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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Police quiz Folarin for ‘meeting’ Tokyo

Gunmen kill soldier, policeman in attack

NEWS Page 7

•Ex-Senate Leader: it’s not true

•80-year-old, grandchild shot dead


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VOL. 8, NO. 2361 FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2013




•NFF ’won’t fight to bring Ameobi’ •Dike is a hardworking striker, says•AND Keshi MORE ON PAGES 23, •Zambia, Burkina Faso spy on Eagles 24, 41&42

Nigerian firms import explosives detectors from US


IGERIAN firms have been buying hand held explosives detector to protect their offices from attack. The Boko Haram (Western education is a sin) insurgency took an upward swing in the country last year, especially in the North. The activities of the sect have resulted in the killing of more than 2000 people. It has also crippled the economy of Borno and Yobe states, the epicentres of the activities of the sect, which says it wants to islamise Nigeria. American company Implant Sciences Corporation yesterday said it has won a contract to sell its Quantum Sniffer QS-H150 handheld explosives trace detectors to a customer for critical infrastructure protection in Nigeria. The high technology supplier of systems and sensors for homeland security and defence markets said the deal marks the sixth

•One of the mansions in Abuja

Continued on page 63

Scientists create cancer-killing cells

Sylva’s property are intact and fully covered by the order validly issued by Justice Kolo on December 27, 2012


CIENTISTS have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time. The dramatic breakthrough was made by researchers in Japan who created cancerspecific killer T cells. They say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapy. Researchers at the RIKEN Research Centre for Allergy and Immunology revealed they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific, immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes. To create these, the team first had to reprogramme T lymphocytes specialised in killing a certain type of cancer into another type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS Continued on page 2


•EFCC officials sealing off one of the mansions in Abuja...yesterday

EFCC seizes ‘48 mansions from ex-Governor Sylva’ •Houses in question do not belong to him, says aide


Victims cry for justice as Dana Air resumes flights Airline compensates Lagos-Abuja passengers with N14,400 fare


XACTLY seven months after its plane crashed in a Lagos suburb, killing 153 people, Dana Air yesterday resumed its operations. The airline’s return to business

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor and Precious Igbonwelundu

followed the clearing of the hurdles set by aviation authorities after the crash. Its maiden flight 9J0359 on its

MD-83 aircraft took off from the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 in Lagos to Abuja. As early as noon, the airline’s ticketing personnel were at the terminal, selling tickets to passen-

gers for the 4.20 pm flight. The airline sold one-way ticket to intending passengers heading for Abuja from Lagos at N14, 400. With Dana’s return, the number Continued on page 2




NEWS Gunmen kill soldier, policeman in attack


•Newly appointed Abia State Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen taking the oath of office at the Michael Okpara auditorium in Umuahia...yesterday

OUR people, including a soldier, a policeman and an 80-year-old woman along with her 15-year-old grandson were killed yesterday by gunmen in Adamawa State. The attack occurred in Song, a town near the border with Cameroun. The unknown gunmen razed the Song divisional police station and local government secretariat, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. A resident of the town, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said the attack occurred in the early hours. “The police station and part of the one-storey secretariat building were burnt by the gunmen, who also attacked a security check-point on the Song-Yola road,’’ he said. The source said an old woman and a boy were hit by stray bullets in their home near the police station. “Dada Audu, an 80-year-old woman, and her grandson of about 15 years were hit by bullets and are feared dead,’’ he said. Adamawa police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim confirmed the attack, but gave no details. Ibrahim said he was heading to the location. The Song attack came less than a week after a similar attack in Maiha, Hong and Fufore local government areas of the state.

‘Jonathan’s 2015 posters’ sponsors bent on distracting President’

Why Kabiru Sokoto, other bomb suspects are yet to face trial


ITH the non-passage of the Terrorism Amendment Bill by the National Assembly, the trial of some key suspects is yet to begin. In custody without trial are those allegedly involved in the bombing of the UN House, the Police Headquarters and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State. The Nation gathered yesterday that the nation’s laws, which ought to be used, are rated as weak and may not guarantee justice. Four key Boko Haram leaders are still in custody in the last one year without trial over these fatal bombings. Those in custody are Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (a.k.a Us-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

man Al-Zawahiri), who was jailed for three years in December 2011; Ismail Kwaljima (a.ka. Abu Summaya); Babagana Mali (a.k.a Bulama); and Kabiru Sokoto. Two of the Boko Haram leaders (Bashir Madalla and Habeeb Umar Bama) died allegedly during a shoot-out with the JTF and security agencies. The list is outside the 19 Boko Haram leaders recently declared wanted by the JTF with N290million ransom placed on them. Security agencies have not arraigned the suspects in court because the National Assembly is yet to pass the Terrorism Amendment Bill.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are still keeping these key suspects because the National Assembly has not passed the Terrorism Amendment Bill. “In fact, the Senate on December 19, 2012 suspended further consideration of the bill because it makes provision for the Office of National Security Adviser which was said to be unknown to the 1999 Constitution. “It means that we may have to wait for a while before we can arraign the suspects in court. What security agencies do is to renew court order to detain these suspects. “We hope the National Assembly will give the bill accel-

erated consideration when they resume from recess. “Once the bill is passed and assented to by President Goodluck Jonathan, the trial of these suspects will begin. The international community is shocked that we have not risen to the challenges of terrorism with appropriate laws. Asked why the suspects could not be tried under existing laws, the source said: “These laws are weak to ensure justice for the offences allegedly committed. “Our laws are not in line with international standards for fighting terrorism, which is now a global menace. At present, some of the suspects, Continued on page 63

Scientists create cancer-killing cells Continued from page 1

cells). These iPS cells then generated fully active, cancer-specific T lymphocytes. These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future. Previous research has shown that killer T lymphocytes produced in the lab using conventional methods are inefficient in killing cancer cells mainly because they have a very short life-span, which limits their use as treatment for cancer. To overcome the problems,

the Japanese researchers, led by Hiroshi Kawamoto, reprogrammed mature human killer T lymphocytes into iPS cells and investigated how these cells differentiate. The team induced killer T lymphocytes specific for a certain type of skin cancer to reprogramme into iPS cells by exposing the lymphocytes to the “Yamanaka factors” - a group of compounds that induce cells to revert back to a non-specialised, pluripotent stage. They maintained the genetic reorganisation, enabling them to express the cancer-specific receptor on their surface.

The new T lymphocytes were also shown to be active and to produce an anti-tumour compound. Doctor Kawamoto said: “We have succeeded in the expansion of antigen-specific T cells by making iPS cells and differentiating them back into functional T cells. “The next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumour cells but not other cells in the body. If they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realised in the not-so-distant future.’ The findings were published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London, said: ‘The study tackled a novel, quite interesting approach to cell based therapy, something that we do not usually hear about. “Although this approach requires further verification and a lot of work needs to be done before we can think about clinical trials, the initial data are promising. “This pioneering work definitely provides a strong foundation to build and expand our knowledge about new opportunities in cell based therapy and personalised medicine.”

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

•Dr. Jonathan


HOSE pasting the 2015 campaign posters of President Goodluck Jonathan are out to distract him, Dr. Reuben Abati said yesterday. Abati, the President’s spokesman, was reacting for the second time in 24 hours to the posters which flooded Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, from New Year’s Day. He spoke to State House correspondents. He also said the security agencies do not need to wait for the President’s directives before going after sponsors of the re-election posters. Abati’s word: “The security agencies have their jobs cut out for them. If they feel there is anything that is likely to disturb the polity, that is likely to affect the integrity of the state or they feel something has hap-

pened and they need information that needs to be investigated, then of course they will do their job. “They don’t even need to wait for presidential directive. It is part of their normal duty to find out what is happening in the environment, particularly if what has happened is a matter of public interest. “Our position remains that President Jonathan has not launched any campaign for reelection in 2015. He has not asked anybody to go and paste posters around Abuja. Whoever those people are, they are acting on their own. They are not President Jonathan’s agents. They are on to their own mischief.” “The second leg is that the President has been consistent with the issue of 2015. In the last presidential media chat, he said he was not talking about 2015 as at this moment. He had been given an assignment by the Nigerian people, which is to see through the transformation agenda, to ensure the different changes he has promised in life and society. That is what he remains committed to,” he said. On why the President did not order the removal of the postContinued on page 63

Dana Air resumes flights seven months after crash Continued from page 1

of domestic airlines operating in the country has increased to five. The others are Arik, Aero, IRS and Med-View. A ticketing officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, told NAN that the fare was aimed at attracting passengers and to appreciate them for the support given to the airline during its trying period. Other airlines charge N24, 800 for a one way Lagos to Abuja trip. After some hours of preflight preparations, the airline closed its ticket counter. Boarding announcement followed and the plane departed at 4.14 pm. Passengers boarded the aircraft through Gate 8 of the MMA2. Most would-be passengers said they were watching to see how the inaugural flight would go, before deciding on

their patronage of the carrier. It could not be ascertained how many passengers boarded the flight, but workers at the MMA 2 said they saw many passengers on the queue, buying tickets. Officials of the airline also did not give details of the flight. An official of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. James Shallangwa, said yesterday in Abuja that Dana will operate a flight to Lagos from Abuja today. Shallangwa, Head of Commercial at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatonal Airport, Abuja, said Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Oduah had issued a resumption letter to the airline to recommence operation after its plane crashed in Lagos on June 3, last year. Mr Tony Usidamen, the Head, Corporate Communications, Dana Air, confirmed the

resumption. Mr Kayode Adeniran, the Dana Station Manager at the NAIA, said the airline would have its inaugural flight at 9:45a.m. today from Abuja to Lagos. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) revoked Dana’s operation licence, pending proper investigation into the cause of the crash. In September, last year, the Federal Government reinstated the airline’s licence and allowed it to resume without any flight operations. In December 2012, NCAA issued a new Air Operators Certificate to Dana Air after it completed recertification. But, the victims of the crash, who are yet to be compensated for property lost to the disaster which claimed over 150 lives, said the airline had been unfair to them.The victims, including widows and young

parents with many children, have cried out to both the Federal and Lagos State governments to ensure that what is left of their lives is not shattered.Those who spoke to The Nation lamented the insincerity with which the airline has treated their case. Spokesman of ‘seriously affected victims’ Chike Okwuosa said he was disappointed that the Federal Government allowed the airline to address their matter with levity.He said: “My lawyer, Mr. Monday Ubani, told me they have not done anything. He said after several letters to them, they wrote more than two months ago that they needed additional information, which he forwarded to them.”But till now, nothing has been done; instead, we heard they are resuming their business when they have destroyed ours. Is that

fair?”Ubani, who spoke to The Nation on the telephone, said he expected the government to ensure that all affected persons were compensated by the airline before returning the licence to the airline.He said: “What Dana is doing is really crazy. They have not paid anything or said anything to the victims. They wrote me two months ago that they wanted additional information, which I immediately provided.”Since then, I have not heard from them. The government should have ensured that they settle all the affected persons before returning their licence to them. But since their licence has been returned even before now, the government should compel them to attend to the aggrieved persons.”They are just trying to tie people down. They killed a lot of people, destroyed so many property and no one

seem to be saying anything.”I have tried to avoid litigation, but if by the end of January they are still nonchalant about the plight of those their business are adversely affected, we will have no other option than to go to court.”Pastor Daniel Omuwunmi, who lost over N500 million to the disaster, said the airline, after a series of letters from his counsel Messrs Dele Adesina and Co., made an offer of $30, 000. Continued on page 63

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






‘Dana only in Exactly seven months and a day after its plane crashed into a residential area at Iju-Isaga, a Lagos suburb, Dana Air will today resume flight operations, with victims who lost properties crying foul, writes PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU •Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio cutting the tape to open Digital Radio Studio Complex at the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation ( AKBC) Radio Station in Uyo...yesterday.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (second left), Chairman, Osun State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Superior Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye (left), Methodist Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Rt. Rev. John Bamgboye and CAN’s First Vice Chairman, Rev. Kunle Adeyemo, during the State CAN’s visit to the Governor’s Office in Osogbo ... yesterday.

•Enugu State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Clara Chime carrying the First Baby the Year, Chimsimdi Edeh, born at the Parklane Specialist Hospital, Enugu...on New Year’s day. With her are: the mother of the baby, Mrs. Pamela Ede and the hospital’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Gabriel Njeze.

•Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Rev. Fr. James Ijasan (left), Diocesan Secretary, Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Rev. Fr. Paul Adaja and Chief Imam, League of Imam, Ekiti State, Alhaji Jamiu Kewulere Bello , at an InterReligious Thanksgiving Service for the New Year, in Ado-Ekiti... on Wednesday.


ANA Air plans to resume flight operations today. The inaugural flight is slated for 9:45am. For the better part of yesterday, the airline was busy selling tickets to customers for its first flight exactly seven months and one day after its plane crashed into Iju-Isaga, a Lagos suburb. The flight is resuming at a time victims, who lost their properties and valuables to the crash are still crying foul. Head of Commercial at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatonal Airport, Abuja, Mr James Shallangwa, yesterday said the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, had issued a resumption letter to the airline to resume operation. Shallangwa said the first flight would take off from Abuja. Head, Corporate Communications, Dana, Mr Tony Usidamen, confirmed the development, saying necessary approval was received from the Federal Government. In September 2012, the Federal Government returned the Airline’s licence, which was suspended after the crash. Last month, the NCAA issued a new Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to the airline. But, the victims, who are yet to be compensated for properties lost to the disaster which claimed over 200 lives, said the airline has been unfair to them. The victims, including widows and young parents with many children, have cried out to both the Federal and Lagos State governments to come to their aid and ensure that what is left of their lives is not shattered. Those who spoke to The Nation lamented the insincerity with which the airline has treated their case. Spokesman of ‘seriously affected victims’, Mr. Chike Okwuosa, said he was disappointed that the Federal Government has allowed the airline to address their matter with levity. He said: “My lawyer, Mr. Monday Ubani, told me they have not done anything. He said after several letters to them, they wrote more than two months ago that they needed additional information, which he forwarded to them. “But till now, nothing has been done; instead, we heard they are resuming their business when they have destroyed ours. Is that fair?” Ubani, who spoke to The Nation in a telephone chat, said he expected the government to ensure that all affected persons were compensated by the airline before returning the licence to the airline. He said: “What Dana is doing is really crazy. They have not paid anything or said anything to the victims. They wrote me two months ago that they wanted additional information, which I immediately provided. “Since then, I have not heard from them. Government should have ensured that they settle all the affected persons before returning their licence to them. But since their licence has been returned even before now, government should compel them to attend to the aggrieved persons. “They are just trying to tie people down. They killed a lot of people, destroyed so many properties and no one seem to be saying anything. “I have tried to avoid litigation but

if by the end of January they are still nonchalant about the plight of those their business adversely affected, we will have no other option than to go to court.” Pastor Daniel Omuwunmi, who lost over N500 million to the disaster, said the airline, after series of letters from his counsel - Messrs Dele Adesina and Co., made an offer of $30, 000. Omuwunmi, who spoke through a counsel at the law firm of Olumide Olaiya, told The Nation that the offer was rejected because the airline has not even written to accept or negotiate his claims. He said: “They have not done anything. We never heard from them until the last working week of December when they made an offer of $30, 000 to Pastor Omuwunmi as advance payment. “What are they advancing? All the efforts we made to bring them to the negotiation table were rebuffed. We expected them to reply our letter, or even say what they intend to pay from the claims before them which are verifiable. “$30,000 is less than N5 million. So, a man who lost nothing less than N500 million, what will $30, 000 do for him? He rightly rejected the money. Besides, $30, 000 was the same amount they paid to all on board victims as advance. So, why come to offer a man who lost everything he had $30, 000 without even writing to acknowledge or reject his claims? “They said their insurers are still processing our claims and so, we are also waiting to hear from them. Although we are also waiting for them to commence flight operations, then we will know the next action to take.” Like a whirlwind, the ill-fated Dana aircraft rammed into some buildings at Popoola and Olaniyi streets in Iju Ishaga, rendering no fewer than seven families homeless. A host of others had part of their properties destroyed. Although the airline had on several occasions announced that it had begun compensating families of those who died and those displaced, none of the displaced has been contacted by Dana Air after it gave some ‘meagre’ assistance to some to secure accommodation. Most of the victims had, through their lawyers, written the airline but got no reply. Worst hit by the disaster is Pastor Omowunmi and his family, who lost properties valued at more than N500 million. Others, who lost properties to the disaster: are Mr. Adoroja, whose twostorey building was razed, the families of Odika Daniel, Chima Iloka, Mr andMrs. Ogbonnaya Mr and Mrs. Eweh, Mr and Mrs. Okafor and Daniel Obasi. Also affected are two aged widows, Mrs. Adekunle Abike of 7, Popoola Street and Hajia Ramota Akinwusi of 11, Popoola Street. On the extent of damage she suffered, Mrs. Akinwusi said part of her boys’ quarters was affected as well as her toilet facility, which was destroyed. She said miscreants, who took advantage of the situation, looted her shop and carted away tubers of yams, recharge cards and cash. They also damaged part of her fence and roofing. Mrs. Akinwusi said the looters also burgled the shop of one of her tenants, which forced the tenant to abandon the shop since the incident. She said: “Things have not been the same since that incident occurred. The tenants I used to get rents from have






ly interested in reopening business’

•Pastor Omowunmi

•Scene of the crash

all packed out. They said they cannot stay in a compound without toilet. So, as an old woman, I am just trying to see how I can reconstruct my soakaway and buy the equipment for the toilet. “It has not been easy because the major customers I had were those who were seriously affected. Since that time, business has been grounded; many people have packed out of the area because of the bad omen. “Dana came here for inspection when the crash occurred and they promised to come back and repair our buildings but since then I have not seen anyone. “I know that my own case is not so serious like those people who lost their houses and properties worth millions but they should also remember to come and repair my building for me. “I am doing the little I can because I am old. I do not know the exact value of the things I lost and I do not want to lie. So, they should come and repair my property for me.” Mrs. Adekunle is disappointed that the airline is yet to settle her former neighbours who lost their entire belongings to the disaster. “I have not seen them. I heard they came here some time ago for inspection and promised to come and attend to us after they had finished settling those who died as well as those who were rendered homeless. But till today, I have neither seen them nor received anything from them. “Please, whoever is responsible should come and repair my house for me. My boys’ quarters is almost collapsing and even the roofs of my main building have gone bad.” Last year, Pastor Omowunmi told The Nation that he was disappointed that the airline has shown no concern towards his plight. He said: “I am really disappointed and wondered what manner of people are at the helms of affair as managers of Dana Air and those representing them are. They must be satanic people, else they should not be comfortable having done nothing these past months to even show some concern for the lives they have destroyed. “The only thing Dana has done has been to put me through stress. The property of the person that imported those books is now at risk. The documents, including those of the kitchen


utensils, were sent to Dana, but till today, they have not said anything. “The management of Dana is made of satanic people. From the day I rejected their N500, 000 offer till date, they have not bothered to know what has happened to us. They have not contacted anyone of the displaced persons. “My family and I have been squatting in the church premises. I thank God for the grace of life and I know that God who has brought us this far, will not abandon us. “If Dana says they have contacted us, they are lying. As I talk with you, even the other people who lost their properties have not been contacted. I am in touch with the others and if Dana had contacted anyone of them, I will know. “They are only interested in reopening their business to make money without recourse to the lives of innocent Nigerians they have ruined.” Pastor Omowunmi said the crash destroyed everything he had worked for over the years and also destroyed other people’s property he had in his warehouse. “I own the property on 8/10 Popoola/Olaniyi Streets. It is a four plot of land that housed my warehouse, furniture factory, my residential building and my fish pond, among others. “After writing several letters, including those from my lawyer to Dana and their insurance company’s law firm, without reply, I wrote a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan and copied the Attorney-

General and Minister of Justice, the Minister for Aviation, the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the NCAA Director-General on September 26. “I also wrote the Senate President, who I must commend for his prompt response, Speaker, House of Representatives, Lagos State Governor and the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, among others,” he said. Pastor Omowunmi lamented that some days after he submitted his claims to the airline, he discovered that Yomi Oshikoya & Co., are the local correspondent to Dana’s underwriters. “On July 23, I attended a meeting tagged ‘preliminary meeting’ alongside my solicitors at the office of Yomi Oshikoya & Co., where the managing partner, Otunba Yomi Oshikoya sarcastically noted that I was claiming N500 million for a mere building. “His statement was evidence that my claims dated June 20, more than one month after, had not been read as at July 23; else he would have discovered that I was not claiming N500 million for the building alone but for other goods and stocks in the warehouse as well as my furniture factory.” The pastor alleged that after the preliminary meeting, his lawyers were requested to supply documents to prove his claim. The documents were forwarded on July 24 to Oshikoya’s firm. He said efforts had been made by

If Dana says they have contacted us, they are lying. As I talk with you, even the other people who lost their properties have not been contacted. I am in touch with the others and if Dana had contacted anyone of them, I will know. They are only interested in reopening their business to make money without recourse to the lives of innocent Nigerians they have ruined

his lawyers to secure another meeting with both Dana and their insurance company’s representative to no avail. The schedule of claims sent to the airline shows that Omowunmi’s premises had a six-bedroom duplex (ensuite) with a penthouse, four-bedroom bungalow with two large sitting rooms, two standard warehouse and four fish ponds (fully stocked). It further stated that the warehouse accommodated his furniture factory which housed 447 panel doors, imported educational materials, imported kitchen utensils as well as other items either warehoused for various clients or for his use at the furniture factory. For the building structures, factory equipment, plants and machines, electronic appliances, furniture, fixtures and fittings, personal effects, livestock as well as cost of resettlement for a period of two years, Omowunmi wants the airline to pay N224.1 million. He said the educational books that were imported from Malaysia by Thursmay Educational Services and were being warehoused in his premises were valued at N250.1 million, adding that necessary documents and contacts for verification were made available to the airline for confirmation. Omowunmi said the kitchen utensils which were also imported by Nike Odupitan and warehoused at his premises is worth N40 million, adding that necessary documents were also forwarded to the airline and its representatives. The compensation being demanded for losses suffered by the pastor is N514.176 million as well as N10 million per month for loss of earnings from the date of the incident till the conclusion of the redevelopment of his damaged properties. Okafor, who also decried the alleged nonchalance of the management of the airline to the people’s plight, said he has written Dana Air through his solicitors and forwarded his claims to them but have not received any reply from the airline. He said he has tried to move on but the trauma and pains have been worsened by the airline’s negligence. Okafor said: “It could very devastating for someone to, all of a sud-

den, lose all he has. And it could even be made worse because the people responsible seem not to be bothered about the whole issue. “But for the N200, 000 and some food stuff I received from them when the crash occurred, I have not heard anything from them. They have not even looked for us or acknowledged our letters.” Also lamenting the negligence he and his family have suffered, Iloka said it was cruel for the airline to have acted the way it did. He said: “It shows how unreasonable and heartless they are. But God is watching us all and I am sure everyone shall be held accountable for their actions.” Okwuos said Dana Air gave some of the victims N200, 000 as a temporary measure to help them secure accommodation. His words: “Dana said they were coming to compensate those that were affected but till now, nothing has been done. “People who are at the camp are those we call moderately affected. All those that were seriously affected rejected the camp because that place to start with, is far. “We are appealing to the government to hold Dana Air responsible. Imagine Pastor Daniel that lost his entire investments, till date he is squatting in a church. That pastor does not deserve to be neglected. We all live in this community and can testify that he gave so many people hope. There was hardly anyone who will approach him for help that he will not assist. Government should return all that he lost to him, and let others who were affected be compensated.” The airline’s spokesman once debunked the allegations that the airline has not been in contact with the affected persons. He said: “Persons with free mind will attest that we have been in touch with them because we acknowledge and recognise the traumas they must have gone through. Claims are being processed and benefits will soon be paid to the affected persons in accordance to the law. Our insurers are handling the process and I am positive that compensation shall be paid soon to the affected persons in accordance to the law.”




EFCC seizes Sylva’s ‘48 mansions’ T

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it has seized 48 property from former Bayelsa State Governor Timpre Sylva. Most of the houses are situated in elitist districts in Abuja, including Maitama, Wuse II, Dakibiyu, among others. This is the second time in a month that the EFCC will confiscate the assets of Sylva. The anti-graft agency on December 10 seized one of the property allegedly linked to the former governor (valued at N310 million) at Cachez Estate, Mpape, Abuja. Ahead of the beginning of the substantive trial of Sylva on January 10, the EFCC invoked the Assets Forfeiture Clause again with 48 property to wit. A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the order to seize the assets temporarily was issued on December 21 by Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja. It was learnt that the anti-graft commission invoked the Assets Forfeiture Clause in Section 26 of the EFCC Act 2004 pending the determination of the trial of the ex-governor. Section 26 reads: (1)” Any property subject to forfeiture under this Act may be seized by the Commission in the following circumstances – (a) the seizure incidental to an arrest or search; or (b) in the case of property liable to forfeiture upon the process issued by the court following an application made by the commission in accordance with the prescribed rules.(2) Whenever property is seized under any of the provisions of this Act, the commission may – (a) place the property under seal; or(b) remove the property to a place designed by the commission. “(3) Property taken or detained under this section shall be deemed to be in the custody of the commission, subject only to an order of a court.” The EFCC statement said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, January 3, 2013 took

Colloquium on Nigeria’s image holds in Lagos

Anti-graft agency urged to respect law FORMER Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to respect the law. Doifie Ola, Sylva’s Media Adviser, said in a statement: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement purportedly issued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), announcing the seizure of a number of property alleged to be owned by Chief Timipre Sylva, former Bayelsa State Governor. “The claims by the EFCC are completely misleading. Not surprisingly, this style is in line with EFCC’s known bully-boy tactics and media hysteria. “The houses in question do not belong to Sylva. “Sylva’s property are intact, and fully covered by the order validly issued by Justice M. M. Kolo of the Abuja High Court on December 27. Sylva had applied to the court for ‘an interim order of court for the service of the originating process on the respondent to serve as a stay of all actions in respect of the property - Plot 262, Cadastral Zone A02, Wuse 1, District, Abuja, Plot 3192, located within the Cadastral Zone A06 Maitama District, Abuja, Plot 232, Cadastral Zone A07,(No. 8 Mistrata Street; Wuse II, Abuja) - by the respondents, their agents, privies, representative or any other person deriving his/her authority from them; either by sealing off, confiscating, ejecting any person from the property, trespassing into the property or doing any other thing however so described relating to the said property pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.’ This application was granted and hearing in the matter is fixed for January 4. “Justice A.R. Mohammed never granted any temporary asset forfeiture order to the EFCC on December 21. Rather, he directed EFCC to put Sylva on notice and the substantive matter is fixed for January 10. “EFCC as a creation of the law cannot be seen to be acting lawlessly, and with impunity.” From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

possession of 48 property of the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timpre Sylva, who is being prosecuted at a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged misappropriation of N6.46 billion state funds when he was governor of the state. “The interim forfeiture order to attach Sylva’s property was granted by Justice A.R. Mohammed on December 21, 2012. “Assets belonging to the former governor against which a forfeiture order was obtained by the EFCC include a mansion at 3, River Niger Street, Plot 3192 Cadastral Zone AO, Maitama District Abuja; nine units (com-

prising six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments) at 8, Sefadu Street, Wuse Zone 2, Plot 262 Cadastral Zone AO2, Wuse Abuja and two duplexes at 5, Oguta Street, Plot 906 Cadastral Zone Wuse 11 Abuja. “Others are a duplex on Plot 1271 Nike Street, Cadastral Zone AO5, Maitama District Abuja; a duplex at Phase 1 Unit No. 1 (Villa 1) Palm Springs Gold Estate, Cachez Turkey Projects Limited, Mpape, Abuja; 10 units of one room apartments at 8, Mistrata Street, Plot 232 Cadastral Zone Wuse 11 Abuja; five units duplexes on Plot No 1070 Dakibiyu District Cadastral Zone B10, Abuja and others. The substantive suit is adjourned till January 10.

•Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chair Ibrahim Lamorde leaving State House after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan...yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

Husband of Lagos Judge recounts her HE Lagos State Judiciary treatment in England since last has been thrown into last moments January. She returned to the


mourning, with the death of Justice Wasilat Abisoye Ayo, aged 47. She died on Sunday in a hospital in Lagos. Until her death, Justice Ayo was a judge in the Lands Division of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, Lagos Island. She took ill when serving as the Chairman of the Governorship Election Petition Tri-

Alleged N1.5b fraud: EFCC arrests bank manager


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it has arrested a former manager with the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Mr. Olayinka Sanni and Mr. Oyebode Atoyebi for alleged fraud of about N1.5billion. The two suspects will soon be arraigned in court. A statement by the Commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, accused the manager of brokering many shady deals. The EFCC alleged that he transferred about N1.2billion from Murhi International Limited and N306million from Falana and Falana Chambers. The statement reads: “A former manager with the Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank), Mr. Olayinka Sanni and Mr. Oyebode Atoyebi have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a case of conspiracy, stealing and forgery amounting to about N1.5billion. “Sanni, a chartered accountant and operator of SIDAW Ventures (a Bureau de

•Falana: N306 million was stolen from our clients’ account ‘Sanni is also embroiled in a foreign exchange scam where his SIDAW Ventures account was used to handle N104, 405, 000 where only N72,229,000 worth of foreign exchange was paid to the customer, leaving a balance of N32, 185, 000 being hotly contested between his firm and the customer’ From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Change), was alleged to have fraudulently transferred various sums of money from more than seven customers of the bank into the account of SIDAW Ventures owned and operated by him without the customers’ consent. “He transferred N65million from the account of Babington Junior Seminary;

N40million from P.W. Nigeria Limited’s account; N15million from Mikano International’s account; N20million from Viju Industries Limited’s account; N306million from the account of Falana & Falana Chambers and Fafun Nigeria Limited; and N1.2billion from Murhi International Limited’s account into his SIDAW Ventures account without the consent of the account owners. “Besides, Sanni also collected $461,200 from Chukwurah Nkiru, who sold it to him for the equivalent of N76, 559,200, but was not paid. “Sanni is also embroiled in a foreign exchange scam where his SIDAW Ventures account was used to handle N104, 405, 000 where only N72,229,000 worth of foreign exchange was paid to the customer, leaving a balance of N32, 185, 000 being hotly contested between his firm and the customer. “Oyebode Atoyebi was arrested for complicity and con-

THE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru, has been confirmed as the Special Guest of Honour at a special colloquium, organised by the management of CMC Connect Limited (Perception Managers) to commemorate the 50th birthday of Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, the Managing Director of the company. The colloquium, themed: ‘Managing Nigeria’s Image: Whose Responsibility? is scheduled for 10am next Tuesday at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. A keynote address will be delivered by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku. Former Foreign Affairs Minister, MajGen Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), CFR, will chair the event. A statement by Mr. Sola Solotan, the Acting Head of Media, CMC Connect, said the colloquium is part of the activities lined up to celebrate Badejo-Okusanya who, in his words, “has contributed to the growth of Public Relations in Nigeria and Africa.” The colloquium, the statement added, would be a convergent point for integrated marketing communications professionals and institutions in Nigeria whose core focus area includes communications and image management.

spiracy with Sanni for allowing his passport-sized photograph and name to be used to open an account in SIDAW Ventures Limited in the name of Akanmu Babatunde. “With this fictitious name, Sanni brokered many shady deals and duped many innocent people. “The two suspects will soon be arraigned in court.” Femi Falana SAN, yesterday confirmed that N306million was transferred from his chamber’s accounts. In a statement, he said: “My attention has been drawn to the statement by the EFCC pertaining to Mr. Sanni Olayinka of the defunct Intercontinental Bank PLC indicted in a N1.5 billion fraud. “I confirm that N306 million was stolen from our clients’ account by the officer. But I wish to say that the management of the bank refunded the money to avoid a legal action from our chambers. “It is hoped that the EFCC will fish out and bring to book the other officials of the bank involved in the N1.5 billion fraud.”

•’Thanks Jesus for writing her name in the book of life’ By Adebisi Onanuga and Joseph Jibueze

bunal in Delta State early last year. Her husband, Olabode, a businessman and consultant, said the late Justice Ayo had been recovering after being hospitalised in England since last January. He said: “We thank God for her life. There was no time she doubted the power and salvation of God. “In fact, the night before she passed on, she slept and in our presence, she woke up and all she said was: ‘I thank you Jesus for writing my name in the book of life.’” Asked what led to her death, Olabode said: “She was a very personal person, and I don’t think she would want an exposure of her situation. “Only a few people were in the know of what she was going through. She went through it in good faith, and she fought a good battle. But God is the decider of the way everything ended up.” He went on: “She was the Chairman of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Delta State. While performing the assignment, she took ill. She battled the illness until she passed on to glory. “We thank God for the kind of life she lived. The courage, resilience, life of honesty and purpose and her relationship with God. She was a special person. “She died on December 30, but she had been receiving

country and took ill. It was painless. She died peacefully. We thank God for that.” Early callers at Justice Ayo’s Lagos Island home included the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, Chief Rasaq Okoya, Justice George Oguntade (rtd) and judges of the court. She was appointed a judge of the High Court of Lagos State, Commercial Division, on May 24, 2001. Prior to joining the Lagos Judiciary, Justice Ayo was an Associate Attorney at S.A. Shitta-Bey & Company between October 1986 and February 1997. She also served as Head of Loan Recovery & Credit Administration Department, Commercial Trust Bank Nigeria Limited, Lagos between February 1995 and February 1997. Justice Ayo later moved to the USA where she worked with several companies including serving as the Loan Portfolio Manager at Suntrust Banks Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. She was a member of the International Bar Association and Ikoyi Club.

•The late Justice Ayo




Village head loses wife, two children to tanker fire T

HREE persons have been killed in an explosion from a tanker carrying fuel in Ago-Egun, Idiroko, Ogun State. Many others were injured. Residential apartments, vehicles and 10 lock-up shops worth over N25 million were razed. Worse-hit by the incident, which occurred on Wednesday, is the traditional ruler (Baale) of AgoEgun, Chief Kolade Amosun, who lost his wife, Abosede and two of his three children - Joseph(9) and Serah (7) to the fire, which engulfed his home. Amosun’s third child, Israel (5), who was severely burnt, is in a critical condition at a hospital in Idiroko, where doctors are battling

•N25m property razed

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

to save his life. The Baale broke down in tears yesterday during the burial of his wife and children. He told The Nation that all his belongings were razed by the fire and urged Nigerians and the state government to come to his aid. Amosun said no one had claimed ownership of the tanker. He said: “I was sleeping around 11:10pm when I heard persistent knocks on my brother’s door. I came

out of my house to the street and discovered that a liquid substance was flowing into the street. That was when people told me a tanker had fallen in the street and its content was flowing into the community. “A woman instructed everyone to put off the light and I rushed back to my house to evacuate my family. But before I could step out of the house, the tanker exploded and huge balls of fire engulfed my house. My wife and two children were burnt to death. My last born, who

was also burnt, is lying critically ill in the hospital. My wife, children and earnings are all gone. Nigerians should come to my aid; I am finished.” The Nation gathered that the tanker was about to discharge its content at a filling station, when it fell. It was learnt that over 33,000 litres of petrol was emptied into the community. Mr. Saliu Oyegbile, a mechanic, lost his Jetta car, marked DC 309 MUS, and home in the fire. Police Commissioner Ikemefuna Okoye and the Deputy Commissioner, Operations, Mr. Mohammed Abdulkadir, visited the scene yesterday. Okoye said the police would investigate the incident.

Oyo police quiz Folarin on ‘meeting’ with Tokyo


ORMER Senate Leader Teslim Folarin was yesterday quizzed by the Oyo State Police Command over allegations that he held a secret meeting with the factional leader of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo) to destabilise the state. Folarin met with the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, behind closed doors for about one hour. It was learnt that the politician denied the allegation. An Ibadan-based group, Frontline for Justice, also alleged that Folarin’s house was raided by the police. The group, in a statement by its Coordinaor, Hammid Yusuf, yesterday condemned the raid. It alleged that the police ordered the raid following an allegation that Folarin and Akinsola had stockpiled arms. Mbu denied the allegation that the police raided Folarin’s home. He said he invited the former Senate Leader based on a security report. Mbu said policemen went to Folarin’s house to invite him

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

and the politician later showed up by himself. On his discussion with Folarin, the CP said: “Our discussion was wonderful. It lasted less than one hour. We got a security report on him. I invited him to hear his side and confirm the authenticity of the report. He came to the police by himself and we discussed.” Folarin denied meeting with Akinsola in the wee hours of yesterday. He said he set out early yesterday for a trip to Lagos and later Abeokuta, where he planned to meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he was informed on the phone of a heavy police presence at his Oluyole home. Folarin said: “Immediately, I made a detour and put a call through to the commissioner of police, who told me that the police was acting on the petition that I met with Tokyo around 1.30am to disrupt the peace in the state. I denied the allegation and I think it is a grand design by some politicians to give me the Eleweomo treatment.”

Eight Ondo NURTW men remanded From Damisi Ojo,Akure


N Akure High Court has remanded eight members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ondo State at Olokuta Prison for their alleged roles in last Sunday’s clash between factions of the union. A faction of the union battled the Obayoriade Olajuteleled leadership in an attempt to take over the union’s administration. The factions fought themselves with guns and other weapons, disrupting the peace in Akure, the state capital.

Ajuwa Old Students get new officers •Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (left) greeting a comedian, MC Murphy, in Abeokuta, the state capital, during the fireworks night that ushered in the New Year.

ACN leaders endorse Fayemi for second term EADERS of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ekiti State have adopted Governor Kayode Fayemi for a second term. They announced this during the end-of-year party hosted by former Governor Niyi Adebayo at his country home in Iyin-Ekti. The party was attended by top government officials, chieftains of the party and members of the youth wing from across the 16 local government areas. Although the party was supposed to be a social gathering, it turned out to be a political summit, as ACN leaders discussed the future of the party and suggested the way forward. Many speakers acknowledged the achievements of the Fayemi administration and endorsed the governor for a second term. They included Adebayo, Senator Tony Adeniyi (Ekiti South District), Mr. Ife Arowosoge, House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin, Mr. Dapo Karounwi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi and Chief Ronke Okusanya, among others. Adebayo said the Fayemi administration has impacted positively on the lives of the


•Governor: I’m humbled From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

people since its inception two years ago. He said: “The Fayemi administration has done a lot to develop the state through laudable strategies. I think he deserves the second term our people are clamouring for.” Omirin said Fayemi has given the people “a taste of good governance” and should be given a second term, so that he can consolidate on his achievements. Caretaker Chairman of Ado-Ekiti Local Government Mr. Sunday Ibitoye, who spoke on behalf of the 16 council chairmen, said the state was lucky to have Fayemi at the helm of affairs.

Ibitoye said the governor’s unique administrative style has brought “a great deal” of development to both urban and rural areas. He cited the building of fivekilometre roads by each council and the Social Security Scheme for the Elderly as two of the administration’s programmes that have endeared it to the people at the grassroots, aside the free education and free health programmes. Owolabi, Karounwi and Mrs. Okusanya said no government has touched the lives of the people like the Fayemi administration. ACN State Chairman Chief Jide Awe said the testimonies of the average Ekiti residents were enough grounds to endorse Fayemi for a second term. He said: “The leaders of

our party have spoken and the people on the streets have also spoken in clear terms. They are all saying the governor has performed and should be given a second term. I endorse this position because the Fayemi administration has made a difference in the state.” Reacting to the endorsement, Fayemi told reporters in an interview that he was humbled by the wishes of the party leaders. He said his administration still has a lot of work to do, adding that he is just in the middle of his first term. Fayemi said: “I am humbled by this expression of confidence and goodwill by our party men and women. We surely have a lot more to do, because we are just in the middle of the term. We have a contract with the people and, God willing, we shall try to deliver on all our electioneering promises.”

Activist decries sack of AAU workers


CTIVIST lawyer Morakinyo Ogele has given the authorities of the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), Akungba-Akoko, 14 days to reinstate the 60 workers of the institution, who were disengaged last month. He said no cogent reason was given by the university for their sack. Ogele said: “After perusing the four cores of

their sack letter, I found no cogent reason for sacking them. I put you on notice that the whole exercise is illegal and unacceptable.” The activist said he would seek redress in court, if the workers were not restated at the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum. “We shall not hesitate to file a writ of certiorari to quash the letter”, he added.


HE Ajuwa Old Students Association (AOSA), Okeagbe, Ondo State, has elected new officers to run its affairs for the next one year. The nine officers were elected at its Annual General Reunion, which was attended by the school’s former headteacher, Chief Guy Gargiulo. The new officers are Chief John Ademoyegun, National President; Mrs. Justus

Adetutu, First Vice-President; Mr. Dayo Oguntimehin, Second VicePresident; Pastor Olutayo Aliu, Secretary and Mr. Bolu Adesua, Assistant Secretary. Others are Mr. Isaac Ibitoye, Treasurer; Babatunde Sanni, Auditor; Alhaji Gani Amuda and Ayo Ogedengbe, ex-officios. Ademoyegun urged members to support the new officials to improve the school.

Ekiti gets commissions From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday inaugurated the House of Assembly Service Commission and the Local Government Service Commission. He urged them to key into the Civil Service Transformation Strategy, aimed at delivering the dividends of democracy to the people. Fayemi said the commissions, which were dissolved last year, were reconstituted because of the strategic roles they play in governance. The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi, said the commissions have been repositioned to discharge their responsibilities effectively. He said the administration would continue to support the workforce for optimal performance. Fayemi urged members of the commissions to justify the confidence reposed in them. Speaking on behalf of the appointees, Chief Ranti Adebisi, who is the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, thanked the government for the opportunity given them to serve and pledged that they would be productive. Describing council workers as his “brothers and sisters”, Adebisi said the commission would partner the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to deliver the dividends of democracy at the grassroots. The House of Assembly Service Commission is chaired by Chief George Ojo. Members are Mr. Bayo Akinola, Mr. Olaiya Kupolati, Mr. Foluso Ibirinde and Chief Samuel Abejide. Members of the Local Government Service Commission are Chief Reuben Akomolafe, Princess Omotunde Adelabu, Mr. Babalola Olorunfemi (NULGE nominee), Mrs. Dupe Bakare, Mr. Kola Fakiyesi and Chief Jacob Adewumi.





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Council gives centenarian, others N3m By Tokunbo Ogunsami

A CENTENARIAN, Alhaja Nimotalai Haastrup, and others yesterday benefited from the Surulere Local Government Arae of Lagos State's empowerment programme for the aged and widows. The 102-year-old woman, from Gbaja Ward, radiated joy while thanking the council Chairman, Mr. Tajudeen Ajide, for his gesture. Ajide said the programme was initiated to share the joy of the season with the aged and widows and alleviate their sufferings. "I want the people of this local government to enjoy dividends of democracy. They trusted the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and voted for us in the last local government election. It's now time for them to reap the fruits of their labour. We are giving 300 old people and widows from the nine wards N10,000 each, totaling N3 million. We want them to begin this year on a good note," he said.

UNILAG loses Assistant Registrar ASSISTANT Registrar, Information, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Mr John Bebetonpremobota Kosin is dead. He was 49. The late Kosin, who was born on March 3, 1963, hailed from Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State. He attended Ago-Egba High School, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, where he obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1985. From 1990 to 1991, he attended Times Journalism Institute, (TJI), Iganmu, Lagos, bagging a Diploma in Journalism (Upper Credit). He proceeded to the University of Lagos, Akoka and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), English Language (Second Class, Upper Credit) in 1998. The late Kosin worked with the defunct National Concord as an intern in 1991; Reporter,The Punch , 1992 and proof-reader and production Sub-Editor, The Guardian Newspapers 1993. He became a Senior Production Sub-Editor in June, 2003. The late Kosin joined the National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as an Administrative Officer in 2003. He was appointed an Administrative Officer 1, Information, in October, 2005. He is survived by an aged mother, wife and children.

•A cross-section of policemen at a meeting with Governor Babatunde Fashola on enforcement of Lagos Road Traffic Law at the Lagos House, Ikeja,...yesterday Inset: The governor flanked by (left) the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, police chief Umar Manko and Commissioner for Transport Kayode Opeifa PHOTO:MOSES OMOSHEHIN.

Fashola, security agencies meet on law enforcement L AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola and all the agencies entrusted with the enforcement of law and order in the Centre of Excellence met for almost two hours yesterday. The parley-second in 48 hours- was held at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja. It was a follow-up to a similar meeting held on Wednesday. In attendance were: Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Manko, all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Area Commanders, Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), top

officers of the State's Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI). Fielding questions from Government House Correspondents after the meeting, Fashola said the parley was informed by the need to reach out to the people concerned with the enforcement and maintenance of law and order in the state. According to the Governor, "We held our monthly Security Meeting yesterday (Wednesday) and some of the feedbacks there was that there

is need to reach deep down to all the people who are concerned with the enforcement and maintenance of law and order in the State. So that was the reason for calling this meeting". "You will see that the Commissioner of Police was there, all the Area Commanders were there, all the Divisional Police Officers in the State were there, VIOs were there, LASTMA was there and KAI was there also for environmental sanitation laws. "So, it is a comprehensive review of the year that we have just con-

cluded in terms of law and order and the gains we have made. It was a reawakening, as it were, of the need to do more. "The meeting was "a periodic evaluation, a first quarter evaluation of what we did last year and what goals we set for ourselves this year. Essentially it is that Lagosians should expect a relatively more aware and more committed law enforcement team, a more civilized one, a more firm but courteous law enforcement team; a more crime prevention oriented law enforcement team rather than criminal apprehension security team".

Hoodlums raid churches in Oshodi


HREE churches were raided by robbers on New Year's Day in Oshodi, Lagos. The robbers accosted worshippers, who were returning home after the service to usher the New Year. They were said to have disposed people of their valuables and molested teenage girls. The invaded churches were Temple Rebuilders Ministry; Renewed Christian World Mission and Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) among others. Head pastor, Temple Rebuilders, Barnabas Otoibui, told The Nation that his office was broken into and ransacked. He said: "I think they were looking for money. Maybe they thought they would see money inside my office. See how they scattered my documents. The incident happened

By Precious Igbonwelundu

in my absence, we had finished service and I had left the church only for my members to call me much later to tell me about the incident. "After calming them on phone, I quickly ran back to the church premises because they said they were stranded as the hoodlums had carted away their money and other valuables. So, I had to ensure that they all went home safely. "Since this church was built in 2006, this is the first time robbers would attack us. I used to hear from my members how they robbed other churches, but they have never come here. "We went to report at the Makinde Police Station that night and I just thank God that the children were not hurt."

The church's music director, Cyril Akhabue, said the robbers came in shortly after the cross-over service. He said: "They came at 3am on New Year's Day when most of our members had gone home after the service. Those that were around were about 15 waiting for the day to break. "I was inside the music room when I heard children screaming 'thief!' I thought it was just one person so I came out and started fighting him not knowing there were seven others. "As I was struggling with that one, two of his friends brought out their guns while others were carrying machetes and other tools. They all started beating me and eventually, they tied me alongside two other men that were in the church.

Lagos fire: Seven more buildings for demolition


EVEN buildings are to be demolished in Jankara, Lagos, where firecracker explosions destroyed 12 houses and goods worth millions of naira last week. Demolition notices have been pasted on the houses. Some houses, including those affected by the explosions had been demolished in the wake of the incident. General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, yesterday said the fire affected 12 houses, adding that eight which posed danger were pulled them down im-

By Miriam Ndikanwu

mediately. He said other affected buildings have been subjected to integrity test by the Lagos State Raw Material Testing Agency to determine their structural stability to forestall another disaster. Oke-Osanyintolu said: "Our work is to make the area safe and calm. Agencies like the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have carried out environmental impact assessment of the explosion, while the Lagos State Building Control Agen-

cy (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) have been on ground to clear the debris and other waste from the site." Eight buildings, he said, were demolished in three days, adding that the clearing would be concluded in less than two weeks after which fumigation would start. He said unfit buildings would be demolished, adding that those that need structural adjustments would be recommended for appropriate action. LASEMA and other relevant agencies, he said, were working hard to avert building collapse and fire outbreaks.





NEWS Man, 18, arraigned for robbery From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

N 18-year-old man, Alakinyede Taye, was yesterday arraigned before an Ekiti State Magistrate’s Court for armed robbery. He allegedly robbed Alhaji Dauda Arowolo of N300,000; Pastor Dele Ilesanmi of property valued at N200,000; Mr. Ayegbusi Samuel of property valued at N100,000; Mr. Ayegbusi Beatrice of property valued at N150,000 and Mr. Ayegbusi Adebayo of property valued at N100,000. Magistrate P.T. Ajibade remanded Alakinyede in police custody and adjourned the case till February 14.


Osun pays N342m as WAEC fees From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


HE Osun State Government has paid N342 million as West African Examination Council (WAEC) fee for pupils in secondary schools. The government also released N142 million to the schools as 2012/2013 first term running grant. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Lawrence Oyeniran, in a statement, said the gesture is aimed at boosting the sector. He urged the WAEC candidates to study hard for the examination and advised the administrators to spend the grant judiciously.

PDP: Bada is a tool in Mimiko’s hands


HE Akure Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus yesterday urged the public to shun statements made by the Director-General of the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, Dr. Oludare Bada, on the party’s performance in the October 20, 2012, governorship election. It said although Bada is a PDP chieftain, his position does not reflect that of the party. The group alleged that Bada is being used by Governor Olusegun Mimiko to destabilise the party. Bada reportedly said the failure to release money to him for the election, the choice of Oke as the PDP’s standard bearer and the “overbearing” attitude of former Governor Olusegun Agagu were responsible for the party’s defeat. In a statement, the PDP caucus said: “We would not have bothered about the statement, but for the questions of credibility it has generated, most especially on the image of Akure indigenes that are involved in active politics. “It is on record that notable Akure indigenes, like the late Chief Alex Adedipe, Chief Wumi Adegbonmire and Chief Olaiya Fagbamigbe, were politicians with enviable characters, who are points of reference when good politics and responsive governance are discussed. “While in active politics,

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

their political behaviour was not dictated by their financial appetite. Akure indigenes are knowledgeable, hospitable, reliable and committed people. They abound in all parties and occupy sensitive positions in the PDP and we will not allow anyone to smear their reputation. “When a man holds a position of public responsibility, he holds it in trust for the people, particularly his kinsmen, whose values, virtues and substance he mirrors. “When Bada served as a commissioner for just 10 months under Military Administrator Mike Torey, he exhibited what we are resisting today. Torey sent him packing unceremoniously. “When he supported the late Governor Adebayo Adefarati, he demonstrated this sense of overbearing self-importance and rendered himself a pitiable and negligible minority in that administration. He eventually abandoned the party and Adefarati. “Did he not disorganise the then Action Congress (AC) with lies while trying to get the party’s governorship ticket? When he was brought into the PDP and rehabilitated with a fantastic regional board appointment by the then Governor Olusegun Agagu and was

We, therefore, assure PDP leaders in Ondo State that we are totally against Bada’s macabre dance. We urge the media to see Bada as a funny tool in Mimiko’s wicked hands

later made chairman of the Hospital Management Board, did the world hear any complaint? “Against the advice of many people, PDP leaders, including Agagu, in deference to the strategic importance of Akure to the elections, made him DG of the PDP’s campaign organisation. Are his current actions not a stain on the integrity, team play, loyalty and transparency which Akure holds dear? Simply put, Bada’s pol-

itics leaves a sour taste in the mouth. “Since the unfortunate incident, we have received a series of phone calls from people, who are passionate about the development of Akure. The comments show that his dirty conduct has splashed mud on Akure indigenes in politics. “His behaviour epitomises lack of character and inability to manage his sterile hunger. That is why at a beckon, Bada joined the league of irrelevant renegades, who now seek relevance at the risk of their dignity. Is this not bread and butter politics at play? “During the campaign, he never complained of funding or improper behaviour by Oke or any party leader. In fact, he openly praised Agagu for his roles, especially his neutrality. Now that he is in search of relevance, he is spinning cock and bull stories. “If there were issues to be resolved after the election, he should have met with the campaign team leadership, the candidate and relevant party structures to straighten out grey areas.

“Because of Bada’s actions, majority of politicians in Ondo State now deal with Akure indigenes with caution. This is sad. Regardless of his political reasons, we advise Bada to sheath his sword. We believe he knows why it has been difficult for any Akure indigene to become governor, despite the city’s voting strength and the number of notable politicians it boasts of. “We, therefore, assure PDP leaders in Ondo State that we are totally against Bada’s macabre dance. We urge the media to see Bada as a funny tool in Mimiko’s wicked hands. “In these days when politics is filled with backbiting and hypocrisy, you cannot but find the like of Bada, who will be ready at a price to make ridiculous statements in the national newspapers to please their master. What he represents is toxic to the growth of democracy in Nigeria. “To build a democracy that will boost development, the like of Bada must not be taken serious. This is a duty we owe the system.”

Man remanded in prison for ‘murder’ Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, has remanded a 20-year-old man, Adekola Adelugba, in prison custody for allegedly killing Johnson Michael (22). Adelugba allegedly committed the offence at about 1am during a carnival organised by youths in Ekotedo Street, Osogbo.


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

He allegedly killed Michael by hitting him with a plank. Magistrate Olusola Aluko remanded him in Ilesha Prison, pending the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP’s) legal advice on the matter. The case was adjourned till January 24.





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

AshakaCem targets three million tonnes By Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe


SHAKACEM PLC plans to increase its yearly production capacity from 900,000 to three million tons. Its Managing Director, Mr Neeraj Akhoury,who made this known, said the decision was reached during the company’s Board meeting in Abuja. He said the feasibility studies on raw materials reserves, power and infrastructure undertaken on the planned capacity prove the company’s equality to the task. Consequently, he said the company is putting everything to accelerate the development plan, adding that it has made significant progress in implementing the phase one of the expansion project. While explaining that the expansion was in tandem with ensuring that Ashaka Cement remained cement users’ top choice, Mr Akhoury explained that their mother company, Lafarge Group, was committed to seeing the expansion through. He added that the expansion was founded on the willingness to create local business opportunities in partnership with its neighbouring communities to underscore the strong support the company has received from them and Gombe State government. He said the company to give back to its host community in 2011 invested over N175 million in education, village infrastructure and health development.

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

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

RATES Inflation -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

• From left: Directors, Footwear and Accessories Manufacturing and Distribution (FAMAD) PLC, Alhaji Mohammad-Kabir Haruna; Mrs Mayen Adetiba; outgoing Chairman, Mrs Olutoyin Olakunri; Mr Kayode Sunmola of Rosewater Partners; Director, FAMAD, Mrs Susan Aronke Omame, and Chairman,Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FAMAD at Eko Tourist Beach Resort, Akodo, Lagos.

Fed Govt’s pre-shipment contract extension for probe T

HE furore generated by the extension of the multi-million dollars pre-shipment contracts to four firms by the Federal Government took a new twist yesteday as the House Committee on Customs said it would organise a public hearing on issues and circumstances sorrounding the six-month extension. The government had, through a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Danladi Kifasi, conveyed the extension of the contracts for the provision, installation, operation and management of X-Ray scanning equipment and software for inspection of good to Messrs. Global ScanSystem Limited, Webb Fontaine Limited, Societe Generale Du Surveilance S. A. and Cotecna Inspection Limited. The letter, dated December 31, 2012, stated that the extension takes effect from January 1, 2013 and directed

• Licensed Customs’ agents kick From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja Bureau Chief

the firms to contact the Finanace Ministry’s legal unit “for the preparation and execution of the new agreement within one week of the date of this offer.” But stakeholders in the sector told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the contract extension violated certain agreements signed with the firm in January 2006, insisting that the nation stands to benefit more if officers specifically trained for the job by the Nigerian Customs are allowed to take over the task. Noting that the government violated a contractual agreement, which affirmed that the relevant agencies, including the service providers must be given three months’notification before an extension can be made, the stakeholders also questioned

why the service providers are exempted from paying duties on their imports even when their services are being paid from proceeds of import duties. They also argued that the country loses about $50 million monthly to the four firms without any commensurate value to the nation’s economy. Aside the petitions filed before the Hon. Sabo Nakudu House Committee on Customs, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Customs Licensed Agents, Mr Olayiwola Shittu, said the government ought to understand that the extension of the contract has dire economic and security implications for the country. Speaking with reporters, Shittu said: “I can tell you that the whole thing is a waste. Over 80 per cent of the socalled Risk Assessment Report (RAR) has been found to

be faulty because the Customs contnues to discover that what is declared does not tally with what is found. “In spite of all the noise about pre-shipment inspection, the Customs still discovers cases of concealment, wrong valuation and other acts that short-change the government from maximising revenue collection.” Lamenting that the $50 million being raked in by the four firms based on the one per cent Free On Board of cargoes into Nigeria, Shittu said the association has submitted its petition to the Ministry of Finance and the relevant committees in the National Assembly, adding that the House has assured of its desire to organise a public hearing on the matter. “Honestly, there is no justifcation for the extension. The Customs, as it is constituted, can manage the risk as it is done in many other countries”, he said.

Shareholders okay Capcom’s, Starcomms’ $210m deal From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor)


TARCOMMS Plc has received support from 99.83 per cent of its shareholders for Capcom to invest $210 million in the embattled telecoms company. A statement from Starcomm’s Public Relations outfit, Cutler Ogilvy, said bythis development, Starcomms “has received the necessary shareholder support for all matters relating to the proposed $210 million investment by Capcom into the Company.” The shareholders’ approvals, “now require the High Court’s ratification and the transaction, thereafter, remains subject to a number of conditions precedent as outlined in the Scheme Document including, but not limited to final regulatory approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Securities and Exchamge Commission (SEC)”.

Conoil to invest N4.8b in 60 new stations


S part of its expansion programme, Conoil Plc plans this year to bring on stream 60 new retail outlets worth N4.8 billion. A source said the filling stations would be spread across the country in line with the company’s planned major strategic expansion programme to meet the increasing consumer demand. “The expansion programme would cost about N4.8 billion and it is earmarked to grow the company’s sales and revenue by over 65 per cent. It is projected that the new stations will complement the company’s plan for massive importation of refined petroleum products this year. “The retail outlets will offer robust and automated network, which will leverage on technology to deliver the assurance of quality products and improve service efficiency at the forecourts. “The expansion project

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

represents the second phase of the company’s comprehensive four-year plan which started two years ago,” the source who asked not to be identified,” he said. Conoil had embarked on the plan to adequately prepare for industry-specific challenges, ensure impressive growth in its performance indicators and consolidate its leadership po-

sition in the downstream petroleum business. The company started the ambitious expansion plan with the upgrade of its storage tanks at its depots nationwide to accommodate bulk product imports. To do this, the company said it increased the storage tanks for white products, which include premium motor spirit (PMS), diesel and kerosene, to 80,000 metric tonnes, thereby doubling the capacity of its

storage facilities at its Apapa installation. Another major flank of the expansion programme, the source noted, is the construction of the company’s multibillion naira Port Harcourt depot, which has the capacity to hold 70,000 metric tonnes of various petroleum products with the propensity to dispense 5.5 million litres per day. The Port Harcourt depot, he added, complements the company’s flagship installa-

tion in Apapa, Lagos, providing easy access to fuel imports and easing the pressure on available jetties and other port infrastructure in Lagos. “Conoil has been in the forefront of pioneering innovative initiatives in the downstream oil sector.Its multipurpose mega stations, not only sell petroleum products, but also offer a variety of value-added convenience services that delight consumers,” he added.

OPEC to cut crude exports by 1%


HE Organisation of Pe troleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will cut crude shipments this month by one per cent as demand tapers off after peaking for the northern hemisphere winter, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements. The group that supplies about 40 per cent of the world’s oil will export 24.02 million barrels a day in the four weeks

to January 19, down 2501,000 barrels from the previous period, the researcher said yesterday in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador. “The mid-winter trough is the end of the season for longhaul crude coming into the Atlantic basin,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder Mason said by phone from Halifax, England. The reduction may also sig-

nal that Saudi Arabia is trimming production to balance global supply and demand, he said. Brent crude traded at about $112 a barrel in London today, having gained 3.5 percent last year in its weakest performance since 2008. OPEC is pumping about 1.4 million barrels a day more than its official target of 30 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Middle East shipments will

slide 1.3 percent to 17.68 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 17.91 million in the four weeks to Dec. 22, according to the report. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen. “There is less west-bound oil,” Mason said. “If you’re going to control the market, the west is the major lever. So the Saudis may already be moving to control the market.”




Imo ALGON protests ‘misappropriation’ of N80b council cash T HERE was tension yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, as disengaged local government chairmen and councillors protested the alleged government’s misappropriation of over N80 billion belonging to the councils. The former chairmen and their supporters also protested the refusal of the Rochas Okorocha administration to obey Appeal Court judgment, which restored the local government administration on July 6, last year. The protest grounded human activities and vehicular movements in most parts of Owerri. It resulted in traffic gridlock and heightened fear of a likely security breach among the

•Govt: Okorocha won’t join issues with protesters From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

residents. The protesters were led by ALGON Chairman Ruby Emele. They carried placards with various inscriptions, such as: ALGON says no to Emperor Okorocha; Okorocha is an enemy of the Constitution; Where is our N80 billion LGA fund?; Rochas has killed LGA in Imo state; among others. They were, however, dispersed by a team of stern looking policemen, led by the Ow-

erri Area Commander, Mr. Felix Kigiya. The police team prevented the protesters from entering the road leading to the Government House. At the junction leading to the Government House, Heavily armed policemen and soldiers cordoned off the road leading to the Government House. Motorists were frisked before they were allowed onto the road. The police detained Emele briefly. The ALGON chairman led

the protesters to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat, where she met the Secretary, Enyinna Onuegbu, and addressed supporters. Addressing reporters, the ALGON Secretary Onuegbu said the chairmen were protesting the alleged misappropriation of over N80billion by the government and its agencies.’ He said the protest was also about the continued release of council allocations to the government without a meeting of the Joint Account Committee. The ALGON Secretary berated the Okorocha administra-

tion for playing politics with the development of local governments. He demanded the intervention of the Federal Government in the release of council funds collected by the state government since May 2011. The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media Ebere Uzoukwa said Okorocha is committed to the ongoing transformation of the state. He said the governor would not join issues with the former PDP council chairmen whose tenure has expired. Uzoukwa said: “They are exhibiting desperation, apparently believing that it is still business as usual.” The governor’s aide said the state would soon conduct a local government election.

Obi, Akunyili, others eulogise Igbokwe By Nneka Nwaneri


NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday eulogised Madam Dinah Onyebuchi Igbokwe, the late mother of Lagos State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) spokesman, Prince Joe Igbokwe. He said Mama lived a fulfilled life. The occasion was the funeral of Mrs Igbokwe in Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State. Obi, who condoled with the family, said he had been a good friend of Igbokwes for years. At the event was former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili; House of AssemblyDeputy Speaker Chukwudi Orizu; the governor’s wife, Margaret, among others. Delegates from Lagos were led by Lagos ACN Assistant Publicity Secretary, Chief Funso Ologunde. Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Dr Calistus Ilozu; his Agriculture counterpart, Ndubisi Melakaya and Education, Mrs Uju Okeke; Anglican Bishops of Ihiala, Ideato and Oru Dioceses, also attended the funeral.

Anambra, Delta flood victims get donations From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


LOOD victims in Anambra and Delta states yesterday received cash donations from their compatriots who live in the United States of America. The donors were under the auspices of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America, New Jersey branch (ANPANJ) USA. The flood victims got N100,000 each, which was handed over to them by the group’s Treasurer, Dr. Judy Umeukeje. ANPA said it was alleviating the plight of victims of recent floods in both states. Umeukeje handed the donation to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Oseloka Obaze, in Awka, the state capital. He explained that though ANPA members were not at home to assist with the medical needs of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) during the floods, they were touched by the disaster.

Akunyili denies interest in Anambra governorship race From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


HEAD of Anambra State governorship race in November, this year, a former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, has debunked the rumour that she is interested in the race. The former National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General had been continuously linked with the governorship race under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). But Akunyili told reporters yesterday in Awka, the state capital, that she might again contest for the Anambra Central senatorial seat when the time is ripe. “When the time comes, I will run for it and safeguard my vote,” she said. The former minister described the rumour of her governorship ambition as a big distraction. She said: “Must I run in every election? It is an unnecessary distraction.” The politician warned those peddling what she called a false story to stop it. Prof Akunyili contested the Anambra Central senatorial election on the platform of APGA and lost to incumbent Senator Chris Ngige of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). She is a member of Federal Government Flood Victims Rehabilitation Committee.

‘APGA lawmakers confident in Obi’ From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi •From right: Prince Igbokwe; Orizu; Governor Obi; his wife, Margaret and Prof Akunyili, during the funeral service for Madam Dinah PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI Igbokwe, in Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State...yesterday.

Emordi hails Jonathan, Obi for repairing Southeast roads A FORMER senator, who represented Anambra North, Joy Emordi, has hailed President Goodluck Jonathan and Anambra State Governor Peter Obi for repairing Southeast roads. The Onitsha-Enugu and Aba-Enugu Expressways were mostly impassable before the Yuletide. But they have been repaired and motorists now ply them without pains. Addressing reporters in Onitsha, when she visited some motherless babies’ homes, including Onitsha South Motherless Babies’

• ‘Budget implementation begins immediately’

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Home, Emordi noted that Southeast residents have been relieved of the agony on the roads. She said: “Honestly, this is a feat that must be commended. It has been a nightmare for the Igbo, especially during festive periods. Most people do not travel because of bad roads. But this year, that jinx was broken for those

who came home for Christmas. Southeast people have never had it so good like this. “This palliative work has done the magic. Everybody now moves freely on the roads that were hitherto impassable. I believe that within a short time, the Southeast federal roads, especially the OnitshaEnugu and Aba-Enugu roads, would have been completed.” Emordi also hailed the National Assembly for quickly

passing the 2013 budget. She said: “The budget implementation will start immediately. I thank my colleagues for believing in the Federal Government and making everybody proud, including myself, because I have been there. “Some people felt that the purported fight between the Executive and Legislature would stall the process. Let me tell you: there was nothing like a face-off between the two arms. It was just the figment of some people’s imagination. The relationship between both arms of government has been cordial and will continue like that.”


FORUM of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chieftains in Anambra State has hailed Governor Peter Obi for his dynamic leadership. The forum comprises the party’s House of Assembly candidates in the 2007 general elections. In a communiqué by 23 members of the forum issued after its meeting in Awka, the state capital, the politicians expressed confidence in Obi’s ability to continue to lead the state well. The communiqué noted that the governor has demonstrated serious commitment to even development of Anambra. It said Obi remains the undisputed leader of APGA in the state, adding that he should be treated and respected as such by any member of the party.

Orji praises Ihejirika for fighting crime in Abia BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has described the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubike Onyeabor Ihejirika, an indigene, as an asset to the state. The governor urged other prominent indigenes to emulate him. Orji spoke at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, when he hosted the Army chief. He hailed Gen. Ihejirika for the role soldiers played with other security agencies in ridding the state of kidnappers. Orji noted that before the military joined other security agencies in fighting crime in


From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

Abia, criminals almost overran the state. The governor recalled that core investors left the state while the few that stayed behind could not sleep with their eyes closed. He said: “As a true son of Abia State, you did not waste time to come to the aid of your dear state when your assistance was needed. You despatched some of your men to help us check the excesses of the criminals, like kidnappers and armed robbers.” Orji said even after the

criminals were chased out of the state, the Army chief did not withdraw his men. “Their continued presence in the state has helped to maintain peace, security and order,” the governor said. The governor stressed that the presence of soldiers gave the indigenes the confidence to return home with their friends for the Yuletide celebration. He said: “Dear General, it is a gesture we cannot easily forget as you have complemented our security efforts.” The governor said the efforts of the Army chief have made the state to become one of the safest in Nigeria. Oji said Gen. Ihejirika has as-

sisted Abia to restore the confidence of investors in the state. He added that contractors have also returned to site to build new roads and repair bad ones. The governor said he was happy that Abians celebrated the Yuletide in a secure environment. Orji promised to always support the Army. Gen. Ihejirika, who was accompanied by his wife and top military brass, thanked the governor for his assistance. He reassured the people of the state of safety. The Army chief added that the soldiers are in the state to maintain peace and security.


He warned the public against the abuse or misuse of the soldiers.










‘Women can drive agric development’


OMEN farmers and agricultural scientists can drive agricultural growth and tackle hunger if they are engaged, an agricultural expert, Dr Elizabeth Oluwalana, has said. Speaking with The Nation, Mrs Oluwalana, who is of the Department of Business Enterprise and Management and Entrepreneurship Studies, College of Management Science, Federal University of Agrculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said women farmers produce more than half of food nationwide and yet few extension

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

or research services are directed at women. She said if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms, raise agricultural output and reduce the number of hungry people. The expert noted that increasing investment in agricultural development research, and strengthening the ability of women to produce more food

would help the economy. She urged the private sector to increase their support and to ensure that women are prioritised in agricultural development strategies and programmes. She added that a functional strategy must focus on long-term investment in women farmers who labour to produce food. Mrs Oluwalana urged the government to redistribute the revenues extracted from the country’s natural resources to benefit women farmers. She said food insecurity must be addressed by strengthening

responses aimed at helping women farmers. “Most small farmers are women, yet we are often overlooked when it comes to services and advice that could help us reap greater benefits for our labour,” she said. To increase agricultural productivity and reach the broader agricultural sector, Mrs Oluwalana said the government must focus on quality investments in technologies and knowledge that can reach these farmers and increase their awareness of new innovations.

Small farmers lack expert guidance on food needs


FFORTS to fight hunger and rural poverty are being hampered by weak support for extension services and advice to enable small farmers to produce more food and reap greater benefits from their harvest, Country Manager, Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA) Prof. Lateef Sanni has said. Sanni, who disclosed this to The Nation i n a n i n t e r v i e w , said farm extension and rural advisory services occupy a strategic position in the agricultural production cycle. He regretted that the quality of the service has fallen nationwide since the World Bank cease to fund the service and the Federal and state governments took over. According to him, the long period of under-investment in agriculture – particularly in extension services, is affecting

agricultural growth. Revitalising extension and advisory services, he noted, is not simply a matter of allocating more money. It’s about reforming the way these services work and their systems of governance, and making sure that the reforms that are already underway are effective and achieve the desired impact. He said achieving improved national food production dependable on an effective extension service where farmers are linked to information about appropriate farming practices, when and what to plant, and how to use new technologies like seeds and soil management techniques developed by researches. Extension service providers, he explained, pass on feedback from farmers to policy makers and help to ensure that government poli-

cies are effectively meeting the needs of farmers. For this to work well, Sanni said the nation needs a system where there is one extension officer to 15 farmers and not a situation where there is one officer to 1,000 farmers. With the population increasing nationwide, Sanni, who is also the President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, said farmers need to adopt farming practices that can increase yields in a changing climate to feed more people. While also creating new job and market opportunities to address high unemployment and poverty. Generally, he noted that small farmers produce the bulk of food and that the government and international donors must redouble their efforts to boost small famers

agricultural production if the nation is to reverse persistent food insecurity and rural poverty. He said the government must institute an extension services policy that increased the coverage and technical capacity of extension in rural areas. Sanni said communications technologies are part of a new age of extension that service farmers well. He said modern communications technology help to educate farmers on best practices and inform them of innovations to improve their harvests. On average, there is one extension worker for every 4,000 famers in Africa. Although the situation has improved in some countries, such as Kenya, where the ratio is one to every 1,470 farmers, it is still far below the ideal of one extension officer for every 400 farmers.

• Cross section of participants at the event.

Fadama trains council chiefs on project sustenance


HE Lagos State Fadma Coordinating Office has held a workshop for local council chairmen on agricultural project sustainability. The forum provided opportunity for council chiefs to acquire knowledge on project implementation, management, financing and community development. Flagging off the training, Lagos State Coordinator of Fadama 111 Project, Mr Folu Ajijola, enumerated the achievements of the project since inception saying: “Despite the string of successes re-

By Kunle Akinrinde

corded so far, the general challenge facing the project is inadequate fund to meet the increasing demand from community groups.” Speaking on the need for integration of rural community dwellers into the project, Southwest Zonal Coordinator of Fadama 111 Project, Alhaji Abdulrasaq Salami, called for proactive measures to address challenges facing beneficiaries in local communities. “The aim of Fadama Project is to improve the lives of people

in the rural communities, whose main occupation is agriculture. To this end, I want to urge local government chairmen to provide enabling environment for rural people to benefit from the project through proper evaluation of their challenges and package solutions for external intervention. Other speakers include a community development expert, Dr. T. Arokoyo, who called for an action plan to sustain the project when World Bank funding stopped. He said: “Considering the timeline of the World Bank

funding, I want to call for a Local Government Action Plan that should be incorporated into local government annual budget for the sustainability of Fadama Projects. Chairman, Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Akeem Omoyele Sulaiman, who is also the chairman, Conference 57 in the state, the umbrella body for Lagos council chairmen, thanked the organisers of the workshop, adding that they were ready to work with the Fadama Office to sustain the project.

Farmers hail project


OMATO farmers in Jigawa State have praised the gov ernment for upgrading its irrigation land. The government had provided more than N200 million for the procurement of hand pumps and construction of 2,000 tube wells for the irrigation farmers. Also expanded are upgraded irrigation fields across the state. Some of the farmers at Warwade irrigation field in Dutse the state capital said the project would enhance dry season farming. Hamisu Adamu, a tomato farmer, said the project would ease difficulties experienced in watering the plantations and encourage productivity. “The provision of tube wells and water channels will make it easier for irrigation activities.The project is commendable and it will encourage agricultural activities in the state,” he said. Another farmer, Shuaibu Usman, said the upgrading project would open up more land for cultivation, adding that it would also encourage youths to go into agriculture. “More land will be made available for youths to cultivate,” he said. He called on the government to educate farmers on preservation techniques to check wastages. He urged the youth to take advantage of the project.

Govt distributes grains to flood victims


HE Federal Government has started the distribu tion of grain to flood victims in Oyo State. At the ceremony in Ibadan, the Southwest Regional Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Musiliu Lasisi, were present during the exercise. Odeyemi urged the beneficiaries to eat the grains and not re-sell, warning that anyone caught selling them would be prosecuted. The ministry official, who assured that the exercise would be continuous, said a committee had been set up to monitor the compilation of victims’list and the distribution of the grains to ensure equity. He said the committee, which included representatives of the Federal and state government, would check diversion of the grains. Also speaking at the forum, Lasisi said no fewer than 1,000 victims of flood disasters are to benefits in Oyo State, we hope to reach about 10,000 victims on the long run,” he added. Lasisi said the list of victims was complied through the assistance of the State Emergency Management Agency. “We went through a lot of efforts to ensure we reach victims at the grassroots by contacting the local government councils to get their list. “Our major targets are women and other youths, including children and other vulnerable groups. “We scrutinise the list to make sure it is authentic and contains names of real victims and not impostors.” Beneficiaries were given branded 25-kilogramme bags of sorghum and maize and garri. It would be recalled that the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, three weeks ago, flagged off the nationwide distribution of relief materials in Ibadan.



Passengers savour Lagos-Kano train service

Amaechi urges investment spirit






DO State Commissioner on the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Henry Okhuorobo has kicked against agitations that the 13% derivation fund should be given to oil producing communities directly. He said: “No single community has the structure to implement any form of derivation fund.” The state NDDC boss said state governors should be allowed to manage the fund as, according to him, “the governors are still the collective trustees of the people and they are


Varsity lifts flood victims Anambra



Page 17


‘Communities can’t handle 13% fund’ From Osagie Otabor, Benin

the ones in the best position to handle these resources.” He continued: “If you put into perspective what the governors have gotten in the democratic dispensation and what they have done especially in the last six years you will see that it is a big plus. I think the governors have risen to the challenge”. On ensuring projects supervi-

When it comes to compliance with projects specifications, we are on top of it. We are supervising roads to ensure the quality of our roads are improving. In Edo NDDC, there is a change and we have risen to the challenges of improvement in jobs even in our school projects sion, Okhuorobo said the present NDDC board is a corrective one and that they are ensuring that projects are done according to contractual specifications.

He said: “We have seen in the past that the commission may not have risen to its challenges , but we have even risen more. We are the only commission work-

ing in the 18 local governments in Edo State and we have physical projects to show for it and if you put that side by side our budget, you know that we are working hard. “When it comes to compliance with projects specifications, we are on top of it. We are supervising roads to ensure the quality of our roads are improving. In Edo NDDC, there is a change and we have risen to the challenges of improvement in jobs even in our school projects”


OR over 1,000 widows, the cloud of gloom disappeared during the Yuletide festivities, thanks to a non-governmental organisation Target Health Education and Economic Empowerment Initiative Foundation (THEEE Initiative). The organisation provided rice for the women as well as condiments to cook it. They also received wrappers, among various gifts, which put them in a jolly mood for the season. It all happened in Achi community, Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State. THEEE Initiative is operated by Mr. Victor Obi-Anadiume and his wife, Lady U. ObiAnadiume. Before the Christmas largess, nursing mothers especially the poor who could not meet the needs of their families had reason to thank God as Mr ObiAnadiume supplied their needs. That was why struggling nursing mothers and widows in Achi community were happy to have the Obi-Anadiumes. THEEE Initiative donated and distributed to nursing mothers, widows, and the less privileged over 1,300 bags of rice, 1,500 wrappers, 300 cartons of tomatoes, complementary feeding cereals, milk and other items worth over N14m. Parish Priest of Saint John of God Akwu Achi, Very Reverend Fr Michael C. Onyehara, and Venerable CC Onyeso of Holy Trinity Anglican Church Akwu as well the traditional ruler of Amaetiti, Igwe Ralp Nzekwe commended Mr Obi-Anadiume for his magnanimity and selflessness to his people. They prayed God to guide him so he can continue to assist the people. They encouraged the beneficiaries to put what they benefited to good use to enable them recreate wealth with it. Speaking to Newsextra, ObiAnadiume said his vision is to assist government at all levels in reducing the level of poverty in Nigeria starting from South-

•The widows at the event

A lift for 1,000 widows NGO feeds, clothes the needy

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

east especially his home state Enugu and hometown Achi. “This NGO gave out N9m interest-free revolving loan to the first set of beneficiaries numbering over 200 people; we sponsored a former Rangers footballer, Mr Agozie Agu to Qatar with over N1.5m; one blind Ifeanyi Iloegbunam is being sponsored too for a retina detach-

ment correction surgery. Anadiume informed that many communal disturbances would be avoided or minimised if youths, widows, orphans and less privileged were empowered in one way or the other. He restated his commitment to investing in individuals facing challenges but who are promising and could return investment on them to the society. The chairman and founder THEEE Initiative said he would sink

a borehole at Obodo Ukwu Square and float a massive scholarship scheme for brilliant but indigent children at all levels of education by next year. Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs Anthonia Orji , and Mrs Uche Mmaduakor expressed gratitude to the NGO for being their messiah. They informed that the Obi•Continued on Page 45

•Mr. Victor Obi-Anadiume





Amaechi urges investment spirit

NDE trains 50 disabled persons, widows, others



Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi has urged residents of the state to embrace the spirit of investment and self-employment in the new year. He made the call in his new year broadcast entitled: We will govern for the future, in Port Harcourt. He said the state government had set aside N5 billion in the 2013 budget for a state equity/ enterprise fund to be provided in the first quarter of the year. Amaechi said the fund would improve access to credit by medium scale entrepreneurs and those graduating from the micro levels. “ We would like to appeal to our people to embrace the spirit of investment and self employment, which is the best form of employment. Our people should explore opportunities in agriculture and small and medium enterprise through entrepreneurship, ’’ he said. On education, Amaechi said government would begin the construction of the new campus of the state University of Science and Technology. “We are pleased with the strides of the univer-

Okorocha calls for sacrifice

MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has urged residents to make more sacrifices to ensure the success and sustenance of the programmes and policies of his administration. He made the call in Owerri in his New Year message to the people of the state. The governor said such sacrifices were necessary to create opportunities for the hopeless and secure brighter future for the state. He said: “Everyone in the state has a role to play to make my administration succeed. We shall remain focused in our transformation agenda by promoting only programmes and policies that will impact positively on the lives of our people.’’ The governor promised that his administration would complete all on-going projects in the state in 2013. He thanked residents for

Imo supporting his administration during the year, adding that their support enabled him to record many successes within a short period. “May I once again urge you to shun all forms of vices, including kidnapping, armed robbery and corruption as we enter into the New Year. We should also endeavour to continue to pray for sustainable peace and unity in our state and dear country,’’ he said. The governor said that he had put behind the recent clash between his motorcade and that of Sen. Chris Anyanwu, representing Imo East, in which a driver was injured. “In the spirit of the New Year celebration, I want to express my forgiveness to Senator Chris Anyanwu,’’ he said.

HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE), says it is training 50 unemployed youths on skills acquisition programme in Cross River State . The state’s Coordinator of the programme, Mr Edem Duke, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Calabar. Duke said the training which started on November 19, would end on January 24, adding that the training would be for three months. He said that at the end of the programme, stipends would be given to beneficiaries to

Rivers sity, as it has moved up in the Nigeria University Commission’s ratings from 76 to 19. While we urge the management and the faculties not to rest on their oars, we encourage them to work hard to get into global reckoning and compete with their peers around the world. The best is good enough for our dear state,’’ he said. He said that 264 of the 750 modern primary schools started by his administration had been completed. The governor said 100 were already in use, adding that the schools had been equipped with ICT and sports facilities to make learning easy. Amaechi said the administration built 120 new primary healthcare centres and renovated 130 old ones. “All 250 primary health care centres are fully functional. We are also upgrading and increasing the capacity of our auto disposeable syringe factory to enable us to produce one billion syringes at once,’’ he said.


•Chairman, Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area, Hon. Omobolanle AkinyemiObe lightening cooker during the distribution of Indomie Empowerment Programme


OVERNOR Theodore Orji of Abia State has said that his administration would take strategic steps to ensure rapid industrial growth in the state in 2013. Orji made the promise in his new year goodwill message to the people of the state in Umuahia. He said that government would establish agro-based industries, adding that entrepreneurs would be fully engaged in mechanised agriculture in the proposed liberation farms. He further promised to pursue the establishment of technology parks in Aba and Umuahia in 2013 in order to harness the ingenuity of the entrepreneurs in the state. The governor expressed the optimism that the initiative would support the growth of the small scale enterprises and also create jobs for the people. He gave assurance that he would judiciously utilise the state resources to transform the area and


Orji to industrialise Abia Abia deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. Orji said that government would continue to plug all loopholes for financial leakages in the system. He said that the bio-metric system of salary payment initiated by his administration would be completed in 2013 as


HE Acting Director of Anambra Fire Service, Mr Anthony Nkezue, has appealed to the state government to assist the service with modern fire fighting equipment. Nkezue, who made the plea in

• From right: Arch Olajumoke Adenowo, principal partner, AD Consultancy Limited and founder/cordinator Awesome Treasure Foundation; Mrs Seun Oni, CEO, Coca Cola and Mrs Dolu Romeo at the thankskgiving summit for Awesome Treasures Foundation at the Muson Centre in Lagos.


• Hon Ajidagba giving JAMB form to one of the beneficiaries

OR the less privileged, particularly the infirm and old people at Yaba and envi-

rons, this festive period impacted some joyful moments in their lives. The Rotary Club of Yaba donated some items to better their lot The District Governor,Mr Kamaru

By Musa Odoshimokhe

Omotosho led his team to donate items ranging from bedding materials, eateries and toiletries to those whose survival mainly depend on people’s goodwill. The DG said: “It gives us joy to render service to mankind and the only way to do that is to minister to their need. That is why Ro-

part of effort to check over bloated workforce and ghost workers. The governor said that a new electronic tax remittance system would be introduced to eliminate the problem of double taxation. He praised indigenes of the state for their unflinching support to his administration and assured them that 2013 would be better.

Anambra Awka, in an interview with journalists, also said there was need to recruit more personnel. He explained that the service had received 30 distress calls in 2012, though five were false calls, adding that the 25 calls were well attended to. Nkezue said that the service would have performed optimally if it had modern equipment and enough personnel. According to him, the organisation is under staff and most of its equipment are obsolete. He pleaded with government to urgently rescue the service from collapsing. He, however, said 2012 had been good, attributing the success to the awareness campaign it carried out on how to control and prevent fire outbreak. The acting director advised members of the public against storing inflammable materials,adding that all electrical appliances not in use should be unplugged at all times. Nkezue also urged members of the public to always make use of the service phone numbers in times of emergency.

‘Take security seriously’

IGERIANS have been urged to be security conscious and be ready to contribute to the development of the country in the new year. The advice was given by the District Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church in Apapa, Rev.Michael Ogunbola, at a press briefing in Lagos. Rev. Ogunbola said 2013 is the year for Nigerian leaders to seek divine direction to chart a new course for development in all facets. “They can’t do anything less if they are to be remembered for great things.” The cleric urged all religions to be tolerant and responsible as this is the only way to demonstrate God’s love for mankind. He said God showed exceeding love for humans by sending Jesus Christ to the world. ‘But regrettably, Christian leaders in government have not been representing us well”. On the way forward, he advised Nigerians to look beyond education and sentiments in the choice of their leaders. “The end point is mediocre leadership which draws us back in our developmental processes”, he said. For the leaders, he said they should consider their names and posterity as these are more important than riches and ‘questionable’ honour

start their own businesses. Duke said that the beneficiaries were being trained in vocational skills such as shoe making, tailoring, bead making, cosmetics and hair dressing. According to him, 50 persons with special needs acquired training that is demanddriven and peculiar to the environment. Duke

Anambra Fire Service seeks modern equipment

By Kunle Akinrinade

tures, two patrol vehicles with modern communication gadgets will be presented to the two police stations in our council area to boost their operation and enhance adequate security of lives and property. All that we have achieved in the last one year has been very challenging due to competing demands from our various sectors. However, the policy thrust of our administration is to take up projects that have a wider reach to a vast majority of our people and we would not rest on oars in the quest to transform our council area to an enviable height”, he added. Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries of the free UME form, Miss Folasade Yusuf, thanked Hon Ajidagba for his benevolence. “We are indeed elated for benefiting from Hon Ajidagba’s kindness. Many of us are not children of politicians and our selection was based on merit because we are indigent. It is for this simple reason that we want to thank the council chairman for this wonderful gesture and may God continue to strengthen him.” The ceremony was witnessed by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACNN) Leader in Badagry Division, Chief Rabiu Oluwa, party loyalists, community leaders and traditional rulers in the council area.

Cross River

Rotary gives to the needy

Council chief donates to residents S part of the activities marking his first anniversary in office, the Chairman of Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, Hon. Fatai Ajidagba, has distributed free University Matriculation Examination (UME) forms, eyeglasses, first aid boxes to students, residents and schools in the council area. The occasion also witnessed the distribution of new patrol vehicles to Amukoko and Layeni Police Stations while free surgery was provided for ailing residents at the Ifelodun Primary Health Centre. Ajidagba said that his administration is working tirelessly to provide meaningful infrastructural development, social amenities and security of lives and property. He said: “The focal point of our one year anniversary is a week long free health services. This is primarily aimed at consolidating on our effort at promoting the healthy living of our people and this include surgical operations on various illnesses which include hernia, hydrocele, lump and inflamed appendix. We are also giving out 1,000 eye glasses to various beneficiaries while free medical test of illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cervical problems will be conducted.The glasses are to cure eye problems. u” Continuing, he said: “Among many other ges-


they clamour for. He said what should be uppermost in their minds is what the people would remember them for. He said: “It is better to think more of the electorate as the public is expecting much from them. Government should carryout popular projects to improve living standard. Leaders should stop from fooling Nigerians”. Speaking against the atrocities of Boko Haram religious sect, the Cleric said it is against the Holy Scriptures to take lives of innocent citizens. He, therefore, urged Christians to be more vigilant to prevent losing more lives.

•Rev.Ogunbola (second left) speaking at the event

Burial for Chief Onyeanwusi


he burial arrangements for late Chief Francis Onyeanwusi who died on Septermber 23, 2012 have been announced. He was 76 years old. On Friday January 11, there will be service of songs at his residence in Umuatuegwu Uhuobo village, Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. The following day, his body will leave Our Lady of Lourdes Mortuary, Ihiala in a motorcade for his residence for lying-in- state by 7am. By 10 am, there will be a funeral service at his compound, interment follows immediately. There will be an outing service at St. Barth’s Anglican Church, Uhuobo Okija on Sunday, January 13. He is survived by wife, Christian, Chief Adolphus Onyeanwusi (Odera), Mrs Joy Obidebube, Head of Department, Nigeria Languages, College of Education Nsugbe, Chief S t a n l e y Onyeanwusi, among others. •Chief Onyeanwusi

•Mr. Omotosho laying the foundation stone of toilet at Jibowu Junior High School, Yaba.

New patrol vans for police


HE Chairman, Olorunda Local Council Development Area, Hon. Amida Abudu, has donated two security patrol vans to both Morogbo Divisional Police Station and Area ‘K’ Police Command to enhance security in the area. “My expectation is nothing more than for them to combat crime decisively for us to live in a crime-free community. When security is guaranteed, we stand a good ground to have many developmental projects springing up in the community, there will be private company investments and boom in businesses. If the community is notwell secured, nothing tangible would be brought there to drive multi-dimensional growth and community developments.” Abudu further reiterated the administration’s readiness to serve the community, arguing that his two administrations have since recorded landmark successes. According to him,: “We have instituted numerous projects: I ensure that I recompense over 50 widows at N7,500 on monthly basis. We have commissioned primary schools and we have some ongoing, Ilogbo Health Centre has also recently been commissioned. We also commissioned a community market and money has been disbursed for construction of additional markets. “We still have many ongoing projects yet to be unveiled for use because of monetary issue so, as soon as we are done with our contractors they would be commissioned.” Earlier, Mr. Adesina Soyemi, the Assistant Commissioner of Police had said: “I am very happy about this development and I want to express the gratitude to the local government for deeming it necessary to donate these patrol vans for our use. I assure you that we will make use of the vehicles for the good of the people of this community. “The establishment of the headquarters of

By Adegunle Olugbamila

the whole police division within the Badagry area in your (chairman) local government is a unique achievement because automatically now this area can always be under Badagry and has become the headquarter of Badagry indirectly. From this area, instruction is given to every other person and it must be obeyed. “I want to seize this opportunity to remind the chairman about the dam place, I task this administration to ensure that something tangible is done because of all the new area commands, five of them that were created with the exception of the one across Water Ilase, ours is the least developed,he said.

said the training was meant to assist them in becoming self-employed and employers of labour. He also said that one of the objectives of the training was to reduce unemployment, street begging, armed robbery and other social vices. Duke said that the beneficiaries include physically challenged persons, idle youths, widows and orphans, persons living with HIV/AIDS, albinos, commercial sex workers and miscreants. tary has decided to focus on six major areas of needs with positive impact on the people. It is part of what we do yearly; we are paying attention to water and sanitation, disease prevention and treatment, and to empower people with something to eat.” The journey which started at the premises of Nigeria Institute of Medical Research Centre, Yaba, with members decked in green aprons and faze caps, took them to the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, where some in-patients who veiled their psychological trauma received members of the club. Chief Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Oluwayemi Ogun who received the guests on behalf of the hospital, thanked Rotary Club for the wonderful job it was doing across the country, citing instances which the hospital had benefited from. The patients cheered the club members when it presented the donation of mattresses to the hospital. It is believed that with such bedding materials,they would have good rest, which according to experts, was part of the cure for unsound minds. The club’s DG who prayed for their good health and speedy recovery from whatever ailment they were undergoing, noted that it had become a tradition to celebrate with them at festival periods just to give them hope. Some of the patients who took photographs with club members expressed their relief as they accompanied the members to board their vehicle which took them to the Old Peoples’ Home, Yaba where edible items like bags of rice, toiletries, oil, beans etc were donated to them. Apparently elated, the old people giggled as joy was brought to their door steps. The Matron-in-Charge, Mrs Feyisayo Olaore praised the club for their charitable support for the old people, most who had

Annual Prayer THE Melototah Church of Zion begins its annual prayer, Ramah 2013, on Monday, January 7. The theme is: God of Perfection Highlights of the porgramme include prayer, deliverance, counselling, seminar. Services will hold at 5am, 9am, 12noon and 5.30pm everyday. On Friday, there will be Night of Perfection service at 11pm and thanksgiving service on Sunday at 8a.m. The concluding service will come up at 4pm same day. The venue is 18/20 Ikale Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin. Speaking on the programme, the Coordinator, Apostle Michael Onuwaje, said: “This is a special programme where those who would attend are ensured of the anointing to wade through 2013 successfully”. Many anointed men of God are expected.

•From left: Hon. Abudu, Mr. Soyemi and the Pioneer Chairman, Olorunda, Prince Abraham Ogabi handing over the vans





Iranian nuclear talks need to come to a close

Twin trouble •The suffering of octogenarian twin sisters shames the absence of a caring society and state


HE story of two octogenarian women who live in sqalour and neglect bring up to focus the absence of a comprehensive social security system in modern Nigeria. The women, Ibijoke Apena and Janeth Eruwayo, are twins and live in a dingy home on a backstreet in Lagos. They have children who are grown apparently and comfortably off. Yet they have neglected their mothers and left to pass off the rest of their lives in the misery of old age in a one-room apartment where they eat, sleep, stool and have their bath. For whatever reasons, the children have neglected their parents, a decent society ought not to see its elderly suffer in such a deep and abject way. They worked in their prime and served the country in their unique ways. They also succeeded as mothers and wives, even though both are now widows. Ordinarily, the system should support them to the end of their days on earth. But their story is a testament to the failing of the traditional support system of our communalistic past. Communalism, as a system that nurtured the young and old in the African society for centuries, has gone past its apotheosis a long time ago, and is suffering an acute decline. The decline is a wretched one as no one looks at it even though we all are complicit in this insidious and pervading evil. The rise of the city and the depredations of capitalism have

created the urban mentality with its obsession with individualism. All the young want to come to the city, and that is where they expect to enjoy the trappings of a new and vigorous prosperity. But the real monster is the city dweller who believes that his or her new status imbues them with a sense of freedom immune to the care of the fellow citizen. It is in that context that we see the squalor suffered by the aged twin. One of them, Eruwayo, is blind along with other infirmities, according to a report by The Punch newspaper. This woman attended one of the tony schools in our country, Queen’s College, Lagos. “I still cannot fathom why they abandoned their mothers,” commented a neighbour. “Some of the children I had cause to speak with sometime did not want to hear anything about them. One simply told me: ‘If they die, let us know. We will give them decent burials.’ “ If the family does not care for the aged, it is the duty of the state to step in. We do not have such an arrangement yet for the old. Thankfully, some states have taken steps to care for the old and children classified as the vulnerable among us. Lagos State offers a commendable programme of welfare in the area of medical care provided freely to senior citizens. Delta State also offers free medical services to its vulnerable citizens. Ekiti State has created the beginnings of a welfare system where the old receive N5,000 a month as stipends.

Osun State has a N10,000 stipend to the elderly and an array of programmes for the vulnerable. The Federal Government has been behind, and in all welfare states in the advanced countries, such responsibilities are pursued from the centre with big legal and financial supports. If we had such support, the states would only complement. The opposite is the story today. The real tragedy is our failure to realise that we have actually translated from a communal ethos to a mercantilist ethic, and our attitude to politics and policy should inspire a caring system that will not leave such persons as the suffering twins to the ravages of a lonely old age.

‘The real tragedy is our failure to realise that we have actually translated from a communal ethos to a mercantilist ethic, and our attitude to politics and policy should inspire a caring system that will not leave such persons as the suffering twins to the ravages of a lonely old age’

Adieu, Uba Ahmed •One of the most controversial politicians in his generation passes on


N December 18, Nigeria lost another highly experienced, influential and often controversial politician to the inevitable hands of death. As has become increasingly characteristic of leading members of Nigeria’s political elite, the late Senator Uba Ahmed died in a German Hospital – a reflection of the state of health facilities in the country. The deceased senator was buried on December 24 in his hometown, Kaltungo, Gombe State, where he was born on April 28, 1939. A product of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Uba Ahmed started out as a trade unionist before assuming national prominence as a key actor on the country’s political terrain over the last three decades. Surely, the country’s postcolonial political history cannot be written

‘Senator Uba Ahmed was consistent throughout his political career in his commitment to the status quo in Nigeria; an unrepentant establishment politician as well as an active supporter of conservative political forces. He represented the then Bauchi State in the Senate on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Second Republic’

without detailing Uba Ahmed’s diverse contributions, even if the consequences of some of his roles on the country’s political development will remain matters of continual debate. Senator Uba Ahmed was consistent throughout his political career in his commitment to the status quo in Nigeria; an unrepentant establishment politician as well as an active supporter of conservative political forces. He represented the then Bauchi State in the Senate on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Second Republic. In that capacity, he was easily one of the most vocal and active members of the Senate who was particularly vociferous in defending his party policies and taking on the opposition. It was thus not surprising that he eventually became the National Secretary of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), which was one of the party’s most important and strategic offices. In the aborted Third Republic, Uba Ahmed retained his fidelity to ideologically conservative parties as a senator on the platform of the government-formed ‘a little to the right’ National Republican Convention (NRC). Under the General Sani Abacha regime, Uba Ahmed served as Minister of Labour and in the current dispensation, he was a member of the National Political Reform Conference set up by the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005. At the twilight of his political career, Uba Ahmed’s assessment of the state of the Nigerian polity was dismal. In an

interview granted shortly before the 2011 election, he lamented that “…if you look at the Nigerian system, our democracy is highly distorted from the point of view of what democracy is. What we have today is an undisciplined, distorted democracy that is exclusively of the elites, by the elites and for the elites. The ordinary man is not part of this democracy and does not benefit from it. As it is, no effort is being made to restructure it in such a way that it would benefit the poor people”. But can it not be argued that Uba Ahmed’s brand of politics; the kinds of parties and regimes he supported over time brought us to this sorry pass? Refuting this contention, Uba Ahmed stoutly defended, till the very end, his various positions on Nigerian politics. In contrast to the Second Republic he argued, for instance, “today the political drift, the political platform and the political machine have turned into a money-making machine”. He was equally uncompromising in absolving his generation of blame for the country’s condition, saying “It is the new generation that has brought Nigeria to where we are. It is the new generation that is openly stealing the ballot boxes. It is the new generation that brought about the hardship”. Uba Ahmed was certainly a man of strong convictions. He apparently did the best he could as he thought fit. The rest is left for history. We condole with his family and pray that he rest in eternal peace.


S THE YEAR begins, the Obama administration and its diplomatic partners are expecting the renewal of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, after a six-month hiatus. But there is scant indication that a breakthrough is in store. The international coalition, composed of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, intends to offer a slightly modified version of the deal Tehran rejected last June, with the faint hope that the pain of economic sanctions might have caused Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to soften. But there is no public sign of that: In fact, Iran has been slow to agree to a new meeting and, according to the New York Times, did not respond to a postelection feeler by the Obama administration on direct, bilateral talks. The coalition proposal, portrayed as a confidence-building step, would address the most dangerous part of Iran’s program by requiring a freeze in the enrichment of uranium to a level of 20 percent, which is a short step from bomb-grade, and by shutting down the underground facility known as Fordow, where that enrichment takes place. Iran would also be required to ship its current stockpile of mediumenriched uranium out of the country. In return, it would receive certain economic concessions, like spare airplane parts, and perhaps a partial relaxation of some sanctions. As it made clear in June, however, Iran expects far more from any agreement. It wants the sanctions lifted entirely and for the Security Council to recognize its “right” to enrich uranium, despite multiple resolutions ordering it to cease. Iranian negotiators have also indicated they want to connect a nuclear accord to the civil war in Syria, where Iran is seeking to preserve its place as a privileged strategic ally. Most of these demands are rightly unacceptable to the Obama administration: Syria’s future relationship with Iran, for example, must be determined by Syrians following the removal of the Assad government, not by an international pact. But the willingness of the Khamenei regime to settle for less may be constrained by an ongoing power struggle between religious conservatives and nationalists, which could come to a head with the presidential election scheduled for June. At the same time, the United States — and more so Israel — cannot easily wait many more months for a deal. If Iran continues to enrich uranium to 20 percent at its present rate, it may acquire enough to quickly make a bomb by the middle of this year, potentially giving it the “breakout capacity” that both President Obama and the Israeli government have vowed to prevent. Tehran would have crossed that line last fall had it not diverted a large part of its stockpile to fabricate fuel for a research reactor. The administration can hope that Iran will continue to keep its uranium stockpile below the breakout threshold, or that it will reverse itself and accept some version of the proposed interim deal. But if negotiations remain stalled, Mr. Obama should consider making Iran a comprehensive offer that would permanently restrict its uranium enrichment and provide for intensive international monitoring in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. That would have the advantage of confronting the regime with a stark choice — and making clear whether a diplomatic solution exists. – Washington Post

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso

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IR: Our attitudes towards work must change positively this year if we must develop and if we must actualize our vision20:2020 et al. The lack of enthusiasm is very glaring in the attitude of many workers who see their jobs as dull, laborious, repetitious, tedious, irritating, risky or dangerous. The lackadaisical attitudes toward work by both high-ranking and lowranking workers has become a great obstacles to the development of the most of the Third World countries, because poor quality work reduced productivity and declining services cripple economic growth of any nation. After World War II, Japan was greatly devastated. Many of her buildings and people had been obliterated by atomic bombs. The United States and other nations offered help to rebuild Japan. Computer experts, agricultural specialists, scientists, teachers, business people etc. from different nations offered to help Japanese reconstruct their country but with a condition: They demanded that the Japanese will work more and earn less than workers in United States were paid and the Japanese agreed with that condition of work because they wanted to rebuild their country as soon as possible. Today Japan is a power to be reckoned with. Her might is based on economic, not military strength. In Nigeria, most of us want jobs but we don’t want to work; we want the money but we don’t want to expend the energy and this is one of the reasons Nigeria is not progressing because nothing is as depressing and frustrating as having someone on a job who is not interested in working. Too often we allow the pain and per-


Nigerians need a new work ethics in 2013 spiration of work to hide its blessings; we assume work is a necessary evil without looking for the good it brings. We always prefer rest, relaxation and holidays to a good work, but unfortunately, all these are false assumption because rest is only sweet after a good work. When God created the world, He worked for six days and rested for one day (Genesis: 2:2). He also instructed us to work six days and rest for one day (Exodus23:12). But our desire to work one day and rest six days has caused us backwardness and unhappi-

ness. In this New Year and henceforth, Nigerians must change their orientation to work. We must see work as a gift from God and not as a burden. We must know that work is profitable and honourable and all hard work brings profit for the workers by allowing them to meet their financial needs. The young unemployed must not just fold their harms or be sleeping at home; they must think, move around and look for something positive they can do with their lives. Governments on its part must also

encourage the young unemployed by empowering them financially and make the society favourable for the small scale industries. The working condition and remuneration of the workers must be improved to motivate the workers to put in their best and to discourage brain drain. Workers must stop stealing from their bosses or government. Coming late to work, taking extra long lunch hours, going home early, collecting double salaries, converting company properties to personal one etc. are all acts that is tantamount to stealing

IR: Contrary to the thinking in some quarters that the amnesty programme for ex-Niger Delta militants is a total failure, I make bold to say that the programme remains the most successful programme ever run by the federal government. Amnesty declaration remains the most genuine, valiant and profound effort made by any federal government since the country’s Independence to tackle the agitation for fairness, equity and development in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Of recent, several write-ups containing unsubstantiated allegations

of fund mismanagement have been made against the leadership of the Niger Delta Amnesty Office. Some have even suggested that the programme should be brought to an end on the ground that Kingsley Kuku and his team are only enriching themselves from the fund meant for the amnesty, arguing that there is nothing to show for the allocations they have received since inception. I do know that many discerning and perceptive Nigerians would agree that such argument is illogical and therefore cannot hold water because the gains of the amnesty programme are there for everyone to see. Al-

though there were doubts at the incipient stage as to whether the programme would yield any fruitful upshot, today, the amnesty programme ably and adeptly coordinated by Hon. Kingsley Kuku has made significant impact in the restoration of peace in the Niger Delta. Upon completion of their oversight/inspection visit in September 2012 to the Afrika Union Aviation Academy in Mafikeng and the Flight Training Services in Midrand, South Africa, where 53 Niger Delta youths were being trained as pilots, members of the Senate and House Committees on Niger Delta commended


• John Tosin Ajiboye Osogbo, Osun State

Amnesty programme deserves support


US travel advisory is unfair to Edo IR: Galileo was right when he said “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason and intellect, intended us to forgo their use”. Sadly, authors of the recent U. S. travel advisory failed to use their sense, reason and intellect in accessing the true state of security in Edo State. The report, in a sheer display of incurable schizophrenia and intellectual hara-kiri, listed Edo State as unsafe. One cannot but ask in wonderment, what parameter was used to arrive at this unthinkable malicious

which must be stopped. Governments must stop undermining the power of workers because the power of productivity is evident in the influence of Labour Unions. Unions control the workers, who control the productivity, and as a result, they can cripple a country, destroy an economy through industrial strike and other means. The leaders must know that they can not run a country when people are not working because you can’t force people to work. Governments can’t legislate obedience, nor can they force people to cooperate when they are moving in a wrong direction and workers will rebel if they feel they are working for nothing. Therefore it is high time we put a stop to an era of”monkey they work, baboon they chop”.

misconception which negates common sense and sound ‘empiricality’. It is imperative to state at this point that Hardball of December 28, 2012 also misfired when it hurriedly ran to press to anoint the ‘Americanised’ black document faulting the position of the state government which was well articulated by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Hardball displayed the height of illogicality when it queried why the Edo SSG related security matters to development in the state. Hardball forgot that development is impossible without security. If the so-

called report was right, Edo State would not have witnessed unprecedented development it finds itself now. So the developmental gains of Edo State are a clear indicator that Edo is safe. Therefore our SSG is in order. As an Edo man living in Edo State, I think the ‘onus probandi’ falls on me to notify President Obama and Hardball that Edo State is indeed very safe for peace loving and law abiding people. Just as it is also pertinent to place on record that Edo State is unsafe only for criminals or agents of evils.

Edo is a lovely place to live in, because children do not pick up arms to kill their parents and transmute schools into slaughter house. In Edo State, we do not kill on the bases of race and other social divides. In Edo State, our infrastructure such as road, school, hospital, etc. can compete with those in advance countries. This fact should be promoted by the U.S. and not issues that does not matter. • Godfrey O. Ehimare Benin City.

the Presidential Amnesty office for what they termed the judicious utilisation of funds meant for the programme. The National Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN), Allen Onyema, also agree that the Amnesty Programme for ex-militants in the Niger Delta has been a monumental feat. Onyema while speaking to newsmen noted that the programme is celebrated the world over, as the international community seems to be bemused as to how Nigeria was able to get it right from the stage of disarmament, through demobilization to re-integration. According to the FEHN boss, the level of crude oil production prior to the programme was about 700,000 barrels a day, but since the commencement of the programme, the level of production has risen to over 2.6 million barrels per day. We must continue to encourage the amnesty office to build on the successes recorded so far in the running of the amnesty programme, which involves 30,000 Niger Delta youths. For a programme that has been saving about N34 billion per day for the country, it is only appropriate that we all support it to further stabilize our economy. • Michael Jegede, Abuja




Nigeria, as it could be made (1)


HERE is no odor as vile as that which arises from despoiled citizenship. It is insidious, human and outright malevolent. And it is all that we represent as Nigerians. Let us not make a mockery of citizenship; we are not the model citizens we profess to be. We whose idea of citizenship gravitates from arrant skepticism to dilettantism, gruesome criticism to cynicism and utter insincerity will never court hope even when we see it. And the consequence abounds all around us. Yesterday, our grief was of marginalization, unemployment, religious and ethnic bigotry, corruption in high places and enfant terrible godfathers. Today, we grieve because our youths are unemployed, our mothers are impoverished and our daughters litter dimly lit brothels and recesses of the sidewalk within and outside the country. Today, we talk of going to war and sing to ourselves, blood-spattered choruses of youthful rebellion. We love to sing such ballads that beguile our will and caress our eardrums; that is why we court and fete such leadership as we have now. It is that time of the year when they promise us stable electricity, gallantry in governance, dependable economy and security. It is that time of the year when they recite the same old platitudes to the same old electorate. They promise us honor, status, glory, and a prosperous future as usual and as usual, we fail to hold these promises up against their culture of leadership; that flagrant

norm of theirs that blesses us with dead-end jobs of small-town life, religious and financial terrorism, bankruptcy, ethnic bigotry, substandard healthcare, inferior education and unemployment. But we believe them anyway. We who are conditioned by poverty and lust for unearned riches perpetually seek all manners of benefits and self-actualization, like greater State autonomy, more States and secession. We, who have learnt to enjoy dwellings like hell, are promised nations like Eden, by men who couldn’t enrich their households had they all the riches in the world. The dream of secession is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced old and young Nigerians struggling to keep inadequate jobs in fast food restaurants, construction sites and bus parks, and behind the counters at city malls. We desperately crave and embrace the secession alternative because every other cul-de-sac in our lives breaks our spirit and dignity. Pick up advocacy group manifestos or human rights reports of genocide and marginalization. Listen to self-acclaimed youth leaders, weepy politicians and activists, the allure of greater autonomy, selfdetermination or whatever they choose to call it is touted as our next best alternative. They will not tell you it’s a trap, a ploy, an old, dirty game of deceit in which the powerful and informed who will not go to war, promises a mirage to youth who will. We have seen this in the trag-


HARITY is good. It is preached in both the Bible and the Qur’an. So is it preached in local cultures across Africa. As Africans, we are groomed to imbibe charity as entrenched in our communal lifestyle where everyone functions (or is expected to function) as his brother’s keeper. It is lofty, beautiful and worthy of emulation. It has been commended by many non-Africans. In fact, we are trained to consider oneself wicked when you live in plenty without giving to the needy in one’s neighbourhood, family, church or even, work place. Hence, charity has grown to become the minimum standards in our giving and caring lifestyle as Africans. Yet the gifts doled out by Senator Smart Adeyemi to some people, including politicians in his Kogi West Senatorial District on Sunday, December 30, 2012 represent the wrong way typical Nigerian politicians miss the point in leading citizens aright. As reported by Daily Sun of Monday, December 31, 2012, the senator donated 15 vehicles for commercial purposes and 17 sport utility vehicles (SUV) to party leaders. One, it is surprising that a serving senator can flagrantly donate vehicles worth average of N32 million at once. This is an informal way of confirming that our National Assembly members have unfettered access to enormous funds that should ordinarily be channelled to developmental projects such as provision of water, elec-

‘If the senator constructs a block in six different schools across the constituency, he would reach more people and rebuild the destiny of many more children’

edy of suicide bombers, political thugs and ethno-religious death squads holding the nation by the jugular. We have seen and felt this in our tragic obsequiousness to the ruling class on the political, economic and socio-cultural turfs that condition you and me to serve the privileged class, even as we are perpetually consigned by them to the backwaters of the breadlines. Some of us, the somewhat privileged to be precise, get to travel between two universes: one where everybody gets a chance and a second chance to break out of our socio-political and economic jailhouse, where education, connections, money and influence almost guarantee that you would not fail if you strive. In the other universe, no one ever gets to enjoy a first or second chance. In this universe, when the poor fails and falls, no one picks them up even as the rich stumble and trip their way to the top. It is not my wish to attack or castigate the rich; they didn’t get to enslave us simply by ordering us to be poor, did they? You and I are willing participants in the impoverishment and eternal enslavement of the Nigerian citizenry. We are in such dire state because like ones habitually programmed to self-destruct, we love to identify and propound practical solutions to our tragedies but when puts gets to shove, and we are faced with the chance to change our stars, we begin to speak in discordant voices. Thus this year as all others, we have begun to criticize and speak the thoughts of a growing number of natives seeking relief. What is so sad however is that despite our pretentious protestations and insight, we go about our daily lives perpetuating the same old oddities, self-interests and absurdities.

Thus this year, President Goodluck Jonathan and our league of extraordinary looters have promised to improve our lot even as they get set to further pauperize us. And while we curse our luck and cry, many of us continue to foster the status quo by abhorrent citizenship and conduct. We who lament corruption in high places wholeheartedly nurture duplicity and corruption in low places. Bloody revolution is never the answer. Neither shall greater autonomy or secession improve our lot; if eventually, every agitating part of Nigeria gets to secede, every new nation we establish shall parade the same old brutes with the same old lusts and self-interests in high and low places. Any story of secession is a story of elites preying on the weak, the gullible, the marginal, and the poor. The pageantry ends the day we pronounce we secede, particularly for those of us that will occupy the low places. The pageantry will wear off and there will be fewer patriots, and fewer patriots, until there is not a single cheer but tireless shrieks in the street. Whatever contraption we manage to create shall evolve into the monstrosity we have made Nigeria to be. People who are singing the secession song are the real traitors – like the average Nigerian who scorned merit and conscience to elect President Goodluck Jonathan and company. Such characters would sell out Nigeria for an offshore account, picturesque mansion, soothing sentimentality and membership of high society. To achieve their plot, they would sentimentalize and hoodwink everyone else to buy into their fount of deceptive freedom. To escape such grotesqueness, we need to raise our voices in dissent, and rally in protest in our communities, on the

streets and our square gardens. We need to produce the candidates that will fight our fight and take our risks. We need to unseat the men making our fatherland more toxic and hateful to the rest of the world. If you don’t think that the policies and actions of the incumbent ruling class is costing us immeasurable damages, then do nothing. But if you can see through the smoke and mirrors, and you realize that you’ll be paying more state and local taxes, while your assets continue to depreciate and the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and staple food continues to soar out of reach, then you’ll understand the need to invest in producing and supporting the candidates who will successfully defeat and tame the army of predators and executioners occupying our seats of power. Be ready to contribute the most you’ve ever given for a political cause. Be ready to sacrifice. • To be continued…

Bloody revolution is never the answer. Neither shall greater autonomy or secession improve our lot; if eventually, every agitating part of Nigeria gets to secede, every new nation we establish shall parade the same old brutes with the same old lusts and self-interests in high and low places.

A senator’s questionable charity By Bisi Oladele tricity, good roads, good schools, hospitals and so on. With the little I know about Nigerian politicians, they spend daily on retinue of aides and on countless citizens that approach them for various forms of assistance. They are not alone in this solicited charity; other middle-class and wealthy Nigerians contend with it willy-nilly on daily basis. And it is unpublicized. So, if a politician comes out and makes a donation of N32 million in a single giving, in addition to his daily routine charity that sometimes runs into millions of Naira, he is communicating to the public, particularly the masses, that the only reasonable business in this country is politics. Two, should a serving public officer desire to make such huge donation, not minding that he would be stirring bitterness in the heart of his ‘less lucky’ constituents and insulting the sensibilities of the largely poor voters by whose mandate he got to the Senate, he could have channelled the huge sum to other noble projects that will bring joy to many homes and plug some of the shortfalls in government’s responsibilities. Calculating each bus at a conservative estimate of N800,000, the senator must have spent N12 million on the vehicles. If an SUV costs N1,200,000 each (very conservative estimate), the total cost of the 17 vehicles adds up to N20,400,000. That shows that Senator Adeyemi must have spent not less than N32,400,000 on the publicized charity. According to the report, 32 people benefited from the largesse as a vehicle went to each person. But many of the hungry constituents, angry unemployed youths in Kogi State and in Nigeria at large as well as many concerned Nigerians who do not think like

politicians, would easily reason that in spite of the insult on our sensibilities, the distinguished senator could as well considered noble projects if he actually meant to do true charity for his people. In Kogi State where buildings in many public schools are derelict, N5 million would be enough to construct a block of three classrooms. That means the huge sum would have been enough to build or renovate at least, six blocks. If the senator constructs a block in six different schools across the constituency, he would reach more people and rebuild the destiny of many more children. By analysis, a block of three classrooms would accommodate 120 pupils (40 in each class). If he puts 120 pupils in a better condition of learning in just one school, it shows that he would bring joy to 600 families with his five blocks. Otherwise, Senator Adeyemi could have built three cottage hospitals in communities without public hospitals in his constituency. With N10 million, the lawmaker will put up a befitting cottage hospital that will bring healthcare to the doorsteps of thousands of his constituents. Following another path, the senator could employ many graduates as teachers into public schools. With monthly N20,000 allowance, the N32 million will be enough to pay 120 graduates for one full year. Taking this option, joy and financial empowerment would enter 120 families with the multiplier effect of over 3,000 pupils that would benefits from their service in schools. There are other noble options. Anyway, it is clear that Senator Adeyemi’s charity was not the actual charity but a gift to thank his supporters and to sustain their loyalty to him in preparation for coming elections. It is just that the publicity revealed the inner working of the mind of Nigerian politicians.

These acts show why many employed and unemployed youths care less about our values as Africans or career as they abandon all for partisan politics. The gains are enormous but the effects are on us all, manifesting in material growth for individuals but economic woes for the country. It partly accounts for why our taps are still dry, why standards of education get lower and healthcare in parlous state. In other climes, the rich and the not-sorich coordinate their charity towards lending a helping hand to both the government and individuals, particularly in the areas of healthcare and education. This restores hope to many children from poor homes and offers help for those unable to afford huge bills for treatment of complex ailments. It would be good for our politicians and moneybags to borrow a leaf from those climes so Nigerians would no longer look like special specie of humans living in their own unique world. We need to change our thinking and concentrate more on things of value than mundane things that do not bring about common good. • Oladele, writes from Ibadan, Oyo State

‘In other climes, the rich and the not-so-rich co-ordinate their charity towards lending a helping hand to both the government and individuals, particularly in the areas of healthcare and education’



COMMENTS “Great leadership isn’t shaped in the absence of opposition but in the presence of it. Great leaders draw us together by our universal humanity; they galvanize the wills of the willing; they draw clarity from the spigot of chaos.” ¯ Charles M. Blow


HERE in Nigeria is the opposition that is the blaze that tempers the rapier and the frost that calms fiery rage? Where is effective opposition of the mould that the nation could learn from? These questions are what political opposition in year 2013 should provide answers for as subtle planning for 2015, year of fresh general elections, begins in earnest. It is important for the opposition to rally support to uproot the current go-slow government from Aso-Rock. This is achievable provided the opposition will not submit to covert and overt official attempts to decimate them. President Goodluck Jonathan, like his predecessors in office, seems not to appreciate the existence of the opposition. He seems to have forgotten that the opposition is indispensable in any system. His political henchmen will be machinating on how to pocket the opposition before the next elections but if he allows this rather than good governance as his score card, then he will be acting unstatesmanly. Walter Lippmann has some words for Jonathan when he said: ‘A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters. For his supporters will push him to disaster unless his opponents show him where the dangers are. So if he is wise, he will often pray to be delivered from his friends, because they will ruin him. But though it hurts, he ought also to pray never to be left without opponents; for they keep him on the path of reason and good sense.’ This should act as food for though for the president in 2013. Again what does the nation’s political opposition have in stock for Nigerians in 2013? Whenever one thinks of the current opposition politics in Nigeria, what readily comes to mind is the statement of that British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli when he said: ‘Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.’ The statement becomes apt in view of the fact that President Jonathan’s ascension to power was a fait accompli, but his retention of power


OMRADE Adams Oshiomhole and his recent property tax drive reminds me of Ujamaa – African Socialism – one of the three papers which Julius K. Nyerere published during the period of his release from government office. ‘Ujamaa’ can be translated as ‘familyhood’. In Oshiomhole’s estimation, as against the capitalists’ disposition, in a socialist society, it is the socialist attitude of mind, and not the rigid adherence to a standard political pattern, which is needed to ensure that the people care for each other’s welfare. In the individual, as in the society, it is an attitude of mind which distinguishes the socialist from the non-socialist and it has nothing to do with the possession or nonpossession of wealth because, destitute people can be potential capitalistsexploiters of their fellow human beings. One thing that unfolded recently, when Oshiomhole signed the property tax bill into law was the fact that socialist millionaires are a rare phenomenon in our modern day society. For socialist Oshiomhole, the haves should provide for the have-nots. For the capitalists in our society, no way; they immediately mobilized the have-nots to protest the law. Have you seen a big man or his children protesting on the streets of Nigeria? In Oshiomhole’s search for solution to meet the development obligations, he wasn’t going to turn on the poor to raise money for the Edo projects. The poor needs support. Therefore, Oshiomhole’s government will never, under any excuse evolve policies that would affect those classified as poor. What Oshiomhole is

‘The spirit behind the property tax law is simple; for a better and ideal society- we take care of the community and the community takes care of us’

2013 and opposition politics

•Asiwaju should not be viewed as such by Nigerians and especially the opposition. The president assumes power not by popular ballot but upon the death of his boss, late President Umaru Yar’Adua, despite high wired intrigues by grovellers of the late president against his constitutional choice. The opposition at this time should do everything to ensure that the president’s second coming as a civilian president is determined by the people. But so far, what is the opposition doing to make sure the process is not hijacked from them? Is the opposition currently doing enough to stop Jonathan by making the votes count in 24 months time? What about the electoral tyranny from the centre government? How can it be stopped? Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state and national leader of

the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), unarguably Nigeria’s largest opposition party, in July 2011, delivered a lecture at London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs on “Democracy and the Rebirth of the Opposition in Nigeria” where he gave a dour admonition: “Our country’s democracy remains a parody of true democracies. Ours has mimicked some essential aspects of military and authoritarian rule.” While one agrees with this realistic submission, it will be opportune to equally ask what the opposition in the Nigeria’s political firmament has done to erase all traces of tyranny and authoritarianism in the polity. Are they not complicit in this oppressive game? Yes, we might say that the opposition under this democratic dispensation has made remarkable onslaughts in some areas, rising glowingly to the occasion by saving the nation from avoidable periodic tyrannical blows. Let’s have a peep into two of such occasions. One was the attempt by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, a master in the game of tyranny, to elongate his tenure that has now been commonly referred to as the Third Term Agenda, even when the 1999 Constitution (as amended) allows for two terms of four years each. The opposition with the support of some conservatives vanquished the idea. Another was when the opposition party in the south-west mobilised the people to route out of power the oppressively conservative People’s Democratic Party (PDP) administrations in virtually all the Yoruba speaking states. Despite these notable landmarks however,

Edo Property Tax Law: Ujamaa in Oshiomhole’s mind By Prince Onaivi Cephas determined to do is that those who are rich were born equal like you and I. That they have become rich is a matter of economic history and luck. One of the most important resources of Edo State is land. This land is God-given. Nobody can say he brought land from heaven. While majority of our people are living on 50ft by 50ft, and the old traditional face-me-I-face you, there are others who live in 10,000 square meters, such a large expanse of land. What we are saying is simply that, individuals in such kind of houses cannot pay same taxes. That will mean furthering the inequality gap. You can’t take so much land and not want to pay tax on it. This new law simply states that all our poor people who live in high density area will not pay anything. Oshiomhole says he won’t take blood from a sick person to treat another person. So, if anybody tells any villager that Oshiomhole government asked them to pay property tax, it is a lie. The tax has nothing to do with them. ‘Market women are my people, I know where they live. This law is not about them. It is meant for those who have choice houses in certain parts of the state. For example, I am looking for a land where I will build my house in GRA, but I must be ready to pay the appropriate tax once I get one. That is the spirit that goes with this new law and it is expected that the rich will comply in order to help the poor’, Oshiomhole promised. Again, for Oshiomhole, if you have a plot of land in Edo measuring over 100" by 100", you must pay a token annually to take care of those who have-not. So also if you invest as much as N10 million in such vast land, you also assist the poor to survive.

In Oshiomhole’s ideal society, it ought to be so organized that it cares about individuals, provided he is willing to work, no individual within that society should worry about what will happen to him tomorrow if he does not hoard wealth today. Society itself should look after him, or his widow or his orphans. This is what traditional African society succeeded in doing-both the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’ were completely secure in African society but today, the reverse is the case. We don’t need to read Karl Marx, or Adams Smith to know that neither the land nor the hoe actually produces wealth. We also do not need to take degrees in Economics to know that neither the worker nor the landlord produces land. The law is basically designed to ensure that those who take so much land pay a little more so that government can build the state and provide for those who have no property. This law is not for tenants, it is not for Churches, it is not for traditional family houses, it is not for mosques, it is not for palaces, burial grounds, and owner occupiers, but it is for the rich who have choice houses in certain parts of the state. Above all, the resources that will come from this process will be used judiciously to rebuild Edo State. The spirit behind the property tax law is simple; for a better and ideal society- we take care of the community and the community takes care of us. Even the elders, who appeared to be enjoying without doing any work and for whom everybody also appeared to be working, had, in fact, worked hard in his younger days. The wealth he now appeared to possess was not his personally; it is only ‘his’ as the elder of the group which had produced it. He was its guardian.

one could still not fathom why the opposition, especially in the south-west, refused to field a presidential candidate in 2003 Presidential election while surreptitiously rooting for the candidate of the centre party? It still remains baffling why and how ‘go slow’ President Jonathan cleared the entire votes in south-west, except Osun state, in the 2011 presidential election when the ruling progressive Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) party, presumably the most popular party in those areas had its own presidential candidate. This I consider to be a gaffe and do hope such will not repeat itself in 2015 because the partisan and the non partisan are now regretting the 2011 electoral choice of Jonathan. As we begin 2013, no rapprochement between the centre party and opposition political parties will foster any good result that could be of common benefit in the end. The fact that something has not been achieved before does not mean it would not be achieved one day. Some might allude to the fact that in the First and Second Republics, efforts geared towards upstaging ruling parties through mergers failed. Fingers will be pointed to the First Republic when the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA) comprising the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and the Action Group failed to upstage then ruling centre party - the Northern People’s Congress (NPC). Also in the Second Republic- the National Party of Nigerian (NPN) remained the central ruling party, despite the alliance under the name- People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) by the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP). Since the advent of democratic rule in1999, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has forcefully sustained this curious tradition that led those two Republics to nowhere. There have been news of merger moves since last year and some cynics are already writing such moves off. But if the opposition parties can be truthful, sincere and steadfast with one another, then, the time for upstaging the ruling PDP centre government might be around the corner. In this 2013, the opposition must lay the foundation for a formidable front before any meaningful political re-orientation and change can take place in months ahead.

Oshiomhole’s first task therefore, must be to re-orient the people to regain our former attitude of mind. In traditional African society, we were individuals within a community. We took care of the community, and the community took care of us. We neither needed nor wished to exploit our fellow men. And in rejecting the attitude of mind which colonialism brought into Africa, we must reject also the methods which go with it. One of these is the individual ownership of land. Besides, it never occurred to anyone to try to claim land but now that we have one man, occupying 10 plots of land and yet, acquiring more at the detriment of the society and its citizens; they should pay something to develop the community in the form of property tax. The law does not know if you are a rich man. It expects the rich to behave responsibly, because they benefit more. They have greater stake if the system collapses. According to Karl Max, if there is confusion, the poor like the prisoner will have only his chains to lose, but the rich man will carry his house, cars and his estates. But the poor man will just run. He does not have anything. So, the rich must understand that they have a greater stake. • Prince Cephas sent in this piece from Benin City, Edo State.

‘Oshiomhole’s first task therefore, must be to reorient the people to regain our former attitude of mind. In traditional African society, we were individuals within a community. We took care of the community, and the community took care of us. We neither needed nor wished to exploit our fellow men’


Draw will boost Eagles, Flying Eagles open AYC camp says Bright Dike •To train in Tunisia Pg. 41

Pg. 24

Sport Friday, January 4, 2013



NFF won’t fight for Ameobi


ENERAL SECRETARY of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Musa Amadu has revealed to NationSport that the football body cannot take the case of Newcastle player Shola Ameobi to FIFA unless the player requests the intervention of the football body. According to him, “The NFF cannot do anything about the case until Shola Ameobi requests the Federation to intervene in writing. “This is an issue that had to do with a clause in his contract. If such a clause exists in the contract, and the player is willing to play in the Nations Cup, he should write to us, and we would request FIFA to invoke Article 62 of player’s eligibility clause of FIFA statute which would compel the club to release him, or forfeit using him all through the duration of the championship. If they do, they would stand the risk of losing such points to their opponents. But in the first place, Shola would

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja have to signify interest to play first”. Shola Ameobi is a Nigerian footballer born on 12 October 1981, but raised in England, Ameobi was capped by the England Under-21 team befo re making his Nigeria debut in 2012. He is the older brother of fellow footballers Tomi and Sammy. Ameobi has made more appearances for Newcastle than any other current player at the club, and received a winner's medal in 2010 when the team lifted the Championship trophy.






We need to do more work before AFCON—Chukwu


ORMER Green Eagles' captain, From Tunde Liadi,Owerri Christian Chukwu has should concentrate on correcting some commended the result churned out by the Super Eagles against lapses on the element of the game Catalonia but warned that the team before the kick off of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Chukwu who said he watched the entire duration of the match affirmed that the Eagles should be praised for holding their own against more established opposition but cautioned against playing to the gallery. He noted that the team needs to work on some basic elements of the game like playing with more cohesion and coordination and working more on the attack and defence before the start of the South Africa 2013 AFCON. Chukwu gave reasons why the Eagles cannot afford to let the result •Chukwu against Catalonia gets into their head:"

I am happy that they lived up to expectation in that match. But that does not mean that we are ready. We still need some work to be done coupled with the fact that many of the foreign based players have not joined them. "The result and the standard of the game were okay. Element of the game still to be improved upon. The cohesion, the attacking and defending and all other things are a continuous process. We cannot have a perfect team. "The result is a big morale booster to our team and I hope it would not enter their heads and makes them to be carried away because the Nations Cup is a different kettle of fish. African football is different from when you are playing European teams.

Draw will boost Eagles, says Bright Dike


OAL SCORER Bright Dike has said a 1-1 draw with star-studded Catalonia on Wednesday will lift the Super Eagles leading to the AFCON. Portland Timbers of USA star Dike scored the equaliser for Nigeria in the 55th minute to ensure Nigeria took something out of this friendly after they slumped 5-0 to the same team five years ago. "This game should build confidence and belief in the team," a thrilled Dike told "It was a tough match, they possess the ball very well. We made some mistakes but that is what all of these game are for to correct those mistakes." Dike said he will dedicate his first goal for

•Sign of good omen—Maigari •Still work in progress—Keshi


away Barcelona in only the second day of the year was a sign of good things to come in 2013. Maiagari is scheduled to return with the trophy to Abuja, early Friday morning. He urged the players not to relent in their quest for the AFCON title in South Africa, arguing that President Goodluck Jonathan, has assured that all necessary support will be provided for an excellent outing for the team. “The President even watched the game against Catalonia selected and he was very proud of you. We also on the part of the federation will ensure that adequate provision is made for you to conquer in South Africa. Head Coach Stephen Keshi said he was happy at the display of the national team but was not totally done yet with building a strong team. “In the next two weeks we should have a stronger and more reliable team to defend our colours come SA 2013” he said.


B’Faso, Zambia spy on Eagles in Barcelona


ROUP opponents of Nigeria in the AFCON 2013 tourney, Burkina Faso and Zambia sent spies to monitor the Nigerian versus Catalonia selected game in Barcelona on Wednesday and they were pleasantly surprised at the quality on display. According to Assistant Coach Gydounou Valere, the new faces in the Nigerian set up, was a surprise to many. “Some of the coaches and journalists who came to spy the team had to approach me, saying where are the big names that we are taking to the Nations Cup and I told them that they are seeing them right there on the pitch”, he said. The former Assistant Coach of Togo and Mali, says Nigeria is on the way to causing many surprises at the Afcon tournament and urged for total backing from all and sundry. Nigeria will next take on Cape Verde

Island next week in another warm up game in Portugal. Meanwhile, goal hero, Bright Dike, has attributed the goal he scored against Catalonia to the wonderful support he has been receiving from his teammates in the national team and said he was overjoyed to have scored a first goal for his fatherland. The MLS star said: “Onazi was running so fast with the ball and I was within reach, he decided to give me a good pass and I was too happy to finish it up, that is what we call team work and the coach has been telling us to always play with ourselves and it showed in this game”, the bulky striker declared, he further said he would be too delighted to be part of the final 23 players that will be selected for the Nations Cup in South Africa and promised to do his best at the championship for the Eagles.


Mikel: I’m fit for Eagles


HELSEA midfielder Mikel Obi has declared he is fit for the AFCON in South Africa after a slight knee complaint. Mikel was pulled off late in the second half of an EPL game against Norwich City after he suffered a knock on his knee. And he has now told that he is as fit as fiddle and ready for action to pour cold water over speculations regarding his availability for this month’s AFCON. “I am going to be at Nations Cup as there is nothing to worry about concerning the injury, it is over," Mikel told "I am okay and fit for action. I am already looking forward to play in the FA Cup game against Southampton. I was advised by the doctor to rest it for the QPR game, otherwise I was ready to play.” Injury ruled out the Chelsea star from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the last minute and Mikel has again told he will be at the Eagles training camp in Faro, Portugal, on Saturday. Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said before the QPR game that Mikel's knee problem was not serious. "Mikel missed the Everton clash due to a knee injury, but it is not that serious," said Benitez.



HE First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mike Umeh has showered encomiums on the Super Eagles for playing impressively against the star studded Catalonia team in a thrilling friendly match that ended 1-1 score draw in Catalonia, Spain on Wednesday. U m e h believes the match

Nigeria to Almighty God. "I dedicate the goal to God who made it possible for me to score after I got a great pass from Onazi. The goal gave me an amazing feeling,” said the forward, who made his Eagles debut in November against Venezuela. “I feel great to sco re the all-important goal but it is not only me that scored the goal it was a collective effort and I thank my teammates."

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja would spike up the Eagles to win the Africa Cup of Nations that would commence on January 19th in South Africa. “Super Eagles pulsating 1-1 score draw against star studded Catalonia selected team would has now removed any psychological fears in the team on their way to the Africa Cup of Nations holding in South Africa between January 19th and February 10th, 2013”. This was the impression of the First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mike Umeh in a chat with NationSport yesterday. According to him, “with the impressive performance of the team against highly rated Catalonia where the Eagles played a 1-1 score draw in Spain yesterday (Wednesday) I believe the players are now ready for the


UPER EAGLES’ Head Coach Stephen Keshi has described Bright Chinedu Dike as a very hard working player who is ready to make a mark with his fatherland Nigeria. Speaking from Spain on Thursday, the “Big Boss’ whose lads the Super Eagles held the star studded Catalonian National Team to a 1-1 draw in a friendly match on Wednesday, said the goal the MLS player scored in the 68th minute was a brilliant one “Dike is a hardworking playing player, and he is always ready to learn, and wants to make a maximum impact with the Super Eagles. He trained with the team only once, and was able to blend , I believe that if given more opportunities, he would be able to do well. But in any case, let us see how it would go”. Chinedu "Bright" Dike was born February 2, 1987 is an American born

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja Nigerian footballer who currently plays for Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer. Dike is eligible to represent Nigeria internationally through his parents who are natives of Nigeria. Born in Edmond, Oklahoma, Dike attended Edmond North High School, and played college soccer at the University of Notre Dame from 2005 to 2009, redshirting his junior season in 2007. As a senior he started all 21 games for the Irish, led the team in goals (12) and total points (29), and was named to the all-Big East Championship team. During his college years Dike also played one season with the Indiana Invaders in the USL Premier

crowd’s reaction to him at the final whistle, when they chanted his name, said a lot. "I never even thought about the injury he sustained here, but he didn’t half play well when he came on, holding the ball up for us. "And it was a really well worked goal. "I won't take any credit for the switch. The players are always the ones who take the credit. I just felt that after half-time we didn't quite have a grip of the game as well as we'd like, or as well as we had in the first half. "Newcastle had upped it a little bit and put us under a bit more pressure and we needed to find another way of putting them back on the back foot." Anichebe's close range finish and a stunning free-kick by Leighton Baines saw Everton come from behind to triumph – the 20th point they have claimed from a losing position this season and a record topped only by

Manchester United this season. "If you're going to come to St James’ Park and beat Newcastle you're going to have to play very well," added Moyes. “And you're also going to have to be up against one of the strongest teams in the Premier League. "It looked like Newcastle was hurting a little bit, they came out of the blocks and we didn't deal well with the first ball up and we found ourselves a goal down again.


Development League. Dike was drafted in the first round (12th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by Columbus Crew. However, after training with the club all preseason, he did not make the squad and was released. On April 7, 2010, Dike signed a one year contract with Portland Timbers. He made his professional debut on April 22, 2010 in a game against AC St. Louis. Dike recorded his first professional hat trick by scoring three goals in a June 22, 2010 U.S. Open Cup match vs. the Kitsap Pumas. During the 2010 USSF D2 Pro League season Dike appeared in 23 matches for Portland in which he scored 10 goals.

•To train in Tunisia


IGERIA U20s will begin preparation for the 2013 African Youth Championship when they open training camp in Abuja on Sunday. Coach John Obuh has called up 20 players, the core of the team who beat South Africa 4-2 on aggregate in October to qualify for the AYC, which will kick off in Algeria on March 16. The Flying Eagles are the defending champions and are drawn in Group B along with debutants Gabon, Mali and DR Congo. Flying Eagles secretary Aliyu Auwal disclosed that players should report to the Serob Legacy Hotel in Wuye, Abuja. The team are also slated to set up a training base in Tunisia at least three weeks prior to the championship. Meanwhile, Nigeria U20s will train in Tunisia for three weeks prior to the defence of their AYC crown, officials have said. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Musa Amadu said Tunisia will be a suitable for the team as it is close to tournament venue Algeria and there are regular flight connections there.

•Bright Dike

“Th e Flying Eagles will train for at least three weeks


Buguma is our hero — Ekeki community


KEKI High Chief, Bennard Zebie Odoki has described the evicted member of Glo Soccer Academy, Buguma Dawebiye as an hero of the Ekeki community in Bayelsa State. Chief Odoki who made this remark when he received Buguma from Globacom representatives was full of praise for Globacom for initiating the concept of the Academy. Speaking at the reception, Chief Odoki who was accompanied by other high chiefs described the academy as a first step towards football development in Nigeria, adding that youths like Buguma who are being trained by

Africa Nations Cup in South Africa. The element of fear is always a deciding factor when it comes to big tournament like the Nations Cup. “But if a team full of home based players can stand their own and put up such an impressive performance against a team that is full of Barcelona stars, Espanyol and other quality players in Spanish Liga then such team should be able to win the Africa Nations Cup with intensive training, commitment from the entire team, mother luck and God on our side”, the NFF top shot disclosed. According to him, “our ambition and wish from the NFF is that we want the Eagles to win this Trophy for us and Nigerians as a New Year gift. There is nothing Nigerians cherish than for their darling team, the Super Eagles to win big tournaments. With what we have seen so far and what the Federation has put into the team and is still putting into the team I am confident that we will come back with the 2013 AFCON Trophy. This is our wish and this is our prayers and I know God is able and He will crown our efforts”, Umeh prayed.

Flying Eagles open AYC camp

Dike is hardworking

Moyes: Anichebe can make big contribution

OR four years Magpies have spelled bad luck for Everton FC striker Victor Anichebe. But last night the powerful front man exacted rich revenge on his black and white nemesis. Four years ago a horror tackle at St James Park saw Anichebe ruled out of football for more than six months and led to an out of court settlement with Kevin Nolan. Then earlier this season he thought he had scored against Newcastle, only for the match officials to fail to spot his header had crossed the goalline. So his celebrations after last night’s clinical finish fired Everton up into fifth place in the Premier League were ecstatic. "It was a great moment for Victor and he’s always got a goal in him," said delighted boss David Moyes. "I've always said he can make a big contribution. He just needs to believe in himself a little bit more. And I think the

•Showers encomiums on Eagles


Cryuff, Nkono hail Eagles’ display

UTCH legend, Johan Cryuff, who has adopted Catalonia as his home country was full of praises for the Super Eagles’ display against his country on Wednesday in an international friendly at the home ground of La Liga side; Espanyol. Also former Indomitable Lions of Cameroon goalkeeper and skipper, Thomas Nkono, says the rebirth of African football has started with what he saw the Eagles played against Catalonia selected on Wednesday in Barcelona. Cryuff, who was handling the Catalonian Selected side for the last time, said he told his players that the Nigerian side was a very strong, physical and tactical side and he was not disappointed with what he saw against his side. “It was a good game but the Nigerians are preparing for a major tournament and it showed that they are preparing well and will go very far in the tournament”, he said. Nkono on his part, came to the Eagles dressing room to personally congratulate Keshi for raising such a team from Africa and wished the team well at the South African AFCON championship. The towering former Espanyol FC first choice in goal, hugged, back-slapped and said he was fascinated by the display of the Africans in the exhibition game in the Catalan City. On his part NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, who watched the game live in the company of Technical Committee Chairman of the Federation, Barr. Chris Green said that winning a trophy in far

We want to win the Nations Cup—NFF

Globacom today will become very useful in the Nigerian football circle in the nearest future. ‘Globacom is preparing this young ones for the future, and I see them taking over our national teams in few years to come,” Chief Odoki said. He therefore called on Globacom not to rest on its oars, adding that history will not forget the company’s contribution towards youth development in the country. Speaking at the occasion, Glo Business Director for Bayelsa State, Mr. Richard Ogunsina commended Buguma for not only qualifying for the academy among

thousands of prospective youths, but for also distinguishing himself as a good player during his stay. He advised him to be disciplined and focussed, adding that this will help keep his career on course. Buguma Dawebiye was one of the 33 players selected from over 7,000 youths screened in Nigeria, Ghana and the Republic of Benin for the Glo Soccer Academy. While at the Academy, Buguma had the rare opportunity of being trained by two UEFA Grade ‘A’ Coaches from the youth arm of the popular Manchester United football club in the UK, and the technical team of the academy led by ex-international, Victor Ikpeba.

in Tunisia before they begin the defence of their African Youth Championship title,” Amadu disclosed. “It is an ideal location because it enjoys the same weather conditions as Algeria, where the tournament will be staged, and there are regular flight connections to and from there.” The Flying Eagles are expected to take part in a four-nation tournament while in Tunisia to finalise their preparations. The Flying Eagles, who eliminated Tanzania and South Africa to reach Algeria 2013, are drawn in Group B along with debutants Gabon, Mali and DR Congo. The semi-finalists from this competition will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey later in the year. The call-ups: Goalkeepers: Samuel Okani, Jonah Usman, Jacob Abobo Defenders: Ikechukwu Okorie, Chizoba Amaefule, Shehu Abdullahi, Kenneth Omeruo, Ali yu Mohammed Goyi, Abubakar Hassan Midfielders: Moses Orkuma, Abduljaleel Ajagun, Ovboka Agboyi, Uche Agb o,

Chidi Osuchukwu Strikers: Alhaji Gero, Yahaya Adamu, Bright Ejike, Umar Aminu, Harrison Egbune,S i k i r u Alimi





Delta State Governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan joined the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse, at a thanksgiving to celebrate the Itsekiri nation last Sunday. SHOLA O'NEIL writes

•From left: Governor Uduaghan; his wife, Roli; Ogiame Atuwatse and his wife, Olori Atuwatse

Entering His gates with thanksgiving I

T is a yearly event where Itsekiri indigenes gather to thank God for His mercies in the outgoing year. The 2012 edition was held on December 30 at the palace of the Olu of Warri. The church hall in the hallowed palace brimmed with Itsekiri indigenes and their friends, singing and dancing. They were led by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his wife, Roli; were also there. After the Itsekiri and National anthems’ rendition, the Praise Leader, Mrs. Elizabeth Tuoyo, led some prominent Itsekiri gospel groups in an awe-inspiring praise and worship session. Mrs Tuoyo noted that the Itsekiri nation "has so much to be thankful to God for" in a turbulent year in which flood ravaged communities within and outside the state. She said their monarch and the Itsekiri were grateful that they made it into the sanctuary of God and not the mortuary. The Royal Voices Choir, the famous Ugono for Jesus Group and Joint Native Choir of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Olu Palance took over proceedings for about one hour. The most memorable session of the service was the sermon by the Chaplain of Warri Kingdom, Dr. Mark Erumi. The sermon, which focused on the essence of thanksgiving, was laced with the

chaplain's personal experience and the biblical story of Cain and Abel. To drive home his point, the chaplain recounted how, as a Class III student at the Federal Government College, Warri, in 1963, his inability to thank his aunt who sent him a gift cost him dearly. He did not receive anything again from her until her death years later. The lesson of the story was clear to everybody in the mini-theatre and canopies outside the Church, particularly, the Itsekiri whose communities were not hit by the flood which wreaked havoc in some parts of Delta State. Dr. Erumi condemned adultery, reminding men and women, who engage in this ‘sinful’ practice of its dire consequences. He said it was not good enough for people to

go to church at the end of the year for thanksgiving only to return to their wayward lifestyle after. "We can appear before God in thanksgiving - we can give the very best of what we have - but if our hearts are not in the place to please God, we are giving thanks without a pure heart and it will not be acceptable to God," he said. Governor Uduaghan said the yearly event is a blessing to him and his family. He praised the monarch for the progress his reign has brought to the state, saying the greatest stride yet was the establishment of the educational trust fund for the nation. The General Overseer, Foursquare Gospel Church, Revd. Felix Meduoye, thanked the Ogiame for his kind heartedness and prayed for the continued growth and prosperity of

‘We can appear before God in thanksgiving - we can give the very best of what we have - but if our hearts are not in the place to please God, we are giving thanks without a pure heart and it will not be acceptable to God’

the Itsekiri nation. Revd. Meduoye's message was delivered by Revd. Sam Aboyeji, Warri District Pastor. The monarch and Uduaghan led the palace chiefs, including Chief Gabriel Mabiaku; Chief Willy Edema-Ofoni; Chief Water Omadeli; Tuoyo Omatsuli; Prof Rowland Yomere; Mr Gbesimi Akpere and Hon Kent Omatsone to thank God at the church altar. Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly Hon. Basil Ganagana, led other Deltans from all walks of life to the ceremony. They included Senator James Manager; former Minister of Police Affairs Alaowei Broderick Bozimo; Hon. Ossai Ossai; Hon Evelyn Oboro-Ojakovo; Hon. Pat Ajudua; Hon. Johnson Erijo and pioneer Speaker of the Assembly Hon. Emmanuel Okoro. Other guests were Chief Israel Abido; Commissioner for Works Hon. Asupa Forteta; Hon Funkekeme Solomon, his Housing counterpart, Paulinus Akpeki; Political Adviser to the governor Chief Fred Majemite; former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Dr. Joseph Otumara; Hon. Michael Diden and Hon. Irene Imilar. Revd. Wilson Ofoluwafor said the prayer for the monarch and the kingdom. He said the ethnic group was lucky to have a Christian monarch and prayed for God's protection over him, his wife and family. Revd. Aboyeji said the closing prayer at 2pm.




• Hon Michael Diden

•A cross-section of traditional rulers

•Senator Manager; Hon Ganagana and Hon Omatsone

•From left: Hon Solomon; Dr Otumara and Alaowei Bozimo

•Hon Irene Imilar and Prince Emiko

•From left: Dr Abido; Major Egone and Majemite

• From left: Dr Duakpenmi Ayu, Prince Emiko and Princess Ejiro Emiko

From left: Hon Mofe Edema, Pat Ajudua and Solomon Arenyeka



SOCIETY Ace sports commentator Fabio Olanipekun’s daughter, Omolola has got married to Olaoluwa Fanu at City Mission Methodist Church, Surulere, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI was there.


OR the families of Fabio Olanipekun and Adewale Fanu, December 15 was the day the Lord made for their children to be joined together as man and wife. The solemnisation of the union between Omolola Olumayowa (nee Olanipekun) and Akinwande Olaoluwa Fanu took place at the City Mission Methodist Church, Surulere, Lagos. Looking dapper in his ash suit, a red tie and a white shirt, the groom was all smiles as he beheld the bride. He waited patiently as his bride was ushered into the church by her father, who was decked in a blue national dress. The bride looked angelic in her white flowing gown with feathered gather. She wore a veil and had sparkling accessories on her hair, neck, ear and wrist. After the marriage, the couple were given special seats at the altar, where they sat all through the proceedings. The church had seasonal decorations. Flowers lined the walkway of the aisle. Presbyter of the Methodist Church, Rev M.B.O. Arogundade presided at the ceremony. In his sermon, he gave steps to Building an enduring home, which was the title of his sermon. The reception was held at the 10 Degrees Event Centre, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. The expansive hall was split in two; members of both families sat on either side. It was decorated in the dominant colour of orange. The three-layered cake stood in the middle of the hall. Many were decked in exquisite clothes. They were there to rejoice

Displaying their dancing skills •The couple Olaoluwa and Omolola flanked by their parents

with the new couple. Exotic necklaces glittered from the neck of the women. Crystal lightening dropped from the roof of the hall, adding glamour and affluence to the arena. With DJ Shakur dishing out Nigerian songs, there was no dull moment, as most of the continental music topping the charts were

played. Not even the attendants could resist the tunes as they danced intermittently, while moving around to meet the needs of the guests. They served continental and African cuisine with choice wine and drinks. The bride was gorgeous as she stepped into the hall with her beau. From one dance step to another,

they twisted their waists and 'bent low'. At some point during the dance, the groom pulled his suit to allow him room to dance well. Each tried to out-dance the other as they headed to their seats, which were specially made for them. Shola Samson held sway as master of ceremony (MC) till popular comedian Koffi took the micro-

phone. Old boys of Methodist Boys High School, Lagos (MBHS), who have known Mr Olanipekun for over 60 years, came out to make a presentation. In their usual manner, they backed up their presentations with the recitation of their school anthem. The good old friends sang the first stanza with croaking voices.

Alumni of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State have gathered in Lagos to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their alma mater. NNEKA NWANERI writes.

The good, old Ife •Alumni rise for alma mater T was time to make merry when alumni of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, celebrated the golden jubilee. They came in large numbers. From the East, North and Middle Belt; every region of the country was represented. Industrialists, academics, captains of industry and administrators were all present. The school rolled out the drums in celebration. Venue was the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was a dinner. Among those in attendance were three notable alumni — Governors Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and former Nigerian Bar Association President Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). They dropped their political differences for the sake of their alma mater. As guests stepped into the tastefully furnished hall, they could not resist the tunes from the speakers. Some went straight to the dancing floor, others danced to their seats. Women wriggled their waists, some danced in twos and threes. Many turned out in their best. It was either continental or western; they all looked stunning. It was time to catch up on good old times as old friends and colleagues chatted. The event took off on a merry note as ace comedian, Mr. Gbenga Adeyinka, also an alumnus, set the ball rolling with rib-cracking jokes. Chairman of the event, Prof Olu Akinkugbe, recounted the institution’s days of glory and travails. Akinkugbe, with mature humour, told interesting stories of


•Prof Omole and wife acknowleging cheers

•Prof Akinkugbe

the life of a typical Nigerian student. Guests laughed intermittently at memorable occurrences as they applied to them. Some just nodded their heads. Akinkugbe called on the alumni not to leave the funding of the university to the government alone. “Government not funding the university is not peculiar only to Nigeria. And most of the top universities of the world have resorted to their alumni for a substantial development of their infrastructure. OAU has a unique position among all universities. One of its faculties has produced the only Nobel laureate in literature in Africa and if things had worked out well in this country, all the faculties would have competed well with other universities across the globe,” he said. Chief host and OAU’s VC Prof. Tale Omole stressed the need for the alumni’s support. He said the reason for the gathering was to celebrate a university that has contributed greatly not only to the development of Nigeria but also to the

what the university used to be when it took off 50 years ago and what it is now. This, Prof Omole said, will help the project for it in future. Former presidential candidate and publisher of Ovation magazine Bashorun Dele Momodu, also an alumnus, said the gathering afforded him an opportunity to see a people he hasn’t seen in a long while. There were presentations in

•Mr Akeredolu (SAN)

‘OAU has a unique position among all universities. One of its faculties has produced the only Nobel laureate in literature in Africa and if things had worked out well in this country, all the faculties would have competed well with other universities across the globe’ •Prof Tale Omole

world. “OAU remains the only university in Africa; in all spheres of life; in big organisations and government parastatals across the globe, we have our products holding their own. We are here to realise our collective dream for Ife. The university has been a great idea and we shall continue to support it to reflect the excellence that has always been its foundation,” he said. In a documentary, guests saw

dance, music and acrobatics by the Explicit group, comprising 67 young orphaned dancers. Other dignitaries on the occasion include Senator Ayo Arise; Lagos State Head of Service Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe; President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Doyin Owolabi; Chief Gboyega Fatimilehin, Chief Agboola Odeyemi; Chief Ore Falomo, Prof Mike Faborede, and Mr. Bola Akingbade.



Lagos State Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice Alhaji Lawal Pedro (SAN) has been installed as the Agbesinga Adini of Brazilian Salvador Mosque, on Lagos Island. AMIDU ARIJE and YETUNDE BASHIRU were there.

A call to service T was a two-in-one event — installation of Sheikh Mubarak Jimoh as Imam of the Brazilian Salvador Mosque, Lagos Island, and the conferment of titles on some Muslim leaders. Among those honoured were Lagos State Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Alhaji Lawal Pedro (SAN), the Agbesinga Adinni of the mosque, his wife, Alhaja Aminat, Imole Adinni; Deputy Commissioner of Police Usman Suraj, Majeobaje Adinni and his wife, Alhaja Zinab, Osupa Adinni. The mini-hall inside Campos Stadium was filled with dignitaries. Praise songs were rendered as the Imam moved into the venue for his installation. The hall was ornately decorated in pink and blue colours. Many were clad in white. While waiting for the arrival of the Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Garuba Ibrahim, the master of ceremony, Mr Waheed Tella, entertained the guests with jokes. As soon as Sheikh Garuba arrived, the opening prayer was said. It was followed by recitation from the Quran by Farouk Oshodi. The Chief Host and Baba Adinni of the Mosque, Alhaji Abdul Mojeed Salvador, welcomed guests. The ceremony was chaired by the Baba Adinni of Lagos, Sheikh Abdul Hafeez Abou. He was represented by Alhaji Isiak Aminu. Sheikh Abou appealed to Muslims to give their all to Islam. "Knowledge is the basis of Islam, we must contribute to the work of Islam for it to flourish," he said. He congratulated Sheikh Jimoh on his investiture. Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Religion Matters Alhaji Shakur Gafar delivered a lecture. He reminded the gathering that leadership is by Allah's mercy, adding that whoever is entrusted with leadership should rule in accordance with the teachings of the Quran. "Your Imamship is by Allah's mercy, you must be lenient and tolerant with the people," he said. He urged the Imam to consult with the elders in his dealings. After Jimoh’s installation by Sheikh Garuba and his assistants, Alhaji Tijani Gbajabiamila and Alhaji Mujitaba Giwa, he was presented with his staff of office. An elated Alhaji Pedro promised


•Alhaji Pedro (SAN) flanked by his wife Alhaja Aminat and Suraj

•Imam Jimoh

•From left: Sheikh Ibrahim; Sheik Gbajabiamila and Sheik Giwa

•Comrade Kamal Salau-Bashua

•Mr Ipaye (right) and a guest

•Senators Solomon (left) and Muse

to continue to work for Islam’s progress. "I will continue to do what I have been doing for the progress of Islam and to ensure that the religion progresses," he said.


He urged the Imam to play a fatherly role to keep the Mosque going. Imam Jimoh described the day as his happiest. "It is the best day in my life, it is a memorable day for me and the

Brazilian Salvador Quarters," he said. He promised to work assiduously for the progress of Islam. Guests included Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General Alhaji Abdul

Rahman Ade Ipaye; Senator Ganiyu Solomon; Senator Munir Muse; Alhaji Ali Balogun; Alhaji Bamgbose Martins; Alhaji Samson Adelaja; Alhaji Leke Shittu; Dr Gafar Sanusi; Alhaji Kunle Lediju among others.


•From left: The couple Oluseyi and Rachael Omisore; Osun State Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori and Hajia Bintu Tinubu during the solemnisation of the Omisores at the All Saints Anglican Church, Yaba, Lagos. •Mr Olaniyi Elias and his wife Adebola during their wedding in Lagos

29 FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2013

Vol 4. No. 1783

Between in-house and external ad agencies Achieving excellence, providing brand identity, creating lasting brand perception, reaching the target market and fulfilling promises are the primary functions of advertising agencies. As long as these functions are met, it can be said that an ad agency has performed. Some experts believe that in order to align marketing objectives with the creative process of advert production, it is expedient to create an in-house ad agency; others feel that fresh perspective and thinking outside the box are invaluable tools for branding which only full-service advertising agencies can provide. RAJI ROTIM SOLOMON reports.


HE economic meltdown was a major global disaster that crippled many strong economies. It resulted in companies reducing their staff; some slashed remunerations by 10 per cent and budgets were reviewed. Also on the down-side were bankruptcy of small and medium scale ventures, mergers and buyouts. The melt-down, however, brought about corporate improvisatons, one of which is the in-house advertising agency. Under such an agency, marketing promotion is done by members of that company and not contracted out. Sometimes the buying arm of the business may be contracted to an agency but retains the creative arm and company communication. In other times the company retains control of its own advertising and marketing communication. Many companies create in-house ad agencies to achieve cost efficiencies/cost savings. Their reason for doing this is to create a consistent brand message alignment. Another reason is that most companies want a fast-paced response in the market. It is believed that nobody understands a brand better than the owner. When a company needs repositioning, it would take an in-house agency to prompt such actions because they understand the pulse of the product or the company in the market place and wouldn’t want to delay in responding to the change or else they would be overtaken by competing brands. Full attention can be devoted to the brand if an in-house agency handles it. There would be no case of a brand competing for an agency’s attention. Most outside agencies usually control several accounts with different briefs and goals, and often times less attention is paid to some accounts; this happens when a new account is won. Advertisers sometime want their marketing objectives and creative goals to align closely and so would prefer an in-house agency which allows the management to contribute to the creative development and marketing process. Most brand owners want to control the creative and marketing process of their brands. Firms that come up with their own advertisements, maintain sole authority over the way their products or brand is presented to the public, and so they prefer in-house agencies. Advertising experts see some flaws in such agencies. First, it is assumed that the creative sight of an in-house ad agency might be

myopic became no external perspective is involved. This stems from brand familiarity or creative exhaustion. Chief Executive Director of 7one7 Concepts Limited, Femi Akinwunmi, said: “Using a full-service advertising agency does three things primarily, first it saves time, second it saves labour and lastly it streamlines your product or brand to your actual target markets. “The theory of division of labour and specialisation comes into play here. An advertising agency has a team of professionals who would take up the job and execute it, using

their wealth of experience to conceptualise, produce and eventually place them in the media. “All these are not jobs for just anybody, because most times what happens is that a company would create an advertising department and then hire an expert to lead a team of nonexperts. It doesn’t work that way. “Then there is the limitation of creativity, it most often lacks freshness because eventually the in-house team would begin to think like the company and might not see anything outside it, they would be constrained into a box and freshness is missing that way.

“Finally, you look at the angle of advert placements, there is a limit to the media contact of an in-house agency and they have little information to work with unlike the fullfledged agencies that have wider coverage of media houses and media tracking information.” In Nigeria, some firms started the in-house ad agency experiment, others gave up after a try while; yet other are holding their grounds till date. Globacom, Nigeria’s indigenous telecom company started off its in-house agency that handles their buying arm. Another example is HiTV.

The effect of this on the industry is that it reduces the professional employed, and it also affects the standard practice of advertising, crippling the economic success of the industry. Imagine a time when all companies and manufacturers go inhouse, what is going to happen to the advertising agencies? Wouldn’t monopoly set in? What is the future of advertising agencies when all manufacturers go in-house? It is expedient that before a company thinks of going in-house, it should think of the adverse effects, particularly the issue of brand staleness because of lack of fresh ideas.




TFC, KFC locked in supremacy battle A

SERIOUS battle is raging between two major quick restaurant service (QRS) operators –Tastee Fried Chicken (TFC) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). The restaurants are known to be the most highly patronised. They are known to serve fresh and delicious meals and most importantly they share unique similarities, and that is their love for chicken. TFC was founded by Mrs Olayinka Pamela Adebayo. It began as an extension of Tastee Pot, an outdoor

Stories by Raji Rotimi Solomon

catering company serving Nigerian and continental food at events. In 1997, Mrs. Adebayo incorporated TFC and opened her first location in Surulere, Lagos State. She based her restaurant on the business model of the American fast food chicken restaurant, Kentucky Fried Chicken, where she had previously worked as a manager. In 2006, TFC launched a partnership with Oando, a petroleum company that now builds TFC in its ser-

vice stations. TFC specialises in fried chicken but also serves local delicacies such as pottage and jollof rice. As TFC was making it big, a major competitor arrived to keep it on its toes. KFC is an American based food restaurant with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. KFC specialises in fried chicken and it is known to be the world’s largest chicken chain and the second largest restaurant chain overall after McDonalds. It is situated in over 105 countries. KFC was founded in 1930

by Harland Sanders, who began selling chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky. KFC is known to be the first fast food restaurant to initiate the concept of franchise and it has helped boost the growth of the restaurant tremendously. Though KFC in its home country has been sold and resold a number of times, yet it maintains its original quality and taste. Presently KFC’s revenue is $9.2 billion. With these two fast food giants competing in the same market, sharing so many similarities in name and service make the battle a tough one. Emmanuel Orororo, a computer analyst said: “I was in the office and I sent my assistant to get me chicken at TFC at Akowonjo, but to my surprise he came back with a pack of KFC chicken, he only told me that he misrepresented the name in his

head and too bad they are not too far from each other. To create a clear-cut brand differentiation, TFC is rebranding and it now styles itself as TASTEE. The name change would go a long way to give them distinct identity. KFC is not relenting either as they now have outlets in different parts of Lagos State. KFC came into the country at the time fast food business was gradually depreciating. Its entrance has changed the face of the business. It is contending with servics challenge from TFC which has shown that it has what is takes to remain in business no matter what. This shows how strong the brand is in the market, but would the story still be the same with KFC’s entry? Will rebranding TFC make it face its competitor squarely? Certainly these two bulls are locked in a horn battle in the market arena.

Regal Gin holds ‘Fuji Slam’


From left: Chief Executive Officer, Novelpotta Y&R, Dr Celey Okogun; Assistant Brand Manager, LG Electronics, Esther Fagbola and Corporate Marketing Manager, LG Electronics, West Africa, Rajesh Agnihotri at the Brandhealth awards in Lagos.

Getting firms to pay pitch fee • AAAN set to resolve debacle


VER the years the issue of pitch fee has caused serious controversy in the industry. While it is a standard practice in other countries, it is a herculean task getting advertisers to pay in Nigeria. Pitch fee or rejection fee as it is called alternatively is the payment made to an advertising agency after losing a pitch. This is to compensate for effort made, in terms of expenses incurred during preparation and intellectual input. This might sound absurd, that a company must be paid for failing to win a pitch, but the rigour of putting a pitch material together is cash consuming. Pitch: Is a presentation by one or more advertising agencies for a prospective account. In this pres-

entation, the agency would use portfolio, slides, video, storyboard or other devices to review its organisational set-up, result for other clients, types of accounts, experience of personnel, specialisations, and any other information that is pertinent to winning the account. With that completed they move to downloading the strategies they intend to employ, to make an account a premium brand or to maintain the height it has gotten. All these is done with animations, research, layout and all, to communicate your imaginations and showing what the campaigns would look like. The process of preparing a pitch material is quite expensive and demanding and so should be re-

warded. In most cases the pitch process starts with organisations calling for credential checks from various agencies before throwing-out a pitch. After the credential check, selection is made and then pitch preparation begins from shortlisted agencies. These quell any form of bitterness or disappointment that might stem from having an overcrowded pitch exercise and eventually not being able to pay too many agencies their pitch fees. This phenomenal issue in the industry has been raging on, but with the new approach Advertising Agencies Association of Nigeria (AAAN) is taking would definitely settle the hitch in 2013.

Fake products: Fidson canvasses support for agency in the fight against drug LEADING manufacturer, counterfeiters. Fidson Healthcare Plc., has NAFDAC He said: “It is very imperative called on pharmaceutical


firms to support the campaign against fake drug syndicates by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Fidson’s Director of Operations, Mr Abiola Adebayo, spoke against the backdrop of the ongoing campaign by NAFDAC to rid Nigeria of fake drugs. Drug counterfeiting is affecting the pharmaceutical industry and

the country’s economy. To eradicate it, NAFDAC embarked on campaigns against fake drugs syndicates. The agency mounted public enlightenment campaigns and enforcement with other security agencies and government bodies. Adebayo maintained that the campaign could only be successful if stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies support the

to see the on-going campaign beyond just one of NAFDAC, activities. The problem of fake drugs is neither a NAFDAC problem nor that of the pharmaceutical industry. It is a serious national issue because it has to do with human lives. Hence everybody, including pharmaceutical firms must join hands with NAFDAC in this fight.”

ONSUMERS of Regal Dry Gin, the number one gin in the market from the stable of Grand Oak Limited, were entertained to the best of live fuji music by its Brand Ambassador, Alhaji Alabi Pasuma in this year’s ‘Fuji Slam’ held at New Afrika Shrine, Lagos. It was an exciting feat that left the audience yearning for more as they were entertained by different artistes before Pasuma mounted the stage. Speaking at the event, Category Manager of Grand Oak Limited Mr Abiodun Ayodeji said: ‘Regal Fuji Slam’ is the brand’s way of rewarding loyal consumers while at the same time entrenching Regal Dry Gin with the core target consumers. “If you look at the Southwest part of the country you will find out they love music and the kind of music they love is Fuji hence, we latch on this as a platform to promote the brand. “Regal Dry Gin has been in the forefront of promoting indigenous mu-

sical forms and entertainment programmes in the media. Regal Dry Gin pioneered the sponsorship of “Fuji Tolode” which got rave reviews in the late 90s on five radio stations,” he said. He said Regal Dry Gin sponsors “Lagbo Regal” on 14 radio stations across the Southwest because of the love people in this part of the country have for Fuji Music. According to the Brand Manager, Olufemi Falomo, “Regal Dry Gin has always communicated on the platform of enjoyment and satisfaction in close conjunction with Fuji Music. “This is a show where different wave making Fuji artistes entertain brand consumers. It also had side attractions like dancing and miming. The high point of the event was the star performance by Pasuma who entertained the audience.”The event serves as a platform for the brand to bond with her consumers. It is the link between the brand and the consumers where people can actually come together and interact,” he said.

EPCL launches beauty products


LIENTS, friends and hair and beauty personalities were feted to a cocktail as a range of personal care products was launched last Sunday at the Oceanview in Victoria Island, Lagos. The products were launched amidst fun fare as the invited guests interacted with the superior range of products namely Sofn’free and Easy waves crème relaxers, Clere Hair and body lotion and cremes, Silk-e skin toners and lotion and also Krayons petroleum baby jelly. Speaking at the event, Mr Suren Mirchandani said often times hair products made by other companies burn the scalp but the Sofn’free and Easy waves crème relaxers were carefully formulated by AMKA’s laboratories to make sure women have value for their money without the products burning the scalp. “We are here today to introduce our superior range of products to Nigerians. European Personal Care Limited, EPCL’s goal is to add value to the African woman by helping them to look beautiful and feel good. “Over the years, we have trained thousand of hairstylists on how to use our products efficiently and they have testified of the results. 2013 will be more exciting as we

By Kehinde Falode

plan to launch other products to the Nigerian market,” he said. The glamourous event was hosted by actress Tina Mba and dignitaries graced the product launch among who are Mrs Thomas Ishoka, President of Hairdressers Association of Nigeria and Dr Elizabeth Oshisanya, a distinguished cosmetologist and founder of Elegant school of cosmetology. Mrs Osishanya said she was proud to be associated with the brand as they have proven as a company that caters for the wellbeing of the people. “We have been using the products for years now and they are wonderful. The cocoa butter produced by European Personal Care Limited has been wonderful. I use their cocoa butter for my skin and it has been a household item for me and my family. I urge the women to make use of the Sof n free, Clere and even the Krayons cream for their babies.” Part of the highlights of the product launch was a dance by the Azazi Dancers with Attitude. A dipstick study among Lagos State salon owners showed that four out of five salon owners recommend Easy Waves crème relaxers and shampoo.






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From luxury retail grows more shopping malls

• Mega plaza

Luxury retail is fast catching on, with more shopping malls springing up. Others are upgrading in order not to be left behind. Traffic at the major malls indicates that there is need for more. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes. • Story on Page 32

Executive suya, executive treat

Page 33

How times have changed the choice of presents Page 34




From luxury retail grows more shopping malls S INCE globalisation was traced from the Silk and Spice routes linking Asia and Europe, to the rest of the world, trade became established along areas where merchants rested and finally settled. This gave rise to shops and markets. Shops began to grow and develop as people sought to meet needs across the globe. In the past, apart from small shops in the streets, the major place to shop was always the market where everything could be bought, especially food items. Later, super markets started springing up. These days, much more is obtainable. One does not necessarily need to patronise the usual market even to buy grocery, as malls are developed to meet all shopping needs. Today, shopping has gone beyond merely meeting purchasing needs. It serves much more than that. The concept of the present day shopping is an exciting one-stop shopping which presents the convenience and unique experience of retail, leisure, entertainment, movies, games and health. The trend is executive shopping and luxury retail. Moving forward, the fastest growing format for shops today is the mallhuge, convenient and comprehensive. This was why The Palms Mall, Lekki stole the heart of shoppers when it came, as it reminded many of the 60s to the late 80s when departmental stores such as Kingsway, UTC, Leventis and Bhojsons were great attraction for shoppers.

Reminiscing on this, Oba Gbenga Sonuga spoke to The Nation Shopping about those days, which he described as days of glorified shopping. “In those days, a visit to Leventis or UTC was a treasured one. We were dressed in our best outfits. You had to look good because you might just run into a friend or school mate, or even a lady you had been longing to ‘talk to’ (laughter). Sometimes we did shop, but we did not necessarily go there to shop. We just went to catch some fun. It was nice having a feel of those stores, I tell you”. But soon, the stores frittered away as the economic environment was no longer conducive for the foreign investors. For years, the delight of such stores was lost as they were no longer seen. Some even travelled abroad to shop. Long after, Mega Plaza Shopping Mall, Victoria Island, Lagos came up. Besides a comfortable ambiance, quality service delivery is one of its treasured policies. With the springing up of more malls, it has further reinforced its ultramodern car park and still holds sway. The opening of The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos in March 2006;built on a 40,000m² (10-acre) land, with 69 stores, modern six-screen cinema and a car park to accommodate at least 1,000 cars brought more excitement. The presence of South African retail giants, Shoprite and Game as the anchor tenants gave the mall a boost. Shoprite has

further expanded with branches in Enugu, Surulere and Ikeja. Others such as Silverbird Galleria, The ECentre, Yaba, Spar Retail Centre, The Arena and Surulere Shopping mall among others have been hosting shoppers. Many state governments are including malls to enhance their development and tourism potentials. On the other hand, The Ikeja City mall has become a Mecca of sorts for shoppers since it opened in December 2011. While commissioning it, Governor Babatunde Fashola expressed optimism that it would help to reduce the traffic of shoppers from the Mainland to Island. The fact remains that while the traffic is heavy at the mall, especially on weekends, the traffic at the Palms Mall Lekki, has still not reduced. In view of this, shoppers have asserted the need for more shopping malls. Chairman, House Committee on the Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa proposed that every locality should have a mall where their shopping needs could easily be met. Mr Cosmas Maduka, CEO Coscharis Group, said: “Frankly, I think there will be more shopping malls. I think that we haven’t had enough because the truth is that human beings are like water. If you make a gutter, you see that the water will flow through it, but if you don’t, it will find its own way. When you organise them, they follow. If you don’t, everybody will just go

• The Palms

• The Spar

• The Ikeja City Mall

like flood on the street. Part of the difficulties with shopping malls in Nigeria is parking space. You can’t get to find a kind of space where people can come in, park and be able to shop properly. If all things are equal, we should have a good shopping mall in every neighbourhood. Prof Pat Utomi said countries like Indonesia and China were underdeveloped like Nigeria, but over the years, have remained consistent with development. Shopping mall developers foresee more foreign investors coming in. Wal Mart is already in Africa, having recently acquired a South African retail chain, Massmart. They will not be there for a long time before making a foray into Nigeria. More investors and franchises from the United States, Europe and South East Asia, especially Singapore, are also likely to locate to Nigeria within the next few years. These enterprises are encouraged by the success stories of retail chains such as Shoprite and the unyielding appetite of Nigerians for consumer goods. In their own right, the markets are getting better so as not to lose customers to the teeming stores. Lagos markets such as Mushin, Aswani, Oshodi, Mile 12, Badagry, Iddo, Oyingbo and Balogun, among others have remained sanitised. Unlike in the past, shoppers could go into these markets, park their cars and shop conveniently.




Shopping Right with FROM MY MAIL BOX Dear reader,

• Suya

Executive suya, executive treat Do you patronise the maisuya on your street? Well, some corporate organisations have taken up the trade, bringing the newest trend of grills and suya, hygienically prepared for people of class and style. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.


HESE days, while people shop for their daily essentials, it becomes even more necessary to take care of their stomach. This explains why shopping malls fulfil virtually every need, so that while you shop for your various needs, you also shop for your stomach. Suya has metamorphosed from the usual mallam selling on your street to something more sophisticated. Just as every other facet of life is improving by the day, suya delicacy has also been improved upon. Some corporate organisations have also gone into the business. There are different names for various preparations. For instance, there is the presidential cow and ram, otherwise called special or executive preparations. A suya outfit, Grills ‘n’ Suya, named after its products, prides itself as making very tasty suya, grills and barbecue, for all kinds of social and corporate events. The Head, Business Development of the company, Mr Micheal Akanni, said its products maintain a high standard hygiene in the areas of providing services at occasions, such as gala nights, awards nights, cocktail parties, marriage receptions, birthday parties, end of year party for corporate organisations; refreshment in political seminars and symposium, Annual General Meetings (AGM) for banks and other financial institutions, among others. The company is reputed for its outstanding performances with its state of the art equipment used in achieving excellence in the area of service delivery. It prepares suya according to the original tradition preparation with its aromas and spices from natural sources. It stocks varieties of suya with its distinctive spices and qualities. “Our suya are usually served with assorted chilled fruit juice for maximum enjoyment and relaxation. It is prepared according to the traditions of the suya, which makes it original. Our chefs are among the best that you can find around. We make them prepare the suya according

to the tradition in which it being prepared. This is because we believe that it loses its essence without the traditional way of preparing it’, said Akanni. On grills he said: “We provide very tasty grills such as pepper grilled snails, spicy grilled chicken, tastee grilled fish, grilled meat and turkey”. “Our barbecues are simply delicious, we make different kinds such full goat, chicken, fresh antelopes, grasscutters and lots more”, he stressed, adding:”We aim to satisfy the appetite of fun-loving socialites and people for taste”. The company’s chef, Mr Ayodele Ogunleye, who has been in the profession for 17 years, said he brings to bare the skills acquired over the years in making the preparations which has made it the pick of the pack. Asides providing the items, the attendants are always on ground to ensure that everything is put in place.

Balangu suya

This having fresh meat (beef) or fresh ram meat, hygienically spiced and spread on fire, turned regularly with fire burning slowly to avoid being burnt. It is served with onions, tomatoes and the original balangu spices from natural sources.

Tsire suya

This is the stick suya type. It is prepared under close supervision to avoid being burnt. It is equally served hot with onions, tomatoes, cabbage and the tsire spices.

Assorted suya This type is a combination of different inner parts of a cow- liver, kidney, lungs, gizzard, etc. It is served with onions and specially made spices.

Kilishi suya This type of suya takes a minimum of two days to prepare and can last for weeks without going bad. It is usually spiced dry and roasted. It has a unique taste and can be packed as takeaway.

• Kilishi

Thanks for your comment and response to The Nation Shopping. As always, we are poised to serve you more and give you every valuable piece of information on our finger tips. It is really nice to see that you have been with us all through last year. Now that another year is here, we look forward to greater relationship with you. Today is special because asides being the first Friday of the month, it is also the first Friday of the year. As we do first Friday of every month, here are some of your comments as space would enable us. Please bear with us if your comment is not published in this edition. Thanks a million, Janice.


As a retailer, I must confess that your articles have helped me a lot in understanding and knowing how to satisfy my customers. I read what you wrote on quality and I totally agree with you. James Obodo, Yenoagoa Thanks for your tips on choosing the right gifts for Christmas. I must let you know that after reading your guide, I was able to pick good gifts and they were all well received. Felicia Uti, Badagry Dear Janice, I like what you are doing on Shopping because you open my eyes to sensitive issues I would have ignored under normal circumstances. Through your works, I realise that shopping is an important aspect of life and also has its own approach. Thanks for enlightening us on the right approach to shopping. It has also helped me to make the right choices, especially this festive season. I wish you a prosperous year 2013. Yetunde Olojede, Owerri. Thank you so much for your shopping pages. First, I would like to say Merry Christmas and happy New Year to everybody and God bless you. Thanks to you. My house was fun-filled this Christmas. The gift ideas seem great. I have a little girl. She is 11. Everything she wants goes inside a booklet of wishes that I made for her last Christmas. Sometimes, I throw in one of the erased ones to surprise her. God bless her, and I hope all of you with little children got them something that means something to them! Tricia, Enugu Thanks so much for your articles on gift ideas. You may have saved my Christmas! I had done all usual Christmas gifts to death and was at a complete loss this year! But the gifts you suggested really helped out. They were great ideas! You made my Christmas complete. I wish you the best of the New Year. Ugomma Onyedi, Abuja Thanks for the ideas. We are a bit low on money for gifts. So I was looking for some other ideas. From your tips, I was able to get affordable and valuable gifts. Thank you. Mrs Chibuzor Okoro, Onitsha Dear Aunty Janice, I really appreciate the way you enlighten us on shopping. Dear, I understood vividly all the issues you raised about shopping right for Christmas. I love you for that. Keep it up. Auwal Gadole, Plateau State Thanks for your gift ideas. You have made my Christmas worthwhile. I wish you a prosperous New Year too. Ebele Ebube, Ibadan Good articles. As a Nigerian, shopping is like a birth right. To prove this point, with the ongoing global economic recession, Nigerians are very busy acquiring properties worth-billions. For the average Nigerian, Christmas will not pass them by without changing their wardrobes. What a nation with people of insatiable want. I must not fail to tell you that your beauty is undiluted courtesy of incessant shopping ranging from good clothing to a spotless make-up. You are indeed a beauty to behold please keep it up with your motivational write up, thanks. Godspower Harrison, Executive Protocol Services One of the motives for holding money is to make transactions. This means that shopping is inextricable! However, projections should be made to avoid festivity-shopping- cramming. This would help individuals buy high quality commodities at reduced prices that are relatively friendly, thereby playing down the supposed side effects of sky rocketing prices emanating from demand-push inflation. Merry Xmas to all readers of The Nation Newspaper and more rewarding, revamping, rejuvenating, recapitulating and invigorating New Year. Olaolu Ayoola, Architect, Corps Member

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992




Times have changed choice of presents Text messages cannot replace hamper, just like they have replaced greeting cards. Hamper add to the festive season’s excitement. They are gifts for all time, writes TONIA’DIYAN.


ENDING and receiving cards at Yuletide used to be a tradition. It comes with a feeling that it is a demonstration of people’s goodwill to others, so the recipients proudly display the cards in their living rooms. These days, text messages have virtually replaced cards; only a few shops now sell them. However, hamper can never be replaced by cards. It remains an ideal gift throughout the year. Choosing one should depend on the person who will be receiving it. For example, choice of a ‘food basket’ will ultimately depend on what the recipient of the basket enjoys eating. ‘Birthday gift baskets’ make for the perfect birthday gift and will usually include candles, balloons and other birthday items. ‘Tea gift baskets will usually come with mugs for tea, along with assorted teabags. Gradually, hamper of all sorts have replaced in many instances, those book gifts, clothes/shoes/accessories gifts, perfumes, toys and others. Hamper have become such big business that they form part of the services that many business outfits provide for individuals and the corporate world. Makers of Christmas hamper canvass for business at the beginning of the year, going round with samples and catalogue of what they can assemble for individuals, families and corporate bodies, depending on your budget. The competition is fierce, as anyone can turn a hamper provider over night; all sorts of devises are used to make offers attractive. Beautiful plastic containers are gradually replacing the traditional cane hamper with their contents becoming more sophisticated. Contents like; expensive bottles of wine, cosmetics, designer towels, footwear, materials for outfits, pressing iron, sandwich toast maker, table top oven, plates and cutlery; unlike in those days when hamper used to consist of beverages only. Some hamper-makers are quite imaginative and gifted in their selection of products, sometimes in their bid to make you appreciate their selection, they go for foreign-produced items, whether their quality is inferior to the locally made versions or not. Some tell you, ‘we use only imported items in our hamper’, and thus they have the perfect excuse for overpricing the hamper. Have in mind that hamper should not cost more than N10, 000 per basket, though there are some which are as much as N30, 000. There are three categories of them, namely; the gold, silver and the bronze, they all vary in their prices and content. If you order for hamper, you have the opportunity to go over the list of the items, and tell the supplier that all items should have at least one year sell-by-date left. Some hamper shops offer generous volume discounts for large corporate orders, especially at the beginning of another year. They also offer some additional branding ideas including your business card, compliment slip and other company literature as required. Ribbons which match your corporate colour could also be used. The hamper enables you send variety of items, and stand a better chance of pleasing every type of recipient on your list. In a corporate environment sometimes, it can be difficult to know what might be the best gifts to give. Something too personal, too inferior or too expensive might not be suitable for everyone, you would want to be

careful not to insult anyone by giving them less of a gift than they might be expecting. Mrs Oluremi Ilori, the owner of ‘Just Baskets’ in Lagos, promises to satisfy customers with hamper throughout the year. “Hamper is an everyday thing. They are not only for festive seasons; we have them in their different types and sizes. There are hampers for every occasion like baby naming ceremony, house warming, wedding ceremony, expectant mothers, to celebrate a new job, valentine’s day, Easter, Ramadan, etc”. Food hamper The main focus of food hamper is the food; it makes them different from the other gift baskets. Some of the typical food items that you would find are bread, canned food; tin tomatoes, corn beef, tuna flakes, cheese, dried fish, bush meat, soup seasoning, packed rice, yam flour and the likes. They are usually contained with foods that are unique with the recipient’s region. Anything that you might take along on a picnic can be included in a food hamper, because this is the general idea behind them. There is something interesting about receiving food hamper as a gift. As you open the hamper and bring out item after item, you would start to imagine trying out each of them, and your mouth will begin to water. Food hamper make great gifts and everyone loves getting them. They are a great way to celebrate a special occasion. They are appropriate for birthdays, host gifts, holidays, anniversaries, and even for just saying that you appreciate someone. Getting a food hamper is like getting your own personal bounty. You can choose to share it with everyone around you immediately, or you can save it for the next special occasion. In any case, these hampers are meant to be shared, and sharing a food hamper with someone is a great way to show care and appreciation. And because there are food hamper that are appropriate for any situation, you would never be at a loss when it comes time to give a gift. It makes a great go-to gift when you are not quite sure what would please your recipient. Few people can resist the charm and allure of food hamper. Imagine someone sending you a gift basket filled with your favourite food, drinks and other treats. Your first instinct would be to immediately rip off the packaging and start rifling through the contents, looking for the next treat. These gifts work for all occasions including birthdays, holidays, weddings, and anniversaries. The best thing about the gifts is that they work in situations where you do not know what else to get. This leaves you wondering what you should buy and what the couple needs. A great way to congratulate and treat that couple about to get married is with food hamper. Choose a gift that mixes food with a few items that the couple needs Another way to use food hamper is for sports enthusiasts. Sports fans follow their favourite teams with a religious enthusiasm, watching the sports every week. A sports gift box is perfect for anyone who watches the games from home, but also those that visit the arena in person. Look for gifts that include snacks like chips and pretzels in single serve packages, which is just right for one person. The baskets mix these treats with chocolates, candy bars and other types of candy. One small gift basket is perfect for one or two games, while a larger basket provides enough treats for multiple games.

• Chocolate hamper

• Assorted hamper

• Corporate hamper

• Food hamper




With ekpoita / 08077706130



1.Create (4) 4.Fence (4) 8. Metric Unit of Measure (3) 10. Contest (3) 11. Pig’s pen (3) 12. Poem (3) 13. Range of Vision (4) 14. Lode of Ore (4) 16. Throw (4) 19. Circle (3) 22. Aposite (4) 24. Toilet (3) 25. Era (3) 26. Try (4) 27. Cease (4)

1.Conceal (4) 2.Skill (3) 3.Vital (3) 5.Confess (4) 6. Cover (3) 7. Look Slyly (4) 9. Unvarying (7) 13. Examine Thoroughly (3) 15. Seasoning (4) 17. Ejected Saliva from Mouth (4) 18. Unit of Movement (4) 20.Eggs (3) 21.Lettuce (3) 23. Gone by (3)


The words below are just names of countries converted. you are required to decipher the countries by writing each country beside its appropriate word.An example is given to spur you on.





It was the first day of the session and a new direct entry student, Mensah, a Ghanaian, joined the class in one of Nigeria’s universities. The Lecturer said, “let’s begin by reviewing some Nigerian history.” The Lecturer asked who said, “I shall return to die in the land of my fathers?” She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Mensah, who had his hand up. Mensah replied: “King Jaja of Opobo, 1875” “very good!” said lecturer.

Your beautiful eyes,


Shine like gold,


A wonderous treasure,

The Lecturer snapped at the class; “class, you should be ashamed. Mensah, who is new to our Country, knows more about our history than you do.” The Lecturer heard a loud whisper: “Ghana must go” “who said that?” she demanded, Mensah put his hand up, “Buhari 1984.”

I smile real bright,

Now, with almost mob hyseria, someone said; “You little shit. If you say anything else, I’ll kill you.” Mensah frantically yelled at the top of his voice; “Chris Uba to Ngige, 2004!” The Lecturer fainted, and as the class gathered around her on the floor, someone said; “Oh shit, we’re in Big trouble now!” Mensah whispered; “Chimaroke Nnamani, Ayodele Fayose and Lucky Igbinedon 2007” Someone angrily said; “Dont answer him, he is a fool” Mensah smiled replied; “Obansanjo to IBB, 2011” Now the Lecturer manage to get up and asks Mensah; pls, who’re you? Show your self.. Mensah jumped, yelled and said; Jonathan to BOKO HARAM 2012.d teacher fainted.


We’re all alone in this place,

That’s untold.

Now furious, another student yelled; “Oh yeah! Eat this!” Mensah jumped out of his chair waving his hand and shouting to the Lecturer, “Indian mistress giving an apple to Abacha, 1998”


Through the sunrise I see your face,

Then she asked again, who said, “The land use act will feed the nation?” Again, no response except from Mensah: “Obasanjo, 1976.”

At that point, a student at the back scornfully said; “Hmmm, you think you are smart?” The Lecturer glared and asked; “All right! Now, who said that?” Again, Mensah said, “Babangida to Abiola, 1992.”



WORDWHEEL Form as many words as you can with the letters in the wheel below, using the letter in the hub for each word. Avoid proper nouns and 2-leter words. Hidden is a 10-letter word meaning ‘Running’.Words above fifty formed score “Excellent”.

You tell me you love me,


You’re the best thing that’s happened to me,




- Amy Lowell



Life is a stream On which we strew Petal by petal the flower of our heart; The end lost in dream, They float past our view, We only watch their glad, early start. Freighted with hope, Crimsoned with joy, We scatter the leaves of our opening rose; Their widening scope, Their distant employ, We never shall know. And the stream as it flows Sweeps them away, Each one is gone Ever beyond into infinite ways. We alone stay While years hurry on, The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.







Two siblings were fighting when their mother went to stop them. She used yesterday’s newspaper and made them stand on it until they made up. How did she get them to stand on the newspaper so that the siblings couldn’t touch each other?


What do the following words have in common? FAST,THROUGH,DOWN,AWAY,WATER,NECK .


Each may be preceded by BREAK to give a new word.

The All-Knowing Student

Pep Talk




She slipped the newspaper under a door and closed the door. She made them stand on the two ends


Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks. – Johann Gottfried Von Herder






NNOVATION is man’s intuitive invention which may be positive or negative depending on the intention and objective of the innovator. In recent times, three great Nigerians have come up with three different beneficial innovations to the great relief and comfort of Nigerian citizens. The first of them is Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi whose financial ‘Midas Touch’ through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has saved Nigerian economy from total collapse. The second is Mallam Muhammad Abubakar, the Inspector General of Nigeria Police, whose ingenuous policy of ‘QUIT THE ROAD BLOCKS’ order given to the Police Force has brought tremendous succour to millions of Nigerians who had been technically conditioned to extortion siege just as it has drastically reduced the rate of accidental deaths caused by ‘accidental bullet discharges’. And the third is Professor Attahiru M. Jega, the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) whose new innovation in respect of electoral awareness in Nigeria has lifted the veil of ignorance from the faces of the electorate. Incidentally, the trio are from the same geographical (Northwest) zone. This further confirms that the late General Murtala Muhammed’s unprecedented performance as Nigeria’s Head of State in the mid 1970s was not a mere accident after all. It should be recalled that Gen. Murtala Muhammed was also from the Northwest zone. In his usual research work, Professor Jega discovered that the campaign for electoral awareness in the country had skipped a substantial chunk of the national population and this might take a toll on the success of future elections. That chunk is the Madaris (Arabic and Islamic schools) in Nigeria. Madaris is the plural of Madrasah. Jega saw such a skip as a major error which required immediate rectification. He therefore embarked on an effective campaign by organising workshops and seminars for that sector of the population. One of such workshops was held in Sokoto for the North last year November while another was held in Akure, Ondo State for the South, last Thursday of December 2012. The Northern session of the workshop was well attended by participants from all the 19 states of the North just as the Southern one was equally well attended by participants from all the 17 states of the South. The Southern session was organised on behalf of the INEC Chairman by Professor Lai Olurode, the INEC National Commissioner in charge of the Southwest and Chairman of INEC Institute. The workshop was coordinated by Ustadh Daud Adegbenro Badru who is the General Secretary of the Federation of Arabic School Proprietors and Principals of Nigeria. Yours sincerely was invited to the Southern session as a guest speaker. The theme of the paper I presented was: ‘THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ELECTORATE IN NIGERIA’. Below is the text of the paper. Please read on: “It is a matter of delight that for the first time in contemporary Nigeria, a programme of this type is being extended to Madaris. This is an indication that things are beginning to take a better shape in our country. Hitherto, this sector of the society was not considered for an entitlement to any right, including enlightenment, simply because it did not akin enough to Western education which is a colonial heritage. The thought within the ruling elite was that whoever did not understand English could not be taught anything hence the official nonchalance to this sector of the society. Thus, bringing this programme to Madaris at this time is not only a realistic correction of an unjust policy of the past but also a right step in a right direction. At least the formulators of democratic policies in Nigeria would expect this formidable chunk of the society to bear certain responsibilities as a matter of patriotic duty. And wherever responsibilities are expected rights must not be denied. In every civilised society, citizens’ responsibilities to the nation go hand in hand with the rights to which those citizens are naturally entitled. No responsibility should be imposed on citizens to the exclusion of their rights. What most Nigerians, including those in government, do not seem to know is that constant communication between 08122697498

At INEC’s Workshop


the government and the populace through indiscriminate tutorials or workshops of this type is a foremost means of ascertaining peace and harmony in a pluralistic society. Ostracising a major sector like the Madaris, therefore, particularly in areas of sensitive national projects like election, is an evidence of exclusiveness in governance. And that can never augur well for democracy. In Nigeria today, the population of those who are engaged in Madaris either as students or as teachers or as Qur’anic reciters or even as book printers and sellers is not less than 30 million people. Officially, the Almajirai (Pupils of Madaris) alone are said to be about 10 million. Any government that ostracises such a chunk in policy formulation or implementation is only promoting ignorance and possible discord in the society. I therefore salute and commend the thoughtful initiators of this laudable idea and those who planned it to this successful stage. Their initiative is an innovation that can broaden the horizon of the populace and ventilate the atmosphere for concord and harmony. I wish them God’s bountiful blessings. My assignment in this workshop is to give a pep talk on the rights and responsibilities of the electorate in Nigeria. The word electorate here presupposes that elections are held and people are expected to vote. But can there be elections without democracy? And can there be democracy without constitution? This is the premise from which my pep talk will commence. Constitution is the foundation of democracy. Every democratic process is or should be based on an existing constitution or democratic convention. There can be no democracy in the absence of a constitution or a relevant convention. The very first constitution in the world as mentioned in this column last Friday was that of Madinah initiated and championed by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who facilitated its draft and ensured its writing and promulgation. That constitution variously called the ‘Madinah Constitution’ and the ‘Charter of Madinah’ was written shortly after the Prophet’s emigration from Makkah to Yathrib in 622 CE. It was that historic emigration that changed the name of the city from Yathrib to Madinah. The constitution which had 63 Articles was very detailed and all-encompassing as it introduced to the world, for the first time ever, what later came to be known as ‘Human Rights’. The Medina Constitution upon which the establishment of the first democratic state in the world was based is truly a re-

markable political/constitutional document for the primordial and the contemporary times. Contrary to the Western claim that Aristotle wrote a constitution for Athens, which preceded that of Madinah, the document called constitution and attributed to Aristotle which was written on a papyrus and discovered by an American missionary in Egypt in 1890 and published in 1891, was found not to be a constitution after all but an historical account of the governing system in the City-State of Athens. Some other legal documents on the governing conduct of the ancient societies have since been found, but none has proved to contain the letters and norms of a constitution. The Madinah Constitution, therefore, is the first and oldest constitution in the world and no individual or corporate intellectual body has disputed this with any significant proof. It was from that constitution that the English feudal bill of rights written in 1215 C. E and called Magna Carta was adapted. That is why Magna Carter also contains 63 Articles like Madinah Constitution. Incidentally, just as 55 people sat down together to draft Madinah constitution so did 55 people sat together to draft Magna Carta. And the fact that Magna Carta was followed by Habeas Corpus in 1679 as a means of rescuing the judiciary from the claw of the Crown in England is also an evidence that Magna Carta closely followed the example of Madinah Constitution. It should be remembered that a few years after the promulgation of Madinah Constitution there was a review that brought into it some addendum. It was that addendum that increased the number of Articles in that constitution from 47 to 63. Although, when American constitution came into existence in 1787 as an offshoot of Magna Carta, some Western historians took it for a landmark document which they classified as the oldest written national constitution in operation while the fact of its Magna Carta origin was deliberately overlooked. This was to avoid linking its origin to Madinah Constitution from which the idea of Magna Carta was derived. Nevertheless, no matter how it is viewed, the Madinah constitution remains the mother of all constitutions in the world as it preceded Magna Carta by 593 years and American Constitution by 1165 years without itself having been preceded by any. If there is any innovation in the American Constitution which distinguishes it a little from Magna Carta and Madinah Constitution, it is the reduction of that Constitution to Seven Articles which had to be divided into many sections and clauses. The Madinah Constitution is both historically and realistically significant not only for being the world’s first written constitution, but also for being ultramodern in the sense of its promulgation for a pluralistic society in which equal rights were guaranteed for all citizens, including women and children as well as tribes and religious blocks. That Constitution also spelt out the responsibilities of individuals and communities to the state. It should be recalled that Madinah at that time was inhabited by Muslims, Jews, Christians and Pagans all of whom jointly endorsed it as a charter of co-existence for the federating units. And that was why the City State of Madinah founded on the basis of that constitution was not initially called an Islamic State by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It only became an Islamic State after the Muslims overwhelmingly outnumbered all others

put together and the rule of majority was applied. Madinah Constitution was the first to provide a federal structure of government with a centralised authority in which various tribes and districts constituted federating units and enjoyed autonomy in certain matters of social, cultural and religious characters. In the constitution, the provision for district autonomy (under which came tribal and religious entities) was repeated severally in Clauses 3 to 11 and 26 to 35. In fact, many matters were left in the hands of the autonomous units except state security and national defence the provision for which could be found in Clauses 17, 36 (a) and 47 while the real provisions for centralised matters were made in Clauses 13, 15, 17 and 44. It was only in cases of disputes at the units’ level which could not be resolved at that level that was allowed to recourse to the central body. This confirms Madinah Constitution as truly the first democratic Constitution with federal disposition in human history. Democracy, on the other hand, is the political system in which the people of a country are ruled through any form of government of their choice. In modern democracies, supreme authority is exercised on behalf of the populace through the representatives elected by popular suffrage (this is called Shura in Islam). Such election may come in form of secret balloting as currently obtained in Nigeria or open physical indication as adopted in Nigeria’s 1993 elections. Popular suffrage is not about voting to choose the president or the governors or the representatives alone. It is also about accepting or rejecting a notion that may affect governance in one way or another through voting. Such voting may take the form of referendum or that of plebiscite. Here in Nigeria, suffrage has been limited to the choice of rulers alone through voting. As a matter of fact, Nigeria has never involved referendum or plebiscite on any national issue since independence in 1960. The only time a referendum was ever used in this country as a means of resolving a national issue by popular votes was 1961 when the status of a major area of the then Eastern Nigeria was to be re-determined as to whether to remain a part of Nigeria or to join Cameroon as a region. It was through that referendum that what is called Southern Cameroon today became an integral part of Cameroon. The problem with Nigeria, however, in adopting a foreign policy or innovation, be it social, cultural, economic or political, is the refusal by those in authority to give it a local flavour by adapting it to our national cultural mannerism. And this has consistently constituted the bane of democracy in our country. Given the fact that Nigeria, like many other countries of the world had been accustomed to monarchy for many centuries before colonisation, one would have expected a thorough study of who we are, what we want and how we hope to progress before adopting any system of government. But this did not happen. Rather, we chose to continue the management of our common life as we inherited it either from the British colonialists or from imperial America. The result is that we continue to drift aimlessly today on the high sea of life without being equipped with a guiding compass. But, by and large, whichever type of democracy is adopted, the essence is for the government in place to let the majority of the people enjoy maximum social and economic benefit as well as adequate security. Part of the security is for the citizens to know their rights and guard them as much as they identify their responsibilities and bear them. These can hardly be achieved without adequate awareness and information about electoral process. Going by the rules and regulations of elections in Nigeria as contained in our national constitution, there are responsibilities for us to bear as citizens in order to sustain our country and there are rights for us to guard in order to resist any economic or political oppression. Some of those responsibilities are spelt out in the various documents published by INEC for free distribution to the electorates. These can be obtained from any INEC office in the country.




• Groom's parents Mr and Mrs Oriola

•The couple Babatope and Atinuke

•Bride’s parents Dr and Mrs Ogundowole

Two lawyers - Atinuke, daughter of the former Rector of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Dr Bolu Ogundowole and Babatope Oriola got married in the ancient town of Owo, Ondo State. TAIWO ABIODUN was there.


S early as 7a.m, the residents of Government Resident Area (GRA), Owo, were woken up by the traditional trumpeters, cultural dancers and praise singers who displayed dexterity to announce to the community of a great event in the offing. It heralded the engagement between Atinuke, daughter of the former Rector of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Dr Bolu Ogundowole and Babatope Oriola. 'Armed' with a proposal letter and ingredients for the wedding, the groom's family members, friends and well wishers from IyinEkiti, Ekiti State, were at the gate of the Ogundowole's in search of a beautiful 'flower' Atinuke. In compliance to Yoruba tradi-

Union of ‘learned colleagues’ tion, the two families were engaged in an interesting 'debate' and each family was represented by an emcees (Alaga Iduro and Alaga Ijoko) who after a lot of pleasantries, exchange of questions and answers allowed the Oriolas in. The necessary rites took place before the train moved to St John's Anglican Church, Iyere-Owo, for the Holy matrimony. The officiating pastor, Olu Abiodun implored parents to devote time to God. Parents, the cleric said, should not go to the praying mountain for fasting while neglecting their children.

He urged the couple to always respect each other's opinion. There was exchange of wedding rings and signing of the marriage certificate. After declaring them husband and wife, special songs were rendered by the choristers. The couple later took pictures with family and friends. At the Aruwajoye Events Hall, venue of the reception, the chairman of the occasion, Dr Bode Oyerinde, congratulated the couple. Oyerinde, the chairman Governing Council, founder and Pro Chancellor of Achievers University, en-


• Mr Obinna Onyejiuwa and his wife, former Miss Obiageli Agu during their wedding at the Christian Pentecostal Mission, Ajegunle, Lagos

joined the couple to be tolerant. "You should tolerate each other and do things in common with perseverance and the fear of God,'' he said. The groom described his wife as unassuming. He told The Nation how he met her. "I met her about six years ago, she gave me a tough time before she agreed to marry me, she is a devouted Christian and that also attracted her to me. I know she is a lawyer but she is more of a pastor as she preaches to me always. Aside these, she is patient, unassuming and pleasant,” he said.

The bride described him as humble, simple and God-fearing. "I am proud to have him as my husband. It is true that I gave him a tough time before I agreed," she said. The groom's mother, Mrs Oriola, thanked God for making the day a reality. Dr Ogundowole prayed for the couple to live happily. Among those who witnessed the occasion are Prof Kayode Olotua; Prince Olanrewaju OlateruOlagbegi; Chief Executive Officer Tisco Company Chief Isaac Tapere; Group Captain Olu Daramola; Olori Bola Sijuade; Academic and Non Academic staff of Achievers University, Owo and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.


•From left: Mr Gabriel Bakare; his daughter Alice Abosede Bakare and Mrs Alero Igiehon during Alice Master's graduation in Oil and Gas Law at University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom



CELEBRITY The wedding between Ibukunoluwa, daughter of Dr Adegoke Kalejaiye and Adesola, son of Otunba Adedayo Adeyinka from Ido-Ekiti, drew friends and family members to Ibadan. BISI OLADELE and TAYO JOHNSON were there.

Their happy day


T was the day many had waited for. None looked forward to the day more than former Miss Ibukunoluwa Kalejaiye and Mr Adesola Adeyinka, who had waited patiently for 11 years to say "I do". For the couple, it was their special day and their looks said it all. December 16, last year, was their happiest day. That day, the young couple brought guests from across the Southwest to their wedding held at Jogor Centre, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. They met at a campus fellowship at the Obafemi Awolowo University in 2001 when they were in 100 Level. They became friends and ended up signing the dotted lines to become life partners. It was a three-in-one ceremony featuring the court marriage at the registry, engagement and a lavish reception. The colour of the day was a touch of wine for the bride's family and friends; the groom's family went for a touch of gold for their guests. The Church service was conducted at Functional Hall, Jogor Centre. Revd Tunji Taiwo of the Lighthouse Baptist Church and other ministers of God conducted the service. The cleric urged the couple to stand by their marital vows, adding that God is their witness. He wished them a blissful union with God's multiple blessings. Guests were later ushered into the Hall of Grace at the same venue for the reception. A medical consultant and a columnist in The Nation newspaper, Dr. Tony Marinho led the guests. Dr Marinho, who chaired the reception, wished the couple a successful married life. "It is customary to give words of wisdom at this kind of occasion. But all I will tell you is that you should be conscious of your tongue, because that is what destroys so many marriages and it will save yours if you adhere to it," he said He urged Ibukunoluwa to always obey her husband and be a good daughter-in-law. The groom, Ibikunle, decked in a black suit, described his wife as "a true spirited and level-headed

•Groom’s parents Otunba Adeyinka flanked by his wives Susan (left) and Victoria

•Bride’s parents Dr Kalejaiye and his wife Funmilayo

•Pastor Tope Dada (left) and Chief Adebayo Adeyinka

•The couple Adesola and Ibukunola

person who is God-fearing, hard working and a woman of great integrity. "I thank God for making today a reality. I am happy to have her as my best friend and better half. The

striking thing is her sense of purity. She is my prayer partner, my confidant, my sister and someone I am helplessly in love with. I believe I have made the right choice because I have peace in my heart,"

he said. Ibukunoluwa also described her husband as "a comforter and a father." "He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We understand

each other and, most importantly, we love each other beyond description. What attracted him to me is that he is God-fearing and he is the best a man can ever be to a woman. I am so, so happy," she said.


CONJUGAL BLISS •Victor Omishore and his wife former Miss N u r a t Ogunbanjo during their wedding.

•From right: Mrs Funke AkindeleOloyede, her husband and ‘birthday boy’ Alhaji Kehinde AlmoroofOloyede and Hon Goke Oguntulu.





SOCIETY The Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba John Ajakaye has honoured some indigenes as part of activities marking his seventh anniversary on the throne. DUPE OLAOYE-OSINKOLU reports


Setting your communication agenda for 2013


APPY New Year to you and your wonderful family. I believe last year was a fulfilling year for you. May you change level positively and progress speedily this year. Year 2012 was a delightful year for us on this column. We were able to AMODU LANRE OLAOLU (Ph.D) discuss a few topics on the need to communicate effectively. We focused on why we cannot but communicate and how we can use communication to our advantage and also to benefit others. This New Year, I believe it is very important for us to have a solid start with specific objectives in mind. Communication is very important; you communicate whether you want to or not. Just as you make major plans at the beginning of the year, which some people refer to as New Year resolution, you should also have major plans for your communication and interaction with other people. By now, I'm sure you will agree with me that there is nothing casual about communication. This week, we shall be examining the all important topic of 'setting agenda for your communication in 2013.' Agenda Setting What does it mean to set an agenda for communication? It means carefully planning where you want to be at the end of the year and then determining the kind of communication you need to engage in to get there. If you don't plan your life, your activities will be subjected to chance and chance is never stable. Think about this, supposing you can say all the right things and act in the right way all the time, wouldn't you be the best person in the world? I know we are not that perfect, but if we can pay attention to about 70% of the communication we are involved in, our lives will change dramatically. Along with other personal communication agenda you may set for yourself this year, I strongly recommend that you include this- do all you can to add value to others through your communication. Communication is bi- or multi-directional as the case may be. It is also a transaction. In 1978, Michael Burgoon and Michael Ruffner identified some attributes of human communication. They said that communication is transactional because both the source and the receiver are constantly influencing each other through their interactions. Hence, a change in one element of the communication process naturally leads to a change in the other elements. Let me use this simple illustration to explain what they meant. If you want to buy a loaf of bread for instance, you will take part in a transaction that will involve you (the buyer) and the seller. The transaction is based on mutual benefit; you need the bread and the seller needs the money. Supposing the seller tells you that the cost of the bread has increased (which is a change in one element of the transaction), you are left with the option of either paying more than you planned for or leaving without buying anything. If you don't buy, you will not have the bread and the seller will not have the money. Hence, one change has changed everything. The same is the case in communication. When you communicate with people, you are exchanging benefits. When you concentrate only on your benefit, the people you are communicating with will withdraw from you, yet you need them in your life. Don't focus too much attention on yourself at the expense of others. Whenever you communicate with people, always leave them satisfied and glad that they ever met you. That is the way to build profitable relationships. Remember, before you can be a good public speaker, you must first be good at influencing the individual lives of the people around you. Decide today that everyone who comes in contact with you in 2013 will leave a better person and you will be surprised how influential you will become.

•Oba Ajakaye and his wife, Olori Yemisi

'God's own town' honours NLC boss


IKE an amphitheatre, the palace of the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Ekiti State, provided a circular sitting arrangement with a raised platform on one side, like a stage, when the town honoured some of its own. The monarch, Oba John Ademola Ajakaye was the host, while his chiefs and well wishers played various roles in the Iyin Ekiti development drama that commemorated Oba Ajakaye's seventh anniversary on the throne. Chiefs, guests and queens glowed in expensive traditional attires while the king, queen, high chiefs and kings from neighbouring towns sat on the platform. A strange face on that platform was that of Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) who followed every step of the programme with admiration. Omar did not just attend the event, his deputy, Comrade Promise Adewusi and his wife, Adenike were installed as Baaloro and Yeye Baaloro of Iyin Ekiti. For Adewusi, it was a clear departure from the usual aluta setting. No T-shirt, no fez cap, no antigovernment songs. Labour's signature tune, the solidarity song, was, however, sung as soon as Adewusi's name was announced. Comrades from the congress, who turned out in large numbers, looked different in party wears, as they marvelled at the rich African culture displayed at the ceremony. Various traditional groups performed the age-long royal steps, sang and danced towards the platform to bless the king, after which he prayed for them. Close to the Kabiyesi and Olori, who spotted shining Iyun, traditional coral beads, sat the oldest surviving General in Nigeria, General Adeyinka Adebayo, former Governor of Western Region. Dressed in a cream flowing agbada, Adebayo smiled as he was introduced. Beside him was Oba Samuel Adeoye of Atijere Land, Ilaje, who happened to be the President of the National Union of Con-

•Adewusi and his wife Adenike

struction Workers. Oba Ajakaye, the retired first Chief Judge of Ekiti State, said Iyin Ekiti is God's own town because the bible says "Ninu Iyin l'olorun ngbe", meaning God lives in praises, and Iyin means praises. He opened his anniversary speech with songs. The monarch said Iyin is a unique town with uncommon climate that always cools and soothes without producing the usual heat that necessitates the use of electric fans and air conditioners. Oba Ajakaye said Iyin has worthy sons and daughters across the globe, and that the town has also produced a good governor whose son also became the first democratic governor of Ekiti State. He appealed to Iyin sons and daughters to always contribute to the development of the town. One of the beneficiaries of the anniversary chieftaincy titles, Adewusi, was said to have contributed immensely to the well-being of Iyin Ekiti, hence his being honoured. The Adewusis spotted golden brown Aso-Oke with matching accessories as they danced forward, followed by their friends and wellwishers to the Kabiyesi, who had already assigned a chief to perform the rites for them. The Akoko leaves were later placed on the sides of their heads and held in place with customised chieftaincy caps. Their two daughters, Adedolapo and Adefolake, both lawyers, and son, Bunmi (Jnr), a medical doctor, were visibly joyous as they were invited to step forward and share their parents' historical mo-

•Comrade Omar PHOTOS: DUPE OLAOYEment. OSINKOLU The monarch praised the benefi-

ciaries for paying their dues to the town, urging them to do more. Oba Ajakaye said he is a born again Christian who believes in figure 7, because God created the earth and all therein, working for six days, and rested on the seventh day. That, according to him, was why he decided to celebrate his seventh anniversary on the throne. He said since he became monarch of the town, he had only installed six chiefs, before the new set. After his installation, Adewusi said he would contribute N1million to the new palace under construction. He promised to assist youths of the town with selfemployment scheme, or help them secure jobs.

Why is Setting Agenda necessary? Nothing happens by chance. A wise man said that whoever fails to plan, plans to fail. You have to deliberately decide to communicate effectively this year. Whatever you don't prepare for, if it ever comes to you, it will be by mistake; and nothing that comes by mistake lasts. You cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. If indeed you want this year to be far better than last year, you have to deliberately aim at effective and contribution-oriented communication. Communication is like a seed, what you sow is what you reap. Your life cannot be different from what you communicate. God bless you this New Year.

‘When you communicate with people, you are exchanging benefits. When you concentrate only on your benefit, the people you are communicating with will withdraw from you, yet you need them in your life. Don't focus too much attention on yourself at the expense of others’ Dr. Amodu lectures at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.




Health in interest of the public Text of the Inaugural Lecture delivered by the Provost, College of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof Olumuyiwa Odusanya, at the ivory tower.


HE indices showed we are worse than Ghana, and not far from Afghanistan, a country that has been in social upheaval for over 30 years. The leading causes of death in the country have remained the same in spite of the huge investment. There is also the double jeopardy of noncommunicable diseases which are now as prevalent as communicable diseases. The answer to both questions is no. The health of the public can only improve if indeed all members of the public and the health system truly understand their roles in the promotion, prevention and restoration of the health of the public. II. Promoting the Health of the Public Health promotion was defined at the First International Conference on Health Promotion as “the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health”. This definition was further improved upon at the Bangkok (4th) International Conference on Health Promotion. Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their health. It is a core function of public health and contributes to the work of treating communicable and non-communicable diseases and other threats to health.14 Three key strategies for successful health promotion are advocacy, mediation and enablement. Health promotion is a first level strategy of prevention. It is not the same as health education but includes the latter, service improvement and advocacy. This is clearly shown in the Nigerian National Health Promotion Policy (Figure 3). Figure 3. The Three Components of Health Promotion

In realization of the central role health promotion plays in improving the health of the public, the WHO has organized seven international conferences on health promotion starting from Ottawa, Canada (1986) to Nairobi, Kenya (2009). The Ottawa Conference brought to the fore, action areas for health promotion. (a) Build healthy public policy through the identification and removal of obstacles to the adoption of healthy policy. (b) Create supportive environments by the protection and conservation of natural resources and promoting living and working conditions that are safe, stimulating, satisfying and enjoyable. (c) Strengthen community action by enhancement of self help and social support through access to information, learning opportunities and funding support. (d) Develop personal skills of people to prepare for all stages of life and to cope with chronic illness through home, school, work and community setting. (e) Reorient health services and facilitate changes in professional educational training to move towards health promotion. The areas for action from the seven conferences are as follows: Summary of key recommendations of International Conferences on Health Promotion 1. Venue: Ottawa, Canada 17-21 Nov 1996. Theme: The move towards a new public health. Key Recommendations/Call for Action: • Build healthy public policy. •Create supportive environment.· •Strengthen community action. • Develop personal skills. •Re-orient health services. 2. Venue: Adelaide, Australia 5-9 April 1988. Theme: Healthy public policy. Key Recommendations/Call for Action:• Supporting the health of women. • Food and nutrition. • Tobacco and alcohol. • Creating supportive environments. 3.Venue: Sundsvall Sweden 9-15 June 1991. Theme: Supportive environment for health. Key Recommendations/Call for Action:•Strengthening advocacy through community action. •Enabling communities and individuals. • Building alliances for health and supportive environment. •Mediating between conflicting interests. 4. Venue: Jakarta, Indonesia21-25 July 1997. Theme: New players for a new era-leading- health promotion into the 21st Century. Key Recommendations/Call for Action:•Formulation of a global alliance on health with priorities which include: •Raising awareness about the changing determinants of health.•Supporting the development of collaboration and network for health. •Mobilizing resources for health promotion. •Accumulating knowledge and best practices. •Enabling shared learning. •Promoting solidarity in action. •Fostering transparency and public accountability in health promotion.

5.Venue: Mexico City, Mexico5-9 June 2000. Theme: Health promotion: Bridging the equity gap. Key Recommendations/Call for Action:•To position health promotion as a priority at all levels of government and internationally. •To lead in the implementation of necessary action to expand and promote partnership for health.·• Support the preparation of country wide plans of action on health promotion. 6. Venue: Bangkok, Thailand7-11 August 2005. Theme: Health promotion in a globalised world. Key Recommendations/Call for Action:Health promotion should be: •Central to the global development agenda. • A core responsibility for all levels of government. •A key focus of communities and civil society. •A requirement for good corporate practice. 7. Venue:Nairobi, Kenya26-30 October 2009. Theme: Promoting health and development: Closing the implementation gap. Key Recommendations/Call for Action:•Community empowerment. •Health literacy and behavior.· Strengthening health systems. •Partnership and intersectoral action. •Building capacity for health promotion. These conferences, especially the 6th and 7th, clearly highlight the role of the public (community) and the social determinants of health and disease. The social determinants are often the important risk factors and significantly alter disease outcomes. Health promotion is a major area the public can play a large role by making the right choices of what they eat, drink, life style and in the utilization of health services. Social Determinants of Health The environment of human beings is divided into three major components, the physical (abiotic), the biological (living component) and the social environment. The social environment consists of the culture, life style, social services, beliefs and attitudes and habits. These factors are the major social determinants of health and include the social gradient, early life, transport, food, addiction. Others are education, poverty and access to health services. It is known that life expectancy is shorter and most diseases are more common further down the social ladder in each society.17 The social risk factors for cardiovascular disease as summarized by Oyediran include smoking, obesity, alcohol intake, poverty and physical inactivity. 18 Education, Ignorance, Poverty and Disease The role of Ignorance and poverty in the transmission of disease is well known. We may consider a woman in a rural part of Lagos with little or no formal education, whose six month old child has simple watery diarrhea (probably of viral origin). All the child needs is oral rehydration solution (ORS) as the disease is self limiting and the child will improve once dehydration is avoided. The action or inaction of the woman will alter the progress of the disease. If she due to her limited level of knowledge (ignorance) is not aware of ORS but administers a native anti-diarrhoeal medicine; a number of things would happen. The native medicine is likely to be hypertonic and worsen the diarrhoea. In addition, its sterility is not assured, may contain bacteria which may cause super infection and sepsis in the child. Thus, a simple problem is complicated and the child may be brought to hospital in a poor state needing to have antibiotics and intravenous fluids for rehydration. The relationship between disease, ignorance and poverty is shown in Figure 4. Figure 4. The Cycle of Ignorance, Poverty and Disease.10

The role of social factors is further seen in the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel in Nigeria. Sixty-five percent of births in urban places were delivered by skilled personnel compared to 28% in the rural areas. Among those in the highest wealth quintile, 86% were attended to by skilled personnel to 8% in the lowest quintile. The figure for those with secondary education was 77% compared to 12% among those with no formal education. Education was also found to influence uptake of immunization. The coverage for the third dose of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccine, (DPT3) was 69% among those with secondary level of education and 11% in the uneducated group. A large global study on maternal and perinatal health investigating the relationship between maternal education and mortality among women giving birth in health care institutions showed that women with no education had 2.7 times and those with between one and six years of education had twice the risk of maternal mortality of those with more than 12 years of education. If we do not want our women to die at child birth, offer them at least secondary school education. It becomes imperative that a reduction in maternal mortality requires focused efforts in getting women to be well informed enough to access health services. The educational status of mothers has an inverse relationship with stunting in children. Among uneducated mothers, 51% of children under-5 years were stunted compared with 27% among those with secondary level of education.13 A study by Sebanjo, Oshikoya, Odusanya and Njokanma reported that, 17% of children in Abeokuta were found to be stunted. Low maternal education (odds ratio of 2.4, 95% confidence 1.20-4.9, P=0.015) was

•Prof Odusanya

the major contributing factor to stunting. The issues of addressing the social determinants could not be better emphasized than the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 2012 State of the World’s Children Report entitled “Children in an Urban World”. The call for action in the report indicated that we ensure that urban planning, infrastructure development, service delivery and broader efforts to reduce poverty and inequality meet the particular needs and priorities of children. Furthermore, concerted efforts must be made to pool the resources and energies of international, national, municipal and community actors in support of efforts to ensure that marginalized and impoverished children enjoy their full rights. In the area of health promotion with other colleagues, I teach health promotion as part of the health education course in our Master of Public Health (MPH) programme. In addition, I have served on the Health Advocacy Implementation Committee of the Lagos State. Ministry of Health and played a major role in establishing it. This Committee was a platform for health promotion and was involved in the forefront of health advocacy. It should be clear that health promotion like public health is multidisciplinary. Many professionals such as sociologists, health economists, nutritionists, town planners, information and communication experts and behavioural change specialists have roles to play if the health of the public is to improve. III. Protecting the Health of the Public Specific promotion is the second strategy at the primary level of prevention. It consists of two components, chemoprophylaxis and immunization. Chemoprophylaxis is a useful strategy where drugs are administered to persons who are exposed to the risk of infection to protect them from the illness. It is an important strategy to prevent opportunistic infections in HIV-positive subjects. It is also used in children under six years who are contacts of sputum positive tuberculosis patients. Immunization remains a potent strategy to eliminate childhood killer diseases. It is one of the most powerful and costeffective of all health interventions. It prevents debilitating illness, disability and saves millions of lives every year. It has had one of the most important effects on mortality reduction. It is a major contributor to reducing deaths among children under five years old (Millennium Development Goal 4). Vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million child deaths a year and over 100 million children are immunized every year before their first birthday. Immunization may be passive or active, naturally or artificially acquired. The emphasis on a public health scale is artificially acquired active immunization where the vaccinee receives an antigen which stimulates the immune system leading to the production of antibodies which protect the subject from the disease. In any community we are in interested in the proportion of persons who are immunized and therefore sufficiently protected to serve as a barrier against disease outbreaks even though there may be some persons who are not vaccinated. This is referred to as herd immunity and needs to be as high as 90% for effective break in the transmission of diseases. Immunization in Nigeria The Nigerian National Programme on Immunization (NPI) programme commenced in 1984. The coverage at the beginning was 2.4% but by 1990 rose to 80%. The coverage substantially fell for many years but has kept increasing at least between 2005 and 2010 (Figure 5). The Nigerian NPI programme vaccines are Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG), oral polio (OPV), diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT), measles, yellow fever and Hepatitis B (HB). When compared with other nations in Africa the vaccine coverage in Nigeria is lower than in Ghana but much lower than in the United States of America. A recent survey of immunization coverage in southwest Nigeria showed that only 32% of children had completed the immunization schedule. Determinants of complete immunization status included maternal age less than 30 years, completion of secondary school education and availability of immunization card at the first contact. Figure 5: Vaccination coveragein Nigeria (20005-2010

• To be continued

"After Sunday's defeat by Liverpool it was difficult to convince anyone we could survive. But the players have set the standard with this win and to get out of this mess they have to do it every week.” 42

Friday, January 4, 2013

QPR boss Harry Redknapp, insisting the team could survive in the England Premier League after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Madrid refutes plot to


Mourinho Q

of the club members to garner their feelings about boss Jose Mourinho. It has been claimed that the Spanish giants had entrusted a Sigma Dos survey to ascertain the feelings of their embattled coach whose long-term future EAL remains in doubt. MAD Madrid currently trailing RID has s t r e n u o u s l y d e n i e d league leaders Barcelona by 16 r e p o r t s t h a t t h e y points in the table while reports commissioned a survey of dressing room unrest have hardly helped Mourinho's



cause in recent weeks. Neither has the Portuguese's decision to drop goalkeeper and captain, Iker Casillas for his side's last league outing - a 3-2 defeat to Malaga - which saw Mourinho admit afterwards that the deficit to Barca was now "insurmountable". It had been claimed that the club was seeking the views of their socios in relation to Mourinho ahead of their upcoming presidential elections, something the club has strongly refuted.

Cech out for three weeks


HELSEA interim manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that goalkeeper Petr Cech will be Cech has only missed 12 more before the end of with the shotout of action for "two or three Premier League matches January weeks", with Ross Turnbull since the start of the 2008-09 stopper in a race to be fit for replacing him in the Blues' season, including the shock the visit of Arsenal on loss to QPR on Wednesday, January 20. goal. but looks set to sit out a few Speaking to reporters after

the match, Benitez said: “They [the medical staff] say two or three weeks. In this case, I am quite optimistic, but that could be the time.” Chelsea went into the QPR

fixture in good form, winning their previous seven games in all competitions, but Benitez was left bemoaning fatigue following Shaun WrightPhillips' second-half winner.


QPR can survive, says Redknapp

PR boss Harry Redknapp says his side's win over Chelsea showed they have what it takes to stay in the Premier League. Rangers ended a three-game losing run with Wednesday's shock victory at Stamford Bridge, but remain bottom of the table, five points from safety. "After Sunday's defeat by Liverpool it was difficult to convince anyone we could survive," said Redknapp. "But the players have set the standard with this win and to get out of this mess they have to do it every week." QPR had put up little resistance as they were well beaten by the Reds at Loftus Road, conceding three goals in the first 30 minutes. QPR's victory was their first in a Premier League London derby away from home since Les Ferdinand scored twice in a 3-1 win over Wimbledon in March 1995, with Ian Holloway getting Rangers' other goal that day. It was also their first top-flight win at Stamford Bridge since March 1979, when Paul Goddard, Glenn Roeder and Martyn Busby scored in another 3-1 win. Both Rangers and Chelsea were relegated from the old First Division that season.


Bafana ‘must

Adebayor keeps


Feghouli to arrive late


LGERIA midfielder Sofiane Feghouli has requested to arrive late in camp while concluding his contract talks Algeria midfielder Sofiane Feghouli has requested to arrive late in camp while concluding his contract talks with Spanish side Valencia. The 23-year-old has attracted interest from a number of European clubs including the likes of Liverpool, arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, but he is close to extending his stay at the Mestalla to 2016. As a result he has been unable to join his teammates in Algeria on January 3 before they depart for South Africa to complete their preparations for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. "I am in a dilemma," Feghouli told reporters. "I have not extended my contract with Valencia and if I go before it's done then I'd run the risk of reaching South Africa feeling psychologically bad about leaving my future in the air. "My desire is to join the team a few days late, but at my physical and psychological peak, which means I will be able to give everything for my country as I have done every time I have played.

emulate class of ‘96’


Togo waiting T OGO star Emmanuel Adebayor has less than a week to decide whether he will play at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa as the January 9 deadline for naming final squads looms. The gangling 28-year-old Tottenham Hotspur striker apparently retired after scoring the only goal of a friendly win over fellow qualifiers Morocco in Casablanca two months ago. Initial reports suggested Adebayor had quit the "Sparrowhawks" because of the perennial complaint among Togolese footballers of unpaid bonuses but the national team captain stressed his decision was security related. He survived an attack on the Togo squad ahead of the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola in which a footballer and an official were killed by separatists seeking independence for the oil-rich Cabinda enclave. Tottenham manager Andre VillasBoas told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper that Adebayor had not decided whether to accept an invite from Togo coach Didier Six to join the squad for a tough Group D schedule against Ivory Coast, Algeria and Tunisia. "It is a vulnerable situation and

•Adebayor anything can happen," said VillasBoas. "I am not going to put myself in a position where I block a player from international duty. We have left it to the player to decide." Any hope that the tiny west African nation, which is ranked 16 in Africa and 71 in the world by FIFA, have of causing an upset against seemingly much stronger rivals probably hinges on the presence of talismanic Adebayor. Although he has found goals hard to come by for Tottenham this season -his midweek strike against Reading was only his second -- Adebayor is a consistent scorer for his country. The star netted in both legs of a qualifier against Gabon that earned Togo a place at the 2013 Cup of Nations and then snatched the goal that brought a shock win over former

African champions Morocco. Togo have named 20 of the 23 players permitted for the tournament and hope Adebayor and goalkeeper Kossi Agassa and midfielder Alaixys Romao, who have shunned call-ups in support of the stance taken by the skipper, will play. Mali is the only country among the 16 qualifiers still to show its hand with coach Patrice Carteron telling reporters in Bamako he will release a 27-strong provisional squad on Saturday. Cape Verde Islands, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and South Africa have named final squads, an injury to midfielder Djamel Abdoun has trimmed the Algeria list to 23, and the other 11 coaches have until midnight GMT on January 9 to decide.Yaya exit won't derail us - Zabaleta

AFANA BAFANA defender Thabo Nthethe says the current crop of players will need to have the same level of understanding as the class of 1996, if they are to emulate Clive Barkers African Nations Cup-winning side. Bafana Bafana defender Thabo Nthethe says the current crop of players need to have the same level of understanding as the class of 1996, if they are to emulate Clive Barker’s African Nations Cup-winning side. “I believe that team played together for a while and spent a lot of time together, on and off the pitch. They understood one another, which is why they went on to win the Nations Cup that year,” said Nthethe. In less than three weeks Bafana will start their Nations Cup campaign on home soil against Cape Verde, and they will need to use the little time they have before that to make sure they understand one another and, more importantly, play as a unit. Bafana landed in Cape Town last night to start preparing for their international friendly against Norway next Tuesday, and will fly back to Joburg after the clash for their last match before the Nations Cup against Algeria on January 12. Nthethe says Bafana need to use the time they have in camp and the two friendlies wisely to ensure they are a solid unit come kick-off on January 19. “This is a very important camp for us. We need to make sure we prepare well. “I don’t think we are too far off from being ready for the tournament. “We’ve been together for some time. We need to carry on working together so that we know our strong and weak points,” said Nthethe, who is likely to sit on the bench while Siyabonga Sangweni and Bongani Khumalo play in central defence.





The Nigerian Civil Service is at the crossroads. Unlike previous dispensations, when it was relied upon for efficient implementation of government projects, the sub-executive arm of the government is perceived by many Nigerians as a bastion of corruption and an appendage of political parties. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU reports.

Can civil service be reformed? A

RE civil servants adding adequate value to governance across the federal, state and local government? Stakeholders who have beamed a searchlight on the civil service are not convinced that it is not hampered by the ‘Nigeria factor’. They also point out that the bane of the civil service includes its lack of political neutrality, its loss of craftsmanship and creativity, redundancy and infiltration of ghost workers. They contented that the civil service is not insulated from the rot that has enveloped the entire society. “It is embroiled in politics and corruption”, said a commentator, Achike Chude, who painted an awful picture of a civil service in distress. “Civil servants are now bereft of ideas, initiative and statecraft,” he lamented. A unionist, Chijoke Ejiofor, who shared the same feeling, frowned at the inefficiency typical of the Nigeria Civil Service, saying that it has affected effective and efficient execution of projects. “This is not the era of generalists, but specialists. But our civil service is not along that line of specialisation. Like their ministers, many civil servants cannot properly discharge their functions because of lack of skills. Some ministers are also not fit for some ministries. There is need for expertise in public administration and this is only noticeable in the ministries of justice, health and finance”, he added. Recently, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi called for the reduction of the public labour size. He claimed that it is not economically wise to spend huge sums on the large civil service, to the detriment of the economy. “I advised the government to sack 50 per cent of the civil servants and they are calling for my removal. If another CBN governor comes and he is honest, he will give the same advice. Any economy that spends the bulk of its revenue on the tiny minority can only solve the short-term problems of the few. I spoke from the point of view of economics”, Sanusi said. Other analysts have an axe to grind with the fixated civil servants. They criticise them for not recognising their limitations as part of the executive arm. An economist and politician, Isiaka Adekunle-Ibrahim, frowned at the typical Nigerian civil servants who adorned governor’s badge in Ogun State between 2003 and 2011. “You see civil servants abdicating their duties and appearing in party t-shirts in many states. Political campaigns are incomplete without them”, he complained. “Civil servants are no longer attractive to young graduates and few of them who find themselves there have no choice because they want to escape the biting effects of unemployment”, he said. Apart from poor execution of government projects, which is at the root of poor budgetary implementation and failure, the civil service has been aiding and abetting corruption across the tiers. In recent times, top public officers have been accused of embezzling gratuities and pensions of senior colleagues who had retired from service. They have also come under attack for deliberately misleading their ministers into taking some steps that were not in line with national interest. They understand the system more than the ministers and they are insulated from punitive measures arising from the minister’s purported misconduct. A case in point was the sack of the former health Minister, Prof. Adenike Grange, and Minister of State, Chief Gabriel Duku, for taking some actions on unspent ministry money that later backfired, based on civil servants’ advise. The court later cleared them of wrongdoing, but they ceased to be ministers. In other ministries, when ministers and commissioners violate laid down rules, civil servants are aloof and the acts of the non-permanent supervis-

ing commissioners and ministers become license for them to commit impunity. In the language of bureaucracy, they are shielded from blame. In other ministries, civil servants aid and abet corruption because no single penny can be wrongly removed from government coffers without the connivance of civil servants. Efforts to reform the civil service may not have yielded enough dividends. Thus, as from 1975, a virile, dynamic and result-oriented civil service had eluded the nation. Adebo Commission (1970), Udoji Commission (1972) Dotun Philips Panel (1985) and Ayida Committee (1988) had recommended ways of rationalising and rewarding the civil service. The current civil service is a wide departure from the professionalised and detribalised civil service of Chief Simeon Adebo, Cornelius Taiwo, Saburi Baubaku and Chief Augustus Adebayo days in the Western region. Neither can the current crop of Permanent Secretaries of display the guts of Allison Ayinda, Ahmed Joda, Philip Asiodu, and Azeez Attah, who were rated as ‘Super Permanent Secretaries”. Since their departure from the civil service, the culture of development plans fizzled out. In that era, civil servants were enjoyed permanence in office and anonymity as public officials. They were expected to be politically neutral and impartial and they possessed expertise and specialised knowledge. Then, the honest, professional and patriotic advice of top civil servants could only be ignored by the government to its detriment. Top bureaucrats also knew their onions. When the former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), referred to Ayida as “my Secretary to Government”, the eminent technocrat was said to have rejected the erroneous impression, pointing out that he was not “Secretary to Head of State”, but “Secretary to the Federal Military Government and Head of Service of the Federation”. In a previous interview, Asiodu, who lamented the 1975 mass purge in the civil service, said the military spearheaded the collapse of the civil service in the country. No fewer than 11,000 civil servants lost their jobs in the mass purge. Also, in 1984, another 3,000 civil servants were relieved of their their appointments by Buhari Administration. The indiscriminate sack, he recalled, sent civil servants jittery, and henceforth, they started to cut corners, thereby making the service a bastion of corruption. Chude agreed with him. In addition, he recalled that the military also started the politicisation of the service under Babangida Regime. “They appointed DirectorGenerals to replace Permanent Secretaries. The Director-Generals who became accounting officers were political appointees. The appointments were not based on merit and seniority”, he explained. Chude also lamented that various civil service reforms, including the ones initiated by Udoji Committee, Orosanye Committee and others have failed to repositioned the civil service. But civil servants who are accused of laziness, indolence, loitering, lack of initiative, red tapism, lateness to office, absenteeism, and inefficiency also have their grudges against the government. In some states, salaries of public servants are not paid regularly. The battle over

•Dr Jonathan

the living minimum wage has been fought, but it has not been won by workers. Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Waheed Omar complained that workers are denied the benefit of labour by government, whose political functionaries smile home with fat monthly emoluments. He said the fuel price hike has wiped out the gains of the so-called minimum wage. Labour has also blamed the rot in the civil service on the manner of recruitment and choice of contractors, which are not done based on merit. In the past, bribery was the main issue. As the livewire of bureaucracy, the civil service is characterised by array an array of rules, which leads to prolonged process of initiating and executing policies and programmes. For example, contractors have to make uncountable visits to the ministry before the payment of money for contracts. This, to analysts, have opened pathways for bribery. Since public administration is also perceived as “no man’s business”, civil servants misuse and mishandle government property without being queried. Now, only candidates of notable politicians are given public sector employment, sometimes through the back door. A retired civil servant, who is now a politician, narrated how the principle of federal character and quota system have affected efficiency in the civil service. “When I was there, one day, they brought somebody who was my junior in the university to be my boss. There was nothing I could do. They said he was filling the quota of his state. By those of us who were his seniors were demoralised, more so, when he lacked the experience and skill required of him”, he said. Experts in public administration have described the civil service as a battered institution from the onset. “The Nigerian Civil Service began as a force of occupation designed to facilitate colonial rule and the exploitation of the land and its people for the benefit of the colonial authority”, recalled Adamu Ciroma. “Merit and discipline should never be compromised. Rules should remain sacrosanct. In a modern time, the civil servi should also be dynamic”, he added. Two dons; Tolu Lawal and Abe Oluwatoyin, agreed with him. In their paper titled: “The Civil service and sustainable development in Nigeria”, they pointed out that, while the structure of the civil service was pattered on the British model, it did not produce

‘The civil service is not and should not be an appendage of political parties. Civil servants should know their limitations. Although they are expected to support the political heads of their ministries, they should not show political bias towards his party. If civil servants have offered honest advice to politicians and public officers and they have accepted the advice, some of them will not be in jail today’

• Sanusi

the same results in Nigeria. Even, when the whites gave way for the indigenous civil servants, following the indigenisation policy, the civil service was not adapted to the needs of country. One of the fallouts of the policy, which Lawal pointed out, was the rise of unprepared and inexperienced civil servants, who occupied positions that their abilities could not cope with, due to their level of training, experience and qualification. The exception, however, was the defunct Western Region. In the First Republic, the Civil Service was greatly affected by political tension triggered by the tribal parties’ competition for regional and federal power. It was worse in the Second Republic. “The Second Republic politicians were interested in all things that came their way. In fact, it can be simply said that they hijacked policy making and to some extent, policy implementation completely from the civil service. This had demoralising effects on the civil servants as they were not allowed to use their initiative and to provide necessary advice for the country”, Lawal stressed. Obasanjo Administration which came on board in 1999, tried to revatalise, train and retrain the civil service. The N18, 000 minimum wage later proposed by his successor. However, the living wage issue is still yet to be resolved. Poor remuneration, Lawal said, has exposed civil servants to sharp practices, adding that most of them demand for money before rendering their supposedly service to the public. “Most of them keep business letter-headed papers, invoices receipts of various companies owned by them and become suppliers and contractors, even in their own offices”, he lamented. Observers have also pointed out that the civil service has failed to adapt to modern trends. The use of old and obsolete equipment is still rampant in government ministries, departments and corporations as exemplified in the use of typewriting machines in this computer age. “The funny aspect of it is that most civil servants are not computer literate. This will affect their efficiency and productivity”, Lawal said. The researcher offered solution. Abe submitted that the civil service needed training. “The world is dynamic and civil service cannot remain static. It should be the information pool for government and commissioners and ministers should rely on their advice for effective administration”, said Abe. His colleague, Lawal agreed, saying only trained or re-trained civil servants can meet modern expectations. He also asked civil service to refrain from political partisanship. “The civil service is not and should not be an appendage of political parties. Civil servants should know their limitations. Although they are expected to support the political heads of their ministries, they shouldn’t show political bias towards any party. If civil servants have offered honest advice to politicians and public officers and they have accepted the advice, some of them will not be in jail today”, he added.



POLITICS The greatest challenge confronting Kogi State Governor Idris Wada is how to forge unity among the various ethnic groups the state, reports. Assistant Editor DADA ALADELOKUN.

Kogi…still in search of unity


PALL of gloom descended on the entire landscape of Kogi State on December 28, last year. It was the day its Governor, Idris Wada, a retired Captain, got involved in an auto crash. Sadly, his Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Idris Muhammed, did not survive to tell the story of the mishap that took place in Lokoja, the state capital. The awry development, to some observers, especially Wada’s critics, has worsened the dent on the already bruised unity of the state which, for years, had quacked over alleged marginalisation of two major ethnic groups in the state – the Ebira and Okun. Both groups which recently threw their weights behind moves to get another state created from the current Kogi had been crying themselves hoarse over what they call the prolonged dominance of Igala, another section of the state. Already, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, through a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, has directed its members across the country to pray for Wada’s survival, even as he expressed the party’s deep shock over the accident. However, sources from the camp of Wada’s opponents hinted The Nation that not all the sections of the state are losing sleep over the governor’s predicament because, according to the sources, “he has not done anything to address the marginalisation issue he inherited.” Nevertheless, everyone wants the governor back in the saddle soon. Prime among his people’s grievances is, that Wada is tied to the apron strings of former Governor Ibrahim Idris, his kinsman and political benefactor who reportedly funded his campaign with a whopping sum of money. Besides, the governor is alleged to have marginalised his deputy, Abayomi Awoniyi. For the “imbalance” in the state, the Ebira people who came along with the Okun counterparts from the old Kwara State have not been left out of spirited agitation for creation of more states from the present Kogi. Obviously not satisfied with the subsisting arrangement whereby the governorship seat has remained with the Igala since the creation of the state in 1991, they have been hard-pressed for alternative way out, especially state creation. One of the founding fathers of the state, Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami, at his residence in Ogaminana in Adavi Local Government area of Kogi State, recently expressed the anger of the Ebira and Okun, who came together from the old Kwara State. To him, the two

• Wada

groups did not deserve the treatment being meted out to them in the state. A retired senior civil servant, Pa Joseph Akpa, who once spoke on the issue, confirmed that the agitation for Okura State out of the present Kogi had been raging since 1082. At the National Assembly recently, members from Okun were not left out of the clamour for the creation of a new state from Kogi. The senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Smart Adeyemi, is on record as having played prominent role in making sure the Okun State got born. A Lagos-based rights activist and one-time governorship aspirant on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Prince Yakubu Rotimi Obadofin, spoke at the annual National Congress of Okun Development Association (ODA) not long ago. It was in Kabba. Obadofin explained that the Okun people were requesting a state or alternatively be allowed to merge with their kinsmen in the South-west of Nigeria, stressing that the “deprived” Okun people are predominantly Yorubas. Not long ago, elders in the state had also cried out over the way the state was being run by Wada. In fact, they met and came up with a communiqué duly signed by six among them, including former Acting Governor Clarence Obafemi. When asked to speak on Wada’s condition in relation to happenings in the troubled state, Obafemi said: “I would not want to comment now because of the state of the governor. But it is on record that I have been among the concerned elders of the state who have always expressed our dissatisfaction over how things have been happening in the state.

Support for council bosses over Ajimobi’s endorsement

I know what I did when I was in the saddle as acting governor of the state. “So many things are wrong with the administration of the state but for now, all we want is the quick recovery of the governor so that we can move forward at addressing the issues. But I must appreciate the dispassionate way that The Nation has been reporting the state of things in our state. The newspaper has been upholding justice in the discharge of its professional duty as far as reporting our affairs is concerned.” But is it true that Wada has not been doing anything practicable to erase the notion of marginalisation since he assumed office? Will the outcry outlast his administration? Duro Meseko, former member of the House of Representatives and Senior Special Assistant to Wada, would not share in the fear. He dispelled the marginalisation insinuations, saying it might only exist in the minds of pre-election rivals of the governor, a situation which, he said, “is understandable in Nigerian political context.” Speaking further, Meseko told The Nation: “I’m an insider when it comes to Kogi matters and we have to be honest for posterity sake. Immediately this governor, got in, the main thing in his mind was how to disabused people’s mindset of the traditional outcry over marginalisation by some sections of the state. And he has succeeded largely in that regard. “Right from his appointments of Commissioners, Special Advisers and Assistants, he took into consideration the interests of all the ethnic groups in the state. Is it his capital projects one would want to talk about? He has not been unfair to any group as he would always consciously spread the projects with the fear of God and in the name of fairness.” He added: “The only thing in the mind of the administration of Governor Wada is how to revamp the state infrastructurally and I can assure Kogians that before the end of the first quarter of 2013, Kogi will be turned into a pacesetter of infrastructural development in the whole nation. All we should wish the governor now is speedy recover from his current condition because he has put his hands on the plough of doing his utmost to re-write the story and the state.” According to Meseko, time is past when hoodlums would take over the premises of the state Government House, adding that the era when civil service lost its glamour and integrity is no more. Wada, he contended, had changed the course of virtually everything in the state. But his critics are not yet convinced.

Ogun PDP: A divided house Efforts to reconcile the two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) factions in Ogun State have hit the rock. EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the implications of the protracted crisis for the troubled chapter.


GUN State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is addicted to crisis. The two factions led by Mr. Adebayo Dayo and Senator Dipo Odujinrin have refused to sheath their swords. Much energy is concentrated on crisis resolution, instead of exploring wider opportunities for party growth. So far, the attempted reconciliation of the divisive interests has not yielded any result. What has fuelled the intra-party crisis is the decision of the supporters of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, who defected to the Peoples Progressive Party of Nigeria (PPN), to return to the PDP. The party is clearly divided over the matter. A section believes that the return of Daniel’s men may reduce the influence of Odujinrin’s camp, which is backed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The faction has maintained that the former governor worked against the party in the 2011 election. Another section is however, of the opinion that Ogun PDP is incomplete without Daniel’s followers. Daniel’s foes have advised the former governor to concentrate on his case with the anti-graft agency. On January 8, a High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, will either retain or quash 13 out of the 38 counts preferred against Daniel by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).The former governor is defending allegations of diversion of public funds. His counsel prayed the court to strike out the charges because, according to them, a commission of enquiry set up by the state government had already found him guilty and that the findings had been made public. Analysts point out that, if the 13 charges are struck out, he still has 25 other charges to contend with. Besides, the anti-graft body may still investigate the alleged duty waiver scam at the Gateway Holdings. On March 22, 2011, Daniel had approved the defection of his supporters to the PPN. At a rally at the Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, he had declared that “while it is true that PPN is the newest party in Ogun State, everybody agrees that today that it is a party to beat.” At another rally, he said: “the PDP was dead and buried in Ogun State”. The PDP national leadership is aware of moves by Daniel’s associates to return to the fold. But the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, clarified that the national body was not aware the format the defection to PDP would take. Those blocking Daniel’s return to the PDP said that the former governor is not an asset to the party. They pointed out that, during the recent council poll, PPN came a distant third, adding that, if the court finds him guilty, he will definitely become a liability. But other party leaders differ, saying that, when he was governor, he contributed to the growth of the party in the state. Prominent party chieftains in Dayo and Odujinrin factions noted that it will be difficult for Daniel to fully reconcile with party elders, including Gen. Obasanjo (rtd), Senator Jibrin Martins-Kuye and party financier Prince Buruji Kashamu, although some national leaders have advised him to toe this line. PDP chieftains in Dayo and Odujinrin’s camps are at war. Both factions are also at loggerheads with Daniel’s group. Would the return of Daniel’s men facilitate or hinder reconciliation? Party chieftains have argued that the three camps were divided by the 2011 party nominations and only a peace move by outside forces could reconcile them. The executive committee of the party in the state has always been the bone of contention. The former chairman, Bashorun Dayo Soremi and his executive committee have held a proper congress, following the verdict of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which gave recognition to the committee. The executive committee led by Dayo emerged from the congress. On June 19, 2012, an Ogun State High Court sitting in Ilaro ruled that the Dayo-led exco is the legally recognized committee in the state. On August 3, 2012, it nullified the list of candidates sent to the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) by the Odunjirin group for the July 21, 2012 council election. On November 16, 2012, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos nullified the purported congresses that produced the Odunjirin group, saying that it was not properly held. The court ordered the arrest and prosecution of party members causing trouble in the fold.In the same vein, the court had earlier nullified the Southwest congress.The Dayo-led exco was excluded from the zonal congress. A lawyer, Lola Adeeko, lamented that some PDP leaders in Ogun State have decided to slap the law on the face. “The truth is: you cannot build something on nothing. If any aspirant thinks he can realise his ambition through these people that the courts have said ought not to be, such is a person is only wasting his time and resources. It is a nullity and cannot stand, as far as the law is concerned”, he added. Now, the national leadership has set up Reconciliation Committees for the party across the six geo-political zones. Party members in Ogun State are praying want members of the committee will have the wisdom of Solomon and the courage of David to do what is just and right, and in the end, restore lasting peace to the party. But will the factional leaders close ranks? Time will tell.

By Jeremiah Oke


CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State, Alhaji Abass Oloko, has commended the 11 council chairmen in Ibadanland for endorsing the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for the 2015 general election and as the state leader of the party. Oloko, who made the commendation in a release in Ibadan, stated that the endorsement portrayed the laudable achievements of Ajimobi in the last two years in office, despite the poor financial position of the state. He said the rampant crises of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) which had claimed so many lives, had been eliminated, with members of the union embracing peace and good co-existence. Oloko noted that the construction of overhead bridges in notable areas of the state is a pointer to the readiness of Ajimobi to improve infrastructure in the state, adding that the current efforts to sanitize the roads and make the state attractive to investors should be appreciated by all lovers of development. He commended the governor for supporting the promotion of security through Operation Burst Patrol Team, which has reduced crime in the state to the barest minimum. “The state will continue to witness tremendous development in all areas, if people maintain their support for the governor in his sincere desire to positively transform the state and make it the best in the country. I therefore, support the endorsement of Governor Ajimobi as the state leader and the sole governorship contender in the 2015 general election under ACN,” Oloko said.

• Six newly appointed female Permanent Secretaries in Rivers State taking their oath of office in Port Harcourt.




N appreciable crowd kept watch in the night even when the train was late in coming. They had received the news earlier in the day that a passenger train had taken off from Lagos the previous day and was headed for Kano. Everyone went into wild jubilation on hearing the roaring sound of the train’s engine, more so when they sighted its bright head lamp from a distance. The terminus was beautifully decorated, with armed security personnel sufficiently deployed to provide security. By 8.30 pm, the train emerged and gradually crawled to a halt at the Kano main terminus, bringing to an end the historic 30-hour journey signifying the re-introduction of train traffic on the Lagos-Kano rail line. Among passengers on board were senior officials of the NRC, led by its Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, Director of Administration and Human Resources, Aminu Gusau and Director, Corporate Planning, Timothy Zalanga. It was in fulfilment of the pledge by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to reintroduce train services on the Lagos-Kano corridor after the successful rehabilitation of the tracks. Services were suspended on the corridor about five years ago. The passenger train was flaggedoff in Lagos by the Transport Minister, Senator Umar Idris at a celebratory event where Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola equally flagged-off freight train for the haulage of petroleum products. The train is made up of standard coaches, air-conditioned sleeper and seater coaches, restaurant, baggage vans, and effective power generating set for the comfort of travelers. An elated Idris said the rehabilitated Lagos-kano rail line holds the key to the development of the economy of the nation from the commercial ports city of Lagos to the commercial hub of northern

•The Lagos-Kano train

Passengers savour Lagos-Kano train service By Eric Ikhilae

part of the country in Kano. He added that the successful recommencement of train traffic on line signals the start-off of the transformation of the nation’s economy. Idris, who assured of government’s commitment to revitalising the rail sector, disclosed that plans were on to expand rail network nationwide with the construction of new lines. He said ground braking for the planned Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge line will hold in early 2013. Represented by Dayo Mobereola

•Continued from Page 17 Anadiumes had earlier given vehicles to people and have houses built for others. They further said churches and musical groups were given buses as a support and that they were not surprised that they remembered them. They therefore prayed God to keep him and his

of the Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), Fashola, while flagging-off the petroleum product haulage train, praised NRC over its move to develop the freight

rail sector along with it popular passenger train service. The Offa (Kwara State) bound freight-train was loaded with 450,000 of AGO. Fashola equally praised the Fed-

Everyone went into wild jubilation on hearing the roaring sound of the train’s engine, more so when they sighted its bright head lamp from a distance. The terminus was beautifully decorated, with armed security personnel sufficiently deployed to provide security

•Continued on Page 46

A lift for 1,000 widows wife alive to enable them continue to survive from their largess and goodwill. They even prayed that anybody with evil intention against their benefactors will meet with the

•The widows and gifts they received at Achi

eral Government for its support to the state in its efforts to develop its own intra-city passenger train service. Although the freight train was flagged off before that conveying passengers, it yielded way somewhere around Mushin, Lagos to the faster passenger train. The well occupied train stopped at every major station as it moved from city to city, beginning with Abeokuta, (Ogun State) where it dropped some passengers and picked some. That was the case in other major

wrath of God. They described Anadiume as godsent to the Achi community, Enugu and Nigeria at large. They lauded his new scholarship scheme for their children and prayed him to fulfill his new prom-

ise of sinking a borehole at various places in the community. Chairperson of the NGO’s management committee, Mrs Ifeoma Anyalebechi regretted that Achi widows have no welfare association but expressed optimism that by next year, the women will through THEE Initiative be organised for proper attention and care. “To God be the glory that today we are presenting another gift of charity comprising rice, tomatoes and wrappers to widows, indigent, Umungbu and Gbalagu families,” she said. Mrs Anyalebechi further informed that the foundation which is a non profit and non governmental aside the nursing mothers and widows fete during the Christmas had empowered financially through non interest loans over 1000 short listed beneficiaries in Enugu Akwu Achi comprising of widows, indigents , Umungbu families and Gbalagu families in

Amaetiti during this programme and programmes in the past. She further told Newsextra that the chairman and founder of THEEE Initiative and his wife do this every quarter of the year. “They do more than this at Christmas and New Year as largess to his people. They are exemplary in Achi and have sown seeds in empowering people from Achi and beyond. “Last time a family that delivered with medical challenges was sponsored to India for surgical operation which was successful. I can tell you that adding up everything, our chairman and wife have spent over N50 million on charity in our communities. “THEEE Initiative has economically empowered over 5,000 widows, orphans, the less privileged and indigents in villages because some of our beneficiaries were given outright grants of millions of naira, equipment, revolving loans and food, clothing and nutritional support to enable them escape from abject poverty and deprivation’’.



NGO campaigns for safety


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Safety Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation (SAEF), has held a seminar to raise people’s awareness on safety. It came against the backdrop of a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that 80 per cent of 1.3 million people killed annually and 50 million people injured by road traffic crash (RTC) are in developing African countries. The seminar was, therefore, to help scale up safety in the homes, offices and highways in Nigeria in 2013. The event was sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria. Founded by group of professionals, SAEF, for the past two years, has been visiting public and private organisations, including primary and secondary schools to preach the gospel of safety. To ensure the message was delivered to every home, the NGO held several open fora and public campaigns to sensitise the public on dangers of not sticking to the safety rules. Speaking at the event, a retired commander in the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Muslim Adigun, said the WHO statistics showed that more people lost their lives as a result of road accident than through the HIV/AIDS. Adigun, who spoke on Preventing Road Accident, said all crashes on the highways were preventable but added that lack of common sense was the reason why some road users drove menacingly to cause accidents. “People make the road unsafe for other users because they lack common sense; why should somebody erect a kiosk on main road because he wants to sell his goods? This way, it doesn’t occur to the obstructor that his activity has made the road unsafe for motorists and other users,” he •Continued from Page 45 stations, including Ibadan (Oyo State), Osogbo (Osun State), Offa Kwara State), Minna, Zaria (both in Niger State) and Kaduna (Kaduna State). Aside some men and women engaged to clean all the coaches as the train moved from one station to the other, armed policemen, officials of the Man O War Brigade and some plain-clothes security personnel were on board. Most passengers spoken to expressed delight. They equally identified areas on which NRC management must improve. Mrs. Kemi Akinola, who rode from Lagos to

•Organisers with some of the speakers after the event By Wale Ajetunmobi

noted. According to the ex-FRSC commander, poverty plays key role on why people do not care about the safety of others. He said: “A major reason why people make environment unsafe is the disconnection between the government and the governed. No food, no water and electricity and yet we are talking about safety. A hungry man cannot commit himself to public safety.” To prevent unnecessary loss of lives on Nigerian roads, Adigun said government must collaborate with safety

agencies to embark on mass education of the citizens on the need to make safety a watchword in their daily activities. In his short speech, the Safety Manager of Dangote Group, Mr Abdulrahman Zubair, said indiscipline remained the basis of problem of many organisation. He said boldness was what an employee needed to tell his management the truth about the potential accident in an organisation, adding that psychology played important role in setting up a functional safety unit in a firm. Speaking, the coordinator of the NGO, Mr Shamsudeen Kadiri, said the growing rate of workplace acci-

dents brought the NGO into existence. He noted that workplace accidents had been treated with kid glove in Nigeria, which was why many employers did not care about the wellbbeing of their employees. He commended the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for being the first to constitute a commission to address safety issue in industries operating in the state, adding that the NGO would partner with any government that believed in safety of workers in its domain. Commending Etisalat Nigeria for sponsorship of the programme, Shamsudeen said the telecommunication giant had been on the fore front

of firms promoting safety culture in the country. He said company had, on many occasions, donated materials and resources to the NGO’s cause in ensuring that Nigeria remained safe for citizens and visitors. He reaffirmed that the NGO’s agenda in 2013 was to make Nigeria free of accidents on road, offices and schools. Participants at the programme included industry professionals, managers of construction and telecommunication firms, media practitioners, Corps members and students. Other who spoke at the event included Engr. Jamiu Badmos, Mr Larry Pupu, Dr Olugbenga Bejide and Mrs Monica Nwosu among others.

Passengers savour Lagos-Kano train service Minna, expressed satisfaction about the train service and the security measure put in place. To her, the choice of train as against other means of transportation was right. She said in term of security, duration of the trip and cost, it was worth it. She advised that modern coaches be introduced as part of efforts to improve on the corporation’s services. Olufunlola Victoria Akindele, who boarded at Abeokuta and alighted in Minna, said it was her

•From right: Mobereola, Umar and Sijuwade

first time on a train. “It was fun. The security arrangement was fine as well. The policemen were friendly. They were ready to do everything to assist the passengers. This is my first experience on the train and I am impressed,” he said. Abdullahi Yusuf, who alighted in Kaduna requested that modern coaches be provided. He also suggested that sanitation effort be improved upon. He expressed doubt if the level of security will be sustained, wondering whether the

presence of armed policemen and other security measures were not only necessitated by the presence of NRC management staff on board. While addressing staff and others, who gathered to witness the arrival of the train, an excited Sijuwade described the trip as very symbolic. “In that, from now onward, you will see a very significant migration of freight and passengers from road to rail. “We have quit a number of freight customers already seeking to patronize us, to move their freight by rail. What we are going to experience now that we have this passage to the north is the influx of passengers. “We will be starting off with the weekly service for the Lagos to Kano passenger service, departing Iddo terminal (Lagos) by 9 am every Friday and departing the Kano station at 9 am every Monday. The train will pass through all stations and state capitals along the way. “That will be in addition to the existing Lagos-Ilorin passenger

service that will keep running three times a week. We will also retain the popular Minna to Kaduna passenger service. “What we need to work on now, is to step up the speed, the capacity, the availability. We will ensure the reliability of these services. It is going to be a gradual step-up that we hope to achieve organically. This is because it is important that we make sure that every single service is actually, reliable and have that level of comfort,” Sijuwade said. He disclosed that the rehabilitation of the 1126-kilometre line cost N24.3billion and that the project, which was divided into two - Lagos to Jebba (spanning 488kilometres) and Jebba to Kano (spanning 638 kilometres),was executed by two companies. He admitted that the corporation was faced with some challenges, particularly in the areas of coaches and wagons. He said they were doing all they could to continuously rehabilitate existing stock.



To tackle food shortage, efforts should be made to provide seedlings for planting while buildings too should be monitored. Some of the buildings with weak foundations might collapse. That they are still standing should not be a guarantee for people to move inside without precaution

Varsity helps Anambra flood victims


S flood victims returned to their homes, Anambra State government has pledged to rehabilitate them adequately, even as it promised to help them overcome all challenges thrown up by the disaster. Governor Peter Obi through his deputy, Emeka Sibeudu, disclosed this in Awka, the state capital when a delegation from Nnamdi Azikiwe University presented relief materials to the victims. Led by the University’s ViceChancellor, Prof. Boniface Egboka, the team presented a cash donation of N350, 000, 20 bags of rice, 14 cartons of vegetable oil, 10 cartons of paracetamol tablets, 84 cartons of different infusions, and bags of clothes, among others. On the team were the Director of Academic Planning, Prof. Greg Nwakoby, Director, International Co-operation, Prof. Ken Nworgu, University Librarian, Emma Onwuka and Director, Information and Public Relations, Emma Ojukwu. In a speech, Prof. Egboka said that the university community; just like other concerned groups and individuals, felt really sad and horrified when the flood disaster struck the nation. He said that they also watched with good feelings how the government of Anambra State rose to the challenge and ensured that the situation was brought under control. He said that as an academic centre where people are trained to become their best in life, UNIZIK management also decided to make their own contribution so as to complement government’s efforts in tackling the situation. He said the university had earlier assessed the situation in different camps when they accompanied the Managing Director, Emzor Pharmaceuticals Limited Chief Stella Okoli to present relief materials to some of the victims. The Vice-Chancellor also said the university community is peopled by men of goodwill who respond to ugly situations with a humane heart. He cited the donations made by the university during the earth-

From Emeka Attah, Onitsha

quake in Haiti and said they will continue to offer their best both in learning and in social responsibilities. Responding, the governor who was highly impressed by the gesture of the university community gave an assessment of the flood situation and expressed the commitment of the state government in partnering with the university in finding lasting solutions to problems. “As you pointed out, this is a natural disaster that not only affected Anambra State but also the entire parts of the country including the world. We cried out to the Federal Government, non-governmental organisations and international donors for assistance. There have been positive responses across these sectors but the amount of damage caused by the flood is of high magnitude. “We have therefore devised both short and long-term measures in ensuring that the affected people are reintegrated back to the society. The issue of farming and how they will continue to engage in agricultural production as the food basket of the state is of paramount importance to us too. “It is this kind of humanitarian gesture which the university community exhibited now that can help us in achieving these targets. Though a federal university, it is still our own and I want to assure you that we shall continue to partner with you because of the cordial relationship between us. We are ready and we will continue to extend that hand of fellowship to your institution,” he said. As an expert in Environmental Hydrogeology, Prof. Egboka also gave an expert review on the flood situation and proffered the way forward. “The flooding could happen anywhere and therefore it’s proper we don’t feel nonchalant about it. While we may be rejoicing that after a long while people are now

•Some of the items donated to the flood victims going back to their homes where flood has receded, we should be mindful that it has a negative aftermath. The rivers, lakes and water wells in those areas are now highly polluted. As it stands now, there is high potential for the outbreak of cholera and other water-borne diseases. “The government, through the relevant agencies, should be vigilant in monitoring the situation. There is need for cholera vaccines and malarial drugs because there will be a lot of malarial scourge. “To tackle food shortage, efforts

should be made to provide seedlings for planting while buildings too should be monitored. Some of the buildings with weak foundations might collapse. That they are still standing should not be a guarantee for people to move inside without precaution. “Our experts in the university are willing to assist in assessing the buildings and environment to forestall further calamities. When the flooding started, some buildings were swallowed to the roof level. For this reason, some dangerous reptiles may be lurking around the

vicinities. There may be need for further fumigation and checking of buildings. Problem of poverty also looms because crops and vegetable may not be there again while many of the bush animals have been killed and may result in protein imbalance,” he said. Prof. Egboka also noted that the flood disaster was predicted and people were advised to stop building on water channels. He called for the construction of drainage channels and proper expert advice for developers before embarking on any building project.

Lawmaker helps 4,000 youths, women MEMBER of the Oyo State House of Assembly representing Afijio Constituency, Mr. Olufemi Adelakun has provided various jobs implements to over 4,000 people in the area. Items distributed included


•Supervisor for Education, Hon Temitope Ogungbemi (left); Chairman, Egbe Idimu Local Council Development Area, Hon Adebayo Bello (second left); Special Adviser on Budget, Hon Nurudeen Adeyemi (second right) and staff of Muslim Junior Secondary School Egbe at the end of year party and presentation of computer systems.

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

small- and medium-size generators, grinding machines, rewinding materials, motorcycles, video cameras, barbing equipment, and a wheelchair. Traders were also not left out as consumable items such as rice, beans, yam flour, palm oil, eggs, cow hides, beverages, diesel, engine oil, and bathroom slippers were given out. Other development projects embarked upon by the lawmaker were rehabilitation of seven boreholes, construction of a block of three classrooms each at Awe and Jobele respectively, electrification of maternity centre at Iware, as well as empowerment of 50 youths in agriculture with the allocation of two hectares of land to be ploughed twice for them free of charge. Similarly, over 300 residents have also benefited from the lawmaker’s gesture in eye and breast cancer surgical operations. Interestingly, the empowerment was not based on partisan politics, as most of the beneficiaries were from other political parties. In her remarks at the occasion, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Alhaja Monsurat Sunmonu, described Hon. Adelakun as a “committed lawmaker whose passion for the downtrodden and human development transcend political partisanship and egoistic desires.” Also speaking, the Akibio of

Ilora, Oba Stephen Olufemi Oparinde II, said the gesture as unprecedented, saying “past representatives rarely considered the well-being of the people, but mainly concerned about their personal gains.” In his address, Hon. Femi Adelakun, who attributed his achievements to divine guidance and people’s support and co-operation called on the Federal Government to have a “rethink and shift from jobless growth strategies toward inclusive and propoor growth strategies that aims at equipping youths and women with necessary skills for decent employment.”

Traders got consumable items such as rice, beans, yam flour, palm oil, eggs, cow hides, beverages, diesel, engine oil, and bathroom slippers





LL praises are due to Allah, the Exalted, and the Most High. May the peace and blessings of Allah (SWT) be upon our noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 2. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, let me begin by offering my condolences to this Honourable House, the families and the entire people of Kano State over the unfortunate death of two Members, Hon. Ibrahim Abba Garko and Hon. Danladi Isa Kademi, Gaya. It is indeed a great loss. We pray to Almighty Allah to forgive them and reward them with AL-JANNATUL FIRDAUSI for all the good they have done.


3. Mr. Speaker, when I addressed this Honourable House on the 5th of Safar, 1433 AH (December 29, 2011), I pledged before you the determination of our administration to vigorously pursue policies and programs that will transform our state economically, socially and politically. I also pledged to run a government guided by the principles of accountability, transparency and honesty. 4. Mr. Speaker, it is based on these commitments that I find it expedient to highlight some accomplishments of this administration in the last one year of our stewardship. 5. Some of our modest achievements in the field of education include: · Feeding of primary school pupils and providing new intakes with 2 sets of uniforms each · Building of 1,500 new classrooms and 579 offices across the 44LGAs · Purchase of furniture and teaching materials worth N5 billion for our primary schools · Rehabilitation of most of our schools through CRC. N440 million was given to our Local Government CRC Committees. Government will continue to fund this program. · Establishing boarding primary school at Minjibir · Re - training of all our teachers in primary schools · Building of 400 houses in 200 junior secondary schools (JSS) · Establishing crafts schools in each of the 44 LGAs · Establishment of Schools of Islamic Studies (SIS) in each of the 44 LGAs · Establishing a model boarding secondary school in Niger Republic · Establishing of Governor’s College in Kano City, Janbaki Girls’ Boarding College at Ungogo Local Government, Dan Hajja at Bagwai Local Government Area. · Accreditation of courses in all Tertiary Institutions in the State (KUST, Polytechnic, Aminu Kano College of Legal and Islamic Studies)–N500 million · In our collective resolve to create opportunities for our young men and women to acquire various skills, Government has so far established 20 institutes that cut across all sectors of the economy as follows: · In addition to Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, which we set up during our first tenure, Mr. Speaker I am proud to once again announce that we have now set up a new conventional University, the NORTH WEST UNIVERSITY. So far 1,000 students have been admitted to undergo various degree programmes at its temporary site, Gidan Ado Bayero while work is ongoing at its permanent site, Kofar Kabuga.

12. Kano Driving Institute, The Permanent site is completed. Drivers of our Kumbotso Amana Taxi and buses scheme to receive training. Already 1,500 taxis and buses are on the road while another 1,000 brand new Toyota Corolla have been purchased for the same scheme.Other drivers too to receive training. Irrigation Work is in progress at the 13. Kano Training Institute, permanent site in Kadawa Kadawa trainees were a n o 1,200 14. K E n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p graduated under our Lafiya Development Institute, Jari Programme, while work is in progress at the Dawakin Tofa permanent site, D/Tofa Post Basic Work is in progress at the 15. Kano Midwifery School, permanent site, Gezawa Gezawa 16. Kano Institute of Work is in progress at the Horticulture Bagauda, permanent site, Bagauda. Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso Bagauda Livestock The Permanent site is 17. Kano completed. 132 trainees Institute, Bagauda graduated. Admission is · In order to assist our young men and women further now on for the 2nd batch their studies. 18. Kano Development Work is in progress Journalism Institute, · Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform you that Government Kano has so far expended the sum of N2.017billion on various 19. School of Basic Work has reached an Remedial Studies, T/ advanced stage. scholarship programmes asfollows: Wada S/N NAME AND REMARKS 20. Kano School of Health Has been Completed. LOCATION OF Technology, Bebeji Process of admission INSTITUTE already commenced. 1. Kano Hospitality Operates at temporary site, and Tourism Tourist Camp. So far the * sponsored 501 young men and women to undergo institute graduated 132 Institute, Kano Masters Degrees and PhD’s in 11 countries abroad; students. Work is in Arrangements are underway to sponsor a second set of progress at permanent site, 502 students; Daula Hotel. * Sponsored 100 youths to train as pilots; 2. Kano Poultry Over 800 students have graduated; there is Institute, Dambatta * Sponsored 100 youths to read Medicine; provision for take-off * Sponsored 100 teachers to China for Language classes; broiler/layer chicken for * Sponsored 100 youths to study Pharmacy in Nigerian trainees and feeds and Universities; medication for the birds. * Sponsored 100 Youths to study at Crescent University, 3. Kano Institute of Work is in progress at Abeokuta; Qur’anic & Western permanent the site. * Sponsored 100 Youths to study at Bells University of Education, Kano 4. Kano Fisheries Work is almost completed Technology, Otta, Ogun State. at permanent site, Institute, Bagauda * Paid Scholarship allowances to the tune of N590 Bagauda. million. 5. Kano Farm Work is completed at the * Special priority has been to accorded medical students M e c h a n i z a t i o n permanent site. So far and law students. This is to further boost the state’s 1,300 trainees have Institute, Dambatta manpower. graduated and received * 25 Students have been sent to India and UK for Marine two bulls and a plough and accessories. Training in partnership with NIMASA 6. Kano College of Work is in progress at * 917 trainees were sponsored in various specialised Nursing and permanent site at Madobi Nigerian Institutions across the country. LG. Midwifery, Madobi 7. Kano Corporate The Permanent site is · Accreditation of courses in all tertiary institutions in Security Training completed at Gabasawa; the State (KUST Wudil, Polytechnic, Aminu Kano College Institute, Gabasawa 200 pioneer students have of Legal and Islamic Studies) to the tune of N500 million. been admitted. Kano Reformatory The Permanent site is 8. completed. A number of Institute, Kiru 6. URBAN RENEWAL AND PROVISION OF DECENT inmates graduated. ACCOMMODATION Kano Film Academy, Work is in progress at the 9. permanent site, Tiga. Tiga Rock Castle In this sector, we have over the past year engaged in the 10. Kano Informatics Is situated at the temporary following: site at the Murtala Mohd Institute, Kura · Establishing 3 new cities: Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Library, while work is in progress at the permanent Bandirawo. At this juncture may I invite the Right site in Kura LG. So far 3 Honourable Speaker to create time to visit our three new sets of students were cities Amana and Bandirawo; admitted into the college. Sports Work is in progress at the 11. Kano · Constructing Trailer Parks at Dawanau and Gundutse permanent site, Karfi. Academy, Karfi

at the cost of about N20 billion;





· Commencement of the construction of 5Kilometres dual carriageways with street lights in each of the 44LGAs, to the tune of N52billion; · Under Government’s urban beautification program, most of our major roads, walkways and pavements in the metropolitan area are now covered with Interlocking tiles. I appeal to the citizenry to maintain the beauty of these roads and walkways by resisting the temptation to indiscriminately display wares for sale on them to allow free flow of pedestrian traffic; · Similarly, Government House has been comprehensively renovated. It is now befitting the status of the seat of Government. · Deputy Governor’s residence has also been renovated while a new Deputy Governor’s Office is being constructed within the Government House premises. · Under our Model Town and Village Programme, Government has selected three LG headquarters Makoda, Warawa and Kunchi for a comprehensive facelift as Pilot Projects. All ‘bunu’ thatch houses were replaced with modern concrete structures free of charge. · Flood relief. Government has noted that flood prone settlements are mainly in low lying areas. As such Government has started relocating them permanently to avoid future occurrence; · Installation of new street and traffic lights in the metropolis; rehabilitation of existing ones. As a matter of policy government is generating enough power to service these street/traffic lights; · To ensure cleanliness we have strengthened REMASAB and returned the monthly environmental sanitation programme. Refuse disposal has received our undivided attention. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform you that Kano is now much cleaner than when we returned to power in May, 2011. However, we urge the good people of Kano to cooperate with government in maintaining a clean environment by disposing their refuse appropriately at designated areas provided by government; · Construction of Metropolitan roads – Gwarzo, Zaria, Hadejia, Sheikh Jaafar, Airport/Ashton Roads, Kiyashi Avenue at Hotoro and Guda Abdullahi Road, Farm Centre; · Completion of selected roads which were abandoned by the former administration – Independence Road, Abdullahi Wase Road, Yantsaki Road, Medille Guringawa Road, Mandawari – Kwanar Goda Road and Sharada road; · Commencement of the first-ever Flyover in Kano at Kofar Nassarawa; · Rehabilitation and construction of numerous pedestrian flyovers within the city; · Establishment of KAROTA to ease Traffic congestion. This has created numerous job opportunities for our youths. About 1,000 young men and women have so far been employed. In this regard, I will like to appeal to the good people of Kano to complement government’s efforts by strictly adhering to traffic rules and regulations on our roads. · Establishment of Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA) to ensure prompt repairs and quality maintenance of our roads; 7. TRANSFORMING SERVICE DELIVERY · To encourage dispensation of justice we have built and furnished 26 Magistrate Courts; for the first time since its construction the High Court Complex was comprehensively rehabilitated and given a worthy facelift. No-Man’s-Land, Gyadi-Gyadi Court Road,


Gidan Murtala and Zaria Road. Courts have been · 440 young men have been trained in football rehabilitated. Judicial Service Commission offices have production. Each trainee was also given N50, 000 and equally been rehabilitated; equipment with common facility centre arrangements. Government further plans patronage to support take· Government has implemented harmonisation of off of these young entrepreneurs. salaries for high court and judicial service staff. This is to bridge the gap between salaries of high court and the · We have provided working capital and take off grants JSC. to 486 Modern Bee Keeping trainees. · On Security vote, it is no longer business as usual. · Over 4,000 persons have been employed into the State Everything is properly documented and accounted for. Civil Service. · In support of open and transparent governance we · 960 persons have been employed under state have consistently publicised weekly EXCO resolutions. employment committees in various federal Institutions and Private Companies. · On Budget (2012): 66% capital and 34% recurrent. Implementation of 2012 Budget for the period under · Production/Distribution of fertilizer: 600 bags have been disbursed to each of the 484 local council wards review is 76%. the first time ever. · To enhance productivity 25th of every month has been pegged as Payday for our civil servants. Distinguished members of the State Assembly, at this juncture, it is worthy to note, in conformity with the · In its effort to support civil servants own houses Kwankwasiyya Ideology we subscribe to, we have Government has agreed to the Sale of GPs to civil revolutionised the process and practice of Governance. servants occupying government quarters. About 1,300 Mr. Speaker, many people keep wondering how we were houses have so far been offered for sale. In the same able to get the funds to implement the numerous practical vein Governments plans to allocate houses to interested programmes we have been rolling out, despite the fact civil servants in the new cities of Kwankwasiyya, that there has been no change in the revenue allocation Amana and Bandirawo. formula, and no major windfalls from the Federation Account. · We have ensured prompt payment of Pensions and Gratuities to retiring civil servants. In fact, we have also refused as a matter of policy to secure any new loan, locally or internationally. Rather, · Payment of minimum Wage of N18, 000 has this Government is now following due process to exit commenced since January 2012. from all foreign loan commitments we inherited. At this point, Mr. Speaker, I am sure you would have · Over 4,000 Kano indigenes have been employed to noticed that all these developments did not happen inject fresh blood into the state civil service. because of any change other than that of leadership and that is Kwankwasiyya. · 960 more Kano indigenes have been employed through the State Government’s efforts. This was The secret of our success, Alhamdulillah has to do with coordinated by our standing committee on employment our religious commitment and our ideology, the in federal institutions and private companies across the Kwankwasiyya. country. At this point, I wish to appeal to our teeming youths to seize the many opportunities we are providing Kwankwasiyya is not just about our dress code. It is not to establish businesses. On our part we will continue to just about the Red Cap. It is about due process, support and encourage all who are willing to work to transparency, accountability, and fiscal discipline. It is help themselves. about blocking leakages, such as the bogus security vote and many other areas of wastage that had been the · SERVICOM has been set up in the state to ensure practice in Government. Undue favours, even to family quality, efficient service delivery to the public. The public and friends are not in tune with Kwankwasiyya has a right to be served right and to complain and receive philosophy. redress where there is a need to do so. In summary Mr Speaker, Kwankwasiyya stands for · You may recall when we returned to Government in good leadership, honesty, dedication, integrity, May 2011 we inherited debts amounting to N77 billion; perseverance, selflessness, resistance to injustice, and 200 million US dollars. In spite of that we were able humility, hard-work, commitment to serve the people. to carry over an opening balance of N20.5 billion into In a nutshell, Kwankwasiyya stands for all essential 2012. This year we are grateful to Allah we have another tools for the emancipation of the masses. healthy opening balance of over N20 billion. It is important to refresh our memory that in 2011, the · Government has also vastly improved Internal good people of Kano freely gave us the mandate to lead Revenue Generation (IGR), from slightly over N400 the State, at a time when we had no state Government, million a month when we came into office to over N1.7 no local government. We had not a single Councillor, billion a month. In this vein I urge our people to continue no Commissioner and no contracts or plots to allocate. to pay their taxes as and when due. That is what It made us all to recall our performance in our first term, Government needs to keep on serving the public as between 1999 and 2003, as a key reference point that efficiently as we have done so far. may have played a significant role reminding the Kano voters on the verge of the 2011 election. POVERTY ALLEVIATION Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the election · 3,000 women in each of the 44 LGs trained on various reminded us that it is always Good to Be Good! That is trades and skills. Given N10, 000 each they have so far why we are working round the clock to properly serve received N1.32 billion. This is in addition to funds spent the people as it is now time for us to pay back the on their training and required working tools and kindness of the good people of Kano. equipment for take-off. Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Mr. Speaker. · Chalk production – 200 youths have been trained and provided with equipment. To ease production, a May be that is why we have so far received more than common facility centre arrangement has been organised, 50 different awards from various reputable institutions, with a working capital of N50,000 for each of the development partners, NGOs and even universities trainees. To support takeoff, state and local government across the country, and indeed from all over the world. agencies have been instructed to patronise them. This is obviously an expression of confidence in our



ADDRESS BY HIS EX CELLENCY V. RABIU MUSA KW ANKW ASO FNSE OF KANO ST ATE TO KANO ST ATE EXCELLENCY CELLENCY,, GO GOV KWANKW ANKWASO STA STA HOUSE OF ASSEMBL Y AT THE PRESENT ATION OF THE YEAR 2013 B UDGET ASSEMBLY PRESENTA BUDGET UDGET,, DECEMBER 20 TH 2012. performance. Some of these awards include the Malam Aminu Kano National Award for Exemplary Leadership; the NEPAD Business Group Award for Excellence and Good Governance; the prestigious ICAN Kano/Jigawa District Award for Prudence and Accountability in Financial Management. Others include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Award for Excellence in Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment; the 3 rd Republic House of Representatives Award for Commitment to Service and outstanding Performance in Leadership; OIC recognition for corporate social responsibility and community service; NUJ Role Model Award for Education; an architect’s award for being the Architect of Modern Kano; the Washington DC, USA Zumunta Association Distinguished Leadership Award; and indeed many more too numerous to capture or mention here.

for the establishment of School for Islamic Studies in all the 44LGAs * Spend the sum of N500million is proposed for the Re– Boarding of 3Nos. secondary schools in Bagwai, Tsangaya and Janbaki in Yadakunya. * Spend the sum of N458million is earmarked for the continued support to mass literacy campaign in the state, while N215million is set aside for the procurement and restocking of library board. * Our commitment towards improving the tertiary education has yielded result as evidenced by the massive construction and rehabilitation of various institutions in the state. To this end, N250m is for establishment of School of Basic and Remedial Studies at Tsanyawa. * Spend N3.5b is set aside for continuation of ongoing works at the North West University including the Faculty Building, Senate and other construction works.

PROFILE OF THE 2013 BUDGET: HEALTH 20. Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, the budget I am presenting to you today, is tagged ‘Budget of Economic Consolidation and Fiscal Discipline’. 21. The total size of the proposed budget is Two hundred and thirty five billion three hundred and four million nine hundred and twenty nine thousand Naira (N235,304,929,000) made up of a recurrent expenditure of Fifty nine billion , seven hundred and ninety four million eight hundred and twenty seven thousand Naira (N59, 794, 827, 000) representing 25% and capital expenditure of One hundred and seventy five billion five hundred and ten million one hundred and two thousand (N175, 510, 102, 000) representing 75%. 22. The recurrent expenditure proposal consists of N2.2billion for consolidate Revenue Fund Charges (CRF), N35.839billion for Personnel Costs, and N21.706billion for Overhead Costs. The Capital expenditure programme of N175.427billion will be funded from an expected surplus over recurrent receipts of N89.071billion and an expected capital receipt of N67.139billion. 23. It is a balanced budget with expenditure matching revenue of the same size. The 2013Budget is higher than that of the Amended 2012 estimates by N 13,685,597,405 representing 6 percent increase. 24. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, in the light of our plan to consolidate our progress, let me crave your indulgence to present our planned programmes in the various sectors for 2013. EDUCATION 25. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members. In our determination to consolidate our efforts to improve the educational sector, we propose to spend a total sum of N24.17billion in 2013. Out of this amount a total sum of N16billion is set to cater for basic and secondary education while N8.1billion is earmarked for Higher education. To this end, government planned to: * Spend the sum of N2.7billion for the construction, and general renovation/improvement of Kwankwasiyya Blocks and procurement of instructional materials across the 44LGAs * Spend the sum of N200million is for the construction of girls boarding science schools at Takai and Kunchi, while N750million is for the upgrade of vocational centres to technical colleges in Dambatta, Doguwa and Gani including general rehabilitation and repairs of science and technical colleges in the state. * Spend the sum of N1.5billion for the Establishment of 22Nos Craft Schools in each of the 22LGAs. * Spend the sum of N712million is earmarked for the establishment of 3Nos Boarding primary schools in each of our senatorial zone * Similarly, spend the sum of N1.8billion is set aside

26. In pursuance to our policy of making healthcare services more efficient and affordable, government planned to spend the sum of N8.04billion for capital projects. Out of this amount: * N1billion will be expended on upgrading, expansion and rehabilitation of health facilities across the State including Tsanyawa, Garko, Madobi, Ajingi and Tofa Primary Health Centres to Cottage Hospitals. * In the same vein, N1.05b has been set aside for procurement of specialized hospital equipment to be spread across our hospitals. * Similarly, in our effort to enhance efficiency in the health care delivery, N500million has been dedicated for establishment of Public Health University, * N700million would be for establishment of Schools of Nursing in Madobi, while N500million for establishment of post Basic Midwifery School at Gezawa. * The sum of N200million has also been earmarked for completion of Paediatric Hospital at Zoo Road and N250million for Giginyu Modern general Hospital. * 650Million is earmarked for the Malaria Control Program in the state in collaboration with LGAs and other development partners including Dangote Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation. * The sum of N550million is set aside for the renovationand rehabilitation of health institutions including Gwarzo, Kura, Bichi, Dambatta, Rano, D/ Tofa, Sumaila etc. WATER SUPPLY 27. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the provision of potable water to both urban and rural dwellers as enshrined in our policy thrust would continue to be accorded a high priority attention by this administration. To this end, the sum of N7.445billion is earmarked to undertake various programs as follows: * The sum of N1billion is earmarked for reinforcement of trunks and reticulation systems in the state. * The sum of N600million is set aside for the procurement of water treatment chemicals. * Under water supply scheme to Sumaila, a total of N1.1billion is set aside for the project, while laying of 400mm diameter Pipes from New Watari to Tsanyawa will consume the sum of N800million. * The sum of N800million is earmarked for Joda – Gezawa – Yan Kaba water supply schemes. * The sum of N900Million is earmarked for the lying of pipes from Tamburawa to western bypass to Wudil. * Government planned to spend the sum of N1.5billion for Wudil water treatment plant, while N450million is set aside for the routine rehabilitation and maintenance of Challawa water complex. * Furthermore, the sum of N400million is earmarked for the rehabilitation of our irrigation schemes and construction of new irrigation dams as well as the expansion of Chiromawa Regional Water Supply Scheme.

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES 28. Distinguished Members of the State House of Assembly, as you are all aware our administration has resolved to make mass food production the cornerstone of our intervention in the real sector of the economy. In this direction, the sum of N9.68billion is set aside for various undertakings as follows: * The sum of N1.95billion is set aside for the procurement and distribution of fertilizer, grains, Natural Resource Conservations and Grazing reserves. * Similarly, the sum of N450million is provided for the youth Empowerment Programme in Agriculture. * Similarly, the sum of N1billion is allocated to KASCO for fertilizer production, while N711million is provided for the construction of new Zoological garden at Bagauda and restocking of old Kano Zoological garden with various kind wild Animals. INFORMATION AND COMMUNNICATION STRATEGY 29. As part our administration’s commitment towards dissemination of information across the State and the country at large, the present Administration has planned to spend the sum of N1.5billion. Out of this amount: * The sum of N225million is provided for the establishment of the Information Data Bank and procurement of information communication equipment, modernization of digital TV and radio recording and editing studios at zonal headquarters. * Accordingly, the sum of N800Million is set aside for the general upgrade, modernization and digitalisation of ARTV for the hosting of their programme on the satellite network, while N450Million is for the rehabilitation/procurements of gadgets for Kano State Radio Corporation, Kano State Sports Council, and Government Printing Press. RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 30. Mr. Speaker, Provision of infrastructural facilities at rural areas remains our focus and to this end, Government has earmarked the sum of N605million for the development of our rural areas. Out of this, * The N205million is set aside for the establishment of model villages across the state, procurement and rehabilitation of heavy plant and machinery, construction of rural linkage roads as well as establishment of Management Information System (MIS). * Furthermore, the sum of N150million is set aside to facilitate electrification of towns and villages across the State, procurement of transformers and rehabilitation of existing networks among others. * In the area of rural water supply, Government intends to spend the sum of N247.5million for the construction of hand pump and mechanized boreholes, rural sanitation, construction of complete system of new windmill water solutions and provision of counterpart funding for JICA project in addition to procurement of 2 new drilling rigs. WOMEN AFFAIRS &SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 31. Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, it is worthy to note that, Women and Youths constitute a very important segment of our society. To this end, the sum of N354.8million is allocated for various projects and programmes as follows: * Out of this, the sum of N161million is set aside for the Women Empowerment Programme, general improvement of Remand House G/Dutse and Nassarawa Children Homes as well as empowerment programme for people with the special need. * Similarly, the sum of N148million is earmarked for the development and renovation of Women Centres, Gyadi-Gyadi Day Care Centre, Torrey Home, Rehabilitation and Renovation of Cottage Industries, Orphan and vulnerable children programme as well as the payment of counterpart funds for securing of


our women farmers.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 32. Honourable Members, our administration is committed to improvement of ICT in the State as evidenced in the recent deployment of IT infrastructure in the state with a view to fast-tracking our development effort of the sector. In this regards, the sum of N615million is earmarked for various projects and programmes as follows: * The sum of N295million is set aside for the establishment of ICT Park and development of data bank, deployment of IT Infrastructure and computerization of tertiary institutions across the state. * Similarly, N200million is earmarked for the establishment of I.T. Secondary Schools, Technology Incubation Centre and development of appropriate Technology for research and development. ENVIRONMENT 33. Environmental protection remains a key challenge especially with intense rainfall experienced recently. To this end, government is proposing a total sum of N1.2billion to be expended on various activities in the sector for the coming fiscal year. Out of the total amount: * The sum of N579million is allocated to REMASAB for Vector Control Program, Micro-Composting Plant for Leda Jari scheme and procurement of Cat Wheel Loaders among others. * The sum of N136million has been earmarked for sustainable Zuma production, establishment and rehabilitation of forest shelterbelt, promotion of alternate source of energy etc. * Another N150million has been allocated for Waste to Wealth Projects, construction and rehabilitation of drainages across the state. COMMERCE, INDUSTRY AND TOURISM 34. This Administration will continue to accord due priority attention to commerce, industry and tourism as veritable engine for economic growth and sustainable development. Our focus for this fiscal year is to provide enabling environment for private sector participation. In pursuance to this development, government has planned to spend the sum of N1.005billion for execution of vital programmes/ projects as follows: * The sum of N183million is earmarked for the support and development of informal sector operators, enterprises development initiatives and support to business development in the state. * Similarly, the sum of N135million for the development of export production villages, entrepreneurial development and establishment of one stop shop under investment climate and support to cross border trade. * The sum of N460million is earmarked for the development of Rice Milling Cluster at Kura LG, development of Small Scale Industry Credit Scheme and establishment of common facility centre. INFRASTRUCTURE (LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING) 35. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, consistent with our determination to improve the infrastructure challenges, our administration has accorded high priority attention to the construction/dualization and beautification of major metropolitan roads aimed at providing the befitting environment for our people. To this end, government has planned to spend the sum of N62.4billion for the development and improvement of infrastructures and urban renewal in the state as follows: * The sum of N5.6billion is earmarked for the development of infrastructure for old and new layout, acquisition and payment of land compensation, development of KANGIS and Western Bypass Project. * Similarly, the sum of N3.6billion is set aside for the

construction of roads within Kano metropolis including dualisation of Air force Base Road to Airport, Umar Galadima Road, and Farm Centre Link Road etc. * N4.3billion is for the construction of Gundutse terminal, Expansion of Zaria Road, Gwarzo Road, Hadejia Road and dualization of Sheik Jaafar Road. * N37billion is for the continued 5KM dual carriage way with street light projects in each of the 44LGAs. * The sum of N2.6billion is for the continuation of infrastructural facilities at Kwankwasiyya city, Amana and Bandirawo cities respectively. * Continuation of the dualization of Dan Agundi to Sharada Road, Independence Road and Abdullahi Wase Road at the total sum of N4.8billion.

Courts across the State, many of which are in a state of dilapidation; as well as construction of a standard training centre at the State Judicial Service Commission Headquarters. IMPLEMENTATION OF 2013 BUDGET 39. As the name suggests, the 2013 budget will not only consolidate our development efforts but will ensure frugal and efficiency in our expenditure programmes. We intend to use the limited resources at our disposal to achieve maximum impact. All MDAs are expected to ensure effective performance, transparency and accountability in the discharge of their functions.

WORKS 36. Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, in our collective resolve to improve the general facilities of our dear state, government has planned to spend the sum of N41.8billion for various projects under Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. These include: * N2.498billion for the construction works and improvement in 21 institutes across the state including School of Nursing at Madobi, Informatics at Kura, Enterprenuer institute at Dawakin Tofa, Post Basic Midwifery at Gezawa etc * Similarly, the sum of N4.05billion is earmarked for the construction and rehabilitation of Gidan Murtala and Audu Bako Secretariat, Conference Center at Audu Bako Secretariat, Ultra Modern Women Center, Governor’s Lodge at Kwakwasiyya City, reconstruction of Liason Office Lagos and Sport Complex at Kofar Naisa. * N2billion is for the execution of various constituency project in the state. * In the same vein, the sum of N1.145billion has been earmarked for the continuation of construction works at KSHA, Warawa, Makoda and Kunchi model villages, Government House Office block, execution works of the proposed international conference centre in the State. * Under Housing Programme, the sum of N3.355 is earmarked for the provision of infrastructure at Jido and construction of commercial houses of different size at Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Bandirawo cities. * N2billion is earmarked for the land acquisition and construction of houses of different sizes in Karu area, Abuja * The sum of N3.950 billion is earmarked for construction/rehabilitation of roads and bridges across the state including Challawa Bridge, Karfi to Rano Road, Dualization of Kano – Madobi – Yako - K/ Maiyaki, Janguza – Durum – Kabo – Karaye Road. * N3.6billion is for the construction and channelization of Kwarin Gogau to Jakara Road and construction of underground passage at Murtala Mohd Hospital. * N2billion is set aside for the construction of roads linking local government in the state. * Similarly, the sum of N8.5 billion is set aside for the construction of 2 fly overs in the state from Silver Jubilee to K/Nassarawa and from Sani Abacha Way JunctionAbubakar Rimi Market-Yankura-Fagge round about and the project is already in progress. * Government planned to spend N1billion for the installation of new street light/traffic lights and rehabilitation of existing ones across the state. * Similarly, to ease power supply problem in the state Government has earmarked the sum of N1.5 billion for the take-off of Independent Power Plants project at Tiga and Challawa Goje Dam in Karaye Local Government Area. * The sum of N3.5billion is set aside for the procurement and commencement of New Amana Taxi Scheme in the state, while N272million is for the Kano Urban Transport Project. JUDICIARY 38. A total sum of N1, 189 billion is earmarked for the maintenance of State Security and the Judiciary. Out of this amount, the sum of N840million is for capital development to cater for the construction of Courts and Judges’ Houses as well as the construction of Magistrate

40. Indeed, the current governance structure has delineated functions among various MDAs and the development sectors. In spite of this delineation, the need for collaboration among all Government institutions as enshrined in our Development Plan has become increasingly important. We intend to achieve synergy through collaboration and integration of programmes and projects at all levels in order to realize our vision of making Kano the leading State in the Federation. 41. Accordingly, the monitoring function of the Project Monitoring Bureau will be strengthened to ensure that all programmes and projects are being monitored at all times. This will be in collaboration with the State Audit and Local Government Audit who would continue to keep vigil on all Government financial transaction to ensure value for money. The Ministry of Planning and Budget and Ministry of Finance would ensure strict adherence to the budget and fiscal discipline in the course of implementing the budget for better results. 42. Finally, I wish to call on all and sundry to give their maximum cooperation and support to our efforts to effectively chart a new course for the future of this great State. I am of the firm belief that we have the potential in terms of human and material resources to excel in all facets of life in the Nigerian Federation. 43. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, before I conclude this address let me acknowledge the invaluable contribution of this august Assembly since our return to office in May, 2011. We are all living witnesses to the level of cooperation that exists between the executive and the legislative arms of government. This is a catalyst to the achievements we have recorded especially during the outgoing year. It is my hope that this spirit of cooperation will continue in our collective resolve to serve the people of Kano State. 44. At this point, Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, permit to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to our development partners and philanthropists such as Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, Aliko Dangote, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the federal government’s Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for matching grants and for their proactive support to our development objectives. 45. The state Government and indeed the good people of Kano really appreciate these invaluable contributions. Such kind gestures will be treasured forever. 46. With this, it is my great pleasure and singular honour to submit to the Honourable Speaker, the 2013 Budget of Economic Consolidation and Fiscal Discipline for legislative scrutiny and here pray for your urgent and expeditious approval. Alhamdulillah. Wassalamu alaikum.



NEWS Ex-Benue lawmaker dies during exercise From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


FORMER member of the Benue State House of Assembly, representing Buruku, Msen Sarwuan, died yesterday during his morning aerobics in Makurdi, the state capital. A member of the deceased’s family, who spoke in confidence because he was not authorised, said the late Sarwuan was a Caretaker Chairman of Buruku Local Government. A family statement described Sarwuan’s death as shocking. The former lawmaker was said to be in good health without any sign of weakness or illness before he died. Since the news broke, scores of sympathisers have been thronging his home in Makurdi for condolences. The late Sarwuan, it was learnt, was a politician who did not harbour bitterness against anyone, irrespective of tribe or religion. On completion of his tenure at the Assembly, he went into a private endeavour until he was appointed Caretaker Chairman of Buruku Local Government. After his eventful tenure at the council, he returned to private life until his demise yesterday.

Budget row: Kwara runs anti-people patronage system, says Belgore


WARA State opposition figure Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN) yesterday said the state government and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) misinterpreted his New Year’s message on this year’s budget. He said the government runs an anti-people patronage system, which takes precedence over the provision of basic infrastructure for the residents. The ACN chieftain criticised the budget of the Abdulfatah Ahmed administration for allocating 51 per cent to recurrent expenditure. But the government alleged that Belgore was suggesting the retrenchment of workers. However, the state Congress for Progressive

Change (CPC) backed the ACN chieftain’s stand on the budget. It noted that the allocation of 51 per cent of the budget to recurrent expenditure is injurious to the economy. Insisting that his message was misrepresented, Belgore said he stood by it. A statement in Ilorin, the state capital, by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye, said: “Mr. Belgore is against retrenchment of, or untimely payment of all entitlements due to, workers. What he meant …is that Kwara fund is being used to run a patronage system that does not benefit the masses. That this patronage system takes precedence over provision of basic infrastructure/amenities is what should alarm all Kwarans.” The statement said the

lawyer abhors engaging people in gutter language, adding that “Kwarans get to know of the much-vaunted achievements of the PDP government only on the pages of newspapers and on television screens”. It added: “An urbane and tough advocate of issuebased politics, Mr Belgore would not engage the PDP in gutter language, as has become the habit of its spokesman, in the name of politics. “Also, the jury is out on the so-called achievements of the PDP government, which our people see only on television screens and pages of newspapers. “However, for the purpose of setting the records straight, we wish to state the following: “Followers of Kwara politics know our stand on what

has become a culture of late payment of workers’ salary and shabby treatment of the work force. Instead, it is the Kwara State Government that is retrenching workers in a wicked and dubious way by orchestrating the sack of local government workers without giving any official confirmation. It is the height of deceit, especially after Ahmed had sworn that no such thing would happen. “The Kwara State Government is about the worst culprit of ghost worker-syndrome as it has no verifiable official data on its workforce, deliberately creating avenue for corrupt PDP officials to rip off the state. Nothing exposes this than the fact that several months after it ran a sham verification of workers, the exercise remains inconclusive.”

From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

THE Permanent Secretary, Gombe State Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Atiku Mu’azu, has threatened to sanction reporters who fail to report properly the breakdown of this year’s budget. But he was not specific about the line of action the ministry would take. The commissioner spoke in Gombe, the state capital, at the breakdown of the 2013 budget at the Office of the Commissioner for Finance. There were 20 reporters from various media organisations at the event. The Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, Mallam Hassan Muhammadu, said the 62 per cent performance of last year’s budget was spectacular.

Gaidam swears in Grand Khadi From Duku Joel, Damaturu

Gombe lawmaker relocates to Govt House From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe


MEMBER of the Gombe State House of Assembly, who was abducted last Sunday and released on Wednesday night, Ahmed Jalo Ganga, has relocated to the Government House. Ganga returned unescorted on a commercial motorcycle at 10:30pm. His younger brother, Abdulkadir Mohammed Yelwa, confirmed the lawmaker’s return. He said Ganga returned on a commercial motorbike around 10:30pm on Wednesday and immediately relocated to the Government House. The family spokesman said the abductors did not demand any ransom. Yelwa said: “Honourable (Ganga) just came on Achaba (commercial motorcycle) alone around 10.30pm.” Police spokesman Fwaje Atajiri, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), also confirmed Ganga’s return. But he said the police were still investigating his abduction. However, circumstances resulting to the kidnap and return of the state legislator seems cloudy as many speculations and questions are being raised. House of Assembly Speaker Inuwa Garba could not be reached on his cell phone. But the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA) yesterday quoted him as saying that Ganga had returned to his family. He said no ransom was demanded or paid to the kidnappers by either the Assembly or Ganga’s family.

Journalists threatened

•Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko (second left) cutting the tape to inaugurate the Zabira Plaza in Sokoto...on Wednesday.

Kogi Speaker’s police aide dies in road crash From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja


AMIDI Akeem, the police escort of Kogi State House of Assembly Speaker Lawal Jimoh, has died following a road crash involving the Speaker’s convoy on Okene Road. It was learnt that the accident occurred three days ago at Osara when the Speaker was travelling to Okenne, his home town. The accident occurred barely a week after Governor Idris Wada was injured in a road crash in which his Aide-de-Camp, Idris Mohammed, died. But Jimoh’s vehicle was not affected by the accident. Akeem was said to be in a convoy vehicle, not in the

Speaker’s car. The police escort was reportedly rushed to a hospital for emergency treatment. But he died yesterday. The Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Austin Akubo, confirmed Akeem’s death. He said the Speaker’s vehicle was not affected. The late Akeem hails from Erin-Ile, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. “The Speaker was ready to take him to any hospital in Nigeria or any part of the world for best treatment. Unfortunately, he died early this morning (yesterday),” Akubo said.

High Court restrains Tukur on Adamawa congress


YOLA High Court in Adamawa State has granted an order restraining the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party’s Caretaker Committee from conducting congresses in the state. The order was given by the Acting Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Justice Nathan Musa, on Wednesday, following an application by some members of the party - Mustapha Njobdi, Abdullahi Haladu and Mohammed Salei - challeng-

From Barnabas Manyam, Yola

ing last week’s ward congresses. Tukur and nine members of the state caretaker committee were barred from conducting the congresses. Salihu Adamu, who appeared for the applicants, sought a motion ex parte accompanied with a 42-paragraph affidavit and other evidence, including the nomination forms and payment receipts. The applicants sought an interim injunction restraining the defendants from conducting the congresses pending the determination of the

motion. The applicants also sought the relief on the grounds that they were marginalised during the ward congresses in Mubi North Local Government. No counsel appeared for the defendants. But when Shehu Tahir, a member of the PDP nineman caretaker committee and a respondent in the matter, announced appearance for himself, the judge objected. The judge threatened to walk him out of the court when the politician insisted that he wanted to appear for the defendants. Justice Nathan said the re-

liefs sought by the applicants met the requirements for granting an exparte order. He ruled against the defendants until hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The judge also ordered that the parties be served the order. He said the motion on notice would be heard by the court next Tuesday. The Acting Chief Judge warned the public to desist from discussing the matter and the court on the pages of newspapers or the radio. Justice Nathan threatened that the court would invoke its powers on any offender.

YOBE State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam yesterday swore in Alhaji Shauibu Talba as the new Grand Khadi. Talba emerged the new Grand Khadi following the death of the former Grand Khadi, Ibrahim Ahmed, some months ago in an accident. Gaidam described Talba’s appointment as well deserved. The governor urged him to rededicate himself to his job. He said: “…I urge him to consider his appointment as a call to serve Yobe State at a higher level in the administration of justice. “I would like to remind the new Grand Khadi that his appointment is a sensitive one; it is full of serious challenges. I enjoin him to rededicate himself and be more committed in his discharge of his duties.” Talba began his career as a court clerk in 1985.

Missing person A 37-year-old man, Mr. Sulaimon Saka Olayinka, has been declared missing. Olayinka, a Keke Marwa operator, of 109, Dosumu Street, off Police Post, Lagos Island, was reportedly whisked away by unknown persons about 2:15 am on Saturday, December 22, 2012. Anybody who has useful information about the dark skinned youngman of average height should contact Mrs. Hafsah Kehinde on 08024538818, or 08052249077, or the nearest police station.





Ashaka, Julius Berger raise market makers’ list to 35 •DangCem, FBNH, Diamond halt rally


HE number of market makers on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) increased to 35 yesterday following the inclusion of the stocks of Ashaka Cement and Julius Berger. The Nation learnt that the inclusion of the two stocks became effective yesterday. The addition of the new stocks is in line with the planned phased introduction of stocks to the market from the baskets of market makers on The Exchange. The roll period for all the stocks quoted on the Exchange is six months. This takes place every fortnight since inception on September 18, 2012. The 35 stocks covered by the programme now are: Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc; Presco Plc; International Breweries; Lafarge Wapco; Fidson Healthcare Plc; Redstar Express Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; Sterling Bank Plc; D.N.Meyer; Diamond Bank; FCMB; Fidelity Bank Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc; Guar-

By Tonia Osundolire

anty Trust Bank Plc and UAC Nigeria Plc. (UACN). Others are: Access Bank; Academy Press; Custodian & Allied Insurance; First Bank Plc; Dangote Sugar Plc; Union Bank Plc, NASCON and Nestle Nigeria Plc. Also included are AIICO Insurance Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc; 7Up Bottling Plc; Ecobank Plc; Skye Bank Plc UAC Property and Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc and Unity Bank Plc Meanwhile, the market moved southwards, the first time in five consecutive trading sessions. Yesterday’s retreat according to analysts, impacted on the value of Dangote Cement, First Bank and Diamond Bank. The trio weighed heavily on the market as traders booked profits. Lead indicator, NSEASI shed 21 basis points to close below 28,500 marks. Other stocks that impacted on the downtrend are; ETI, National Salt, Lafarge WAPCO and Transcorp. In summary, the index shed 59.83 absolute points, representing 0.21 per cent decline, to close low at 28,441.39

points. Similarly, the Market Capitalisation, shed N19 billion, also representing 0.21 per cent depletion, to close low at N9.090 trillion. Both indicators in the previous session had improved by 1.50 per cent. The market traded 289.483 million shares worth N2.569 billion across 4,510 deals. The Financial Services sector contributed 21.669 million shares followed by Conglomerates and Consumer Goods with 37.485 million shares and 17.518 million shares respectively. In the building materials sector; Dangote Cement lost 2.4 per cent. Lafarge Wapco also headed south with a 4.3 per cent loss. CCNN however, recorded a 4.8 per cent mark-up while Ashaka Cement was flat. The banking sector remained upbeat; Skye Bank and FCMB were up a further 5.7 per cent and 9.7 per cent. Zenith Bank also recovered with a 2.0 per cent mark-up while GTBank closed at N25.05 a 1.8 per cent gain from Wednesday’s transaction. On the flip side Diamond Bank and FBN Holding went south with losses of 5.5 per cent and 4.2 per cent. The conglomerates sector was bearish with Unilever recording the lone gain in the sector today. PZ Cussons, Transcorp and John holt, suffered losses of 1.5 per cent, 1.9 per cent and 4.9 per cent.






World Bank’s $37.7m fund for Africa


HE Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund has received $37.7 million from the World Bank and some developed countries including Nigeria to support good governance, sustainable growth, and greater employment opportunities for the youths. In a statement, the bank said the grant-based Transition Fund, established by the

Stories by Collins Nweze

Deauville Partnership and housed in the World Bank, was launched during last year’s World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Tokyo, Japan. It will provide grants to Arab countries in transition, currently Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and

Yemen, to support institution building and implementation of critical policies in economic governance; trade, investment, and integration; and inclusive development and job creation. It said: “In a time of momentous and historic change, the scope of the Transition Fund is very flexible and responsive to people’s demands, and can accompany

the implementation of reforms over several years if needed,” said Jonathan Walters, Executive Secretary of the Steering Committee. “The Transition Fund provides grants to help governments implement economic and governance reforms that will transform people’s lives. The Fund can work with any public agency involved in reforms, including local gov-

ernment, parliaments, enterprises, ministries, and judicial systems.” Donors have currently pledged about $165 million towards an overall Transition Fund target of $250 million. In addition to the contributions already received, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have confirmed pledges, the statement added.

Winners emerge in Sterling Bank/MoneyGram draw


EVERAL winners have emerged in the Sterling Bank MoneyGram ‘gear up for school promo’ draw aimed at rewarding customers of the bank for their patronage using the bank’s channels to transfer and receive funds abroad. According to a statement from the bank, the winners were selected during a national raffle draw in Lagos. Among the lucky gift recipients were Olalekan Alominle (Marina branch); Adenike Daniel (Iwo Road branch); Femi Adams (Ogba branch); Wole Oweye (Idimu branch); and Charles Ude (Alaba 1branch). Others are Tele Adedoyin (Oke Ado branch) and Idowu Kolawole (Demurin branch). Gift items won included netbooks and backpacks. While presenting the gifts to the winners, the Group Head, e-Channels, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Abdul-Fattah Amoo, said the draw collaborates the bank’s brand philosophy of the ‘One customer’ and that it is always “ a great pleasure for

the bank” to celebrate its customers and appreciate their patronage at all times. He said that the “National raffle draw was administered in a very transparent manner”. Mr. Amoo urged the customers to patronize the services and product offerings of the bank in order to continuously enjoy the excellent services associated with the lender. “As you continue to receive funds from your loved ones abroad, we would like you to avail yourselves of the numerous competitive products and services, which

Sterling Bank offers. With our Verve Debit card, our customers can withdraw from over 10,000 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide at no cost. They are also able to use the card to make purchases on Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and on the web for local payments”, he added. He explained that the bank’s Visa card enables its customers to make payments in over 29 million merchant outlets worldwide. It also allows the bank’s customers to spend the local currency of

the country visited without the hassles of currency conversion and having to carry cash. In addition, he said, the bank has also put in place machineries to further enhance customer experience through launching an upgraded Internet Banking system, which promises to give customers a lot more flexibility, security and convenience in their daily transactions. In response to Sterling bank’s gesture, one of the winners, Mr Wole Oweye thanked the bank and


OUTH African bonds gained for the first time in six days after a United States’ budget deal that averted spending cuts and tax increases in the world’s biggest economy boosted demand for riskier assets. According to Bloomberg reports, the rand retreated from

a three-month high. Yields on 10.5 per cent bonds due in December 2026 dropped five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 7.24 percent even as the rand slipped 0.2 per cent to 8.47 per dollar after gaining as much as 0.6 per cent in earlier trading to the strongest

level since October 4. Copper and nickel led a rally in metal prices after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Senate’s budget legislation as Republican lawmakers abandoned efforts to add spending cuts to the bill, removing one impediment to a recovery in

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

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

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 4.10 0.62 4.73 1.08 2.35 1.60 42.50 5.35 0.83 2.08

C/PRICE 4.50 0.66 5.00 1.14 2.48 1.68 44.62 5.61 0.87 2.18

CHANGE 0.40 0.04 0.27 0.06 0.13 0.08 2.12 0.26 0.04 0.10


DIAMONDBNK 5.50 JOHNHOLT 3.23 CUTIX 1.53 WAPCO 57.50 FBNH 17.10 DANGCEM 128.10 NASCON 8.38 TRANSCORP 1.05 BAGCO 2.40 PZ 28.00

C/PRICE 5.10 3.07 1.46 55.00 16.38 125.00 8.20 1.03 2.36 27.56

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%

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

7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


Bid Price

9.17 1.00 132.65 125.53 0.80 1.13 0.92 100.00 1,000.00 1,763.58 11.31 1.39 1.87 9,270.16

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





CHANGE 0.30 0.16 0.07 2.50 0.72 3.10 0.18 0.02 0.04 0.44

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

the United States economy. “For now, the mood is more upbeat and this is reflected in risk assets generally. The rand is not benefitting from the risk-on trade given the extent of its gains in the prior month,” Quinten Bertenshaw, a Johannesburg- based analyst at ETM Analytics, said.


COBANK Transnational Incorporated has announced the opening of its Equatorial Guinea affiliate. In a statement, the bank said Ecobank Equatorial Guinea was issued a license to operate as a credit institution in the country and has become the 33rd affiliate of the Group in Africa. Group Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Tanoh said: “We are pleased that the authorities of Equatorial Guinea have issued Ecobank with a license to operate as the 5th bank in the country and to support the development of the economy with access to financing. The addition of Ecobank Equatorial Guinea completes our presence in all the member states of the Monetary and Economic Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and highlights our leadership in the African banking sector and demonstrates our long term commitment to the African continent.” Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Group, Evelyne Tall, added, “We are particularly enthusiastic about Ecobank’s access to the EquatoGuinea market and the opportunity to offer to our existing and potential clients our innovative and reliable products and services. Additionally our presence in Equatorial Guinea would give them access to Ecobank’s footprint across Africa.”



OBB Rate Call Rate

pledged his loyalty. Oweye said he enjoyed the exceptional services of the bank.

South African bonds advance, rand retreats



•Sterling Bank CEO Yemi Adeola

Ecobank opens Equatorial Guinea unit

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



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




FOREIGN NEWS Pakistani militant leader killed

Clinton discharged

SENIOR Pakistani militant leader Mullah Nazir has been killed by a United States drone strike, security officials say. He died with at least five fighters when two missiles struck his vehicle in the north-west tribal district of South Waziristan. He was leader of one of four major militant factions in Pakistan and was accused of sending fighters to Afghanistan in support of the Taliban. Mullah Nazir is one of the most high-profile insurgents killed by drones. He had survived several attempts to kill him, including a suicide bomb attack blamed on rival militants in November. He and his fighters were reportedly hit by the missiles on Wednesday while preparing to change vehicles. His pick-up truck had apparently developed a fault in Angoor Adda, near South Waziristan’s main town of Wana. Reports say Mullah Nazir’s deputy, Ratta Khan, was also killed in the attack.

NITED States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been discharged from hospital after treatment on a blood clot between her skull and brain. Her medical team said she was making good progress, and were confident she would make a full recovery, said the state department. It added in a statement that she was “eager to get back to the office”. Mrs Clinton was earlier seen leaving New York-Presbyterian Hospital with her husband and daughter. The state department said at the time she had not been discharged, but was merely travelling to another hospital building on the campus for further tests. Mrs Clinton, 65, is due to stand down before President Barack Obama formally begins his second term in January. Appointed secretary of state at the start of Obama’s first term, in January 2009, her health has been under intense scrutiny because she is considered a strong candidate for the Democratic nomination for president should she decide to run in 2016. The former first lady was taken to hospital on Sunday when the clot was discovered. She had suffered a concussion earlier in the month after falling in her home. She had fainted after becoming dehydrated while battling a stomach ailment, aides have said. Mrs Clinton is being treated with blood thinners to dissolve the clot. During her stay in hospital she worked from her bed, speaking with staff and reviewing paperwork, US state department officials said. Renowned for her gruelling travel schedule, Mrs Clinton’s most recent foreign trip in December was to Dublin.

‘Give back Falkland Islands’ ARGENTINIAN President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is once again calling on the UK to hand back the Falkland Islands — known in Argentina as Las Malvinas — accusing Britain of blatant colonialism. In an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, which was published in the British press, she says that Britain stripped the islands away from Argentina 180 years ago on Thursday’s date: January 3. The two countries went to war over the territory in 1982, when the thenArgentinian military government landed troops on the islands. Argentina put its death toll from the conflict at around 645. Britain’s civil and military losses amounted to 255.

Chavez’s allies ‘confused’ PRESIDENT Hugo Chavez is due to be sworn in for a new term in less than a week and his closest allies still aren’t saying what they plan to do if the ailing leader is unable to return from a Cuban hospital to take the oath of office. Chavez hasn’t been seen or heard from since his December 11 cancer surgery, and speculation has grown that his illness could be reaching its final stages. The president’s elder brother Adan joined a parade of visitors to Havana this week, while the vice president apparently delayed plans to return home after at least two bedside visits with Chavez. The government has provided few details but describes Chavez’s condition, after complications due to a respiratory infection, as “delicate.”


•Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (middle), stands with the Democratic women of the House to highlight the historic diversity of PHOTO: AFP the House Democratic Caucus...yesterday.

New US Congress takes oath of office


HE United States’ Congress has begun its new term, with House Speaker John Boehner reelected and the prospect of more budget battles with the White House. The 113th Congress begins two days after the 112th passed an 11th-hour law to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff”. Twelve new senators and 82 new congressmen were sworn-in at noon. Democrats made slight gains in the November elections, increasing their majority in the Senate, while the Republicans still control the House. In the first major legislative battles of the new session, lawmakers in the coming weeks will seek to head off a raft of automatic spending cuts

•Boehner re-elected as Speaker

The 113th Congress •82 newly-elected House members, 12 senators •Record number of women Senators, Hispanic lawmakers •Democrat’s caucus gains eight seats in House, two in the Senate •12 new members have served in the US military •First openly-gay senator and first openly bisexual representative, as well as first Buddhist and Hindu members and debate legislation to raise the US government’s borrowing ability - known as the debt ceiling. Shortly after the House was gavelled into session, Ohio Republican John Boehner was re-elected as speaker by a rollcall vote. Boehner overcame dissatisfaction among fellow Republicans over his handling of this week’s fiscal cliff vote, as

well as a decision to delay a vote on an aid package for victims of December’s “superstorm” Sandy. The vote saw several Republicans vote against him or abstain, but not enough to derail his re-election bid. No Republican stood against him, but Democrats voted for their party leader, Nancy Pelosi. Boehner calmed cries from

East Coast politicians after promising to vote on the full $60bn (£37bn) package in two parts by 15 January. A vote on $9bn in immediate aid will be among the lower chamber’s first substantive business on Friday, Boehner has said. The last Congress, criticised as the least productive in 60 years, finished business late on Tuesday. In the final hours of the session it approved a measure to avoid the fiscal cliff - a series of tax rises and automatic spending cuts that were due to begin on 1 January. The deal prevented tax rises on the first $400,000 of income but suspended the spending cuts for two months. That postponement leaves it to the new Congress to negotiate a replacement package.

Three killed in Swiss village A

GUNMAN has opened fire in a village in Switzerland, killing three people and wounding two others, police say. The attack happened on Wednesday at around 21:00 (20:00 GMT) in the village of Daillon in Valais canton, 100km (60 miles) east of Geneva. Police shot and wounded the suspect after he threatened to turn a gun on them. He has been arrested. Investigations revealed the man was a known drug addict and former mental health patient, authorities say. The unnamed suspect in the Daillon attack is a 33-year-old unemployed ward of court, police said at a news conference yesterday. He fired at least 20 shots at his victims. Three women died instantly, while two men were also injured in the attack. The weapons used in the shooting include a hunting gun and a historical army rifle known as a carbine, which

dates back to the first half of the 20th Century, general prosecutor Catherine Sappey said. Police had previously confiscated weapons from the suspect in 2005 when he was placed in a psychiatric ward. Back then, “he was not known for having issued threats,” Ms Sappey added. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes, in the Swiss capital of Bern, says the case is certain to call into question Switzerland’s

relatively liberal gun laws, under which Swiss men, all of whom must serve in the army, keep their guns at home. The motives for the attack remain unclear at this stage but the assailant is thought to have been related to some of his victims, who include a couple, the general prosecutor said. The woman died from her injuries while the man is still in hospital.

“It wasn’t easy to intervene. The gunman turned his weapon on the officers, who had to shoot him in order not to be injured themselves,” said police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet. Eyewitness Nathalie Frizzi told local daily Le Nouvelliste: “At first I didn’t realise what was going on. I thought children were shooting at cats and I called out for them to stop. I am still shocked that I could have been hit by a bullet.”

Cyclone on Reunion Island


N Indian Ocean cyclone is lashing the French island of Reunion, where residents have been told to stay indoors amid torrential rain. The storm has led to power cuts in more than 60,000 homes, French TV reports. Cyclone Dumile is sweeping southwards between Reunion and Madagascar. Winds are reaching 180 km/ h (112mph). Reunion’s air traffic and shipping are at a standstill. So far there are no reports of serious injuries, but some roads have been flooded. The storm is expected to intensify on Reunion later yesterday, though the eye of it is forecast to remain offshore.

CAR president refuses to leave power


ENTRAL African Republic President Francois Bozize will refuse to leave power during talks with rebels, his spokesman said on Thursday, rejecting the insurgents’ main demand and raising the prospect of a return to fighting. The Seleka rebel alliance, which has accused Bozize of reneging on a past peace deal, advanced to within striking distance of the mineral-rich nation’s capital this week before bowing to international pressure to start negotiations. A week before those talks were due to start, a spokesman for Bozize’s ruling KNK party said the president’s departure would not be on the agenda. “The question of President Bozize leaving ... will be rejected systematically if it is proposed,” Cyriac Gonda told Reuters.

“For us, the solution is to form a unity government with everyone,” he added, reiterating a previous offer by Bozize to give government posts to the rebels. The spokesman for the CPSK, one of the rebel groups that form Seleka, said on Thursday a peace deal would not be possible without Bozize’s unconditional exit. The advance by Seleka, an alliance of five armed groups, was the latest in a series of revolts in a country at the heart of one of Africa’s most turbulent regions. CAR remains plagued by poverty and underdevelopment despite its reserves of diamonds, gold and other minerals. French nuclear energy group Areva mines the country’s Bakouma uranium deposit - France’s biggest commercial interest in its former colony.



FOREIGN NEWS Fightings near Syrian airports


IERCE battles are taking place at some northern Syrian airports, as rebels try to neutralise the government’s overwhelming air advantage. Rebels broke into the Taftanaz base in north-western Idlib province but were pushed back by the army, rebel sources and state media said. Reports said Aleppo airport was also under siege, and has been closed since Tuesday because of repeated attacks. The attacks come a day after a UN study said 60,000 people had died in Syria. A study commissioned by UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay concluded that there had been 59,648 deaths between February 2011 and November 2012, and that figure would now have risen above 60,000. She described the bloodshed as “truly shocking”. Syrian opposition groups had previously estimated 45,000 people killed. The attack on Taftanaz began on Wednesday, with rebels breaking into the base and detonating a car bomb inside the grounds. Unconfirmed reports said they had destroyed a fighter jet and a helicopter. Further attacks followed on Thursday morning, but reports say the rebels have now been forced to withdraw. Several attempts to take the facility in recent months have failed.

Delhi gang rape suspects charged


NDIAN authorities have charged five men with the kidnap, gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi last month. The 23-year-old died of her injuries two weeks after the 16 December attack. The five men will be tried in a fast-track court, where they could be handed the death penalty. A sixth suspect will be tried in a juvenile court. The incident sparked outrage across India - the victim’s father said he backed calls for the men to be executed if found guilty. “The whole country is demanding that these monsters be hanged. I am with them,” he told reporters at his home in Uttar Pradesh state. Neither the woman nor her family can be identified under Indian law. The charges were put before a magistrate but will be transferred to a specially launched fast-track court. The trial is expected to start at the weekend. Although it is mandatory in India for the accused to appear in person to be charged, policemen outside the court said they would not be present on Thursday for security reasons. Case documents already run to more than 1,000 pages and include key testimony from the woman before she died. Police say they have sched-

‘Rapist politician’ beaten


NDIAN police have detained a politician accused of rape after he was set upon and beaten by crowds in a village in Assam state. National television broadcast footage of Bikram Singh Brahma, from the Congress Party, being stripped of his shirt and slapped by the women. Police acted after the victim’s husband reported the alleged rape. Pressure has grown for tougher action on rape since a woman was attacked in Delhi on 16 December and later died. Five men have been charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old, whose name has not been released. The government has set up a committee under a retired supreme court judge to recommend changes to the law on rape. The incident in Assam, in north-eastern India, took place in a village in Chirang district, on the border with Bhutan. According to Chirang police, quoted by the Indian Express newspaper, a man reported that his wife had been raped during the night by Brahma. The politician allegedly entered the woman’s house and raped her at about 02:00 (20:30 GMT Wednesday), according to a police official. The villagers ran to the house and captured the man after hearing the woman scream, the official told AP news agency. Indian TV broadcast footage of Mr Brahma surrounded by men and women in a street by daylight. Some men kick and beat him with what appears to be a stick, before others restrain them. Then women move in, tearing off his shirt and slapping him in the face and on his arms. A man is later seen spraying graffiti on a car. Police arrived in the village at noon but the people holding Brahma initially refused to hand him over, according to the Times of India newspaper. They demanded officers record him confessing to the rape before he was taken away. Police told the paper they had taken him into custody but had not arrested him, pending the registration of the case. uled about 30 witnesses. The Bar Association said none of its members was will-

ing to defend the suspects, so the court is expected to appoint defence lawyers itself.

India’s chief justice has warned that, despite the strength of public feeling, “a swift trial should not be at the cost of a fair trial”. “Let us not lose sight of the fact that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Altamas Kabir told reporters on Wednesday. Protests have been taking place every day since the attack, with protesters expressing anger over attitudes to women in India and calling for changes to the laws on violence against women. They say women across India are frequently subjected to harassment and sexual assault, that reports of crimes against women are not taken seriously and that conviction rates are too low. The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says this is far from the first such crime to make the news, but that is has touched a raw nerve with the public and could become a watershed case. On Wednesday, Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit joined thousands of women on a protest march through Delhi to Rajghat and called for stringent anti-rape laws. India’s Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor has suggested a new anti-rape law should be named after the victim. The woman’s family have said they would have no objection to such a move.

Zamfara registers 1,998 widows for marriage


HE Zamfara Government has registered 1,998 widows preparatory to marrying them off, the Commissioner for Ministry for Women and Children Affairs, Hajia Balkisu Bungudu, has said. Bungudu broke the news in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau yesterday. The commissioner said the marriage would be sponsored by the state government. She expressed concern over the increase in the number of widows in the state. Bungudu said 120 of the widows had found suitors but their marriages had been delayed by lack of resources. “That’s why the government is coming in to assist them,” she said. Bungudu appealed to lawmakers in the state to make laws that would prevent divorces.


GUNMEN have kidnapped the acting head of the criminal investigation department in Libya’s second city, Benghazi, officials have said. Abdelsalam al-Mahdawi was abducted at traffic lights on his way to work. It is not known who was behind the attack. Interior Minister Ashour Shwayel promised to find the officer and the perpetrators, news agency AFP reported. Libyan authorities have been struggling to provide security since the Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Last November, Benghazi’s police chief was assassinated in a drive-by shooting. More than a dozen other security officers were killed last year in Benghazi, the city where the uprising began. AFP news agency quoted a security official as saying that the investigator “had many enemies”.

Sudanese heads to meet ETHIOPIA’S Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan, two countries which were at the brink of all-out war last year, are to meet Friday in Ethiopia’s capital. Spokesman Dina Mufti said Thursday that Ethiopia is optimistic the meeting will advance stalled peace deals. Sudan President Omar alBashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed deals in September to restart the south’s oil industry. South Sudan’s oil flows through Sudan’s pipelines, bringing in revenue for both countries. The south shut down its oil industry last year after accusing Sudan of stealing its oil. Disagreements on the implementation of the September deal persist.

Obama signs bill on fiscal cliff

•A sign welcoming children from Sandy Hook Elementry school sits on the road in Monroe, Connecticut...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Sandy Hook children return to school HILDREN from the primary school where a gunman killed 26 people last month have begun a new term at what police say is the US’s “safest school”. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown has been closed since Adam Lanza killed 20 pupils and six staff on 14 December. Chalk Hill, a disused middle school in nearby Monroe, has been renovated by an 80strong team and renamed Sandy Hook. The use of furniture from

Policeman kidnapped

Sandy Hook had turned it into “a very cheerful elementary school”, officials said. “I am utterly inspired by the courage and the determination of the Sandy Hook teachers,” Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the Hartford Courant newspaper. “They are overcoming unimaginable challenges... in arriving back at school, and their commitment and grace is clearly on display.” Extra security measures were being taken at the new school, about seven miles

(11.3km) from the old one. They included stopping every vehicle that entered the school grounds, said Monroe Police Department’s Lt Keith White. “I think right now it has to be the safest school in America,” he said. Acting principal Donna Page, who has replaced the murdered school head Dawn Hochsprung, wrote to parents of pupils that the school was “safe, secure and fully operational”. Parents would be allowed to stay in the school during

class-time to reassure their children, she added. “That being said, we encourage students to take the bus to school in order to help them return to familiar routines as soon as possible,” she wrote. Lanza, 20, carried out the attack after killing his mother, the legal owner of the weapons, which included a semi-automatic rifle. He later shot himself, and was reportedly buried over the weekend after his father, a tax executive, retrieved his body from the authorities. The shooting revived fierce

debate over America’s controversial gun control laws, with some pro-gun politicians saying it had prompted them to change their views on the issue.

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to avert the fiscal cliff, a day after the House and Senate approved the much-debated legislation. Obama, who returned to his family vacation in Hawaii after Tuesday’s House vote, signed the bill via autopen on Wednesday. But new battles over taxes and spending await Washington in the next few weeks. Congress averted that selfbuilt precipice late Tuesday when the House voted to stave off widespread tax increases and deep spending cuts by accepting a brokered Senate compromise. It makes permanent the Bush administration’s tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year and couples earning less than $450,000.


1986: Thin Lizzy star dies Phil Lynott, the former frontman of rock group Thin Lizzy, dies 11 days after collapsing from a drink and drug binge.



NEWS ‘Stop attacking Uduaghan’ DELTA leaders yesterday disagreed with an Itsekiri woman leader, Chief Rita Lori Ogbebor, on the character of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. They said the governor has continued to carry himself with grace and dignity without compromising his integrity. The leaders, in a statement by the Director of Communications of the People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, decried the incessant attack on the governor by Mrs Ogbebor. They vowed not to tolerate any action or intent that would bring confusion and create tension among the people. The leaders described the attacks on the governor as a feature of desperate politicians and some greedy elders. They advised Mrs. Ogbebor and others not to fuel crises in the state through wide and baseless allegations. The leaders challenged the woman leader to conduct herself as a responsible mother and elder.

Defiled victim fighting for life


TWENTY four-yearold woman is fighting for her life after she was defiled by a gang of four youths The Delta State Police Command said it has arrested three youths in connection with the crime. Police spokesman Famous Ajieh, who confirmed the arrests, identified the suspects as Tejiri Akpofure, Ogbor Seth and Great Obrakpo He said the suspects were picked up separately in their homes on Cemetery Road in Warri, Delta State. He said one of the sus-

•Three suspects arrested From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

pects, Stephen Ebeme, is on the run. Ajieh said the suspects confessed to the crime, adding that a BlackBerry phone used by them in recording the incident was recovered. The victim, who is receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital, got in a taxi cab with four male passengers from Odion Road to her residence in Aguowe Street, Off Mac Demot Road.

It was gathered that the driver suddenly took a different direction from the victim’s destination. Sources said when the victim challenged the driver, the other passengers drew a dagger and threatened to kill her if she raised the alarm. It was learnt they drove to a storey building on Cemetery Road where the victim was raped until she became unconscious. However, luck ran out on them when the Quick Re-

sponse Squad of the Delta State Police Command in Warri, arrested them. Ajieh said the command also had in its custody three suspected murderers/kidnappers. The suspects are Ola Ikwueke, Ikechukwu Uwaguna and David Evjouke. He said the gang members were arrested for allegedly killing Emmanuel Chukwunolu, who resisted attempts to kidnap him on December 23, at Ebeneku in Ndokwa West Local Government.

Crude oil impounded From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

A SECURITY outfit in Ondo State riverine area, Gallery Security Services Limited (GSSL), yesterday impounded five barges loaded with crude oil. The security firm,owned by an ex-militant, Bebopiri Ajube, also recovered seven speedboats and 14 engines. The GSSL spokesperson, who is also the Operations Manager, Ebi Molos, said the stolen crude oil was 1.65million litres. He said each of the barges could fill up at least 10 tankers. Molos said: “Our company is registered with the Federal Government for the security of the riverside areas and to assist agencies, such as the Army, Navy and police. “We seized the barges, speedboats and engines from the hoodlums who were bringing them from Delta and Edo states. “The hoodlums saw our men from afar and ran away, leaving the items behind.”

•A doctor examining a baby during the annual health screening at Achina community in Aguata Local Government of Anambra State

Police arrest 18 over Fulani, Gwari clash


IGHTEEN suspects have been arrested in connection with the clash between Fulani and Gwari communities in Gwako Village, Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the police have said. The FCT Commissioner of Police, Aderenle Shinaba, announced the arrests in Abuja yesterday. Shinaba is also the Chairman of the committee constituted by the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, to investi-

gate the cause of the clash in which two persons died and seven were injured. Also, 27 Fulani settlements were razed in the clash, leading to the victims taking refuge at the University of Abuja. “Investigations have commenced into the clash and this is part of the resolutions the committee will come up with, how they were able to procure their bows and arrows, cutlasses, guns and other weapons. “The real situation, as I

speak, is that peace has been restored in Gwako community. The area is very calm. Normalcy has been restored. “What we are trying to do is to investigate the causes of the clash and that is why the FCT minister inaugurated an 11-man committee,” he said. Shinaba said the committee, which has one week to submit its report, was gathering information by listening to Gwari and Fulani representatives. According to him, the information gathering is to en-

able the committee to invesigate the matter and recommend measures to forestall a recurrence. “Part of our mandate is to see how they will be resettled. If you look at where they were, that is the place the Fulani can actually live because there is enough land for grazing. “We were at the affected communities yesterday. We met the people, saw the damage done and we are thinking of how to resettle them,” Shinaba said.

79 fire outbreaks in Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

THE Edo State Fire Service yesterday said it received 79 calls last year. It said about 30 fire outbreaks have been reported since the harmattan season began in December. The Service’s spokesman, Franklyn Agbonlahor, said residential and commercial buildings were gutted by fire in 2012. Franklyn said the Service could not meet the yearnings of the people in terms of saving property because of inadequate equipment” and “epileptic condition”. He said his men have been attacked by victims. “We lack adequate equipment as regards fire fighting. We have only one fire service station and one functional vehicle on Ring Road in Benin City.”

•Activities return at the Mile 3 market after the New Year holiday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital…yesterday


Pensioners protest in Benin From Osagie Otabor, Benin


UNDREDS of pensioners of the Nigeria Postal Service in Edo State yesterday closed down the premises of the Edo Area Territory office on Airport Road in Benin City. The protesting pensioners prevented customers from entering the premises. They alleged that the money meant for their pensions was being witheld. Placards carried by the pensioners bore inscriptions such as “Post-Master General pay us our six years entitlement”; “We have lost over 100 souls nationwide”; “We have lost many souls due to untold hardship”. They also called for the immediate sack of the PostMaster General Alhaji MoriBaba State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners Clement Ojo urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to resolve the matter immediately. “We don’t know what the Accountant-General and the Post-Master General have done with our money. “The management of NIPOST has refused to pay us all our benefits, gratuities and pension since 2005. “December 20 has expired, they did not even care to pay. Now our children can no longer go to school, no money to pay fees. “Many pensioners have been driven out from their houses, many of them are dead, no money to buy drugs while some are on admission in hospitals.”

Akpabio advises journalists From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo


KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yestersday restated the need for journalists to always promote the country’s development in their reports. Akpabio spoke at the commissioning of the new digital transmitter for the television and radio services of the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation in Ntak Inyang, Itu Local Government Area. He said journalists must always report what should sustain the unity and development of the country rather than engage in breaking the society with breaking news. He said: “It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere message carriers who don’t understand the agenda and the meat of the message. “I have told you before during the Editors Guild meeting that breaking news is not bad, but if breaking news would break the society, report instead what would not break the society. “It is better to preserve the society than to break the society with news.” While commissioning the new transmitter, Akpabio urged journalists, especially the media workers in the state, to use the transmitter to support President Goodluck Jonathan's transformation agenda.




Rijkaard: There’s no magic bullet to stop Barça ESPITE his considerable achievements as player and coach, Frank Rijkaard is far from complacent about the challenge he faces in the Saudi Arabia hot-seat. With Barcelona’s iconic cantera as his model, the Dutchman is aiming to lay the foundations of future success by focusing on the Gulf Kingdom’s finest young talent. As 2012 draws to a close, met with the former Netherlands and Barça boss to discuss his plans for the Saudis, his memories of Catalonia and who he thinks will win this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or.

D Frank, it’s been almost a year since you took over as Saudi Arabia coach. How has it been so far? Frank Rijkaard: It hasn’t been easy, but we knew that from the outset. I think that our last two matches have seen us break free of a vicious circle of bad results, with a late win over Congo and a great performance in holding Argentina to a draw. This means we can start looking forward. In a previous interview with you said there was plan in place for the future of Saudi football, and that it was based on youth. How is it working out? Like we wanted it to. Lots of people are putting in a lot of hard work. We’ve got Spanish coaches who are working on a daily basis and a lot of great stuff is being done with younger players, starting at around age 12. It’s all excellent, but of course one shouldn’t expect to see the benefits tomorrow. These players are only ten or 12 years old and it will be another decade before the results come through. That said, this has to be done. Look at Japan for instance. Ten years ago they started working on a similar plan and now they are enjoying success from that. Success is built on organisation, determination and experience, not to mention following the regulations, so of course it’s no easy matter. Saudi Arabia exited in the third round of Asian Zone qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Has the squad’s disappointment at missing out on a second successive edition of the tournament subsided at all? To be perfectly honest, I’ve no idea. We’ve recently started placing more and more responsibility on the shoulders of younger and less experienced players, like the team that faced Australia in the last match of our qualifying campaign. We are trying to create a blend of youth and experience, as I said before, and given the recent results against Congo and Argentina (3-2 and 0-0 respectively) it looks like we can create something new here. Messi is not simply a uniquely talented footballer. He’s also strong mentally, very bright and exceptionally dedicated to his job. Quite simply, he’s the best. Let’s talk about UEFA EURO 2012. Did the Netherland’s early exit surprise you and what is your take on their lack of form? No-one expected it before the tournament, but during the competition it became clear that all was not well with Dutch team. This is football, and if you’re not in the right place at the right time and you don’t perform well then things like this are going to happen. That’s the beauty of the game. Unfortunately it happened to the Netherlands this time, but it can happen to anyone. You spent five years as coach of Barcelona. What are you memories of your time at the club? Of course, five years is a long time. We went through some tough times and

some excellent ones, and it’s only natural to dwell on the positives. I’m happy because I had the chance to work with a major club like Barcelona with so many star players, so I have wonderful memories of the place. You managed to end a lengthy trophy drought at Barça, with your tenure featuring victories in the UEFA Champions League, La Liga (twice) and two

Spanish Super Cups. Would you say you laid the foundations for Barcelona’s recent domination? Definitely not. I was just passing through. I had a lot of success, of course, but whatever was achieved was due to a group effort on the part of all the players. That said, I must have had a good relationship with the players because otherwise I wouldn’t have won two league titles and the

Champions League. Basically, I think it comes down to the fact that Barcelona has for many years immersed its younger players coming through the cantera in the club’s footballing philosophy, helping them create their own football culture. The coach’s role is to acclimatise to this way of playing. It was easy for me because I’m Dutch and I played at Ajax, so once I felt comfortable at the club

I had a wonderful time. It’s my belief that Barcelona are successful because they have a number of youth teams alongside the first team. They are where it begins. This is what should happen in Saudi Arabia for example, in terms of creating their own style of football and philosophy. This needs to start in the youth ranks and then we might expect some success in the future. Barcelona didn’t start getting results after just one year. When I arrived there they hadn’t won anything for five years. One needs patience and self-belief. Barcelona are famous for their eyecatching style of play. If you were coaching a side against them, what tactics would you use? There’s no magic bullet, but you have to adapt to their style. Most of the clubs who have had success against Barcelona have relied on a highly organised and disciplined defence. Inter Milan and Chelsea have both sent Barcelona out of the Champions League and then you have Real Madrid (who won La Liga in 2011/12). You could call it the ‘Jose Mourinho recipe for success’, which he began while he was at Chelsea. If you play Barcelona that way ten times, you might beat them once, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee success. After Barcelona you went on to coach Galatasaray in Turkey. What do think of their UEFA Champions League achievements this year? I’m delighted for them, they’re a huge club with superb fans. When I was there things were different, unfortunately. I couldn’t really achieve anything and I wasn’t able to sign major players, even though we were in dire need of a better side. We started out well enough but fell off by the end because we did not have a strong enough squad. Now Galatasaray have an excellent and united management set-up and have been able to build a strong side, I’m happy for them. It’s really great for them. You are one of a number of big names tasting coaching in Asia, with Marcello Lippi in China PR and Diego Maradona’s time in UAE, which ended in July 2012, two such examples. Are these personalities helping Asia close the talent gap on the rest of the world? They are not really helping because these are such short-term projects. You have coaches from major footballing nations who come to work for a year for massive wages, and then they turn it all over to new coaches who have to start from scratch. This doesn’t help football on the continent. What’s needed is a new philosophy, working with the younger age groups to lay the foundations for producing top-quality professional players. Local coaches must receive education and training and qualified people from South America and Europe be brought in who know how to do this. Short-termism is no good: plans must be carried through to the end. Next Monday the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or will be announced. Who do you think will take it? I’m going for Lionel Messi, because I think he’s the best player on the three-man final shortlist and he’s performed brilliantly this year. You have worked alongside Messi. What do you think of him as a man both on and off the pitch? He’s an incredible person. Messi is not simply a uniquely talented footballer. He’s also strong mentally, very bright and exceptionally dedicated to his job. Personally speaking I enjoy watching him play and I’m deeply proud of him and what he has achieved. Quite simply, he’s the best.




Murray better prepared for


RITAIN’S Andy Murray says he feels better prepared for big tournaments following his US Open victory. Murray, who also won Olympic gold in 2012, ended Britain’s wait for a Grand Slam champion when he beat Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows. “The last few years I got close but never managed to get over the final hurdle,” said the world number three. “Now that I’ve managed to do it, I hope that when I’m in those situations again I’ll deal with them better.” “I probably just feel a little bit more relaxed in the last few weeks than I normally do a few weeks before a slam” The Scot begins 2013 as the number one seed at the Brisbane International and will face local qualifier John Millman, the world number 199, on Thursday after receiving a first-round bye. That tournament will act as preparation for the Australian Open - where Murray reached the semi-finals in 2012 - which begins on January 14. “I probably just feel a little bit more relaxed than I normally do a few weeks before a slam,” said Murray, who finished third in the


• Murray

BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award. “I prepared very well in Miami and trained hard to get myself ready for the new season, and I hope can be successful here [in Brisbane].” Following the 25-year-old’s success in 2012, when he also reached the Wimbledon final for the first time, he was made an OBE in the New Year Honours list. Tour de France winner

Bradley Wiggins and fourtime sailing gold medallist Ben Ainslie received knighthoods, but Murray said he would need to achieve more before he could join them. “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 years, so I think I’ll definitely need to win a few more matches and have more

tournaments to have a chance of getting that.” Murray, who joined forces with eight-time major winner Ivan Lendl 12 months ago, said his new coach had helped him deal with the pressures of being a Grand Slam champion. “Obviously the few weeks afterwards were very busy, and then once you start travelling and playing tournaments again and get

Paul di Resta: Aiming for the podium in 2013


ORCE India’s Paul di Resta has set himself one goal in 2013 - achieve a podium finish in Formula 1. The Scot’s best result so far was fourth in Singapore and he is aiming to go one better this season. “I certainly want a podium and then I want to be on it again,” he told The Scotsman. “That’s the target. “But I don’t want to luck-in to a podium. For me it has to be a well-earned top-three finish, one which we can build on. We need to do it on merit, and I certainly believe it’s achievable. “But to do it, we need a car capable of delivering fast, sustainable pace right through not only a race weekend, but also the whole season. “That [Singapore] was definitely the highlight of my season. Everyone in the team delivered their maximum that weekend. “But it’s that level of commitment, drive and performance with which we have to start the 2013 season, and we have to use that as the springboard from which to improve during the season. “If we can do that, then we can push for podiums and, hopefully, move from seventh in the constructors’ championship to fifth. That’s the team goal, and it’s one I believe we can achieve together.” But, despite the positives, Di Resta admits he was disappointed to be

overlooked by the top teams as the assessed their 2013 lineups. The 26-year-old was linked with McLaren and Ferrari, but missed out to Sergio Perez at the Wokingbased team, whilst the Scuderia opted to retain Felipe Massa. “Of course it was flattering to be linked to those seats,” he added. “But I won’t deny I was disappointed when both teams opted to go down another route.

• Paul di Resta

“Obviously the seats were within touching distance, but for whatever reason the decisions went against me. But you have to stay positive: our paths may cross later in life. “There’s no hard feelings, and hopefully I’ll be able to do something on-track next year which will catch their attention again, and give me another opportunity. “Obviously there are other drives coming up at the end

of next season,” he continued, “and I have always said I want to be in a car capable of regularly racing at the front, winning races, and ultimately world championships. “Being completely honest, that’s the level at which I want to be racing.”

back into the routine of training and practising, life hasn’t really changed that much, to be honest, which has been nice,” he said. “Also having someone like Ivan around me as well, he went through a similar

CRICKET: Philander on fire against NZ


AST bowler Vernon Philander claimed five early wickets as South Africa ripped out New Zealand for 45 inside 20 overs on the opening morning of the first test at Newlands on Wednesday. New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum’s decision to bat first backfired completely as Philander produced

Javelin thrower, coach Ian Burns given four-year anti-doping ban


n experienced javelin competitor who belonged to Gateshead Harriers has been banned for four years. Photograph: Joe Toth/BPI/Corbis A javelin thrower and coach has been banned from all competition for four years for possessing numerous banned substances discovered after a raid by police. Officers from Durham police contacted UK Anti-Doping’s intelligence unit after the raid on the home of Ian Burns, 35, an experienced javelin competitor who belonged to Gateshead Harriers. The National Anti-Doping Panel found Burns guilty of possession of multiple substances including stanozolol, testosterone and human growth hormone, and guilty of using and attempting to use substances including methandienone, stanozolol, testosterone, nandrolone, human growth hormone and tamoxifen. Burns admitted to the Durham police that these were for his own use and was not prosecuted.

sort of thing, so that’s obviously helped as well. “He’s given me some advice on how to deal with certain things that come with winning big events.”

He later denied to UK AntiDoping, who filed the charges against Burns, that the drugs were his and insisted he had told police that as he did not want to “grass” on a friend. The NADP dismissed this version of events as “contrived and incredible”. The UK Anti-Doping chief executive, Andy Parkinson, said: “This case could not have come about without the help of Durham constabulary who provided us with the necessary information to pursue an anti-doping rule violation. “Possession of banned substances is a serious offence, particularly in light of the fact that Mr Burns acts as a coach and personal trainer, reflected by the length of ban the independent panel chose to hand down. “This case underscores the fact that the rules of doping are not confined to testing and that we will continue to work with partners to ensure that clean athletes are protected.”

astonishing figures of five for seven and the touring side were dismissed for their third lowest total in tests. South Africa lost their captain Graeme Smith for one in the second over and the world’s top-ranked team reached three for one in reply at lunch after an extraordinary morning session. New Zealand came into the series in disarray following the controversial sacking of Ross Taylor from the captaincy and Philander struck in the second over when he had Martin Guptill caught behind for one. That triggered an ignominious procession for the New Zealanders with Philander removing McCullum, Dean Brownlie and Kane Williamson in his next three overs as the visitors lost their top order for 27 runs inside 10 overs. Williamson’s 13 was the highest individual score and none of his team mates managed double figures. Paceman Morne Morkel (three for 14) soon got into the act, removing James Franklin caught at first slip for one. Dale Steyn came into the match needing just one wicket to reach the 300 mark in tests and he returned after a barren first spell to reach the milestone by removing Doug Bracewell’s off-stump with a fine out-swinger. Morkel claimed the wickets of Jeetan Patel and Trent Boult before Steyn picked up the final wicket when Daniel Flynn, who survived 28 deliveries, skied a catch back to the fast bowler.




City pockets £1.7m from sell-on clause


• Mancini (r) and Balotelli raged at each other

Balotelli , Mancini in stunning training ground bust-up


ARIO BALOTELLI was involved in a furious shoving match with Roberto Mancini at training on Thursday after the Manchester City manager ordered him off the field for a late lunge at winger Scott Sinclair. City’s combustible Italian striker took a swipe at Sinclair towards the end of training at Carrington Thursday and was immediately told to go in and get changed by Mancini, who is fast running out of patience with the 22-year-old. However, Balotelli steadfastly refused to leave

the field, prompting Mancini to shove him towards the touchline and attempt to physically drag him from the field. Bedlam briefly reigned as Balotelli resisted and the two men were caught on film holding each other by their bibs and training tops in a very public show of strength. Mancini’s coaching staff – including Brian Kidd and Massimo Battara – quickly dived in to defuse the situation and training – which was about to end – was called to a halt. The incident was once again caught on film by the

Sunshine Stars set to rule the continent, says Akinbobola


KIN AKINBOBOLA, the Special Adviser on Sports to Ondo Governor, has said that the Ondo Football Agency is bent on making Sunshine Stars FC of Akure a dominant continental side. Akinbobola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday on telephone that all hands are on deck to achieve the task. He added that the Olusegun Mimiko’s administration would ensure that the dominance, stemmed from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). “We were nowhere in the NPL before now, as a matter of fact we were almost going on relegation at one stage; but our sports-loving governor has

being our bedrock. “Sunshine Stars will rule the continent through our carefully laid out plans this coming season. “Everyone will have to agree with me that the onerous task can only be achieved through hard work, which we are ready to do,’’ he said. Akinbobola told NAN that the club’s fans should be ready for a new look team by the time the league season eventually kicksoff. “Sunshine Stars is rebranding for good and any club that underrates us will do so at their own peril.’’ NAN reports that Sunshine Stars finished the 2011/2012 season in the fifth position, with 52 points from the 30 matches it played. (NAN)

cameraman who is given easy and embarrassing access to City training sessions by the public footpath that borders one side of the site. Balotelli was soon seen driving away from training in his easily identifiable camouflage Bentley but will in all likelihood be fined for what was a clear show of defiance


From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja day despite all odds. We are grateful to the State Governor and Abians for their support but we need to reiterate that hunger has ravaged the players and officials especially during festive period. We use this medium to appeal to the Government of Abia State to motivate the team further in the quest to win a premiership ticket for the state this year. We are dtermined to do it, but needs all the financial assistance to do it. Moral

‘I’m hugely excited. I just can’t wait for the games to start rolling on,’ said Birminghamborn Sturridge on his move to Anfield. ‘I’ve not played for a while – I’ve had a couple of injuries over the last few months - but I’m just happy now to join such a great club, to be part of a revolution and to be part of something new and something special. ‘Hopefully we’ll be able to bring a bit of success for the fans. ‘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.’

towards the manager who has done so much to keep him at the club. The Italian international was due to be recalled to Mancini’s team for this weekend’s FA Cup tie at home to Watford after missing training with a virus over Christmas. This, however, is now in some doubt.

Abdulahi dismisses Baribote’s allegation


IGERIA’S Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi has responded to the allegations leveled against him by the ousted Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Chairman, Victor Rumson Baribote. Baribote who in December last year kicked out as the NPL Chairman, accused the Sports Minister for master-minding his removal. He also claimed that the Minister was responsible for the melee between the club owners and the sacked board. The Sports Minister exclusively revealed to that he was innocent on the removal of the Baribote led-board, adding that the decision was solely made by the 19 club owners’ representatives that attended the 7th annual congress of the NPL last year in Abuja. “I have no right to remove Baribote as the NPL Chairman,

Abia Comet dedicate win to Gov.

HE players and management of Abia Comets FC of Umuahia have dedicated their last weekend 2-1 league match win over Crown of Ogbomosho to the State Governor T.A Orji and the good people of Abia State. Speaking on the victory, the club’s Team Manager Prince Udofia, “the said we are most grateful to Almighty God over the victory .But I must commend the players for their good fighting spirit and zeal to win always. They came from behind to rap up victory at the

ITY have pocketed £1.7million from Daniel Sturridge’s move from Chelsea to Liverpool. The former Blues trainee left Manchester to move to Stamford Bridge in 2009. And although he was out of contract, because he was under 24, City were entitled to some compensation for the work they had done on his development. The tribunal ruled Chelsea had to pay City £3.5m, rising to a possible £6.5m depending on appearances and international caps. The Blues were also entitled to 15 per cent of any sell-on fee, which will be activated now 23-year-old Sturridge has moved to Liverpool for £12m. Sturridge was top scorer for City as they won the FA Youth Cup in 2008, and netted six goals in 32 appearances before his move to London.

support is important, but cannot achieve the desired result if not backed up with finance. These players and officials have families to carter for and when salaries and bonuses are not paid regularly, it becomes a serious problem to the society in general. I strongly believe in the magnanimity of our beloved Governor who take workers salaries as a priority in his government, and believe he would assist us to achieve the desired target at the end of the season” he concluded.

but it was the decision of the club owners who came together and agreed at the congress that he must be removed for the reasons best known to them, and I was not the one who financed them or told them to do so as claimed by Baribote. “I have no club in the NPL and what does his removal got to do with me? I would advise him to go back for truce with the club owners because they were the ones who appointed and removed him,” he explained to The Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) also reacted on the lack of sponsorship for the apex league in Nigeria and efforts he has made to rescue the situation. “Glo said in their report that the Nigerian league is worthless, and I was mad, then I asked why were they fighting to get the sponsorship deal when they knew it’s worthless. “Baribote knew I was protecting and supporting him and his board to get the deal done. “Honestly, it was Total Promotions that won the sponsorship deal, but when the crisis started I had to call Glo for discussion. But unfortunately, it was as a result of Baribote’s selfish interest in the Glo’s N650 Million bid that made me ordered Glo to hold on. “I have no issues with Baribote and I would advise him to support the Interim Management Committee as we must focus on what is fundamental and it is then we would move forward in sports development in Nigeria,” he concluded

Idoko Can’t speak for Clubs —Nembe City Manager


ICE Chairman of Nembe City FC, Mr. Meremu Okara has challenged Mike Idoko to resign his appointment at the Ondo State Football Agency and take up role as Ministerial spokesperson on the crisis rocking the Nigeria Premier League board. Okara, who also is the Nembe City General Manager, spoke in response to Idoko’s reaction to the statement credited to Chief Rumson Baribote which had challenged the Minister of Sport’s claim on the reform of sports. Baribote had urged the Minister to resign following the failure at the London Olympics to pave way for reforms in national

sports. Okara accused Idoko of lacking the locus to speak as a club owner since his appointment with the Ondo State government is that of Director of Football Agency and not Chairman of Sunshine Stars. “Idoko is neither a club owner nor a director of Sunshine Stars, so he cannot speak as a club administrator”, declared Nengi adding “ the real club owners are questioning his position on the so called Interim Management Committee”. He urged the football community to ignore statements by Idoko and said “he is merely defending an illegality he has benefitted from”.




Competition in Eagles healthy, says Keshi L S

Lobi braces up for ‘Super Four’

UPER EAGLES’ Head Coach Stephen Keshi has described the competition in the team's camp as a very healthy one that would ensure that only the best players get picked to represent the country in the forth-coming Africa Cup

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja

of Nations in South Africa. Speaking on the backdrop of the above average performance of the homebased players against

the star-studded Catalonia team, in Spain on Wednesday, the former international said "it is good for us to have headache in picking the best 23 players for the team, than for us not having the players at all. I felt that the players who started the game had a lot of respect for the Catalonians at the initial stage, this is normal in a game of that magnitude. This probably led to the clumsiness in the

defence that led to that penalty and the goal. But, the major reason for the friendly match is instill that confidence in the players, especially the home based players. This we were able to achieve, as the boys really put their acts together, and took the game to the Catalonians, and this paid off. I have to salute the boys, as they put in everything into the game to match their opponent gluts for gluts.

It is good for us, as that would bring the best out of the players. Every player can now see that he would have to fight for his place in the team. That makes it very interesting" he said. On why Gabriel Ruben was not given a chance in the match, the former NNB captain said all is well with the player, and may likely have his chance in their next friendly match against Cape Varde next week.

Greenspring commends Glo Soccer Academy team •As the Academy prepares for third eviction exercise



HE Glo Soccer Academy team has been described as an outstanding collection of talents from Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. The Head of School, Greenspring, Lekki, Mr Henry Macfaul made this remark during the week when the Greenspring team played a friendly match with the Glo Soccer Academy boys aptly tagged ‘Dream Team’. Speaking at the end of the match in which the Greensprings team lost by six goals, Mr. Mcfaul praised the Glo Soccer Academy team for the stellar display of football artistry by the boys. He also

Big Boss has enough experience— Onigbinde F ORMER Super Eagles Head Coach, Adegboye Onigbinde, said on Thursday in Lagos that Stephen Keshi had enough experience to prepare the Super Eagles well ahead of the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa. Onigbinde told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it would be unethical for him to give unsolicited advice to Keshi. The former head coach, who is a renowned CAF and FIFA instructor, also urged the NFF to focus attention on the

development of grassroots football and think less about competitions. "I don’t know what Keshi has in his programme, so it will be unethical and unprofessional for me to begin to tell him what to do. "Apart from that, am not his technical assistant; I am not his technical adviser; and no authority has assigned me with that responsibility; and I don’t want to become an irresponsible elder. "Keshi knows my number; if he needs any advice, he knows

Enyeama leaves for Eagles’ INCENT ENYEAMA, Faro camp who is expected to be


in goal for Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations which starts in the next 16 days, departed Israel for the Eagles’ camp in Faro, Portugal on Thursday. After completing the morning workout, Enyeama was interviewed by the official website of Maccabi Tel Aviv. ''I am going to represent Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations. And I am sure everyone will be happy if we

can win. Indeed, I will be in Africa but I'll be looking out for the results. '' Barak Levy and Tomer Hnz'insky are excellent goalkeepers. I trust them both, wish Maccabi luck and hope they keep the first place in my absence,'' said Enyeama. Chigozie Agbim, Enyeama's understudy, had a descent performance against Catalonia on Wednesday in an exhibition game.

Qatari Club Al-Khor chasing ATARI CLUB AlJohn Utaka Khor SC is


understood to be lining up a move for Montpellier striker John Utaka, according to reports in France. French newspaper Le Parisien says Al-Khor, tutored by László Bölöni, are keen on signing the 30 - year - old Nigeria international in the January transfer window. László Bölöni has coached Utaka before, in the 20052006 season at Rennes. There could be a reunion for master

and pupil if Al- Khor meet the two million euros valuation of the Super Eagle. John Utaka is under contract with Montpellier until June 2013. If the club want to recoup some of the investment on the player, they have no choice but to sell him this winter. He has scored 3 goals in 14 matches this season, and played 2 Champions League games against Schalke and Olympiakos Piraeus.

he is free to call me anytime. But we have always been getting our football administration wrong because the emphasis has always been on competition. "If we have had effective developmental programme, qualifying for any competition or even winning the cup at any competition would have become virtually a matter of course. "An undergraduate who concentrates on sitting an exam without reading, without studying for the exam is deceiving himself and that is what we are doing with our football and sports in general."

advised his boys not to be discouraged as the Glo team is “a collection of talents” across West Africa. Meanwhile, the reality TV show is gathering momentum as the academy prepares for the third eviction exercise this weekend. This will be a prelude to the final eviction next week. All the remaining 19 boys in the academy were put up for eviction in a bid to shake off complacency even though only 3 of the 19 boys will be evicted next week. A statement from Globacom on Thursday advised television viewers across Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic to stay tuned to their television sets this weekend as episode 11 of the Glo reality show highlights the third nomination exercise and other activities at the Academy. The company further stated that fans in Nigeria should tune to NTA Network on Saturdays at 1.30pm-2.30pm,

with a 30-minute highlight on Wednesdays, between 5.30pm and 6.00pm to view activities at the Academy. The show will also be on AIT network on Saturdays from 5.00pm-6.00pm, with the highlight on Sundays from 3.30pm-4pm. Viewers in Ghana will enjoy the programme on GTV on Sundays from 12.30pm to 1.30pm with the highlight on Wednesdays at 4.00pm4.30pm. The programme is also available on TV3 on Saturdays between 10.30am and 11.30am while the highlight comes up on Fridays between 5.30pm and 6.00pm. Similarly, lovers of youth football in Benin Republic have the opportunity to watch the Glo Soccer Academy on ORTB on Sundays from 5pm to 6pm with the highlight on Wednesdays at 11am to 11.30am. The 11th episode is full of suspense, drama, emotions and skillful display of modern football techniques.


•Anthony Agbaji

Adamu wants more awareness for Beach Soccer


AMSON ADAMU, Managing Director, Kinetic Sports, organisers of the recentlyconcluded COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament, said on Thursday that the event could only grow through more viable partnerships. Adamu made the remark

during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He stressed that organising an international tournament of the magnitude of COPA Lagos required huge sums of money, which, according to him were not easy to come by. "Because I can tell you, based on my experience with

Sadiq: Tigresses have work to do HEN the Afrobasket for Women tips off in Mozambique this summer, Nigeria will be battling for their third African title. But the country's recent performances have caused more concern than optimism as the 2003 and 2005 Afrobasket winners dropped six places this year in the FIBA Women's Ranking. 'The Tigresses', as they are known, are ranked 26th, behind Mali (17th), Senegal (20th) and Angola (23rd). Nigeria finished fourth at the 2011 Afrobasket, with a 44 record after a 71-62 defeat to hosts Mali in the Bronze Medal Game. The team's captain and leading scorer in the tournament with 12.5 points per game, Rashidat Odun Sadiq acknowledges there is a lot to do. "Other African countries have improved and capitalised on things we or

OBI STARS' defender, Anthony Agbaji has said the Super Four tournament will be a big test for his side's preparedness for the season. The Super Four tournament will hold in Kano from January 9 to 19 among clubs campaigning in African club competitions namely Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers, Heartland and Lobi Stars. Agbaji said his side will aspire to be the best when hostilities start at the ancient city of Kano. "The Super Four tournament is a test case of our readiness for the season. It will be tough but it will adequately prepare us for the league and continental assignments. "Lobi will be a contender for the title. All the teams are tough, the best will come out winners and I'm confident Lobi will emerge the best at the end," he said to Agbaji expressed delight that the 2012/13 NPL season will eventual start on February 16. "We're disappointed over delay in starting the league but thank God it will kick off eventually. "We expect a fruitful season and Lobi will challenge for trophies," he said.

other teams didn't do right. My belief is everyone is working hard and getting better," she told Sadiq is keeping fit in Oklahoma City and expecting to play overseas for the remainder of this season. She is one of Nigeria's most regular players, having first joined the women's national team the at the 2004 FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament for Women. Despite their potential and a talended squad, Nigeria have not been on a podium since winning the Afrobasket in 2005. "I believe we have athletes that can make a difference and win African champions again," Sadiq said. "We just must have good preparation towards all championships. "Our team has the most talented athletes from Africa because half of the players live in the United States and has played at some of the best

colleges in the US. "Many of the players plays overseas so we have players with college and professional experiences, which give us edge in basketball,” the 31year-old explained. As the Nigerian Basketball Federation prepares to restructure their basketball programmes and announce head coaches to their national teams, next year´s Afrobasket - a qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women has become clearly one of their targets. The winners and runnerups of that tournament will qualify for the biggest women's international event to be held in Turkey. "It's always an honour to represent my country and for as long as God permits me, I will always represent the Tigresses with all my talent and strength to the Glory of God,” Sadiq said.

COPA Lagos that it’s not a one man thing; the more sponsors you have the better and the merrier," Adamu said. When asked about his views on the creation of a Beach soccer league in the country, he told NAN that he was not in a position to spearhead such campaign. Adamu added that the Beach soccer league concept was still in the realm of speculation. "I can only speak for COPA Lagos and Kinetic Sports, but in terms of the proposed league, I have only heard about it just like any other person. "If at all there is a plan for a Beach soccer league, there is need to generate more interest before we talk about creating a league. "There is need for a followership and supporters for any league to thrive. ``And to do that, you need to work on the awareness to build a followership and to build the support base,’’ Adamu said. He went on to say that for such a league to thrive, a massive Public/ Private sponsorship had to be in place for its successful take-off. ``Should we have a Beach soccer league, there is need to have as much sponsorship as possible; publicity is also essential, and when all that is in place, then having a league is feasible.



NEWS Why Kabiru Sokoto, other bomb suspects are yet to face trial Continued from page 2

who were arrested in connection with bombings, are being tried under the anti-terrorism clause in the EFCC Act. “We have weak laws prescribing three, five to 20 years imprisonment for terror acts which claim many lives. These laws are so deficient that most terror suspects took advantage of it in 2009 to get bail in court and evade justice. And the punishment is at the discretion of the trial judge. “The drafters of the laws did not envisage the magnitude of terrorism at our doorsteps.” Responding to a question, the source added: “We have lawyers who collaborate with terror suspects to secure bail for them and take advantage of the weak laws to set them free. “We will not get justice for the victims of terrorism and the nation, if we try these suspects

under the existing laws.” Another source said the security agencies are “unhappy by the slow pace at which the National Assembly is working on the bill”. “Yet, this is a bill which borders on national security and safety. This bill ought to be on priority list.” The Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Ekpenyong Ita, in June 2012 had a confidential session with senators in Uyo, where he said terror suspects had been abusing judicial process to regain freedom. The SSS boss pleaded with the National Assembly to come up with harsh sanctions to check terrorism. Ita said: “As representatives of the people, you should drive the processes of development which will enhance security by enacting appropriate legislation to address specific issues.

“Appropriation of funds, which is one of your key functions, provides ample opportunity to engineer various sectors of the economy to serve the common good. “The National Assembly, to its credit passed the Anti-Terror Bill into Law in 2011 and approved the declaration of state of emergency in Local Governments contending with Boko Haram activities. Be that as it may, as the representatives of the people much more is expected from you. “The National Assembly should review the Anti-Terrorism Law in the light of recent developments. It has been observed that the current legislation is weak in some areas, particularly award of sanctions to culprits. “For instance, the sanction regime is encumbered by the provision which gives a trial

Judge the discretion to award a punishment of 20 years or less even if the terrorist act resulted in the death of victims. “This provision allows highrisk terror suspects to be released on bail on a capricious exercise of judicial discretion. “To reduce the possibility of abuse of judicial process, the new legislation should preclude granting of bail to terror suspects pending the determination of the substantive case. “And the Service advocates a relief similar to provision in the Electoral Act 2011 which restrains a court of law from issuing an interim order to stop the process of election. “Incorporating a similar restriction into the Anti-Terror Bill will reduce the compromise of the judicial process through the granting of bail to high-risk suspects under the guise of exercising judicial discretion.”

Nigerian firms import explosives detectors from US Continued from page 1

sale to Nigerian customers in seven months. The customers were not named. But many companies and churches have invested money in bomb and metal detectors because of Boko Haram attacks. “Our systems have developed a reputation of excellence in Nigeria,” said VP of sales and marketing, Darryl Jones. Jones noted that critical infrastructure protection is a growing market segment for the company. “Our systems’ minimal supply and maintenance requirements are especially attractive to customers in Africa, the Middle

East, and Asia,” added president and CEO Glenn D. Bolduc. The Quantum Sniffer QS-H150 uses Ion Mobility Spectrometry technology for fast, accurate detection of trace amounts of a wide variety of military, commercial, and homemade explosives. Its retail price is $39,000.00 (N6.16 million). Built with no radioactive materials and featuring a low-maintenance, Implant said the selfcalibrating, and self-clearing design, the QS-H150 provides “very high levels” of operational availability. The company added that the QS-H150 has been proven to per-

form well in a wide variety of temperatures and challenging environments, from humid jungles to dry deserts. Implant Sciences also makes the Quantum Sniffer QS-B220, which is a trace detector that utilises ion mobility spectrometry to find a number of military, commercial or homemade explosives and narcotics. Terrorist attacks are on the rise in the world. In 2009 alone, there were over 11,000 attacks worldwide. A very large proportion of these attacks were committed using explosives. Defending against these attacks requires detecting the bombs, and bomb makers. Those carrying out attacks go to

great lengths to conceal their bombs. They hide them inside seemingly innocuous items. They shield them against scanning systems. And once the bomb is placed, there’s no visible evidence to identify the bomber. Fortunately, there are other clues. People who make bombs get microscopic amounts of explosives on their hands, their clothing, and anything they touch: the outside of container they put the bomb in… the handle of their luggage… the steering wheel and shifter of their vehicle. These explosive traces are invisible and difficult to remove, but they are still detectable using the right equipment.

‘Jonathan’s 2015 posters’ sponsors bent on distracting President’ Continued from page 2 their own agenda. This is not

ers if he is not behind them, Abati said it was not the President’s job but that of people whose job is to ensure that things go on well within the Nigerian state. He said: “The President does not need to give any order. People whose job it is to ensure that nothing goes wrong within the Nigerian state will do their job. They will make their own assessment; they will do their own investigations. If they feel that there is any threat whatsoever to public peace, to rule of law and order, they will make sure that that is not allowed. “What I am telling you is that the President has not launched any campaign. What all of these show you is that the contestation for power in Nigeria is quite a complex one and people will go to any length to push

coming from the President. When the President takes a position in terms of his own personal involvement or otherwise with regards to the 2015 elections, you can be sure he will come out to Nigerians and say this is where he stands on this matter the same way he did on previous occasions. But the President is not going to adopt this kind of tactics that you see on display.” Abati also asserted that those behind the posters are only doing it to distract the President. He said: “Those who are bent on distracting this government have brought out the posters. I repeat that President Jonathan knows nothing about it. The President of Nigeria has an office that is so important that he cannot behave in a cowardly manner. This is a man who is honest and with the reputation of being honest.”

Dana Air resumes flights Continued from page 2

Omuwunmi, who spoke through a counsel at the law firm of Olumide Olaiya, told The Nation that the offer was rejected because the airline had not even written to accept or negotiate his claims.He said: “They have not done anything. We never heard from them until the last working week of December when they made an offer of $30, 000 to Pastor Omuwunmi as advance payment.”What are they advancing? All the efforts we made to bring them to the negotiation table were rebuffed. We expected them to

reply our letter, or even say what they intend to pay from the claims before them which are verifiable.”$30,000 is less than N5 million. So, a man who lost nothing less than N500 million, what will $30, 000 do for him? He rightly rejected the money. Besides, $30, 000 was the same amount they paid to all on board victims as advance. So, why come to offer a man who lost everything he had $30, 000 without even writing to acknowledge or reject his claims?”They said their insurers are still processing our claims and so, we are also waiting to hear from them.”




VOL.7 NO.2,361

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘Bloody revolution is never the answer. Neither shall greater autonomy or secession improve our lot; if eventually, every agitating part of Nigeria gets to secede, every new nation we establish shall parade the same old brutes with the same old lusts and self-interests in high and low places’ OLATUNJI OLOLADE



ODAY, I offer the third and final installment of the lecture delivered under the auspices of a group of progressive indigenes of Oyo State on December 18 at the Ibadan Civic Center. I now return to the role of the youth in recapturing the essence and consequence of thinking including cooperation to solve challenges. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the indigenous administration that took over the reins of government in the Western region in 1953 made investment in human resources its priority because it believed that human beings are the most important agents of development. As that administration struggled along with other nationalists for independence, it persuaded itself that it needed to invest in educating the youth. Human resource development was its mantra. If we failed to credit that administration with anything, it would be grossly unfair if we failed to recognise its success in the education of the cadre of human power that laid the foundation for the pace-setting achievements. And as the saying goes, if you were promised a gift of clothing and dresses, it is wise to first check out the appearance of the promiser. The members of the Awolowo administration were well-educated. Here then is the first challenge for the ThinkOyo group. Education is the key to all aspects of development. The independence era was one of will to excellence. Competition was productive for the regions. Other regions sent delegations to study the success of Universal Primary Education in the West. And building on the fame of its deviant rejection of federal funds in order to have the freedom to use its internal funds for development as it saw fit, the West simply matched on with one achievement after another. This was the case in the pre-independence and early independence periods. When you think Oyo, you must think of what positive achievements could be made with a truly federal structure. Your challenge as a group is to engage in collaboration and cooperative endeavors to rebuild the walls of Oyo State. This is a challenge that must be met. I have no doubt that you can do it. Of course, there are obstacles and challenges. But there are also resources to meet those challenges. The foremost challenge is the provision of quality education for the masses of children and young adults that are drifting in the ocean of hopelessness so that they are wellplaced to make substantial contributions to development. Education is the most effective leveler and an effective education policy that levels the playing field is desperately needed in order to realise an era of ajumose. The matter is simple to my mind. I was informed that ThinkOyo is an organisation of successful upwardly mobile young men and women. I would like then to call your attention to an old proverb of our ancestors: Ajooje ko dun beni kan ko ni (it’s impossible to motivate cooperation between haves and


Yes...EVIL DAY is hereby POSTPONED


Responsibility of citizenship: The youth in focus (3)

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi

have-nots). But just as it is in consumption, so it is in the matter of production: Ajoose ko dun benikan ko ri se. You cannot expect the cooperation of a person of your age who has not been as privileged as you are in educational achievements and employment opportunities. Public education is still the greatest leveler and the greatest contributor to the closing of the inequality gap in a number of countries and you must pay your due to sustain it. Second, there is the challenge of youth alienation and despair. The youth are now more than ever especially at risk of drifting in the ocean of individualism where there are only a few islands of community and social responsibility. As a member of the ThinkOyo organisation, you must avoid the temptation of drifting in that ocean. You must join forces in the membership of an inclusive community of responsibility. That community is one

that places more emphasis on what can be done for the community and less on what the community can do for it. No member of ThinkOyo must consider him or herself as successful just because the Governor knows him or her. Surely, the governor appreciates your loyalty as individuals. However, you must believe that your success as a member of ThinkOyo is because of the success of your mobilisation of others to the cause of helping the Governor to build a new Oyo State where everyone recognises and participates in the work of reconstruction. Third is the challenge of inequality. Ajumose entails a shared sacrifice. But glaring inequality militates against “ajumose.” Because it simply means that some are sacrificing much more against their will. Therefore an effective reduction in the gap of inequality is a prerequisite to the implementation of ajumose. We should remind ourselves that the original idea and practice of ajumose was in the form of traditional cooperative and collaborative efforts in rural agricultural communities that we all hailed from. In those communities there was no rampant inequality. Communal ownership of land, the principal means of production was a sure guarantee that people needed one another to survive and thrive. Therefore self-reliance was advanced in part by inter-personal assistance between friends and families. The realisation of the idea of the goodness of communal cooperation was not independent of the reality of equality of means and commonality of poverty and need. That the youth have a duty to rally to the cause of Oyo in particular and the nation in general is no news. Indeed, it is a duty that


grows out of the duty of self preservation and self promotion. For the youth of today, the future of Nigeria as a nation has never been more uncertain. With unemployment skyrocketing and education nose-diving, the youth have good reason to panic about the future that may be their inheritance. And this is why they must see themselves as having a huge stake in the matter. Even if they have little or no memory of history; even if they are not aware of the labours of our heroes past, they can at least relate to their personal needs and appreciate the task that must be done to realise those needs. It is my hope that they are ready to show themselves worthy of the call of their generation to rebuild the walls of Oyo State, Yorubaland, and the nation at large. It’s all in the hands of the youth. I am here reminded of a story that must have been told a million times and for which there have been many versions. I first had my version from a Baptist preacher and later from a former university president. I have myself told it many times with different nuances. It is the story of an old sage and a bunch of youthful rascals. The sage was fond of admonishing the youth, always citing historical episodes laced with words of wisdom. The youthful rascals on their part were more like contemporary area boys. On the day that the story in question unfolded, the rascals had been out doing one mischief after another. Then they got tired but not until they got hold of a small bird. They argued about what to do with the bird. Some suggested torturing the bird for the fun of it. Others suggested frying it alive for good taste. Then the leader came up with the idea of testing the intelligence and wit of the old sage. They would ask him a simple question: is the bird alive or dead? If the sage replied that the bird was alive, the one assigned to hold the bird will suffocate it and proclaim the stupidity of the sage. If on the other hand he answered that the bird was dead, they would release the bird to freedom in triumph. Either way, they would claim victory and silence the old sage forever. The old man was not a sage for nothing, As soon as the rascals encountered him with their question, he knew it was a set up, and he answered them in kind: Whether it is a dead bird or a live bird, it is in your hand. In like manner, I say to ThinkOyo, what Oyo State is and would be is in your hand. Happy New Year! •For comments, send SMS to 08082036515

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

It’s not enough to release Al-Mizan editors


N Tuesday, the State Security Service (SSS) released from detention Mallam Mohammed Awwal, editor of a Kaduna-based Hausa newspaper, AlMizan, and his reporter, Mallam Aliyu Saleh, after about 10 days in detention. At the time of their arrest on December 23, 2012, no one knew which agency of government was involved in the dawn raid that saw the journalists and their families manhandled. In fact, at a point, some observers were unsure whether agents of a civilized government could employ such tactics in a country governed by laws. It had to be some criminal organisations, they feared. Some days later, it turned out surprisingly that the culprit was in fact the rather upper crust SSS. But to compound its unconstitutional act, the agency even kept the editors longer than the limit prescribed by law. The arrest of the editors was believed to be in connection with the current edition of the paper which contains a story on the alleged atrocities perpetrated by men of the Military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Potiskum against 84 persons said to have been abducted and whisked away to unknown destinations. A chafing Hardball had argued three days after the arrest of the editors that the method employed was gangsterish, and that it would be insufficient to merely release the editors later without the government investigating

whether the law was not broken in the attempt by whoever was involved to uphold the law. The column feared rogue elements could be at work. Said he on December 26: “Whatever the merit of the case against the editors, the methods employed in arresting them are evidently unlawful and showed how clearly law and order can no longer be guaranteed in the country. Even for the most inciting and mendacious media reports, there are established modalities for tackling them and dealing with media professionals who break the law. With the country swamped by robbers, kidnappers, impersonators, and security agents who have embraced extrajudicial killing, it is a disservice to the government and people of Nigeria for any law enforcement body to adopt the style of the underworld. The Kaduna abductions indicate the gradual and steady decline of the country into jungle justice. “If any security agency is complicit in the unlawful arrest of the editors, it is not enough that the editors should be released and the proper procedures followed in bringing them to justice for any journalistic wrongdoing; the abduction itself must also be investigated and all the law enforcement agents involved in the unlawful act punished. The danger in glossing over this obnoxious method of law enforcement is that the gangland style of arresting citizens will be

successfully imitated by criminal organisations, as in fact is already being done, encouraged by the culture of impunity that is pervasive among security agencies.” Now that it is clear the SSS, which Hardball had once singled out for praise in this space, was behind the abductions, the government, if it knows its responsibility, must require explanations from the agency. A country governed by laws must never submit to official gangsterism. There is no place for such methods in modern Nigeria. The manner of the arrests was brutal, considering that it had to do with journalists alleged to have published inaccurate information, and the detention of the editors beyond the permissible limit of 48 hours was itself unlawful and indefensible. Though they are now free, and no charge has been brought against them, neither AlMizan nor the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) should treat the matter with kid gloves. The SSS and the federal government should be taken to court and made to explain why they willfully broke the law, and to show cause why they should not be punished for dragging the country back into the military era. Nigeria would be reduced to a jungle when agencies of government deliberately subvert the constitution and make nonsense of our laws. It is either we are governed by laws or we are not; there is no space in-between.

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, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation January 04, 2013  

The Nation January 04, 2013

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