$620,000 Bribe: Police, House on collision course over Lawan probe It’s interference with our work –Police No, It is not, say Reps –Page 4 Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Vol.06, No. 2170
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
JULY 1, 2012
Tambuwal under pressure over Jonathan summons –Page 2
Kidnappers kill Abakaliki businessman after collecting ransom –Page 2
Emergency Rule: Stakeholders say no to extension –Page 5
•Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba, Lagos after the heavy rain fall in Lagos yesterday Photo: MUYIWA HASSAN
Northern Christians seek dialogue with Muslims over insecurity –Page 4
Oba of Benin snubs Anenih, PDP gov candidate at palace
Former PDP BOT chairman demands level playing field
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Kidnappers kill Abakaliki businessman after collecting ransom Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
IDNAPPERS have killed Abakalikibased business mogul, Chief Godwin Nwosu, after collecting a ransom from his family. His body was found yesterday close to the Ebonyi State Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 48 hours after he was abducted by gun-wielding men on his way home from work. He was, until his death, the chief executive of Godal Pharmacy. Security operatives recovered his body yesterday while on patrol on the Abakaliki /Enugu Express road. The corpse has been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Sylvester Igbo, said on phone that he had not been officially briefed on the matter. Nwosu, a native of Anambra State, was the fourth person to be kidnapped by gunmen in the state this year. A retired Permanent Secretary in the state, Chief Cletus Nwezza was similarly kidnapped and killed by his abductors in May after collecting a ransom of one million naira from his family.
OME aides of President Goodluck Jonathan are seeking a middle ground approach with the House of Representatives over its recent invitation of the President on the spate of terrorism in the country. It was gathered yesterday in Abuja that the presidential aides have met the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and other principal officers of the House with a view to understanding the motive for the invitation. The Reps want the President and his key security chiefs to come and educate them on why it has been difficult to check the menace of the Islamist sect. The invitation has been interpreted in some quarters as abnormal. But the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Zakari Mohammed, yesterday said it has nothing to do with muscle flexing with the President. Mohammed said the House was interested in en-
Boko Haram: Tambuwal, Reps under pressure over Jonathan • Presidential aides meet with House Speaker • Why we can’t go back on our invitation—Principal Officer • We are not flexing muscle, says House spokesman From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
gaging the President on how to address the Boko Haram insurgency and general insecurity in the country. The House had, on June 19, summoned the President to appear before it on the insecurity in the country. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that following the invitation, some presidential aides met with the Speaker and other principal officers on the decision of the House. Although the President was away when the aides had a closed door session with the House leaders, it was gathered that the meet-
ing was fruitful as they appreciated the motive. A principal officer, said: “Since we took the resolution to invite the President, I am aware that some key presidential aides have met with the Speaker over the issue. “We told them that we have no agenda to ridicule the President because they came with this fear. Our decision was guided by the relevant provisions in the 1999 Constitution. “We believe the interest of the nation is more paramount than that of any individual. We owe the President a duty to work with him to address the insecurity in
• National Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria ACN, Senator Shuaib Lawan(middle) presenting the nomination form to Ondo State Gubernatorial Aspirant of Action Congress of Nigeria, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN,(left) with them is the party’s National Organising Secretary,Abubakar Kari in Abuja, on Friday.
the country.” Dismissing suggestion that the invitation smacked of mischief, the House principal officer said: “Whoever is complaining about the invitation should understand his or her mandate very well instead of engaging in eye service. “The presidency should accept this invitation the same way we accepted the Doctrine of Necessity. This is a vital security matter and we all owe the nation a duty.” Another principal officer said it was improper for anyone to make a mountain out of a mole hill. “Is there any section in the Constitution that empowers the President to invite 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives to the Presidential Villa. “When the President wanted to withdraw fuel subsidy, did he not invite us to the Villa like school children? Initially, he invited chairmen and vice-chairmen of committees in the two chambers. At a critical point, he asked all of us to come. “Though we were aware of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, we waived sentiments and went to the Villa to partner with the President. Yet any Presidential aide talking will see that as normal for lawmakers to go to the Villa. “Fortunately, the President is not on the same page with some of his advisers. After our resolution, he re-
viewed the nation’s security apparatus. “President Jonathan was also at the Senate retreat and he sat for hours to be part of the opening ceremony and the presentation of the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS). “Sometimes I am always amazed when people argue blindly. Didn’t the Prime Minister of Britain appear before a panel of the House of Commons conducting an inquiry? I think some people still live in the past when Empires existed and Emperors ruled with impunity.” On the official position of the House, Mohammed told our correspondent that the invitation was not meant to demean the status of the President. Mohammed, who spoke with our correspondent yesterday, said: “We are not summoning; we are inviting the President to interface with us. We cannot disrespect the Office of the President but we want to meet with him and jointly find solutions. “We did not give any timeframe; we did not say he must either appear within 48 or 72 hours. “The House has tremendous respect for the President, who is the Chief Security Officer of Nigeria. We decided to interact with him to know the challenges or hiccups he is facing and how we can assist him to address these. “People should stop heating the polity, they should face the reality. This invitation is not about muscle-flexing with the President. This insecurity can consume anybody at any time.”
Boko Haram: NOA Oba of Benin snubs Anenih, PDP gov candidate • Former PDP BOT chairman demands level playing field unveils counter plans S
HE National Orientation Agency (NOA) has formulated a strategy to check the on-going violence in parts of the country. Details of the strategy will be unveiled in due course, according to the Director General (DG) of the agency, Mr. Mike Omeri. Omeri told reporters in Abuja that the plan entails the creation of an effective platform for the citizens to engage their leaders. He said: “It is time for dialogue; our lead-
From: Dele Anofi, Abuja
ers should rise up to the occasion and rescue our nation. It is time to reignite that love, that bond, that feeling of one nation which lies latently in every Nigerian. Omeri said the agency had also designed another tool aimed at eliminating mutual suspicion within the polity. “We are going to deploy Citizen Dialogue as a means of building peace.”
TALWART of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, got the shock of his political career yesterday after the Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba Erediuwa shunned him on a visit to the palace ahead of this month’s governorship election in Edo State. The party’s candidate in the election, Major General Charles Airhiavere (rtd) was similarly snubbed. They had accompanied President Goodluck Jonathan to the palace on a courtesy call moments before the party’s campaign in respect of the election. Once the party’s delegation entered the palace, Omo N’Oba Erediuwa invited President Jonathan into his inner chambers for a closed door discussion. Chief Anenih , Gen
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
Airhiavere and other PDP chieftains were attended to by Benin chiefs. Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin who received the PDP delegation said: “Our son-the President- came on a courtesy visit, he should have a safe journey home.” However, the PDP in the South South has vowed to win Edo state for the party in the July 14 governorship election. Chairman of PDP governors in the zone, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River, speaking at the Benin rally said “We came out because they said we have produced a president with a transformation agenda. The only support we have is to deliver the entire South South zone to
the PDP”. Anenih said all the governorship candidates in the election should be given a level playing ground. The presence of President Jonathan at the rally, he said, had raised the hope of PDP members in Edo and energised their commitment to winning the election. He said, “Your presence is to demonstrate PDP’s commitment to winning the election. We are fully prepared. We want to put in a government that will care for the people, that will build roads and provide medical care.” National Chairman of PDP, Bamanga Tukur said PDP is the only party that can unite the country. Tukur who urged the crowd not to allow Edo be
in the opposition in the South South advised them to translate their large turnout into votes on July 14. Airhiavbere promised to be selfless and provide a government with a human face. He said his three point agenda would be declaration of emergency in security, education and health. Addressing the rally, President Jonathan promised to deliver on his promise to change how elections were conducted in the country. He assured the crowd that there would be no thuggery, manipulation or snatching of ballot boxes during the July 14 election. Jonathan guaranteed 100 percent security during the election.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
The spook who must come up with a scoop
HE appointment of retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki as the National Security Adviser raises some interesting and intriguing questions. This is because no matter how debased and disreputable politics has become, there will still be some fundamental logic to its operative syntax. Let us call it the order of disorder. As it is with the game of chess, so it is with life. There are players and foot soldiers. There are game-changers and towel-changers. There are pawns and power-brokers. Politics also mirrors the art and science of chess. They both require mental fortitude, psychological stamina and phenomenal will. But more importantly, and like chess too, politics also requires the moment of genius which is often indistinguishable from the moment of madness, when a daring and eccentric move on the chess board confuses and confounds everybody, including the contending grandmasters themselves. As Viktor Shklovsky, the great Russian literary critic, famously put it:” there are many reasons for the oddity of the Knight’s move, the main reason being the conventionality of art itself”. Like chess, the game of politics is won and lost by the ability to think outside the box, that is, outside the chess board itself. The appointment of Colonel Sambo Dasuki as the National Security Adviser complicates and illuminates the Nigerian political chessboard at the same time. When viewed retrospectively and after all might have been quiet on the Northern front, this singular move may come to be regarded as Jonathan’s moment of genius or moment of madness. Like his predecessor, Gen Andrew Owoye Azazi, a distinguished career military officer, intelligence-gathering is not Colonel Dasuki’s military forte. In contemporary Nigerian military folklore, the masters of the cloak and dagger game of intelligence gathering are General Mohammed and General Aliyu Gusau. Both combine aloofness and discreet self-erasure with invisible ubiquity and panNigerian networking which make them truly formidable spooks. Yet the irony of it all is that at this rarefied level, one does not need to be trained in the arcane rituals of formal intelligence to succeed. Like Owoye Azazi who rose to the pinnacle of the military career, Dasuki could also hold his own among his military peers without appearing to leverage his princely connections. The Sokoto prince is very much his own man who does not suffer fools gladly. In his younger days, Dasuki was known to be blunt, forthright and caustic of tongue.. But this is where the comparison must end. Although there is a hint of explosive impatience, Dasuki’s reticent and sober deportment suggests a man who could keep his cards close to his chest, like all exemplary spooks but unlike his immediate predecessor. The glum taciturnity and stony comportment of Dasuki during his appearance at the State House this past week bespoke a man who is eminently aware of the gravity of the situation and the serious burden of his new assignation. General Azazi did not display the sophistication and subtlety required of the holder of that sensitive office. He was sim-
nooping around With
ply too visible and loquacious. The fundamental problem with Azazi is that he could not distinguish between the office of the National Security Adviser and the Personal Security Adviser to the president. What made him excel in the later capacity, the virtues of fierce personal loyalty and fanatical devotion to Jonathan, also incapacitated him from seeing the larger picture in the larger national interest— a prime requisite for the post of National Security Adviser. It is probable that General Azazi viewed the office of National Security Adviser from the prism of an ethnic cold warrior, an affronted Ijaw nationalist on a mission of restitution. But there are moments of grave national crisis such as we are passing through
HERE he goes again. At a time when the dust raised by his ill-advised trip to Brazil while apocalypse loomed at home had hardly settled, Goodluck Jonathan has taken to the sky again. This time he is off to Belgium and its dreary drizzle. Snooper is beginning to suspect that the president may be afflicted by the wandering disease known as Sokugo. Sokugo combines hallucinatory disorientation with wanderlust and it’s a dreaded and dreadful condition indeed worthy of modern medical scrutiny. Presidential handlers and
when the contradictions of national security could overwhelm the personal security of a sitting president, when the presidential bodyguard could prove ineffective and impotent before the angry multitude. It is not known what advice Azazi gave Jonathan on the controversial fuel subsidy removal. He could have asked him to circle the wagon around Aso Rock because the zoning barbarians have arrived at the barricades. If that had proved tactically successful in the very short run, it has become a longer term strategic disaster in terms of overall national security, a political albatross weighing down the entire Jonathan presidency. Yet when Azazi famously
asserted that the grave security situation in the country, particularly the unrest in the north, is caused by civil war within the ruling party and by those who believe that Jonathan filched their presidential birthright, he may not be far from the truth. But by that same token, and from that very moment on, he became part of the problem and his position as National Security Adviser became untenable. This is because it takes two to tangle.. Azazi probably offered himself as a sacrificial lamb. In a moment of lucidity and illumination, Jonathan would have discovered that he had been a hostage of ethnic fears masquerading as national facts. More importantly, he might have discovered that no matter how personally secure a president is the survival of the presidency depends on national security. If the one is not honestly and holistically addressed it will eventually imperil the other. Be that as it may, Azazi remains very much a product of his time, and of a military institution recuperating from its self-inflicted wounds. It is probably due to Nigeria’s legendary luck that the military did not fracture along ethnic, religious and regional lines during the worst period of military rule. But the horrific scars and the post-traumatic stress disorder remain. It is a reflection of how little our western friends and sympathisers understand the dynamics of Nigerian post-military politics that they kept on referring Azazi back to General Aliyu
Gusau for guidance and useful tips. While Gusau belonged to the old military aristocracy based on ethnic caste rather than intrinsic competence, Azazi originated from the lowest caste. Some old wounds still fester. These are the fault lines Sambo Dasuki has also inherited but he carries a different baggage. Although a member of the old military aristocracy, he was also its casualty in a way the outwardly conforming Azazi was not, having lost his commission to General Abacha’s wounded self-regard and neurotic vindictiveness.. Although sharing kinship with the dominant northern political aristocracy, the fact that Boko Haram originated from the sub-region which still nurses historic animosity and grievances towards the Sokoto caliphate will not help matters. This is not discounting the fact even within the caliphate itself, there are divisions arising from old succession grudges which have pitted the Dasukis against their mainstream royal cousins. These are the broken pieces of northern chinaware which will have to be reassembled before a lasting solution can be found to the Boko Haram scourge. Yet the spook is expected to come up with a historic scoop, If this scoop is not forthcoming, the northern debris will overwhelm both the state and the nation. Sambo Dasuki’s work is cut for him. Luckily for him and the nation, the colonel has hit the ground running.
Air Jonathan takes off again minders have cautioned that in the age and epoch of é-governance, a president can rule his country from anywhere in the world. This is arrant nonsense. No one is saying that a president should not rub mind or lick palate with his colleagues, but even in advanced western countries with cutting edge communication technology, it is taboo to abandon your country and primary constituency in moments of acute national distress.
In public office, perception is often reality. The modern state is often a cold and impersonal abstraction which has to be humanised by compassion and gestures of kind empathy. The symbolism of shared suffering and solidarity with the afflicted goes a long way in reassuring the people that they have not been abandoned to their distressing fate. When a president weeps publicly at the sight of a historic carnage only to take off the very next minute for a frivolous fiesta
in the land of Samba with an outsize retinue of hangers-on, there is a clinical disconnect somewhere. Let Jonathan stay more at home to share the plight of his compatriots in these unhappy times. So far, he has given the impression that he is more taken in by the perks and perquisites of office rather than its grim and grimy challenges. The presidency of Nigeria is not a massage parlour for freebies and frivolities.
Okon escapes lynching, as Baba Lekki reduces Nigeria to a mathematical formula
S the Lawan-Otedola bribery scandal unfurls in all its seamy and unseemly details, and as revelations of impossible sums of money stolen from the pension funds pollutes the air, Okon has been obsessing about figures. If he had left it at that all would have been well. But unknown to snooper, Okon was bent on tracing the missing dollar bills. Pretending to be a blind beggar, Okon had taken up permanent residence at a local Malam barber’s shop. Whenever each malam came forward for a clean cut, Okon would be rifling through his cap looking for missing dollars. His luck ran out when he collided with another crook pretending to be a blind beggar. “Shege barawo ne”, the fake blind man shrieked and Okon took to
his heels with an irate crowd in hot pursuit. Each morning thereafter, the crazy one would take a fresh sheet of paper and begin to add sums until trillions become zillions. One morning, a jubilant Baba Lekki shambled in waving his own sheet of paper. The old loony was enveloped in a huge bale of smoke even as seeds from the Indian hemp exploded with gusto. Before he could utter a word, Okon angrily charged at him. “Baba all dis money dem dey steal no be one day money go vanish for obodo patapata?” the mad boy moaned at his derelict mentor. “Okon, you be obonge fool”, Baba Lekki began with an expansive flourish. “Shine your kukuruku eye well well. Abi no be wetin dem mean by dem cashless obodo be
dat? When dem cash finis, na cashless society dem mosquito mala for Central Bank dey talk about be dat.” “Kai kai na god go punish all dis dem jaguda. Kontri don kaput under dem Jonathan. No wonder him dey curse dem people when dem ask for him assets. I go remove dat him yeye cap one day to see if dem dollar dey”, Okon exploded. “Okon you see, na mala tira dey worry dem Calamity Joe. If you put dem finger inside anybody dem yansh he go smell well well. If na me be dem Jonathan I go tell dem journalists say dem be thieves too”, Baba Lekki retorted. “Baba wetin be dem ghost worker? He get one ghost worker who come beat my papa for Itigidi well well papa come shit” Okon asked in obvious fright.
“Ah Okon, ghost worker na worker who no dey no be worker who don quench”, the old man explained to his perturbed protégé . “And wetin be ghost pensioner?” Okon demanded. “Ghost pensioner na former worker who come kaput as suffer and dem hunger come wire dem. Na dem dey cry every night.” Baba lekki croaked. It was at this point that the old crook delivered his coup de grace. Waving the sheet of paper, he began as if he was in a trance. “ Ghost workers added to ghost pensioners will lead to ghost politicians. Gw2 + Gp2 = Gp*Gc. Gc stands for ghost country” “Chei, dis crazy baba get brain pass all dem yeye professors”, Okon concluded.
Police: Why Jimoh Ibrahim visited us From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
HE police yesterday clarified the circumstances that necessitated the visit of prominent business man, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Thursday. He was there to honour an invitation extended to him by the police, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba said in a statement. He dismissed as rumour reports suggesting that Mr. Jimoh “was arrested and interrogated by officers of the Nigeria Police Force.” He added: “Sometime in the month of April, 2012, the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser of Air Nigeria, one Babatunde Akeem, wrote a petition to the InspectorGeneral of Police accusing an ex-staff of the company, one John Nnorom of Criminal Conspiracy and obtaining the sum of One Hundred Thousand US Dollars ($100,000) under false pretences from the company. The petition was eventually, on the order of the IGP, sent to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Lagos for discreet investigation. “A thorough investigation conducted by detectives at SFU did not only indict the suspect, but also led to the recovery of a cash sum of $100,000, believed to be the proceeds of the alleged crime. “The recovered money was registered as exhibit with the Exhibit Keeper and the suspect was subsequently charged to court, the Police having clearly established a prima facie case of criminal conversion against him. The case which is currently pending at the Magistrate Court 5, Lagos Island, Lagos State has been adjourned till 23rd July, 2012. “While on bail but still standing trial in the above mentioned criminal case at a Magistrate Court in Lagos, John Nnorom wrote a petition to the IGP alleging threats to his life by the Chairman of Air Nigeria, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim. On the strength of his petition, Police investigators at X-Squad Unit, Force CID Abuja, saddled with the task of investigating the complaint invited Jimoh Ibrahim. “Voluntarily and respectfully, Jimoh Ibrahim honoured the invitation. This is the reason for his presence at the Force CID office, Area 10, Abuja on Thursday 28th June, 2012. After a brief interaction with detectives he was allowed to go unconditionally “So far, Police investigation has not established a prima facie case of threat to life against Jimoh Ibrahim. A full report of Police findings will be released as soon as investigations are concluded.”
$620,000 Bribe: Police, House on collision course over Lawan probe • It’s interference with our work T • No, It is not –Reps HE Police and the House of Representatives appear to be on a collision course after the force dismissed the Reps’ own investigation of the alleged $620,000 bribe from oil magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, as ‘contrary to the law.’ A police source said the House had no business conducting its own investigation into the matter once the force had stepped in. The House probe was launched on Thursday by its Committee on Ethics and
From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
Privileges with Alhaji Farouk Lawan, the suspended Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy management as the first witness. It has already invited Mr. Otedola to come and give his own side of the story. Details of the interaction with Lawan were not re-
vealed although sources claimed he tendered ‘shocking evidence’ to prove his innocence “The police have stepped into this matter but the House, which is central to what we are probing, is now investigating the same matter. Some of them investigating are even expected to assist the police in our investigation,” the police
•L-R: Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi and President National Association of Women Judges Nigeria (NAWJN), Justice Binta Nyako in a chat during the seminar on Violenc Against Women and Sextortion organised by NAWJN at Juanita Hotel, Port Harcourt yesterday Photo: NAN
source told The Nation. He added: “They need to be told point blank that what they are doing is not good. It is like interfering with our on-going investigation.” The House vowed yesterday to continue with its probe and wondered how its action amounted to interference with the police investigation of the same matter. It also said the Chairman of the Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Adam Jagaba has not gone to the Special Task Force (STF) investigating the bribery because he has not been properly invited. The Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Alhaji Zakari Mohammed, who spoke with our correspondent, said the report of the Ethics and Privileges Committee would not prejudice the police investigation. “By inaugurating the Ethics and Privileges Committee, we are only doing our job; it does not amount to duplication or overlapping of duties,” Mohammed said. “Legislators are supposed to be bound by certain Code of Conduct, if there is any allegation of infraction against any member, the House is expected to ask its Ethics Committee to look into it. “If we did not take action,
Northern Christians advocate forum with Muslims
CHRISTIAN Elders in the North under the auspices of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NORCEF) yesterday advocated a conference of Northern Muslims Elders with their Christian counterparts to address the current insecurity in the region. The present situation, if unchecked, they said would bring the nation into a full scale war. They said the North has had enough of bloodshed. But the forum said the docility of Christians in the North should not be mistaken for cowardice and asked the federal government to extend to them the Almajiri education scheme recently launched in the North. Chairman of the forum, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye, deplored the barrage of criticisms that trailed a recent statement by the Senate President, David Mark that Northern elders have not done enough to address the insecurity posed by the Boko Haram insurgency. NORCEF asked Northern elders, traditional rulers and politicians to stop treating the Boko Haram issue and the attendant bombing and killing with the kidglove, saying “It is not a small thing. It is a dangerous thing that can escalate and degenerate into a full scale war. Enough is enough! Let everybody wake up.
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
“An urgent meeting of Northern Muslim Elders and Northern Christian Elders should be called especially in the states affected to fashion the way forward. We are at the brink, the edge of a bottomless pit. A step forward may bring calamity. It is time for us to retrace our steps. We expect all the Elders, the Speaker of the House of Representatives to join the Senate President to sound the alarm”. On Mark’s statement, he said: “What did he say that is strange? Haven’t other people said the same thing or more? Are we accusing him because he was frank and bold enough to say what all of us have been saying in private? Even at the meeting of the Northern Elders Forum in Abuja, the forum blamed the Northern Elders for the situation that the North has found itself. “The Forum admitted the Northern Elders had not followed the footsteps of the Sardauna in peace and harmony and also in development. Everybody is alarmed at the state of the nation. The North has never had it so bad. We Northerners must be frank with ourselves. We have failed miserably. Can the Village and Ward Heads claim they don’t know the people causing the trouble? “When the Christian Elders Forum of Northern States was shouting at the beginning of the fracas, no-
body took us serious. We were called alarmists and all kind of names. Later ACF came on board to sound caution. Yes, the Northern Elders have not done enough to bring peace. We can do more. “During the petrol subsidy crisis, Muslims guarded Christians when they were in the church to pray and the Christians surrounded, protected the Muslims when they went to the mosques to pray. Why can’t we do that again? “Why can’t we organize that kind of thing on Fridays and Sundays? Christians and Muslims demonstrated together peacefully during the petrol subsidy crisis. Why can’t Muslims and Christians demonstrate together for peace in every town and city in the North? “We expect pamphlets calling for peace to be written in Hausa, Fulani, Arabic and other dialects in hot spots signed by religious, political and traditional rulers calling for peace. We expect each Governor and each Local Government Chairman to do the same. “We expect sermons rebuking violence and bloodshed to be preached on Fridays in every mosque and on Sundays in every church all over the North. Politicians can organize rallies to fill stadia for their political end but they cannot do the same for peace. Who will they rule over if there is no
peace? “We hereby call on the Northern Elders, Traditional Rulers and Politicians to stop treating the Boko Haram issue and the attendant bombing and killing with the kid-glove. It is not a small thing. It is a dangerous thing that can escalate and degenerate into a full scale war. Enough is enough! Let everybody wake up. “We Christians in the North have suffered a lot. Inflicting us with violence is no longer news. It is a weekly occurrence. We do not matter to the Northern elite. Our lives are counted as nothing to them. “Christian children can hardly get admitted to those schools. Christian students cannot get admission into the universities of their choice even if they are qualified, even if they are indigenes of that state. “Post election violence destroyed over 300 churches and over 1000 Christian businesses. It is a year ago now, yet no compensation of any sort has been paid. “We appeal to Christian youths who are getting impatient, angry and frustrated to the point of feeling that we Christian Elders have sold out. We have not sold out to anybody. We appeal to Christian youths to calm down and exercise patience. We trust that the Government will do something to ameliorate our sufferings.”
Nigerians would still accuse us of complicity in the whole saga. So, we owe it a duty to those who elected us and Nigerians to find out what really happened. “What we are doing is not more than what the police and other professional bodies used to do. If there is any professional misconduct against any member, these bodies will look into it.” Asked if the Committee’s invitation of Otedola would not be subjudice of the ongoing probe by the police, the House spokesman said: “We have to hear Otedola’s side. That was why the committee invited him. “Otedola needs to come and corroborate whatever is said about him or what really transpired. He alleged that Lawan took bribe from him and since the House member has appeared before the committee, it makes a sound judgment and a pointer to objectivity to invite Otedola.” Responding to a question, Mohammed said: “We are not interfering with the duties of the Nigeria Police through the STF. We will never interfere at all. “The police have their targets or focus of investigation. And we have so far cooperated with them and we will cooperate till the end of the investigation. We are cooperating with them by allowing our members to go to the STF at the Force Headquarters for interaction.” On the refusal of the Chairman of the Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Adam Jagaba, to appear before the STF, Mohammed added: “Jagaba said he has not received any invitation. If he is invited on the pages of newspapers, he cannot honour it. “There is a procedure for inviting anyone by the police; this should be followed in this case.”
UK politicians: Banking system is corruption
RITISH politicians yesterday harshly criticised the country’s banking system after British bank Barclays was fined for manipulating data to make its financial position appear stronger. Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour party said in an interview published yesterday in the Times of London that the country’s financial system was “institutionally corrupt” and called for an independent inquiry “to find out what is going on in the dark corners of the bank.” Business Secretary Vince Cable described the country’s financial sector as “a massive cesspit.” U.S. and British agencies on Wednesday imposed fines totaling $453 million on Barclays for submitting false data used in setting the London interbank offer rate (LIBOR), a key market index, between 2005 and 2009. The fines sparked outrage in Britain.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Emergency Rule: Stakeholders say no to extension
TAKEHOLDERS in 15 local government areas across the North where the Federal Government imposed emergency rule last December in the wake of massive terrorism, are up against any extension. They say the emergency rule has not brought the desired succour to the affected areas and with the expiration of the order yesterday no purpose will be served by extending it. The emergency rule was imposed on December 31 last year in selected local government areas in Niger, Yobe, Borno and Plateau States where terrorism was deemed to be fierce. It was supposed to last six months after which it could be extended. However, the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Alhaji Dala Dogo, is of the opinion that what the state requires now is much more than emergency rule. His Niger State counterpart, Alhaji Adamu Usman is also against any move to extend the emergency rule in Suleja where terrorists bombed St. Theresa’s Catholic Church on Christmas day killing scores of worshippers and maiming others. Dogo yesterday on phone said: “We are not in support of a state of emergency. What we need is for the Federal Government to deploy more security men in the state to protect the people.” The Emir of Fika, Dr. Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idris is also not disposed to further emergency rule. Receiving the Minister of State for Finance, Elias Mbam who visited the state during the week to commiserate with the people on the recent Boko Haram attack in the state asked the Federal Government to consider the suspension of the emergency rule in the place. Thousands of youths in the city also recently called for the withdrawal of soldiers from the town. The Niger State Speaker said the situation in Suleja
• We want more security in Yobe not emergency rule, says Speaker From:Jide Orintunsin, Minna/Joel Duku, Damaturu/Yusuf Idegu, Jos
no longer supports emergency rule. He said in an interview in Minna that normalcy has returned to the town. He said:”As the constitutional six months of State of Emergency comes to an end this weekend, we in Niger State believe that the federal government should be sensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. Niger State has had its share of security challenges but I want to say with gratitude to Almighty Allah that normalcy has been restored to Suleja local government and Suleja town in particular. “In Suleja, we have achieved and recorded relative peace for the past six months and therefore I want to say with all sense of responsibility and on behalf of my colleagues that the State of Emergency should not be extended because since peace has been restored, we are confident there will be no challenge any longer.” He pleaded with the National Assembly to ignore
any move to have it extend emergency rule in Suleja. He cited the recent convergence of over half a million Muslims on Minna for the Tijjaniya International Maulud for three days without any ugly incident as evidence that peace has finally returned to the state. However, the authorities of the Joint Security Team in Suleja are in favour of continuation of the emergency rule in Suleja. A source close to the outfit said:, ‘’It is true we have been able to restore peace to Suleja and in some of the affected councils in other states, the sophistication and the intensity of attacks recently are signs that there may be need to extend the duration of the emergency rule. ‘’Our men (security agents) are not happy staying outside or on the roads but these are signs of the times. We have greatly sustained the peace of the country, but we should not throw away this achievement by refusing to extend the emergency. Our report is not disposed to lifting of the emergency rule.’’ The Chairman of Barkin
Ladi Local Government in Plateau State, Emmanuel Loman said: “The imposition of emergency rule in this area was ill-conceived and ill-motivated. My local government has no trace of presence of Boko Haram, but it was counted as one and it was imposed on us. We deserve an apology from the Federal Government over this mistake. “The state of emergency has had no impact; no special allocation was given for that. If for anything our monthly allocation continued to deplete within the period. “In spite of the so called state of emergency, gunmen came from outside the state to attack my people. During those attacks, the soldiers posted around here never succeeded in repelling the insurgents. “So many people have been killed by armed Fulanis imported from Chad and Niger” Chairman of Riyom Local government of Plateau State, Mr. Sam Gyang Audu said : “This state of emergency should be suspended; it should be discontinued; it should be buried for its lack
•Journalists protesting the seizure of their cameras and demolition of part of their secretariat by the Development Control Department of the FCT in Abuja, yesterday. Photo:ABAYOMI FAYESE
of impact. “As a matter of fact I’m the chief security officer of my local government. We should be left alone to handle our security the way it should be. What kind of a state of emergency is this? People are being killed in my local government area almost every day in the last six months and they say we have soldiers here. “This state of emergency is not helping us in anyway. There was no special allocation as required. We were not empowered financially and security wise, I see no difference. We would have been better off without this state of emergency.” The legislator representing Riyom in the state House of Assembly, Daniel Dem said: “I have said time without number that the state of emergency be suspended because I don’t know why it was imposed in the first place. “As a legislator, we in the Plateau state House of Assembly have unanimously petitioned the federal government asking for the suspension of this state of emergency after its second month. The state of emergency was abused with the withholding of council funds. Rather than allocate special funds for the councils, the federal government withheld their allocation and it was difficult to handle security problems without fund. ‘Now that the six months is completed, it should be suspended, any renewal of it will only cause more problem for our people and government.” Local government areas affected by the emergency rule are: ) Borno StateMaidugiri Metropolitan, Gamboru Ngala, Banki Bama, Biu , Jere; Yobe StateDamaturu , Geidam, Potiskum, Buniyadi-Gujba , Gasua-Bade; Plateau StateJos North, Jos South , BarkinLadi , Riyom; Niger StateSuleja LGA.
Two brothers bag 91years jail term over N25m fraud
FEDERAL High Court in Asaba, Delta State, has convicted two brothers- Collins and Ikechukwu Avoaja. They are to spend the next seven years in jail after a Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State found them guilty on a 13-count charge of fraud and obtaining money under false pretence preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The court also jailed Gbadegesin Yinusa for illegal bunkering. Justice Ibrahim N. Buba, according to the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, handed down the sentence on Thursday. Uwujaren said a company, CeeCee Concept Multiple Nigeria Limited which was the channel through
From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
which the Avoaja brothers carried out their fraudulent transactions was similarly convicted. He said: “The court ordered the accused persons to pay back the worth of the bank guarantee in the sum of N25, 000,000.00 (Twenty five million naira) to Fidelity Bank Plc as restitution. “It would be recalled that in October 2008, CeeCee Concept Nigeria Limited was availed a Bank guarantee to the tune of N25, 000,000.00 (Twenty five million naira only) in favour of Globacom Limited, Warri Branch, for the purchase of Globacom recharge cards. “Collins Avoaja, who was the Marketing Manager of Globacom Limited at the time he committed the crime, also doubled as the Manag-
ing Director/Chief Executive Officer of CeeCee Concept Multiple Nigeria Limited, a fact that Globacom Limited claimed it knew nothing about until the crime was discovered. “Investigations also revealed that Ikechukwu Ovoaja was a co-director of CeeCee Concept Nigeria Limited and conspired with his brother, Collins Avoaja to commit the crime. “According to the petitioner, Collins Avoaja used his position as the Marketing Manager of Globacom Limited to order stock to his company, CeeCee Concept Nigeria Limited, without complying with the terms and conditions spelt out by Fidelity Bank Plc in the Bank guarantee. “CeeCee Concept Nigeria Limited issued several post-dated cheques to
Globacom Limited, but all turned out to be dud cheques as CeeCee Concept Limited account was not funded. “However, the timely intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN in January 2010 caused Fidelity Bank Plc to pay Globacom Limited, the cash equivalent of the total amount of stock released to CeeCee Concept Nigeria Limited after Globacom called in the Bank guarantee. “This prompted Fidelity Bank Plc to petition EFCC on the activities of CeeCee Concept Nigeria Limited as well as the two convicts, Collins and Ikechukwu. Justice Buba also convicted Gbadegesin Yinusa and sentenced him to two years imprisonment without an option of fine for illegal oil bunkering and deal-
ing in petroleum products. Yinusa’s sentence commenced on July 27, 2010, when he was first remanded in prison custody. The Judge also ordered that the Mercedes Benz Tanker that the accused person was arrested with, be forfeited to the Federal Government along with its content, 40,000 litres of automotive gas oil, AGO. Yinusa and Femi (now at large), were arrested on July 27, 2010, at Aladja, near Warri, Delta State, in a Mercedes Benz Truck with registration number Lagos XL 203 JJJ for illegally dealing in Petroleum Products, an offence contrary to Section 3(6) and punishable under section 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the revised edition Law of the Federation 2007.
Gunfire, explosions rock Damaturu By Joel Duku and agency report
UNFIRE and explosions broke out in Damaturu last night shortly after a dusk-to-dawn curfew came into force. “Explosions and gunshots have been going on in this neighbourhood for over an hour,” said Abdullahi Musa, a civil servant. “We still don’t know what the target is because the shooting started shortly after curfew,” he added. Another resident of the same area, a neighbourhood called Nyanya, offered a similar account. “We are frightened due to the blasts and gunfire. We don’t know what is happening because we are indoors... We pray we stay safe,” said Safiya Mahmud, a housewife. Separate attacks were also reported in two other Damaturu neighbourhoods, but details were not immediately available. The Police Commissioner, Patrick Egbuniew, confirmed the incident. He said there was an exchange of gunfire between members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and militants of Boko Haram at Mala Matori village. “Our men are still chasing them around the Obasanjo estate which is very close to the village,” CP said. The State government, on June 19 , imposed a roundthe-clock curfew on Damaturu after suspected Boko Haram members launched coordinated gun attacks on targets around the city. The curfew was relaxed after soldiers and police reclaimed control of the streets in an offensive that left at least 40 people dead, including 34 alleged Boko Haram members.
How lottery can rake in $250b annually, by lottery commission From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja HE Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Peter Igho, believes the commission is capable of generating $250 billion annually if the potential of lottery is properly explored. The DG during a courtesy visit to the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Segun Runsewe in Abuja at the weekend said if what obtains in the United States of America (USA), China and Niger Republic where returns from lottery have been put into good use, is anything to go by, Nigeria should not hesitate to fully utilise the benefit of lottery. He said Niger Republic, for instance, had used proceeds from lottery in fighting desert encroachment.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Suswam assures Igbos of protection From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
GBO People Assembly (IGA), an association of Igbo traders living in the 19 northern states, has described Benue as the most peaceful state in the north and commended Governor Gabriel Suswam for ensuring peaceful co-existence among all ethnic groups in the country. The group also commended Suswam for carrying Ndigbo along in his administration. Leader of Igbo Peoples Assembly (IGA), Chief Austine Ezekwesili, gave the commendation when he led a delegation of Igbo members in the 19 northern states on a courtesy visit to Suswam at the Government House, Makurdi. Ezekwesile also described Suswam as a man of peace, whose peace initiative in Benue State has set out the state as a model and called on other governors in the northern region to emulate him. Responding, Suswam condemned attacks on churches in some parts of the north and appealed to Boko Haram to embrace dialogue. The governor described Ndigbo in Benue State as peaceful people and advised them to regard the state as their second home, saying his administration has taken measures to protect every tribe living in Benue, irrespective of tribe or religion.
Flood: NTDC advises on refuse disposal From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
HE Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe has called on residents of flood-prone areas in Nigeria especially in Lagos and Ogun States to embrace a change of attitude in the handling of refuse within their domain. Runsewe said that this will go a long way in checking the perennial menace of flooding in the country. According to a statement signed by the DG in Abuja while reacting to the recent flooding which enveloped major parts of Lagos and Ogun State metropolis, Runsewe used the opportunity to commiserate with all those affected in the unfortunate disaster. He noted that anywhere in the world that experiences a long duration of downpour for upwards of 10 days, there is bound to be some discomfort, but advised that flooding can be checked by several measures, including an entrenched culture of civic responsibility. The NTDC boss implored Nigerians to be more environment-friendly by frequent cleaning of drainage and sewage channels via environmental sanitation exercises, proper disposal of wastes and cooperation with law enforcement agents, adding that this will go a long way in averting future disasters emanating from flooding like the one experienced in some parts of the country lately.
Another bomb explodes in Jos •FG begins nationwide peace efforts T
HERE was an explosion in the early hours of yesterday in Golhoss Village along Makera Rim road in Rim district of Riyom local government of Plateau State. Eyewitnesses said the explosion was from an Improvised Explosive Devise (I ED) planted under a bridge. Sources said the bomb exploded at about 2 am when villagers were asleep, leading to pandemonium in
From: Yusufu Aminu Idegu (Jos) and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
the area. The development caused serious tension in the city of Jos. The Special Task Force (STF), in a statement by its media officer, Captain Salisu Mustapha, confirmed the explosion. It read: ‘’there was an
explosion at Golhoss village in Riyom local government of the state under a bridge yesterday and when personnel of the STF and the police AntiBomb squad got to the scene of the blast, another bomb that was yet to detonate was also discovered. “The pillar of the bridge was badly damaged and
the unexploded bomb have since been defused by the anti-bomb squad of the Plateau Police Command and no casualty was recorded and normalcy has returned to the village’’. The explosion occurred just as the Federal Government commenced peace- building efforts around the country
beginning with Plateau State to avoid a spillover of the Kaduna and Yobe crises. The Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri said this in Jos, the Plateau State capital, when he met with the Chief Imam of Jos Central Mosque, Sheik Balarabe Dawud and the Worldwide President of Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), Reverend (Dr.) Jeremiah Gado. In each of the meetings he asked for tolerance, peace and the return of brotherliness among Nigerians.
Over 25 million lack toilet facilities, says Minister
•L-R: Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chief of Staff, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu with other aides inspecting drainages during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise at Okemesi Ekiti... yesterday
Row over murder of Igbo monarch
RATE youths have beaten the traditional ruler of Ugwu Leru community in Umunneochi local government area of Abia State, Eze Iroha Nwankwo, to death for allegedly having the effrontery to expose their nefarious activities in the area. The Police have arrested no fewer than 19 of the suspected killers of the 65-year-old monarch. The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Eziekel U. Onyeke, DSP, confirmed the incident and arrest of the suspects. He said: “Some youths numbering about 30 invaded the House of the traditional ruler of Leru Community, HRH Eze Iroha Nwankwo and beat him to death and the Police moved in and arrested 19 youths while the rest escaped into the bush. ‘’Presently, the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) is handling the matter. The allegation against the late Eze Iroha and his Vigilante group is that they are the ones giving Police information on the activities of some miscreants in the area.” 31-year-old son of the late monarch, Prince Samuel Iroha, alleged the the Transitional Council Chairman of Ummunnochi council, Prince Dan Okoli, was responsible for his father’s death. He told newsmen: “It was on Monday, 25th June. There was an incident of a fallen tanker conveying petroleum product at Leru and the DPO at Nkwoagu Isuochi arrested some boys and later, I learnt that the TC chairman for Ummunnochi L.G.A., Prince Dan Okoli and the
•Police detain 19 From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
Councilor representing Leru, Livinus Okoronkwo came and effected their release”. According to Iroha, after securing the release of the boys, “the TC Chairman addressed the youths that night and left at about 10pm. Immediately, the boys marched down to our compound and brought out my father and started beating him with sticks and clubs until he died at about 11pm.’’ He claimed when he was informed, he called the TC chairman who switched off his phone after confirming his father was dead. On whether his late father had any misunderstanding with any member of the community, he said: “my father has not been having any misunderstanding with any member of the community, but he has been preaching against certain misconducts among some miscreants. The boys that killed my father are from our community”. The TC Chairman, Prince Dan Okoli, denied any complicity in the murder. Okoli explained that he was at the home of Hon. Nkiruka Onyejiocha, member representing Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency, in the House of Representatives helping to host some white men who came for a free medical programme she organised when he was alerted that youths at Leru were on rampage. He said that he quickly rushed down to the community and made efforts to calm the
youths whom he said were numbering over 500, adding that his presence and speech helped to calm them down. The Council boss said he was told by the angry mob that they were infuriated by the arrest of two boys from the community who were drinking at a beer parlour before they were whisked to police station. According to him, the youths demanded unconditional release of the suspects in police net or they would make the area ungovernable, a threat he said made him contact the DPO to plead for the release of the suspects in the interest of public peace. Okoli said he later left for his house and later learnt that the youths decided to charge towards the palace of the late traditional ruler while chanting war songs. According to him, the late Eze, apparently sensing danger as the angry mob advanced towards his palace attempted to escape and jumped through the wall of his fence. He further said that he was told that following serious injuries the aged Eze sustained, he later slumped at the home of his in-law where he had taken refuge and died.
ORE than 25 million Nigerians lack toilet facility, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia, has said. She spoke at the 2012 celebration of National Environment Sanitation Day in Abuja at the weekend. Mailafa said: “Over 15 percent of Nigerians don’t have access to toilet facilities, therefore making them urinate and defecate by the walls of buildings and on streets respectively. ‘’55 percent of Nigerians make use of pit latrines and only 30 percent have good toilet facilities.” She lamented poor hygiene in Nigeria, saying it has adversely contributed to the nation’s record on high mortality rate. Malaifa identified unhealthy environment as a major cause of children’s medical problem such as cholera among others. The minister noted that the Federal Government (FG) has completed plans to avert airport, seaport transboundary diseases.
From: Olugbenga Adanikin and Adeola Adeyoye, Abuja
She said the environment ministry will be working in partnership with the ministry of health to safeguard the health condition and ensure cleanliness of the people. Malaifa identified lack of sanitary facilities, inadequate water supplies, public toilets and good drainage systems as some of the challenges preventing good hygiene in the country. Representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Bisi Agberemi, said that about 32 percent of the nation’s population makes use of unhygienic restroom. Agberemi noted that the country loses about N455 billion annually as a result of poor technical know how in recycling dirt. While calling on stakeholders to support the government, the UNICEF representative urged the FG to set aside 4.5 percent of the federal allocation for sanitation development.
Obi commissions Heart centre, medical complex in Adazi NAMBRA State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has laid foundation stones for a Heart Diagnostic Centre named after Dr Joe Nwailo estimated to cost N60 million and the Medical Service Complex at St Joseph’s Hospital Adazi-Nnukwu expected to gulp N150 million. Obi said his administration has released N90 million already for the projects. He pledged to also provide the hospital with a dedicated transformer within three months, while
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
disclosing that his administration is rebuilding and upgrading five key hospitals in different parts of the state. The Governor said the Heart Centre Project is in honour of Dr. Joe Nwailo, an indigene of the town, who was one of the most recognised and celebrated heart surgeons in the world. The hospital manager, Rev. Fr. Charles Ibekwe, noted Obi is the first governor since 1978 to partner with Mission hospitals.
2015: PDP vows to capture Imo, Anambra
HE National Vice Chairman (South East) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), has vowed that in the 2015 general election, the party will capture the remaining two South-East states of Anambra and Imo currently under the control of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Speaking in Umuahia when he led members of the PDP South-East Working Committee on a courtesy visit to the Abia State Chairman of the party, Senator Emma
Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
Nwaka, Akobundu noted that PDP’s umbrella is large enough to accommodate the entire zone, and enjoined the people to maximize the advantage of belonging to the ruling party and advance their cause instead of engaging in unnecessary opposition. Responding, Senator Nwaka, pledged his continued support for Akobundu, saying that PDP remained a party to beat not only in the South-East but the entire country in 2015.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1 , 2012
Forum endorses Oshiomhole for second term
S the July governorship election in Edo State draws closer, a socio-political group, Ndigbo Unity Forum, has endorsed Governor Adams Oshiomhole for a second term, observing that his administration has recorded giant strides in the infrastructural development of the state. In a statement released after undertaking what it described as “first hand inspection of the administration’s activities,” the forum commended “the construction and ongoing construction of more than 300kms of roads,” adding that the government has also “beautified the state capital and also tackled the incessant flood experience in the state capital during rainy seasons.” The statement, signed by Augustine Chukwudum and Chinedu Onyebuchi, chairman and secretary-general respectively, the forum said Oshiomhole’s administration “has also done a great job in the education sector.” The forum therefore called on Ndigbo and other residents of Edo State to “come out en masse and vote the incumbent governor so that he can complete his good works.”
Okeke, ex-PSC chairman, backs state police F
ORMER Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Chief Simeon Okeke, has given a nod for the creation of state police. He said that the creation of independent police units managed and funded by state governments will ensure effective policing of lives and property in the country. Okeke, who addressed newsmen in his country home, Amichi in Nnewi
From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha
South Council Area of Anambra State, noted that those opposing the creation of state police are shying away from reality, adding that there is an urgent need to amend the constitution to allow for the creation of state police. “I advocated for state policing during my tenure but I was accused of disintegration tendencies, but I still stand by that. There
is dire need for the decentralization of the police force for effective management and robust policing,” he said. Okeke, who attributed the current poor showing of the police to under- funding and administrative bottlenecks, stated that it is cumbersome for one man to control the police force in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Buttressing his position, Okeke said it is irrational for
governors as Chief Security Officers in their respective states not to have absolute control of instruments of security. “In America, each state has various police units that function independently but with great synergy for effective crime control. Times are changing and we should change with time; most countries in the world are operating state police and we need to adopt it,” he reiterated.
Flooding: Amosun blames Illegal structures
GUN State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has said that illegal structures are the major causes of flooding in the state. The governor disclosed this yesterday during an inspection tour of parts of the state affected by recent floods. He explained that any blockage of waterways would naturally result in flooding. He also blamed the regular flooding on poor drainage system, noting that “when roads are constructed without drainages, flooding becomes inevitable.” Amosun stated that drainage system was a major consideration in roads being constructed by his administration in order to prevent flooding and to prolong the life span of such roads. He cautioned residents against building without government approval and dumping of refuse in the drainages and waterways. He ordered the Bureau of Urban Planning to swing into action and remove structures blocking waterways in accordance with the law. A statement signed by Funmi Wakama, the SSA to the Governor on Media and Communications, quoted the governor as saying the contract for the 32km international standard Sango-Ijoko-AgbadoAkute-Ojodu Abiodun Road had been awarded and work would soon commence on it and would be completed within 30 months. He said 90 per cent of the residents of the border areas affected by the floods worked in the neighbouring Lagos State but noted that “it is the government of Ogun that usually shoulders the responsibility of infrastructural development of the areas.” He implored residents to pay their tax to Ogun State in line with the residency provision of Personal Income Tax Act so that government could further develop the areas.
Adhere to ECOWAS integration principles, lawmaker tells Ghana By Oziegbe Okoeki
HAIRMAN, Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Segun Olulade, has urged the Ghanaian government to adhere strictly to the principles of regional integration among member countries of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), especially with regard to her dealings with aliens of West African extraction who are based in Ghana. Olulade made this statement while reacting to reports alleging that the Ghanaian authorities had issued a stern directive to some Nigerian traders in the country to pay the sum of $300,000 as fee for the registration of their businesses or risk their deportation from Ghana. Acknowledging that the Ghanaian government has the prerogative to regulate all business transactions in Ghana, he however pointed out that such exercise should not be laced with unnecessary highhandedness and hostility towards innocent and lawabiding foreigners whose trading activities would add some multiplier effects to the Ghanaian economy. The lawmaker also berated the federal government for its monumental failure in the last 13 years to provide an enabling environment for Nigerian investors, who, because of incessant and frustrating power outage and growing insecurity, relocated their businesses to other countries. He therefore called on the federal government to restore Nigeria back to its erstwhile enviable position as the giant of Africa.
Nigeria’s economy vulnerable, says Aregbesola •General Manager, Metro FM, Ndidi Osaka, Director, Lagos Operation of FRCN, Mr Bola Agboola; Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Lateef Ibirogba, and the Chairman of the occasion, Rtd Bishop of Lokoja,Rt. Rev Bishop George Bako, Photos: Muyiwa Hassan. during the 35th Anniversary of Radio Nigeria in Lagos.
Tambuwal, Amaechi condemn sextortion, violence against women
PEAKER of House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, have condemned sextortion and violence against women, describing the recent conference on the issue as timely. Amaechi, who spoke as the chief host at the one day conference organised by the National Association of
Women Judges in Port Harcourt on Saturday, said that one way of curbing violence against women and sexploitation of women is to address the economic imbalance in the country. “I look at this issue of ‘sextortion’ from the economic realities in Nigeria,” he said, adding, “we must agree that the economic challenges we currently face as a nation could be linked to what you judges
refer to as sextortion.” Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal who declared the conference open, lauded the association for organising the forum. He stated that such conference will help address the plight of women and charged them to continue in their quest to improve the lot of womenfolk.
‘Investigate research institutes’
HE Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes (ASURI) has demanded for investigation into alleged lawlessness, corruption and mismanagement of research institutions across the nation. ASURI’s National Administrative Secretary, Mr. Wole Akinwale, pointed out that research institutions have been hardly functional despite continuous budgetary allocations. According to him: “we were particularly bitter about the improper way in which
By Adeola Ogunlade the executive directors of some research institutes were appointed by the government without due regards for the existing laws governing the administration and management of the research institutes”. The don lamented that some chief executives cleverly manipulated loop holes in existing laws to elongate their tenure, citing the case of the Cocoa Research Institutes of Nigeria (CRIN) and the Forestry Research Institutes of Nigeria (FRIN).
Existing laws, he pointed out, “say that only a staff of a research institute that has risen to the position of a director after continuous and meritorious service spanning not less than a decade could be appointed as executive director.’’ Akinwande noted that efforts to ensure that the law is upheld were disregarded by government, especially in CRIN despite a pending suit. He also called for the establishment of Research Institutes Commissions (RIC) to co-ordinate the activities of research institutions nationwide.
“Sextortion is a great violence against women and it’s good that you make your position known,’’ he said. Hon. Tambuwal, however, decried the rising spate of women in drug trafficking, as he urged the group to address the problem. Speaking earlier, Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu, observed that the conference is timely considering the situation. He described violence and sextortion as a vice that has affected all the sectors of society. “All of us are born by women and we will do everything to protect them,’’ he assured. Earlier in her remarks, President of the National Association of Women Judges in Nigeria, Justice Binta Nyako, stated that the conference is to address and condemn the vice, stressing that it is a huge challenge, especially to women in the justice system. She averred that the existing laws are not sufficient to tackle the vice hence the need to bring the matter to the front burner by the body.
HE Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has warned of a possible total crash of the nation’s economy if nothing is done on its dependence on oil. Aregbesola sounded this warning in Osogbo, the state capital yesterday, while playing host to the executive of the National Association of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFE), who converged on the state for its 2nd quarterly meeting. Aregbesola said: “We are a consuming nation; we live on rents and commissions. Until we develop our local production and produce what we consume locally, our economy will not only be dependent but also weak.” He told the NUBIFE executive that the current increase in unemployment and further job threat are direct corollaries of the vulnerable economy of the country. President of NUBIFE, Comrade Sunday Olusoji Salako, in his response said his team came to the State of Osun to learn how things are working despite the nationwide economic crisis and increasing wave of job cutting by governments and corporate organisations. Olusoji asked the governor to release the formula for job creation in the state amidst massive job cuts elsewhere.
Lagos delegates certified as archery instructors By Oziegbe Okoeki
EMBERS of a fiveman delegation from Lagos State that travelled to South Africa for the National Archery in the Schools Programme (NASP) have been certified as Basic Archery Instructors (BAI) and Basic Archery Instructor Trainers (BAIT). Leader of the delegation, Ifanse Bamidele, disclosed this at a press conference at Egbeda, Lagos yesterday. Other members of the delegation are: Gado Sarah, Quardri Ganiyu, Audu-Sankey Amina and Oludayo Ifanse. Ifanse said the three days training in South Africa afforded the team the opportunity to learn how to uplift the youths in Nigeria through “mass participation in responsible outdoor activities with special focus on schools.” According to him, NASP has been established in USA, New Zealand, Namibia and South Africa “and studies from these countries have proven that children’s participation in Archery inculcates discipline and respect in them. While expressing gratitude to the president and secretary of NASP-South Africa, Mr. Wilhelm Greeff and Mr. Frik respectively, for the warm reception accorded the team, Ifanse said the training programme has strengthened the bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Africa.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012 Ex-minister, Hamzat others extol late Amb
Knocks for Ebonyi govt over suspension of religious broadcasts F
By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
HURCH leaders and lawyers yesterday, unanimously, condemned the suspension of religious programmes/ activities on the Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporations (EBBC) by the state government last week. They described the suspension as unwarranted, unconstitutional and an infringement on the fundamental right to religious freedom in the nation. The State announced the suspension last Wednesday. The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Chike Onwe, said government did not ban religious programmes but only suspended them for a review and auditing of programmes broadcast on the EBBC. The National President of
By Sunday Oguntola
Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), a bloc of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Magnus Atilade, condemned the development as a backward step in the nation’s quest for moral revival. He said: ‘’If there had been tension among the different religious groups, one would have understood. We are talking about decaying moral standards and a state government is suspending religious broadcasts. How will that improve our morals as a nation? ‘’You have kidnapping and armed robberies everywhere and government is not doing anything to address them. Now, you are shutting out religious
organisations that can preach to these deviants. Does that make sense? ‘’It is a slap on the fundamental human rights to free religious activities and worship. It is against reasoning and logic to do a thing like that. Every right-thinking person should condemn this development’’. The Special Assistant on anti-terrorism to National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ladi Thompson, also condemned the suspension order. The action, he said, amounts to religious suppression that must be frowned at. ‘’The religious community acts as the thermometer of the moral standard of the nation. It is therefore suicidal for any state or nation in the world to
BSN to honour Danjuma, others
ORMER Minister of Defence, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma and Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Lagos State Chapter, Archbishop George Amu, will be honoured by The Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) with the Prestigious Bible next Thursday. Other awardees are The Managing Director of Traven Limited, Mrs. Ifie EzenwaUgwoke; Founder of Mount Zion Faith Ministries International, Evangelist Mike Bamiloye and Managing Director of Jawa International Limited, Mr. Verkey Verghese. The ceremony, which holds at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos is part of events marking the 8th annual luncheon of the Special Members Forum of The Bible Society of Nigeria. The guest speaker of the event with the theme value reorientation: A panacea for National transformation” is Rev. Moses Iloh.
•(L-R): Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans; Cross Rivers Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke; Keynote speaker, Dr. Gro Brundtland; Deputy Governor of Cross River, Efiok Cobham and Lead Consultant/CEO, Thistle Praxis Consulting, Ini Onuk at the Africa CEO Roundtable & Conference on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility in Calabar, Cross River State… yesterday
Flooding: Lagos to reconstruct Oko-Oba drainage channel
HE Lagos State Government has appealed to residents not to panic over the persistent heavy rainfall that will be witnessed in the next few weeks. It assured that the government will expand drainage channels and canals to tackle the challenge of flooding. Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, spoke yesterday after inspecting the Oko-Oba canals and other drainage channels in
…urges residents in flood- prone areas to vacate By Miriam Ndikanwu
Orile Agege Area where the impact of last Thursday’s rainfall was badly felt. Bello said: “Oko-Oba drainage channel was first developed in 1989 and since 1989 till now, when that place was developed, it was what you can call a virgin land. ‘’Now almost over twenty years after, the population has increased; there has been a
Traders praise SON’s campaign
HE Chairman of Rumuwoji Mile One International Market Traders’ Association in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Chief Obene Georgewill, has described the Standard Organisation of Nigeria’s (SON) enlightenment campaign as a step in the right direction. He noted that the campaign would go a long way in preventing the sale of substandard products by traders. Georgewill noted that many people were lying
suppress free expression of religious views. I’m surprised because I don’t know what they intend to achieve,’’ he stated. The Head Pastor of City of Life Church, Ijeshatedo, Lagos, Pastor Sunday Babalola, also frowned at the suspension order. According to him: ‘’This is simply a slap on the fundamental rights of the people, which is fully guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution. In my opinion, this will not do the State or Nigeria any good. ‘‘The Government of Ebonyi should sit down and look for a more reasonable solution to this problem if that is what dictated this unholy decision. Everyone is entitled to use any legitimate means to evangelise for their faith and this, also, is being denied the people now.’’ Lagos-based lawyer, Barrister Bamidele Aturu, dismissed the suspension order as ‘’clearly unconstitutional’’. Aturu said: ‘’No government has the right to do that. Nigerians have a right under the constitution to disseminate their views, including religious. ‘’I am not sure there was a law passed to that effect but even if there was, it cannot stand because it’s unconstitutional. They are dealing with unconstitutionality on all fronts’’. A former Legal Editor, Mr. Richard Akinnola, also described the decision as arbitrary. ‘’On what ground will they carry out such fiat? It is very wrong and unconstitutional. As long as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has not banned religious broadcasts, it would be wrong for any state government to do. ‘’What they have done is against the freedom of expression and conscience as guaranteed by the constitution,’’ he stated.
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
critically ill in hospitals because of substandard products, while many lives have been lost. He spoke in Port Harcourt at SON’s market enlightenment/sensitisation seminar. The Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, warned traders against selling substandard products. He said such goods will be seized and the errant traders prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others. He issued a two-week
ultimatum to traders at the market to remove substandard products from their shops. Odumodu stressed that SON was determined to protect Nigerians and other residents of the country from the dangers of substandard products. The Director-General, who was represented by SON’s Assistant Director, Mr. Papanye Don-Pedro, noted that building collapsing, food poisoning, fires in houses and markets, road accidents and other sad incidents could be traceable to substandard products.
development in respect of climate change even globally. “The kind of rain we were having 20 years ago is not the same now and don’t forget when that channel was created, they took cognisance of the population of that area. ‘’Over the years now, the population has increased; we now need to expand the channel to cater for the population, ‘’Secondly, the volume of water coming is so much that because the drainage was done a long time ago, it was designed to take a certain amount of water, and now because the water is so much automatically, it has affected the channel.” The commissioner said the government will commence rehabilitation of the canal and increase its capacity to effectively address the challenge in the area. “We would now go back and rehabilitate the channel and then increase the capacity to reinforce the bridge and the concrete line, we would do that, we promise to do that. ‘’As for the other end of the Abeokuta Expressway, we still have some challenges. The
man holes that we have put under the expressway is now too small to contain the amount of water coming from Oko-Oba. ‘’That is also a challenge, but it’s not our own fault. We are going to appeal to the Federal Government to quickly go there and put bigger manholes to accommodate the amount of water coming from the channel.” He added: “So we have attained the peak period now and I don’t want to say the kind of rain we had last year, will not be compared to this year. It depends but for us, the emphasis is for us to be prepared. ‘’We have told those living in the low line areas that this is the time to vacate temporarily.’’ He explained that what is happening in Lagos is not peculiar, as similar case were witnessed in the United Kingdom and the United States adding, “People have learnt to see natural disaster as a regular thing, so we must now begin to see heavy rain as part of our own lives”.
ORMER Foreign Affairs Minister, Olu
Adeniji, Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu and Blessing Clark, Nigeria’s first representative to the United Nations, yesterday showered encomiums on one-time envoy to Switzerland, Ambassador Mudashir Abiola. The occasion was the first memorial anniversary lecture and Fidau prayer held in his honour at his residence in Lagos. Abiola, who died at 76, had served in the foreign mission for close to four decades before his retirement in 1999. Adeniji described the late career diplomat in superlative terms, stressing that his death came to him as a personal tragedy because both families were quite close. Adeniji, who served under former President Olusegun Obasajo, recalled that the late Abiola was the first person he called when he was named as Foreign Affairs Minister. “As one of the people clos to him, I can say without any fear of contradiction that he was not just an accomplished diplomat but a very resourceful individual as well. An economist of mean standing, he encouraged some of us to invest in stocks as well as in real estate.” Also speaking, Ahmadu, who is also the Chairman of MTN Foundation, said: “the late diplomatic envoy showed a lot of dedication to the nation through his meritorious service. ‘’He was one individual who was not just devoted to the cause of humanity but equally showed a lot of commitment towards his faith. Nigeria and the diplomatic community will continue to miss him.” Clark said the late Abiola was a diplomat par excellence who brought a lot of dynamism to his calling. The guest lecturer on the occasion, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, represented by Dr. Abdulalteef Adetona of the Lagos State University, while citing copious verses of the Qur’an, said it is rather an irony of life that man tries to run away from death forgetting that death will always overcome man. “The world is like an adventure that you will account for one day. The only escape route from perdition is to live a life of fulfillment in the service of God and mankind,” he stressed. The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of a token to the widow of the deceased envoy, Alhaja Zikrat Onose Abiola, on behalf of the Association of Retired Ambassadors of Nigeria by its Secretary.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
OR years Nigeria has always featured on the world stage in one way or the other. Not too long ago, an American researcher (not the State Department as many are wont to credit it) had predicted that Nigeria as a country was on its last lap. According to him, the country as we know it today would cease to exist as one indivisible one; saying it would fragment into different countries by 2015! Since this was made public many Nigerians, especially those in government has laboured seriously to dismiss the claim and say that the researcher was talking bunkum. There have been many heats and little light over the debate. A few other Nigerians have aligned themselves with the academic saying that the events in the country have been pointing towards a country that would soon collapse. To buttress their arguments many point to the defunct Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and such that the symptoms of a country that is falling apart which manifested in those countries have begun to rear their ugly heads in Nigeria. The first and major pointer which they tend to point to as strong indicators of these are the incessant and deadly Boko Haram attacks in the northern part of the country and the Sunday Sunday attacks on Christian worshippers in churches. The attacks have been going on in such coordinated fashion that most times security forces are caught napping and thus leaving many to expect to hear the usual mantra that “the security forces are on top of the situation” In fact, the response of government has become so predictable that many no longer take it seriously. However, a new dimension was at the weekend introduced to the helplessness of Nigerians with the release of world report by the Fund For Peace
Bringing up the rear A global organisation at the weekend ranked Nigeria as top in the ‘Failed State’ category. In this report, OLAYINKA OYEGBILE, Deputy Editor, examines why the country was rated so low (FFP), an independent, non-partisan non-profit research and educational organisation that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security. In its 2012 annual Index Data report released at the weekend, the global body ranked Nigeria among the 10 Failed states in Africa! It ranked the country 14 in the world. Somalia, a country that has had no central government in the two decades is ranked as the number one Failed State in the world, while the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan are second and third. Closely behind are Afghanistan, Chad and Zimbabwe. Although Nigeria could be said to have gained two points by the latest rating, it does not however put it in a good stand. An analyst who works for a nongovernmental organisation and who does not want his name in print regrets that Nigeria has continued to feature on what he described as “this dishonourable list” over the years. He said “I am pissed off that Nigeria with all
its oil wealth and above all human and intellectual resources is ranked along with poor countries like Chad and other nondescript states as a Failed State! As much as I want to disagree that Nigeria is a Failed State, I think all the indexes that stare us in the face tend to point to that. Why should we as a country continue to grapple with the issue of power supply, water and such basic things with all our oil wealth?” He is of the opinion that Nigeria sits comfortably in that company even though it’s not supposed to be there. In arriving at its rankings, the FFP made use of 12 broad criteria. Among which are security apparatus, factionalised elite, legitimacy of the state, external intervention, poverty and economic decline, uneven development, group grievance and demographic pressures, human flight and public services. For instance, on security alone Nigeria has failed woefully in this area. In the last few years the country has become increasingly unsafe as citizens are be-
ing killed recklessly from bomb attacks by the Boko Haram group and armed robbers. The Boko Haram attacks have made many to ask whether there is any government in the land because the faceless group seems to have seized the initiative from the security agencies and are step ahead of them in terms of tactics and strategies. In terms of poverty rating, Nigeria has fallen so low that it is hard for anyone to score the country any better than it got. This is because many go hungry and provision of jobs and social amenities in the country have fallen on hard times as many are not able to cater for their basic needs and are as such living at the edge of the society. It is based on these many failing that made the country to be better rated than fellow African countries such as Madagascar, Comoros Island, Djibouti, Libya, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mauritania, Malawi and Rwanda. Of all these countries the one that one may not raise any eyebrow that it is ahead of Nigeria is perhaps Libya.
Libya is rich in oil so it rating above Nigeria may not hurt much, but what about Burkina Faso, Togo or Djibouti? John Babatunde, an architect who resides in Yaba area of Lagos is at pains with the low ranking that his country gets every year in all reports rolled out by world bodies. According to him, he does not think the reports are unfair to the country. “If you look at the way we live you’ll agree with the reports because things are tough and many Nigerians are dying in silence. That is why corruption is thriving because what the state should provide and failed to do so, many would look for shortcuts to get. If the state fails to provide light, people would steal to buy generators and steal to fuel it because they want to use power.” He is of the opinion that Nigeria it may be “too harsh” to categorise Nigeria as a ‘Failed State’ but it is surely a Failing ‘State’. According to him, “Our country has not reached that dangerous cliff-hanger point of a Failed state yet, it is a failing state. It has all what it takes to be a Failed State. But to my mind it is not yet one, but it is a Failing State!” Beyond all the semantics what it all point to is that Nigeria is sitting in the comity of nations that are poor and could be justified in their positions, but not for a country that is endowed with human intellect and material wealth. When are we going to quit this ignoble club? To Babatunde, “Nigeria can only quit this ignoble class if we have leaders that are visionary and able to translate visions to concrete realities. But with the present crop of leadership the future is bleak and the so called prediction of 2015 may hit us sooner than later. Nigeria as a Failed or Failing State is just a matter of time.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Bribe saga rumbles on as E Why I sacked Azazi, Bello, by Jonathan
HE need for fresh ideas in tackling the menace of terrorism in the country made President Goodluck Jonathan drop Defence Minister Haliru Mohammed Bello and National Security Adviser Owoye Azazi. The President, featuring in the third edition of Presidential Chat last Sunday, said he wanted people who could match Boko Haram tactics for tactics and pace for pace in putting an end to the destruction of lives and property. He said: “They (Boko Haram) change their tactics every day and their aim is to destabilise the government. So we brought in people who can do things differently, not that those who were there did not work hard.”
Gunmen kill eight, free 40 in Yobe prison attack NKNOWN gunmen attacked the Damaturu satellite prison on Sunday setting 40 inmates free. Officials confirmed one prisoner dead and one prison warder injured. However, security sources said seven prisoners and one warder were killed. Police Commissioner Patrick Egbuniwe insisted only one prisoner died. He said a combined team of soldiers and policemen was on the trail of the invaders.
Court restrains Fed Govt over renaming UNILAG
FEDERAL High Court, Ikeja, on Monday restrained the Federal Government from renaming the University of Lagos, pending the determination of two suits challenging government’s renaming of the institution as Moshood Abiola University. Justice Steven Adah ordered that the status quo be maintained pending the determination of the suits filed by the national president and secretary of the university’s alumni association and the students union. The matter was adjourned to July 4 for hearing.
Seven electrocuted at Ibadan market
PREGNANT woman, a nursing mother and five others were electrocuted at the Agbekoya Market, Apata, Ibadan, on Monday after a high-tension wire snapped and fell on traders. Three other people were injured in the incident and were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. A one-year old boy was rescued from the scene unhurt although his mother was among the dead.
VICTORY LAP United States President, Barack Obama, talks on the phone with Solicitor-General, Donald Verrilli, in the Oval Office, after learning of the US Supreme Court’s ruling that his controversial healthcare bill was within the law.
Army kills 17 Boko Haram insurgents in Kano attack
HE army confirmed on Wednesday it had killed 17 suspected insurgents of Boko Haram in gun battles in Kano overnight. The insurgents however shot dead one policeman. Police commissioner Ibrahim Idris said 30 militants had used explosives and guns to attack the Dala police station but were “gallantly repelled.” He said 10 of the Boko Haram members were killed while motor vehicles and explosives belonging to them were recovered. Panshekara and Challawa police posts were similarly attacked. Gunfire and explosions also broke out in Taraba State late on Tuesday and continued into Wednesday
Jonathan gets draft PIB bill
NEW draft of an oil bill, years in the making, that is meant to overhaul Nigeria’s energy industry, was sent to President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday for approval ahead of a National Assembly vote in two weeks, Minister for Petroluem, Diezani Allison-Madueke has said. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) passage is needed to unblock billions of dollars of stalled investment into exploration and production, but it has been stuck for around five years, as ministers and lawmakers squabbled over details. The bill includes plans to partly privatise and list the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), tax oil company profits at 20 percent for deep offshore and 50 percent for shallow or onshore, and give the oil minister supervisory powers over all oil institutions.
Dana Crash: Reps give 7-day ultimatum for compensation
HE House of Representatives, last week gave the management of Dana Air to an ultimatum to pay the required compensation to families of its ill-fated aircraft that crashed in Lagos, Sunday, June 3, 2012, killing all 153 pessengers on board. The resolution of the House followed a motion sponsored by Yakub Abiodun which gave Dana Air until Tuesday to comply with its resolution. Abiodun who led the debate on the motion had pointed out that his prayer was in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act, which stipulates that 30 per cent of compensation due to be paid to families of airborne crash victims within 30 days, while investigation into cause of such accidents continues.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to divorce
OLLYWOOD Alisters Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing, bringing an end to a fiveyear marriage. The office of celebrity divorce lawyer Jonathan Wolfe confirmed the divorce. “This is a personal and private matter,” he said in a statement. They have a sixyear-old daughter, Suri, and Cruise, 49, has two children from his marriage to Nicole Kidman. Cruise married Holmes, 33, his third wife, in an Italian castle in November 2006. A spokesman for Cruise said: “Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy.” TMZ News has reported that Holmes filed divorce papers in New York on Thursday, citing irreconcilable differences, and that she is seeking sole custody of their daughter.
Mursi takes oath as Egyptian president
OHAMMED Mursi has been sworn in as Egypt’s first civilian, democratically elected president at a historic ceremony in Cairo. Hours after the ceremony, he was saluted by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, leader of the military council which is handing over power. Mursi has promised to restore the parliament dissolved by the military. In a speech at Cairo University, the Muslim Brotherhood politician said the army must respect the people’s will. He will have to sort out a very difficult relationship with an entrenched military, regional analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says. Egypt, the biggest Arab nation, is a key US ally in the region, as well as one of the few states in the Arab world to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
s Egypt transits Obasanjo faults FG’s GDP figure of 9.7% ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo last week differed with the Federal Government on claims of the country attaining 7.5 per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He said the continual rise in poverty rate does not in any way match economic growth rate, and calls for further clarification. Obasanjo stated this in Lagos at the 40th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) with the theme: ‘Strategies for Accelerated Development of the Manufacturing Sector: the Way Forward’. “It remained worrisome if poverty level in the country in 2007 was put at 38 percent and today it is 69 percent and yet government claims that GDP growth is increasing, then definitely, something is wrong somewhere,” he said. Again, he said the ease of doing business report recently released by the World Bank ranked Nigeria 133 out of 193 countries where it is most difficult to conduct business, ditto for the Transparency International which stated that 142 countries are better than Nigeria in the area of corruption.
THE WEEK IN QUOTES “It is personal and I don’t give a damn about that. The law is clear about it and so making it public is no issue and I will not play into the hands of the people. I have nothing to hide. I declared (assets publicly) under late President Umaru Yar’Adua because he did it ,but it is not proper. I could be investigated when I leave office. You don’t need to publicly declare it and it is a matter of principle. It is not the President declaring assets that will change the country.” —President Goodluck Jonathan on his refusal to publicly declare his assets.
“People have given reasons for the causes of the actions of the Boko Haram sect. Some say poverty is the cause. To me, the reason is tenuous. If every poor man in this country decides to become a suicide bomber, Nigeria definitely would not exist.” —Senate President David Mark on the Boko Haram insurgency.
“What are we supposed to do as Northern leaders that we have not done besides condemning the bombings? We have asked the government to go and negotiate with these people. Where ever those people are, it is the responsibility of the government to find them and engage them.” —National Publicity Secretary , Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF),Anthony Sani on alleged inaction of Northern leaders on Boko Haram activities.
Bribe: I collected money, not bribe - Lawan ETAILS of the testimonies of the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Monitoring of Subsidy Regime, Farouk Lawan, show that he admitted taking “money” and “not a bribe” from oil businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola. Lawan appeared before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges on Thursday. The committee, which is investigating the $620,000 bribery allegation, is headed by Mr. Gambo Musa. Findings indicate that the panel grilled the former Chairman, House Committee on Education for over four hours. In his appearance before the panel, Lawan tried to draw a distinction between money and a bribe. He was said to have argued that he took money with the aim of exposing Otedola, not a bribe.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus banned in US
UK issues extradition Jonathan names new notice to Assange NNPC boss
JUDGE in California has blocked US sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphones while the court decides on the firm’s patent dispute with Apple. US District Judge Lucy Koh said Apple “has shown a likelihood of establishing both infringement and validity”. Earlier this week, she barred sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the US until the case was resolved. However, she said that Apple would have to post bonds of nearly $100m (£64m) to enforce the rare pre-trial injunctions. The bonds serve to secure payment of damages sustained by Samsung should it win the cases. Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant, said it was “disappointed” by Friday’s decision. “We will take all available measures, including legal action, to ensure the Galaxy Nexus remains available to consumers,” it said in a statement.
IKILEAKS founder Julian Assange has been served with an extradition notice by the London Metro politan Police. Officers from the extradition unit delivered a note to Assange at Ecuador’s London embassy. Assange took refuge there last week and is seeking diplomatic asylum to prevent being sent to Sweden where he is accused of rape and assault. Scotland Yard said the notice required a 40-year-old man to attend a police station “at a time of our choosing.” The Wikileaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses. Assange fears that if he is sent to Sweden he could be sent on to the United States to face charges over Wikileaks and that he could face the death penalty. In a brief statement to the BBC, Scotland Yard said, “This is standard procedure in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process. He remains in breach of his bail conditions and failure to surrender would be a further breach of those conditions and he is liable to arrest.”
HERE was a shake-up in the nation’s oil sector on Tuesday as President G o o d l u c k Jonathan removed the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Austen Oniwon, and three group executive directors. Oniwon was asked to go on compulsory retirement. A new GMD, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, has been named for the oil corporation. The GEDs sent packing alongside Oniwon are Mr. Michael Arokodare, in charge of Finance and Accounts; Mr. Phillip Chukwu, Refineries & Petrochemicals; Mr. Billy Agha, Engineering & Technology. The affected officials, according to a statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, are expected to proceed on retirement immediately.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
COMMENT and ANALYSIS
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Of the President’s assets declaration I
remember those good old days with deep feeling of nostalgia. I hated going to farm with my grandfather but I would feign sickness and pretend to be asleep especially every Tuesday morning when he often left home for his farm which was about 7 kilometers away from the city. My workaholic grandfather loved farming with passion and would not return home until Saturday evening. Though, I was about 6 years old, I loved to eat everything he brought from the farm; right from tasty cooked maize to salubrious walnuts, oranges and banana. My hardnosed grandfather noticed I feigned deep sleep every Tuesday morning, but would only become excited at welcoming him back home on Saturday evening to eat gluttonously all he brought from the farm. He also learnt to lift me up carrying me on his shoulder to the farm with my “sleep.” I changed my tactics and would feign sickness. This stubborn grandpa will still lift me up while “asleep” with my “sickness” snuffing Tarzan into my nostril - a pepperish balm, whose tingling sensation is so uneasy to bear. I would then succumb. He was indirectly teaching me a lesson, viz: that everything in life has its attendant cost. If I enjoyed the proceeds from his farm, I should also learn to work with him in the farm, albeit in my own capacity with my little tender arms. Enjoyment requires service. Honour conferred requires great responsibilities. Lets draw a conclusion from the above first premise: Any man elected to the exalted throne should be ready to sacrifice what it takes to sit on that throne. A public figure must be ready to sacrifice his privacy. An American comedian Fred Allen once described a public figure as “a person who works hard all his life to become known, only to wear dark glasses daily to avoid being recognized.” Those who sought public support to get to their various positions of honour must have nothing to hide from the public who elected them. Let me draw further premise from the second part of my story: At the farm the old man would set about a dozen traps early in the morning and would come back to the hut in the evening with all sorts of entrapped bushmeats subsequently hanged precariously above the heated furnace. As I fanned the ember of fire to get the meat well roasted, the aroma and the urge to taste the meat was always irresistible. It would take a highly disciplined angel to overcome the temptation of stealing the bush-meat being heated on fire. Except my grandfather who always had a bite of the tail and the liver while still being roasted, nobody dared taste any of the meat, until meal time when he gave me whatever was entitled to me; usually a too small chunk of the meat, to relish the sumptuous meal of pounded yam and egusi soup at dinner. It was a taboo for young children to eat large meat in those days; so the elders told us - a subterfuge by them to cheat the young! Cursed was an unforgettable day in my life when Mr. Devil tempted me after my rigid disciplinarian granddaddy went into the far bush to work. I rationalized and reasoned within me. “What stops me from cutting off this tail and liver to eat?” “Afterall my Grandpa too often does so.” I justified my intended dangerous action. I agreed within me it was wise to do so. So, I “mistakenly” severed the tail and liver and ate. It was so tasty. Thus, in addition I also “mistakenly” cut off the head and ate. The remaining stump was so little to give rise to suspicion of petty theft (?). Let me spare readers the horror of recalling what happened to me when the man returned only to state that I suffered lacerated body from thorough whipping by the disciplinarian man. It was an unforgettable day of my life. But I never understood why he had to beat me so mercilessly for my action. Afterall, he too often fed on his bush-meat liver and tail while being roasted. I draw my second conclusion from this second premise thus: The best way for a leader to preach morality to his followers is not through sloganeering but the demonstration of exemplary conducts. The presidential medial chat held on Sunday, June 24, 2012 was full of revelations. This was not only about the President Goodluck Jonathan government’s plans on the state of a
•Jonathan By Tunji Ajayi
nation being drifted into a brink of precipice by damning level of insecurity, daily anguish and sorrow being unleashed by fellow countrymen in the name of religion by beasts fighting for God and Allah; and politics. The media chat also revealed his thoughts on a couple of issues, his inner mind and his newly assumed personality. Our President has now built greater confidence for himself which made him speak with conviction on many national issues. He has totally transformed from a hitherto shy, soft spoken person with cautious mien which he was when he assumed office in 2010. President Goodluck Jonathan. is now gradually imbued with autocratic mien, militarized composure and abrasive demeanor. I enjoyed every bit of his answers, his oratorical skill and disposition to national cause. He was asked why he had not declared his assets publicly; a question which brought out his new personality. Most analysts have since argued that the President was free not to declare his assets publicly since he assumed the position of President in May 2010 moreso when there is no constitutional provision compelling him to do so. Part 1, paragraph 11(1) of The Fifth Schedule of the 2012 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides for the Code of Conduct for Public Officers. It states interalia: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter – (a) at the end of every four years; and (b) at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties, assets and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years.” The President’s answer must have evidently jolted most Nigerians and pulverize their psyche. The same Fifth Schedule in Paragraphs 12 & 13 states thus: “Any allegation that a public officer has committed a breach of, or has not complied with provisions of this Code shall be made to the Code of Conduct Bureau. A public officer who does any act prohibited by this Code through a nominee, trustee, or other agent shall be deemed ipso facto to have committee a breach of this Code” Power has corrupting influences. The longer a leader stays in office, the more he becomes bolder and assertive; which is good for governance though. But if caution is not exercised, he could wrongly maximize his boldness and assertiveness, channeling such hitherto useful traits towards metamorphosing into a maximum ruler. Most African rulers who ended up with notoriety for fascism, kleptomania and genocidal tendencies began as gentlemen in their various countries. Some of them were ab initio urbane, level-headed with humane disposition; and most of them truly meant well for their respective countries. Most could hardly hurt a fly. But the vagary of power and exuberance of office changed many of them into monsters and threat to good governance. We remember with trepidation the likes of Macias Nguema of Equitorial Guinea,
Nnasingbe Eyadema of Togo, Denis Sosso Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville, Omar Bongo of Gabon, Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, Mobutu Sesesekou Kuku-Gbendu-Wazabanga of Zaire and a host of other despotic rulers. The President vociferated when asked why he had not declared his assets publicly. Retorting, he said: “I don’t give a damn about it, (even) if you want to criticize me from here to heaven. When I was Vice-President, I told the then President . . . I said, ‘look let us not start something just because we play into the hands of some people and create another situation in the country’. But because I was under someone then and because of the media, my boss then - the President declared (his assets publicly). The VP (i.e. Jonathan) did not declare and it was becoming an issue, so I declared. It is not because I wanted to.” The vociferous President added a clincher: “Channels (TV) can talk about that from morning till night, AIT can talk about that from morning till night, all the papers can write about it, it is a matter of principle.” What a tough talk, typical of a maximum ruler, who revels having garnered enough power over time! The import of our President’s bold statement was that he does not bother what the people say concerning non-public declaration of his assets, neither does he “give a damn” to any contrary viewpoints. Afterall, today he is “not under” anybody. But curiously enough in another breath, he said: “I have nothing to hide.” How so? We remember he blurted “no going back” warning on the wrongful renaming of the University of Lagos last time! Even though the constitution does not make the “public” declaration of his asset mandatory, the President who is the conscience and image of the nation is now more a “public officer” than the rest of us. On a matter of being exemplary and transparent, what does it cause any public officer of the status of first citizen to declare his asset publicly? Why should the President moderate the mode of his asset declaration in the first instance, especially in a country where the scourge of official embezzlement, illegal wealth acquisition and fund misappropriation is claimed to being fought by the present regime? More curiously again, His Excellency did not “want to play into people’s hands.” Whose hands? These expressions appear fully contradictory. They are laden with hidden rhetoric and unsavory connotations. His expression connoted that his erstwhile boss was wrong to have declared his own assets publicly then; and had to do so merely as a tagalong. He added more to his innuendoes: “You don’t need to publicly declare it and it is a matter of principle. It is not the President declaring assets that will change the country.” He went further: “. . . criticizing the President Jonathan has become a big business in Nigeria.” Does this statement not imply a leader’s loss of respect and appreciation to his peoples’ viewpoints? When this happens a leader often treats every criticism with disdain, mistaking constructive suggestions as antagonism. Coming back to my anecdote above, I never saw any reason why my grandfather should punish me for severing and feeding on the tail and liver of the bush-meat being roasted on fire furnace since the old man too often did so. As a young boy who saw my grandfather as an exemplar, I felt if it was a bad attitude he would rather never have done so. Though my grandfather owned his bush-meat and had right to feed on it. But if doing so at a wrong time would send wrong signal to a less mature person of 6 year old boy, he would have done well by avoiding eating the tail and liver of his bushmeat set on the furnace. In this instance, the President will act honourably well enough by setting for the people a good example to follow by declaring his assets publicly to demonstrate his love for honesty and transparency. The President’s hard stance on public assets declaration may send wrong signal to the public. Thus it is in the interest of his anti-graft policy that he complies by declaring his assets publicly without descending into further ambivalence. A Giant who prostrates to greet a Midget does not necessarily have his status and honour diminished. Afterall when he rises up, he stands taller than the dwarf again. Verbum Satis Sapienti. Tunji Ajayi, an author, and communication scholar writes from Lagos.
Between private and public schools By Mayowa Okekale THERE is rarely anyone in this century that does not know the drift which education fosters, mostly in this dispensation. To some sections of Nigerians, it is part of training for the future. Some factions ultimately believe it is only necessary while some schools of thoughts think it is obligatory to undergoes it as a process. Therefore, it appears in different dimensions to different sets of people. I was passing along the road one day, when a particular building appealed to me to air my view expressively on. The deplorable state of the Public school was terribly bad. I was really convinced in my heart at that moment that Public school education system largely affects only the common men children. No point gainsaying the fact that most public schools look terrible, horrible and eyesore than privately-owned schools, meaning no equality in education acquisition in this country. Should that be? If private owners of schools would take their time reasoning that environment also tells on education acquirement, I see no reason why government would not see it the same way. What will it cost government to at least execute encouraging projects; good chairs, good tables, good toilets, good building and exemplary learning facilities in secondary schools of today. No wonder why they would never send their children to public or government owned schools. They send their own children abroad for sound and viable education and neglect the masses’ children. Some experts say that environment also contribute to effective learning. Certainly speaking, lack of conducive environment for learning would largely affect students, and therefore, affect their reading and communication skills. On many occasions, some of them would blame themselves when they see their mates in that glorified, revered and appealing private school uniform. Taking a retrospective look at this from a very critical angle, it suffixes to say that government is not, in any way, supporting the values and prestige which education holds. It is not a crime to be educated and if one is to undergo any education at all, it must be superb and qualitative. And they would keep telling them that education is the best legacy. The pertinent question is: What legacies have they left to encourage education in our country? A lot of issues are to be looked into when we make a stringent comparative analysis of a public and private school students, even right from the ancient days; dressing manner, interpersonal relationship and such like. But the issue is, when we give our opinion to portray our stance on any issue, it is always important to observe courtesy and apply principle of fairness. We need to be short and precise. In view of the foregoing analysis, I like to leave s with this: What is good for the sauce is good for the gander is a poplar commonsensical saying. Is it not good enough if public secondary school students are entitled to the same process of education attainment?
•Okekale is of the Department of Communication and Language Arts. (Distance Learning Centre), University of Ibadan.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Comment & Analysis
Rio+20 challenge: Seeking sanitation in Lagos slums W
ITH his briefcase and pointed animal-print shoes, Godfrey Achionye looks every bit like the popular actor that he is from Nollywood, Lagos’s famous film industry. But at home, Mr. Achionye must share a squat toilet and bucket bath with three other families. To get to work, he navigates sewage-flooded streets in Ajegunle, Lagos’s largest slum, which offers all-important proximity to the hectic city’s economic opportunities but little in terms of proper shelter and sanitation. Just crossing the road is hard work. Residents and visitors hop from rock to rock, walk along stubby brick walls, or jump over pools of black water that flow into the streets from open sewers. On one street, residents tired of sinking their shoes in garbage-filled mud made a trail in the road, using thick sponges, plastic bags, and other refuse to create a surface to walk on. For a neighborhood that several million people call home – no one knows the exact number – Ajegunle remains largely cut off from basic infrastructure, like the running tap water Lagos’s elites take for granted. And yet, Ajegunle is just one of many such slums that 70 percent of Lagos’s population, and, indeed, even part of its middle class, call home. Think you know Africa? Take our geography quiz!
As more and more Nigerians flood into Lagos in search of jobs and opportunities, the sanitation system is badly under strain. By Yinka Ibukun As more and more Nigerians flood into Lagos in search of jobs and opportunities, the sanitation system is badly under strain. Without improvements, risks of disease increase. Already Nigeria has been hit by several cholera outbreaks, claiming thousands of lives. Poor sanitation is the main cause of outbreaks like this in a country where 33 million people lack access to toilets. Human waste is out in the open and can contaminate water sources. Diseases can be carried in human waste, and their top casualties are babies and toddlers. This contributes to Nigeria’s high infant mortality rate. For some, a starting point is simply raising the issue of sanitation, which has long been taboo. “This habit of doing in public what ought to be done in private strikes me as pointing to a much deeper cultural crisis,” US-based Nigerian academic Okey Ndibe wrote last year in a column titled “Nigeria As One Open Toilet.”
Nowhere is this problem more stark than in the commercial hub of Lagos, where city officials struggle to meet the needs of the millions of people they are aware of, not to mention the untold millions who don’t get counted by census workers, and the nearly 600,000 who keep arriving each year. So far they have bumped up the population to an estimated 11.2 million. Some Lagosians deliberately live off the grid, while others, including middleclass people like Achionye, desperately want to get connected to sanitation services but are told they must wait. For Lagos state Gov. Babatunde Fashola, credited with improving several parts of the city, the slums are hard to penetrate, and change comes slowly. His administration has started working on creating passable roads in slums, but many remain in bad shape. The government has also demolished illegal structures built on sewage passageways, but that led to the displacement of thousands of people, highlighting a challenge of working in the slums. For the poor, the demand for urban housing
creates a scramble so ruthless that, for many, a toilet and a bathroom – even shared – is a luxury. King Godo, a Lagos-based reggae singer, can’t afford to pay rent, so he’s built a bamboo cabin that he has covered with tarpaulin near the beach. When the rains come, he buys more tarpaulin for the roof and plastic sheets to cover the rest of his home. Squatting on land in a shack allows King Godo to spend what little money he earns on producing more copies of his album. A lack of sanitation is the price he pays to accomplish his dream of success, he says. Cars and buses are banned from the roads from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the last Saturday of every month. Lagosians are expected to clean their homes while government workers clean the streets. The initiative provides jobs, and residents say it makes the city feel a little cleaner. Though toilets, or the lack of them, is rarely discussed, it’s not because people aren’t bothered by sanitation problems. Some people are not only breaking the taboo, but also turning this need into a business opportunity. The late entrepreneur Isaac Durojaiye, nicknamed Otunba Gaddafi, was famed for starting DMT, a mobile toilet company. He tried to make toilets more accessible. DMT’s blue and red pay-for-use portable toilets dot Lagos today, but progress of any kind always seems to reach the city’s dense slums last, leading people like Achionye, a father of four, to pin their hopes on the next generation. “The buildings may not be fantastic,” Achionye says, “but you’ll find that every parent in Ajegunle, despite the little resources, is trying to make sure that the children have better lives.” Source: csmonitor.com
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Comment & Analysis
Presidential faux pas Again, President Jonathan makes a meal of his television interview programme
HE periodic Presidential Media Chat is a worthy idea that precedes President Goodluck Jonathan. It is a live television interview show in which senior journalists take on the President on diverse and usually current issues affecting the nation. It provides a great opportunity for the number one citizen to face the people, talk to them and with them. It is a perfect platform to show the people other vistas of the administration and insights only the President can provide. It is such snippets that often lift the people and imbue them with fresh belief that indeed, someone is truly looking after their collective affairs. Unfortunately, this elevated public relations tradition may have become President Jonathan’s albatross. On the few occasions it has been held in the last one year, it has always ended on a sour note, with the President making a meal of it each time. When it is not his elocution and body language, it is his lack of a good grasp of the core issues. When he is not making a rankling statement that jars the sensibilities of the populace, it is simply that he lacks presidential gravitas. The last chat held last Sunday however takes the cake. Apparently arranged hurriedly upon the President’s return from his ill-advised trip to Brazil, and designed to assuage the frayed nerves of the critical populace who berated the President for jetting off to Brazil when Nigeria burned and death and destruction were pervasive. But the remedy seemed to bring more trouble as the chat came just short of being a debacle. The President came a cropper on nearly all the questions thrown at him, to the point of incoherence on a particular question about assets declaration. The President fielded nearly a dozen questions on issues ranging from the trip to Brazil, the sacking of his security adviser, dialogue with
HE resentment, resistance and commotion that greeted the 'Democracy Day' broadcast of President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29, 2012, with the sudden and unilateral renaming of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University is a quick reminder of the protest that trailed the renaming of Government Secondary School (GSS), Okene (my alma mater) to Abdul Aziz Memorial College in 1973 by the then Military Governor of Kwara State, Col. David Bamigboye, and which surprisingly up till today i.e. 39 years after, still continues to be rebuffed and remains unacceptable to the Alumni of the school. Going down memory lane, the renaming of the school with fiat after an individual who was considered not to have made any meaningful contribution to the development of the school was considered as a slap on the face of the old students who passed through the school (when it was then called Provincial Secondary School). Such eminent alumni include Chief Sunday Awoniyi of blessed memory, the then Secretary to the Government of Northern Region and later
Boko Haram, sacking of former anti-corruption chief, Mrs Farida Waziri, the renaming of the University of Lagos, the Femi Otedola\Farouk Lawan saga, 2015 election and his assets declaration issue, among others. While President Jonathan’s outing showed miniscule improvements in his elocution and carriage in this chat, he was stumped by what may be described as his credibility quotient which has declined drastically since last January petrol subsidy protests. Thus, hardly any answer the President proffered on these issues seemed to cut the ice with the people. For instance, shuttling off to Brazil when churches were being bombed in the North, bodies of innocent Nigerians still littered the place and a wave of reprisals that could bring a tragic deluge upon the nation seemed to loom, can never be justified. While the President reasoned that shelving the trip would signify victory for the terrorists, Nigerians say that it would portray the President as compassionate, responsible and responsive. In fact, it would show him as being appreciative of the magnitude of the problem. It is the same refrain that runs through all the other issues raised. However, it is in the matter of public declaration of assets that we witnessed what may be described as the ultimate presidential faux pas. The President had been asked why
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he would not make his assets declaration public. An innocuous question; a harmless and legitimate question that could have been nicely and quietly dismissed were the President a man with a gift of the gab and were he not already unduly irritated and belligerent. The President simply unravelled over this question and lapsed into a detailed rambling that left him exhaustively diminished and vulnerable. The sum of his answer being that since he is not under any constitutional obligation to make a public show of his assets, if the people talked about it from “morning till night” or from here to “heaven”, he would not be moved an inch to let them into his world. He even suggested that it is against his principle to show such level of transparency and in fact, his former boss, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, compelled him to do so when he was vice-president. This episode has brought us to one chilling realisation that we have a President whose much vaunted fight against corruption is only skin deep, who would not lead by example and who is not capable of deploying the awesome force of moral rectitude to lead his people. Plain dealing, unimpeachable moral high ground and crystal clear transparency are the qualities high leadership is anchored upon. We wish to caution that no army, no quantum of resources can make a leader succeed whose people cannot trust. While we urge that the Presidential Chat be sustained, we advise the President and his handlers to make a duty of it by preparing hard and well for the show. On a final note, if the people earnestly want President Jonathan to make his assets public, he should go beyond that by making all his aides follow suit. This is especially so, because the gesture is unlikely to bring him any harm. On the other hand, it will do him and his administration a world of good.
Still on the UNILAG change of name Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, Brig. Benjamin Adekunle (rtd.), and a host of others. The grouse of the opponents of the renaming of the school stemmed from the unilateral action of the then governor who never considered it necessary to carry along the stakeholders and the school's authorities. Those opposed to the
change of name asked that a new school be established in Okene and named after Abdul Aziz Atta. It was for this reason that the alumni spit fire and brimstones and threatened not to have anything to do anymore with the school until the governor reverted to the school's old name of Government Secondary School. The resultant effect of the stance
of the alumni could be better imagined as the school today has remained a shadow of its old self as no meaningful contribution has been forthcoming today as far as provision of infrastructure and social amenities in the school is concerned. Today, 39 years after, a similar scenario is being played out at the University of Lagos. There is indeed simi-
larity in the manner by which the renaming of Government Secondary School, Okene and that of the University of Lagos was announced. The only difference is that while the renaming in Okene came under a military junta that of Lagos was carried out under a democratic government. It is therefore hoped that the kind of relationship that the
Can this police ever change? I
N June I went to Oyigbo Police Station in Rivers State, to find out why a relative was being detained. A lanky police woman at the receptionist's desk responded to my enquiry lackadaisically. She later flipped through the worn-out note book in which they write names of those in detention. I had looked at the black board where names and dates of those arrested used to be written. There was no
single name written on it. When she finally saw the name of my relative, after an excruciating search, she asked, "Do you want to see him?" Quickly, I responded, "Yes". But to my surprise, she said that I should buy two 'toilet tissues' and a bottle of Dettol and give N200 before I could see my relative! I flared up and demanded to see the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the station,
but was told that the DPO went to Police Headquarters, Port Harcourt, for a meeting with the Commissioner of Police. This statement of mine may be filed as an allegation because I didn't record what we discussed. But I am cocksure that one day, a case will expose the evils of police in Oyigbo, and around Rivers State. My relative, Samuel, is still in their gulag, while the IPO, went with the DPO to see
the Commissioner, and I did not even see my relative to understand what his 'sins' were because I did not buy two 'toilet tissues' and a bottle of Dettol and give N200. Is this the kind of Police the Acting Inspector General wants to build? By Odimegwu Onwumere Port Harcourt, Rivers State
renaming of Government Secondary School, Okene created between the school alumni will not be the case with the University of Lagos should Mr. President refuse to resort to due process. It is sad that 13 years after a return to democracy, what Nigerians are indeed being forced to celebration are: corruption at all levels of governance, abject poverty, high rating in the corruption index by Transparency International, epileptic power supply across the nation, high cost education, systematic bastardisation of public schools and universities. If indeed Mr. President is convinced to have taken the immortalisation of the late politician in the interest of the nation and as a mark of propagation of democratic governance, the million dollar question is: Could the kind of democracy we have been practising since 1999 be the type the late politician bargained for when he campaigned and eventually offered himself for election during the presidential polls in 1993? Odunayo Joseph Lagos
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F newspaper reports are anything to go by, the Senate’s effort to amend the 1999 Constitution may end as a mixed bag of pro-federalist and antifederalist provisions. Prescient observers are not likely to be surprised that some of the amendments may fail to advance federalism. Such observers have already stated that it is only the over sanguine among the citizens that would expect the National Assembly to depart radically from the unitary spirit of the constitution that brought them to power. From memoranda being prepared for the Senate by states and other groups, the chance is high that amendments may create more concern for federalists than the current constitution. On the good side, the Governors Forum has called for state police. This is a significant progress for federalists. So far, there has been no dissenting voice from any of the six regions or zones, not even from zones believed to be traditionally averse to decentralizing the country’s security system or polity. All the 36 governors have realized that there is no truth to the designation of executive governors if such governors have no hand in
Femi Orebe femi.orebe @thenationonlineng.net 08056504626 (sms only)
INCEREST apologies for my egregious absence from this page last Sunday. I actually wrote and forwarded my article to the editor from Brussels and had no indication the mail bounced until readers started protesting my absence on Sunday. It is deeply regretted) ‘Corruption means that at least 100 million Nigerians live on less than a dollar per day; it means that thousands of infants die before their first birthday due to poverty. It means that life expectancy for the average adult Nigerian is less than 50 years; that millions of destinies are ruined as lack of educational facilities ensures that individuals who have the intellectual potential to be university professors end up only as primary school teachers! I am convinced that corruption has reached a stage at which, if not drastically curtailed, it will destroy Nigeria’. – Opeyemi Agbaje. In the same manner that Lord Lugard’s consort, Flora Shaw, gave Nigeria a name without as much as consulting the stakeholders, PDP, no President Jonathan, has summarily changed the country’s name to corruption by his wooly approach to fighting the canker worm. Obasanjo had commenced the process by annulling the Nigerian electorate since 2003 , thus ensuring that our votes did not count as that was the only way he could guarantee the ‘victory’ of those he whimsically inflicted on PDP, and ipso facto, on the country, even when he knew that one was very sick just as the other was illprepared for a robust leadership at that level, his only consuming
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Comment & Analysis
Constitutional amendment: good and bad notes (1) Nigerians’ call for constitutional amendments is to devolve more power to the states the security of the states they govern, more so, if such governors do not even have a hand in determining security personnel that surround them. It should not matter if it is the insecurity thrown up by Boko Haram that opened the eyes of the governors to the need for states to have some measure of the Right Hand of state to enforce laws and keep public order. What is important is that the 36 governors realize that a central police that is controlled by an Inspector-General that is accountable to only the president is not the right option for a federation. That having police officers or security personnel that do not speak the language of majority of citizens in each of the states to keep public order and enforce laws is not realistic in any political system – unitary or federal. It is remarkable that all the governors are in agreement that signing legislations created by state lawmakers is a futile exercise when there is no agency of or from the state to enforce such laws.
What needs to be added to the governors’ call for state police is the call for community police as well. There are over 45 police agencies in the United Kingdom, a country that does not pretend in any manner to be a federal state. The United States of America has hundreds of police systems to keep the country federal and at the same time safe and secure. Decentralization of security must not be limited to adding a state layer to the existing federal police. It should include allowing local governments to have their own police. It should also include restricting federal police to investigative work and redeploying staff of federal road safety corps to the states. Existing central police and para-police organizations, from the Nigeria Police Force to the Federal Road Safety Corps and Civil Defence are too distant from the people to be effective. State police should have troopers to police the section of federal highways in each state while the federal government
should be left to do investigation and intelligence work that is generally required to keep a federation orderly and safe. For example, with a federal bureau of investigation, there may be no need for ICPC and EFCC. On the bad side is the report that the Senate is almost sure of divorcing local governments from the states that house them. To prevent state governors from holding on to or borrowing funds given to local governments from the federation account, the Senate is reported as warming up to the idea of stopping existing joint state-local government accounts. This sounds simple and innocuous, but it is filled with danger for promotion of federalism and survival of the country as a federation. At no time in the history of the making of Nigeria was local government an equation in the amalgamation of Nigeria. It was regions that were amalgamated. Separating local governments from their host states is likely to raise many political questions than answers. If the problem to solve is that
governors hold on unduly or interfere in the use of funds sent to local governments, the solution is not to cut a head that has headache. Local governments cannot develop in isolation from the states that house them. They are integral part of such states. It is the governor and the state assembly that should design and supervise the master plan for development for each state as a political unit. Local governments are expected to fit into such design and this may not happen if governors and state assembly have no say in how funds for local governments are deployed. When Nigerians’ call for constitutional amendments, it is not to add more powers to the central government but to devolve more powers to the state in order to enable states to develop in line with the high values that drive the cultures of such communities. The central government already has more responsibilities than it can discharge effectively, hence the call for amendment to a constitution that over concentrates power at the centre. State governors that are courageously calling for true federalism need to pay more attention to the relationship between local governments and states in their memorandum to the Senate.
Nigeria, corruption is thy name When will Jonathan realise that Nigerians are sick and tired of his government’s inability to proffer answers to national challenges? passion being to rule the country from the shadows. That precisely is what led us to the present bind wherein a President could, so absent-mindedly, dismiss a constitutionally prescribed Assets Declaration as a non-issue for which ‘he does not give a damn’ demonstrating his unpreparedness to lead by example. Agbaje, in that write up, likened corruption in Nigeria to cancer and, expatiating further, he writes: ‘it spreads very rapidly through the host, destroying cells, weakening the body and, in due course, killing its victim. A cure from an advanced form of cancer, which corruption has become in Nigeria, is a rarity; and in the few cases where that happened, it required a decisive surgical intervention. Where cancer is treated with levity, as the President showed by his unprepossessing views on asset declaration, the patient is a living dead,’ he concluded. Unfortunately our own doctor, the President, who should have led the operating team for that critical surgery, obviously cannot stand the sight of blood. Indeed, all things considered, 2015 inclusive, he would most probably succumb to his lachrymal gland should he see blood. The result is that the cancer will metastasize and overwhelm its patient. The prognosis today actually looks like we have already reached that stage - a stage where the outcome is the sure ‘death’ of Nigeria. Nigeria is today no more than a living dead which must have prompted David Mark’s warming
that Nigeria may be going the way of disintegration, irrespective of how many times Jonathan chooses to play the ostrich regarding the now seemingly inevitable. Twice now, in not more than one week, the President has chosen to junket to various parts of the world whilst his house burns. The way he rushed to Brazil, you would think he was an Al Gore on Climate Change. His clown of an Information Minister has come round to tell Nigerians that we have a VicePresident in place as if all we see of that gentleman is not his large babanrigas; and in a manner so reminiscent of a now disgraced, former Attorney –General, we were again told, tongue-in-cheek, that the President can, indeed, rule us from Antarctica. Pray, what meaningful governance did we have when our man was holed up right inside the Villa? Is n’t all we get the daily regurgitation of a transformational agenda none can see or perceive? Even as the tears of those who lost family in the Dana air crash were yet to dry and the horrendous multiple suicide bombs detonated on Christian worshipers in Northern Nigeria still fresh, with promises of more from Boko Haram, all a much-touted transformational president could do was jet out from his beleaguered nation so he could, unlike his sorrowing compatriots, breathe some fresh Rio air, accompanied by about the largest ever Nigerian delegation to a summit of that nature. Looking back now, I think I sympathized too early with President Jonathan when two
Sundays ago I raised questions as to how much culpability for our unflattering circumstances we could legitimately ascribe to him, even though, the buck stops at his table. As I often ask, what degree of disaster is likely to spur President Jonathan, and concentrate his mind on to a meaningful action on the twin canker worms of corruption and Boko Haram? Is it impossible for this President to learn from other countries where corruption and internal insurrection had been tamed? What, if we may ask, has he done to oust the Boko Haram elements he self-confessed are within his government or did they vaporize of their own? When will President Jonathan realise, beyond mouthing his now legendary sympathies, that Nigerians are sick and tired of his government’s inability to proffer sustainable answers to our national challenges? Under this government corruption mushrooms by the day and the national assembly daily compounds it with worse instances of corruption like we see in every of its probes, the Power and oil subsidy probes being the worst cases. Nigerians are daily being ripped apart by their elected officials that it will not be a surprise if we woke up one day to learn that Nigeria has, in fact, been auctioned by these predators. And all we see is a government clue-lessly wringing its hands. In his homily to Nigerians while in Brazil, President Jonathan was reported as berating Nigerians for playing politics with everything and pleaded that we do not destroy our country because of personal
political ambitions. In my view, the President should be the first to drink from this his seminal preachment because, in case nobody has told him, he indeed, is the primary reason for many of the crises in the country today. Before his present office, God himself has led his way, taking him right to the pinnacle. But once he permitted mere mortals to replace God in shaping his future, he unwittingly brought on himself, and, ipso facto, on the country, many of the calamities we now see daily. The President must seek the face of God afresh and not consign his future to the wiles of men, however, seemingly important and wise, in their own estimation. As a result of the mistake of 2011 when they prevailed on him to contest, rubbishing their party’s rotational policy, things have never been the same and the portends for te future are worse. To be elected in 2011, Jonathan was alleged to have promised Igbo leaders that he would spend only a term. Solely on that basis, Igbos ‘voted’ 90 percent and above for him in the sure hope it would be their turn come 2015. The North believes it has been short changed, no cheated, for far too long, out of its own turn as a result of Yar’ Adua’s death but Chief Edwin Clark never fails to tell us that his SouthSouth compatriot is only serving his first term and is therefore eminently qualified to have another shot at the presidency. That, precisely, is Nigeria’s current jigsaw puzzle and only a patriotic move by President Jonathan can save Nigeria from the coming apocalypse.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Adegboyega email@example.com 08054503906 (sms only)
S at the time I was putting finishing touches to my column penultimate Friday, President Goodluck Jonathan was probably on his way back home from his trip to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where he attended the all-important earth summit with about 120-man delegation. Even while in Brazil, Nigeria was on the President’s mind. That was why, as soon as he returned, he summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, at a time many members of the delegation were either still resting or offloading what they bought from their shopping in Brazil for their wives and children, and perhaps girl or women friends to see. A few hours later, we began to see results; President Jonathan dropped the National Security Adviser, retired General Patrick Azazi, as well as Mohammed Bello Haliru, the defence minister. This was some evidence of good thinking. And it should be sufficient for those who had been thinking the President was a weakling. All that happened on Friday. The workaholic that President Jonathan is, by Sunday, he indulged the nation with a presidential chat. This was a thing he owed no one no obligation to do; but which he decided to do all the same so that people will understand some of the intricacies of governance. At least Nigerians deserve to know why they cannot have light yet; why the roads have to remain death traps; why there are no consultants to consult in our
Comment & Analysis
Great Presidents don’t give a damn! GEJ’s message: The President is always right hospitals; and stuff like that. How many presidents in Africa do such? Presidential chat is alien to us; it belongs to farflung places like the U.S. Yet, our president took time off his usually tight schedule to explain some of these things to us and, instead of thanking him profusely for his efforts, some people are wondering why he had the effrontery to say that he did not give a damn to what people might feel about his decision not to publicly declare his assets. Indeed, a President Jonathan armed to the teeth with the law knocked out the legal titans; he said that was not what the law on assets declaration says. When the titans saw that they had been turned to legal Lilliputians, they resorted to moral argument. Apparently, the President had lost his cool, and that is perfectly normal because he is also human. Many people would have lost their cool seeing that the same people they are doing everything to please are just not appreciative. But President Jonathan should please forgive these people whose only luck is that we are in a democracy. I can personally feel the President’s frustration and likely temptation to want to take extra-judicial measures to tame their recalcitrance. It is not their fault;
that is the kind of humiliation leaders suffer when they opt not to be Herod or Pharaoh. However, in continuation of the President’s transformation agenda, he also fired the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) last week, (that behemoth that many Nigerians allege is of no benefit to the ordinary Nigerian, except those in power), Mr Austen Oniwon. Now that Oniwon has been relieved of his appointment, some people will still ask questions, for instance, why did his sack come so late? Oniwon was supposed to have retired on April 1 last year, but the President, in his wisdom, decided to retain him (for the election?) until last week, probably as a reward for the meritorious services he rendered to the government in the election. In case you don’t know, oil is to elections in Nigeria what the umbilical cord is to the foetus. Even now that Oniwon has been fired; people will still ask that his tenure be investigated. But I trust President Jonathan; at the next Presidential Chat, he too will ask how many of Oniwon’s predecessors were investigated after leaving office. He could even add, to boot, that being relieved of a juicy appointment like that of the
“One of the most important portfolios in this country is that of national security adviser. Yet, the President has never considered any of his kinsmen in the creeks for that position. Yet, it is in the creeks that we could find some of the best materials for the office, with all kinds of ‘Generals’ like Tompolo, Boyloaf and ‘General’ Ateke Tom, to mention a few, who command ‘armies’ that make Nigeria catch cold whenever they sneeze!”
NNPC boss is enough pain to bear. That is the President for you. If any of Oniwon’s predecessors ever stole, they are all enjoying their ill-gotten wealth and they are likely to continue to do that until death do them part. That is a tradition which Dr Jonathan should not be seen to be breaking. Another question to anticipate is, why Oniwon alone, after all, he had a boss to whom he was reporting? As a matter of fact, this is the aim of those who might have been asking the preliminary questions. The ultimate target is the petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, a woman with whom, many say, the President is well pleased. True, this woman is like a cat with nine lives. She started as transport minister in July 2007. On December 23, 2008, she was ‘promoted’ to the mines and steel development portfolio; and then to the petroleum resources ministry. Her promotions have been meteoric, whether they were informed by brilliance or beauty, or both is a different matter altogether. The important thing is that Mrs Alison-Madueke would have been out since if she had only one life, the highpoint being the fuel subsidy that is enmeshed in monumental fraud. But Mrs Alison-Madueke is still sitting atop the petroleum resources ministry, like the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, unmovable and unshakable. She is an ‘Iroko’ before whom lesser ‘Irokos’ bow! But mischief makers will soon latch on to this to read ethnic meanings into President Jonathan’s decision to retain her. But that is for those who do not know the President well. No doubt blood is thicker than water; but the President is a completely detribalized Nigerian. For instance,
Oniwon that he retained even after he was due for retirement is from Kogi State. President Jonathan and Mrs Alison-Madueke may be from the same Bayelsa State, it will be difficult to sustain the argument that the President has not fired her because of this. And I will explain. One of the most important portfolios in this country is that of national security adviser. Yet, the President has never considered any of his kinsmen in the creeks for that position. Yet, it is in the creeks that we could find some of the best materials for the office, with all kinds of ‘Generals’ like Tompolo, Boyloaf and ‘General’ Ateke Tom, to mention a few, who command ‘armies’ that make Nigeria catch cold whenever they sneeze! Some ethnic jingoists would have taken their security adviser from such area. But verily verily I say unto you, we are being unfair to the President whenever we say he is ill-prepared for the job. This we knew before we voted him into power. And madam (his dear wife) has told us that before. As a matter of fact, her statement to that effect has been quoted and quoted that I do not want to repeat it here because it would have been over-flogged. But we should be fair to them because they sat down jeje when we decided to make them deputy governor. Ever since, their lives have not remained the same; they have been climbing the political ladder fast; indeed faster than many career politicians of timber and caliber that we know. All said, it is the President I have to appeal to. He should keep doing the good work that he is doing as bequeathed to him by his political godfathers. The thing is that the hunchback never appreciates that standing upright is not as easy as he thinks until he attempts to do same. What the critics do not know is that a good President like ours does not have to give a damn about anything, not in the least public declaration of assets. This is much more so when the issue is a matter of principle.
Doing the right thing saves so much in costs! Postscript, Unlimited! By
Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only) firstname.lastname@example.org
HERE is a sticker that gained a great deal of notoriety sometime in the last decade and it ran thus: ‘If you think education is costly, try ignorance.’ I did. I watched it in others. Once, I watched as someone drunkenly rammed his Okada motorcycle right into a stationary vehicle and ended up with a broken neck. How was he to know that getting drunk and riding a motorcycle were not necessarily complimentary activities? Once too, I delayed giving the car radiator that important cup of water and ignorantly went my merry way. Later that afternoon, I watched in consternation as flames engulfed the entire front bonnet of the said car while I was in motion. ‘But, didn’t you see the temperature gauge going up?’, asked my puzzled mechanic. ‘What does that look like?, I asked in the greatness of my innocence. Now, how was I to know that driving a car on the road means being able to predict the stupid antics of the driver in front of me, keep an eye on the absentminded one behind me, on the child who wanders into the middle of the road in search
Nigerians are in the habit of being penny wise and pound foolish of his mother, on the fuel gauge which forever appears to be going empty and now, on the temperature gauge. Obviously, considering I have only two eyes, driving can be costly indeed. I’m sure I’ve told this story before but I’ll recount it again. A oneeyed man wearing a patch on his bad eye was once stopped for violating some traffic rule or the other, speeding I think. When asked why he was speeding, he answered that he had only one eye; so how on earth did the officers expect him to be able to keep that one eye on the road and the speedometer at once? I can keep counting all the costs of ignorance but what’s the use? How about when the car was less than a quarter filled with fuel and I was confident that could still take me a long distance, banking my certainty on the fact that it was ‘a Japanese car’ and I could buy fuel any time I wanted anyway. Well, the car told me that day that being Japanese had nothing to do with it; indeed, it was nothing personal, but going on a trip of over one hundred kilometres on less than a quarter tank was not the best idea. The car stopped; we entered a fuel recession and I had to buy at an expensive ‘black market’ rate. The other day, I listened as the newscaster on the radio informed us listeners that the authorities of the Dana Air, owners of a recently crashed airplane, had started the process of conducting DNA tests on the victims of the Lagos crash in order to identify them. The only thing I could think of was that I was very
sure they wished they could have prevented this from happening. The wish would not be coming only from the point of view of the very, very regrettable loss of lives but the incalculable problems brought upon the families that have lost lives. Then of course, look at the trouble they are having to go to in order to identify the victims, settle all compensations and restore public confidence in their services – all together a great deal more costly than simply building a culture of systematic checking and maintenance. A reader wrote in not long ago and asked me to please write something about that plane crash. He did not tell me exactly what he wanted me to write but I guess he would be looking for something like an attempt to understand why it happened. I’m not sure I can provide any explanation because when things like this happen, no one quite knows why except to stab at reasons. Even that I cannot do here because we as citizens do not have all the facts as accusations and counteraccusations have been traded leaving the public more confused, more frustrated, no wiser and nigh hopeless. One thing I know though about Nigerians is that they are in the perpetual habit of being penny wise and pound foolish: they would go to any length to save a penny while flinging pounds in the air, like someone who borrows transport fare to a party only to go and ‘spray’ same borrowed money on the celebrants. It is penny pinching that is killing or has killed the public utilities. It begins with someone feeling
that the maintenance costs of the particular structure are too large and much better to get rid of it. In bits, the structure begins to wear down. Look at the national stadium where the last commonwealth games were held. Last news from the papers was that no one in particular is really looking after that poor structure; conversely, everyone is watching it degenerate. Then, when the nation wants to host another international event, it simply builds another one. Money is indeed not our problem. Look at the air travel industry. For reasons best known to the federal government, the national air carrier, Nigeria Airways, was allowed to die by a combination of strangulation, lethal injection, outright murder and lack of funds for maintenance. Yet, no one has been bold enough to look the nation in the eye and say this is the cause of its death. In the place of the carrier, with its long culture of standards and practiced legitimacy, a fleet of private carriers with a famed impatience for huge profits and sharp appetites for sharp practices has been substituted. So, here we are, sans carrier, sans standards, and at the mercy of the men in suits or ... err ... big, flowing agbadas. For that, the nation continues to pay incalculably huge costs. Many news commentaries have complained so much about this country’s lack of interest in keeping what it has. So many monuments and museum pieces and sites that are supposed to be held in great esteem are disdainfully neglected, kicked around or pulled down, you
guessed it, in great ignorance. Several priceless colonial buildings that should have been kept in pristine purity as tourist attractions are ignorantly and irreverently replaced with modern cardboard houses that have little or no significance. Now, how do you tell people that calculating the value of right action is more important than personal benefits and gains? It is not only easier to just do the right thing, it is also cheaper. Just look at the myriads of gains we can add up. To begin with, we can cut costs. I have since wizened up to the requirements of the car. When the water reservoir is at a certain level now, I immediately give it drink. I no longer wait for flames to begin to lick the bonnet before calling on friends, neighbours and passers-by for help, even if it is to at least cup their hands with water to put out the fire. When the fuel is getting low now, I don’t wait to find out how long I can drive on air before the car stops. I begin to plan how to refill the tank as soon as I use the first quarter. Since the country’s planning division has long gone to sleep, I don’t think we should reckon with it. In fact, I would ask us to please speak softly so we do not fall in danger of waking it up. The rest of the country can think, however, of how best to save costs by simply doing the right thing. Let us check our planes before they fly please, keep our public buildings before they collapse, and generally tune up our maintenance level for the sake of the future. It is a lot cheaper that way.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
There can be law without justice but there can be no justice without law.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Did Mark misfire on Boko Haram? Senator David Mark's recent warning over Boko Haram bombings may have ignited criticisms from some Nigerians, especially northern leaders, but Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu, reports that with his outburst, he has not only set another mark for his assessment as a political leader but has provided a practical way of tackling the Boko Haram menace.
HEN he decides to comment on any sensitive public issue, Senate President David Mark, it seems, is hardly ever abridged by the likely criticism. In fact, this trait has contributed immensely in defining public perception of him, since his days as military governor and minister of communications. While his admirers consider such utterances and sometimes unorthodox actions as marks of courage, self confidence and forthrightness, critics see them as his weaknesses. On Monday, at the Senate retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Mark, again exposed himself to such criticisms and assessment when he said “The way Boko Haram is going, if nothing drastic is done to halt it, God forbid, it may result in the break-up of the country.” He added, “If allowed to go on, it will encourage disunity and religious war, because there is a limit to patience,” pointing out that “Christian leaders have been appealing against vengeance. But, for how long
would the people continue to listen while they are being killed?” Given his position as the Number Three citizen and as a northern leader, this comment has expectedly attracted emotional and combatant reactions from fellow northern leaders. First to hit him were Arewa Consultative Forum’s Shehu Sani and elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai. Insisting that North’s leaders are doing their best to stop the sect, they wondered why they were being criticised by Mark. According to Sani, “David Mark’s warning of a possible break up of Nigeria as a result of bombings and his shifting of blame or responsibility to northern leaders is most unfortunate. David Mark is simply exonerating himself and shying away from calling a spade a spade in terms of the failure of government to protect its citizens and the failure of the generation of leaders of which he is a leading figure. If northern leaders have failed the nation, David Mark stands as the emblem of that failure.” National Publicity Secretary of
the forum, Mr. Anthony Sani, retorted “Is David Mark not from the North? Is he not part of the Northern leaders? Why is he talking like that? If you talk about the country breaking up, in what direction is this going to take?” Yakasai was more combative, insisting that the senate president’s statement “means he doesn’t believe in the future of the country and demonstrates that he is not qualified to hold his current position.” A prominent member of Northern Elders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, was equally not sparing. He described the statement as “inflammatory.” In a joint statement by A r e w a Youth Development Foundation and Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, some northern youths also berated Mark. “It is unfortunate that Mark, supposedly a public figure and people’s representative should publicly admit not being aware of the concerted efforts by the Northern Elders Forum that has cut across religious and tribal boundaries; the various meetings held by the Northern Governors Forum, the northern traditional rulers and various coalitions of religious leaders.”
Is Mark uncaring and anti-people?
As a public officer during the military regime, some Nigerians, especially common citizens, insisted that Mark was rather uncaring and anti-people. This impression was further emphasised when he served as Minister of Communication, by the well quoted remark that telephone was not for common Nigerians. Perhaps, if Mark did not join partisan politics after his retirement and if he did not rise to serve as a two term Senate President, that no-
tion may still not be contested. But according Dr Godwin Udoh, a public analyst, some of his roles and utterances as the leader of the legislative arm of government have since changed his image. Now, I think he can be called a man of the people.” Udoh said this change is not only traceable to “Mark’s peoplefriendly utterances in recent times but also to some courageous and rather innovative leadership qualities he so far exhibited.” Of course, his critics describe such strategies as grossly unorthodox. But The Nation’s investigation shows that though sometimes very controversial, Mark may have evolved a leadership style that is both survivalist in nature and hardly offensive if viewed dispassionately. For example, at the dawn of the seventh senate, Mark noted a brewing crisis poised to task his leadership acumen. Some northern senators had alleged some lopsidedness in the composition of the senate standing committees and allocation of projects in the 2012 budget, accusing a top member of senate leadership of denying them of their due. Visibly worried by the development, Mark, according to some inside sources, immediately convened a closed door session of the Senate to “create room for the aggrieved Senators to express their grievances.” At the end of the session and some follow-up meetings, some adjustments and key appointments were made, some sacrifices were also made and the matter was finally resolved. Also, although his critics and supporters are yet to agree over his real motive in acting as a self-appointed mediator during the nationwide strike ordered by the Nigerian Labour Congress over fuel subsidy, it is on record that he took action for which he has been counted. Soon after the fuel subsidy crisis, some reporters asked him why he took some of his unusual actions and risks. His response was instructive: “By virtue of my level anyway, I should be nationalistic and I should have the interest of this
country at heart in everything that I do and it should be foremost in my actions. If there is crisis and I can intervene, then I’ve just done my normal routine duty. There is nothing extraordinary. I felt that the country needs peace and stability for economic development and anything that can ensure that there is peace and stability; I will do it with all my heart.” Speaking of the Doctrine of Necessity option, he said in his farewell speech, at the valedictory session to mark the end of the sixth senate on Thursday, June 2, 2011: “ The nation looked up to us for a solution to a situation some people had already considered an impasse. My distinguished colleagues, you collectively rose to the occasion by introducing the Doctrine of Necessity. That singular action by this distinguished Red Chamber saved our dear country from imminent political crisis to the contentment and applause of majority of Nigerians. The concept of the Doctrine of Necessity has enriched our political lexicon and rescued us from the brink.” The point seems to be that Mark considers it his responsibility to act or speak up when the need arises. His image has expectedly taken the heat for such actions. Not perturbed though, Mark, according Udoh; “has remained a realist and a survivalist.” It remains however to see if his alleged realist and survivalist tendencies have positively rubbed off on the nation’s polity. When he emerged the Senate President during the sixth senate, most informed analysts did not give him a chance, pointing out the recurring exploits of banana peel. It is still a matter of intense debate what has sustained Mark this far as the president of the seventh senate. Some said he had some unusual leadership style, which is sometimes traced to his military background, while his critics alleged that his survival is not unconnected with his tendency to play along with all interest groups in order to avert conflict.
Northern leaders and Boko Haram Mark’s current comments over Boko Haram came as a surprise to his fellow northern leaders and elders but others, including Christians, are applauding his courage and candidness, arguing that solution to the Boko Haram puzzle rests in the hands of northern elders and leaders. “Truth must be told, no matter how bitter and we are proud that Mark found the courage to say the truth,” said Pa Uduma Okonji, a retired senior civil servant. Pa Okonji however added that Mark only said what most Nigerians have been canvassing. “So, we must not stop here. Sambo Dasuki will need to make progress from here,” he said. This seems to be the general consensus, that no matter how anybody may hate Mark’s seeming isolation of himself from the blames, he has obviously set a new mark that must serve as a compass in the country’s search for solutions to Boko Haram and insecurity.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Unmasking Sambo Dasuki Following rage over heightened insecurity in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan last Friday wielded the big stick by removing the National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi (retd) and the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Haliru Bello. While still shopping for a new Defence Minister, the President appointed Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) as the new National Security Adviser. In this piece, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Yusuf Alli and Dare Odufowokan explore his strengths and weaknesses
GAINST permutations, President Goodluck Jonathan bowed to public yearning to review the nation’s security apparatchik and stem the spate of bombings in the country. Barely a few hours after returning from the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the President removed Gen. Owoye Azazi as the National Security Adviser and fired the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Haliru Bello. Coming in from the cold from the Tsunami was Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who emerged as the new National Security Adviser. Apart from being a blue-blooded scion of Sokoto Caliphate and a former Aide-deCamp to ex- Military President Ibrahim Babangida, Col. Sambo could pass for a taciturn. This explains why every Nigerian is interested in knowing the antecedents and capability of the new NSA. The questions in the week bordered on the following: Who is he? Is he not a Colonel, how will he command the respect of the service chiefs? Does he know anything about intelligence gathering? Can he solve this problem?
The politics of the sack There were many speculations on why the President unceremoniously removed his NSA and Defence Minister. While some attributed the sack to a genuine concern to address the Boko Haram insurgency, some claimed that the summons from the House of Representatives gingered him into action and a few others attributed it to pressure from World leaders on Jonathan at the summit in Brazil. It was learnt that no world leader, encountered the President without a reference to the insecurity in the country. Nigerians living in Brazil were also not left out of the agi-
tation for action. According to investigation, the President had wanted to make the announcement from Brazil but he exercised restraint until after a ‘valedictory’ session. The haste with which the announcement was twitted by the presidency suggested a different signal and alluded to the wake-up call from some world leaders in Brazil. The method was a rapid departure from the status quo. But a source said: “If you know about security, such an appointment like that of the NSA could not have been done in a hurry. The President did
Spartan life st T
HOUGH he is a polo lover like most other retired and serving topshots in the military, Sambo Dasuki, the new National Security Adviser, lives a life that is quite different from that of his contemporaries. Now in his 50’s, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd), the son of a former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, is obviously not flamboyant in any sense of it. Though many who know him will tell you he is a man of means, he is not your run-on-the-mill rich ‘Soja man’ with wealth and affluence oozing from his body at first contact. Described as a modest person, Dasuki, whose close friend would vow has no property scattered all over the country like his peers, expresses very simple tastes in his dress sense, choice of cars and even architecture. His Sokoto home, like the one he stays in Kaduna, are simple structures built on not more than two plots of land each, unlike the wide expanse of acres usually used by his contemporaries when building their country homes.
What does the NSA do?
HE actual influence and work done by the National Security Adviser (NSA) varies by administration and countries. In some administrations, the NSA is the president’s main adviser on foreign and national security issues, especially in the beginning of the administration. In Nigeria, very little is publicised about the work of the NSA. However, it is safe to describe his job as the same thing with what past NSAs did. He will, in this wise be seen as the man that handles key security challenges faced by the administration. But globally, the NSA works closely with the President to develop and implement security as well as diplomatic policies.
his homework before arriving at Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). It might interest you that some former military leaders, those you did not expect were consulted.” Investigation by The Nation also revealed that the events that led to the ouster of Azazi and Bello started with an interim report submitted to the presidency by one of the committees set up to look into the Boko Haram crises. The committee, whose members were also at one point saddled with the task of dialoguing with the sect, according to reliable
In most countries, including Nigeria, since the appointment of an NSA does not have to go through the process of being cleared by the legislature, he is expected to be the President’s choice and preference at all time. As a result, they are expected to work very closely on the matters of state. This was the case in American President J.F Kennedy’s administration. Both Kennedy and his NSA, McGeorge Bundy, allegedly came up with most of the policies, with the Secretary of State working as an outsider and facilitator. The NSA played a key policy role in the Carter administration as well. Though the actual function of the NSA within an administration varies considerably, some common
“Unlike other princes in Sokoto, Sambo’s house is very modest. He didn’t acquire a wide expanse of land to build a mansion though he could afford to do so. Rather, he is known to have built several small houses for relatives and friends in the town. His house is like any other modern house in the area. He is a very simple man,” Lawal Shehu Musa, a former councilor who is a neighbour to the new NSA in Sokoto, said. Musa also spoke of how Sambo will not join other elites on the front row during Jumat service. According to the former council lawmaker, the retired soldier would rather pray quietly among the crowd rather than take his place in front as a prince and elite. “He is humble to a fault. You know how Sokoto people respect the royal bloodline. We also expect our princes to behave in a particular manner when in public. For example, during Jumat, they are expected to take the front row. But Sambo is not one to struggle for the front row. As a prince and elite, he should be there. But he prefers to needs have been filled by the NSA in recent administrations. The NSA provides information and advice to the president, organises meetings about security issues, looks out for the president’s political interests in policy issues and is the “spin doctor” for security policy on behalf of the president. One of the most important roles of the NSA, and the source for a great deal of power and influence, is acting as a “gatekeeper” for communication between the president and other officials in regard to security policy issues. And back home in Nigeria, he is expected to liaise with other security chiefs regularly and keep the President abreast of security issues.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
sources, recommended the appointment of northerners into some positions in government as a means of diffusing the tension in the north and preventing a backlash should the government decide to use maximum force to quell the uprising in the north. “As part of the build up to frontally confront the Boko Haram menace, the committee, having failed to get the sect to lay down their arms after months of negotiation, adviced the President to embark on actions that will give the north more sense of belonging in his government,” a source said. One of such is that he should appoint more northerners into key positions in the administration. Specifically, he was told to give the job of solving the Boko Haram problem to a northerner by appointing a northerner as his NSA. He was also advised to consult former Heads of states on how to go about the issue, especially those from the northern region,” our source claimed.
Azazi’s, Bello’s last ‘supper’ with Jonathan When Jonathan returned last Friday and summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, members regarded it as routine stock-taking session. The President, however, played a fast one on the team. He placed only Boko Haram as the sole agenda for the session in what appeared a hint of what he intended. Yet, it was difficult for council members to read his mood and to understand that it was a rare supper for Azazi and Bello. A source said: “Each member of the council took time to offer suggestions on the way out of the Boko Haram menace. •Continued on Page 67
Former NSAs in Nigeria With the recent appointment of a retired Army Colonel, Sambo Dasuki, as the new National Security Adviser, Remi Adelowo takes a look at the professional background of the men that have held the NSA position in Nigeria before now •Gusau
HE precursor of the office of the NSA was the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), established after the failed coup attempt, which claimed the life of former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Mohammed, in 1976. Its first director was then Brigadier Abdullahi Mohammed, an intelligence officer. Following the restoration of civil rule in 1979, a new security outfit, Nigeria Security Organisation (NSO) was formed to complement DMI, which then became the intelligence arm of the Nigerian Army. While DMI operated more in the background, NSO, though a secret organisation, assumed a more prominent status under the
headship of its first Director General, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, a lawyer and former Commissioner of Police, who was succeeded in 1984 after the return of the military by Alhaji Usman Rafindadi, also an ex-cop. For effective coordination of all security apparatus in the country, the military regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in 1985 created the office of the National Security Adviser, with an intelligence officer, Gen. Aliyu Gusau as its pioneer occupant. Gusau recorded another feat when he became the first officer from the Intelligence Corp of the Army to be appointed as the Chief of Army Staff in August 1993. His tenure, however, lasted for just three months before he was replaced
fe style of a man of means pray silently among the people and return home quietly,” he said. Aside from his royal and military credentials, Dasuki is a big player in Corporate Nigeria. Since leaving the army, he has served on the board of a number of companies and he is currently a Director on the board of Regency Alliance, an insurance company. One other thing the new NSA is known for is discipline. A no-nonsense man, while Sambo will give respect and honour to those due, he suffers no fool gladly. “Ask those who worked with him while in the army. He was a strict officer to the core. Discipline to him was sacrosanct and should not be sacrificed for whatever reason,” a source said. A story is even told of how when he was the Aide de Camp to former President Ibrahim Babangida, he had only one chair in his office and that was the one he sits on.
The arrangement left whoever visits him, either senior or junior in rank, standing all through his or her stay. “Many senior officers didn’t like this but Sambo was unperturbed. He would tell those who cared to ask him why it was like that that his office is not a place for social visits. He doesn’t expect officers to entertain visitors in the office, so he ensures he didn’t do the same too,” a source recalled. The new NSA who hit national limelight when he was appointed the first Aide-DeCamp (ADC) of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, after the palace coup which toppled the regime of Major General Mohammadu Buhari on August 27, I985, has also been described as a very brave officer. “He may not be an intelligence officer but I see him succeeding with his new job because of his bravery. He will confront the challenges with wisdom and bravery. You find
An officer of the Artillery Corps of the Nigerian Army, Dasuki, after he left the office of ADC, subsequently operated in the background until 1993 when he, with other military officers were prematurely retired from the military in September 1993 by the then Secretary of Defence, Gen. Sani Abacha, who emerged as the Head of State later that year. He was to later escape to the United States in 1995 after he was fingered by the Abacha regime as one of the alleged masterminds of a ‘phantom coup’, allegedly led by Col. Lawan Gwadabe. Following his return after the restoration of democracy, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, appointed him the Managing Director, Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Limited in 2002. He left the position in 2003 .
Yuguda and Bala Mohammed’s governorship ambition
ripples Has Sam Ode fallen out of favour?
Col. Sambo where the action is.”
AM Ode aptly fits the profile of a young man destined for the very top. His appointment as a Minister of State in the first few months of Jonathan Presidency further lent credence to the widely held reports that he was being positioned for something big in the near future. But just when he appeared to be on a political Broadway to the very height, he was removed from the cabinet. It was alleged that his removal had the backing of some of the biggest political players in his home state, Benue, the same powerful politicians that allegedly contributed to his rise. In fact, some sources claimed that some of such politicians, who may be linked with the intrigues leading to his removal, included the Senate President, David Mark, and Governor Gabriel Suswam. After Ode’s removal from FEC, Samuel Ortom and Abba Moro were appointed as the Minister of State for Investment and Minister of Interior respectively to fill Benue slots in the cabinet. Since then, it seems Ode has gone into some form of political oblivion. So, the question many are asking today is if he has really fallen out of favour?
by Major General Chris Alli. Following Gusau’s removal as NSA, he was succeeded briefly by another intelligence officer and former Director of DMI, Gen. Haliru Akilu and thereafter, a former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Gambo Jimeta. In 1993, Alhaji Ismaila Gwarzo, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of the Police was appointed by the then Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. He served till 1998 when Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed (retd), the pioneer head of DMI, was brought back from retirement as the new NSA by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who succeeded Abacha. Mohammed later gave way for Gen. Gusau in 1999. The retired three-star general served for about eight years, and was removed in 2006 by the then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The president who took over from Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua, also preferred a retired Major General of the Intelligence Corp of the Nigerian Army and a trained lawyer, Sarki Mukhtar as his NSA. But like a cat with nine lives, Gusau was again brought back by President (then acting president) Goodluck Jonathan in May 2010 to replace Mukhtar. He reportedly resigned after about eight months in charge. The immediate past NSA, Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, an ex-Director of DMI, and a former Chief of Army and Defence Staff, took the baton from Gusau before he was asked to step aside for Sambo Dasuki, a retired Colonel some days ago. The new NSA was commissioned as an Artillery officer of the Army in 1971 and never held any high profile military position except as Aide-de-Camp to former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida between 1985 to1988. He was compulsorily retired in 1993.
HOUGH aides of Senator Bala Mohammed still deny that their principal is interested in emerging the governor of Bauchi State come 2015, the discreet moves of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in his home state in the last one year clearly points in that direction. Just a few days ago, the minister reportedly donated huge sums of money for the reconstruction of some mosques in the state. This gesture, according to sources who should know, is another ploy to woo influential Islamic clerics in the state to support his ambition to govern the predominantly Moslem state. Political Ripples gathered that the senator may have actually commenced his governorship ambition even if informally. But one person who may prove to be a stumbling block to Mohammed’s well nurtured ambition is the incumbent governor, Isa Yuguda, whose relationship with the minister is likened to that of a cat and a mouse affair.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
begins investigation into the allegation that the suspended Chairman of the House AdHoc Commit...This week’s issues, events and persons tee on Monisundaynation@yahoo.com (08023165410 sms only) toring of Subsidy Regime, Persons on the mission (INEC) will likely Hon. Farouk Lawan, colbe on the podium follow- lected $620,000 bribe from podium ing reports that an Assist- Mr. Femi Otedola, the mat• Late last week, Chief ant Director of the com- ter will again dominate poOlusegun Obasanjo mission was arrested and litical interest. challenged alleged detained by the Police for By the weekend, there growth of Nigeria’s allegedly collecting a bribe was a debate as to whether Gross Domestic Prod- of N8.6million bribe from or not the House investiuct (GDP). Questioning some contractors. Al- gation would be carried the veracity of the claim, though some reports out secretly. Recalling that the former president quoted INEC chairman as the equally on-going Police said at the 40th Annual insisting that the law must investigation on the same General Meeting take its course, observers matter is being carried out (AGM) of Manufactur- are paying particular atten- in camera, members of the ers Association of Ni- tion to the case, especially committee in support of geria (MAN) that it was because of allegation that secret investigation arnot realistic given the the arrested official may gued that some witnesses level of poverty in the not have acted alone. may desire some form of country. Given INEC’s special protection. Considering his stat- position as the umpire and ure as a president that the expectations that Jega led this country for eight must get rid of all bad inuninterrupted years, his fluences within the system statement will not only before the 2015 general generate interest to take elections, the on-going inanother look at govern- vestigation and the final ment’s claims over the outcome of the matter will country’s economy but occupy prominent places in may also provoke de- this week’s political disbate over the sincerity course. of the current leaders. Has the government Event been deceiving Nigeri• As the House of Repans? resentatives Committee • Independent National Electoral Com- on Ethics and Privileges • Otedola
with Bolade Omonijo email@example.com
State police gains more votes As the call for state police in Nigeria gains more supporters, Ibrahim ApekhadeYusuf , captures the views of the initiator of the State Police Bill which has gone through its first reading at the House of Representatives
ORRIED by the rising incidence of insecurity in the country, Nigerians have continued to make strident calls for state police. For years, that call seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. But with the current initiatives and support of members of the legislature, the hopes of Nigerians to realise this dream have been reawakened. Today, the debate for state police seems to have the greatest momentum at the House. The new vista began with a bill initiated by Hon. Abayomi Ogunnusi, member representing Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency, Lagos, in the House of Representatives. The bill, presented to the House last year, is seeking “to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to provide for the establishment of state police and to ensure effective community policing in Nigeria.” Ogunnusi is of the view that the orgy of violence across the country has exposed the fault line in the centralised police structure. And he says that the nation would do well to reappraise its security system with a view to embracing the state
and community police initiatives. Ogunnusi’s bill, which has already gone through the first reading on the floor of the House, seeks the establishment of a State Police Council that would be chaired by the state governor and include local council chairmen, chairmen of the State Police Service Commissions and State Police Commissioners as members. Currently, the lawmaker is no longer alone at the National Assembly as the idea has continued to win more people as advocates. One of the most influen-
tial voices that has openly supported the move is the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who has also canvassed for the legislation of state police. While speaking recently at the Sixth Annual Oputa Lecture at the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto, Canada, Ekweremadu argued that the prevalent global trend in crime-fighting and the realities of security challenges in Nigeria make the decentralisation of policing pertinent. The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, who is also the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, have also been identified as influential advocates of state police. However, there are dissenting views on state police, with the thrust of the argument being that Nigeria is not ripe for it. For instance, a lawyer and former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, is of the view that the establishment of state police forces is an invi-
tation to secession and disintegration of the country. He says there are divisive elements within and without the states and bitter rivalry stemming from religious and political intolerance in the country. But Ogunnusi recalls that a successful test run of the Community Police System were conducted in six states – Benue, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Ondo and Ogun – in 2004, as supported by the Nigeria Safety and Security, Justice and Growth (SJG) programme funded by the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID). As Ogunnusi looks forward to the progress of his bill on the floor of the House to the second reading, with a view to getting National Assembly members to amend the relevant constitutional provisions and extant laws to establish Federal and State levels of policing, he is hopeful that it would continue to draw a groundswell of supporters. As he puts it, “Security is a social contract and it is the principal responsibility of the state through the government to provide security for all citizens, groups and corporate organisations.”
Femgate versus Farougate
INCE the bribery scandal that trailed the submission of the report of the House of Representatives oil subsidy committee broke out, a lot has been said about the infractions apparently committed by Hon. Farouk Lawan. There appears a unanimity of opinion that the Representative has let down his admirers and probably detracted from the esteem in which the current 7th session of the House is held. Seen as one of the pillars of the House and a key player in the emergence of Hon. Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker, many commentators have justifiably descended on Lawan, and the House has suffered collateral damage, especially as the scandal broke out soon after the Hembe-Oteh episode. But, very few of us have looked intently into the Otedola side of the equation. While there is no doubt that Lawan cannot be exculpated, in the face of evidence and confession that he paid a visit to Otedola’s home and collected an unearned $620,000, it pays to realise that there are two sides to every equation. Otedola lured Lawan to his Abuja home and enticed him to collect the dollars, marked or not. He claims that he was merely helping the law to catch up with an extortionist. The businessman insists that he did everything in collaboration with the Department of State Security and could therefore not be regarded as a crook. Perhaps. However, there are so many things that do not add up in the Otedola story. Apart from interacting with Lawan and the secretary of the committee, a civil servant, did the Chief Executive of Zenon Oil attempt to report the incident to the leadership of the House? Why did it take him a whole 40 days to blow open the deal? Lawan curiously succeeded in getting Otedola’s name removed from the list of oil subsidy beneficiaries who had done everything to bleed the economy. Yet, he got nailed by his friend and comrade. My concern is that the episode has exposed the pretence of the private sector to probity and efficiency. The scams involving pension fund and oil subsidy have shown that the private sector is as rotten as the public sector, if not more so. The failed banks saga was another proof that the executives in the private sector are even more rapacious, mindless and corrupt as their contemporaries manning public corporations and agencies. In fact, it would be difficult for those running affairs of the nation to defraud the country without the instigation and collaboration of those in industry and the financial system. This has been so since the days when portfolio-carrying men ran around ministries to procure import licences ostensibly to buy rice but ended up bringing in saw dust. We wait to see what the aviation fund inquest would throw up. It is not too long ago that Madam Cecilia Ibru, in an ingenious manner, demonstrated that women could take as much as men. As much as 190 billion Naira belonging to a private bank was traced to her accounts and estate all over the world. Alongside others like her, she nearly collapsed the banking system. Why then do we have to ascribe the collapse of the rail corporation, Nigeria Airways, Nigerian National Shipping Line, the Coal Corporation and other public concerns to the inability of government to run businesses? Our problem is that the system tends to promote men and women who live by circumventing rules and regulations. Leeches and parasites run up the ladder to the top while those who mind the means are rooted at the lower rungs. Leaders of the private and public sectors thrive by exploring and exploiting loopholes in the laws. There are very few exceptions. Mr. Otedola started by denying that Zenon Oil was ever involved in importing PMS. He said the company had always limited itself to trading in diesel and kerosene. Later, in a paid advertisement, he debunked the claim. The facts published showed that he got paid for importing Premium Motor Spirit. He has been involved in ruthless competition with other business moguls in ways that could suggest that he detests any form of rivalry, even if healthy. Meanwhile, not much is being said about the committees and task forces set up by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the highly connected Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke in the wake of the frightening January oil subsidy protest in major cities. The Peat Marwick audit report into the NNPC has also not seen the light of the day. It seems only the legislature is throwing some feeble jabs at corruption, what is our President and his executive council doing? All we hear from the executive chamber are announcement of new contracts. All motion, little movement. We have been told about investments in rail, but we see very little. In Lagos where the tracks have been repaired and old coaches deployed to give the impression that something is in the offing, we appear condemned to using the same tracks that the colonial lords laid more than a century back. All other countries have since moved on, but our government is importing and adopting a discarded technology. In all this, I know the Jonathan administration is unlikely to do much. If allowed, the government will keep snoring until 2015. A lot depends on we the people to force the officials on track. Otherwise, we are condemned to repeating the past.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Now, you'll eat cassava bread â€˘President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo sampling cassava bread at a cabinet meeting in Abuja.
OR millions of Nigerians today, Sunday, July 1, 2012 is a day of intense prayers, and probably fasting, for a better second half of the year. For importers of wheat flour and farmers who plant cassava today is a day of mourning and rejoicing in equal measure. While the importers of wheat flour would be sad that they have to pay more duty for imported wheat, cassava farmers - majority of whom live in abject poverty - will see today as their day of liberation, when their product will be embraced by all as a result of the high duty imposed on wheat. A few months ago, President Goodluck Jonathan sketched out the new policy that is set to impact out taste bud and breakfast preferences for the foreseeable future: "From July 1, 2012, wheat flour will attract a levy of 65 percent to bring the effective duty to 100 per cent, while wheat grain will attract a 15 per cent levy which will bring the effective duty to 20 per cent," he announced. He equally called for commercialisation of cassava bread and use of 40 percent cassava into other confectionaries. As a sop, tax incentives were promised cassava flour millers and processors. If Nigerians embrace the new policy, cassava flour will save Nigeria N250 billion in foreign exchange from reduced importation of wheat and wheat flour, and create 1.3million jobs, according to the administration's projections. "Our cassava farmers and processors, most of whom toil endlessly and earn little for their efforts, now have cause to dream again as the government has begun the implementation of a cassava transformation action plan. Our goal is to expand the market for cassava farmers and turn Nigeria into the largest processor of cassava in the world. " said Jonathan Shedding further light on the new policy, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, says bakeries will
Implementation of the Federal Government policy imposing 65 percent levy on wheat flour import, 15 percent on wheat grain, in order to encourage locally made cassava flour, is expected to commence today. Head, Investigation Desk, Olukayode Thomas, examines the opposition to the policy and gains of using cassava flour. have 18 months in which to make the transition and will enjoy a corporate tax incentive of 12 per cent rebate if they attain 40 per cent blending of cassava flour with wheat flour. OPPOSITION TO THE POLICY Elsewhere, this initiative might have been embraced by many, but reverse has been the case in Nigeria as even government officials, the private sector, and wheat importers are firmly opposed to the new policy. Financial Derivates Company, an economic and financial advisory company, argues that the n e w policy will create m o r e problems for Nigerians. "The downside of these policy actions is the risk of increased smuggling activities as demand outstrips supply in the short-run; the cost of import-
ing these products would increase due to the levy hike, ultimately affecting supply". FDC also foresee opposition by international bodies. "Whilst the current trade policy reforms are designed to allow for a certain level of protection of the agriculture sector, it nonetheless has to be measured against the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Common External Tariff (CET) arrangements; and also the tenets of a consistent, transparent, certain and predictable policy. There appears to be a policy disconnection and contradiction. The government's decision to retain high tariffs and the continuous imposition of import bans makes trade policy highly uncertain and unpredictable." For their part, members of the House of Representatives appeared to have manufactured a phantom bill purported to have come from the Federal Government seeking to make it
mandatory to include cassava in the production of all flour products in Nigeria. The phantom bill was titled: 'A bill for an act to provide for the mandatory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith', Peter Edeh, PDP member from Edo State, arguing against the phantom bill said "compelling manufacturers of flour to include cassava would amount to compelling Nigerians to eat products that might be injurious to their health. Thirty to 40 percent of Nigerians are diabetic and it will be unfair to compel them to eat cassava products since most diabetic patients are barred from consuming foods such as cassava. It will be impinging on people's rights and endangering their lives to compulsorily include cassava in what they eat." A voice vote conducted by Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, unanimously rejected the bill. Federal Goverment Reaction The Federal Government swiftly reacted saying it did not sponsor the bill. Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Adesina said: "There was no such bill from the Executive and, therefore, no decision can be taken by the National Assembly on an executive bill that does not exist. In considering the decision on cassava bread, issues of patriotism and national pride, economy, food security and sound science must all be taken together. For far too long, Nigeria has depended on importation of wheat flour annually to feed its population, which is not sustainable politically and economically. Nigeria spends N635 billion of hard-earned foreign exchange importing wheat every year. "And there are those who make a lot of money doing this that who do not want any effort of government to do partial substitution of wheat flour with cassava flour to work. They are working for themselves, their pockets, not for Nigerians. "The private sector is already successfully â€˘Continued on Page 26
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
The Sunday Interview
"If Nigeria was a brand, it was a dead brand. No amount of 'Good People, Great Nation' slogan was going to change who we are."
•Continued on Page 25
• Steve Omajafor
Nigerians don't have water to drink, Nigerians don't have electricity, Nigerians are not employed and so they go out and try to survive one way or the other. Now, you just jump in the midst of it all and say, let's rebrand Nigeria. What exactly are you rebranding? In fact, you need to have a brand before you go rebranding.
S someone with close to four decades experience in advertising what's your assessment of the industry? Do you think advertising practice has improved and what areas require change if any? Virtually every aspect of life and living goes through the starting point, teething problems, adolescent and then old age. As someone who has practiced advertising for 35-40 years, I know a lot has happened with the practice over the years. We started off as agencies that were servicing extremely sensitive clients, serious businesses which took advertising very seriously, who also took their agencies very seriously. In those days we did full-fledged advertising for our clients. Any agency that was appointed did everything from conceptualising till you completed your work, got approval and went to media. It was the full works. Then you signed a contract which could be renewed every year depending on performance and also the terms of agreement included when you should be paid for jobs well done - 30, 35 or 40 days. Everybody kept to the terms of the agreement. Clients in those days didn't run from one agency to the other, which meant they didn't keep five to 10 agencies on their roster. Today, that's what we find. The entire process is so balkanised now that it is difficult knowing who is doing what. So, that's where we are now. Advertising practice has been so bastardised that it is difficult surviving as an advertising agency these days. How then are agencies managing these days? Well, they have moved on. That's probably part of the reasons why agencies' management have since diversified. In the past, everything we did was under one roof - the media, production teams were all under one roof. But today, especially in the last five to seven years, many firms now have different arms of their operations outside the agency as subsidiaries. It is all in the attempt to keep body and soul together. Do you think the industry requires a bill in the mould of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)? The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is something that is a bit too far-fetched for our little industry. The truth of the matter is that are there rules of engagement, rules of practice? Who is authorised to practice? All we want to do is ensure that everybody follows the rules and guidelines. Are clients allowed to keep mini-agencies within their companies and doing what agencies that are registered want to do for them? Are they supposed to go directly to media handled by one of their own specialists and buy media? Those are the kind of areas that we're looking at. So, I think that the agencies get what is due to them and the clients also get what is due to them. What is the net worth of the advertising industry in Nigeria today? I don't know because I'm not in advertising anymore. I'm sure you know by now I retired from advertising over six years ago. However, if you get to the Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria's secretariat, they have
got all those facts and figures. But whatever figure it is, my contention is that not more then 25 to 30 per cent of that is passing through registered advert agencies. Rebranding efforts of past administration didn't make any impact as the country's image out there is still the same. What is your take on that? What I've always said is that you don't do branding just for the fun of it. You don't just wake up and say one thing you want to do is to rebrand Nigeria, or any establishment for that matter. You've to sit down and look at what the problem of the country is. You want to find out exactly why Nigerians behave the way they behave because all you want to achieve is to positively affect the image and perception of Nigerians abroad. So why are people doing drugs? Why are people defrauding the country and accepting bribery and corruption? Why are students going on rampage every day? Why is armed robbery on the increase? First you list out the problems that the country is facing, you find out why it is that way. You now put in place structures that enable you handle those serious basic problems before you rebranding Clients in those days start because you don't didn't run from one rebrand somethat is virtuagency to the other, thing dead. When which meant they ally marketers decide didn't keep five to 10 to reposition a it is beagencies on their ros- brand, cause over time, ter. Today, that's what it's been the same. be, sales we find. The entire are May beginning to process is so drop… Now to balkanised now that interrogate the you have to it is difficult knowing brand find out if the who is doing what. colour is getting So, that's where we too dull, or is it as effective as are now. Advertising still it was meant to practice has been so be? meetbastardised that it is ing Istheit still needs of difficult surviving as consumers? If the an advertising agency consumers no longer buy your these days. products or your brand, you know you've a problem. But if you now juxtapose that with our country, you know that Nigerians have complained enough. Nigerians don't have water to drink, Nigerians don't have electricity, Nigerians are not employed and so they go out and try to survive one way or the other. Now, you just jump in the midst of it all and say, let's rebrand Nigeria. What exactly are you rebranding? In fact, you need to have a brand before you go rebranding. If Nigeria was a brand, it was a dead brand. No amount of "Good People, Great Nation'' slogan was going to change who we are. Just about the time that was going on, somebody wrote something in the paper, saying, "You don't rebrand a hungry man." A hungry man needs food to eat; he wants to be properly clothed, he wants a job to do. Once you solve these problems - not overnight though, it is something that requires a continuous process towards resolving them then we can rebrand. That means we have a brand. But the way we are today… tell me of Nigeria today where even those you thought were above board, those you thought were guiding lights, those you thought were there for the younger ones to follow, are even themselves criminals. So, what is there to hope for? So, imagine anybody telling me he wants to rebrand Nigeria, where are you starting from? What exactly are you rebranding? We are all there stealing money. The judiciary is there accepting bribes from the highest bidder to write their judgments. Undergraduates that have no jobs are forming themselves into cliques and gangs to go and rob homes. We've got to go back to the basics and unfortunately we have not started. The problem with Nigeria is what we have to go and resolve and be able to make
Steve Bamidele Omojafor, Executive Chairman, STBMcCann and Zenith Bank PLC, is synonymous with advertising, a profession he has dedicated the greater part of his productive life to. He has been one of the industry's leading lights over the past four decades. One way to easily grab his attention is to have him speak on advertising which he does with a passion. In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf, Sir Steve, as he is fondly called by admirers, reminisces on his professional path as well as other salient issues
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
PHOTOS: MUYIWA HASSAN •Continued from Page 24 any moves. There are lots of things that have to be done. Unless they are done, we're wasting our time. So, when you go rebranding it means you have a brand and that brand is having some issues, and you just want to add a bit to it so that you can meet the expectations of your consumers. Talking about rebranding Nigeria, I think is something that we should not just bother ourselves with now until we put Nigeria on the scale whereby we right the wrongs of the past. We don't know where we're coming from. We don't even know where we're going? If you're given the opportunity to take the Nigeria project on board as an account, do you think it is something that is achievable? Of course, it is achievable. But the government must be prepared and from what I see today, the government is not prepared. To pay billions of naira to external agencies, like our government often likes to do by bringing in expatriates from Europe or overseas who know next to nothing about our cultural realities, and get them to prepare advert campaigns and packages to come and run in our environment, is senseless. You need to get Nigerians to sit down to talk to each other, because for a project like that, no agency in the world can succeed except the government makes a re-orientation of the people of Nigeria. Get them to have a sense of belonging, get them to believe that 'I'm indeed welcome', 'I'm accepted as a Nigerian', ‘the government has respect for me, and they take me as somebody who actually belongs and as such they want to take care of me. I'm not saying they should be feeding me 100 times a day. Just give me the basics. If I'm a vulcanizer, I need light to work that would make it difficult for me to go stealing at night because I would have done my work and made some earnings. Nigerians also would have to give up the bad effect of greed and wanting to make overnight what should take you years to earn. That greed is getting so ingrained in Nigeria today. I heard the acting IG saying he wants to start paying policeman a minimum of N50, 000. At the roadblocks they were making up to, if not more than that amount but it was never enough for them. So, we have to work Nigerians up to a level where they will be satisfied and contented with what they get as legitimate earnings.
As long as we're all looking out there for what we don't deserve by way of legitimate earnings we will continue to have problems. For instance, if as a school-leaver, I want to earn what the Managing Director or what the Senate President earns, of course, this is not possible. So, Nigerians, over the years, lost that sense of satisfaction with what they have. We're always looking out there for what does not belong to us. What we need at this material time is a complete re-orientation, a complete re-education of Nigerians for us to put ourselves exactly where we can be. When does your typical day begin? Like I said, I'm retired. My day doesn't have a pattern. When I don't have anywhere going, I can lie on my bed till 9.00am in the morning. Once I wake up, I say my prayers, read my papers and probably have my bath at about midday. I go to mass and stay there till 12.30pm. But when I have an appointment and I have got to be there by 8.00am in the morning, I leave my house at 6.00am or thereabouts. But usually my daily routine depends on what I have in the offing for the day and it changes from one day to another. Do you follow any exercise regimen? Not too strictly. I take long walks. I swim. Occasionally, I go on the treadmill. Do you go on vacation? Of course, I travel quite often. Where was the last place you had your vacation? I was in Spain towards the end of last year. This year, I have taken a little programme in Dubai and I go to England regularly. Does your hobby also include reading? Of course, I read and I write. What was the last title you read? The book I'm currently reading now is a book entitled: "God's Banker" by David Wallop, an American. If you have the opportunity of reincarnation, would you like to travel the same path? I'll travel the same route because I wasn't born or raised to go out there aimlessly searching for everything under the sun. If I was to reincarnate, whatever work I do would still be something I would go on considering... I'm never in a rush to make money because if you earn all the money, what next? When time comes to go, you go with nothing. So ,people should learn to grow gradually. That's what I tell younger ones. Don't start sprinting before you even learn how to crawl because you will crash some-
Nigerians, over the years, lost that sense of satisfaction with what they have. We're always looking out there for what does not belong to us. What we need at this material time is a complete reorientation, a complete reeducation of Nigerians for us to put ourselves exactly where we can be.
The Sunday Interview
where along the line. I also advice younger people who think politics gives money. For me, it's senseless. You want to ask yourself, those who are there today what kind of services are they really rendering to you and I? So, say to yourself, this is going to be your purpose in life. That I set up company that employs people, I'm rendering better services than a whole lot of them in the National Assembly with all the money they are getting. If given the opportunity, are there areas in your life you would like to change? I might have made mistakes but nothing that is absolutely awkward because you've got to make mistakes as you go along. But none has been so permanent or disastrous or whatever. You aim little at a time. For instance, if you started off investing in millions and anything happens, you'll lose something commensurate with your investment. So, I say to people, take it slow and don't be too much in haste to make money because money itself has its own dangers. What values do you hold dearly? I have always professed to myself, and like my mummy always said before she died, believe in hard work. Hard work doesn't kill. It is laziness and indolence that will kill you. You should be focused, know where exactly you're going. Never make money your priority in whatever you do, okay. You could find something to do, it could be a hobby, develop it. When I left Daily Times, it was in search of fulfillment. It was out of professional fulfillment, not for money. When we set up Rosabel from Lintas, our main motive was how do we speed up the time it takes us to work? How do we give clients more attention? Rather than the big establishment we were in that was becoming bureaucratic? And like you were asking, advertising is not where you go to be rich. If you choose to be in advertising, it means you have a focus, you believe in yourself and the fact that the industry is worth developing. If you had the opportunity of advising President Goodluck Jonathan today what will you tell him? If I meet the President… I don't even pray to meet him! But if I meet him, I'll just tell him, Nigerians are not satisfied with the situation of things so let's work harder.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
•Continued from Page 23 substituting cassava flour for wheat flour in bread and confectionaries. UTC Plc and Food Concepts, two of the largest bakers in the country, are commercialising healthy cassava-based bread and confectionaries. "The flour mills and their surrogates are doing all they can to misinform Nigerians, so as to protect their super-normal profits, which they siphon out of Nigeria. They are fighting to make Nigerian farmers poor and wretched, while making farmers of wheat-exporting countries happy. He dismissed the suggestion that cassava consumption is not good for those with diabetes as wholly untrue, scientifically baseless and a deliberate attempt to misinform Nigerians. Since Adesina made this statement the House Representatives is yet to respond. For renowned accountant and former president of ICAN and Institute of Directors, Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, the action of the House of Representatives members is shocking. "The National Assembly that is supposed to represent our people and try to reduce our poverty which should know that more than 70% of these people are into farming. I do not believe that they will dare say what it has been reported they said. I will pretend that they did not say it but if they did, they should remember that they are in the National Assembly today but tomorrow, they will come and face their people. They see the level of change that can take place if cassava is turned into something our people eat. They will see that there are many more people that will benefit if cassava is used. Most of the cassava in their villages is in the ground but because they are politicians they don't even see the level of pain. I can't imagine a situation where the wheat that is imported becomes more useful to Nigerians than what God has given us, that God that allowed this be a good place for cassava to grow certainly knows it is good for us. If you want to eat bread you should have a choice of imported or cassava bread" Ijewere now eats cassava bread. "I do not eat much bread, but when I do I ask if there is cassava in the bread. Although my tongue cannot tell the difference, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I am eating something close to home, and I can feel good about the poor farmer in the village.'' He says wheat importers may try to sabotage the new policy. "It is the selfishness of human nature. What we are trying to do is that the selfishness of the majority should override that of the few. That of the 70% percentage of the population who are farmers should supersede the 100s of people who are importers of wheat. It is the duty of the government to be on the side of the majority. Let us stop exporting jobs to other people but improve our people; the more cassava farmers we have, the more jobs and research". Nigerian Companies Embracing Cassava Flour Some Nigerian companies are already using cassava flour to manufacture cassava bread; notable among them is UTC Nigeria and Food Concepts. During the recent launch of cassava bread in Abuja, Foluso Olaniyan, CEO, UTC Nigeria recounted her organization's experience with cassava flour and production of cassava bread. "After 92 trials and almost three months from the date of our initial trial, we were able to crack the nut, and in February 2012 we achieved a sustainable commercial recipe for White Bread and Wheat Grain Bread, with 20 percent high quality cassava bread." Her company not only uses cassava flour for bread, but also for about 12 other products like beef rolls, doughnuts, cakes, apple pies, croissants, milk bread, cookies, and burger rolls. All of this was achieved in three months. Deji Akinyanju, CEO of Food Concepts, also trumpets a similar success story with cassava flour. "We have successfully added 20 percent high quality cassava flour to our new cassava bread, which is nutritious and produced in a hygienic environment. Our research of this product has taken over nine months to get to this point of final formulation, which has been tested and found to be acceptable to consumers. We have now commercialised the product in Lagos and Abuja, and our other bakeries will follow within the next three to six months." Call For Federal Government Assistance Nigerian companies that have embraced cassava flour want the Federal Government to give them some assistance and incentives. They want import duty waiver on enzymes (magic solutions) in high quality cassava flour recipes, which they presently import at high cost because they are not manufactured in Nigeria. "Our magic solutions (enzymes) in the high quality cassava flour recipes have come to us at relatively high prices due to high freighting costs. They are a necessity for success because of the absence of gluten in high quality cassava flour. We are soliciting for the Federal
Now, you'll eat cassava bread
•President Jonathan and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina snack on cassava bread
Government's support in getting waivers on the import duty for bakery equipment and enzymes, pending the time enzymes can be locally manufactured. Cassava Bread And The Health Risk One of the issues raised by members of the House of Representatives revolves around the supposed health risk associated with cassava bread - especially to diabetic patients. President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Professor Ignatius Onimawo disputes this position. "In the first instance, the report that the diabetes rate in Nigeria is between 20-30percent is completely untrue. The diabetes rate in Nigeria is less than 10 percent. In fact, we have not done a recent survey; that was just a projected percentage. The last survey that was done was around 1992 and it was not even a nationwide survey and put the diabetic rate at 2.5 percent "From 1992 till now, there is projection that it must have increased but up to the point of about 9.5 percent. So the issue of 20, 30 percent does not arise. Onimawo identifies to things to watch out for when talking about diabetes - the Glacemic Index and the Glacemic Load. Now food with low Glacemic Index is the kind that diabetics are advised to consume, while cassava is not listed among foods with high Glacemic Index. In fact, wheat flour has high Glacemic Index between 70 and 72, while cassava has a Glacemic index between 46 and 60. Onimawo buttressed his argument with a survey conducted in Kenya where it was found that of the over 1380 people surveyed, most got their energy or calorie intake from cassava. About 86 percent of that number goes for their calorie intake from cassava and none of them was diabetic. "In the same survey, those who were diabetic in that community rarely took cassava. They were eating other sorts of food. So cassava is not implicated as such anywhere," he said. Onimawo who insists that the cassava policy is a sound one, makes the point that every country has its own bread. "When I went to Morocco, their bread was made from corn flour. So why must we eat American bread? The Italian doesn't eat American bread. So Nigeria's own which is cassava and wheat flour is really nice. Cassava is a mainly starchy raw material and contains no gluten," he claims. Us Wheat Farmers And NigeriA If cassava flour eventually becomes the main flour for making bread and allied products in Nigeria, the biggest losers will the American wheat farmers and the Nigerian importers. Nigeria is currently one of the biggest markets for American wheat in the world. We are on the verge of displacing Japan and becoming the biggest buyer of United States wheat according to the official website of U.S. Wheat Associates Inc. - a trade group for the world's largest exporter of wheat. Steven Wirsching, a director at the group told Bloomberg recently that Japan is currently the top export market for the U.S. grain, followed by
Nigeria, Mexico, Egypt, the Philippines and South Korea. "The markets that are really growing are located in Africa. Nigeria's per capita income is growing and they are consuming more food and they are looking for more Western-style food products," Wirsching said. Although Nigeria's wheat imports from the US fell in 2011/12, it remains the most consistent, loyal customer for US wheat according to the website. The website revealed that Flour Mills of Nigeria continues to be the market leader by capacity but other millers, such as Dangote, Honeywell, and BUA, continue to increase market share. They forecast that Nigeria's overall wheat imports in 2012/13 will rise to 3.9 million tons,
up slightly from the revised estimate of 3.8 million tons in 2011/12. They are also on top of the Federal Government policy as the website revealed that they are aware of plans to cut wheat import by introducing a new policy compelling cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour US Wheat Associates is very active in Nigeria in providing training opportunities and trade servicing for the Nigerian milling industry. They have a representative located in Lagos. Today, Flour Mills of Nigeria is the world's leading hard white wheat importer, purchasing 140,000 MT in 2009-2010. Will the Federal Government stick to its policy that will help cassava farmers or will it bow to pressure from wheat importers and Americans? Only time will tell.
Flour Facts: Cassava versus Wheat 1. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world, with production of 40 million MT annually 2. Nigeria spends 635 billion Naira of hard earned foreign exchange importing wheat, every year. 3. UTC Plc and Food Concepts, two of the largest bakers in the country are commercialising healthy cassava-based bread and confectioneries. 4. The President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Professor Ignatius Onimawo, says: "Adding cassava flour will not increase the glycemic index of bread. It will not aggravate diabetes". 5. Nigerians eat Eba, fufu, amala - all made from cassava and no health problems have ever been reported from the consumption of these foods. 6. Our local foods are much healthier than imported over-processed foods that cause cancer and aggravate diabetes, such as white wheat flour. 6. French bread is popularly called 'banquette'. The glycemic index for French bread is 95, which puts it in the very high range for diabetes. 7. Cassava is better than wheat flour, French bread, English muffins and cornflakes! Indeed, yam has the lowest of all, with glycemic index of 49, which is lower than even 100% whole wheat bread. 8. Eating cassava bread, made from composite cassava flour mixed with wheat flour improves your health. Eating white bread, from wheat flour alone is not good for your health - and neither is it good for the health of our economy. 9. Cassava bred will inject over N60b into the economy
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
The secrets of my marital success
––Ex-MBGN Anita Uwagbale-Iseghohi PAGE 43
Kehinde Falode Tel: 08023689894 (sms)
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
•A classic light grey box-hard case evening clutch bag with pleated satin
Miss Selfridge yellow lace cami
•Striped long skirt
•Collared dark yellow sleeveless blouse with bow Tie •Mulberry Alexa soft buffalo leather bag
•Coach crocodile hobo bag
•Washi and Learn Skirt
Steal her style: Oluchi Orlandi
IGERIA’S first international supermodel and Victoria Secret model, Oluchi Orlandi, is the queen of classic chic! Now find out how to combine Oluchi’s style, without breaking the bank or cracking your brain. Proving striped are still riding high on the star style radar, Oluchi chose an Wes Gordon skirt, accented with simple beaded necklace and yellow bangles. The ensemble was for the The Annual New Yorkers for Children Spring Dinner and Dance at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. She paired her stylish skirt with Topshop’s ruche strapless yellow tank top.
•Gorjana hudson bag
•Tory Burch Reva metallic ballerina flat
•Yellow sleeveless pussy-bow shirt blouse
•Christian Louboutin macarena chain link wedge
Vintage striped skirt A-line skirt
•Stone setting yellow bangles
•Christian Louboutin Pumps Bling Bling Peep Toe
•Christian-Louboutin studded jeweled flats
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Celebrity photographer Sunmi Smart-Cole, launched his coffee table book, Sunmi’s Lens: A Medium between Man and Nature last week Saturday at Harbour Point Events Centre, Victoria Island. After the launch, there was also an exhibition of the photographic works of the maestro, spanning 36 years to the present. But it was not only the photojournalist’s works that were on display. The fashionistas pulled out all the stops in the style stakes. Kehinde Falode brings you the fashion hits Photos: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL
Priscilia Suchi-Best Lola Dike
The detail and cut on the Ankara print were fabulous and with the simple hair and makeup, it was a great age-appropriate look. Kudos to YEWANDE ZACCHEAUS LOLA ADEFUSIKA’s garb was simple and had great colour. A shawl would have been nice but she makes it work. Kudos! Simplicity does it for LOLA DIKE. Kudos! I loved this look! PRISCILIA SUCHI-BEST stoodout as one of the best dressed. I love the combo, the skirt and stones on the shoes. Gorgeous and young. Kudos! Gorgeous colour, flattering boyfriend's jacket to die for. Kudos to BIOLA AWOSIKA
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
2012 Miss Lagos Carnival, Yewande Lawal popularly known as Shoshanna on Tinsel reveals her favourite things to Wunmi Oguntuase
Favourite sunglass Rayban
Favourite shoes designer Dollhouse and Aldo
Favourite bag designer Paul's Boutique
Favourite actress Angelina Jolie
Favourite food Eba & Oha soup
Favourite wrist watch designer Swatch
Favourite nail polish Sally Hansen
Favourite Book If Tomorrow Comes
Favourite jeans Denin
Favourite skirt Peplum skirt
With VICTOR AKANDE
2face draws curtain on Star Trek 2012
band, he rendered songs like “Rainbow” and “Dance in the rain” from his new album. And the crowd actually danced in the rain. He was clearly amazed that the crowd rhymed to the lyrics of the new songs. He intermittently asked the instrumentalists and back-up singers to halt the music as the delighted crowd chanted the lyrics of his songs. He then threw the crowd in a musical frenzy when he went philosophical; rhythmically questioning Nigeria's leadership style and state of government. By 4:00am when he rounded off his performance, the crowd clearly had more fun and excitement beyond the N200 gate fee
WOW Divas honour Monalisa Chinda, Emem Isong OR their outstanding contribution to raising awareness, understanding and hope to those affected by autism spectrum disorder, while also advocating for them, delectable Nollywood actress, Monalisa Chinda, and prominent female movie producer, Emem Isong have both been distinguished and specially honoured by WOW Divas. The honourees, who recently took part in the production of the first film on Autism ever produced in Nigeria, were awarded by the international network of professional women, at their second Autism Awareness Conference held on Friday, June 22, 2012 at Four Point, Lekki, Lagos. Speaking on the award, Monalisa Chinda said “It feels great to be honoured and encouraged to do more. Though we deal in different fields, we have something in common, and that is helping people to improve themselves and live a meaningful life.” Among the speakers and special guests at the event were Dr. Abiodun Aluko, Dr. Bosede Askhia, Dr. Yinka Akindayomi, Adeola Holloway Oduyemi, Dotun Akande, Mrs. Udo Maryanne Okonjo and Honourable Jerry Alagbaosa, member of the Imo State House of Rep amongst others. Parents and caregivers, who filled the hall to the brim, were eager to receive more information on Autism which is affecting more and more families in Nigeria.
which granted them access to the venue. Other top rated artistes that performed that night were Wande Coal, Wizkid and KC, former member of KC Presh; the first band that won Star Quest, Nigeria's only band-based musical reality TV show.
CocoIce reaches out to fans
AST-RISING female rapper, CocoIce is set to build on relative popularity by releasing three singles to finally establish herself and consolidate her position as a talented rap diva to contend with. According to 'Biodun Caston-Dada, the A & R Director of MAGiKAL Entertainment which currently handles her management, “we were stunned by the wide acceptance CocoIce received and the heavy rotation her video had been enjoying since it was released barely two weeks ago, and we really wanted to consolidate on these. Though we know she is very talented, charismatic and a pretty artiste and these are the qualities we saw in her before signing her up.” Her singles which are billed to be released come
igeria's biggest in-country musical tour, Star Trek ended Saturday, June 23, with top class performances by the musical stars on parade. While the rain dampened their clothes, it did not dampen the spirits of the crowd that trooped en masse to the Cultural Centre Complex venue of the Calabar leg of this year's event. They danced to the songs blasting from the turntable of Tony Blaze, who was the night's official disc jockey. It was evident that the crowd got more than they bargained for as some of the best Nigerian music artistes sang to the delight of the excited audience. 2face Idibia, Nigeria's most popular musician drew the curtains on this year's edition; and he did so in grand style. Complement ed by his
July 1 2012 includes club rocking tracks such as “It's Me” produced by HCode, “Azonto Thinz” produced by Detunes and “If U Don't Know (the refined mix)” also produced by HCode.” Her management outfit has also deemed it fit for a prompt construction of a website (www.cocoicenaija.com) and an online platform via Facebook and Twitter giving her fans the opportunity to interact with her. It will also keep fans abreast of latest happening as regards studio sessions, songs, videos, downloads, themes, wallpapers, pictures, merchandise, ringtones and online promotions. In less than one month of her entry into the Nigeria music scene, CocoIce, we gathered had clinched a deal with House of Style, owned by Monique Okonkwo, who is now her official clothing boutique, while talks are also ongoing with a Human Hair Extension company that is very much interested in working with her.
HAT has it been like thus far having a career spanning over 10 years? My journey on the music scene actually started 13 years ago to be precise. It has been a long journey with a lot of ups and down; it has also been mixed with a lot of fulfilment and blessings. There have also been a lot of challenges and triumphs; it is a long story filled with lots of experiences which has made me who I am today. What has been your highest point in the last 13 years? I cannot really place a finger on a particular high point in my career for now because I have received a lot of awards and recognition over the years. I have also gotten commendation from a lot of people too; what you sometimes call your high point may vary because the definition of my high-point may vary from yours. All I can say is that, I have had so many high points in my career and it would be unfair to just mention one of my high moments. Are you a satisfied artiste? The truth is that I cannot sit back and analyse and make it seem as if my career has ended. I am still trying to muscle my way into the industry after the short break I had; I still have a lot of things that I am working towards. There have been lots of achievements in 13 years; there have been open doors and the perks that come with being an artiste in the Nigerian music industry. How would you describe your evolution as an artiste in the last 13 years? I was a small girl when I started and besides the career, I have also grown in stature and experience. I had dreams which have been fulfilled and I have also experienced situations which I never thought will take place. It has been a long change process which has overtime made me evolve into the artiste that I am today. I have been able to put smiles on the faces of music lovers over a period of time especially at a time when young girls who did music were considered as never-do-wells. I was an undergraduate when I started doing music and ensured I finished school before plunging headlong into the world of music. People like me are considered as the pioneers of modern day Nigerian music and I am glad to be part of that golden generation. What are the challenges you are faced with in trying to catch up with today's music? I am more about the message; I am more about getting an important message across to music lovers. But today's music is all about dance and trying to infuse that into my songs has been a challenge on its own. Being able to understand the music terrain and the dynamics of music promotion, and learning tricks of what makes a song a hit is another challenge on its own too. Sometimes, it is not the rave that is the in thing; it is the make-up of the artiste that really matters. The blend of certain things in your psyche is the basic work; it is what you have in your bag of tricks you can produce. Being able to blurt out the fact that people see you as old school and the ability to adapt to present day musical trends is really challenging. Should we expect
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
I bought a copy of my first album from a pirate —Azeezat
an infusion of dance and current music trends in your works? Yes! I have tried my best and I have come to discover that I cannot do music that I do not believe in. I cannot do music that people cannot vouch for because people have come to discover that my music is all about my message. My current efforts are a blend of the old and new; my fans should expect dance songs on my forthcoming album. Would it be okay to sum up that your style was influenced by your upbringing? Definitely! You know girls will be girls and when you are younger, you come across a lot of things and you are tempted to try some things as a young girl just because you want to blend in. You later learn your lessons in the process of growing until you discover yourself and your personality. My upbringing and training did not require me to be flamboyant and catchy to the eye in the manner in which I present myself. There is one person I really admire on the movie scene because of her simplicity in appearance and that is Genevieve Nnaji. She has redefined her style; she is very simple any yet classy and she always comes out on point. I learn a lot from a lot of people and what I learn from them informs what I do because I want to add value to my trade and personality. What informs your style, especially your hairdo? I was trying to find an outstanding identity that would not be imitated by anybody. That was why I initially settled for the long thread hairstyle which is known as shuku andkiko. I initially saw a sample that inspired that hairstyle and I discovered that it really made me look African. It wasn't something that was easy to achieve and sustain over the years because I went through a lot of pains to achieve it. There was a time I stopped and decided to start all over again because people had come to know me by that hairstyle. My hairdo works for me at the moment; it defines me and it is a blend of me of old and in present times. My new looks aptly explains what I have had in my head all this while. What past mistake would you not want to repeat again? That would be trying to force an idea that would always come out wrong because it was by force. I have learnt to allow things to flow more naturally; I have also learnt to move with the tides and times. I have also learnt to listen more to the counsel of people who know me better so they can add more value to my career. I have come to understand that it is better to allow specialists to handle some aspects of your career. I have
I can't really tell why I fell in love with him, but I can say that I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. We recently celebrated 10 years in marriage and my life started the day that I met him. In a lot of ways he has helped to make my career a success and what people see on the outside today is as a result of his hard work
A-list thespians storm cinema as Daisy premieres
T was an unforgettable gathering last weekend as actors, actresses and Nollywood stake holders assembled at Ozone cinema on Saturday, June 23, 2012 for the premiere of one of the most anticipated movies of the year titled Daisy. Quite unlike what you see at most premieres, the guests who turned-out for the event had the pleasant experience of walking on a green carpet while also posing for photo shots from the array of paparazzi that stormed the venue. It was one of the longest Red carpets in recent time as colleagues, friends, families, of popular director Bond Emeruwa as well as movie lovers kept trooping into the cinema to catch a glimpse of one of the most talked about movies of the year. It was one premiere that brought two generations of thespians, the veterans as well as the raves of the moment under one roof. Notable among faces that graced the event which many agree will not be forgotten in a hurry is Mahmood Ali Balogun, Peace Anyiam Osigwe, Bond Emeruwa, Sunny Mac Don, Saint Obi, Emeka Ossai, Chico Ejiro, Chioma Chukwuka, Desmond Elliot and Bhaire Mcwizu among others Though the movie started pretty late, the caliber of stars which Daisy parades, perhaps kept many, even the stars waiting till as late as 8pm when the movie
Azeezat Niniola Allen popularly referred to as Azeezat in music circles is one musician who believes so much in love. She is regarded as one of the pioneers of present day Nigerian music and she not only stands out among her peers but she is equally admired for her sonorous voice. The creative artiste opens up on her love life, marriage while also reflecting on her style among other issues in this interview with AHMED BOULOR. a stylist and make-up artiste that takes care of my looks; I just want to concentrate on doing good music while other personnel concentrate on other parts of my music career. How many albums do you have in all? Technically , I would say I have four albums because my fourth album is a repackaged version of my third album. So
give or take you have four albums? Yeah! Give or take, I have four albums… How have you been able to cope on the music scene which is predominantly dominated by hip hop artistes? The truth is some certain things are determined by certain people and situations; I recently had a collaboration with Mode 9 and that tells you that I have decided to infuse a bit of hip hop in my music. International artistes like Rihanna, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland all infuse different genres of music in their personal albums and I am not an exception. I predominantly do soulful songs and you can't take that part of me away from the kind of music that I do. Everything else is an addition… Which of your four albums would you say is the most successful? It will be very difficult for someone like me to say that this album or that album is my most successful. I started music before songs became commercial and for instance my first album made headway but it was released in an era when people weren't really crazy about the kind of music that people like me were doing at the time. It was an era when the industry was waking up from the slumber caused by the military rule. So if I say that there is any other album that was more commercially viable than my first album then I will be doing my debut album a great disservice. People still remember my first single titled 'Hold On' and that song was in my first album. Funny enough, I bought that album from a pirate… Talking about pirates, how much have you lost to them in
I was a small girl when I started and besides the career, I have also grown in stature and experience. I had dreams which have been fulfilled....
your years of music? It's unquantifiable! I just don't go there all the time and that is why I am happy that I was recently appointed as a board member of the copyright society of Nigeria (COSON). A whole lot of solutions have been proferred for the advancement of the music industry and it is time to start making changes. There is still so much work to be done and I am a part of COSON to effectively eradicate piracy as much as possible. It is time to allow the Nigerian artiste to go home with something. Last week, we sued WAZOBIA FM for copyright infringement and that is the first time ever that such an action would be taken. At least, that will serve as a deterrent to others. Would you say you are a fulfilled artiste? Yes and no! I read a lot of interviews of other people and I have learnt from some of the things they have said like I said earlier it depends on your definition as a person. It varies for individuals but in certain areas of
my life and career I would say that I am fulfilled especially when I get positive comments from my admirers. I cannot really say that I am fulfilled because I am young and I have a whole lot to achieve ahead of me. Would you be more fulfilled when you start having babies? When I start having babies? (Laughs coyly) I am sorry I wouldn't want to answer that question… How supportive has your husband been all these years without a child? He has really been supportive and I want to thank him for all that he has done. I can't do anything without him. He is a strong pillar of support and I cannot ask for a better partner. What about your in-laws? Are they not pressuring you in any way? My in-laws are really supportive and I have posted it on social media several times. They are the best in-laws I can ever get; there are certain things I cannot talk about but all I can say is that I have the best in-laws in the world. How did you meet your husband? We met at a talent hunt competition and that was 13 years ago; it was through my husband that I got into music. The competition was a winner-takes-all affair and was so distraught when I didn't win. After the competition, he walked up to me and told me we can work together and take my career to the next level and the rest like they say is history. What made you fall in love with your husband? I can't really tell why I fell in love with him, but I can say that I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. We recently celebrated 10 years in marriage and my life started the day that I met him. In a lot of ways he has helped to make my career a success and what people see on the outside today is as a result of his hard work. 10 years in marriage; what's your greatest wish? (Pauses and laughs) Nice one! (Laughs really loud again) That's a nice one but if you ask me, that's between me and my creator…
eventually started showing. The movie centers on Daisy, the last born and only girl in a family of five; she's seen as the black sheep of the family because she puts her passion for music above her education. This singular trait of Daisy causes her father (Olu Jacobs) to begin to ask questions about the paternity of his daughter which almost tears the family apart. One good thing, you couldn't tell where the whole drama was heading to as a DNA test is conducted confirming Daisy's father's fears. However, her mother (Ebele Okaro) is certain she didn't cheat on him as the drama unfolds with twists and turns.
MDA returns with N7.5m prize
S popular family reality dance show, Maltina Dance All (MDA), enters its sixth season, ten Nigerian families will slug it out on the dance floor as they attempt to outwit one another via a mastery of various types of dance steps ranging from Wazobia, Hip-hop Jive, Pantomime, samba to salsa. Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries plc, Mr. Ageni Yusuf said the Maltina brand is renowned for promoting togetherness with friends and loved ones. Speaking at the Press briefing held at its Lagos breweries headquarters, Ageni said that the family TV show has no doubt remained Nigeria's first and only family dance TV show featuring families from various regions across the country. “From the 2007 edition which produced the Onye family as winners, Maltina Dance All has gone through five successful seasons. In 2008 it was the
Opuwari family that carted away the star prize; in 2009 the Ibiams were voted the nation's best dance family. The Adejoh's were champions in 2010 while in 2011; the Ekubo's were crowned the best dance family with the unforgettable swinging moves of Ebi Ekubo and his little sister.” Yusuf stressed that the new season would be time to enjoy home grown entertainment, twists and thrills as well as learn some winning dance steps. “It would be about emotions, the excitement, fun and the unbreakable bond that ten families will showcase when they challenge themselves by learning and performing various dance styles in the Ageni revealed that regional auditioning centres for the competition will be at Port Harcourt, Benin, Enugu, Ibadan, Lagos and Abuja as registration will take place between July 20th and August 4 2012.
Sport&Style PAGE 35
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
DROPS BOMBSHELL Nothing like an ideal woman
FIVE ALIVE Efe Sodje, siblingsâ€™ love for charity exposed BY TAIWO ALIMI
FETOBORE Sodje aka Bandana Man , who was capped nine times by the Super Eagles, has disclosed the fascinating yet shocking story behind his trademark bandana, which incidentally motivated the launch of the now famous charity foundation, The Sodje Foundation(TSF). The TSF has touched lives of scores of children in Africa and the United Kingdom and Sodje reckons that his weird lifestyle has impacted on him than any other thing. Over time, footballers have stamped diverse ways of recognition for themselves. While some stand out with their flashy hairstyles, some othersâ€™ tattoos make them unique in the crowd. Many even combine the two. But if you think Sodje wears his Contd. on pg 39
Rooney frolics with wife at Poolside
Rooney frolic with wife at Poolside
HEY'VE all got time on their hands after England crashed out of the Euro 2012 tournament after losing to Italy in the quarter-finals. So it stands to reason that footballers Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole would make the most of their time off. As Wayne holidayed with wife Coleen in Los Angeles, the pair were seen catching up with the Ashley and Shaun Wright-Phillips as the group made the most of the sunshine. Wayne, who had been enjoying the sunshine on a lounger next to the hotel pool, was quick to rise up and greet his pals with hugs, before Coleen also got up from her sunbathing to say hello. Earlier in the day, Coleen was seen showing off her trim shape in a small tribal print bikini as she lounged on a bed. The couple were careful in the heat and were seen applying sunscreen in a liberal fashion. While Coleen, who already boasts a dark tan, sprayed herself with oil, Wayne rubbed in cream. Wayne, who is no doubt reeling from being kicked out of the competition, appeared restless and decided to take a dip in the pool. While he was in there a fan approached the Manchester united star and requested a photograph. Rooney obliged and a girl snapped a picture of the boy from her sun lounger. Coleen was seen playing with her iPAD as she lay down relaxing. The mother-of-one actually appeared captivated by whatever was on her screen and refused to join her husband in the pool. Perhaps Coleen is reading 50 Shades of Grey the hit fiction novel that is currently at the top of bestseller lists across the globe. She couldn't tear herself away from her screen despite pleas from Wayne. The pair were certainly in the mood for the sunshine and as their beds went into the shade the pair moved to different beds to continue their sun session.
SPORT&STYLE SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
CURVY & PROUD
HE was there to cheer on her footballer beau as he and his Spanish teammates romped to victory over Croatia and the Republic of Ireland. But Shakira is not a woman to drop her life for her man and it was back to business for the singer today - even though it meant missing Gerard Pique's Euro 2012 quarter-final. The Colombian pop star was snapped in Barcelona in Spain yesterday filming her new music video and looked absolutely sensational in a long gold dress as she sang down from a balcony. She was later seen being driven away back to her hotel or maybe Pique's home in the Catalan city and may have been in a hurry to catch some of the game. Because hundreds of miles away in Donetsk in the Ukraine, Pique and the Spain national side were securing their place in the semi-finals after a 2-0 win over France. However, during this tournament, Shakira has managed to mix business with pleasure and was lucky enough to be able to record songs for her next album in Poland so she could be there for her boyfriend of two years. According to AFP, the 35-yearold was in the city of Gdansk from June 13 to 20 recording tracks at the Radio Gdansk studio - and they were only too happy to accommodate her. Radio Gdansk President Lech Parell said at first they didn't know it was Shakira, whose song Waka Waka became FIFA's official theme for the 2010 World Cup, who wanted to book the studio. And he said when a booking conflict arose they realised who she was and made sure they could fit her in. He said: 'At a certain point the information came up and so we stood on our heads and found some free time for Miss Shakira. 'Shakira is definitely a huge star, so yes we were certainly pleasantly surprised.' And he added that even though she was seen at the Spain games cheering on the team, she made sure her work came first.
Imogen, Giggs’ gal proudly shows off her curves
HE'S certainly no stranger to showing off her figure, keeping fans regularly updated on her goings on by posting pictures of herself on Twitter. So when it came to picking out an outfit for a visit to Abbey Road studios, Imogen Thomas of course chose one of the most eyecatching outfits in her wardrobe. The former Big Brother star opted for a figure-hugging strapless jumpsuit, teamed with a pair of skyscraper colourful wedge
heels as she strode across the zebra crossing made famous by The Beatles, and signed the wall outside of the recording studios. Imogen's confident outing came as she spoke out about magazines using photo shop to perfect their images, admitting that she wouldn't want to show any altered shots to her future children. She said: 'Photographs of me are touched up. For example, if pants are a bit too tight I may have love handles. But the magazines will iron out those imperfections on photographs.
ROMANCE IN THE
'I wouldn't show my children these magazines where people look picture perfect, they do make celebrities look a lot thinner than they are. 'If they did see images of me, I would tell them they have been improved. I think youngsters need to know that.' The 29-year-old's comments came after the Government launched a body confidence pack for parents showing pictures of stars like Britney Spears before and after their pictures have been improved.
Abbey Crouch and hubby can't keep their hands off each other
HILE Wayne and Coleen Rooney are sunbathing in Los Angeles, another footballer and his WAG were enjoying the sunshine elsewhere. Peter Crouch and his wife Abbey were spotted canoodling by a swimming pool while on a romantic holiday in Mexico this week. As they soaked up the sunshine, the happy couple didn't care who was watching as they kissed and cuddled. Abbey looked completely smitten with her husband of just over a year as she gazed up at him as he held her close. The mother-of-one was showing off her enviable figure in a black and white halterneck bikini which she teamed with a straw
N E D L GO
Caroline Wozniacki strips off to promote new underwear range after fall in rankings
L R I G
a r i k a h S , l a g s ’ Gerard Pique a n o l e c r a B n i o e d i v w e n s m l i f
UDGING by her recent dip in form, she might have been advised to keep her mind firmly focused on winning Wimbledon. But tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who has slipped from world No 1 to seventh this year, has taken time away from the baseline to launch her new lingerie line instead. The 21-year-old Dane, who is dating golfer Rory McIlroy, promoted her underwear range, called This Is Me, on Twitter. She announced on her website that she would be designing and releasing a line of underwear for women with Danish underwear brand JBS. Caroline describes the collection as 'A feminine lifestyle/leisure underwear collection for the girl that wants the good looks from fashion, a perfect fit for her body, and a quality that’s hard to beat'. She has an impressive list of endorsement deals including Adidas, Yonex, Sony and Proactiv. Caro, as she is known to her fans, was the youngest player to debut on the WTA top teen in 2009. Wozniacki faces Austria’s Tamira Paszek in the first round of Wimbledon which starts on Monday. In 2010 and 2011 she managed to get through to the fourth round. The underwear line will debut worldwide in September 2012.
Olympic gold-medal swimmer slammed for wearing racy swimsuit
DOTING DADDY S
Tevez enjoys merriment with daughters in Miami
HEN he isn't kicking a ball around a pitch Carlos Tevez always makes the most of family time. The Manchester City forward was seen enjoying a day at the beach in Miami with his wife Vanessa and their two daughters. The footballer, 28, looked every inch the doting daddy and was
hat. Fancy bumping into you here! Coleen and Wayne Rooney catch up with Ashley Cole and Ashley Young poolside during LA break So that's a yes then! Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green share their good news by flaunting baby bump in Hawaii She was clearly feeling very grateful about being away with her husband, and tweeted on June 21: 'I'm officially in paradise,' along with a scenic photo of her view in Mexico. The married pair appeared to be restless as they hung around by the pool, and their public display of affection was brought on by Peter who was seen taking photos of his wife using an iPad and his iPhone.
seen captivated by his little girls as the family bonded together. Carlos showed off his shape, and
his tattoos in a pair of tiny bright white shorts. Vanessa opted for an animal print bikini but covered up in a pair of comfy grey shorts. The couples daughters, Florencia and Katia, appeared to be having a great time with their parents with the youngest little girl in a pink Tshirt while the eldest daughter had a black bikini on. As well as enjoying spending time of the beach the family also enjoyed a dip in the hotel pool.
WIMMER Stephanie Rice, who swims for a living while wearing a swimsuit in a swimming pool, is catching flak in her native Australia for tweeting a picture of herself in a swimsuit. The nerve of some people. The threetime gold medallist took the shot of herself wearing a birthday gift from designer Ellie Gonsalves and posted it on Twitter. It made figurative waves one month before she defends her Olympic titles in both individual medleys. Some Twitter commentators thought it was another disgrace to an Australian swim team that's recently dealt with a gun controversy. There
was also concern that Rice's sponsor, Speedo, would be upset by the photo because they don't like free publicity? But, rest assured, Rice isn't even with Speedo anymore! Oh, how you disappointment me my Aussie friends. I can see how this would be a big deal in America, what with our Puritanical sensibilities and penchant for affected moral outrage. But in Australia? The land founded as a penal colony where everyone's laid back, even when comparing the size of their knives? She's a swimmer in a swimsuit! That's like getting upset at Michael Phelps for walking around shirtless. Plus, isn't it like 115 degrees during Melbourne summers? I just assumed everyone walked around like this.
..As Gerrard takes wife , daughters out for a bite
TEVEN Gerrard was spotted enjoying a quiet day out with his family near their Merseyside home in Formby following England's Euro 2012 disappointment. Leaving baby Lourdes at home, the doting parents were pictured with six-year-old Lexie and eightyear-old Lilly-Ella as they left Costa Coffee. Proving that they are daddy's girls through and through, Lexi and Lilly-Ella stood on either side of Gerrard as they held his hand and clinged onto their stuffed white bunny rabbits.
The centre midfielder was casually dressed in a checked purple shirt which he teamed with grey jeans and white trainers. His wife Alex, 29, who played the role of the supporting wife throughout the recent tournament wore a loose fitting patterned blouse with camel sandals and slim fitting jeans. Their adorable blonde daughters appeared to be wearing identical outfits as they each donned a pair of denim trainers, white dresses with grey and white stripped hoodies.
Sport&Style FIVE ALIVE SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
‘Nothing like an ideal woman’
By MORAKINYO ABODUNRIN and TUNDE LIADI
he’s smart and stylish, picking Jean Paul Gaultier as one of his favourite designers. UPER Eagles’ most eligible bachelor, John Chuk“Everybody likes to look good and I think fashion is wudi Utaka, has concurred to the belief that beauty is what everyone has a thing or two to do with,” noted the indeed in the eyes of the beholder. striker who pulled a galaxy of sports and entertainment The charming striker with French Ligue 1 side, Montcelebrities to the Hilton Hotel in Paddington, London on pellier stated matter-of-factly that it is May 6th, 2012 for the easier to score goals on the pitch than fundraising event of the picking the most gorgeous and an John Utaka Foundation. “I ideal lady in the world-short of saythink fashion means so ing that he’s still searching for a many things to different woman of his dream! people. People in general Utaka who is one of the most are fashionable and I agree vastly travelled Nigerian football with you that I’m fashionstars abroad after playing in Egypt, able too.” Qatar, England and now France, can “I don’t know if I’m be described as the dream guy of fashionable, I cannot judge dream girls but he has sensationally myself. The truth, howtold The Nation Sport and Style that ever, is that I like fashion there’s nothing like a perfect woman but my fans and others in the world around me would have to “I don’t have any ideal woman judge if I’m fashionable.” because women in general are beauUtaka can be described tiful and I can’t classify them,” noted as a fashionista judging by the Super Eagles striker who the quality of clothes he notched a brace last May when wears particularly that of Montpellier beat Auxerre 2-1 to win Jean Paul Gaultier whose the French Ligue 1 title for the first design is not for the orditime in the club's history. nary blokes. The French Over the years, Utaka had been designer is highly relinked to several ladies in the past garded and was well eswith alleged romance with the then poused by Tim Blanks of Nollywood spinster, Tricia Eseigbe Men.Style.com: “One of who is now happily married to Mr. Jean Paul Gaultier's most Kingsley Jite Kerry. Most recently, enduringly charming Utaka caused a stir during the qualities is the way he inlaunch of his Foundation in London corporates his own loyallast May as he was spotted with sevties, passions, and (but of eral delectable ladies including Vancourse) Frenchness into his nessa Amadi and May7ven, collections.” daughter of celebrated former Parts of Utaka’s luxury Utaka Nigerian international, Segun Odegcollections include cars. He bami amongst others. reportedly splashed over Utaka is always shy and coy about 55,000 British Pounds to achis relationship and reportedly told the now rested Kickquire a ML 350 Benz 4x4 but he’s presently turning the off magazine sometime ago: “I have someone I love and eyes of onlookers in his classy Ford Focus which he said care for so much but at the moment, there is no room for he likes for its simplicity. marriage. Just want to concentrate on my career, but in the Despite being known as a revered collector of wrist future I might think about tying the knot.” watches, Utaka truly displayed his simplicity by acquiring Years down the line, the smooth-talking bloke is yet to a lovely G-Shock timepiece with as little as 100 Euros. For fulfil such dream, telling a close confidant recently: “I’m the uninitiated, Casio G-Shock digital watches, launched not ready to discuss marriage at least for now.” about 25 years ago, are the ultimate tough watch that proAway from the marriage turf, Utaka has admitted that vides durable, waterproof men’s digital watches for every activity. While many of today’s star footballers displayed their essentialities with body tattoos, Utaka Favourite country/cities: Paris in France. I also fell in love with Egypt. actually turned his note at it sayFavourite foreign club: Chelsea because they are a team of superstars. ing, ‘tattoo is nice but i don’t have Favourite meal: Beans and plantain; pastas any at the moment. Favourite colour: Green and Black. Pressed about an item he won’t Favourite Nigerian comedy: Aki and Paw-Paw. be caught wearing, Utaka Favourite Nigerian designer: Adebayo Jones noted:” Outside the pitch, I don’t Favourite sports men: Novak Djokovic, Seydou Keita and Sylvain Wilted. Favourite music: From rap to rhythm and blues, it could be American or Nigerian. like wearing tracksuit because it is not a casual wear but sports Favourite dinks: soft drinks gear.”
Efe Sodje, siblings’ love for charity exposed bandana for these the Lowry Hotel in September of last year reasons you are and followed up with a charity match this wrong, it was not between The Sodje Foundation and Forfor fancy that he started wearing the ever Bury FC at Bury Football Club headgear 18 years ago. ground two months ago on April 29, The Warri-born player has earned cult- 2012. figure status for wearing the bandana “I must say that the events, which were emblazoned with his personal motto put together to raise money for our cause Against All Odds. On and off the pitch, and the Royal Manchester Children’s Sodje is rarely without his bandana since Hospital were highly successful”. Sodje his mother told him in 1994 that it would stated. help him ward off evil spirits. Guests at the fundraising dinner on “Obviously as Africans, if our parents September 21 and that of April 2012 were tell us to do something, you never go impressive. Among them are Bury FC against them,” Sodje said. “So that was players, boxer Johnny Nelson, Blackburn why when my mother asked me to wear striker Jason Roberts, boxing promoter it, I didn‘t object at all. She actually had a Frank Maloney and Bury boxing star dream and she asked me to wear it. That Scott Quigg. Footballers: Darren Moore, was 1994 and I have worn it ever since. Dean Gordon, Danny Shittu and rugby That is the story of my bandana and I. aces Martin Offiah and Keith Senior. Everybody calls me the Bandana Man Sodje knows how important football and it has brought me good luck.” boots and kits are to children in Nigeria. But it has cost him dearly too as he once He said: "You had to look after your footturned down a position as a local magball boots as you didn’t know where the istrate in England because next ones would come from. they would not let him Football boots had to last wear his bandana. years and I didn’t get my You could say he own pair of boots until was lucky to be I was 20. When I bepart of Nigeria‘s came a professional squad to the footballer, I couldn’t Korea/Japan believe people 2002 World stopped using Cup and he them after a couplayed two of ple of months. the Eagles three "When we take matches at the the kit over every tournament, as May, it is so rehe was playing warding to see the for lowly Crewe kids’ faces when we Alexandra in the give them out as I lower leagues of know how hard it is for England when he got them. This is my passion. Sodje an invitation for the trip to We have been doing it for the Asia. last 11 years and paid for it out of This factor, he said also made him to our own pockets but, as the foundation understand that in life some people are has grown, so has the help we have got not so lucky and it propelled him to from airlines, other charities and people sprout his milk of kindness towards this we have met along the way." set of people in his native country and the Sodje is the ‘face’ of the foundation due UK. to his famous bandana. Besides Efe, there “It is a way to give them a push and lift is also Sam, Akpo and Steve who have them off the ground. I am like giving played football in the UK while Bright is them the kind of luck the bandana has an ex-rugby league player and nephew given me,” the older of the Sodje brothers Onome plays football in Slovakia. explained. Efe added: "We wanted to do someSodje's love for his roots in the oil rich thing for a Manchester-based charity with creek of Warri-Nigeria made him start a me being at Bury. Phil Neville’s mum Jill sporting foundation and later his siblings, is secretary at Bury and Phil is patron at four of them, also professional athletes, the Manchester Children’s Hospital so I joined up with him to form what is now went to give out Easter eggs there. known today as The Sodje Foundation. "It was a real eye opener for me. There Efe, who will turn 40 on October 5 was an 18 month child with leukaemia along with his brothers and a cousin have and it was heartbreaking to see. I was been helping kids in their native country close to tears but I had to be strong befor the last 11 years. It started with the cause the parents were so strong. family taking old football kits home, but "You see what the kids go through and they then set up the Sodje Sports Foun- how they take it in their stride – it just dation which became an official charity in blows you away. It makes our day-to-day 2009. moans seem so insignificant." Now the charity is having an official Sodje says the charity work has taken sponsor in the national airlines of Nigeria, over his daily activity and relieved to get Arik. And their work has been recognised his siblings and cousin to help out. by the House of Lords, the highest legisla“I guess this is the essence of our comtive house in Britain ing to this world, to do all within our The brothers expanded the fundraising powers to help the less-privileged and we last year to build a N60 million sports fa- would continue to do it as long as we cility in Nigeria. live,” he added. They organised a fundraising dinner at Contd. from pg 35
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
World music day
Bento Records unveils Morell
EW music act, Musa Akilah, aka Morell says he is geared up to pursue his music dream full time. With Bento Record label throwing its weight behind him, Morell says the sky is his stepping-stone. Only recently, Bento Records unveiled Morell at an event in Lagos to the admiration of his fans. “I am really excited about this development. It is a dream come true. The label signed me on because they believe in my talent; they believe that I am uniquely gifted. I have featured with a lot of top artistes in the industry including Ruggedman and Naeto C and shared the same stage with the likes of Akon, T Pain and Sean Kingston,” Morell said. The 2010 graduate of the University of Maiduguri says that he has long dumped his degree to pursue a fulltime career in music. According to Morell, the reason it has taken so long to release an album is that he was in school while featuring on various albums with other artistes hence his attention was divided. Titled, Bard BQ, Morell says he just wants to express the different sides of him. “I rap, I sing and I do a bit of production as well. It's going to have different genres. The album is titled, Live in Silence. My style of music is a cross between R&B, pop and rap. So, actually, I play African music because each time I write, all I see is the melanin in my skin. I am hungry to make good music.”
HAIRMAN of Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), Mr. Orits Wiliki has said that Nigeria has viable legislations that could safeguard the intellectual property rights of artists. He also noted that there are great potentials in copyrights but regretted that exploiting these potentials have become very difficult if not impossible. Wiliki spoke in Lagos at this year's World Music Day celebration organised by the National Troupe of Nigeria. He said some of the challenges are in the main regulation, interpretation and implementation of the copyright legislation. According to him, the government agency in charge of copyright in the country rather than being an impartial regulator has become a competitor either overtly or covertly, and as such could not regulate fairly or equitably. “This is evident in the way the NCC has used certain sections of the Copyright Act to benefit a particular organisation at the expense of other competing organisation in licensing and approval of collecting societies…The conflict and confusion which the action of NCC caused have been largely responsible for the huge revenue loss being daily recorded in the copyright sector,” he added. Wiliki who was chairman of the event urged the NCC to revert to the position of a fair and balanced regulator saying, 'the licensing and approval of collecting societies should be liberated or streamlined to allow well-tested and capable organisations come on board to operate.' On the quality of music that has
OLLYWOOD actor, Prince Jide Kosoko is about now cooking up a docudrama titled 'The Battle for Life' which seeks to examine core issues on Climate Change, as it relates to Nigeria's peculiar setting. The actor is putting heads together with a host of other Nollywood professionals to develop a script for what he described as a world class project on a global warming that is gradually becoming a serious concern to our environment and planet. The Lagos State Government has thrown its weight behind the project through the Ministry of Environment. Prince Kosoko is of the opinion that issue of climate change needs to be addressed today so we do not fall victims of its effect tomorrow. “What we intend to highlight is not just to dramatize climate change as an issue. We are also going to take a look at the inherent dangers of climate change. We intend for the docudrama to drive home the
By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)
pervaded the nation's air wave, Wiliki said the air wave is free for all but that the media should do quality control of what is offered to the public via radio or television. “This is the duty of the regulator,” he added. In his paper, Music as social calendar, Mr. Biodun Adebiyi of the department of theatre art and music, Lagos State University, called for the review of music curriculum in tertiary institutions as the current curriculum is not designed to make students of music professional musicians. To him, most musicians in the industry today have no business being there as there are too many pretenders. He observed that to sing does not qualify anyone as a musician. Adebiyi explained that an African musical instrument presents the most diversified source of information on the artistic values, religious beliefs, family life and the general social structure of a society. He noted that music has been used in modern settings to aid the liberation struggle. He said musicians such as the late Anikulapo-Kuti, Sonny Okosuns, Lucky Dube and Orlando Owoh have addressed inequalities in the society. The event attracted the culture administrators such as Mr. Frank Aig-Imoukhuede, the DG of National Troupe of Nigeria, Martins Adaji, Dejumo Lewis, Josephine Igbaraese, director of drama, and Arnold Udoka, director of dance, National Troupe of Nigeria.
Enters Piopa competition
NTERTAINMENT and events management company, Piopa Limited, is set to organise a 360 degree modelling competition dubbed, Miss Piopa. Mrs. Margaret Ejiama, Operations Manager of the company, who says trust and quality is the outfit's trademark likens the competition to going for a complete car inspection. Ejiama explained that the event slated for October 1, the Independence Day, is genuinely set up to take participants' modelling career to the next level. “We are fully prepared for this. It does not only cover the fashion and looks of the models but a total beauty of the body and mind. Almost all the logistics are on ground. We are not claiming to be different from others but what stands us out is our trademark of trust and quality,” Ejiama said. The project is expected to have two audition centres, located in Enugu and Lagos. Oraganisers say that while the Enugu audition would hold on Saturday, September 1 at Tuscan Hotel, Independence Layout, Enugu, the Lagos leg is scheduled for September 8 at Junior Mess, Air force Base, Ikeja, Lagos. Participants are, however, free to choose any centre of their choice as they fill their forms obtainable on www.piopalimited.com The company's programmes also include modelling academy, football academy and computer training. The modelling academy offers courses in cosmetology, walk and poise, communications skills, and beauty and fashion among others. Ejiama said all these are geared towards the development and empowerment of youths and community at large.
Jide Kosoko Battles for Life message of climate change while also visually picturing the effect of climate change on our immediate environment in order to create a feeling of empathy in the mind of the viewer. We want people to know that what they've been hearing about really exists.” He said. “The Governor of Lagos state Babatunde Raji Fashola decorated me some years ago as one of the environmental ambassadors and having accepted such role, responsibility and honour; I thought it was pertinent for me to contribute my own quota towards the campaign and advocacy for Climate Change. As far as I am concerned, drama is a veritable tool for us to pass on such a message and that is why I settled for a docudrama entitled 'The Battle for Life'. I approached the UNDP when the script of the docudrama was completed and it was accepted. “I have witnessed so many instances; I
have seen a whole building cave in due to the effect of flooding. I have also witnessed a child being swept away by flood and I remember shedding tears at what I had just seen. I feel the campaign to educate people on the effect of climate change should be more aggressive and as a creator of wisdom I thought the only way for me to contribute towards spreading the word about the inherent dangers of climate change is by creating a docudrama on the issue.” He said the drama will be done English language, Pidgin and other indigenous languages used interchangeably to enhance the acceptability and effectiveness of the docudrama as a public enlightenment, education and sensitization tool. Cast of the project include, Ngozi Nwosu, Segun Arinze, Anthony Akposheri a.k.a Zaki, Rachael Oniga, Tunji Bamishigbin and a host of others.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Classiq eyes stardom
A Tale of 2 African Cities beckons
ITH A Tale of 2 African Cities soon to hold, Nigeria and South Africa are set to get a boost in their cross-cultural and bilateral relations. The project conceived and managed by Inspiro Productions and endorsed by The South African High Commission Lagos, the event is an exposition of Arts/Culture, Tourism and Business and entertainment with participants drawn from both countries. “As the event kicks-off, the economic and social roles of both Lagos and Johannesburg in shaping trends in Africa will come into focus. The entertainment hub of Nigeria, Lagos is also seen as the gateway to the Nigerian economy with a
population of over 15 million people as Africa's second largest city. Johannesburg on its part is the home of kwaito and Jazz music, known as 'Egoli'-the city of Gold; it generates approximately 40 per cent of the South Africa's income,” says Ayoola Sadare, CEO of Inspiro. A letter addressed to the organizers, and signed by Thandi Mgxwati, Political counselor to the SAHC stated that the commission has agreed to endorse and partner with them on the initiative because it will further showcase both countries' rich cultural heritage and by extension promote the African agenda. “This will further strengthen the good bilateral relationship that exists between both countries
URGEONING singer, Classiq (Buba Barnabas), a graduate of Computer Science from Bayero University, Kano has decided to make his musical intentions public with the release of his debut singles titled 'Sunana' and 'Tinini Tanana'. Until his recent releases, Classiq has performed alongside renowned acts such as MI, Eldee, Wande
politically, economically and socially. This mandate is driven by a broad vision of the South African government and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO),” the statement read, adding that the SAHC remains committed to advancing the objectives of the African Agenda through partnerships with likeminded Nigerians. The week-long event which is billed to run alternately in both cities of Lagos and Johannesburg, will have the Lagos edition held at the Sun International Hotel, (FPH) Lagos from October 3 to 6 2012, while Johannesburg, will play host to the South African leg which will run early next year, the organisers say.
Coal, Shank, Davido, Duncan Mighty and many more. He credits Asa, Naeto C, Don Jazzy, Fela, Kahli Abdu, J.Cole, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Common, Wyclef, Dido and HHP who are his biggest music influences. Among his notable appearances on stage include NOKIA ASHA launch contest at the UNILAG, Comedy night at Koko Lounge, Etisalat Fashion show at Eko Hotel and Dynamix Awards ceremony held in Lagos. Classiq also recently joined other notable industry heads at a charity event organized by Lamborghini events for the inmates of the Ikoyi prison a plea to the government to look into the cases of innocent men jailed without trial. On his goals and aspirations, Classiq who is signed on with Finesse Entertainment alongside TRex, Blaqshyne and Femi Knight said: “I believe in music, and I was born to play this game and play it well. I have skills and potential which allows me strive for greatness. Growing up and being secretly mentored by industry giants home and abroad, I believe I can and will be the next best thing to come out of Nigeria.”
My abductors were not evil or bad —Henry Legemah
IR, just last month, we heard that you were being abducted; how did it happen? It is not an experience you would wish your enemy. I can tell you, I am still suffering the trauma of that experience. How and where did this incident occur? I was with my friend, Hon. Peter Ekhator. We were outside my house, and I opened my gate to bid him bye. As he was about leaving, I saw a car drive close from the opposite direction and stopped by his car. Four guys came out with guns and picked Peter. They came for me too, and put us in their car, leaving Peter's car outside my gate. In about 30 minutes, we were inside the forest. And as they took us into the bush, they tied our eyes with tint, tied our hands and bonded us into the deep forest. We were there for two days; we were released on Tuesday, after a tortuous 24hours. My brother, like I said, it is not what you wish your enemy. About the ransom paid, what was their initial demand? There was no ransom. It was by the grace of God. They were demanding all sorts of money at first. To my greatest surprise, I do not know I am worth over a N100million. Because at first, they started with a hundred million, and started talking and talking and talking. Then they started talking about N20million, then we were at N10million, until God intervened. Right there in the forest, what were you fed with? Actually we were not fed. For the 24hours we were there, we were not fed. It was about an hour to our release that
Edo state-based actor cum-filmmaker, Henry Iyobosa Legemah, who in 2006 got a special mention at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), even though he lost to Justice Esiri in the Best Actor category for Fred Amata's film, Anini, spoke with Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia in Benin about his recent kidnap experience they brought Santana (fufu), bitter leaf soup and a bottle of water. I drank the water, I am not a Santana eating person, I have nothing against it, it is just that I prefer Eba instead. I don't even eat pounded yam. How did you get your freedom without ransom? God's intervention... How was it, staying two days in that strange environment? It was not my will to stay there. Like I said earlier, it is not what you wish your enemy. I said I am still suffering the trauma. I have never lived in the bush all my life, except when I am shooting a movie, and it is my will to go in and come out. But this one, we were tied with chains and padlock and our eyes blindfolded for the period. When the kidnappers discovered that you weren't a politician or a moneybag, what was their impulse like? I think I am more popular than a lot of politicians in this country. The thing is that, we were just at the right place at the wrong time. And we were not targeted, they were boys strolling. And the whole of this has to do with the society we are in. These boys should be gainfully employed. They should be positively
engaged. Because if you interact with them, you will see that they are neither really evil nor bad. I think it is the trend of time and situation that is pushing them to this level. We thank God for his mercy. With the kind of business we are doing. We are discussing with the government to give us the backing so that we can start to train some of our youths in the business we do. Some 14 to 16 months ago, we had the Niger Delta training here and a lot of youths were trained. And today, we are already getting the gains of that training. And within some couple of days, the Comrade Governor, Adams Aliu Oshiomhole will be backing Edo Filmmakers Association, (EFMA) for the training of a minimum of 200 Edo state youths in the business of filmmaking. What did your family feel like during your abduction period? Well, it was really bad recounting the very day because when I was kidnapped, my wife was standing right by my side. And she still has not recovered. My wife is a Briton. She's been in Benin and from her upbringing, she has not seen that kind of thing all her life. So she is having deep pains, the trauma is still on.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
CINEMA GUIDE LAGOS
PICTURE Supported by: SILVERBIRD CINEMAS
Think Like a Man: The bottled chauvinists
OUR friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship guide; a real life steer titled â€œAct Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.â€? This, the four guys find blocking them from being the macho that they are. Single mom Candace (Regina Hall) has to untie the apron strings for mama's boy Michael (Terrence J). Mya (Meagan Good) won't
allow Zeke (Romany Malco) into her bedroom for 90 days. Kristen (Gabrielle Union) wants longtime BF Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) to finally propose. And status-conscious Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) needs to decide if she's willing to date a broke chef (Michael Ealy). How the men try to upturn this is the intrigues that make the story thick. And although Harvey's book provides the guide for the women; the filmmaker, fashions a
way out for the men. It is a contemporary love story that will keep you glued to its entertaining and amusing quality. There is also Cedric, the hilarious Kevin Hart, who is watching these activitiesfrom a distance, and is somewhat excited about his impending divorce. There is a cameo appearance by Chris Brown. Above all, every member of cast adds up to the advancement of the plot.
Married but Living Single: Different tales, different folks
ATRICK'S (Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul) obsession for Lola (Yemi Remi) heightens. He batters her at the slightest suspicion. Her face gets swollen, and she has to lie to everyone that she hits her face on a pole as a cover up. Lola recalls her courtship days with Patrick. He had actually been violent from the word go, but Lola says she thought he would change. Patrick's character gets worse instead, and Lola loses her life in the process. As usual, they had a disagreement one night, and their child witnessed when it started. The next day, Lola is found dead on the bed, and their child testifies about her father's violence the night before. Unlike Patrick who had problems trusting his wife, Mike has to deal with his wife's nonchalant attitude to family values. Mike (Joseph Benjamin) an entrepreneur, is married to Kate (Funke Akindele), a Creative Director at an Advertising Agency. She is so much engrossed with her career and winning the biggest brands for her company. Mike is diagnosed of cancer of the lungs, resulting from his smoking habit back in school days. He needs to
travel to India for surgery and the doctor advises that his wife should take a leave and travel with him to hasten his recuperation. Kate agrees to go with her husband, but as they are about to travel, the biggest telecommunication company in the Middle East has just been licensed to operate in Nigeria. Kate's company stands the chance to win the bid for the advertisemen t, but they may not win the bid without the creative director. She opts to save her company's interest instead. Mike goes to Indian and meets another woman (Kiki Omeili). A relationship starts and Kate almost loses Mike. To compound her
Titanic Featured Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane Genre: Drama Running Time194 min Trespass Featured Actors: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman and Cam Gigandet Genre: Comedy Running Time: 91 min Dr Seuss'- The Lorax 3D Featured Actors: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time86 min 21 Jump Street Featured Actors: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube Genre: Comedy and Sequel Running Time109 Mins Machine Gun Preacher Featured Actors: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time129 min Phone Swap Featured Actors: Wale Ojo, Nse Etim Ikpe, and Ghanaian Superstar, Lydia Forson Genre: Comedy Running Time Wrath of the Titans Featured Actors: Sam
Worthington, Liam Neeson and Rosamund Pike Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 99 min Best Exortic Marigold Hotel Genre: Action/Adventure Contraband Genre: Action/Adventure John Carter Featured Actors: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Willem Dafoe Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time132 min Man on a Ledge Featured Actors: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks and Jamie Bell Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time102 min
ABUJA Genre: Action/Adventure Dr Seuss' the Lorax Featured Actors: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito Genre: Drama Running Time: 86 min Wrath of the Titans Featured Actors: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Rosamund Pike Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 99 min The Scores Featured Actors: Aremu Afolayan, saheed balogun ,Eniola olaniyan , Olumide Trespass Bakare,sunkanmi omobolanle Featured Actors: Nicolas Cage, Genre: Drama Nicole Kidman and Cam Phone Swap Gigandet Featured Actors: Wale Ojo, Genre: Drama Nse Etim Ikpe, and Ghanaian Running Time: 91 min Superstar, Lydia Forson True Citizens Genre: Comedy Featured Actors: Uti Man on a Ledge Nwachukwu, Alex Usifo, Featured Actors: Sam Brian Okwara, Clareth Worthington, Elizabeth Banks Onukogu, Keneth Okolie, and Jamie Bell Clara Iweh, and Melvin Odua. Genre: Action/Adventure
ordeal, her boss (Joke Silva) accuses and sacks her for disclosing company's secret to their competitor. She runs to her pastor (Tina Mba) who tells her to pray. Mike later comes back to his senses and leaves the other woman. And both live happily ever after.
The Ides of March Featured Actors: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney and Philip Seymour Hoffman Genre: Drama Running Time: 101 Mins True Citizen Genre: Drama Running Time: 97 Mins 21 Jump Street Featured Actors: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube Genre: Comedy and Sequel Running Time: 109 Mins Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Featured Actors: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 86 Mins Trespass Featured Actors: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman and Cam Gigandet Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 91 Mins Wrath of the Titans Featured Actors: Sam
Worthington, Liam Neeson and Rosamund Pike Genre: Action/Adventure Phone Swap Genre: Drama Running Time: 70 Mins Machine Gun Preacher Featured Actors: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon Genre: Action/Adventure
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
‘The secrets of my marital success’ Anita Uwagbale-Iseghohi is a beauty to behold any day. At the end of her reign as Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2004, she quit the klieg light only to resurface with her prince -charming Tom Iseghohi, former Managing Director of Transcorp as both walked down the aisle in a nuptial bliss. Now mother of two adorable kids and armed with a degree in Business Administration from University of Phoenix, Arizona, she has continued to prove that she is not your regular beauty queen turned a sit-at-home wife and mother. The Edo State ex-beauty queen now runs an Event Management company and a Baby Store. She spoke with ADETUTU AUDU on life after her crown, marriage and why she has remained scandal free.
AN you recount the MBGN experience? It was a dream comes true for me. I attended a boarding school and I remember I used to tell my junior ones, don't you know you are talking to the next Miss Nigeria. Though I didn’t know what was involved but I just wanted to do it. And before we knew it, Agbani Darego won. Everybody around started calling me Agbani and said I could do it. So when I left secondary school and got to the university and said this is right time, I bought the MBGN form in Port Harcourt and came to Lagos for screening. Honestly speaking, I didn’t know how to walk and all the other girls were pretty and intelligent in their own right, but I won. When I made the top fifteen I was like, this is it and can go home and be ok. But when I made it to the top five, I said “no I don't want to go home, I want to win.” So when I was announced as the winner, I said whaoh. Marriage came easily for you. Would you say you were lucky? It was a sacrifice for me and what I wanted. I wanted life and wanted to be a mom. I saw it and I grabbed it. I intimidate people naturally. I am strong-willed and bossy. But my hubby is the perfect age and man for me. It was not love at the first sight. Love came later for me, and that was what happened. I met him on our way back from Miss Universe beauty pageant; we actually met at the KLM business lounge in Amsterdam. That was not the beginning of the relationship because nothing happened; I was still reigning then as MBGN. He was there too because he was waiting for his flight to Nigeria. He said hi to Guy Bruce and Chinenye Ochuba, Most Beautiful Girl 2002, was there too. I actually gave him my number. He was looking like somebody that didn't know Nige-
ria that much, and he is from my state. I didn't get his number then because I had no plan of calling him. Weeks later, he called me. He is such a gentleman, he didn't rush me. He actually didn't know who I was and I like that. Because most times people date you because of whom you are. He didn't know who I was until Guy introduced me, as Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, just coming back from Miss Universe Pageant. So, weeks later, I got a call from him and we started talking and that was it. And nothing else happened. He was based in the United States of America; we used to talk on the phone. Anytime he was in town. I was also busy here with all the beauty competitions I had to take part in. We met again when my reign was almost ending when I went to the U.S. Did you fall for him because he is already made? Trust me I love already made things. Everybody does and my case is not different. We dated for two years before we finally got married. Of course there was somebody before him, but in life don't we kiss some frogs to get our prince. He is very mature, and that's what I like. Because of my exposure, I am more intelligent than an average 20something year old. So, a guy around that age will sound a little stupid to me when he is talking because I am used to talking to more mature people. I am a very picky person and a guy around my age won't do it for me, he will be bored. I love to try different things and I love people that have done a lot and he has done a lot for himself. And that's what I want, I don't want to be stuck in one place and be trying to explain to you what I already know, I want you to teach me what I don't know. What was the attraction, if it was not love at first sight? His looks was not an attraction for me. He is very intelligent and extremely nice. It didn't take me long to discover he is a very intelligent man by talking to him on the phone. You don't have to meet people one to one for you to know how intelligent they are. Just the way he reacts to questions and the way he talks to me made me realise how very intelligent he is. And that was a big attraction for me. Can you share your journey to motherhood with us? When I discovered that I was pregnant with my first child, it was weird and crazy. But it is amazing; you can't explain the experience except you go through it. It can be confusing because you don't know what you are doing right or wrong. I was crazy with all the bad mood swing. But my second pregnant I was calm. My husband had to read a lot to cope with it. With two kids, I take care of my
family. Though I have a chef, I still cook. When I am at home, the queen status is put aside. I have three men to take care of now. My hubby and my two boys. One of the boys is graduating from nursery school this academic session. They are mummy's pride. My husband is pretty busy, so we need someone to shower them with attention. With the alarming rate of crashed marriages, what have been the secrets of your marital success? Grace of God, good communication and lots of prayers. I pray, my family prays and his family prays too. And also it is more of a partnership thing. My husband has shares in my business and I also have in his own, so we are partners in progress. At what point did you decide to open 'The Baby Store' It happened when I was pregnant with my first child and couldn't find a shop that had everything I needed in Nigeria. Though we had some of them but they were very few. The response has been amazing and I thank God. I still run my event management company, Precise Events. But right now I am concentrating more on the shop. But my family comes first and business later. What are the pains and gains of the crown for you? Well I don't have any regret. But as a beauty queen or celebrity, people easily formed their opinion of you, either they are close to you or not. I had wonderful time and lots of fun; one would not know the wonderful time until one's reign is over. At that time you don't know how much fun you are having till you are out of it. It's a new world and you get exposed to different people. You just grow up into something in one year. For me, it was fun while it lasted. One of the gains of the crown is my husband; I was still reigning when I met him. I always say he is a package that came with the crown. Would it be right to say marriage made you quit public glare? Marriage and motherhood have not really changed anything about me. I decide where to go and who I want to be with. This is deliberate .Some people always want to be seen while some of us prefer to be under wrap. My husband knew where I was coming from and understands. Of course you can't hide a diamond, but I chose where I want to be and who I want to be seen with. I am not a party freak. How have you been able to be scandal free? I decide where I go to, when and who I want to be seen with. Most of the time, the celebrities also create the scandals by themselves. Not every one of us wants to be out there. It may be ok for some people. It is just that I have good people around me. What are your beauty secrets? I clean my face and try to eat right. You must wash your face and take off those makeups. So I always take off the makeup, wash the face before applying moisturisers. I use sun screen and moisturisers, nothing more.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
ADETUTU AUDU (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 08023849036)
James Iboriâ€™s mistress breathes air of freedom
DOAMAKA Onuigbo, the mistress of the jailed former governor of Delta State is definitely in her best moments. Informed sources sighted her in Nigeria some weeks ago and it was gathered that she had been released from the UK prison where she was serving a jail term over money laundering. Onuigbo was found guilty on a three-count charge of money laundering in June 2010 and was sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Christopher Hardy of a Southwark L o n d o n Crown Court. E served you gist that the former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria,Nike Oshinowo-Soleye had moved on as being the creative director of the Miss Nigeria pageant. We can tell you that Elohor Elizabeth Aisien, founder and Managing Director of Beth Model Management Africa has taken the reins as the new creative director of the Miss Nigeria competition. After a long hiatus, Osinowo-Soleye was appointed as the Creative Director for the Miss Nigeria pageant from 2009 to 2011 to inject elegance and pageantry to the brand. During her time in office, she maintained an exemplary reputation for Miss Nigeria and remains an active affiliate of the pageant. While the new Creative Director, Elohor Elizabeth Aisien, also a former beauty queen (the 2001/2002 Miss Nigeria UK)'s Beth Models is a leading modelling agency with top models including Chika Emmanuel in its books. Beth is also the official partner for Elite Model Management in Nigeria.
Elohor Elizabeth Aisien takes over from Nike Oshinowo
Anxiety over Elkanah Mowarin
F information available is anything to go by, all may not seem to be well with manabout-town, Elkanah Mowarin, the CEO of EOM Business Network .The stylish celebrity who has carved a niche for himself in the entertainment circles has been out of circulation for a while now. A source attributes his absence to ill-heath. Of major concern is that his phone has been switched off for over three months now. The showbiz impresario and Nollywood enthusiast recently launched' Style Next' a one stop shop for everything a showbiz star or just anybody can desire in having a good makeup or make over.
Secret pain ex-Speaker Bankole endures
ONGUES have been wagging that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole has quit public glare after his inglorious exit in office. Bankole was arraigned alongside Usman Bayero Nafada in court by Nigeria's anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a 16-count charge relating to contract inflation. However, on January 31, 2012, the court found Bankole and Nafada not guilty of all charges and proceeded to discharge and acquit them. The son of the Egba High Chief, Alani Bankole, is said to have been keeping himself busy overseeing his dad's multimillion naira aluminum business. Sources say he now shuttles between Lagos and Abuja. Well, that is the gist for another day. The fun and polo-loving Speaker, we gathered, is among those who are yet to recover from the shock of the illfated Dana Crash early this month, where a lot of people including a lawyer, Onyeka Anyene with his immediate family members and mother-inlaw perished. We told you that the late Anyene was the head of the Chamber of the present Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal. Well, a source said apart from Tambuwal another person who also has pact with the late Anyene is Hon. Dimeji Bankole . The late Anyene and his wife carried a lot of 'business interests to the grave. The source added that, if it were to be the lawyer alone that died it would have been easier to connect with the wife, but as it is, the whole family had been wiped off. What a monumental loss!
Glamour OBJ ex-in-law Alex Onabanjo shuts eatery
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Terry Waya returns
N his glorious days, the Benue Stateborn multimillionaire, Terry Waya, held sway on the social scene. He achieved public notoriety a few years th ago when his 40 birthday party in London drew more than half of Nigeria's Lawani state governors as well as other top public officials. Terry who was known for throwing one-in-town parties was a major force at the height of the former Governor Ibori's tenure. At a point, his name became synonymous with fun-seeking and partying. Many people will not forget his romance with one of the flower girls of high society, Eno Olafisoye, in a hurry. And the love birds have a baby boy to show for the romance. But all these may have been a thing of the past as the popular Abuja big boy and socialite went on selfimposed exile since some of his friends ran into trouble waters with the law. Recently, sources RETTY and very light skinned, Toyin Lawani's squealed that they spotappearance on the social scene was not ted the billionaire fun without some idle talk. There were supposed lover at an event in spurious speculations that she was romantically Abuja. Though he still involved with a prominent public official in Lagos doles out money as State. A frequent party goer, Lawani's flashy looks usual to his admirers, and high-flying lifestyle set her apart. She runs a we gathered that he is saloon on the island and sources say the light skinned yet to fully take over the lady is behind most of the celebrity's revamp looks on social scene. the cover of celebrity magazines. The 30-year-old mother of one also runs Amala.dot.com and Tiannah's Place with tasteful body ink love vintage and she is no doubt giving her clients the vintage look.
ULTI-MILLION naira businessman, Otunba Alex Onabanjo and father in-law of the former wife of Gbenga Obasanjo,the first son of former President Obasanjo has his hands in many pies. But the Chairman of PSG Oil's eatery, Texas Chicken which he established few years ago during the last World Cup that the country co-hosted, has become a ghost of its old Onabanjo self. Located inside the Dipo Dina International Stadium; formerly Gateway International Stadium, Ijebu Ode, the eatery which made wave during sport fiesta and had witnessed huge patronage, has been deserted. Sources said weeds are gradually taking over its surroundings. A source close to the place reliably informed that the change of government from the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration to the incumbent Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN government may have affected the fortunes of the tastefully furnished eatery. While another source said it may not be unconnected with the fact that the Ijebu-igbo born high chief moved on to other business interests.
Toyin Lawani’s vintage deals
Nikki Khiran veers into interior decor
Is Taofick Okoya a married bachelor?
A tale of two sisters
T is no news that Justice Ayotunde Philips had been sworn-in as the 14th Chief Judge of Lagos State making her the fourth female to occupy the position. Philips' assumption of office will also go down in history in the state as the first time a female will succeed a female Chief Judge. Not only is the Chief Judge a history maker, the new CJ’s, younger sister, Justice Funmilayo Atilade, is next to her in rank among the serving Lagos judges and will also be taking over from her at the expiration of her tenure. The CJ and her sister are among the four children of Justice James Williams, who was a judge in the state.
HAT is the question on the lips of society buffs. Taofick, the son of Lagos billionaireRazaq Okoya is a regular face in Lagos fashion and social scenes, but oftentimes, you don't get to see him at these events with his better half, Lola. Though inside sources say there seems no more to it, it is just that the mother of two prefers to take care of the home front. Slim and delectable Lola got married to the billionaire's son some years ago. While her hubby is a social animal, she seems to be on the quiet side, appearing only at family gatherings. Lola, who is also fashion conscious, is not just a sitat-home type, she runs a boutique.
VER since the former Minister for Information, Professor Dora Akunyili launched the rebrand Nigeria project few years ago, it seems rebranding has come to stay in our vocabulary, as many Nigerians caught the bug. Nikki Khiran, one of Nigeria's leading fashion designers, has also rebranded. The sultry lady who specialises in glamorous sophisticated chic day wears and occasion dresses. Nikki Khiran has diversified into Interiors and home stuff. This, we gathered, is in line with her vision of wanting the Nikki Khiran brand to be a lifestyle thing. Apart from beautiful clothes, Nikki also wants people to be comfortable in their homes with accessories, throw pillows, furniture and artworks.
About Tonye Cole’s passion
F there is one thing Tonye Cole the Managing Director of Sahara Energy is passionate about, it is 'The Nehemiah Project' which he launched last year July. Like the biblical Nehemiah, he is doggedly on the path to building Nigeria (alongside other well-meaning individuals) starting from the youth of the nation. The man, whose hobby include riding power bikes, is a staunch member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. However, when you see him at the Redemption Camp; he drops the toga of a businessman. With a megaphone in his hands, Tonye leads his Nehemiah team to control the flow of traffic in and out of the Redemption Camp.
•L-R: Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821) email@example.com
An evening with the Comrade Governor
• Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (left), Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi (middle) and Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun State
By: Olusegun Rapheal
he Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole was recently hosted to a dinner at the rave event centre, Harbour Point, Victoria Island in Lagos. The well-attended event was graced by eminent personalities including the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fasola, business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Chief Audu Ogbeh, among others
• L-R: Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Chief Tom Ikimi
• L-R: Audu Ogbeh and Chief Bisi Akande
• Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote
• L-R: Deputy Governor of Osun State, Laoye Tomori and Senator Chris Ngige
• L-R: Chairman, Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government, Kamal Bayewu and Shamsudeen Olaleye of Isolo LCDA
David Mark gives out daughter in marriage By Abayomi Fayese, Abuja
AST Saturday, celebrities, politicians and business tycoons gathered to celebrate with Nigeria's number three citizen, Senator David Mark at the wedding of his daughter, Pamela to Michael Ayeni. The solemnisation of the holy matrimony took place at the Our Lady Queen of Pro Catholic Cathedral, Area 3, Abuja, while a grand reception was held at the expansive International Conference Centre, Abuja. The Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduagban chaired the occasion.
•Bride’s parents, Senate President, David Mark and wife, Omalo
•Couple, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ayeni
•R-L: First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Speaker, House of Reps, Aminu Tambuwal, Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
VOL 1 NO. 037
Advertising: The in-house model I
T is not in our character at MC&A Digest to use the word ADVERTISING in reference to brands management; no, it is a sin in so far as we know that advertising is only an aspect of brands management. If we were to contribute to the discussion on the place of PR –Public Relations – in brands communication (and indeed brands management) following the contribution of one of our readers, we published some time back, we would discounted so many of the arguments on the strength of scope. We shall leave that issue for another day. We have used ADVERTISING on the headline of this piece, for purposes of easy connect with those of our readers who are not necessarily professionals in brands management, but will readily appreciate advertising as a marketing tool. So the professional vocabulary will temporarily accept ADVERTISING to mean brands communication, market and consumer information gathering, campaign planning and execution, strategic planning, competitive analysis, market monitoring, media environment monitoring and evaluation, espionage, brand and corporate image management and experiential marketing support. Let us stop there for now on the activity rundown. Our focus this week, is thinking through the rationale for brands operating in-house advertising agency, with a view to identifying those pluses and minuses this management and marketing decision leaves on the brand (and the market at a lesser degree though). It is in creating the setting for our objective consideration of the above that we ran through the many service offerings of an average Advertising Agency, as is commonly referred. Exigent upon some new happenings that have redrawn our work plan for this edition, we shall drive this analysis to a conclusion in our edition next week. Until then, please look through the list of advertising agency services as listed above (add to it if you think what we have written leaves room for addition) and consider the consequence or benefit of a brand having all of these support being offered by a relative or friend – TILL NEXT WEEK. AS WE DO SAY – Shop Right! This social media platform has changed the way we live our lives, in so many ways. Let me say the areas of its impact that interest me the most, among others, to include its impact on the speed of communication among friends, the extent to which it has broadened freedom of expression and the window of opportunity it has enabled the hitherto voiceless masses. What a relief it has brought to the larger population. So it is, that these social media platform enabled one information we picked up on Thursday June 13, 2012. It was a report posted by Streetjournal Magazine
on my BBM on that date that that our own Consumer Protection Council (CPC) announced that it seized some quantity of adulterated and expired food products from the Ikeja and Victoria Island shops of SHOPRITE in Lagos. Put clearly, the statement reads “CPC (Consumer Protection Council) just confirmed seizure of adulterated and expired food items at Shoprite Ikeja and VI”. Great scoop there, for StreetjournalMagazine. We at MC&A Digest add our voice to those of many other Nigerians, in thanking the Streetjournal Magazine team for this great service to Nigerians.
This piece of information will save lives and protect many more Nigerians. It is a huge social service of immense value. We wrote two articles on SHOPRITE some time last year, looking at the promises it makes and the extent to which it delivers on those promises, as a brand. Our concern stemmed from our discovery that the brand's promise of “BEST PRICE ANYWHERE” was not entirely true on some product categories in its retail business. We then decided to caution Nigerians on the need to be discerning in their patronage of the SHOPRITE brand of retail shop. We had advised shoppers to truly shop right. Now, this discovery! In the days of stock market frenzy, I was particularly concerned with the gullibility of even the educated professionals and high net worth among us who should be guided by reason, with the way they went about lapping up anything on offer as stock. I warned then, that this stock market will crash! Some friends and acquaintances thought I was wrong, till it happened. It was all too clear to see, because the investment analysis in trying to support the volume and value of offer was not adding up. Tell me, how
an investment portfolio will keep adding up on earnings and profit when there was no productivity. Even some bankers and investment managers did not see the burst coming (though some others knew but took advantage of the Nigerian in us to defraud investors). All of such ugly market situations occur because the average Nigerian consumer is simply not discerning. It is same carelessness that has informed the size and value of sales the SHOPRITE brand posts daily. To begin with, 75/80% of consumers are excited over new offerings. Emotion drives us too far at the expense of rational consideration. That explains why brands are mostly sold on emotional appeal in this market. In brands communication and advertising, offerings are easier sold on the basis of emotion. The creative process in brands campaign development becomes smooth-sail if the offer can be pushed on the basis of emotion. On the other hand, offerings on rational platform demands so much work; it taxes the strategic and creative process immensely. Consumers in Nigeria must begin to be more rational and discerning in their purchase decision making process. The immediate question that followed in the discussion we had at a small focus group study held, following the break of this news on SHOPRITE was “HOW DO THEY MANAGE THE lowest PRICES ANYWHERE” offer? Of course there was no answer to that question at that forum. Consequent upon which a participant submitted that it is possible that the retail brand can support such offer because, as is known now, the products on its shelves in Nigeria are stocks cleared from their outlets in South Africa and Europe, hugely discounted in their accounting since they were expired or near expired, and brought to (careless and seemingly unregulated) Nigerian market where anything goes, to be sold. So it turns out that what the accounting books capture as loss in ideal market environment becomes huge profit earner for the brand in Nigeria. Well, we will rest our consideration and analysis of the news on the Consumer Protection Council discovery at this point. However, we shall continue in our quest for global best practice within our local market space, with the objective of creating a population of discerning consumers with rights and privileges open to consumers around the world. On the part of us consumers, we must try to do more of asking questions, reading brand/product labels, reporting cases of abuse and compromises at the market place to relevant authorities, to protect ourselves . Always, try to SHOP RIGHT!
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
â€˜At a point I stopped seeing
(CIDA). Currently we are executing a two year project under the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) funded by the DFID, United Kingdom. The project is to strengthen governance and management of education at the (Lagos) State level and it covers a total of one hundred and thirty eight (138) primary and secondary schools (JSS & SSS) in Ikeja and Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Areas of Lagos State. Place of mentoring in leadership The importance of mentoring in leadership cannot be ignored as this is an organised process linking a less skilled and experienced person with Comfort Idika Ogunye is a lawyer is married to a lawyer, Jiti someone from whom they willingly accept advice, knowledge and Ogunye. About 17 years ago, Ogunye emerged as the first lessons on how they can achieve their goals. In the course of our programs female president of the National Association of Nigerian and training engagements, our Students (NANS). From that point she got involved with project beneficiaries are encouraged to identify role models in and outside activism and radicalism, carving a niche for herself through their communities and become the Female Leadership Forum(FLF) which was established in mentees to them. Our resource persons also offer project 1996 at the University of Jos, Plateau State. She spoke with beneficiaries the opportunity to serve as mentors to them as mentoring Yetunde Oladeinde is one sure way to develop and hone the leadership skills in young women who have EMORIES as NANS president. interest in politics. Some of the initial challenges we Assessment of encountered were coordination, capacity women's leadership development, entrenching our shared vision I was privileged to be elected the first and in Nigeria only female president of National among pioneer units and being consistent Since the return Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in with it. There was also the issue of of democracy in acceptance from other existing male1995/1996 and these were years of a military 1999, there is an regime under Gen. Sani Abacha. Knowing dominated groups on campus. They were all pervading that pressure group advocacy and shocked that girls could organise, have a dominance of development activism would usually thrive platform and invariably a voice that clearly t h e p o l i t i c a l better in a democratic society, NANS had a says 'we want to be involved in leadership terrain by men. significant mandate beyond our campus and decision making in our school I n t h e l a s t concerns to insist on Nigeria's return to community.' thirteen years, Projects you have handled so far democratic rule. That struggle was very t h e demanding and sustaining, it required In the last ten years, FLF has engaged in marginalisation absolute commitment from all progressive interventions relating to leadership o f N i g e r i a n Nigerian students. development and capacity building of w o m e n h a s In line with our expectations, Abacha's young women in Nigeria's tertiary become more regime had its own strategy to contain the institutions. pronoun students' movement. With the intent to We have also had a legislative training weaken the mainstream NANS, they overtly workshop for female student leaders i n supported another faction of NANS from southern Nigeria, supported by the University of Maiduguri. Working to t h e A f r i c a n W o m e n ensure that these State agents do not distract Development Fund (AWDF); us was quite challenging. For us, a united anti-corruption advocacy NANS with a common popular programme workshop for students in of action that would further the progressive tertiary institutions in ideals of the organisation was very collaboration with EFCC desirable. and with support of I recall that logistics was a daunting U n i t e d N a t i o n s challenge. NANS in 1995 was the umbrella Development Project organisation for over 150 tertiary schools, (UNDP). Some of the with about 28 million students. It was other projects carried out challenging for me working through this. At by the organisation a point, I stopped seeing myself as a woman i n c l u d e d v o t e r s ' and what I saw was the task ahead. sensitisation rallies for However, because of the impunity of the c o m m e r c i a l military regime at that time, many of our m o t o r c y c l i s t s a n d unions were proscribed and replaced by markets associations in caretaker committees (CTC). Student LGAs in Lagos State. activists that resisted this autocracy were There was also the rusticated and expelled, and cult gangs advocacy campaign began to emerge to replace the once vibrant but repressed student unions. Taking a against cult activities in stand against cultism, taking erring tertiary tertiary institutions in institutions to court and getting legal Osun State, supported representation for affected students were by Urgent Action Fund (UAF, Africa). overwhelming. Participatory What you would have done differently Nothing, as my experience as NANS governance workshop President gave me an opportunity to learn for young women in and hone my leadership skills. I just feel sad tertiary institutions in that no female has been elected to this Cross River, Bauchi and position till date. It is obviously a reflection F.C.T., with the support of the gender structure of most o f C a n a d i a n International organisations in Nigeria. Development Agency Initial challenges
myself as a womanâ€™
ced as they hold less than 10 per cent of the important decision making positions. This is in spite of the fact that women in Nigeria constitute about half of the country's population. The present National Assembly in Nigeria has an appallingly low representation of women in both houses. At states level, only Lagos and Anambra States Houses of Assembly have eight and five women respectively. This deliberate exclusion of women is a scandal, when crossed with the statics achieved by other countries like Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. It may be alleged that we have made some progress in the areas of sensitisation and advocacy for affirmative action, yes I agree, but not much has been achieved. The legal pedestal for affirmative action is still not in place and we hope to see it entrenched in our constitution. My assessment of majority of the few Nigerian women in leadership positions whether as public servants, technocrats, bureaucrats or private sector CEOs is that they have done credibly well. There is therefore the need for a conscious effort towards increasing their number, level of participation and influence. I believe that FLF's work on the campuses is a critical intervention strategy being implemented to address the problem of under representation of women. I am convinced that the sustenance and continuity of our interventions will overtime lead to the emergence of a generation of young women who take accountable leadership very seriously. Going into mainstream politics Yes, I am. Politics for me is not an option but a compelling necessity.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Relationships Deola Ojo 08027454533 (text) Pastordeegfc@yahoo.com
Your questions answered Continued from last week
Quit being a party pooper:
TUDIES show that t h e g e n e r a l population's No. 1 fear is public speaking. This means that people prefer to find the answer to the ultimate question rather than speak in front of strangers. So, if you struggle with social settings, feel awkward speaking publicly or have trouble meeting new people, there's nothing wrong with you. Most people feel the same way, and are deathly opposed to changing this aspect of themselves. There is an ideal that someone who is socially skilled speaks with a silver tongue and can dazzle a captive audience. Being successful in social situations, however, doesn't necessarily have anything to do with speaking. Here's how you can improve your social skills without having to say a word in a social gathering:
formulating your own thoughts and opinions. Responding with your own thoughts after you've taken the time to understand the speaker's perspective can change you from a nodding, regurgitating yes-man into an independent thinker who is interested in what the other person has to say.
Body language: Your body language speaks volumes about you. Next time you're at a social gathering, take a second to think what your body language is saying to others. Are you standing against a wall? If so, you're saying: “Please don't notice me, I wish I weren't here.” Are your arms folded against your chest? If so, you're saying: ”Stay away from me, I'm not going to tell you a thing about myself and don't want anyone new entering my life.” Facial expressions: Your face is the gateway to how you feel. This is why a strong poker face can mean the difference between winning the pot or losing it all. You don't necessarily need to bluff in a social setting to win people's interest, but keep in mind that your face is the first thing people are going to see, so what do you want it to say? A friendly smile, an understanding nod, a hearty laugh, and making eye contact are integral. They tell others that you are a good audience and someone who is enjoyable to talk to. If you notice yourself rolling your eyes and furrowing your brow in social situations, think about what you're
saying to others and why you may struggle in achieving social success. Improve your conversational skills Most people think that being a good conversationalist has everything to do with speaking confidently on a wide variety of subjects. But before you waste your time studying the latest trends in reality television, remember that a conversation has two roles: a speaker and a listener. The truth is, you actually don't have to speak much at all. Actively listen: Active listening is a skill. It means maintaining eye contact and nodding as you listen. It is important that you give a speaker signs that they are reaching you and that you are interested. This gives them confidence to keep talking. On the other hand, nodding your head and maintaining eye contact are not enough on their own; to show you are listening, acknowledge that you understand what the person is trying to communicate. This can be achieved through the simple repetition of the point they were making or by rephrasing it. Respond to the speaker: If a person has engaged you in a conversation it is likely on a topic that they are interested in. Make sure you ask exploratory questions. For example, “Can you describe what it's like?" “Tell me how you feel about..." or "What's your opinion on...?” Respond to the speaker. People want to know that you are capable of
Dress for the occasion: Going to a club in jeans and a T-shirt would be inappropriate and start you off on the wrong foot. Dressing for social success means that you show up in attire that is appropriate to the situation. To ensure you are dressing appropriately for an event, you can call other people that you may be going with and ask them what they will be wearing. After all, asking ahead of time is much better than wishing you did when it's too late. Know the lingo: Understand your social setting and what is appropriate to talk about. Most people think it's generally safe to stay away from topics such as politics and religion. Depending on your audience, however, you may need to consider other topics to avoid. For example, while at a bachelor party don't talk about your divorce or how you love the single lifestyle. Think before you speak. Be a social butterfly Most of the tips above can be practiced in a variety of situations. You can be an active listener in any conversation. The same can be said about your body language, facial expressions and general behaviour. Practice in environments where you are already comfortable. This can be achieved in the work place, amongst friends or with family. It is important to get a better handle on the process of nonverbal communication ahead of social situations rather than using social situations as an experiment. Ultimately, the goal is to make you feel more confident in social situations.
Source: Aaron Blair
came across your answer to a question on 8th April 2012 edition of the Nation. The truth is that age should not be seen as a factor in terms of love. At any given age you can marry as far as the love is there. A man of thirty will prefer a lady of twenty. Men believe women grow old quick. If a man in his thirties marries a woman in her thirties, she will grow old quicker than the man. But age and where the person comes from should not be considered in true love, but peace, joy and happiness. Matthias. We can choose to love someone irrespective of the things that other people feel this person does not have. Several factors determine what makes a person fall in love with another individual. Beauty they say is in the eyes of the beholder. But what happens when an individual has lost his sight? Maybe then we can say 'Love is blind'. Love is both an act of our will and an expression of our emotion. For some people, their love is more of an act of their will and less of an expression of their emotion. For most people, their love is governed by their emotion. The issue is that falling in love is one thing, but staying in love requires more of our decision making mechanism than our passion. Before people get married it appears as though they do not see the faults in their partner, after marriage, there seems to be a floodlight on every fault. Those whose love is based on mainly emotion soon get tired after marriage or even before marriage. while those who see love with the right balance of their decision and their passion end up loving their partners for life. Thanks for writing, Matthias. I am 20 years and my boyfriend is 23. I will graduate next year but he will graduate in three years time. He said he will get married in 2017 but latest by 2018 and asked me to wait for him but by then I will be 25 to 26 years old. Please, do you think 26 is too late for me to get married or should I leave him and marry someone else early? But I am so sure that this guy loves me and would want to spend the rest of his life with me. Please advise me on what to do. Dear Twenty, time will tell. You did not tell me how long this relationship has been on for. If you can wait for him to finish school, that is fine. But will he wait for you? Will he remain faithful to you when he is still in school? There are some wonderful couples who have courted for up to six years and still got married. There are also some people who break up when they feel that the relationship has dragged on for too long. What kind of person is your boyfriend? Is he the kind of person who makes a decision about something and sticks to it? If he is someone who has demonstrated his faithfulness to you and you believe that he will remain faithful, then you should do your best to wait for him. A twenty six year old lady is not too old to get married. I wish you the very best. I have a girlfriend and I do not know what to be doing to make her happy and also what to be discussing with her when she visits me because this is my first time of having a girlfriend. Please I need answer to that question now because she will visit me in the morning. Friendships are a good prelude to courtships. A man who has had healthy friendships with many people of both genders will probably have a good relationship with someone of the opposite sex. A man who has not had healthy friendships may discover that his first relationship seems a bit awkward. This may be due to the fact that he is young or inexperienced. On your first date, find out about her interests without seeming to pry. Also avoid asking her too many questions. You can also tell her a little about yourself. The conversation should take on a natural flow from that point. It does take time to build a good relationship so do not try to rush things. Sometimes, a young person may wonder what to do in a first relationship because s/he is too young to be in a relationship. If you are in your early teens, I advise you to face your studies and concentrate on what will make you a good and dependable adult. At this stage of your life, you do not need an exclusive relationship with a girl. You have classmates, neighbours and family friends that you chat with from time to time. You can also meet in groups with these friends and have outings organised by your school or some family friends or your church if you attend one with a youth group. These are avenues where you learn to make friends with people of the opposite sex without thinking of an exclusive relationship. By the time you are ready to have a relationship, you will not wonder what to discuss with someone of the opposite sex or how to make a friend happy.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Arts & Life
By Olubanwo Fagbemi
firstname.lastname@example.org 08060343214 (SMS only)
Sunny Side interactive In which the reader’s voice takes eminence and the writer is obliged to respond in kind while reiterating commitment to the column’s satirical style.
Re: A modern dictionary MY dear Olu, your Sunny Side of today is the brightest. What did I do to you? I have been grinning like a cat after going through your modern dictionary. I would love to read a compilation of opposites in the near future. I give you one: opposite of Goodluck is Patience. More ink to your pen. Cheers, Ijeoma. +2348097063*** And here’s one: blackout for PHCN; and another: brutality for the police; and yet another: witch-hunting for EFCC, or debtors for banks. Ah, why rush when we could just have a whole edition of ironical opposites to ourselves, dear reader? Good evening. With respect to Writers’ Fountain segment, could you please avail me the contacts of your editor(s)? I’m an up and coming author and finding a good/reliable editor has really not been easy. I await your quick response please. Obot from Port Harcourt. +2348034036*** You will be served, dear hopeful writer. Sunny Side? Hmmn. You’re just too much. Thanks for always making my Sunday afternoon hilarious despite the happenings around. Iyobosa in Bauchi. +2348035976*** Thanks too for reading. Your faithful response in uncertain times is priceless, I assure you. Boy! Your concept of dictionary is truly on the fun side. It got me reeling with laughter. I bow for your ingenuity. Increase the volume, make it a book and you are made. +2347066777*** May the source, the writer and the reader combine to raise the stakes of documented inspiration until at last the records speak for themselves; and may all our wishes come true! Re: The lions that missed dinner Hello, Mr Fagbemi. I’m an editor with a youth magazine here. I read your article ‘The lions that missed dinner’ lately and would like your permission to reprint it. +2348063318*** Owing to copyright issues, permission may only be granted subject to legitimate processes involving the publisher and author of the said material on the one hand and a third party on the other. Still, readership of Sunny Side articles is encouraged in the original form.
A modern dictionary
CHEEK BY JOWL
.•Supplementary edition Adamant n.: The very first insect. Business n.: Other people’s money in your care. Cigarette n.: A dash of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool on the other. Democracy n.: Collective wisdom based on individual ignorance of the system, or being allowed to vote for the candidate you least dislike. Memory blitz anyone? Fobia n.: The fear of misspelled words. Hanging n.: A suspended sentence. Illegal adj.: A large sick bird of prey. Information n.: How migratory birds usually fly. Magazine n.: Bunch of printed pages with a heavy hint of what to expect in the next issue. Treason n.: What the small seed is to the giant tree. Valentine’s Day n.: A day when you have dreams of a candlelight dinner, diamonds, and romance, but consider yourself lucky to get a card. Whodunit n. (Colloquial): None of the kids that live in your house.
As long as you keep getting born, it’s alright to die some times. —Orson Scott Card
Jokes Humour Wrong Perception AT the final dinner of an international conference, an American delegate turned to the Chinese delegate sitting next to him, pointed to the soup somewhat condescendingly and asked, “Likee soupee?” The Chinese gentlemen nodded eagerly. A little later, it was “Likee fishee?”, “Likee meatee?” and “Likee fruitee?” and always the response was an affable nod. At the end of the dinner the chairman of the conference introduced the guest speaker of the evening and he was none other than the Chinese gentleman who proceeded to deliver a penetrating, witty discourse in impeccable English, much to the astonishment of his American neighbour. When the speech was over, the speaker turned to his neighbour, and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, asked, “Likee speechee?”
Overwhelmed Victim BIG FRANK was having his hair styled at the hairdresser’s when a lorry smashed
into a car outside. Covered with a robe, his hair divided with aluminum clips, Frank, an ex-paratrooper with the Army, raced out to the car and found the driver unhurt. The lorry driver, however, was slumped over the wheel, unconscious. Big Frank lost no time in applying his army-acquired rescue techniques, including mouth-tomouth resuscitation. The lorry driver recovered consciousness several times, but kept passing out again. Soon the ambulance arrived with the paramedics and took over, and Frank returned to his barber’s seat. “I just don’t understand why he kept passing out,” he said to the hairdresser. “I did everything they taught me.” “Well, put yourself in the lorry driver’s place,” said the hairdresser. “He’s driving down the street without a care in the world. The next thing he knows, he’s waking up to see some big guy in a green robe with a head full of clips and wires pounding on his chest and kissing him. You’d pass out too.” •Culled from the Internet
INDING an Writer’s Fountain editor: Your writing will be strongest if at some point rejection as a writer but the following tips should you separate yourself from your writing. The help you overcome the disappointment: Laugh at your rejections editor wants to make it better. If that is your goal, Learn from your rejections too, you will be a great team. Always have a new project underway, Although every serious writer will work with an editor in the end stages of a published project, something that will give you hope no matter you can improve your chances of reaching that how many rejections come your way for the end stage and save money when you hire a previous project. You may take some solace in knowing the freelancer editor if you do a good job of editing your own work. Finally, you can follow a plan rejection history of these writers and works: ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert – 13 rejections for editing your own work. ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ – Coping with rejection: One way or the other you are bound to experience 14 rejections ‘Auntie Mame’ by Patrick Dennis – 17 Human condition: rejections •Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s. ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ by Richard •In humans, the epidermal layer of skin, Bach – 18 rejections which consists of many layers of skin ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeline L’Engle – regenerates every 27 days. 29 rejections •People generally read 25% slower from a ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King – over 30 rejections computer screen compared to paper. ‘Gone With the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell – •On average people fear spiders more than 38 rejections they do death. ‘A Time to Kill’ by John Grisham – 45 •Over 90% of diseases are caused or rejections complicated by stress. Louis L’Amour, author of over 100 western •In a day, 34,000 children die every day from novels – over 300 rejections before publishing his causes that are related to poverty and hunger. first book
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHAEL
â€˘Dicing with death on train rooftops
ITH the flaming fire of defiance in their voices, nothing, absolutely nothing will dissuade the duo of Sunday Adekunle and Murphy Sobulo from sitting on the rooftop of a moving train on a daily basis. This dangerous act has become a routine for the duo since road traffic gridlock, which almost became clog in the wheel of their means of livelihood at Apapa Port, has forced them to seek alternative in rail transportation. Adekunle and Sobulo live in Ijoko, Ogun State and find their daily commute on train as interesting as enjoying a well deserved sound sleep. Their argument, appearing plausible to the public, is an indictment on the authority of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC). Dancing at the edge "If you know the rate at which some passengers commit crime inside the train you won't join those who make noise over those of us who sit outside the train. I know it is risky but I prefer it to having my money stolen by pick pockets who fill every coach. Did the authority report to you that I don't buy ticket?" Adekunle asked rhetorically. His claim is another dimension to the acclaimed notoriety which some train passengers have assumed. Sobulo, like his soul mate insisted that no threat by the NRC could deter him from either hanging on the train or sit atop of it in transit. Sobulo also corroborated the allegation of the escapade of pickpockets inside the train. "There is no day somebody won't cry at the station. It is that bad. Incidentally, men are always the victim. I had once fallen into the hand of these thieves inside the train when the purse containing all the money I made, which I kept inside the pocket of my jean trouser, was stolen. They are so perfect that you would not suspect anything until you disembark from the train and check your pocket", he said. It was gathered that pickpockets and
A ride on the wild side
Hitching free rides on train rooftops is a common practice in Lagos. Tunde Busari recently joined the crowd and reports petty thieves, who feast on unsuspecting passengers unhindered, are a mere fraction of the reasons some passengers would stop at nothing to find their way onto the rooftop of the train. There is also the headache of heavy traffic of passengers allegedly caused by greed on the part of the railway authority. Another regular passenger, Ismaheel Ganiyu, a foot wear seller at Oyingbo attested to this as a valid premise for sitting at the outer surface of the train at the expense of their safety. Ganiyu substantiated his claim with the near-tragic experience his fourmonth-old pregnant wife ran into in transit sometime in 2009. He painfully recalled how his wife nearly passed away due to concentrated suffocation. According to him, it was mother luck that eventually rescued his wife from the jaw of untimely death on the fateful evening. The lucky woman had since developed a strong phobia for train let alone taking a walk to railway station. "She, at a time, even tried to discourage me from taking the train but she knows it is impossible because travelling by train has brought me a relief from the terrible stress I used to suffer on my journey from home to work on the road." These claims of the trio are, however, faulted by other passengers who described them as incorrigible for playing deaf to the warning and random raid by the railway authority. Although these passengers also concurred that some cases of theft take place inside the train, according to them, it is not as frequent as they
painted the picture. Sunday Adio said he has witnessed some occasions when suspected thieves were caught and handed over to the railway officials at the station, an indication that the authority does not fold its arm on the matter. Defiant passengers Adio declared that those sitting on the train do so only to enjoy unrestricted liberty to engage in unacceptable acts. He said they know one another to the extent of forming a group at the station before the train takes off after which they find their way to the rooftop in transit. "I am telling you that those people are criminals. I am saying this because I have witnessed it once or twice when I could not find a place inside the train and sat among them. They were smoking Indian hemp freely. Some of them have small bottles of alcoholic drink inside their pocket which they drink. They also are in the habit of throwing objects to the people on the side of the road. They are terrible people, to say the least," he said. Adio would also spill the beans with a further indictment alleging that some officials of the Railway Corporation subtly encourage the practice. The outspoken Adio explained that the officials make money through the practice by collecting a token fare from the passengers in lieu of official tickets. However, this allegation, according to the railway authority, is an orchestrated ploy to give dog a bad name. The District Public Relations Officer of the Corporation, Ademuyiwa Adekanbi frowns at the allegation which he said is not only unfounded
but ridiculous. Adekanbi wondered why the Adios of this world attempt to drag the name of the corporation into the mud. He, however, assured the public and passengers in particular of the grand plan of the corporation to expand its fleet with a view to serving its passengers better, especially in the area of decongesting the coaches. "Even we have recently increased the number of trains from eight to 12. Also, more coaches will soon arrive the country. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that the management and the Federal Government are bringing more coaches to reduce congestion. We can only appeal to the public for understanding and cooperation to achieve this," Adekanbi said. He further stated that the corporation had put in place some measures to combat the menace of the defiant passengers in conjunction with the combined team of Nigeria Police and Man 'O' War. Adekanbi said the security agents regularly carry out random raid on them, the effort that has landed some behind the bars. "It is unfortunate that those people are just stubborn despite our resistance which usually comes in a hard way. Our raid team does not give them any room to escape because they are caught where escape is difficult for them. Some of them have been sent to prison while some have paid as much as N25,000 to bail themselves out. So, we expect this to serve as a deterrent to others. Unfortunately, they still do it. But I am assuring you we will not relent too until they change their bad habit," Commissioner of Police of Railway
Command, Saba Ndagi, also sounds promising on the fight against the miscreants. He promised to continue dealing with the lawless passengers. Recently, about 34 passengers were arrested during a raid. And after the screening held at Lagos District Headquarters, 17 were arraigned in the court and subsequently remanded in prison custody. This effort should tell you that we are not going to allow the illegality to continue. What these people are doing is a suicide attempt which is also a crime under the law. So, we are not going to allow them to take their lives." He regrets that the judiciary has not helped in curbing the nefarious activities of the miscreants. According to him, if the court could impose what he called a severe sanction on the errant passengers, others would not have found the act attractive. "But when the court gives them a light punishment like telling them to sweep the court premises, what do you expect? This is a challenge we face, but as time goes on we are going to get over it by forging a good relationship with the judges," he said. He also blamed inadequate manpower for his command's inability to effectively combat the crime. He said his men are supposed to be stationed inside the train to closely monitor the passengers in transit. "If we have enough men keeping an eye everywhere, it will be difficult for any passenger to attempt to climb onto the train. I have requested for more men from the Inspector General and he has approved the request. So, we are waiting for the men to join us soon to complement our effort," he said.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
‘Supreme Court judgment won’t end our agitation over Bakassi’ Hon. John Gaul Lebo is the chairman of the Cross River State House of Assembly committees on Inter-state Boundary, and Due Process and International Donor Support. He spoke recently to journalists in Calabar on the call by the state assembly on the National Assembly not to ratify the Green Tree Agreement ceding Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroun. Nicholas Kalu was there. Excerpts: •Lebo
HE Cross River House of Assembly of which you are a member recently passed a resolution urging the National Assembly not to ratify the Green Tree Agreement ceding Bakassi to Cameroon. What is the implication of this? The resolution of the assembly came as a result of last Thursday’s protest by a group, The Coalition to Save the Bakassi People of Nigeria. It is a coalition of about 10 different NGOs and the subject of their protest was actually brought to fore, what I actually call the unfinished business that Nigeria has with the people of Cross River State and Bakassi. As representatives of the people, we had to bring the issue to the floor of the house. We have looked at the Green Tree Agreement. We have looked at the ICJ protocol. We have looked at the judgment of the ICJ. We have also looked at the processes adopted by the agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which are inconsistent with Green Tree Agreement and even beyond the scope of the ICJ judgment. So it became necessary to call the attention of the National Assembly and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to this obvious lacuna. In that motion, what we simply did was to let the Federal Government know that the National Boundary Commission has extended the boundary of the judgment of the ICJ over Bakassi, beyond the intention of the ICJ and we also are letting the National Assembly know that they have an obligation under Section 8 (2) of the Constitution as it has to do with the adjustment of the boundaries of existing states and under Section 12 of the Constitution which has to do with ratification of international treaties to make them enforceable in Nigeria. There is a need for the NASS to advise the Federal Government to look at
the peculiar nature of the Bakassi people. There is no law in Nigeria from the laws of the federation to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1963 up to date that allows any territory of Nigeria to be given as a free gift to any country, but this is what has happened in the case of Bakassi. Even where the ICJ allows us access into the internal waters, the NBC, a municipal agency had on their own gone ahead to do a demarcation, extending the map of Cameroon into our own internal waters. The danger is that Cameroonian warships can now have access to Nigeria and to Calabar seaport without permission. In International Law, there is a difference between the territorial sea and the internal waters. Territorial sea belongs to the realm of International Law and belongs to all nations. So you do not need permission from any country. You can carry the flags of any country and your ships can sail in any of these territories. But for internal waters, anyone who enters it must get permission. What the NBC has done is to give Cameroon that kind of access and we are saying it should not happen. That is why we have called on the NASS to conduct an urgent public hearing on that matter. This has nothing to do with the people of Akwa Ibom or whatsoever. It is to do with the danger Cross River faces from pirates, oil bunkery, foreign terrorists. That is why we have called the NASS and we believe they would passionately and urgently look at these. Why coming so close to the Supreme Court judgement? This happened now because The Coalition to Save the Bakassi People indicted us as representatives. Also bear in mind that the Coalition came to the House of
Assembly and handed a petition to the Speaker. Bakassi has a representative in the House of Assembly. They have a member in the House of Representatives and they have a Senator. Once that issue came up from the people, there was no way it could have been swept under the carpet. Maybe it is coincidence that it is happening at the same time the Supreme Court is set to give judgment. However there is some kind of extended relationship between the ceding of Bakassi and the dispute over the oil wells and eventually the judgment. The context of the ICJ judgment did not hand over any oil wells to Cameroon. It did not say that the baseline for determining the boundary between Nigeria and Cameron is the internal waters. It said that the baseline for the demarcation of boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon is the tip of the territorial sea. So NBC decided, first in 2004, just two years after the judgment of the ICJ came up with a position and with maps that Cross River remains a littoral state despite the ceding of Bakassi. In 2008 for whatever reason, the same NBC came up and did another demarcation. Remember that the demarcation by the United Nations team on the Joint Commission in charge of Bakassi is still ongoing as I talk to you now. They have not concluded their own assignment. Our own NBC took just a few months to conclude their own and come up with a document that the Supreme Court is going to rely on. So the reason why there is a relationship between this two is that the agencies of the Federal Government decided to take the ICJ judgment, interpret it to mean that because Bakassi is ceded to Cameroon, therefore we are no longer a littoral state and would no longer have oil wells. It is not
Cameron that is saying Nigeria has lost 76 oil wells because Bakassi has been ceded to them. It is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria that is doing that. In other words, the argument that Cameroon should bring up in the ICJ is the argument that agencies of the Federal Government are bringing. And then they advise that the 76 oil wells located in that place be given to Akwa Ibom. Mind you, since 2008 we have not been earning oil wells revenue. It is being given to Akwa Ibom. What our government has done is just to go to court to ask that the Supreme Court should look beyond the politics of oil and determine the issue. I want to say that independent of what happens on July 10, justice for Cross River State would stretch beyond July 10. The idea that if judgment is given against Cross River, the issue would be buried is a fallacy. It amounts to thinking that once you bury your enemy, then his spirit would not reverberate. Justice for Cross River would live beyond July 10. Justice for us is very simple. Because we have Bakassi as a part of Nigeria, we are a littoral state and we have oil wells beyond 76 oil wells and because the FG illegally and without due process has ceded Bakassi it is not our fault and we are entitled to have oil wells, whether they are going to create it from the sky or wherever. Our arguments as a state is to say that the Nigerian government has unfinished business, mission unaccomplished in Cross River State and we would follow it peaceful as we are to the end. We would not be violent but we would follow up that point to ensure that justice is given to Cross River State. Up to 2006 no state in Nigeria laid claim to any offshore oil well
including Akwa Ibom. But today, Akwa Ibom has over 1, 200 oil wells because of the political solution that was entered despite the judgment of the Supreme Court. So I do not believe that when the Supreme Court gives judgment on the 10th of July, our case is foreclosed. That would even ignite the fire that Cross River State must get a political solution and we are not going to contest our rights and positions with any state. Our strategy is to face the FG headlong and insist that a political solution be entered for Cross River. The judgment of the Supreme Court would be for the records and would be there for precedent for people to act on. There are several of such judgments. Judgments of courts do not bring peace. There is a difference e between justice and peace. The judgment of a court is to do justice. In most cases, judgments would not bring peace. To bring peace, the leadership of the country must sit down and bring out a solution that would bring peace. That is why the onshore/offshore dichotomy in 2002 which was against all the Niger-Delta States who have offshore oil wells did not bring peace until a political solution was entered. So I believe that if the judgment does not go in our favour, which I don’t believe because I know the justices of the Supreme Court are impartial, honest and experienced, the quest for justice by Cross River would go beyond July 10. How come Akwa Ibom and Cross River are having such issues given they belong to a forum that is working toward integration and development of the South-South? That question should probably be put to the leadership of the South-South. Those we call the old Cross River, the Akwa-Cross. Somebody at my age and generation, I do not see the existence of any structure of that nature. I say so because Rivers and Bayelsa had a dispute over oil wells and there was a Presidential intervention that ensured that those oil wells were settled politically between them and they did not have to go to court. Akwa Ibom State went to court against Rivers State and it was disputed and Rivers won at the Supreme Court and got back 86 oil wells. Akwa Ibom State is in the Supreme Court with Cross River State to take away 76 oil wells from Cross River State. These three states are all beneficiaries of these oil wells because then President Olusegun Obasanjo decided to proffer political solution against the provision of the law and against the judgment of the Supreme Court and today, the whole world is watching with applause as the story is being told of how Nigeria has ceded Bakassi so Cross River State does not have oil wells and so the oil wells in Bakassi should be given to our brothers in Akwa Ibom State. The point I have made and it is very clear is that for Cross River State, justice would not be buried on July 10. It will not be. In fact it will give rise to a new chapter in our struggle for justice and it would be done as peaceful as possible. There is no benefit that we are a PDP state. There is no benefit that we are in the BRACED Commission. There is no benefit we are a South-South state. There is no benefit we are an NDDC state. We are just there because we are the most peaceful people. But within the calm man there is the tendency to react when you push him to the wall. That is the point we find ourselves.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Remembering Christy EssienIgbokwe —PAGE 54
'If you are 80 and still worry about money, you're stupid' Dr. Akin Majekodunmi, a former Chief Medical Director (CMD), Ijaiye General Hospital, Abeokuta, Ogun State, is a renowned surgeon. He is a nephew of the late Western Region Administrator and the proprietor of St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, the late Dr Adekoye Majekodunmi. At 80, Dr. Majekodunmi has every reason to thank God for being in good health. Since his retirement from the Civil Service in 1984, the renowned surgeon and trainer of surgeons has gone into private practise to give the best to the profession he know best. Seyi Odewale met him at his Abeokuta residence and goes down memory lane with him.
ITTING in his modestly furnished living room and asked how he feels at 80, he says "First, I have to thank God for keeping me to this age and particularly, in good health. I thank God also for surrounding me with a family that has helped me to attain this age. I'm particularly grateful to my wife and children. I have had some problems in life, but generally speaking, I think the good part has been much more than the bad part and for that, I thank my God." According to him, "I know how many of us (his mates) are left. Even among those left, I see the condition most of them are in and as such, I have nothing else to do than thanking God and the people who surround me." He attributes his sound health to the fact that he does everything in life in moderation, "I don't eat too much, I hardly drink, I don't smoke at all. I do a few exercises and probably, most importantly, I'm satisfied with what God has given me. I don't envy anybody." He adds that as a Christian, he lives strictly as one. A family tradition The octogenarian, apart from attributing the gift of long life and good health to God also notes that longevity runs in the family. He says he comes from a family tree that lives to old age. He says, "My wife often mentioned it. This is because our forebear, Oyeneye Majekodunmi, died at the age of 87, my grandfather also died at 87. Surprisingly, my father died at 87 and I'm sure I'm going to live much longer than that." Tracing the family's genealogy, he says he is from a royal ancestry of the progenitor of Yoruba race, Oduduwa, from Ile-Ife. "Our forebear, Oyeneye, was a warrior in his time. In fact, he was one of the four prominent warriors of Egbaland. His mother was a blue blood from a royal house in Ife and when he got to Egba, he too became the Balogun of his area. He dominated the politics and the warfare of Ikereku area at that time." He said his forebear was a polygamist with 27 wives, thus making his family perhaps the largest in Nigeria, not only in Abeokuta! He is proud that all members of the family have in one way or the other lifted the family name high. The most prominent being the late Dr Koye Majekodunmi, the former Administrator of Western Region and proprietor of St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, who died about two
months ago. Dr Majekodunmi was a mentor to several of his siblings. "In the family I think we are blessed, because like I said, we have about 27 sections. We have written a book on the family. In the family, we are contesting and competing healthily with one another. If we were to look into it, I don't think I will be vain in saying that the Majekodunmis have the largest number of professionals in any single family in this country, because we are endowed with doctors, engineers, computer scientists, business men and women. And if you talk about money, and without sounding vain, I think we have money to the extent that a musician sang a song that: ‘Majekodunmi, o Majek, Ajeniya oloye a pe kanuko, owo….’ And because of that the family is popular. But the most important part of it is that we hardly have people of bad characters." He said it was exciting growing up at home which was called Jubilee House, where their grandfather lived and he was also born there at Ikereku. "In Jubilee House when I was young, there were about 12 families from the same Majekodunmi, living in different sections of the compound. And it was so nice at that time to the extent that after eating in your house, if either you did not feel satisfied or you wanted to have more food than you've had before; all you needed was just to walk into another, house in the compound and what they would ask you was what you would like to eat. And in case you met them eating, they would just ask you to sit down and join them. It was a beautiful experience; there was a considerable amount of love." Although it was a large family but this was not an excuse for anyone to be lazy, according to him, "We were very enterprising. I think the same blood runs in me. If you see any lazy person who calls himself a Majekodunmi, he must have been brought from somewhere else." Growing up Recounting his younger days, Majekodunmi says, it was "partly pleasant and unpleasant. This was because my mother died early. I was born in Jubilee House like I said earlier, I was however, fortunate to have a stepmother, who took me like her son. She too had only a son, Bafela, and if I can remember, I did not remember that I had two mothers. She looked after me and •Continued on Page 54
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
RUTH is, faced with a choice, very many people would most certainly like to be remembered in life and spoken of in affectionate terms and superlative adjectives after they transit from the surface of the earth! But the irony is that, only a few get so lucky as to have their names etched in gold and may be immortalised for all times. In retrospect, Christiana Uduak Essien-Igbokwe, the matriarch of the Igbokwe family who passed on a year ago, after a brief illness, has literally paid the prize of immortality,because her memory lives on in the heart of multitudes. A horse of recall Hers, indeed is a good example of how a life lived for others can become rewarding and also a pointer to the fact that, when all else ceases to the past, easily becomes a horse of recall, ridden at will by all those whose path crossed while among the living. The death of Essien-Igbokwe popularly called the Nigerian Lady of Songs, who was one time president of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), and a famous actress, was not the only death witnessed in the culture and entertainment sector last year but it was, by far, the most celebrated. Whether as a mother, wife, singer, actress, socialite, philanthropist, social crusader, Madam Apena, as she was fondly called on stage in the famous sitcom, New Masquerade, performed every role with a sense of responsibility and an unprecedented ingenuity of some sorts. Little wonder that the world has not ceased to eulogise the famous Lady of Songs, who recorded major hit songs
Remembering Christy Essien-Igbokwe Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf writes on the life and times of the late Chief Christy Essien-Igbokwe, the famous Lady of Songs, who died a year ago like “Freedom”, “Patience”, “Time Waits For No One”, “One Understanding-1979, Give Me A Chance”, “Ever Liked My Person”, “Taking My Time”, “It Is Time”, “Hear The Call”, “Mysteries Of Life”, that have not only become classics, but also come to define her not just as a composer of note but as a prophet of all times judging by the didactic lessons and messages she delivered with every lyric. Although she lived a little above half a century, the music crooner, achieved landmark successes including playing a leading role in the birth of her home state, Akwa Ibom State. As a social mobiliser, she was involved in the formation of several bodies including the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) in 1982, to cater for the welfare and protection of Nigerian musicians and their rights, nationally and internationally as well as the Performing and Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS) of Nigeria, concerned with the general responsibility of negotiating, collecting and distributing royalties on behalf of musical copyright owners who are mostly its members. A voice of reason A woman who lived for many good ideals, she also raised her voice above the din during the hotly debated issue over the abrogation of the offshore/ onshore dichotomy, as she mounted
series of campaigns that saw the regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida initiate and abrogate the dichotomy; thereby putting paid to the struggle that lasted decades. Besides, she helped pushed for the continuous existence of the Federal Road Safety Corps at a time the organisation became the butt of deri-
sive jokes by some individuals in some quarters who wanted it either scrapped outright or merged with the Nigeria Police Force. Another feat easily credited to her was her role in paving the way for private telephony. This was at a time that granting licenses for the private telephony started from the regime of the late General Sani Abacha. Christy had intervened by pushing forward the idea that the world is fast changing in telecommunication. The idea came to her when a private telephone company (EMIS) that had its equipment and staff ready approached her with their predicament as a result of license denial. She fought this and thus EMIS became the first privately licensed telecommunication company; others then followed with ease. An individual with a capacity for charity and philanthropy, she was involved in several charitable causes both within and outside the country, chief among which include her contribution in Adamawa State (then Gongola State); where she raised funds used by the State Government to fence, equip, renovate and provide drinkable water and main pump to the State’s only rehabilitation centre (at Jada) for the handicapped. In Rivers State, she raised funds for the Catholic Children’s Home and Psychiatric School. Enugu State (then old Anambra); where she fully
equipped refectory for the School of the Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Ogbete, Enugu as well as Plateau State; where she raised funds through Command Performances to provide scholarship endowment fund for able-bodied and handicapped children of the State origin. Her Charity work transcended Nigeria. In Liberia before the civil war, she (considering how popular she was there) was the guest of that country’s government; to raise fund for improvement of the only television organisation (then) during President Samuel Doe’s tenure. In Ghana where she was invited to raise fund and also launch potential Tourism in Ghana that is still booming till today. This was in 1994. Other ongoing charity project pursuits Christy was engaged in was childcare programme tagged: “Essential Childcare Foundation.” As to be expected, her good works didn’t go unnoticed as her fans both home and abroad invested her with garlands and honours as a reward for her magnanimity. Among the international awards in her kitty include but not limited to the following: “Silver Prize” Winner at 6th Seoul Songs Festival, South Korea – 1983; “Grand Prix “ Winner at Neewollah Music Festival at Independence, Kansas, USA – 1983; “International Special Achievement” Award of MUSEXPO, Acapulco, Mexico, 1983; “Certificate of Merit”, among others. Even in death, the awards have not ceased to flow. As the rest of the world joins the kindred of the famous Lady of Songs today in thanksgiving in remembrance of her edifying role, it may be correct to say that though she has departed to a world far beyond our ken, her memories live on.
Last week in the story ‘Let the dead bury their dead’ on page 53, we used the picture of Pastor Ayodeji Cole and his family instead of the Anyenes. Pastor Cole who died in the tragic Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012, was not with his family. Today we publish the correct picture of the Anyenes and regret the mix up. We pray for the repose of the souls of the dead. —Editor
• Pastor Ayodeji Cole and family
‘I‘m still operating as a surgeon •Continued from Page 53
took care of me as if I was her son. I went to Oke-Ona United Primary School and I was lucky as I only read Standard III. I was privileged that my father was close to Rev RansomeKuti, who was then the principal of Abeokuta Grammar School. Between them, they arranged it that I crossed from Oke-Ona to Abeokuta Grammar School. And the school was from class one to six. So, I was lucky in that school, it will interest you that initially I was a day student, but when we got to class I, I was sent to the boarding school. My half-brother, who was four years younger than me, was in Mrs Kuti's class, which was an elite class within the school premises. But unfortunately, by 1948, there was this problem in Abeokuta where the then Alake of Egba had some differences with Mrs Kuti, my father took side with the Kabiyesi, and Mrs Kuti, who incidentally, was a cousin to my father, was not pleased with this. Then my father had no choice than to take us away from the boarding house. I was actually happy because I was freed from the somewhat regimented life we were living in her house." In 1951 he passed out of the school leading the set and worked before proceeding in September 1954 to Eu-
rope for medical studies. He enrolled in the school in 1955, and got his first M.B in 1957. He immediately started his clinical years. "We used to go from one hospital to another and at that time, we go by road and sometimes, you get late, I then wrote home to tell my father about what I was going through. I had a bicycle then, but you know in winter it was not safe to ride a bicycle. So, I asked my father to buy me a scooter which was going for about £10. He said he would consider it. I later learnt that he discussed it with uncle Koye and I'm eternally grateful to him he discussed with him. Uncle said scooter was dangerous and that was how my father bought me my first car in 1959. He only sent £250." However, his father was subjected to lots of criticisms as many blamed him for indulging his son in such a luxury. He says, "All the time I was in Europe, I was in the Nigerian Union of Great Britain and Ireland, it was like the student union organisation that you have here. I was secretary for about two years and by the time we got Independence in 1960, I was president of that group in Ireland; that was before I qualified as a doctor. I was also able to contest for the national vice presidency for the whole of United Kingdom, which I won. I qualified in 1961 in flying colours. I was made a graduate demonstrator in anatomy; teaching students
anatomy." After he qualified he was offered employment as a Senior House Officer, which, he regrets some young graduates found difficult to get now in Nigeria. Then in the UK, there were several of such placements for those who qualified, except when racism was applied. "I was employed by the Liverpool Hospital Management Board and whilst I was there 1965-66, I proceeded to Edinburg, Scotland for six months for a fellowship programme. While there, my employers had started a training programme in England for those who wanted to specialise in surgery for two years. I was lucky that my boss had recommended me for that training. That means, I obtained an automatic registrar ship; I became a registrar in surgery. A month after, I passed the fellowship examinations at the Edinburg Scotland, that was in 1967." Civil war's intervention It was his plan to return home after his training. However, the outbreak of the civil war (1967-70) cut that dream short. His father told him to prolong his stay because every able bodied men were being drafted into the Army, particularly, those in the medical field who were deployed to take care of the injured soldiers. "The war ended in 1970, so, I had to come home. I applied into the UCH and I was employed, but my father
also asked me to apply to the Western State Government. I was reluctant at first, but because of his influence on me and in appreciation of all he had done for me, I then applied. Fortunately, I was offered employment by both. So, my father then said that I could choose whichever one I preferred. I went to the UCH I saw Professor Adeloye, a professor of surgery then, who I knew in England. He was the most senior in that department. He asked me to go to Abeokuta to work there for three months to satisfy my father and after which I could come back to Ibadan. Good a thing, I did not go on scholarship of any government while I was studying. Although, scholarships came my way from everywhere, especially the Western Region, but my father was enraged when I told him about them. He said to me in a letter that: "Did I tell you I don't have the money to send you to school?" I think my father was thinking about the likely bond that would have accompanied such offers. I would have worked for government for at least, three years. And I might not have been able to go back for the fellowships." He was in Abeokuta and worked almost all alone as a surgeon when the Polish who was there left for his country. He started in 1970 and retired in 1984. "I came in as a consultant, which again was unprecedented.
I came in as a surgeon on level 14. In 1973, I was promoted senior consultant; in 1976, I became chief consultant and 1978, I became the administrative head of the hospital. In 1978 and 1979, both Ijaiye and Idi-Aba, were the same hospital. I was running them. It was at that time we were developing IdiAba. Federal Government later took Idi-Aba from us when they wanted to set up Federal Medical Centre." Although his own private practice which he runs now had been in existence since 1974, he locked it up because he did not have a mind of operating it then until when he retired. He said surgeons don't retire because they like wine, mature with age. "As a surgeon you would stop operating if three things happened: if your hand is shaking, if you cannot see well and cannot stand for a long time, but if you can do the three, no problem at all. I'm still operating because I can still do the three. The day you start cutting the wrong section in the theatre it is not you that will tell people, it is those who work with you that will tell prospective patients that they should not patronise you hospital again. Don't forget, my late Uncle Koye, was going to his hospital everyday even at 92. It is not for the money, if you got to 80 and you are still worried about money then you are stupid. Medicine is a dedicated work"
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Working up the will to write your Will A will is a sensible way of ensuring families carry on without conflict after benefactor's demise, YETUNDE OLASEINDE examines why many would rather not write one. tate according to the laws of Descent and Distribution of the state in which the person resided. The law requires it to have certain elements to be valid. Apart from these elements, a Will may be ruled invalid if the testator made the Will as the result of undue influence, fraud, or mistake. Understandably, many would query the reason why they should plan for death even though it is an inevitable end. Is it really necessary to write a Will? Victor Opara, a Lagos-based lawyer and chairman of Continued Legal Education, Ikeja branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says: "People write their wishes and this becomes a Will. It is a testamentary documentary to be carried out by the executors. Here the person describes how his estates would be shared by the beneficia-
ries through the executor. This is important so that when he leaves this world, there will be no dispute." WHY WRITE A WILL? On when it is appropriate to write one, he says "You should look at a time when you would have achieved so much in life. Here we are talking about properties and money. About 35 years would be okay because at this stage you would have been married and started earning income. At this stage, nobody would want anything to destabilise what they have worked hard to achieve over the years." According to Opara, to write a Will, "You will need to log the original document in the probate registry of the high court. So when the man dies, the executor would write an application and attach the death certificate to it. The next step will be the reading of the Will in the pres-
Many believe that writing your Will is a death warrant. I wrote my first Will at the age of forty. We have a cultural belief that, once you do this, it will kill you. Unfortunately, this is not true.
OLD on to the Lord. In a few minutes I would be with the Lord". In these two moving sentences, one of the victims of the June3rd Dana plane crash in Lagos tells you that it is all over. Ironically, a few hours before that crash, none of the 153 passengers on board and the cabin crew had an inkling that they were going to die. Like every other trip they must have had in the past, they expected to land within an hour and life would have continued as usual. THE LAST JOURNEY Unfortunately, it was not to be. The unexpected happened mid air and the news of their untimely death filtered everywhere; leaving tales of sorrow, tears and blood. Relatives rushed to the scene searching desperately for the mangled remains of their loved ones. It threw many into confusion as the reality of their new status as widows, widowers and orphans dawned on them. The victims who were mostly in their 30's, 40's and 50's never imagined that death was so near. In their mind's eyes, they would imagine that death was several years away and they probably had more time to plan for their loved ones. Unfortunately, this was not to be, they died without any plan; without a Will stating who gets what from the properties they had laboured for. A Will, according to lawyers, is a document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of his estate, after his death. It is the legal instrument that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how his estate will be managed and distributed after his death. In Common Law, an instrument disposing of Personal Property is called a "testament," whereas a Will disposed of real property. Over time the distinction has disappeared so that a Will, sometimes called a "Last Will and testament," disposes of both real and personal property." If a person does not leave a Will, or the Will is declared invalid, the person will have died intestate, resulting in the distribution of the es-
ence of the beneficiaries. Once this is done and approved a document of authority called a Probate would be given to the executors to act and administer." If properties and big money is involved, does it mean writing a Will is meant for the rich alone? Certainly not!” Opara said "People actually shy away because of ignorance and the charges. From experience, a lot of people have started realising the need to prepare their Will. A lot of times, people die and you find relatives who never visited the house when they were alive coming in and meddling with everything they worked for all their lives." Opara adds that: "If you don't write a Will, then Customary Law comes into the picture. But these days people are getting more enlightened and they have come to know the importance of writing their Will. In the document, they would have spelt out what goes to who, when and how. For instance, the person could give fifty per cent of his property to the church, thirty per cent to the motherless babies' home and the other twenty per cent to the children." The Will, however, does not take effect until after the death of the person who wrote it. It is also subject to review from time to time. Opara explained further "A codicil is a document used to amend the will and it is subject to the same law as a Will. For instance, if you had N5 originally
and you make another N5 along the line, then you need to amend the details to take care of the addition. The amendment could also be done to take care of a mistake. However, it is not a must to use a codicil, there are other ways to make amendments". Now, you want to know how much it would cost, to hire a lawyer to write a Will and Opara he says: "It actually depends on the lawyer who is writing the Will. You can actually get a green horn to write it for about N50,000. Alternatively, the client can pay as much as N5 million naira when you are talking about a seasoned lawyer writing it for you." Basically, Opara stressed that writing a Will needs expertise. It is usually done by a person that is versed in such matters and healthy. For instance, if someone has a psychiatric problem, such cannot write a Will. Comrade Ayodele Akele, a unionist says procrastinating on writing a Will has negative consequences. According to him, "It is good to write a Will. I think it is good to tidy up your Will, it would reduce acrimony after your exit. The major thing is that we don't know when we would die. Each time you think you would do it, you realise that the hustle and bustle and the environment is not conducive. I have not written mine. For a lot of us that do not have properties, there is nothing to share. I don't have controversial estates. I have only a wife and an aged mother. I would put pen on paper to guide my children, in case of my demise." A dance queen, Tessy Yembra has also not written her Will, She strongly believes that it is a great idea. "Personally, I have not done anything like that. I became a grandmother about three months ago. Interestingly, the first man I had a child for is from a well-known family. My son is a beneficiary of his mother's Will and in the Will she stated that they should use part of her property to train my son. The boy is in Atlanta at the moment and the funds are coming from the Will. In addition, I got something from my friend's mother who passed on in London recently. •Continued on Page 56
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Life •Continued from Page 55
Sometime ago, I played a very important role in her life and she asked them to allow me pick something, even though she was not my biological mother." BENEFITS OF WILLS Otunba Gani Adams, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader says he has not written his Will saying, "I am waiting for the right signal." He, however, believes that: It is better to write your Will early in life. According to him, "It is a very good thing to write your will when you are in your thirties. This is important because you don't know when death would come. It may not be as expensive as people think but it all depends on your lawyer. It is very important to write a Will, so that you don't leave behind what would be described as a controversial family". Reverend Kehinde Osinowo, however, thinks that different things influence people's perception about the Will. "It is a matter of exposure and culture. It is a worldwide fear. The fear of death, people do not like to die. We have that tradition, a tradition of people already knowing who gets what. It is also a challenge of poverty because the rich people usually write their Will, while the poor usually do not do this." He added, "It should actually be more than poverty, something more spiritual and more sublime. It should involve other issues, hopes, desires and vision. I do not think there is something wrong if a father has a goal that he wants to pass on from his lineage written in the Will. In the bible when Jacob was dying, he did not talk of poverty but the goals of the tribes of Israel. This include business, agriculture and leadership. So Judah gave birth to David centuries after and even our Lord Jesus Christ came from that lineage. The Will should therefore go beyond material things." Yes, it should not be all about the mundane alone. This he argued is the only way the Will can be cherished by all and sundry. "A lot of people run after the material things when it comes to inheriting from a loved one. It is actually much more than that, there is also the emotional attachment and the fact that it is your right. In some families what the person is inheriting makes him or her part and parcel of the family and it gives a sense of belonging. What the dead relative is handing over to the next generation could therefore be intellectual property which could become a money spinner in future. It could also be clothing, shoes and other things the person cherished while they were alive". Like Osinowo, Ayo Bolade, a lawyer and the Executive Director Multi View Advocacy Network (MANET) said the lack of the will to write a Will can be traced to the fear of the unknown. "Many believe that writing your Will is a death warrant. I wrote my first Will at the age of forty. We have a cultural belief that once you do this, it will kill you. Unfortunately, this is not true. All the widows who go through all kinds of harrowing experiences in the hands of their inlaws could have been saved from the trauma , if their spouses had written a Will." But again who says it is only the men that should write a Will? Ayo Bolade said "Writing a Will doesn't discriminate. Since the law entitles a woman to own properties, then she should also write her Will. A lot of women have properties and they need to start thinking of how to write their Will as well. I work with women and I have been counselling them on this issue. A lot of women work so hard and all they have, is swept under the carpet. If
When should you write your Will?
she dies and the next woman steps into her shoes, the new wife would assume that everything belongs to the husband, which is usually not true. When this happens the children may be left in the cold and new problems would be created." Priscilla Otuya , an activist agreed that the lackadaisical attitude towards the Will needs to change. "It is caused by ignorance and superstitious beliefs. A lot of people think that by thinking about death, you are inviting death. Usually they do not know the value and benefits of writing a Will. Also many are afraid that it may enter the wrong hands especially if it is a polygamous setting. Here the younger wife or some in-laws may play pranks with the Will before, during and after it has been written." While using the scriptures to buttress her point, Otuya said: "The bible says , 'Teach us to number our
days., This means that you should sit down and plan for your future and generations yet unborn. Interestingly, as Christians you would find that a lot of us are worse off and we just make assumptions'. At this point one would want to know if Otuya has written her Will and she laughed. “Yes and No”, she replied., ' Funny enough but I call my children and talk to them . Mentoring is also very important.” One major deterrent for many is the cost of hiring a lawyer. "A lot of people are still struggling with survival, they can't even afford three square meals or the basic necessities of life. So, paying for the services of a lawyer is a no go area for such people. If you live in a rented apartment and can not boast of any good furniture or asset, then nobody is going to kill themselves when you die. Even if you had a mistress before you died , she is not likely to
show up after your death with a baby or babies claiming that you were responsible. But if it is the other way round , then you can be sure that people would make a lot of claims whether it is genuine or false", according to Folarin Ajayi , a Lagos based businessman. There is also the fear that , even where there is a Will, it may not be strictly adhered to by family members. Perhaps, this is the reason why some prominent families are still in court battling to unravel mysteries around Wills left behind by their forebears." If you look around, you will find that people who are rich are the ones that run into this kind of problems". So, should we do without the Will? The stark reality is that: "On a daily basis we hear of a lot of disasters happening here and there. So we need to think as if every day is the last, we need to be prepared all the time. If a child is preferred
against the others, it is likely that such a person will get a bigger chunk of the assets being shared. This’ however, results in bad blood", Ajayi opined. A valid Will cannot exist unless three essential elements are present. First, there must be a competent testator. Second, the document purporting to be a Will must meet the execution requirements of statutes, often called the Statute of Wills, designed to ensure that the document is not a fraud but is the honest expression of the testator's intention. Third, it must be clear that the testator intended the document to have the legal effect of a Will. If a Will does not satisfy these requirements, any person who would have a financial interest in the estate under the laws of descent and distribution can start an action in the probate court to challenge the validity of the Will.
‘Insensitive policy responsible for Dunlop’s exit from Nigeria’
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
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No longer at ease with landlines
The introduction of the general system of mobile communications (GSM) in the past decade has led to the burgeoning trade in mobile phones and adversely affected patronage of landlines, reports Bukola Afolabi
HEN the Global System of Mobile communications (GSM) was introduced into Nigeria over 10years ago, Nigerians saw it as a good development as it afforded them the opportunity to join other advanced countries in the information highway. Expectedly, many started subscribing to the different networks that came into the country at the time. Few years later, came landline operators otherwise called Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators like Starcomms, Reltel, MTS, to mention but a few. However, unlike the GSM operators who have had an easy ride of some sorts, in terms of quick returns on investment, CDMA operators haven’t had it so good in the last few years, what with the dire straits many of them are facing currently, a development, analysts argue, may further spell doom as the industry might soon witness the extinction of CDMAs in the country. It is a known fact that millions of Nigerians subscribe to the GSM networks while few are on CDMA networks, thereby giving GSM a 91.4 percent stake in the sector. Though the adventure of CDMA operators in Nigeria started on a bright note when Multilinks, Starcomms and others set up shop, but their optimism soon grew into a forlorn hope as many of them have had a run of bad luck, business wise. Signs that things were not rosy for the operators began to manifest when one of the operators of CDMA, Telkom, a South African telecommunication company which took over Multilinks in 2008, decided to close shop, less than two years after it bought Multilinks, citing failure to make profits for its decision. Through South African Minister of Communication, Roy Padayachie, Telkom said it failed in Nigeria due to its acquisition of a CDMA operator in an industry dominated by the lower cost GSM technology. According to him, “some contracts were entered into which did not deliver the anticipated benefits and incurred significant operating expenses. The worldwide economic troubles also affected the Nigerian economy.” Multilink did not have sufficient market share, pricing power or strategic and operational advantages to be successful in the resulting tight economic environment, Padayachie said, adding that Telkom’s Multilinks unit suffered an operating loss of R522 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2009, and R1.039 million for the year ended March 31, 2010. He said that in spite of investing over $400million in the business in Nigeria, it failed to make returns on its investment. This decision came less than two months after Bharti Airtel, an Indian company bought over Zain’s
Briefs GTBank's Eurobond named best bond
UARANTY Trust Bank's five-year Benchmark Eurobond offer issued in last year, has been adjudged the Best Financial Institution Bond for Nigeria by EMEA Finance, United Kingdom for the year 2011. The US$500 million GTBank Eurobond was adjudged as the largest offer by any Nigerian corporate organisation to international investors. Commenting at the event awards dinner, which took place recently at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank, said, "Our long term goal is to create a proudly African and truly international bank that will be used as a yardstick to measure service delivery within the region. We will continue to seek for funds that would enable us carry on our global expansion programme, acquire the best IT infrastructure to enhance service delivery and compete favorably with other international banks in terms of ability to lend."
Akingbade retires from MTN
•For CDMAs, it’s going, going...
Africa operations in a deal worth $10.7 billion. Many of them started posting losses. A case study is Zoom Mobile, which has also closed shop. A total of N10billion is said to have been lost by CDMA operators. Though Starcomms and Multilinks are still operating, subscribers are of the opinion that it is gradually losing its hold on the market, especially its subscribers to GSM operators, which controls 80 to 90% of the telecoms sector, leaving less of 10% for the CDMA operators. In its survey, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) posited that out of the over 167million population of the country, GSM operators have 78.9 million subscriber base, which represents 91.4 percent of the country’s total telephone subscription as against 6,280,675 active lines of CDMA operators representing 47.89 per cent market share. Experts are of the opinion that the challenges being faced by the CDMAs is not peculiar to Nigeria alone as some advanced countries are also facing the same problem. “Anywhere you go, Nigerians make use of GSM more than CDMA. The cost of tariff in CDMA is higher compared with GSM. Take for instance, GSM operators are now charging less. Some charge N15 or less per minute while all these CDMAs, popularly called landlines charge more. Moreso, CDMA operators sell
their lines with phone. So you cannot use their lines in any phone, only phones configured to the line. This is one of the challenges we are having”, said Segun Adeyemi, a GSM subscriber. According to the Managing Director of Starcomm, Logan Pather, Nigerians are yet to buy into the CDMA sector. “The problem we are having is that Nigerians have not really seen the benefits of CDMA. Everybody wants to use GSM while killing CDMA operators. We started well but along the line, things started to change and because of the economic meltdown, many CDMA operators could no longer cope with business.” The President of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, who decried the huge decline in CDMA subscriber base, is of the opinion that a bail-out option is inevitable for the CDMA segment. The bailout, he said, would enable major operators such as Starcomms, Multilinks, and Visafone which are now struggling to deploy better infrastructure. Speaking further on the issue of financial assistance, Adebayo added that the major problem bedevilling the CDMA networks in Nigeria was low access to capital, which, he said, can only be solved by the government to salvage the pioneer operators from imminent extinction. Echoing similar views, the erstwhile Executive Vice Chairman of
the Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, also recommended mergers among CDMA operators to be able to compete more favourably in the highly competitive Nigerian telecoms industry. However, the CDMA’s hope of getting bailout from the government through the NCC might be dashed if what the Commission recently declared is anything to go by. Its Executive Chairman, Dr Eugene Juwah, said the Commission has not been informed officially by the operators on the need for such considerations. He said no official documents had been made available to the regulator by the affected operators or their pressure group on the challenges they were facing, especially with regard to the clamour for a bailout. “None of these groups has made a substantive case to us that they want help”, he stated. Juwah also attributed the challenges facing the CDMA segment to poor feasibility studies by the affected operators to design the right marketing strategy while focusing on niche market for sustaining the competition already ignited by the Commission. But with the biting economic crunch coupled with the growing level of mute indifference being paid to the plight of the CDMAs, analysts believe that it is only a matter of time before things would go downhill for the once burgeoning sector.
TN has announced the retirement of its Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Bola Akingbade with effect from June 30, 2012, following six years of meritorious service. An experienced marketing strategist, he joined MTN after a distinguished career with Nigerian Breweries, where he rose to the position of Marketing Director. MTN Nigeria and indeed the MTN Group have benefited immensely from Akingbade's wealth of experience and his contributions to the growth and success of the business are well documented. Under his leadership of the Marketing & Strategy Division, MTN Nigeria made significant strides such as playing a significant role in growing the market share from 45 percent in 2006 to over 50 percent at the end of 2011 and entrenching MTN's position as the number one brand in Nigeria. Akingbade is to be replaced by Larry Annetts, an accomplished professional with more than 16 years cognate experience gained in multinational organisations, including MTN Nigeria, where he served as General Manager, Products and Services Development in the Marketing & Strategy Division.
Starcomms denies chairman's detention by EFCC
HE management of Starcomms Plc has said its chairman, Chief Maan Lababidi, was not detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with its ongoing investigation into the company's N64 billion 2008 private placement. There had been reports on the internet and a certain newspaper claiming that the chairman of the company was detained by the EFCC over the issue. But Mr. Logan Pather, Managing Director/Chief Executive of the company explained that the EFCC invited him (the CEO) and Chief Lababidi only came to the EFCC on his volition to join him in providing details which could assist the commission in its ongoing investigation. He said the chairman left the EFCC's premises in Abuja that same evening and was never detained, neither did he spend the night at the commission's office in Abuja.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
Association accuses NPA, concessionaires A of breach of contract
GROUP of indigenous bonded terminal owners under the aegis of the Indigenous Bonded Terminal Association of Nigeria (IBTAN) have accused Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the ports concessionaires for alleged breach of contract. Speaking with The Nation in an exclusive interview, the Association, through its General Secretary, Mr. Haruna Omolajomo, said in response to their public outcry to both the National Assembly and to the Federal Government over deliberate moves by the ports
Stories by Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
concessionaires to sideline the indigenous bonded terminal operators by obstructing movement of some containers at the ports, the Senate Committee on Privatization led by Senator Olugbenga Obadara had invited both parties to a meeting, the outcome of which was being stalled by the NPA. According to Haruna, at the meeting with the Associa-
tion, the NPA and the ports concessionaires at the NPA Headquarters on March 15, 2012 were urged to resolve the issue but regretted that three months after the meeting, both
the Concessionaires and the NPA are not showing any sign of honouring the agreement thus far. The Association said the concessionaires have still re-
fused to stem containers to the indigenous bonded terminals after they have promised the Senate Committee on Privatization that they were going to be stemming 33.7 percent of containers
to the indigenous bonded terminals at the meeting in March at the NPA headquarters. However, in his response at the meeting, the Managing Director of NPA, Omar Suleiman said that bonded terminals are very crucial to port operations; hence, the NPA will continue to encourage their growth and sustenance.
Bobo Foods sponsors kiddies brain test B OBO Foods and Beverages Limited, the organisers of Kiddies Brain Test has of-
ficially launched the Lagos 2012 edition of the brain test, open to all primary schools in the state for participation as the company’s corporate social responsibility programme to reward their brand ambass0adors. The annual kiddies brain test, a concept developed about four years ago is tailored towards ensuring that the lives of future generations are directly developed and empowered and it is targeted towards children between five and thirteen years. Speaking with journalists at a briefing, the Director, Marketing and International Business,
BOBO Foods and Beverages Limited, Mr. Curtis Adekunle said that the company is trying to chart a tomorrow for the brand by directly relating with the people they see as their target audience, the future of the brand and the future of our great nation. He added that the children played a pivotal role as regards the development of their establishment because when the company came into Nigeria as a brand, they started with 550ml but later introduced 200ml three years ago which is now the livewire of the brand where the company’s strength is built and it is doing well in the market having a shelf life of
6 months and selling at least one million cartons monthly of four different variants - apple, orange, strawberry and pineapple. “This year’s kiddies brain test which is the 3rd edition will be different from other previous editions, raising the bar by doubling the participation, reducing the number of BOBO fruit milk caps to be submitted by each primary school in Lagos from 3,000 to 1,000 caps, giving out branded school bus as first prize, ten computers to set up laboratory as against 5 computers given out in previous editions as second prize and printer and photocopier as third prize as well as cash prizes and other gift items.”
Forum seeks entries for journalism awards
T •From left: Founder and chairman, Forever Living Products International, Mr. Rex Maughan, flanked by Mr. John and Mrs. Justina Ekperigin with their profit share cheque at the 2012 African Rally in South Africa, recently
HE Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) is seeking entries to the African Investigative Journalism Awards 2012 which recognizes outstanding investigative reporting in Africa. Interested journalists must be employed by a local media organisation in Africa and can submit applications individually or as a group.
The work must have been published between 1 July 2011 and 31 July 2012, in English, French, or Portuguese. The best investigative story or programme – print, radio, or television – will be awarded US$ 4,000 and the runner up will receive US$ 2,500. FAIR has created an Editor’s Courage Award, to the values of US$ 3,500,
which honors editors working in a situation of political repression and censorship. According to the organisers, entries must contain one journalistic document, whether an extract of a series, radio or TV document published or broadcast between July 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012. The deadline for entries is Friday, 31 August 2012.
Workshop stresses benefits of good governance
S •From left: Benson Abraham, Marketing Manager, The Lacasera Company Limited, Otis Ojeikhoa, Managing Director, Brand Footprint Communication, Prahlad Gangadharan, Chief Operating Officer and Miss Antoinette Igebu, Miss Lacasera 2012, at a media forum in Lagos recently. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
•A cross-section of participants at the workshop on Participatory Governance held in Ekiti State, recently
OCIO-ECONOMIC development and growth of any nation is predicated on the active participation of all and sundry in the governance process, experts have said. This was the conclusion reached at a three-day workshop on participatory governance in Ekiti State, recently. The event which was organised by the Community Life Project (CLP), an international nongovernmental organisation in collaboration with the State government, attracted participants from the 36 states of the federation. In his opening remarks at the forum, Chief Dayo Fadipe, Ekiti State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, said one of the key deliverables of the talk shop was to build the capacity of community development officers from the 16 Local Governments and project officers from other relevant government agencies on how to engage grassroots communities to participate actively
in governance activities in the state, by “Enhancing participatory governance and accountability, motivating the citizens with ideas for better performance as well as creating intellectual bank for policy formulation and implementation.” Participatory governance is strategic to achieving meaningful human development goals and economic growth, Fadipe stressed. An elated Fadipe who said Ekiti was selected for the pilot project from all the 36 states of the federation in recognition of its commitment to community participation, further impressed the need for players at all levels of government to encourage participatory governance through open-door policies among others. While justifying the importance of the workshop, a cross-section of participants said the interface and discussion session was educative, intensive, refreshing and challenging. “As change agents, with the community development
job core mandate, the participants greatly enhanced their knowledge of participatory needs assessment. The participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure effective community participation in local governance and for engaging communities to participate in governance.” In a five-point communiqué, the forum noted that there was need for community development practitioners to re-dedicate themselves to assist the government to build the desired trust and confidence of the people on government policies. Besides, the group expressed commitment to work towards effective sensitisation, mobilisation and re-orientation of communities for positive attitudinal change as well as collate all projects budgeted for in each local government, indigenous knowledge, genuine identification of felt needs through participatory rural appraisal to mention but a few.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
‘Insensitive policy responsible for Dunlop’s exit from Nigeria’ •Yinusa
Dr. Mohammed Jimoh Yinusa, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of DN Tyre and Rubber PLC (formerly Dunlop Nigeria PLC) assumed leadership of the company at the time when its manufacturing plant in the country was forced to close down. He speaks with Rita Ohai on some of the challenges he has faced thus far
Sometimes our government does not allow the continuity of processes. It makes long term business decisions a bit difficult and that is why most people are involved in short term businesses because there is no guarantee that the policy will not change tomorrow morning and manufacturing requires stable long term policies
OW did you become the Group Managing Director of Dunlop Nigeria? I joined Dunlop as the person who was responsible for group planning in 1996. Prior to that, I had exposures in audit, manufacturing, consultancy and an Information Technology company where I was also the Chief Executive Officer before I joined Dunlop. After moving to this company, I eventually became the CEO of one of the subsidiaries, DN Mayer. At the end of my tenure there, I came back to Dunlop as the Director responsible for tyre operations and in 2006, I was made the Group CEO. Having spent over a decade in the company, can you give a recap of the glory years and the principles that made Dunlop successful? Dunlop Nigeria was a manufacturing entity that made tyres and also had investments in plantations in states like Delta, Cross River and Edo. We still own those plantations except that right now, instead of using them in manufacturing natural rubber, we export them. The company was built on the principle of value creation. We had a system where people came in and were developed over time due to the level of exposure and training they received. We had a very strong management and corporate governance culture. There was a very clear separation between the board of the company and the management. At that time, there was a lot of accountability. What are some of the factors that led to Dunlop’s exit from Nigeria? We had some government behaviour around 2006 that was difficult to understand. The Nigerian government had a tariff structure that was supposed to encourage local manufacturing and that structure put the import duty at 40 percent. In fact, because of this new tariff system, in 2005, we did a big expansion at our facility.
This is because other countries where these imported goods are coming from do not face the same infrastructural challenges we have in Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that you make tyres using generators because when power goes in the process of production of tyre, whatever you are processing at that time is scrapped; it cannot be re-introduced. We spent about roughly $50 million on the expansion project but to our amazement, a year later, the tariff was dropped to 10 percent. With that percentage, there is no way you can manufacture profitably and the people importing would rather manufacture outside their country where they do not have the infrastructural problem like electricity. That new tar-
INTERVIEW iff structure was also going to cause manufacturers to produce at a cost that was about 40 percent high than normal. No rational investor would have put down their money for that. So, the two tyre manufacturing companies in Nigeria had to close down. We have moved the manufacturing unit to South Africa. Our factories are still here, we are just not operating them fully yet. We are negotiating with government at present. They are beginning to understand why what they did could not have helped the country. For the meantime, we are importing tyres from Japan and South Africa. We have fifteen thousand acres of natural rubber all over the country but sadly, instead of using them, we are exporting it. Can you compare the business terrain between South Africa and Nigeria? The number one advantage in South Africa is that the infrastructure is stable. I keep hammering on power because when producing tyres, you cannot do without power. In the production process, anytime your power goes out for a minute or two, all the materials used in that manufacturing process will have to be scrapped unlike other manufacturing industries. That is the major difference really. Apart from that, we have a much larger market, because our population is over three times that of South Africa. Our resource base is also much better because we have natural rubber and carbon black here. However, in Nigeria we also have challenges with inconsistency in government policies. This is a big problem because sometimes, our government does not allow the continuity of processes. It makes long term business decisions a bit difficult and that is why most people are involved in short term businesses because there is no guarantee that the policy will not change tomorrow morning and manufacturing requires stable long term policies. This is why areas like agriculture are not doing well, whereas the banking sectors are booming. There was news that when Dunlop moved its base to South Africa, about a thousand employees were laid off. How were you able to handle that phase and what provision was made for the employees? As part of our corporate governance, we always made sure that we made provision for all our staff, whether it was
pensions or gratuities. We also always made sure that all these were invested at arm’s length, outside our system, so that the fortune of the staff entitlements was not affected in any way by the fortune of the company. When it (closure) happened in 2008, we had to recall all those investments and pay off the staffs. There is no single staff out of the over one thousand people we laid off that we owe. There is this general complaint that banks do not give loans to the productive sector of the economy but rather prefer to finance imports because it is easier and quicker to recover their money. How true is this assertion? This is a problem that has to do with the state of the economy. There is so much uncertainty in the economy that everything is short-term. Therefore, our banks no longer think longterm and they do not find it attractive to lend money for a project that has a gestation period of five to 10 years. They feel more secure to lend to projects they can get back their money within three to six months or a maximum of one year. Anything more than that, they think is not a worthwhile risk and this is because an economy is only as secure as its environment. In a country where there is so much insecurity and where people feel so uncertain that things can still go wrong, everybody prefers to do business on a short-term basis. The banks cannot be excluded. But hopefully, as I said earlier, if the democratic experiment continues to wax stronger, people will begin to have confidence and then things will begin to take shape for the medium to long term basis, but for now it will be foolhardy or naive to think that this economy is ready for such because the banks won’t believe them. It is known that with the production of tyres, a lot of environmental problems arise, how has Dunlop addressed this issues? Environmental issues arising from the manufacture of tyres is really not as critical because we deal in solid waste and not liquid. Almost all our wastes are in solid form and we have a place where we can discard them safely. You might not be able to achieve this with liquids like paint but with solids it is easier. There is no impact on the environment because we do not discharge liquid waste.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2011
PROFILE By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
New SEC boss sets agenda for capital market T
HE new Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Ibrahim Bolaji Bello has, no doubt, shown that he has the capacity to deliver on his new assignment, what with his strategic plan for the revival of the Commission. Bello, who considers as top priority the need to stabilize the Nigerian capital market and put it on the path of growth again, has already began plans in earnest. One way the new SEC boss hopes to achieve this, according to him, would be through collaboration with various stakeholders in the market as well as immediate adoption of some quick-win strategies, part of which he explained to market operators recently. While addressing newsmen in Lagos during his maiden meeting with the major operators in the market, Bello said his mandate from the Federal Government through the Finance Ministry is to stabilize the market and put it back on the path of growth which he said he is determined to do within the shortest possible time. The SEC boss was quoted in a press statement as saying that other measures to stabilise the market include “immediate restoration of Registration Meetings, where new operators (individuals and firms) would be registered to operate in the market, as well as immediate inspection of existing firms to ensure that they comply with laid down rules and regulation in the market”. The statement said: “Both tools of regulation (registration and inspection), have been suspended for over one year and they are tools to ensure that only ‘fit and proper’ operators operate in the market”. Besides, Bello said the commission would immediately embark on investors’ education to ensure that investors know their right and adopt better ways of investing in the market to further protect their investment, pointing out that a well educated investor is a well protected investor. “Our quick win strategies would include those strategies that would restore investor confidence in the market as well as bring more investors. So, for the first time, we will do registration meeting in Lagos next week. This is the first time the registration meeting is taken outside of Abuja to Lagos. This is to cater for the operators in Lagos and its environs in the south, while others in Abuja and the North will have theirs in Abuja in following week. “This will also reduce cost for the operators, many of which have been recording declining income in recent
times. However, there is also opportunity for special registration window, especially for operators that would want it outside the normal time we intend to have it, but such operators would have to come to Abuja. “We shall also embark on inspection of dealing houses to ensure that they comply with laid down rules and regulation in their operations”, said Bello. Besides, Bello also disclosed that the commission would immediately embark on investor education to ensure that investors know their right and adopt better ways of investing in the market to further protect their investment, adding that a well edu-
cated investor is a well protected investor. It would be recalled that Bello took charge of the running of the affairs of the apex regulatory body of the Nigerian capital market few weeks back just as the four year term of the current board of SEC led by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma expired Friday, June 15, 2012, to rule out the possibility of tenure elongation for the board. A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) and well respected among operators in the Nigerian capital market, Bello is currently the Director of Administration in SEC. IBB, as he is fondly called, was born in Ilorin, Kwara State.
He attended Government Secondary School, Ilorin, where he obtained the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) ordinary level, Federal Government College Sokoto, for his Advanced Level (A Level) and University of Lagos and graduated with a BSc in Business Administration in 1978. The new acting DG, SEC, holds an MBA from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in 1981. Bello did his National Youth Service at the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Kaduna branch, and qualified as a chartered stockbroker in 1979. He started his career at Capital Stockbrokers Limited, a stock broking firm in 1979. He is also a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and currently a council member of the Institute. The new SEC boss has 33 years working experience which spans banking, stock broking and capital market regulations. The other places he worked included Icon Merchant Bank, Citi Trust Merchant bank, Empire Securities Limited (as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer) and joined SEC in 2001 as a deputy director and appointed a director in 2006. His working experience in SEC includes head of registration department, head of Lagos Zonal office, and Director of Transformation and now Director of Administration. Also, he was chairman and member of various committees in the commission and has attended various trainings in institutions like J.P. Morgan Chase, Stanford School of Business, Philadelphia, USA, New York Institute of Finance, US SEC, Washington USA, Financial Service Authority, UK, International Law Institute, Washington, USA, and various trainings locally.
•From left: Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Dapo Awobotu Publisher E 2 4 7 Magazine, Mr. Biodun Kupoluyi, Chief Executive Elose Plus Media , Mr. Osezuah Elimihe and Mr. Yomi Fashlanso an actor , during the preview of First Cause movie featuring Gabriel Afolayan and Akin Akintolale in Lagos. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN
By Adetayo Okusanya Email: email@example.com
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 101:
Five essential ingredients for effective communication
HE Right Audience: For communication to be effective in achieving a desired objective, it is important to clarify from the onset the right Audience for your message i.e. the individuals that are capable of influencing, making decisions, responding or taking action. Your Audience is the most critical part of the communication cycle because your ability to communicate effectively and successfully is dependent on their capacity to receive, decode and understand the message as you intended. Their values, beliefs, expectations and prior experiences create a psychological filter that greatly impacts the way your message is received, interpreted and acted upon. For your message to achieve desired objectives, your communication plan and strategies must revolve around the characteristics of your Audience, such as their personalities, interests, motivations, culture, profession, education, mood, morale, knowledge of the subject matter, etc. All of which may be different from yours. Often times, we fail in our communication efforts because we are directing them at the wrong audience or at the right audience in the wrong manner. The Right Speaker : In many instances, communicated messages fail to have the intended impact on their recipients. This is not always because the messages lack importance or clarity. Sometimes it is because they were delivered by the wrong person. The Speaker plays an important role in the communication cycle. First, the Speaker is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the Audience gets the intended message. Therefore, he must possess the ability to set aside his behavioral and verbal preferences, and communicate in the language of the Audience. Additionally, the beliefs, feelings and perceptions of the Audience about the Sender will impact how the message is received and interpreted. Rank, credibility, reputation, name recognition, common ground, goodwill and social capital are essential criteria for selecting the right Speaker. The right Speaker will go a long way in enhancing the impact and import of your message, especially in high stakes situations. The Right Channel: The Channel is simply the media though which the message is delivered. The right channel is the channel that meets the needs and preferences of the Audience, not the Speaker. In the twenty first century messages can be communicated through a variety of channels such as email, telephone, SMS, voicemail, face to face, fax, mail, web, meetings, video conferencing, bulletin boards, newsletters, television, radio, etc. Each of these channels has advantages and disadvantages, which must be taken into consideration, along with considerations for organizational climate, timing, distortion, noise, accessibility and reach. For example, performance feedback is best communicated face to face than through email or text messages. Business or project updates of an “informating” and non-critical nature can be communicated via a newsletter. Some people prefer to be communicated with in writing, while others prefer it to be in person. The Right Message: Another critical ingredient for effective communication is messaging. Relevance of content, organization of ideas and clarity of meaning are all important qualities that your message must possess. When creating the right message, you must first start with the end in mind. Is the objective of your communication to inform, educate, persuade or inspire to act? You should, from the onset, build into your message qualities that will elicit the desired response from your Audience. Determine the ratio to which your message should contain ethical, emotional and logical appeal, based on your understanding of the characteristics of your Audience. What communication style will your message adopt i.e. will it be casual or formal, or will it be assertive, aggressive or passive, or will it be telling, selling, consulting or joining. The right message must be focused, clear, consistent, concise, authentic and customized to the needs and preferences of your Audience. The Right Feedback: The communication cycle is not complete without feedback from your Audience. The absence of feedback makes communication a one way process, rather than a two way process. Without feedback, chances are very high that parties in communication could walk away with different interpretations of the message. Both the Speaker and the Audience must listen, observe and speak for effective communication to take place. Verbal and non-verbal feedback from your Audience is what lets you know if your message was understood in the way it was intended. Prompt feedback can provide you with the opportunity to make timely course-corrections. Disagreements, project failures, customer dissatisfaction, poor performance appraisals, lost opportunities, etc. can often be traced back to the absence of effective feedback from stakeholders and/or the failure to act on or respond to such feedback. Always encourage your audience to provide you with real time feedback by getting them to demonstrate understanding through repetition, paraphrasing or summarizing. • Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge
WORLD NEWS THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012
The world last week
Triumph of Obamacare
New beginning for Libya I
N the small courtyard of a kindergarten in Tripoli, about 20 women gather to hear why they should vote for Majdah al-Fallah in Libya’s first elections in almost half a century. Dressed in a long robe and Islamic headscarf, the 46-yearold doctor introduces herself and her party. But when she opens the floor to discussion, Fallah is bombarded by the most basic questions, not about her policies, but about how elections work. “What is actually going to happen when we go to the polling station. How many people do we vote for?” one woman asks. What will the elected assembly do, others ask, and what is the role of political parties in government. Though she is running for the formidable Muslim Brotherhood, there are no flashy campaign managers mapping Fallah’s every step, no loudspeakers, microphones, balloons or streamers. Almost a year after Libyans ousted Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed rebellion, they are preparing to elect a 200strong assembly that will help to draft a new constitution for the new Libya they hope to build. The Brotherhood, the most politically sophisticated and well financed group running, is expected to do well after receiving a boost from the Islamist victory in Egypt. Al-Wattan, a group led by former militia leader Abdul Hakim Bel Haj, is highly visible. Mahmoud Jibril’s coalition is also popular with Libyans who were impressed by the political skills he displayed in the uprising. But the election rules are likely to usher in an assembly dominated by a fragmented patchwork of independents representing competing local interests rather than fixed ideologies. And while 2.7 million Libyans registered to vote —
Forty-eight years after they last cast their ballot to elect a leader of their choice, Libyans will go to the polls on July 7 to elect a 200-member constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for the country. The election, originally scheduled for June 19, is seen as an opportunity for Libyans to reinvent their country after 42 years of dictatorship by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, their late leader ousted last year in a NATO backed popular revolt. But the new democratic culture is strange to most Libyans majority of whom have never voted in their life. By Waheed Odusile with Agency reports
almost 80 percent of eligible voters in the North African country — most are still struggling to learn the rules of democracy only days before they put it into practice on July 7. “Under Gaddafi, we were taught that people in political parties were traitors to the state,” teacher Fawzia Masoud said. “Now we are learning what a party is, what it does and how elections are held. We’ve never done this before but it’s exciting.” Unlike Egypt or Tunisia, where sham elections regularly saw serious opponents sidelined and veteran leaders re-elected with over 90 percent of the vote, Libyans last went to polls in 1964 under King Idriss, who was overthrown by Gaddafi five years on. During Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, parties were banned and political institutions were virtually non-existent. For most Libyans, July 7 will be the first time they cast a ballot. Understaffed and underfunded, the commission organizing the election has already been forced to put voting back from the original June 19 date and has struggled to explain how the new system will work. “We need rallies and conferences and people to go into homes and teach simpler people about the elections,” said Fatima Gleidan, 47, who attended Fallah’s gathering last week. “The media is not doing
enough to teach people about the role of the national assembly or how to choose from a list of independent or party candidates.” LEGITIMACY WORRIES Amid the confusion, the capital of Libya is oddly subdued almost a week before voting day. Walls are only just filling with the usual posters of candidates flashing toothy smiles. Banners are few and far between. There are no noisy rallies, with loudspeakers blaring the virtues of rival parties. It’s hard to believe more than 3,000 people are running. The complex electoral system - a mix of majoritarian and proportional representation - has added to the confusion. About 2,500 people are running as individuals and will vie for 120 seats. The remaining 80 seats go to members on party lists. And the late start to campaigning means that, with days to go, Libyans are hard pressed to identify leading candidates and analysts are struggling to predict who the front runners are. “Campaigning is virtually non-existent not just in Tripoli, but also in more remote areas,” said Hanan Salah of Human Rights Watch in Libya. “There is little information about the candidates and the political entities and, most importantly, what these candidates stand for and what their political agendas are.” Campaigning has picked up as election day has drawn near, but it may not be enough for voters to make educated choices. Some may simply be too
scared to go to the polls as Libya’s interim rulers struggle to impose their authority on the myriad militias who helped oust Gaddafi and are now vying for power. With such a lack of voter awareness and serious concerns about security, some experts are worried that the legitimacy of Libya’s democratic experiment may be at undermined. “There’s a lot of nervousness and anxiety in the process and everyone wants it to go well, so people are being a little cautious moving forward,” said Ian Smith, head of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Libya. “There is no question of the elections failing, it’s more of a question of how good will the level of legitimacy be? “The political will is there, voters will come out, we just want to do everything to make sure that the results are accurate and reflective of the will of the people,” he said. Libyans head to the polls on July 7 to elect a national assembly in the nation’s first election in a generation almost a year after ousting Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed rebellion. The vote is being held 18 days later than planned due to logistical challenges in a country still recovering from the uprising and struggling to restore security. During his 42-year rule, Gaddafi banned political parties and direct elections, saying they were bourgeois and anti-democratic. Continued on page 62
FTER poll of polls in the United States mirroring the likely voters’ choice in the November presidential election shows President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney running neck to neck, respite came the way of Obama as the week drew to a close when the Supreme Court gave nod to his controversial healthcare programme. The programme which extends healthcare to millions more has sharply divided Americans down the middle, especially along party lines with the Republicans vehemently opposed to this flagship programme of the Obama administration. But with a 5-4 votes in favour of Obama, the Supreme Court ruled that the programme violated no section of the American constitution and as such could go ahead to the delight of the president who praised the decision. Romney in accepting the court verdict insisted Obamacare is a bad law, vowing to repeal it if elected in November. While he has to wait till November to know what his compatriots think of him, Mohammed Mursi has no such anxiety in Egypt as the man elected president in a run off last month finally took his oath of office as the first democratically elected president of Egypt, the first Islamist to be so elected. Affirming the commitment of his government to existing international agreements reached by previous governments in Egypt, Mursi, who took office amidst uncertainty over what role the military would play in his administration, assured the world that the Islamist government carries a message of peace to the rest of the world. This no doubt would be music to the ears of not just the US and Israel but also the other countries in the Middle East region. It is not however clear whether the government of President Bashir al-Assad in Syria heard the new Egyptian leader. In fact, nowadays, al-Assad seems to be listening to himself alone as his country continues to slip into what many are describing as civil war. As fighting between loyal troops and rebels from the Free Syrian Army intensified last week, bomb went off in capital Damascus, signaling a heightening of tension in the city. This has not jolted the international community into agreeing how best to contain the crisis and bring about a
with Waheed Odusile
ceasefire even as UN/Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan warned that the entire region risks being engulfed by the crisis if not stopped now. Amidst all this, Syria’s powerful neighbor, Turkey sent troops to her border with the Arab country following the shooting down of a Turkish Airforce jet penultimate Friday by Syrian Forces. This development has raised the conflict to a frightening level as Turkey is a member of the dreaded NATO military alliance and an attack on one NATO country is regarded as an attack on all. Will NATO enter the conflict in Syria? While the families of most of the dead in Syria did not have the luxury of giving their dead ones a decent burial, it was not so in the US where a funeral for Rodney King (remember him?) went ahead in Los Angeles on Saturday. King who was at the centre of the race riot that rocked the city of angels in the early 90s, was found drowned in his swimming pool at home on June 17. Police say they suspect no foul play. Few days after the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil, the environment appears to be in a foul mood as heavy downpour pounded most coastal towns and cities around the world. In the United Kingdom, a 65-year old Maths teacher was swept away and dumped on a tree by flash flood during the week while violent storm killed no fewer than five persons around Washington area in the US cutting power supply to over two million people. As you are already aware, most homes in low line areas in Lagos and Ogun states were either destroyed or rendered inhabitable by flash flood after hours of heavy rainfall. This appears to be the season of elections and return from the cold as the I n s t i t u t i o n a l Revolutionary Party (PRI), the party that ran Mexico for most of the 20th century look set to return to power in today’s presidential election, after twelve years in opposition. PRI’s candidate Enrique Pena Nieto is expected to win at the polls together with other candidates of the party contesting other lesser positions. As this review was going to bed yesterday, Kofi Annan announced that an agreement has been reached for a transition government in Syria, but don’t clap yet as we have seen so many false dawn in this Syrian conflict. Keep your fingers crossed.
Ex-Israeli PM Shamir dies at 96
X-prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, a former soldier, spy and statesman, has died at the age of 96, Israeli officials announced on Saturday. “Yitzhak Shamir has left us,” current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. Netanyahu “expresses his deep pain over the announcement of the departure of Yitzhak Shamir. He was part of a marvelous generation which created the state of Israel and struggled for the Jewish people,” it said. As head of the right-wing Likud bloc, which Netanyahu now leads, he served as premier from 1983 to 1984 and from 1986 to 1992. Shamir had withdrawn from public life since the mid-1990s, silenced by Alzheimer’s disease. He made his final appearance on the international stage at the 1991 Madrid international conference which led to peace talks between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Following Likud’s defeat to Labour in 1992 elections, Shamir retired from political life in 1996. The funeral is to take place on Monday in Jerusalem, where he is to be buried alongside his wife, Shulamit, who died last July.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Mali Islamists destroy holy Timbuktu sites A
L Qaeda-linked Mali Islamists armed with Kalashnikovs and pickaxes destroyed centuries-old mausoleums of saints in the UNESCO-listed city of Timbuktu yesterday in front of shocked locals, witnesses said. The Islamist Ansar Dine group backs strict sharia, Islamic law, and considers the shrines of the local Sufi version of Islam to be idolatrous. Sufi shrines have also been attacked by hard-line Salafists in Egypt and Libya in the past year. The attack came just days after UNESCO placed Timbuktu on its list of heritage sites in danger and will recall the 2001 dynamiting by the Taliban of two 6th-century
statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in Bamiyan in central Afghanistan. “They are armed and have surrounded the sites with pickup trucks. The population is just looking on helplessly,” local journalist Yeya Tandina said by telephone. Tandina and other witnesses said Ansar Dine had already destroyed the mausoleums of three local saints - Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi El Mokhtar and Alfa Moya - and at least seven tombs. “The mausoleum doesn’t exist anymore and the cemetery is as bare as a soccer pitch,” local teacher Abdoulaye Boulahi said of the Mahmoud burial place. “There’s about 30
of them breaking everything up with pick-axes and hoes. They’ve put their Kalashnikovs down by their side. These are shocking scenes for the people in Timbuktu.” Locals said the attackers had threatened to destroy all of the 16 main mausoleum sites by the end of the day. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called for an immediate halt. “There is no justification for such wanton destruction and I call on all parties engaged in the conflict to stop these terrible and irreversible acts,” she said in a statement. The sites date from Timbuktu’s Golden Age in the 16th century. France’s Foreign Ministry condemned the attacks on what
World powers agree on Syria transition plan
ORLD powers agreed yesterday on a power transition plan for strife-hit Syria, with the unity government to include members of the present government as well as opposition, international envoy Kofi Annan said. A crunch meeting in Geneva agreed that the transitional government “could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent,” Annan said.
Tunisian minister resigns over govt dispute
Tunisian minister is resigning in the latest sign of cracks in the nation’s coalition government. Mohammed Abbou, the minister of administrative reform, told The Associated Press he is quitting because wasn’t being given enough authority by the prime minister to fight corruption. Tunisia’s government unites the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali with two other leftist parties. Abbou hails from the party of President Moncef Marzouki, who recently quarreled with the prime minister over his decision to extradite a high ranking Libyan official. Marzouki’s press counselor, Ayoub Messaoudi, and his economic adviser, Chawki Abid, have also resigned in recent days. Some party members oppose the alliance with the powerful Islamists.
•An uprooted tree lies across a street in the American University neighborhood of Washington, DC, yesterday the morning after a violent storm swept through the area. The fast-moving line of dangerous storms left four people dead and knocked out power to more than 1.5 million customers in the Washington metropolitan area, according to media reports. The storms produced hurricaneforce winds in excess of 80mph (128kph). AFP PHOTO
it called “a part of the soul of this prestigious Sahelian city”. Ansar Dine has gained the upper hand over less wellarmed Tuareg-led separatists since the two joined forces to rout government troops and seize control in April of the northern two-thirds of the inland West African state. UNESCO APPEAL Located on an old Saharan trading route that saw salt from the Arab north exchanged for gold and slaves from black Africa to the south, Timbuktu blossomed in the 16th century as an Islamic seat of learning, home to priests, scribes and jurists. Mali had in recent years sought to create a desert tourism industry around Timbuktu but even before April’s rebellion many tourists were being discouraged by a spate of kidnappings of Westerners in the region claimed by al Qaeda-linked groups. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee said this week it had accepted the request of the Malian government to place Timbuktu on its list of endangered heritage sites. “The Committee ... also asked Mali’s neighbors to do all in their power to prevent the trafficking in cultural objects from these sites,” it said of the risk of looting. The rebel seizure of the north came as the southern capital, Bamako, was struggling with the aftermath of a March 22 coup. Mali’s neighbors are seeking U.N. backing for a military intervention to stabilize the country but Security Council members say they need more details on the mission being planned.
Sudanese forces ‘arrest 1,000 in anti-regime demo’
BOUT 1,000 people were detained and
hundreds injured — many by tear gas — during antiregime protests on Friday in Sudan, an activist group said yesterday’s anniversary of President Omar al-Bashir’s coup. The information minister called the protesters “rioters” who threaten the country’s stability. “Some were arrested and released,” said an official from the Organisation for Defence of Rights and Freedoms. The organisation’s figures indicate a dramatic rise in the number of arrests on Friday, the 14th day of anti-regime demonstrations sparked by inflation. “The figure of those arrested before yesterday (Friday) was about 1,000 in the whole country,” said the official who asked not to be identified because of the tense situation. Many are still being held in prisons or “ghost houses,” the location of which is unknown, he alleged. “They don’t tell you where they are. You are not even allowed to ask,” he said. Information Minister
Ghazi Al-Sadiq issued an appeal for people “not to allow the rioters to undermine security and stability of the Sudan.” In a statement on the official SUNA news agency, he said Sudanese have the right to peaceful expression without resorting to violence “to allow the enemies to exploit these protests to carry out foreign agendas against the
country.” Activists had called for a major day of protest on Friday. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has urged the government to avoid “ h e a v y - h a n d e d suppression” of protests and to immediately release those detained for exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and
expression. Britain and the United States have also sought the release of those detained for peaceful protest. Bashir, who seized power on June 30, 1989, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.
Facts about the Libyan election Continued from page 61
THE VOTE - Two hundred seats in the national assembly will be contested in the election. Of those, 80 will go to political parties and the rest to independent candidates. - The election will be a mix of two systems. Individual candidates will be elected by simple majority and party lists will be elected by proportional representation. - Libya is split into 13 districts and 73 constituencies for the vote. Of these, 19 will only have a simple-majority contest, four will just use proportional representation. Libyans voting in the remaining districts will have to navigate both systems. - Libyans began registering
for the election in May and more than 2.7 million people, or about 80 percent of those eligible voters, have put their names down to vote. There are 2,500 independents eligible to run and about 1,200 candidates running under the banner of political parties and groupings, according to the electoral commission. Candidates are being fielded by 142 political groups. - International observers will be present during the polls. The European Union has sent an assessment team. The Carter Center is also deploying a mission; however security concerns will restrict the deployment of monitors in some areas. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
- Libya is currently governed by the National Transitional Council, an unelected body of civic and tribal leaders and Gaddafi opponents which is recognized internationally as the country’s legitimate leadership. It will be disbanded after the polls. - Once elected, the national assembly will be tasked with appointing a new government to replace Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib’s interim government and enacting legislation. - It will also name a committee to draft a constitution and will oversee its ratification in a national referendum. - Once the constitution is ratified, the national assembly will schedule a new round of elections in 2013.
Egypt’s new leader vows support for Palestinians
•Morsi GYPT’S newly elected president has sent an implicit message of reassurance to Israel in his first major address after taking office, but he also pledged support for the “legitimate rights” of the Palestinians. Islamist Mohammed Morsi said yesterday that his administration will continue to honour its international treaties — a thinly veiled reference to the EgyptianIsraeli peace treaty. Relations between the two neighbours have become particularly tense since last year’s overthrow of Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, who had forged close ties with the Jewish state during his 29-year rule. Morsi was sworn in yesterday as Egypt’s first freely elected president and the Arab world’s first Islamist head of state. The rise to power of Egyptian Islamists has been a source of alarm among many Israelis.
Singer Adele pregnant with first child
RAMMY Awardwinning soul diva Adele announced on Friday that she is pregnant with her first child. The 24-year-old, who swept this year’s Grammys after the success of her second album “21”, revealed the news on her official website, adding that she and boyfriend Simon Konecki were “over the moon”. “I’m delighted to announce that Simon and I are expecting our first child together,” she wrote. “I wanted you to hear the news direct from me, obviously we’re over the moon and very excited but please respect our privacy at this precious time,” she added. “Yours always, Adele xx”. The bubbly Londoner has reportedly been dating 36-yearold entrepreneur Konecki since last summer, and the couple went public with their relationship in January. Adele’s pregnancy caps an incredible year, which has seen her bounce back from throat surgery and “21” top the charts around the world. She took six gongs at the Grammys in Los Angeles in February, a record previously only matched by Beyonce. Adele told the US magazine “People” in February that she was keen to “be a mum”. I want to settle down and have a family, definitely sooner rather than later,” she said.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
‘I don’t dance to the tune of art collectors’ The life of an artist requires a lot of concentration but with marriage, a number of female artists wane. But, for Juliet Ezenwa Maja Pearce, queen of the paint brush and canvas, art is, indeed, a way of life as she is married to a writer, Adewale Maja Pearce. Over the years, she has participated in a number of exhibitions locally and internationally. She spoke to Yetunde Oladeinde about life as an artist
Y exhibition I showcased a handful of masks made from recycled newsprint. In addition, I also exhibited some of my experimental prints for the first time, together with a few oils on canvas. In all there were about 50 art works on display, representing my development over the last five years. The Migrations exhibition was a success. It was very well attended with the big names in the visual arts. A few works were sold on the first day, followed by a trickling on other days. The masks (made of recycled materials and rendered in the afronova style) received a great deal of attention. The proprietor of The Home Stores (a new gallery in Lagos), Mrs Patty Chidiac, described the masks as very creative, startling and a must-have for any authentic African art collection. Jess Castellote, a foremost art critic and the author of the new book, Nigerian Contemporary Art in Private Collections, described the exhibition as one of the three best shows of the year. Two days after the exhibition closed, I exhibited in the group show at the National Museum, Onikan, titled, Colours and Creativity, the fifth international all-female art exhibition organised by The Tour Shop Initiative of Ms Abiola Akinsola. I also gave a talk as part of the show. The workshop for 13 and 14-yearolds on holiday was organised by the Opus Dei Centre here in Lagos. It was a workshop aimed at keeping the youth creatively occupied while on holiday. The workshop lasted two weeks. I found it innovative and rewarding. It was an opportunity to empower young
minds and hands. The goal was to enable them see how ordinary things can be used creatively to produce beautiful, usable things. They were guided in the production of handbags, picture and mirror frames using recycled paper and tailors’ cast offs. Mirrors as a reflection of the society If you want to change the world, you must first of all change yourself. For all of us who desire a better society, we must first of all begin by looking inwards and work hard at creating the kind of society we want to put before the mirror. That was why I started with the mirror experiment and it was the bulk of what I did at Nike’s place. I also did metal plates and that is why I can reproduce them on paper, canvas and make them into metal foil. The other work here is an open letter, a story that tells itself. It’s about the United Kingdom and United States embassies refusal of visas. They said I was not an artist and that my husband did not exist. That he is fictitious. So, I said I was going to do something and it would take a long time before they forget me. Producing Masquerades Here, I studied the history books of arts through the ages and I saw a touch of religion. It was on record that the chief priest asked artist to do something that would bring fear. So I toed this line in my production. When I finished people started believing that there was juju in it. It is called New Masquerade. There are 20 of them while some seat on the table, the others hang on the wall. I believe that, if I had lived in those times and was asked to produce a god, I would not have disappointed at all.
Satisfying collectors From the time I did the first maiden I knew what to expect from art connoisseurs. Then the collectors and gallery owners told me that what I was presenting was rubbish. So, the collection stayed with me for about a year. I could not sell a single piece because they just didn’t like it. I carried my works around till Galleria Romania exhibited me. So from that point, I stopped following galleries and did my own thing. For maiden dance, I had three solo exhibitions. Then I got same reactions too. This work stayed at Terra culture for three years. The proprietor loved it but couldn’t get a client for it. I realized that it takes people time to get used to something that’s new. Besides, the collectors are in their own world and by the time they start looking for it, I would have moved on. Most times, the collectors have not gotten a grasp of some of the things you have here. It is only Quintessence who has picked on it. That is the only place I would like to take this kind of thing to. Mentors The Harmattan has influenced my work and I must say that it has not been easy. It has been work, work and more work. But the joy of it all is that the finished products are many. My works are influenced by Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya and as we speak he has continued to discover new ways. Maybe, we need to compel them to and title
them Brucetography. He is the founder of Plastography, deep fresco etching and more. Plastograph is a term given by Onobrakpeya to describe his deep etching technique which he innovated in 1967 through what he referred to as the Hydrochloric Acid Accident. Additive plastograph is another technique that involves making of print images on a sheet of sand paper, using glue as a drawing medium. You also have metal foil deep etching which is a plastograph print in which aluminium foil is used to draw the engraved images. The thin foil is cut and placed on an engraved plate and then the embossed sheet is removed, turned over and filled with resin to stabilize the relief. The resin filled foil is then laminated on plywood or no other surface. Onobrakpeya first started experimenting with foils and from the experiments transformed the foils into a print medium in the 1980s. He used already printed plates to try out the technique. If he was not a Nigerian, we would have been buying the books that talks about his kind of Art. I must acknowledge the tremendous help I have received from Dr Onobrakpeya and the staff of the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation, particularly my participation at the annual Harmattan Workshop in AgbaraOtor in Delta State. The master printmaker has been more than generous in sharing with me his vast knowledge of various techniques, which I have incorpo-
rated successfully. Mrs Nike Okundaye has done a great service to the country’s artistic community in conceiving and realising this wonderful home for all of us. I don’t mean only in the sense of individual artists holding exhibitions but, more importantly, by giving permanent space to such a stunning display of talent for the entire world to see. I can personally testify that she has been militant in her support of the female artist. Hunting Butterflies I like Landscape, colours, watersides and boats - they are my usual everyday stuff. You also have what I call Hunting Butterflies. It is a childlike story that goes together with playtimes. Interestingly, the idea came when someone asked me to do illustrations for some children’s books. I created the sketches which I used to develop themes. I needed an animal that was gay and happy and I chose the butterfly. I did three works to master the subject. However, I didn’t finally do it for the person though and it became useful. Using recycled materials The world has been going green (or trying to go green) for some years now and everyone is looking for ways to re-cycle material. Art itself, being life affirming by its very nature , should reflect the contemporary imperative in terms of this most pressing of issues while at the same time attempting to create a thing of beauty.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Literature tackles environment “Literature is an apt weapon to re-direct attention towards the Niger Delta situation. And this is why most of my poems dwell on this issue”, so says Betty Abah, a poet and environmental rights activist in this chat with Edozie Udeze
ETTY Abah, a poet and environmentalist who worked with Tell and Newswatch Magazines but now into environmental activism is indeed passionate about her work. Most of her activities as an activist and poet focus on the Niger Delta issues. “Besides that, however, I am a gender -focused person. At the Environmental Rights Action (ERA) where I work, we equally focus attention on avoidable environmental degradation and lack of respect for people and their means of livelihood,” she says. “This is why we want to see if we can correct as much as we can of the situation on hand and see how we can change the ugly pictures of the people and their environment in the Niger Delta. That is the general picture of what we do at ERA. “But beyond that, in my two poetry collections so far (Sound of Broken Chains and Go Tell our King) I have been able to draw people’s attention to the issues of political imbalance in the Nigerian society. In Go Tell our King, for instance, which is a collection of sixty poems, and which dwells mainly on secular issues, I paid attention mostly to environmental issues.” To capture the essence of the situation clearly, a section of the collection entitled Panting Planet is devoted to the myriad of problems plaguing the Niger Delta people. In one of the poems called Planet Politics, Abah harps on the need for everybody to work together to
give the earth a breathing space. “None among us can tell with planetic precision how much we weigh. None indeed can tell our selling tags on the pearly platter of planetic politics. You converge in Kyoto, hang out in Copenhagen, dance your way to Durban. You bewail as always, the floods that took our mothers, the drought that killed our kids.” “All these issues and more need to be addressed if we really want to get it right and save our people. The fight to get things in their proper perspective in the Niger Delta has to be done in such a way to prevent more ecological disasters in the future,” the poet explains. Part of the poem goes on further to explain that; “Today, we see from our crumbled hut, on rain-beaten television sets. We then applaud your swagger, as you outline your pricey vision for our panting planet. We saw crocodile tears, too. Then the rains will bear you to the oceans!” The poems tackle the entire scenario of what the people face now in terms of the interruption of natural process, the damage done by industries and all forms of human activities. Abah believes that protest literature is one of the most potent and vibrant weapons to fight for human emancipation. And that is why her poems go deeper into the worrisome situation in Nigeria and what must be done to salvage the situation. In another poem entitled Crude Woman, and dedicated to the Niger Delta women, she ex-
presses concern for the future of women and the family in this turbulent place. She writes thus: “The merchants came at the thick of dawn bearing news of glistening black gold. We sent out drums and ululations. At last our land will rip with joy…” But what did we get in return?” she asks. “Then we salivated as they scooped. We stood as they sold us… Our fearful fishes have fled. Our farms are a battle field of crudes. Indeed, the crudes stole our virgin pride and left us halfway, naked in the creeks… Crude is now a harbinger of horror; for crude despoils the best of the land.” The lines drip with sorrow and concern. Yet she says she and others have to work harder to ensure that Niger Delta is not turned into one of the worst areas on the surface of the earth. “For instance, Go tell our King, the title poem, was written long before I went into the university. In other words, the idea to go into this sort of activism had been in me long before now. It is just to remind the king about the suffering of his subjects and what needs to be done to make things better. As much as we focus attention on the Niger Delta areas of Nigeria, there are other places where things are equally bad due to the action or inaction of people in authority,” Abah further explains. Educated at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, where she bagged a degree in English and Literary Studies, she has also practiced journalism both at home and abroad before going into environ-
mental activism. Abah, had in the past won an Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship (USA) award as a distinguished reporter and an outstanding media practitioner. “Yes, all these exposures inform my themes. You can see how I also delved into the military era in Nigeria and what the people did to extricate themselves from the situation. Poetry needs to inform the public; the lines have to teach and direct the people on the right path to take. To me, that is one of the real essences of poetry.”
A reminiscence of Eden
Title: Home Away From Home Author: Olayinka Oyegbile Publisher: Target Response Associates, Lagos Year of publication: 2012 Reviewer: Joe Agbro Jr.
HE city of Jos, Plateau State, occupies a special place in the hearts of many Nigerians and foreigners as well. The hilly town which erupted from a Mecca of tin miners burgeoned in the mid-19 th century. Its beautiful and intricately balanced rocks and weather distinguished it from other neighbouring towns and cities. Its temperate climate, literarily out of this country, and the blend of different people earned it the reputation of a welcoming city. According to Olayinka Oyegbile, author of Home Away From Home...History of
Ogbomoso People in Jos, this pull conferred on Jos a cosmopolitan stature. In the book, the author and journalist highlights the arrival of the Ogbomoso people to the town in the early 19th century. Their preference was to engage in trading and evangelism, perhaps in that order. The Ogbomoso people have become famous as widely travelled and principally engaged in commerce, preferring it to salaried employment. It is this foray into trading and evangelism in Jos and other parts of the North that Oyegbile has in this book documented. This he has done on this book through interviews and encounters with prominent traders such as the then Prince Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, who was a prominent merchant in Jos until he was called home by his people to ascend the throne of his forefathers. Today, at 86, he is The Soun of Ogbomosoland. Also featured in the book are other prominent Ogbomoso merchants such as the late Chief David Oyediran Olagbemiro (the proprietor of Olagbemiro and Sons), Pa Moses Akande Onigbinde (Onigbinde Stores), and Alhaji Y. Ishola and a few others. Through the prism of these people’s eyes, Oyegbile presents a picturesque voyage of their success in commerce and trading in Jos and other northern states. According to Oba Oyewumi who would later own Hotel Terminus located both in Jos and Osogbo in present day Osun State, Jos was not big and
was “peopled by mostly nonindigenes. The central market which has now become the centre of business activities was sparsely populated.” Though Oyegbile sets out to tell the story of the Ogbomoso people’s foray into the mining city, in doing so, he also gives a clear picture on the early beginnings of Jos. And via his book, which has a foreword written by Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, the first executive governor of Plateau State, one is able to learn how the present city sprouted from the Railway Terminus area which was the melting point for all. The book highlights and examines the genesis of the plethora of violence that has contributed to shattering the peace Jos was hitherto known for. And the recent spurts of violence are succinctly captured through news reports and analyses which Oyegbile reproduces from his journalism. Ogbomoso has played and continues to play very crucial role in the country’s politics and mostly especially in the South West. In the chapter The Awolowo/Akintola feud, Oyegbile deals with an issue which is of very emotional importance to Yorubaland; the crisis between the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his erstwhile confidant and second in command, the late Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola. The way the latter is viewed by the former and what his (Akintola’s) people think about their son is
well dealt with by the author. It is bound to provoke more robust reactions from both camps. In chapter nine, he details how the struggle for the ownership of Jos evolved, brewing to violence, especially as it concerned the Hausas and the indigenous Jos people. The creation of Jos North local government during the regime of military president Ibrahim Babangida turned out to be a catalyst for violence. In the Jos debacle, language, Oyegbile writes, was largely deployed as a subjugating factor. By virtue of the Hausa language gaining currency in the town, a visitor might easily take it for granted that the Hausas were indigenous to Jos. This situation in a way depleted the relevance of indigenous ethnic groups in Jos. Relating this development as it evolved in Jos, he writes: “The Hausas have for long realised and understood the importance of language, while the other ethnic groups are still watching and feeling it does not matter.” The author is of the strong view that something has to be done to redress this anomaly of regarding fellow Nigerians as “non-indigenes, strangers or settlers” for the pan-Nigerian dream to become a reality. According to the author, a commission of inquiry tracing the 1994 riots will later say an “indigene of Jos is one whose ancestors were natives of Jos, beyond living memory.” This declaration would seem knotty
For her also literature is a photocopy of life. And that is why it is easier to use it to capture life in Nigeria. “For me, it is an advantage to work through literature having encountered a lot of people as a journalist and writer. This is why a lot of the poems dwell on the ruthlessness of the people towards the environment. It is therefore our responsibility to preserve nature, to respect the environment and avoid the pollution of our waters and the ecosystem.” as it conceded Jos citizenship status on indigenous ethnic groups like the Afizere, Anaguta, and Berom, as well as the Hausas, leaving out other groups such as Yorubas and some Niger-Deltans who had all lived in the city before the 1914 unification! However, on ground, the question of ‘who is a citizen of Jos’ remains largely unanswered. Oyegbile, who was born in Jos, remembers with nostalgia growing up in a city where your religion or ethnicity never mattered. He identifies ‘politics’ as the ‘root of the problem’ in Jos. “Religion,” he writes, “is only being used as the convenient cover because that is more emotive and easy to get many to identify with. Many Muslims and Christians who were fleeing from the religious maelstrom of the other cities of the north found succour in the town and decided to make it their own.” Perhaps, because of his emotional attachment, Oyegbile writes that millions of people have lost their lives in the Jos crises. While this sounds farfetched, Home Away From Home, nevertheless evokes the feeling of a lost paradise as many that knew Jos before the crises would testify. In all, this book is a rich source of information. Although the author sets out to tell the story of Ogbomoso people in Jos and its environs, it has succeeded in giving a micro history of Nigeria and its crisis of nationhood, which many will find interesting to read and think about as the country grapples with the issue of religious and ethnic harmonies.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY JULY 1, 2012 •Continued from Page 21 Both Azazi and Bello did extensive review but they ended up with the usual refrain of ‘we are on top of the situation, we will overcome.’ “But when the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin made his submission, it was apparent that the President was tired of being on top of the situation. He wanted a fresh plan in line with Petinrin’s suggestion. “Petinrin had claimed that ‘in modern approach to terrorism, you take the battle to the terrorists, you don’t wait till they strike.’ Another source added that some members of the council were also uncomfortable with the attitude of the Judiciary to terror suspects, including threats by some judges to free some Boko Haram members on trial. Another source said: “The President was at his best; he cracked jokes with everyone at the session, especially Azazi and Bello, without knowing his plan to shake up the nation’s defence structure. “We were all shocked when we returned home to hear of the removal of the former NSA and Defence Minister. The President did not betray his emotion that he had a different plan. “It was apparent that the session on Boko Haram was a test for all the service chiefs and heads of security agencies. I think the President also called the meeting to gauge the pulse of everyone based on security reports at his disposal. “Some of us were barely getting home for dinner when we heard the breaking news on the television stations. I think the President was just tired of the old approach to the Boko Haram menace, he wanted a fresh idea.”
His military career A 1974 product of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Sambo was a classmate of his immediate predecessor, Gen. Azazi but he did not stay long enough in the military to retire as a General. Other course mates of the new NSA are a former Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Col. Kayode Are (rtd); AVM Atawodi; ex-Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye. Although he ended in the Artillery Corps, a reliable retired Army source said: “He cut his teeth, like Azazi, from NDA in Intelligence. As a matter of fact, he started in Intelligence before the military career landed him in the Artillery Corps. Even within the Corps, he was the Intelligence brain box. If you can have access to his records in NDA or the Army, you will appreciate my observation. “Since he left the Army, he had been involved in Intelligence Advisory. You can ask any of his classmates. “His Intelligence background accounted for why the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha was uncomfortable with him in 1993 and retired him alongside others who were rated as ‘dangerous’. Yet, out of the military, Abacha was still not comfortable with Sambo. You will recall that Sambo was almost roped in the 1995 Phantom Coup during Abacha regime. That was why he went on exile for six years.” According to his resume, Sambo was born on December 2nd 1954 in Sokoto. Married with children, he has obtained NDA CE (A levels) 1973; BA International Relations (1990) and MA Security Policy Studies 1992. He was educated at Government College, Kaduna 1968-1971; Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna 1972-1974; American University, Washington, DC 1988-1990; George Washington University, Washington DC 1990-1992; He also ran professional courses at US Army Command and Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas 1987-1988; US Army Field Artillery School, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma 1983-1984; US Army Institute of Personnel Management, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana 1982; Junior Div. Course, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna 1980; Company Commander Course, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji 1979; School of Artillery, Deolali, India 1976; School of Artillery, Kakuri, Kaduna 1975 Before his premature retirement, he held various Command/Staff appointments within Nigerian Army Artillery units (adjutant, battery commander, regimental 2nd in Command, regimental commander, brigade major) from 1975to 1980. His other working
Unmasking Sambo Dasuki
experience had covered Military Assistant to COAS, HQ Nigerian Army, Lagos 19801983; GSO II SD/Plans, HQ Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery, Lagos 1984-1985; Aidede-Camp to C-in-C, Dodan Barracks, Lagos 1985-1987; Deputy Military Secretary III, Army HQ, Lagos 1992-1993. He also served as MD/CEO Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, Abuja (1999-2002). Sambo is fluent in Hausa and English; semi-fluent in Spanish and French languages. As a royal scion, his hobbies include Horse riding, Traveling, Polo and Scrabble. Before his appointment, he was on the board of some firms like MegaCards Ltd.; Regency Alliance Insurance Plc.; Seokwang Construction and Engineering WA Ltd.; Kinley Securities ; and Sealog Nigeria Ltd But of all his accomplishments, Sambo came into national prominence when he emerged as the first Aide-de-Camp (ADC) of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida after the palace coup which toppled the regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari on August 27, I985. As a Major, he was said to have teamed up with other Majors like Abdulmuminu Aminu and Abubakar Dangiwa Umar to ease out Buhari and the dreaded late Gen. Babatunde Idiagbon from power.
Is he really a novice? Since his appointment, there has been the tendency to write off the NSA as a novice because the highest political office he occupied in the military was ADC to ex-Military President, Ibrahim Babangida. But apart from his royal background, Sambo has over the years commanded much respect from the military elite in the North and key ones from the South, like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. Although he had been out of the military since 1993, he could be rated as one of the “power brokers” behind the scene who have helped to stabilise our democracy. He is member of the military cabal in the North whose backing is required to resolve the Boko Haram menace. In a copy by a respected investigative journalist, Henry Ugbolue of The News Magazine on June 12, 2000, he described Sambo Dasuki as one of the eight men behind the then new administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. He wrote: “Colonel Sambo Dasuki, former aide-de-camp of General Babangida, played a big role in the emergence of the Obasanjo presidency. It was known that Sambo Dasuki, then exiled, joined Gusau to prevail on the military regime of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar to accept Obasanjo. The story has it that Sambo Dasuki told both Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar that if another leader from the South-west other than Obasanjo became the president, they would be probed and probably jailed or even killed. “Babangida thereafter worked on the regime of Abubakar to prepare grounds for the emergence of Obasanjo….while abroad, Sambo Dasuki who is the eldest son of Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, the deposed Sultan of Sokoto, zealously worked on several retired
military officers of Northern extraction to accept Obasanjo. Sambo eventually entered the country quietly early 1999 to continue his high-wire campaign for Obasanjo. With victory secured, Obasanjo quietly named Sambo the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Security and Printing Corporation (MINT). The President (Obasanjo as it were), The News learnt still consults Sambo Dasuki on a number of issues.”
Unknown strengths of the new NSA According to findings, the real moral asset of the new NSA is his ability to call a spade a spade. Unknown to many, Dasuki was one of the few loyal military officers, like Brig.Gen. David Mark, Col. Abubakar Umar, who stood up to their boss, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, and asked him to step aside in August 1993. Babangida knew the game was up the moment his boys like Dasuki told him to his face to quit. Another instance of Dasuki’s courage was when he squared up to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, who was trying to molest his father. The NSA soothingly bluffed Abacha long before his father, ex-Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki, was deposed in 1996. His audacity earned him an untimely retirement from the Nigerian Army from the maximum dictator. Besides Abacha, as steely as ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was in power, the NSA opposed moves by his administration to privatise the Nigerian Security Minting and Printing Company. He had on March 26, 2002 appeared before the House of Representatives with a former Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Kayode Naiyeju, to make his position known. He insisted that NSPMC deals with sensitive security documents which cannot be left either in the hands of the private sector or a foreign investor. He said: “I do not favour that (privatisation of Mint). I have looked at the people we should be copying from, I can’t see any. Everywhere, it is government business. As a Nigerian who votes, I think it is the wrong way to go about.” He countered the allegation that NSPMC is not viable, saying: “My immediate reaction is to ignore the statement because it was made out of ignorance.” He stressed that even if government is poised to privatize Mint, it should be based on truth and not running down a company before it is privatized. When he was the lone voice, he resigned as the Managing Director of the Mint to drive home his point. A source in Sokoto said: “Sambo might sit for hours without talking but he can brave the odds to stand out in the crowd. He goes to where all of you fear to tread. But he is a good listener and quick to apologize
“The real moral asset of the new NSA is his ability to call a spade a spade. Unknown to many, Dasuki was one of the few loyal military officers, like Brig.-Gen. David Mark, Col. Abubakar Umar, who stood up to their boss, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, and asked him to step aside in August 1993.”
once he is convinced that he is at fault. I remember that as a Colonel, he had a sharp disagreement with a top Army Officer and the case got to his father, His Eminence Dasuki. When he was summoned by his father, he just prostrated with his face down as the father was scolding him. He did not say a word and he left Sokoto immediately to apologize to the Superior Officer.” He lived up to this rating on Thursday when he visited Yobe State which is a foremost enclave of Boko Haram. His body language suggested that he is taking the battle to the sect. A cosmopolitan Nigerian, the NSA has lived more in Lagos than Sokoto. As a matter of fact, he is said to have 90 per cent of his businesses in Lagos where he is often more at home.
How will he cope with service chiefs? Immediately Sambo’s appointment was announced, a major challenge raised was how a Colonel will be managing or commanding Service Chiefs who are mostly Generals. But a source said: “By virtue of military tradition, seniority is based on year of commissioning. Sambo passed out of the NDA many years ahead of the service chiefs. There is no cause for alarm in that respect. “Have these service chiefs not been taking instructions or directives from civilian Defence Ministers?
The ball is in Sambo’s court As for Nigerians, the ball is now in Sambo’s court. On Thursday, he was in Yobe to assess the security situation. He personally took the battle to the Lion’s den. The visit may be a confirmation of his readiness for the job. But the nation is awaiting his magic wand. Certainly, he deserves the sympathy of all because this assignment could make or mar his career.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
‘Edo guber polls walkover for Oshiomhole’
HE July 14 governorship election in Edo State will be a mere walkover for Governor Adams Oshiomhole, a pioneer graduate of University of Benin, Mr. Steve Bossey,
By Sunday Oguntola
has assured. The retired civil servant said Oshiomhole has performed so creditably that Edo people will have no
Teacher arrested for stealing
PRIMARY school teacher in Ilesa, Osun State has been arrested for breaking into three vehicles at different locations in the ancient town. 20-year-old Adeniyi Gbenga was arrested by vigilant residents while attempting to break into a Honda car. THE NATION gathered that Gbenga had earlier successfully ransacked a commercial bus owned by an official of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). The Toyota Hiace bus parked at a place called Okeese became Gbenga’s target when he found it accessible because it was not properly locked. “When I entered into the bus, I quickly searched everywhere to see if I could find money or other valuable items. ‘’Unfortunately, I could not find any except a phone which was being charged at the time. ‘’But in order not to attract the attention of the people around the area, I tried a key to start the bus and drive it out of the spot. The key started the bus and I drove it away to where I later abandoned it,” Gbenga said. He added that the success of the first operation led him to the second where he met his waterloo. According to him, he was almost through with the
By Tunde Busari
Honda car when the son of the owner suddenly emerged and raised an alarm. The development made youths at a viewing centre to pounce on him, after which he was taken to the ‘B’ Divisional Police Headquarters. After a preliminary investigation had confirmed the culpability of the suspect, he was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department headed by Gbola Adeyemi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police where the suspect has since made further confessional statements. Gbenga, a native of Akure in Ondo State, claimed to have opted for crime to augment his N4, 500 monthly salary from Adeniji Nursey/Primary School, Ilesa. Osun State Commissioner of Police, Kalafite Adeyemi, confirmed the incident and promised to dig further into the suspect’s profile. “It is sad that such a young man chose a wrong path in the name of survival despite the fact that he has a promising future with his certificate. ‘’Nevertheless, the position of law is clear on the crime he committed. So, after the on-going investigation, necessary action will be taken to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to tread the same path,’’ Adeyemi said.
qualms giving him another four-year mandate. According to him: “Edo people are very civilised and enlightened. They are people who appreciate good things. Based on what is on ground, the Edo people are prepared to give Oshiomhole the necessary support. It is going to be a walkover for Oshiomhole. ‘’Oshiomhole will certainly win the election because of what he has done in the past three and half years, which all of us as Edo State indigenes have seen. We appreciate it and want more from him. That is why we are clamouring that he should be returned for a second term.’’ The governor, he pointed out, has transformed the state, dismissing insinuations that opposition parties could spring any surprise. He denied claims that 80% percent of developmental projects have been concentrated in Benin City. The capital city, Bossey said, has been ancient for too long and should be modernised at all costs. ‘’Benin City is home for all Edo people. We also know that he has done so much in the other parts of the state. So, that criticism is not correct. ‘’Sometimes, people who don’t know much about Edo State will want to say some of these things. We need Benin City to be developed. Benin has remained for too long an ancient city. This is time to modernise it and that is exactly what he’s doing.’’ He urged Edo people not to entertain any fear but be prepared to vote Oshiomhole on the Election Day for greater transformation.
Boko Haram: Muslim Council declares South East untouchable
HE Muslim Ummah in Anambra State yester-
day said the Boko Haram insurgency can never spread to the South East. Secretary General of Anambra Muslim Council, Alhaji Sani Ejoh, told newsmen after the indigenous Muslim
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
meeting under the auspices of South East Muslim Organisation (SEMO) in Awka, that the Boko Haram threat in the region is a big joke. According to him: ‘’The threat by the Boko Haram sect
is a big joke because it can never happen here. It can’t happen in the South East. If it is true that there is a threat like that anyway, they can’t try such a thing in Igbo land.‘’ Ejoh enjoined all Muslims in Anambra State to appreciate the tremendous impact of Obi’s administration in their lives.
Turn challenges to opportunities, Ibru charges
HE President of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Goodie Ibru, has called on Nigerians to turn challenges facing the nation into investment opportunities. He spoke last week at the 2012 Crystal Nite of Excellence organised by Commerce & Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in Lagos. Ibru argued that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will only flow into the nation when Nigerians invest in the economy first. He noted that China became an economic super house because her people turned every challenge into investment opportunity. According to him, the picture-like letterings of the Chinese alphabets spell the same word for challenge and opportunity, which is why they see opportunity in every challenge wherever they are. He challenged Nigerians to never mind the many challenges bedeviling the nation,
By Bukola Afolabi
but instead, to see the very opportunities in them and invest in the economy, adding that it is only then that foreign direct investment would come into the nation. The Director-General of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu bagged the most impactful person in public service of the year award
while Dangote Pasta got the best Pasta manufacturer of the year award. Other award recipients are Bank of Industry (BoI), Development Bank of the year; Lafarge as Cement Company of the year; Dagrada International Trading Company as uncommon philanthropy of the year and Phoenix Steel Mills Ltd for Steel Bar Company of the year.
Poll rates Jonathan average
N Abuja- based opinion research and knowledge management organisation, NOI polls Limited, has rated President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration average in its first year.The report also indicated that the administration recorded declining performance trend the in electricity supply, job creation and educational development, among others.37% of the respondents rated Jonathan’s per-
By Adetutu Audu
formance average, while 31 % insisted the President has performed well. 17% said the administration performed poorly, while 10 percent said it performed very well.Only 5 percent said the present administration performed very poorly. Respondents also noted the next three years of the administration should focus on security, unemployment, poor electricity, education and corruption.
CHANGE OF NAME
CHANGE OF NAME
I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Olaniyi Bukola Iyabo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs AkinboboyeMakinde Bukola Iyabo. All former documents remain valid. University of Ado-Ekiti and general public should please take note.
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FAJEMIROKUN I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Robinson Christiana, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Okwelle Christiana Holy. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Duru Jovita Ogechi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Udebuala Jovita Ogechi. All former documents remain valid. XL Managements and general public should please take note. I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Onwuchekwa Malinda Ezinwa, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Udebuala Jovita Ogechi. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
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EKWEOGU I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Ekweogu Jacinta Ndidiamaka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Emayomi Jacinta Nididiamaka. All former documents remain valid.General public should please take note.
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NEBO I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Nebo Chinenye Doris, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. AnekeChinenye Doris(nee Nebo). All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
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BANKOLE I,formerly known, called and addressed as MISS BANKOLE FLORENCE ABOSEDE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS SHORINOLA FLORENCE ABOSEDE. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
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ONIKOSI I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Onikosi Oluwaseun Oluwatosin, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Braimah Oluwaseun Oluwatosin. All former documents remain valid. Ojokoro Mfb and general public should please take note.
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CHANGE OF NAME SANNI
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BISIRIYU I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Bisiriyu Oluwaseun Bolanle, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Abraham Oluwaseun Bolanle. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
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SAMUEL I,formerly known, called and addressed as Samuel Adeola Iretioluwa, now wish to be known and addressed as Bantan Adeola Iretioluwa. All former documents remain valid. general public should please take note.
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ADESOLA I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Ajayi Oluwatosin Elizabeth, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ijaola Mickeal Oluwatosin Elizabeth. All former documents remain valid. NYSC, Taye Solarin University of education and general public should please take note.
BABALOLA I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Babalola Oluwaseyi Abosede, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ojewumi Abosede Oluwaseyi. All former documents remain valid. Ojokoro Mfb and general public should please take note.
I,formerly known, called and addressed as Miss Salau Ayisat Funmilola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ashiru Ayisat Funmilola. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
ADVERT: Simply produce your marriage certificate or sworn affidavit for a change of name publication, with just (N4,500. NEW RATE effective from 20th March) The payment can be made through FIRST BANK of Nigeria Plc. Account number 2017220392 Account Name - VINTAGE PRESS LIMITED Scan the details of your advert and teller to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For enquiry please contact: Gbenga on 08052720421, 08161675390, Emailg b e n g a o d e j i d e @yahoo.com or our offices nationwide. Note this! Change of name is now published every Sundays, all materials should reach us two days before publication.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
NEWS Northern Christians must not fight back, says cleric
ESPITE the unprovoked attacks against them and their places of worship, Christians in the North have been advised never to consider retaliation. Retaliation, the General Overseer of Liberation Assembly Church International Lagos, Apostle Chidiebere George, explained is not the best strategy to fight the Boko Haram insurgency. George, in a chat last week, said: ‘’It is very easy to rationalise fighting back Boko Haram bomb for bomb and
death for death. But that will not change anything. It will only aggravate the attacks.’’ Christians, he said, are not up against Boko Haram per se but principalities bent on destroying the nation. ‘’God’s people have always been up against such forces over the course of history. They overcame by praying and handing over their cases over to God for vengeance. ‘’Vengeance is of the Lord and He alone can fight for His people in a way they possibly cannot. When we allow Him, He will fight more than we can ever do,’’ George stated. He counselled Christians in the North not to fight back but intensify prayers for divine intervention. The cleric said reports that Christians fought back during the last bombing incident in Kaduna was disturbing. He warned such development will only expose them to further harm, urging them to keep their calm for God to intervene.
PFN expels randy church founder
HE Ughelli North Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has expelled General Overseer of God’s Gifted Ministry International, Amakpa-Ughelli, Rev. Lucky Oghenemiroro, for alleged adultery. Oghenemiroro, the body explained, impregnated a woman outside wedlock and proceeded to marry her. It said the action was unexpected of a church leader and unacceptable to churches within its fold. PFN’s executive members led by its Chairman, Rev. Emman Eredoro and General Secretary, Dr Mereh Wariri, last Sunday handed over the expulsion letter to Oghenemiroro. They said they took the action having exhausted all efforts to make the cleric retrace his step. The PFN leaders said Oghenemiroro’s randy and immoral activities were proven and well known, lamenting all entreaties to
By Akatakpo Frank, Warri
him to desist fell on deaf ears. T h e y s t r e s s e d Oghenemiroro has failed to show good examples to members of his congregation and Pentecostal Christians, stating they consider him against the ideals and principles of Christianity and unworthy to be a member of the PFN. Parts of the letter read: “Consequently, this expulsion has therefore become absolutely necessary, as we cannot condone these atrocities from a professed minister of the gospel. You know that the word of God forbids any Christian from engaging in such activities”. Reacting, Oghenemiroro said marriage is not by force. According to him: ‘’As we all know, if I say I will not marry you again, it is not by force.’’ The father of his ex-wife, he added, has refunded the dowry he paid, stating that the matter is before a customary court.
Forum discusses how Christians can fight graft
HRISTIANS have been challenged to save the nation from corruption by upholding the ideals of Christ and taking a principled stand against the vice. This was the consensus last week, at the 1st edition of Winning Christian Initiative in Lagos. Speakers at the seminar with the theme ‘’Godliness in governance’’ unanimously identified corruption as the greatest threat facing the nation. The lead discussant, Dr Festus Okunbor, described governance as a state of mindset
By Stella Edmund
and how individuals relate to their environment. Corruption, he said, has become endemic because of societal pressure and absence of fear of God. Former Lagos Speaker, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora, lamented that many Nigerians have sold their consciences to graft. He called for reorientation of societal values to save the nation from decadence. Convener of the seminar, Pastor Seyi Adeyemi, urged Christians to stand for the truth and exemplify good conducts.
HAT is still driving you at almost 83? It is the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. I am full of expectations. What expectations again at your age again? For example, Nigeria is my concern. After God, my family and the ministry He has given me, I am concerned about Nigeria. My expectation is that Nigeria should be what it used to be. We have millions of people going to churches but Christians have never been able to influence one positive change nationally. How can I go to bed with that scenario? I am talking, praying and organising. The Bible tells me that faith without work is dead. So, when people say they are praying and fasting, it makes no sense to me. I have got so much to do and there is no time to wait and see what will happen. So, I am working towards a better Nigeria. But one expects that you should be having a well-deserved rest by now Yes, well-deserved but when I get to heaven, I will have eternity to rest. There will be perpetual rest there. I will rest there and there will be no stress again. But then God has been good to me. I have no health complications. No hypertension, no diabetes, no stress. There is nothing at all. Really? When was the last time you had a medical checkup? Last check-up was two years ago in the United States. Nothing was found on me. You want to know why? One thing is the gift of the Lord. Two, I have refused to be acrimonious. If you offend me now, I will let you know immediately. I don’t keep malice or grudge. You can have all the grudges in this world against me but you can go to bed rest assured that Iloh has nothing against you. I don’t care. What am I going to do that for? When you carry grudge, you are carrying what I call extra luggage and it is very expensive. How have you been able to do what is very difficult for many people? I can’t say I am able to do it on my own. I am totally dependant on God. You see when I was a young boy; I was a very bad tempered fellow. I used to stutter. Because I stammered, I was very ferocious. When you
‘Why Nigeria is degenerating’ General Overseer of Soul Winning Chapel, Ebute Metta Lagos, Rev. Moses Iloh, is a tireless old 'soldier'. He spoke with Sunday Oguntola on why Nigeria is stuck and how to save the nation. Excerpts:
make fun of me, I come at you. But everything changed when I became a Christian at 10. I have been born again for over 70 years. Again, the white men I stayed with taught me how to hold my peace. They said I should pretend to be counting my teeth when I was angry. I have also learnt how to hand over problems and people to God. You found out all the ailments that doctors cannot diagnose are related to anger, malice and offence. So, when you offend, I let you know immediately. And when I am wrong, I am very quick to apologise and repent. I don’t argue when I am wrong. So, I have no time for acrimony or anger. So since God has given me health and strength, I should help Nigeria. Nigeria is my headache now. You saw the glorious days of this country. How was Nigeria then? Nigeria of then was fantastic. I saw Nigeria under the British. I saw justice and democracy though we were a colony. I saw true respect for the law. I saw man’s humanity to man. I saw Nigeria working hard for independence. As a young boy, I was a member of the Zik movement. I saw us trying to experiment with democracy. I saw the
soldiers trying to take over. I saw all the military coups. I saw us having another spell of democracy. But then I saw Nigeria degenerating. That is really painful. Oh boy! That is the saddest aspect of my life. I saw a glorious Nigeria then. If Nigerians said it was so, so was it. A child was everybody’s child. It’s amazing how we got here. How did we get here? I think everything started because we built Nigeria on a compromise. We were offered independence and really did not fight for it. Then, the North was not ready while Zik and Awolowo were ready. So, we had to wait for the North. Zik and Awolowo compromised too much for the North. They were wearing agbada to please the North. Northerners were employed on lower qualifications. So, the compromise was much that the foundation of Nigeria became compromised. So, when you have a nation built on compromise, you have all these kinds of problems. So, is there hope? I believe in Nigeria where we can start again but we won’t until Christians understand who they really are. Christianity has been reduced to religion in Nigeria. That is why we are
impotent and unable to change anything. We need to understand that Christianity is life. A Christian will never kill a sinner but work for his repentance. A Christian’s job is evangelical whether in banking, manufacturing, governance or sports. So, if Christians manifest life, we would change Nigeria. When Christians deal with unbelievers, they should see the difference. When a Christian has two shirts, he offers one and the unbeliever wonders why. You believe you will live to see a new Nigeria? I believe it is possible because right now, I am working with some young people. I believe they will change this country if they stand firm. Then the Lord can take me home and I won’t have any regrets. The Jonathan’s administration just clocked one. How do you assess it? I will say it is a massive flop. My assessment is that if this is what Jonathan has to offer, he should not have shown up at all. His administration is a flop. It epitomizes confusion and backward movement. After Dr Azikwe, nobody so educated has been President of Nigeria. Awolowo never got there. This man is supposed to be a graduate. He is supposed to be a P.hd holder. He has experience in the local government. He’s been deputy governor, governor, Vice President, Acting President, temporary President and elected President. One would have thought that if God gives a man the privilege to go this hog, he would have come to the seat knowing what to do. He should have felt the pulse of Nigeria. He got there and the first thing he initiated was a single term tenure bill. He’s been a fraud, to be honest with you. I have been watching him. He should not have been President of Nigeria. I say this without any sense of apologies. He is the reason for Boko Haram. It’s so unfortunate. We don’t need a man like him for now.
What and where? Lara George, Sinach others for Eagles Praise 2012
OME Friday July 20, leading gospel singers will practically bring the heavens down at the 2012 Eagles Praise concert powered by Glorylanders
Family choir of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba Lagos. Gospel singers expected include Lara George, Sinach, Cohbams, Emizon and Bayo
Mega Life Word Convention in Lagos
thousand times more is the theme of the Mega Life Word Convention powered by Sure Word Assembly, Okota Lagos. It holds from July 8-11 at Mega Life Centre, Greenfield Estate by Trinity Bus stop, Okota Lagos. A statement by General Overseer of the church, Dr
Dennis Inyang, said the event will witness the ordination of new pastors and award of a scholarship scheme to no fewer than five beneficiaries. Preachers expected include Bishops John Praise, John OsaOni and Rev Ben Eragbai, among others. Music will be by Aity and Fabian Nwafor.
Adesuyi, among others. The concert, which holds at the National Headquarters of the church in Yaba, will also feature comedians such as Mc Shakara, Elenu, Larry J and Ajibade. The comperes are Lolo
and Double O. A statement by Bayo Adesuyi, head of the Glorylanders choir, said that the event kicks off by 8pm. The chief host if General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Felix Meduoye.
Church holds prayer festival
HE annual prayer festival of The Faithful Church (World Wide) Lagos holds from July 1-22 at 291/293 Ikorodu road, Maryland Lagos.
The theme of the festival is “the shadows of His wings”. The host, Pastor Israel Ibironke, assured many lives will be transformed at the festival, which opens by 6pm daily.
THE NATION SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
SPORT EXTRA Low coy on Germany future
OACHIM Low has admitted that he is uncertain of his future in charge of Germany following their Euro 2012 semifinal defeat at the hands of Italy. Earlier in the month, Low gave a strong indication that he could step down as Germany coach after the 2014 World Cup, stating that change is "sometimes necessary". However, he has come under fire following the team's failure to win the Euros, and the 52year-old has refused to say whether he will remain in charge for the World Cup qualifiers. "Generally, I have a contract," Low told Bild. "Leaving? Such things have not crossed our mind. Our journey has been very, very good. "I must get a little distance to see if there are any new attractions out there." Low took over from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006, guiding Germany to a runners-up finish at Euro 2008 and third-place at the World Cup in South Africa, two years later.
Irish fans named best at Euro 2012
VERYBODY loves the Irish and UEFA is no exception. The European football governing body has named Irish fans the best at the Euro 2012, citing their exemplary behavior during the group tournament in Poland. “The executive committee has decided to give a special award to the Irish football fans,” UEFA’s secretary-general, Gianni Infantino told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.His announcement commending the Irish supporters came on the eve of the Euro 2012 final between holders Spain and Italy. “Everyone was very impressed by the fans of the national team of the Republic of Ireland who came to Poland. The team’s results were mitigated by the fans,” he continued.
Reds to parade Kagawa
LEX Ferguson has confirmed £13million new boy Shinji Kagawa will be the star attraction on Manchester United's pre-season tour of South Africa and China. Kagawa is one of the few certainties in the travelling party after Ferguson's summer plans were hit by the need to rest players after Euro 2012 and also the departures of others, including Ryan Giggs and David de Gea, for Olympic duty. The Red Devils are also supplying three players to England's European U19 Championship quest, while Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling will not be considered due to injury and Darren Fletcher is due to begin the first tentative stages of his return from a bowel complaint. Ferguson is unlikely to know until the eve of departure exactly who will be on the flight to Durban on July 16. United fans will, however, see Kagawa in action after his summer move from Borussia Dortmund. The 23-year-old will be joined by England U18 star Nick Powell, who has signed from Crewe.
Bale ruled out of Olympics with injury
ARETH Bale is set to miss out on the London 2012 Olympics after suffering a recurrence of an old injury, according to Associated Press. The 22-year-old Welshman was widely expected to play a key role in Stuart Pearce's 18man squad for the tournament but is reported to have pulled up with a back and hip injury whilst running. Bale is understood to be cautious about further aggravating his injury, with the new Premier League campaign just seven weeks away. And the Spurs midfielder has already informed Pearce of his decision to make himself unavailable for selection after receiving medical advice.
Platini hails "fantastic" Euro
L L A U C O T E S n O i L h c C t a O m e O r l T a y l n a i t f ,I A
, 2 n 1 i 0 a 2 p o S r u E c i r o t s hi
ND so they meet again at Euro 2012. This time, however, Spain and Italy are playing for the European Championship and a place in the history books. The Mediterranean rivals meet today in Kiev's Olympic Stadium, three weeks after they drew 1-1 in their opening match of the tournament's group stage. As the defending champion and World Cup holder, Spain is bidding to win a third straight major title, cementing its place as one of the greatest national teams. It would also match Germany's record of three European Championship titles. Only the unpredictable Mario Balotelli and a surprising Italy team orchestrated by Andrea Pirlo - stand between Spain and what many see as its destiny. Even Italy coach Cesare Prandelli reckons that Spain is the best bet to lift the trophy. ''At the moment, even if I open my eyes, I am still dreaming,'' Prandelli said after his side's 2-1 victory over Germany in the semifinals, when Balotelli scored both goals. ''Spain remain favorites because of the years of hard work that they have put in. They have been dominant in every game they've played so far.'' Spain hasn't lost in a European Championship since 2004 and has already matched West Germany as the
only defending champion to return to the final after winning the World Cup. The West Germans managed it in 1976, but subsequently lost to Czechoslovakia following Antonin Panenka's famous chip shot in a penalty shootout. This final brings together teams with players brazen enough to have successfully copied Panenka's audacious spot kick during their penalty shootouts in the knockout rounds. Spain defender Sergio Ramos used
it in the semifinal win over Portugal, after Pirlo employed it against England in the quarterfinals. It also features the tournament's best defensive team against one of its most exciting attacking squads. Spain has not conceded a goal since that opening draw with Italy and hasn't been scored upon in nine elimination games at major tournaments. Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Pirlo are leading one of Italy's top attacking teams in recent history.
EFA president Michel Platini said he was stressed out and tense in the build-up to Euro 2012 but that the tournament was so successful on and off the pitch it would leave the greatest legacy to European soccer. Platini backed Ukraine and Poland's bid when they were chosen in April 2007 to co-host the event shortly after he became UEFA president. But the build-up to the tournament was a troubled one, blighted by spiraling costs, delays in both countries and political instability in Ukraine. He threatened several times to move the event from Ukraine, and opened up about his personal feelings at a news conference on Saturday, one day before Spain meet Italy in the final at Kiev's Olympic Stadium.
Spanish aim to put 'icing on the cake'
EFENDER Sergio Ramos believes Spain can be proud of their Euro 2012 campaign even if they lose tomorrow night's final against Italy. Vicente del Bosque's side are just one game away from becoming the first country to win three consecutive major championships.
It is a milestone Ramos admits the Spanish players are aware of but, even if they come up short in Kiev, he believes they have already made history. "We are aware of what we are playing for," he said. "It is something that as of today no team has ever achieved. It requires many years of work and sacrifice.
No matter what happens we have already made history. "This hasn't finished though, and the icing on the cake would be to return and win the Euros. "Maybe there are some that don't value it but for the work we have done I think the whole country ought to be proud.
Buffon lays bare the desire of Italians
F there's anyone still wondering what Italy's intentions are at this European Championship, they need look no further than Gianluigi Buffon's angry reaction after the Azzurri's semi-final win over Germany. While his team-mates celebrated, Buffon could not look past the way Italy allowed a penalty kick in injurytime of a 2-1 win, plus a few other
chances that could have sent the match to extra-time. "I don't celebrate second place," Buffon said. "I was angry, because we should have avoided those last five minutes of sufferance. We need to be mature. Football is a game, but when you reach the semi-finals of a European Championship it's not a game any
more." One of the pillars of Italy's 2006 World Cup victory, Buffon can add another trophy with a win over Spain in Sunday's final, which will mark his 120th appearance in the Azzurri shirt. With more than a decade as the Azzurri's starting goalkeeper, Buffon's experience and talent has been evident throughout this tournament.
THE ONSUNDAY, SUNDAY, THENATION NATION JULY 1, 2012 JULY 1, 2012
PORT EE XTRA SSPORT XTRA
Guangzhou wait for Aiyegbeni medical before unveiling
Keshi slams critics over home-based Eagles By MORAKINYO ABODUNRIN
UPER Eagles' Head Coach, Stephen Keshi believed whose crying wolf over the inclusion of many home-based players in the national team are mischief makers. Keshi has not hidden his desire to revamp the Super Eagles after taking the reins of the national team following their failure to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations Cup-with a team populated mostly by legion of the country's players abroad. But there have been a gale of criticism from a section of the fans following the less than impressive performances in their three completive matches last month despite the fact that they beat Namibia 1-0; drew 1-1 with Malawi, and a 2-0 win against Rwanda. " it is unfortunate if some people don't believe in what we are doing presently with the Super Eagles," said the former captain of the national team. “I have no business in managing any player but I think we have to give the home-based players the opportunity too. They are Nigerians and if we all agree that something was wrong with our football in recent years, we must find solutions to such problems." He reiterated that every Nigerian player irrespective of where they are based would be drafted to help the course of the national team in as much as they have something to offer, adding that he has been guided by equity and fair play in the choice of players. " We would need all the best players as time goes on but honestly, I don't see anything wrong in what we are doing with the home-based players," Keshi enthused."We are given them the opportunity to become better players which in turn would make them responsible Nigerians." Keshi said those who are quick to condemn his usage of home based players should remember his antecedent when he managed the Hawks of Togo sa well as the Eagles of Mali. " When I was in Togo, I worked with the home-
UANGZHOU R&F are waiting for the medical reports of latest catch, Nigerian Yakubu Aiyegbeni before they can unveil him to the press this week. Until Guangzhou get green-light from their medical team, Yakubu Aiyegbeni won't be unveiled as a player of the ambitious CSL outfit. But his transfer is 99% complete according to club officials. The 29-year-old forward who scored over 100 goals in his sojourn in England told Chinese media that he chose to join Guangzhou R&F because his wife has several business interests in China, so he should not be unfamiliar with the town. ''My body is in good shape, I am every day in the gym training. When I join the R&F, I will be able to quickly restore to the best condition,'' Yakubu was quoted as saying by Netease. FEDERATION CUP RESULTS
based players and we qualified for the 2006 World Cup. I did the same when I was in Mali, so I don't have any personal agenda by using many homebased players for the Super Eagles," he added. The Super Eagles are currently on a recess but having been slated to face Arsenal Football Club on August 5 as the English Premiership side round off their pre-season activities.
Wigan renew battle to keep Moses Taiwo Alimi with agency report
IGAN Athletic are bracing themselves for a renewed battle to keep hold of Victor Moses following Liverpool newest interest in the race for his signature. Chelsea showed their hand first with a £3million bid a fortnight ago, one that was immediately given short shrift by Latics. Dave Whelan accused the London club of ‘taking the Mickey’ with their valuation of a player who cost Latics £2.5million when he arrived from Crystal Palace two-and-a-half years ago. Since then, Moses has progressed from being a promising teenager to one of the best young players in the top flight, and played an instrumental role in Wigan’s Great Escape last term. With the Eagles holding a sizeable sell-on clause on any future Moses transfer, Chelsea would need to double – if not treble – their opening offer to get Latics even to the negotiating table. With Florent Malouda expected to leave Chelsea this summer, rumours have been rife of a second bid on the way from the Champions League-winners. The Evening Post understands such talk is premature, but Chelsea’s hand may be forced by the emergence of Liverpool as credible bidders in the race. It had been assumed Sigurdsson would follow Rodgers to Merseyside, but the waters were then muddied by Tottenham showing an interest.
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First Bank Canaan Ranchers Gamji Fame Academy Tornadoes
Egypt knocked out of Nations Cup
GYPT have been knocked off the race for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa after failing 4-3 on aggregate to the Wild Beasts of Central African Republic over two legs. The Pharaohs lost the first of the two-legged qualification tie 3-2 at the Borg El Arab Stadium on February 15, leaving them with a mountain to climb in Saturday’s return leg.
But their unheralded hosts, who are gunning for their first ever ticket to the championship proved their gutsy showing on the road was not a flash in the pan when they went ahead before being forced to a 1-1 draw by the visitors. It took a 24th minute effort by 26-year-old Lokomotiv Astana of Kazakhstan striker Foxi Kethevoama for the hosts to make another bold statement before joyous
home fans. Emad Moteab drew Egypt level on 71 minutes, but history had already been made, as Central African Republic created the greatest upset yet in the series. Egypt alongside Nigeria had failed to qualify for the last edition in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon and have been left to leer when the rest of continent converge on South Africa for the next edition next year.
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 6, NO. 2170
DEADLINE is a deadly thing to throw around when you are dealing with the terrorist Boko Haram sect. Not too long ago, a difference of opinion over timelines was sufficient for the group to unleash its bombers against three media houses. The backdrop was President Goodluck Jonathan’s boast before an international audience in Seoul, South Korea, back in March that he expected to have seen off the insurgency by mid-year. Infuriated by the boast, the sect replied with a famously “misquoted” YouTube video in which they allegedly promised to “devour” the President within three months. Apparently, whatever the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in the video had been lost in translation. But the group were sufficiently miffed about the deadline business they decided to go a-bombing. That was why I was startled by newspaper reports quoting the new National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, as vowing to have a ceasefire in place by Ramadan – roughly three weeks from now. My initial thought was Jonathan has a live one here! The man must have have swished into Aso Villa with a magic wand tucked away in the folds of his flowing caftan. However, I was not too surprised when less than twenty-four hours later this intriguing promise was swiftly disavowed by Dasuki’s spokesman who claimed he never set any deadlines. Since the story was carried by both local and international outlets – we must conclude that translators may have had another bad day at the office, or the global media family came down with a bad case of hearing difficulties. Since we can no longer develop a potentially interesting storyline, we are left to try to make sense of Dasuki’s “new initiative.” Unlike his predecessor who approached the matter with what amounted to a new day, new strategy tack, the incumbent has set securing a ceasefire and initiating dialogue as clear goals. To facilitate this he’s presently in the NorthEast knocking on the doors of religious leaders, elders, influential politicians and local community leaders. He has reportedly already met with the likes of former Minister of Communications, Gen. Mohammed Shuwa; ex-Military Governor of the North-East, Brig-Gen. Abba Kyari; Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Umaru Shehu; Ambassador Usman Galtimari (who recently headed a presidential committee on the crisis in the North-East) and a former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Comrade Ali Ciroma. It is hard to say whether these efforts will produce anything significant, or whether they would end up as just the latest wild goose chase after a recalcitrant band of anarchists. But if anyone can make a good stab at the assignment, it would be Dasuki for all sorts of reasons. One of those reasons would not be his superior expertise in these matters. Jonathan has made it clear that he didn’t fire General Andrew Azazi (rtd) on account of indolence or incompetence. And there is nothing in Dasuki’s military service record to give his predecessor an inferiority complex. That is why most people have been scratching their heads trying to make sense of the appointment. The only sensible thing that has been suggested so far is that the new NSA was appointed because as a blueblood he has entrée in the upper reaches of northern society. He would get a look in where Azazi would have had doors shut in his face. And that treatment would have had absolutely no bearing on the general as an individual but because of what he represents: forces that broke the northern vice grip on power at the center. Azazi understood this and for a long while he suffered in silence. But in April, his frustrations got the better of him. At the South-South investment summit in Asaba he did the unthinkable by blaming the explosion of the insurgency on the clash of political forces and interests within the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). As I have observed elsewhere, in Nigeria, people in his position don’t speak such inconvenient truths publicly. The moment an embarrassed President Jonathan was forced to hand him an open rebuke, his days on the job were numbered.
QUOTABLE “The recent shakeup in NNPC as far as I am concerned is simply another game of musical chairs. It is just like arranging and re-arranging the chairs to divert attention and make Nigerians feel that something serious is happening or is about to happen” —Comrade Peter Esele, the President-General, Trade Union Congress (TUC) speaking on the recent removal of management and board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
Festus Eriye firstname.lastname@example.org 08052135878 (SMS only)
Unraveling the Boko Haram riddle
Azazi had famously raised the following posers: “How come the extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until the public declaration of the people that were going to contest election by the PDP? And I would also like to say this, though the PDP people will not agree with me, they would like to attack me, but I hope they do it in private: PDP got it wrong from the beginning by saying Mr A can go and Mr B cannot go, and these decisions were made without looking at the constitution. “Is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win and that if he could not win, there would be problems in this society? Let’s examine all those issues to see whether the level of violence in the Northeast just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded or something else was responsible.” These questions are as valid today as they were in April because no has come with a plausible alternative as an explanation. That is why, much as we all wish Dasuki well in his assignment, the speed with which he resolves the insurgency could very well be vindication of Azazi’s thesis. The swift rise could also mean a swift decline in violence if the right people with the right contacts know the right buttons to press. Is it not interesting that after all this while virtually nothing is known about the sect’s leaders or their sponsors? Thanks to their designation by the United States as ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists’ we are now acquainted with Shekau’s other pals, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al Barnawi. Beyond their exotic sounding names it is doubtful whether anyone knows what they look like: and this, despite all the resources available to our intelligence agencies. It is not difficult to surmise why. The same thing happened in the Niger-Delta in the days when the militants ruled the creeks, waging war against the state. For long the leadership of the Movement for the Emancipation of the NigerDelta (MEND) and the identity of other leaders of the insurrection was like a complex riddle.
Until they were paraded through the hallways of Aso Rock on the back of Umaru Yar’Adua’s amnesty, names like Tompolo or Shoot-at-Sight or Boyloaf were like faceless outlaw cartoon characters whose exploits captivated and horrified the nation in equal measure. Not much was known about them or their organisational structures. Their media front, the so-called Jomo Gbomo, was as much a mystery as the rest of the lot. This was the way things were until harsh military action by the Joint Task Force (JTF) began. As the machine rolled in and crushed places like Gbaramatu, the poor communities couldn’t take the heat. It came down to a choice between their lives and them providing continued shelter and cover for the militants. For many the decision was taken out of their hands as the JTF overran their hamlets and put thousands to flight. The truth is places like the militants hideout – Camp 5 and others could not have been a secret to the locals. As in the creeks so in the North-East; it is as if Boko Haram tore pages out of the Niger-Delta insurgents’ guerilla warfare manual – with minor modifications. The inability of the might of the Nigerian security establishment under Azazi to achieve the breakthrough of unmasking Boko Haram and its pillars is a function of the cover provided by the host communities. Sect members are not ethereal spirit beings; they are flesh and blood. That is why when their crude IEDs blow up their faces they die like mere more mortals. That is why Madalla Christmas Day bombing mastermind, Habibu Bama, stole out of his hideout in Damaturu to stock up on groceries when the recent curfew was relaxed. He was caught in the process. Fact is, he had been living in Damaturu – shielded by the community. For how long? No one is likely to tell you in a hurry. This cover for the sect may have not be provided by choice; it is most likely being enforced by fear. Boko Haram has shown that it
“Peace at any price is a low goal. Let’s aspire to justice for all whose lives and communities have been devastated by this brutal insurgency because what the sect has done is unparalleled. Let it be known that never again will people get away with this sort of impunity in Nigeria.”
has no qualms about eliminating those who betray it, or collaborate in any way with the federal authorities. It is no surprise that even today many supposed northern leaders weigh carefully what they say about the sect. Unfortunately for the sect and its sponsors neither their struggle nor their tactics are sustainable. The group’s brutality is giving Islam in Nigeria a bad name. It is killing as many Muslims as it is Christians, and increasingly many mainstream Islamic leaders are beginning to appreciate how devastating the sect’s activities have become. It’s killing of Christians which it hopes will stir sectarian strife has not achieved the desired effect – leaving only the impression of the sect as a bunch of confused anarchists in a search of a cause no matter how dubious. For clearly, mere visceral hatred for adherents of another faith as ideology doesn’t make sense. But the perhaps the weak underbelly of Boko Haram is that its brutality has only led to the devastation of its home territory. Ask Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who says that the insurgency has pauperised his people; ask members of the Borno Elders Forum who lament that they can no longer carry on their accustomed way of life – religious and economic – because of the violence. Today, the theaters of war, the killings fields are not in Port Harcourt or Ilesha. They are spread across the heart of northern Nigeria. The nation suffers, but the region takes maximum punishment. It will take another decade to repair the damage that has been done; widening the developmental chasm that already exists between North and South. That is why whatever thrill sections of the northern political elite must have felt because they thought Jonathan was getting a bloody nose for his zoning betrayal, now looks shortsighted. And if, as many suspect, any of them is involved in any of this they must seek the forgiveness of their Maker for what they have brought upon their land and people. In the end, the Dasuki outreach may yet bring quick peace to the troubled region. If the Niger-Delta template is to be followed then the formula for peace would simply be a hefty pay day for Shekau and the Boko Haram high command. But let those who have aped the struggle in the creeks understand that the script did not contain the mass slaughter of unarmed non-combatants, or the unprovoked murder of people in their places of worship. Let them enjoy their blood money while it lasts, but prepare for a day of accounting that must come. Some have already suggested an amnesty, but the parallels cannot apply even if it means a ceasefire is torpedoed. Peace at any price is a low goal. Let’s aspire to justice for all whose lives and communities have been devastated by this brutal insurgency because what the sect has done is unparalleled. Let it be known that never again will people get away with this sort of impunity in Nigeria. Lost in all the hubbub last week was a very important story related to the violence. Robert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) responding to the attacks on churches in Kaduna said: “Members of Boko Haram if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population – including on grounds such as religion or ethnicity – are likely to be found guilty of crimes against humanity.” “Deliberate acts leading to population cleansing on grounds of religion or ethnicity could also amount to a crime against humanity,” he said. Whether in the Balkans, Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt or Liberia, the outbreak of peace has not meant that atrocities are forgotten. Ask Ratko Mladic, Hosni Mubarak or Charles Taylor. By all means let there peace in northern Nigeria, but there should also be an accounting so that in the future those who may seek to outdo Boko Haram would think twice.
PALLADIUM IS ON VACATION HE RETURNS IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
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