Page 1

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Obasanjo replies Alabi-Isama

Akande: APC has been registered


Page 8

•‘Blundering Gen.’ stirs controversy

•INEC inspects party office


Page 7

VOL. 8, NO. 2542 WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, 2013




Chaos at Rivers Assembly Five lawmakers ‘impeach’ speaker Amaechi moves in to restore order Thugs attack Dep. Governor’s car

I was on my seat... Hon. Evans Bipi came to me... and started raining punches on me....Then he reached out for the tripod that stands the camera, used it freely on me, himself and Michael Okechukwu Chinda. They flogged me to their satisfaction. I didn’t just utter a word until Hon. Ihunwo graciously asked me to run for my dear life ‘because they have brought people with guns’

From Bisi Olaniyi and Clarice Azuatalam,


Port Harcourt

IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi moved fast yesterday to stop a major constitutional crisis at the House of Assembly. Five lawmakers loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, claimed to have impeached the Speaker. It was all part of the crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). There was a rain of blows at the main chambers of the House of Assembly in Port Harcourt, between the pro and anti-Amaechi lawmakers. The five lawmakers loyal to Wike - Michael Okechukwu Chinda (Obio/Akpor II constituency), Kelechi Godspower Nwogu (Omuma), Evans Bapakaye Bipi (Ogu/Bolo), Martins Amaewhule (Obio/Akpor I) and Victor Ihunwo (Port Harcourt III) - attempted to impeach the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree. Bipi was humidly elected speaker, amid tight security provided by the police. He announced the suspension of 15 unnamed lawmakers - in a 32-member Assembly. As Bipi mounted the speaker’s seat to give his acceptance/maiden speech, Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), stormed the main chambers with Amachree, other lawmakers and security men. Then the fisticuffs began. The Speaker and the Leader of the House, Chidi Lloyd, a lawyer, who represents Emohua Constituency and loyal to Amaechi, were attacked. As at press time yesSEE terday, Lloyd was still in the hospital. ALSO Also seriously injured were PAGES two anti-Amaechi lawmakers:


Continued on page 4

•Lloyd on the hospital bed in Port Harcourt...yesterday. MORE PICTURES ON PAGES 4 AND 5


Brigands in the temple of law

HAT did the five errant lawmakers in Rivers State want Tuesday morning? Not to enforce the rule of law, or to dignify the ethos of democracy. They wanted to enshrine brigandage in the temple of law. So, they had painted a scenario of morbid potential before Tuesday morning. First, they wanted to lop off the head of the state House of Assembly, that is

ANALYSIS By Sam Omatseye

the speaker. They did not have the number. They amounted to five, and the mainstream had 27 men. Following the law portended suicide. So they took the law in their own hands, and they made a dawn arrival in the chambers and decided to effect the unlawful. According to the scenario, they

would cut off the leader, who was the speaker. That completed, they would proceed to the main agenda: bully the governor out of his position with a hurried impeachment proceeding. It would not have mattered what the law demanded before an impeachment proceeding. Once they enacted a fait accompli, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi ousted from the throne, Abuja would move in with the armed forces

and the spartan temerity of power and the new imposed speaker would take over as governor. Where would that have left Governor Amaechi? He would resort to the court, battling from outside, from the position of weakness. The court would fall under the spell of dalliance, the court sessions postponed indefinitely just like the battle over the leadership of the PDP in Rivers State today. Continued on page 2

Court jails five Boko Haram members for life


•FREED FREED:: Adam...yesterday

43-year-old father of seven freed for lack of evidence




NEWS IMF reduces growth forecasts for Nigeria, global economy


•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle) interracting with pupils of Corona Day Nursery School, Ikoyi, during a visit to the PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES Governor at his office in Ikeja, Lagos…yesterday.


Court jails five Boko Haram members for life

N the first major decision on cases involving Boko Haram members, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday sentenced four members of the sect to life imprisonment. One bagged 10 years in jail. Justice Bilikisu Aminu convicted the Boko Haram members on three of the five counts brought against them. One member was freed. Those sentenced to life imprisonment are Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar BabaganaUmar and Mohamed Ali. Umar Ibrahim bagged 10 years. Musa Adam (43 years and father of seven) was freed for lack of evidence. The six were arraigned on a five-count charge in 2011 following the April 8, 2011 bombing of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Suleja, Niger State. Sixteen people died in the attack. Many others were injured. They were also charged with the July 10, 2011 explosions at the All Christians Fellowship, Suleja in which three people were killed and others injured; the

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

March 3, 2011 explosion at a political rally in Suleja, where three people died; and the May 23, 2011 explosion in Dakina Village, Bwuari, Abuja, in which three policemen were killed. The accused were charged with engaging in illegal training in weapons handling and unlawful possession of weapons for the purpose of engaging in terrorism. They were charged under Section 15(2) and (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) Act. Justice Aliyu discharged the convicts on the charges relating to the explosions at the All Christians Fellowship and the killing of policemen in Dakina on the grounds that the prosecution failed to provide convincing evidence to support the charges. In relation to the other charges, the judge held that the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the convicts. She freed Adam on the grounds that the prosecution failed to link him with the offenc-

es. Justice Aliyu said those sentenced to life imprisonment “used explosives meant for blasting rocks for mining purposes, to kill human beings who had done nothing against them. “Human life is sacred. There is no human life that is more sacred than the other. The convicts have shown lack of respect for human life. They deserve to be removed from the society,” the judge held before pronouncing the sentence. In respect of Umar Ibrahim, who got 10 years, the judge observed that going by the evidence led by the prosecution, he merely served as an errand boy for others, who engaged in the illegal weapon training. Justice Aliyu held that Ibrahim was culpable for aiding the illegal trainees as he could have refused to run errands for them if he was not in support of their activities. The judge said: “In the case of the sixth accused person, he was neither directly involved in terrorist acts nor trained as a terrorist; he was misled to be an errand boy.

“His brother, the first accused person (Shuaibu) used him to take food to Boko Haram training camp in Suleja; he is quite young and has life ahead of him. “In view of the plea from his lawyer, Mr Kevin Okoro, the court is persuaded to commit the sixth accused person (Ibrahim) to 10 years in prison. “For the rest of the accused persons, the court is satisfied with the evidence brought against them. In most of the charges, the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt why they should be convicted. “It is clear that Abubakar, Ahmed, Babagana-Umar, and Ali are liable to the charges of causing death to several and injury to many others through their willful terrorist acts. “It is also proven by the prosecution that the above four accused persons are members of Boko Haram and have undergone training to handle weapons and explosives for the purpose of causing death of innocent people. “The convicts, minus the sixth accused person, used explosive Continued on page 60

IGERIA and global economic growths will be lower than previously expected as economies struggle with appreciably weaker domestic and external demand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. In its latest ‘World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update’ entitled ‘Growing Pains’ released yesterday, IMF revised downward growth forecasts for the global economy and all other segments of advanced and emerging economies citing continuing old risks and emerging new downside risks. The IMF reduced earlier growth projections for 2013 and 2014 for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), contained in its April 2013 WEO, by 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent. According to the report, growth in sub-Saharan Africa will be weaker, as some of its largest economies including Nigeria and South Africa struggle with domestic problems. The report noted that at 5.0 per cent in 2013 and about 5.5 per cent in 2014, growth in emerging market and developing economies is now expected to evolve at a more moderate pace, some one-quarter percentage points slower than

By Taofik Salako

in the April 2013 WEO. “Global growth is projected to remain subdued at slightly above 3 per cent in 2013, the same as in 2012. This is less than forecast in the April 2013 World Economic Outlook (WEO), driven to a large extent by appreciably weaker domestic demand and slower growth in several key emerging market economies, as well as a more protracted recession in the euro area,” IMF noted. It indicated that global growth will recover from slightly above 3.0 per cent in 2013 to 3¾ per cent in 2014, a quarter per cent weaker for both years than the April 2013 projections. The report stated that downside risks to global growth prospects still remain dominant pointing out that while old risks remain, new risks have emerged including the possibility of a longer growth slowdown in emerging market economies, especially given risks of lower potential growth, slowing credit, and possibly tighter financial conditions if the anticipated unwinding of monetary policy stimulus in the United States leads to sustained capital flow reversals.

Boko Haram ceasefire plan soon, says minister


•DHQ team for Yobe

HE Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki yesterday said the Federal Government is having a ceasefire understanding with the mainstream Boko Haram led by the late Mohammed Yusuf. He said the government wasworking on broader terms for the ceasefire and will unfold it soon. Turaki, who spoke with our correspondent, yesterday said no formal agreement had been signed with Boko Haram. He said: “We have reached an understanding with them (Boko Haram) for ceasefire, which they have already directed and which we have accepted. “We are working on the formal agreement which will follow in due course.” Asked about which of the factions of Boko Haram the government is discussing with, the Min-

Thugs attack deputy governor as chaos seizes Rivers Assembly Brigands in the temple of law

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

ister said: “It is with the mainstream Yusuf. We are working on the broader terms now and will announce to the world in due course.” A statement by the spokesman for Defence Headquarters, BrigGen. Chris Olukolade, said a delegation led by the Chief of Research and Development in the Defence Headquarters had been sent to Yobe to find out how no fewer than 22 pupils were killed. The statement said: “A factfinding team of senior officers from the Defence Headquarters is in Yobe State for an on-thespot assessment of the deployment of troops of the Joint Task Force in the State. “The team is to pay particular attention to the security circumContinued on page 60

Continued from page 1

Amaewhule and Chinda. They were also hospitalised. Amaechi ordered the arrest of Bipi, but the policemen and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), who were with the Rivers governor, were resisted by the security personnel guarding the “new speaker”. A policeman cautioned another for bringing tear gas canister into the main chambers. The policemen were obviously divided in their support for Amaechi and Wike. When the punching subsided, the House sat amid very tight security, with 23 pro-Amaechi lawmakers in attendance. Amachree presided. Amaechi left immediately. Rivers Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru, an engineer, was ushered into the Assembly chambers at 11:42 pm to present amendments to the 2013 budget, on behalf of Amaechi. This lasted from 11:44 pm till 11:48 pm when it was laid on the table. Ikuru left the main chambers at 11:51 pm. The Speaker said the amend-

Continued from page 1

The intervention of Governor Amaechi’s forces routed the renegades in what looked like a civilian equivalent of a military counterattack. The renegades lost out ignominiously as the 27-man House not only convoked a meeting but passed into a law the budget proposals of the governor. Since the state crisis unfurls as a President Jonathan versus Governor Amaechi war, the Presidency suffered a severe and unmitigated disaster, just like Hitler’s misadventure in the Second World War in the operation Barbarossa in Russia. Not only the president, but also the long line of “democratic coup plotters” and in the lead was Nyesom Wike. We have seen this before. During the Obasanjo era, we witnessed the impeachment of Governor Joshua Dariye by a comic set of six turncoats who represented a frac-

ments would not affect the earlier figure of N490 billion. Shortly after Ikuru left, the House was adjourned sine die (indefinitely) at 12:01 pm. The deputy governor was attacked by thugs around 12:26 pm as he was leaving the Assembly complex on Moscow Road. His car was badly dam-

tion of the quorum. That reckless move enjoyed official anointing, and Dariye fought a fruitless battle of restoration till the end. Also, with irony, the other one occurred in Bayelsa State, and the travesty was not just numbers but geography. The Governor, Dieprye Alamieyesiegha, lost his reign to impeachment - and President Jonathan was deputy governor - not in the environ of Bayelsa State but in far-flung Lagos. President Goodluck Jonathan benefited from the travesty and that began his storied rise to a presidency of bumbling. Also for irony, President Jonathan has ensconced him in his inner circle. Before all these, Governor Ngige fell out of power when President Obasanjo cradled the nation’s top office and we all watched as the governor was spirited out of sight in a gangster-like kidnap and impeached.

aged. On his way out, after making the presentation, thugs who flooded the complex, chanting war songs and in support of the “new speaker”, descended on Ikuru, in spite of the heavy security presence. Other cars in his convoy were also damaged.

Yesterday lifts the Jonathan era to the ignoble height of democratic torpedoes of the Obasanjo era. The difference: the Obsanjo men succeeded in quite a few: Plateau, Ekiti, Anambra and Bayelsa states. President Jonathan won in Bayelsa by rallying all the armed forces to oust a governor in a fear of the lofty rules of democracy. He wants to replicate in Rivers State the pill he administered in the primitive ouster of former Governor Timipre Sylva. Now again, they failed. They have done many things in infamy. They have devised methods like sending a militant to organise a rally, stopped his plane from flying, implanted a toady as commissioner of police, barred traditional rulers from visiting the governor, barred him from saying hello to the President, tried to oust him as chairman of the Governors’ Forum, and so on. The question is, what is next?

Bipi assaulted a Channels Television cameraman, snatching his camera from him. The camera was released, following the intervention of top politicians. As Speaker Amachree was leaving the main chamber, after the sitting, Bipi also punched the representative of Abua/Odual

Constituency in the Assembly, Augustine Ngo, near the parking lot. He fell and immediately got up. The representative of Rivers Southeast Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, described the attack on the speaker, the leader and other members of the Assembly loyal to


Amaechi, “under the watchful eyes of the police”, as a shame and a slap on democracy. He urged lovers of democraContinued on page 60

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







• From right: Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Otunba Bimbo Ashiru , 1st Vice-Chairman , NEPAD Business Group Nigeria (NBGN), Chief Nike Akande, CEO, Dangote Group, Joseph Makoju and Chief Chris Ezeh at a business lunch in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

• Managing Director, OKLNG Mr. Samuel Babatunde, 1st Vice- President, Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya and Chairman, OPTS Producers Trade Section Mr. Mark Ward at the NGA General Meeting in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

How I was

HE House Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, in a statement yesterday, detailed how he was battered by two of his colleagues. The statement reads: “Well, yesterday, the Speaker of the House, the Rt. Hon. Otelema Dan Amachree, directed that the House be reconvened to consider an amendment to the 2013 appropriation law, which the Governor had communicated to him via a letter and as if Mr. Speaker saw what was going to happen today, he wrote a letter through the Clerk of the House to the Commissioner of Police to provide security for today’s sitting and he also wrote to the commander of 2 Amphibious Brigade, who also doubles as the head of the internal JTF. “So, when we got to work this morning, we saw the presence of policemen numbering over 50 and we thought that this was in response to Mr. Speaker’s request. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that the five anti-Amaechi members were discussing in clusters and calling on their boys to come in. Initially, the policemen were searching everybody who would come into the premises. I had to even come down at the gate and trekked into the premises. So, after a while, we learnt that there were phone calls and the commissioner of police personally called the unit, the man in charge to allow everybody in. “We went in as members who have not seen ourselves for sometime because of the crisis in the state. I was on my seat. Without provocation, Hon. Evans Bipi came to me in the full glare of everybody on camera and started raining punches on me. As his leader I did not react because I felt that it was something we could settle, whatever it was. Maybe I didn’t greet him also. When that continued, the speaker intervened and said, ha, ‘what’s happening?’ Then he reached out for the tripod that stands the camera, used it freely on me, himself and Michael Okechukwu Chinda. They flogged me to their satisfaction. I didn’t just utter a word until Hon.

•Member, Rivers House of Assembly, Mr Evans Bapakaye (middle) discussing with security operatives in the chambers... yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Ihunwo graciously asked me to run for my dear life ‘because they have brought people with guns’ and of course when I looked at the gallery they were shouting ‘who is the Chidi Lloyd? Who is the Chidi Lloyd?’ “So, at that point, I’m sure somebody may have reached out to the governor who came in with his own security because these other policemen were there, standing helplessly, watching what was going on. He came and rescued members out of the place. Then, after a while we heard that they had sat, that they were meeting, they were trying to meet, they had procured a fake mace to the House, so we went back and I took the mace where they were sitting, then I sustained injury as a result of the violence by Michael Chinda and Evans Bipi.

Reps probe attack on Assembly


•From left: Technical Director, StarTimes Mr. Josiah Turner, Chief Executive Officer, StarTimes Mr. Joshua Wang and Director, NTA Star TV Network Mr. Maxwell Loko during a news conference on its 3rd Anniversary Splash in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.

• Supervising Trustee, Diamond Awards for Media Excellence ( DAME) Mr. Lanre Idowu (left) speaking at a news conference on the 22nd DAME in Lagos...yesterday. With him are Board of Trustees Chairman Mr. Moses Ihorde and Trustee Olumide Ajomale PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID


From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

HE House of Representatives is seeking a quick and an enduring solution to the political crisis rocking Rivers State as a result of the attack on the House of Assembly yesterday. The House directed the Deputy Leader of the Assembly, Leo Ogor (PDP,Delta) and the Majority Whip, Ishaku Bawa (PDP, Taraba), to liaise with the ad-hoc Committee that was constituted last week to look into the feud between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu. The decision of the House followed the adoption of a point of order on a matter of urgent public importance by Andrew Uchendu (PDP, Rivers) who posited that democracy is under threat, with ex-militants attacking members of the Assembly yesterday morning. Stressing that the motive was to prevent the House from sitting, Uchendu said the hoodlums must have acted on information supplied by the Commissioner of Police who already had knowledge of the sitting. He said: “I regret to inform the House that some militants invaded the House of Assembly to prevent the House from sitting. This is prior to the information the House Assembly gave to the Commissioner of Police that the House would sit today. “In the ensuing fracas, there was a free for all and so many members were wounded. The House Leader, Hon. Chidi Lloyd, who spoke to me on phone, said that so many members were wounded. “The interesting thing is that the House still went ahead to sit with many members and their stained clothes. Democracy is being threatened by the activities of the police and hoodlums and ex-militants. It is obvious that democracy is seriously being threatened.” The presiding officer, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, refused to entertain debate of the motion, being an investigative motion, but he stressed the urgency of finding a lasting solution to the crisis. Ihedioha said politicians and other state actors must realise that the country’s thriving democracy was not achieved on a platter of gold. “It does appear some of us have forgotten how we got this democracy. Some of us were in the trenches fighting for this democracy and cannot fold our hands and sit when the democracy is threatened,” he said. Ihedioha directed that the report of the ad hoc Committee be submitted next Tuesday.




battered, by Rivers House Leader

•Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru (right) being welcomed to the House by Speaker Dan Amachree...yesterday.


Mbu: I provided security for the sitting

IVERS State Commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu, in a statement last night, explained his own side of the story. His statement: “Yesterday (Monday), in the evening, I received a letter from the Clerk of House of Assembly through the House Leader, Hon: Lloyd Chidi, requesting for police security as the House wanted to resume sitting. I was nonchalant about it because it is unusual for the House to request for police when sitting. Moreover, there is a police station with men attached to the House of Assembly. “Later at about 2100hrs of the same yesterday, the Brigade Commander wrote to me, requesting me to please provide police personnel to the House of Assembly. He attached a letter written to him by the same House of Assembly Clerk requesting for the presence of the Army in today’s sit-

ting. It was there and then I called the Commander of Mopol 19 CSP Braide to send half a unit to the House of Assembly this morning, On my way to the office, I saw the mobile police personnel and a detachment of C41, Civil Defence with sniffer dogs checking persons going in and out of the Assembly. “I then sent Deputy CP in-charge of Operations and the Assistant CP Operations to go there. “The next thing I saw was a call from the governor that he was going to the House of Assembly, that his members were not safe. I saw his convoy through my office window going into the House of Assembly. I was told he was in the chamber where there was fighting, with all his aides.”

“So, while I was in the hospital, the speaker and other members of the House sat and heard the amendment that the governor sent, which was presented on his behalf by the deputy

and all that. That is why we went to work for the state only to be dealt with in the manner that they have dealt with us. I want to use this opportunity while in the hospital here. I have

governor. Now these amendments are, the governor said he was just seeking for us to vire some sub heads for him to enable him take care of certain unforeseen events, such as flood,

Peterside condemns invasion of Rivers Assembly by hoodlums

Forced removal of elected leaders unconstitutional, says Atiku


ORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned any attempt to remove elected leaders by unconstitutional means whatever might be their perceived offences. Reacting to yesterday’s outbreak of chaos in the Rivers State House of House Assembly, following the attempt by five lawmakers to effect leadership change, the former Vice President warned against the consequences of going outside the Constitution to oust elected leaders. Atiku Abubakar said in a statement by his media office in Abuja that The Constitution of Nigeria was not written on sand so that anybody could breach it as he or she pleases to achieve private motives rather than the public interest. According to Atiku, any wanton disregard for the sanctity of the Constitution or due process in the removal of elected public office holders would seriously harm our democratic order. He explained that the Con-

stitution is superior to any individual and that any efforts to apply barbaric tactics to remove leaders should not be condoned by anybody. The former Vice President expressed regret that the failure to punish similar crude attempts in the past such as the Ngige saga in Anambra State in July of 2004 had encouraged impunity among those seeking to impeach elected leaders by means other than that enshrined in the constitution. He regretted a situation where some misguided elements would seek to wage a war on our democracy for which many had paid the supreme price. “It is sad that those who are seeking to subvert our nascent democracy are some of those who never fought for what that many laid down their lives for. These persons are advised to take heed to the festering crisis in Egypt following a forced change of leadership in that country,” Atiku said. ”We can either dismiss

received phone calls of threat to life for my family and me. “Incidentally, I’m so helpless; I don’t know who to run to. I can’t go to the commissioner of police because

he is already in the arena; he’s already on the other side. I’m appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to pray for me and my family. That is the last hope we have resorted to and that we also urge the National Assembly, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Reps not to turn the other way on the events of Rivers State. This could lead to something that we cannot imagine. It had happened in Anambra State, people were laughing. Today it’s Rivers State; nobody knows the next state it would be. If we are practising a democracy, let us please play by the rules. Nigerians should pray for me and come to our aid. The state is under siege. You can’t even vouch for the safety of the governor. The people are getting more daring on a daily basis.”


HE Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Representative, Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, has condemned yesterday’s invasion of Rivers State House of Assembly by hoodlums. He said: “I am horrified by the unfolding tragic drama in Rivers State and I condemn in strict terms, the wanton destruction of properties and attack on innocent people all in the name of politics in my state.” He warned that Nigerians must stand and denounce this growing impunity in Rivers State. Peterside, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Sylvester Asoya, said: “This is a great test for the Nigerian Nation, democracy and freedom and men of goodwill must rise as a people in condemnation of these attacks without any justifiable reason, except if we are all ready to face the potential damage that may •Atiku

what happened today in Port Harcourt as one more incident in the long line of impunity and constitution abuse, or we speak very strongly against it, sending thereby an unambiguous message to the powers-that-be that sweat and blood of fathers, mothers and children, which were used to nurture the tree of our democracy must not go in vain,” the statement added.



befall our democracy and our future. “Nigerians, therefore, must not watch helplessly as Rivers State slips into anarchy in a manner reminiscent of the events leading to the civil war that did not only claim millions of lives of our country men and women but also took Nigeria many years back. Anything that touches on the legislature, an arm of government, which is a symbol of democracy, has far reaching implication on freedom and the people.”

Falana: Action illegal

AGOS lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday criticised the aborted removal of Rivers Speaker Otelemaba Dan-Amachree as illegal. In a statement, he said: “The aborted removal of the Rivers State Speaker by a gang of five legislators aided by armed thugs and security operatives is illegal, null and void as it violates Section 92 (2) (c) of the Constitution which requires “the votes of not less than two-

thirds majority of the members of the House of Assembly.” “In other words, the Speaker can only be removed by votes of not less than 22 members out of the 32 members. “In the case of Inakoju v Adeleke and Daplanlong v Dariye, the Supreme Court held that two thirds majority of the members of the House of Assembly of Oyo and Plateau states respectively refer to the entire members and not two thirds of a minority or a faction

of the members. “Accordingly, the purported impeachment of governors Rasheed Ladoja and Joshua Dariye was annuled. It is a shame that the Federal Government decided to mark the 10th anniversary of Dr Chris Ngige’s aborted abduction. “Like the chairman of the minority of governors, the speaker of the minority of the House members will soon be officially recognised”.



NEWS Newswatch: Ekpu, others to appeal judgment on directorship By Joseph Jibueze


OUNDERS of Newswatch magazine – Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohmammed and Soji Akinrinade have said they would appeal a judgment by Justice Okong Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which declared they were no longer directors of Newswatch Communications Limited. Businessman Jimoh Ibrahim, who bought stakes in the company, asked for a declaration that the four men were no longer directors, and cannot declare a trade dispute or speak on behalf of 49 other shareholders. The four insisted that they made it abundantly clear with copious documentation that they were still directors of the company since they were reappointed on May 5, 2011, the day of the completion board meeting. “During the proceedings our lawyer Kunle Oyesanya (SAN) argued that the matter should be tried by the court asking the parties to file pleadings and call witnesses, but the judge chose to decide the case by originating summons. “We vehemently disagree with Justice Abang’s judgment and we have instructed our lawyers to appeal against it without delay,” Ekpu, Agbese and Mohammed said in a statement. They noted that Ibrahim’s suit is different from the one filed by two shareholders of the company – Mr Nuhu Aruwa and Prof Jibril Aminu. The two filed a minority shareholders’ action to set aside the Shares Purchase Agreement by which Jimoh claimed to have bought 51 per cent shares of the company. “We are not a party to that suit which is pending before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, but we are following it with keen interest.

•Members of the Ekiti State Caucus in the House of Representatives–Oyetunde Ojo (left); Bimbo Daramola; Robinson Ajiboye; Dr. Ife Arowosoge and Bamidele Faparusi, after a news conference on the sack of its leader, Opeyemi Bamidele at the National Assembly... yesterday. Story on page 9. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Senators oppose six-year single term for T President, governors HE Senate is set to kill the six-year single tenure recommendation for President and Governors. The proposal was made by its committee on Constitution review. Of the 20 Senators that spoke yesterday on the recommendations of the Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, none supported the six-year single tenure. The committee, headed by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, proposed the six-year single tenure. The Committee said: “Considering the financial expenses often associated with reelection and to ensure that executive heads are freed from the distractions to be able to concentrate on public policy issues, a provision for a single term of six (6)) years for President and Governors is made in sections 135 and 180 respectively.” But majority of Senators described the recommendation as an invitation to chaos and an attempt to institutionalise corruption. Senator Isah Galaudu (Kebbi North) said the committee failed to provide adequate justification for sixyear single term.

•Senate begins consideration of constitution review From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Galaudu described the recommendation as retrogressive, saying it would open a floodgate to loot the treasury by those who find themselves as President and governors. He also opposed decentralisation of prisons, saying the prison service should remain in the Exclusive List. Senator Clever Ikisikpo (Bayelsa East) opposed removal of the immunity clause. He said it will be a major source of distractions for the President and governors. He described the six-year single term proposal as un-


democratic. Ikisikpo added that adoption of six-year single term will lead to corruption “because any occupier of the office would say this is my turn.” He supported Local Government autonomy “because this will enable them (local govts) to undertake projects that would impact on the people positively.” He supported mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), but said the name should be changed. On 13 per cent derivation, he said that it should not be stagnant at 13 per cent. On assent, he said the President should be allowed to

assent to the constitution. Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) backed the abolition of state and local government joint account and the first line charge for State Assembly. On six-year single tenure, he said: “This is an investment in disaster, invitation to chaos and anarchy. “In a democracy, the will of the people should be allowed to prevail. The people should have opportunity to elect or reject. This is what we call power to the people and not a slogan of a political party where power belongs to a few cabal. “Senate should throw away the baby and bath wa-

ter as far as the six-year single tenure is concerned.” Senator Enyinnya Abaribe, noted that the problem is not with the law but its operators. H e said: “The state and local government joint account, the Constitution says once those funds come, the state government is to add its 10 per cent and distribute to the local government areas. Is that happening now? “The problem is not this law. The problem has been the operators of the Constitution who have refused to do the right thing.” On state creation, he asked why the committee continued to receive requests when it knew that the agitators were not doing the right thing. Abaribe opposed six-year single term and removal of the immunity clause and supported local government autonomy.

FCTA demolishes ALGON building in Abuja

HE Development Control Unit of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished a three-storey building at the national headquarters of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) at Eller Crescent, Maitama, Abuja. The building, said the District Officer in charge of the area, Isah Aliyu, was being erected on a pathway in a close. He said several quit notices had been served on the building,

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

even from the foundation stage, but the owner did not show up at the Development Control Unit to prove the legality or otherwise of the land. Aliyu said several attempts to compel the security man, who was found at the site, to receive copies of the papers, were abortive. He reportedly failed to receive them.

Chinese firm promises to deliver four airport terminals in 20 months


HINESE construction giant China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has pledged to deliver four new International Airport terminals to the Federal Government in 20 months. CCECC President Yuan Li spoke yesterday when a Nigerian delegation visited him at the company’s headquarters in Beijing. He said the quality of the work to be done at the airports would be of the highest international standard. Li said the airport terminals’ construction was a special project to the company, adding that the company’s imprimatur of unrivalled excellence would be brought to bear in the building of the terminals. Aviation Minister Ms. Stella Adaeze Oduah said she was looking forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project today. She said the desire to have the best airports’ terminals informed the decision to work with a reputable, world class construction firm like CCECC. Ms Oduah said she was convinced CCECC would keep


Jonathan begins talks with Jinping today

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday arrived in Beijing, China for a five-day official visit. Jonathan, who was accompanied by First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, was received at the Capital Airport in Beijing by China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Li Yucheng and Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Alhaji Aminu Wali. During the trip, several agreements will be signed to boost bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and China in areas such as defence, finance, trade, agriculture and communications. A statement by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, reads: “The President will be formally welcomed to China tomorrow (today) by President Xi Jinping at a grand ceremony scheduled to hold at the Great Hall of the People. By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

to the terms of the agreement and ensure the country’s international airports could take their rightful place on the world aviation map, adding that this would boost Nigeria’s position as the natural hub for commercial aviation business on the continent. The $500 million loan deal is for the construction of four international terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano. Minister of Niger Delta Af-

fairs Godsday Orubebe said with the President’s State Visit to China, a new chapter was being opened in the bilateral and economic relationship between the two countries. Li said CCECC is the biggest Chinese company doing business in Nigeria, with a local staff strength of about 20,000 and an expatriate quota of 1000 Chinese citizens. He expressed gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for the support given to the company. Li said the company has in-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

“Thereafter, the two leaders and their official delegations will hold bilateral talks at the end of which new agreements and memoranda of understanding will be signed.” “These include an agreement on defence cooperation between Nigeria and China, and an agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation. Others are: an Agreement on Finance for the Zungeru Power Plant and Airport Terminals; and an Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports.” “At the conclusion of the signing ceremony, President Jonathan and the First Lady will attend a state banquet to be given in their honour by President Jinping and his spouse.” vestment in real estate development. He added that the company intended to expand its investments in Nigeria to include cement manufacturing , seaports, railways, highways development and the steel industry. He said the company has finalised plans to incorporate a new firm-CCECC Industries Nigeria Ltd to prosecute its investment agenda in Nigeria and help develop the industrial sub-sector of the economy. The CCECC president said

the company intended to increase the number of indigenous employees while reducing the expatriate quota to the barest minimum. To accomplish this, he said the company would grant scholarships to Nigerian students in technical areas in Chinese universities. CCECC, he said, also plans to set up a Joint Venture (JV) with the government for the operation and maintenance of the railways, and would soon commence construction work for CCECC Plazas in Abuja


and Lagos. Works Minister Mike Onolemehme said Nigeria and Nigerians were worried that CCECC was not investing in the country, adding that the assurances by Li that the company would begin to invest massively in Nigeria was heart-warming. He said his ministry was executing road projects worth over $2billion, with CCECC as a major contractor, and expressed the desire to see the company venture into real investments rather than pure contract execution. Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation Hope Uzodinma said President Jonathan was committed to develop Nigeria.



NEWS Strike: ASUU walks out on Fed Govt, National Assembly team From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


HE leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday walked out on the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Education and a Federal Government’s negotiating team. The Chairman of Senate Committee on Education, Uche Chukwumerijie, and his House of Representatives counterpart, Aminu Suleiman, had invited representatives of the Federal Government and ASUU to the National Assembly to end ng the ongoing strike by the university teachers. The Minister of the Education, Prof. Ruqquayatu Rufa’i; her Labour and Productivity counterpart, Emeka Wogu; the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, among others, represented the Federal Government at the meeting. However, when the ASUU delegation got to the proposed venue of the meeting, they met the Chukwumerijieled joint committee meeting with representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU). While the meeting with ASUP was meant to resolve the over-two-month strike by polytechnic teachers, that of COEASU was meant to avert a similar action in Colleges of Education. Chukwumerijie, who chaired the meeting, had sent a message to the ASUU delegation to give him 10 minutes to round off the session. But the university teachers walked out of the National Assembly for allegedly being kept waiting by the committee and the Federal Government’s delegation.

Entries open for 22nd DAME By Seun Akioye and Evelyn Osagie


HE board of the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (DAME) has called for entries from journalists and media organisations for the 22nd edition of the DAME excellence awards for outstanding works in journalism reporting and excellence in advertising for the year 2012. Making the call in a chat with newsmen yesterday in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer and Member, DAME Board of Trustee, Lanre Idowu, said entries are being invited in 30 categories covering the fields of Print, Broadcast and Advertising. Specifically, there are 17 categories in print, seven and six categories in advertising and broadcast media respectively. The closing date for all entries for this year’s edition has been slated for August 14, 2013. Idowu warned that though entries are invited for 30 categories, the number of awards to be given out would be determined by the quality of entries received from journalists and advertising practitioners.

Reps: Okonjo-Iweala responsible for darkness in Nigeria


HE House of Representatives Committee on Power yesterday blamed the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIwela, for the epileptic power supply across the country following dwindling power generation. The committee urged the minister to apologise to Nigerians on the irregular power supply plaguing the country, which it said followed the Federal Government’s failure to release money allocated to the power sector. The Chairman, House Committee on Power, Patrick Ikheriale, spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting with the Ministry of Power, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), DISCOS, GENCOS and Transmission Company of Nigeria. He decried concern over the deteriorating power sup-

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ply across the land. It was learnt that the stakeholders’ meeting was called to enable the committee receive briefing on the privatisation of DISCOS and GENCOS, the status of the DISCOS, GENCOS and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the level of implementation of this year’s capital budget as well as the role of the BPE in the privatisation process. Ikheriale said the House was concerned about the downward trend in power generation and supply, adding that this made it to mandate the joint committee on power, commercialisation and two others to investigate the matter. He said: “What we have witnessed in the last few

months is a monumental embarrassment. Nigerians have been suffering irreparable loss during this period. Lives have been lost, and at this point somebody needs to tell Nigerians what happened. It is not enough for you to come here and tell us that the ministry has been given some money to be given to the companies to cushion the effect. We want to know how much the money is.” The lawmaker said the committee noted the lapses in the budget implementation, which he added affected the operation of the power sector. Ikheriale said: “We are very concerned about this development because of the effect on the masses. The committee’s interest in the sector is paramount. We are witnesses to what is happen-

ing in the power sector; that is, the downward trend. What we are facing today has an overbearing effect on the power. What we are generating today is a far cry from what is expected. “We are mandated by the House to do justice to what is happening and the outcome of the meeting would form the basis of the report that would be submitted to the House. Today, the privatisation process is halfdone. The tentative date, October, may not be realistic. The generation is not matching the expectation.” The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Igali, said there would soon be an improvement in the sector. He said such had occurred in the communication sector and that the situation ended well.

•Chief Akande (right); National Secretary, Tijani Tumsa (second left) and Vice Chairman, South, Senator Annie Okonkwo, at the briefing PHOTO :ABAYOMI FAYESE in Abuja...yesterday


APC has been registered, says Akande

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has been registered as a political party, its National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said yesterday. APC comprises the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP), a part of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). The parties merged to provide a formidable opposition and provide an alternative party to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a platform for positive change. Akande addressed reporters in Abuja after receiving a delegation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the party’s National Secretariat on Bissau Street, Wuse Zone 6. Pressed to state how soon the party would be registered, the former Osun State governor said: “The law is clear about that; we are already registered.” Akande explained that

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

APC members had been confident that no power on earth would hinder the group from being registered as a political party. According to him, the group completed the merger process the day it submitted its request to the INEC. He said: “We have always been confident from the beginning that no power under the sun would stop us from becoming a political party.” The party chairman said INEC did not ask the merging parties any question. Akande said: “They asked us no question. They gave us notice that they were coming to visit us and they visited us.” The INEC officials, in compliance with the civil service rule, inspected the party’s secretariat. Reporters saw them but did not hear what they discussed. It was, however, gathered that the four-man delegation was led by the Director, Political Parties Monitoring, Mr. Ibrahim Shittu. Shittu said the commission visited the APC national

‘We have always been confident from the beginning that no power under the sun would stop us from becoming a political party’ secretariat for administrative investigation and to ascertain whether the party complied with the stipulated procedure. Akande said he was happy that from the beginning of the merger the party succeeded in presenting a joint application to the INEC. The party chairman said prior to the visit, INEC and APC were only exchanging correspondence. He added that yesterday’s investigation was to confirm whether or not the party actually existed and where it was located.

Akande added: “We have proved to them that we exist as gentlemen and in a befitting accommodation. “From the beginning of this exercise, we have gone to various conventions. We have made a joint application and we have been exchanging correspondence with the INEC. But they have never visited us before and we never visited them. “But today (yesterday), the INEC came to see us in our home. They were happy that we have got a home. When they met us, through our attendance register they discovered that we belong to a party of gentlemen - the All Progressives Congress. They became very happy.” Those present at the APC secretariat yesterday were the former House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Masari; former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi; Osita Okechukwu; APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; his deputy, Hajia Hannatu Musawa, among others.

Eight ambassadors’ awaits confirmation From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday forwarded the names of eight ambassador-nominees to the Senate for the conformation. The President said the action was in conformity with Section 171 (1)(c) Subsection 4 of the 1999 Constitution. He said seven of the nominees are career and one non-career ambassador-nominees. The nominees are: Mr O. F. Muo (Imo), career; Mrs. T. J. Chinwuba-Akabogu (Anambra), career; Mr Adamu Emozozo (Edo), career; Mr. A. Echi (Benue), career; Mrs. G. M QuistAdebiyi (Lagos), career; Mr M. Dauda (Borno), career; Mr Hakeem O. Sulaiman (Ogun), career and Dr. Bolere Ketebu (Bayelsa), non-career.

INEC gets new Secretary THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the appointment of Mrs. Augusta Chinwe Ogakwu as its new Secretary. Her appointment was approved yesterday at a meeting of the commission in Abuja. She succeeds Abdullahi A. Kaugama, whose fiveyear tenure expired on June 26. Mrs. Ogakwu will assume the new office from her present position as Director, Legal Services Department in INEC. She had assumed that position in April, after serving as the Head of Unit/ Director, Alternative Disputes Resolution, since May 2009. She was also Acting Director, Legal Services Department from May 2003 till September 2005.

Arms’ importation: Court refuses request for separate trial By Joseph Jibueze JUSTICE James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday refused a request by seven Russians asking to be tried separately for alleged unlawful arms’ importation. They are among 19 Russians charged with the offence by the Federal Government. The Navy, on October 18 last year, seized a foreignflagged ship carrying the weapons and arrested its 15 mainly Russian crew members. The cargo was said to have included 14 AK-47 rifles, 3,643 rounds of ammunition, 22 Benelli MR1 rifles with 4,955 rounds. Defence lawyer, Mr. Chike Okafor, urged the court to separate his clients’ trial from the others’ who had failed to appear in court. He alleged that the prosecution was not diligent enough in prosecuting the case and that his clients needed not wait for those absent.




•From left: Former President Obasanjo; Aare Babalola; his wife Yeye Modupe; Governors Ajimobi (Oyo); Fayemi (Ekiti); Mimiko (Ondo); and former Ekiti State governor Oni, at the event...yesterday.

Afe Babalola’s appointment as UNILAG pro-chancellor successful mistake, says Obasanjo

•Jonathan, Ajimobi, Fayemi, Mimiko, others pay tributes to legal giant


ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday described the appointment of Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) during his tenure as a successful mistake. He spoke at the 50th anniversary of Aare Babalola’s qualification as a lawyer, held at the Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State. Chief Obasanjo confessed that the mistake he made by appointing Babalola had turned out to be a successful mistake. According to him, when he was looking for somebody for UNILAG pro-chancellor, “and I picked Afe Babalola, some people said it was a mistake.” “I made a great mistake in appointing him, but today I have the opportunity to say it was a successful mistake”. Obasanjo, who chaired the event, said: “It was unfortunate that people go through life without making any impact, but when Afe Babalola took over as the prochancellor, what happened was mistake upon mistake.” He said the first mistake was that the university became the first in the country, and the ViceChancellor became the best in Nigeria. The former President said Afe Babalola also became the best prochancellor, adding that the mother of all the mistakes was that following Afe Babalola’s exposure and involvement as a pro-chancellor, he established Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD). He said: “Aare Babalola used the opportunity he had as a ProChancellor of UNILAG to build one of the best and a model university in Nigeria. If you want to compile the mistakes I made in life that would be another mistake”.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

Delivering the anniversary lecture, titled: ‘The Future of Law in Nigeria’, the former President of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, said Nigeria could only attain greatness with a great legal system. He said the path to greatness was through a reliable, efficient, trustworthy and value-driven legal system. Said he: “We deceive ourselves with the notion that our legal system is as healthy as it should be and delude ourselves that we can be a great nation without a great legal system.” Justice Ayoola went on: “Our concern should be how to make law work and rekindle the spirit of respect for law and the rule of law.” President Goodluck Jonathan described Afe Babalola as one of the greatest legal icons Nigeria has ever had, adding that he deserved to be celebrated because he has lived a life of dogged determination. President Jonathan, who was represented by the Solicitor- General of the Federation, Mr. Abdulahi Ahmed Gulag, said: “He is a man of humility and uncommon generosity. He has served Nigeria well and has continued to uphold its image. He has remained a pillar of support for true democracy and has also established a legacy for sustainable education with the founding of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD).” Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi described Babalola as the father of the nation and an epitome of excellence. He said: “Baba Afe Babalola stood for hard work and perfection. You are a leader and a fisher of men. Those you have produced

Why Ondo sacked workers, by HOS


From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

NDO State Government yesterday explained that the ongoing screening and retrenchment of workers was not to victimise anyone but to restore sanity to the civil service. It added that the exercise was to assist the government in having an up-to-date record of workers in the public service. The Head of Service (HOS), Mrs. Kosemani Kolawole, spoke at a news conference to mark this year’s Public Service Week in Akure. She said through the committees set up by the government, it was learnt that some workers, who had attained 60 years and those who had spent more than 35 years in the civil service were still in the system. Mrs. Kolawole said government was forced to send those affected on compulsory retirement to give the younger ones the opportunity to join the civil service. The HOS assured that government’s action would improve productivity, which, according to her, would result in improved effectiveness and efficiency of the public service. Her words: “The exercise was not to victimise anyone but to fish out officers, who have served more than the required years expected of them.”

WHA T GO T THEM LA UGHING? Former President Obasanjo (left) appeared not to find the joke funny. With his serious facial WHAT GOT LAUGHING? expression and finger pointing, he seemed not to be on the same page with Ekiti State Governor Fayemi (second right), his Oyo State counterpart, Governor Ajimobi (second left) and ousted Governor Oni. Well, what started it all was a suggestion that Obasanjo should dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), team up with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and assume the status of father of all. This led to a lot of banters, which kept the governors and Oni laughing.


Blundering General: Obasanjo replies Alabi-Isama

ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday fired back at another civil war hero, Brig.-Gen. Godwin Alabi-Isama. Gen. Alabi-Isama in an interview in The Nation on Sunday to promote his memoir, described Obasanjo as a blundering General in his review of Obasanjo’s role during the civil war. At yesterday’s Afe Babalola event, Obasanjo said: “Some people call me General of blunders. If I commit a blunder and as lawyers in this country are lawyers of repute and outstanding character.” Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi said Babalola represented the best of Ekiti people, stressing that he is a workaholic, who always protects the interests of the masses. “The grace that God has given him is worthy of celebration. He taught us what humility and brilliance with hard work is. He teaches the core values to a successful life. You are a pathfinder. You have perfected many lives.” Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko said:” We are here to celebrate one of Nigeria’s best, who stood for true justice. We are proud of his accomplish-


successfully ended the civil war that is good. If I commit a blunder and I monitored transition from military to civil rule, if I commit a blunder and after 20 years and spending three years in prison, I was persuaded to come and contest the election, great blunder. Spending eight years as Nigeria’s President is another great blunder.” But Gen. Alabi-Isama said in a telephone interview last night: “Obasanjo missed the point again. I am not a politician. The politi-

ments and exemplary lifestyle. You have made a great mark in your profession and contributed to the rule of law in Nigeria.” Other dignitaries at the event included the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Caleb Olubolade; former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni; former President of the World Court, Prince Bola Ajibola; an industrialist, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; Olugbo of Ugboland; Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan; the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Aladesanmi Adejuyigbe; the Ohiloyi of Igberaland, Alhaji Ado Ibraheem and retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, Jus-

cians in the country will judge his stewardship. I am just a military personnel. It is unnecessary to twist the story. “The story in my book is on the spot account of my stewardship as a Chief of Staff of the Third Marine Commando and Sector Commander. “I am saying that his blunders include running away from the enemy and he was shot in the bottom. He lost over a thousand men in one hour of battle.”

tice Moronkeji Omolaja. Other Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) present are: Wole Olanipekun, Akin Olujimi, Folake Solanke, Gboyega Awolomo, Yusuff Alli, among others. Appreciating the dignitaries, Aare Babalola described Chief Obasanjo as a determined person, who is hard to change. He added: “He is a hard working man, a lover of this country because he suffered in his field to bring peace to Nigeria. He is a lover of this country but many people do not believe that. “I thank President Jonathan for honouring me with a high

representative, and other wellwishers, who have made this occasion successful.” Clarifying the reason for establishing ABUAD in Ado-Ekiti, Afe Babalola said the former Ekiti State Governor Oni and Ewi of Ado-Ekiti were responsible for it. “Although Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala promised to give me acres of land in Ibadan, Oni told me that he would give me land, electricity and water, but I’m regretting it today because the promises were not fulfilled,” Afe Babalola said. He attributed his success to his late teachers, his parents and family, who stood by him and encouraged him.

OPC threatens protest in oil communities

HE Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) yesterday threatened to embark on a protest in the major oil fields in the coastal area of Ondo State over alleged neglect by the oil companies operating in the area. It slammed the Niger Delta Ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for their “lukewarm” attitude to the plight of the indigenes. The group frowned at the failure of the oil companies to make impact in the area and accused the NDDC and the Niger-Delta Ministry of complicity. A letter signed by OPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Ajayi Olusola, Coordinator in Ondo State, Comrade Alao Olutayo and the Mayegun of OPC, Williams Ayerin and sent to the Commander of the Naval Forward Operational Base (FOB), Igbokoda, accused Chevron, Exxon, Mobil and Agip oil companies of jeopardisng the future of the indigenes. The group urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call the management of the oil companies to order in the interest of peace. The statement said Ilaje Local Government, the only oil producing council in the Southwest, produces over 800,000 barrels of oil per day. OPC vowed to embark on a protest in the oil fields to press home its demand. The group accused NDDC and the Niger Delta Ministry of

•Over alleged neglect From Damisi Ojo, Akure

collaborating with the oil companies at the detriment of the oil communities. It said Errha fields produce over 250,000 barrels of oil per day and Agip Oil, through its Abo Oil field, also produces over 150,000 barrels of oil per day without any project sited in the area by the oil companies. OPC said despite the huge revenue accruing to the oil companies and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through the oil communities, none of the indigenes has been employed by any of the oil companies. The statement said many communities, such as Ayetoro, Ikorigho, Odonla, Seluwa and Obenla would soon go into extinction following explorations on their lands by the oil companies. OPC said oil spills have occurred in the communities and the oil companies have not cleaned them up, adding that they have also failed to compensate the victims. “We are planning to protest at the Agbami oil field, Errha oil field, Abo oil field and other oil fields in the onshore and offshore of Ilaje waterways and this may not be in the interest of the oil communities.




Ekiti Reps’ caucus removes Bamidele over governorship ambition


HE Ekiti caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday removed its Chairman, Mr. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, following his ambition to run for governor. According to the lawmakers, Bamidele’s ambition is not in consonance with the position of their party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Bamidele, who has declared his intention to contest the governorship poll next year, was replaced with Mr. Robison Ajiboye (Ekiti North 2 Federal Constituency). Reading a statement titled: ‘Time to set the records straight’ before reporters yesterday, the lawmakers said: “In the past six months, there has been the issue of one of our colleagues, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, also the leader of Ekiti State caucus of the House of Representatives and by extension the Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Budget. “Over this period, we, his colleagues have been inundated with enquiries by colleagues from other states, well-meaning Nigerians and our constituents on whose mandate we derive the legitimacy to remain in the House of Representatives, seeking to know what is going on about the hearsay that Bamidele is breaking ranks with what we represent and the ideals we share- loyalty to the cause and concern for the good people of Ekiti State championed on the platform of the ACN. “We have been guarded, careful and measured in our responses to allow interventions from our colleagues in the caucus, colleagues from other states and sincere interest groups within and outside to wade into the matter. “From the string of disrespectful positions of Bamidele, starting from the serial rebuff of well-informed advice of leaders of our party and leaders of thought manifesting in not honouring meetings and appointments convened by constituted authorities, formal and informal;

•Labour Party woos lawmaker From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

which reached the zenith at the meeting called by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande on July 3.” The Ekiti lawmakers said Bamidele was invited like other major stakeholders, including National Assembly members, and that the lawmaker even confirmed that he would attend, but failed to attend and sent no representation or apology. They said: “Rather, what we read on the pages of newspapers are disparaging remarks, outbursts and denials. It is clear that Paul who used to speak with God has begun consultations with diviners, as attested to by the bunch of political jobbers and profiteers, who reports said attended a ragtag fly-by-night meeting-cum- declaration of his intention to contest the governorship election in 2014.” According to the lawmakers, Bamidele’s ambition is not only a distraction, but also portends retrogression for Ekiti State. “As earlier enumerated, to get the state and its people to this point has taken conscious and concerted hard work over the past three years, with sleeves rolled up, hands on the plough and this is not the time to allow or entertain distractions in any form, manner or way and indeed from anybody that would set us on a path of retrogression, which is what the ambition of Bamidele signifies at this time.” The members described Bamidele’s denial of the endorsement of Governor Kayode Fayemi by the ACN in December 2012 at Iyin Ekiti as being “limited in truth quotient.” This, they said, included the “denial of the clear position of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that he did not advise him to respect the bigger picture, corporate interest and manifest endorsement of the Ekiti people on the basis of

PDP Convention: Aspirant opposes return of NWC members


From: Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

N aspirant for the position of National Women Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Chika Ibeneme, yesterday opposed automatic return of the party’s 21 National Working Committee (NWC) members. Mrs Ibeneme spoke at a news conference in Abuja. She said that granting NWC members who were asked to resign automatic return would throw the party into bigger crisis. The PDP is preparing for a special convention scheduled tentatively for next month to fill vacant positions created by the resignation of 21 NWC members last month. A new guidelines released by the party threw open the contest to new aspirants. Mrs Ibeneme insisted that the idea of simply endorsing candidates without the popular support of the generality of members would be against the spirit of internal democracy. She said: “The fortunes of the PDP will be greatly enhanced to throw the contest open for all aspirants. “We are happy that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who as secretary of the convention planning committee, announced that the contest will be open to all. “Endorsement of candidates will create problem for the party. There should be internal democracy because that it is the beauty of democratic process.” Mrs Ibeneme noted that having been persuaded last year to step down when she aspired to be the party’s women leader, she is convinced to make it this time around at the convention. She said: “I am in the race to be elected PDP national women leader because I know that I can do it.“I have what it takes to mobilise Nigerian women for the victory of the party in 2015.” “I am not new to leadership and I believe that I have what it takes to make the difference as PDP women leader. PDP needs people like me to mobilise Nigerians ahead of 2015 general elections.”

which Bamidele was informed to drop his ambition. The message was clear and simple enough. “It follows that since he does not feel too comfortable with the party, the most honourable thing to do is resign his position as the leader of the caucus, since we cannot be a caucus any more if our presumed leader has a different inclination and persuasion that run contrary to those of the other five members of the caucus. As democrats, one of the trite principles of democracy is that dissent of opinion is allowed, but the majority will always carry the day. In this case, Bamidele is in the minority. “It is in view of these reasons that we the undersigned members of the Ekiti State

caucus of the House of Representatives feel obligated to inform the public that Bamidele is removed as the leader of the caucus and to convey this resolution to the leadership of the House that the chairmanship slot is immediately transferred to our new leader, Robinson Ajiboye, and the attendant post of Committee on Legislative Budget.” The statement was signed by the five members, which include Robison Ajiboye, who read the statement, Bamidele Faparusi, Bimbo Daramola, Ifeoluwa Arowosoge and Oyetunde Ojo. Reporters wanted to know why Bamidele was being denied the opportunity to run for the governorship in a democratic setting.

Daramola responded: “It was never thought that a day like this will come, but now that we are faced with it, we have to find the best way to deal with it. What must be stressed is that the decision to arrive at where we are today was not hurriedly concluded as well as the fact that we came here (National Assembly) on a platform of a political party. “We also have to stress that as long as the party that is the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has rules, we are dutybound to obey them. Being a party with an ideology, there have been several interventions across all layers of the party. “For instance, there was a retreat at Ikogosi where the matter would have been resolved. Bamidele failed to turn up; he was also absent at

the swearing in of the Deputy Governor after being invited. “Also, the intervention of the National Leader, Asiwaju Tinubu and the National Chairman, Chief Akande was snubbed by Bamidele. “In view of these, we have resolved to remove him as the leader of the Ekiti caucus and replace him with Ajiboye.” Labour Party (LP) has made overtures to Bamidele to defect to the party, promising him the governorship ticket. Prominent traditional rulers in Ekiti have advised him to mend fences with the ACN to prevent a repeat of the Ajasin/Omoboriowo scenario. They warned against any crack in the party, urging him to remember the battle that heralded Fayemi’s ascension. Bamidele could not be reached for comments yesterday




Emulate Muhammad, Dickson tells Muslims


AYELSA State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has urged Muslims to reflect on good deeds of Prophet Muhammad Dickson said: “As you partake in the Ramadan Fast in line with the commandments of the Holy Quran, I urge you to use the period to also pray for peace and unity in our country. “The period of the Fast also offers you a unique opportunity to demonstrate our love for one another as Nigerians, Muslims and Non-Muslims. “Let us use this period to renew our commitment to our nation and strengthen the bonds of unity among our people, irrespective of tribe or religion.”

•Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle) praying during a Special Prayer for the commencement of Ramadan organised by the State Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture at the Lagos House, Ikeja. With him (from left) are Chief of Staff Mr Lanre Babalola; Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources Mr Taofiq Tijani; his Home Affairs and Culture and Special Duties counterparts, Alhaji Oyinlomo Danmole and Dr Wale Ahmed; Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing Mr Jimoh Ajao and his Works and Infrastructure counterpart Mr Ganiyu Johnson.

Obama, Jonathan, Mark, Tinubu preach peace


S the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims begin 29/30 days fasting today, world leaders have wished the faithful a month blessed with joys, peace and understanding. Leading the pack are American President Barack Obama, his

By Tajudeen Adebanjo, Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Nigerian counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Senate David Mark and National Leacer of Action Congress of Ni-

RAMADAN GUIDE WITH FEMI ABBAS e-mail: Tel: 08122697498

Welcoming Ramadan


HIS is Ramadan, the ‘Dean’ of all lunar months. It comes into the world once in a year. Its arrival is always with fanfare. Its splendour is shrouded in the divine paraphernalia that heralds its coming. Unlike all other months of the year, Ramadan keeps humanity in suspense even as it sends a harbinger ahead. That harbinger is the crescent of hope, which millions of Muslims await before commencing the annual obligatory fast. From its name alone, Ramadan can be called the key with which to open the door to paradise. It is the solid ground upon which the formidable edifice of Islam is built. It is the month in which Islam was born. Without the revelation of the Qur’an, which started in the month of Ramadan, perhaps the world would not be talking of the five pillars of Islam today. It is from the Qur’anic revelations that we came to know of Iman (faith); Salat (worship); Zakah (alms-giving); Sawm (fasting) and Hajj. Not only that, Ramadan is the great light from the heavens which wakes up the snoring humanity from their deep sleep and illuminates the dark world of man. For those who know it, Ramadan is the incomparable yardstick of discipline in the life of man. To wake up in the night and observe Nafilats; to take an early breakfast at dawn and abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse throughout the day can only be imposed by Ramadan as an act of discipline. With Ramadan, the hardest heart is softened and the wildest animal instinct in man is tamed. No other pillar of Islam preaches patience, sympathy and social welfare as effectively as Ramadan, the month that levels the ground under the feet of the rich and the poor. Ramadan is the only month that comes into the world with heavy pregnancy. Inside that pregnancy is the mystery called the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) which turns every true believer into a new, innocent person. If for the ‘Night of Power’ (Laylatul Qadr) alone, Ramadan is worth the divine splendour that characterises it. Welcome on board this cruising ship sailing confidently to the ‘Cape of Good Hope’.

geria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Obama said Ramadan is a time for thoughtful reflection, fasting and devotion. His words: “This month reminds us that freedom, dignity and opportunity are the undeniable rights of all mankind. We reflect on these universal values at a time when many citizens across the Middle East and North Africa continue to strive for these basic rights and as millions of refugees mark Ramadan far from their homes. The United States stands with those who are working to build a world where all people can write their own future and practise their faith freely, without fear of violence. According to President Obama, “Ramadan is a reminder that millions of Muslim Americans enrich our nation each day — serving in our government, leading scientific breakthroughs, generating jobs and caring for our neighbours in need. ” President Jonathan urged Muslims to pray for greater peace, security and national progress. The President called on all Nigerians, to imbibe the virtues of piety, self-discipline, tolerance, equity, fairness and sympathy for the less-privileged.

He enjoined all persons of the faith who may have been misled by extremists and agents of international terrorism into taking up arms against their fellow countrymen, women and children to re-open their minds, during this Ramadan season, to Islam’s true lessons of love and peaceful co-existence with others. Senator Mark urged Muslims to “fervently pray” for the nation to come out of its current security challenges. He noted, however, that with prayers and honest commitment of all to nation building, Nigeria would come out of its these challenges. “As Muslims commence the season of Ramadan, do remember our nation in your prayers. You should also remember the poor, the less privileged and the vulnerable in the society. “We need to pray and work together for the peace, unity and progress of our country. We have no other place to call our country. We must therefore do all we can to protect and preserve our common heritage,” he said. Asiwaju Tinubu called on Muslims to embrace the virtues of personal sacrifice, self-discipline and tolerance during the holy month of Ramadan. Ac-

cording to him, the country is at a crucial stage in which it needs more supplication and prayers for it to continue to survive as an entity. “The Ramadan period offers the vast Muslims in this country and elsewhere the opportunity to pray for Nigeria. Nigeria needs deliverance from poverty, corruption, visionless leaders, wicked rulers and purveyors of falsehood. The spirit of death hangs over our country and we must all pray for a change that is beneficial to all,” he said. Tinubu urged religious leaders from different faith not to leave the Muslims alone to do it all during this Ramadan season but, to in their own way, offer prayers and seek to imbibe the virtues of peace, sacrifice and forgiveness. “The greater burden is however of the political leadership. Those that run the affairs of State. Power is God-given and if we mis-use such powers, if we fail to better the lives of the millions we rule over, if we chastise the citizenry rather than lessen their burden, if violate the fundamental rights of the ordinary Nigerian, then that power they wield will be taken away in due time. The people’s will ultimately triumph”

Ekweremadu seeks prayers, reconciliation From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


EPUTY President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday urged Muslims to pray for peace, unity, and development of the country during the Ramadan. Ekweremadu described Ramadan as a month of peace, holiness, and closer relationship with God. The Deputy Senate President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu said the period of fast is “an opportunity for sober reflection towards restoring true national reconciliation, peace and unity without which no country could make any meaningful progress.” He added that: “Unforgiveness, false teachings, hate, and bitterness are the spiritual and emotional poisons that promote extremism, insurgency, terrorism, and wanton destruction of lives and property, which paralyse peaceful co-existence and stifle national development.

Observe injunctions, Amosun, Aregbesola enjoin Muslims


GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and his Osun counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola have urged Muslims to observe the injunctions of Ramadan as contained in the Holy Quran. Amosun said attributes such as self discipline, compassion, alms giving, study of Quran, prayers, among others, should define the Holy month for all

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Muslims. He urged all adherents of Islam to pray fervently for peace and progress in the country during the fasting period. “With sincerity of purpose and supplication to the almighty Allah, we can overcome all our challenges,” the governor said. Aregbesola enjoined Muslims to maximise the opportu-

nities of the Holy month to purse the path of glory, progress, growth and sustainable development in the interest of the country. As a nation, he said, what the people, leaders and followers, need to do is to come together and forge a harmonious relationship for the betterment of the country. He called on the Muslim faithful to rededicate them-

selves to reproductive activities that are capable of positively affecting the nation’s fortunes. He enjoined them to use the month to channel their energies towards rewarding activities. “This is a month of sacrifice, perseverance and austere discipline; a period of humility, sober reflection, prayer and shower of blessings. It is a period when we are supposed to close rank with Allah, the Creator.

RAMADAN DIET “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (Pious). Observing Saum (fasts) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know.” –– Suratul Baqara (Chapter 2) verses 183-184 Sponsored by ALHAJI JUBREEL & ALHAJA SHERIFAT ABDULKAREEM, Chairman, Agege Local Govt Area, Lagos




CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Woman , 25, 'stranded' in Kirikiri Prisons


Poly students seek end to strike A group of polytechnic students, under the aegis of Concerned Students Against Commercialisation of Education (CSACE), yesterday staged a protest against government's insensitivity over the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP). The group accused the government of not paying attention to their plight with its failure to discuss with the union. The students, who held a rally in major areas of Lagos, also demanded equality of Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor Degree, saying that government must increase funding of polytechnic education. Speaking through their Secretary, Idris Dada, the students said

•Crisis after losing employer's money to fraudsters three years ago

HE family of 25-year-old Maria Lawrence, who was incarcerated three years ago in the Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos, without trial, over an alleged fraud, has urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to intervene in his case "before she dies there." Maria's journey into the prison began when she fell into the hands of fraudsters, otherwise known as 419ers. Peter Alobo, Maria's brother said she was working as secretary to a female lawyer at 1004, Victoria Island, Lagos. She was also saddled with carrying out banking transactions on behalf of her boss. One day, The Nation learnt, Maria was sent to a micro-finance bank to collect a teller, but because the money had not been paid into her boss’s account, she was given the money, N960, 000, for her boss. It was gathered that shortly after she left the bank, she walked into the hands of fraudsters, who brainwashed her into believing that they could double the money for her. They lured her into their vehicle and drove her around town until they got to where they told her to cross an expressway and buy some native eggs. She left the money with the fraudsters. They told her that the eggs were among the items needed for the money-doubling exercise. As soon as she crossed the road, the men disappeared with her phone, handbag and the money. She was said to have raised the alarm and cried her heart out. But sympathisers had no clue as to how

By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent

the men disappeared. "After waiting for Maria's return to no avail, her boss called me. We tried her phone, but it was switched off. I was arrested and taken to the Bar Beach Police Station because I am her guarantor. I was later released on bail. "I was on my way home, when another of my sister called me that Maria was at home. When I got home, she was crying, saying that she did not know what came over her and how she returned home," Alobo said. The next day, she was detained at the police station for four weeks before she was granted bail, following an agreement with her employer on how to refund the money. The woman, Alobo said, changed her mind and police re-arrested Maria. The case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, where she was detained for three months under grueling torture. "The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) said his investigation revealed that the case was pure 419 one," Alobo said, adding that the police findings prompted her boss to take the case to court in November, 2011; first at the Ebute-Metta Magistrate's Court 13, and later, Igbosere Magistrate's court, Lagos Island. Sadly, the family could not satisfy the requirements for her bail; thus, Maria was remanded in Kirikiri Prisons, where she has since remained as her case continued to suffer adjourn-

• Maria

ments. Out of frustration, Alobo visited the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), an arm of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, for succour. But his hope, according to him, was dashed, hence his plea to Fashola. Maria, who was 22 when she was sent to the prisons, was about writing her university entrance examination when she got into the problem. Today, she is holed up with inmates who committed felonious and heinous crimes. Recently, Alobo went to plead with Maria's boss; yet, no dice. "I'm begging Governor Fashola to assist us by urging the OPD to look into Maria's case. If Maria's boss had agreed to our proposed repayment by instalments, we would probably have finished paying the N960, 000 by now. Three years are too long for a young girl to be in the Kirikiri Prisons. Since her incarceration, my mother has not been the same. It is sad that Maria's life is wasting away," Alobo said.

Painful end of a diligent teacher


major pillar of this family is gone … God, this is the cruelest of the devil's handiwork," Hon Tokunbo Omotayo, a former member of Ekiti State House of Assembly, said, sobbing. It was last Friday, when the remains of his elder brother, Isaiah Babatunde Omotayo, were being lowered into the grave. Even sympathisers cried their hearts out, with virtually no one to console members of the deceased's family. Born and bred in his Uketun-Afao, Ikere-Ekiti home, the late Omotayo was said to be "addicted" to teaching and had spent 32 meritorious years in the service. But just two years to earning his retirement, a "careless" driver cut short his life. In the afternoon of June 27, 56-year-old Omotayo had completed his duties as the Assistant Head Teacher on Grade Level 14 at the Community Primary School, Igbo-Ijan, Ikere. But an urgent assignment required his attention, some kilometers away from his home. For a man, not given to re-


By Seun Akioye

fusing any assignment all through his career, he decided to go on a motorbike, unknown to him that he was on a journey of no return. Just a few metres from his home, a vehicle veered off the road and hit him. Omotayo did not survive the impact. He died before help could reach him, leaving behind his grieving family who is still unable to come to terms with the "sudden and gruesome" death of their breadwinner. A man of exemplary character who was widely acclaimed as a father par excellence, family sources said he had one thing in his mind: To do his best to see his remaining two children through secondary and university education, having seen the first two out of the university. Rising from a humble beginning, the late teacher was described as gentle, accommodating and hardworking. He was said to have, by a dint of hard work, earned the Nigeria College of Education (NCE) certificate in Yoruba/

• The late Omotayo

Social Studies, after various trainings he earlier underwent. Since he began his teaching career, he had taught in eight primary schools in the state, making him one of the most versatile teachers in the community. Omotayo was the treasurer of the Hunters’ Association in the state. He was also the secretary, Ikere chapter of the association. His widow, Besede Julianah, who works at the Community Department of Ikere Local Government, described him as "a wonderful husband, friend and father indeed." Now, the family, The Nation learnt, is still grappling with the "intrigues" surrounding its quest for justice in the case.

FRSC, police hold sanitation

HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ota Unit Command, and Ogun State Police Command began their oneweek joint sanitation exercise yesterday on the Abeokuta Expressway, Ota, Ogun State. The FRSC's Ota Unit Commander, Mr Sunday Omefu,

By Ayeni Olalekan

said the exercise, tagged, "Operation good morning toll gate," was aimed at rescuing the road from congestion by the traders and miscreants who extort fees from commercial motorists. Omefu said the

programme came on the heels of frequent accidents that had claimed many lives on the road. He urged the Ogun State Government to back the command after the exercise, saying that it would no longer tolerate trading and illegal parking along the route.

By Bukunmi Akinbehinje, Uyoatta Eshiet, Demola Abimbolu and Olatunde Odebiyi

poor funding had been the bane of the education in the country, adding that the nation would not move forward until the government restored the glory of tertiary education. They wondered why the government allowed the strike to continue for months, saying industrial action embarked on by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was an indication President Goodluck Jonathan’s government was insensitive to the plight of Nigerian students. They demanded immediate reopening of their campuses, threatening a "massive" protest if government did not find a solution to the logjam.

Stakeholders discuss Apapa renewal plan THE Lagos State Government has presented a draft of its Model City Plan to stakeholders in Apapa for their input and harmonisation. Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde said the Plan is to create a modern Port City that is conducive for habitation and business as well as attractive to recreation, tourism and commerce. He said the plan covers the southern part of the state consisting of Apapa Local Government area, Apapa-Iganmu LCDA, parts of EtiOsa West and Oriade LCDA. Ayinde said the plan, among other things, would provide effective framework for all-round development and facilitate inter-modal transport system, social cohesion, steady economic growth and aesthetic environment. The commissioner regretted that the problem of Apapa started with the oil boom that attracted tankers and articulated vehicles to the area that destroyed the road and other

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

infrastructure. He asked residents to make input into the draft proposal for a model city of their choice that would ensure confort for all. The chairman, Apapa GRA, Brig. General Aremu Vaughan Olushola, said about four brothels, 18 hotels and four markets had sprung up in the area, thus causing nuisance to residents. He urged government to take serious action against the trend. A resident, Mr. Babatunde Bamigbose Daniel, sought improvement of the suburban towns in the state to reduce pressure on Apapa and also discourage Tank Farms in the model city. Another resident, Mr. Isiaka Lawal asked that maintenance culture be imbibed in the model city plan. Prince Ojora Akiolu asked that the project should be used to create employment for residents and not for outsiders.




CBN mulls biometric authentication of bank customers


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will introduce Biometric authentication of bank customers in 2015 using Point Of Sale (POS) and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The introduction of biometric authentication is to address the safety of customers’ funds and avoid losses through compromise of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN). This disclosure was made by the CBN governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at the stakeholders sensitisation on the cashless Nigeria programme for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Sanusi said: “Biometric authentication for POS and ATMs to address safety of

From Nduka Chiejina Assistant Editor

customers’ funds and avoid losses through compromise of PIN is being considered and to be implemented by 2015.” Corroborating Sanusi, Chidi Onwealu who represented Eme Eleonu, Head, Shared Services, of the CBN said the financial industry cannot continue to wait forever as they will apply biometric authentication of bank customers. Onwealu said: “We have started a financial institutions biometric project. Right now we are capturing. The project has just started and very soon we’ll start capturing finger prints of all customers in the financial system.” This effort he said, will

serve “as a first base to start enabling biometric options and by 2015 we expect that the illiterate trader in Onitsha and the illiterate trader in Kano would not have to come to your bank and you see his signature as irregular because those are the kind of things that stop them from opening accounts.” He berated banks for giving their customers cumbersome forms to fill. “They are not comfortable with that so they’ll rather have their money under their beds but as soon as we start applying biometric options, all they need is their finger prints to access their funds and so on.” The CBN governor represented by John Chukwudifu, the FCT branch controller, said the apex bank has taken

great steps to gain the confidence of ATM consumers and as such has been able to reduce fraud committed with electronic cards by 90 per cent. To gain ATM users confidence, the CBN, Sanusi said, had to enforce migration from Magstripe type of debit card to chip and pin (EMV compliance) type of debit card. As a result of this effort, statistics he said, “shows that this effort has reduced the fraud incidences by 90 per cent. Many customers are now embracing the use of electronic (ATM and POS) channels in their transaction because of near impossible efforts of would-be fraudsters in being able to clone debit cards to perpetrate fraud as it was the case

during the pre-migration era.” On the introduction of cashless programme in some states and cities in the country, Sanusi said, “there would be prevalent use of debit cards to perform transactions on ATM, POS and Internet banking, and these transactions would have to pass through public infrastructure which are prone to cyber threats (a source of vulnerability) as being experienced in developed economies.” He said “cases of debit and

credit cards cloning are vulnerable areas that need urgent attention for the country to reap the benefits of cashless society.” Another challenge to the cashless programme of the CBN, Sanusi lamented, will be “displacing cash as the preferred means of payment.” Nigerians are so attached to using cash that “the cost of cash to Nigeria’s financial system is high and increasing, in fact, direct cost of cash is estimated to reach N192 billion in 2012" Sanusi said.

Nigeria, China to boost investment, says Aganga


STRATEGIC move to boost trade, investment and reappraise level and quality of trade between Nigeria and China began yesterday. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, made this known in Bejing, China yesterday. He told a select group of reporters that Nigeria’s current position as the number one investment destination in Africa had put the country in a good position to attract more local and international investments across all sectors of the economy, especially in the areas where the country had comparative and competitive advantage. He said: “If you look at the latest report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNTAD), which was released two weeks ago, Nigeria was ranked Africa’s number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa for the second time in two years. “According to the UNCTAD’s report, Nigeria’s FDI inflows stood at $7.03billion, while South Africa recorded $4.572billion; Ghana, $3.295billion; Egypt, $2.798billion and Angola, 6.898billion. This shows that despite the global decline in FDI, we have remained at the top of the ladder for two consecutive years as the preferred destination for FDI inflows into Africa.”


From Ayodele Aminu Bejing, China

Experts say the NigeriaChina Business Forum could not have come at a better time than now as it would provide a veritable platform for the government and organised private sectors of both countries to strengthen their economic partnership, especially in the critical sectors of the economy. A high-level business and investment forum, organised to leverage on the strengths of both countries for win-win trade and investments positions, will be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Beijing. The Business Forum, which is expected to attract top Chinese and Nigerian companies and Investors, is part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s four-day official visit to China and is being organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. Nigeria and China have maintained a long standing trading relationship, which has resulted in significant increases in the volume of trade between both countries. In 2012, the bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and China stood at N276billion. Nigeria’s export to China include liquefied gas, bituminous minerals, sesame seeds rubber, while imports from China include machinery, chemical products and unglazed ceramics, among others.

Shell appoints Ben van Beurden CEO

HE Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced that Ben van Beurden will succeed Peter Voser as Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 January 2014. Peter Voser will leave Shell at the end of March 2014, marking the end of 29 years with the Company. Van Beurden, 55, has been Downstream Director since January 2013. “I am delighted to announce Ben van Beurden as the next Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell,” said Chairman Jorma Ollila. “Ben has deep knowledge of the industry and proven executive experience across a range of Shell businesses. Ben will continue to drive and further develop the strategic agenda that we have set out, to generate

competitive returns for our shareholders.” “Van Beurden’s selection came after a comprehensive assessment and review of internal and external candidates led by the Board Nomination and Succession Committee,” Ollila added. Van Beurden joined the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies in 1983 and has held a number of technical and commercial roles in both the Upstream and Downstream businesses. He has worked in The Netherlands, Africa, Malaysia, USA and, most recently, the UK. Van Beurden, a Dutch national, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He is married and has four children.












Man needs N8m for eye surgery

Dakingari immunises 1.2m kids

NGO supports children






RANSPORTATION challenges have eased for residents of Kware/ Wamakko Federal Constituency in Sokoto State, thanks to a House of Representatives member, Hon. Abdullahi Wamakko, who represents the area. Wamakko distributed 10 cars and 200 motorcycles to his constituents to help them overcome their transportation challenges. At the distribution venue, the lawmaker said that the vehicles were purchased and given to the people who have had enduring difficulties in moving around. “The gesture,” he said, “is part of efforts to ensure the well-be-




Page 17


Lawmaker facilitates transport in Sokoto From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

ing of the people of this constituency in the area of transportation.” The lawmaker who was represented by the Secretary of Gudu Local Government, Alhaji Abubakar Lamido. Among the beneficiaries were the PDP caretaker chairman of Wamakko Local Government Area, Umaru Habibu GidanSalanke who received a Peugeot

406 saloon, and vice chairman, PDP Kware Local Government, Bello Dan Sani. Other brands of the cars distributed at the occasion included Honda and Toyota Corolla. The distribution was performed at the lawmaker’s constituency in a colourful atmosphere. The motorcycles, mainly the Suzuki Battle brand, were personally handed to individual beneficiaries through his repre-

sentative. He said: “Due to difficulties that our people are facing in terms of transportation in their daily activities, I deemed it necessary to purchase these motorcycles and distribute them in order to improve the welfare and well-being of my people.” While expressing his readiness to continue with the meaningful gesture for the development of his people, Hon. Wamakko also called on other legislators to wake up to their re-

sponsibilities and execute more constituency projects that are of clear value to the communities. Commenting on behalf of the beneficiaries, PDP chairman, Wamakko Local Government Area, said the gesture was remarkable. He said: “We are very grateful for this kind gesture extended to the people of this constituency by Hon. Wamakko. No doubt, this is very commendable and it is something that other members shall emulate.”


ORKERS in the public and private sectors are always gripped with fear anytime they are approaching retirement because of the plight of pensioners in Nigeria. Payment of benefits to retirees has become a critical sore point in pension administration in Nigeria and has constituted a big headache to governments at all levels and the private sector. Many senior citizens who had invested their youthful years in the service of their fatherland are being made to undergo harrowing experiences in their bid to get their gratuities and pensions. Apart from the fact that they are owed a backlog of arrears in benefits, many of them have died in the struggle to get what is due to them from the agencies and organisations they had served meritoriously. Other pensioners who are lucky to be alive have retired into abject poverty because of the non-payment of their monthly pension. It has been discovered that the suffering pensioners are made to undergo in Nigeria is one of the reasons serving officials engage in various acts of corruption so as to ‘enjoy’ in retirement. But the situation is changing in Ekiti State where the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is popularly known as “the benefactor of the aged”, is already bringing succour to the pensioners in the state. Pensioners in Ekiti State are now having cause to smile because of the attention they now receive from an administration that believes that they must get what is due to them when they are alive, not when they are dead. Governor Fayemi approved over N1 billion for the payment of pensions to the retirees who worked in the state civil service, retired teachers in secondary schools, local government retirees and retired teachers in primary schools for the months of April and May, 2014. A visit to the State Pension Commission office, Ado-Ekiti and other pay points in the state revealed a flurry of activities leading to the collection of cheques by pensioners. The appreciative pensioners who

•Governor Fayemi listens to one of the pensioners

Fayemi’s N1b succour excites pensioners

By Odunayo Ogunmola, Ekiti

never expected that they would be remembered so soon are showering praises and prayers on Dr. Fayemi for bringing comfort to them. According to the Chairman of the State Pension Commission (PENCOM), Chief Oluwole Ojo, Governor Fayemi had in 2012 set up a committee to look into the problem of backlog of arrears owed pensioners in the state.

Retirees hail effort

Findings of the committee revealed that the Federal Government owes Ekiti State N2.8 billion in arrears of gratuities to Ekiti pensioners. Having the knowledge that it is the people of the state that are being owed retirement benefits, Dr. Fayemi, out of compassion for the

longsuffering retirees worked out a programme of payment on monthly basis. A total number of 132 retired local government workers and retired primary school teachers were paid N251.3 million for the month of April. In the same month, 131 retired

workers in the state civil service and retired secondary school teachers received N252.6 million for the payment of their pension. For the month of May, 139 retired local government workers and retired primary school teachers benefited from pension funds to the tune of N250.8 million. Retired civil service workers and retired secondary school teachers who are 127 in number also received N250.6 million in the same month of May. The current batch of pensioners captured in the ongoing process in Ekiti on sector-by-sector basis are 1,755 made up of 1,045 local government service workers and 710 in the state civil service. The payment of arrears of pen•Continued on Page 45



Borno bans fertiliser sale in markets T

•From left: Chairman, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) Mr Young Arebamen (rtd) presenting cash benefits to Mr Morufdeen Sosan (right) one of the injured LASTMA officials in Lagos .With them is the Assistant Director Finance and Administration, Mrs Owoyemi Olabisi PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

Experts urged to tackle corruption


DMINISTRATORS in the private and public sectors have been challenged to find a solution to the problem of corruption in the country. The Director-General, Institute of Chartered Administrators and Researchers of Nigeria (IARN), Prof Jacob Etinagbedia, spoke during the induction of fellows and members of the institute at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka. He said it is not good for experts to stay aloof and watch some unscrupulous people entrench corruption as a culture in the economy and society. He said: ‘’It will be highly suicidal to fold our hands and sit on the fence gazing at few unfettered individuals, who are craftily entrenching corruption and other ingredients of maladministrative practices as a national tradition in our dear country.’’ He continued: ‘’How long can we allow these unpatriotic elements to glisten in evilish perpetuity. We have the prerequisite to extirpate their perniciousity on our economy. Let’s

By Joseph Eshanokpe

put an end to their tepidity era. With God on our side, we will achieve our meteoricity.’’ As a panacea to this problem, Etinagbedia urged the Federal Government to invest more in research ‘’because with rigorous research, we will be able to nip the present insurgency in the country in the bud, taking into cognizance that without adequate research, there can’t be any meaningful development’’. He also asked the new fellows and members to ‘’embark on research to proffer solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting us as a nation. For you to be relevant and valuable to this institution and our country, you must endeavour to commit yourselves to continuous studies and research. It is very sad to note that a lot of Nigerians are no longer reading, believing that being a graduate and having secured a good employment, there is no need to read. I challenge you to continuously study to show yourselves approved by the society’’.

HE Borno State government has announced a ban on the sale of fertiliser in markets across the state, to check the diversion of the commodity by officials. The Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Mustapha Zanna, announced the ban at a ceremony to launch sale of fertilisers for this year’s cropping season in Biu, headquarters of the Biu Local Government Area. Zanna explained that the goal of the ban was to ensure that government’s fertilisers were not diverted to the black market. He said that government had directed law enforcement agents to ensure strict compliance with the order. “Government will no longer tolerate diversion of fertiliser to the black market as the practice had prevented genuine farmers from getting the commodity. “Security agents should arrest anybody found selling fertiliser in the black market as it is a crime.” He said that government had devised a new system of fertiliser distribution to ensure that the commodity was received by farmers at the grassroots. “Under the new distribution system, each ward in every local government area will be allocated a certain number of fertilisers. “We are going to adhere strictly to this system to ensure that fertilisers are not diverted at the distribution points.” He said that government had procured about one billion naira worth of fertilisers for distribution to farmers at 50 per cent subsidy.

“We have procured 10,000 metric tones of fertilisers for distribution to farmers for the farming season. This is in addition to the remaining stock for last year’s season.” He said that a 50 kg bag of NPK fertiliser would be sold at N2,500 while a 50 kg bag of Urea fertiliser would go for N2,400 Zanna directed officials of the state’s ministries of agriculture and local government affairs to monitor the distribution of the commodity to farmers. Also speaking, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Usman Zanna, said that government had procured improved seed varieties and chemicals worth N37 million for distribution to farmers for free. “Highly improved seed varieties and agro-


with the Federal Government to farmers in the state. Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko disclosed this at Rabah Local Government Council while launching this year’s sale of the commodity.He said his government has subsidisedthe commodity by 70 percent. “By this subsidy, MPK fertiliser would cost


bring everybody on board, you are the father of the traders, both young and old. He charged the Babaloja to use his wealth of experience to bear on market administration so that the required revenue can accrue to the local government. His words: “Ladipo market is our Niger Delta, we want the Babaloja to use his wealth of experience to promote peace and harmony so that governments can make the required internally generated revenue from the market”. Alhaji Oki promised to return the to the path of peace,assuring that all ethnic groups in the market would henceforth co-exist harmoniously. Present at the event were council officials, politicians, stakeholders in the market sector and other dignitaries from the state and beyond.

• Hon. Adepitan being assisted by other council officials to present Alhaji Oki as the Babaloja.

T •Governor Shettima chemicals worth N37 million have been procured for distribution to farmers for free,” Zanna said.

N1,700 while Urea type would be sold at N1,800 ”, he added. Governor Wamakko warned those entrusted with the sale of the commodity to be just and honest as only genuine farmers would benefit from the exercise. He said government had continued to subsidise the agricultural sector so that farmers would produce more food for the country and also improve their own income. The governor said the state government has purchased some farming implements to replace hoes . He urged farmers to take advantage of the new implements and modernise their farming methods, improve seed varieties and boost food production. Governor Wamakko said his administra-

HE Kebbi Primary Health Care Developmnt Agency (KPHDA) said it decentralised 225 immunisation fixed post to enhance coverage of the routine polio immunisation. Dr Abubakar Koko, the agency’s Executive Director, said this at the commencement of the exercise at the Palace of the district head of Gadongwaji, Alhaji Umar Ahmed, in Birnin Kebbi . Koko said the 225 immunisation fixed posts were decentralised across the electoral wards tion has introduced many incentives to farmers as well as established a college of agriculture all in an attempt to boost agriculture. He said as part of his honest resolve to improve agricultural activities in the state, three billion Naira had been disbursed to farmers so far by his administration. The Governor added that arrangement had been concluded to disburse another two billion Naira loan to commercial farmers while modalities are being worked out to give two billion Naira again to farmers who engage in rice production.

and the 27 local government areas to complement the house-to-house coverage. He said 1.2 million children would be immunised against polio, measles, whoopping cough, meningitis, and other related anti-genes, during the four-day round of the exercise. According to him, every child must be protected against killer diseases. He noted that the agency achieved 56 per cent of immunisation coverage in the last two years, stressing that it did not record any polio case during this period. The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, who flagged off the programme, commended the efforts of traditional rulers in the fight against polio. Aliyu said government would continue to support the crusade in order to create a polio-free environment. According to him, we will do everything


HE Kogi State government has disbursed N10 million to 300 individuals and farmers’ cooperative groups under its accelerated rice production project. The beneficiaries were among the first batch of 1,500 farmers engaged by the government during the take-off of the project on December 15 last year The farmers participated in the cultivation of 3,000 hectares of rice farms in Galile, Sarki Noma and Okumi in the Lokoja Local Government Area and Koton-Karfe area of the state. So far, more than 2,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice had been harvested.

Group empowers 225 youths


Council appoints market leader

USHIN Local Government Area in Lagos State has appointed a market leader for Ladipo Market.He is Alhaji Adedotun Abibu Oki.He will be known and addressed as Babaloja of Ladipo Market Speaking at the formal presentation of staff of office to Alhaji Oki, the chairman of the council, Hon. Olatunde Babatunde Adepitan described him as a matured and respectful individual who owns one of the largest warehouses in the market. He said by virtue of his appointment, he now represents government at the market with the onerous duty of coordinating all sections of the market to engender good business. The council boss said: “Babaloja is the representative of the government at the market, he has the approval of the Mama Loja General, Late Alhaja Habibatu Mogaji who passed to the great beyond recently. I plead with you to

Kebbi to immunise 1.2m kids

Sokoto lifts farmers OKOTO State Government is to sell 15,500 tonnes of fertiliser in conjunction


•Members of the club at the event

Rotary donates drugs to community


HE Rotary Club of the Victoria Garden City, Ajah, Lagos State, has donated drugs and other medical supplies to the Ajiran Health Centre and Ikota Primary Health Post. The President of the club, former Central Bank Governor, Chief Joseph Sanusi said the gesture was to assist those who could not afford medical bills in the society. He stated that what the club did is Rotary’s way of contributing her little quota to societal wellbeing, through the provision of drugs and other medical essentials that would enhance human’s good health. He said: “What we have done is to see how we can assist the less privileged in the society and one of the things we can do is to see to how the people can get free prescription and supply of drugs. Some people cannot afford the drugs prescribed to them and in the long run it has some negative impact on their health. As part of our objectives, we have to do something to put smile on their faces.” He said it has become a tradition for the Rotary Club of VGC to enhance the health standard of people living within its area of jurisdiction. “We were here a few years ago to give the people drugs and medication in this clinic. It is our joy that we are able to make some contributions to the welfare of the people through this effort.” Sanusi maintained that government alone could not meet the needs of the people and urged similar humanitarian bodies to rise to the occasion by assisting in any little way they

By Musa Odoshimokhe

could. “Those who have the wherewithal should come out to see what they can do to support government efforts in providing essential basic needs. It is not easy for government to do everything no matter how generous they try to reach every segment of the society.” He expressed the belief that when non governmental organisations support what government is doing through similar assistance, the grassroots and those that ordinarily could not be reached by government would be reached and the impact of government responsibilities to them would be felt. Responding on behalf of the Eti Osa Local Government, Mr. Olatunde Agbaje said the Rotary Club has been making much impression in the area and therefore thanked them for their efforts so far. “It is my hope that the reason behind the donation will be fulfilled. Since the under privileged were the purpose for the gesture, the drugs and other medical facilities given to them will be utilised for the purpose. I hope that the staff at the Primary Healthcare who have the materials in their custody will do what the club provided the drugs for.” Agbaje stressed that adequate publicity would be made to enable members of the public patronise the health centres for the free drugs. “They must ensure that the drugs are given out free because they were supplied free to assist those who cannot pay for drugs or take care of their medical bills.”

HE President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarding (NAGAFF),Mr Eugene Nweke, said the association had empowered 225 youths on freight forwarding in Katsina State. Nweke disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Lagos. He said that the youths were undergoing training in freight forwarding to enhance their capacity in the profession. Nweke also said that some youths had also been re-enrolled in the state ownedinstitutions for further professional exposure. He said that the association would open more branches in states in the North to empower youths in freight forwarding. “NAGAFF is already in Kano and Abuja and the association will continue to expand on this,” he said. Nweke said that some youths in Jibia in Kastina were also furthering their education on freight forwarding. He said that the association would partner with other government agencies to empower the youths.


•From left: Lanre Ogunlesi, Member LIMGE board, Chike Onyejekwe, MD SNEPCo, Chief Taiwo Taiwo, President LIMGE and Eng. Olusegun Okebiorun, Comptroller General Federal Fire Service, all flanked by fully kitted fire men at the launch of the new Ajele Federal Fire Station, Lagos


SIWAJU Total Loyalty Team has given out some hajj forms to some Muslim brothers in its quest to bring succour to party members. The action, according to the group, is one of the pillars of Islam as preached by the Holy Prophet. One of the beneficiaries of the kind gesture who will be going on holy pilgrimage this year , Chief Lateef Aremu Edun expressed his gratitude in tears. The 63-year-old man said that he never imagined himself performing the Hajj in his life time. He prayed for the progress of the team and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is the pillar of the group. Many also benefited from its empowerment programmes such as distribution of genera-

•Governor Dakingari possible to ensure compliance and erring parent will be sanctioned.

Rice farmers get N10m reward Speaking on the occasion, Governor Idris Wada expressed delight that the accelerated rice production scheme had been a success, adding that the money disbursed to farmers was their own share from the sales. He said that the payment of the money to the farmers was in fulfilment of the promise earlier made by the government that the proceeds would be shared at 60-40 per cent ration between the government and the farmers. Wada, however, said that government had decided to buy back the harvested rice at the current market price from the farmers to ensure food security, saying that money realised from the sale would be re-invested in the project. The governor thanked the Federal Government for providing N100 million, 60 water pumps, 350 bags of rice seeds and 750 bags of fertilisers at subsidised rates to support the project. Wada appealed to the Federal Government to maintain the ban on rice importation in order to protect local rice, saying that the country had no reason to spend as much as one billion naira daily on rice importation. The Project Consultant, Mr Anselem Mohammed, said that those issued cheques had completed harvesting, promising that others would receive their money after harvest. He identified the invasion of quela birds as a major problem confronting the project, saying that as much as 20 per cent of the total yield might be lost to the birds’ invasion.

Group gives free hajj forms tors and cash donations to artisans, relief materials to widows and those in need. The president of the team, Alhaji Oluwatoyin Balogun, used the medium to appeal to well meaning Nigerians to always

give a sympathetic ear to the cry of the less privileged “If only we could all embrace the enviable virtue of our National Leader (Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu), the poor people in our society will not suffer much ” he said.

ICT centres for pry schools

PHILANTHROPIST, Engr Bolaji Ajimotokan, has donated Information Technology Centres (ICT) to two primary schools in the Agege suburb of Lagos. They are Olusanya Primary School and Irepodun Primary School Agege. Some days later, he led a team of youths to a neighbourhood football competition where winners went home with mouth-watering prizes. He established a foundation in September 2012,Ajimotokan Foundation, that has since been engaged in community projects. He promised to improve the living standard of Agege residents with programmes for youths where they will be taught skills in photography; videography; soap making and film editing. Besides,he plans to conduct free breast and cervical cancer screening for women in his local government area this year. Ajimotokan, who said he will be contending for a seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly in the next Lagos State elections,

By Nneka Nwaneri

said his actions were borne out of the situation he met in Agege in 2010 when he came back to the country. “I am an Agege son. I was born and brought up in the area and know what life is here. That is why the youth of this axis are my greatest assets and I will do all I can to uplift them and make them believe they can have a better life by assisting them in applying for visa lotteries, like I have been doing in the past. That is why I they need a representative in the House of Assembly”, he said. Other past programmes he carried out include: distribution of educational materials to primary school pupils, hosting a children’s party during the yuletide season; having a jumbo market where more than 500 cripples, less privileged and blind in the suburb were given rice and other food stuff as well as a financial empowerment and poverty alleviation largesse to some residents of Agege.

•From left: Alhaja Ihene (member of the team), Chief Lateef Aremu Edun, beneficiary of the holy pilgrimage and Alhaji Oluwatoyin Balogun, President Asiwaju Total Loyalty





Obama to the rescue?


•Perhaps the US President’s $7bn electrification package for Africa will break Nigeria’s electricity jinx

N June 30 in South Africa, US President Barack Obama in South Africa during his three-country Africa swing, announced a $7 billion “Power Africa” initiative, spread over five years, benefiting seven countries: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique, in the first wave. But a few days after Obama’s good news, Nigeria, one of the beneficiaries of the electrification aid, announced not-so-good news of its own. From an initial promise of attaining 10, 000 megawatts of electricity by December 2013, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, power minister, rolled the target back by one full year! The new promise is 10, 000 mw by December 2014 – and there are no guarantees that the projection would not be further rolled back. This is no cynical fear because by the original Obasanjo Presidency pro-

‘That just proves that lack of money is not Nigeria’s power problem. It is rather blind greed and corruption, which have fated resources committed to the sector to be no more than water pouring through basket. But perhaps Uncle Sam’s proposed intervention in Nigeria’s rural electrification would jerk the authorities awake to do the needful; and deliver on the allimportant electricity promise’

jection, 10, 000mw was to have been attained by December 2007. Now, if the 2014 new day holds, it would have been seven years late. The annoying thing about the minister’s latest target was not the failure to deliver on a promise on a critical sector of the economy, on which nearly everything in a modern economy rests. Bad as that recurrence was, it was not unexpected. It was rather in the ostrich-like, cavalier manner the minister announced his latest shift of the goal post, citing some so-called latest data from the field, and gifting himself the sanctimony of one defaulting for the very first time. That is not good enough; for it portrays the Jonathan Presidency, under which the minister serves, as not only without focus but unrepentantly so. Now, contrast this tardiness with the surefooted philosophy that appeared to have inspired Mr. Obama’s five-year Africa electrification plan. “Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age,” the US president declared. “It’s the light that children study by, the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business. It’s the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs, and it’s the connection that’s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy.” Like the proverbial Greek and his peculiar gifts, America’s latest electricity aid comes with its own baggage, ideological or otherwise. Broken down, the funding would come from the $1.5 billion US Overseas Private Investment Corporation and another $5 billion from the US Export-Import Bank. Even if the project succeeds as envisaged, it would have lit up the targeted

part of Africa. But it would also have created jobs for American big businesses and expatriate experts. But even that enlightened self-interest could not vitiate America’s felt urgent need to improve the near-hopeless Africa power situation, which our own government, hence its criminal tardiness on its electrification project, could not even boast. Meanwhile, from the statistics the US president trotted out, Sub-Saharan Africa alone, where Nigeria is marooned, would need $300 billion to achieve electricity access for all its citizens by 2030. That means the $7 billion aid is no more than a tiny drop in the ocean. Yet it is clear the Jonathan Presidency, by its all-too-obvious parlous electricity record, is not gripped by any urgency; or rattled by the near-hopelessness of the power situation, particularly as it imposes structural poverty on an economy that is far from being competitive. This is clearly not good enough. For a programme that is continent-wide, the US intervention is a mere drop in the sea. Indeed, it is less than half of the $16 billion Nigeria has, since the Obasanjo presidency, committed to electricity, with pretty little to show. That just proves that lack of money is not Nigeria’s power problem. It is rather blind greed and corruption, which have fated resources committed to the sector to be no more than water pouring through basket. But perhaps Uncle Sam’s proposed intervention in Nigeria’s rural electrification would jerk the authorities awake to do the needful; and deliver on the all-important electricity promise.

Simply Mr. Lecturers!


•Ebonyi COE should review its recruitment process in view of startling revelations from the college

HE report that the Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo, demoted about 15 lecturers of the college for alleged certificate forgery is a cause for concern. According to the report, an investigative panel set up by the management of the college to look into the issue, discovered that the lecturers, who claimed to have doctorate and masters degree, only had genuine West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificates with three and four credits, without mathematics and only a pass in English language. The panel also discovered that the study centres of the two foreign universities: Pacific Western University, Denver, Colorado, USA and Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA – located in Enugu and Owerri, where the affected lecturers claimed to have obtained their PhDs and Masters were not accredited universities in the US and were not approved by either the Federal Ministry of Education or the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). As punishment for this grave infraction, the management of the college decided to slap them with a loaf of bread. Two senior lecturers who claimed to have PhDs: Ojiuzor Paulinus Elekwa and Ogbaga Fidelis, would be demoted to Administrative officer II and Assistant Clerical Officer II, respectively; also, Akpagu Cletus Ikechukwu, Nwigwe Valentine, Nwigwe Ellas; Nweke Joseph were directed to stop parading themselves as PhD holders and to withdraw from the positions of senior lecturers to lecturer 1;

demoted from lecturer 1 to lecturer III; and were asked to refund all the financial benefits which accrued to them as lecturer I, effective from the date of their promotion to date. Those lecturers who claimed to have obtained masters degrees suffered a similar fate. They were demoted from lecturer I and II to lecturer III and assistant lecturers, respectively. They, too, are to refund salaries received as senior lecturers before the demotion. While it is tempting to want to commend the authorities of the college for having the courage to embark on this internal selfcleansing, we refuse to succumb to that temptation. These measures are at best half-hearted. They do not go far enough. As a matter of fact, certain questions beg for answers: How were these people recruited in the first place? Was the recruitment process thorough and transparent? What quality of knowledge have they been imparting on the poor students? Perhaps unknown to the university, what we are dealing with here could even be a criminal act. And criminal acts by their nature are crimes against the state. The authorities of the Ebonyi College of Education should do the proper thing: extend the inquiry into how their lecturers and other senior cadre employees were recruited. Were the lecturers aware that the institutions they claimed to have attended were not accredited? And with regard to their recruitment procedure, the institution also must determine whether those in charge of recruitment in the school were not complicit in this matter. Is it

possible that they too were not aware that the affected lecturers are not products of accredited institutions? The possibility is that many of such people are earning undeserved pay in many of our higher institutions. And this is an indictment on the agency responsible for approving institutions that can have campuses in the country. Some years back, this was done to many institutions within the country and their satellite campuses shut down. If we can do this to schools within, why should it be possible for outsiders to just set up degree-awarding centres run by unaccredited universities in the country? The government has a duty to protect Nigerians from being fleeced by foreigners who are only interested in exploiting their quest for university or higher education.

‘Were the lecturers aware that the institutions they claimed to have attended were not accredited? And with regard to their recruitment procedure, the institution also must determine whether those in charge of recruitment in the school were not complicit in this matter. Is it possible that they too were not aware that the affected lecturers are not products of accredited institutions?’

Egypt’s army is not democracy’s guide • Only elections including Islamists will deliver secure future


HEN Egypt’s army took the side of millions of citizens occupying the country’s streets and squares and ousted Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, it swept aside a legitimately elected president who had serially failed litmus tests of democratic legitimacy. There is no room left for Egypt to keep failing these tests – and no need for a country that can mobilise at this level of vitality to retain the men in uniform as pharaoh makers. The tumultuous end to one year of rule by the Muslim Brotherhood was, quite simply, a coup d’état. But it was preceded by millions of Egyptians taking to the streets, calling for Mr Morsi’s departure in even greater numbers than brought down the armybacked dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It is hard to think of a greater humiliation for the Brothers, revealed as would-be emperors with the most threadbare of clothes. Egypt’s new script is being written, for the moment, by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief of staff. He has suspended the constitution, and replaced Mr Morsi with Adli Mansour, head of the constitutional court. Mr Mansour’s mandate is to set up a caretaker government of technocrats, create pluralist panels aimed at national unity and an inclusive constitution, after which there will be new parliamentary and presidential elections. Egyptian democrats will need to keep prompting the generals. The army, after all, was the backbone of six decades of dictatorship, beginning with Gamal Abdel Nasser, a regional titan whose rhetoric Gen al-Sisi dimly tries to echo. After dumping Mr Mubarak in 2011, the army seemed to reach an understanding with Mr Morsi last year that embedded its power and privileges in a new, Islamist-tinged constitution. This was bulldozed through by the Brotherhood last autumn. The army, alas, is Egypt’s one working institution, highlighting the vacuum that this new transition needs desperately to fill. Mr Morsi’s failure is instructive. He held himself accountable not to his electorate but to his Brothers who, in their secretive and paranoid hunger for power after 85 years underground, sought to capture, pack and shape almost every institution. Not only did they fail to meet the needs of ordinary Egyptians for jobs and security, electricity and services, they fatally misjudged the pluralism of Egypt’s society and the determination of those who upended the old order – of which the Brotherhood is inescapably part. There may now be a chance to begin anew. Or as Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel laureate and leader of the loose liberal coalition, the National Salvation Front, put it: a chance to relaunch the Egyptian revolution and the Arab spring. The starting point of Mr ElBaradei and his friends should be to start matching their prowess in the streets by organising to win power through the ballot box. The jury is out on whether the army has cleared away Islamist barricades in Egypt’s path. But the military will not be the handmaid of a liberal future. Democracy needs hardworking democrats. Democracy in Egypt will also very much have to include Islamists and the Brotherhood, a declining but still potent force. The Brotherhood must be given an equal chance in future elections. Otherwise, mainstream Islamists will be driven back into the catacombs and Salafist strains of political Islam will come to the fore. There are already worrying signs of revanchism, with up to 300 arrest warrants issued against Brotherhood leaders and the closure of three Islamist broadcasters. That way lies Algeria, rent asunder in the 1990s after the army annulled elections that Islamists were poised to win. The priorities for this new transition must be to revisit the contentious constitution of last November, turn it into a charter of the rights of Egyptian citizens, and agree on fair and monitorable electoral rules. That would be the right prelude for new elections – as well as the return to barracks of the army. A clear road map, with a clear timetable, should command support from the US and the EU. Indeed, Egypt needs less military aid and much more financial and technical assistance to confront its looming economic emergency. The US in particular should make clear that its $1.3bn annual stipend for the army, sacrosanct since Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979, is now contingent on a credible transition to democracy. America’s tarnished democratic credibility in the Middle East demands no less. – Financial Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile •Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon •Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) Yomi Odunuga •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu • Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge •Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: Education is one of the key areas where the administration of Governor T.A. Orji has taken radical steps to restore its glory. As at today, Abia State government has embarked on construction and reconstruction of over 154 classroom blocks, in both the primary and secondary schools across the 17 LGAs in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). The state government had paid the counterpart fund of N1 billion. Some of the renovated and constructed classroom blocks across the state include: Owaza Secondary School Obehie, Ukwa West LGA; Akanu Ngwa Community School, Obi Ngwa; Holy Rosary Girls Secondary school, Umuahia; Amigbo Central School, Oguduasa, Isuiwuato LGA; Isuikwuato High School; Lokpaukwu Central School, Umunneochi; Akirika Obu Primary School, Ndoki, Ukwa East; Central Primary School, Umunteke, Ukwa West; Obinolu Secondary Technical School, Umunneochi; Okporo Ahaba Secondary school, Aba; Amizi Olokoro Primary School, Umuahia South; and Ibeku High School, Umuahia. Currently, the state government is building three gigantic and model one-storey classroom blocks of 28Room capacity in each of the three senatorial zones in Abia State. For Abia North, it is located at Ovim (Technical) Secondary School, Isuikwuato; for Abia Central, it is located at Government College, Umuahia while the one of Abia South is located at Abayi Girls Secondary



State of Abia’s schools for secondary schools in the country. In the same year, ASOPADEC equally organized quiz competition for the best science schools in the 12 LGAs of its operations to encourage hardwork and excellence among secondary schools in the state. The Federal Ministry of Education’s study of literacy rate and dropin-school enrolment, ranked Abia first in having done well in literacy rate and enrolment of children in schools. To boost the capacity of teachers, government has invested heavily in organizing workshops, conferences and seminars to enhance efficiency,

productivity and expose them to the modern teaching techniques. Resource centers and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centers were established to improve the knowledge of teachers in a fastchanging globalised world. Governor T.A. Orji is also building a gigantic modern library complex at Ogurube Layout, near the State House of Assembly Complex, Umuahia. The state government also took the decisive step in returning some missionary schools to its original owners as a pilot phase. This is done to facilitate and kick-start a rejuvenation of the dwindling standard of educa-

IR: Our children are now very much interested in the manipulation of cell phone, watching films and other thrillers every day. They are deep rooted in the act in such a way that they often forgo doing their home work, reading their books and attending to other home chores. More worrisome and disturbing is that those in the secondary schools go to school with the gadgets which they browse in the class even when lessons are going on. The frivolous

activities have in fact contributed in no small measure to the massive poor performance in examinations by students. Unfortunately, this syndrome is manifesting at the time the government is setting every thing in motion towards achieving quality education for all by 2015. All the same, the situation is not completely out of hand as the government, especially the school authorities, can do something to remedy the situation.

I suggest that the government, teachers, parents and other stakeholders do everything within their strides to correct these aberrations. Otherwise, our nation would be infested with bunch of illiterate graduates in the near future. The last UTME witnessed massive poor performance by students ever known before in the history of this country as only 10 out of 1.7 million candidates who sat for the examination scored 300 and above.

ply not possible for the drainages to cope with the quantum of water from the downpour. The good thing however was that the entire water receded immediately after the rain. There was no trace of water as the precipitation disappeared into the streams, canals and rivulets, thanks to the foresight of Aregbesola with his policy of continuous dredging of the canals and waterways in the city. This was not the case in the past and 2010 was a particularly unforgettable year in the annals of the city. There was a heavy downpour which was not even close to what we witnessed on July 2 but which never-

theless wreaked much havoc, destroying homes, property and crops, taking along human lives. The then governor, upon visiting the victims was reported to have asked them who got to the site first between them and water. It was a rhetorical question after which he now asked them why their homes would not be flooded if water preceded them at the location. That was insensitive. In Aregbesola’s case, all he did was to free the waterways and he gave us succour from flood. We might ask anyway what the big deal is about dredging. Well, it saved lives and property. If it is that simple, why did it not occur to the previous adminis-

tration? I think there is also more to it; his environmental sanitation programme also helped. His campaign of environmental cleanliness and putting away refuse helped free the waterways from obstruction and this gave the water a free course, unlike in the past when they were clogged with refuse and the water then turned its way into people’s homes. I am so happy that we have a visionary leadership in Osun, a man who thinks ahead and put solutions in place before a problem ever arises. • Mike Olayinka, Osogbo, Osun State

School, Aba. Abia State has maintained a tuition-free education in public primary and secondary schools since 2007 and that naturally increased school enrollment. Over 1000 students of tertiary institutions have continued to receive the annual bursary awards since 2008. Government has periodically acquired and distributed free textbooks, thousands of exercise books and teaching aids to schools across the state. These encouraging packages have been yielding outstanding results. In 2012, three Abia students won the NNPC organized science quiz competition


• Moses Nna Ukpakiri, Obi Ngwa LGA, Abia State.

Children and cell phones

Kudos to Aregbesola on flood control

IR: I wish to commend Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, for saving the state, especially Osogbo, from the ravages of flood, with the proactive flood control measures he put in place since his coming to office in November 2010. On Tuesday July 2, the heavens opened up in Osogbo and there was a heavy downpour lasting about one hour but which released water in quantity never before witnessed in the city. From a rough estimate, the precipitation could not have been less than six inches, roughly equivalent to one third of the average rainfall in a year. In the circumstance, it was sim-

tion especially in public schools. The tertiary institutions in Abia State have not been left out in the robust education policies of Governor Orji. Abia State University was enabled to attain full accreditations in virtually all the courses approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the students have fared better in competitions with other universities. The state Polytechnic at Aba has proved through the performances of her students that the institution enjoys enabling environment that promotes academic excellence. No quantum of propaganda will diminish the high performance rating of Abia State government by those whose stock in trade is to engage their connections in the media to disparage a purposeful leadership acknowledged by a wide spectrum of enlightened minds.

Such a poor performance should move stakeholders, especially the government to find a lasting solution to the problem, Regrettably, the deadline projected for making education in the country superb clashes with the next general election. I have the eerie feeling that government wouldn’t do much on the issue since the campaign for governance in 2015 has dominated the polity. Nigeria has all it takes to bring back education to an enviable height like in the days of our famous trio of Obafemi Awolowo, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Nnamdi Azikiwe of the blessed memory. My heart bleeds whenever I see the poster, STUDY IN GHANA in our major towns and cities. Imagine Ghana that was sent packing decades ago now, like the biblical Joseph feeding us educationally. Nigerians now go to Ghana to study. Is not shameful? Parents should do something about their children’s indulgence in frivolities because they are the first to feel the impact of their misbehavior. The bottom line is parents should not buy their children cell phone until they finish their secondary education. • Nkemakolam Gabriel Port Harcourt, Rivers State




Sanusi’s CBN ‘Medical Tourism’: Bigger medical budgets, Medical entrepreneurship


EDICAL tourism’ complained about by CBN’ Governor Sanusi saves the lives of those who can afford it or have sufficient govTony ernment-CBN connections for them to pay. For Marinho over 40 years, we doctors were strangled and made medically impotent by government-orchestrated limited budgets and obsolete equipment. For how long will Nigeria be satisfied with the cheapest medical equipment? We in medicine manage to cater for the ‘rest of us’ -100+million or are forced to go on strike to guarantee ‘minimum facilities’ and remuneration compared to the bullion raked in by politicians. Nigeria operates a ‘Minimum Medical Service’ when we can afford ‘optimum’ or ‘gold standard; services for our people. Medical tourism is about citizens’ rights to maximum medical services which we in Nigeria can easily afford by increasing medical budgets, eliminating corruption in the medical delivery system and providing 24/7 electricity. As I write, the Indians are coming with medical equipment bought with loans from Indian billionaires and banks at 3-4% to ‘take over’ medical services and ‘improve’ hospitals providing ‘superior service’. If Nigerians had cheap and easy medical loans, would we not have the best equipment also? Many doctors, including me, seek N2-4.8m soft loans for the best ultrasound and other machines payable over 3-5years at 3-5% interest per annum –like for a car in the 1970s. Why should hard working professionals in Nigeria, who deliver services, be denied government perks and tax breaks that rice, cement, sugar, tobacco and oil marketers got in every military and political era that made Nigerians paupers and them billionaires? I too would like to be billionaire but I would prefer to serve my patients with better equipment! God knows we have worked hard. But life is worthless in Nigeria. Ask any teacher or patient. But even sartorially elegant and ‘wise’ Sanusi, his CBN and banks have got it wrong. It is simply a ‘lack of funds’ issue. The problem is not with the medical tourists’ right to obtain the best for themselves. In fact the medical tourists are as wise


HE security situation in Egypt has continued to deteriorate following last week’s ouster of Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected civilian President. Morsi was overthrown by the Egyptian military following weeks of widespread protests over his style of governance, which many described as “high-handed, autocratic and uncompromising”. For some time, the country has been plagued by a crumbling economy resulting in shortfall in fuel supplies and electricity, among other unbearable hardships foisted on the Egyptian people for quite some time now. On July 1, the Egyptian army delivered a 48-hour ultimatum that required Morsi to find a quick resolution to the political impasse. He could not. At the expiration of the deadline, the military high command, led by Abdul Fatah Saeed Hussein AlSisi, more commonly known as General Sisi, took over Egypt and installed Adly Mansour, Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court and a foe of Morsi, as interim President. After the change of government, the army suspended the constitution and has been carrying out massive crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood on charges ranging from “inciting violence to disturbing the general security and peace” of the country. With this, the country seems to be hooked on a cliff-hanger as the Muslim Brotherhood are largely displeased about the turn of events. Prior to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak from office in 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood has been engaged in sporadic violence for the

‘The exit of Mohammed Morsi signals the collapse of religious politics in Egypt. This is because the Muslim Brotherhood politicised religion and stifled opposition’

as Sanusi as they have the good sense to avoid contracting more diseases and even dying in dirty-walled and filthy ‘mattressed’ casualties in concentration camps called hospitals. Even if we refuse to get good equipment why is it impossible for Nigeria’s budgets to paint hospitals and clinics quarterly, annually, before they get filthy? Visit any government casualty room. You will be sick! The problem is with the money supply side. Nigeria constantly fails to provide funds for cleanliness and cutting edge medicine. The national and state budgets and the CBN fail to recognise government hospitals, let alone private medical practice among others, as genuine profession-driven entrepreneurship strategies. Yet private practice employs tens of thousands of Nigerians in hospitals and clinics. Is that not ‘Medical Entrepreneurship’? Many specialists still inside government facilities have personally acquired specialist skills which waste away without saving any Nigerians because the skills need cuttingedge equipment maliciously cut by politicians from the hospital budget. Though these hospitals are often named ‘specialist’ there is nothing specialist delivered to the patient-just mediocre medicine. Do you know what a radiologist, radiotherapist, neurosurgeon, laparoscopic surgeon, plastic surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon or a maxillofacial trauma surgeon or an obstetrician and gynaecologist need to deliver maximum service to Nigerians? Recent open heart surgery, kidney transplants, being bandied around as breakthroughs, are not new. They were performed 35 years ago in Nigeria by Nigerian doctors but the programmes died in an ‘agony of broken medical dreams’ from political budgetary neglect by idiotic governments when the title ‘Centres of Excellence’ was created to make a laughing stock of ‘Centres of Extreme Suffering’. From that time Nigerian medicine was dragged into disrepute and thousands of medical professionals wisely fled with their qualifications abroad to cater better for family and brain. Locally professionals were rendered redundant by the politics. Even in private practice the cost of cutting-edge medical equipment to replace obsolete machines is a huge obstacle to entrepreneurial development. Nigerian medicine requires petrodollars to be like medicine abroad. It demands cutting-edge equipment – the main ‘medical tourist attraction’. In Nigeria, cutting-edge equip-

ment paradoxically costs more than in the UK. Decent medical loans are not available but N5million loans and N500,000 obituary pages are plentiful to bury the dead. Sanusi’s CBN should earmark N1billion for professionals in government and private practice for cheap, easy loans for ‘Professional Entrepreneurial Development’ in self-recognition, guaranteed by the NMA or their professional body. Even the ‘wise’ NMA has failed to negotiate such loans for its 30,000+ membership, though it has an annual budget of N2-300million of its members’ money. Can the NMA suspend most of its huge budget for administration, travel and five-star hotel accommodation and put N100m per annum for 20 years towards a powerful N1-2billion NMA Bank or NMA Coop Bank to guarantee its membership equipment and loans and get international grants? The NMA should also insist that state NMA should not beg governors for vehicles but save N1m/annum/state in a ‘Vehicle Fund’ to guarantee a new NMA vehicle every four years. Myopia! If government refuses to improve medicine, the NMA should take up the challenge and lead in Medical Entrepreneurship promotion if CBN will refuse to recognise ‘Medical Entrepreneurship’ and prefers to merely criticise those who want the best medical care worldwide. To be continued. PS Please pray for those using delayed, damaged and ‘dead’ on the misnamed Lagos Ibadan Expressway.

Can the NMA suspend most of its huge budget for administration, travel and five-star hotel accommodation and put N100m per annum for 20 years towards a powerful N12billion NMA Bank or NMA Coop Bank to guarantee its membership equipment and loans and get international grants?

Egypt: Thumbs down for Morsi control of political power. The exit of Mubarak opened a vista of opportunity for the organisation who wrestled power from the hands of the politicians. It is, therefore, expected that Egypt could relapse into a regime of violence if the present situation is not properly managed. For now, fighting has erupted across the country between supporters of Morsi and his opponents, leaving several people dead and many more injured. The violence erupted as Morsi’s supporters held massive protests across the country, calling for his reinstatement. Morsi became the nation’s President barely a year ago, but failed to fix the nation’s ailing economy or improve its crime statistics, among other accusations. Human Rights Watch said he had continued abusive practices established by ousted Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades with iron-fist. Numerous journalists, political activists and others were prosecuted on charges of ‘insulting’ officials or institutions and spreading false information. Surprisingly, the United States, U.S’ reaction to the unfolding political scenario has, at best, been tepid and measured. The Barack Obama administration is turning to top officials of his government to tout democracy, political transparency and peaceful protest for Egypt, a message that has taken on a hollow tone. This is just as everybody seems to be eagerly awaiting a quick and responsible return of full authority to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible in the country. But behind the scenes, the U.S. was signalling to Egypt and its allies that it accepts the military’s decision to depose Morsi, and was hoping that what fills the vacuum of power would be more favourable to U.S. interests and values than Morsi’s Islamist government. However, those hopes were tempered by very real concerns that a newly emboldened military would deal violently with the Muslim

Brotherhood thereby sending Egyptian society further into chaos and making reconciliation more difficult. The Obama administration’s stance, which carefully avoided the legal implications of calling the military’s intervention a coup, won something of a bipartisan endorsement last Friday from Republican Representative, Ed Royce of California, and Democrat Eliot Engel of New York, who issued a joint statement that criticised Morsi for not embracing “inclusiveness, compromise, respect for human and minority rights, and a commitment to the rule of law.” Indeed, the Obama administration is facing difficult choices. If it denounced the ouster of Morsi, it could be accused of propping up a ruler who had lost public support. Yet, if it supported the military’s action, the administration could be accused of fomenting dissent or could lose credibility on its commitment to the democratic process. This is probably why the administration is acting as if it accepts what happened in Egypt - and actually believes it could turn out for the best with the Islamist Morsi no longer in charge. At the same time, officials are attempting to keep their distance, laying down signposts for what they want to see in the long term while challenging the military to make sure that happens. The concern being expressed all over the place is that, in the short term, the situation could spiral out of control, with the military using the clamour in the streets as an excuse to confront the Muslim Brotherhood with excessive force. By laying emphasis on U.S. aid in conversations with Egyptians without cutting it off, the U.S. leaves room for the escalation of the situation if need be, but it is also ready to work with Egypt’s new government if it moves in the right direction. The military leaders have assured the Obama administration that they were not interested in long-term rule following the overthrow of Morsi. The swear-

ing-in of Adly Mansour, the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court as the country’s interim President, illustrates the military’s desire to be seen as committed to quickly returning the nation to civilian control. Whichever way the present political configuration is viewed, there is a threat of imminent chaos looming over the country. Since more than 22 million signatories drew the line on the sand for Morsi, everybody knew that the days of the regime were numbered. By far, this 22 million outnumbered those who had voted for him barely a year ago because he was not elected with a landslide but a slim victory, which arose from the coalition of several interests. No sooner had he stepped into office than Morsi started baring his fangs. He collided with the courts in 2012 and gradually alienated the people. He toyed with power and, by so doing, he inadvertently wrote his own obituary. Morsi was a complete disaster. As an engineer in power, he would have demonstrated what it takes to sustain his regime but failed woefully due to his complacency and obduracy. Morsi’s government was a regime because even though he emerged through the ballot box, Egypt has never been a full democracy. Morsi would have been a transitional regime to real democracy in the country, but he bungled the great opportunity to write his name in gold. He just did not demonstrate or develop sufficient understanding of what to do. That was why the military stepped in to stop the drift. It is hoped that being the epicentre of Arab civilisation, Egypt will quickly get itself together. But people are still divided over what to call what happened last week. Many say it was a coup. Many others disagree, preferring to call it a popular revolution. Those who call it a people’s revolt or revolution may be right after all. However, in Jurisprudence, when a drastic change has been brought about outside the constitu-

Dele Agekameh tion, it amounts to a coup. Nevertheless, when you have an obdurate regime, a self-seeking, self-centred government, the military will always step in. Therefore, the exit of Mohammed Morsi signals the collapse of religious politics in Egypt. This is because the Muslim Brotherhood politicised religion and stifled opposition. According to the Egyptian constitution, political parties are allowed to exist but religious political parties are not as they would not respect the principle of non-interference of religion in politics and that religion has to remain in private sphere so as to respect all beliefs. The Muslim Brotherhood failed to take any cognisance of this. Though the African Union has a non-obligatory clause not to recognise unconstitutional governments, but as the situation stands today, this may not hold much water in Egypt where a successful revolution has just taken place. While Egyptians are happy for the change, many African countries are mortified. I believe the other African States should only be wary of the military if the leaders are not accountable, if they are reckless or condoning corruption. These are sure recipes for military takeover!

Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)





T 52, Governor Liyel Imoke’s life is an open book whose pages have been flipping on the face of Nigerians in the past two decades. The former Senator of the Federal Republic is one Nigerian who has never ceased in his striving to leave Nigeria better than he met it. He is of the emerging school that believes that Nigeria is not beyond redemption and that Nigeria’s savior cannot be anyone else but Nigerians; that retrieving Nigeria from the throes of failure was a task that could be undertaken by only those who were prepared. It was probably this line of thinking that took him to the government house, Calabar almost fully made. Imoke is a thoroughbred scholar. His journey to Government House took diverse, intricate routes which saw him ratchet up degrees in International Relations and Economics from the University of Maryland US. Then he took to law and studied at the University of Buckingham for his LLB and subsequently went to American University, Washington DC for his Master’s degree in law. Unlike most of his contemporaries who have no fallback position beyond politics, Imoke had conquered the world of academics and business before wending his way into public service as a Senator at the age of 30. As it were, with his peculiar kind of gravitas, it is evident why he is so passionate about service and the importance of leaving a legacy. Also evident is the reason why he does not come across as the soulless politician who is so hung up power and its diverse use. Imoke is like the philosopher king; deep enough to understand the nuances of power but internally restrained to deploy its full weight in ways that strip it of its ennoblement. For most Cross Riverians, Imoke comes across as the quintessence of all the coveted qualities of the Cross River man – urbane, educated, proud, stylish, peaceful, resilient and industrious. These are the qualities that he has brought to bear on the business of governance in the state. It is true; Imoke inherited a government that was generally regarded as focused and visionary. It is often forgotten that he was the number two man in that government and therefore has been a part of the vision all along.Quite naturally, it would be gratifying to the erstwhile senator to sit back sometimes and cast a long look back to how and when the journey to restore the dignity of the Calabar man back began. This is even more so with the growing perception of Cross River as an island of administrative excellence in an ocean of colossal leadership ineptitude and failure. In fact, Imoke’s legacy does not lend itself to quick analysis. It is not something you capture in one burst of phrase no matter how brilliant. With over 300 new school blocks built across the state, laboratory equipment nicely fitted in all public secondary schools, laptops for 10,000 teachers and over 200 new primary school blocks across the state, Imoke has demonstrated his wish to equip young Cross Riverians for the challenges of tomorrow. We have all watched Cross River State shed the toga of sterility and docility that is often associated with predominantly civil service states. We have all seen Imoke’s eco-


N his maiden visit to the University of Ilorin in the last week of June, the new Pro-Chancellor and Council Chairman of the University, Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo, came with a message from the Federal Government, the institution’s proprietor. The respected Obi of Ugwashiuku, Delta State, told a cross section of the university stakeholders that the Federal Government, worried by the wonky standard of education in the country, has a new mandate for the University of Ilorin to help salvage the nation’s dwindling global educational rating and restore Nigeria to its former position of reckoning in world universities’ ranking. He further disclosed that the authorities in Abuja are worried that despite the fact that Nigeria is the second fastest growing economy in the world today, none of its universities is ranked among the best 5000 in the world. Obi Okonjo however explained that the antecedents of the University of Ilorin have given the government some confidence that with the necessary support, the University could make Nigeria proud. “There used to be a time when Nigeria used to feature as one of the best 200 universities in the world”, the Council Chairman said, adding that “It is important that you understand that we are in a new era; the people in Abuja want you (Unilorin) to show that Nigeria can deliver and within the next two or three years, they want you (Unilorin) to ensure that Nigeria is among the best 500 universities in the world”. Keen watchers of the steadily rising profile of the University of Ilorin in the last five to six years are not at all surprised by the decision of the Federal Government to pick the university to pioneer the implementation of this noble vision. Over the years, the university has proved to be a centre of academic excellence. In the past four years, Unilorin has been consistently ranked the best university in Nigeria by different international ranking agencies including Web of World Universities (Webometric), which ranked the university the best in Nigeria for three consecutive years of 2009, 2010 and 2011, and one of the best 20 in Africa. Statistics have also shown that the University has the most stable and consistent academic calendar in the country, which makes it the most sought after institution by admission seekers. All these feats are not lost on education policy makers in the country, who, at every given opportunity, do not fail to acknowledge the numerous giant strides recorded by the

‘To be sure, the University of Ilorin is ready, willing and able for the task ahead, a task that is in synch with its founding philosophy of excellence in teaching, research and community development’

Liyel Imoke @ 52 By Christian Ita nomic blueprint flower into massive investments in agriculture, wealth creation and meaningful empowerment programmes of diverse kinds. Under our very watch, the Investment Promotion Bureau which he introduced as a one-stopinvestment centre has in the last few years brought into the state 300 new private investments building up to a portfolio of investment in excess of two billion dollars. Mega investors like WILMAR, General Electric, (G E) Dangote Cement, Artii Group, Godilogo Farms, Oriental Energy Resources, Essar Power, are all taking advantage of the favourable investment climate in Cross River. In all, the state has attracted over two billion dollars in foreign direct investments. Expectedly, Cross River has turned the proverbial bend in the river and has become Africa’s preferred tourist destination. Wise investors from America, Europe and China have found in Cross River, an attractive tourist haven. Imoke’s economic wisdom has also led to efforts to stimulate local entrepreneurship through the auspices of the Investment Promotion Bureau. The IPB has effectively created the Micro Enterprise and Small Scale Business Development Unit which disbursed more than half a billion naira to small business owners and medium scale industries in the state. The basic idea is to ensure that the entrepreneurial ideas of gifted Cross Riverians are given a fertile soil to flourish. In specific terms, a few statistics of the growing investment profile of Cross River will not be out of place here. Wilmar, Asia’s leading Agribusiness Group which has taken over the CALARO and Ibiaye palm plantations is investing $400 million in agro- cultivation and processing. Twenty thousand jobs will be created by Wilmar alone and no fewer than 300 people are already working in the company. General Electric which recently carried out its groundbreaking ceremony at the Export Processing Zone has an investment portfolio of $1 billion for a manufacturing and assembly plant under construction. The plant is also expected to create over two thousand jobs when fully operational. Similarly, Light Oriental Energy Resources Limited is building a factory to manufacture pipe mills and investing $300 million to get the factory running. Over 1000 jobs will come from this investment alongside estimated internal revenue of $120 million dollars. Industrial conglomerate, Dangote Group is also establishing a cement manufacturing plant worth $800 million while Essar Power has concluded arrangement for the establishment of an energy and power plant with a capacity to generate 250 megawatts of electricity. Fundamental to all these developments is the remarkable ability of Cross River State government under Imoke to create a peaceful and secure environment for everyone in the

state. It is to his credit that Cross River is devoid of the bitter political polarisations that have wrenched peace off the reach of many states in the country today. His deft negotiating skills and astute consensus building saw to the forging of bonds across political gulfs, encouraging political adversaries to sheath their swords and work for peace. Imoke is the metaphorical balm on troubled waters. He has adroitly imposed his peaceable and calm personality on the levers of electoral process in the state and wrung out an admirable formula that meets the expectations of the broader spectrum of the population. Graciously, Cross Riverians have warmed up to him and begun to live out Imoke as dream of an enlightened society. Politicians no longer speak the language of the arrogant winner who punctuates his comments with the idioms that echo the winner-takes-it-all mindset. Increasingly too, more Cross Riverians who aspire to leadership at any level are beginning to see political leadership as a call to service. This is very reminiscent of the proverb that the fish starts to rot from its head and that when a leader leads by setting himself up an example, the followership will fall in line. It is hardly surprising that Cross Riverians largely see the Imoke era in the Government House Calabar as the finest moments since the state came into existence 26 years ago. Never before has the state seen such a singularity of focus, such unbroken stream of peace, such momentous investment inflow and such dramatic transformation in almost all facets of the people’s lives. And what is most disarming about it all is the silent, urbane manner in which Imoke conducts the business of government. Not for him the noisy uproar of his contemporaries who lack the eclectic pedigree that nurtures statesmanship. As he turns 52 today, Governor Imoke has should take a draft of the finest champagne and look back in contentment at the monument he has built in the hearts of his people. That is the way of purposeful leadership whose ultimate reward is a home in the hearts of the people. • Ita writes from Calabar

‘Never before has the state seen such a singularity of focus, such unbroken stream of peace, such momentous investment inflow and such dramatic transformation in almost all facets of the people’s lives’

FG’s mandate to Unilorin By Kunle Akogun “better by far” university. During their separate oversight visits to the University on May 7, 2013 and June 1, 2013, members of the House of Representatives and Senate Committees on Education could not hide their impressions about the academic excellence and environmental aesthetics of the university as well as the peaceful and orderly comportment of its staff and students. The respective chairmen of the two National Assembly committees spoke glowingly about the university. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who led his colleagues to the institution, commended it for maintaining a stable academic calendar for over 10 years, noting that it is a great achievement for any university in Nigeria to maintain such academic excellence despite the prevailing challenges. He said that “this academic stability is a feat which should make the University of Ilorin a model to all universities in Nigeria.” Similar sentiments were expressed about four weeks earlier by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Education, led by Hon. Shehu Garba. After meeting with the university management and a drive round the campus to inspect on-going and newly completed projects, the lawmakers gave kudos to the university “for its accomplishments in the areas of academic excellence, efficient system of administration, environmental beautification, infrastructural development and sustained high ranking among universities in the world.” The leader of the House of Representatives team further noted: “As a Nigerian I am very proud to be at the University of Ilorin. I graduated close to 30 years ago and I am worried by what has become of the standard of education in our country since then. But for me to be here and seeing what I have seen, I feel very hopeful and I feel elated that in the midst of the decay that we have an institution of excellence with very beautiful infrastructure. He went on: “I believe that it is not just the beautiful infrastructure; that we are all aware of the ranking of the University of Ilorin in the comity of universities in the world. You are one of the few universities in the country that is often mentioned outside Nigeria as a centre of academic excellence. And so I feel very proud to come here to see things for myself. I must commend the Vice-Chancellor and his able team for the good things they are doing. I must say that you have a lot of prospects to build on what you have been able to accomplish to give us something that we can be proud of that we have an institution in this country that can be compared

with any reputable university in the world.” It could be seen from the foregoing that truly, the confidence that the Federal Government has on the ability and willingness of the University of Ilorin to deliver on the new mandate is not misplaced. And it is heart-warming to note that all stakeholders in the university community are enthusiastically keying into the government’s vision, a situation that makes its implementation easy and its attainability assured. While assuring the Federal Government of the University’s readiness to implement the government’s new vision to the letter, Obi Okonjo, said the new university council, under his chairmanship, has taken up the government’s challenge and prayed God to lead the council to formulate appropriate policies to achieve the task. Also, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, noted that the Federal Government has given the University of Ilorin a big task, adding that “every staff member of the university has a responsibility to champion this new thinking of the Federal Government”. Prof. Ambali also said, “It is heartwarming that the Federal Government, based on our antecedent, has singled Unilorin out to be the pioneer of the new formula of tertiary education in the country and we are ready for the task.” Also, all the staff unions on campus and the student body have expressed their readiness to continue to give the management the necessary complementary support in its determined effort to ensure the full and successful implementation of the new government mandate. This is reassuring, as it means that all stakeholders in the university are on the same page. And nothing demonstrates this assurance better than what the Unilorin Branch Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Abdulwahab Egbewole, said during the meeting between the council chairman and leaders of all the staff unions in the university, i.e. ASUU, SSANU, NASU, and NAAT. The ASUU leader said, “The mantra of our union, which is unionism for development, coincides with the vision to make the University of Ilorin the best in Africa”. What more evidence does one need that at Unilorin, the urge for advancement runs in the veins of every stakeholder? And, to put it succinctly, that is the secret of the University’s quantum leap in all spheres of its endeavours these past few years. To be sure, the University of Ilorin is ready, willing and able for the task ahead, a task that is in synch with its founding philosophy of excellence in teaching, research and community development. • kogun is Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin




The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

Text only: 08023058761

•Nollywood actor Mezie raising his hand against mob killings

‘Don’t walk away from ‘mob justice’


Giving hope to elders

LagosPhoto Festival celebrates mega city

– Page 27

– Page 28



The Midweek Magazine


The screams for help often ring louder than the loudest microphone, but the many voices demanding for immediate judgement always suppress such squeal for ‘help’ – welcome to the world of ‘jungle justice’. Tired of such crimes against humanity, some human rights activists have unveiled Don’t Walk Away, a film and online campaign against mob killings, EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

‘Don’t walk away from ‘mob justice’


HEIR screams for help rent the air in vain, buried in the many voices demanding for immediate judgement. Four young men in Rivers State fell victims last

October. They were burnt alive. Hours later, the horrendous act was on YouTube, courtesy of ‘street cameramen’ who took the pain and time to record the scenes on their phones but not to intervene or attempt to stop the killings. And when Nigerians thought it was all over - “Aaah!, comes the cry of another victim somewhere... somewhere close by. Welcome to the world of the lynch mob. They are self-proclaimed judges who take justice into their hands, killing whoever they deem guilty, illegally – an act otherwise known as ‘jungle justice’. Like those ‘October street cameramen’, award-winning filmmaker Abimbola Ogunsanya also stumbled on a harrowing scene similar to but more pathetic than that of the late quartet on his way from work eight years ago. That afternoon, he saw and shot the live-video of 12-year-old Samuel who was being lynched. Samuel’s story, like that of the late ‘October four’, is a vivid example of the gross injustice and horrific cruelty of mob killing. Sadder still, the culprits would usually go free without being prosecuted. But unlike the ‘October street cameramen’, Ogunsanya turned the video into an advocacy tool against the act. “What I saw had a big impact on me. I could do nothing to help at the time, but now I hope that the horror of what happened to Samuel will give people who are around when similar events start, the courage they need not to stand by but to unite to stop it,” he said. That video gave birth to the unveiling of an advocacy film and an online campaign protesting against such hideous acts and sensitising Nigerians on same. It is tagged: Don’t Walk Away. The campaign, which has Ogunsanya at its centre, was unveiled in Lagos last week. The unveiling featured the screening of the two-minute film showing the harrowing experience of Samuel who is being lynched after he is accused of attempting to kidnap a boy with N50: and later is denied by his mother. Samuel screaming: “Mother! Oh my God…my God…why…why oh! and the angry crowd screaming in Yoruba: “Bring him, lets go and kill him”, remained resounding and the horrifying scene as he was being burnt with tire over his head and petrol poured all over him after his mother admitted not knowing, lingered on the minds of guests. After watching the film that drew tears from the eyes of many, guests joined other celebrities, such as Femi Kuti, Segun Arinze, Okey Bakassi, Kate Henshaw, Julius Agwu, Denrele and more who are already part of the campaign, to raise their hands against ‘jungle justice’. The new activists included the Secretary to Surulere Local Government, Revd Funmi Braithwaite, representing Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Director, International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade; General Manager, Cool FM, Mr George Omagbemi; Editor, Brand IQ and The Guardian newspaper Brand Intelligence columnist, Ntia Nsukuma and Nollywood faces Leo Mezie

•From left: The Campaign Media Coordinator, Charles Urhoboghara; Nsukuma, Braithwaite and Ogunsanya at the event. PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO

VISUAL ART and Maureen Okpokpo. among others. The unveiling, Ogunsanya said, was a fulfilled dream, adding that Samuel’s death had a reason. His words: “I am happy he has given birth to something that is going to save a lot of lives. That boy could have been the next best thing that happened to Nigeria. If I had kept quiet about it; his death would have been in vain but seeing the crowd and celebrities who were at the unveiling I knew Samuel didn’t die in vain.” In Senator Tinubu’s speech, read by Revd Braithwaite, she described the acts as “senseless”, noting that it is, however, pathetic that such acts have also become a source of entertainment to manyall hands must be deck to end to inhuman trend. She urged Nigerians to join the campaign and stand up against the act. She said: “I heard about the utterly despicable violence that caused the untimely death of Aluu 4 in Port Harcourt, last year when a petition was brought to the Senate by a parent of one of the victims. Such despicable acts of violence are a reflection of the deep rot in the society, which results into what has been aptly described by Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, as “Man’s inhumanity to man” as far back as 1784. She said: “It is equally grievous that spectacles of mob action or jungle justice have provided a source of entertainment to many, who stand by and sometimes record such atrocities without attempting to rescue the victims. I urge everyone not to participate or stand by as spectators to such mob actions rather such incidents must be reported to the nearest Police station.” Revd Braithwaite, who once saved the life of a child being lynched at Mile Two

‘What I saw had a big impact on me. I could do nothing to help at the time, but now I hope that the horror of what happened to Samuel will give people who are around when similar events start, the courage they need not to stand by but to unite to stop it’ – Ogunsanya

•Young activist Tracy Urhoboghara raising her hand against mob killings

‘Such despicable acts of violence are a reflection of the deep rot in the society, which results into what has been aptly described by Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, as “Man’s inhumanity to man” as far back as 1784... I urge everyone not to participate or stand by as spectators to such mob actions’ – Senator Tinubu

years ago, dubbed Ogunsanya “a hero”, saying due to his heroic deed Samuel’s death is not in vain. “At that time, I was not the Secretary to Surulere Local Government; I wasn’t anybody – I was just me. But at that point in time, I stood up against such act and took it upon myself to ensure I got to the root of the matter. And at the end of the day, it was discovered that she was not the person who snatched the wallet. My intervention drew the attention of everybody including the police, whose station was across the road but did nothing to intervene until I caused a stampede. “My brother that is the spirit: if we learn •Continued on page 27



The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

Giving hope to elders


O fewer than 200 senior citizens, mostly retirees, defied the early morning rain last Friday to converge on Shitta Community Ground in Surulere, Lagos Mainland. For the elders, it was a moment to smile. The gathering was in commemoration of this year’s World Health Day for the Elderly organised by the MEE Mofe-Damijo founded by Sunshine Foundation. The event, with the theme: The Essence of health in ageing gracefully, featured health talk and free all-round medical check-up for the participants. The senior citizens were attended to by medical experts led Dr. Doyin Ogunyemi. They were also given small packs of provisions apart from refreshment. Since the founder passed on 17 years ago, the foundation led by Mrs. Rose Odiete has been visiting, hosting and caring for the elderlys at various times and occasions at the old peoples home in Mushin and Yaba in Lagos, and Ota in Ogun State. Mr Baldwin Oniru, a retiree of Mobil Nigeria, who spoke on the importance of balanced diet and effective stress management, said the benefits of eating balanced natural food that is freshly cooked and not kept in freezer for days. He advised participants to avoid fastfood, floury and sugary products as much they can. He sai smiling like an innocent child, listening to music, dancing and being humorous are of great value to good health. He urged the elders not to ignore praying regularly because asde making them stay closer to their Creator, it keeps them from thinking negatively. A seasoned scholar, Chief Dr. Ibwowarri James, spoke on the need to educate the youth on why they should not abuse anything. He said moderation was key to ageing gracefully. He also called on parents to maximise the abundance of nature’s favour in their environment. Mrs. Odiete, hinted that the foundation

•An elder being attended to by a medical personnel at the event. From Nsikak Daniels

SUCCOUR in collaboration with 1000 Young Leaders Meeting was set to educate the younger ones on how to live a good life and care for the elderly in their families. Mrs Odiete said apart from caring for the elderly and showing them love, “we desire to create awareness and sensitise people about their situation. Not only those, who are either by omission or commission abandoned by their very own in old people homes, many parents are left to suffer due to negligence or to pay them back for the ills of the past,” she said.

‘Don’t walk away from ‘mob justice’ •Continued from page 26

to pay attention to the inner part of ourselves, you’d find that your conscience would not stop pricking you if had you been there. My message to all is: please don’t walk away because the next victim might not be me…it might not be you... it might be somebody that you know.” To put a a stop the trend, Omagbemi said, the law enforcement agents have a major role to play . “We, especially law enforcement agents, have a habit of walking away from such events. The agents need to be reoriented,” he said. On his part, Nsukuma described the act “a threat to human peace and security, while lamenting that the trend is prevalent in his hometown. Like Senator Tinubu, he called for a joint action involving the government, law enforcement agents and media, saying it would go a long way to curb the trend. He said: “I come from the South-South and in my place in Akwa Ibom, the same thing abound. Children are maligned for


HE Abuja branch of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA Abuja) has hosted its President, Prof Remi Raji. The event was attended by writers from within and outside the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Aside writing, the poet derives pleasure reciting his poems, it was learnt. And so, the poetry feast featured the presentation of poems by the author and others. He recited three poems from his latest collection entitled: Sea of my mind (2013). Raji, whose real name is Aderemi RajiOyelade, is the author of six volumes of poetry, including A harvest of laughters (1997), Lovesong for my wasteland (2005) and Gather my blood rivers of song (2009). He has featured

their alleged involvement in witchcraft. They are burnt and abandoned in various churches and you’d find sometimes a whole village would gather round to lynch them on that basis. We cannot continue to keep quite and watch.” The international community also lent their voices to the cause. Media Consultant Gavin Anderson (Scotland, UK), who was there with his friend, Gordon Adam from Media Support Partnership. To the guests, he said to the power to effect change was in your hands. “We are just here to support. Stand up Nigeria against such violence,” he said. Meanwhile, as United States President Barak Obama visits Africa, child rights activists led by Stepping Stones Nigeria Gary Foxcroft, had urged him to use the tour as an opportunity to demand urgent action to tackle the widespread, and systemic, violations of human rights across the continent as those, linking the harmful practices to superstitious beliefs.

She stressed that culturally and spiritually, it is the children’s responsibility to cater and care for their aged ones. She noted that ‘no matter what some of them must have done deliberately or out of ignorance, they should be forgiven and shown love, which is the best way to get even. Eighty-year-old Madam Scholar Adejo said: “Many of us here are used to the foundation and we always look forward to their invitation. What they do periodically go a long way in raising our hope. Some of us do not have children who care as much as they do. They are not up to 10 members but are doing great work. We pray for them always as they need encouragement,’

Papa Israel Adekumbi, an 87-year-old retiree of NIPOST, said: “The foundation holds us in high esteem. She is doing great in spite of the fact that the founder is no more. We commend them for the good work.” Mr. El-Razack Olegbe, a member of the group, said when the foundation began in 1993 in the defunct Classique Magazine, it had over 200 members. “Today, we are only six active and passionate members who have vowed not to let the dream of the founder die,” he recalled. He used the opportunity to thank Rev. Chris Oketie who over years has been a strong pillar of the foundation. He described the clergy as a true friend. •Daniels is a Lagos-based PR consultant.


GTBank acquires rare collection

UARANTY Trust Bank Plc has acquired art works by the legendary Meshac Gaba titled; Museum of Contemporary African Art 1997–2002. The collections by the Republic of Benin born artist will be displayed in a 12-room installation at the Tate Modern Gallery throughout summer. The concept explored by the artist seeks to blur the boundaries between art and life with paintings, sculptures and drawings. The resulting 12 rooms constitute a ‘museum within a museum’, combining the aesthetics of the art gallery with that of a West African market place. In 2011, the partnership between GTBank and Tate includes the establishment of an Acquisition Fund to enable Tate Modern Gallery to enhance its holdings of works by African Artists, the creation of a dedicated curatorial post at Tate Modern to focus on African art, and the execution of Annual projects. Speaking on the acquisition, Managing Director of GTBank Plc; Mr. Segun Agbaje, said the benefits of the bank’s partnership with Tate have become apparent with the exhibition plat-

form created for African artists internationally. He said the fund provided by the Bank will also provide finance to the artist and serve as motivation for the next generation of African artists. GT Bank has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception. The bank supports numerous programmes across Africa that positively affects child healthcare, education, the art, community development and environmental sustainability. Its most recent projects in art include the sponsorship of Yinka Shonibare’s art exhibition in West Yorkshire, UK and a film project titled: African Metropolis aimed at promoting short films across Africa

ANA Abuja hosts president in some major literary festivals including Poetry Afrika (South Africa), Barcelona Forum, Mahalta Poetry Festival and the Mediterranean Poetry Festival (Spain), Berlin Poetry Festival (Germany), and the Lviv Book Forum (Ukraine), among others. Raji has been visiting professor and poet to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Universities of California at Riverside and Irvine, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Stockholms University, Sweden, Cambridge University, UK, and Humboldt University,

Berlin, Germany. His poetry has been translated into French, German, Catalan, Swedish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Croatian and Hungarian. He was African editor of Drumvoices Revue – Journal of Contemporary Arts and Literature (1999-2010). His latest academic publication is entitled: Playful Blasphemies: Postproverbials as Archetypes of Modernity in Yoruba Culture (2012). He teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the Department of English, University of Ibadan (UI). •Remi



The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

‘Only reading can curb violence’ •ANA takes literacy campaign to 150 schools


O curb the wave of violence and youth restiveness, the government should seek to improve the reading culture of its citizenry, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) National President, Prof Remi Raji, have said. People must read for society to progress, he said. With a mind of improving the literacy level among the young, Raji said, ANA established a campaign tagged: ANA/Yusuf Ali Annual Schools Literary Awareness Campaign (AYASLAC), last year. The campaign, he said, is meant to breed tomorrow leaders who are thinkers and imaginative geniuses. Hence, ANA is taking its campaign to 150 schools across 15 states in the country. He said: “The campaign is part of our literary agenda meant to impact on the reading culture and writing skills of the young in particular. The campaign will empower the minds of our young ones and the spirit of sportsmanship in them. When a person is enlightened, it will affect the choices he makes. When people read they would be easily influenced and it would curb violence in the society. It also is part of ANA commitment as an organisation to the development of literacy in the country.” After the successful implementation of its maiden edition in which 16 state branches (Akwa Ibom, Imo, Anambra, Bayelsa, Rivers, Niger, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Plateau, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo and Oyo), including Abuja, benefited from the N3 million grant from its sponsor Yusuf Ali (SAN), ANA has received the same amount from him for this year’s edition, according to Raji. However, this year, the campaign would be extended to other states, while the states that performed better last edition would also benefit. “This is to encourage accountability”, ANA President said. The beneficiaries included Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo, including Abuja. Chairmen of the benefiting states were presented a cheque of N150,000 at the association’s Council of Chairmen and Secretaries Meeting at Ilorin, Kwara State. He charged the beneficiaries to keep to the campaign’s timetable which is from July to October that include reading tours and distribution of books worth 100,000 to the schools; two weeks to be given to the pupils within which to read; reading competition, award ceremony and submission of reports.

•ANA National Council with sponsor, Ali (6th standing) By Evelyn Osagie

CAMPAIGN While urging the beneficiaries to be transparent in carrying out the project, Raji commended the sponsor, saying: “Ali’s reposing of trust in the association is a statement of his satisfaction with the execution of the campaign last year. He called on institutions and personalities to partner with the association in its bid to promote literacy across the country. He said: “ANA partnership with Ali will go a long way in impacting the reading culture of the young. We are open to

‘For any modern society to progress, people would have to read and soak up knowledge from written materials. Nigerians don’t read, maybe as a result of the combination of so many things’

partnerships just like the one we already have with the SAN, Niger State Governor Dr Babangida Aliyu and his wife Hajiya Fatimat and the YSG Hubs groups in the last year to promote literacy in the country.” Sponsoring the campaign, Ali said, is inspired by the passion for reading. He is of the opinion that the literacy level of a person has a great impact ones subseptibility to negative influences. He said: “For any modern society to progress, people would have to read and soak up knowledge from written materials. Nigerians don’t read, maybe as a result of the combination of so many things. My own passion is that we must encourage people to read, especially, our children and youngsters. “I believe the more they read, the more their minds would be taken away from negative perceptions and acts that are detriment to the society. They would have read about what happened to people who did before and so on and they may take heed. So, reading is very good, you may not get wiser but it opens yours eyes to opportunities and choices. I encourage others who have the funds to follow suit.”

LagosPhoto Festival celebrates mega city By Ekekwe Chinasa


• CEO of Etisalat, Mr Steven Evans


RGANISERS of the yearly LagosPhoto Festival, the LagosPhoto Foundation, has entered into a partnership with the World Press Photo, which will bring its expo to Lagos to be showcased alongside the festival. This year’s edition is entitled The Megacity and the Non-city. It signed a three-year contract to bring the World Press Photo exhibition to Lagos, thereby expanding the scope of the festival to include the global discourse of photojournalism and current events worldwide. The World

Press Photo exhibition will open on October 18 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. The organisers have also launched the LagosPhoto Mobile application accessible on iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows mobile devices. The application will contain an archive of past LagosPhoto festival content, including images, current and past artist biographies, indoor and outdoor exhibition locations from previous years, and opportunities for individuals to submit imagery related to each year’s theme. The festival will represent two dominant modes of photographic expression under the theme: The Megacity and the Non-City that of the documentary tradition and the expanded realm of image-based practices incorporating conceptual and new media strategies. The Megacity and the Non-City will look at both the development of urban centres in Africa and the influences of technology, through the internet, digital revolution, and examine how they have transformed photography and our sense of place in a globally connected world. As The Megacity presents a photojournalistic of the fast pace of change occurring in Africa today, The Non-City extends LagosPhoto’s focus to account for artistic practices that examine the mass circulation of images and the politics of representation. Etisalat and the LagosPhoto have also organised the Etisalat photography competition with the theme The Megacity. The competition provides a platform where interested emerg-

ing photographers are required to capture the city of Lagos in their own unique visual language. Entries are now being received at for entries open on last Friday and closes on the August 31. It will start with the official exhibition at the grand opening ceremony on October 26 at Art21, a new art space dedicated to contemporary art at the Eko Hotel & Suites. The festival will extend to satellite venues in arts and cultural venues around Lagos with dedicated exhibitions to augment the festival’s theme. The outdoor exhibitions will engage the general public with photography and also expand the festival to congested public spaces throughout Lagos. The festival educates participants about photography as it is embodied in the exploration of historical and contemporary social issues, the sharing of cultural practices, and the promotion of social programs. LagosPhoto presents a contemporary and historical visual essay of the continent to both a local and global audience. It aims to establish a community for contemporary photography which will unite local and international artists through images that encapsulate individual experiences and identities from across all of Africa. The LagosPhoto Foundation will hold its second fundraiser dinner with the theme Observation No Be Crime at the Eko Hotel & Suites on July 13 at 8 pm. The Fundraiser celebrates the power of photography in Lagos and raises funds for the LagosPhoto Foundation year. Highlights of the evening include a live auction of photographic works by world renowned photographers hosted by Roger Woodbridge and refreshing entertainment.

GreenHouse holds art workshop


FIVE-DAY workshop for art teachers is being organised by Iyase-Odozi Training & Conferences, under the auspices of Green House Art Empowerment Centre, Olambe, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State. The yearly event, billed for July 22 to 26, is to foster a competent, efficient and results-oriented approach by art teachers in primary/secondary schools in the host community of Olambe and beyond. Its theme is Empowering art teachers According to a statement by the organisers, a strong team

of art scholars and seasoned professionals will facilitate the conference/workshop, which is one of the several initiatives being pursued by the centre to expose participants to emerging methodological approaches and trends in art education and the qualities of a good art teacher. “It will also provide insights on effective classroom management skills and create a rare opportunity for experience sharing and networking by art teachers,” the

statement said. Green House Art Empowerment Centre is a nongovernmental organisation established in 2009. Its primary purpose is to promote Nigerian arts and artists and empower the youths, women and other disadvantaged groups in society by providing them with skills in art and crafts for self- and paid-employment.





Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

Fed Govt mulls bank loans, external borrowing to fund FAAC gap T

HE Federal Government may resort to bank loans and external borrowings to fund gaps in revenue shared by states under the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). This has become exigent as revenue from oil is dwindling. the Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismark Rewane hinted in the July Economic Report published by the firm. He explained that total federal allocation shared in the first half of 2013 was N3.3 trillion, about 13.74 per cent higher than the N2.92 trillion shared in the same period of 2012. However, the FAAC in July and the remaining months in the second half of the year is expected to fluctuate within N500 billion

By Collins Nweze

to N900 billion. He hinted that a decline in the federal allocation was possible, and would have a downside risk to the naira as government battles with ways of bridging funding gaps. He said a depreciation of the naira would result in a depletion of the nation’s external reserves and consequently affect the federal allocation, adding that a further decline in oil price is expected to increase the disparity between the approved budget and revenues, leaving government with the option of relying on bank loans, external borrowing to manage the funding gap. He said July inflation is estimated at 8.99 per cent against 8.49 per cent in June. This he

said will be fueled by increased demand for consumer goods as Ramadan begins. “There was also a decline in average inter-bank interest rates in first and second quarters of the year as they averaged 11.6 per cent and 12.2 per cent per annum respectively. The naira equally depreciated at the parallel and inter-bank markets in first quarter,” he said. At the parallel market, the currency declined to N160.5 to a dollar, at the Inter-bank market it depreciated to N158.4 to a dollar while it strengthen at the official market to N155.75 to a dollar. He said that exchange-rate stability is threatened by declining revenue. He added that the rate is determined by global oil market movement and oil price volatility,

external reserves position, risk of increased fiscal spending among other factors. The Financial Derivatives CEO also projected that external reserves are likely to close the year at $43 billion due to declining domestic oil output, vandalism and force majeure, OPEC strict enforcement of quota, fall in global oil price, increased fiscal spending among other factors. On the monetary policy, he said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has three options in dealing with it. He listed the options as proping up the exchange rate through increased interventions and frequent withdrawals from the Excess Crude Account and external reserves; allowing the naira find its true value by widening the target band

and by increasing interest rate. He said that cards and electronic payments becoming a more acceptable form of transaction settlement due to increased awareness on the cash-less policy adding that cash to card utilisation ratio now stands at 80:20 even as there is growing use of internet for transaction settlement and retail activity. He said the banking sector recorded N2.4 trillion per month of electronic payments, while an average of N1.83 trillion cheques were cleared in the first half of 2013. He said a depreciation of the naira would result in a depletion of external reserves and consequently affect the federal allocation even as further decline in oil price would increase the disparity between the approved budget and revenues.

Expert supports farm land register By Daniel Essiest

A •From Left: Treasurer, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Mr Sam Onukwue; Vice-Chairman, Mr. Greg Otsu; Chairman, Mr. Emeka Madubuike and General Secretary, Mr. Akin Akeredolu-Ale, during the 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ASHON in Lagos.

Leasing records N461b turnover


HE volume of transactions recorded by the Nigerian Leasing industry grew by 7.8 per cent to N671 billion in 2012, Chairman, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Kehinde Lawanson, has said. Speaking at the group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, he said the sector’s performance was an improvement compared to N621 billion transaction volume in 2011, adding that total earnings for the period rose by 17 per cent from N40.5 million in 2011 to N47.1million, while total expenditure increased by 8.9 per cent from N41million to N44.7million. There was also a surplus income of N2.5 million as against a loss of N0.5 million in 2011. He said the leasing industry remained resolute in its bid to

Currency in circulation drops to N1.47tr - P 30

By Collins Nweze

create wealth and add value to the economy, in spite of the tough operating environment. He said the oil and gas sector maintained its dominance with 32.4 per cent of the total transactions, followed by the transportation sector with 30.4 per cent, which has been recording steady growth. Lawanson said leasing penetration in the sector is driven mainly by the increasing demand for commercial vehicles for passengers and haulage, as well as buses and cars for corporate clients. “The market, though still dominated by finance leasing transactions, continued to witness the gradual shift from finance leasing to operating leasing. Many lessors are tilting towards service oriented leases including fleet management for their corporate clients in response to market dictates. This is an indication of

the innovativeness of the industry and development of leasing as a service oriented product,” he said. Also, he explained that leasing industry maintained its attractiveness to investors. New entrants especially from subsidiaries of insurance companies, vendors and other private investors have further buoyed leasing activities, thus increasing the level of competition in the market place. He said the growth potential of the industry remains promising as the macroeconomic environment presents enormous investment opportunities for the industry. “Opportunities abound in prioritised sectors of government such as agriculture, power and provision of other infrastructure. Leasing is expected to play a major role in meeting the demand for capital

Insurance sector records growth - P31

assets and therefore, it is important for us as lessors to key into these emerging opportunities to increase our bottom line and leasing penetration in the Nigerian economy,” he said. However, he said the leasing industry continued to operate on difficult terrain, which has constrained the faster development of the industry. The challenging issues confronting the industry are inadequate leasing infrastructure such as fragmented legal framework, unfavourable tax regime and inadequate funding mechanism. “We have been engaging the government and working with other stakeholders on a better operating environment that would sustain growth and development of the leasing industry, he added.

DON, Prof Abiodun Adeloye, has stressed the need for greater information on investment in agriculture and support for development of register for agricultural land, agribusiness and water entitlements. Speaking with The Nation, Adeloye, Dean ,Faculty of Agriculture,University of Ilorin, Kwara State, said the register must be comprehensive, publicly available and help the government and private stakeholders to explore opportunities for agric business investment and how to manage investments in the sector. He called on the government to establish a national and foreign ownership register for agricultural land in consultations with stakeholders. According to him, the register will take into account the need to improve transparency of foreign ownership in agricultural land without imposing unnecessary burdens on investors. He said foreign investment in agriculture is critical to economic growth and that with a register of agric land, it would be a positive development for agriculture as farmers want to see greater transparency around investment to ensure that the motivations behind this investment are clear.

‘Equities’ outlook neutral’ - P33




Currency in circulation drops to N1.47tr C

URRENCY in circulation fell by 2.5 per cent to N1.47 trillion in April, a report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown. In the preceding March, the currency rose by 4.9 per cent and by 3.4 per cent in the corresponding period of last year. The CBN said the development showed the 4.6 per cent decline in currency outside the banks’ component. Total deposits at the CBN are N6.1 trillion, indicating a decline of 10.2 per cent below the level at the end of the preceding month. Reserve money (RM) declined by 12.2 per cent to N3.4 trillion at the end of the review month, reflecting the trends in commercial banks’ deposits with the CBN. Available data showed that money market indicators were relatively stable in April last year. The CBN intervened in the market using the Open Market Operations (OMO) to mop up excess liquidity. The bank said Federal Government Bonds and Nigerian Treas-

Stories by Collins Nweze

ury Bills (NTBs) were issued at the primary market on behalf of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for fiscal operations. Activities in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) segment of the market was buoyed, largely, by the inclusion of 10 FGN Bonds into the Barclays Market Index (BMI) on April 1, as well as the liquidity status accorded to the instruments. According to the CBN, provisional data indicated that the value of money market assets outstanding at end of April 2013 was N6.2 trillion, indicating an increase of 1.9 per cent, compared with the increase of 3.8 per cent at the end of the preceding month. The development was attributed to the three per cent increase in FGN Bonds outstanding. Also, available data indicated mixed developments in banks’ deposit and lending rates during the review month. With the exception of interbank call, the average savings and the 12-month tenored deposit rates which rose by 0.85, 0.05

and 0.40 percentage point to 11.24, 1.82 and 6.49 per cent. However, all other deposit rates of various maturities fell from a range of 0.85 to 7.99 per cent to a range of 0.84 to 7.94 per cent. At 6.83 per cent, the average term deposit rate fell by 0.16 percentage point below the level in the preceding month. Similarly, the margin between the average savings deposit and maximum lending rates widened by 2.17 percentage points to 22.71 per cent during the period. At the interbank call segment, the weighted average rate, which stood at 10.39 per cent at end of March 2013, rose by 0.85 percentage point to 11.24 per cent. Similarly, the weighted average rate, at the open-buyback (OBB) segment, rose by 0.32 percentage point to 10.62 per cent from 10.30 per cent at end-March, this year. Aggregate Standing Lending Facility (SLF) granted in the review period was N845.31 billion with a daily average of N40.25 billion, compared with N993.43

• From left: Chairman, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Kehinde Lawanson; Executive Secretary, Andrew Efurhievwe and Director, Chuka Onwuchekwa, during the 18th Annual General Meeting of the association in Lagos.

CBN moves to take Nigeria off money HEAD of the visit of the Fi- laundering list Economic and Financial Crimes nancial Action Task Force


(FATF), the Central Bank has adopted measures for getting Nigeria removed from the list of nonco-operative countries (NCCTs) on money laundering and terrorism financing. The FATF team is expected to arrive in September to access the country’s level of compliance. To be delisted Nigeria is expected to address non-implementation of procedures, identity issues, freezing of terrorist assets and failure to ensure that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial transactions. To fulfil this requirement, the CBN has mandated international travellers to declare funds, or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000 to the Customs. In a circular to banks signed by its Acting Director, Financial Policy & Regulation, Y.B. Duniya, the CBN said Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (MLPA), 2011, (as amended) provides that transportation of cash or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000, or its equivalent by individuals in or out of the country shall be declared to the Customs. Also, Section 2 (5) provides that any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido

the Customs in line with Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring & Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004, is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit the undeclared funds, or negotiable instrument, or imprisonment of not less than two years, or both. The Act under reference, he said, required the Customs to forward such declarations to the CBN and

Commission (EFCC). He said Section 2(5) of the Act states that false declaration, or failure to declare to the Customs is an offence, adding that forfeiture of the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument occurs upon conviction. The Committee of Chief Compliance Officers in Nigeria (CCCOBIN) has also advised banks to provide adequate resources and empowerment for their Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and other relevant officers to ensure that Nigeria’s AntiMoney Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) risks are well managed. CCCOBIN Chairman, Pattison Boleigha said bank officers involved in driving the implementation of the money laundering laws and regulations must be protected. He said erring staff must be sanctioned. He said banks were already showing commitment to ensuring that the sector received positive response from FATF during their next review on the country. Boleigha said banks strengthen their processes and ensure that issues identified by FATF are addressed by their management and staff.

billion with daily average of N49.67 billion in the preceding month. This showed a decline of 14.9 per cent. The aggregate Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) stood at N2.7 trillion with daily average of N130.97 billion, Available data indicated that total assets and liabilities of the deposit money banks (DMBs) amounted to N22.5 trillion, showing an increase of 0.9 per cent below the level at the end of the preceding month. Funds were sourced mainly from the disposal of unclassified assets, accretion to capital account and increased mobilisation of time, savings and foreign currency deposits. The funds were used, largely, in the extension of credits to the Federal Govern-

ment and the private sector, as well as acquisition of foreign assets. At N14.1 trillion, DMBs credit to the domestic economy rose by 2.4 per cent over the level in the preceding month. The breakdown showed that relative to the level at the end of the preceding month, credit to the Federal Government and private sector rose by 6.9 and 1.0 per cent, respectively. Total specified liquid assets of the DMBs stood at N6.7 trillion, representing 44.5 per cent of their total current liabilities. At that level, the liquidity ratio fell by 31.2 per centage points below the level in the preceding month, but was 35.4 percentage points above the stipulated minimum ratio of 30 per cent.

Govt urged to revitalise tax system


HE Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has advised the Federal Government to improve the tax system. A statement by the institute said the advice became necessary following United States President Barrack Obama’s speech in South Africa that his country does not need energy from Africa. The CITN’s President, Mr. Mark Anthony Dike, said Obama’s speech, if critically examined, portends danger to the economy whose development depends on oil revenue. “The United States President Barack Obama has, ultimately, confirmed the fears in some quarters that the days of crude oil importation from African oil producing countries, including Nigeria, were numbered, as oil export from Nigeria is on a downward trend,” he said at a three-day Joint District Societies’ meeting of the institute. Dike said that the United States President was only speaking on an obvious fact which the Institute has always reiterated to successive Nigeria governments from time immemorial. “America has made several successful advances in oil and gas production, as well as clean energy production springing up at a rapid rate in the United States,” he said. Dike said statistics have shown that the US, Nigeria’s biggest oil customer, has been slashing down its oil imports from the country

amid surging output and refinery closures in North America, prompting Nigeria’s oil marketers to find alternative markets in Asia, an equally politically unstable continent as Africa. “It is saddening that Nigeria’s dwindling oil exports to the United States has crashed further to the lowest in 15 years, noting that it was high time the government seized the opportunity of revamping the country’s tax system which has proven to be a better alternative to revenue in other climes,” he said. He urged the Federal Government to be cautious of its negative impact as the economy relies mainly on proceeds from crude oil sales to generate foreign exchange and proceeds from crude oil represent over 85 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. This, in turn, would translate into increased government borrowing and fiscal deficit. Citing a recent report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the CITN President said that the persistent decline in oil export and the fluctuating crude oil prices which is at an annual average of $97 per barrel may not only translate to lower oil revenue for Nigeria but would also eat into Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance, while a further fall to between $80 and $85 per barrel would wipe out ECA balances within a year.

Private sector creates jobs, says World Bank


ORLD Bank report has said an active private sector is key to creating jobs for the population. The bank has also outlined how jobs that do the most for development can spur a virtuous cycle. The report, contained in the World Development Report 2013, explained that poverty falls as people work their way out of hardship and as jobs empower women to invest more in their children. “Efficiency increases as workers get better at what they do, as more productive jobs appear, and as less productive ones disappear. Socie-

ties flourish as jobs foster diversity and provide alternatives to conflict,” the bank said in an emailed report. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said a good job can change a person’s life, and the right jobs can transform entire societies, adding that governments need to move jobs to center stage to promote prosperity and fight poverty. “It’s critical that governments work well with private sector, which accounts for 90 per cent of all jobs. Therefore, we need to find the best ways to help small firms and farms grow,” he said.

Firm gets directors


NIFIED Payment Services Limited (ValuCard) has named Babatunde Okeniyi as Director, Marketing and Sales, and Sina Joseph, Director, Information Technology & Operations. In a statement, the firm said Okeniyi was bringing on board his wealth of experience. Okeniyi was Director, Information Technology/Operations in Unified Payments, a position he attained after working as Group Head, Operations. Before joining

Unified Payments, Okeniyi worked in Citibank Nigeria and United Bank for Africa Plc, where he was General Manager and Group Chief Information Officer (CIO). Joseph also brings on board, a wealth of experience. After a career in Citi Bank Nigeria, he joined the services of Access Bank where he rose to Chief Information Officer. He worked in Keystone Bank as General Manager and Head of Information Technology.



I NSURANCE NAICOM’s approval NHIS engages Accenture CHI gets on IFRS compliance for scheme’s growth C T HE National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank, has engaged Accenture to develop an effective and industry-wide platform for sustainable growth as well as financing plan for scaling up the scheme’s coverage. Acting Executive Secretary of NHIS, Dr. Abdulrahaman Sambo, disclosed this during a consultative forum with stakeholders in Abuja. According to Sambo, the objective of the consultancy services from Accenture is to enable the repositioning of the scheme towards effective implementation of its programmes to the benefit of the citizens, promising to adhere strictly to the findings and recommendations of the consultants. Sambo however charged stakeholders of the scheme to com-

• Asks stakeholders to complement efforts

Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

plement efforts of the NHIS towards the attainment of universal coverage through prompt service delivery. The NHIS boss called on healthcare facilities providers to brace up to the task ahead and ensure that the scheme’s mandate of universal coverage is achieved. In his presentation, the Programme Manager, Accenture, Mr. Martin Eigbike said the group’s task as providing services in four key areas, he identified as; reviewing the regulatory policy frame work, designing an IT system, reviewing current business practice and proposing new ones to ensure sustainability. It also include conducting a review of long term funding requirements and identifying other strategies and mecha-

nisms for securing potential sources. He further explained that this assessment is aimed at identifying existing constraints to achieving universal health coverage and specific opportunities to improve the effectiveness of NHIS. “The assessment will also establish the foundational principle that will guide the design of a blue-print for scaling up the capabilities of the scheme. “Review of the legal frame work to make the scheme mandatory would go a long a way in accelerating the attainment of universal coverage,” he said. Meanwhile stakeholders, unanimously agreed to work with the NHIS, but stressed that existing lacuna in the system be addressed to enhance attainment of this lofty goal.

ONSOLIDATED Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc has joined the league of three other companies that have complied with the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) in their financial report as the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) approves its 2012 account. It mandated that from 2012 financial year, every insurance firm in the industry must transit. and comply with the IFRS standard in their financial reporting, a condition which insurers have been finding difficult to cope with. Insurance firms that are IFRS compliant are Mansard Insurance, ADIC Insurance and Wapic Insurance Plc, out of 61 insurance companies registered in Nigeria. Managing Director, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Eddie Efekoha who disclosed the company’s achievement to reporters in Lagos said the approval was conveyed in a letter signed by NAICOM’s Director of Supervision, Nicholas Opara, where he informed the company of the approval of the Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel. Efekoha attributed the positive development to the determination of the Management, Board of Directors, the entire staff as well as other stakeholders including the company’s auditors. He said though the transition to the IFRS reporting was not as seamless as

• Efekoha envisaged in the industry, he stated that subsequent years would be less problematic for the players because of lessons learnt. He added that in line with the development, the company is now making arrangements towards presenting the approved financials to the shareholders for approval at the annual general meeting of the company on a date to be announced soon. The company remains committed towards ensuring that compliance issues with all regulators, both industry based and capital market would be continually adhered to, as the company strives towards its vision of being the leading provider of insurance and other financial services of international standard, he said.

Conrad Clark sets standard on risk management rating

F • Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed (left) and Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel, during the inaugurating of NAICOM Northcentral Zonal office in Ilorin.

‘Insurance sector records growth’


HE insurance sector recorded improvement in the past few years as its contribution in the ratio of premium to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased from 0.5 per cent to 0.7 per cent. The Commissioner for Insurance, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Fola Daniel, disclosed this during the opening of the commission’s Northcentral Zonal office in Ilorin. He said the sector’s gross premium income increased from N157billion in 2010 to N250billion last year, which resulted to an increase in the ratio of premium to GDP. Speaking on other achievement recorded, he said companies with foreign equity increased from three to 10, generating substantial for-

eign direct investment. He added that there was also an increase in local capacity for oil and gas risks from 10 per cent to 48 per cent while the commencement of implementation of Section 50 of the Insurance Act 2003 on ‘No Premium, No Cover’ has improved financial assets of operators. He said: “The sector recorded increase in the number of policyholders from 500,000 in 2010 to 1,500,000 in 2012 and collaborated with PENCOM to develop the annuities market. “These are all the outcome of efforts by the Commission which is already being felt in the industry and by extension, the economy following the massive sensitisation campaigns across the country. “The campaign was to further edu-

cate and inform the public about insurance, build confidence and grow the gross premium income.” The commissioner noted that the Governing Board of the Commission in 2011 approved the establishment of three additional Zonal Offices to be located in Ilorin, PortHarcourt and Maiduguri as part of the mandate to deepen insurance penetration and awareness in the country. These locations, he said were carefully selected owing to their strategic economic importance and relevance to the growth and development of insurance in the respective zones noting that the Ilorin branch will serve the entire Northcentral zone. We are making arrangements to commission the Southsouth and Northeast Zonal offices, he added.

Capital Express repackages education policy


HE new Managing Director of Capital Express Assurance Limited, Mrs. Bola Odukale has revealed a repackaged education insurance policy that would ensure unveiled education for children till university level. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, Mrs Odukale said the Education Assurance Plan was designed to guarantee the education of the child named in the policy up to university level subject to the sum assured. According to her, the plan pays the sum assured in the event of the death of the breadwinner during the policy term and creates

immediate estate sufficient to guarantee payment of school fees of the named child adding that this will forestall the abrupt stoppage of the child’s education. She said if the breadwinner suffers critical illness, permanent disability due to accident or sickness or death, the policy will ensure that the child’s education is not halted. While explaining some of the key features of the policy, she noted that the parent or breadwinner decides at inception of the policy, the estimated amount required to finance the future education of the child, after which the estimated amount will represent the sum that

will be assured under the policy. Odukale said: “The breadwinner can arrange to be paying his premium annually or in installments over a maximum period of five years “The policy has flexible benefit administration options that suit payment of school fees. One child can also be substituted for another during commencement of benefit or benefit payable to the insured’s estate.” She noted that education is relevant to the society and that it remains a permanent legacy parents or guardians could bequethe to their children to ensure their future.

OR risk managers to learn to manage upside and downside risk effectively, Conrad Clark Nigeria Limited, a management consulting firm is setting a new standard in the measurement of compliance and adoption of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) by organisations and risk managers in the country. According to the Chief Executive of Conrad Clark Nigeria (CCN), Mr Joachim Adebayo Adenusi, risk management involves far more than the prevention of untoward events. He said: “Businesses need to learn to manage upside and downside risk effectively, without which they miss growth opportunities, suffer declining performance and profitability. “The effective management of risk is not a function that occurs within the risk management department. The practice of ERM has grown exponentially over the last 10 years and more so since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.” He said regulatory bodies across the world have adopted risk-based regulatory frameworks in a wide variety of sectors including financial services, insurance, and healthcare. In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), which regulate financial services and insurance sectors respectively, have both led the way with risk-based regulation. Adenusi, who was a Director of the Institute of Risk Management pointed

out that it has been interesting to see the enthusiasm with which organisations in Africa have adopted ERM, as well as the unique ways in which ERM has been implemented. “Irrespective of the country, we have seen that companies that implement ERM properly and thoughtfully have a much higher positive impact on the bottom line and organisational reputation in the medium to long term,” he said. He further disclosed that the Nigerian Risk Awards will celebrate those very special organisations and individuals that are pioneering the practice of ERM in Nigeria across a variety of industry sectors. “Over recent years companies in Nigeria have gone the extra mile in the management of risk and many of them have employed innovative and practical strategies to embed risk management, to drive cultural change and influence decision making. We are now inviting them to submit these examples for consideration for the awards,” he said. The successful Risk Manager of the Year will have an all-expenses paid trip to attend one of the international annual risk management conferences 2014 in the United Kingdom or United States. “The submissions for the Nigerian Risk Awards will be independently assessed and judged by a panel of highly distinguished individuals, drawn from within and outside the country.“

SA Life appoints two new directors, rewards staff


HE Board of Directors of Standard Alliance Life Assurance Limited, a member-company of Standard Alliance Group, has appointed Messrs. Bolaji Oladipo and Andrew Agbaga as Executive Directors of the company with effect from June, this year in a bid to grow the company Seven directors including the Chairman, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor who were eariler appointed have been retained. The firm also rewarded 38 workers with promotion to different cadres for their efficiency and exceptional input. Head, Corporate Communication, Mr Nelson

Egboboh, disclosed this in Lagos. He noted that the board’s decision for the fresh appointments which brought the total number of the company’s directors to nine was informed by the ownership spirit with which the two officers had continued to perform their duties as general managers, business development and operations respectively before now. According to him, their result-yielding ownership spirits were noticed by the board which consequently deemed it necessary at its June meeting to elevate them to a much more strategic status where they could be better involved in taking the company to another level.




Founding directors reduce shareholdings in Tantalizers


HE two founding directors of Tantalizers Plc have reduced their shareholdings considerably, leaving them with a little above one-third of the company’s equities as against previous majority shareholdings of more than 55 per cent. Latest audited update on the shareholding structure of the fast food company obtained by The Nation showed that the couple who had chiefly promoted the company and jointly retained up to 55.3 per cent equity stake by the last previous audit ended December 31, 2011 had reduced their shareholdings to 36 per cent by the latest audit. According to the report, the two directors sold some 70.54 per cent of the total number of their shareholdings amounting to 620 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. One of the directors sold 33.51 per cent of total number of his shareholdings, equivalent to some 357 million shares. This reduced his direct shareholdings from 1.07 bil-

Stories by Taofik Salako

lion ordinary shares to 708.85 million ordinary shares. With this, his percentage shareholding in the company has reduced from 33.19 per cent to 22.07 per cent. However, he remains with the largest individual shareholding. Another director, who hitherto held the second largest equity stake, sold 37.03 per cent of total number of her direct shareholdings totaling 263.01 million ordinary shares, which reduced her percentage equity holding in the company from 22.11 per cent to 13.93 per cent. She lost her second position to become the third largest shareholder. The divesting directors might have sold to a new major shareholder. Golden Ankhs Integrated Services, which had no major shareholding in previous audit, was listed with 21.37 per cent equity stake in Tantalizers, vesting it with 686.45 million ordinary shares, now the second largest equity stake. The shareholdings of all other di-

rectors remained unchanged. The International Finance Corporation (IFC ) holds 8.15 per cent equity stake in Tantalizers, making it the fourth largest shareholder in the fast food company. Tantalizers has continued to struggle with declining sales and high costs in recent years. Interim report for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 showed loss before tax of 124 million in 2013 as against N64.5 million recorded in comparable period of 2012. Turnover had dropped from N1.05 billion to N898.7 million. Gross profit stood at N404.9 million in 2013 as against N464.2 million in 2012. Finance costs had jumped from N3.99 million in first quarter 2012 to N36.95 million in first quarter 2013. Audited report and accounts of Tantalizers for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed that sales dropped from N4.60 billion in 2011 to N4.20 billion in 2012. Gross profit relapsed to N1.90 billion as against N2.15 billion. At N2.19 billion, administrative expense was 52 per cent

of total turnover in 2012 as against 46.3 per cent indicated by N2.13 billion recorded in 2011. Interest expense doubled from N16.04 million to N35.61million. With these, the company reversed from a modest profit before tax of N83.6 million in 2011 to a pre-tax loss of N263.18 million in 2012. After taxes, net loss rose to N303.5 million in 2012 compared with net profit of N101.9 million in 2011. With basic loss per share of 9.0 kobo in 2012 as against earnings per share of 3.0 kobo in 2011, the company could not declare dividend for the 2012 business year. It had distributed dividend per share of 2.0 kobo for the 2011 business year. Directors of the company have said paucity of funds due to delay in drawdown of an IFC loan hampered the company’s strategic branch expansion, renovation and marketing activities and was largely responsible for the negative bottom-line in 2012. But Tantalizers reported that it has received $2.5 million, about N400

million, from the protracted $7 million loan facility from the IFC, easing the liquidity crunch that had orchestrated the company’s N304 million net loss in 2012. It indicated that the disbursement of the loan, which was approved in 2010, started in April 2013. The drawdown was reportedly delayed by the difficulties encountered by Tantalizers in the perfection of collateral for the loan. The company was only able to open one outlet and renovated two stores in 2012 as against earlier plan to open six new outlets and renovate several stores in 2012 based on expectation of the funds from IFC. The non-renovation of the ageing outlets adversely affected the competitiveness of the outlets as customer preference was for new and more appealing outlets. Already with bank loans totalLing more than N1.5 billion, the cash crunch in 2012 also limited marketing activities and forced the company to undertake critical review of its operations.

Dangote to sell more equity stakes in Dangote Cement


•From Left: Mr. Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Ms. Arunma Oteh, DG, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Dr. Suleyman Ndanusa, Chairman of the Board of SEC and new President and chairman of Council of Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and Hajia Zainab Kuchi, Minister of State for Power at the investiture of Ndanusa as the president of ICSAN in Abuja.

Nigerian shareholders mobilise against GSK’s 80% bid N

IGERIAN minority shareholders said they would mobilise stiff opposition against the bid by the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) UK Plc, the multinational foreign majority shareholders in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK Nigeria) Plc, to buy shares from Nigerian shareholders and increase its majority equity stake to 80 per cent. GSK has however revised its bid to 75 per cent equity stake. Shareholders who spoke to The Nation described the bid as unfair and against national interest. The board of GSK Nigeria has, however, recommended the acquisition bid arguing that the takeover of Nigerian shareholders’ stakes would facilitate significant investment by GSK in GSK Nigeria. The board said GSK has confirmed that it will retain the listing of GSK Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Directors of GSK Nigeria have said they would vote for the bid. However, only three of the nine directors have shareholdings in the company. GSK currently holds majority equity stake of 46.4 per cent GSK Consumer Nigeria through two whollyowned subsidiaries. With total current outstanding shares of 956.70 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, GSK UK holds 443.91 million shares while Nigerian institutional and individual investors hold the balance of 512.79 million shares. GSK UK initially sought to buy 321.45 million shares out of the

shareholdings by Nigerians to increase the foreign core investor’s controlling stake to 80 per cent. In the bid for the 33.6 per cent additional equity stake, GSK UK had offered price of N48 per share. While the offer price then represented a premium of 28 per cent to the closing price of a GSK Nigeria on November 23, 2012 and a premium of 34 per cent to the volume weighted average closing price of GSK Nigeria for the three months prior to November 23, 2012, it represents a huge discount to the opening market price of N67 on this week. According to the proposal, GSK UK seeks to acquire additional shares of GSK Nigeria on a pro rata basis from existing shareholders through a Scheme of Arrangement. Under the revised proposal for 75 per cent equity stake, GSK is pushing to acquire 273.46 million ordinary shares out of the Nigerian shareholders’ holdings to add 28.58 per cent to push its post-acquisition holding at 75 per cent. With 75 per cent equity stake, GSK will be able to push through any future major changes including mergers and acquisition, delisting, shares buy back, changing of public limited liability status, new capital issues and restructuring among others. Extant Nigerian laws require 75 per cent shareholdings to approve such major changes.

Major minority shareholders’ leaders said they would not sell their shares and would advise others against selling their shares. They noted that no investor can be forced to surrender his equities. President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr. Boniface Okezie said regulatory authorities should take note of Nigerian shareholders’ opposition to the bid. He said the 80 per cent acquisition bid might be a ploy by the company to further alienate Nigerian shareholders and delist its shares from the NSE citing the example of Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), which had used its large controlling stake to push through delisting of its shares from the NSE. He urged the capital market regulators to rise up and protect the interests of Nigerian shareholders pointing out that the bid is unfair to Nigerians as investors and consumers of GSK’s products. He advocated for retention of current shareholding structure, which gives GSK a controlling stake but allows Nigerians to benefit to a large extent from the company’s operations. Chairman, Shareholders United Front (SUF), Mr. Gbenga Idowu, said shareholders have expressed their opposition to the bid but will wait to see what SEC would do given its primary responsibility of investors’ protection.

LHAJI Aliko Dangote, the core investor in Dangote Cement Plc, may have to sell additional 13.4 per cent equity stake out of its dominant majority equity stake of about 94 per cent in Dangote Cement Plc in order to comply with the minimum float requirement of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The dilution, however, could be by way of shares sale or issuance of new shares to the general investing public to dilute the core investor’s shareholding. A report on companies in violation of the 20 per cent free float by the NSE obtained by The Nation had shown that Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), the holding company of Alhaji Aliko Dangote; and core investor in Dangote Cement has up till October 2014 to sell down or dilute its shareholdings in the cement company. The report was dated July 05, 2013. Dangote Industries Limited was mandated by the NSE to either sell down or dilute its shareholdings to enable the company meet the crucial 20 per cent free float requirement for the main board of the Exchange. The report indicated that Dangote Cement, the most capitalised company on the NSE, only has a free float of 5.11 per cent. However, DIL recently sold 1.5 per cent equity stake to the South African government. The deal, totaling N45.75 billion, was consummated the NSE. South Africa, through its wholly owned investment company, Public Investment Corporation of South Africa (PIC), acquired 255.61 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Dangote Cement at N179 per share. By the expiration of the deadline, Dangote Industries is required to have completed partial divestments or dilution of its shareholdings to free 20 per cent equity stake for public holding, unless the management of the NSE grants fresh waivers and extensions for the company. In the extreme instance, a company with deficient public float may opt to delist its shares. The NSE did not respond to enquiry on possibilities of further waiver and continuing subsistence of a company on its main board with a deficient free float. The Nation’s investigation indicated that Dangote Industries may divest as much as N422 billion, according to current market valuations. DIL may have to sell about 2.28 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each if it chooses the divestment option. Dangote Cement

opened yesterday at N185 per share. However, the NSE’s report indicated that the timeline for the compliance with the 20 per cent minimum public float was given to Dangote Industries after it had applied for waivers from the Quotations Committee of the NSE. It was said to have outlined plans to meet the minimum public float, which the NSE took into consideration in extending the timeframe for compliance with the minimum public float. Public float is technically a synonym of public shareholder and it refers to the shares of a quoted company held by ordinary shareholders other than those directly or indirectly held by its parent, subsidiary or associate companies or any subsidiaries or associates of its parent company; its directors who are holding office as directors of the entity and their close family members and any single individual or institutional shareholder holding a statutorily significant stake, which is 5.0 per cent and above in Nigeria. Thus, public shareholders and public float do not include shareholders or shares held directly or indirectly by any officer, director, controlling shareholder or other concentrated, affiliated or family holdings. Key extracts of audited report and accounts for 2012 showed that market share rose steadily during the year, averaging an estimated 57.1 per cent in 2012 compared with the 50.5 per cent achieved in 2011. The company announced a profit after tax of N151.93 billion up from N121.4 billion of 2011 representing an increase of 25 per cent. The company paid a dividend per share of N3. Dangote Cement plans to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Already the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa, Dangote Cement wants to reach 43 million metric tonnes in 2015. With three plants and 70 per cent market share in Nigeria, the company has contracts to construct factories in eight African countries, from Senegal to South Africa to Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Union Global Partners Limited, the core investor in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and other core investors in Tourist Company of Nigeria were also required to reduce their shareholdings. Union Global Partners is required to either sell down or dilute its shareholdings on or before June 2017 while NPF Microfinance Bank •Continued on page 33




‘FCMB HoldCo’ll unlock shareholders’ value’


IRST City Merchant Bank(FCMB) Plc has taken a bold step to unlock shareholders’ value by transforming into a holding company. Known as FCMB Group, the company will be managing the affairs of First City Monument Bank Plc and its subsidiaries to increase profitability and further enhance shareholders’ value. To achieve growth, the company has listed and transferred 19,041,068,033 ordinary shares held by its 529,632 shareholders at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In the same vein, it has listed the ticker symbol FCMB at the exchange in line with the regulatory process. Already, the FCMB has achieved impressive financial results for the year ended December 31, 2012 and the first quarter of March 31, 2013. The bank recorded a profit after tax of N15.3billion in 2012, an increase by 256 per cent over the loss of about N9.24billion in 2011. The bank recorded a profit after tax of N4.2billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, representing an increase of three per cent over the N4.10billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. Gross earnings within the three months period also witnessed a leap from N26.12billion as at March 31, 2012 to N31.41billion as at March 31 last year. Total deposits rose from N411billion in 2011 to N646billion in 2012, an increase by 57 per cent. Also, the bank’s loans and advances grew by 11 per cent to N357billion in 2012, compared to N323billion in 2011. The performance recorded was driven by strong growth in interest income and non-interest income of 39 per cent and 138 per cent, respectively. This was aided by last year’s acquisition and merger with

By Akinola Ajibade

FinBank. Based on this, the bank is expected to improve on its performance and further provide impressive returns for stakeholders in the future. Speaking at the Facts behind the Listing ceremony recently, in Lagos, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of FCMB Plc, Mr Ladi Balogun, said the development would help in enhancing shareholders/ customer’s value, improved the quality of operations and governance. Balogun said the new structure would help in ringfencing depositors’ funds from investment banking activities, and further contribute to economic growth. He said the idea will create additional values for shareholders, as well as providing additional layer of non-operational governance across the bank and the companies under the group. He said: “The structure will create a more diversified revenue base, pave way for management of distinct businesses, and enhance shareholders and customers’ value. Today, we are the leading retail lenders in terms of loans granted on monthly basis. The distribution network has helped the ability to gather deposit”. Under the Holding Company structure, shareholding in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc has been exchanged one-for-one for FCMB Group Plc shares, effectively making them owners of FCMB Group Plc, in the same ratio as previous holding in the bank. Through ownership of FCMB Group Plc, shareholders will continue to own all the subsidiaries 100 per cent, including First City Monument Bank Plc and its subsidiaries (FCMB Capital Markets Limited, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK)

•From left: Chairman, FCMB Plc, Otunba Olutola O. Senbore; CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyeama; Balogun and Director, FCMB Group Plc, Mr Olusegun Odubogun, during the listing of FCMB Group Plc at the Exchange.

Limited, Arab Gambian Islamic Bank Limited, First City Asset Management Limited and CSL Trustees Limited. He said the group will have three wholly-owned direct subsidiaries – First City Monument Bank Plc, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited, while the other entities in the Holding Company will report into the three direct subsidiaries. He said four of the non-permissible/non-strategic subsidiaries ,namely City Securities (Registrars) Limited, FinBank Capital Limited, FinBank Homes Limited and FinBank Securities & Asset Management Limited, have been sold, subject to regulatory approval. He added that the sale of FinBank Insurance Brokers Limited, FinBank Insurance Company Limited and Arab Gambian Islamic Bank Limited is on-going, while Fin Registrars Limited has been liquidated. On Board, Mr Ladi Balogun has

been appointed as the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive officer, while Mr. Peter Obaseki is the Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc. Analysts said the emergence of FCMB as a Holding Company represents another major milestone in the history of the financial institution. They observed that the continuous re-strategisation and renewal of the financial institution (right from its early origin in investment banking as City Securities Limited in 1977 to its present status) is a demonstration of a commitment to be among the top five banks in the country. They said HoldCo will make the bank become more competitive in the industry and enhance its profitability. Commenting on the sterling results recorded by the Bank in the 2012 financial year and the first quarter of 2013, the GMD/CEO of FCMB Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, explained that the bank’s major priorities in next three years, include

the acceleration of growth in demand deposit and savings account balances, as well as reduction of cost of risk to enable it operate the most valuable retail franchise in the country. He noted that this will make the bank become more competitive in the industry and enhance its profitability, which would ultimately add value to shareholders. He pointed out that the improved performance recorded during the year under review has shown that the bank has recovered strongly, adding that the board is committed to ensuring that the performance improves further in 2013. “We are on course for the attainment of a 75 per cent low cost deposit mix by 2015, and with the growth in retail loans, we foresee our net interest margins remaining consistently above eight per cent over the next two years. We look ahead to 2013 with great optimism and resolve that our performance can only get better and we will move from strength to strength,” he assured.

Equities’ outlook is neutral, say analysts


IGERIAN equities may not witness a strong bullish run in the second half as the stock market grapples with global and national macroeconomic challenges and seasonal market cycles. In a preview of the second half, analysts at Investment One Financial Services Limited said the outlook for the stock market in the second half is “neutral”, a reference to subdued performance. According to analysts, the equi-

By Taofik Salako

ties market could benefit from above-forecasts earnings reports in the second and third quarters as well as stable macroeconomic fundamentals and attractive valuation of the Nigerian stock market relative to developing and emerging market peers. Analysts noted that renewed foreign investors’ appetite for the Nigerian market on the back of prolonged monetary easing in the

Dangote to sell more equity stakes in Dangote Cement •Continued from page 32

has up till the end of next month to increase its public float. Union Global Partners Limited, a special purpose vehicle that included many investment firms including African Capital Alliance (ACA), investment funds of The Netherland and United States Governments and other Nigerian investors. Union Bank of Nigeria falls short of the minimum float by 6.0 per cent, implying either a divestment of some 1.02 billion ordinary shares by the core investors or issuance of supplementary shares to general investing public. Tourist Company of Nigeria has the highest deficiency rate of 18.69 per cent, indicating possible divestment of some 420 million ordinary shares. Stock markets maintain mini-

mum public float to prevent undue concentration of securities in the hands of the core investors and related interests, a situation that can make the stock to be susceptible to price manipulation. Besides, it provides the general investing public with opportunity to reasonably partake in the wealth creation by private enterprises. The recently revised listing rules of the NSE stipulates that the public shall hold a minimum of 20 per cent of each class of equity securities of a company quoted on the main board, 15 per cent of each class of equity securities of a company quoted on the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) and 10 per cent of each class of equity securities of a dual-listed company. Prior to the review, the minimum public float for the main board of NSE was 25 per cent.

United States of America (USA) could boost market performance. They however said the market performance could be undermined by weak inflow of external funds on improving economic fundamentals in the USA as well as poor corporate earnings that fail to meet market-wide expectations and end of year sell-off. They outlined that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) will likely grow moderately during the second half by around 6.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent with the non-oil sector remaining the major driver. “Inflation will likely remain within the single-digit horizon. Pressure on the headline index may emanate from political spending as well as expected signing of the 2013 budget amendment bill. The Monetary Policy Committee is expected to hold rate at 12 per cent over the period with the apex bank continuing to leverage on high rates on OMO instruments to lure foreign investors,” analysts stated. They pointed out that increasing pressure on foreign reserves from uncertainty in crude oil price, declining production and rising leakages as well as pressure on local currency on the back of anticipated weak foreign exchange earnings and foreign portfolio investments may likely lead to an upward adjustment of the exchange band. In the fixed income market, analysts indicated possibility of an elevated yield environment at the fixed income end of the market with the shorter end of the yield curve particularly treasury bills likely to give good returns.

According to analysts, expected upside in the fixed income market is premised on global fund flows into the emerging market, which might drop relative to levels witnessed earlier in the year due to economic growth levels recorded in the developed economies. They noted that declining global price of crude oil, lower than budgeted crude oil production and reduced energy demand in summer might put pressure on the Naira thereby increasing the fear of exchange rate risk. They attributed the strong performance of the stock market in the first half to strong foreign investors’ appetite for Nigerian stocks, high level of profitability growth which made most local stocks to trade at a discount to their emerging market peers as well as attractive valuation of Nigerian equities. Nigerian stock market recorded a six-month average return of about 28.8 per cent in the first half of this year, leaving investors with approximately N2.45 trillion in capital gains during the period. Notwithstanding the downtrend that characterized June, significant successive bullish rallies in previous months still left Nigerian equities as one of the best-performing market during the period. In value terms, the increase of N2.45 trillion in the first half has already surpassed total gains of N2.44 trillion recorded for the entire 2012. However, the real benchmark return of 28.80 per cent is some 6.65 percentage points below the average full-year return of 35.45 per cent recorded in 2012. Aggregate market value of all

equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the first half at N11.426 trillion as against its value-on-board of N8.974 trillion that started the year, representing an increase of 27.3 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI), which doubles as benchmark index for all equities on the NSE and country index for Nigeria, rose from 2013’s opening index of 28,078.81 points to close the first half at 36,164.31 points. The first half performance was moderated by the downtrend in the latter half of June, which saw the month closing as the most bearish month with a loss of N649 billion. Equities had shown brighter performance in the first five months with whooping capital gains of N3.10 trillion. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities had closed May at N12.075 trillion while the ASI had indicated a five-month average return of 34.6 per cent. NSE’s data showed that the industrial goods stocks remained the best-performing subgroup during the first half. NSE Industrial Goods Index showed a six-month average return of 49.12 per cent. Ethical investors fared better as NSE-Lotus Islamic Index indicated a return of 42.31 per cent. NSE 30 Index, which tracks 30 most capitalised stocks, posted a first half return of 27.38 per cent. NSE Consumer Goods Index showed a return of 21.40 per cent. NSE Banking Index showed average return of 18.46 per cent while NSE Insurance Index indicated a return of 16.90 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index showed that downstream investors recorded modest return of 12.18 per cent.




‘FEC’s approval delaying proposed national carrier’ T HE Ministry of Aviation has attributed the delay in the take off of proposed national carrier, Nigerian One on Federal Executive Council (FEC). The FEC, said the Ministry, has not approved the carrier’s takeoff, adding that as soon as it gets the nod, the airline will begin operation. The Media Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi, said the ministry was working hard to scale the hurdle, adding that the government is seriously driving the process that would bring about the selection and appointment of core investors for the carrier. The selection of core investors, he said, would be transparent to ensure that credible players in the private sector with the technical and financial capacity are selected. He said after the selection and appointment of core investors, the

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

government would take further steps to ensure that the equity allocation for the new carrier would give Nigerians the opportunity to secure investment, adding that government is serious about delivering a national carrier that would take advantage of the bilateral air services agreement between Nigeria and other parts of the world. Nigeria has over 63 bilateral air services agreement with many countries. Obi said though no foreign carrier has approached the government the new carrier, over the matter, the ministry is open to discussions with those interested. He said the desire to float a national carrier was borne out of the need to ensure equity in the allocation of the route network that is being exploited by foreign carriers. The proposed national carrier, he said, would fill the void created by

the absence of a strong carrier that could compete with foreign carriers operating into the country, adding that the carrier is expected to foray into domestic, regional and intercontinental routes , such that the lopsided arrangement in the bilateral air services agreement Nigeria has with other countries could be corrected. Obi said: “The airline would have taken off, but we are a waiting the Federal Executive Council’s approval. Once we get his, then we are set to go. “We already have a template for the carrier, which include having a core investor, and putting the shares in the stock market for Nigerians to have their shares. “We are working hard to ensure we carry out due diligence on the core investors. “Once the appointment of the core investors is carried out, we would progress to consider getting technical partners, which were are encouraging.”

‘Our concerns for general aviation’ THE Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), Captain Folayele Akinkuotu, has described general aviation as an area of major safety concern to the government, a development, he said, occasioned the creation of a directorate in the regulatory authority to oversee that arm of civil aviation. Speaking at a meeting with airline operators and stakeholders in the industry in Lagos, Akinkuotu said the growth in general aviation sub sector, which he listed to include: helicopters; private, corporate and charter jets requires urgent regulation. He said a directorate in the NCAA has been established to cater for the needs of these operators, and that its operations are different from scheduled operators. Akinkuotu said the growing rate of helicopter operations, especially in the oil and gas sector is so important that government is working out new rules of engagement to organise that sector of the air transport,which has not been given much attention. He said the radical changes to be carried out in the general aviation arm of the industry would help to draw attention to new trends in the sector, which is desirous of massive investment . He spoke of plans to convene an open house stakeholders meetings to enable the authority to get input from airline operators, pilots, engineers, navigation service providers and airport operators and ground handling providers on how to put the industry on the path of growth.

Etihad Airways is one ETIHAD Airways has celebrated the first anniversary of its services in Nigeria, describing operations into the country as unique. Maurice Phohleli, Etihad Airways’ General Manager, Nigeria and West Africa, said: “We have received a very positive response from the Nigerian market since launching our service a year ago. “There is a huge amount of international interest and investment focused towards Nigeria. Our fast growing global route network continues to prove popular for the large numbers of international traders and the business community flying between West Africa and the United Arab Emirates, and the major cities in North and Southeast Asia and the Indian Sub-continent. “We also continue to support the growing leisure market out of Nigeria with the introduction of a range of special products and services dedicated to Nigerian holiday travelers. For example, our recently announced free 30-day UAE tourist visa and a special 50 per cent discount offer for children travelling with an accompanying adult,” he said. In November last year, Etihad Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways, reintroduced a weekly freighter service between Abu Dhabi and Lagos which was complemented with the addition of 16 new interline destinations across West Africa. The airline flies to eight destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Johannesburg, Khartoum, Casablanca, Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Tripoli and Mahé in the Seychelles.

Emirates to partner Arik Air

•ABANDONED: The powerhouse of the defunct Nigeria Airports Authority now abandoned by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). The powerhouse with its broken roof is in FAAN Headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Fed Govt spends N15b on air navigation


O enable the country meet global aviation standard, the Federal Government has invested over N15billion on air navigation infrastucture in the past four years. Part of the cash which went into training of critical personnel is to ensure safety of the Nigerian airspace, the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh, has said. He explained that the government has invested much in air navigation services infrastructure, as part of efforts to upgrade Nigeria into the global standard. He listed some of the projects to the airspace, total high frequency radio coverage, deployment of primary and secondary surveillance radar at major airports, and other locations. He said: “As far as NAMA is concerned, the Federal Government has been consistent in its drive of transforming the nation’s airspace into a world class air navigation services provider, with capital investment of more than N15 billion on various safety critical projects.” Key among these projects is the total radar coverage of Nigeria

(TRACON), which was inaugurated in 2010 and has been operating at optimal level. The project has nine radar locations across the country, with four control radar locations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano Each hasboth primary and secondary co-fixed radar head. He said there were five other stations in Ilorin, Maiduguri, Talata Mafara, Numan and Obubra, adding that the primary one has range of 65 nautical miles, while the secondary covers 250. The overlapping range enables the controllers to see flights beyond the shores of the country, he said. He explained that operational facilities, such as navaids have been upgraded to international standard, adding that the agency has concluded arrangement to instal a multi-lateration surveillance system in the Niger Delta Area to cover Helicopter activities of the oil companies. These installations, Udoh said, would enhance safety and boost the agency’s revenue. He said since May 30, this year, NAMA transited from procedural air traffic control, to area radar control to enhance quality service and traffic management

for aircraft flying within and across the nation’s airspace. “To complement the operations of the radar, the Federal Government financed the N400 million Total Very high frequency Radio Coverage of Nigeria. This project has been completed and is in operation. ‘’In addition, the agency is procuring long range Very high frequency radio as complementary technology for enroute Air Traffic Control,” he said, adding that the airspace has improved in recent times, bringing about high quality service delivery in air traffic management. He said: ”Features of improvement include the completion of WGS-84 survey of 26 airports to prepare them for performance based navigation system. Procedures for the four major airports in Lagos, Abuja,Port Harcourt and Kano.Trials for Performance-based navigation were carried out last year by some airlines and the exercise was successful. The AIS automation is on course and the work on this has been encouraging.The completion of this project by this year would add significantly to the quality of air traffic services in the country and the sub region, he said.

UNITED Arab Emirates carrier Emirates Airlines says it is seeking opportunities to partner with Arik Air to enhance the connectivity of its flights within Nigeria. Such partnership the Regional Manager, West Africa of Emirates, Mr Manoj Nair, said would include how to develop the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos into a regional hub for ease of inter connectivity of flights. He also expressed the readiness of United Arab Emirate carrier to ensure that passengers have seamless travel experience. Speaking with reportes in Lagos, Nair said Nigeria is an important market in the West African sub-region, adding that the airline has provided the needed flight connectivity for Nigerian passengers. He said: “’The key area for us is what our customers wants, ease of transactions that is making it easy for them to be with us, give them a value for their money with a good product and services. Our target is making sure that our customer connects to the global route network that we have got as well as making sure that our vast network is connected to Nigeria with the aim of giving Nigerian passengers a seamless travel experience’’ ‘’From my side what we have started looking at is, the ease of doing transactions in Nigeria, we are looking at various options through which we can make international connection through interconnectivity while working with a Nigerian partner like Arik Air to make things easier particularly from the Lagos Airport and we see Nigeria as a hub and those are the areas that we are looking at and making key collaboration with viable stakeholders in the industry’’ he added.

IATA urges cooperation THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for new thinking on the relationships between partners in the air transport value chain to attract about $5 trillion that will be needed over the next 20 years to meet the growing demand for aviation-enabled connectivity. The call came in an IATA study supported by analysis from McKinsey & Company, “Profitability and the Air Transport Value Chain”, which shows that returns on capital invested in airlines have improved in recent years, but are still far below what investors would normally expect to earn. “The airline industry has created tremendous value for its customers and the wider economies we serve. Aviation supports some 57 million jobs globally and we make possible $2.2 trillion worth of economic activity. By value, over 35 per cent of the goods traded internationally are transported by air,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “But in the 2004-2011 period, investors would have earned $17 billion more annually by taking their capital and investing it in bonds and equities of similar risk. Unless we find ways to improve returns for our investors it may prove difficult to attract the $4-5 trillion of capital we need to serve the expansion in connectivity over the next two decades, the vast majority of which will support the growth of developing economies.” During the 2004-2011 period, returns on capital invested in the airline industry worldwide averaged 4.1 per cent .This is an improvement on the average of 3.8 per cent generated in the previous business cycle over 1996-2004.



MARITIME Don urges govt to boost export profile


HE Federal Government has been tasked to boost the nation’s export profile and look up to India, Malaysia and Brazil as veritable models of economic advancement in shipping, agriculture and industrialisation. Speaking at the 10th Anniversary of the Frontline Media International in Lagos, Prof Peter Ebigbo of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNNTH), Enugu, urged stakeholders in the maritime sector to come up with a policy that will reflect on global trends in port and maritime security which will strengthen foreign investors’ confidence in the country. The Clinical Psychologist and Consultant at UNNTH, also advised government to apply measures that would promote global maritime standards to shape the future of the maritime and adapt

• Cargo ship laden with containers

Lagos ports can now take big vessels T

HERE is good news for those in the shipping business. The Lagos ports can now accommodate big vessel carrying between 4,500 and 5,000 containers following its dredging to widen its depth. Before the exercise, the port could only take small vessels carrying between 1,000 and 2,000 containers because of its shallow waters. With its depth widened to between 13 and 13.5 metres from its former seven and nine metres, following the dredging it can take big vessels, thereby enhancing its status. The Lagos Channels Management (LCM) said the exercise became necessary to ensure that the ports served their purpose and maximised their potentials. Besides, the company has removed 29 of 31 shipwrecks identified along the channel on which it is operating. LCM Limited is a venture with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), which owns 60 per cent of the equity. The company is responsible for the dredging and removal of certain shipwrecks along the Fairway Buoys. It also operates a marine operation centre (MOC) where data is processed for port operation. Its Head of Human Resources, Mr

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

Falade Oyekan, said: “Until November 2012, we have removed 27 shipwrecks and currently working on two other wrecks that we identified as those that pose risk to the channel. The statutory duty to remove wrecks is with the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) but based on the agreement between NPA and the agency, we are meant to remove wrecks on our contracted channels as recommended by the NPA.” According to him, the Fairway Buoy covers the region beginning from entry point from the Atlantic ocean into the Lagos ports, Tin Can Port and Badagry. “When we took over in 2005, the highest depth along the buoy was between seven and nine metres, but now what we have is a minimum of 13.5 metres. In some areas, the channel is deeper than that, except around the Key Wall, which is very a sensitive area to dredge. We are very careful when dredging around the Key Wall because if you exceed the limit, the wall can collapse. This

makes it less than 13 metres, for instance around APMT Terminal. “At the Tin Can Port, we have berths that are nine and 14 metres. From the construction, we know the depth and its limitations so we dredge to 13 or 13.5,” Oyekan explained. On the company’s capacity to discharge its responsibility, he said LCM has 14 dredgers and vessels used to remove wrecks including special dredgers that can do the Key Walls. On controversies surrounding the award of the Calabar Port dredging contracts to his company by NPA last year, Oyekan said the contract was advertised and LCM bided for it and won the contract. “We have an independent body for the contracts. We bid like others but the advantage we have is that we have been in the system and so, people can see what we are doing. We bided for a lot of contracts which we didn’t win. Even the Calabar dredging contract that is having problems now, we won at initial stage, but NPA was criticised for awarding the contract to a company in which it had interest and contract was given to another company. Today, we all know what happened next,” Oyekan said.

How smugglers beat Customs checks


ESPITE Customs efforts to stop the illicit trade, the importation of rice through land borders is still thriving, investigation has revealed. Smugglers ferry the commodity through bush paths in Idiroko, Owode, Apa, Oguntedo, Ketu AdieOwe, Lusada in Ogun State. It was learnt that there is a rise in the trade because of the commodity’s high price. Rice sells for between N10,000 and N13,000 per bag. It was between N5,000 and N5,500, before the government banned its importation through the land borders.

The smugglers sell the commodity for between N8,000 and N8,200 at Mowo Junction from where they move the commodity to Agbara, Okokomaiko,Alaba Rago, Owode, Lusada, Agbara, Atan, Igbesa and Sango Ota. The commodity sells for between N8,600 and N9,000 per bag, depending on the grade. One of the traders at Badagry roundabout, who craved anonymity said many of them evade arrest because Customs does not know all the routes. She said: “If I tell you that there is no upsurge in rice smuggling since

the Federal Government banned rice importation through the land borders, I will be telling lies. There is an upsurge because the same government that banned rice importation through the land borders has done virtually nothing to bring the price down in the market.” Major rice importers in Lagos are making between N3,500 and N4,000 on a bag, sources said. The landing cost of a 50-kilogramme bag of rice is between N5,000 and N5,500 depending on the grade. But the importers sell for between N10,000 and N13,000.

Anenih pledges to revamp NPA


HE Board of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has assured the stakeholders of effective service delivery. It made this pledge during a visit to the 100-year-old River Port in Port Harcourt. NPA Chairman Chief Tony Anenih, represented by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, promised to make the seaports world standard. Anenih said the board would do all within its powers to ensure that the seaports lived up to the expectations of the government, the stakeholders and the public in terms of service delivery and contributions to the growth of the economy. He praised the NPA staff for sus-

taining the River Port in the last 100 years of its existence and solicited for their support. A Director, Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan’Agundi, urged the management of the Eastern Ports to devise strategies of increasing the tempo of activities in the ports in the region and raise their revenue generation. He expressed concern that the Ports in the Eastern region do not enjoy the patronage they deserve, even though majority of the importers are from the region. He added that the Board was determined to reverse the trend, with a view to making the port attractive for business. The Managing Director NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who was

represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operation, David Omonibeke, said the tour of the directors was to enable them see the operation of the authority and to interact with the workers and other stakeholders. Also, the Acting General Manager, Eastern Ports, Mr Dele Alabi, told the directors of the characteristics of ports in the region, the cargos they handle and their challenges. He noted that despite their challenges, the region are important in to the nation, especially their catchment areas. Other Directors on the tour were Senator Lekan Mustapha and Mr Abana Mohammed Gidado.

global port security best practices to suit the nation’s security challenges According to him, ”I must appreciate the fact that the shipping sector which drives about 95 per cent of Nigeria’s economy is undergoing series of reforms. I also appreciate the desire of the government through NIMASA to fasttrack the creation of a large pool of Nigerian seafarers by 2015, to meet local demand and contribute to the manpower needs of the international shipping community. ”Even so, we still have a long way to go, and only through a joint effort will we be able to reach our fundamental goal. I ñ this sense, I consider this Frontline Intl. 10th Anniversary and, indeed, the theme of this lecture as taking on a transcendental role for the future of this country.”

Customs seizes N11b goods at Seme


HE Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area command, has, for the first time in recent years, recorded the highest number of siezures of various items of contrabands this year, The Nation has learnt. These were a manifestation of its anti-smuggling drive around the border, in areas such as Gbethrome, Ashipa, J5, and Mowo bases, where the enforcement patrol teams of the command engaged the smugglers between January and June. The breakdown of seized items are: 35 seizures in January with a duty paid value put at N11,537,766,27 seizures in February with duty paid value put at N8,329,500; 128 seizures in March

with a duty paid value put at N71,675,359,132 seizures in April with a duty paid value put at N78,050,368,112 seizures in May with a duty paid value put at N63,415,880, while in June a total of 102 seizures were made with duty paid value of N45,147,353. The total value of the siezed items were put at seizures N278,156,266. Statistics of the seized items were given by the source as follows: 11, 287 bags of rice (50kg), 11,066 cartons of frozen poultry products, 70 units of vehicles, 1truckload of scrap metal, vegetable oil, cannabis sativa, general merchandise, second hand clothings (Okrika) and textile materials, among others.

Rector seeks passage of Shipping Institute Bill


HE Rector, Certified Institute of Shipping, Dr Alex Okwuashi, has appealed to the National Assembly to fasttrack the passage of the Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria (CISN) Bill to reduce foreign domination. He told The Nation that the enactment of the law would regulate activities in the industry, urging the government to appoint a regulator for it. For instance, he said, the law would reduce foreign domination, capital flight, and standardise shipping. The rector noted that the bill had been in the National Assembly since 2000. He said other bills that were initiated after the bill, such as the Cabotage Bill, had been passed into law. Okwuashi said the provisions of the bill did not conflict with the role of the government agencies in the maritime sector.

He alleged that the industry was full of quacks because of the absence of a regulator. “The CISN bill will not conflict with the functions of the NIMASA, NPA and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC). “The government should encourage operators in the shipping industry. It is a shame that a country, which derives substantial percentage of its revenue from the maritime sector does not to have a regulator,’’ he said. The rector said non-passage of the bill showed that some lawmakers did not appreciate the importance of shipping to the economy. He said the industry was not only a foreign exchange earner, but also employs the largest number of workers in the country. Okwuashi appealed to NPA, NIMASA, NSC, National Inland Waterways Authority and other stakeholders to support the passage of the bill.

‘How CRFFN’s crisis can be resolved’


HE founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Boniface Aniebonam, has spoken on why the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is in crisis. He also faulted the move to revive the CRFFN. Aniebonam said the problem with CRFFN is human, adding that sabotage and lack of knowledge by some members of its governing council led to its predicament. He urged the council to create an atmosphere where stakeholders would come together to discuss the future of the body. “The problem with CRFFN has to do with human element, sabo-

tage, lack of knowledge, which speaks volumes of what was their mindset. Those who brought about this concept, what do they have in mind? “I don’t know the advice they want to give as on the issue to the Transport ministry and the council itself. It is most unfortunate, but I think that if you look at the midterm report by the Minister of Transport, you will find out that CRFFN was not mentioned as a parastatal of the Transport ministry. This goes a long way to prove that CRFFN is not a parastatal of the Transport ministry, but under the supervision of the ministry,” he said. Aniebonam said efforts to boost CRFFN’s activities could only be achieved when the key stakeholders are involved.



SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP In the olden days,our forefathers used black soap.These days,people no longer wish to be seen with the soap.Many of those who still use it do so in the confines of their houses.They dare not say it outside that they use black soap.But surprisingly, a budding entrepreneur, Itunu Omotayo, is making a kill from black soap making.DANIEL ESSIET reports.

A black soap maker’s success story O

PPORTUNITIES abound for entrepreneurs veering into the natural products market. This is because more people are becoming health conscious. Nigerians are aware of the inherent harms by some processed beauty products to their bodies. An inspiring entrepreneur, Itunu Omotayo,has latched in on this to make money. A graduate of Banking and Finance, from the Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State, Omotayo started working on the project while serving as a Youth Corps member in Lagos, in 2010. He decided to pursue his dream of producing black soap from 100 per cent natural ingredients. The natural products industry does not require a lot of capital. He started saving money from

his allowance and the money he got from the company where he was serving. He got money from friends who believed in his vision. This enabled him to start the business without handicaps. He knew there was a gap in the market for affordable, quality soap and believed everyone should be able to afford and use a decent natural soap. So,when shops around the world began professing their love for his product, he knew he had a viable business. The producer of Oyinlewa Black Soap sees his venture as rewarding. He had challenges with funding when he started. But things turned out far better than he could have imagined, through his exposure by his business. Omotayo is passionate about soap making and has been a lover

of black soap for years. He learnt about ingredients for soap making and is inspired by other soap artisans. Omotayo has a active, passionate community of friends who were invaluable in launching his business. They provided an instant customer base, supporting him from the moment he opened shop. He started with N150,000. At every major stage, he sought funds. He had an opportunity where there was an absence of the product. In his line of business, he notes that there is freedom and creativity. He also has control over what he does,thereby allowing him to reap what he sows. He said there is a market for black soap because of its natural healing ingredients. His soap business has since taken off and is set to grow. He hopes to expand

his product line into natural cosmetics. The branding is good, the products nice and the customer service excellent. He tried to make sure that overhead was very low. His experience, along with interpersonal skills, gave him confidence to approach people and be upfront with potential customers to get sales. Everyone struggles. Everyone fails. Everyone has disappointment. Omotayo picked himself up from the dust and moved forward with excitement, enthusiasm and delight. He is surrounded by positive people who make his job easy. He is happy to have people to share his life with. The product is popular. He is selling it. The team is making it. The promotion of the business is done by words of mouth, due to the high proportion of referral business. He started with a few personnel.

• Omotayo

Today, Omotayo has two staff and 10 part-time workers. The business is worth N2 million. As the owner, he works long hours, and carries out multi-task. He isn’t a real expert on beauty products – but he certainly is a real, successful businessman. Omotayo is happy with the way things are going. He has a feel for business, and he loves it. He’s the master of his own time, the money is good, and he’s in control of everything.

Centre trains 450 youths


HE Funtua Skills Acquisition Centre, established by the Funtua Local Government Council in Katsina State, has trained 450 youths on various skills. The Transition Committee Chairman of the Local Government, Alhaji Abdu Isa, said this in Funtua while disbursing the fourth phase of the N2 million interest-free micro-credit loans to 200 youths in the area. He said the training and the micro-credit loans were aimed at promoting self-reliance among youths, advising the beneficiaries to invest the funds wisely. He urged wealthy individuals and non-governmental organisations to support the centre to ensure maximum success of the scheme. Males and females,he said, were trained on knitting, sewing, gas •From right: President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Goodie Ibru presenting a gift to the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Riitta Korpivaara, when she paid him a courtesy call.

‘Skills acquisition will eliminate poverty’


NON-GOVERNMENTAL fororganisation (NGO), Social Change in Africa (VOFCA), has said skills acquisition would eliminate poverty and inequality. Its Executive Director, Dr Eugene Nweke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki,the Ebonyi State capital, that skills acquisition was the most effective tool for eliminating poverty and youth unemployment. He advised government at all levels to brace up to the challenges of mass youth unemployment and restiveness and also fine tune strategies to end the malaise. According to him, the fight against economic marginalisation of rural youths will not be meaningful if youths are without some basic skills. Nweke said no nation could attain real economic and political

development if the potential of its active population were not adequately harnessed. He said sustainable self-reliance strategies were grossly absent in most government plans, adding that the government should come up with a well coordinated youth empowerment programmes. Nweke urged the government at all levels to collaborate with grassroots-based NGOs in providing training to youths and women at the community levels. He said a large population of the poor and unemployed youths were in rural communities and that remedial initiatives should begin from there. Nweke said youth empowerment programmes of successive administrations had not yielded the required results because of poor implementation. “Available statistics indicate that

most of the poor and unemployed youths and women reside in our rural communities and any empowerment programme has to target rural areas. “Therefore, we advocate for the establishment of skills acquisition centres in each community to make them accessible to the target group. “Again, the government should liaise with NGOs that provide skills acquisition, philanthropic individuals and the communities to guarantee its success and sustenance,” Nweke said. According to him, engaging the youths in productive ventures will eliminate restiveness, armed insurgency and kidnapping, among other poverty induced vices. Nweke told NAN that the community-based NGO had trained 70 youths in skills acquisition programmes.


and electrical welding as well as refrigerator and air conditioner repairs. He also listed computer appreciation studies, mobile handset repairs, electrical installation and painting as some of the skills imparted. He said the scheme would reduce poverty and promote employment opportunities as each participant would work and teach others. Isa said the scheme was designed to change the lives of beneficiaries as well as focus on viable productive means that would contribute to the development of the area and the nation. The Co-ordinator of the centre, Alhaji Muhammad Rabi’u, commended the chairman for the effort, saying that it had impacted positively on the people of the area.

How to grow micro enterprises

NSURING micro enterprises have access to finance and can recruit skilled employees will be critical to a sustainable economic recovery, the President, Association of Micro Enterpreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), Prince Saviour Iche, has said. Speaking at a meeting of the association in Lagos, he said economic growth relies on the ability to mobilise small sized firms and assist them to increase productivity. He said the group wants to use entrepreneurship to boost incomes. He said the association is reaching out to financial institutions to explore range of finance options available to help them grow. Despite challenges, he said small and medium-sized manu-

facturers are making efforts to increase output and that optimism about the overall business situation has steadied. He said the association is making efforts to ensure it creates business opportunities for unemployed Nigerians missing out on employment opportunities. With business seminars planned by the association, Iche said recent graduates would do well to consider the positive opportunities on offer with SMEs. According to him, there are boundless options for young Nigerians to choose from. Iche said the association is starting a cooperative scheme to assist members’ access credit they would otherwise have struggled to secure. He announced that the association is opening chapters in Akwa Ibom and Imo states.



The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

Children arts competition holds July 18 From Bukola Amusan, Abuja


•From left: Mrs Osifeso, Mrs A. Odutola and Mrs Arinola Shodipo who represented Lagos State Governor’s wife, Mrs Abimbola Fashola

‘Marriage should not be a death sentence’


OLERANCE has been described as the most important factor in making a marriage work. But tolerance should not be over stretched in order not to make a partner suffer unduly. According to the Executive Director, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Mrs Josephine Chukwuma, many women suffer in marriages in the name of tolerance. She spoke on tolerance in marriage at a workshop organised by the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) at Ikeja, the Lagos state capital. Mrs Chukwuma said some acts, such as domestice violence, should not be tolerated in marriages. She said domestic violence breaks the heart, relationships, families and, in some cases, it ends lives. Domestic violence includes: physical abuse/assault, verbal abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, sexual abuse and child abuse.

By Risikat Ramoni

ADVOCACY She presented some pictorial examples of women who were victims of domestic violence, all in the name of tolerance. One of such examples was a woman who was stabbed with a bottle on the eye by her husband, leaving her totally blind on the left and partially blind on the right eye. She disclosed that in a study in the Southwest said 70 per cent of women complain of verbal abuse, noting that unlike physical abuse where the injury is seen, verbal abuse is not identifiable and it is like time bombs which can make a woman explode. Mrs Chukwuma, who has spent 16 years handling violence against women, said marriage should not be a death sentence, hence the need for people to know they cannot be tolerant unto death.

However, she noted that couples need to be tolerant with each other to have a blissful union. “Tolerance is a magical factor that can not only help strengthen marriage relationships but also help in enjoying little moments of happiness in marriage,” she said. Earlier in her presentation, she described tolerance as the ability to put up with differences, overlook ad accept partner’s negatives with patience. The Project Alert Director said that tolerance is best practiced when one or both partners choose not to argue or respond to everything. Lagos State President of NCWS, Mrs Iyabo Osifeso said both husband and wife should learn to tolerate each other and the in-laws as the society does not support the western ideology of ‘me and my husband’. The president insisted that if husbands can tolerate their wives and the women can do the same, there will be less divorce in the society and domestic violence will be reduced to the barest minimum.

The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos State chapter, is building mutual relationship among security outfits. Days after donating over 420 books to the police library , it donated over 450 books to the armed forces, reports OLUSHOLA OREBAJO.

Author donates books to police, armed forces

Fed Govt sets up National HeritageCouncil From Bukola Amusan, Abuja


HE Federal Government has inaugurated an 11-member National Heritage Council and endowment for the arts, to protect and conserve places and objects of heritage, and to register same. At the inauguration in Abuja, Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Edem Duke, said the council is to develop policies for the art sector and secure alternative funding outside the usual annual budget provisions for the sector. He said the committee is to help increase visual arts, music, dance, literary works and good design among Nigerians. “I am excited that the inauguration of the committee of patrons is holding today. However, this exercise ought to have taken place years ago. The objective is to underscore the importance the visual, literary, design and performing art have in nurturing creativity and preserving our cultural heritage both tangible and intangible,” he said Members of the committee include Sir. Emeka Offor, Alhaji Abdul-Samad Rabiu, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon, Senator Daisy Danjuma, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, Chief Nike Okundaye, Dr. Emmanuel Nsan, Mr E. J. Williams and Fifi Ejindu.

AfWF partners UNIPORT for Saro-Wiwa colloquium


BUDDING author, poet, and member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr Chukwunyere Chukwu, has donatedbooks to the Armed forces saying it is the beginning of a new era. He said relating with the Armed Forces was an eye opener, adding that apart from establishing a relationship with them, “it has made us know who the Armed Forces really are.” He spoke at the Ministry of Defence, Lagos, during a visit by members of the association on the Nigerian Army. Chukwu, who expressed joy for the warm reception accorded them, said the impression he had of the Armed Forces was proved wrong as the visit made him to know who they truly are. His words: “Most people have the impression that the Armed Forces members are not people we can relate with. But I’m glad to see them differently from what people think they are.” Chukwu urged the authors to impact positively on the society saying it is a vital role in shaping the present and future of the society. According to him, “education has no bound; it is meant for everyone, neither your age, nor your rank because education plays a vital role in determining and shaping the future.” He cited books to the Police and Armed Forces as a platform for developing a great educational system among the security personnel. He described books as avenue of passing knowledge to everyone in the society.

HE National Gallery of Arts (NGA) has said arrangements have been concluded for the National Children Arts Competition on July 18. The competition, which will be flagged off by the NGA Director-General, Abdullahi Muku, at the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre in Abuja, will feature exhibition of works of artists. He said the exhibition aimed at discovering and consolidating the artistic creativity of pupils and students to express themselves in various forms and also assist in developing and enhancing their skill and creative abilities. “Not compromising standard, the exhibition will be complemented with a standard brochure to which six master artists contributed articles,” he said Muku added that schools that offer art, foreign embassies and agencies, particularly those in the Federal Capital Territory, will be invited to view the exhibition. He said Prince Demas Nwoko, a master artist and renowned architect, is expected to give a lecture on children arts while the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, would be the Special Guest of Honour. Other dignitaries expected include the Minister of Education, Prof Rukayatu Rufai and Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Minister Edem Duke. who will be the chief host, and the Chairman Senate Committee on Culture, Senator Ahmed Barata.

By Evelyn Osagie

A •From left: Deputy Director, Directorate of Naval Education, Commodre UE Onuma, Femi, Chukwu and Folu at the book presentation

“Great writers, such as the late Chinua Achebe and Prof Wole Soyinka have impacted well on the society through books of various kinds. Through them, we should learn to allow education as an impacting role in our lives,” he added. The books donated were: Avenge the Avenger, Candid Lyrics, Two Plays, Stirring Melodies, Dan Iska the place of exploit, Owanbee!, You Are A Success, Echoes from the Jungle, Dynamics of positive thinking, Songs of wisdom, Escape, Are You Ready and One Good Turn Deserves Another. They range from poetry, drama, fiction, inspirational, educational and motivational. Vice Chairman of ANA Femi Onileagbon, praised the initiative, saying “no doubt, education is a major key to success, because it plays a vital role in shaping the future of a society.”

According to him, knowledge is power, which can be attained through basic education. “Donating our books to the Armed Forces is to add more source of information to their library, as nobody is completely full with knowledge, he said. Former President of ANA and a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), Folu Agoi, was delighted by the visit. He said: “People tag the Armed Forces members as people we can’t relate with. But, I’m surprised to see them different from what people believe them to be. We need to have an understanding of them, to know who they truly are.” He noted that some of them are good writers, who should be encouraged. “But with this relationship, more writers from the Police and Armed Forces will be authors of their own books,” he added.

LL is set to celebrate the late Ken SaroWiwa, African Writers Forum (AfWF) would honour the writer, television producer and environmental activist with an international colloquium to be held in Rivers State later in the year. According to a statement by AfWF President Hycinth Obunseh, the organisation would partner the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) to celebrate the late writer during the event tagged: Ken Saro-Wiwa International Colloquium. According to Obunseh, UNIPORT ViceChancellor Prof Joseph Ajienka, has approved the organisation’s request for the university to host the colloquium, adding that a nineman committee, headed by poet Dr. Obaro Gomba (as Chairman) and Ene Eric Igbifa, as Secretary, has been set up. Other members are Dr. Kalu Wosu, Dr. Pamela Cyril-Egware; Victor Wolemonwu; Kialee Nyianaa; Ovunda Ihunwo; Julius Akani and Tambari Dick. The event is billed for November 9 to 12, with the opening holding on the 10th, to coincide with the date of Saro-Wiwa’s judicial murder, according to the organisers. AfWF will also celebrate octogenarian Pa Gabriel Okara, in his home state, Bayelsa, with the state government and some corporate organisations from August 19 to 22. Writers from within and outside are expected to attend.



The Midweek Magazine


Museum and its audience


LL departments in the National Commission for Museums and Monuments are created for particular purposes. However, each is saddled with certain responsibilities. Education Department is not left out. Its main responsibility is to interpret the cultural heritage under the custody of the museum to the public. This important function must be handled in such a way that there will be effective communication between the staff and the audience. This paper intends to categorise these museum audiences into four categories — the children, the youth, adults and physically-challenged. The need for this categorisation is for easy assimilation and participation during the guided tour. However, museum could be perceived by the children as a place where old things of historical value are kept for the present and the future generation. To the youth, it could be seen as a research center where researches can be carried out about the past, compare to the present and to improve on the future. To the adult, it could be seen as the custodian of the nation’s cultural heritage. Museum education is the process by which relationship are made between museum collections and the interests of a range of audiences. Thus, it is the in-depth transfer of pertinent ‘culture’ information using museum exhibit. Museum education officer is a museum professional who is responsible for communicating to the general public the cultural heritage under the custody of the museum through their various education enlightenment programmes. Okoro Bernice (2011) in a paper delivered in an in house seminar (in Abuja) sees museum education officer as a bridge through which museum crosses to the public, they help in marketing the museum, they could also be referred to as the life wire, the bedrock, museum spoke persons, museum object interpreters etc. The Museum education officers see to the administration of the education unit. He/she prepares the educational policy of the unit, sets the objectives, forecasts, analyses problems, and makes decisions for the unit (head of dept). The Museum Education Officer undertakes the planning of educational programmes of the unit. These programmes include intramoral and extension programmes, preparing Monthly Report, Annual Reports and Statistics, provides guided tours to museum visitors, prepares study kits and other teaching aids to complement educational programmes, handles the public relation of the station in the absence of a public relation officer, organizes the duties of the unit and assigns these to subordinate staff for execution. For any museum education officer to be able to perform his/her duties effectively and efficiently he/she must possess the following characteristics: Knowledgeable about museum collections: Museum education officer must have the knowledge of museum exhibition Gallery and the museum in general. Friendly and Pleasant: They must be friendly and pleasant while carrying out their duties of conducting visitors round the exhibition gallery. Humorous and Witty: Education officers should have the ability to interact freely with its audience and be highly intelligent. Good Sense of Dressing: Since museum education officers represent museum, they should therefore posses a good sense of dressing. If dressed in English, should be smart and if in native should be complete. Education Officers must be democratic and not biased in his/her judgment. Fluency in English language and vernacular: They should be able to communicate fluently in English and the vernacular languages as the audience dictates. Museum education officers should have the ability to correct people’s error without humiliating them or exposing their ignorance. Lastly, they should acknowledge the learners progress with encouragement which promote learning. Audience could be seen as a group of people gathered in one place or as the case may be to watch or listen to a play, film or some one speaking. Museum Audience could be defined as a group of people gathered in the museum or galleries to listen to museum education officers while conducting them round. These audi-

•Some artefacts in a museum cubicle From Jolayemi Agnes Jumoke

HERITAGE ences could further be categorised into four: Children, secondary school students (Youths), adult and physically challenged. Childhood periods start between the ages of 2 to 10 years and during this period, one of the visible characteristics of the children is the rapid development of the brain than any other part of the body. Children in this stage are so curious, active and restless. Due to this crucial period of these children, Museum Education Officer guiding them should get to know them and familiarises herself with them. The language of the officers should be adjusted to their level for effective communication to take place. Museum Education Officers should avoid the use of vocabulary for easy participation, ask them a lot of question and carry all of them along. Make songs, poems out of museum objects, make them participate in the songs, if possible make them dance for the visit to be lively. Because of their hyper active nature and restlessness, wanting to touch and explore, they should be taken to the activity room, equipped with interactive exhibition made of replicas for them to touch and work on. The instruction of “Do not touch” curbs their urge for free experimentation. At the end of the visit, divide them into groups and give them questions to solve based on what they have learnt, see and touch. Secondary School Students (Youth) The ages of those that fall under this category of visitors are between 11-18 years. During this stage which could be referred to as adolescent stage, an observer finds it easy to appraise physical development but mental development cannot be readily observed. Mental development is characterized by an expansion of the mental powers which is evident in a broadening and deepening of thought. There are great improvements in judgment and reasoning as well as ability to perform increasingly difficult mental tasks. At this stage effective and efficient utilization of the processes of perception, imagination, logical memory and affection particularly the ability to form abstract ideas, to judge, to reason, to take national decision, to acquire knowledge and to learn are all improved upon. Therefore, the education officer conducting them must be highly intelligent. Get to know the students in the group if possible know their names to ensure familiarity. Asses previous knowledge about the Museum, Assume a simple language for imparting knowledge for communication to take place. A suitable teaching method or methods such as discussion method, the play method, discovery method etc could be used. Ensure that the students are carried along during the course of the excursion, point out the objects in the gallery and re-

late them to specific subjects in their curriculum at school. Lastly, terminate the tour by asking them probing questions. Adult: These categories are those that have arrived the age of maturity or to full size and strength (Dutoye 2006) from 18 years and above. These categories of people could be learned or not they should be handled maturely. Individual differences should be put into consideration while guiding them round the exhibition gallery. The tips of conducting this category of visitors include getting to know them to ensure cordial relationship, asses previous knowledge about the museum, assume an appropriate language. Vernacular or English language as the visitor dictates for effective communication to take place. A suitable teaching method or methods should be adopted for proper assimilation during the tour, relate the resource materials on display to real life situations and present day happening. Lastly, terminate the visit by encouraging the visitors to repeat the visit. Physically Challenged:These categories of audience are part of the society. Museum is one of the organisation building bridges to facilitate their assimilation into the society. The museum education officers know and understand their challenge which will determine how to handle them in conducting them through the exhibition gallery. Blind: In conducting the blind, Braille should be made available for them to read the text. Hand on objects that may be reproduction or replicas should be made available for them to feel and touch. Things should be removed out of their ways to avoid bump on. Personal guide should be with such people for proper concentration. Apart from the above precautions they should be guided the same way their age categories are been guided. Deaf and Dumb: A museum education officer with special education knowledge will be needed for this category of audience such that will be able to use sign language to conduct them. This will allow for easy communication Lame: These are members of the society with impaired mobility. Entrance to the gallery should be accessible for their wheel chairs. Ramps should be at the correct gradient, handrails along side with ramps and steps. Some of them may be on wheel chair, while same will walk slowly and painfully with walking stick. Adequate lighting should be put in place so that things on display could be seen easily. Enough space should be created be to give room for maneuvers in the gallery. In mounting exhibition the categories of those on the wheel chair should be put into consideration. The caption should be bold since they cannot stand to view and read the caption. Challenges faced by museum education officers: There are lots of challenges faced by museum education officers in carrying out their duties most especially that of conducting the audience round the galleries among which are: Language barrier, activity room and space. •Jumoke is of the National Museum, Ilorin, Kwara State.

‘ Entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty’


NTREPRENEURSHIP is the way to go if Nigeria wishes to banish poverty, a Professor of Management Education at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Aloy Ejiogu, has said. He spoke at the presentation of his 22nd book titled Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship, Quality Assurance and Corporate Governance, at the Afe Babalola auditorium of the institution. Ejiogu said the book of eight chapters is to inform, educate and guide individuals who want to make it in life, as well as governments at all levels. The book reviewer, Mr Sanya Oni of The Nation, said the 346-page book is a three-in-one masterpiece and a practical manual giving proper insight into business entrepreneurship, quality assurance and corporate governance in business.

By Uyoatta Eshiet

BOOK Oni said the book is a must if the youth unemployment saga in our society is to be addressed. Prof. Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School, who previewed the book, said it is a product of deep investigation, documentation and reflection coming from a man of immense experience both in academic and administrative environments. He said Ejiogu, is not only showing the way to ‘would be’ entrepreneurs but that the book is written in an entrepreneurial down-to-earth manner. Utomi said much still need to be done to bail Nigeria out of the present sorry situation we find ourselves but that the book is a very useful installment in more tract. The former Executive Secretary, Nigerian Universities

Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, who wrote the foreword to the book, said in response to the global unemployment phenomenon, the only way to go is through entrepreneurship studies into higher education programmes but warned that the rush to produce entrepreneurs in large quantity should be coloured with quality. Okebukola said this is what spurred the author to develop a chapter in quality assurance, adding that corporate governance aspect came as a result of the deficiencies in equation of narrating critical success factors of an entrepreneur. In attendance were the former deputy speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Jonas Okeke, who was the chairman of the occasion, Senator Matthew Nwagwu, Chairman, Senate Committee on foreign Affairs; Prof Tolu Odugbemi, Vice Chancellor, Ondo State University, Vice Chancellor, UNILAG, Prof Rahamon Ade Bello, among Others.



The Midweek Magazine




Are you Ready?


Chukwunyere Chukwu


Seun Adeyemo


Silas Chukss Global Publishers

Pagination: 4 7


RE you ready, a 47-page book by Dr. Chukwunyere Chukwu is a riddle exposing the influence of computer on culture. It exposes the inefficiency of culture to civilisation and how it impact on leadership in Africa. In chapter one the author talks about a king who is well known and respected in his community; who never discriminates or disagrees with his people. War was imminent and only the king could announce it. The king asked for an answer to a riddle: what is the meaning of Nkwado no ogo? (prepare for war). He promised that anyone who gets the answer correctly would automatically become king in his clan. The people were unable to get the answers to the riddle but their efforts were commended and were advised to go and think about it. The king visited various communities in search for the solution to his riddle but no one got the answer correctly. The king then decided to reveal the answer to one of the elders (Mazi Akpan) who loves culture and tradition with an oath barring him from revealing it to anyone; violation of this results to death. In chapter two, four friends in a quest to find solution to the king’s riddle share different opinions about the reality of life. They did all things together just to get answer to the riddle. But why would everyone want to be the king? The king had invoked the god of iron (Ogun) against any man who heard or connived to kill him and

Be prepared instantly two unknown men died. This was the first time the king was reacting negatively. As a follow up to the earlier chapter, the author in chapter three identified the minority and majority clans from where all want to become king. Some believed that


the answer to the riddle was farming. A greedy man identified as Mazi Greod even went to the king making offers to him but the king declined. As greedy as he was, he even suggested to his minority members that Mazi Akpan who knew the answer to the riddle be made drunk with alcohol in order to disclose the secret but unknown to them Mazi Akpan was conscious of the gravity of the oath. Mazi Akpan was beaten until he slumped and died. The king went into deep thought but still insisted that his question had not been answered. The author likened the thrust of chapter four to how Africa has been engulfed by wars and how its leaders have become self-centered and thin gods. The influence of computer was brought to the fore as Mazi Trick decided to bring his friend Chief White who has gadgets the king have never seen to entice the king. The king who was fascinated by this questioned the authority of the provider. The people of the community couldn’t question the authority of the king but rather ran from pillar to post. Chief White noticed that the king didn’t have the interest of the people at heart, but sold the computer to the king. He thought to himself that the white man will always excel while the black man is an epitome of pride, waste, and greed. The king was overwhelmed by Chief White’s gadgets and not the interest of his people. The people flee from the community to find refuge in another community. Kwado no ogo became a reality of time. The riddle stirs you up and helps you to understand your environment. Will they find solution to the riddle? Were they able to get the computer back from the king? What would become of the king? You need to read the book to find out. By extension, the book simply mirrors the everyday challenges faced by African states in meeting up with the development needs and demands of good governance. How ready is Africa in all of these challenges? Are You Ready is presented in simple language for all to comprehend and it has little or no grammatical errors.

Quest for success


HE quest for success may sometime confuse most people. Many go to the length of acquiring semblance success from the devil, which fades quickly as it comes. This is the truth Dr. Chukwuyere Chukwu seeks to establish in his book titled You are a Success. It is an inspirational and spiritual book heavily laced with prayer, fasting, faith, wisdom and courage as principles for success. The book takes the reader to a world in choosing how to be a success in every sphere of their life pursuits. The 82-page book focuses on how these five principles can assist individuals in the quest to being a success. These principles are exhaustively discussed in 6 chapters, highlighting how people can realise their God given potentials irrespective of any prevailing circumstances around them. Chapter one upholds that ‘prayer enables believers to see and ascertain the great deep things that are beyond man, which are necessary for the realisation of their potentials. God is the only being that every believer should look unto. A believer begins to realize his potentials when his body, soul and spirit identify with God’. Discussing how prayers make one successful, the author observes four attitudes that enhance prayers: These are love, courage, care and cheerfulness. ‘When we pray irrespective of the physical realities, we become happy, and happiness is a spirit of being successful,’ according to the author. On the other hand, the author observes that there are people whose prayers are not answered by God because prayer is not determined by emotion, mental state or by the time of the day. “Not everybody that prays to God is for God. Such people’s prayer is like a routine, a mechanical act rather than a communion with their creator. How you prepare yourself and how faithful you are determine how your prayers are answered,” he states. In Chapter two the author discusses issues surrounding fasting. He explains fasting as a means of communication to God. “Fasting goes with encouragement and atonement of sin. It is a process that prevents believers from being distracted from God; it must be seen as a motivational spirit that enhances

prayer”. The chapter also explains the need for people seeking assistant from God to fast, as it lists some benefits of fasting. Fasting weakens the body but strengthens the soul, activates the spirit and empowers the innerman to take bold steps that move him above circumstances that are beyond comprehension “God recognizes fasting because it is a means of showing submission to Him.” It also discusses about two important elements that catalyse the action of fasting; Love and forgiveness. In Chapter three tagged, faith, the need for complete confidence in God is the central theme. “Faith empowers believers to see, feel and the dynamics of God. It produces the efficacy and the unexplainable activities in God”. In this chapter, the book tells how to attain faith in God and the reason why faith is not obtainable in the lives of some people. Chapter four dwells on wisdom. In it, the author sees wisdom as a great insight from God which is not measured by man’s ability. “Wisdom is wrongly seen by unbelievers as the ability to excel in the physical. This is very wrong. It should be seen as a divine empowerment and uplift from God”. The author also notes that wisdom is basically divided into two: Divine and Human Wisdom. According to the author, leadership is built on solid foundation, which is wisdom. “You will be remembered by the problems you solved or created. You had better take the bull by the horn. For you are needed to lead”. Courage is the theme in Chapter five and he sees it as an instinct that motivates the body, soul and spirit. The author also discusses how courage can be obtained by individual. According to the book, “Courage made Nelson Mandela to serve 27years in prison in order to empower his people. When it is believed that England would collapse during the World War, courage made Winston Churchill to say it isn’t over till it is over.” In this chapter also, the book describes the similarities between courage and Integrity, and further goes to explain the differences between courage and wisdom. “Integrity lives in the confines of courage. Courage is a motivating spirit that entices and modifies integrity”. Chapter six, which is the last chapter of the

‘Embrace goodness in hard times’ By Uyoatta Eshiet


OMETHING good can come out of bad situation if people look positively at life’s challenges instead of blaming others. According to the author, Ufuoma Patience Iseh, all that is needed is for one to think positively no matter how difficult things may be. She said Nigerian youths are unrealistic to think that government is capable of doing everything including providing the kind of jobs they want. Such dream, she said, was not realisable anywhere in the world, not even in the more technologically advanced and richer countries. She spoke in Lagos during the presentation of her book titled, The Goodness in Problems in Lagos. Ufuoma said she wrote the book as part of her contributions to encourage both the youths and adults to be self-reliant, self-dependent and resourceful and stop blame the government for all their woes. Ufuoma said in every problem, there is goodness in it. She cited sickness, which is a problem to many but a means of wealth to the medical doctors. She observed that in life opportunities come in different ways, as they can be hidden in disappointments or problems. “If one can look positively and critically at every problem or disappointment, an avenue to create wealth can be seen from it. Millions of Nigerian graduates are still jobless and frustrated because they fail to see the innumerable opportunities around them but rather prefer to blame government for their woes. “Problem solving can be easier if you think of them as challenges as well as part of life. Problems are opportunities in disguise, expose yourself to new experiences and you will generate new ideas, see how to use those solutions in many ways to generate wealth and serve many other people,” she said. The book reviewer, Mrs Yinyin Soyannwo, said in the real world, it is not the educated or graduates that are making it but the bold and the determined. She said ‘though we all have tremendous potentials and have all been given talents or special abilities by the Creator, the one thing that holds most people back is self-doubt and lack of courage’. She said it is disturbing to see many youths who have solutions to the innumerable problems in Nigeria,but lack the courage to profer those solutions. The Goodness in Problems’ shares with us the ability to open our eyes to the countless business opportunities that lie in the seeming Nigerian problems. Mrs Soyannwo said the book is a tool for self discovery, optimising talents and creativity. “No one can move forward until they stop blaming others for the way things are, and giving excuses for the way they are,” she added, noting that where there is vision, there is

Soldiers of Fortune BOOK REVIEW Title:

You are a Success


Chukwunyere Chukwu


Olushola Orebajo Silas Chukss Global Publishers


Pagination: 8 2 book, discusses success. The author sees success as a spinning fragment that distinguishes a man among his peers. According to him, “Success exists within the framework of life. One could be successful physically, mentally and spiritually”. The chapter also contains characteristics of successful people. It explains that success has no limitation, citing the example of Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the chairman of AIT, whose name is written in gold in the electronic media in the country, whereas it is not his area of specialisation. This is one aspect of the book’s philosophical postulations that can hardly be found in other inspirational works. Apart from Chukwu’s talented gifts, his writing ability is equally remarkable. The book contains scriptural words from the Holy Bible and is also written in a simple and flowing language that makes reading a great delight. You are a Success is a must read for those who are in quest of success.


IGERIAN Politics from Buhari to Babangida 1983-1993, published by Cassava Republic Press. “This book is the story of Nigeria’s political journey between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1993. This is the story of how things fell apart.” The years between 1983 and 1993 were momentous ones for Nigeria. Military rule during this period crafted modern Nigerian society, and effected cataclysmic changes in Nigeria’s political, economic and religious character that nearly tore the country apart on several occasions. The Buhari to Babangida administrations have done much to shape the conditions of the present. Yet, these aspects of Nigerian history remain untapped, with few scholars devoting serious efforts to accurately recording it. Instead, public discourse is dominated by hagiographic biographies, conspiracy theories, rumour, and innuendo. Soldiers of Fortune gives a fast-paced yet objective analysis of the major events and controversies of the Buhari to Babangida period. From the gripping story of the foiled kidnapping of Umaru Dikko, to the mysterious murder of Dele Giwa and the execution of Mamman Vatsa, historian and lawyer Max Siollun gives a fly-on-the-wall overview of the key events and dramatis personae. The nuanced portrait of the rise and fall of IBB offers deep insights into the challenges in governing Nigeria. Most significantly of all, Siollun provides the definitive account of the annulment of the June 12 1993 elections. Soldiers of Fortune is a must-read for all Nigerians and Nigeria-watchers. It is set to become the exemplary chronicle of the militarised politics of the period.



The Midweek Magazine

AWF clocks five


HE Fifth Anniversary of the Abuja Writers Forum has held at the Nanet Suites, Abuja. It was more than a book reading fiesta. It wasn’t just a celebration for the writers. Members who have been away for long came from as far as Ghana and the United States. There was reason for the celebration. For a literary organisation in Nigeria, attaining five years of consistent pursuit of the set goals of promoting writers and their writings is not a mean achievement. “It has been five years of sweating blood and endless struggles, but we made it and we are more than ever, before, ready to break new grounds,” the forum’s President and host of the event, Dr. Emman Usman Shehu, declared setting the tone for the day. Shehu recounted that text messages went out to people inviting them to a book reading on June 21, 2008 at Pen and Pages Bookshop in Wuse II, Abuja. On the set date, the gathering was told they had been invited at the behest of the Abuja Writers’ Forum and it signalled the birth of what is today the foremost literary organiation in Nigeria. Writer Uche Peter Umez was invited from Owerri as the first guest writer, and the event has been held non-stop since then. David Adzer, a guitarist, later took the stage and thrilled the audience with tunes that heightened the celebration mood. The audience would not let him go after the presentation, without answering a question or two. Adzer said he draws inspiration for his music from his circumstances and pre-occupation in life. Adzer, who, in the course of his music career, has worked with prominent artistes such as Age Beeka and Bem Sar, among others, pioneered the Playlist Group, based


Omojola’s unseen expressions at YABATECH

From Elvis Iyorngurum

ANNIVERSARY in Jos, Plateau State. He also cowrote a movie, The Bond that was produced by Papel Image Tech. Other acts that featured were another soft-rock artiste Tokunboh Edwards and Abiodun Okewoye, a saxophonist who got the audience singing along with him as he rendered Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Many could not stay in their seats as they rose to dance and sing their hearts out. There was also a mini-photo exhibition by Kemi Akin-Nibosun who has been involved in the Invisible Borders project, an initiative to tell Africa’s stories by Africans through photography and inspiring artistic interventions. The first guest writer was Ikeogu Oke, who read from his latest collection of poems, In the Wings of Waiting. Oke holds a BA in English from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and his writings have appeared in various publications in Asia and both sides of the Atlantic. In 2010, Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel laureate, selected his book, Salutes without Guns, as one of the books of the year for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). Oke’s The Lion and the Monkey recently premiered as a reading performance by him at the last year’s South African Literary Awards (SALA) in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He also performed a premiere of his poem, Dirge for Achebe, on stage at the inaugural Ola Ndi Igbo celebration at the Civic Centre, Lagos. That was in April, this year. Oke left no one in doubt of his talent as a writer, performer and musician in his presentation. He sang I can’t reach you, which he said is not just a poem but a song as well. Many of his poems, he said, are lyrical and will best be enjoyed if read alongside a musical rendition. Later in the interactive session with the audience, he described his writings as a creative deviation from convention and said he draws his inspiration from the joy, agony and disappointments. A Political Correspondent with The Nation, Victor Oluwasegun, was next. He read from his book, In the Shadow, which is his debut collection of short stories. He attended Ogun State University where he

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

S •Kemi at the reading session in Abuja

bagged a BA in English. At various times, he worked as a lecturer at the Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano, the defunct Mutual Trust Savings, Lagos, Lifeline Children’s Hospital in Lagos and Ayida Communications, Lagos. He began his journalism career with Encomium Magazine in Lagos before settling with The Nation. The journalist responded to the question of if any of his works was written out of a personal experience by disclosing that one of the stories in the collection, Favour Gone Sour was indeed inspired by a true story that he witnessed. He said he was even sued to court on account of writing the story. The ambience of the evening night increased as seven members of the forum were applauded as they were presented with prizes as winners of the May edition of the forum’s monthly writing challenge. The Forum instituted the challenge as an inhouse effort to regularly encourage members to honing their skills in writing and also help them build a portfolio of manuscripts that could serve them various purposes in future. The monthly challenge covers the fiction, poetry and drama genres and the winners were (fiction category), Amina Aboje, who won the first prize with her story, Double Face; Abigail Abenu, who came second with her story, The Hills and Rahamat Zakari who wrote, I Thought I knew Her and

Siblings unveil books


HERE were music, dancing and prizes that nine-year-old Berith Christian and his sister, Divine will not forget last month in a hurry. For them, it was not just the month when each of their books were presented; it was one of celebration and fun that brought them into limelight. The event, which was held at the ElShadai Cathedral of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), FESTAC Town, Lagos, drew guests. Also, there were the Parish Priest, Pastor George Ajayi, and his wife, Funke and their children from from across the state. For the kids, it was not one of those drab book presentations that usually have too much talk and no fun. Theirs was an avenue of sharing fun with friends and classmates. The books, Not for the Glitter by Divine and Arthur Becomes King, by Berith, are for children readers. Both are edited by the award-winning children’s book writer, Philip Begho and published under the stable of Platinum Tales. Berith wrote his book while only eight; it is about an orphan, Arthur, who from humble beginnings rises to rule over the imaginary kingdom

•Berith and Divine By Evelyn Osagie

LAUNCH of Guraha. Divine, on the other hand, was 15 when she wrote hers last year. The book, which is about a spoilt brat, who eventually finds redemption, is for teenagers. Berith said his book shows the invincible hands of God at work in the life of man. He urged kids to strive to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives. “When God says yes no one can say no that is why Arthur is able to de-

feat a beast in his book and become famous. I pray that every child will key into the purpose of God in their lives in Jesus name, amen,” he said. Divine, who is in SS3, said Not for the Glitter has a message for teenagers. In her view, the book is about redemption, adding that no life is out of the reach of God’s Hands of redemption. The 16-year-old girl in her book who comes from a wealthy family, thus had it all, but she wanted more than she could get and that almost

got the third prize. The only winner for the drama category was Didi Nwala, who wrote, The Iykes. The poetry prizes were clinched by Elvis Iyorngurum in the first position, with Age-long Wisdom; Amina Aboje, the first runner-up with Agonies of a Mackerel and the second runner-up and writer of The Worth of World, Kattab Salami. The high point of the night was a raffle draw that was conducted for the audience to win book prizes. Attendees had been given a raffle ticket bearing a unique number on arrival at the venue. Ten lucky winners went away with a book each. The Assistant Director, Media and Public Affairs of the National Lottery Commission, Mrs. Rekiya Ibrahim-Atta, congratulated the forum on its fifth anniversary and said her presence was to honour the event and also support the vision for which the forum was established. She encouraged writers to base their work on adequate research as it will serve as a reference point for history, describing them as custodians of information that the world relies on. Mrs. Ibrahim-Atta also encouraged the writing community to strive higher and remain resilient so that eventually it will attract government support in achieving its purposes. •Iyorngurum is Secretary of the Abuja Writers’ Forum.

destroyed her life. Yet, at the end God brings her out of her destructive life. She said: “What I am saying to teenagers like me is that they should face their studies and should not just go for the glitter. They should be satisfied with what they have and always put God first in everything they do.” The young authors, whose books were published last year, attend Success Module School in Festac Town. The school’s proprietor, Mrs Isioma Oparah, who was the mother of the day on the occasion, said it as a thing of pride to have two of her pupils’ works unvieled on the same day. Pastor Ajayi named the words of the two kids as “important” nuggets that children and parents should take to heart, urging guests to emulate “the lives of Berith and Divine who are keeping their dreams alive against the odds”. The event, which saw the children dancing to popular Nigerian music, also featured quiz, for which participants got prizes. Mother of the authors, Mrs Chinwe Christian, beamed with pride all through the event. As part of efforts towards promoting the reading culture in youths, she said beyond the books’ unveiling she hopes to provide schools libraries with copies of the books. “This is to encourage children to read so they can learn a lot and grow up to be better human beings. I am proud of my kids and I will continue to encourage them to read and live their dreams,” she said.

PURRED by the success of last year’s open air art exhibition in Ikeja, Lagos, Funso Omojola will on Saturday, July 13 hold a two-week solo art exhibition entitled Unseen Expressions. The exhibition, which will run till July 27, will hold at the Yusuf Grillo Hall School of Art, Design and Printing, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos. Speaking at a press preview session in Lagos, Omojola, said the responses from collectors at the last outing were very encouraging and inspiring for him to remain in the business of art. Unseen Expressions will feature 10 paintings and 38 prints of world famous inspirational people and their statements on different issues. They include prints of icons, such as martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Indira Ghandi, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Chinua Achebe. Among the works for display are Crossover, Celebration, Face of Lagos, Unseen Expressions, Ocean wave, Circle of life and Contentment. In Ocean wave, a medium size painting in acrylic with a bit of relief is arranged in a set of 3 pieces (measuring 12x12 inches) combined to create some feelings of wave movement. Omojola uses the Circle of life to illustrate the natural circle of life most living being pass through. All living things have a moment at which they become “alive.” That beginning of life marks the first point on the circle of life. The paintings, which are in acrylic is a set of six panels arranged together comprising two sets of 22x22 and 4 sets of 22x8 inches. 3. Contentment is an acrylic on canvas showing two sets of 10x30 and 30x20 inches as well as three panels. One other outstanding painting is the portraiture of a lady dressed in beautiful colours with a head gear to match. But the green colour background of the work complements the entire composition. Celebration, captures the visual appeal of a talking drum in a four-piece panel in a starshaped format. Omojola captures his journey into Lagos in 1987 in Unseen Expressions, a 25-piece panel showing different objects of decorations, forms and images of his first encounter with Lagos. The panels are all in Black and White.




NEWS As Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, mother of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu returns in style to her creator, her exit holds up a powerful mirror about the Nigeria we so much desire as Muslims and Christians unite in her praise and celebration, reports AKIN DANIELS


N Sunday July 7 this year, the time proven saying that when beggars die there are no comets seen, but heavens blaze forth the death of princes resonated through time as thousands gathered to give praise for the life and time of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. More telling was the singular truth about Nigeria’s potential unity, if we all work together. The interdenominational service reinforced the belief that Nigerians, in spite of religious or tribal differences, are bound in love. It was a galore of glorious praise, dance, worship and prayers at the Interdenominational Service held in honour of the late matriarch and business tycoon, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, mother of former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the Eko Hotel and Suites. The congregation was a collection of various people from all walks of life, united in prayers for the repose of Mama’s soul and a healing for the country she left behind. Under one roof, the Nigeria we so long for unfolded before our very eyes. This celebration was possible because a great mother beget a great son who gave flight to her dreams and concretised her vision. Since the demise of the market leader, encomiums have poured in non-stop from all the corners of the globe. Three major events had taken place according to Islamic rites as Mama was a devout Muslim. However, the Christian community, which she was very much supportive and appreciative of, wanted to be a part of the proceedings, so the leaders of many denominations decided to put the service together. And it was an event any saint would have been proud of. Indeed, it was a fulfillment of one of Alhaja’s few wishes that apart from the Muslim rites of burial, a Christian service be also held in recognition of the many Christians she worked with and led as Iyaloja. It kicked off at exactly 3pm as slated. The hall had already started to fill up by 1pm as the very engaging praise and worship session flowed. Seating in the front row were church leaders from Redeemed Church of God to Anglican and Methodist dioceses. They fellowshipped with each other without rancour. Even Archbishop Marcus Atilade brought his tambourine. Right in front with them was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. To his left was his darling wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and to his right was Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola. In the front row were governors Kayode Fayemi and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Ekiti and Osun respectively. Chief Bisi Akande, National Chairman of the Action Congress

One soul, many resounding messages

•From left: Bishop Magnus Atilade; Archbisop Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos (Anglican Communion) Revd Adebayo Akinde; Bishop, Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion), Dr. Adebola Ademowo; Prelate Methodist Church Nigeria His Eminence, Dr. S. Ola Makinde; General Leader of the C&S Church, Ayo Ni O, Surulere; Lagos, Prophet G. O Fakeye and others. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

of Nigeria was also present. All joined in the singing and dancing of Christian songs of praise. The programme was masterly punctuated with hymns, special numbers by choristers and tributes. One of Mama’s grandsonsin-law, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo, came up and testified to how she embraced him and made him feel comfortable even though he was a Christian seeking her grand daughter’s hand in marriage. He said, “When I came to her in 2005, and prostrated in front of her, she looked at me and asked, ‘Are you a Christian?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ then she said, ‘Hallelu—, Hallelujah!” This and the many tributes that followed showed that Mama Mogaji was a tolerant and accommodating spirit. General Evangelist, Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide, Prophet Kayode Abiara, came up and said these traits were clearly visible in Bola Tinubu. He said Tinubu’s love for giving and sharing was why people always rallied around him whenever he called them. “Tinubu is a lover of all people and shares his wealth with everybody. That is why people keep coming every time he has an event like this. Mama trained him well and we praise God for her life,” Prophet Abiara said. The Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos Anglican Church, Reverend Adebayo Akinde, also spoke along the same lines. “Asiwaju has followers because he shares with people, communicates with them and does not close his door behind the people,” he said. “He is always ready to share

This is a woman who passed on at 96; yet, people are still saying she is too young to die. They have said so because of the enormous impact she made in their lives. She had been catering for many people and had transformed their lives; reason they would not want her to go even at that age

whatever he has with the people, no matter the discomfort it is going to cause him. This, we believe, are qualities of good leaders which the late Mogaji bequeathed to mankind.” There were several prayer sessions in the course of the event. The prayer points included consolation for the Tinubu/Mogaji family, guidance and wisdom for the leadership of Lagos state and the nation, prosperity for all the traders and unity for all Nigerians. Everyone present participated. It was particularly touching when the entire congregation held hands and prayed at the top

•The late Alhaja Mogaji

of their lungs for Nigeria. It was a moment to be proud of. In her sermon, Reverend Mercy Ezekiel pointed out Mama’s deeds and encouraged all to sow good seeds wherever they go. “This is a woman who passed on at 96; yet, people are still saying she is too young to die. They have said so because of the enormous impact she made in their lives. She had been catering for many people and had transformed their lives; reason they would not want her to go even at that age,” she said. As he delivered the vote of thanks, a visibly happy Bola Tinu-

bu narrated how much he missed his mother and thanked everyone for fulfilling her wish by attending the event. “I cannot express to all the officiating ministers and clergy how happy and honor I am today. God will continue to honor you” he said. He made particular mention of Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos Anglican Communion, Archbishop E. A. Ademowo, the Prelate of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Ola Makinde, Adewale Martins, and the Reverend Ezekiel. He thanked his family, friends, associates, traders and even Mama’s nurses. He said the service was in fulfillment of his mother’s wish. “We owe Mama this celebration, we owe her so much,” he added. As the event came to a close and the clergy posed for photograph with Bola Tinubu, the lingering thoughts were those of joy at a life well lived for Mama Mogaji and the compassionate and brave leader she has left behind. The event was organised to celebrate the life of a great woman, but it also turned out to be confirmation of Bola Tinubu’s statesmanly and enviable stature, his multi-cultural dimension and his multi-religious acceptance. The singular message of that stupendous yet sober event is that religious harmony is possible. And now we know that the spurious allegation that Tinubu and the APC team are intolerant religious insensitive is only a figment of the wild imaginations steeped only in mischief.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (seventh left); Commissioner for Justice, Wale Afolabi (fifth right); Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice Osun State, Mr Ayotunde Oyebiyi (sixth left); Assistant Chief of Staff to the Governor on Legal Matters, Gbenga Akano (fifth left); Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Legal and Judicial Reform, Mr Ibrahim Lawal (fourth right); Deputy Chief Registrar 1, Mr Lawrence Arojo (fourth left); Senior Magistrate Grade 2, Mrs Bimbola Oyawale (third right) and others, during a courtesy visit to the Governor in Osogbo…on Monday






Being the text of the judgment delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, JCA, on July 1, 2013 at the Court of Appeal, Akure, in the governorship litigation between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and Governor Segun Mimiko.

Appeal Court judgment on Ondo governorship poll


N being text of the judg-ment delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, JCA, on July 1, 2013 at the Court of Appeal, Akure, in the governorship litigation between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Governor Segun Mimiko. October 20, 2012 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the 3rd Respondent in this appeal conducted Governorship Election in Ondo State. The 1st Appellant, a candidate sponsored by the 2nd Appellant, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), contested the election with other candidates, including the 1st Respondent, Dr. Rahman O. Mimiko, who was sponsored by the 2nd Respondent, the Labour Party (LP). On October 21, 2012 INEC declared and returned the 1st Respondent as the winner of the election. Dissatisfied with the declaration and/or return of the 1st Respondent by the INEC the Appellants filed their petition challenging the return of the 1st Respondent on 9th November, 2012 at the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting at Akure, Ondo State (hereinafter called “The Tribunal”). The petition is at pages 1- 150 of the Record. The Respondents filed their respective replies to the petition. The Reply of the 3rd Respondent, at pages 276 – 342 of the Record, was filed on 30th November, 2012. The 2nd Respondent filed its Reply on 3rd December, 2012. It is found at pages 343 – 387 of the Record. The reply of the 1st Respondent is at pages 389 – 589 of the Record. It was filed on 10th December, 2012. At the close of the pleadings the petition went into trial before the Tribunal. The Appellants called a total of 41 witnesses, including two expert witnesses. The 1st Respondent called 14 witnesses. The 2nd and 3rd Respondents called no witnesses. The counsel for the respective parties, at the close of the evidence, filed and exchanged their respective written Addresses, which they later adopted as their argument in the petition. In its considered judgment, delivered on 3rd May, 2013, the Tribunal dismissed the petition in its entirety; hence this appeal. The Appellants filed a total of 38 Grounds of Appeal in the Notice of Appeal copied at pages 1775 – 1796 of Vol. 3 of the Records. Briefs were filed and exchanged by the parties through their counsel. The Appellants’ main brief was filed on 4th June, 2013. In addition the Appellants filed Reply Briefs in response to the briefs filed, each, by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents. The three Reply Briefs were filed on 12th June, 2013. These briefs and the main Appellants Brief were all adopted as the arguments/submissions of the Appellants in the appeal on 25th June, 2013 at the hearing of the appeal. The 1st Respondent’s Brief, filed on 7th June, 2013, was adopted as the argument of the 1st Respondent in the appeal. Before then, the 1st Respondent had, on 7th June, 2013, filed Notice of Preliminary Objection wherein a number of the Appellants’ grounds of appeal were attacked. The Preliminary Objection was argued in the 1st Respondent’s Brief. Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN moving the Preliminary Objection had urged us to strike out the defence grounds of appeal, the particulars in some of the grounds of appeal and the issue formulated for determination of the appeal wherein the defective grounds were included. Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN of Counsel to the Appellants, relying on the S.P.D.C V. AMADI (2011) 6 SCM 183 at page 196, in response, submitted that preliminary objections are filed against the hearing of the appeal, with the view and aim of terminating same; and that there are other grounds which can sustain the appeal the proper procedure is to come by way of motion on notice praying for an order striking out the defective grounds of appeal. Notwithstanding the vehement opposition of Chief Olanipekun, SAN, on the ground that Order 10 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2011 does only provide for the respondent to file preliminary objection, and not the other way round, I am in complete agreement with Chief Olujinmi, SAN on this. If the Notice of Preliminary Objection is a process in the appeal and it is for any reason, on points of law, not one that can be countenanced; then it could be objected to. I need not belabor the issue. The Supreme Court in

• Dr Mimiko

S.P.D.C. V. AMADI (Supra) at page 196 has settled the issue when per Rhodes-Vivour, it states the law thus: Preliminary objections are against the hearing of an appeal, and so, once it succeeds, the appeal no longer exists. All too often we see preliminary objections filed against one or more grounds of appeal. Once there are other grounds that can sustain the appeal, a preliminary objection should not be filed. Instead a Notice of Motion seeking to strike out the defective grounds of appeal should be filed. This statement of law, in view of Section 287 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, binds this Court and the parties. The matter therefore, rests there. The Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by the 1st Respondent on 7th June, 2013 and argued in the 1st Respondent’s Brief of Argument filed also on 7th June, 2013 will not be countenanced since it purports not to terminate the entire appeal, but only some grounds of appeal in the Notice of Appeal. The 2nd Respondent’s Brief, filed on 7th June, 2013 was adopted at the hearing of this appeal on 25th June, 2013 by Yusuf O. Ali, SAN as the argument of the 2nd Respondent. Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN of Counsel to 3rd Respondent formally adopted the Brief of the 3rd Respondent, filed on June 7, 2013 and prayed, like the counsel respectively for the 1st and 2nd Respondents, that the appeal be dismissed. The Appellants’ Brief, filed on 4th June, 2013 containing arguments on which Chief Olujinmi, SAN urged us to allow the appeal, has a total of 13 issues for determination as follows:Whether the Tribunal was right in rejecting the expert evidence of PWs 34 and 35 and failing to rely on the Exhibits tendered by them and admitted in evidence. (Grounds 21, 22, 23, 25, 35, 36). Whether the Tribunal having held that there were injections into the 2012 Register of Voters used for the conduct of the October 20, 2012 Governorship Election was right in declining jurisdiction to consider the allegation on the use of the invalid Voters Register to conduct the 2012 Election on the pretext that they were pre-election matters. (Grounds 8, 9, 11, 18 and 19). Whether the evidence of improper accreditation and non-accreditation of voters during the Election placed before the Tribunal vide EXHIB-

• Akeredolu

ITS P52A & P52B and testimony of PWs 34, 40, 41 were not cogent enough to justify the nullification of the election conducted on 20th October, 2012. (Grounds 2, 12 and 17). Whether the Tribunal properly evaluated the evidence before it and came to the right conclusion particularly when no rebuttal evidence was given and several facts were corroborated by documentary and oral evidence of the 1st Respondent witnesses. (Grounds 4, 5,6 and 38). Whether failure of the Tribunal to properly review the evidence and evaluate it before making its findings has not engendered serious miscarriage of justice. (Grounds 20, 28 and 29). Whether the evidence on record did not sufficiently establish allegations of irregularities and various acts of non- compliance with the Electoral Act and regulations made pursuant thereto to justify nullifying the election in dispute. (Grounds 3). Whether the Tribunal was not wrong when it failed to hold that the petitioners through the evidence led have met the standard of proof required to establish the allegations contained in the petition. (Grounds 31 and 32). Whether having regard to pleadings, the evidence and the law, the petitioners have not discharged the burden of proof placed on them. (Grounds 10 and 14). Whether the Tribunal was right in its application of the decision of the Court of Appeal to discountenance and expunge evidence already properly admitted by it. (Grounds 7 and 16). HETHER the Tribunal was right to have discounte-nanced evidence relating to the paragraphs of the petition struck out having previously held that the petition would be heard on its merit and in any case having regard to the paragraphs of the respondents’ replies which accommodated the evidence. (Grounds 1 and 30). Whether the Tribunal was right in dismissing the petition when the copious evidence led by the petitioners’ witnesses was neither rebutted nor challenged. (Grounds 13, 24, 26 and 33). Whether in the light of its earlier holding that the petitioners did not dump documents on the tribunal, the materials on record and the law, the tribunal was right when it later held that some documents were dumped on the tribunal and that the petitioners did not demonstrate the


‘Preliminary objections are against the hearing of an appeal, and so, once it succeeds, the appeal no longer exists. All too often we see preliminary objections filed against one or more grounds of appeal. Once there are other grounds that can sustain the appeal, a preliminary objection should not be filed. Instead a Notice of Motion seeking to strike out the defective grounds of appeal should be filed’

electronic copies of 2011 and 2012 voters registers. (Grounds 15, 27 and 34). Whether the in the light of the pleadings of the parties, the evidence led by the Petitioners and the failure of the 3rd Respondent to give any evidence, the Tribunal was not wrong in the way it considered the issue relating to the injected voters. (Ground 37). On the other hand, the 1st Respondent at pages 6 & 7, particularly paragraph 3.1 of his brief formulated two issues for determination. They are: “Whether the lower tribunal was not right when it relied on its own earlier decision of 4th February, 2013, which has been affirmed by the Court of Appeal in appeal number: CA/AK/ EPT/GOV/04/13, in discountenancing paragraphs 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 45, 46, 48,49, 51, 55, 71, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 88, 91, 146, 149 and 181 of the Appellants’ petition, as well as the evidence led in support thereof (Grounds 1, 7, 16 and 30). Considering the grounds of the Appellants’ petition, the extant state of the pleadings and the evidence in support thereof vis-à-vis the state of the law on the burden and standard of proof as well as the relief sought in the Appellants’ petition, whether the trial tribunal was not right in dismissing the Appellants’ petition and affirming the election and return of the 1st Respondent (Grounds 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38).” The 2nd Respondent has distilled three issues for determination. They are as follows in paragraph 3.00 at page 3 of the said brief: Whether the trial Tribunal was not right in its conclusion that the Appellants did not proof improper or non-accreditation, improper voting, non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, and sundry other allegations made by them, and that the election was held in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). Whether the trial Tribunal was not right in its view that the testimonies of PWs 34 and 35, apart from being incredible or unbelievable, will not qualify as expert testimonies, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, moreover, when the testimonies did not prove the allegation of injection of fresh or illegal names into the voters’ registers, on which the Tribunal had no jurisdiction. Whether the trial Tribunal was not right that the Appellants failed to prove the various allegations of electoral malpractices in the conduct of the Ondo State Governorship elections of 20th October, 2012.” For the 3rd Respondent the three issues formulated for determination of the appeal are at page 7 thereof as follows: “Whether the Learned Tribunal rightly rejected the testimony of PW34 and PW35 and their respective reports in Exhibits P55…. Whether the learned judges of the Tribunal were right to have held that issues bothering on the state of the voters register of 2011 as compared to that of 2012 are pre-election matter covered by Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 and totally outside the jurisdiction of the Honourable Tribunal. Whether in the light of the pleadings of the parties and the evidence on record, the learned Tribunal was not right to have dismissed the Appellants’ petition. I have read all the briefs of argument and the proceedings of the Tribunal, including the pleadings and the judgment. In my humble view the issues for determination in this appeal are:Whether the Tribunal was right to have held that issues bordering on the contents of the Voters Register are pre-election issues and therefore not within its jurisdiction? Whether the Tribunal was right to have held that the Appellants did not prove that the Ondo State Governorship Election of October 20, 2012 was not conducted in substantial compliance with the letters and spirit of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended? Whether on the pleadings and evidence of all the parties the Tribunal was right to have dismissed the petition? • To be continued




Appeal Court judgment on Ondo governorship poll •Continued from yesterday


HE Tribunal, at pages 3113 – 3114 of Volume 4 of the Records, found “as a fact that the 2nd Petitioner (Appellant) was given the 2012 Voters Register on the 20th of September, 2012, as stated by PWs 4, 5, 23 and 40” and thereafter stated: Having got the 2012 Voters Register about one Month before the election took place, we agree with the 1st Respondent that all issues relating to the Voters Register 2011 as compared to the one of 2012 are purely pre-election issues over which the Tribunal vide Section 131(5) of the Electoral Act (over which this Tribunal) has no jurisdiction. See OLUYENNI V. ASHAOLU (2010) All FWLR (Pt. 522) 682 and IBRAHIM V. INEC (Supra). A distinction must, however, be drawn between the 2012 Voters Register which as we have held is a preelection matter and its use as at the October 20, 2012 election, a fact within our jurisdiction. Put differently, if the Petitioners chose to ignore the injections in the Voters Register as they did rather than challenge it before the Ondo State High Court or the Federal High Court, they can only complain before us of any electoral malpractice in the election using the Voters Register during the election and not before. To that extent the evidence of PWs 34 and 35 propelled on Exhibits P52 (A & B) and P55, P56 and P57 (A1 – A20) attempting to analyse the Voters Register will be irrelevant. The irregularities in the 2012 Voters Register were known to the Petitioners about one month before the election took place. If they felt the Register was/is, for the reasons they state, invalid, they ought to have challenged it before the appropriate Court. They cannot come before us to seek a nullification of the Register and by extension the election due to the injections in it. It is a different matter if they are able to prove that the illegal or injected voters voted. Estoppel by conduct, under Section 169 of the Evidence Act, 2011 seems to be the prop of this reasoning of the Tribunal. It is trite to state that parties are bound by their pleadings. The Petitioners now Appellants, pleaded that what the INEC gave them when they complained that attempts were being made to inflate the Voters Register by injection of illegal registrants was the soft copies of the Voters Register which they could not open, because they had no software to do so. INEC, the 3rd Respondent, admitted in paragraph 19(viii) at page 287 of their Reply that “at the meeting on the 20th September, 2012, soft copies of the Register of Voters containing 1, 654, 205 names of registered voters in all the 18 Local Governments of Ondo State, were given to representatives of all the political parties.” INEC further pleaded in paragraph 19(x) “that it is impossible for any 3rd party or any unauthorized person to access its data.” On the state of the pleadings, on this particular issue, it is perverse, as held by the Tribunal that “irregularities in the Voters Register were known to the Petitioners about one month before the election took place” The Electoral Act 2010, as amended, by its Section 19(1) enjoins INEC to display for public scrutiny for a period of not less than 5 days and not more than 14 days “and during which period any objection or complaint in relation to the names omitted or included in the Voters’ Register or in relation to any necessary correction, shall be raised or filed”. There is no evidence that INEC complied with statutory commandment. There is however overwhelming evidence that INEC used this Voters Register in the Election. My understanding of the provisions of Section 19(1) of the Electoral Act, particularly the words “display for public scrutiny” is that the

National Assembly intended that it is the hard copies or printed copies of the Voters Register that should be published by displaying same in a public place(s) for viewing and/or scrutiny. This, of course, excludes giving soft copies that can neither be opened nor accessed by the representatives of political parties. Transparency is obliviously the main objective of the provision of Section 19 and 20 of the Electoral Act. The only reason the Tribunal discountenanced “the evidence of PWs 34 and 35 propelled on Exhibits P52 (A & B) and P55, P56 and P57 (A1 – A20)” at page 3114 of the Record is the perverse finding that the petitioners had knowledge of the contents of the Voters Register at least one month before the election. There is no evidence that the contents of the Voters Register in its soft copy were known to the Petitioners. There is also no evidence that copies of the Voters Register were displayed for public scrutiny, as directed by the Electoral Act. In the similar view there is no evidence that the printed or hard copies of the Voters Register were made available to the Petitioners to justify or warrant the finding by the Tribunal that they were aware of its contents one month before the election. It appears to me that what the Tribunal has stated at pages 3113 – 3115 of the Records, in its judgment, is what while the making of the Voters’ Register is a pre-election issue; the use made of its contents is a postelection issue. that is what I think the Tribunal means by the statement: A distinction must, however, be drawn between the state of the 2012 Voters Register, which as we have held, is a pre-election matter and its use at the October 20, 2012 election, a fact within our jurisdiction. The grounds for questioning an election are eloquently stated in Section 138(1)(b) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended. It includes “non-compliance with the provisions” of the Electoral Act. The Electoral Act is the only enabling statute for compilation and use of the Voters’ Register. By dint of Section 138(1)(b) of the Electoral Act, where it is alleged that the Voters Register, used in the election the subject of the Petition, was improperly compiled or not properly compiled in compliance with the Electoral Act, and that it was done to give undue advantage to one of the parties, and that the Voters Register was used to conduct the election; then I think, in my humble view, that Section 138(1)(b) Electoral Act, 2010 has been invoked. By the said Section 138(1)(b) of the Act, therefore, the election Tribunal, Including the instant Tribunal, has jurisdiction to entertain such a complaint. After all compliance, as stated by I. T. Muhammed J.S.C in OJUKWU Vs. YAR’ADUA (2009) 12 NWLR (PT. 1154) 50 AT PAGE 140 B – C is ordinarily “an act of complying or acting in accordance with wishes, requests, commands requirements, conditions or orders. It is an act of yielding or conformity with the requirements or orders”. The learned jurist then concludes that where there is non-compliance, it postulates reversal of such definitions. In tandem of this simple definition of compliance or non-compliance, it is my view that an election conducted using Voters Register not compiled in accordance with or in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act will, in the circumstance, fall within the jurisdiction of the Election Tribunal under Section 138(1)(b) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended. The national Assembly, through the Electoral Act, has not given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) free hand or powers to conduct elections any how or in any arbitrary and capricious manners. All

powers vested in INEC to conduct elections, including compilation of Voters Register, are circumscribed and must be exercised in compliance with the Electoral Act. The Supreme Court, the majority view, held in OJUKWU Vs. YAR’ADUA (Supra) that non-compliance without more may not be sufficient to invalidate an election. One of the issues in the case is a declaration that the arbitrary failure of INEC to display copies of the Voters Register in the manner and form commanded by the Electoral Act, 2006. The Presidential Election Tribunal entertained the petition and dismissed it on the merits. There is a similar issue in the petition, the subject of this appeal. In my humble view the tribunal, in the instant appeal, was not right when it held that it has no jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on non-compliance of the Voter Register with the Electoral Act. The register, criticized for its non-compliance with the Act, was used in the election. For the record the complaint of the Petitioners in this appeal are twofold, viz: (i) That the registration/injection of more names into the Voters Register was done secretly or surreptitiously and that it was not publicized, and (ii) That the Voters Register to be used in the October 20, 2012 was not displayed or published for public scrutiny as required by Section 19(1) and 20 of the Electoral Act, 2010. It should be noted that the Petitioners are not questioning the powers of INEC, under the Electoral Act, to continually update the Voters Register. The law is now settled that a Petitioner who challenges the election of a respondent, as this 1st Respondent, on ground of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act must plead not just the fact of the alleged non-compliance, he must go further to plead that the noncompliance had substantially affected the result of the election. See OJUKWU Vs. YAR’ADUA (Supra) at (pt. 910) 241; YUSUF Vs. OBASANJO (2005) 18 NWLR (PT. 956) 96. I do not think that there is any dispute about the figures. (i) T o t a l number of registered voters in the 2011 Voters Register is put at 1,553,580 (ii) Total registered voters in the 2012 Voters Register were 1,654,205. (iii) The difference between figures in (i) & (ii) above is 100,725. These undisputed figures are the bench mark. The Appellant submit that the PW.35, through his Exhibits P56 and P57, established that over 164,072 were unlawfully injected into the 2012 Voters Register. If the balance of 100,725 is, arithmetically, the difference between 1,654,205 and 1,553,580 figures in 2012 and 2011 Voters Registers respectively, then the calculation of PW35, the expert, appears preposterous, outlandish and perverse. The wise Counsel in FAYEMI Vs. ONI (2009) 7 NWLR (PT. 1140) 223, as rightly submitted by Chief Olanipekun SAN of counsel to the 1st Respondent is worth heeding to. At Pages 276 – 277 of the Report the admonition goes thus:“The court must be weary of admitting a report prepared by an expert, not at the instance of the court but at the behest of any of the parties to the dispute. Such a report must be taken with a pinch of salt (See WAZIRI Vs. THE STATE (1997) 3 NWLR (PT. 496) PAGE 689)”. The PW.35 was seriously discredited by the cross-examination of 3rd Respondent’s Counsel. The PW34, who also under cross-examination, had admitted that he was briefed, upon a fee “to look for evidence to sustain the petition that was already filed” was rightly dismissed as not being credible objective expert witness whose evidence would be of any assistance to the Tribunal. The evidence and reports of these two witnesses, PWs 34 and 35, were intended to prove that the non-compliance of INEC with in Electoral Act, in

• INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega

‘139(1) An election shall not be liable to be invalidated by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of this Act, if it appears to the Election Tribunal or Court that the election was conducted substantially in accordance with the provisions of this Act and that the non-compliance did not substantially affect the result of the election’ the compilation and use of the 2012 Voters Register, had substantially affected the outcome or the result of the election conducted on 20th October, 2012. The findings of fact by the Tribunal that the PWs 34 and 35, and their reports are unreliable are findings that the appellate court does not readily interfere with, unless they are perverse. In the instant case the findings are not perverse as the printed evidence show. The Tribunal had adroitly evaluated the evidence of these two expert witnesses. The same manner of evaluation of evidence was done as regards other witnesses on the sundry acts of non-compliance complained of. HE Appellants in paragraphs 7.05 and 7.06 at pages 27 – 28 of their brief submitted that “since the Tribunal found that there were unlawful injections, the effect ought to have been a total invalidation and nullification of the Voters Register and the Election conducted thereon”. The law, as I stated earlier, is: it is not enough to plead and prove non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act; the Petitioner is further enjoined to plead and prove that the noncompliance alleged had substantially affected the outcome or result of the election: OJUKWU Vs. YAR’ADUA (Supra); BUHARI Vs. OBASANJO (Supra); YUSUF Vs. OBASANJO (Supra). The Appellants have not proved how the non-compliance by INEC, in the compilation of the Voters Register and its use in the 20th October, 2012 election had substantially affected the outcome of the said election. The Election Act deliberately directs Tribunal and Courts in election matters not to disturb returns made, unless non compliance with the Act has substantially affected the result of the election and the return. See Section 139(1) of the act. There were other allegations of none or improper accreditation, over-voting, plural voting, and sundry electoral malpractices and non-compliance. I repeat that it is not enough to adumbrate these facts that tend to establish that the election was not conducted in a free and fair manner as directed by the Electoral Act. The Pe-


titioner who alleged all these acts of electoral malpractices has the additional burden of pleading and proving that these malpractices did in fact impact substantially on the final outcome of the election. Section 139(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended is very clear when it provides: “139(1) An election shall not be liable to be invalidated by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of this Act, if it appears to the Election Tribunal or Court that the election was conducted substantially in accordance with the provisions of this Act and that the non-compliance did not substantially affect the result of the election.” The discretion vested in the Tribunal or Courts by this provision is judicial; which discretion has to be exercised judicially and judiciously. The law reports are now replete with statements of our superior courts espousing the law as in Section 139(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010. They are all to the effect that the non-compliance must be shown to have substantially affected the result of the election. See AJADI Vs. AJIBOLA (2004) 16 NWLR (PT. 898) 91 AT 170 – 171; ADEBIYI Vs. BABALOLA (1993) 1 NWLR (PT. 267) 1; BUHARI Vs. INEC (2009) ALL FWLR (PT. 459) 419 AT 525; etc. The most recent on this by the Supreme Court, interpreting Section 139(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010, is CPC Vs. INEC (2011) 18 NWLR (PT. 1279) 493 AT 544 – 545, 573 – 574. Since failure to prove this vital or material fact is very fatal to any election petition, one expects Petitioners and their counsel, when formulating or settling election petitions, to be very conscious of this charge to Election Tribunals or courts under Section 139(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 an amended, and/or its equivalent provisions in other statutes. It does not help the judicature and the course of justice for Petitioners to rush to court to challenge the election or return therefrom on grounds of noncompliance without seriously addressing the issue of the non-compliance not substantially affecting the outcome of the election. The court are quite congested by flimsy election petitions. •To be continued



•Continued from Page 17 sion for the 1,755 pensioners is spread between April 2013 and January 2014. As a foretaste of what was to come for the pensioners, Governor Fayemi had on September 14, 2012 effected payment of gratuities totaling N501 million to 269 retirees. The Ekiti PENCOM boss, Chief Ojo, said Governor Fayemi’s gesture has brought relief to pensioners in the state and given hope to those in service that their labour would not be in vain. The PENCOM chief said he was not surprised by the Governor’s attitude towards the pensioners because the state operates the first Social Security Scheme for the Aged in West Africa in which the beneficiaries are receiving N5,000 monthly stipends. He said, “I have to thank Mr. Governor for taking the plight of the old people into consideration, for taking it upon himself not allow these people to die in penury. “This is a feat the beneficiaries never thought could happen so soon. We have to thank appreciate him and thank him. “With what he is doing, he should be allowed to see into fruition all these beautiful programmes and magnificent projects being executed in the state. “I know that regular payment of benefits to pensioners will have a great impact on the economy in the grassroots because they will have one thing or the other to buy with the money they are being paid. “In fact, Mr. Governor took us by surprise by releasing the money we are paying to our pensioners. Those who had thought they will never be paid are now jumping for joy and they are thanking him for performing this feat.” One of the beneficiaries, Mr. James Olowosejeje, said the pensioners were surprised by Governor Fayemi’s unexpected windfall at a time government is carrying out

N1b succour excites pensioners capital intensive projects in all nooks and crannies of the state. He said, “We pray that God will continue to bless Fayemi for us and spare his life for more selfless service to the people of the state. “We never expected that our pension will be paid this time because many projects that the governor is doing in every parts of the state because all these projects cost lots of money. “Projects like new buildings, roads, bridges, streetlights, school

renovation, provision of laptops for our children, Ikogosi tourism project, youth and women empowerment and monthly allowances to the old people cost the state so much but we never expected that we pensioners will be remembered. “We are all praying for him to succeed in his vision to make the state great and we are rewarding him with our votes at next year’s governorship election because Fayemi is a friend of pensioners.”

Another pensioner, Mrs. Iyabo Adelusi, said she did not believe the story that they would be paid until her she came along with her son to the state PENCOM office for verification and collection of her cheque. Mrs. Adelusi noted that the money she collected would go a long way in injecting life into her small scale business and giving her the needed economic empowerment. She described Governor Fayemi as a “compassionate man who cares for the less privileged”.

As Ekiti pensioners continue to savour the largesse, the multiplier effects of Governor Fayemi’s gesture would continue to be felt in various homes and communities. This is a fulfilment of the governor’s desire to deeply entrench human capital development and ensure the delivery of dividends of democracy to the populace. •Ogunmola, Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, writes from Ado-Ekiti

•Wife of Niger State Governor, Hajiya Jumai Babangida-Aliyu (middle) presenting a cash donation to the widow of one of the slain police officers in Alakyo, Nasarawa State. With her is the wife of Nasarawa State Governor, Hajiya Salamatu Al-Makura (right)

Council chief saves millions in fiscal regime


HE table payment option adopted in the disbursement of salaries to workers in Yagba West Local Government of Kogi State by the newly sworn-in Chairman of the council, Mr Ayorinde Makanjuola, is yielding fruit. The option, one of the strategies explored by Makanjuola in order to get to the root of the backlog of salary arrears owed council workers and the rot in governance inherited by his administration, according to the Vice-Chairman, Hon Omoniyi Adeyemi, has helped not only in ascertaining the actual wage bill of the council but also fishing out ghost workers, among other dividends.

Hon Adeyemi who spoke to journalists at the Yagba West Council secretariat, Odo Ere shortly after the exercise ended under his supervision, admitted though that the exercise was constrained, including difficulties in securing cash from the banks and as a result, the exercise billed to hold for two days lasted seven days. However, he said already millions of naira has been saved through the detection of various sizes of ghost workers, arising from absenteeism, double appointments, proxies, people who are long due for retirement and impersonation. He enthused that more funds will be saved as the exercise continues and more strate-

gies explored. “The exercise helped us to identify those who are holding multiple government employments. We were able to identify those who were due for retirement but who were still on the local government pay-roll; some of them brought on wheel chairs, which would not have been achievable had their salaries been dropped in their bank accounts. There are about 120 workers who fall in this category. We advised them to write their retirement letters; they will get their salaries for the next three months while we process their retirement for them, so as to fast track their pensions,” he said, adding “We

•Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Oshodi unit (second right); Samuel Ogundayo (second left); a transporter, Mr Ali Balogun and Product Executive Manager, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals, Miss Olukoya Busola at a public enlightenment campaign in Mushin, Lagos PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

were able to detect some people who are based in far away America but who are illegally on the local government pay-roll; those who have left the local government job to take state or federal government jobs and drawing salaries from two places. Some of these ghost workers were detected with the help of local government workers, because we made them to realize the efforts we are making are in their own interest. For those who have been identified as ghost workers, their names will no longer appear in the payment vouchers as from next month. I cannot give you an accurate figure of what has been saved now because the exercise is gradual. We will not relent until we get to the roots of the unnecessary problems of finances confronting the council.” Our reporter scooped that the exercise may have exposed Makanjuola’s predecessors who could not meet up with salaries despite collecting the same amount Makanjuola got. A major breakthrough, it was gathered, is the reduction in the monthly wage bill of the LGA from N69 million to N42 million. “After the table payment, the figure came drastically down from N69 million to N42 million. Even out of this N42 million, we still have unclaimed salaries”, revealed a source “it was evident that some wolves in the top echelon of the local government have been eaten monies due to the LGA worker over the years. We hope they will be prosecuted”. Meanwhile there has been outpouring of goodwill for the new council helmsmen in Yagba West over what the workers termed “a new lease of life” for them under Makanjuola’s leadership. Even if thy

•Hon. Edward Makanjuola agreed it is their entitlement, the workers nevertheless expressed joy that their May salary was the first time a full salary was being paid them since over a year ago. One of the workers, Akinlolu Ogunjobi said: “This chairman is God-sent. Together with his vice, the new leadership has demonstrated competence, humility and simplicity in their approach to governance, especially in handling matters affecting workers’ welfare. We have thought that payment of full salary had become impossible in Yagba West after we got used to 30 per cent and 50 per cent for more than a year ago. But Engr Makanjuola has not only paid us a full salary for his first month in the saddle, on assumption of office, he ordered the payment of our leave bonuses for upward one year. He has started well, our prayer is for him to continue the good work and not to be distracted by the politicians or derail from the good work he is doing”.




Man needs N8m for corneal transplant

HE left eye of Mr. Samuel Eke Sougha, a middle-aged driver from Agoloma Village in Patani Local Government Area of Delta State, is so bad that ophthalmologists have recommended cornea transplant, if he must see with it. They said the surgery will take place in India but will cost him N8 million. As a result of the huge amount of money involved which he cannot afford, he is soliciting financial assistance from well-meaning Nigerians to enable him to regain his sight again. Narrating his ordeal to Newsextra, Mr Sougha said: “In 2002, I underwent cataract surgery at Tru-Vision Optical Hospital Victoria Island Lagos. The problem was corrected and I regained full sight as I was able to see with both eyes. “Unfortunately, the problem resurfaced in 2007. I have visited several hospitals for treatment and I have been advised to undergo cornea transplant in India. The surgery is estimated to cost between N7 million and N8million; including flight ticket, treatment, drugs and feeding. “Due to financial constraints, I have


By Chinaka Okoro

no option but to solicit financial assistance from government, corporate organisations and public-spirited individuals to enable me to undergo the cornea transplant in India so that I will see again.” On how this affects his health, Mr Sougha told Newsextra that “I experience excruciating pains in my left eye, unbearable headache, especially when the sun is intense. I do not see any object clearly; everything will be opaque.” Since 2007 when the growth resurfaced, I have visited several hospitals for medical examination. It was later discovered that ‘the visual acuity was nil.’” Undaunted by the pains and agony

he has been experiencing since 2007, Mr Sougha resolved to “fight the cause bear-like.” He said: “I cannot resign to fate. I am confident that help would come one day. I am strengthened by the realisation that there are a lot of Nigerians who are always moved with pity on any one as helpless as I am. I am pleading with such benevolent Nigerians to come to my aid so that my life is not wasted by unkind and dangerous ailment.” A medical report issued on Mr Sougha and signed by Dr J. L. Bashorun, the Consultant Ophthalmologist with the General Hospital (ODAN), 1/3Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos established that Mr Sougha needs urgent cornea transplant in India.

I experience excruciating pains in my left eye, unbearable headache, especially when the sun is intense. I do not see any object clearly; everything will be opaque

The letter dated May 10, 2013 which was addressed to the Medical Director, ARAVIND Eye Hospital, Taminadu, India with reference number SUB/GHL677/517 reads: SAMUEL EKE SOUGHA MEDICAL REPORT “The above named patient presented in the Eye Clinic with the history of recurrent cataract on the left eye after a surgery in year 2002. “On examination, the visual acuity was nil (NLP) on the left eye and 6/9 in the right eye. “A diagnosis of ruptured left globe was made. Patient is recommended for (surgery) Corneal Transplant. “He is hereby referred for view and further management.” According to experts, corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting, is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue (the graft) in its entirety (penetrating keratoplasty) or in part (lamellar keratoplasty). The graft is taken from a recently deceased individual with no known diseases or other factors that may affect the viability of the donated tissue or the health of the recipient.

•Mr Sam Sougha They also say that several factors are considered in the process of cornea transplant. These factors include the type of transplant, the disease state requiring the procedure, the health of the other parts of the recipient’s eye and even the health of the donor tissue which may all confer a more or less favourable prognosis. He can be contacted on 0823739808 and any financial assistance can be rendered through his First Bank Plc account details: SAMUEL EKE SOUGHA 2016132128.

Experts call for more awareness on glaucoma

R Kolawole Samson, a retired civil servant returned from work, ate his supper and went to bed but waking up the next day, he realised he couldn’t see again. Family, friends and neighbours attributed his sudden blindness to “a spiritual attack” but when he sought the help of ophthalmologists, it was discovered he had glaucoma - a disease popularly called the “thief of the eye”. Describing what glaucoma is, during the meeting of Glaucoma Association of Nigeria (GAN), LUTH branch, Consultant ophthalmologist at the teaching hospital, Dr Adeola Onakoya, said glaucoma is an eye disease which gradually causes vision loss. According to her, this usually happens when the optic nerves that carries images from the eye to the brain becomes damaged. People, Onakoya said cannot feel the pressure that causes glaucoma, adding that they need an eye examination to check the pressure and the health of their optic nerve. She said: “This results in gradual vision loss. It usually begins in the side vision before slowly move inward until the vision is lost completely if left untreated. In most

By Wale Adepoju and Olatunde Odebiyi

cases, the optic nerve becomes damaged by the pressure inside the eye called intraocular pressure (IOP). “When the pressure in the eye is too high, it pushes on the cells that make up the optic nerve. Over time, this is pressure damages the cells and causes them to die eventually. This is what causes permanent vision loss. Damage to the optic nerve can happen slowly, so it is difficult to notice.” Onakoya said about two million people are living with the ailment in Nigeria. This figure, she said, represented about 20 per cent of people above 40 years.

She said no fewer than 200,000 people are blind across the world, adding that glaucoma is the second leading cause of visual impairment after cataract. It also represents 17 per cent, she said. Onakoya, who is a glaucoma specialist, said of 4.2 per cent blindness rate glaucoma represents 0.7 according to the Nigeria National Blindness Survey 2005 to 2007. She said no fewer than 2,400 glaucoma patients visit LUTH monthly to receive treatment, adding that majority of them present late. She said everybody can get glaucoma but the condition is common in older people, especially those above 60 years. “Also, people with IOP and those

When the pressure in the eye is too high, it pushes on the cells that make up the optic nerve. Over time, this is pressure damages the cells and causes them to die eventually. This is what causes permanent vision loss

with family history of the condition. Black Africans and Asians. People who are very near-sighted. People who use steroids to treat conditions such as asthma and those who have had eye injuries or eye surgery, which can damage the pressureregulating system of the eye. She said patients can use medications such as eye drop to lower the pressure of the eye. Laser therapy or surgery can be used if the medications are not enough. These treatment, she said should begin early because once vision is lost, it could not be recovered. Chairman, GAN, LUTH Branch, Chief Adesiyakan Adeduro recommended regular eye check to ensure early detection of glaucoma. He noted that the best way to treat glaucoma is for it not to lead to blindness, adding that medications such as eye drops are essential to prevent going blind. “The condition is hard to manage because of the fund involved as eye drops are quite expensive and not many patients can afford them,” he stated. Prof Adebukunola Adefula-Ositelu urged people living with eye problem to take medications appropriately. She advised that no drug


•Chairman, Ojodu Local Council Development Area, Hon Julius Olumuyiwa Oloro, his wife, Bolanle (left); vice-chairman, Hon Abiodun Ayileka (third right) with the council officers at the commissioning of Anipupo Street, Oke-Ira, Ojodu

should be taken late at night, especially shortly before bed time to avoid it having adverse effect on the eyes. Eye drops are to help stabilise the eye pressure, she added. She said: “People with eye problem must always keep to doctors appointment and must complete treatment. Do not lie down with your eyes faced down, because this would bring up the eye pressure and thus damage the eye.” Onakoya said water was good for the body but noted that a glaucoma patient should not take more than half a cup at a time every 30 minutes than gulping down two cups and more. She stressed that the correct and timely use of anti-oxidants, eye drops as well as eating of raw fruits and vegetables such as cabbage, garden egg and grape would help in the recovery of the eye. Head of Department, Ophthalmology, LUTH, Prof Folasade Akinsola said patients should keep to their appoitment date in the clinic and use their medications correctly. She advised that when applying the eye drop, it should be dropped on the lower part of the eyes and the eyes should be closed gently.

‘The mentally ill need help’

IGERIANS have been urged not to discriminate against the mentally sick, especially those who have Schizophrenia. They should help to get medical attention for such people, says the Medical Director, Triumph Medical Centre, Dr Deji Morenikeji. He spoke at a lecture organised by Cutler Ogilvy PR, to mark the World Schizophrenia Day. In Nigeria, one in a 100 has Schizophrenia, he said. “Yet, the populace tends to miss them out. The early signs include social withdrawal, hostility or suspiciousness, deterioration of personal hygiene, flat, expressionless gaze, inability to cry or express joy or inappropriate laughter or crying. So, also, they exhibit depression, insomnia (over sleeping), odd or irrational statements, forgetfulness, unable to concentrate, extreme reaction to criticism or strange use of words or way of speaking,” he said. Continuing he said: “Schizophrenia can occur at any age, but it is more common between ages 16 up to 40. 30 to 50 per cent of Schizo-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

phrenia patients lack insight and has high tendency or increased suicide risk, as he or she feels abandoned. The causes are not readily established, but traceable to combination of genetic and environmental factors and abnormal brain structure.” He said though there is no cure for the condition, the illness can be successfully treated and managed: “The key thing is to have a strong support system in place and get the right treatment for the person’s needs. An early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications and improve the chance of recovery. “People with Schizophrenia don’t need to be hospitalised as it can be managed via medication, education, individual, group and family therapy and hospitalisation, which is the last option.” The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Cutler Ogilvy PR, Laura Oloyede, said her organisation was creating awareness on Schizophrenia as a mental disorder.



To critics, the council may not be doing anything. But that is not true. One thing I would like our people to know is that the amount available to us is quite small. In the face of this, there are so many things competing for attention

Are Lagos councils living up to expectation?


N the last 14 years, Lagos State, also known as the Centre of Excellence, has been the benchmark for development. The state is made up of 20 local government areas and 37 local council development authorities (LCDA). That brings the total number of local councils to 57. But how much value are the council areas adding to the development in the state? While some people think they are doing the little they can, many people are of the view that they are not adding any value. The common perception is that they are not doing enough to ensure that the citizens enjoy the dividend of democracy. Lagos lawyer Chief Fred Agbaje told The Nation that he had written three different letters to the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola over the bad roads in Agboyi/Ketu, LCDA where he resides. He said the governor, in a response to his last letter, promised to visit the area during the last Sanitation Day, but for some reasons, he did not turn up. Agbaje said the Adisa Balogun/ Igboho Street is a major road that leads to Ogudu, the expressway to Oshodi and Third Mainland Bridge and it also connects the expressway that goes to Ketu and straight on to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Agbaje said: “This road is the shortest route for people going to Ikorodu from Lagos. If they wish to avoid the traffic gridlock at Ketu, all they need to do is just go through there and come out at Ajelogo axis. The same thing applies to those coming from Ikorodu to Lagos Island in the morning. But the condition of this road is just too bad. With only a little rain the other day, it was impassable. What would happen if there should be a heavy down pour for two or three days? I tell you, one would need a caterpillar to pass through it,” he said. “My appeal to the state governor is that he should do everything possible to fix the road before the rains come in full swing. This is important be-

By Augustine Avwode, Leke Salaudeen and Musa Odoshimoke

cause it is obvious that the local council authorities in Agboyi/Ketu have failed to do anything and it is not willing to do anything to rehabilitate the road. The last time I wrote the governor, I threatened to take the pictures of the road and upload them to the internet for the whole world to see. I gathered that those who received the letter grumbled that ‘Chief Agbaje should not harass the governor alone, he should also harass the council chairman and the authorities there what they have been doing with the allocation they have been receiving’. I don’t know what they are doing there,” Agbaje said. When The Nation sought to speak with the Council’s Information Officer, he was said to be out of the office. The Assistant Information Officer, John Ikpade, claimed that he could not speak on any issue. He however, advised that a formal application be made to the council chairman. In the neighbouring Kosofe Local Government Area, a public affairs analyst said that the council authorities seem to be more interested in providing free bus rides for school children than rehabilitating the roads and streets in the area. He argued that the bus conveying the children often take very long hours to get to school, thereby making the children arrive late to school, primarily because of the poor roads. He said that, if the council authorities should rehabilitate the streets and roads, the parents would take care of how their children and wards would get to school on time. A resident of Alhaji Kazeem Street in Ojota, said the most important thing he would like to see is the rehabilitation of street roads in the local government. He complained that when lorries come into the street to unload goods, they often create difficult situations for the residents. A drive through Emmanuel High Street and



Ayinde Street, which are off Ogudu Road, showed that they urgently need attention. But speaking to The Nation, the council’s Information Officer, Mr Kehinde Daniel, said the local government has performed well in the last two years. He said critics fail to appreciate the fact that the council areas have access to limited resources while there are a lot of things waiting to be attended to. He said, in the light of such a development, the council can only prioritise and take such identified project one at a time. He produced a list of the projects that have been completed by the council and urged people to come forward and be well briefed before concluding that the council was not working. “To critics, the council may not be doing anything. But that is not true. One thing I would like our people to know is that the amount available to us is quite small. In the face of this, there are so many things competing for attention. So, the inevitable thing to do is to make a wish list and prioritise the same, such that the most important ones are attended to first. It is, therefore, important for us to take one thing at a time. With time, all these things people are talking about will be touched. “They should look at what has been done before and exercise patience, knowing full well that the

chairman and his team are here to meet the need of the people of this council area,” he said. According to a record of projects presented to our reporter, the council undertook a total of 24 projects under the general heading of Works and Housing Department in year 2012. These include reconstruction of drains, construction of culverts, renovation of public offices and rehabilitation of Kujore street, Ojota. It carried out the repair of collapsed drains, construction of boreholes, installation of transformers, rehabilitation of blocks of classrooms and construction of event centre in the Ogudu area office, Ogudu. The document also listed other areas of where the council has worked to include education, medical, environmental, agriculture and poverty alleviation. Alimoso, one of the largest councils in the state, still has a lot to do. Starting from major roads like the Egbeda-Akowonjo road, it is evident that the authorities need to do more to ease traffic congestion, which is caused by flood that submerge the road during rainy season. At the Idimu Egbeda LCDA, the chairman was commended for what he is doing. According to a resident, he has constructed several link roads and also sunk several boreholes to ease the problem of shortage of water faced by the people in the area.

A taxi driver, Mr Owolabi Taiwo, who lives in the area said: “Hon. Adebayo Bello is trying as far as we are concerned, there is no doubt that he has put to judicious use the resources at his disposal and I think if other council chairmen emulate him, Lagos State will live up to the expectation of a mega city. The Governor, Babatunde Fashola is doing very well but he must be complemented by the council chairmen to make the whole thing work together.” The Chairman of Oriade LCDA, Hon Ibrahim Sanusi, said: “Local Governments in Lagos have been constructing roads, there is no local government that has not tarred one or two roads. Local governments now use good edifices as their secretariat. In the area of health, most local governments in the state now have their health centres and that is why there is reduction in mortality rate due to the health care services. We have renovated one or two primary schools to show our concern for quality education. We have also put in place poverty alleviation programmes for our youths. “In as much the local councils have not relented on their oars in the performance of their duties, the truth is that Local Governments still battle with the Federal Government over the allocation of funds in Lagos due to the creation of 37 LCDA. Therefore, it has brought about appropriation of funds between Local governments and the Local Council Development Area”. Ayodele Adewale, the Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, said: “The people of Amuwo Odofin alone are 1.8 million people, I use the resources to carry out duties in a federal estate. The Federal Government has not attended to Festac Town for over 25 years. The biggest challenge is funding because local government is the tier of government that is closest to the people. Expectedly, people want the council to solve all their social problems as quickly as possible but the fund is not there to shoulder such responsibilities”. He appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of Local Governments by increasing the funds and also taking responsibilities of infrastructural projects like roads and electricity.

NGO supports kids


LAWOLE Lanre Akinsanmi (OLA) Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) is doing quite a lot for children in Lagos State. The foundation is sponsoring their education, counselling and also helping to develop their talents, including singing, acting, dancing and creative works, among others. Speaking at a programme organised by the NGO, the co-ordinator, Mrs Folayemi Akinsanmi said the foundation aims to help the needy and the less privileged in the society for them become positively relevant. “We pick the children from the streets, meet their parents or guardians and we put them in good schools. We help them to build on various talents and we teach the out-of-school youths and women some skills like catering, cake making, soap making, and decoration, so that they can face life independently. She added that the NGO counsels

•Mrs Akinsanmi, OLA coordinator (middle), with officials and children cared for by the NGO at the event By Olatunde Odebiyi

the children in effort to motivate them and to change their orientation about life positively. We offer them de-worming programme, community health talk and free screening to detect diabetes and high blood pres-

sure among others. She said: “The main purpose of setting up the foundation was to encourage the interest of Nigerian students in the field of engineering to be creative and learn more about the new areas of engineering as these are areas that will fast-track national development.”

Mrs Akinsanmi however called on government to come to the aid of children and make the future brighter for them. Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr Oladotun Akinsanmi said children are to be loved and cherished. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to make a positive impact in the life of


the children. The child we fail to train today will become a threat to the society. We need to alleviate their suffering and put smiles on their faces, he said. Mrs Stella Oke advised children to exhibit godly character. She also urged parents, guardians and teachers to give moral instruction to the children.















NSE to halt, close market on extreme equities volatility

HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is proposing a rule that will empower it to; in the first instance of extraordinary market volatility, halt trading at the secondary market and in the event of continuing extreme volatility, close down the market for the day. The draft rule, obtained by The Nation, has already been approved by the National Council of the NSE and is currently undergoing process of exposure to stakeholders for their inputs, before the final draft will be presented to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for final approval. The Rule 170, which will be added to Rules and Regulations Governing Dealing Members, seeks to empower NSE to halt trading in all securities for 30 minutes in the event of five per cent market-wide decline as indicated by the All Share Index (ASI). The NSE’s circuit breakers will be triggered immediately once the ASI declined by five per cent. According to the rule, the market will be closed for the day if at the resumption of the 30-minute break, the,

By Taofik Salako

market witness further decline of five per cent. The NSE currently has a 10 per cent single-stock circuit breaker, which limits the daily allowable change in the price of any equity to 10 per cent. The ASI-based market-wide circuit breaker will operate in addition to the single stock limit. It should be noted that the stock market had in June recorded its largest single daily decline of 3.88 per cent since 2011. In the throes of the market recession in 2008, the market had declined by more than nine per cent in a day. In a supporting note to the rule, head, legal and regulation, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Tinuade Awe, said that the new rule was necessitated by the recent bearish trends in the market and the need to provide for an orderly and efficient market. According to her, the NSE believes that the trade-halt rule is relevant, meaningful and effective in today’s highspeed electronic securities markets.

“Given the highly-automated nature of today’s markets and improvements in connectivity, the Exchange believes that a trading halt of 30 minutes would be sufficient to allow market participants an opportunity to assess a serious market decline and express their trading interest, with relatively little disruption to the market. Management is of the view that should the market decline by a further five per cent after an initial index circuit breaker trigger of per cent, for a total of 10 per cent; the market should be closed for the day. A 10 per cent market-wide move is highly unusual in this market, and time should be given for the market to recollect itself before opening the next day,” Awe stated. She pointed out that the new rule seeks to promote just and equitable principles of trade, remove impediments and improve the mechanism of a free and open market as well as protect investors and the public interest. She said the NSE expected that triggering of the index circuit breakers will be a relatively rare event that will address severe market declines and enable stabilization in the market and in view of the short duration of their intervention, the circuit breakers should still be able to accomplish their goal.





AfDB eyes $1.5b bonds in Nigeria, Zambia


HE African Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to raise as much as $1.5 billion in local-currency bonds in Nigeria and Zambia to finance infrastructure projects. This became exigent as emerging-market bond yields rise on speculation the Federal Reserve will reduce economic stimulus, Bloomberg report said. The AfDB, which gives money to African governments for projects in areas such as roads, ports and energy, is completing the planned size of the

Stories by Collins Nweze

medium-term note programmes and is in talks with authorities in the two countries, Olivier Eweck, financial technical services manager in the bank’s treasury department, said. “Before the end of the month, we would have made up our minds on the numbers,” he said. The Nigerian (bonds) issues may be worth as much as $1 billion and the Zambian debt may reach the kwacha equivalent of $500 million. It said African countries are step-


FirstBank signs $100m pact with China Development Bank

IRST Bank of Nigeria Limited yesterday signed a $100 million facility agreement with China Development Bank (CDB), a leading bank in the Peoples’ Republic of China. In a statement, FirstBank said the agreement is in line with its bid to boost lending to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. It is also expected to stimulate economic growth in the country.


day, JPMorgan Chase & Co. data showed. Borrowing costs on nairadenominated debt due January 2022 rose to a 10-month high of 14.73 percent on June 11, three weeks after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke indicated stimulus may be scaled back. Nigeria raised $1 billion of fiveyear and 10-year Eurobonds for power projects on July 2. The sale followed Rwanda’s $400 million issue in April, while Ghana and Kenya have announced plans to sell international debt in 2013.

ping up sales of local and foreign debt, targeting funds for infrastructure on a continent where many lack regular access to services such as water and electricity. The offers come as borrowing costs increase amid speculation that the Fed will begin scaling back a United States debt-buying programme that pumped cheap money into assets around the world, including emerging markets. Yields on emerging-market bonds rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 5.86 per cent on Mon-

The signing of the landmark agreement, witnessed by President Goodluck Jonathan, who is on a State visit to China; and his host, President Xi Jinping of China, reinforces the bank’s leadership position as a national icon and global player. The FirstBank Group Managing Director, Bisi Onasanya is a member of the Presidential delegation which also includes four state governors and 10 cabinet ministers.

According to the document signed by the managements of the two banks, both lenders will work together to further strengthen the business cooperation between both parties within the framework of each party’s respective articles and memorandum of association and applicable laws and regulations in Nigeria and China. “Specifically, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) provides for a comprehensive cooperation between FirstBank and China Development Bank in the on-lending facility of $100 million to Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria, while also touching areas like credit lines, trade finance, syndication and project finance, consultancy services, sharing of business experience and foreign Exchange transactions,” it said. Onasanya said the partnership with CDB is in line with its strategic focus on financial inclusion as it would address the challenges of credit delivery to the unbanked market’s segment in Nigeria.

UBA inaugurates World MasterCard


NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has introduced World MasterCard, which it said is the most exclusive card in the MasterCard staple. In a statement, the bank said the introduction of the product is consistent with its focus of providing appropriate product to every customer segment, including high networth customers who cherish rare and exclusive privileges.

Head, Cards, UBA Plc., Adédèjì Olówè, said the card programme, which is available by invitation only, can be tied to either the naira, US Dollar, Pounds Sterling or Euro domiciliary account. He emphasised that the product offers a chockfull of benefits such as travel accident and inconvenience insurance; extended warranty; purchase protection; concierge services; and emergency cardholder services. The card, Adédèjì

stated, is exclusively made from a rare alloy of silver nickel, only a few materials of which exist in the world. “The heft of the material is its signature. The recognition of the programme has afforded it the highly coveted MasterCard premium hologram. In addition, there is a great security service protecting our esteemed customers everywhere they shop with Fraud Protection and MasterCard Zero Liability,” he added.

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


OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012







1.45 0.54 2.03 2.00 49.00 1.19 1.80 1.95 82.99 185.00

1.59 0.59 2.15 2.10 51.41 1.24 1.85 2.00 85.00 189.00

0.14 0.05 0.12 0.10 2.41 0.05 0.05 0.05 2.01 4.00

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

Year Start Offer

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%


O/PRICE 67.00 7.22 4.89 1.46 0.58 2.95 3.79 4.53 1.52 0.69

C/PRICE 60.30 6.50 4.41 1.32 0.53 2.70 3.48 4.21 1.43 0.65

CHANGE 6.70 0.72 0.48 0.14 0.05 0.25 0.31 0.32 0.09 0.04

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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



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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 9-07-13



NGOLA pushed back plans for the start of stock-exchange trading by a year to 2016, with a futures and commodities market in Africa’s second-biggest oil producer set to begin a year later. “There might be a window of opportunity to start earlier depending on how things go” in developing the bourse, Archer Mangueira, the chairman of the country’s Capital Markets Commission, told Bloomberg. in a June 28 interview at the London Stock Exchange. Two months ago, Mangueria said it would begin operations in 2015. Angola expects its stock exchange to have a market value of 10 per cent of gross domestic product within 18 months of its start up, he said. Angola’s largest banks, which include Banco Angolano de Investimentos SA and Banco de Poupanca e Credito SA, as well as mobile-phone companies Unitel SA and Movicel Telecomunicacoes Lda., are expected to list on the exchange, he said. Angola, which is seeking to boost foreign investment after a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002, forecasts economic growth of 7.1 per cent this year from 7.4 per cent in 2012. Crude accounts for three-quarters of budget revenue, according to the International Monetary Fund. Mangueira’s “commission is already working on the definition of standardized contracts for certain kinds of financial products,” he said of plans to trade futures and commodities. Angola sold $1 billion of dollar bonds to selected investors maturing in 2019 at a yield of seven per cent in August. After the bonds rallied in 2012, yields on the notes have risen 134 basis points, or 1.34 percentage points, this year to 6.427 per cent.



Angola shifts stock markets plans to 2016

Offer Price

Bid Price


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833







Taraba Acting Governor sacks SSG, five commissioners, two advisers


From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

ARABA State Acting Governor Garba Umar has sacked the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), five commissioners and two advisers. The decision, Umar said, followed a resolution of the House of Assembly which it passed at its sitting yesterday. Sacked are: Ambassador Emmanuel Unjiwa (SSG); Commissioner for Agriculture, Anthony Jeloson; Rebo Usman (Water Resources and Rural Development); Yakubu Agbaizo (Education); Jonah Agyo (Works); Charity Green (Women Affairs and Child Development); Speacial Adviser on Revenue Matters, Joshua Augustine and his Border Development counterpart, Manasseh Kaura. They were indicted by the Assembly for allegegedly failing to account for the N400 million Federal Government Intervention Fund for the 2012 flood disaster in the state. The Assembly said the flood fund was politicised and mismanaged. It alleged that the indicted public officers allgedly undermined the trust of their offices. The affected officials are to return the sums the allegedly misappropriated or face prosecution. Umar, in a statement by his Press Secretary, Kefas Sule, directed the officials to hand over to their Permanent Secreatries or the most senior officers in the ministries. The Commissioner for Health, Mustapha Hammangabbo, has resigned and his resignation was accepted by the acting governor.

•From left: The Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Kaduna State, Malam Danjuma Akuso; Governor Mukhtar Yero; Police Commissioner Olufemi Adenaike and Deputy Governor Nuhu Bajoga, at the inauguration of 23 vehicles for Divisional Police Stations in Kaduna...yesterday. INSET: Some of the vehicles.

‘Nine killed in Benue communal clash’


HE Benue State Police Command has said nine persons were killed on Monday in a communal clash in Awe, a Benue/Nasarawa boundary town. Police spokesman, Daniel Ezeala, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital. Ezeala said the deceased have been deposited at the Gbajimba General Hospital morgue in Guma. He said the command was investigating the cause of the clash, adding that it had not made a formal complaint to any security agency on the clash. The spokesman said the police recovered the bodies following a widespread rumour on the killing. Ezeala assured that the situation was under control. He urged the people to go about their businesses without fear of molestation. The Chairman of Guma Local Government Area Mr Usa Adi said the assailants

One killed, 20 injured as gunmen attack beer spot in Benue SOME gunmen have killed a man at a beer parlour in Kyado, Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State. The attackers also injured several others and burnt houses. The victim, identified as Mr Msughaondo Lamana, was reportedly beaten to death by the gunmen, who were armed with clubs, knives and guns. A resident, Terhile Shikaan, and several others were said to have sustained machete cuts on their heads. They are receiving treatment in hospitals. The attack occurred at 8pm on Monday when some customers gathered at Sunny Beer Parlour in Kyado to relax. The 20 gunmen reportedly stormed the place and started beating up people and destroying property. It was learnt that the police in Ukum Divisional Unit were drafted in the area to prevent reprisal attack and maintain order. Mr. Tyowua Torsen, the owner of the drinkrazed three villages in Njorov District of Guma. He said several residents of the affected villages, who fled to neighbouring villages for safety, have not returned.

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

ing spot, told The Nation that the incident occurred between 8.30pm and 9pm when he was on his way to Makurdi, the state capital, for an urgent engagement. He said the gunmen killed his younger brother, Msughaondo. Torsen said: “I was on my way from Kyado to Makurdi for an engagement when I was called on phone that the chairman of Ukum Local Government, Teryima Nguher, allegedly sent some thugs to my beer parlour. The thugs inquired from the manager about my whereabouts. Having told them that I was not around, they beat up Dooior Anza. They also killed Msughaondo Lamana and injured scores of others.” But Nguher denied the allegation. Police spokesman, said Daniel Ezeala, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the incident. He said investigation has begun into the matter.

The council chairman appealed to security agencies, especially soldiers drafted to Guma, to forestall further breakdown of law and order. Adi accused the villages on the Nassarawa/Benue

Belgore opposes renaming of Kwara Varsity after Saraki

Gombe PDP chairman dead

•Greets Muslims at Ramadan


PPOSITION swelled yesterday against the proposed renaming of the Kwara State University (KWASU) after the strongman of the state’s politics, the late Dr Olusola Saraki. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), dismissed the move as a “recipe for future chaos and disunity”. The senior lawyer also congratulated Muslims on the dawn of another Ramadan fasting, which begins today. He said: “As we thank the Almighty God for sparing our lives to witness another Ramadan, I enjoin all Kwarans to reflect on the lessons of sacrifice, self-denial and discipline during and after the holy month, because these qualities are required of all of us in our collective search for a truly prosperous Kwara and Niger-

ia.” Belgore was ACN governorship candidate in the 2011 election. In a statement by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye, the ACN chieftain noted that the decision to rename the public-owned KWASU after Saraki “heightens the widespread worry that Kwara State is being turned into a personal fiefdom”. The statement added: “Saraki was a political leader and, therefore, we should not politicise an academic institution. Moreso, his political leadership was a partisan one. He was not known to have made any significant contribution to education in the state. He was not known to have even enjoyed universal political acceptance throughout the length and breadth of the state. It is, therefore, wrong and in-

boundary of harbouring bandits, who were responsible for the recurring clash. He advised the government of both states to fish out the killers.

From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

T •Belgore

defensible to name an institution, which belongs to the entire people of the state, after such a figure. It is a dangerous precedent. “The Kwara State Government is best advised not to go ahead with it, as the decision risks being reversed in the same way that the President’s decision to rename the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as Moshood Abiola University was reversed, despite Abiola’s undisputed contributions to education - including his many educational endowments - nationwide.”

HE Chairman of Gombe State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jack Gynako Gumpy, is dead. He reportedly died yesterday of renal failure at 6am at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe. He was 72. The late Gumpy was from Nyuwar in Balanga Local Government Area. He was a 1993 graduate of Political Science from Ohio State University in the United States of America. The late politician served in various capacities, including the National Assembly, where he was a member of the House of Representatives from the old Bauchi State. The late Gumpy is survived by a wife, 15 children and several grandchildren. His family has not announced his burial rites.

Aliyu alleges plan to inflate census figures


From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

HE Chairman of the Northern States’ Governors’ Forum (NSGF) and Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has decried plans by some officials of the National Population Commission (NPC) to inflate the population figures of a geopolitical zone during the next national census. The governor spoke yesterday in Minna, the state capital, at the passing out ceremony of 300 members of Chanchaga Local Government Area’s vigilance group. He said such move would put a question mark on the exercise. Aliyu alleged that some workers of the commission have predetermined the outcome of the head count before it is conducted. The governor cautioned that “since 1960, we have not had a generally acceptable figure and it will be wrong if we already have a pre-determined figure before the exercise...”

Appeal Court sacks Olofa


From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

N Appeal Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday sacked the Olofa of Offa, Offa Local Government Area, Oba Mufutau Mohammodu Gbadamosi (Esuwoye II). The court also restrained him from parading himself as the Olofa of Offa and ordered the government to immediately instal the appellant, Prince AbdulRauf Adegboyega Keji, who is from the Olugbense ruling house, as the Olofa. The Olugbense ruling house contested the installation of Oba Gbadamosi, who is from the Anilelerin ruling house, whose predecessor, the late Oba Mustapha Olawore Olanipekun, was also from the same ruling house. A High Court of Kwara State, last year, affirmed the appointment and installation of the deposed monarch as the Olofa. Dissatisfied, counsel to the appellants, John Olusola Bayeshea (SAN), headed to the Appellate Court for redress. The claimants/appellants, in their prayers, sought the following: •an order nullifying the appointment and installation of the fifth defendant as the Olofa and removing him forthwith from the stool; •an order compelling the first to fourth defendants to accept the nomination of the second claimant as the Olofa of Offa; •an order compelling the seventh defendant to approve the appointment of the second claimant as the Olofa of Offa; and •a further order compelling the state government to instal Prince Keji as the Olofa of Offa and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the fifth defendant from parading himself as the Olofa of Offa...

Kwankwaso seeks World Banks support for irrigation


From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has said the World Bank has a big role to play in the socio-economic development of the state. The governor spoke at the Government House in Kano when he received the global bank’s Country Director in Nigeria, Ms. Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly. He said the bank could support the development of irrigation because of the state’s vast water resources. According to him, Kano State has about 23 dams, which he said were being underutilised for agricultural development. Kwankwaso said: “We have 23 dams and we can make use of this water for the good of our people. But the government cannot do everything alone at a time. So, we need your support so that we can focus on one sector and move ahead.” The governor said his administration was focusing on education and infrastructure development, adding that with the bank’s support, the government can succeed in agriculture and allied sectors. Marie-Nelly said she was in the state to discuss how the World Bank could support the government on improving commercial agriculture and the fight against HIV/AIDS.



NEWS Osun provides N2.2b to replace BOUT N2.2 billion water pipes


has been set aside in the 2013 budget by the Osun State Government to replace obsolete pipes and improve water supply. Addressing a news conference yesterday in Osogbo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Tawa Williams, an engineer, said the amount was different from the N2 billion earlier made available by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration for the rehabilitation of the Waterworks at Ede. The Special Adviser, who said the rehabilitation of the Ede Waterworks has begun, added that the current administration is on course in its efforts to ensure that residents enjoy potable water.


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

She said: “When the present administration came to office in November 2010, six major waterworks were operating below their designed capacities. The 33 micro waterworks serving other semiurban centres of the state were at different stages of disrepair. This situation is changing as money has been provided for the operation and maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of some of them. “The Aregbesola administration has its work cut out. Government is redressing the water challenges from two fronts.”

Man ‘kills’ wife in Anambra

HERE was tragedy yesterday in Amaezike Village in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State when a man in his mid-40s allegedly killed his wife for refusing to leave the house for his mistress. A source said the man was having an affair with his wife’s friend to the chagrin of his wife. He said: “Yesterday, the

From From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

man came home with his mistress and told his wife to leave. The woman refused and the man allegedly hit her on the neck. She died instantly. “It was their daughter who raised the alarm, which attracted passersby. The man and his girlfriend have been arrested by the police.”

Flood: 66,000 share N400m


From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

VER 66,000 victims of last year’s floods from 1,025 communities in Niger State have benefited from the N400 million donated to by the Federal Government. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Emergency Management, Mohammed Shaba, spoke yesterday in Minna, the state capital, when he addressed reporters on the level of preparation for this year’s rainy season. He said N335 million was used to purchase materials while N50 million was used to build clinics and other structures. Besides the Federal Government’s donation, the special adviser said the state also spent N150 million on flood victims last year and another N20 million on logistics to sensitise the affected communities. The beneficiaries, who cut across the 20 local governments, were classified into three categories .

Anambra governorship poll Nov 16

•Prof Adelabu teaching Primary 5 pupils of SUBEB Model Nursery and Primary School, Efon Alaaye...yesterday

Ekiti Deputy Governor, Fayemi’s wife, monarch, others teach in school


ARENTS have been advised to visit their children’s’ school from time to time. Such visits are not only to monitor the progress of their wards but also to encourage teachers and compliment their efforts at preparing the children for a better future through secular education. The advice was given by the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu in Efon Alaaye-Ekiti yesterday at the second edition of “Reading Parents Initiative.” The event was held at the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB Model Nursery and Primary School,

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the Anambra State governorship election for November 16. According to the timetable and schedule for the election released in Awka yesterday, campaigns by political parties would begin on August 18. A statement by INEC’s spokesman Frank Egbo said run-off election (if any), will be held within seven days of the announcement of the result of the election. Other dates for activities are- collection of forms begins on August 26; while submission of forms CF001 and CF002 is September 17. The last date for conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes, arising from the primaries, is September 2. The last day for withdrawal by candidate (s), replacement of and withdrawal of candidates by will be October 2. The last day for campaigns had been placed for November 15.

Orubebe seeks peace in Warri


HE Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, has called on the Ijaw and Itsekiri to embrace peace. Four Itsekiri were allegedly killed by Ijaw in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State last week. Orubebe, who made the call yesterday, described the clash as a setback to the inter-ethnic harmony between the two groups. Orubebe said the Ijaw and the Itsekiri were neighbours brought together by God. He urged the government and law enforcement agents to investigate the cause of the crisis. The minister added that the perpetrators were incurring

the wrath of God. He said while it was normal for neighbours to disagree, he advised that such issues should be dealt with through dialogue. “The Ijaw and Itsekiri have a history of living together. They have intermarried and breed children together. There is no Ijaw family you will enter that you not see the trace of Itsekiri, so also it is for the Itsekiri family. They do things together. So why must they be fighting and killing themselves? “I guess this must be the work of the devil and God will not allow it. Thank God that the government and security agents are working to put the crisis under control.”


siblings who can read well read to the younger ones so that the dying reading culture among pupils will be resuscitated. The Deputy Governor, the Governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the Alaaye of Efon Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Emmanuel Aladejare, Commissioner for Culture, Arts and Tourism, Chief Ronke Okusanya and some other government officials went into various classes to read and teach comprehension to the pupils. Prof Adelabu told reporters after teaching the pupils that she is naturally and professionally trained as a teacher. She described the reading

parent initiative as quite interesting and educationally benefiting to both the pupils and the parent as it affords the parents the unique opportunity to teach. She also expressed her delight at the way the pupils read the passage, responded to questions thrown at them and expressed themselves without grammatical errors. According to her, it was an indication that the efforts of Fayemi administration in the education sector is already yielding expected result. Mrs Fayemi praised the state government for the programme which she described as an arrowhead towards assisting the pupils understand comprehension passages and the use of dictionaries.

Man arrested with fake N1m currency

MAN, Stephen Okolie Chukwu, has been arrested with N1 million in fake N1,000 notes in Ebonyi State. Police spokesman Sylvester Igbo said the suspect, who hails from Umuegbe Amaifeke in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, was arrested at a Bureau de Change in Abakaliki, the state capital, where he went to change the money into United States (US) dollars. He said: “Through a tip off, operatives from the Ebonyi State Police Command arrested Stephen Okolie Chukwu when he went to Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal’s bureau de change to change N1million of N1000 denomination into US dollars.


Efon Alaaye. Noting that children usually feel happy and attentive when they see their parents in school premises, she enjoined parents to come and read comprehension passages to the pupils and even teach them any other subjects they are good at, adding that the aim of the Reading Parent Initiative is to encourage reading culture among pupil and as well foster more cordiality between the parents and the school. Prof. Adelabu also urged literate parents not to limit such activities to when they visit the schools alone but to also read to their children at home while advising unlettered parents to let the older

•Fake notes flood Anambra •Suspects on the run From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki and Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

“On close examination of the notes, Lawal suspected that the notes were fake and deceived the suspect to a bank where the money was confirmed to be fake by the bank.” The suspect, who allegedly confessed to the crime, said he bought the notes from Ugo, who is based in Oguta in Imo State, at the rate of N150, 000. He also admitted that he had engaged in the illicit business in the past but on a smaller scale. In Anambra State, some men, suspected to be mer-

‘This aroused her curiosity and she looked at the money they gave her and noticed it was fake’ chants of fake naira notes, narrowly escaped being lynched in Uga community. An eyewitness, Camilus Nnadozie, said the men posed as buyers and bought three bags of fertlisers from his wife at Oye Uga. Nnadozie said: “These men went around to five other traders, mostly sales

girls, before one of them raised the alarm but they escaped before traders mobilised. “The whistle blower sold N4,500 recharge cards and was given N5,000 but there was difficulty in getting the balance which they asked her to keep. “This aroused her curiosity and she looked at the money they gave her and noticed it was fake. “I think these people are members of a syndicate because I have heard they operate in Onitsha and Umunze.” Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka could not be reached for comments.

Obong of Calabar calls for unity

HE Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, has called for unity among the Efik people. He said if they are united they would achieve more for their kingdom. Speaking at a solemn assembly at the Palace in Calabar yesterday, Otu said the developments of the past few days were for all parties

•Ani heads for Supreme Court From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

to learn and correct wherever they faltered. He implored his subjects to surrender themselves and endeavour to go closer to God because nothing can be beyond His capacity. However, one of the con-

testants to the throne, Etubom Anthony Ani has led four other litigants to the Supreme Court to challenge the July 4 Appeal Court judgment which nullified Otu’s selection as the Obong of Calabar. The court ordered for a fresh selection and Out was cleared to contest but Ani disqualified.

Ani, through his counsel, Joe Agi (SAN), is seeking a stay of execution of the judgment. He argued that if the Appeal Court judgment is not stayed, “the appellants’/applicants’ right of appeal will be paralysed (and) if the appeal succeeds, it will create a situation of helplessness and make the judgment of the Appeal Court nugatory”.




EFCC appeals court’s decision on ex- Works Minister

Death penalty: I stand by the constitution, says Oshiomhole T


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said he will abide by the dictates of the Nigerian Constitution which he swore to and not the laws of any European country or the whims of some activists. The governor said the international community cannot dictate to Nigeria on which values it should adhere to. He said there is so much hypocrisy by the international community on the issue of human rights. Speaking at a one-day seminar on the Role of the Public Complaints Commission in a Democratic Government in Nigeria, Oshiomhole said Nigeria as a sovereign nation has a right to define its own national values. He said: “Nigeria is a sovereign nation and we have a right to define what we regard as our own national values. No national interest is defined by others. “As we speak, nations and humans are involved in the

battle of ideas on the basis of different value systems and it will be an abuse of my own value system if someone chooses to assume that his values are superior to mine. “I am part of the international community and my views should carry as much weight as the views of any other person in the international community, we cannot assume that the views from London are shared by Abuja. “As a Catholic, I am more fanatical about the sanctity of life. The foundation for human rights is the rule of law, not rule of resolution, not rule of communiqué; not rule of recommendations. “When I was sworn in I swore to the oath that I will obey the constitution. There is no suggestion that I shall obey the United Nations (UN) resolution or the European Union that has not been domesticated by the Nigerian government. I do understand that there is no such thing as universal values.” The governor noted that

‘I am part of the international community and my views should carry as much weight as the views of any other person in the international community, we cannot assume that the views from London are shared by Abuja’


more than half of the states in the United States still subscribe to the death penalty “and we have not heard the EU say anything about them”. Oshiomhole argued that Nigerian values are not less elegant, less human and therefore not less acceptable. “In trying to understand how best to protect the sanctity of human life, if you carry out an act and you confess to it, you shall go. You have no right to tell me that

your values are superior to mine,” he said. Oshiomhole added: “Now they are canvassing same sex marriage. If they think it is right to marry a man in the West, we think it is a crime to marry a man in Africa. African values are superior to European values and we have to push for them to interrogate their own values.” He advised the international community to recognise that Nigeria is not part of the European community.

•Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Water, Ms Tawakalitu Williams flanked by General Manager State Water Corporation Olugbenga Awojuyigbe (left) and the Corporation’s Deputy General Manager, Asafe Odejide, at a briefing on the commencement of full rehabilitation works of Ede Water Works in Osogbo...yesterday.

Woman commits ‘suicide’ after baby’s dedication



From Osagie Otabor, Benin

room with two of his children while his wife slept in the bedroom with their eldest daughter and the baby. Okoruwa said a shout from his daughter at about 2am woke him up and he discovered his wife’s lifeless body dangling from the ceiling. He said: “Recently, she

exhibited some strange behaviour. She was moody; sometimes she will just be staring into space. “When you call her she won’t respond and after several calls, she will respond with a jolt. “I asked her several times if she had any problem but she said she was okay. There was a time she told my eldest daughter to

take care of the children that she would be going away. “I thought she was abandoning the marriage, I pleaded with her and she promised to stay. She complained of some health problems. I asked her to go for tests which she did.” Divisional Police Officer Akpoko Omuohowo confirmed the incident.

JTF arrests Bayelsa monarch, others

HE Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield, has arrested a monarch and three others for alleged oil theft. The suspects were arrested for stealing 2,000 metric tonnes of crude oil on Akassa waterways in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. They were said to have allegedly used an unregistered vessel to steal the product. The monarch, a thirdclass chief, according to the

Robbery suspect killed in Delta


ELTA State Police Command yesterday said it shot dead a suspected robbery kingpin after he tried to evade arrest. The suspect, identified as ThankGod, and his gang allegedly stole goods worth N10 million at a rubber factory in Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area. Police spokesman Lucky Uyabeme said the suspects packed the stolen items into a company truck with registration number XB 322 SAP and headed to an unknown destination. He said acting on a report from the supervisor of Fast Ride Nigeria Ltd, the police with the aid of electronic devices tracked the five suspects to Orlu, Imo State and arrested them. “The suspected ring leader was shot in the leg to incapacitate him but he died from his injuries.” Uyabeme said the other accomplices have allegedly con-

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

fessed to the crime, adding that the loot was disposed off in Aba, Abia State. He said the suspects were employed as security guards by the company. The police spokesman said investigation has begun and efforts are on to arrest receivers of the stolen goods. Twenty one suspected cultists were arrested after operatives stormed their anniversary celebration. Uyabeme said the suspects were members of the NeoBlack Movement of Africa aka “Black Axe” He said items recovered include three expended cartridges, one National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) cap, one NYSC identity card bearing Asikodi Chiedu, one banner with inscription “Black Axe” and one blackberry phone. The police also arrested 42 suspected hoodlums after a raid on their hideout.

Man electrocuted in Edo

•Story on page 58

THIRTY five-yearold woman, identified as Ejobosele Okoruwa, has allegedly committed suicide hours after dedicating her threemonth-old baby in church. Her body was found dangling from a wrapper in her bedroom at Ekpoma in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. The widower, Okoruwa, said he slept in the sitting

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said yesterday that it has appealed last week’s decision by a Federal High Court in Abuja discharging ex-Works Minister Hassan Lawal of charges of money laundering. The commission is asking the Court of Appeal, Abuja to set aside the July 4 ruling of Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Justice Bello, had in his ruling upheld the no-case submission by Lawal and an official of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Adesanye Adewale charged with the ex-Minister on the ground that the EFCC failed to establish a prima facie case against them. In the notice of appeal, EFCC is seeking a review of the ruling of the lower court on two grounds. On the first ground, the EFCC faulted the trial judge for delivering his ruling outside the 90 days period prescribed by the Constitution. Secondly, EFCC argued that the trial court erred by upholding and granting Lawal and Adewale’s application for a no-case submission in spite of the evidential materials, oral and documentary, before the court.

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

state’s ranking of traditional rulers, hails from Twon Brass. He was said to have been apprehended after crew members arrested in the vessel named him as their main sponsor. A security source said JTF had been trailing the monarch before his arrest. The source, who pleaded for anonymity, said some traditional rulers were funding oil theft.

‘We have discovered that some of these monarchs and community heads provide cover and funding for these oil thieves’ “We discovered that the boys came during the night and siphoned crude oil from the pipelines on the Brass-Sagana River in

Akassa area. “We have discovered that some of these monarchs and community heads provide cover and funding for these oil thieves. “We have started collaborating with communities but we will not spare those directly involved in the illicit trade.” JTF’s Media Coordinator Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu said: “I will get in touch with our men in Sagana area and get back to you.”


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

MIDDLE-aged man, Friday Ekuase, was on Monday morning electrocuted in Benin City, the Edo State capital, during a rainfall that lasted more than three hours. His children said their father died while attempting to step out of the house after a high-tension wire fell on the roof of their house. They said the walls were discharging electric current and that their father opened the door for them to run out when he was electrocuted. Public Affairs Manager of the Benin Zone of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)Babatunde Fadipe said they were investigating the incident to prevent a recurrence. He said: “Whatever manner in which the accident occurred the information on ground which we are investigating is that the high-tension wire fell on an area where he lived and unfortunately, he was electrocuted. “As an organisation, we regret the death which is being associated with facilities we control. We are very sad about it because we are not giving light to the dead but to the living”.

‘Stop inflammatory remarks’


YOUTH group in the Lagos State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Total Loyalty Group, has advised Ijaw activist Mujahid Asari-Dokubo to desist from inflammatory statements capable of creating tension in the polity. Its leader, Oluwatoyin Balogun, said the remarks credited to Dokubo on President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition, was worrisome, embarrassing and provocative. He described the Presidency as the joint property of the six geo-political zones. Balogun said it was amateurish to use militants to threaten Nigerians. “We take exception to the statement by Asari-Dokubo that it is either Jonathan or Southsouth or nobody else. Nigeria is bigger than all of us. What we have on ground is the Office of the President of Nigeria, not the President of any geo-political zone. “What will determine whoever emerges as the next president is his track record. It is better for Asari-Dokubo to advise anyone that he is supporting to work hard and earn the trust and confidence of Nigerians. The Presidency is not for those who think they can threaten the country with violence by instigating militants. That was Nigeria of yesterday.”



NEWS ‘Boko Haram ceasefire plan soon’ Continued from page 2

•Polytechnic students protesting against the continued strike and commercialisation of education at Maryland, Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: AKINBEHINJE BUKUNMI

Thugs attack deputy governor as chaos seizes Rivers Assembly Continued from page 2

cy and Nigerians to not only condemn the dastardly and barbaric act, but to resist moves being orchestrated by those under democratic oath to make Rivers State ungovernable. Abe, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), wondered the kind of democracy being practised in Nigeria, if democratic institutions and those elected to make laws could not be protected. The senator, who is a former Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), declared that plans to throw the state into anarchy would not succeed. He admonished well-meaning Rivers people to stand by Amaechi, whom he said was being persecuted for defending the state. Chief Victor Tombari Giadom, the Commissioner for Works, described the action of the anti-Amaechi lawmakers as “pure rascality”. Speaker Amachree said: “As far as this House is concerned, the leadership of the House has not changed. I am the speaker of Rivers House of Assembly and all the other officers and the clerk are here with me. The leadership of the House is intact and what Evans Bipi told you is pure fallacy, lie. “For the House to impeach the speaker, two-thirds of the members must agree. Now, count how many members that are with me here. We are 23 members here; you can count us. No mace was brought into the House.


HE Senate yesterday proposed 180 days within which to hear and dispose of pre-election matters in court. The proposal was contained in a supplementary report presented to the Senate by the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Ike Ekweremadu in Abuja. Ekweremadu said the Bill entitled: “A Bill for an Act to further alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and for other matters connected therewith, 2013” has been consolidated into the report of the Constitution Review Committee of the Senate. He said the provision would be referred to as “Section 285 of the Constitution (Section 9 of the Second Alteration Act) Time for determination of Preelection matters.” He added an appeal emanating from any pre-election matter shall also be heard and dis-

“When we get to the bridge, we will know how to cross it. But every member knows that we have rules and regulations that guide us in our conduct. I will not say anything yet on attempt to impeach me, but the leadership and members of the House will meet and decide on that. “I do not know where the rumour of attempt to impeach Governor Amaechi is coming from. We have just finished our sitting. There was no attempt as far as we are concerned to impeach me or anybody. We are even shocked to hear that. It is not true. Look at us. Can five members sit to impeach the speaker? “We are about 27 members here. We do not know what their aims were, but today, in fact, we did not know there would be chaos in the House. So, we went to the House as usual and we were exchanging pleasantries before Evans Bipi attacked me and the leader of the House. Then Hon. Chinda joined him. But we quickly arrested the situation and started our deliberations. “It is not compulsory that every member must be present at our sitting everyday. Some obtained permission like the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry, who is in Paris, France for a conference. Three others did not attend today’s sitting, but they also obtained permission. There was a kind of chaos before we sat today.” On the role of the police, Amachree said: “I am so sur-

prised and shocked because yesterday, I officially directed the Clerk of the House to write the Commissioner of Police for security, because of what happened on May 6, when some hoodlums invaded the Assembly. “We did not want a repeat of that. So, I directed the Clerk to write to the commissioner of police and also the Brigade Commander, but to my greatest surprise, I did not see one single soldier in the Assembly. “The policemen I saw were acting funny. One of my colleagues was even beaten by the police. The computers in the hallowed chambers were all destroyed by the five honourable members (lawmakers). “In that hallowed chambers, honourable members can do anything there. It happens in every parliament. What we are concerned about is for a member to bring in hoodlums to attack his fellow members. As colleagues, we can fight in the chambers, but outside the chambers, it is unfortunate that the police will also be there and watch hoodlums attack members. “As a House, we will look into it, but we do not have right over the police. What we will do is that we will write to the National Assembly. We will do a presentation or we will send a formal complaint to the National Assembly. The House will continue to sit, but for now, we have adjourned sine die, but we can reconvene anytime. “The governor does not have

the right to spend money or take money from one sub-head to another. He has to ask for approval and that was what he did today.” The five anti-Amaechi lawmakers started arriving the Assembly complex from 8 am and were complete around 9 am, with eight of the 27 pro-Amaechi legislators, led by the House Leader, arriving around 9:40 am. The 13 lawmakers were waiting for the speaker to arrive. They started sitting around 10 am. That angered Lloyd and seven other pro-Amaechi lawmakers, who staged a walkout. The anti-Amaechi lawmakers took over the main chambers. The representative of Port Harcourt III Constituency, Victor Ihunwo, sat on the speaker’s seat and conducted the affairs, with the members calling for the impeachment of the speaker (Amachree) and the entire leadership, after passing a vote of no confidence in them, with the impeachment immediately effected. The Obio/Akpor Constituency I representative, Martins Amaewhule, moved a motion on the election of a new speaker, which was seconded by Kelechi Godspower Nwogu (Omuma Constituency), Bipi was “elected” as the speaker. As soon as Bipi moved to the speaker’s seat, Ihunwo stepped out and the new speaker began the business of the day. Then, Amaechi, the legislators loyal to him, his supporters and security personnel stormed the main chambers, forcing the pro-Wike lawmakers to leave. They stayed around the premises with their supporters.

stances around the incidence of the attack on the Government Secondary School, Mamudo near Potiskum during the weekend. “Led by the Chief of Research and Development in the Defence Headquarters, the team is visiting troops deployed in remote locations in Yobe State to verify the effectiveness of patrols and cordon and search operations directed at forestalling any further breach of security and tracking down perpetrators of the weekend attack. “The team is expected to brief the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad in respect of any requirement for additional troops and logistics for the operation in Yobe State.” Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called on Boko Haram members to disarm totally and permanently in the spirit of the Ramadan fasting period, which begins among Muslim faithful in the country

today. In a good will message to mark the beginning of the 30day long Ramadan fasting by Muslims, the former Vice President appealed to the Boko Haram insurgents to permanently abandon any form of violence against innocent people. According to him, cold-blooded murder of innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and, therefore, advised the Boko Haram insurgents to embrace peace, using the Ramadan season as the beginning of the end of their violence against defenseless victims. Atiku Abubakar advised Boko Haram to embrace dialogue and disarmament to save the nation this needless violence against innocent people. He added: “deliberate violence against innocent people cannot be justified under whatever circumstances and it benefits nobody. The Boko Haram insurgents should take advantage of this Ramadan period to end all forms of violence once and for all, and save us from this endless trauma

Court jails five Boko Haram members Continued from page 2

materials used in blasting rocks on fellow human beings; those who got no defence. “There is no human life that is worthier than the other. These convicts have deliberately used the explosives in the most brutal manner against other Nigerians. “In the circumstance, the first to fourth accused persons are guilty as charged and are sentenced to life imprisonment while the sixth accused is sentenced to 10 years in prison. “For the fifth accused person, Musa Adam, his only offence was that he was a friend of Bashir Madalla, the leader of the sect, Madalla Chapter. “The evidence brought against him is not strong because the charges did not link him to have committed any terrorist act with the rest accused person.

“In his defence, he explained how he warned Bashir Madalla, with whom they were teaching Islamic religion together to refrain from activism.” Speaking after the judgment, Adam said he was overwhelmed with the turn of events. He said words could not explain the joy he felt on being discharged and acquitted. Adam, who said he is an Islamic teacher, recalled that he warned Shuaibu Abubakar when he accepted the doctrine of Boko Haram and decided to team up with them. He said the outcome of the case should teach people that “our religions do not allow the killing of innocent souls”. He said people should learn to live within the teachings of their religions and learn to tolerate others’ beliefs.

RCCG parish celebrates anniversary


N celebration of its 7th anniversary, The Spring of Livingwater Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ogba, Lagos has put together a 5-day programme which will last from Tuesday July 16 to Sunday July 21 at the church’s auditorium. With the theme “God of Perfection”, the 5-day power packed anniversary programme will commence with an anniversary bible study. Other activities lined out for the event include a twoday perfection prayer, praise

onto perception and climax with a thanksgiving service that will hold on Sunday July 21, 2013 at the church auditorium. Speaking about the event, the host pastor, Assistant Pastor Charles Imuzeze noted that the occasion of the parish’s seventh anniversary will also serve as an opportunity to honour past pastors of the parish whose selfless service, dedication and strong foundation have helped in sustaining and leading the parish into greater heights.

Senate proposes 180 days for election cases From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

posed of within 60 days. Ekweremadu said: “We recommend that Section 285 of the Constitution be altered by stipulating a time limit within which pre-election matters shall be filed and determined so that they do not linger in the courts for an unusual length of time. Accordingly, a new sub section 1A (i - iv) is provided as follows: “(i) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution, every pre-election matter shall be filed not later than 7 days from the date of the occurrence of the event, decision or action complained of in the suit. “(ii) A court in every pre-election matter shall deliver its judgement in writing within 180days from the date of filing of the suit. “(iii) An appeal from a decision in a pre-election matter shall be filed within 14 days from the date of delivery of the

judgement appealed against. “(iv)An appeal from a decision of a court in a pre-election matter shall be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the date of filing of the appeal.” ‘Pre-Election Matter’ in this section according to Ekweremadu means: “i. Any suit by an aspirant who complains that any of the provisions of the Electoral Act or any Act of the National Assembly regulating the conduct of primaries of political parties and the provisions of the guidelines of a political party for conduct of party primaries has not been complied with by a political party in respect of the selection or nomination of candidates for an election. “ii. Any suit by an aspirant challenging the actions, decisions or activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission in respect of his participation in an election or who complains that the provisions of the Electoral Act or any

Act of the National Assembly regulating elections in Nigeria has not been complied with by the Independent National Electoral Commission in respect of the selection or nomination of candidates and participation in an election. “iii. Any suit by a political party challenging the actions, decisions or activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission disqualifying its candidate from participating in an election or a compliant that the provisions of the Electoral Act or any other applicable law has not been complied with by the Independent National Electoral Commission in respect of the nomination of candidates of political parties for an election. Timetable for an election, registration of voters and other activities of the Commission in respect of preparation for an election.” Also yesterday, Ekweremadu presented another “Bill for an Act to alter the provision of the

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended 2012 and for other related matters.” He said: “This Bill seeks to alter the provision of Part 1 of the First Schedule in order to change the name of “Egbado North” and “Egbado South” Local Government Areas to “Yewa North” and “Yewa South” Local Government Areas respectively. “The committee recognizes that this is not a request for local government creation but for change of name of a local government which can be regarded as an alteration. The committee recommends to the Senate to consider the change of name of Egbado North and Egbado South Local Government Areas to Yewa North and Yewa South Local Government Areas pursuant to section 9 of the Constitution. “Proposal for the change of name from Afikpo South Local Government Area to Edda Lo-

cal Government Area Senator Gbenga Ashafa noted that the population of Lagos is about 10 per cent of the population of the country. He said, “All of us have a pair in Lagos. The image of Lagos is the image of the country. I appeal that the issue of granting Lagos a special status should revisited.” The lawmaker opposed autonomy for local government. Senators Mohammed Magoro, (Kebbi South), Adamu Gumba (Bauchi South) Gyang Pwajok (Plateau North), Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto), Victor Lar (Plateau South) Abdul Mumuni Hassan. (Jigawa) George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers) Ugboji (Ebonyi), Solomon Ewuga (Nasarawa North) and Robert Ajayi Borofice opposed six year single tenure. Contribution by Senators continues today while actual clause by clause voting will be held tomorrow.




Egypt’s military warns of political ‘manoeuvring’


GYPT’s army chief has said the military will not accept political “maneuvering,” in thinly veiled warning to the only Islamist party that sided with the army’s removal of President Mohammed Morsi but has since had frictions with other factions over forming a new leadership.


Cyprus ex-minister Papacostas guilty of manslaughter


Defence Minister AbdelFattah el-Sissi yesterday in a statement carried by state TV said “the future of the nation is too important and sacred for maneuvers or hindrance, whatever the justifications.” The statement appears to refer to days of political stalemate after an ultracon-

servative party, Al-Nour, objected to two nominees for prime minister and outright blocked one of them, proreform leader Mohamed ElBaradei. el-Sissi’s statement comes shortly after a prominent economist Hazem elBeblawi was named prime minister.


feated those allied with Qatar in several elections. On Monday, Mr Jarba warned that there was a “real humanitarian disaster” in the central city of Homs and said he was prepared to offer President Bashar alAssad a truce during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to stop the fighting there. As government forces continued an offensive on opposition-held districts of Homs, state media said the army had killed “terrorists” in several areas, including Bab

Houd in the Old City and several outlying towns. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Bab Houd and al-Safsafa had been hit by heavy artillery and tank fire on Monday. The UK-based activist group said troops had also captured about a fifth of the besieged northern district of Khalidiya. A government official had earlier claimed that the entire district was under army control. A car bomb also exploded in the predominantly Alawite and Christian area

of Akrama, killing at least four people, officials and activists said. The violence in Homs and elsewhere in Syria has left civilians in rebel-held areas in dire need of humanitarian assistance, opposition and humanitarian activists say. In March, Mr Hitto was tasked by the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces with forming an interim government to administer socalled “liberated” zones, coordinating the provision basic services and supplies.

Leader of Syrian opposition resigns

HE Syrian opposition figure tasked with forming an interim government to administer rebel-held areas has resigned, citing an inability to do so. In a statement, Ghassan Hitto said he would “continue working for the interests of the revolution”. His decision follows a leadership overhaul by the National Coalition. Ahmed Jarba was named leader of the main opposition alliance on Saturday as Saudi-backed candidates de-

Civilians gather at the scene of an explosion in Beirut’s southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed ... yesterday. A car bomb rocked Beirut’s southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement, wounding 15 people, television reports and a military source said. PHOTO: AFP

Leaked Bin Laden report reveals Pakistan failures

•Bin Laden


NCOMPETENCE and negligence allowed Osama Bin Laden to live in Pakistan undetected for almost a decade, a leaked government report suggests. A version of the report leaked to al-Jazeera says the killing of Bin Laden by US forces was a “criminal act of murder” ordered by the US president. It also reveals details of the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts and day-to-day life after fleeing Afghanistan in 2001. Bin Laden was killed by US forces in north-west Pakistan in May 2011. US suspicions about Bin

Laden’s location had previously been dismissed by Pakistan. However, his discovery in a compound in Abbottabad and subsequent killing in a US Navy Seal operation put a strain on USPakistan relations. Shortly after the raid, the Pakistan parliament called for an independent enquiry - the Abbottabad Commission - to establish whether the failures of the government were due to incompetence or colluding with alQaeda. It was also commissioned to investigate the Pakistani intelligence services’ failure to detect CIA activity on its soil in the run-up to the raid “that culminated in the avoidable humiliation of the people of Pakistan”. Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, northwest Pakistan At least 25 people were living in the Abbottabad compound. In its findings, the report described the lack of intelligence as “government implosion syndrome”. The leaked documents

fiercely criticised the Pakistani government and military, describing “culpable negligence and incompetence at almost all levels of government”. While the commission said it found nothing to support allegations of complicity, it said it could not rule out “the possibility of some degree of connivance inside or outside the government”. The report also voiced harsh criticism of the Navy Seal raid on Abbottabad, describing it as an “American act of war” and Pakistan’s “greatest humiliation” since East Pakistan seceded in 1971. It quotes officials as saying that Pakistan air force jets were scrambled to shoot down the US helicopters, but too late. The 336-page document was the result of interviews with more than 200 witnesses, including senior civilian and military officials, as well as with Bin Laden’s three widows prior to their deportation to Saudi Arabia.


EMMANUEL KOSISOCHUKWU OZOR GABRIEL and EMMANUEL KOSISOCHUKWU EGOR refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known as EMMANUEL KOSISOCHUKWU EGOR. All former documents remain valid general public please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Idowu Idayat Abiola, now wish to be addressed and known as Mrs Biobaku Idayat Abiola. All former documents remain valid. Skye Bank and general public please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Nneoma Onyinye Elodinmuo , now wish to be addressed and known as Mrs. Nneoma Onyinye Ojemade . All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

ORMER Cypriot Defence Minister Costas Papacostas has been found guilty of manslaughter over a deadly munitions blast that killed 13 people in 2011. A court ruled that he was directly responsible for failing to safeguard a cargo of confiscated Iranian munitions that exploded at a naval base in Zygi. Former Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou and another defendant were cleared of all charges. The blast crippled Cyprus’s main power plant, causing severe disruption. The disaster occurred when 98 containers of Iranian gunpowder, which had been confiscated two years earlier from a ship suspected of smuggling, exploded. The containers were being stored just 150m (500ft) away from the island’s biggest power station at Vassiliko.

Papacostas ignored warnings by subordinates about the risks of leaving gunpowder in scorching heat, Judge Tefkros Economou said in his verdict. “We have no doubt the defendant was aware of the risks... but closed his eyes to the danger,” he added. Papacostas and three senior fire service officials were also convicted of causing death through negligence, which carries a fouryear sentence. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. They are all due to be sentenced on 24 July. However, relatives of the victims voiced anger over the not guilty verdicts, calling it an “injustice”. One woman, Poppi Christoforou, who lost her twin sons in the explosion, shouted “justice has been sent to the gallows” after the final verdicts were read.

Spain Barcenas affair: Documents ‘implicate’ PM


SPANISH newspaper has published what it alleges are documents showing Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other top politicians received illicit payments. El Mundo said it had original ledger entries handwritten by the former treasurer of the governing Popular Party (PP), Luis Barcenas. It said it had delivered the documents to the High Court. Mr Rajoy and other PP members have repeatedly denied that they received illegal payments. Another Spanish paper, El Pais, published similar documents earlier this year. It is claimed that Mr Barcenas ran a PP slush fund that took donations from construction magnates and distributed them to party leaders in cash. Mr Barcenas is in custody facing trial for corruption and tax fraud. He denies the allegations. However, in an interview published in El Mundo on Sunday, Mr Barcenas for the first time admitted that the handwriting in the ledger was his. He added that the photocopies originally published by El Pais were a fraction of the documents he had in his possession. El Mundo said the documents it had seen showed that Mr Rajoy received payments in 1997, 1998 and 1999 when he was a minister in the government of Jose Maria Aznar.






Nigerian Olympian charged with murder Oshiomhole Under-17


NIGERIAN, Ambrose Monye, insisted before a South African court that he did not give instructions for the killing of a South African woman, Chanelle Henning. Monye spoke on Monday as the State completed crossexamination of the former Nigerian Olympian, in alleged link in the murder of Henning. The state Prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, in final submissions in trial of Monye in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, said that he believed the accused was involved in Henning's murder. Monye denied having any part in it. ``My Lord, I never gave instructions to anybody to carry out any illegal action," Monye said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Henning, 26, died in a shooting in Faerie Glen on Nov. 8 2011, shortly after dropping her child at a crèche. Monye and his coaccused, Andre Gouws, pleaded not guilty to the fivecount charge of conspiracy to murder Henning. The state alleged that Monye and Gouws conspired with former Policeman Gerhardus du- Plessis and Willem Pieterse in the murder of Henning. Du Plessis and Pieterse are serving 18 years imprisonment after confessing their roles in the murder. Nel said Gouws wanted someone killed and he asked Monye to assist him. He

•Monye denies killing South African woman narrated how Monye met Pieterse who agreed to carry out the killing. Nel said Monye introduced Gouws to Pieterse and Du Plessis on Nov. 2, 2011. He said Monye insisted that the two should follow Gouws to Henning's house and workplace. Monye, however, denied any involvement in the conspiracy and murder. ``They followed Gouws willingly," Monye told the court. Nel also explained how Pieterse and Du Plessis failed to kill Henning days before she was murdered, and how Monye arranged a meeting at Romans Pizza in Sunnyside, Pretoria, to iron out the problem. ``My lord there was nothing like that. I never arranged a meeting for such things," Monye said. Monye also denied threatening Du Plessis when he allegedly said that he was no longer taking part in the murder. Nel referred to cell phone records showing calls between Monye and Pieterse and between Monye and Gouws on the day of the murder. He said Monye demanded payment for the murder on Nov. 8, 2011, and Gouws withdrew R44.000 (about N 792,000) from his bank account on that same day. He said few days later R31.500 (about N 558,000) was deposited into Monye's account. Nel said

this was payment for the murder. “My lord, I never demanded any money from anybody," Monye said. NAN reports that with

conclusion of crossexamination by the prosecution, Daan Mostert, counsel for Gouws, will question Monye at next hearing on July 26.

•Ambrose Monye

competition kicks off


HE 15th edition of the Edo state governor 's U-17 football Gold Cup competition yesterday kicked off in Auchi, headquarters of the Etsako West Local government with over 20 states already on ground. Speaking to journalists at the opening ceremony held inside the Ikelebe sports complex,Auchi, the Edo state chairman of youth sports federation of Nigeria, chief Osamwonyi Osagiede, said comrade Adams Oshiomhole is from the street and is concerned about taking the youths off the streets hence his support for the competition. He said the competition will be used to discover new talents that will feature for the nation’s junior teams.

From , OSemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin The competition, he said, is the governor’s little way of encouraging youths across the country . Osagiede added that, apart from the twenty teams that had so far arrived , more teams are still been expected for the week long competition . On his part, the chairman of the council who represented Oshiomhole at the opening ceremony, barrister hassan kadiri said that sporting activities serve as a unifying factor that foster unity and friendship among the youth class across the country as well as help curb restiveness and evil vices in our society. The competition was declared open yesterday by the governor’s mother.


Team Nigeria to compete in six sports


EAM Nigeria will take part in six sports at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 3. Briefing the Executive and Board members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, on Monday at the Boardroom of the NOC, President Sani M. Ndanusa named the sports as Athletics, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Table Tennis, Boxing(male and female) and Para Sports. The Para Sports are in

Athletics, Table Tennis and Power-lifting. There are 17 Sports on the programme for the Commonwealth Games. They include – Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Squash Rackets, Swimming, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Weightlifting and Wrestling. Ndanusa said that as part of preparations for the Games, a Nigerian delegation comprising of NOC and NSC officials

visited Glasgow(June 18 to June 20) to meet with the Organising Committee of the Games on vital issues relating to the Games. He said that everything relating to Team Nigeria's successful outing in the Commonwealth Games were on track. Also speaking, Technical Commission Chairman of NOC, Dr Daniel Igali dismissed fears that Team Nigeria were yet to start preparations for the Games. “All the Sports concerned are

doing well. I can tell you that Wrestlers are preparing and will soon hit camp. It is not only when we gather all the sports that you think they are preparing. Serious preparation is on-going”, Igali who is also the President of Wrestling Federation of Nigeria said. Seven out of Eight Executive members of the NOC attended the meeting while 18 Federation Presidents of their representatives out of the 24 Olympic Sports attended.


‘‘The exit of Mohammed Morsi signals the collapse of religious politics in Egypt. This is because the Muslim Brotherhood politicised religion and stifled opposition’’


VOL.8 NO.2,542



ENERAL Ibrahim Babangida’s SAP which has since become entrenched as the country’s unofficial directive principles of state policy – the management of our political-economy since the return of civilian rule in 1999 with its ideology of deregulation, privatisation, liberalisation, retrenchment of the public sector, removal of subsidies, etc, is SAP in all but name - may have unleashed the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians but by the time he left office in August 1993 it had failed to deliver the goods. To make matter worse, General Sani Abacha, his minister of defence whom he had left behind in the interim government he set up under Chief Ernest Sonekan, following his inexplicable annulment of the presidential election of June 12 which was widely adjudged as free and fair, overthrew Sonekan in November 1993 and brought the military fully back into power once again. Ironically, Babangida had said he had left Abacha behind to rein in the soldiers and give Sonekan’s administration some teeth. For the next five years Abacha ruled the country with an iron-fist and headed what arguably became the most venal administration since independence - until President Olusegun Obasanjo came along in May 1999. When Abacha seized power in November 1993, he promised to be “brief” but, instructively, refused to be drawn on how brief. Five years later, he seemed to have eliminated, compromised or neutralised all opposition to what became his obvious agenda of transforming himself from a military dictator into an “elected” civilian president. In June 1998, he died a sudden and mysterious death. He was quickly succeeded by his Chief of Defence Staff, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. Abubakar promised a quick transition to civilian rule and kept his word; in May 1999 he handed over to General Obasanjo who had been released from a life sentence for his alleged involvement in a coup attempt against Abacha after which he was “persuaded” to become the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the largest of the three parties registered by the Abubakar regime. He handily won the election. As a critic of every administration since 1979 when he handed over power to President Shehu Shagari following his succession of General Murtala Muhammed who was assassinated in February 1976, Nigerians came to expect much from a civilianised President Obasanjo. Eight years and a failed attempt to extend his tenure beyond the two term limit later, Obasanjo dashed those expectations. Worse, he seemed to have surpassed those he had criticised in the venality his administration engaged in, as has been exposed by several National Assembly investigations of many of his policies and decisions. In those eight years his regime collected


who says 2015 ELECTION CAMPAIGN hasn’t commenced?

People and Politics By


On ethics and leadership in Africa (II)

•Obasanjo far more revenues, mostly oil, than all the regimes before his second coming combined. Yet the country’s decayed infrastructure roads, electricity, schools, water, etc - over which he excoriated previous regimes, got worse. Meanwhile, a few Nigerians, including himself, had become stupendously rich. To appreciate the size of the gap between Obasanjo’s rhetoric and his deeds one needs only examine why the “African Renaissance” the great Nelson Mandela predicted in 1994 following the collapse of Apartheid in his native South Africa has failed to take off nearly twenty years hence. To give this “African Renaissance” a concrete form, Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s second black president after Mandela, along with Obasanjo, Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade, initiated a New Partnership for African Development in 2001 which was supposed to engage Europe and America in a partnership that would jumpstart Africa’s economic development. On its part, the rich world was to increase its aid to Africa and open up its borders for a more equitable trade with the continent. In return Africa was to eschew its dictatorial

past and become more market-oriented. One of the things Africa did to prove its goodwill was to establish a Peer Review Mechanism in 2001 through which Africa leaders would subject each other to peer pressure to fight corruption and waste and tyranny on the continent. Obasanjo was a key figure in setting up the mechanism. Another thing the continent did in the same year was replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which had degenerated into a mutual back-slapping talking shop, into African Union (AU) with a mandate to intervene in the affairs of its member states anytime the need arose. This was a critical break from OAU’s hitherto sacrosanct principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states by outsiders – a principle which allowed African leaders to treat their countries as private chattels. Again Obasanjo was a key player in this transformation. However, while he preached all these virtues abroad back home the man practised the opposite. For example, he set up various institutions to fight corruption and waste, but corruption only thrived because he used the institutions in a selective way to fight his perceived enemies, especially anyone who opposed his agenda of selfentrenchment, while simultaneously rewarding his supporters whatever their misdeeds. Again, while he preached democracy abroad, he eliminated internal democracy in his own party and tried to neutralise the opposition parties by planting fifth columnists in the ranks of their leadership to undermine their viability. Nationwide he installed what one of the many PDP party chairmen he whimsically hired and fired called “garrison democracy,” a democracy where dissent was regarded as treason.



F curses were some kind of magical instrument of statecraft, President Goodluck Jonathan would probably be the best leader on earth for if there is an art he seems to have mastered so well, it is reeling out curses to ‘enemies’ of the state. While last Saturday’s gruesome attack of a school and slaughter of pupils is nonpareil in the annals of Nigeria’s recent terror madness, the President’s stock response and numbing reaction is becoming a study in presidential paralogia. Nobody seems to have the accurate figure of the number of pupils killed at the Government Secondary School, Mamudo, in the Northeast state of Yobe, but it is not as much the number as the method and viciousness. Some national newspapers reported between 20 and 29 while the American wire service, Associated Press (AP) seemed quite definitive about 42 dead students and teachers. Here is one account: “It was a gory sight. People who went to hospital and saw the bodies shed tears. There were 42 bodies, most of them students. Some of them had parts of their bodies blown off and badly burnt while others had gunshot wounds,” a local resident reportedly told AP. Another account from escapee teacher and pupils say the gunmen gathered their victims

Our cursing president in a hostel and threw explosives and opened fire. They burned the pupils alive, reports an injured student from his sick bed. The insurgents believed to be of the Boko Haram sect were especially bestial, adding a satanic fervor to their act this time. But this is not their first attack on schools; indeed this is the third in the last one month having struck in Maiduguri (Borno) and Damaturu (Yobe). What this suggests is that they had established a pattern of targeting schools in recent months and we ask, why had our security agencies not cottoned on to it and deployed preemptive measures. It is scary that ill-trained bandits could invade schools and public facilities, unleash mayhem, have a field day and disappear into the sand dunes without a trace. We appreciate the vast and tough terrain; we appreciate that not every inch of the large states of the Northeast of Nigeria can be manned. What this calls for therefore, is improved and relentless


Tragically, Obasanjo was merely typical of the continental leaders in their attitude of preaching virtues abroad but mostly practicing vices at home. With such an attitude it is not surprising that Africa has remained the most backward region in the world. Obviously, if it is to have any hope of catching up with the rest of the world its leaders must learn to practice what they preach. Of course, this is easier said than done. For one thing, even though ethics, at least some, may be universal, they are open to interpretations. One man’s loyalty, for example, may be another’s disloyalty. Second, ethics may sometimes be in conflict with one another and one may have to choose one over another. Third, all too often we view leadership too narrowly through political prism as the man on top, whereas each one of us, as both the Qur’an and the Bible say, is a shepherd and we will have to account for our responsibilities in whatever role we play in society and at whatever level. All this notwithstanding, we simply have to make choices. And the mark of leadership is the ability to choose well in the most difficult times based on what is in the greatest interest of the greatest number. Personally given a choice among the many virtues leaders should posses, I will pick five as the most important. These are honesty, transparency, equity, justice and fairness, not necessarily in that order. In politics and economics, I will definitely put equity on top because inequity wastes talent and undermines social cohesion which in turn easily leads to, among other vices, the violent crimes and ethnic and religious conflicts that have bedevilled society every where on the continent. Inequity is when our “elected” leaders spend more money on their creature comforts than on the necessities of life in a country, like Nigeria, where more than half the population live on less than a dollar a day. Inequity, in a more concrete way, is when, for example, senior officials of a ministry spend over N2.7 billion in one year globe-trotting and the minister feels absolutely no remorse when confronted by the legislators that exercise oversight over his ministry. Instead, the minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, in charge of foreign affairs, would counter the legislators’ criticism by arguing that “diplomacy is all about visibility”. In short, unless Africa’s leaders eschew the vices of corruption, tyranny, waste, etc, and imbibe the virtues of honesty, transparency, equity, fairness, justice, etc, Africa will continue to remain the proverbial “dark continent,” literally as well as figuratively. •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above intelligence surveillance. There must also be efficient and rapid response. We know that what is going on is not a James Bond movie but we are thinking of a situation where any strike or heavy deployment of arms anywhere in the country ought to trigger an alarm. For how many more schools will be attacked and how many more innocent pupils will have to be cut down in cold blood before we can brace up to this challenge. Finally, if this manner of free-wheeling attacks and killings is embarrassing, it is even more so when President Jonathan reacts. In this latest attack he had this to say: “The killing is barbaric, completely wicked. Anybody who will target innocent children for any kind of grief or emotional dysfunction will certainly go to hell.” Going about placing a curse on killers and plunderers is certainly not part of a president’s call. A president’s duty, especially in a time of national conflict and emergency, is to project steely resolve, character, courage and a certain invincibility that reassures the citizenry. He is expected to assess the situation quickly and objectively and assert authority, including sanctioning negligent aides. To curse is a sign of weakness never to be associated with any president. To lapse into curses like a fish wife is to abdicate responsibility, to surrender.

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: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation July 10, 2013  

news, sports, education, editorial, business, nigeria, nigeria news, nigerian newspaper

The Nation July 10, 2013  

news, sports, education, editorial, business, nigeria, nigeria news, nigerian newspaper