Page 1

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

I could’ve died in fire, says Obasanjo

30 aircraft coming for local operators

NEWS Page 5

•‘My room was filled with smoke’

•CBN, BOI to raise fund


Page 11

VOL. 8, NO. 2360 THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013




•Newcastle star Ameobi snubs Nigeria •NFF battles Israeli club for EnyeamaMORE•AND ON PAGES 13, •Eagles hold Catalonia in friendly 14, 51&62

Outrage as Jonathan’s 2015 posters flood Abuja streets NLC to battle Kwara, Osun, seven others over minimum wage

Presidency, PDP disown campaign From Vincent Ikuomola, Gbenga Omokhunu and Gbade Ogunwale Abuja

•We’ve complied, says Osun


PPOSITION parties yesterday launched a broadside at President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 campaign posters, which have flooded Abuja, the nation’s capital. But the President and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) denied backing those pasting the posters. Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents resumed from the New Year’s holiday to see the streets flooded with posters campaigning for a second term for President Jonathan. The glossy posters with a bold picture of the President carries the inscription “2015: No vacancy in Aso Rock. Let’s do more.” Also inscribed on it is “One good term deserves another; support Dr. Goodluck Azikiwe Jonathan for 2015 presidency.” The posters were first seen in various neighbourhoods and public facilities in the FCT on New Year’s Day. By yesterday, they had covered main areas of the FCT and the satellite towns. The President distanced himself from the posters, but said those pasting them are exercising their right. His party – the Peoples Democratic Party

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu


ABOUR plans to tackle nine states that it claims are yet to pay the minimum wage. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has listed the defaulting states as Anambra, Ebonyi, Plateau, Kwara, Kebbi, Niger, Osun, Enugu and Zamfara. It accused the states of failing to complete talks with the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council (JPSNC) on the implementation of the N18,000 national minimum wage. The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged the JPSNC to intensify efforts in ensuring that states that are deliberately mis-interpreting the Minimum Wage Act are brought to book. NLC’s Acting General Secretary, Comrade Chris Uyot, said the Congress would visit the states to ascertain their level of compliance. Uyot said the NLC would this month take a record of all the ongoing issues surrounding the non-implementation of the minimum wage in the identified states and act accordingly. But Osun State has denied that it was yet to pay the minimum wage as required by the law. It urged the NLC to exclude the state from those it planned to battle.

Continued on page 4

There is nothing wrong in President Goodluck Jonathan displaying his posters for 2015...But Nigerians won’t be fooled the second time

The President has stated that he will talk about the presidency from 2014. Those doing this do not have the consent of the President

•Nasarawa State Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr Mohammed PHOTO: NAN Idris-Apa, taking the oath of office in Lafia…yesterday

Continued on page 4


Senate, House still working on Budget 2013 details House spokesman: President to get bill later






Stars who’ll be missing in action this year •Abia State Governor Theodore Orji flanked on the right by his Information Commissioner for , Prince Eze Chkamnanyo and his Chief Press Secretary Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue at a news conference in Umuahia.

They died last year and took with them their talents. For these stars, the sun has set on their contributions to the entertainment industry


•Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau, being decorated with Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem by Miss Rhoda Dadon at the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund Launch in Jos ... yesterday.

ISI Komolafe She would have made it into the new year, but death snatched her on December 31, making hers the last of the many deaths which hit the nation’s entertainment industry last year. The late Bisi Komolafe died in Ibadan, throwing the Yoruba film industry into mourning. The thespian, who was engaged to be married to her Canada-based fiancé, died at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, after several weeks of complication, arising from miscarriage. As the industry struggles to come to terms with her death, the deceased family has fixed burial arrangements, which include a wakekeep for Friday at the Catholic Church, Okepadi, Salvation Army Way, Ibadan. Reports say the actress will be buried at the same venue. The late actress was said to be six months pregnant when the complications arose. She had been living in Lagos with her fiancé, Mr. Ijaduola, after their engagement. She suddenly took ill tow months ago and was dmitted at the UCH. The late Komolafe, who became popular for her roles in flicks like ‘Igboro ti Daru’ and ‘Eja Tutu’, was a member of the Odunfa caucus of the Yoruba film industry. A second child, the late thespian was said to be the bread-winner of her family.

Pete Eneh

•From left: Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Iponri, CSP Kunle Olusokan, Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Dame Oluremi Oyo and Managing Editor and Head of NAN Lagos Office, Mr Isaac Ighure, during the visit of the DPO to NAN office in Lagos ... yesterday.

Veteran actor Pete Eneh died on November 15 , few days after he had one of his legs amputated due to infection , at Park Lane Hospital in Enugu. His health was said to have deteriorated after the amputation. The infection, according to reports, started in 2011, after he sustained an injury. His case worsened due to lack of proper medical attention. The actor was said to have been amputated to stop the infection from spreading to other parts of his body. Eneh was said to be diabetic. He spent three months at the hospital before he was advised to get the leg amputated to reduce the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of his body. The amputation took place after efforts to save the leg was unsuccessful. Until his death, the actor, who was often cast as Patience Ozokwor (Mama Gee’s stage husband in movies), was then said to be taking the situation in its stride. Eneh featured in hit Nollywood movies such as; Naomi, Not Your Wealth, Lonely Life (2006), Divided Kingdom (2005), Price of Ignorance (2005), Heavy Rain (2004), Arrows (2003), By His Grace (2003) among others.

Enebeli Elebuwa •The Assistant Provincial Pastor-in-Charge of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 5, Greg Nzekwu (left), Asssistant Pastor Kofoworola Olaosebikan (second left), Pastor-in-Charge of Parish, Redemption Centre, Pastor Aaron Olaosebikan and Pastor-in-Charge of Zone, Faith Chapel, Pastor Steve Oluyombo at the 50th Birthday Thanksgiving Service of Pastor Olaosebikan at Kubwa, Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Enebeli Elebuwa was a prolific actor who had over one hundred and thirty movies to his credit. The Delta State-born actor, who was born on February 14, was one of the

most acknowledged and respected faces in the entertainment industry and on the African continent. Elebuwa, who died at the age of 65, was fondly referred to by friends as ‘Andrew’ because of his role in a Federal Government’s public service advertisement in 1984. He shot into prominence with the advertisement in 1984, where he advised Nigerians against travelling abroad but to find ways of making the country a better place to live in. The late actor, whose first movie role was in Sanya Dosunmu’s 1974 celluloid film, Dinner with the Devil, was hit by a strange ailment sometime last year, resulting in stroke. He was first treated at St. Luke’s Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, but was later moved to St. Topaz Hospital, Surulere Lagos. He received assistance from Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Delta State Commissioner for Information, Richard Mofe-Damijo, who is also an actor. The deceased was one of the pathfinders in the Nigerian movie industry with about 125 movies to his credit. Some of the movies include: Abuja Top Ladies, Queen of Hasso Rock, The Corridors of Power, Extra Time, True Love, Squad Twenty-Three, Separate Lives, Dons in Abuja, Expensive Game, Bumper to Bumper, Mortal Sin, Together as One, the Highly-rated 1999 blockbuster Domitilla - and a host of others. Though known for delivering roles on the television, the actor’s journey as an entertainer began on the music scene. As a musician, he led the band of veteran highlife star, Victor Olaiya, during the Nigerian Civil War. He also performed with the Steve Rhodes Voices. He played the role of a police officer in the now rested popular soap, Village Headmaster.

MC Loph Nwaozo Obiajulu, aka MC Loph, died in a tragic car accident along the often neglected Benin-Ore Expressway. Obiajulu was travelling to Enugu State for his traditional wedding ceremony along with his fiancée. MC Loph popularised the song Osondi-Owendi, as a tribute song to the late highlife master Osita Osadebe .

James Iroha (Gringory) Veteran actor and member of the rested soap, New Masquerade, James Iroha (aka Gringory Akabogu) died at 69 on Tuesday, February 28. Before his death, Gringory was living in abject poverty and cried out in vain for rehabilitation. He was said to be suffering from an eye ailment. His son, Akwari James Iroha, confirmed Gringory’s death in a post on Facebook. He wrote: “Sept 1942 _ Feb 2012. Not long ago, a man we have all come to love, a man who made us laugh, a friend to all but will always be dad to my little sister Ugonma, my brothers Chiemela, Uche, Kelechi and me passed on. “Chief James Udensi Akwari Iroha OON has passed on today (February 28). May his cheerfull soul rest in the Lord. Akwari James Iroha (for the family).”




r •The late Komolafe

•The late Elebuwa

•The late Bello

•The late MC Lpoh

•The late Iroha

•The late Eneh

•The late Dento

•The late Lekinson

•The late Ihezie

•The late Ogungbe

Gringory retired from active public life at a traditional ceremony in December 2011 known as Igboto mma in Amokwe Item, Abia State. The soap was immensely popular in the 1970s and 1980s and was a family delight.

Lekinson Lekan Oladipupo, better known as Gorgio Lekinson, died last January in Osogbo, Osun State of heart-related disease. Lekinson was a hugely talented Yoruba actor renowned more for his role in Koto Aye, a classic Yoruba movie, featuring A-class veteran Yoruba actors.

Dento Star actor Hammed Odunla, popularly known as Dento, lost the battle

to stroke on August 6, 2012. He was on intensive medical care for months before he died. He was buried according to Islamic rites on the following day at about 10am. Besides being off stage for about five years, he was unfit to practise tailoring, his first job to which he returned.

David Ihezie David Ihezie, 70, died in January after a protracted battle with illness. The Enugu-based thespian was one of the most respected elders in the motion picture industry, and he would be missed, not just for his acting prowess, but for the fatherly role he played among actors during his life time.

Akin Ogungbe Akin Ogungbe, 80, popularly known as Baba Ibeji, died last month. In the seventies, the late Ogungbe acted the role of Baba Ibeji in a Yoruba photo play magazine Atoka. Ogungbe was a household name, ranking among the likes of the late Hubert Ogunde, Moses Adejumo (Baba Sala), the late Duro Ladipo, Baba Ajimajasan, the late Baba Mero, the late Oyin Adejobi, and the late Ade Love. He, alongside others, pioneered the Nigerian stage performance artistes, who ventured into celluloid film production before the advent of home videos. In the play which brought him

national fame, Ogungbe acted the notorious Baba Ibeji, who used one of his twins for ritual and used the proceeds to embark on holy pilgrimage to Mecca. However, after his departure, the unexpected happened: He forgot the key to the ‘sacred’ room where the twin was on his kneels with a ritual calabash on his head! On his arrival from Mecca, he was nabbed. It was this Yoruba photo play that etched his name on the consciousness of many, especially in the Southwest. Therefore, when the news of his death was made public last week, many remembered his foray and contributions to what is today a viable industry.

Among the films he produced and featured are: Asiri Baba Ibeji, Ologbo Jigolo, Ireke Onibudo, Lisabi and Igba funfun among others.

Taiwo Bello A former producer and director, Taiwo Bello died in Lagos on February 14 last year, exactly a month after his last birthday anniversary. Bello collaborated with some of the big names in the Yoruba movie industry, including star actress Funke Akindele, on some movie projects. He co-wrote the hit movie - Jenifa - with Akindele and worked with her on his 2010 movie, Omije Mi. Bello was bed-ridden for months with cancer.

How will the fight against human trafficking fare this year? Last year, the country’s rating in the fight against human trafficking was not good. The rating was largely due to lack of co-ordinated government efforts to curb the trend. Okeoghene Oghenekaro, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) writes that the drop in Nigeria rating in a U.S. report indicated that Nigeria had not fully complied with the minimum standards. Will it be better this year?


ROM all indications, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) has been striving to strengthen its operational strategies since a drop in Nigeria’s rating in the global anti-human trafficking campaign. The 2012 annual trafficking report, which was released in the United States (U.S.), indicated that Nigeria dropped to the tier two ranking. Nigeria had been maintaining a tier one status since 2007. According to the U.S. Department of State, the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments in the global anti-human trafficking campaign. The report places each country into one of three tiers, based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking,

which are enshrined in Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, in her statement during the release of the report, noted that as many as 27 million people around the world were victims of modern-day slavery. “We sometimes call trafficking in persons. Those victims of modern slavery are women and men, girls and boys, and their stories remind us of the kind of inhumane treatment we are capable of perpetrating as human beings,” she said. The drop in Nigeria rating in the U.S. report somewhat indicated that Nigeria had not fully complied with the minimum standards set out in the TVPA but was making significant efforts to comply with them. The Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, however, underscored the commitment of the agency to checking the menace of human trafficking. She said: “The U.S. government has adopted the ‘whole of society’ approach in this assessment, which automatically removes the outcome from the reins of the agency, as the indices used are not entirely within the control of NAPTIP. “However, it is a clarion call on all tiers of government to close ranks and step up actions to rid the country of the scourge of human trafficking.’’ Mrs. Jedy-Agba said the agency was developing a five-year strategic plan to ensure effective response to emerging trends in the human trade, while strengthening the agency’s coordination capacity and functions. She said that the

main thrust of the plan was to improve synergy between all the stakeholders and partners involved in the anti-human trafficking crusade. “The traffickers usually make false promises of a better life abroad and earning money in dollars. Eventually, these girls end up becoming prostitutes to pay their so-called ‘sponsors’ who took them there,’’ she said. The NAPTIP boss said many Nigerian girls were hood-winked into partaking in the booming sex trade in Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, adding that the agency would use its available resources to bring the hapless girls home for rehabilitation. Mrs. Jedy-Agba said that unemployment and poverty were the major factors responsible for human trafficking, adding that if these factors were tackled decisively, people would no longer be deceived and ensnared in the human trafficking web. “The three tiers of government must take a holistic and coordinated approach to address factors such as poverty, unemployment, collapse of family values and erosion of our cultural values,” Mrs. Jedy-Agba said. Mr Arinze Orakwue, the Head, Communications and Media, in NAPTIP, said that the agency would continue its advocacy with state governments on the need to fight human trafficking and implement the Child Rights Act. “NAPTIP is fully committed to cooperating with the police, the immigration service and other law enforcement agencies in the fight against human trafficking,” he said. Orakwue emphasised that a lot of public

awareness was being created through radio jingles to sensitise the citizens to the evils of human trafficking. He also said that NAPTIP, in collaboration with the Wale Adenuga Productions, had started a television drama series, depicting issues of human trafficking, child abuse and other related concerns. “The objective is to take the anti-trafficking campaign to the living rooms of Nigerians, and hopefully make them aware of this crime that shames us all,’’ he added. NAPTIP is also collaborating with the European Union Delegation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) in the anti-human trafficking crusade. For instance, its “I Am Priceless” campaign against trafficking in persons and smuggling of mgrants was launched in Abuja on October 9, 2012. The nationwide campaign, funded by the European Union (EU), was designed to reduce irregular migration that “occurs through trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.’’ Two “National Goodwill Ambassadors’’ — Ms Joke Silva, a renowned actress, and a “hip-hop’ musician, Mr Jude Abaga — were appointed to boost the public awareness campaign on human trafficking issues. Ms Angele Dikongue-Atangana, the Country Representative of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who appointed the two “ambassadors’’, said that they would use their artistic channels – music and film — to amplify the advocacy and public sensitisation efforts.



NEWS Jonathan’s posters flood Abuja

NLC to battle Kwara, Osun, seven others over minimum wage Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

- also disowned the posters. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Conference of Political Parties (CNPP) chided the second term campaigners. The CPC described the slogan “No vacancy in Asorock” on the posters as a door-die means to stay in power. CPC National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin said: “ If Dr Jonathan is interested in contesting the Presidency in 2015, we say, ‘why not?’ However, what is of grave concern is the portent of the posters: ‘No vacancy in Aso-rock in 2015’. In the light of the foregoing statement, we are compelled to ask some pertinent questions: Is this the language of democratic practice? Is there not a fundamental defect in our political system where supposed leaders transform into monsters? Have we not trodden this pathway before in which another leader- of the same political stock as this President – declared an election a ‘do or die’ process? Is the President likely to shed off civility and put on the garb of African leaders – in recent history – that have shown desperation in their final descent from power? Is this not an early warning that results of the 2015 presidential election have been written and kept in wrap just for the ‘formal’ announcement? Is this a feverish response from the Presidency to the impending merger of the major opposition parties? Is this a way of unduly overheating the polity, as an excuse for unleashing a very capricious onslaught on the opposition?” ANPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu said: “There is nothing wrong in President Goodluck Jonathan displaying his posters for 2015 presidential election. May be he feels that he has done well enough to test his popularity in the country again. But Nigerians won’t be fooled the second time. The sentiment of fresh air, which was apparently his campaign slogan in

•One of the poster on an Abuja street...yesterday

2011, turned out to be very hot air and suffocating Nigerians. Jonathan has little occupying his mind but a second term. Nigerians are watching.” CNPP National Publicity Secretary Osita Okechukwu said: “President Goodluck Jonathan is entitled to run, unless the court stops him. Therefore, he can float posters to test waters. This is the essence of democracy, where all the flowers are allowed to blossom. What one will plead is that there should be free and fair election; that is to say that he should not use his high office to manipulate the electoral process. “After all, elections in liberal democracy is a referendum on the performance of the incumbent. If he contests and Nigerians adjudge his leadership as good, so be it. But if Nigerians want a change, let him dare not obstruct the will of the people to choose our President. Some of us will resist it. Please, don’t forget that we were on the streets to confirm him as acting president in the last days of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.” But presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, in a statement, said the President has no hand in the posters. Besides, said Abati, he would not want to be distracted as he is focused on service de-

livery. “The posters are not coming from the president. The decision of the President is that he does not want to be distracted. His focus is on service delivery and this he stated in his New Year message to the nation. “The President made it clear during the last media chat that whoever wants to ask him question on 2015 election should come back in 2014 to ask the question. “If some people have taken it upon themselves to go and print posters, they are doing that on their own. “Those pasting the posters are trying to express their own view. The president had stated that he will talk about the Presidency from 2014. Those doing this do not have the consent of the President. “What is most important now is for the president to deliver on his electioneering promise to Nigerians and not to embark on the pasting of posters. “It has not come from the President. Nigerians should take the President for his word and ignore any other information to the contrary. “The President has not launched any campaign; he believes that those doing that are playing games. There is no reason for the president to engage in any form of scaremongering. He has said that by 2014 his position on

the 2015 presidential race would be made public. Nigerians should wait till then.” Asked if the President would move to stop those behind the posters, the presidential spokesman said since the posters do not have the names of those promoting it, there is little the President can do. He said: “We do not know those behind the posters, so the President cannot do anything. Our appeal is that those behind this should allow the President concentrate on the job at hand. The President’s main pre-occupation now is to continue to provide service and quality leadership.” The PDP said the party is unaware of the posters. National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the party had nothing to do with the posters in a telephone interview. “The leadership of the PDP is not in any way aware of the said posters if they exist at all”, he said. Metuh also doubted the possibility of President Jonathan being aware of the posters. He said: “Though I speak for the party and not the President, but I doubt if the President is even aware of the existence of such posters. He couldn’t possibly be involved in such things at this point in time.”

ASCSN’s Secretary General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal said where state governments implement the minimum wage for levels 1-6, they are not adjusting the wage to balance the ratio. He added that negotiations are stalled in some states because governments have refused to adjust the ratio between the minimum and maximum wages. “It is a tragedy. They just added N500, N900 in some cases, they didn’t adjust the ratio,” Lawal said. The Nation learnt that in Ebonyi State, only levels 1 and 2 have been paid the minimum wage totalling N25,000,while it paid N26,400 to level 8 and N31,000 to level 9, amounting to just about N2000 per month. Ebonyi workers have asked the government to return to the drawing board and use the relativity chart. It is a similar case in Niger State, where only levels 1-6 have been paid the minimum wage, while N10,000 per annum is added to the wages of those from level 7 and above. “That is about N800 per month increase. Even with this N10,000 addition, Niger State Government said they will use a consolidated structure, which means there will no longer be allowances like house rent, transport etc. This has been rejected by the workers,” an official of the state’s labour union told The Nation. But Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, spokesman of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola said: “Osun State should not be listed as one of those to be battled by the NLC because it has implemented the Minimum Wage Act. “Workers in state have even confirmed enjoying the minimum wage. The NLC should

remind those governors who are ‘yetMayto we implement the new national minimum wage that they are in gross breach of a national law, which they swore to uphold. In fact, if we operate a true democracy where the State Houses of Assembly are independent, this singular act of not complying with the minimum wage law is an impeachable offence

Senate, House still working on 2013 budget details


HE National Assembly is still working on the details of Budget 2013, it was gathered yesterday. Although the Senate and the House of Representatives on December 20, last year passed the budget, the details are still being fine tuned, as a result of which it has not been forwarded to the President for assent. The lawmakers approved a budget estimate of N4.98 trillion for this year. The quick passage and the fact that it was only the second time since the return to democracy in 1999 that the budget will be passed before the new year, was hailed by a cross section of Nigerians. Jonathan may get a copy of the budget from the National Assembly by the middle of January, it was gathered. The National Assembly,

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

which increased the President’s proposal by N63 billion, however said it will not go back on the $79 per barrel benchmark since the Appropriation Bill has been passed into law. The budget comprises N2.3 trillion recurrent non-debt expenditure; N1.6 trillion for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure; N387.9 billion statutory transfers; N591.7 billion for debt service; and a $79 benchmark. It also gathered that the National Assembly passed the budget in deference to the Executive’s plan to run a new fiscal year regime from January to December. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The Joint Committee of the two chambers agreed on broad figures

for the budget. But the committees in the Senate and in the House were asked to work on the details. “The details have been passed to the Appropriation Committee for scrutiny and reconciliation in line with the broad figures passed. This last lap requires a painstaking process to avoid any extraneous or bogus votes for MDAs. “I think the Executive cannot claim ignorance of the fact that the National Assembly is working out the details of the budget. “For the first time, the Executive and the National Assembly had some understanding to pass the budget into law within a record time.” Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor

Oghene said: “The total subheads have been agreed upon, we are working on the details. As I speak, the committees are through with the detail but the Appropriation Committee is working round the clock to ensure that the details tally with the broad figures. “The Appropriation Committee will also verify the figures allocated to the MDAs. We have mandated the Appropriation Committee to be strict so that no Ministry, department or agency will go outside its envelope “The President has an option to assent to the broad figures or wait for the details of the budget. I think he must have decided to wait for the details. “The budget and its details would be ready by the second week of this month. We are

be aware that the National Industrial Court (NIC) has restrained workers in the state from taking any action against the state over the issue.”Omar, while lamenting the reluctance of states to comply with the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act, noted that “the Act, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the President since March 2011, is being observed in the breach by some state governments. “More worrying is the spectacle of the Federal government, which should defend its own law, allowing state governments to use its security forces against protesting workers who are only standing up for their rights as protected by the law. Such unprecedented impunity is not only malicious, but are anachronistic to cherished democratic values. The much touted social dialogue, which should be the basis for resolving industrial disputes, has no meaning to some government and most employers. “May we remind those governors who are yet to implement the new national minimum wage that they are in gross breach of a national law which they swore to uphold. “In fact, if we operate a true democracy where the State Houses of Assembly are independent, this singular act of not complying with the minimum wage law is an impeachable offence. “It is our resolve that the few states that are still reluctant to pay the Minimum Wage to some categories of workers will come under full focus by the labour movement. The struggle will no longer be left in the hands of the state councils, but handled in conjunction with the national leadership of the labour movement,” the NLC President said.

hopeful that by the second week, it would be transmitted to the President for assent. “So, on or before the end of January, the President should assent the budget bill if he agrees with what the National Assembly has passed into law.” Asked why the National Assembly is sticking to the $79 benchmark, Oghene added: “It is not a question of sticking; the benchmark is already passed into law. “If the President disagrees with the benchmark, he has to send the budget back to the National Assembly on his observations. The Assembly is at liberty to stand by its decision or bend backward to accommodate the President’s notes. “But any bill passed into law remains passed. There is no going back on the benchmark as it is at the moment.”


ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678




Obasanjo: I would’ve died ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo said yesterday that he would have died in the fire that gutted parts of his Hilltop mansion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, last week. Obasanjo, who said he had had the grace of escaping many near death situations in the past, added that if the fire that gutted his home during the Yuletide had occurred at night, he would have died. Said he: “The fire, which occurred in the office of my private secretary, resulted in a thick smoke that covered my bedroom. If it had happened at night, I would have been a dead person now.” The inferno occurred about 4:30pm and it disrupted an evening merriment as panic- stricken members of the Obasanjo household, including his daughter, Funke, wife, Bola and visitors scampered for safety. His grandchildren, who had come to spend the Christmas holiday with him, were hurriedly evacuated to a safe place, while


From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

calls for water, ladder and fire fighters filled the air. Sympathisers, who were attracted by billowing smokes, rushed to the scene to help, but were prevented from entering the compound, as the fire, helped by the harmattan breeze, spread. It took the security agencies - members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Police, State Security Service and close friends of the President nearly an hour before they prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of Obasanjo’s sprawling estate. Efforts were made to salvage some furniture from being destroyed by the fire, which started 20 minutes after the former President had left for another of his residence at Ita-Eko, Abeokuta. At least two persons, including an NSCDC operative identified as Kunle Famakinwa, sustained injuries in the course of putting out the fire. While Famakinwa suffered a cut in his index fin-

ger and was treated by the doctors attached to the NSCDC Ambulance marked CD 1041 A01, another said to be one of Obasanjo’s drivers sustained injury in his foot. Ogun State Fire Service truck with registration number OG 122 AO9, which arrived the compound an hour after the fire was detected, was joined by another 10 minutes later. Narrating the incident to the executive members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State chapter, who had come to commiserate with him, the ex-President said the fire, which occurred inside the office of his private secretary, destroyed many items and resulted in a thick smoke in his bedroom that could suffocate a person. Obasanjo said he was full of praise to God for sparing his life. He said he had been receiving telephone calls from sympathisers, friends and associates within and outside the country. Said he: “I thank those who have called me on the phone within and outside

Lamido to Aminu: Jonathan constituted committee on PDP crisis

J •Obasanjo

the country. Let us appreciate the mercy and kindness of God. There are many we started last year together, but they are no more today. We are not mocking them, but only thanking God. “In fact, that I’m able to stand erect is God’s blessing. Many of my age mates cannot stand well again. I’m not mocking them, I’m only thanking God. My hope and prayer is that 2013 will be a glorious year.” Obasanjo thanked his guests for their concern. Addressing reporters, Mr. Tunji Shelle, the Chairman of Lagos State PDP, said they were in Abeokuta to commiserate with Chief Obasanjo on the recent fire that gutted parts of his home.

•Physically-challenged persons and less privileged families selected under the Poverty Alleviation Scheme receiving money at Kankara, Katsina State... yesterday. On the right is the Special Adviser to the Governor on Poverty Reduction, Alhaji Bature Masari.

‘End routine chest X-rays to check breast cancer’


PATHOLOGIST, Dr Banjo Kale, has called for an end to routine chest X-rays for prospective students of tertiary institutions, as it could cause breast cancer. Kale of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, said yesterday in Lagos that constant exposure to X-ray or radiation would cause cancer later in life. He said ending routine exposure to radiation could help reduce the increasing rate of breast cancer. Kale urged doctors to ed-

ucate and enlighten governments at all levels, stakeholders and school administrators on the negative effect of chest X-rays. The pathologist said chest screening was introduced in the 1980s in the United States of America (USA) for immigrants to detect tuberculosis. According to him, the western world has since discarded routine chest screening when it became aware that radiation is a potential cause of cancer. Dr. Kale said Nigeria introduced the screening for

young and vulnerable students admitted to higher institutions without taking into account its implication on human health. He said the widespread cases of young women dying of breast cancer could be traced to the routine chest X-rays. Said he: “Government has to stop X-rays for young female students. Routine chest screening should be abolished. “One of those things responsible for the development of cancer is unnecessary exposure to radiation.” “We can use it for diag-

nosis, but not for routine chest screening. It is totally uncalled for. “Young people’s breasts are vulnerable and this can cause cancer. “So, if you introduce something that has the ability to turn normal proliferation into abnormal proliferation, which is what is called cancer, it won’t happen immediately. “May be 20 years to 30 years down the line is when the effect of what we are doing now will be shown - the development of cancer. It’s not overnight, it takes years.”

IGAWA State Governor Sule Lamido yesterday debunked the allegation by Senator Jubril Aminu that the committee on the crisis rocking the Adamawa State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was a creation of the Governors’ Forum. In a statement from his Director, Press, Umar Jitau, Governor Lamido said contrary to Aminu’s interview, the committee was a creation of a forum formed by President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the national leader of the party. Describing Aminu as an “elder statesman, a renowned academician and one of Nigeria’s priceless jewels,” the governor said the committee was constituted to look at the general well being of the PDP. On Aminu’s vote of no confidence in him, Lamido said:

By Precious Igbonwelundu

“With regards to my relationship with Governor Nyako, I will at the appropriate time respond to my elder’s assertion of lack of confidence in me.” He went on: “The forum is made up of the President and all senior PDP members in the Federal Government; the national leadership of the party with the National Chairman in attendance; the leadership of the National Assembly as well as PDP governors. “It is therefore not true that the committee was a formation of the Governors’ Forum.” The committee is chaired by Governor Lamido. Other members include Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, Senator Adamu Gumba, Manu Yusuf Shua and the party’s Legal Adviser.

Lawyer to lawmakers: revisit time limit on election petitions


CONSTITUTIONAL lawyer, Mr. Iheanyi Maraizu, has urged the National Assembly to revisit the provision of Section 285 (6) (7) of the 1999 Constitution, which imposes time limits on the determination of election petitions. He said doing so would save Nigeria’s democracy from the hands of election riggers who are the beneficiaries of the section. The provision makes it mandatory for election petitions and appeals to be disposed of within 180 days and 60 days. It was designed to end protracted electoral disputes. But Maraizu said the provision has resulted in more injustices and untold hardships than it was intended to prevent. He said: “The injustice inherent in the foregoing lies in the fact that many litigants who had genuine cases were denied the opportunity of ventilating their grievances. “This was neither because they were not willing to prosecute their cases nor because they did not have the capacity to do so. It was purely on technical grounds that their cases were thrown out. “The worst aspect of it is

By Joseph Jibueze

that (just as The Nation pointed out in one of its editorials) all a smart politician needs do is to rig himself into office. “Once he gets into office, he will do everything possible to ensure that the trial of the case is delayed as much as possible. “Once the case lasts up till 180 days in the tribunal, the person who rigged himself into office would apply that the case should be struck out for being time-bound. “It is therefore not difficult to see that election riggers are likely to be the greatest beneficiaries of this law. “For this reason, I believe and strongly too that this law is obnoxious and must be revisited. “It is obnoxious because it constitutes a stumbling block to the growth of our hard- earned democracy.” Mr. Maraizu said where a law made for the good of the people or the state is found to be counter-productive or is no longer serving the purpose for which it was made, steps have to be taken to amend it to ensure that the expectations of the people are met.

Chelsea Dry Gin ushers in New Year with DJ classic


HE New Year, 2013, was, on January 1st, ushered in with pomp, by Intercontinental Distillers Limited, through one of its big brands, Chelsea London Dry Gin. The event tagged, “Chelsea 2013 DJ Classic”, featured Nigeria’s best DJs, each of whom attempted to outplay themselves behind the wheels of steel at the exclusive Elegushi Beach in Lekki, Victoria Island, Lagos. Speaking at the event, Kingsley Anuebunwa, Brand Manager, Chelsea London Dry Gin, affirmed that “Chelsea has always been a supporter of the entertainment industry and we intend to do more this New

Year, we want to take Nigeria’s entertainment sector to the next level”. The event featured 15 big names in the Disc Jockeying business, like DJ Humility, Cool DJ Jimmy Jatt, DJ Neptune, DJ Sose, DJ Vinnie, DJ Exclusive, DJ Cool Slam, DJ Frankie Fit, DJ Omega B, DJ Johnny, DJ Zimo, Lady DJ Miss Tell, to mention some of the names who beltled out upbeat tunes which, endlessly, kept the crowd excited. Elegushi Beach was, totally, overwhelmed by Chelsea’s influence, with a massive crowd that came, saw and got entertained by the musical displays of the men who earn their living by dishing out melodious tunes.



NEWS Litigation stalls removal of abandoned planes, says FAAN From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday said series of litigation were responsible for the non-removal of abandoned aircraft at airports across the country. It said it was discovered that many of the aircraft were used as collateral. The General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said this in Benin City when he took reporters on a tour of the reconstructed Benin Airport. He said they have advised owners of the abandoned aircraft on ways to dispose them of and still make profits. Said he: “We are in the age of recycling. Most of these planes were built with plastic and metals. We have advised the owners on several ways to dispose of the aircraft and still make profits. “By the time the period we are giving them elapses, FAAN will take steps to clear the abandoned aircraft because they distort the masterplan of airports.” Dati said the inauguration of the reconstructed Benin Airport was put on hold because of the recent helicopter crash in Bayelsa State. He noted that the Benin Airport, which was inaugurated 30 years ago, was remodelled and rebuilt to become a centre piece of activities and a hub of economic activities. Dati said the remodelling of 11 airports was to make them self-sustaining and viable. He said the Benin Airport recorded 25,000 passengers on a monthly basis, adding that the tariff on the importation of aircraft’s spare parts was removed to reduce air tickets’ prices. According to him, “the airports are no longer like termini. This is why we have world-class shops there for travellers. The Nigerian aviation should contribute to the GDP of the country.”

Ihedioha: renew faith in Nigeria


OUSE of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha has urged Nigerians to put the past behind them and look forward with hope, optimism and renewed faith in themselves and the country in 2013 and beyond. In a New Year message, the lawmaker said last year’s challenges have strengthened Nigerians’ resolve to overcome the hurdles of nation-building, adding that the country has come out stronger. He said he hoped that Nigeria would be better in the New Year and that citizens must contribute to the development of the country. Ihedioha congratulated Nigerians on being alive in the New Year. He pledged the commitment of the House of Representatives to improving the lives and living conditions of Nigerians.

Traffic law is for safety, security, says Fashola

ACN accuses PDP of pandering to sectional sentiment


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described as irresponsible, cheap and inflammatory, the People Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) statement that President Goodluck Jonathan is being criticised by the opposition because he is from a minority geo-political zone In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed shock and disappointment that a party, which has always been quick to tout its ‘nationalist’ credentials, will stoop so low to stoke the fire of sectional politics. It said if the PDP feels that the President is being unfairly criticised for his administration’s poor performance, it should use verifiable facts and figures, not cooked-up statistics, to counter such criticisms, instead of resorting to desperate tactics that could inflame the polity. ACN reminded the PDP that President Jonathan, as a democratically-elected leader, is subject to criticism from those who elected him into of-

fice as well as the opposition, which has a stake in the wellbeing of the country. “President Jonathan is not an oracle or the head of an absolute monarchy, who cannot be criticised. He is a democratically-elected President whose actions are subject to scrutiny by the people, irrespective of what part of the country he comes from. “This statement credited to the PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, is unprecedented. Never before has the spokesman of a ruling party or a central government in Nigeria accused the opposition of criticising the President because he is from one part of the country. This statement can only be the product of a lazy and desperate party official, who will find the easy way out, even at the risk of setting the country on fire, just to keep his job,” the party said. It wondered why the PDP did not blame the scathing criticism of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Ardua on the fact that they are from a section of the coun-

try, considering that both former leaders were not spared by the opposition during their tenure. “The records are there for anyone who cares to check that we never spared former Presidents Obasanjo and Yar’Adua on their actions or inaction while in office. Why, therefore, should we not criticise President Jonathan for his actions and inaction in his official capacity? Why is anyone pandering to sectional sentiment? “It is also on record that the ACN did more than any other party, including his own party, the PDP, to push for his assumption of office as the Acting President, on the strength of the country’s constitution, when his principal was ill and flown out of the country. That was at a time the PDP was waffling over the issue. “Therefore, we reject and condemn the irresponsible accusation that President Jonathan is being criticised because of the part of the country he hails from. We reject the cheap blackmail that our criticism of the President’s action

•Alhaji Mohammed

amounts to abuse of his person. We say unequivocally that while we have nothing but total respect for the Office of the President but this will not prevent us from criticising his administration as constructively and responsibly as we have been doing. “We note that there is nothing that the opposition has said about the Jonathan administration’s non-performance and cluelessness that other Nigerians, including clerics, politicians and public commentators, have not said, and wondered why the PDP has singled out the opposition for castigation,” ACN said.

LAGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has said the State’s Road Traffic Law is for the safety and security of the people, adding that it is meant to minimise avoidable deaths and bodily harm through accidents. Governor Fashola, who spoke during the 11th Anniversary of Funmi Iyanda’s 1st January live television programme on NTA, Change-A-Life, said every policy of his administration was well thought out for the benefit of the greatest number of the people. “The Traffic Law is about safety; it is about security, it is about better habits because the automobile is not a toy. It has made the difference between life and death for some people; it has made the difference between full mobility and mobility by wheel chair for life for some. It has also made the difference for some children who have been orphaned when they could have lived a life full of joy and happiness with their parents”, he said. Governor Fashola said although some of the decisions were difficult to take, government has always been guided by the capacity of such policies to save, secure and improve life, adding that avoidable loss of life always diminishes him as a person. Speaking particularly on the restrictions on the operation of commercial motorcyclists, the governor declared: “It is my responsibility to make sure that that kind of pain is reduced. They are difficult choices but they are necessary choices”.

Fed Govt advised on women development From Bukola Amusan,Abuja

•From left: Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor Rauf Aregbesola; his wife, Sherifat; Deputy Speaker House of Assembly, Mr. Akintunde Adegoye; and Acting Chief Judge, Justice Gloria Olagoke, during the Inter Religious Service marking the beginning of 2013, held at the Governor’s Office, Abere, Osogbo... yesterday.

Activists urge Fed Govt to prosecute terror suspects


WENTY four hours after President Goodluck Jonathan celebrated the arrest of terrorism suspects implicated in the bombings of the Nigeria Police headquarters, Abuja, the United Nations building in Abuja and the Catholic Church in Madalla, near Abuja, where many Nigerians were killed, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Federal Government to prosecute the suspects, making use of the best legal hands Nigeria can provide through the Office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice. The group said the Federal Government should not leave the prosecution of the suspects to the Nigeria Police prosecution teams because of the alleged serial incompetence and professional indis-

cipline among the police who have compromised high profile prosecutions. A statement by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said it is wrong and ill-timed for President Jonathan to celebrate the arrest of the suspects before they are tried in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, particularly sections 6 and 35[5] of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The group said it makes no meaning for the Federal Government to celebrate high profile arrests when most Nigerians know that the Nigeria Police prosecution teams in the past messed up high profile cases, allowing the suspects to escape the long arm of the law because of incompetence, corruption

and compromise on their part. Citing the case of the murder suspects involved in the assassination of the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige (SAN), who were discharged by the Oyo State High Court, following the incompetence of the police prosecution team, it said posterity would not forgive President Jonathan should he allow the prosecution of the suspects to be compromised by the Nigeria Police prosecution teams. The group said Nigerians have lost confidence in the ability of the Nigeria Police to obtain quality convictions in the courts of law against the high profile terrorism suspects, since the Inspector-General of Police Mr. Abubakar Mohammed told the media

recently that he is unaware of the existence of an extant antiterrorism law and other legal provisions against mass murder under which the detained suspects can be prosecuted. HURIWA said rather than play to the gallery by telling Nigerians some ‘phantom victories’ of the security forces over the terrorists’ attacks on the North, the Jonathan administration would achieve more by reorganising the legal mechanism at the highest level under the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice to take up the prosecution of the suspects and engage tested lawyers to handle the matter. Alternatively, the rights group asked that the suspects be tried at the International Crimes Court (ICC) to ensure swift, decisive and effective justice delivery.

A non-government organisation (NGO), the Gender Support for Women Emancipation Development Society, has urged the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to correct the errors that hinder women development in the country. The NGO’s Founder, Mrs. Ann Frances Nosike, who spoke yesterday in Abuja during a media chat, said Nigerian women have resolved to correct the errors of the past and they need the involvement of the First Lady. She decried the taking over of the National Centre for Women Development built by the late Mrs. Maryam Babangida by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, which she noted has crippled the tempo of activities. Mrs. Nosike said: “No progress has been achieved as the ministry has used the money derived from the centre for activities not essential to women development. We want the centre to be transformed into a commission under the Presidency, which will encourage the First Lady to ensure a personal supervision and make states’ first ladies to embark on similar projects, which they will leave as legacies after their tenure as did by the late Mrs. Babangida.”



NEWS Rite for Adegbonmire today

Leaders must fulfil social contract, T says Fayemi E KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has

said leaders must understand that they have a social contract with the people. The governor, who was represented by his wife, Bisi, spoke yesterday during an Interdenominational Service at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. He said the Federal Government has failed the masses, despite the huge resources at its disposal, because it does not understand the social contract aspect of governance. Fayemi said the state has recorded significant success in all areas of the economy because the government understands its role. He said: “Everywhere we go, we get confronted by the question of how we have

•Cleric warns politicians against distraction From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

been able to record such a great success in Ekiti in just two years. I do explain it in two ways. One is to see everything as the favour of God Almighty. Without him and his support, nothing is possible. “Another explanation we cannot run away from is that this administration understands the meaning of social contract. Leaders must understand that the position involves giving useful direction to the people, protecting them through policies and programmes and empowering them meaning-

fully and usefully.” In his sermon, the Chief Missioner of the Ansar-UrDeen Society in Ekiti State, Sheik Ameen Adebayo, warned politicians against actions capable of distracting the state government. Adebayo said the Fayemi administration has built many roads, fixed street lights and sustained the peace in the state. He said many people-oriented programmes, including the social security scheme for the elderly, showed that the administration is out to better the lot of the masses. Other clerics who spoke at

the service include Rev. Kunle Salami of the Chapel of Glory; Rev. Keji Bolarinwa of the Baptist Church; Chief Imam, Ekiti State, Alhaji Jamiu Bello and Alhaji Awiye Olowoyo. They stressed the need to maintain the peace in the state and lauded the government’s achievements. At the service were House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin; Secretary to the State Government Ganiyu Owolabi; Head of Service Olubunmi Famosaya and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Yemi Adaramodu. Also in attendance were the Alara of Aramoko, Oba Olu Adeyemi; the Onitaji of Itaji-Ekiti, Oba Adamo Babalola; and the deputy governor’s parents, Chief and Mrs. Famuagun.

HE Seventh-Day Traditional Rite of Passage will be performed for the late leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Chief Wumi Adegbonmire, by his family today according to Akure custom. The former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) died in his home on December 29, last year. His widow, Mrs. Solape Adegbonmire, announced this while receiving the representative of Akure South/North in the House of Representatives, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde; the former representative of Akure South State Constituency I, Mr. Tayo Abidakun; the Oloda of Oda, Oba Akosile and some ACN chieftains. Abegunde described the late Adegbonmire as “a great man and a respected son of Akure”. He said: “The late Asiwaju of Akureland con-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

tributed immensely to the development of Ondo State, particularly Akure. If you listened to his wife, she said Baba was among those who agitated for the creation of Ondo and Ekiti states. “Though I am a baby politician and was in the United States when Baba was in active politics, I have learnt much from him since I joined the only progressive party in Nigeria. We interacted like father and son and I never regretted being in the same party with him. Baba Adegbonmire will remain a great son of Akure, Ondo State and Nigeria.” Abidakun said: “Baba Adegbonmire was a great man. He lived well and died well. I am happy that I joined the ACN before Baba died. He had always wanted me to join his party. I am very happy because he trained all his children and he was an associate of my late father.”

Akoko Southwest gets council boss


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday swore in Mr. Michael Arise as the Caretaker Chairman of Akoko Southwest Local Government. Mimiko advised Arise, a former councillor in the local government area, to carry everybody along in the management of the council affairs. He said: “I implore you to do everything possible to unite your people. You must prevent factional competition among your people. I know you as an experienced politician, who will add value to the lives of your people.” Arise pledged to live up to the expectations of the governor and his people.

Osun ACN defends Aregbesola on 2013 budget From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest “to stop attacking the Governor Rauf Aregbesola Administration”. Rather than criticising the administration unduly, it urged the PDP to go to court, if it was sure Aregbesola had breached any constitutional provision. ACN was reacting to a statement credited to the Southwest PDP that Aregbesola failed to present the 2013 budget estimate to the House of Assembly. In a statement by its Publicity Director, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, ACN said the PDP should always clarify its allegations before talking to the press. It said: “If the Southwest PDP is not being mischievous, it should have gone to court to challenge whatever it perceives as a constitutional breach, rather than seek cheap publicity. We challenge it to go to court. “To disabuse the minds of those who are not comprehensively informed about the constitutional provision on budget presentation and government spending pending parliamentary approval, it is important to state that the Nigerian constitution anticipated a possible delay in budget presentation and, as such, provided for the governor to spend money from the Consolidated Fund within six months, pending the approval of the budget. “The governor presented the budget estimate to the House of Assembly before it went on recess. The law governing budget presentation does not state that all Southwest states, or other states for that matter, should present their budget estimates on or before January 1. “For the benefit of those who care to know, Aregbesola is a calculated operator, who would not rush to present a budget that he is unsure of how to finance. “The PDP ran the state irresponsibly for 90 months and led it to bankruptcy before the ACN took over power two years ago. We challenge the PDP to go to court before the end of the week or keep its mischief-making mouth shut and go back to school to acquire proper knowledge on what the constitution says about governance. “The level of the PDP’s political illiteracy is becoming so toxic in the Southwest that the party is beginning to foul the political atmosphere with its noises and shenanigan. We advise the PDP to keep quiet and learn how responsible politicians run state affairs from the Aregbesola administration. “With the PDP, Nigeria has become the laughing stock of the world. It should be ashamed of the level of corruption, incompetence and visionlessness it has inflicted on Nigeria in the last 13 years.”

T •Lagos State Commissioner of Police Umar Manko (third left) speaking with reporters after the State Security Council (SEC) meeting at the State House, Marina. With him are the Commander, 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, Brig. Gen. Pat Akem (second right); Director of the State Security Service (SSS) Ben Olayi (second right); Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Maj. Tunde Panox (right); Commanding Officer, Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS), Beecroft, Apapa, Navy Commodore Martins Njoku (second left) and Commander, 435 Base Services Group, Ikeja, Air Commodore Sunday Wukangha (left)...yesterday.

‘Tinubu means well for Ondo’ GROUP in Ondo State, the Ilaje Democratic Forum (IDF), yesterday urged the public to ignore the Labour Party’s (LP’s) misinterpretation of the statements made by the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, during the campaign for the October 20 governorship election. It said Tinubu meant well for Ondo people and was after the development of the Southwest. Speaking with The Nation in Akure, the state capital, IDF Chairman Mr. Nimbe Tawose said Tinubu never said the ACN would change the mega schools and the Mother and Child Hospital built by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration to mortuaries. Tawose said: “Tinubu was only comparing the population of some schools in Lagos State to schools in Ondo State and never said he would use the project for another thing. No one said the hospital would be changed to a mortuary.” Describing Tinubu as a Yoruba leader, who shares the


From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

same political ideology with the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he said the former Lagos State governor has groomed several “political gladiators”, who are “contributing massively” to the Southwest’s development. IDF urged Ondo people not to see Tinubu as a dictator, but as a man who wants the best hands to manage public resources. It said: “Asiwaju wants the Yoruba to be together and is not interested in siphoning public funds. He has been supporting the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola administration and it is doing brilliantly well. Fashola’s achievements in his first term in office encouraged Lagosians to re-elect him. “Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was also reelected following his unprecedented, achievements and you cannot compare the number of votes these governors got to what Mimiko got. Mimiko, who claims the people of the state love him, should have gotten 500,000 of

‘Asiwaju wants the Yoruba to be together and is not interested in siphoning public funds. He has been supporting the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola administration and it is doing brilliantly well.’ the over 600,000 votes cast in the election. “Tinubu, through his political experience, selected these great leaders for the people of Lagos and Edo states. We are sure that the governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and Ogun would be returned with massive votes, due to the developmental programmes going on in those states. “We urge our people not to see Tinubu as a man after our resources. We are yet to receive complaints from Southwest governors and people that Asiwaju had been living

fat on their resources. “Ondo State people should note that corruption took over the state since the inception of the Mimiko administration. Ilaje people have not witnessed any tangible development since Mimiko appointed Prince Debo Ajimuda chairman of the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC). We heard billions of naira was embezzled and Ajimuda was arrested. Did Tinubu pick Ajimuda as OSOPADEC chairman? “Tinubu means well for Ondo people and that was why he and other leaders of the party picked Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Dr. Paul Akintelure to represent the party in the governorship election. Both candidates have outstanding records in their various fields and are capable of managing the state’s resources excellently.” IDF urged ACN leaders not to relent in their efforts to rescue the state from collapse, adding that the election result shows that the party has a bright future in Ondo.



NEWS YCE urges Boko Haram on dialogue From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

HE Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has urged the Boko Haram sect and its sponsors to dialogue with the Federal Government. The group, in its New Year message, said the activities of the sect in the last three years have brought hardship on Nigerians. The statement was signed by the YCE’s National Treasurer, Dr. Dejo Raimi, on behalf of its President, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd.). The group said: “In over three years of open rebellion against the state, Boko Haram has not achieved anything positive. Their activities have left behind sorrow, tears and blood, as many promising young men, women and elders have been sent to their untimely graves. “We want them to know that nothing shall be achieved by their mindless bloodletting. In all of human history, great wars that were fought were equally concluded, not on the battle field, but at the conference room. We urge the Boko-Haram sect to jettison violence and allow peace to reign in our country.”


300 policemen for Oyo command


HE Oyo State Police Command yesterday said it was expecting 300 newly-recruited officers this month. Speaking with reporters in Ibadan, the state capital, Police spokesman Mr. Ayodele Lanade said: “Criminals keep changing the way they operate and the police cannot afford to relax. In view of this, we are expecting about 300 newly-recruited officers, who will complete their training this month. This will boost our manpower.” Lanade said last year was challenging as regards crime fighting, but the command lived up to expectation. He said: “Everybody is a living witness that 2012,

compared with previous years in Oyo State, was a success in terms of security. The strategy of Commissioner of Police Joseph Mbu in changing the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and making their telephone numbers available for distress calls paid off. All the DPOs were put on their toes and they conscientiously ensured security in their divisions.” Lanade said the command would perform better this year. He said: “If you drive around the state, you will see that our Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) are strategically stationed and this contributed to why the Yuletide was cool and calm in Oyo State.”

Oyo Speaker assures of growth

•Amosun (middle) and the celebrator’s son, Femi (left), assisting Akiyode to cut his birthday cake... yesterday.

Amosun celebrates centenarian


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday congratulated the Balogun of Egba Muslims, Alhaji Yoonus Akanbi Akiyode, on his 100th birthday. Congratulating the centenarian at his (Akiyode’s) home in Abeokuta, the state


Mimiko advises workers on service


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday urged workers to be more committed to service delivery. Mimiko spoke at the Governor’s Office in Akure, the state capital, during a prayer session marking the first working day of the year. Deputy Governor Alli Olanusi, top government officials and civil servants were at the session. Mimiko thanked the workforce for supporting his administration and urged them to continue to do so. The Pastor-in-charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ondo Province 1, Pastor Ri-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

chard Adeboye, in his sermon, entitled “Divine Connection”, proclaimed peace for the state and urged residents to be determined and courageous.

manifests in your active participation in leading Islamic organisations, both in Ogun and Nigeria as a whole. You also excelled in the world of banking. I wish you good health and many more years of service to God and humanity.” Akiyode thanked the gov-

ernor Amosun for his presence and the “development projects of his administration”. The Chief Imam of Egbaland, Alhaji Liadi Orunsolu, said: “God is the giver of strength and long life; this is evident in the celebrant’s 100th year on earth.”

Aregbesola: 2013 is year of freedom

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

YO State House of Assembly Speaker Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu has said the Assembly would work with the Executive to speed up development. Mrs. Sunmonu spoke at Okeho, headquarters of Kajola Local Government, during an empowerment programme organised by the member representing Kajola State Consistency, Mr. Abiodun Adegoke. She said the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration would leave no stone unturned to make life more comfortable for the people. The speaker said the empowerment programme was proof that members of the Seventh Assembly were out to protect the interest of the electorate. Adegoke said the programme was a way of appreciating his constituents And thanked the governor Abiola for his support. The Onjo of Okeho, Oba Rafiu Osuolale, said the projects of the Ajimobi administration have beautified the state. He urged the governor to site a satellite campus of the State Technical University in Okeho, adding that the town cannot boast of any tertiary institution.

capital, Amosun described the former member of the State Muslim Pilgrims Board and the Advisory Council on the state’s Prerogative of Mercy as a diligent man, whose “achievements remain evergreen”. He said: “Your commitment to the service of God


HE Osun State Government yesterday held special prayers to mark the first working day of the year. Many Islamic, Christian and traditional religion clerics participated in the prayer session at the parking lots of the State Secretariat in Osogbo, the state capital. Governor Rauf Aregbesola said 2013 will be a year of “total freedom” for residents. He said: “Our major desire in 2013 as a government is to fulfil the desires of the founding fathers of the state. Osun will be free from hunger, poverty and underdevelopment this year. “We have paid over N600 million as compensation to owners of demolished structures in the state. We assure those yet to receive their compensation that they would get it soon.” The governor said his administration has revived re-

•Assembly hails governor From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

ligious studies in public primary and secondary schools. He said the free computer tablet, tagged “Opon Imo”, which the government would present to secondary school pupils, has an application on Ifa studies. Aregbesola prayed for peace and development and urged the people to support his administration and the country with prayers. He said Nigeria needs prayers to overcome its security challenges. Aregbesola said he aims to make Osun the envy of other states. Clerics, who offered special prayers for the peace and growth of the state, include the President General, League of Imams and Alfas in the Southwest, Alhaji Mustapha Ajisafe; Chair-

man of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye and frontline Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon. Deputy Governor Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; the Head of Service, Mr. Olayinka Owoeye; the Acting Chief Judge, Mrs. Gloria Olagoke; Acting Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state Elder Adebiyi Adelowo; commissioners and some traditional rulers were at the service. The Bishop of the Methodist Church, Osogbo Diocese, Rev. John Bamigboye, in his sermon, urged the government to continue to implement people-oriented programmes. Also yesterday, the House of Assembly hailed the governor on projects and

programmes that were executed last year. The 26-member Assembly, in a statement by Deputy Speaker Akintunde Adegboye, saluted the governor’s “developmental drive” in the previous year. On behalf of Speaker Najeem Salaam, who is in the United States (US) on official engagement, Adegboye thanked the people for their sacrifices. He said: “We wish the governor and people of Osun a happy and prosperous year. We pray for more development, good health and long life for residents and all Nigerians. “We thank the people for allowing peace to prevail since the inception of the Aregbesola administration, because without their support, the enviable achievements recorded last year would not have been possible.” Adegboye said the Assembly has started work on the 2013 Appropriation Bill.

‘Oshiomhole has made business-friendly policies’


GROUP, the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa, yesterday hailed Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for creating business-friendly policies. It said the plan by a Chinese company to site a car assembly plant in Edo in the first quarter of this year

would boost the state’s economy. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the group’s Executive Director, Alhaji Dada Akpeji, said Oshiomhole is following the path of advanced countries, “who do not inaugurate projects, but enunciate people-oriented policies that would improve the economy”.

Akpeji said: “Only well thought-out government policies can take us out of the woods. That is the panacea for economic greatness and would grow our gross domestic product. Government has no business inaugurating petty projects that cannot stand the test of time. “We hail Oshiomhole for attracting investors to the

state. We heard businessman Alhaji Aliko Dangote is planning to site a fertiliser plant in Edo. “These efforts by Oshiomhole will reposition the state as a commercial hub in Nigeria. Naturally, Edo is the exit point to the six geo-political zones, whose economic activities would certainly quadruple

by the time these investors begin operations. “We heard the Edo State government is planing to register existing investors in the state, so that when the foreign investors arrive, they those on ground would have some roles to play in the larger picture. This is commendable and the governor should be encouraged.”






08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

Manko fetes suspects


AGOS State Police Chief Umar Manko did not play the cop on Teusday. Rather, he donned the toga of Father Christmas, dishing out food and drinks to suspects at the Scorpion House of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Cell, Command Headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos. The 'social interaction' between him and the suspects was the first of its kind in the command's history. Manko said the suspects deserved to celebrate the New Year like others. Policing the society, he said, was not limited to crime prevention and control, but uniting people, adding that being a suspect should not deprive one the enjoyment of his funda-

By Ebele Boniface

mental human rights. The gesture, Manko said, would be extended to other suspects in police custody across the state, adding that Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and Area Commanders (ACs) had been given orders to that effect. He said some suspects would soon be charged to court, adding that efforts would be intensified to facilitate the investigation of the remaining suspects whose cases are pending. Some of the suspects, who spoke to reporters, thanked Manko for his gesture. No fewer than 125 suspected robbers; kidnappers; arms dealers and receivers of stolen goods, among others, were hosted by Manko.

Lagos makes alternative dispute resolution compulsory •It’s a good, but slow process, says SAN


ITH the coming of the Lagos State High Court Service Procedure (Civil Procedure) Rule 2012, it is now mandatory for lawyers to explore arbitration of disputes before legal option. The rule was introduced as part of efforts to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and decongest courts. The rule signed by the Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips became effective on December 31, last year. She signed the rule in exercise of the powers conferred on her in accordance with Section 89(1) of the High Court Law Cap H3 of Lagos State 2003, as amended by the High Court (Amendment Law) 2012. The new rule provides for parties to comply with certain pre-action protocols as part of new Originating Process requirements. Under the pre-action protocols, lawyers and litigants are mandated to first explore ADR to settle disputes to be brought to court. Such originating processes filed in court would be screened for suitability for ADR. It was learnt that it is only where the ADR fails that such

By Adebisi Onanuga

matters would go for litigation. The Nation gathered that suitable matters would enter the ADR track to the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) or other appropriate ADR institutions. The ADR processes include consultation, arbitration and reconciliation. Where reconciliation is achieved, settlements would be entered as consent judgment of the court of Lagos State. Where reconciliation fails, matters would enter the litigation track in the courts. Reacting, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) said the rule would slow down many court processes because not everybody would want to go to ADR. "Going by constitutional provisions, nobody can compel you to go to ADR. If you are not happy with ADR, you can still proceed to court," he said. Fagbohungbe described the requirements making ADR mandatory for lawyers as a way of getting disputes resolved quickly. "The objective may be good, but if you insist on going to court nobody can stop you," he said.

Civil Servants begin the New Year with prayers LAGOS State Civil Servants returned to work yesterday, thanking God for making them to see the New Year. Head of Service, Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe said it was expedient for them to thank God for surviving 2012. Speaking at the prayer session held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, he said there was need to commit workers into God's hands because they are greatest accomplishers. Urging them to improve on their performance this year, he said: ``It is important to commit the business of government to God in prayers for better service delivery. I urge you all to be punctual at work this year and make judicious use of resources at your disposal to achieve optimum results.'' The two-hour session started at 8.00 a.m. A minute silence was observed in memory of workers, who died last year. Activities were, however, at low ebb at the secretariat as many workers were yet to resume after the Yuletide break. Vehicle and human traffic was light; the men at the gates were virtually on holiday. The two banks on the premises recorded low patronage. A worker at the Ministry of Rural Development said: ``I guess some workers travelled during the holiday and could not arrive in time for work. But by tomorrow (today), I am very sure the attendance will improve. ''

•Manko sharing foods to suspects


Lagos urges event managers to guard against hazards


AGOS State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed has urged event managers, planners and organisers to identify potential hazards so as to protect lives and properties. Dr. Ahmed spoke at an Events and Gatherings Stakeholders Safety Forum held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. The commissioner, who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola, urged the stakeholders to make safety a priority in all their activities. Director-General (DG) Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi said safety must be enforced in the


By Miriam Ndikanwu

‘Mrs Odebunmi said there were lots of risks inherent in the event industry, urging event planners and organisers to make safety the first and last agenda in the planning stage rather than repair syndrome.’ public's interest. The forum, she said, was expected to expose key players to the risks inherent in events management. She said it would serve as an avenue to introduce

how to organise and manage events safely by laying the foundation for integrating health safety and environment management into event execution. Mrs Odebunmi said there were lots of risks inherent in the event industry, urging event planners and organisers to "make safety the first and last agenda in the planning stage rather than repair syndrome." Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties, Dr. Remi Desalu, said the recent fire outbreak at Jankara Market on Lagos Island was an avoidable man-made disaster, blaming the incident on negligence and non-compliance with safety requirements.

Government, he said, is determined to curb such incidents, adding that the Commission was established to, among others, ensure compliance with safety standards always. Mrs. Tenidade Eboda of Events Basics called for more safety parametres because of rise increase in the number of events centres in the state. She enjoined event planners to carry out risk identification. Tagged: "You Are There…You Are Involved," the forum is scheduled to take place at Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State and AworiAjeromi Grammar School on January 14 and 15, respectively

Fire razes three buildings in Lagos

IRE is still wrecking havoc across Lagos one week after the Jankara Market inferno in which12 buildings were razed. The fire gutted three building on Jones Street, Ebute Metta West, Lagos Mainland, Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island and forest at Lekki. Fire fighters battled for hours to put out the Lekki fire. Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has commiserate with Governor Babatunde Fashola on the Jankara fire. The Ebute Meta fire was said to have been caused by spilled petroleum product. The fire, which started 8pm, destroyed the apartment of a new couple, among

•Buhari commiserates with Jankara victims By Precious Igbonwelundu

others. An eyewitness said: "The fire started at about 8pm and was escalated by fuel stored in one of the buildings. Properties belonging to occupants of both buildings were destroyed, including those of the newly wedded couple." Director, State Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe said no life was lost in the incidents. He said: "The fire on the Victoria Island involved a three-bed room, boys' quarters and has been put out. "The cause is not known yet, but no life was lost. The one in Lekki was a bush fire. We were unable to put it out because of lack of access to the place. The land is

swampy and so we have advised them to go and get a tractor to spread sand and prevent the fire from spreading. We have attended to about 10 fire incidents today (yesterday) alone. There was another at 18, Bash Oshibo Street, Magodo, Phase II. "Most of the cases were caused by electric sparks. While some of the damages were severe, others were minimal. I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the public to always switch off electrical appliances before leaving their homes and offices. We are in the dry season, coupled with the harmattan and climate change. So, peo-

ple have to be very careful as very little things can cause inferno." In a letter, Gen. Buhari said he was saddened by the loss of a life and properties in the Jankara fire. "I am writing on behalf of my family and supporters to convey to you our heartfelt grief and sympathy on the terrible fire outbreak at Jankara Market, Idumota. "Please convey to the victims and entire people of Lagos State our sympathies for their grievous losses," he said. He urged the Federal Government to ensure "laws of the country concerning importation, manufacture and storage of combustible items" are adhered to, praying that such incidence would not happen again.





Budget: NAPEP gets N1.6b From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


HE Committee on Na tional Planning, Eco nomic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has approved N1.6billion budget for the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), its Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, has said. Gemade, who spoke at the agency’s 2013 budget defence in Abuja, assured NAPEP of its willingness to support its well-meaning people oriented programme. He said: “The Committee was concerned about the plight of poor Nigerians who voted to have their condition of life improved, but unfortunately much is still being expected from government after coming this far. “Poverty alleviation programmes should not be subjected to undue delays arising from prolonged procurement processes, which means the funds meant for the poor people should be effectively and speedily delivered. The Senior Special Assistant to the President and National Coordinator, NAPEP, Malam Mukhtar Abubakar Tafawa Balewa said the agency met its target by concluding 100 per cent payment in respect of Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme under the 2012 budget provision. The Committee urged NAPEP to present a supplementary budget estimates to reflect the recent reviewed allocation to the Programme.

We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plague of substandanrd products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. - Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON

DANA Air to resume operation

Fed Govt to acquire 30 aircraft for domestic operators T S HE Federal Govern ment is to procure 30 aircraft as part of its efforts to boost domestic operations of the aviation industry. The Corporate Communications General Manager, the Federal Airports Airthorityof Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Yakubu Dati, who stated this during the inspection of the renovated Benin Airport, said the fund would be sourced from part of the aviation intervention fund of the Federal Government. Dati, said the development entailed buying and distributing aircraft to domestic airline operators, unlike the old practice of giving out aviation intervention funds to them, which they allegedly misused. He said the procurement of the aircraft would be funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with the Bank of Industry (BoI). He added that the initiative would help in reducing the cost of travelling by air in the country. “ I also want to say at this point that the issue of assisting domestic

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

carriers has been uppermost on the mind of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah. “And that is why the issue of the removal of tariffs and taxes on aviation spare-parts was done by Mr. President. “This is to help the airlines operate profitably and also make it more attractive for investors because spareparts are the major cost component on the aviation sector. “The minister of aviation is also making plans to bring in about 30 aeroplanes to be able to assist local airlines. “So with all these, we believe that eventually, we will now have cheaper tickets and by the time we have cheaper tickets, there will be higher traffic. “Because if you cut the cost of doing business, then the person doing the business has no reason but to also cut the cost of running it because we believe that one hour flight in Nigeria

shouldn’t cost more than N10, 000 or N15, 000. “ And the whole idea is to make the business cheaper and easier to operate so that Nigerians who are the ultimate beneficiaries should be the passengers and they should board with cheaper tickets,” he said. He said that the Benin Airport was one of the 11 airports that were remodelled and reconstructed in the first phase of President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s transformation agenda. He said that the reason for the transformation of the aviation industry was to ensure that the nation’s airports and terminals became the centres of commercial and economic activities. The manager said that the Benin airport underwent major renovation for the first time since it was opened in 1979. He said that the reconstructed airport would be inaugurated soon as additional 22 airports had been earmarked for major reconstruction nationwide.

He said the revolution in the sector is a deliberate plan as contained in the aviation master plan to restore Nigeria’s aviation industry to where it truly belonged as a hub in Africa aviation and to be able to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Commenting on the issue of abandoned aircraft littering most of the airports, Dati said the owners had been directed to remove them as they constituted a menace and danger to the flying public. Dati, however, said that some of the owners were in court as the aircraft were subject of litigation. He said that the matter was being handled by the legal department of FAAN, adding that as soon as the case was dispensed with, the aircraft would be removed. Earlier, the Benin Airport manager, Mr Ayodele Olusegun, who conducted the inspection team on the facility tour, said between 25,000 and 26,000 passengers travelled from the airport monthly. He said that the 200 seat capacity departure hall had been upgraded through the on-going renovation to 350 seats.

By Oluwakemi Dauda

• Lagos Waste Management Agency staff at work after end of year holidays...yesterday.


-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -11.7% 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 $43.5b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

IX months after its McDonnel Douglass 83 crashed into Iju / Ishaga area of Lagos State, indications emerged yesterday that DANA Air will commence scheduled flight on the Lagos - Abuja flight with its re- certified aircraft on Nigeria’s busiest trunk route. DANA’s re- entry into scheduled operations comes after many months of scaling hurdles set by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which set a new rules of engagement before the carrier could commence operations. Part of the rules is the expressed desire and willingness of DANA Air to pay the outstanding seventy per cent insurance claims to families of victims of the crash,which will amount to seventy thousand dollars. DANA Air said last year that save for delay in collection of letters of administration, from the probate registry of the Lagos High Court, it would have paid many families that are set to receive the outstanding payment. A source in the industry said yesterday that officials of DANA Air were busy having series of meetings preparatory for the commencement of flight. The source hinted that the carrier called its personnel who were still observing the end of year holidays to report for work preparatory for flights, which is likely to alter the operational equation in the domestic scene of the aviation sector.

Govt extends service providers’ contracts

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

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor



10 million handsets worth N60b coming for farmers

HE Federal Govern ment is to spend be tween N40 billion and N60 billion to procure 10million telephone handsets from China and the US for free distribution to rural farmers across the country. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, who dropped the hint, said the handsets would be made available to the beneficiaryfarmers before the end of March, this year. She said the programme is aimed at establishing direct electronic communication between the government and farmers on agricultural matters, adding that the beneficiaries would be “women and youths” in rural areas. Mrs. Odusote who spoke at Igan - Ipabi Community in Ijebu North East Local Gov-

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

ernment Area of Ogun State, during the sensitisation of the women and young ones on the propriety of taking farming as a viable occupation, explained that the handsets would also be accompanied with Solar powered lamps that would serve as chargers for the phones in the event of power failure. Mrs Odusote said: “ We are talking about 10million handsets, each handset would be costing, may be N6000 or N4000 because it is in large number. We are not going to buy in pieces like that. We will buy directly from the manufacturing companies. We have agree-

ment with some organisations in China and some in the United States, they are going to provide all these handsets for us because they are also interested in investing in the Agricultural sector in Nigeria. So you have the idea and estimate of the cost. “And I tell you that the money is available, it’s on ground. We are looking at the first quarter of this year to roll - out the phones and by the end of the first quarter, we are done and they will start hearing about out roll - out.” “The handsets will be the tools with which to communicate with the farmers in the rural areas, deep deep into the interiors so that we

will be able to communicate with them even in the hinterlands.” She said this is part of the incentives and the enabling environment being created by government at the centre to encourage women and young ones; particularly the graduates, to go into farming and agric-business, not only to relieve the nation’s ageing farmers in rural areas, but also to earn a honest living instead of roaming about in cities looking for non - existing jobs. She said the government is committed to ensuring that Nigeria produces local foods consumed here by subsidising fertilisers, supplying seedlings and making them accessible to farmers.


HE Federal Govern ment has extended the contracts of the three service providers under the Destination Inspection (DI) scheme, by six months. Investigation by The Nation revealed that the extension was granted to the three service providers via a letter dated 31st December, 2012 and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Danladi Kifasi. Kifasi in the letter with reference F10361/S.56/VA/491 and sent to the three service providers wrote; ”I wish to inform you that the President has approved the extension of the Agreement dated 1st January, 2006, between your company and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) for the provision, installation, operation and management of X-Ray Scanning Equipment and Software for Inspection of goods. The Agreement which is to expire on 31st December, 2012, has been extended for a period of six (6) months with effect from 1st January, 2013".



INDUSTRY MAN praises new Customs clearing system


•Busy Central Market in Bauchi as activities resumed after the new year holiday...yesterday.

‘Nigeria loses N32b annually to rice smuggling’ S MUGGLING of rice through the porous borders of the country costs the Federal Government N32billion annually in revenue accruable through import duties payment, rice millers have said. National chairman of Rice Millers, Importers & Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN), Mr Tunji Owoeye, who spoke with The Nation, said annual rice consumption is about 5.5million tonnes while local production accounts for about 1.8 million tonnes, adding that the development necessitated the need for importation to bridge the gap. According to him, 50 per cent of these imports are smuggled into the country. He lamented that effort at stemming the smuggling spree has not paid off. “We complained about the activities of smugglers of rice and its devastating effects on the Nigerian economy. From records available to us, the total loss of revenue to the government from this unwholesome activity for the period commencing

Stories by Toba Agboola

January 2012 till date is over USD$200 million (about N32 billion). That is an enormous loss to the economy of any nation,” he said. He lamented that the unpatriotic Nigerians behind the trade are daily devising new strategies to stay in the illicit business. “The truth is that the unscrupulous elements behind this unwholesome business are not only unrelenting, but are daily intensifying and refining their activities thereby undermining government’s policies and programmes directed at boosting local food production. It is disheartening to note that these persons connive with some bad elements in our security services to perpetuate their illicit acts,” RIMIDAN boss said. He added that the association is deeply concerned because of the grave consequences of the smugglers on the economy. While commending Federal Government’s efforts at boosting the agric sector and ensuring food security through massive investment, he

expressed worry that much of such investments appear threatened by the activities of the smugglers. He said what the smuggler are capitalising on is the porous land borders especially the flank linking the country with Benin Republic, adding that RIMIDAN was ready to partner with the Federal Government to ensure availability of rice at reasonable prices in the country. Owoeye said, “This will receive a big boost once the borders are effectively policed. It would be a big incentive for us as local farmers to produce more, and subsequently meet the local demand for rice. Our call is for the Federal Government to strengthen its mechanism for policing the land borders especially the Seme Border flank as well as other related areas where much of these acts are being perpetrated.” According to sources, there are no fewer than 10,000 unapproved land routes through which smugglers use to bring goods illegally to the country.

Govt liable for industries’ woes, says NACCIMA T

HE Federal Government is to blame for some of the problems of the industrial sector, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has said. In an interview, NACCIMA Director-General, Dr. John Isemede, said the government has not provided the enabling environment encourage productive development. He said without adequate infrastructure and access to funds, it would not be possible to create jobs. He noted that the pension scheme, a laudable government initiative, is being abused because some enterprises, especially the sole proprietors and Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SME) have ignored regulators’demands and refused to participate in it. The Chamber said the absence of

a national identity card system was a major challenge for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It said lack of access to government’s intervention funds to support the real sector was also a problem. Isemede lamented that MSMEs struggled with some growth barriers in recent years, saying the inability to access credit/funds for their effective operations was one its major problems. The development, according to him, led the government to introduce some public intervention schemes to help boost private sectors’access to funds/credits through some regulations, such as the National Policy on MSMES and the revised microfinance policy,

regulatory and supervisory framework for Nigeria which, he said, helped to define the landscape and regulate the activities of microfinance banks. To stem the tide, he said a presurvey research was undertaken through the inauguration of a firm of consultants to administer questionnaires on business operators, covering the six geo-political zones in the country, especially NACCIMA and state/city chambers of commerce members. He explained that the outcome of the planned pilot bi-annual dialogue session focused on the analysis of the viability of the funds and a review/clarification by the key stakeholders (the Central Bank of Nigeria and the deposit money banks) to ensure accessibility by operators.

‘Cassava flour can generate N24b yearly’


IGERIA can earn N24 billion yearly from cassava flour, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Mrs. Gloria Elemo, has said. She said the revenue projection was based on about 300,000 metric tonnes per annum demand estimate by flour millers and what it would save the nation in terms of foreign exchange. Mrs Elemo, who spoke on a research on cassava by FIIRO, added that the institute has developed some products from cassava, which included high quality flour, industrial starch (including normal, detoxified and modified), fufu flour, cassava chips and pellets. Other products it developed also

include cassava-based adhesives and cold water starch, cassava noodles, tapioca, mechanised garri, soy-garri, glucose syrup and ethanol. The uniqueness of the research is the development of a 10-ton per day mechanised garri plant designed by FIIRO and licenced to Newell Dunford, United Kingdom for commercialising its production for sale in Brazil, Ghana, Sierra Leone with royalties paid to the Federal Government. She said FIIRO has taken some bold steps to quicken the pace of industrialisation in Nigeria through research and development, as well as pilot plant production trials for industrial applications in areas of food and agro-allied products, and

in various non-food areas. The institute focus on agricultural development is the huge support towards government’s wheat flour inclusive policy for bread baking to deflect the economic consequence of huge foreign exchange used in the importation of wheat flour. This support is coming as the government inches towards reaching an agreement on fresh policy to improve local cassava production and consumption. Wheat import is estimated at N635billion yearly, a an amount, which FIIRO said could be saved if the new policy was implemented. The institute added it could develop high quality products from cassava to industrial needs.

ANUFACTURERS Association of Nigeria (MAN) has praved the Nigeria Customs Service for its single window initiative which can eliminate bottlenecks and corruption from the good cleaning system. Its President, Mr Kola Jamodu, said in Lagos at the end of single window workshop organised by Customs, that it is a platform needed to boost government’s revenue from trans-border trade. Besides, he said it would help in actualising the nation’s dream for 48-hour cargo clearing scheme. “From all accounts, the aspiration of the government and the private sector is the attainment of 48-hour cargo-clearing, which is about five days, having come down from the dismal 40 days obtainable three to four years ago. “The impressive reduction in the long chain of regulatory/security agencies operating at the port from about 19 to seven were to prepare the port for the Single Window Clearing System.This will, no doubt, significantly reduce both direct and indirect costs of clearing cargoes in the country,’’ he said adding, that the NSW would increase the competitiveness of locally produced goods, either for domestic consumption or for export. Beside, the Comptroller-General of CustomsAlhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi has assured the nation that when the sytem comes on stream, it might eliminate stakeholders’complaints and man-made bottlenecks in cargo administration. “The creation of a NSW holds many benefits for Nigeria: increased levels of service efficiency, predictable process and elimination of administrative bottlenecks; and which will, ultimately, increase revenue and economic growth”, he said, in a statement delivered by Deputy Comptroller General (DCG), Mr J. Atteh, who represented him at the workshop. According to the Customs’ boss, single window was a tool which manufacturers, exporters, importers, terminal operators, financial houses and regulatory bodies have all been waiting for. “The Nigeria Customs Service recognises these benefits and, therefore, reiterates its continuous commitment to creating the perfect NSW for Nigeria as the leading agency. All hands are on deck to realise the target of improving our trading across borders ranking by 50 per cent in the next five years”, he said.

CAC registers 170,582 firms


HE Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registered 170,582 firms between January and October last year, its Registrar-General, Mr Mahmud Bello, has said. He made this known in Abuja while presenting a paper at a seminar entitled: Creating a friendlier environment for trade and investment to thrive: CAC’s role . The figure, he said, consists of 74,641 firms, 87,640 business names and 8,291 incorporated trustees. Bello put the revenue generated within the same period at more than N6billion. He also said the commission would start incorporation firms at its Kaduna, Kano and Enugu offices from yesterday without going to the head office. Bello said: “The CAC has taken practical steps to decentralise its operations by making the state offices more functional and at par with the head office. “This is made possible by the adoption of fibre optic for the commission’s Wide Area Network as solutions to frequent downtime being experienced with the VISA system.” He said incorporation of firms started in the two offices in Lagos since November, adding that five state offices had been earmarked for the service in the new year.

‘Fed Govt should revive manufacturing sector’


O avert economic crisis, the Federal Government has been advised to focus on production manufacturing of goods this year. The General Leader/District Chairman, Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Surulere SubHeadquarters (Ayo Ni O), Lagos, Prophet Gabriel Fakeye, made this suggestion in Lagos. He said the power sector, which seems to have crippled the economy, should be given more attention in the 2013 budget. The cleric said the manufacturing industry, a great determinant of growth and development in a country, is declining gradually and it has made so many areas to experience decline. He said if Nigeria can make the manufacturing and the agriculture sectors the mainstay of the economy, there would be employment opportunities for teeming youths, reduction in the huge amount spent on importation of vital food items and other processed food items. Fakeye emphasised that the government should look into the power sector in its 2013 budget as the sector is affecting all areas of the economy. “If they say Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) can boost the growth and Gross Domestic Product of any economy, then power should be made available as


many businesses have failed due to power inconsistency. If we didn’t increase our energy sources, the problem will still persist. We believe the manufacturing industry will survive with uninterrupted power supply.” Also, he said the SMEs need to be supported by funds, training and education, technology support, provision of cheap and affordable business development services and other support mechanisms to create an industrial base to develop the country. Speaking on the recent scarcity of petroleum products, he said the Federal Government can only get Nigerians out of the woods if it pursues the refinery building agenda using private investors. This he said, would stop the endless debate on fuel subsidy removal and create a level playing field for those interested in participating in the downstream sector of the oil industry.


Eagles not ready, says Akanni Pg. 51


NFF battles Tel Aviv over Enyeama Pg. 14

•Israeli club asks for extra two days

Sport Thursday, January 3, 2013



Ameobi •Shola Ameobi

snubs Nigeria •As Keshi drops Toon star






Rabiu quits Celtic ahead of AFCON Oboabona vows to clean up Eagles’ defence By Innocent Amomoh

Eagles not ready, says Akanni


•Rabiu Ibrahim

Ambrose to hit Eagles’Faro Camp January 4 From Tunde Liadi, Owerri •Oboabona



NFF battles Tel Aviv over Enyeama

Emenike: I’ll score goals for Eagles By Innocent Amomoh

•Israeli club asks for extra two days

T NFF must fight for Ameobi, says Akpoborie

HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has rejected the pleas of Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv to keep Super Eagles’ custodian Vincent Enyeama for two extra days, writes Next Monday, on January 7th, the log leaders travel to face current champions Ironi Kiryat Shmona in an important league match. The decision by the NFF is a big blow to The Yellows as new signing Tomer Chencinski is ineligible to start playing in the championship until January 9th, the date the transfer window officially opens in Israel. Today, the Nigeria Federation informed the Maccabi Tel Aviv hierarchy that Enyeama must report to Faro, Portugal latest Saturday, January 5. Inexperienced goalkeeper Barak Levi, whose performance was shaky against Hapoel Haifa in the cup, is tipped to replace Enyeama in goal.


Osaze may replace Ba at Newcastle

Ighalo to play as lone striker

CSKA coach backs Musa for strike role

Ogunjobi gets CAF appointment






HE Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed former Nigeria Football Federation scribe, Chief Taiwo Joseph Ogunjobi, to appraise sports facilities in Liberia. The CAF inspection visit includes stadiums and hotels that will be used for the 2013 CAF Champions Leaague and CAF Confederation Cup in Liberia. According to the assignment, he will inspect all Stadia and hotels which will be used by clubs from different countries partaking in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup in 2013. Liberia International Shipping and Corporate Registry Club

(LISCR) FC and Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) II FC both plying their trade in the Liberia top division will participate in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup respectively. Ogunjobi, the Osun State Football Association Chairman, was informed of his appointment by Alphonso Armah, Acting General Secretary of Liberia Football Association (LFA) and has been asked to communicate his date of arrival so as to prepare the inspection itinerary. The astute football administrator and season FIFA and CAF match commissioner, is expected to depart the country next week for the inspection.





Fergie dismisses retirement talk S

ir Alex Ferguson has stated there is no likelihood of an imminent managerial vacancy at Manchester United. With Pep Guardiola due to end his post-Barcelona sabbatical next summer, Jose Mourinho tipped to leave Real Madrid and David Moyes’ Everton contract ready to expire, three of the

major candidates to replace Ferguson could be available at the end of the season. It has led to suggestions Ferguson, who celebrated his 71st birthday on Monday, will call time on a Manchester United career which now extends beyond 26 years. The Scot accepts all three men are at the top of their profession. However, in an interview

with the Abu Dhabi Sports channel, Ferguson makes it clear he is going nowhere. “I’m hoping to stay on for a bit of time,” he said. It is widely accepted few will get to know when Ferguson is ready to call it a day, with chief executive David Gill the man tasked with advising the Glazer family about a replacement. And, though Guardiola, Mourinho and Moyes are bound to be at the top of the list if they are available, Ferguson highlights the precarious nature of football management and states further consideration is impossible.

“It’s very difficult,” he said. “Over the years, names have been bandied about but football is such a precarious industry. “But you could be talking about one of the potentially exciting young managers in the game, but is he going to be here in two or three years’ time? The sack race is horrendous. “Sometimes a manager can only survive four games if he doesn’t win a match. “Top managers will always been in demand but nobody knows where they are going to be in two or three years’ time.”

Wes Brown injury blow for Cats


UNDERLAND boss Martin O’Neill is unsure whether Wes Brown will play again this season after the defender suffered another injury setback. The injury-plagued centreback has been out of action since hurting his knee in an FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough last January. And it now seems the 33year-old’s 12-month lay-off will stretch even longer now after the former Manchester United player broke down after returning to training last month. Brown is now undergoing a series of sugar injections in the hope of curing the long-standing problem, although no specific time frame on his return has been announced. “Wes is feeling really frustrated with it all,” said O’Neill. “He just has ten or so days where he thinks he is going well and then gets a setback. “He has these injections, a course of sugar injections, which are making him feel better at the minute. He feels

• Fegie

they are benefiting him and I think the lad (Stoke City captain Ryan) Shawcross had them some time back. “We have lost his services and it has got to the stage where we can’t even consider him. It is bad for us, so it must be terrible for him.”

• Brown

Lampard: Derby is must-win game


rank Lampard insists Chelsea must come out on top in Wednesday’s west London derby against QPR if they are to keep alive their hopes of winning the Premier League. Last year proved to be one of the most tumultuous of Chelsea’s history, with the sacking of two managers and the lifting of one Champions League trophy the most notable stand-out points from a rollercoaster 12 months. Despite the drama earlier in the year, Chelsea ended 2012 looking as settled as they have done in recent times. Having racked up four successive wins to put them within 11 points of leaders Manchester United with a match in hand, there is now talk among the Chelsea squad of launching a title assault that would have seemed improbable at best two months ago. And given that United are masters of closing out the title in the second half of the season, Lampard knows he and his team-mates must continue bringing home the points -starting with a potentially feisty derby against bottom side QPR - if

they are to keep the Red Devils in sight. “We do (have to win these games),” Lampard told Chelsea TV. “That’s the position we put ourselves in, because we had that funny run through November and December. “We were top and all of a

• Lampard

sudden we are adrift but you can’t look back at that. We have to be positive now. “We need to put a long winning run together. We have started doing that in recent weeks.” Lampard has seen recent signs that indicate Chelsea’s resurgence will not be temporary. The way they put eight past Aston Villa is an obvious sign that Chelsea are back to their best going forward, but Lampard has also noted an improvement in team unity that many felt was absent


under previous managers. “For me the biggest change is in our attitude,” he said. “We go in to games with the desire not just to pass and move the ball around. “The attitude is to get close, to work hard for your teammates and to have a spirit about you. “If we have that then we can do what we want.” Lampard moved one behind Kerry Dixon in to second in Chelsea’s all-time scorer list last weekend when struck twice to sink Everton.

• Redknapp

Redknapp wants to sign Cole


ARRY REDKNAPP has confirmed he is interested in bringing Joe Cole to Queens Park Rangers and is planning talks with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Cole has been unable to make an impact at Liverpool this season following Rodgers’ appointment after spending last term on loan at French side Lille. The midfielder has yet to start a Premier League game under Rodgers and was not involaved when Liverpool won 3-0 at QPR on Sunday. Redknapp handed Cole his professional debut at West Ham United and remains a big fan of the 31-year-old as he looks to improve his QPR squad. “I’ve got a lot of time for Joe, as a player and a person, he’s a good lad to have around your football club, a good player,” said Redknapp. “He’s interesting me. I’d like to bring him here if we could. We’ll see what happens. “The deal would have to be right for the club. We couldn’t do a deal with Liverpool with what his contract is at Liverpool. We’d have to try

to find a way of doing a deal with Liverpool, if they’re willing to let him go. “I’ll have to speak with Brendan, I’ll have a chat with him when the time’s right and see what he has to say. “I haven’t spoken to Joe, I’m not allowed to speak to Joe. Are you trying to get me banned by the FA? “I haven’t spoken to Joe for two years. I nearly took him to Tottenham a couple of years ago but he went to Liverpool, that was last time I spoke to Joe. He’s a great lad.” The former Tottenham boss is battling to keep QPR in the Premier League and has reiterated his view that signing players in the January transfer window is not easy. He added: “January is so difficult. It’s a tough time to find players. We’re in a desperate situation, but we’ll see what happens this week. “I’ve got a list of names, obviously. But getting them isn’t easy and it’s all about getting value. Attitude and ability are important for us. We need players who will come in and make an impact.”

‘I’m the Fella women adore A R O U A N E in Liverpool’ FELLAINI claims he has been forced out


of Liverpool because women throw themselves at him. The Everton star, 25, has moved to Manchester as less people recognise him there. Fellaini, who is dating former Miss Belgium finalist Lara Binet, said: “I could not stay in Liverpool any longer.

“I was recognised too much and sometimes women would suddenly climb all over me. “The paparazzi also took some getting used to. I don’t want to be a big star. “People in Manchester treat me with more respect.”

Adkins warning over Shaw

OUTHAMPTON manager Nigel Adkins has warned clubs looking to lure away Luke Shaw or any of his other players this month. Saints have improved greatly of late, having lost just two of their previous nine Barclays Premier League fixtures. The north Londoners have taken Alex OxladeChamberlain and Theo Walcott from the south coast club in recent years and have been linked with a move for 17-yearold academy graduate Shaw.

Manchester City and Chelsea have also reportedly shown interest in the leftback, although Adkins does not expect him to be going anywhere. “I’ve not read any of the newspapers,” the Saints boss said. “I think Luke gets linked every week with Arsenal, doesn’t he? “Luke is under contract, he is playing football for us in the Premier League, which is important. “We are not looking to let him go anywhere if anyone wants

to come in for any of our players, by all means speak to the chairman. He does the deals and all the best with that.” Adkins gave a similar response when asked about Rickie Lambert’s future following speculation of a January move away from St Mary’s. The Saints boss was, though, less forthcoming when asked of players arriving at St Mary’s, following links to Cagliari’s Davide Astori and Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland.




EUROPEAN FOOTBALL PSG insists ‘no contact’ with Ashley Cole



Rijkaard: There’s no magic formula to beat Barca

F • Rijkaard

rank Rijkaard knows only too well the philosophy that his former club Barcelona lives by and the rivalry with Real Madrid. In an interview with the official FIFA website, Rijkaard gave an analysis of the two greats of Spanish football. He said: “There is no magic formula to beat Barca. Some of the teams that have been successful against Barcelona have based their success on a very organized and disciplined defense. Both Inter Milan and Chelsea have eliminated Barca from the Champions League, and then there’s Real Madrid.” “You could even call it Jose Mourinho’s recipe for success, which comes from spell at London club Chelsea. If you use the system ten times against Barcelona, you’ll beat them just once, as it does not guarantee success,” he added. Rijkaard, who enjoyed his time as coach on the Barca bench added: “I have wonderful memories. Yes, I had success, but all that was achieved was by the collective effort of the players. I suppose I had a good relationship with the players because we won

two La Liga titles and Champions League title. The key to all this is the Barcelona youth system which the club has counted on for years.” Regarding the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Frank Rijkaard didn’t mince his words: “I’m going with Leo because he is the best of the three finalists and has played outstandingly this year.” The Dutchman defines the Argentine star like this: “Messi is an amazing person. He is not only a player with a unique talent but is also very smart and mentally very strong – his dedication is outstanding. I love watching him play and I am deeply proud of him and what he has achieved. To put it plainly, he’s simply the best “. Real Madrid concedes the least number of goals in La Liga in 2012 The whites are going to finish the year with 34 goals against from 39 games played in the championshipJavier Garcia As well as an excellent performance at the goal mouth, another facet that has characterised Real Madrid in

ARIS ST GERMAIN sporting director Leonardo insists there has not been any contact with Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole over a potential move to the French capital. There has been a constant stream of speculation regarding Cole’s future at Chelsea, and with the England defender’s deal due to expire at the end of the season, he is free to discuss and sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of England as of today. At 32-years old, Cole will not be offered any more than a rolling one-year extension at Chelsea, despite proving that he is among the finest fullbacks in world football, and for that reason he is expected to leave Stamford Bridge. There will be no shortage of takers when Cole decides to weigh up his options both domestically and from abroad. Manchesters United and City are both thought to be keeping a close eye on his situation, but it seems in recent weeks PSG are the early frontrunners for his signature. However, the rich French club are adamant that despite the ongoing reports, there has been no talks held with Cole about a transfer. “We have never spoken with Ashley Cole, there has never been any contact,” Leonardo

2012 has been its solid defence. Mourinho’s men have let only 34 goals get past them in the 39 La Liga matches played this year. And they managed clean sheets in 13 of those games. With an average of less than one goal against per outing, the whites achieved the lowest number of goals against, ahead of Atlético de Madrid (36) and Barcelona (40). Real Madrid saw 17 goals get pass them in the latter part of last season and another 17 in the start of the current one. In total, in La Liga in 2012 they have conceded 34 goals from 39 matches, giving an average of 0.87. On top of this, in 13 of those games, seven in 11/12 and six in 12/13, they ended the game with clean sheets. Excluding teams that were promoted or relegated at the end of last season, Real Madrid has conceded the least amount of goals in the first division. It is followed by Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona with two and six more goals against, respectively. Malaga (43) and Real Sociedad (49) are next on the list.

said. “Carlo was his coach at Chelsea, that’s why that story is doing the rounds.” Cole’s mother certainly did the speculation no harm when she hinted on her social network page that a move to France beckons for her son. She wrote: “Well looks like his going somwhere better hear than the talk of man u. Not too far on the Euro star.” While Leonardo adamantly insists there has been no contact with Cole, it does not necessarily mean there will not be in the near future. With Cole now free to talk to clubs outside England from today, it could all change unless Chelsea decide to meet his demands. If not, PSG would be an attractive option for Cole. Owned by the Qatari royal family, who have bankrolled at huge expense the arrivals of some top-class players including Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Brazilian sensation Lucas Moura who arrived today, the wealth of the club means Cole’s wages will be no issue. Location-wise, Paris is only a matter of hours away from London on - as his mother reminded us - the Eurostar, while a move to the French Ligue 1 will prolong Cole’s career and see him be part of a team that has ambitions to dominate France and Europe.

• Cole

Sunderland’s Ji moves to German side Augsburg on loan

Moura unveiled by PSG in Doha B L

UCAS MOURA has been officially unveiled in Doha on Tuesday, following the completion of his •45 million transfer from São Paulo to Paris SaintGermain. Lucas, 20, heads to the Parisien giants with a glowing reputation following his performances in Brazil over the past two seasons and spoke of his hopes of growing as a player at the Parc des

Princes. “I am happy to know the club is counting on me. Football is my life and I will give my all so we can achieve our goals,” Lucas told the club’s official website. “This is a big challenge for me. PSG are evolving. Leonardo helped me make this decision. It’s a big step in my career.” Lucas follows in the footsteps

of Sporting Director Leonardo as a São Paulo player who later played for PSG, a route also notably followed by 1994 World Cup winner Rai. It has also been announced that Lucas will wear the No. 29 shirt for the remainder of the season.

• Moura

UNDESLIGA outfit Augsburg have signed Sunderland forward Ji Dong-won on loan until the end of the season. The 21-year-old became the first South Korean to play for the Black Cats after signing a three-year contract in June 2011. He made 19 appearances as a substitute as well as two starts in his first season. Ji scored his first Sunderland goal in the 2-1

defeat by Chelsea last season, as well as the winner against Manchester City on New Year’s Day 2012. Stefan Reuter, managing director of FCA Sports, told Augsburg’s official website: ‘It’s good that the transfer worked out before the start of training. ‘Ji Dong-won can be used in several positions.’ Sunderland confirmed the news on their official Twitter account.





Expectations were high when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was elected President, almost three years ago. However, in terms of performance, there is gap between expectation and reality. Will the President make a difference this year? Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU revisits the transformational agenda of the administration within the context of growing public disenchantment.

Will Jonathan live up to expectation in 2013? U

NLIKE two years ago when Dr Goodluck Jonathan was elected President, the enthusiasm has fizzled out. Many people believe that the transformational agenda of the administration has failed to herald a brighter future. Reforms in critical sectors seemed to have been put on hold. Almost three years after, there is no achievement worthy of applause. To stakeholders, it has been two and half years of wasted hope and expectation. Will this year mark a clean break from the past? Will President Jonathan make a difference? Can the transformational agenda be revived and vigorously pursued? Can the administration regain public confidence? As the President climbs the ladder of his third year in office, much is expected of the administration in all the sectors of the economy. Stakeholders expect him to demonstrate uncanny courage, tackle the challenges of governance as leader and statesman and justify the trust reposed in him by voters. Observers believe that the President’s performance would erase the perception of the Presidency as a national burden. Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader Dr. Fredrick Fasehun said the President must intensify his efforts in the new year. He said he shoulders the burden of providing the right leadership at this critical time . He doubted, if he could make a headway by refusing to head the stringent calls for a national conference. “Jonathan is a simple, educated and intellectual person. The problems of Nigeria have accumulated over the years and he cannot solve them in two years without being a magician. He should now try to be a magician”, he added. Unlike the main opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which is generating ideas for its governors, the ruling party has not supported Jonathan Administration with robust ideas. During the presidential campaigns, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not promise voters any programme of action for revatalising the moribund economy. However, the President, and not his party, is accountable to the electorate. President Jonathan cannot be described as an inexperienced administrator at this stage, having served as deputy governor, Vice President, Acting President and President for three years. On his assumption of office, he urged patience among Nigerians, promising to live to expectation. After completing the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s term, he was given an overwhelming endorsement by voters. Today, many Nigerians think that they voted for him in vain. When Dr. Jonathan assumed the reins, he started presiding over a trembling polity under the threat of insecurity. The fear of the Boko Haram sect has become the beginning of wisdom. Sporadic bombings have created panic. Lives have been lost. Endless promises by the President have not restored security. Also, forging national unity is becoming increasingly difficult for the President. Sources said that the north is still angry at the perceived or imaginary hijack of presidential power by the Southsouth. But the President cannot boast of commanding total respect from the South either. The oil-rich zone, which endorsed him at the poll in 2011, is disappointed by his abysmal performance. President’s Jonathan’s transformation agenda was captivating at the onset. He had outlined plans to revive the economy, fight infrastructure battle, curb corruption, promote accountability and build public confidence in government. The President promised a conducive atmosphere for investment to thrive. He said, under his leadership, Nigeria would bounce back. However, the challenge is how to marry expectation with reality. Asked to assess the administration, former United Action for Democracy (UAD) Coordinator Abiodun Aremu lamented that Jonathan Administration has nearly turned Nigeria into a failed state. “He promised to fix electricity. Instead, PHCN has continued to give us darkness. Federal roads are impassable. Corruption is growing in leaps and bounds. To cap it all, he increased fuel pump price by force’, he fumed. Many economists have argued that the President did not inherit a country in total economic ruins. They pointed out that, despite the depletion of the foreign reserves and soaring foreign debt, the country still had a promising financial base. But the high cost of governance at the centre, with severe consequences for capital expenditure, and corruption, have damaged the economy. Under Jonathan Administration, budgetary implementation has become an uphill task. Youth unemployment has a time bomb, with graduates now enlisting in professional crime. Infrastructure battle is being fought, as the government has claimed, but no proof of efficient social amenities. The President is also not a respecter of rules of presidential system. When the National Assembly passed a resolution that the executive should stay action on the fuel price hike, the Presidency dismissed the parliamentary resolution with a wave of the hand. Many Nigerians also believe that the President has made the resolution of the national question impossible. For example, Dr. Jonathan had ruled out any Sovereign National Conference (SNC) where ethnic nationalities could devise the basis for peaceful coexistence in the traumatised country. Although the administration has given backing to the proposed constitution amendment, leaders of the ethnic nationalities and other civil society groups see the exercise as window dressing. Yoruba National Assembly convener Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd) flayed the jamboree, saying that a Constituent Assembly outside the National Assembly

• President Jonathan

should have been saddled with the task. Another politician and lawyer, Chief Bisi Adegbuyi, said the President and National Assembly are afraid of amending the defective 1999 Constitution to reflect the wishes of Nigerians who thirst for true federalism, restructuring and state police. “The President and National Assembly are chasing shadows and preventing the emergence of a peoples’ constitution”, he stressed. Last year, Ajayi, who is a leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, cried out that Nigeria may collapse under the “weak President”. He berated tDr. Jonathan for lack of proper initiative and focus. He enjoined the President to act with speed, warning that the ship of state may hit the rock. Jonathan’s transformational agenda is beautiful on paper. Observers believe that, if the President focuses attention on its implementation, instead of subtle campaigns for a second term, he can still make an impact. In the new year, Nigerians will show keen interest on his strategies for implementing the robust programme. One of the burning challenges confronting the country is insecurity. The former National Security Adviser,the late Gen. Patrick Aziza, had reasoned that the violation of PDP’s zoning formula was at the root of the revolt by the dreadful Boko Haram sect. 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. The President has owned up that Boko Haram had penetrated his government, sending clear signals that the challenge of ensuring security has overwhelmed him. Last week, the President said he would get rid of the sect and halt the pattern of violence. Although he appointed Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) as new National Security Adviser, it has not deterred the arsonists from their horror. The sect is waxing stronger daily. Many are aggrieved that the federal government has refrained from categorising the sect as a terrorist group. Oshun explained that Boko Haram’s message is clear. “They would like to have their society organised and administered in a particular manner, probably different from us in Yorubaland, Igbo, Tiv, Ijaw Southern Kaduna. It is only when we have given everyone a voice in their own affairs that we can truly have peace”, he stressed. On the economic front, people also expect changes in the right direction. Some economists have flayed the government for lack of economic direction. They claim that budget is becoming a dec-

‘The President should realise that he is a tenant at the villa. His tenancy will soon expire and he will have to confront the reality, just like Obasanjo is now, very much to his chagrin’

laration of deceit, making the National Assembly to complain about poor budget implementation and failure. Last year, the trend of budget failure Irked by this, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) alleged that government spend N1.6 trillion without appropriation by the National Assembly. The group, led by Pastor Tunde Bakare, flayed the federal government for breaching the due process by spending N1.6 trillion as against N240 billion budgeted for subsidy in the 2011 fiscal year. In its review of last year, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) said government has incurred more debts. Its leader, Olawale Oshun, said the alert by the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi that the future of the country may have been jeopardised, should not be discarded. He said it is ironical that Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who led Nigeria out of debt, is now the Economy Minister under an administration that has incurred more debts. Economists have warned about the burden of interest and loan repayment, saying that future generations may be at risk. Eminent Nigerians were also alarmed at the Infrastructural decay in the country. Former Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN), cried out that Nigerian roads have become impassable. is alarmed at the impassable, pointing out that they have become death traps. “We need to undertake road studies. We need to return to the old, painstaking way of addressing the infrastructural problems” he said. More worrisome is the poor state of Ibadan/Lagos Expressway. Okunnu blamed the poor state of the roads on pressure by trailers in the absence of an efficient rail system. “If the rail system is functional, we will have less number of long vehicles on the road”, he added. The health sector is also yearning for transformation. As it lies prostrate, only privileged Nigerians can escape the horror by going to either India or Cuba for medical care. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria and communicable diseases are still rampant, to the disadvantage of child and mother mortality. When President Jonathan came on board, there was a slight improvement in electricity supply. The transient improvement has been wiped off. The nation was back to square one barely three months after. Today, every home is a government providing electricity and water for itself. There is hardly a home in the urban centers without generators and environment is polluted by flames. Generator importation is booming. Due to power failure, the productive sector is crippled, making artisans and peasants to be jobless for most of the day. Last year, operators of the organised private sector and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had 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. How has the government fought the anti-graft war? Dr Jonathan was said to have been held to ransom by cabals in the oil sector. Efforts to prosecute them have hit the rock. Pension scam has also discredited certain top government officials. Bringing them to book is also illusory. Rights activist, Lanre Suraj, said the antigraft bodies are helpless because they lacked independence. “Nigerians look forward to that time when it will be relatively easier to prosecute those responsible for the economic adversity of the country. They are leaders in the high places”, he fumed. Other stakeholders said they also looked forward to that time Nigeria would be run as a true federal state. To them, that would put an end to the uniform wage controversy. Governors have complained 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. It is also evident that the President is insensitive to the national questions germane to peaceful co-existence of the over 250 ethnic nationalities. He has openly opposed a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).The President and 36 governors are at loggerheads over the Sovereign National Wealth Fund. Dr. Jonathan’s views on other issues, including the restructuring of Nigerian Federation, return to true federalism as embodied in 1960 Independence Constitution, marginalisation and rotation of the Presidency, resource control and revenue allocation, and inconsistencies in the 1999 Constitution, are not known. Yet, these are critical to the establishment of a virile, harmonious and peaceful federal nation-state. Other critical issues are the state police, agitations for special status for Lagos and the abolition of the Land Use Act, status of local government within the context of true federalism, repeal and abolition of Petroleum Act, review of the powers of the National Judicial Council, inclusion of national debt in the constitution, adoption of six zone structure, and reform of the civil service and electoral process. According to ARG, devolution of power, responsibilities and resources and establishment of state policing system should be the hallmarks of the nation’s federal arrangement. Oshun, therefore warned that any constitution review that would not meet these expectations would be an exercise in futility. He advised the President to listen to the voice of reason. “The President should realise that he is a tenant at the villa. His tenancy will soon expire and he will have to confront the reality, just like Obasanjo is now, very much to his chagrin”, he added.



POLITICS Former National Vice President of National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and Finance Minister in the defunct Eastern Region Mazi Mbonu Ojike died in 1956 at the age of 44 years. EMMANUEL OLADESU writes on the life and time of the colourful politician and cultural nationalist who died without realising his full potentials.

Remembering Ojike, ‘the boycott king’


E was born 100 years ago. He died almost 59 years ago. Had Nigeria embraced his socio-cultural preaching, the country, probably, would recorded a leap in its drive for self-sufficiency. But only those who have a deep sense of history now remember the prominent Igbo politician and Nigerian nationalist, Mazi Nbonu Ojike. The renowned freedom fighter was in the class of Dr. Kingsley Mbadiwe, Chief H.O. Davies, Dr. Michael Okpara, Chief Ladoke Akintola, Chief Bode Thomas, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, Alhaji Mohammadu Ribadu and Alhaji Zana Rima Dipcharima. He was both a fan and foe of the former Premier of Eastern Region, Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe. As Finance Minister under Zik, he fell out with his leader. Ojike died at the age of 44 in an auto crash. Many Nigerians believed that he left without realising his full potentials. On the podium, he was at his best when attacking the colonial masters and their anti-African policies. He was an orator and wordsmith. He was a man of intellect and understanding. He canvassed passive resistance, which was made popular by the great Indian leader, Mahatma Ghandi. He traversed the length and breath of the colonised territory, urging the people to “boycott the boycottables”. He practiced what he preached by adopting native names, clothes, food, and ways of life. Ironically, he toured the towns and villages with his message of cultural nationalism in cars imported from abroad. He wore traditional dress to office and served palm wine, instead of whisky, champagne or beer at his official receptions and parties. He replaced his suit with agbada or jumper and encouraged civil servants to appear in office in native attire. Ojike became famous during the struggle for independence through his weekly column, ‘Weekend Catechism’ in the West African Pilot. Through that popular platform, he appealed to Nigerians to perceive independence from the cultural perspective. His idea was that the attachment of the young educated elements to British culture was another form of enslavement. Thus, the great nationalist taught Nigerians to reject or avoid “foreign things” or “imported things”, contending that, in the process of identifying with or embracing the culture of the colonial masters, the pride of the colonised community is further injured. A university don, Prof. Ukwu I. Ukwu, who paid tribute to him, said he was a hero to Igboland and Nigeria. “He taught us and kept teaching us, the beauty, dignity and functionality of our traditions”, added the don, who teaches Economists at Ebonyi State University. “His greatest impact was psychological and intellectual. He gave birth to every Nigerians pride in his culture as a living functional whole”, he added From adolescence, Ojike had shown the promise of an electrifying character. He was charming, gregarious and fork-tongued. Historians point out that 1931 marked a turning point in his life. As a final year student of CMS Tranning College, Awka, he emerged as the best student. The prize was a book titled: “Aggrey of Africa. The book changed his world view because he was exposed to the dilemma of the oppressed African people. At the age of 19, he resolved to join the nationalist vanguard. In 1936, he started proving his point. Ojike led an agitation for

• Ojike

more pay for junior teachers at Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Awka. He accused the authorities of partiality and discrimination, stressing that the salaries of junior teachers ought to have been increased when salaries of their senior colleagues were jerked up. In fact, he resigned as a teacher in 1938. He had come in contact with Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe, who encouraged him to go for further studies. The young nationalist later attended Zik’s alma mater, Lincoln Univeristy, United States. His colleagues were Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who later became President of Ghana and other pioneer members of the African Students Association of America and Canada. The group became a veritable platform for nationalist activities. Following his return to Nigeria, he turned to Zik for political mentoring. Ojike became an automatic member of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). He became a thorn in the flesh of the British interlopers. As a critic of the colonial administration, he was marked down for liquidation. When he poured venom on the British government over the behaviour of security forces during the Iva Valley massacre in 1949, he was charged with sedition and fined 40 pounds. Judging by his father’s status as a prosperous trader, Ojike, one of the 19 sons of a polygamous home, could be said to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But his father had no plan to send him to school. He went to primary school by force, emerging as a teacher of elementary subjects in a primary school, At the same time, he read secondary school books at night. His efforts were not in vain as he won scholarship to study at the teacher training college, where he also taught after graduation. As he taught, he intensified his private studies and obtained the Cambridge School Certificate and University of London Diploma. Apart from Lincoln University, Ojike also studied at Ohio and Chicago universities, obtaining B.A and M.A degrees. As a student-activist, he was President of African Students Union of Lincoln University, Secretary-General of African Academy of Arts and Research founded by Mbadiwe and observer at the historic United Nations Conference on International Organisations held in San Francisco in 1945. He write three books to sensitise Nigerians to the imperative of cultural pride; ‘Portrait of a boy in Africa’ (1945), ‘My Africa’ (1946) and ‘I have two countries’ (1947). Prof. Ukwu recalled that Ojike plunged into “the mainstream of militant nationalism”, adding that

he rose quickly to positions of prominence in the NCNC and regional government. He was adviser to the NCNC delegation to the 1949 constitutional conference, deputy mayor of Lagos, NCNC National Vice President, member of Eastern House of Assembly, and Eastern Regional Minister of Works and later, Finance. In journalism, he was the General Manager of West African Pilot . He was also a successful businessman. Ojike was also a publicist, if not a propagandist. He often electrified political rallies with his wisecracks and songs, which earned him the sobriquet of “freedom choirmaster”. But he also canvassed positions which brought him in collision with his political leaders. For example, he objected, not to federalism, but a federal structure based on the three regions. He also objected to the creation of the House of Chiefs. Yet, as a conciliator, he brokered peace between warring indigenes and nonindigenes fighting over the control of Onitsha Urban Council. In the East, he introduced the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system of taxation. He canvassed free education for production and creativity. He also said that Nigeria should develop its certification process, instead of being carried away by Cambridge School,Certificate and London Matriculation. Ojike was an appostle of self reliance. He had prayed to live to that period when Nigerian shops, factories, banks, universities, societies and clubs would be like the ones in advanced countries. Up to now, it is an elusive goal. Nigerians have continue to boycott home goods in preference for imported commodities. Students are boycotting lecture rooms and teachers are boycotting duty posts. Labour is boycotting work and government is boycotting good governance. Former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Prof. Frank Ndili, urged Nigerians to embrace the “boycott philosophy” in memory of Ojike and in national interest. “The philosophy epitomises belief in one’s own abilities. Nigeria today imports ready made goods, foods, even models, patterns of organisations and institutions from the developed countries, thereby subjecting the national economy and society to all manners of international upheavals that our present level of socio-economic development cannot sustain. Nigeria can do without a number of these imported goods and values and shift efforts towards the optimal utilisation of her inert capabilities”, he said.

‘Igbo may not produce President in 2015’ Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Abia State Okechukwu Nwachukwu spoke with JEREMIAH OKE in Lagos on the Igbo’s quest for the Presidency in 2015.


OW do you react to the controversy surrounding the decision of former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu to return to the PDP? As a loyal party man, the PDP where I belong has a constitution that I expect everyone including the leaders of the party to obey. Again, the PDP is big enough to accommodate everyone. If former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu had left the party for another and now wishes to return to a party he was a founding member, the procedure for a re-admission should be followed without influences. However, the leader of the party in Abia State who happens to be the Governor, even his ward chairman, should equally be accorded all due respect to avoid polarizing and dragging the party that is today peaceful into another set of crisis. I believe that the party is supreme and advise that a party in crisis has the tendency to lose elections and so our leadership of the party must thread with caution. What is your reaction to Igbo’s agitation for the Presidency? I am yet to see Igbo show a serious interest and synergy in the Presidency come 2015. It is unfortunate that we have great leaders of the Igbo race who have failed to understand that the Presidency must be fought for, I mean agitated for. Maybe, with time, we will synergize and Nigerians will understand we deserve it after many years of marginalization. How do you see the calls for another state in the Southeast? This is not something we should play politics with. In the interest of equity, fairness and justice the South East should be given another state. This is one request that is overdue. But let me advise the South Easterners that we must be careful not to allow individual interest undermine the public interest, hence the constitutional review has too many factors to deal with in the interest of Nigerians at large. There was a high level of kidnapping in Abia State. How was it reduced? Abia State has become a peaceful and secured place to live and do business. Thanks to God Almighty and particularly again to His gift to Abians in the person of Ochendo. Indeed, this house “Abia State” has not fallen. It is with the deepest possible conviction that I stand to tell you that the Governor of Abia State is working. While on a visit to my local government recently, I heard him say that the problem of Abians is his own problem and that he cannot ignore so much responsibility that has been given to him by virtue of electing him. So, you can better understand the vigour with which Ochendo has confronted the security problems that bedeviled Abia especially in Ngwa and Ukwa where we once lived with our eyes opened and to a point we had to flee for safety. Today, commerce which came to a halt, has picked up again and people are now agitating for roads to be built to enable them make up for lost times. Aba and Umuahia are now bubbling with activities; unimaginably a team of foreign doctors came visiting my local government which in the past was not possible. People now move freely without any harassment, thanks to a Governor who understands the importance of investing on the security of lives and properties. How would you assess the performance of the Abia State governor? Orji represents yet another commendable attempt of a visionary governor to dissect the challenges facing my state, Abia, in the contemporary times. It is no longer news that what successive governments left undone is what the present administration is tackling. Indeed, speaking as a politician, Ochendo’s approach to governance in Abia State, I must confess, suggests the way to building a sustainable government in Abia which other governors in the Southeast should emulate. This is a government that has touched the lives of Abians in no small measure, in spite of the meager resources accruable to Abia. I hope you are aware that Ochendo has been vindicated by the Senate as a good manager of public funds. My humble advice for every Nigerian is to take a trip to Abia and see massive development in progress so that I don’t sound like a political promoter. Abia of today is a clear departure from Abia of yesterday. I agree totally that Abia of yesterday was confronted with real challenges, but challenges that are by no means insurmountable from what I have seen Ochendo doing today in Abia. The problem is that most of the politicians in Abia have failed to give kudos to this visionary colossus. Ochendo has given a face lift to Abia. A new world class secretariat is almost completed, more hospitals are being built, there is massive rural development, new and existing roads are constantly being constructed, all the 17 council headquarters have been renovated. In welfare packages for civil servants and public officers, Ochendo is unbeatable and I stand to argue of any state in Nigeria that is doing better than Abia in terms of welfare treatments. There is free education in primary and secondary schools and uncountable new classrooms have also been built.

• Niger Delta Development Minister Elder Peter Orubebe; Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Kingsley Kuku and Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi after their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN yesterday.





Chalker’s outbursts • The former British envoy should not tell the Nigerian media what the facts about Nigeria are


ARONESS Lynda Chalker, former British Minister for Africa, does not live in Nigeria but she speciously believes she knows more about the country than the local media. In her unproven view, more positive things are happening in the country. At the13th Honorary International Investment Council’s (HIIC) London media parley of which she is the co-ordinator, she criticised the Nigerian media for concentrating on negative issues rather than propagating her perceived positive things that abound in the country. Her rude verbal eruption: “Nigerian media should focus on positive things which are there…Even people who have not been to Nigeria make negative comments about the country. If you ask them how they formed their opinion, they will tell you they picked it from the Nigerian media and Nigerians. The media should get their facts right and highlight positive issues about the country.’’ To her the country has ‘real opportunities.’ Chalker’s offensive remark was complemented by Labaran Maku, Minister of Information’s remark at the parley: “The Nigeria media is so negative about the country. They are not interested in believing the progress being made in the country. They are running the country down…You can’t blame the international media, because they are re-echoing what the local press says about their country.” The stories about the spate of insecurity in the country, corruption and the poverty level, among others, contrary to Chalker’s unsolicited counsel and Maku’s understandable twinge, are not the

creation of the media but a true reflection of the reality on ground. Chalker’s position that the Nigerian media are exaggerating the security situation in the country is nothing but sheer balderdash. The developed countries, especially the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom in recent times, are routinely known for advising their citizens not to travel to some parts of the country and even to Nigeria in general. Even, the admonitions given to the Nigerian government by the US in the past, and reported in the media, on plans by some unscrupulous elements to unleash mayhem on her had come to pass. At the moment, there is a widely reported subsisting advisory warning by the US government to her citizens wishing to travel to Nigeria on the alarming insecurity situation in the country. Were those admonitions too the creation of the media in the country? Despite Chalker’s contemptuous buckpassing, it is on record that the country’s media has been quite reasonable and responsive in its reportage, whether in the past or the present, of unfolding events in the land. Two foreign experts, a British and an Italian, were some time ago seized by Boko Haram for months and killed when their hideout got busted in Sokoto, by the combined team of security operatives and the military. Several other foreigners had been killed while public buildings and churches are still being bombed by insurgents whose intractable activities the current administration seems incapable of tackling. Furthermore, top government officials, past and present, have fallen victims of

the nefarious acts of Boko Haram and kidnappers across the country. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s mum was recently rescued from the kidnappers’ den. Could these acts be the creation of the Nigerian media? Chalker and her cohorts would need to wake up from their deep slumber and realise that the media merely report occurrences in the nation as they unfold. Perhaps, it is high time outsiders, whether countries or nationals, were warned against making careless statements about an institution like the nation’s media. No rash comments against the nation’s media would make them shirk away from their important responsibility of accurate and fair reportage of news.

‘Chalker and her cohorts would need to wake up from their deep slumber and realise that the media merely report occurrences in the nation as they unfold. Perhaps, it is high time outsiders, whether countries or nationals, were warned against making careless statements about an institution like the nation’s media. No rash comments against the nation’s media would make them shirk away from their important responsibility of accurate and fair reportage of news’

Wada goes back to work •Though the Kogi governor’s crash was avoidable, the openness with which his treatment was conducted is commendable


O a cynical country, Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada’s decision to receive local treatment, instead of the default setting of many a presidential and gubernatorial mind to hop abroad in seasons of trauma, is seeking cheap mileage from his auto crash. That however, would push cynicism too far on the plane of callousness. The governor struck a big blow for confidence in local hospitals; and he should earn his full plaudits. But even the most sceptical on Wada must concede the openness with which his accident and treatment was handled. That, though routine in other climes, is quite novel here. But it only proved what we have always said: illnesses are natural and accidents are no crime; so coming clean on them would only earn the victim

‘But even the most sceptical on Wada must concede the openness with which his accident and treatment was handled. That, though routine in other climes, is quite novel here. But it only proved what we have always said: illnesses are natural and accidents are no crime; so coming clean on them would only earn the victim the empathy and love of fellow Nigerians; which goes a long way to support treatment and recovery’

the empathy and love of fellow Nigerians; which goes a long way to support treatment and recovery. That Governor Wada is out of hospital, with a reasonable level of public goodwill, underscores this point. Still, with more care, that accident was preventable; and the governor with a broken thigh, the ill-fated Idris Muhammed, the governor’s aide-de-camp and assistant superintendent of Police (ASP) who lost his life, and the governor’s driver who is still hospitalised would have been saved the trauma that is their lot now. For starters, why do gubernatorial and other political VIPs ‘vehicular convoys speed like some bats hurtling from hell? For lack of tangible performance, do they regard themselves as fugitives that must flit past a censorious and angry people? Though reckless official convoys have brought too many to grief, it is about the most predictable thing among this tribe. To avert future accidents and untimely deaths, this bad attitude must change. Then Governor Wada’s parsimoniousness which, if reports were to be believed, has now proved fatal. It would appear the tyres for the governor’s Lexus SUVs were due for replacement, so much so that the late ADC reportedly offered to put down his personal money to change the tyres. Perhaps if he had done that, and the tyres did not bust while on high speed, he probably would have been alive today. But why should he? The vehicle was an official car. So, why should the ADC spend personal money to fix an official car? Inasmuch as there is rampant sleaze

in the system, and the governor’s obvious concern that no financial leakage occurs is admirable, there still ought to have been an automatic set-up of checks and balances that promptly take care of routines like changing tyres, without the governor getting directly involved. The Kogi case, as in most states in the country it would appear, is a culpable lack of systems, leading to suspected micro-management which has now proved very costly – and fatal. This certainly is not good enough. The governor should keep his mind on the big picture, and keep off micro-management that could prove very costly. Besides, if the tyres of the governor’s car were suspect, and the road was not stellar, why the great speed, that turned a burst tyre into a catastrophe? Governor Wada, by his surgery and treatment at an Abuja private hospital, did very well by insisting on treatment at home. But his charity did not quite start at home –for Abuja, far better, to be sure, than junketing abroad on medical tourism, is still outside Kogi State. So, while the Abuja treatment is commendable, it also brings out the disturbing fact that there is no single hospital in Kogi good enough for gubernatorial care! That is an indictment on his tour of duty as governor. Now that he has survived the accident therefore, it is time for him to put in place better medical facilities in his state. That way, he would have domesticated, in his own state, his campaign for VIP confidence in our local medical personnel and hospital facilities.

Privacy in the information age New legislation would bring a 1986 law on electronic privacy into the 21st century. F a law enforcement agency wants to examine your snail mail or the contents of your computer hard drive, it must obtain a search warrant, which means it must convince a judge that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed. But no warrant is required to obtain email or documents you have stored in a computer “cloud” so long as they are 180 days old. That would have changed under legislation recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee at the behest of its chairman, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). If enacted, it would make the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act conform to 21st century understandings of personal privacy. Before the advent of the Internet, it arguably made sense for the law to distinguish between someone’s own records and those that belonged to a third party, such as the telephone company. That distinction has been rendered meaningless by technological advances that allow individuals to receive and retain email and store documents in cyberspace. (The 180-day distinction was based on a flawed analogy between telephone conversations and email; the notion was that email subscribers were primarily concerned about the privacy of contemporaneous communications.) In interpreting the 4th Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, the Supreme Court has said that the crucial question is whether someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy. The same standard should guide Congress in adapting federal statutes to a new information age in which Americans rightly regard their email and stored communications as private documents. The amendment approved by the Judiciary Committee does that by requiring a government entity, such as a state or federal law enforcement agency, to secure a warrant before obtaining email and other documents in the possession of an Internet service provider. The Judiciary Committee attached the Leahy email amendment to much less consequential legislation allowing subscribers to online movie services to share their viewing history on social media. Unfortunately, the House and Senate approved the movie bill without the email amendment, postponing any final action on email privacy until the next Congress. But the Judiciary Committee’s action was an important first step. From the Internet to cellphones to GPS technology to infrared devices that can “see” into a house to indicate whether marijuana is being grown there, technological changes have challenged personal privacy in ways that the law has been slow to recognize. Congress can begin to catch up by approving the Leahy amendment. • Los Angeles 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 Sanya Oni

• 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






IR: Last Sunday in the Palladium column of Idowu Akinlotan we read another illuminating piece with the above title. The piece was on three eminent politicians of the twentieth centuryNelson Mandela of South Africa, George H Bush of USA and Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain. These three political titans had recently been hospitalised for old age health challenges. The columnist used this opportunity to make few observations on these iconic leaders whose idiosyncratic rule according to the columnist “exemplified the leadership panache and resilience of the last century”. It was an incisive analysis of the positive contributions of these great leaders to their respective countries and the world at large. Akinlotan also robustly reasoned that the successors of these great leaders unfortunately failed to live up to the standard set up by these leaders. Much as I rate the article very ex-

cellent, I cannot resist the temptation to take up Akinlotan on some issues in the column. Akinlotan surprisingly concentrated on the positive achievements of these leaders ignoring their negative political policies which are many especially with Margaret Thatcher who is the most controversial of the three. Presumably Akinlotan ignored this aspect because he wanted to be nice to them now that they are at the ‘ departure lounge’. There is no doubt that Margaret Hilda Thatcher is a great leader of Great Britain. In fact many people

IR: Reading through the piece “Re: Let’s Remake Ekiti State University” by Olubunmi Ajibade, the Public Relations Officer of Ekiti State University, AdoEkiti, in The Nation of December 6, 2012 in reply to my article “Let’s Remake Ekiti State University” also in the newspaper of December 3, 2012, my first reaction was to dismiss it as one of those lies the school management had been telling to convince itself that it was working. But seeing the comments on Ajibade’s piece on the newspaper’s website, I decided to change my mind. Contrary to Ajibade’s claim that I had not been in the institution for a long time, I am as regular there as anyone, including Ajibade or any of the school’s principal officers. He also mentioned that EKSU (UNAD) graduates are doing fine. Well, the self-determined and self-educated ones are, but what about a larger percentage who suffers daily em-

barrassment for their single crime of graduating from EKSU? What would you say about a product of the institution who graduated with a degree in Economics and when she was asked to define demand and supply, all she could say was that “Won ko wa” (We were not taught). I don’t know the statistics Ajibade uses, but that obviously differs from what is on ground. I have nothing against EKSU, but this is not a time to save face, rather it is a time for everyone to join hands in remaking EKSU. When I wrote the article in contention, I sent it to the Ekiti State Education Commissioner, Dr. Eniola Ajayi, via her facebook inbox and she assured that she was on the neck of the school’s management to make EKSU a place of pride. Unlike the school management and Ajibade (PRO), she did not lie about the situation. She recognised the problems and she believed in proffering solutions to them. The school management can ei-


Palladium’s three long birthdays including her political enemies put her second only to the legendary Winston Churchill in the league of leaders of Great Britain. She gave Britain confidence and restructured positively the comatose British economy when she took over. To me one of her greatest achievements as British Prime Minister was her successful pruning to size the unruly British Trade Unions, However, despite these lofty achievements , she brought acute economic polarization to her country. She divided her Conservative party and because of her imperious

and obtuse home policies people like William Whitelaw, Reg Maudling, Geoffrey Howe, Micheal Heseltine and Nigel Lawson who brought her to power parted ways with her. Her scorched earth policy against the IRA in the Northern Ireland is still remembered with disdain in that part of United KIngdom. One cannot forget her bellicose policy which opposed economic sanctions against South Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa , this obnoxious policy protected the racist and apartheid regimes in the Southern part of Africa for a long time.

Ekiti varsity image maker’s feeble defence


ther come to terms with the truth to enable it chart a new path for the institution, or it can keep doling out feeble defences through its PRO. I must commend the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for appointing Professor Oladapo Aina as EKSU Vice Chancellor. Before the appointment of the present VC, units like Pre-Degree and Part-Time were being run like criminal outfits. Tuition fees paid by students in these units are domiciled in accounts opened in the name of the units. These are accounts that were separate from the school’s account. The directors of these units had approving power and could withdraw money at will and even award projects. Many of such directors enriched themselves there from to the detriment of EKSU. Funds that could have been used to better the lot of the school ended up in private pockets. The facts are there! These are some of the loopholes, including the sale of quality-starved textbooks

that the new VC has started blocking and this is why the renegades and the rebels in the institution have started teaming up against the new VC just like they did to Professor Akin Oyebode. That is why they are kicking against the Personal Income Tax that they should ordinarily pay without complaining. That is why they are hiding under the funding of the institution. Their grouse is against the Governor, Dr. Fayemi, for bringing an effective Vice Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for initiating reforms. Selfish lot! We, the good products of Ekiti State University (UNAD), will not allow self-thinking, greedy and reform-hating elements ruin our alma mater. We will keep talking! We will keep fighting! EKSU is our Ivy League. We will hoe it! We will rake it until it becomes a place of pride, a place we all desire. • ‘Dimeji Daniels Ado in Ekiti.

I think these policies of Mrs Thatcher imparted negatively on many people around the globe and they should not be glossed over in any objective assessment. It is imperative for Mr. Akinlotan to give both the good and the bad aspects of these leaders so that future generations could learn from their achievements and failures. Also in the piece Mr Akinlotan in an inimitable manner tried to compare the performance of some Nigerian past leaders with the performance of these three world leaders. In one of these comparisons he likened the bold policies of the late Murtala Mohammed during his short tenure as Nigerian Head of state with those of Margaret Thatcher. This may be true but I disagreed with Akinlotan when he wrote that after Mohammed’s death the rest of the transition programme was handed ‘to the far less ethically resolute Obasanjo’ I do not consider myself as Obasanjo’s fan because I feel that he failed to lift up Nigeria to a higher economic and political pedestal despite his unique opportunity he had during his second coming as Head of State. However, we should give him his due. It is on record that he carried out the transition programme meticulously leading to the installation of the civilian regime of 1979. It is also on record that the foreign policy during that time under General Obasanjo’ assumed positive momentum and it was the toast of all Africans. It was at that time that Shell BP was nationalized to force Britain under Margaret Thatcher to change her obnoxious policy on Southern Rhodesia. Murtala Mohammed could not have done better if he was in charge. Despite the above points which I think need clarifications, I congratulate Mr Idowu Akinlotan on this masterpiece. • Professor Olabode Lucas Ekiti State University Ado Ekiti.




Infrastrucural decay in South Western Nigeria


HAVE a feeling that what I am going to write about the South Western part of Nigeria would be true of the entire country. But for clarity, it is better to begin from the particular to the general. I live in Ibadan and in the Redemption Camp in Mowe, Ogun State and I commute between Lagos and Ibadan every week. I also travel regularly between Ibadan and Ado-Ekiti and between Akure and Ilesha. I have also had to travel for research purposes between Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho and Ilorin. The only major axis of the South-west routes which I do not frequent is Lagos-Abeokuta road and Abeokuta-Ibadan road. I had written in the past about the need to connect Sokoto with Badagry which was in the masterplan in road development in this country. If done, this would have relieved the Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin axis considerably. I am also of the opinion that the Maiduguri-Calabar road needs to be developed in order to ease the transportation of goods from the coast to the North-east. I am also an avid supporter of the coastal route from Lagos going through Warri, Port-Harcourt to Calabar. If done, this will have the effect of the opening up vast areas along the coast for exploitation and development. That belt would provide all the paddy field necessary for the production of rice for the entire country. In short, a comprehensive road development of the country remains a necessary condition for economic development. This is not rocket science; it is what anybody with some modicum of intelligence can understand. If done pari pasu with railway development, this country will be opened up for business. Until this is done, we are just wasting our time. It is a truism that a country that is not in permanent motion is stagnant. In advanced countries, there is usually an integration of all transportation grid involving air, sea, river, surface train, street train, underground train and road network. Anybody who has ever been to Western Europe and the United States would appreciate this point. This is why it is so sad that the only way we move around in Nigeria is by road transportation even though we have two major rivers, Benue and Niger, they are hardly used. Everybody is travelling by road and because of this, the rate of mortality and morbidity on our road is one of the highest in the world. This preambular statement is an important background against which my discourse on the South-west will be placed. Whether for good or for bad, the major entry points into Nigeria is Lagos whether by air or by sea. Because of this and as a former capital of the country, Lagos remains the hub of transportation network in Nigeria. It does not matter where you live in the country, Lagos plays an important role in the lives of our people. Most of the goods coming into the country come through Lagos and most of the agricultural products exported out of the country goes through Lagos. At least 60%

of the air traffic to and from Nigeria has Lagos has its departure or arrival point. It follows therefore that any serious government must keep the transportation lines to Lagos free all the time because every gridlock in terms of movement of goods and people undermines the economy. This is why it is the height if idiocy that there is only one major road linking Lagos to the North and the East and this is the so called expressway from Lagos-Ibadan and Benin. The Lagos-Ibadan expressway built about 30years ago has collapsed because ab-initio this road was not built to carry the kind of loads it is carrying. Since 1999, this road has not been touched by the federal government. As if to rub salt into our injury the road was given to Bi-Courtney on concessionary basis. After three years, the concession has now been cancelled. We are not interested in the reasons for the cancellation, what interests this writer is the fact that thousands of souls have perished in the course of the three years the road was held hostage by BiCourtney. It is surprising that the most important road in the country was used as an experiment and a guinea pig in somebody’s fanciful theory of privatization as the mode of economic development. As far as I know, there was no advertisement and no competition before the road was concessioned to the company that has proved unable to do the job. Nigerians, not only from the South-western part of the country but from everywhere are now victims of this arbitrariness. One of the things that amaze one in this country is the lack of scientific basis of policy formulation. Thus we have a situation where the Lagos-Ibadan road linking the South-west to the North is put on the same pedestal as any other road in the country just for the sake of federal character and geographical balance. We forget that this axis of LagosIbadan-Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin-Kaduna-Kano is where more than two-thirds of the Nigeria population lives. Development is about people, it is not about land. This is what our politicians and policy makers should understand. I am for equal and balanced development, for equitable share of development but it must be people based and people oriented. A situation where the money used in building 10 lane express road between Abuja Airport and Abuja city is freely allocated and disbursed while totally neglecting the centres of population calls into question whether planners in this country are sane or absolutely raving mad. Some have suggested that there is a deliberate policy of neglect, isolation and marginalization of the South-west by this present Federal Government. There is a plausible case that can be made but I will refuse to make it. This is because since 1999 well before this government came into power, the South-west has suffered total abandonment and neglect. The Ibadan-Ilorin expressway was awarded for construction and

we were told that funds had been sourced from ADB (African Development Bank). The road itself is less than 150km in fact Ibadan is almost equidistant from Lagos as it is from Ilorin. In these 14 years, it is only a stretch of about 25km that has been constructed on this Jide highway. The state Osuntokun of the LagosAbeokuta highway awarded at the same time leaves much to be desired and the road stopped in Abeokuta instead of continuing to Ibadan. The Ibadan-Ife road that was scheduled to continue to Akure, the center of Cocoa production in Nigeria stopped abruptly after Ilesha and even this shortened form of the express road has virtually been abandoned. The Akure Ado-Ekiti road, Akure-Ilesha road, and the Osogbo, Iwo, Ibadan road suffered the same neglect as other roads in South-west part of Nigeria that are federal roads. The policy of neglect if not the policy of President Jonathan must be the policy of the PDP, a policy that started under Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. As I stated, I would not want to blame President Jonathan for the neglect of the South-west even though the signs of marginalization are everywhere in road construction and in appointments. Whatever the case maybe, the cumulative decay of infrastructure in the South-west is on the watch of President Jonathan and he has to do something about it. We have a saying in my place that when a baby’s head is wrongly positioned on the back of his mother in the market, it is the duty of any old person to put the situation right. This is what I am doing. My credo is that; if any part of Nigeria is hurting, the whole country suffers greatly. What is good for the South-west would also be good for the South-east and for the much neglected North-east, a neglect that has bred the rebellion camouflaging under the rubric of Boko haram. A lot of injustice has been committed in this country and we need to start making things right for everybody. Redressing obvious neglect in one area, while abandonment and marginalizing other areas is not in the interest of the country. We should embrace the Jeremy Benthamite’s doctrine of ensuring the happiness of the greatest number of our people.

Dipo Ayeni vs the police


N TIL his retirement from the police some weeks ago, Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni behaved like the typical Nigerian, who saw evil but kept quiet. We are all like that. As long as we are not directly affected by what is happening around us, we keep mute. W e pretend that all is well when we know that things are going awry. Why are we like that? Is it because of the fear of being roped into something that we know nothing about? Whatever may inform our decision, our experience over time has shown that this is not the best way to be our brother's keeper. Keeping silence in the face of danger or when evil is being perpetrated does not portray us as men with balls. Some people tend to behave this way because of what they have gone through in life or what they have learnt from the experience of others. Yet, the question is does this make it right for us to feel unconcerned about other people's plight, especially when they suffer injustice? Until Ayeni found his voice following his retirement, he was like all of us. He pretended to see no evil even when it was being perpetrated right under his nose in the police. What Ayeni feared most by not speaking out then seems to be catching up with him now. He was probably afraid of losing his commission by speaking out while in office. The safest thing to do, he reasoned, was to wait till after leaving Service to blast the oppressors. His thinking was after retirement, they cannot do anything to me. Yes, that should be the case in a decent society, where civil and human rights are respected. This is not the case in our country and it is so painful that what many countries have taken for a given are considered a big deal by us. In those places, the police are in the vanguard of protecting the people's rights and they do everything to uphold these

rights. In our own case, the police infringe upon these rights at will and go scot-free. This is why today, the people fear the police more than soldiers, who are trained to kill because they operate on short fuse. Our police operate on shorter fuse these days as they kill and maim at the slightest provocation. These days, it is only a fool that argues with a policeman with a gun. No matter how you look at it, we are not safe with the police, yet they refer to themselves as our ''friend''. Friends who kill, maim, loot and rape innocent women! This is the type of police that we have and in which Ayeni served for long before retiring last year. It is not his fault that the police is what it is today. We cannot blame Ayeni for that. But we can ask him what did he do to make things right as a very senior officer? Did he complain about the rot in the police to the authority? What did he do in his own Command to set example for others? Were his complaints looked into by the Police Service Commission (PSC)? But then, we cannot blame Ayeni too much because he might not have been in a position to change things. What about the PSC? Is it just concerned with the appointment and promotion of officers because it is usually during this exercise that we hear about the Commission working? With his retirement, Ayeni appears set to fight the evils he saw in the police from outside. He has taken the first step in his crusade by letting us into what is happening there. ''The way the Nigerian Police Force is operating today'', he said, at his pulling out and farewell parade in Jos, Plateau State, over three weeks ago, ''leaves much to be desired not because its personnel are not professionally competent but due to some dangerous chemistry that has been badly mixed against the soul of this vital organisation. I must talk on this now or I will be condemned

by history. This is in the best interest of the progress and development of our dear country''. Ayeni was talking as an insider and he was not done yet. ''The reform that is going on in the police is extremely cosmetic and it cannot take the Police Force to the next level . Frankly speaking, the white papers on the different committees' reports on the Police Force are not being properly implemented. We should embark on a wholesale reform that is fundamental, that is, the reform that will properly position the Nigeria Police Force for effective service delivery. If the Nigerian Police is well organised, it will perform its constitutional and statutory duties very well'', he noted, adding : ''There are rules governing promotions in the police, but in the name of reform, promotion is done with decoration of heavy conspiracy between the Inspector-General of Police (IG) and the PSC. The known criteria for promotion particularly based on seniority and merit have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Promotion is now a reward for parochial loyalty to the IG and PSC chairman. How can one justify the promotion of some officers to the rank of Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) by the PSC, elevating junior officers above their seniors. What is the professional reason for the retirement of 13 AIGs that were cut down in the prime of their career without committing any offence known to law. The president should have intervened when officers who served their fatherland patriotically were butchered by the PSC and its cohorts''. Strong words, yes, very strong words, but I believe that Ayeni must have his facts to have spoken the way he did. True to type, the PSC has taken him up on his remarks. From its reaction, it is glaring that the PSC

is not happy with Ayeni, who the IG has already queried. His offence, I guess, will be that he opened his mouth too wide at his farewell parade. Pray, if a man cannot express his feelings while in Service because of certain rules must he still be gagged by those rules after retiring? Rather than query Ayeni, I think what the IG should do is to look into Ayeni's claims. Are they true or not? Are people being promoted on the basis of their relationship with the IG? Are such promotions on merit or a reward for subservience? Should a man be queried for his honest and frank opinion about an organisation he diligently served for 32 years, rising to the position of Commissioner? T is in the character of the po lice to harass and hound bold and fearless officers. Remember Alozie Ogugbuaja? For speaking out at the Akanbi panel , which probed students' riot during the Babangida regime, Ogugbuaja was eventually forced out of Service. Is the police better for it today? The answer is no. Now, they seem to be threatening Ayeni with the same treatment, forgetting that he has already retired from Service. With his new status as a retiree, is Ayeni still subject to the authority of the IG or PSC, which is also spoiling for a fight with him over his December 10 remark in Jos? The issue should not be to hound Ayeni, the messenger. If we do that, we will be missing the point. The message is what we should look at. Is there anything in it that the police can use to better themselves and become peoplefriendly? ''Police is your friend'' is a mere phrase we see on paper in police stations nationwide. The police do not live up to this legend. As presently constituted, the ''police is not our friend''. How can they be the people's friend with some of the atrocities they perpetrate across the country? These atrocities are well


Lawal Ogienagbon SMS ONLY: 08099400204

known to the IG and PSC. But they have never done anything to restore our confidence in the police, which have a crucial role to play in national development. Rather than join issues with Ayeni, the IG and PSC should look inwards and do the right things to give us a people's police. Denying Ayeni his retirement benefits will serve no useful purpose. Did he breach any law by expressing his opinion on a matter he felt strongly about upon retirement? The IG and PSC should tread cautiously on this matter. There is no need making a scape-goat of Ayeni for saying what we already know about the police. This is the more reason why he probably didn't talk while in Service. He has said his piece and he should be allowed to go with his peace of mind, rather than being served with a query, which end result can be predicted.

‘Police is not our friend''. How can they be the people's friend with some of the atrocities they perpetrate across the country?’





ENATOR Chris Anyanwu, beautiful and charming is at all times an embodiment of grace. Brilliant, resourceful and imbued with supreme self-confidence, she is not the one to easily cave in to pressure or intimidation by men. Long before the latest assault by Owele Rochas Okorocha, she had dazzled and dazed powerful men in power who had attempted to pull her down. For instance, despite wielding nothing more than her pen, Abacha who just couldn’t stand her guts, roped her in to an attempted coup, slammed her with a life sentence. From her Gombe prison she became a recipient of many international awards including the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism, the CPJ International Press Freedom Award and the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. And like a cat with nine lives, Anyanwu outlived Abacha to emerge a senator on the platform of PDP representing of Owerri Zone of Imo state. “I felt I could do more than observe and moan the things that were not going right ... I felt I could be more useful in helping find solutions to the problems”, she had said to justify her decision to join partisan politics. She decamped to APGA and was again elected senator in the April 2011 election. No less intimidating are the credentials of Okorocha, the governor of Imo State and Senator Anyanwu’s opponent in this epic ‘battle of convoys’. His Excellency is a former member of National Constitutional Conference, former chairman, Board of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, former Special Adviser to President Obasanjo on Inter-Party Relations and former PDP chairman aspirant. Like Anyanwu, Okorocha is a tough fighter,

‘The opposition must also take note of the current culture of overpaid opposition legislators’ disingenuous deployment of parts of their disproportionate earnings that run into millions, to build schools, recreation centres, buy cars and motorcycles ostensibly to alleviate poverty of members of their constituencies’


N 2070, Nigeria will be the world’s leading economy, overtaking the United States and China. This projection is made possible by extrapolating from present trends and through a critical assessment of the country’s potentials and resources. Our nationalists had a vision of a great nation, with a commanding presence in world affairs. This is what has been termed the mega-vision and it will be realized about 60 years from now based on the following parameters – tourism, the arts, fashion, entertainment, mining, agriculture and sports. Tourism: By 2070, tourism will replace oil and gas as the country’s chief revenue earner. At high gear or focus will be the carnivals – Abuja carnival, Lagos carnival, Calabar Xmas carnival, CARNIRIV, etc; the festivals – OsunOsogbo, Igue, Ofala, etc; the game reserves – the Yankari National Park, the Gashaka/ Gumti Game Reserve etc; the waterfalls – Gurara, Ofejiji, Owu, Ijesha Erin etc; the palmfringed waterfronts and beaches; the splendid peaks of Somorika, Idanre, Olumo, etc; the Naija 7 Wonders including the Obudu Ranch Resort, Sukur Landscapes, Benin Moat, Kano Walls, etc; the UNESCO slave-routes, especially the Badagry and Calabar sites and the larger-than-life creative personalities such as Fela Anikulapo Kuti. We need only a policy of Re-Africanization to be the world’s next cultural and creative wonder. The Arts: Nigeria is custodian of sub-Saharan Africa’s artistic wealth, so stated British ethnographer Bernard Fagg. Even modern Nigeria has not been devoid of artistic vitality. Our poets are legion and the country has been described as a singing nest of poets. Our writers scripted Nigeria into history, so said poet Odia Ofeimun. Nigeria has black Africa’s only Noble Prize Winner in Literature, Wole Soyinka, whose forte is drama. Our visual artists are among the best in the continent and several art movements are in existence, such as uli, ona,etc. Our artists have painted or sculpted the Nigerian Paradise – the expressiveness of music and dance, the warm and vivid colours shown even in dress, the radi-

Imo’s battle of convoys who through hawking of groceries in Jos bought his first bus before he was 14. He also sold fairly used cars via Cotonou. Okorocha like Anyanwu also started as a PDP member. When he lost a bid to become PDP governorship candidate, he decamped to ANPP. He decamped back to PDP and was promptly made special assistant to President Obasanjo. He left PDP to form his Action Alliance (AA) from where he decamped back to PDP hoping to grab the plum job of PDP chairman. Fortune smiled on him when he decamped back to APGA in 2010, and fought a brutal battle, allegedly by storming the Imo State Secretariat of APGA with dozens of thugs, who beat up several top officers of the party who were trying to frustrate his efforts. The serial cross carpeting ended on a good note as he was declared winner of the 2011 Imo State governorship election. These then are the duo of PDP turned APGA warlords that fought the ferocious ‘battle of convoys’ in Azaraegbelu, Owerri North of Imo State last Wednesday. Senator Anyanwu, by her own account, had visited Okorocha earlier in the day ‘to felicitate with him on the up-coming wedding of his daughter,’ with a convoy of cars probably bought, fueled and driven by public officials at the expense of the tax payers. With the convoy she proceeded to Mbaise for a function. It was on her way back that her own convoy was confronted by Okorochas’s “intimidating convoy bearing down on her convoy with full compliments of security operatives, conventional and non-conventional”. Even after directing her convoy to veer off the road and stop for the governor’s convoy to pass, the governor’s security men stopped and blocked her convoy, dragged out the driver of her pilot vehicle and beat him to pulp, before dragging him to the bush with the aim of shooting him but for the shouting and wailing of our delec-

table senator. The senator also claimed she was miffed and ‘in utter shock’ to see that “Okorocha was watching the entire episode complacently and had even shouted orders to his men saying “disarm her security’.” Not exactly so, said Ebere Uzoukwa, the governor’s Special Assistant on Media. The governor, he claimed, narrowly escaped death when the senator’s convoy rammed into his convoy. Thereafter, the senator, in his words, ‘alighted from her vehicle, ‘went berserk by descending on the security men slapping both the governor’s Aide-de-Camp and Chief Detail’, and also ordered her Naval security personnel to open fire. The senator denied, saying the governor who she called a ‘psychopath and a threat to decent society,” has ‘pathological fixation on lying”. The governor hit back, through APGA chairman Okafor, who should ordinarily be an arbiter, at the senator describing her as having a “penchant for fighting in public”, and with “a history of impulsive violence and disrespect to elders”. This disgraceful acts and hilarious tales might have taken place in Imo, but it is symptomatic of the rule of warlords, cliques and gangs that go on in the name of political parties in our nation today. The absence of real political parties with vision, and programs aimed at improving the welfare of the governed, is responsible for the gross indiscipline, corruption, and abuse of office or what President Jonathan recently described as unacceptable attitudes of our political office holders. PDP that fraudulently ascribed to itself the title of the biggest political party in Africa, APGA and some of the opposition parties are nothing but instruments of warlords to settle political scores and for sharing spoils of war after periodically rigged elections. We have since learnt that the seed of Boko

Nigeria in AD 2070 By Isi Omoifo ant light and dynamism of forms, the curvaceous women as well as the abundance of flora and fauna. The African century will witness the explosion of creative expression that will dazzle the world. Fashion: African fabrics are among the most colourful and vibrant in the world. Lagos is the fashion capital of Africa and the current rave are Ankara-based designs. It is available as gowns, skirts, tops, camisoles, trousers, hand-bags, slippers, shoes, belts, throw pillow-cases, curtains, etc. With appropriate government support, Ankara and other local fabrics can take over as the preferred choice of Nigerians, when they have been persuaded to strip off their slavish western suits and other wears. Our fashion houses can take advantage of opportunities in the rest of the continent, among diasporan blacks and in the global community. The global market has already been prepared by some western fashion houses which specialize in ethnic wears. A rich sea-change in dress aesthetics is in the making. We shall be the generation that makes the cultural turnaround to an African modernity. Entertainment: In the 18th century, Olaudah Equiano from Igboland told his English audience – ‘we are almost a nation of poets, musicians and dancers’. By 2070, Nigeria will be an exporter of rhythm, particularly music and dance, to the rest of the world. The hip hop phenomenon will be sidelined, to be displaced by more rootsy and folksy music. The Rhythm and Blues (R &B) category has come to stay and it will be incorporated in the musical inventory. The opera will be domesticated as pioneered by Hubert Ogunde, Nigeria’s Nollywood will overtake America’s Hollywood as the world’s largest centre for film production. Due to the nature of our film

delivery, movie stars will inevitably become music stars with a wide fan base as in India and will be reference points in fashion, taste and manners. Mining: The Nigerian soil is inlaid with precious and priceless metals and minerals. The Niger-Delta abounds with oil and gas, though off-shore production has become important and prospects exist in parts of the North. Bitumen is buried in Ondo State, iron ore in Kogi and gold deposits in Zamfara. Edo North is crammed with minerals such as limestone, gypsum, granite, mica, calcite, etc. Some other states especially in the North, are sitting atop fantastic mineral wealth. The crippling centralization in the country has made it impossible for states, in partnership with the private sector, to proactively exploit and benefit from their mineral resources. Agriculture: By 2050, Nigeria will become a major food exporter, with enough surpluses to cater for the needs of drought-stricken African countries. Nigeria has vast arable lands and diverse ecological zones propitious for the production of a variety of food crops. Agribusiness, Agro-industry and Agro-forestry will be properly integrated into the production systems. The country will recover its former capacity in the production and export of cash crops such as cocoa, cashew, palm produce, rubber, groundnuts, kolanuts, etc. Farm mechanization will concentrate on the local manufacture of tractors, threshers, harvesters, etc. Rain-fed agriculture will largely give way to irrigation. Crop residues and indigenous grasses will be used for production of biofuel such as ethanol. The rural poor will become the new brides in the programmatic utilization of the ecological wealth of the rural areas for transformational development. Sports: Nigeria will be among the world’s leading sporting nations in 2070. It will win the World Cup before 2040, as much local

Haram that has rendered the north eastern Borno and Yobe states ungovernable for over two years was planted by cliques and gangs that employed its services for balance of terror to win election in 1999 and 2003. It has also emerged that South-south disgraced ex-governors like Alamieseigha and James Ibori, behaved like warlords sponsoring the various militant groups for balance of terror while sharing their people’s common patrimony. It has also been established that PDP government at the centre equally armed its own preferred militant group. In the South-east, the fact that kidnapping for ransom has become an industry, in an area controlled by a small regional party with capacity to mobilize more effectively clearly shows that APGA is just an instrument in the hands of cliques of former PDP members. Political parties, even when they end in the dictatorship of a small oligarchy, endure only when they treat discipline as a badge of honour among its members. Sadly we cannot say the same of many of our current political parties. PDP is an unruly clique that treat every scandal from the fuel subsidy scam, pensions scheme fraud, the privatization and commercialization scam, as ‘family affairs’. The governors like our overpaid legislators are wasting public resources because that is the only political culture they inherited from the self-serving military that suddenly cut off our age long political culture that predates the emergence of modern political party in 1926 which emphasized our various cultures, traditions, ‘passion and collective reasoning,’ and group priorities . Anyanwu and Okorocha, like our over paid lawmakers and undisciplined governors who behave like warlords are part of thousands of ‘newbreeds’ that breed only corruption unleashed on our nation after the so-called training by our equally fraudulent state house political scientists. We have to start afresh. And this is the challenge before the opposition as they haggle over their differences in order to create a strong opposition party that can confront PDP, an instrument used by gangs to protect interest of their gang members. The opposition must also take note of the current culture of overpaid opposition legislators’ disingenuous deployment of parts of their disproportionate earnings that run into millions, to build schools, recreation centres, buy cars and motorcycles ostensibly to alleviate poverty of members of their constituencies. It is not only self-serving, but also a fraudulent way of using illegal earnings to embark on gubernatorial race instead of focusing on law making.

enthusiasm and local talents are generated in the game of football. Football will be run as a business and football academics will groom stars. Sprints, table tennis, volleyball and basketball will also be priority areas. There will be planned sports development from the grass-roots and coaches from far and wide will be engaged. Apart from crippling centralization, the cost of governance, cost of doing business and operation of fiscal federalism are challenges. Anyone advocating the creation of more states has an intent to collapse the republic. We should indeed insert a constitutional provision for state contraction rather that state creation. The present bicameral legislature at the centre is unnecessary burden on a struggling nation. Nigeria is ranked 131 out of 185 countries in the global competitiveness index, blameable on corruption and infrastructural deficits. It was a constitutional oversight to have adopted America’s structural arrangements, without the complementary fiscal regime, under which each tier has its taxable areas in line with its responsibilities. Currently our states and local governments are sinking holes into which the national wealth disappears through personnel costs and corruption. Without a new constitution, Nigeria cannot meet its challenges. • Omoifo is a poet and essayist writes from Benin City.

‘The Niger-Delta abounds with oil and gas, though off-shore production has become important and prospects exist in parts of the North. Bitumen is buried in Ondo State, iron ore in Kogi and gold deposits in Zamfara’









INSIDE Lagos’ secret for improved SSCE THE improvement that Lagos State recorded in the May/June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was no accident. Teachers and principals have attributed the success to the Lagos Eko Secondary Education Project, a World Bank-assisted initiative.


Education’s outlook in 2013 In 2013, some initiatives are expected to be taken to change the face of education. KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE writes on the planned changes.

-Page 28

FUWUKARI unveils innovations

THE Federal University Wukari (FUWUKARI), Taraba State, has hit the ground running with research innovations to improve agricultural output. The university, which is one of the nine established by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, unveiled special branded produce. -Page 37

CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc

Who killed them? THEN they were admitted into institutions, the likes of the late Chimaobi Venamtius Mbaegbu perhaps would have gathered family members and friends for thanksgiving as well as parties to celebrate their admission. They would have dreamt of a better future. But before they could complete their studies, they were killed. In an ironic twist of fate, many who had gathered to celebrate their admission again converged to mourn their death.

-Page 29

•Prof Ojerinde (third left) and Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi (fourth right), and other officials while flagging off the awareness campaign for the e-UTME in Port Harcourt last month


HIS year, some policies will shape how examinations are conducted, universities are regulated and workers are employed. Such changes should be expected in the following areas:

UTME In three months, the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will hold. The uniqueness of this year’s examination is the introduction of Computer Based Testing (CBT) option for candidates taking the examinations. While CBT is not new in the education sector as many universities and other tertiary institutions have been using it for the past five years, this is the first time it is being introduced for a public examination. According to an awareness pamphlet designed by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the level of computer literacy needed to take the e-UTME requires the candidate to be able to use the mouse to click the correct answer or enter the right multiple choice alphabet option with the keyboard. The duration of the CBT will be the same as the paper-based exam, and candidates will be required to click submit when they are through with the examination. At the flag-off of the e-testing initiative on November 1, last year in Abuja, JAMB Registrar Prof Dibu

Ojerinde said pilot scheme will be this year and by 2015 CBT will be adopted nationwide. The project has the backing of the Federal Government. Education Minister Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa’i has underscored its effectiveness in checking examination malpractices. She said adopting e-testing is in line with global best practices. Given that about 1.4 million candidates write the examination yearly, the logistics involved are huge and require that centres are moved out of public and private secondary schools, most of which do not have the requisite Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilities for the online mode. Ojerinde said the board has registered centres with ICT facilities where candidates that choose the CBT option would be posted to take the examination in all states of the federation. Candidates that choose the CBT option will take the examination within 17 days; those that take the paper and pencil format will take it in one day as done in the past. Outgoing JAMB public relation officer, Mr Timothy Oyedeji, told The Nation on Tuesday that inadequate standard ICT facilities would mean that some states, like Lagos, Port Harcourt and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would have more e-testing centres than others. “Government has allowed us to

have between 10 and 15 per cent compliance this year. The e-testing might have problems in some states because of lack of facilities. Some states might have more centres than others. We have very strict standards in approving centres for use for the CBT. The centre must have uniform computer screens, there must be back up power supply and other criteria because we do not want some candidates to have undue advantage over others,” he said. Explaining why the 17-day examination is likely to be leakage and malpractice proof, Oyedeji said the board has a huge bank of questions that cannot be exhausted. “We have a very robust bounty of questions. You can juggle them as much as possible and not repeat questions,” he said.

NUC It will not be business as usual during accreditation this year, as universities are now required to input staff, student, equipment and research detail into a database created online by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The database, called the National Universities Commission Database (NUCDB) was launched by Prof Rufa’i at the University of Calabar on September 7- last year. Accreditation teams from the NUC will be using the information this year to prepare for visits to institutions whose programmes

are due for assessment. Through the NUCDB, policy makers, university administrators, students, parents and others will be able to access information about students’ enrolment, programmes, accreditation status, researches, professors, and facilities in public and private universities in Nigeria. In addition to generating accreditation reports for the teams; the portal can be used for certificate verification. It would check over enrolment; multiple employment of lecturers and provide platform for comparison. About 67 universities were selected to pilot the project among which over 38 have entered their staff and students’ records into the portal. NUC Executive Secretary Prof Julius Okojie said that all universities would be required to comply in future as the commission enters a paperless phase of university regulation. Prof Rufa’i NUCDB would enhance the visibility of Nigerian universities on the international stage. “We know that the poor rating is not due to a lack of the required intellectual capacity, but basically due to poor management of resources in our institutions. One of the results of • Continued on page 26




Dons counsel on managing access, cultism in 2013


O solve recurring problems of access and cultism in tertiary institutions in 2013, two academics recommend that government should embrace distance learning, and parents should manage their wards properly. Regarding providing access to tertiary education, Provost of the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, MOCPED, Norforija-Epe, Prof Olu Akeusola said governments should channel their efforts on improving Open Distance Learning (ODL). “Government should concentrate on ODL in 2013. This is the only instrument of mass education. ODL

By Adegunle Olugbamila

offers liberty and flexibility of time, place, choice, money and means. As an ODL student, you can decide the right time to study if you are in the working class. There is no full or part time in distant learning; there is no manipulation, bribery or sexual harassment because there is a respectable distance between the teachers and students. Relationship with the two parties is mostly done online. Besides, it is the easiest and cheapest mean of learning. If we miss it, we miss all.” To reverse brain drain of quality academics that are already in short

supply, Akeusola said lecturers must be well motivated. “I am not also happy because the people (lecturers) producing human resources in this country have been abandoned. But I am not surprised because the politicians who abandoned them have their children studying overseas. “I’ve been to Europe, America and Saudi Arabia for conferences where I was accorded a red-carpet reception; but back home poor attention is given to us teachers, so why would there not be a brain drain in the country if our colleagues are appreciated overseas?” To win the war against cultism,

Ilesagrams old students renovate classrooms


BLOCK of 12-classrooms at Ilesa Grammar School, Osogbo is wearing a new look, thanks to the 1968-72 set which renovated the structure in commemoration of their 40th anniversary of passing out of the school. The block, which cost the old students N3million to repair, was dedicated with pomp and pageantry last Friday. The occasion presented an opportunity for reunion of both the members of the set, some of who last saw themselves as students 40 years, as well as their seniors and juniors. The event, anchored by Dr Kola Kazeem, was graced by prominent members of the set including Prof Foluso Okunmadewa, an official of World Bank; Laoye Ogbara, an Assistant Commissioner of Police; while Engineer Aro Fadare of 1964 set and Mr Dosu Gidigbi of 1973 set were among the special guests. Friends of the class such as Year 2009 National Merit Award winner, Prof Oye Gureje, Prof Akinola Alada, Dean, Students’ Affairs, University of Ibadan and others from all walks of life also joined in the celebration. The Chairman and Special Guest of the dedication ceremony, a alumnus of the school - Prof Isaac Adewole, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan immensely appreciated the spirit of giving back to the School by the set in a manner that no other set of the school post In-

dependence had done. To him , the set had set a very high standard and inspiration for others as target to meet and possibly surpass. He challenged his 1966-1970 set and promised that he will ensure that they will immediately take up the old Jubilee Classroom block and comprehensively renovate it very soon while he challenged the 1969-73 set to do likewise with a milestone project to mark its 40th Anniversary , which is due next year. Coordinator of the project for the 1968- 72 set, Mr Bosun Falore appreciated God’s benevolence on the members and stressed the need to assist the Osun State government in providing qualitative facilities. Dr .OladimejiAlo – the MD/CEO of Excel Consultants Ltd and a member of the class set, who proposed the toast, eulogised the school for hhaving produced individuals of great repute in all productive sectors of the economy. He urged all old students to come to ensure that the school lost glory is restored. He appreciated the cooperative spirit of the members of the set for providing the fund, as well as the exemplary leadership provided by Mr Falore and Mr Yomi Olomolaiye a member of the set, who greatly assisted the completion of the project on schedule despite the daunting challenges. Reverend Donald Oke, the Senior School Principal, expressed appreciation for the set’s large heart. He promised to put the building into good use.

this is low visibility of the institutions.This portal is, therefore, a bold step towards building world class universities in Nigeria. “I understand that the NUCOnline Programme Accreditation Portal offers a unified system in the management of Nigerian universities for enhanced academic structure and visibility. With deliverables such as the automation of database of all universities in Nigeria with link to the National Universities Commission (NUC), the management of our university system is certainly not to be the same again. “I appeal to all our universities and stakeholders to embrace this laudable initiative, which has opened up new frontiers of engagement for the benefit of all stakeholders in the university education sub-sector and the general public. They should also upgrade their system in order to enjoy the full benefits of the portal and co-operate, fully, with NUC so as to make its oversight function less onerous to make it a success.”

Varsities needs assessment report The report submitted by the

Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities last November, focused on the poor state of facilities, inadequate number of academics, bloated nonacademic workforce and mismanagement in public-owned universities. The 11-man committee chaired by Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), recommended reforms that if adopted by the Federal Government this year, will have far-reaching implications on how universities are managed and how they recruit workers. To ensure that universities do not cheat on standards of equipment, quality of teachers, the committee recommended that NUC be empowered to shut institutions that do not meet accreditation requirement. “Government needs to empower and re-strengthen the National Universities Commission to enforce all accreditation criteria and ensure objectivity and patriotism in the conduct of the exercise. In this regards, credible scholars and university managers with track records of discipline, quality scholarship, respect of law and laid down procedures, seasoned professionals from the relevant professional bodies, and committed


home, I strongly believe we will be getting somewhere in 2013.”

•The block before renovation

•The new look

Education’s outlook in 2013 • Continued from page 25

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag) Prof Rahmon Bello said parents must meet the needs of their wards. He said: “It starts from home. It is as a result of certain basic necessities lacking. Over the years, we have found out that majority of those who engage in cultism have family problems, only few of them from good homes join bad companies probably because of curiosity. “I think the solution is for parents to monitor what their children do; go out of their way for their welfare. That is why I said parents have more work to do because If addressing cultism can start from

to building a strong university system for the country shall be involved in the exercise. Universities that lied, forged their records, hire equipment or hire mercenary staff just for accreditation purposes shall be closed down for a minimum of five years,” the committee stated. With regards to staffing, especially the non-academic cadre, implementation of the committee’s recommendation would result in drastic trimming of non-teachers in Nigerian universities as government seeks to reverse the student/teacher ratio that currently stands at 1:100 and above in some universities. This is as a result of the committee’s findings that fulltime non-academics in the universities are 77,511 compared to 37,504 academics (28,128 of whom are employed full-time). Workers in the registry and bursary units will be particularly affected. The committee recommends, among others, that non-academics should be deployed to universities directly from the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). The report stated: “For Nigerian universities to be effectively managed, misplacement of priorities and unnecessary personnel cost need to be stopped. Consequently, it is recommended

We know that the poor rating is not due to a lack of the required intellectual capacity, but basically due to poor management of resources in our institutions. One of the results of this is low visibility of the nstitutions.This portal is, therefore, a bold step towards building world class universities in Nigeria

to government to order for an immediate embargo on the recruitment of non-teaching staff in all Nigerian universities. Having the support staff to out-number the main staff is a complete misnomer in the university. “For government, and other funding agencies to concentrate on the business of supporting teaching, learning and research; and for the university managers to concentrate on pursuing the mission, vision and core values of their institution, it is recommended to government to study the feasibility and viability of converting all non-teaching staff in

Nigerian universities into the staff of Federal or State Ministry of Education (as the case may be). If this is done, governments and funding agencies know for certain every investment would go into the main mandate of the university. Administrative spending and personnel cost would only be restricted to academic matters. Universities would have more resources, more time, and more attention to research, learning, and teaching. And government would have full control over the increasing growth of the population of non-teaching staff in the universities.”




Total, French Embassy endow scholarship


•Pupils of Sapati International School, Akure, on excursion to Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin in Ondo State

Group learns from Finland’s model HE newly formed Education Reform Team (ERT) which visited Finland believes Nigeria can learn a lot from the Nordic country. The team, which comprised five officials of the Cross River State government, was in Finland for five days, returning with a very good impression of its educational system. The five-day trip organised by EduCluster Finland exposed participants to the professionalism and passion of the teachers; the excellent content of the curriculum; the unique delivery of guidance and counselling in schools; the excellent management of schools and the joy in the classroom of the children who thrive in a child-centred environment.


Folasade Adefisayo, a member of the ERT, reflecting on the journey, said: “For me, the Finnish experience was a paradigm-changing and epochal event in my life. I am not using hyperboles for the sake of using these words but I need to explain myself. Before I went to Finland, I was of the school that believed in testing and rewarding teachers according to the performance of their students. I have done a 360 degree turnaround. I still believe that testing is essential but I believe that we should do more formative rather than summative (exams and end of period tests). Formative assessments would involve the quality of the teacher-student interaction made evident in the questions asked by both, reflection on learn-

‘Before I went to Finland, I was of the school that believed in testing and rewarding teachers according to the performance of their students. I have done a 360 degree turnaround. I still believe that testing is essential but I believe that we should do more formative rather than summative’

Envoy praises reward for highflying pupils


HE Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida,

has praised the initiative by Mrs Olufunso Amosun to reward the best pupils in the May/June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). In a statement signed by Soyombo, Special Assistant on Media to the Ogun State Governor, he described the sponsorship of the 20 best candidates from the 20 local government councils of the state on a leadership trip to the United Kingdom as novel. Addressing Mrs Amosun, who led the pupils on the trip, Tafida said the initiative is worthy of emulation. He said: “This is a laudable initiative that is worthy of emulation by other states in Nigeria. Let me state categorically that this is the first time ever that students are being brought to the United Kingdom on educational merits. We have had student excursions here and there. But this is the first time students who have performed excellently well in their West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) are being brought to the United Kingdom for the purpose of leadership training programme. Ogun State is taking the bull by the horns in pre-

ing and progress, team work and collaboration and a general belief in equity and the right of every child to receive a good education. I still believe that we really need to train and re-skill our teachers. The content of their training will now be key.” Bolaji Osime described Finnish education as “an extraordinary and innovative educational system”, while Profr Owan-Enoh from Cross River State observed that “Finland is the first country I have come across that has turned all the theories I have learnt into reality.” The participants also discovered that in Finland, well qualified, intelligent people prefer to be teachers than doctors or lawyers. For instance, competition for placement into Jyvaskyla University to study education is stiff, with the university receiving 2,800 applications for 80 places. This is unlike Nigeria where several Colleges of Education do not have enough applications from interested students and many come into education as a last resort because they could not get onto any other course. In Finland the teachers have strong academic qualifications with the minimum qualification being a Masters degree (except at the Early Childhood level) while in Nigeria it is the National Certificate of Education (NCE) which is lower than a first degree.

OTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd (TEPNG) and the Embassy of France in Nigeria have signed an agreement to sponsor annual scholarship for Nigerians. The joint scholarship scheme titled TEPNG/Quai d’Orsay (“TQJS”) will enable five Nigerians to benefit from an annual scholarship sponsored by Total and the French Embassy with effect from the 2012/2013 academic year. The agreement to formalise the programme was signed at the French Embassy between TEPNG and the Embassy by the Managing Director/Chief Executive of TEPNG, Mr Guy Maurice and the Ambassador of France, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle for the Embassy of France in Nigeria. The programme started with a pilot scheme this year when a candidate was jointly selected and sponsored to study International Law in France. The agreement makes provision for a four-man steering committee to manage the scheme on behalf of the parties. The cost of each of the international scholarship is about 54,000Euros that would cover many benefits

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

such as travel expenses, tuition fees if in a private university or institution in France; health insurance and others. “Understanding changes in your environment is not a matter of specialisation but a matter of personal balance and culture”, said Ambassador Champagne de Labriolle as he explained that the programme was borne out the need to contribute to the training of Nigerians in different fields. He thanked Total for its contributions to the development of the society. Also speaking, Mr Guy Maurice noted that such initiatives on the part of the company was a reflection of its confidence in Nigeria and continuation of what it did in the past The Quai d‘ Orsay educational cooperation between Total and the French Embassy started in 2011 and already operates in other subsidiaries Total is the main sponsor of the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), a post graduate institution at the University of Port Harcourt run in collaboration with the prestigious Institute France du Petrole (IFP) France.

Women group sponsors 11 girls


GROUP, Women in Technical Education and Employment (WITED) Abia State Polytechnic Chapter, plans to sponsor secondary school girls from indigent backgrounds up to tertiary level. Already, the group has selected 11 pupils in science class in public girls’ secondary schools in Aba Zone it would register for the 2012/2013 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), five of whom would also be registered for the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Co-ordinator of the group, Nnenna Uka, said at the grand finale of the 2012 WITED Week, held at the Abia State Polytechnic, explained that the organisation instituted the programme to improve female participation in science and technology education. She added that the group organises academic programmes to

encourage young females in secondary schools to improve in their academics as well as exposing them to literary competitions. “The primary objective of WITED is to identify the factors that fight against female participation in mathematics, science-based and technical education programmes, while our long term objective is to enhance the participation of girl-child and women in such programmes at all levels,” she said. To encourage academic excellence among the female students of the Polytechnic, Ms Uka said WITED instituted a cash award to the best graduating female students at National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) levels in 2011. At the event, Rector of the polytechnic, Elder Allwell Onukaogu offered scholarship to the senior prefect of Ovom Girls Secondary School, Aba, on behalf of his wife, in support of WITED agenda.

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

paring our youths for future leadership roles.” The two-week leadership training visit to Great Britain, on the platform of Mrs Amosun’s “Uplifting the SS3 Students Initiative” was designed to reward excellence and motivate pupils attending public schools in the state to excel in their studies. The 20 children, who relived their experiences when they were hosted by the State Executive Council of the at the Governor’s Office, Abeokuta, last month, said they visited interesting places like Buckingham Palace, British Parliament, and Trafalgar Square, besides the highly rewarding leadership training they received. They were also able to buy gifts, courtesy of the pocket money given to them by Mrs Amosun, who was fulfilling a promise she made to them before they sat for the WASSCE that she would take them overseas if they passed with flying colours. One of the children said the journey abroad had given them a new vision: to change the society. Addressing the pupils when they visited his office, Governor Ibikunle Amosun praised them for topping their local governments in

•Mrs Amosun, explaining a point to the Best 2012 WASSCE candidate in Ogun, Master Omoniyi Ayodeji

Matthew of African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta, when they visited Governor Amosun (right). the WASSCE as public school pupils, which he said is a demonstration that the state’s investment in education is worthwhile. “The fact that all the best students in the 2012 WASSCE from all the 20 local councils in the state are all from public schools is a testimony

to the fact that we are restoring the glory of public education in Ogun State. The restoration of public confidence in government schools through introduction of free education, renovation of dilapidated school buildings, construction of state-of-the-art model

schools, training and retraining of teachers, among others, has now led to a situation where pupils of private schools are now returning to public schools. We are all products of public education and so we must do all within our power to restore the glory of that sector,” he said.



EDUCATION FUNAAB FILE VC: remember the needy IN the spirit of the Yuletide season, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof Olusola Bandele Oyewole has charged workers and students to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ by imbibing his virtues of love, humility and sacrifice. In his goodwill message to commemorate the Christmas and New Year celebration, Oyewole said he would be glad to see members of the university community show genuine love for one another and members of the public, irrespective of faith, status and gender. The VC also admonished them not to forget the needy who may be found in orphanages and prisons, while wining and dining, learning from Jesus Christ who was recorded in the Holy Bible as going about doing good. Oyewole thanked members of staff, especially animal scientists and breeders at the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM) and university farms for producing birds sold at affordable prices to the university community and

Institute rewards workers FOR hard working members of staff of the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), FUNAAB, last Wednesday’s endof -year party and Award of Excellence programme was time to be honoured. The institute’s Director, Prof Segun Osinowo who was impressed by its achievements in Poultry Research, pronounced that IFSERAR would soon be a reference point in the Southwest. He said the occasion was to honour those who made it possible in 2012 and urged them to continue. “We appreciate your efforts in the last 12 months, please do more,” he said. In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olusola Oyewole described the leadership of IFSERAR as progressive and dynamic. Represented by the Deputy ViceChancellor in charge of Development, Prof Felix Salako, the ViceChancellor paised Osinowo for his doggedness. One of the honorees, Prof Godfrey Ezeri said the honour came as a surprise. “This is the beginning of remembrance as I did not expect it,” he said.

Eko Project: Lagos’ secret for improved SSCE performance T HE improvement that Lagos State recorded in the May/ June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was no accident. Teachers and principals have attributed the success to the Lagos Eko Secondary Education Project, a World Bank-assisted initiative that provides grants directly to schools. Last year, Ms Ronke Azeez, Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Eko Project, said 38.5 per cent of candidates in public-funded senior secondary schools in Lagos State made credits and above in five subjects including English and Mathematics – up from 17.04 in 2011. The national average performance in the examination as announced by the former Head of National Office (HNO) WAEC, Dr Iyi Uwadiae was 38.81 per cent. Mr Hafeez Andoyi, Principal of Olomu Community Junior Secondary School, Ajah, told The Nation in an interview that thanks to the Eko Project, schools are more equipped and teachers get requisite training, which had implication on improving learning outcomes. “Education in Lagos has improved tremendously as effectively demonstrated by the last WASSCE results. We had more passes in core subjects like English and Mathematics but there was a bit of lull in Biology. Eko Project has updated schools in terms of ICT, infrastructure and also the learning situation and climate differs from what it used to be,” said Andoyi, who is also the First Vice-President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos State wing.

Mrs Elizabeth Omolaoye, Principal of Eva Adelaja Girls’ Secondary School, Bariga, said thanks to the Eko Project, she is leaving the education sector better than she left it as she retires this month. “You must have heard about the Eko Project. It helped a lot because we were able to purchase all that we need to teach the children. Teachers are trained, and we principals were also trained. I am a beneficiary of the training,” she said. After three years of implementing the initiative, Ms Azeez can advise other states on what to do to improve learning outcomes and performance, which simply involves funding, training and adequate monitoring. Beyond providing grants to principals for equipment, minor repairs, and training of teachers, and making them accountable for the money, Ms Azeez said schools are rewarded based on the average per-

formance of its pupils. She said the decision to focus not on individual performance of a few bright pupils, made the principals to be interested in enhancing the overall performance of their pupils. “The unique thing about this is that we looked at the whole schools and rewarded schools whose had more pupils making up to average performance. It is in the interest of the schools that many children perform well so they can be rewarded,” she said. Ms Azeez added that grading schools also helped the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretaries (TG/ PS) of each of the six education districts, who had more than 100 schools under them, to know which schools in their jurisdiction needed assistance. “We analyse all the results and we compare schools with the state average, and at district and local government levels. That analysis gave the TG/PS information to help them lead and manage their schools. All of them started paying

‘You must have heard about the Eko Project. It helped a lot because we were able to purchase all that we need to teach the children. Teachers are trained, and we principals were also trained. I am a beneficiary of the training’

•Ms Azeez

attention to what is going on in their schools,” she said. But they did not stop at that. Ms Azeez said rather than getting punished, poor performing schools got more funds and initiated more programmes to enable them do better. She said: “Instead of leaving it at that, we decided if we really want the state average to be better, we will put extra money to low performing schools. We did what we call the low performance initiative which involved extra coaching classes, training teachers on how to mark, Saturday lessons – Mathematical tonic and English clinic. These are the various things we did to get the students’ mark up. By the time results came out, we saw results improved from 17.04 per cent in 2011 to 38.5 including English and Mathematics in 2012.”

•Busy ‘hairdressers’ during the hair-do competition in Lagos

Club constructs Zebra Crossing THE Road Safety Club, FUNAAB, has constructed a Zebra Crossing on the Ring-road adjacent to the university motor park. It was done during the closing ceremony of the second three-day Annual Safety Camp programme held at the Sheriff Deputy’s Lodge on the university campus. In his address at the inauguration of the project, the Cadet-inChief (C-in-C), Road Safety Club, FUNAAB Branch, Mr Joshua Omotunde, said the construction means that any vehicle approaching the white stripes on the segment of the road must stop if a pedestrian is waiting by the side to cross the road. Present at the programme were cadets from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and a Naval Officer, Tommy Olanrewaju.

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

Cultural institute fetes pupils in Lagos, Akure


HE Lagos and Southwest zones of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), gave primary and secondary school pupils a time to remember during the 2012 end-of-year children’s cultural extravaganza held in Lagos and Akure. The colourful programmes, which featured traditional cooking competition, traditional hairdo competition, fashion parade, debate in Yoruba language, quizzes, were organised to foster appreciation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage in the young ones. In the Lagos edition, the third in the series, held at the NICO office within the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu grounds, the pupils paraded colourful traditional attires according to their schools. The celebrated comedienne, Helen Paul, thrilled the children to beautiful dance steps while admonishing them to always be good as they are Nigeria’s future leaders.

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Damisi Ojo

On the competitive note, four schools out of nine competed in the final of the debate on the topic: Traditional mark: Should it be encouraged or discouraged. At the end, Julewubi Foundation School led by Oluwabunmi Salau came first. Moshood Silifat won second position for Holy Infant School, while Tender Grapes led Busari Olubukola came third. Bedrock College came fourth. In the cooking competition, Miss Ibrahim Aisha of Kosofe Junior High School, Ketu, emerged the best cook. The three runners up were from Community Junior High School, Holy Infant School and Tender Grapes Schools. In the traditional Hair-Do competition, Alice Omolade of St. Mary Private School proved to be the best. She was followed by Taofeekat Sholagbade of St. Paul Nursery and Primary School and

Odion Favour of Holy Infant Primary School in the second and third positions. In his speech, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, the Executive Secretary of NICO, who was represented by Dr. Dipo Kalejaiye, said through the programme, Nigeria’s unique cultural heritage would be preserved. “The institute is mindful of the fact that our youths are fast losing interest in Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage due to the influence of foreign culture and globalisation. This programme is geared towards rekindling the very best of our cultural values and preserving it for onward transmission to the younger generation,” he said. The Southwest edition, held for the first time, was no less interesting. The Senior Staff Club, Akure, venue of the programmes teemed with excited pupils from 15 secondary schools participating in all the competitions. The highlight of the event was the debate on the topic: Are there any

benefits in parents speaking indigenous languages to their children/wards at home? It was won by Abosede Adese and Abiodun Adeniyi of Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School, Akure, whose eloquence in the use of Yoruba laced with idiomatic expressions and good grammar was superior to the others though they argued against the motion. Their counterparts Oshodi Olayemi and Adetoye Taye from Aquinas College, Akure, settled for second place. Oyemekun Grammar School won the quiz category while Ijapo High School and FUTA Staff Secondary School came second and third. St Frances Academy won the cooking competition defeating two other schools, Best Hope Secondary School and Calvary International School. The first position for Hairdo contest went to St France’s Academy while Lydia Memorial School took second position and Best Hope Secondary School took third position.


A year of murder, protests and woes


Murder at Yuletide


KNOCKS Last week, all hell was let loose at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) following the death of a final year student of Accounting, Teslim Adebola Ibrahim. OLATUNJI AWE reports. *GRANTS

Page 31

Page 34


CAMPUS LIFE 0802-4550-354 email: THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013



Just as it is with the larger society, unresolved murder cases also litter campuses nationwide. According to reports, no fewer than 60 students were killed last year by yet unidentified gunmen. Will their killers ever be found? WALE AJETUNMOBI asks.

•The late Chimaobi’s family members during his burial


HEN they were admitted into institutions, the likes of the late Chimaobi Venamtius Mbaegbu perhaps would have gathered family members and friends for thanksgiving as well as parties to celebrate their admission. They would have dreamt of a better future. But before they could complete their studies, they were killed. In an ironic twist of fate, many who had gathered to celebrate their admission again converged to mourn their death. Some were killed almost immediately they entered school; others were murdered in their second and final years of study. The late Emmanuel Uduak was in 400-Level Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT

Who killed them?

•Unresolved cases of slain students litter campuses MINNA) when he was killed last May. The late Uduak, who hailed from Akwa Ibom State, was to have gone on six months Industrial Training after the first semester exams before he was killed.

In July, nine students of Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, murdered their colleague, Emmanuel Aklahyel Shallangwa, a Diploma student of Computer Science, for allegedly

stealing N11,000 belonging to one of them. The incident happened in Sangere village in Girei Local Government Area of Adamawa State. There were conflicting accounts

‘My son was tall, brilliant and a promising student, who was serious with his studies. I was ready to spend my last kobo on him before he was killed by wicked people, who don’t deserve to live among men’

•UI resumes Jan 7 -P32

of who stole the money as some students insisted it was Adamu Dawarki, Emmanuel’s host, who stole the money but Emmanuel admitted to the stealing because “he didn’t want problems for Adamu.” Samuel Ikwuji, 300-Level Agricultural Economics, recounted how Emmanuel was murdered: “At about 11:30pm, on the fateful day, a group of students, armed with knives, sticks and broken bottles, stormed the hostel and started beating the late Emmanuel and his host, Adamu Dawarki, who is also a Diploma student. They continued beating the boy until blood started dripping from his nose. This was after Emmanuel had produced N5,000 and promised to bring the remaining N6,000 •Continued on page 30

•NANS urges fees reduction -P33




Ripples over Pushing Out pimps on with campuses Agbo Agbo


HEN I wrote my piece on pimps last week I never anticipated the responses that followed, it came in torrents through SMS, emails and personal calls even though the instruction was for readers to send in SMS. Those that called apologized and said they will express themselves better through personal calls than other means; and in some of the instances, I had to put my phone on speaker so that I can take down notes from their reactions. While it will be difficult to accommodate all the responses in one write up, we'll be having an open house today so that readers can have their say on this very thorny issue. Wait for this: have you heard of sale of kidneys racketeering by students of Nigerian Universities? They recruit their clients to foreign hospitals to 'donate' their kidney for a fee. They engage in rituals using their girlfriends on whom they lavish expensive gifts and money. One was competing with the Vice Chancellor of his University in the type of cars he rode as a student now he is a school proprietor in Southwest. Our value system has collapsed. Sola Akinwande Thanks for the enlightenment. "I don't know" as an answer to a crucial question is always a safer way to dodge the obvious. Education is crucial in the lives of the citizenry and the economic development of a society. The government has continuously shied away from this fact and fails to establish the enabling system mechanism to ensure that things work out commensurate to the developed world. What do you expect of a student from a society with income per capital of less than $2.00 a day? When I attended tertiary institution in Nigeria in the 80's, things had started falling apart and they were never checked. I have been one of the "Andrews" and things are totally different for me at present. Now the government is toying with educational deregulation! According to President Obama, things will get worse

an interesting one.

08052959489 (SMS only)

• before they get better. For Nigeria, they will always be worse except the government wake up from its slumber and conduct the country's business according to the dictates of a good constitution. In all the rambling and happenings, the government is to be blamed because as students and human being, survival is at the apex of their life matrix. According to Peter Drucker, the economist (1909-2005), carrot and stick management method is where the Nigerian government is missing the point. The business of government should be to create and enforce the laws. The laws should always be changed and revised to meet the challenges of the time. If there were student loans for tuition and living, strong laws to punish offenders, things will be better on our campuses. Prostitution has not been adequately categorized as an illegal activity in our society; though it is in the code, people who have been found to contravene it are treated with kid gloves. Professors, lectures and law makers are guilty of this. A product supply that has no demand will die naturally within the economics of demand and supply chain. Everybody should be accountable to the system! Parafima The problem of pimping in our tertiary institutions has come to stay. I am a staff of Ebonyi State University and I know there is nothing anybody can do to reverse the situation, at least in the next ten years as long as the forces that compel our youths to play the game are very much around us. Pimping as well as other social vices like kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism is the unfortunate product of education without a basic foundation in simple morality. No wonder then that your anonymous caller saw nothing wrong in making millions out of pimping. Your column is

S.O Mr. Agbo, I just read your column and I must say that even though pimping is not a business or profession anyone can be proud of, I do know that the majority of Nigerians have no moral high ground to criticize what these pimps do. Their clients are the socalled "role models" of society, Governors, senators, bankers etc. Are any of these corrupt people in private and public sector proud of the funds they steal? Would any of them be proud if their daughters are unknowingly brought in as one of these high class prostitutes? I think Nigerians should worry more about a society that would gather round an ex-convict to celebrate his release from prison for stealing public funds. These are the role models of these youth today or in the future when they enter the real world and realize their country has no jobs for them. How many people are proud of the jobs they do? I have a friend that has "pimped" his sister; I have another who said the last profession he would join is the Police. Not only is he in the Police as a recruit, he hates every minute of it. 07042325266 Our leaders (both past present) are to be blamed for the moral decadence in our society. Why do they increase school fees arbitrarily, often without considering the poor in the society? Most of these people had free education during their time. How do our graduates survive the unemployment that has become the order of the day? God save us. Ojomo Vincent Parents are part of the problem. They just dump their children in school, not caring how they live. Some don't even give enough money to their daughters. But it's interesting to note that a lot of students still engage in legitimate business around the campuses. Jetro Sir, I just stumbled on Campus Life and encountered the painful development of Aunty Ngozi's exit. Accept my sympathy and may the good Lord uphold, strengthen and shelter you and the child she left behind. Amen. Be that as it may, the issue raised in your

article on "pimps" is not only a terrible dimension of decadence in tertiary institution but a monster that is worse than HIV/AIDS. I'm pursuing my second degree in Law in UNILAG and I can sadly confirm and affirm to you that all hope seems largely lost on the issue at stake. I'm not a prophet of doom but as long as materialism and acquisitive disposition continues, pimping or whatever it is called would continue unabated. May the Lord be with you. Awopeju Idowu Why blame past leaders alone in this national malaise and disgrace. People given to blaming others for their situation are lost. It is a purposeless exercise to blame others for your predicament. Where were the people when these leaders were bastardising the system? They fold their arms and looked unconcerned. Have the leaders changed their ways of running every institution aground? No. So what have we done in spite of this? Nothing. Will things change on their own? Of course not. Will wailing and complaining change anything? No of course. This sort of situation can only take place in a film or in an animal kingdom. Let the blame game and complaining continue. To image what the future will hold for everyone is like a jackboot stamping on a face forever. Olawale Yinusa It's nice and refreshing reading your article on university students and pimping. I am confident most Nigerians are not shocked or surprised about it. This is a practice that has been going on for years in this sector. I have used and have been invited to participate in the services and I can confirm that I am a happy customer. Moreover the students in question are" adults". I am not sure what the fuss is all about. George Mbanefo I can say categorically that this doesn't happen in the best university in The South west! Girls may prostitute but they don't have pimps! Guys do runs but they don't Pimp. Sir K The fact remains that our rulers and some of our parents are to blame for the moral decadence in our society, but that does not mean that we don't have selfdiscipline students. May God help us.

Who killed them? Continued from page 29

the next morning.” At Girei Police Station, where the matter was reported, an officer, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed police had made some arrests. Police are yet to unravel the circumstance that led to the death of Wunmi Adebayo, 100-Level student of English at Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu Ode. Wunmi was allegedly killed by robbers that attacked Golden Estate, where she went to visit an acquaintance. But there was a rumour that she was murdered by her boyfriend after the deceased caught him and his gang with guns. The Public Relations Officer of Ogun State Police Command, Muyiwa Adejobi, in a text to our correspondent, confirmed the arrest of Wunmi’s boyfriend but denied that the suspect had confessed to the crime. He said investigation was still on. On Independence Day, students reading for their second semester exams at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi (MUBI POLY) were called out one after the other and killed by yet unidentified gunmen. Thirty three students were killed in a mid-night attack in Wuro Patugi

• Wunmi...murdered in boyfriend’s apartment

•Shallangwa....stabbed to death by colleagues

• Chimezie...killed by unknown gunmen in Mubi

• Leye Balogun...killed by robbers

area of Mubi. Though it is believed that the assailants were Boko Haram extremists, some linked the incident to Students’ Union election. Five days after, the social media went viral with the video clip of the lynching of four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students. The gory incident showed the kind of relationship between students and their host communities. Mr John Odewale, whose 19year-old son, James Ayodele, ND II Electrical and Electronic Engi-

neering, was killed in MUBI POLY, said he was still in shock. He condemned the Federal and Adamawa state governments for not visiting the bereaved families. Speaking to our correspondent from Yola, Odewale said: “My son was tall, brilliant and a promising student, who was serious with his studies. I was ready to spend my last kobo on him before he was killed by wicked people, who don’t deserve to live among men.” “Since the death of Ayodele, I have not been myself because of the shock. I am just leaving hospital

now and my wife has not been able to do anything since they killed Ayodele. You will be surprised that government, whether state or federal, has not issued a statement consoling the families of the victims. This is insensitivity because the students were killed over their inability to manage the security of the country. The only people that visited us were the management of the polytechnic, who brought N30,000. Is this a country?” On some campuses, many students have been killed by local militia groups but the killings have

been kept away from the public. Even investigations into some of the reported cases have either not been concluded or abandoned by the police. The government has also been unable to arrest and prosecute those involved in extra-judicial killings. Months after the killing of these students, their bereaved parents are still weeping, especially as some of the suspects are believed to be walking the streets free. But the poser for the government and the police is: “who killed these students?”



CAMPUS LIFE For many students, 2012 could largely be described as the ‘year of the locust’, given the unsavoury events on some campuses. Will 2013 be different? WALE AJETUNMOBI writes.

A year of murder, protests and woes


OR many students, 2012 was an eventful year. It came with the good, the bad and the ugly. The year was heralded by a nationwide protest over the removal of fuel subsidy. Students played a frontline role in the demonstration at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, a Lagos suburb, forcing the government to reduce petrol price to N97 per litre. But as the popular Yoruba saying goes, morning shows the day. At the dawn of 2012, many campuses were shut because of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike. The union declared an “indefinite” strike on December 4, 2011 to press the Federal Government to fuflfil the 2009 agreement it reached with the union. Some of the contentious issues include adequate funding of universities, assistance to states’ universities, increase of annual budgetary allocation to education 26 per cent between 2009 and 2020, increase in lecturers’ pay package, and amendment of the retirement age of academics on the professorial cadre from 65 to 70 years. Others are establishment of lecturers’ pension fund administration, reinstatement of illegally dissolved governing councils, setting up of research and development units in all universities, provision of laboratory equipment and classrooms among others. The lecturers called off the strike, 60 days after it started. Students returned to their campuses in excitement after weeks of being idle. As campuses settled down for academic business, students studying in the southern part of the country were welcomed by men of the underworld. Armed robbers laid siege to some campuses. On February 29, 2012, two robbery attacks at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) and the Babcock University jolted the students like a thunderbolt. Seven heavily-armed robbers invaded the sleepy town of Ilishan Remo in Ikenne, Ogun State to rob some banks and waylay students in Babcock University. Though no student was hurt in the incident, the robbers were said to have freely used deadly weapons, such as rocket launchers, sub-machine guns and dynamite, to break into the new generation banks on the campus. “It is an unbelievable experience, I don’t know how the boys came in. They carried big rocket launchers and dynamite. Before anyone knew what was happening, they had swooped on us, asking all of us to lie down. One of them even slapped me because I tried to look at his face. I cannot say the actual amount they carted away, but a rough estimate will be millions of naira,” an official of one of the robbed banks stated. On the same day, a new generation bank opposite UNIPORT main gate was attacked by robbers. A student of the university, who was using the bank’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the time of the robbery, was shot and allegedly died later in a hospital. However, the police spokesman in Rivers State, Ben Ugwuegbulam, said he could not confirm if there any death was recorded in the incident but said “only one person was injured.” For months, banks in Ogun State did not open for operation, a situ-

ation that made students to nearby states to get cash, thereby increasing their risk to road accident. At the University of Lagos (UNILAG), a cab with registration number LM 162 AAA conveying students to their hostels exploded. The incident happened at the roundabout between Moremi Hall and the Department of Mass Communication. This upset the tranquility on the campus as students scampered for safety while others waited to put out the fire. Barely a month after ASUU called of its strike, the Non-Academic Staff of University (NASU) closed down the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) over non-payment of salaries. Academic activities were disrupted. The striking workers carried a casket to the office to force the then Vice-Chancellor to accept their demands. On July 13, the presidents of Students’ Union Government (SUG) of three higher institutions - Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo and Ondo State School of Midwifery were killed in an auto crash near Emure-Ile on Owo-Akure Road. The union leaders, whose name were given as Oladapo Awopegba (FUTA), Abiodun Akintola (ACE) and Oyinkan Olotu (School of Midwifery), were returning from the “Best Governor” award ceremony organised by a faction of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to honour Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko. The student leaders with other colleagues were travelling in a bus donated by Governor Segun Mimiko to the Ondo State Joint Campus Committee (JCC). The bus rammed into a trailer coming from the opposite direction. Police said the accident was a result of over-speeding. For the first time, a campus of a government-owned institution was ravaged by flood. The Naraguta Female Hostel at the University of Jos (UNIJOS) was flooded after a heavy downpour in August. The incident happened two weeks after scores of people in Jos lost their lives in the July 22 downpour that affected areas such as Angwan Rogo, Gangare and Rikkos. There was no death recorded in the UNIJOS flood, which occured in the evening but over 70 students in 19 rooms of Naraguta Hall lost personal effects such as books, food items, mattresses, rugs and carpets to the flood, which was caused by overflowing drainages in the front of D Block in the hostel area. Most of the affected students were either sleeping in their rooms or reading when the flood started. From May to November, 2012, campuses across geo-political divides witnessed unbridle savagery, which resulted into mindless killing of students by their fellow students, cultists, robbers and gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members. In Maiduguri, multiple bomb blasts made students of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to desert the Gwange area, where offcampus residences are located. At the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), students were waylaid by suspected Fulani herdsmen, who were armed with daggers and other sharp objects. There were also protests in UNIJOS, Lagos State University

•Students in a procession to Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota during the subsidy protest

•The burning vehicle that caused panic on UNILAG campus

•A NASU official carrying a placard during OOU protest

•Benue medical students during their protest last October

(LASU), Benue State University (BSU), Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu and University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) over non-accreditation of courses and fee hike. Students may have heaved a sigh of relief as the “year of locust” ended three days ago. A new year has begun. But given that some of the contentious issues that dis-

rupted the smooth running of academic programmes were not properly resolved, the fledgling 2013 is likely pregnant with so many events that may shape and re-shape education and campuses across the federation. Will students have a smooth sailing year given the rumoured plan to hike fuel price? Will ASUU close

down campuses again for another round of industrial action to press home its unimplemented demands? Will bombs boom again? Will the killers of MUBI 33 and UNIPORT 4 be brought to justice? Will campus robbery stop? Will managements stop toying with school fees so students can enjoy affordable education? As they say, only time will tell.



CAMPUS LIFE UNN to restore SUG From Oladele Oge UNN


HE authorities of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) may have set to lift the ban on Students’ Union activities in the institution. This was contained in a memorandum issued recently which stated in part: “The university’s administration has approved the lifting of ban on Students’ Union activities, starting with hall governors elections.” The management, through the release, advised interested students to get electoral guidelines at Students’ Affairs department of the university. Meanwhile, the authority has appealed to aspirants to strive for the rebirth of a vibrant union that will inspire good leadership on the campus.

Don’t associate with darkness, students warned From Wale Bakare UNILORIN •Some of the matriculating students

UNIZIK matriculates freshers


HE management of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka has inducted the freshers admitted into various departments in the institution. The main campus was a sight to behold as photographers had a field day clicking cameras and calling clients to patronise them. About 5, 500 students were admitted into the university out of the over 82,000 applicants. Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Boniface Egboka, said: “While the new students are celebrating with their relatives and friends, the purpose of this ceremony must not be lost. I will say this is the luckiest set of matriculating students

From Ngozi Emmanuel UNIZIK

ever in the history of the school because the screening was based on merit. The new students make good use of this opportunity to study in one of Nigeria’s best institution. It doesn’t matter whatever anyone passed through to get admitted, education is for the betterment of the individual. You are a rare group to be among the selected.” Daniel Chijioke, 100-Level Mass Communication, said: “I have always dreamt of being here. I feel so excited and lucky. UNIZIK is a great school.”

Okechukwu Njideka, 100-Level Microbiology, said: “This school is one of the best; I am happy that I made my parents proud by passing the screening test.” Chinelo Okafor, 100-Level Mass Communication, quipped: “The VC’s speech was brief and straight to the point. I feel fortunate to be among the selected.” For Steve Ijomah, who was admitted to study Cooperative Economics, one of his dreams had been achieved. He said: “Last year, I got admission to study but not for my preferred course. I feel fulfilled that finally I got the course I wanted.”

HE former Head of Department of Economics at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Dr. R. A. Bello has urged students to be law-abiding. He gave the charge at an orientation programme organised by the National Association of Osun State Students (NAOSS) President Joint Chamber International (JCI, UNILORIN) Akingbola Paul advised the students to see the university as a place to equip themselves to meet the demands of the labour market. In his speech, federal commissioner of the Public Complaints Commission in Osun State Prof. R.D Abubakar, urged the students to be good ambassadors of their university and state. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, a 100 level mechanical engineering student, Siyanbola Abiodun said: “ I appreciate the association for organising this orientation because it exposed me to the rules and regulations governing the university.” President of the association, Fasasi Adetola advised the new students to take their studies seriously.


Minister commends students, management From Sikiru Akinola EDE POLY


HE acting Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Dr. Olukayode Adebile has praised the academic excellence of the institution at its eighth convocation ceremony held in Ede. He noted that the institution has invested substantially in the upgrade of laboratories, workshops and staff offices to improve the quality of teaching and learning. He called on public and corporate bodies to assist the institution as government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of providing qualitative education. Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i praised the management of the Polytechnic for their vision in running the affairs of the institution. She said: “Without tertiary education, the nation’s quest for qualitative human capital development would be a mirage,” adding that “the Federal Government has reinvigorated the funding of tertiary education through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).” She charged the graduands to be of good behaviour and contribute their quota to national development.

UI resumes Jan 7 From Hammed Hamzat UI • Some of the winners of the contest with the judges


Law students hold oratory contest


HE Human Rights Chamber of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin has organised a Freshers’ Oratory contest tagged “The Beauty of Law.” The event witnessed a mass turnout of students. The preliminary stage featured eight participants: Kolo-Manma Joanna, Olawole Olamiposi, Adeosun Nazeef, Apalando Isiaq, Ejiwunmi Abiodun, Abdulmutalib Abdulmalik, Oke Ridwan and Ali Toyin Abdul- who slugged it out in a keen contest. But only six participants made it to the next round.

From Abdulwasiu Esuola UNILORIN

Spokesman of the panel of judges, Oluwasegun Ogundipe encouraged participants to improve on their public speaking and sharpen their advocacy skills. The final stage of the contest was administered by Dr. S. M. Olokooba and chaired by Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr. Abikan. Each participant was given seven minutes to give a presentation on the beauty of law. At the end of the contest, Nazeef Adeosun came first with 95

OAU Alumni elects exco


HE Ekpoma chapter of Alumni body of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), has elected Dr Eunice Omonzejie as its chairperson. She promised to uphold the objectives of the association while she runs its affairs for the next two years. Others elected included Andy Aihevba, Vice Chairman, Mr Joseph Nordiana, Secretary, Dr David

From Nosakhare Uwadiae AAU

Oamen, Assistant Secretary, Dr Don Omoike, Treasurer, Pastor Fyne Achugbue, Financial Secretary and Dr Agh Agharese Osifo, who doubles as the Public Relations Officers and Social Secretary. In her acceptance speech, Mr Omonzejie urged past and present

points, Joanna Kolo-Manma emerged second with 94 points, Isiaq Apalando took the third position with 93 points, Olamiposi Olawole came fourth with 91 points and Abiodun Ejiwunmi came fifth with 90 points. The guest speaker Mr. A. O. Muhammed (SAN) emphasised the importance of human rights activism and charged to render free legal aid to citizens. Dr. Anikan urged law students to give their quota to humanity through vibrant advocacy and human rights activism. students to uphold the “rich tradition” of academic excellence of the university. She urged the alumni of the institution to key into activities and programmes of the body in order to promote academic excellence. Omonzejie, who graduated from OAU in 1984, said: “The Great Ife can grow from leaps to bounds and attain greater heights if every one of us joins hands to build the university.”


ARRING last minute change of date, all is set for the University of Ibadan (UI) to resume for the 2012/2013 academic session. Freshers are expected to be back on the campus next Monday while returning students will resume a week after. The resumption date was announced at the meeting between management led by Prof Isaac Adewole, the Vice Chancellor, and Students’ Union executive led by Raymond Edosa with stakeholders in the institution. Rasheed Otegbola, president of Pharmacy students, said the news had put an end to the rumour making round about resumption. The management presented five new positions before the union, among which included the accommodation fee and hostel cooking. After hours of deliberation, four positions were rejected by the union leaders. The management banned cooking in hostel rooms and the use of hot plate. Prof Adewole stated that kitchenette would be provided in halls while the existing ones would be renovated. The VC said the move was to reduce power consumption through the use of the electric cookers.




Fulani students mark Cultural Day


T was merriment at the Bayero University, (BUK) Kano when students under the aegis of Fulfulde Promotion Club marked their cultural day. Clad in their cultural attire, the students danced to Ramat Car Park amidst sounds of flute and Fulani songs. The males held sticks across their shoulders while hopping to the dampe dance in rows. The women clutched bowls of calabash to their heads bowls and were dressed in handmade white fabric. Students’ spectators were held spell bound as they praised the dancers. Some of them who spoke

• One of the trainees asking question at the programme

Club trains new officers


HE Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) chapter of Junior Chamber International (JCI) has organised a training programme for her new officers. The occasion featured training on parliamentary procedures facilitated by JCI leader, Tunji Alade, and Editor-in Chief of the club, Adeniyi Ogunsola. The event also

From Princewill Jacob PTI

witnessed a personal development session with the theme The power to re-invent yourself facilitated by the Area B Director of Training, Ekemini Akpan. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Akpan said the training was tai-

lored to imbue the new executives with requisite competences in the discharge of their responsibilities. However, the Officers’ Training School was held at the Multimedia Room of the Petroleum Training Institute Library. The participants told our correspondent that they were happy to have attended such training, adding that the workshop has prepared them to serve the organisation.


From Idris Abubakar BUK

to CAMPUSLIFE said they were happy to witness the event. A 300 level student of Adult Education, Bilkisu Jami said: “It feels great to witness the dampe dance for the first time in my life. It’s awesome.” Speaking at the event, President of the club, Murtala J. Julde said the association aims to foster cultural unity among Fulani students of different dialects. He noted that the group “seeks to encourage non-speakers of Fulfulde to learn the language.”

Symposium for Muslim HE Association of Faculty of Arts students Arts Muslim Students

(AFAMS) at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has held a symposium for members. The seminar, which took place at the Humanities Auditorium II, was well attended by students and seasoned Islamic scholars In his opening speech, co-coordinator of the group Taofeeq Adebayo, praised the growth of the association. He said: “we are moving from grass to grace and from nothing to something.” The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Muhib Opeloye, a former Commissioner of Local Govern-

From Taofeeq Adebayo OAU

ment and Chieftaincy Title in Osun State, encouraged the students to be more dedicated in whatever they do. While delivering his lecture titled The Place of the Arts in Islam, Dr Zafaran Adeniyi, charged the students to seek Islamic knowledge. The students were taken through practical aspects of the campus life and how to strike a balance between academic and social life.

Alumni body lectures graduating students


HE Lagos Chapter of the University of Ilorin Alumi Association (UIAA) has held a public lecture with the theme: Life after Graduation. The event took place at the University auditorium. In attendance was the Vice-Chancellor Professor Abdulganiu Ambali, who was represented by Prof. C.O Bewaji, Dean School of Post graduate, Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya, Managing Director, Media Reach Mr. T.A odedele, National President Unilorin Alumni Association, Dr. L.A Yahaya, and Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji, Chairman Directorate of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin.

From Wale Bakare UNILORIN

In his address, Prof Bewaji praised the alumni body for their contribution to the growth of the institution. President of the association, Mr. Odedele told the students to brace up for the challenges of life after graduation and be versatile. He said: “Whatever job your hands find to do, give it your best shot.” The event also witnessed the presentation of awards to members and students who have distinguished themselves in their various endeavours.

NANS urges fees reduction •Cross section of the freshers at the event

Fellowship welcomes freshers


HE Joint Christian Campus Fellowship (JCCF) of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun has welcomed new members. The occasion was attended by president of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Stanley

From Princewill Jacob PTI

Okpako, immediate past president of the fellowship, Pastor Justice Okeoma, and members of the fellowship. Students rendered song ministrations, powerful prayer sessions and

drama presentations during the programme. In his welcome message, President of the group, Pastor Emeka Omah, urged the students to be hard working and remember their primary goal on campus. Students who spoke to Campus Life said the event was spiritually invigorating.

Council appraises department’s facilities HE department of Urban and Regional Planning, Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA), has hosted the accreditation team of the Town Planning Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC). The team was in the department to re-accredit its Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech), post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Urban and Regional Planning and post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Housing. Other programmes re-accredited included Master’s in Technology (M. Tech), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Urban and Regional


From Tolulope Ajobiewe and FUT MINNA

Planning. The exercise featured inspection of the department’s design studios, facilities, e-library and data rooms. Also, the team assessed the curriculum, admission and administrative policies, staffing in the bid to uphold the academic standard and service delivery. The accreditation team also held an interactive session with students of the department to ascertain if they understood the scope

of the discipline. Students were further encouraged to maximally use a high-level technology provided in the department to achieve academic excellence. In his remarks, the Head of the department, Dr Musa Dalil, praised the team for its constructive criticisms in the past five years, which he said had led to the high academic performance of the department’s students. He assured the team that the department would continue to be ‘‘a centre of excellence in research and development.”


HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the management of Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu to reduce its fees. The Director of Action and Mobilisation of the association, Chidozie Kingsley make the plea to the institution’s authorities in a statement last week. He noted that NANS, as an umbrella body of Nigerian students, must push for students’ interest in the fee crisis rocking the school. “We have decided to wade into the ongoing school fees crisis in most of our tertiary institutions, especially the Abia State University through consultation and consoli-

From Gerald Nwokocha ABUJA

dating approach instead of confrontation. NANS is a body that is value-oriented and seeks to fight for the interest of Nigerian students in an uncompromised manner against oppression. We have started consultation in view of ABSU school fees increment, and we advise students to be law-abiding pending the outcome of the consultation.” He, however, assured students of favourable outcome, saying ABSU was not the only institution experiencing school fees increment in the country.



CAMPUS LIFE Emmanuel Babs, said to be an easygoing student, was shot by gunmen while returning from evangelism. TAIWO ISOLA (200-Level Human Anatomy, University of Maiduguri) reports.


HE late Emmanuel Oluwajuwon Babs left his hostel, G-Block, at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) penultimate Friday for a music ministration at Chapel of Blessing, a students’ church at the university’s Teaching Hospital. As he stepped out of his hostel, the late Emmanuel, a 400-Level Agricultural Engineering student, told his roommates he would be back on Sunday. As he was returning from the gospel concert, he was shot dead along with an unidentified young man on a commercial tricycle popularly called Keke NAPEP. The incident happened a few days to Christmas. The tricycle was attacked by masked gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members at Bolori Layout, Maiduguri. An eye-witness told CAMPUSLIFE that the late Emmanuel and another passenger, both of whom sat behind the driver, were heading towards Central Bank Junction in Bolori when a saloon car overtook the tricycle and blocked its way. “Two men came out and instantly opened fire on the passengers in the Keke NAPEP, leaving only the driver. They took a bag belonging to one of the victims and left the scene immediately. Later, soldiers arrived on the scene and took the bodies to a specialist hospital’s morgue,” the witness said. It was learnt that members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) did not make efforts to reach the fami-

Murder at Yuletide lies of the victims after they took the bodies to the morgue. CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the late Emmanuel had initially told his parents, who are based in Maiduguri, that he would be home briefly before returning to school because of exam. But he was informed his mother had travelled with his siblings to their home state for Christmas, leaving his father, with whom he planned to travel to Port Harcourt to begin his mandatory Industrial Training (IT). A close family friend told our correspondent that when the father did not see his son, he called his phone but it was switched off. “When the father called the late Emmanuel's colleagues to know his whereabouts, he was shocked when he was informed that the boy had not returned to the campus,” the source said. The family immediately declared Emmanuel missing and a search began on Sunday night, CAMPUSLIFE gathered. After three days of searching, one of the late student's friends found his body in the morgue of the specialist hospital. “Emmanuel’s daddy broke down in tears as he saw the cold body of his son,” the family friend added. Tears flowed freely as the remains of the late Emmanuel were committed to earth in Maiduguri last week Thursday. For his classmates, who trooped to the funeral, Emmanuel’s death was shocking. “Just like that?” the deceased col-

leagues said in low tone as his remains were being lowered into the grave. One of them, who spoke with our correspondent, recalled his last moments with the deceased. “I saw Emmanuel in class last week and he asked me how I was preparing for the exams. I replied and we talked about a lot of things before we departed.” In an emotional voice, a female student lamented: “When will the shedding of innocent people's blood end in Maiduguri?” Mr Blessing Olu-Babs, Emmanuel’s father, described his late son as a nice boy. He recounted his last moment with him. “My son told me he was having a test on Wednesday. So, I waited for him so that we can both travel to our home state, Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State, to join his mother and other siblings who had travelled earlier. I waited for him but I didn’t know fate had another plan for him,” he said. He added: “Today, we are burying him. I have taken solace in the fact that he belonged to God and his Creator has called him back. But I will miss him because he was a very nice boy, who could not hurt a fly. He was cool-headed and very disciplined and religious.” Suleiman Abubakar, a Nursing student and Emmanuel’s childhood friend, said he learnt of Emmanuel’s death on Facebook. In an emotion-laden voice, he

said: “We have been friends since we were toddlers till the day he was killed. We became brothers because we grew up in the same place, environment and went to the same secondary school and even university. I was shocked when one of our mutual friends on Facebook tagged me with his picture and wrote ‘RIP’. I became speechless bec a u s e Emmanuel was very friendly and deeply religious. That was why it came as surprise to all of us when we •The late Emmanuel learnt he was Emmanuel. I am a northern Musshot because we all knew him to lim and he was a Christian from be easygoing. If he had been the the South, yet our families never unruly type, we would have said quarreled for one day. Emmanuel maybe he was killed because of lived a meaningful life. It is sad bad company but not so for we lost him.”

Outgoing members of the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship (DLCF) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) donated a new car to the fellowship to aid evangelism during a send forth in their honour. STANLEY UCHEGBU (400Level Accounting) reports.

• The outgoing leaders of the fellowship posing with the car

• Graduating students after the thanksgiving


UTGOING members of the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship (DLCF) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), have donated a new car to the fellowship to support its activities. DLCF got the gift during the send-off party for the Final Year Brethren Forum (FYBF), a group of graduating students, of the fellowship. The ceremony with the theme: “Si no ha sido el Sen’or” (If it has not been the Lord) was held at the Pavilion II Lecture Hall. It started with a graduation processional hymn with the chorus: No one like my saviour. Present at the event was Pastor Jacob Nkanu, Regional Overseer of Akamkpa region of

A parting gift from the faithful Deeper Life Bible Church, who was also the guest speaker. Others included Pastor Sylvester Ele, associate coordinator of UNICAL chapter of DLCF; Brother Ajakpoloho Harrison, General Coordinator; Sister Lily Ozumba, State Campus coordinator; Sister Arira Dorcas, welfare coordinator and Pastor Eva Ukata. In his valedictory speech, the FYBF chairman, Jeremiah Nkanu, thanked the guests for attending the programme, despite examination. According to him, the event was remarkable because it climaxed their efforts in the last four to five years on the campus. Jeremiah added that words could

not express the graduating students' gratitude to God for making the day a reality. He expressed appreciation to Prof G. O Ozumba, whom he said oversaw their spiritual, academic and moral life before graduation. He equally thanked Prof Andrew Uduigwomen, who is a role model to the students. The event also featured a drama presentation by members of fellowship. It was titled Faith and depicted how faith works in human lives. The drama had three characters - a male and two women, who were studying in a tertiary institution. The male character is involved in immoral conducts on

campus while the women are bookworm and prayer warrior. Despite his mischievous life, the boy made a First Class while the bookworm made Second Class Upper Division and the prayerful, Second Class Lower Division. The other characters thought the prayerful character could not secure a good job with her class of degree. But she secured a job in an oil company and was promoted to General Manager. A few years later, the fortunate character discovered that her classmates, who mocked her class of degree, still roamed about unemployed. She later employed them and advised them to put God first

in every situation they found themselves. The fellowship choir also presented a farewell song for the outgoing members. It was titled “We gonna miss you brother, we gonna miss you sister”. In his exhortation, Jeremiah, reading from Gen. 39 vs 1-5, urged the graduands to always put God first in whatever challenge they face. He said life was full of “unending challenges” but added that with God they would conquer. Admonishing the grandaunts to be visionary, Jeremiah said: “There is nothing that we ever want in life that God cannot provide for us. Any challenge you may encounter, don’t be panic. It is going to be ephemeral, once we hold on to God.”




Ahead with Coca-Cola

By Lawrence Daniel


UST before my final exams as an undergraduate, we were faced with a daunting but exciting term paper in one of our courses titled Environmental Biology. The term paper had as topic "Analytical review of EIA (Envi-

ronmental Impact Assessment) of some firms". To make it easier, the lecturer, Mr. Collins Onwe, divided us into groups, according to the relevant sectors. At the end, MTN represented telecommunication, Shell Petroleum stood for oil and gas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited came in for beverage with Nestle. Each group was expected to make its presentation on a fixed date. Coincidentally, I was to lead the Coca-Cola team, having been tagged a Coca Cola ambassador owing to my media affiliation with the brand. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a planning tool, which is vital in determining the impact of projects, industries, and other establishments on the environment. This is done by evaluating the environmental consequences of a proposed activity at the design phase of the project. The purpose is to ensure that decision-makers consider the environmental impact of a project. The process entails reports prepara-

tion, public participation and independent review, decision making or authorization and post authorization activities. Our project was based on postauthorization since all the firms in question were already in operation. We were also told to dwell on the consumer waste which is perhaps higher in magnitude as against the source. However, an EIA should be followed by an audit by for performance evaluation by comparing actual impacts with those predicted. In Nigeria, the practice of EIA is enshrined in the constitution through the Environmental Impact Assessment Act promulgated in 1992 and the National Environmental Standard and Regulation (NESREA) Our research was based on data received from the internet, journals, and other media since we could not obtain data directly from the source. For the Coca-Cola group, we received the most applause and commendation for our foresighted-

ness. The lecturer, Mr. Onwe, specially commended our efforts on the Coca-Cola packaging model. Consequently, the giant strides of Coca-Cola on PET bottles (Polyethylene terephthalate) were brought to the fore. PET is the fastest growing packaging option in the beverage industry owing to changing consumer lifestyle and preference that emphasize convenience unlike returnable glass bottles or cans. The PET bottle does not break easily and constitutes no risk to the environment. But it must be properly disposed. However, Coca-Cola blazes the trail, once again through the post-consumer PET bottles recycling project. Interestingly, the PET bottles are being recycled into other useful items such as furniture-pillow, building insulation and other useful household items. It is noteworthy, however, that this has created a value chain which ensures the sanitation of our streets and drainages. It has also provided sustainable jobs for thou-

sands of Nigerians. This is a real case of waste-to-wealth. However, for other group, they advocated the promotion of online recharge as typified in their virtual top up (VTU) while doing away with the conventional recharge cards papers. Nevertheless, we may choose to like Coca-Cola brand for myriads of reasons or we may equally choose to hate them for various reasons based on unsubstantiated facts as in the case with my friend who attributed his mum's diabetes to Coca-Cola. But it is heartwarming to note that in a country where corruption is endemic, where institutional failure is the norm and where heinous crimes against humanity and the environment are being committed with impunity, there is a brand that truly thinks and works ahead of our times, generations and even its regulatory bodies. Invariably, Coca Cola has assumed the benchmark for the industry's standards, believing that there is more in the future than what the present holds for us as a people. Lawrence, recently graduated from Applied Biology, EBSU

My ‘Aso Rock’ memories


HE Abuja sun was indeed at its best. The date was Tuesday, December 13, 2011. I came into the capital city barely 48 hours ago to represent the youth of Osun East Senatorial District at the Inaugural Sitting of the second session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament. It took time before members of the parliament came into the National Assembly as the President of the Federal Republic was presenting the 2012 Draft Budget to a joint session of the National Assembly. Later, we settled for a mock parliamentary session in preparation for our inauguration the following day. I was in the House of Representatives Wing, still tired from the stress of our road trip. Afterwards, names were called. Some 36 names were called out of 109 of us. At the mention of my name, I joined the rest as we hurriedly left the Three Arms Zone enroute the Federal without any knowledge of what was in the offing. Upon reaching the Secretariat Blocks, we were ushered in by staff of the Ministry of Youth Development. Mallam Bolaji Abdullai came in afterwards to address us. I met a couple of known faces and felt at home. Then some 'brothers' came in to protest that they too wanted to 'go'. It was

‘It was an elated crowd of young people as we stood still, singing the National Anthem. While I am not a fan of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I knew I had the responsibility as a patriotic Nigerian to respect the office of the President of Nigeria’ amid this confusion that I overheard someone mention that we were going to the Villa. I asked myself rhetorically, which Villa? The Presidential Villa, of course, I thought to myself. I silently had to put a phone call to my elder brother to tell him what was about to happen. I told him I was about to meet the sitting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After a brief address by the Minister, I confirmed that the Commonwealth bodies, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP) were going on the trip. As members of the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP), we chose Halima Mohammed representing Bauchi South Senatorial District and Chukwuemerie Nwaeze of Ebonyi South Senatorial District to speak on our behalf. All these took a while, and

the time was 8pm. We got into coaster buses and moved through the Presidential Villa, of course, we went through many gates and security checks before arriving at the Banquet Hall into the waiting hands of Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour; Labaran Maku, Minister of Information; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance; Director-General of the Debt Management Office and a host of government functionaries. I had a chat with President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mohammed Dauda and other comrades. I relished my moments at the "revered Aso Rock." As we got seated I wasted no time consuming the apples that were served. Then, President Goodluck Jonathan came in, at exactly five minutes past nine, flanked by Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the Chief

of Staff to the President. It was an elated crowd of young people as we stood still, singing the National Anthem. I spared a thought for the majority of Nigerian youths who yearn for this opportunity of meeting key stakeholders like the ones I was about dining with. After the introductions, my president suggested we have our dinner before any discussion and we agreed. I had wanted to take Iyan with Egusi soup. But I couldn't find it on the menu that night. So, I took rice instead. Later, we settled down to discuss our business at the Villa which was the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. A presentation was made by Professor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and I couldn't help but notice her grey hairs, and signature headgear. Afterwards, a session of

By Ademola Adeyeye

questions followed. The interactive session ended later and closing remarks. After the President's exit, we waited for buses to convey us to our Capitol Lake Hotel at Jabi. While I am not a fan of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I knew I had the responsibility as a patriotic Nigerian to respect the office of the President of Nigeria. Ademola, 500-Level Crop Production and Protection, OAU

Benefits of education UMAN capital theory emphasises the role of education in enhancing the productive capacities of individuals. A contrasting view of education is the signaling model. According to this theory, education may act as a signal of the productive capacity of individuals. Central to this theory is the importance of imperfect information. In their hiring decisions, employers are imperfectly informed about the capabilities of potential employees. They, therefore, use education as a signal of a new hire's productivity. If these beliefs are subsequently confirmed by actual experience, employers will continue to use education as a signal. Thus, employers will offer higher wages to more educated workers. Facing a positive relationship between education and wages, individuals will have an incentive to invest in education.


One important factor in the creation of inequality is variation in individuals' access to education. Education, especially in an area where there is a high demand for workers, creates high wages for those with requisite skills. As a result, those who are unable to afford an education, or choose not to pursue optional education, generally receive lower wages. During the mass high school education movement from 1910-1940, there was an increase in skilled workers which led to a decrease in the price of skilled labour. High school education during the period was designed to equip students with necessary skills to be able to perform at work. In fact, it differs from the present high school education, which is regarded as a stepping stone to acquire college and advanced degrees. This decrease in wages caused a period of compression and de-

creased inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. The contribution of primary education to economic development is greater than how it has conventionally been perceived. This review of recent research shows that primary education increases labour productivity in both urban and rural sectors, and that the economic returns to such investment are high. In addition, it improves health and nutrition, and promotes other behavioural and attitudinal changes which are helpful to economic development. Investment strategies which give primary schooling an important place would be more conducive of growth-with-equity than many alternatives. This study surveys the empirical literature on the growth effects of education and social capital. The main focus is on the cross-country evidence for the Organisation for

Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, but the paper also reviews evidence from labour economics, to clarify where empirical work on education using macro data may be relatively useful. It is argued that on balance, the recent cross-country evidence points to productivity benefits of education that are at least as large as those identified by labour economists. The paper also discusses the implications of this finding. Finally, the paper reviews the emerging literature on the benefits of social capital. Since this literature is still in its early days, policy conclusions are harder to find. Besides obtaining education in schools and at the universities, one can always get some additional education by attending various courses or learn something new regardless of what their main vocation is. Abiodun, 100-Level Mass Comm., CALEB UNIVERSITY

By Abiodun Ogunnubi




Library wears new look From Stanley Uchegbu UNICAL


HE Definitive Libarary of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has been given a face-lift. Presently, the lLibrary boasts of a seating capacity of 3,000 readers with 1,600 seats, 16 staff offices, stateof-the-art lighting and proper ventilation, security, modern emergency scheme and and a standby generating set. Speaking with our correspondent, Chief Librarian of the institution Prof Olu Lawal, noted that the university library is the largest in Africa as it houses over one million volumes of books with a total of 22,746 square metre floor space with seating capacity of 2,046 readers which doubles the standard set by the National University Commission (NUC). The university authority has also secured an e-library with 75 computers, satellite dish and other information technolology devices. Nse Obot Amiye, a 200 level student of marketing told CAMPUSLIFE that: “the library is my favourite reading place because its calm ambience.” Students praised the management of the institution for their efforts towards improving quality education.

• The exterior view of the library

Varsity inaugurates union leaders


HE Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka has inaugurated a new Students’ Union Government (SUG). The officials, who were elected penultimate week, took oath of office before the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Boniface Egboka. Addressing the members of the executive, Prof Egboka urged them to be transparent in the discharge of their duties.

From Oluchukwu Igwe UNIZIK

He enjoined other arms of the SUG to work in collaboration with the executive members. He cautioned them against embezzlement and vices that may derail the administration. The VC expressed displeasure about the state of transportation in the school, urging

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

the SUG officials to “urgently address the chaotic situation”. “The way the transportation is being run currently is totally unacceptable. You must, therefore, as a matter of urgency, address the chaotic situation in the transport sector. You must ensure that only bonafide students are engaged to man the sector after their approval by the Dean of Students’ Affairs,” he said. In his speech, the new president of the

union, Hilary Ugwu, 200-Level Microbiology, thanked students for voting him and promised that he would deliver on his campaign promises. Other members of the union included Eucharia Okoli, Vice President, Ugochukwu Ezekoma, Secretary General, Joy Ekweh, Assistant Secretary General, Raymond Okoye, Financial, Secretary, Prosper Dimkpa, Treasurer, Cindy Udoye, Director of Social and Welfare, Obiora Ezenwa, Public Relations Officer and Chukwuemeka Dinne, Director of Sports.

Students boycott Yuletide break


N defiance of the circular released by authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) directing students to vacate the campus on December 17, 2012 for Yuletide break, students remained on the campus without planning to leave. This development made the management to give a fresh notification on December 21 ordering students to vacate their halls before 12 noon. The second notification was announced to students through porters at the halls of residence. Some students rebuffed the order, saying the management did not have the right to tell them where to spend their Christmas holiday. They maintained that it was not their fault to still stay on campus because it was the management that declared free lecture

From Abass Aloba OAU

week which coincided with the festive period. The students further stressed the management could not tell them either to go home or stay on the campus for their free lecture week in preparation for their exams, saying they know the appropriate place for them to read. A 300-Level student of Political science, Sakiru Akinola, said there was no need for the order, saying none of the students on campus had disrupted the peace on the campus. “Anybody who wants to eat Christmas goat or chicken is free to go home; we must not be forced out of the campus because of short break,” Sikiru said.

• One of the resource persons lecturing the students at the seminar

50 trained on reproductive health


HE University of Calabar Association for AIDS and Reproductive Health Programme (UCAARHP) in collaboration with State Action Committee on AIDS (SACA) has organised a training on reproductive sex for students. The five-day programme took place at UCAARHP Room at the institution. President of the association, Ogbeche Ushie charged the students to practice safe sexual behaviors. But the Programme Officer of Nigeria Youth AIDS Programme, Mr Bernard Enyia, urged the students to abstain from premarital

From Emmanuel Ahanonu UNICAL

sex. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, one of the trainees, Edwards Bassey, said: “The programme was quite educative. As for those who benefited, I urge them to spread the message and not the virus.” Other respondents said they have learnt through the programme various issues on sexuality and how to properly use their condoms.




Coalition alleges irregularities at NANS election


HE Coalition of Left and Progressive Students (CLAPS) has called on all students to reject the six-day 2012 National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS) Convention held between December 13 and 18 at Uyo, which produced new executives. In a statement signed by the Acting Convener of CLAPS, Adekunle Ajayi, and three others, Ogunjimi James, Taiwo Eneefa, and Georgewill Baba Abdulrazaq, the group claimed the convention held at the Uyo Stadium instead of the University of Uyo was militarialised. It also alleged that the elections that climaxed the convention was

•Past president: election free and fair not free and fair because four out of the six days were wasted on lobbying, using violence to force delegates to vote, and monetising the election. The group stated: “Many radical and pro-student aspirants at the convention were intimidated, attacked, and prevented from freely canvassing and contesting. The Convention Chairman, Mohammed Khalifa like most of the ‘Toronto Delegates,’ was a non-student. The outcome of the Convention was quite predictable, an un-mitigated charade.” CLAPS also claimed that there

were attempts to kidnap two Presidential aspirants, Dayo Shoyoye of the Lagos State University (LASU) and Faro Azeez of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Reacting to the allegations, the immediate past president of NANS, Mr Dauda Mohammed in a phone conversation with The Nation, said CLAPS presented a presidential candidate who probably did not campaign well and as such lost in the election. He debunked CLAPS claims that many radical and pro-student aspirants were intimidated, attacked, and prevented from freely canvass-

ing and contesting at the convention, insisting that it was the freest in recent times. “For the first time, the election was fair, free of violence and well monitored,” he said. He also denied the kidnap attempts on Dayo or Faro. Mohammed said the newlyelected leaders include: Yinka Gbadebo, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (President); Donald Onuogu, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (Senate President); Ahmed Jubril, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Vice-President, National Affairs). Other leaders emerged from Bayero University Kano; Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FEDPOFFA); and Benue State University.

FUWUKARI unveils innovations


HE Federal University Wukari (FUWUKARI), Taraba State, has hit the ground running with research innovations to improve agricultural output. The university, which is one of the nine established by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, unveiled special branded produce- soya beans, maize among others during its maiden matriculation of about 500 pioneer students. The university’s maiden magazine, The CROC was also launched at the event. The Education Minister, Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i and the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie, praised the university for the initiatives, adding that The CROC which could serve as a communication link between the institution and its publics. Prof Rufa’i said the university has a vital role to play in President Jonathan’s transformation agenda and charged the students to leave their footprints in the sands of time with excellent performances in their chosen areas of academic studies. While expressing confidence in the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Geoffery Okogbaa’s ability to uplift the university, the minister acknowledged the support of Taraba State government to the institution. On his part, Okojie enjoined the people of Wukari to see the university as a pet project which must be jealously protected. Prof. Okojie, who described his presence at the occasion as home coming, said he had been privileged to be involved in the establishment of two universities in Wukari –


THE University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has invited applications from qualified candidates for the post of Registrar, which will become vacant soon. It seeks a candidate with a good honours degree from a recognised university; at least 12 years post-qualification experience in management, most of which must be in university administration; some formal training in management of higher education and competence in the use of ICT for management services. Applicants have up to the end of this month to forward 40 copies of their applications and comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV) to the UNILORIN ViceChancellor. The Registrar is the Chief Administrative Officer of the university responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for the day-today general administrative work of the university.

Centre adopts ‘open class’

•Prof Rufa’I (middle), flanked by Prof Okojie (left) and Prof Okogbaa as she launches The Croc magazine

Kwararafa University and the Federal University. He eulogised the Aku Uka of Wukari, His Majesty Shekarau Angyu Masa-ibi for his support for the universities. According to the Executive Secretary, pioneering in the university as staff and students is a blessing but also a challenge because of the consciousness in building a foundation that would be developed upon. Speaking on behalf of the Jukun and Kwararafa people world over, the Aku Uka of Wukari, expressed readiness of his people to support all good intentions of the university and Federal Government. The Aku Uka, who spoke through the Andoma of Doma in Nasarawa State, however, prayed for the growth of agriculture and Nigeria as he unveiled the products from the

university farm. In his address the Vice Chancellor, Prof Okogbaa told the students to see the rite as more meaningful than the excitement that is usually associated with the ceremony. “In a true sense, this ceremony is only the beginning of your development process and that development would not be fully realised without your cooperation and commitment,” he said. Counselling the students to be of good character, he warned against anti-social behaviour. “We believe that it is character that defines a man, an institution or a community. We insist on good character and attitude that is sensitive to the environment which promotes healthy interaction and exchange of ideas among citizens,” Okogbaa said. The Vice-Chancellor also appreci-

ated the host community and the state government for the cordial relationship the university has enjoyed. Administering the oath of allegiance on the students, the Registrar of the institution, Ibrahim Abubakar Jalingo admonished them to pursue their studies diligently and faithfully, and abide by the rules, regulations and statutes of the university. In order to uphold and promote the reputation and ideals of the university, Jalingo advised them to remain obedient to authorities and staff of the university. The matriculated students are spread across various departments under the three faculties of the university – Agriculture and Life Sciences, Pure and Applied Sciences and Humanities, Management and Social Science.

Achievers varsity appoints deans HE Council of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State has appointed Professors Moses Ayodele Olade and Ibiyinka Oluwole Solarin as deans, College of Natural and Applied Sciences and College of Social and Management Sciences. Olade, a native of Owo, in Ondo State, is to combine his new position with that of Head of Geology Department, He had his first degree in Geology at the University of Ibadan in 1969. He later obtained Master of Science (M.Sc.) Applied Geology and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Applied GeoChemistry from University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Between 1974 and 1984, Olade was a lecturer, senior lecturer and Professor of Economic Geology and Head of Geology Department at the University of Ibadan. While on leave of absence, the registered geologist was at the Federal university of Technology, Akure as Head, Depart-

UNILORIN FILE Search for new Registrar

ment of Applied Geology and pioneer Dean, School of Earth and Mineral Technology between 1984 and 1989. The new dean of the College of Social and Management Sciences, Solarin, a professor of Political Science, is an indigene of Shagamu, Ogun State. He obtained his first degree at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) in French and International Relations in 1977, his master’s in Education and International Affairs at Atlanta University and Ohio University, Athens. He was awarded a doctorate in Political Science by Atlanta University - all in the United States of America. Prof. Solarin started his working career in Nigeria in 1978, when he joined Rivers State College of Education, Rumolume, Rivers State, where he taught for a year before moving to Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) as editor and news analyst. He left the shores of Nigeria again

THE UNILORIN Linguistic Immersion Centre has intensified efforts at broadening the horizon of its students with the introduction of “open classes”, which its director, Dr Elizabeth De Campos, said entails taking linguistic immersion students outside the classrooms. In a statement, Dr De Campos said three of such classes have been organised since the beginning of the 2012/2013 academic session and required the students to translate sentences on billboards from English to French, identify animal and plant names, among others. She added that through the classes, the students have been able to enrich their vocabulary.

Sign language soon THE UNILORIN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has disclosed that the university will integrate sign language into its academic system. Ambali made the pledge when members of staff and students of the Centre for Supportive Services for the Deaf (CSSD) visited him to mark the International Day for the Disabled. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy ViceChancellor (Management Services), Prof. Yisa Fakunle, also praised the centre for living up to its mandate and assured them that their equipment will be fixed and the non-recognition of the students with disability within the university will also be addressed.

Don heads committee

•Prof Olade

•Prof Solarin

in 1981 to the United States to begin his university teaching career at the Clark Atlanta University, Georgia and later Georgian Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia and Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina. Prof Solarin was once a Director at Saturday College, Miami-Dade Community College (Homestead, FL) where he directed morning Remedial Tutorial Assistance and Academic

Enrichment Programme for Collegebound students. Between 1992 and 2004, he was an Adjunct Faculty at Florida Memorial College, DeKalb College, Jarvis Christian College and Wiley College, teaching courses in Political Science and Education while at Texas College, Tyler, he was a professor and Coordinator of the Department of Political Science.

THE Dean, Faculty of Education, UNILORIN, Prof. A.S. Olorundare, has been elected Chairman of the Committee of Deans of Education in Nigerian Universities. According to the SecretaryGeneral of the Committee, Dr. S.A. Iyekekpolor of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, other officers elected include Prof. Uwazuruike of the Imo State University, Owerri, Vice-Chairman; Prof. (Mrs.) O.M. Omoegun of the University of Lagos, Treasurer; Prof. B.E. Alumode of the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Public Relations Officer and Prof. J.A. Gwani of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Ex-Officio member.



EDUCATION Lawmaker makes case for pidgin English THE member of Lagos State House of Assembly Representing Apapa Constituency Mufutau Egberongbe, has advocated Pidgin English as an official language in Lagos and Nigerian tertiary schools. Speaking to The Nation in Lagos, the lawmaker said he was against the recent clamouring in some quarters proposing Chinese language to be introduced in Lagos State. Egberongbe said nations, such as Ghana and Brazil that have used their own mothers tongue develop faster. He said Pidgin English is understood by both the high and low, His words: “Communications is about economics and developments. If pidgin Language is introduced in our schools, children will catch up in time, Pidgin English is understood by Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo, the majority ethnic group in Nigeria. Quoting the former educationist, the late Prof Babs Fafunwa, Egberongbe said. “Nations that have used their mother tongue in the past have become great and developed fast. He said it is high time we began a backward integration where we solve our problem our own way.

SCHOLARSHIPS APPROACHING DEADLINES 2014 Australian Government Master’s Awards for Nigerian Students in Australia Government funded Masters Awards for the Students of Nigeria to Study at Australian University in Australia, 2014 Study Subject(s):The scholarship is provided to learn Agriculture/Food Security Education Health (including HIV/AIDS) Public Policy (including public sector management, public sector reform, trade, international diplomacy). Course Level:This scholarship is for pursuing Masters level. Scholarship Provider: Australian Government. Scholarship can be taken at: Australia. Eligibility:-You are a national of Nigeria. -You are an early or mid-career professional working in the Public Sector, the Private Sector or a NonGovernment Organisation (Civil Society) in one of the listed priority fields of study. -You must not be more than 50 years of age at the date of your application. -You must have at least three (3) years’ relevant post graduate work experience. This work experience must be in a role relevant to your proposed field of study and to your employment organisation type (e.g. public sector applicants should demonstrate public sector work experience, and so on). -Preference will be given to candidates with greater periods of experience. Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: The students of Nigeria can apply for this scholarship. Scholarship Description: Gender Equality: Austra-

lia Awards target equal participation by women and men. Applications from women are strongly encouraged, and mechanisms are in place to support women applicants and Awardees.Australia Awards aim to ensure that people with a disability are given fair and equal opportunity to compete for and obtain a scholarship. Applications from people with a disability are strongly encouraged. Mechanisms are in place to support applicants and Awardees requiring specific assistance. Number of awards offered: The number of scholarship varies. Tenure of award: It is applicable for 12-24 months. Value: Full academic fees and other compulsory fees. Other Benefits: Additional aids are airfares, tuition fees, medical cover and a living allowance. Selection criteria:Not Known Notification: Short-listed candidates will be invited to attend a face-to-face interview to be held in May and June 2013. How to Apply: The mode of applying is post. Scholarship Application Deadline: Do submit your applications till 14 December 2012. Africa’s Land and Food Fellowships Programme at Royal Agricultural College in UK, 2013 The Royal Agricultural College and African Trust offers master’s in international rural development and sustainable agriculture and food security fellowships in UK. Students of Africans mainly from Southern and East Africans can apply for this Fellowship. Scholarships cover tuition fees, board and

accommodation, flights to and from the UK. Application form can be submitted by electronically and by post till January 7th, 2013. Study Subject(s): International Rural Development and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. Course Level: This scholarship is available for pursuing master’s degree. Scholarship Provider: Royal Agricultural College and African Trust. Scholarship can be taken at: UK Eligibility: -The programme is specifically linked to the MSc International Rural Development and the MSc Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security courses. -Fellowships are offered to Africans mainly from Southern and East Africa who have experience in agriculture, food or natural resource exploitation and management; Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: The students of Africans mainly from Southern and East Africans can apply for this scholarship. Duration of award(s): Not Known What does it cover? Scholarships cover tuition fees, board and accommodation, flights to and from the UK, provision for networking and a short industrial placement in Africa or the UK. How to Apply: The mode of applying is post and electronically. Scholarship Application Deadline: Do submit your applications till January 7th, 2013

OGITECH strives for greatness


HE announcement by Governor, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State that the Ogun State Institute of Technology (OGITECH formally Gateway Polytechnic, Igbesa), be made the main campus of the four ICT (Information and Communications Technology) institutions has inspired the institution towards attaining greater heights, according to its Rector Prof Godwin Ejodame. As an icing on the cake, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), its regulatory body, has awarded OGITECH the ‘fastest growing polytechnic in Nigeria’. Ejodame consolidated the new status last year with over 12 awards both locally and internationally. To complement government’s effort, people of Igbesa community where OGITECH is located donated

By Adegunle Olugbamila

about 70 acres of land to support the institute in its onward march to metamorphose into a 21-Century university of technology in future, Ejodame had boasted. OGITCH emerged following a recommendation by a panel set up by Governor Amosun last year that the three other Gateway polytechnics created by former governor Gbenga Daniel, be made satellite campuses, with OGITECH as the only surviving institution having passed the panel’s assessment. Speaking to The Nation at the school premises, OGITECH PRO Mr Adedapo Adedotun recalled that the school’s first set of graduates were drawn from the Department of Computer Science, which was the first programme the NBTE

Govt recommits to teachers’ improvement From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto


INISTER of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I at the weekend said teacher education will continue to receive Federal Government’s attention. She said the essence was to improve performance and efficiency within the sector and teaching activities through training and retraining programmes. Prof Rufa’i stated this in Sokoto at the closing of the 2012 MDGs nationwide capacity building workshops for teachers. She said the workshops for 2012 were split in two halves of three days each, adding that they were designed and targeted at 40,000 teachers across the 36 states and FCT . The minister, who was represented by Mr Ojo Joel, a Director of Education in the ministry added, “The workshops were aimed at improving teachers’ capacity in terms of subject contents, pedagogy and general methods / techniques of teaching. However, Rufa’i congratulated the National Teachers ‘ Institute (NTI) on the successful conclusion of the workshops. The Minister of State for Education, Mr Ezenwo Wike, said the workshops were organised in 109 centres from December 21 to date. Wike spoke through Malam Umaru Sa’idu, Coordinating Inspector of the ministry in Sokoto

‘Teachers must be encouraged to attend regular workshops as skills and knowledge must be subjected to periodic updates’ He said: “The Federal Government is committing huge resources to conduct the annual workshops for teachers in Nigeria. “Teachers must be encouraged to attend regular workshops as skills and knowledge must be subjected to periodic updates,” he added. Praising the Federal Government, Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, noted that training and retraining of teachers by the government was purposeful for achieving standards at all levels. Wamakko, who was represented by the Education Commissioner, Alhaji Bello Danchadi said:“Education is the fulcrum upon which development rotates. We will continue to allocate 30 per cent of our annual budgets to education as advocated by UNESCO.”

accredited, adding that the students, now graduates, are currently undergoing their one-year mandatory National Youths Service Corp (NYSC). The major challenge, according to Adedotun, is funding. “Our internally-generated revenue (IGR) is not sufficient to cater for everything the institute needs. There will be need for capital expenditure. He said at present, the institute is collaborating with the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom (UK) to commence a Bachelor Degree, Post-Graduate Diploma and Master’s degree programmes in Safety Management; Health and Environment; and Occupation Hygiene. Adedotun expressed joy that the University of Greenwich has regarded OGITECHas its representative in Nigeria. At present, Adedotun said the programme has reached advanced stage and awaiting approval from the university as necessary structures have been put in place for its take off. “I know before the end of this current session the various degree programmes will commence,” he added.Describing Governor Amosun as a lover of education, the OGITECH PRO also attributes the

prevailing peace in the school to the mutual relationship with its host community, and the joint effort of the Nigerian Police and other security agents. He said: “At every orientation program of our institution, counselors would be invited within the host community to speak on how they were able to maintain peace and order over the years. They also educate the students on the oath form by telling them that after signing that oath, anything that tthey do contrary to the law of establishing the institution will attract punishment. We also make sure we know our students by home so that when they misbehave, they will be easily identified, same for our staff. “Majorly, I can say that it is due to the kind of orientation we give them right from the day they came for Post-UTME. You cannot come to this institution to write PostUTME when you are half naked and we will allow you to take the test. Our Rector always sing it to our academic staff that it is their duty to mould the lives of the students as it might be the student that will mould their children’s life in future. The institute opened its door in

•Prof Ejodame

2006 to 231 students but today the population has grown to over 3,000. The school management and the state government are working out modalities to begin construction of student hostels before the end of the session, in line with the school’s aster plan. The host community houses the students and that is why it has been easy for both host community and the members of staff to monitor them. “

•From right: Mrs. Adeboye Adefoluke; Director, Co-Curriculum, Science and Technology; Mrs. Mary Iji, Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary, Education District v; Mrs. Biola Sidikat; Mrs. Odusanya Adebimpe, Director of Accounts and Mrs. Margaret, Director, School Administration; during a Christmas party held at the district’s headquarters in Agboju… PHOTO: GBENGA KUTELU



EDUCATION Dr Aigbogun Paul Erie is a lecturer at Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma. He is also the President, National Association of Federal Unity Secondary Schools. In this interview with OSAGIE OTABOR, he speaks on the challenges he faced upon assumption of office and why the union kicked against handing over of Unity Schools to state or local government.

‘Why we resisted sales of Unity Schools’


HAT are some of the challenges you faced when you assumed office? The National Parents Association of Federal Unity Secondary Schools is the parent body of all the PTAs in Unity Schools across the country. You know too that the PTA is an integral part of school system. We have them in the 104 Unity Schools. When I came on board as the National President, the first challenge was that, though the body already had a constitution, it needed a review. That we have done by the grace of God. The amended constitution has taken effect since April 12, 2012. The other challenge was the fate of the PTAs-paid teachers. I discovered that PTA across the country paid more than 2,000 teachers, and almost equal number of nonacademic staff across these colleges. We decided to draw the attention of the federal government to it, at least, to reduce the burden of the wage bill on the PTAs across the country. The mandate of PTAs is very simple. It is to complement efforts of government in the provision of physical infrastructure in the schools. To carry the bur-

den of paying teachers was distracting them from that. Another challenge was the issue of interference in PTA affairs by principals and the ministry. We felt there was the need for the ministry and parents to find common ground because no meaningful development takes place without cordial and co-operative environment. Have you addressed these challenges? Yes! The constitution has been reviewed and has taken effect, and is being distributed already. Our union now has a constitution that can serve its purpose and accepted by all of us. The problem which has to do with talking with the federal government, the ministry of education to absorb the PTA paid teachers is on-going. I discussed the matter with the Minister of Education, and she promised she would do something. Then we went round the country, collating statistics on the number of PTA-paid teachers in all our 104 Unity Schools. We submitted the document. Somewhere along the line, the issue got the attention of the National Assembly. In May last year, it was debated

on the floor of Senate. I followed the debate on television in my office and discovered too that the Senate president’s conclusion on the matter didn’t quite capture the sentiments as expressed by senators. So I wrote to the Senate President. He referred the matter to the Senate Committee on Education. I was invited along some chairmen and principals. Through Mr. President himself, we got a waiver for the appointment of about 1,305 PTA paid teachers for absorption into the mainstream of Federal Ministry of Education. But there was problem thereafter. Based on the statistics that we supplied, the ministry sat down to share the chances across all the Unity Schools. Some got seven, some eight, nine and some 10. And then, these persons ought to have been absorbed automatically. But we were later to be told that they needed to go through the Civil Service Commission and the process of becoming part to the mainstream civil service. But our worry now is the slow pace at which they are implementing that decision. Information reaching us suggests that

the Federal Civil Service Commission is compromising that arrangement. So the whole thing is shrouded in mystery. We have been left in the dark as to what is exactly happening; and that is why we are crying to the public to come to our aid. Why is the PTAs against Unity Schools being sold or transferred to state governments? I will say that it is very disappointing and indeed strange that people in high places could suddenly forget the idea behind the establishment of Unity Schools. After the National Assembly, and perhaps NYSC scheme, the Unity Schools came in as a structure for social economic and political integration of the country. We are talking about youths who must at the age imbibe the concept of national unity, oneness, teachers come from across the country, the students come from across the country. If you now sell these schools or transfer them to local and state government, then their influence and the philosophy behind their establishment would have been lost completely. We don’t want that to happen. In any case, the state gov-

•Dr Erie

ernment themselves are already burdened enough with the cost of running their own schools. In the interest of peace and unity, Unity Schools should remain because, of the peculiarity of their curricula. We have Federal Government Colleges for Girls. We have Federal Government College for boys and girls. We have Federal Science and Technical College too. So, it is strange that any person would at this point in time when we are so much in need of our unity, to be removing one of the pillars that have guaranteed social and political integration in this country.

Three arts contest winners get scholarship


BASI Joseph, a student of Ajumoni Junior Grammar School Okota, Lagos is the overall winner at this year’s Fine Arts Competition for Lagos State Junior Schools. Obasi topped nine others that slugged it out at the final stage of the race which was held at the National Theatre, Iganmu Lagos. Though from a high-heeled background, Obasi developed an appetite in drawing and painting from childhood. He though admit that his parents were not totally against his love for arts, but were financially constrained to support him Despite all odds however, Obasi held onto his dream, drawing and painting for people who appreciated his works by giving him a token, which rather than spend on frivolities, Obasi used to acquire more materials to develop himself the more. But with a scholarship, a gold trophy and a 10.000 cash and various

By Popoola Aminat and Oshunmuyiwa Wale

consolation prizes as rewards for his victory at the competition, Obasi hopes to study Creative Arts at tertiary level is now realisable, thanks to See Joy Foundation which organised the competition. He said: “I support myself, I’ll draw for somebody, the person would give me some amount of money, I will use it to paint or buy things that are useful to me and see where I am today. “It has been very challenging from the beginning to the end of this competition but I thank God, I am here today”. Till I grow I won’t stop being an artist” he said, advising his peers not to give up on their dreams. Obasi was not the only beneficiary, the first and second runners up Teslim Idris from Community Junior School, Mushin and Adekunle Quadri from Ikeja Junior College, also won scholarships;

•The winners posing with some of the officials at the end of the competition

with cash prizes save for the fact that while the former had a silver trophy, the latter had bronze. Expressing their joy at the event, trio

expressed their happiness to the foundation. The foundation Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr Austin Izagbo spoke about the foundation’s objectives: “See Joy is committed to seeing a

great reduction in poverty and little or no tolerance for illiteracy. This is the reason we like to work with children to encourage talents in them even when only perceived as a glimmer.”

Okota High School wins debate


•From left: Mrs Esther Williams, Evang Ogbera Joshua, Operations Manager, Praise God Joseb Computer Institute, Ilupeju and Miss Bidemi Williams during the 16th graduation ceremony of the institute

KOTA High School, Okota Lagos won the Rotary Club of Okota 2012 debate competition held on the school premises. The competition, which had three topics: ‘Privatization is better than government enterprise’; and ‘Social Network; a dangerous trend?’, saw the pair of Egbedo Lazarus, and Chukwuemeka Goodluck from Okota High Schoool, emerge tops with 154 points against their counterparts, Obiagheli Ifeanyi and Olugbele Adejoke of Matori High School with 153 points in the finals. The final topic of the debate that sprang Lazarus and Goodluck to the top was: ‘Post-UTME examination to be eradicated in Nigeria: True or False’, where the pair spoke against the motion, while Ifeanyi and Adejoke defended it. Matori High School, spoke in support of the motion while Okota high spoke against the motion. Ifeanyi described Post-UTME as an opportunity to exploit, arguing that it is unnecessary since many candidates have continuously complained of the frustration it gives. In his own argument Lazarus said

By Medinat Kanabe

aside that Post-UTME is not immune of fraudulent activities, it now exposes many candidates who cut corners to earn good marks when they wrote JAMB. Adejoke said more exams for students in a corrupt nation like Nigeria will only engender more corrupt practices. Explaining the benchmark for the debate, Ovhian George one of the judges, said the pupils were judged on appearances, speech, expression, grammatical error and stage management. President of the Club, Patrick Ebihm said the debate was to help the contestants academically. He said: “Most of you don’t face your studies but enjoy life. You must help yourself so you can help your family. Put in all efforts into your activities in school so you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. Read your books and don’t get involved in things that will not benefit you. Listen to your teachers and parents if you want to make it.” Lazarus got N5, 000 cash prize, while other speakers got N3, 000 each.




Youths canvass moral education


YOUTH group, the Young Youths Network for Good Leadership in Nigeria (YYNGLN) has called on federal and state governments to make moral education compulsory in the school system. The group made the call while kicking off its campaign on moral education advocacy in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The theme of the campaign was: Engaging Students, youths, women and traditional rulers in the peace of our society through moral education. The National President of YYNGLN, Comrade Agumagu Okwudir, said the group decided

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

to create the awareness about moral education and advocate that it be made compulsory in schools to encourage peace in the society. He said the group thought the best way to carry out the campaign is to involve all the traditional rulers, women, students and youths in various communities. Comrade Agumagu said: “If you look round today you will see all the traditional rulers, corps members, students and women. This is to show that all level of people in our society must be involved. We cannot achieve peace and

good leadership without creating awareness about moral education in our society. “We are calling on the federal and state governments to see moral education not only as important but compulsory to all schools if we want a good society.” The group also ended the campaign with a peace award to those who have carried out moral education in their various environments, including Rev. Fr. Febian Obungwah, Chief B.W. Asomeji, Chief John Mgbomo, Chief Eric Wosu, Chief Peter Obuah and Eze C, W. Owhondah among others.

•Daddah cutting the tape to inaugurate the borehole. With him (from right) are Baruwa; a community leader

and Chief Executive Officer, Safamaq Nig Ltd, Mutiu Adeboye; Vanguards Academy Director of Administration, Dr Zafaran Adeniyi; Principal Mr Luqman Alatishe and Alhaji AbdulKareem Kadri.

School digs boreholes for community


NDIGENES of Odosengolu village in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, began the New Year with two boreholes from Vanguards Academy, a full-boarding secondary school located within the community. Chairman, Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area, Mr Razak Daddah and his vice, Rafiu Baruwa led some senior council officials to inaugurate the boreholes. The gesture, the Vanguard’s Management Board Chairman, Alhaji Dawud Arogundade, said is to alleviate scarcity of water in the community and further cement its cordial relationship with the school. “We have been fulfilling certain social responsibilities. We have embarked on road repairs, provision of free health care, facilitated provision of a transformer to the community, donation of gifts and the provision of pipe-borne water,” he said.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

He added that the school will continue to promote good neighbourliness and institute programmes aimed at developing the community. Arogundade need the occasion to call on governments at all levels to support private school owners with subventions to realise the Vision 20:2020. “Nigeria’s ability to realise its vision as one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020 is largely dependent on its capacity to produce highly skilled and competent citizens for global competitiveness. Hence, government should not only supervise private schools but support them with subventions and grants to collectively attain the MDG goals,” he said. Daddah praised the school for assisting the government and urged the community to properly maintain the facility.

“For me, the school has done very well for the community that is why we have been clamouring that corporate organisations should endeavour to undertake corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects. My message to the community is that they should cultivate maintenance culture, it is one thing to provide infrastructure to the people, and another for the people to maintain it; they should take it as their own property, the boreholes should not been seen as Vanguard’s problem or property, they should properly maintain it,” Daddah said. He urged the school management to continue its good work and sustain the standard they have set. “The school management should continue to sustain the qualities, virtue and standard they have set which has made them dear to the government at the state level. We, on our part will continue providing a conducive atmosphere so as to have more philantropists in our domain,” he said.

More incentives for Ogun rural teachers


HE Ogun State government has approved another upward review of rural allowance to motivate teachers to teach in rural areas. Governor Ibikunle Amosun, disclosed this at the first award/gala night organised by the State Teaching Service Commission at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta. This second increment follows the 50 per cent increment Amosun announced during the 2012 World Teachers’ Day celebration on October 5. Amosun, who was honoured with the “Best Teachers-Friendly Award” at the event, also said the government would pay teachers the 13th month salary to facilitate

their celebration during the Yuletide. In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Funmi Wakama, Amosun assured the teachers that the government will continue to reward excellence to drive performance, praising teachers for their role in national development. “Teaching is the mother of all professions. Teachers are role models, who have learnt the skills of impacting knowledge into human beings. They are nation builders because no nation can develop economically and technologically without the teachers,” he said. In her address, Chairman of the Teaching Service Commission, Ms

Olubukunola Onabanjo, said the award was meant to celebrate excellence, hard work and dedication to duties as well as reward those who worked tirelessly to meet and sustain the “Ogun-Standard” While taking stock of her commission’s achievements in the year 2012, she thanked God and the governor for his passion and commitment in revamping the education sector. She added that the commission is looking forward to a fruitful academic session in year 2013 as steps have been taken by the government to renovate staff rooms, train teaching and non-teaching staff, and strengthen the position of Principals-General.



Frustrations in a good school


E are used to hearing about poorlyequipped schools housed in derelict buildings Kofoworola and such poor environment that does not inspire learning. We normally say that if classrooms are furnished with good desks and chairs, teach08054503077 (SMS only) ers have their own furniture; schools have well-stocked libraries and ICT laboratories with internet access, then teachers and pupils will be happy and performance will be better. But what if I tell you there is a school in a remote village in Sokoto State, with all these facilities yet most of its pupils can barely read or write. I learnt of this from a corps member undergoing his national service in the school. Rather than being neglected, as is the fate of most schools in rural areas, this corps member told me that the school boasts of state-of-the-art classroom furniture and ICT equipment that he has not seen in the Southwest. In many public schools in metropolitan Lagos, electricity is a problem. Not so in this school, powered by solar energy. The school does not have enough teachers. However, those paid by the state government to teach there hardly come to school because it is in the hinterland. They leave the bulk of the work to corps members, many of who are not committed as well. My source told me that when his batch got to the school, the older corps members told them not to bother their heads trying to teach the pupils because they are block heads. They advised the newcomers to just write notes on the board for the pupils to copy rather than spend futile hours getting them to understand. He said some females among the corps members are having the time of their lives reading the many novels and other titles untouched by pupils and teachers in the school library. In an attempt to prove his mates wrong, the young man said he decided to go against the grain by attending classes regularly to teach the junior pupils English Language, and the seniors, Geography. His interaction with the pupils made him understand why the corps members were so despondent about teaching the pupils. He said the junior pupils are worse than nursery pupils. They could not form threeletter words. They barely understand English so he has to get a few among them to translate what he is saying into Hausa. The senior pupils are not much better. The pupils are not interested in learning. They get bored easily and even before the period is over, they ask him to leave because they are tired. Should he remain in their class while the bell goes for break, they leave without his permission. The girls in the school get married before the end of their junior secondary education - and that is the end of the road for them. There are only boys in the senior school, majority of who do not pass the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE). This story inspires many questions. How can a school have it all in terms of equipment yet learning is not taking place? How can this young man help to turn this school around? How can he teach JSS1-3 pupils how to read and write English Language? How can he help the senior pupils to pass their SSCE? Sometimes, he said he buys small gifts of snacks which he only offers to them after class, to keep them seated for the period. He has also instituted Library Time, with the support of the principal, when all the pupils must visit the library to read books. Beyond the help the corps member can render, I think it is time for those in authorities to step in. The education ministry has to ask why teachers posted to the school are not regular; why they do not teach when they are being paid. That secondary school pupils cannot read means they did not achieve the required learning outcomes for the primary school level. The Sokoto State government has to find out what is happening at that level also. Many schools in other areas would love to have the facilities this school boasts of but are not that lucky. It is sad when such learning resources that are hard to come by on the average have to be wasted in such manner. It is not enough for the government to boast of the money it is spending to put schools in order. Public office holders must be interested in assessing the effects of their investments. If all they do is to spend only for pupils to go through school and come out barely literate, then, they have achieved nothing.


‘Beyond the help the corps member can render, I think it is time for those in authorities to do step in. The education ministry has to ask why teachers posted to the school are not regular; why they do not teach when they are being paid. That secondary school pupils cannot read means they did not achieve the required learning outcomes for the primary school level. The Sokoto State government has to find out what is happening at that level also’








Health in interest of the public

Prevention is one of the prime functions of public health. Prevention is not only better than cure; it is cheaper, wiser and more cost effective than cure. In Public Health, we utilize a threelayered (in five stages) model of prevention, namely primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention (see Table 1). Table 1. Two Classifications of Preventive Medicine.

Text of the Inaugural Lecture delivered by the Provost, College of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof Olumuyiwa Odusanya, at the college.

Three Levels of Prevention Primary · Target population: entire population with special attention to health of individuals.· Objective: prevent onset of illness.· Methods: education, Immunization, nutrition, sanitation, etc.

Secondary· Target population: sick individuals· Objective: early diagnosis and treatment to prevent further damage to the individual and in cases of infectious diseases, spread to the community.· Methods: screening of high risk groups e.g. Pap smears, sputum examination for TB; monitoring of vulnerable groups – children, pregnant women.


N Inaugural lecture is an occasion of significance in the career of an academic staff in a university. It provides newly appointed professors with the opportunity to inform colleagues, the university community and the general public of their work to date, current research and future plans. This Inaugural lecture affords me the opportunity to share my thoughts, experiences and contributions in public health – my area of specialisation as a physician. It is the fifth inaugural lecture from the College of Medicine and the second to be delivered by a serving Provost of the College. Training and Work Experience I graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos as a doctor in 1988 (M.B;B.S.) and obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) in 1992. I completed my residency training in 1995, obtaining the Fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (FMCPH), thus becoming a specialist. My specializations are in clinical epidemiology, pharmaco-epidemiology and Immunization. During the residency training, I was the best candidate and won the Faculty prizes at the Part I and II Examinations of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. Residency in Public Health is a five-year programme. Nigeria is one of the few nations that provide clinical training to the highest levels for physicians in Public Health Medicine. It enables us produce doctors who specialize in epidemiology, health management, environmental health, occupational health, international health and reproductive health (as sub-specialties). Such specialists are prepared professionally and academically to the highest levels and can serve as programme managers, health administrators and university teachers in the Colleges of Medicine. I became interested in Public Health in the final year of my undergraduate medical training due to the innovative way the Faculty of the Institute of Child Health and Primary Care of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos presented the programme and of the extensive field work in Pakoto, Ifo, Ogun State where we shuttled to and fro. The training convinced me that the best way to improve the health of Nigerians is the specialty of Public Health Medicine and that indeed the future of medicine is Public Health. I am very grateful to my teachers at that level and I make special mention of Dr (Mrs) Olayinka Abosede. After my specialization, I worked as pioneer Medical Adviser for SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) Anglophone West Africa and was responsible for developing the drug profile of the organization, building capacity for and conducting clinical trials in many university teaching hospitals in Nigeria. I joined the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) as one of the pioneer staff in 1999 as a Lecturer I in the Department of Community Health and Primary Health Care and rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Community Health and Primary Health Care in 2008. I have served as an elected member of the Senate representing the University Congregation and as member of several Committees of the Academic Board of the College of Medicine. I have also served as Ag. Head of Department, Ag. Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, and currently the Provost of LASUCOM. I have been an External Examiner to the University of Lagos at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife at the post graduate level. I have been a resource person and examiner to the Faculty of Public Health of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. I have published over 50 articles in both Nigerian and International peerreviewed journals in my area of specialty. I have served as a reviewer for many peer-reviewed medical journals in different parts of the world. I have also had the opportunity to work with the World Health Organization in Nigeria as a National Professional Officer for Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response/Avian Influenza (IDSR/AI). In this position, I had the responsibility for implementing and strengthening disease surveillance and controlling the Avian influenza (Bird flu) pandemic. In addition, I have had the opportunity of establishing two public health services namely the Family Support Programme Model Primary Health Care Centre in Mafowoku, Somolu Local Government Area (LGA), Lagos State established in 1997 and the Sabongidda-Ora Vaccination Project in, Sabongidda–Ora, Owan west LGA, Edo State established in 1998. These two projects particularly the second have defined my public health career, and a number of studies were conducted in that community. Definitions and Concepts Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This definition was given at the formation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and has not been amended. Many judge their state of well-being by absence of symptoms such as headache, pain or fever whereas even if they were physically well, they may not be as well mentally or socially. It may be of interest to note that some illnesses e.g. hypertension at the initial stages have no symptoms. Therefore to judge one’s state of health by the absence of apparent disease or infirmity may be fraught with grave danger. The Ottawa Charter on health promotion argues that to reach a state of health, an individual or group must be able to identify and realise aspirations to satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment. Health is therefore seen as a resource for everyday life, and not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources as well as physical capacities.4 Health is not produced primarily by health facilities or health workers. The fundamental conditions and resources for


•Prof Odusanya

health include peace, shelter, education, food water, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equity. Without these; aspirations for well being (health) cannot be achieved. The Public may be defined as constituting a community, state or nation or a particular group of people with a common interest or aim.5 A simple approach to the topic of this Inaugural lecture may be that we are interested in the total well being (health) of the community. However, public health in the sense of the health of the public has several dimensions. First, it may refer to the sum of the health of all individuals in the relevant group or population. Second, it may refer to the way that health is “distributed” in a population. Third, it may also refer to the underlying social and environmental conditions that might affect the health of each member of the public. A gold standard definition of Public Health is given by Winslow as follows: Public Health is the science and the art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the individual on principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing services for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of the social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health. Winslow was forward-looking as it appears nearly all aspects of public health are included in the definition. The core areas of public health are disease prevention, health promotion, access to medical services, organization of services, the role and involvement of the community and an appropriate emphasis on the social environment or the social determinants of health. Health System A health system consists of all the organizations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is to improve health. This includes efforts to influence determinants of health as well as more direct health improvement services. The health system delivers preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative interventions through a combination of public health actions and the pyramid of health care facilities that deliver personal health care by both state and non-state actors. The actions of the health system should be responsive and financially fair while treating people respectably. The WHO framework describes health system in terms of six core components or building blocks, namely: health workforce, service delivery, access to essential medicines, financing, health information system and leadership/governance (see Figure 1). Figure 1. The WHO Health Systems Framework.

The Public Health Approach The application of public health to health care may be considered to consistof four steps: (a) To define the problem through systematic collection of information (surveillance). (b) To identify the causes (risk and protective factors) using research (c) To develop and evaluate interventions (d) To implement effective interventions in a wide range of settings (see Figure 2). Figure 2. The steps of the public health approach.

Target population: sick patients.· Objective: reduce damage from disease and restore function.· Method: clinical care and rehabilitation.

Five Stages of Prevention 1 General health promotion· Target population: entire population with special attention to healthy individuals.· Objective: prevent onset of illness.· Methods: education, nutrition, sanitation, life style changes etc. 2. Specific Prophylaxis· Target population: entire population with special attention to healthy individuals.· Objective: prevent onset of specific diseases.· Methods: education, immunization, nutritional supplement (vitamin A, iodine), chemoprophylaxis (e.g. against malaria). 3. Early Diagnosis and Treatment· Target population: sick individuals.· Objective: early diagnosis and treatment to prevent further damage to the individual and in cases of infectious diseases, spread to the community.· Methods: screening of high risk groups e.g. Pap smears, sputum examination for TB, blood test for HIV, monitoring of vulnerable groups – children, pregnant women. 4 Limiting damage (limitation of disability)· Target population: sick patients.· Objective: limit damage from disease.· Methods: skilled clinical care and social support to limit physical and social damage from the disease. 5. Rehabilitation· Target population: convalescent patients.· Objective: restore function and capability.· Methods: physical and social rehabilitation.

Advantages of the Public Health Approach The advantage of the public health approach may be seen in the selection of options to address three health problems in Nigeria; road traffic injury (RTI), vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) and typhoid fever. The causes of RTI include bad roads, vehicular malfunction, drunk driving and excessive speeding. RTIs are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. The RTI rate in Nigeria was 41/1000 population, mortality was 1.6/1000 with estimates that over 4 million people may be injured and 200,000 potentially killed.11 On a cost effectiveness basis, which option is sustainable? Is it to train more orthopaedic surgeons and build more trauma hospitals or build and maintain good roads and implement driver education? The latter option is a primary prevention strategy. VVF occurs commonly in northern Nigeria particularly in young girls, who skip womanhood, move from being girls to become mothers. When pregnant, on account of narrow pelvis may have prolonged labour which causes damage to the bladder and results in leakage of urine from the bladder to the Vagina. Nigeria has the highest prevalence of VVF in the world. About 400,000 – 800,000 women live with the problem and about 20,000 new cases occur annually with 90% being left untreated. We can and should train gynaecologists (VVF specialists) but this needs about 6-8 years post M.B;B.S. to achieve. Should we not consider more favourably the option of increasing access to education for the majority of these girls? A 16 year old girl at the 100 level in the University is unlikely to be married, become pregnant or become an addition to the VVF statistics. Typhoid fever is an infectious disease that is transmitted through contaminated food and water. It is curable with the use of antibiotics. Is it not much cheaper to provide safe potable water to all citizens and eliminate the disease than to allow people become ill, treat them with expensive antibiotics that may not always be affordable while some may have complications such as bleeding, perforation and death. The strategies for tackling the above mentioned problems are not mutually exclusive but show the need to prioritise and select strategies that are in the best interest of the community and not the convenience of the state or the health system. The health system must become an advocate for the health of the public and the nation needs to realize that the health of the public is a key driver to its socio-economic development Questions about the Nigerian Health System We must ask the following questions: (a) After 50 years of independence are the indices of health in Nigeria better than they were at independence although we have produced large numbers of health workers and multiplied health facilities? (Table 2) (b) Should the provision of health services be equated with better health? Table 2. Selected Health Indicators for Nigeria and Other Countries Indicator Nigeria • Life expectancy at eirth (yrs) 1990/2009 48/54 • Infant Mortality Rate/1,000 1990/2010 126/88 •Maternal Mortality Rate/100,000 (2010) 630 • Crude Death Rate/1,000 (2010) 39.9 • Crude Birth Rate/1,000 (2009) 13.0 •Treatment success for smear positive TB (%) 83 •Total Health Expenditure as% of GDP (2009) 6.1 •Per Capital Govt expen diture on health ($)(2009) 48 •Physician Density/10,000 4.0 • % of population with access to improved drinking water (2010) 58 •% of population with improved sanitation (2010) 31


South Africa










21 13.9



USA 75/79















43 0.9

407 N/A

5 2.1

3795 24.2

86 14








• To be continued



With ekpoita / 08077706130


ACROSS 1. Finalised (9) 7. Employ (3) 8. Tear (3) 9. Succeeded (3) 10. Consumed (3) 12. per Unit (4) 13. Bird (4) 14. Beer (3) 16. Imitate (3) 18. Bed (3) 19. Resort (3) 21. Justly (9)


1. Correspond (9) 2. Pinch (3) 3. Sexual Desire (4) 4. Ourselves (2) 5. Moisture (3) 6. Discourage (4) 10. Expression of Surprise (3) 11. Get with Difficulty (3) 15. Enumerate (4) 17. Bird (3) 18. Taxi (4) 20. Father (2)

MISSING LETTERS All the words in the columns below have lost their first letters as indicated by the blank spaces above them. You are required to find and affix them. When done, all the first letters will form a 9-letter, sexually offensive word or action. Happy Puzzling!‘

Sands of Time AALIYAH

Produced by the successful singer R. Kelly, the album quickly sold a million copies and eventually earned platinum status based largely on the success of two hit singles, “Back and Forth” and “At Your Best (You Are Love).” Later that year, tabloid reports surfaced claiming that the sultry teen singer had married the 27-year-old Kelly, but Aaliyah denied the union and the marriage was reportedly annulled.

Natalie Portman

Singer, actress. Born Aaliyah Dana Haughton, on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, the young singer competed unsuccessfully on the television program Star Search at age 11. Later that same year, she performed with R&B legend Gladys Knight, the former wife of her uncle and manager, Barry Hankerson, at a five-night stand in Las Vegas. In 1994, at the age of 15, Aaliyah catapulted onto the R&B charts herself with her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number”.

Pep Talk

While a student in the dance program at Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts (she graduated in 1997), Aaliyah released her sophomore album, One in a Million (1996). Helmed by the well-known pop producer Timbaland and featuring rap performer Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, One in a Million portrayed the 17year-old singer as a sultry hip-hop chanteuse with a selfconfidence well beyond her years. The album garnered favorable reviews and sold two million copies. In 1997 she recorded “Journey to the Past,” the Academy Award-nominated theme song to the animated feature Anastasia and performed the song for the Oscar telecast in 1998. Her next soundtrack effort, “Are You That Somebody?” for 1998’s Dr. Dolittle, starring Eddie Murphy, went to No. 1 on the R&B charts and was a pop crossover hit, earning Aaliyah her first Grammy Award nomination. In 2000, Aaliyah made her acting debut in the surprise action hit Romeo Must Die, starring opposite martial arts star Jet Li in a Romeo and Juliet-inspired story set in modern-day Los Angeles. She was also an executive producer of the movie’s soundtrack and performed the hit single “Try Again,” which netted her a second Grammy nomination as well as two MTV Music Video Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video From a Film. Aaliyah was killed on August 25, 2001, when a small Cessna passenger plane carrying the singer and her video crew crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Abaco Island in the Bahamas, where they had just completed work on a video. The plane was headed for Miami, Florida. Aaliyah and seven other people, including the pilot, were believed to have died instantly, while a ninth passenger died later at a Bahamian hospital. Aaliyah was 22 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by her parents, Diane and Michael Haughton, and an older brother, Rashaad

HUMOUR True Believers The two thousand member Baptist church was filled to overflowing capacity one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats entered thru the rear of the church. One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons. The one in the middle announced, “Everyone willing to take a bullet for Jesus stay in your seats!” Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor. After a few moments, there were about twenty people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit. The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, “All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service.”

Getting Into Fights A young couple drove several miles down a country road, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument, and neither wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules and pigs, the husband sarcastically asked, “Are they relatives of yours?” “Yes,” his wife replied. “I married into the family.”

Our ideas like orange plants, spread out in proportion to the size of the box which imprisons the roots. – Edward Bulwer Lytton





CLINIC DAY Director, Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories, Father Anselm Adodo writes on arthritis; Provost, Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM), Lagos, Dr Idowu Ogunkoya answers question two.

‘Arthritis can be cured with herbs’ O

NE’s occupation plays a major role not only in the development of arthritis but in the quality of one’s health in general. Those who stand for long hours daily are prone to pain on the knees. Those whose occupation requires lifting heavy objects are prone to waist pain. Arthritis is a disorder of the joints. The term “arthritis” comes from two Greek words, “Arthon” which means joint and “Itis”, which means inflammation. Arthritis, then, means inflammation of the joints. There are over one hundred types of joint disorders, though they are all related. They are characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness and, at times, deformity. Rheumatism is another word often used for arthritis. But its meaning is rather vague and means different things to different people. In Nigeria the term is used for various aches and pains in muscles and joints as well as for pains in general. What is a joint? A joint is where two bones meet. There are two categories of joints, namely: immobile and mobile joints. Immobile joints: These refer to the inflexible and semi-flexible joints of the body. These joints do not move much as they have no cavity, for example, the head and spinal cord. These joints are technically called diarthrosis. Mobile joints: These are the flexible joints of the body. For example, the shoulder, knee, waist, toe, finger, etc. They all have a cavity. These joints are called diarthrosis. There are two main types of arthritis, namely osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. •Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It is degeneration or wearing out of a joint due to old age, over-

exertion or injury. Osteoarthritis affects the mobile joints of the body. Causes of osteoarthritis Let us differentiate two kinds of osteoarthritis: primary and s e c o n d a r y . P r i m a r y osteoarthritis occurs when joint degeneration sets in on its own without any abnormal or apparent cause. Secondary osteoarthritis is that which has a known cause. The causes can be any or all of the following: • Heredity: Osteoarthritis can be hereditary when parents pass on to their children genes, which dispose them to a certain degeneration of the joint. • Excessive Stress: If a joint is dislocated or injured and yet is still being exerted, arthritis may occur. • Previous Damage: Untreated dislocation or half-treated fracture will eventually lead to arthritis. Athletes who engage in physical exertions are often tempted to manage a dislocation or fracture. The eventual result is arthritis. • Over-weight: Accumulation of excess calories add more weight to the body. Extra body weight puts too much stress on the hips and knees. The result is arthritis. • Occupation: One’s occupation plays a major role not only in the development of arthritis but in the quality of one’s health in general. Those who stand for long hours daily are prone to pain on the knees. Those whose occupation requires lifting heavy objects are prone to waist pain, technically called lumbago. • Rheumatoid arthritis The second type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. It is an inflammation of the same joints on the two sides of the body. For example, the same pain experienced on, say, the right knee, or shoulder is also experienced on the left.

Question •I have just been diagnosed of arthritis, sir can you prescribe some herbal remedies for the treatment? -Ben Egbuonu, Abia State.

•I detest orthodox medicine. How do I treat anaemia naturally? -Aminat Usman, Kaduna State. •Father Adodo


The symptoms tend to come and go. Rheumatoid arthritis is very common these days of processed and artificial food and drinks. It affects both the young and old, even infants. It is more common between the ages of 25 and 55. Causes of rheumatoid arthritis There is no uniform agreement about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis. Below are some of the possible causes, over and above the ones already mentioned. •Viruses: Some scientists have proposed that rheumatoid arthritis can be caused by some kind of infection by viruses, leading to an inflammation of the joints. These viruses are peculiar and live in the body for a long time undetected before their influence is felt. •Immunodeficiency syndrome: This refers to a condition whereby the anti-bodies that are meant to fight against foreign agents in the body begin to attack the tissues of the joint as well, causing inflammation and pain. Symptoms: Rheumatoid arthri-

tis usually begins with pain and stiffness in one or two joints, mostly the hands and feet. Initially the pain comes and goes. It is often worse on waking up in the morning, but wears off during the day. Gradually the pain becomes intense with constant swelling and inflammation in the joints. Moving or touching the joints becomes painful. The arthritis may soon spread to other parts of the body such as the elbows, knees, hips, waist, ankles, shoulders and neck. The person affected feels generally weak, tired, feverish and pale. The eyes become dry due to a reduction of tears. The mouth also becomes dry due to a reduction of salivary fluid, leading to a lack of appetite, followed by weight loss. Managing arthritis In treating arthritis, the aims are: to strengthen the bones, repair damaged joint tissues, strengthen the weak joint tissues, and immune system against bacteria and viruses, and eradicate the symptoms. To achieve these aims, diet is very important. Processed or re-

fined food and drinks such as sugar, biscuits and ice-cream must be avoided. Stop taking coffee. Smoking and alcohol of all kinds must be avoided. Take plenty of water, especially on rising daily. Try to take nothing except water and fruits for breakfast. Formula I Mix one bottle of lime juice, one bottle of grape juice and one bottle of honeytogether. Dosage: One shot twice daily for two weeks. Side Effect: Intestinal pain for ulcer patients. Preparation should not be taken by ulcer patients. Formula II Boil eight handfuls eucalyptus leaves, eight handfuls green pawpaw leaves, eight handfuls umbrella or fruits leaves, eight handfuls bitter leaf and 10 bottles of water. Dosage: One glassful thrice daily for one month. Materials: Six handfuls Pineapple peel, six handfuls Lemon peel, six handfuls Peel of unripe pawpaw and 10 bottles of water. Dosage: One glass thrice daily.

How to treat anaemia

•Sorghum bicolor


ANAEMIA is a condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. The normal level of hemoglobin is generally different in males and females. For men, anemia is typically defined as hemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100 ml and in women as hemoglobin of less than 12.0 gram/100 ml. These definitions may vary slightly depending on the source and the laboratory reference used. Anaemia is caused by either a decrease in production of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or an increase in loss or destruction of red blood cells. Some patients with anaemia have no symptoms. Others may feel tired, easily fatigued, appear pale, a feeling of heart racing, short of breath, and/ or worsening of heart problems. Anaemia can be detected by a simple blood test called a complete blood

cell count (CBC). The treatment of the anemia varies greatly and very much depends on the particular cause. What causes anaemia? Any process that can disrupt the normal life span of a red blood cell may cause anemia. Normal life span of a red blood cell is typically around 120 days. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Herbs for treating anaemia Herbal preparation made from red seeds, sorghum bicolor (poroporo baba), cocoa bark (epo koko) and other medicinal leaves can enhance the blood production of an anaemic person. Causes Anaemia is caused essentially through two basic pathways. Anaemia is caused by either a decrease in production of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or an increase in loss or

destruction of red blood cells. A more common classification of anaemia (low hemoglobin) is based on the mean corposcular volume (MCV) which signifies the average volume of individual red blood cells. If the MCV is low (less than 80), the anemia is categorised as microcytic anaemia (low cell volume). If the MCV is high, then it is called a macrocytic anaemia (large cell volume). Looking at each of the components of a complete blood count (CBC), especially the MCV, a physician can gather clues as to what could be the most common reason for anaemia in each patient. Can inadequate iron cause anemia? Absolutely! As a matter of fact, iron deficiency is a very common cause of anaemia.




A devastating sexual revolution on the way W

ILL today's children and young adults survive their parents? This is a hot question in Europe and America where sugar, sodium and fat are damaging the health of children and young adults, and sex freedom for children as young as eight years is creeping in to deal what may be the final blow. I couldn't help thinking of this generation last week when a lucky, smiling Nigerian father came to inform me his two sons, both students, who had been undergoing dialysis for kidney troubles, had now been declared fit as fiddle by their doctors. But some other children who were also undergoing dialysis were not so lucky… some of them died. Esther Olanrewaju, my niece, will remember the boy in her neighborhood who was crippled by kidney failure and died soon after writing JAMB exams for admission to a university. I am sure Mrs. Clara Oyibo, who runs the Pax Herbal Centre at Ikeja, Lagos won't easily forget the story of her nephew on the danger list of the University of Nigeria teaching hospital, Enugu, a few years ago. His doctors did not expect him to survive the ailment. He became alarmed when, one after the other, as though programmed, the inmates in his ward who, like him suffered from kidney disease, began to die. He phoned his aunt frantically. Mrs. Oyibo told me later he had once asked her for a favour she was in no position then to oblige. So, this time, she decided to do whatever it would take, to help him. The young man, a university student, wanted an alternative therapy to the hospital medication, or, better still, a complementary therapy. Mrs. Oyibo and I had many stressful days combing the City of Lagos for medicinal herbs that would support the healing of his kidneys. This case must be more than 10 years old. The food supplements market was just popping up, ridiculed by some doctors and pharmacists but accepted by some. If I recall correctly, we made do with PAX BITTERS, MISTLETOE, Maritaniana (it is fading out in the market now) and …what else ? That was a far cry from two months ago when I first met the gentleman who came to seek help for his sons. To him, I could suggest specific kidney cleaning and healing herbs as (1) Amazon KDY - C L (2) Bell's Kidney Cleanse and Function Tea (3) Bragg's unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (4)buffered Vitamin C (5) Udo's Oil (6) Flaxseed Oil (7) Amazon AF. (8) Green powder and (9) Moringa oloifera. A pity it was that newcomer Kidney Reassure hadn't arrived in the Nigerian market. My suspicion in this case, as in soon others, is that Candida, a member of the yeast family, had a hand in it. Many therapists miss this point, and, accordingly, may miss an effective therapy. One doctor gave me an insight. When one reader in Abuja told me two doctors had advised that she surgically removed one ailing kidney, I asked her to see a doctor who employed nutrition in his practice. He looked at a CT scan of the kidney and concluded that white patches which may have suggested calcification or scar tissue to those two doctors may in fact, be Candida infections. Doctors who link the growing wave of kidney disease to consumption of alcohol or water extracts of herbs may have a point where the herbs in reference aren't folk recipes which have been used in therapies for centuries without any known side effects. But how many traditional medicine recipes are not times honoured? If time honoured medicines now cause problems, as they thick, the real culprit need be sought elsewhere. Your guess should be as good as mine… Candida. We live today in a world laden not only with sugar in foods and drinks, but with chemicals, pesticides, additives, colourings and heavy metals as well. Sugar makes the blood thick and acidic. Germs like acidic environment and flourish in it. Diabetics know that this is why their sores heal with difficulty, if it does at all, and their nerves and kidneys suffer damage. Women who suffer from vaginal candidiasis remember their doctors warn them to go off sugar… because Candida, like other germs, feed on it to overpopulate themselves. We can easily see the spoilage caused by sugar in the plant kingdom. Once a fruit, such as mango, banana or pawpaw (papaya) begins to ripen, the sugar content begins to increase. By the time it becomes overripe, the sugar content would have become so high that bacterial activity in the cells is full blown, giving rise to the rot or decoy always observed in overripe fruits. Is the human cell any different? The answer is NO. We all, plants, animals, minerals or molecules, are subject to the same law. OR MANY decades, Europe and America, from where sugar gorging came here, has battled with degenera tive diseases caused by sugar, fat and refined salt (table salt). Newspaper and magazine articles of that time were filled with such reports as child obesity, child diabetes even in infants, asthma, child cancers of all kinds, particularly leukemia (cancer of the blood), and child vision disturbances, among many others. Teeth and gum disease exploded. In Nigeria, I still see many men and women of my age who have all their teeth intact, whereas their children have pulled some and their grandchildren many more. The susceptibility of children and young adults to disease and life spans shorter than their parents' isn't surprising. Just watch carefully the next time you are at a supermarket and a father or mother comes in with his or her child. Watch what will be bought for the child. It is unlikely to be anything but biscuits, sweetened milk and beverages, deep fries, sugar embalmed drinks, pastries, egg and fish rolls et.c. Do we balance children? What do they know? What did we, too, know as children? But we were lucky to have been raised on herbs, a feature of upbringing missing in the time of our children. I remember my first year at the


ening abuse of federal power". What if the appeal to the Supreme Court fails? Dave Jolly answers. "If the Supreme Court rejects the request to hear the case, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act may and will be used against anyone that says or does anything that a homosexual deems offensive or hurts their pride and self-esteem. Pastors in churches across the country could find themselves facing 10 years in prison for preaching God's word. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act protects sinners from having their feelings hurt, but it does nothing to protect Christians from having someone like a homosexual denigrate their beliefs and feelings. They will still be allowed to say what they want about Jesus Christ or anyone that follows Him and that won't be considered hate language. In this American descent from Life, elementary schools have become a battleground for the souls of children. In an executive order, President Obama has directed that homosexuality be taught school children, thereby 'fast forwarding', as it were, their lives to adult life. Many teachers are objecting on conscience ground, at the risk of losing their jobs. A Catholic school has threatened to close down rather than comply. HE battle has been joined by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, which has offices in Nigeria. It is campaigning that adult sexual rights be extended to children and their recognition be accorded the "evolving capacity" in all children and young people. The IPPF wants these rights legally guaranteed in all nations, as gay rights now are in the United States, so that "all young people around the world (will) be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, positive pleasurable and safe ways". For people of my generation who believe the generation behind us has turned the world upside down with sex, it would appear they haven't seen anything yet. For the goal of the IPPF is "removal of parental involvement or spousal consent laws that prevent young people from seeking sexual and reproductive health services." The IPPF is not done with parents. For it adds: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right. Therefore, all young people should be able to exercise and fulfill their rights equally, including sexual right…Barriers. The IPPF calls for censorship of sex education which teaches sexual abstinence as a means of pregnancy prevention. It demands, also, that doctors of children release information on sex matters concerning a child to the parents only under consent of the child. It sees nothing wrong with the fact that about 40 per cent of children born in the United States last year were delivered of unmarried mothers. So grave has this problem become that President Obama had to make a law compelling all companies to pay for abortion by their staff who wished to have it. Some of these companies have challenged the law in court, the owners saying they objected to abortion. The government has fought back saying a company is not an extension of the owner. But the courts are backing the owners that their companies are extensions of their persons and ideas. Not since the time of Sigmund Freud has sex threatened to entomb mankind as it does today. There is no doubt that there is a struggle between men who want the LIGHT and men who prefer the DARKNESS and that, in this battle, the Antichrist, the fighter against Christ, that is the fighter against GOD, is raising its head as predicted would happen just before the End -Time, using its minions on earth. But which human spirit has the endowment to challenge GOD? Who else can but LUCIFER, the fallen ARCH ANGEL using fallen humans for his last- ditch battle? ANY researchers of this world- wide crisis of which Nigerians appear oblivious, as in all things, believe the prime architect of the grooming of children for sex is Alfred Kinsey. He is described as a "PROMISCUOUS HOMOSEXUAL" and "Sadomasochist" who "twisted the world's perception of sexuality in the 1950s and 1960s with his world famous Kinsey Reports" while at Indiana university, He claimed to have carried out experiments which showed that (1) "children are sexual from birth" (2) adult- child sex is beneficial and not harmful (3) "child orgasm is culminating in extreme trembling, collapse, loss of colour and sometimes fainting!. He admitted many children he experimented with suffered excruciating pain" and screamed "if movement was continued" some, as young as two months old, fought off adult partners, sometimes violently. A. J. F. Matt Barber wrote on October 31: "Disturbing though that may be, what's equally disturbing is that nearly all of today's liberal 'comprehensive sex education curricular - such as that pushed by groups like the National Education Association (NEA), Planned Parenthood and the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) - is derived entirely from the criminally fraudulent research of Alfred Kinsey. My conclusion is: it could happen here, too. When Americans sneeze, don't we catch a cold. There are many nudist clubs in Nigeria, especially Ikeja, Lagos. There are many gay and lesbians in town too. We are still lucky our culture holds them down. Christianity cannot stem the tide. It focuses heavily on prosperity and witches and wizards, not on God' Will. For people who say it cannot happen here, let them remember it was once said an IDI AMIN couldn't happen in Nigeria. But then it did in GEN ABACHA. Anything can grow on the soil that is ripe and right for it parents, gird your loins.


high school boarding house. The first layer of my books cupboard, which we called locker, was bedecked with Coffee and Condensed milk and Buttersnips. These were great sweets and milk of my time that I was derived at home by parents who, forever, warned of health dangers of the sweet tooth. As young male adults, we indulged in alcohol. Some of us even went into drugs. Many of us are dead or half dead today. But the grounds we prepared as young people for damage to our bodies in later life are incomparable to the harm today's young adults inflict upon their health. It is the magnitude of these inflictions and related scale of degenerative diseases and death of young people which led to medical conclusions in Europe and America that many of today's children and young adults would not survive their healthier parents CCORDINGLY in the 1990s, the World Health Or ganisation (WHO) asked member states to persuade food companies to downscale the food content of sugar, sodium and fats in their products. I do not know what has become of this plea in Europe and America. In Nigeria, nothing seemed to have happened. Before it became defunct, The Comet Newspaper tries, albeit, feebly, tried to make this WHO concern public issue. That was about one decade ago. More young people have been dying of all sorts of ailments, the foundations of which are traceable to their days in the womb or as children. Today, sex, a new poison, compounds their health problem by draining them of vital generative energy. Though which the spirit powers the body, and a deficiency of which leaves the organs weak and lifeless. And, as usual, everything, like gayism and lesbianism, has it roots in the western world, and infects places as far away as Nigeria. Arguably Sigmund Freud, that well known psychologist, set the ball rolling when his thoughts influenced European women to cast off their "sense of shame," that protective ornament of the soul, to enjoy sexual pleasure. Hitherto, the Elizabethan age women were like my grandparents. In their time, men and women knew each other and begat their offspring with their clothes on, not in daytime, but in the dead of the night when their faces, like their mood, were shrouded by the darkness. Today, women succumb even in offices, inside the car, on the beach… anywhere. No longer do women stand before men in awe. Men have condescended to become the toys of women in bed! Today, homosexualism and lesbianism is not the biggest deal in America, awful as it is. In 2009, President Barrack Obama signed into law the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The law forbids anyone to talk ill of homosexuality. Doing so is considered hatred towards homosexuals and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail. That means the church cannot preach against homosexuality. As was to be expected, many pastors and churches have gone to court to challenge the constitutional validity of this law on grounds that it aborts their right to free speech, which is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution. As Dave Jolly, also a lawyer puts it: "Under the strictest definition of the law, any Biblical preaching against sin in general, especially that of homosexuality could be considered hate language, and therefore a hate crime. If convicted of the felony, a person could spend as much as 10 years in prison? Some of the challengers of the law since 2010 are America Family Association of Michigan and many Michigan pastors, including Levon Yelled, Rane Ouellette and James Combs. they actively preached that homosexuality was a sin, quoting the bible, and saw the Hate Crimes Prevention Act as a violation of the constitutional right for "Free Speech And Religion". But the judge dismissed the suit on the grounds of "standing and ripeness", a legal term for their "legal ability to file the suit for future circumstances that may or may not ever happen." But the pastors appealed the judgments and also lost at the appeal court. After the news, David Yerusha/ Mi, a senior lawyer and challenger of the hate law said: "Criminalising religious opposition to homosexuality while elevating those who engage in homosexuality acts to a rejected class under federal law is a clear violation of the constitution and a fright-


e-mail: or


•This page is being rerun on popular demand

Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303





•NCC Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Dr Eugene Juwah

•Mrs Umenyi


Operators’ ‘offensive’ telemarketing tactics As ‘competition’ in the telecoms sector becomes stiff, operators have taken their products’ campaign to their networks causing frustration and bitterness to subscribers, reports LUCAS AJANAKU


ITH the last N10 ‘credit’ on her cell phone, Efe Joseph, a student of the University of Benin, Edo State, texted to her parents in Lagos. The text was a ‘distress call’ because, Christmas was fast approaching and she needed money for transport to join her siblings at their Ikorodu home on the outskirts of Lagos for Christmas. About 20 minutes after the message, a call came and she ecstatically picked it. She had thought the call was from her father who was ostensibly reacting to her distress message. She thought a life line had come but she was wrong. “I rushed to where the phone was and I picked it. I had even said ‘Hello Dad’ before a voice from a machine started reeling out the bouquet of products on the stable of the my network’s service provider. I was so disgusted that I immediately snapped the call. It was a bitter experience for me because I needed to hear Daddy’s voice to serve as a balm to my frayed nerves,” she said. Charles Udoh is a teacher in one of the private secondary schools in Lagos. He had received a call from the guardian of his only son attending one of the Federal Government Colleges in the country that the boy was ill and had been hospitalised. Since the boy’s diagnosis showed that he had malaria, his guardian assured Udoh that the boy would soon get better, advising him not to bother travelling down to the East because of the boy’s illness. They agreed to keep abreast of the situation on phone. “I spoke with my son’s guardian about 9 pm. He promised to call me back when my son is awake so that I could speak with him. So, I was anxiously expecting his call. When my phone rang, I sprang up from my bed and picked it only for a voice to be playing music and asking me to choose anyone as my ring back tone. I was very angry, almost transferring my anger to my wife who had queued to speak to her son. It is unfortunate that this type of thing is happening in this country,” Udoh said. For a woman who identified herself as Florence, these unwanted calls do not only inconvenience her, it also cost her money. “When the number, usually three digits, calls and I pick it, the ‘credit’ on my phone disappears whether I listen to the voice it or not. So, I am very careful not to pick the call. Again, if the call comes and I pick it when I don’t have ‘credit’ on my phone, they will wait until I load. As soon as I load my phone, all the ‘credit’ will be wiped off,” she lamented. “Is it that people in government don’t receive this type of calls? Could it be that the telphone numbers of the Minister of Communicatiosn Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, and those of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other big people in the government are immuned to these calls? Or they also receive the calls and feel it is normal in a democracy? This is a strange coun-

try, anything happens without checks but it is bad,” she said. These are the discomfort and embarrassment telecoms operators have caused their subscribers without getting any redress from NCC. With the discovery that many discerning subscribers were no longer swallowing the bait with the three digit number, the operators resorted to making calls with the regular 11digit number line so that the subscribers would have no choice but pick the call. In developed telecoms market where regulation is strong and effective such as South Africa, telemarketing is a source of employment generation as smart young men and women are recruited online and paid handsomely for doing the job. The case is different in Nigeria as it appears to be a punitive measure by the operators to force themselves on their subscribers. The situation became so alarming that the Director General, National Lottery and Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr Peter Igho, called on the National Assembly to enact a law that will criminalise telemarketing in the country. He said most of these calls are ‘cold calls’ that are foisted on customers, mostly at odd hours of the day. “Telemarketing is marketing conducted over the telephone. Most telemarketing calls are ‘cold calls’ meaning the recipients of the call has not requested that the telemarketer contact him/ her,” he said, adding that apart from the fact that such calls have been associated with various scams and fraud, they are aften considered as provocative, espaecially when they occur during dinner hours, early in the morning, in the middle of an important meeting, late in the evenings or in the middle of the night. The DG, who spoke recently in Lagos, said in some countries, telemarketing is subject to regulatory and legislative controls related to consumers’ privacy and protection. He urged the Nigerian parliament to pass a law that will make it a criminal offence for any operator to call its subscribers without the consent of such subscribers. “In some countries, telemarketing is subject to regulatory and legislative controls related to consumers’ privacy and protection. Unfortunatley, such legislations are yet to be enacted in Nigeria. The Nigerian parliament should enact a law that criminalises unsolicited and intrusive telemarketing at odd hours,” the DG said. The US, Igho said, has restricted telemarketing at the federal level through the enactment of the Telephone Comsumer Protection Act of 1991, adding that many professional associations of telemarketers have codes of ethics and standards that members comply with. He said while some jurisdictions have implemented ‘do not call’ lists through either legislation or industry oganisations, telemarketrs are barred from initiating contacts with subscribers. “Legislative versions often provide

for heavy penalties on companies, which call individuals on these listings. The US Federal Trade Commission has implemented a National do Not Call Registry in an attempt to reduce intrusive telemarketing naionwide,” the DG said. He also cited Canada as another country where telemarketing is under strict regulation, adding that it is now being handled by the Canadian Radio-Televison and Telecommunication Commission while in Australia, the practice is restricted by the Australian federal government and poilced by the Austrian Communications and Media Authority. He said Austrian government restricts calling hours for both research and marketing, urging the National Assembly to take steps to halt the practice in Nigeria. In Australia, telemarketing is also restricted by the government and enforced strictly by the Australian Commuincations and Media Authority. There is a law in the country that provides for a restriction in calling hours for both research and marketing calls. Specifically, the law stipulates that “a caller must not make, or cause to make a call that is not a research call, or attempt to make such a call, on weeday before 9 am; or a Saturday after 5 pm; or a Sunday or any of the public holidays.” The NLRC said in order to protect the privacy of the public without necessarily suffocating the business of legitimate lottery operators, the agency has instructed lottery operators in whatever form, as part of the condition of grant of any licence or permit, to avoid what it decsribed as “intrusive telemarketing.” The agency said they should avail themselves of the various media platfroms to advertise their lotteries and products so that any subscriber that elects to participate does that voluntarily, promising that any breach could result in the revocation of such licence or permit. Another agency that should be championing the protection of the consumer against intrusive incursion into their privacy aside NLRC and NCC is the Consumer Protection Council (CPC). Analysts say the CPC exists only in paper as they are hardly seen in action. But responding to this allegation, Ngozi Obidike, head, Lagos Office, CPC, who responded on behalf of the DG, Ify Umenyi, explained that the agency acts upon receipt of complaints from the consumers. She urged consumers should always complain whenever they are offered poor goods and services. “We are patners in the building of education for the consumers. The CPC implores the consumers to complain, to seek redress fro the provision of poor goods and services provided by manufacturers and service providers alike,” she explained in an email. These agencies, analysts said, should close ranks in the interest of the subscribers whose privacy are wantonly viloited with impunity.



e-Business Firm unveils voice solution


•From left: MD/CEO, New Horizons Nigeria, Tim Akano, Chairman International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), Amin Noor Mohammed, at the signing of partnership agreement in Malaysia.

Why Nokia can’t site factory in Nigeria


HONE manufacturing giant, Nokia will not site a firm in Nigeria because of the economies of scale, its Vice-Oresidet/ Managing Director for West and Central Africa, James Rutherfoord, has said. He told The Nation in Lagos, that though Nigeria is not the largest market for the firm’s products, it is its strategic market in Africa. He said: “Nigeria is not the biggest market for Nokia, Pakistan, India and a number of other populous contries in the region are very big markets for Nokia devices. “Your question is difficult. But most of our component suppliers, all the people that make chips; that make batteries and all other components of the devices are not around her. They are all in the Far

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

East. So it’s very difficult to create a factory very far away from them. It goes beyond Nokia just deciding to open factory in Nigeria. We need the whole escosystem of people producing the components to be very close by otherwise we will have products, which cost will be much higher if they are not close to the other manufacturers.” Nokia has nine factories in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. They are in Finnland, Germany, Hungary, South Korea, China, Singagore, United States, Mexico and Brazil. Though Rutherfoord refused to comment on the firms’ market share in the country, eShekels, a foremost Nigerian technology

market reserch firm, said 44.6 per cent of global system for mobil (GSM) communcation subscribers use Nokia use Nokia handsets while Samsung, Motorola, Sonny Ericsson, Sagem, Siemens, Ecrisson, LG and Alcatel share the balance. To increase local content, Nokia phones shipped to Nigeria are configured to accommodate Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa languages. “The potential for growth in Nigeria’s telecoms industry is enormous. This is both an amazing opportunity, as well as a challenge. It is an opportunity to provide customised, peerless service, to match the growing needs of the market and a challenge, to do this effectively, amidst the flux and intense dynamics of the industry,” said Timo Toikkanen, Nokia executive.

‘Mobile money ‘ll drive banking’


HE mobil money initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will help solve the problem of those excluded from the banking system, General Manager, Mobil Money, ATM Nigeria, Usoro A. Usoro, has said. He said the success of M-PESA in Kenya can be replicated in the country because the two countries shared similar socio-economic experience, addig that they have high dependency ratio and a migrant urban population. “Like the growth of mobile phones in Nigeria, the phenomenal success Kenyan MPESA recorded was driven by unmet needs. The socio-economic environment of Kenya was fraught with low banking penetration, high dependency

ration and a migrant urban population with strong family ties to people largely in rurul areas. These created a natural market for remittance between the ‘senderes’ in urban areas and their dependants in the rurual areas.Safaricom, the Kenyan telecoms provider leveraged their network coverage within the urban and rural areas to deploy electronic funds remittances which birthed with we today, call MPESA. “Today, MPESA has grown beyond remittances to offer payments and other value added services,” he explained in an interview with The Nation. According to him, another factor that worked in favour of M-

PESA was that the telco received ample support from the regulator the Central Bank of Kenya, which he said provided a conductive regulatory framwork for the serivce to thrive. Specifically pointing the similarities the two countries share, he said: “Banking penetration is low; about67 per cent of the population have never been banked, 46 per cent are financially excluded. We have a high dependency ratio that is close to 85 per cent; so you see our situation is similar to that of Kenya. Moreso, the government is working towards achieving a cashless society. This even increase the prospect for mobile money in Nigeria.”

PC ownership still low, says Ministry


ESPITE the country’s population of over 150 million, Personal Computers (PCs) penetration still stands at a mere 4.5 per cent, data from the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology has shown. But mobile phone ownership stands at 60 per cent. According to the document, while PC penetration is expected to increase to 12 per cent, ownership of mobile devices is expected to increase to 80 per cent by 2015. A PC operating system could cost at least N50,000 (about $320), a price too expensive for over 60 per cent of the population, who live below the 52 per day poverty level. The document entitled: Communications Technology Ministry’s

achievement in the lost 12 months, endorsed by Efem Nkanga, senior special assistant, media to Mrs Omobola Johnson, Communications Technology Minister, listed the initiatives of the ministry in the last one and half years. It also showed that the Federal Government has begun moves to address paucity of skilled personnel in the nation’s Information Communication Technology sector (ICT) by narrowing down the gap in the coming years. It indicated that to bridge the gap, the government has facilitated agreements between the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) and other tertiary institutions with IBM and other skills development and research institutes to train 25,000 skilled manpower in five

years from 2013 to 2018 per institute. The document also showed that the government has facilitated an agreement with Cisco to build Cisco academy for highest certification, the Cisco Certified Internetworking , Expert (CCIE). It also facilitated a deal with Nokia on Mlab Project while it is finalizing the implementation of Nokia Life Programme for farmers in the country. The ministry’s achievement in the area of content/application shows that the number of government services delivered online increased from 10 in 2011 to 30 in 2012 and is projected to increase to 100 by 2013 while the number of MDAs (ministry, department and agencies) with effective websites increased from 370 in 2011 to 120 in 2012.

ODACOM Business Nigeria has unveiled its enterprise voice solution for Nigerian businesses, the session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking service, which it said supports cost effective routing with high call quality as well as improved levels of service on local and international calls for enterprises. According to a statement, by providing direct connectivity between the customer’s PBX and the telecom service provider’s switch, which runs via the Vodacom data network, the solution enables customers to make outbound and receive inbound calls from anywhere across the globe using their existing PBX or IP PBX system. Vodacom Enterprise Voice Solution aims to improve productivity, increase mobility and ramp up response time for customers, partners and even employees. This is especially true for businesses that receive large volumes of inbound calls or

that run big customers service operations. With this solution, customers can initiate and receive over 30 concurrent calls and add new lines as the business grows. “Today, we have adapted the concept of SIP trunking in partnership with a licensed operator. This partinership enables us to provide direct connectivity to the operator’s switch which guarantees high voice quality. What’s more, by going this route service, availability will not be affected by any base station downtimes,” said Abu Etu, Product Manager Vodacom Business Nigeria. In addition, Vodacom Enterprise Voice solution will provide optimal utilization of bandwidth by delivering both data and voice in the same connection. This solution opens-up a different scope of creating other types of real time communication beyond LAN. Businesses in Nigeria now have access to high performance easy-to-use.

Etisalat, Apple strike sales deal


ITH the growing demand for Apple products in Nigeria, especially the iPad and iPhone range of smartphones, Etisalat Nigeria has entered into a deal with Core Group Africa, the Apple authorized distributor for Nigeria, to make its products readily available across the country. The deal makes Etisala the first mobile network operator to become an authorized reseller of various Apple iPads and accessories in Nigeria. Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Wael Ammar, said with the signing of the agreement, Etisalat will be the first telecommunications operator permitted to sell Apple’s iPad in selected retail outlets spread across the country, while offering a two-year warranty cover on all iPad devices sold. He added that the offer comes with 12-month Internet access on its easy blaze product. “As part of our promise to provide

our customers with value added propositions, Etisalat as the frist mobile network operator to be an official Reseller for Apple in Nigeria, will also be offering our customers 12 months internet access on all iPads purchased at our Experience Centres and sales outlets, and the products come with a two-year warranty will only apply once the subscriber registers the iPad purchased from Etisalat on He assured that the company is ready and well positioned to provide its customers with best support services and support on iPad in Nigeria. He said with the deal, Nigerians are able to purchase authentic iPad products in Nigeria with the peace of mind that this will be fully supported locally. He advised customers willing to purchase the iPad range of devices and accessories to visit any of the selected Etisalat Experience Centre or outlet in their locality.

MTN, Samsung partner on smartphones


AMSUNG Electronics, world’s number one manufacturer of mobile phones is partnering with MTN, Nigeria’s leading telecom provider to launch the Samsun Galaxy Music Smartphone in Nigeria. The Samsung Galaxy Music Smartphone was recently launched internationally, and is targeted at music loving technology savvy youth who are passionate about quality entertainment and the clarity of the content from their Smartphones mobile device. It is now available in MTN and Samsung stores nationwide, a statement announced. The Galaxy Music comes with dual stereo speakers which allows you to listen to audio without a headset. It has built in FM radio receiver, Wifi, Music Hub 2.0

(which enables streaming, purchasing, playlist, sharing, etc) and Game Hub (a gateway to premium games that can be played on the go). According to the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Larry Annetts, “the Samsung Galaxy Music is a convergence of communication and entertainment. It was built for people who value quality entertainment on the go. “MTN is partnering with Samsung to launch this product because there is a synergy in strategy between MTN and Samsung to address the unique needs of aspiring consumers in Nigeria. The Samsung Galaxy music smartphone from MTN will include an ill inclusive six months Internet, free music tracks, free headsets and free pouch.”

Smartphones to displace laptops


N no distant future, smartphones will displace the use of laptop as the desire to stay connected propels young people across the world, technology firm, Cisco, has predicted. According to the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), a copy of which was made available to The Nation, smartphones now rival laptops as the single most desired device by 18-30 year olds as they are seen as the most versatile and compact. If they had to choose only one device, a third of respondents preferred a smartphone, while slightly more than a third favored laptops. “Smartphones have surpassed desktop computers as the preferred workplace device from a global perspective and were rated twice

as popular as a desktop PC and three times as popular as a tablet,” the results which are based on a survey commissioned by Cisco of 1800 university students and young professionals aged 18 to 30 revealed. According to Cisco, the report examines how this generation uses the internet and mobile devices to connect with the world around them, and reveals their behaviors, attitudes, issues, and concerns about the creation, access, management, and privacy of the enormous amounts of data being generated daily by smartphones, sensors, video cameras, monitors, and other connected devices. “Sixty per cent of 18-30 year olds find themselves sub-consciously or compulsively checking their smartphones for emails, texts or




A palace fit for a Grand Slam champion!


URRAY splashes out on £2m luxury hotel Andy Murray might have missed out on a knighthood in the New Year Honours List - but the Scot has splashed out around £2million on a hotel fit for a king. He was one of three bidders for the 14-bedroom Cromlix House Hotel which was the venue for the wedding of his brother Jamie and his Colombian girlfriend Alejandra Gutierrez in 2010. The four-star hotel, which closed in February, sits in 36 acres of landscaped grounds within a 2,000-acre estate and includes four fishing lochs and two mineral springs. ‘He knows the place well. Anybody who is anybody in Dunblane goes to Cromlix House for their wedding, anniversary or birthday,’ a source close to the property was reported to have said. ‘Nobody knows what he intends to do with the hotel. It is only ten minutes by helicopter from Gleneagles, which could prove useful during the 2014 Ryder Cup. ‘On the other hand, it could be that Andy will restore it as a private house so that he has a luxury base in Scotland to come back to.’ Meanwhile, Murray has admitted he must add to his trophy collection before he can start dreaming of being called ‘Sir Andy’. The Scot, who won the US Open and Olympic titles last year, was awarded an OBE and expects to wait some time before following in the footsteps of countrymen Alex Ferguson and Chris Hoy. One for the future: Murray plays mini tennis with young fans at the Brisbane International tournament ‘You need to do a lot for a long time to deserve an honour like that,’ he said. ‘I’ve only been doing it for a couple of years so I’ll definitely need to win a few more matches and have more tournaments to have a chance of getting that. ‘With the people around you, everyone just kind of stays the same (after a knighthood) - it’ll be people that you don’t know that will come up to you and address you as that,” he said. “But I wouldn’t want my friends and family to call me like that.’ Murray is currently preparing to defend his title at the Brisbane International also admitted he is glad to have finally broken his Grand Slam duck. ‘I’ve had a lot of congratulations because a lot of people that were sort of general sports fans kind of knew my story a little bit of how long it had been since any British player had won a Slam and how many times I had lost


in the finals,’ he added. In fine shape: Murray hopes to add to his Grand Slam collection this year, starting in Australia ‘It was very nice for me to finally be able to move on and not worry about that stuff anymore. ‘I got a few upgrades on flights and things like that, which is nice, but that’s died down a little bit over the last few months.’Murray also believes the experiences of last year will propel him to future successes. ‘I always prepared to give myself the best chance to win the event,’ he said. ‘The last few years I’d got close but never managed to get over the final hurdle. ‘So whether it was a mental thing, whether it was things in my game I needed to improve, physical things... who knows exactly? ‘But now that I’ve managed to do it, I hope that when I’m in those situations again I’ll deal with them better and put less pressure on myself, which will help me play better.’ Rees to fight for second world title after agreeing deal with lightweight champion BronerGavin Rees has beaten fellow Brit Ricky Burns to a fight with American star Adrien Broner. The Welsh lightweight was due to face John Murray last month but that fell through when the Mancunian failed a fitness test. Rees will now challenge for Broner’s WBC world title on February 16, subject to signing a contract. He posted on his Twitter account: ‘ Looks like I’m fighting Adrian broner 16th feb for WBC title massive fight for me an time for me to become 2 weight world champ.’ The 32-year-old has won 37 of his 39 contests but has been out of action since beating Derry Matthews in July to add the British belt to his European title. Rees, a former world champion at light welterweight, has since relinquished his European strap and in Broner faces one of America’s brightest prospects. Waiting game: Ricky Burns hopes to fight Broner later down the line in 2013 The two-weight world champion enhanced his status as the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jnr’s pound-forpound crown with a stoppage victory over Antonio DeMarco in November.Broner, 23, then threw down the gauntlet to Scotland’s Burns but he rejected the unification fight in favour of a warm-up bout before potentially meeting Broner in April.

Bekele, Burka win at San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid


THIOPIA’S 2012 Olympic Games 10,000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele and his compatriot Gelete Burka proved to the strongest at the 48th San Silvestre Vallecana 10km race – an IAAF Silver label Road Race – on Monday (31). Battling the bitter cold as well as his rivals, Bekele became just the third man in history to win arguably the two most renowned New Year’s Eve races, in Sao Paulo and Madrid, his predecessors being Portugal’s three-time World Cross Country Championships winner Carlos Lopes and Mexico’s former World 10,000m record holder Arturo Barrios. Burka had suprisingly little opposition from Kenya’s Linet Masai and crossed the finish line more than a minute before her main opponent, with a winning time of 30:59. Bekele, who turns 26 on 21 January, set the pace from the early stages of the race. Only four athletes remained at Bekele’s shoulder after 2km, when the clock read 5:40. They were a quartet of Spaniards, the two-time SPAR European Cross Country Championships silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem, the 2012 Spanish 10,000m champion Manuel Penas, José Carlos Hernández and Roberto Alaiz Soon, only Lamdassem could live with Bekele’s pace and the pair went through the halfway point in 14:01, with 13 seconds between themselves and a nine-strong chasing pack. Lamdassem, 31, managed to stay with Bekele until 8km, which was reached in 22:02 with a four-man group comprising of Penas, Alaiz, Hernández and Enrique Sánchez languishing 29 seconds in arrears. The much-feared and infamous hill 2km from the finish proved to be a decisive point for Bekele, who broke away from his Spanish rival to secure the win in 28:29, coming home 16 seconds in front of Lamsassem, who was second in 2010 and third last year. The battle for third place was won by Alaiz, a 8:24:53 3000m steeplechaser, who managed to get rid of his rivals before crossing the line in 29:08. As for the women - it was a mixed men’s and women’s

race - the much anticipated clash between Burka and Kenya’s 2009 World 10,000m champion Linet Masai never materialised. The Ethiopian dictated the pace from the gun and crossed the 2km point in a brisk 6:02 while Masai was five seconds slower. Burka strengthened her lead in the next 3km as she clocked 15:01 at halfway to

Masai’s 15:11. Spain’s Diana Martín, a creditable eighth at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest on 9 December, was a distant third in 15:54 while her compatriot Marta Domínguez was fourth in 16:27. Burka clearly enjoyed the festive atmosphere during the second half of the race and

built up a handsome 34second margin over Masai with 2.5km remaining, with Martín a further 39 seconds adrift. The Ethiopian crossed the line 24th overall in 30:59 while Masai faded in the closing stages to clock 32:13 for second place in the women’s race (and 38th overall) while Martín was third in 32:32.

• Bekele

Pakistan threatens BPL boycott after Bangladesh snub


AKISTAN have criticised Bangladesh’s decision to abandon a planned cricket tour over security fears and threatened to bar its own players from playing in the upcoming Bangladeshi Premier League. The two nations were scheduled to play a Twenty20 and a one-day international in Lahore this month, albeit pending security clearance. But on Monday, Bangladesh shelved what would have been the first international cricket tour of Pakistan since militants wounded seven members of the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan said the decision had been taken

over fears for players’ safety, following protests by Bangladeshis and a Facebook campaign against the tour. But Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said that the decision was “inappropriate”. “The decision to tour was up to the BCB,” Ashraf said. “We never forced Bangladesh, but to say that the security situation was not conducive is inappropriate because their own delegation was satisfied with the arrangements.” In a statement, the PCB said it “would only be proper” for the BCB chief to read the report from his security delegation before commenting on Pakistan’s current situation. It warned that it may now bar

Pakistani players from the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, starting January 17. In 2012 20 Pakistanis featured in the tournament, with allrounder Shahid Afridi fetching $700,000 in an auction of stars – the highest amount bid. More

than 50 Pakistanis have already been bought at an auction for the second edition. “Now for the 2013 edition of BPL, we have to see the engagements of our players before releasing them for the tournament,” the statement said.

F1: ‘Impossible’ to keep team going EAM boss Luis Perez— HRT Boss Sala has admitted the


HRT dream is over. After three seasons at the back of the F1 grid, the Spanish backmarker has folded, even though official confirmation has been lacking so far. “It was impossible to go on,” Sala, a former Minardi driver who was brought in by new

owners Thesan Capital to run the team this year, told El Mundo Deportivo newspaper. “When we decided to take charge of the team, we were promised aid that never arrived,” he added. HRT, founded as Campos Meta 1 and also known as Hispania, never scored a point.




I’m not

greedy—Ba B

A insists money doesn’t motivate him... even though Chelsea switch fell down over wage row Demba Ba has revealed his motivation for signing a new megabucks deal: to support his family and friends back in his native Senegal. The Newcastle striker has been linked with a move away from St James’ Park with Chelsea leading the chase for the £7.5million-rated forward. However, this latest revelation seems to be in stark contrast to reports which suggest that the deal to take him to London has stalled because of his financial desires. Enlarge Ba is the joint second highest scorer in the Premier League this season with 13 goals Lethal: Ba’s 13 league goals this season put him just one behind Van Persie and level with Suarez and Michu Alan Pardew has turned his guns on the middlemen chasing levels of commission that could oblige the buying club to invest up to £28m in a 27-year-old who has a £7m release clause in his current contract and wants £90,000 a week. It is also thought that Ba will receive a £2million loyalty bonus from Newcastle if and when he does leave, which seems to contradict his own recent comments suggesting he is not motivated by money. Ba, 27, had said that he will never forget his roots and that the salary he earns is for his whole family. ‘Something which is easy for me to give is money.’ He said. ‘I feel detached from it.’ Ba feels his family has been a key part of his success‘I look after myself and my family, but I won’t forget people who struggle,’ Ba revealed to the Daily Telegraph. ‘The money I earn is not just for me, it is made for me to give to the people. ‘My father lives in Senegal most of the time, and my mother goes there for five months a year. they are from similar villages, and know how to distribute money to people who need it. ‘For me, it’s not about being Demba Ba, or a footballer, or at Newcastle, I’m no better than anybody else.’ Ba makes sure his wages also benefit those in Senegal Family man: Ba makes sure his wages also benefit those in Senegal Pardew though believes the advice his striker has been receiving is most of the problem: ‘I feel a little bit sorry for Demba because I think people (claim to) represent him who are not actually representing him. ‘People out there are fuelling this who are not actually involved. But they want to be involved and that is the sort of world we are in. ‘I can’t remember a situation like this, with this level of speculation and information being put about. That’s a frustration for us as a club, massively.’

• Demba Ba




•Security men at the entrance of the Federal Capital Territory Minister’s office as workers PHOTO:NAN resumed from the New Year holiday in Abuja...yesterday . Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Dr Peter Alabi (right), presenting a gift to Mr and Mrs Daniel Umoru, parents of the hospital’s baby of the year in Abuja...yesterday. With them are members of staff of the hospital. PHOTO:NAN

•Acting Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Justice Sulieman Umaru-Dikko, taking his oath of office in Lafia…yesterday

•Commercial activities are yet to resume as the streets of Enugu metropolis remain deserted…yesterday

‘We’re seeing a new Bayelsa’ ET me start by wishing all Bayelsans and indeed, all Nigerians across the country a Happy and Prosperous New Year! As we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, we are always hopeful and prayerful that the new year will be better than the previous one. The year 2012 was particularly very challenging for us as a state in many respects. Not only were we confronted with a devastating flood which had most of our communities submerged and rendered many of our people homeless; we also suffered the tragedy of an helicopter crash which claimed the lives of two prominent Nigerians and four others. The death of Governor Patrick Yakowa and General Owoye Azazi along with four other patriotic Nigerians who died in the ill-fated crash is still fresh in our hearts. For most of us, we are still mourning their departure. Once again, let me seize this opportunity to commiserate with the families of the departed souls. Please be rest assured that our prayers are with you always. As a government, we enter this New Year with a renewed zeal to


•Text of a New Year message to the people of Bayelsa State by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson rise up from the tragedies which has befallen us in 2012 to encourage ourselves in the Lord, especially with the knowledge that God has our best interest at heart always. That is the same message we bring to all those who have suffered one form of set back or the other in the year just gone by. We urge you to encourage yourselves in the Lord and move on with the assurance that God will add to your joy in this New Year. While wishing all Bayelsans, a Happy New Year, it is pertinent to state that your government will keep faith with our commitment to deliver on every promise we have made to you. Our government is committed to infrastructural turn around of our dear state and this new year you will see us undertake the construction of more roads. That is why we have allocated over N152 billion to infrastructure alone in this year’s budget. Our commitment to deliver on Education with emphasis on computer literacy, science and

‘As a government, we enter this New Year with a renewed zeal to rise up from the tragedies which has befallen us in 2012 to encourage ourselves in the Lord, especially with the knowledge that God has our best interest at heart always.’

technology will be further pursued vigorously this year. Not only will our investment in education focus on the rebuilding of our comatose educational infrastructure, we will also invest massively in the training and re-training of our teachers to adequately equip them to impart the right skills and knowledge in our children. This much we will do because we have since realised

that quality education has become an economic necessity, even as we take cognisance of a world largely driven by modern knowledge economy. We are determined more than ever in this New Year to demonstrate our willingness as a government to work round the clock to sustain and consolidate on our restoration agenda. In the last 11 months you have seen us evolve policies that are designed to make life more meaningful for our people. In this New Year we will sustain that momentum and by God’s grace at the end of 2013, it will be clear to all that our government meant business. Let me once more on this occasion thank all the good people of our dear state for the support and solidarity shown to me and members of my team all through the year 2012. No doubt, we are seeing the emergence of a new Bayelsa and in this New Year so much more should be expected from your government.


As we celebrate the New Year, let us remember to pray for our state and the restoration government. Let us pray for peace in Bayelsa State and Nigeria as a whole. Let us pray that this state will not witness any more tragedies like the ones we experienced last year. Above all, let us spare a word of prayer for the first family of this nation – our dear President and his wife with members of his household. Happy New Year once again to you all.




Market cap hits N9tr mark


HE Nigerian Stock market opened the year on a strong momentum, gaining 150 basis points to push the lead indicator (NSE-ASI) further into 32-months high and the Market capitalisation to over N9 trillion mark.The last time the market recorded this stellar performance was in October 2008. Also, the sectoral indices closed on a positive note. NSE 30 closed at 1,357.23 points, followed by Consumer goods closing 843.67 points. Others were Banking (350.61 points), Insurance (121.06), NSE Oil/ Gas (153.21) and NSE LII (1,770.51). These indices added 21.16 points, 4.70 points, 10.98 points, 2.57 points, 0.29 points and 1.44 points respectively. However, the growth witnessed was strongly boosted by gains recorded by Market Making (MM) stocks. The first-nine gainers in percentage terms were MM stocks. Interestingly, all did well with over five per cent growths while the tenth recorded 4.92 per

By Tonia Osundolire

cent. The lead heavy weight stocks (DangCem, Nestle and Guinness) however closed flat. On the price movement tables, a total of 41 equities recorded price change with 33 appreciating and only eight stocks reducing in value. Skye Bank led the list with a gain of N0.43 to close at N4.73, followed by FCMB with a gain of N0.35 to close at N4.10. Other gainers were Diamond Bank, Presco, FBN Holdings, Dangote Sugar, Guaranty Trust Bank, Sterling Bank, Custodian and Allied Insurance and Vitafoam. On the flip side were John Holt with the highest drop of N0.17 to close at N3.23 followed by Morison with a drop of N0.17 to close at N3.30. Also on the list were Port Paint, Jos Breweries, Wema Bank, Zenith Bank and ETI with price drop of N0.21, N0.07, N0.01, N1.03, N0.09 and N0.04. On individual stock record, the following highly and

mid capitalised stocks contributed to yesterday’s upturn; Access Bank, FBNH, Dangote Sugar, Diamond Bank, Skye Bank, GT Bank, Unilever, NB, FCMB and Oando. In summary, the market gained 422.40 absolute points, representing 1.50 per cent growth, to close higher at 28,501.21 points. Similarly, the market weight indicated by Market Capitalisation gained N135 billion, also representing 1.50 per cent growth, to close higher at N9.109 trillion. Both indicators had appreciated by 0.76 per cent in the previous session. Specifically, the market traded 175.986 million shares worth N1.882 billion exchanged in 2,801 deals. The Financial Services sector, the driver of activities in the market still retained its lead position with 134.200 million shares worth N1.214 billion in 1,655 deals. The Consumer Goods stocks followed with 18.474 million shares worth N514.752 million in 552 deals while the Conglomerates closely followed with 11.412 million shares worth N46.367 million. Other actively traded sectors were Oil & Gas, Services and Industrial Goods with 3.868 million shares, 3.443 million shares and 2.648 million shares.





‘SWF hurdles ’ll be resolved via compromise’


TATE governors’ opposition against the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) will affect the amount of money needed for investment but there is high chances of reaching a compromise, FBN Capital, a research firm has said. The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority is due to start its investment programme in March, but the agency will

Stories by Collins Nweze

not have sizeable funds to invest until the state governors drop their opposition to the scheme. The legality of the SWF is still being challenged by different state governments across the country. The research firm said higher budget threshold would reduce the transfers to the SWF, adding that given

the porous nature of the account and the many obstacles to its expansion, there are legitimate concerns about the defences against an external shock and therefore called for sufficient buffers to be built. The $1 billion SWF was set up in May last year to invest savings made from the difference between budgeted oil prices and actual market prices. Nigeria depends on crude ex-

ports for more than 90 per cent of foreign income and about 80 per cent of government revenue, making it vulnerable to swings in prices. The wealth fund will help meet budget shortfalls in the future, provide dedicated funding for development of infrastructure and keep some savings for the future generation, according to the law establishing it.

Bond tab for biggest economies may decline $220b the country’s first international sale, which was 24 per cent oversubscribed. Bidding for financial, legal and debt arrangement services closes February 7, the Lusaka City Council said. Barclays Plc (BARC) and Deutsche Bank AG arranged the Eurobond sale. Nigeria’s Lagos state sold its biggest bond of N80 billion in November to fund infrastructure projects.

•Zambia joins Nigeria, South Africa in raising funds


HE world’s leading economies will have $220 billion less sovereign debt to refinance in 2013, cutting supply after every major government bond market rallied for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. According to Bloomberg report, the amount of bills, notes and bonds coming due for the Group of Seven nations plus Brazil, Russia, India and China will drop to $7.38 trillion from $7.60 trillion in 2012. It said Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Brazil will see a decline, while the United States, Canada, Russia, India and China will face an increase. “While high debt loads are blamed for curbing global economic growth, bond investors are encouraged by signs that some nations are starting to rein in spending as they extend the average maturity of their obligations. Instead of rising, borrowing

costs are falling as supply decreases, inflation remains in check and central banks from the United States to Europe cut interest rates to record lows,” it said. Deutsche Bank expects German bonds to outperform French debt even as it forecasts German 10-year yields will probably reach 2.25 percent at the end of 2013, from 1.32 per cent at the end of December and compared with the average over the past five years of about 2.85 per cent. Meanwhile Lusaka, the Zambian capital, is seeking financial and legal advisers for its first municipal bond issuance. Africa’s biggest copper producer will join Nigeria and South Africa as the only countries on the continent to sell bonds to finance regional or sub-national projects, Bloomberg report has said. The municipality will use the proceeds to build 3,500 high- rise apartments, the Lusaka City Council said. The

council plans to raise $500 million from local and international investors through what will probably be a dollar- denominated bond sale, Zambia’s Deputy Finance Minister Miles Sampa said. The planned municipal debt follows Zambia’s $750 million Eurobond issue in September


IRST BANK of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of its Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu to the Board as Executive Director. In a statement, the bank said the appointment of Mr. Adelabu, who will still retain his portfolio as the Chief Financial Officer, is expected to follow the statutory approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The choice of the new direc-

tor, according to the Group Managing Director, FirstBank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya is geared towards enhancing the capacity of the Executive Management and Board, by deepening specialisation and strengthening the corporate governance culture of the lender. A first Class accounting degree graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and an alumnus of global accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Adelabu was formerly

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012



O/PRICE 4.30 3.75 4.94 17.00 15.72 6.00 23.00 1.73 1.30 3.66

C/PRICE 4.73 4.10 5.40 18.50 17.10 6.43 24.60 1.85 1.39 3.84

CHANGE 0.43 0.35 0.46 1.50 1.38 0.43 1.60 0.12 0.09 0.18


O/PRICE 3.40 3.47 4.36 1.53 0.52 58.53 19.49 11.29

C/PRICE 3.23 3.30 4.15 1.46 0.51 57.50 19.40 11.25

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


CHANGE 0.17 0.17 0.21 0.07 0.01 1.03 0.09 0.04

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7




Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year


stint at Standard Chartered Bank between 2007 and 2009 as General Manager and the West African Regional Head of Finance and Strategy.



OBB Rate Call Rate

the Group Financial Controller of the bank between 2009 and 2010 and the pioneer head of Business Performance Monitoring Department between 2005 and 2007. According to the statement, under his leadership, the existing performance management framework for the bank was set up while he was also credited with the successful execution of the bank’s medium term strategic plan. He also had a brief




money could take off within the year. It said the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority plan to end all subsidy payments for petrol was a ground-breaking reform, which had defeated previous administrations, both civilian and military. “A familiar compromise was reached whereby the subsidy was maintained but on a higher retail price for petrol. Arguments in favour of the subsidy were, and remain unconvincing, the most risible being that it is somehow “pro-poor,” it said. The firm said Federal Government was unsuccessful at removing the subsidy because it lacks credibility with the broader population even as the reform was blocked by vested interests. These two constraints, it said, would continue to frustrate the reformers in 2013.

FirstBank strengthens board, appoints ED


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

FBN Capital said that among ongoing reforms, the greatest mileage is in the power sector but there are compelling reasons to expect Nigeria to take some large steps forward. It said that inflation and interest rates are set to fall while the banks now have substantial lending capacity. The Monetary Policy Rate, the benchmark rate by which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) determines interest rate, has remained at 12 per cent since October 2011 when it was increased from 9.25 representing 275 basis points raise. Besides, the CBN was advised to sustain its efforts at finding other innovative ways to unlock the credit market and stimulate the economy. FBN Capital said the apex bank has a proven formula to hold the naira exchange rate provided that the oil price remains stable even as it predicted that mobile

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 132.34 124.60 0.77 1.13 0.91 100.00 1,000.00 1,754.53 10.75 1.33 1.80 9,029.05



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





Police parade ‘killers’ of Kano lawmakers


ETECTIVES from the Kano State Police Command have arrested seven suspected assassins, who allegedly killed two members of the House of Assembly for N100,000. The slain lawmakers are: Danladi Isah Kademi and Abba Garko. Parading the suspects yesterday at the command headquarters in Bompai, Kano, Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris told reporters that they were arrested following a tipoff. Idris identified six of the suspects as: Ibrahim Lawal (22), of Layin Yarbawa, Unguwa Uku Quarters; Abdullahi (aka Mabo) of Fillin Kashew, Unguwa Uku Quarters and Sagir Yahaya of Farin Masallachi, Unguwa Uku Quarters. Others are: Surajo Adamu of Layin Tazarce, Unguwa Uku Quarters; Tasiu Shuaibu of Layin Yarubawa; Ashiru Mohammed of Layin Yarbawa; Unguwa Uku Quarters and Mohammed Abdusallam of Layin Tazarce Quarters, Kano. The police chief said the suspects confessed to committing the crime. He said they were sponsored by a 54-year-old Alhaji, who lives in Layin Yarbawa, Unguwa Uku Quarters. The suspects, Idris explained, bargained with their

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

suspected sponsor to kill Kademi for N100,000. The police chief said only N30,000 had been paid to the suspects; the N70,000 balance was being awaited before their arrest. He said the gang leader and five accomplices are still at large. According to him, the principal suspect, Lawal, confessed to holding a series of meetings on how to kill the two lawmakers with the suspected sponsor at the car park in his home. Idris also said Garko was in the company of the suspected sponsor, with whom he prayed at Yan Awaki, before he was killed by Lawal and his gang. He said: “Investigations revealed that the name and GSM contact number of Alhaji was discovered in Lawal’s cell phone as well as different call logs between the duo. These clearly corroborate a grand criminal conspiracy between them.” The police command said it was on the trail of the fleeing suspects. Idris said they would be charged to court. Several other suspects were paraded for alleged criminal conspiracy, terrorism, intimidation by anonymous communication and armed robbery.

Onoja not for PDP, says Benue ACN


HE Benue State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has denied the claims that one of its chieftains, Gen. Lawrence Onoja, wants to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The ACN said it is also not true that Onoja forged the signature of the PDP chairman of his Ohimini Local Government to return to the party. In a statement in Makurdi, the state capital, by ACN Zonal Chairman Fabian Aboje, the party described the story as false and unfounded. ACN said it was calculated

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

to tarnish the image of Onoja. The party urged the public to discountenance the speculation. The ACN said there was no way a nationalist of Onoja’s stature, having served as a governor of two states, would stoop so low to forge a letter, for whatever reasons. The party added that it was unfair for those who benefited from the creation of Ohimini Local Government and four others in the state, which Onoja influenced, to blackmail him.

Gaidam presents budget amid tight security


OBE State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam yesterday presented N86.7billion budget estimate for the 2013 fiscal year to the House of Assembly. The budget was read amid tight security for fear of any Boko Haram attack. The presentation was transmitted live on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Channels Television networks. As early as 7am, the road to the Assembly complex, off Maiduguri Road, was taken over by fierce-looking security men among who were masked. Journalists, top government officials and workers of the House of Assembly were thoroughly checked before they were allowed into the complex. The budget has over N8.1billion, representing 9.4 per cent, over last year’s.

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

Gaidam said it would be financed from a treasury balance of N5billion, statutory allocation, Subsidy Reinvestment programme, excess crude oil, value added tax (VAT), ecological funds, internally generated revenue (IGR), external loans, internal loans, miscellaneous revenues and grants. The governor said over N54billion is devoted to capital expenditure, representing 62.5 per cent of the budget, while the remaining 37.5 per cent is for recurrent expenditure. The breakdown of the budget shows that the Ministry of Works has the lion’s share of over N17billion, followed by the Ministry of Education and Finance with over N16 billion and N8billion.

•Some of the suspects during their parade by the police in Kano...yesterday

CPC backs Belgore’s stand on Kwara budget


HE Kwara State Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has said the allocation of about 51 per cent of the state’s 2013 budget to recurrent expenditure is injurious to the economy. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the 2011 election, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), picked holes in the budgetary allocations. The PDP said Belgore’s comment on the 51 per cent recurrent expenditure over the capital expenditure of 49 per cent was a euphemism for workers’ retrenchment. The party said the ACN chieftain was aware “that recurrent expenditure is almost synonymous with staff salary and other overhead costs”. But CPC Chairman Suleiman Buhari said: “In-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

stead of the PDP to take the intervention in good faith and question its government for throwing fiscal responsibility to the dogs, it deliberately misrepresented Mr. Belgore’s advice while also using its trade mark foul language to humiliate his person.” The CPC chair noted that the PDP’s “response is no more than an immoral, petty and an unethical attempt to undermine a man for daring to hold a different opinion”. He added: “The response of the PDP clearly gives the party and its functionaries out as a bunch of expensively dressed jesters who in their delusional state would say anything as long as their undiscerning audience is awed of their gratuitous remarks.

“As far as the CPC is concerned, this kind of budgetary projection, where recurrent Expenditure is far bigger that the capital expenditure, absolutely falls short of the ideal budgetary requirement for a rural state such as Kwara. “The UNDP requires that a minimum of 70per cent should be reserved for capital expenditure of developing states such as Kwara in order to achieve accelerated and sustainable growth. “Pray, how does the state under the PDP hope to achieve this with a budgetary outlook where the internally generated revenue (IGR) is not even enough to offset its overhead cost, let alone the personnel cost with a combined strength of over N25billion? To worsen the situation, there is an unprec-

Family petitions FCT police on son’s death


HE family of murdered 28-year old, Goodnews Udo has petitioned the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, demanding justice. Udo, an indigene of Akwa Ibom State, was stabbed to death at Apo District of Abuja on November 6, last year, by two brothers. The case was reported at Apo Police Station from where it was transferred to the homicide department. In a letter by its lawyer, Austin Uzendu of Apostle and Raji Solicitors, the Udo family is asking for the Certified True Copy (CTC) for Udo’s autopsy and coroner’s inquest reports. In the letter to FCT Police Commissioner Aderenle Shinaba, the family complained about the way the case was being handled by the police. It accused the police of shielding the killers. Uzendu said: “Our enquiry at the Homicide Department revealed that the case is presently being investigated by a

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

team of police officers, headed by Dr. Emenike, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and assisted by Inspector Philibus inter-alia. However, Dr. Emenike (ASP) is said to be on annual leave but his subordinate officer said that he is not aware of the facts of this case and as such he was not able to give us concrete information about the case, such as the names of the

suspects and or the place where the body is deposited. “Upon further enquiry as to whether the autopsy and the coroner’s inquest have been conducted according to Law, we did not receive any answer. “…We require the Certified True Copy of the autopsy and coroner’s inquest reports and do hereby apply for them respectively to enable us to adequately advise our clients on the desirability or otherwise of applying for the release of the diseased corpse for internment.”

Al-Makura swears in CJ, judges


ASARAWA State Gov ernor Umaru Tanko AlMakura yesterday swears in Acting Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Suleiman Umaru-Dikko; two High Court judges, Samuel Ayiwulu and Asmau Yusuf as well as the Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Idris-Apa. The ceremony was held at the Government House, Lafia, the state capital. Al-Makura said: “It is in

From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

fulfilment of the relevant constitutional provisions to ensure sanity and stability in the Judiciary as a fundamental institution of society.” Idris-Apa is a physically challenged person. The governor explained that the appointments were in compliance with the principle of seniority and merit in putting qualified persons in positions of responsibility.

edented level of wrongful spending priorities, income inequality and poor investment in social services. “…What the ACN candidate said in clear times, which our party absolutely agrees with, is that instead of filtering away the state’s resources on a very small circle of political jobbers, establishing new useless ministries and departments to create jobs for the boys with its attendant cost on the state budgetary expenditure, the government should look inwards and reduce the size and cost of government. “This, of course, does not translate to a call by Belgore for the sacking of workers in the state, who are ordinarily wallowing in hunger as a result of their extremely poor remuneration.”

Buhari consoles victims of Lagos fire


HE Leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has commiserated with the government and people of Lagos State over the fire that razed the popular Jankara Market. Gen. Buhari, in a letter in Kaduna to Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), said he was saddened by the death and loss of property in the fire. He said: “I am writing on behalf of my family and supporters to convey to you my heartfelt grief and sympathy on the fire at Jankara Market, Idumota. “Please, convey to the victims and the people of Lagos State our sympathy for their grievous losses.” The former Head of State prayed that such incident would not recur in the country. He urged the Federal Government to ensure that “laws of the country on importation, manufacture and storage of combustible items are strictly adhered to”.




Amaechi sacks commissioner for Jan 1 fire •’I have accepted my fate’


HE New Year Day fire at a dump site in Gambia Street, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has led to the sack of the Commissioner for Special Duties, Emeka Wogu. He was replaced by Omunakwe Dickson, whose name will be sent to the House of Assembly for confirmation. The Ministry of Special Duties oversees the fire service stations. Many residents have complained of lack of modern fire fighting equipment. Fire fighters from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) eventually put out the fire, but Government House sources said the complaint of lack of water angered Amaechi, who described the attitude of the firemen as shameful. The sacked commissioner yesterday, in a telephone interview, said he had taken his sack in good faith. He thanked Amaechi for giving him the opportunity to serve the state. Wogu denied the claims of lack of water, noting that four of the fire station’s trucks were sent for refurbishing and that he called the oil companies for assistance. He said: “It is not true that

Six perm secs take oath of office


IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has sworn in six women Permanent Secretaries. Amaechi swore them in at the Council Chamber, Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday. The appointees are Dr Offor Nnesochi, Mrs. C. M.Iragunima, Clara Gogo Princewill, Mr. Amie Nemi Iwo, Mrs. Wihioka Comfort and Dr Justina Jumbo. Congratulating the new Permanent Secretaries, the governor said they were appointed on merit and urged them to be fair and just as they contribute to the growth of the state’s sub-national economy. “A civil servant is supposed to be a non-politician but in the Nigerian context all Nigerians or nearly all Nigerians are politicians, nearly all and that is because the economy is not productive. “So the only productive part of the economy is government and that is because government takes money from oil and everybody wants to be part of the sharing of that money but the From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

lack of water caused the inability of firemen to respond to the distress calls by victims of the fire at Gambia Street as being insinuated by some people. “I have not been told of the reason for my removal. That is the way I heard it too. I went to my village in Omuma for New Year Day celebration and had to rush back to Port Harcourt, when I heard about the fire and moved to the scene for thorough assessment. “While leaving my village, I

moment the economy becomes productive a lot of Nigerians would not want to be in politics. “But we hope that as we increase our desire to improve on our sub-national economy, like all of you the women would contribute to this growth and the way to contribute to it is to ensure that you are fair, you are just and that you work hard and that you are also able to punish those who don’t work hard,” he said. The government warned them not to be involved in any corrupt practices. He explained that the appointment of the six female permanent secretaries will increase the number of female permanent secretaries in the state civil service. “We had looked at the civil service and there were too few women that were permanent secretaries. We felt that we should appoint some women to balance the position and that we have done. While I congratulate you on your appointment, I must also state here that you all were appointed on merit.”

called the firemen to move to the scene, but I was told the trucks were bad. “Four of the trucks are being refurbished by the contractor. I then contacted the oil companies and Agip assisted in putting out the fire. “The available drivers could not drive the two trucks with eight gears. “The two trucks with regular gears had clutch and brake problems and were being repaired. “Governor Amaechi asked me for a report on the incident. He told me to bring it to him

yesterday. “I was working on the report, when some of my colleagues, who were at the swearing-in of the six permanent secretaries, phoned me and told me about my removal. “I put in my best in serving my state. “I am surprised that some people are accusing me of dereliction of duty. “I am very grateful to His Excellency, for giving me the opportunity to serve. “I have taken my removal in good faith. No ill feelings.”

•Akpabio (second left), his wife, Unoma (second right), Deputy Governor Valerie Ebe and Bishop Kuka at the service

Kukah warns politicians against self enrichment


HE Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Rev Matthew Kukah, yesterday warned politicians against self enrichment. He said material prosperity is never a measure of a country’s greatness. Rev Kukah spoke at the Ibom Hall grounds in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, during the annual interdenominational thanksgiving service with the theme “The Lord is our strength”, organised by the Akwa Ibom State Government. The cleric said: “I would like to call on you not to see politics as being about self enrichment, but purely as an instrument in the hands of God for good Christians to deliver the services and trust that God has given to them. “I think from what I see

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

and what I have heard people say, many of you have reasons of being great but the material prosperity is never the measure of the greatness of a nation. “The essence of government and governance is to ensure that the resources that God has given to us are used to give us a good life.” Rev Kukah argued that the country cannot achieve the unity of the component parts in the face of the current agitation for the creation of more states. He explained that a situation where people living together in the same state or local government area are asking for another state or council to be carved out for them showed that there is

division among them and they cannot be said to be united. Rev Kukah, who also decried the inequality in the sharing of resources, said if the available resources were shared equally as the need arises, people would not be wallowing in abject poverty. He said: “Although God is our father, the resources, he has placed at our dis-

posal is not being equitably shared the way we want, otherwise we won’t be wallowing in poverty.” The cleric hailed Governor Godswill Akpabio for the judicious use of resources of the state, noting that there must be correlation between the spirit of fairness, justice and peace as lack of peace will lead to lack of justice in the midst of increasing inequality.

38 die in Edo road accidents From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HIRTY-eight persons were killed in road accidents in Edo State last month. This was contained in a statistics of road accidents made available to The Nation by the State Public Relations Officer of Federal Road Safety Corps, John Aniedi. The statistics said 40 road accidents occurred in the period and 142 persons were injured. FRSC Sector Commander Kenneth Nweagbe said the command started patrol on December 19 to help curb road crashes.

Disasters mar celebrations in Delta From Shola O’Neil, Warri


HE Yuletide celebration in Warri and Effurun, Delta State, was marred by fires and multiple crashes. The joy of the season was shattered by fire in EkuredeItsekiri and Alegbo as well as accidents on Jakpa and Airport roads. It was gathered that one person died and several others were injured in multiple crashes around the Oru Standard Hotel area of Jakpa on New Year’s Eve. A source said a victim was rushing home to pick up some items after dropping off his family in church when his Toyota Camry Car was crushed by a Volkswagen Passat wagon. “The Passat driver lost control, veered from his lane - onwards Ekpan - and crashed into the Camry after crossing the median. “The car was smashed. The driver was dead when he was rushed from the scene.” A storey building and shops were razed by a midday fire at the Ekurede-Itsekiri area of Warri. The circumstances surrounding the fire were unclear but a source said it started from the building, spread into the shops and consumed cash and goods worth several millions of naira. In another incident, several shops were razed at the Alegbo Junction of PTI, Effurun, on Tuesday morning. The cause of the fire is not yet known. Expectedly, the incident turned the celebration of residents of the building and shop owners into mourning. Nevertheless, our investigations revealed that apart from the disasters, the celebration in the twin cities was the most peaceful in recent times. Police sources said report of robbery and other violent crime was the lowest in about five years. The state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and residents commended the police for peaceful celebration. Uduaghan, in a New Year television address, attributed the peaceful yuletide to the ban on commercial motorcycle (okada) and special crime fighting strategies adopted by the police and security agencies.

Police arrest 11 ‘cultists’ in Rivers


HERE was tragedy yesterday at Ikata in Ahoada East Local Government of Rivers State, when a man, Udeh Sebastian, killed his wife, Abigail, with a machete, after a “minor” quarrel. Sebastian was arrested at his village in Ahoada East and moved to the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Port Harcourt. Abigail’s remains were deposited in an undisclosed mortuary. Commissioner of Police Mohammed Indabawa spoke yesterday at the police headquarters while parading 11 suspected cultists arrested at Ochiyba community in Ahoada East Local Government. Indabawa said Sebastian killed his wife around 4:30am yesterday. The machete, he said, was recovered from the suspect. While parading the suspects with the dynamite, fuses and wires recovered, the police commissioner said the arrest was in the spirit of the renewed vigour to stamp out criminality in the state. Indabawa said: “The peace and tranquility that prevailed

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

during the Yuletide is a testament to the effectiveness of the crime control measures put in place by the command and this year, it will be improved upon. “On January 1, at 11:30am, information was received that cult men had invaded and unleashed terror on Ochiyba community in Ahoada East Local Government, destroyed property and in the process killed Okpara James. “Policemen from Ahoada Area Command, assisted by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF), swiftly mobilised and cordoned off the area. “Intense search for the hoodlums was commenced and the following persons were arrested, in connection with the incident. “Godday Robinson (30), Nwineke Sunny (45), Richman Obasi (22), Wisdom Richard (25), Agi Emmanuel (30), Akajiaku Richard (28), Ogbunike Edward (30), Godstime Francis (18) and ThankGod Okpara (21). “A bag containing seven locally-made dynamites, six dynamite fuses and 14 dynamite wires were recovered from them.”

Bayelsa DPP gets ultimatum By Adebisi Onanuga


AGOS lawyer Femi Falana(SAN) has asked the Director of Public Prosecution(DPP)in Bayelsa State to file charges against the speaker and two other members of the House of Assembly for alleged misappropriation of N78million public funds within seven days. Speaker Konbowei Friday, his Deputy, Victor Sam-Afeki and the Clerk, Aaron Timiye, were accused of misappropriating N78million public funds. “If you fail to accede to our request, we shall not hesitate to file an application for mandamus at the High Court to compel you to arraign the aforementioned suspects in court pursuant to the report of police investigation, which has established a prima facie case of conspiracy, fraudulent misappropriation and stealing by conversion of public funds against the leadership of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly,” he said. The request was contained in a letter dated January 2 written to the state DPP, Ministry of Justice, entitled: “Request for the prosecution of the speaker and two other members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for conspiracy and misappropriation of public funds” The activist said that his request for the prosecution of the trio was based on the findings of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), following a petition by a group, the Transparency and Good Governance Coalition.



FOREIGN Chavez conscious, says VP


ENEZUELA’S President Hugo Chavez is conscious but in a “delicate and complex situation” after a cancer operation in Cuba, his deputy says. Vice-President Nicolas Maduro said he had seen the president twice in the past two days. The 58-year-old president has been in power since 1999 and was elected for a fourth term in office in October. He is due to be sworn in for a new term on 10 January, but it is unclear if he will be able to attend ceremony. But Maduro angrily denounced speculation the president’s health was failing.

Earlier, Venezuelan cabinet ministers prayed for Chavez’s recovery during a Mass at the presidential palace in Caracas. Official New Year celebrations were called off after Maduro announced the president had suffered new complications. Speaking in Havana, Maduro said he had visited Chavez in hospital twice since arriving on Saturday. “We have faith in God and in the doctors that Hugo Chavez will continue to make progress and sooner or later will emerge from this complex and delicate post-operative state he is in,” he told the Latin American satellite network Telesur.

Woman spends New Year in shop


• People look through the remains of burnt homes after a fire raged through the BM Informal Settlement, Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, South Africa . Several unrelated fires ripped through informal settlements in Cape Town killing at least three people and leaving at least 4,000 homeless on New Year’s Day, officials said.


HREE days of mourning have been declared in Cote d’Ivoire, following a New Year's Eve stampede that killed at least 61 people in Abidjan. Hundreds of people leaving a fireworks event at a stadium in the Plateau district were jammed into a tiny street in the early hours of Tuesday: many were crushed; others suffocated. An investigation is under way. Many victims were said to be 15 or younger. President Alassane Ouattara described the deaths as a national tragedy. Different theories are emerging as to what caused the stampede after the fireworks display ended in the 65,000-capacity Felix Houphouet-Boigny Sta-

HILE most people celebrated New Year’s Eve with parties and fireworks one pensioner in northern France spent the night alone in a locked supermarket. The 73-year-old woman felt faint at the store in Roubaix and went to the toilet. But when she came out later she found the shop deserted and locked up. French media say she set off the alarm repeatedly and spent the night wandering the aisles, but nobody came. A member of staff found her safe but exhausted on Tuesday morning. The local newspaper La Voix du Nord says the woman was taken to hospital for a health check. She had tried unsuccessfully to get some sleep in the Intermarche supermarket’s staff office, and had not helped herself to any new year treats from the shelves. Roubaix is near Lille and the Belgian border.

Women protest in Delhi

HOUSANDS of women have taken part in a rally in the Indian capital, Delhi, to protest against the recent gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student. The victim died at the weekend from severe injuries she sustained during the 16 December attack in a bus. The incident has caused a national outcry. Police are expected to charge five of six suspects with murder on Thursday. If convicted, they could face the death penalty, which is rarely carried out in India. The sixth suspect is reported to be under 18 and a juvenile. Police have ordered a bone test for him to confirm his age. Meanwhile, her family has said they would have no objection if a new anti-rape law is named after her. Earlier, India’s Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor called on the authorities to reveal the name of the gang-rape victim so that the new anti-rape law could be named after her. “Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of the Delhi gang rape victim. Why not name and honour her as a real person with own identity?” Mr Tharoor wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter late on Tuesday. “Unless her parents object, she should be honoured and the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being with a name, not just a symbol,” he wrote. Social activist and former police officer Kiran Bedi supported Tharoor’s idea. “Many of the American laws... which have been made to perpetuate the memory or the suffering of the victim, only to remember that this is what happened and this is the spirit behind the law... I think it’s a good idea,” Reuters quoted her as saying.


10 killed in Angola

EN people have been crushed to death and 120 injured in Angola as they tried to enter an overcrowded stadium for a New Year’s Eve vigil, reports say. The dead were asphyxiated or crushed at the gates of Luanda’s Citadela Desportiva stadium, where a Pentecostal Church was to hold the event. Far more than an expected 70,000 people attended, said a representative for the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Four children were among the dead, emergency services reported. The Church was established in 1977 in Brazil, and is represented in more than 100 countries, according to its website.

PUBLIC NOTICE KOFEREJE BUTCHERS’ASSOCIATION OF OYO STATE The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied matter, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE; 1. Alhaji Ramoni Aremu 2. Alhaji Adewusi Sanusi Ayinla 3. Mr. Mumini Folorunso Elemona AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To promote Unity among the members 2. To promote soft loan to any interested members 3. To protect members of the Association. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded within twentyeight days to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Cresent, off Aguiyi lronsi Street Maitama, Abuja Signed: ALHAJI ADEYEMI MORUFF Alubarika Shopping Complex, Bodija lbadan.


Three days of mourning in T Cote d’Ivoire


dium. Some say a group of youths brandishing knives was snatching people's mobile phones, causing panic among the large crowd, says the BBC's West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy. But others say security forces acted ineptly as they tried to control the many thousands walking through the city centre - triggering the stampede which has left many more people injured, some critically. Desperate parents went to the city morgue, hospital and stadium to search for their children, AP news agency reports. They included Mamadou

Sanogo, who was looking for his nine-year-old son, Sayed, it adds. "I have just seen all the bodies, but I cannot find my son. I don't know what to do," a tearful Sanogo said. A market vendor injured in the incident, Sanata Zoure, told Reuters news agency that revellers going home after watching the fireworks display were stopped by police near the stadium. "We were walking with our children and we came upon barricades, and people started falling into each other. We were trampled with our children," she is quoted as saying.

Obama praises fiscal cliff deal

S President Barack Obama has hailed a deal reached to avert a "fiscal cliff" of huge tax rises and spending cuts. After the House of Representatives passed the bill by 257 votes to 167, Obama said the measures were "just one step in the broader effort to strengthen the economy". It raises taxes for the wealthy and delays spending cuts for two months. There had been intense pressure for the vote to be passed before financial markets reopened on Wednesday. Financial markets have re-

sponded positively to the move. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index opened up 2.1% on Wednesday morning, while South Korea's Kospi added 1.7% and Australia's ASX 200 rose 1.2%. UK shares jumped 1.5% on opening, German stocks gained by 1.6%, while France's Cac 40 rose 1.4% and Italy's stocks gained 2%. In Tuesday night's house vote, 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted in favour of the bill. A majority of Republicans,

151 in total, voted no, along with 16 Democrats. The bill had been passed in the Senate less than 24 hours earlier by 89 votes to eight after lengthy talks between VicePresident Joe Biden and Senate Republicans. Speaking before returning to Hawaii for his interrupted Christmas holiday, Obama said that in signing the law, he was fulfilling a campaign pledge. "I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans... while preventing a middle-class tax hike," he told a White House press confer-

UN: 60,000 killed in Syrian unrest


Ouattara visited some of the wounded who were taken to two hospitals in the country's main city and promised that the costs of their medical treatment would be covered by the government. The fireworks event had been organised to celebrate the end of the conflict triggered by former President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to recognise Ouattara's victory in 2010 elections. Gbagbo is now facing trial on war crimes charge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The night before the tragedy, the stadium, named after Ivory Coast's founding president, hosted a concert by US performer Chris Brown.

ORE than 60,000 people have been killed since Syria's uprising began in March 2011, the UN has said. A study commissioned by UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay collated data from seven different sources, and concluded that there had been 59,648 deaths until November 2012. Ms Pillay said the figure would now have risen above 60,000 and described the bloodshed as "truly shocking". Syrian opposition groups had previously estimated 45,000 people killed. The study was released hours after a petrol station near Damascus was hit by a missile from a government warplane. The attack apparently sparked a huge explosion in which up to 70 people died, according to activists, in one of the deadliest incidents of the uprising.

The UN-commissioned report, entitled Preliminary Statistical Analysis of Documentation of Killings in Syria, took data from sources including the government and opposition groups. The authors, from the Benetech research group, looked at 147,349 reports of deaths from all seven of its sources. They cross-referenced the reports and removed duplicates, and also counted only those accounts that provided the first and last name of the victim, and the date and location of death. After this process, they arrived at the figure of 59,648. However, they warned that an unknown number of killings had not been documented by any of their sources. "The statistics presented in this report should be considered minimum bounds," the report said.

Only four of the sources used covered the entire period. Three are activist groups with links to the opposition: Violations Documentation Centre, Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Syria Shuhada website. The other is the UK-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The government's statistics were available only up to March 2012, and recorded only 2,539 deaths in total. Also, the 59,648 figure includes many deaths reported by only one source.

ence. The US deficit was still too high, he said. While open to compromise on budgetary issues, he would not offer Congress spending cuts in return for lifting the government's borrowing limit, known as the debt ceiling. "There is a path forward, if we focus not on politics, but on what's right for the country," added Obama. House Speaker John Boehner, who voted for the measure, said in a statement the focus would now turn to spending. "The American people reelected a Republican majority in the House, and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the 'balanced' approach he promised, meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt." The "fiscal cliff" measures cutting spending and increasing taxes dramatically - came into effect automatically at midnight on Monday when George W Bush-era tax cuts expired. The 1 January deadline triggered tax increases of about $536bn and spending cuts of $109bn from domestic and military programmes.


1993: US and Russia halve nuclear warheads US President George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign the Start II arms reduction treaty in Moscow.



FOREIGN NEWS ‘Mubarak saw uprising’


GYPT’S Hosni Mubarak watched the uprising against him unfold through a live TV feed to his palace, despite his later denial that he knew the extent of the protests and crackdown against them, a member of a fact-finding mission said yesterday. The finding could lead to the retrial of the 84-year-old ousted president, already serving a life sentence. In questioning for his trial for the deaths of some 900 protesters during the uprising, Mubarak said he was kept in the dark by top aides as to the gravity of the situation and fended off charges that he ordered or knew of the deadly force used against the protesters. Mubarak was convicted in June of failing to prevent the deaths. But many Egyptians were angered that he was not convicted for ordering or having a direct role in the crackdown.

‘Mandela resting at home’


ORMER South African President Nelson Mandela’s recovery is ‘on track’ at his home in Johannesburg, the government said yesterday in its first statement since the anti-apartheid hero was released from hospital a week ago. Mandela, 94, who has been in frail health for several years, spent nearly three weeks in a Pretoria hospital in December for treatment of a lung infection and surgery to remove gallstones, his longest stay for medical care since his release from prison in 1990. “Madiba’s recovery continues on track,” presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said referring to Mandela by his clan name. “We are now in the phase where if we do not hear from his doctors, we assume he is all right,” he said, without giving details on Mandela’s condition. Mandela has been receiving what the government calls “home-based high care” at his residence in an upscale Johannesburg neighborhood.

Five killed in Paris


N apartment fire has killed a couple, their two children and a teenage friend in Gennevilliers, a deprived northern suburb of Paris. The blaze happened early yesterday. The family lived in a flat on the fourth floor of the seven-storey block. Eighteen people, including an infant, were hurt and most are now in hospital. About 100 firefighters tackled the fire, using a ladder to rescue people. French media report that the building was in good condition. The youngsters who died were aged 12, 15 and 18. It is not yet clear how the fire started. Two firefighters who suffered burns to their hands were among the 18 injured. The fire broke out shortly after 04:00 local time (03:00 GMT) and was extinguished at about 06:00.

CAR rebels to take part in talks Bozize dismisses son R T

EBEL forces in the Central African Republic say they have halted their offensive on the capital, Bangui, and will take part in peace talks. The announcement from the Seleka rebels comes as the country’s neighbours say they are sending in extra troops. Gabon deployed 120 troops on Tuesday and Cameroon was expected to send a similar number. The CAR’s President, Francois Bozize, has sacked the defence minister - who is his son - and the army chief. The dismissal of Francis Bozize and Gen Guillaume Lapo was announced on state radio. No reason was given but the president has criticised the army for failing to stop the rebels. President Bozize has taken over as defence minister, officials said. Since the Seleka rebels began their campaign a month ago, they have taken several key towns and cities, including the diamond centre of Bria. On Saturday, they captured

HE embattled president of Central African Republic has dismissed his son as the country’s defence minister. The move late yesterday comes as President Francois Bozize faces a coalition of rebel groups who are seeking his ouster. National radio announced that his son Francis Bozize will no longer be the defense minister. Chief of Staff Gen. Guillaume Lapo is also leaving the government, according to the announcement. Francois Bozize has been in power since 2003 and in the past month he has faced a growing threat as rebels have seized 10 towns across the north. Bozize has announced he’s willing to negotiate with the rebels but he said he will not leave office before his current term ends in 2016. Sibut city, which is about 150km (95 miles) from the capital, Bangui, after government forces withdrew. It is the biggest threat President Bozize has faced since he took power in a coup in 2003. Both the US and France, the former colonial power, have rejected a plea by the government for help to defeat the rebels.

However, neighbouring states agreed to bolster the Central African Multinational Force (Fomac), which was deployed to the CAR in 2008 to help end years of unrest. Speaking to BBC Afrique before news of his dismissal, Francis Bozize said Fomac troops had been deployed to Damara, 75km (48 miles) from the capital. Fomac commander Gener-

al Jean-Felix Akaga warned the rebels against any attempt to take Damara, the last strategic town between them and Bangui, AFP news agency reports. “We will not give up Damara,” he was quoted as saying. Damara resident Bertin Andjipassera told Reuters news agency that people have been fleeing their homes. “Everybody in Damara has gone into the bush, even our wives, our children are in the bush... The hospitals are not working.... There’s nothing, just suffering.” Francis Bozize said 120 Gabonese soldiers had arrived in the CAR on Tuesday to bolster the regional force. A similar number of troops from Cameroon were expected on Wednesday, and they would be followed by a contingent from Congo-Brazzaville, he added. BBC West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy says the rebels’ capacity to take on these reinforcements is not known and the regional military build-up may well have worked as a deterrent.

•Chadian soldiers, part of a convoy of the FOMAC multinational force of central African states, man a position near PHOTO:AFP Damara...yesterday

American Congress delays Sandy aid


HE United States House of Representatives will not vote on a $60billion (£37billion) super-storm Sandy aid package, sparking anger among New York and New Jersey lawmakers. Speaker John Boehner’s office said it would not hold a vote yesterday, the last day of the current Congress. The Senate approved a bill last week. Boehner’s spokesman said he was committed to passing a bill in January, but it will need to be reintroduced. October’s storm killed at least 120 people and flooded East Coast areas. The states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were hardest-hit. “For the speaker to just walk out is inexcusable,” Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, told reporters. “It’s wrong and I’m say-

ing that as a member of the Republican Party.” In a statement, President Barack Obama urged the House to pass the aid package yesterday. “Our citizens are still trying to put their lives back together,” he said. “Our states are still trying to rebuild vital infrastructure.” Earlier, the lower chamber considered a smaller aid package of $27billion for immediate relief needs with a possible $33billion amendment for longer-term projects. Some House Republicans said the Senate bill contained spending on unrelated projects or infrastructure proposals that should be paid with other funds. But both the House and Senate bills will expire with the end of the 112th Congress. “If we get into the next Congress, you have to hit

the reset button,” Jon Runyan, a New Jersey Republican, told NBC, adding that the bill had been largely pushed aside by negotiations over avoiding the fiscal cliff. “It passed the Senate in a bipartisan way,” Representative Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, said. “And again, to me this is a real betrayal, a betrayal of the leadership of the Republican Party.” Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer said he hoped the decision to take no further votes in the House would be reconsidered. “I would hope that we would say to those citizens, we’re here for you, one country, one nation,” he said. The governors of New York and New Jersey also released a joint statement criticising the House for inaction. “When American citizens are in need we come to their

aid,” Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie said. “That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.” More than $2bilion has been spent in 11 states and the District of Columbia on Sandy relief. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) still has $4.3bilion in a disaster relief fund, enough to pay for emergency recovery efforts into early spring. According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Fema’s extended transitional housing assistance for Sandy victims will expire next week, leaving about 2,500 people without funds to pay for hotels or motels. And residents of two of New York City’s hardesthit neighbourhoods told WNYC that money to rebuild was imminently needed. “The residents are counting on it,” Matthew Fleming told the broadcaster.

Gay play case dismissed A COURT in Uganda has thrown out a case against UK theatre producer David Cecil, who was charged over a play about the condition of gay people. Cecil told the BBC the case was dismissed either because of a “lack of will or a lack of evidence” to try him. He was arrested in September for “disobeying lawful orders”, because the play The River and the Mountain was performed without authorisation. Homosexual acts are illegal in socially conservative Uganda. The Ugandan parliament is considering legislation aimed at increasing penalties for homosexual acts. Cecil faced up to two years in jail if convicted. He was freed on bail of 500,000 shillings ($200; £124). Cecil told the BBC he was delighted by the magistrate’s decision to dismiss the case, although it could be reopened.

Plastic bags banned MAURITANIA has banned the use of plastic bags to protect the environment and the lives of animals and fish. More than 70% of cattle and sheep who die in the capital, Nouakchott, are killed by eating plastic bags, environment ministry official Mohamed Yahya told BBC Afrique. Plastic bag manufacturers could be jailed for up to a year. Plastic makes up a quarter of 56,000 tonnes of waste produced annually in Nouakchott, official statistics show. Mauritania’s Organisation of Consumer Protection head Moctar Ould Tauf said he welcomed the ban, Efe news agency reports. It was of “particular importance” given the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment, animals and marine species, he said. Environment Minister Amedi Camara said that nearly all of the plastic package waste is not “collected and is found in the natural environment - land and sea - where they are sometimes ingested by

Malala’s dad gets diplomatic job THE father of a teenage Pakistani activist shot in the head by Taliban for advocating girls’ education has been given a diplomatic post in the U.K. Malala Yousufzai has been recovering at a hospital in Birmingham, England, after she was shot in October in Pakistan. The Taliban have vowed to target her again. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, confirmed a BBC report yesterday saying that Malala’s father, Ziauddin, has been appointed Pakistan’s education attache in Birmingham. The position — with an initial 3-year commitment — virtually guarantees Malala will remain in the U.K.




Obi presents three APCs, 50 patrol vehicles to police


NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday presented three armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 50 patrol vehicles to the state police command. The governor, in his New Year message, had promised to make security a priority this year. The police command now has over 350 patrol vehicles in its fleet. At a ceremony at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia, in the presence of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Abubakar, the governor promised that the other security agencies would soon get their patrol vehicles. He said: “May I reassure the IGP and the Police Force that Anambra State will continue to work with them for the security of the state and the country at large. We enjoin all Nigerians to do same.” Obi explained that the gesture was borne out of the need for Anambra State to sustain its achievements and perform

My govt did well in 2012, says Orji From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

ABIA State Governor Theodore Orji has said his administration performed well in 2012. The governor said the projects his administration executed last year are there to prove his claim. He said the projects have laid the foundation for the transformation of the state into investors’ haven. According to him, many investors have started coming to the state to explore its economic potential. Addressing reporters in Umuahia, the state capital, Orji said his administration is attracting investors because it has restored peace and driven away kidnappers and armed robbers. He said: “It is now that we have started laying a solid foundation for a new Abia State. We have tackled insecurity. When you restore peace, there will be room for sustainable development.” The governor said he has no regrets investing heavily in security, adding that without this, “it would have been very difficult for investors to come to the state to invest and people would have stopped coming home for Christmas holidays”. Orji described his administration as sincere in fulfilling its electoral promises to the people. The governor stressed that the achievements were the result of participatory democracy, which his administration has entrenched in the state. He said he achieved the projects in the last 18 months with the meagre financial resources from the Federation Account, which often did not exceeded N3.7billion per month. According to him, his administration’s refusal to go to the bond market is to avoid mortgaging the state. Orji explained that the relocation of traders to the new Umuahia Modern Market would begin this year because the project has reached 75 per cent completion.

better. According to him, nothing can be done well without tight security. Receiving the keys to the vehicles from the governor, Abubakar said he was in Anambra State to appraise the security situation. He thanked Obi for his commitment to security. The police chief noted that each time the governor visited him in Abuja, it was on how to improve the security of his people. Abubakar said he was also happy visiting Anambra because the state has remained an example of how others should support security agencies. He hailed Obi for repositioning the police through his membership of the Police Funding Committee. Comparing Anambra of the past and that of today, he said that under Obi, the state has moved from its ugly past and become more peaceful, se-

• Obi (left) handing the keys to the vehicles to IGP Abubakar in Awka...yesterday cured, stable, progressive and safe. Hailing the governor and the police command for securing the state, Abubakar said the police have posted more 500 of their men and officersto Anambra. He hinted of the possibility

of establishing more area commands in the state for more effective policing. The police chief restated his commitment to a safer Anambra. According to him, by the extent of support the police were enjoying from the gov-

ernor, there was no reason for them to fail. The governor took Abubakar to Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Nnewi. They inspected the plant and the 300 security patrol vehicles ordered and paid for by

the Anambra State Government. The vehicles will be distributed to various communities for effective policing. Abubakar promised to examine the vehicles manufactured at the plant to ascertian their suitability for security.

dissolves Enugu primary school teachers decry Court two-day marriage non-payment of December salary T


RIMARY school teachers in Enugu State yesterday urged the government to pay their December 2012 salary to enable them to settle their children’s school fees. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the teachers accused the government of not prioritising their welfare to enable them to contribute their quota to the educational advancement of the state. A teacher, who spoke in confidence, expressed dismay with the government’s action. He said their families had dry Christmas and New Year celebrations. He added: “We celebrated this season almost without food on our table. I could not provide my family with the needed things because I so much relied on my December salary but to my surprise, we

were not paid. “I could not even borrow because it was already late and I so much expected this salary to come. It was horrible for my family during the celebrations.” Another teacher, who also spoke in confidence, advised the government to pay the salaries and entitlements to enable the teachers settle their children’s school fees. According to him, schools will resume soon and their children need to resume along with their mates. He added: “It is very unfair that one will work and not get paid, especially in this season. We celebrated Christmas and New Year from hand to mouth and now that the celebration is over, the government should endeavour to pay us our money so that we can pay our children’s school fees.”

A volunteer teacher in a rural community said the government had not paid him and his colleagues since their recruitment in 2011. Mr Chumaife Nze, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state, confirmed the nonpayment of the December 2012 salaries and entitlements to the members. He said: “I contacted the Permanent Secretary of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) before Christmas but he said the salaries and leave allowances had been released. But up until now, no teacher has received a bank alert on the payment. “I do not understand what is happening. Even volunteer teachers have not received any salary since they were recruited in 2011.” The Commissioner for Edu-

cation, Dr Simon Ortuanya, expressed shock at the nonpayment of the salaries. He said: “I need to confirm this. I cannot comment unless I confirm this but I will be surprised if that is the position.” The government, in 2011, introduced the volunteer teachers’ scheme to bridge the education gaps in rural areas. Governor Sullivan Chime said the idea was to engage teachers who retired from the service to bridge the gap in primary and post primary schools in rural areas n the state. He said that young people deployed to rural schools abandoned their duties in search of greener pastures. He said the retired teachers who resided permanently in those areas were engaged on a stipend of N18,000 per month. The state recently sacked the Chairman of the SUBEB, Mrs Ethel Nebo-Ezeabasili.

Jang: ex-servicemen deserve better welfare


LATEAU State Governor Jonah Jang has advocated better welfare package for ex-servicemen. The governor noted that they have paid maximum sacrifice to defend the nation. Jang spoke yesterday in Jos, the state capital, when he launched the emblem appeal week and this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day. The governor urged the nation to ensure the welfare of the ex-servicemen and the families of the fallen heroes. He said they deserve better welfare. Jang launched the emblem with N10million. He said: “The painful reality confronting some of our exservicemen and families of our fallen heroes is such that even their entitlements are sometimes not forthcoming or they are subjected to very dehumanising conditions in the pur-

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

suit of their rightful earnings.” Jang said the Armed Forces should be appreciated for their roles in bringing honour to Nigeria and uniting the country, especially during the journey to nationhood. The governor appreciated the role of the Armed Forces, the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies, for restoring peace in Plateau State. He said: “The greatest service we can do to the past he-

roes is to ensure that the unity and stability of this nation remains solid.” The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Olivia Dazyem, said last year’s donations were used to empower widows of fallen heroes. The commissioner said the ministry would use this year’s donations to support the education of fallen heroes’ children. She said: “These resources don’t go in vain. We use them


for what they are meant.” Mrs Dazyem solicited for more funds from the public.

Imo PDP vows to win in 2015


HE Imo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to regain the state in the 2015 governorship election. The party said its legacies in the state have been sabotaged by the current All Progressives

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Grand Alliance (APGA) administration. The PDP said APGA “lacks focus and vision to govern the state”. The party said it will leave no

stone unturned to return to the government House, which it lost to the All Progressive Grand Alliance during the 2011 general elections. Its Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), spoke in Owerri, the state capital.

HE Kaduna Sharia Court II, Magajin Gari, yesterday agreed to dissolve the marriage between Laure Sulaiman and Babagida Dan-Auta on the condition that the wife should pay back the dowry she collected. Laure, on December 10, last year, prayed the court to dissolve the marriage. The woman said she was no longer in love with DanAuta. But the husband told the court that his wife was hiding something because she called for divorce only two days after their marriage. Laure said: “I don’t love him and I want this court to grant me divorce. I am ready to return the N10,000 he paid as dowry. I cannot be obedient to him as a wife.” Dan-Auta of Maraban Jos also disputed the wife’s claim on the amount paid as dowry. The husband said he paid N17,000 and not N10,000. He said the woman had divorced before their marriage, adding that she also lied to him on the number of children she had. According to him, she told him she had three kids but he later found out that she had eight children. He added that the woman left their home two days after the wedding asking him to divorce her. The Khadi, Malam Ibrahim Inuwa, had adjourned the matter three times before acceding to the request for divorce. He had given the couple till January 2 to reconcile their differences. At yesterday’s sitting, the couple opted for divorce, saying they were unable to resolve their differences. Inuwa ordered Laure to pay back the N17,000 dowry by January 4 before the marriage could be legally dissolved.




Algeria aims for semis


LGERIA have set a semi-final target for the Africa Cup of Nations – but have told coach Vahid Halilhodzic he will keep his job regardless of how his team does. Algeria face a tough test at the tournament, being drawn in Group D along with favourites Ivory Coast, Togo and Tunisia. However, the Fennec Foxes’ Franco-Bosnian coach, whose contract runs until 2014, is building a team for the long term. “Halilhodzic will continue coaching even if there is failure in South Africa. It will not cost him his job if our objective is not achieved,” Algerian Football Federation

president Mohamed Raouraoua, who is also a Fifa executive committee member, told a news conference. “There will be the qualifiers for the World Cup to play straight afterwards, we do not intend to dispense with his services. He passed the first challenge to lead the team to the Nations Cup. “Halilhodzic is building a competitive young team that can play two World Cups. Let him work on the long term.” Algeria host Benin in their next 2014 World Cup qualifier in March. They have three points from their first two qualifying matches in Group H.

Black Stars depart Friday to begin camping


HE Black Stars of Ghana are expected to fly out to the Gulf Region on Friday for a training camp which will

• Gyan

Chipolopolo increases training tempo


FTER resting on New Year’s Day, African football champions, Zambia resume the final phase of intensive preparations for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa today with defender Emmanuel Mbola joining the squad. As the kick-off of the 29th edition of AFCON looms on January 19 in Johannesburg, the Chipolopolo are now targeting to build on their earlier preparations in their quest to retain the title. Before breaking off for a day, it was strict business for the Chipolopolo as the players were taken through their paces by coach Herve Renard and his technical staff. Zambia has lined up five testing training matches to

gauge the team’s readiness in the last round of preparations, starting with this Saturday’s tie against fellow AFCON finalists, Angola. “Five days into the New Year, we want to play Angola on the 5th. We are looking at that match before turning our attention to the others against Namibia and Swaziland. But the other international training fixtures against Morocco on 8th January and Norway on the 12th remain unchanged,” Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) spokesperson, Erick Mwanza said. Mwanza said the one day break on Tuesday allowed the team to reflect on the 2012 successes and refocus of the assignments that awaited them in 2013, beginning with the AFCON.

run from January 7-16, 2013. A 26-man squad together with the technical team will embark on the trip to begin preparation for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The squad will be pruned down to a final 23-man list for the tournament after the Black Stars’ training camp in the United Arab Emirates. Whiles in Abu Dhabi, the four-time Africa champions will play a series of international friendly matches in preparation for the continental showpiece. Coach Kwesi Appiah’s men will take on the Pharaohs of Egypt in their first warm up game on January 10. Three days later, the Black Stars will take on the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia at the same venue. The Black Stars are drawn in Group B along with Mali, Niger and DR Congo and they will be based at Port Elizabeth when the tournament kicks off on January 19.


“It’s very difficult for me to tell [whether Adebayor will travel]. At the moment, there is a dispute between him and the federation, the player has spoken about it already. “He has also said that situation is not just about the dispute that they have it is also about the fact that he doesn’t feel comfort and safety in going to the African Nations Cup. “I can’t put myself in his position to tell if he is going or not going because I respect the player, I respect the competition and if he has to go, we just have to make sure we address the problem he has.” The Nations Cup runs from January 19 to February 10.

Tunisia to charter special plane to South Africa


HE Tunisian team has reached an agreement with its official carrier to charter a special plane that will carry the official delegation of Tunisia to South Africa to compete in the finals of the 2013 African Cup of Nations. This direct flight from Tunisia to South Africa will prevent players for long layovers

during this long journey and allow them to recover quicker. The departure of the Tunisian delegation to South Africa will take place a few days after the return of the team's training preparation in the UAE and Qatar, which is scheduled to end after their last friendly match against Ghana on January 13th.

Group C match against Ethiopia on January 21. With the Portugal-based Mbola in camp, Renard will today work with 23 of the 26 players summoned for preAFCON preparations.

Bolasie dumps Congo for Palace


ANNICK Bolasie has given Palace fans a boost by turning down the chance to play for Congo in the African Cup of Nations. Team-mate KG has travelled to Africa to take part with South Africa but Yala has decided to stay with Palace during January and February. Eagles fans will be pleased as the winger is in the form of his life! He told Sky Sports: "To be honest, it would be flattering to play at the Africa Cup of Nations, but I am young and have just started my career. "I have played 24 games this year and am trying to improve on my tally of two goals and seven assists, so to leave [Palace] for a month could be difficult. Congo coach Claude Leroy admitted he is "disappointed" with Bolasie's decision. "We are disappointed and hope to count on him in the future," he said. "Yves Digba has been called on as Bolasie's replacement."

Ethiopia names three foreign Pros for SA 2013


Adebayor fears for his safety in SA OTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas says Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor may decide not to travel to the Africa Cup of Nations owing to safety concerns. Adebayor was in the Togo team bus that came under gunfire during the 2010 Nations Cup, an incident that resulted in three deaths. The striker has described the attack as “one of the worst things I’ve ever been through in my life”. The 28-year-old is involved in a dispute with his national federation, however, his primary concern is whether authorities can guarantee his security will not be compromised in South Africa. Villas-Boas told Sky Sports:

He said the squad wrapped up the 2012 in business-like mood with excellent training sessions which set the Chipolopolo on course to defend the continental crown. “We are pleased with the way the team has been working. We have ended the year on a very good note; a hard working way because the squad has continued with its training in Johannesburg,” Mwanza said. The FAZ media and communications manager described the mood in camp as excellent and that there was a wonderful team spirit among the players. Mwanza said the squad was injury-free which was bonus as Renard focused on bringing out the best from the players ahead of the Chipolopolo’s opening

• Adebayor

THIOPIA has included Swedish-born midfielder Yussuf Saleh in their 23-man squad for this month's African Nations Cup in South Africa. The 28-year-old, who is on loan with Swedish top-flight side Syrianska, was one of a trio of foreign-based players named on Wednesday, reports Reuters. Coach Sewnet Bishaw also selected striker Saladin Seid, who plays for Egypt's Wadi Degla, and winger Fuad Ibrahim who is with Minnesota Stars in the second-tier North American Soccer League. Rank outsiders Ethiopia have been drawn in Group C along with Zambia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso for the Jan. 19-Feb. 10 tournament. Squad: Goalkeepers: Jemal Tassew (Coffee FC), Sisay Bancha (Dedebit), Zerihun Tadelle (Saint George) Defenders: Degu Debebe (Saint George), Biyadglign Eliase (Saint George), Abebaw Butako (Saint George), Alula Girma (Saint George), Seyum Tesfaye (Dedebit), Birhanu Bogale (Dedebit), Aynalem Hailu (Dedebit) Midfielders: Asrat Megersa (EEPCO), Addis Hintsa (Dedebit), Yared Zinabu (Saint George), Shimelese Bekele (Saint George), Behailu Asefa (Dedebit), Minyahel Teshome (Dedebit), Dawit Estifanose (Coffee FC), Yussuf Saleh (Syrianska) Forwards: Saladin Seid (Wadi Degla), Adane Girma (Saint George), Umed Ukuri (Saint George), Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit), Fuad Ibrahim (Minnesota Stars)




Eagles hold Catalonia in Spain •Keep scores at 1-1


IGERIA's Super Eagles played out a 1-1 draw with their Catalonian counterparts in a friendly game on yesterday. It was not the best of start for Nigeria in spite of their head coach, Stephen Keshi adopting a two-man striking force in Bright

Dike and Brown Ideye. As early as the second minute, AC Milan striker, Bojan Krkic missed putting the Catalan XI in front from close range via a Joan Verdu cross. A minute later, Sergio Gonzalez converted from the spot to put Catalonia 1-0 up after the centre

•Bright Dike

referee, Xavier Estrada Fernandez, adjudged Fengor Ogude to have handled the ball in the box. Bojan was put through on goal and skipped past Nigeria’s captain and goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim before Azubuike Egwuekwe hooked the ball clear. Three minutes past the half hour mark, Bojan nearly got on the end of Xavi's chip leaving an onrushing Agbim missing the ball all together. In spite of Nigeria's Super Eagles stemming the wave of Catalonia attack, Barcelona right-back, Martin Montoya still had the time to ghost past Benjamin Francis before his square pass into the box was missed by everyone with ten minutes to the break. Catalonia centre-back, Gerard Pique came close with six minutes to half time after getting on to the end of Xavi's free kick but Agbim narrowed him down. Nigeria carved out the last chance of the first half when SS Lazio youngster, Ogenyi Onazi attempted an audacious strike


Idoko chides Baribote over Abdullahi


MEMBER of the congress of Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Mike Idoko yesterday debunked claims by former Chairman of the board of NPL, Ramson Baribote, that the Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi instigated his removal as the Chairman. Idoko cited the sorry state of the league, lack of transparency and accountability as some of the reasons that led the congress of NPL to impeach the Baribote-led board. Idoko revealed that all sportloving Nigerians know that all is not well with our league. “We are not robots, we are managers and we all know that all is not well with our league, even my children know that all is not well with our league. We were not instigated by the Honourable Minister; all the 25 members of the congress came together and decided that we need to stop the rot. The league had no sponsor; clubs were paying indemnity, there were litigations here and there, board members change the law as they like or apply the

law when it suits them, we knew the league will go into extinction if we continue that way, that was why we had to act fast’’ Idoko said that as at the time Baribote was made the NPL Chairman, he was not the popular choice, “He was forced on us, his election did not follow due process, and he had the opportunity to solve all the problems and move the league forward, he did not do anything, so why is he now insinuating that congress was instigated by the Minister when it was clear that his gross ineptitude led to his sack”. Idoko who is the Executive Director Ondo State Football Agency wonders where Baribote got the statistics he is using to claim that the NPL is the best league in Africa,“the claim is laughable, I wonder where he got the facts from and what yardstick he is using, but we the members of the congress saw that the league is not well run and that was why we decided to remove the Baribote-led board, we were not instigated by the Honourable Minister or the NFF, we acted to save the league’’ concluded Idoko.The Executive Director

Reviving school sports will recreate athletics, says Obajimi


LORIA Obajimi, a boardmember of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Wednesday called for the revival of school sports as a way of stimulating interest in athletics in the country. Obajimi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on telephone that the base on which to breed those to replace the elite athletes had weakened over time. ``We do not have a foundation or programmes where younger athletes can be groomed to replace the ageing elite athletes which have led to some overbearing pressure on the elite athletes. "We cannot forget the schools in the development of sports in the country, especially athletics, because many of us were discovered

from the schools. "This was made possible because there were many competitions available for us to participate in as students, such as inter-school competitions and inter-housesports,” she said. The former international added that the focus on school sports would not only assist in identifying talents at a younger age but create avenues for coaches remain abreast with new developments in the sport. "If sports are revived in schools, it will provide opportunities for qualified coaches to be assigned or employed by such schools and in the process, facilitate the education of coaches. ``Another deficiency of athletics in the country is that our coaches are not adequately educated. Many of them are not up to date,” she said.

said there will be more revelations about the rot during Baribote’s era as the head of the league board once the case is out of court, “ we don’t want to disrespect the court that is why we decided to keep quiet now, but once the case is out of court, there will be a lot of revelations".

from all of 40 yards but it inched just wide over Francisco Casilla's cross bar. Catalonia started the business end as the first with lots of ball possession. On 53 minutes, Martin Montoya was through on goal but Nigeria's skipper on the night, Agbim bravely foiled his attempt on goal inside the box. Two minutes later, out of the blues, Portland Timbers' forward, Dike latched on to Onazi's through pass before cutting inside of his marker to blasting past Casilla to put scores at 1-1 inside the Estadi Cornella-El Prat in Espanyol. It was Dike's first goal in only his second appearance for Nigeria. Catalonia came close to taking the lead with 18 minutes left, as Cristian Tello's wonderful cut back to Jonathan Soriano into the box was blasted over the post. With nine minutes to play, the Super Eagles ventured forward with Emmanuel Emenike played through on goal from Kenneth Omeruo's long ball but his shot is blocked by Getafe keeper, Jordi Codina. In the last five minutes, the Super Eagles kept the shape of their defence against the tiki-taka playing Seleccio Catalana. But with a minute to regulation time, Tello failed to score on his debut for Catalonia when he blazed over the post after he was played on face-to-face with Agbim. Nigeria's Super Eagles used the game against the Catalan XI as a pre-African Cup of Nations game.


AFN assures fairness in selection of athletes


HE Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Wednesday said it has put in place measures to guard against age-cheats at the forthcoming Africa Athletics Youth Championships in Warri in March. Commodore Omatseye Nesiama (NN), Technical Director of the federation, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the championships, which is for ages 16 and 17, would hold between March 28 and March 31. “I can assure that participating athletes at the championships will win through fair means because we are not hosting purposely to win, but to show example. “We will ensure that winning is not a do or die affair. There are talks already that we must win at all costs, but I am saying it is not compulsory to win. We are not hosting to win,” he said. According to him, athletes’ real age at the competition will be ascertained through their birth certificates and school records. He added that screening of athletes to ascertain their actual ages would also be conducted through documentation from their parents or guardians. “We must be able to host well without cheating. We are not going to take any athlete that has been in any athletic club for more than a year. “We are going to be serious with our screening because we need to nurture young athletes,’’ Nesiama said. The AFN Technical Director said that the federation does not

need over-aged athletes who would not be able to cope with youth programmes, as they progressed. “In fact, we are not going to allow athletes who are already running for clubs to feature because the competition is mainly to discover new and young talents. “We have different programmes for different categories and if we get it wrong now, we will continue to miss our set objectives and we will be deceiving ourselves. “If we present a team that is truly the reflection of the ages required and we do not win, I have no problem about that. ``I will be happy because we would have assembled the right age of athletes that will be groomed properly for future competitions,’’ he added.

Sturridge signs £12m deal with Liverpool


IVERPOOL FC has confirmed the signing of striker Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea. It is believed the transfer fee is in the region of £12m. Sturridge, who has four caps for England, signed a long-term contract at Liverpool's Melwood training ground yesterday. Sturridge told Liverpool's official website: 'I am humbled and happy to be here. 'Brendan Rodgers said he sees me here for a long time - and I also see myself here for a long time. I've not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on. 'I've signed to be here for as long as possible. It's a humongous club - for me, one of the biggest in the world - and to have the fans and worldclass players we have here is

amazing.' He added: 'I see myself as a striker. I think I perform best there because my attributes, I believe, are best as a central striker. But I have played on the wing and have learned a lot doing so. 'I’d never refuse to play in that position and I’ve never demanded to play up front, either. 'For me, whatever the manager wants me to do I will do it and work as hard as I can for the club and the fans. I’ll try to put a smile on the fans’ faces and try to bring some success to the club - it would be amazing.'

Ezekiel nominated for Player of the Month award


OP Belgian newspaper DHNet has nominated Standard Liege striker Imoh Ezekiel for the Player of the Month in December. To clinch the award, Ezekiel has to see off competition from Mbokani Dieumerci, the Congolese striker of Anderlecht and midfielder Maxime

Lestienne, who plays for Club Brugge. This is the second time Ezekiel has been shortlisted for the award after his nomination last August. Note that the former 36 Lion ace has scored in each of the last five games played by Standard Liege in the Belgian championship.


Nwosu counsels Garba on Eaglets F

ORMER Golden Eaglets’ Coach, Henry Nwosu, has urged the current handler of the team to be focused as he strives for a good outing at the Africa U17 Championship in Morocco. Nwosu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that Manu Garba, Head Coach of the National U-17 team should not relent in his effort at making the country proud at the championship. “The team should ensure that they perform well at the upcoming championship and come out tops,” Nwosu said. He enjoined the coach to make use of capable players who would deliver the gold medal to the country, stressing that only the willing and experienced ones should be given a chance. According to him, the Golden Eaglets must ensure that they perform well in

order to win the event. Nwosu added that the team must also strive to go the extra mile by striving to overcome their counterparts, particularly by studying their style of play. “Preparation is not limited to training alone but you should be given opportunities of watching tapes of matches involving opposing teams, in order to master their patterns of play,’’ he said. NAN reports that Nigeria won the maiden U16 World Cup in 1985, then known as the JVC U-16, the FIFA U-17 in 1993 and the 2007 edition. The team also won the African U-17 Championship in 2001 and 2007 and were runners-up in 1995. The Moroccan championship has been scheduled to hold from April 13 – April 27.

Lawmaker advocates grassroots sports development


HE Chief whip of Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Hon. Razaq Balogun has emphasised the need to seek talented boxers at the grassroots because most of them exist at that level waiting to be explored. Balogun who spoke at the Hon. Razaq Balogun 2012 Annual Boxing Day Tournament, Surulere Constituency 11, noted that the annual event discovered some of the talents who made impact at the just concluded Eko 2012 held in Lagos State. He told NationSport that his

By Musa Odoshimokhe interest in the sports of boxing started long ago but took the decision to be fully involved in the development when he was a guest of honour during the promotion of a similar event recently. He said: “The sport started a year ago, this is our second anniversary. I’m sure we have discovered some talents who have been making impact in the game at the local and state levels. We have had those who represented the state at the just concluded Eko 2012

and they made impact at the sports festival.” Balogun maintained that in view of his love for the game of boxing he would do everything within his limited resources to contribute his quota to the development of the game in the state and in Nigeria in general. “I believe with continuous encouragement, we can go places with the game. We intend to keep the game as long as we can muster the energy, remain in office and outside office. I think it is something we can afford sponsor on yearly basis.”



NEWS ACN raises alarm over ‘hurried discharge’ of Wada


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Kogi State yesterday described the management of information on the state of health of Governor Idris Wada as a mere propaganda. The party described his “hurried discharge” from a private hospital in Abuja as beguiling, knavish” and a “clandestine and roguish tactics”, aimed at conscripting his benefactor, former Governor Ibrahim Idris to continue to rule the state by proxy. The ACN alleged that exGovernor Idris does not want Wada to hand over power to Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi because “he wants to exploit the situation to continue to be incharge of the government apparatus by proxy.” The Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to Governor Wada, Mr. Jacob Edi, accused the ACN of ignorance and mischief. The Kogi State Chairman of the ACN, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, in a statement in Abuja said: “It is a shame that, Mr Wada feels he can fool Kogites and by extension, Nigerians by claiming to have been discharged from hospital when we have it on good authority that he was discharged against the advice of his private physician at the hospital. “As a party, we have it on good authority that travel

•’Opposition ignorant’ From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

plans have been concluded to fly Mr Wada out of Nigeria for further treatment despite claims to the contrary. “Even a medical student knows that a compound fracture that will take six months to heal in a twelve year old child, will take as much as a year and a half to heal in a 72-year-old Wada.” The ACN also advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to be carried away by the “cosmetic smile” from the ailing governor but rather should prevail on him to take off time to get well. The ACN boss advised Wada to know that his action and inaction at this critical stage could derail the much desired development of the state. “Wada should know that, the ethnic card being dangled by the former governor to prevent him from allowing his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, to carry on the business of governance in the state is antithetical to the developmental yearnings of Kogites after nine years of waste under Ibrahim Idris.” The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Kogi State Chapter, in a separate statement wondered “why a man who loved to patronise local hospitals, evaded the National Hospi-

tal, Abuja or the state-owned specialist hospital in Lokoja.” The Chairman of the Kogi Muslim Elders Forum (KMEF), Alhaji Ismael Abdulmalik in a statement said: “To many Kogites, the health of their governor is of concern and if the truth can be told, speculation will end forthwith. “Everyone should hope and pray for Wada’s health and his safe return to Lokoja , but this culture of secrecy does a disservice to the state by producing needless uncertainty and instability. “Mr Wada’s scenario is being treated like a state secret with so many contradicting statements coming from government. It’s time for democratic leaders to recognise that their voters can handle the truth. “If Wada believes he is a product of the ballot box, then he should know that the electorate deserves to be informed of any and all pertinent information concerning his health while trusting the strength of the political system under his deputy to maintain stability.” But the Special Adviser to the governor said the position of the ACN was borne out of ignorance and mischief. Edi said: “Firstly, for ACN to have taken that decision

shows how ignorant they are. The decision to discharge a patient from a hospital is the decision of the medical expert and not the state government. “Secondly, to insinuate that he hurriedly left the hospital to prevent the deputy governor from taking over is very mischievous, ill considered, malicious, wicked and thoughtless of them. “I can confirm that there is no vacuum in the leadership of Kogi Executive or vacancy and that the deputy governor is very much in touch with his boss. “So, let the ACN bother about how to form government and not to waste time in poking their nose into issues of governance and the government that is not from their political party. “Now, to even complain that Wada was hurriedly discharged shows that they are inhuman. This is a clear case of an accident which can happen to anybody. The least we expect from anybody at a time like this is to sympathise with the victims of the accident. However, we cannot be discouraged or deterred. We are focussed and we have an agenda and not even the combined mischievous talent of the ACN can keep us off track. “We have a mandate with the people of Kogi and that mandate we are ready and prepared to deliver.”

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (left), Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris and Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye at the State House, Marina, on the New Year Day PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES







VOL. 7, NO.2,360



HE People’s Prelate The year 2012, a leap year, ended with the sad death of many Nigerian public figures from all walks of life. Of these, I should mention two; the death of the Hon. Justice Kayode Esho, a brilliant and distinguished former Judge of the Nigerian Supreme Court, and that of the Most Revd. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, a former Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, and Primate and Metropolitan, of the Anglican Church in Nigeria. He died on December 14, barely 11 days from what would have been his 83rd birthday. Justice Esho, at 87, was four years older. His death was the occasion for the outpouring of grief and sadness in the country. On account of his judicial integrity and erudition, many regard him as the best Chief Justice Nigeria should have had but chose not to have. For me, both deaths were very sad and painful as I knew both of them very well. Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye, the subject of this tribute, succeeded the Rt. Revd. Festus Segun as the Bishop of Lagos in 1985. In 1988, three years later, he succeeded the Most Revd. Timothy Olufosoye, the Bishop of Ibadan, as the Primate Metropolitan of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria. Altogether, he had quite a remarkable career in the Church where his rise in the Church was both unconventional and meteoric. He was born to a humble family in Odo-Owa, in Ekiti, on Christmas day, December 25, 1929, in the most inauspicious of circumstances. He was only three years old when his father, a peasant farmer, died leaving him in the care of his poor mother at Ijero-Ekiti. After his primary school education at Ijero, he could not proceed to a secondary grammar school due to lack of financial means. But he was lucky and clever enough to enter Melville Hall, a theological college of the Anglican Communion in Ibadan, where he did not have to pay any fees. It was at Melville Hall that he received his preliminary training for entry into the priesthood, and showed the academic brilliance and mettle that was to open the doors for him to his subsequent glittering career as an Anglican clergy. He was made a deacon and ordained a priest in 1954, the year he left Melville Hall. In 1958, four years later, he entered the King’s College, University of London, on the sponsorship of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria to study Theology. In 1961, after three years, he graduated with an honours bachelor’s degree in Divinity (B.D.). At King’s College, he was the contemporary of Bishop Olajide and the classmate and close friend of the Very Revd. Sope Johnson, the former Provost of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, another brilliant cleric. In 1962, the year after he graduated from London, he arrived as a lecturer at the Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan, famous for the training of Anglican priests. There he made his mark as a diligent, brilliant, and highly respected theologian. In 1966, after four years at Immanuel College, Adetiloye was inducted as the Vicar and Provost of the Cathedral Church of St. James, Ogunpa, Ibadan. The appointment was a rare feat as, before then, he had not been a Vicar in any parish church. It was there that he began to make his mark as an affable cleric. In 1970, after only four years at St. James’s Cathedral, he was consecrated as the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Ekiti. He had declined an offer of appointment as the Provost of the Cathedral Church of Lagos in succession to Bishop Festus Segun, preferring a bishopric in Ekiti. It


‘The opposition must also take note of the current culture of overpaid opposition legislators’ disingenuous deployment of parts of their disproportionate earnings that run into millions, to build schools, recreation centres, buy cars and motorcycles ostensibly to alleviate poverty of members of their constituencies’ JIDE OL UW AJUYIT AN OLUW UWAJUYIT AJUYITAN



Rev Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye (1929-2012)

•The late Rev Adetiloye

was from the Ekiti bishopric that, in 1985, he was consecrated a bishop at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, in succession to Bishop Festus Segun. Initially, there was some objection from a few parishioners of the Cathedral to his appointment as Bishop of Lagos. Virtually, all his predecessors as Bishop of Lagos had been appointed from the diocese, or had worked there before. These critics wanted somebody from the Diocese of Lagos to be appointed Bishop. Bishop Festus Segun had been the Provost at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, before his translation as the Bishop of Kaduna, from where he was transferred to Lagos as bishop. In fact, the matter was taken to court but later settled amicably. Adetiloye had not worked in Lagos before and was virtually unknown in the diocese. His appointment as Bishop of Lagos from the Ekiti diocese was controversial and marked a water shed, as it ended the domination of the Anglican diocese in Lagos by such ‘princes’ of


T should qualify as one of the most asinine fulminations any Nigerian politician has ever made. Though this column has not kept track of the public statements of Chief Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, in rallying to the defence of President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he complained was unfairly and destructively criticised, the PDP chieftain took leave of logic, and perhaps a little more. In his fulminations, Metuh provided the closest insight we would ever get into the president’s regional aversions. The Southwest, two days ago, and in fact many months before, had deplored the Jonathan presidency’s marginalisation of the region. Now they probably know why. According to Metuh, Jonathan is heavily criticised by, in particular, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) because he comes from a minority tribe. “That President Jonathan is from a minority geo-political zone,” moaned Metuh, “should not be the reason the ACN and other opposition parties should be heaping insults and abuses on him in the name of criticisms. There must be a limit and we implore that we use the spirit of the New Year to say that enough is enough. The Presidency is the highest institution in the country and it deserves our collective respect. There should be a limit between criticisms and abuse…Let our criticisms be constructive on issues that will move the nation

the Church, as the two Bishops Howells, father and son, and the Phillips, all from distinguished ecclesiastical families in Lagos. Since the appointment of Irunsewe Kale as Bishop of Lagos, it was the first time a Bishop had been appointed for Lagos from outside the diocese. Before his arrival in Lagos, there had been a dispute over liturgy in the Cathedral. Bishop Adetiloye was able to restore amity and peace in the Cathedral. He remained the Bishop of Lagos until 1988 when he was translated as the Archbishop of Province 1 (Lagos) and Primate, Metropolitan of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria. He retired from this position in 1999 on attaining the age of 70, but remained in Lagos for a while until his health began to fail. As Bishop and Archbishop he made his mark in Lagos and in the Anglican Communion in several ways. First, he made the training of Anglican priests his top priority. In 1987, he established the Lagos Anglican Diocesan Seminary for the training of the clergy, opening its doors to other non-Anglican Churches. Second, he continued with the Kale policy of admitting professionals, such as engineers, medical doctors, architects etc, into the priesthood after training at the Seminary. Third, as Archbishop and Primate, he initiated an unprecedented programme of evangelism in the Anglican Communion in Nigeria. Between 1987 and 1997, he created 15 new dioceses in Northern Nigeria, another 15 in Eastern Nigeria and 13 in Western Nigeria. It was during his incumbency that the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was divided into three ecclesiastical provinces. When he arrived in Lagos as Bishop in 1985, there were only 66 priests. When he retired in 1999, there were a total of 281 priests. In 1985, there were only 26 dioceses in Nigeria. Under his episcopacy, this

figure rose to 76. The four archdeaconries increased from only 4 to 15. Fourth, he initiated the system of directorates in the diocese as a means of promoting evangelism more vigorously in the diocese. These directorates, which included the Prison Chaplaincy, Evangelism, the Elderly Helpline, and Health and Welfare, brought the Church closer to the congregation as never before. He also started at the Seminary site, a secondary grammar school, the Thomas Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, named after the Revd. Thomas Babington Macaulay, the founder and first Principal of the famous CMS Grammar School, Lagos, the first secondary grammar school in Nigeria. The Revd. Macaulay was the father of Herbert Macaulay, the great leader of the Nigerian nationalist movement in the 1940s. Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye was a charismatic and vastly learned man, steeped in Theology. As bishop, he was humble and not given to any form of ostentation. He was a man of great spiritual strength, moral courage, and evangelical fervour. He was admired as a most inspiring preacher, often delivering his sermons without any notes at all. His sermons in the Cathedral were quite memorable and immensely enjoyable. In political matters, towards which all successful prelates must cock a sensitive ear, he was alert, well informed and, when occasion demanded, very responsive. He was a fearless cleric and spoke out strongly against social injustice under military rule in Nigeria. So strong was his persistent criticism of the repressive Abacha military regime that many people feared for his personal safety. The security agencies kept him under their close watch together with Bishop Gbonigi of Ekiti, another courageous cleric, he was tagged a “NADECO Bishop”. In those days, I met him often and had conversations with him concerning the disturbing political situation in our country. I admired his great courage despite some well known health challenges in his own family. A totally unpretentious, easily accessible, and humble bishop, he attracted to himself the admiration and affection of the diocese, including a few parishioners who had initially objected to his appointment as the Lord Bishop of Lagos Diocese. He was, indeed, a steadfast bishop in the mould of Bishop Leslie Gordon Vining, the last expatriate Bishop and Archbishop of Lagos (Anglican Communion). I join all his admirers in offering his family my condolences. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. •Some of the material in this tribute was taken from my book, “A Venture of Faith”, an official history of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, first published in 2008. • For comments, send SMS to 08082036515


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Such dreadful, partisan logic!

the difference. His mendacious statements remind us of Jonathan’s hyperbole before the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in August last year, when the president said he was the world’s most criticised leader. Did Jonathan expect us to gently remonstrate with him on that offending exaggeration, when in fact he is probably the most powerful president in any democracy in the world and one of the least criticised? And what nonsense is Metuh saying about destructive criticism? Jonathan, in our opinion, has been lambasted fair and square because his ideas, actions and policies have been, to put it gently, largely inconsistent and misplaced. It is childish and silly to suggest the president is criticised harshly because of majorities’ contempt for minorities. Where Jonathan comes from is completely irrelevant. After all, former head of state, Gen Yakubu Gowon, is from a minority tribe, and minorities are thought to be even more detribalised than majority tribes. If Jonathan likes to read a little, we would like to constructively suggest to him Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2, where the conspirator, Cassius, was trying to persuade Brutus to join the rebellion against Caesar. Said Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Let Metuh and Jonathan look inwards for their woes. It is not the fault of Nigeria that Metuh’s general is filled with awe.

forward.” In other words, neither the PDP nor, apparently, Jonathan himself views the criticisms against the president as fair comment. Worse, neither also sees the president’s statements, actions and policies as deserving of harsh criticisms. In the many years Hardball has been unhorsing political and business charlatans he has encountered bad logic, bad ideas and bad attitudes, and suffered many of them gladly. But to suggest that opposition parties are hard on the president simply because of his origins is like damning the president’s origins for his poor performance. It strains credulity to breaking point, and Hardball can no longer forbear. When the president recently confessed to slowness, could any commentator have praised him for the lack of speed and purpose? When the president denounced firm leaders as pharaohs and dictators, could anyone have flattered him for his vacillations? And when he sequestered himself within the precincts of Aso Villa for Independence Anniversaries and other national celebrations for fear of terrorists, could we restrain ourselves from condemning his spirit of surrender? Metuh tries to draw a line between constructive and destructive criticisms, as if he knows

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. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mila 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO