lot. My name is Demolu. You’re a special woman. God bless you. P.S: Dear Grandpa, you obviously got me wrong. I was only trying to say that a woman knows when you make love to her because of the passion and affection involved as against just having the use of her body without caring about her feelings. Having explained that, most women would frown at a man making it obvious from the beginning that he wants to have her desperately even if he means well. No matter what age we are , a man and a woman must first understand each other well, be able to know the first and last names of each other and even the local government areas before lovemaking comes in. It would be wrong to start by making lovemaking the first inkling that you have interest in a woman. Mr. Demolu, thanks a lot.

Re: Sagging breasts After the publication of last week on saggy breasts and the solution, I must have received more than a hundred inquiries on how to get the herbal solution. I have contacted the companies I know in the UK and the USA and they’re working on something with NAFDAC. I’ll keep you posted when everything is in order. I’m sorry I can no longer answer individual mails and texts on this.


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LIFE

Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, JANUARY 21, 2012

STYLE Gossip Interviews

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Day I sneaked out of Govt House -Osun Governor’s wife, Sherifat Aregbesola


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THE NATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

With KAYODE ALFRED

E-mail:kayflex2@yahoo.com TEL:08035733605

&STYLE

LIFE

Society Profile

Gossip Interviews


&STYLE

LIFE

Society Profile

Gossip Interviews

THE NATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Reality bites for Donald Nsonwu

TEL:08035733605

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

‘What I missed being governor’s wife’ Due to her humble background, Mrs Sherifat Abidemi, the wife of Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, hardly grants interviews. In this her first interview since her husband assumed the office of the Ipinle Omoluabi, she shares the challenges of being a governor’s wife, among other issues, with our reporter, TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO. Excerpts:

•Mrs Aregbesola

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IGERIANS would like to know how the family received the cancer rumour and what happened at that time? Initially, I was a bit worried; how can people could cook up such a story? I knew he has no cancer and there is no history of cancer in either of our families. Afterwards, I wasn’t bothered any more. I believe it was one of the demerits of being a public figure. May be because of his many travels? Look, let me tell you, there are things you have to do whether you like it or not. Between him and God, he had promised Allah that if the tribunal declared him winner, he would go to Makkah in Saudi Arabia for thanksgiving, which he did. There was an official trip to London shortly after he returned from Saudi. The other one was my daughter’s graduation on June 11 in Dubai. Yes, we didn’t want anybody to know that our daughter was graduating; we didn’t invite people, only a few people knew that we were going and it was simply a family affair. He did not even allow any of his aides to come with us except for two of our friends who were aware of the occasion. It was at Dubai that we realised that India was close by; rather than coming back to Nigeria, he decided to make use of that opportunity to go for his medical check up. This trip was also an official one and he did not spend up to a week before he returned back to Nigeria. The trip to Makkah was for Umrah (lesser Hajj) which we go for every year since the past 12 years in the middle of Ramadan. He has no cancer, there is no history of cancer in the family, and I don’t know where they got that from. What do you make out of such rumour? Eh! I think it is politically inclined. I think it

is the opposition that does not want him in office; may be they want him dead or they want something bad to happen to him. But I know that he is physically fit, physically alright; there is nothing wrong with him. Look, initially when I first heard the rumour, I was saying cancer ke, where does he get that from? Did the cancer just come like that? They knew quite well that he doesn’t have any cancer. Hardly can you see him get sick or use ordinary Panadol. He doesn’t take any self medication. The only thing I know of him is that his political opponents are trying to bring him down. There is a popular belief that the office of the first lady has no constitutional backing and that the work of the wife of a governor starts and ends in the kitchen. Do you agree with that? Ha! Yes, I agree because when you go through the constitution, you will see that there is no office for the first lady. The real meaning of the first lady is the wife that is dealing with visitors, taking care of the visitors, but when you look at it deeply, it is more than that. There are things you have to do to complement your husband’s office; likewise, there are things you didn’t engage

in before but now you have to do. Being wife of a governor is really challenging. It is more than working in the kitchen alone. What have you been doing in the last one year? In the last one year, I have been complementing the efforts of the governor. For instance, yesterday I was about leaving Oshogbo when someone called me that “E barika o, E tun ti bi iberin o”, meaning, “Congratulations! A set of quadruplets has just been delivered.” So, that type of joyful news, they can’t call the governor, I have to go there to support the family; may be the father of the babies has no money, we have to assist them. This is one of the things governors’ wives do. Another issue, during the crisis in Ivory Coast, the refugees who were brought to Osun, I had to go there, welcomed them and rendered the necessary assistance; I also raised fund for their wellbeing. When there is crisis, it is the women and children that suffer most. Of recent we heard that you are involved in a campaign against child trafficking. Could you shed more light on this? What baffles me most is that in Lagos, a lot of children go to school, but in Osun, during the school hours, parents send their children

to go and hawk. They won’t allow these children to go to school. So I decided to kickstart an awareness to allow their children to go to school. Someone from the United States read on the net and decided to come down here to partner with us. We are still working on the modalities. How have you been managing the home front? Nothing has changed. The only challenge I see is my last son, the baby of the house. I still come to Lagos at least once or twice in a month to see how he is faring but the others can take care of themselves. Nothing has changed; I am still the same Mrs Aregbesola you knew before. How do you monitor the activities of the children? I go to their school a lot, I know they don’t drink. We don’t drink alcohol in my house. We take water and non-alcoholic drinks. Not only alcohol, they abhor all other bad habits. They are well trained. God Almighty has helped us to train them. I think they are God gifts to us. What are the things your family considers as values? First, prayer; we pray together always. In


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

I don't enjoy the convoy that always accompanies me everywhere I go. There was a day I sneaked out of Government House. I wanted to visit my mum but I didn't want to embarrass the old woman with the presence of a convoy. So, I entered my brother's car unknown to the security people attached to me. On getting out of the Government House, I called my husband to notify him... the morning, we read the Qur’an no matter how busy the schedule of that day is. That is where my children got the habit of reading the Qur’an. We read in Arabic and English. In fact, if there is anything I missed, it is the congregational prayer that we normally do together then; but now, the children are grown up and are at their various places. Whenever the opportunity comes and we are together, we still observe it. My children don’t go to parties and if they want to attend a party, I must know the type of party they want to attend. They must not sleep outside; even if they visit my own family, they‘ll have to come back home that night. Also, they must respect the elders. That

I don’t know if they learn it from me or their father. They are very respectful. They respect elders, even their mates. What about your friends, do you move around with them? Yes! I still keep my friends because old friends are better than new ones. What are those things you were doing before but can’t do now because of your present status? A lot my brother. I am the type that likes buying things myself, getting what I want: the type of food that I like, type of clothes that I prefer, but now I do not have the freedom of going outside there to do what I want to myself. For instance, if I want to buy a card for my husband, I have to send someone. He returns with the choice of words I don’t like. So, I sometimes have to come down to Lagos where a lot of people do not know my status to get what I want. Also, I don’t enjoy the convoy that always accompanies me everywhere I go. There was a day I sneaked out of Government House. I wanted to visit my mum but I didn’t want to embarrass the old woman with the presence of a convoy. So, I entered my brother’s car unknown to the security people attached to

me. On getting out of the Government House, I called my husband to notify him. I made him to realise that it is only God that secures human beings and not the people in mufti or black outfits. How do you cope with your husband’s new status? I’m used to it; you know he comes home late always even when he was a commissioner. I am used to it. Does he create time to have fun? That is a good question. His job takes a lot of time. We don’t really have time to go out and be together always except when he is out of the country. When he travels, I always enjoy travelling with him so that we can really have little time to be together, but I discovered there is no point travelling with him because he will be on phone 24/7. If we are to look at it all, would you rather prefer that he should not be a governor? He was a commissioner for eight years and I got used to that. If his being a governor is to help a lot of people in that state, why will I say he should not be a governor because of me? Thousands or millions of people are satisfied with him. Let the people enjoy him. I’m happy seeing people making good remarks about him. How about his duties as a husband? Of course, he has to do his duties. The duties of a governor are different from those of a father and husband. He has not fallen short of his duties as a governor, a father to his children and a good husband. As a Muslim, if your husband decides to marry another wife, what would be your reaction? If he decides to marry another wife, honestly I’m fine with his decision. What else do I ask for from a man that is upright and truthful? I have known him to be a very trustworthy man. If he says no, his no is no; so also his yes is yes, and people know him for that. If he likes you, honestly he will like everybody in your family. He does not humanise; he does not drink alcohol. During our courtship days, he would ask if I would be coming the next day and my reply would be ‘No, I’m not coming, I will be in my house’. The next day, I would go to his place without notifying him, just to check whether he had another girlfriend but what I found out was a man locking himself in the room reading books. And for all these years of marriage, if the man is with you, he doesn’t humanise, he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t beat you, he takes good care of you and your family, so what else do you need as a woman? I will just ask him what I have done; if he says nothing, I just want another wife, I will urge him to follow the guidelines of Islam in doing that. Am I right to say your simple nature is the reason why you have not come up with a pet project? If you say that, fine. I’m still considering it, I’m going to have one, but not the usual first lady project. There is something that I have started two years ago which I still want to continue, like the charity work and building the orphanage homes, minimising cases of child trafficking; something I can be doing after my husband leaves the office. What is your schedule like on a daily basis? On a daily basis, in the morning by 5.30a.m, I wake up and observe the early morning prayer. Before now, we prayed as a congregation of the whole family but now, that has changed since the governor is not always around. After the prayer, I go into the kitchen and cook for my husband. The children are grown up; they can cook for themselves, except once in a while that I do the cooking for them. After that, I go to the office. My day is a little bit tighter now than before when I was a family person. I didn’t really like going out before but now I have to. One of the things I know is that the governor doesn’t eat outside, how do you manage this considering official functions taking him out in most cases? I still do the cooking, and take his food to the office after cooking. For instance, this morning, I left Osun around 5:35am but I had already prepared his food. You know, there are some times when there is nothing one can do. For instance, if he is in Lagos and he is with ‘big daddy’ (Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu), I am free; I know I won’t prepare any food for him that day. He eats there to his satisfaction, but if I know that he is not around, he may have to manage alternatives or I join him. Your husband celebrated one year in office recently, some people are saying Aregbesola has not met their expectations. What is your take on this? Thank you, if some people are saying he has not met their expectations within one year, what question will they ask somebody who had been there for that past seven and half years? In less than a year, he recruited 20,000

youths, the first of its kind in Osun. Some of them have been engaged by various ministries. Every year, there is always flood problem in the state. Aregbesola’s administration ensured that the people did not encounter any flood disaster last year despite heavy downpour. Is that not an achievement? What about the recruitment of teachers? A lot of things are on-going that people may not be aware of. How about the Opon–Imo programme? A laptop for secondary school students, most of whom have about 13 to 14 subjects and they are going to distribute it to each student starting from SSS 1. This is also another achievement. The government has commenced building schools to modern standard. There was free transportation from Lagos to Osun during the yuletide. There is O-clean Project going on now. You will see that Osun is reclaiming its beauty. From the tale end in Ibadan to the boundary between Osun, government has decorated and beautified the roads despite the fact that those roads belong to the Federal Government. The state government has done its own part too. Also, the boundary between Osun and Ondo, they are planting trees and flowers along that road. People do complain that the 20, 000 youths recruited are earning a meager salary? What were they earning before? He announced the amount to be paid before recruiting them yet well over 50, 000 people applied for the job. You see, a lot of people are jobless. A situation whereby graduates, even Ph.D holders, applied for the job that pays N10,000, it’s just to tell you the level of poverty in the country. And to the government of Osun State, it is a way of entering the system. After the recruitment, some of them have gotten better jobs through that singular effort. You grew up in the north, how would you compare life there with here? Hmm! You see, in the north, it is the men that work not the women; the character over there is so simple. They are not aggressive in acquiring materialism. They don’t look for money as we do here. On getting here, I discovered that it is the women that will go out to look for money to take care of the kids, pay the children’s school fees, do this and that. Though, Islamically, it is wrong but it has become the norm here. How do you assess their women’s participation in politics? The percentage of women is not as high as that of the men but we can’t compare the north with the south. In the north, they will not allow their wives to go out not to talk of participating in politics. Those who are in politics are not core northerners but here, women are trying not to take the back seat; though they still trail the male folks. I can’t do politics anyway but I admire those women in politics. I encourage those who nurse political ambition. We have only one female in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ayo Omidiran. She wanted to drop out for a man but I refused and encouraged her because she is the only female in the race in Osun State. What dictates what you put on? Hmm! I love wearing Ankara; may be because of my northern background. I think, that is why I love Ankara. Although I do wear lace, English wears, but Ankara is my favourite. I equally love jewelleries, though not too laud or bogus jewelleries. I prefer quiet jewelleries. What is your favourite dish? I don’t really have any but I prefer Eba (garri). What would you say accounts for the moral decadence in our society? I think we have lost grip on the values of yesteryears. Moreso, parents have neglected the role of parenthood. We should be able to talk to our children and inculcate morals in them. It depends on the parents. For instance, a woman that puts on a dress without arms, sleeves, wearing jumper, mini skirt and others that show their back, their bodies, their daughters may assume that is the right or normal way to dress. But when the parents dress in a way that is decent and the child sees you, she will definitely know the right way to dress. Apart from that, parents should make their children know the dos and don’ts of the religion they practise. They should encourage them to attend religious functions. For instance, there is this particular camp that two of my children attended about 10 or 11 years ago. When they came back from the camp, there are lots of things that I didn’t teach them and they don’t know. My daughter told me that they were not supposed to do this and that; that it is Islamically wrong. What you will say before eating, after eating ,what to say when you want to enter the car, toilet, perform ablution, so many things I don’t know.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

The fashion trend for January is all about

A

lthough most designers showed at least a jacket or two in their new year collections, a few of them concentrated on harmattan wear, and even when they showed warmth clothing on the runway, they were frequently paired with stilettos, rather than well-covered shoes, which would certainly be more practical. Because January is the harmattan month of the year in Nigeria, it’s only natural that most women will need to bundle up to keep warm when they go outside during this period. Sometimes i t ’ s difficult to be stylish when we are wrapped head to toe in thick clothing. We bring you some ideas on how to update your look in this period. It is wrong to think that

warmth there is no place for fashion during harmattan as we have to put as many layers or thick fabrics as possible to keep warm. Now, there is a way to stay in style during these month because the easiest thing to do is to choose the right accessories. A great jacket, scarf, hat, turtleneck dress or sweater can update your look in no time; make it classier and more stylish. Harmattan essentials •Natural fruity lip balms •One black blazer or boy friend jacket •Hand lotion in your bag or office •Scarf for the hair •Essential oil and vitamin- based body cream or African shear butter (ori) -Stockings


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

Caring for babies’ hair Sumbo OTAGBO

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S babies need to be handled with special care, so does their hair. Here are tips to make your little one’s hair tangle free. The care of babies’ hair is relatively simple. Depending on how much hair they have, babies may only require shampooing on an irregular basis. Shampooing can be done on an “as needed basis” and does not have to be done every day. The key thing to remember when caring for the hair of a newborn is to be very gentle. Avoid putting pressure on the soft spot on the top of the baby’s head. Most babies and even some children up to the age of four or five is sensitive to any kind of pressure on their scalp. When washing the hair and the scalp of a baby ,be sure to go very slow and easy. Make sure that there are no tangles in the hair before washing it. Make sure that the hair is kept neatly trimmed to prevent any unnecessary tangling. You can either trim the baby’s hair at home yourself or have a professional trim it. Most people opt to trim a baby’s hair themselves the first year or so. A lot of baby doctors recommend the use of a special baby shampoo during the first year of an infant’s life. Baby shampoos generally don’t contain the sulfates. One relatively unknown danger in traditional baby shampoo is the pH balance. While baby shampoos formulated specifically for babies are less prone to stinging, if they get into the eyes, when they contain a high pH (which many do). They may cause unnecessary tangling of the baby’s hair. Whether you use a special baby shampoo or some other type of mild shampoo, it is important that they contain a balanced pH. This means a pH factor that falls in the 4.5 - 6 range. As babies get older, they may have a tendency to experience hair damage from hair tangling. Strong shampoos with a high pH (7.0 or over) are more likely to cause hair tangling in babies.

There are still protesters outside NAILS Butter London's spring nail Dolce & Gabbana’s Hong Kong polish line is out, with boutique names including Bossy Earlier this month, security staff at Dolce & Boots, Trout Pout, and Gabbana's Hong Kong boutique reportedly barred Disco Biscuit. Hong Kong natives from taking photos of the store — while not enforcing similar rules on tourists or (wealthy) mainland Chinese residents. Protests ensued, and are still continuing outside the store, thanks to a determined Facebook campaign. Over the weekend, smaller groups braved bad weather to chant and stomp around; they also stuck posters to the store's windows, which they then photographed. In addition to seeing the rule overturned, protesters are now adamant that Dolce & Gabbana apologize. "We have to protest for our freedom. If they haven't apologized, we will still come here," one told WWD. The Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong has written to the brand "expressing concern over the alleged differential treatment," but has yet to hear back. Indeed, Dolce's only response thus far has been a carefully worded statement denying any direct involvement in the store's racially tinged problems.

Sean John Fragrances sued P. Diddy is being sued by Empress Haircare Products over the use of the name Empress for his latest Sean John fragrance.


48 was no money. For about two years, I was not gainfully employed. But after that, God started blessing me. I said to myself, the reason God is blessing me is to help people. At the time you were suffering, something must have happened to you that you can’t forget? The pain of rejection. I went to places begging. I needed to pay school fees. They would tell me they had no money. People rejected us, I suffered. I prayed to God to help me so that I will be able to help people who may find themselves in very difficult situations. I remember when I went to see one of my uncles. I could not get bus back to Offa, I slept on the street. There was a day I was mistaken by these vigilance group for an armed robber; they beat the hell out of me. I looked at myself and said what have done to deserve this? I only came to the world because my father gave birth to me. Would this thing be like this with me? The pain of that is over. So what happened was the rejection, the lack of help, even people I know that my father helped did not help me. We have a big camp here. We want to have big accommodation that people can just come and stay there free. If you are in town, you need a place to stay, come and stay there free. That’s part of what we’re developing. We have 7.5 hectares of land. Some people refer to you as Walking Bible. What does that mean? When I started travelling to the nations of the world, Oyinbo people have a way of describing something spectacular, especially in England. When people noticed the way I was quoting scriptures without referring to the Bible, they said this is a computer bible, this is a walking bible, this is a working computer. Before I knew it, the name started spreading. Today they know me as that. You were listed as one of the richest pastors; how would you react to this? (Prolonged laughter….) I will first of all say I thank God. He brought me from a horrible pit, out of the clay and set my feet on the rock to stay and established by God. What is wealth if you are not helping people? What is riches if you are not using it to wipe tears from somebody’s else’s face? God has been good to me and I really appreciate Him for that. I really appreciate those who have believed in my vision, who have supported me as well. I believe that what God has given me is to be used to help people. That is my bottomline, no matter what I have. And anybody who does that God will keep blessing. Use what you have well, and more will come to you. What I have today, I can not say it is from my work, I can rather say most of them came from God’s blessing. At what point did you decide to become a minister? I gave my life to Christ in 1980. God called me to be a preacher in December 1991. But I was lecturing at the Kwara State Polytechnic. I was there, but the time had not yet come for me to go into it full time. The time came in 1992. It was not something I decided. It was God who called me. I was a very efficient lecturer. When I put in my letter of resignation, my Rector and Head of Department rejected it. In fact, six months after I left, they were still saying that if I wanted to come back, I could. Today, I’m in the good books of the people. I still go there.

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

‘Women don’t tempt me’

•Rev. Adegboye

When I was a lecturer at the Kwara State Polytechnic, I had nothing. I would trek from town to my place of work, almost 13 kilometres. I would have been on half of the way trekking when someone would just stop and carry me on motorcycle. I was struggling. I was earning N345 as monthly salary. Out of this, my siblings would share and I would pay their school fees. I would feed and pay my rent, and, at the end of the day, I would have nothing. But you see, God brought me out of that; God did that. How do you think this Boko Haram threat could be contained? Boko Haram is a form of reaction to certain things in the society. I believe that it was thrown up by certain things in our society. You know a society can breed such a reaction and I think until what brought it into being is addressed, there is no way you can kill a tree by just cutting the leaves. By attacking a group of miscreants who are presenting

themselves as suicide bombers can not solve the problem because it is deep. This is my belief. First, let us dialogue where there is an opportunity to do that. Like what Obasanjo did, though it backfired. Meeting force with force has never been known to wipe out such things. Meeting force with force will keep creating hatred. It will keep spreading. Now since they have been meeting force with force, what has happened? It has kept spreading even to regions and places it was not before. Why don’t we try something new? Why don’t we change our tactics? Why don’t we do something different from what we’ve been doing if what we’ve been doing has not been giving us the desired results. I want to say that Boko Haram is just satanic. It is not Islam. My father was first of all an idol worshipper, but he became a Muslim, then he became a nominal Christian. I schooled in the north; I attended a Quranic school. I can recite Quran. I know

how to pray in the Islamic way. Islam is a religion of peace. This is an abuse; it is not Islam in any sense. No right- thinking Islamic leader will support this kind of thing. I believe that the Islamic leaders should also be involved in the dialoguing. Sit down with their leaders, their leaders are not faceless. They cannot say we should stop western education. It is the western education that is teaching them how to make bombs. They have indicted some people and those people have not been brought to justice. I have prayed and by the end of 2012, there will be nothing like Boko Haram in Nigeria again. I don’t know how God will do it, but I know that God will silence them. And we will have peace in our land. Nigeria is going through change. And I love that somebody is facing our problems, and he is taking decisive steps to correct them. During the last election, most of the Christian leaders had sympathy for President Goodluck Jonathan. Considering the recent development, do you still have sympathy for him? I still have sympathy for him. The reason being that nobody can get to the position of authority in any land without God. Whosoever God has nominated to lead us, my support is for him. Most of our prayers are for this country. Christians are not called in the Bible to be protesting, demonstrating, to be going around the city. We are taught to be praying for our leaders. He gives power to whoever He wants. Jonathan was given the power by God to be our president. I don’t know who will be given in 2015. How Jonathan became the president of this country could only be divine. Everybody who has been president of this country has always been invited. Our refineries will soon be in place. Things will begin to work for this country. We will have enough money for infrastructure. I’m not following any group of Christian leaders in support of any presidential candidate. I didn’t visit the villa. I won’t go there to beg for food, I won’t go there to beg for position or oil. God has given me my own oil well. This is what I’m doing. I won’t go there to negotiate for anybody to become anything. I know that as I pray for the president, God will help him. And he will do good things for our country. I read it somewhere that you were in occult group for many years. What is happening now? I was in the occult group from 1973. When my father died, I felt empty and insecure. I wanted to be able to protect myself. I went to one of my father’s brothers to help. He took me from one occult group to another. From there, I took over. And I built my own credentials and occupied a good position. But on September 28, 1980, I met Jesus and that was all.

When you know where you are from, you will try by all means to make sure that you watch your steps. I have never had women problem because I’m not exposed as such. I’m either at home or in church. When I travel, I have rules as to who comes to my place, who brings food, who does not bring food. The rules are there and I’ve never been a womaniser. So women don’t tempt me

•Continued from Page 22

INTERVIEW

How did the members of the group react when you renounced your membership? I sounded convincing to them when I told them I was no longer interested. I explained to them. I convinced them. None of them attacked me because of the way I came in and because of the way I left. In fact, I still meet some of them. These people are human beings; they are not demons; we still talk and they visit. They keep calling me the name they used to call me in the group. My experience in the occultic world helped me when I became a Christian. I don’t look at things the way the conventional believers will look at things. When I look at something, I look at the spirit behind it. If you look at the IbadanGbongan Road, you would discover that the places which were farm settlements are now praying centres. Why? Many churches are no more spiritual churches. They are spiritist churches. There is a difference between spiritual and spiritist churches. When you hear what they do on these orioke, you would know that theyare not Christians. They are practising what I will call the African traditional religion in a veiled way, using churches to cover it. What they do at that orioke is to take people through prayer and extort money from them. Jesus never did that and where did you get yours from? If I were in the occult world, I would have taught some of these people lessons. What is your attitude to Christians’ participation in politics? For those who are called to do it, they should do it, but nobody should use the pulpit as a political platform. I’m against that. But if people are called to go into politics, we will support them. We will pray for them. I was involved in the last elections. Almost all the candidates were here, and I prayed for them. Some of our members are serving in his government. We are the people they come to when they need advice. I’ve lived in Ilorin for 39 years. If things are not going right in Ilorin, it will affect me. It will affect my family; it will affect all my investments. I pray for those in authority; that is what the Bible teaches. How did you meet your wife? I met her in Ilesa, Osun State. I went to Ilesa to see my elder brother then and my wife was there doing her service. Immediately I saw her, I heard God say to me, this is your wife. But I never talked to her. I met her in January. I didn’t talk to her until November 1981 . She gave me an answer after about 14 days. Her name used to be Fatimoh. Her father was an Alhaji. They were very happy to see me. They have never treated me in any bad way. In fact I was instrumental in leading some of them to Christ. How do you cope with women? There is nothing to cope with. I know where I’m from and I know the implication and I know that if it happens at all, life has come to an end. When you know where you are from, you will try by all means to make sure that you watch your steps. I have never had women problem because I’m not exposed as such. I’m either at home or in church. When I travel, I have rules as to who comes to my place, who brings food, who does not bring food. The rules are there and I’ve never been a womaniser. So women don’t tempt me.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Subsidy: How Senate took the lead to break impasse

•Mark

Onyedi OJIABOR, Assistant Editor to swallow. He created two scenarios, the economic imperative of subsidy removal and the political and social imperatives that should have been considered by government before arriving at a decision on ways and means to deal with the fuel subsidy phenomenon. Though he emphasized that government was compelled by a genuine drive to transform the country and expand opportunities for economic growth, he posited that the way out of the stalemate lied in honest engagement by the proponents and opponents of subsidy withdrawal. The need for frank engagement, Mark said, informed his directive to the Senate Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to interface with labour groups when Senate was on recess. Apart from the labour committee, he said that he mandated individual senators to engage with the labour and civil society organisations on the issue. As if that was not enough, he said that the Senate leadership had also

been interfacing with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as the executive arm of government. It was his calculation that the talks would produce an outcome that would be in the best interest of Nigerians. Mark also recalled that the Senate had earlier resolved to direct its Committees on Petroleum Resources Downstream, Finance and Appropriations to look into the management of the subsidy scheme. Though the Senate is yet to receive the report of the joint committee, he assured that “the Senate will not shy away from using its legislative instrument to bring to book all those found to have abused the subsidy

proceeds.” Like scenes in Shakespeare’s plays, the Senate leadership acted its main intervention in stages, an approach that was largely successful. Scene one was Mark’s directive to the Senate Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to interface with the organized labour to resolve the disagreement. The organised labour did not honour the invitation of the committee apparently because of what it described as a communication gap. But the leadership of the upper chamber was not deterred. In the scene two, the senate leadership formally discussed with a delegation of the organized labour led by the President of the NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, and TUC President, Peter Esele, at the residence of the Senate President. The meeting did not achieve much, but Mark kept hope alive by assuring at the end of the meeting that the resolution of the crisis was in sight. In the scene three,the senate leadership met with the executive arm of government to strategise on how to end the standoff. Insiders said the focus of the meeting held at the Presidential Villa was to persuade the Federal Government to come down from its high horse by yielding some grounds. In the scene four,the senate leadership, for the first time since the strike began, succeeded in bringing the executive arm and the organized labour to meet at the residence of the Senate President. Still not much was achieved as Omar announced after the parley that the benefit of the meeting was that “at least we have started talking.” The scene five was a meeting with select governors, including the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Chibuike Amaechi, Peter Obi of Anambra State and some members of the Federal Executive Council, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu ,and Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezeni AlisonMadueke, on one side and the leadership of the organized labour. The meeting was also at the instance of the senate leadership. This last meeting was said to have culminated in the agreement for the two sides to meet again at the Presidential Villa. Insiders at the discussion said initial disagreements were substantially resolved at the villa meeting, while a deal for a new regime of fuel pump price of 97 naira per litre was also mooted. Mark was said to have taken a

The intervention of the Senate to bring the Federal Government and the organised labour to the negotiating table after days of inflexible posture on both sides paved the way for a speedy resolution

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HANK goodness it is over” was the exclamation of famished-looking security personnel stationed at the entrance to the popular Wuse Market, Abuja on Monday on hearing that the organised labour had suspended its nationwide strike and protests over the withdrawal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS). Indeed millions of Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief when the strike was suspended. While the strike which shook the foundation of the country lasted, most Nigerians were breathless; some of them actually expected the worse to happen owing to the uncommon magnitude to the protests. With the suspension of the strike, Nigerians have started picking their bits and pieces together once again, hoping like the security personnel that the worse is indeed over. As a result, the palpable apprehension, unease and hunger that enveloped the country during the period of the strike are gradually giving way to some molecule of hope. Hope, some say, that there may be life after the detested removal of subsidy. The intervention of the Senate to bring the Federal Government and the organised labour to the negotiating table after days of inflexible posture on both sides paved the way for a speedy resolution. Observers of the impasse believed that the Senate leadership displayed exceptional maturity to ensure that the explosive issue did not get out of control. The House of Representatives had earlier taken the bull by the horns on January 8, a day before the strike began, when it reconvened to adopt a resolution, urging Federal Government to revert the pump price of PMS to N65 to avert the looming strike. Government dismissed the popular resolution as sheer grandstanding and playing to the gallery. But many saw the resolution as a bold step to save the country from anarchy though at a great cost to the country owing to huge allowances said to have been paid to the lawmakers for cutting short their vacation. Following the House of Representatives’ resolution, some observers expected the Senate to toe the same line, but that was not to be as the upper chamber had another plan; the plan to play the role of an arbiter in the unfolding impasse. Perhaps President of the Senate, David Mark, a military tactician turned politician, understood the character of the organised labour and the mindset of the Federal Government. Mark, aided by Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, launched a sustained mediatory offensive to stem the tide of the strike. First, he underscored the danger the country faced when he declared on resumption of the Senate on January 10, a day after the commencement of the strike, that a major issue pressing Nigerians related to the decision by the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy. Mark’s analysis of the public outrage that trailed the subsidy withdrawal policy might have added pep to ginger the upper chamber into action. Senators, Mark said, were well aware that the decision to removal fuel subsidy had not been popularly received by Nigerians who he said considered the decision a bitter pill

measured breath when he extracted the major breakthrough after the meeting. He declared even before the deal was sealed that “challenges are normal in life, but we must learn to act decisively when they arise. Let us not despair. “Dear colleagues, we stand on the threshold of history and I hope we shall be remembered for making the right decisions to preserve the unity of this great country. “In line with the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, let me urge us to serve our people generously as they deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, except to know that we are doing our sworn duty to our fatherland.” It is also instructive that some senators apart from the senate leadership took steps to sketch a way out of the impasse. One such senator was Senator Olufemi Lanlehin. At the heat of the protests, the senator issued a statement on the compelling need for the Federal Government to do the necessary by respecting the wish of the people. According to the Oyo State-born lawmaker “the only panacea to the unhealthy situation was for the Federal Government to do the will of the people by reverting to the old price of N65 per litre of fuel.” Reverting to N65, he added, would give government the ample time to work out how best to address the fuel subsidy issue. The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning and Poverty Alleviation specifically enjoined government to take cognizance of the hardship that attended the fuel price increase. Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to revert the pump price of petrol to N65 in view of the public outrage that trailed the removal of subsidy on petrol. Saraki in a statement by his media aide, Akintoba Fatigun, said the return to status quo by both the Federal Government and the organized labour would allow for quick resolution of the impasse. “My humble advice to the Federal Government of Nigeria and all parties involved at this critical moment is for everyone to return to the position before the dispute, which is a standard practice for all industrial dispute resolutions all over the world. This is necessary in order to resolve the matter. “I believe that the Senate’s current role as an arbitrator between the Federal Government and the organised labour is in the right direction, which is to find a meeting point for a peaceful resolution to the strike,” Saraki appealed. Though the fury, resentment and passion that attended the withdrawal of fuel subsidy may be evaporating gradually, it may be too early for government to shout uhuru. After all, it is said that he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

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Victor Ogene

The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor Ogene, said the House took the right steps to bring peace to the polity which was almost ready to go overboard over the issue. He said the situation required that the President listened to the voice of the people as expressed in the resolution of the House. “While a motion does not have the force of law, it has moral authority behind it. Reading through the statement by Abati, I was shocked he could try to downplay such an important issue by reducing it to the level of mere opinion. What the House did cannot be described as the expression of mere opinion. The House came out to take a definite stance towards bringing the country back from the precipice.”

Femi Gbajabiamila

He noted that the meeting of the House was a watershed in the history of the country. He said the resolution of the House was not just mere opinion as the Presidency had said. “The resolutions of the House are legislative opinions of 150 million Nigerians and must be obeyed. For the country not to fall apart, its institutions must be respected and the resolutions must be obeyed.” The Minority Leader wondered why the Presidency decided to categorize the House reslotuion as mere opinion when it was the same opinion of the House that made him the substantive president when he was acting president.

Pally Iriase

“The emergency session was the

•Gbajabiamila

•Ogene

•Adejare

•Tajudeen

Resolution on subsidy

We’re happy to be part of history — Reps Victor OLUWASEGUN & Dele ANOFI, Abuja most responsible step to take in the circumstance. The drums of war were being beaten. The executive was not bothered and then the people were up in arms ready to shoot the government down, if the government would not bend. “A responsible House of Representatives could not just fold its hands and do nothing. What we did was to create a safety valve because it is better to dialogue than to engage in war. “I do not think that enough effort was made. Because if you have exerted adequate effort and everybody knows that you have tried your best, many will support your stand and you will now go ahead to do what you want to do. “That is how democracy works. But that was not the situation .It is like the dialogue of the deaf ,and you just say it the way you want it.There should be nodding and people have refused to nod. We are here at the pleasure of the people and our constitution clearly states it that government must be run for the welfare and wellbeing of the people. We had to do that so the executive itself would have a rethink, and in rethinking, we also created room for them to negotiate with the organised labour. That was the essence of coming to take that resolution.” On the statement from the Presidency that the House of Representatives was just speaking their opinion which is only advisory in nature,he said: “That is a very unfortunate statement to make because the truth of the matter is that you cannot play

the ostrich, bury your head in the sand and expect the trouble to go away just like that.A number of deaths was recorded. “ The statement from the Presidency is very wrong . That is even worse than incitement. What we did was to create a safety valve, an opening for dialogue –better dialogue and not one-sided dialogue. The reason why the statement should be looked with displeasure is that you are ruling over the people. Even if it is a monarchy, you will still listen to your people. We are not in the military regime. We are saying the timing is wrong. Even some of the arguments proffered are wrong. The point is that the executive must not push the luck of this democratic experiment too far.”

Kareem Abiodun

•Iriase

•Jumoke

•Tambuwal

Tajudeen

“What happened was that the House took some far-reaching resolutions. One of these is that the President must revert or suspend the subsidy removal. “What the average man on the street is saying is that he does not know why subsidy is to be removed ,and if a roundtable discussion is being called for, the labour and the executive will come and the House will now interface between the two of them.”

Jumoke Okoya–Thomas

“Actually, with the situation at hand, the Sunday emergency resolution is most appropriate. If a parliament sits and comes up with a resolution at this period that things are the way they are, such resolution should be respected by the executive. “These people voted you in and

We had to do that so the executive itself would have a rethink, and in rethinking, we also created room for them to negotiate with the organised labour. That was the essence of coming to take that resolution

HE complete removal of fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 1 came as a shock to many Nigerians and sent the pump price of petrol from N65 per litre to N200 in some states. This was against the background of the rising state of insecurity in the country occasioned by the various bombings carried out by the Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram, which resulted in the loss of many lives and the destruction of property. As at Friday, January 6, the organized labour gave the indication of an impending nationwide strike to force the government to revert to the old pump price. And from all indications, the Federal Government was poised to maintain its hardline posture on the issue. It was against this background that the Aminu Waziri Tambuwal-led House of Representatives gave notice of an emergency meeting in which the issue of the subsidy removal would be discussed. Other issues stated for discussion included the state of emergency declared in 15 local government councils across four states, namely, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Niger as well as the budget 2012. The meeting eventually held on Sunday, January 8. There were about 300 members in attendance. Sequel to a motion moved by Yusuf Tajudeen and 60 other lawmakers titled: “Removal of Fuel Subsidy by the Executive Arm of Government”, the House adopted the following resolutions: That the executive arm of government should suspend its decision on the removal of fuel subsidy in appreciation of the mood of the nation and allow more room for consultations. The House also urged the organised labour and other stakeholders to suspend the intended strike action and submit to further dialogue on the matter. The House set up two ad-hoc committees, one headed by Patrick Ikheriale (PDP, Edo) to interface with the representatives of the executive and organised labour with a view to finding common ground. The second committee headed by Farouk Lawan (PDP, Kano) is to verify and determine actual subsidy requirement and monitor the subsidy regime. But the President, through his spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the lawmakers were just expressing their opinion and that the resolution of the House was not enforceable.

they say no to the removal of fuel subsidy. So there should be no shortchanging of the wishes of the Nigerian people. I believe the Presidency should actually call themselves to order. People are suffering with the government not doing what they ought to do, but I don’t think the people should suffer. It is the responsibility of the government to secure its own nation. It is not for you to say the people should pay because you cannot secure all the borders where they are taking the products through. It is not the fault of the citizenry. I think those are the areas I expect the Presidency to look at and it should realize that the people do not even trust the leadership of this country anymore because of the corruption issue. “People want to know how this money would be spent judiciously . People are just tired. They should know that because they are in power today does not mean they will be there tomorrow. I am not sure that the money they amassed will be there forever. They should know that they will be out there one day and they would meet with those people they put into suffering. I think at this period we should watch our utterances and not go around being insensitive towards the plight of the people. “Specifically on what the executive said that the House resolution is a mere opinion, I think it is completely insensitive for anybody to have said that at the moment. People are dying in the protests and I know the people are out for a reason. And honestly, I would have been out there if I was not as ill as this because we the representatives of the people are the ones bearing the brunt. They come to us every day with hunger and we pay through our noses for their hospital bills and so on. “And you see all these so-called executives secure themselves with so many policemen, they can’t reach them. That is why most members in the House are not happy. They have not fought Boko Haram and they now come again with the issue of subsidy removal. No! You cannot continue to heat up the polity; it is

not right. We need peace in this country, and it is the responsibility of the leadership to make sure that it happens. I am happy about the stand we have taken in the House. We have done the right thing.”

Samuel Adejare

Babatunde

“That Sunday was one of the happiest days of my life as a legislator. I had two terms at the Lagos State House of Assembly and this is my first time here. It shows that this House of Representatives is with the people and we cannot do otherwise. We are the representatives of the people today. We are the nearest at the federal level to the grassroots and we have brought the agitation of our people to the floor from where each and every one of us came from on Sunday. “ We cannot just do anything, but that. Believe me, I am totally for it. If you watched the live telecast, my contributions were very clear , saying no to removal of subsidy. I am even one of those that believe that there is no subsidy at all. It is a fraud because the production cost of turning our crude in this country is about N40, so why are they messing us up. Must we import? “All the refineries in the Asian countries are lying there idle. They are producing more than they need and are looking for places to export them to. Should we be the dumping site when we have the crude here? Why? Even it has been said that if our refineries were producing at onethird capacity, they would still be producing about 21 million litres a day which is far above the 12 million that we need per day, so what is the issue here? Why are people so inhuman like this? “About somebody saying it is our opinion, I don’t believe it is from the Presidency. If it is from the Presidency, we are in trouble, which means the Presidency does not understand the power behind them, and they don’t understand what the House of Representatives is all about. “If almost 300 members came for that sitting ,and you say we are expressing our opinion. The President could not say that. It means, in other words, that Nigerian people are saying nonsense. It could not be so. Reuben Abati should be the one to tell the president that it should not be said. It shows how insensitive they are. They are not the owner of that power; we are all servants to the people and that is the way I want them to see it.” •This piece was written before the suspension of the strike.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Subsidy strike was like honeymoon in Thank God! The our homes, say housewives ‘strike period was The strike engendered last week by the sudden removal of fuel subsidy was, to some housewives, too memorable to be forgotten. Why? KEHINDE FALODE spoke to some of them.

•Some of the protesters during the strike... Housewives relished the period in their homes

strike. Ranti Owolabi, a secretary with an audit firm, said the strike was a blessing. She described the time she spent with her husband with excitement. “Thank God! The strike period was like a honeymoon in my home. My husband (a banker), who normally complains of being exhausted, had no excuses. We had a blast! I pray we should be having such breaks once in two years. The

last time I had him close to me was late 2010, during our honeymoon. We tried new “things” that I could never have imagined before and I enjoyed every bit of it.” For Fatima (surname withheld), “It was office at home for my hubby due to the nature of his work, but during that period (strike), our sex life was simply electrifying! He responded more to my yearnings with calmness and calculated pace. It even got frequent. We got sex hun-

grier; don’t mind my words but that was it. The strike dictated the frequency and it was incomparable.” But as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. Ada Okar, chief executive officer of Busy Hands, a craft and art company, said she spent the strike at work. She said: “Despite the fact that I didn’t go to the office, people still came to my house to get one or two things and to order for goods. Moreover, I have children to attend to;

like a honeymoon in my home. My husband (a banker), who normally complains of being exhausted, had no excuses. We had a blast! I pray we should be having such breaks once in two years. The last time I had him close to me was late 2010, during our honeymoon. We tried new “things” that I could never have imagined before and I enjoyed every bit of it

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AST week, Lagos and other parts of the country witnessed rallies, protests and a strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to protest against the removal of the fuel subsidy. Throughout the period, nearly all social and economic activities came to a halt. By the time the strike and protests came to an end, so many businesses and individuals were counting their losses. Businessmen said they made losses. Companies said they couldn’t make money. But while some were counting their losses, couples, housewives in particular, were counting their blessings. Some wives who spoke to The Nation said it was the first time in a long while that they would have their husbands to themselves. Others described it as a week of fun and bliss, when they stayed indoors having fun with their spouses. In several parts of Lagos, people kept on saying that there would be many babies born in October because husbands and wives were confined to their bedrooms while the strike lasted. Mrs Yewande Fagbohungbe, an advert executive, said she enjoyed the one week she spent at home with her hubby. “When you have your husband at your beck and call, obviously you will be having it as many times as possible, unlike before when he came home tired or late. Even when the enjoyment was too much, we couldn’t go for church fellowship. “We even prayed that they should not call off the strike. But when we couldn’t withdraw money from the ATM machines in our area, we had to pray that the strike should be called off,” she said. Like Fagbohungbe, other spouses that our correspondent spoke to also said that their sex lives became active or more active during the

there was nothing different from what we had been doing before. “I cannot say that the intention of the government is bad, but people need to be carried along, because the reason for embarking on the nationwide industrial action in the first place was to register our grievances to the government of the day about making policies without involving the people.”

Election2012: Stop making inciting statements that could endanger corps members, NYSC D-G tells politicians

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EFORE Brig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia took over the reins of power at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), there were calls in several quarters for the proscription of the scheme. Youth corps members had become targets during ethno-religious and election crisis. Committed to addressing this problem, one of the first things the D-G did upon resuming duties at the NYSC was to embark on a courtesy visit to the InspectorGeneral of Police, Hafiz Ringim. Acknowledging the long-standing relationship between the Nigeria Police Force and the NYSC, Brig-Gen. Okore-Affia commended the Police for the vital role of ensuring the security of lives and property of corps members and other members of camp communities during orientation exercises. He further solicited for the continued cooperation of the Inspector-General of Police during the 2011 Batch ‘C’ NYSC orientation course scheduled to hold between November 15 and December 6, 2011, throughout the country. The NYSC D-G also requested for synergy and interconnectivity between the NYSC Distress Call Centre and that of the Police. Towards this end, Gen. Okore-Affia requested for the phone numbers of all area commands, state commands and divisional offices of the Police, which the IGP agreed to make available. The IGP, impressed by the synergy, described the idea as “a step in the right direction in view of the present security situation in the country and the need to ensure

Dennis SAMI the safety of corps members who in recent times have fallen victims of unwarranted and unprovoked attacks by hoodlums.” He assured the full cooperation of the Police towards the realisation of what he described as a very laudable and bold move. The D-G further reeled out security tips to the corps members during his visit to various orientation camps, stressing the fact that the security of corps members was paramount. Among other things, the D-G stressed the need for corps members to take advantage of the centre and report any security threat, avoid attending late night functions, avoid bad company, and ensure they have functional telephone numbers of all principal officers in the secretariat, and inform colleagues of their movement. Within the first week of the orientation course alone, the D-G visited Niger, FCT, Sokoto and Kebbi States. Just recently, the NYSC got approval to expand the administrative structure of the scheme. This was conveyed in a letter dated November 24, 2011 and signed on behalf of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. The approved administrative structure includes 11 departments and four units. The departments include: Human Resources Management, Finance and Accounts, Planning, Research and Statistics, Corps Mobilisation, Corps Certification, Corps Welfare and Inspectorate, and Procurement. Others are skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development,

•Brig-Gen. Okorie-affia

Information and Communication Technology, NYSC Ventures, and Community development Services and Special Projects. The four units are: Legal, Reforms, audit and Press/PR. With this new arrangement, emphasis would be placed on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development for corps members. The NYSC ventures would also be strengthened to provide substantially the requirements of the scheme, and would be operated as a viable business

unit. Enforcing standard and commitment both on the part of the corps members and the officials, BrigGen. Okore-Affia reeled out specific guidelines for the scheme. Corps members are monitored strictly right from the orientation camp up to the end of the service year, as outstanding performances would constantly be recognised and rewarded through various awards. This, he said, would be in addition to ensuring discipline throughout the service year. During a meeting with security chiefs and INEC commissioners in respect of elections to be held in some parts of the country such as Bayelsa, Sokoto and Adamawa, the NYSC boss urged security agencies to intensify surveillance and security around the corps members during and after the elections. He called on politicians to be cautious of their choice of words so as not to trigger any violence which could endanger the lives of corps. “I want to urge our political actors to desist from uttering inciting statements that may likely make the corps members targets of attacks,’’ Brig-Gen. Okore-Afia said. He reminded politicians that the corps members deployed to states during elections were not indigenes of the states and did not have any political interest, aside from doing their national duty, just as he urged corps members to always stand firm in their resolve to enthrone an enduring democracy, stressing that good governance would guarantee their fu-

ture. In October, Brig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia paid Governor Amaechi of Rivers State a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt. This visit led to the promise of the Rivers State government to construct two new hostels and renovate the existing buildings in the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in the state. “If we don’t get the entire facilities ready before November 17, we hope that before the next batch will come, the place will be conducive enough for them to stay,” the governor promised. And true to his words, work commenced in preparation for the 2011 Batch C. Brig.Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, at the grand finale of the 2011 edition of the National Youth Service Corps sports and cultural festival, with the theme: ‘Sports and Culture As Tool For National Transformation: The Role Of NYSC’, said sports has assumed the status of a social mobilisation instrument for the nation’s youths and adults alike. “Over the years, sports have galvanised the diverse multi-ethnic groups in the country for positive collective social action. In the light of the foregoing, we consider it a great privilege and worthy service to our great nation to be part of today’s activities,” he said. According to the D-G, the exercise will enable the corps members interact more deeply, build bridges of understanding and cooperation across diverse cultures. •Mr Sami is an Abuja-based publisher


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

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THE NATION, SATURDAY,JANUARY 21, 2012

Attracting God’s presence in your home

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EAR readers, This week, I will be showing you how to attract God’s presence in your home, by Employing The Fruit Of The Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit equips you for peaceful and profitable coexistence with your family members. Love – Total, unconditional, sacrificial and unending affection makes you to have strong regard and attachment to family members. No one hates to be loved. Love is able to cover a multitude of sins, and seek the welfare of every family member. Joy – This connotes gladness, delight, exuberance about life. Joy is a state of proud and happy satisfaction; a feeling of extreme happiness and satisfaction. This causes you to look

ahead to the future with great expectation of better happenings in your family. A joyful man is an optimistic man. Peace – This is a state of rest, quietness, freedom from disturbance. This stems from your trust in God to take care of you and your family and to also change whatever habit or situation that needs to be changed. Peace in the family starts from the heart. You cannot have peace in your family, if you lack peace in your heart and personal life. Long Suffering – It is patience, willingness to stick with something until it is accomplished. This is born out of the conviction that all will be well, hence you refuse to give up until your desired expectation happens. Gentleness – Kindness, amiability, easy to get long with, always willing to help others.

Being easy to get along with is one of the most effective ways to be a blessing to your family members. Not thoughtlessly harsh or severe. This makes you approachable and disposed to always be of help; to always supply your own quota of assistance. Whenever there is a challenge, seek for ways to be involved in solving it. Goodness – Benevolence, always willing to give to others. You are always willing to give of your time, substance, ideas, spiritual input, talents and abilities to the enhancement of the family. This means that selfishness is absent. Faithfulness – Loyal, firm in adherence to promises, consistent and reliable. Such a person sees family as being fundamental, hence sticks to it to play his own part of making it work and succeed. Meekness – Being teachable, correctable; humility. This talks about the absence of pride. Pride is the devil’s nature. Therefore, wherever pride is missing, the devil will also be missing. It is meekness that enables you to accept your faults and even apologize on someone else’s behalf. You are able to learn more of

what you don’t know or even more of what you thought you already know. Temperance – Self-Control, temperance. With this, you keep your feelings and emotions under surveillance and proper control. This will continually remind you not to talk and act the way you think all the time. It helps you to listen more and therefore able to proffer better solutions for issues at hand. How do you develop the fruit of the spirit? You need to know this because, at new birth, you received a deposit of the righteousness of God which made you become a tree of righteousness to bear fruits of righteousness. The fruit of the Spirit are actually fruit of the regenerated human spirit. •Seek for God’s Word that is relevant to the particular fruit which you want to develop. God and his Word are one, hence His character is resident in his word. •Praying in the Spirit Your spirit is energized thereby stimulating the growth of the fruit of the spirit. •Seek for opportunities to consciously exercise yourself in these areas. This also means to

exercise yourself unto godliness. To have access to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the first step is to be born again. You get born again by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If you are set for this, please say this prayer: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! You have just made the right choice and from hence forth, your home shall turn a new leaf as you put to practice what you have learnt today. Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 2341-7747546-8; For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: •Single With A Difference •Marriage Covenant •Making Marriage Work •Building a Successful Family •The Effective Minister’s Wife •Success in Marriage (CoAuthored with Bishop David Oyedepo).

10 reasons to look forward to menopause

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F you are like many women, you may be surprised to find that meno pause can bring positive changes to your life. The thought of menopause usually calls to mind an array of unwelcome symptoms — hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, thinning hair, sleep disturbances. The list is long and disheartening. But menopause can have a positive impact on your life as well; for one thing, not all physical changes caused by reduced female hormone levels are negative. For another, many of the emotional and social changes can actually be energizing. Read on to find out what many women have already discovered: In many ways, menopause can be a welcome change. No more periods Menopause marks the end of the menstrual cycle, which for many women is a cause for celebration in itself. It means no more fussing with tampons or pads, no more worry about leakage, and no more menstrual cramping. And after the perimenopausal years, when periods often become irregular and bleeding may be heavy, it puts an end to the guessing game of when your period is going to start or stop. “Some women are even limited to their homes on days when bleeding is heavy. For them, menopause can be incredibly liberating,” says Cynthia Stuenkel, MD, endocrinologist, women’s health expert, and clinical professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. “I’ve had patients tell me, ‘I can wear white again!’ “ Goodbye to PMS In the week or two before your period, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can cause a host of physical and emotional symptoms, ranging from breast tenderness and headache pain to food cravings and irritability. PMS is very common: According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, at least 85 percent of all menstruating women experience one symptom or more each month. In perimenopause, PMS can temporarily worsen as estrogen levels rise and fall. All the better, then, to have PMS disappear after menopause. “Perimenopause involves a number of years of a very rough hormonal ride, so there’s no question, particularly for women who have had mood changes around these hormonal fluxes, that menopause can be an ‘Ahhhh!’ kind of time,” says Dr. Stuenkel. Sex without pregnancy worries Women in menopause can enjoy sex without having to think about a possible pregnancy. This makes a big difference, according to the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, a multisite, longitudinal study of the physical and psychosocial changes women experience in midlife, including menopause. “Among American women of different ethnic groups, sex without thinking about pregnancy was frequently cited as one of the benefits of menopause,” says Nanette Santoro, MD, professor and director of Reproductive Endocrinology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Some women even find that, because they no longer have to worry about the unanticipated outcome of sex, they can actually enjoy it more once they reach menopause. The end of hormonal headaches Women are affected by migraines three times more often than men, according to the National Headache Foundation. About 70 percent of these women have menstrual migraines, headaches that coincide with ovulation and menstruation. Like other migraines, these headaches cause throbbing pain on one side of the head, sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light- or sound-sensitivity. In a normal menstrual cycle,

fluctuating levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can trigger menstrual migraines. But after menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, and often the number of hormonal headaches declines too. “Headaches can temporarily worsen during the turbulent hormone changes associated with perimenopause, but migraine sufferers can look forward to an improvement once they are through the menopause transition,” says Dr. Santoro. Uterine fibroids shrink Many women approaching their 50s develop fibroids, uterine tumors that are almost always benign. Fibroids grow when estrogen levels in the body are high — during pregnancy, when levels of estrogen and progesterone increase, and in perimenopause, when estrogen levels can swing from low to high. If fibroid symptoms, including pain, heavy menstrual

...looking forward to menopause

bleeding, and pressure on the bladder are severe, doctors may recommend surgery. Fortunately, fibroids often stop growing or shrink when women reach menopause and estrogen levels decline. “For women who have been charting fibroid growth hoping to avoid surgery, or for those who have heavy periods due to fibroids, menopause is welcome,” says Marcie Richardson, MD, director of the Harvard Vanguard Menopause Consultation Service in Boston, Massachusetts. “For women who have fibroids sitting on their bladder, menopause gives them a break!” A chance to take stock American anthropologist Margaret Mead called it “menopausal zest” — the rush of energy, both physical and psychological, that some women feel after menopause. This makes menopause a natural time for women to take stock of their lives. Many decide to take a fresh look at their relationships, their professions, the ways they’re caring for their own health, and the ways they want to expend their energy. “It’s important to take advantage of this wakeup call to say, ‘Let’s put our best foot forward as we move along,’ “ says Dr. Stuenkel. She advises menopausal women to ask themselves if they’re headed in the direction they want to go, both professionally and personally, and whether the way they’re spending their time is meaningful to them. Greater self-assurance It’s not uncommon for postmenopausal women to report feeling empowered, partly because of the biological changes that take place in menopause and partly because of the point in life at which menopause occurs. “Women are often relieved not to have monthly periods with the accompanying risk of pregnancy, mood swings, and other PMS symptoms,” says Dr. Richardson. “At the same time, your Continued on Page 53


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

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Long term health effects of crises

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RISES are results of human interactions and usually result in victims, long-term pains, and ill-health conditions. Crises are always best avoided. If they do happen, there are always financial, economic, social, and personal casualties. Here, we look at possible personal effects. Crises are fueled by the worst in human nature: ignorance, conceit, confusion, weakness, fear, greed, bitterness, anger, hatred, resentment, frustration, hopelessness, vengeance, malice… the list is longer. Elements of crises aim to offend, hurt, violate, destroy, suppress, oppress, annihilate…the list is evil. These elements are explosive when mixed. Human beings end up becoming mutilated: broken skulls, severed limbs, damaged organs, bodily disfigurement, and such hurts result in physical disabilities that the victim may have to live with for decades of life ahead. Those that suffer disabilities as well as those who are not hurt physically or bodily develop mental and spiritual disorders. Nobody in the vicinity or steeped within the crises goes untouched or unhurt – from minor discomforts to deadly destruction, in body, mind, or spirit. Amongst the litany of medical disorders produced by crises are: insomnia, paranoia, phobias, anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, mania, post-traumatic

stress disorder, nightmares, hallucinations, and insanity. Amongst the spiritual dispositions produced by crises are delusions, hatred and homophobias, disillusion, distrust, prejudice, vengeance, rebellion, malice, murderous tendencies, and in the extreme, demoniacs. The social conditions of horror, chaos, anarchy, and doom that may result from crises also add to the development of long-term medical conditions. Often, the spiritual disorders generated by crises are the most dangerous. The physical disability ends with the death of the disabled. The mental and spiritual disabilities can produce effects in unwary populations and effects in generations to come after the death of the mentally or spiritually unhealthy. Many notorious characters, bad leaders, agents of evil in our world, artisans of strife and war, and creators of future crises are themselves products of a crisis. When we reflect on all these, we exclaim: “God forbid!” No wonder the wisest of men once said: “turn the other cheek”. Well, when there is no other cheek to turn, or when we are dizzy turning both cheeks, some of us resort to facing crisis. Crises can have long-term effects on our brains, minds, and thought process. The brain loses its chemical balance. The mind may detach from reality or work against reality. Chronic insomnia (inability to sleep well) can set in when the brain is over-modulated by strong feelings and experiences such as insult, assault, hurt, anger, fear, hatred, anxiety, vengeance, desperation, pain, and suffering. If we have suffered visual or auditory horror, our memory can revisit them. When in crises, we should look for ways of distracting ourselves from the evils, preventing them from becoming fixed in us, and regaining our peace and calm. If not, we could develop such medical conditions as nightmares, hallucinations, and insanity. When we suffer torture, oppression, repression, deprivation, punishment, and devastating experiences, we can develop fear of what made us suffer and anything that can result is a similar

experience. An avoidance syndrome becomes manifest in behavior and relationships. This is a state of paranoia. We may develop phobias (fears) and hatred for certain types of human beings that we associate with pain, suffering, or trouble. We may develop phobias and hatred for certain types of places that we come to associate with suffering. People have become reclusive (tucked away from society) after crises. People have also become destructive or oppressive after crises, wanting to remove components of society that they have come to hate. Others may develop delusionary states, such as finding a mission in controlling or repressing everything and everyone that they have come to fear. Others enter a state of confusion not knowing what is right or wrong and unable to trust any person or institution. Crises always cause loss of time, property, money, opportunities, and derailment of plans and projects. Persons frustrated may develop chronic anxiety states, depression and disillusion, hopelessness, suicidal tendencies, rage and persecutory states by which they try to make other people suffer too. The future society can become plagued with potential maniacs and demoniacs who may appear normal for a long time and then, when effectively triggered, subtly or catastrophically unleash their inside upon unsuspecting and innocent members of society. Therefore, looking medically, no amount of expected gains warrants generation of any crisis. The powerful often feel safe in stoking crises and feel they would manage crises. No, we can never manage all the effects spreading out over differing aspects of life and down the future of humanity, certainly not the health effects. As individuals, we should be aware of problems that are likely offshoots of crises and try to save ourselves and others from such problems.

Men’s Health: 10 ways to deal with stress Here are 10 ways to reduce stress and its toxic effects on the body: Exercise regularly. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, helping you burn off pent-up energy and tension. It also improves overall health. Eat and sleep well. Good

nutrition and 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night can help your body recover from past stress and be better prepared to deal with new stress. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants that might promote stress and sleeplessness. Avoid alcohol, which might deepen any depression you may be feeling.

Meditate. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day in quiet contemplation. Depending on your preference, you might like to devote the time to meditation or prayer, or practicing yoga or tai chi if you want more of a physical component. Breathe deeply and clear your mind. Solve the cause of your

10 reasons to look forward to menopause Continued from Page 52 children are growing older and you are freed to pursue your professional and personal ambitions.” After 50plus years of life experience, including the ups and downs of relationships, child-rearing, and careers, women are more likely to go after what they want with a greater sense of confidence that they can handle whatever comes their way. A time to take risks “We used to say, after menopause, you have a third of your life to live,” says Dr. Stuenkel. “But now I tell women, ‘You have half of your life to live. Stop holding back because the party starts now.’ “ This is a message that women in menopause are primed to hear, because midlife is the time when women are inclined to take more chances. Some switch careers, perhaps turning a hobby into a business. Others try online dating or other adventurous pursuits like mountain climbing or figure skating. If there’s something you’ve been putting on hold, there’s no time like the present to taste what life has to offer. Focus on caring for yourself

With children grown or on their way to independence and a career that’s well established, women in menopause have more time to take care of themselves. “There is no better time for a health makeover,” says Dr. Santoro. “Many women in menopause are receptive to making changes that will maintain or improve their health.” These changes can start with getting regular health checkups and routine health screenings, such as mammograms and Pap tests. You can also put your best foot forward by eating a healthy diet that’s low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, and by getting regular physical activity — anything from walking and biking to gardening and housework counts. And finally, it’s important to take time out and reduce stress; techniques such as meditation, relaxation techniques, or tai chi can help. Bonding with other menopausal women When hot flashes have you peeling off layers of clothing or when you can’t remember what that one thing was that you came to the supermarket for, you’re likely to feel a kinship with any woman as sweaty or

forgetful as yourself. Talking — and often joking — with other women about the menopausal symptoms you’re experiencing can be very helpful by reassuring you that you’re not alone. “Not only do women exchange coping strategies and sympathy and empathy, but sharing their stories gives women courage to face the world, knowing that they’re in good company and that unwelcome symptoms will not last forever,” says Dr. Richardson.

...coping with stress

stress. Dealing with the problems that cause tension can relieve you of that stress. Inaction just allows it to build. If your neighbor’s dog barks constantly, talk with him about it. Talk to your boss to figure out solutions for problems at work. Ask for help if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you. Avoid stressful situations. Recent research suggests that men’s stress levels soar 60 percent in traffic jams — seven times higher than women’s. If possible, time your driving to avoid rush hour. Shop when you know the store won’t be packed with people. And cut down on the time you spend with people who get on your nerves. Accept things you can’t change. There are going to be things in your life that you can’t control, no matter how hard you try. For example, there’s no use allowing

snow or rain to bother you — how would you go about changing the weather? Instead, look for ways to enjoy uncontrollable circumstances. Play in the snow like you did when you were a kid; spend a rainy day reading, another stress reliever. Don’t take on more than you can handle. We often create our own stress by over-scheduling ourselves and failing to say no when too much is asked of us, whether it’s the boss, spouse, or friend making the request. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle. Try a “glass half full” attitude. Always looking on the sunny side sounds cliché, but it can make a world of difference. Having a negative outlook can turn even the most minor annoy-

ances into huge problems in your mind. Tackle first things first. Become a master at triage — that’s determining the most important of the tasks you’re trying to handle and methodically completing those first, then moving on to less critical jobs. Resist trying to do multiple projects at once. Savor your victories. When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a major project, do something nice for yourself. It can be as simple as getting a massage or as extravagant as taking a weekend getaway. Celebrate your achievement before you jump into the next project. Your outlook is such an important factor in how your body deals with stress. Following these 10 steps will help you put stress in perspective and start enjoying your life again.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park

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T was Saturday,January 17. The day before this day, a huge number of residents of Lagos had gathered in and around the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park to protest the removal of fuel subsidy. But this day, there was no single person inside the park. The signs of what had happened the previous day were evident. The well-kept grasses had almost been trampled to death.Broken twigs of ornamental plants , sacca palm trees that had their branches yanked off, some empty cans of distilled water were all there. At the end

Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park:

Capitol for the masses

of the park, the music platform and some of the electronic gadgets used were still there. The 2012 great subsidy protest has come and gone. Never in Nigeria’s annals had such a large number of people gathered in a sin-

gle place to show disenchantment with a decision taken by the government of the day, either military or civilian; never had such a mammoth crowd of protesting people conducted themselves in such a

civilized and orderly manner that even a 75-year-old felt safe enough to come out to express discontent; and never had a single place served as a rallying point for such a large number of people, irrespective of religion, tribe, age or social status. The last strike was about fuel subsidy removal; it was also about the emergence of a modern day capitol like in the ancient Roman Republic. It was the tale of the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park. The Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park, Lagos, also known as Freedom Park , is strategically located at the entrance to Ojota. It is a triangular shaped park, about 100 metres from the end of the Kudirat Abiola Way. Prior to 2007, it was just like any other open space in Lagos, dirty and generally serving as a resting place for street urchins, pick pockets and other people of shady character. The Lagos Ministry of the Environment developed the place into a park. At the centre was an advertising platform for products. The platform was strategically located . After sometime, it fell into disuse. At that point, even though the spot had been landscaped and beautified with ornamental plants, nobody saw it as a rallying point for any mass action.

The few held in form political rallies were at the end of the Kudirat Abiola Way. However, events changed the complexion of the park. On September 5, 2010, Nigeria lost one of her illustrious sons, Chief Gani Fawehinmi. In his memory and what he stood for, the Lagos State government decided to renovate the park and renamed it after the late lawyer and human rights campaigner. On September 5, 2011, exactly one year after the death of Fawehinmi, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, unveiled the statue of Fawehinmi erected in the middle of the park. It was officially rechristened the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park. Probably then, nobody envisaged how Gani’s statue was going to transform the place into an arena for protest against injustice and high handedness of government. It is a simple triangular shaped park demarcated from the roads by meshed iron and ornamental plants. The ground inside is landscaped with grass Continued on Page 55


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park:Capitol for the masses

Continued from Page 54

•Soldiers on duty Continued from Page 54

that has turned brown because of the dry season. There are different species of palm trees, including sacca palm and others dotting round the park. In the middle is the elevated structure with a staircase case to climb to the top. The top of the platform

can be accessed from three different points all with a ten-step staircase. Sitting on top of the elevation is a life size statue of the late activist in his full legal robe looking sternly over the space, as if in disapproval of the ills of the government. Ordinarily, the park cannot take more than 1,000 persons in theatre style sit-

ting, but Ojota and Maryland have become an extension of the park as was seen during the fuel subsidy removal protest. There is nothing spectacular, so to say, about the park. It might not be the most convenient for residents of Lagos to access, as it is not centrally located. The park is small for mass gatherings as it is sandwiched by some of the

busiest roads in the city of Lagos. All these minuses, however, paled into insignificance once the name Gani Fawehinmi became attached to the park. It is one name the Nigerian masses know very well, In life, Gani Fawehinmi was the champion of the oppressed. He was ready to shed his blood to see that a poor man was not unjustly treated. He spent his money to educate

the indigent, irrespective of tribe or where they come from . He was ready to stand up fearlessly, even alone for what he believed in. So, the Nigerian people were ready to make him the heart of their struggle for a better society. Just like the Tahrir Square in Egypt and the Freedom Square of Libya

have all become a rallying point for fight against injustice, so has the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park. Currently, a visit to tourist sites in Lagos would not complete without touring the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Park , a living legacy against oppression. Surely, the late activist would be smiling in his grave.

Kehinde FALODE: 08023689894

Potato pancake These potato pancakes are easy to prepare and good for the body. It can be eaten at any time of the day. It is shallow fried until golden and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Ingredients 1 small onion 625g potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes) 1 large egg 28g (2 tablespoons) selfraising flour Salt and pepper Oil, for pan-frying Preparation Peel onion and grate into a small bowl. Peel and grate potatoes into a large bowl. Remove excess moisture from potato by firmly squeezing handfuls of grated potato over the kitchen sink. Add onion, egg, flour, pepper and a generous amount of salt to the potato and stir well to combine. Heat oil in a heavy-based, non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat. Drop scant 1/4 cups of mixture into pan and flatten slightly. Cook pancakes for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked

through. Adjust the heat, if the pancakes are browning too quickly or too slowly. If you are cooking the pancakes in batches, you can place the cooked pancakes

on a baking tray in a warm oven ,while cooking the remaining pancakes. Drain pancakes and serve.

Orange banana smoothie recipe Fruit juices and smoothies like this one might be served any time of the day. It enriches the body with vitamin and other nutritional benefits. Ingredients •3 cups (750 ml) orange juice ·•2 ripe bananas ·•1 cup yogurt •Sugar to taste (optional) •7 to 8 ice cubes Preparation •Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Health and nutritional value of oranges DELICIOUS and juicy orange fruit contains an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals for normal growth and development and overall well-being. It belongs to a family of rutaceae of the genus: citrus. Scientifically the fruit is named as “citrus sinensis”. Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established that citrus fruits, especially oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phytochemical antioxidants, soluble and insoluble dietary fibre have been found to be helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases. Below are few more benefits: Nutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fibre, pectin, which is very effective in persons with excess body weight. Pectin, by its action as bulk laxative, helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer causing chemicals in the colon. Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its re-absorption in the colon by binding to bile acids in the colon. Cancer prevention: A compound in oranges called liminoid has been found to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. The high vitamin C content also acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals. Stomach ulcer: Consuming vitamin C rich foods helps to lower the incidence of peptic ulcers and in turn, reduce the risk of stomach cancer. the strong content of vitamin C also helps in stimulating white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system. Orange, like other citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C (provides about 60% of DRI); Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.

High blood pressure: Studies have shown that a flavonoid called hesperidin in oranges can lower high blood pressure. Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions. Kidney stones: Drinking orange juice daily can significantly drop the risk of formation of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

‘International tourist arrivals Tourism operators count losses to hit one billion in 2012’ T

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nternational tourist arriv als grew by four per cent in 2011 to a total 980 million, up from 939 million in 2010, in a year characterised by a stalled global economic recovery, major political changes in the Middle East and North Africa and natural disasters in Japan. By region, Europe was the best performer, while by subregion South-America topped the ranking. Contrary to previous years, growth was higher in advanced economies than in emerging ones, due largely to the strong results in Europe, and the setbacks in the Middle East and North Africa. “International tourism hit new records in 2011, despite the challenging conditions,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “For a sector directly responsible for 5% of the world’s GDP, 6% of total exports and employing one out of every 12 people in advanced and emerging economies alike, these results are encouraging, coming as they do at a time in which we urgently need levers to stimulate growth and job creation,” he added. Despite persistent economic uncertainty, tourist arrivals to Europe reached 503 million in 2011, accounting for 28 million of the 41 million additional international arrivals recorded worldwide. Central and Eastern Europe and Southern Mediterranean destinations (+8% each) experienced the best results. Although part of the growth in Southern Mediterranean Europe resulted from a shift in traffic away from the Middle East and North Africa, destinations in the Mediterranean also profited from improved outbound flows from markets such as Scandinavia, Germany and the Russian Federation. Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent) was up 11 million ar-

rivals in 2011, reaching a total 216 million international tourists. South Asia and South-East Asia (both +9 per cent) benefited from strong intraregional demand, while growth was comparatively weaker in North-East Asia (+4 percent) and Oceania (+0.3 per cent), partly due to the temporary decline in the Japanese outbound market. The Americas (+4 per cent) saw an increase of 6 million arrivals, reaching 156 million in total. South America, up by 10 per cent for the second consecutive year, continued to lead growth. Central America and the Caribbean (both +4 per cent) maintained the growth rates of 2010. North America, with a 3% increase, hit the 100 million tourists mark in 2011. Africa maintained international arrivals at 50 million, as the gain of two million by SubSaharan destinations (+7 per cent) was offset by the losses in

North Africa (-12 per cent). The Middle East (-8 per cent) lost an estimated 5 million international tourist arrivals, totalling 55 million. Nevertheless, some destinations such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates sustained steady growth. Available data on international tourism receipts and expenditure for 2011 closely follows the positive trend in arrivals. UNWTO forecasts international tourism to continue growing in 2012 although at a slower rate. Arrivals are expected to increase by 3% to 4%, reaching the historic one billion mark by the end of the year. Emerging economies will regain the lead with stronger growth in Asia and the Pacific and Africa, followed by the Americas and Europe. The Middle East is forecast to start to recover part of its losses from 2011.

These prospects are confirmed by the UNWTO Confidence Index. The 400 UNWTO panel of experts from around the globe expects the tourism sector to perform positively in 2012, though somewhat weaker than last year. As destinations worldwide look to stimulate travel demand under pressing economic conditions, UNWTO is urging governments to consider advancing travel facilitation, an area in which in spite of the great strides made so far there is still much room for progress. UNWTO advises countries to make the most of information and communication technologies in improving visa application and processing formalities, as well as the timings of visa issuance, and to analyze the possible impact of travel facilitation in increasing their tourism economies.

SUDOKU Welcome to SUDOKU, the captivating and engrossing numbers logic puzzle popularised by the Japanese. The idea of the puzzle is to fill the grid of 81 cells divided into nine 3 x 3 boxes, such that every box, every row, and every column contains the numbers 19, each number appearing only once in each box, row and column.

•NTDC staff attending to some visitors at Nigeria´s stand at Feria de Madrid currently in Spain

Meetings Africa 2012 promises exciting programmes

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ROM a unique Golf and Lifestyle Safari Weekend, the introduction of the National Convention Bureau and cutting-edge new research, Meetings Africa 2012 offers exhibitors, delegates and visitors an unparalleled opportunity to conduct business, network and learn. A record 130 influential buyers from around the world are expected at Meetings Africa 2012, Africa’s biggest business tourism trade show, which takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 28 February to 1 March 2012. The event, which recently won the “Best Trade Exhibition” award at the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) Awards, seeks to position South Africa amongst the best business tourism destinations in the world by showcasing the

OURISM operators in Lagos are counting their losses after last week’s strike called by the organized labour. The tourism experts who analysised the implication of the strike said the sector would have lost over $800 million in the sit -at-home strike. One of the experts , Mr Ahed Ojuolape, Managing Director of Empire Travel Services Ltd ,said there was urgent need for the two parties to return to the negotiation table to forestall further losses. According to him, tourism is all about movement of people from one point to another and tourists only go to places there is peace and security of lives and property. “ If as a tourist, you had been patronising a particular destination and all of a sudden, discover that there is a problem , you will change to other more peacefull areas with comparative attractions “ The money that visitors spend enhances the value of the country’s economy, especially the host communities,” he said Breaking down the implication of the strike, he said that over 30 flights come and live the country on a daily basis and if one tourist spends an average of $1,000, that should translate to about $30,000 lost daily. He said such money are spent on accommodation, transport, arts and crafts, among others. Mr Ikechi Uko, Coordinator of The Naija Seven Wonders and a tourism expert said that the hospitality industry was the worst hit by the the strike. According to him, the sector had before now been troubled by the problems of poor infrastructure, like electricity, water , security, multiple taxation and high overheads, saying that the situation had been made unbearable by the strike. According to him, the prevailing scenario is creating a bad image for the tourism industry and the entire country, adding it will reverse the positive trend recorded in the recent time. “ Its unfortunate that the crises is happening at the hospitality boom period. This is the period that people take out time to travels for leisure, business, among other,” he said Most of the hoteliers expressed concerned over the strike saying that they had been experiencing low patronage while the strike lasted. Mr Ayodele Adebayo, an official of the hospitality industry said that the room occupany had dropped by over 70 per cent.

country as the ideal destination for associations and corporates looking to host major meetings, exhibitions, conferences and events. While South Africa will host over 200 major international business tourism events set to attract over 300 000 delegates in the next five years, there’s considerable room for growth. “Meetings Africa is more than just an exhibition to showcase our wares to the local and global market. It is a catalyst to grow our market share and an opportunity for us to support industry players, business tourism product owners and service providers and meeting professionals to grow their businesses,” says South African Tourism’s Chief Marketing Officer, Roshene Singh. Next year’s event is significant as it will see the launch of the National Convention Bureau (NCB) following the appointment in November of Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo as the

NCB’s Executive Manager, marking a major milestone in the industry’s efforts to present a consolidated approach to growing business tourism to South Africa . “The United Nations Climate Change COP17 Conference held in Durban and attended by over 20, 000 delegates once again proves that we have the mettle to tackle the most complex of events. It is now time to consolidate and bring even more large global meetings and conferences into South Africa. The National Convention Bureau will offer the broader industry a forum to work together, to share ideas and to collaborate on specific bids for large international meetings,” says Singh. Meetings Africa 2012 also boasts an exciting new networking opportunity with a unique Lifestyle Golf and Safari Weekend (from 24 to 26 February) kick-starting the programme at the renowned

Legend Golf & Safari Resort at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo . The weekend offers delegates game drives, spa treatments and, of course, lots of golf, including the famous ‘Extreme 19th hole’ – the longest and most dramatic par three in the world, with a tee accessible only by helicopter and a green 396 metres down below in the shape of the map of Africa. “We are very excited by this new addition to the programme, as it offers an excellent opportunity for us to showcase what really sets South Africa apart – that is the spectacular leisure tourism attractions that complement its proven business tourism offering. Be it wine farms, safaris, beaches, mountains, cosmopolitan cities or fantastic golf courses, South Africa has what it takes to make an international conference or meeting truly memorable,” Singh said.

1st step in solving puzzle 372 Look at the 3 left vertical (abc) 3x3 boxes. The bottom box has 9 in cell Ga, while the middle box has its 9 in cell Eb. The top box must, therefore, have its own 9 in column c, where all 3 spaces are vacant. But, since row A already has a 9-in cell Ah, and row C a 9 in cell Cf, the only space available to accommodate 9 in the top box is cell Bc. Reasoning along these lines, try and fill in all the other vacant cells.

SOLUTION TOMORROW. HAPPY PUZZLING!


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

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58 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012

Benin-Ore-Shagamu Express:

Between facts and fiction

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OURNALISM is a thrilling vocation for those who practise and adhere to its strict doctrines of high moral callings and, of course, its universal tenets of fair and accurate dictates. Those who practise journalism and ignore these signposts do so to their eternal and everlasting regrets. In the recent past, it has become easy reading Nigerian newspapers and coming to solidly valid conclusions not so much about what is written, but about writers and commentators. It is a mixed grill of the good, the bad and the ugly. Two examples will suffice as both have attempted unsuccessfully to inform and update readers on the same subject, but in different formats and platforms. Writing in the Nation issue of Tuesday, January 3, 2012 , Okwy Iroegbu – Chikezie puts up what may yet qualify as the best example of how not to write a news story. “Motorist trapped on Lagos – Benin road at Yuletide” had so much venom, bitterness and anger against the person of the Minister of Works, Arch. Mike Onolomemen, so much so it became obvious that even the writer did not have to travel on the road to put up the write-up. Nearly all right-thinking Nigerians who travelled on the Benin-Ore-Shagamu road during the holidays were thumbs up for the Federal Ministry of Works. On the average, it took a commercial bus six to seven hours to move from Lagos to Onitsha and about half the time to get to Benin City. The Ore gridlock had disappeared, and many travellers heading for the Mid West and the South East who have not travelled the road for a while because of its notoriously poor state would not stop wondering if this was the same road they had been reading about in the newspapers. No one is exactly saying that the dual carriage way is now in top shape, but give it to him, the Minister of Works had promised as early as July last year that the road would be rehabilitated to ease travels in the Ember weeks and he delivered. In one breadth, Okwy was writing about bandits on the Ore-Benin road and in another, that the problem was made worse by policemen who mounted checkpoints “at almost 500 metres interval, asking for Christmas gifts from them (travellers)”. As a reader, nothing can be more confusing than when the writer is less informed than the reader, usually and commonly regarded as the “dilemma and the challenge of writing”. A writer is on top of his game, if he develops the ability to describe details and experiences, events and occasions to the minute but very accurate details. On the same day, Dec. 23, 2011 that Okwy travelled or claimed to have travelled on the Shagamu – Ore – Benin road, a group of senior editors from Lagos travelled the same day to Benin City, the Edo State capital. Jokes were made in the vehicle about how a serving

Arch. Mike Onolomemen minister wept at some point on the road when serving as Minister of Works. “This minister knows what he is doing” was the involuntary comment of one of the editor travellers at the Ore junction. How any travellers could have spent three days, 72 hours, on the same road between Lagos and Benin can only add up to conjecture. This kind of reports actually create more problems for the general society. Every 500 metres had a police checkpoint and yet bandits were operating perhaps along side policemen. Nothing does more violence to journalism than this kind of write- ups. Whatever the levels of personal prejudices, the journalist as a writer must satisfy the tenets of his profession, keeping away sentiments and biases from news writing and news features or stick to writing fiction. And what is more, because the story was cooked up, an old picture of the road was used as illustration to show the current state of the road as at December 25, 2011. In the Viewpoint in the Vanguard newspaper of Thursday, December 29, 2011 on page 19, “Stealing by sign posts,” Joseph Omorotionmuwan had decided that in the case of the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshimohole, and Arc. Mike Onolomenmen and in the controversy regarding the Downson road – Oluku-OreShagamu-Lagos road, that the Comrade Governor could do no wrong. It was clear the writer had deliberately decided to ignore the critical facts and elements of the story since the headline had been written in any case. This road in question has been gazetted by the Federal Government as a federal road long before Comrade Oshiomhole became a governor and before Arch. Onolomememen became Minister of Works. The Federal Government awarded a N24 billion contract for the reconstruction, expansion and rehabilitation of the road and gave the contract to RCC Nigeria Ltd, a reputable construction company. The Edo Government, not wanting to be left out, decided to award to the same con-

struction company, a contract for drainages and gutters, on the Dawnson road/Ugbowo/ Oluku axis of the road. It is really not too clear what the contract was for and how much it cost. What it was doing was at best complementary. Simply put, this was what caused the Comrade Governor to order the dismantling of the Federal Government’s signpost at the Dawnson road junction of a federal road. Aside of the flaks thrown at the Comrade Governor, which was more “untoward”, the governor’s behaviour or the minister’s show of maturity in explaining the facts, Omorotionmwan obviously knows more than he has conveyed in his piece . As a Benin man, he knows who the victims will be in a clash between the State Government and the Federal Government. He even builds his storyline along absurd levels by whispering to the EFCC that “we hear plans have been perfected to pull out billions of naira from the 2011 appropriations, presumably for the work they did not do”. Nigerian readers are now far too knowing and informed to be swayed by these kinds of “tombo” gist. The truth really must be that the writer did not want to be analytical in his piece and so chose the lazy path of bandying half truths and speculations in the hope they will sound good enough to be true in the eyes of readers. Constructive and indepth knowledge of subject matter remains the hallmark of exceptional and informed opinion. Those Nigerians from Edo State led by the revered Oba of Benin know that the state is enjoying its best political moments now for the last twelve years. No one has attempted to take away from the Comrade Governor the monumental and giant strides in concrete achievements and developments. To add that the Federal Government has come in through the Ministry of Works to complement the comrade’s efforts speaks volumes of the current development gains for Edo State. Alexander Erahodu wrote from Lagos.


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SPORT EXTRA

Abuja court sacks NFF board T

HE crisis rocking Nigerian football took dangerous dimension on Friday when Justice Donatus Okorowa of an Abuja High court declared the current board of the Victor Rumson Baribote led Nigeria Premier League, NPL as illegal, with threats to charge them of court contempt, should the body continue to transact any business on behalf of the Nigerian Football League limited, which he said is the only body recognized by law to run the premier league in the country, The court adopting the prayers of Dr Sam Sam jaja in the suit challenging his disqualification from the 2010 NPL election, also declared the Aminu Maigari-led board of Nigeria football federation, (NFF) as an illegal body which is not recognised by any law in Nigeria, adding that it can only operate with the name Nigeria Football Association, NFA which was established by the national assembly act of 1999. The NPL was on March 3 2010 dragged before the Abuja court by Sam sam Jaja, who was contesting his illegal disqualification from the NPL board election in a case which also had the NFF, former chairman of the NPL electoral committee, TonyRafua as well as the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC as co defendants. Delivering his judgment which lasted for about two hours and fourty five minutes, Justice Okorowu noted that he had perused all the submissions of the counsel of both the NFF and NPL and was quick to notice that they all accepted the fact that the plaintiff, (Jaja) was a member of the Nigerian football community having served as chairman of the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, as well as a former member of the Nigeria Football Association, NFA. He, therefore, concluded that the Tony Rafua election committee inflicted an injury on the plaintiff by unlawfully disqualifying him

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja from the said election. He also contended that having gone through the submissions of the counsel to Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, it is only the Nigeria Football League limited and not Nigeria Premier league that is approved by law to conduct the premier league in the country, adding that the NPL was an illegal body that is not in any way recognised by law, He therefore concluded that the board as presently constituted is null and void, adding that it has no right whatsoever to transact business on behalf of the league. “As recognised by the National Assembly act of 1999, the NFA is the legal body that is saddled with the responsibility of handling football matters in the country with other affiliate bodies recognised by it. It is very obvious that the NFA been domiciled in Nigeria can only operate under the Nigerian law. FIFA is a corporate body registered under the Swiss law, which has no powers over the laws of Nigeria. So the plaintiff in this case has every right to challenge the injury he felt inflicted on him by his purported disqualification from the election in the law court especially when I have read

Taiwo vows to make impact at QPR •Barton welcomes Nigerian signing

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• Taye Taiwo

the statutes of the NFA as contained in the 1999 act and find out that there is no provision for arbitration in it” “ Also the court been domiciled in Nigeria has every right of jurisdiction to try the case as against the submissions of the counsels of the defendants. Therefore the name NPL and NFF are illegal before the law since there are no statutes recognising their existence in the country. The court therefore submits that if any of these bodies continue to transact business under a name that is not recognised by law, they are doing such at their own risk.” Stated the judge.

Commenting on the judgment, counsel to Sam Sam Jaja, Phil Ugochukwu warned the NPL board to adhere to the court judgment, insisting that he would not hesitate to charge the board for contempt of court, if it continues to remain in office and transact business in the name of NPL. Also counsel to both the NFF and NPL, P.O Okolo urged the court to make the judgment copies quickly available to them so that he can go through them and advise his clients if there would be reactions and actions to be followed.

AYE Taiwo has vowed to make a quick impact at Queens Park Rangers when his move from AC Milan is completed. The Nigerian defender claims a six-month loan deal has been agreed between the clubs, while Rangers say the transfer is "very close". "I'm happy with the opportunity to play at QPR," Taiwo told BBC Sport. "I don't know if there are professional footballers who just love to pick up monthly salary by sitting on the bench. I'm not in that category." The 26-year-old has started only seven games since moving from Marseille to Inter Milan last summer. "I need to settle down quickly and adapt to the rhythm that comes with playing in England," he said. "I know only hard work, good performance, dedication, and passion will connect me with the fans but I'm prepared. I had an injury setback when I got to Milan and the negative impact was unpleasant. I'm looking forward to what lies ahead and I'm prepared to give my all to the QPR cause. It is not how long you stay at a club

but the positive impact you make and I hope to bring all the positivity as a professional footballer." Taiwo was linked with a January move to Arsenal but now appears almost certain to join QPR, subject to a work permit. He was pictured with manager Mark Hughes on Twitter on Thursday, and QPR confirmed they are "waiting for everything to be put into place before we make an official announcement". Club captain Joey Barton welcomed Taiwo's arrival on the social networking site: "Was very good when I seen him for Marseille. "Good news. First of many, fingers crossed." QPR manager Mark Hughes revealed on Thursday that there are "still conversations going on" with Chelsea defender Alex. The 29 year-old Brazilian, has been told he has no future at Stamford Bridge after handing in a transfer request. Rangers sources said on Saturday that a deal had been agreed after an improved bid, but Hughes refused to confirm or deny reports.

...NFF reacts to high court judgement

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HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reacted to a judgement delivered at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday to the effect that the supreme football-ruling body in the country is not properly incorporated. The court ruled on a case brought by Dr. Sam Sam Jaja against the Nigeria Premier League and the Nigeria Football Federation over his disqualification from taking part in an election into the Nigeria Premier League of May 8, 2010.

“We have not seen a copy of the judgement apart from the chat we had with our lawyer. He said something about the NFF and NPL not being properly incorporated or registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, but the lawyer himself was yet to get a copy of the judgement. However, the learned Judge did not make any consequential order thereto. “By the time we get a copy of the judgement on Monday, we will be able to

react fully. As for now, the business of running Nigeria football is unaffected, as we have 90 days to appeal any judgement, during which the status quo, legally, remains”, said Barrister Musa Amadu, General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation.

Meanwhile, the U-17 Women National Team, nicknamed Flamingoes, arrived in Nairobi on Friday morning for their FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifier against their Kenyan counterparts. The team has settled down well and trained at the Nyayo Stadium on Friday night.

• Maigari

Who’s missing Super Eagles? • Continued from back page on the game being played cost our players sanctions in their European clubs. In fact, the news was that the game was postponed due to the crisis in Guinea. But CAF, in its style, insisted that the game be played. Like they say, the rest is history. The Eagles arrived in Conakry in batches. Eguavoen took charge in an interim capacity for one game and sat all through, using boys who barely trained well for the Guinean encounter. Those who argued that we would have beaten Guinea at home must be covering their faces since they came here to hold the Eagles to a 2-2 draw with our immutable World Cup Nigerian coach. We had an arithmetic chance of qualifying for this year’s edition, if we had won the four games left, even though the Guineans led us with three points. We boasted that we picked the right coach for the job, but we are wiser now. We won two matches and drew two. We couldn’t beat Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. We appear to have learnt a few lessons with the decision to appoint Stephen Keshi as Eagles chief coach. The Big Boss is insisting on having a home-based squad in camp to keep the domestic league boys busy. His experiment has worked because the home lads held the Angolans to a goaless draw in Abuja. (Remember the Angolans stopped us from qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany?) A game is slated to hold in Liberia next weekend. Keshi is reminding us of Clemens Westerhoff’s methods. Who will blame him? But the missing link is the need to expose these new lads to European clubs like Westerhoff did with Friday Elahor, Uche Okechukwu, Finidi George, Benedict Iroha et al. Westerhoff used over 177 players to rebuild the Eagles, playing several friendly matches. One hopes that the Maigari-led NFF would secure enough games for the home lads to become stars who would rule the world soon. Keshi wants to make the fight for shirts very competitive and one feels strongly that it would bring back the discipline, commitment, dedication and determination that the players have shown during our matches. He is particular about the ages of the home-based players. He reckons that it would be foolhardy to develop for the future anyone who is above 30. But a few have sneezed at this because Keshi seems to be adamant in giving Yakubu Aiyegbeni another chance. Let’s allow Keshi pick his men, like the former all-knowing coach. He must be given all he needs to succeed and that includes allowing him to participate in the pundit’s job during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The best of Africa football is in Gabon. It is only wise that our coach watches others at close quarters, especially as we prepare for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Keshi’s presence in Gabon could also provide the platform to open negotiations with other African teams for international friendly games. Otherwise, of what use is Keshi staying in Nigeria during the Africa Cup of Nations? After all, his trip there is not going to cost us a dime; he had always been in the television pundit job before accepting to coach the Super Eagles.


SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2011

Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE Ever since he crushed the fuel subsidy protests, and, in fact, ever since he removed the fuel subsidy 'fiam' like no other Nigerian leader (now making us to see our military dictators as mere fretting generals) did, I had been ruminating over the title to give to him for this uncommon courage. Since he has done something extra-ordinary; he deserve a title that so reflects.

—Tunji Adegboyega

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BVIOUSLY shaken to its very founda tions by the vehement, overwhelming and near unanimous national opposition to its inept, abrupt and insensitive removal, on New Year’s Day, of the contentious fuel subsidy, the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration is clearly in a state of panic. This is a very dangerous moment for Nigeria. We have on our hands a disturbed and psychologically destabilized President who is unlikely to be in the right frame of mind to make the rational and objective decisions that his apex leadership position demands. His administration is thus confused, befuddled and simply groping in the dark from day to day. Some of GEJ’s rabid partisans may be ignorantly popping champagne and celebrating the temporary abortion of the anti-fuel subsidy removal protests by the massive deployment of soldiers on the streets of Lagos and other major Nigerian cities. But the resort to brute force by the administration only shows that it has humiliatingly lost the argument in terms of logic, facts and figures. The billions squandered on the fuel subsidy removal propaganda by a government asking the populace to bear the pains of an unpopular policy have simply gone down the drain. More than ever before, the gulf has alarmingly widened between an unconvinced populace and a government increasingly perceived as lacking in credibility and integrity. On Thursday in Lagos, the police tear gassed some of Nigeria’s most eminent citizens as they peacefully exercised their constitutionally guaranteed right to protest the deployment of troops on the streets of Nigeria’s commercial capital. This can only be the action of a panicky and unsure government sapped of self confidence. On Wednesday, the Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, vigorously defended the deployment of soldiers in Lagos, clearly indicating that it was a decision of the Federal Government. The following day, the Defence Headquarters contradicted the Defence Minister by claiming that soldiers were unleashed on Lagos at the request of the state government. This can only be the action of a government which, like a rudderless ship, has lost any sense of direction. During the last electioneering campaign, I had cause in this column to decry what I described as the “illiteracy, ignorance and sheer buffoonery” of Dr. Haliru Mohammed who was then the PDP National Chairman. Some of my readers thought I was too harsh on the gentleman. But his shallow defence of the rash deployment of soldiers in Lagos only confirms my view that this kind of character has no business being in the highest decision making organ of any serious government. Haliru Mohammed claims, for instance, that

A captive president

Even then, I believe that President Jonathan means well and is still essentially his humble and unassuming self. If he has seemingly transformed from a humble shoeless school boy to a budding dictator mercilessly trampling on the rights and dignity of his people with nail- studded iron boots the fault is not his. The blame lies with a primitive Ijaw cabal that has held the poor man captive

•Jonathan

the soldiers were deployed to prevent the eruption of the Arab Spring-type uprisings in Nigeria. Does it then mean that the administration under which he serves has degenerated to the level of the corrupt and dictatorial regimes that ignited the revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East? He argued that the Federal Government had to prevent those who threatened to continue with the protests even after labour had suspended its strike. Has this Minister read the constitution? Is the freedom of thought, movement and expression limited only to members of organized labour? Haliru insisted that the soldiers would be withdrawn “as soon as normalcy returns to Lagos and other parts of the country where soldiers are on such duties”. He is blissfully unaware that it is the very presence of fully armed soldiers on the streets that sends signals of abnormality to the outside world. This Minister is in dire need of elementary lessons

in logic. In reality, the Fashola administration in Lagos deserves great credit for the deft manner it ensured that the anger of the citizenry did not degenerate to violence during the protests. It was the clearing and beautification of open spaces across the state, for example, that provided the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park at Ojota as a rallying point where thousands of people could congregate daily to ventilate their anger through singing, dancing and revolutionary rhetoric in a controllable atmosphere. Over the last four years, the Fashola administration has equipped the state police command, so badly neglected by the Federal Government, with over 500 patrol vehicles, 50 Armoured Personnel Carriers, hundreds of motor bikes and millions of rounds of arms and ammunition. The effective police presence across the state thus prevented the kind of sporadic violence witnessed in some other parts of the country during the protests. The unnec-

essary decision to deploy soldiers in Lagos is irrational, irresponsible and indefensible. I have heard some of GEJ’s rabid partisans demonize the peoples’ right to dissent as treason. They boast that the government cannot be overwhelmed and arrogantly flaunt the state’s monopoly of the instruments of coercion. I hope the President is not listening to all that nonsense. It was the same seductive but ultimately self-destructive music that they played for Tafawa Balewa in the First Republic. The Balewa Administration deployed troops to crush the Tiv riots in the north. The velvet voiced Prime Ministers sent troops to quell the popular uprising against tyranny in the west. Alas, the Pandora’s box was opened and the genie let out of the bottle. The same military happily and bloodily kicked out the likeable Balewa and his government in January 1966. It was the same way an otherwise gentle and easy going Shehu Shagari was misled in the Second Republic. A seemingly invincible Shagari sent soldiers to forcibly crush the widespread protests against the electoral fraud of 1983. Of course, they gladly did his bidding but went ahead to dismantle his administration in December 1983. Let President Jonathan not be deceived. Chief Adisa Akinloye’s prescient observation in the second republic that there are only two political parties in Nigeria – the soldiers and the civilians – remains as pertinent as ever. The inflationary use of force against its own people by a democratically elected government grossly devalues its legitimacy and moral authority. The resort to violent tactics against the popular will by a civilian government only ultimately tips the political scales in favour of those who are trained specialists in the methods and mechanics of violence. Let the contemporary Nigerian politician eye the military warily and carefully. The trained soldier is an expert in the deceptive art of sartorial and behavioural camouflage. Even then, I believe that President Jonathan means well and is still essentially his humble and unassuming self. If he has seemingly transformed from a humble shoeless school boy to a budding dictator mercilessly trampling on the rights and dignity of his people with nailstudded iron boots - the fault is not his. The blame lies with a primitive Ijaw cabal that has held the poor man captive. We can excuse the likes of Edwin Clark and Mathew Mbu the indulgence of irrationality given their advanced age. We can understand the erratic illogic of ex-militants of Ijaw extraction turned emergency Amnesty-created billionaires. But what do we make of the mentally sterile vituperations of a supposedly enlightened character like Atedo Peterside? His thoughts and non-thoughts will be the focus of this column next week.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Who’s missing Super Eagles? T

HE Africa Cup of Nations begins today in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea with out Nigeria’s Super Eagles and there isn’t an earthquake. It serves us right. We always think that qualifying for any tournament is a stroll in the park. We don’t plan. We leave things until when it’s late. We play politics with everything. See where it has left us- a football minnow in Africa. What a shame. Nigeria’s absence means that other countries have overtaken us. We jumped into this misadventure when we busied ourselves with the legality or otherwise of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). We preferred to wash our dirty linen in public even when the Eagles had not exited from the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. Rather than contribute towards a resounding victory for Nigeria at the last Mundial, those who should provide the logistics opted to be banana peels because they wanted to settle scores with the stubborn Sani Lulu-led NFF. They succeeded but the backlash of that outlandish exercise was the Eagles’ ouster from a

competition that should be our birthright, given our players’ pedigree in European soccer. Whereas the countries in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea used the lessons of their performances at the 2008 Nations Cup to perfect their strategies for the 2010 edition, our sports administrators chose to cajole the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to inaugurate a parallel body (Presidential Task Force) to belittle the NFF. The ensuing battle for supremacy by these two bodies rocked the Eagles to such an extent that PTF members were seen romancing foreign coaches when our team was still in the competition. This tacit vote of no confidence on the Shuiabu Amodu-led technical crew set the platform for acts of indiscipline by the players. The Eagles secured our traditional bronze medal but it was in tatters. Whatever it was that the coaches observed from the team’s outing in 2010 was thrown into the lagoon when the PTF orchestrated Amodu’s replacement with a Swedish coach, Lars Lagerback. PTF members couldn’t stand Amodu’s self confidence, which they tagged arrogance. They

sacrificed him on the altar of change, having discovered that they couldn’t remove their major target (Sani Lulu) because of FIFA’s statutes. Rather than embrace peace in the nation’s interest, the gladiators continued fighting. The Yar’Adua administration gave money to three bodies (PTF, Sports Ministry and NFF). In other climes, such cash is given to the football federation since they are the ones authorised to superintend over the country’s team. The PTF and the Sports Ministry worked in tandem because some members belonged to the two bodies. Still in South Africa and Eagles having an arithmetic chance of qualifying for the second round, PTF and ministry eggheads sought audience with FIFA to sack the NFF. With mud rubbed on their faces by FIFA chiefs, members of this group convinced President Goodluck Jonathan to announce Nigeria’s withdrawal from international soccer competitions, not minding the spiral effects of such a diabolical machination. Jonathan recanted on the ban, following conversations he had with Nigerians on the social network platform Facebook. Yet, the

war of attrition continued, leading to the shameful Lulu, Amanze Uchegbulam, Bolaji Ojo-Oba and Taiwo Ogunjobi impeachment. It must be stated here that under Lulu’s NFF, Nigeria qualified for all the FIFA competitions for men and women. Is anyone shocked that we didn’t do well after they were removed? With Amodu and Lulu et al out of NFF, we were told to expect a new dawn. It never came because Aminu Maigari stood his ground. He must go, roared his traducers, and NFF became a body without leaders. We didn’t appreciate the danger in this setting, until it became apparent that the Eagles would be heading for Conakry to confront Guinea without a coach. The incumbent coach, Austin Eguavoen, was hounded out because we wanted a certain coach who eventually took us 25 years back as we failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. A few people have blamed our failure to qualify on the defeat in Conakry. But they must be reminded that conflicting signals

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The Nation January 21, 2012  

The Nation January 21, 2012

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