MADALLA BOMB SUSPECT KABIRU SOKOTO
Panic in Yenagoa over twin explosions
His untold story
As PDP prepares for campaign rally –PAGE 2
Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Vol.06, No. 2012
SUNDAY KANO BOMB BLASTS
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
JANUARY 22, 2012
Death toll hits 162 • Boko Haram free 100 members held in police cells
ORGUES in Kano are running short of space for corpses following the mounting death toll from Friday's multiple bomb blasts unleashed on the city by members of the extremist Islamic sect, Boko Haram. At the last count, 162 bodies had been deposited in the various morgues in the city, unarguably the single largest number of making this casualties in a Boko Haram operation.
Yusuf Alli, Kolade Adeyemi with agency reports As residents and government officials took stock of the situation yesterday, it emerged that the militants forcibly set free between 50 and 100 suspects held in police and Immigration cells. A distraught Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso yesterday visited the areas attacked to assess first hand the havoc
wreaked by Boko Haram members. He was conducted round by the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Idris who said three suicide bombers were gunned down by the police during the raid. Two of them, the Police chief said, had attempted to force their way through the barricade erected by the police at their headquarters. The police guards on duty opened fire on them only to find in their Toyota Camry car with number plate BR 487
BBR,three drums of locally assembled explosives. Another suspected suicide bomber, according to him was shot dead at the police zonal office while trying to force his way in. A few hours after the Jumat prayers on Friday, members of the sect launched coordinated bomb and gun attacks on the State Security Service (SSS) office, the Zone 1 headquarters of the police and the police stations
•Continued on Page 2
Britain, Canada, France, others condemn attacks From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
People watch as smoke rises from the police headquarters after it was hit by a blast in Kano January 20, 2012. Over 162 people were killed in a string of bomb blasts in the city . Photo: AFP
African Cup of Nations 2012: Equatorial Guinea 1 – 0 Libya
HE British, Canadian and other nations yesterday condemned the bomb blasts in Kano and other parts of Nigeria, in which scores of people died and many others injured. Already, the terrorist group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The two countries issued separate statements to condemn the attacks. The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, according to a statement issued by the Public Affairs of the High Commission of Canada, said: "Canada unequivocally condem ns these latest cowardly attacks in Nigeria's north.”
•Continued on Page 4
NEWS THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Kano Blasts: Death toll hits 162 •Continued from Page 1 at Fegge, Farm Centre, Naibawa and Jedijedi as well as the Immigration Office in the metropolis. A journalist, Enenche Akogwu of Channels Television was shot dead by the militants while recording the mayhem. Tension was high in Kano yesterday with residents seething with anger at the effrontery of the invaders. Most of the injured are being treated at the Murtala Muhammed Hospital in Kofar Nasarawa and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital on Zaria-Kaduna road. Soldiers and police officers swarmed over streets yesterday in the city of more than 9 million people. But their effectiveness remains in question, as the uniformed bodies of many of their colleagues lay in the overflowing mortuary of Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, Kano’s largest hospital. “We have been receiving dead bodies since last night (Friday) from relief agencies involved in the evacuation of bodies,” a morgue official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to give out figures. “At this moment we have 162 bodies in the morgue, and this figure may change because bodies are still being brought,” he added, speaking of the tally, with some of the remains having been collected by family members. Other bodies likely lay at other clinics and hospitals in the city. A senior local government security source said:”Definitely more than 100 have been killed. Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, a spokesman for the Nigerian Red Cross, said volunteers offered first aid to the wounded, and evacuated those seriously injured to hospitals. He said officials continued to collect corpses scattered around sites of the attacks. A survey of two hospitals by the Red Cross showed at least 50 people were injured in Friday’s attack, he said. State authorities declared a 24-hour curfew late Friday as residents hid inside their homes amid the fighting. A security source involved in the mopping up said the death toll was on the high side. “Officially, we have exhausted about 125 bags where we put the remains of the victims of the blasts. Among the dead were two Immigration Officers. We have all the bodies in the two hospitals” the source said, adding :”We could not mop up last night (friday) because of the grave security situation. But as early as 5am on Saturday, we started the exercise. The mopping in-
• Boko Haram free 100 members held in police cells volved all aid agencies like the JNI, Red Cross, and Kano State Emergency Management Agency. “Although the official death toll figure has been communicated to the security agencies and the Kano State government, the state is being cautious in releasing it because it could ignite more violence in Kano City . “The people of Kano are currently aggrieved over the motive of Boko Haram because 70 t0 80 per cent of those killed were Muslims. “There is tension in the city as I am talking to you. The figure is too high and it has left the city in mourning.” The Head of Public Relations of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Yushau Shuaib, was not forthcoming on the death toll. He simply said: “We are more concerned about attending to the victims of the explosions and mopping up the scenes. “There is a high level of coordination between Kano State Emergency Agency and other aid organizations to clear the sites of the multiple blasts. That is all I can tell you.” Contacted, the Director of Press Affairs to the state governor, Alhaji Baba Dantiye, a former President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, said: “I have not got the toll figure yet but as soon as I get it from the Desk Officer, I will make it available to you. “But Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso has just made a broadcast to the people of the state on why the 24-hour curfew will still be in place.
He said the curfew will be relaxed once the security situation improves. “The governor also thanked the people of the state for their understanding.” It was gathered that the Boko Haram sect struck in Kano in order to liberate its members being detained in the last two months by the police in various cells It was also learnt that they attacked the Nigerian Immigration Office because some of their members, mostly Nigeriens and Chadians, were due for deportation from Kano State. Investigation revealed that following Boko Haram strikes in Borno and Yobe, the government and the people of Kano had taken preemptive measures to check the spread of the sect’s serial attacks to the state. It was gathered that the precautionary steps led to the arrest of some Boko Haram members by the police, including those handed over to security agencies by vigilant indigenes/ residents of Kano . But the Boko Haram leaders were said to have reached out to top traditional leaders and the state government to release their members or face the wrath of the sect. A top source said: “Those who perpetrated these dastardly attacks were mostly Nigeriens and Chadians. They were just out to liberate their members in detention. “If you look at the pattern of the multiple explosions, they were restricted to the traditional parts of Kano , police stations, SSS office and
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) with Professor Ben Nwabueze (left) when the Governor paid a visit to his residence at Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos on learning about the Police dispersal with tear gas during a protest march in which he and other elder statesmen participated on Thursday.
Immigration Office. The areas are Zaharada, Bayero University Road , Bompai, among others. “In the last few months, security agencies in collaboration with the people of Kano have tried their best to engage in mass arrest of Boko Haram members who have fled to the city . They are mostly Nigeriens and Chadians. Each time the Boko Haram members were arrested, their leaders would go to local leaders in Kano to prevail on security agencies to release them. “But security agencies and the people of Kano were tired of the security breaches by the sect. So in the last two months, no one was interceding again for Boko Haram members who were arrested by the police and other security agencies. “The arrest of a Boko
Haram preacher and his son at Kuruna Asabe a few weeks ago has however put Kano on the edge. The Boko Haram leaders did not only demand the release of the preacher and other members of the sect in detention, they were threatening deadly strike in Kano if nothing was done. “They struck because their detained members were not released. At a point, Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso said he could not order security agencies to release the detained Boko Haram members as he may be tagged a Boko Haram Governor. “The Kano State Government said the Boko Haram leaders should take advantage of the rule of law to secure the release of their members. Instead, the sect decided to take the law into its hands.”
Investigation confirmed that a major premise of the multiple attacks was jailbreak in some police stations to free detained Boko Haram members. It was learnt that over 50 to 100 members of the sect were set free during the jailbreak. A security source added: “The sect attacked Zone 1 headquarters of the Nigeria Police; the State Police Command in Bompai; the SSS headquarters at Sardauna Crescent ; a police station at Yakwa on Zaria Road ; and the Immigration Office at Farm Centre. “These were the places where some Boko Haram members were detained. In fact, according to the report at hand, the Nigerian Immigration Service was about to deport some members of the sect to Niger and Chad .”
Panic in Yenagoa over twin explosions Y
ENAGOA, the Bayelsa State capital,was on Friday night,subjected to two explosions,just a few hours after the multiple bomb blasts in Kano.But unlike the Kano incident there were no casualties in Yenagoa. Bayelsa, home state of President Goodluck Jonathan, is hosting tomorrow, the flag off of the PDP governorship candidate’s campaign. Honourable Seriake Dickson got the party’s ticket after an acrimonious primary election. The explosions occurred at about 11 pm one after the other.The first took place near Government House burning a car. The second ripped off a part of the Tombia road main bridge which connects Amassoma hometown of the
• As PDP prepares for campaign Isaac Ombe , Yenagoa
former governor of the state, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, and some market stalls near the bridge. The explosions sent residents running for their lives. The damage caused to the bridge has reduced the lanes for vehicles to use precipitating traffic jam in the area. Armed Police men and an Armoured Personnel Carrier were deployed there briefly. The State Police Commissioner,Mr. Hillary Okpara, who visited the scene condemned the incident saying some mischievous people wanted to embarrass the state by portraying it as insecure.
He said the bomb disposal unit of the Command found that dynamite was used in the explosion. The State Government in its own reaction said: “Governor Timipre Sylva who was informed of the two explosions State capitals, late Friday night condemns in the strongest possible terms and warned of any “attempt to return the state to the dark days of insecurity” “The administration places high premium on peace and security and has invested so much to attain the peace and quiet that currently pervade the state. If there is anything that both friends and foes of the current administration agree on, it is the clear fact that Bayelsa State has since the
inception of the Sylva-led government emerged from the darkness of insecurity into the marvellous light of peace and stability. It will be most callous of anyone to try to shatter this peace”. “But it is most curious and in fact unfortunate that this new spectre of bombing is happening on the eve of a so-called campaign flag-off by persons who want to be entrusted with the welfare and security of Bayelsa people”, it said in the statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ola Doifie “The whole world watched in awe and utmost disgust the wanton militarisation of Bayelsa State towards the end of last year, against the consent of the governor and chief security officer, at a time of peace, when residents were going about their legitimate busi-
nesses. A virtual occupation force was brought in to militarise the state on purpose to force a controversial party primary on Bayelsa people. After the accomplishment of that immoral intent, we have strong reasons to believe that those who had militarised the state without cause are now seeking to give themselves some satanic predicate for yet another round of militarisation to accomplish the next phase of their ungodly political enterprise”, he added. “It is worrisome that these things are happening in the home state of the Mr. President at a time the nation is faced with a critical security challenges”, and advise “the peaceful populace of Yenagoa to remain calm, but strong and vigilant as we work together to overcome these challenges”.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
History as histrionics
nooping around With
• Protesters at Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos, last week
HERE are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen. The past fortnight in Nigeria tends to confirm this revolutionary dictum. It began like travelling theatre, with music, dancing and funfair. And then it became a carnival of the dispossessed. Chicken rustlers are often advised not to go after the chickens of the poor. It is not smart stealing. The noise and the hellish protestations could get in the way of the palate. History meets the histrionics of the wretched of the earth. Madmen collide with even more deranged specialists. But a revolution is not a carnival, just as histrionics may be elevated drama but only marginal history. Something new always comes out of Nigeria. This is not Tahrir Square, after all. By the second day of protest, a huge chink had opened up in the armour of protesters. There was no synergy between labour and organised civil society. It was a major tactical error to rely on labour as the lighting rod for epochal change in the first instance. It was a perplexing misreading of historical forces at play. It was not surprising that in the din and confusion of battle, la-
bour slunk away just as the handshake was getting beyond the elbow and just as men’s limbs and will began to falter. There have been cries of perfidy and betrayal against labour coming from civil society, but this is not a correct reading of the interplay of forces in contention. In an economically underdeveloped nation, the sum total of the non-working force is greater than the sum total of the working force. You cannot rely on labour to mobilise the nonworking class. What drives the Nigerian multi-ethnic and multireligious underclass is not what drives the working class. This was not contemporary labour’s territory. The aristocracy of labour may call themselves comrades but the revolution ended in old Russia. The Chinese were in a different class of their own, neither peasant nor truly proletariat. After that, labour’s main preoccupation is not revolution but the amelioration and betterment of workers’ condition. In a well-heeled democracy and developed economy, this is not an ignoble pursuit. But it is an incremental and reformist template which can rapidly mutate into a tactical alliance with reaction in times of profound crisis.
Ultimately, the reformist consciousness is an enemy of the revolutionary consciousness. This is not a matter of insults but of objective class interests at a critical point. Still while it lasted, it was a tense and fraught affair. For eight eventful days, the Nigerian people slugged it out, toe to toe, with the Nigerian state in an epic contest of will and wits. Although there were pockets of refractions, this was the first time Nigerians collectively looked the post-colonial state in the eye and told it some bitter truths. Since the advent of civil rule, there has been a dramatic rise in civic and political consciousness in urban Nigeria. Forged in insulting and inexplicable penury, finally united and unified by hunger and equal opportunity misery, Nigerians are no longer willing to put their trust in an underperforming state. Joining the fray from a vantage position are various Nigerian organizations in the Diaspora. Despite the receding noise of battle at home, it is safe to assume that these angry nationals all over the world, will make life difficult if not impossible for travelling Nigerian officialdom in the coming
months. While it is true that the colonial state founded the nation, no nation can survive for long without subjecting itself to the sovereign will of the people. When a mouse roars, let even the most intrepid hunter beware. Nigeria has just passed a momentous watershed in her history. Whether the emerging ethos is enough to hold a battered, strifetorn, demoralised and desacralised polity together remains to be seen. When a great historical occurrence surprises a nation, even its brightest and most perceptive minds mistake its true import. Like a dream, they confuse its manifest content with its latent manifestation. However this may be, it is clear from the events of the past fortnight that no nation can survive on a culture of impunity for long. For a long time, Nigeria has been powered on a fulcrum of impunity: political, economic and religious. It is political impunity to steal votes and expect to get away with the proceeds of electoral robbery. It is economic impunity to steal the nation blind and then pass the bill to the poor in the guise of punitive taxation. It is religious impunity to kill and maim fellow citizens in the name of a sectarian creed and then to expect a golden handshake from the state. Of course, arguments can proceed as to which is the greatest source of impunity, but there can be no doubt that impunity flows from impunity. Great societal battles are fought in ideological eclipse and occlusion. Conscience is often an enemy of courage and resolve. If people know the reason why they are fighting, it may break their heart. Or they may become cowards. The battle for secrets is also part of the secret of battle. The last national shutdown was not about gasoline pump price. Despite the claims of ethnic revanchists, it was not a political referendum on Jonathan, even though this may turn out as one of
Let me walk a little with you…
HESE were the last public words of Tai Solarin, Nigeria’s iconic social critic and veteran of several historic barricades. During one of the epic protests occasioned by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election a frail Solarin, already hobbled by malaria and ill health, was reported to have pleaded with the Nobel laureate to permit him to walk a short distance with the protesters as a gesture of solidarity. The great man never recovered from his heroic exertions. Nigeria had again dispatched one of its greatest sons. Last Thursday, snooper joined some eminent and illustrious Nigerians in a procession against arbitrary rule, creeping despotism, the abridgement of democratic space as shown in the military occupation of the commercial capital of the nation and the impudent confiscation of the fundamental rights of citizens to gather and to be heard. Above all, it was a protest against the state’s arbitrary denial of the right to protest. It was
(A short trek to Tear Gas) a march for freedom. It was a walk for Nigeria. But it was Solarin’s words that haunted snooper as the crowd respectfully made way for a frail but proud and fiercely dignified Professor Ben Nwabueze to address it. Snooper has not always been on the same side of the political divide with Nwabueze, but you have to give the old man his dues. A legal avatar of extraordinary analytical brilliance, Nwabueze is one of the last living oracles of constitutional law in Nigeria. He was also the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee. You would have thought that if the Nigerian authorities had no regard or respect for those they have chosen to criminalize as hoodlums and miscreants, they would at least treat people of notable achievement with some courtesy. But it turned out that Nigerian officialdom does not care a hoot for past achievement or current distinction if it cannot be
leveraged for state infamy. In the event, Nwabueze seemed to have a full measure of his quarry. Any notion of his frailty was quickly dispelled as he settled to a brisk and vigorous denunciation of the Nigerian post-colonial state and its historic infirmities and documented wickedness. His voice rising as his anger and indignation rose, the legal titan repeated his now familiar call for a revolution or at the very least a sovereign national conference to determine the destiny of a rapidly failing state. As if listening in to this torrential outpouring of scorn and denunciation, the state responded in kind. Even before the old man could finish, two senior policemen had slipped into the crowd. One of them in a deliberately low tone announced that he had orders to disband the assembly. A fierce argument ensued and things almost degenerated to a scuffle. All remonstrations with the officers to leave the peaceful protesters alone fell on deaf ears.
The police would not budge and neither would the crowd. All this within the precincts of the Lagos State House of Assembly. A brief address by the Deputy Speaker of the House did a lot to mollify the protesters who had demanded to see the entire executive and legislative leadership of the state. Thereafter, a carnivalesque procession towards the Freedom Square at Ojota unfolded with the police keeping a not-too discreet distance. But shortly before the intersection, the state finally bared its fangs. With police vehicles blocking the approach all hell was let loose as the whole place darkened with noxious fumes from tear gas. Like an eclipse, night suddenly descended on noon. Once again, the lights are going out in Nigeria. An eclipse of rationality has descended on the land. It was meant to be a brief walk for freedom with an old man. But it turned out to be a short trek to Tear Gas. Tai Solarin would be wincing in his grave.
its bye-products. It was a referendum on the moral health of the nation. It was a major battle for the soul of a deeply diseased and thoroughly corrupted nation fought on an oil platform. Oil platforms are always greasy and messy and very slippery to the bargain. You slip and fall only to rise again. You falter and stumble only to find your feet again. Even the rig may be rigged against you. What is important is to maintain your grip and not to fall off the platform. But however messy and confusing the battle field may be, a clear winner must emerge after the din and confusion of battle have cleared. If there is any clear winner in the great battle to reclaim the soul of Nigeria, it is the good people of Nigeria. Once again, the good people of Nigeria have fought with their bare hands against a relentlessly and remorselessly oppressive state State propagandists and their masters may delude themselves that in the battle of will and wits, the pro-colonial state in Nigeria has once again succeeded in overpowering and arm-twisting the Nigerian people. They may confuse the obdurate refusal to revert to the old bench mark of petroleum pricing as a sign of a great victory. They are profoundly mistaken. The resort to panic measures, the frantic attempts to sanitise the NNPC and audit its Byzantine maze of corruption and sleaze and the corresponding outlandish disclosures tell a different story. Any government that sets any premium by transparency and accountability ought to have done this before ordering the astronomical increase in fuel pricing. That they are now doing this is a sign of capitulation to the forces of rectitude and may go to show why there is no such thing as a subsidy in the first stance. The implication of all this is that Nigeria is now saddled with a badly wounded and dangerous presidency, a presidency that must constantly undermine itself and subvert the basis of its own remaining authority and legitimacy in order to stay afloat. A state sentenced to this loss of legitimacy and authority is a miserable state. Shorn of authority, it can only become more authoritarian, swaggering about in an infantile display of violence and naked aggression against its own citizenry. But as it has been proved from time to time, coercion alone does not guarantee regime survival. How Nigeria is going to cope with this for the next three years without something giving remains a major political mystery. The unfolding tragic paradox can best be seen in the fact that soldiers are everywhere in the country manning its political, economic and religious flashpoints. There is a stark democratic regression. Is this a new form of military rule, or a unique military-backed variant of Equatorial despotism? It is a bitter irony that the cost of democratic victory is military resurgence. As that irony plays itself out in the coming months, Nigerians must brace themselves and prepare for any eventuality.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
News KANO BOMB BLAST
HANNELS Television yesterday confirmed the killing of its reporter, Enenche Akogwu, during the Kano city’s multiple attacks on Friday. The 31-year-old reporter was shot by unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect outside the Kano State Government House while on duty. Akogwu graduated from Benue State University and joined the TV station as a reporter in Abuja, two years ago. He was later made the station’s correspondent in Kano. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed his condolences to all victims, including the management and staff
Jonathan, Fashola, Mark, Tambuwal others condole with Channels TV From Vincent Ikuomola, Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
of Channels Television. In a statement by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said he was greatly saddened by the incident. He pledged to get to the root of the incident while assuring the management and staff of Channels Television and indeed all Nigerians, that those behind these acts
Ekweremadu, Gowon, Shonekan flay killings
EPUTY Senate President , Ike Ekweremadu yesterday condemned the multiple attacks in Kano by suspected Boko Haram members, affirming that the threat of terrorism is a major security challenge to the nation. Speaking in an interview with reporters at the Presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Ekweremadu explained that the Federal Government will take whatever measure that will assist it to bring normalcy to the country. Also, two former Heads of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon and Ernest Shonekan have advised the Boko Haram members not to continue to tarnish the image of the country. Speaking at different for a in Lagos they asked the group to think of the effects their actions have on the country. Ekweremadu said : “ I think we all agreed that there is a major security challenge facing the country and the foremost responsibility of any government is the protection of lifes and property, so whatever challenge it is, is a challenge against the government of Nigeria. It doesn’t make any sense for Nigerians to be killing themselves. So whatever measure that needs to be taken to ensure that we restore normalcy to our country needs to be taken.” He expressed sadness over what he described as “this turmoil, you know it is giving us a bad name outside this country and our people are being killed here and there. So it is a very sad moment for all of us as leaders of this country. I just hope that like every other thing that has challenged us in the past, we will find a solution to this one as well.” Shonekan said “What I can say for the moment: to the people is to appeal to those who are doing all this to us for God’s sake not to tarnish the image of Nigeria. We want to develop the economy. No sensible or sane investor will want to come to the country where they are bombing. And if we want progress in the country we have to have peace. Throwing bombs all over the places does not generate any peace.” Gowon commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives. He described the event as sad. On whether the Senate is comfortable with the deployment of soldiers to Lagos, Ekweremadu expressed reservations over the likelihood of breakdown of law and order, if the protest continues.
By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor and Murital Omikunle
He said: “Democracy itself has a limit, so what is important to government is to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order in any part of Nigeria so anything that will give rise to a situation where the lives of others will be trampled upon or anything kind of disorder in the country, government will take adequate steps to ensure that that is taken care of, the most important thing is that the soldiers will not molest ordinary people or those who are going about their businesses. So if it takes soldiers to bring order in Lagos, I don’t have problem with it but if they go beyond preventing disorder and harassing innocent citizens then that is where some of us will frown.” On the admission by President Goodluck Jonathan that the security agents have been infiltrated by Boko Haram, the Deputy Senate president said: “Well, coming from the highest level of governance, the president himself, you know, has better information than most of us. So if he said so, then he must have been informed by some statistics and some information available to him.” On the ongoing probe of the oil sector by the House of Representatives and the likely outcome, Ekweremadu said: “ Well, I stand to be corrected, I am not sure of any probe which the Senate is involved in that has been swept under the carpet. We have investigated the FCT under el-Rufai and we made our findings public. We took decisions and we also investigated the aviation industry. It was well deliberated and we came up with resolutions.”
of terrorism would be made to face the full wrath of the law. Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has commiserated with the Government and people of Kano State as well as the management of Channels Television over the unfortunate loss of lives which occurred as a result of the explosions. He asked all well meaning Nigerians to rise up together to find a path of peace and urged all aggrieved persons to seek dialogue first rather than as a last resort. He also expressed shock and deep sadness at the killing of Akogwu during Friday’s unfortunate multiple explosions. Also, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, in his message said: “It is sad and disheartening that a defenceless
young man can be brutally murdered in cold blood while performing his official duties lawfully,” adding that the killing of Enenche and other victims of the violence in Kano and other parts of the country underscores the need for Nigerians, irrespective of ethno-religious and political leanings, to rally behind the President to effectively tackle the security challenges facing the country. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, urged all Nigerians to respect the sanctity of human life in voicing their grievances. He decried the needless shedding of blood when the country is yet to recover from a general strike, adding that such send wrong signals to the international community that the country is not safe for investors.
Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi inspecting the progress of work at the new teaching hospital Awka with the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Linus Ilika, at the weekend Photo: Obi Cletus
ACN blames Fed Govt for inaction
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday described the weekend bomb attacks in Kano as a fresh demonstration of Federal Government’s embarrassing cluelessness on how to tackle the Boko Haram crisis. According to the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Boko Haram sect has become more brazen in its attacks. The party also said it was an irony that the Federal Government that “deployed armed troops
By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor and Muritala Omikunle
against unarmed citizens in Lagos could not checkmate those who are posing a real threat to national security, leaving them to run amok and mow down security agents and ordinary citizens, including a journalist who was shot in the line of duty.” It warned that the longer the government delays in seeking a creative solution to the crisis, the more emboldened Boko Haram
UK, Germany, France condemn attacks •Continued from Page 1 "On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those hurt by this senseless violence." "We stand with the people and government of Nigeria in their efforts to combat the vicious scourge of terrorism, bring about stability and maintain unity in the face of this pressing challenge," he stated Also the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in a statement issued by the Political and Press Secretary in the British High Commission, Hooman Nouruzi, said “there
The Senate President while condemning the multiple bomb blasts described the perpetrators as ungodly. He asked members of sect to sheathe their swords in the corporate interest of the nation. In his condolence message to the management of Channels Television and the Kano and Benue State governments as well as the immediate family of the slain reporter, he urged media workers and security operatives not to allow the current security challenges in the country to deter them from performing their duties. He noted that the late journalist was dedicated to his duties adding that his landmark reports earned him the winner of the Channels TV’s 2011 staff of the year award.
is no place in today's world for such barbaric acts.” He said: “I am shocked and appalled by the large scale terrorist attacks in Kano, Nigeria yesterday. The full horror of last night's events is still unfolding, but we know that a great many people have died and many more have been injured." "The nature of these attacks has sickened people around the world and I send my deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of those killed and to those injured." He continued: “There is no place in today's world for such barbaric acts and I condemn in the strongest possible terms those who carried
them out. These events underline the importance of the international community standing together in the face of terrorism in all its forms.” The Germany envoy Guido Westerwelle in a statement said the country "strongly condemned the latest attacks (claimed) by the Boko Haram group.” France said in a statement assured " the Nigerian authorities of its solidarity in the difficult battle that they are leading against terrorism. There is no place in today's world for such barbaric acts.... These events underline the importance of the international community standing together in the face of terrorism in all its forms.”
will become, and the more the likelihood that the crisis will push Nigeria to the precipice. The party said: ‘’When the government decided to engage in the use of brute force, as it is wont to do when confronted with situations that demand imaginative solutions, we warned that it would be counter-productive. When the government decided to impose a state of emergency in some states, we warned that, imperative as that might seem at the time, it would only push the sect to extend its attacks to areas not covered by the measure, hence the need to seek a lasting solution. ‘’Unfortunately, those warnings have proved to be prescient, and the government has continued to shy away from seeking a creative solution, which we believe is to start off by calling a national security summit to be attended by stakeholders, who will help proffer solutions to the crisis. We will also like to reiterate our call for some form of engagement, instead of relying solely on the use of brute force, which will not work.’’ The party expressed shock and sadness at the scale of the latest attacks and the number of innocent people who died and condoled with the families of the victims.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
•Wreckage of vehicles and motorcycles destroyed by multiple explosions and armed assailants in the Marhaba area of Kano, at the weekend. Photo AFP
•Red Cross officials carrying a victim of the bomb attack on a stretcher during an evacuation in Kano January 21, 2012 after series of blasts by Boko Haram in Kano, at the weekend. Photo: AFP
Life jail term likely for fake drugs Community protests gas explosion manufacturers , says NAFDAC DG
HE Director General of the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, says manufacturers and importers of fake drugs into the country may begin to be jailed for life under a new law now in the works . He also says about $30m worth of fake drugs earmarked for Nigeria were recently intercepted by the Chinese government. Orhii, in an interview with newsmen in Abuja against the backdrop of war against fake drugs said:”We looked back at the Nigerian law, it turned out that, paradoxically, we are the most lenient when it comes to punishing of offenders even though we are the most hit. We are the major victim of fake drugs because it is shipped here because we manufacture almost nothing. “More than 70 percent of the medicines consumed in Nigeria are imported from different countries including China and India . “So, we looked back at our system and we discovered that our current law for punishment for manufacturing of fake dugs is
From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
just 15 years jail term and the alternative is just N500, 000:00fine. “Besides, we have never been able to secure the maximum penalty of 15 years jail term; but we are asking to review the current law to give stiffer penalty to show the world and also our people that we are very serious about fighting this problem of counterfeit medicines which have dire consequences on the population both from economic and public health perspectives.” He said the agency had come up with a draft bill with a provision for life jail instead of death sentence that he would have wanted the law to provide for. He added: “I would have wanted death penalty for fake drug dealers. Unfortunately, I had to come to terms with civil rights activists who believe that death penalty is no longer fashionable globally. “We have come to the middle ground that like it is done in India we should sentence these people for life
and confiscate their assets because we know that at the heart of counterfeiting lies the incentive to make huge profits.” “We are asking for confiscation of assets and in situations where we can prove that the fake products caused death or severe bodily injuries to the victims, then some of the assets that are confiscated should be used to compensate the victims.” Orhii also said that the agency would want to make the offence a non-bailable one so as to put the incentive of speedy trial on the accused themselves. He said that NAFDAC made a trip with the sixth Senate Committee on Health to China to try to persuade that country’s drug and food authorities to work with the agency, pointing out that the continued engagements have begun to pay off. He said: “The Chinese sent a high-powered delegation of the Chinese Safe Food and Drug Administration to come and work out modalities of engagement with NAFDAC and the good thing was that just before they arrived, the Chinese authorities
intercepted fake medicines worth $30 million that could have ended up here in Nigeria . “We think that was a positive development when the Chinese now has begun to try to stop fake medicines at source from leaving China to other countries.” He said the agency had prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would be signed very soon with the Chinese authorities which he said had been sentencing their own citizens to death for manufacturing and shipping fake medicines to Nigeria .
Women group holds vigil for peace From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja.
HE National Council of Catholic Women Organisation (NCCWO) on Friday held an all night vigil for peace in the country. The National Prayer Rally took place at the Our Lady Queen Pro Cathedral Church in Abuja. While speaking with journalists at the event, the President of NCCWO, Mrs Felicia Onyeabo said that she used her office to convoke over four thousand parishes in the country to hold the prayer rally and vigil in order to pray against the increasing terrorism in the country. She said: “You will agree with me that since last year, there has been a lot of calamities, bombings and all sorts of insecurity following the general election. When the atmosphere got so much choked up we decided to convoke a prayer rally.” She said that more Christians were now scared of attending church services and worried that it was not a good development.
•Says epidemic looms •Demands evacuation, relief materials
RADITIONAL rulers, community leaders and other residents of Koloama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State yesterday stormed the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Yenagoa, decrying alleged health hazards caused by last week’s explosion at the Chevron facility in the area. The explosion triggered a fire which is still raging. The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Chevron should evacuate us from the area”; “Inhabitants of Koloama Community are dying”; “ Federal Government should intervene”; “Chevron are killers: Federal Government save Koloama Community from extinction”. Addressing journalists, Chairman Koloama Council of Chiefs, Chief Andrew Akpaingolo, said
By Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
the massive explosions shook the foundations of houses in Koloama 1, Koloama 2, Tamazo and Odobia Communities in the Clan. He demanded their evacuation from the area without delay. “With the inherent health hazards, we should be evacuated from the communities and resettle the people without delay”, he said, stressing: “Officials from chevron and Government should visit the impacted communities to assess the damage caused. Also speaking, Mr. Tiwei Idowei, chairman, Southern Ijaw Local Government Council said:”As chairman,I have not seen any one in my council since the incident occurred; no NNPC Official, no Chevron official has visited the communities so far.”
Ojukwu to be buried March 2
four- week burial programme for former Biafran leader, Dim Chukwemeka Ojukwu was released last night in Enugu. The obsequies kick off with pre burial activities from February 14th -20th. It would be followed by funeral activities proper in the Old Eastern Region and seven states in the North including Zungeru where he was born. February 21st would be Day of Reminiscence with lecture/symposium and tributes starting from Uyo, Calabar-22nd, Port Harcourt-23rd, and Lagos24th. It would be followed by
From Chris Oji, Enugu
traditional mourning (Icho Madu led by Igbo Youths across the country). There will be prayers in all churches as the body arrives Abuja to Owerri, on February 27 and moves to Abakiliki, arrives Enugu 28th. A national funeral ceremony is to hold at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on March 1st with all dignitaries from all parts of the country and beyond. On March 2nd the body arrives Awka in a motorcade to Nnewi. The burial proper is March 2.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Delta students seek Ajimobi, David-West condemn Niger end to varsity strike deployment of soldiers in Lagos •Strike over soon, ASUU chairman N O YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and former Minister of Petroleum Resources Prof. Tam David-West have condemned deployment of soldiers in Lagos State. Ajimobi, who flayed the action in a statement yesterday, said that the Federal Government’s excuse for deploying troops in Lagos stood logic on its head, as the public protests were conducted in an orderly manner. David-West also said the action was one of the wrong steps taken in recent times by the Jonathan administration. He added that a military government would even be cautious in deploying soldiers on the streets, adding that whoever advised the president to do so was
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
helping him to dig his own grave. Ajimobi, in the statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo, said: “As a responsible and responsive state government, we believe in the rights of individuals and groups to express their grievances and feelings as enshrined in our constitution, as long as it is done within the ambit of the law. This was exactly what the Lagos State Government had done, as the protesters conducted themselves orderly and there was no record of breakdown of law and order while the protests lasted.’’ Ajimobi emphasized that rather than being
upbraided, the Federal Government ought to commend Governor Babatunde Fashola who provided a central place for the protesters at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in the Ojota, thus ensuring that the protest was centralized, well organized and devoid of the chaos and violence that characterized the protest in some other states. Ajimobi also decried the manner in which eminent personalities and human rights activists staging a public protest against the occupation of Lagos by soldiers were dispersed with teargas canisters on Thursday, saying that this action did not portray the Federal Government as being tolerant of opposing views. In his own comment,
David-West, who spoke with our correspondent yesterday, said: “Since this subsidy matter started, Jonathan has been making one mistake after another which does not do him any good. He cannot blame his advisers because the buck stops with him. For a leader to be wisely advised, the leader himself must be wise in the first place. He should take soldiers away from Lagos streets in his own interest and in the interest of good governance.” He also urged the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke to stop the probe of the ministry forthwith, stressing that no one can be a judge in his own case. He described it as “a parody of probe because you can’t set a probe against yourself.”
ATIONAL Association of Niger Delta Students (NANDS) has called on the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to immediately resolve the lingering disputes and reopen the schools without delay. The students in a statement in Jos after their executive council meeting appealed to the government and teachers to resolve their grievances. In Lagos, the chairman of ASUU, at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Dr Karo Ogbinaka has said that the strike will be called off soon. The students in a statement by the national President Annie Anthony Uchenna said, “We observed that our country is in a very delicate economic state and if urgent steps are not taken to rescue the country from economic depression, the Nigerian masses will pay
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos, and Muritala Omikunle, Lagos
dearly for it” They recommended that the federal government should be more forthcoming in tackling the security challenges in the country especially that of Boko Haram as their activities are completely unacceptable to all Nigerian students nationwide. They called for the reopening of universities nationwide. In Lagos, Ogbinaka said in an interview monitored on television that ‘‘ASUU strike is going to be called off sooner than expected. This conversation that is taking place has a framework and the committee was set up. We have continued discussing and that is one good thing about this strike. Both parties have agreed that we should be able to wrap everything up in the nearest future.’’
INEC ready for Sokoto governorship poll
•L-R Basheer Koko, Deputy MD, NLNG, Babs Omotowa, incoming MD, NLNG, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Former President, General Yakubu Gowon, Former Head of State, Chima Ibeneche, Outgoing MD, NLNG, his wife Ugo Ibeneche, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and his wife at the send-off/ welcome party for Ibeneche/Omotowa held in Lagos Yesterday
Troops to remain in Ogoni community
HE Chairman of Khana Local Government Area in Rivers State, Mr. Greg Nwidam, has declared that military men will continue to be at Teyor Kaani (Kaani 2), an Ogoni community in the council, until criminals in area are got rid of. Soldiers were deployed to the community on January 17 after the killing of a Lieutenant attached to the 2 Amphibious Brigade, Nigerian Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt. He was killed along Polytechnic Road. According to Nwidam, “Soldiers are here and they will continue to be here, until we get rid of these people, the criminals. We do not want a lawless society. Ogoni people are peace-loving and law-abiding people. “The lieutenant was killed at Bangha Oil filling station at Polytechnic Road, Bori, when he confronted kidnappers who came to kidnap Joyce, the daughter of the owner of the filling station. The soldier was not armed. The man died out of his goodwill. He was helping the nation, because the lady is a Nigerian.
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
“The lady (Joyce), up till now, we have not seen her and that is why the soldiers will continue to be here, until we see her. No soldier was killed in Kaani community.” The Councilor representing Khana Ward 6, Mr. James Barigha Nkporsor, while also speaking, said the soldiers came for the criminals at Kaani 2 (Teyor Kaani) and did not harass anybody. Nkporsor added that the soldiers were looking for those that kidnapped Joyce, while insisting that there was no confrontation between the natives and the soldiers. Nwidam added: “I am the Chief Security Officer of the local government. I am not biased. Nobody sent me to come and contest for council chairmanship. I saw the terrain and the way the political direction was going in Khana. I decided to come and change it for better. I am here to serve.” The chairman accused Bori Motor Park management of collaborating with and
abetting criminals, adding he would have no choice, but to dissolve the park. The 2 Amphibious Brigade of the Army and the Ogoni people of Bua Kaani had disagreed over the killing of the soldier in Ogoniland. Two Ogoni indigenes: Dr. Goodluck Diigbo and Tambari Deekor, said soldiers on January 17 invaded Teyor Kaani, an Ogoni community in Khana LGA of Rivers State, with five persons allegedly shot, many injured and natives deserting the ancient crude oil and gas-rich community. Diigbo and Deekor said the military invasion of Teyor Kaani took place around 6 am on January 17, with many natives manhandled and terrorised by the soldiers, whom they said came in 15 trucks. The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the 2 Brigade, Lt. Col. Aminu Iliyasu, however, insisted that the people of Teyor Kaani were not being terrorised by soldiers. He said: “The attention of 2 Brigade/Sector 2 JTF
Operation Pulo Shield Command has been drawn to the allegation and wish to unequivocally put the points straight. It is true that while these patriotic men (soldiers) were performing their legitimate duties in the said community (Teyor Kaani), a criminal gang shot and killed an officer.” However, the leaders of Bua Kaani maintained that the soldier was not killed in their communities.
ESS than two months to the governorship election in Sokoto State, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Hussaini Ahmad Mahuta has said Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to achieve a comprehensive result on voters’ registration record across polling units in the state. He said the commission has concluded the recruitment and training of 500 ad-hoc staff for the continuous voters registration exercise that commenced yesterday ahead of the March 10 election. Mahuta said at the weekend during a meeting with political parties and relevant stakeholders that the exercise was part of the commission’s readiness and preparations to ensure a free, fair and credible governorship election next March. According g to him, the weeklong exercise expected to cover the 244 wards from 21st to 27th of this month, was to capture and register those who have just turned 18 years, those who could not find their names on the register after being registered, those who could
From: Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
not register during the January exercise as well as those whose names appeared on the voters register but pictures not captured. Already, the state National Orientation Agency (NOA) has commenced a state wide sensitization and enlightenment campaign tour of the 23 councils for the exercise while urging political parties to also ensure members education and awareness for a free and fair conduct of all exercises till elections were over. Speaking, a National Commissioner, Hajiya Amina Zakari said the commission had noted all sensitive areas and aspects for the success of the weeklong exercise, adding that ‘’ we have made adequate arrangements for each polling unit to be manned by two ad-hoc staff and have considered language and sex barrier especially at the grassroots’’ Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad on behalf of registered political parties in the state said they were ready to extend their cooperation so as to ensure a free and fair electoral process before, during and after the election.
Tension in Onitsha over ejection of Yoruba, Hausa traders
ENSION is mounting in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State following ejection order on Hausa and Yoruba traders along the Bridgehead market. The traders, who described the state government’s directive as biased and ethnically motivated, argued that they are legitimate tenants to the Federal Ministry of Housing adding that they have valid receipt of payment that will expire by 2014. The spokesmen of the group, Chief Lateef Balogun and Tanimu Ibrahim, alleged
From Adimike George
that the state government had concluded plans to lease the plot of land to a major transporter in Onitsha , adding that they were not given any alternative site to relocate to. The duo, stated that the move to throw them out of the place of business they have occupied for over 40 years without plan for compensation or relocation is a subtle way of sacking the Yoruba and Hausa communities in the state. According to them, “What they are planning to do is to subtly sack us from the state but
as Nigerians we have the right to live and do business in any part of the country without fear of intimidation. We shall resist any plot to stampede us out of the market by agents of government over a flimsy excuse”. However when contacted the Special Adviser to the governor on Parks and Market, Chief Sylvester Nwaobualor, said that the move to eject the traders was not political or motivated by ethnic considerations but a strict measure to clean up and beautify the Bridgehead which serves as the gateway to the state and the entire Southeast.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Body recognises hospital for HIV/AIDS care From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
•Members of the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu's Burial Committee: From left Chief Ikenna Ekwenugo, Senator Ben Obi, Mr. Okey Ikechukwu and Senator Uche Chukwumereje, at a meeting in Enugu, yesterday
MO State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has proposed a budget of N174,316,400,000 before the State House of Assembly for approval. Governor Okorocha presented this proposal to the Speaker and members of the State House of Assembly at the State Assembly complex, New Owerri. The governor proposed 27 per cent of the budget r e p r e s e n t i n g N47,065,426,000 for recurrent expenditure while the remaining 73 per cent of N127,250,972,000 goes to capital project. The budget proposal has a projection of over N88 billion for recurrent items, N86 billion for capi-
Okorocha proposes N174bn budget for 2012 From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
tal receipts and a receipt of over N50 billion from the federation account. Tagged: “Budget of Rescue” Okorocha emphasised that the stat e government would in 2012 fiscal year pursue aggressively poverty reduction, infrastructural development, and provision of employment for the citizenry as well as evolve the commercialization of the
state ministries, agencies and parastatals. He added that 2012 budget would also aim at enhancing the internally generated revenue of the state, reduce recurrent expenditure, pursue erosion control and free and compulsory basic education, improve health care and provide adequate infrastructure for the citizenry. In his address, the Speaker, Ben Uwajimogu noted that the State House
of Assembly would support the governor towards ensuring the overall development of the state. He added that in demonstrating this, the House had in recent months passed over 10 people-oriented bills, including the approval for a four-year capital development plan which is already manifesting in the massive road construction, building projects and free education for the people of the state.
Union passes vote of confidence in Uwazuruike
HE recent installation of leader of Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike as the new Igbo leader has elicited the support of National Union of True Igbo Movement (NUTIM). National President of NUTIM, Dr. Samfo Nwankwo said Uwazuruike deserved the honour as “he has consistently fought for Ndigbo in the same manner our late
From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu did.” Nwankwo who spoke to newsmen in Owerri yesterday criticized Ohanaeze Ndigbo for dissociating itself from the title bestowed on Uwazuruike, describing the action as the product of envy. “Leadership is earned. To our objective assessment, Uwazuruike has earned his leadership of Ndigbo just as our late father, Dim Ojukwu
did”, the NUTIM boss submitted. He said unlike the current leadership of Ohanaeze, Uwazuruike has laid down his life several times for the survival of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Expatiating, he said: “There is no prison in Nigeria where Uwazuruike has not been a guest. Was it because he stole? No! He has been suffering deprivations because of Ndigbo. Those who criticize him are known to be carrying
their CVs from office to office groveling before men of power for their selfish aggrandizement.” He noted that those opposing Uwazuruike also opposed Ojukwu for the reason that while the two leaders stood for the masses, the others “stood for their pockets”. He said it was unfortunate that while Arewa and Afenifere were defending the rights of Hausa and Yoruba people, Ohanaeze was acting like a servant to any government in power.
Authority suspends worker for failure to produce certificates
HE Manager, Abuja Office of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Onne, Rivers State, Mr. Funmilayo David Omosule was suspended eight months ago, for his inability to produce original copies of his certificates, during verification exercise. In view of the decision of the Board of OGFZA to suspend Omosule, he resorted to spreading falsehood against the authority’s Managing Director, Mr. Noble Abe, who is currently on vacation. The Acting Managing Director of OGFZA, Onne, Mr. Peter Ibeh, at an interactive forum with journalists
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
yesterday at Onne Port Complex, said it was unfortunate that Omosule could be fighting Abe, who facilitated his appointment in the authority. Ibeh was accompanied by OGFZA’s Legal Manager, Mr. Momoh Sani Shaibu; the Head of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Adekunle Ajayi and the Head of Marketing, Mr. John Abbe. Angered by his suspension by the board, Omosule, through his Abuja-based lawyers, Leslie Vera and Associates petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices
and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to investigate the operations of OGFZA. Omosule also alleged that the managing director approved N32.8 million to purchase office items, for the use of Abuja office of the authority, without passing through the Ministerial Tenders Board, which was found to be false. The acting managing director said: “There is nothing like criminal manipulation or mischievous distortion to execute ethnic agenda at OGFZA, a Federal Government parastatal, as alleged by Omosule. Members of the board that took the de-
cision are from the main ethnic groups in Nigeria. “Omosule, an indigene of Ondo State, is angry because he was suspended by the Board of OGFZA, for refusing to produce original copies of his certificates during verification. He said he attended the then Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti.” The acting managing director of OGFZA expressed surprise that Omosule could complain of breach of his fundamental human rights and being denied promotion on ethnic grounds, when he was simply asked to produce original copies of his certificates, like other members of staff.
HE State Hospital, Oyo, Oyo State has received commendation award from an international health body, Family Health International for its outstanding contribution towards HIV/AIDS treatment and care in the country. This commendation followed a similar recognition by a team of seasoned medical experts from the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) which adjudged the institution’s Maternity, Paediatric Outpatient, Infant Welfare and Clinic, as well as Medical/Surgical Outpatient Unit as among the best in the state. The hospital also received award for the Best Pharmacy Practice in the country. The national competition involved Federal and state health institutions, including the teaching hospitals. The hospital which caters for residents from six local governments (Afijio, Atiba, Oyo-East, Oyo West, Iseyin and Itesiwaju) is best described as a very big referral centre. The irony however is that the hospital is grossly understaffed both in terms of medical and health personnel, and lacks the needed equipment to function optimally. It has eight major departments, namely Nursing, Medical, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Records, Physiotherapy, Heart to Heart Clinic for HIV patients, Accidents and Emergency. None of these departments could boast of adequate personnel. The situation, The Nation investigation revealed was as a result of neglect and abandonment by the immediate past administration.
Bayelsa: Opposition parties unite against PDP, may back Kubor
NE of the fallouts of the current crisis in the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be a more defined unity of the opposition political parties against the ruling party in this year’s governorship elections. The Nation gathered that the parties, which had earlier expressed reservation of the handling of the PDP governorship ticket race, resolved to In a statement from Bayelsa Go Better Initiative, signed on behalf of the parties by Comrade Wilfred FrankOgbotobo, the Coordinator, CPC Renewal Committee, Bayelsa State, they said: “The Bayelsa opposition and the entire progressive Bayelsans have identified their next governor, in the person of Dr. Imoro Goodrich Kubor, to restore sanity and responsibility to the state. What PDP is offering Bayelsa, while at the same time demonising Gov. Sylva, clearly shows that the party has run short of responsibility and goodness and, is totally disconnected from the people. PDP needs to be notified that Bayelsans, this time around, are rather waiting eagerly- crocodile style- for the “our money wey dem thief before” and no bait will cloud the conscience of the people to vote in bad governance.” It said further that “PDP therefore needs to spare Bayelsans the noise, divisions and inconveniences it is creating in the state. Bringing 36 Sambos and 72 Anenihs to Bayelsa will not intimidate even a child to give PDP another four years to unleash demonic misery on our beloved Bayelsa state, as they did not in Edo and Kaduna states.” “We call on the PDP to prepare its energies for a long interlude of repentance and self re-examination rather than crowing the same mantra of Bayelsa being a PDP state and therefore an easy grab, as the party will experience the greatest shock of its existence, worst than the disgrace meted out to them in Edo state. “ He added that “the opposition in Bayelsa will not blink an eyelid over the empty boasting of PDP because of its short memory which could not remind them of the sensitive setbacks they suffered, in recent electoral history, across the country. Moreover, PDP’s refusal to adjust to the unfolding realities will in the end create problems for the party and drag Nigeria into misery and chaos. Presently, the party is enmeshed, through God Almighty’s law of sowing and reaping, in the very crisis they have, in twelve years rule, built into the system in Bayelsa state and the country as a whole. Nemesis had caught up with them. The Almighty God has exposed them to their demonic malpractices and created the opportunity for Bayelsans to choose freedom, peace, security and prosperity.”
Adekile to be buried in Kuwait
RS. Gladys Modupe Adekile (nee Benjamin) has died in Kuwait. She was married to Prof. Kunle Adekile, a professor of Medicine in Kuwait. She is to be buried on January 28 in Kuwait. She is survived by her husband and four children and several grand children.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
FUEL SUBSIDY Tracking the leaks and leeches The shocking accounts of how the country loses 24 million litres of petrol daily to the nefarious activities of some saboteurs who smuggle the products to neighbouring countries on a daily basis, has left many Nigerians terribly scandalised, reports Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
AY we live in interesting times”, so says a Chinese proverb. For many Nigerians who have been following the sordid revelations, if not morbid accounts of how the country’s oil wealth has been stolen with impunity in the past few decades or more, these are certainly interesting times! The startling revelations In the view of some discerning Nigerians, the outcome of the ad-hoc committee investigating the petroleum subsidies saga is the stuff of what real blockbuster movies are made of. When Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke appeared before the House Committee last Tuesday, she indicated that Nigeria’s daily consumption of fuel was 35 million litres. But the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Reginald Stanley, gave further insights on Wednesday when he appeared before the lawmakers. He gave a figure that was at variance to that of the minister. He said the volume of fuel actually imported was 59 million litres per day. He added that payment for imported fuel as well as smuggling has been going on since 2006. “In the past, what was discharged was what was paid for. That is what I met on the ground.” Stanley said the figures of consumed PMS since the beginning of the subsidy were arrived at through two different approaches of the actual or the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. He said: “In 2007, our GDP growth was 6.4. That was statistically sound, while in actual fact, what was recorded as our consumption on PMS was 26million litres per day as against 27million litres per day. The variance was very minimal. “For 2011, the figure quoted was 35million litres per day, while the GDP growth rate put it at 36.3million litres per day. So, the variance was also minimal. The projection for 2012 is 39.2million litres per day. These figures cannot be faulted.” While reacting to the revelation, chairman of the House Committee, Farouk Lawan raised further posers: “How could the nation be made to pay for 59million litres daily when we consume only 35million daily? The balance of 24million litres per day might be the area of sharp practices.
By making that provision, you are encouraging smuggling because we know that this 24million litres balance would simply be smuggled out of the country since it has been paid for already and we cannot consume it.” Expatiating, he said: “Taking 2011, for instance, per day discharge was 59million litres and, consumption, from what was presented to us here, was an average of 35million litres per day. What that means is that there is a gap of 24million litres per day being funded by Nigerians as subsidy that was not utilised by them.” “Moreover, it was stated that we do not have enough storage capacity for this unaccounted for fuel that could possibly be used at the end of the year.” Cost of smuggled products According to Adebowale Adesanya, an economist, the best way to determine the cost of smuggled fuel outside the country in the last one year is by simply subtracting the difference between the actual 35million litres consumed and the 59million litres imported. “The subsidy the country pays on the 24million litres that is not even utilised by Nigerians is approximately N 670billion on petrol it did not consume in the last one year”, he stressed. Continuing, he said: “If we backdate it to about three years, what we may discover is that the country could probably have been losing trillions of naira to a clique who have held the country by the jugular these past years.” Customs’ can of worms Like the PPPRA, men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) also had their day at the public hearing, when the Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Julius Ndubuisi Nwankwo, who represented Comptroller-General, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, disclosed that the bulk of fuel imported did not follow due process. Nwankwo said no invoices were attached during clearance of fuel, adding that “as we speak, most of the importation of PMS has no documentation.” “The NNPC does not make any documentation to the Customs. Several meetings were held where the NCS was directed not to ask for documents. The Ministry of Finance wrote to NCS, warning them not to ask for documents because this will cause crisis.” Besides, he revealed that NNPC never berthed the mother vessels at Nigerian ports, contrary to the provi-
sions of the extant laws. “Vessels imported into this country are referred to as mother vessels. These mother vessels never get to the ports in Nigeria. The vessels are normally anchored offshore. If you see the manifest covering these imports, what you will see is ‘offshore Cotonou, offshore Lome.’ “They never get to the ports. Rather, you have smaller vessels that pick these products from the mother vessels and they come to the ports to report to the Customs – in line with the provision of the enabling Act of Customs. “These mother vessels do not report to Customs. Customs does not board mother vessels; we can only board vessels that are anchored within our territorial waters. The smaller vessels take these products to the ports.” He said NNPC has failed to pay duty on imported Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) worth N45 billion to Customs from 1999 to 2002 when the duty was formally suspended by the Federal Government. Nwankwo said to ensure transparency, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) should conduct forensic audit of all the ships in Nigeria and from exporting countries. While he condemned the corruption in the oil and gas sector, Nwankwo said there was no documentation of PMS imported by NNPC into the country and that only independent oil marketers attempted to document importation. According to him, the Federal Ministry of Finance had in a letter sent to Customs warned that any insistence on enforcing Customs rules (SEMA) would cause untold hardship and petrol scarcity. NEITI while corroborating the allegation by the NCS said the management of the country’s crude oil and importation of petroleum products by the NNPC was deficient in transparency. Payments made in respect of fuel subsidy by the NNPC “lack transparency and due process”, said NEITI chairman Prof. Assisi Asobie. According to him, subsidy payments should be made from the Central Bank through the Petroleum Fund, but that
has not been the case with the NNPC. His words: “This clear due process is not followed by the NNPC. NNPC estimates the subsidy entitlements and deducts the estimated amounts directly from the domestic crude proceeds before remitting the rest to the Federation Account.” He noted that during the audit of the oil and gas sector for 2006 and 2008, NEITI discovered inadequacies that complicated the problem of accurate determination of volume of imported petroleum products. According to him, “the measurement methods used by the PPMC and DPR are not in accordance with best practices. Even then, they are not consistently applied and cannot be relied upon.” The NEITI chair noted that the systems for recording the movement of refined products through the PPMC pipeline are outdated, paper-based and subject to error. Rebuttal For observers who have watched the unfolding drama of the huge scandal in the sector, one common fact which resonates among the dramatis personae is the trading of accusations. Responding to claims made by Customs and NEITI, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Austin Oniwon, said at no time did he illegally take money out of the Federation Account for subsidy payment.
He said: “Let me put it on records that I have never taken money from the Federation Account. The same way this Act allows the NNPC to deduct cash call before the balance is paid into the Federation Account, is the same way the bill allows the NNPC to deduct subsidy before the balance is paid into the Federation Account. “If we are not quarrelling about deductions of cash calls, which is allowed by the same law, I am always at a loss when I am being accused that I am touching the Federation Account. “We don’t take money from the Federation Account. We take as provided for by the law. But the adequacy or inadequacy of what was provided for is a question I believe the Ministry of Finance will be able to talk about. “So, I do not touch the Federation Account. I do not intend to touch the Federation Account and in a totally deregulated environment without subsidy, nobody would have any recourse to deduct anything at all. “I only deduct what is authorised by PPPRA. Once they give me the certificate, after checking with all authorised inspectors and auditors, it is that value that constitutes what is deducted as per the Appropriation Act. “I don’t go outside that. So, it is not for me to determine what is deducted from the crude’s value. Before I deduct,
“The NNPC does not make any documentation to the Customs. Several meetings were held where the NCS was directed not to ask for documents. The Ministry of Finance wrote to NCS, warning them not to ask for documents because this will cause crisis”
I write to the Minister of Finance that the PPPRA has approved it for me. “That is the procedure I have been using and I believe that it is the same my predecessors used. I hope that everybody would join hands to ensure that we move towards a fully deregulated environment where subsidy is placed on production rather than consumption.” On the differential between N360billion against N630billion claim as subsidy for 2008, Oniwon argued that NNPC at no time provided information to NEITI on its operation. He said: “For NEITI, I don’t know how they arrived at that calculation. I have not communicated with NEITI; I never knew where the body got that figure from. I only heard the figure for the first time. We have that document for N630 billion. The N1.348 trillion was the reconciled figure between NNPC, PPPRA and Ministry of Finance.” Oniwon added: “It was the arrears of N250 billion for kerosene that was responsible. In the component of N1.3trillion that was presented, N250billion of that was for kerosene and there was kerosene arrears paid at different points, not stated in that document with you. The N1.09trillion was for PMS for the period under review, that is, 2011. “Nigeria was declared a war zone by other exporting countries that forced vessels to pay high premium on insurance as well as on the vessels too. Secondly, the exchange rate to the dollar, whereby we buy in dollar and sell in Naira.” Expectedly, AlisonMadueke told the committee
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
•Lamorde •Oniwon •Babangida
that deductions by the NNPC for subsidy were legal. She said the corporation’s action was embedded in the 2011 Appropriation Act, page 14, item no. 8 where it is stated that deductions be made on domestic subsidy and joint venture cash calls, adding that section 5 (80) (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, empowers the corporation to deduct from source. “I need to say clearly that we have done nothing unconstitutional as a ministry, particularly regarding deducting at source. We do not take money from the federally appropriated revenue”, she said. The minister said N245billion was budgeted for two months because it was calculated that deregulation was going to take off, but the budget went up to N1.3trillion as the process could not begin as planned. “It is Ministry of Finance that authorises the payments that are made for subsidy and not the Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” she said. Alison-Madueke dismissed the existence of a cabal in the NNPC and stressed that deducting subsidy cash at source by the corporation was in line with the provisions of the law. Lawan asked the Minister to name the “cabal” in the oil sector. The Minister replied: “I think I have to say at this time that I’m under oath and it will be most improper to speculate on the existence or not of the purported cabal. “Let me say for the purpose of records that I think that we cannot afford as a country to criminalise either a certain group in one fell swoop, just as we cannot afford to criminalise the policy of subsidy itself.”
Counter accusations One organisation that has had to bear the brunt of public opprobrium over the subsidy saga is the Major Oil Marketers Association Nigeria (MOMAN), touted in some quarters as the so-called cabal being referenced by President Goodluck Jonathan. Understandably, the body which comprises oil majors like Oando, Conoil, Forte Oil, to mention just a few, are not ready to accept the sustained attacks on their corporate identities. In a widely publicised advertorial in major news media across the country, the group responded to allegations leveled against it. In the 10-paragraph statement signed on its behalf by Mr. Thomas Olawore, Executive Secretary of MOMAN said, “90% of petrol consumed in Nigeria is imported due to inadequate and limited local production. This importation is carried out by NNPC, MOMAN, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), and other independent marketers under the permits issued by PPPRA.” The PPPRA, he noted, “has a 26-member board which inter alia includes the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Trade Union Congress, (TUC), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NUPENG), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Nigerian Guild of Editors, (NGE), National Association of Chambers of Commerce,
Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA),MOMAN, DAPPMA, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) amongst others.” Speaking further, Olawore said: “The PPPRA pricing template was established by its board and was utilised to calculate on a daily basis the landed price of regulated products. This formed the basis of subsidy claims made by participants under the Petroleum Support Fund. “The PSF is funded by the Federation of Nigeria, administered by the PPPRA and supervised by the Ministry of Finance. The difference between the higher cost of imported PMS as ascertained by PPPRA and the then lower regulated pump price of N65 per litre was the subsidy that was repaid to importers after being subjected to an audit by government appointed auditors.” Short of accusing Nigerians of unfair criticism, he observed: “Any member of the public who bought petrol or used petrol bought at N65 per litre (now N97 per litre) benefitted from the PSF and was a beneficiary of subsidy. Our members who participated in
the Subsidy Fund were merely claimants who were entitled to reimbursement of costs incurred in the importation and delivery of petrol into Nigeria. Claiming subsidy under the PSF for reimbursement is neither an unwholesome act nor is it illegal.” Olawore, however, made a startling revelation when he said that at inception, participation under the PSF was limited to marketing companies that owned storage of minimum of 5, 000 metric tonnes and a network of petrol stations/retail outlets until a change in the guidelines of PSF in 2007, which made it possible for firms less qualified to be involved in the importation scheme. “The PSF was to be funded by contributions of the three tiers of government during times of under recovery and by funds contributed by the participating marketing companies during periods of over recovery. For the scheme to work only bona fide companies with meaningful and identifiable assets in the downstream could be held accountable. Unfortunately, a change in the guidelines of the PSF in particular Part V, in 2007, allowed companies with
nothing more than a throughput agreement to operate under the PSF, this saw the emergence of ‘briefcase’ companies (with no asset base nor accountability) in the PSF scheme. “MOMAN members who have extensive storage and distribution capacity have invested massively in retail distribution infrastructure and assets nationwide, ensuring adequate petroleum products supply to all parts of the federation and gainful employment for thousands of Nigerians. “Recent publications and statements referring to all claimants under the PSF as marketers and ‘cabal’ are false, unfounded and without any merit whatsoever. “MOMAN is a law abiding body and remains committed to supporting the Nigerian people and Federal Government in ensuring that petroleum products are made available nationwide.” Many questions, few answers The startling revelations notwithstanding, the questions on the lips of many out there is when was this discovery about an unaudited 24million litres daily gap made? How long has this been going on? Who are those behind this petrol racketeering? Corruption incorporated At the centre of the crisis bedeviling the oil sector is the problem of corruption, especially in an industry considered opaque, secretive and well-guarded. In the heyday of former Nigerian military leader, General Ibrahim Babangida, revenue from oil was top secret just as the proceeds could not be accounted for. For instance, the $12billion oil windfall which the country earned during the Gulf crisis in 1990 reportedly disappeared into thin air. Although it is instructive to note that Dr. Pius Okigbo’s probe panel, which carried out an inquisition into activities within the sector under Babangida’s regime found that he may have questions to answer. However, successive governments probably lacked the courage to prosecute him. Apparitions from the past also seem to have caught up with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who for the eight years he ruled between 1999 and 2007 had no Minister of Petroleum, as such revenue and proceeds from crude oil sales and refined products could not be accounted for. The duo of Babangida and Obasanjo had cause to trade blame and accusations last year, as they took themselves to the cleaners over what they both didn’t do right when they held the reins of power. Besides Babangida and Obasanjo, successive governments have been stymied by
Reform action points
OLLOWING the storm of the mass protest over the removal of fuel subsidy, the Federal Government took some interim measures, which, it hopes, would bring about the reform in the petroleum sub-sector. • Petroleum Minister ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) to take over the offices of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA); •Petroleum Minister set up an 11-man taskforce headed by Dotun Sulaiman on Governance and Controls in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other parastatals under the ministry. The committee report to her within 30 days; • Petroleum Minister set up a team to fast track the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill; •The Federal Government engaged the services of Messrs Sada Idris & Co and Messrs Haruna Yahaya & Co to carry out an independent audit of payments in the country’s oil and gas industry as well as the solid minerals sectors from 2009 and 2011. The firms have nine months to turn in their findings.
corruption these past years. Former head of state Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), who had once served as Federal Minister of Petroleum would stage a comeback to the turbulent sector when he served as the chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) under General Sani Abacha. The PTF had annual budgets that were far more than what most states of the federation received from the federal purse. The Fund began in 1996 with an initial capital of almost N60billion. It was said that the PTF had N115.6 billion available to it as at December 31, 1997; funds that were never audited or properly accounted for. Mixed reactions to Lawan Farouk-led panel In the view of some dyein-the wool critics, the Lawan Farouk-led probe panel is a smokescreen, as such it should not be relied upon to deliver the anticipated results. These critics readily cite past antecedents to buttress their position. Dr. Remi Adio, a public affairs analyst is certain that nothing positive will come out of the enquiry. According to him, “This is not the first time Nigerians would be treated to this kind of circus show, where we get to hear of high level malfeasance. For instance, the Ndudi Elumelu’s power probe panel is a case in point. Obasanajo and others were indicted in that report but the outcome was not made public. There are many other celebrated cases out there. As far as I’m concerned, this is all sound and fury signifying nothing.” But some others don’t share this view. For Itse Sagay, a professor of law, if anything, he thinks Nigerians should look on the bright side of things. According to him, “The revelations have shown that the civil society was right all along that there was really no subsidy anywhere. “In other words, all what was considered as subsidy was to take care of some vested interests. “The Federal Government approved for their friends and cronies out there, payment of goods that were never delivered and they now want to make Nigerians bear the burden of their sins and crimes.” Sagay said it is unthinkable that Nigeria, which is the world’s fifth largest exporter of crude, is ironically the only oil-producing country in OPEC that is also importing refined products. Nigerians, he stressed, should not be pessimistic about the outcome of the probe panel. According to him: “We don’t have to rely on the National Assembly to take action and possibly follow up. I assume we all are monitoring closely what is happening out there. When the time comes, we should be ready to make demands on the authorities on why those indicted have to face the music.” If the mass protests embarked upon by a coalition of civil society groups and labour few weeks ago is anything to go by, it is most probable that the Federal Government will not want to toy with the wish of the people. If this is done, the Labour strike that triggered all these would not have been in vain.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
RDINARILY, Abaji is noted as a placid gateway to the Federal Capital Territory . If a commuter is coming to Abuja , this sleepy town provides a soothing relief that you are almost in the capital city. But the escape of a Boko Haram member, Kabiru Sokoto has deprived Abaji of its allure and image of a quiet entry point with strong Islamic ethos. When Kabiru Umaru Sokoto relocated to the town in March 2010, no one thought the guest will put Abaji on the world map as a refuge for a member of the Boko Haram. As a settler, Kabiru was whole heartedly accepted by the people of Abaji without inquisition into his Hijrah (migration) from Sokoto to their native land. It was gathered that the suspect, whose residence was burnt in Sokoto due to his religious fundamentalism and avowed loyalty to Boko Haram, had sought solace in Abaji because of its strong Islamic culture. According to findings, he had initially stayed with a trader in Anguwar Gbakiya before renting a one-room apartment Anguwar Asharawa in Abaji. A man, Abdullahi Mohammed said: “Until we heard the news, Mallam Kabiru Sokoto has been a quiet and a deep Muslim who is versed in Quran and Hadith. He is so respected that sometimes, he leads Subh (early morning prayers). He lives a simple life and you cannot see any trace of extremism in him. The fact that he sells provisions does not make us to suspect him of any link to Boko Haram.” But the question on many lips is: Who is Kabiru Sokoto? Even security agencies have found it difficult to unravel the identity of this wanted man. A few snippets however revealed that he has a degree in Physics and Chemistry which confirmed security reports in the last one year that the Boko Haram sect has been using Improvise Explosive Devices (IEDs) in most of their deadly operations. A source said: “Kabiru Sokoto must have been one of the key members of the intellectual wing of Boko Haram. He is probably one of the covert members of the sect providing scientific support and probably identifying targets to be attacked.” To confirm this lead, investigation showed that the police have been on the trail of Kabiru Sokoto since the Christmas Day bomb blast at St.Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla , Niger State. Preliminary enquiry by the police had uncovered Kabiru Sokoto as one of the masterminds of the Madalla bomb explosions. It was gathered that attempts to track down the suspect led to last Friday clues on his presence at the Borno Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro District, Abuja . How he landed in Abuja There are different versions on the mission of Kabiru Sokoto in Abuja . While a source claimed that he had come to meet a friend, Ibrahim Umar Abba, who is studying for his Master’s Degree in London , the Borno State Government is suspecting mischief. Intelligence report indicated
Untold story of Kabiru Sokoto The dramatic escape of a Boko Haram member, Kabir Sokoto from police custody has dominated the headlines in the last few days. In this piece, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Yusuf Alli, panits a portrait of the man on whose head the police force has placed a N50m ransom.
that the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima was scheduled to arrive in Abuja last Friday evening and stay at the Governor’s Lodge. But some commitments delayed him in Maiduguri forcing the governor to come to the FCT on Saturday. A reliable source added: “Maybe, there was a mission to kill the governor. The coincidence was just too much and psychologically devastating to the governor.” The Borno State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Inuwa Bwala, said the state government suspected a plot to eliminate Governor Kashim Shettima. Bwala said: “The intrigues and drama of the reported escape of the alleged Boko Haram suspect arrested at the Borno Governor’s Lodge in Abuja from the police does not only sound fairy tale, it justifies our suspicion to the effect that there may be a grand conspiracy intended to either embarrass the Governor and Government of Borno state, or to eliminate Governor Kashim Shettima. “Suffice it to raise some posers, the answers to which may give a clue into the seeming mystery: If the man escaped while under escort, how can a man possibly in handcuffs outrun more than a platoon of armed policemen? “Could the alleged sympathizers of Boko Haram which Mr. President said have infiltrated the security agencies facilitate the escape? Could the arrest and escape stories not be a phantom arrangement after all? From which point did the police radar picked the said suspect in Zuba? Why was the whole drama headed for the Borno Governor’s lodge in particular? In its official reaction through the Secretary to the State Government, Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, said what happened at
its Lodge was a security breach. The state also gave a graphic picture of how Kabiru Sokoto gained entrance into its Lodge. Jidda said: “When we first heard about this incident, His Excellency Governor Kashim Shettima immediately ordered an investigation and this is what we found. On the evening of Thursday, January 5, one Ibrahim Umar Abba, an indigene of Borno State and a post-graduate student at the University of Birmingham in the UK , called the Permanent Secretary of the Borno State Liaison Office in Abuja . “He said he was scheduled to catch a British Airways flight back to the UK the following day and would like to spend the night at the Governor’s Lodge in Abuja . The permanent secretary, who at the time was in Maiduguri , granted Ibrahim Abba Umar permission to spend the night at the lodge. “When Ibrahim Umar Abba turned up at the lodge, he came with two other persons, one of them an Air force officer, the other a civilian. Neither of them is known to His Excellency the Governor, or to any other official of the Borno State Government. “It turned out that the security agencies were on the trail of one of the three men, later identified as Kabiru Sokoto. The security agents arrived at the lodge and arrested the three “guests” as well as all the staff of the Governor’s Lodge. “I will like to state emphatically that neither His Excellency Governor Kashim Shettima nor any other top official of the Borno State Government ever knew the said Kabiru Sokoto or the other two men. “In fact, their surreptitious gaining of entry into the lodge where His Excellency often stays during his visits to Abuja is a very serious breach of security which has caused acute
embarrassment to the State Government.” The state government said it could not have harboured a member of the sect that had killed some stalwarts of the ruling All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the state in the last one year. It said: “I will also like to remind the public that in the last one year alone, many leaders of the Borno State ANPP have been assassinated by suspected members of the Jama’atu ahlus Sunnah Lid’dawa’ti wal Jihad. They include the late Awagana Ali Ngala, then North East Vice Chairman of ANPP; Alhaji Modu Fannami Gubio, ANPP gubernatorial candidate Borno State; Honourable Mustafa Baale, Chairman of Jere Local Government; Fannami Ngranam, ANPP Chairman for Jere Local Government; Goni Modu Sheriff, Chairman of Ngala Local Government and many others. “How therefore can the Borno State ANPP chapter and the state government that it controls possibly be in cahoots with or knowingly shelter a suspected member of the sect thought to be behind the cold blooded murder of so many of our leaders? “The truth of the matter is that the incident was a major security breach by men who have the sinister intention to cause harm to His Excellency Governor Kashim Shettima, but for the providence of God. They have been plotting this for a long time and they succeeded in penetrating the Governor’s Lodge and spending a night there due to the sloppy breach of procedure by an innocent government official. “I therefore wish to urge the public to ignore the malicious, wicked and illogical insinuations being made by some people that the Borno State Government knowingly harboured suspected members of a sect. It is a wicked attempt to turn truth
on its head.”
Yet a different version of Kabiru’s movement A different dimension to the story of Kabiru was in respect of his link with an Air Force officer, who was in his company. This confirmed the fears of the President that members of the sect have infiltrated security agencies and government officials. Another reliable source said: “The suspect left Maiduguri on Friday via Kaduna . On getting to Kaduna , he sought the assistance of an Air Force to provide him escort to Abuja to catch a flight to London . “Aware that the security agencies had been on his trail, he could not get a safe place to sleep. He decided to go to Borno Governor’s Lodge to seek assistance to sleep overnight as an indigene of the state. “Oblivious that he is a Boko Haram member, the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Lodge decided to be magnanimous to give him free accommodation for a night. “But intelligence agents trailing the suspect on the phone succeeded in tracing him to the Lodge through a GPRS device. “This led to the storming of the Lodge in the early hours of Saturday leading to the arrest of the serving military officer and some staff on duty. “But after interaction with the staff of the Lodge, they were released by the police on bail pending the conclusion of a comprehensive investigation.” His arrest and escape The manner of the arrest of Kabiru Sokoto suggested that the police got the right information from an insider. A source in Asokoro said: “We had an unusual invasion of the Governor’s Lodge at about 4am when a truckload of Mobile Policemen from Zone 7. None of us could understand “The invasion must have followed a tip-off. The suspect was arrested early on Saturday morning while in hiding at the Liaison Office in Abuja . He is said to be in transit to London .” “They succeeded in arresting everybody at the Lodge including the cooks and others. Upon initial interrogation, all the support staff at the Lodge were later released by the police.” The flop and headache for Ringim Barely 48 hours after his arrest, Kabiru Sokoto miraculously escaped from the custody of a five-man police team that took him to Abaji for a search of his home. There were unconfirmed reports that some youths had waylaid the police team to set the Boko Haram member free. Other allegations border on monetary inducement and conspiracy within the police hierarchy. Irrespective of the argument, the IGP got a query to wit amidst a battle for survival; the Commissioner of Police in charge of the investigation, Alhaji Zakari Biu has been suspended and
placed under house arrest; and the five policemen who unofficially released the suspect are languishing in the worst of detention facilities. The police officers and their men could also not find an answer to the miraculous escape of Kabiru Sokoto. It was learnt that a crack in police management over Ringim’s likely tenure extension might have accounted for the conspiracy which led to the escape of Kabiru Sokoto. 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 themselves. “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 the suspect was treated was unprofessional. “Those policemen arrested in connection with the incident might provide further lead on this argument.” As the nation’s await the outcome of a panel raised by the National Security Adviser, Gen. Azazi Owoye, it is obvious that the police may not remain the same with the disappearance of Kabiru. For the IGP and Biu, the mystery of the suspect’s disappearance remains a dent on their career in the police which will end in February. The IGP has lost an opportunity to extend his tenure by a year. A police source said: “Prior to the escape of Kabiru Sokoto, what was on the card has been the extension of the tenure of the IGP. But with this latest, the presidency has foreclosed the extension of Ringim’s tenure 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 circle. “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 may take a new IGP three to six months to settle down and members of the dreadful sect may take advantage of the situation to unleash more terror attacks. They wanted one-year extension for Ringim. “But that extension agenda has backfired now with his job on the line and the entire career overshadowed by the escape of the Boko Haram member.” Until the long arm of the law catches with the suspect, Nigerians will still be asking: WHO IS KABIRU SOKOTO? Not even his wife and children in detention could be of help to the police on this mysterious and influential Boko Haram member.
COMMENT and ANALYSIS
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
F you think the title of this story is “religious intolerance” in Nigeria then you have been swayed by recent stories from the international media. You – and they—are wrong. Much of the international press covering the unrest and violence in Nigeria recently has been inaccurate, irresponsible and even dangerous. Nigeria is “on the brink” many claim. It is true that at least 40 people were killed on Christmas Day in Churches. This is horrific and has been condemned not only in Nigeria but also around the world. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility, and those responsible must be found and held accountable-something that does not happen in Nigeria regularly. In the month since then, fear has led many to warn and believe that Nigeria was in on the brink of a religious war. The week of protests from strikes related to removing the subsidy fueled even more fears, concerns and inaccurate reporting. There were strikes; there were major protests. This is a common reaction that occurs around the world when people have to pay more for a basic commodity. Strikes shut down Greece last fall when public spending was cut and taxes increased. Three died in Greece, probably 10 died in Nigeria. Has there been religious conflict? There have been deaths in churches. There have been deaths in mosques. It is very difficult to disentangle what happened with each of these deaths—an ambiguity that opens a window for manipulation and inaccurate reporting. In our hometown of Yola, three people were killed in a Church last week. Religious Conflict in Yola, screamed the national and international headlines. But police investigations here point to a family feud-not religious conflict. Bishop Kukah, a leading Catholic Bishop and an intellectual has been gathering information on these recent killings. According to him: Last year a Christian woman went to her own parish Church in Bauchi and tried to set it ablaze. Again, recently, a man alleged to be a Christian, dressed as a Muslim, went to burn down a Church in Bayelsa. In Plateau State, a man purported to be a Christian was arrested while trying to bomb a Church. Armed men gunned down a group of Christians meeting in a Church and now it turned out that those who have been arrested and are under interrogation are in fact not Muslims and that the story is more of an internal crisis. In Zamfara State, 19 Muslims were killed. After investigation it was discovered that those who killed them were not Christians. Other similar incidents have occurred across the country. Here is a story that has not been written, spoken, or sung from the rooftops, churches and mosques around the world -the story of Christians and Muslims coming together to protect each other, and develop their communities. In the last week alone, in the large city of Kano, Muslim leaders attended Sunday church services as a show of faith and tolerance. “We are here to deliver a message of hope, a message of peace, a message of solidarity, said Bashir Ishaq Bashir who led the Muslim delegation. Once, again, as Bishop Kukah has
Religious tolerance: A view from the North
•Jonathan By Margee M. Ensign
found: In Minna and in Lagos, the same thing repeated itself as Christians joined hands to protect Muslims as they prayed. In the last week, Christians and Muslims together in solidarity are protesting against bad governance and corruption beyond the falsehood of religion. Once freed from the grip of these dark forces, religion will be able to play its role as a force for harmony, truth and the common good. And in our small town of Yola, several remarkable stories are emerging. Our Interfaith Mediation Centre Dialogue Forum, released the following statement this week: ‘In the wake of recent security challenges, Muslim and Christian communities across Nigeria have resolved to be their brother’s keeper during religious congregations in the future. ‘This resolution is fast gaining momentum around the country. In key cities such as Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and Abuja Christians have shielded Muslim faithful from any possible attack during the weekly Friday congregational prayers in major mosques. ‘In line with the resolution, Muslims have also provided the same protection for their Christian brethren around major Churches during Sunday service congregations. These hands of brotherhood, solidarity and fellowship will be continued and sustained on a regular basis until divisive agents of violence and lawlessness are disappointed and exposed.
“Here is a story that has not been written, spoken, or sung from the rooftops, churches and mosques around the world -the story of Christians and Muslims coming together to protect each other, and develop their communities”
Signed: Alhaji Abdullahi Damare - Muslim Community Coordinator; Charity Kande Garba - Christian Community Coordinator.’ This past week, on our own university campus, we invited major religious leaders for a dialogue—including a representative of our local traditional leader, the Lamido, and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) as well as the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN). Senior business leaders came as well as union representatives, government and other academics, representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, State Security Service, Muslim-Christian Forum, the Muslim Council and the traders’ associations. All were in attendance as we crowded together in one of our conference rooms. We decided to create what we are calling the Adamawa Peace Council. After four hours of sincere and open discussions about the things that could divide us, we decided to work together to build a community based on peace and harmony. We identified some of the root causes of violence and distrust~ unemployment, poverty, inadequate security, depletion of cultural values, unchecked movement of persons via the border posts, political divisions and lack of information. We agreed that over the long run we needed to work together on joint projects such as public forums on the basis for conflict and strategies to develop our society, literacy and enlightenment programs in the community, inter-faith, social and economic programs, and community scholarships for indigenous students The Peace Council agreed unanimously in its first meeting to release a statement to the press and the country: The individuals at today’s meeting, representing various religious groups, government, business, police and other security agencies and academia strongly condemn the killings in Adamawa State last week and any killings in the country, and pledge to work together to build a more peaceful community based on trust and understanding. Last Friday a text message circulated widely saying that there would be a “jihad” against Christians after Friday prayers. To assure people that the text messages were an attempt only to generate fear, the executive committee of the Adamawa Peace Council –Muslim and Christian leaders, as well as AUN leaders, went on a statewide TV and radio station to calm nerves. It is credited with helping to keep peace in our community. Clearly, Nigeria is experiencing major challenges. It is one of the fastest growing countries in the world-with its population doubling every 23-25 years. Because of this rapid population growth it has a very youthful population. Access to high quality education and health care is very limited—especially in the North. Power and infrastructure are inadequate for the current-much less the growing population. Government has not responded with widespread solutions to these problems. These problems are not unique to Nigeria. They are the ones faced by every country that is poor and trying to improve the well being of its citizens at a time of global recession. Nigeria has many problems. At the moment religious intolerance is not one of them. We all pray that the inaccurate reporting does not fuel fear, hatred and more deaths. We all hope that the story of faiths coming together in harmony and support is recognized and celebrated. •Dr. Margee Ensign is President of the American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State.
Lekan Otufodunrin email@example.com 08050498530 (SMS only)
Channels’ reporter’s needless death
VERY profession has its hazards. The possibility of getting killed on duty is one of the hazards for journalists covering wars or any violent situation. Nigeria has not had many cases of journalists killed during violent clashes. I can only remember the case of a correspondent of the defunct Daily Times Tunde Amao who was killed during the Maitasine crisis in Kano in 1980 and the late Tayo Awotunsin (Champion) and Krees Imodibe (Guardian) killed while covering the Liberian war. There was also a recent related case of camera man of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) who was assassinated by Boko Haram men in Maiduguri. However last Friday, the Nigerian media recorded a very sad case of the Kano State Correspondent of Channels Television, Enenche Akogwu being killed during the multiple bomb blasts in Kano. The 31-year-old reporter was shot by unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect outside the Kano state government house while interviewing some eye witnesses of the incident. Akogwu was one of the seven persons confirmed dead yet in another shocking case of bomb blasts which the federal government has not found a solution to. My heart goes out to the families of the very resourceful television reporter who like the others did not deserve being killed but for the intransigence of the terrorists who have declared war on the country and would stop at nothing to fulfill whatever agenda they have. For the young man who joined Channels only two years ago, his commendable performance which has been attested to by the management and viewers of the stations confirms the popular saying life is not how long but how well. He bagged the broadcast station’s Chairman’s award for 2011 at a ceremony in Lagos recently and just returned to Kano two days before he was killed. It is unfortunate that Nigeria has not reciprocated the love Akogwu has for the country. On his facebook he wrote: “My love for Nigeria has been a compelling impetus charting the course of my life, courageous in the face of adversities, hopeful when confronted with despair and delighted when the society makes appreciable progress”. His favourite quote is “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are born equal, and that they are endowed by their creators with certain inalienable rights which include right to life, liberty about pursuit of happiness”. If only Nigeria has made the kind of appreciable progress Akogwu, like many other Nigerians expect, they would not have had their hopes and aspirations shattered. Too many innocent people have been killed by the Boko Haram sect and something concrete has to be done to checkmate them before they make true their threat of making this country ungovernable until whatever demands they have are met. Despite the federal government’s repeated assurance of being on top of the situation, there is no indication that the police and other security agents know what to do about the very disturbing situation. Worst still, the escape of the principal suspect in the Christmas day bombing of the Catholic Church in Niger State from the Police custody makes a mockery of whatever effort the federal government claims it is making to bring to book the perpetrators of the dastardly acts that has suddenly put us in the category of high risk terrorists countries. Akogwu’s death again highlights how dangerous the journalism profession can be. One can only hope that journalists in Nigeria like their counterparts in developed nations would be adequately rewarded for the efforts they put in and risk they take to inform the people. It is necessary for media owners to insure journalists against the kind of incident that took Akogwu’s life. The situation in some media houses where journalists are not only under-paid but not paid as at when due cannot encourage journalists to put in their best when duty calls. The only way Akogwu and many others who have died during Boko Haram attacks would not die in vain is when the terrorists are not allowed to continue to have a free reign like they are presently doing.
Ogochukwu Ikeje firstname.lastname@example.org 08084235961 (SMS only)
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Comment & Analysis
HE cloud of depression that enveloped the country since the New Year has not lifted. Rather, it is thickening. From the new regime of fuel pricing on January 1 to the crippling nationwide strike called to protest it, to the whimper with which the industrial action ended, the year indeed got off to a depressing start. And now, this: the man suspected to have plotted the terrorist attack on a Madala, Niger State church on Christmas Day has reportedly escaped in the full glare of policemen whose duty it was to keep him in custody till he cleared his name. There seems to be no end to the despair. The total removal of fuel subsidy which initially shot fuel price up to N141, and above, has been described as ill-advised and ill-timed. If Nigerians had their way, they certainly would not have asked to start the year on such a note. They would have preferred to eat their rice and chicken in peace before bracing up for the demands of the year. But the new fuel price cut short their joy. Their natural smile gave way to a spontaneous scowl. Many went broke and lost cheer during the strike. There was gloom, the gloom of a cashless people matched only by the despair of their nation’s paralysis. Judging from the spread and momentum of the protests, many had hoped for a reversion to N65 per litre. It was not to be. All they got was a grudging cut from N141 to N97, a reduction which most fuel marketers found difficult to embrace, anyway, and which government did little to ensure compliance. Those were depressing moments. But
When will this gloom blow over? First, the pain of fuel price hike; then the escape of a handcuffed terror suspect even the manner in which the protests fizzled out, rattled the ranks of Labour and civil society. The deployment of soldiers, of course, played its part, repressing the people’s right to register their grievances. Labour leadership also took quite some bashing. Some said they returned to their vomit by agreeing to talk with a government committee which they initially shunned. In fact, there is a feeling that in the face-off, government was the victor, and the people the vanquished. It was said that Labour abandoned the people, and capitulated under an alleged government’s threat to wield the big stick. True, there are issues to resolve with Labour in the matter but the strike was far from a total failure. The reduction from N141 to N97 was a product of the expression of the people’s will. Also, the issue of a vanquishing government does not arise. The government waited for a massive push before it slashed the fuel price, however lit-
tle may be the relief. But, more crucially, a government can never win against the people who legitimised it. The concept of the people’s will has not quite crystalised in the minds of government functionaries in these parts. We talk about democracy without realising that it means absolutely nothing without the supremacy of the people’s will. That will supersedes all other dispositions of any individuals, be they in government or outside it. It does not, of course, mean pockets of opinion or group interests. It means the collective position of a majority of the people. During the strike, a picture of that collectivity was clear. They said no to subsidy removal, and wanted a reversal to N65 per litre of petrol. Whether or not government partly or totally acquiesced to the demand, or that Labour buckled, is of little consequence. What is important is that the people have spoken. And they spoke loud and clear. The next point is what government will do with the
“Last week threw everyone into more despair. Kabiru Sokoto, the suspected mastermind of the Christmas Day atrocities in Madala, was said to be in handcuffs on Monday as policemen took him to his house for a search. Suddenly, some youths emerged from nowhere, attacked the convoy, and away he went, leaving the policemen to bemoan their fate”
cash it is recouping from the new fuel price regime. The people will scrutinise its policies and projects more closely, and monitor how it spends money. In a year, the people will expect a comprehensive briefing, and should expect to see their lives changing for the better. The onus of performance is on government now more than ever before, with huge petrol cash coming its way. That seemed to be the position as the strike ended last Monday, January 16, which was the beginning of the third week in the year. But that week, just like the ones before it, threw everyone into more despair. Kabiru Sokoto, the suspected mastermind of the Christmas Day atrocities in Madala, was said to be in handcuffs on Monday as policemen took him to his house for a search. Suddenly, according to reports, some youths emerged from nowhere, attacked the convoy, and away he went, leaving the policemen to bemoan their fate. It also left Nigerians in deep grief, and with an uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu. Last year, it was reported that another fellow who was accused of plotting the October1 bombing in Abuja had earlier been arrested but was let go. Is this what policing this country has come to? Is it not enough that people are bombed and burnt by terrorists? Is it not enough to shoot and kill and maim them, even in their worship places? Must people whose duty it is to stop such acts be seen to be complicit in the atrocities also? The Madala blast suspect was first said to be holed up in the safety and unlikely place of a Government House in the nation’s very capital, in the company of a serving military officer. And then, even in handcuffs, he disappeared into thin air, leaving Mr Hafiz Ringim to merely place a N50m bounty on his head. When will this depression end?
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Comment & Analysis
One year since the Tunisian revolution Fed. Govt. must know that the only antidote to this is good governance; not troops deployment
N January 14, 2011, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the man who had used fear to keep Tunisians subjugated for 23 years fled the country in surprising haste, terrified by the angry hordes who had taken to the streets to demand an end to his regime. Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi boarded an aircraft and flew to Saudi Arabia after the army chief of staff refused to use troops to disperse anti-government protests in the centre of the capital, Tunis. Ben Ali’s ouster was the climax of a series of actions that followed the self- immolation by Mohamed Bouazizi, a young vegetable seller whose decision to set himself alight in the Tunisian provincial town of Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010, inspired the revolution in the country. Bouazizi was protesting the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation that he reported was inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides. That was to be the beginning of what has now become famously known as the ‘Arab Spring’, so named because of the reverberations of the Tunisian revolution in the region; it has swept away the leaders of two other countries, Egypt and Libya, with a third, Syria, still battling to retain its legitimacy. The Tunisian revolution has changed the political landscape of the region, perhaps forever. It is not that the revolution has transformed Tunisia economically, though. As a matter of fact, things appear to have worsened ever since. A year ago, about 600,000 Tunisians were unemployed. That figure has now gone up to 850,000. Economic growth last year was about zero, down from around three percent in 2010. The string of strikes and sit-ins by workers in the wake of the revolution has put off some investors and caused a drop in bookings from foreign tourists, which is a big source of income for the country. According to Wided Bouchamaoui, President of the Tunisian Union of Industry and Trade, “One hundred and twenty foreign companies left Tunisia in 2011 because of the sit-ins,” adding, rather sadly that “The Tunisian economy is threatened with paralysis if it continues.” No doubt this is a big blow to job creation. And no doubt, the country still has a long way to go.
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
•Editor Festus Eriye •Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editors Taiwo Ogundipe Sam Egburonu
•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi
celebrated on January 14, exactly one year after Ben Ali’s government was sacked. All things considered, there is cause for optimism of a bright future and the possibility of the country overcoming its difficulties. But the lessons of the ‘Arab Spring’ should not be lost on Nigeria. All the indices that led to the revolutions that have consumed at least three governments in the Arab world are present, perhaps in even greater intensity in the country – unemployment, hyper-inflation, corruption, political intolerance, bad governance, insecurity, etc., threatening the country’s existence. These were compounded on January 1 when the Federal Government, in an insensitive and irrational manner slammed an unimaginable fuel price increase on Nigerians as a New Year’s present. This saw the price per litre of petrol rise from N65 to N140. But for mass protests, the new price regime would have been sustained. Old women are never at ease when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. That perhaps, explains why the Nigerian government has not been comfortable with dissent, especially since the outbreak of the ‘Arab Spring’. And this manifested in its crushing of the fuel subsidy protests with troops paid from the public till. But the government will do well to know that the doomsday can only be postponed without addressing the roots of the problems that drove millions of citizens to release their pent up anger as they did last week. This is why the government has to be courageous enough at least to pursue the subsidy probe sincerely. Nothing short of this will do. This may jolly well be the ultimate decider of the government’s fate; Nigerians have known enough and some of their worst fears are being confirmed from the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime probe into the matter. The only way to avoid the Nigerian equivalent of the ‘Arab Spring’ is good governance; deploying troops to kill innocent citizens on legitimate protests is an act of desperation. It cannot be sustained for long. We have the Arab countries to learn from.
NE was born and bred from the rocktop while the other was born with the silver spoon in her mouth. The former is the son of a fisher man who rose from the scratch (grass) to the top (grace) while the latter was born into the family of academics. The former should have known the depth of poverty in the society even though he rose to be head boy in the secondary school and later deputy governor. Fortune smiled on him and he became vice president and later president of his country. What a great privileged ascension to the very top. The latter becomes what she is in the World Bank on a platter of gold and by dint of hard work. This is because many of her contemporaries with the silver spoon in their mouth are never do-wells. Her first and second coming as minister of finance of her country was as a result of the rulers being on their knees, begging her inclusion in their cabinet without recourse to her background as an aristocrat who has never tasted hardship. Our rulers must look beyond university de-
Ammar Gharsallah’s death, upper week, symbolised how far Tunisia still has to go to fulfill the promise of the first ‘Arab Spring’ revolution. The 40 year-old father of three, despairing at his poverty, echoed the act of Bouazizi; he died after immolating himself with petrol. Gharsallah had been staging a sit-in protest outside the local government headquarters in Gafsa, a mining region in western Tunisia where unemployment is high and riots over living conditions frequently break out; he wanted a job. So, on January 5, the day when three ministers in the new Tunisian government were visiting Gafsa, he set himself on fire and sustained third-degree burns. He died in hospital on January 9. His frustration is familiar to most ordinary Tunisians’ who had looked forward to quick fixes when Ben Ali was ousted. But despite the problems, Tunisians see plenty of cause to celebrate. They have tasted the fruits of democracy; now, they have a say in who governs them, with the first ever vote they had last October. The country has elected its own government, defying predictions it would descend into chaos. Ben Ali’s secret police have been disbanded while newspapers, radio and television stations enjoy unprecedented freedoms. Moreover, Tunisia has provided a model of how, in the wake of the “Arab Spring,” Islamists can come to power without tearing up the fabric of the state or imposing a strict Islamic moral code. All these call for celebration and indeed, the Tunisians
For those managing Nigeria’s economy grees. I do not envy the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who reluctantly accepted the offer in the first place. Any slight mistake on the economy will bounce back on her and her reputation. In fact, Dr. OkonjoIweala must be advised to tour the length and breadth of the country to see how our trees are being felled for charcoal as
a means of energy, all because kerosene which is the common man’s power to the belly and which should be made available free of charge is scarce with its price not affordable. On the other hand, when the president pays his visit to any state of the federation, the state governors do not care to take him outside the state capi-
tal for him to view carnage on our death traps called highways. For instance, the Kogi State Governor should have taken the president through the ObajanaKabba-Egbe highway which claims many innocent lives daily through accidents and armed robbery. The removal of oil subsidy is uncalled for
whereas our national heritage, farming, has been jettisoned with reckless abandon by the government. The oil industry, which has turned to a doom for the nation, should have been diversified to help industrialization and real farming. Terrorism, armed robberies, labour unrest, unemployment etc. would be stamped out of our society
Who is afraid of Boko Haram?
INCE the activities of Boko Haram reared its ugly head in this country, many lives have been lost to bomb blasts in the northern part of the country. It has been a great blow to both the security in the country and the helpless government of President Goodluck Jonathan. The recent bombing of a Catholic Church in Madalla in Suleja Local Government of Niger State has left the country in threshold of near conflict between the two
great religions –Christianity and Islam. It’s a well known fact that no religion allows the spilling of blood of any person, and for Boko Haram to say it is propagating the will of Allah is, to say the least, unIslamic because the true meaning of Islam is peace, and the Holy Prophet said we should be our brothers’ keepers. During his life time he lived in harmonious relationship with all religions. The continued silence
of some notable northern leaders has shown their cowardice. It is well known that the spate of bombings in this country has affected innocent people who are mostly those they claim they are protecting! The government should come out and open channels of discussion with this group to find lasting solution to bombing of innocent citizens, who are out to find their means of livelihood. Our unity as a country
is the only way to guaranty our greatness. No country would see Nigeria plunging into any avoidable crises that would in turn affect not only the Africa but the whole world, and not be afraid. We should not allow our enemies to divide us. There is no great country that didn’t pass through its own trying times. This is perhaps ours; we’ll survive it. By Bala Nayashi, Lokoja, Kogi State.
if farming is encouraged. I laughed hilariously over the 2012 budget which gave a paltry sum to agriculture and a lion-share to security. It shows lack of understanding of the people’s plight. A Yoruba adage states that with food in the belly, poverty is eliminated. What causes insecurity is food insecurity. The Almajiris in the northern part often obey the oligarchy who give them unbalanced diet and rags to cover their nakedness. They order them to go and kill or set houses ablaze and they will not look back before carrying out their master’s unholy orders. I don’t agree with the purchase of two bulletproof jeeps – one for the president and the other for his vice. I pity our leaders for flaunting our hardearned resources on foreign goods at the expense of local ones which can be procured at very low cost. Above all, the Presidency should discountenance the procurement of such vehicles and console themselves with God’s protection. By Silas Ajagun, Ilorin, Kwara State
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VER the past year, Nigeria’s homegrown terror group Boko Haram has escalated its deadly attacks against Christian and government targets, with the aim of establishing a Sharia state in the country’s north. Nearly 30 years ago, in the largely Christian heartland of a multireligious Nigerian nation, and at that nation’s pioneer institution—the University of Ibadan—a minister of education summoned the vice chancellor and ordered him to remove a cross from a site dedicated to religious worship. Some Muslims had complained, he claimed, that the cross offended their sight when they turned east to pray. The don’s response was: “Mr. Minister, it would be much easier to remove me as vice chancellor than to have me remove that cross.” Christians mobilized. A religious war was barely averted on campus. Today the Christian cross occupies that same spot, with the Islamic star and crescent raised only a few meters away. As I observed at a lecture several years later, there has been no earthquake beneath, no convulsions of the firmament above that space, no blight traceable to the cohabitation of that spot by Christian and Muslim symbols. I evoked that occurrence when the latest torch bearers of fanaticism—a group called Boko Haram—emerged. I did so to draw attention to the fact that religious zealotry is not new in the nation, nor is it limited to the “unwashed masses” who have been programmed into killing, at the
Femi Orebe femi.orebe @thenationonlineng.net 08056504626 (sms only)
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Comment & Analysis
HE militarisation of Lagos is very, very dangerous. These soldiers were deployed midnight on January 15, 2012, ironically 46 years after the first military coup in Nigeria which stirred chains of events that led to the bitter civil war. It is an unusual historical pattern to see the Federal Government deploy armed soldiers in our ancestral territory, at the slightest prompting. Deployment of soldiers in the wake of peaceful protests is uncalled for. Communities, including Bayelsa, where the President comes from, have witnessed armed conflicts that did not lead to immediate deployment of soldiers. We, as a people must condemn this abuse of power by President Goodluck Jonathan. Our people, the Yoruba, home and abroad, must see this development as a threat to our dignity’ -The Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Adebiyi, the Lord Bishop of Lagos West, Anglican Communion. The Presidential directive to garrison Lagos was a cheap shot; a flagrant one indeed, for here in Lagos, not Yenegoa, rose those barricades that birthed the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ which gave President Jonathan a breather from a punishing Katsina gang. How short can memories be? I saw early in the oil subsidy removal saga that what was at play was more political than economic. I saw a President involved in nothing more than sabre ratling, deploying oil as a political weapon far more than any intent to re-jig the Nigerian economy. I saw a President who feels convinced that Boko Haram is some peoples’
The butchers of Nigeria How a corrupt nation bred Boko Haram By Wole Soyinka slightest provocation or none, in the name of faith. Unfortunately, far too many have succumbed to the belligerent face of fanaticism, believing that any form of excess is divinely sanctioned and nationally privileged. Sectarian killings—numbered in the thousands—preceded Boko Haram, much organized butch-ery, sometimes announced in advance, always tacitly endorsed by silence and inaction, escalating in intensity and impunity. It was consciousness of the geographical expansion and the increasingly organized nature of the fanatic surge and its international linkages that compelled me to warn on three public occasions since 2009 that “the agencies of Boko Haram, its promulgators both in evangelical and violent forms, are everywhere. Even here, right here in this throbbing commercial city of Lagos, there are, in all probability, what are known as ‘sleepers’ waiting for the word to be given. If that word were given this moment, those sleepers would swarm over the walls of this college compound and inundate us.” Much play is given, and rightly so, to economic factors— unemployment, misgovernment, wasted resources, social
marginalization, massive corruption—in the nurturing of the current season of violent discontent. To limit oneself to these factors alone is, however, an evasion, no less than intellectual and moral cowardice, a fear of offending the ruthless caucuses that have unleashed terror on society, a refusal to stare the irrational in the face and give it its proper name—and response. That minister was not one of the “unwashed masses.” He was, quite simply, the polished face of fanaticism. His prolonged career as secretary of the Universities Commission and minister of education inflicted on the nation a number of other policies of educational separatism that left a huge swath of Nigeria open to fanatic indoctrination. Yes, indeed, economic factors have facilitated the mass production of these foot soldiers, but they have been deliberately bred, nurtured, sheltered, rendered pliant, obedient to only one line of command, ready to be unleashed at the rest of society. They were bred in madrassas and are generally known as the almajiris. From knives and machetes, bows and poisoned arrows they have graduated to AK-47s, homemade bombs, and explosive-packed vehicles. Only the mechanism of inflicting death has changed, nothing else. This horde has remained
available to political opportunists and criminal leaders desperate to stave off the day of reckoning. Most are highly placed, highly disgruntled, and thus highly motivated individuals who, having lost out in the power stakes, resort to the manipulation of these products of warped fervor. Their aim is to bring society to its knees, to create a situation of total anarchy that will either break up the nation or bring back the military, which ruled Nigeria in a succession of coups between the mid-1960s and the late ’90s. Again and again they have declared their blunt manifesto—not merely to Islamize the nation but to bring it under a specific kind of fundamentalist strain. Rather than act in defense of Nigeria’s Constitution, past rulers have cosseted the aggressors for short-term political gains. However, those who have tweaked the religious chord are discovering that they have conjured up a Frankenstein. Arrogance has given way to fear. The former governors of the northern states of Gombe and Borno wasted no time in issuing fullpage advertorials in the media, apologizing to Boko Haram when the latter issued threats against them for their alleged role in the deaths of the group’s members at the hands of security forces in 2009.
They had precedent. It was in Nigeria, after all, that a deputy governor, later backed by his superior, pronounced a fatwa on a Nigerian citizen in 2002: “Like Salman Rushdie, [her blood] can be shed. It is binding on all Muslims, wherever they are, to consider the killing of the writer as a religious duty.” That was the fallout from a beauty contest in Abuja that drew the ire of some Islamic extremists. Reacting to the mayhem, a female journalist had speculated that, were the Prophet Muhammad alive, he might have selected one of the contestants for wife. For that alleged blasphemy, hundreds, guilty only of innocently pursuing a living, were massacred by hordes of fanatics, who were mostly bused into the capital for organized violence. The president went groveling before the presumably offended elite. It was the same governor of an impoverished state called Zamfara who unilaterally commenced the separatist agenda that turned parts of Nigeria into theocracies under a supposed secular Constitution. His whim was indulged, his political support was courted by the then-sitting president, obsessed with prolonging his tenure. The governor, now turned senator, was also caught as a serial pedophile. Challenged in the media, he boasted that the Quran was above the Constitution, and thus he was not subject to laws that criminalized copulation with underage children or, indeed, Continued on page 67
If Jonathan wants to leave any lasting legacy... Argues that the federal government’s power show in Lagos is unfortunate agenda to hobble his government, picking its incendiary spots at will, and aimed most probably at power retrieval or, at least making the country ungovernable ( twice now two arrested members of Boko Haram, serial killers extraordinaire, have miraculously disappeared under the very nose of the Nigeria Police, the latest having allegedly escaped whilst being taken on a courtesy visit to his traditional ruler and, remember that a sitting Senator recently harangued his people to create their ‘own BokoHaram –like brigade) - and so decided to use oil as his own counterveiling instrument. But even if these were true, what has Lagos got to do with it? A feeling that Yoruba land is the country’s under-belly? Then Mr President must read his history books again because Nigerian history provides more than enough useful lessons, in spite of Asari Dokubo’s braggadocio. I had personally symphatised with Mr President over Boko Haram, a group so menacing even the Northern high and mighty had to be prevailed upon by the Senate President, at an A C F Conference on Security, to mention it by name. I had seen a President whose ‘amnot -a –Pharaoh’ philosophy was being egregiously taken for weakness and whose government was being daily harassed by the killing spree that was fast turning a part of the country to another Iraq and I had wondered why Northern leaders would not rally round a man they had voted ahead of their own son. I said all these and more to a concerned friend of Northern extraction when a fawning Commissioner of Police sought to deflect a
Boko Haram bomb attack in Kaduna by attributing it to a gas explosion in some poor Igbo trader’s shop and he asked me to probe into how these so-called Northern leaders got into their positions before ascribing leadership to them. Such was my concern for the President’s travails. But this assault on Lagos, a South-West behemoth which, out of the cultural good-neighbourliness of its people, aggregates Nigerians from all corners of the country, and where from time immemorial, governmental highhandedness have traditionally been resolutely resisted and will continue to be so resisted, is ill-directed and unfortunate. Since President Jonathan has promised to be a one-term President, one would have thought he already had his work cut out and this should have to do with fighting corruption and insecurity to a standstill. Even with all the legendary woes of the Nigerian banking industry and our pathetic paucity of electricity/ power, I reckon that these two issues, more than any anything ‘SURE’ may hopefully deliver, as important as they are, will more than guarantee him a place in the hearts of Nigerians. What, for instance, is power when you dare not venture out of your house or when unremitting corruption eats up the future of generations yet unborn? Disclosures in the heat of the oil subsidy removal crisis revealed enough to occupy the rest of the President’s tenure if he intends to be on the right side of history. Given that it is impossible for him to have taken in all that
we now know about the government over which he superintends, I give below, snapshots of things I believe he missed and which, ideally, should concentrate his mind from now on. The CBN Governor, the straight-shooter that he is, opened the floodgates, most of which have since been confirmed by the House Ad-hoc Committee investigating the Oil subsidy scam. According to him, instead of the Petroleum Minister’s understandable equivocations, a cabal of national swindlers exists, and is thriving in the oil sector. This cabal, he says, has the entire Customs department which, in turn cooks up the books, in its pocket. The department, rising up to its own defence, worsened matters for the administration. It courageously deposed before the investigating committee that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation does not have documents to back up fuel importation into the country, adding that the Ministry of Finance aided the cabal by coercing Customs to turn a blind eye to the non-availability necessary documents. It further added that it is not permitted to inspect a single one of the bulk imports which they claim are brought in on mother ships. Incidentally, as Nigerians read this, nobody knows who, between the Minister of Finance and that of Petroleum Resources, approves payments for subsidy as both have testified, on oath, that it is the other. Mr President most probably also missed the: ‘Arithmetic of Fuel subsidy’ by Akin Olulana. In his analysis of fuel consumption in the country he exposed government
claims as spurious. Starting out by accepting PPMC’s bogus import figures of a daily consumption of 34 million litres, instead of most experts’ claim of between 20 and 25 Million, with JBC Energy, an Energy sector company, predicting lower consumption in 2012, he concluded that if all the figures claimed by government are correct, if all our neighbouring countries meet 50 percent of their daily consumption –a most unlikely event – via oil smuggled from Nigeria, and even plus the assumption that there are, in fact, no working refineries in Nigeria, the government would still have to explain the whereabouts of a mind-boggling figure of N362 Billion from the N1.3 Trillion being bandied about. For that to happen, his analysis further indicates that a minimum of 250 oil-bearing tankers will pass through our borders daily but not once, has a big smuggler been arrested and made to have his day in the courts. It will may actually assist the President to call for a copy of the document as it points to the mother of all deficiencies in many areas of the administration, especially, cross-border insecurity which is also being fingered in the activities of the ‘seemingly’ intractable Boko Haram. If challenges were non-existent in the Oil sector, one would have thought that Boko Haram was enough to occupy most of a President’s time just as Al Qaida has done in Western democracies, especially the US. These are some of the reasons I consider this power show in Lagos a distraction which Mr President should not have allowed to even cross his mind, and why soldiers must be called back to their barracks immediately.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Adegboyega firstname.lastname@example.org 08054503906 (sms only)
HOSE who have been wondering what manner of man our President, Goodluck Jonathan, is must have been convinced by now that he is not the weakling that many of us take him for. You say the man is weak, the man is colourless; and ‘arson’ (a malapropism for ‘action’ alluded to a former governor of Lagos) is going on. Lagosians said the former governor could not speak English Language well. Apparently this got to him and he wondered what that had to do with governance, more so when ‘arson’ is going on, referring to the busy bulldozers that were working on the slum he had ordered demolished in the state! Now, some people who apparently do not know have been saying Jonathan is colourless. Pray, what has colour got to do with governance? In fact, someone for whom I have tremendous respect compounded the whole thing when he said the President is sitting atop a ‘diminished presidency’. This is a writer who is not even resident in Nigeria; he is at home, yet abroad; still, he appears to know more about Nigeria more than resident Nigerians. The respected columnist says the President is heading a ’diminished presidency’. What does it matter? Presidency is presidency; whether it is diminished or it is suffering from diminishing returns. Isn’t ‘diminished’ a mere adjective? If President Jonathan cares to lis-
Postscript, Unlimited! By
Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only) email@example.com
E live and learn; some people even say we live to learn. Personally, I prefer the latter because I find that as soon as I find the answer to one question, promptly comes a bigger one. For instance, I had always believed that the answer to the question ‘how old are you’ should always elicit a figure. But, just the other day, I was privileged to hear someone reply that question with another question, ‘Who’s asking? If you are a friend, I’m X years old; but if you are the government, then I’m –X years old.’ So, I have since learnt that dogs are definitely friendly (it’s the owner who is not), cats are probably friendly (when it suits them) and snakes are definitely not friendly (even when it does not suit them). It really baffles me to know how much there is to know. I’m sure I’m the last to know that there are so many lessons to learn from last fortnight’s protests, as I think everyone already does; everyone that is, except the Nigerian government which likes to give the impression that it knows everything there is to know. And, that was why it was so surprised by the events which began on January 9 that it began to interplay fact with fiction. Fact: the Nigerian people
Comment & Analysis
The ‘strong man’ of Nigeria The President does not have to bother about peace; he has won the battle ten, the situation report after his crackdown on fuel protesters on Monday is as follows: his popularity rating has risen astronomically from the north to the south; to the east and the west. Need I say he has 100 percent+ support at Otuoke? If anyone tells the President anything to the contrary, that fellow probably wants to plug into his N1 trillion security budget. He should not waste time in handing him over to the police for wanting to profiteer where he has not sown! Eever 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. I toyed with the idea of christening him ‘Jonathan The Great’. Before I could jump up in satisfaction that I have finally got it, it struck me that I could see if the cap of a ‘strong man’ fits him, especially given the feat that he just recorded in his handling of the subsidy palaver and which his admirers in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) see as demonstration of courage. That struck me as a better title than merely referring
to him as ‘the great’. Not many people would know at a glance what qualifies him for the title of ‘the great’. No Nigerian leader (sorry ruler) ever went by any of these titles. Even governors who do nothing insist on being referred to as ‘Executive Governors’. And when, per adventure you fail to add the prefix ‘Executive’ to their title, i.e. call their Excellencies the ‘Governor’, they feel slighted. This is notwithstanding the fact that they have no non-executive governor rivals. One of them that I used to know is now ex. And now that he is no more in power, I wonder whether he would still insist on being referred to as former governor or former ‘executive governor’. May I proudly announce to President Jonathan that the coast is now clear for him to pursue his seven –year of as much tenure as he may wish. All he needs do is push out the troops and roll out the tanks again if anyone says no to that aspiration, which, as usual would be a decision taken in the best interest of Nigerians. That is the President’s tradition. Those who are bragging that they now have to re-strategise since they have known the worst the President can do is take the soldiers out from the barracks, let them eat on earth and go and wash their hands in heaven. By so doing, you save them from themselves since
“Now that President Jonathan has won the battle, some are asking, what of the peace? I wonder what you need peace for when you can deploy troops to get peace that would be as silent as that of the graveyard. Peace my foot!”
they won’t have to worry about fuel subsidy again. The greater advantage is that such action would reduce the number of those troubling your peace by as many as the soldiers are ready to maul down. I would have advised the President take after someone like Idi Amin of Uganda; but he doesn’t strike me as a full-blown dictator. Some say he is a budding dictator. That na their toro, to quote the President’s political godfather, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. It also strikes me that he can’t stand the sight of much blood; he can’t stand the sight of throwing Nigerians to lions to devour. As a budding dictator, the worst he can do is unleash armedto-the-teeth soldiers on them; otherwise, I would have suggested that he takes a cue from President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. This is one man that is working assiduously to join the league of ‘great’ rulers like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Ghadaffi. What many of President Jonathan’s critics do not know is that in the comity of nations, Nigeria’s president is an object of envy. Imagine how much we are going to spend to feed him and his deputy! Imagine how much we are going to spend on other matters to see to his comfort! How many other presidents, including Barack Obama of the United States, enjoy such luxury? Yet, Nigeria’s president does not have (to bother) to think about anything. Indeed, he can throw his thinking cap into the ocean. He has outsourced the economy to a minister from the
World Bank and if there are protests, he deploys troops to the place, especially if the protesters are harmless and are only expressing their frustrations about the lackluster manner the country is being run. But I won’t be surprised if our security is eventually outsourced to Boko Haram that has unleashed terror which has claimed many lives; yet, the administration has not been able to find any solution to the menace of the Islamic fundamentalists. Even when they are arrested, chances are they will escape. Yet, the people in charge of security get national honours, a thing some people have queried, as if they do not know that such honours are no longer for honourable men and women. If Boko Haram is that invincible, what stops us from outsourcing our security to them? The way things are, many Nigerians would prefer the members of the sect keep an eye on them and their property, perhaps than they would feel secure with the police that are ill-equipped and ill-motivated. On a very serious note, the President should be mad with anyone who fails to prefix his name and title with the word ‘strongman’ seven days from the date of this write-up. Ignorance is no excuse in law. Should anyone or any institution of whatever hue – opposition, civil society, labour or even the media fail to refer to the President as ‘strongman’, such ‘ants’ should be killed with a sledge hammer administered by the troops. That is the way to sink presidential subordination into their numb skulls. Now that President Jonathan has won the battle, some are asking, what of the peace? I wonder what you need peace for when you can deploy troops to get peace that would be as silent as that of the graveyard. Peace my foot!
Lessons the protests taught me revolted against a seemingly unjustified hike in fuel pump price. Fiction: a political enemy has done this. Well, I thought, 150 million Nigerians acting at once could not have been wrong since they don’t all belong to a political party (many don’t); so, I have determined that if the government has refused to learn something from those protests, I will myself turn over the pavements along which the protesters walked to find out what they might have been trying to tell me. First, I saw that Nigerians can come together as one people. Believe me, it is not easy for such a disparate group as Nigerians sharing very little besides a common passport to agree on anything other than the hour of the day. (Even when that happens, check to be sure.) Anyway, for them to agree that the fuel increase translated into the same pain north, east, west and south was something indeed. Those who denied feeling the pain must have gone through a desensitizing surgery, sponsored of course by the government. They had their feelings removed. So, coming together as a people to protest simply means that ‘We the People’ are the same deep down; it is our leaders who are different and who emphasise the differences among us. They come from Jupiter, that now extinct planet. Viva Nigeria! Again, I learnt that, contrary to the government’s assumption that Nigerians are too docile not to swallow any pill it shoves down their throats, the people have raised the bar in their social responsibility. Many of us, particularly the government, had believed that the only
thing a Nigerian is good for is complaining loudly under his breath to no one’s hearing in particular. So, even with a knife at his throat, your Nigerian can still be heard asking not very audibly, ‘Is this really necessary?’ By speaking with one single voice in that week of protests, however, the people showed that they actually have a voice! And how loud too! It’s a little like a child discovering he can smile. Believe me, everyone and everything that moves will get a smile, including a snake crawling past him/her. Now that this voice has been found, I would not want to be in the government’s shoes. That voice also reminds me of something. The people have now raised the bar of their consciousness. Generally, consciousness is raised through education. But since the educational stream of the Nigerian society is in two parts: in shambles and non-existent, the part that is existing is in disgrace and the part that is not existing is, well, in shambles. So, education alone cannot account for the level of consciousness displayed in those protests. It must be the pain the people felt at being pushed to the wall. Yes, dear reader, pain can lead to an increase in sophistication. Pure magic, pain apparently brings on the ideas, for instance, in how to express it. Remember what they say about when someone is pushed to the wall; that he turns and runs? Well, he may also turn and fight. Now, people have gained the consciousness that it is no use romancing the government. The reason is simple and I will explain it with an analogy. Once, the lion and the rat struck
up a friendship in which they agreed to certain benefits which included helping each other to solve the problems that each found difficult. They agreed that the rat would help the lion take care of problems related to the ground level, including dealing with social discomforts such as relating with little animals which could no longer trust the lion. The lion, on the other hand, would assist the rat take care of surface level phenomena including dealing with the big animals that threatened the rat. This arrangement worked for a while. The rat changed status; he gained respect as he could now be seen riding on the lion’s mane, and the lion now knew what every animal in the kingdom thought. This funny friendship surprised the rest of the animal kingdom but they said nothing, until, to cut a long story short, the rat began to let it be known that he was not just the lion’s friend, he was also the lion’s thinker and commander. Naturally, this ended their friendship and they could no longer see eye to eye. Indeed, the lion stopped seeing the rat, so to speak. So, like the lion and the rat, people and their governments are forever doomed to see eyeball to eyeball. This is why the people also constantly raise the bar in their demands, and the government persistently tries to lower it. The protests helped many of us to remember that many issues had stayed for too long, even forever, on the government’s pending tray, such as electricity, security, agriculture, etc. I think we’ll take these things one after the other in subsequent write-ups, but today, they are only issues the government
forgot to act on and the people just, well, sort of thought they should remind it so these issues don’t crop up again. The price hike opened the floodgates of irritants. The most important lesson these protests drew attention to, for me, is one fact which has been mentioned again and again on this page and elsewhere. It is obvious to all that the central Nigerian government is gradually running itself aground because of its greed for power and control over the rest of us. This is where I fail to understand why states are given so much money monthly. To do what with exactly, when the policing system (security), electricity, major highways, etc., are not in their care? This implies that my sleep, my driving, and even my getting cold water from my refrigerator are being supervised directly by the central government. Haba! This is one system that is so impossible to run efficiently. Having a hand in so many pies often results eventually in no hand at all. Devolution of powers is not just for efficiency, it is for sanity. We do live in order to learn more about ourselves, our world and what pushes the other person’s button. I believe the government, whether they like it or not, would have learnt one or two things about what pushes the people’s button. Never, ever, increase the price of anything on the first day of the New Year; that is bad faith. On the first day of the New Year, the people are still suffering from the sore throat of the Christmas spending, so why attempt suicide by touching their pockets?! Enjoy the year.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Bayelsa PDP ties self in knots
The controversy over the right candidate of PDP in the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State has not been resolved by recent court rulings. Sam Egburonu, Associate Editor and Isaac Ombe, report on the current dilemma facing the party and possible scenarios for resolution
HE cloud over the political fortunes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State thickened recently, when the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) released the list of contestants to the forthcoming governorship election in the state and left the slot for PDP open, or as they put it, subject to the determination of court’s ruling. It was the apogee of a curious drama, with such an intricate plot that only very few observers could follow. With late Friday’s report that INEC had finally listed Dickson’s name as PDP candidate, and that he would be presented the party flag on Monday, at a grand rally to be attended by President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP topshots, it is still doubtful if the face-off and the drama would end there. It would be recalled that even before INEC’s initial position, the puzzle had become quite complicated. Many concerned observers of the intriguing developments, who eagerly expected a definitive statement from the Court of Appeal in Abuja, before INEC’s pronouncement, were further confused as the appellate court failed to clear the cloudy political atmosphere. Instead of giving outright victory to either Governor Timipre Sylva or the PDP in the long-stretched tussle over the rightful candidate of this year’s governorship election in the state, the court’s ruling, delivered by Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, in a way, made favourable pronouncements for both parties. It also left fresh huddles for the parties in the case, thereby making them both winners and losers. For example, it dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP against a suit by Sylva but carefully stated that Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who presided the Federal High Court, exceeded his limit when, after assuming jurisdiction, threatened PDP with sanctions. A political analyst, Dr. Kingsley Ndochu, who demanded a more innovative solution, said “This rather two-edged ruling, from a political point of view, appears favourable to all.” He also said the ruling of the appellate court can also be interpreted to mean that PDP lost out since its appeal was dismissed.” Another political commentator, Dr. Soni Ajala, a legal practitioner in Abuja, reacting to the ruling, then told The Nation that part of the ruling was rather academic. “That it is the inalienable right of Governor Sylva or any citizen for that matter to approach the court to seek redress is not in doubt. It is incumbent upon the court to pronounce whether or not it has jurisdiction to entertain any matter notwithstanding the provision of any Statute, including the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended),” he said. He also said “The order of the Court of Appeal for re-trial is in sync with judicial character. Owing to the fact that there was no valid order of injunction of Hon. Justice Kolawole, restraining PDP from holding the Bayelsa Gubernatorial Congress, the PDP, despite the Court of Appeal decision, is
on sure group.” Concluding Ajala said: “For Governor Sylva, the decision of the Court of Appeal and the consequent order for re-trial is in my humble view academic, as the court is disinvested of competence to retrain a done deed.” It was under such confusion that INEC came up with its position and Dickson obtained the latest ruling that is still being contested by Sylva’s camp. As the election date draws nearer without any acceptable solution in sight, concerned stakeholders in Bayelsa politics are offering solutions. The way out Concerned by the political long jam in the Bayelsa PDP, stakeholders within and outside of the party have been offering solutions to resolve the matter. The Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in the state, Mr. Sunny Frank Oputu, for example, said PDP’s leadership should go for the option of dialogue. He insisted that if PDP fails to agree within the stipulated time, it should be nullified altogether from the governorship race. In an interview in Yenagoa, Oputu vowed that CNPP will resist any attempt by INEC to smuggle in the name of any PDP flag bearer at the expiration of the mandatory 30 days as stipulated by the Electoral Act, insisting that at the moment the PDP has two flag bearers and that in such a situation, the PDP stands nullified from the governorship race. He however vowed that CNPP will resist any attempt by INEC to smuggle in the name of any PDP flag bearer at the expiration of the mandatory 30 days as stipulated by the Electoral Act, insisting that at the moment, the PDP has two flag bearers and that in such a situation the PDP stands nullified from the governorship race. Oputu blamed President Goodluck Jonathan for the crisis in the state PDP, advising that the leadership of the party should dialogue with key stakeholders and the governorship candidates in both camps. The CNPP alleged that Jonathan’s silence over the political quagmire, “is a sign of consent to the illegality and injustice being perpetrated by the PDP.” He maintained that “as the leader of the party, Mr. President should be held responsible over the confusion that pervades Bayelsa state’s political landscape.” He noted that dialogue has become the doctrine of necessity and is the way out of the crisis in the state PDP where all the contending parties will come to a round table with a view to arriving at a compromise. This amicable option will help them to produce a flag bearer. According to him, anything to the contrary will amount to a risk of losing a chance to field a candidate. Commenting on the court order granted Mr. Dickson, Oputu said the electoral commission reserved the right to ignore such order as the entire process of obtaining it amount
to abuse of court procedure. According to him, “the court order was obtained through the back door, so, the process is fraudulent and given in bad faith.” He urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate the circumstances that led to the court order with a view to sanctioning the judge, who he alleged gave the order at about 8pm without hearing from both parties. He also alleged that security forces were deployed to chase away counsels to Governor Sylva while the order was being given. In his reaction, Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timpre Sylva described the Court order granted Seriake Dickson by an Abuja High Court as “a grave insult to the integrity of the judiciary”. In a statement titled ‘Sylva dismisses late night order on Dickson’s candidacy,” issued through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr.Ola Doifie, Sylva dismissed as “strange, despicable, and untenable” an Abuja Federal High Court order granted late Wednesday night under an unusually heavy police presence, which compels the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Mr. Seriake Dickson as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 11 February governorship election in the state called on INEC to challenge the “immoral, ungodly and pathetic” court order obtained by fraud in the dead of the night. Sylva noted that prior to the events of Wednesday, he had “instructed his lawyers to do a permanent search at the court registry to monitor the judiciary in case his adversaries were up to any tricks.” ”Through the search at the registry, his lawyers found the pendency of a suit filed by Dickson against INEC, requesting for an order of mandamus to compel the electoral commission to publish his name as the PDP candidate for the 2012 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State”. He explained that when the finding was brought to his attention, he instructed his lawyers to file a joined, as an interested party, requesting a stay of proceedings on the suit, pending the determination of the motion for joined. Sylva observes that on Wednesday, 17 January, both parties were in court until 6.30pm, and about that time, the registrar of the court called the lawyer to Dickson into the chambers. The governor’s lawyer was not invited, but he followed them into the chambers. In the chamber, the judge, Mrs. Olotu, Sylva said, pointedly told his lawyer that she did not invite him, but the lawyer insisted he was an interested party in the matter and deserved to be there. The governor notes that at this point, the judge threatened his lawyer with armed policemen, saying if he does not go away; the police would be instructed to throw him out •Continued on Page 18
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Who wears PDP national chairman cr
S the February 25, 2012 National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) draws closer, major contenders have emerged. The Nation gathered that the positions that have attracted more aggressive candidates so far include that of the National Chairman and the National Secretary. Before the June 6, 2011 emergence Hon Aminu Tambuwal and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, candidates to the national offices of PDP was more fluid. But soon after the unexpected election of the principal officers of the House, which allegedly altered PDP’s zoning formula, candidates to the offices of National Chairman and secretary have been reportedly zoned to the North-East and South-West respectively, leaving the office of National Publicity Secretary to the South-East. Although some PDP members still frown at that understanding, it has been observed that it is from these zones that some of the most serious contenders have emerged.
National Chairman: Alhaji Bamanga Tukur: Aged 75, Tukur is considered as one of the frontline contenders to the office of National Chairman today. But his age has been one of the major factors cited by his critics. Many insiders in the party are campaigning for emergence of fresh blood instead of people like Tukur, who have been part of almost all administrations since the late 1970s. Prof. Jubril Aminu: Professor Aminu, who has served the country severally as minister of petroleum and education, and as High Commissioner to UK, is another of the contestants that may be affected by the move for fresh blood. Alhaji Yayale Ahmed: Like Tukur and Aminu, Ahmed is one of the contestants who may have to contend with the forces that are calling for fundamental change. Besides, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), is one of the late entrants to the race. It is not clear if he has done enough underground campaigning. But sources said he was brought out by a very powerful caucus, who are not deterred by the criticism that in spite of his high pedigree, Yayale has little or no experience in party administration. Adamu Muazu: As former governor of Bauchi State, Muazu is said to be highly connected. He also represents one of the so-called youthful blood that are being expected to take over the administration of PDP. These advantages notwithstanding, Muazu’s opponents, it is alleged, are out to implicate him in some corruption related charges. If he can survive such plots, he may make an impact. Danjuma Goje: Like Muazu, Goje, as the immediate former governor of Yobe State, has top connections. Initially, it was
As the February 25, 2012 National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) draws closer, Sam Egburonu, Associate Editor, looks at the chances of some of the major contestants reported that he had the ambition of becoming Senate President. But since he lost that chance; his eyes has been fixed on clinching the top PDP job. Some insiders said he has the platform but his critics are pointing out that he is yet to clear his name from some existing corruption charges. Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali: Prof. Alkali,
N August 1993, after a series of protests had paralysed public life in the country, General Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s maximum ruler, ‘stepped aside.’ This singular action, coming in the wake of the general’s annulment of the results of the 1993 presidential election, effectively paved the way for the return of democratic rule in the country. Democracy, ordinary people believed, was the answer to their social, political and economic problems. And so, in May 1999, the armed forces handed over power to a civilian democratic government in obedience to the wishes of the people. In Bayelsa State, created by General Sani Abacha in 1996, the much-yearned for dividends of democracy are yet to be fully manifest. One of the country’s leading oil-producing states, Bayelsa represents the promises as well as the frustrations inherent in democratic government. Formerly part of Rivers State, itself created on the eve of a devastating civil war in
the current National Publicity Secretary is one of the most favoured contenders today. We gathered that besides being in the good books of the President, the former head of Jonathan’s campaign is credited for managing the image of the party well since he assumed the position. It remains to be seen if this goodwill will translate to victory. Other prominent contenders for the
office of National Chairman, include, Senator Abba Aji, a former presidential aide on National Assembly, Dr. Musa Babayo, the current National Secretary of PDP, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, a lawyer, Shehu Ibrahim and Shettima Mustapher, believed to be backed back Alhaji Atikuled caucus. National Secretary:
Playing with B By Ike Okonta 1967, the people of what is now Bayelsa knew only want and excruciating poverty even as their land was literally swimming in oil wealth. Successive military governments promised much but delivered very little. All social indices were appalling poor: crumbling heath and education systems; high degree of unemployment; poor nutrition; non-existent public housing and social services. The brief civilian interregnum in the early 1980s was not able to focus on the essentials of development in the riverain parts of the Niger Delta of which the people of Bayelsa were part but instead gave all its attention to acquiring and maintaining crude power. The advent of General Babangida in August 1985 saw the advent
of a structural adjustment progamme supervised by the IMF which devalued the Naira, removed subsidies from social services, and attacked the fundamental human rights of ordinary people. As in other parts of Nigeria, SAP unleashed a social and economic crisis in the Niger Delta from which the people are yet to recover. The insistence by citizens that the armed forces must quit governance and that power should return to democraticallyelected representatives of the people was born of the deeply-held belief that only a process in which the views of the people are made the cornerstone of public policy making would deliver them from the clutches of poverty, ignorance and disease. It is against this background that the present crisis gripping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State must be viewed. To the undiscerning, what is going
Bayelsa PDP ties self in •Continued from Page 17 forcefully. Out of respect for the institution of the judiciary, Sylva’s lawyer, he said, left the judge’s chamber, but he remained in court till 9pm, when about 100 policemen were brought into the court premises to forcefully chase out the lawyer and other sympathisers of Governor Sylva. Sylva said he later learnt that 15 minutes after the police action, after his lawyer and supporters had been chased out, an order was granted by the judge. Sylva also said he was aware that what Dickson sought was an ex parte motion for relief to compel INEC to put his name as PDP candidate. But the judge went ahead and granted not only the leave to compel INEC to publish the name, but also the mandatory order to compel INEC to put Dickson’s name as the PDP candidate.
The governor observes that in so doing, Justice Olotu determined the substantive relief sought by Dickson at the ex parte stage, which meant that INEC was not heard, his application for stay was not heard, and the relief Dickson was seeking has been heard at this preliminary stage. Governor Sylva sees this process as strange to the country’s laws and bemoans the infractions as sad for democracy and the rule of law in the country. This, for him, shows clearly the desperation of the forces ranged against him and poses a threat not only to the people of Bayelsa State but the future of democracy in Nigeria. “It is sad that on these matters that are awaiting determination at the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, a judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria will go ahead to hear and give a ruling,” Sylva notes. Governor Sylva observes that there was
enough material before the court to show that the subject matter of Dickson’s application was a matter of litigation at the Supreme Court. He interprets the Justice Olotu’s action as sitting on an appeal that is before the Supreme Court. He further claimed that Dickson’s suit was filed on Tuesday, assigned on Wednesday and heard on the same Wednesday. Threats of boycott, prayers Other developments that have helped to further compound the complexity of the Bayelsa political crisis include the unusual interest shown by candidates of other parties and resort to prayers. Observers were stunned recently when over 20 governorship candidates of various political parties in the state protested alleged moves to impose “a candidate not yet cleared by the court as PDP candidate on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The governorship candidates, gave the
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
We must make Nigeria work —Daramola
Babatunde Daramola is one of the contestants for the position of National Secretary of PDP. He spoke to Adeola Ogunlade on his ambition and other issues. Excerpts
From the South-West, many influential candidates have emerged for the office of the National Secretary. They include: Ebenezer Babatope: Chief Babatope, the former National Director of Organisation of defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, is one of the most popular candidates for the office so far. Obviously one of the most experienced politicians today, he was active in Social Democratic Party (SDP), the United Nigeria Congress of Nigeria (UNCP) before joining PDP in 1999. Today, he is a member of the Board of Trustees old (BoT) of the party. Although an hand, Babatope may take advantage of
his popularity amongst youths and radical elements. Dapo Sarumi: Equally formidable is Chief Dapo Sarumi, one of the known forces in Shehu Yar’Adua’s political organisation, the Social Democratic Movement (PDM) and a former governorship candidate in Lagos State. He is also politically grounded. Chief Bola Olu-Ojo: He is the current chairman of PDP in Ekiti state. He was also a member of the 2011 national Convention Planning Committee. So, he is a real party man, who may put his experience into use, but the unresolved crisis in the state chapter he leads, may be his undoing. Other contestants for the position include, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Taori Adedoja, chief Olushola Oke and Babatunde Daramola.
h Bayelsa’s destiny
on presently in Bayelsa State is simply a contest for power between the incumbent PDP governor, Chief Timipre Sylva and his opponents within the party who do not want him to be reelected in February 2012. But this would be a gross misreading of the true political import of the drama that is still unfolding in Bayelsa State. In the ordinary run of things, Governor Sylva should have been allowed to present himself at the PDP gubernatorial primary a few months ago. Citing unsubstantiated allegations against the Governor, certain party big wigs prevented Sylva from taking part in the process, conducted a kangaroo primary, and later announced to bemused Nigerians that one Hon Henry Seriake Dickson had won the primary election and would fly the PDP’s flag during the coming governorship election. It needs to be quickly stated that it is
knots threat under the aegis of “Committee of Bayelsa state Governorship Candidate 2012”, in a statement signed by Governorship Candidates of NAP, ACD, ADP, NDP, SDMP, LDPN, UDP, APS, MPPP, PPN, NSDP, etc. In a related development, members of the Seriake/Jonah Campaign Organisation has turned to God through fasting and prayers, it was learnt. Tuesday afternoon witnessed the presence of large number of women supporters at the campaign office along the Isaac Boro express way, Yenagoa. The gathering, impeccable sources said, was not without a sizeable number of prayer warriors from various churches in the state to profusely supplicate to God to touch INEC officials so that they would upturn the earlier published INEC list in favour of the Campaign Organisation.
Governor Sylva’s fundamental democratic right to take part in any election openly and fairly contested in any part of Nigeria. Any attempt to take away this right, which properly understood, is part and parcel of the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens guaranteed by the constitution, does grievous harm not only to the laws of the land but also to a politician and his followers whose ambition to present themselves for office has been arbitrarily truncated. This, properly understood, is the civilian equivalent of a military coup for the simple reason that military governments suspend the constitution when they seize power, and by so doing, also suspend the fundamental human and democratic rights of the citizenry. But it is simply not enough to say that Governor Sylva is the victim of a coup. The actual fact is that by arbitrarily and arrogantly preventing a sitting elected governor from participating in a democratic process that could lead to his re-election, the PDP leadership is waging a war against democracy in Bayelsa State. As a writer, journalist, and policy analyst I have been working for the progress and prosperity of Bayelsa State since its creation in 1996. The one thing that has consistently struck me about the ordinary people of this state whether they reside in Nembe or Akassa or Yenagoa or Okoroba is their fervent belief in the future; in the ability of their elected representatives, given time, to successfully tackle the myriad challenges confronting the state and its citizens. Even in the state’s darkest moments in December 1999 when a democraticallyelected President dispatched armed troops to burn down the town of Odi and murder her inhabitants, the people of Bayelsa State did not for a moment waver in their belief in the virtues of democratic governance; in the right of ordinary people to freely elect political leaders who will not only govern them wisely but also go on to deliver the
T what point did you join politics I am an accidental politician as it was not predetermined or presupposed. My father hated politics to a fault, but I found out that we will be doing our country a disservice if we allow political jobbers to continue to have a free day. Thus, if we want progress in our country, we will need sound individuals, who will bring their experience and expertise in place towards developing the ordinary people’s yearning to see the dividends of democracy. You are contesting for the National Secretary of PDP. Has the position been zoned to the South West? It has been agreed that the National Secretary position has been zoned to the South West. What gave you the assurance that you will win the election given the big names in the race? I think that my pedigree as the former Lagos Secretary of the Party would earn me the exalted position. It is worthy of note that in terms of activities, Lagos state is next to the national body which I was scribe for five years. Politics for me is a vocation and I have taken my time to learn the ideals of the profession. But the PDP led administration has been accused of advancing corruption in public office? In Nigeria, it is pitiable to note that we do not have politics of ideology. Yes, the PDP has been accused of corruption, so also the opposition parties. They have not fared well in the various state and local governments they are heading. So, it has been politics of the stomach. So, we must move the country fruits of democracy. I am not saying that successive democratic governments in Bayelsa State since 1999 have fulfilled these promises. But the important thing is that good government, like democracy, is an evolving process and takes time and trial and error to perfect. That process was quietly unfolding with its highs and lows when PDP party leaders stepped in and disrupted it with their unwise decision to prevent the governor from fully exercising his democratic right. With large swathes of the populace up in arms in protest of a precipitate hike in the price of petrol suddenly imposed on them by the Federal Government, Nigeria and Bayelsa State in particular is more in need of democratic governance and the rule of law now than any other time. It was only in the last few months that the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, vigorously implemented by the Sylva government in Bayelsa State, that peace and stability had returned to this oil-producing state. It would be a grievous mistake to think that the restive militants who recently put down their arms have vanished from the Niger Delta. Political instability, such as the PDP leadership is encouraging by discarding fairness and openness in the conduct of the recent governorship primary could instigate these young militants to return to the creeks and blow the still-fragile peace process sky-high. What is required now in Bayelsa State is for all the warring parties in the PDP primary controversy to realize that what is at stake is not the Sylva government but actually the destiny of democracy in Bayelsa State, and with it the future wellbeing of a people that have been oppressed for far too long. A Timipre Sylva being allowed to take part in a rescheduled primary contest would not necessarily signal a personal political victory, but the victory of democracy, decency and commonsense in Bayelsa State. Surely a people that have sacrificed so much and for so long deserve this small consideration. *Dr Ike Okonta writes from Abuja where he is Coordinating Fellow of the New Centre for Social Research
beyond this unwholesome trend and make it work for everyone. How then do we fight graft? It is not a one day affair. I am happy that the President and members of the cabinet have taught it necessary, in their wisdom, to remove fuel subsidy because it only benefits few people as against public interest. We can now visit custom, NNPC, PPRMC and look into other areas where there are lapses that open the door for graft. For some 20 years back, you can identify the roads and public health centres that were built by local government, today it is the reverse as local government councils only paid their officials salaries and pocket the remaining money to the detriment of the needed development projects that they were meant to do for the people at the grassroots which is the case across the country. Thus, we can look into the foundation of that problem by engaging the youths and creating an enabling environment where one does not need to work for government to create wealth. What is your take about SURE programme?. It is only a palliative measure that is transformative and not the Mr. Fix all but that is the sure pathway to the solution to the mirage of socio-economic challenges facing the country at this point in time. Should Nigerians support the subsidy removal? Government has assured Nigerians that we have various palliative measures to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal; thus, it is now left for the government to deliver on their promises. In the past, lack of trust is what is responsible for the credibility problem this present administration is experiencing. It is obvious that past government came with laudable problems which never saw the light of the day. What is your take on the deployment of solders in Lagos? I thank the courage of the President because I believe those political opportunists are at play particularly in some areas as they want to turn the purely social problem to a political problem. I believe the people have the right to protest against any government policies, government equally has the right to protect the lives of her citizens. What is your take on the Governor Sylva’s case in court? Governor Sylva has the right to go to court if he feels cheated. But INEC does not have the jurisdiction of delisting the candidate presented by the PDP for the governorship poll. Until the court says otherwise, INEC do not have the right to delist PDP. PDP has a constitution and has a screening panel and if anyone is not cleared by the panel, then the individual cannot contest for any elective position under the party. Nobody was forced to join the party and when an individual join, he or she swore the oath of allegiance to the party. There was a primary in Bayesa state in which Dickson emerged as the candidate of the party.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Idris must operate inclusive govt—Onalo deliver development. Lobbying is key and that is what is absent in Nigerian politics. You have to lobby if you are operating the presidential system of government. I want to talk about investment drive; we can bring in both internal and external investments i n t o K o g i State
EV. (Dr.) Chris Onalo, Registrar/ Chief Executive, Institute of Credit Administration, Nigeria, is an elder statesman from Kogi State. In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf, he sets agenda for the incoming administration of Capt. Wada Idris, the winner of the November 2011 gubernatorial election. What is your assessment of the last gubernatorial election in Kogi? It is typical of elections; there must be a winner and a loser. And sometime, a loser may not be satisfied that he lost out and he might want to resort to law to say this area of election process I was not satisfied, and if it had gone in the proper way, in the definition of the person complaining, perhaps he would have carried the day. The tribunal is there for the party that is not satisfied to go and seek redress. While that is being sorted out, we presumed that the winner as declared by INEC is the winner, but we expect that an all-inclusive government should be formed. By that I mean representation of various strata of Kogi state, in terms of community, not in terms of political party affiliations because ideally once a party carries the day from the election business, it is presumed that the party is going to govern the affairs of the state. Could you expatiate more on your expectations from the incoming administration, in terms of policy direction? In terms of agenda setting for the government of Capt. Wada Idris, I think he should be objective and he should be seen to be a chief executive of the state who belongs to all strata of the community and that is the political agenda setting. He shouldn’t be seen to be ethnic-bias. He should be seen
to be a man that is for Kogi State and the people of Kogi State. Development will not come down from heaven; it will come through the instrumentality of men and women in the state. So, Wada needs to galvanize human resources, knowing that there is no way he can develop the state without the support of the people. The people we are talking about are sons and daughters of Kogi. Some of them are high up there; they are in corporate, private sector, they are in public sector and some of them are in the Diaspora. If what you're saying is that the new government should employ professionals at all levels, it means it would be towing the same path like other governments before it... What I'm suggesting is that a sensible and purposedriven government will look for professionals and get them involved in government, not appointment as commissioners or as special assistants, or as permanent secretaries or whatever, not people that he needs to pay salaries, but a think-tank of people who, after believing in your government, will not only set agenda but will mobilize resources as well as get their friends to come in and invest and bring in opportunities for job and wealth creation in the state. This will therefore, indirectly lead to reduction of criminality, because where people are not gaining anything, you don’t expect anything less than acts of criminality. So, I want to see them reaching out with an open hand and open mind, look for the Kogites, looking for the indigenes of the state wherever they are, bringing them in and selling the idea of what you intend to do because you alone can’t do it. If you do that, then such administration will definitely be able to carry the people along. Because the people are involved, they will join hands with him to
through sons and daughters of Kogi state. A wise government, as I said, will set up a platform to bring in these people with one level of expertise or the other. And some time ago, I read in the papers that Dangote was planning to site what he called the biggest sugarcane production somewhere in Kogi state, in fact in my area, Igbati. I am sure they must have done their survey and discovered that sugarcane production is huge in Kogi state. And when that is done, can they imagine the kind of empowerment it will generate in the state and if it is where there is no road, surely the road will be addressed, electricity will be addressed and there will be multiplier effects because small farmers will capitalize on that to increase their food production because they know they have the market. I want to see in Kogi state a purpose-driven government. Don’t give jobs to people from one section of the state far and above those from other communities. Yes, give the job to somebody who is highly qualified but find a way to compensate a community which cannot produce a highly qualified person to fill that position. I want to see the Wada Idris’ regime as distinctly different from past regimes. I am worried because people at my level and people above me can hardly go to our state with an airplane. We cannot fly to our state. A whole Kogi State, up till now does not have an airport. The roads are so bad that you cannot even enter your car and say “let me drive.” I also think going to Abuja to collect monthly allocation from the federation account should not be the ultimate. A systematic and deliberate step should be taken to make Kogi State an entrepreneurially-driven state, not a civil service state. We should take advantage of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex. If that complex is producing, there will be a spring-up of enterprises for the people; those are the things we should pursue. Apart from Ajaokuta Steel, Kogi is highly
reputed for strategic solid mineral deposits like iron ore, coal, marble, limestone, quartz and so on. These things are huge mineral deposits and we can develop them. What advice would you give to the governor? I want to appeal to him not to rule Kogi State with a military approach. He should be open-minded. Let him transform Kogi state from a civil service oriented state to an entrepreneurial state where small businesses are encouraged to spring up. If achieves that, parents will always remember and they will tell their children. I want him to be a visionary leader; he shouldn’t entangle himself with crises and avoidable disputes or allow somebody to dictate to him. He should have his own mind and focus. Given the resources which you said Kogi state is endowed with, do you think previous governments have been able to harness them well enough for the development of the state? Absolutely not. You know, successive governments have not been able to achieve that. I’m not here to pass bulk. Whatever they concentrated on has not been very visible, has not impacted on the lives of the people of Kogi State and therefore it looks like they have not done anything. If you pay civil servants salaries, they also have families. What the past administrations have succeeded in doing is that they have kept families going. As much as that is important, the incoming administration ought to find a way to create durable, sustainable successes for the people in the state. The rich mineral deposits we have, what do you think God has given them to us for? It is to be harnessed; translate them into wealth. Are you optimistic Wada’s government will have listening ears? I think that is the key. If you set up a platform that is credible, that encourages Kogi indigenes at the top level, even at the middle level, you will succeed. But if not, you will fail. It’s just like the theory of Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill was a great general. He had so many commanders surrounding him. According to the book, he had the target of inviting their opinion and he neutralized it. When someone is advising you and you already made up your mind as to what you want to do, you are simply wasting the guys’ time. So, if you have the listening ear and an open mind, then you connect the opinions of the people, go back and diagnose it then marry things together and then the next thing is your drive. Be proactive, be purpose driven, let nothing stop you…you will achieve. Those are the components that depict you as a listening governor.
with Bolade Omonijo firstname.lastname@example.org
What next after protests?
HE crowd at the Ojota, Lagos Gani Fawehinmi Park was enough to remind the men in power that the people can no longer be taken for granted. Day after day, the people of Lagos- students, professionals, activists and common workers- massed at the Park to protest inimical government policies that sought to diminish them as human beings. For too long, the governments in the country had taken the people for a ride. The only way that we the people feel the government is when top officials cruise past in state of the art cars and long convoys. Well, we also feel the government through figures that they bandy about. Governance is on auto pilot. Government has learnt how to throw money at sectors and problems without any official thinking anything through. One major lesson from the protests is that the peoples of Nigeria can actually speak with one voice. Unlike the protests at other critical junctures in the history of the country, the protests shook Kaduna, Kano, Minna, Ilorin and Makurdi in the North. In the South, the crowd that gathered to express themselves in Ibadan was almost as much as those in Ojota. The experience in Akure, Ado-Ekiti and Osogbo were similar. In the South East and South South, where the culture of protest is strange, the workers at least supported the nation-wide strike declared by Labour. It is heartwarming that the fire was not totally put out by the call off of the strike and protests. Days after, elder statesmen like Professor Ben Nwabueze, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite and Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, defied the order to keep off the streets and made their way to Ojota where the protest was brutally aborted by the Police. It is a sad reminder that those in charge of the nation know very little about democratic ethos. What matters to them is survival and use of state power and resources to further personal interests. This is the point at which to take it further. The civil society has discovered that the slumbering giant could, indeed, be aroused. They have the duty of watching out for the people’s interests and ensuring that those who, one way or the other made their way to inner sanctuary of power do not wreck the ship of state. At the moment, what we have on the table are the 2012 Appropriation Bill and reform of the Oil and Gas industry. This is a window we need to hold the government accountable. There is an ongoing probe of the management of the subsidy fund in particular, and the operations of the behemoth, NNPC, generally. All credible civil society groups, the Labour Movement and enlightened patriots must participate. As committees of the National Assembly meet to examine specific proposals in the budget, this is the time to follow up on the questions being asked of this profligate government that is busy frittering away our common wealth. At every opportunity, we need to appear at the sessions where officials would be grilled to discuss the reasons behind their votes. A task force has been set up to fast track the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, all genuine nationalists and patriots should examine the sections of the proposed law one by one to ensure that it will promote transparency and probity. As a fall out of the people’s struggle, a probe has been instituted by the executive into the affairs of the petroleum sector since 2009. Already, a lot of revelations have come to the fore on sordid details of NNPC operations. The Finance Minister told the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives probing activities in the sector that NNPC has been a law unto itself. It, as the governors had earlier alleged, whimsically made deductions for subsidy without authorization. The Customs department said it had no record of fuel importation to the country because the Finance Ministry ordered it to stay off. Equally damning is the contention that, while the average daily domestic consumption of petrol is 35 million litres, subsidy payments were, up till December, made for 59 million litres. A huge gap of 24 million litres! This is not a season of hear nothing, say nothing. We have heard so much and we need to follow up. Nothing must be swept under the carpet. Anyone found culpable must be brought to justice. Besides, it is an opportunity to sanitise the system. There is nothing as good as putting in place strong institutions. The powers that be may have spent our money on buying votes and institutions involved in elections, this is the time to hold them to account. Okonjo-Iweala The Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala cut a sorry picture as she appeared before the House of Representatives’ committee on Thursday. I agree that it is unfair to single her out for denigration for accepting to serve her fatherland. Yes, she came from the World Bank, but that is not a reason to pin the withdrawal of fuel subsidy on her alone. The man who should carry the can is the President. He stood and won hands down. He is the one accountable to the Nigerian people. It is his prerogative to pick his assistants for security, economy and others. He exercised that by bringing OkonjoIweala to do the job. Her views are well known; just like her background. The time to cry out was at appointment because the President had made an ideological statement by looking in that direction. Henceforth, we need to keep the leaders and all their actions in view at all times.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
KABIRU SOKOTO ESCAPE SCANDAL
Hafiz Rigim on the cross He nearly lost his life in the Boko Haram bombing of Police Head quartes, Abuja . With the escape of Madalla bomb blast suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Rigim may yet leave office disgraced by the sect. Associate Editor, Taiwo Ogundipe, reports on Rigim’s many sins and his record in office. Boko Haram menace up till now has been unabated, reaching its peak boiling point yet with the scandalous escape from police custody of a prime suspect allegedly belonging to the group and suspected mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State in which scores of people died. The list of Abuja terrorist attacks under Ringim’s dispensation has grown in leaps and bounds: There was bombing at police headquarters in Abuja June 2011. There was bombing at the United Nations headquarters Abuja in August 2011. Increasing number of states have come under the spate of Boko Haram bombings even up till the time of this report.
AFIZ Ringim, then acting Inspector-General of Police assumed duty at the Force Headquarters as the 15th indigenous police chief in Nigeria following the sacking of his predecessor, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo. His emergence, apart from abruptly ending the careers of the then seven members of the Police Management Team comprising six Deputy Inspectors-General, also jeopardised the future of three senior AIGs on account of the promotion of their junior above them. A holder of an Advanced Diploma in Public Administration, Ringim joined the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Inspector on 1st March, 1977 and had his first stint of active police work in Kano, from 1978 to 1979, from where he was posted to the foremost investigative arm of the Force, the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon Close, Ikoyi Lagos. From the FCID, he was deployed to head the Criminal Intelligence Bureau (CIB) in Plateau State, with the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police. Ringim who at various times was the Commandant of the Police Mobile Force Training School, Gworza, as well as the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State when the then Governor Goodluck Jonathan was in the
saddle. He was in charge of the Zone 9 comprising Abia, Enugu, Imo and Anambra States as at the time of his acting appointment as acting Inspector-General of Police. Feelers emerging in the wake of his appointment indicated that the rank and file of the Force were not excited by the new change. Some police officers reportedly were of the opinion that Ringim did not deserve the position in view of the spate of kidnappings and armed robbery which took place in the states under his superintendence at Zone 9, Umuahia. They argued that if he was an efficient competent officer, he would have contained criminality in the South-East, particularly Aba, Abia State, a few kilometers from Umuahia where he had his office as the AIG. As the new topmost helmsman in the Police Force, Ringim had his job cut out for him. He was expected to effect a major change in the operations of the force, which was believed to lack the necessary fervency and candor to achieve result in crime-fighting. Many believed he had to take a bold step towards rebranding and enforcing discipline in the force. The public, it was believed, had lost confidence in the police as an agent of the law. Ringim was enjoined by various commentators to begin a comprehensive audit of the force in order to sanitise it by
purging it of bad eggs. He was also looked upon to get the force prepared for the challenges ahead in the then impending 2011 national poll. A foremost legal activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba in a public statement said: “Ringim should be informed that the position (of IGP) often breaks the back of past Inspector Generals. I hope he makes a difference.” According to him, the public detest the police as a result of the bad image that they have earned over the years. Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, during a formal handing over to Ringim took stock of his tenure in office and described his outgoing administration as “the most turbulent” in the history of Nigeria Police Force. Onovo said he presided over a force that was “fighting crime almost barehanded.” He described policing in the face of dire socio-political conditions, as obtained in the country, as a frustrating endeavour. He, however, said that he gave his task as the IG his best shot, saying history would decide his performance in office. According to Onovo, his tenure began with the Boko Haram sectarian crisis and ended with it. Now also at the twilight of his tenure, Ringim may soon be singing the same nunc dimities. The
Ringim’s first major challenge on assuming office, apart from the usual cocktail of crimes including kidnapping, jail-breaks, violent robberies, religious insurgents, among others, was the policing of the pending elections a few months away. Ringim gave a firm promise that his men would perform creditably well and without bias to any political party during the elections. Skeptics doubted his sincerity in this regard and everybody waited anxiously to see how he and his operatives would fare in the elections. He instituted some pro-active measures which seemed to pay off at the end. At the eve of the elections, in a dramatic move, he rotated all the Commissioners of Police serving in different states of the federation. This move, it was believed, put paid to insinuations by some people that some of the Commissioners had been compromised by the politicians in their respective states towards assisting them to victory. He also re-assigned all his Deputies to monitor their men wherever they were to ensure probity. He went further to impose a curfew on those not involved on essential duties during the period of the elections. He also announced a ban on the use of cell phones and other communication gadgets, a measure that was denounced by some
critics, during the elections. While he received kudos from a cross section of observers, local and foreign, he also personally beat his chest. During a meeting at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, with Police Commissioners posted on election duties, he said: “Never before in the history of the country has it occurred that the police performed so credibly. We lived up to the promise of being impartial. We proved ourselves right and others wrong. No police officer was arrested for election malpractice in the last poll. No police officer was arrested for any form of malpractice, ballot box snatching, stealing or tampering with electoral material. This has never been achieved before.” He was, however, not to bask in this self-adulation for long. Post election riots coloured by Boko Haram sectarian violence erupted in a number of states, notably Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger, Plateau and Kano. The violence led to the killing of nine NYSC members. While he took rather belated measures in the troubled states, he shockingly said the postelection violence could not have been avoided. Fielding questions from newsmen at the post-election debriefing of DIGs, AIGs and Commissioners of Police at the force headquarters, Ringim explained that the violence was spontaneous hence could not have been prevented. He, however, pointed out that the swift response by security agencies was what matters under such circumstances as incidents like that occur over of the world. Many high profile Nigerians, including President Goodluck Jonathan, however, said that the mayhem was premeditated. A number of critics believed much of the violence could have been prevented if there was no failure of intelligence. It was argued that intelligence is one of the pillars of modern policing. One the critics argued: “It did not require extraordinary brilliance to guess that given the pre-election build up •Continued from Page 23
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Cover KABIRU SOKOTO ESCAPE SCANDAL
HEN, on Sunday, January 8, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan admitted openly that Boko Haram members have infiltrated his government, Nigerians, who had been looking up to his government to tackle the menace of the terrorists, were alarmed. He made the admission while speaking at an inter-denominational church service to mark the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Christian Centre Abuja. Describing the depth of the situation in the country, he said it was worse than civil war experience, noting that “There are explosions every day, people are dying and are being killed daily without any reason. He therefore called on the armed forces, including those that have retired, to join hands with him and their colleagues that are still in service and government to see how to protect the nation collectively. “I believe we will overcome our immediate challenges. The situation we have in our hands is even worse than the civil war that we fought,” he said, adding, “during the civil war, we knew and we could even predict where the enemy was coming from, you can even know the route they were coming from, you can even know what calibre of weapons they would use and so on. “But the challenge we have today is more complicated. I remember when I held a meeting with elders from the North-East and some parts of the North-West, where the Boko Haram phenomenon is more prevalent, somebody said that the situation is bad that even if one’s son is a member, one will not even know. “That means that if the person will plant a bomb behind your house, you won’t know. Some of them are in the executive arm of government; some of them are in the legislative arm of government while some of them are even in the judiciary. “Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies. Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house. That is how complex the situation is.” Coming from the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the open admission has raised fears in some quarters as to whether the President and the government are helpless? While Jonathan’s critics contended that his statement was an open admission of defeat and a sign of helplessness, his admirers contended that it could be an innovative strategy, a signal that he was poised to introduce sweeping changes in the country’s security network, with the aim of dislodging agents and sponsors of Boko Haram already established in sensitive arms of government. According to a former intelligence officer, who prefers anonymity, “whatever may be the case; that open admission says so much about the style and personality of the president. It also exposes conclusively the deep problems currently existing in the country’s security network. One of such problems is the issue of involvement of top government officials, leaders and people of high net-worth in the establishment and operations of anti-social organisations that have contributed to general insecurity in the land.” In the case of Boko Haram, which began as a simple religious extremist group in Borno State, it soon became obvious that the scale of operations they carried out and the sophisticated weapons they employed in such operations could not have been products of known illiterate and poor members of the sect. Even non intelligent experts could see the hidded hands of rich, educated and intelligent sponsors. At the beginning, the suspicion was largely waved aside, but it was later admitted as the group became more bold and daring. In fact, as far back as September last year, investigation that in spite of official denial, Boko Haram members have infiltrated the security agencies. It was, for example, revealed that some former intelligence chiefs and officers may be behind Boko Haram operations. That same September, the chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum and governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, openly accused Northern leaders of being hypocritical in their handling of Boko Haram issue. “We cannot drag our feet any longer. We can’t continue to double speak in our handling of the issues, saying one thing in the open and acting differently in private. We must
•Bombing of Police headquarters in Abuja
Nigerian govt: In the grip of Boko Haram President Goodluck Jonathan recently admitted that Boko Haram terrorists have iinfiltrated his government. In this report, Sam Egburonu, Associate Editor, examines the depth of the infiltration and the way out all the subsequent elaborate security measures
categorically say no to the recurring wave of bombing, terrorism and crime in our communities,” Aliyu said while addressing leaders in a meeting of Northern Traditional Rulers Council in Kaduna. The allegation tallied with suspicions and claims already made in some earlier intelligence reports, which said that natural leaders, top security officials in Aso Rock may be involved. Part of the observations that informed such reports then was the fact that the terrorist group was always a step ahead of the country’s
security agencies. A careful study of their mode of operation shows that even after giving prior information about t their next target, they always have a means of beating security and have successfully hit sensitive targets, including Police Headquarters and venue of independence celebration, with President Jonathan and other world leaders, present. Before the presence of the Joint Task Force, such degree of success could be explained away, but with the presence of the force and after the president’s outburst, the outcry of citizens and
introduced, the degree of success recorded by the group has continued to raise suspicion. They are still bombing at random even with threats to sack top security chiefs. How to check infiltration “Without existence of moles in very powerful and sensitive parts of the intelligence network, such degree of success would not be possible,” said a security source. He therefore insisted that the president must get rid of such moles, if he ever wants the country to survive the assault.
The Pakistani experience
Extremists have easy time infiltrating Pakistan security services Security agencies lack money and manpower to carry out psychological evaluations of applicants, experts say. And the law enforcement community doesn’t have a national computerized criminal database. Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times Reports from Islamabad, Pakistan that Zahid Manzoor Bajwa wasn’t exactly cop material.
HEN police in the city of Lahore raided his house and those of associates in 2003, they found hand grenades, timers and loaded pistols. Asked about their arsenal, Bajwa and his friends acknowledged that they were planning to kidnap the son of a wealthy steel mill owner so they could buy enough explosives to kill foreigners.
Somehow, Bajwa’s two-year stint behind bars went unnoticed by security officials in Punjab province. In 2009, they made him computer section chief for the Punjab police’s intelligence wing, a post that gave him access to investigations and special reports on militant groups, surveillance directives, even security arrangements for VIPs. Investigators now believe Bajwa downloaded secret data onto a flash drive and relayed it to the Pakistani Taliban, the insurgent group responsible for waves of suicide bombings across the country, said a Punjab security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on such matters.
“Almost every important and secret document was in his access,” the security official said. Bajwa, under arrest and charged with providing information to terrorists, exemplifies the ease with which extremists can infiltrate the ranks of law enforcement in a country where radical thinking has increasingly crept into mainstream society. The Jan. 4 assassination of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer provided the starkest example yet of the danger posed by radicals given a uniform and a gun. Taseer’s alleged assassin, •Continued on Page 23
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
KABIRU SOKOTO ESCAPE SCANDAL •Continued from Page 21 some sections of the country could be susceptible to violence over certain outcomes. What stopped the police from strengthening their presence in such areas as pre-emptive measure?” The Force was also lambasted for allowing some of the youth corps members who were slain in the violence to be killed at the police station where they had run for refuge. No less a person than a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Sunday Ehindero, recently decried what he called lack of operational capacity of the Nigeria Police to combat rising crime wave and insecurity, especially the insurgence of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram. The former police boss declared that the intelligence unit of the police that is critical to handling such serious security challenges is moribund. He observed that the unit lacks what it takes to gather and monitor intelligence. He traced the deplorable state of the police intelligence unit to the incapacitation of the force by the military through the creation of the National Security Organisation (NSO). The NSO later metamorphosed into the State Security Service (SSS), which is independent of the police. The situation, he said, makes the police no match for a group like Boko Haram, which can only be contained through serious intelligence operations. While critics generally believe that the police need a strong intelligence unit, they are, however, of the opinion that there should be co-operation and sharing of intelligence between all security organs of government. It is argued that the fundamental problems of rivalry and mutual suspicion among the military, the police and the SSS should be tackled. Critics have also taken up the police on the problem of money appropriated for security over the years not being used for what it is voted for. If security funds are judiciously used, the security agencies should be able to fight Boko Haram and general insecurity with superior intelligence. A security expert noted: “So much money has been expended on security in recent years that Nigerians can no longer tolerate excuses for non-performance. It has become necessary to ask where all the money voted for security goes, if the police cannot establish and maintain a credible intelligence unit at this time of grave security challenge. Nigerians should be able to see results of the investment in security.” Just like the previous years, so much money has been voted for security in the 2012 budget. The sector has been allocated N921.9 billion, about one-fifth of the entire N4.7 trillion budget. This, it is believed, clearly shows the importance government attaches to security. The security expert further noted: “With such huge funds voted for security at the expense of other sectors, Nigerians will no longer accept excuses for non-performance from the police. Adequate attention should be paid to strengthening of the police intelligence units, general intelligence gathering and counter-intelligence. The police should also increase investment in technology including finger-printing technology, to help its work.” It is also noted that in recent times including the tenure of Ringim, the police has enjoyed the cooperation of private sector organisations and state governments, and they are better equipped and more smartly
Rigim on the cross
turned out, and should be able to handle the country’s security challenges. A recent report released by the United States government postulates that corruption and lack of capacity hinder the ability of the Nigeria Police Force to respond to security and terrorist threats within the nation’s borders. The report entitled, ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2010‘is an annual Congressionally mandated report that provides an assessment of trends and events in international terrorism that transpired from January 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011. In the latest report, it was noted that while Nigeria’s “senior police officers are welleducated and able to articulate the fundamentals of police organization theory and practices, most of the rank-and-file police personnel lack skills, training, and equipment.” The report also said that officers and men of the force, conducted limited border security operations but lacked communications, surveillance, and vehicle support to detect and apprehend terrorists and criminals transiting the country’s borders. On the activities of the Boko Haram militant religious sect in the North, the report said while posters posted in some northern cities by the group bore the signature of al-Qa‘ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), “it has not been established whether AQIM and Boko Haram have operational links.” Noting that Nigeria has some laws that addressed terrorist financing, it said such laws do not comply with international standards. It however noted that Nigeria’s laws for money laundering are
Extremists have easy time infiltrating Pakistan security services •Continued from Page 22 Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, was a member of an elite police force and one of the governor’s bodyguards. Convinced that his boss had insulted Islam by opposing the country’s blasphemy law, Qadri pumped more than 20 bullets into Taseer’s back outside an Islamabad restaurant before giving himself up. Warning signs from police officials in 2004 about Qadri’s extremist leanings went ignored, and in 2008 he was assigned to Taseer’s security detail. The cases of Bajwa and Qadri are shots across the bow for a law enforcement community that has been lax about its screening procedures and slow to recognize the threat of extremism seeping into its ranks.
• Governor Kashim Shettima
• Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed Minister of defence
“There’s no doubt that such thinking has crept into the police,” said Irshad Hussain, a former police chief for the southern province of Baluchistan. “Senior police officials are very worried about this. They never thought such things could happen, and they’re perplexed about what should be done.” Police departments and other security agencies lack the money and manpower to carry out psychological evaluations of applicants, experts say. And the country’s law enforcement community lacks a national computerized criminal database, making effective background checks impossible. Usually, screening involves sending a police officer to the applicant’s hometown to talk with his relatives, village elders and police. That system can work in villages where the person
more extensive. Apart from the litany of problems scuttling Police performance in Nigeria, a number of observers are of the opinion that police operatives themselves have contributed to the high level of insecurity in the country. Dr. Saliba Daddy Mukoro, formerly the staff officer in charge of training at the Nigeria Army School of Military Police and now an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Criminal Justice at Mississippi Valley State University, Mississippi, USA, wrote in his recently published book, Reforming the Nigerian Police, The Indisputable Way Forward: “While there are good men and women of honour in the Nigerian Police, the bad eggs in the police, amongst the officers and the rank and file, have given the police a bad name when it comes to corruption. It is now common knowledge amongst Nigerians that corruption in the Nigerian Police is pervasive and systemic. “The “wetting you get for me” and “wetting you bring for me” syndrome of the Nigerian Police cannot be denied. It does not end with the rank and file. Many officers are deeply involved. Some are alleged to receive returns from the rank and file (proceeds from bribes, proceeds from outright cooperation with criminals, and at times, proceeds from direct criminal activities). The involvement of police officers in these schemes with the rank and file over the years have crippled the ability of many police officers to effectively command or discipline police personnel, and I refer to this state of powerlessness as ‘Command Impotence”. is known, but it’s impractical for people coming from densely populated neighborhoods in cities such as Karachi or Lahore. Once an officer is on the force, often there is no system in place to detect whether the officer has become influenced by extremists. “The current level of screening is not geared toward finding out the radicalized tendencies of a person,” said a Pakistani intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “There’s a police check at the guy’s residence to see whether he has a criminal record or not. Beyond that, there’s not much more. It’s very basic.” The task of keeping extremists and radicals out of law enforcement is even tougher in northwest Pakistan, the world’s nerve center for terrorism.
A recent magazine report also revealed that police operations may have for many years been marred by what it termed protection of sectional interests by its senior officers. Some police personnel the magazine claimed that spoke to it on condition of anonymity in Abuja alleged that when the current Inspector General of Police, IG Hafiz Ringim was appointed by President Jonathan, he raised hopes in officers, promising to ensure implementation of acceptable standards . But, according to the magazine, the complainants claimed this promise by the IG has not been fulfilled till date. The officers reportedly insist that nothing has changed so far since the appointment of Ringim, pointing out that the police is bedeviled by the practice of god-fatherism among the senior officers, lack of merit in terms of postings, lack of accountability, welfare, promotion and specialized training in line with modern day policing. Most police personnel are said to be murmuring over their stagnation on a particular rank for years. Some of them disclosed to the magazine that they have hung to one rank for eight to nine years without promotion. Recently, police trades-men such as drivers, mechanics, tailors, photographers, typists, carpenters, nurses, doctors, forensic specialists, dog trainers, who provide ancillary services for general duty policemen, recently petitioned President Jonathan, the Police Affairs Minister, the IG, speaker of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Tambuwal, the Police Service Commission, the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, ICPC, alleging corruption, tribalism and extortion against an Assistant Inspector General, AIG, in charge of a zone and the Commandant of one of the training formations. Critics have also observed that though, locally regarded as an ineffectual service, the Nigeria Police Force is widely acclaimed to have performed creditably at foreign assignments, especially in peace-keeping operations in Sudan, Uganda, Haiti and elsewhere. Officers who served in these missions were able to acquit themselves largely because they worked under near-perfect systems where they were motivated to discharge their responsibilities and duties. The inability of the officers to replicate same in their country is an indication of the contaminated and corrupt environment under which they operate and the fact that the leadership of the force has been anything but competent.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Cover KABIRU SOKOTO ESCAPE SCANDAL
BOil subsidy and challenge of good governance EHAVING like the unconscionable killer in the Yoruba saying who in spite of his ruthless act of killings would do all to prevent anyone from waving a sword across his head, the Islamist sect, Jama’atu Ahlissunnah lidda’awati wal Jihad, meaning “people struggling to restore the implementation of Islamic legal system and Muslim independence from Christians and this wicked government”, feels no qualms snuffing out human lives, but gets affronted anytime members of its group are arrested and incarcerated for their reprehensible acts. Since its advent in June 2009, the sect has not left anyone in doubt of its resolve to do whatever it would require to extirpate all that it considers haram – sin. And ever since Mohammed Yusuf, its founder and leader, was extra-judicially killed by policemen in questionable circumstance after being handed over to them by soldiers who captured him after raiding his hideout, the group has grown deadlier and would not endure to have any of its members in prison. Consequently, it has made repeated, and on many occasions successful, efforts to free its apprehended foot soldiers from police and prison holds. Though Boko Haram claims to abhore Western education, values and practices, not a few people are surprised that it continues to employ methods and weapons that are sometimes found in Western movies in executing its insufferable mass killings and dramatic rescue operations to unlawfully secure the release of members of the group. The group has been asking the Federal Government to free all its members who are being held in some prisons in the country as one of the outlined conditions that must be met if it is to stop its terroristic acts against the country, especially in the North Eastern axis where it is based. Because this condition sounds to the government like “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing”, the group, which the Presidency claimed has infiltrated the country’s security agencies, in turn leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that its most wanted members do not answer for their shocking lawlessness. The latest of this act was the incredibly dramatic escape from detention of a suspected member of the sect, Kabiru Sokoto, who was arrested in connection with the gory Christmas Day bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State. The suspect was arrested the Saturday before the last at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, in the company of a yet-to-be-named Air Force officer. But two days later, the alleged mastermind of the Madalla bombing, who as gathered had given useful information to the police about those involved in the act, escaped from a team of policemen who took him to his home at Abaji, near Abuja, for a search. Sokoto’s escape from about 10 armed policemen occurred when he was being taken to the palace of the traditional ruler of the town. A group of incensed youths alleged to be members of Boko Haram reportedly ambushed the police vehicle and in the confusion that ensued, the suspect with the handcuffs in his hands fled. Escape from detention Such embarrassing escape of high-profile suspects wanted in connection with the various incidences of bomb blasts which claimed scores of lives, and for which the daring Islamist sect had claimed responsibility, have continued to undermine government’s efforts at making major headway in breaking the group’s spine. Mr. Ali Tishau another prime
•Security agents after Boko Haram’s attack on Bauchi prison
One escape too many Anytime the Boko Haram sect strikes, it does so with deadly precision When its members are arrested, it makes every effort to secure their release. Ademola Adesola takes a look at how members of the sect continue to escape from police custody and break prison walls, thereby frustrating government’s efforts at clipping its wings suspect of the sect had equally escaped from police detention in June last year. He was detained on allegation of terrorism. While in police custody he had availed the security agencies of revealing information about the operations of the group. Tishau’s escape was not without some drama. According to reports, he was released by police to the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) on the request (in writing) of the former Chief of Defence Intelligence, MajorGeneral Babagana Mongonu, in order to enable the agency conclude its own investigation of the suspect. But instead of the investigation, what turned out was that Tishau was seen on the Africa Independent Television
(AIT) granting an interview in which he accused the Nigeria Police hiding the warning about the bomb blast that occurred at the Force headquarters on June 16 last year, from the Presidency. Tishau had been detained, interrogated and arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Abuja on March28, 2011, after his arrest. But he was later granted bail. Thereafter, police investigations revealed what was described as “incontrovertible evidence”, which confirmed him as a kingpin of the dreaded Boko Haram group. He was arrested again and re-arraigned at the FCT High Court on May 7, 2011, where he was later again granted bail, before his
eventual disappearance from the custody of security agents. The observation, according to some analysts, is that where suspected members of the Islamist sect did not escape under the watch of security agencies, as was the case with Tishau and Sokoto, they did so through the organised efforts of other members of the group who broke through prison walls to effect their escape. Speculations are rife that some top shots are working for interests other than that of the nation. A familiar pattern Consequent on the uprising that resulted in the death of Mohammed Yusuf, hundreds of his followers were jailed. But while everyone
Kabir Sokoto: Living in the shadows
OT many Nigerians would care a flinch if the name Kabir Sokoto is mentioned to their hearings. That was before last weekend. Now many will nearly jump out of their skin as the slight mention of his name. Until last weekend, his name was just like any name; nothing special or significant. However, since his arrest last Saturday at the Borno Governor’s Lodge in the highbrow district of Asokoro, Abuja, and his rather dramatic escape from the police about twenty four hours after, his name has been on every lips. Many have wondered if he is a sphinx or if he has become the new ‘Black Pimpernel’, the sobriquet given to Nelson Mandela during the heydays of Apartheid South Africa. Snippets of information pieced together about him shows that he is married and has three kids. Until March last year he was resident in Sokoto. He, however, had to move away from Sokoto to settle in Abaji, a satellite town outside the federal capital territory when his house in sokoto was torched on suspicion that he is a member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. When he first relocated to the city, he was said to have lived with a
trader along the new market road. He later rented a room at the Unguwar Asharawa area of the city and moved his family in. He quickly endeared himself to the hearts of the residents due to his large heartedness and generosity. He daily the daily prayers at the community mosque and later opened a kiosk where he sold provisions and cosmetic materials. He was perhaps living in a shadow for a man who is said to have a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Chemistry, opening a kiosk where he sold provisions could have been a decoy and a way to worm his way into the heart of his neighbours, after all, the group he belongs to (Boko Haram) sees western education as a taboo. Equally living in the shadows are his two companions arrested along with him at the Borno Governor’s Lodge, Ibrahim Umar Abba and another person simply identified as a Flight Lieutenant in the Nigerian Air Force. Umar Abba who is said to be a •Kabir Sokoto postgraduate student of the University of Birmingham in the United with the same name has no picture or Kingdom has nothing on him on the much information. The name of the school’s website. A Facebook account air force officer has not been released.
thought that the sect was being checked, some plucky Boko Haram members executed a jailbreak at the Kaduna Prison, sweeping the cells clean. In the end, it was discovered that about 100 of hardcore members were freed and thrown back into the society to carry on from where they had stopped. Similarly, on September 7, 2010, about 200 members of the sect used assault rifles to free more than 750 prisoners in Bauchi Prison, where more than 150 members of the group were held following a major crackdown on them by security agents. It was reported that those who attacked the prison moved from one cell to the other breaking open locks and setting fires on some parts of the prison building before escaping with the inmates. The attack confirmed that the group was in possession of sophisticated weapons that enabled it to outflank prison guards. Again, that successful jailbreak made any progress with the interrogation and arraignment of the group’s members difficult and in the end stalled the efforts at stemming the tide of violence spearheaded by the group. April 22 last, is also on record as the day Boko Haram added another feather to its cap of skyrocketing infamy of securing the freedom of its arrested members. On this day at Yola Prison, Adamawa State, about 14 of its members who were there regained their freedom after a well-executed jailbreak. Reports said that the jailbreak occurred while some prison officials were observing the Friday Jumaat prayers at Yola Central Mosque, adjacent the Yola Prison. Earlier in the year, some members of the group had been transferred to the facility, while a similar attempt was made at the Jimeta Prison about three months prior to that time. With every major feat the sect records, whether in bombing and killing or in freeing its members from police and prison nets, what is not in doubt is that it gets emboldened and issues forth more dangerously in subsequent operations. Even though it had once claimed that its members were as many as the pebbles at the seashore, the group still finds the imprisonment of its members dissatisfying, hence the attack on prisons, police vehicles, cells and any other places where its followers were held. An Ogun-based lawyer who spoke to The Nation, Wale Soyombo, argued that the Boko Haram group would do everything in its power to “prevent the continuous stay of any member in police hold. It is simple; the longer they are in the cell, the softer they become, particularly after they must have been broken through the torture administered on them in the course of interrogation. I think the jailbreak or ambush resulting in the freedom of the members is to prevent them from giving useful insight into the workings of the group. This is even why it is very difficult to re-arrest those prime suspects after their escape”. He added: “What we are confronted with is much more than the way the government sees it. I won’t be surprised if at the end it is established truly that highly-placed government functionaries are behind the major activities of this remorseless killing machine. I have a haunch that the various stories about the escape from police hands of wanted Boko Haram members are not without the active involvement of top security officers. Well, may be when the government gets more serious we will see a different development”. As the drama of the latest escape story involving Kabiru Sokoto continues to unfold, a thorough overhauling of the various security agencies in the country is the only way to frontally confront the hydra-headed terrorist groups like Boko Haram.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
FUEL SUBSIDY PROTESTS
I stand by my statements at Lagos rally —Bakare Pastor Tunde Bakare, the convener of Save Nigeria Group, has been criticised over some radical statements he made at the Lagos rally, during the last fuel removal subsidy protests. In this interview with Sam Egburonu, Associate Editor, Bakare, who was the vice presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), in the last general elections, said he stands by every statement he made at the rally. He also spoke on his mission in politics and why he would continue to do the things he is doing for as long as he breathes. Excerpts
T is considered tricky to combine the office of a pastor with that of a politician and a human rights activist. How have you been coping? We are living in a world of multi-tasking. An average man, who is married, is a husband, if he has children, he is also a father; if his parents are still alive, he is also a son; if he has nephews and nieces, he is also an uncle and he would have to minister to these different sets of people. In like manner, there is grace to do what we are doing. I still see myself pastor in every facet of it without imposing religion on any person. A good shepherd is the one who can lay down his life for the sake of the flock, like David did and killed both the bear and the lion when they came to prey on his flock. We are not a rolling stone that gathers no moss. Everything we do, we do it thoroughly and these things are intertwined. So, there is grace for it and thank God for supplying grace. When you first indicated interest to contest for an elective position, many people expressed concern that as a man of God, it may expose you to severe criticisms. Given your experience today, will you not admit that such concerns were justified? If you are going to fold your hands because of what people would say, you will never do anything. There is a secret call for those who don’t want others to talk about them: be nothing, say nothing, do nothing. For as long as you are making effective contributions to your society, people must talk about you. When criticisms are made, we examine them. If those criticisms were truthful, we learn from them but if they are false propaganda, it would be like water at the back of a duck. You show me a man that contributed his quota to the development of the society and I will show you a man who has been thoroughly criticised by those who love to hate him and those who hate to love him. Criticism and praise are like the two poles of a battery: •Continued on Page 26
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012 •Continued from Page 25 the negative and the positive. You will need both. The last fuel subsidy removal protest in Lagos was exceptionally huge and successful. What was the secret? There is a popular Yoruba proverb that if a bird wants to move in one direction and the wind blows in that direction, it helps the bird to move faster. The truth of the matter is that the people of this country are already aggrieved and greater than our expectations; they turned out in mass so that their voice can be heard. There is a wind that is blowing across the nations of the earth. It is the wind of the will of the people against the power of incumbency. I believe the fundamental Latin maxim, ‘Vox populi, Supreme alex,’ the voice of the people is the highest law. The people supported what they saw clearly was in their interest. They gave a primitive tax in the name fuel price hike now being mislabeled deregulation to confuse the people. There is no deregulation because there is no enabling legislation to that effect, except they are acting illegally and presumptuously. And any good government would have waited for passing into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill and prior to implementation of the deregulation policy, put in place safety nets for the economically vulnerable members of the society. Your critics said you hijacked the protest for some selfish reasons; that it was for that reason that you were so passionate; that it was more or less a personal battle with President Goodluck Jonathan. Is it true? Are you angry with Mr. President? Were you at the venue of the rally at all? I will give you some of the write-ups of the statements we made at the rally. Everyday of the rally, we maintained a particular stance. We asked the people to repeat, first to themselves and then loud enough for everybody to hear: ‘no resentment, no reprisals, no revenge and no violence.” When you hate a man, you reduce yourself. Before going out for the rally, Save Nigeria Group and its allies sat down and planned together before execution. We didn’t just go out there to decry the fuel price hike, we located the root cause of the Nigerian problem and we said ‘Kill corruption and not the people.’ This is because the excesses in the executive and legislative arms of government alone were more than what they were trying to remove as fuel subsidy. The poor people of this country can no longer continue to subsidise the rich. And I want to remind them of the wordings of two placards I saw in the midst of the crowd in Abuja and Lagos; it is handwriting on the wall for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. It is written on the placards, “One day, the poor would have nothing to eat but the rich.” In my place they have a popular saying, the poor man can never sleep because he is hungry and the rich cannot sleep because the poor is awake. Let’s be careful. The rage of the poor is dangerous. I have no personal hatred against the President. I am not fighting any personal battle with President Jonathan. The court has decided on the presidential election petitions. The Supreme Court has spoken and we have accepted the decisions publicly. We never incited anyone during or after the elections and no one should confuse CPC with SNG, if there is anything called common sense. It is the same SNG that marched the streets in Lagos and Abuja so that Dr. Jonathan could become Acting President and he thanked us publicly, openly, eloquently and now, for crying out against injustice, someone is saying we hijacked what? If we hijacked anything let others hijack what they can hijack. We didn’t hijack anything. We sat, we planned and we executed. The approach of so many people is different from our approach. Their approach is aim, shoot. For some others, it is shoot and then aim. But for us, it is, ready, aim and then shoot. What is the difference sir? The difference is a lot of planning goes into one and an impromptu reaction is the code for the other. We believe in the word that in a multitude of counsel there is safety. The truth of the matter is that we sat, we planned and we executed and as you can see, we went, we saw, we conquered. Other matters that have attracted hot criticisms are some of your utterances at the rally. Your critics are expressing shock that
‘I stand by my statements’
•Bakare you called for the removal of the President and even suggested that he should die. Do you regret these comments? Were you misunderstood or are you, as a lawyer, of the view that from the legal point of view, you have the right to say all that you said? Those who said that I said those things you just said now, that I said he would die, let them bring it out. Nobody has the power of life and death except the Almighty God. Number two, you said that I called on him to be removed. I didn’t say so. I said he spent N1.3 trillion without appropriation. I also said the Senate or the National Assembly should look into it and bring all the perpetrators to book. I said that if the President of our country has spent money without appropriation that is an impeachable offence and it should not be swept under the carpet. I stand by that statement. I did not say he should be removed, I cannot remove him but I need to let the whole world know the truth. That is an impeachable offence. In a more decent society, it could make a leader to resign but here, there are not many decent people at the corridors of power. We learnt that some senior ministers of God are worried over such exchange of verbal volleys between you and political opponents. Are such ministers truly mounting pressure on you to soft pedal or quit politics? The body of Christ is made of everyone in the church; the apostle, the prophet, the pastor, the evangelist, the teacher and the congregation. It is the pressure you allow that would come to you. Some well meaning men of God called me to identify with what we are doing and to check on me when they heard the rumour of my arrest. They meant well, they were not worried. Worry will never heal you of your sorrows, it will only sap you of your strength and those who are ruled by fear are actually worshipers of Mammon
and Jesus said you cannot worship God and Mammon at the same time. So, when you are worried, you are serving Mammon. So, even now you are not worried and those ministers are not worried? I don’t need to worry. I am not worried. Are you enjoying politics and activism in Nigeria? Are you disappointed with some of your associates or are you satisfied with them and the system so far? It was the former President of France, Charles De Gaulle, who said politics is too important a subject to be left in the hands of ordinary people. The scripture said when the righteous is in authority the people rejoice, when the wicked rules, they groan. Are Nigerians rejoicing now or groaning? That is food for thought. I have no regrets whatever for participating in politics. I will continue to contribute my quota as God blesses me and gives me the opportunity to serve my generation according to the will of God; inside of the church, outside of the church, everywhere I find myself to serve. But I want you to know one thing, I am not ambitious, I am not looking for position, I am not looking for power. As a matter of fact, only those who have the power of love should be entrusted with power because those who have love for power will destroy everyone just to get there. I am not in a hurry to become anything that God has not made me. I am already fulfilled. I am just looking for every God-given opportunity to spread joy, beginning from my family, in my home town, in my street, as much as God enables me, to the entire nation and to the world at large. Put more concisely, what is Pastor Tunde Bakare looking for in Nigerian politics? What do you want? I just want a nation that works; to raise the standard of political discourse beyond just seeking power for personal benefit. Most of those in government today are there for self. They are not seeking power for service. We want to raise the level of discourse, enlighten our people, so that we can have a critical mass of well informed, well enlightened citizenry that would ensure that the best, the brightest, the fittest and the most competent are entrusted with leadership in our nation; so that we can bring an end to mediocrity in governance; so that we can begin to enforce accountability and transparency, especially in the area where national resources are being expended. That’s all that I want; a nation that works. When I see that, I can lift up my hands like Simeon, ‘Now, let your servant depart oh Lord, my eyes have seen your salvation…’ Until then, for as long as I breathe, I will continue to do the things I do. Is it a fact that the organised labour sold out and ended the last fuel subsidy removal protests earlier than it should have done? You should ask labour that question, not me. But is Save Nigeria Group satisfied with
“It is the same SNG that marched the streets in Lagos and Abuja so that Dr. Jonathan could become Acting President and he thanked us publicly, openly, eloquently and now, for crying out against injustice, someone is saying we hijacked what? If we hijacked anything let others hijack what they can hijack. We didn’t hijack anything. We sat, we planned and we executed.”
the way the strike ended? If we were satisfied, we won’t be going out again for another rally on 21st of January. They were in charge of strike; we are in charge of protests. We collaborated and they did what they did. But the wisdom behind their action, they are trying to communicate with us. In fact, one of them, in the leadership, called me this morning (Wednesday) and he said; I will need to see you for there are some things we could not talk on phone that led them to do what they did. I said, well, whenever you come, I am available. But he has not said it and I have no intention of handling their case for them. So, direct that question to labour; organised or disorganised labour. What is actually wrong with removal of fuel subsidy? We are not against deregulation or the down stream sector of the petroleum industry. For it to happen, there must be an enabling legislation and prior to its happening there must be safety nets to take care of the millions of impoverished Nigerians. Because this is about the only benefit they have from the government that is self centred. Until that is done, you cannot deprive them of the little benefits they have from the resources of the nation. And for pastors who are worried, they should read Ecclesiastes Chapter 5, beginning from verse number 8… The resources of this country belong to Nigerians and those who are thinking that what is happening is deregulation are being fooled. What is happening is fuel price hike; the worst form of fuel price hike in the history of our nation, over 115 percent. It is the same government, where this Jonathan served as Vice-President that reduced the price of petrol from the N70. 00 per litre that Obasanjo left it to N65. 00. What has then happened? Does it mean that Nigeria lost oil or we do not have oil anymore that now hiked it? What led them to spend N1.3 trillion un-appropriated funds whereas in the past four years, the highest spent every year was about N400 billion and Nigerians were getting petrol. These are the questions you journalists should ask them. We are not against deregulation. We saw the deregulation of the telecom sector. Nigerians are benefiting from it. When they started they were selling one Sim card for about N22, 000, now, they are giving them out. If it is properly done, it will bring benefits but it is done to cover their debt track and their profligacy. They know that if by next year the subsidy is not removed, the whole world will know that they over spent themselves in the election year. Let us call, not EFCC, to look at the affairs of the petroleum sector. Instead, let us have an independent commission of inquiry with a public hearing, then they can make everything open. Look at what is happening at the National Assembly where the Customs department said it does not have any document for importation of fuel. That is the situation we found ourselves. So, we are not against deregulation. All we are saying is put the right measures in place; One, an enabling legislation; two, prior safety net. We emphasise this because we need to know what has happened to budgetary allocations in the 12 years of PDP rule in Nigeria? What is the solution to the current security challenges in the country, including Boko Haram? I think Mr. President just woke up from slumber when he sent the military to Lagos. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. But the only problem was that he deployed the soldiers against innocent, armless civilians. Let him use the same zeal to curb the excesses of militant groups north and south of the country. And this can only be achieved through good governance. When the needs of the people are taken care of, when the millions of jobless Nigerians are gainfully employed or have alternative means of survival, until then, “Alagbara ma mero, baba ole,” (the man who has a lot of strength without wisdom, is worse than a lazy person. This present federal government possesses power without compassion, might without morality and sense without sight.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
How they combine motherhood with career –PAGES 36-37
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Kehinde Falode Tel: 08023689894 (sms)
E-mail: email@example.com •Licia Florio two-tone tunic dress •Prabal Gurung two-tone cashmere dress
•Jay Godfrey Alice dress
•Phoebe Couture one shoulder two-tone dress
T wo tone rage! A
M O N G fashionable women, two tone clothing items are receiving the most attention now. Two tone dresses create a distinctly up to date taste. They are particularly great choice
for formal events and a stylishly combined two tone gown gives the wearer a classy look. So it is no surprise that women especially the fashionistas and career types are spending fortunes to get classy two tones.
•Jasmine Murray Bruce
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Get blown away by boyfriend’s jacket
AVING a great-fitting pair of boyfriend jacket in your wardrobe can really help you create some great outfits. That is why boyfriend jacket apart from blazers are the second pick for a wardrobe must. These are items you have that are not especially trendy and can be paired with lots of great stuff to create your own unique look. Boyfriend jacket is a great basis for a stylish outfit, especially a darker pair, you can dress them up or down.
From statement jewellery in between, there are lots essential party accessories to make sure you dazzle in boyfriend assemble.
The heels work well with the boyfriend jacket and the accessories add that much needed glamour which will work perfectly with the top.
Looking for something a little different than the usual boyfriend blazer? I think this might be what you are looking for! The cut of the little dress makes it just a little more feminine and dressy.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
ANKARA still hot on the runway! T
HESE days, socials and corporate events are filled with all manner of African fabric and style. Even the international runways are giving a nod to African print and indigenous designs. Truly the indigenous fabric has come to stay.
Compared to the fashion trend of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, when western fabrics were the order of the day, Ankara fabrics that come in diverse patterns, textile, style, designs and hues are now king. They are simply gorgeous and a beauty to behold. •Models
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Picking fashion hits and misses on the red carpet is my least favourite task at event. So before Kehinde Falode begins her unpleasant task, let's just say everyone's pretty, and one is handsome.
For Holy Mallam simplicity is the key. Kudos!
Although we are in the era of colourblocking, Romola Saqid's hues looks uncoordinat ed in the worst possible way. Oops
Here comes Funke Akindele who is phenomenal looking. Kudos!
Among the best, I was instantly drawn to Ebun Aboderin. Not only did she look the most comfortable on the red carpet, she looked flawless. Her apparel and accompanying accessories was a complete success. Kudos!
Powell Jecinta dress was a way too severe! Oops
Vixen Ekwere looked stunning from the tip of her head to the sole of her foot. Kudos
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
A graduate of Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST),Port Harcourt. Nollywood actress Mary Uranta talks about her top ten things with Kehinde Falode
Favourite wallet designer Gucci
Favourite makeup product
Favourite body cream
Black Up Paris and Flori Roberts
Garnier moisturizer body cream
Favourite Nigerian fashion designer Data Okorodudu
Favourite book Romance novel
Favourite sunglasses Chopard and Marc Jacobs
Favourite nail polish Dior Addict
Favourite bag designers I am in love with Louis Vuitton and Prada
Favourite shoes designer Naughty Monkey and Christian Loubutin
With VICTOR AKANDE
Jide Kosoko's daughter
I didn’t fight in church —Timaya
OP actor, Jide Kosoko gave his daughter's hand in marriage in a private ceremony which took place at Solitude Hotel, Jibowu, Lagos, last weekend. The bride, Sola, also an actress was married to her
heartthrob Abiodun Abinna. Information had it, that among the artistes at the wedding were Mama Rainbow, Fathia Balogun, Mercy Aigbe, Ireti Osayemi, and Doris Simeon.
Nigerian Idol: top-10 slot hits fever pitch “
Nadia Buari at a crossroad
Ruff Ryders shall return—DMX
•Nigerian Idol hosts, Rymz and Tiwa Savage
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Being a working-mother in any field of endeavour is no walk in the park. For the regular actress, combining motherhood with a career that takes you away from home regularly, and out of your husband's bed at night, appears even more tasking. Oftentimes, kids of actresses are left to be brought up by others; including close relatives, house-helps or even nannies. DUPE AYINLA-OLASUKANMI and MERCY MICHAEL spoke to some of these celebrities on how they combine these two demanding roles.
How they combine motherhood with career
•Bimbo Oshin with kid
•Toni Payne with son, Zion
•Grace Amah with baby
•Iyabo Ojo with kids
•Mercy Aigbe with baby
•Zack Orji, Ngozi Orji with kid
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Erem Emeka prides himself as a comedian who does not only crack cultured jokes, but one who delivers them in well-spoken English. Known as Naija's Ajebota comedian, Erem who is also a radio presenter, is fast making his way into the hearts of comedy lovers with his style of jokes. He speaks with OVWE MEDEME on his entry into comedy and the need for comedians in Nigeria to step up their game.
Day audience refused to laugh at my jokes â€”Comedian Ajebo
A whole lot of time when the audience don't laugh, it is not like the jokes are not funny, but the ground is not receptive enough for comedians to plunge their jokes. It is important to study the audience, and know what comments to start with as a way to lighten up the atmosphere
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
The remaining winners are listed below
•The cast of The Descendants
69th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
PICTURE Supported by: SILVERBIRD CINEMAS
More sinister quests on 3D
J. Edgar: Biopic of premier FBI boss
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Blues singer Etta James has died at 73 after a battle with leukaemia. James, who also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C, died at a hospital in Riverside, California, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. Source: www.femail.co.uk Her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons Donto and Sametto were by her side. 'This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,' De Leon told CNN.
, r e g n i s y r a d n e Leg r e t f a n o s e s s a Etta James, p a i m e a k u e l h battle wit
â€˘Etta with Beyonce
‘I was brought up not to conform’ Ms. Ireti Bakare-Yusuf, 42, is a former Project Director with British Telecommunication (BT) in United Kingdom (UK), and also worked with Celtel Nigeria. A current affairs analyst on radio, she has ventured into myriad businesses since her return to Nigeria. She just set up a state-of-the-art food café called Cinnamon and is currently planning to float a TV show. She spoke with JOKE KUJENYA
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Social KAYODE ALFRED
(E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 08035733605, 08099400057)
On the heels of Tomi Akingbelu
HERE is something inspiring about Tomi Akingbelu. She is diligent and imaginative.Akingbelu will offer the finest furniture for the world to see, particularly Lagos and Nigeria's high society. And she applies herself quite passionately to her dream. Thus, a few years after she resigned her plum position as Head of Human Resources, Seawolf Oilfields Services Limited, the young lady estabth lished 5 Haven Limited, a world-class interior décor company. An alumnus of Igbinedion University, Okada Akingbelu hails from Okitipupa in Ondo State says, her current enterprise is a manifestation of a heartfelt dream. Her dream, she disclosed is to become the choice decorator for the classiest hotels, offices and home owners.
Susan Yusuf, D' Prince dissolve partnership
VERYTHING that has a beginning would definitely have an end and as of this moment, the business partnership that existed between Susan Yusuf and D' Prince has ended. It would be recalled that the club SQ, located on Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos was solely owned by Susan Yusuf. She later partnered with Mo’hits D' Prince to better the fortunes of the club, thus changing the name to Jonzing, a name speculated to be the name of D'Prince’s new album. While the caliber of the club's clientele went from good to better, cash was not flowing in as expected, and this caused a rift between the partners. It was allegedly discovered that the Mo'hits crew while patronising the club allegedly bought drinks without paying. Some further alleged that this was the genesis of the problems the partnership faced. Presently, Susan has reverted to the club's old name SQ.
Mo Abudu at it again!
Reality bites for Ibori
LESSON on transience of power and political relevance is presently being taught in Delta State. Chief Williams, Ibori elder brother of former Delta State governor, James Onanefe Ibori, is in dire need of social relevance. According to those who should know, there is power tussle currently going on in Ogharefe community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. It has transformed into a bitter feud that wouldn't have occurred while erstwhile governor James Ibori was in power. The story is that before the demise of the late Unugbrogodo (spokesman of the community) he favoured Chief Erubami (a.k.a Ogbo) as opposed to Chief Williams Ibori. The selection process, however, did not go the way it was expected to, and Society Circuit gathered that Chief Ibori was selected as the man for the job. This did not go down well with members of their community. The youths protested loudly and it erupted in communal war. While those in the know have stated that the elder Ibori had the backing of the Delta State government, the support of the people which he really needs to succeed is not there, and the situation is gradually getting out of hand. Already, mobile policemen have been deployed to the warring community in a bid to quell the raging storm.
About the fairy tale wedding of Nneoma Orji
LL roads led to the Thisday Dome in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja when T.A Orji, the governor of Abia State gave out his only daughter, Nneoma, in marriage to Obinna, the handsome son of Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume. It was indeed a wedding of all times as Nigeria's who’s who gathered and celebrate with one of their own two Saturdays ago. The wedding which was held at Holy Trinity Parish, Maitama, Abuja was star-studded. At the venue for the reception, guests were wowed by the eye popping decoration that transformed the dome into a mini-paradise of icons, politicians, senators, governors, first ladies serving and past, who graced the event . Amongst the eminent personalities in attendance were Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, Hajia Bola Shagaya, Helen Mark, Chief Tony Anenih, Isa Yuguda, Gov. Sulivan Chime, Gov. Aliyu Babangida, Chief Tom Ikimi, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohamed, Senator Ayim Pius, Peter Obi, Mazi Sam Ohuabuwa, Kema Chikwe, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Ojo Madukwe and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The masters of ceremonies, Julius Agwu and Bisi Olatilo, were at their best as they kept the guests laughing all the way. Jimmy Jatt, was on hand to ensure the couple and guests made good use of their dancing shoes. On the band stand were new kids on the block, Whizkid and Flavor. They dazzled the A-list guests all through.
O Abudu, popular broadcaster and talk show queen has set out to impact the lives of everyday people till they become extraordinary people. And how does she intend to do that? Think Naija Diamonds; a creative initiative put together on the stable of Inspire Africa, under the management of Mo herself and supported by Diamond Bank, the major sponsor of the show. According to the talk show host, the programme, unlike so many others in its league seeks to beam the spotlight away from the usual celebrity crowd to focus on everyday people particularly those who have done something or quite a lot to challenge or change their realities. The idea is in consonance with the Diamond Bank's passionate bid to promote men and women who in their little circles continue to be sources of inspiration to the youth, and so doing, contribute to the growth of Nigeria. In its season on television, Naija Diamonds selected from hundreds of Nigerians across the country and eventually featured 36 amazing people who have demonstrated a truly inspirational ‘can-do’ Nigerian spirit . Naija Diamonds will commence broadcast on Friday th 20 January 2012 on AIT at 9:30 pm and on Africa Magic every Saturday at 7 pm.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Grand burial for Madam Dora Olukuyon Rone
HE Olukuyon Rone family of Warri, Delta State, on December 17,2011 gave their late mother, Madam Dora Olukuyon Rone a befitting burial that will not be forgotten in a hurry by those who attended. The funeral service was held in the expansive family compound, and after the interment guests were entertained at the same venue. Here are some of the faces at the grand event.
L-R: Mr. Scott Tommey, Pa Rone and Mr. Julius Rone
L-R: Mr Dan Akpovwa and Francis Okumagba
Chief Felix Idiga and wife Chinyere
Mrs Joyce Ogochukwu with Mr John Araka
L-R: Col. Austine Akobundu [rtd] left with Chief Rear Admiral Francis Akpan [rtd] left with Mr Scott Onyema Ogochukwu Tommey
L-R: Raymond Abia and Lanre Alfred
OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821) email@example.com
Aviator Night 2 holds in Lagos
T L-R: Toni Uchachukwu and Mr and Mrs Chike Ogeah
HE atmosphere was cool, and conducive for the paparazzi to click away. The event aimed at bringing all stakeholders in the aviation industry together to discuss challenges affecting the sector and proffer solutions in a relaxed atmosphere. The event was anchored by Awesome Joshua (Kilimanjaro Man) and Christine Godfrey and music was by Ruby.
L-R: Pelu Awofeso and Chinyere Ogidi
Captain and Mrs Kolawole Adesina
L-R: Christine Godfrey, Emamanual Osigo and Josuha Awasome
FROM THE CAMPUS PAGE 46
THE NATION SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
• Ahmad Ibrahim (R) of Iraqi Olympic, vies for the ball against Kalu Uche of Switzerland's club Neuchatel Xamax FC
dumps Xamax FC
IGERIAN striker Kalu Uche has dumped Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax following decision to dump the club from Swiss Super League because of its Chechen owners’ financial mismanagement. Kalu who is the top scorer of Xamax is reported to have left the team’s training camp in Dubai. The Nigerian international is report-
edly a target for Sion and Spanish club Espanyol. Kalu Uche joined Swiss Super League side Neuchâtel Xamax on a two-year deal on August 4, 2011 from Spanish side Almeria where he spent six seasons. Xamax’s probable demise would remove Sion from relegation danger after it lost 36 league points for challenging FIFA, UEFA and Swiss football bodies in court.
Joel Obi eyes jump to fourth place
FTER a Coppa Italia 2-1 victory against Genoa on January 19, Nigeria international Joel Obi will be aiming to leapfrog to fourth place on the Italian Serie A table today against Lazio. Claudio Ranieri, who has guided the Nerazzurri to six consecutive victories, will be confident his side can continue their superb form as the coach expect Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder to make his long-awaited return to the starting line-up. Lazio boss Edy Reja will be without defender Andre Dias after the Brazilian suffered a knee injury during the win against Atalanta last weekend. Dias joins Stefano Mauri, Cristian Brocchi and Lorik Cana on the sidelines, but there is good news for the Biancocelesti with Hernanes passed fit and so the Brazilian should feature. Lazio have an impressive away record this season, securing five wins, two draws and just a single defeat on the road. Inter midfielder Thiago
Motta sits out the clash with Lazio through suspension, while Dejan Stankovic is ruled out through injury. Diego Forlan has suffered a fresh setback this week despite returning as a substitute against Milan, and is expected to be ruled out for three weeks.
The Swiss League withdrew Xamax’s license on Wednesday over unpaid wages, missing paperwork
Utaka eyes pasage to last 16
IGERIA international John Utaka will aim to advance to the last 16 of the French club as he leads Montpellier against Ligue 2 clubside Tour at the Stade de la Vallée du Cher tomorrow. Montpellier, currently second in the French Ligue 1 is eager to exert their popularity in the French football as they have taken football pundits by surprise. Cup holders and reigning French champions Lille fell seven points behind PSG after losing 2-0 at Marseille last Sunday and they will look to bounce back when they visit fourth-tier
CAF won’t check double FRICAN national nationality teams are subject to
stringent rules over the fielding of foreign-born players and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) sees no reason for additional checks, secretary-general Hicham El Amrani said on Friday. El Amrani said it was impractical to make detailed examinations of every international player on the continent and that CAF trusted teams to follow the rules. The issue was highlighted after Burkina Faso’s place at the African Nations Cup was thrown into jeopardy two
and allegedly fraudulent bank documents. Xamax can appeal to the league by early next week.
weeks before the start of the tournament by a protest from qualifying opponents Namibia. The Namibians said that Burkina had fielded Cameroon-born defender Herve Zengue against them when he was ineligible and took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after CAF threw out their protest on a technicality. CAS rejected the protest while, in the meantime, Burkina Faso left Russianbased Zengue out of their squad for the tournament, which starts on Saturday.
Compiegne on Saturday. Marseille are now gunning for glory on four fronts after closing to within two points of the Champions League places in Ligue 1 and they will bid to keep their quest for an 11th French Cup crown alive against Ligue 2 outfit Le Havre . Le Havre are the former club of Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and he said he was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces. Lyon visits fourth-tier Vendee Lucon tonight, in a game that will take place at Nantes' famous Stade de la Beaujoire, while Montpellier -- currently second in the top flight -- travel north to Ligue 2 Tours on Monday. The trip to Stade de la Vallee du Cher will have particular resonance for current Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud, who made his name in a prolific twoyear spell at Tours before signing for Montpellier in January 2010.
With Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme
Imperial African Cup of Nations
HIS year’s African Cup of Nations, is around the corner. We congratulate CAF and the joint host nations of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for making the Games a reality. It is an opportunity for the best national teams in Africa to show case their talents at the continental level. This year’s event is remarkable for two major reasons, namely, the absence of traditionally tagged big soccer nations of Egypt, Cameroun and Nigeria as well as the imperial characterization of the national teams participating in the competition. This paper attempts to examine this two issues. There is every reason to believe that the quality of African national teams is improving and as the saying goes there may just not be small teams or minors anymore. The level of fierce competition observed during the qualifying stages tells the story. Furthermore, the fall of the so called giant teams shows that the standard is rising every where. The paradox, however, is that whereas we can say that the standard is rising, there is something imperial about the make up of most national teams taking parting in the games. It can be validly said that a significant proportion of the participating countries have their players developed in Europe and other advance countries of the world. This observation is best illustrated by the composition of the national team of Ivory Coast. Goalkeepers: Barry Boubacar (Lokeren, Belgium), Gerrard Gnanahouan (Avranches, France), Daniel Yeboah (Dijon, France) Defenders: Siake Tiene (Paris St Germain, France), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart, Germany), Benjamin Augoua Brou (Valenciennes, France), Igor Lolo (FC Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Emmanuel Eboue Galatasaray, Turkey), Kolo Toure (Manchester City, England), Souleymane Bamba (Leicester City, England) Midfielders: Kafoumba Coulibaly (Nice, France), Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Orduspor, Turkey), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover, Germany), Chieck Tiote (Newcastle United, England), Max Gradel (St Etienne, France), Yaya Toure (Manchester City, England) Forwards: Gervinho (Arsenal, England), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Wilfried Boni (Vitesse Arnhem, Nether lands), Abdul Kader Keita (Alsadd, Qatar). This observation which is typical of most African national teams (perhaps not to the same imperial degree) shows that football in Africa may not be indigenously as developed as we may like to believe. The obvious disadvantage in this, is that the enculturation and enthronement of African style of football may still be far away. In the northern nations of Africa, there is something to cherish about the composition of their national teams. There are mostly grown and developed in local national leagues. Check out the Tunisian squad to this year’s AFCON event. Goalkeepers: Rami Jeridi (Stade Tunisien), Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile du Sahel), Moez Ben Cherifia (Esperance) Defenders: Khalil Chammam (Esperance), Anis Boussaidi (Rostov, Russia), Aymen Abdennour (Toulouse, France), Bilel Iffa (Club Africain), Karim Haggui (Hannover, Germany), Ammar Jemal (FC Cologne, Germany). Midfielders: Adel Chedli (Etoile du Sahel), Oussama Darragui (Esperance), Mejdi (Esperance), Khaled Korbi (Esperance), Wissem Ben Yahia (Mersin, Turkey), Yassine Chikhaoui (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Hocine Ragued (Karabukspor, Turkey), Jamel Saihi (Montpellier, France) Forwards: Issam Jemaa (Auxerre, France), Zouhaier Dhaouadi (club Africain), Youssef Msakni (Esperance), Saber Khelifa (Evian, France), Amine Chermiti (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Sami Allagui (Mainz, Germany). It simply means that nations such as Tunisia are gradually measuring up to the standard of the game in the more advanced countries of the world. I have nothing against selecting players who play abroad for national teams, if they are better but I have something to worry about the inability of African nations to attain a standard of football development that would raise quality players for their teams from the local leagues. I make bold to say that so long as it remains this way, African teams will always have to struggle in the world cup competitions. The apparent low level of football development in Africa with the emergent osmotic movement of African raw talents for grooming abroad, portrays what happens in other sectors of development namely, economic, industrial, technological, educational and scientific levels. Africa clearly lags behind and continue to export raw materials to Europe for convertion to finished products. Africa lags behind even in political organization of their communities. But we thrive and deal a great deal in religion not merely for its transcendentalism but for selfish gains at the existential levels. Africans fan embers of ethnic chauvinism just for the same purpose. Nigeria is more endemically consumed by this twin vices yet we cannot organize our local football league to give us the talents that would confront European imperialism in football and sports as whole. This is our plight but we can reverse the appaling situation in Africa, if African political leaders can lead their nations aright, which includes laying emphasis on the productive sectors of the economy for the good of the people and for Sports development.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
VOL 1 NO. 037
Media deployment in times of crises
ERMIT me to quickly establish the focus of this article, to the extent that we are drawing attention to some strategic imperatives that should be considered in the business and practice of media planning and deployment in the process of campaign planning and execution. We also like to be quick to establish the fact that in campaign planning and execution, media engagement is a key element for successful implementation. To the extent that the gamut of media vehicle options remains the only way of connecting brands with set target audience, and also to enable brand-consumer relationship, media is the most important of the component in campaign planning and execution. Let us digress a bit by aligning with the mood of the nation at the moment. Nigerians are presently largely divided between the pro and anti camps on the issue of petroleum subsidy removal. Each side of the divide is holding fast to beliefs and hypothesis based on past experiences, failed expectation, love for the country and the need to survive. To the families of all who unfortunately lost their lives in the protest we send our condolences, and pray that the souls of the departed rest in peace. It has been an unfortunate development no one can be said to be happy about. We at MC&A DIGEST join all well-meaning citizens of this great country in praying for calm, peaceful and progressive nation. We are tempted to skip our original work plan in laying out this article at this point, as the power and influence of the media at times like this flash through our minds. We noted the enormous influence of media at times like this. But because that is not the focus of our presentation at this time, we shall keep with our original plan. We are today, considering the importance of media in the entire process of marketing communication, advertising and brand building, with special attention on the strategic imperatives for a scientific, professional and effective media engagement. Add to that is the very important issue of cost efficiency. Every campaign planning involves the tripod of creative, media and background brand and market analysis. It is only when all three aspects of the planning process aligns with the client's brief that a presentation is set to go (we have just compressed so much in this loose reference). Functionally, media engagement is that aspect of campaign planning and development process concerned with determining the right media engagement strategy for effective and cost efficient delivery of prepared brand message to the identified target audience. Media contribution is so critical in the entire process, it is the one contribution most easily given to monitoring in terms of efficiency and impact. To the Client, in so far as a particular media vehicle (or a mix of complementary vehicles) are identified and employed, the success or otherwise of such choice is easily captured in terms of reach and penetration, in line with agreed media plan. Media monitoring and effectiveness check is open to easy assessment by both Client and Agency. Let us state at this point, with every sense of responsibility, that all we have stated concerning media planning and buying above is only a scratch on the surface of the practice of media planning and buying; it involves so much that cannot be successfully introduced in two editions of this column. However, we shall point out those noted flaws in media handling in this market that bother on
costly compromises and carelessness. Specifically, media buying and engagement assumes so much wastage at the buyer's cost owing to some level of inappropriate local practice, amongst us. For the purpose of this article, media covers every such medium used for disseminating advertising messages from source to target audience (known and unknown). They include conventional and unconventional media options. We also appreciate the impact of digital media in our local market. Broadly, we shall do a blanket reference for reason of this article. As a rule, successful media engagement is measured in terms of efficiency in cost and reach. Media objective is basically effective connect. Every media spend that is not likely to effectively connect with the target audience at the best rate constitutes wastage. When we started out in the practice one of the theoretic calculation we were made to know is the formula for determining the percentage of waste in every campaign budget (of course media budget
is the focus). So, from start, a portion of advertising budget is taken as wasted. Till today, practitioners are still working on identifying that safe waste margin, with the objective of cutting down that percent of wastage to the barest minimum (as a proof of professionalism). So from the days of traditional advertising agency setting when every aspect of the process come integrated in one-stop shop to these days of media independence, media tracking and media monitoring services, the goal remain competitive advantage on the basis of campaign budget waste management. Today, we find clients - mostly the so-called multinationals go all the way to engage these fragmented parts of a whole, for the simple purpose of cost or waste management. The media independent will be engaged to buy media, the media tracker or monitor will in turn be commissioned to spy on the media independent and in turn advise the same client on
whether the buying agency did its job well! It all look so funny to me, I wonder what the going round in circles is all about. Our position remains that the present day practice only complicates a simple process and adds to over all cost, as against the reasons for the change. This again, we shall treat in another forum sometime in the future. However, as mentioned above, whatever system is introduced today and in the future, the objective remain the same: EFFICIENCY in cost and deployment. In all, it has come to our notice that the ever critical level of sophistication in today's media planning, buying and monitoring has not paid sufficient attention to budget wastage reduction, with specific attention on media cost management at those times when the target shots out the media. As an indication of true sophistication, Google TV just announced a new media cost arrangement whereby through its AdSense program, advertisers on Google do not have to pay for any advert spot unless such ad is actually consumed by a viewer. This has turned out a unique selling point of very high value in Google's effort towards achieving a high degree of measurability in the area of effectiveness. Yes, one can argue that such efforts are more easily meaningful for cable TV with sophisticated technological backing, which is lacking in our local environment, but we are saying that with the efforts put into media budget monitoring in recent times, we should be showing specific gains in media budget waste management in quantifiable terms, instead of the cosmetic demonstration that adds up to nothing we have today. So, in specific terms, how do our media planners and buyers shield advertisers in this market from advertising budget wastages during crises period, such as the period of public demonstration against fuel subsidy removal; when target audience across every segment of the market did not pay attention to advert messages? We deliberately carried out a study of advert message relevance and media vehicles effectiveness check (during crises period) within the first week of the recent demonstration against petroleum subsidy removal. Findings show approximately a 100% negative relevance on both considerations. Except for the newspaper adverts that forced less than 5% attention as a result of proximity of visual attraction, all other media options were discarded by agitating populace. Selective perception was 80 90% discriminatory of media contents not directly related with the crises. Yet, so many adverts ran during same period on all media; who was paying for those wastages? Advertisers must begin to make logical demands on practitioners in media planning, buying and management because so much is given to wastage in today's practice in the face of growing sophistication in techniques and technology. Add to that is the fact that copying media engagement trends in foreign markets without recourse to the peculiarities of our local environment amounts to bigger wastage of media budget. The practice of fragmenting media management process into planning, buying and monitoring amounts to naught in the face of non-availability of reliable data bank, poor communication technology and very low level digital appreciation. Perhaps we should try the old school once again.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Managing work perfec tlyâ€Ś what about your home?
By Rajhi Khan
For many working mothers, house cleaning is always a hard nut to crack. If you do not have enough time for this, you can seek the help from your family members. Otherwise appoint a maid or house-help for this
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
How to manage a household budget on e m o c n i w o l
Dress kids for less Parenting
Re: She stole my heart and money
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Arts & Life
By Olubanwo Fagbemi firstname.lastname@example.org 08060343214 (SMS only)
In response to the controversy on deregulation and its obvious effects, the Medical Council added their voice to the debate over the government’s decision to remove fuel price subsidy. Warning: the dictionary may be required for easier absorption of the subject matter. THE ALLERGISTS voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the government had a lot of nerve. The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Pediatricians said, “Oh, grow up!” The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it. Surgeons decided to wash their hands off the whole thing. The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter.” The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas. In the end, the Cardiologists passed a heart-felt vote of no confidence, leaving perplexed officials in Abuja to tackle the fuel subsidy mess.
CHEEK BY JOWL
Now here follows an attempt to redefine common words. Obviously mischievous, the exercise offers new dimensions to the original meanings. School: A place where papa pays and son plays. Father: A banker provided by nature. Dictionary: A place where success comes before work. Classics: Books which people praise, but do not read. Lecture: The art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to notes of students without passing through ‘the minds of either’. Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do. Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present. Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on. Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together. Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life. Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early. Experience: The name men give to their mistakes. Life Insurance: A contract that keeps you poor all your life so that you can die rich. Doctor: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you by bills. Nurse: A person who wakes you up to give you sleeping pills. Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine willpower is defeated by feminine waterpower. Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight. Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece. Criminal: A guy no different from the rest, except that he got caught. Politician: One who shakes your hand before elections and your Confidence after. Philosopher: One who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead. Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.
Notice! Notice! Notice! TO make things easier for all of us, please notice this important notice about notices. You may have noticed the increased number of notices for you to notice. We notice that some of our notices have been noticed. On the other hand, some of our notices have not been noticed. This is very noticeable. It is noticed that the responses to the notices have been noticeably unnoticeable. This notice is to remind you to notice the notices and respond to the notices because we do not want the noticed to go unnoticed. Signed —NOTICE COMMITTEE FOR NOTICING NOTICES
Jokes Eighteen Bottles I HAD eighteen bottles of whiskey in my cellar and was told by my wife to empty the contents of each and every bottle down the sink, or she would make some trouble. I said I would, and proceeded with the unpleasant task. I withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I then withdrew the cork from the second bottle and did likewise with it, with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I then withdrew the cork from the third bottle and poured the whiskey down the sink which I drank. I pulled the cork from the fourth bottle down the sink and poured the bottle down the glass, which I drank. I pulled the bottle from the cork of the next and drank one sink out of it, and threw the rest down the glass. I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle. Then I corked the sink with the glass, bottled the drink and drank the pour. When I had everything emptied, I steadied the house with one hand, counted the glasses,
corks, bottles, and sinks with the other, which were twenty-nine, and as the houses came by I counted them again, and finally I had all the houses in one bottle, which I drank. I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get. Area Boy A TOURIST is visiting New York City when his car breaks down. He jumps out and starts fiddling under the hood. About five minutes later, he hears some thumping sounds and looks around to see someone taking stuff out of his trunk. He runs around and yells, “Hey, man, this is my car!” “OK,” the smooth criminal says, “You take the front and I’ll take the back.”
QUOTE Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. —Andrew V. Mason •Culled from the Internet
1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE: (371) Look at row C. It contains 5 numbers, meaning there are 4 numbers missing. These are 2,3,4 and 6. Now look at cell Ce in the middle top horizontal box. Considefring that column e already contains
A 4 3 B 7 1 C 7 8 9 1 5 D 7 5 3 9 E 5 4 9 F 5 G 2 6 8 H 3 8 2 1 I 1 8 a
3 of the missing numbers, i.e. 2, 3 and 4, the only number that can be accommodated in cell Ce is 6 Continuing from there, try and fill in all the other vacant cells. Solution on SATURDAY. Happy Puzzling!
SOLUTION TO PUZZLE 370
8 6 3 5 4 2 9 7 1
7 2 5 1 9 3 6 8 4
1 9 4 8 6 7 5 3 2
2 4 7 9 3 6 8 1 5
3 1 8 2 7 5 4 6 9
6 5 9 4 1 8 3 2 7
4 3 2 6 5 1 7 9 8
9 8 6 7 2 4 1 5 3
5 7 1 3 8 5 2 4 6
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
What’s on your reading list? Even with their fast-paced lives, many Nigerians still find time to read. But what are they reading and what lessons are they learning? Edozie Udeze finds out
battled with before attaining the stage they are in now. Arnold Udoka, a director with the National Troupe of Nigeria and Nigeria’s foremost Commonwealth scholar on choreography is one of those who prefer to read biographies. Biographies to him, have many ways of opening hidden doors into the hearts and lives of great leaders and equally teaching you how to aspire to be a good leader. “Presently,” he said goodnaturedly, “I am reading the book entitled: A Testament of Hope – The Essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. It is edited by James Melvin Washington. It is indeed a great collection of the thoughts of one of the most extra-ordinary men in the last 70 years, who like Nelson Mandela, Ghandhi, Barack Obama have demonstrated the power of spirit and intelligence over the daunting challenges of racial bigotry and pointed the way with humility, to the light at the great danger to himself and family.” The heart of the book makes it clear that, “Luther King fought without material arsenal against falsehood and evil and then walked out of the battleground taintless. The book
shows that Martin King was and will remain a beacon of hope, an inspiration and symbol of unflinching and passionate faith in the goodness and equality of all men and women, irrespective of race,” Udoka radiated. Mufu Onifade, an artist and the founder of Araism art technique who is reading a book on Lamidi Adedibu, the strong man of Ibadan politics has been able to discover the true quality of an ideal grassroots leader and politician. Onifade said: “Having taken the necessary steps, Adedibu returned full time into the minds of the people. This title of the book is suggestive of that fact. It is The Politics of Lamidi Adedibu: Baba Baba Agba and written by Hazeem Gbolarumi who gives an insightful account of one of the major players in Nigerian politics. You see, the author was a personal assistant to Adedibu and the former deputy governor of Oyo State.” Impressively, the book is expository on the affluent background of Adedibu who began on time to champion the problems of his communal people. Onifade stated thus: “I never knew Adedibu had a sound and
OU’VE been looking at the naked divers all evening,” Chuma Nwokolo, the latest literary sensation in Nigeria, began in his book, The Ghost of Sani Abacha. “This is one book that touches the heart of those who want to know the value of literary appreciation, using common and familiar issues to drive home some points. The issues thus raised are so contemporaneous with the situation in Nigeria today. Incidentally, that is the book I am reading at the moment,” was how Chijioke Uwasomba, a literature lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, described the Ghost of Sani Abacha. It is really amazing to know that Nigerians who love and appreciate the values of books still find time to read. They maintain that reading helps to re-open and keep their intellectual thinking ever alert. To these group of people every book they read has one or two lessons that point to familiar problems around them. But most of all, they keep you abreast of your environment, open your eyes to the next society and the different socio-political problems the people may have
affluent background. He had the opportunity of quality education, but opted for Arabic school first. I never knew he did so much to facilitate M.K.O. Abiola’s acceptance as the presidential candidate on the platform of the SDP. I never knew he singlehandedly enthroned five different governors in Oyo State including Ladoja and Akala. Indeed, he wasn’t a complete illiterate and spoiler t hat we thought he was.” And so for those who are curious about the odysseys of the man Adedibu, this book gives the necessary leeway. All these books however are on the scaffolding. They are like the north wind that blows harder and opens a new can of worms. “Yes, there is no doubt that these stories, all the short stories published in The Ghost of Sani Abacha, are about Nigeria as they are about Africa,” Uwasomba explained in a way to elucidate the place of great books in the minds of great people. “And by extension the stories talk about humanity in general with its circle of stupidity and regret and myopia.” Nevertheless, that’s much about biographies and the challenges they throw to the public. But for Momoh Saidu, an accountant and a civil servant, Motivational books are the in-thing now. Said he: “Presently most of my friends and colleagues are reading motivational literatures because of the level of suffering and economic hardship in the land. I am reading Awakening The Giant Within You by Tony Robbins. I have just finished reading Seven Habits of Effective People. The two books have helped me to moderate my thinking and habits. The books have reformed the way I used to do a lot of things before.” Saidu believes that good books have been one of the best ways to change certain habits in a man. “A good reader grasps what the book is saying to him and makes proper use of it. Even though I know a lot of people who find solace in reading magazines and newspapers on regular basis, religious books in most cases, take the upper hand. Personally, I am tired of reading any book that is not entirely beneficial to me – a book that will completely impart on my person and show me the way forward. And I know it is so for a lot of people given the stringent nature of our society at the moment.” This line of thinking may also have contributed to the reason who Udoka’s interest hovers more on topics that embellish the mind. In his own words: “It is interesting and privilege that I have, staring at me 679 pages of 58 great writings and speeches of such a rare and genuine human being. I am sure I will benefit from his thoughts, logic and objective of leaving behind a world full of light and free from all manners of oppression.” But Oghale Akarah, a school teacher seemed quite content reading Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus which she contends gives her a bit insight into the way most families order their lives. Chimamanda is a story teller and she knows how to expose the knitty-gritty of most close-knit homes. I am fascinated by the way she tells her story, exposing her own person to capture your essence. Families have to stick together, teaching their kids the true values of life. Chimamanda was so perfect in that projection,” Akarah decided, wincing a bit. All these have in the main, shown that a lot of wisdom lie in books. And the more you read, the more enlightened you become. Good books give you deep sense of elation and broaden your horizon and scope about the world and the personalities that shape it. The world itself is like a battleground and books are windows through which the intrigues and intricacies of it all are exposed and opened and tackled.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
ANY of your colleagues consider you a master in your own right. What are the stages you undergo in the visual art profession before you’re considered a master? In my own opinion and with the benefit of hindsight, reflection and introspection it is a coinage we can arrive at as a consensus. And if you ask me, whenever such appraisal or identification should be done, it has to be without the input of the person being discussed. This is so because across the board the artist in question must have fulfilled some professional yearnings of the people who are assessing him. But I still feel that based on the peculiarity of the person’s statement as an artist over time, the quality of work and from your reckoning, your work has to be above average. These, more or less, qualify you as a master. But then, often it goes beyond these. It has to go beyond the level of profession; your appreciation has to be in tune with your community, fellow artists, collectors, patrons, historians, critics and those body of work overtime. All these combine to make you a master. I don’t think there is any statutory term pinned to it. But I know relatively, after a reasonable timeframe when your works have spoken volumes, these set of people can arrive at that summation, thus making you a master. A lot of Nigerian artists of the first generation are considered as masters. What attributes qualify them as such? I might have a different view about the rating there; about the first generation visual artists. You see, if you look at our history which is not too old, there are only a few artists whose works reached that level. This was even before the likes of Bruce Onabrakpeya and co appeared on stage. These are the people whose works are still relevant within the
N a society like ours with many social ills and vices, one event definitely climbs the shoulder of another to find expression or simply putone thing leads to another. In bringing these vices to the
Abiodun Olakun, a specialist in painting studied Fine Arts at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and is a trustee of the Universal Studios of Art (USA), Iganmu, Lagos. In this interview with Edozie Udeze, he throws more light on why he is considered a master and the importance of auction sales to the visual art sector market place of art. These included late Aina Onabolu, Akin Lasekan, Ben Enwonwu and a few others. Beyond that I think historians need to keep discussing, because there may be more informed classification of these. If those people had more input into this profession, there must be more perspective to it. This is so because these people came and their activities have been endorsed as having achieved that level of mastery. The generation that came after those people like the Grillos, Onabrakpeyas, Okekes, Nwokos and Co, you can still refer to as the masters. Yes, they are in many respects. They had the staying power, especially in the area of practice and we must give them kudos.
It takes a lot to stay in the field of practice and do not derail. Some can be derailed by the economic pressure of life. Those are the realities of life, you know. These people continued to draw the attention to the profession via their consistency and panache and we all are the beneficiaries. In other words, the consistency of the old masters have encouraged this profession to prosper over the years? Definitely, if we have a concerted research, we could find out those critical issues that helped their staying power. They were able to help the fine art sector very much in spite of vivid economic crunch. I am lucky myself to belong to the generation that weathered the storm. I was able, along with others, to bring to the
public attention the other side of the profession. Hitherto it was fashionable to have a cushion of employment to stay afloat on the profession. But when we graduated in the 1980s, we decided to go into private studio practice which has indeed begun to boom now. We decided to make the pursuit of the profession more comfortable. The likes of Olu Ajayi, Babatunde Bunmi and myself and others, it was not easy but we had to take that decision in order to bring our profession to where it is today. Those before us like David Dale, Bruce Onabrakpeya had employment before going into studio practice. They didn’t even take the steps we did. There are some of my set who never worked for
A father to cherish By Abu Esther
fore, Godswill Umoh has released this piece –THE L O S T FATHER, with the aim of bringing out the different issues of life. The author uses different life situations to explain what goes on in our contemporary society. The author in his book tried to make his readers see a new reality about the wickedness of robbery and how it leaves its victims devastated. At the same time, using the robbery case to reveal other
issues involved with a particular young boy’s necklace as the anchor. The story started with Glim estate being invaded by armed robbers who got away with lots of stolen items including the necklace of Akam. A year later, Akam’sstolen necklace was found on one of his classmates, Francis. Prior to this time, Akam had spent his holiday in the village with his grandpa who introduce him to Uwamand told him to take her as his sister. Grandpa explained that he adopted her from the motherless babies’ home because he needed someone to take care of him. Akam’sdiscovery of this necklace made him curious and he tells his parents who in turn contacted the police. The police were to go into investigation and discover the robbers with an initial aim recovering some of the stolen properties.
Before the police investigations were over, it was revealed by Akam’smother that Uwamwas her daughter. She abandoned her at her husband’s village before she got married while she was doing her youth service. This revelation came when grandpa and Uwamcame to stay in the city. Amazingly, the investigation of the police led to a more important discovery, Uwam’slost father was mentioned as one of the robbers connected to the attack in Glim estate. One part of the author’s literary skill that must be commended is his connectivity in his setting. He used the rural and the urban setting and gave the readers knowledge about both places. For the rural setting, he painted a picture of moonlight stories, farms,and streams and for the urban setting, he
anybody. Together all of us have come to give these new clout and recognition to what we do. Even Bisi Fakeye and others who are here in the Universal Studios of Art have been on their own. You and others are the pioneers of private art studios in Nigeria. What was the experience like? Well, not to the level any serious – minded person will dream of. It was tough, because it has been through solo efforts. Also, when you consider the harshness, and social disposition to what we do, it was never easy. But I think t was better achieved through concert efforts of like minds coming together, which made the logics much easier. This was done in terms of managing limited space, with more persons going solo and gathering resources together and so on. This included intellectual resources which made it much easier to even dream dreams, explored them and realized them at the end of the day. We still have challenges on ground, no doubt. But it helped to constitute something fundamental. It hoped to sustain what I will call production line, because we offered a larger base of field experience which was pertinent to the growth of the sector. We offered internship and mentorship to students who either had to go through school or those who came to the studios to learn the job. From our humble beginning at the Universal Studios of Art (USA) we were able to be of help to the younger crop of artists many of whom are today very big artists in the country. All these were not achieved consciously, but when I look back now we are happy that we did what we did. And even as individual units, a lot of other artists took off from those foundations we put in place. How were you able to build patronage, commercialization and attention alongside all revealed the traffic situation, big buildings and so on in painting the picture of an average urban/rural setting. Though the author’s use of simplified English is commendable, it is rather over simplified considering the fact that there were serious societal issues addressed in the story that are not only didactic for the immediate audience of the author (9-13 years of age) but also for adults who would probably give less attention to the societal connection due to the simplicity of language. Above all the author has not only succeeded in telling a tale but in informing and educating his primary audience. Indifficult words that cannot be easily understood by the type of readers the book was made for(9-13 years), were explained at the end of the book with questions that are aimed at reminding them about the content. Knowledge of this book is simply an understanding of our contemporary society.
these? Oh, it was good. But you know art starts from creation, that you here to conceptualize something and then bring it to life, to reality through your own physical effort. And if you are able to put a special standard to your work, it is likely to have commercial success. And we never really compromised on the standard of our works and it was based on that that we moved on to the level of attention and appreciation we are in today. All these engendered patronage for us, which empowered us more economically to be able to achieve in other aspects of our lives. What makes someone’s work so special for it to go for auction sales and attract so much money? There are a lot of factors. One, there is no doubt that Ben Enwonwu’s works are outstanding. He was a very talented individual as well and he was discovered early. And when he came into reckoning he was like one shinning star in a dark sky. There weren’t too many stars to compete with him then. But then things have changed since then. This is a blessed country. There is a large depository of talents and more artists emerge everyday. When you create your art, there are few things people look out for. When you create your art, there is someone somewhere out there who appreciates what you’ve done. Sometimes the influences of your work are immediate and remote. And when it has achieved all that, then, you can imagine there will be an interest in your job. When then it goes on for auction, even many years after, it will attract the kind of attention and money you are talking about. People will latch on it. And that is what is happening to us at the moment. Our works are having more visibility and people are responding to the innate strength of our works
I see a new land I SEE the howl and wail of mothers Amid the jolt and cry of the defenceless Amid the sleaze and conceit of judges Amid the lies and treachery of leaders Amid the shout and brawl of workers Amid the frustration and lethargy of youths I see a new land Like the one the prophet saw I see hope reborn and errors forgiven I see fairness ruling and amity reigning I see a new land Like the one the prophet prayed I see youths satisfied and kids pacified I see workers working and wages increasing I see a new land By Kristen Okenwa
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Ozubulu: Giving succour to the disable —PAGE 55
Strange case of the ‘counterfeit’ dollars A businessman lodged thousands of dollars in his account at the First City Monument Bank Plc. However, six days later he was called by an official of the bank that the dollars were fake. Taiwo Abiodun reports on the conflicting claims of the bank and the embattled businessman
PHOTOS: TAIWO ABIODUN
OR Mr Akingbeseto Leye Dickson, a businessman, life has been tough since he decided to relocate from Canada to Nigeria. After returning home he decided to engage in the business of importation. He chose importation of computers and its accessories and decided to pitch his tent with the First City Monument Bank Plc, whose customer he had been even while resident in Canada. “I spent about 20 years in Canada. I studied there and worked as a Tax Consultant before relocating home where I started doing my business. Now, all these efforts are being threatened. I will fight with the last pint of my blood. I worked hard for my hard earned money. Today, the same bank I had been transacting business with is behaving funny.” Dickson’s story reads like one out of a novel. According to him, trouble started when he approached his banker for the purpose of balancing his suppliers in China who used to send him computer accessories in Lagos. He was to remit $51,700. According to him, he was advised by an official of the bank that due to the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he did not have to send all the money at once to avoid the scrutiny of the two organisations. He adhered to the bank official’s advice and decided to split the payment. Through the guidance of the official he split the payment into six and paid $10,000 five times and the last tranche he paid was $1,700. All these payments were done at the Ogba/Ijaiye Branch in 2009. According to him, when the payments were
made, “the dollar bills were all screened, certified okay by a senior official at the counter and I was issued a teller each time I paid.’’ Shocking revelation However, six days later, Dickson received the greatest shock of his life! He was on his way to the bank when he got a phone call. At the other end was an official of the bank. He was informed that all the dollars he deposited were fake. He was flustered. How could a bank call a customer six days after depositing such a huge amount of money and tell him the money was fake? Why was this not ascertained when the deposit was made? Narrating his nature of business Dickson said, “Normally, if I want to import my computers, I would contact my suppliers in China and they would help me to get the items while I would remit the money to them. This one was like that. I had already remitted part of the money to them for them to commence the importation so that later I could balance them. I had earlier remitted over $33,000. The balance was the $51,700. That was what I gathered together to remit to them as I used to do. I went there in the morning , when I got there the banking officials told me I could not pay in all the money at a time, or else the EFCC would be after me. They said they could be reprimanded for it too. So, I was given the tellers to fill and they collected the dollars, screened them and stamped the tellers, that was on September 23, 24, 25 [Friday], 26 and 27 were weekend. So, 28, 29 and 30 the payment was completed with teller numbers 2892770, 2892776, 2892777, 2892773, 2892774, and 2870662.” •Continued on page 54
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Case of the ‘counterfeit’ dollars
•Continued from page 53
The day after completing the last tranche of the payment was October 1, and a public holiday. On the next working day, October 2nd “I was on the way to the bank to complete my transaction. That was when I received a call that the bank’s head office had rejected the money I paid in. I was surprised and asked what happened. They said when I brought the money they had to gather them together and after taking them to the head office, it was discovered there they were fake. I replied that but they were screened in my presence at the counter. I went straight to the bank and asked to see the money. They could not show me, they claimed they were still in the head office, I said ‘how and why?’” Foul play Dickson said he suspected foul play as it was wrong for the bank to have said they screened the dollar bills behind him again after being in possession of the money for six days! He said: “When I paid in the money they were tested and screened. I was there but for them to go behind me and say they had tested them again was a ruse. We argued over that. I am a quiet man and I don’t believe in exchanging hot words. I spent about 20 years in Canada; my life is different from the way these people behave. I later wrote them a letter that the money I paid to them genuinely was exchanged. I was called to a meeting and was pacified that I had been their customer for long and it could be ironed out.” However, when he told them that he would sue them they started to humiliate and threaten him. ‘’They threatened and threatened. One of them tried to intimidate me and told me that FCMB is a big organisation and that I cannot do anything. I remember a man called B.K. Kenneth, one of their staff said to me ‘’You cannot fight us. You cannot do anything to us, all you have
to do is come, pick up your money and go away.” ‘’Later, I wrote them a letter to document it. The same man, Kenneth called me and said they would settle the case. I came over and was taken upstairs with armed security guards present. I said what are these people doing? ‘’I said I knew the money was genuine, I used part of it to pay my customers and I even gave out some to friends going to the United States, I told them that I cannot be intimidated. Then the senior manager, Busari Moruf, started brainwashing me, and I saw that they were into a game; brainwashing and intimidating me with security guards. Making unusual movements as if they were going to attack me. I was in an enclosed room. When I left there safely, I went to my lawyer who wrote them. They refused to reply; then I went to another lawyer who wrote them again and they replied. My lawyer wrote the EFCC, the Police, and Otunba Subomi Balogun, the Chairman of the bank but no reply and we went to court. ’’ Straight to court After alleged pressure to make him drop his protests failed, the FCMB in a letter dated November 25, 2009 and addressed to Dickson’s lawyer, Israel Okpako of J. E. L. Okpako and Co Chambers, wrote inter alia: “...For the purpose of emphasis , your client was actually informed by officials of our bank on the 23rd September that the dollar bills brought by him to be deposited in his account appeared to be counterfeits, but that assumption could not be ascertained because the requisite machine needed to confirm the authenticity of the bills was not available at our Ogba –Ijaiye branch where the deposit was to be made…… It will interest you to know that your client pleaded with the officials of the bank to help use their contacts with the Law enforcement agencies to assist him in bringing his customers who gave him the counterfeit dollars to book. Your
The bank has the power to perforate any fake money in order to discourage the client from taking it to another bank for transaction by the depositor .So, if the bank enjoys the power , I don’t see any sense in a situation whereby a depositor has made series of deposit of certain currency and the bank was not turning him back the first day client was advised to go to the Police and lodge a complaint against the so called customers..” The letter was signed by Temitayo Okeowo and Gbenga Elemide who are both counsel to the bank. Dickson dismissed the contents of the letter and said it was after this letter that they went to court and the FCMB officials later pleaded to settle out of court. He added that the bank’s officials had been intimidating him in serious manners. Dickson later sued FCMB to the Lagos High Court, Ikeja with Suit No 19/2099/2009 , and there was a pre-trial conference on April 15, 2010 which was closed on June 15 before Justice J.O Pedro [Mrs] Among issues for determination by Claimant are: 1. Whether or not the defendant paid in the sum of US$.51,700 into his account number 0332080297559001 and whether or not the Defendant received or acknowledged same. 2.Whether or not the Defendant
can contend or allege that the money duly paid in by Claimant and which money was duly received and acknowledged by the Defendants as a banker , in the normal course of business could be said to be counterfeit, thereafter, when the Defendant has credited the Claimant’s account and in which the defendant has been in full possession and custody of the money for six working days. 3. For the just determination of this case, what is the effect of the forged Teller slips presented by the Defendant vis avis the original Teller slips relied upon by the claimant , both Teller slips showing that the Claimant indeed deposited the sum of US$51,700 into his account? By Defendant 1. Whether or not the Claimant’s deposit of US$ 51,700 made on the 3rd day of September, 2009 met the condition precedent agreed with the Defendant for its acceptance as a valid transaction.
2. If the answer to No 1 above is in the negative, whether or not the Defendant has the right to reverse the credit entry in the Claimant‘s account consequent upon the realization that the Claimant’s deposit is invalid? 3. Whether or not the documentary or evidence relied upon by the Claimant in the suit have any probative value in view of their manifest inconsistencies, evident forgery and self incrimination? When the parties could not reach agreement, the matter was transferred to the Chief Judge a reassignment to a trial Judge. Out of court settlement Later, according to Okpako who is Dickson‘s counsel, the bank called him and said they wanted to settle out of Court. ‘’I called my lawyer, their lawyer came along with their branch manager; everybody called and said they were sorry and begged to settle. But on Tuesday, my lawyer called me and said these people who had indicated their intention to settle which was scheduled for Thursday were playing pranks as one of them called me that they had called off the meeting and that they would get back to us. Eventually, my lawyer had to sue them, and we are suing for $1.5million. Again, when they heard about this they came again that they wanted settlement out of court while this was going on, they again called it off, Dickson told The Nation. However, Dickson’s lawyer said he found the character of some of these bankers and their lawyer funny as they showed him different tellers but with the same contents of having lodged $51, 700 into their bank. This they did not deny. An outraged Dickson said ‘’I am an international businessman and reside partly in Canada and United States of America. I am not a “Yahoo, Yahoo Boy”. I am not a 4-1-9 man .They should pay me my money and all accrued interests since 2009. Now, my business is paralysed. I owe my landlady, I cannot pay my office rent. I owe many people. In the process of importing these goods I owe many people that up till now I have no money to pay. I am doing a legitimate business. When I was in Canada I was a Tax consultant. I have been in Canada since 1992, I went to school there and also worked there. I came to Nigeria in 2006 to set up the computer business. Now all the money I invested in this business is crippled. The litigation has been dragging. I thought it was something we would settle before now, and everything would be over, we have been on this since 2009. My case is straightforward and my lawyer has all the facts and figures. I believe we will win the case’’ When The Nation visited the Head office of the FCMB, the Public Relations Officer, Mr Tunde Fafowora, declared that he was not aware of the case and promised to contact his colleagues who would look into it. A week after a return visit was paid to the head office. Our reporter was told Fafowora was on vacation. He was then directed to see Remi Emeka Njoku, who is also a Public Relations Officer. He asked for time to consult his bosses. As The Nation met Remi Njoku on the matter , he requested to see the client and promised that the management would look into the matter. The Bank again requested to see the client at their head office and settle the matter . On the 17th of January, the client was there on appointment but the matter was not resolved. When The Nation visited the head office at 17A, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island , the Group Head Corporate Communication ,Kenny Aliu , He added that his case had been tendered before the Group Council of the Bank . Aliu added that the judgement of the Court will be respected ‘’ and after the conclusion of the case I •Continued on page 55
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Ozubulu: Giving succour to the disabled O ZUBULU community in Ekwusigo local government area, Anambra State is a home for the invalid. It hosts the Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled, Old and Tramps (RECDOT). It has 86 inmates 40 of whom are mainly imbeciles. Other inmates are either cripples, physically and mentally challenged or vulnerable children between the ages of six and 18. There are a few others with medical condition known as ‘hydrocephalic’ meaning accumulation of fluid in the brain. The fluid so accumulated weighs down the patient and therefore makes him/her unstable, forcing him to sit permanently in one place. The Director of RECDOT, Mrs Rosemary Nkiru Odunukwe said three inmates who are suffering from the hydrocephalic problem require about N1.7 million each for neuro-surgery. She •Continued from page 53
ment of the Court will be respected ‘’ and after the conclusion of the case I will like to reach out to you , shake hands and be friends again. I want the relationship to continue .I am not mandated to resolve the issue .I am not empowered to settle the case ‘’, he told Dickson in the presence of one of the bank officials, Njoku and Dickson’s friend.. Now , since the Bank has not made any move to settle the matter Okpako who is Dickson’s counsel, said there is no going back again as they would end up in court. ’’Kenny Aliu is full of rhetorics , he is painting words and cajoling us. It is grossly unfair , the cheating is too much. We are heading to court,’’ he vowed . Speaking on the issue, a retired
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
added that another patient Chizoba Nwogu from Abakaliki has over grown the crisis and can now move about. The other two that need the operation are Osita Nnamso (17) and Onyebuchi Onukwuli (28). She said the centre is also in need of over N3 million for corrective surgeries and physiotherapy for other 15 inmates. It has expended over N4 million on rehabilitative surgery at the Salvation Army Center Oji, Enugu State and Okani rehabilitation centre Gboko in Benue State. At the centre, most of the inmates move about on wheel chairs while others without practically crawl to get to the next point under the strict supervision of care givers. There are two care givers for every seven to 10 inmates in a room. Although the conditions of the inmates
look hopeless, they have found happiness and uncommon dexterity in learning trades. Mrs Odunukwe said “We have problem of accommodation here because if one person contacts a disease, it would spread to others hence we had a serious case of meningitis which affected four children leading to the death of one and three permanently in a terrible situation. You can imagine 7 to 11 children in a room manned by two home care givers. So we need accommodation. RECDOT caters for all children irrespective of tribe, state of origin or religion. It provides technical education and teaching opportunities for the physically challenged to acquire skills and education that will make them self reliant. It has a school that offers pre-nusary, primary and secondary education and a chapel under construction. Although the environment is not too hygienic but the care givers are trying their best. Odunukwe confessed that most of the inmates were picked from where they were being used for collecting alms. For the two with ‘hydrocephalic’ condition, they are always in sitting positions and cry loud if touched on the heads.
According to Mrs. Angela Mbadiugha, a manager in the centre, “There is too much water in their heads and according to the doctor in Oyo about N1.7 million is enough for the surgery excluding other expenses. The children have good functioning brains but need surgery to drain the water to enable them leave normally. The heads are abnormal and because of that their trunks could not carry their heads.’’ The centre is home to 44 males and 42 females who are all students. One of its former inmates, Okwuchukwu Okafor has graduated from the university and now works at Federal Government College, Umunze. An inmate, Cynthia Adinma, who is in SS2 praised God for the ‘abilities in disability’ He pleaded for public and in computing their new school/residential structure to enable them live/learn under better conditions. She said they are happy with their situation and thanked their director for being always there for them. “We are facing a big challenge by the lack of electricity here and the electricity generating sets we have are not functional, so we equally need assistance in that direction,’’ Adinma added.
Case of the ‘counterfeit’ dollars senior banker who pleaded for anonymity described the attitude of the bank as ungodly .She said ‘’ I once worked in a very big and popular bank where my job was to be receiving foreign currencies .When such currencies are brought to the counter you are supposed to verify by using mercury light or VU that will show all the features of the money and check, these detective materials are always at the cashier’s disposal all the time .Then again you will use counting machine and if there is any counterfeit among the money they are immediately returned to the client who brought the foreign money and if it is Nigerian money, naira, then it is perforated
.The money is counted one by one by the cashier who after stamping the tellers would give the customer a copy. Once the tellers are stamped with the bank’s logo it means you have consummated it, and the transaction is sealed. Therefore the cashier is liable for anything that happened thereafter. She continued ‘’ foreign currencies are not kept in the Branch office, they are sent to the head office same day .So any fake money discovered must be returned same day and not even the second day. I can’t believe that somebody will bring fake dollars for several days coming and going into the bank’s premises for six days without being reprimanded and reported to the po-
lice. There is no excuse at all. The cashier who collected the dollar bills should be questioned and made to pay. This is unprofessional and can’t be true at all. It is laughable’’. Barrister Yinka Oyetunde does not agree with FCMB that the dollar bills their client deposited were all fake, he said ‘’Once the money is deposited whatever the denomination , it is the duty of the receiving officer to verify the material the genuineness of the currency .Once the cashier accepts the currency, after certifying same not to be fake , the depositor is free of any foul play .So, once that is done the bank can’t turn it back and say it is fake. For, that is the reason why the bank itself always hangs warning signal, on the walls for their
clients if they are withdrawing money that ‘’You should count your money at the counter before you leave.’’ Oyetunde raises further posers: The bank has the power to perforate any fake money in order to discourage the client from taking it to another bank for transaction by the depositor .So, if the bank enjoys the power , I don’t see any sense in a situation whereby a depositor has made series of deposit of certain currency and the bank was not turning him back the first day , If the bank is ready to settle the matter amicably with the client , the, matter can be resolved but if the bank insists that the money is fake then it needs the attention of the court.”
Your HEALTH Dealing with toothache THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
toothache refers to pain that occurs in the area of the teeth, jaws and gums”, says Doctor Uju Amuh, a resident Dentist at the Ben Idahosa Teaching Hospital, Benin. According to Amuh, toothaches may be caused by a variety of problems such as dental cavities, exposed tooth rot, a cracked tooth, gum diseases, and so on. Pain from a toothache can vary from mild to severe and may range from simple gum aches to intense migraine causing soregums. Toothache pain can very often be excruciating and this may be further aggravated by exposure to cold or hot foods which is why it is important to have home-remedies at your finger tips. Toothache remedies at home can be particularly useful for pregnant women because while pregnant, most pharmaceutical and over the counter pain medications are off limits. Gum ache remedies or sore gum remedies and toothache remedies for kids or children can be quite useful for some quick relief as it isn't always possible to rush to a dentist immediately. The appearance of wisdom teeth is quite commonly a cause for toothaches and tooth pain in adults and toothache medications and over the counter toothache remedies
may offer some relief. Unfortunately most toothache home remedies for wisdom teeth that are available over the counter will only offer temporary relief. In most situations in fact you would need to visit a
Choosing the right tooth paste
HESE days, you may feel overwhelmed by the types of toothpaste available at your grocery store or pharmacy. They range from antimicrobial to whitening and even tartar control and are available in paste, gel, or powder form. Tartar control: Tartar-control toothpastes may contain sodium pyrophosphate which helps to keep tartar from forming on teeth or better yet, sodium hexametaphosphate, which helps prevent tartar and stain, above the gum line. But if you already have stubborn tartar, tartar control toothpaste won't remove it-you'll need a professional cleaning from your dental hygienist. Whitening. Whitening toothpastes contain chemical or abrasive ingredients to help remove and/or prevent stains from forming on the teeth. When used regularly, whitening toothpastes can reduce the
appearance of stains and make your teeth look whiter. If you want the benefits of a whitening toothpaste, look for the active whitening agents of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Sensitive Teeth. If you have sensitive teeth from gum recession or tooth abrasion, you may need a toothpaste without heavy abrasives. You can also choose a desensitizing paste with either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate as an added ingredient. Expect it to take about four to six weeks to see improvement in sensitivity. Abrasiveness. Many types of toothpaste now contain baking soda, which is less abrasive than traditional toothpaste ingredients. This is advantageous for reducing tooth sensitivity in people with gum recession or for those who have eroded their teeth by rigorous brushing with abrasive toothpaste.
dentist and in some cases tooth extraction may be necessary as many individuals suffer great pain on account of the appearance of more teeth than there is space for. However, it's important to bear in mind that whether you are using home remedies for a tooth abscess, home remedies for swollen gums, home remedies for cavities, or home remedies for a wisdom tooth, none of them will offer a permanent cure. Home remedies for toothache swelling or gum infections simply treat the symptoms, to reduce discomfort and pain. Owing to the current hike in fuel prices and the sharp rise in the cost of living in the country, making dental appointments may be perceived as a burden but avoiding it can only cause the problem to increase drastically making the necessary dental treatments even more expensive. Neglecting dental care can cause the dental plaque to enter the bloodstream causing heart blockages, increasing your risk of a heart attack. Symptoms of Toothache …Dr. Uju gives some insight on how to spot a toothache, either in a child or and adult; “A toothache may be sharp, throbbing, shooting, or constant especially
in children and one of the key ways to know if the child is down with an ache in that area is to ask the child where it hurts the most. It's important to diagnose it quickly because if the tooth is not properly treated, it will eventually have to be extracted. The pain from a toothache may radiate, extending to the cheek, ears and jaws. Because of the various possible causes of toothaches the symptoms that you observe may also vary slightly. Some of the common toothache symptoms include increased pain, or pain with chewing, bleeding and discharge from the gums or around a tooth, inflammation or swelling of the gums or jaws, increased sensitivity to heat and cold, and redness around the gum line of a tooth,” she posits. The symptoms of a toothache are not always easy to tell apart from other health conditions like sinusitis (nasal catarrh) and ear and throat infections, as these conditions also cause pain in the facial area. To prevent tooth decay, it is necessary to eat a proper diet as much as possible, restrict sugar intake as this encourages bacteria growth, feast on raw and fresh vegetables each day and brush the teeth in the morning and last thing at night.
Home remedies for toothache A Using garlic mong the most effective home remedies for toothache is garlic. A clove of garlic with a little rock salt should be placed on the affected tooth. It will relieve the pain and, sometimes, may even cure it. A clove should also be chewed daily in the morning. It will cure the teeth making them strong and healthy. Almost all traditional methods of toothache treatment with garlic involve crushing it, and applying or placing it against the affected tooth. Garlic contains a powerful compound called allicin, which exercises a powerful antibiotic effect. This compound is released upon crushing the garlic and it is believed that this could help slow down any bacterial activity. It should be stressed that this is not a cure however as garlic alone will not be able to halt or reverse dental decay or prevent further
deterioration Using Onion Latest research has confirmed the bactericidal properties of onion. If a person consumes one raw onion every day by thorough mastication, he will be protected from a host of tooth disorders. Chewing raw onion for three minutes is sufficient to kill all the germs in the mouth. Toothache is often allayed by placing a small piece of onion on the bad tooth or gum. Onions are popular as traditional toothache relief treatment and you can simply place a slice over the affected area. Onions are high in sodium, rich in vitamins E and B12, and are low in fat or calories. Including onions in your daily diet and simply chewing on a few slices can help prevent and control toothaches.
Using Lime Lime, as a rich source of vitamin C, is useful in maintaining the health of the teeth and other bones of the body. It prevents decay and loosening of the teeth, dental caries, toothache, and bleeding of the gums. Eating a raw lime, along with the peel, can offer some much needed toothache relief. The effectiveness of lime for toothaches can probably be best explained by its rich composition of vitamin C and the lower levels of acidity as compared to lemons. Using Wheat Grass The juice of wheat grass acts as an excellent mouthwash for tooth decay and cures toothaches. Wheat grass can be chewed with beneficial results. It draws out toxins from the gums and thus checks bacterial growth.
‘Capital market will face worst crisis this year’
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
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How strike impacted economy T
HE casualties are not only those who have lost Persons and property, hard as it is... The casualties are many, and a good number well Outside the scenes of ravage and wreck... The above stanzas from the poem, “The Casualties”, by world renowned playwright and poet, Professor J P Clark, which is a satire on the Nigerian civil war just about captures the many unintended consequences of the mass protest by the organised labour and the coalition of civil society groups over the arbitrary removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government on January 1st this year. Although the week-long strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and a coalition of civil society group is over, business activities across the federation are yet to pick up fully, as many business owners are still counting their losses. One of such business owners is Mallam Aminu Kano, who operates a bureau de change in the Agege axis of Lagos. To Aminu Kano, the weeklong sit-at-home created a level of uncertainty, the effect of which is better imagined than explained. According to the Kano-born businessman, although the impending strike was well publicised, he took it for granted that labour would not be able to get the much anticipated backing of the populace. But his permutations were wrong, he admitted. Speaking in staccato English, he said: “Before before, strike no dey affect people like us because we all dey do business. But this time, everybody come standstill. We no go anywhere. I no even get market sef. The little money for my hand I no fit take am to bank, I almost spend am finish…” Investigation by The Nation revealed that the naira fell against the dollar on the interbank foreign exchange market as there was panic buying of dollars because of the uncertainty on the likely impact of the planned labour union strikes and protests against the withdrawal of fuel subsidy on their business,” one dealer said. A cross section of black market traders said the naira was under pressure for much of the period the strike lasted, with the prices falling pretty low. Dealers said the market opened trading with a cash balance of about N290.64 billion ($1.82 billion), compared with a balance of about N168.58 billion. “Rates were pretty low because of prevalent liquidity in the system and in spite of two sessions of open market operations (OMO), which soaked some cash from the system,” one dealer said. In a report released on their website, the National Bureau of Statistics, gave a sectorial breakdown of losses strike caused the economy. According to the bureau, to get
In retrospect, the week-long mass action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and civil society over the arbitrary removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government has had far reaching effects on businesses and the economy in general, reports Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
• Source: NBS, all figures in naira
a conservative estimate of the losses, it used international best practices to account for the losses using estimations based on GDP. The NBS in making this report available also took into account that the strike was partial in some areas of the country, had no effect on certain economic activities (such as crude oil production), and was non-effective on certain days of the week i.e weekends. The NBS in computing its estimates took into consideration these facts and applied weights on the data to make up for the anomalies. In a statement available on the website of the Statistics Bureau, “NBS arrives at the estimated losses by projecting the GDO for the 1st quarter of 2012 based on historical weighted growth rates for the 1st quarters of the last three years (2009-2011). This is divided by 90 days to arrive at GDP/day.” Nigeria is estimated to be losing a whopping N158.93billion daily to the ongoing strike by labour and civil society groups Financial and macro-economic analysts have signaled that the re-
moval of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government will have grave attendant consequences on inflation, beyond simply pushing up transport costs but also affecting a wide basket of goods and services. According to a report from Yvonne Mhango, a macro-economist with Renaissance Capital, “The impact of the petrol price hikes could go beyond simply pushing up transport costs. It is also expected to affect the cost of producing goods and services. In particular, the prices of food, clothing and footwear, furnishings, as well as housing and utility costs may tick up on the back of the scrapping of the petrol price subsidy.” Besides, the fact that millions of Nigerians utilize petrol to generate electricity from affordable generators, the report states, “In addition to higher petrol prices, the cost of producing electricity from petrolpowered generators are also expected to rise. The impact of the higher petrol price on food will resonate with most Nigerians, as it makes up half of the cost of the average Nigerian consumer’s shop-
ping basket.” Many car hire operators, hotels, ancillary service providers including passenger and cargo handling companies also lost revenue from the flights that did not operate. Though normalcy returned last Monday afternoon after suspension of the nationwide strike by labour and civil society groups across the nation, Nigerians are still counting their losses due to network failure and shortage of cash at automated teller machines, especially in commercial centres where the technology has been fully deployed. Majority of ATMs, according to findings were either out of cash or temporary out off service because of the absence of banks officials to attain to these problems. According to keen observers, banks may have been reluctant to re-load ATMs cash point because of incessant network failures among banks and fear of possible attacks by street urchins who were said to be parading all nooks and crannies of commercial nerve centers for possible prey. The Nigerian manufacturing sector is said to have lost an estimated N21.6 billion to the 6-day protests which shut down businesses nationwide last week, The Nation can authoritatively reveal. Muda Yusuf, Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) disclosed that Nigeria’s estimated daily GDP is N86.3 trillion and manufacturing component of this is 4.3 per cent, which works out at N3.6 billion by the number of days, which happened to be six days of total shutdown of the manufacturing sector, that gives us N21.6 billion for the six days the strike lasted. A major player in the manufacturing sector, the Managing Director of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Babatunde Odunayo said his company lost an estimated N800 million business opportunities to the six days nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to protest the hike in price of fuel. According to him, we may have lost about N800 million, but for those who do business with us, like bakeries and many other food companies, they would have lost over N1.5 billion during the strike.
Briefs 100, 000 houses for paramilitary officers nationwide
VER 100, 000 housing units Nationwide are in the offing for officers and men of the Para-military agencies under the ministry of interior, courtesy of the memorandum of understanding between the ministry and a private developer (Messrs Byuan Resources LTD) The benefiting agencies include the Ministry of Interior, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) and the Federal Fire Service (FFS). The housing units comprise two and three detached and semi detached flats to be constructed in the thirty-six states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the scheme codenamed: “PARAMILITARY VILLAGES”. Disclosing this yesterday in Abuja at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony, Interior Minister, Comrade Abba Moro told newsmen that the project is predicated on the high premium he places on staff welfare, adding that the task of ensuring internal security, which is the core mandate of the ministry cannot be fully accomplished without adequate provision of accommodation for the staff. While signing the MOU on behalf of the ministry and its agencies, the Permanent Secretary Alhaji Sheidu Ozigis explained that the construction of the Paramilitary villages across the Nation will enhance the mobilization and deployment of officers and men of the paramilitary in times of emergencies.
STOCK MARKET REVIEW
HE Nigeria Stock Exchange AllShare Index lost 10bps cumulatively last week. The banking sector was skewed to the sell side, with only three companies divergent to this trend - Wema Bank inched up by 3.9%, while Zenith Bank and First Bank booked marginal gains. On the flip side, glutting offers shaved off over 3.0% apiece from Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC and UBA. Diamond Bank was the toast of the banking sector, as growing demand led to a cumulative mark-up of 9.4%. First Bank and Access Bank also closed in positive territory, recording gains of 5.6% and 3.6% respectively. GTBank and Zenith Bank however shed marginal points at the close of the trading week. Guinness rallied on the back of crossed deals and institutional purchases. A dearth of offers could also lead to further gains next week. Nigerian Breweries, on the other hand, lost 2.2% at the close of proceedings. The food and beverages sector also went to the bears today, with no gain recorded in the sector. Dangote Sugar lost 3.5%, while Nascon and Dangote Flour shed 2.4% and 1.4% respectively. In other sectors, Dangote Cement rallied with a 1.3% mark-up, with daily demand outweighing available offers. On the flip side, Dangote Sugar lost 1.3%, while its counterparts in the food and beverages sector, Nestle and Flour Mills, also shed 0.9% and 3.1% respectively.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Business BUSINESS WEEK
Court dismisses case P&G Nigeria receives US corporate excellence award against sale of Union Bank
ROCTER & Gamble’s (P&G) efforts in realizing its purpose of touching and improving the lives of Nigerian consumers was recognized today by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who presented P&G Nigeria with the prestigious U.S. Secretary of State Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for 2011. Bob McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble Company received the award at a ceremony held in Washington D.C. last Wednesday. P&G received one of two awards at the ceremony. One presented to a multinational, and the other presented to ‘small to medium-sized enterprises’ (SME’s). In her opening statement at the award presentation ceremony, Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State said, “We are honoring these two companies because they have had an exceptional impact in giving back to the communities where they do business. They are setting the highest standards for corporate social responsibility. They are showing the world that it is indeed possible to do well by doing good.” P&G was nominated by the US Embassy in Nigeria as well as Pakistan for this award and was shortlisted in November 2011 amongst 11 companies globally. P&G is the first company to win for programs in two countries i.e. Nigeria and Pakistan. According to US State Department, P&G Nigeria was recognized for the company’s corporate and brand CSR program under the ‘Live, Learn and Thrive’ platform, to improve local communities’ water supply through education and purification
•US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, presenting the Corporate Excellence Award to President and Chief Executive Officer of Procter and Gamble Company, Bob McDonald in Washington DC
technology; provision for a safe and healthy working environment; supporting the health and well-being of new and expectant mothers and children through mobile clinics; and innovative educational programs for teenage girls. While talking to the audience at the ceremony, Bob McDonald said, “P&G’s Purpose as a Company is to touch and improve lives, now and for generations to come. Our Purpose guides and inspires everything we do. For 175 years our Purpose has focused us on finding ways to make people’s everyday lives a little better. We improve lives with our brands, with our business growth, with our employee programs and with our social responsibility efforts. When we improve lives, we grow our business and by growing our business we are able to improve even
more lives. It is a virtuous cycle and entirely congruent.” Manoj Kumar, the Managing Director for P&G West Africa joined the ceremony virtually from the US Consulate in Lagos. “P&G Nigeria is honored and humbled by this award that is focused on improving lives” said Kumar. ‘This is the core of our purpose as a company and we are very fortunate to work with strong partners who share this vision – our distributors, agencies, suppliers and non-profit organizations such as Sponsor a Child, Society for Family Health and Adolescent Health and Information Projects (AHIP). Together, these organizations have implemented and are indeed still delivering truly excellent work that brings our purpose to life everyday in Nigeria.”
HE Court of Appeal, Lagos has dismissed an appeal by some aggrieved shareholders of Union Bank seeking to restrain the Governor of Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi from proceeding with the sale of the bank. The court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju affirmed the decision of the lower court that the suit was defective. The court also held that the appeal lacked merit and subsequently dismissed it. It particularly held that the appellants failed to raise questions for determination in their originating summons. The shareholders, led by the President of Progressive Shareholders Association (PSA), Boniface Okezie had prayed the appellate court to set aside the ruling of Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako of the Federal High Court, Lagos. Justice Nyako had held, while ruling on the preliminary objections by the respondents, struck out the suit on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to raise questions for determination in their originating summons. Dissatisfied, the appellants approached the ap-
•Osibodu By Eric Ikhilae
pellate court and urged it to set-aside the ruling of the lower court. They also prayed the court to exercise its powers under Section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act to hear and determine the applicants/appellants originating summons. The appellants in their grounds of appeal argued that their originating summons followed the specified procedure as mandated under Rule 2(2) of the Companies Proceedings Rules adding that the procedure
does not require the formulation of question for determination. They prayed the court for an injunction restraining Sanusi and the incumbent management of Union bank from: “entering into any arrangement with any person, institution or authority, including themselves and the Federal Government to dispose any share of the bank or to transfer its control, management and assets to any person or authority” pending the determination of an appeal. Other defendants in the suit included; Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), Federal Attorney General, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Osibodu, (sued on behalf of herself and others appointed by Sanusi to Union Bank board). The shareholders, who are claimed N100 billion as damages against the respondents, alleged that the removal of the bank’s directors was done in bad faith.
OFID partners Abu Dhabi Fund on development
HE OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have agreed to work together in addressing the issue of energy poverty. The decision was made, January 17, at a working meeting at ADFD headquarters, where both sides reviewed bilateral relations in support of economic development in developing countries and discussed avenues for future cooperation and strengthening of ties. OFID’s high-level delegation led by Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, was received and welcomed by ADFD Acting Director-General, Mr. Mohammed Saif Al
Suwaidi. In a presentation, ADFD introduced its activities including lending programs to boost development in developing countries. Also highlighted were programs and systems used to enhance ADFD performance and core functions which will help to achieve desired objectives. The Acting Director General of ADFD welcomed cooperation with OFID in areas of mutual interest in order to support sustainable development in partner countries. OFID’s Director-General commended ADFD’s policy for organizing its operations and for the advanced programs used to accomplish ADFD’s mission and development ac-
tivities. Mr. Al-Herbish welcomed further cooperation with ADFD, looking forward to achieving the common goals of poverty eradication in developing countries and thus improving the standard of living of poor communities and enabling them to realize economic and social development. The two parties agreed to expand as well as strengthen cooperation in several areas, including the Energy for the Poor initiative presented at the Third OPEC Summit, 2007; the role of different financing instruments to help eradicate energy poverty; cooperation in private sector programs; sharing expertise; and visits between two institutions.
Naira records an 18-day high on NNPC dollar sales
T • L-R: Mr. Segun Fayose, Head, Corporate Communications, MultiChoice Nigeria; Mr. Mayo Okunola, General Manager, Digital Mobile Television, (DMTV) Nigeria; Mrs. Bunmi Oke, Chief Operating Officer- 141 Worldwide and Mr. Felix Awogu, General Manager, SuperSport Nigeria, during the launch of WALKA, a mobile TV device in Lagos on Thursday... PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL
HE national currency gained firm footing against the U.S dollar on the interbank market over the weekend, rising to its highest level in 18 days after state-owned energy company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) sold about $550 million to some lenders, providing support for the local currency. The Naira which closed at N160.95 to the dollar traded around N160.20 during the daily
business activities. The last time it traded at this rate was on the 3rd of January. Traders said the sudden increase in dollar liquidity in the market, owing to the currency sales by the NNPC provided support for the Naira as those who won the bids were willing to sell to others at the Interbank. “Next week we are most likely to see the naira trading within the range of 160.20-161.50 to the dollar on the interbank market as we expect more energy com-
panies to sell dollars in the market,” a currency dealer had said. Most of the energy firms operating in Africa’s top crude exporter, Nigeria, sell dollars to banks on a monthly cycle to obtain Naira for their local obligations. “The NNPC’s $550 million is a lot of money, so it will take a while before we see any serious depreciation in the naira rate,” a senior trader with Access Bank had stated.
ROM your time as the Managing Director of Citizen Bank, can you explain what led to the consolidation of that bank? When I was the Managing Director of Citizen Bank, the bank was in some form of distress, so I was invited by the Central Bank and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to restructure the bank which of course I successfully did. It was through the process of consolidation that started in 2004 that brought Citizen Bank with other banks to form Spring Bank. At the time I was invited, the bank had serious problems and it was such that one had to work hard to bring it back to life which is what we did with my colleagues. What is your take on the CBN governor’s banking reform policies? Well, he came up with very good policies at that time to get the banking sector that was in a mess back to life and this he did successfully. But the implementation was the problem because those that were to implement it were apparently not the right people. This is my personal idea about it. He had very good policies but his implementation was a little bit lopsided and people were just making comment without actually understanding where they were. I can give you examples, when I was appointed as the Managing Director of Citizen Bank, nobody knew I was there. Of course, journalists came to me to say ‘Tell us what you are doing?’ but I said ‘I don’t know what to talk to you about because I am trying to understand the system’ because I need to know where I am before I know where I wasn’t to go. But most of the people that came in, instead of sitting down to understand the place they were, they started making all kinds of statements that were not in tandem with the mandate they had been given and I found it to be a little bit faulty. What has happened in banking is that a lot of greed has been introduced into banking that was not there before. You just got there as a professional and you are proud of being a professional banker but these days no one want to own up that he is a banker. So it means that there is something fundamentally wrong that is driving people away. With respect to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, how would you assess its current leadership? Well, it is not easy to assess somebody in less than a year, like I said when I got into Citizen, you could not easily asses me within the first two to three months because I was trying to understand my environment and I think that is what is happening with the current leadership. The only thing that I have found disturbing is the way the leadership was changed because it was not done in a proper transparent manner. It was not done with regard to the interest of investors knowing that it is a sensitive institution, not just in this country but outside the country. Once anything happens, people will start reading meaning into it and they will start taking positions which has led to the loss of Confidence and loss of investors’ preference for dealing in the system. Not that they do not like the current leadership but things ought to have been done properly so that they would have made things open for people to see but when things are not transparent, I don’t see how people will be able to do business with such an institution. What is your opinion on the cause of the slow turn of business especially at this time of the year? January of every year has always been a slow period for business. People are waiting to get the results of the National Budget so that we can plan with your own personal budget. So January has always been a period of wait and see. The only thing is that the confidence in the stock market is still low compared to what it used to be. In that case, you might say that this year the statistics has not been as good as previous years. Can you state some of the things that have led to the low level of confidence in
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
‘Capital market will face worst crisis this year’ Okechukwu Chris Unegbu, Chief Executive Officer of Maxifund Investment and Securities Plc, is a lawyer, a capital market specialist, stock broker and former president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. In this interview with Rita Ohai, he speaks on the banking industry, capital market among other issues
•Unegbu the NSE? From the way business was changed, people lost so much money. Central Bank would make a comment, Security and Exchange Commission would make a comment, NSE would make a comment…all of them would be contradicting each other. So people did not know where they were again, in that type of situation, people would not want to put their money in since they had lost so much money already. Also, those who operate the market also lost confidence in approaching •Nweze investors to come out and instead of trying to urge local investors to come in, they were talking of foreign investors whose money is not stable in our economy. All this combined to kill the moral of people in the Market place and it is not going to be easy building investors’ confidence. It is going to require a lot of time and strategic planning to be able to get investors back. Do you see the current increase in fuel price influencing the Stock Market? That is a very recent development and for the first quarter of the 2012, it is not going to be that rosy because you need to have disposable income for you to be able to invest and if you cannot save because of the removal of fuel subsidy, that is where we will have problems in the Market.
On the fuel subsidy issue, while watching the Minister of Petroleum Resources, I think in this country, we have a situation where people are not coming out with the correct facts. Look at a situation where N248 billion was provided in the budget for a period of one year, up to March 31ST of this year, and the information I hear from the Petroleum Minister was that the budget was just for two months. I read the budget and it was not explained that N248 billion was just for two months and then you ended up by December of that same year saying that you spent N1.3trillion for kerosene and all that. Granted that might be true but that budgetary allocation is a law which has been prepared by the Executives, passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by the President. If there’s going to be anything above what is in that budget, the law demands that you go back and obtain a supplementary approval from the National Assembly and that was not done. They just came up and started explaining, that is why people wonder at the sort of Government we are running. Also when they were still talking of fuel subsidy, they created SURE. What they called ‘whatever Removal, because of anger I can’t remember the meaning; not knowing that the Nigerian budget is an appropriation bill so nobody else can
“The first quarter of the 2012, is not going to be that rosy because you need to have disposable income for you to be able to invest and if you cannot save because of the removal of fuel subsidy, that is where we will have problems in the market”
come and tell me how you are going to spend it without being appropriated by the National Assembly. That is why that body (SURE) as far as I am concerned is illegal and they are now talking of going to make a law to back it up, so shouldn’t that have been the first thing that should have been done? They now say they are going to set up a Kolade committee…that does not solve the problem. That does not make an illegal committee legal! And knowing the Assembly, are you saying that the law is just going to be passed overnight? These are some of the things that are causing crises of confidence within the Money and Capital Market. How would you rate the auditing firms especially in this part of the world? I have always had problems with auditing firms, even when I was the Managing Director of a bank. I have always had quarrels with them because of the way they report on their accounts and that is why I have two cases in court, the Cadbury case and I also have a case against Auditors for some of the illegalities they perpetrate. I took this as a public interest litigation, to challenge some of these things like cases where they will say a bank is 100 percent sound and the next day, the bank goes down. They might not be in charge of running the banks but they are in charge of ensuring that when they report, people should have confidence in their report and that is one of the things that has caused a crisis in the capital market because investors rely such on information to make their business decisions and when they find such information to be not in tune with what they except, they will now have to go to Babalawo to find out if this thing is correct!
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
EVELOPING countries should prepare for further downside risks, as Euro Area debt problems and weakening growth in several big emerging economies are dimming global growth prospects, says the World Bank in the newlyreleased Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2012. The Bank has lowered its growth forecast for 2012 and global growth is now projected at 2.5 and 3.1 percent. Slower growth is already visible in weakening global trade and commodity prices. Meanwhile, global prices of energy, metals and minerals, and agricultural products are down 10, 25 and 19 percent respectively since peaks in early 2011. Declining commodity prices have contributed to an easing of headline inflation in most developing countries. Although international food prices dropped in recent months as food security for the poorest, including in the Horn of Africa remains a central concern. “Developing countries need to evaluate their vulnerabilities and prepare for further shocks, while there is still time,” said Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. Developing countries have less fiscal and monetary space for remedial measures than they did in 2008/09. As a result, their ability to respond may be constrained if international finance dries up and global conditions deteriorate sharply. To prepare for that possibility, Hans Timmer, Director of Development Prospects at the World Bank, said: “Developing countries should pre-finance budget deficits, prioritize spending on social safety nets and infrastructure, and stress-test domestic banks.” While prospects in most low-and middle-income countries remain favorable, the ripple effects of the crisis in high-income countries are being felt worldwide. Already, developing country sovereign spreads have increased 45 basis points on average and gross capital flows to
World Bank foresees deepening economic crisis in Africa
By Adetayo Okusanya Email: email@example.com
The road called success
•L-R: Mrs. Colette Osibo, Marketing Executive, M-NET presenting a Samsung Galaxy Tab to Mr. Prosper Chiejine Ejenam, winner of the text and win promo for the recently concluded talent show, M-NET Glo Naija Sings Season 3 and Mr. Femi Ojo, Marketing Executive, M-Net Africa in Lagos recently. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL By Rita Ohai with agency report
developing countries plunged to $170 billion in the second half of 2011, compared with $309 billion received during the same period in 2010. GDP growth in Europe and Central Asia increased marginally from 2010 outturns to 5.3 percent in 2011, despite the global financial turmoil since August 2011 and weakening external demand, especially from the Euro Area. However, the expected slowdown in high-income Europe, still troublesome inflationary pressures in the region, and reduced capital flows due to the Euro
Area crisis may slow regional growth to 3.2 percent in 2012, before firming to 4.0 percent by 2013. Close trade and financial ties to high-income Europe will make regional outturns particularly sensitive to developments in the Euro Area. Dramatic political changes in the Middle East and North Africa have disrupted economic activity substantially, but selectively, across the region, while a deteriorating external environment is beginning to amplify adverse effects on trade, commodity prices, tourism and other revenues. GDP for the developing countries of the region grew by an estimated 1.7 percent in 2011 and is expected to remain
subdued in 2012 (2.3 percent), rising to an expected 3.2 percent gain by 2013. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa remained robust in 2011 at 4.9 percent. Excluding South Africa, which accounts for over a third of the region’s GDP, growth in the rest of the region was even stronger at 5.9 percent in 2011, making it one of the fastest growing developing regions. Increased investment flows, rising consumer spending, and the coming on stream of new mineral exports in a number of countries should accelerate Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth to 5.3 percent in 2012 and 5.6 percent in 2013.
Senate increases oil benchmark in 2012 budget IGERIA’S Senate has said it wants to adopt a $75 per barrel oil price benchmark in the 2012 budget, up from the $70 proposed by the finance ministry, which would give the government more money to spend and leave less for savings. After President Goodluck Jonathan’s attempted plan to remove fuel import subsidies on Jan. 1, it has been agreed that raising the benchmark price would help meet the unaccounted for
costs associated with the fuel subsidy but leaves less money in the ECA and for a recently set-up sovereign wealth fund. Investigations reveal that the an Excess Crude Account (ECA) contained more than $20 billion in 2007 but despite a period of recorded high oil prices and purported increase in crude export, the account had been drained and only contained $3 billion at the end of last year. With oil prices trading at around $100 per
barrel on Friday, the Senate made its recommendation on the benchmark oil price in a review of the government’s 2012-2015 medium term fiscal framework,
which was submitted to lawmakers in October last year and approved the other figures proposed in the government’s fiscal plan.
NSE hosts press conference tomorrow
HE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, will tomorrow address a world press conference to appraise the market performance in 2011 and make prognosis into 2012. The press conference
which is set to kick off at 12.30 p.m , on the 11th floor of the Stock Exchange House at 2/4 Customs Street in Lagos, will also afford the NSE CEO the opportunity to intimate the press with the plans for repositioning the market for better performance.
NE of the fun experiences I had as a child was playing card games with family and friends. Like most ambitious people I wanted to win every game, but the harsh reality was that I won some and I lost some. There were games in which I had a higher rate of success, and others in which failure was almost guaranteed. Life is like a game of cards. You have no control over the cards that you are initially dealt, however you are given the opportunity to “Go-Fish”. Your success is determined by the choices you make regarding which cards to HOLD, PLAY or LOSE. Many of us lose the cards that are best held, or hold the cards that are best played, or even play the cards that are best lost. You will find in every game of cards that the player with the best cards seldom wins the game if he lacks the ambition to be the best, possesses a poor understanding of the game, misses the opportunity to learn from his mistakes, fails to observe and emulate others who are better players than himself, does not seek to continually hone his skills, and is not practiced enough to know the right tactics and strategies to execute under different scenarios. A great player understands that his card playing skill is a greater determinant of his ultimate success, than the quality of cards he receives at the start of the game. It is not the thing that is handed to you that makes you great, it is what you are able to accomplish with what you have in your hands. As you continue to pursue your career and life goals in 2012, remember that success in life is not a destination to be arrived at. It is an evolutionary process; a perfecting process that makes you better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you are today. Success is a journey through which you continually outperform yourself and elevate your capabilities to higher performance standards. This road can often be long and arduous, but it is personally fulfilling as you watch your own metamorphosis into a success story. If you are not evolving, getting better, breaking new ground or eclipsing your own performance record, then chances are that you are not walking the road to success. Today many people in our society equate success with material possessions, often to the exclusion of everything else. Integrity, hard work, honesty, service, quality, justice and innovation are subjugated to money. Get-richquick schemes have become prevalent and many spend more time plotting to steal value from others than to create value for everyone. These are the signs of a society in trouble, when men, women and children live for money and will do anything to get it. Don’t get me wrong. I am not against wealth, in fact, one of my goals in life is to be financially independent. Financial independence to me means having enough net assets to meet my needs and wants for the rest of my life even if I never have to work a day in my life again. I am not there yet, but I am confident that I will get there the right way. This week as you spend time pondering the state of the nation and the recent national strike, ponder the state of your life and career. What does success mean to you? How has your definition of success shaped your plan for the year? Does your plan provide a means for you to become more effective, efficient and productive? Does your plan allow you to discover new things about your capabilities? Do you have the discipline to LOSE habits and things in your life that are unproductive? Do you have the strength to HOLD on to values that stand the test of time and the scrutiny of others? Will you put in PLAY your best effort as you put your talent to use? Or are you setting yourself up for another year of wallowing in the zone called “good enough”? Good enough is not remarkable. Good enough is a cop out. Good enough will never be great or lead to long term success. Yes, the environment does leave very little to be desired in the way of inspiration. However, you owe it to yourself to find the inspiration from within to move towards the realization of your own true potential. Food For Thought: What are the world class (or even best in class) performance standards of your profession and how close or far is your performance level to such standards? Write down your HOLD, PLAY, LOSE and GO-FISH strategies for closing the gap in 2012. • Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge
WORLD NEWS THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Seller of Zimbabwe PM’s book arrested
14 policemen killed in Syrian ambush T A string of explosions struck a police truck transporting prisoners in a defectors tense area of also battled in the northwestern Syria north in fighting that left 10 people ystrday, dead. killing at least people, state media The1410-month uprising an opposition againstand Syrian President Bashargroup Assad began said. with largelyGovernment peaceful troops antigovernment protests, but has turned increasingly militarized and chaotic in recent months as more frustrated regime opponents and army defectors arm themselves and fight back against government forces. The official SANA news agency said the ambush of the police truck occurred on the Idlib-Ariha highway, an area near the Turkish border that has witnessed intense fighting with army defectors recently. SANA blamed the attack on “terrorists.” It said four bombs that went off in “two phases” hit the truck, and then attackers targeted an ambulance that arrived to assist the wounded. Six policemen who were accompanying the prisoners were also wounded, some of them in critical condition, it said. The British-based opposition activist group, the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed the incident yesterday and said 15 prisoners were killed. Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the group, said the truck was hit by several roadside bombs, but it was not clear who was behind the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but members of the so-called Free Syrian Army are known to be active in the area. The Free Syrian Army is a group of army defectors led by a Turkey-based defected colonel who sided with the protesters and have carried out attacks on regime forces. A Syria-based activist said the area has several army encampments and is full of roadside bombs planted to target army tanks passing by, adding that the truck carrying prisoners may not have been the intended target. Abdul-Rahman and other activists in the country’s northern Idlib province also reported heavy clashes between Syrian troops and defectors in the Jabal alZawiya region, along the Turkish border, and in the northern town of Maaret alNuman.
He said nine members of the Syrian armed forces, including four officers, and a deserter were killed in the fighting in Maaret al-Numan. “Dozens” of people from both sides were wounded in the Jabal al-Zawiya fighting, and some of them were in serious condition. The Local Coordination Committees activist network said five other people were killed in Syria yesterday, including three in the central city of Homs, one in the
eastern city of Deir el-Zour and another in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where security forces fired on a funeral procession, wounding around 25 people. The conflict in Syria has marked the most serious challenge to Assad, who took over from his father in 2000. The U.N. estimates some 5,400 have been killed since March, when the uprising began. The violence comes as the head of an Arab League
observers mission was to submit his report to the League’s Cairo headquarters. Foreign ministers for the Arab League will meet today in Cairo to discuss the future of the mission, which expired Thursday. Arab League officials said the organization is likely to extend its observer mission in Syria and increase its numbers, despite complaints from the Syrian opposition that it has failed to curb the bloodshed in the country.
Gunmen kidnap American in north Somalia
UNMEN kidnapped an American man in the northern Somali town of Galkayo yesterday, officials said. The gunmen surrounded the man’s car shortly after the man left the airport, said policeman Abdi Hassan Nur, who witnessed the incident. He said they then forced the American into another vehicle. Galkayo is on the border between the semiautonomous northern region of Puntland and a region known as Galmudug. It is ruled by forces friendly to the U.N.-backed Somali government. A minister from the Galmudug administration said the kidnapped man is an American engineer who came to Somalia to carry out an evaluation for building a deep water port in the town of Hobyo. The gunmen severely beat the foreigner’s Somali companion when he begged them not to take the man, said the minister.
Yemen: Saleh enroute US
UTGOING President Ali Abdullah Saleh will leave soon to Oman, en route the United States, for medical treatment, Yemeni officials said yesterday, part of an American effort to get the embattled strongman out of the country to allow a peaceful transition from his rule. Washington has been trying for weeks to find a country where Saleh can live in exile, since it does not want him to settle permanently in the United States. The mercurial president, who has ruled for more than 33 years, has repeatedly gone back and forth on whether he would leave. The officials’ comments Saturday suggested Oman, Yemen’s neighbor, could be a potential home for him. Three officials said he would go, but they were divided on whether he would remain in exile in Oman or return to Yemen after treatment. His return, even if he no longer holds the post of president, could mean continued turmoil for the impoverished nation at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. After nearly a year of protests demanding his ouster, Saleh in November handed his powers over to his vice president and agreed to
step down. A unity government between his party and the opposition has since been created. However, Saleh — still formally the president — has continued to influence politics from behind the scenes through his family and loyalists in power positions. The U.S. does not want to take him in, concerned it would be seen by Yemenis as harboring a leader they say has blood on his hands for the killings of protesters. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates already have rejected Saleh, American officials said. Senior ruling party figure Mohammed al-Shayef told The Associated Press that Saleh would travel “in the coming days” to Oman, then head to the United States for treatment of wounds he suffered in a June assassination attempt.
•Fighting dogs lunge at each other as handlers and spectators watch in the outskirts of Islamabad yesterday. Dog fighting and other forms of animal fighting are common in rural areas of Pakistan where some 70 percent of the population of 167 million reside. AFP PHOTO
Egypt’s Islamists win parliamentary elections
GYPT’S Islamists led by the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood clinched two thirds of seats in parliament in historic polls after the ouster of strongman Hosni Mubarak, official results showed yesterday. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 235 seats in the new People’s Assembly, or 47.18 percent, electoral committee head Abdel Moez Ibrahim told a news conference, giving the final results from marathon polls. The FJP secured 127 seats on party lists and its candidates won another 108 in first-pastthe-post constituency votes. The ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nur party came second with 121 seats or 24.29 percent, and the liberal Wafd Party was third with nearly nine percent.
HE Zimbabwe prime minister’s party says police have arrested a book store owner for trying to sell their party leader’s biography allegedly with “seditious material” hidden in the pages. The party said yesterday in a statement that police allege the books, at a store in the northwestern resort of Victoria Falls, contained a hit list of rival politicians in the nation’s bitterly divided threeyear coalition along with political fliers. It said copies of Morgan Tsvangirai’s “In at the Deep End” were seized. The store owner, who denies the allegations, was arrested Friday. Tsvangirai’s party insisted yesterday police “planted” the materials in the books at the local police station in a smear campaign. Police officials were not immediately available for comment.
The liberal Egyptian Bloc — which includes the Free Egyptians party of telecoms magnate Naguib Sawiris who is facing trial on allegations of insulting Islam — came fourth with around seven percent. The landmark election was the first since Mubarak’s overthrow last February. It began in November and was carried out in three stages. The People’s Assembly, or lower house, is made up of 498 elected MPs and 10 appointed by the ruling military which took over after Mubarak quit last February 11. It will hold its first session on Monday. “The train of democracy has entered the station and elected the first People’s Assembly since the January 25 revolution,” Ibrahim said. In Egypt’s complex electoral system, voters cast ballots for
party list candidates to make up two thirds of parliament, and direct votes for individual candidates for the remaining third. Elections for parliament’s upper house, the Shura Council, are to begin later this month and conclude in February. Then
the two chambers will choose a 100-member panel to draft a new constitution. A new president will then be elected by June under the timetable set by the military rulers who announced that candidates can register for the presidency from April 15.
Bull attacks man in Spain
N official in Spain says a flaming-horned bull has fatally gored a man during a festival in an eastern town. Large balls of flaming wax are traditionally affixed to the beasts’ heads before they are let loose to rampage through narrow streets in such festivals. The mayor of Navajas — population 730 — said emergency services in his town were unable to save the life of the 45-year-old man.
Jose Vicente Torres said the accident happened early yesterday when the man, whose name was withheld, tripped just as the bull was released. Many towns in east and northeastern Spain celebrate feasts with “toros embolados,” or “flaming bulls,” which feature the animals racing around, shaking their heads as a reaction to flames or fireworks attached onto or close to their horns.
Thai police find 3.8 million methamphetamine pills
OLICE have seized 3.8 m i l l i o n methamphetamine tablets in Thailand’s largest drug bust in years. The haul was estimated as worth more than one billion baht ($31.7 million). Police Maj. Gen. Comronwit Toopgrajank said the pills and 71 kilograms (156 pounds) of crystal meth were found hidden in an empty house in Bangkok’s northern outskirts. Police raided the house yesterday after tracking down a driver who abandoned his vehicle after a car chase. Thailand is a leading market and transit point for methamphetamine, much of which is produced in neighbouring Myanmar.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
My own Globacom?
POLOGIES for this column’s recent irregularity. Let’s go: “…the first time the legal practitioner is placing himself in the driver’s seat with regards to….” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Law, January 19) No legalese: either with regard to or as regards. DAILY INDEPENDENT of January 18 circulated four blunders: “Long queues return at (to) fuel stations in Edo…. “I got many destitutes and mentally deranged persons off the streets of Minna” This way: many destitute and mentally-deranged persons…. “The much-anticipated Nigerian spring did not quite kick-off.” Phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation. Next on the line-up is Vanguard of January 18: “…friends and well-wishers to pay their last respect (respects) to the departed past president.” “Police faults (fault) group on personnel killed in Delta” THE NATION of January 18 contributed three infractions to the pool of slipups: “Yes, there have been manipulations in the sector, there is no question about it. Yes, we are looking into it….” Let us substitute ‘them’ for ‘it’ to foreclose fuel subsidy fraud! “…dishing out nostalgic and melodious songs of yesteryears (yesteryear) to the delight of listeners.” “JAMB alerts on (to) fraudulent SMS” (THISDAY Headline, January 18) “Nigeria at the crossroad of insecurity…” (Vanguard Front Page Banner, January 18) Get it right: crossroads “PDP commends FG, NLC, others on (for) resumed dialogue” (National Mirror Headline, January 14) This reminds me of ‘arrest’ which admits ‘for’—never ‘over’ as abusively used by our local media. Similarly, ‘charged with’ (not ‘charged for’) Both are fixed expressions—not subject to our lexical whims and caprices that give rise to foibles. TRIBUNE EDITORIAL of 12 January criminalized the English language just once: “…what happens when the law that should ordinarily serve as deterrence has been expunged?” Bigamy in Lagos: act as a deterrent. The next kindergarten blunder is still from the Nigerian Tribune: “Farmers, cattle dealers in Yewa South poise for war” I am poised for lexical and structural war this year! THE PUNCH Editorial of January 11 soiled its stance: “Oil spills in Nigeria have become such a regular occurrence that they no longer attract interest, except by those directly affected, who must deal with them one way or the other.” Shell’s oil spill: one way or another—not the other. “…that I invented at three a.m. in the morning.” (Saturday Tribune, 8 January) ‘A.m. in the morning’ indicates stark illiteracy! THISDAY of January 6 mutilated an entire paragraph and the associated headline: “Butchers engage each other in fracas” The story: “It was a free for all fight (sic) again in Ilorin, Kwara State capital (a comma) yesterday when some members of the butchers (some butchers) engaged themselves (one another) in fracas (a fracas) over….” ‘Free for all’ does not require ‘fight’. Still on THISDAY: “Why has the ordinary Nigerian not benefitted from these multinationals?” I remember Oloibiri: benefited. “The example of Blessing also goes to show that the era when women are (were) discriminated against in certain field (fields), especially the military, are (is) over….” (EDITORIAL) “There is already an amendment in the party’s rule on waivers for decampees (defectors).” (THE NATION POLITICS, January 6) ‘Decampee’ is a Nigerian political creation unrecognized by lexicographers. “NTDC…restoring peace on (to) the Plateau” (THE GUARDIAN, January 6) “…area boys engaged in a supremacy battle using guns and all manners (manner) of weapons….” (THE PUNCH Metro, January 6) “The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been drawn to an information making rounds that the….” (Full Page Advert by NCC, DAILY INDEPENDENT, January 4) ‘An information’? No! Either a piece of information or, preferably, just information. And this: doing/going (British)/making (American) the rounds (note the article). “Blue-chips, banks lead, as investors loss N1.381tr in 2011” (Source: as above) For headline currency purposes, as investors lose. General application; banks led, as investors lost N1.381tr in 2011. Grammar transcends profit and loss account. “It is an affront on (to) Nigerians….” (Vanguard, January 4) “Arab League summons for emergency meeting” (Source: as above) Delete ‘for’ because of its irrelevance. “Army deploys more troops to (in) North to battle Boko Haram” (BUSINESSDAY Headline, January 4) Still on newspaper opinions: THISDAY EDITORIAL of December 30 committed an unpardonable error—yes, some errors are pardonable in the production of publications: “Bribery and corruption, advanced (advance) fee fraud (419), kidnapping and armed robbery are just a few of the issues for which our nation is being stigmatised.” “Winner of all expense paid trip to Manchester” (Globacom Bold Picture Kicker, THISDAY, December 30, 2011) This should not come from my own exclusive telecom firm and transnational pride! Get it right: all-expenses-paid trip to Manchester, home to my own Red Devils, the most successful and richest football club in Europe. “U.S. stocks decline after five-days gain” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Business Headline, December 30) Either five-day gain or five days’ gain “House on The Rock fetes less priviledged at Christmas” (Source: as above) Spell-check: less-privileged “…the shopper in this dispensation has a lot of expectations and would keep changing their (his/her) habits, seeking more from less.” (THE NATION, December 30) And to avoid the pronoun clumsiness, a rewrite: shoppers…. “No nation can thrive successful (successfully) in….” (Source: as above) From Vanguard of December 30 come the next three goofs: “Events that shaped “…it has a strong religion undertone” Politics: religious undertone Message from THE GUARDIAN of December 30, erstwhile flagship of Nigerian journalism: “Seasons Greetings” Conscience, Nurtured by Truth: Season’s greetings.
CHANGEOF OFNAME NAME CHANGE
CHANGE OF NAME
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Mujidat Olubunmi Olubajo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Mujidat Olubunmi Bello. All former documents remains valid. Ogun State Teaching Service Commission, Abeokuta and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Igbasami Olufunke Yetunde, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Omobuwa Olufunke Yetunde. All former documents remains valid. Ogun SUBEB, IELGEA, Ogbere and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinlade Bolaji Atinuke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adedokun Bolaji Atinuke. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Iyabode Adebukonla Ogunade, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Iyabode Adebukonla Dawodu. All former documents remains valid. Ogun State Teaching Service Commission, Abeokuta and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oke Oluwatosin Oluwaseun, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olu-Abiodun Oluwatosin Oluwaseun. All former documents remains valid. Ministry of Health, Ogun State and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Comfort Modupe Odunola Idowu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Comfort Modupe Odunola Olukoya. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
AWOTUNDE I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Grace Oluwadamilola Awotunde, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Grace Oluwadamilola Oloyede. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
FOLARIN I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Folarin Sherifat Oluwatosin, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Bello Sherifat Oluwatosin. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinremi Rukayat Omotayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Rasheed Omotayo Rukayat. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Rasheed Bilikisu Omolola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Popoola Bilikisu Omolola. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Queen Effiong Ekanem, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Queen Imo Nse Effiong. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Taiwo Adenike Victoria, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adeniran Adenike Victoria. All former documents remains valid. Ifedayo Local govt., Oke-Ila Orangun and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olagunju Rukayat I., now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Sulaiman Rukayat I. All former documents remains valid. Federal Polytechnic, Ede, NYSC and general public should take note.
RAHEEM I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Raheem Khadijat Omolara, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olayiwola Khadijat Omolara. All former documents remains valid. Grooming Empowerment Centre and general public should take note.
SILOKO I,formerly known and addressed as Moses Ebipadou Siloko, now wish to be known and be addressed as Moses Ebipadou Siloko Siasia. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
ORANUSI I,formerly known and addressed as Chiloma Oranusi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Chiloma Nwigwe. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
CHANGE OF NAME AMADI I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogadinma Mary Amadi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogadinma Nkereuwen Uwatt. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Iretolu Abimbola Iwalola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Malumi Abimbola Iwalola. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
UZOR I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Victoria Alaoma Uzor, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Victoria Alaoma Okoronkwo. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aham Ifeyinwa Goodness Okoronkwo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Uchealo Elvis Ifeyinwa Goodness. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olajumoke Mulikat Akinwale, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olajumoke Edward. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajayi Jumoke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adu Jumoke Modupe. All former documents remains valid. Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olaiya Olawumi Adenike Phebia, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ojo Olawumi Adenike Phebia. All former documents remains valid. Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin and general public should take note.
We,formerly known as Ogunleye Iyiola Olusola, Ogunleye Janet Monisola and Ogunleye Josiah Ayomide, now wish to be addressed as Oluwaleye Iyiola Olusola, Oluwaleye Janet Monisola and Oluwaleye Josiah Ayomide. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
AZUBUIKE I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Amarachi Theodora Azubuike, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Amarachi Chijioke Ogbonna. All former documents remains valid. MOUA and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adegbulugbe Victoria, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogbole Victoria. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
EBOKA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Eboka Esther Benardette Awele, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Anyali Esther Awele. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adegoke Karimat Titilayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Atoyebi Karimat Titilayo. All former documents remains valid. Osun State Government and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Echetabi Lucy Onyinyechi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Chiekezie Lucy Onyinyechi. All former documents remains valid. National Institute for Cultural Orientation and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Fasakin Bunmi Kemi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adewumi Bunmi Kemi. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State SUBEB, LGEA, Oye LG and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aba Rosemary Nwanneka, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Eze Rosemary Nwanneka. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Pwashikai Bulus Jibila, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Pwashikai Suharton Apollos. All former documents remains valid. College of Agriculture, Jalingo, NYSC and general public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Mr. Gboyelade Amusa Adedeji, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mr. Abidoye Hamzat Adiss. All former documents remains valid. Egbedore Local govt. and general public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ojuade Abidemi Adeyemo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Abidemi Omoboriowo. All former documents remains valid. Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Olorunda Local govt., Igbona, Osogbo and general public should take note.
MBAZU I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Mbazu Justina Akunna, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Orji Justina Akunna. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
OBIAGWU I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Obiagwu Juliet Chinenye, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Onwuneme Juliet Chinenye. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
•Continued on Page 70
The butchers of Nigeria
•Continued from page 14 cross-border sex trafficking, of which he was equally accused. He was neither censured by his fellow senators nor placed on trial. His followers have taken their cue from his declaration, convinced that the greater the crime, the greater its deserving of immunity. How many of the hundreds of cases of impunity need one cite, with their corresponding gestures of appeasement? Where does one begin? Can the Nigerian police or judicial records reveal how many were prosecuted when a man called Gideon Akaluka was beheaded, his head paraded on a stake through the streets of Kano in northern Nigeria, for allegedly desecrating the Quran? It turned out no such offense had been committed. Nor has there been a single arrest in the secondary
school where an invigilating teacher, a Mrs. Oluwasesin, was stripped naked, beaten, and then “necklaced”—set on fire by students for allegedly “treating the Quran with disrespect.” Her real crime? She had confiscated a Quran—and, incidentally, a Bible as well— from cheating students during a paper on religious studies. How does one convey scenes where killers perform ritual recitations before or after the meticulous throat-slitting of schoolchildren, in the conviction that this carries the same potency of immunity as papal indulgences once did in the decadent era of Christianity? For decades, leaders of those communities remained mute or uttered pietisms. Now the foot soldiers have matured on the taste of blood. They understand the essence of
power. Some have come to realize they have been programmed, used, abused, and discarded. Now they seek to exercise power and have turned on all, mentors and appeasers alike. Nigeria is at war. The Somalia scenario nibbles at her cohesion. When we insisted that the nation had become a prime target of al Qaeda, the reply was that Boko Haram was a homegrown phenomenon—as if this were ever the question! The reality is that it has, inevitably, developed ties with al Qaeda and its borderless company of religious insurgency. Only a few have sown the wind, but that wind was fanned by the breath of appeasement. Only one choice remains: to ride, or else reap, the whirlwind. Source: Newsweek
68 CHANGE OF NAME
CHANGE OF NAME
CHANGE OF NAME
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Kolaru, Olapeju Abosede Arike, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Taiwo, Olapeju Abosede Arike. All former documents remains valid. Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, NYSC and general public should take note.
ASIRU I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Asiru Rukayat Demilola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Kolawole,Rukayat Demilola. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.OGUNSOLA
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Omolara Olufunke Ogunsola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Omolara Olufunke Tayo-Sobajo. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Regina Eko, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Regina Ogbole. All former documents remains valid. Police and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Tarkighir Nguavese Naomi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Jande Nguavese Naomi. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Odekhian, Patience Iwadeh, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. FashinaBamidele Patience Iwadeh. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunjimi, Yetunde Mary, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogunjobi, Yetunde Mary. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aremu Busayo Dammy, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ibitoye Busayo Dammy. All former documents remains valid. First New Generation Citadel Limited, Osun State and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akorah Ujunwa Linda, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Onyejekwe Ujunwa Linda. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ojo Oluwafunmilola Grace, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Eigbokhan Oluwafunmilola Grace. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Temitope Olayinka Akinfenwa, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Temitope Olayinka Oloyede. All former documents remains valid. MTN, GTBank, ETB and general public should take note.
OLADIPO I,formerly known and addressed as Oladipo, Olaide Oluwamayokun, now wish to be known and be addressed as Ayegbusi, Olaide Oluwamayokun. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Abimbola Yetunde Adesoye, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Abimbola Yetunde Makinde. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Eunice Ojo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Eunice Odiana. All former documents remains valid. PHCN and general public should take note.
CONFIRMATION OF NAME I,Shola Borokini is the same person as Shola Borokini and Adeshola Juwon. All documents bearing the above names remains valid. Skye Bank Plc., International Bank Plc. and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Saidat Opemipo Fowowe, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Saidat Opemipo Oshodi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Fatimoh Olaide Busari, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Fatimoh Olaide Akande. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Okon Patrick Ebenso, now wish to be known and be addressed as Gilbert Patrick Ebenso. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Talabi Atinuke Olubunmi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. TalabiAdegboye Atinuke Olubunmi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
FALEYE I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Faleye Oluwatoyin Ruth, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Jombo Oluwatoyin Ruth. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note. OKE I,formerly known and addressed as Oke, Jesuyanmife Daniel, now wish to be known and be addressed as Timothy, Jesuyanmife Daniel. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Jimoh, Fausat Favour, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Faleye, Fausat Favour. All former documents remains valid. Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Federal Medical Centre, Ido Ekiti and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Udoh Otobong Asuquo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Onyenania, Otobong Udoh. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adelugba Adebolanle Oluwatoyin, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Jegede Adebolanle Oluwatoyin. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State Hospitals Management Board, Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note.
EREJUWA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Erejuwa Oluwatoyin A., now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ijimakinde Oluwatoyin A. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Egbekuyomi Comfort Oluwagbemisola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Sobijoh Comfort Oluwagbemisola. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
ONWUGAMBA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Chiamaka Peace Onwugamba, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Chiamaka Peace Okafor. All former documents remain valid. UNN, NYSC and general public should take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Okoyeocha Camelia Ugoada, now wish to be known and addressed as Ekwunife Adaugo Camelia. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
ADESANMI I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adesanmi Adebanke Felicia, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Akinnawo Adebanke Felicia. All former documents remain valid. YABATECH, NYSC and general public should take note.
SONUBI I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sonubi Ibiyemi Orebowale , now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Obasohan Ibiyemi Orebowale. All former documents remains valid. Teaching Service Commission and general public should take note.
TALABI I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Talabi Oluwafunke Omolere , now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Ojekunle Oluwafunke Omolere. All former documents remains valid. Teaching Service Commission and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Bankole Fausat Amori Olabisi , now wish to be known and be addressed as Edu Fausat Olabisi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Mr. Ibrahim Yusuf Agosokoa and Mr. Joseph Agosokoa Nubaye is one and the same person. I now wish to be known as Mr. Joseph Agosokoa. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
SUNMONU I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sunmonu Omotayo Modupe, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Sotunde Omotayo Modupe. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aboyeji Adebukola Adenike, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ibiwoye Adenike Priscilla. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ubeku Maria Sola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oguntoye Maria Sola. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Eze Gloria Isusu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Tijani Gloria Isusu. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sofoluwe Olusola Ajoke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. SofoluweAgboola Olusola Ajoke. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
EJIUGWUEBO I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ejiugwebo, Kelechi Constance, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Obison, Kelechi Constance. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogundayomi Ranti Mercy, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. AdewaleOjo Ranti Mercy. All former documents remains valid. NYSC, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sebiere Oluwabunmi Abigail, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olorunda Oluwabunmi Abigail. All former documents remains valid. Ondo State Hospital Management Board, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Gerry Chiedu Edward Ubboe, now wish to be known and be addressed as Gerry Chiedu Edward Josaphat. All former documents remain valid. Project and Design Association and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olajide Beatrice Remilekun, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olatunde Beatrice Remilekun. All former documents remain valid. Joseph Ayo Babalola University and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajayi Grace Temitayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Babatunde Adebayo Temitayo Grace. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
SALAKO I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Salako Funmilayo Mayowa, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Tutuola Funmilola Mayowa. All former documents remain valid. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, NYSC and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aremu Omowumi Margaret, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Asamu Omowumi Margaret. All former documents remain valid. NYSC, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso and general public should take note.
CHANGE OF NAME ADENUGA
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012 CHANGE OF NAME CHANGE OF NAME PIIRA
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adenuga Adesolademi Adenuga, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adefunke Adesolademi Eboda. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Caroline Baribor Piira, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Caroline Emmanuel Chukwuma Ugorji. All former documents remains valid. Nigeria Police and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sogbon Adeola Oluwatoyin, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adebayo Adeola Oluwatoyin. All former documents remain valid. Enterprise Bank Limited, Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note.
ORIDOOTA I,formerly known and addressed as Mr. Oridoota Emiloju Samson, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mr. Emiloju Samson Damilare. All former documents remain valid. Federal University of Technology, Akure and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Omoriwo Oluwafemi Best, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oreolorun Oluwafemi Best. All former documents remain valid. Akoko South West Local govt. and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ola Esther Ololade, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Obasanya Esther Ololade. All former documents remain valid. NYSC, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and general public should take note.
ARIYO I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ariyo Olufunmilayo Grace, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oluwadahun Olufunmilayo Grace. All former documents remain valid. NECO, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and general public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Lawal Titilayo is the same and one person as Lawal Titilayo Oluwakemi. All former documents remain valid. University of Nigeria, Nsukka and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Jinegwo Ebere Ifeoma, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Okoye Ebere Ifeoma Emmanuella. All former documents remains valid.General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Mbakwe Amarachi Victoria, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Amarachi Victoria Godswill Fred. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Okoroji Blessing Nwakaego, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Okeke Blessing Nwakaego. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Leslie Enekole Adukwu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Leslie Enekole Ibekwe. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Tamunosiki Kiri and Tamunosemearisiki Kiri are one and same person. now wish to be known and be addressed as Tamunosiki Kiri. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Mr. Nzekwe Herbert Nwanchukwu and Mr. Onyiba Herbert Nwuba are one and same person. now wish to be known and be addressed as Mr. Nzekwe Herbert Nwanchukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Efe Ajokpauwu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Efe Henry Aondona. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akandu Onyinyechi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Solomon Onyinyechi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. tUTU
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oto-Obong Udo Ben, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Augusta Idongesit Ibekwe. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
SAM I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Comfort Effiong Sam, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Comfort Dickson Ekong. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akewugberu Bilikis Amoke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oladerin Bilikis Amoke. All former documents remains valid. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adebesin Christianah Olufunmilayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ayoade Christianah Olufunmilayo. All former documents remain valid. Ogun State SUBEB, ASLGEA and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sofoluke Olubukola Foluke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adelani Olubukola Foluke. All former documents remain valid. Ogun State SUBEB, ASLGEA and general public should take note.
NWIMANA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Joy Nwimana, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Joy Ukpeni. All former documents remain valid. Nigerian Police Force and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Henrietta Chiadikobi Nwanne, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs.Henrietta Chiadikobi Ugwu. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Doris Mngohol Swem, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs.Doris Mngohol Tsegha. All former documents remain valid. Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) Makurdi, Benue State University and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Solaja Olabisi Oluwaseyi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adeyemi Olabisi Oluwaseyi. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should take note.
IRABOR I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Irabor Justina, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Chidi Justina. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
FAMILOLA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Familola Anike Motunrayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogunsakin Anike Motunrayo. All former documents remains valid. Ikole Local govt., Ekiti State and general public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajiboye Grace Oluwayanmife, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adeola Grace Oluwayanmife. All former documents remains valid. Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti and general public should take note.
OLAYIWOLA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olayiwola Titilope Sayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ayaga Titilope Sayo. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State Hospital Management Board and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinola Abike Florence, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Falade Abike Florence. All former documents remains valid. Ise/Orun Local govt., Ekiti State and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinola Abosede, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adewoyin Abosede. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oludotun Aduke Oriyomi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adeyemi Aduke Oriyomi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Mr. Ajigbewu Kazeem Kayode, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mr. Ajigbewu Qassim Olukayode Oluwasegun. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
OTTUN I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ottun Modupe Ololade, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ottun-Sanni Rihanat Modupe Ololade. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Fakolujo Comfort Funke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ahmed Comfort Funke Fakolujo. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oni Oluwabukola Temilola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oyewole Oluwabukola Temilola. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
ADVERT: Simply produce your marriage certificate or sworn affidavit for a change of name publication, with just (N3,500.) The payment can be made through FIRST BANK of Nigeria Plc. Account number 1892030011219 Account Name VINTAGE PRESS LIMITED Scan the details of your advert and teller to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For enquiry please contact: Gbenga on 08052720421, 08161675390, Emailgbengaodejide @yahoo.com or our offices nationwide. Note this! Change of name is now published every Sundays, all materials should reach us two days before publication.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajide Grace Adeola A., now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Joseph Grace Adeola A. All former documents remain valid. C.D.M. and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Abegunde Abidemi Oluwatoyin, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Arojojoye Abidemi Oluwatoyin. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Blessing Elohor Efegoma, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Blessing E. Godson Anojenwere. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.
FATUNLA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Fatunla Iretioluwa Folasade, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adedeji Iretioluwa Folasade. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adejuwon Adebusola Esther, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Alabi Adebusola Esther. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Faith Odion Okoh, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Faith Odion Eromosele. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
FOLOWOSELE I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Folowosele Abiodun Yemisi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Bamiyowa Abiodun Yemisi. All former documents remains valid. Nigeria Police Force and general public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olubodun Olasumbo Ibironke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Alabi Olasumbo Ibironke. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Stella Ibrahim, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Stella Adamu. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
WORSHIP THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Subsidy removal, wicked new year gift – Prophet Ituen
By David Oyedepo
One of Nigeria’s charismatic clerics and president/founder of Christ DeThe power of imagination (4) liverance Ministries (CDM) Lagos, Prophet Ekong Ituen, has described the removal of fuel subsidy as a wicked New Year gift from government. EAR Reader, last week, I taught on a factor that can enhance your thoughts and consequently your imagination In a brief chat with Augustine Avwode, Ituen condemned the roles played — the wise company factor. The company you keep does not leave you neutral. It either makes or mars you! by the governors through their Governors’ Forum
This week, I will show you another factor that can enhance your thoughts and imagination — inspiration. Inspiration is an important factor in your quest for success and breakthrough in this new year. When you get inspiration from someone, you get new ideas from him, which make you enthusiastic and encourages you to do something positive. Archbishop Benson Idahosa of the blessed memory once said, “If you have no one to inspire you, you will expire.” So, humbly look out for someone who is doing what you are doing, and you will catch a new fire and drive for accomplishment. The Word of God says: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). This scripture proves that you can draw inspiration from someone that has achieved a feat in whatever area of life you are aspiring to. Know that every human reference is himself a product of references. You never become a reference without having a reference, because there is nothing you are doing now that somebody else has not done before. Remember that nothing is new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). You have to surround yourself with human inspirations, because they help you realise your dreams, thoughts and imagination. The Bible says: But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding (Job 32:8). A man without someone to inspire him will be stagnant. For instance, before you were born, somebody carried you in the womb for nine months, gave birth to you and nursed you. It is, therefore, madness to think you can be self-made! There is nothing new under the sun! There is nothing you are going to do that somebody has not done before! My greatest inspiration in the school of prosperity is the Copeland family. I saw sincerity and integrity in them and desired it also. Kenneth Hagin remains my greatest inspiration in the school of faith, whereas Smith Wigglesworth is my inspiration in the school of healing. He fired me up in the school of raw faith for raw healing! Watch out for any man or woman who has made a mark somewhere; he or she has a human reference from where he or she draws inspiration. Likewise, you need to have someone or people to inspire you. I drew inspiration for boldness from the man called A. A. Allen. I got a new heart from listening to his audio tapes, that I no longer got intimidated by anything in life! One day, while watching the video recording of Archbishop Idahosa’s Ibadan crusade, I was moved with the needs of humanity. I saw people (the lame, sick, cripple and blind) being carried to the stadium as early as six o’clock in the morning for a meeting that would hold in the evening. I said to God, “The suffering of man is too much, help me to play my role.” I couldn’t sleep that night, as my heart was very heavy. I came out of my bedroom to the sitting room, and sat on the chair, with the lights off. Then, I heard the majestic steps of a man on the carpet, walking towards me. He walked up to me and placed a hand on my back. I never saw the face of the person that touched me, but I knew it was the Lord Himself that walked into that room. There was an explosion of diverse healings and deliverances in church the following morning! From then on, supernatural manifestations became the order of the day in our ministry. God has positioned men on your path, who can help you accomplish your imagination by inspiring you to attainment. You are to draw virtue from them. May you locate them in good time, in Jesus’ name! Friend, the grace for inspiration is the privilege of those saved. Are you saved? You can be saved by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Do you want to be saved (born again)? Please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious blood. Deliver me from sin and satan! Today, Lord Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You Jesus for saving me! Now I know I am born again! I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. Our midweek services hold on Wednesdays between 6 and 8 p.m. We have four services on Sundays. The first one holds between 6.30 and 8.15 a.m., the second between 8.25 a.m. and 10.10 a.m., the third between 10.20 a.m. and 12.05 p.m. and the fourth between 12.15 and 2.00 p.m. Every exploit in life is a product fo knowledge. For further reading, please get my books — Making Maximum Impact, Towards Mental Exploits and Success In Marriage. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO, Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; Or call 7747546-8; Or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ANY clerics threw their weight behind the removal of fuel subsidy. Did you also support it or holds different position? No, I hold a different position. To me, the removal of fuel subsidy is unacceptable because it is an anti-people policy and a wicked New Year gift. This is another way of inflicting sufferings on the masses and another Rehoboam regime as it was in the Bible. Rehoboam was King Solomon’s son who took a wrong advice and added more yokes to the people but ended becoming one of the worst kings in Israel. Let me tell you it is embarrassing and shameful for one to talk about the removal of fuel subsidy when Boko Haram is terrorizing many Nigerians almost on daily basis. Nigerians didn’t vote for Jonathan to torture them, it is a clear indication that he is a civilian dictatorship and not reliable. This is a man who promised us fresh air during his campaign, he also gave us impression late last year that fuel subsidy removal will come up in April 2012 but suddenly took us unawares and announced it on the first day of the year, with these I don’t think the president can be trusted because the Bible says that “a man who does not keep to the word of his mouth
should not be trusted”. I think he may have offended God in a way, I urge him to go back to God for reconciliation. Usually you have a package of predictions for the year. What is in stock for the country? First, I must thank God for always honouring his word through me all these years. As for the year, though it may be turbulent, the grace of God will be sufficient for them as He will surely see them through. That is on one hand. On the other hand, Nigerians must go into fervent prayers for
members of the Governors’ Forum so as to avoid the Forum mourning one of them before the end of his tenure. There will be a new state for south east geo-political zone before the end of this administration but there will be a serious disagreement as to where the state capital will be located. The court will do the right thing in the case of the gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom State. You could remember that before April poll of 2011, I predicted that if Gov. Godswill Apkabio wins, the court of law will upturn his victory and pres-
ently the case is in court, watch out. And the party, PDP should pray against a serious crisis that is capable of shaking it to its foundation. Just before you go, what is your take on the Boko Haram menace? Honestly, we need God and divine intervention in this area because human efforts have failed us. Though God has assured me of exposing some of those that are behind bomb blast, but there is need for all hands to be on deck through prayers for a solution to save Nigeria from embarrassment and what could cause disintegration. You should also kindly let me use this medium, therefore, to urge the northern elite to intervene and ask them to persuade those behind the destruction of lives and property to stop it, especially, those of Christians in the north because at the end of the day, these people are humans too, they may not have the patience to fold their hands forever and watch their families killed and property destroyed continuously. This development could lead to total break down of law and order. Our politicians must learn to conduct themselves in a manner that pleases God, and the government must make good policies that favour the masses so that they will not regret their actions or inactions.
Adeboye asks Christians to evangelise
HE General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has called on Christians to always show gratitude to God by evangelizing Jesus Christ within their immediate community. Adeboye, who spoke through the Special Assistant on Administration and Personnel, Dr. Johnson Odesola made this known at the church’s Monthly Special Prayer Programme held last Sunday on the theme New Beginning to Greatness at the church
By Adeola Ogunlade
headquarters at 1-9, Redemption way, EbuteMetta, Lagos. He said that Christians need to intensify their effort in spreading the love of Christ that saves from sin, sickness, hardship and eternal damnation of hell within their environment. The cleric lamented the death of evangelism on the highway, offices, streets, town hall and schools which was once the hallmark of a true Christian. Adeboye said “the love of Christ must be spread
abroad in every little opportunity that we have as we see people in their countless number dying and going to hell without hope of eternal life with God”. He stated further that although Nigeria is facing numerous socio-economic challenges, he said “Nigerians should keep their focus on Jesus and leave the rest for Him to handle”. Adeboye continued “Let us keep our hope alive as God is still in control and He cannot abandon Nigeria at this point in time as He has prom-
ised to make all things well for us in the New Year”. He called on Nigerians irrespective of their religious affiliation to remain united and fight against the menace of killing, bombing and reckless destruction of lives and properties orchestrated by the Boko Haram sect. He went further to warn the enemies of the Nigeria and the church to desist from their unwholesome act as God has surprises for the enemies of Nigeria and the enemies of the church in this New Year..
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2012
Power supply to hit 6,000mw this year-Nnaji
IGERIA’S current power supply of 5,600mega watts will increase to over 6,000 megawatts this year, according to Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji. Unveiling government’s plans on power generation this year in Abuja the minister said: “if the gas is there we will be generating 5,600mw today. And we expect that we add at least a thousand megawatts to the grid. That brings us to over 6,000megawatts.” The forum was the Nigeria Power Sector Retreat. Explaining that the only hindrance could be shortage of power supply,Prof.Nnaji said:The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation is working very hard to address the gas challenge. So I think that is going to be resolved. All we want to do is to tell the Nigerian people the truth. Where there is shortfall we will say yes we have
…Urges PHCN staff to accept transfer or leave From John Ofikhenua, Abuja shortfall.” Asked about the fate of the Power Holding Company (PHCN) staff who have refused to accept their redeployment to successor companies, he insisted that the workers have to choose between accepting their transfer or quitting the system. He explained that Federal Government has been paying them for doing nothing at the headquarters since their responsibilities have been transferred to the 18 successor companies. Besides, Nnaji who said none of the workers was sacked, stressed that all their redeployment allowances have been settled in accordance with the law that winded up the PHCN. His words: “Unions have made some progress in understanding reforms. Like I said out
there, reform is always resisted. But reform by the very word is progressive. But people who are comfortable where they are resist. Now, what is it that is happening at headquarters. You have over a thousand people sitting in headquarters they don’t have anything to do but you are paying them. Nigerian people are paying them to sit inside headquarters. “ The law of reform has transferred all rights and everything to the successor companies. So now the workers are supposed to go to the successor companies, nobody is being relieved of his duty. They are being transferred with their salaries. Even their transfer allowances will go there. They just need to go. “And if you are working for a company, you cannot tell the people who employed you not to transfer you to a new loca-
tion. It is done all the time. But if you happen not to like the transfer then you leave the place. The PHCN headquarters staff are doing nothing because the things they used to do have been taken over by the 18 successor companies.” On the retreat, the minister noted that it was an opportunity for the ministry to assess the implementation of the roadmap for the power sector reform. He said the retreat is for the ministry to know the challenges of the public and private companies handling the power sector. Nnaji said: “We want to look at the segments. We want to know what are your issues. We faced tremendous obstacles placed by the government. They have been removed but we want to know which one is still left.”
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CHANGE OF NAME EGBO I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Egbo Vivian Ifeyinwa, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Amasiani Vivian Ifeyinwa. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Kayode Omowunmi Opeyemi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Samuel Omowunmi Opeyemi. All former documents remains valid. Ifedayo Local govt., Oke-Ila Orangun and general public should take note.
CHANGE OF NAME IBIYEMI
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ibiyemi Naimot Adepeju, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Sayid Naimot Adepeju. All former documents remains valid. Ladoke Akintola University and general public should take note.
NWADIKE I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ijeoma Blessing Nwadike, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ijeoma Blessing Onyeahialam. All former documents remains valid. WAEC, NYSC, Federal Polytechnic, Nakede and general public should take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE SEED REHABILITATION FOUNDATION This is to inform the General Public that the above NGO has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for registration under Part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1) Mr. Angela –Tony Iji -ExecutiveDirector 2) Captain Ibrahim Yakubu -President/Chairman 3) Mr. Tony Iji -Vice President 4) Mrs. Comfort Auta -Treasurer/Financial Secretary AIMS / OBJECTIVES 1) Rehabilitation of Girl Child prostitute / Young prostitutes. 2) Offering hope to the down trodden, mending the broken hearted. 3) Sensitizing, restoring, raising women of integrity and dignity. 4) Impacting on lives, giving lives a meaning and a name, not a label. 5) Educating, mentoring, empowering women. 6) Giving the sick and the aged a hope. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 565, Ndola Square, Wuse, Zone 5, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: CAPTAIN IBRAHIM YAKUBU (President/Chairman)
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
Bench role for Osaze in West Brom’s win I
T was an unimpressive weekend for Nigerian players plying their trade in the English Premier League (EPL), as most of them did not feature for their clubs, while those who did for the duration lost all three points. West Brom Manager, Roy Hodgson could do without his Nigerian import Osaze Peter Odemwingie as he left him on the bench for the whole 90 minutes in their 2-1 win over Stoke City away from home. If Hodgson’s praise for the team is anything to go by, then the Nigerian may be in for some more time on the bench in subsequent matches. Hodgson had said: “When you lead for so long and you survive the penalty where your goalkeeper has made a great
•Moses, Ameobi lose •Mikel, Etuhu missing By Innocent Amomoh save, when it gets that close to the end you hope that it’s going to lead to three points. “[Today] we haven’t played with [Shane] Long, [Peter] Odemwingie and in normal circumstances that’s a lot of players to be missing from what people consider to be your first eleven and yet the players have come and done a fantastic job and we end up getting a result here at Stoke which the club have been waiting for 30 years. It was, however, a different story for compatriots Victor
Moses and Shola Ameobi who both had 90 minutes action but could not help their teams escape defeat. While Moses went down with Wigan Athletic, losing 1-3 to host Queens Park Rangers, Ameobi with his Newcastle mates lost 2-5 to Fulham. Eagles’ midfielder, Mikel Obi was conspicuously missing
from the Chelsea line-up in a goalless draw with Norwich City, no thanks to the injury he is reported to be nursing. Though pundits have predicted more time for Mikel in the Chelsea reserve especially with the return of Michael Essien, the Nigerian owes his fans a duty to return to action soonest. Another Nigerian who was missing in action was Dickson Etuhu. On a day when his side Fulham went on a goal feast against Newcastle, Etuhu was not listed at all.
Congo, said he was not surprised with the failure of Egypt to qualify for the Nations Cup because “the signs were there to see that they were a fading power”. Le Roy’s favourites for this year’s AFCON are Ghana, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco, while his dark horses are Burkina Faso, Zambia, Tunisia and Gabon. Newcastle striker Demba Ba (Senegal), Andre Ayew (Ghana), Moussa Maazou (Niger) and Pitriopa (Burkina Faso) will be his picks to shine at the biennial tournament.
Flamingoes trash Kenya 2-0 in Nairobi
HE U-17 Women National Team, n i c k n a m e d Flamingoes, on Saturday in Nairobi started their campaign for a place at this year’s FIFA U-17m Women’s World Cup finals on a bright note, when they defeated their Kenyan counterparts 2-0 in a first round, first leg match. Patience Okaene scored in the 27th and 63rd minutes of the encounter at the Nyayo National Stadium to set Nigeria on a sure course for place in the second and final round of qualifiers come the month of March. “The girls played well and dominated the game, and they showed the right spirit throughout”, said Aisha Falode, Coordinator of Nigeria’s Women National Teams, who was with the
ORMER Bendel Insurance striker Joseph Akpala has refused the contract proposal offered by the management of Club Brugge.
January 21 Norwich C. 0 - 0 Chelsea Everton 1 - 1 Blackburn R. Fulham 5 - 2 Newcastle U. QPR 3 - 1 Wigan Stoke 1 - 2 West Brom Sunderland 2 - 0 Swansea C. Wolves 2 - 3 Aston Villa Bolton 3 - 1 Liverpool
African Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 1 - 0 Libya
2012 AWC will be my last—Perpetual
FTER a career spanning over ten years with the Super Falcons, current CAF Women Footballer of the Year, Perpetual Nkwocha says the forthcoming African Women Championship will mark her last involvement with the female national team. Nkwocha, 36, in an interview with NationSport shortly after she was awarded by the All Stars International, Imo Chapter on Saturday, highlighted that the London
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri 2012 Olympics would have been the ideal place to call it quits but since Nigeria failed to secure a berth, she would relish another shot at the AWC title personally for the sixth time before she publicly makes her intentions known. The soft spoken player confirmed that she would like to go into coaching after retiring from the round leather game and that it always gives her joy seeing that raw talents are transformed into football
NPL matches hold despite ruling HE NPL board has directed that all league matches for this weekend hold as scheduled. This followed Friday’s ruling by a Federal High Court in Abuja that declared the NPL as an illegal board. The court actually ruled on a case brought by Dr Sam Sam Jaja against the NPL and NFF over his disqualification from the NPL election on May 8,
FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
2010. Reacting to the court’s ruling, acting executive secretary of the league board, Tunji Babalola told SuperSport.com that clubs should go ahead to honour their Week Four matches slated for Saturday and Sunday. “We (NPL) have not been served the court ruling. “We expect to be served the paper by Monday after
team in Nairobi. It could have been a virtual roasting of their hosts but Ugandan FIFA Woman Referee Irene Namubiru disallowed a goal scored by Yetunde Adeboyejo in the first half of the encounter. Nigeria will host the return leg of the fixture on Saturday, February 4. Three countries will fly Africa’s flag at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup finals to be staged in Azerbaijan between September and October. The Flamingoes participated in the two earlier editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, in New Zealand (2008) and Trinidad and Tobago (2010), reaching the quarter finals in the last edition before losing to eventual winners South Korea in extra time.
Akpala rules out contract extension at Brugge
Le Roy blames Eagles’ fall on instability X-SENEGAL coach Claude Le Roy has blamed instability in the management of Nigerian football for the country’s absence at the Nations Cup. Nigeria Super Eagles, seventimes champions Egypt and Cameroon are the biggest absentees at the 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Guinea upset star-studded Nigeria to qualify for the tournament from a group that also included Ethiopia and Madagascar. “I have always seen Nigeria as an incredible waste of talent. They have the potentials to be the first African world champions, but they have not been able to organise themselves to move ahead,” said Le Roy, who at a time was linked with Nigeria’s top coaching post. “Nigeria is a huge football country but the instability in the running of the game has meant results have not been very good. “It is not an accident that the top three, four teams for the 2012 Nations Cup enjoy relative stability in their football – Ghana, Senegal and Morocco.” The French coach, who also handled Cameroon and DR
which we would study the ruling to determine the next line of action to take. “In the meantime, we wish to inform all the clubs in the Nigeria Premier League to honour their league fixtures for this weekend as scheduled and not use the court ruling as an excuse not to go for their matches. “Any club that fails to honour its fixture would have itself to blame,” Babalola explained.
aficionados. She said that her taking to coaching was to give back to the game that made her a household name both in the country and on the continent. “The African Women Championship coming up this year will be my last in the national team. I thought we would make it to the Olympics but we couldn’t. I still have a competition to play before I will retire officially,”expressed Nkwocha, who joined the Super Falcons in 2000 At the award proper which has the President of All Stars International, Ugochukwu Nna, its Patron Uche Ejimofor and other Executive members, the gathering unanimously agreed that with all the giant strides made by the former Rivers Angels and Pelican Stars, it was long overdue for the country to properly recognise Nkwocha for being a good ambassador. The President of the Association, Ugochukwu Nna expressed the notion that the token from All Stars was just its little way of celebrating Nkwocha whom he described as the best player in the continent.
There is huge speculation that he could depart the black and blue in the winter market. Akpala has admirers in Germany, Turkey, and especially Spain - Levante, Mallorca and Hercules. The 25-year-old is under contract with Club Brugge until the summer of 2013. Transfer market experts currently value Akpala at a 1.5 million euros. Meanwhile, Isiaku Eliakwu, who was recently released by Anzhi is on the shopping list of Westerlo. In the coming days, the ex Inter Milan whiz-kid should be unveiled by the club.
•Thierry Fidjeu Tazemeta
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS
Equatorial Guinea beat Libya 1-0 in opener lone strike by Javier Balboa gave co-hosts Equatorial Guinea a debut win in the opening game of the Orange Africa
Cup of Nations in Bata on Saturday night. It was goalless at halftime. The hosts a goal disallowed for offside in the first half.
QUOTABLE "Arrangement are in top gear to give my father a befitting burial as a man who dedicated his life to fight against oppression and injustice meted against Nigerians.”
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 6, NO. 2012
— Chief Sylvester Ojukwu - eldest son of the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu commenting on the burial arrangement of his father.
HE killing of Nigeria’s soul did not begin with the Goodluck Jonathan government or his abridgment of the rights of Nigerians, as witnessed in the recent fuel subsidy protests. It did not even begin with the imperial presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo, as embarrassingly archaic as its policies and structures were. Nor, as shocking as it may sound to many analysts, did it begin with the atrocious military governments that have ruled Nigeria, particularly in the Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha years. It began long before in the cauldron where Nigerian leaders plot their country’s decay. As far back as 1787, when the world seethed in ignorance, feudalism and various authoritarian models of government, the United States constitution had declared in its preamble that, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…” Promulgated with 10 amendments, the constitution in the very First Amendment addresses the rights of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition. Americans and their leaders have kept faith with their constitution and inspired the rest of the world with their brand of democracy. Many centuries after, the Nigerian constitution also addresses these rights. The problem, however, is that there has not been one Nigerian president who considered these rights as inviolate. If there was, the late Boko Haram leader would not have been executed, or if executed, justice would not have been denied him. And as recent as early last week, Jonathan again attacked these rights. This is not surprising. His knowledge of the constitution is gained through his retrogressive Minister of Justice’s redaction of the all-important document. Gradually, a pattern is beginning to emerge: while Obasanjo subverted the constitution, Jonathan has attacked it directly. But there is another element to the nexus between leaders and their countries’ greatness. After defeating Russia and Austria at
Nigeria’s misleading search for greatness
Austerlitz in 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte, according to a historian, had become a megalomaniac who was detached from reality. But another historian more subliminally judged him as not being overly ambitious for himself, but that he “embodied the ambition of 30 million (population of France at the time) Frenchmen.” Mark Twain, according to the New York Times obituary of his death, clutched Thomas Carlyle’s History of the French Revolution as he breathed his last. Napoleon on his death bed at St Helena, the Island where he was exiled, was quoted as muttering words about France’s glory and its army. Both Napoleon and Twain demonstrated the passions they harboured in their souls while they lived, and the memories they wished to take with them as they exited the world. Their passions and memories were
defined by their lives and the contributions they made to their countries’ literature and politics. Could Nigerians testify of their leaders that they had such abiding passion for their country? A few days after he brushed aside the constitution and deployed soldiers in Lagos purposely to crush peaceful protests, two former Nigerian leaders, Yakubu Gowon and Shehu Shagari, visited President Jonathan to show solidarity with him over the manner he ‘peacefully’ ended the anti-fuel subsidy demonstrations. Except they went to remonstrate with him privately, and only pretended publicly that they went for a solidarity visit, their presence in Aso Villa was indefensible, not to say cruel. In recent times, Nigerian leaders have be-
War of attrition begins in earnest
HE one-week subsidy war ended dramatically last Monday with the nuanced capitulation of the labour unions, and with civil society groups frozen out of the complicated bargaining that ended the strike action and street protests. The way it ended, with peace terms neither spelt out nor written on paper, it became clear that the uneasy truce portended grave danger for the country. More overwhelmingly, the drafting of soldiers into the fray under the constructive corollary of insecurity deeply offended the sensibilities of every right-thinking patriot and was bound to elicit reactions. It meant that though Jonathan secured some form of victory early Monday, it was an advantage that would be challenged, at first rhetorically, then, as the shock gradually wore off, aggressively and practically. The deployment of troops in Lagos, where the protests received global media coverage more than any other city for their panache and innovativeness, elicited the most poignant reaction. Except under the military, Lagos had never witnessed the deployment of troops for the sole purpose of undermining democratic expressions. Abuja is the formal political capital of Nigeria where the executive, legislature and judiciary lie in interwoven quietude honing their arbitrational rather than lawmaking skills. But Lagos is the face of Nigerian democracy, nay its arteries and sinews. To defeat it is to castrate Nigeria as a whole. It is, therefore, not surprising that many groups are gearing up to give physical or legal challenge to the humiliating state of emergency indirectly proclaimed by the Jonathan government. They are angered by both the temerity of the declaration and the insufferable arrogance shown by the Defence minister, Alhaji Bello Haliru, when he announced
that the troops would remain on the streets of Lagos until normality was restored. He exuded triumphalism at its degrading, provocative worst. If, as everyone knows, there was no breakdown of law and order in the first instance, what sort of normality might the boastful Defence minister be talking about? In an indication of just how quiescent the youth of Nigeria have become, the opening shot in the war of attrition has been fired by a group of elder statesmen under the aegis of National Action Coalition of Democratic Forces (NACDE). Unable to stomach the indignity of military occupation of Lagos, and knowing full well that it probably presaged the suspension of habeas corpus, the mostly over-70 years old gentlemen led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Dr Tunji Braithwaite and Professor Adebayo Williams, among many others, took their case to the State House of Assembly before marching on the Gani Fawehinmi Park, which the soldiers had cordoned off since Monday. The legislators received them well, but policemen firing tear gas, in a scene certain to provoke bitter reaction in the coming days and weeks, prevented them from exercising their constitutional right. The elder statesmen, who have for a long time been the conscience of a nation now battered by Jonathan’s irreverent horde, were halted half way to the Gani Park. There will be many more attempts to march on Gani Park in the coming days and weeks. The conspiracy to deploy soldiers in Lagos may be more convoluted and far deeper than the public has been told. But there are more people provoked by the open attack on the liberties granted by the constitution than the government assumes. The State House of Assembly has shown how agitated it is by the state of emergency; so too have Lagosians. The National
Assembly has been strangely tongue-tied, indicating that many of its key members could be aware, as the labour unions, that the government was about to take extraordinary and unconstitutional steps to destroy the protests. There might be more conspirators. But it is unlikely the fuel subsidy protests will fizzle out. The fact is that they are driven by the inescapable and destructive consequences of poverty. The economics of the subsidy removal is completely antithetical to the politics of inclusion which the Jonathan government has disingenuously sought to foster. Once Lagos overcomes its bewilderment, and rouses itself from slumber, it is unlikely that Jonathan can find the wisdom to placate it, or muster enough strength and courage to oppose its constitutional right to express or keep expressing itself in a way that has made the city the litmus of Nigerian democracy. The war of attrition is just beginning, and we wait to see whether Jonathan’s troops can defeat the will of more than 15 million Lagosians (not to say more than 150 million Nigerians) determined to ensure that government of the people, by the people, for the people, does not perish from Nigeria. Had Obasanjo not missed the historic opportunity to lay a solid foundation for Nigerian democracy, no one, let alone a conspiring Jonathan and his conniving economic sorcerers, would be attempting to tamper with the people’s freedom. But if Nigerians, starting from Lagos, fought the military in the 1990s to enthrone democracy, they will more enthusiastically fight a civilian president trying to invent himself as a military president. This is an excerpt from the analysis written by Kunle Fagbemi and published in the Friday, January 20 edition of this newspaper.
gun to imagine that their success and greatness are interwoven with the courage to institute economic reforms. Obasanjo, for instance, left office proud that the country was debt-free. Jonathan has spoken of the same intention, arguing that he would not want to pass on debts, accumulated from fuel subsidy, to future generations. Where both gentlemen got their economics from is a puzzle. The US is both the most indebted country in the world and the most powerful. What is important is what a country does with the debt. After all, we have begun to accumulate external debt again. But the puzzle leaders like Jonathan and Obasanjo must grapple with is what sort of legacy they hope to leave behind. Obasanjo is awaiting the judgment of posterity. I think he will be judged harshly for misusing the opportunities nature poured upon his ungrateful laps. Centuries before, George Washington got just one opportunity at a time the world was still largely politically sedate, and he made sterling use of it. He left office after only two terms and is today described in the US as the Father of the nation. He is remembered not for leaving his country economically strong, which he achieved splendidly, but for the US constitution that has become a masterpiece, his brilliance as a war leader and as an administrator, his democratic credentials and institutionalisation of some of the rituals of the presidency that still endure till today, and above all for his selfless and abiding love for country. Asked who was the greatest military general of his time, the Duke of Wellington, himself a great general and opponent of Napoleon, answered thus: “In this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon.” Yet in spite of the Frenchman’s military genius, and the fact that his campaigns are still studied in military academies in many countries, his most profound legacy is the impact he had on Europe administratively. Space will not permit lessons to be drawn from his enunciation of the Napoleonic Code, which like Suleiman the Magnificent’s legal and administrative reforms, lifted Europe out of the ‘past’ into the ‘present’. It must be emphasised that Napoleon presided over the final work of the Napoleonic Code draft. Indeed, I do not know any great leader who affected his country for all time who did not have the intellectual depth to either initiate lasting, timeless reforms or preside over the final writing of those reforms. I have received tons of abuses over my impatience with Jonathan’s uninspiring, and now anti-democratic, leadership. These will not deter me from denouncing the way he has handled the subsidy revolt, particularly the appalling logic of his economic measures and the wholesale and sickening subversion of democratic principles. In the doubtful event that his economic measures bear fruits, the cost to democracy of implementing them will render any achievement nugatory and his reign a footnote. I do not think there is any modern leader who can rise to greatness who fails to take special steps to strengthen democracy, reform and restructure the country politically and socially, and make fundamental changes in his country’s worldview. If a leader’s reforms meet with implacable opposition, he must, like Charles de Gaulle did in 1946 and 1969, be prepared to resign, not once, but even twice, if it becomes inevitable. Obasanjo’s fate was sealed in 2007. It is unlikely posterity will judge him approvingly. Jonathan’s fate is being sealed as he sacrifices democratic principles for dubious economic measures. He fails to appreciate what must be done to achieve greatness; for to appreciate this requires the highest, rarest level of intelligence. That sort of intelligence comes not by wishing it, or putting together advisers to provide untested and half-baked ideas. It comes from the inside of a leader; and it can only get into the inside by reading books, books, and more books – books on history, society and economics, inspiring books on past great leaders, and books about the issues that have shaped societies and empires over the centuries. There are no shortcuts; nor time for the pleasures of life, whether wine or women, for the life of a great leader is one of extreme sacrifice in the national cause, sacrifice that is itself shaped by the anvils of the intellect as by the sands of time.
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