Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
News Soyinka: don’t ethnicise subsidy removal protest P6 Sport Eagles star Obodo faces jail for assault in Italy P24 Business Fed Govt to auction N89.7b bond, says Debt Office P11 www.thenationonlineng.net
VOL. 7, NO. 2014 TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
My agony, by woman searching for husband’s body K ANO residents remained dazed yesterday by last Friday’s attacks in which more than 200 died. Many have summoned the inner strength to begin the grim but necessary search for the bodies of their loved ones; some are mourning and others are just praying that peace will return to the city – Nigeria’s second largest. Mrs. Salamatu Ciroma (32),
•Salamatu Joshua ... yesterday
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
wife of Yakubu Joshua Ciroma, who worked at the Society for Family Health, spoke of her loss, wondering how she would manage to cater for her four children without him. An emotional wreck, the widow, who is yet to see her
husband’s body, rained curses on whoever killed him. She recalled her last encounter with him, saying: “My husband woke up on Friday a very happy man. Usually, every Friday, my husband always gave me N200 for breakfast after our morning devotion. But on that day, I was surprised
he gave me N500, and whispered into my ear to use the extra cash to take care of my hair, which he noticed was unkempt. “I was so happy that I promised to prepare his favourite dish in the evening – in appreciation of his love – but little did I know that it was the last moment with him.” According to her, the husband usually telephoned her four Continued on page 4
THE SIEGE OF LAGOS
The soldiers have not come to protect us. When it is time, people will rise to reclaim their space. – Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka at a Town Hall meeting organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) in Lagos ... yesterday
NIGHT: Two of the soldiers guarding the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos to keep anti-petrol price rise protesters away... yesterday PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
Police: 10 bomb-laden vehicles found in Kano
HE police in Kano were still battling yesterday to free themselves from the hangover of last Friday’s shock-and-awe attacks. But they were strong enough to begin the difficult task of counting the dead. The toll: 186 so far. On the casualty list are 29 policemen, three State SecuService (SSS) officSEE rity ers, two Immigration ALSO officers, one Customs PAGES officer, a journalist and others. 2-4&7 150 Police Commissioner
185 suspects arrested Death toll rises to 186 Mark, Tambuwal visit Emir leads prayers
ing. Besides, said the police, 10 bombIbrahim Idris, in a statement, re- laden vehicles were found in the counted the incident. He said a sui- city, Nigeria’s second largest. Senate President David Mark and cide bomber drove a car forcefully through the gates of the police zonal House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal headquarters and detonated a bomb visited to commiserate with the which destroyed part of the build- residents. The Emir, Alhaji Ado From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
Bayero, led prayers for peace. According to the police, who said 185 suspects had been arrested, “the same group of terrorists launched an attack at Farm Centre and Zaria road police division, Immigration Passport Office located at Farm Centre, SSS headquarters at
Giginyu quarters, the official residence of the AIG Zone One and St. Louis Secondary School simultaneously. “The command is made to inform the general public on the sad state Continued on page 4
•ENERGY P13 •SPORTS P23 •PROPERTY P25 •AVIATION P36 •POLITICS P37
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS EXPLOSIONS IN KANO, BAUCHI NEW YEAR MESSAGES
NLC to Fed Govt: stop these killings T
HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday urged the Federal Government to stop the killings in the North. Its President, Abdulwaheed Omar, said in a statement, the carnage, if not stopped, could consume the country. Omar called for an overhaul of the security agencies, saying there is a failure of intelligence. The statement reads: “The Nigeria Labour Congress views with patriotic concern the growing state of insecurity that seems to have engulfed some parts of the country, and calls for far-reaching actions from the Federal Government. “Armed groups have been attacking residents of several parts of the North, culminating in the bloodiest of such attacks in Kano where about 250 people were reported to have died as a result of multiple bomb attacks in several locations in the commercial city. This was followed with another attacks in Bauchi.
By Wale Ajetunmobi
“We see in these attacks a total failure of our security system that has consistently displayed incompetence in securing life and properties of everyone living in Nigeria. “We have noticed that on all occasions when bombs were detonated, all we hear from security agencies are lamentations about their state of helplessness as well as unfulfilled promises of improvement. “We call on the Federal Government to urgently overhaul the country’s security and intelligence community as well as provide contemporary equipment and manpower that will enable the various agencies improve their competence in handling security challenges, especially as terrorism seems to have taken root in Nigeria. “We, however, note that what has heightened these challenges are deeply rooted in our government’s
failure in combating the country’s socio-economic deficiencies, which has led to unemployment, collapse in our education system, collapse of industries as well as other infrastructures. All these have been compounded by the recent increase in the pump price of petrol. “We, therefore, call on governments at all levels to take urgent steps to address these socio economic challenges. “On behalf of all Nigerian workers, we condole with the families of all those who died in these unfortunate incidents and call on government to compensate all the families of the dead as well as take responsibility for the effective treatment of those injured. “We appeal to all Nigerians to see every part of the country as their homes and reject the interpretation in some quarters that these attacks are directed towards ethnic cleansing.”
• Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and the Emir of Kano after a prayer for peace in Kano...yesterday PHOTO: AFP
‘Nigeria’s existence is threatened’
GROUP - Committee for Concerned Nigerians - yesterday raised the alarm that Nigeria’s corporate existence is threatened. Members of the group include: acclaimed poet, Prof. Niyi Osundare, son of the late leader of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin, and professors, Amina Mama, Toyin Falola, and Funke Okome, all based in the United States. The group, which has more than 60 Nigerians (both at home and abroad) as members, called for the convocation of a national conference to resolve the “fundamental crisis” in the country and to save it from “imminent collapse”. It said: “The government of President Goodluck Jonathan, by its simplistic and haughty responses to the true wishes of (Nigerians) … has lost a golden opportunity to align itself with the people whose mandate it claims to hold. “Though they are provoked by, and react to, different aspects of the national crises, both the terrorism of
By Wale Adepoju
the Boko Haram group and the gallant efforts by the masses and the civil society against the increase in the pump price of oil, are manifestations of a perilous incoherence in the structural composition of Nigeria and the manner in which the country has been, and is being, administered.” It said Jonathan has been rendered “inarticulate” by the incessant terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Boko Haram. The group condemned the “glaring incompetence, corruption and lack of vision” of the Jonathan administration, adding that the government’s shortcomings constitute a threat to the continued existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity. “In spite of the promises that have been made by the present economic managers, the Nigerian masses and the withered middle-class will continue to experience a life of unrelenting misery unless a new path that encourages a fundamental and holistic restructuring of our national life, including economic and political
structures, is stated immediately.” Others who signed the statement include: Ms. Funmi Iyanda, a popular broadcaster, Dr. Dalhatu Umaru, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, Titi Omo-Ettu, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Prof. Segun Gbadegesin of Howard University, Prof. Olufemi Vaughan, Dr. Momofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, Dr. Chika Unigwe, a writer, Professor Moradewun Adejunmobi, Dr. Victor Isumonah of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Alade Fawole of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr. Chido Onumah, Dr. Wale Adebanwi, Dr. Pius Adesanmi, Dr. Farooq Kperogi, Dr. Hussaini Jibrin, Prof. Tunde Bewaji, Mr. Laolu Akande, Mr. Chido Onumah, Dr. Ebenezer Obadare, Dr. Nduka Otiono, Mr. Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, the Secretary of the Governing council of the Yoruba Academy, Dr. Muoyo Okome, Dr. Ike Anya, Mr. Aderemi Ojikutu, Dr. Baba Adam, Mr. Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo and Dr. Bunmi Aborisade.
•The burnt house of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police
Aregbesola, Chime mourn slain reporter
‘ Send Lagos soldiers to North’ •Lagos Speaker condemns killing of journalist
EPUTY Whip of the Lagos State House of Assembly Rotimi Abiru has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to send the soldiers on the streets of Lagos to the North, where bombings are occurring almost on a daily basis. Abiru, who spoke with reporters yesterday, described as embarrassing the recurring bomb blasts engineered by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, adding that the escape of a suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, was worrisome. “The issue of this reccurring bomb blasts has become an embarrassment for this nation; it is a disgrace to Nigeria as a country and it is very bad for the image of our country because developed world would laugh at us,” Abiru said. Reacting to the heavy presence of military personnel in some parts of Lagos, the lawmaker said: “Nigerians decided to show their displeasure over the increase in the pump price of petrol. As far as I know, protest is one of the ways grievances could be shown against any policy of the government that is not in the interest of the people. “It was reported that these protests were peaceful. Constitutionally, the people have the right to protest. So, for Lagos residents to wake up one morning and just see soldiers taking over some parts of the state, was strange in a democratic setting. “For crying out loud, we don’t need soldiers in Lagos; Mr. President should redeploy these soldiers to the North where Boko Haram members are killing people almost every day. The issue of insecurity in the North is
By Oziegbe Okoeki
becoming worrisome. So, the Federal Government should deploy soldiers in the North.” Condemning the recent attack on some eminent Nigerians bysecurity operatives, Abiru said: “The police should know that they are part of the citizens, despite being on the pay roll of the Federal Government. The police should apologise to Lagosians and Nigerians at large for firing teargas at those old and respected elders.” The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, also condemned the killing of a reporter with the Channels Television, Mr. Eneche Akogwu by members of the dreaded sect. “It is very sad, regrettable and most ungodly for any group by whatever name to have killed Eneche in that gruesome manner while carrying out its constitutionally guaranteed duty as a member of the Fourth Estate of the Realm,” the speaker said through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Rotimi Adebayo. He called on the Federal Government to curb the Boko Haram menace. The statement reads: “We equally call on the members of the group to stop their nefarious activities that have led to the death of hundreds of innocent Nigerians who have fallen victims of bombings since the sect began its operation in 2009. “It is better for Boko Haram members at this point to sheath their swords immediately in order to save our country from anarchy. The time for them to embrace peace and dialogue with the Federal Government is now.”
ORE governors yesterday mourned the slain Channels Television reporter, Mr. Enenche Akogwu. They include Governors Rauf Aregbesola and Sullivan Chime of Osun and Enugu states. Aregbesola described as alarming the dimension bombings of innocent lives in the country was taking, while Chime, in a message by his Chief Press Secretary Chukwudi Achife, said the late reporter and the other victims of the attacks would be remembered as martyrs in the struggle to forge national unity and integration. The Osun governor’s spokesman, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said in a statement: ”In the last few months, mindless killings of innocent souls have become a daily affair. What has been most disturbing
is the inability of the Federal Government’s security agencies to track down the perpetrators let alone bring them to justice. “The killing of Mr. Enenche Akogwu, a Correspondent with the Channels Television in Kano is a shattering development which should be condemned by all. The young man was carrying out his noble duty but fell to the marauding hands of the perpetrators of the evil that is, regrettably, becoming part of the identities of Nigeria. “It is sad enough that we have this situation on our hands as a country and as a people. It is sadder that journalists and any other professionals for that matter must be sacrificed so brutally in the course of their assignments.” Also, the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, said the level of insecurity in the country was unacceptable. In a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Goke Butika, the Speaker said: “Nigerians must move against insurgent group, Boko Haram.” He said the overhaul of the nation’s security agencies was long overdue.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS EXPLOSIONS IN KANO, BAUCHI
Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan once hailed as man of destiny
•Joshua Ciroma, one of those who died in the Kano attacks. PHOTOS: KOLADE ADEYEMI
US, Nigeria brainstorm on Boko Haram From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
FFICIALS of the United States and Nigeria yesterday started a two-day meeting to check increasing terrorist attacks in the North. The US military and intelligence officials were led to the meeting by the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mr. William Fitzgerald. The Nigerian delegation was led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Azazi (rtd). The Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Martin Uhomoibhi was also at yesterday’s session. Speaking at the meeting Fitzgerald said the security situation in the North has reached a significant dimension. He said: “Today marks a new beginning, security issues in the North have taken up a new significance, so we have chosen to split the regional security cooperation and the Niger Delta. The regional security cooperation has its own working group which will meet today (yesterday) and tomorrow (today). “I bring on behalf of the US government, the deepest condolences on the heinous attacks that have taken place during the past few days first in Kano and then Bauchi state. We deplore swiftly the reign of terror that has existed in the North of the country for many months. And we stand with you to work together to find a way to bring peace to the North.” Uhomoibhi said the meeting is based on mutual respect and understanding. “To us as Nigerians, we do consider it as the basis for developing very close relations based on the implementation of specific programmes in such areas as agriculture, food security, good governance, power, energy and general security issues,” he said. The meeting, after the formal opening, went into a closed-door session. Azazi spoke on ‘Understanding Extremism in the Nigerian context’. Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima addressed ‘Challenges at the Local level’. Fitzgerald spoke on ‘Political Responses to Security Problems’. United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defence Joseph McMillan delivered a paper on ‘Developing Effective and Sustainable Counter-Terrorism Capacity.’
E is the son of a canoe-carver, a mild-mannered academic who wears a fedora but eschews the flowing robes and bombastic brashness that often characterise Africa’s “Big Man” leaders. When elected president in April 2011, he was described as “Nigeria’s Obama,” a leader who would bring change to the oil-rich but poverty-ridden nation. His countrymen believed a divine hand orchestrated his success. After all, his name spoke of his destiny: Goodluck Jonathan. Now, just nine months after his election, Jonathan is an embattled leader whose popularity has plummeted. A Christian from southern Nigeria, he faces the challenges of growing sectarian violence and angry citizens who took to the streets in recent weeks, carrying mock coffins and placards calling him “President Badluck.” Protests over his decision to end fuel subsidies escalated to include discontent at corruption, mass unemployment and lack of infrastructure. For many Nigerians, most of whom are struggling to get by on less than $2 a day, change is not coming quickly enough. Nigerians desperately wanted to believe in Jonathan’s capacity to bring change, largely because they liked his humility and identified with him. Goodluck Jonathan, or GEJ as he is more commonly known, used his humble beginnings as political capital during his election campaign last year. In an oft-repeated speech, he said, “In my early days in school I had no shoes, no school bags. I carried my books in my hands but never despaired, no car to take me to school, but I never despaired. “There were days I had only one meal, but I never despaired. I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day, but I never despaired. [I] didn’t have power, didn’t have generators, studied with lanterns, but I never despaired. “In spite of these, I finished secondary school, attended the University of Port Harcourt, and now hold a doctorate degree. Fellow Nigerians, if I could make it, you too can make it!” Citizens lapped up this man-of-thepeople rhetoric, says Tolu Ogunlesi, a former recipient of the CNN African journalist award. “He came out of nowhere, and we all love an underdog.” Even his name seemed to hold promise. Nigerians believe one’s name can help shape a person’s destiny. So they tend to bestow on their children names with significant meaning. It is not uncommon to meet people named Fortune, Happiness, Charity, Mercy. Names given in their native language are also imbued with symbolic and often religious meaning. Jonathan’s middle name, Ebele, means “God’s Wish.” His late father, Lawrence, was quoted as saying in a biography of the president that he “called him Goodluck because although life was hard for me when he was born, I had this feeling that this boy would bring me good luck.” His meteoric rise - from lowly civil servant to president of Africa’s most populous nation - seemed to trade on fortune. His political career began when he was elected deputy governor of Bayelsa, a small state in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region, then quickly became governor when his predecessor was impeached on corruption charges. From there he rose to national office — handpicked by party leaders
VIEW FROM ABROAD
to be vice-president, then succeeded President Umaru Yar’Adua after the incumbent died in office. Just over a year later, he was elected in his own right. In a country where would-be politicians spend millions of dollars campaigning, Jonathan never actively sought or hustled for political office. He has simply been at the right place at the right time, patiently waiting for events to unfold in his favour. The fall from grace Critics say the loss of trust in Jonathan’s administration did not happen overnight. They cite a series of blunders, beginning with his effort, just months after his election, to extend the presidency term from four to six years. He is also accused of being completely inept at handling the security issues posed by Boko Haram, a shadowy militant Islamic group that is said to favour strict Sharia law, and which is frequently blamed for the sectarian violence that is threatening the unity of the country. “Jonathan has come across as clueless when it comes to dealing with Boko Haram,” Ogunlesi said. “No senior security officers have lost their jobs, nothing seems to have been done.” But it is the abrupt removal of the fuel subsidy, in what has been described as a callous New Year’s Day “gift” that proved unacceptable for many Nigerians. There has been intense speculation in the country that the decision came suddenly because of pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) . The announcement coincided with a visit to the country by IMF head Christine Lagarde weeks earlier. “The fuel subsidy removal is the final straw. I’ve never seen such a massive loss of goodwill in so little time,” Ogunlesi said. Jonathan also “outraged” Nigerians when talking about Boko Haram recently after admitting there were sympathisers of the Islamic group within his government. “Nigerians find it outrageous to hear him say this about his government, which he had a major part in putting together,” says Nigerian political journalist Terfa Tilley-Gyado. “People would like to know who they are and what efforts are being made to prosecute them.” Perhaps mindful of the deposed governments in other countries across the continent, the president acted quickly and decisively to crush the growing resistance, deploying the military onto the streets with a mandate to use force on protesters. Nigerians took to the streets on January 2, prompting him to meet with union leaders who demanded a return to the petrol pump price of N 65 (40 cents). Negotiations have gone back and forth, and the most recent price concession of N97 (60 cents) appears to have appeased union leaders who called off nationwide strikes. A weak - or deliberate - leader? Political opponents argue that Jonathan, a biologist with a doctorate in zoology, does not have the political mettle to do business in Nigeria’s tough-guy political arena. Human rights lawyer and activist Femi Falana has known Jonathan for more than a decade since he was a governor of Bayelsa State. “Jonathan is a good guy who finds it difficult to offend people,” he says. “A lot of people around him try to take advantage of this good disposition.
“He needs to put his foot down and make his mind. He’s very slow.” “He has failed to move against the oil cartel holding the country ransom,” Falana continued. “He doesn’t get tough on companies like Shell to clean up when there are massive oil spills, like Obama did with BP in the Gulf of Mexico. Jonathan is a likable guy, but it takes more than that to govern this country.” Last September, Jonathan responded to his critics during a speech: “I don’t need to be a lion...I don’t need to operate like the pharaoh of Egypt, I don’t need to be an army general, but I can change this country without those traits.” Those close to him describe a measured, contemplative man who likes to consult widely before making decisions. King A.J. Turner, a close adviser who has known Jonathan since their university days, told CNN: “The Jonathan I know doesn’t rush into making decisions and likes to involve a wide range of people and experts. That process takes time and can appear slow, but that is his style.” Friends say one of the biggest misconceptions about Jonathan is that he is weak. “The same people calling him weak are the same ones now saying he’s a dictator. I feel so sad when people say things about him,” Turner said. Turner, former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, says Jonathan is a loyal friend who has competitive instincts — at least on the squash courts, a sport he plays “religiously.” “He has beaten me a few times,” he adds. He describes a man who unwinds from the stresses of the job by listening to the music of legendary Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti. “He loves Fela’s music so much,” Turner says. But Fela’s brash revolutionary style of music might make uncomfortable listening for Jonathan these days. Before he died, Fela Kuti frequently clashed with the authorities, and his youngest son, Seun Kuti, was among those leading demonstrations against GEJ’s government during the uprising against fuel prices. Even Jonathan’s wife, Patience, has seemed a liability for the president. She has faced unproven allegations of corruption and is frequently the butt of jokes because of what others describe as her poor grasp of English. A United States diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and reported in the Nigerian media only added to his image as a weak leader: It stated that the First Lady “runs her own show, and the husband has little or no control over her.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS Bomb-laden vehicles found Continued from page 1
•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (second right), his Deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (second Left), Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Abdul-Lateet Aderemi Ibirogba (right) and Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu (left) during the commemoration of the 1,700 Days in Office of the Fashola Administration at the LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja ... yesterday. SEE ALSO PAGES 8 AND 59 PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
Police arrest 185 Kano bombings suspects
BOUT 185 suspects have been arrested by security agencies in connection with Friday’s multiple bombings in Kano. More riot policemen were deployed in the beleaguered city yesterday. The combing of the city for more suspects continued, following intelligence reports that some of the bombers may still be in the city. For about five hours, security chiefs were locked in an appraisal meeting in Abuja on how to check a recurrence of the dastardly attacks by Boko Haram in any part of the country. The Nigerian Immigration Service said it would not be deterred by the bombing of its Kano office. The suspects were picked up by security agents in the thick of the explosions and the following day. The suspects are being screened to avoid punishment of innocent people, it was learnt. A top security source said:
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
The combing of the city and its outskirts continues. There is the likelihood that the number could be higher. “The security agencies are enjoying cooperation from the people of the state because everyone was touched by the incident.” Responding to a question, the source added: “More riot policemen were flown into Kano from Abuja through Aminu Kano International Airport yesterday to beef up security in the city. “The government has placed all security agencies on the alert. The reinforcement of security, which began on Sunday, is part of steps to secure the city. “All military installations and offices of other security agencies have been fully secured.” The Director of Press Affairs to Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, Alhaji Baba Dantiye, confirmed the arrest of 185 by the police.
Some bereaved families have besieged Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital to claim the bodies of their relations for burial. A Kano State Emergency Management Agency official aid: “Some relatives were opposed to post-mortem examination for their loved ones killed in the blast. “They have been coming to retrieve the bodies of their relatives to bury them in line with Islamic rites. “We have willingly allowed these families to evacuate the identified victims for burial. I cannot give you the exact figure of the bodies already claimed but they are many.” Besides Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshall Oluseyi Petirin, all service chiefs were said to be at the Abuja meeting. A source said: “The security chiefs have been taking stock of the incident in Kano and how to overhaul the nation’s
security. “The government has decided to strengthen security nationwide because it is apparent that Boko Haram or any terrorist group can strike in any part of the country.” The spokesman for the Nigerian Immigration Service, Joachim Olumbah, a chief superintendent, said: “It is unfortunate that we lost two officers at our Main Office to the bombings in Kano, but it was not an isolated attack. “The Boko Haram members were attacking every security organisation, particularly the police.” When asked on Immigration Service efforts at checking the influx of Nigeriens and Chadians believed to dominate the Boko Haram sect, Olumbah said: “From time to time, we have been conducting raids. Since this Boko Haram phenomenon started, we have been going the extra mile to ensure that nobody is allowed into the country illegally.”
Emir leads prayer for peace
MIR of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, yesterday led clerics to pray for victims of the Boko Haram (Western education is sinful) attacks that left over 200 people dead. A car was found filled with explosives outside a government-run fuel station in Kano on Sunday, as President Goodluck Jonathan visited the city. Jonathan said some suspects had been arrested and vowed that the government would track down the backers of Boko Haram, which has staged a series of increasingly bloody attacks, often targeting Christians and uniformed people. “We will strengthen the security in Kano and other parts of the country,” Jonathan added. “I will pray to God that we should never relive the catastrophe that resulted in the deaths and maiming in our city,” Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso said. The Emir told the clerics: “I enjoin you to continue pray-
ing for peace and stability in our city. I call upon you to use any religious forum to pray for peace in our land.” Bayero, 81, whispered to God through a microphone at a mosque. The mosque sat half empty for the special service. Secret police officers stood guard with assault rifles. “I call on people from all groups to pray for this place,” said Bayero, who was joined by Kwankwaso. Residents of Kano tried to restore a semblance of normality, but nerves were on edge. A purported spokesman for Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in response to a refusal by the authorities to release its members from custody. Some detainees being held at a police station in Kano were believed to have been freed during Friday’s attacks. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo sought to downplay the crisis. “Even though it is a big challenge to the Nigerian people and its government, it is not one that... shakes Nige-
ria to its foundation,” Obasanjo said in Banjul, The Gambia on Sunday. Relief workers said the death toll from Friday’s attacks was at least 166 but a doctor at a major hospital said the toll could soar to 250. Yesterday, rights activist Shehu Sani said the dead toll had hit 256. According to Sani, President of Civil Rights Congress, whose members were engaged in rescue operations during the weekend, the number is likely to rise, in view of the many persons who were seriously injured Around 50 people gathered yesterday outside the main hospital’s morgue waiting to collect remains of their loved ones for burial. Lying on a bed in a ward at the hospital with a bullet wound in his leg, tannery worker Monday Joseph, 29, said he was driving home from work with four colleagues when one of the bombs went off. They abandoned the car and started running. “The four of them died. I
of security and ugly incident of Friday 20th January, 2012. It was a day some extremists launched sporadic attacks with bombs and assault rifles in various parts of the state.” The police said at the command headquarters in Bompai, two cars heavily loaded with explosive devices, apparently primed for suicide mission, were stopped. They said the first suicide bomber drove through the JFK end of Bompai Barracks when resisted by the officers on duty and detonated his bomb on the road when he could not access the barracks. The statement added that the second vehicle – a Toyota Camry – was sporadically fired at by the police, ran into the wall and could not have access into the command headquarters. The driver was gunned down and the explosives demobilised. The statement explained that the police recovered 10 vehicles including Honda CRV, Toyota Camry of various models, Honda Brahma, Golf, Toyota “First Lady” loaded with improvised explosive devices at places, such as Sheka Quarters, NNPC Mega filling station, Hotoro, Tishama Goron
Dutse, Miller Road and Police Headquarters road, Bompai. The police also recovered 300 Coca-Cola sized cans of improvised explosive devices at various locations in the city. “Eight (8) Peak milk tins of 350kg loaded with improvised explosive devices, eight (8) drums sized of 350kg loaded improvised explosive devices loaded in cars in various locations in the city. “The extremists attacked and brutally killed innocent civilian citizens who were going about their lawful business along Tudun Wada Road, Club Road, Cemetery Road, Abuja Yan Dusa, SDY Roundabout and St. Louis Avenue.” The police also impounded two vehicles abandoned by suspected Boko Haram men. The police were on a stopand-search yesterday and in two of the checkpoints, the Boko Haram members, on sighting the checkpoints, abandoned their vehicles and ran, a high-level police officer told Reuters, asking not to be named. “The vehicles were later checked and the cars were loaded with explosives. Two brand new Hilux open pick-up vans were also found packed with explosives in the Bompai area of Kano.”
Attackers wore police uniforms
OME of the attackers who carried out last Friday’s coordinated bombings and shootings in Kano wore police uniforms as they gunned down officers, police said yesterday. It was unclear how they obtained the uniforms, but their use led to further confusion on Friday night as the city exploded into violence claimed by Boko Haram. “I saw somebody wearing a mobile (police) uniform with an AK-47,” Assistant Police Superintendent Wellington Asiayei said from his hospital bed. Asiayei said he had just heard a bomb blast and was closing the door to his room in the barracks to run toward the main building at the time. “I thought it was my colleague, so I said, ‘Come sir, let’s run to the headquarters. Something is happening.’ So I was about to lock my door ... I saw him raise the rifle at me.” He was shot and his spinal cord was hit, leaving him unable to walk. Another police source who spoke on condition of anonymity said others were wearing police uniforms as well. “It was quite difficult for us because some of them wore our uniforms and camouflaged as members of the force,” the source said. “That was what made the situation more difficult.”
Agony of woman searching for husband’s body Continued from page 1
•Emir Bayero ... yesterday
am the only one who survived,” he told AFP. Nigeria’s supreme Muslim leader, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, said the attacks were “perhaps the worst in terms of the loss of lives”. “It is evidently clear that Nigeria is passing through a trying moment of general insecurity of overwhelming magnitude,” he said. Boko Haram claimed a Christmas Day bombing at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, which killed at least 44 people and an August attack against United Nations (UN) headquarters in Abuja that killed 25.
times whenever he went to work before his return, “but on Friday, he called me only twice. I became so worried when it was getting late. Then, around 6 p.m., a boy ran to me and informed me that there was a problem in the town. “Immediately, I called Yusuf Daiyabu, a colleague and friend to my husband, to inquire if all was well. Daiyabu told me he was around Kurna Asabe and that he would soon be home. After a while, I called Daiyabu again and he still assured me that my husband was close by. “It was getting so late and I became apprehensive as news of several bombings and killings by the evil Boko Haram agents rented the air. I could not sleep that night as my children kept on crying, asking me about their father. “Around 3 a.m., something strange hit me on my chest and I became unconscious, as
if I was in a trance. I saw my husband in a pool of blood and I regained my consciousness and became convinced that my husband was dead.” Salamatu started the search for her husband’s body Saturday morning. She is yet to find it. Inspector Abubakar Yelwa and Corporal Abubakar Yunusa, who are on admission at the Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital in Nasarawa Quarters, were on duty at Bompai Police Headquarters when Boko Haram fighters struck. They told The Nation that they were shocked to find themselves at the hospital where they gained their consciousness. Said Yelwa: “It was indeed a bitter experience. We were at the gate when we heard a big bang and the next thing we knew was that we were here in the hospital. My brother, I thank God I am alive, but I feel so bad that we lost so many of our colleagues to those enemies of the state.”
ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Britain apologises to Nigerian for ‘identity betrayal’ UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has admitted that his department betrayed a Nigerian-Briton anti-corruption whistleblower by revealing his identity to the equity firm he accused of corruption
tity, this should not have happened. We apologise unreservedly and are very sorry for any distress caused.” Mr Mitchell said the coalition government had a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and placed the highest priority on efforts to tackle it. “I have immediately ordered a review of departmental processes to learn the lessons of this case and ensure that whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous will always be afforded the protection they deserve,” he added. But Mr Oloko said he was not impressed by what he called the cynical attempt at damage limitation. He fears his safety is now in jeopardy in Nigeria where attempts have been made on the lives of anti-corruption campaigners. “At some point or other I will have to pay the price for what I’ve done,” he said. Asked what he meant, he responded: “There’ll be some form of retribution.” A statement from CDC said: “We are sincerely sorry about the harassment the report’s author and his family have suffered. “CDC takes confidentiality very seriously so as to safeguard the identities of people who raise issues with us. It is important that people feel confident that they can bring matters that concern them to our attention.” The statement added that neither the name nor the contact details of the report’s author had been apparent to CDC. “We are taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again and are issuing internal guidance to prevent any inadvertent sharing of embedded author data in future,” it added. In February 2009, Mr Oloko, using a pseudonym and requesting confidentiality, wrote to former international development secretary, Douglas Alexander outlining his concerns that an African focused private equity firm, Emerging Capital
What happened is pure thoughtlessness and negligence on the part of DfID and CDC. It is just unbelievable. It is not just me that has faced intimidation but other members of my family. It’s still going on. They contacted my friends and family trying to get access to me
IGERIAN-Briton, Dotun Oloko accused a private equity firm of investing in corrupt companies. His identity was passed on to the private equity firm by the department’s officials. Mr Mitchell told Newsnight it had been an “inadvertent” error and has issued an unconditional apology to the man. Dotun Oloko, of Brighton, Sussex, was targeted by private investigators after his name emerged. His children were followed to school, he was secretly photographed at his home and church in Brighton and investigated on two continents. Mr Oloko had complained that funds from the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) were being invested in companies suspected of involvement in money laundering in Nigeria, where he worked. He took his concerns to the Department for International Development (DFID) in 2009, securing a promise it would not pass on his identity. But his complaints were handed to the CDC, which turned them over to the private equity firm whose investments Mr Oloko had questioned. It in turn sent a private investigator to investigate its accuser. After two years of denials from his department, Mr Mitchell admitted to Newsnight the department had “inadvertently” passed on original electronic documents, failing to realise Mr Oloko’s name was revealed in the electronic properties. The slip-up happened under the previous Labour administration. Mr Mitchell offered an unconditional apology and said there would now be a full review of procedures. He said: “It is vital that whistleblowers should be able to report their concerns with impunity. “While I am confident DFID acted in good faith to protect his iden-
Partners which has received British tax payers cash from CDC, might be linked to possible corruption in Nigeria. An allegation ECP denies. A DfID policy adviser replied asking for further details. Mr Oloko swiftly responded attaching two reports he wrote to illustrate his concerns. Again, he stressed the need to hide his real name. The official, without requesting permission from Mr Oloko, sent the attachments to CDC. CDC, rather than launch their own independent investigation into the claims or summarising his allegations into a separate file, simply passed the attachments to ECP, the company linked to the allegations, for comment. By viewing the attachment’s ‘properties’ which showed up the documents’ author, ECP was able to establish Mr Oloko’s identity thanks
to DfID and CDC failure. The revelation triggered a threat of legal action from ECP to Mr Oloko, which so far has not materialised. More seriously, ECP hired investigation firm, Control Risks to check all aspects of his life including where his children went to school. The results of Control Risks investigations were confirmed through Data Protection Act disclosures. “I spelt out the need for confidentiality to DfID,” Mr Oloko said. “But what happened is pure thoughtlessness and negligence on the part of DfID and CDC. It is just unbelievable. It is not just me that has faced intimidation but other members of my family. It’s still going on. They contacted my friends and family trying to get access to me.” Mr Oloko’s constituency MP, Caroline Lucas said: ‘Despite previous assurances to the contrary, it is now clear that DfID was indeed responsible for breaching the anonymity of my constituent after he came forward to raise serious concerns about CDC-backed investments in Nigeria. ‘As a result, Mr Oloko has been subjected to covert surveillance by a private investigator hired by Emerging Capital Partners, one of the private equity firms involved in the case. The fact that this anti-corruption campaigner was unable to blow the whistle without impunity on UK
soil is completely outrageous.’ International development secretary, Andrew Mitchell yesterday launched a departmental review into his department’s corruption whistleblower procedures. He said: ‘This happened under the last Government but it is vital that whistleblowers should be able to report their concerns with impunity… While I am confident DfID acted in good faith to protect his identity, this should not have happened. We apologise unreservedly and are very sorry for any distress caused. ‘The Coalition Government has a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and places the highest priority on efforts to tackle it. I have immediately ordered a review of departmental processes to learn the lessons of this case and ensure that whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous will always be afforded the protection they deserve.’ CDC said: ‘We are sincerely sorry about the harassment the report’s author and his family have suffered. CDC takes confidentiality very seriously so as to safeguard the identities of people who raise issues with us. It is important that people feel confident that they can bring matters that concern them to our attention.’ There is no suggestion of any wrong-doing by ECP. But the private equity firm confirmed it established Mr Oloko’s identity thanks to the attachment sent by CDC and used the information to request a meeting with him so it could present evidence that it believed refuted his allegations. The private equity firm stated that Mr Oloko ‘continued to make public claims about ECP and its investment companies directly against the evidence he now had to the contrary.’ When asked how ECP could justify hiring private investigators to track down where Mr Oloko’s children went to school, ECP said: “This is a standard search that is used by firms operating in difficult emerging markets and was intended to uncover any conflicts of interest, anomalies or affiliations which might explain the motivation for the allegations (extortion is not an unusual motive for example). If someone has multiple properties and children in private school but no job, it can be a useful indicator that they have another source of income.” Mr Oloko hit back saying: ‘Whatever they say, ECP has no excuse for doing this. They were just fishing. The report from their private investigator clearly stated I have no issues of reputational concern. How they can say this beggars belief.’
Fed Govt targets new jobs through vocational education
INISTER of State for Education Ezenwo Wike has said the Federal Government would create about a million jobs through investments in technical and vocational education. Speaking in Portsmouth yesterday after a meeting with officials of Highbury College, United Kingdom, Wike said the Goodluck Jonathan administration was committed to the empowerment of youths to contribute to national development. He said the Federal Ministry of Education has commenced collaboration with educational institutions in Taiwan, South Korea and United Kingdom to create access to functional vocational education for Nigerian youths. Wike said: “Our focus is to use technical and vocational education to create jobs for
-Culled from BBC
Urhobo group seeks sack of lGP, Azazi From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri
From right: Wike, Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education Mrs Mabel Ozumba and Executive Secretary, National Education Research Development Council Prof Godswill Obioma during an inspection of facilities at Highbury College, Portsmouth, United Kingdom …yesterday By Tajudeen Adebanjo
Nigerian youths. We hope to provide quality training that
would assist the youths enhance their standard of living.
“Our children must have functional skills across different trades. The government
will make vocational and technical education very attractive to our youths.”
A GROUP, Urhobo National Youth Council, (UNYC) yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the lnspector- General of Police Hafiz Ringim and the National Security Adviser Owoye Azazi for incompetence . The group, which called for an overhauling of the security network in the country, blamed the duo for the escape of a Boko Haram suspect, Kabiru Sokoto. In a statement signed by the group’s national coordinator, Comrade Monday Oyeghe, it said the lapses in the security network is posing concern to Nigerians and foreigners. The group said the insurgent group must be tamed.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS National Assembly promises to fight terrorism From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
HE leadership of the National Assembly yesterday in Kano vowed to make laws that would prescribe maximum punishment against terrorists in the country. The federal lawmakers commiserated with Kano State Government and the residents over last Friday’s Boko Haram attacks. They urged the people to leave vengeance to God. Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and other lawmakers were in the state to commiserate with the government and the residents over the explosions that rocked the city last Friday. Scores of people died and several others were injured. They said the National Assembly would re-examine the Anti-Terrorism Act, apparently to key it into current national security realities. Mark said: “We will ensure that all these don’t happen again. We will make sure that we prevent it. It’s good to forgive if you lost relatives, brothers or friends. It’s very difficult to forgive. But by virtue of virtually all the religions that I know, they always preach forgiveness. We shall leave vengeance to God. “For us as the government, we will make sure that this does not happen again. I want to once more thank you for receiving us and we pray for all our departed friends’ eternal rest in the bosom of Allah.”
Senator calls for collective action against sect From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
HE Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Olufemi Lanlehin, has called for more decisive and collective actions from all stakeholders against the menace of the Boko Haram sect. His call is coming on the heels of the multiple bomb blasts and gun attacks in which over 200 people were killed in Kano and Bauchi states at the weekend. Property worth millions of naira were destroyed or damged in the attacks. In a statement, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senator urged Nigerians to working out a lasting solution to the insurgence of the sect. He noted that the actions of the sect were becoming more intractable and dangerous to the well-being of the country. The statement reads: “The gory pictures of charred bodies of innocent people killed everyday in attacks by suspected Boko Haram terrorists leave much to be desired. People across the globe get to see all these acts of barbarism on satellite television stations every now and then, even as it is becoming more embarrassing to us as a people that the trend continues unabated...”
Soyinka: don’t reduce anti-fuel subsidy removal protests to ethnicity
OBEL Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday berated some elements from the Southeast and Southsouth for giving the anti-fuel subsidy removal protests an ethnic colouration. He noted that such perception was dishonourable, dishonest and unfair to the patriots who protested against maladministration on the streets. The acclaimed writer decried the recurrent bomb explosions that have killed many Nigerians in the North, saying the Boko Haram sect harbours an intent to fuel ethnicity at the detriment of Nigerians. The retired university don described the presidential system as a disaster, noting that it has shown Nigerian legislature as the personification of corruption. He chided the Federal Government for deploying troops in Lagos, saying the soldiers were not out to protect the residents. Soyinka spoke in Lagos at a town hall meeting, with the theme: Endemic Corruption: The Bane of Good Governance, organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG). Other speakers at the lecture included the SNG Convener Pastor Tunde Bakare; an economist, Henry Boyo; leader of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin; former Lagos State House of Assembly member Babatunde Ogala; Afro-beat musicians Femi Kuti and Dede Mabiaku. Urging the government to halt the persistent bombings in the country, the literary giant said: “Boko Haram has embarked on a programme of inciting Nigerians against Nigerians.” To frustrate the plan, he urged Nigerians to protect those who are endangered because they are from other parts of the country. Soyinka noted that the activities of the sect resemble a virus, saying these should not dissuade Nigerians from sticking to the principle of good neighbourliness. He rejected the moves by certain elements outside the Southwest to discredit the successful five-day protests in Lagos against fuel subsidy removal.
•’Boko Haram is ethnic, destabilising agenda’ ‘Sect has declared war on Nigeria’
HE Inter-Religious Council of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has said the killings of innocent Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect is a declaration of war on the country. The council urged the Federal Government to “recognise that Boko Haram has declared war on the Nigerian nation and government”. It added that the government should confront the sect with maximum force. The council said the protection of the Nigerian borders from infiltrators by the Federal Government is among the solutions to the sect’s menace. Rising an emergency meeting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the Chairman of the council, Prof Gabriel Olatunji said: “The government should protect more effectively our porous borders through which the Boko Haram aliens infiltrate the country.” He urged the government to secure and guarantee the future unity of the country through
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
drastic measures. Olatunji said: “The government should put under strict security surveillance, Boko Haram sympathisers and collaborators who regard themselves as sacred cows. The government should harmonise strategies to access information on threats to the unity of the country from friendly nations and people around the targeted regions without necessarily exposing them to dangers. “We condemn the barbaric, dastardly, inhuman killing of innocent citizens in various locations across the country. The aim of Boko Haram to cause religious disaffection between the two great faiths, that is, Christianity and Islam, is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to succeed. Their act, which is a violation of all true religious teachings, is condemned in its entirety.”
By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor
Soyinka said: “A new citizenship spirit has emerged and it is very interesting and stimulating. The organisation and spontaneity of the protests is worthy of being adopted by other countries.” The Nobel Laureate warned that there should be no ethnic division in the course of the struggle against fuel subsidy removal, adding that this could easily break the Nigerian spirit. He said it is dishonest, dishonourable and unfair to reduce the demonstration to an ethnic affair, recalling that the
fight for resource control, true federalism and true fiscal federalism, which had similarity with the recent struggle, were pursued with nationalist fervour. Soyinka said the motivating factor during that battle was the human principle of equity and fairness, and not because of the desire to promote ethnicity. He recalled that when a Second Republic member of Bornu State House of Assembly (Alhaji Abdurahman Shugaba) was wrongly deported, those who resisted
the attempt to make him a wanderer in the wilderness and target were from the Southwest. The Nobel Laureate described corruption as a “hydrapus”, “an unending circle” and “a monster”. He regretted that perpetrators committed serious financial crimes in Nigeria and went scot-free. Soyinka said: “In Greece, certain measures taken by the government triggered protest by people who refused to back the imprudent government. Nigerians felt the same when they took to the streets. Corruption is a universal disease. There is a way they deal with
•From left: Femi Kuti, Dr. Okei-Odumakin, Prof. Soyinka and Pastor Bakare...yesterday
Minister defends N400.1b allocation to Education •Committee queries expenditure of IGR without approval
INISTER of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu
Ahmed Rufa’I, yesterday defended the N400.1 billion allocated to Education in this year’s budget. The minister told the Senate Committee on Education that the thrust of her ministry’s budget is to consolidate on last year’s achievements, improve basic infrastructure, deepen Information Communication Technology (ICT) base as well as refocus more attention on research and development. She said the thrust of the budget is aimed at achiev-
it in China. They settle it with bullet and the bullet is paid for by the family. In other countries, it is public shame. In Nigeria, they give you chieftaincy titles.” According to him, it is impossible to tackle corruption in Nigeria without reforming the legislature. He said monies are paid into the accounts of legislators for trips they would not make. Dismissing the cut in lawmakers’ salaries as a ruse, the renowned writer called for a systemic transformation, which he said has proved to be a financial burden on the country. Soyinka referred to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi’s outburst over the rise in the recurrent expenditure, saying: “It is factual. It is ridiculous that some legislators are earning more than the President of United States of America. “We call for a National Conference because we know that the legislators would not act against their interests. The presidential system is a disaster. The legislature is an “hydropus” sucking the nation. Why should we have full time legislators? All these liberalisation, privatisation, deregulation lead to deprivation. Cancer cannot be cured with bandage.” On trops deployement in Lagos, he said: “The soldiers have not come to protect us. When it is time, people will rise to reclaim their space.”
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
ing President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda and the country’s Vision 20-20-20. Chairman of the committee, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, noted that the N400,148,037,983 allocated to Education, representing a little over nine per cent of the total national budget proposal, is a far cry from the 26 per cent UNESCO recommendation. Chukwumerije said: “Worst still, while N317.9 billion is proposed for personnel cost and overhead
cost of N27.2 billion, only N55.1 is allocated to capital cost.” According to him, the capital allocation poses some challenges for the slow pace in the infrastructural development in the sector. The senator noted that though this year’s allocation to the sector has an increase over last year’s N356.5 billion, the difference is only N43.7 billion. He said while personnel was increased by N38.6 billion only, “overhead and capital allocations got paltry increases of N1.8 billion and N3.2 billion”. Chukwumerije said Nigerians should not be
unmindful of the enormity of the challenges facing the country, adding: “Without sounding like holding brief for the Executive arm of government, all other sectors of the Nigerian economy are equally challenged.” The budget defence, he said, was to consider the proposals and come up with the views of the ministry’s officials and members of the Senate committee. A member of the committee, Olusola Adeyeye, queried sectoral allocations to the ministry to the disadvantage of universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and unity schools.
Jonathan okays two Perm Secs From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Alhaji Aliyu Isma’ila Numan and Mr. Ossai George Afamefuna as Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service. In a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Tope Ajakaiye, the government said Numan takes over the slot of Adamawa State, which became vacant following the appointment of Alhaji Isa Bello Sali as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. Afamefuna, from Ebonyi State, replaces Prof Simon Ogamdi, who retired from service in August, last year.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS Police arrest two for torching missionary’s home From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
WO Niger Republic nationals have been arrested for allegedly torching a Christian missionary home, Bethany Home, in Minna, the Niger State capital. The arrest is coming barely two days after Governor Babangida Aliyu complained about the influx of some Nigeriens into the state. The governor accused them of being used by some disgruntled elements to foment trouble on innocent residents. He said the Nigeriens entered the country at will because they speak Hausa, adding that they cause havoc because they have nothing at stake in Nigeria. It was learnt that there was pandemonium among the occupants of the home, mostly orphans and children of the less privileged, when they set on fire some mattresses spread outside the home before setting the home ablaze. Property worth millions of naira were destroyed. An uncompleted building near the home was attacked twice last Wednesday. The inmates put out the fire before it spread to other buildings. But the hoodlums torched a room in the home. The State Mission Field Coordinator of Missionary Alliance for Africa, the owners of the home, Pastor Isaac Ogwu, told reporters that the arsonists had made five attempts to set it ablaze. Ogwu said the inmates had been living in peace with their neighbours for many years. The cleric said unknown arsonists, on Sunday, burnt a missionary’s motorcycle, parked outside the home. He said: “We woke up this morning (yesterday) to find some of the mattresses, left outside, on fire. The children and everybody in the home had to put off the fire, only for them (arsonists) to come back and set the entire building on fire.” Police spokesman Richard Oguche, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said two suspects have been arrested over the incident.
Niger officials to train in weapon handling OP officials of Niger
State Government are to be trained to handle weapons to enable them acquire guns for selfdefence. Governor Babangida Aliyu spoke in Minna, the state capital, yesterday when he received participants of Course 34 of the Senior Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, and some women mobilisation leaders. The governor said he had directed his Chief of Staff, Dr. Mohammed Yahaya, to discuss with the Commander of the 31 Field Artillery Brigade, Minna, to begin training of government officials in weapon handling. He noted that people have to protect themselves because of the security challenges that have made innocent people vulnerable to attacks. Aliyu added that with the
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
training, government officials can apply for gun licences. He said: “Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Special Advisers may have to resume training to enable them obtain licences to own guns. I have directed my Chief of Staff to this effect. “With the prevailing security challenges, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract foreign investors to the country, as most of them are now scared of investing in Nigeria. “Today, it will be difficult for anyone to come and invest in our society, because no one can invest in this kind of environment. Foreign investors can only invest in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility to reap bountifully on their investments.”
Kaduna raises panel on projects •Dissolves internal revenue board From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
HE Kaduna State Government has constituted an executive committee, comprising commissioners, to identify programmes, projects and activities to be executed with the state’s share of the revenue accruing from the subsidy reduction fund. The government announced the dissolution of the state’s Board of Internal Revenue. It urged the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Saidu Kakangi, to oversee the affairs of the board pending its reconstitution. In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Reuben Buhari, the government said the 15-man committee would be headed by the deputy governor and is expected to advise the government on the judicious utilisation of the proceeds from the subsidy reduction. The statement noted that the governor “is fully desirous of ensuring that concrete and visible measures, aimed at delivering robust and comprehensive interventions in all aspect of the state, are quickly and effectively achieved”. Members of the committee are: Commissioners for Finance, Rural and Community Development, Economic Planning, Local Government, Transport, Health, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs, Special Duties, Agriculture, Education, as well as the Chief of Staff to the governor. The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Projects will serve as the Secretary. According to the statement, the governor approved the dissolution of the Board of Internal Revenue to “allow for its aggressive and comprehensive restructuring, with the aim of boosting, improving and initiating workable and effective measures towards increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue”.
•The burnt Bethany Home in Minna...yesterday
Boko Haram action is national shame, says Obi A
NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has said the Boko Haram bombings and killings in Kano last week, in which scores of people died and several others injured, were a national shame. The governor noted that the action of the sect, especially the killing of innocent people, must be halted before it gets out of hands. He spoke with The Nation yesterday in Awka, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Mike Udah. He said: “This violence of unprecedented, nay unfathomable dimensions, must be stopped immediately. We are not fighting any war. I condole with the bereaved families, including Channels Television, whose reporter died in the mayhem.” The governor prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased. He urged the perpetrators to stop what he described as an ill-wind in the country. The Association of Catholic Priests of Anambra State (ACAPAS) has condemned the killings, bombing of churches and destruction of property by the Boko Haram sect. Rising from a regular meeting at Saint John’s Catholic
•Clerics warn against further killings
‘Only dialogue will solve sect’s danger’ From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
HOUSE of Representatives member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Segun Williams, yesterday said dialogue and not military option would solve the insecurity the Boko Haram sect poses to the nation. Williams, who represents Abeokuta South Federal Constituency at the lower chamber of the National Assembly, urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the sect to arrest the spate of bombings, shooting and killings by the group. The lawmaker addressed reporters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on security and other socio-economic issues affecting Nigeria. He said: “The Fedreal Government should seek dialogue with Boko Haram sect. It is the best way to solve knotty issues in a democratic government. “Military option will not solve the problem because the Federal Government is fighting a faceless group.” According to the lawmaker, who defeated former House Speaker Dimeji Bankole, it will take superior intelligence to suppress and defeat members of the sect because of their undue links in the government. From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
Church, Umuokpu, Awka, Anambra State, the clerics condemned the statements in which the bombings and
attacks on churches were presented as non-religious. In a communiqué by the Chairman, Rev. Stephen
Chukwujekwu, and Secretary, Rev. Ibekwe Emeka, the group said there is need for peace and order in the land. The communiqué reads: “For the interest of peace, the relevant law enforcement agencies should rise up to the challenges of the moment to avoid people taking the law into their hands by way of self-defence.” Members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) have warned that the killings could lead to a religious war, if not properly checked. In a statement yesterday in Awka, its state Chairman, Bishop David Eberechukwu, warned that the country cannot afford further bloodshed. The cleric noted that the security challenges in the country should worry everybody. He said: “We condemn the call from the Boko Haram sect that southern Christians should leave the North. Not only that, it said the people of Niger Delta should equally sheath their swords for our country to move forward. “The PFN condemns the incessant bombings in Nigeria and, therefore, condoles with the families that lost their beloved ones.”
ACN, PDP supporters clash at Kogi election tribunal
UPPORTERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) clashed yesterday after the inaugural sitting of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal at the Kogi State High Court in Lokoja, the state capital. The tribunal, led by Justice Sulaiman Ambusa, was
From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja
sitting over the petitions on the December 3 governorship election. The Nation learnt that many people were injured from the gunshots fired during the clash and several cars were vandalised by the erring supporters.
The two official cars of Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bello, were smashed. Policemen shot into the air to chase away youths from the vicinity. The violence lasted about an hour. It was gathered that after the tribunal adjournment the matter till Thursday, supporters of both parties began to
sing the praises of their governorship candidates. Riot policemen and operatives of State Security Service (SSS) released teargas and shot into the air to disperse the people from the court premises. Two people were arrested. The state government said it was shocked by the incident.
Taraba Assembly probes N1.3b NYSC project
HE Taraba State House of Assembly’s Committee on Social Welfare, Youths and Sports is probing the movement of the orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from Jalingo, the state capital, to Suntai, the governor’s village. The project cost N1.3billion, the Assembly said. Committee Chairman
From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
Ibrahim Imam addressed reporters after the ministry defended its budget before the committee. Imam said the committee was surprised that the commissioner announced the movement of the almost completed orientation camp from Jalingo to Suntai village, “given the huge investment involved in its con-
struction”. He noted that the executive did not communicate the movement to the Assembly. “It would have been better if the executive had communicated to us on the movement of the project, if possible. They would have tendered a request for approval. But they sprang a surprise by not communicating to us. It is very unfair,” he said.
The commissioner, Alhaji Hadi Lau, said the movement of the project was in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government that all NYSC camps be moved out of state capitals. He said: “As the Chief Executive of the state, the governor (Suntai) is at liberty to site the NYSC orientation camp wherever he deems appropriate.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Adebayo, Tinubu, Akande, others for legislative summit
RSTWHILE Military Governor of the defunct Western Region General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu and National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande, are among notable Nigerians expected at the rescheduled First Legislative Summit for the Collaborative Development Agenda for Southwest and Edo states. The three-day talkshop, billed
CHIEFTAIN of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, Mr. Kehinde Bello, has raised the alarm over an attempt to assassinate him by unknown persons. Bello, who was at his home town in Owo Local Government Area at the weekend for a burial, said he was trailed by suspected assassins. Two suspects have been apprehended and are being held at the office of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Owo for breaking into Bello’s home. Speaking with The Nation in Akure, the state capital, the former House of Assembly aspirant said: “I was in Owo for my uncle’s funeral, which started on Thursday with the traditional programme. After the end of the programme at about 10pm, I left my house with some of my friends. On our way home, we discovered that a vehicle was following us. “We increased our speed, but the occupants of the vehicle trailing us shot at us, so we parked our car and ran into the bush for safety. When the hoodlums got to where we parked our car, they started shouting my name, but they left after some time. “So, I and my friends went to spend the night at another friend’s place. I left for my house at about 5:30am and was told that a security guard had apprehended a suspected armed robber. “Neighbours said they noticed strange movements in my apartment over the night and notified the security guard, who apprehended one of the suspects. “When we got to the police station, the suspect, Dapo Ogedengbe, confessed that they were sent to attack me. He said some people are against me in Owo and they want me dead, but he is yet to name their sponsor(s).” Bello complained that security operatives are treating the matter as a robbery case, instead of an attempt on his life. Police spokesman Adeniran Aremu confirmed the arrest of two suspects for robbery. He said they would soon be transferred to Akure for interrogation.
Afenifere Renewal Group Mr. Wale Oshun will do an appraisal on the integration agenda. According to the organisers, Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), are guest speakers. Professors Akin Oyebode, Itse Sagay, Adebayo Williams are speakers. Other speakers are: Chief
Rasheed Gbadamosi and Chief Omowale Kuye, Senators Olorunnimbe Mamora and Femi Lanlehin, Speakers of Oyo and Osun states House of Assemblies and member of the House of Representatives Mrs Abike DabiriErewa. They will speak on the following topics; •The region as a pacesetter •Regional economy: Reviewing our viable past •National integration and strate-
gies for regional growth •The law as a tool for development •The role of Assemblies in regional development •Strategies for regional integration for rapid growth •Legislative roles in effective implementation of integration agenda. The participants are ACN lawmakers from the states under the party’s control and executive council members from the states.
217 roads’ll be repaired this year, says Fashola
LP chieftain alleges threat to life From Leke Akeredolu,
for the Premier Hotel, Mokola, Ibadan, will be hosted by Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, will be the Father of the Day at the opening ceremony on February 13. Organisers of the summit, Vintage Press Limited and CEEDEC Resources, said former governors Olusegun Osoba (Ogun), Lam Adesina (Oyo) and Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti), are guests of honour and session chairmen. Chairman of the
•Lagos to build Mother & Child centres in Badagry, Epe
AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said 217 roads across
the state will be built / repaired this year. Fashola spoke yesterday at the Lagos Television premises, Ikeja, during the celebration of his 1,700 days in office. He said: “Critical areas of activities for us will be the construction and rehabilitation of inner city roads. Work has commenced in some parts of Ogudu, Surulere, Mushin, Ajegunle, Ifako Ijaiye, Alimosho and Ikorodu. “The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure has identified 396 roads across the state as being of high priority. But due to budgetary restraint, we plan to build, repair and rebuild 152 inner roads across all local governments this year. “In addition to those 152 roads, there are 65 roads
By Miriam Ndikanwu
upon which work commenced in the last 12 to 18 months, bringing the total of roads we hope to deliver at the end of this budget cycle to 217.” On the modernisation of the Mile 12-Ikorodu Road, Fashola said: “The design of the road is ready and we are working with the Federal Government and the World Bank to conclude financing on the project, which will cost N30 billion. “We are mindful of the present discomfort that commuters in that area face, but we assure Lagosians that relief will come soon.” The governor said in the last 100 days, the Public Works Corporation (PWC) has fixed 230 roads across the state. He said the state would soon launch the Lagos Home
Ownership Mortgage Scheme (HOMS), which he said would enable residents access affordable mortgage finance. Fashola said: “We have identified several sites, out of which awards have been made for the construction of housing blocks of one, two and three bedroom units. Such places include Ogba, Omole, Alimosho, Lekki, Surulere, Ikorodu, Ilupeju, Amuwo Odofin, Agbowa and Magodo, among others.” On the security challenges in the country, he urged residents to report any suspicious movement noticed within their neigbourhood to the authorities. The governor said: “Report every unusual development around your neighbourhood. The peace we enjoy here today is because of our respect for one another’s religion and ethnic background.
“There is no community where there will be no dispute, but when something wrong takes place, let us address it on that basis, rather than ethnic or religious diversity that will escalate the situation.” Also yesterday, Commissioner for Health Jide Idris told reporters in Alausa that the state government plans to build two Maternal and Child Care Centres (MCCs) in Badagry and Epe. He assured residents that all health facilities under construction, such as the Cardiac, Renal and Trauma Centres at Ayinke House; Critical Care Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH); and the Staff Clinic at Alausa Secretariat would be completed this year. Idris said: “Many of these projects are in their final stages, some are 80 per cent completed and we want to accomplish all these projects
this year, as well as embark on some new ones.” He said plans are in top gear to make health care affordable and accessible by all, as well as develop the state primary health care system. Idris said: “Primary healthcare remains a pertinent focus of this administration. Part of the reason that sector is not functional today is the problem of staffing and we will work that out in line with the budgetary provision.” He said the government is working on a model primary healthcace centre, which would be established in each of the 57 local governments and local council development areas. The commissioner said the government would also focus on disease prevention and control. He said screening for hypertension and diabetes is ongoing at motor parks in the state.
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (third left); Deputy Governor Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (second left); Chief of Staff Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (Left); Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (third right); President, 2011 Hajj Committee, Dr. Sikiru Hassan (second right); Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Home Affairs Alhaji Sikiru Adetona Ayedun (right) and others after the submission of the 2011 Hajj Report to the governor at his office in Osogbo, ...yesterday
Ajimobi inaugurates team to monitor council projects YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday inaugurated a team to monitor projects being executed by the 33 local governments. According to a statement by the governor’s media aide, Dr. Festus Adedayo, the team is expected to assess the quality of projects executed by the councils. Recently, the government released N100 million to each local government for the building of
•Council chairmen advised to be accountable From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
roads and other projects. The statement said: “The governor emphasised that no road must be built without compliance with the due process of construction. No road must be built without adequate drainage, which must be in tandem with construction standard anywhere. The roads must also pass quality control standard test.”
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Remi Odetomi, urged council chairmen to be sincere in the execution of projects. Odetomi spoke with reporters in Oyo town, shortly after inspecting council projects in Afijio, Atiba, Oyo East and Oyo West local government areas. He said: “This adminis-
tration is committed to prudence, openness and accountability, thus necessitating my inspection of the projects embarked upon by the 33 local governments with funds from the excess crude oil allocation. “It is not just mere inspection; each of these projects must be thoroughly scrutinised to justify the tax payers’ money
expended on them.” Odetomi, who was accompanied by a team of engineers, praised the Caretaker Chairman of Oyo East Local Government, Mr. Taiwo Tiamiyu, for the quality of projects executed in the council. The projects include the Anglican/Agboye, Stadium/Mabolaje and Hospital roads, and the Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine at the Sawmill. Tiamiyu pledged to improve on his performance.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
HERE was no art by which Nigerians could read Jonathan’s construction in the face before last year’s election. He was a man in whom they built an absolute trust. I parodied Shakespeare. President Jonathan has now come undone. He no longer has any qualms about apologising for his brutal follies. He can do whatever he wants and Nigerians can protest as much as they want. He is the emperor, the King Kong of Nigerian politics, and whoever wants to challenge that will answer to his police chief if it is a matter of law and order. If the matter is more serious, they will answer to his soldiers. If it is a matter of the constitution, his rubber stamp judges will dispense his justice. If it is a matter of bread and butter, he will deploy his two maidens of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Diezani AlisonMadueke. In all of this, we shall not have repose from the Inspector-General of Police. In spite of the escape of Boko Haram suspect Sokoto, I don’t think Jonathan will fire IG Ringim. We shall not move around because the army chief has deployed soldiers everywhere. And no bread and butter for us because the maidens have withdrawn our subsidies. Even the labour leaders betrayed us and yielded to N97 for petrol without the people’s consent. After the anti-subsidy fuel strike was inauspiciously abbreviated, the President went on air without repentance. He gloated at our expense and accused those who expressed dissent as subverts. He said nothing about the dead and other casualties from the shrapnel of his policemen. He said nothing about the suffering that N97 – a 50 per cent rise - as cost of petrol will inflict on the ordinary poor. All the economies of the world don’t suffer 50 per cent inflation. But in spite of the draconian state of things, President Jonathan still speaks with an even voice, still affects the face of the meek that will inherit the earth and still carries the image of a man with a shoeless past. But Nigerians now see soldiers everywhere, now see their cost of living soar, and their diminished comfort almost disappear. Jonathan now haunts us at every turn. He wants to be a president on his own terms, not on the terms of the people. He still carries the air of a gentleman with the rule of a tyrant. So, Jonathan is our version of the gentleman tyrant, or gentleman dictator. This is a contrast to the quote from a novella, Daisy Miller, where a character said: “I have never allowed a gentleman to dictate to me or interfere in anything I do.” It is a story about etiquette. It is different in our politics today. Stalin was once described as a gentleman dictator until blood started dripping from his fingertips. Cromwell was also described as a gentleman dictator. They have lots of company. There is no longer an illusion of who the president is. For authority, he wields power. In place of constitution, he imposes impunity. He has replaced decency with brutal force. Competence collapses under the weight of his ineptitude. The deployment of soldiers in Lagos in the aftermath of the
email@example.com 08054501081(sms only) •Winner, Informed Commentary 2009& 2010 (D.A.M.E)
A gentleman dictator
strike just woke up some Nigerians to what has been with us since he became president: Jonathan prefers brigandage to the rule of law. In the issue of Justice Salami’s ouster, some Nigerians saw it not as a case of law and decency, but partisanship. Even after the judicial body recommended his restoration, President Jonathan ignored what was right. Later, The Nation newspaper was invaded over a story, and editors and reporters locked up without evidence or charges. The outrage was tepid across the country. Not long after, in Bayelsa State, he deployed the army, air force, police and navy in order to crown a candidate of impunity, Seriake Dickson, as the PDP candidate. Many even in Lagos shrugged it aside as a local incident. Yours truly called it military rule in Bayelsa. Most Nigerians underestimated the potential for evil in this presidency. Now, the gorilla of impunity has swaggered into Lagos, Kano and Kaduna, and
many Nigerians are beginning to realise that this democracy is under stress and under threat. The National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi, said Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) asked for the soldiers, not yesterday, not in 2011, but as far away as 2010. It took the army about two years to travel from their barracks to the streets of Lagos. It would have been a comedy if it were not serious. What he said is contradicted by what the Defence Minister, Haliru Bello, claimed: that it was to prevent anarchy. Is it not funny that it was when pro-democracy activists gathered to make innocuous speeches that the army arrived Lagos? When does armed robbery amount to anarchy, and when did 2010 become 2012? Where was the army when we needed them in 2010? And where is the request letter from Governor Fashola anyway? We want to see it and all the paperwork that accompanied it. What we have with President Jonathan is what some political theorists call an imperial presidency. It was a term that was bandied about in the 1960’s in the United States, but was popularised by a presidential scholar and biographer, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., with his book of the same title. The imperial presidency is so called because the president acquires powers outside the purview of the constitution. The first modern president so accused was President Franklin Roosevelt, who introduced the executive office of the president, expanded powers outside the constitution and hired staff without the consent of Congress. But it was such powers that emboldened Nixon to undertake the WaterGate wiretap and Reagan to fall into the IranContra Scandal. But the first such culprit to me was President Andrew Jackson, who used his powers to dislocate and kill many native Indians, a chapter most American historians play down. Imperial presidency is tyranny with a fancy name, although Americans try to check their president. We have swallowed it without digestion and without a safety net. A man unilaterally removes a subsidy before a budget is looked at by the National Assem-
bly, deploys soldiers for a partisan purpose in his home state, backs the ousting of a judge, tries to legislate a seven-year single term from which he can benefit, keeps a bumbling security team while the nation burns and many die, and the nation seems to call their president a meek man. The man has lied to us. He has imposed policies that have further pauperised us. The economy is, perhaps, the most vexing to Nigerians. The oil subsidy debate raged, and in this column I made the point that it was not oil subsidy but corruption subsidy. Now, it is clearer. New revelations from the NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum show that we do not have proper documentation for our crude oil outflow and PMS inflow from importation. The National Assembly heard last week that subsidy was paid for 59 million litres of fuel, while Nigerians consumed 35 million litres. That is good initial insight. It meant we gave about N700 billion away to scammers. Who were these scammers? Let Jonathan tell us and bring them to book. Rather, he sent out his hireling, Atedo Peterside, a member of his economic team, to go on Channels TV to blame Lagosians as beneficiaries of subsidies. Peterside does not understand economics. He should understand that Lagos is the engine of the economy and needs to consume fuel to power the economy. I am not surprised, since he wanted to justify his inclusion among Jonathan’s brain trust. Is he not a Lagosian? Why is he now playing Pilate? All the pepper sellers, yam transporters, etc use fuel, as plumbers and panel beaters. This is economics 101 for the chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc. The deployment of soldiers in Lagos led to another terrible incident: eminent Nigerians were teargassed, including Professor Nwabueze, Kalu Idika Kalu and Tunji Braithewaite. The president ought to apologise to these men. This is a virtual declaration of emergency in Lagos. There was no mayhem in Lagos, if there were scattered incidents of thuggery. People gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Square in the august tradition of democracy: to speak, to dance and sing for freedom. How did that warrant military rule? In the places where he declared formal emergency and where violence occurred, the soldiers have not prevented violence day after day. It is part of the bumbling of intelligence. They are deploying soldiers with poor intelligence. In the north, they have poor intelligence. Soldiers were all over Lagos when Boko Haram slammed the city of Kano, where we also had soldiers without the benefit of intelligence to anticipate and prevent the mayhem. In Lagos, it is a case of deliberate false intelligence. But they could not prevent “anarchy” in Kano. This is not only an imperial presidency, but a presidency of ineptitude. Those are the consequences of a gentleman tyrant. •This Column, which appeared on the back page yesterday, is being rerun due to technical hitches -Editor.
ANPP to Jonathan: summon Council of State over insecurity
HE National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday decried the insecurity in the country. Onu urged President Goodluck Jonathan to summon a Council of State meeting to tackle the Boko Haram crisis. Speaking with reporters in Abuja on the state of the nation and the alleged intimidation of the party’s members in Sokoto State by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ANPP Chairman said the police cannot be efficient if they are not monitored. He said: “We have the problem of insecurity. We need to retrain our police officers and re-equip them. If there is no monitoring in the police, we cannot have efficient result. “President Goodluck Jonathan, as a matter of urgency, should summon a Council of State meeting to discuss how we can reduce the
•PDP wants to remain in power at all cost, says Onu From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
present level of intolerance. They should also look at the constitution, which gives rights to fundamentals. Some people have trampled upon this rights and it is not good for harmony. “Nigerians must enjoy the benefits of democracy. Democracy dividends should not only be roads and bridges, no, it includes freedom. The citizens must be proud of the nation. That is the difference between democracy and dictatorship. “The Council of State meeting is long overdue. The time is now to ensure that Nigerians feel safe, irrespective of where they reside in the country .” On the alleged intimidation of ANPP members who were protesting the fuel subsidy removal, Onu said: “The
intimidation by the PDP was aimed at weakening the resolve of our members, with the sole purpose of remaining in power at all cost, in the spirit of do or die politics, which only brings pain and anguish to the people. “If unchecked, this would cause disharmony and disrupt the peace in the state. “It is the belief of the ANPP that in a democratic environment such as ours, people should be free to choose their leaders through the ballot box, after a careful assessment of the manifestos of political parties, as well as the credibility and policies of the candidates. “Unfortunately in Sokoto State, the government is not comfortable with the popularity of our governorship candidate and the party. The PDP-led government has resorted to the intimidation and harassment of the opposition as a
way to continue in power. “It is sad that the law enforcement agencies, particularly the Police Command, have allowed themselves to be used in carrying out these unlawful acts. “ We call on the Commissioner of Police to respect the laws of our country that give our party leaders and members the freedom of movement and association. “The growing level of lawlessness in Sokoto State, and in particular the Sokoto metropolis, is of great concern to our party. This has become worrisome because of the manner in which some people are allowed to harass, intimidate, victimise and harm innocent members of our party. “The Commissioner of Police invited political party leaders in the state to a meeting over the recent fuel subsidy protests on January 12. But to our surprise, our State Party
Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Mil Goma, and some other party leaders were arrested and detained on the false charge that they were associated with the subsidy removal protests. “This was shocking to us, because the leaders of other parties, who attended the meeting, were not arrested . “Our party chairman and two other executive members spent the night in Police custody before they were released on bail. They spent the whole January 16 and 18 at the CID’s office. Interestingly, neither the accusers nor those alleged to have been sponsored by our party leaders were invited by the Police. “On Thursday, January 19, 2012, the three of them were re-arrested and taken to an Upper Area Court where they were charged with illegal assembly. To the astonishment of all, they were denied bail and remanded in prison custody. We are happy that they are now out.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
World Bank boosts water project with $400m From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
HE World Bank is sup porting the Federal Government’s water reform programme with $400million to improve the quality and coverage of water service nationwide. The Nigeria Country Director, World Bank Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie Nelly, disclosed this at a workshop on Designing and implementing utility reform in Nigeria in Abuja. He stated that reform is needed not only at the utility level, but also by state and federal governments. The National Urban Water Supply Reform Project is being implemented in selected urban service areas in six states - Lagos, Kaduna, Ogun, Enugu and Cross River. As part of project preparation, State Water Agencies (SWAs) have undertaken reforms to attract and sustain partnership with local and international investors with solid experience in the water sector. She said: “Legal, policy and regulatory issues are being analysed at state and federal levels, and a consistent framework is being established at both levels, which is demand driven, rewards performance and its transparent. “The World Bank is also working with other partners to support the water sector in Nigeria. We have initiated discussion with AFD, supporting similar reform programmes with ADB in two states Adamawa and Oyo and looking forward to improved relationship in Donor Co-ordination which is being led by the Ministry. “Many states have been unable to provide statistics because of lack of reliable management information systems.
The 14-man committee is to determine the extent of metering, the factors, which delay the procurement and installation of meters in accordance with rules and regulations. - Dr Sam Amadi, NERC Chairman
Govt mulls ways to tackle stockbrokers’ debts S T
DPR seals filling stations in FCT From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
HE Federal Govern ment is considering how to tackle the huge debts incurred by stockbrokers during the 2005-2007 boom to alleviate the illiquidity in the stock market. Speaking at a media parley to review the 2011 business year, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, yesterday said the Minister of Finance, Dr, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was reviewing the possible forbearance package for the stockbrokers. She will soon announce a position on the debt overhang. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had recommended to the Ministry of Finance ways to liquidate the debts. The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has also made input. The NSE chief explained that the debt issue was part of the advocacy programme of the the Exchange to the Federal Government.
By Tonia Osundolire
”A lot of brokers claimed to have collected margin loan, which was not operated as one. The facility was not operated the way it should, as such the present problem the brokers are faced with. The AMCON has written the CBN on the forbearance,” he said. Margin loans in the stock market as at 2008 was estimated at over N400 billion. Onyema, however, lamented the exclusion of the Nigerian capital market in the fiscal policy of the Federal Government last year, promising to engage the Minister of Finance and the National Assembly to influence policy that will uplift the market and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. He blamed the poor performance of the market last year, whereby investors lost N1.381 trillion, on the absence of positive policies
from the government. According to him, no fiscal policy was initiated to develop the capital market for the year under review and as a result, the stock market suffered decline in it activities. He said the Exchange will work closely with the government regulatory bodies to ensure that the capital market remains attractive to both local and foreign investors. Onyema said the deregulation of the downstream sub sector by the government, which is expected to transform the economy in terms of growth and development will, definitely, trickle into the capital market, when the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) is finally passed into law. The NSE chief, who said that no new product will be introduced this year, said activities in the market will be geared towards devel-
oping the already existing products to create asset depth in the operation of the Exchange. Speaking further on the outlook of the market in the year, Onyema said the capital market is expected to enjoy some level of growth at the end of the trading year. On it plans to boost the market in 2012, the NSE boss said: “This year, we shall pursue more market reforms to boost the trading of bond and Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in the secondary market.We shall pursue other structural changes that will help drive the market further.” While answering questions on the proposed demutualisation of the NSE, Onyema said the committee set up to work out modalities for the eventual demutualisation is working on the final draft of their recommendations.
Debt Office to auction N89.7b bond
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $33.01b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472
OME filling stations that engaged in sharp practices in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were yesterday shut by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). The regulatory agency’s team made an impromptu visit to the filling stations, where it caught some red handed either under dispensing fuel to motorists or selling above the approved government price of N97 per litre. The visit was to assess the marketers compliance with the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA)directive that they should sell at the official price. DPR apparently acted on a tip-off that some marketers had been adamant about the order even in the face of growing public complaints that the marketers were flouting the law. But the DPR inspection team led by Mr Yerima Kollomi, Head, Downstream in Abuja Zonal office to Kuje Area Council in the FCT discovered that some fuel stations were dispensing 6.3 litres for every 10 litres, short-changing motorists with of 3.7 litres. The officials, however, sealed Dutun Company Petrol Station on Kuje Area Council Secretariat road. Besides, the team sealed two other NNPC retail outlets filling stations belonging to Unyigye Oil and Gas in Kuje. A Station Manager at one of the NNPC retail outlets identified as Gambo Musa told the DPR team that the difference in the pump dispensing was caused by one of their technician who did some repairs on the meter.
• From left: Chairman, Sinoma Group, Tan Zhongming; President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and President, Sinoma Group, Shen Jun; aftter a business discussion at the Dangote Group’s head office, Lagos ... yesterday.
Kano blasts stall Reps’ subsidy probe
HERE was subdued anger at the public hearing into the management of the petrol subsidy regime yesterday. The House of Representatives committee probing the matter failed to sit yesterday. According to a source, who spoke to our correspondents in confidence, the Farouk Lawan-led committee temporarily suspended the public hearing to allow members of the committee attend to issues arising from last Friday’s multiple bombings in Kano. The chair of the commit-
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
tee, Lawan, who was in Kano, confirmed the postponement. He said: “The nature of the attack was such that could produce negative effect on not only members of the committee, but persons who were supposed to make presentations as well.” He said the open investigation would continue today. As a result of the unannounced postponement of the public hearing, agencies
that were due to appear before the committee honoured their invitation by presenting themselves alongside documents requested from them by the committee, only to discover that the meeting would not hold. The representatives of the agencies expressed disappointment for not being informed earlier that the committee would not sit. The agencies were expected to return to the forum today as the hearing resumes at 10, this morning.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), were among those expected to make presentations to the committee yesterday. The organised labour was expected on the removal of fuel subsidy to enable the committee to arrive at informed conclusion on the management of subsidy funds.
HE Federal Govern ment will auction N89.75 billion ($556.93 million) worth of 10-year sovereign bonds with different maturity dates tomorrow at its first monthly debt auction of the year, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said yesterday. The debt office said it will sell N19.75 billion in bonds due to mature in May 2018, and N35 billion each of bonds due in October 2019 and January 2022. According to Reuters News, two are re-opening of previous issues, but the January 2022 issue is fresh paper. Nigeria, Africa’s secondbiggest economy after South Africa, issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
BUSINESS NEWS ‘Probe beneficiaries of fuel subsidy’
Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
HE Federal Government has been called upon to follow to its logical conclusion the probe into the subsidy payments by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) to punish those involved. Abia State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Emma Nwaka, made the call while speaking with reporters in Umuahia on the recent strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He said except the oil and gas sector is sanitised, the country will not grow well. Nwaka said one good thing the strike achieved was bringing to the fore that NNPC needs reforms, pointing out that there is always a good side to everything. He said: “We want to believe God will make it happen this time unlike other probes carried out by the National Assembly. This one will be pursued to the logical conclusion. If any person or company is found guilty, let him or her be punished accordingly”. Nwaka, however, advised the Federal Government to see that the money saved from the subsidy is judiciously used, “so that Nigerians will have a feel of good governance and all dilapidated infrastructure repaired”. He lauded labour and the government for the maturity they exhibited in ending the one week strike embarked upon by the NLC/TUC over fuel subsidy removal, noting that some elements infiltrated labour with the intent to pull down the Jonathan-led government.
Rail’s revival: Minister assures of March deadline By Eric Ikhilae
HE Minister of Transporta tion, Senator Idris Umar and principal officers of the Senate Committee on Land Transport have expressed delight over the level of success recorded in the ongoing rehabilitation of the nation’s rail transportation. They assured that the project will be completed in March as scheduled.They spoke last week after an inspection of reconstruction on three strategic bridges on the Jebba-Kano rail line in Akere village in Niger State. Umar said he was satisfied with what had been achieved. He said he would ensure constant monitoring of what was left of the project until its final completion. He directed the contractor to carry out integrity test on the bridges before they are certified okayed. He said: “The directive by the President and Council that we speed up the completion of works on Western corridor to allow train movement from Lagos to Kano, informed why I have decided to engage in this inspection. “This inspection will be a continuous exercise until it is completed in March. That is the assurance the contractors have given us. We will not compromise. They must deliver. “We had major challenges here before the track was washed off by flood. But now it has been laid and the water way is being dredged to all free flow of water. The contractor has assured us that by March, it wil be ready. We have told them that date is not negotiable. From the rate they are going, I believe they will deliver.” Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Sahabi Yau, stressed the relevance of railway to the nation’s economy, particularly after the recent fuel price increase.
•Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Ado Yakubu Wanka making a presentation to President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Umar Yahaya, during a courtesy visit to the MD by Yahaya and other executives of the chamber.
Workers flay PHCN staff redeployment
LECTRICITY workers under the aegis of Senior Staff Asso ciation of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) yesterday kicked against the Federal Government’s plan to redeploy workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigerian (PHCN) to the Ministry of Power. The President-General, SSAEAC, Mr Bede Opara, made this known in an interaction with reporters in Lagos yesterday. He noted that the government ought to have addressed all pending labour issues before giving up the PHCN corporate headquarters in Abuja. He said the position of the union is for the power minister to reverse the pronouncement of redeployment of their members and implement the agreements reached on December 2, last year, in the Hassan Sumonu-led conciliatory committee. Opara said: “We are not happy
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
with the decision of the minister on redeployment and the process of unbundling the PHCN without following the laid down agreement. “We have written the minister for meeting and he has accepted to meet us, not until after the meeting we don’t believe the sector has been privatised.” Operators said the ongoing transfer of workers at the corporate headquarters to various ministries without adequate letters given to them implies that the ministry is indirectly planning to sack them. We are against the ongoing privatisation of the government because they ought to have followed due process, he added. The SSAEAC chief said they demanded explanations from the minister for the mass redeploy-
ment of staff and the modalities for the transfer since there are no vacancies in the companies these staff were sent as safety net. “We demand explanation from the Minister of Power, Prof. Nnaji, on the sudden plan by the government to wind down the corporate headquarters of PHCN and redeploy all the staff therein to successor companies when the agreement on payment of arrears of 50 per cent of salary increase and regularisation of casuals have not been settled even when the audit and verification had long been completed. “We brought to the knowledge of Nnaji the fact that before his appointment as minister, the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had appointed a negotiator/conciliator to look into and resolve the labour issues in the power sector, before the execution of the planned reforms.”
‘Benin Customs extort Nigerian importers, agents’
EN of the Benin Republic Customs are extorting Nigerian businessmen and agents at Seme border and also subjecting them to multiple duty payments, which violates the Economic Community of West African States (EECOWAS) treaty. Some importers, who don’t want their names mentioned, told our correspondent that cargoes billed for Nigeria from Benin Republic are now being subjected to multiple duty payment by the Beninoise Customs. “Besides, they collect extra charges of between N80, 000 and N100, 000, which are not receipted just to get our cargoes and trucks to the Nigerian side of the border,” the businessmen said. But under ECOWAS treaty, trucks conveying goods from Benin Republic to Nigeria are designated as transit goods, which ordinarily should attract minimal duty having satisfied the import regulation law of Benin Republic but the customs ignore this. The importers said the problem arose as a result of the ECOWAS joint development project sponsored by the European Union (EU),
By Oluwakemi Dauda
which has forced the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme command and other security agencies around the border to relocate their offices to the Nigeria end of the border. The relocation was necessitated by the plan to demolish the ECOWAS building, which hitherto accommodated the security agencies, such as the Immigration, Customs, Port Health, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other security agencies. Investigation by The Nation revealed that Customs officers in Cotonou are imposing unreasonable levy on goods coming to Nigeria under the guise of opening of seal and demurrage levies before such goods are allowed to be loaded on trucks coming to the country. Confirming the development, one of the importers at the border, Mr Segun Adebayo, alleged that Customs officers from Benin Republic are impeding trade facilitation programme of the ECOWAS treaty, through that act. A clearing agent, Mr Sunday Balogun, confirmed that Cotonou
Customs officers extort Nigerian business people at the border. “These extortion tendencies often impede trade facilitation because Nigerian importers or their agents are forced to wait until we give them money. These undignified levies need to be looked into at inter-governmental level,” he said. When contacted, spokesman of Seme Customs command, Mr Ernest Olota, who spoke on behalf of his Comptroller, Sadiq Abubakar Sahabi, said his boss would investigate the matter. He said the revenue profile of the command has improved tremendously because of the new measures introduced by Sahabi, which has resulted in speedy clearance of goods and reduction in smuggling in the area. The command’s processing unit showed that about 800 declarations were cleared between January and October last year. Records of seizure accounted for 378 with a duty paid value of N579.823 million. He said the achievement recorded was a reflection of sense of duty, patriotism and the determination of his officers and men to suppress smuggling around the border.
Govt’s plan to commercialise aviation agencies hailed
HE Federal Government’s plan to commercialise the agencies in the aviation industry has been described as a welcome development that would boost their service delivery in air navigation. Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, the Secretary-General of Airline Operators of Nigerians (AON) and Mr Benjamin Okewu, the President, Air Traf-
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
fic Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) stated this yesterday, while reacting to the expected benefits of commercialising the services of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA) and other agencies. Speaking in separate telephone interviews, they said the Federal
Government should, however, exercise some caution in the commercialisation to achieve its desired results. Tukur advised the Federal Government to stop the remodeling of the airports if it actually plans to commercialise them and allow buyers to spend their funds to rehabilitate them in line with international standards.
LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
ENERGY THE NATION
Minister seeks Act to protect oil, T gas infrastructure
Eko Electricity Company to disrupt supply
HE management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company has said its customers in Festac Town and environs, Trade Fair complex (Aspanda), Ajangbadi and environs, Ojo and some parts of Satellite Town, all in Lagos, will not have supply of electricity till mid-February to enable it install a new distribution facility. In a statement by the Principal Manager, Public Affairs, Godwin Sule Idemudia, the company said the supply cut-off and installation of the facility would start on January 20 and would last for 25 days, indicating that normal supply to the affected areas will resume around February 14. It said: “The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company regrets to inform our esteemed customers that due to the on-going National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) project at Ojo 132/33kv transmission station, there will be interruption of services to customers in the following areas: Festac Town and environs, Trade Fair Complex (Aspanda), Ajangbadi and environs, Ojo and environs and some parts of Satellite Town. “The planned works which will commence on Friday, January, 20, 2012 is expected to last for 25 days. This is to enable the installation of a 60mva transformer and replacement of obsolete, problematic 33kv switch gears at the station. “This project on completion will improve the reliability and availability of electricity supply to our customers in the specified areas.”
HE Minister of Petroleum Resources,Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has asked the National Assembly to establish an Act that would protect critical national infrastructure especially those of the oil and gas industry. Alison-Madueke made the request when she appeared before the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on fuel subsidy Regime chaired by Hon. Farouk Lawan. The Minister, who was answering questions on the existing refineries, noted that vandalism has been a major clog in efforts to make the refineries operational at all times. She proposed to the committee to spearhead the cause of establishing an Act that would deter vandals from tampering with critical infrastructure, such as oil of oil and gas industry. She said: “There is need to put in place a law that will protect critical national infrastructure and I consider oil and gas infrastructure as critical infrastructure. I pray this honourable committee to champion the establish-
Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi
ment of this Act. The minister said the original builders of the refineries have been engaged to carry out comprehensive turnaround maintenance of the three refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna to bring them up to at least 90 per cent capacity utilisation. The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Austin Oniwon, also corroborated the Minister when he appeared before the committee. He said the continual incidence of pipeline vandalism is a big threat to the comprehensive capacity utilisation of the country’s refineries. The NNPC chief condemned economic saboteurs who engaged in the vandalism of pipelines and ap-
pealed to the National Assembly to collaborate with the corporation in curbing the heinous crime and described pipeline vandalism as a strong disincentive to new investments in refineries. He said: “The regular incidence of pipeline vandalism across the country has hampered the efficient distribution of petroleum products. In December, 2011, we had to shut down the Port Harcourt refinery because the pipeline supplying crude to the refinery was severely vandalised.” He said if the pipelines are made to work, the bridging cost of N5.80 would not be borne by Nigerians and would go a long way in revamping the Pipeline Product Marketing Company depots across the country. Oniwon said the final investment decision on the proposed three
Greenfield Refinery in Lagos, Bayelsa and Kogi State would soon be reached adding that this will make Nigeria self sufficient like other Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member-countries. On Turnaround Maintenance (TAM) of the three traditional refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, Oniwon noted that the TAM contract would be awarded to the original builders of the refineries and upon completion, the plants would achieve 90 percent capacity utilisation. Oniwon stated that NNPC subsidy claim has progressively increased due mainly to the increase in price of crude in the international market, adding that the corporation does not enjoy any form of discount in crude sold to it. On the alleged illegal deductions from the Federation Account by the NNPC, he said the corporation operates within the framework of the law and the Act establishing it.
•From left: Dorothy Atake, General Manager, External and Government Affairs Sinopec Addax Petroleum; Morrison Fiddi, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS); Morenike Adewunmi, Senior Relations and Compliance Adviser, Shell Petroleum Development and Yetunde Chiedu-Ajoku, Representative, Public Relations, Sinopec Addax Petroleum, at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, may have started a revolution in the oil and gas industry. In less than two weeks, she has set up committees comprising chairmen and members who have integrity, to find ways of plugging the leakages in the industry and ensuring good corporate governance. EMEKA UGWUANYI Assistant Editor (Energy) reports
Revolution begins in oil industry THE Ministry of Petroleum Resources is taking unprecedented steps that are likely to correct anomalies in the industry that seemed to have defied solutions. The Minister had last week written the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe all imports subsidy payments and the anti-graft body has swung into action by raiding the office of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency
(PPPRA) where it carted away some documents. The letter sent to the EFCC by the minister demanded that all payments made in respect of subsidies be checked against actual importation. It also urged the Commission to take all necessary steps to persecute all persons involved in any malfeasance, fraud, overpayments and related illegalities. Although the result of these actions are yet to be seen, Nigerians have commended these develop-
ments, asking that no stone be left unturned to ensure that the alleged decay in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), PPPRA and other agencies are unearthed and those behind them made to face the music. The PPPRA Executive Secretary, Stanley Reginald, at the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on fuel subsidy Regime said the government imports 59 million litres daily and pays for it while
the earlier official report from the agency said it was 35 million litres. These have thrown up a controversial disparity of 24 million litres per day, which has not been accounted for. The anti-graft commission is expected to beam its searchlight on some of these issues. The government also constituted an eight-man committee led by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma to expedite the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law. The committee also has another nine-
member technical committee chaired by the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. • Continued on page 14
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Electricity consumers owe firm N5.8m
USTOMERS of Odogunyan Business Unit of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, owe the firm over N5.8 million, the Business Manager, Moses Jebutu, has said. Odogunyan Business Unit covers mostly rural communities in Ikorodu area of Lagos where low income earners live. Jebutu, disclosed this in an interview with reporters in Lagos during a stakeholders meeting on the way forward to find lasting solution to incessant vandalism in most communities in the business unit. He said the inability of customers within the unit to pay up there bills affect the operation of the business unit. Jebutu said over N2.4 million were owe by customers on Agbowa 33KVA line which, he said, represent about 50 per cent of the total debt of the business unit adding that despite all their efforts most communities were still owing. “The target given to us for this month stood at over N 19 million but presently we hardly realize up to N5 million. This drawback on revenue generation will affect payment of workers salaries for this month, and that is why we are appealing to our various customers to ensure payment of their outstanding bills,” he said. Jebutu said that replacement and repairs of any cable and major equipment would be based on payment of bills within the areas, adding that any community that fails to pay its bills will not benefit from the company’s facilities. He noted that the debt was an accumulation of unpaid electricity bills as at the end of December last year. He said it was inconceivable that despite the huge investment made by the government to improve the
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
power sector most customers are not reciprocating the gesture by paying up their electricity bills on time. Jebutu hinted that it is only when consumers pay for the electricity consumed that the utility company would be able to provide better, quality and improved services and urged the customers to assist the district by paying their debts so that all ongoing projects can be completed on record time. He also noted that some of the supply challenges the company faces are caused partly by the inadequate power allocation from the grid and requested that swift action be taken to improve the transformer capacity and overhaul of the power cables for the district to get allocation that can meet the ever increasing load demand. Jebute also urged communities within his distribution network to support the management on effective electricity supply by protecting power facilities and promptly paying their bills. He said often times, workers of business unit are brutalised, attacked and assaulted in the cause of carrying out their legitimate duties in some areas. He said that due to the ongoing expansion and economic growth of most rural communities within its network the business unit has resorted to load-shedding to ensure equal power supply. He said because of the rationing of power supply, transformer fuse is changed to enable supply to areas that suppose to have light in a particular day or time but in the cause of changing the transformer fuse, his workers were attacked by unknown youths stopping them
from carrying out their duties. He said the essence of the stakeholders meeting is to fashion out ways to address the incessant vandalism of power equipment and frequent assaults of workers by some of the communities who are under his network. He said the Agbowa 33KV feeder which serves customers from Parafa to Epe town, for which his workers and various communities have been at loggerhead, had been addressed to avoid communal crisis. “We are appealing to all Obas, Bales and community leaders to warn their children from assaulting and vandalizing our equipment as you all know that an injury to one is an injury to all. We have applied various measures in all communities to see that there is need to allow load-shedding within their communities so that everybody will be happy but often time we are being attacked and injured by the youths,” he said. Jebute said the Agbowa 33KV line has been installed over three decade ago, adding that transmission line which is over 300 kilometre long that runs from lkorodu to Epe has been stretched due to the socio-economic growth of the rural areas. ‘We have been informed that contractor have moved into Epe community to commence installation of transmission station to Epe and adjoining communities. He also said about 24 projects have been executed within the district in the last one year while six other projects are currently ongoing noting that power generation was generally improving but added that district still load-sheds whenever there was need to do so.
Cameroon oil output to rise 59% this year
AMEROON’S daily oil production is expected to rise 59 percent by the end of the year as output starts at new wells, said Bernard Bahiya, director of production at the state-owned National Hydrocarbons Corporation. “We are developing new oil fields, notably Dissoni, that will enable us to increase daily oil output from the present 63,000 barrels to 100,000,” he told reporters in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital.
Dissoni, discovered in 2005, is located off the coast of the central African nation in the Rio Del Rey concession area, according to operator Perenco SA. The state oil company said Dissoni output will begin in August, said Bloomberg Oil production in Cameroon, which borders Africa’s biggest producer - Nigeria, dropped to 5.6 million barrels in the third quarter of 2011 from 5.7 million barrels a year earlier.
Revolution begins in oil industry • Continued from page 13
Osten Olorunsola. The two committees have been directed to review all versions of the PIB within 30 days from inaugurationand work hand-in hand with members of the National Assembly, to address all technicalities to enable easy passage of the bill as soon as possible. The committees are people who know the operational, legal and commercial intricacies of the oil and gas industry, have worked and retired from the industry, or consulted for the operator companies or are still in active service. Just a few days ago, AlisonMadueke inaugurated another special taskforce comprising 11 members and chaired by Mr Dotun Sulaimon, the former boss of Accenture, reputed for accountability and transparency in processes and operations. Other members of the taskforce include Alhaji M.I. Yahaya, Mr. Basil Omiyi, Mallam Mahmud IsaDutse, Chief Raymond Ihyembe, Dr. Ayebaemi Spiff, Mr. Ernest Ebi, Ms. Mairo Bashir, Mr. Ik Osakwe, Mr. Mac Ofurhe, and Ms. Lois Machunga. These are people who were chief executives of companies like Shell, banks and the Department of Pe-
troleum Resources (DPR), among others. They will ensure good governance at the NNPC and other parastatals of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, clean all existing decay and malpractices and anchor the petroleum industry on full transparency and accountability. According to the Petroleum Ministry, the objective is to design a new Corporate Governance Code for ensuring full transparency, good governance and global best practices in the NNPC and others. The task force will design a blueprint for separating policy from operations in NNPC and other parastatals and set Key Performance Indices for the institutions. It will also design a blueprint for eliminating all rent-seeking opportunities and arbitrage in the NNPC system and another blueprint for professionalism of management and personnel as well as a road map for transition to the PIB and work with external consultants as may be required to produce a report within the next 30 days. These laudable steps by the minister shows that the country is gradually walking to an era of transparency and accountability, which should be permanently sustained.
‘They will ensure good governance at the NNPC other parastatals of the Ministry of Petroleum sources, clean all existing decay and malpractices anchor the petroleum industry on full transparency accountability’
and Reand and
WorldStage power confab holds in March
W Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim (left) speaking with reporters, with him is Director-General, National Oil Spill Detection and Respond Agency (NOSDRA) Mr Peter Idabor shortly on their arrival from NGA oil field inspection at Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
Oil price above $100 on US, Europe economies
IL hovered above $100 a barrel Friday in Asia as signs of economic improvement in the U.S. and Europe were tempered by a rise in gasoline stocks, which suggests weaker demand for crude. According to Associated Press, benchmark crude for February delivery was up 28 cents at $100.67 a barrel at late afternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 20 cents to finish at $100.39 on Thursday. Jobless claims fell, consumer prices were steady and the dismal home construction market showed more signs of life at the end of 2011, raising hopes that the U.S. economic recovery is for
real. Worries about Europe's debt crisis and future energy demand receded as France and Spain staged successful bond auctions, indicating investors have not been scared off by Standard and Poor's recent downgrades of countries that use the euro common currency.Analysts said the positive economic news was tempered by the weekly U.S. oil inventory report. The Energy Department said Thursday that the nation's crude oil supplies declined about one percent last week but gasoline stocks rose 1.7 per cent while demand over the past four weeks was down 6.1 percent from a
year earlier. "The market focused on the rising gasoline stocks which indicated continuing weak oil demand in the U.S. This has capped oil futures from gaining further despite some positive economic news from the U.S. and Europe," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. Analysts say oil prices will continue to swing between gains and losses until there is more certainty about the direction of the global economy. Corroborating this, the Chief Executive Officer of Total Christophe de Margerie said in an interview with La Libre Belgique newspaper that the price of a barrel of oil is likely to remain in the range of $100 to $120 this year.
ORLDSTAGE national electricity power conference, which brings players in the power industry, is scheduled for March and will enable operators to brainstorm on issues that would ensure successful and sustainable privatisation of the country’s power sector. The Federal Government formally scrapped the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)at the end of last year, which marked the beginning of selling and subsequent handover of the 18 successor companies to preferred bidders that would emerge from the shortlisted companies that are bidding to acquire the generation and distribution companies. The conference, the second in a series, with the theme: ‘Electricity Power Reforms & Investment: The Last Hurdle,’ the organisers said, would bring the policymakers and the private sector together, to deliberate on power supply agenda, review the progress made so far, engage hundreds of potential investors that are bidding for the companies unbundled from PHCN, share ideas on critical issue of funding and chart the way forward for the realisation of stable power supply in the country. Among the dignitaries expected
to make presentations at the conference include the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji; Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga; Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman, Electric Power Foundation, Otis Anyaeji; President , National Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Herbert Ajayi; Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NEBT) Plc, Mr Rumundaka Wonodi; Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa; Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, Mr James Olotu; President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Otunba Femi Deru; Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda; Chairman, House Committee on Power Hon. Patrick Ikhariale, Group Managing Director, NNPC Mr. Austin Oniwon, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited/Gte; Akinwunmi Bada and Chief Executive Officer, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), among others.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
‘We have no trade dispute with electricity workers’
HE Federal Ministry of Power has responded to media reports claiming that electricity workers are threatening to go on strike over unnamed outstanding labour issues with the Federal Government over the power sector reform. A statement in Abuja by Hon. Nick Agbo, Special Assistant to Power Minister Bart Nnaji on Labour Matters, dismissed the reports “because there is no trade dispute” between any of the three workers unions in the power sector and the ministry. “The law allows Nigerian workers to embark on an industrial action if there is a trade dispute between an employer of labour and his or her workers,” declared Agbo. “Even so, he said, “there is a procedure which must be followed; and this procedure has not been attempted at all in this instance. “Therefore, it is inconceivable that the union of junior workers in the power sector could wake up one morning and give the government a mere 48-hour notice to resolve all so-called outstanding labour issues or face a strike.” Noting that the law prohibits Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) employees from striking because theirs is an essential service, Agbo said that “the only outstanding issue between PHCN
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
workers and the Ministry of Power is the payment of arrears for the months of last June, July and August following the 50 percent increase in PHCN staff salaries which the Minister of Power graciously approved even though it escalated the monthly wage bill from about N8billion to over N11billion monthly. In any case, all the outstanding payment will be made this week, he said. He argued that the main task facing everyone in Nigeria’s power sector now is how to sustain and even deepen the momentum of improved power supply across the country. He described as “very unpatriotic and unconscionable any attempt to deny Nigerian citizens so soon the immense benefits of increased power delivery ,“ saying that any effort to return the power sector to the days of wild cat strikes will meet the wrath of the people. Agbo wondered why some professional trade unionists, “who have never worked in the power sector,” should insist on plunging the country into further crisis despite the security challenges facing the nation and the acute socioeconomic crisis arising out of the re-
• Power generation facility
cent nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress over the increase in the price of petrol. Agbo disclosed that the government has received intelligence reports to the effect that “certain entrenched interests diametrically opposed to the ongoing power sector reform because of their personal gains are sponsoring the attempt to disrupt power supply all over the nation using the redeployment of the PHCN Headquarters staff as a bogey”. He stated that the” beneficiaries
of the old order” have been spreading the rumour that the headquarters has been sold secretly and all the workers disengaged. He said is false because there is no plan to sell the building. In fact, the building will serve the Ministry of Power and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), among other government establishments. “The government merely redeployed the workers to PHCN successor companies, National Integrated Power Project and Federal
Ministry of Power so that they will not be out of job when the successor companies are privatized later in the year; the National Electricity Regulatory Commission does not regard the PHCN as a market participant. Agbo said: “What is more, routine staff postings are part of the public service tradition in Nigeria,” adding that the relocation allowances and salaries of the redeployed staff would be paid at their new work places at the end of this month.
Iran may close Strait of Hormuz, says envoy
RAN has said that closing the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf through which 18 percent of the world's oil is shipped, remains an option should the United States, Europe and other oil consuming countries place embargo on purchase of its oil and threat to use military action to stop its nuclear programme. Iran’s US envoy ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said Iran would not try to block the Strait of Hormuz unless a foreign power seeks to "tighten the noose" in a growing nuclear showdown with the West. "All the options are or would be on the table," if Iran is threatened, ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said on US television, referring to the strategic shipping route, which is a chokepoint for one fifth of the world's traded oil. The AFP quoted Khazaee as saying: “There is no decision to block and close the Strait of Hormuz unless Iran is threatened seriously and somebody wants to tighten the noose. "We believe that the Strait of
Hormuz should be the strait of peace and stability," the envoy added. "But if foreign powers want to create trouble in the Persian Gulf, of course it would be the right of Iran as well as the rest of the countries in the region to try to defend themselves." Amid growing speculation of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, Khazaee said the growing tensions should be end through "peace, dialogue and stability." Iran has accused Israel of involvement in the killings of its nuclear scientists. But the ambassador said he did not think Israel would try to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. "There are enough wise politicians around the world to advise them in case if they want to do that not to do it,” he said. The United States, France, Britain and Germany accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb but Iran said its atomic drive is peaceful. The United Nations said meanwhile that there an "urgent need" to defuse tensions between Iran and the West through dialogue. The solution also includes the need on the
part of the Iranian authorities to prove to the satisfaction of the international community that their nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. He added that because of the Strait of Hormuz's key role for oil supplies, UN leader Ban Ki-moon believes "it is important that free passage be guaranteed in accordance with the law of the sea." Ban has discussed the Iran tensions with leaders from China and Gulf states during talks in recent days. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also said that China -Iran oil trade is normal but noted that “China adamantly opposes Iran developing and possessing nuclear weapons. I also want to clearly point out that China's oil trade with Iran is normal trade activity. Legitimate trade should be protected, otherwise the world economic order would fall into turmoil” China is the second largest crude oil consumer in the world and the largest market for Iran's oil. In fact, China almost buys a third of Iran's oil exports. China has also been a
strong supporter against military action in Iran, asking the international community (especially the US) to resolve the matter peacefully. The US has been stepping up pressure on other countries to ban oil imports from Iran so as to curb the Middle-East country's biggest source of revenue and force it to abandon its alleged nuclear weapon development. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had met Jiabao earlier and asked China to cut back on its oil imports from Iran, a suggestion the Chinese did not accommodate. But Iran's foreign minister warned neighbouring states not to put themselves in a "dangerous position" by aligning themselves too closely with the United States in the escalating dispute over Tehran's nuclear activity. Confrontation is brewing over Tehran's nuclear work, which Washington and other powers say is focused on developing atomic weapons. Iran dismisses the accusation. European Union foreign ministers are expected at a meeting on
Monday to agree an oil embargo against Iran and a freeze on the assets of its central bank, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, confirming diplomatic leaks. The United States, however said it is "fully prepared" for any confrontation with Iran over the strategic Strait of Hormuz, but hopes a dispute would be resolved peacefully, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. "We obviously always continue to make preparations to be prepared for any contingency, but we are not making any special steps... because we're fully prepared to deal with that situation now," Panetta told reporters. Panetta also said the postponement of joint military exercises with Israel came at the request of his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak. "Minister Barak approached me and indicated that they were interested in postponing the exercise," he said. "We looked at it and determined that in order to be able to plan better and to do this so that we would be able to conduct that exercise that it would be better to postpone."
NIPCO bags best environment friendly company award
IPCO Plc, an integrated downstream operator in the nation’s oil and gas industry, has emerged as the best Health Safety and Environment (HSE) compliant tank farm in the country’s centre of excellence for last year. The award which was the end result of a painstaking selection exercise after an evaluation programme of oil depots in Lagos by the Health Safety and Environment (HSE) committee of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was presented to the company at a ceremony held at the Lagos port complex, Apapa. The company’s Manager .Corporate Affairs Lawal Taofeek said
Nipco was adjudged the best kept oil company and the most environment friendly terminal following the company good showing in all the parameters set by the committee in accessing oil terminals in the area. Presenting the report of the committee to a large audience including representatives of Major oil Companies under the auspices of major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), DAPMAN, and Independent oil marketers, the chairman, Okey Ezenwa said an exclusive tour of oil depots was carried out to ascertain the level of safety consciousness and environment upkeep in the terminals.
Having assessed the terminals and tank farms for one whole year, it is important that we recognize and crown those that have excelled and encourage others to improve their, HSE practice in the coming year, he declared. Ezenwa also noted that the exercise is a mark of recognition of the level of house-keeping of the awardees with a view to spurring others to emulate them in the overall interest of all stakeholders. The committee chairman informed the audience that several visits to the shortlisted terminals and tank farms have showed tremendous improvement with regards to safety in work places. He charged the awardees not to
relent in their efforts and ensure that their operation is in line with international best practices which harps on genuine sustainable improvement in work places at all times. Commenting on the award, Managing Director, Nipco Plc, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy said the recognition is a vindication of the high level of safety consciousness and good housekeeping by the organization, adding that it will serve as good impetus for the company in its operations in the marketing and storage of petroleum products. He noted that with the award, the whole workforce of the company has been recognised for its goal of
ensuring safety in the work environment and better quality control in the distribution of petroleum products across the country. We are delighted with the honor even as we pledged to continue to make our operations a benchmark for all operators in the sector, he said. Nipco won a similar award in 2010 after an exhaustive tour of downstream operators by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) taking into consideration the level of safety and environmental upkeep in the oil companies.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
‘Petroleum downstream sector reform imperative’
T is true to say that the petroleum industry world over is a fast changing one and needs to be reformed for accountability and service delivery to the people, which in the final analysis will bring progress and development to the country. Every opportunity occasioned by delays, should be used to reevaluate and re-examine plans and programmes and their contents. There should be no embarrassment for making meaningful changes or modifications, especially if they are influenced by new economic or technological realities which will also lead to economic transformation of the economy for the betterment of all Nigerians whether from oil producing states, communities or not. The responsibility for propelling economic development is clearly that of government. However, the necessary capital inputs cannot be government alone. In this regard therefore, only the right economic climate will encourage foreign and indigenous private capital to offer to participate. On the issue of propelling economic development, the government must clearly articulate and disseminate new directives it is mapping out. In the petroleum industry sector, people have lived for so long with certain situations that they assume it can not be altered. There is therefore the need for changes in policies and strategies in the sector which must be widely disseminated using relevant media, print and broadcast inclusive as well as making use of community leaders, opinion leaders and moulders. In order to make meaningful impact, emphasis must change from merely satisfying domestic consumption to using part of such efforts in pursuing export. One can boldly and proudly say that the government is already doing a lot. It must do more if the economy is to truly turn around and begin to really grow in the right direction. It is abundantly clear that the downstream sector of the petroleum industry has the potential to make meaningful impact on that effort. Furthermore, any meaningful development of any kind usually takes place within an environment which is conducive to it. This is so in the case of economic development and particularly in high risk sectors requiring intensive
By Charles Ikedikwa Soeze
capital inputs. It is for this reason that any talk of meaningful development in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry in Nigeria must first address the issue of the climate in which it has attempted to thrive so that appropriate measures may be taken to enhance or correct it. However, deregulation simply put is the liberalization of logistics and pricing of goods and services. It has to do with the removal of the monopolistic control which should lead to the creation of a regime of level playing ground giving rise to competition which ultimately should lead to better, efficient and effective services to customers at most beneficial rates. It is crystal clear that any mention of deregulation in the petroleum industry often attracts so much apprehension and emotions. This is so, as it becomes the tradition to associate deregulation with upward movements of the prices of petroleum products without corresponding improvement in the services to the consumers. Deregulation will lead to massive investment and expansion of product reception and storage facilities. A cursory look at the refineries will reveal at a glance that the first oil refinery built in the country is located outside Port Harcourt in the southern part of the country, and it started operations in 1965 with a capacity of 38,000 barrels per day (bpd). In addition, three other refineries were built to take care of the expanding domestic needs for the last thirty years. In the 1990’s based on population explosion, there were more demand for gas outweighing supply. In view of massive corruption, smuggling, mismanagement, wrong appointments and postings, the refineries operated at less than optimal levels. Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) was executed on the refineries by non technocrats or professionals, based on the unjust lay-off of professionals within the refineries in an attempt to talk of the federal character principle that is, equal representation of states without taking into consideration ones level of training and professionalism. As a result, we have what should be termed ‘killed the refineries and go into shady deal in the importation of petroleum products’. What a dangerous dichotomy
indeed! This has made the desired result not to be achieved. Consequently, the NNPC had to import heavily from abroad in this connection cutting actual revenue derived from oil exports. Whatever the case may be, the deregulation of the downstream sector will encourage the following among others, maintaining self-sufficiency in refining, ensuring regular and uninterrupted domestic supply of petroleum products at reasonable prices, establishing facilities and infrastructure for the production of refined product at the export market and support the domestic petrochemicals, creating value added from these activities and finally gainful employment and enabling Nigerians to acquire technical know-how in refining and distribution business. It is flabbergasting that despite all the TAM on the refineries, it yielded no meaningful result. In the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), the full rehabilitation of the Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit as well as the overhaul of Gas Turbine Generator and procurement of TAM
materials never made it to perform optimally. In the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), the projects include rehabilitation works on demin plant raw water intake, electric bubstation, air compressors, fuels plant and instrumentation. Price liberalization is central to the various reforms to be carried out in the nation’s downstream sector. Generally speaking, price liberalization would afford the system sectoral efficiency and effectiveness and institute a regime of sustainable development. In other words, price liberalization will among other things include, induce competition and efficiency that will drive prices downwards; permit entry of new participants thus providing access to state of the art technique in business practice, management, technical knowhow and modernization. It is appropriate to state that separation of functions based on Business Units will ensure that economic cost of service is established and there is transparency regarding profit/loss. A liberalised downstream has
the merits of price liberalization. If this is fully implemented in Nigeria, a number of benefits will accrue to Nigeria like guaranteeing products availability as fuel could also be brought in through importation, just as it is capable of ensuring rapid disruption in supply chain. A liberalized downstream would make Nigeria the hub in the west coast of Africa. Nigeria has export capability with a refining capacity of 445, 000 bpd and a lesser apparent demand. That is to say with a liberalized downstream, Nigeria would also ensure relevant pricing of natural gas, thus buoying the natural gas sector. For sometime now, the NNPC has been importing fuel. The importation, I think, is because of the sub-optimal performance of refineries. The truth of the matter is that with the importation, the corporation is unable to recover cost of imported products. • Soeze, is Head, Academic and Physical Planning (A&PP), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.
• A refinery
OPEC chief wants Hormuz assurance from Iran
RAQ’S Oil Minister and Presi dent of Organisation of Petro leum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Abdul-Kareem Luaibi has said he would visit Iran to discuss oil market stability and seek Tehran’s assurances on the protection of waterways and oil supplies. His comments follow recent threats from Tehran that it would stop oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions are imposed on Iran’s oil exports. “I will go to Iran to encourage our brothers to express real and important assurances to the world that everyone is keen to protect the waterways and to protect the process of production and export of oil in the region,” Luaibi said. “Otherwise, anything less will affect the whole world and will affect the global economy,” he said. He said Iraq was against the use of oil in politics and that OPEC was keen to seek stability in oil production and prices. Tensions over the Strait of Hormuz - the world’s most important oil shipping route - have risen in recent weeks after Iran threatened to block it. Producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and the United Arab
Emirates all use it to move crude to customers around the world. Iraq exports about 1.7 million barrels of crude per day from its Gulf oil terminals. Oil revenues fund about 95 percent of its government
budget. “Iraq is the best mediator in the region now as its regime has very close ties with Iran and has the ability to defuse the crisis,” Baghdadbased oil analyst Hamza alJawahiri told Reuters.
Luaibi added that Iraq will begin test-pumping crude oil through its new single-point mooring (SPM) in the Gulf on January 25 and the terminal will be ready to receive vessels in February.
The opening of the terminal ultimately will add about 900,000 bpd to Iraq’s export capacity. Two other SPMs will be brought online later in the year, Iraqi officials have said.
Domestic prices of petroleum products
Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl)
PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot OIL (¢/gal)
98.33 109.63 98 .46
-2.21 -1.25 -1.93
-0.20% 1.13% -1.92%
01/20 01/20 01/20
PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Heating Oil Future 298.84 Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future 278.44 NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)
PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Henry Hub Future 2.34 Henry Hub Spot 2.25 New York City Gate Spot 2.53 ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour) PRICE*
0.02 -0.12 -0.22
0.90% -5.067% -8.00%
01/20 01/20 01/20
CHANGE % CHANGE TIME
Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 23.11 2.02 -8.04% Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 25.11 0.67% -2.60 BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON 22.15 -1.60 -6.74% • Bloomberg Oil Buyers Guide
01/20 01/20 01/20
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
MARITIME ‘ISPA can’t stop security problem’ Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda
•Oil tanker vessel
PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA
How ship owners, oil majors defraud Nigeria N
IGERIA loses $100 million in revenue yearly to illegal bunkering and clandestine maritime activities, it has been learnt. Over 250 local and foreign vessels engage in ship-to-ship (STS) transfer and illegal bunkering on the nation’s territorial waters, sources said. The business is said to be thriving because of government’s inability to police the waterways and compel vessels owned by oil majors to berth at the ports. The government, The Nation learnt, needs to empower the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to collect duty from local ships that engage in STS transfer to stop swindling Nigeria. The government, security and transport ministry’s sources said, will continue to talk of deregulation and subsidy removal if government fails to police the water ways effectively and allow oil vessels to stay on the high seas to discharge their products instead of coming to the sea ports to do so. The sources faulted the argument of the oil majors that the seaports have limited draught, because that was the same place they loaded the crude products taken outside to refine. Maritime operators believe that the government should be blamed for the lapse. Industry players who spoke with The Nation, said oil tanker owners took a cue from government’s failure to involve the Customs in collecting duty from local ship owners in-
Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
volved in STS transfer. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the Managing Director, Micks Integrated Oil, Michel Abel, decried the exclusion of the Customs from crude oil export terminals and called on the government to change the practice. He said the government should set up a staff training college for officers of the Nigeria Customs, where they can be trained on the required capacity for effective presence on the various off shore platforms, to handle calibration and save the country the loss of revenues associated with oil sector transactions. Abel said the training is important because of the prospect of accurate calibrations of expected earnings from the premium commodity. Apart from involving the Customs in oil lifting, Abel said officers and men of the Service need to be equipped adequately to enable them to carry out their duties efficiently. He stressed the need for the government to provide Customs with helicopters and patrol vehicles. The country, he said, cannot continue to be at the mercy of oil companies that are providing these facilities. “If you visit any of these oil companies working in the Niger Delta, you will find out that officers and men of the Customs Service are still carrying out their official responsibilities at the mercy of major oil companies in the area. But the question is: must these be allowed to continue and government would be crying that it has to remove the
The Managing Director, Service and Logistics, Mr Seyi Aromire, said it was time for the automation of Customs’operations at the ports. He said the local Trade Release Study (TRS) initiative must be in tandem with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) efforts. He advised Customs officers to be alive to their responsibilities on efficient and effective service delivery for operators and port users. He said there was the need for the Service to identify areas of delays, which go beyond their jobs, and proffer solutions to problems in the cargo clearance system. Aromire enjoined stakeholders to be transparent in their dealings with Customs and perform their duties in the movement of cargoes at the ports. Another operator, Mr Bolaji Adedayo, enjoined the Federal
HE Executive Chairman, Fortune Global Shipping and Logistics Limited, Mr Eric Opah, has urged the Federal Government to optimise the nation’s ocean endowments by placing priority on the maritime industry. He wants attention to be given to shipping, stressing that only countries that are able to do this become great. He said the maritime sector is as important as aviation and should not be underrated, if the nation has genuine intention of attaining its Vision 20: 2020. “The Federal Government must accord equal recognition to the maritime and aviation sector. The duo are very essential. Both are important to the development of the economy. What one lacks the other has. Though aviation has the advantage of fast delivery, no one should compare what the ship can carry with that of the plane,” he added.
Maritime security bill
•Managing Director, NPA, Omar Suleiman
oil subsidy every year? The truth of the matter is that the Customs must be equipped. They must have helicopters. They must have patrol and operational boats that will allow them to put these calibrations out of their duty, because they cannot be at the mercy of the people, they are checking,” he said On alleged calibration distortion by the oil companies, the Chairman, Solar and Oil Energy, Mr Yinka Oguntulu, urged the Federal Government to put measures in place to uncover and expose those behind the illegal act. Oguntolu said: “The Nigerian Customs Service has just witnessed a major reorganisation. The next issue on the agenda of the Service should be the handling of calibration for the oil companies, importing and clearance process under destination inspection.”
‘Enforce ban on lethal goods’ TAKEHOLDERS in the maritime industry have enjoined the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other government agencies at the ports and land borders to enforce the ban on lethal goods and items. Such items, operators said, include explosives, arms and armmunition, expired rice, frozen foods, used computers, used refrigerators and television sets. The operators urged officials of the NCS to ensure that the agencies do not connive with importers or smugglers to bring in these goods because of the high level of insecurity in the country. They want officials of the Ministries of Finance and Transport to remove obstacles causing delay in cargo clearance at the port, urging them to provide formula and policies for further improvement in cargo clearance.
HE Managing Director of Export Development Agency, Bolaji Adesegun, has criticised the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), saying it is not the solution to maritime security in the country. Adesegun said in Lagos on Friday that before the code was introduced, the shipping industry in West Africa had maritime security problems. He lamented that the shipping, oil and gas industries have expanded without carrying the host communities along. Adesegun observed that ISPS was made to protect certain interests against terrorism. He, however, said when the core needs of the people of the shipping host communities are met, maritime security challenges would be reduced. He said the neglect of the host communities has resulted in the insecurity being experienced in the Niger Delta area. “In the Niger Delta, the country has a huge human capacity, a huge maritime, oil and gas industry, as well as a huge coastline, but has a single maritime training institution which is grossly inadequate to cater for the job needs of the restive youths,” he said. He said the fastest way to engage the militants, is by sending them to the local and international maritime labour market with the necessary International Maritime Organisation (IMO) certifications.
Government not to neglect the maritime sector, particularly shipping. The maritime sector, he said, is as important as other sectors of the economy, and should, therefore, not be underrated by the authorities, if the nation actually has the genuine intention of actualising its Vision 20:2020. The expert also called for the scrapping of punitive trade barriers in terms of excessive tariffs and levies to facilitate trade. Similarly, a maritime lawyer, Mr Dipo Alaka, called on the Federal Government to make available a special grant to the Customs to boost its operations and increase its potential to generate revenue. The grant, Alaka said, would enable the Service to complete its abandoned projects and improve the capacity of its human resources to perform its duty.
HE National Assembly has been urged to pass the Ni gerian Maritime Security Agency Bill into law to dislodge the over 1000 bunkering points on the nation’s water ways, as well as the existence several illegal refineries. In a letter to the Senate, Mr Benson Idahosa said the bill, if passed into law, swould operate from all the Inland water ways of the country. The agency will also operate along some of the sea fronts in the Niger Delta arrears. The law came up for reading at the Senate on December 7. The Bill, Idahosa said, would open a lot of avenue for revenue generation for the country.
The passage of the bill, Idahosa said, would dislodge over 1,000 bunkering points on water ways and illegal refineries. The location of the agency, if allowed to come into existence, he said, would be closed to many onshore oil wells thereby preventing direct oil well head illegal siphoning of crude oil. The Bill, he said, needs to be passed to prevent and fight crimes around the pipeline on waters and on land which is 9,717 kilometres The passage of the bill, he said, would not be a duplication of the efforts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy as they have distinct roles to play.
Tanzania reduces cargo dwell time
OLLOWING the introduction of a single window system at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has been able to reduce the dwell time for cargo arriving from South Africa from 14 to seven days. Tanzania Shipping Agents Association Chairman Emmanuel Mallya praised the new system, saying it could turn the port of Dar es Salaam into the most competitive in East Africa, especially on cargo from South Africa. “Further improvements of the Dar es Salaam port infrastructure will definitely cut down unnecessary costs related to storage charges which have a negative impact on the prices of the imported goods and this has always been a burden to the end user,” he said. Other stakeholders have recommended further improvements in the information and communication technology (ICT) services at the port. They say there is need to further develop a single window system that could reduce traders’ movement from one office to another to collect the necessary documents.
With the shipment clearance being preformed online, the burden and delays which importers encountered in lodging documents have been eradicated, he said. The single window system is a trade facilitation concept whose implementation allows local and cross border traders to submit regulatory documents such as customs declarations, applications for import and export permits, certificates of origin and trading invoices at a single location. Documents for cargo shipped from South Africa was previously lodged manually, making it cumbersome to complete the entire process and leading to a 14-day dwell time being allocated by Tanzania Ports Authority. With the introduction of electronic handling of documentation for cargo coming from South Africa, the ports authority has decided from early February, the free time for such cargo will be reduced to a dwell time of seven days. Source: Tanzania Daily News
‘Water ways are safe’
HE management of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has assured that the water ways are safe. He said the fears raised by maritime stakeholders about a possible occurrence in Nigeria like the capsized Costa Concordia
leisure ship with over 4,000 people including crew members on board, the organisation’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael Ajayi, allayed the fears that a similar situation could occur in the country.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Online piracy and political overreach
Kano bomb blasts •Another sad example of triumph of violence over government action
ITH at least 162 persons so far reported dead in the January 20 bomb attacks in Kano, the Kano State capital, indications are that the attempts to rein in the Islamic fundamentalists are inadequate or ineffectual, or both. As a matter of fact, morgues in the ancient city are said to be overflowing with corpses of the victims, the worst so far in terms of the number of casualties. According to reports, multiple explosives went off one after the other in Kano, in the usual manner of similar attacks by members of the sect in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Potiskum, Gombe, Abuja, and Madalla in Niger State. The main targets were Nigeria Police Zone 1 Headquarters on BUK Road, the AIG Zone 1 residence at Bompai Road, police state command headquarters also at Bompai Road, Zaria Road Police Station on Zaria Road, Farm Centre Police Station at Farm Centre, SSS Headquarters, Gigiyu, Passport Office at Farm Centre and Immigration Headquarters at Bompai Road. Although the invaders were said to have been repelled at the SSS office and the Customs Training School by officers who reportedly gave them a good fight, killing some of them in the process, the fact that the bombers still went as far as they did should make us ask what has happened to our security generally? Most of the places attacked are largely security agencies that people should be scared of
attempting to violate. But the Boko Haram appeared unruffled by whatever security measures these agencies put in place. Indeed, the magnitude of the destruction was such that Kano would have been taken for a war zone by the time the smokes caused by the blasts had subsided. Many people were killed, including Channels Television’s cameraman in the city, Enenche Akogwu. The state government immediately declared a 24-hour curfew to underscore the level of destruction and loss of lives. Our condolences go to the relatives of the dead; people whose lives were just wasted over a cause for which they had absolutely no business. We sympathise with the injured as well. But we must quickly add that the country cannot continue on this sad note. We can’t be reduced to a nation of experts in giving graveside orations. The ease with which the Boko Haram sect has frequently rubbished our security apparatuses is baffling. It is enough indication that something is wrong with the present security arrangement in the country. A cardinal responsibility of any government properly so-called is the control of the instruments of coercion and provision of security. With regard to the Boko Haram and the menace of criminals generally in many parts of the country, the government has not been able to proffer any effective solution. We have had more of promises to arrest the situation than we have seen effective
actions. Even in the case of the Kano bombings, what we have heard from the seat of government is the usual homily: we will wipe out Boko Haram. We need to move from this stage to the stage where the government would do less of talking and Nigerians would see more of action that indeed, the crime wave, including terror attacks, is falling. Presidential assurances would amount to nothing if all Nigerians see are deadlier attacks by Boko Haram after the president had assured that perpetrators of previous terror attacks would be apprehended and prosecuted. It does the government no credit to learn that arrested members of the sect escape or get freed by their colleagues and the best the president will do is throw his hands up in frustration, lamenting that the sect has infiltrated even the security agencies.
‘Even in the case of the Kano bombings, what we have heard from the seat of government is the usual homily: we will wipe out Boko Haram. We need to move from this stage to the stage where the government would do less of talking and Nigerians would see more of action that indeed, the crime wave, including terror attacks, is falling’
ANC at 100 •Africa’s most famous political party must renew itself
S it marked the 100th anniversary of its founding in a church in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1912, the African National Congress (ANC) indeed has much to celebrate. The party has been the arrowhead of a noble struggle for freedom, dignity and independence that is almost unparalleled in world and African history. The ANC has served as the political platform of legendary men and women who devoted their lives to ending their country’s reviled system of institutionalised racial discrimination later to be formally known as apartheid. They include the Nobel Laureate Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, and Nelson Mandela, the world’s most famous political prisoner who was to eventually become South Africa’s first black President.
‘As it embarks on the second century of its existence, the ANC must rediscover itself. The tactics which served it so well in the liberation struggle are largely inappropriate for governing a democracy. If it is to retain the love and respect of the citizenry, it must ensure that it is honest and competent’
During its long and bitter struggle, the ANC symbolised the hopes and dreams of all oppressed peoples on the African continent and elsewhere. Regardless of ideology, nations and peoples across the world expressed strong support for the goals of the ANC and other anti-apartheid movements. They were supported in cash and in kind by countries like Nigeria, which became so involved in the struggle that it was widely acknowledged as a frontline state in spirit. Skillfully adapting its tactics to the requirements of changing circumstances, the ANC utilised petition-writing, mass rallies, armed struggle and diplomatic pressure to achieve its goals. Such was its determination and its ability to weld disparate opposition forces into a formidable anti-apartheid movement that it was rightly hailed as a major factor in attaining the end of institutionalised racism in South Africa. The 1994 elections, which the party won convincingly, testify to the great love and esteem in which it was then held by a majority of South Africans. Since the heady days of 1994, however, the party appears to have lost its way. Part of the problem lies in the difficulties of making the transformation from a liberation movement to a political party. As the former, its adversaries were easily identifiable and its cause was undeniably just. As a political party, the issues it confronted were not as clear-cut. Unlike before, the ANC has had to show that it was capable of bringing about the kind of change that it had advocated for decades. It has even less excuse for failure be-
cause it has been in power for an unbroken 17 years. The party’s task has been made harder by the sheer magnitude of the problems confronting it. Centuries of racial discrimination against the country’s black citizens have led to very high rates of illiteracy, malnutrition, crime and associated social problems. The ANC has tried to improve the quality of life of ordinary citizens: there are more children in school, more homes have been built for the poor, and electricity and water have spread to greater proportions of the populace. In spite of these efforts, the party has not been able to fully convince many of its competence or its sincerity. A spate of high-profile corruption scandals have done much to damage the standing of the party; its image has not also been helped by the ostentatious displays of many of its senior members who constitute a significant proportion of the new black entrepreneurial class. The ANC’s seeming intolerance of criticism has also raised questions about its democratic credentials. The recent passing of a so-called “secrecy bill” has confirmed the worst fears of those who are apprehensive that the party is failing to live up to the ideals that it had fought for. As it embarks on the second century of its existence, the ANC must rediscover itself. The tactics which served it so well in the liberation struggle are largely inappropriate for governing a democracy. If it is to retain the love and respect of the citizenry, it must ensure that it is honest and competent.
OR months, it seemed as if Congress would pass an online antipiracy bill, even though its main weapons — cutting off the financing of pirate Web sites and making them harder to find — risk censoring legitimate speech and undermining the security of the Internet. But the unmovable corporations behind those bills have run into an unstoppable force: an outcry by Internet companies led by Google and Wikipedia that culminated in an extraordinary online protest on Wednesday. Lawmakers have begun peeling away from the bills, notably Senators Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who cosponsored the Senate version, and John Cornyn, the powerful Texas conservative. They dropped out after Wikipedia’s English language site went dark and Google put a black bar on its homepage on Wednesday. The Protect I.P. Act would have easily passed the Senate last summer if not for a hold placed by Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon. The Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced in the House in October, has also lost some of its initial backers. And on Saturday, the White House released a statement warning that it would “not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” Though we are encouraged by legislators’ newfound caution about the potential consequences of the bills, Congress must keep working on ways to curtail the growing business of foreign rogue Web sites trafficking in counterfeit goods and stolen intellectual property. The Internet industry was pitted against some of the best-honed lobbying groups, including Hollywood and the recording studios, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. The industry has made a good case that some of the definitions of wrongdoing — like “facilitating” intellectual property infringement — were overly broad. They said allowing property rights owners to direct payment companies like Visa and ad networks like Google’s to stop doing business with sites they deemed infringing — with no penalties if they were proved wrong— could stymie legitimate online expression. They made the case that the proposal to make infringing Web sites “disappear” from the Internet by forbidding search engines from finding them or redirecting their Web addresses to other Internet domains was easy to get around and could potentially undermine efforts to stop hackers from doing exactly the same thing. The Internet companies now have the responsibility to come up with a workable alternative that gives owners of intellectual property rights better tools to stop piracy by Web sites located in faraway countries. These sites get some 53 billion visits a year, more than Google or Wikipedia. Yet they are outside the grasp of American law. The focus on cutting the financing of online pirates, which features in the House and Senate bills, is the right way to go. Sponsors of both bills have moved to delete, at least temporarily, provisions to make rogue Web sites disappear. The legislation could be further amended to narrow the definition of criminality and clarify that it is only aimed at foreign sites. And it could tighten guarantees of due process. Private parties must first get a court order to block business with a Web site they deem infringing on their copyrights. We are happy that the drive to pass antipiracy legislation has slowed enough that Congress might actually consider all its implications carefully. Lawmakers can now act wisely to create tools that can help combat the scourge of online piracy without excessive collateral damage. – New York Times
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile
• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu
•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon
•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike
•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor
• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge
•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
IR: On November 21, the Alliance for Credible Elections and CLEEN Foundation presented to the public the report of a Public Opinion Poll on the removal of petrol subsidy. The result of the opinion poll showed that over 80% of Nigerians totally opposed the removal of petrol subsidy. The opinion poll also indicated that more than 70% of Nigerians were willing and internally motivated to publicly resist any hike in the prices of petroleum products. The spontaneous public outcry and demonstrations that trailed the announcement of the removal of the subsidy, therefore, did not come as a surprise. The first lesson for Nigeria is to place premium importance to the use of public opinion polls as veritable tools for public consultation. The result of such polls should serve as guide on the appropriateness or otherwise of government policies before such policies are implemented. Perhaps, if relevant institutions of government paid more than a passing attention to the feelings of Nigerians concerning the removal, the Nigerian economy would have been saved the hemorrhage of over N1 trillion flushed down the drain the eight days the country was shut down. The government would have been saved the grave embarrassment of having those that hailed it “Hosanna in the highest” at the last general elections now shout “Crucify! Crucify!! Crucify!!!” barely seven months after. We would still have had the likes of Muyideen Mustapha and Anas Basambo here with us. The second crucial lesson Nigerians must learn from the events is the need to strengthen and deepen Nigeria’s democracy. In order to
EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lessons learnt from the Nigerian Haze take the democratic process in Nigeria to the next level, there appears to be an increasing need to move away from gallery-based politics to issue-based politics. It has never ceased to amaze me how Nigerians could rabidly revolt against a government that was popularly elected just a few months after. In other climes, an issue of national importance as petrol subsidy would have been thoroughly thrashed at politi-
cal campaigns and the positions of different candidates, from governorship to presidential aspirants, well known to the electorate before election. That way, Nigerians would have decided their fate on removal or otherwise of petrol subsidy in the polling booth rather than on the streets. The political class, the media, civil society organizations and the generality of Nigerian electorate collectively failed at this.
The third and perhaps most important lesson arising from the dust of the Nigerian haze is the supremacy of the people. Chapter 2, section 14 (part 2) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution provides that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government derives all its powers and authority. Not a few Nigerians believe that the government breached this very fundamental clause in the constitu-
• Asuzu Echezona Deputy General Secretary Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE-NIGERIA)
The disappearance of Kabiru Sokoto
IR: The nation’s perilous security situation suffered another blow with the disappearance of Mallam Kabir Umaru Sokoto, the prime suspect in the Madalla Christmas Day bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, in which 43 worshippers were killed and property worth millions were destroyed. He was said to have been arrested at the Borno State Liaison Office in Abuja and taken to the police station in Abaji, a suburb of Abuja and was detained at the cell of the Special AntiRobbery Squad. Since the announcement of the escape of Sokoto, the Federal Government and Nigerians have condemned the act and called for sactions against the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz
Ringim. The disappearance of Mallam Kabiru has serious security implications. First, it has lent credence to the widely held opinion that the nation’s security agencies have been infiltrated by the Boko Haram sect. Many Nigerians believe that he could have been deliberately set free. Secondly, the escape is a pointer to the fact that the ant-terrorism fight of the government is a mere ruse if a high profile suspect like Sokoto could be allowed to beat the security system of the police. There are few questions that we need to ponder on. Why was Kabiru being taken to the palace in Abaji? Why was he not handcuffed to prevent possible escape? Where were the
youths coming from? To do what? What were the escorts doing when he was trying to escape? Is it true he had an Air Force officer, to protect him and allow him escape to London? These are questions police authorities must give satisfactory answers to. As the nation was yet to get over the puzzle of the missing Kabiru, coordinated bomb attacks were recorded in Kano and Bauchi states, killing nearly 200 innocent Nigerians. For many years, the Nigerian police have not really been in the good books of the people. They are inundated with ugly stories of extra-judicial killings, police brutality, extortion, corruption, connivance with criminals, lawlessness and brazen disregard for human rights. That is why the IGP
Time to remove the other ‘subsidy’
IR: Yakubu Gowon’s regime introduced fuel subsidy in 1974 with the establishment of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) targeted at ’’bridging’’ the cost of transporting and handling of supplying petroleum products to all parts of Nigeria at the same prices irrespective of distances from the refineries and importers’ storage depots. Its objective, as we were then told, was to facilitate industrialization of the Northern parts of the country which, Gowon thought, was being vitiated by prices of oil being higher than in the South. Up to that time, oil prices varied from location to location according to their distances from
tion when it imposed on the rest of us a policy that Nigerians had explicitly rejected especially at the time it was handed down. Even the President himself seems to have learnt the lesson of the supremacy of the people more than all of us. While addressing foreign diplomats at the aftermath of Operation Occupy Nigeria, he said “government will ensure that while adjusting the pump price, we will not do it in a way that will bring suffering to the people. We know we were misunderstood, prices couldn’t have gone up that way but that is a human society and is a human factor”. Need I say more?
the importers’ storage depots or from the refineries. Also, lest we forget, the two refineries then in existence were built, owned and managed by the private sector—not the government. Government later ‘nationalized’ the refineries as a part of that regime’s belief in ‘government controlling the commanding heights of the economy’. In the analysis just released by government as at January 1, no mention was made of that ‘bridging cost’ having been removed. Instead, it has again been passed on to fuel consumers as if they are buying petrol at stations which are equidistant from the importers’ depots or the refineries.
That is not fair; it is not equitable. It is robbing Peter (those living near oil depots/refineries) to pay Paul (those who live farther). If government is not insisting on products (like cows, yams, onions, tomatoes and pepper) transported from the North be sold in the South at the same prices as they are in the North, it is therefore wrong and unfair for government to surreptitiously make southerners to be subsidising the petroleum products sold in the North by passing their transport costs to the southerners. And—because it is inequitable— this must be rectified by scrapping the PEF and letting consumers bear
the varying prices according to the transportation costs incurred by petrol importers and marketers in the process of taking the products to the pumps where the products are dispensed. That will be true deregulation and doing so will bring fairness to consumers who buy products on which no (or little) transportation costs are incurred by the importers/marketers. • Oyeniyi Akande [Retired Director, National Planning Commission Ile Asudan, Isedo, Ila-Orangun, Osun State
should ensure that Sokoto is fishedout at all cost, if he is ready to convince Nigerians that he is genuinely committed to the fight against terrorism. There is urgent need for our law enforcement agents to undergo training and re-training, to be able to cope with modern day challenges. It is no longer fashionable for police to bear arms and ammunition to intimidate their perceived targets. Police escorts and other operatives display insanity like mad dogs whenever public officers attend public functions. It is time we started working towards state policing. Over the years, central police administration, like what presently obtains is defective in ensuring the safety of lives and property. The governors, as chief security officers in their states are helpless in the maintenance of law and order in their domains because police commissioners are not responsible or answerable to them! A piece of advice for IGP Ringim. I realise that he’s about to retire from active service. He must, at least, put the records straight by fishing out Sokoto, said to be Boko Haram’s second-in-command and douse the suspicion that it is a conspiracy theory to elongate his tenure. Nigerians are waiting, even when Kabiru is found, they must be able to sleep with their two eyes, closed! • Adewale Kupoluyi Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
(NDONDR), a tragi-comic pun ROM the heat of the January 9 to on the Occupy Nigeria informal 16 nationwide fuel strikes came groups which, in concert with some lunatic voices: one, in the Labour and other civil society virtual jungle of the internet, calling for groups, pulled off the epochal the violent overthrow of the democratic nationwide fuel strikes. order; the other, from the terra firma of Well, this column is not about ethnic grandstanding in response to a to latch on to the counter-emopan-Nigeria angst, calling for the secestion of calling for the trial of sion of the Niger Delta, and calling on Olakunle Ms Briggs, the otherwise articuthe Ndigbo to join the hare-brained email@example.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola late Nigerian patriot who have project. been rather vocal in the politiIndeed, you gauge the integrity of a nacal front of restructuring, retion when it is under intense crisis, just as a source control and allied batman reveals his true character when he is tles. But Ripples is certainly under pressure! Still, something must be shocked by her seeming lack benumbing about the two lunatic calls: good cause) tried to suck into secession the minorities of the of a sense of history; and how her reckless emotion was clearly they happened on January 12 and 13, two crucial days in the then Eastern Region; but which those minorities, now in the injurious to the Jonathan cause. bracket of dates in the painful Nigerian crisis of nationhood. Ms Briggs’s NDONDR came up with its resolution on 13 JanuEastern segment of the current political South-South, repelled. 13 January 1970 it was when the Nigerian Civil War (1967It is amazing, if not outright uncanny, therefore how a bou- ary 2012, the 42nd anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Port 1970) ended. The guns stopped booming that day, though quet of raw emotions beclouding clear thinking, tragedy of na- Harcourt, where the lobby reportedly sat, still bears the tellthe war would not formally be over until 15 January 1970, ive motives and the symbolism of tragic dates have come to the tale of eternal injustice: “abandoned (read confiscated) propwhen the instrument of surrender had changed hands, fore in these latest lunatic calls for a military coup and, ironi- erty” of those who lost the war! though the then Major-Gen. Yakubu Gowon, wartime NiYet, because she and her lobby could not stand the strikecally, the old Biafra, to secede from Nigeria – though this time, gerian head of state, was quick to declare a “no victor, no the spur would be the oil-rich minority Niger Delta, not the time “open ridicule of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan” she vanquished” end. would bluff and bluster with secession, the same attempted majority Igbo! But more troubling for a nation that lost its innocence via Should anyone who saw the horror of the Civil War and the secession that caused a civil war in which an estimated 1.3 the naive idealism of its young military officers, and that has devastation of military rule be capable of such naively destruc- million souls perished! never recovered its sanity since then, was that on 15 January And what was that about insult? Don’t insults and praises tive thinking? 1966 came the first military putsch. That would forever Yet on 12 January 2012, one Citizen Emmanuel Obi, clearly come with the democratic space, even if it is best that parliachange the tenor of politics and governance in Nigeria. brimming with messianic rage, posted on the Naijaintellect mentary language were employed in political agitations? Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and his fellow coup And the tragic parallel! Forty five years ago back in 1967, cyber-forum, that one of the service chiefs move against Presimakers were no villains. On the contrary, they were fired dent Goodluck Jonathan. He insisted that the said officer, a troubled Igbo nation, fleeing from pogrom in the North, by patriotic rage against Nigeria’s independence rulers, “owes this country a duty to move in now, salute the president and flocked back into its homeland for safety – safety the quackwho they, not without merit, accused of betraying the peoing Nigerian state could no longer guarantee. Even then, place him under house arrest after dismissing him as president ...” ple’s trust. Neither was Major-Gen. Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, But who the hell is a soldier to “dismiss” an elected presi- the Niger Delta minorities in the then Eastern Region did who inherited the coup, though his fecklessness, in the dent? Did that soldier put the president there? Besides, the not exactly embrace the secessionist bid with a swoon! But face of a somewhat ethnic colouration of the coup and a take-overs of the past – did they not worsen instead of im- now, Ms Briggs is calling for a tragic encore, that the Igbo clear northern ire, was a study in naivety inviting avoidproving the situation? So long for knee-jerk thinking in times should withdraw to the enclave, with the Niger Delta miable doom. norities, simply because some people were having a good of national crisis! But all that, too soon, raced to the counter-coup of 29 July It would be unfair to impute ethnic motives to the call just laugh at the “Ijaw” president, on the stumps of anti-fuel sub1966, the anti-Igbo pogrom in the North and eventually the because the citizen, from his name, appears to come from the sidy removal strikes? Come on! Civil War, in which the majority Igbo (again, not without a If President Jonathan has any problems, it is as a result of the same part of the country with the officer he was goading to treason. But it certainly bears the tragic echo of the loss of inno- Nigerian penchant to band together on injustice, and gang up ‘Now that injustice is clearly an illcence in the First Republic, when from all accounts a “good- against a hurting segment. The Civil War was the turn of the intentioned” putsch got tinted with ethnic colouration and re- Igbo. June 12, 1993 was the turn of the Yoruba. The controverwind that blows no one any good, why ceived its kiss of death – and with it, Nigerian political sanity! sial junking of the zoning formula that catapulted Jonathan to not explore restructuring to redefine the Imagine a repeat of that madness today, with threat of Boko Haram power was the turn of the North, which hitherto felt it was immune from such blatant injustice. bombs, sectarian and political! terms of a new union? That is certainly Now that injustice is clearly an ill-wind that blows no one Still, cyber space is a jungle where new frontiers cowboys shoot a better path than throwing bombs from the hips with no restraining law. But not so the real world any good, why not explore restructuring to redefine the terms of a new union? That is certainly a better path than throwing of crime and punishment, to echo Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic. around, brainless baiting for coup and That leads to the unfortunate call for secession by Annkio Briggs, bombs around, brainless baiting for coup and an infantile goadan infantile goading for secession!’ convener of the Niger Delta Occupy Niger Delta Resources ing for secession!
F some Nigerians have not yet succeeded at making the US National Intelligence Council’s prediction of the country’s imminent breakup in 2015 a self-fulfilling prophecy, it would not be for lack of effort. The forces of disintegration may have been in frantic rally to give practical effect to the prediction more than many of us realise. Before now, it was the typical but familiar outrage at the dysfunctional structure of our government and institutions; now, there is increasingly, a growing feeling of déjà vu that the contraption, cobbled together by Frederick Lugard is beyond salvage – no thanks to the obduracy of government which treats the option of a national conference as treason. Now the chicks – it seems – are home to roost. Aside being a live subject among the hordes of internet warriors, the Main Street reflects every shade of the engulfing climate of ethnic suspicions and recriminations – all –unfortunately adding to the deepening of the traditional fault-lines of our fragile federation. While it seems natural that the outrage over the removal of the so-called subsidy on petrol would largely capture the depth of the anger and frustration in the land, it has unfortunately provoked an unintended consequence in the rally by the other Occupiers – the Ijaw kith and kin of President Goodluck Jonathan. Theirs went beyond an open declaration of their intent to occupy the flow stations in retaliation for the nationwide protests. The group was convinced that the pan-Nigerian rally over governance issues affecting every Nigerian was an attempt to bring down the government sired by the Ijaw for the good people of Naija – for which an open threat of secession was in order! That was of course the limit of the crude reductionism of the affair; although the hand was unmistakeably Jacob’s while the voice strained to be Esau’s! Which is more treasonable: the sabre-rattling by the Ijaw militants and their open call for rebellion – or the Occupiers demand for accountability and responsibility in governance? No matter how unsettling as the menace of the Boko Haram and its vicious wave of mass murder appears to be, it is merely representative of the more
‘Did these factors not inform the Occupy rally – a movement designed to save Nigeria from the plague of inept, corrupt and visionless leadership taking her down the precipitous slope?’
Policy Sanya Oni firstname.lastname@example.org 08051101841
Down the slippery slope malignant strain of the same deadly disease of “we” versus “them” gnawing away at the soul of the polity. The premise is fundamentally the same: if “we” cannot have it – then it must suffer despoilation! It explains the current drift towards chaos and systemic meltdown in the polity. Where do we put the story of the dramatic escape of the alleged mass murderer at Madallah? Seems to me an apt summary of how deeply embedded the Boko Haram is in the communities up North. Forget the police cock and bull story of a so-called dramatic escape of the high-profile felon. A man in cuffs in company of armed policemen (some accounts put the number of policemen as 10) snatched by a group of unarmed youths can only be the stuff of Nigeria’s Houdini. Will someone please explain the business of the town’s monarch in the equation? Or, is it part of police Standard Operating Procedure to visit the monarchs of alleged felons in such high profile investigations? By the way, if you have not yet read the latest projection of the nation’s demise, prepared by the Centre for Strategy and Technology, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama United States, now I guess is the time to do so. Very much like an update of the US National Intelligence Council report which predicted the an imminent collapse of the Nigerian state by 2015. The 156-page report titled Failed State 2030: Nigeria a Case study” authored by five United States military scholars and dated February 2011 shares in the chilling prognosis of imminent catastrophe. It presents a grim scenario in which the nation would first descend into a civil war like Lebanon (1975) and Somalia (1991) before finally dissolving in 2030. To the credit of its authors, they did explain that the report is “not a specific prediction of the future or a depiction of a state of affairs that will and must occur” but “a discussion of how the trends occurring in Nigeria since its birth as a nation in 1960 could, under the right conditions, lead to its failure.” While the notion of Nigeria either as a failed or failing state is nothing new, we must concede to the authors their insightful
perspectives on the situation. For instance, in describing the objective conditions to justify the grim prognosis of the future, the report points at the nation’s troubled “history of tribal and religious conflicts, endemic corruption at all levels of government, poor national planning, uneven development, social disorder, rampant criminality, violent insurgency, and terminal weak governance”. Specifically, the report identified the “fragmentation of the Nigerian body politic”, the weakening of the social contract between the federal government and the Nigerian people – in part the consequence of broken promises and failed aspirations – and “endemic corruption and the predatory economic practices of the oligarchs and their associated enterprises”. It describes a scenario of depletion of “the financial resources for economic diversification and critical human and industrial infrastructure”. The latter, the report believes would eventuate in “a loss of confidence and a lack of capital investment from the World Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.” Not done, it also highlighted the issue of ethnicity in the nation’s slow march to disintegration. It noted that “strong tribal allegiances combined with exploitable ignorance and perceived wrongs will spawn episodic violence between ethnic groups well beyond 2030”. By 2030, the report notes that Nigeria’s population would have attained the 225 million mark by which time the negative social trends may become ever more destructive”. Rather chillingly, it concludes that restoring a failed Nigeria may be extraordinarily difficult because “under conditions of failure and multipartite civil war, sorting through the ethnic and cultural stew will be virtually impossible since most people will identify more with their tribe, religion, or culture than with their country.” Sounds familiar, isn’t it? Have we not lived long enough with such prognosis not to recognise them? What about the conclusions; are they any different from those that Nigerians have expressed in one form or the other? Did these factors not inform the Occupy rally – a movement designed to save Nigeria from the plague of inept, corrupt and visionless leadership taking her down the precipitous slope? Does anyone need any further prophecy as to where the nation is headed whether in 2015 or 2030? Here is my take in the whole business. The North is obviously angry. They have the right to be after losing in the PDP sweepstakes. The region may be as much a victim of the Boko Haram as the rest of the country; it cannot escape the charge that it sired the Boko Haram. The Niger Delta seems poised to resume the struggle over their oil. The other parts of the country claim to have one grouse or the other. The bottom-line is that everyone desires the peace – of a kind different from the imposed pax Nigeriana. Should we then not get on with the talk business – after all talk is cheap – to avert the predicted Armaggedon?
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
USED to know one Mr. West back then in my secondary school days in Ibadan around 1976/77. He was about two years or so ahead of me in school and as it was customary then, we used to prefix names of our seniors with Senior, so we used to call him Senior West. In addition, he was quite elderly, so we, the junior students had no choice but to respect him. He was a good sportsman, exceptionally good in Table Tennis. He stood out among our seniors not just because of his sporting prowess but also because of his name. How could someone’s surname be West and where is he from? We, in our limited knowledge of Nigeria and Nigerians then, used to wonder. But as we grew older and the name Professor Tam David-West came to our consciousness, we knew Senior West is from one of Nigeria’s tribes/nationalities called Ijaw where the name West is common. When I said we, I am talking of my generation at Eyinni High School, Ibadan. Four years down the line, the second Republic strolled in and I remember a certain legislator in the then Ondo State House of Assembly, whose surname I couldn’t pronounce because it didn’t sound like a Yoruba name. He was a popular man because he was the Speaker of the Assembly. On enquiry I was told he hailed from the Ijaw speaking part of the riverside area of Ondo state. As a reporter with Concord Press in the mid-80s, I came across a colleague who was reporting for National Concord then from Warri. His name is Asu Beks. When he was transferred to Lagos we became very good friends. I never knew Asu Bee, as friends use to call him, is Ijaw until the Alamesiegha saga and the campaign for Jonathan’s acting presidency came up, but his surname never ceased to amuse me. I was later told that Beks was a shortened form of a long Ijaw name. Asu remains a very good friend till date and still resides in Lagos. I have gone this far to recall my personal experience as a young man growing up in a multi ethnic society as we have in western Nigeria, to debunk the attempt by certain elements in the Ijaw nation to demonize the Yoruba of western Nigeria in order to be seen as protecting their son
To keep Nigeria one who is now the president of Nigeria; Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. These elements include a certain hitherto well respected banker called Atedo Peterside, a onetime Federal Minister and supposedly elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, former Minister Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas and a host of other Ijaw men and women that one would ordinarily hold in high esteem, until their recent descent into ethnic politics. They have chosen the recent protest across the federation against the January 1 increase in the pump price of petrol by the federal government to reveal their hatred of the people of western Nigeria, especially the people of Lagos. As far as they are concerned, the subsidy should go because it benefits only Lagos people, and in the words of even our president, the nation can no longer afford to subsidize the price of petrol for those people in Lagos with four, five cars and whose children cruise round town in different cars. The president’s reported comment, taken together with his pre-election campaign in 2011 describing authentic Yoruba leaders as rascals goes to show the kind of respect or lack of it that he has for the people of western Nigeria. One is tempted to ignore the likes of Clark as people seeking relevance in a modern day Nigeria. He and his likes have probably lost touch with the reality on ground today in Nigeria. But one cannot and should not excuse the likes of Atedo Peterside. He is one of those who probably came to Lagos with nothing, welcomed into the city with open arms by the people and prospered here and yet does not wish
the people well. I am for the removal of the fuel subsidy as there is so much fraud to it on both sides that keeping it will only perpetuate the fraud, but to blame Lagos people and by extension the people of western Nigeria for being the main beneficiaries is equally fraudulent and unfair. The impression being created by Jonathan and his Ijaw friends/kinsmen is that the Yoruba are the ones not just enjoying the subsidy but also pocketing the proceeds. They talk as if Yoruba are the only ones living in Lagos, yet they know this is not true. Ibos are in their millions here so also are other nationalities. It is true there are Ijaws in Yoruba land. You find them in all the coastal states in western Nigeria, including Lagos. They are indigenes of these states, not even migrants. So if truly the subsidy regime benefits Lagosians more, then it affects all Nigerians because there is no Nigerian tribe, in fact any Nigerian family that is not represented in Lagos. To blame some people for sustaining the subsidy is to attempt to divide the nation along ethnic lines which Nigeria cannot afford, either now or in future. Attempts have even been made to identify one or two Yoruba businessmen as feeding fat on the subsidy regime. I hold no brief for them. If they have done anything against the law in this regard, punish them. But to demonize them and their people for doing legitimate business is unfair. It would be interesting to know the outcome on the ongoing flurry of investigations into the administration of
the subsidy regime. I also hope that those found guilty will be kind enough to tell us how much accrued to them and how they spent it, especially who among their accusers got what. But then as government and its supporters, especially the Atedo Peterside of this world attempt to justify the removal of the fuel subsidy, they should thread softly and avoid igniting sectarian hatred among Nigeria, as they themselves could be consumed in the fire that could follow. We have enough security challenges on our hands, they should not compound them. They should remember those of us, who grew up peacefully with other Nigerians from other tribes/nationalities, they should not turn us against one another because of what they want to eat. Jonathan, these are not your friends. Talking about the security challenges, our prayers go to those who lost their lives in the latest madness by the Boko Haram terrorists; the multiple bomb attacks last Friday in Kano. May their souls rest in perfect peace, amen. I don’t know whether to say the same prayer for the suicide bombers that took the lives of those innocent people, but I know their souls are not likely to rest in peace because what they claim to have done in the name of Islam is forbidden by ALLAH (SWT). I don’t know where they got their Islam from. Theirs is not Islam.
‘It would be interesting to know the outcome on the ongoing flurry of investigations into the administration of the subsidy regime. I also hope that those found guilty will be kind enough to tell us how much accrued to them and how they spent it, especially who among their accusers got what’
VIEW FROM THE FOREIGN PRESS
F one were looking for a classical example of how not to introduce potentially difficult policies to an unreceptive audience, you’d be hard put to script a better scenario than the current farce turned tragedy playing out across the length and breadth of Nigeria. Yet again, Nigeria and Nigerians are conflicted, epitomising the continent’s hopes and despair. The effective communication of policies is often detracted from by the means deployed by those charged to herald their coming. The often abrasive manner of the principal cheerleaders for deregulation (a World Bank denizen, an oil Tsarina and a cleric cum bank-of-last-resort regulator whose ego is matched only by the delusions of his sartorial sense) has not served the government well. Their often strident tone has obstructed the effective articulation of the imperative for change. All in all, there has been a dearth of sensitivity and a surplus of self-righteousness in the delivery of the message. In the twenty-first century, governments can no longer compartmentalise in the way the Jonathan administration has sought to. Its attempt to deregulate the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil industry in one fell swoop, while leaving so many other areas of disputation untouched has gone down like a lead balloon. Instead of fostering discourse on the merits or otherwise of the fuel subsidy, new media has confronted it with a Pandora’s Box of discontent, throwing up a melange of issues around which a motley crew of malcontents have coalesced. The truth however is that you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs and the challenge of leadership is the challenge of making what are often difficult choices. The issues the Jonathan administration has chosen to confront, which others avoided, are as difficult as can be and there is no way their resolution will not leave a large number of people dissatisfied. The fact that the amount being spent on bridging the cost of fuel importation with recompense for that importation is unsustainable is indisputable. The voodoo economics being deployed to reconfigurate that fact may be good populist politics but it is bad economics. The levels of domestic borrowing required to continue to do so threaten to mortgage the nation’s future to levels hitherto unknown. Whatever else may be said about the President, he is not without spunk. Timing however, is everything. Much has rightly been made of the levels of abuse that have attended the operation of the subsidy system, providing as it has, occasion and opportunity for a few persons (a “cabal”) to make indecent profits from our propensity for inefficiencies and illegalities. The government dropped the ball by first throwing up its hands in helplessness. It should not have acknowledged so readily its inability to ensure compliance
Fuel subsidy and the agenda for change By Abiola Phillips with the laws of the land; in doing so, it created yet another rod for its own back. The defects in the logistics of implementation do not impugn the duty of government to ensure that the laws of the land are obeyed. Somewhat belatedly the government appears to have accepted this duty. What it must go on to do is to ensure that the administration of justice is both time specific and blind to the standing of our modern day robber barons. In politics as in much else, perception is reality. At this stage the government sorely needs to reshape perceptions. At certain times, the old O-Level Economics question: Every economic issue is a political issue and every political issue is an economic issue, comment! comes to mind. This is such a time. We have spoken of the hard choices that leadership thrusts on mere mortals. All manner of persons with their own axes to grind are making common cause against the President; the main grievances being raised now spanning the full gamut of political and personal concerns. Those who were unable to best Jonathan at last year’s general elections have resorted to outlandish calls and claims. Clearly the agenda continues to change at a dizzying pace. The fuel price issue that brought the distemper to the table has been supplanted by broader but just as germane issues of good governance. With each passing day, the demands being made for reform grow wider and deeper; and, government increasingly finds itself trapped in a cycle of response that addresses grievances piecemeal. This approach not only weakens the foundations of public policy, it also reduces the ability to craft a holistic response to the matters at hand. The next biggest mistake President Jonathan can make would be not seeing the writing on the wall. The people being rolled out to explain and defend the deregulation agenda have become comical caricatures and are increasingly dysfunctional because they are cast as the mirror images of the problems at hand. The longer the President goes without lancing the boil, the greater the danger of his being unable to dissociate himself from what seems like a train wreck about to happen. We have spoken of the critical nature of the nexus between perception and reality. President Jonathan must, if he is to retain the capacity to tackle the commanding heights he has rightly
set for his administration, be able to restore his street cred. At this stage his best bet is to set the stage for large scale and wide-ranging changes by bringing the whole panoply of issues that have come to the forefront (and many that have not) under one roof. He must take ownership of the mantra of good governance for and on behalf of the Nigerian people, and articulate what it will entail in a clear and unequivocal fashion. He must set out an agenda for change. Good governance must be defined as leaner government. Leaner government will encompass a two-tranche approach to subsidy removal yoked to palliatives-in-place; a commitment to cut out waste across the whole of government within his purview, with measurable milestones; a disavowal of corruption that is not only real but seen to be real in its applicability and its application; and an insistence that the other arms of government and tiers of government hold themselves too levels of accountability hitherto exalted in word rather than deed. He must fashion a tent big enough to house these policies and more; in other words, he must lead by example. His Agenda for Change must be far-reaching enough to be perceived as the harbinger of true change and radical enough to be regain the street. There will of course be those that will tell the president that for him to take one step backwards at this time, to enable him take several steps forward later, would be a sign of his weakness but that is not the case. I remember the late Ikemba of Nnewi in a conversation we had at his residence while he was in exile in the Ivory Coast in 1981 telling me that the true measure of a man lies in his ability to change. For our purposes, read change course. It was Lenin that advocated, in language worthy of Machiavelli, that one must embrace one’s enemy so as to easier suffocate him. While I do not characterise the views marshalled in opposition to the removal of the fuel subsidy as the voices of the enemy, they are the voices gathered in opposition to this administration. What the President must do is seek to cherry pick from their agenda and merge it with his own; only by so doing can he hope to restore his street cred. Without that street cred he will effectively be a lame duck for the remaining 41 months of his administration. A tactical retreat does not mean and must not mean that economic imperatives are no longer imperative; they are. In politics, timing is everything. Democracy is a hollow space without the art of leadership. Those that fail to acknowledge the pivotal role of leaders in democratic spaces are either determinists or in denial. History is littered with the critical function of leaders in democracies and, once again, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan stands as the central spoke in the Nigerian wheel. • Phillips is a Lagos-based Legal Practitioner
John Mikel out for Don’t panic, House Committee another three weeks chairman urges Nigerians NFF SACK
Nation Tuesday, January 24, 2012
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
2012 AFRICA NATIONS CUP Ujah snubs Norwegian Etuhu laments Nigeria’s absence champions, N Molde
ORWEGIAN Champions Molde, who won the Tippeligaen in their centenary year at the end of the 2011 campaign, are looking for offensive reinforcements ahead of the new season. According to Norwegian Media, one name being touted to lead the attack is the Nigerian scoring phenomenon, Anthony Ujah, author of 32 goals in 42 games when he was on the payroll of Lillestrom. It would be difficult for Molde to bring Ujah to the Aker Stadium, as he commands a huge transfer fee, in excess of three million euros. Ujah joined Mainz in one of the big moves by a Nigerian player in the last summer market. The 21-year-old prefers to remain in the Bundesliga to continue his development. ''I am not aware of the interest, and I am only here in my first season with Mainz. So, I see no reason moving now to Molde even though they are playing in the UEFA Champions League. I will fight for my first team place here in Mainz. I am developing here and I am very happy here, and wish to remain here,'' says Ujah to allnigeriasoccer.com.
IGERIA midfielder Dickson Etuhu has bemoaned the absence of Nigeria from the ongoing 2012 Africa Cup of Nation cohosted by Equaitorial Guinea and Gabon. Etuhu, who said he was disappointed not to be representing Nigeria at the ongoing championship, was positive that with the change of baton at the helm of the Super Eagles, Nigeria will have the chance of qualiying for the 2014 Nations Cup. "From a personal point of view, I'm desperately disappointed that the Super Eagles did not qualify to give me the opportunity to play in the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time, added to my appearance in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. We have a change of management now and I'm convinced we won't make the same mistake again in two years' time." He continued, "I would love to be at the 2014 finals representing Nigeria, but for now I must make do with watching this year’s finals on television in London and receiving texts from my many friends who are playing. It still really hurts not to be there, but that's football and I can promise you the teams who have made it will put on a great show for the fans." Etuhu said he is passionate about the continental football fiesta, noting that it unites people of all backgrounds. "I'm passionate about the African Cup of Nations. I've played in it twice for Nigeria and it's the most amazing experience I have had in football, even better than the World Cup and the English Premier League where I play for Fulham. In Africa, football really is like a religion. It unites people of all backgrounds, it brings them together in common cause, and victory in the Cup of Nations is considered the pinnacle of achievement. "But for some countries, like Libya, just getting to the finals is an
Olalekan signs 5-year Klubi Sportiv deal F ORMER Ocean Boys' midfielder, Bola Olalekan has joined Albanian club, Klubi Sportiv Bylis Ballsh, SuperSport.com can report. Olalekan completed a five-year deal with the Albanian top side on Sunday night. The Nigerian midfielder is the sixth player to join KS Bylis Ballsh this January. "We have concluded the signing of Bola
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR POSITION
AFN board meets over Bada's replacement T HE board of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) will today in Abuja meet to select amongst its members who will succeed the late Sunday Bada as the technical and performance director of the federation. Bada, a former IAAF World Indoor 400m champion and arguably the most successful Nigerian male athlete of all time, died on Monday December 12 last year of suspected cardiac failure and has since been buried in his home town in Ogidi in Kogi State. It was gathered over the weekend that the issue of who will succeed Bada is already creating tension among the board members with Navy Captain Nesiama and Jide Josiah the two frontrunners for the job, with the latter heavily favoured for the job. The AFN board, it was also learnt, will deliberate on the appointment of former national and Africa long jump champion and record holder,Yususf Ali as an assistant technical director of the federation. AFN president, Solomon Ogba is believed to be favourably disposed to having Ali on board and would have made him the technical director, if not for the standing rule that a non-board member cannot head any of the federation's sub-committees. Many of the board members are,
incredible achievement. I'll certainly be looking out for them in this tournament and I'm really hoping they can qualify out of their group. I understand that some of their players were at the sharp end of the turmoil, even taking part in the fighting, as Gadhafi was toppled from power. "After that, to then make it to Gabon, that's quite something. For me, they encapsulate the real spirit of the Africa Cup of Nations and they could cause an upset. The likes of Ivory Coast and Senegal may be the favorites, but the magic of this particular tournament is its unpredictability," Etuhu stressed. He speaks further, "In African football there really is no such thing as an upset result because they happen all the time. You have only to look to the qualifying – with my own country, defending champions Egypt and the likes of South Africa going out – to back that statement up. The best players from the continent play in the top European leagues, but when they go back home to play for their country they find very different conditions, with poor pitches and blazing temperatures. It acts as a real leveler and the Africabased players have a big advantage. A lot of them are fantastic athletes, very fit and hungry and keen to impress the many talent scouts from top clubs who will be out in force in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. "I believe this is one of the reasons why Egypt have been so successful in the past because the bulk of the squad largely still play in their domestic league. But in their absence, I don't think you can look much beyond the Ivory Coast with their star-studded line-up including the likes of Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers, who like me play club football in England" Etuhu added.
however, not in agreement with the move by Ogba and are likely to vote against the coming of Ali who was once the technical director of the federation.
Olalekan with Bylis Ballsh. He has signed for five years at the Albanian top division team," Hasan Egilmez, who brokered the deal, informed SuperSport.com. The Albanian club have already signed other Nigerians - Adebayo Adigun, Jacob Terna (from Lobi Stars), Adewale Ibrahim Mohammed (from Euro Football Academy), Anthony Okoronkwo (from Euro Football Academy) and Kehinde Olakunle Alo (from Euro Football Academy). Kano Pillars' striker, John Huan, is already training with Eqerem Memushi and his squad alongside Peter Oladeji Adeyinka from the Euro Football Academy. Egilmez said both players could sign for the club in a few days.
Obodo faces jail in Italy O
N the field, Nigerian midfielder Christian Obodo is back to his imperious best. There is even speculation in a section of the media that he could earn a long awaited recall to the Nigeria national team which faces Rwanda in a Nations Cup qualifier late next month. However, the ex-Plateau United man has some off-the-field problems he must settle in Italy. If
things don't go his way, Obodo may be jailed by Italian prosecutors. According to reports in Italy, the 27-year-old hugely-talented player was involved in a brawl at an African restaurant in September, 2007. A fight broke out at the restaurant between a lady and a man. Initially, Obodo was only called to testify as a witness in the case. Obidike Okechukwu, a 37-year-
old Nigerian living in Italy, assaulted a Nigerian lady, an attack which caused bodily harm to the victim. It is being reported that Obodo participated in the attack. Apparently, this was what the victim told the learned judge. Italian Prosecutors now have a case against the Nigeria international, and he might face the jury to clear himself of the allegations.
Don’t panic, House Committee chairman urges Nigerians S C HAIRMAN House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Godfrey Gaya has advised Nigerians not to panic over the recent court ruling on the legitimacy of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Speaking against the backdrop of Friday’s decision by an Abuja High court that questioned the legitimacy of the NFF as presently constituted, the law maker representing Zango Kataf Constituency of Kaduna State said: "What is in a name? Why is that of NFF different? Why is nobody quarreling against other Federations that changed their names from Association to Federation? "Why is that of football different? Do they want to tell us that the government that has been appropriating money to them does not know of this change of name? Are they telling us that the
HE effort of The Nigeria Police Zone 9 representatives at the recently-held Police Games Elimination series in Kaduna State has been commended. The Police Sports Officer of the Zone, DSP Kefas Go’ar acknowledged their near-perfect feat in a chat with NationSport. Go’ar was full of praise for all the Zone 9 representatives in Kaduna and he charged them to replicate same performance when the actual Police Games start in either Calabar or Port Harcourt later in the year. He said: “We went for the Elimination Games in Kaduna and I must be frank with you that our representatives really did the Zone proud. We went for about seven events
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri or thereabouts. In football, we qualified for the male and female events in style when they topped their respective groups. We also qualified for the tug-of-war in both categories. We are also going to feature in Rugby and Volleyball (male).” In all DSP Go’ar calls for more funds to be provided for Police sports to ensure that police sportsmen and women are adequately catered for while in camp preparatory to upcoming competitions. Police Sports Zone 9 comprises Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Abia and all the 12 zones in the country participated in the Police Games Eliminations that took place in Kaduna State.
government is appropriating money to an illegal body?" the lawmaker asked rhetorically. Gaya noted that the ploy is just for those who want to draw the
HE Technical Adviser of Heartland FC, Dutchman Lodewikj de Kruif has warned that the league in Nigeria would continue to experience a slide if the win-at-home-atall-cost-syndrome is not overcome. De Kruif, in an interview with NationSport in Owerri after his team’s laboured 2-1 win over ABS FC, sounded the warning ahead of the Naze Millionaires’ away trip to Ijebu Ode against home team Sunshine Stars in a belated Week 2 encounter. Recalling what happened last season when both sides clashed which ended with a 1-2 defeat suffered by Heartland FC, De Kruif reckons that the tie could have ended in a draw if not for some of the alleged antics of the MImiko Boys which swung the tie in their favour in the dying minutes of the match. He called on the leadership of the round-leather-game in the country to beam their searchlight on the Week 2 tie as well as the remaining fixtures to deter them from being mired in controversies, highlighting that with good officiating Heartland will give Sunshine a run for their money on Wednesday. His words: “I have seen some worse refereeing within the one year I have spent in the Nigerian league and I will like you to ask me the same question after Wednesday’s match against Sunshine Stars. I know already what is coming in that match. It is a warning to Sunshine not to play any funny game. I will also like the media to do their work well and write what I just said. It will be nice we make the game in Nigeria healthy and not resort to winning at all cost.” Heartland FC have three points from
development of the game backwards in the country, adding that the change of name is important to be in line with the international standard. He advised Nigerians not to entertain any fear on this court ruling, saying that the House would speed up every effort to effect the passage of the NFF bill once and for all.
Stage set for Tinubu Cup
CTIVITIES for the maiden edition of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinibu football competition, tagged 'Tinubu Cup', is expected to open this week with a draws ceremony scheduled for Wednesday at the SWAN Secretariat, National Stadium, Lagos. According to Samuel Abikoye of Double Accord Resources, organisers
No monkey business in Ijebu Ode T From Tunde Liadi, Owerri two matches after losing their opening fixture 0-1 in Bauchi against Wikki Tourists only to record a 2-1 home win over battling ABS FC at Owerri last Sunday.
Everton eager for Onuoha bid
VERTON are planning a lastminute bid for QPR-bound Man City defender Nedum Onuoha. Despite supposedly having his contract all but signed, it is thought Onuoha would rather stay in the North than move to London, fuelling speculation that Everton could be set to swoop.
of the competition, virtually all the 57 Lagos local councils have registered to participate in the event designed to honour the former governor of Lagos State and the Asiwaju of Lagos "for his contributions to the development of the youth and the nation." "We have been working hard at it to lay the framework and we believe we are set to roll. We have secured the gracious endorsement of the Lagos State Football Association as well as the support of all the local government chairmen and their relevant officers. “We are expecting more support from our friends and from the friends and associates of the icon himself but we have to roll out now. This will begin with the draws to determine the fixtures for participating teams to know their opponents and the preliminary rounds will kick off to culminate in the finals billed for March to coincide with the Asiwaju's birthday. “Besides using the event to honour the former governor, we also want to establish the competition as a grassroots calendar event for the discovery and building of soccer talents in Lagos as a way of contributing to their career development is sports," Abikoye explained. Dignitaries expected to grace the draws ceremony include Hon. Bolaji Muse Ariyoh, Chairman of OshodiIsolo LGA, Hon. Bode Agoro, Hon. Omoyele Akeem Sulaimon of Briga, Hon. Adepitan Babatunde of Mushin, Tajudeen Ajide of Surulere and other eminent persons from various segments of the Lagos community and beyond.
UPER EAGLES striker and Granada forward Ikechukwu Uche is to work with a new coach following the sacking Monday of his current boss Fabriciano Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who guided the Andalusian team to consecutive promotions, presided over a 3-0 defeat away to Espanyol on Saturday which left the team just a point clear of the bottom three. The club announced Gonzalez would be present at a press conference with chairman Enrique Pina today. A statement from the club said: "After a meeting held this afternoon between the sports director Juan Carlos Cordero and first team coach Fabriciano Gonzalez it was decided that both parties should part ways. "This is a painful decision for us. The club want to show our appreciation to Mr Gonzalez for his services, becoming part of the long history of the club, achieving two consecutive promotions.” Uche, who joined Granada on loan from Villarreal in the last day of the 2011 transfer window, has played under the embattled coach for less than six months. He was however named among players who impressed the out-going coach while the romance lasted. The former Real Zaragoza ace made history in September 2011 when he scored Granada’s first goal in the topflight in 35 years, earning the promoted side a surprise 1-0 home win incidentally over Villarreal.
HELSEA midfielder John Mikel Obi has explained that his continued absence from the Blues match day squad is down to a recurring injury problem. Mikel was again missing as Chelsea laboured to a 0-0 draw at Norwich City on Saturday, but the midfielder told KickOffNigeria.com it was down to a recurrence of his previous injury. "I came back to training too quick and pulled the abductor muscle again," the Nigeria midfielder said. "So it's
another two to three weeks or so." Mikel was forced off injured in Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Tottenham HotSpur last December with the initial injury and was expected to be out for two weeks.
Milla blames FIFA sack on Mohammed
Korean Ambassador congratulates C NOC over Chukwumerije
HE qualification of Chika Chukwumerije and Isa Mohammed Adam to the London 2012 Taekwondo event of the Olympics beginning July 23 has been hailed by the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Choi Jonghyun. In a congratulatory message sent to the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Sani Ndanusa, the Ambassador said that he was delighted to note that Nigeria's training in Korea earlier this year helped the athletes to hone their skill and strengthen their mental preparedness.
By Julius Okorie
Mikel out for another three weeks
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS QUALIFICATION
AHEAD OF 2012 POLICE GAMES
Zone 9 grabs qualification tickets
From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja
HEARTLAND BOSS WARNS SUNSHINE
Ike Uche's coach gets the boot
The Amabassador also used the opportunity to pray for a speedy recovery to Beijing Olympics bronze medalist, Chika who was injured during the qualifiers in Cairo, Egypt, and “hope for much better news for Nigeria from Taekwondo in the upcoming Olympics”. The Nigerian duo of Chika and Adam shot out their conquerors to qualify for the Olympics. Engr Ndanusa who has been inundated by calls and congratulatory messages from well-meaning Nigerians said that they were optmistic that Taekwondo and other
sports would make Team Nigeria proud at the Olympics.
AMEROON football legend and roving ambassador, Albert Roger Milla has lost his position on FIFA’s Football Commission. FIFA dropped Milla recently from the position he has held for the last sixteen years. The decision terminating Milla’s stay at the FIFA's football commission was conveyed on 6 January 2012 by FIFA’s Secretary-General Jerome Valcke. That same week, Iya Mohamed, the president of the Cameroon Football Federation was appointed to the organising committee of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Following the notification of the decision, Roger Milla tendered his resignation as FIFA's goodwill ambassador. However, the African player of the century has blamed his ejection from the FIFA Football Commission on Iya. He told SuperSport.com recently that his ejection was masterminded by Iya Mohamed.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate
Getting set for the rains •Lagos •Lagos clears clears drain drain •Ladipo, •Ladipo, Mushin Mushin markets markets may may be be shut shut
•Trading at Idi-oro market, Mushin, Lagos.
PHOTO: OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE
Ahead of the rains, the Lagos State government has embarked on drainage clearing to avoid flooding. It is using mechanised and manual methods to achieve its goal. To avoid a recurrence of what happened last year, the government is to construct and improve drainage channels around Surulere, Amuwo- Odofin, Mushin and Okota. Erring markets, it says, will be shut, OKWY IROEGBU- CHIKEZIE reports •CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
•Minister moves to control rents in Abuja
- PAGE 26
•Ogun to complete projects •Govt urges architects on local content - PAGE 26
- PAGE 39
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Minister moves to control rents in Abuja
EDERAL Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed, plans to send a bill to the National Assembly to regulate rents in Abuja. He said the spiraling rent in the territory has become worrisome to his administration, adding that adequate measure is being taken place to tackle it. He regretted that several attempts at providing a mass housing scheme by the government have not yielded the much-needed results, which has led to the current scarcity of decent housing in the FCT. On the rationale behind it, he said the administration decided to address it because housing is key to existence and critical for the sustenance of mankind. He said: “We are also aware of the haphazard and arbitrary rent in the FCT and it is our fervent belief that the proposed bill will ameliorate the issue. We are, therefore, confident that if the bill is passed into law, the problem of our people will be reduced to the barest minimum. ‘’I can also say that the interest of our people will be uppermost in this regard while the development will enable residents to get decent accommodation within their incomes."
‘We are also aware
of the haphazard and arbitrary rent in the FCT and it is our fervent belief that the proposed bill will ameliorate the issue. We are, therefore, confident that if the bill is passed into law, the problem of our people will be reduced to the barest minimum’
•Dove Court, Abuja.
He said the previous intention of the administration in allocating large acres of land to private developers had been abused as the
beneficiaries sold some parcels of the land without deploying them for what they were intended for. On the Abuja light rail project,
the minister said it would become operational in 2013, and attributed the delay in its completion to lack of budgetary allocation in 2010
and lastr year. He also listed the absence of designs and consultants as factors militating against the completion of the project, saying that the lapses had been addressed. To complement the light rail, the minister said the administration would take delivery of 400 buses this week to ease the transportation problems in the FCT, adding that the charges would be lower than what obtains in the public transport.
Getting set for the rains •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25
HE flooding of last year in Lagos metropolis caused huge damage to the social and economic life of the people resulting in serious environmental hazard. To forestall a recurence this year, the government has embarked on improving drainage channels in Agege Motor Road, Mushin, Cele, Surulere, Amuwo- Odofin. Similar activities were carried out in Itire-Ikate, Coker Aguda and Sanya. During a facility tour last weekend, the Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, said the state has put six drainage channels in place to control and maintain the free flow of water during the rainy season, but regretted that people were frustrating the efforts of the government to keep the city free from filth. At Idi-oro, Olosa area of Mushin, where the drainage has been blocked by traders, leading to silt and collection of stagnant water, Bello threatened to close the market after a week if it did not comply with the state’s environmental laws. He said not only do traders carry out their trade on the road, they also dump their waste inside drainage channels. Bello regretted that the good intention of government has been derailed by the activities of some members of the public who do not dispose their refuse properly, and traders who throw their waste into the drains rather than patronising private sector operators in waste management. Specifically at Idioro, Mushin, Bello said the maintenance of Ogunmokun Street drain would deflood the road and the adjoining streets, which include Awoyejo, Ogunsanya, Kobito and Odo Asimowu during the rains. A community leader, Rev. Omolaja, commended the govern-
•Bello (first left) inspecting job done at Fasoro drainage channel, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos
ment for the massive rehabilitation and construction of new channels around the community, saying their challenge was dissuading people from dumping refuse inside the drains at night when the task force set up by the community would have retired. He called on the government to come up with a solution to keep the drains filth-free.
Bello promised to set up an integrated surveillance team with the community and relevant stakeholders to monitor the drainage channels to avoid future abuse. He said the iron mesh on the drains to prevent garbage from entering the drains were vandalised by the same people government is protecting from the negative effects of flooding.
He allayed the fears of Lagosians on the forthcoming rains, stating that water would find its level with the drainage channels and that people would have nothing to fear. On the scope of the work, he said the drains ould be cleaned through excavation of silt, cutting and clearing of all vegetation and carting same away to approved sites.
‘The government is poised to deal decisively with offending markets which do not comply with environmental laws by closing them indefinetly in the next one week, if there is no visible change in terms of keeping their environment clean’
PHOTO: OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE
Bello said the government was not only working on massive deflooding of the metropolis, but also improving the socio-economic life of the people. Warning residents and traders at Ladipo, Mushin, Ijora, Amukoko and Ajegunle markets, Bello said: “The government is poised to deal decisively with offending markets which do not comply with environmental laws by closing them indefinetly in the next one week, if there is no visible change in terms of keeping their environment clean.” He added that the government would not spend fortunes to build and maintain drainage channels while a tiny minority, by their action, frustrates that of the government.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
When can the President deploy soldiers
The Occupy Nigeria protesters were on their way to the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos, when they got a rude awakening. They met soldiers at the entrance of the park. Nearby was an armoured tank. The troops stopped the protesters in their tracks. They ordered them to return home because the park had become ‘out of bounds’. It wasn’t so the previous week when, in a carnival-like atmosphere, protesters railed against the government over the petrol subsidy removal. ERIC IKHILAE examines the legal implication of the President’s deployment of the troops.
ll was going well until the Federal Government, in its wisdom, introduced soldiers into the protest against fuel subsidy removal. The week preceding the troops’ deployment was telling. In unison, the people nationwide took to the streets, protesting the January 1 removal of subsidy. Where there were signs of planned government highhandedness, they resorted to a sit-at-home. That way, confrontations with government security agents were avoided. But Abuja was not comfortable. Initially, its intention was to wait and see the protests fizzle out after the people might have become tired. That strategy failed because the
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS S. 217 (2) (c): Suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. people were more than ready to liberate themselves from a government, which seems can only bite when it concerns them and merely bark when those fleecing the country are concerned. After a weeklong protest and no sign that government was ready to listen to
them, the protesters took a break during the January 13-15 weekend to enable them retool for the “mother of all strikes” expected to resume on January 16. Government, under the guise of negotiating a way out with labour, had other plans.
Rather than address issues that gave rise to the strike, it accused the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union of Congress (TUC) of ganging up with the opposition to demand “a regime change.” It was with this claim of a “regime change” that it tied the hands of NLC and TUC, which suspended the nationwide strike, and also deployed soldiers in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna. Despite the condemnation of the deployment and the urgent need of the soldiers elsewhere in the country where law and order have broken down, the troops are still in Lagos, doing nothing. Many of the soldiers have turned into emergency traffic wardens and joined the police in acts inimical to public interest. •See page 28
•‘No court order should ...- P.30 • Eulogies for Gani Fawehinmi and family at lecture- P.36
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
LAW COVER CONT’D
When can the President deploy soldiers? • Continued from page 27 At what point, can the government legitimately deploy troops in a democratic state? Experts believe that the state can only justifiably deploy troops when public peace and security are threatened by acts of violence perpetrated by either internal or external forces. Critics argue that it is part of the people’s rights, in a democracy, to express their discontent with government’s policies through peaceful means, the most prominent being rallies and protest marches. Protest, they say, is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations, which can assume different forms, ranging from individual statements to mass demonstrations. They said the realisation that people can disagree with certain actions and policies of governments, institutions and organisations, informed the guarantee of the right to protest in a democracy. Granted that no human rights instrument or constitution grants the absolute right to protest, the right to engage in protest, however, is a perceived human right which arising from a number of recognised human rights. These rights include the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association and the right to freedom of speech. Many international treaties contain clear enunciations of these rights. Such agreements include the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, especially Articles 9 to 11; and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, especially Articles 18 to 22. Critics argue that going by the provisions in international laws, some of which have been domesticated in the country, Articles 9-11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Sections 39-40 of the Constitution, the people reserve the right to peaceful protest. This position is also strengthened by the views of law experts on whether or not President Goodluck Jonathan acted rightly in deploying troops in Lagos, where protesters conducted themselves peacefully. They argue that the resort to military might in resolving a social problem, that was yet to degenerate into violent disobedience, was capable of driving voices of disseat underground and undermining the advancement of democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) stressed this point in a January 3 statement, when it drew the government’s and its security agencies’ attention to the people’s right to protest. Citing relevant legal provisions, the NHRC said: “Peaceful protest is a duty of citizens and an essential characteristic of an open and democratic society. “Article 13 of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which
By Eric Ikhilae
Nigeria has ratified, requires government to take measures to ensure and maintain political and social dialogue, as well as public trust and transparency between political leaders and the people, in order to consolidate democracy and peace. “In implementing this obligation, government has a duty to encourage its citizens to channel or express their grievances in a peaceful manner. Therefore, individuals or groups should be free to express their views, offer their criticisms, canvass their ideas for democratic change and improvement, and assemble or protest for these purposes provided they do not seek to propagate these ideas by violent means or in a manner that disturbs public peace, safety or security.” President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Daudu (SAN); his predecessor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN); rights activists Femi Falana; Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Joseph Otteh condemned the deployment of soldiers on Lagos’ streets in time of peace and stressed the inalienability of the people’s right to protest. They, however, observed that the exercise of such right is subject to certain limitations, to include that protest must not become violent or threaten national security or public safety. Daudu said: “It is unfortunate as it is condemnable. I think coming a time when labour had called off the strike, it was a misplaced show of bravado, totally uncalled for. In the first place the protesters were not violent, riotous or constituting a breach of the peace. We, conscientious objectors to the fuel subsidy removal approached our dissent from a very civilised angle, strange and mysterious to government. Instead of fashioning out an intellectual approach to solve the problem they resorted to the old intimidatory and other dilatory measures which included the show of force. “A lot of people are unhappy and rightly piqued, but I see it as a measure which exposes the admission by government of the total failure of its civil institutions to deal with crises. “The invitation of the military in circum-
stances such as this, historically, is a measure that does not usually augur well. I hope government will have a rethink,” Daudu said. Akeredolu argued that the right of the people to engage in protests is guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be curtailed by the state through the deployment of force. He had, while reacting to a case of attack on protesters in Ondo State, said: “The Constitution allows the people to express themselves in any manner possible within the ambit of the law. “While it is given that there is bound to be divergence in the views held by the people on issues of grave national importance, the fundamental right of citizens to protest against any obnoxious policy must be respected,” he said. Falana said as much as the law allow the people the right to engage in protest, the argument by the Police that intending protesters must seek and obtain Police permit was untenable. He cited the case of All Nigeria Peoples Party v Inspector-General of Police (2008) 12 WRN 65 decided by the Court of Appeal on December 12, 2007, in which the Court upheld his submission that Nigerians have the fundamental right to stage rallies and protests without police permit.
‘Those who wish to demonstrate against official policies considered inimical to their interests should be made to realise that there is a corollary duty on them to conduct themselves peacefully. Otherwise, they may run foul of certain provisions of the criminal or penal code and be liable to prosecution’
“Having regard to the authoritative pronouncement of the Court of Appeal on the fundamental right of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and expression through peaceful rallies and protests, the Federal Government should restrain the police and other security agencies from further harassing or intimidating protesters. “At the same time, those who wish to demonstrate against official policies considered inimical to their interests should be made to realise that there is a corollary duty on them to conduct themselves peacefully. Otherwise, they may run foul of certain provisions of the criminal or penal code and be liable to prosecution,” Falana said. Adegboruwa decried the use of force by the government to suppress peaceful expression of public discontent with its policies. “The events of the past few days have left a sour taste in the democratic experience of Nigeria and it is necessary now to determine the course of our democracy, especially the rights of the people,” he said. He said to this end, a group of lawyers, to which he belongs - NBA, Lagos – has sued President Jonathan, Defence Minister, Inspector-General of Police and the Minister of Justice, challenging the deployment of soldiers in Lagos. In the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed at the Lagos High Court, the association, represented by its Chairman, Taiwo Taiwo; Secretary, Alex Muoka and Adegboruwa ( all listed as plaintiffs) wants the court to declare as unconstitutional, the troops’ deployment. It also wants the court to order their recall. Otteh contended that the deployment and use of armed soldiers to suppress civil protests is deplorable. He argued that the right to protest and to assemble for that purpose is guaranteed to everyone by the Constitution and is a highly valued democratic right relevant for ensuring democratic participation of the people in their government. “The Constitution safeguards this right and Nigerian courts too have clarified and amplified that protection. Protests represent a form of dialogue between the government and the governed and every responsible government upholds the right of the people to engage in that dialogue. “Popular protests have also helped impact governance positively in Nigeria’s history. We recall that when the late President Umaru Yar ‘Adua was sick and receiving treatment abroad sometime ago, and issues of vacuum in political leadership arose, many rose to protest the situation forced by the vacuum, and to demand that executive power be transferred to (then) Vice President Jonathan. No soldiers were sent on the streets to harass and crackdown on protesters demanding this transition then. “President Jonathan’s resort to armed soldiers to suppress protests at this time is, therefore, completely self-serving and unrelated to security exigencies of any form, particularly when viewed against the background that protesters have so far, carried on their demonstrations peacefully. “A government that is confident of the logic of its policies does not need to rule by repression: it is often governments that lack legitimacy and credibility that force their policies upon their people,” Otteh said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
LAW PERSONALITY Mr Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) is the President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) . The NBA took a resolution against the removal of fuel subsidy at its NEC Meeting in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. During the protests and demonstrations that trailed the removal of the subsidy, NBA advised lawyers across the country to boycott the courts, but to render free or pro bono legal services to Nigerians prosecuted as a result of their participation in the strike. In this interview with JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, the NBA bares his mind on the performance of lawyers during the six-day strike, the benefits of the strike, deployment of soldiers on Lagos streets and sundry national issues. Excerpts:
‘No court order should be described as ‘black market injunction’ D ID the one-week strike called by organised labour and civil society groups achieve the desired objec-
tives? The lock-down of the whole country by organised labour, civil societies and the people from January 9, for seven days was spontaneous. It was a knee-jerk reaction to the surprise increase of fuel from N65 to N141 during the Christmas break and while consultation was still on. It is necessary to restate the arguments put forward by government as necessitating the over 100 per cent increase in the cost of the pump price of PMS. What is the argument? Government argued that N65 was not the real price of PMS (which is imported into the country by some select business men who are in the good books of government) and that the real price was in the region of about N141. The difference between the cost at which the fuel landed and that at which it is sold is the subsidy. Government said the subsidy was a burden that prevented it from working for the people in terms of provision of the much-desired basic amenities and the fulfillment of its transformation agenda. It, however, also acknowledged that there is a cabal that makes most of the money. In other words, that there is fraud in the process and that it couldnt continue to bear the burden; that the cost burden must be transferred to an already impoverished people, 80 per cent of whom live below the poverty line. On the other hand, the people said no to the abrupt removal of subsidy, which was considered as a wicked and an insensitive measure by a government that did not have the will, courage or determination to deal with the rot and fraud in the fuel importation business. What is your reaction to the fact that Nigeria imports fuel for its domestic consumption? Firstly, the recourse to importation of petroleum products by the leadership of Nigeria, the seventh largest oil producing country in the world is not only lamentable, economically unwise and degrading, but an act of economic sabotage, because, our revenue, job creation capacity and our ability to determine favourable, competitive prices of fuel products have been eroded, or ceded to the countries from which we import these products. Why are you in favour of local refining of petroleum products.? The argument in favour of local refining of petroleum products lies in the fact that we will be processing our own crude and employing our people in the up and down stream sectors of the industry. Additional advantage is that we can then determine a favourable pump price after taking the factors of production into consideration. Secondly, and very important, is the unassailable argument that government must clean up its stable of corruption and bad governance before it removes the subsidy. This argument is very substantial and virtually unanswerable. The truth is that the invisible cost of corruption in the course of importation adds an unascertained, but very huge, amount into the subsidy bill. This, the government wants to transfer to the people, leaving the perpetrators, wherever they may be, to go scot-free with their loot. As it is, an investigation in the House of Representatives has unearthed a lot of shocking revelations. It must be noted that this investigative effort does not proceed from the Executive Arm of government but the progressive arm of the legislature. Could you explain this further? It was expected that government, which is unmatched in the capacity to deploy forces and materials for the maintenance of law and order, should have been able to root out the rot in the system, which when left unattended to, translates into the increase in the cost of
petrol. The People didn’t want to be saddled with the cost of this ineptitude. Thirdly, is the effect of the astronomic increase of the cost of PMS. Now this product is the lifeblood of all Nigerians. For the rural farmer, the vehicles that transport the goods from the hinterland to the urban areas use PMS, all tradesmen and artisans use the same transportation system. Economists will tell you that when you up the cost of a product that comes from a sector which brings 95 per cent of the revenue of a nation that you are bound to affect all other segments of the economy in the inflation of the price of goods and services and the devaluation of the currency that will follow. So, what is the result of the foregoing? The summary of the foregoing is that government has lost its sensitivity and care for the people. Consequently, the strike was prosecuted on the premise that government was not acting in the interest of those it was to protect. The essence was therefore to put pressure on government to make changes. To start with, Government has reduced the pump price to N97, it has also promised to make changes in the conduct of government business. Whether government is sincere is a matter of time. But I personally believe that the corruption in the system will not allow the needed urgent changes in governance to be made. Thus in direct answer to the question, the strike achieved its objective which is for government to back down and subordinate itself to the will of the people. How do you appraise NBA’s role in the protest? The NBA played a frontline role in the matter. As an organisation, its position was based on the preponderance of the views of her members. At our Eket NEC meeting in Akwa Ibom State, our position was unanimously accepted by all and sundry. There were no visible dissents. Government’s reduction petrol the pump price was based on the singular conditions that all parties will continue to negotiate the matter before the Belgore Panel. However government’s further steps in the matter i.e. the deployment of troops to quell or disband street protest that had been called off, the President’s harsh address to his people and other visible indices make me to believe that government is no longer interested in negotiating with anybody again. However this stance will turn out to be a big mistake. What are the gains of this protest? The gains of this process lies in the fact that we now know that the seeming disunity or unfriendliness between ethnic groups and geopolitical zones is politically manipulated. The issue of the withdrawal of fuel subsidy showed that we have no problems with living with one another and that issues that seem to suggest otherwise are politically arranged. Second, Nigerians are no longer docile or unduly trusting of government. The advantage secured therein is comparable to the lifting of scales from the eyes of the populace. Nigerians now proactively desire good governance, will seek an end to corruption and will when opportuned to so do enthrone governments that will deliver on good governance and maturity in leadership. The NBA in its NEC meeting in Eket advised the government not to remove subsidy; now that it is almost removed, what is your next line of action? We are satisfied that there has been movement, now is the time for the parties to constructively engage the issues. Government should realise that the Constitution contains other provisions other than the schedule which contains the oath of office on which they were sworn in. The Constitution contains a bill of rights that is in consonance with the best international and world standards i.e. the United Nations, European and African Unions Bills of
• Daudu (SAN)
‘If anyone is dissatisfied with an order of court, what he should do is to apply to have the order set aside or appealed against. Again, I am not aware that any court order was disregarded’ Rights. These rights are meant for the benefit and the enjoyment of Nigerians. When Nigerians express their freedom of movement, right to impart ideas and impart information and expression, government’s reaction ought not to be their intimidation with soldiers paid from taxpayers’ expenses. Government’s reaction should be measured and constructive and not the other way round. The National Industrial Court injunction restraining labour from embarking on strike was described as black market injunction and was disregarded, what is your reaction to this ? Firstly, no court order should be described as a ‘Black Market Injunction’. It is most disrespectful to the dignity of the courts and the due process of law. If anyone is dissatisfied with an order of court, what he should do is to apply to have the order set aside or appealed against. Again, I am not aware that any court order was disregarded. I was in touch with the leadership of organised labour throughout the strike and their position that they had not been served with any court process was confirmed by the NIC on Thursday, January 12, 2012 when it ordered for compliance with its order for substituted service, implying clearly that there had not been service. The matter was then adjourned to Monday, January 16, 2012 by which time, labour had called off the strike thereby rendering the suit academic. The president has promised to make some reforms in response to the demand of Nigerians during the protest, do you think the reforms can make significant impact on the lives of Nigerians?
Every reform, if conducted in good faith and in an atmosphere devoid of corruption, will work. There must also be adequate planning and compliance with regulations. Your tenure as NBA president is gradually coming to an end. Looking back at the goals you set for yourself, how would you appraise your administration? What do we expect in the remaining few months particularly with respect to the NBA Sections? I will prefer to answer this question at the end of our tenure God willing. With respect to the Sections they are alive, well and functional. The Section on Business Law Council election took place in Abuja on January 19, 2012 and they have a new Council Chairman in the person of Gbenga Oyebode. They will soon be reeling out their activities. What is your advice to Nigerians in the light of the prevailing socio- economic problems and insecurity in the country? My candid advice is for Nigerians to be proactive and vigilant. Watch and pray. What is your appraisal of the security situation in the light of the escape of a Boko Haram suspect from police custody? I can only say that it is precarious. I hope the people from whose hands the suspect escaped are not the people responsible for the President’s security. The President must shake up things in that area in the very near future. When are you lifting the ban on campaigns for the forthcoming NBA elections? There is a statutory time for that. The Electoral Committee will be set up in our next NEC meeting in Akure, Ondo State. Thereafter, they will roll out the required guidelines for the elections.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
FROM THE COURT
Eulogies for Gani Fawehinmi and family at lecture
SUN State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has said the one week protest on the removal of fuel subsidy was a reminder of the fact that the work of the late social crusader and constitutional lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, was largely unfinished as at the time he died two years ago. He said Gani Fawehinmi was a human being and one of the best species ever lived and who wanted a Nigeria where liberty, freedom and justice flow like a mighty river and from which every citizen would take his or her fill. Aregbesola, who spoke at the eighth Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture organised by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, said the mass of people that gathered daily at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom park during the protest was indicative of the people his works had affected positively adding that the scenario at the park looked as if it was Chief Gani Fawehinmi himself that led the protest. “It is instructive that, by a stroke of fate, a huge crowd of demonstrators mass at Gani Fawhinmi Memorial Garden, which they rechristened Gani Fawehimi Freedom Square to protest the hike in the prices of fuel in the country. It was like Chief Gani Fawehinmi
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
By Adebisi Onanuga
himself led the protest. “This is a firm assurance that even though he has departed, he will forever be with us in the struggle for the emancipation of Nigerian people and the banishment of tyranny, oppression and dictatorship in all ramification”, he said. Beyond anything, Gani Fawehinmi, according to Governor Aregbesola, was renowned for fighting through the instrumentality of law and was feared by successive military regimes and their compliant judges. He described late Fawehinmi as a consummate social crusader and fighter for people‘s right adding “he was a selfless man who dedicated a lifetime to the pursuit of a cause he believed in”. The NBA, Ikeja branch chairman, Mr. Adebamigbe Omole also eulogized late Gani Fawehinmi for what was described as his unparallel crusade against military tyranny, misrule and unwavering contribution to the advancement of democracy in Nigeria. Omole observed that the day Gani Fawehinmi was called to the Nigerian bar in 1966 marked the beginning of his struggle for the
gabriel AMALU email:email@example.com
• Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi
emancipation of Nigerians from neo colonial mis-governance. The NBA, Ikeja branch chairman also commended the role played by the Mrs. Ganiat Fawehinmi and her son, Mohammed during the protest against fuel subsidy saying, “I cannot but say that Gani`s spirit has come upon you”. “You are a pride to womanhood, your activites in the past weeks of the struggle against fuel price hike and school fees hike in Lagos State University is a testimony to the fact that you were not merely a consort to Gani or merely the mother of his children, but a gallant, honest bearer and sustainer of Gani`s great legacy” he said. On Mohammed Fawehinmi, the NBA Ikeja branch chairman had this to say, “your activities have only confirmed the Yoruba adage that says”omo to ekunba bi, ekun lo ma jo”.
Expectations as Oyebode mounts NBA-SBL chair
BENGA Oyebode has emerged the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL). He was elected at the section’s election held in Abuja. Oyebode’s election brings to an end the crisis that has stalled the activities of the section for the past one year. The crises started when Mrs. Mfon Usoro emerged as the successor to George Etomi whose tenure ended in 2009. Her election was rejected by Bar leaders who were of the view that she was not too active in Bar activities and that she was not a regular face at NBA NEC meetings. The Usoro-led Council was dissolved by NBA at her Awka NEC meeting in February 2011 and the NBA President, Joseph Daudu (SAN)) was mandated to appoint a Caretaker Committee to oversee the activities of the Section pending when they hold elections to fill the vacancies.
By John Austin Unachukwu
Daudu consequently appointeed Yemi Candid-Johnson (SAN) to replace Mrs. Usoro. He remained in office until Oyebode’s election about two weeks ago. The section, seen as the heartbeat of the Bar, lost its steam and flavour as a result of the leadership crisis. With everyone looking up to Oyebode to reach for his magic wand and effect a turn around of the affairs as he assumes office, Etomi said he will restore the section’s lost glory. Etomi said Oyebode “has been with us from the beginning. He was my first choice as my successor, but because he was too busy then to take up such challenges, we chose Mrs Usoro. ‘’It was what we all agreed. He can easily bring the whole family back. He can easily bring all of us back, but I hope we have not lost so much,” he said. Oyebode serves as Mangaing
Partner in the firm of Aluko & Oyebode. He coordinates the various practice areas. For over years, Oyebode has developed significant experience in project finance, corporate law, energy and natural resources, telecommunications and aviation law. He is on the board of many companies, including Access Bank Plc, where he serves as Chairman; MTN Nigeria and Crusader Insurance Plc. He is a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (admitted June 1980) and Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court of New York State (admitted November 1983), a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the American Bar Society of the International Law. Oyebode attended the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and graduated in 1979 with a degree in Law and later, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia from where he bagged the LL. M Honours in1982.
• Mr Gbenga Oyebode (left) and former Commissioner for Environment, Lagos State, Dr Muiz Banire, at alumni dinner organised by the alumni of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.
Between President Jonathan and Gov. Sullivan
HE kneejerk approach of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State to the fallouts of the New Year fuel price increase, have exposed their democratic credentials. Beyond the extra yoke added to the burden of ordinary Nigerians following the increase in the cost of petrol and sundry items, there is the uncanny amusement of democratically elected chief executives, pretending to be imbued with autocratic powers, all at the same time. While President Jonathan was willing to allow only a five-day protest, and no more; Governor Chime simply decreed against any protestations in any manner whatsoever, within his state. So while Nigerians across the country had five days to throw up their indigestions caused by the president’s unprecedented hard lump, those living in Enugu State had the hard grub kicked down their throat; as the Governor sent in enforcers all over town to ensure that there was no whimper, not to talk of a vomit. Cowed and stripped, the state remained as calm as a cucumber while other Nigerians inveighed the new yoke imposed on them by the powers that be. President Jonathan may be wandering why he didn’t use Governor Sullivan’s tactics from day one: decreeing out protest. But as they say, better be late than never; so while the demonstrators were still weighing their options to continue the protest last two Mondays, Mr. President seized the momentum from Gov. Sullivan; as he brought in soldiers to enforce a ban on further protest. Now a new dimension has been added to the president’s headache as a group of VIP demonstrators in Lagos attempted to defy his autocratic powers. Smarting from his new tactics, the police simply tear gassed the foremost constitutional lawyer, Professor Nwabueze and his fellow trouble makers. In Enugu state, a labour leader, Mr. Festus Ozoeze, who attempted to organize demonstrations over the fuel price increase, despite Gov. Sullivan’s proclamation (made in furtherance of his ‘omnibus powers’ as chief security officer) has only himself to blame. As at the last time I read about him, he was languishing in jail, having been charged to court and ordered detained for conspiring to disturb the peaceful repose of the good people of Enugu state. Talk of different standards for different folks; with of course Gov. Sullivan inheriting the legendry good luck of Mr. President, which appears to be increasingly deserting the original owner. But of course the Governor has been on mop up campaign. I saw him in a photo session with the handsome and smiling Catholic Bishop of Enugu State, Callistus Onaga. According to the Bishop, the Governor had been very kind to come to their meeting to explain his viceroy powers to the clergy; and I hope also the sources of his power to ban a peaceful protest in the state. Press reports also show that he has a chummy relationship with Anglican Bishop Chukwuma, of the metropolitan city of Enugu. There has also been similar warm embrace with some state labour officials from the transport sector; who from their countenances as shown in the papers, must have gone to congratulate His Excellency for being the only Governor in Nigeria, with the powers to ban any form of protest in his state. There is also the pending matter of two labour leaders languishing in jail for an earlier impudence and incandescence that apparently irritated His Excellency. According to press reports their case is now a subject of United Nations interest, as the national labour leaders in Nigeria already know from their personal experience that His Excellency dose not suffer detractors gladly, even when the matter is a purported exercise of democratic rights. Those who are accusing President Jonathan of acting in certain ways that impinge the constitutional space because he is a scientist may be shocked when they realise that Gov. Sullivan was a practicing Lawyer before he became a Governor. Probably the Governor may have come to a well considered opinion that the people of Enugu state are either too difficult to waste his democratic patience on; or they are too timid to complain over his undemocratic impudence. Head or tail, the Governor has remained a winner and according to his officials the darling of the people of the state; except of course, the occasional distractions from the Nwodo family members and a few of their ilk. With the threats from many agitators and commentators against the military occupation of the Gani Fawehimi’s freedom park, at Ojota, Lagos and some other spots across the country; and the increasing audacity to defy same; President Jonathan may yet have to contend with testing the elasticity of his executive powers. Already there are claims and counter claims as to how the army came to occupy Lagos, to curb their excessive democratic rights. Now each official has his own tales by the moonlight totally different from the tales offered by the other. As for Governor Sullivan, his own powers must be inherent, as he has not bothered to explain under what laws he militarised the state; indeed being a lawyer he may have up his sleeves, laws entrusting him with such powers, but not generally known by many of us. Well, since the chances of testing the Governor’s powers in a court are remote, His Excellency could as well continue to bask in his acquired good luck. With our militarised democracy, who says that democratically elected officials can not eat their cake, and still have it? What they may have invented is a new type of diarchy: use the votes to gain power, and the military to keep it. The important thing is that there are not only in government, they are also in power.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
LAW & SOCIETY
Will Nigeria experience revolution? T
HE Eighth Chief Gani Fawehinmi An nual Lecture/Symposium organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch was held on January 15, 2012. It could not have come at a better time than now that the nation was going through traumatic and agonising experience occasioned by government economic policy. The lecture was held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, after a week long nationwide protest against the removal of subsidy on pump price of fuel per litre from N65 to N141. The lecture, which had as its theme, Nigeria`s socio-economic maladministration: Any possibility of A revolution? provided speakers with the opportunity to bare their views on the growing discuss for revolution as a platform for transformation in the country. Expectedly, they spoke against the background of the protest on the removal of petrol subsidy and they differed in their views on the concept of revolution and whether or not a revolution, in whichever form, was possible in Nigeria and other issues that could move the country forward. Since after the 1999 elections, there has been a growing clamour for revolution in Nigeria. For some, the talks of revolution was borne out of the recklessness of the ruling class and on the way they squandered the nation’s resources and the belief that there was a need for change, some as a mere academic exercise and for others, a bloody revolution is inevitable if we must have real transformation in Nigeria. Some were even of the view that the Arab spring be transferred to Nigeria. It was as if the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, in whose honour the lecture is held yearly, came alive at the occasion going by the fierceness with which the guest speaker, Prof. Omotoye Olorode of the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Abuja, delivered his lecture. Like the late constitutional lawyer and social critic, the university don delivered his paper eloquently and articulately and in a manner expected of a social critic. He was in tune with his audience, majorly of the Gani Fawehinmi school of thought. Olorode, in his paper, remarked that wherever conditions for revolutionary change existed, responses are usually determined by class interests and subjective imperatives of living conditions and collective and individual class consciousness. He expressed regret that President Goodluck Jonathan, who was reported in a publication to have admitted that “revolution looms” in the country was leading a ruling class whose policies continue to make social revolution inevitable in the country. He said the victims of the ruling class policies of privatisation, deregulation etc. are now taking very practical private and collective political revolutionary steps, strikes, protests against increased school fees, toll gates, fuel price and religious and ethnic militancy largely by dispossessed strata of the society. From his perspective, revolutions are not contemplated as putschism or coup or fascist terrors in which a small elite group that has no social cause believes that it has answers upon which it could straighten up the society or change it. Nigeria, according to him, had gone through varieties of these revolutions since the first coup of 1966 and with considerable manifestation of their psychology in the parties that have been contesting for power since 1998. Of all the parties that contested the 2011 elections, he said that only the National Conscience Party (NCP) could be said to have a manifesto. According to him, the 2011 Presidential elections were contested entirely on the basis of where the candidates come from. “Those of you complaining now that you did not know Jonathan was going to be like this, what do you think he was going to be ?” he asked his audience. Olorode blamed the ruling elites for sewing the seed of the crisis that the nation was currently going through and accused them of enforcing the neo-liberal policies on Nigerians. He argued that the recent removal of subsidy on fuel was nothing but a comprehensive economic war on the poor and impoverized Nigerian masses. He advised that recent protests against subsidy should move from music and dancing but that protesters needed to be educated on facts that would enhance the growing confrontation on the varieties of vultures that are ravaging the country. Olorode also does not share the view that Nigeria was a democracy. To him, democracy does not exist in the country. “Why have we waited for over a decade after 1999 to realise that the Nigerian ruling class viz civilian dispensation have no credibility ?” he asked adding that this was so because the Nigerian bourgeoisie, our class, helped the ruling class to spread the illusion that democracy was on
• Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN); Prof Isabella Okagbue and Prof Karisu Chukkol, at the fellow’s lecture and conferment of the fellowship of the institute held at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja By Adebisi Onanuga
ground. On the economic side, Prof Olorode also blamed the ruling class and the bourgeoisie for also spreading the illusions of market forces, entrepreneurship and privatization among ordinary people. “That we are going to build an economy where everybody would be self employed is an illusion. In which modern society is everybody employing himself?” he asked. Prof. Olorode lamented the influence of the world Bank on the Nigerian economy and argued that the return of the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan attested to this. As a way out of economic colonization, the don suggested a three prong approach viz socialisation of the ownwership of monopolies, definancialisation and de-linking at the international level. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola differed from the don on revolution. Aregbesola argued that instead of revolution, Nigerians should be seeking how democracy could be deepened. He advocated true federalism and state control of resources as a way out of the problems in which the country finds itself. The governor remarked that given our experience and the exit of the military from governance in the last 13 years, it could be argued that a military putsch was unlikely. On the calls for the transfer of the Arab spring, Aregbesola said while this might be good for the Middle East and the Arab world because theirs was a struggle for freedom, liberty and democracy, it would not be appropriate for Nigeria‘s situation since we already have democracy, even if it is weak and constantly threatened. “The forcible removal of long standing dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and other places cannot be compared to crises attendant to security challenges emanating from the incompetence of security agencies and disagreement over policy choice between the government and the people” he said. According to him, “democracy anywhere is an unfinished business. There is no problem emanating from democracy that democracy cannot fix. What we need therefore is more democracy. While the former is avoidable and can be fixed, the latter is a common occurrence even in established democracies”. He observed that the United States, the bastion of democracy, also has had its fair share of crises. He pointed out that at the time of its independence in 1776, it was a slave owning society and that women had no right to vote until 1920. America, he further noted fought a civil war and two world wars. It, however, has never faltered from democracy. He said in spite that America has the most deadly military machine, there has never been a remote consideration of military incursion in all its
crisis moments. South Africa he also practiced the abominable apartheid regime and went through much upheaval and global ostracism and insurgency but that at no time was the military engaged in governance. He also cited the situation in Cote d‘Ivoire which has been going in and out of civil wars since the death of its former leader, Felix Houphouet-Boigny in 1993 and has been rocked by political crisis which it is just overcoming, noting that the country never lapsed into military rule. The lesson from this, the governor remarked was that the country needed to deepen its democracy. He said the country must contend with the ability to put the right person in office in a free and fair election and vote out any leader that is not carrying his people along at the next available opportunity. “We must also learn to intelligently engage the policy process in a way that will give us influence and control as a people,” he said. On the economic side, the governor remarked that the fuel subsidy crisis that the country witnessed was small compared to the greater issue of fiscal federalism. According to him, Nigerians have been fighting for political federalism but that this would be futile without fiscal federalism. He argued that “the people must be given control over their own resources. This is what will promote innovation, competition and accountability. The extraction, processing and marketing of the petroleum resources should not have been the exclusive preserve of a behemoth government who gives monthly handout to other tiers of government”, he said. The governor was also of the view that companies operating in a place should be paying their taxes to the state government. “This should have been an incentive for states to be engaged in the economic development of their area and competition for development”, he said. Governor Aregbesola recognised the right of Nigerians to protest and form a counterpoise against the government as God-given and inalienable. He posited that as long as there is power, there will always be opposition to that power adding that this was what defined the life and time of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Justice Pius Aderemi (CON) who was the chairman of the occasion said in his welcome address, recalled that the retrogressive military coups that took place in the country in the past were executed in the name of bringing about revolutionary changes. He said that events today had shown that it was not certain if any bloody revolution would solve the multifarious problems in which the country has found itself. According to him, “assuming thre is a revolution and things go the way it is being agitated now, and Nigeria ceases to exist as one indivisible entity, can one confidently affirm that the essence of the joint revolt has been achieved? If revolution becomes inevitable as been advocated in the past, are we con-
vinced that it will not be for individual personal gains. It is not about now alone, but the future which your grandchildren and mine will only read from in the literature”. The retired Justice of the Supreme Court argued that events raging in North Africa and Middle East are not examples of of revolution that could take place in the country. Rather than dissipate energy on brewing a revolution, he advised that Nigerians should rather be advocating for the building of proper institutions, resuscitation of the value systems which has eroded the people and as a people start doing the right things. He was of the opinion that no reform can be carried out successfully where there is wanton corruption, recklessness, insincerity, and lack of trust between the government and the people. He posited that the problem of Nigeria was not really bad leadership but the rot in our value system which he described as an endemic problem that is fast gaining prominence in the country. Chairman, NBA Ikeja branch, Mr Adebamigbe Omole noted that corruption in Nigeria has become endemic and a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of every sector of the economy. He pointed out that the result of this was that poverty now ravaged the land with the attendant consequences of high rate of crime and unemployment while the youth armed with certificates roam the streets without employment. Omole also lamented that successive administrations have been looting public funds with impunity pointing out that a public office is no longer seen as a call to service but as an opportunity to share in the “national cake”. In spite of being the eighth largest producer of crude oil, the NBA chairman regretted that corruption has made it difficult for the government to refine oil locally for domestic use of Nigerians. He observed that over the years, Nigeria has depended on imported petroleum products, a channel through which trillions of naira is being stolen. According to him, the consequences of maladministration in the economy was responsible for why most Nigerians now live below poverty level with no hope for a better tomorrow.
Commonwealth Lawyers Conference Members of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) will hold their regional conference from April 19 to 20, this year in Sydney, Australia. Former Chief Justice of Australia James Spigalman is expected to deliver the keynote address.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Candidate who wins case on court judgment steps into shoes of invalidly nominated opponent IN THE COURT OF APPEAL ( Judicial Division) On Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Suit No: CA/PH/EPT/8/08 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE ....... Justice, Court of Appeal CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI ....... Justice, Court of Appeal PAUL ADAMU GALINJE ....... Justice, Court of Appeal OLUKAYODDE ARIWOOLA ....... Justice, Court of Appeal GEORGE OLADEHINDE SHOREMI ....... Justice, Court of Appeal BETWEEN CHIEF SERGEANT CHIDI AWUSE
AND CELESTINE NGOZICHIM OMEHIA INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) & 2 ORS. ...RESPONDENTS CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, J.C.A. (Delivered the Leading Judgment):
y way of elucidation, it is palpable to state that while the petition in question was pending, on 25/10/07, the Supreme Court in Suit No. SC/252/2007 - between Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi v Independent National Electoral Commission & ors, delivered its judgment where it ordered that the original first respondent in the petition, Celestine Omehia, who was declared the winner of the election, should vacate the seat of Governor of Rivers State immediately while the appellant, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, be forthwith sworn-in his place. The totality of all the issues raised in this appeal would stem to lie on section 285(2) of the 1999 Constitution as well as the related provisions of the Electoral Act. The said constitutional- provision which confers exclusive jurisdiction on the tribunal in election petition matters. The provision of section 285(2), therefore, provides thus:“(2) There shall be established in each state of Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunals which shall, to the exclusion of any court or tribunal have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether any person has been validly elected to the office of Governor or Deputy Governor or as member of any Legislative house.” (underlining is for emphasis.) Relevantly and closely related to this provision is Section 140(1) of the Electoral Act 2006 which clearly defines what constitutes an election petition. The provision states:“ý.. No election and return of an election under this Act shall be questioned in any manner other than a petition complaining of an “undue election” or “undue return” (in this Act referred to as an election petition) presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or return is joined as a party.” (underlining is for emphasis). By the combined effect of sections 285(2) of the constitution and 140(l) of the Electoral Act supra, for a petition to be competent, the basis must be the election or return of the person complained against whose undue return or undue election is being challenged. It is trite law therefore that a petition which falls short of the said provisions would certainly be incompetent. See the case of Ezeobi v Nzeka (1989) 1 NWLR (Pt.98) page 478. The fulcrum grounding the determination of this appeal is the case of Amaechi v INEC (No.3) (2007) 18 NWLR (Pt.1065) p.98. Their Lordships of the apex court equated the principles underlying case of Ararume in deciding Amaechis’ case and held the absence of any indictment known to law against him, as the appellant. That in the absence of any court of law pronouncing the appellant Amaechi, guilty of any criminal offence jus-
tifying his exclusion from the election, he could not be said to have been justify substituted in accordance with the law. He therefore remained the third respondent’s nominated candidate for the Rivers State Governorship election held on 14/4/07. Their Lordships therefore held the appellant as the candidate for PDP at the said governorship election. In delivering the lead judgment and allowing the appeal, Katsina -Alu JSC had this to say at page 107:“I declare the appellant the one entitled to be in the Governorship seat in Rivers State since he was the lawful candidate of the PDP at the election. It is ordered that the second respondent Celestine Omehia vacate the seat of Governor of Rivers State immediately and that the appellant be forthwith sworn in his Place.” The consequential effect of the Supreme Court’s decision was that Mr. Celestine Omehia the first respondent in the petition, abinitio, had never been the governor of Rivers State. This was because he was never the candidate whom PDP sponsored in the gubernatorial elections of Rivers State held on the 14th day of April, 2007. Rightly and wisely enough and on a clear comprehension of the judgment, the said first respondent. Mr Celestine Omehia, on 13th November, 2007 applied to strike- out his name from the petition following the decision of the apex court, removing him as the governor.
In confirmation of the striking out by the learned tribunal, the pronouncement made by the apex court in the case of Obasanjo v Yusuf (2004) 9 NWLR (Pt.877) page 144 is apt and relevant wherein Kutigi JSC (as he then was) had this to say at page 190 of the report:“When a party is not properly joined in a suit and is struck out, any allegation made against him become irrelevant and incompetent. It is very important for counsel to bear in mind always that a case is the only authority for what is actually decided. In other words’ it ii only the “ratio decidendi of a Supreme Court Judgment that binds the court and the lower Courts and not obiter dicta “in concurring judgments, example Odiase & Anor. v. Agbo & Ors. (1972) 1 All NLR 170.” In further reference section 144(2) of the Electoral Act 2006' is also very significant and states:“(2) The person whose election complained of is in this Act, referred to as the respondent, but if the petitioner complains of the conduct of an Electoral officer, a presiding officer, a returning officer or any other person who took part in the conduct of an election such officer or person shall for the purpose of this Act be deemed to be a respondent and shall be joined in the election petition in his or her official status as a necessary party..” With the striking out of the name of Mr Celestine Ngozichim Omehia, sued as the first respondent therefore, it could no longer, contrary to the submission by the learned appellant’s counsel, be said that there is a competent respondent before the tribunal whose election was complained of and therefore being challenged. I am aware that INEC and its officials could be necessary parties’ but they cannot however be equated or substituted for the person whose election is complained of within the intendment of Section 144(2) of the Electoral Act. It is rather clear and explicit from the section that the election petition must have the person elected or returned being joined as a party. Further reference can also be made to Section 147(l) of the Act which provides thus:“147. (1) Subject to sub-section (2) of this section, if the tribunal or the court as the case may be, determines that a candidate who was returned as elected was not validly elected on any ground, the tribunal or the court shall nullify the election.” The learned appellants’ counsel had submitted that in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Amaechi’s case, the proper order the tribunal ought to have made was the nullification of the election of Mr Celestine Omehia pursuant to the provision of Section 147(1) of the Electoral Act, 2006 supra. As lightly submitted by the learned senior counsel for the respondents, by his own ap-
plication dated November 13, 2007 Mr Celestine Omehia, applied to strike out his name from the petition as the first respondent. This was following the said Supreme Counsel decision in Amaechi’s case. In the eyes of the law therefore, he (Celestine Omehia) as rightly submitted by the senior counsel, “had never been the candidate nominated by PDP to fly the flag of the party in the gubernatorial elections of Rivers State on the 14th day of April, 2007.” The consequential effect of the petition filed by the appellant against him therefore is of no effect since he was never a candidate and did not come within the provision of Section 285(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Further more and by way of elucidation and support, reference can be made to the pronouncement in the case of Macfoy v U.A.C. (1961) 3 AER 1169 wherein Lord Denning MR, said:“The distinction between the two has been repeatedly drawn, if an act is void then it is in law a nullity. It is not only bad, but incurably bad. There is no need for an order of the court to set it aside. It is automatically null and void without more ado, though it is sometimes convenient to have the court declare it to be so. And every proceeding which is founded on it is also bad and incurably bad. You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand there, it will collapse.. Omehia was never elected or sworn in as the Governor of Rivers State. The learned tribunal had no jurisdiction either under the constitution by Section 285(2) or the Electoral Act relating to him therefore in any election petition matter. In the case of Obi v INEC (2007) 11 NWLR (Pt.1046) page 565 at 684 Tabai JSC made the following pronouncement wherein he said:This nullification was upheld by the Court of Appeal Enugu Division on 15/03/2006. The effect of this nullification is that Dr. Chris Ngige was never elected and sworn in as Governor of Anambra State. He cannot therefore be “a person first elected as Governor” as within the meaning of Section 180(2)(a) of the constitution. In my respectful view, it is the appellant that comes within that provision.” Aderemi JSC also at page 644 in the same authority held and said:-’The argument of the respondent here is very tenuous. When verdict of the Court of Appeal (Enugu Division) declaring the present appellant as the rightful person to have been declared having won the gubernatorial election of April, 2003, was handed down, the effect is that the return of Dr. Chris Ngige as the person who won the election was null and void and of no legal consequencey.” •To be continued
• Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), 2nd right and his children (from left) Dapo, Winning and Olabode at the last International Bar Association (IBA) conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
LAW & SOCIETY THE EIGHTH ANNUAL CHIEF GANI FAWEHINMI LECTURE ORGANISED BY THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA), IKEJA BRANCH, AT AIRPORT HOTEL, LAGOS
•Former Commissioner for the Environment, Lagos State, Dr Muiz Banire and Chairman, NBA, Ikeja, Adebamigbe Omole.
•From left: Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Prof Omoloye Olorode and Mrs Ganiat Fawehinmi.
•From left: Chairman, NBA, Lagos Branch, Taiwo Taiwo, Saheed Fawehinmi and Mohammed Fawehinmi.
•Femi Falana, Ade Sanusi and Wahab Shittu.
•Hon Amida Abudu and Hon Abdoul Ladi.
•Former chairman, NBA Ikeja, Niyi Idowu (left) and Lawal Pedro (SAN), Solicitor-General of Lagos State..
•Former Chairman, NBA, Ikeja, Adekunle Ojo (left) and Public Relations Officer, NBA, Ikeja, S.O. Omodara.
•Rights activist, Bamidele Aturu (left) and Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika
•Hon P Kuye (left) and Hon Oloruntoba Oke.
•Adindu Ugwuzo (left) and Olumide Fawehinmi
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
LEGAL OPINION Text of a paper presented by former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at a round table organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Akoka, Lagos.
Retreat of legal process
EGAL process has a fairly well-defined meaning. It includes the whole gamut of civil and criminal justice. The processes prior to commencement of the actual proceedings and judicial outcomes in both civil and criminal causes constitute ‘legal process’. Consequently, in criminal justice, legal process for our purposes refers to the entire spectrum of institutions rules and practices aimed at social control, by the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution and punishment of crime, the police and policing arrangements, public prosecution, the courts and the prisons. It is in this broader remit that legal process includes those measures Denning describes as constituting‚ due process of law. Namely‚ those measures authorised by the law so as to keep the stream of Justice pure: to see that trials and inquiries are fairly conducted: that arrest and searches are properly made: that lawful remedies are readily available: and that unnecessary delays are eliminated. His Lordship’s further remark that ‘It is in the long run, on the maintenance of law and order that civilised society depends’ not only widens the ambit of the subject but emphasizes its fundamental importance. The definition clearly exposes the inordinateness of any ambition of the topic. Surely in about an hour or so one can hardly do justice to any one feature of the issues associated with legal process. This is my excuse for taking the liberty to randomly select some of the issues and hopefully make the point clearly enough that the legal process in Nigeria, at least in fundamental respects may well be on the retreat. ‘Retreat’ by itself suggests some shifting backwards from a position of advancement. This is important because indeed there has been notable progress. The Supreme Court’s pro-active constitutional pronouncements have more clearly defined the contours of
our federalism and in many respects broadened the democratic space. Similarly, the Court of Appeal has in many instances restored hope in the electoral process by voiding rigged elections and restoring mandates to the lawfully elected representatives of the people. Generally speaking, from even the High Courts, there have been great and bold judicial pronouncements, many of which better clarified the rights of citizens, institutions and governments under a civilian constitution. The profound challenges and reverses, especially in the past five years appear to suggest, to borrow the term, that ours is a ‘recursive’ legal process, that is, one which takes one step forward and two steps backwards. The result of this phenomenon is that its effectiveness, relevance and ability to attain its objectives as a crucial and integral part of the society’s architecture is not only weakened but it has compromised the overall ability of the State to fulfill the obligations of Statehood. The efficacy, speed, fairness and credibility of our system of civil justice impacts commerce and business significantly. Failures in criminal justice for example, not only are a significant disincentive to foreign investment but constitute a consolable burden on the cost of doing business. Any sense those crimes, especially serious crimes against persons or property create a deliberating seise of helplessness and desperation that makes self-help the only real option. Civil cases The resolution of civil disputes is of course of great importance, especially to commerce and the overall economy. The civil aspects of legal process have also in the past 12 years suffered huge challenges to its effectiveness. Again one of the most significant problems is delay in the trial process. The most recent surveys on the length
of trials in civil cases show disturbing lengthy delays. A survey on length of trial time in civil cases in Lagos State shows: General civil cases (2001-2006)National Average Court Years High court 3.4 Court of Appeal 2.5 Supreme Court 4.5
Total 10.4 From High Court to Supreme Court, 10.5 years (this does not include interlocutory appeals). Land cases Land cases (2001-2006)National Average Court Years High Court 3.4 Court of Appeal 2.5 Supreme Court 4.5 Total 10.4 Anecdotal evidence gathered as part of the Lagos Justice Sector reform and the lands registry reform projects show that three areas of commerce and industry are worst hit by delaying in civil trials. These are housing, mortgage lending and land transactions sectors which are the fundamentals of most economies. Delays in resolving some of the largest commercial disputes in the nation’s history have led to flight to jurisdictions offering more certainty of closure within a reasonable time frame. The Econet shares dispute has since 2004 not gone beyond interlocutory stages in the Federal High Court, as is the case with many other large disputes. Clearly, it is the case that again legal process appears to have run into a brick wall. It is my view that the problems of delay especially require some hard thinking and collaborative interaction between the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and heads of the National Assembly. These interactions must address fundamental issues on changing civil procedure rules to engage the challenges of our peculiar circumstances. Clearly, there ought to be a more stringent costs regime to prevent dilatory tactics of counsel. Judicial accountability for delays in delivering Rulings and Judgments must be closely monitored. The Courts are a public resource paid for by tax payers money, its operators and litigants must be held to account where it is found to be inefficient. •To be continued
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Court admits ex-banker’s statement as exhibit in Atuche, others trial
USTICE Lateef Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja has admitted in evidence, a statement made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by a former staff member of Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank), Nnaemeka Obiaraeri in the trial of the bank’s former Managing Director, Mr Francis Atuche. Atuche, sacked along with some other bank chiefs some years ago by the Central Bank of Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for alleged abuse of office, is being tried with his wife, Elizabeth and the bank’s ex-Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu. They are accused of allegedly stealing N27.7billion from the bank. The statement was marked exhibit P. 136 after it was admitted. It contained reports of meeting and correspondences between the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Future
By Eric Ikhilae
View Financial Services Limited, Mrs Elizabeth Ebi, who had earlier in her evidence admitted collecting and benefitting from a loan agreement advanced to her companies by the bank during Atuche’s era. Obiareaeri, who is the sixth prosecution witness, was led in evidence by lead prosecution lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN). The witness told the court that he had advised Mrs Ebi against taking the loan, if she was not comfortable with the terms. He said the loans were for Tradjek Limited, Petosan Oil & Gas Ltd, Extra-Oil, Future View Financial Securities Limited, companies owned by Mrs Ebi. The companies are fingered in the alleged suspicious loan transac-
tions, for which Atuche, Elizabeth and Anyanwu are being tried. The witness said he knew little about the transaction afterwards. He said he was directed by Mrs Ebi to collect some documents from Atuche’s house, which include, blank loan application form. Mrs Ebi, who had earlier testified as prosecution witness in the case, said though she did not solicit for the loan given her companies, she re-invested the funds estimated at N10.9 billion. Mrs Ebi had, while being crossexamined by one of the defence lawyers, Sylva Ogwemoh, told the court she invested part of what she claimed was unsolicited funds in procuring Oceanic Bank Plc shares, from which she made some profit. When asked whether she reported the alleged ‘unsolicited’ lodgments from Bank PHB to the
EFCC or other security agencies, she said no, because she felt it was not necessary to do so. Obiaraeri further told the court that he knew of the relationship between Mrs Ebi and Atuche. He said his former boss, Charles Ojo, ex-Managing Director of Spring Bank (now Enterprise Bank, directed him to relate with Mrs Ebi on the transaction. Obiaraeri will be cross-examined by Atuche’s counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) and Ogwemoh (lawyer to Anyanwu) on February 1 when proceedings resume. The prosecution is also expected to call seven more witnesses before concluding its case. Earlier, the fifth witness, Ms Helen Eriyor, who testified that she was not with the bank, when the transaction took place, was discharged after she was cross-exam-
• Justice Inumidun Akande, Chief Judge, Lagos State
ined by Mr Ogwemoh. The defendants have denied the allegations and argued that some of the amounts mentioned were loans granted to companies as normally banking business transaction.
Court sentences man to death for armed robbery
LAGOS High Court, Ikeja, has sentenced a 32-year-old man, Onyema Nwakor, to death for armed robbery. Nwakor was said to have robbed with another person now at large between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. in Ifako-Agege area of Lagos in July 2006 during which he stabbed Betty Benson, the daughter of his victim to death. Justice Lateefat Okunnu, in her judgment on Friday, said Nwakor stabbed Betty Benson with a knife in the chest while her mother, Mrs. Funmilayo Oyemade, was hit with an object on the head and
By Adebisi Onanuga
stabbed on the thigh with the same knife. The girl reportedly died before she could be taken to the hospital. While giving evidence during the trial, the mother of the deceased Mrs. Oyemade claimed that Nwakor, reportedly locked her and her son, Sesan in a room while Betty was left to die in the sitting room. Oyemade said further in her evidence that Nwakor also threatened to kill her if she refused to
disclose where she had kept a certain N50,000. In their evidence, the witnesses,had told the court that, the mother was able to unlock the door 20 minutes after Nwako left the scene of the robbery. The convict, she said, was later apprehended by members of the O’odua Peoples Congress, who were keeping night watch in the area on the day of the incident. They had also told the court that as they were rushing to the hospital, they discovered that the man who had just robbed them was the person accosted by the
OPC members serving as guards in the area. The defence, had argued that Oyemade and Sesan, could not have been in position to properly identify the convict given the state of trauma in which they were during and soon after they were attacked. He had also claimed that his client was innocent of the robbery charges brought against him as and he had never met Oyemade and her son before. He claimed that his client was charged with the offence after he was wrongfully arrested at Yaba
Bus Stop a day before the incident occurred. But Justice Okunnu, in the judgment found Nwakor guilty of conspiracy having committed the offence with another person said to be at large, and of the robbery charges. The judge, based on the evidence given by the investigating policeman, Mrs. Oyemade and her son, Sesan, said she was convinced that Nwakor and the other suspect still at large, stole three mobile phones, jewellery and some money from the house.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Airlines to spend N350m on flight trackers T O keep abreast of their aircraft while in flight, airlines are to spend N50million each on trackers. They are Air Nigeria, DANA Air, IRS Airlines, Associated Aviation, Chanchangi Airlines Limited, Overland Airways, and FirstNation Airways. The tracking system, a software and technology driven device, will monitor planes with the airlines operation control room at their headquarters. It is part of measures to ensure safety of passengers and crew, sources told The Nation.
Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent
In 2008, Aero Airlines spent N100 million to acquire a flight tracking system, which monitors flights from its control centre at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. From the control room, Aero engineers can monitor the location of any aircraft in flight, amid technology to improve flight safety. A few years ago, it was difficult to
tell the location of any aircraft because of the non-completion of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria ( TRACON). Apart from Aero, Arik Air has invested over N500 million on its state - of - the - art flight tracking system, at its operations centre, from where officials monitor its aircraft anywhere The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), earlier in the year, installed a flight tracking system at its corporate headquarters, with which it monitors the location and status of any aircraft in the airspace.
SAHCOL to float cargo airline SKYWAY Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) has said it will float a cargo airline company in the next three years. It also confirmed plans to secure equity placement from multilateral organisations expected to yield about $500 million. Speaking with reporters at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, the outgoing Managing Director of SAHCOL, Isaac Orolugbagbe, stated that the company is also planning to expand its ground handling operations outside the shores of Nigeria to neighbouring African countries and Europe in the next few years. Orolugbagbe disclosed that SAHCOL lost over N80 million to the five days nationwide strike protest on removal of fuel sub-
sidy, including over N50 million it also lost to the stoppage of operations of Afriqiyah Airways since March 2011 as a result of the Libyan crisis. He said the ground handling company would collaborate with other existing companies elsewhere to further boost its business. He said the firm will invest massively in operational equipment and manpower development. Orolugbagbe explained that the last 12 months had been fruitful for the company as it attracted new clients, while retaining the old ones, adding that SAHCOL got the services of United Airline, the biggest carrier in the world as its new clients in 2011.
Union canvasses waivers for airlines THE Federal Government has been urged to assist domestic airlines by granting them waivers that will not encourage corruption in the system. National president of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) Comrade Bejamin Okewu made this call while responding to questions from aviation reporters in Lagos. Okewu warned that such waivers should be monitored to ensure that it was used to bring in other items that were not related to aviation. “Government can as a way of policy grant them waivers but not waivers that will enshrine corruption not waivers that will be enjoyed by only one airline or people will hide under and beginning to import things that are not used in
aviation.” According to Okewu, it was proper for reasonable governments across the world to come to the aid of some sectors that were sensitive to the development and the growth of a nation during the kind of situation the domestic airlines were passing through in the country. Other ways to encourage the domestic operators, according to Okewu include, reduction of the price of aviation fuel through the construction of refineries to refine the product and the fixing of the 18L runway lighting which has negatively affected local airlines operations as they spend almost 25 minutes taxing before take off and landing.
Caverton wins contract From right: Vice President, Operations, Arik Air, Mr. Rob Thomas presenting hampers to the winners of In-flight duty free shopping - Miss. Deborah Ali and Mr Sampson Uchegbu - at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
‘Develop human capital’
OW can the aviation sector make progress this year? It is by investment in manpower development, says Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Dr Harold Demuren. The NCAA boss was reviewing of the activities of the regulatory authority. Demuren said Nigerian carriers should compete favourably with their foreign counterparts, He said it is only in doing this that the agencies could sustain service delivery, because the aviation industry is becoming very competitive. Demuren said manpower development in the aviation industry would also help combat braindrain and threats from the Middle East airlines that are poaching the best hands from the Nigerian aviation sector with high and attractive packages. “Emirate and Middle East airlines continue to be a threat to us because they have excessive resources to attract our good hands, hence we need to train the existing manpower to compete with them and sustain the level we have reached,” he said, adding that the training of the work force is crucial and remains a priority. He said with such high manpower training envisaged, the aviation personnel would be able to man the infrastructure that the present administration is putting in place across the aviation industry, adding that several of the nation’s airports are undergoing rehabilitation while the construction of a new international airport
terminal would begin in Lagos, this year. “That would be patterned after that of the Abuja international airport. That is going to be our standard and would put Nigeria where it rightly belongs. This is because the aviation sector has now taken the centre stage in growing the nation’s economy.” Also speaking, the Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh, canvassed international training exposures for aviation personnel and reporters, saying they need international exposures in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) programmes to expose them to international reporting of aviation events. Such would make them experts in reporting the industry and strengthening their annual training at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Technology, Zaria, that began some 10 years ago, he said. Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Konzult, and former General Manager, Public Affairs, of the liquidated Nigeria Airways,
Chris Aligbe while speaking at the delegates’ conference of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), said the Federal government should replicate the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) by establishing AMDB so as to meet up with manpower requirement of the industry. He stated that the absence of a well articulated policy on aviation manpower and lack of funding for manpower development are impediments to human capital development in the sector adding that there should be a body to cater for the manpower need of the industry. “Establishing a manpower development board is the right way to go, unless they do it we won’t get anywhere in the aviation industry. There must be a body that has to take a global look on the manpower requirement in the industry, plan for manpower development, have a data base, carry out research and know which way to go to. If you leave it to individual organizations it won’t work.”
‘Establishing a manpower development board is the right way to go, unless they do it we won’t get anywhere in the aviation industry. There must be a body that has to take a global look on the manpower requirement in the industry, plan for manpower development, have a data base, carry out research and know which way to go’
CAVERTON Helicopters has won a contract with Cameroon Oil Transportation Company. The Nigerian-based company supports oil and gas companies in exploration, extraction and transportation of these vital commodities. Caverton Helicopters Limited is a long serving logistics and aviation company that serves oil and gas companies in Nigeria. According to its executive vice chairman, Adeniyi Makanjoula, Caverton is proud to announce its first international contract. He said the company has b e e n awarded a five-year contract providing aviation logistics support services to Cameroon Oil Transportation Company S A (COTCO). COTCO is operated b y ExxonMobil, which is also a s t a k e holder in the comp a n y , along with Petronas Malaysia, Chevron and the governments of Chad and Cameroon. Caverton will support a
multi billion dollar development project comprised of over 300 oil wells, expected to extract approximately one billion barrels of oil over 25 years. Executive Vice Chairman of Caverton Helicopters, Aden iyi Makanjuola said: “We are happy to announce Caverton’s first international contract, which attests our commitment to expand our operations beyond our home base in Nigeria.” Caverton aims to serve oil and gas company’s continent wide.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU takes a look at the transformation agenda of the Jonathan Administration in the last one year and highlights the obvious gaps between expectation and reality.
Is Jonathan’s transformation agenda on course? that Nigerians are worried about the way the money accruing from subsidy removal would be wasted by government. Collaborating his view, human rights crusader Biodun Sowumi said “this government has no record of prudent spending yet”, lamenting that the President budgeted N1 billion for food and cutleries in this year’s budget. Also, SNG spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said it is curious that a President who could not confront the so-called cabal turned around to prolong the national lean years for the masses. The subsidy crisis has persisted, although government had its way. President of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Peter Esele cried out that the amount announced by the President was never agreed upon, stressing that he unilaterally announced it and forced it down the throat of labour. More puzzles remain unsolved. The proceeds from diesel and kerosene subsidy have not been properly accounted for.
HE Umaru Yar ‘Adua government came with SevenPoint Agenda. Under President Goodluck Jonathan, it is a simply a transformation agenda. In a few months, it will be one year into the Jonathan tenure and tongues are wagging if anything has changed. There were high hopes and expectations when President Goodluck Jonathan assumed the reins, following the demise of former President Umaru Yar’Adua. Although he had served as Bayelsa State deputy governor and governor, Vice President and Acting President, these previous tenures were short. In fact, as deputy governor and Vice President, he was likened to a spare tyre and puppet deputy. As Acting President, he faced stiff opposition from elements who fueled tension between the constitution and zoning formula of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Protests and rallies were held by organised by concerned Nigerians and groups before the constitution was affirmed. When he became President, he started presiding over a trembling polity under the threat of insecurity. However, when he was elected President in last year’s general elections, he promised a transformation agenda, under which he outlined plans to revive the economy, fight infrastructure battle, curb corruption, promote accountability and build public confidence in government. The President did not inherit a country in total economic ruins. Although foreign reserves have grossly depleted and foreign debt was just going up, there was a surety of solid financial base, which was only ruptured by soaring corruption. Also, cost of governance has been very high, with severe consequences for capital expenditure. Youth unemployment is a time bomb. Social services are not at a low ebb, and government attention is diverted from governance by the gross insecurity challenge. Now, there is a promise of constitution review, but the puzzle is: Can the constitution review resolve burning national questions?. Many Nigerians believe that the present administration has not lived up to its billing as a government pursuing a transformational agenda. This is because all the sectors are ailing and government’s response is coming at a snail’s speed. But other stakeholders feel that there is still room for improvement. “The fruits of that transformation are not yet available as promised. Every indices show that Nigeria is still far from the promised land”, observed Lanre Suraj, lawyer and rights activist. “President Jonathan has to refocus”, he added.
Challenges of governance Insecurity President Goodluck Jonathan dazed the nation on October 1, last year, when he shifted the venue of Independence day parade from Eagles Square, Abuja, in deference to the threats by the Boko Haram sect to bomb the venue. Insecurity is one of the greatest challenges inherited by the administration. So far, there is no indication that government is up to the challenge. many lives have been lost and property worth billions of naira destroyed by the sect. Experts fear that the menace would largely scare away foreign investors from the country. Recently, the President even owned up that Boko Haram had penetrated his government, sending clear signals that the challenge of ensuring security has overwhelmed him. However, government officials said that the President is ready to confront the challenge headlong this year, citing the budgetary allocation to the sector.
Budget failure Banker and economist Isiaka Ibrahim, who dissected the budget implementation under the administration contended that “budget is becoming a declaration of deceit”. He said further: “The National Assembly was perturbed by the obvious budget implementation failure and now that we have another Finance Minister, we expect changes in this direction”. Last week, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) alleged that government spend N1.6 trillion without appropriation by the National Assembly. The group threatened court action against this violation of due process. its convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said: “We shall use the court to compel an investigation into how the federal government ended up spending N1.6 trillion as against N240 billion budgeted for subsidy in the 2011 fiscal year”. A university don and critic, Prof. Pat Utomi, observed that when budget is not properly implemented, government would reel out economic fallacies. “There is need for accountability also in this regard”, he said.
Infrastructural decay Recently, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) begun the rehabilitation of federal roads, the efforts paled into insignificance. Many federal roads are impassable. In fact, former Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN) described them as death traps. “We need to undertake road studies.
Minimum wage The announcement of N18,000 minimum wage by the federal government last year sparked off industrial dispute in many states. When the President proposed the amount, fuel was still N65 per litre. Now, the gains of the increment has been wiped off. Governors had complained initially that, in a federation, states are in a better position to enter into discussion with their workers on wage review, based on the financial strength of the states and other realities. Workers in some states are still at loggerheads with the governors over the uniform wage review, which did not take into cognizance the differences and peculiarities of each state.
Troops deployment • Jonathan
We need to return to the old, painstaking way of addressing the infrastructural problems:, he said, frowning at the avoidable accidents on the roads. Prominent among the roads, for which government has been criticised, are Lagos/Ibadan and Sagamu/Ore/Benin Expressway. Although government has unfolded plans to tackle rehabilitate the Lagos/Ibadan road through concessionaire, nothing is on ground, many months after, to show that relief is underway. The roads are damaged by trailers. Okunnu said: “If the rail system is functional, we will have less number of long vehicles on the road. That transport sub-sector is also ailing’. The health sector also lay prostrate, with teaching hospitals been denied of adequate funding. Human rights activist and politician Dr Tunji Abayomi, who spoke on the state of the nation at the inaugural meeting of National Action Coalition (NACO) in Lagos, observed that “India has become the citadel of healthcare for Nigerians”. He added: “Only the rich has access to those foreign hospitals for treatment. They go abroad at the expense of the country because the home hospitals are not working. No medicare for the masses.”
Power failure Unlike the previous administration, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) generated darkness than light. Although there is a difference between then and now, the change is infinitesimal. There is hardly a home in the urban centers without generators. On many occasions, the environment is polluted by flames. Generator importers are on the increase. Due to power failure, the productive sector is crippled, making artisans and peasants to be jobless for most of the day. Last year, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) warned that unemployment rate may double, owing to high cost of production. Apart from forced downsizing, private sector cannot meet the welfare needs of employees because of running cost.
Fuel subsidy removal and price hike Despite the fact that most Nigerians objected to the removal of fuel subsidy and consequential price hike, which has not led to general cost of living in the country, the President insisted on the policy. Therefore, according to Citizens Advocacy Group (SAG), which is agitating for a new constitutional order, government is making Nigerians to pay for its ineptitude, especially its inability to build refineries to enhance domestic fuel supply. Berating government for shifting the burden, founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Dr Fredrick Fasehun, said it is a shame that the sixth largest producer of oil in the world is in want of refined fuel. Echoing him, former Governor of Kaduna State Balarabe Musa, who campaigned against the policy, said subsidy removal underscored the insensitivity of government to the plight of the masses. Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi had explained that government needed to do away with subsidy to earn more income for developmental purposes. However, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) chieftain Dipo Famakinwa criticised this approach for revenue generation, saying
To forestall further anti-subsidy removal protest in Lagos, President deployed troops to Lagos. That move irked the governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who queried the justification for laying siege on the economic capital. This harbours potentials for crisis in inter-governmental relations in a federal country. Now, royal fathers and religious leaders are firing salvos at the President for converting Lagos into an inexplicable war zone, when, in the words of Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu, Nigeria is not under military rule. According to civil society groups, the President stopped protests in Lagos through the barrel of gun, and not through proper dialogue with the citizenry in a way that would have foster political legitimacy. Many came short of chiding the President for dictatorship, borne out of lack of adjustment to the democratic demands of the highest office. Presidential spokesman Dr Rueben Abati had dismissed the national Assembly’s resolutions as mere advisory, stressing that they were not binding. Eminent politician Chief Richard Akinjide wondered why President Jonathan chose to ignore the resolutions of the Senate and House of Representatives, which advised him against the policy. He said it is unthinkable that the Prime Minister of Great Britain and United States President would ignore the resolutions of the Houses of Lords and Commons and Congress. Reflecting on the apparent disdain for the worth of parliament, Bakare said: “It was so shocking that the regime lampooned the resolutions of the two chambers of the National Assembly on the matter as “mere opinions”, forgetting so soon that the “doctrine of necessity”, which was invoked by the same National Assembly less than two years ago after Nigerians trooped to the streets against the “power hijack” by the then cabal was never ridiculed.”
Corruption Corruption is now concomitant with government and governance in Nigeria. Frontline economist the late Dr. Pius Okigbo, had warned that government had become the greatest corrupter of society. No sector is insulated. “Every aspect of the administration of this country is rotten and we cannot continue with it”, said foremost legal scholar Prof. Ben nwabueze (SAN), who joined the protest against troops deployment in Lagos organised by the National Action Coalition led by Dr. Tunji Braithwaite. It is an understatement. The probe of the Petroleum Ministry has revealed the rot in government. Not only has the cabal milked the country dry, Nigerians are also called upon to suffer for their misdeeds. Bloated cost of governance has created room for officials to manipulate the system. Today, public fund is statutorily stolen with impunity. “How can the President spend N1billion on food alone in Aso Rock?”, queried Sowumi, who added: “Contracts are inflated at will and when they are not completed, no eyebrow is raised and they just simply transfer it to the next budget. There is no parliamentary reprisal for budget faikure”. During the fuel subsidy crisis, public pressure made government to own up. The Minister of Petroleum, Diazeni Allinson-Madueke, agreed that the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) should beam a searchlight on the activities of the ministry and NNPC. But, will the probe lead to prosecution? This is the question on the lips of Nigerian.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
“Bayelsa PDP can resolve its crisis before February 11 poll’ Bayelsa State Information Commissioner, Chief Nathan Egba spoke with Correspondent ISAAC OMBE on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
OW do you think the Bayelsa political crisis can be re solved? The way forward is quite clear; we have to wait for the Courts to decide. The governor has been unjustifiably excluded midway to the primary elections. We cried foul and went to court. So, where we are now, it is very obvious that only the courts will finally say who the authentic candidate of PDP in the election is. Are you foreclosing out of court settlement? Obviously, the national leadership of the party has not acted like the father of all as it should have been in this matter. First, they went ahead with a process that was unfair. They excluded him for reasons that were not obvious. Up till now, they have not told anybody why they excluded him. So,they created the scenario. All of us have been worried, and we have been warning from the beginning that, if they stick to what they are doing, this kind of scenario will arise. I have even said it before and they said it was all over and said it is only God that will decide how this matter will go. Sylva took his matter to God from the beginning, while they were busy introducing their candidate and declaring, we were praying. That is what we have been doing and now we have found ourselves where we are today. They have been operating as if we are in a military government, saying this is a party issue, and all that. But the party itself is made up of human beings and you must take the shades of opinion together. They stay in Abuja there and form a network among themselves and then try to impose something on the people. Bayelsans are still resisting up till now. If today the party decides to give it to either Sylva or Dickson, there would be ill feeling in both camps. How can peace return to the fold? This is why I am personally not happy with the hardline stance of the national leadership of the PDP. The way they have been carrying on is not in the interest of Bayelsans because they are actually helping to polarise us; at the end of the day, whoever the court decides, we should be able to talk to ourselves. There is nobody in either camp that cannot talk to each other. Dickson is my personal friend, just as King AJ Turner is a man we all respect. Personally, I have personal relationship with AJ Turner. So, there is nobody we cannot interact with, even the governor has been interacting with all these people. Even in Dickson’s election into the House of Representatives, all of us in this state know the critical role the governor played in ensuring that Dickson got re-elected to the House. The Governor played a critical role, both financially, morally and otherwise which, of course, Dickson cannot deny. So, we have all had longstanding relationship in this state. It is not the role of the party at the national to come and divide us. If anything it is the role of the party to unite us, to give us a platform to discuss. The way the national leadership of the party has been posturing and even speaking on this matter is not giving us room for reconciliation. I believe that they need to change their body language. They need to change the way they speak, so that they can create a platform for Bayelsa people to unite. Look at when James Dugo was brought in as chairman, did anybody protest? Nobody protested in the state. Whether we like it or not, he, too, is a product of Gover-
nor Sylva, it was the Congress organised under Governor Sylva that brought him as Vice Chairman of the party in his zone, which now eventually brought him up as the Acting Chairman of the party. Why would Sylva not be comfortable to work with him? So, if tomorrow they say we should go back and discuss, we will not have any problem in discussing but at least, the party should encourage compromise, encourage dialogue instead of making us to be fighting ourselves. Recently, the governor was said to have described PDP as a lawless party. Don’t you think that would annoy the leadership of the party? Would you blame a man in Governor Sylva’s position? This is a governor on the platform of the PDP who has also contributed so much to the party. Look at the last general elections in the state, look at the House of Assembly elections, and look at how he worked to ensure that every single PDP Candidate was returned at each level and even worked for Mr. President. He has not quarrelled with anyone at the national level before now, if anything, he’s been the best of friends to all of them. A few people ganged up and made it look as if they had the backing of the president. People at the national level took it upon themselves to harass the man, to make him look like an outcast politically. So when you find yourself in a situation like that, of course, you will talk, and it is obvious that the lawlessness encouraged by the party has led us to where we are. If it has followed the process as laid down in the PDP constitution and in the national constitution, we wouldn’t have found ourselves where we are right now. That primary election that they conducted was totally flawed. I went to contest as a delegate in my village, I got there, waited, I even went with some reporters, no material was brought there .Even while I was in the village, we heard that the people to conduct the elections had finally arrived Yenagoa, at the party secretariat. So, we told some persons to monitor and confirm that they were there. They told everyone gathered at the party secretariat that they were going to see the governor that it is proper that as the leader of the party in the state it was proper they go and see him. Governor was waiting with other people in his residence and never saw them, that was the last time anybody saw them in the whole of Bayelsa State and suddenly they announced the results when they did not even issue out materials .At least, in the whole of Brass local council, nobody can tell
me that election took place in any ward at all. So in a situation like that, and a sitting Governor, you are not given, even if they wanted to manipulate the process all of us know that they can manipulate the process even without the Congress they can. But to make it so grievous that nobody voted only Dickson first of all announced that elections were going on smoothly, and I have won smoothly, only one man has followed the process while others do not know what they are doing?. So, they have been unfair and the process itself has been illegal so I don’t think the governor should be blamed for making that statement. It is being alleged that Bayelsa State government colluded with INEC to ensure that PDP does not have candidate on the list published by INEC. That statement was very unfortunate. It is a very dangerous statement. I also read on papers and it was credited to the Acting Party Chairman, it’s quite unfortunate. The fact of the matter is that, as a Government we never influenced any and even Governor Sylva. In any case, if you are to influence INEC, are you also going to be able to influence Prof. Jega? I don’t believe so, for Jega to have sent his signature. It is very weighty decision, it is a decision that carries a lot of implications and I don’t see anybody in the decision But INEC consulted widely. I also know that they took a legal advice from far and near within this country in terms of the legal implications before coming out with the decision. There are insinuations that Sylva may work against Dickson at the polls. What is your reaction? I see it in two ways. One, it shows that Governors Sylva is still central to the political equation in Bayelsa state, no matter what anybody tries to potray. But if some persons are going about claiming that they have the backing of Governor Sylva for victory, that shows that Sylva is a major force in the state. The other part of it is that, those who are opposing Sylva in PDP are also carrying on this rumour as part of the ongoing plan to always portray him in the negative light, to make the national believe that this man is not working for the interest of PDP. We are all working for the interests of PDP. If he wanted, he could have left, there is no party outside PDP that is not offering its platform him, I can say that categorically, there is no party that did not offer its platform, so if he wanted, he could left.
Rep slams Fed Govt on anti-people policies From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
MEMBER of the House of Representative representing Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola and Iwajowa federal constituency in Oyo State, Prince Kola Olabiyi, has described attacks and killings of anti fuel subsidy removal protesters by policemen, as an indication that the PDPled federal Government is lacking in focus and vision. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) federal lawmaker also bemoaned what he called ‘’pretence and deceptive mechanism” used by President Goodluck Jonathan in concert with his party’s cohorts to under-develop and cheat the people. Olabiyi who issued a statement made available to The Nation pointed our that the country’s under-development could be attributed to arbitrary and tyrannical rule, injustice and lack of respect for humanity by successive leaders since independence. He said that for the country to achieve its glory, citizens must resist all forms of arbitrary and tyrannical rule, and compel the Jonathan government to rule according to the universal principles of democracy. ‘’Legitimacy comes from the people, and what is legitimate is determined by the extent to which the people themselves are involved in decision making, especially on burning and sensitive matters like fuel subsidy removal. For what throws a political system off balance, and particularly a democracy, is a sudden imbalance between an outburst of expectations, and the capacity in meeting them. The leadership must have the will of an efficient and capable leadership, not by the barrels of the guns, but sense of commitment and devotion.’’ The federal lawmaker however warned the Federal Government against being inexorably subservient to the dictates of multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the IMF, adding that a situation may arise in which these institutions will compel the government to submit the country’s budget for vetting before the citizens can see same. This, to say the least flouts the ethics of democracy and sovereignty.’’
Kubor denies being Sylva’s agent From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
AYELSA State’s Change Advocacy Party (CAP) governorship flag bearer for, has described as mischief insinuations making the rounds in the state that the Governor of the state is secretly funding his governorship aspiration. Dr. Imoro Kubor, in an interview in Yenagoa weekend dismissed the rumours that he received N500 million from Governor Timipre Sylva to finance his electioneering campaigns as “untrue, unfounded and baseless”. Kubor who described the allegations as a ploy by political detractors to distract him, promised that “no amount of blackmail will deter me as I remain focused and committed to winning the February 11 governorship elections”. Kubor therefore urged his teeming supporters to disregard such insinuations as they are peddled by those who feel threatened by the general acceptability of his candidature. He urged those peddling the rumours to desist and think of positive ways of developing the state, saying he wouldn’t have made comments on the issue but such could be misconstrued. On his strategy for winning the election, the Aeronautical Engineer and former Federal Permanent Secretary says he will continue to embark on mass mobilization and door to door campaigns in the rural areas to acquaint the people with his programmes and manifestoes of CAP. The manifestoes of CAP, the flag bearer who hails from a riverine Community by the Sea in the Southern Ijaw LGA of the state says “is centred on changing the socio-economic fortunes of Bayelsans”. “As a retired federal Permanent Secretary with 28 years of meritorious service, and with my running mate, Rev. Oworibo who is also a retired Head of Service, we are the best pair for the job as we are experienced and well grounded in public service administration”, noted Kubor who says his administration would tackle youths unemployment which he noted is the greatest problem in Bayelsa. According to him, the agric sector will be revolutionized to expose the huge potentials that abound to create jobs for the youths and make them self reliance in farming, fishery and commerce. Youths, he promised, will be made entrepreneurs by training and empowering them with loans to embark on small and medium businesses, as well as the training of youths on importation and exportation of goods, regretting that the economy of the state is in the hands of non indigenes. The CAP governorship candidate promised to appoint from among the disabled persons in the state a Commissioner in charge of a ministry.
• Erom left: Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana; National Chairman, National Transformation Party, Mr John Dara and Senator Joshua Dariye at the Middle Belt Leaders Conference in Abuja.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Building Issues
How to raise property value before sale •Tips on preserving financial future
•Grace Court, Makoko, Lagos
Ogun to complete projects
HE Ogun State government has promised to complete all outstanding housing projects in the state. In a statement, it said the projects are in Abeokuta, Ayetoro, Sagamu, Ota and Ikenne. Already, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has approved funds for the projects, which were embarked upon by past administrations in the state. The statement quoted the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Daniel Adejobi, as saying during an inspection of the housing projects in Abeokuta that the administration decided to complete the houses because it believes government is continuous and assured that the government is
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
committed to providing affordable houses for the people. He thanked the governor for the approval and release of funds to facilitate the completion of the projects, assuring that his ministry would ensure that workers at the different sites did qualitative jobs. On plans by the ministry to start new housing schemes, the commissioner said the government is more interested in completing existing housing projects before starting new ones. He enjoined those who had earlier deposited funds for the houses to complete their payments to enable them get them after completion.
Govt urges architects on local content
HE Federal Government has urged the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) to explore ways to harness local resources and technology for mass production of houses. Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple made the call at the Biennial General Meeting (BGM) of the institute in Abuja. She said: “In shaping the future of architecture in Nigeria, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) should collaborate with other stakeholders in order to define ways of harnessing our resources and technological knowhow for the mass production of local building materials, critical in the delivery of mass housing”. Pepple regretted the energy constraints faced by the nation which she said may have been a draw-
back on architects in their bid to device and develop energy-efficient homes for the majority of the
people. According to her, shaping the future of architecture in Nigeria would require transforming architecture into an industry, by generating a variety of creative designs and innovations requiring the use of concrete, brick, stone, timber, metal and glass in construction, thereby beautifying the built environment and inducing tourism and investment. Modern architecture should be more expressive of the varying human needs, she observed. The minister called for periodic revision and modification of the curricular of architectural studies in institutions of higher learning, to keep graduates abreast with the global best practices in architecture concepts, styles and philosophies.
UN-Habitat , Sweden partner on $14m projects
N-Habitat and the Govern ment of Sweden have signed a USD14 million agreement in Stockholm to support the agency's programmes. The funding, which will run for four years, will be allocated to United Nation’s new medium-term priorities – urban planning, equitable and inclusive urban land legislation, urban poverty reduction, gender, democracy and human
rights - are some of the mediumterm priorities. The agreement was signed by the agency’s Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, the Ambassador of Sweden to Kenya and Permanent Representative to UN-HABITAT, Ms. Ann Dismorr. In a statement, Clos said:"We express our most sincere gratitude to the Government of Sweden for its
vision in understanding the increased relevance of urban issues in the current and future economic, political and social agenda," He added: "The valuable partnership with Sweden in the mediumterm that allows us to work together to improve the lives of millions of citizens facing new challenges for sustainable urban development.”
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie NDERSTAND first of all that Asst Editor there is a marked difference between price and value. Price value and your bottom line. Don't is the amount you are asking for spend more money to renovate the property. the place than you can recapture Value is buyer perceived, and this in value on the sales price. perception of value is influenced by many factors such as location, style, Indicators as to when to buy a features, condition, comparison to house other purchase option. By attendWill you be moving within the ing to details that can have a posinext five years? tive impact on the value, sellers can Will you be having kids soon? significantly increase their chance Will you be making a job of attracting qualified buyers willchange? ing to pay the asking price. If you answered yes to any of Valuable tips to achieve a posithese questions, or you are expetive impact on property value are: riencing other life-changing Perceived size impacts value, events like illness, marriage, dieven more so than actual square vorce, or breakup, you may want footage. Open floor plans make a to wait. room feel bigger than larger spaces Your Financial Future with smaller rooms. Showing propAside from life events contributing to your decierty that is furniture sion, getting your fifree, or at reduced ‘Even with all nancial house in orclutter, helps to der before you begin the programs make the space feel your home search is bigger. available for buy- key. Even with all Vacancy increases ers with a low-or- the programs availsale-ability. Propable for buyers with erty is easier to show no down paya low-or-no down and easier to sell, payment, if your ment, if your and quicker to take are growing possession of when debts are grow- debts steadily and you it is vacant at the ing steadily and don't foresee an intime it is offered for in your insale. Evidence of you don't foresee crease come, you are problems to take an increase in putting yourself in possession of the financial risk your income, you greater property -- such as by venturing to buy encroachments, or are putting your- one. tenants who will If you are still neck self in greater not allow buyer deep in settling tours -- negatively financial risk by some loans or payimpact value. venturing to buy ing your debt then This may create forget the idea of suspicion on the one’ buying a property part of the buyer until you clear your who may think that long standing debt. the property is up for sale or lease as he is meant to On the other hand, if you are willbelieve. ing to buy a home that needs a bit Vacancy also helps the buyer of work and, over time, you can walk through the property imagafford to get it done, your home ining ownership. Sellers should could appreciate faster, strengthremove family pictures as well ening your financial position. personal trinkets during a buyer Buying a home is a risk, and it's tour if they are still living there. worth asking yourself hard quesMake –over the property, it is tions about what you're willing to absolutely essential do to protect yourself if the investFresh paint will always add more ment goes bad, though it is noble value than it costs, clean or new to buy a house or any property for carpet in addition to landscaping that matter but it is better to be adds more value to a property than advised properly especially by a it costs. professional. Take care of the obvious! The spot It’s not enough to have money on the ceiling from the roof leak for investment but the essence is takes thousands of naira from the to invest wisely! You must know perceived value and the offer that before somebody will off-load price, definitely nobody would like his property in the market to be to live in a house with a leaking sold it must be for certain reasons. roof. It could be that the owner is hard Condition affects value. It is in–up or the house is no longer structive here for the seller to do a worth its while or the owner is trymock seller's home inspection to ing to avoid losses from governidentify and fix the problem before ment regulations. inviting bids. That is in a case that government Buyers will often bargain down has marked it for demolition for your asking price to accommodate fragrant town planning or buildfor property condition and repairs ing plan abuse or the house is althey perceived during inspection ways flooded during rains endanand bargaining. gering the lives of people. If you can, remodel/update the This is why you need a trained kitchen and master bathroom. professional to investigate the said These two areas have a big impact property before you bid. In doing on home buying decisions. this you will be safe-guarding your Strategic renovations impact financial future.
‘This is why you need a trained professional to investigate the said property before you bid. In doing this you will be safe-guarding your financial future’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
AUSTRALIAN OPEN...AUSTRALIAN OPEN...
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
HEALTH THE NATION
The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has become the first in the country to conduct a coronary artery bypass graft. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA reports on the groundbreaking effort and the dire financial condition of the patient, Mrs Cynthia Onwurah.
LASUTH records feat in heart bypass graft •Patient seeks financial assistance
HE Lagos State University Teching Hospital has recorded a breakthrough in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), an area hitherto unexplored by tertiary health institutions in the country. Its cardiac surgical team in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) successfully conducted CABG on a patient, Mrs Cynthia Onwurah, blazing the trail for other hospital to follow. When the team received a referral from the renowned cardiologist, Dr Yemi Johnson, of the Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island, it knew that it was confronted with a big challenge. And it proved its mettle. Mrs Onwurah developed coronary heart disease about four years ago. Mrs Onwurah, a teacher with the Command Secondary School, Lagos, has always been healthy until when all of a sudden she could no longer do her regular chores. She was always holding her chest, complaining of pain, called angina — a result of blocked arteries in her heart. According to doctors’ reports, atherosclerotic plaque (hardening of the arteries) had built up in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to her heart. The atherosclerotic (hardening) process causes significant narrowing in one or more coronary arteries. When coronary arteries narrow more than 50 to 70 per cent, the blood supply beyond the plaque becomes inadequate to meet the increased oxygen demand. The heart muscle in the territory of the arteries becomes starved of oxygen, making patients to often experience chest pain. According to doctors, sometimes, up to 25 per cent of patients experience no chest pain at all, despite documented lack of adequate blood and oxygen supply. This was not the case with Mrs Onwurah, as she experienced regular excruciating chest pains all the time before the surgery. She started treatment in various hospitals, including some in Enugu and Abuja. But it was obvious that she must have surgery, which was the diagnosis of her doctors. In Lagos, one of her physicians advised the family to take her to India, where she would undergo the much-needed surgery. she later met Dr Johnson. As the family began to source for money, another doctor referred them to the Reddington Hospital, where Johnson attended to her. Johnson performed coronary angioplasty and placed stent in her, to get blood flowing in her heart uninhibited. Essentially, the process opens a coronary artery that is narrowed or blocked. The non-surgical procedure worked for a while, but it was soon
OES sex during pregnancy harm the baby? Your developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your uterus, as well as the mucous plug that blocks the cervix throughout most of your pregnancy. Sexual activity won’t affect your baby. What are the best sexual positions
obvious that the patient needed something more extensive. That was when Johnson referred LASUTH. When the duo of Dr Bode Falase, who trained as cardiothoracic surgeon and Dr Michael Sanusi, paediatric cardiac surgeon, viewed her case file, they agreed with Johnson that the patient would benefit from coronary artery bypass graft. That set the stage for the surgery. The, funding then came up. But her 62year-old husband, Mr Tochukwu Onwurah, a pensioner, was not bothered. He did everything to ensure that his wife of 36 years, had the surgery. So, the race to raise fund began. An understanding was reached between the husband and Dr Falase, the head of the cardiac surgery team. On November 26, last year, the team comprising Falase, a senior lecturer at LASUTH, Sanusi and 34 other health professionals operated on Mrs Onwurah. According to them, CABG surgery is performed to relieve angina in patients who have failed medical therapy and not good candidates for angioplasty. Explaining the basics of CABG, Falase said: “CABG surgery is ideal for patients with multiple narrowing in multiple coronary artery branches, such as is often seen in patients with diabetes. The surgery has been shown to improve long-term survival in patients with significant narrowing of the left main coronary artery and in patients with significant narrowing of multiple arteries, especially in those with decreased heart muscle pump function.” Mrs Onwurah’s surgery took about six hours; and since her response was positive, her breathing tubes were removed within 24 hours. She took time off to recuperate in the hospital. Though she is on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), that does not cover her surgery. Her husband described the scheme as sham. “I went to the person handling her account under the NHIS and we were told the scheme does not cover my wife and, therefore, she cannot access such for the payment of the surgery. What kind of country is this? The woman handling her policy then said she had written the right people to make case for future references. “I believe the scheme is dubious. Why can’t it cover conditions like tuberculosis, cancer and surgeries like these? Yet we pay our premium promptly. We still need money to offset the bill and any philanthropist who can help at a moment like this is welcome,” Onwurah said.
•Mr and Mrs Onwurah
•Dr Sanusi and Dr Falase
Titbits during pregnancy? As long as you’re comfortable, most sexual positions are ok during pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, experiment to find what works best. Rather than ly-
ing on your back, you might want to lie next to your partner sideways or position yourself on top of your partner or in front of your partner. Let your creativity take over, as long as you keep mutual pleasure
and comfort in mind. What about oral and anal sex? Oral sex is safe during pregnancy. There’s a caveat, however. If you receive oral sex, make sure your partner doesn’t blow air into your vagina. Rarely, a burst of air may block a blood vessel (air embolism) — which could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby.
Generally, anal sex isn’t recommended during pregnancy. Anal sex may be uncomfortable if you have pregnancy-related harmorrhoids. More concerning, anal sex may allow infection-causing bacteria to spread from the rectum to the vagina. •Source: www.mayoclinic.com
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
HEALTH Lassa fever is back as cases are being reported in some parts of the country. The vectors are rats and dirty environment. WALE ADEPOJU writes on the Federal Government’s effort to contain the disease.
Is Lassa fever back? L
ASSA fever, an acute viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus found in rats, is on the loose in some parts of the country. The death of a medical doctor was reported in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State while unconfirmed reports claimed Imo and some northern states are experiencing what may turn out to be an epidemic, if not checked. The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof Akin Osibogun, said Lassa Fever is related to rats. “We need to watch out to see whether there is an increase in rat population. This is because they aid the transmission of the disease. So, there is the need to take measures to reduce the population of rats and engage in environmental cleanliness such as proper refuse disposal system among others.” Osibogun, who is of the Community Health Department, said some parts of Nigeria are endemic for it because of their environment. On Federal Government’s response, he said, a research centre has been established at Irua, Edo State where a lot of work is being done. There is a reference laboratory which the Federal Government established at the Federal Specialist Teaching Hospital in Irua to treat the disease. An Infection Control Specialist, Maximus Pest and Infection Control Agency (MPICA), Dr Toluwani Ajayi, said the fever is one that kills people easily. “Approximately 20 per cent of patients hospitalised for Lassa fever die from the illness. The death rates are particularly high for women in the third trimester of pregnancy, and for fetuses, about 95 per cent of which die in the uterus of infected expectant mothers,” she added. She said the disease could be transmitted through contact which occurred when a person came in contact, with virus in the blood, tissue, secretions, or excretions of an individual infected with the Lassa virus. The signs and symptoms of the disease, she noted, usually occur between one and three weeks after the patient had been infected. Dr Ajayi said they include fever, sore throat, back pain, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, facial swelling and mucosal bleeding, adding that since the symptoms of Lassa fever are varied and nonspecific, clinical diagnosis is often difficult.
The disease can be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rodents, especially in the geographic regions where outbreaks occur, she said. Dr Ajayi advised Nigerians to keep food in rodent-proof containers and keep the home clean to help discourage rodents from entering homes. “People should endeavour to keep their environment clean as rodents were usually attracted to dirty environments,” she added. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said the disease was prevalent in parts of West Africa such as Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. However, because the rodent species, which carry the virus are found in West Africa, the actual geographic range of the disease may extend to other countries in the region, it stated. On its spread, CDC said Lassa fever may also spread through person-to-person contact. This type of transmission occurs when a person comes into contact with virus in the blood, tissue, secretions, or excretions of an individual infected with the Lassa virus. The virus cannot be spread through casual contact (including skin-to-skin contact without exchange of body fluids). Personto-person transmission is common in both village and health care settings, where, along with the above-mentioned modes of transmission, the virus also may be spread in contaminated medical equipment, such as reused needles (this is called nosocomial transmission). It said the symptoms of Lassa fever occur between one and three weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. These include fever, retrosternal pain (pain behind the chest wall), sore throat,
back pain, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, facial swelling, proteinuria (protein in the urine), and mucosal bleeding. Neurological problems have also been described, including hearing loss, tremors, and encephalitis. Because the symptoms of Lassa fever are so varied and nonspecific, clinical diagnosis is often difficult. On prevention, CDC said wearing protective clothing - an important part of practising barrier nursing methods. “Primary transmission of the Lassa virus from its host to humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rodents, especially in the geographic regions where outbreaks occur. Putting food away in rodent-proof containers and keeping the home clean help to discourage rodents from entering homes. Using these rodents as a food source is not recommended. Trapping in and around homes can help reduce rodent populations. However, the wide distribution of Mastomys in Africa makes complete control of this rodent reservoir impractical. “When caring for patients with Lassa fever, further transmission of the disease through person-toperson contact or nosocomial routes can be avoided by taking preventive precautions against contact with patient secretions (together called VHF isolation precautions or barrier nursing methods). Such precautions include wearing protective clothing, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles; using infection control measures, such as complete equipment sterilisation; and isolating infected patients from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course,” it added. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the disease is often acute between one and four weeks of occurrence in West Africa. Though first known in the 1950s, the virus causing the disease was not identified until 1969. The virus is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the virus family Arenaviridae. Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Guinea (Conakry), Liberia, Sierra Leone and parts of Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well. As part of prevention, the WHO has established Collaborating Centre Network (CCN) across the world. Many outbreaks involve diverse groups of arboviral diseases and viral haemorrhagic fevers.
Minister warns lab scientists against strike
HE Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, has advised medical laboratory scientists to avoid strikes. Speaking at a national workshop on the accreditation of medical laboratories, organised by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), he noted that strikes in the sector have grave consequences on the masses. According to him, strikes by health officials have worked against the country. Calling for separation of politics from their official duties, he said citizens’ health care should be paramount in the discharge of their functions. He said: ”Strike is the greatest obstacle to what we are discussing today. To allow another per-
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
son to die is the worst thing to do, enough of this politics, let’s get down to work. “Accreditation,which is a method of quality assurance, has come to the fore in the last three to five years in connection with quality of service and product. It involves a set of rigorous protocols and research-based processes for evaluating an institution’s organisational effectiveness.” He added: “Nigeria has come of age; the citizens are becoming more aware of their rights to quality service; we will not wait till clients start taking us to court in the health sector before we do what we are rightly supposed to do. The Chief Registrar of MLSCN,
Prof Anthony Emeribe, said given the weak nature of laboratory infrastructure in the country, implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) accreditation standards remains crucial to the success in the sector. “This programme has been designed in a stepwise fashion aimed towards offering a gradual process of improvement on the quality management system of laboratories, Nigeria needs to further strengthen laboratory capacity for the purposes of effective health systems and sustainability,” he stated. The workshop is expected to create sensitisation and advocacy systems for effective management process of medical laboratories. The Nigerian Airforce, WHO and other health bodies attended the workshop.
Health Tourism With Dr Dheeraj Bojwani e-mail: email@example.com
Mummy Makeover • Lifestyle surgery for the modern woman
OU devote so much of yourself and your resources to your children - from time and energy to money and miles on the car. You feel good about it, knowing that every sacrifice is more than worthwhile to keep your family healthy and happy. But sometimes, in all that you do, your own well- being gets a little lost. What if you could take great care of yourself and raise your children too? That’s exactly the philosophy behind the Mummy Makeover in India. More than ever, you have exciting surgical options to reverse the unwanted effects of childbearing and age. A mummy makeover is performed using a unique combination of plastic surgery procedures designed to counteract the physical effects of childbearing, and restore and enhance your body. The most common changes that the women usually encounter after childbirth & breast-feeding are: • Weight gain • Sagging breasts • Excess fat on tummy, hips, buttocks, thighs & arms • Stretch marks • Loosened vaginal muscles Mummy makeover can include one or more body contouring procedures depending on your wishes and needs. The best candidates for a Mummy Makeover procedure are women who have completed their childbearing. It is unadvisable to have a tummy tuck before your desire to have children has completely passed. This is because a tummy tuck involves surgical tightening of the abdominal wall and removal of abdominal skin. After a tummy tuck, these structures no longer have the same stretching capabilities to accommodate a growing fetus. However, you can still have breast surgery and liposuction even if another pregnancy is in your future. The various benefits a women will experience after her mummy makeover surgery; • Restore a youthful body • Rejuvenate multiple body areas • Shape, Contour, Balance & function are restored • Enjoy the wardrobe you love • Renew confidence in your workout program • Enhanced Self Esteem & Self Confidence • More pleasing, balanced, youthful shape On average, most women gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. This weight is stored as fatty tissue in the breasts, abdomen, flanks (love-handles), hips, lower back, buttocks and thighs. The breasts also grow due to weight gain and to prepare for nursing. But don’t despair, a mommy makeover in India can help you look your best again. Surgical procedures included in Mummy Makeover Package Every Mummy Makeover is unique. Mummy Makeovers are
designed to counteract the physical effects of childbearing and to enhance your appearance after time has left its mark. Because each procedure is personalized and many makeovers combine various plastic surgery procedures after pregnancy for a complete transformation, each Mummy Makeover is different. The primary advantage of a mommy makeover is that in one surgical session your body is transformed as closely as possible to your pre-pregnancy figure, and you get to see all the results as one complete package, instead of having the surgeries done separately at intervals. Depending on your personal health, desires, and schedule, you may have all of your procedures in one session or you may have them separately. • Tummy tuck - As your uterus expands during pregnancy, the abdominal wall is stretched. A few very lucky women seem to spring back to their natural shape, but for most women, no amount of exercise will tighten the belly to its original, flat shape. A tummy tuck will tighten your belly and remove any excess skin. • Liposuction - It is healthy and necessary to gain weight during pregnancy, but sometimes fat will settle into stubborn pockets that so not respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction can remove these pockets of fat, restoring your natural contours. • Breast Surgery - During and after pregnancy, the breasts are often the most dramatically affected area of a woman’s body. The results can be very unpredictable. Some women lose volume. Some begin to sag due to stretching. Many women experience a combination of both. Age and the elasticity of your skin are just two of the factors which determine how your breasts will react to pregnancy. Mummy Makeover in India • The primary reason to opt for a mummy makeover in India is the low cost, which is possible due to the low living expenses in India and the cut-throat competition between the reputable Indian hospitals. Since the cost of plastic surgery in India is affordable, mothers can opt for a larger number of surgical procedures in this country. • Whether you’re getting tummy tuck in India, breast lift in India, or the whole shebang, remember that the entire process is a number of invasive procedures. Thus, you are going to spend time in the country, not just for the operation, but also for recovery. · Indian surgeons perform Mummy makeover Surgery in India using the latest techniques to maximise the results and minimise pain and recovery time. Not only is combining procedures scientifically proven to be safe and effective, it has the added benefit of allowing the patients to accomplish their goals in one operation with reduced cost.
Dr. Bojwani is the Chief Executive of Forerunners Healthcare Consultants Pvt Ltd, India’s Pioneer Medical tourism organisation. Local contact: 07042394040, 07090830097, 08191462542, 07037065779, 08023051420
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
With ekpoita :firstname.lastname@example.org / 08077706130
ACROSS 1. Respirators (5) 5. Cluster (5) 8. Cereal (3) 9. Stroll (5) 11. Speck (3) 13. Nothing (3) 14. Without End (7) 16. Broad (4) 18. Faulted (6) 21. Unfortunately (4) 23. Radio Device (5) 24. Get With Difficulty (3) 25. One (2) 28. Final (3) 29. Before (3) 31. Capital (4) 33. Ourselves (2) 34. Run (3)
DOWN 1.Skinny (4) 2. Illustrious (5) 3. Woman (3) 4. Precipitous (5) 5. Unite (5) 6. Naked (4) 7. Headgear (4) 10. Center (6) 12. Willow (5) 15. Metal (4) 17. Relax (4) 18. Trade Mark (5) 19. Production Factor (4) 20. Create (4) 22. Similar (4) 26. Robe (4) 27. Newt (3) 30. Flee (3) 32. Perform (2)
WORD CHALLENGE CHALLENGE YOUR WORD POWER Find the appropriate words or phrases from the options A – C, to the words in italics. SCORE: 1- 5 Poor, 5 – 8 Average, 9 – 13 Good, up to 15 Excellent LOUGH A Mixture B Lake C Fun
SIMPLY WEIRD WORDSEARCH
Corruption Trial At the height of a political corruption trial, the prosecuting attorney attacked a witness. “Isn’t it true,” he bellowed, “that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?” The witness stared out the window as though he hadn’t heard the question. “Isn’t it true that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?” the lawyer repeated. The witness still did not respond. Finally, the judge leaned over and said, “Sir, please answer the question.” “Oh,” the startled witness said, “I thought he was talking to you.”
The Boring Speaker The after-dinner speaker just didn’t have a Stop button. He burbled on and on and on, oblivious to his increasingly restless audience. Finally one of the more drunken diners hurled an empty wine bottle at him. It missed, and hit the Chairman instead. As the Chairman slid slowly to the floor clutching his head, he was heard to murmur, “Hit me again, I can still hear him.”
TRIVIA How much fresh water is stored in the earth? More than 2 million cubic miles of fresh water is stored in the planet, nearly half of it within a half-mile of the surface. Mars, too, appears to have a lot of water near its surface, but what’s been detected so far is locked up as ice; nobody has estimated how much might be there.
The tourist destinations listed below are all hidden in the grid. You are expected to find and cross out each one of them. MAMBILLA has been crossed to spur you on.
1. OBUDU 2. YANKARI 3. OLUMO 4. OSUN 5. ARGUNGWU 6. ALPHA 7. TINAPA 8. ROJENNY 18. EZEAGU
9. IKOGOSI 10. IDANRE 11. AGBOKIM 12. MAMBILLA 13. GURARA 14. ASSOP 15. OGUTA 16. AZUMINI 17. SILICON
Why is it impossible for you to suffer from a mosquito’s bite?
BRAIN TEASER: Monk Steps
Because mosquitoes do not bite — they stab. A mosquito has no jaws; when attacking a victim, it pierces it with its long proboscis and sucks the blood up through a nasal tube.
A monk has a very specific ritual for climbing up the steps to the temple. First he climbs up to the middle step and meditates for 1 minute.
Math brain teasers require computations to solve.
MINGY A Sociable B Soft C Mean Nomenclature A Designation B Fiend C Fool HIVE OFF A Scamper B Break Away C Stroll NOCUOUS A Unbelievable B Wicked C Harmful CATAMITE A Wild Cat B Saving Grace C Kingpin FLY-SPECK A Baby Fly B False Rumour C Insignificant BELVEDERE A Beautiful view B Small Path C Garden
GERMANE A Relevant B Original C Fragile TENDANCE A Register B Watchful Care C Likelihood VILIFY A Absolve B Reprimand C Defame YAHOO A Stupid Person B Great Speed C Online Accessory ZEBEC A Ship B Highest Point C Island DEW WORM A Night Crawler B Morning Sickness C Slow Person EFFETE A Feminine B Worn Out C Buffet
Then he climbs up 8 steps and faces east until he hears a bird singing. Then he walks down 12 steps and picks up a pebble. He takes one step up and tosses the pebble over his left shoulder. Now, he walks up the remaining steps three at a time which only takes him 9 paces. How many steps are there?
Never be intimidated by your challenges. No matter how tough they are, they will bow to your destiny – E. B. Doka
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
MARITIME Minister urged to back port community system Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
HE Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has been urged to support the Port Community System (PCS) programme to stem terrorism and related crimeS at the ports. The automation programme, experts said, also plays a key role in addressing the challenges of port congestion by ensuring faster clearance of cargo in other countries. They observed that many unemployed youths were going into crime. They urged Umar to reposition the seaports for greater efficiency. Addressing reporters on the importance of PCS, the Managing Director, Sea Invest•Cargo ship
PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA
I Why NIMASA has not disbursed N18b Cabotage fund W HY has the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) not disbursed the N18 billion Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) to local ship owners? The disbursement, it was learnt, is stalled by bureaucratic bottleneck at the Federal Ministry of Transport and the antics some politicians. The politicians are said to be bent on hijacking the fund. Investigation revealed that officials of the ministry and NIMASA have yet to work out the modalities for disbursement. The huge number of intending beneficiaries was also identified as another constraint to access the fund. A senior official at the Ministry of Transport,who craved anonymity, said the amount which started on a zero level has accumulated to over N18 billion (about $130 million), pointing out
•NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi
Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
that officials of the ministry have yet to agree on modelities for disbursing the money. But the money, the official agreed, needs to be disbursed to assist in enlarg-
ing cargo business to carry goods generated by the international water-borne trade. The fund was generated from the three per cent levy on cabotage operations collected by NIMASA.. The Cabotage Act 2003 was designed to develop local capacity and grow the indigenous shipping industry. He said the Act established the CVFF to help increase indigenous tonnage operating in the domestic water transportation services of the maritime sector and to assist the growth of local ship building and repairs. He urged the management of the Ministry of Transport to assist NIMASA in working out the modalities for disbursing the funds to beneficiaries. “By the end of December 2010, 285 vessels were registered by the Nigerian Ship Register Office making a total of 1,371 with a gross registered tonnage of 1.9 million tonnes. Therefore, the
intervention projects, such as Maritime Policy Advisory Group (MAPAG) and the Nigerian Maritime Data Bank need to be implemented urgently. The maritime data bank would serve the data needs of the industry in West and Central Africa,’’ the official said. But the image maker of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, said the DirectorGeneral of the agency is doing everything possible to enable legitimate beneficiaries have equal access to the fund. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, she said, has been assisting NIMASA on the issue. She denied the allegation that ministry officials are frustrating NIMASA’s efforts in disbursing the money. “All those who have applied for the fund, and meet the standard set by the government, she assured, would get the money without fair or favour,” she said.
Subsidy buses arrive Lagos
CORES of the mass transit buses that were promised by the Federal Government as a part of the palliative measures to cushion the effect of the controversial fuel subsidy removal have started arriving at the ports. The buses came in last week aboard a ship called Graceful Leader from China. The ship, sources said, came brought
about 165 units of the 48-passenger mass transit early last week and sailed out before the week end from Five Star Logistics terminal at Tin Can Island port. The buses were manufactured in China and are of Yutong brand. The buses have been moved to a private bonded terminal in Lagos. But details of their final destination
could not be confirmed. President Goodluck Jonathan had inaugurated some of those buses at a ceremony in Abuja. They are part of the 1,600 diesel-powered buses that were promised to boost transportation in the country as a result of the fuel subsidy removal. The first batch of the buses was purchased from the N10 billion revolving loan set
aside by the government to address transport infrastructure in the country. According to the government, the loan is payable over five years and attracts five per cent interest rate under the urban mass transit scheme. It would be made available to credible transporters, Labour Unions and other Nigerians involved in the transport.
Lawyers challenge govt on capacity building
ARITIME lawyers have urged the Federal Government to fashion out policies to promote the industry. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the lawyers said the dearth of human and material capacities has been a source of worry in the maritime sector. They called relevant gov-
By Uyoatta Eshiet
ernment agencies at the port to complement stakeholders’ efforts in capacity-building, noting that businesses blink first in the event of any government policy breakdown. Speaking on behalf of others, a maritime lawyer and consultant in the industry, Mr Frank Simpson, said the
dream of the youth, who are seeking employment is only realisable through job creation via the sector and human capacity building. The consultant said the country can be the number one maritime nation in Africa if human capacity building is taken seriously. He said proper training of seafearers, officers, men of
the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other government functionaries is key to the success of the scheme. Another lawyer, Mr Kabiru Adebanjo, observed that until relevant agencies in the transport sector brace up to the challenge of building human capacity, there will still be dearth of manpower in the industry.
ment, Mr Gbenga Akolade, said since the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has ensured increase in ship traffic, improvement in cargo throughput and decrease in the turn-around-time of vessels in most of the terminals, government, he said, needs to support the authority on PCS programme. The aim of PCS, he said, is to automate cargo handling operation, make all port operations paperless and enable port community to share information and interface on a common platform online. An integrated security system, he said, should be implemented by NPA to address access control, surveillance and detection, among others.
Unfriendly port duties
MPORTERS are not happy that goods met for the ports are being diverted to neighbouring countries. They have, therefore, urged the Federal Government to address what they called ‘unfriendly port charges’. Over 80 per cent of containerised goods that arrive at neighbouring countries, mostly Cotonou port, the importers said, are for Nigeria. They said the government agencies at the ports should be alive to their responsibilities to curb cargo diversion. Speaking at a workshop organised by the importers at Badagry, Lagos State, the Executive Director, Holas Import and Export Group, Mr Sunday Gabriel, said unfriendly port charges have been the major factor contributing to the diversion of cargo to neighbouring countries over the years and urged the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, to address the issue. He said as long as the government, terminal operators and other service providers impose more charges on the importers, it would continue to distort the revenue generation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) because some genuine importers would prefer to divert their goods to the ports of neighbouring countries where they would pay lesser duty. Some unscrupulous importers, Gabriel said, would take the risk by smuggling to evade what he called ‘outrageous duties.’ Also, Chairman, Sunlight Freight Enterprise, Mr Sunday Badmus, said most indigeneous importers bring in goods through Cotonou port and that 80 per cent of cargoes in the country emanate from it. The country, he said, does not have friendly port operations and the charges are very high.
Solutions to ports’ problems
PERATORS in the maritime industry have called on the Federal Government and the Transport Minister to find solutions to some of the major problems facing the industry, to boost businesses at the ports and provide employment for youths. Speaking with reporters at the Apapa Port, the importers said Nigeria accounts for over 60 per cent of cargo and vessel traffic in the sub-region. The country, they said, is supposed to be a hub of maritime in West and Central Africa. But, despite the opportunities available in the sector, problems of capacity building are eroding the benefits provided by the sector. The Federal Government must be ready to work hard, they urged. Addressing over 50 participants at the event, one of the speakers and a maritime analyst, Mr Agbaje Solomon, said the country is moving at snail’s speed compared to others. The Transport Minister, he said, must find a way through which the country will catch up with the rest of the world.
NPA assures of rail system
HE Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Omar Suleiman, has said the operation of an efficient rail system is strategic to the development of the port system. Suleiman said linking the nation’s seaports to the rail system network will not only enhance the movement of cargoes from the port, but will help in the improvement of the port system in general. He assured Nigerians that in the New Year, the Federal Government would channel its effort in the development of the country’s inland waterways. “No maritime nation can move forward without the seaports connected to the rail system. Cargoes are not to rest at the ports. Ports are not meant to be warehouses. It is when the ports are connected with the rail system that goods are moved in and out of the ports and that will ease congestion. It will reduce the turn around time, which will lead to more money to the government and more jobs for Nigeria. “The government is also set to develop all modes of transport, which would be complementary. Our roads get spoilt due to the heavy traffic. If we have the rail system and inland waterways working, the road maintenance will become minimal and the nation as a whole would tackle unemployment,” he added.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Odah versus NLC: NIC President suggests out-of-court settlement P
RESIDENT, National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NIC), Justice Babatunde Adejumo, has advised the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to “put its house in order” so as to effectively pursue the interest of its members. Justice Adejumo, who presided over the suit filed by Comrade John Odah challenging the alleged termination of his appointment as General Secretary of the NLC for which he is claiming N500 million as damages for defamation of character, stated that the NLC, as a central labour organisation with several unions as affiliates, must be able to put its house in order when things are going wrong. Justice Adejumo admonished the NLC and all unionists to always explore the possibility of an amicable settlement of issues so as not to fragment trade unions and as a result weaken them in the struggle for decent work environment or the right of workers. He said since industrial courts across the world were set up to enhance smooth and harmonious labour relations so as to create the environment for economic wellbeing and development of society and not as a punitive institution, it was imperative for the court to draw the attention of the counsel on both sides as well as claimant and defendants in the suit to the provisions of Section 20 of the National Industrial Court Act (NICA) (2006). “I invoke the provisions of Section 20 of NICA (2006) and advise or encourage the parties to hasten amicable settlement of the dispute therein. Counsel on all sides are, therefore, encouraged to do their best so that the matter may be resolved amicably,” Justice Adejumo stated. For the first time since the case was mentioned on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, all the defendants appeared before the court along with their legal representations which came from three different chambers. The Chambers of Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) represents the first and fourth defendants; that is, the NLC and Emma Ugboaja, the chambers of Mr Adetola (SAN) represents
the second defendant, Abdulwahed Omar while Mr Ayokunle Erim represents the third defendant, Owei Lakemfa. The embattled General Secretary of the NLC had on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 gone before the National Industrial Court sitting in Garki, Area 11 asking it to, among other things, make “a declaration that the purported termination of his appointment as General Secretary of NLC on the pretext of on-going re-organisation in Congress is a ruse, reckless, manifested in bad faith, unlawful and illegal as well as a pungent antithesis of what Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) stands for and represents, and as such the letter ought to be set aside and/or invalidated”. While January 18, 19 and 20, 2012 were set aside for accelerated hearing of the case, all the counsel to the first, second, third and fourth defendants pleaded for more time to properly file their defence as they were not able to do so due to the industrial strike as a result of
the withdrawal of subsidy. Justice Adejumo also urged the two parties to adopt and file written witnesses’ statements of claim and defence on oath so as to fast track the hearing and adjourned the case to Wednesday, February 29 and Thursday, March 1, 2012 for hearing. Meanwhile, speaking after the adjournment of the matter, counsel to Comrade John Odah, Mr Pius Akubo (SAN), said Justice Adejumo’s approach on the possible amicable resolution of the matter was a wise counsel. According to Mr Akubo (SAN), “by Article Three of the constitution of the NLC, labour is obliged as its fundamental objectives to defend and promote the interest of its workers and to have underhandedly disengaged a foremost labour leader in the position of General Secretary of the congress is a bad precedent and therefore if the parties can come together to settle this matter amicably, the better for everybody”. According to Mr. Akubo (SAN),
the NLC ought to be an example, a role model in dealing with its employees. “Here is a man who headed the Secretariat in his capacity as the General Secretary and who has spent almost a quarter of a century in the union’s struggle and only for the President of the NLC to wake up one morning to ask the General Secretary to proceed on accumulated leave when he had converted the leave to cash payments. You can’t do that,” said the counsel. He said his client is hopeful that with the renewed admonition of the court, reason would prevail so that they can come to terms amicably. Mr Akubo said any other step other than Comrade Odah’s reinstatement will affect labour’s capacity to confront government on wrong doings as it affects the interest of workers since it will lack any “moral justification to pursue that line of agitation anymore if it cannot show good example by treating its own workers in the area of fair hearing, equity, justice and fairness.”
Minister praises Labour, National Assembly after strike T HE Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, has described the resolution of impasse between the Federal Government and the organised Labour over the removal of fuel subsidy as democracy in action. Said Wogu: “This is democracy in action, while the strike lasted Mr. President listened to the views of some people who supported the removal of subsidy and equally listened to views of those who were opposed to the policy, and at the end of the day he deemed it proper to review the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and promised Nigerians that deregulation when completed will ben-
efit them”. He praised the organised labour, leadership of the National Assembly and Nigerians for display of patriotism. Wogu said: “For the labour union I appreciate the display of perseverance and for accepting to come and dialogue at the intervention of the National Assembly. I thank the leadership of the Senate for their timely intervention and for Nigerians who showed a lot of patience while the strike lasted. I am indeed happy and glad that Nigerians will now appreciate the beauty of democracy”. The Minister re-emphasized the
commitment of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to transform the socio-economic well being of Nigerians while reiterating that deregulation of the petroleum down stream sector is in the interest of the nation. “Deregulation as a pro-people policy is an accepted policy of government, despite what has happened, people have vented their anger as well as inputs, which were genuine and shared their concern with the same concern with government in moving the nation forward to the position that has been taken and accepted by everybody, that the
plementation of the minimum wage. Shema Made this known when he met with its chairman, Alhaji Usman Musa and other members. The governor gave the committee up to the end of the week to submit its report so as to enable the state government implement the new minimum wage for its
workers. “All I want you to do is to let me have the data on how many people are our actual workers, how many have over-stayed and how many are over-aged, so as to enable people to enjoy their new minimum wage.” Shema stressed the need for the committee to adhere to the dead-
HEAD of today’s one week Canadian Education Fair in Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna, Canada has urged Nigeria to encourage vocational training for youths towards improving the economy. The Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Jean Gauthier at a news conference to flag off the 2012 Canadian Education Fair, which would hold between January 23 and 29, appealed to the Federal Government to encourage vocational training of the youths in order to improve the economy. Gauthier said tradesmen and artisans earn more income than academics in his country. “One thing the Nigerian economy needs is vocational training and it is high time government started to think about it. “When you call a plumber or mechanic for an hour in Canada, he works for 15 minutes and charges for an hour and the amount he charges is higher than my salary. “An artisan earns more than what a professional earns per day and I am not happy about it. It is time many students switch to vocational training. Things have changed in the educational sector today, the younger generation is far more technologically advanced than the older generation,” he said. Gauthier said vocational training had become more lucrative in Canada, urging the government to focus more on it. He explained that the fair, which was the ninth edition, would be an avenue for parents, the public, parent-teacher associations and students to exchange ideas with representatives of schools and institutions from Canada. “The fair will help Nigerian parents to make decisions on schools and courses for their children and wards while increasing awareness on opportunities in Canadian schools. The envoy said that over 40 institutions and agencies, including universities, colleges as well as secondary schools would make presentations during the fair.
Unionist calls for sensitisation
pump price should be N97.00”, adding that “deregulation should be taken and completed within the shortest possible time.”
Katsina gives workers ultimatum on minimum wage ATSINA State Governor Ibrahim Shema has flayed the failure of the state’s staff audit and monitoring committee to complete the personnel audit for the N18,000 minimum wage to begin. He gave the committee up to this week to submit the report in order for his government to begin im-
Diplomat advocates vocational training for youths
line as he would not accept further excuses. The governor expressed his determination to pay the new minimum wage as soon as relevant data is available. Earlier, Musa assured the governor that the committee would do its best to complete the assignment on or before the deadline.
HE Ogun Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Mr Tunde Folarin has advocated the adequate sensitisation of the citizenry on government policies and programmes. Folarin made the call in IjebuOde last Thursday while reacting to the protests against fuel subsidy removal, saying orientation would afford the masses the opportunity to assess the benefits of such programmes before their implementation. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigerians did not understand the essence of fuel subsidy prior to its removal by the government. Folarin argued that if the masses had been adequately sensitised, the protests against subsidy removal might not have come up. He, however, called on the Federal Government to probe payments for fuel subsidy to ascertain the claims and counterclaims on the issue.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Market swings into negative
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 23-1-12 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name CAPITAL OIL PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 1
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 31,000 15,500.00 31,000 15,500.00
AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Company Name LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. PRESCO PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 7 3 1 11
Quotation(N) 0.68 24.25 8.67
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 644,250 438,090.00 20,460 471,398.40 1,000 8,240.00 665,710 917,728.40
Quotation(N) 2.17 6.46
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 16,270 35,455.90 679,589 4,355,691.51 695,859 4,391,147.41
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 224,093 275,248.76 224,093 275,248.76
Quotation(N) 4.70 2.20 4.00 1.36 8.90 13.50 7.73 3.53 0.90 2.20 9.57 0.54 0.51 12.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 19,389,411 92,138,409.04 4,643,930 9,923,793.70 258,000 1,007,879.00 9,508,397 12,957,887.39 11,270,649 100,952,660.29 7,826,047 106,837,201.50 157,128 1,207,135.53 3,950,529 14,124,704.50 7,046,789 6,219,490.10 52,811,044 118,739,211.35 35,743 325,261.30 172,939 93,387.06 2,810,562 1,433,386.62 16,153,186 193,788,659.24 136,034,354 659,749,066.62
Quotation(N) 230.00 5.70 93.50 0.88
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 543,449 124,573,737.58 1,348 7,306.16 1,309,193 122,949,419.27 684,216 602,110.08 2,538,206 248,132,573.09
AIR SERVICES Company Name AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 4 63 67
AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 19 19 BANKING
Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC SKYE BANK PLC. STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 98 66 16 94 427 372 16 85 29 136 7 6 7 274 1,633 BREWERIES
Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC PREMIER BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 54 1 163 2 220
BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 39 38 20 30 127
Quotation(N) 11.12 5.65 117.89 44.30
Quantity Traded Value 408,646 2,322,798 84,943 214,020 3,030,407
of Shares (N) 4,530,725.60 13,625,471.80 10,000,265.14 9,476,289.38 37,632,751.92
Quotation(N) 8.47 15.22 0.52
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 115 943.00 14,200 217,846.00 100,000 52,000.00 114,315 270,789.00
CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC PAINTS AND COATINGS MANUFACTURES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 6 1 8
COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 4 5
Quotation(N) 0.50 2.30
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 40,000 20,000.00 300,000 689,000.00 340,000 709,000.00
Quotation(N) 1.47 5.89 29.40 0.55 29.00 29.60
Quantity Traded Value 15,092 2,000 211,884 4,812,100 1,900,645 438,294 7,380,015
CONGLOMERATES Company Name A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC JOHN HOLT PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 4 1 62 46 41 62 216
of Shares (N) 21,883.40 11,200.00 6,200,854.83 2,699,425.00 55,046,791.68 12,960,296.87 76,940,451.78
CONSTRUCTION Company Name JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC ROADS NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 23 2 25
Quotation(N) 32.05 8.69
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 91,700 2,903,020.00 753 6,543.57 92,453 2,909,563.57
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name CUTIX PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 115,500 179,025.00 115,500 179,025.00
FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 8 25 52 49 39 13 33 72 2 1 294
Quotation(N) 46.00 11.50 5.34 4.60 62.00 2.97 4.20 419.50 21.48 0.50
Quantity Traded Value 5,851 257,483 906,259 1,384,171 165,300 416,000 749,950 87,709 15,308 20,000 4,008,031
of Shares (N) 259,477.35 2,947,744.94 4,993,251.79 6,371,688.55 10,230,442.12 1,190,343.94 3,133,970.00 37,186,943.81 312,436.28 10,000.00 66,636,298.78
HEALTHCARE Company Name No of Deals EVANS MEDICALPLC. 3 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 8 GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 7 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 13 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 3 UNION DIAGNOSTIC & CLINICAL SERVICES PLC 1 Sector Totals 35
Quotation(N) 0.67 0.91 23.00 2.74 1.03 0.50
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,500 2,240.00 219,350 201,072.50 14,467 318,054.10 104,005 274,736.20 34,267 33,581.66 6,000 3,000.00 381,589 832,684.46
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 20,578 30,927.00 20,578 30,927.00
HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 5 5
INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC VONO PRODUCTS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 4 2 6
Quotation(N) 4.70 2.88
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 12,100 56,870.00 1,406 4,049.28 13,506 60,919.28
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
HE Nigerian stock market entered the red zone yesterday as the year-to-date return for the first time this year dropped to negative with most equities slumping to their lowest levels this year. Average year-to-date return at the stock market dipped to -0.23 per cent as equities witnessed their most-depressing trading session so far this year, leaving almost all price changes on the negative. The negative year-to-date return implies that average investors have lost some 0.23 per cent on their investments, a reversal of the recovery that started the year and a worsening of the losses suffered in 2011 when average return stood at -16.31 per cent, equivalent to loss of some N1.4 trillion. With 39 losers to four gainers, the downers rattled equities across market segments and stock categorizations. From small to medium and high capitalisation stocks, all sectoral indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
(NSE) shifted downward. The All Share Index (ASI), which gauges pricing trends of all equities, slipped by 0.66 per cent to 20,683.46 points as against its opening index of 20,820.32 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities dropped by N43.12 billion from N6.561 trillion to N6.517 trillion. Besides the preponderance of losers, the downtrend was exacerbated by losses suffered by highly capitalised stocks including Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Oando, Lafarge Cement Wapco, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank of Nigeria and Dangote Sugar Refinery. NAHCO lost 30 kobo or 4.87 per cent to close at N6.46 per share, followed by Prestige Assurance Plc with four kobo or 4.65 per cent to close at 90 kobo per share. NASCON Plc gained 10 kobo or 2.44 per cent to close at N4.20 per share, while
Eterna Oil Plc rose by five kobo or 1.82 per cent to close at N2.79 per share. Dangote Flour Plc fell 28 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N5.34 per share, while BAGCO Plc shed eight kobo or 4.82 per cent to close at N1.58 per share. Oando Nigeria Plc dropped by N1 or 4.76 per cent to close at N20 per share, while Custodian Insurance Plc dipped by 11 kobo or 4.76 per cent to close at N2.20 per share. RT Briscoe Plc depreciated by six kobo or 4.69 per cent to close at N1.22 per share. The Financial Services sector led the equities volume with 157.20 million shares valued at N686.9 million exchanged in 1,775 deals, as against 137.09 million shares worth N583.1 million traded in 1,642 deals on Friday. The volume recorded in the sector was driven by transactions in the shares United Bank for Africa Plc, Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, First Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc. Turnover stood at 187.08 million shares worth N1.16 billion in 3136 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 23-1-12 Company Name STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 500,000 250,000.00 500,000 250,000.00
Quotation(N) 0.54 0.70 2.20 0.65 1.24 0.50 0.90 0.50 0.50 0.50
Quantity TradedValue 2,061,523 400,000 435,000 5,000,000 6,029,449 71,000 439,417 410,000 159,200 4,992,500 19,998,089
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 311,819 171,843.14 311,819 171,843.14
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 4,511,742 3,416,834.06 4,511,742 3,416,834.06
Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 3,000 1,500.00 55,000 27,500.00 58,000 29,000.00
INSURANCE Company Name AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. STACO INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 35 4 9 11 19 3 4 5 3 4 97
of Shares (N) 1,088,667.96 282,000.00 958,672.95 3,250,000.00 7,476,856.76 35,500.00 395,475.30 205,000.00 79,600.00 2,496,250.00 16,268,022.97
LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 9 9 MARITIME
Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 50 50
Company Name AFROMEDIA PLC DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 7 9
OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name CRUSADER NIGERIA PLC. Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 95,870 47,935.00 95,870 47,935.00
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 2,697,879 4,280,388.92 2,697,879 4,280,388.92
PACKAGING Company Name NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 33 33
PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. FORTE OIL PLC MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 11 3 9 13 142 11 190
Quotation(N) 0.50 31.50 2.79 12.18 133.91 20.00 188.10
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 611,000 305,500.00 5,414 162,474.18 126,300 346,969.00 7,697 89,131.26 6,691 875,908.20 976,484 20,099,141.44 6,352 1,206,915.10 1,739,938 23,086,039.18
PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name ACADEMY PRESS PLC. LEARN AFRICA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 1 12 14
Quotation(N) 2.20 2.95 3.25
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 500 1,045.00 5,000 15,450.00 137,328 431,815.85 142,828 448,310.85
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 8,215 98,810.55 8,215 98,810.55
REAL ESTATE Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 6 6
ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 1
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 255,000 127,500.00 255,000 127,500.00
THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals
No of Deals 43 43
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,079,599 10,910,411.38 1,079,599 10,910,411.38
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
World Bank to Nigeria: reduce demand from advanced countries •IMF to create units to strengthen member countries
THE World Bank has advised Nigeria and other developing economies to reduce external demand from the advanced countries. “Growth in emerging and developing economies is also expected to slow because of the worsening external environment and a weakening of internal demand. The most immediate policy challenge is to restore confidence and put an end to the crisis in the euro area by supporting growth, while sustaining adjustment, containing deleveraging, and providing more liquidity and monetary accommodation. “In other major advanced economies, the key policy
Stories by Collins Nweze
requirements are to address medium-term fiscal imbalances and to repair and reform financial systems, while sustaining the recovery. In emerging and developing economies, near-term policy should focus on responding to moderating domestic growth and to slowing external demand from advanced economies,” the Bank said in its World Bank’s Economic Outlook Update released yesterday. It also said that global output is projected to expand by 3¼ per cent in this year -a downward revision of about ¾ percentage point relative to the September 2011 World Economic Outlook (WEO).
Monetary Fund announced yesterday, the creation of a new department focused on helping member states build capacity and develop their key economic and financial institutions. The new department will be formed by merging the IMF Institute and the Office of Technical Assistance Management, enabling stronger synergies between technical assistance and training to better reflect country priorities, facilitate fund raising, and benefit from economies of scale. It will be headed by Ms. Sharmini Coorey, who is currently Director of the IMF Institute and will commence operation in May 2012. A statement from the bank said the decision, which will entail no additional budget costs, follows a discussion by the Executive Board in November 2011 of a Report of the Task Force on the Fund’s Technical Assistance Strategy. “We appreciate the high value that member countries place on the technical assistance and training the Fund provides, and we intend to preserve and build on the strengths of both,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. According to her, the new department will allow the bank to im-
Global growth prospects according to the report, dimmed and risks sharply escalated during the fourth quarter of 2011, as the euro area crisis entered a perilous new phase. Besides, the World Bank noted that the global growth prospects dimmed and risks sharply escalated during the fourth quarter of 2011, as the euro area crisis entered a perilous new phase.”Activity remained relatively robust throughout the third quarter, with global GDP expanding at an annualized rate of 3½ percent— only slightly worse than forecast in the September 2011 WEO,” the report said. Meanwhile, the International
Sterling Bank partners Harvard on customer satisfaction
N a bid to devise models and im plementation guidelines that ul timately benefit the bank’s customers, Sterling Bank Plc has entered into partnership with the Harvard Business School. A statement from the bank said after an intensive four month exercise to review the Nigerian banking industry’s retail growth strategies, initiatives were unearthed for the institution to harness and leapfrog its way to the top end of the
retail banking segment. Sterling Bank which acquired the defunct Equitorial Trust Bank towards the end of 2011, has transformed into a player of respectable note in the Nigerian banking industry. Customers and other stakeholders of the bank the statement explained, are surely in for better times ahead as the institution is not only better positioned to serve, but it’s quest for continued improvement and excellence can only result in greater joy for all
involved. Sterling Bank Plc is the preeminent investment banking establishment in Nigeria. It commenced operations as NAL Bank in 1960. The bank currently boasts of capital base of more than N44 billion, over N508 billion in assets and about 200 branches nationwide complimented with 200 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) points. Sterling Bank has grown into a major financial supermarket.
prove its institutional development and capacity-building activities to help its members meet the economic challenges of a complex and fast-changing world. “The unit will be needful in defining an institutional development and capacity-building strategy for the Fund. It will also be coordinating the provision of technical assistance and training across departments to ensure that these activities are driven by member country demand,” the statement said.
Overhaul financial control in public sector, says ANAN
HE fight against corruption in public sector, which many in sist will boost create efficiency and optimal use of public funds, has been given a boost. The President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Maryam Ladi-Ibrahim has added her voice to the campaign, by urging the Federal Government to overhaul the internal financial con-
trol system in the public sector to reduce corruption and wastages in government. Ladi-Ibrahim said in a statement that the changes should be in line with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Act 2011. She said the internal control system should be made to be working, adding that the rules and regulations were there but they were not being followed.
The FRC Act was meant to guarantee credible financial reporting regime in both public and private sectors in the country to ensure wealth creation and economic transformation. The Act, which replaces the Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB) Act 22 of 2003, was also meant to give guidance on issues relating to financial reporting and corporate governance to profes-
sional, institutional and regulatory bodies in the country. The ANAN boss said that government departments, ministries and other sectors of governance must take the financial reporting system very serious. According to her, financial reporting must be done on time to eliminate corruption in the public sector. She said any report delayed would become useless and meaningless, adding that the reporting system
should be more of preventive measure. “The FRC Act made provisions for transparent reporting in every activity of the economy. It is good that government has signed the FRC Act which replaces the Nigerian Accounting Standards Board. ``In this new Act, there are lots of challenges facing the professional accountants and economists,’’ LadiIbrahim said.
DATA BANK Tenor
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011
GAINERS AS AT 23-1-12 SYMBOL
LOSER AS AT 23-1-12 O/PRICE
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
EXHANGE RATE 26-08-11 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)
NSE CAP Index
NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N)
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%
9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00
9.08 1.00 118.69 97.65 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08
ARM AGGRESSIVE KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY THE DISCOVERY FUND • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2011
07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
•Widow of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Bianca, Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs Ben Obi (third left), former President of Ohaneze Prof Joe Irukwu (middle) and members of the Burial Committee when they visited her at her Enugu home...yesterday. PHOTO:OBI CLETUS
PDP members join ACN
Bankole, Nafada know fate January 31
FORMER member of the Edo State House of Assembly and member of the Federal Character Commission, Peter Ekhator, yesterday led several members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ovia North East, Ovia South West and Egor local governments to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Ekhator said he joined the ACN because of the courageous steps being taken by Governor Adams Oshiomhole to transform the state. “We have come to say thank you for the structures you have created which will be difficult for anybody to change. “We have come to adopt all the good names people have called you and to say we would have come a long time to join you but we are here officially today,” he said. Oshiomhole told the new members that their movement will reinforce the agent of change which the party represents.
N Abuja High Court will ,on January 31, decide whether or not to free former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and his erstwhile deputy, Usman Bayero Nafada of complicity in the N38 billion loan. The duo are facing a 17count charge of criminal breach of trust, dishonest use of House bank accounts to obtain loan before Justice Suleiman Belgore of an Abuja High Court. Their counsel, Wale Akanni (SAN), argued the nocase-submission in their defence yesterday.
‘Don’t vandalise pipelines’ From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt
OUTHS in Akuku-Toru Local Government of Rivers State have been warned against vandalising oil pipelines in the area. The Acting Chairman of the local government, Stanley Benibo, gave the warning when he inaugurated the Community Development Committee (CDC) and Youth Executives of Offion-ama community yesterday. He enjoined the members of the bodies to maintain the existing peace in the community as his administration would not tolerate any indiscipline. The chairmen of the CDC and the youth body, Jonah Joshua and Sukubo SaraIgbe, promised to ensure the continuous existence of peace in the area. They warned hoodlums to steer clear of oil pipelines as the youths would continue to protect oil installations in the locality.
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
According to him, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had no sufficient evidence against the accused. Maintaining that the controversial loan was duly used to pay allowances of members of the House, and not for personal use, Akanni submitted that the House authorised the obtained loan to make up for a shortfall. He stated that the antigraft body had not established any prima facie against the accused for any act of fraud.
Akanni prayed the court to uphold the no-case-submission against his clients, adding that the accused were not liable to the charges brought against them. In a counter-application, the EFCC counsel, Festus Keyamo, described the nocase-submission as another ploy to stall the trial. He further argued that the accused persons were not charged for “over-spending but misappropriation of funds and lack of due process in the administration of the funds. Keyamo submitted that the accused had a resolution to commit an illegal act in a
meeting held at Bankole’s guest house in Asokoro. Justice Belgore has adjourned ruling till January 31. The accused allegedly shared the loan to members without the consent and approval of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the extant Revised Financial Regulations of the Federal Government, 2009. The alleged offences are contrary to sections 97(1), 286 and 311 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990, and punishable under sections 287 and 315 of the same Penal Code Act.
Oshiomhole seeks modern security gadgets
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has called on the Federal Government to equip the police and other security
agencies with modern gadgets to fight the security challenges facing the nation. Oshiomhole made the call yesterday when students of Course 34 of the Command and Staff College, Jaji, visited him at the Government House, Benin City. He said: “The Federal Government collects the 52.6 per cent of the Federal Account, we expect it to fund the security agencies adequately. “Even if I am not a security man, I know that these days you need the right type of technology, and with the right technology, you need
less manual effort and less guess work. “These tools require resources and my impression is that the Federal Government is not funding the police and the State Security Service (SSS) adequately to enable them fight crime. “The state has had to spend part of its meagre resources to complement the efforts of the Federal Government to combat crime. “Since assuming office, we have bought over 30 vehicles to support the police. “We had to procure communication gargets for them. We had to pay the po-
licemen who are working under the Operation Thunder Storm.” The governor said no nation has all the resources it needs to meet all the needs of the citizen, saying with great management and purposeful leadership, you would have the resources to meet the challenge of the people. The team leader, Navy Commodore Ferguson Dukas Bobai, said one of the reasons for the study in the state is to familiarise the students with economic and political knowledge of the country.
Dickson’s group faults Sylva on court order
HE Dickson/Jonah Campaign Organisa tion has faulted Governor Timipre Sylva’s claim that the court order, which compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include Dickson’s name as the candidate for the February 11 poll was secured at night. A statement in Yenagoa by Campaign Coordinator Daniel Iworiso-Markson said though the governor was not part of the prayers for the issuance of the order for INEC to include the name, Justice Olotu issued the order to the party in his chambers on January 18 between 3:30 pm and 4:30pm and adjourned the
‘It is misleading for a man, who is supposed to be a leader , to attempt to discredit a ruling which was delivered after two days of proceedings on Dickson���s suit’ From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
motion on notice till January 26. Iworiso-Markson said the ruling was delivered in a peaceful atmosphere with
no soldiers or police present. He said: “Contrary to Sylva’s lies, the ruling was delivered during the day. And by 5pm, Dickson’s lawyers had already left the court. “It is also instructive that the entrance of the Federal High Court is closed by 4pm. “So Dickson’s lawyers couldn’t have gone to court late at night to secure an injunction at midnight as canvassed by Sylva. “It is misleading for a man, who is supposed to be a leader , to attempt to discredit a ruling which was delivered after two days of proceedings on Dickson’s suit. Sylva was
not a party to the suit. “Dickson didn't berate the judiciary or called Justice Kolawole's night ruling on the suit any name. “Instructively, the Court of Appeal has indicted Justice Kolawole's conducts on the matter yet Dickson has not dragged the name of the judiciary in the mud the way Sylva has done. The law and rules of court provide for hearing of matters in chambers in appropriate circumstances like urgency as in the suit of Dickson. “The intention of Sylva and his supporters is to falsely misrepresent facts and cast aspersions on the ruling of the court as well as to portray the judiciary in bad light.”
Conference postponed THE Council of Chiefs and Elders of Ovu community, Ethiope East Local Government of Delta State yesterday postponed the Ovu National Conference billed to hold on Saturday indefinitely. The council said the postponement was to enable the leadership of Ovu Development Union to reach out to all indigenes at home and abroad. A statement by the eldest man (Okaorho) of the community, Richard Ofogba and Prime Minister (Otota) Moses Akpoyovwiare said the postponement became necessary to create a comprehensive environment for the conference.
‘Politicians behind Bayelsa blast’ From Isaac Ombe-Yenagoa
A group, Bayelsans for Peace Initiative (BPI), has accused Abuja politicians from the state as masterminding the twin bombs that rocked the state at the weekend. In a statement in Yenagoa by its President, Joseph A. Otonte, yesterday, the group said some politicians in Abuja, who are desperate to see Governor Timipre Sylva removed from office, were behind the explosions. The group claimed that the aim of the blast was to create a false impression that Sylva masterminded the blasts to distract the supporters of PDP’s anointed candidate Seriake Dickson from the campaign flag-off which was billed to hold yesterday. “The same group who are opposed to the governor may have perpetrated the act to create chaos so that the Federal Government will find reason to deploy troops in the state as was done during the controversial Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) governorship primary on November 19, last year. “Sylva has not stopped preaching peace to his supporters despite the challenges he is facing.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS Couple found dead in Benin From Osagie Otabor, Benin
T was all tears for residents of Momodu Street in Egor Quarters, Benin, the Edo State capital, yesterday when a young couple was found dead in their bedroom. The couple was believed to have died from fumes from a generator they had just acquired. The wife, Otasowie Eki (23), was seven months pregnant. Her husband, Lucky Erhunmwuse, was a commercial bus driver. Their neighbours said they broke into the apartment when the couple did not open their door in the morning. They said the generator, which worked overnight, was placed on the corridor but the deceased left their windows open through which the fumes might have entered the room. It was further gathered that the caretaker of the building had, on several occasions, advised the late Erhunmwuse against putting the generator on the corridor. The Divisional Police Officer of the Ogida Police Station, M.M Cairo, confirmed the incident.
Two killed in Ebonyi youth crisis
WO persons have been killed in Ohaukwu Lo cal Government of Ebonyi State, following disagreements over the election of the leadership of Ndieguinyiogwe-Ngbo Youth Association. An eyewitness, Felix Onwe, said trouble started when a faction of the association conducted an election. A rival faction attacked the newly elected leader,
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
Ndubuisi Onwe. Onwe said: “The association had been divided into two factions, following the plan by the former president to impose his candidate on the group. “A faction then went ahead to conduct an election, which did not go down well with the factional leader of the other group. “The newly elected vice-
president, James Nwaguru, was killed. “When some members of the other group heard of the murder, they went after the factional leader, Ndubuisi Onwe, attacked him with machetes. He died on his way to the hospital.” Onwe said the incident has created tension in the community with many residents fleeing the village. Our reporter, who visited the deserted community,
spoke to some remaining villagers, who feared the crisis could escalate. They regretted that since the incident, the local government chairman has not called in the police. The Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government, Sunday Inyimah, could not be reached for comments. Police spokesman John Eluu could not also be reached for comments.
Orji to pay contractors N4b
BIA State Governor Theodore Orji is to pay N4 billion to contractors handling over 40 roads. In a statement in Umuahia, Orji’s Chief Press Secretary Ugochukwu Emezue said the governor attributed the delay in the release of the money to the nationwide fuel subsidy removal strike. Orji said the funds already approved for the contractors would be released to them to make them complete the projects early. “We expect you to inten-
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
sify work to complete the projects before the rainy season,” he said. Orji, however, directed all contractors yet to return to site to do so immediately if they do not want their contracts revoked. He said: “These days I don’t stay in the office again, I inspect these projects daily to ensure that I satisfy the people who elected me. “I’m sorry those who come to see me in the office these days may be disappointed.”
Obasanjo for UNN lecture From Chris Oji, Enugu
ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo is to deliver the 41st convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, on Thursday. The President of Galilee International Management Institute, Nahalal, Israel, Dr. Josef Shevel, would speak on “Economic Development based on Education and Higher Education: The case of Israel.” Vice Chancellor Prof Bartho Okolo broke the news at a preconvocation briefing yesterday in Enugu. The university will confer first degrees on 10,243 graduates and higher degrees on 1,253 recipients. Ninety four will receive first class honours, 2, 305 second class honours (upper division), 1,593 third class and 858 persons unclassified certificates and diplomas. One hundred and seventy people are to graduate with doctorate degrees, 892 with Masters Degrees and 191 with post graduate diplomas.
COMMERCIAL motorcyclist has been killed by suspected kidnappers after abducting a businesswoman in Benin City, the Edo State capital. Mrs. Elizabeth Egharevba was abducted at the weekend on Sapele Road, opposite Bob Izua Filling Station, during her father’s funeral. Eyewitnesses said the unidentified motorcyclist was
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
shot when he attempted to raise the alarm about the abduction. A source said the hoodlums contacted the victim’s husband, Sunday, and demanded a ransom of N200million. The source said the kidnappers later reduced the ransom to N50million.
US firms to establish plants in Ebonyi From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
WO American firms, Cross River International Con sulting Inc and CALIFCO Group Incorporated, are to establish a-1.5 million metric tonne cement plant and 600-mega watt coal-fired power plant in Ebonyi State within the next 24 months. The representative of CALIFCO Group, Augustus Ajawara, presenting the proposal before the State Executive Council, yesterday, said the projects would cost the firms $1.5 million. Ajawara said funding for the projects would be sourced from international financial and development agencies, including American Nexim Bank, Eco-Investment Company, African Development Bank, World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He said of the 600 mega watts of electricity to be generated from the coal-fired plant, 100 mega watts would be dedicated to the cement factory. “Some fraction of the remaining 500 mega watts would be injected to the state while the remaining would be sold to the National Grid as a new source of internally-generated revenue for other projects.” Governor Martin Elechi said the government would meet with the consortium for the writing of a memorandum of understanding. He appealed to the consortium to see how they could reduce the gestation period for the projects as government was in a hurry to develop the state.
• Imoke casting his vote...yesterday
• Imoke and Duke...yesterday
PHOTOS: NICHOLAS KALU
Imoke picks PDP governorship ticket •Abang kicks •Duke returns to party
ROSS River State Gov ernor Liyel Imoke is to fly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag in the April 14 governorship election. Imoke won the primary election at the UJ Esuene Stadium yesterday. The election was presided over by chairman of the electoral panel, Senator Ahmed Zana. It was between Imoke and former Ambassador to Mali, Sonny Abang. Imoke scored 737 votes. Abang scored three votes. There were seven voided votes. Abang got two votes from his Boki Local Government and another from Ikom. Imoke said: “The delegates have spoken in unison. The process was transparent. Thank God for concluding the event without any incident. “It is a collective victory and I dedicate it to the party. I am a servant to all.” Former Governor Donald
‘I’ve no apology for critics’ From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
ROSS River State Governor Liyel Imoke has said he has no apology for critics of his style of governance. Speaking at the weekend during the inauguration of the office of one of his campaign organisations, Legacy Group, Imoke said: “Some people have become critical of us because we have taken time to care for the needy, improve the quality of education and take government to the domain of Cross Riverians. “Also, some people are critical of us because we elevate Carnival Calabar to international standards, provide electricity to the rural communities and built rural roads and empower the youths. So to those people, I have no apology.” According to the governor, his administration was working to leave a legacy that will determine the future of the next generation of people of Cross River. He commended the Legacy Group for choosing the name, adding that it was very apt in view of his bid for a second tenure in April 14 election. Imoke promised to continue to work to deliver on his election promises and the mandate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
Duke may have returned to the party. Duke resigned from the party on April 29, 2010. The former governor had said the PDP had become “dysfunctional, unable to articulate a roadmap and lead Nigerians on a clear and concise path to national renewal.” Although the former gov-
ernor did not make a formal announcement of his return, his participation in the primary election yesterday confirmed his return. When Duke resigned, the party leadership in the state reacted, calling him a traitor among other things. But some top officials said they never accepted his resignation. Dressed in a white and blue
checked shirt, blue jeans and sneakers, he stepped out with Imoke to cast his vote at the election. Amid cheers, Duke proudly displayed his ballot paper before slotting it into the box. Reacting, Abang said: “I participated in the election. I am a member of the PDP. Whatever we saw today is far from being a contest. “It was electoral manipulation. The process, right from the beginning until now, has been baked in the Government House. “You know I am contesting against an incumbent governor. “We were supposed to go through the process of selecting ad hoc delegates, that process was hijacked. “Generally, what we have seen today is not a democratic process. “What I am going to do is best left with me. I have a date with destiny. My date with destiny is April 14.” Present at the event were Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, among others.
14 suspects escape from police headquarters in Edo
WO policemen are cooling their heels at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) cell at the headquarters of the Edo State Command, following the escape of 14 suspected robbers and kidnappers from the SARS cell. The policemen were said to be on duty when the suspects escaped after allegedly using a hand-saw to cut the burglary proof in the cell’s toilet. It was gathered that the incident happened last Thursday, two days after the
•Two policemen detained From Osagie Otabor, Benin
new Commissioner of Police, Manko Umar, resumed in the state. A source said the suspects included members of a nine-man robbery gang, two kidnap suspects and others. The source said some of the suspects were just transferred from the Ogida Police Station to the State Headquarters for further investigation.
According to the source, “the commissioner is not happy with the incident. “A manhunt has been launched to arrest the fleeing suspects and more policemen will be arrested.” Umar said he was not happy with the incident. His words: “I don’t like that type of behaviour. I didn’t tolerate that behaviour where I worked before and I will not do it here.”.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS Calls for Madueke’s sack condemned From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri
THE Welfare Organisation for People in Niger Delta has condemned the call by civil society group to sack the Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke. A statement signed by its National President, Nath Eghwrudjakpo and eight others, urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to sack the minister. The statement reads: “Government should be allowed to consolidate on its vision for a new Nigeria. Government desires our support and encouragement, irrespective of whose ox is gored. “We congratulate government for the bold step taken to usher us into a strike which we all embraced in good faith. “President Goodluck Jonathan has proved to us that he has a vision to take this nation to an enviable height with the mandate given him and VicePresident Nnamadi Sambo”.
Boko Haram: Southwest PDP decries killings
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Southwest chapter, yesterday decried the increasing “destruction of lives and properties” by the Boko Haram sect. It called on the public to assist security agencies to track down members of the deadly group. The Southwest PDP met at the Hill- Top home of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State. It “condemned” the sect for the “wanton” wasting of innocent lives and condoled with the victims’ families. In a communique signed
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
by the Southwest National Vice-Chairman of the PDP , Tajudeen Oladipo, and Oluwaropo Adesanya (Zonal Secretary), they expressed confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan’s ability to address the security challenges confronting the country. On the crisis rocking the party in the Southwest, Oladipo urged more sacrifice from members of the party to reposition the PDP in the zone.
“I want to thank all our leaders who stood by the zone in implementing these steps and we equally want to enjoin others to come on board as no sacrifice is too great to reposition our party in the Southwest. Therefore, I urge this august gathering to approve the setting up of theTransition, Reconciliation and Congresses Committees as they are presently constituted in the states of the Southwest,” he said. He noted that the Transition, Reconciliation and Congresses Committees, which was set up by the zonal Secre-
tariat, would unify the party towards a better future. “The State Working Committees in Ondo and Osun states had earlier “made huge sacrifice by resigning their positions to allow for the setting up of the Transition Committees in their states. On this note, I wish to thank the state chairmen of the affected states for the cooperation they have been giving the transition committees in their states. “The reasons for our actions include the need to unify the party before the congresses; the need to provide a levelplaying field for all interests
‘Appoint woman as next IGP’ From Emma Mgbeagurike, Owerri AS the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Haffiz Ringim expires in March, Nigerian women have appealed to First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan to ensure the appointment of a woman as the next Inspector General of Police (IGP). President, National Council for Woman Society (NCWS),Mrs Nkechi Okemini-Mba made the call yesterday while addressing reporters in Owerri, Imo State. The women’s leader urged the First Lady to appeal to her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, to consider a woman for the position. Mrs. Mba described women as bridge builders and agents of change.
Benue lawmakers warn NLC, Tsav From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
BENUE State House of Assembly has warned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and former Lagos State Police Commissioner Alhaji Abubakar Tsav to desist from further comment on the crisis between legislature and the executive. The Assembly also said it has not declared war with Governor Gabriel Suswam, saying what took place in Ogbudu when lawmakers walked out on the governor was normal in human relationship. It said the matter had been settled. Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, George Okoh, in a statement signed by the Majority Leader of the Assembly Paul Biam warned the public, especially NLC and Tsav to stop further comments on the matter.
•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (second right) speaking at the opening of Ogun East Senatorial office and unveiling of health programme buses in Ijebu-Ode…at the weekend. With him are: Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeolu (left), Speaker Suraj Adekunbi and Senator Adegbenga Kaka
Orji challenges army on security
OVERNOR Theodore Orji of Abia State has urged the army to sustain the cordial relationship between them and the civilian populace. Orji spoke in Umuahia when he received a delegation of Course 34 of Command and Staff College, Jaji. He said such cooperation would tackle the country’s security challenges. The governor called for a synergy between the army and civilians to curb crimes. “When Abia State was faced with its security challenges between 2009 and 2010, it was the assistance we received from the Army, Navy, State Security Services (SSS) and Police that contributed in our dislodging crimes in the state. “When there was kidnapping here, all the contractors abandoned sites. There were no economic
From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
activities, entrepreneurs abandoned their factories and relocated to other places where there was peace,” he said. The governor told the delegation that security has been strenghtened in the state, adding that contractors have returned to sites. He said: “Those who left the state at the height of insecurity in the state have started coming back. Contractors and expatriates have commenced work in different parts of the state”. Leader of the delegation Commodore Ngozi Nwogu said the delegation was in the state to access the environmental degradation with a view to coming up with recommendations. Nwogu hoped their recommendations would be useful to the state.
Subsidy removal: ‘Funds will be spent judiciously’
BIA State Government has assured the people of the state that the money the state will benefit from the subsidy removal will be spent judiciously. In a statement in Umuahia, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Theodore Orji, Ugochukwu Emezue, said the governor is in a haste to transform the state. Emezue explained that the governor would invest the fund in transportation, education, housing, roads, health, agriculture, and environment. Emezue said the programmes are aimed at improving the living standard of Abians.
within the party to fulfil their aspirations in the forthcoming congresses; to midwife the congresses so that the executives to be produced in the congresses are acceptable to the generality of the party faithful. “I wish to reiterate that for the transition committees to be able to fulfil their mandate, the chairmen and members cannot midwife themselves into office in the 2012 congresses. It is for this purpose that we have invited the transition committee chairmen to this meeting so that they will be able to brief this august body the various steps they have taken in their states to ensure that we have unified congresses,” Oladipo said. Former Governors Alao Akala (Oyo); Segun Oni (Ekiti) and Segun Agagu, (Ondo) attended the meeting.The Ogun State delegation was led by the governorship candidate, Adetunji Olurin. The attempt by a former Commissioner for Agriculture during Gbenga Daniel’s administration,Tunji Akinosi, to join the meeting was rebuffed. Akinosi, who was asked by Ogun State House of Assembly under the leadership of Speaker Tunji Egbetokun to refund all his salaries and allowances for not being duly screened and approved by the lawmakers, was ordered out of the reconciliatory meeting yesterday. The meeting was convened to chart the way forward for the party.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS Group condemns bombings By Tajudeen Adebanjo
HE National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Lagos State chapter has condemned the spate of bombings across the country, especially in Bayelsa, Kano and Bauchi states where many lives were lost. The Chairman of NYCN, Prince Taofeek Oluwafemi Gbadebo, said in a statement that “we condole with the management of Channels Television on the death of their reporter, Enenche Akogwu. We also commiserate with the families and relations of other innocent people who were victims of the inhuman act of recklessness and disregard for human lives.” The group called on the government to be proactive in securing the life and property of the citizenry. It chided the Nigeria Police for handling with levity, security issues and investigation of crimes in the country, especially the escape of the suspected Boko Haram member, Kabiru Sokoto, from the police custody and urged the government to prosecute anyone found culpable. The council said it appreciates the ongoing investigation at the National Assembly on fuel subsidy payments and advised Nigerian youths to be patient “while we wait for the outcome of the investigations. We, however, demand that the leadership of the house should ensure that any individual or group of individuals found wanting should be prosecuted in the best interest of the nation.”
•END OF THE ROAD: An accident scene along Kubwa expressway in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
UAMC holds 71st annual conference
HE 71st annual conference of the United African Methodist Church (UAMC) will hold in Adigbe, Abeokuta, Ogun State between January 29 and 31. This year’s theme is: “In God we trust” (Psalm 16: 1). General Secretary of UACM (Administration), Bro. Peter Bukola Payne, said over 500 delegates from all UAMC churches in Nigeria and Re-
public of Benin are expected at the conference billed for Monday, January 30. The secretariat of the organisation will move to Adigbe on Thursday, while other officers will arrive on Friday. The Ministers’ Forum will hold on Saturday. He said the Women’s Fellowship Forum will commence immediately after the conference.
Anwar-Ul Islam NEC meets
HE National Executive Committee (NEC) of AnwarUl Islam College, Agege, Lagos Old Students Association (ACAOSA) meets on Sunday. The NEC will meet with two representatives of each set at the school’s Assembly Hall, from 2 pm, according to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Muftau Ottun.
Funeral for chief
HE final funeral ceremony for the late Chief Joseph Teidi comes up on Friday. Teidi died on October 26 last year. He was 90. A prominent cocoa farmer, he was a High Chief of Irunda Isanlu and Balogun of Ara Ikole Eki-
There will be a wake on Thursday at his Itedo-Irunda, Isanlu (Yagba East Local Govt) Kogi State home. Final service and funeral will hold at The Apostolic Church, ItedoIrunda Isanlu Assembly on Friday.
PUBLIC NOTICE BAYYINATU-DEEN IN ISLAM SOCIETY OF NIGERIA The General Public is hereby notified that the above-named Society has applied to Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part “C” of the companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: (1) Ustas Mohammed Jamiu - Overall Imam (2) Ustas Mohammed Kozeem Ajetunmobi - Nl/Chairman (3) Ustas Mohammed Moshood Adegbenle - Nl/Secretary (4) Alhaji Hammed Adebayo - Nl/Missioner (5) Ustas Mohammed Mudathir Iyiola - Nl/Treasurer (6) Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Badru (7) Ustas Mohammed Tirimisiyu Yusuf (8) Ustas Mohammed Taofeek Alarape (9) Ustas Abdul Akeem Yusufu (10) Ustas Mohammed Ghasali Jamiu AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: (1) Propagation of Islam throughout the Nooks and Crannies of Nigeria. (2) To promote foster, encourage and sustain the religion of Islam (3) To promote the educational, moral, social and cultural advancement of the Muslim community. Any objection to the registration should be addressed to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, P.M.B. 198 Garki, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: R. A. Adenekan Esq. 08029717219
NOTICE OF REGISTRATION OF TRUSTEE THE JEPHTHA’S YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERMENT CENTRE (MOTTO: Reaching the mark through Christ) The above-named Body wishes to register as a Trustee with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria to work as an NGO for the purposes of empowering underprivileged Nigerian youths through the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. TRUSTEE MEMBERS: 1. EVANG. (MRS.) OBIANUJU OGOCHUKWU OKOYE 2. MR. BENNETH CHINEDU OKOYE 3. VEN. AKUROSEOKIKE A. OMUBOR 4. PASTOR (MRS.) PAULINE OKOJAJA 5. REV. DR. KELLY I. CLARCKSON 6. MR. SAM. AZOKA ONYECHI OBJECTIVES: 1. To offer a comprehensive physical and spiritual educational programme for unemployed youths. 2. Provide structured academic support as well as quality vocational and entrepreneurship training based on Christian ethos. 3. Offer provisional shelter for destitute and handicapped persons while under the programme. 4. Provide start-up physical support and capital for beneficiaries of the entrepreneurial programme. 5. To offer all-inclusive spiritual and moral support for programme participants in line with Biblical principles Any objection to the registration should be addressed to the Registrar - General, Corporate Affairs Commission, P.M.B. 198 Garki, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: MR. SAM. AZOKA ONYECHI
Kano bomb blasts: Arewa monarch decries nonchalance of Nigerians
N Arewa monarch and Seriki Hausawa of Lagos State, Alhaji Aminu Idris Yaro, has decried the nonchalant attitude of Nigerians over the activities of the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, which have led to the deaths of many. The monarch, who is also the Chairman of the Arewa Traditional Council in the state, said he wondered “why people have refused to hit the streets the way they did against the removal of fuel subsidy recently.” According to him, it was a painful realisation that people put their comfort far above the collective comfort of the Nigerian masses as
By Emmanuel Oladesu
was demonstrated recently by the protests against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. “In Nigeria when subsidy was removed on petrol, people protested and the whole country was shut down. Some people even died during the protests. But when hundreds of people were killed by the Boko Haram sect, using bombs, nobody staged protests or condemned the act vehemently because the incident didn’t happen in their vicinity. They did not protest because none of their relatives was affected or maybe because
they were afraid to speak in order not to be bombed too,” the monarch said. He asked rhetorically: “Where is that “Occupy Nigeria”? Where is El-Rufai? Where is Pastor Tunde Bakare? Where are the celebrities, artistes and musicians? Where are the opposition parties? Where are Nigerians? Were they all in the bomb blasts that rocked Kano city? Why is everyone keeping mute now? Or is Kano State not part of Nigeria? Is this not a more serious issue for all Nigerians to wear black rags and truly ‘occupy Nigeria’ with peaceful protests against mass killings of innocent ones? Do we
have energy and strength only on petrol subsidy removal? Everyone seems to be afraid now. What a big shame!” The monarch alleged that he could not understand why, “when hundreds of people were killed senselessly in the past few months, all toothless bulldogs could not even bark let alone bite because money was not there for them to fight for.” He warned Nigerians not to allow themselves to be manipulated by self-seeking opposition for selfish gains, advising them to join hands to build a great and united country.
Court urged to order fresh PDP primaries in Bayelsa
N Abuja Federal High Court has been asked to order freshgovernorship primaries in Bayelsa State for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The plaintiff, Orufa Jusline Bolou, an aspirant, is contending that the PDP did not obey its amended constitution and Electoral Guidelines for 2010 primary election. The party had picked Mr. Seriake Dickson as its candidate after dumping Governor Timipre Sylva, who had earlier won the ticket before the election was
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Sylva is challenging his disqualification by the party and disqualification from the rescheduled primary election won by Dickson. The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the primaries conducted on November 19, 2011 is in breach of A r t i c l e s 2,12.7,12.8(e)&(f),17(1)(2)(b) of the PDP constitution and Articles 2(1)&3,Part II(A)&(B)(xi) of the Elector-
al Guidelines for Primary Election. In the suit filed by his counsel, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), Bolou is praying the court for an order of injunction restraining the PDP from sending or forwarding any result/name or winner of the purported governorship primary election of November 19, 2011 held in Bayelsa State. He is also seeking an order of injunction restraining Dickson from parading or holding himself or presenting himself or doing anything of like manner whatsoever before the INEC or
taking any step as the PDP candidate for the purported governorship primary election. Bolou is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the PDP from recognising or submitting Dickson’s name to the PDP and an order of injunction restraining the INEC from acting upon or taking any step or further step or doing anything whatsoever in giving effect to the name of Dickson as winner of the purported primary election. No hearing date has been fixed for the matter before Justice Adamu Bello.
Cleric advises Jonathan on Boko Haram killings
CLERIC, Prophet Samson Oluwamodede, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy, Namadi Sambo, members of the National Assembly, governors, state legislators, ministers and other political office holders to begin to take steps to avert the total collapse of the country. Oluwamodede, the pastor-in-charge of Prayer Centre Church of God, AdoEkiti, Ekiti State, while condemning the spate of bombings in the country, espe-
cially last Friday’s explosions which claimed the lives of many people in Kano, said God was angry with the nation due to the incessant shedding of innocent people’s blood. He said politically-motivated killings were rampant in the country, especially by those seeking to hold political offices and those aspiring to perpetuate themselves in office. He said as leaders of the nation, Jonathan, Sambo, ministers and lawmakers should take steps to avert
the imminent collapse of the country. According to the clergyman, the collapse of the country, if not averted, would be catastrophic and everybody would be affected. His words: “The Lord said there are incessant killings in Nigeria and corruption is on the high side. The Lord is angry with this country and our leaders. The President and Vice President must observe three-day fasting and prayer to avert the
evil looming in the country. This has nothing to do with religion. The fasting and prayer should hold in the first three days in February this year. What God wants from every Nigerian is total repentance, truthfulness and obedience. This must start from each family.” Oluwamodede said academic brilliance has failed to move the nation forward, adding that Nigerians and their leaders must begin to seek divine help to get out of the problems confronting the country.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NEWS LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASHOLA’S 1,700 DAYS IN OFFICE
•Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain in Lagos Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun (left) former Deputy Governor Abiodun Ogunleye, former Lagos State Governor’s wife Mrs Abimbola Jakande and his husband Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande at the 1,700 days of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration at the Blue Roof, Lagos Television, Ikeja…yesterday.
•Traditional rulers: His Royal Majesty Oba Isiaka Balogun Oyero of Ketu (Kosofe Land) (left), Oba of Badagry, Aholu Menu Toyi I, Oba Babatunde Akran and Oba Raifu Amore of Ikeja
•Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (left), ACN chieftain Lanre Razak and Chairman Nigeria Reinsurance Dr. Amos Akingba
•Alfa Agba of Lagos, Alhaji Tijani Gbajabiamila (left), Chief Imam Alhaji Garuba Akinola, Oba Onitire of Itireland, Oba Lateef Abayomi Dauda and Cardinal James Odumbaku
•Lagos House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Taiwo Kolawole (left), Rev. Joseph Oladipo and Senator Olorunimbe Mamora •Lagos White Cap chiefs
•Director, Lagos State Education Research Centre, Ojodu, Mr Joseph Alao (left), Chairman, Governing Board, General Hospital, Gbagada, Dr. Tokunbo Oluwole and Manging Director/ CEO, Kajo Summit Construction Company Ltd, Aare Kamorudeen Danjuma
•Students protesting the deployment of soldiers in Lagos on the occassion PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES
How to develop Nigeria with fuel subsidy funds, by surveyors
HE Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has advised the Federal Government not to execute any project under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment (SURE) programme, without applying appropriate costing principles. Its advice was contained in a position paper on the programme, signed by the Institute’s President, Mr Agele Alufohai. According to the institute, the
much-needed high degree of public confidence to guarantee the delivery of economic and social goals will be attained with proper monitoring and evaluation of the SURE programme. Besides, the institute said the application of appropriate costing methodologies for SURE projects would secure transparency, accountability and also insulate the fund from corruption. The paper reads: “It is imperative that costing practices and standards, which are routine and mandatory re-
quirements in public construction, works in all well-governed countries.” The Institute called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Dr Christopher Kolade-led SURE board to ensure that the funds are not spent until rigorous costing procedures and capacities have been put in place. It said: “Let’s seize the opportunity to rescue billions of our national resources from the cesspit of waste and corruption, by insisting on and win-
ning guarantees that the fuel subsidy savings will be judiciously used.’’ The institute also urged the leadership of political parties to ensure that the states and local governments make judicious use of their shares of the SURE funds. “Since the success of reinvestment of the fuel subsidy (which has promoted waste and corruption) depends on absolute transparency, we call on all civil society and professional groups to demand iron-cast transparent mech-
anisms to ensure that subsidy reinvestment funds are used to transform Nigeria’s infrastructure rather than the fortunes of people who are close to the government”, the Instituteadvised. The institute noted that while the benefit of the fuel subsidy was concentrated in a few cities and among privileged socio-economic classes, the benefits of investing in infrastructure would greatly make the economy more productive.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
FOREIGN NEWS Sacked South African ANC youth leader Malema appeals
OUTH Africa’s suspended youth leader Julius Malema has appealed against the ruling party’s decision to sack him. He was suspended from the African National Congress (ANC) for five years for sowing division in the party. Mr Malema’s lawyers claim that the decision did not follow proper ANC procedure and want it overturned. Once a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, Mr Malema is now accusing him of ignoring poor South Africans who voted him into power 2009. Mr Malema’s appeal before the party’s Disciplinary Appeals Panel is largely based on the claim that the committee did not give him the opportunity to argue in mitigation of sentence at the end of the disciplinary process.
Four dead in fresh Libyan fighting
OUR people have died in clashes between Libyan government forces and supporters of ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi in Bani Walid,
PUBLIC NOTICE ENUH: I formerly known and addressed as Miss Enuh Amaka Judith, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ikenna Unogu Amaka Judith. All former documents remain valid. General Public take note.
USIRIEJOR I,formerly known and addressed as Usiriejor Peter, now wish to be known and be addressed as Samson Peter. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeniran Olusola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogunekun Olusola. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.
south-east of Tripoli. Pro-Gaddafi forces “control the town now,” one member of a militia loyal to the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) told Reuters. The clashes erupted after militiamen allied to the NTC detained armed supporters of Col Gaddafi. Bani Walid was one of the last pro-Gaddafi towns to fall in the conflict. “There are around 100 to 150 men armed with heavy weapons who are attacking,” Mahmud Warfelli, spokesman of Bani Walid local council, told AFP news agency. “We have asked for the army to intervene, but the defence ministry and NTC have let us down,” he added. Earlier this month, armed clashes between rival militias in the town of Gharyan left two dead and more than 40 injured.
Kenyatta, Ruto to face ICC trial over violence in Kenya T
WO presidential candidates in Kenya are to stand trial over crimes against humanity following post-poll violence in 2007, the International Criminal Court has ruled. Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former minister William Ruto will both face charges. They are among four prominent Kenyans - all of whom deny the accusations - who will stand trial. Kenya’s president has appealed for people to stay calm after the news. “Our great nation has had its share of challenging times,” Mwai Kibaki said in a statement. Mr Kenyatta - the son of the country’s founding president and a man who has been ranked as one of its richest men - is to stand trial with cabinet secretary Francis Mutaura.
The pair, both allies of the president, are accused of crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution. Former Education Minister William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang will stand trial in a separate case, as they opposed Mr Kibaki during the 2007 election. Charges against a further two officials were not confirmed by the Hague court. More than 1,200 people were killed in weeks of unrest and some 600,000 people were forced to flee their homes. Many still remain homeless. This decision will have a great bearing on the future of Kenyan politics. Among the four now set to stand trial are two men who want to stand for president in the next elections: A suspend-
ed minister William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta - the son of the country’s first president and the current deputy prime minister. Last week Mr Kenyatta told the BBC that he intended to pursue his political ambitions irrespective of whether the International Criminal Court trial went ahead. The pressure may grow on Mr Kenyatta to change his mind and put his political ambitions on hold - to clear his name in court and then, if successful, come back in another five years. With appeals possible it may be months before the trials begin. Kenya has had a history of violent elections. But no-one has ever been punished. Many Kenyans hope the ICC trials will help to end the cul-
ture of impunity and ensure future elections are more peaceful. The violence began as clashes between supporters of the two rival presidential candidates - Raila Odinga and Mr Kibaki - but it snowballed into a bloody round of scoresettling and communal violence. “It is our utmost desire that the decisions issued by this chamber today bring peace to the people of the Republic of Kenya and prevent any sort of hostilities,” ICC presiding judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said. Kenyans are due to head to the polls in fresh elections early next year. Ms Trendafilova stressed that the decisions do not mean guilty verdicts against the suspects, only that there is sufficient evidence to send them to trial. “We are not passing judg-
Egypt’s new assembly elects Muslim Brotherhood speaker
GYPT’s new parliament has elected a speaker from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement whose Freedom and Justice Party won recent elections. Mohammed Saad al-Katatni was chosen by a large majority of Members of Parliament at the inaugural session of the lower chamber, the People’s Assembly. It was the first meeting of the assembly since the uprising last February that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from power. Mr Mubarak is currently on trial. Mr Katatni was backed by 399 out of 503 MPs, state media say. “This parliament bears a heavy burden, because it must achieve the people’s ambitions,” he told Nile News TV before the session began. “I believe that this parliament will in its first session reach agreement on the rights
•Supporters mob new Egypt’s speaker al-Katatni on his way to Parliament...yesterday
of martyrs, the injured as well as the poor, who were marginalised under the former regime.” Islamists dominated the elections held for the People’s Assembly over the past three months, winning 73% of the seats. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party
won 235 seats, the ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party 121 and the moderate al-Wasat Party 10. Yesterday’s session was chaired by Mahmoud alSaqqa of the liberal New Wafd party, who at 81 is the oldest member of the assembly. He began proceedings by
ordering a moment of silence for the 850 people who were killed during the 18day uprising against Mr Mubarak. The former leader has been accused of ordering the security forces to shoot protesters during last year’s mass protests against his rule.
Syria rejects Arab League’s plan for Assad to step down
YRIA has rejected an Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy. The league, meeting in Cairo, urged Syria to form a national unity government with the opposition within two months. A government official called the plan “flagrant interference” in Syria’s internal affairs, state TV said. The UN says more than 5,000 people have died as a result of the crackdown on protests since they began last
March. The league called on both sides to end the bloodshed. The government in Damascus says it is fighting “terrorists and armed gangs” and claims that some 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed. “Syria rejects the decisions taken which are outside an Arab working plan, and considers them an attack on its national sovereignty and a flagrant interference in internal affairs,” the unnamed Syrian official said. I’ve spoken to protesters
over the past few days who actually said they thought the monitors from the Arab League weren’t all bad. They felt that the volume of violence from the government side reduced when the monitors were around. The word used to me by one man was “deterrent” - they were a deterrent, because it meant that there were witnesses to what the government side was doing. In fact, you could see when journalists were there, people would come out and demonstrate. But clearly what the pres-
ence of the monitors does not do is sort out the conflict here, which is getting pretty fundamental: a regime that won’t go, against opponents that won’t give up. And neither side can beat the other at present. To expect the observers to sort that out themselves is really asking a bit too much. What is absent is a meaningful diplomatic or political process, enabling some kind of settlement to be made, and if that’s not possible, then the rest of the outside world is bereft of ideas of what to do.
EU ministers approve Iran oil imports ban
UROPEAN Union foreign ministers have formally adopted an oil embargo against Iran over its nuclear programme. The sanctions involve an immediate ban on all new oil contracts with Iran and a freeze on the assets of Iran’s central bank within the EU. The EU currently buys about 20% of Iran’s oil exports.
There was no official reaction from Iran, but one Iranian lawmaker played down the decision, describing it as a “mere propaganda gesture”. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog has confirmed it is sending a team to Iran between 29 and 31 January “to resolve all outstanding substantive issues”.
Last November the IAEA said in a report that it had information suggesting Iran had carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” sparking the decision by the US and EU to issue tougher sanctions. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for energy purposes. Earlier yesterday, the Pen-
tagon said the US aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, as well as a British Royal Navy frigate and a French warship, had passed through the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf without incident, in the wake of Iranian threats to block the trade route. The EU said the sanctions prohibit the import, purchase and transport of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products as
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
ERARD, how does it feel to be chosen as part of the FIFA/FIFPro World XI again? It’s a real honour being part of a team alongside the world’s best. Even more so because this XI was chosen by our fellow players, who are the ones that know best. That selection capped another wonderful year, during which you and Barcelona won almost every competition you entered. What was the secret behind all this success? Pep Guardiola. Ever since he came back to the club, he has kept us at the very top thanks to the way he sees football and the way he motivates us. We won virtually everything last year, which makes me very proud and satisfied. Particularly because I’m doing all of this on my home turf, at my hometown club and the one I’ve always supported. Staying on Guardiola, can you give us a little more insight into what makes him such a special coach? On one hand, he sees football in ways nobody else does, and then he explains it better than anyone. Lots of coaches just tell you to move right or move left, but he gives you the reasons why, which means you clearly understand why you’re doing something. And so, without even realising it, you learn more and more every day and start to make your own decisions out on the pitch. On top of that, you have the way he motivates us. Loads of teams have won a lot of titles but then started losing their hunger, whereas we’re getting hungrier all the time. We want to have that feeling of pleasure, when you feel like you’re the best, again and again. Pep doesn’t let us take our foot off the pedal. He’s always on our case and trying to get the very best out of each one of us.
•Gerard Pique with Pep Guardiola
Pique: Guardiola’s vision is unique Ask anyone to make a list of the finest defenders on the planet and the chances are that Gerard Pique’s name will feature. Boasting an exquisite blend of skill, strength and intelligence, the classy 24-year-old has proved himself one of the most complete performers around for club and country in recent years. A serial medal collector with his beloved Barcelona and a 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa winner with Spain, Pique’s fellow professionals have also voted him into the FIFA/FIFPro World XI for the past two years. In conversation with FIFA.com, the former Manchester United man took the time to tell us about his extraordinary recent success and the challenges that lay ahead in 2012. When we spoke to Guardiola himself, he told us how important it was to treat players like adults and make them responsible for their own actions… He makes you feel like a professional. It seems like he gives us more freedom, but in fact what he does is give us decision-making power. It’s as if he were saying, ‘Do you really want to make a living doing this? Do you want to be the greatest and win lots of trophies? It all depends on you. I’ll let you spend the night before a game at home, doing whatever you like, but you should know that if you don’t play well, you won’t start the next match.’ This makes you much more mature as well as making you feel you owe him something, so you feel like you have to perform out on the pitch. Something else that also catches the eye is that this Barça team proved they can find their best form on the biggest occasions, such as the 2011 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United and in clásicos against Real Madrid… I thought we played a brilliant game against United. Not only was it one of the best performances I’ve been involved in, it was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Not just the result, but the way we won too – by playing well, dominating the game and creating chances. Normally in finals you see a lot of nervousness, with teams just trying to grab a goal and then cling on to a 1-0 win. The
same thing happened against Madrid [as against United], because we’re now so used to playing games that are like finals. This team knows how to perform on the big occasions and it’s slight edges like that which make the difference between winning titles and falling short. Barcelona have often deployed a back three this season. Where did the idea come from and how have the team gone about working on it? We started doing it in preseason more or less, and the gaffer got the idea because he felt we were getting too predictable: everyone knew all about us and played with every man behind the ball. The idea behind the 3-4-3 is to make us more attacking, give us more possession, and help us create more goalscoring chances. Having started working on it in pre-season, we’ve had to grow more comfortable with it during the season, because it’s not an easy system. Particularly as a defender… You have to do much more running. After matches you’re noticeably more tired because you have to deal with more attacks, you get pulled out into wide areas. It’s more punishing for the centre-backs. That said, it’s been a very good thing for me personally, as it’s made me more versatile. You’ve been privileged enough to work under two greats in the shape of Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson. How different are they? Very. Ferguson is a manager and he often doesn’t come down to the training pitch. He stays in his office and does a lot of different tasks at the club. I think that he’s more of a father figure, at least that’s how he was with me when I joined them at 17. He was a great motivator: the way he spoke in the moments before games was fantastic. Guardiola, meanwhile, spends all day with the players and then sits through ten hours of video so he can show us footage of our opponents and how to attack them. Maybe it’s simply a question of how long they’ve been coaching: Pep’s just starting out while Sir Alex is much more experienced. In general terms though, there are major differences between the role of a coach in Spain and a manager in England, right? Yes, even the dugouts in the Premier League are higher up and aren’t covered - you’re almost sat right next to the fans! The countries have different cultures and their football is different too. It’s very passionate in England, it’s a fiesta: you turn up and there’s a
brilliant atmosphere, the stadium’s full and the fans never stop cheering you on, even if you’re losing. In Spain it’s a bit trickier, culturally speaking, because the fans tend to stay at home more and the stadiums are only full for the bigger games. Perhaps we’re a bit more reserved in that sense, we don’t get behind the players as much, but we do demand more from them. Finally, though 2011 was undoubtedly a wonderful year, there are greater
challenges ahead in 2012. In La Liga, for instance, Real Madrid are already clear at the top and Barça have found the going tougher. What are your thoughts on that? I suppose that when you’ve won as much as we have, it makes things tougher, because every opponent gives 110 per cent. In their eyes, being able to beat us is a real feat. Besides which, our games are seen across the globe and everyone puts us under the microscope. However much we want to try
new things and make small adjustments, people know how we play, sit very deep and line up with six or seven defenders, especially away from home. At Camp Nou the pitch is bigger, so there’s more space, and the fans apply pressure and it makes things easier. We’ve also been a little short of luck recently. Anyway, the only thing we can do is keep working hard and the wins will come - as will the silverware. I’ve no doubt about that. Culled from fifa.com
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
AFRICA NATIONS CUP...FIVE DAYS TO GO
Gabon stun debutants Niger A
FCON 2012 co-hosts Gabon beat Niger by a comfortable 2-0 win at the Stade d’Angondje in Libreville. In this Group C opener, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the opening goal in the 30th minute, and Stephane N'Guema got Gabon’s second in the 45th minute. Gabon, who fielded a 5-4-1 formation, with Eric Mouloungui filling the lone striker role, started this game comfortably and took control from the start. Niger were under the pump early as Gabon put pressure on goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly, forcing him into a couple of unconvincing punches as he attempted to clear his lines. N'Guema and Emerick looked a threat from the word go, as they combined well and ran riot at the Niger defence. The Panthers camped in the Niger half and a goal seemed inevitable for the co-hosts. It
came as no surprise in the 30th minute when N’guema was provided space down the right-flank, his floated cross, misjudged by the Niger goalkeeper, was well controlled by the head of the on-coming Emerik to make it 1-0. Gabon were content in keeping possession, and looked to be cruising towards victory. Niger were reduced to employing some long balls in an attempt to set up an attack. Gabon remained untroubled until they notched home their second goal. On the stroke of half time, Moussonou whipped in a cross from the left, the initial effort from Emerick was parried by the keeper, but Nguema was there to steer it home and made it 2-0 in the 45th minute. In the second half, Niger started well, and passed the ball more around trying to unsettle Gabon. They pressed Gabon and ran after loose balls, but their defence remained shaky at best and the
Panthers always looked more likely to extend their lead. Emirick remained a threat to the Niger defence, he timed his runs and made good use of his speed. In the 65th minute, Aubameyang threatened on the right wing as he looked for a cross, but he couldn’t keep the ball between the
lines and gave away a goal kick when Emerick looked in a great position to extend their lead. In the dying stages of this game, Gabon ran down the clock as Niger remained no threat. Not the start Niger were looking for as they were outclassed in every department.
Muntari: We can’t write off any team
HANA midfielder Sulley Muntari has observed that no team should be taken for granted at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations judging from results that have been recorded so far. One of the tournament favourites Senegal suffered shock at the hands of Zambia after a 2-1 defeat in their opening game on Saturday. Sudan outplayed another big name Cote d'Ivoire, but lost in a 1-0 group opener to the west Africans on Sunday. The Inter player said the results are a wakeup call to
Zambia are united—Katongoa
Z • Kassali Daouda
countries who feel there are still underdogs in African football. “If you look at what happened on the opening day it is easy to see you cannot write off any team,” Muntari was quoted to have said on KickOffGhana. “We are very confident but we won't be taking any team lightly.” Ghana, four-time African champions, will open their campaign with a game against debutants Botswana today as they seek to annex the trophy for a fifth time since they last won the title in 1982.
AMBIA national team captain and striker Christopher Katongo has said this team will go far because of their unity. Herve Renard's side has already produced one of the early shock results at the Africa Cup after beating Group A favourites Senegal 2-1 on Saturday at the Estadio de Bata in Equatorial Guinea. Katongo said in an interview in Bata that the Zambia team considered itself as equal. "There is unity in the team, it doesn’t matter what
player," Katongo said. "Every player is pushing the other regardless and there is nothing like I am better than this one." The striker from Henan Jienye in China, said the players fully respected and backed Renard's ambitions for the team at this Africa Cup. "Whether you are on the bench or you are not playing we treat ourselves as equals," Katongo said. "It’s just the coach wants 11 players to start. If the coach can play 23 players he could do it."
Haruna Babangida joins kapfenberg
USTRIAN first division club Kapfenberg have officially announced the acquisition of the former Barcelona whiz-kid Haruna Babangida. The 29-year-old was signed on a short term deal, until the of the season. Babangida last played for
Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem. Babangida's transition to Kapfenberg was arranged by his more famous elder brother, Tijani, the ex Ajax Amsterdam winger disclosed to allnigeriasoccer.com in a telephone conversation. Kapfenberg are last on the Austrian Bundesliga table,
Aneke: My Wolves goal was a relief
IGHEST goal-scorer 0f 010/2011 Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Warri Wolves’ Jude Aneke says he was relieved that he got a goal on his debut for the club as it has eased some of the pressure on him. Aneke got the match winner for his new club against Lobi Stars in their 2-1 win and while speaking with NationSport on telephone, he stated that his electrifying start was the perfect way to
H • Haruna Babangida
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri satisfy some of the expectations on him. “My brother, I got the winning goal. It was nice getting that crucial goal because it went a long way in making me a bit stabilised after the pressure I faced in my first few days leading to my first match. “It was a fine goal and a follow up to a shot played
Patience will take ABS to the Promised Land—Onuh
HE Technical Adviser of Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC, Erasmus Onuh has stated that with patience, his hurriedlyassembled squad would soon gel and be unstoppable by other clubs in the Nigeria Premier League. Onuh, who is on a second stint with ABS after his controversial exit last season, told NationSport shortly after their 1-2 loss to Heartland FC in Owerri that though the club lost another match, he was en-
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri couraged by the way his wards performed against an expensively assembled Naze Millionaires. Onuh said: “Definitely, I have not got the best of preparation. This is a three-week old team. It is a new team entirely devoid of big players. “I am very much encouraged by the way they played today (Sunday) and we shall go on to our next match with optimism that we are on a rebuilding process that will take shape later on.”
after amassing 10 points from 19 games. Haruna Babangida is currently
with his new team-mates at a training camp in Austria.
ALL STARS TOURNEY
‘Nigeria’ fall to ‘Romania’ •FFF kits, accommodates teams
HE 2012 edition of the All-Stars Female Football tournament organized by the Amalgamation of Female Football Coaches Associations of Nigeria got underway yesterday at one of the practice pitches of the National Stadium in Lagos. Ten teams are competing in the annual tournament, which has held without interruption since 1998. The teams, as is the case with the popular Mock Nations Cup which holds in Ajegunle in Lagos, have adopted the names of countries in Africa and Europe. The Nigeria team coached by Nelson Spiff faced a more enterprising Romania side handled by Lizzy Ogiemwonyi and fell 0-2 at the end of the encounter. The Romanians struck in the first and second half through Funke Onafowode and Titi Moyesan. The disappointed Nigeria players and their coach have vowed to win their next match, which comes up this morning. In other matches, Brazil, which had in the opening game of the tournament beaten Switzerland 1-0, was held to a 1-1 in its second match by Ghana handled by former Nigerian international, Okunwa Igunbor; Germany
coached by Adeboye Shoneye easily overcame its opponents, South Africa handled by Diana Asak 3-0. The tournament, originally scheduled to hold in the first week of this month was postponed owing to nationwide protest over the removal of subsidy on petroleum products by the federal Government. Aside the nationwide strikes, the tournament, which has not missed a single edition in the last 14 years, had been in danger of denting that record owing to the inability of the organisers to raise funds for its successful organisation. The Female Football Foundation (FFF), a non-governmental organisation set up last year by Baarong TonyUranta to aid the development of women’s football, had come to their aid by providing jerseys for six of the ten teams and funding the providing the accommodation of players. Tony-Uranta, who was at the stadium to watch the matches, said the FFF remained committed to uplifting women’s football in Nigeria, noting that supporting the tournament is her organisation’s way of encouraging young players to aspire for greatness.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
NFF sack: FIFA is aware, N says Amadu IGERIA Football Federation (NFF) Acting General Secretary Musa Amadu has confirmed that the Federation Of International Football Associations (FIFA) is fully aware of the recent court ruling declaring the present board of the NFF illegal. Speaking in Abuja on Monday, the scribe said: "FIFA should be aware of it, because the world is now a global village and whatever that is happening is always universally accessed. “I know by now they would have knowledge of whatever is happening and we will await their comments." Amadu ruled out the possi-
From Patrick Ngwaogu bility of FIFA imposing any sanction on the country, but said that what people should be looking out for is how the
game will grow in the country and not the issue of ban, because Nigeria as a force in world football, cannot afford not to be in the football fraternity.
NFF board meeting now holds today
HE emergency board meeting of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) scheduled for yesterday to deliberate on Friday’s court ruling that declared the body illegal, has been postponed by a day. It will now
From Andrew Abah, Abuja hold by 2pm today. The Federation’s president Aminu Maigari, who announced the change, arrived at the Glass House secretariat of the Federation at exactly 2.35 pm and decided to shift
Celtic deal: Rabiu Ibrahim gets work permit R
ABIU Ibrahim has been granted a work permit, allowing Celtic to complete the signing of the Nigerian midfielder, the Glasgow club has announced. The 20-year-old agreed a three-and-a-half year contract last week after a successful trial. Ibrahim, a Nigeria Under23 international, recently negotiated the termination of his contract with Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven. He first attracted Celtic's attention when with Sporting Lisbon. Now he has become the second addition to Neil
He bemoaned the personal issues that affects the running of football in Nigeria, but said that the soul of the country's football is being eroded by the crisis. Amasu insisted that the time has come for all in the football fraternity to come together as one to move the game forward.
squad during the January transfer window following the signing of Swedish fullback Mikael Lustig.
the meeting till today to enable him make necessary consultations. Among member who were sighted at the secretariat were Chris Green, Dili Onyedinma, Emeka Inyama, Shehu Adamu, Ahmed Yusuf, Suleiman Kwande, Leye Adepoju and Muazu Kawo. Meanwhile, there was a bee hive of activities at the secretariat as staff went about their duties without molestation by anyone. No police presence was noticed.
Balotelli banned for four matches
ANCHESTER CITY'S Mario Balotelli has been charged with violent conduct by the English Football Association following an incident against Tottenham on Sunday. The 21-year-old's injury-time penalty gave City a 3-2 win, but earlier he appeared to stamp on Scott Parker. Following a dismissal earlier this season Balotelli faces a four-
match ban, but any unsuccessful appeal could result in a longer suspension. Joleon Lescott will not be punished after a clash with Younes Kaboul. Lescott caught Kaboul in the face with his forearm in a separate incident at the Etihad Stadium. Balotelli, who has until 1800 GMT on Wednesday to respond to the charge, came on as a 65th-minute substitute against Spurs.
He was booked for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but after escaping punishment from referee Howard Webb following his clash with Parker, the striker was fouled by Ledley King in the final minute of added time and converted the resulting penalty. If he accepts his charge, Balotelli will miss Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool at Anfield.
Nations Cup: Eto’o helps Gabon open stadium
AMUEL Eto’o helped Gabon open its half of the African Cup of Nations on Monday as thousands of red and white balloons were released over the new Stade de l’Amitie after a countdown from the Cameroon striker. Eto’o stood next to Gabon’s first lady, Sylvia Bongo, in a brief ceremony ahead of the first matches in the country. Gabon’s “Panthers” play Niger in the first Group C game at the Libreville stadium. Morocco and Tunisia meet in a North African derby afterward. Earlier, Eto’o was seen smiling and waving to the
crowd from a VIP section in the 40,000-seat stadium alongside Gabon’s football-mad president Ali Bongo. African football confederation President Issa Hayatou shook hands with the Gabon and Niger players before kickoff. Eto’o’s Cameroon did not qualify for the tournament.
Okunbor returns as Benin captain
EMBERS of the Benin Golf Club showed certain sense of oneness when they beckoned on their Captain, Kingsley Ehi Okunbor, to lead the club through another year. Okunbor, who led the club through last year, performed the unbelievable when the club hosted two Pro-Am tourneys and some seven other major events which made the club to surpass every other clubs in Nigeria in term of tourney sponsorship in 2011. This is aside new infrastructure including a brand new Pro Shop that was built within the period. Okunbor, who is into food and air business, merely stated he did his best during his tenure and that he was
shocked when members asked him to continue his leadership role. "I did all I believed was right in 2011", Okunbor said. "I thought I had (exhausted) my time and I should move on. But memebers felt I should continue. It took me time to agree. “Running Kaydees [a chain of eateries in Edo] alone takes all my time. Combining this with Club business is never easy. All the same when you get a vote of confidence from great people you lead, you can always aspire to do more. I will take up the challenge." The President of the Benin Club, Chief Sam Iredia, said he was not surprised that Okunbor was recalled to serve since all he did in 2011 were quite enormous.
WHO SAID WHAT
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘Democracy dividends should not only be roads and bridges, no, they should include freedom. That is the difference between democracy and dictatorship’ DR. OGBONNAYA ONU
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
OR this week, I had planned in this space to apply the phenomenon that sociologists call The Matthew Effect to explain the iniquitous distribution of public resources in Nigeria – how, to cite a notorious example, the office messenger in the Presidency has to feed his family from his meagre earnings whereas the President can appropriate close to a N1 billion in public funds for the same purpose, even allowing for the prohibitive cost of that Aso Rock delicacy, cassava bread. The Matthew Effect also helps explain why the janitors who clean the halls and offices of the National Assembly are responsible for clothing themselves, whereas the legislators receive from the public purse more than twice the monthly wage of a janitor as “wardrobe allowance” for every month. And it explains why those same legislators get a hefty monthly “hardship allowance” for the immensely dangerous work of rubberstamping proposals from the Executive Branch, whereas there is no such perk for their drivers who live in the God-forsaken parts of town and have to battle their way to work early and close only when it pleases the master for slightly more than minimum wage. I was going to explicate these and related issues when Boko Haram struck again, this time with elemental fury, taking down at the last count some 186 innocent souls, the highest single toll since it embarked on its campaign of terrorism, and one of the highest on Nigerian soil in recent memory. In sheer audacity, the strike would be hard to beat. The target was the headquarters of the Nigeria Police in Kano, a city that had been garrisoned, along with Lagos and Kaduna, in the wake of the mass protests against the unconscionable gasoline tax the government presented as the only alternative to a “subsidy” it claimed it had been underwriting. Late last year, Boko Haram sought to blow up the Abuja national headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force. Mercifully, the bombs detonated in the parking lot, sparing the building, but destroying everything in and around it. In the northern states of Borno, Gombe and Bauchi, Boko Haram has often directed its murderous fury at police installations and personnel. This pattern should have led the police authorities to take extra measures to secure their facilities. The ease with which Boko Haram has struck repeatedly and with mounting casualties suggests that the police command took no such measures, or that the measures were ineffectual. Every Boko Haram strike has drawn from Aso Villa the same lame response: The perpetrators will be brought to justice. The latest outrage has made Dr Jonathan to vow that it will be “wiped out.” His indignation
RIPPLES WE’II USE SUBSIDY MONEY JUDICIOUSLYKolade
PROMISES and more PROMISES...ASUU knows better
AT HOME ABROAD email@example.com
The road to regimentation ‘In the face of mounting public criticism of his style and his policies, some of it quite personal, Dr Jonathan has been playing the ethnic card. How this shabby recourse will redound to his advantage in a country populated by many ethnic groups several times the size of his remains to be seen.’
•An explosion site in Kano
is understandable, but bringing its operatives to justice will serve the national cause better. Meanwhile, they remain as elusive as ever. Kabiru Sokoto, alleged to be a mastermind, escaped from custody, right under the nose of Police Commissioner Zakari Biu, he of unsavoury antecedents. It all goes to confirm what President Jonathan said in a rare moment of clarity and candour that Boko Haram has infiltrated the Executive Branch and its organs . And yet, he has been reluctant to reconstitute the security apparatus and its leadership that has proved so unequal to the task of protecting the populace, the fundamental responsibility of government.
In another clime, National Security Adviser General Owoye Azazi, Police Inspector-General Hafiz Ringim and the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, would have done the decent thing long ago by offering their resignation. Collectively, they presided over a tragic failure of intelligence and policing. If they were not forthcoming, the President would have demanded their resignation. More likely, given the issues at stake, the President would have dispensed with niceties and dismissed them. But Dr Jonathan will not or cannot bring himself to take such measures. Until the latest Boko Haram atrocity, he was wringing his hands in abject helplessness. Without realising that he was thereby abdicating the primary responsibility of government to the governed, he urged his compatriots to learn to live with the atrocities and take consolation in the fact that they will end one day. In the face of mounting public criticism of his style and his policies, some of it quite personal, Dr Jonathan has been playing the ethnic card. How this shabby recourse will
WO days ago, while receiving Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elders, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State warned that the ruling party risked being ejected from power, going by the fury of protesters over the fuel subsidy removal crisis. If the party was not repositioned in three years’ time, he moaned before his visitors, the party risked being destroyed. Though he did not spell out what sort of repositioning he had in mind, it was clear his second observation referred to the elections of 2015. It will be recalled that the scale of violence in some towns in Niger State during the fuel riots was a little bit staggering, with some of the vandalisation and arson directed at government property. Aliyu sensibly felt that the targeted violence could presage some electoral reverses in the coming years, reverses he thought should be anticipated and tackled before they undid the party. Governor Aliyu is very perceptive. The unstated conclusion among protesters who participated in the one-week strike action called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was that the PDP had proved incapable of reading the mood of the people and had un-
redound to his advantage in a country populated by many ethnic groups several times the size of his remains to be seen. And yet, he sees no contradiction in citing the votes of the generality of Nigerians as the rock on which his mandate rests. To the extent that he was certified winner of the 2011 presidential election, he is right. But the victory was vitiated, not least by the hugely improbable voting pattern. Most notably in the Southeast, it was as if every living resident voted for Jonathan and Jonathan only. The courts refused to compel the election authorities to produce the ballot papers that would have helped ascertain whether Dr Jonathan won the election in the manner they proclaimed. It is a crying shame that not even one of the seven associate justices of the Supreme Court could be found to hold that denying the petitioner, General Muhammadu Buhari, access to material strongly relevant to his case failed to meet the equal-protection clause of the Constitution. In whatever case, if Dr Jonathan were to stand re-election today, he would most certainly lose by a much larger margin than the one that took him to Aso Rock. For he has by his New Year ambush and his ineffectual leadership alienated those who fought to free him from the chains of the cabal that had kept him on the margins when his principal, Umaru Yar’Adua, was terminally ill, and later to ensure his translation to substantive president. In parts of the country where Dr Jonathan received massive electoral support, citizens can no longer assemble peaceably to protest and demand redress without being assaulted and tear-gassed by police acting on “orders from above”, with armed soldiers and tanks just around the corner, poised to step in if the police prove unequal to the task. Last week, a phalanx of eminent Nigerians led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, our own Lord Dicey, who is 83 years old, and the veteran attorney and public figure, Dr Tunji Braithwaite, 76, was tear-gassed in Lagos and forcibly dispersed in a rude baptism with this desperate recourse of the new, diminished Dr Jonathan. There is no sadder commentary on Nigeria’s political development than this, that Nwabueze, who took a leading part in writing the 1979 Constitution and served as vicechair of Jonathan’s Presidential Advisory Council, found it necessary at this time of his life to lead a march for the right to peaceful assembly and protest. By foreclosing peaceful protest, the Jonathan Administration has taken the first ominous step on the road to regimentation. That road is inviting, seductive even. But it is also treacherous and ultimately self-destructive. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Gov Aliyu, PDP and subsidy protests feelingly enunciated economic measures that were at variance with the people’s aspirations. The protesters were all the more shocked that by ordering the subsidy removal to take effect from January 1, 2012, the ruling party behaved as if it was not an elected government. Much worse, for the one week the protests lasted, the President Goodluck Jonathan government neither talked peaceably with the electorate nor felt it owed the people an apology over the casualties recorded during the strike action. The president paid no condolence visits to families of victims of police use of excessive force, perhaps because he felt the victims were rascally subversives. If only he understood politics. The Niger State governor did not of course directly tie his projection of the catastrophe awaiting the party to the president’s handling of the subsidy protests. In fact, his suggestion that party members who participated in the protests should be disciplined is at odds with his fear that his party had lost touch
with the electorate. It is not certain what kind of repositioning the party can do to obviate the electoral debacle expected in three years. The subsidy removal measure will impoverish the populace and the palliatives upon which the ruling party bases its high hopes of economic prosperity are unlikely to be of such significance as to placate the anger of protesters waiting to deal the party a mortal blow. More concretely, with the ruling party’s universally acknowledged inept handling of the Boko Haram crisis and the deployment of soldiers in Lagos, all of which have irritated the North and angered the Southwest, it will take a lot of stupendous economic prosperity to mollify the two electorally significant regions’ unhappiness with the PDP. Governor Aliyu believes that the next three years will be crucial for his party. Indeed, he is right. But whether three years will be enough for the party to turn its fortunes around and regain the confidence of the electorate enough to return the PDP to power is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO