Pressure mounts for prosecution of Pro-Amaechi lawmakers Rivers legislators trade blame over fracas
ARMY NABS TANKER LOADED WITH ARMS
Increased surveillance on oil installations
Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Vol.07, No. 2546
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
JULY 14, 2013
Boko Haram disowns ceasefire with govt –Page 10
Backs massacre of Yobe students
Shekau: We’ll burn more schools, kill teachers
Tukur, Anenih feud deepens
•L-R: Keynote speaker, Professor Olufemi Taiwo; Executive Secretary, Awolowo Foundation, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Obafemi Awolowo Institute of Government and Public Policy (OAIGPP) chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, during the International Conference on Leadership and Governance in Africa, in Lagos... at the weekend.
Al-Mustapha: Afenifere, KIND, others reject court verdict –Page 4
N SPITE of denials by his aides, President Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of taking sides in the political crisis in Rivers State, with the support of his wife, Dame Patience; the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, and some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A member of the Rivers House of Assembly, Victor Amadi, accused the President of not being fair to Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the state government. However, Wike, insisted that the President had been neutral in the crisis. The minister, The Nation gathered, supervised the flying overseas of the injured anti-Amaechi lawmaker, Michael Okechukwu Chinda, who represents Obio/Akpor II constituency, for better treatment, in view of his critical condition. Wike also faulted the comment credited to Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka that First Lady, Patience Jonathan is behind the crisis that has engulfed the state. Wike, who stated this when he went to the hospital to visit Chinda, said it was wrong for Soyinka to make such comment, noting that it was capable of escalating the crisis. “How can Prof. Wole Soyinka make such a comment? Governor Amaechi has totally lost control of the state and that is why he went to the Assembly to disrupt proceedings in the House. You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that he is no longer in control of the state,” he said. Speaking further, Amadi alleged that a pro-Wike lawmaker, Kelechi Godspower Nwogu, ordered that some policemen should shoot Amaechi on the floor of the Assembly. He also alleged that the self-acclaimed “Speaker”, Evans Bapakaye slapped the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, after punching the leader of the House, Chidi Lloyd. Also speaking on the crisis, a member of the House of Representatives, Dakuku Peterside, maintained that the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) and the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Amaechi, were duty bound to protect the governor, whose life was threatened in the Assembly. Peterside’s position was also corroborated by his colleague in the House, Asita Honourable. But a Port Harcourt-based lawyer, Tubotamuno Dick, had a contrary opinion. Asita, Peterside, Amadi and Dick were guests on Rhythm 93.7 FM, Port Harcourt’s phone-in programme, Viewpoint, yesterday, and almost exchanged blows. On Chinda’s health condition, Wike said, “In view of his (Chinda’s) critical condition, he is being flown abroad for further treatment. This is a sacrifice to be made for democracy to survive. Whatever has happened will
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Rivers legislators trade blame over fracas
•Wike faults Soyinka on Patience Jonathan •ADC, CSO duty bound to protect Amaechi - Rep
bly crisis, when he got the distress call, but through the authority he has. “Governor Amaechi alone cannot police over five million Rivers people. He is entitled to security aides. Blaming his ADC and CSO for joining him to the House of Assembly is uncalled for. They are duty-bound to protect their principal (Amaechi). Peterside admonished Rivers people to continue to give peace a chance, while being resolute in their support for Amaechi. Meanwhile, Rivers PDP chairman, Chief Felix Obuah, had called for a thorough investigation, arrest and prosecution of the lawmakers and others involved in attempted murder in the Rivers Assembly on July 9. In his own comment, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, however, admonished Nigerians to stand up against the impunity, harassment and intimidation in Rivers State, which he described as the only panacea for the nascent democracy. On July 10, the Assembly was sealed off by the police, when the five anti-Amaechi lawmakers, in a 32-member House, attempted to sit, with the main gate of the expansive premises taken over from 6 am by the Rivers governor’s supporters, who were later confronted by Wike’s loyalists, led by Bipi. Soldiers and policemen had to use teargas to disperse the protesting youths, with some of the teargas canisters landing in the Government House, Port Harcourt, which angered Amaechi, who declared that the state was under siege.
•L-R: Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru; Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson; Celebrant, Prof. Theophilus Oladapo Ogunlesi; and his son Dr. Folabi Ogunlesi, during the 90th birthday celebration of Prof Ogunlesi in Sagamu, Ogun State... On Friday. PHOTOS: DAYO ADEWUNMI From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
not scare me and my teeming supporters. We will never be intimidated. We will not go outside of the law. Rivers people are yearning for change. I am surprised that a fellow lawmaker could be thoroughly beaten and badly injured.” He also alleged that Amaechi had derailed and was no longer wanted as governor. Amadi, however, disagreed. He said, “The Presidency has taken sides in the political crisis. I was in the hallowed chambers of the Rivers House of Assembly on July 9. The lawmakers took precautionary measures to avoid the crisis. “On May 6, we wrote to the Presidency on the plan by five of our colleagues (antiAmaechi lawmakers) to unleash mayhem in the Rivers House of Assembly. To allow frayed nerves to calm, we waited till July 9, before reconvening for the third session of the 7th Assembly. “We wrote to the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, which he admitted later at a news conference in Port Harcourt; the Brigade Commander (of 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt) and the State Security Service (SSS) of the sitting and to provide adequate security.” He accused the police commissioner of partisan-
ship adding that “The Sergeant-at-Arms said he was abducted by Evans Bipi’s group and could not play the role on July 9. Another person from the same office had to play the role.” He also expressed optimism that the crisis would soon be over, but insisted that Amachree remained the duly-elected speaker of the House. However, Dick stated that Amaechi had no right to be in the chambers without being invited, declaring that Bipi remained Speaker of the House, asking those against his emergence to go to court. He insisted that Amachree’s impeachment was legal, with due process followed. The Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner said: “I was in the gallery of Rivers Assembly on July 9. The sitting was properly constituted. Those not pleased with the development can go to court. I did not see anybody jumping from the gallery into the hallowed chambers with a gun. “Not all the 27 lawmakers are with Amaechi. Many of them took part in the sitting of July 9 to elect Bipi. They later changed their minds when things did not go their way and started unleashing mayhem, with the backing of Amaechi. “Governor, deputy governor or commissioners can only be allowed into the chambers of the House of As-
sembly, based on invitation. So, it was wrong for Amaechi to have stormed the House with his ADC, CSO and others, without formal invitation.” But Honourable defended the governor’s visit to the House. He said that the distress call from one of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Amaechi, demanded his urgent intervention.
He added that Amaechi was on oath to protect lives and property of Rivers people. He stressed that the NGF chairman should not have handled the threat to the lives of the lawmakers with levity. Peterside said: “Governor Amaechi would not have intervened with muscles, in the Rivers Assem-
Obi orders prostitutes to vacate Anambra
ROSTITUTES aiding and abetting criminals in Anambra State were yesterday given a 7-day eviction from the state alongside their armed robbery friends and associates by Governor Peter Obi. Obi ordered monarchs to take a census of the people living in their communities and order those with questionable characters to leave the state as he would deal ruthlessly with criminals and prostitutes who harbour them wherever they are found in any community. Obi was spoke on Saturday at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, the state capital, while presenting about 300 security vehicles fitted with sophisticated security gadgets to vigilante groups in 177 communities and markets and other registered vigilante groups in the State. The ceremony was graced by heads of all the security agencies in the state, traditional rulers, presidents-
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha
general, market leaders, government officials and other stakeholders in the State. The governor said that the vehicles for each town would be restricted to the community specifically for security purposes. He warned against the use of the vehicles to provide escort to politicians and other non-security related activities. The governor also presented cheques worth over 250 Million Naira to all the towns in the State, with no town receiving less than 1.3 Million Naira, to pay 10 vigilante people per town and for One hundred thousand for fuelling of the vehicles for a year. He said some towns would receive more because they would have more than 10 vigilante people depending on their population and size. Recalling that the presentation was not the first
time the State was procuring vehicles for security, Obi said that his government had purchased over 300 vehicles for security agencies in the State, as well as assisted them in various ways, including building roads in barracks. Speaking further, he called on the people of the State to intensify prayers to God for them to elect somebody better than himself so that the revolution currently prevailing in the state can be sustained. In his vote of thanks, the Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Alfred Achebe said that Obi was a blessing to Anambra State. He commended his development of all sectors of the State and described as “unprecedented”, the measures, projects and things he is doing in Anambra State and for the people of the State. He frowned at the governor’s announcement of his retirement from politics, insisting that people like him are needed in Nigeria today.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Re: The second coming of Western Nigeria
OOD day, brother Alamu. It has been a long time from sight. Your comfort with the concept of post-colonial Nigeria where Western Region political leaders/ elites can now dig her out of Nigeria’s hellhole through the instrument of electoral revolution is, indeed, a bewildering puzzle. If the official end of external colonialism could not deliver us from internal neo-colonialism, and if successive electoral heists hosted by the fraudulent constitution have not been able to effect needed redemption, why then focus our hopes on electoral revolution when no one is yet offering that platform? Cheers ooO. This, AKINGBA, again. Am sorry, Snooper to bother you with my reactions to your column. Just can’t help it. Yes, wasn’t it Jakande’s trail-blazing metroline project that was spitefully cancelled by military fiat, just to retard Lagos’ development and, by extension, that of the old west? To hell with federal presence and deluded ‘mainstreamers’ who only care for their pockets! I agree with you that “ a solid holistic vision of regional development” is what we need, which would stand the test of time, like Awo’s legacy. Whatever happened to the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) launched with fanfare sometime ago. Happy Sunday. God be with you. Rev. Feyisola Famutimi The second coming of western region is a master piece. It is highly recommended to our elites especially ministers, economic team members, advisers etc. it is useful primer on the theories of development current practice and approaches. There are many routes to development and the task is for each nation to chart the best fruitful path. This the Nigeria elites had failed to do for so long now. The situation of economic growth without meaningful development and positive impact on citizens is not new. It is the trade mark of classical economics which we have painfully embraced especially since the 1980s. the challenge is for our elites to change our current course of development to a people focused one. Well done. Dr John Abhuere Former Director NYSC, CCYD Uromi. Richywright June 30, 2013 at 7:20 am Baba Tatalo, i thought u understand Nigeria government more than this article. And as a special person, and as a special columnist in this country, the influence of ownership should not be visible in ur write-up. Bcos, if u are talkin about architect of modernization in the west, governor MIMIKO sud b first or second on list. Peniela June 30, 2013 at 9:01 am Waoh, this is a fantastic analysis with accurate and excellent use of word. Excellent display of the mastery of English and political language. I salute the writer. I agree with you. Good roads and flyovers, street beutifications and ‘opon imo’ is useless if it is not building people. Though these are laudable programs, it is only what is built inside people that lasts for many years. The road constructed will soon worn-out; a useless govern-
nooping around With
ment may take-over and neglect the urban revolution. The major reason why Awo is still celebrated till today is because he invested more resources into building the young people through his revolutionary educational policies and his aggressive ideological indoctrinations. The emerging western leaders should therefore take a clue from their acclaimed mentor and role-model. Olu Ayekooto June 30, 2013 at 9:02 am I drove from Molete to Iwo road through Idi Arere and Gate; I did not use the route in over 10 years due to congestion but was so surprised how free the road was. Took us less than 15 minutes to reach Gate from Molete. God bless the governor and the people of Oyo State. Jide June 30, 2013 at 10:51 am Human development is key to any national development. Our leaders should develope the youth positively so that we can compete with the rest of the world. The educational system is in shambles and as it is leaves Nigeria hopeless for at least the next ten years. What we need are serious and commited leadership. And every other thing will follow naturally. God bless Nigeria. John Yemi June 30, 2013 at 11:30 am I always says, it is not all the times resident of natural resources that brings economy growth and infrastructural development but the present of capable human resources. Japan is a typical example. Iam not praying for Nigeria to break up but if it happens, South West will be on top in term of economy and infrastructural development at a fast rate. This is because the zone has good thinkers and capable human resources. Iska Countryman
June 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm Why the national conference option when you can sell this idea of restructuring on the platform of the apc?…or is that also a joke…i mean the apc…? Rich June 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm The west is cheating the rest of the country bcos of the war with the east. All the major companies in Nigeria have their head office in the west. Major seaport and airport in the west. We thought that the west and the north were coming to liberate the Niger/Delter during the war with the east, not knowing that they where coming for the oil. Open up the seaport and airport in Niger Delter and see what the west will become even the north is not happy with the west bcos the west also cheated the north. Nnana June 30, 2013 at 10:19 pm But they would never have the courage to open up the ports in the Nigerdelta. PH wharf before the civil war bubbled as Lagos ports. Real International airports in the old southeast remain a mirage. Most Nigerians have to travel through the West. But to what degree has President Jonathan set out to remedy the lost glory of the Nigerdelta and the surrounding areas? Rich June 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm I have personally written to the president and soon very soon the seaport in calaber,warri and port harcourt will be opened. Kenjo June 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm If they move capital of Nigeria to Niger Delta the zone will still remain backward bcos of their self center leader who does not care about their future, in what way the west cheated you people of the North/ East? please find something to say
Femi Ajetunmobi USA June 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm I totally agree with the write up but I must also add that the present developments are on going of the pa awo doctrine. He emphasided the human development (capital). If you can read this, thank your teacher. In another phrase that do not feed me fish but teach me how to fish. This is best investment in any nation or personal lives. We should continue to leave hamoniously (tolerance) with our brothers and sisters from different part of the nation. The present leaders are product of pa awo and many are two dimensional people who have seen how things are been done in other places. As they say in business circle that location!location!! sells. The south west axis is blessed with many infrastructures from colonial eras and independent. The area is self sufficient to be on its own as an entity or nation. It will continue to be driving machine for the nation in terms of developments. People from this neck of the woods do not request services from their leaders but they demand it and most of the times, the best are not good enough. It will countinue to dictate tempo for the rest of the country. currently, opposition to the ruling party helps in creating competitiviness between the two. A market or brand differention to the voters. It is imperative to keep peace and safe guard properties in the area. Osundina, O June 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm Thank you my dear Tatalo. You have brilliantly knocked the nail down well without doing any damage to the hammer, the wood and the nail. I was home recently and had reasons to travel to Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ogun states. the physical transformation is phenomenal to put it mildly. I commend the governors. What is happening in edo is amazing. Two questions bother me a great deal. What have the previous governments in the southwest done with the resources of the past when they governed? when will human development take its proper place so that REAL DEVELOPMENT. You have raised this point at the end of your analysis but in a quite manner. I hope that the governors of the southwest are hearing this. I commend adams, Isiaka, Rauf, Kayode, Ibikunle, Babatunde and Olusegun for their exemplary dreams. Because man is the only agent of development man must be properly developed. To focus man in the development process is to breed a living development for all ages. And that development must be home grown to endure. Adrian June 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm I am glad with what is happening in the SW. It is encourag-
ing and exciting. But try visiting other states especially in the east like Enugu and Anambra before running to comparative conclusions that the west is leaving the rest of Nigeria behind. You may also want to visit Akwa Ibom and Rivers. Otherwise, you may start believing your own side of your analysis. Obinnna75 June 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm Snooper takes a stand. Hurrah. Now do question Awo’s successor as to the basis of his flirtation with General Buhari. Mike June 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm ALL THIS IS ENGLISH Nna why? June 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm Where is your logic? Olorinla July 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm Snooper, you wittingly left Mimiko out of the showers of encomia. An egg head like you should see not only the political SW, but also the extent of its geography. Ebelegi Kponam Newton July 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm Good to read about encouraging stories in the country after all. But typical to academics from this region,Tatalo cannot see, it is happening elsewhere too. In the South South,Cross Rivers set the pace for the country. In Rivers State,human capacity development effort is unequaled anywhere in the country too.The wonder of Akwa Ibom is one of the success stories of this republic. Even in Bayelsa state, there is an impatient awakening under governor Dickson. It is happening elsewhere too in Owerri and Enugu. As the president once put it,there is a quiet competition among these states for development. And don’t Tatalo think the current president deserves even an unusual credit for guarantying the rare electoral and political peace needed in the South West to witness this development? Since 1960, all civilian federal governments have tormented the region. Even under Obasanjo,it was a political pillage. This is important because there could have been enough temptation (even provocations) that could have invited the usual federal tampering in the region. Adetule july 8, 2013 at 4:14 am Give Yoruba people industrial estates across the breth and length of Yoruba nation the way Chief Awolowo established Ikeja, Ilupeju, Apapa, Oluyole industrial estates. They are the bedrock of western Nigeria industrial evolution and factories, the base of industrial advancement that will ultimately absorb our unemploy youths.
HE Pan-Yoruba sociocultural organisation, Afenifere, and the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) have rejected the weekend verdict of the Court of Appeal over the discharge and acquittal of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Alhaji Lateef Sofolahan over the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. KIND, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) established in memory of the late activist, wants the Attorney General of Lagos State to challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court. According to it, the appeal is in the overall interest of the dead and the living. It said it is also weighing the option of launching a civil action after obtaining the judgment and commissioning “a team of legal experts to study it in detail, with a view to determining whether a civil action is advisable at this point.” According to the NGO, in asking for the matter to go to the apex court, it is not in any way “seeking vengeance or retribution,” but “a final judicial resolution of the question, “Who killed Kudirat Abiola?” It said: “Justice has not been served by the judgment of the Court of Appeal” and recalled that the judiciary has failed in
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14 , 2013
Al-Mustapha: Afenifere, others reject court verdict resolving any of the murder cases from the Abacha years to the assassination of Chief Bola Ige under the Obasanjo government. “Is it that the Nigerian judiciary is incapable of resolving cases of political murders and assassinations, or that the Nigerian state lacks the competence, capability or will to prosecute cases of political murders?” it wondered and added: “With this reversal, the Nigerian judiciary has now exonerated all persons that were brought to trial for the gruesome acts of murders and attempted murders that took place during the Abacha regime (before now, the persons tried for the attempted assassinations of Alex Ibru and Pa Abraham Adesanya had been set free, Muhammed Abacha, General Ishaya Bamaiyi, and the police officers, Alhaji Danbaba, and Rabo Lawal). Also, the men who were herded into court for the as-
sassination of Pa Alfred Rewane were released for want of evidence. “ Afenifere also expressed dissatisfaction with the judgement of the Lagos State chapter of the group saying:”In our opinion, the witnesses who gave evidence of the truth at the inception of the trial were instigated to contradict their evidence to render the evidence ineffective. “Nigerians must remember that Kudirat and other Nigerians who were opposed to the Abacha regime were brutally butchered. We doubt if the law enforcement agencies will need to look for other culprits for these crimes. We already know who the murderers and accomplices are.” Mr Adamu Turaki, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jigawa chapter, however commended the appeal court for acquitting Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha and Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan.
Turaki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse that the judgment was commendable and will repose more confidence in the judiciary, considering the length of time spent on the trial. Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, said while he is happy that the system of due process and democratic resort to the law court, for redress, is working, “had the judgment of the Justice Mojisola Dada, of the Lagos High Court, that sentenced him to death, been delivered in 1994 when AlMustapha was CSO to late Gen Sani Abacha, he would have been executed by now. It is indeed gratifying that AlMustapha is now benefitting from the same judiciary that he worked tirelessly to annihilate.” He added: “Thus, I cannot take the acquittal as a verdict of clearance for Al-Mustapha. I personally tasted of the madness, of the wickedness and
•L-R: Guest Speaker, Prof. Biodun Jeyifo; Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and Deputy British High Commissioner, Mr Peter Carter,during the 5th Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series in Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN
HE relationship between the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT),Chief Tony Anenih has hit an all time low after Tukur allegedly shut the gate of his Abuja residence against a party delegation from him, last Thursday. Those allegedly denied entry by Tukur were members of the party’s National Convention Planning Committee led by its chairman, Prof Jerry Gana and the Secretary, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. They were on a mission for consultation with the PDP national Chairman on the preparation for the August 31 special national convention of the party. They were reportedly kept outside the gate by security men who told them that Tukur was not at home and that they could not enter the chairman’s expansive premises. Gana, at a press conference
deprivations that Gen Abacha and Al-Mustapha subjected Nigerians to, when I was incarcerated in solitary confinement at the Directorate of Military Intelligence, Apapa, for nine months without trial. The judgment of Hon Just I.N. Auta, that I should be released, was ignored and derided by Al-Mustapha and his co-dictators. But today, he was released from Kirikiri prisons the same day the judgment was delivered. “If it is indeed true that there was no evidence before the court linking him with the charges, or there is any doubt in the case of the prosecution, then he is entitled to the liberty of man. But that is not the end of the case at all. There is the judgment of man, judgment of self (conscience) and the judgment of God. It is clear to me that MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola and all other martyrs, who gave up their lives and liberties for this present democracy, have not died or laboured in vain.” Two members of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) are also disappointed by the verdict. Mr Segun Olulade (ACNEpe II) said: “As far as I am concerned, the judgment does not speak well of our judicial system, but whatever the judges have said is final. “It is now left for the prosecution to go ahead or not.” Mr Bisi Yusuf, (ACNAlimosho I) claimed that AlMustapha escaped the judgment of man and not that of God, if he was actually involved in Kudirat’s murder. “He only escaped the wrath of man; the judgment of God is there for him if he committed the crime,” he said. The Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Ade Ipaye, told journalists on Friday evening that he would need to study the judgment before commenting on it. He said that the Court of Appeal was yet to issue copies of the judgment. Mustapha himself said yesterday that he has for-
given his detractors. He said on the Hausa Service of BBC that he remains a Major in the army and should not be dragged into politics. “I am still a Major in the Nigerian Army, and cannot be dragged into politics more so that I have been ex communicated for so long, I don’t think of politics; my major preoccupation now is how to reunite with my profession.” He alleged “conscious effort by those behind my travail to paint me black before the whole world, but my gratitude goes to God for allowing truthfulness to triumph over falsehood.” He said that in the last 14 years, he was kept in solitary confinement for five years and three months and was subsequently detained in about 32 facilities across the country. Moments after his release on Friday, Al-Mustapha visited Pastor T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church, Ikotun, a Lagos suburb. He was on a courtesy visit to the cleric who traced their relationship back to the Abacha years when he was arrested and detained for nine days on the strength of a petition sent to the Chairman of the NDLEA against his ministry. Mustapha declined to answer reporters’ questions on his mission although he posed for a photograph with his host. Joshua said: “I was arrested for investigation and it was later discovered that it was a tissue of lies. I spent nine days with them for investigation and they found the whole thing to be a fabrication. From there, I was taken to Aso Rock to see the president. It was there that I met Mustapha. “I was able to reveal to them who I am by telling them what was to come as a prophet. One of those things I mentioned to them, and to Mustapha in particular, was what he went through, though he did not believe me then. That was why when it came to pass, I was the first person he remembered. I told him that he would spend several years in prison and would be finally released which no one else had ever told him. “That is why you see him coming here as his first port of call. Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
sue. And because we have not been able to make him see reason with us, things are not going well between the committee and the interim NWC. This has the possibility of affecting the planned convention. That is why the BoT had to intervene.” Tukur, on his part, is also said to be peeved by the arrogance of the committee leadership. A party source familiar with the development said: “The chairman feels leaders of the committee are going outside their brief. The refusal of the committee to constantly report its activities to him annoys him. He cannot understand why Gana and his members will appoint sub-committees to handle aspects of the convention without telling him. “That is why the NWC feels the committee is deliberately sidelining it in the
preparation for the convention. That explains the nolove-lost situation between the two party organs.” It was gathered that as a way of dousing the tension between the two camps, Anenih convinced the Ganaled committee to visit Tukur and discuss the planned convention with him. Gana and Ekweremadu reportedly arrived Tukur’s residence as early as 9.30am only to be denied entry. After waiting for about 35 minutes without seeing Tukur, they decided to leave. Sources said soon after their departure, Tukur held a meeting in his house with members of the party’s interim national Working Committee (NWC). The meeting lasted for about an hour after which the party chairman left for the Abuja Airport en route Yola, Adamawa State.
Anenih, Tukur’s feud deepens By Dare Odufowokan
in Abuja on Friday, neither confirmed nor denied the report, saying that as party leaders, they were not expected to be discussing party issues on the pages of newspapers. “It’s true that the Deputy President of the Senate and I went to the chairman’s house to see him. But we will not take issues on that because we respect our party chairman. We are not going to discuss our party issues on the pages of newspapers”, Gana said while addressing reporters on preparation for the convention. Party sources said Anenih has not taken kindly to what he perceives as a personal insult on him by Tukur . A party source said:”The leader is angry and he may have decided to back the convention committee against Tukur following the latter’s refusal to give peace a chance. Anenih is very angry at the
way the chairman treated respected chieftains of our party. “He is not happy that in spite of his intervention, Tukur is not ready for peace. Should the issue be discussed at the next BoT meeting, it is likely Anenih will throw his weight behind the convention committee. He was the one who advised them to go to Tukur. He is not happy that they were humiliated that much by the party’s leader.” Relationship between the two chairmen has not been particularly rosy on account of what many party members, including PDP governors, see as Tukur’s arrogance. Some of the governors are crusading for his removal, citing his style of management. Investigations by The Nation revealed that following a prolonged disagreement between the committee and the party’s interim National Working Committee over
modalities for the planned convention, the BoT chairman was prevailed upon by some party chieftains to intervene in the matter for peace to reign. Consequently, Anenih met with the committee on the issue following which he spoke with Tukur and urged him to work with the Convention committee in the interest of the party. A member of the committee said: “Tukur wants the committee to be reporting to him as the national chairman of the party. But as members of the committee, we feel he should not be allowed to be an umpire in a game wherein he is a key player. “Though we are not holding election for his post, we are conducting elections to fill vacant positions in the NWC of which he is a part. “So the committee feels he shouldn’t be the one dictating the modalities. That is the is-
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Lagos Abidjan highway to cost $2bn
HE ECOWAS Commission has said that the Lagos-Abidjan highway development project is estimated to cost two billion dollars (about N328 billion). Commissioner for Infrastructure at the commission, Mr Ebima Njie, said all ECOWAS member states and development partners would be involved in the funding of the project. He told journalists in Abuja in an interview on the sideline of a meeting of experts and development partners for the LagosAbidjan Corridor Highway Development Project. The commissioner added that the experts meeting would focus on three core areas for the funding and realisation of the project. He said, ``We are now focusing on three areas; the legal framework which is going to govern the movement of people and goods within the corridor. ``The technical terms of reference of the designs and the management which is going to govern the highway and the financial mechanism which is one of the most important things in order to get the dream realised. ``ECOWAS and the development partners are our key stakeholders. 75 per cent of our trade movement relies on this corridor. We are going to put up a funding mechanism, a pool of funds whereby it could be a mixture of funding; we'll take loans and grants in order to make sure this is realised. Until the design has been done properly, we cannot come up with a tangible figure but cost estimates, we are looking at $1 to $2 billion dollars within that bracket in order to fund this project." Earlier in his address, Njie said that the three areas of focus were part of issues raised by the Heads of State and Governments on the margins of the Summit of the 50th Anniversary of African Union in May. He urged experts at the meeting to focus on the issues and evolve recommendations accordingly. Also speaking, Mike Onolememem, Minister of Works, said that the project would facilitate free movement across borders in the West African sub-region. He was represented by Mr Umunna Ekenna, Deputy Director, (Highways) Planning. The minister said it was imperative that the project was actualised within the shortest possible time ``to promote the economic growth of the West African sub-region.'' The minister also assured of the regional bloc's commitment to begin the construction of the LagosAbidjan corridor in 2014. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the ECOWAS ministers who met on the Lagos-Abidjan highway project in April assured that the project would be completed in 24 months.
Pressure mounts for prosecution of pro-Amaechi lawmakers •Law-enforcement agents analyse video clips of fracas •Surveillance intensified around oil installations P
OWERFUL forces with vested interests in the political logjam in Rivers State are pushing hard for the prosecution of proAmaechi members of the State House of Assembly over last week’s fracas on the floor of the legislature, The Nation on Sunday can now reveal. The first step, according to sources, is the planned arrest of the lawmakers for interrogation. Personnel of the Police and the State Security Service (SSS) perceived to have stepped out of official line may also be swept away in the aftermath of the fracas, triggered by the invasion of the Assembly by the five suspended anti-Amaechi legislators and thugs. The fracas was recorded on video with some security officers caught throwing punches. Security agencies in Abuja are currently reviewing and analysing the video clips.
FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
The aim is to identify who did what while the trouble lasted, with a view to deciding who to take in for questioning and possible prosecution. Sources said preliminary analysis of the clips informed the invitation of Amaechi’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC) and Chief Security Officer (CSO) by the Police and SSS authorities in Abuja for explanation on the role they are believed to have played during the fracas. A Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Philemon Leha, has already been appointed as chairman of a panel by the police authorities to investigate the brawl. A source said: “I think some Rivers lawmakers might be ar-
rested for interrogation and possible prosecution. The police and other security agencies are already studying the video clips and isolating those to be quizzed. Already, some policemen and security agents are facing intra-disciplinary interrogation over the fracas.” It was suggested that the ongoing probe might be targeted at pro-Amaechi lawmakers. A third source added: “As a matter of fact, some forces in Abuja are already pushing for the arrest of the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyds, who is currently hospitalised. “They are accusing Lloyds as the mastermind because he had been their target all along having made the impeachment of the Speaker impossible. But pro-
Amaechi lawmakers also have evidence of how they were first attacked by some of their colleagues and why they acted in self defence.” The stalemate in the state has also forced security agencies to beef up surveillance around oil installations and put them on alert to avert turning the crisis to what happened in Egypt. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that intelligence report cautioned that oil installations in the state might be targeted by some disgruntled elements using the crisis as a cover-up. It was gathered that the government does not want oil thieves to take undue advantage of the situation to strike at oil installations. According to records made
available by Amaechi in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, Rivers State is “the largest on-shore oil producing State and the headquarters of Nigeria’s hydro- carbon industry. “It is also home to Nigeria’s only Oil and Gas Free Zone as well as several off- shore oil and gas fields. In addition, Rivers State hosts multinational Oil and Gas Companies, Shell Petroleum Development Co (SPDC), MOBIL, AGIP, CHEVRON and many others.”A top security source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Both the military and other security agencies have been directed to enhance security in all oil and gas fields in the state.” The source added that the increased surveillance was borne out of the need to protect the nation’s oil fields from being hurt by vengeance-seeking and desperate politicians.
Ekiti deputy governor, Fayemi's wife condole with Fajuyi's family
•Women activists from India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans against Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government as they protest against inflation and calling for better security for women in New Delhi yesterday.
Kebbi: Army seizes petrol tanker loaded with arms
OLDIERS in Kebbi State have impounded a petrol tanker loaded with arms and ammunitions. The arrest was effected on Thursday during a joint patrol by the army and the State Security Service (SSS),the Commanding Officer, 1 Battalion Lt. Col. Sunday Ilori, said yesterday in Birnin-Kebbi. Found in the fuel compartment of the oil tanker were three AK 47 Rifles, one RPG-2, nine AK 47 magazines, two bombs, three RPG chargers and 790 rounds of 7.62mm of special ammunitions "The arrest and confiscation of arms was sequel to the on-going operations of the 1 Battalion of the Nigerian Army with headquarters in Sokoto, against insurgency and insurgent activities within its area of responsibilities. "The efforts resulted in the arrest of one suspect, arms and ammunition and
a petrol tanker on July 11, 2013 after a combined operation between the 1 Battalion of the Nigerian Army and the State Security Services."
Two suspects escaped when the vehicle was intercepted He said investigation is on to "unravel the source and ownership of the arms
and ammunition." The suspect claimed that he was paid N500, 000 to deliver the items to Sokoto and that the owners had threatened to eliminate his family.
KITI State Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, and wife of the governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, were among the early callers at the home of the Military Governor of the defunct Western Nigeria, Col Adekunle Fajuyi, to commiserate with the family over the death of the Fajuyi matriarch, Eunice Ayodele Fajuyi. They were received by Mr. Femi Fajuyi, his wife, Lanre, and Mrs. Eunice Tomi-Lawson, The deputy governor described the demise of Mrs. Fajuyi as shocking She, however, said the deceased lived a fulfilled life, having held the forte since the death of her husband in July 1966. In a statement by Bunmi Ogunmodede, Special Adviser Media to the Deputy Governor, he quoted Prof Adelabu as saying: "The news of her death is shocking. The governor was planning to visit her ahead of the birthday anniversary. But we thank God for a life wellspent."
JTF arrests mega tonne vessel, 14 crew over illegal bunkering
3,500 metric tonne crude oil tanker and 14 crew members have been arrested by the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta for alleged illegal bunkering. Commander of 3 Battalion of the Nigerian Army and JTF Sector 1, Lt. Colonel Ifeanyi Otu, said the vessel christened Cape Hope was arrested by his men at Benneth Island in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. The vessel was marked with IMO (International Maritime Organisation) number 8313544. Documents in the vessel indicated that it was contracted by one Jack
•Operators offer N14m bribe to army officer From Shola O'Neil, Regional Editor
Marine with office in Apapa, Lagos. Lt. Col Otu said the vessel sailed into Warri River after its owners offered him a bribe of N14 million to facilitate the illegal deal. "The Commander played along with them that he would assist them until the vessel sailed into the Warri River prior to the criminal operation. It was impounded and crew members seized," a JTF source said. The crew members were identified as Mr. Stephen Fregene, Captain; Ebikoro
Oweikeyi, an engineer and a Ghanaian, Mr. Anku Williams, as well as Evans Nwoko, Blessing Okafor, Jacob Ojugbeli, Uchegbu VictorIdris Omoleri and Shola Ilororo The rest are John Mark, Ugbosanmi John, Patrick Wilson, Lamidi Janunu and Peter Adume. Further checks indicated that four vessels had been pencilled down for the illicit deal for which the commander was offered the huge sum of money. JTF source said the vessels are used by a criminal syndicate that obtain documents for them
under the pretext of lifting sludge or waste. But the captain, Fregene denied knowledge of the criminal act, stressing that he was merely contracted by the Lagos-based company and ordered to sail to Egbokodo to load sludge. He said his vessel was empty when the JTF operatives swooped. However, the army top brass said he had earlier been offered a whopping N14m by the vessel owners to ensure his cooperation, adding that the activities of sponsors of the illegal bunkering in the region was becoming shocking.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
INEC moves to improve elections
Make politics less attractive - Don
From: Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
HE Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has said it has introduced a more efficient and effective operational mechanism to ensure a free, fair and credible election in 2015. Dr. Nura Yakubu, a National Commissioner of the Commission and Chairman, Operations Committee, disclosed this in Sokoto yesterday. He said the essence was to meet an acceptable target with a view to improving on all electoral processes towards a credible general election come 2015. Dr. Yakubu, who was in the state to oversee the Gada West by-election into the state assembly also expressed concern for the need to strengthen the country's internal democracy, adding that" we are concerned about it. If there is no internal democracy within the political parties, there is no democracy in a nation."
Tension in community over alleged murder From: Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
HERE was tension in Wannune,Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State, following the murder of a Tiv man allegedly by an Igbo trader over a girl friend. As a result of the tension in the area, Igbo traders closed their shops and stayed in door for fear of reprisal attacks by the locals. A team of security men comprising Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), mobile and regular police mounted a 24 hour patrol to forestal break down of law and order. An eyewitness, Justine Anjembe, told The Nation that the Igbo trader and a Tiv boy had been having a running battle over a girl, suddenly the Tiv boy fell ill and told his friends that if he died,the Igbo trader should be held responsible. Unfortunately, he died last Wednesday night and youths mobilised to attack Igbo traders but elders prevailed and the situation was brought under control.
Tackle Nigeria's problems, group urges Jonathan From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
N association known as Youths and Students Support Group (YSSG) has said that the current socioeconomic, political and security challenges in the country require fervent prayers from all and sundry. The group therefore urged President Goodluck Jonthan to tackle the Boko Haram menace and other social vices in Nigeria with relentless zeal and vigour. YSSG said Nigeria can only overcome its current travails when right people are put in right places without considering political, religious or ethnic colouration.
â€˘Major Hamza Al- Mustapha with Prophet T.B. Joshua at the Synagogue of All Nations shortly after his release from prison on Friday.
Panic in Jos over threat of kidnappers â€˘Eight kidnapped victims T rescued by STF
HE Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises, code named Operation Safe Haven', has stormed a den of kidnappers in Jos, the Plateau State capital, and rescued 8 victims held captive by the gang of kidnappers. The gang of kidnappers was already negotiating a deal with families of the victims when men of the STF stormed their hideout in Jos North Local Government
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
Area of Plateau State. Residents of Jos have been living under tension in recent times following rumours that some gang of kidnappers lurking around with a list of per-
sonalities to be kidnapped. But residents heaved a sigh of relief yesterday when the STF announced it has uncovered one of the syndicates and had raided their hideout right within the city of Jos. A statement signed by the
media officer of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha, and made available to newsmen in Jos yesterday indicated that the STF made the discovery of the gang through intelligence gathering.
Desertification: 35 million people face threat of hunger
OLLOWING the devastating effect of desertification, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Engr. Goni Sheikh, has expressed fear that about 35 million people are under threat of hunger in the country. Sheikh said the victims reside in areas prone to desertification such as the 11 frontline states in the north, including, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. He spoke at an event on providing Sustainable Desertification and Drought Control Projects organised by the Department of Desertification Control and Drought Amelioration, EFO at the weekend in Abuja. Sheikh said: "Nigeria is believed to be losing ap-
From: Olugbenga Adanikin and Jane Maha, Abuja
proximately 320, 000 to 350, 000 hectares of land annually, with at least 35 million people facing threats of hunger and economic down turn
due to the present scale of desertification Earlier, Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo of Ahmadu Bello University identified the roles of research and capacity building in addressing challenges of environmental
40,444 voters for Sokoto by-election
HE Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) expected about 40,444 registered voters across five wards of Kyadawa/Holai, Kiri, Kwarma, Kada Saka and Wauru in Gada West of Sokoto State to participate in yesterday's state assembly by-election in the state. The Nation reveals that accreditation commenced as early as 8am at polling units under the watchful eyes of party agents and security personnel.
From: Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
However, voting started at about 12:30pm in almost all of the polling units with few exceptions where accreditation did not commence at exactly 8am due to some minor issues, like sorting out of names, acting Electoral Officer, Yahaya Sarkin Tashan Nakuru, said yesterday, shortly after voters' accreditation commenced for the election expected to fill in the vacuum created by the death of
Forum repositions APC to win Kano
ETERMINED to sack the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Kano Government House in 2015, a forum has emerged from the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) with a mission to ensure internal democracy, unity and equity in the new political platform. Addressing reporters in Kano Press Centre yesterday, Hon. Umar El-Yakub, a former lawmaker and chairman of the forum said the new organisation will do everything possible within its power not to allow any
degradation in the country. Associate Professor of Geography, Bayero University, Kano, Ibrahim BabaYakubu said the federal government should initiate ideas just beyond tree planting to solve desertification.
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
individual to hijack the APC structure in Kano, pointing out that, "our coming together is to chat a new course that will allow all aspirants to realise their aspirations within the framework of the party rules and regulations. According to him, "the forum shall resist with all force, any attempt by any person or persons to use the forum to satisfy his/her or their personal and selfish interest. This forum is an APC forum for all APC
members and any person who genuinely identifies with and will work for the attainment of APC ideals." El-Yakub noted that the forum remains conscious of the enormity of the challenges that may confront it, "we are also conscious of the fact that the mission of the forum is heavily tasking, but it is absolutely necessary and vital for the socio-political wellbeing of Kano State, as such, no sacrifice will be too big to make from its members in other to attain the desired goal."
a member, Murtala Attahiru Wauru. Wauru was killed a month ago by suspected armed robbers while on his way home after a brief meeting. Candidates from eleven political parties were expected to participate in the exercise. Top among the major political parties that fielded candidates included: ANPP, DPP, CPC, PDP, APGA. Wauru said national officers were deployed from the INEC headquarters to supervise the exercise. He explained that not less than 301 ad hoc staff from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and NYSC were recruited for the exercise across 82 polling units. " They will serve as collection, returning and constituency officers," he stated. Meanwhile top contenders, that included a former council chairman of Gada, Tanimu Dangaladima of the Peoples Democratic Party and Musa Hamidu of the All Nigerian Peoples Party as well as Kalle Aminu of Congress for Progressive Change were in high spirit yesterday, expecting victory. But as the time of filing this report no result had been released from the polling units.
HE Vice Chancellor, Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof. Olufemi Onabajo, at the weekend said without making politics less attractive ,there would be no committed leaders to run the affairs of the country smoothly. Besides, he said the electorate must prepare to vote for leaders of their choice and guard their votes jeolously. Prof. Onabajo who spoke in Owo at the maiden Achievers National Conference on Public Policy (ANCOPP 2013) organised by Achievers University said the electorate must go through a re-orientation , mobilisation and education in order to redress voters apathy The VC who chaired the conference said, judiciary must be impartial, stressing that the wheels of justice must roll faster so that political fraudsters are not allowed to enjoy the fruits of their illicit gains. The theme of the National Conference, "Nigeria's socioeconomic and political Dilemmas: the challenges and the way out," gave many stakeholders and students the opportunity to ask questions on the way forward on socioeconomic and political challenges facing the country.
3000 farmers benefit N209m World Bank project in Kano
From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
VER 3,000 farmers have benefited from the World Bank ture Development Project Commercial Agricul(CADP) in Kano State, World Bank Senior Operations Specialist, Lucas Akapa, has said. He said out the beneficiaries who received about N209 million for the project, 1,637 are men while 1,502 are women. Akapa, who is also the CADP Task Team Leader, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 8th World Bank Project Implementation Mission to Kano State. He said CADP has recorded notable achievements, especially with regard to productivity, valueaddition and marketed surplus. He also disclosed that, the project in Kano has promoted Drought Tolerant Maize (DTM) in the traditionally nonmaize growing areas using System of Rice Intensification (SRI) amongst rice farmers resulting to average yield increase from 2.7 metric ton to 3.6 metric ton per hectare. In a statement made available to The Nation, by the World Bank office yesterday in Abuja, the project has also assisted beneficiaries to upgrade their cow breeds through the use of artificial insemination technology and improved feed supplement which resulted in the increase in the volume of milk from 2.15 litres to 4 litres per cow per day. That means increased income for the farmers.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Lagos Assembly wants more attention on primary schools
We must elaborate on Awo's ideals for good goverance -Fayemi
By Oziegbe Okoeki
HAIRMAN, House Committee on Education, Science and Technology of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, has charged the 20 education secretaries in the state to concentrate more on the monitoring and evaluation system in the primary educational sector in the state. He made the call during the maiden edition of a meeting with the 20 education secretaries of the 20 local government areas and the 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state at the Assembly Complex. He noted, "This is the most important section in the education sector and this committee will be having this meeting twice or at least once a year to afford us the opportunity of knowing the challenges that are facing our primary schools in a bid to profer lasting solutions to those obstacles." Alawiye-King added that the committee is ready to assist the secretaries in any way possible so that their performance can be felt in the sector like never before. "The need for this meeting arose when it was pointed out during the just concluded 3rd Lagos Education Summit that notable lapses in the performances of students in secondary schools came from the elementary section," Alawiye-King said. In his contribution, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi (Ojo 11), who spoke passionately on schools located in the riverine area of the state, said he believes that they will have different experiences because teachers in those areas seldom remain there because there are no motivational allowances for them from the state government. Another member of the committee, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, spoke on the inadequate number of teachers cum instructors in primary schools viz -a -viz the infrastructure. Another lawmaker, Mufutau Egberongbe, laid emphasis on the issue of 5% of the total emolument being allotted to the schools as running cost. Giving a brief of their activities on behalf of the other E.S, the Chairman, Mr. Oduloye Taiwo, said, "Our sector is the most important in the education sector and our responsibilities is to see to the day to day running of primary schools in Lagos State." The E.S complained about the quality of infrastructure handed over to them by State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), adding, "We are supposed to be carried along from the beginning when the contracts are being given out to the contractors for better supervision.'' Other E.S present, however, listed other challenges they are facing to include transportation cars to enable them perform their duties efficiently, government policy on development levy, shortage of teachers in primary schools due to non-recruitment of teachers, speedboat for riverine areas, non severance payment for teachers in the riverine areas, while soliciting for more infrastructure in all primary schools in the state, among other things.
â€˘Pakistani Muslims wait to break their fast during the month of Ramadan in Karachi Islam's holy month of Ramadan is calculated on the sighting of the new moon and Muslims all over the world are supposed to fast from dawn to dusk during the month. AFP PHOTO
Police killings: 'IG must deal with culprits'
LDER statesman, Chief Deji Fasuan, has urged the Inspector General of Police (IG), Muhammed Abubakar, to be fair in the treatment of men of the force who were alleged to have committed extra-judicial killings across the country. Fasuan spoke in AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital, in reaction to the spate of unresolved killings in the state and elsewhere in the country, insisting that the IG must deal with culprits who he referred to as "bad eggs in the force" with "every sense of discipline, forthrightness, and justice for which he is known." Fasuan added, "Police officers who perpetrate this heinous acts should be apprehended and dealt with according to the law. Such people should not be protected
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti under any guise. In recent times, the police have been doing a good job in the sense that their men who kill wantonly are made to face the law but there are still cases even in Ekiti here where offenders are shielded from
the law. And this is wrong." The former Federal Commissioner of the Revenue Commission, who noted that the IG had "done commendably well since he assumed office," added, "his performance going by the recurring experiences of accidental discharges and consequent killings of innocent people in the country
still leaves much to be desired." Chief Fasuan, however, explained that the judiciary must share in the the blame, noting, "If there are such cases that go on unresolved, you cannot lay the entire blame on the police alone. Lawyers at the bar and the bench also play a part in this."
By Oziegbe Okoeki
Strategy, Security and Publicity, Hon. Segun Olulade, described the allegation as a distortion of the truth and a cheap ploy to blackmail the ACN. Buttressing his position, Olulade stressed that the PDP should affirm if it was ACN that ignited the crisis in Plateau, Kano, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Nasarawa and other PDP-controlled states. He also asked the PDP if ACN was responsible for the bombing of churches, mosques, schools and other public institutions, as well as the kidnapping of innocent citizens in the country. He also denied PDP's allegation about an incidence of a free-for-all fight at the Lagos State House of Assembly where Hon. Risikat Adegeye was physically attacked on the floor of the House. The lawmaker added that there has never been any time in the history of the Lagos State House of Assembly when members engaged in physical combat. Olulade advised the PDP leadership to warn President Goodluck Jonathan to desist from the use of divide and rule tactics, adding that the crude approaches of Jonathan and some other PDP leaders and their controversial meddling in issues of local and national pedigree have worsened the crisis in many states across the country.
Rivers crisis: Lagos Assembly cautions PDP
HE Lagos State House of Assembly has cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop looking for scapegoats as a result of its failure to manage the lingering crisis in Rivers State as well as the internal bickering within the party in many other states of the federation.
Reacting to a statement made by the Lagos PDP on Friday where it accused the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) of being responsible for the political crisis in Rivers State, the Chairman, House Committee on Information,
'Nigeria has potentials to develop its infrastructure'
HE Chairman, Nigeria -China Business Council, Chief Jacob Wood, has pointed out that Nigeria has the potentials to develop its infrastructure and improve its industrial base for the welfare of her citizens. He made the remarks at a dinner hosted in honour of members of the Nigeria-China Business Council in Beijing, China. The Chairman said that with hard work, diligence and honesty on the part of both private and public sectors, Nigeria will overcome the problem of infrastructural deficit and unemployment. He recalled his first visit to Lagos 30 years ago, which he said availed him of the opportunity to see a bridge for the first time as there was nothing like it in China then, noting that with dedication and hardwork of the Chinese people, the country was able to develop its infrastructure and improve the standard of living of her citizens. Wood urged members of the council to continue to cooperate and strive to attract more investments into Nigeria, while thanking the Ministry of Trade and Investment for its support to the council. In his remarks, Mr. David Adejuwon, Director of Trade in the ministry, said that the council can lift the economy of Nigeria and also strengthen the bilateral relationship between both countries, noting that both countries have common features in terms of population, human
By Bukola Afolabi and material resources that will improve their trade and investment opportunities. Adejuwon further said that more work needs to be done to address the quality of goods produced in China for the Nigerian market, while calling for more collaboration to ensure the production of standard goods in Nigeria and
China. Earlier, the National Coordinator, Nigeria-China Business Council, Chief Matthew Uwakwe, pointed out that the development pace in China can be replicated in Nigeria through collaboration between the private and public sectors, adding that the council will continue to attract both local and foreign investors into the country.
Oyo warns against manipulation of Ajumose shuttle tickets
HE Oyo State Government has warned the public against any act of fraudulent activities in obtaining the Pace Setters Transport Services (PTS) tickets popularly called Ajumose shuttle buses. It warned that anyone caught contravening the warning will pay a fine of five thousand naira or handed over to law enforcement agencies. The Chief Executive Officer of Ajumose Transport Limited, Engr. Olugbenga Ayoade, made this known while commissioning the PTS administrative building annex yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital. He warned, "I believe Oyo State residents are law abiding citizens and these shuttle buses are meant for their safe transportation, but if anybody is found defaulting the ticket rules, he or she will be prosecuted." He urged the public to note the modalities for engaging the services of the Ajumose shuttle buses, routes plied and ticketing modes.
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan Ayoade said the mission of the agency is to develop a world-class transportation system with standard infrastructure, efficient, reliable and affordable service for the people of the state in line with the transformation agenda of the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. "All ticket dealers whose primary assignment is to provide first-class services to the general public has been allocated various routes in order to ensure efficiency, sanity and easy monitoring,"he added. Commenting on the new PTS administrative building, he stated that the project was carried out with the support of the board members. He declared, "This project is for the convenience of our staff and customers and it includes visitors reception hall, a well designed car park and replacement of the entrance gate."
KITI State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on political leaders in the country to elaborate on the ideational foundations of the late sage and Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and reconstruct them in the context of new challenges and new opportunities that would bring about good governance in the country. Speaking in Lagos at the International conference on "Leadership And Governance In Africa" held at the Obafemi Awolowo Institute for Governance and Public Policy, Lagos on Friday, the governor asserted that Awolowo had already provided the ideational foundations for good leadership and good governance in Nigeria At the event were the National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, who chaired the conference; former Ambassador to Netherlands and daughter of the late sage, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu; the representative of the Governor of Osun State, Mr. Ajibola Bashiru, and renowned poet, Mr. Odia Ofeimum. Fayemi added that the struggle that some progressive leaders have engaged in the last three decades is based largely on Awolowo's heritage in which the one and only purpose of political leadership and governance is the delivery of political goods. He stressed that the grand purpose of leadership and governance in the context of Awolowo's political philosophy can best be summarised as "public good and private welfare". "Whether in the context of political structure, particularly democratic federalism, in the nature, order, purpose and limits of government as evident in the rule of law, the rights and duties of citizens, or in the directive principles of state policy which should be geared towards the economic freedom, good health, liberty and welfare of the people, the struggle that some of us have engaged in, in the last three decades is based largely on this heritage; that is, a settled conviction in which the one and only purpose of political leadership and governance is the delivery of political goods," Fayemi stated.
Aregbesola supports 500 widows with empowerment materials
IFE of Osun State Governor and President, Sheri Care Foundation (SCARF), Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola, has assisted about 500 widows selected across the state with empowerment materials that would enhance their income generation activities. Aregbesola, while speaking at the distribution of the materials to the beneficiaries in Osogbo, Osun State capital, said the main purpose of the programme was to "reach out to some of the very
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo critically needy in our communities." Some of the beneficiaries were supported with materials for soap making, production of adire, baking of akara (bean cake), preparation of eko (pap), tailoring and petty trading. Mrs. Aregbesola said, "being made a widow could be very devastating, especially when one lives in a country where social security system is yet to be put in place.â€?
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Lagos-Ibadan Road: PDP commends Forget Imo governorFG for construction flag off ship race, ex-woman leader advises PDP
HE plan by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to reclaim the governorship seat in Imo State was yesterday punctured by the former Woman Leader of the party, Nnanna Okoro, who described it as a wild goose chase. She flayed the party’s ambition to return to power, stating that the state is currently undergoing healing from the ills perpetrated by the past PDP-led administration. Mrs. Okoro, a legal practitioner and Commissioner for Community Government Council (CGC), urged the PDP leadership in the state to embrace and support the
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
state government in developing the state which had suffered greatly under the PDP. Recounting her ordeal as the PDP woman leader, Okoro said that the party does not have a second chance in the state, “I had the worst experience in the PDP and my years as the woman leader exposed me to the manner of politics that obtain in the PDP”. According to her, “Governor Rochas Okorocha has done so well in Imo State that the PDP does not stand a chance. Recent activities have shown that the PDP cannot change and no sane person can remain in that party.”
HE South East Zonal Working Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, yesterday lauded the federal government for the commencement of work on the 2nd Niger bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State and the 167billion naira Lagos Ibadan Expressway. The Committee gave the commendation in Enugu at the end of its zonal working committee meeting noting that successive governments in the past had failed to deliver on their promises on the bridge. A statement by the Zonal Publicity Secretary, South East of the party, Ali Odefa also commended the President Jonathan
From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
led government for the completion of the Alaoji power project, as well as the construction or completion of various projects in the zone in particular and the country in general. The statement reads, “The party notes with pride the commencement of work on the multi-billion naira 2nd Niger bridge in Onitsha, Anambra state. The over fifty year old Niger Bridge has remained a source of concern to the old Eastern region which relies on the bridge to connect to the rest of the country. It is noteworthy that various governments have
made countless promises on the building of a new bridge over the River Niger in Onitsha, but none ever fulfilled the promises. “Just three days ago, President Jonathan flagged off the 167billion naira Lagos Ibadan Expressway reconstruction and expansion project in the Southwest, while the Abuja-Lokoja dual carriage way is nearing completion.” “The Alaoji power plant in Aba, Abia State is completed and ready to supply power to the national grid, while various agricultural, educational and many health facilities across the South-East are witnessing a turn around for good’. “The all important Enugu-
Port Harcourt highway has been made motorable, EnuguOnitsha expressway is under reconstruction, AbakalikiEnugu highway is being completely reconstructed; while the inland Port in Onitsha has been reconstructed, modernised and ready for use”. “The Enugu airport has since been converted and renamed Akanu Ibiam International Airport with the local wing remodeled, runway extended and currently the International Terminal is under intensive construction. Various other sectors have also benefited from the transformation government of President Jonathan”.
RAMADAN GUIDE WITH FEMI ABBAS e-mail: email@example.com Tel: 08122697498
Origin of Tafsir ROM the beginning of Ramadan, every year, Muslims congregate in various Mosques or Learning Centres where Tafsir (exposition of the Qur’an) is rendered by learned
scholars. This is in accordance with the Prophetic tradition which encourages better understanding of the Qur’an. Linguistically, Tafsir means exposition. But technically, it means the comprehensive analysis of the Qur’an. In other words, Tafsir is the exposition of the contents of the Qur’an, as usually done comprehensively by Muslim scholars especially during the month of Ramadan throughout the Muslim world. Because of the coded language of the Qur’anic revelation, it became necessary for the verses of that sacred book to be decoded for the purpose of thorough understanding of the Muslim Ummah. And this was thoroughly by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to the great delight of his companions and disciples. From the explanation above it becomes clear that the revelations of the Qur’an were the immediate cause of intellectual research in Islam. For instance, Arabic the original language of the Qur’an had no grammar prior to the revelations of the divine message. The grammar of that language evolved only from the contents of the Qur’an. The challenge which the Qur’an threw to humanity in all spheres of life led to competition among the scholars. Thus, each time a revelation came, the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were always eager to know why and how of every what. And this led to their very close association with the Prophet who paved the way towards that intellectual research. Although the formal study of Tafsir as an independent discipline did not begin until many years after the death of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), he (the Prophet) nevertheless started its process. He did not only give the exoteric and esoteric meanings of revealed verses of the Qur’an, he also explained their application and to the daily life of man as well as the implications of same. It was the prophet who decoded most of the coded areas of the Qur’an for proper understanding of the ordinary Muslims. Through his utterances and actions which were later to be known as Hadith and Sunnah, the contents of the Qur’an became more and more understandable to the Muslims even as further research continues today. Thus, after the prophet’s demise, Hadith and Sunnah together became an independent subject of research paving man’s way to higher firmaments in civilization. And this has helped, in no small measure, in expanding the scope of Tafsir. It is from this that, all new discoveries and new frontiers in knowledge became adapted to the study of Tafsir until Tafsir itself became an estuary through which every stream of knowledge was passed to mankind. Ever since Tafsir has become a field of study, research into all spheres of knowledge has increasingly advanced with resultant development of man. It is through such research that man zoomed into the firmament of science which brought about the current gargantuan civilization. If there are such famous universities like Al-Azhar of Cairo, in Egypt; Qarawiyyin of Fez, in Morocco and Zaytuniyyah of Tunis, Tunisia, (the three oldest Universities in the world) it is as a result of the research developed to advance the course of Tafsir. But what problems does Tafsir face? Read on tomorrow.
• Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (M) flanked by Ms. Ini Onuk, Acting Managing Director, The Bridge Leadership Foundation, O’seun Odewale, and Ms. Emilia Asim-Ita and Mr. Onisegun Onigbinde at the 2013 Career Day of the foundation in Calabar, yesterday
Orji woos Chinese investors
BIA State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has urged people of the state residing in China to be good ambassadors of both the state and the country. In a statement by his chief press secretary, Ugochukwu Emezue, which was made available to journalists in Umuahia, Orji who spoke during a town hall meeting advised them to be law abiding and shun the urge to push hard
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
drugs. Orji said that Abians are noted for their integrity, hard work and excellence and they should not do anything that would bring shame to the state, stressing that their good and exemplary life style will attract investors to the state. He therefore pleaded with those of them who have facto-
ries in Gwanzhu and other cities in China to replicate same in Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia, adding that the state has a lot of potentials that are yet to be tapped. He assured them of security back home, even as he reeled out his numerous legacy projects. The governor assured them of his readiness to return to China in the near future to consolidate the new relation-
Orji pledges to make Abia highest producer of cocoa
GOVERNOR Theodore Orji of Abia State has restated the resolve of his administration to ensure that the state becomes the highest producer of cocoa in the country by empowering the cocoa farmers in the state and thereby improve the internally generated revenue base of the state. Speaking at the Ikwuano council headquarters during the roll-out cocoa Growth Enhancement Scheme [GES], Orji commended the council chairman of Ikwuano, Henry Nwaoha and the people of the area for being the best cocoa producing area in the state. Orji, however, promised to do more in order to ensure that cocoa farmers from
Ikwuano and the entire Abia state produce more cocoa, “as it will help to improve the rating of our state in the comity of cocoa producing states in the country and also improve our economy through taxes”. The governor recalled that the building of the Eastern part of the country in the olden days under the leadership of the late Premier of the Region, Dr Michael Okpara was done with funds realised from the proceeds of cocoa, palm produce and other agricultural produce and promised to replicate same before leaving office. He said that the state can only realise it true potentials when the people go back to
the farms, pointing out that when the people return to the farms, “We will not only produce enough to eat, but enough to earn some money for our personal needs and to pay our taxes”. Earlier in his welcome address, the council chairman of Ikwuano, Nwaoha thanked the governor for choosing his council for the GES, “As it is the deserving place for such event as we produce the best quality cocoa throughout the state”. Nwaoha used the forum to enumerate the needs of the council area which include the building of the rural roads in the area, stressing that it will help them to evacuate the farm produce from the hinterland.
ship he established during the visit, adding that he expects them to work extra hard to ensure a smooth sail of his ideas by the time he comes back. In a meeting with investors in Beijing, Orji assured them of adequate security, as he wooed them to come and invest in the state and maintained that Abia is one of the safest states in Nigeria. Orji told his guests that Abia State is a virgin market for foreign investments in various sectors like oil and gas, housing, education, agriculture, health and tourism, adding that there are limestones to be tapped for building a cement industry. The governor informed them of improved security , infrastructure development and tax rebate which were among the incentives for prospective investors, adding that the agility of the state’s workforce and her cordial working relationship with foreigners were other benefits of investing in the state. Orji assured them of their health care while in the state with the great milestone the state has recorded in the health sector with the establishment of a world -class diagnostic centre in Umuahia and Aba, which is a product of partnership with a foreign investor.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Fire guts Champion Breweries in Akwa Ibom From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo HE warehouse section of Champion Breweries Plc in Akwa Ibom State was yesterday razed down by fire. The fire was said to have been triggered when particles of fire dropped on empty crates at the warehouse where a welder was working on some equipment. A member of staff who spoke to The Nation on Sunday on condition of anonymity said the management is carrying out expansion at the warehouse to pave way for the movement of long trailer (haulage) into the store. The fire that started around 11am was still active as at the time The Nation on Sunday visited the Nung Udoe Road where Champion Breweries Company is located. Damage from the fire was limited, according to eye-witnesses, due to the quick response of the Akwa Ibom State Fire Service, Julius Berger Plc and some water private distribution company operating in the state. As at the time of filing this report, Julius Berger had supplied four (4) tanks of trailer load of water while the private water company had supplied seven (7) in a bid to put out the fire.
Peugeot woos lost customers with new product From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja SD Group, marketers of Peugeot brand in the country, has said manufacturer of the new Peugeot 301 saloon car, designed the new product to woo its lost customers. Managing Director, MS & SONS, marketers and distributors of the product, Mr. Shehu Dauda disclosed this at the unveiling ceremony at the weekend in Abuja. Dauda said: “We intend to make all Peugeot lovers we lost to come back to us and to also make them know we are thinking of them.” According to him, with the new 301, Peugeot would adequately compete with other notable saloon car manufacturers in the Nigerian automobile space. “Peugeot want to use this car to make a statement that we are back. We are back in the sense that we have been absent for about a year. Our end clients have been demanding us to be present in the sedan lower earning segment of the automobile sector. “This car is to tell you that we have a new global initiative that is produced and suitable for clients’ world-over. We produce for the global market now, not just for segments like Europe and Africa,” he added. Dauda said the 301 has been unveiled in countries like Dubai, Kuwait, China and other Asian countries, adding that the manufacturer targeted more of Africa.
Man kills wife hours before twins’ naming ceremony
RAGEDY recently struck a couple who was preparing for the naming ceremony of their twins, as the wife, identified as Osarumwense was reportedly killed, by her husband. The incident was said to have occurred as a result of an argument on when the deceased mother should breastfeed the babies. Witnesses said the couple celebrated the birth of the twins last week Sunday and
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
was preparing for the naming ceremony when the tragedy occurred. It was gathered that the husband, Endurance Enadeba, hit the wife on the head with an object which resulted in to her death. Enadeba had insisted that the wife breastfed the crying babies, with the latter insisting that she needed to urinate first. As a result, the husband approached the urinating wife and a fracas
ensued, which led to him hitting the wife on the head. Father of the deceased who gave his name as Eghenayayore was seen weeping and cursing profusely over the corpse, while lamenting that his daughter had called to inform him of the incident, but died before she could be rushed to the hospital. He disclosed that the husband, Enadeba, fled immediately the wife collapsed.
According to him, “He killed my daughter because of breastfeeding the twins. The twins are at home now, who will give them breatsmilk? Why did he kill my young daughter. This girl was born in 1996. We were preparing to name the babies tomorrow because it was their first issue.” Police spokesman, DSP Moses Eguavoen, confirmed the incident. He said the husband has been arrested from his hide-out.
•R-L, Chief Mrs Aduke Seriki; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Chief Mrs Eunice Olabisi; Chief Mrs Florence Oyewole; during Ekiti State Market Women and Men Association’s condolence visit to Tinubu House over the death of his mother Alhaja Abibat Mogaji in lagos yesterday.
Rivers crisis: Politicians setting bad precedent for youths - ACN youths
OLITICAL gladiators behind the crisis rocking Rivers State are bad examples to future leaders, the youth wing of the Action Congress of Nigeria has said. The ACN National Youth Leader, Mr. Miriki Ebikibina, said in Yenagoa yesterday that posterity would judge all the seen and unseen hands
From Mike Odiegwu
behind the plot to destabilise the state. He insisted that politicians had betrayed the trust reposed in them by the youths saying “there is nothing to learn from this crop of politicians”. He said it was shocking that lawmakers would engage
the services of thugs to breach the peace of the state and terrorise people believed to have elected them. Having reviewed the imbroglio, he said persons who scripted the tragedy and their actors had, through their actions, stripped themselves of the obligations to advise the
Bayelsa assures investors of protection
HE Bayelsa State Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA) yesterday said the government has set up security measures to provide adequate protection for foreign and local investors. The agency said it would partner with the special police outfit, Operation Doo- Akpo, established by Governor Seriake Dickson to protect people’s investments. In addition, BIPA informed potential investors that the government had already entered into partnership with foreign firms to install Circuit Cable Camera Televisions (CCTV). The Director-General, BIPA, Miss Ruth Murray Bruce, revealed this in
From Mike Odiegwu
Yenagoa, the state capital. She said the CCTV would be installed in strategic areas to tackle insecurity and protect investors’ business concerns. As part of strategies to woo investors, she said the agency had concluded plans to convene Bayelsa Investment Forum and Diaspora Summit in the state. She said the events were designed to also promote tourism. Murray Bruce disclosed that the agency was established to ensure transparency, promote security of lives and property of investors and facilitate the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between government and
firms. She added that “this agency educates and enlightens investors on critical sectors of the state’s economy, including the investment and tourism promotion especially in areas of community relations. “BIPA has high database of potential Nigerian investors, as the agency has received over 50 proposals of potential investors willing to invest in the state. We have created a database of network of potential investors. We have also created sectoral booklets for all sectors to promote and showcase our rich potential. We shall soon organise trade missions to selected cities across the globe to showcase the economic potential of our state.”
youths on leadership. Ebikibina frowned at the impunity with which security operatives, especially the police, took sides with the law breakers to disrupt the peace they vowed to protect. He, however, commended the House of Representatives for its resolution to take over the functions of the state House of Assembly. He asked the Force Headquarters to redeploy the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Mbu John Mbu, over his role in the saga. According to the CAN Youth Leader, “It is disheartening that politicians desperately engaged the services of thugs to disrupt and threaten the peace in Rivers State.”This is a wrong signal not only to Rivers State but also to the country. The controversial impeachment in the state is shameful and monumental embarrassment to the country. “It is also a blow on democracy. It should be strongly condemned. If what is happening in Rivers is not checked, it will portend danger to our preparation for the 2015 elections.”
Akwa Ibom property owners appeal to govt From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
The Forum of Property Owners in Akwa Ibom State has appealed to the state government to re-route the high voltage electric bare conductors connected over their residential and business premises. The Niger Delta Power Holding Company of Nigeria while executing the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) along Eket-Itu 132 (264) Transmission line, in Akwa Ibom State, had diverted the High Voltage electric bare conductors over some residential buildings in seven local governments in the state. The National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) along Eket-Itu 132 (264) Transmission line was executed by Houquado Nigeria Limited. The affected LGAs are Eket, Nsit Ubium, Nsit Ibom Itu, Etinan, Ibesikpo Asutan and Uyo. Speaking during the presentation of letter of appeal to Governor Godswill Akpabio, President, Forum of Property Owners, Ime Ekanem, said the recent development in some communities in Akwa Iboms State where high tension wires fell off and electrocuted people to death is worthy of mention, so as to guide those responsible for utmost care and caution. His words: “We are all aware of the potent danger of having one’s house under High Tension Wires, especially during rainfall which is usually accompanied by thunder and lightening. This should be a cause for concern because our life-span is being tacitly shortened as a result of the psychological trauma, persistent fear and radiation from the wires. “Research has shown that the probability ratio of direct lightening strokes on transmission line (like 132kv transmission line Eket-Itu) would be hit by about 8 to 10 per cent of the lightening or thunder stroke. This is capable of causing surge voltages and current and also that Akwa Ibom with a high frequency rate of lightening and thunder stroke will release a high level of electrical charges which is dangerous to us (victims) living under the high tension wire.” The Senior Special Assistant on Power to the governor, Dr. Victor Udo, received the letter on behalf of the state government. Udo commended the forum of property owners for allowing the project to be completed without any clash between the communities and the contractor. He said: “I don’t want to make a promise but I am telling you that we are aware of this situation. I also want to minimise some of your fears that they didn’t increase the voltage on the line. They only increased the size of the wire so that it will be able to carry more power.”
Elechi sacks Personal Assistant From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki BONYI State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, yesterday ordered the immediate termination of the appointment of Dr. Nora Aloh as his Personal Assistant on Primary Health. According to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Dr. Onyekachi Eni, the governor said Aloh was sacked for acts inconsistent with the mandate of her office. “The removal takes effect from Saturday, July13, 2013 and she is directed to handover all government properties in her possession to the appropriate authorities,” he added. The statement added that Aloh has ceased to be a member of the State Executive Council,” It was gathered that Aloh’s sack may not be unconnected with the recent controversy she has been enmeshed in over her alleged interest to contest for the chairmanship of Ezza North Local Government area in the forthcoming council polls in September. Government House sources revealed to our reporter that the governor was enraged that she did not resign her appointment before picking up the declaration of interest form for the council polls as required by the constitution. Efforts to get the reactions of Aloh, who was a former Commissioner for Women
Manhunt for groundnut seller’s killers From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
BIA State Police Command has declared manhunt on suspected killers of a 26-year-old groundnut seller, Chinwendu Clement, who was found dead in a block industry along Eziukwu Road in Aba. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, while speaking to The Nation on the outcome of preliminary investigations to unravel the culprits behind the incident, said that no arrest has been made so far. Ogbonna lamented on the inability of members of the public to cooperate with police investigating team which has stalled the speed of investigation into the matter. He, however, reinstated the commitment of the Abia State Police to investigate the matter, stressing that they (police) were going to adopt every measure to expose the people behind the act. A police source who pleaded anonymity said, “We have made some arrests including some of her friends, but they have refused opening up.” He adds, “We are not sleeping on the matter because our aim is to make sure that the people behind the act are made to face the consequences of their actions. Though her people came here and demanded for the release of her corpse for burial, police on their part is resolved to get to the root of the matter.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Boko Haram disowns ceasefire pact with govt
HE ceasefire agreement purportedly signed recently by the Federal Government and the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, is already in jeopardy. The leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday disclaimed the ceasefire and threatened more attacks on schools within its sphere of influence. The Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, had on Tuesday an-
*Shekau: We’ll burn more schools, kill teachers *Backs massacre of Yobe students nounced the signing of an agreement between government and Boko Haram as a prelude to ending years of killings and destruction of property by the group. An influential member of the Shekau-led sect, Imam Muhammadu Marwana, corroborated the minister's statement and also
No pact with FG -Shekau (Being the translation of
Shekau’s latest video message)
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all. This is an important message to all people. "There is this wicked rumour making the rounds that we have dialogued with government of Nigeria which led to a ceasefire on our part. We have also heard how some of our operations and attacks are being credited to criminals. As such the security agents have been killing our armed members in the name of criminals. We have seen how our members, who were out on holy mission, are being attacked and killed with the label of criminals. "We are telling the world that whoever kills any of our members in the name of being criminals, would surely be avenged unless such person repents now. "We are stating it categorically that we are not in any dialogue or ceasefire agreement with anyone. And we have never asked anybody in the name Abdulazeez to represent me, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of this movement. "I swear by Allah that Abdulazeez or whatever he calls himself did not get any authority from me to represent me in any capacity. I do not know him. And if we per adventure encounter Abulazeez and his group, I swear by Allah we are going to mete them with the grave judgment that Allah has prescribed for their likes in the holy book. "I want the world to know that we have no dialogue with government. I have on several occasions attempted to pass this message across via the Internet and Youtube and we later
realised that some agents of government kept removing our messages from the net and preventing its online publication so that our messages will not be heard. They know that if the world hears our position on this fake dialogue, their efforts of deceit would be exposed. "We are also sending this strong message to the people of Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa, and any state that whoever kills any of our members should await a grave retaliation from us. God knows that we don't kill unjustly except those that conspired against us or those that directly fight us, or the government that is waging war upon Allah and His Prophet. We will continue to wage war against them until we succeed in establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria. "This message is prepared by me and targeted towards clarifying the issue of ceasefire. We have never had any dialogue with anyone. How would we have had dialogue with the government when our members are being killed and detained in cells, both women and children. Do you call this dialogue? That is not dialogue or truce in Islam. In Islam, there are condition prescribed for us to go into dialogue, and there are also situations in which we cannot go in to dialogue. What we are doing now is what is prescribed for us by Allah and his holy prophet. We are workers in the vineyard of Allah. "We are not out to cause destructions, but correct the ills of the society. And Allah is more powerful than all, and He has the might. Allah will surely assist us to victory. This is my message to you. If you have not heard from me all this while, now my message should have reached you all."
apologised for the various activities of the sect which have claimed thousands of lives especially in the northern part of the country. However, Shekau, in his latest video message supported the July 6 attack on Government Secondary School, Mamudo near Potiskum, Yobe State in which officials said 20 students and one teacher were shot dead. Although unofficial sources claimed THAT well over 40 lives were lost. The early morning gun and bomb attack at the boarding school saw assailants round up students and staff in a dormitory before throwing explosives inside and opening fire on fleeing students and teachers. He did not claim responsibility for the massacre but said:"We fully support the attack on this Western education school in Mamudo." In the video, Shekau de-
scribed all "Western education schools" as a "plot against Islam." He stopped short of claiming to have ordered the attack. He threatened to burn down more schools and kill teachers. But he denied his fighters are killing children because, according to him, the Quran teaches one must not kill children, women and elderly people. His words:"School teachers who are teaching Western education? We will kill them! We will kill them. We don't attack students." Boko Haram means "Western education is sin." Announcing the ceasefire agreement earlier on Tuesday on the Hausa Service of Radio France International, Tanimu who doubles as Chairman of the Peace and Dialogue Committee in the North said: "We have sat down and agreed
that Jama'atu Ahlul Sunnah Lidda'awati wal Jihad, known as Boko Haram will lay down their arms as part of the agreement so as to end the insurgency. Government agreed with ceasefire and will look into ways to ensure that the troops relax their activities till the final take off of the ceasefire." He gave no details of the agreement. Marwana, on the said programme, confirmed the agreement and sought the forgiveness of Nigerians over the number of people killed in the country by the sect. "This ceasefire, in sha'Allahu, from the time I am talking to you, we have ceased fire because of the discussion held," he said and appealed to those who have lost their loved ones to "forgive us and on our side we have forgiven all those who committed atrocities against us." But he denied the involvement of the sect in the Mamudo school massacre.
Mandela situation sparks end-of-life discussions
ND-of-life decisions have become a burning topic of discussion in South Africa, where former President Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized for five weeks. Graca Michel, Mandela's wife, said Friday she is "less anxious" about her husband's health than she was a week ago. Friends and family who have visited Mandela say he is responsive and they feel he is communicative through facial and eye movements. He is assisted by mechanical breathing, support he may require for the rest of his life. Sean Davison, the founder of DignitySA, a group working to legalize suicide for the terminally ill, says Mandela's critical health has made death and dying a big topic of discussion in South Africa. Davison says that's good because most people in Western society avoid talking about the topic.
Guinean Court jails two for life for attack
tribunal in Guinea sentences two to life imprisonment for trying to assassinate President Alpha Conde in July 2011. Alpha Oumar Diallo and Jean Guilavogui, were sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly masterminding the attack. Among six others sentenced were Badjar Fatou Diallo, a woman convicted of being an active accomplice, Almamy Aguibou Diallo and Mamadou Alpha Diallo who were sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment.
Iraq closes Kirkuk cafes after deadly attack
UTHORITIES in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk have ordered all cafes to be shut down a day after a suicide attack killed 39 people when a bomber detonated his explosives in a crowded coffee shop. Police chief Maj. Gen. Jamal Tahir said yesterday that his troops cannot secure dozens of teahouses and coffee shops scattered across the city. Kirkuk is 290 kilometres (180 miles) north of Baghdad. Tahir says he has not yet decided when the coffee shops will be able to open again. Iraq is being rocked by its deadliest and most sustained wave of bloodshed in half a decade. More than 2,600 people have been killed since the start of April, raising fears that the country is once again edging toward the brink of civil war.
WORLD NEWS THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Egyptian parliamentarians demand Morsi's return I
SLAMIST lawmakers in Egypt's disbanded upper house of parliament are demanding the return of the country's ousted president, and calling on other parliaments not to recognize the country's new army-appointed leadership. The demand was made yesterday by around 20 members of the Shura Council, which was Egypt's sole legislative house from the courtordered dissolution of the lower house last year until the military's July 3 toppling of Mohammed Morsi. The lawmakers, who were attending a mostly Islamist sitin in the east of Cairo, accused the military of attempting to restore a "corrupt and dictatorial" regime. Also, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called yesterday for more mass demonstrations in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi after a huge pro-Morsi march broke up peacefully before dawn, ending a week in which at least 90 people were killed. The Brotherhood, which has maintained a vigil near a Cairo mosque since before the army removed Morsi on July 3, has said it will not leave the streets until he is restored to power. Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, has been held incommunicado since he was deposed in what the military says was a justified response to popular demand after millions of people demonstrated against him. The Brotherhood denounces the army coup as a reversal of democracy. Turmoil in the most populous Arab state has alarmed Western donors. Egypt sits astride the Suez Canal and has a strategically important peace treaty with Israel. Large crowds of Brotherhood supporters finally dispersed before dawn on Saturday after marching through the streets into the early hours holding up Morsi pictures at traffic lights. Tens of thousands had turned out on Friday for what the Brotherhood called a "day of marching on". Morsi's opponents say those demonstrations are still much smaller than the ones that
*Morsi supporters plan more protests in Egypt
brought Morsi down. Turmoil since a popular uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 has wrecked Egypt's economy, scaring away tourists and investors, draining hard currency reserves and making it difficult to import food and fuel, which the government distributes at heavily subsidized prices. State news agency MENA said
a shipment of 70,000 tons of diesel arrived in Alexandria yesterday from Turkey and Sweden. Rich Arab Gulf states Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, happy at the overthrow of the Brotherhood, have offered Egypt $12 billion in cash, loans and fuel. Egypt's interim authorities have set out a "road map" to restore full civilian rule, calling
â€˘ Refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) gather yesterday at the Busunga border in western Uganda. More than 30,000 refugees from the eastern DRC have crossed the border into western Uganda's Bundibugyo district, about 430 kms from Kampala, after rebels from a Ugandan-led rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), attacked on July 11 the town of Kamango in the northernmost part of North Kivu province. AFP PHOTO
23 injured during stampede at Spanish bull run
HE penultimate bull run of Spain's San Fermin festival left at least 23 people injured yesterday, when thrill-seekers fleeing the beasts were crushed at the narrow entrance to the bullring, officials said. An American citizen from Ohio was one of two runners gored. As the huge animals thundered into the entrance of
the tunnel, they were blocked by a mound of dozens of people who had fallen and were piled on top of one other. One bull that had fallen before the entrance got up and charged into the clogged passageway. Two steers jumped over the pile of people as they began to get up and flee. "I felt anguish and helplessness for the people
Czech ex-PM admits relationship with aide at centre ORMER Czech and others are a byof graft probe Nagyova conservative Prime product of a wider investigation
Minister Petr Necas has now acknowledged he had a relationship with his closest aide, whose arrest for suspected illegal spying and graft led to the government's fall last month, a daily reported yesterday. The aide, Jana Nagyova, is among a group of people who have been charged with illegal surveillance of Necas's wife, whom he is now divorcing, or with bribing parliamentary deputies who had rebelled against Necas last year. "I have a relationship with
for a new constitution and parliamentary elections in about six months, to be followed by a presidential vote. A judge has been named interim president and a liberal economist, Hazem el-Beblawi, has been appointed prime minister. He is trying to cobble together a cabinet likely to be made up mainly of technocrats
and liberals, without offending a large ultra-orthodox Islamist group that broke with the Brotherhood to accept the military takeover. Beblawi told Reuters yesterday he expects to name the cabinet within two days. Egypt's crisis has raised fears over security in the lawless Sinai peninsula bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, where militants attack security forces checkpoints almost daily.
Jana Nagyova. It is a firm relationship and I count on it for the future," Necas, 48, told daily Pravo when questioned about his private life in an interview published yesterday. Nagyova and six other suspects have been in police custody for a month since 400 policemen raided government and private offices and homes in the biggest sweep against graft since the communist era ended in 1989, causing a political crisis in the EU member country that may last for months to come. The charges against
into what police suspect is an organized corruption ring involving businessmen and public contracts. Necas, a church-going father of four, said in January he had separated from his wife of more than 25 years, and the couple filed for divorce last month, just before the police raids. The former prime minister testified on Friday in the bribery case, centred on accusations that three deputies were promised jobs at state firms if they ceased opposing a key piece of tax legislation.
trapped there, not knowing how to get out," said Jesus Lecumberri, 20, a student with several years' experience running at Pamplona and other bull-running festivals. Lecumberri said he had charged in to the entrance alongside the first bull, but saw the pileup and quickly dived into a ground-level hatch built into the passage specifically to provide an escape route from situations like this. A gate normally used to let regional police into ringside positions had been accidentally pushed wide open by a flood of runners, causing an obstruction for others trying to enter the main arena, Interior Ministry regional spokesman Javier Morras said. "We all know that alley is a funnel and a critically dangerous point at the entrance to the ring," Morras said. "Pileups there are one of the biggest risks that can occur in the running of the bulls," he said. The blockage ended after attendants managed to let the beasts escape through a side
door normally reserved for matadors. Javier Sesma, a health spokesman for Navarra province, said two of the 23 injured people were gored by bulls and that the others were hurt in the stampede. On Friday, the festival drew widespread attention when an American college student and two Spaniards were gored, and videos and photos of the attacks were seen around the world. The American patient, 20year-old Patrick Eccles, a student at the University of Utah, was said to be improving in a hospital yesterday. "He is evolving favorably but, logically, has had a severe goring and is still weak," hospital spokeswoman Marta Borruel said. The runs, eight in all, are the highlight of a nine-day street festival to honor Pamplona's patron saint, San Fermin. Each morning, six fighting bulls and six bell-tinkling steers that try to keep the beasts together head from stables to the ring where matadors will star in late afternoon bullfights.
Eighteen killed in Moscow bus crash
IGHTEEN people were killed and 25 injured when a truck ploughed into a bus in a Moscow suburb yesterday, according to the Russian emergency ministry. An eyewitness video of the crash, broadcast on state television, showed the green and white passenger bus's windows shattering as it split in half, forcing other vehicles on the road to swerve wildly out of its way. Death rates from Russian road accidents are higher than in most Western countries, and lawmakers are moving to toughen drunk-driving penalties. The country has gained fame for its erratic drivers, with footage of cars overtaking on blind corners, rear-ending each other and careening off the road amassing millions of views on YouTube.
Syrian rebels, al-Qaeda fighters battle in Aleppo
CTIVISTS say Syrian rebels and fighters from an al-Qaidalinked group have turned their guns on each other and are fighting for control of a key checkpoint in the northern city of Aleppo. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says yesterday's clashes are focused on the strategic checkpoint in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district. The checkpoint is the only gateway between rebel-held eastern districts and the city's western areas, controlled by President Bashar Assad's troops. Residents angry over the blockade have staged protests against the anti-Assad forces as food prices soar in Aleppo at the start of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.
Investigation under way into 787 Dreamliner fire
British governmental body said yesterday it is leading an investigation into a fire aboard an empty Dreamliner aircraft at Heathrow Airport, an incident that has sparked renewed concern about Boeing's newest plane. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch, part of the Department of Transport, said the Ethiopian Airlines 787 plane was moved to a secure hangar at Heathrow early yesterday so that an investigative team can try to find out what caused Friday's fire. The incident did not cause any injuries because no one was aboard the plane, but it forced runways at Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, to shut down for nearly an hour. Arrivals and departures were suspended, and hundreds of passengers' journeys were delayed. The fire also added to investor fears about Boeing, which had to ground its fleet of 787s in January following problems with overheating lithium-ion batteries on two different planes.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Russia yet to get asylum application from Snowden R
statement that provided no specifics of their conversation about the NSA leaker. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the call was planned several days ago, suggesting that it was unrelated to Snowden's meeting with the activists. Russia so far has
sidestepped the issue by claiming that it cannot take action on Snowden because his presence in the transit zone puts him technically outside Russian territory. But by agreeing to the condition that he stop leaks, Snowden could force Russia's hand. Friday's meeting in the airport's transit zone included
USSIAN immigration officials said yesterday they have not received an application from Edward Snowden, the U.S. National Security Agency leaker who wants to get asylum in Russia. Snowden came to Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport on June 23 from Hong Kong, apparently intending to board a flight to Cuba. But he did not get on that flight and is believed to have spent the last three weeks marooned in the airport's transit zone. On Friday, he met with human rights activists there and said he would seek Russian asylum, at least as a temporary measure before going to Venezuela, Bolivia or Nicaragua, all of which have offered him asylum. But the Interfax news agency quoted Russian migration service head Konstantin Romodanovsky as saying no asylum request had been received as of Saturday. The state news agency RIA Novosti cited migration service spokeswoman, Zalina Kornilova, as also saying no request had been received. Snowden had made a previous bid for Russian asylum, but President Vladimir Putin said he would have to agree to stop further leaks of information about American intelligence service activities before it would be considered. Snowden withdrew the bid, but participants in Friday's meeting said he was now ready to agree to stop leaks. Granting asylum to Snowden would add significant new stress to already-troubled Washington-Moscow relations. Putin and President Barack Obama are expected to hold a summit in Moscow in early September, right before both take part in the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg, and the Snowden issue could overshadow both gatherings. Obama and Putin discussed Snowden, among other issues, during a telephone call on Friday, the White House said in a terse
UNDREDS of police reinforcements from Britain were deployed on Belfast's rubble-strewn streets yesterday after Protestant riots over a blocked march left 32 officers, a senior lawmaker and at least eight rioters wounded. Northern Ireland's police commander, Chief Constable Matt Baggott, blamed leaders of the Orange Order brotherhood for inciting six hours of running street battles
in two parts of Belfast that subsided early yesterday. He derided their leadership as reckless and said they had no plan for controlling crowds they had summoned. The anti-Catholic fraternity's annual July 12 marches always raise tensions with the Irish Catholic minority. Over each of the previous four years, Irish
Florida jury yesterday resumed deliberating the fate of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, a case that has sparked debate in the U.S. public for more than a year. The jury of six women, sequestered since the trial began last month, deliberated for more than three hours on Friday without reaching a decision of second-degree murder, manslaughter or acquittal for Zimmerman, who says he shot the teen in self-defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Zimmerman, 29, says Martin attacked him on the rainy night of February 26, 2012, in the central Florida town of Sanford. Prosecutors
contend Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop" who tracked down the teenager and shot him without justification. The jury, which must reach a unanimous verdict, heard 12 days of testimony and two days of closing arguments under the eyes of Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson. Ronald Fulton, Martin's wheelchair-bound uncle who was close to the slain 17-yearold, said yesterday that waiting for a verdict was one of the hardest things to do. "It's like everybody wants to know the next step of what's happening, and that's why it's so tense," the 50-yearold Fulton told Reuters in a phone interview from his
Miami home. "If he is acquitted what would be the recourse from that?" Fulton asked. "These things are weighing on me heavily." The judge said she will let the jurors set their own working hours. On Friday, the jury sent a note to the judge asking for a full inventory of evidence in the case, which has dominated U.S. media, sparked street demonstrations and raised questions about race and guns in America. Zimmerman's family appealed for calm, whatever the verdict, saying they had complete trust in the U.S. justice system.
representatives of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday the United States disapproved of Russia facilitating what she called a "propaganda platform" for Snowden, "despite the government's declarations of
Russia's neutrality with respect to Mr. Snowden." Yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov aimed to keep up the appearance of neutrality. "We are not having contact with Snowden," he said at a meeting of a regional security organization in Kyrgyzstan, according to Interfax.
â€˘ Russian Emergency Ministry personnel inspect the crash scene yesterday near the village of Oznobikhino outside Moscow after at least 18 people were killed and at least 40 injured when a gravel truck smashed into a bus packed with passengers. PHOTO: AFP
32 police officers, lawmaker hurt in Belfast riots H
Florida jury resumes deliberations in Zimmerman case A
republican militants in Ardoyne have attacked police after an Orange parade passed by that Catholic district in north Belfast, the most bitterly divided part of the capital. This year British authorities ordered Orangemen to avoid the stretch of road nearest Ardoyne, an order that police enforced by blocking their parade route with seven armoured vehicles. Orange leaders took that as a challenge and rallied thousands of supporters to the spot, where some attacked the vehicles and the lines of heavily armoured officers behind them. Baggott said the Orange leaders behaved recklessly and should not duck responsibility for the mayhem. "Having called thousands of people to protest, they had no plan and no control," said Baggott, an Englishman who has commanded the Police Service of Northern Ireland since 2009. Orange leaders insisted the blockade decision was the problem, not the alcoholfuelled fury of their own members. But they backed off their original threat to mount indefinite street protests across Northern Ireland and ordered
a suspension of protests early Saturday. The order's leaders declined requests for interviews. That climb-down came too late for north Belfast's Protestant member of British Parliament, Nigel Dodds. An Orangeman himself, Dodds had gone to the riot's front line to appeal for calm - and ended up getting knocked unconscious by a brick that fell short of police lines. He was released from the hospital yesterday. Yesterday, Baggott received 400 more officers from England, Scotland and Wales to boost his force's overall strength on the streets above 5,000, including more than 600 officers already imported from Britain. This is the first time police from other parts of the United Kingdom have been deployed against Northern Ireland rioters. The approach stems from Northern Ireland's recent peaceful hosting of the Group of Eight summit, when officers from Britain received anti-riot training before that brief, uneventful assignment here last month. But the sudden need for reinforcements also suggests that the Northern Ireland police, though riot-savvy and heavily armed, lack sufficient numbers to cope with their homeland's seasonal flare-ups of mob violence.
COMMENT and ANALYSIS
SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Talakawa Liberation Herald (21) BY BIODUN JEYIFO
Freedom of Information Act and dictatorship of corruption and mediocrity [Being the text of a lecture delivered at the NIIA on July 13, 2013]
T gives me great pleasure to at last be able to give this lecture. I say this because, first, I was to have given the lecture last year but could not do so for all sorts of reasons and, second, because this year once again, other pressing engagements and commitments almost made it impossible for me to give the lecture. There is another reason why I am very delighted to be giving the lecture and this is simply the fact that the sponsors of the lecture, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, is an organisation whose work and vision I both greatly admire and endorse. Journalism, specifically activist journalism, was crucial in the struggle for our country’s freedom from colonial rule, just as we are finding out more and more that in the long and unfolding struggles to consolidate that independence from continued foreign domination and internal misrule, anarchy and suffering for the vast majority of our peoples, that tradition of journalism will prove indispensable. The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism is a leading, perhaps pioneering organisation for the consummation and perpetuation of this vital tradition of the press at this particular conjunctural moment in our history. May its work live up to the great expectations that its mission bestows on its founding in the years and decades ahead! All modern democratic nations and societies need a free press at the centre of which stands the kind of activist, professionally mature investigative journalism that the WSCIJ seeks to nurture and expand in our country. Beyond this, the developing nations of Africa and other parts of the global South have an even much greater need for a free press, for an activist, independent-minded journalism than the affluent liberal democracies of the global North. The theme of my lecture this morning - the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 (FoI) as it confronts the immense challenge of what I call the dictatorship of corruption and mediocrity - is a small part of this larger global issue of the centrality of a free press and an independentminded activist journalism for all modern democratic societies. But this should not blind us to the immensity of its ramifications for the survival of our country and the future prospects of the majority of our peoples. Since the term “dictatorship of corruption and mediocrity” in the title of my talk goes to the heart of this assertion, let me now dispel any puzzlement concerning the term by directly addressing the range of issues and significations I have in mind in my use of it. Before going directly to this theme, a word of clarification is perhaps necessary. As I move into discussion of the theme, I ask you, my audience, to bear in mind that the question that drives all my observations, analyses and projections is this: What need do we have for a Freedom of Information Act when what I am calling the dictatorship of corruption and mediocrity in our country is so open about all the corrupt misdeeds, all the inept illegalities and all the official inanities that attach to “democratic” governance in our country? Well, my answer to this question is that we still need that landmark legislation that is known as the Freedom of Information Act that was passed in the year 2011, even if corruption and the mediocrity which it creates on a gargantuan scale in our country are normatively not hidden, not shrouded in secrecy in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, I shall in the course of my lecture be arguing that there is a crisis of under-utilisation of the FoI by our press, by our media houses in spite of the fact that they were at the forefront of the struggle for the passing of the Act. Indeed, my central argument in the lecture will be that though the nature and scale of corruption in Nigeria poses a challenge to the FoI, this is a challenge that is not insurmountable. However, before I come to this argument, it is perhaps helpful to highlight three particular cases that are exemplary in their graphic illustration of the climate of corruption that the FoI must contend with in our country that is almost with-
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out comparison with the moral and political climates that the FoI in other countries of the world have to deal with. [Parenthetically, let me note here that the FoI exists in many countries of the world; it has indeed become an almost indispensable part of human and civil rights legislation in many parts of the world] The first case concerns perhaps the biggest and most brazen act of state or official corruption ever perpetrated in Nigeria. This sublime brigandage is known as the oil subsidy scam of 2011. It involved vast sums of monies paid out of our national coffers to a cabal of oil marketers that hold the lifeline to the distribution of petroleum products in our country. I am sure that every woman and man in this hall has heard or read of this case before but all the same, a critical look at the details is necessary in the context of this lecture. For the avoidance of doubt or confusion, let us remember that in the Nigerian context oil subsidy implies an annual budgetary allocation to defray the costs of refined oil imported into the country to augment the shortfall between what our oil refineries produce and the volume of petroleum products that the nation consumes annually. There is a longstanding controversy concerning the reality and the scale of this subsidy, but in the present context, we need not concern ourselves with that controversy. The important thing to note here is that in the year 2011, and depending on which set of posted and announced figures you use for your computation, what was actually paid out to marketers as oil subsidy was six to nine times bigger than what was budgeted, even though there was no rise at all in the volume of petroleum products sold and consumed in the country. Indeed, for 2011, the posted, budgeted sum was N245 billion for the whole year. But within the first eight months of the year, an alleged sum of N1.3 trillion had been paid out to the marketers. I say “alleged” here because N1.3 trillion was only one of the figures thrown around. On this particular crucial issue, let me quote from the Report of an Ad-Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on that oil subsidy scam: Contrary to the earlier official figure of subsidy payment of N1.3 trillion, the Accountant General of the Federation put forward a figure of N1.6 trillion; the Central Bank N1.7 trillion, while our Committee established subsidy payment of N2.58 trillion as at December 2011,
amounting to more than 900% over the appropriated sum of N245 billion. Please note that the sum of N2.58 trillion actually paid out was 900% greater than the N245 billion budgeted. Indeed, for the year 2011, the budget approved for the whole country was N4.97 trillion, which means that what was paid out to the cabal of oil marketers was more than half of the national budget itself for that year. And to place this within the framework of some of the convertible currencies of the world, N2.58 trillion is approximately $16 billion US dollars; 12.46 billion Euros; and 10.73 billion British pound sterling, all paid out to marketers most of whom were phantom dealers in petroleum products who supplied nothing. One more quotation from that same House of Rep Ad-Hoc Committee Report and we will move on to my second example of what I am calling the dictatorship of corruption and mediocrity. This is the quotation: Contrary to statutory requirements and other guidelines under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme mandating agencies in the industry to keep reliable information data bases, there seemed to be a deliberate understanding among agencies not to do so. This lack of record keeping contributed in no small measure to the decadence and rot that the Committee found in the administration of the PSF… We found out that the subsidy regime, as operated in the period under review (2009 and 2011), was fraught with endemic corruption and entrenched inefficiency. Much of the amount claimed to have been paid as subsidy was actually not for consumed PMS (i.e. petroleum products). Government officials made nonsense of PSF Guidelines due mainly to sleaze and in some cases, incompetence. [The emphases are mine] “Decadence”; “rot”; “entrenched inefficiency”; “incompetence”: these are the Committee’s own terms, not mine. Mine is only to draw conclusions from these terms and from the combined effect of their concatenation in the Report’s searing indictment of the sublime kind of corruption that reigns in our country. This is my conclusion, my extrapolation: Corruption is not only dishonesty, fraud, or sleaze; it is also aided by, and in turn generates mediocrity, rottenness, putrefaction. We shall come back to this issue later in the lecture. For now, let us turn our attention to the second of the three exemplary cases that I wish to
“For the avoidance of doubt or confusion, let us remember that in the Nigerian context oil subsidy implies an annual budgetary allocation to defray the costs of refined oil imported into the country to augment the shortfall between what our oil refineries produce and the volume of petroleum products that the nation consumes annually”
highlight in these observations and reflections on the challenges that the dictatorship of corruption and mediocrity poses to the FoI Act. This happened in the year 2006 and entailed a very public feud between no less august and authoritative political personages than the President and Vice President of the Republic at the time, Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar. The feuding in essence entailed accusations and counter-accusations by Obasanjo and Atiku of massive looting of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) of hundreds of millions of dollars. It was precipitated when the President sent a report to the National Assembly alleging that Atiku had conspired with some Americans to divert vast sums from the PTDF to the benefit of himself and his foreign co-conspirators. Please note that the word “loot” was in the report that Obasanjo sent to the National Assembly with a demand that impeachment proceedings be launched against the Vice President. Of course, as could be expected, Atiku promptly responded to Obasanjo’s charges. But what no one expected, what in fact nearly took everyone’s breath away in Atiku’s response was that he did not deny the charges at all; rather than a denial, he alleged that Obasanjo and some of his cronies and girlfriends had benefitted from the funds he had diverted from the PTDF. And to back up this claim, Atiku made photocopies of the cheques he had written in favour of these cronies and paramours of Obasanjo. He took out full-page advertorial spreads in major newspapers in which documents in support of this extraordinary counter-accusation were published. Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, it is tempting to say that this account, this story speaks for itself. But that is not exactly true. To the story itself and for our purposes in this lecture, we must ad that no action based on the FoI could ever have brought out the surfeit of information on the looting, the corruption that Obasanjo and Atiku, together with their supporters, voluntarily revealed about themselves. And let us also note that nothing happened to Obasanjo, Atiku and their cronies, girlfriends and sycophants that benefitted from that vast looting of the funds of the PTDF by way of well deserved punitive action. Ironically, the only person who did go to jail was the American congressman, William J. Jefferson who, at one time, was Atiku’s point man in the United States theatre of operations in financial wheeling and dealing before he and the Vice President quarreled and went their separate ways. But Jefferson served prison time in the United States, not in Nigeria. To be continued Biodun Jeyifo firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment & Analysis
Festus Eriye email@example.com sms only: 08116759748
READ an online reaction to a story on the political crisis in Rivers State that went something like this: ‘If you have a quarrel with your wife, blame Jonathan; if your dog falls sick, blame Jonathan.’ The implication is that President Goodluck Jonathan is being unfairly criticised for his perceived role in fanning fires threatening to consume the state. Picking up on this, the Presidency issued two statements distancing it from the storm. One by Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, said in part: “There is absolutely no factual basis for suggestions that some of the politicians involved in the current dispute are acting at the behest of the President. “President Jonathan certainly did not instigate the crisis in the Rivers State House of Assembly and as President of the nation he will never support any actions that negate his avowed commitment to the rule of law.” Is the president taking undeserved flak for the show of shame in Rivers? I don’t think so. I will add that anyone expecting a video showing Jonathan at the head of a mob descending on the assembly, or hoping to hear some tape recording of the commander-in-chief giving marching orders to Joseph Mbu’s men, will wait in vain. But this is politics and the president’s acts of omission and commission, his wife’s ungainly stamping on the Rivers political terrain, have left indelible fingerprints of the presidency all over the crime scene. Supporters know better than to expect a written script. They simply decode their leader’s body language and utterances to decipher where he’s headed. That is the reason why till today former President Olusegun Obasanjo swears he never ordered anyone to prosecute a Third Term Agenda on his behalf. But millions were squandered in pursuit of the goal; his henchmen in the National Assembly actively pushed the idea, and never once did he denounce the project with the vehemence
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Pontius Pilate strikes again that would have stopped the jobbers. Is it any surprise that Obasanjo’s disavowal of the plot continue to ring hollow? Let’s examine Jonathan’s denials in the light of what we know. Months before the May election that re-elected Rotimi Amaechi as chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), the president let it be known he wanted the incumbent out. He called governors individually and made his pitch. That was how signatures on that piece of paper endorsing the president’s choice were collected. After the spectacular failure of presidential might to deliver, Jonathan quickly issued another statement distancing himself from NGF intrigues. His denial could have amounted to something if he hadn’t revealed his partisan interest in the matter thereafter by recognising the losing candidate, Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, as NGF chairman at an Aso Villa event! The man received only 16 votes out of 35! Aside from further entrenching the diabolical Nigerian trait of never accepting unpalatable electoral outcomes, his endorsement of Jang only got him mired deeper in the quicksand of NGF politics. From the moment Amaechi decided – against Jonathan’s wish - to run, hitherto cold relations became glacial. When the courts sacked the state Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) executive friendly to him, the new gang loyal to Abuja made it clear they were out to execute a hostile agenda. Things that have unfolded in recent days have been the object of speculation in newspapers. Shockingly, both the outlandish and the illegal have played out as projected. Despite an overwhelming numerical disadvantage, the Evans Bipi-led Gang of Five pressed ahead with their power grab in an assembly that sits 32. What could have given them such courage than comfort in powers greater than a governor’s? Check
the chain of events in the preceding weeks. State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who reports to the president’s appointee, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had just been engaged in a public slanging match with Amaechi. Among other things he called the governor a ‘despot.’ Did this civil servant get even a slap on the wrist for his outrageous conduct? No way! How else will anyone interpret that episode than to conclude that the police chief had the backing of higher powers to go toe-to-toe with the ‘heady’ governor? While Ameachi was still digesting that helping of humiliation, Her Excellency the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, swept into town. Interestingly, she had come to play the role of ‘Mother of the Day’ at the wedding of Mr. Bipi – leader of the Gang of Five. In the course of those celebrations, the Right Honourable First Lady fired off a couple of political missiles in the direction of Amaechi. Among other things she said Port Harcourt which used to be a pleasant place to visit under former governors had degenerated under the incumbent. She them went on to heap praise on Amaechi’s nemesis, Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike. Later that day, she met with the ‘Gang of Five’. The following morning virtually all newspapers were agog with reports that madam had come to tidy up the impeachment of Amaechi. Although, her spokesperson denied that her visit to Port Harcourt had anything to do with piling more woes on the governor, anyone who knows the formidable dame would have taken the explanation with a generous helping of salt. Mrs. Jonathan has redefined the role of president’s spouse. She was never going to be a glamour puss – content with parading in pretty clothes, doing good works. She has taken things to another level: now we have a First Lady who is
“The president’s acts of omission and commission, his wife’s ungainly stamping on the Rivers political terrain, have left indelible fingerprints of the presidency all over the crime scene. Supporters know better than to expect a written script. They simply decode their leader’s body language and utterances to decipher where he’s headed”
both political partisan and enforcer. The dame has been credited as one of the major pillars behind the president’s rise. She has not allowed a little thing like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) clearance stop her from flagging off her husband’s 2015 campaign. Whatever she was doing in Port Harcourt was certainly advancing those interests. And someone will say the president’s not involved. I have watched the horror video of last Tuesday’s events at the Rivers State House of Assembly. At some point, Bipi is enveloped in a friendly embrace with some unidentified individual who appeared to be trying to calm him. After hearing out the peacemaker, the warrior-lawmaker could be heard muttering: “But why must governor came (sic) here to supervise beating up of my colleagues; why must he insult the president; why did he insult my ‘mother’…” Is the president involved? In Bipi’s words you have your answer. Jonathan may not have been physically present but what is going on is all about his personality and political clashes with the governor. Back in 2011, in a moment of exasperation with his critics deriding his laidback style, the president declared he was neither Pharoah, nor a lion or general. I agree that given the package we were sold in that election year, the man Nigerians voted back then would not fit those descriptions. However, in the light of what has happened over the last few months, and the constant of denials of the obvious, I think a more appropriate comparison would be Pontius Pilate. He released Jesus Christ to a baying mob and thought that by washing his hands with water he could free himself from blood guilt. How wrong he was. Jonathan’s name keeps ringing in this Rivers matter because he’s involved. He can show that his hands are clean by doing what Obasanjo failed to do in the face on the Third Term accusations: denounce in clear, unambiguous terms every unconstitutional attempt to unsettle Rivers State. A few days ago the Federal Government denounced the street-instigated military coup in Egypt. To keep silent in face of similar underhand tactics in the president’s backyard would be height of hypocrisy.
Comment & Analysis
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
To China with waste E
President Jonathan's 13-minister, four-governor delegation to China perhaps hallmarks an idle country cavalier in its idleness
VEN for a reported finalisation of a US $1.1 billion loan, President Goodluck Jonathan's fiveday visit to China, boasting 13 ministers, four governors, a platoon of aides and a battery of media personnel, paints a picture of a country tragically without focus. Which other country would so merrily trot out virtually its whole establishment because it is finalising a loan deal? On the trip and its humongous delegation, Reuben Abati, presidential spokesperson, had made a spirited defence. Of course, there is something asinine in the claim that President Jonathan took off to China just to spite US President Barack Obama, for again snubbing Nigeria on his second visit to Africa, during which he visited Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. That sounds evidently stupid and Dr. Abati did well to dismiss it with the contempt it deserved. But not so the humongous presidential delegation. It is true the US $1.1 billion finalised during the trip is part of a US $3 billion loan package, at interest rates of below three per cent that China is extending to Nigeria. The package is meant to fund infrastructure: airport terminals in four cities, roads, a light-rail line in Abuja, the federal capital; a hydropower plant and other projects in oil and gas. But trucking 13 ministers, four governors and a rash of aides - does that not reflect the manifest waste that has condemned Nigeria to seeking the China loan when it could, if it husbanded its resources well, have financed a good percentage of these projects from its own pocket? Indeed, the picture of this fair weather delegation is the grim irony of a poor country happily show-casing a rich, over-pampered and wasteful bureaucracy. The Presidency could well argue that since the loan was multi-sectoral, the various ministries involved had to be represented on the China trip. But13 ministers? And there is a coordinating minister of the economy? And also a Minister of National Planning? That everyone thrust himself or herself forward to be part of the gravy is indicative of a presidency bereft of planning; and almost incapable of fully grasping its needs; and putting to work a lean staff, to get the
HE Peoples Democratic Party has become a huge joke. The self-styled “largest party in Africa” moves from one crisis to another these days with most largely self-induced. The party under the leadership of Bamanga Tukur seems bent on burning the house she inhabits even when no provision has been made for a new abode. The latest in a series of laughable actions of the party is the suspension of Otunba Gbenga Daniel on June 27. Unlike the suspension of former governor Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo State and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Daniel’s own was done by his ward executives in Sagamu local government of Ogun State. At a press conference addressed by the chairman of the party in Ogun East senatorial district, Doyin Fakoya, Daniel was suspended for allegedly romancing with the Labour Party in the state. Twelve other members of the party in the same area were suspended along with the former governor to restore “discipline” to the party. Asides from standing logic on its head in hastily concluding that Daniel and the other 12 were responsible for indiscipline in the party, the so-called suspension cannot
most effective results, with eyes focused on cost cutting. Indeed, it would appear that despite signs emerging that the government could be running broke - or what other reasons could be there for proposing to shrink the 2013 federal budget? - the Jonathan Presidency appears incapable of avoiding a bloated bureaucracy. That is the picture the China junketing paints. Dr. Abati could push the official line that everyone on Jonathan's delegation was well accounted for, had a specific function and would return value for money. He is entitled to his official-speak. But the presidential spokesman should grant Nigerians some measure of intelligence; and accord them some mastery of the negative sociology that drives governance on these shores; which Nigerians have come to know over the years. True, a good number of the delegates would be fully engaged, particularly the sub-heads of delegations. The ministers should be well engaged, even if the sheer number of their tribe present - 13 - still rankles. So, would be their immediate lieutenants. But the farther down the line, the more lax they become and the more unjustifiable the inclusion in the team. Indeed, many a delegate would be on the trip simply because some high official felt obliged to compensate the lower official with government estacode the government travel allowance. Such is the abiding racketeering on public funds.
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
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If you factor in probable corruption, which could entail the benefactor having a cut from the beneficiary's largesse; and even the whole delegation, being China Government guests, drawing the full estacode instead of a third as dictated by Civil Service Regulations, then you can understand why Jonathan's delegation is so big, happy and merry! These are the probable systemic wastes that have rendered the country prostrate, when it should be out there competing with the rest of the world. Despite the junketing (which runs counter to the spirit of going a-borrowing) however, the China trip is not altogether unnecessary. Decayed infrastructure is the bane of this economy. A policy of sustained investment on infrastructure cannot go wrong, other things being equal. A promise of four glittering and new airports, light rail for Abuja to improve intra-city commuting, a hydropower plant to solve the abiding electricity problems and new projects in oil and gas is exciting; and good for the economy. What is not so good is the record of tardy implementation (or even total abandonment), even after a deal has been struck; and of course, the baffling change in public policy, simply because a new set of faces has taken over government. On October 30, 2006, for instance, the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency signed a US $8 billion contract with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CECCC) to modernise the Lagos-Kano railway line, replacing the present obsolete narrow gauge with a medium-gauge track. But for some reasons, the succeeding Umaru Musa Yar' Adua Presidency cancelled the contract and opted to renovate the present obsolete tracks. Earlier, Obasanjo himself, exhibiting anti-Sani Abacha sentiments, had cancelled a US $3 billion contract with China to modernise Nigerian rail, citing alleged corruption. Will the sad history continue with this latest economic tryst with China? Despite the bloated delegation to sign this latest infrastructure deal, therefore, even all the wastes would matter little if the government delivers on the project to gift the economy a kiss of life. But will it? We insist it must.
The shame of a party be divorced from the series of crises that have bedevilled the party across the country. We should not forget also that there are cases in court by aggrieved members of the party in the south west zone over the way and manner the former national executive committee ran the party. Before Fakoya and his gang turn discipline into a condiment or spice that
must be added to PDP to make it a sweet-smelling soup in Nigeria, we need to take a proper look at Daniel’s antecedents as a politician and how it is debatable if anybody has worked tirelessly in raising the party’s profile in the south west. Many seem to have forgotten that this same man that has now become persona non grata headed the Jonathan/ Sambo campaign in the geo-
political zone where, apart from Osun State, President Goodluck Jonathan won handsomely even when PDP lost governorship elections in some of the states. For a party which is gradually coming out of the darkness, it is incomprehensible that one of its leading lights even when it does not seem fashionable to identify with it in the zone is being hounded out of the
party. Suddenly, he must be hounded out of a party that he is the oxygen that the asphyxiating party needs badly. His other reward is the prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), thereby wasting money and resources in establishing a fraud case against him for nearly three years now. The state chap-
If I were President for 48 hours
F I were to be president for 48 hours, my first pre-occupation would be to inaugurate a strong committee on security issues. Security is a crucial problem we face in this country, with crimes like killings, kidnapping, and terrorism which is becoming rampant. Second, the issue of bribery and corruption which has become frequent; I will set up a panel of honest in-
dividuals from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute corrupt officers and individuals. Third, I will embark on a nationwide road repair project to save our roads from further degradation. Federal Trunk A roads like Lagos Ibadan express road which is in a dilapidated state will be resurfaced with durable materials. I will also institute a panel to ensure regular
maintenance of these roads to facilitate easy movement of people and goods and also reduce cases of accidents. I will also inaugurate a panel of economists to proffer solutions to the country’s economic problems and make the economy buoyant as this will increase the standard of living, reduce unemployment, and reduce poverty. Lastly, I will set up an
Agricultural Board to boost the agricultural sector with the aim of making more food available at cheap prices to the average masses and also boost our foreign income.
From Hannah Okebiorunkosi (12 years old, JSS 3) Student, St. Pesak Group of Schools Odoguyan, Ikorodu, Lagos State
ters of PDP across the south west are embroiled in needless fights and acrimony that the national body is powerless to stop and those who can help settle some of these disputes like Daniel must be kicked out. Is it possible that there are fifth columnists that are programming the party to selfdestruct? Ironically, other leading and high ranking PDP members that are fraternising openly with opposition parties, taking chieftaincy titles and honorary degrees from state universities, shunning state functions, and criticising the party openly at every available opportunity are waltzing around, daring the party hierarchy to do their worst. They remain brides that must be courted and kids that must be pacified with candies so as to stop crying. It is, however, not too late for PDP to redeem herself. Just as Gov. Aliyu Wamakko’s suspension was rescinded after the party saw the futility in embarking on such a course of action, so also must Daniel be recalled and allowed to take PDP in the south west to the Promised Land. By Niyi Ajibade Lagos.
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Comment & Analysis
Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni @thenationonlineng.net
T 52 years of age, Nigeria is experiencing another troubling season of anomie. The first season came at the hands of a civilian government; the second and third at the instance of military autocrats, and the current one under the watch of a civilian president whose mission or motto is transformation. The title of this essay is a partial borrowing from the title of Wole Soyinka's book on the politics of evil that led to the Nigerian civil war. Granted that the events described in Soyinka's book are more gory and scary than what Nigerians are expecting currently, there is no doubt that the state of normlessness that prevailed in Soyinka's book, A Season of Anomy, is rearing its head again in our own time. During Nigeria's first season of anomie in 1962, some individuals in the federal government and their cronies in the government of Western Nigeria were bent on removing politicians who they thought were not ready to play ball with them by joining the ruling party. In pursuance of this goal, some lawmakers in the Western House of Assembly in Ibadan were induced to play thugs inside the hallowed chamber. They broke the mace, threw chairs at other legislators to draw blood from their heads, etc. Alhaji Tafawa Balewa's
Femi Orebe femi.orebe @thenationonlineng.net 08056504626 (sms only)
OU need foolproof ways to lead your people to achieve outstanding results, especially in challenging times' -Brian Tracy, in HOW THE BEST LEADERS LEAD. Breaking this down further, the celebrated author lists the following as the minimum desiderata for success in any organisation: setting and achieving goals, fostering innovation, problem-solving and decision-making, setting priorities, setting high standards and leading by example; inspiring and motivating others and, finally, performing and achieving results. Were President Jonathan's spokespersons remotely aware of these ingredients for achieving success in any given leadership position they would not be ever so eager to declaim his knowledge of things happening in a country where he is the undisputed numero uno. Had they known how clueless they make the President look with their jejune disclaimers on behalf of the president, they should have become fully aware what damage they do to his image as Nigerians now regularly ask what exactly their president knows. No wonder cluelessness has become about the most used word in describing the Jonathan presidency just as he had, in fact, been likened to the snake. We need not delay ourselves enumerating the countless instances supposedly highly educated presidential spokespersons have titillated Nigerians with stories to the effect that the president heard of events like you or I, or even via newspapers, that you begin to wonder if what we have at the helm of affairs in the country is not actually a sleeping president. Unfortunately for them, they deceive only themselves as Nigerians know only too well that the president is
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Another season of anomie? Why should anyone be annoyed when outsiders say that Nigerians are not capable of sustaining democratic culture?
government quickly declared a state of emergency in Western Nigeria. Balewa's reason was that he needed to prevent Nigeria from sliding into anarchy as a result of mounting political differences between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Ladoke Akintola. Balewa chose his friend, Dr. Moses Majekodunmi, to function in the place of the premier of the region. What started as a regional or state problem then festered until it became a nation-wide problem, which culminated in a political experiment that later brought Nigeria to decades of military autocracies, and the rest is history. The second season of anarchy came in 1966 after the first coup d'etat that removed the elected government of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa. During the first six months, Gen. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi introduced the second unitary government in the country, after the one introduced by Lord Frederick Lugard. In July1966, another coup d'etat came to undo the rule of Ironsi, leaving in its wake a major crisis principally in the Northern Region. Igbo men, women, and children were killed in large numbers by angry northerners, to the extent that Lt-Col. Emeka Ojukwu called the killings genocide or pogrom. This led to the civil war, and the rest is history. In 1993, General Ibrahim Babangida fomented another crisis that was bound to lead to anomie, by annulling the freest and fairest election in Nigeria. General Sani
Abacha came to flush out the interim head of state installed by Babangida to calm the Yoruba or Egba area that made it possible for Abiola to be a Nigerian citizen. The struggle for restoration of Abiola's mandate by NADECO, NALICON, and other pro-democracy organisations in Nigeria and abroad created a situation of instability in the country. Abacha ruled with brutality and prepared to become a civilian president at the end of his tenure as military dictator. The tension pushed the country close to the edge, and the rest is history, part of which explained how the country came to having elected president, governors, and legislators in the saddle today. Nigeria is now at the entrance of another door to anomie. Five lawmakers were reported a few days ago to have imported thugs to the House of Assembly of Rivers State to collaborate with them on a thuggish project: terrorise and replace the duly elected speaker of the State's House of Assembly. In the process, the five lawmakers (out of a total of 32) sacked the speaker of the assembly and replaced him with one of them. The newly selected speaker had started functioning before the arrival of majority of members of the assembly. A brawl ensued between lawmakers on the side of respect for the constitution and five legislators on the side of abuse of the constitution. The act of terrorism thrived in the state assembly in Port Harcourt, as if law and order had broken down
in the city or in the country. There were no security officers to prevent the disorder that brought embarrassment to the state in particular and to the country in general. It is not clear at the time of writing this piece what the motives for the action of the five lawmakers who attempted to violate the constitution of the land were. As expected, the Inspector-General of Police had promised to investigate, in order to find out who broke the law and recommend what to do to such persons. It is not clear how long the investigation is to take, but the result of the probe promised by the IGP is worth waiting for, given the enormity of the violation that took place in the Garden City three days ago and given the disruption and instability that similar acts in the past had caused the country. Most patriotic citizens would not have expected that the country would come again to its present low in relation to the rule of law. Not after what it took many citizens to bring democracy back to the country. Not after the death of so many people in the process of wresting the country from military dictators and restoring democracy. Not after the gloomy prediction that Nigeria could disintegrate by 2015. Not after the life of the country had been endangered for about two years by Boko Haram. To be repeating what happened in Ibadan 50 years ago is tantamount to remaining on the same spot since 1962 in terms of political morality
and progress. With such evidence of stagnation, why should anyone be surprised if foreigners predict doom for our country? Why should anyone be annoyed when outsiders say that Nigerians are not capable of sustaining democratic culture? There is a saying among the Yoruba: When one's neighbour chooses to eat vermin, one must warn him or her about the bad consequences, not only for the sake of the eater of vermin, but also for the peace of the neighbour, as the coughing and sneezing would not allow the neighbour to sleep at night. Some of the lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly are metaphorically eating a vermin and the consequences, if the act is not properly and quickly addressed in a legal and constitutional manner, be too serious for the entire country to deal with. Given the current state of Egypt just two years after the coming of civil rule and democracy in that country, Nigerians need to call their rulers to order. In particular, the President and the National Assembly need to act fast and right, to prevent the country from descending into another political abyss. Such intervention should be in addition to the investigation promised by the IGP. Such intervention is needed urgently, in order to prevent the rascality or banditry in the Rivers House of Assembly last Tuesday from ballooning into a national crisis, such as similar misbehaviour in Ibadan in 1962 did.
Mr President know-nothing of Nigeria 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me twenty times and I keep believing you, call me a Nigerian'-Rotimi
either the sole beneficiary or has the most to gain from these events they attempt to shield him from by resorting to their spurious spins. They succeed in deceiving nobody else because Nigerians are already acutely aware that their president is not exactly on top of too many things even if he claims to the contrary. When, for instance, he claims to be on top of the citizens' security concerns and that his government is on top of the situation, a statement Nigerians now know by heart, it is obvious what the people believe. When his government promises improved electricity at some target date that now gets routinely changed, Nigerians know they had better go acquire new generators. It can only be most uncharitable then, if from these extant circumstances, the president's own men would still continue to cast him in the mold of a know-nothing president who is, like forever, ignorant of events which ordinary Nigerians, without the luxury of an access to intelligence reports, know only too well. For the sake of our president's image, local and international, I think Nigerians must advise these obstreperous media aides to desist from their obsequiousness. The latest of these disclaimers concerns how innocent Mr President is about the goings-on in Rivers State, especially the attempt by five proWike, and, ipso facto, President Jonathan-leaning legislators, to forcefully, and illegally, take over the House of Assembly even though two thirds of the 32-member House is required to successfully impeach the Speaker. Of course, since we are talking here of the PDP, this should be no news as it has become commonplace since the impunity-driven days of former President Obasanjo to forcefully remove even state governors as happened in Bayelsa, Plateau and Oyo states. But how uncanny can history get? On the very day that Senator (Dr)
Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON, was being joined by millions of Anambrarians to celebrate the 10th anniversary of what is now popularly known as the Anambra Liberation Day, July 10, 2003, PDP legislators, thugs etal, vainly attempted a repeat performance in Rivers State albeit, starting this time around, from the House of Assembly. Ten years earlier, similar knaves and all manner of mendicants, led by a detachment of heavily armed police mobile force stormed the Government House, Awka, disarmed security operatives and made their way to the office of the then governor whose phones they promptly seized before locking him up in the toilet. The rest is history. But in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, 9 July, 2013, Nigerians saw, via the UTube and on sundry television networks, at least one policeman beating up a legislator. And that was in the course of the five anti-Amaechi members and their accompanying thugs had turned the chambers into a theatre of war. It took the hurried appearance of the state governor to save the day. Meanwhile, pro and antiAmaechi protesters have hit the streets of Port Harcourt. A complete dumb in Nigeria today knows that nothing will interest President Jonathan more than seeing the back of Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the evidence for that is all over the place. It had started with the whispering allegation that the governor was preparing to pair up with a northern governor to contest the 2015 presidential election; the same election for which everything is already being done by the PDP to present none other than the sitting president. For the Jonathan group, Amaechi's alleged audacity deserves nothing but a fatwa, and at every point, Amaechi is daily made to feel the presidential heat especially as he is in no position to as much as discuss
state security matters with the state Police Commissioner who, to all intent and purposes, answers only to his Abuja minders. Abuja first showed its hands when a case against the PDP Chairman in Rivers State was filed, not in Port Harcourt, where the congress in dispute held, but at an Abuja High Court. It was there in Abuja -where else - a judgment was delivered removing the Amaechi-leaning chairman for a man, we are told, who did not even contest the election. The new chairman quickly showed his hands, dissolving the party's state executive , a point that was neither canvassed nor granted by the court. He soon came up with a series of diktats he expected governor Amaechi to live or die by; the type even their swashbuckling National Chairman, Alhaji Tukur, have not had the temerity to replicate in his Abuja imperium. If the Presidency could not be accused of procuring that change in the River's State chapter of the party, certainly not so the election to the Chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors' Forum which, in spite of governor Amaechi's drubbing of his opponent, governor Jang of Plateau State, the president still clings to the totally ridiculous position that the man who scored 16 votes is his NGF Chairman over the one with 19 votes. A more invidious situation will be extremely difficult to find. And if any further evidence of presidential collusion, indeed instigation, was needed, President Jonathan's hosting of governor Jang at the Villa as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum more than provided that. The Jang defeat so rattled and unsettled the presidency that our 'unknowing presidency' promptly saw to it that Amaechi was suspended from the party by alleging some other spurious reasons. All manner of PDP elders from the state have since visited the Villa to rave and rant at
Amaechi and for once, former governor Peter Odili resurrected. Since a court literally declared he was no longer on terra firma, stopping the EFCC from prosecuting him till the second coming of Christ, mum has been the word from the otherwise charismatic politician who, but for Obasanjo's convoluted and serpentine politics, might today have been much more visible in our political history and who you would therefore have expected to be talking peace. However, knowing how desperate the president is about the Amaechi project, he has chosen to become an equal opportunity protagonist on the side of the president. A battle against a single individual does not get more pitiful. It has equally been suggested that the First Lady's four-day sojourn in Port Harcourt during which everything, governance inclusive, was reported to have shut down, was to attend the wedding of the man now claiming to be the speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. It doesn't get more scary. It will be extremely grotesque, however, if the president's wife was in Port Harcourt in furtherance of this macabre plot. But the height of presidential collusion in the crisis would come later during the week when on Friday, 5 July, 2013, the trio of President Jonathan, Dr Odili and Nyesom Wike asked Amaechi to quit the PDP. It can now be safely assumed that because he did not quit as quickly as they wanted, thugs were sent after the House of Assembly where he obviously has his strongest supporters in order to teach him a lesson. May God forgive those presidential spokespersons who are keen on taking Nigerians on a merry go round of lies, claiming Mr President knows nothing when the truth really, is that our president is the all-knowing hand behind most, if not all, of our travails as a nation.
Comment & Analysis
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Adegboyega email@example.com 08054503906 (sms only)
OW will former President Olusegun Obasanjo be feeling now, seeing the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency struggling to surpass his (Obasanjo's) record in infamy? That is the question on the lips of many Nigerians who have been watching the nauseating developments in Rivers State. At the speed the presidency of his estranged political godson is travelling on the highway of impunity, it may beat his (Obasanjo's) record before the 2015 election. President Jonathan has told us he is not Pharaoh; he said he is not Nebuchadnezzar either; but what he has not told us is who the son of man is. Perhaps he wants us to find out. Many of us are yet to know him; the best we can say of him is that he is a president who does not give a damn! At least that came, as they say, from the horse's mouth. We also know him as a president who exalts figure 16 over and above figure 19. That is also a statement of fact. Till tomorrow, many of the our primary school pupils keep asking their parents and teachers about this jigsaw puzzle because, in their innocence, they want to take anything and everything coming from the president as the gospel truth. Poor kids! They are learning fast; even if it is the wrong values that they are being taught by those who should be transforming the country. By now, it is clear that the enemies of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State will stop at nothing to remove him. Many times they had
Postscript, Unlimited! By
Oyinkan Medubi 07057012862 (SMS only) firstname.lastname@example.org
ODAY, dear reader, let's get a little serious and talk about something that concerns nearly, if not all, homes in this country: the education of our children. I'm sure you and I agree we do need to talk about it; what we may disagree on is what you and I would have to say about it. The problem is that we have different points of view: I am, for instance, short-sighted, and you are, for a fact, always wrong. There, I'm glad we've had that talk. Seriously, if there was any justice in this world at all, all our militopoliticians should be swinging on trees by now because many of them did not go through the old school system which emphasised the rigours of sweat, merit and quality. Since many of them are pampered children of the ol' time militopolitical class (as in, their mothers used pampers to collect their poops), they did not get the old school education. This is why they neither know the value of nor necessity for building a strong, virile society. They were born in financially contentious circumstances (their parents embezzled), reared in disorderly comfort (they were hidden abroad), and now they spew jeopardy all over us all (they now misrule us). That's why I say that if there was any justice in this world, I should be sitting over the national treasury because I went through the old school education (as one of my readers observed), while milito-
Rivers' lawless five
The President should call his goons to order instead of denying things that even angels cannot convince Nigerians about missed the ball and went for the leg. Such was the situation on Tuesday when the state house of assembly was thrown into chaos when five members of the house wanted to impeach the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, and 26 others who are Amaechi's loyalists. The personal intervention of the governor prevented the 'lawless five' from concluding their illegal mission. One might then ask: why didn't Amaechi and the majority other lawmakers in the House allow the five members to luxuriate in their illegality and then go to court after to challenge their action? The answer is simple: we must have lost our sense of history to do that. Rashidi Ladoja did that and he regretted it; ditto Ayo Fayose, among others. I guess that must have been the reckoning of the five and their sponsors; unfortunately, again, they miscalculated. By now, the authentic speaker would have become history if they had trod that path; perhaps Amaechi too would have ceased to be governor. He would now be busy assembling a retinue of senior advocates that would fight the matter in court; mind you, not in his capacity as governor again but as 'Simply Mr'. By the time the case is over, elections would have fallen due. Of course, if you remember the case of the two women that threw up King Solomon as a very wise king, you will
also see that Amaechi's opponents have nothing to lose if the five law breakers had been allowed to have their way; as a matter of fact, they would be profiting from their illegality now. And, you know what? They would have gone to church today to celebrate the 'impeachment', with some men of God blessing them too, apparently after being 'blessed' to conduct the thanksgiving service. The PDP is notorious for such celebrations and thanksgivings. That is what the Obasanjo presidency has taught us; and it is what the Jonathan presidency too wants to bequeath to us as legacy. A chip off the old block, you would say? But when a child has learnt the art of dying, the parents too must master the art of burial. That was what has happened in this case. Both Obasanjo and Jonathan have taught governors whose guts they do not like that they (governors) must get wise before and not after the illegal act. So, we are now having a culture of impunity begetting impunity. This is rather unfortunate. And to think that the presidency is being (even if remotely) associated with this makes it the more disheartening. The office of the president is an exalted one. But that office cannot be dignified more than the occupier wants it to be. It is sad that everything happening in the state now had been pre-
â€œ If the president said 16 is greater than 19, how come those who see themselves as doing his bidding will not take the joke too far by wanting to impeach their speaker with only five in a 32-member house of assembly?â€?
dicted; that is people want to cause enough chaos to warrant the imposition of a state of emergency in Rivers. This is a reflection of the desperation of people who truly do not give a damn. What is most annoying is the Presidency's serial denial of involvement in the developments. Perhaps it is apt to let the presidency know that Nigerians feel more and more insulted when such denials are made; and this in turn diminishes the prestige of the presidency. Those who have ears and know that they hear with them should listen to the voice of wisdom. The crisis in Rivers State is one (as I have always said since it became a public issue) no one can predict its end. Those who are after the state governor and think they can remove him by hook or crook might all end up rendering themselves jobless and throwing the entire country into crisis, if history is to be our guide. We all know how governors can be removed because it is stated expressly in our constitution, which is the grund norm. Jonathan's presidency is culpable in this matter because it provided the impetus for the 'lawless five' who wanted to impeach a lawful speaker and replace him illegally. They would not have been that emboldened to embark on such a shameful voyage if the president himself had not given his failed candidate in the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) election, Jonah Jang, a heroic welcome after the defeat. If the president said 16 is greater than 19, how come those who see themselves as doing his bidding will not take the joke too far by wanting to impeach their speaker with only five in a 32member house of assembly?
This Rivers matter is particularly distressing because the common man cannot reap any tangible benefit from all the troubles being caused in the state. Here was a state where all manner of hoodlums once held sway but Amaechi reined them in. Now, in Port Harcourt, the ancien regime has returned, with people now having to raise their hands on the streets to show they are no criminals. If lives have not been lost yet, it is certain lives will still be lost in the course of this crisis with the audacity of the desperadoes to have their way, backed by the 'federal might'. How then are they and their sponsors different from the 'political' Boko Haram that the government is fighting, because the fight in Rivers is all about political power just like that of the 'political' Boko Haram? Rivers State is sitting majestically atop enormous resources. The PDP, because of the way it has mishandled the crisis is probably afraid Amaechi might dump the party and is therefore bent on being in charge of the resources, with the 2015 election in view. Whatever PDP spent to prosecute the 2011 election is going to be a child's play with what it would require to prosecute the 2015 polls. The election that brought President Jonathan in in 2011 was a walk-over; for sure, the next won't be. That much is clear with the handwriting on the wall. But the president must be careful. It is a powerful statement that his side could not muster the simple majority required to win the 36-member NGF election, even though that was none of its business until he joined the fray. How then can a presidential side which lost at the national level hope to make it at the state level? The president should resist the temptation to use brawn where brain would have been sufficient because the result may be catastrophic. The fact that Obasanjo got away with that is no guarantee that President Jonathan will.
Here's what I think about our educational system
The social space is experiencing such frenetic energy now everyone is gone mad in it: spending, acquiring, competing, calling, surfing, partying, killing ... oh shucks, who cares anymore! politicians and their children should be swinging on trees. The problem confronting the educational sector in this country, from the primary to the tertiary levels, is precisely that confronting our national life: it is the paradox of More Wealth = Less Gain. Now, that is a mathematical formula you cannot beat. Certainly, there is more wealth in the country now than say the nineteen-seventies, eighties or nineties, even with inflation factored in. I don't know anything about net or per capita income and all that, but I know that state, national and personal budgets now have potential and promissory capabilities to do a lot more than before if there is political will. So, when people ask me what is wrong with our educational system now, I say there is nothing that fixing the government, teachers, students and society won't cure. All of them are rolled into three core problem areas: devaluation of merit, the frenetic increase in the amount of social space and the gradual loss of community. Pardon me, but I think the moment this country began to go down was when it yielded to the strange argument that merit was not worth a thing. That thinking worked like a wave, beginning slowly but assuredly permeating the national system until it overtook the entire country. Every child now knows that old time clichĂŠ: it's not what you really know that matters; it's who you know. When I went to school, things were fairly normal. The sun rose in the east and set in the west (not like now when people can
command it anyhow) and people had just one head. And when that head sinned, it generally died, or almost did on account of the punishment meted out to it. Now, children of the big and unjust get into scrapes, and their daddies and mummies pull all kinds of plugs to get their heads out of the net - a matter of knowing the right person. Children now know that to razzledazzle the family with intelligence in the hearth may not necessarily get them more provisions to take to school, but knowing the most powerful person in the house can help. Throughout the country, teachers, students and policy makers are not chosen on merit. Children know this. They also know that access to very good jobs sort of depends on a lot more than just good degrees. For instance, good positions in many firms, banks, T-com industries have often been filled by weak degrees accompanied by svelte figures or sharp tongues; national public life is peopled with last class brains who expectedly bring out last class behaviour, or first class brains who compromise and bring out last class behaviour. They also see their parents staking out government houses to become minister, commissioner or special assistant rather than staying at home to give their children some quality attention, since it is generally agreed that society should only reward crooks. No? Oh dear, I really thought so. Anyway, Nigeria seems to have brought up its children to believe that there is no equitable access to privileges. If the country generates twenty units of electricity for
instance, a good chunk should first go to the leaders, and others can share what is left. Some animals are indeed more equal than others. Naturally, it pays children to study less and become leaders than to study more and become nothing, which is the current formula: More Work = Less Pay; take it or leave it. Meekly, most of us take it. Nigerians make up for this deficit in other spheres: the social space. There is now so much energy in the national social space, it is astounding. Listen, every event concerning the child is now a social event. A child is leaving nursery school? Cook and invite everybody. A child is leaving primary school? Dress and invite everybody. There is no end to the litany of 'cook, dress and invites' that distract the child at different stages of his/her education. This is why children are more taken with dressing than anything else. Worse, nearly every school-going child can be reached on their mobile phones (students and teachers alike take calls in class); and the more expensive, the more they attempt to put the parents in the peerage class. Does it work? Naaaaah! Then, look, nearly every child is more concerned about his/ her Facebook status than about his/ her average score in class. And this Facebook thing has a way of making king and peasant equal, unlike the old school times when the teacher exerted so much power his boot reverberated throughout the community. I have a sneaky feeling those good old times are yet to come really. Altogether, the social space is experiencing such frenetic energy now everyone is gone mad in it:
spending, acquiring, competing, calling, surfing, partying ... oh shucks, who cares anymore! Oh yes, the community should care, but sadly, it too has lost its wisdom - both teeth and soul. As someone would say, where is the community now anyway? It used to be that the community made sure all children went to school, all teachers did their work and all men and women went to farms. It made sure no one became a thief, murderer or cheat because it hung beads of shame and repentance on such erring necks. And they were usually heavy. Now, the only necks the community wants to hang anything on are the rich and powerful ones; you know, those thick-set necks oozing oils that scream to anyone looking at them from behind: look at me, I am from the government. Those necks now receive chieftaincy beads. The community is tired and does not want much to do with anyone who cannot command wealth anymore. That leaves us the government in this sad story of our educational system. Actually, the government carries a good chunk of the problems: bad funding, weak political will and inconsistent actions. Just look at what it is doing with ASUU and ASUP. Governments come and go, but their tactics never seem to change: ignore, ignore, ignore. All told, what is wrong with our educational system can be fixed. However, it requires our collective wills: Government's Action + Parental Attention + Community Wisdom = Affirmative Education. Lots of maths today, no? Phew!
Comment & Analysis
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Jubril Aminu’s unending tirades against Murtala Nyako
OR some time now, Prof Jubril Aminu’s mouth has been running foul against the governor of Adamawa State Admiral Murtala Nyako but such deliberately calculated attacks to malign the governor were consciously ignored. Recently, the attention of the people of Adamwa State and indeed that of the National Council of Emirs and Chiefs were drawn to a news story in a leading national daily with the headline “Nyako not doing enough to lift curfew in Adamawa” credited to Prof. Jubril Aminu. Ordinarily, the state Traditional Council of Chiefs and Emirs would not have bothered about such a story as we have always done in this state when politicians are playing their own game, besides Aminu has since demeaned his reputation as an honest critic of state affairs because of his vindictive and evil attitudes targeted against the governor who has performed more than any elected or appointed governor in Adamawa. Aminu has chosen this time around to mudsling the people along with the governor his usual punching bag and to drag eminent traditional council members into his dirty game of foul mouthed politics which has become his stock in trade. In the unfortunate story, Aminu alleged: “what can be done to relax curfew is not being done by the people that are supposed to do it. The governor and traditional rulers should appeal to the Federal Government and the military”. We want to state in clear terms that we understand the limitation of Aminu as a human being but we also understand that Aminu is experienced and knowledgeable enough to know his boundaries when he is playing politics no matter how desirous of pulling Admiral Murtala Nyako down in their power tussle. It is in this light that we want to call him to order that traditional rulers in Adamawa State are not for politics especially for his brand of politics that is getting messier by the day. We understand just like everyone that the emergency rule which Mr President slammed on the state and two others in the North East region was primarilly meant to curb the hitherto increasing security challenges which engulfed the region. We believe that this was done in good faith and we have been educating and sensitising our people to conduct themselves orderly. We have also been making our own contacts and efforts on how best our people can survive under the emergency rule. The contacts and efforts must not be politicised. We are therefore surprised at Jubril Aminu’s attempt to push us against our people by his ranting and painting of us as careless about the plight of the people, because we know that Prof. Aminu has access to us and could have jolly well found out things from us without necessarily resorting to crying wolf on the pages of the newspaper to whip up sentiments. We expected Aminu to have respect for constituted authority. His attitude in this matter is unbecoming and shameless to say the least, besides Nyako has done so much to rehabilitate a drowning Aminu yet his ugly mind-set has continued to spill maggots in Adamwa’s political arena. We have taken up our statutory
Lekan Otufodunrin Otufodunrin@thenationonlineng.net 08050498530 (SMS only)
Stop the mob
•Nyako By Umar Mohammed Gabdo
responsibilityn to God in this matter and we want to assure anybody who wants to know that the curfew is continually being relaxed by the military and our people are now living in peace and tranquility. The like of Aminu have gone further to say, fifty-one elders of Adamawa are allegedly working together for the “betterment of Adamawa State”, we strongly feel that this group has a better platform and latitude to have fought this cause better than his resort to blackmailing the fathers of the state. It is worthy of note that, there are among the fifty-one elders claimed by Aminu may include former Vice President(s), Governors, Senators, Ministers, Hon. Members of National Assembly and that of Adamawa State Assembly and former ambassador(s) who know everyone in Nigeria and are known by everybody, yet that could not use their positions to save Adamawa people from the state of emergency. Looking at the monumental development under the leadership of Nyako in skill acquisitions which other governors are copying from, not to mention the road networks which encompass the entire state as well as the healthcare delivery system Adamawa State is on a sound footing of development, but the likes Prof Aminu will not hear of such. We want to advise him to stop raising dust for survival sake but squarely face past family and other antecedents that are haunting his political life. So Prof., do not do to people what you do not want to be done to you. This advise is not for Prof. Jubirl alone , it applies to all the likes of Jubril Aminu. Suffice to say that least about the monumental development of the Nyako in Adamawa State. Twelve functional farming skills acquisition centres across Adamawa, purchase and supply of fertilizers and herbicides in 21 local governments of Adamawa state, supply of cassava seeds, one hundred thousand bags of cassava cultivation, development of a technical and funding for state wide
grassroots programmed of micro credit scheme for the poor to access funds. Provision of fish farming facilities and solar paused boreholes in 21LGA, construction of Danki farmer’s community centres and farm produced processing bays in 21LGA, 700 water irrigation pumps distributed free to the poor, construction of Earth dams in 21LGA, construction of 500 housing units at Wauru Jabbe, completion of multipurpose conference hall at state secretariat , construction of 20 housing estates in each 21 LGA, complexion of the Adamawa High Court premises, construction of a new stadium complex, renovation and upgrading of Yola International hotel, establishing and full functional of Operation Tsaro security outfit to fight crime with 200 initial Hilux vehicles, provision of Hilux vehicles to all security organization s in Adamawa state to fight crime. Provision of land to the Nigerian Law School, Yola, Court of Appeal and staff quarters, establishment of Industrial Court, establishment of 80 new junior secondary schools, establishment of 20 girls secondary schools, establishment of 14 new skills acquisition centres, establishment and equipping of technical and vocational schools with state of the art equipments, renovation of 38 secondary schools, 25 junior secondary schools upgraded to senior secondary schools, 6 new boarding girls secondary schools, completion of annual N233M WAEC exams fees for students. Completion of standard VIP toilets in all secondary schools in Adamawa State, construction of over 1000 roads and bridges in Adamawa under the Nyako administration apart from the construction of boreholes with overhead tanks in all communities of Adamawa State, construction of dams at Guyaku, Dasin Hausa, Bwatiye, Jibiro, Magar, Timdore, Gwamba etc, construction of state of the art German Diagnois centres in Yola . The massive achievements of Nyako cannot cover a single page because they are monumental. Gabdo writes from Yola, Adamawa State.
MAGINE a 12-year-old boy held by a mob over allegations that he wanted to kidnap a child. Much as he tries to deny the accusation, recounting how he found himself begging on the streets, the mob couldn’t be persuaded. The moment the woman he claimed was his mother denied him before the fierce mob that seemed set to dish out instant justice to mother and child, the lad had a tyre put on him, sprayed with petrol and was burnt alive. The above instance is unfortunately a real situation that played out in Lagos some years ago. A professional film maker, Abimbola Ogunsanya, who stumbled on the incident managed to record the harrowing video of Samuel’s lynching which is the basis of a new online campaign tagged “Don’t Walk Away”, launched in Lagos recently. Samuel’s story as the campaigners rightly noted is a vivid example of the gross injustice and horrific cruelty of mob killing which is becoming prevalent at the slightest excuse in some parts of the country. It is not certain how many innocent persons have been killed in situations similar to Samuel’s case where allegations could not be substantiated. The killing of the ‘Aluu 4’ in Rivers State last October is a good instance of why mob justice should be discouraged. From all indications, there was no conclusive evidence that the late students committed any offence to warrant the dastardly way they were killed. I found it hard to understand how members of the community watched the whole drama unfold as the students were marched naked through the streets, beaten and eventually burnt alive. Considering the high rate of crime in the country, it is understandable why many would not hesitate to support instant justice for especially criminals caught ‘in the act’. When people recall their harrowing experiences with robbers and other criminals, they cannot be easily persuaded to spare anyone caught to be handed over to the police for prosecution. Instead of being prosecuted to prevent them from indulging in crimes or serve as a deterrent to others, many criminals have gotten away for various reasons including lack of diligent prosecution by the police. Some simply bribe their way out and it is not unusual to find some criminals back on the streets days after they were arrested in full glare of the public. Notwithstanding the situation, I still find it difficult to support mob justice. There have been cases of miscarriage of justice when the mobs take the law into their hands. There have been false alarms that have led to the killing of innocent persons for offences they did not commit. It is hoped that “Don’t Walk Away” campaign will convince Nigerians about the need to shun mob violence or jungle justice and motivate them to intervene to prevent future lynching. I wish to lend my voice to the campaign that “mob justice needs to be stopped before it starts”. It could be risky though, sometimes, to try to stop the mob but we must try. “When the finger is raised, and before the thugs move in and take over, we need to raise a hand and say no to ‘justice’ on the streets. The solution to mob justice starts with all of us.” www.dontwalkaway.co.ng is a platform where people can post their views and experiences of mob justice. Twitter: @lotufodunrin
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
HE Court of Appeal, Lagos, on Friday, July 12, 2013, discharged and acquitted Maj. Hamza al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha; and his co-accused, Lateef Shofolahan of conspiracy to the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. They were initially arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy and involvement in the 1996 murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the deceased winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, along the Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway. On January 30, 2012, they were found gulty by Justice Mojisola Dada and accordingly convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. But the duo of al-Mustapha and Shofolahan had appealed against the judgment. So, the drama continued until last Friday, when they finally breathed free air. Justice Rita Pemu, who read the lead judgment, supported by two other judges, Aminat Augie and Fatimah Akinbanmi, said the case was not properly investigated and that prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution listed 12 potential witnesses but managed to call only four witnesses. The first prosecution witness was Dr Ore
Mustapha's long route to freedom
For Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha, accused of killing Alhaja Kudirat Abiola in 1996, it was a long tortuous route to freedom, reports Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu. Falomo, the second is Sergeant Barnabas Jabila Mshiela aka Sergeant Rogers. The third one is Dagama Katako, while a retired police officer, Ahmed Fari Yusuf is the fourth witness. The court said further that the lower court did not evaluate properly the evidence brought before it. Based on the evidence before the court, the learned judges said there was nothing linking Al Mustapha with the killing of Kudirat Abiola as he was not the one that pulled the trigger that killed Kudirat Abiola. They added further that the court was not interested in the political undertone of the case and consequently
discharged and acquitted Al- Mustapha and Alhaji Lateef Sofolahan, the late Kudirat's aide. This statement notwistanding the news added a new vista to the robust political theatre during the week. Since the case was first instituted, after the death of Abacha, it has always been viewed, by some, more as a political case than a straight forward case of murder. As a result, the case has been full of drama and twists. The last hearing before Friday's judgment was not without the usual intrigues. That day, an Appeal Court judge announced his
withdrawal from the case. The judge, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, told parties in the suit that he could only assist them in recording a further date for arguments. He said he would not participate in hearing the main appeal, insisting his reasons were personal. The judge who adjourned the case till June 10, however, granted two applications filed by Mr. Pedro Lawal (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo, Counsel to the State government and Sofolahan, respectively. Because of the political relevance of the late Kudirat Abiola, who died at the forefront of the political struggle to validate the mandate given her
husband, MKO Abiola, on June 12 Presidential election, interest groups have paid particular attention to the outcome of the case. As a result, the trial has witnessed unusual twists. But by far the most sensational aspects of the long trial was recorded during the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission, set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 and chaired by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. That 'trial', which was televised live, enabled Mustapha and the other accused to speak openly. It turned out to be a live triller as the accused Abacha's most dreaded aide, freely ave account of Abiola's death, the alleged murder of his boss, Abacha, how 30 generals escaped death among other highly explosive political secrets during the tyrannical years f military rule. Also, in August 2011, Mustapha continued the drama when he tendered tape on Bola Ige and Abraham Adesanya's visit to Aso Rock during the Abiola saga. For its sheer intrigues and twists, the Mustapha case would be remembered as one of Nigeria's most sensational political cases in recent time.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Rivers PDP crisis: Options before Amaechi J
UST about four months ago, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, can beat his chest and proclaim his membership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Not anymore. He is currently under suspension from the party and from all indications may be shown the exit door soon. A crisis that began in April this year with an Abuja High Court judgment sacking the Rivers State PDP executive council, led by Chief Godspower Ake and affirming the election of Felix Obuah as the new chairman, has snowballed into a major crisis that is now threatening the peace of the state. The controversial court ruling has pitched two erstwhile close political associates-Amaechi, who is backing Ake, against forces allegedly backed by the Presidency, led by the Minister of State for Education, Nyesome Wike, who is supporting Obuah. According to informed sources, the violence that broke out at the state House of Assembly last Tuesday, where five members loyal to Wike were purported to have impeached the Speaker, Dan Amachree, a move fiercely resisted by 23 other lawmakers loyal to Amaechi, may just be the beginning of the end for the governor as a PDP mem-
With the crisis in the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seemingly intractable, the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, looks set to take a big decision that will shape his political career. But he has just a few options, Assistant Editor, Remi Adelowo, reports ber. The Nation gathered that plans are afoot to expel the governor from PDP, a plot the governor and his supporters are said to be aware of. Sources disclosed that the recent meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and some PDP stakeholders in the state reportedly deliberated on the likely expulsion of Amaechi from the party. The source added, "It is just a matter of time before he (Amaechi) is expelled. The powers-that-be are only waiting till after the mini-convention of the party, which was earlier scheduled to hold in this month but was postponed until after the Ramadan period." From his utterances and actions in the last few months, the governor seems pre-
pared for the worst. At a church service to mark the 60th birthday of Mr. Joe Okocha, a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the governor alluded to the likelihood of being forced out of the PDP. In his words: "I lead the people of Rivers State and I will lead them. If they suffocate us in PDP and we need to move, we move." His opponents will be happy to see his back. His main antagonist, Wike, replied to the threat thus: "I don't observe fasting but I have started fasting so that he would leave the PDP. Let him leave the PDP; it is getting too late." The Presidency through the Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, short of advising the governor to leave the party before he is
forced out declared, 'Discipline of party members' lies with the party leadership at the national level. If the state chapter is complaining of anti-party activities by the governor, they will make such known to the National Working Committee (NWC). "So, the president was right by stressing that there would no longer be room for indiscipline in the party. Anybody who is not ready to abide by party rules can go to anywhere he wants to go. Anybody who does not believe in party supremacy can look elsewhere where his excesses may be tolerated." A source, however, revealed that the Presidency is not giving up on eroding the support base of the governor, particularly his hold on the House of Assembly. But that measure looks farfetched at least for now, it was gathered. "Nothing would please his (opponents) more than succeeding in wooing the majority of the lawmakers in the state to their side. If this happens, the governor's impeachment will just be a fait accompli,"the source stressed. AMAECHI HAS FEW OPTIONS How long can Amaechi hold on against the relentless war being waged against him by internal and external forces? Will he remain in PDP and damn the consequence or seek his po-
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Mbu: Politician or professional? Bisi Olaniyi in Port Harcourt takes a look at the career of Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, and his role in the Rivers political crisis and reports
litical fortunes in another political party? The Nation gathered that remaining in the PDP is the least feasible option for the embattled governor. Though nothing is impossible in politics as the warring factions can still embrace reconciliation, but the situation on ground clearly suggests that the two parties are not ready to shift grounds. And even if they reconcile, can Amaechi be trusted again? But if he is eventually expelled from the PDP or decides to quit voluntarily, the most likely option for the governor is to move to an opposition party. There are unconfirmed speculations that leaders of APC have, in the last few months, been engaged in talks with Amaechi on the possibility of joining the new party where he has allegedly been promised of taking over its structures in Rivers State. A pointer that this move could be real after all was the recent decision by Dr. Abiye Sekibo, the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 general elections to return to PDP. Sekibo, a political foe of Amaechi, allegedly got wind of the plan by the leadership of the APC and quickly quit the ACN,
which is a major stakeholder in APC. However, this plan also has its consequences. First, is the fact that the governor has a big task to quickly put APC structures firmly on ground in record time in preparations for the 2015 general elections. The second major task for the governor is to convince all his supporters, consisting of the deputy governor, state and national assembly members, local government chairmen, on the urgent imperative of moving to a new political party at this point in time. To majority of his loyalists, however, this may not be much of a problem as the governor has, in spite of the onslaughts against him, survived this far on account of the confidence reposed in his leadership by his loyalists. The most unlikely option also being bandied around is that the governor may decide to hold on till 2015 when the curtain is drawn on his tenure, quit politics and retire to private life. Still in his 40's and boisterous in nature, quitting the political stage at this point may not be complated by the governor, said some of his close associates. But whichever option the governor decides to take will, unarguably, define his political future.
HE Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu, Joseph Mbu, an alumnus of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), who is from Cross River State, was Oyo State's police commissioner for six months, before he was posted to Rivers State in March this year. He joined the police in 1984 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). He previously served as commissioner of police, Mobile Police Unit and is due to retire in less than six months. As Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu got his first baptism of fire on May 14, 2013, when thousands of women from the 23 local government areas of Rivers state took over the major roads and streets of Port-Harcourt, the state capital, demanding his immediate removal, for allegedly taking sides in the deepening crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The women, clad in black, symbolising mourning, with grandmothers not left out and led by Princess Ure Ejim, first converged on the Alfred DieteSpiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, for prayers, before moving to the gate of the Government House and were received by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by his deputy, Tele Ikuru, an engineer. Some of their placards read: "Mbu is a politician", "Mbu, apologise and go", "CP Mbu, anti-democracy", "CP Mbu, do not kill Rivers State", "CP Mbu must go", "Go, Mbu go", "Police are partial", "Rivers women want peace", "Mbu, don't take us to former reign of anarchy" and "CP Mbu, back to sender." The following day, some women in white tops, under the umbrella of the Grassroots Democratic Initiative (GDI), which has the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, as grand patron, protested in support of Mbu and maintained that he should not be removed. The speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, on May 7, while frowning at the May 6 invasion of the hallowed chamber of the Rivers House of Assembly by armed thugs, with the connivance of the Nigeria police, under the command of Mbu, said that the leadership of the Rivers Assembly had severally alerted the state and the world of the commencement of planned gradual collapse of security and democratic structures of the state, while calling for the transfer of the Rivers commissioner of police. He said: "On May 6, 2013 our democracy suffered a serious setback. Despite our earlier warning, the Rivers State House of Assembly complex, which is directly adjacent the police headquarters, Moscow Road, witnessed a violent and disruptive takeover by over 300 thugs, under the watchful eyes of Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, who shut the gates of the police
headquarters and made it impossible for a formal report to be lodged, while police operatives, working at the assembly complex were ordered to stay away as the siege lasted." He added that "In recent past, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu had ordered 250 policemen, accompanied by two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to storm Isale Oyo area of Oyo state and sealed off the palace of the Ashipa of Oyo, without any court order, embarrassing and infuriating the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar. "Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu was hurriedly transferred to Rivers state - a man with a track record of invading and desecrating constituted authorities. "We fear for the survival of our democratic structures, freedom to carry out our legitimate legislative duties and the safety of lives and property in Rivers State. "We condemn in totality, the pettiness of centripetal forces in governance, as foisted on Rivers people by our power-besotted politicians, based in Abuja. There can be no denials anymore of the part of the centre in the unfolding drama." Reacting to allegations of partisanship, and use of the presidency against Amaechi, Mbu has said he would never compromise crime, while stressing that he made waves in Oyo state as police commissioner and was specially honoured by the Oyo State House of Assembly, adding that he remains a professional police officer. It would be recalled that on May 22, the ex-leader of the Niger Delta Vigilance Movement, 'General' Ateke Tom; 'General' Solomon Ndigbara, aka Osama Bin Ladin; and other ex-militant 'Generals' led over ten thousand Rivers people to protest in Port Harcourt, asking Rivers governor to go. The protesters, under the aegis of the • Continued on Page 22
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
As predicted by The Nation on Sunday, June 30, 2013
•POSTSCRIPT: NINE DAYS AFTER THIS REPORT, THE RIVERS STATE POLITICAL CRISIS EXPLODED. • Continued from Page 21
Rivers People Assembly (RPA), from the 23 LGAs of the state, wore white T-shirts, while carraying banners with various anti-Amaechi inscriptions and moved from the Isaac Boro Park to the Government House, Port Harcourt, amid singing, drumming and dancing. The protesting Rivers people, who declared that they were not sponsored, said they were not happy about the deepening crisis in the PDP, Rivers chapter and also expressed displeasure over the confrontation of President Goodluck Jonathan by Amaechi. Shortly after the ex-militants' protest, the police commissioner, Mbu banned protests and demonstration in the state, but Amaechi declared that he would soon lead Rivers people to protest against the Federal Government and Mbu. Ateke Tom, later in an interview, said: "Rivers commissioner of police is doing well. They want to use Mbu to arrest and kill people, but he said no," while the Chairman of the Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition (NDCSC), Anyakwee Nsirimovu, declared that the Rivers police boss had failed, by acting unprofessionally. Also, the Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, also declared that Mbu was taking sides in the political crisis and should be removed immediately. These comments had reportedly led to Mbu, threatening to arrest the top officials. But a Rivers State High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt and presided over by Justice Adolphus Enebele, on May 22, issued an interim order restraining the state's commissioner of police from arresting the speaker and the chief of staff. Enebele gave the interim order, following an exparte motion brought by the chief of Staff and the speaker. The Rivers commissioner of police, however, declared that no court order could prevent him from arresting the two top officials of the Rivers state government, whenever he was ready to pick them. Mbu said: "The speaker has raised
Mbu: Politician or professional?
•Mbu very serious issues about security threats and about the attempt to assassinate the governor (Rivers), His Excellency and the chief security officer of this state. That is a very serious issue and the speaker of the House of Assembly will be invited and will be interrogated to give more facts and throw light into this information. On whether he will give Amaechi permit, when he decides to lead Rivers people to protest injustice soon, the police boss said simply: "Until then." The Rivers police commissioner also declared that he was not in the state to satisfy any individual, but had great respect for Amaechi. Mbu said: "I got the hint by 5:30 in the morning of May 22, that it appeared there
would be a peaceful protest. We did not know exactly from which direction. I call all my officers. In the morning, I was the one who deployed men of the Counter Terrorist Unit, with red berets, around Government House. "We had a visiting AIG (Jonathan Johnson, from Zone 6, Calabar), who was on a maiden tour of this command and I was with him. "They (protesting ex-militants) were blocked at the Isaac Boro Park and they were addressed to go back, but they reconvened at the Government House. I deployed four Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) in Government House. "I was with the governor and my visiting AIG in Government House. When we
finished, we came out. All my officers were around Government House and we were able to send them (ex-militants) out. "I sent text message to His Excellency (Governor Amaechi) and I said: 'Your Excellency sir, we have dispersed them.' He replied my text message and said: 'Thank you very much.' "While I was in Government House, I called my IG, to let him know what was on the ground and the IG directed that I should ban public procession and peaceful protest, until further notice and whoever wants that, should apply to me. "So, when the governor replied me with: 'thank you very much,' I sent him another text message: 'Your Excellency, thank you sir. I want to add that I have explained things to the IG and he has directed that I should ban peaceful protest or procession and anybody who wants to do that should apply.' He never replied me. "I am here (in Rivers State) to do my job. I am not here to satisfy any individual. Once I satisfy my conscience, the people will see for themselves, who is saying the truth. I respect my governor (Amaechi). He is my boss. I do not want to take issues with him. "His Excellency is the Chief Executive and Number One Security Officer of this state and he is highly respected. For this reason, I reserve my comments on these and other accusations against me by him directly or his aides, for now. "I want to re-emphasize that the ban on public procession or protest is still in force and whoever wants to go on public procession or protest must seek my approval." This response notwithstanding, the representative of the Rivers Southeast Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe, has alleged that Mbu was not behaving as a professional police officer, but taking sides in the deepening crisis, especially for supporting militants to protest, after he banned protests in the state. As the Rivers political crisis unfolds, and as opponents and supporters bandy allegations and counter allegations, the question on the lips of concerned observers remains, is Mbu a professional or a politician? Only time will tell.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
PDP's battle strategy
Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu, reports that the modus operandi of the ongoing political crisis in Rivers State is in line with an old script perfected by chieftains of Peoples Democratic Party since the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when the strategy was successfully deployed both at the National Assembly and in some states where the governors lost presidential favour
NE of the most intriguing political drama the People's Democratic Party (PDP) seems to have perfected in Nigeria, and is fond of re-enacting now and then, is the act of removing top government officials or sitting governors in a manner that flings open the door of controversy. Whenever the party's lawmakers are called upon to re-enact this tragicomic act in any chosen chamber or state, they would, after the usual preambles, joyfully enter the stage as one dimensional characters. Then, they would follow the same old plot, since it seems the script writers never have enough time or patience to alter the plot in any significant detail. So, as the curtain opens, as the light brightens the stage, and the actors step in one after the other, keen members of the audience would understand the sequence and can easily predict the end of the drama. Preamble would naturally include deceitful handshakes, allegations and counter allegations, denials and then the show of power. What follows would then include free-for-all fights at the hallowed chamber, use of police, other security operatives or military men. Then, it would be garnished with the tragedy of a missing or broken mace and blood. The epilogue will constitute a long drawn argument over the legality of the action or over the percentage of the honourable members that sat to execute the act and such like. As has been recorded in the history of the ruling party, the lower the percentage, the better as the intrigues would be more gripping. In that circumstance, the loser would be angry enough to proceed to court for a more elaborate argument. Since the impeachment of Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as the Senate President, it seems this controversial template, evolved by former President Olusegun Obasanjo's PDP henchmen, has been adopted by the party, and has since been reenacted in state assemblies. So, the battle strategy has essentially remained the same: push out the unfavoured official, using any possible style, Ghana-must-go, full of cash plus raw, primitive force. After that, the debate on the sanctity of democracy can commence and the loser would of course fight from the outside. Today, that drama is being reenacted in Rivers State, as PDP leadership battles to unseat Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Late last week, the usual preamble was established. As was the case when Obasanjo paid a surprise visit to the late Okadigbo and had the historic dinner with him in his house, hours before Okadigbo's impeachment, the Rivers crisis was preceded by a surprise turn of events in the relationship between the president and the embattled governor. At the PortHarcourt Airport, Jonathan openly embraced Amaechi, giving the impression that he had finally forgiven the governor after all. As was expected by critics, it took only few days before the failed impeachment of Amaechi began. Before the Rivers drama Since this special strategy was established and perfected, many top PDP office holders, including state governors, who dared to confront the powers that be in Abuja, have been shown the way out in very brisk and crude circumstances. Even the very few
targets who withstood the assault suffered severe political injury as many of them are yet to recover fully. Some of the governors that had suffered this fate include: Joshua Dariye The night preceding the dramatic impeachment of former Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye, there were unusual influx of policemen and soldiers into Jos. A legislative panel set up to try the governor for alleged corruption had that morning, November 13, 2006, as early as 6.00 am, submitted its report to a 5man Plateau House of Assembly group, which reportedly enjoyed the support of the Federal Government. Soon after receiving the report, the 5-man House of Assembly met under tight security and impeached Governor Joshua Dariye. Minutes later, Dariye's deputy, Michael Botmang, was sworn in by Chief Jus-
tice Lazarus Dakyen, who himself, had been removed earlier from office. Although Abuja denied having any hand in the impeachment saga, informed observers could not reconcile that denial with the fact that as soon as Botmang was sworn in as the new governor, he proceeded to thank the President and the Deputy Senate President then, Mantu, for their contribution to his new exalted position. This action, confirmed to a very long extent that it was the then President, Chief Obasanjo, and Mantu that made his appointment possible. It took the court to reinstate Dariye. Rasheed Ladoja: Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, who became governor of Oyo State on 29 May 2003, is another governor in Nigeria whose impeachment was linked to his relationship with the leadership of his party, the PDP. Ladoja's experience as governor was rather traumatic. Things became awry for him when he fell out with the godfather of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu. By August 2004, it has beome public knowledge that Ladoja and Adedibu were locked in a fierce struggle over allocation of government appointees and sharing of government funds. In the ensuing power game, Ladoja lost out as the national leadership of the party, and the Obasanjoled presidency decided to back the strongman of Ibadan politics. At the heat of the battle, in late 2005, the then PDP national chairman, Ahmadu Ali, advised Ladoja to take instructions from Adedibu. Ladoja could not bring himself to accept such advise and so before he knew what hit him, he was impeached in January 2006 in very controversial circumstances. At the sitting of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up later to probe a crisis that rocked the Oyo State chapter of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the commission was told how a former factional leader of the union, the late Alhaji Lateef Salako (Eleweomo), presided over the sitting of the state House of Assembly where Ladoja was impeached. The embattled governor was however reinstated in December 2006. This could not however be described as total victory as his political career has been haunted since then by the powerful forces that refused to forgive him. His term ended in 2007 and he could not get the party's ticket for re-election. What is more, in 2008, he faced corruption charges in the ands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Peter Obi Although he was not in PDP, Governor Peter Obi's impeachment on November 3, 2006, was carried out by PDP lawmakers in the state house of assembly, using the usual strategy. The first official announcement of the impeachment in Anambra State came through a press conference, where the speaker then, Mike Balonwu, claimed that 21 lawmakers signed the 'resolution' of the impeachment action. At first, it was not certain how many members of the House were physically present at the said sitting, where the impeachment was carried out. A day before the alleged impeachment, members of the house of assembly had met with representatives of the then president Obasanjo in Asaba , Delta State. They were escorted to Awka by heavy security provided by the police mobile unit. Reports had it that the house of assembly members arrived Awka at at around 5:00 am and began sitting soon after. While in Delta State, they received the report of a panel of investigation set up to investigate the governor and after deliberating for about an hour, decided to impeach the governor, Peter Obi. Obi, who protested that the house of assembly members did not form the 2/3rd majority required by the constitution, later went to court to challenge his removal. It was not until February 9, 2007 that the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu restored him to the seat. Other governors that have tasted the bitter pill, though in different doses include, Dr. Chris Ngige who was kidnapped by armed policemen, Orji Uzor Kalu, who was haunded out of PDP, DSP Alamiesigha, who was impeached and jailed amongs others.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
HE main actors in the deepening crisis in Rivers State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party include: President Goodluck Jonathan: The former lecturer-turned-politician is an indigene of Otuoke in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State. In November 1983, Jonathan left the mainstream civil service for the Rivers State College of Education, Port Harcourt, as a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences. With the creation of the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), in October 1992, Jonathan was called to serve as an Assistant Director, Ecology, in March 1993 in the Directorate of Environmental Protection Sub-Department of the commission. He performed creditably in that capacity, until he voluntarily left the service of the commission in 1998, having been picked as the running mate to Bayelsa's former Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, on the platform of the PDP. On September 15, 2005, Alamieysegha was arrested by the London Metropolitan Police for alleged money laundering and was made to stand trials. He jumped bail and returned to Nigeria on November 21, 2005 A notice of impeachment was then served on Alamieyeseigha by lawmakers led by then Balysea Speaker, Peremobowei Ebebi, a lawyer. After the investigations by a seven-member committee, headed by a Port Harcourt based lawyer, Mr. David Serena Dokubo, Alamieysegha was removed and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was inaugurated as the substantive governor of Balysea state. He later became Vice President under the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, Acting President and today President. Former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili: Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili, a medical doctor-turned-politician, is a former Governor of Rivers State (1999 to 2007), when Amaechi, his former Personal Assistant, was the Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly. Odili, who hails from Ndoni in Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni LGA of Rivers state, was born on August 15, 1948 and he was the thirteenth Governor of Rivers state. He came to political limelight in 1988/ 89, when he was elected member and leader of the Rivers State Delegates to the Constituent Assembly. In 1992, he was elected as the deputy governor of Rivers state to Chief Rufus AdaGeorge, who hails from Okrika. After the third republic ended, Odili was again elected to the National Constitutional Conference and became the Conference Committee Chairman on State Creation and thereafter became the National Secretary of the defunct Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN). He was elected governor of Rivers state in April 1999 and was re-elected in April 2003. Odili was an aprant in the presidential race of 2007, but intrigues and power-plays led to the emergence of the late Alhaji Umaru
Battle for Rivers: Who’s who?
The main actors in the deepening crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State chapter, ahead of the 2015 elections, are in two camps. Bisi Olaniyi in Port Harcourt writes that the Abuja forces are led by President Goodluck Jonathan, while the home-based politicians have as leader, Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Yar'Adua as the PDP's presidential candidate. Dame Patience Jonathan: The wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, was born on October 25, 1957 and hails from Okrika, Okrika LGA of Rivers state. It is alleged that the First Lady prefers the representative of the Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator George Thompson Sekibo, to succeed Amaechi in 2015, in order to teach the youthful governor a political lesson for embarrassing him at Okrika in August 2010, during his two-day official visit to Rivers state. The visit ended on a sour note at Okrika, when Amaechi repeated his decision to demolish Port Harcourt's over forty waterfront settlements, mostly occupied by Okrika people. Dame Patience decided to fight for her Okrika people by grabbing the microphone from the governor, while still speaking and told him: "Listen. You must listen to me. I want you to get me clearly. "I am from here (Okrika). I know the problems of my people, especially land. So, I know what I am talking about. What I am telling you is that you always say you must demolish. That word 'must' you are using is not good. It is by pleading. You appeal to the owners of the compounds, because they will not go to exile." Listening to their daughter defending them, Okrika people were very happy, but Amaechi was highly embarrassed. To avoid further humiliation or altercation with the President's wife, the governor quietly left the venue of the elaborate Okrika ceremony and moved to his official vehicle, parked nearby, where he stayed till the end of the programme. Dame Patience also cancelled other programmes lined up for the visit and quickly returned to Abuja.
It is alleged that because of this case, the First Lady has made up her mind to back the political battle against Amaechi. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi's place of birth is Umuordu-Ubima in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State and he was born on May 27, 1965. He served as Special Assistant to Odili (1992) and was the Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly for eight years (1999 to 2007), during which he doubled as the Chairman of Nigerian Speakers' Conference and performed excellently, before becoming governor on October 26, 2007 through the Supreme Court's landmark judgment of the previous day. Sir Celestine Omehia, Omehia, Amaechi's cousin, who is from the same Ubima, was inaugurated as governor on May 29, 2007, having benefitted from the infamous 'K-leg saga' of leaders of the PDP, but sacked by the Supreme Court on October 25, 2007. Omehia contested for Rivers governorship on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2011. Chief Nyesom Wike: Wike, a lawyer, is from Rumuepirikom community in Obio/Akpor LGA of the state and was the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt and also doubled as the Director-General of Amaechi Campaign Organisation in 2011, before being inaugurated as minister of state for education on July 14, 2011. The ex-chief of staff was elected twice as the Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers state. While in office as the council's boss, he also served as the President of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a member of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth
Local Governments Forum (CLGF). Senator George Thompson Sekibo: The senator was born on April 1, 1957 and he is from Ogu Town, the headquarters of Ogu/Bolo LGA of Rivers state. In December 1987, he was elected as Chairman of the LG council, which is considered as one of the largest heterogeneous LGAs in Rivers state and Nigeria. Indeed, the LG had since been split into five. For his sagacity, Sekibo was dulyhonoured with the award of Best Performing Local Government Chairman by the Rivers State Government in 1988. Following the creation of Okrika LGA in April 1989, Sekibo became the first chairman of the new LGA. In 1999, he was appointed as the Special Adviser on Projects to the Governor of Rivers State, in which capacity he superintended over the execution of special projects in various parts of Rivers state till 2003. In April 2003, he was elected into the House of Representatives to represent Okrika/Ogu-Bolo Federal Constituency. He also served dutifully as Chairman of the House Committee on Special Duties and Leader of the Rivers State Caucus in the House of Representatives. In 2007, Sekibo was again elected for a higher responsibility, to represent the Rivers East Senatorial District, where again he proved himself as a quintessential legislator. He was Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals and member of the Senate Committees on Niger Delta, Gas, Federal Character, Commerce and Environment. His humility in service also endeared him to his colleagues in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, who unanimously elected him the Caucus Leader of the Rivers State National Assembly members. He was re-elected to the Senate for another four-year term (20112015). It is alleged that the incumbent governor is not comfortable with the ambition of Sekibo, since they are from the same senatorial district and the senator is very close to Wike, who is leading the opposition within the PDP. It is rumored that the misunderstanding was because the calculation by Amaechi is that if he is unable to realise his vicepresidential ambition, through his association with the Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, who intends to be President in 2015, he will use the Senate as the render of last resort. Amaechi's ambition and his activities as NGF chairman have pitched him against his Niger Delta kinsman (President Jonathan), who hails from Otuoke in Ogbia LGA and wants to seek re-election in 2015, claiming that he earlier completed the tenure of late President Umaru Yar'Adua. Senator Sekibo is relying on his closeness to the wife of President Jonathan, Dame • Continued on Page 25
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Main actors in PDP's deepening crisis in Rivers
â€˘ Continued from Page 24
Patience, who hails from Okrika in Rivers state, to get the PDP's ticket, which will amount to survival of the fittest, considering Wike's ambition of also becoming governor in 2015. Dakuku Adolphus Peterside: Peterside, 42, the representative of Andoni/ Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, hails from coastal Opobo, the headquarters of Opobo/ Nkoro LGA of Rivers state and he is a doctoral student of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). Amaechi, before the PDP's crisis, had soft spot for Peterside, who is also the Chairman of the House of Representatives' Committee on Petroleum (Downstream). Peterside, who is Rivers state's immediate past Commissioner for Works, was then being favoured to take over from Amaechi by most stakeholders in the PDP, considering Rivers upland/riverine dichotomy in the choice of a governor and his closeness to the helmsman. Amaechi is from the upland part of the state. Peterside is being very careful. Otelemaba Dan Amachree: The Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly, Amachree, a Kalabari man, became the Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly in 2011 and succeeded Tonye Harry, also from Kalabari part of the state. The speaker is walking a tight rope. If he does not completely show loyalty to Amaechi, he may be removed. Wike's group too may restrategise and impeach him, in order to get at the NGF chairman. The Assembly's April 22 decision to suspend the chairman of Obio/Akpor LG, Timothy Nsirim, his deputy, Solomon Eke, and all the 17 councillors who are some of the loyalists of the minister of state for education in government, is still being condemned by PDP leaders and other stakeholders, who accused the speaker and the proAmaechi lawmakers as rubber-stamp. The move by some of the members of Rivers House of Assembly to suspend five lawmakers loyal to Wike, will put the speaker on the spot and he may not survive the aftermath, considering the Chief Felix Obuah-led PDP executive's April 29 suspension of the 27 proAmaechi lawmakers, including the speaker. Amachree and 25 other lawmakers, out of the 32member Assembly, recently passed a vote of confidence in Amaechi, which was condemned by a crosssection of Rivers people. Immediately the vote of confidence was passed in the governor, all the local government chairmen and councillors across the state equally joined the bandwagon. Chief Godspower Ake: Ake, the sacked Rivers PDP Chairman, a former
â€˘Omehia National Vice Chairman, Southsouth, of the PDP, hails from Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni LGA of Rivers state. He was removed along with members of his executive on April 15, through the judgment of an Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello, but he expressed optimism of emerging victorious at the appellate court. The sacked chairman said: "It is disheartening for people to build a house and turn round to destroy it. I met Go Round (Obuah) sometime in the past and he told me that Wike invited him to destroy Amaechi's structure. "Wike is not alone in the fight against Amaechi. There are others 'at the top', conspiring to destroy Amaechi's structure. The party is actually not the target, but the Rivers State Government." Chief Felix Obuah: Obuah, the newlyinaugurated Chairman of the PDP in Rivers State, aka Go Round, who is a former Chairman of Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni LGA of Rivers state, was inaugurated in Abuja on April 16 and welcomed to Port Harcourt by a mammoth crowd on April 19, said: "I do not have any weapon to destroy any structure, built on solid rock. "The issue of reconciliation does not arise at all, since members of my executive and I are not having problem with anybody. There is no quarrel whatsoever. The Abuja High Court has restored our stolen mandate. To God be the glory. "Chief Wike is one of the leaders of the PDP, the largest political party in Africa. Anybody who falls on the ground, will say the battle is not over. When they won, they celebrated. Whenever they lose, they will accuse the judges of corruption. "I went to court to reclaim my stolen mandate. I do not want to take issues with Chief Godspower Ake.
He is crying because he lost. Chief Ake is my father, by virtue of his age. I do not know whether President Jonathan and Rivers governor are quarrelling. Amaechi should watch his utterances and respect constituted authorities. "Nobody should cry wolf. I am a peace-loving person. I am not aware on any move to impeach Amaechi. My executive will check the excesses of elected and appointed PDP leaders and members in Rivers state. They have not done well. Prince Timothy Nsirim: Nsirim, Chairman of Obio/Akpor LG, an astute politician, who performed excellently as council chairman, was sacrificed along with his vice and all the seventeen councillors by being suspended by some members of the Rivers House of Assembly, for being loyal to the minister of state for education. Nsirim succeeded Wike as Obio/Akpor chairman and sees the minister as his godfather. While showing absolute loyalty to the minister of state for education, the suspended LG helmsman never participated in the Rivers council chairmen's news conference to condemn the sack of Ake at the official residence of the Chief of Staff, Tony Okocha, opposite the Government House, Port Harcourt, believed to have been sponsored by Amaechi. Senator Lee Meaba: Meaba, an Ogoni, until 2011, represented the Rivers Southeast Senatorial District in the National Assembly. He fell out with Amaechi, who preferred his confidant (Magnus Ngei Abe) to him during the last election and currently representing the district. The anger of being deprived representation might have made Meaba to join the opposition in the PDP. He returned from Abuja to Port Harcourt with Obuah on April 19 and all of them were well received by the large crowd at the Port Harcourt International
Airport. Austin Opara: Opara, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, is an Odili's supprter but now with the opposition within the PDP and was also with Obuah at the Port Harcourt airport on April 19, but he is always in Abuja. The former deputy speaker and other antiAmaechi politicians are ready to cause confusion in Rivers state, thereby paving the way for the declaration of a state of emergency by the Federal Government. Sergeant Awuse, aka Bulldozer: Awuse, a former governorship candidate, was always with Amaechi during the 2011 campaigns round the 23 LGAs of the state. Suddenly, he and the NGF chairman fell out and he is now supporting the new PDP chairman and he was with Obuah at the Port Harcourt International Airport on April 19. Bulldozer is based in Port Harcourt and he is the owner of Visa Karina Hotel in the new Government Reservation Area (GRA) in the Garden City. He is a dogged fighter and will be among politicians who will give Amaechi sleepless nights. Prince Tonye Princewill: Princewill, the 2007 governorship candidate of Action Congress (AC), before it was changed to the ACN, who later defected to the PDP, is also interested in taking over from his friend, Amaechi in 2015. Princewill is the son of the paramount ruler of Kalabari Kingdom, King Theophilus Princewill, who is also the immediate past Chairman of the Rivers Council of Traditional Rulers. He filed petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal in Port Harcourt, after being rigged out by the PDP in 2007, leading to the emergence of Omehia, then of PDP, as the governor. The Kalabari Prince continued with his case at the tribunal, until the emergence of Amaechi as governor, with Princewill later revealing that some unnamed PDP leaders offered him money, running into billions of naira, to continue with the case against Amaechi, which he rejected. Tele Ikuru: Ikuru, an engineer, an Amaechi's deputy, who hails from Ikuru Town in Andoni LGA of Rivers state, has been quiet on his 2015 ambition, but he may not be ruled out of the governorship or senatorial race. He spoke with anger, while addressing the teeming supporters of Amaechi in front of the Government House, Port Harcourt on April 20. If Ikuru does not get the governorship or senatorial ticket of the PDP, as a loyal deputy, Amaechi may nominate him for ministerial or a m b a s s a d o r i a l appointment.
Political Politics turf
with Bolade Omonijo email@example.com
Reviewing Jonathan's transformation agenda
HEN President Goodluck Jonathan assumed the full powers of an elected President on May 29, 2011, he wasted no time in assuring all his compatriots that things would change for the better. He might not have used the word change, but he adopted transformation. Many invested hope in the man who had told them during the campaign that he could connect with the underprivileged because he actually started life wondering what it meant to have the basic necessities of life. He pledged to change the face of our schools within the shortest possible time, vowed to tame the corruption monster and promote the cause of justice. The President said he would restructure the economy to generate employment and boost its productive base. He also said the polity would begin to wear a new look under his administration. The signals we have show that the President either merely adopted a slogan or is totally clueless about what should be done. Neither is a compliment. More than two years after, nothing has really changed for the better. The economy is still comatose with the Finance Minister confessing that it could collapse any moment and the average politician is still greedy and aggressive, ready to kill to attain higher offices. The problem is not that the El Dorado promised is not here yet. We realise that we were in the woods when Jonathan came on the scene. We concede that Nigeria was in a long tunnel and it would take a while to grope out. However, what cannot be justified is that there is no road map. The President is at sea and has shown no ability to mobilise the citizenry or give that push that could move the country to the path of prosperity. For two years now, the country has been tottering at the bank of collapse. The divisions and strives have exacerbated and, while before Jonathan there was hope of a new beginning, everyone is getting What General leads his men on a campaign and takes pride that the most important attribute of a President is that he must have insight and foresight. He must be a true leader; one who shows the way. Since Jonathan took the reins of office, the country has been stumbling from one crisis to another. The money he spent on the 2010/2011 campaign showed him as a desperate man. It marked him as one who would do anything to mount the saddle. A desperate man can never make a good leader; he is one who cares only about himself and his interests. He would be over-protective of his friends and associate and paranoid about the intentions of opponents. He thus drives a wedge between the "we" and the "they". The crisis being sponsored by the President in Rivers is an indication that he lacks knowledge on Nigerian political history. He probably chose to bring down the roof in the oil-rich state to demonstrate that he is the locus of power. Power does not inhere in one man. The President may be the embodiment of state power, but he must be sound enough to realise that there are competing sources of power, authority and influence. Any emperor or potentate of king who failed to realise this simple and basic fact has, through history, lost all. Why would the President be sponsoring insurrection in a part of the territory over which he presides? Why would he instruct one of his ministers to go to war with a governor? Why would he be such a disruptive influence as he has been in the Nigerian Governors' Forum? Why would he choose to limit the range of his vision to his nose ridge as he is doing in Rivers, yet believing that all would be well in the drive towards 2015? The country is on tenterhooks. No thanks to a President who has refused to rise to the challenge of the moment; a President who thinks his weakness could be covered by the resort to use of naked power. This President obviously does not know that when the drum begins to make very loud noise, it is an indication that it will soon burst. In the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the people of Bamanga Tukur's zone rejected him, but, because he found favour with Jonathan, his opponents were bludgeoned to surrender at the convention. In Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva had to go. What would the President do with the Osun and Ekiti States elections next year? A man consumed by the lust for power would not realise when he is setting his own house on fire. Encouraging dissent and sponsoring schism in other parties will do no one any good. The President has demonstrated an uncanny ability to do anything, especially sinister things. This edifice predated Jonathan and must survive him. He must be checkmated or save from the self destruct button he is about to press. Calling on honest, non-partisan Political Scientists for some hours of lessons on the danger of assuming absolute power and the Nigerian political history may dilute the President's concentrated knowledge of the zoo and the kingdom of animals. Running a human polity as a lion would the animal kingdom can only lead to one end. Ponder this, Mr. President
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Lawyers fault Police on immunity claim
LAIMS by the Nigerian Police that its men failed to restrain or
arrest violent lawmakers and other people involved in the crisis that engulfed the Rivers State House of Assembly earlier in the week due to the parliamentary immunity enjoyed by the legislators, have been contradicted by legal practitioners. Trouble started in the hallowed chamber on Tuesday when a member of the House, Evans Bapakaye Bibi, representing Ogu/Bolo constituency, allegedly led some thugs to attack the House leader, Chidi Llyod and other pro-Amaechi lawmakers. The situation soon degenerated into a free-for-all fight that saw honourable members attacking themselves with various dangerous objects, including the mace of the House. While the melee lasted, policemen and military men drafted to the Assembly complex to forestall the breakdown of law and order reportedly kept their distance from the fighting legislators. It took the arrival of the governor of the State, Rotimi Amaechi, with his armed escorts for the fracas to be stopped as security operatives attached to him led some of the fighting lawmakers out of the chamber to forestall further exchange of blows. Following widespread condemnation of its role in the crisis, the Police reportedly cited parliamentary immunity enjoyed by the lawmakers as the reason why its men could not do much to stop the violence that erupted in the chamber of the Rivers Assembly on Tuesday. But a human rights activist and legal practitioner, Morakinyo Ogele, said the reason advanced by the police cannot hold water and should be ignored by
By Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor
the populace. To the Akure-based lawyer, the police should be seen as a party to the crisis that engulfed the Assembly on Tuesday as it failed in its duty to maintain law and order. "What they are saying is not tenable. It is the duty of the police to maintain law and order. Yes there is what we call parliamentary immunity, also known as legislative immunity, enjoyed by lawmakers. But that is no reason for the police to watch while violence was being perpetrated. It is the duty of the police to curb
violence and chaos anywhere in the country. There is no reason in what they are saying," he said. Ogele called for the prosecution of those who perpetrated the violence on the floor of the house. According to him, this is necessary to set precedence to the effect that violence under any guise will not be tolerated. "The political violence perpetrated at the Rivers State House of Assembly is another indication that some of our politicians are not fit for office. The police should arrest the perpetrators for prosecution as their action is criminal," he added. Lagos lawyer and pro-democracy crusader, Dupe Oduguwa, would also
not have any of the argument being proffered by the police. According to the legal practitioner, there is no immunity on the floor of the House for acts of violence. "Parliamentary immunity is a system in which members of the parliament or legislature are granted partial immunity from prosecution. But if prosecuting becomes necessary, the immunity can be removed. This is usually done by a superior Court of justice or by the parliament itself. But the immunity only covers the activities of the lawmaker in the course of his legislative duty. I don't think acts of violence as the ones we saw on the floor of the Rivers Assembly falls within such legislative ambit. One other thing is that the House was yet to be properly called to order when the violence started. So, the issue of the police being handicapped does not arise. The police simply failed in its duty to the nation by watching while the legislators fight. The article of the immunity clearly state that members of the Parliament may not be sought, prosecuted, judged or imprisoned for actions that they have accomplished within their duties as parliamentarians. In particular, parliamentarians are immune from prosecution for defamation committed in the exercise of their functions. These includes speeches and votes in public sittings of the assemblies, law proposals, amendments, as well as reports and other actions commissioned by parliamentary instances. But this, in jurisprudence, does not include interviews on broadcast radio or any other thing done outside official engagements. And I know it does not include fighting or any other violent act," Oduguwa said.
Boni Haruna dumps Atiku
What next for Daniel?
IRST, Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) denied that former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, led the party members from the state for the flag-off of the reconstruction of the Lagos to Ibadan expressway, an event performed by President Goodluck Jonathan. Then came a press conference addressed by leaders of the Labour Party (LP) in the state, who also claimed that the former governor is not the major promoter of the party in the state as it is being insinuated min certain quarters. Now, the big qustion is: which political party does Daniel belong to? Is it PDP, Labour Party (LP) or Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), a party he formed at the tail end of his tenure as governor?
Still on the Oyo PDP power play
N times past, former Governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna and exvice president, Atiku Abubakar, were extremely close. That Abubakar was Haruna's political godfather was an acknowledged fact. But that was then. Sources revealed that Haruna recently shifted his loyalty and political allegiance to the new powersthat-be in the PDP in his home state whose arrowhead is the party's National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. His reason may not be unconnected to his desire to return to political relevance after years in a political widerness of sorts.
OME days ago, the senator representing Oyo North, Hosea Agboola, boasted of being in control of the party structures in the state. That assertion, it was gathered, has infuriated a former governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who is credited to have brought Agboola into political limelight. With the no-love lost relationship between the two politicians, there are fears that the race for the PDP Oyo North senatorial ticket, which Akala has vowed to beat Agboola to, may be fought with both fair and foul means.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821) firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner of Miss Nigeria 2013, Anyaoha EzinneAkudo
Olumide and Dakore Akande
Mrs. Kemi Adewunmi
Erelu Bisi Fayemi
Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha
ing Anuoluwapo Oni's wedd
Bride’s parents:Alhaja Muinot and Adekunle Oni
The couple: Foluso and Anuoluwapo Alabi
L-R:Hajia Funso Saheeb and Mrs. Oluremi Saheeb
L-R: Alhaja Mojisola Ojora-Oke and Hajia Tawakalitu Oguntayo
L-R: Mr. Abiodun Balogun and Fatai Saheeb
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
JAY Z, Rihanna MADE for Music
URING the week, alcoholic beverage, Budweiser, unveiled MADE for Music, drawing on its support of great music and great artists around the world. Inspired by the success of last summer's it's Made in America festival, curated by JAY Z in support of the United Way, MADE for Music will celebrate the artists, makers and creators that leave an indelible mark on pop
Mercy Aigbe, Ebube Nwagbo JUDGE Miss Global Nigeria 2013 T
WO of Nollywood's finest, Mercy Aigbe-Gentry and Ebube Nwagbo, are part of the judges at the ongoing Miss Global Nigeria 2013 screening currently taking place at Ikeja. Also on the panel of judges are Tese Onokola, Gbemi Shotade (first runner-up of MGN 2012 and Miss UN) and Alldrey Ekunno. It was a parade of bevy of beauties who passed through the first round of screening online as they stormed the venue from across the country to be part of the concluding hurdle. Following that, they will be
OSHUA Buchi is a gospel musician who has contested in many musical competitions like Star Quest in 2007, Mushin Gospel Talent Hunt in 2010, among others, but the talented artiste hasn't made the mark yet. Now fate has taken its course as he launched his debut album, Arise, on the th 30 of June 2013 at CAC Gospel Miracle International Centre in Sagamu, Ogun state.
involved in a one-week camping in a hotel from where the grand finale will produce the eventual winner in Lagos. The grand finale of the pageant holds at the Xovar Lounge Lekki on Sunday, th July 28 .
Supermom Season 4 begins this weekend
HE producers of soar-away reality show Supermom have announced the commencement of broadcast of the show from this weekend. CEO of Digital Interactive Media (DIM), Sola Fajobi, on Tuesday announced the broadcast and programme schedule of season four of the show to select guests. “This season four of Supermom aptly tagged 'Heart of Gold' will be bigger and better than the past three editions. That is not to dismiss the past editions, what we have actually done is looked at what we have done in time past and deliberately worked to improve on them despite the fact that they were of high quality. We worked on production input, the drama, cast and entries. People will definitely enjoy the show.” The nationwide broadcast of the show which will commence on Saturday and Sunday on the following TV stations: AIT, Africa Magic, V-channel, MITV, Kwara TV, ABS Akwa, and CRBC,
Calabar. AIT will show it on Sunday between 4.30pm and 5.30pm, Africa Magic will air it between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Sunday, Kwara TV will show it same Sunday between 8pm and 9pm, ABS Akwa will show it between 6pm and 7pm on Sunday, MITV and CRBC will broadcast it on Saturday between the time belt of 8pm to 9pm while V-channel will broadcast the show on Saturday and Sunday between 7pm and 8pm. The first and second editions of Supermom focused on mothers whose stories their children told with emotive convictions. The stories bordered on the sacrifice, pain and sheer hardship that 20 women went through in raising their kids. Their stories were told with short dramas while the eventual winners were decided via votes from members of the public. The first set of winners won brand new houses, the first runnersup, brand new cars, while the second runners-up smiled
t n a e g a P ry a n te n Ce ’s a ri e ig N st Bayelsa to ho
OLLOWING the signing of a partnership hosting agreement between the state government and AOE Events and Entertainment Limited, Bayelsa State has become the first state that will play host to the 37 contestants in the forthcoming Nigeria's Centenary Pageant, Director-General, Bayelsa Tourism Development Agency, Mrs. Ebizi Ndiomu Brown, noted that tourism is the next gold mine waiting to be explored and that the state government is exploring all avenues to attract tourists to the state. Also speaking on the event, Chief Executive Officer of the AOE Events and Entertainment Limited, Nike
culture and the spirit that drives them to greatness, bringing the inspirational power of music to millions of fans around the world. Budweiser's global MADE for Music programming will celebrate music's unique power and influence in bringing people together. In addition, MADE for Music will also bring fans closer to Rihanna through a series of collaborations to be announced later this year. Budweiser is already on the road with Rihanna, supporting her Diamonds World Tour, named after her single that topped the charts in over 43 countries. "Music truly is a universal language and Budweiser is proud to work with and support the great artists who inspire millions of people across the globe with their talents, dedication, and drive to achieve their dreams," said Camilo Durana, Global Director, Budweiser Sports and Entertainment. MADE for Music will be supported by a global campaign featuring JAY Z and Rihanna, running across more than 85 countries around the world. It will include two new television spots entitled Dreams are Made directed by awardwinning film director, Mark Romanek. "Budweiser MADE for Music is a tribute to those who continue to put their energy and passion everyday in the pursuit of their dreams," said Ricardo Marques, Global Advertising Director of Budweiser. "JAY Z and Rihanna represent these values and are therefore an incredible source of inspiration to us all.”
Oshinowo, said that Bayelsa won the hosting rights due to the existing peace in the state. Oshinowo said that though adjustments have been made to the Centenary Pageant, the camping in Bayelsa would enable the state to show the nation and the world what they have to offer. “Through our eyes, the world would experience Bayelsa with her people, culture and her values. The Centenary Pageant, at its grand finale, will not feature the usual swim gear segment due to cultural and religious considerations. At the finale, each state will showcase states traditional costumes, while Nigerian fashion designers would be given the opportunity to showcase their
designs,” said the former beauty queen. The winner of the beauty contest, according to Oshinowo, is expected to reign for the rest of her life, with partnership of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to promote different causes that affect Nigerian women. In addition to a car that will be replaced every five years, she said the Centenary Beauty Queen is expected to have a full scholarship to attend any institution of higher learning anywhere in the world, monthly income for the rest of her life and she is expected to be crowned by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, at the mother-of-all-grand finale in Abuja later in the year. •Nike Oshinowo
home with cash prizes. Mrs. Gladys Asuquo (mother of Cohbams) won the first prize and Mrs. Omobonike Anike (mother of Abass Akande PK1) and Mrs. Martinez Sanni [mother of Skales] were first and second runners-up respectively.They won N2million, N1million and N500,000 respectively. They shared the prize money with motherless babies' homes of their choices; SOS Village Isolo was chosen by Cohbams and Obesere while Skales chose Red Cross in Makoko.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW
‘I ate human flesh at Obubra’
•Continued from yesterday
•Alabi in the civil service, others everywhere, let’s chase them away so we can occupy the place?’ You are misinterpreting it. That’s not the point. The point was if you had killed the leaders, am sure if they had killed the Hausa and left the leaders, nothing would have happened. It’s like when they killed Ademulegun, they killed Ademulegun with his wife on the bed. They killed Sodeinde with a pregnant wife; what are we talking about here? If you look at it as an Igbo man, then you look at it as an Igbo man, I am talking to you as a Nigerian that what happened then, they could In your time have carried on to the end. you now have They would have done the same in the east. They would Bayelsa. I never just handle the leaders and if you couldn’t get them, what heard of Bayelsa you need to do was to jail them, put them in jail and lock before. So when them up even if it was only I use the word for one day. You killed a general in the room with the wife east, I mean the on the bed! These are people you ate with and drank towhole east. gether in the officers’ mess. When I use the I’m explaining this point for you to understand why they word north, I were vicious. A lot of us were happy about the coup. You mean the whole will read my second book, don’t worry. But the point is north and the again, when Biafrans got to Asaba, you must have read the whole west. And book Blood on the Niger by I am telling you Emma Okocha. When they got to Asaba, they killed all the today that that Hausas in Ogbe Hausa, at Ikebu point. No one was al- same west is still lowed to escape. They wiped not part of PDP. all of them out. After the pogrom? What pogrom? This is like a counter pogrom. (Laughter) You see, after you had killed the leaders, whether
HE other question I want to ask has to do with the fact that IBM Haruna said that he killed the Igbos in cold blood because there was a pogrom in Asaba Did he use the word pogrom? No, that is my language. Okay, he revenged because there was a pogrom of the Hausas in Asaba. You were in Asaba at that time, then made reference to the pogrom that happened. Now, does that now lend weight to the argument that the killings were on both sides? Let me tell you what I know. First the officers of the coup were considered as Nigerian army officers, but as the dust settled, they too started to read meaning to it. Who started reading meaning into it? The Igbo officers were fleeing. This thing is sectional oh! We have killed Saurdana, we’ve killed all the Hausa senior officers, they started sending their families home. It was not to fight but to flee, I wrote in the book. Because if they waited to fight, they would have all gone to the armoury, it would have been one for one. Now the Igbo officers left, in the police, in the navy, everywhere they left. But they didn’t take confidently …(cuts in) They had the opportunities. So they left the Igbo traders undefended. They left the civilians undefended at the mercy of whoever had the gun. Ironsi, himself, as one of the blunderers took, as if to make you a governor was a compensation for a job well done… who wanted to be a governor? I wanted to command the Nigerian army. We wanted to be generals. We wanted our white gorgets as cadets to be red. He removed him from 5th battalion to Enugu as governor and he put a Hausa man there. He removed Ojukwu from 5th Battalion at Kano to Enugu. Having done that … Ojukwu was not one of the coup plotters? He was one of those who made the coup to fail in the north and Ironsi made the coup to fail in the south. As if making him a governor was compensation, why did he remove him as commander? So he put a Hausa man there, who was Shuwa, with guns in his hands. They were ready and that was what happened. But the officers were transferred… We didn’t transfer ourselves there! It just fell in place that they were Yorubas. So if you use the word that the Yorubas ended the war, that may be true. And that whether the north started the killings and so on, well it may be because you killed their people first. So when they got to Asaba, the Biafrans also killed the Hausas there. So when the federal troops now had the upper hand and got the initiative, they had their day. But in spite of that, the Igbos have always aligned with the Hausas even till today. You forgot the minorities, the Anangs and Itsekiris Why I use that word is because the whole east was considered Igbo in my time. In your time you now have Bayelsa. I never heard of Bayelsa before. So when I use the word east, I mean the whole east. When I use the word north, I mean the whole north and the whole west. And I am telling you today that that same west is still not part of PDP. So who is complaining? Who is ruling the country? Let us face this fact for once; I am saying that the strange destiny that put us together, let us understand it. That is why kolanut is grown in the west, it is eaten in the north and worshipped in the east because when we give you kola we give you life. In my father’s village, anytime I go to visit them, I come back with a lot of kolanuts in my pocket. That is life! You think God made a mistake by putting us together? Anybody who wants to fight, let him stand up to fight now, which is called revolution. And if we are going to sit down to talk, it is called resolution, let’s sit down and talk. I am not a Yoruba man, I am a minority in Ilorin; we are at the backyard of the north. I am a minority in the Igbo area; I am at the backyard of the Igbo. But I am telling you who is marginalised, it is the Yoruba. Where are they in the scheme of things? But the complaints since independence, Igbos and Hausas have been complaining that the country is not good. The point I want to make about what you have said is that, before the war, the Hausas planned the coup. With what happened after the coup, I was a small boy in Lagos, we ran away at night because our lives were in danger. In the north it was massacre.. They started looking for Igbos when they got to Ore, where they started bombing. The point I was coming to is that, if that had to happened, what should the Igbos have done under the circumstance. That kind of pogrom, should it have happened? Officers were killed in a coup, pregnant women and children were being killed everywhere, was that called for? You still don’t get it. I told you about the feudal system; you killed his benefactor and he does not have a reason to live anymore. Live for what? They don’t know how to work, they have no job, you have killed our leaders who fed us. I told you not that we did not eat enough, we did not eat at all. Are you justifying it or you are explaining it? I’m explaining it that, you are saying pogrom, these people are not looking at it that way, I gave you the example about that in those days, everywhere that you found an Igbo man. Was that also part of the reason why, ‘okay, this people we have been targeting them, this is the opportunity to go and get them. Let’s kill them, let’s take all their properties. Even those
you called it pogrom or not, you had killed all of them. Now you are talking about the psychology of the feudal society… That is what I am telling you now, if you don’t know I know it because I was a beggar. I was just five years old. I carried plates to go to the street to beg until my mother came on the eighth day and took me, that was when I started going to school. I wrote it in my book. The Emir of Ilorin made me to go to school, the father of the current Emir. The image of the begging bowl throws up the question of money. In your other interview, you spoke of Adekunle, his terrible state now and you said that, am quoting you now. You said ‘if he (Adekunle) had made the kind of money that the rest of them made, he would be rich.’ That struck me and I began to wonder: in a war situation, do people make money? Do they? That’s what you said But you haven’t been to my house to see… Hold on, I am not saying you are among them? It is possible, I am not an angel. May be I didn’t steal enough. You said if he had made the kind of money the rest of the people had, he would be rich. Who are these people? I think somebody called me yesterday to say that there was an interview by Akin Aduwo when he said Adekunle told him to go and take 9 million pounds or something. My question is, who are these ‘rest of them’? Could you be more specific, or maybe how did they make this money from what was going on? Let me put it this way. Many of us in the army inherited this or that. For instance, my mother bought a place in Surulere, one bungalow, and I said Alhaja, you mean a general should live in a bungalow, lo ta ile o, (go sell your house), I don’t want to live in a bungalow. My wife said ‘oh I will use if for hair dressing.’ Today, that house is being sold for N50 million. Many of us inherited one thing or the other. But again let me tell you, you have seen how officers live. Let me repeat myself, you have seen how officers live. You’ve been to some of them. Let us total their salaries from when they were in the army, was that what they spent in building those houses? Are you saying that Adekunle, if he stole that kind of 9 million pounds, you will see him unable to pay his medical bills? I’m interested in the rest of them, if you could be more concrete, and how was it possible at the war front to get rich? It was possible because when Obasanjo said they should •Continued on Page 48
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW
BIAFRA WAR •Continued from Page 47 pay all the soldiers, if a soldier was killed the other soldiers would pick up the money. It’s a free world now, so many of them could have done that. Other possibilities? I don’t know. Maybe they told them to go and buy weapon or supplies, but army officers in Marine Commando… for instance, Obasanjo wrote in his book, that they were buying cow for N60 and somebody was buying meat for N90 and when he came he negotiated N60 and they approved. Which Hausa man brought cow to Marine Commando? Who was he talking to? He said he now discussed with cow dealers and they accepted N60 instead of N90. So which Hausa man brought the cow to the war front? I was Chief of Staff of Marine Commando. I didn’t have meat in my food until we got to Obubra and which meat did I eat? human flesh. It was human flesh and I used palm wine to wash it down, and I did not know until I saw Capt Akinyanju in charge of supply and transport, and I said to him, well done you arrived so quickly you must have been following the attack. He said, ‘Oga, we never leave Calabar o, we’ve been eating meat since.’ I asked him, how come? He said, ‘I no know, make we go find out.’ The natives came and told us there were so many Biafrans on the streets and they put them in their houses. When we went and opened their freezers or something we found them, they’ve roasted them and I ate and I did not even vomit. I read Adekunle asked you how did human flesh taste? Adekunle said I heard you ate human flesh. I said, well, that’s what they told me that it was human flesh, not bush meat. He said how was it? I must have eaten the wrong part of the steak. And I said it was tender o. An officer, Utuk, at Owerri, when he saw me, he started crying. He said ‘the thing wey make me cry sir: the day I peed in my cup and put some garri to drink and as soon as I I didn’t have finished that garri, rain fell.’ meat in my food What do you make of this? We had terrible experiences. until we got to What we went through was Obubra and not a joke. Today you are talking about Nigeria and that’s which meat did I why it pains people like me eat? human to see Adekunle in such condition. flesh. It was huThat brings us to the quesman flesh and I tion of money generally as a value of exchange. There was used palm wine this story sometime ago that to wash it down, Muritala Mohammed broke a bank and looted the bank. and I did not Was it true? Secondly, were know until I saw there other cases of looting on the federal side? Capt Akinyanju Let me tell you, I don’t in charge of suphave a reservoir of knowledge on these things we are ply and transport discussing. I only know my side of the story and that is why in my book I said this is my story. Whoever is going to say it’s not correct must be there with me. Okay, first of all, I was not in Benin but it was Biafra that first entered Benin. The Biafrans did not take the money so they left it for Murtala to come around and take? Somebody must be lying. If you read Blood on The Niger, they took some money from the Central Bank to Asaba because they made Asaba their new headquarters. Adekunle emerged at the beginning of your story as not only a very good leader but also a genial person. You were also calling him egbon mi, then things changed. There are a number of stories that have been told about Adekunle that we don’t see in your story. One, we know that he wasn’t really in the battle front, the myth about him was that he was a man with the disappearing act. Two, that he was just a brave man in front of the battle carrying gun and killing Biafrans. From the story we know, that he did not even have contact with a lot of Igbos. So how did it come that Adekunle had become demystified in your book? The first thing was that Adekunle commanded the troop that captured Bonny, today adjudged as the best free-landing in Africa. He landed his troops at Calabar, again adjudged as one of the best free-landing because those were difficult operations then. Anywhere at all, free-landing, river-crossing, those were difficult operations. He successfully did that. Then I became his chief of staff; he had somebody to discuss with. We were friends before the war. He would say we were going to capture Obubra, what do you think? We would sit down and debate, and I mean the word debate. When he had to give his orders there was no doubt who was the commander but the debate helped both of us. We did not operate in Igbo areas, we were in Calabar, Port Harcourt, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Obubra, Ntigidi, Opobo, Bori, Okrika, Bonnny, etc. But every time he went to Lagos, Adekunle would say all Igbos must die or something like that. I would ask him, Oga mi, this is the headline, did you say that? He would say he didn’t say that, and that the publisher had to sell its paper but that he boasted anyway. So Lagos did a lot of things to this man. And that was what happened. It was just unfortunate. He would come back with a newspaper saying I will kill anything that is moving, Adekunle was not there to kill anybody. He gave me authority to feed the people. I couldn’t have opened hospital for women and children without him giving me the authority. All I needed to do was ask. These people wanted to take school
to send his troop to Baghdad so that they could pass through the British, we don’t operate in infantry like that. Because the man in Basra already knew the position of the enemy, how many they were, he already had his data. All he had to be told was attack this place, he got his data. You now send somebody coming from somewhere to go to Basra and do what? So Adekunle became paranoid? Adekunle, now because he had boasted to the press in Lagos that, “oh when I get there, I will spend the weekend in Port Harcourt, we will capture Port Harcourt on the 18th of May 1968. Well anybody who doesn’t like federal troops should just go through Owerri because I have closed Aba road.” You know what we agreed was that he should please announce that we would start artillery fire and anybody who didn’t like federal troops should go through Owerri, don’t come to Aba because we had blocked Obigbo and he started to boast in Lagos. Adekunle, now What we are saying is that the because he had mistake Adekunle made was the fact that he had boasted and boasted to the press when Owerri, Aba, Umuahia in Lagos that, “oh failed, he failed with it. Oga don’t let us do it this way, it when I get there, I was like the German officer tellwill spend the ing Hitler don’t go to Barbarossa, don’t let us go to weekend in Port Barbarossa, he would say laye . Harcourt, we will He’ll say fall out, you are promoted to Field Marshall, that capture Port one quickly surrendered. He th said Field Marshall will never Harcourt on the 18 surrender, he said well this will of May 1968. Well be the first Field Marshall to anybody who surrender. You didn’t say much about doesn’t like federal Adaka Boro in your book in troops should just the sense that he was the man who wanted his revolt, he was a very political person. You go through Owerri didn’t say much about his polibecause I have tics. He couldn’t have been even closed Aba road.” for Nigeria, we would have expected that he would have been for Nigeria because of the re-
certificate, this is the school I have opened, he would come and see. One of the pictures was when he came to see the Biafrans that were captured, we kitted them, we gave them the numbers and documented them, he was there. But when he got back after he had captured Port Harcourt, something changed, he had told the press in Lagos, they said now that you have captured Port Harcourt, where next do you want to capture? he said ‘I want to capture Aba and Umuahia for the commander’s birthday or independence.’ ‘Oga mi, you are not going to send me to Umuahia, nobody will send me there until my troops are ready for it.’ He said, okay, don’t worry. Shande, you are promoted lieutenant colonel, you go to Umuahia. Utuk, you are promoted lieutenant colonel, you go to Owerri. Akinrinade warned him that we could not go to Owerri, because left and right, Owerri to Umuahia is a distance to Aba and Owerri to Port Harcourt. With that there was a gap in between, how many troops did we have to cover these gaps? So it was okay to capture Aba because it was part of the movement. Remember, from Calabar to Port Harcourt, we were advancing like this with our right flank to the Igbo area. That’s Ikpot Ekpene, Aba, Omoku, Owerri, that’s to our right. Therefore to be able to look after those areas, we needed reserve. If there was an attack for any side, we didn’t have to stop the troops advancing, the reserve would move in there. That was what happened in Ikot Ekpene and we didn’t realise that the Biafrans themselves, the officers were not too fast forward enough. I wrote it in my book there because every town a captain is not there, that’s why we didn’t attack Arochukwu. Uwakwe was my classmate, they shot him and the bullet came out of his mouth and broke all his teeth. He just died on the 15th of January this year. It was because of him I did not attack Urochukwu I sent him a note. He still had the note. He came to my house in Surulere and we discussed the note. And I said well, you didn’t attack, so we didn’t attack. That’s why there was no war in Arochukwu; there was no battle fought in Arochukwu. But Obasanjo went an Israelite journey to Arochukwu (laughter)? Obasanjo, God bless him. He sent Inih to Arochukwu. Here is what happened, let me put it this way, I don’t know how much of Baghdad war that you all know. The British were in Basra, Americans were going to Baghdad. Then for an American commander
volt against Nigeria? I agree with you but we never discussed politics. I was a 27year-old boy. What wiould I know in politics. I just wanted to be a commander and I had my opportunity and when I got stuck I didn’t know what to do and he said, ‘Oga no be so I go do am, na so and I agree with them.’ You see that’s the difference about commanders you know, we are two different types. I could have said shut up, I’m the commander here. And I would have gotten stuck with what the others did. But in this case that’s the point you were asking me, but in this case I said if you say ‘no be so I go do am’, tell me how I go do am show me, and he showed me and that is why even right here, I wrote in this book here, look, I said ‘Isaac Boro left and Alabi Isama’s surmounting terrain challenges were difficult without Isaac Boro.’ That’s Isaac Boro, that’s myself, he was teaching me what to do, I was his commander but I didn’t know enough. And you have the picture of the person who killed Isaac Boro, can you just simply.. a kind of? Well, the strategy, scorpion strategy, here is what is called scorpion strategy. That’s how Adekunle got the name. What happened was that all of us were to converge in phase one at Opobo, in phase two at Aletu Eleme with Okrika on the other side, Akinrinade was not to attack Port Harcourt, Obasanjo said he attacked Port Harcourt and he failed. No, it’s not to attack PH, he didn’t know and he didn’t ask. Why was Akinrinade there? Akinrinade was to divert the attention coming from the left and when they saw that Akinrinade’s troop ran away from One, they reinforced One. The more they reinforced One, the more opened their plans. It was a tactic between myself and Akinrinade. You have read many mails Akinrinade Alabi, Akinrinade Alabi, that’s my part. We did that, you know that was how Adekunle got his scorpion name. and like I was telling you, you see Alabi Nsama advancing with the troops here, this is Alabi Nsama and before they would start opening fire and I said, ‘okay, all of you now make una continue o, I will go look for ammunition and come back, would that be right?’ This was Adekunle’s idea? No, no I drew this. But he got the name scorpion through it? I called it scorpion strategy. His sting is in the tail, he just got that name from Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill and Kola Animashaun was a journalist. I think they had a quarrel with what Winston said was that at age of 32 or something you are the commander here, the divisional commander, Adekunle said your father was 26 when he was a member of parliament, why would you think an African will not do, so they quarreled from there. Then he said look, just send him to Alabi because he was asking how did we cross Opobo River without the crossing equipment. And I said we crossed with canoe and I started showing him these things. Look at 500 canoes, one canoe carries six men with kits, 35 men were to cross the river, then we built burton. We built two burtons like Alexander The Great, 332 BC to cross to our fighting positions. 35, 000 troops, 1600 bags of garri, 1200 bags of rice, 600 bags of beans, 20 bags of salt, armoured cars, cases of ammunition, artillery, weapons, vehicles and more crossed in 48 hours, all day all night. •Continued on Page 65
49 ‘Quacks are giving marketing bad name’
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Oil communities kick as commission Briefs reviews sharing formula Microsoft boss A joins Zinox Group T S the constitution amendment gathers steam, oil and gas producing communities are insisting on the retention and payment of 13 percent net derivation direct to the communities as contained in the constitution. In a memo to the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Engr. Elias Mbam, obtained by The Nation in Abuja, the communities wrote that the provisions of the 1999 Constitution is clear enough on where and who to pay the 13 per cent derivation fund to. The letter was signed by 13 leaders of the oil and gas producing from Akwa-Ibom State who took their protest to the RMAFC. According to the memo, “We do not need an amendment of the constitution for administrative implementation of that provision of the constitution, it is clear that 13 per cent derivation fund is first line charge of the Federation Account.” The fund, they argued, has been in existence before any revenue formula in the country. “The amount due to 13 percent net derivation fund is constitutionally set aside before any FAAC meeting to share the balance of the total oil revenue of 87 per cent.” The group from Akwa-Ibom which presented the letter to RMAFC reminded the commission that “Revenue Act 1 of 1982 stated clearly that 1.5 per cent derivation fund was for the development of mineral producing areas across the country, the derivation fund would be
From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja
administered and managed by the Federal Government.” This, they claimed, was the practice and procedure and wondered why RMAFC changed this and decided to pay the 13 per cent derivation fund “into state government accounts without
recourse to procedures, practice and records.” They emphasised that it was the efforts of oil and gas producing communities during the 1994/95 constitutional conference that led to the increase of derivation fund to 13 per cent thus having it enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. They alleged that for 13 years, the
governors of oil-producing communities have received the 13 per cent derivation fund meant for the development of oil and gas producing areas, but have used the funds to develop their state capitals and non oil producing communities, leaving the actual oil and gas producing communities in abject poverty, hunger and penury.
Harvard College berths in Lagos
•From left: Dr. Gabriel Okenwa, Deputy General Manager, Zenith Bank Plc; Mr. Segun Aina, President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); Senator David Mark, Senate President; Deacon Segun Ajibola, 2nd Vice President, CIBN and Mrs. Rukayat Yusuf, Group Head, CIBN National Secretariat Annex, Abuja during the stakeholders engagement with the Senate recently
Cash-less policy kicks off in five states amidst worries
HE implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN‘s cashless policy in five more states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja has taken off, with many individuals having great resentment for the scheme. Whilst some customers are already keying into this trend in banking, others believe that the country is not ripe for the policy. There has been criticisms as well as support for the policy which was first implemented in Lagos. A visit to some banks in
IGITAL Terrestrial Television (DTT) provider, Startimes, a subsidiary of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), has so far spent N20 billion to be viewed in 16 states and cities in Nigeria. Addressing journalists on the
By Bukola Afolabi
Umuahia, Abia State capital, revealed that a lot of people were grumbling even as they denied knowledge of the scheme. A petty trader, Uche Uzom, who is trying to adjust to the new policy regime, raised a poser: “How would you go to a petty trader in the market and start telling her of PoS?” The CBN new policy on cashbased transactions which stipulates a ‘cash handling charge’ on daily cash withdrawals or cash deposits that exceed N500,000 for
individuals and N3,000,000 for corporate bodies took effect from 1st July in five more states and the FCT, namely: Rivers, Abia, Ogun, Anambra, Kano and Abuja. Highlights of the policy include; daily cumulative cash withdrawals and deposits for individuals is N500, 000.00, daily cumulative cash withdrawals and deposits for corporate customers is N3, 000,000.00, the processing fee for withdrawals above the limit for individual customers is three percent of the excess. Justifying the need for the
policy, CBN spokesman Ugo okorafo told The Nation that “Looking at what we had in Lagos, Throughput has increased tremendously, people are using so many channels of payment and that is what we want. We want people to look for alternative means of payment and use them whether through the instant payment or the fund transfer, even the use of mobile phone, cards, etc. These are the things that we need to make sure Nigeria has a modernised payment system and we are happy with the substance.”
Startimes spends N20bn on digital TV across 16 cities From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja
third anniversary of Startimes operations in Nigeria in Abuja, Mr. Maxwell Loko, Director, NTA Star
Television Network Limited, said new cities and states will be covered by Startimes’ DTT signals before the end of this year. According to Mr. Loko, the
Committee hails CBN for complying with FOI Act
HE House of Representatives Committee on Reform of Government Institutions has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its effort in implementing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. Chairman of the Committee, Matthew Omegara, made this remark at an interactive session with some public sector institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Presenting the CBN report, the Governor, represented by the
HE Head of Microsoft Anglophone West African countries covering Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, has joined the Zinox Technologies Group in a strategic hire that will consolidate the Group’s leading position as No.1 ICT group in subSaharan Africa with interest in PC Manufacturing, Distributions, Systems Integrations and Advanced ICT Solutions, just to mention a few. A digital whiz kid and technology strategist, Oneje turned around the fortunes of the No. 1 global software company and achieved sustained unbroken records until he left Microsoft to join Zinox as the Group’s Chief Operating Officer.
Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, disclosed that, as a responsible public institution, the CBN had complied with the tenets of the FOI Act. He stated that with the enactment of the FOI Act, the management of the CBN set in motion the necessary machinery towards realising the objectives of the Act by creating the FOI Office in the Corporate Secretariat Department of the Bank on February 22, 2013. The Deputy Governor further revealed that beyond the
mandatory disclosure of information as required by the FOI Act, the bank had also taken some proactive steps to publish the decisions of the CBN Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meetings, as well as views and comments of individual members of the MPC. Mr. Lemo also informed the House Committee that the bank had religiously ensured that its Annual Report was submitted to the Presidency and the National Assembly two months after the end of the financial year.
digital television station “has spent close to N20 billion in the present cities, DTT is capital intensive because you have to be physically present in all the locations.” He assured “every Nigerian of quality signal coverage, quality contents and unbeatable service centres and most especially to help Nigeria keep pace with the rest of the world by transiting from analogue to digital before the due date of 2015.” Asked if the presence of Startimes in all the states of the federation is not a sales pitch, Mr. Loko said their engineers have finished installing and erecting the necessary equipments in all the state capitals and that transmitters have been delivered and frequency allocation from the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) secured.
ARVARD International College has joined the vanguard of other Ivy League institutions located in the country with the formal establishment of the college in the country. Making this known recently was the chairman of the college, Professor Adetunji Haastrup. Justifying the need for the establishment of the college, Haastrup said it was part of the effort to raise the bar in the standard of education in Nigeria. “The integrity of the college is built on sound and undiluted educational standards.” Expatiating, he said: “Harvard is strategically positioned to empower, build and nurture individuals to be quality and robust leaders of tomorrow. The college is poised to uphold the Harvard legacy of academic excellence.” Harvard International College is certified by the Global Education Network. It is a community member of Harvard University’s Arnold Centre, Boston Massachusetts USA. Harvard International College is also an affiliate of the International Academy of Management.
Canadian firm offers Nigerians employment
ANADA’s leading immigration and legal consulting company, The Canadian Immigration and Legal Services has hinted of plans to organise an interactive forum for teeming Nigerian students who wish to emigrate to Canada as permanent residents. According to the Project Manager Lagos, Nigeria branch, Eunice Adesina, the presentation opportunity is designed for interested and qualified Nigerians in the above categories on how to apply and become legal Canadian immigrants through their trade test experiences, qualifications and proficiency. Expatiating, she said, the forum holds this Thursday at the Grandeur Events Hall Oregun, and will be preceded by registration at the company’s office located at 20 Oduyemi Street, Anifowoshe, Ikeja, Lagos.
N this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin, renowned author, made this wisecrack over two centuries ago in his now famous ‘Letter to Jean—Baptist Le Roy’, in 13 November 1789. But contrary to Franklin’s assertion, only death and not taxes is certain as the culture of paying taxes is more repudiated than it is encouraged in this part of the world. Reality check In Nigeria, more often than not, you find that the category of individuals who default in the payment of taxes are easily the exclusively rich, who thinks, perhaps, by virtue of their credo and social standing, the rest of the society owes them a first class treatment, a world of favours, not to be returned! Even among the middleclass, it is still the same. For those who deign to pay at all, they consider it as a matter of choice, and not as a fulfilment of a civic responsibility. At the last count, after a careful audit by the Federal Government, it was discovered that over 350, 000 companies in the country do not pay taxes. According to informed sources, in the last couple of years, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which is the central tax authority, has been having a running battle with high net worth individuals and companies in its quest to get them into the nation’s wider tax net. It is however, instructive to note that the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, did uncovered unremitted taxes amounting to $9.8 billion (N1.538 trillion) by oil companies into the federation account. The unremitted taxes resulted from under-payment of taxes and rents, through under-assessment, process manipulation and poor management of agreements between the Federal Government and different companies. Speaking to newsmen in Abuja recently, NEITI Chairman, Ledum Mitee, disclosed that the body had been able to recover $2 billion (N314 billion), being money owed the Federal Government as unremitted taxes by companies operating in oil, gas and mineral sectors of the economy. Factors militating against tax culture Nigeria tax system comprises of at least 41 taxes, levies and fees including 8 by the Federal Government, 13 by the State Government and 20 by the Local Government, these are taxes and levies specified for various items. A study on the Nigeria tax system and administration by Professor Emmanuel Edozien observed a number of factors were responsible for the evasion of taxes by companies and individuals alike. Such factors include but not limited to the problem of duplicity of taxes by the different tiers of government, lack of coordination by the tax authorities, fraud, among others. Tax laws The laws as contained in Part II of the First Schedule of 1999 Constitution is under the
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
A nation of tax evaders concurrent list of the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly to enact tax laws with a view to fashioning out ways and measures of implementing them. Item Seven of the Constitution, according to a financial law consultant, Barr. Imoni Fred is within the power of the two legislatures to ensure the workability of certain tax laws under their jurisdiction. Items Eight and 10 of the Constitution, he notes, confer the power to speak about the liability of the people who are supposed to pay a particular tax. Taxes such as Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Value Added Tax (VAT), tax on household equipment and levies imposed on the citizens among others, are within the purview of the two bodies. These taxes, however, are difficult to collect due to laws guiding their implementation. Some of these laws, in practice, are difficult to implement due to various bottlenecks. Citing PAYE as one of the taxes Nigerians evade most, Fred said that some companies do not remit the necessary tax they are deducting from their staff salaries as tax, since the law is helpless to ascertain their level of compliance to such tax law. Some companies, Fred noted, are not paying their
T he culture of paying tax is still alien in this part of the world, with majority of companies and individuals yet to be fully captured in the nation’s wider tax net, reports Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf VAT regularly due to the fact that they are not being prosecuted. Best practice Elsewhere, abroad, like Franklin asserted, taxes are the fulcrum upon which major economic and fiscal obligations are built, as such individuals consider it a bounden duty of sort and have no quams at all about fulfilling their civic obligation in that respect. Even where circumstances does not allow that, such individuals are compelled to declare bankcruptcy lest the law catches up with them. The law is no respecter of persons out there. Once it is established that a citizen has either defaulted or undermined his tax responsibility as required by the law, he or she is made to face the music. “You recall the famous case of Mitt Romney, the presidential aspirant in the US who was discovered to have undercut his taxes, that proved to be the greatest mistake of his political career,” recalled Barr. Dada Amao. “There are other high profile cases involving corporations and individuals.
Nigeria can learn from these examples,” Amao urged. Conniving tax officers The media has been awash with reports about how tax officers have been playing accomplice to tax evaders. Among other heinous crimes, these tax officers help their criminally-minded ‘clients’ in cooking up tax receipts as well as giving them a ‘clean bill of health!’ From Oyo, Enugu, Plateau, Uyo, the story is the same. Confirming this development, a source at the FIRS Headquarters, Abuja, who would not be named because he was not authorised to speak with the press, confided in The Nation that in the last couple of months, the agency has filed cases against some of its erring staff who have being linked to one taxrelated fraud or the other. War against tax evaders It would be recalled that under the former Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mrs. Ifueko OmoguiOkauru, she set machinery in motion for the introduction of the Tax payer Identification Numbers (TIN), through which companies and
For taxpayers that have chosen to remain non-compliant, FIRS has decided to engage with professional bodies to find ways of sanctioning taxpayers in such category. We are left with the option of using strict force of the law to ensure compliance
individuals could easily be captured into tax net. The FIRS has not rest on its oars. For instace, the agency has concluded plans to fully automate Nigeria’s tax system by October this year. What this means is that tax evaders will no longer have a hiding place because, the moment a transaction is concluded and money is transferred, it will be captured in the system automatically.
Categories of taxes in Nigeria •Corporate Income Tax •Social Security Contributions •Education Tax • E m p l o y e e Compensation •Contribution paid by the employer •Training Tax •Capital Gains Tax •Tax on interest •Tenement Tax •Tax on check t r a n s a c t i o n s (irrecoverable VAT) •Road license •State Business Tax •Infrastructure Development Tax •Fuel Tax •Stamp duty on contracts •Value Added Tax (VAT) Source: The World Bank Group
Acting Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, disclosed this recently in Abuja at the Public Presentation and Review of Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) White Papers Volume 2. Mashi who spoke through the Co-ordinating Director for Modernisation, Mallam Abdullahi Attah said once an account is opened, it will alert the system and it will be appropriately taxed. To check tax evaders, the FIRS boss said tax registration of all tax-paying adults has almost been completed. However, before the entire tax system is automated, Mashi also disclosed that by September, this year, oil and gas industry will be automated. He sought the support of the National Assembly to make it effective and observed that the new system will not be devoid of some challenges at the beginning. Apparently giving his imprimatur of support to the scheme, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Makarfi warned that the nation’s tax reform process should not be abused and that the implementers of the reform should do a thorough job. In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of NLI, Mr Yinka Oyinlola, alerted that Nigeria should redirect attention to other sources of income such as tax from oil resources because in another 10 years, about 10 to 15 African countries will start producing oil, a development that will lower the demand for Nigerian oil. He warned that by 2045,
Continued on page 51
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Haven for tax evaders Continued from page 50 Nigeria’s population will be over 400 million and “then taxation is the only alternative resource.” Different strokes for different folks Meanwhile, Nigerians in diaspora interested in bidding for public sector consultancy and contracting jobs have demanded for a waiver of three-year tax clearance requirement as a precondition for their eligibility. They made the demand in response to the presentation by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who spoke at the Nigeria conversation programme in Atlanta, Georgia, recently. Drive for tax revenue Piqued by the country’s dwindling fortunes from the sale of crude oil, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has instructed the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to employ “any efforts” to grow the nation’s revenue base. She urged the FIRS to consider birth certificate as registration for taxation purposes as obtained in South Africa and Namibia, where tax registration and TCC are being linked to birth certificate. A statement from the FIRS said Okonjo-Iweala gave the directive in Abuja recently at a one-day sensitisation workshop for Local Staff of Embassies on PAYE, Withholding Tax (WHT), Value Added Tax (VAT) on Contracts, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). The statement signed by Emmanuel Obeta, Director, Communications and Liaison Department quoted OkonjoIweala as saying that “you cannot escape tax and claim to be a responsible citizen of that country. Once you pay tax, you can now have the benefits that come with payment of taxes. Tax payment is the backbone of any country.” Call for voluntary tax compliance There has been a plea by the FIRS to professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) among others, to fashion out voluntary tax compliance strategies to shore-up tax revenue collection. This was mooted at a public session in Abuja. The FIRS boss made this known in Abuja at an interactive session with professional bodies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The session was to facilitate partnership and collaboration between FIRS and professional bodies in order to fashion out voluntary tax compliance strategies to shore-up tax revenue collection. Represented by his Special Adviser on Taxation, Mark Dike, Mashi said the Service has “a reversed triangle in terms of the compliance model, as majority of our
taxpaying public, be it individual, or corporate, do not want to comply. We are therefore left with the option of using strict force of the law to ensure compliance.” He said: “For the group of taxpayers that have chosen to remain non-compliant, FIRS has decided to engage with professional bodies to find ways of sanctioning taxpayers in such category.” He pointed out that Nigeria should not continue to depend on revenue from crude oil, adding that all professionals and their associations have one role or another to play towards the improvement of the Nigerian tax system. The FIRS boss said professionals must lead the message of voluntary tax compliance for both personal and company taxes, urging professional bodies to collaborate and cooperate with the FIRS to encourage their members to comply with taxation laws. “Voluntary compliance is the dream of every tax authority. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to achieve. Our review of compliance models of major economies of the world revealed that majority of their taxpayers are willing and ready to comply, hence they adopt strategies that would make compliance very easy,” he said. Speaking with Mr. Adio Jeleel, a tax consultant with Tay Associates, Lagos, he argued that there is a lot that can be done to get the citizens tax compliant. “In the past, not many people were willing to pay taxes because you can hardly see anything to show for it. But when state governments like Lagos began to show exemplary character in terms of service delivery and demonstrated transparency and accountability, things began to change for the better.” Other states, and indeed the country, he noted, can learn from the Lagos state example. Pray, is someone listening?
ALLAM Sanusi Lamido Sanusi assumed office as the 10th Governor (ninth indigenous) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in June 2009, at a period when the global economy was in the thick of a recession. Looking back in time, the last four years under the Sanusiled CBN has been a mixed bag of worries, sighs and laughs. The banking sector crisis Not long after his confirmation by the Senate, the CBN governor, a specialist in risk management, swung into action. Barely a month after he took over the helm of affairs of the bank, a report was issued by an international organisation stating that only four Nigerian banks were healthy. The report, which caused huge panic among Nigerians, prompted Sanusi to appoint external auditors to examine the books of all the 24 Deposit Money Banks.The outcome of that exercise paved way for the postconsolidation reforms of the banking sector. In an overview of what went wrong in Nigeria’s banking industry in 2009, the CBN governor said the sector witnessed dramatic growth postconsolidation. He, however, noted that neither the industry nor the regulators were sufficiently prepared to sustain and monitor the sector’s explosive growth, adding that prevailing sentiment and economic tenets encouraged this rapid growth, thus creating a blind spot to the risks that built up in the system. The reports of the special examination team carried out by the CBN and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation revealed that nine out of the 24 banks were in a critical situation. Non-performing loans in the 10 banks totalled N1.696tn, representing 44.38 per cent of total loans; and Capital Adequacy Ratio in the banks ranged between 1.01 and 7.41 per cent, which were below the minimum ratio of 10 per cent. According to Ayo Olomu, “Lamido has tried his best in CBN. Remember people will also look for one or two things to say good or bad, remember during Joseph Sanusi and also during Charles Soludo’s banking consolidation. People must talked only that it is what you do people will remember you for.” Having identified the banks that were in dire situation, the CBN made preemptive moves to check further deterioration of the banks rather than suspending or revoking the licenses of the banks, which would have
Four years of CBN governor When he was appointed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for years ago, expectations were high. Bukola Afolabi writes on the scorecard of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN governor
meant that the banks would be handed over to the NDIC. Unlike what transpired in the past when banks were seen to have “failed,” Sanusi turned the tables by exposing those behind the “failures.” The CBN made a courageous move by publishing details of the extent of insider abuse in some of the banks. For the first time in Nigeria’s banking history, chief executives of banks were held responsible for the “failure” of their banks. The development made the governor to sack on August 14, 2009, Erastus Akingbola of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Cecilia Ibru of Oceanic Bank International Plc, Barth Ebong of Union Bank Plc, Okey Nwosu of FinBank Plc and Sebastian Adigwe of Afribank Plc. Reform programmes Immediately after he removed the bank chiefs, Sanusi announced the blueprint for reforming the Nigerian financial system in the next 10 years. The reform, which is built around four pillars, is geared towards enhancing the quality of banks; establishing financial stability; enabling healthy financial sector evolution; and ensuring the financial sector contributes to the real economy. The CBN intervened by injecting N620bn into the nine banks; replaced the chief executive officers/executive directors of eight with new managers with experience and integrity; reaffirmed guarantee of the local interbank market to ensure continued liquidity for all banks; guaranteed foreign creditors and correspondent
banks’ credit lines to ensure confidence and maintain important correspondent banking relationships. The capital injection enabled the nine banks to continue normal business operations and prevented a run on them. Other reform strategies involved the setting up of a resolution mechanism such as the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria; restructuring of the CBN, improving disclosure and transparency; adoption of risk-based supervision for banks; insistence on full disclosure and common year-end for financial statements; developing and improving new regulation that takes on board lessons from the recent crisis. His many controversies Besides his policies as the CBN governor, Sanusi’s views on national issues have attracted both criticisms and commendations. The CBN governor is no stranger to such attacks. In 2011, he incurred the wrath of the National Assembly when at the 7th convocation lecture of the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, he said that 25 per cent of the country’s overheads were being spent on the federal legislators. The National Assembly members were embarrassed by the scrutiny Sanusi’s lecture attracted to them. The Senate invited the CBN governor to appear before its Committee on Appropriation to defend himself. A few months later, the CBN governor stirred up another controversy. It was in June 2011 when he unfolded the bank’s agenda on Islamic banking.Unlike the jumbo pay controversy, where he received the support of Nigeri-
•From left: Marketing Manager, Eternit Limited, Mr. Kayode Adeniji; Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Architects, Rivers State Chapter, Mr. Dike Emmanuel and Managing Director, Eternit Limited, Mr. Dirk Modderman, at the official opening ceremony of Eternit Limited Office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently..
ans, Sanusi’s insistence on Islamic banking divided the country along religious lines.While the Christian Association of Nigeria opposed his plan, Muslims groups gave him their backing. Also when the fuel subsidy removal debate began, Sanusi was not left out of it. Amid protests against the removal, he said on January 5, 2012, “The limited resources of government should be allocated to support production, especially if we are running a budget deficit. We cannot keep borrowing to support conspicuous consumption. We cannot even begin to do this if 30 per cent of government expenditure is on fuel subsidy, if out of the balance, 70 per cent is recurrent spending, 10 per cent is for debt service, 10 per cent goes to the Niger Delta and only 10 per cent is capital expenditure.” Experts’ assessment Analysts, who spoke to our correspondent in separate interviews, expressed divergent views about the effectiveness of Sanusi’s policies as the central bank’s boss. While some rated him very high, others said his performance was just average, especially his monetary policy which has consistently pushed interest rate to average at between 22 - 25 per cent all year round. President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu, carpeted the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC's) resolve to continue to maintain tight monetary supply policy. The MAN chief who was former commerce and industry minister, lamented that the current regime of double digit interest on loans was a disincentive to the growth of the manufacturing. Head, Research and Strategy, BGL Plc, Mr. Femi Ademola, has a different view. In his assessment of the tenure of Sanusi said, “As CBN governor, Sanusi’s performance assessment is not easy to determine. One issue with the performance rating is the lack of appropriate benchmark or target to measure his performance to. “Sanusi achieved some very impressive results. He made the monetary policy very popular in Nigeria and is believed to have saved the financial system from a supposed imminent collapse by cleaning up the rot in the banking sector.” But the Registrar, Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Eohoi, said the governor had performed well. He said, “Sanusi has performed well as governor of CBN. If you look at most of the policies that he introduced since he assumed office, they have gone a long way in ensuring stability in the economy. “For instance, the cash-less policy has today been helpful in business transactions as well as reducing the rate at which people lose money to armed robbery attacks.” The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has also continued to ensure price stability. Consistent with the aspirations of the government and management of the bank, the CBN has succeeded in designing an exchange rate regime, which has limited the volatility of the exchange rate.
OU have virtually spent all your life in marketing. What has been the attraction for you? That is interesting. Actually I was to read accountancy. Then my uncle insisted that he wanted me to read marketing. I asked him why and he said that all my colleagues have been reading marketing for the past 10 years but they could not pass and that the way he saw me, he believed I could do that within two years. That was how I went to read marketing and since then I have not looked back. I found it to be extremely interesting, challenging and it gives you the scope to be creative and to use your intelligence in improving things. I found it really exciting and since then I have been championing marketing talks and so on, and I now found that it is more of a religion to me. Basically, the principle of marketing simply says that if customers are happy, they will continue to patronise you. The basic tendency of not wasting resources, managing resources effectively and making sure that you provide for people what is important in their lives and making it available even at the right time, and at the right place and all that makes marketing really interesting and exciting. This also can be part of one’s life that in everything you do, make sure you do things that people like, so you are conscious of yourself and conscious of your environment, conscious of all the limitations and you work within all these limitations and satisfy people. That is why I love marketing. Is there anything in your personality that is compatible with marketing? Yes, I think personally I like satisfying people. I love to hear people say good things about me and I work hard to earn that reputation. Wherever I have worked in my life and however I have worked, it is always important to me what people think and what people say. So, I can say it is as result of my own physiological and psychological makeup. I tend towards marketing concept even in my daily living. As the acting president of the NIMN, what is your vision for the body? My focus will be between now and August 9th which is the transition period. What the institute is going through is having a transition to get on board new elected officers. Within that period, there are a lot of things that we have to put right. Some of our members want to see the Institute open up. So, I will be tackling the role of the chapters. We also want to leverage with a lot of organisations. Also we will be working with the universities and polytechnics. The committee to do that is already structured and will soon start working at the end of this month. It seems the impact of your organisation is not much felt outside the big cities. What is being done to expand its scope of influence and make it closer to those in smaller towns and suburbs? That is why I said we have to open up. Chapters have to be established. We have discussed with the chief executive that we have to lower the minimum number to form a
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
‘Quacks are giving marketing bad name’ Mr. Ganiyu Kolajoye who is the acting president of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) the statutory body charged with the responsibility of regulating and training of marketers in the country has devoted the greater part of his career to marketing. In this interview with Okorie Uguru he speaks on the potentials of marketing, among other issues. Excerpts:
INTERVIEW chapter and we are going to double the scope of chapters and empower the chapters more so that we will have the incentive to recruit from the grassroots and just concentrating on the big centres and that is why I said one of the major tasks we have to do now is to face restructuring of the chapters and also carry out tour of the various institutions, not just the colleges or universities that are well known. We will visit virtually all the universities throughout all the zones in Nigeria, we are going to visit them, discuss with them, let them know what the Act setting up the Institute says about membership and get them on board. How do you score the marketing profession in Nigeria? I think the marketing profession is doing very well, but it is highly misunderstood and everybody is riding on marketing’s goodwill to call themselves marketers. Marketing, as an extension of commercial activities, is not unknown to Nigerians. I remember our discussion with the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, when we were discussing marketing he said: “well, marketing is
practiced in our village also. We produce our goods in the farms and we take it to the market place. We charge our prices depending on the forces of demand and supply. We look for what people really need for next year and that is what we produce.” That basically is true. It is not new in Nigeria, what is new is professionalising marketing and to get people to understand that it is beyond buying and selling. It has more to do with the concept of really giving people what is good for them, what they really need and what will satisfy them continuously and help them to perform well. That is where marketing is misunderstood. That is our responsibility, that’s why the Act is given to us to educate Nigerians, to educate not only the organisations, but the consumers, so that people know their rights and how to go about to getting products that are desired and also that are good for their own living. That is the problem we have to address. How does NIMN cope with the challenge of marketing being like an all-comers’ affairs, almost everybody calls himself a marketer and in some cases, even giving marketing a bad name? From August this year, I hope, we are not only going to have people who are pre-
paring for examinations to qualify as professional marketers, we are also going to introduce licenses for people who are practitioners or consultants. So, without that licence, you cannot practice marketing even as a marketing consultant. This has become very urgent so that we would remove quacks. So that if a person comes to you and says he is a marketer, you ask for his licence and this licence has to be issued by the Institute after we are satisfied with the quality of the individual or organisation that is offering the marketing services. This is one of the things that are in the pipeline. As professionals, are you people not worried by the current situation in Nigeria whereby the manufacturing industry is almost wiped out? We are also worried. And this is because it is not in the best interest of the country, not now, neither in the future. The managers of the economy have to have the foresight to understand that unless we increase the tempo of manufacturing in Nigeria, not necessarily having indigenes to create their own factories and all that…you can encourage investors from overseas to come and produce here in this country. Unless we have that manufacturing base, we will just be turned to a consumer nation and ultimately when you are just a consumer nation, yes, your GDP may be growing, but at the end of the day, it will be based on only trading transactions and not based on solid manufacturing activities, which is not good in the long run. That is what European countries are facing right now. European countries jettisoned manufacturing to the far eastern countries and they were importing branded manufactured products and they were selling and making profit and GDP was growing accordingly and they were all having a great time. But when competition came as a result of the economic adversity worldwide, they found out that they had to go back to the basics. What they are doing now is to improve the quality of their people, they are investing in education, apprenticeship scheme and all that. These are the areas we have to look out for right now. Unfortunately, education is an area that I don’t know what our leaders have in mind for our children in future because the quality of education, I can tell you, is very poor and sliding downward by the day. That does not portend well for the country in the future. That is an area which is going to affect our Institute. Unless you give us quality graduates, who are we going to develop? Nobody!
By Adetayo Okusanya Email: email@example.com
HAT colour are you? Are you red, yellow, green, blue, purple, orange, pink or some other colour? More importantly how many colors are you? One, two, three or more? Since I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey and path of self-discovery I have gained a deeper understanding of who I am, what I prefer, and why I do the things I do. For example, I have new appreciation and respect for my incredible powers of concentration which enable me to sit for long hours at a stretch without getting up, even for a bio-break. Just so that I can finish a report, proposal or research. There are those who cannot work alone or sit still for even one hour. I, on the other hand, can go for almost twelve hours and think nothing of it. I am now keenly aware that there is a flip side to this strength. My incredible “Get Things Done Right and Right Now” ability, means that I underutilise my “Involve and Build Consensus with Others” capability, a critical skill for building effective relationships with others. This enhanced self-awareness makes it so much easier for me to self-regulate, adapt to circumstances and make the behavioral course-corrections necessary for my long term success. I wish I had this understanding much earlier in my career, in fact, much earlier in my life. It would have made it easier to deal with the critical feedback of those who considered me to be anything from quiet and reserved to cold and aloof. I would have put a little more effort into being more friendly and sociable with people I interacted with every day. I was the girl, you see, who went to a birthday party and stayed hidden away in the bedroom reading a novel. Not cool at all. I tried not to care that people did not think of me as warm and caring, but rather as cold and distant. I knew deep down that I cared about people, and comforted myself with the fact that t h o s e closest to me knew that as w e l l . The chall e n g e was they were few and far between. I was content to be me and do “me”, that is, be formal, questioning, precise, deep thinking, analytical, withdrawn and objective, until I began to see that on the other side of my strength, was a weakness lurking in the shadows. Success in relationships, personal or professional, is a key driver of success in life. People tend to like those who they perceive as sociable and engaging and find it challenging to relate with people who they perceive to be otherwise. My ability to be independent and objective carried the potential risk that I would find it difficult to relate with those who are more relational and subjective. So you see, sometimes we have the tendency to overuse, overextend or even abuse our strengths and oftentimes we are as much defined (perceived by others) by the positive qualities we lack, as those that we possess. Living colourfully is one of my objectives for 2013. I want to be able to access any positive energy I need to achieve success in my life’s pursuits. If nature did not deem it fit to give it to me, then I am going to make certain that nurture does not fail me. I absolutely love it when I ask participants in my seminars to guess my personality and they mostly say that I lead with “Sunshine Yellow” Colour Energy, meaning I am extraverted, sociable, dynamic and friendly. As you now know, my preference is quite the opposite. I have the natural tendency of being introverted, reserved, reflective and quiet. However, I have learnt that somewhere in me also lies the ability to be extraverted, energetic and engaging. Thank goodness! We are in the first month of the second half of 2013. The New Year is starting to feel old. You are back to your old routines, the days seem like a blur as they melt into each other and it just seems easier to go with the tide and let it take you wherever it will. Everyday you wake up and put on this stereotypical life that is often times, worn and faded. Life was not meant to be lived in monotone or duotone. You are many colors. You have the potential to be many things. Take this half-time to rejuvenate and re-invigorate yourself. Refill your tank and keep heading for the greatest “you” there ever was. Surprise yourself. Amaze yourself. This second half of the year, be a different you; an expanded you; just because you can; just because in you lies a potential that is far greater than where you were in the first half of the year. Don’t be a one-trick pony, live your life in many colours.
• Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Shareholders seek improvement in regulation of capital market operation T HE National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, observed recently that the regulatory framework in the capital market needs to be strengthened. In his view, “I have always been saying that I know the capital market inside out, an enjoyable capital market is the one that swings, not the one that moves up like aeroplane because when it will come down it will hurt a lot of people. You will understand with me that the past capital market was moving very smoothly, then the current one doubled the movement steps. “The present regime is moving appreciation by 10%. Definitely it’s like they are in a hurry to capitalise. It doesn’t help anybody when it collapses. So I am worried about the astronomic rise that we are witnessing this time in the capital market - it is not moving smoothly, it is not swinging, it has to swing for us to have confidence in them.” Nwosu, the capital market activist, said there’s a problem of paying dividend, while some will pay others will not. “Whatever dividend we are getting now, we are talking about a lasting indication, a lasting fortune. You don’t have to pay N120 today and tomorrow you will not pay any dividend, anybody
that chooses to pay capital appreciation should go and pay it, those who are willing to go with the company, who are willing to stand firm and look forward to gradual progressive dividend remain till death.” Like Nwosu, other stakeholders have called on regulators of the Nigerian capital market to institute policies that will make quoted companies more accountable and the market more attractive for local investors. Echoing similar sentiments, shareholders under the aegis of Association of Avid Shareholders said that this was important as some investors who eloped the market in the wake of the meltdown in 2008 had not returned to the market. A statement by the organisation, last week, quoted its President, Mr. Abayomi Obabolujo, as saying that a situation where some shareholders who lost huge funds in the market were not protected by the regulators, adding that if this had been done, the market would have recorded increased transactions He said, “The SEC and NSE are not doing enough to defend the rights of the shareholders. This association is formed on the basis that it is only the shareholders that can fight for their
right. If you fight for your rights, nobody fights for you; and if you fail to fight for your right, nobody fights for you and things will just remain the same. “Our target is to ensure that managers of quoted companies sit up and do what they are expected to do. If you know you do not have what it takes to manage an organisation to make profit within the capital market, why not resign or retire? We want to ensure that Nigerian investors do not put their money in the companies and keep on recording losses.” While explaining the strategy to be adopted in running the affairs of the association, he disclosed that Avid was currently targeting at least 1,000 investors in Lagos and more from other regions across the country. While explaining the
strategy to be adopted in running the affairs of the association, he disclosed that Avid is currently targeting to have at least 1,000 investors in Lagos and more from other regions across the country. Obabolujo, who actively operated in the market for more than twenty years, stated that what informed the formation of the association was as a result of the way quoted companies are being managed. He said, “How can somebody tell me that you are the manager of a quoted company for like six years, record loses year after year without keeping in mind the shareholders’ interest? But you keep getting your salary and other allowances, leaving shareholders stranded for years. “Companies have been delivering poor results and nobody is blinking eyes with low or no dividend from good companies, high prices in some stocks.”
NALYSIS of the market activity in the week ended July 12, 2013 technically revealed improved and sustained moderate optimistic activities along with significant decline in market price volatility amid low speculative trading. The outlook in the week suggests growing optimism as bargain activities dominate the week, just as we had envisaged in our previous report.
In addition, further analysis revealed moderate appetite on the Nigerian bourse with sustained accumulation pattern, buttressing steady bargain tendency as speculative trading waned significantly. However, market sustains its breadth to close with positive divergence along with healtheir appetite displayed, indicating dominance of the bulls in the week. Notwithstanding, the bulls rule the week, strenghtening index further by 456.20 basis points to close at 37,382.49, consolidating above its short term support level at 36,472.43. The All Share Index traded within the range of 37,382.49 (week-high) and 36,790.14 (week-low) to settle at 37,382.49, above previous week’s high (36,468.25) by +456.20 bpts. This shows sustained growing optimism and improved moderate bargain posture as compared with previous week’s posture. In the week just ended, market breadth holds ground to close flat against 1.81x recorded in the previous week on the back of sustained moderate bargain appetite. Likely trends in the coming periods: We expect the bulls to hold ground while high speculative trading is not any doubt in the coming sessions, taking clue from weakness observed in bargain positions in the last session. However, we advise investors to maintain value approach as speculative trading records increased chance to gain tempo in the coming sessions. • Culled from Proshare
MARKET FLASH Bukola Afolabi firstname.lastname@example.org
Company News Stocks record modest gain as optimism wanes •WTD stands at +1.24%
HE equities market closed today on a positive note, as the NSE ASI appreciated by +0.15% to close at 37,382.49 points, compared with the appreciation of +0.54% recorded previously. Its Year-to-Date (YTD) return currently stands at +33.13%. The appreciation in the Index is as a result of the gains recorded in the share prices of Ashakacem, ZenithBank, Access, FBNH, ETI, NB and Guaranty. The Market Capitalization also appreciated by +0.15% to close at N11.83trn (US$73.99bn), compared with appreciation of +0.54% recorded previously to close at N11.82trn (US$73.88bn). NSE-BNK, NSE-Food and NSE-30 stocks were the most supportive today as captured by NSE sector indices. Vansmed and Maybaker led the price winners with above 9% gains each; NSE-LII dips by -0.99% as NSE-IND also moved southward by -0.21%. Glaxosmith lost 10.00% to close at NGN54.27kobo leading on the losers’ chart. Market outlook reveals decline in optimistic trading as stocks record increased sell pressure to end the session with a modest gain amid positive breadth- an indication of growing presence of the bears in the market. Nevertheless, we advise investors to maintain value investing as optimism appears weak.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc: Investors maintain cautious posture as sell-down looms
LAXOSMITHKLINE Plc sustained its flat position, indicating an indecision posture of both the investors and shareholders towards the stock after the steep decline of -10.00% recorded recently. The market outlook in the last one week reveals a continued moderate sell-down tendency towards the stock, leading it to experience a -10% price fall with a corresponding moderate bearish volume, erasing the +8.00% gain recorded in the previous week. Further analysis would suggest possible active profit-taking towards the stock anytime soon - a possibly strong price correction appears to loom as the price had rallied significantly by +50.78% so far in the year, hitting Year-High at N68.00 on June 12th 2013.
Q1 -2013: Sales and Net income improve impressively by 55% and 60% respectively
IDSON PLC on Monday 20th May 2013 released its unaudited Q1 2013 result. Sales rose by 55% to N2.62 billion from N1.69 billion YoY, while net income advanced by 60% to N194.50million from N121.39million YoY. The vastly improved performance in Q1 -2013 came on the heels of an FY -2012 report which saw a marginal growth of 1% in sales translated into an impressive 272% growth in net income. The Company’s input cost and operating expenses rose by 56% and 58% YoY respectively, both cost lines rising ahead of the sales growth. This consequently put a strain on the Company’s profit margins as gross margin declined slightly to 56.0% from 56.3% while operating margin declined to12.0% from 13.3% YoY. Finance cost declined steeply by 22% between Q1 2013 & Q1 2012 which is quite impressive, considering that the Company’s short-term and long-term financial liabilities has risen by 3% and 9% respectively between FY 2012 and Q1 2013. According to the Finance Director of Fidson, who met with our research analyst to discuss company affairs, the Company now gets a lot more of its credit from the Bank of Industry, with significantly lower interest rates compared with commercial banks, to fund its expansion. Fidson PLC in 2005 became the first Company in sub Saharan Africa to manufacture antiretroviral drugs and has continued to make giant strides in the sector. According to the Finance Director, the Company’s infusion plant, the latest in its expansion pursuits, located in Ota, will hopefully be commissioned in December 2013. The Finance Director also hinted that the Company has launched new product lines in the herbal space inorder to capture that market and stressed that all of the Company’s herbal products were scientifically proven. We expect these innovations to boost the Company’s earnings capacity going into fiscal year 2013 and 2014. Valuation shows that Fidson is undervalued. “The stock is currently trading at a 17% discount to our fair value estimate of N2.34, with a 12month investment horizon. Our fair value computation is based on our financial performance expectation for FY 2013. We placed a positive outlook on the health care sector despite the present challenges in the sector because of the capacity for growth in the sector.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
By Olubanwo Fagbemi email@example.com 08060343214 (SMS only)
Serious fun •Or Deliberate absurdity
CHEEK BY JOWL
For his Sunday amusement, the reader may decipher classic examples of intentional incongruity in the following piece. WHAT is the probability that something will happen based on the odds? Now then, if anyone says you are superficial, never mind, it’s just on the surface. And should it matter that someone acquires one authentic replica after the other when access to original masterpieces by famous artists is almost impossible? The world is full of apathy, so some don’t care. But if there’s one thing some can’t stand, it’s intolerance. Knowledge is power, they say, but the more you find out the less you know. Ask university science and social science freshmen persecuted by Elementary Calculus, or a mother searching for a formula to keep for one day a clean boy. Sympathise: boys will be boys. But one should never generalise. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. A word of caution though: don’t be redundant by repeating yourself. If you do not succeed, you see, you run the risk of failure. Out of sight out of mind, they say too, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you can’t help the situation you turn a blind eye, but that is only possible with an eye that sees. And the eternal puzzle that confronts the thirsty: determining whether the cup is fully empty. For the classic oxymoron effect, consider the complimentary expression American English: awfully nice, or the universal English expression, bitter sweet. The latter is an experience that the United Kingdom is quite capable of inducing via the Home Office, where official power to render the illegal alien homeless resides. How about the paradox of black gold, the invaluable resource Nigeria appears to waste abundantly? Or baggy tights, the clothing item recently influenced by fashion changes? To lead, it is better to walk behind the people, the wise say. Some leaders invariably lead their people to war, and with war comes misery, yet others argue that there is a just war. To the novice or the nervous is the counsel offered: act naturally. But try telling that to a desperate pilot who has to battle the elements for a successful crash landing. By the way, if flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? There is strength in numbers, yet one can find himself alone in a crowd; not so lovers who always seem to be alone together regardless of company. Now, where else can one find proof of more aloof or anonymous colleagues than the National Assembly where ‘selected’ members struggle to make meaningful contribution throughout their tenure? Still, the loafer can claim to be engaged – doing nothing. Think about it: common sense is conspicuously absent when dire situations call; which is probably why the insurance agent talks in terms of calculated risk. But the idea of a civil servant in the purest sense is a modern farce in a corrupt country just as customer satisfaction is a recent fable. Dark star is utter scientific jargon to the layman; born dead, a dreadful biological paradox; and defensive strike a direct reverse tactic by sports and military personnel. Yet someone coined the term, easy labour. Mothers, really? Another came up with “quitters never win and winners never quit” when it is generally assumed that you “quit while you’re ahead”. You could otherwise be compelled to quit, or ‘stand down’ in military parlance. But, please, let no one credit survivors from a fatal accident to devilish print of instructive journals. Nor should any mention, not even in a loud whisper, friendly fire, the excuse for indiscriminate target on the allied side at conflict zones. Western education should be no sacrilege; nor the refugee a fugitive.
QUOTE The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits. —Nathaniel Hawthorne
Jokes Humour Kitchen Aid MOST of the cooking in Martha’s house is done by her husband, but occasionally Martha gets to make dinner. One day it dawned on her that their four-year-old daughter was willing to help her, but not her father, in the kitchen. Martha wanted to know why. “Well, Mom,” her daughter said, “Dad seems to know what he’s doing.” Guess Who? SHORTLY after a long night of passion, John rolled over, pulled out a cigarette from his jeans and searched for his lighter. Unable to find it, he asked the girl he had just been with, Toni, if she had one at hand. “There might be some matches in the top drawer,” she said. He opened the drawer of the bedside table and found a box of matches sitting neatly on top of a framed picture of another man. Naturally, John began to worry. “Is this your husband?” he asked with
some degree of trpidation. “No, silly,” she said as she snuggled up to him. “Your boyfriend then?” he asked. “No, not at all,” she said, nibbling away at his ear. “Well, who is he then?” demanded the bewildered John. Calmly, Toni said, “That’s me before the operation.” Same Excuse A GUY had just spent over an hour with a woman he found incredibly boring and who he couldn’t stand for another minute. However, he had arranged with a friend to call him as an excuse to leave the restaurant if the date wasn’t a success. After answering the phone call, he returned to the table with a serious expression on his face. “My grandfather just died,” he said with a rather solemn look. “Thank God,” said the woman, obviously relieved. “I was afraid that mine was going to have to if yours didn’t.” •Adapted from the Internet
S I N G Writer’s Fountain CLICHÉS A cliché is often a memorable invention of WELL: Tired expressions. The first time one clichéd expression was used it was expressing what has often been felt or thought brilliant as it was fresh. Centuries ago, a such that the phrase stays: ‘As white as snow’, common flower was called ‘the eye of the day’. ‘as strong as an ox’ etc. A simple way to freshen up such clichés is Over time, it was shortened to ‘day’s eye’, to give them a twist: ‘As white as whitewash’, eventually becoming ‘daisy’. ‘as strong as concrete’. Now, they’re no longer Geographical turns: clichés. •Earth’s magnetic field has been Take any clichéd expression, twist it, and weakening. It seems to have lost 15% of its you get a new quip. Nor should such wordplay strength since 1670. At the present rate of be confined to comic stories. An element of decrease, it will reach zero in 2,000 years. humour can add irony to the most serious of Between the years 3500 and 4500, the scenes. magnetic field will not be sufficiently ‘By now she’d be singing with the angels, strong enough to ward off charged but she’d never sing from the same hymn radiation from outer space. sheet. Not my darling. Gently, I closed her •Each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent eyes.’ to a power factor of about 32. So a 6 is 32 Stock situations: Take any clichéd situation times more powerful than a 5! Though it and ask: why is it a cliché? The answer you get goes to 10, 9 is estimated to be the point of is that it resonates with experiences too total tectonic destruction. 2 is the smallest common in real life: the merry widow or that can be felt unaided. widower who is ruined by a gold digger, the •Every time the moon’s gravity causes a celebrity destroyed by their secret vices, and ten-foot tide at sea, all the continents on the person who achieves some heroic success earth rise at least six inches. despite a crippling handicap. •Europe has no deserts. It is the only Any newspaper will provide a dozen stock continent without one. situations. Start with the cliché, then twist it.
WORSHIP THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Kumuyi seeks unity to save Africa T
HE General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Kumuyi, has challenged churches in Africa to unite for the redemption of the continent. He spoke recently at the mid-year celebration and special torch of miracle organised by the church at its International Conference Centre on KM 42, LagosIbadan Expressway. The event with the theme "When mountains move" attracted thousands of Christians from Lagos and its environs. The event also held simultaneously in every state in Nigeria and virtually all the African countries, including Europe and Latin America. In his sermon, the ABC of moving mountains by faith, Kumuyi said there will be explosive miracles when God's people are united in purpose, doctrine and purity of heart. According to him: "Africa has remained backward and may continue to roam within the cycle of corruption and poverty if the church remains disunited and negligent in its duty to raise more disciples that will entrench righteousness in every community. "We can only burn the altar of Baal and lay off the reign of terror and sin in Africa if the church can be united in prayer, evangelism and raising disciples within their environment.” Kumuyi noted that only
By Adeola Ogunlade genuine discipleship can help reverse the downward spiritual trend in the church and lift up the banner of holiness and righteousness in public and private sectors across the continent. He challenged Nigerians to shun all forms of evil and return to God in true repentance since he has the answers to man's problems. Asserting that God is still in control of the affairs of the country, Kumuyi assured Nigerians can always rely on God to deliver them from hardship, pain and sorrows.
"Christians should remain obedient and submissive to the will of God as that would make them victorious over the numerous challenges of life. "We can only become beneficiary of Christ’s victory, healing, dominion and success in a world in crises when we are ready to surrender our lives and purpose of living to Him.” Kumuyi added that Christians should remain united against the forces of evil and corrupt practice in our land so that Nigeria can experience national transformation.
NOMINEE for the prestigious Nigerian Entertainment Award (NEA), Monique, has expressed shock and delight over the honour. The Oba gbogbo aye exponent was one of the few Nigerian gospel artistes announced as nominees for the United States of Americabased award recently in Lagos. The annual entertainment award holds in the United States for celebration of leading entertainers in Africa. Reacting to her nomination, Monique said: "I couldn't believe it. It was too much for me to grasp. A nomination into this prestigious award to me who is only seeing myself as upcoming was too much for me to embrace." The gospel artiste said the honour was even more humbling because she had no link whatsoever with the organisers. According to her: "There was no contact, no agent or anything. The organisers got to know about me through my debut album titled Oba
By Sunday Oguntola
•Monique gbogbo aye". On the significance of the nomination, she said: "This is not a reward but an award. Awards are from men to men. It's an appreciation for a job well done. "It is only God that gives rewards. For NEA to have noticed my little contribution to the kingdom work means an impact has been made by me through my work." Fans of Monique can vote for her via: http:// nigeriaentawards.com/2013/ awards/gospel-artist-
Kakpovwe becomes International Bishop
Cross-section of participants at the Organisation of African Instituted Churches(OAIC) Leaders’ retreat at Badagry Lagos... recently.
Encomiums at Makinde's send-off dinner
HERE was a deluge of encomiums last week at the send-off reception for Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Ola Makinde, who retires in September. Speaker after speaker praised the erudite preacher, who emerged Prelate of the Church in 2006 at the Uyo conference. They said his foresight, erudition, fearlessness and forthrightness have taken the church to higher heights within and outside Nigeria. The Lay President of Lagos Archdiocese, Sir Bonajo Badejo, who opened the floodgate of tributes, described Makinde as a visionary leader who took the church through a "crisis-free and achievementladen" period. According to him: "We can never forget your indelible contributions to the progress of the church and the lives you touched with your love to humanity, infectious smiles, affection, spirit of accommodation and second-to-none human relations." He listed his achievements to include increase in the
Monique shocked by NEA's nomination
By Sunday Oguntola
church's investment and property portfolio, prompt payment of pension of retired personnel, creation of many dioceses and archdioceses and prudent management of finances. The Conference Secretary, Bishop Chibuzor Opoko, described Makinde as a man of prayer. He said the retiring Prelate has a penchant for consulting widely in a bid to give everyone a sense of belonging. He recalled how Makinde
jettisoned the purchase of an official car he desperately needed to pay workers’ outstanding five months salaries to the tune of N6.2 million. A retired Bishop, Rt. Rev Moses Bamgboye, who conducted Makinde's wedding in 1974 at Ibadan, praised him for his consistency. He recalled how Makinde worked under him after graduation from the College of Theology, stating he showed signs he was going far from those days.
Bamgboye said: "I thank God I saw the beginning of his entering the ministry and God has spared my life to see his retirement." Makinde thanked the church and members for allowing him to serve them. He said he could not have achieved anything without their cooperation and trust. He promised to continue to offer his service and advice wherever needed by the church as long as he lives.
• L-R: Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Joseph Ajayi;Makinde, his wife, Elizabeth, and Secretary of Conference Methodist Church of Nigeria, Bishop Chibuzor Opoko... at the dinner
HE publisher of Daily Manna, a popular daily devotional, Dr. Chris Kwakpovwe, has been ordained as International Bishop by the Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. The consecration, which took place last Sunday, was conducted by Archbishop George Amu, the general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State chapter. Amu, whose sermon was
based on 1 Timothy 3:3, said: "I have done a research about the newly elected Bishop, Dr. Chris, and therefore we're birds of a feather that can flock together." Kwakpovwe, a pharmacist, who is also the general overseer of Manna Prayer Mountain, said he accepted the new assignment with a deep sense of humility and responsibility. He called on the congregation to always lift him up in prayers.
AD E R T S U 50 M N NIGERIAAN I CHRIST R S AUTHO Are you a Christian author? Are you bothered about poor exposure at bookshops and limited patronage? The Nation is offering you an unbeatable opportunity to showcase your books and talk about your passion. The 2-in-1 project involves an advert supplement backed with a profile story on each participant. Kindly contact Sunday Oguntola on 08034309265 or firstname.lastname@example.org for advert details and participation. You will be glad you did!
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
What to do in time of persecution
ELOVED, no matter how well we live, how much we give, or how much evil we expose in the world, as long as we are followers of Jesus Christ we must suffer persecution. The Scripture says, "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified" (1Peter 4: 13- 14). While we suffer for His sake, we should rejoice in hope of more abundant glory, for the measure of glory answers the measure of suffering, and much more abundantly. If any man suffers as a Christian, he should not be worried or ashamed because it is expected he will suffer derision and maltreatment. Christians should be ashamed only of that which is wrong. They should glory in that which is right, whatever may be the consequences. They should know that one who is a believer is called to "suffer as a Christian." He may be reviled and despised. His former friends and companions may leave him because he has become a Christian. A wicked father and worldly mother may oppose a child, or a husband may revile a wife, on account of being a believer. In all these cases, the same spirit essentially is required which was enjoined on the early Christian martyrs. We are never to be ashamed of our religion, whatever results may follow from our attachment to it. We may see the heartache,
Pastor Lazarus Muoka
HEAVEN AT LAST but we cannot lose heart. We can feel the suffering, but grace abounds. We have a Savior who has overcome the world and all its evil. We, who know Jesus, have an opportunity, to show Him in our lives, in our speech and deeds. How we react to the unjust reveals the glory of Christ who lives within us. Let the righteous continue to be righteous. In the face of unjust treatment, the filthy and vile actions of others, we should remain in the righteousness we have in Christ. W We must be righteous when others are unrighteous. In the face of unholy acts, heresy, and blasphemous deeds around uswe must remain holy, separate, and sanctified. We must be holy when others are unholy. Let our Light shine. Let our holy life and our pure conversation be everywhere seen and known, always, in all societies, in all business, at home and abroad, in prosperity and adversity, let it be seen that we are real Christians. The Christian life is something very high and sublime, to which we cannot arrive without pains. While it withdraws us from the earth, and carries
us nearer heaven, it places us in view, to the malice of carnal men. As Christians, we are in the moral world, what the sun is in the natural world. It is not right to do a thing merely to be seen by others, for this is pride and ostentation; but we are to do it that, being seen, God may be honoured. The Pharisees acted to be seen of men but true Christians act to glorify God, and care little what men may think of them, except as by their conduct others may be brought to honour God. Beloved, let the goodness of our principles be seen in our conduct, that men may be led to honor God, the author of all good. This is because consistent Christian example is a means of leading men to honor God, and by this the glorious power of His grace will be manifested in the salvation of men. Are you been accused, disparaged or scorned for preaching the gospel? Rejoice for God knows everything about you, for Christ himself did not escape the scourge of the tongue. He was charged with gluttony, blasphemy, imposture, with having a devil, and with working miracles by the power of the devil and it is sufficient for the disciple to be as his master was. Do not be disheartened for the hand of God is on the thermostat of your life monitoring the temperature required to burn away the things that hinder His purpose in your life. He will finish the work soon and you will come out stronger in patience, prayer, forgiveness, faith and lots of other character building work. Comments and enquiries to email@example.com; 07037911600
Amnesty for Boko Haram can't work, says cleric
AGOS-based cleric and social critic, Prophet Ekong Ituen, has said that any forms of amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect won't work. Ituen, the founder and spiritual leader of Christ Deliverance Ministries (CDM) Inc, Lagos, said he is yet to see or hear of any place in the world where amnesty was granted to members of a terrorist group. Speaking to The Nation in a telephone, Ituen said if the federal government cannot contain the activities of suicide bombers, then it won't be able to stave off any act of external aggression against the country. "I find it difficult to understand why the federal government ever contemplated the idea of amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect. What cause are they fighting? They have been burning churches and killing Christians. If you grant amnesty to Boko Haram, what becomes of their victims? "There is no place in the world where amnesty is granted to terrorists. Granting them amnesty will send a wrong signal to other groups that could wake up one day to hold the country to ransom," he explained.
By Augustine Avwode Ituen said it is curious that certain people are forcefully pushing for amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect when the members have rejected it. He said the plan won't work because Boko Haram is an ideology that has its agenda and they will not back down from it.
"I have already said it from inception that it cannot work. Boko Haramites don't even believe in it, they were only tossing the sensibility and psyche of Mr. President. They have an agenda and they will never back down, no amount of inducement or appeasement will deter them. "The state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states is a temporary solution, which will not salvage the situation as they will re-emerge and re-group for operation. But God will deliver Nigeria and peace will reign in this country," he said.
Church holds musical concert
HIS Breath of Life Ministry has concluded a musical concert tagged "Mega praise summit" at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. It started with a song presentation from a soprano singer, Mercy Akinlagun, who sang "great is thy faithfulness". The programme, mostly attended by youths, was spiced up by the church choir -'Ruach Levites'- composed of two soprano singers, three alto singers, and two tenor singers. They also had one bass guitarist, one talking drummer, one lead guitarist, one keyboardist and two drummers. The senior pastor of the
By Olatunde Odebiyi church, Samson Jedafe, said "music is a medicine to the soul, it nourishes the body and spirits respond to music.” Jedafe made reference to the Holy Bible where the spirit troubling Saul did not leave until David played the music. According to him: "When you praise God enough, your mistakes are turned into miracles, your wrong becomes right and your failure becomes success." He urged churches to embrace quality music and charged musicians to "play skillfully and give your music career all it takes for you to be the best. “
Living Faith By Dr. David Oyedepo
Commanding supernatural success (2)
AST week, we learnt about the reality of Biblical laws in commanding supernatural success. Also, we considered the foundational law - The Law Of Love. This week, I will show you two Biblical laws of success - The laws of spiritual empowerment and divine ideas. The Law of Spiritual Empowerment: We call it, the law of the anointing. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is one of the vital instruments for commanding outstanding success. Jesus stood there in Nazareth with no identity, until one day when He returned in the power of the Spirit and His fame broke forth (Luke 4:14, 18-19). The anointing was catapulting Him. Now, receive that anointing in the name of Jesus! Every child of God is redeemed to reign, but one has to be anointed to reign. This is because, as you rise among other things, the wicked ones see your rising and they begin to gnash their teeth. So, you need to be anointed to be protected (1 Chronicles 16:22). Your rising will not be pleasant to everybody. In fact, more people will be angry with your rising. That's why everyone that must reign successfully must be anointed. Every destiny is at a risk without the anointing. No matter the brightness, clarity and the validity of your vision, it takes
the anointing to accomplish it (Zechariah 4:1-6). I want you to know this today: the anointing of the Holy Spirit is for our profitable living. The Bible says: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (1 Corinthians 12:7). You need the anointing for high level productivity and profitability. The anointing will make you a profitable businessman. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is one of the vital instruments for commanding outstanding success. Why Do You Need The Anointing? You need the anointing to do what God commands. There are things God tells you to do, but your feet are too cold to step in (Ezekiel 36:7). There are things God wants to do with you, but when He opens them, you have not got the capacity to step out. Outstanding success is a product of obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-3). Success is commanding results in successions. The Law of Divine Ideas: Divine ideas are divine treasures of unusual values. Divine ideas are far above natural and intellectual ideas. They are not mere religious philosophies. Every empire is built on ideas. If natural ideas built empires, then divine ideas will build super empires. A business empire was built by a man called Job. He
built that empire by divine ideas. As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle (Job 29:4). He became the greatest of all men in the East because he was operating from an idea, which is from above (John 3:31). Joseph, by divine ideas, was able to discover a means of preserving food that would last for 14 years, without the use of chemicals. He took over the most powerful nation in those days, by accessing divine ideas. Divine ideas will build super empires. By divine ideas, we are told that Isaac sowed in that land (Genesis 26:12-14). He waxed great, went forward, became very great and the Philistines envied him. He commanded enviable success, by trading divine ideas. Divine idea is eternally superior to every other form of idea; intellectual ideas will never compare with it in value. Channels of divine ideas: • Through Meditation (Joshua 1:8) • Through the practice of quietness (1 Thessalonians 4:11; Proverbs 18:1) • Through a heart of love (1Kings 3:3) • Through prayer (Daniel 2:19) • By operating the joy of the Lord (Isaiah 12:3) • By the mystery of tithing (Genesis 28:22; Malachi 3:10) Friend, the power to command success by the above laws is the preserve of those born again. You become born again as you confess your sins and accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. If you are set for it, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. Today, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You, for saving me! Now, I know I am born again! I will continue with this teaching next week. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 7747546-8; or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Realm of Glory dedicates HE Realm of Glory Inworship and other spiritual ternational Church, auditorium activities. We are collaborating Dagba, Abuja, a mem-
ber of Every Nation Ministries, has completed an ultra-modern auditorium named Every Nation Centre. Speaking at the dedication of the auditorium, senior pastor of the church, Pastor Ayo Aiyedogbon, said: "I make bold to say that we did not receive a dime from either Every Nation Ministries or any other organisation whether within or outside Nigeria towards the building of this edifice. "Every kobo was contributed by faithful members of Realm of Glory International Church, Abuja and some faithful supporters of the ministry." He said the edifice, which was completed six years, faced several challenges, expressing gratitude to God for the feat. On how the funds were generated, he said: "We had to trust God all the way, praying daily. We don't believe in using extra biblical devices to raise funds neither do we idolise nor overemphasise money in our messages. "All we do is to teach the
people to love God with all their hearts, and honour the Lord with their substance. This is the only way that people give without manipulation or gimmicks as the Lord prospers them." He added: "We worked at the pace of God. At any point we met an obstacle, we prayed. Our challenges became our stepping stones. We spent over half a billion naira on this project. "We have the main hall for
with the agency for mass literary programmes in Nigeria to bring education to people who are not opportuned to acquire it. We also have a youth development centre for skills acquisition. We also have other halls for seminars and symposiums which are godly." The general overseer of the church, Abraham Aiyedogbon, said: "All you see here today is the physical manifestation of God's grace at work. We rejoice as we bring forth the cap stone with a shout of grace to it.”
THE ARTS THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
â€˘Uduh at work in his studio
OSAIC mural has over the years come to represent a unique form of art work that gives special ecstatical beauty to an environment. Due to its special aura and attraction, most people who love this sort of art form have been employing it to give splendid touch to their buildings and surroundings. What is in vogue now in the visual art sector in the country is this usage, where it is common to see what looks like a caricature and cartoons on the walls of buildings. At the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, the application of this sort of art is visibly felt and appreciated. It appeals to people's senses. It depicts the uniqueness of Lagos State where sports and the Eyo masquerades often hold sway. The man who did the mosaic paintings on the walls of the stadium, Francis Uduh, says it took him 3 months to complete both the external and internal art works there. "You can see it is a splendid work that catches the eyes," he explains, grinning. Uduh says that the work was done shortly before Nigeria hosted the Under-17 World Cup when the stadium was slated to be one of the venues for the tournament. "Yes, I needed to conceptualise the Eyo masquerade because I have seen a lot of them in the state. Inside the VIP halls, you have plenty of them on the walls while the exterior has plenty of sporting activities to portray a state where sports are taken seriously." Having done well at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Uduh has equally been commissioned by other state governments to do more mosaic murals. "Oh, right
Mosaic art and beauty of a nation What is mosaic art form? What does it signify and why has it become the norm in most important public and private buildings across the country at the moment? Edozie Udeze spoke with Francis Uduh, a specialist in mosaic murals who has done so many of such works including that of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Eku Baptist Hospital, Delta State and many more, on the essence of this unique art form now, I am doing a commissioned work for Hi-tech. Hitech is a construction company that is handling the building of jetties for Lagos State. As it is now, I am doing mosaic murals in some of the jetties at Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos. I am decorating them and giving values to the walls and some of the buildings
â€˘Mosaic mural done by Uduh
that form part of the jetty project." Apart from being an artist whose love and penchant for mosaic paintings has taken him to the greatest height ever, Uduh explains that for an artist to be considered for a commissioned work, he must have paid his dues. "Yes, a commissioned
work is the one given to an artist where the client spells out both the context and the content. Then, it is left for the artist to conceptualise and visualise it for the approval of the owner of the project." Thereafter, financial negotiation will commence. Once the client agrees with the term of the artist, the work kicks off. "So, I have a lot of such projects right now," Uduh adds, saying, "I am also working on the new stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. I have done lots of works in Asaba, Enugu, Warri and other places. The mosaic at the newly rehabilitated Eku Baptist Hospital, Delta State, was done by me." In all the Maternity Child Centres in local government areas in Lagos State, Uduh has equally done mosaic murals to beautify the places. "All the works in those places are of standard texture. I took my time to do them in order to establish the fact that art colours when
they are properly blended can serve as healing therapy. Infact, the essence of murals, whether acrylic or mosaic, is to brighten up the environment. It gives life to a place; it also illumines the mind when you look at them. So, while you wait to be attended to, the beauty of the colours of the works will help to sooth you and put you in the proper frame of mind. That's why mosaic is being adopted these days by many governments and private individuals." At the jetty base on Osborne, Uduh's work are conspicuously felt. He has already done a number of paintings to depict the typical lifestyle of the riverine people. The mosaic works dwell so much on the life of fishermen, farmers and boat builders. "What I have here, as you can see, signifies what happens in riverine communities. You can see fishermen preparing their boats for the day's work. Some are setting their nets for fishing, while others are getting the boats ready. In this instance, you have to paint what is close to the lifestyle of the people; what they can identify with," Uduh further states. It is interesting too to note that many construction companies engage the services of established artists nowadays to beautify their environments. Uduh deliberately singles out Deux Construction Company which he says has been in the forefront of this trend. Deux is not only involved in the erection of projects by the government, it has encouraged artists to provide the necessary artistic aura to elevate the status of their buildings. But they have to look beyond their immediate environment to employ seasoned and well-tested artists for this purpose. In this regard, Uduh explains: "It is not proper to use inexperienced artists to do public art works. Where that is done, it does not speak well of our art works in the eyes of the people. All over the place, you can see such inferior works and you wonder why? Your work should speak for you, it should show who you are and so on and so forth." Until the likes of Professor Yusuf Grillo and the Osogbo School of Artists began to practice the mosaic form of painting, it was not popular in Nigeria. Although Uduh admits that the concept itself originated from the Middle-East from where it spread to the rest of the world, it permeated the Nigerian society through Susan Wenger and her circle of Osogbo artists. "Yes," he enthuses, "this art form became popular in Nigeria through the Osogbo art spearheaded by Susan Wenger. The likes of Jimoh Buraimoh and his people quickly took it on. In it, they use mainly tiles and glass forms to do their work. These come in various colours and you have to apply the appropriate colour to give you what you want. It is this colour that truly defines your mosaic in its full essence. This is one of the reasons this art form has come to represent the sort of therapeutic beauty that public and private buildings need to make their environment more beautiful.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Miracle of Caine M
Even though Tope Folarin has won this year’s Caine Prize for African writting, the issues he raised in the winning story entitled Miracle needs the immediate attention of Africans, writes Edozie Udeze
UR heads move simultaneously, and we smile at the tall, svelte man who strides purposefully down the aisle to the pulpit. Once there, he raises both of his hands, then lower them slightly. He raises his chin and says let us pray: ‘Dear Father, we come to you today on the occasion of this revival, and we ask that you bless us abundantly’ we who have made it to America because, we know we are here for a reason. We ask for your blessings because we are not here alone…” With this striking opening, Tope Folarin, winner of this year’s Caine Prize for African Short Story Writing, began his story entitled Miracle. It is the story of what Nigerians go through in the United States of America once they leave the shores of Nigeria to find jobs, settle down and then later discover that the towns and urban cities in the USA are not really paved with silver and gold. One of the veritable issues raised in Miracle is the way Nigerians seek the face of God. They go from place to place, looking and hoping for miracles, resorting to endlessly recourse to prayer sessions to ask for God’s providence. Nigerian pastors are there in their true elements to assist in working these miracles to ensure that Nigerians conquer and overcome the power of darkness, thereby grabbing plenty of dollars for them and for others. The story of Miracle is basically the story of Nigerians whether they are in Diaspora or at home. It is the ironical twist of faith in one’s ability to go it alone. God has to be the beacon even when one prays too often without going out there to work to actualise what he has prayed for. Folarin makes the situation somewhat apocalyptic, apprehensive and habitual. Folarin’s gripping narrative style paints the story in many fresh folds. He makes it speak to us; he allows the story to delve into a people who have lost faith in their own clime, but prefer to hover precariously abroad
for easy dough. This is a story of racism, and colour, the story of religion, and fanaticism in the guise of using the gathering of children of God to brain wash people of little faith. The panel of judges led by Gus Casely-Hayford saw in it a truly African story. Out of the 96 short stories submitted from 16 African countries, in which four Nigerians out of five made the shortlist, the panel admitted that Miracle is a refreshingly beautiful story. It is beautifully remade and repackaged to entice and suit the taste of readers. The story portrays, through its various stages of religious worship and the mesmerisation of the pastor, a continent and its descendants captured at a time of burgeoning change. It is a time when fear has become the guiding light for the people of Africa who roam from one end of the world to the other in search of economic and political bliss and succour. The more the people lose touch with their motherland, the more they are lost in the labyrinth of time and space. In capturing all these essences to intrigue readers, Folarin succeeded in forewarning potential migrants. That’s the true beauty and prophecy of this story; that you can’t seek this Miracle just because you are in America and there’s a pastor there to remind you of that. Miracles do happen, but hardwork is the key. Hear the Pastor: “Ah, I do not perform these miracles because I wish to be celebrated. I perform these miracles because God works through me… And now God is telling me: you come up here. You! You!! You!!!” Then the hoodwinking began. Then fear, followed by apocalyptic nuances, grips the congregation. Folarin was educated at the Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, England. He is also a Rhodes scholar and recipient of writing fellowship of the Institute of Policy Studies. He lives and works in Washington DC where he devotes ample time to writing.
U Y I W A Akinwolere, a Fine Art graduate from Obafemi Awolowo, Ile-Ife, was around when the Nigerian league was robust and lively. Though he was not yet an adult, he saw the ‘Match of the Week’ on NTA, Bournvita, Pepsi, Milo sponsored football matches. ”In the 1960s down to the 1980s, when professional soccer in Europe was little known, local club sides like Abiola Babes (now defunct) Iwuanyanwu Nationale I.I.C.C. Shooting Stars, and Kano Pillars, Spartans of Owerri, Rangers International, Mighty Jets of Jos, El Kanemi of Maidiguri, were massively supported. These clubs not only dominated the local league, but also made their presence felt on the continent. Now, with the advent of information technology and astronomical amount of money invested into football in Europe, the attention of football followers have shifted to European clubs. “Sadly, the gradual disintegration of structures that made the local league thick in Nigeria contributed to this factor,” said Akinwolere. Unfortunately, things have changed, emphasises have shifted to foreign league, Mirror-Mirror II, Akinwolere 3rd exhibition which was held at Salomanda Café, Abuja, featured City Rivals, as a social commentary on the madness of football followership in Nigeria.The work captured the excitement and gaiety of football lovers. Akinwolere mocked the futility of being fanatic. According to him, some Nigerians have gone a step further by naming their chil-
Ideas on a pallete
•Football pitch by Akinwolere
dren after some of these football clubs. The work, like some others done by him along that line, calls to mind the glory of street soccer. In the painting, two opposing teams, playing barefooted, at the back of what appear to be a fenced neighborhood, are dressed in the jerseys of Manchester City/Manchester United. Behind the footballers are the fans, either sitting or standing on the wall, keenly watching the match. Perhaps the work further highlights the rivalry between two big clubs like ManchesterUnited and Manchester City
who share the same city. They are traditionally called City Rivals (hence the title of the painting) and when they meet to play each other, it is considered a derby, since they both share the same location. City Rivals like many other works in Muyiwa’s Mirror-Mirror II was meant as commentary on happenings in the society. The works, according to him, are his reflection of the society. Mirror-Mirror II is a follow up exhibition, to Mirror-Mirror, his second solo, which took place last year at the French Institute Abuja. A graduate of Fine Art from the
A meaningful tomorrow
IKE prophet Isaiah in the bible, the book “My Tomorrow is a Settled Mission” is like a voice calling, but this time not from the wilderness but from the pen of a banker who has managed to squeeze time off the tedious work of financial management to bequeath a seed to this generation. The author comes with a message of hope for the mind that aims to live above board in a competitive society. In the Nigeria of today, motivational books are as common as the word poverty. Yet, the book which is the centre of this discourse is a treasure with the ability to impact the mind of every hand it comes in contact with. The book contains 12 inspiring nuggets dug from the mind of a deep thinker with a prophetic message covering issues like fear, expectations, wealth, integrity, loyalty, values and other ideas that set the human spirit on a pathway to success. The author also points out the essence of communication in setting forth the course of tomorrow, saying that the future one does not actively create will be the one that comes as a surprise, hence the need to be forewarned with the power of the right words A virtue that is being swept away in the mind of most individuals is the concept of loyalty. One must commend the effort of the author to draw attention to this by dedicating a whole chapter to it. He says of loyalty: “It guarantees security, it is a footpath to greatness.” There is a call to nobility in the book as courage is seen as ‘moral courage.’ The author also recognises the peculiar atmosphere surrounding the battle field that runs in the mind. His copious effort of research is seen through the depth of information that shapes the background of the book. References to philosophers and emi-
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Muyiwa Akinwolere is one of the emerging contemporary artists in Nigeria.Working with a wide range of media that include antique ink and found objects, Muyiwa has evolved ADIITU(mystery) as his visual language. ADIITU, his Yoruba mythological approach, is a four dimensional art that is rooted in the workings of the supernatural. Recently awarded with a residency at the National Gallery of Art, Lagos, Muyiwa has taken part in group exhibitions both locally and internationally.
The man: The rebel
By Hannah Ojo
nent personalities such as Alexander Pope, Sophocles, Franklin Roosevelt, Fela Durotoye and instances in the corporate world make the book a point of reference for quality of thought and lucid precision expressed in paper. Albeit, there is a room for improvement as one can note recommendations in case of subsequent editions. All in all, the book is a must read for anyone who hopes to foresee their future as a prophetic guide for finding fulfillment in this age and time.
O see him and his creations Is to ruminate and wonder, How does one begin to grasp And decipher and nexus That propels a mind that Wields a creative force, That straddles and swings From one form of expression Without a hiatus between, To the seventh level, From architecture, terra cotta, painting, Carving, sculpting, casting, to theater stage sets. It is foolish…to think it Easy to do, until you actually, Try it and have no choice, But duff your hat to this master juggler, Demas Nwoko. By Ighodalo George
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
ONSEQUENT upon an encounter with a fellow I will simply describe as ‘uninformed but concerned’ individual, we are challenged to put in perspective, the fundamentals of campaign planning and execution. It is also very important for us to clearly define CAMPAIGN here, for proper understanding among nonprofessionals in brands management. Away from the common reference, a CAMPAIGN, in the professional brand management parlance, is a set of marketing communication activities, put together for the purpose of telling a brand’s story, for competitive marketing advantages (special reference to advertising). Such anticipated gains could be quantifiable or otherwise; which explainsthe major difference between any two briefs. A campaign brief could be focused on estimated marginal increase in sales volume (and earnings), while another may just be towards achieving a change in perception. Yet still, some other could be towards awareness and/or enlightenment. The fundamental difference between brands management/advertising campaign and a campaign in the common use of the word is that for the former, the gains are businessdriven. For the latter, however, it is commonly associated with propaganda - in support of individual and/or group’s interest on issues of general or public interest. The common factor among all shades of CAMPAIGN, however, remains awareness generation (or making-known). This point of divide is certainly very thin and almost insignificant to the untrained mind. However, it is all the difference there is, as contrasting as between day and night, to the professional brand managers. The excellence of professionalism in handling any CAMPAIGN starts with the clear understanding of the purpose and setobjective(s). Furthermore, the practitioner is challenged in the scientific consideration of available optional methods open to him or her, in the process of work.The engagement is intellectually tasking, and demanding of thoroughness. On the flip side is the position of nonprofessionals who are either target-receivers of campaign messages or service-buyers who invest in developing campaign messages, for whatever goals/objectives. Both sides of the divide (ex-professional involvement) influence the individual perception of campaign development and execution, differently. The most common consequence of the non-professional involvement in the consideration of a campaign effort is value appreciation and appropriate understanding of the underlying fundamentals of campaign planning, development and execution. That is why in most cases, some of those in the category of CLIENTS make mistakes in resource engagement, for purposes of buying professional services in the process. To begin with, the wrong assumption of the discipline being an all-comers thing, beclouds good judgment. Consequently, resources are wrongly appropriated – starting with the quality of professionalism engaged, in most cases. Add to the confusion, is the activities of non-professional service providers in the process. This group of people has been so aggressive in posturing instead of true professionals, they have earned themselves undue recognition; further beclouding the alreadyconfused target service-buyer, into believing all-is-well, in the presence of danger. Instances abound, where a collaboration of these mistakes have resulted in disaster. The victims of this class of mediocrity cut across our socio-political and economic groups, not minding the level of literacy and education. So it was, I was engaged in a mild argument, by a ‘senior person’ (by measure of academic achievement and executive pow-
OUTDOOR ADVERTISING BUSINESS & PRACTICE IN NIGERIA Campaign Planning and Execution – The Fundamentals :
ers) whose position is that a professional brand manager is not suitable for engagement in the handling of a political campaign. Given the place and environment and place of encounter, I had to expend so much energy to help a near-academic atmosphere for us to meaningfully talk around his position. But unfortunately, it degenerated into altercation. His position is that, not minding the evidence of top-end professional excellence in brands management, managing a brand is totally different from managing a political campaign process (assignment according to him the). Suffice; there is so much to be made known on this issue, especially now that politicians are preparing to develop campaign messages. To start, let it be established that all shades of persuasive communication are based on a common set of fundamentals. Secondly, persuasive communication includes bare product(s) advertising, image/reputation management and perception management. These are the basic categories into which the different shades of CAMPAIGN can be considered. From the perspective of the PERSON I encountered, political campaigns are distinct in all ramifications, from ‘advertising’. To that, we like to establish our disagreement, and make known the following: 1. Campaign is basic 2. The difference between any two campaigns is the brief 3. By reason of 2 above, the difference between every two campaign efforts is the treatment (which is a function of the brief) 4. To cap, the fundamentals are same. Basic to every campaign development is the expression of interest - the brief. The originator of the process has to capture his/her thoughts on ‘paper’, expressing the identified challenge and the need to acquire a so-
lution. In most cases, the brief stage is not amply expressive, but all it requires, essentially, is to help the creative team, put in proper perspective, the Client’s thoughts and expectations. A properly constituted team should be capable of telling the client’s story from even a sketchy narration. In fact, most clients tell their briefs in short verbal delivery. Next to the brief session is the stage of background information gathering and analysis. At this stage, the client, the ‘market’ environment and background check Research. At the research stage, pockets of activities to include own-brand analysis, target-market insight gathering, competitive analysis; all hypothetical situations would have to be tested comprehensively at this stage. Even the information made available by the client about self and competition, all have to be scientifically verified. The part that interest me most of this stage is the SWOT analysis expedient, at this point. The SWOT matrix is independent, unbiased and should be free of manipulation. It enables a true position, leading onto to ‘safe water’ area of the process. If the research stage is scientifically and properly managed, the next stage of strategic planning is made easy and more productive. The strategic planning stage is that point in the process where individual mental alertness and depth of professional competence comes to play. It is at this stage that every of the information gathered and analyzed, become ingredients for creative manipulation for production; they become an admixture of controllable and uncontrollable variables, that must be combined to work together. To a large extent, the extent of exactness and appropriate application of professional competence, skill and creativity, determines the extent to which success
is made manifest at the end of the process. At this stage of strategic planning, over 70% of the success rate is done. So, it requires the master-touch at this point, to be successful. Given the same depth and amount of information, no two-teams will come up with same results, post-engagement. A lot depends on professional competence, training and experience, at this stage. It is really critical and mentally tasking. A balanced team takes whatever outcome at the end of strategic planning through strategy review session(s) to ensure all possible options are exhaustively considered and the ‘best option’ is adopted, for way forward. The process continues to creative interpretation of adopted strategic direction, at which stage, words and pictures are combined to tell THE STORY. While we agree that the above process run-down is an over-simplification of a long critical process, it represents a basic profiling of the fundamental ingredients of CAMPAIGN planning and execution. The other aspect not mentioned above, is that of media engagement – strategy consideration, planning and buying. The important thing to note, for non-professionals, is that the process is fundamentally same for any and every type of CAMPAIGN. Secondly, it takes an expert/a professionally trained practitioner, to deliver on set objectives, employing tactical ingredients not common to all. it is safer and only profitable, for CLIENTS to always engage a professional to manage the process. Finally, the process requires high level creativity, deep knowledge and experience, to perfect the process management. That is why people like us (every registered professional brand manager) should be the CLIENT’s point of call, when the need arises.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Taking medicine to the community —PAGE 64
Controversy over death of albino Niyi Adewole, a tailor and Radio presenter, is crying foul over the death of his son, Simiu, an albino whose body was brought from University of Benin Teaching Hospital, with a knife and what is suspected to be juju on his hand. He alleged that some parts of the body were missing. Taiwo Abiodun investigates
HAT influence does a dream have on reality or could a dream manifest into reality? This is what the family of the late Simiu Adewole, 21, an albino, have been trying to unravel. According to the father, Niyi Adewole (aka Enudunjuyo), “Few days to his untimely death, my son, Simiu, told me that he dreamt that a vehicle knocked him down, and from there his body parts were removed for rituals.” Not quite five days after his dream, Simiu, who was a barber by profession, went out on the fateful morning of July 22. A wine-coloured Tundra Jeep with an Ondo State Government registration number knocked him down. He was said to have sustained a severe head injury. Some days after, he died. In tears, his father narrated his story: “When the deceased had the fatal accident he was rushed to the General Hospital Owo, but since they could not handle it, he was referred to Federal Medical Centre but again he was rejected and was referred to the University Teaching Hospital, Benin.” He added, “I am a radio broadcaster cum tailor, and since I did not have enough money to foot the medical expenses I had to contact Mrs. Bolaji Suara, owner of the Tundra Jeep who is also Special Assistant on Special Projects with the Ondo State Government). She was kind enough as she sent some money. But I made her to realise that it was her vehicle that hit the boy. The boy was in coma for five days. When I visited him on the fifth day he was getting better. I again gave him water to sip. And I left there leaving the deceased’s aunties: Kudi Kosoro and Kehinde Kosoro to be at his bedside.” And the boy died However, a few days after observing his son recuperating, he was preparing to go for a function when his phone rang. On picking the call the devastating news was broken to him that his son was dead. “I wept like a baby. The boy (Simiu) was very good and responsible. He lost his mother some years ago and had been struggling.” Accepting his fate that his son was dead, Adewole dug a grave in his compound in preparation for the burial. According to him: “An ambulance was provided by Mrs Suara to bring the corpse from Benin. We waited for days and began to wonder what could have caused the delay from Benin to Owo which is one hour drive.” On the third day when the body arrived in Owo, the rhythm changed. Strange objects To receive the corpse some youths had gathered in the family house in Owo to give one of them their last respects, According to Adewole, they (the youths) were sad over the delay in conveying the corpse back. That aroused their suspicion. They believed that the late albino must have been a victim of ritual killing, especially since the father had narrated his
deceased’s dream to them. Their suspicion was strengthened by the belief that albino are usually victims of ritual killers because they are believed to be very efficacious when used. According to Adewole, one of the aunties of the late albino, Mrs Kudi Kosoro, and some young boys whom Mrs. Suara sent along with the ambulance to bring the corpse rejected the already dug grave and said they would bury the corpse in one of the rooms. The father resisted and insisted that it should be buried in the compound. His refusal led to series of arguments, he stated. “I didn’t want them to bury him in one of the rooms in the house. While we were arguing over this, the corpse was unwrapped for the victim’s friends and family members to have the last look.” What they saw was confounding. According to him, “Lo and behold, I saw the body and it had been opened, while strange objects like a native knife and leather juju tied with strings were put in his hand and incisions were inscribed on his two hands. That was not all, his tongue was missing. We raised an alarm. Then the household shouted and attacked those who brought the corpse while the driver of the ambulance fled.” A Muslim cleric, Alhaji Moshood Basaru, who was already there to pray for the soul of the deceased said he was shocked when some people demanded that the corpse should be taken round the town., “Even the driver of the ambulance ran away when he saw the annoyance written on them all. We were later told that they had tampered with the corpse. The police later came, then the corpse was taken to the hospital. What baffles me is that the false accusation that my step -sister, Mrs. Suara, sent me to Benin to collect the parts. They were saying all kinds of things. But I was there as an Alfa to pray for the soul of the dead.” Who dun nit? While the father is pointing fingers at the deceased’s auntie, Mrs Kosoro, and those who accompanied the corpse to Owo that she had allegedly colluded with some people to remove parts of his son’s body for rituals. He said, All these while sympathizers said they were going to burn down Suara’s mother’s house.” While Adewole described the case as painful and unbelievable, he said the body of his son was butchered and his internal organs dismembered. He claimed the nefarious act must have been done while they were conveying the corpse home from Benin. In tears, he said, “They ‘butchered my son like a ram. I don’t know what they did with the body parts. They placed juju in his hands. They did not give me the autopsy report given by the hospital but claimed it is with the police.” A member of the family, Kola (aka Deputy), said “I was there when the accident happened. The vehicle hit his head.” He alleged that “an Alfa went to Benin with them, and we heard that they said a politician sent them. They said his auntie (the deceased’s auntie) was given money. The late boy had no problem with anybody. His body is at the Federal Medical Centre now; they
•Young Simiu have removed all the internal organs. His body was tied like a cocoa sack. We learnt they are now begging the father to take money and not raise any dust. His father could not be convinced that it was the University Teaching Hospital that did a post mortem on the body of the deceased. The body was sewn like a sack of cloth. I believe somebody somewhere has used parts of the body.” Police called to avert crisis As the crisis brewed, Dr. Demola Obanoyen invited the police, “It was my ambulance that they used to go and collect the corpse. But they were delayed because the Teaching Hospital would not release the corpse without doing an autopsy. They also went to court in Benin before the corpse could be released. They came around 7pm and my driver called me on phone that the family of the deceased were molesting them. As a community leader, I had to call the police to go there. Earlier on, they had threatened to take the corpse to Suara’s mother due to the rumour they
were fed with. The police was invited and they were dispersed while the corpse was deposited at the FMC, Owo for another autopsy. The second autopsy Mrs Kudi Kosoro was detained at the police station but later released. She later admitted that she was the one that placed a native knife and juju in the hands of the corpse saying the dead albino would revenge his death because she believed his death was not natural. She told The Nation “I did not kill or take any parts of the corpse but because of the mysterious way the boy died that was why I went traditional for him to revenge his own death. I took care of the boy when alive. I was the one taking care of him, now his father is accusing me of taking his parts. It is only God that will judge.” However, according to Dr Obanoyen, another post-mortem was carried out by the FMC to verify whether the claim that some parts of the body were missing. According to him, “Nor•Continue on Page 64
Life •Continue from Page 63
mally, if you do an autopsy the whole body has to be opened including the skull. We want to know the cause of the death that will help the managing of any subsequent cases, that is the essence of autopsy. The FMC re-opened the body, the tongue was protruding because of the increase of inter-cranial pressure. The pressure of the brain was increasing and because of that the tongue was protruding. Doctors at UNIBENTH wanted to know what happened to the tongue, after studying it, they could not be taken back to the mouth, then they had to keep it inside the tummy of the patient and close it again.” He continued “The second autopsy was partly done just to confirm or deny the allegation of some people who were accused that they had removed parts of the body for sale, so when they opened they found the tongue buried in the tummy. It was closed up and the police told them to go and bury their corpse.” Obanoyen said Mrs. Kusoro perhaps placed juju and native knife in the hand of the dead because “that is the belief we have in Yoruba land that the dead could be empowered to fight for himself!” It was later learnt that a man called Akasa went with those who went to convey the corpse from Benin to Owo. He was said to have assisted in empowering the corpse with the native knife and juju that were placed in his hand and it was the same Akasa who went ahead to reveal it to the father of the deceased! All efforts to speak to Mrs. Suara failed as she was said not to be in town. However, her mother, Mrs Fehintola Famulagun, who is in her 90s, said, “My daughter is not fetish. In fact, she is a good Christian and could not have done that. I know they are looking for avenue to make money but this is wrong. Is it a sin to be a politician? “ the nonagenarian queried ,sobbing. “I heard that they were coming down to burn me and my household alive.” Prince Olanrewaju Abegunde, the Olunaun of Owo, described the attitude of Adewole as uncouth and irrational. He said, “the father of the de-
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Accusations over death of albino
ceased has been ungrateful. Suara has been assisting by sending money to the father for his upkeep and the deceased’s medical expenses. We all know that any patient that dieds in the hospital must be subjected to autopsy. Suara is a great woman we are all looking up to and it will be too bad to drag her name in the mud. I am still going to fight it in the law court,” he vowed. Morenike Falagun, an older sister to Mrs. Suara, said her sister was not the one that drove the vehicle, then why should she be made a scapegoat? If my sister does not go to court I am
going to sue Adewole for defamation and character assassination. They had gathered to burn down my mother’s house. Our mother is over 90 and it is bad, too bad. When The Nation visited the police station, the story was confirmed. They said policemen were quickly deployed to Suara’s family house to avert violence. However, the police said the corpse has undergone another post-mortem examination and everything was found intact but the corpse is still at the FMC.
Albino living in fear According to Adewole, when his son was alive he used to tell him that he was always afraid of going out at night since he was at the risk of being used for ritual.”When he was young I used to keep him away from the public and from keeping late outside. When we go to the barbing salon we would bring home his cut hair always for the fear of ritualists, when we learnt that they are hot cake. In fact, he used to ask me whether he was safe, for he would say eyes were on him and was afraid not to be used .He was very care-
ful in going to places. When he completed his secondary education in order not to be idle he started to barb to keep body and soul together. I know his death is not by chance, it was planned. These politicians are something else, ritualists are all over the place, I cannot trust anybody. In his lifetime, he told me shortly before his death that he had a dream that he was knocked down by a vehicle in order to have access to his body parts. He does not go out at night .We are in trouble in this country o.”
Taking medicine to the community C
OUPLES who want children will go to great lengths to have them, and there are providers to make services available to those who can pay for them. It is already more than 25 years since the first human baby resulting from in vitro fertilization (IVF) was born. Since then, IVF has become routine and widely accepted, and is now only one of a number of potential treatments for infertility. In addition to the personal grief and suffering infertility causes, the inability to have children, especially in poor communities can create broader problems, particularly for the woman in terms of social stigma, economic hardship, social isolation and even violence. Dr Emmanuel Audu Obe, who now runs his late father’s hospital, Salem Hospital, Otukpo, decided to introduce ART to help fight the troubles. His father, the late Dr Edwin Idoko Obe, Odejor of Owukpa Oso’Nyeta 1 of Idoma land, was the first indigenous doctor from Benue State. He established the hospital in March 1968. Social and public health issue According to Obe, “Various studies have found that childless women in developing countries like Nigeria are often abandoned by their husbands, subjected to violence or treated as servants by the husbands’ families. In our clime, motherhood is the only way for women to improve their status within the family and the communities. On a practical level, many families in developing countries depend on children for economic survival.
Since 1978, when the first baby was born through invitro fertilisation (IVF), a form of assisted reproduction technique (ART) more than one million babies have been born through it. Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha writes on an ART centre in Otukpo, Benue State.
“While many people therefore would not consider infertility a disease in itself; it can certainly be said to be a social and public health issue as well as an individual problem. It is not surprising therefore that there is a growing demand for services that can help infertile couples to conceive. The fact that these services are expensive and controversial has not prevented their appearance in developing countries like Nigeria. And why would my people and those in this environ (Benue) travel miles to also benefit from services like that?” According to him, most of the infertility in developing countries is attributable to damage caused by infections of the reproductive tract, notably by gonorrhoea and Chlamydia infection. He said, “My experience since 2004 working with various centres across the country has entrenched in me the fact that ART is good. And Benue infertility challenged people and those in the states around us don’t have to travel far again to get assisted to conceive. It is left for the people concerned to present early. This is because infertility is caused by sundry reasons.” Explaining this, he said late presentation of cases has made it difficult to rectify fertility problems.
He advised couples to visit a centre once they have unprotected sex for six consecutive months and without pregnancy. “Fibroid is a major challenge to conception. Fibroids disturb implantation and can also cause miscarriage. A lot of fibroids in Nigerian women are not the type that should be operated yet. The cause is yet unknown but it has been established that a womb that does not experience conception early tends to develop it. Hence it is jokingly said – babies are for bad girls while fibroids are for good girls. Everybody has what it takes to develop fibroid. Some infections are not from the opposite sex but self induced. For instance, in the process of cleaning up, a lady can wipe the butts from the back frontally and automatically, some organisms from the faecal materials would migrate to her upper region and start disturbing the balanced flora and cause trouble. These are the most dangerous type of infection and if left undetected and untreated, trouble ensures.” On affordability of ART, Obe said, “In the last two years, we have tried to work out on low cost ART treatment. Low cost IVF for instance can be possible if you have a pool of many clients. Part of the fuelling factors for the misconceived perception on high cost of IVF is that almost everything
•Obe being used is imported. And there is no recycling of anything. They are mostly disposables.” He clarified some areas on IVF, saying it is largely misunderstood. “It is just one of the many options in assisted reproductive technique. So IVF may be seen as being expensive but should not be capitalized on as reason why ART won’t be exploited. Clients would be surprised that they may not really need IVF, for that is the last option perhaps.” On following in his father’s
footsteps, Obe said “He (his father) had done so much in medicine, especially in Otukpo that we cannot allow his legacies to fade out. He set up Salem Hospital when it was difficult for people here to access the General Hospitals because they were taken over by the military and only those from the war front were given attention. We are set to take the hospital to greater heights. We now have better techniques and equipments. We want to carry on with the legacy of treating the poorest of the poor, which was his cardinal working point.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY14, 2013
THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW
‘Igbo will rule this country if ...’
•Alabi federation, we are looking for one Nigeria. See the kolanut has put us together and we don’t know why. Let us face facts between us here today, are we not better off Nigerians than Biafrans or than Oduduwas Hausas? Today, we have broken the back of the middle class. Can we move this country forward without the middle class? Who finished them? You will read it in my book. You said Biafra had numerous talented officers; was it Ojukwu’s fault as a general not to be able to deploy them well? You are very right. I wrote a bit about that in my book where Njoku could have been the commander. Ojukwu would have been a PR person full stop. Zik you go do politics, Njoku you go do military duties. He would have distributed them. What I am telling you is that when we put the Biafrans back in the army after we captured them, they were pleased, they fought against Biafra, so that shows you that they were not looking for slogans. These people were looking for food, for security and they got them on our side and words go out fast. They told the rest and the rest came back. Biafra almost had nobody left at a point. The women and all the children that were starving came back and they got food. Nobody gave me the food to go and give Biafra it was my initiative. I did that so they could come back to the Nigerian side and I went on an attack with them, they did well. So what I am saying is that Ojukwu did not deploy his men properly. You need to read Ben Gbulie’s book on Biafra, how they went and even furnished their houses because we are talking about head of state house, they went to furnish their houses when people could not eat. You rated Njoku above Ojukwu? Because he was senior to Ojukwu. Beyond that you seems to … (cuts in) Yes, because I went on an operation with Njoku and Njoku saw what I did, he praised me for it. He was the Biafran commander. I am very sure he would have said I knew AlabiIsama was not going to sit down there for you to get him, let’s do it this way. I also know Madiebo well, Madiebo just did wonders. How he was able to keep the army for three years, I don’t know. But believe me I will give him credit here because they said they had no weapons. That could not have been his fault, that was where the government failed and the army failed, well that was well said. You are talking of this second book, a sequel; does it mean this book has not exhausted what you want to say about the war and why not? Why not, I read a newspaper, I
Let me tell you here whether on record or off record, the Igbo will rule this country in the near future, only if they stop trading and start manufacturing what they are selling.
•Continued from Page 47 He was the one that consummated the battles after which Obasanjo took the glory for the surrender of Biafra, he was the one that protected him after the Dimka coup and aided his becoming head. Why is it that in spite of all Akinrinade had done for Obasanjo, Obasanjo does not like him? Despite all that Jesus did for everybody, what became of Him? That’s what happens. People like that, you know I told Kunle Ajibade when they came here, you know in life my dear brother, there is this phenomenon of history. These things do happen that people thought of in rare situations like Ghengis Khan, Ataturk, Hitler, their destiny would take life and blood and people like Mandela would be there. Gowon, despite the Geneva Convention, he also set up another to say this is my code of conduct, don’t kill Igbo, don’t do this, don’t do that. There are people like that. Alexander Dumas in France, that man won all the battles; he was a black man his mother was a slave. He won battles, he commanded the French troops, they sent him to the coldest points and he won battles there. When Napoleon came, in order to get credibility for his scheme, he said everybody was a slave. Alexander Dumas died penniless. You see, this phenomenon happens in life with mankind. What Hitler wanted with bullets, today Germany got with ballots. Is it not better today without killing anybody? They are taking over the whole of Europe? Today is there any country in Europe that would not respect Germany. Now, that’s what Hitler wanted but he did it his own way. That was the level of his IQ. Let me take you to the political terrain sir. At the point when Ojukwu and Gowon went to Aburi, if Nigeria had accepted Aburi, don’t you think things would have been better today? You see that is politics and I don’t like politics. But I have started liking politics, you know why, when politicians launched their books, all politicians were there, army is going to launch book it was difficult to find army men around. My colleagues were too old, many of them suffer from arthritis, in fact, today I was told to go and check myself for blood sugar level. They told me to go and check it today because I told them I had headache yesterday and my hands were shaking. Actually I didn’t eat, we were busy here. They said okay go check your blood sugar. We are all old people. Many of my old friends you will see with walking stick and limping. So, AlabiIsama is different. My brother, You are talking to me about politics. When they went to Aburi, what was Ojukwu looking for? He was not looking for how his people will be secured and safe, he wanted Biafra. If he was talking of security, he would sit down there with his people and debate. Okay, we would be back in Nigeria on these conditions, they didn’t do that. I am a strategist not a politician. That’s what I would have done. Because you don’t get what you want, you get what you negotiate. He didn’t do that. He wanted Biafra, not security of his people. Are Igbo people not secure now? But some people are clamouring for regions now? Yes The South West for instance, the same route Aburi was enlisting! Aburi was looking for confederation. We are not looking for con-
think it was The Nation, December 10 last year where (Walter) Ofonagoro was addressing Igbo youths and he said the first coup was not Igbo coup, I agree with that. Then he said 75 percent of Nigerians were ruled by Igbo people, I agreed with him but he missed the point when he was now talking about Bakassi. He was talking about pogrom and he was taking about genocide. That genocide, I need to address the issue. You slapped me and I broke your head, then you went and reported to the elders, am I guilty? These are the issues we are talking about. Let me tell you here whether on record or off record, the Igbo will rule this country in the near future, only if they stop trading and start manufacturing what they are selling. Where is Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN) today? Obasanjo went and bought foreign vehicles, that was how PAN collapsed. Now Awolowo warned in Aba that we should have stopped this second hand clothing. He went into the Aba Textile Mill and he saw it was not doing well and he said ‘don’t worry, by the grace of God when I become president I will stop this second hand clothing and the textile people would start booming’. Today we don’t have any textile mill in the whole country. Look at what you have here with you, which one is manufactured here? Everything including biro and paper and your slippers which one is manufactured here? We are just selling what people produced. What am trying to tell you is that in my second book, I have not finished talking, why is this quarrel necessary when the Igbo and Hausa are ruling the country from independence till today yet we cannot stop complaining. That’s my point about the second book. As a follow up to this, I understand your views on pogroms, genocide and the blockade and all that
but, the way the Igbo see it is that they were unfairly treated by the Nigerian nation. It was like a gang up to exterminate the Igbo. That is how the Igbo are seeing it. Even till today, there is no memorial anywhere to say that we fought a war? At least a million people died from both sides because it is about the Igbo people just want to sweep it under a carpet and forget about it. All over the world it is not done like that, then on a lighter side, I notice that you were wearing a beard as a soldier all through the war were you allowed to wear a beard? Then the last one, I am interested in knowing who were you classmates? It’s in the book: Danjuma, Ogbemudia, Adamu, Apollo, Bamgboye, What about in Secondary School? Secondary school is also here, I was captain of Ibadan Boys High School. The story is there. There are pictures there. We were the Western champion in football, we beat everybody. The bushy beard ? As you can see, am still not smooth because I have this acne when I got to England I had too many of it and they told me don’t worry it will all go when you are married. You will have many children, I have many children but it still didn’t go. Any time we were at the sea side, remember we were at the Atlantic shore and there was salty water and when it touches it formed rashes. And because of that I asked and got the authority’s permission. It happened to Ariyo, it happened to Akinrinade, it happened to me so we were given authority to keep our beards and I kept mine. The Igbo question. No memorial… If I were Igbo, I would feel exactly like that but I have been detribalised so my thinking is straight and I will tell you where the Igbo were right and where they were wrong and where the Hausa and Yoruba were right and wrong. The thing about genocide, when the Hausa leaders were killed and some Yoruba also were killed and we now found out that there were Igbo people that were not touched, what will you think? Whether they think it was right or wrong, that was what happened. The Hausa were leaderless. Look at what happened during Miss World. I was in Houston, many of those girls came back to the US, their parents were talking in the Golf Club and they said, you are going to Nigeria to do business, you better not go to the northern part of it and people now don’t want to go there because their children went for Miss World and there was rioting and about 100
people died. Out of these 100 how many would you say were Igbo, perhaps more than 50 percent. And what caused the riot, because some people were in bikini. You see, the Igbo have the right to think so. But I asked you the same question, you slapped me and in fighting back I broke your head, you went and reported to the elders, am I guilty? You killed people in Kaduna; they should let you go, I hear you. If my father had been there or my mother, I will level the entire neighbourhood o. You went to Asaba, killed all the Hausa at night, the Hausa came back in the midnight and revenged. You know those who really lost in this war, not just the Igbo people. Children of 3, 4, 5 years of age who saw their father and mother shot dead in front of them and they couldn’t do anything, they would live with it forever. These are the people I am addressing in my book that this should never happen again. You know I was telling you a while ago that the Igbo would still rule this country whether people like it or not. Just like the Germans, the day they now have this petroleum industries, many of these things we are using are petroleum based. All these you are holding are petroleum based, we are selling these things (as crude oil), the day they stop selling them and we start manufacturing with them or assembling them, just like the Germans, you will see what would happen in this country. But my brother, they have the right to think that Nigeria didn’t like them. But let me tell you, who will do what Gowon did? Apart from Geneva Convention, he insisted that we must do this, we must do that, even my own mother told me that I should never kill anybody looking at me in the face. Which civil war, in American civil war; there is war going on in Darfur, in the Congo, which did their leaders say don’t do this, don’t do that to the ‘enemy? We should be worshiping Gowon and am telling you why we all have come to this stage of hating or believing that the Igbo have been hurt is because Gowon did not try them (for war crimes). If he was one of those hawks from the north, one of those officers, they will try everybody, line them up and shoot them. And I don’t see what would have happened because they would try them properly; they carried weapons against the federal government of Nigeria and the national flag. I am telling you that we have nobody like Gowon in any part of the world that did what Gowon did. Yet he was discredited, the Igbo were given opportunities to talk because if people like Obasanjo did operation pincer one , there would be less than one thousand Igbo in Nigeria after the war. That’s what he did in Odi and Zaki Biam. As I wrote in my book, Gowon was not the hawk, he declared “no victor, no vanquished”. And for the Igbo to say they were starved when they already starved themselves. They killed the Italian oil workers forgetting that most of their relief supplies were coming from Rome, they captured 18 of them and even tried them and shot them. Why were they killed? They said they were passing information to the Nigerians; they were working in the oil fields. It reflects the Biafran propaganda? Completely and everybody ran away from them. That’s why Goldstein left, that’s why the Caritas left, that’s why the Pope left, that’s why the entire Europe left and now they supported Nigerians and said look go finish this war and lets us go rest. That’s what happened! •To be continued on Saturday
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013 CHANGE OF NAME
CHANGE OF NAME
I formerly known and addressed as Miss Musa Esther Halimah, now wish to be known as Mrs. Sosanya Esther Halimah. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
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I formerly known and addressed as Miss. Rafiu Kafayat Adebukola, now wish to be known as Mrs. Babalola Kafayat Adebukola. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Jimoh Rasaq is thesame person as Jimoh Rasaq Ayobami all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Olajide Ajibola Kemi is thesame person as Olajide Ajibola Oluwakemi all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Fadare Idowu M. Is thesame person as Fadare Idowu Akinkunmi all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Lawal Olatunbosun Muideen is the same person as Lawal Olatunbosun Oladimeji all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Adeyemi Temitope is the same person as Adeyemi Temitope Abodunrin all former documents remain valid general public take note.
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Formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Phebean Omolola Olawumi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Phebean Omolola Alabi all former documents remain valid Civil service Commission State of Osun and general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Ogunbiyi Temitope Yetunde is the same person as Ogunbiyi Temitope Adejoke all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME Johnson Segun Seun is thesame person as Johnson Oluwasegun Jesuseun all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, UKPO LUKE SIDNEY and SEOMONI PRIYE SIDNEY refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known as SEOMONI PRIYE SIDNEY. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME KESIENA SEUN OKURUMEH and KESIENA OLUWASEUN OKURUMEH refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known as Dr. (Mrs.) KESIENA SEUN YARHERE. All former documents remain valid general public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME CHARLES ONYEMACHI ONYEOKORO and CHARLES ONYEOKORO refers to one and the same person. Now wish to be known as CHARLES ONYEMACHI ONYEOKORO. All former documents remain valid general public please take note.
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Rivers crisis: Impeach Jonathan now, Accord Party tells NASS
HE national leadership of the Accord Party (AP) has urged the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment process against President Goodluck Jonathan over his perceived role in the political crisis rocking Rivers State. National Secretary of the party, Dr Samsom Isibor, in a stern statement issued to newsmen in Benin yesterday, alleged that the intolerance of President Jonathan and his wife to opposition voices spelt danger for the
From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
nation’s nascent democracy and called on all lovers of democracy to rise against arm-twisting by the Presidency to secure a second -term ticket. The party also alleges that the refusal of the president to accept the outcome of the Nigeria Governors Forum which Governor Rotimi Amaechi won with 19 votes to defeat Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, is not unconnected with the crisis.
Shell Nigeria shuts down Trans Niger Pipeline
HELL Nigeria has reportedly shut down the 24-inch part of its Trans Niger Pipeline because of an oil leak. The 28-inch part of the Trans Niger Pipeline has been out of use since a June 19 leak caused by oil theft. The pipeline funnels 150,000 barrels of crude oil daily. In a statement issued over the weekend, Shell said the cause and size of the latest spill that led to Thursday’s closure are unclear, even as it announced plans by the
By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf with agency report organisation to carry out an investigation, repairs and cleanup. Shell claims it loses 60,000 barrels a day to theft. But a rights group insisted that the company sometimes blames its short comings on theft to avoid paying damages to local communities and to avert criticism of corrosion of the 48-year-old pipeline. Oil theft is common and sometimes caused by activists critical of Shell’s cleanup record.
Dickson not a junketer,says Bayelsa Government
AYELSA State Government has denied claims that Governor Seriake Dickson is a junketer, saying the governor has raised the bar of good governance in the state in all ramifications and yardsticks. Speaking to Government House correspondents, Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel MarksonIworiso, said the allegations of junketting were made by critics of the government “and mischief makers for want of
something to say.” The CPS said such allegations weren’t new, and challenged those making the allegations to supply proof of such claims. “This is not the first time such a report is being peddled. Those behind it are doing it out of pure mischief, and we know them. To them, everything is politics even when it is so glaring that the government of the day is woking round the clock and changing the face of Bayelsa State,” he said.
LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the general public that the original C of O No BDSR11268 of plot no 28 Auchi GRA dated 24th day of December 1991 belonging to Mr. Anthony Aruna Braimah is missing Any person with useful information of its whereabout or location should contact: 08023068679
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
Education: Adamawa goes for UBEC star price
Bitter pill, not bitter truth
ATIONAL MIRROR Front Page of July 11 verbalized ignorance: “Police tear gas Amaechi” Fracas: ‘tear gas’ is an uncountable noun— not a verb. So, Police use tear gas on Amaechi “…Nigerians will have no reasons to be desperate about migrating to other lands.” My view: end the sentence at ‘migration’! There is no need for ‘other lands’. Now the Editorial which circulated three solecisms: “…in it’s (its) latest 10-year forecast….” “…in the last quarter of 2011 to between N1,700 to (and) N2,000 in 2013.” “The truth is that the insight provided by industry watchers, non-state actors and watch-dog (watchdog) groups in the construction industry appear (appears) to confute….” “FG flags off (begins, signals…) fertilizer distribution in Gombe State” There is no such verbal expression as ‘flag off’ except in car-racing competitions. “Rotaract Club to commission (inaugurate) health centres in Ifo” Lastly from NATIONAL MIRROR Back Page: “…he has literarily (literally) set his new agenda on 2015…pitching (pitting) himself against the NGF….” DAILY SUN of July 10 goofed: “The current confrontation between ASUU and the Federal Government can best be described as a game of hide-andseek.” An insight: …be described as hide-and-seek. Let us welcome National Daily to this column. Its July 8-12 edition showed the character of the newspaper with many headline blunders: “Controversy trails passage of bill on N20bn bond: None involvement of public condemned” Building a new culture: non-involvement “Abia losses (loses) internal revenue source” “Oil theft: PENGASSAN, NUPENG, (what is this comma for?) give FG 60 days (60-day or 60 days’) ultimatum” “Chinese is (are) taking over our businesses— Manufacturers” “Miss Ezinne Akudo emerges winner of 2013 Miss Nigeria Beauty contest (sic)” Would it have been Mrs. Ezinne Akudo? “Jonathan raises curiousity to deliver on infrastructure” What is the meaning of this? Spell-
check: curiosity “Tension mounts over Ijaw/itsekiri tribal (ethnic) clash” “CP Aduba assures adequate security” Who did he assure? Finally from National Daily: “….bemoans the poor performance of students” Educational standard: students’ poor performance “Gun men kill soldier in Edo” (NIGERIAN PILOT Front Page Headline, July 9) Before the paper crashes: Gunmen The Guardian Editorial of July 9 leads the newspaper’s catalogue of wrongdoings: “People who for one reason or the other (or another) are unable to observe it either in full or part are required….” The extract is restrictive (limiting to two) while the correction gives a broad latitude. “Nigerians in Diaspora seeks (why?) tax waiver for home investments” From the Back Page of The Guardian: “Come (In) 2005, many occupants of elective offices will constitutionally relinquish their positions.” Except for Apocalypse or other rapturous manifestations, 2015 will come! THISDAY of July 8 disseminated advertorial and editorial faults: “Silverbird in conjuction (conjunction) with the Bayelsa State Tourism Development Agency presents….” Next is the EDITORIAL which contained four indiscretions: “…Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said the country is (was) losing around (about) 300,000 barrels of crude daily to oil thieves, amounting to a loss of $1 billion per month ($1 billion monthly).” “Yet so massive is the crime that the JTF last week discovered another sets (another set or other sets, depending on the fact of the matter) of crude oil loading points in three communities in Bayelsa State.” “Cost of funds drop (drops) on cash inflow” “…the Lagos State Government has initiated a process that will deliver at least 900 million litres of portable (potable) water to homes in different part (parts) of the state.” “Your election as the new (would it have been old?) President of ARSO is a testimony of (to) your giant strides in….” (Full-page advertisement signed by the managements of Promadaz Industries Ltd.
& Macpee Agencies Ltd.) The July 7 edition of THE NATION ON SUNDAY failed to show why it is Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper with a few blunders starting from its front page: “NSA orders probe, more troops deployed to (in) Yobe” Now its Editorial: “Despite the fact that 54 out of the reported 175 prisoners that escaped from the Olokuta prison have been re-arrested, the bitter truth (pill) is that prisons in the nation are not well secured.” “In a desperate last minute (last-minute) bid to beat the NCC June 30th deadline….” “School holds inter house (inter-house) cultural competition” THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, of July 6 goofed on a few occasions: “Community gives Mobil 21 day (21-day) ultimatum to pay N4bn oil spill (oil-spill) compensation” “…an incident that have (has) been mired in controversy” “…a centre that will offer retirees across the state antidotes for (to) boredom and solitude after three decades of active public service.” Lastly from THISDAY: “But like (as) I said, you don’t know what God plans.” The next six Offences are from THE GUARDIAN of June 18: “That’s why renowned scholars from toprated citadels of learning around the world would be converging in (on) Ekiti State….” (Full-page advertisement by the Government of Ekiti State) “Nigeria (Nigeria’s) food import reduce (reduces) by N857b, says Adesina” “This way you stay connected to our world class (world-class) audio and video channels.” (Full-page advertisement by DStv) “MTN Project Fame 6.0 All-Stars Concerts” (Fullpage advertisement by MTN) Everywhere you go: All-star concerts Still on advertorials in THE GUARDIAN of June 18 with Standard Chartered offering the next two identical howlers: “Its (It’s) good when a relationship can help you achieve what truly matters” “Connect to the worlds (world’s) most dynamic markets” REACTIONS NEXT WEEK, PLEASE.
DAMAWA State government is not leaving things to chance in its quest to clinch the overall best performing state’s price tag in Nigeria in educational development. The state no doubt has an enviable record of upgrading educational facilities to standard level since 2007 when Governor Murtala Nyako took office. The state was awarded overall best Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) performing state in Nigeria three times under Nyako. This year again the governor is aiming high for the star price to place Adamawa high among its peers. Forgetting the turbulent politics of the state, the governor has not forgotten to reposition the educational sector as the state in the North and, of course, the nation. Beginning from 2007 to date, all primary schools and secondary schools have been upgraded with standard classrooms and text books to improve the learning ability of the child. Most of these schools are one-storey buildings or two-storey types. Furnishing has remains among the best in the country – including in the area of horticulture. Before the current administration in Yola most schools in Jimeta - especially Capital School and Gwadabawa were dilapidated until Nyako visited these schools around 2009. Presently, if you go there now you may think these are universities because of the sheer transformation with decent and convenient environment for learning. That is the same picture all over the state that made UBEC award the number one position to Adamawa State in terms of educational achievement. In addition to the total turnaround in primary and secondary, Governor Nyako has also established ten functional new junior secondary schools across the state and ten new girls-only secondary schools. The government has equally established 14 skills acquisition centers with state of art facilities while technicians across the world with relevant technological knowhow have been brought to these centers to transfer technology to students who are willing to imbibe skills. Additionally, 38 secondary schools - along with one technical and one science institution have been established, while 21 junior secondary schools have been upgraded to senior secondary school status. Six new boarding junior girls-only schools have been established under the
By Barnabas Manyam
Adamawa State Education Master Plan. Governor Nyako recruited 10,000 new teachers for secondary schools recently and they are dominated by non-indigenes as he gave orders that whoever was qualified should be employed. The Adamawa Education Master Plan (AEMP) has seen to the rapid development of the state. Improved salary structure and feeding pattern have been adopted to encourage teachers and students to learn more and teach more. He also approved some 13 newlycompleted JSS as offshoot of the primary schools. KOICA model primary school was established in Mayo-Belwa and Yola South. Prompt payment of the UBE counterpart funds has led to massive transformation in education in Adamawa - including construction of VIP toilets across primary and secondary schools. Payment of annual SSCE fees for students to write their examinations is prompt for all school-age pupils. They have also been given free uniforms to encourage parents who cannot take their wards to schools because of lack of uniforms. Nyako has also established library and computer centers in all primary and secondary schools. Government has constructed access roads to primary and secondary schools to enable teachers and students move feely while in GMMC 88 large structures were renovated. In GSS Yola, a state-of-theart library and computer center have been provided while renovation of structures has also been completed. Every year the government purchases science equipment for SSCE
practicals. On account of these achievements, many eminent personalities have been pouring accolades on Nyako for his strides in the educational sector - especially when the state began to score first in UBEC. Among such personalities, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said this during his visit to Adamawa State: “I have seen the success recorded by the Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako in the area of education and I’m impressed that education has been turned around in the state with more that 40% of the state budget going to education. “I want to particularly command Admiral Nyako for his vision in locating 40% percent of the revenue to education sector. I have seen modest, laudable and ambitious development in education that I cannot see anywhere in the North. This lofty transformation of education in Adamawa Sate is quite impressive”. Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State during his visit to Adamawa State said: “I have to copy the skills acquisition programmes of Governor Murtala Nyako so that I will implement it in Bauchi State. I am happy with what I have seen what Governor Nyako doing for the people of Adamawa State”. Another person who poured encomiums on the governor is the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who said: “Adamawa State is the best performing state in the country in terms of education because of what I have seen on ground. No wonder the state has been winning the number one position every year from UBEC and I believe that Adamawa State under the governor is healthy in the area of education.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 14, 2013
With Hannah Ojo 08062952262 Hello Children, Do you know care for your teeth is important. Well, Unilever Nigeria thinks so as it organised students for a world record teeth brushing session.
•Students participating in the Close-up sponsored World Record teeth-brushing challenge at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, recently
KIDDIES FASHION BUZZ •Children of Pampers Nursery and Primary School, Alaka, Surulere, Lagos performing during their graduation ceremony recently
FRUITS ALL THE WAY AS KIDS, we ought to start taking ownership of our health. It does not only have to be when mummy says or daddy insists. This week, I present to you three fruits with which you can keep sickness at bay in this rainy period. Apples: The old saying ‘an apple a day helps keep the doctor away’ is widely known. This fruit which comes in two colour varieties contains fiber to make young people grow healthy. What more? You can mix it up using it to make apple juice and apple sauce. Oranges: This citrus fruit is loaded with healthy
vitamins such as vitamin C which helps the body absorbs iron. The orange peel is also full of vitamin A, which is a natural anti-oxidant and can help boost the immune system. Orange can also help fight off infections like flu or a cold. Pawpaw: “sweet like sugar, yellow like Fanta, everybody like Pawpaw.” Pawpaw is a popular fruit amongst children but not many know that it is high in dietary fibre and rich in important antioxidants. At the same time, paw paw is low in calories and sodium.
The fruit also contains unique ingredients: papain and chymopapain which are enzymes that help break down proteins and convert them into amino acids. T h e fruit also aids digestion.
WHAT is the unique style that could make kids stand out on special occasions? Let’s go the Niger Delta way to get the answer. With a hat, head gear, beads, wrappers, blouse and head gear, these two ‘Mr & Mrs make a pleasant sight to behold. PHOTO SOURCE: BBM
You have 10 minutes to find as many words as possible using the letters in the wheel. Each word must use the hub letter and at least three others and letters may be used only once. How you rate: eight words, average; 12 words, good; 16 words, very good; 18 or more, excellent
SUDOKU To play Sudoku: Fill the box with the numbers 1 to 9 in a way that •Each column must contain all of the numbers 1 through 9 •Each row must contain all of the numbers 1 through 9 •Each block must contain all of the numbers 1 through 9 •No two numbers in the same column, row, or block can be the same.
7 6 6
5 6 4 9 2
4 3 4
5 9 9
Send in your stories, poems, articles, games, puzzles, riddles and jokes to email@example.com
3 1 3 6 1
8 4 7
THE NATION SPORT SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
Inter Milan target Fabregas
HE Nerazzurri are on the lookout for a new midfielder with Radja Nainggolan's proposed move from Cagliari yet to be completed. As such, ItaSportPress claim that Walter Mazzarri's men could bid for the Spain international as they look to challenge for the Scudetto this term. Fabregas has found himself relegated to the bench at Camp Nou, shut out by the triumvirate of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. The 26-year-old has been linked with a return to Arsenal this summer, and could be available for a fee of around €40m. Reports in the Florentine Press have suggested that Adem Ljajijc is on the verge of signing an extension with Fiorentina. The attacker had seemingly been close to joining Milan as a replacement for the want-away Robinho. The Brazilian's proposed move to Santos, however, has been put on the back-burner due to the 29-year-old 'excessive demands'.
Ribery enjoying life under Guardiola
AYERN Munich's Franck Ribery believes the atmosphere at the club under new boss Pep Guardiola is better than with Louis van Gaal. The Frenchman had a poor relationship with van Gaal while he was at the Allianz Arena between 2009 and 2011, almost prompting a move away from the club for the 30-year-old. However, he remained at Bayern, going on to become an important member of Jupp Heynckes' treblewinning squad last season. Now, under Guardiola, Ribery feels there is a positive atmosphere within the dressing room. "Things didn’t really feel right on a human level with Van Gaal, but it was positive from day one with Guardiola,” he told the Bundesliga website. “You can feel a mutual respect and recognition." Ribery, along with teammates Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and Mario Mandzukic, was nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award this week. However, the France international has targeted winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or and believes he will rarely get a better chance to be crowned as the world's best player. "I think I’ve done everything to be the world’s best player,” he continued.
U-20 WORLD CUP
France triumph amid shootout drama
RANCE last night emerged winners of the FIFA U-20 World Cup beating Uruguay in a close contest that ended with the spot kicks. France were crowned as FIFA U20 World Cup champions after triumphing over Uruguay with a 41 win on penalties after a goalless game. The hero of the night was Alphonse Areola, who saved two of La Celsete's spot-kicks, while Dimitri Foulquier was the man to score the winner of Les Bleuets. Victory saw France claim their first ever FIFA U-20 World Cup title. The game began tentatively, but Nicolas Lopez and Paul Pogba were the first to test either keeper, though Areola and Guillermo De Amores made light work of their efforts from distance. While Sebastian Cristforo's following effort possessed a little more venom, his long-distance sighter sailed over the bar. Lopez's next effort proved somewhat more successful on 20 minutes, however. Pouncing on a loose header back by Mouhamadou Sarr, Uruguay's top marksman forced the Paris SaintGermain goalkeeper into a sharp stop with his knee.
...As Three A's see Ghana finish third
Tevez targets European glory
UVENTUS signing Carlos Tevez believes the Serie A champions are capable of challenging for the Champions League title. The Argentine signed for Antonio Conte's men from English Premier League side Manchester City for a reported £12million. While they claimed a second straight league title last season, Juve fell short in Europe – losing to Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. But Tevez, 29, said the Italian giants could improve on that result and be a force in the Champions League this season. "Our main aim this season is to win the Scudetto once more and I believe we have the team to achieve that at Juventus," he said. "To win a third Scudetto in a row is very important to the club and will go down in history.
*Victorious French players celebrating
Nigerian, Dasaolu, runs second fastest 100m's time in British history
IGERIA-BORN Briton James Dasaolu became only the fourth British athlete in history to break the 10second barrier for the 100m as he ran 9.91sec in the semi-finals at the UK trials in Birmingham. Linford Christie, who ran 9.87 in winning the world championships in Stuttgart in 1993, is the only Briton who has run faster than the 25-year-old Dasaolu.
Dasaolu's time was also the fourth fastest time in the world this year and three-hundredths of a second faster than Usain Bolt's so far in 2013. Indeed, only Tyson Gay, who has run 9.75, Asafa Powell (9.88) and Justin Gatlin (9.89) have gone quicker in 2013 than Dasaolu. Meanwhile, Dwain Chambers, the fastest man in the first round, ran a season's best 10.02 in the third heat to qualify for the final later on Saturday.
British Athletics later confirmed that Dasalou would not be running in the final after experiencing cramp following the race. Dasalou said: "I don't want to let anybody down and I was looking forward to taking my first British Championships 100m title. My ultimate aim is to be fit for Moscow and I don't want to risk an injury competing in the final.”
Ibadan-Oyo highway: The real story
he attention of the Federal Ministry of Works has been drawn to a news item by one Dr. Olapade Agoro published in an online site on 8th July, 2013, making some false allegations and unfounded statements on the recently commissioned Ibadan-Oyo Dual carriageway. Specifically, his allegation that the Honourable minister of works fooled Nigerians in order to scam the treasury of over N20 Billion when he commissioned the Ibadan-Oyo dual carriageway (section I) of the Ibadan-Ilorin Dual carriageway was reckless and most unfortunate. In as much as the Honourable Minister does not intend to join issues with the author of the publication, it is the duty of the Federal Ministry of Works to clarify the issues raised therein in order to put the records straight. When this administration came into power in 2011, the dualisation of Ibadan-Oyo road section of the Ibadan-Ilorin dual carriageway was uncompleted and the site abandoned by the contractor. At this time, sections of the road that were substantially completed were opened to traffic. However, the ministry of works in drawing its projects' prioritization list in 2012 listed this project for completion. It thereafter engaged the contractor and harped on the need to bring the project to full completion. Unpaid certificates were paid to the contractor as an incentive to complete outstanding works including about 3 km at the beginning of the
By Bala Danshehu road and the construction of filter drains at some chainages in the alignment. The contractor at this time refused to go back to site and complete the outstanding works until all technical challenges were addressed. This led to the approval given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) following the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Certificate of “No Objection” issued to augment the contract sum by N444,762,900.56 (Four Hundred and Forty-Four Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Two Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira, Fifty-Six Kobo) only, bringing the revised contract sum from N19,698,315,702.16 to N20,143,078,602.67 on 7th November, 2012. The approval encouraged the contractor to execute the outstanding works which were completed on 27th March 2013, paving the way for the commissioning of 4th July 2013. Since the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR came into office, only a total sum of N1,855,003,432.23 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Five Million, Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty-Two Naira, Twenty-Three Kobo) was paid to bring this project to completion! The payment was made in the following
tranches: 2011: N500,000,000.00 (1st Payment) N201,010,777.65 (2nd Payment) 2012: N248,206,755.16 (1st Payment) N444,793,244.84 (2nd Payment) 2013: N460,992,654.58 At the commissioning of Ibadan-Oyo road (Section I) on 4th July, 2013, the Honourable Minister mentioned that with the completion of Ibadan-Oyo dual carriageway (section I) and OgbomoshoIlorin dual carriageway (section III), the only section outstanding for dualization is Oyo-Ogbomosho dual carriageway (section II), that is the middle section of Ibadan-Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Dual carriageway. The minister went further to say that the Dualisation of the outstanding Oyo-Ogbomosho Section had already been awarded to RCC Nigeria Limited in the sum of 47.5 Billion Naira on 10th June, 2010, and the project has reached 36% completion. The Writer claimed to be an “expert” with proven record of global achievements. While we are not disputing his claim of being an “expert” in whatever field, it does not take an expert to know that the cost of the construction of the dualisation of
Ibadan-Oyo road from the foregoing is N20,143,078,602.67. The “expert” seems to mix up the contract sums of Section I with that of Section II. The writer's claim of expertise is certainly not in Highway Engineering as can be deduced from his description of Crushed Stone Base as Hard Core. Hard Core applies to Building Construction. The expert needs to be educated on the Pavement Structure of the road under consideration. It comprises 200mm thick Laterite Sub-Base, 200 mm thick Crushed Stone Base, 60mm thick Asphaltic Concrete Binder Course and 40mm thick Asphaltic Concrete Wearing Course. It is instructive to note that the House of Representatives Committee of Works during its recent oversight function in the south West Zone inspected this project and confirmed the thickness of the various Pavement Layers. It would have been prudent for the writer to have cross checked his information on this road before misleading himself and the general public. It is hoped that this statement will clarify the misconception put forward by the author, which amounts to “a figment of his imagination”, calculated to malign the hard working minister of works who is known to have a zero tolerance for fraud! Danshehu is of the Federal Ministry of Works.
THE NATION SPORT SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013
POC Achebe laid to rest amidst fanfare
HE remains of the deceased threetime Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association, Chief Philip Onuora Chikaodili Achebe, better known as POC Achebe, were laid to rest at the Achebe family compound in Ikenga Ogidi, Anambra State on Friday. The five-day rites started with a wakekeep at the late Achebe's residence in Enugu on Wednesday, followed by a service of songs at his Ogbotu, Ikenga Ogidi family compound on Thursday. The burial on Friday was preceded by lying-in-state of the body at the family compound, while visitations by in-laws and well-wishers took place on Saturday. Conspicuous at Friday's church service were a strong delegation from the Nigeria Football Federation, as well as a squad of Enugu Rangers FC's legends, who adorned the Saint Paul's Anglican Church venue with colour and panache. The NFF delegation was led by the 1st Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh, and also included other members of the Media and Publicity Committee; Chief Emeka Inyama, Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme; Enugu State FA Chairman, Mr. Chidi Okenwa, Assistant Director (Media), Mr. Ademola Olajire and Special Assistant to General Secretary, Dr. Christian Emeruwa. There were also Barrister Richard Nwabufor Obienu, a former Vice NFF Vice President, Mr. Charles Ojugbana, a former NFF Head of International Department and 1980 Africa Cup of Nations -winning team captain Christian 'Chairman' Chukwu, who is also member of the NFF Technical Committee. The Enugu Rangers FC legends were led by defender Luke Okpala, and included ace playmaker, Stanley Okoronkwo, defenders Jude Agada and Mike Ogbodudu, Joseph Nwafor, Francis Nwosu, Amaechi Igweobi, Ernest Ufele, Festus Agu and Akeem Ashiru. “We love him so dearly but God loves him more. Our prayer is that God will give him eternal rest and also give those he has left behind, and Nigeria football, the fortitude to bear the loss,” said Chief Umeh. NFF chieftains and Rangers' legends recalled the painstaking nature and boundless energy of the man POC Achebe, to the delight of the deceased's sons and daughters, in-laws, friends, synpathisers and kinsmen.
Moyes unconcerned after friendly defeat
ANCHESTER United manager David Moyes is not overly worried despite his first game at the club ending in defeat on Saturday. United went down 1-0 to a Singha All Star XI in Bangkok, kicking off the Moyes era on something of a negative note. However, Moyes insisted that he is happy with the fitness levels of the players and the performances of youngsters Adnan Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha. "If I'm going to lose any games I'm happy to lose these ones. It's preseason," Moyes told the club's official website. "We missed a couple of chances at the end which may well have got us something out of the game but the important thing is we got a few of the players through 90 minutes. "It was a really good fitness workout anyone who was watching (in the stadium) tonight will tell you that, as it was very warm. So I was pleased with that. "Overall I thought the fitness of the players was good and I'll take that as a positive." Teeratep Winothai's goal proved the difference and although Zaha had two chances to equalise late on, they came to nothing. Moyes rated Jurazaj and Zaha's performances as impressive and suggested that there could be further first-team outings for them in the coming season.
Utaka snubs Europe for China S
UPER Eagles striker Peter Utaka has revealed how he snubbed European clubs' offers to stay in China after he penned a two-and-a-half- year deal with Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan. The 29-year-old hit-man was unveiled by Beijing Guoan on Tuesday evening after passing the traditional medical examination. “It was a dream move for me and the club because they have been trying to sign me last season after my former coach joined them and he made an offer just for me to join the club but it was not enough, so they tried this time around and it happened. I am happy because they have shown that they love me and want me, and my former coach
has been looking for our reunion which eventually came to fruition. "You don't move for money alone because money can't buy you happiness, and there are other things it can't still buy you in life, but I decided to stay in China and make a move to Beijing because I am wanted and loved by the Chinese fans, they have been showing me love. It goes by my heart to know where should move to and it is here now in Beijing. "I have offers in Europe, but I am enjoying life in China and that is why I chose to join a bigger club, which is Beijing, because they are ambitious and well-respected and will always love to be like Manchester United and Real Madrid."
Chelsea won't loan out Victor Moses
HELSEA don't want Victor Moses to go on loan and will, reportedly, only allow a permanent exit, thus dashing Everton's hopes of a deal. The 22-year-old Nigerian international winger worked with Roberto Martinez during their time at Wigan and, following the arrival of a new boss at Stamford Bridge, Everton had hoped they could talk Jose Mourinho into a season-long loan deal.
But the Chelsea boss is not keen on a temporary exit for Moses, with claims that he will only consider a permanent departure for the former Crystal Palace man. Moses, who made a big impact at Chelsea last season, scoring 10 goals in 43 appearances, is understood to be valued at £8million and Everton are unlikely to fork out such an amount. Moses' future at Chelsea remains unclear as he is some way down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and his game-time is likely to be limited next season, although there are several other Premier League clubs keeping an eye on him.
* Utaka with Beijing offical at his unveiling in China
Chibuike still hopeful of Eagles’ call
Onduku heaps praises on Keshi
OME-BASED Super Eagles attacker Gomo Onduku has continued heaping praises on Nigeria's coach, Stephen Keshi, for opening a new way for the Nigerian league players. The home-based Super Eagles beat Ivory Coast 4-1 in Kaduna last weekend in the first league of the CHAN tournament, and Onduku, who had a good game before he gave way for Edeh, believes the team will finish the business at Cote d'voire. “We will not want to be carried away with our results because we want to keep building more confidence in the coaches. He has really done great for us, it was not like this in the past but I think there are lots of changes in Keshi's tenure. “Everybody is ready to die for Keshi because he's making us happy, he's making our family happy and that is why he will remain the best in the sight of many players in the league.”
OSENBORG of Norway attacker, John Chibuke, has remained calm over his dream to play for Nigeria's national team after scoring two goals in the Europa League Cup play-off on Thursday. The 24-year-old midfielder was excited after helping his club to easily defeat Northern Irish team, Crusaders, 7 - 2 on Thursday, with Chibuike on target in the 35th and 51st minutes of the encounter. “For now, I am focusing on my club. I believe that should be my focus because that is where my life's all about for now - taking my club to Europa League is on my mind, maybe I will be considered for good if I play in the UEFA games, but I know my time is coming to play for Nigeria,” said Chibuike. “I am still very much hopeful of playing for Nigeria but I think I just have to let it be in God's time. I don't want to rush myself. It will come when God has ordained it and it will be at my best time. So I'm still looking forward to play for Nigeria.” It could be recalled that Stephen Keshi had promised to give the talented midfielder to prove himself in his team, Keshi's comment came after it was reported that the former Enugu Rangers ace could dump Nigeria for Sweden.
Chibuike has scored four goals in his last three games, three goals in Europa League play-off so far, as Rosenborg qualified for the second round of the Europa League. “I played some good games in last season's Europa, I scored and got injured at some points but I want to do it bigger this time
Lagos Weightlifting Association discovers talents
LANS by the Lagos State Weightlifting Association to unearth budding talents in the market place may yield the desired result soon as 30 weightlifters have been discovered in the three-day talent-hunt progaramme organised by the association. The talent-hunt cut across three market squares in Lagos, namely, Iddo, Owode Onirin and Ladipo Spare Parts markets. Ten were discovered from each market and they will all be participating in the grand finale where they will compete against professionals sometime in September. According to the Chairman of
Winners emerge from MTN Golf tournament
AST weekend will remain memorable for golfers and their friends and stakeholders when the IBB Golf and Country Club, hosted the northern regional qualifiers of the MTN World Golfers Championship. The event marked the concluding part of the regional qualifiers, and brought seasoned golfers from different golf clubs across the country. A total of 150 golfers from Jos, Kaduna, Ilorin, Kano and the host club, IBB Golf and Country Club, participated in the championship. A pre- tournament cocktail party, which was held at the Cosy Club house, afforded the much-
By Nneka Nwaneri needed opportunity for players and guests, from different golf clubs to interact, discuss business and network. Last Sunday, a gala night which shook the city was held. The award night was anchored by Global Golf's Obinna Duru and MC Tripp White, who dished out rib-cracking jokes to delight guests. It was held at the Bolingo Hotel, Abuja. Assorted choice wines and champagne were served, complemented with local and continental dishes. There, winners were presented with gifts in cash and kind. They had played well in their different
around with a good fitness rate and high-grade performance. I don't want to leave anything behind to prove myself to the club and achieve something better this season. We are on course for the league but we need to work harder and give it all in every game.”
flight categories. Among winners was Ugandan Flavia Namakula, the star performer of the tournament who has been playing golf since 2006. She outplayed Peter Eben-Spiff and Emeka Okatta. Namakula said she is a regular visitor to Nigeria. Her feat and status make her unique, as it is very rare in this part of the world, to see a female golfer parade a 1-handicap. According to Namakula, her progress was due to the hard work and commitment she put into playing in several countries and in many tournaments. ''I put in a lot of time by playing in many big competitions, in many countries and don't only limit myself to playing in Uganda.
By Innocent Amomoh the Association, Kunle Komolafe, the initiative became necessary to discover young talents that will take over from the older ones for the future. Responding on why the choice of the market places, Komolafe said that the grassroots youth-targetted programme tagged; “Discovering New Talent For Weightlifting” has been taken round three major markets across the state with the hope of reaching a good number of energetic young men who are willing to take up weightlifting as a sporting career. Expressing the success of the programme at the markets with The Nation Sport, Komolafe said, “The fantastic turnout from the various market excites me, young people aged from 13-23-yearsold took part, regardless of gender. Those we have seen will then be invited to a phase two assessment programme, where they will be tested on their physical, technical and psychological attributes and be tested more specifically on their ability and skill acquisition in Olympic weightlifting. What we are doing now is just mass selection and discovery of potentials,” he said.
QUOTABLE “Good governance and the rule of law are now under threat of grave danger, and I fear that it may cost Rivers State and Nigeria quite a lot to recover from this sad and sorry saga. Worst of all is that our politicians seem to have forgotten that the negative impact of the saga may continue to keep our state in a state of destabilisation with serious and deleterious consequences for all.”
SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 7, NO. 2544
O some, the epigram above would seem from a bygone era. After all, the White House is occupied by a Black man twice voted into office. His election surely was no accident. Racial progress has been made on some levels. However, the mean past dies hard because the ills of the future always try to rescue it. What we thought was a monumental breakthrough has cheapened into a poor lithograph of what could have been; President Obama’s ascendance has been reduced to an image of an image, a compound mirage. At best, it serves as a weak foretaste of something more substantial to come. At worst and more likely, it herald the advent of a cold, calculating and compromised black leadership class: A leadership that devotes itself more to its own position and maintenance than the welfare of those upon whose backs it climbed to get into the leadership position. We are witnessing the birth of a new Black American leadership – one from the people but not of or for them. After President Obama there shall come a long procession of black-skinned Wall Street proxies and hirelings like photogenic, articulate Newark Mayor Cory Booker who is preparing to contest for Governor of the New Jersey in the near term and has trained his farther sights on national office. Unlike the progressive Black politicians of yesterday, this man has been and will be bankrolled by the biggest financial houses and the deepest pockets America has to offer. He will receive this tainted largesse because the policies he advocates are a smooth elixir to the well-heeled but a mean tonic to the poor and broken. Yet, he will tell the people that he is doing all that can be done. Any other alternative would be too radical and unreasonable to consider. It will be a lie but Black people will believe him because he looks like them and because they figure he must be great because he has managed to get big money on his side. In their analysis, they will be partial correct and only in a superficial manner. He looks like them. However, it is not that he is great enough to have convinced Wall Street to be at his side. The truth is that he has been cunning enough to go the side of Wall Street. With the future looming as dank as the past, Black people are trapped between the tide and backwash of a national history that refuses them respite. Forget the relatively small corps of entertainment and sports figures who have attained affluence. In the antebellum period, a few blacks were slaveholders, some of them viciously so. They were the nadir of social derangement, the perverse quiddity of a racism that ultimately makes a man make a slave of himself. There are few evils greater than this. A subtler yet dangerous evil tracks modern Black America. Four decades of minute accumulation of average Black household wealth has totally dissipated since 2008. The drainage has yet to cease. Black children in parts of the rural South are so ravaged and impoverished that European humanitarian nongovernmental organizations have been plying these straitened communities with the same type of assistance normally reserved for Africa or Haiti. Joblessness and underemployment touch close to one in three Black men. More likely a Black man will see the inside of a jail or prison than that of a university classroom, unless he is fortunate enough to be employed to provide janitorial or other menial services to the learned institution. Black America suffers higher rates of almost every disease with its causality primarily linked to a person’s living environment or diet. Violence has become one of the ghettoes leading forms of recreation. Our people kill each other at a higher rate because we place little value on our own lives, as only a degraded people do. The rich and powerful despise the sight of the poor and the wretched, but they rarely hate themselves. It is only the poor and degraded who compound their misery by despising themselves in the same way that others despise them. To add injury to prior insult and injury, instances of racial violence and discrimination seem to be waxing. A bright light in the Black community has been the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). These schools have been outlets for higher education for a Black community starved of learning and immersed in the ignorance that accompanies political and economic powerlessness. Without these schools, the malaise in Black education would have flared into utter catastrophe. If these largely government-funded institutions are shuttered, the number of Black youth attaining tertiary education will dwindle significantly. As a candidate, then Senator Barack Obama spoke to audiences at HBCUs extolling their work and vital service to a struggling community. He positioned himself as a staunch champion of their
—Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief OCJ Okocha (SAN), warning on the grave consequences of the political crisis in Rivers State.
Race on trial in America To be a black man is to eat the daily bread of injustice
cause, promising their endangered status would change under his presidency. For years, there has been a slow erosion of government funding for these institutions. Some smaller, financially weaker schools have already receded into the pages of history. Many others are on the chopping block, and with them the hopes and aspirations of thousand of Black students for higher education and a better life. Given the disheveled condition of the Black community, if there were a time to give the HBCUs a vitamin boost, it is now. Instead, the leeches have been liberally applied and bloodletting has proceeded apace. Under President Bush and Republican-controlled state governments, HBCUs had been a favorite target for budget cuts. It was hoped President Obama would change this. He did: he made things worse. A slow draining under the Bush Administration has become a geyser under President Obama. While talking sweetly to HBCU officials in their private meetings, the Obama Administration has presided over HBCU budget cuts and other measures clipping 300 million dollars in funding in the past two years. This stands as perhaps the most severe diminution HBCUs have experienced within any comparable timeframe. While trying to maintain their composure because they still believe it is out of school to publicly criticize the first Black President, the leaders of HBCUs privately scream betrayal. Like the community at large, they have found out the good fellow in the White House is a man who is Black but is not really a Black man. Thus, he sides with the Republican conservatives in choking this important asset to the Black community. For conservative racists, this is a symbolic but relatively small victory that will not ingratiate the President to them. For the Black community, it is strangling defeat that will render cinereous the educational aspirations of many Black youths. The teenage Trayvon Martin might have been fortunate enough to have been included in that shrinking number of Black male university students. Unfortunately, he was killed by George Zimmerman in February 2012. Charged with second-degree murder, Zimmerman recently stood trial in Florida. Zimmerman pled he shot the lanky teenager in selfdefense, allegedly fearing the boy would beat him to death with his bare hands. The trial has ended; a jury now deliberates the matter. Zimmerman will likely receive a lesser sentence of manslaughter in the end. In some ways, this might be considered justice. A few decades ago, Zimmerman would not have been tried and, if tried, would have likely have been acquitted. As with most things American, race factors into this case. At first, the police did not arrest or charge Zimmerman with a crime although he had killed an unarmed teenager. They let him go quietly home and would have
left him there. Only after the public outcry of the Black community, did the justice system move to provide a semblance of justice by charging the man with a crime. Had a Black man shot an unarmed White teenager in similar circumstances, that man would have instantly been arrested and charged with heinous murder. We shall never know all that transpired on that evening sidewalk in Sanford, Florida. Only two people know what occurred. One of them is died and the other has a vested interest in a rendition of events that depict him as the victim. Zimmerman’s version is what the mainstream wants people to believe. In America, an unarmed Black male can be fatally shot yet the common perception is that he was at fault. In killing a Black male, a White shooter is presumed the victim and presumed to have been under threat by reason of decedent’s color. What we know about the case is Martin was walking home after going to a local store to purchase snacks. Carrying a bag of candy in one hand and soft drink in the other, he strolled home. An unofficial neighborhood crime watch volunteer, Zimmerman somehow considered Martin suspicious but never could articulate why he assumed the teenager was a threat. Against the instructions of a police department operator with whom he had communicated, the armed Zimmerman left his car to follow Martin on foot. A confrontation ensued. When it ended, Martin was on the ground, dead from a fatal gunshot at close quarters. The stocky Zimmerman had a few superficial lacerations on the back of his head and a swollen perhaps broken nose. Zimmerman’s excuse was that he shot Martin because he feared the boy might beat him to death. Under the Florida law of self defense, a person does not have to attempt to flee before using lethal force it that person was under a reasonable apprehension of fear of death or grievous bodily harm from an assailant. Thus, Zimmerman claimed he had killed in justifiable self defense. The claim is ludicrous in two parts. First, Martin was traipsing homeward with snacks in both hands and talking on the phone to a friend. This hardly fits the aspect of a criminal on the make, let alone someone intent on attacking a burly man like Zimmerman for no reason. Moreover, Zimmerman had pursued Martin. Without Zimmerman stalking the boy, the fatal exchange would have happened. If anything Zimmerman was the aggressor, not Martin. If Zimmerman aggressed then self defense should be unavailing and Zimmerman should face prison. Second, Martin had no special martial arts skills that would have turned his hands into lethal weapons. He was a lanky teenager that is all. Rarely do we hear of a teenager bare-handedly beating some-
one to death because such a thing rarely happens. For Zimmerman to claim he was in fear of his life because he received a few punches from a teenager does not jibe with normal human experience. If Zimmerman’s position becomes the standard, then every schoolyard skirmish is now a life and death situation where a teenager is legally within his write to shoot dead his rival classmate. Of course, this would be tragic and silly. However, it would be the inevitable fallout of a verdict confirming Zimmerman’s theory of defense. Additionally, Zimmerman claimed Martin severely bashed his head multiple times against the sidewalk. However, the medical testimony showed the head wounds to be superficial at worst. The wounds were inconsistent with Zimmerman’s testimony of severe bashing. None of the wounds rose to the level where one should fear for his life or be in apprehension of severe injury. In a pretrial statement, Zimmerman disclaimed knowledge of Florida’s self-defense law. However, it was uncovered that the man pined to be a police officer to the extent of taking criminal justice courses at a local community college. The course instructor testified self defense was a major component of the course and that Zimmerman was one of his best students. Zimmerman lied when he feigned ignorance of the law, perhaps for good reason: to save his hide. Knowing he had killed the only other witness, Zimmerman could well have fashioned a tale he knew would accord with the provisions of the state’s self defense law. There were other lapses in Zimmerman’s account. In pre-trial statements, he said Martin grabbed Zimmerman’s gun. However, there were no fingerprints or DNA attributed to Martin on the weapon. Also it seems unlikely that Martin was straddling Zimmerman and pounding Zimmerman as claimed yet still allowed the man to reach to his waist, extract then gun and then get off a clean, deadly shot at such a close range that the heated muzzle of the fired weapon singed Martin’s clothes. If Martin had established such physical dominance over Zimmerman when matters were at the level of fisticuffs why would Martin suddenly become lax and give Zimmerman wide quarter when the man had a gun in hand? The trial will send a powerfully wrong signal should Zimmerman walk free. The trial will become a standard for the crafty and the criminal genius. The plea of self defense will be a strong, available cloak whenever a person is sufficiently cunning to lure their victim to an isolated placed occupied solely by the two of them. Once the victim is done in, the killer may contrive any tale that suits him so long as it fits within the contours of the selfdefense law. This controversial law will become a legal invitation for premeditated murder. Be assured, a disproportionately large percentage of Black males will be the victims. Fearing possible race riots in some Florida cities once the verdict is reached, local authorities have their police forces on high alert. The more time changes the more it goes backward. In 1980, parts of Miami Florida went aflame as the Black community combusted after several policemen were acquitted in the homicide of a Black motorcyclist. The motorcyclist had led the police on a chase through the city before surrendering. The man died of multiple skull fractures after the apprehending white police officers pummeled him multiple times with nightsticks and flashlights through he offered no resistance. 2013 is still 1980 in some ways. A racially-charged court case is in hand. Again, the dead Black male appears to have been dealt a punishment much more terrible than anything he might have done. Unlike the fearful local authorities, I doubt the Black community will erupt if Zimmerman is exonerated. The Black community has lost its spirit and drive in many ways. There is little fight left in the community except for its people to fight among themselves. In the end, this case is a human and social tragedy. Zimmerman thought the boy suspicious for one reason only. Martin was Black. Thus, Martin died because of his skin color. For many Whites in America, this is enough of a defense to set Zimmerman free, no real questions asked. Thus, they feel Zimmerman is being persecuted. The case serves to remind Blacks that in America, the self proclaimed land of the free and home of the brave, they are not as free as their white counterparts but that they must act braver because the legal system and society deems them culpable even when the wrongdoing is perpetrated against them. The current paucity in Black leadership means injustice will grow. In America, to be Black is still to be blamed. 08060340825 sms only
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