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2 News


Rivers crisis: Amaechi seeks audience with Jonathan over security


OVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is favourably disposed to seeking audience with President Goodluck Jonathan on the prevailing security situation in the state,The Nation can now report. His position stems in part from the advice to him on Thursday by nine of his colleagues who paid him a solidarity visit in Port Harcourt. Besides, some governors may also meet the President on how to end the Rivers State crisis,while some security

•Rejects CP Mbu, George Sekibo panel of inquiry Shola O’NEIL, Regional Editor, Port Harcourt agencies are said to favour reconciliation rather than allowing things to degenerate in the state. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that Amaechi has accepted the advice of his colleagues to seek audience with the President on the security situation in his State .

“The governor will meet with the President on the security issue alone but without discussing politics,” a source close to him said. “He has accepted the advice of his colleagues and would seek audience. We hope the President would also accede to the governor’s request”. However, there were fears,last night, that Jonathan might not meet with Amaechi. One source said: “As a mat-

ter of fact, some governors, who are pro-Jonathan, yesterday called on some of those backing Amaechi to prevail on the President to have audience with the Rivers governor. “They have fears that Jonathan may shut the Villa doors against Amaechi. But if Jonathan shuns Amaechi, Nigerians would have known better.” Also, a few pro-Jonathan governors have concluded

•The Tafida of Ilorin, Alhaji Amuda Aluko, Gen. Godwin Alabi-Isama (rtd), Gen. Theophilus Danjuma and the Opkaruku of Ikilibi Utagbauno , Delta state, HRH Peter Ado at the launch of the book Tragedy of Victory written by Alabi-Isama,in Lagos,on Thursday.

plans to convince Jonathan to make peace with Amaechi. A third source said: “These pro-Jonathan governors might meet the President in the next few days on the way forward. Their concern is about threats to the nation’s democracy. “If a former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami, can warn the nation, no one needs a soothsayer on why we must resolve this crisis in the overall interest of our democracy. “Even some of the security agencies in their reports are in favour of reconciliation. This is why we want this crisis put behind us.” Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who spoke for his colleagues from Lagos,Oyo,Ogun,Osun,Imo,Zamfara and Nasarawa at the end of the visit to Amaechi on Thursday said they advised the Rivers governor to “brief President Goodluck Jonathan who is actually our leader and Chief Security Officer of the country on the very,very challenging security situation here in Rivers State.” He added: “We believe that our chairman and brother (Amaechi) will give serious consideration to that particular concern that we have also expressed to him,that it is important as the chief security officer of Rivers State to take the opportunity to go and brief Mr.President on the security situation in the state.” Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission (PSC) is yet to consider Amaechi’s petition because some of its members are currently abroad. A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said:

“We will look at the petition on its own merit but we cannot do that now because a couple of us are out of the country. “What happened in Rivers State bordered on indiscipline by some policemen and the PSC needs to address that. Some of these policemen got involved in the crisis indicating that politics has influenced them. “This is what we have been saying about long time posting of officers and men to politically exposed persons. Our officers are men get carried away by postings to political offices.” Governor Amaechi ,last week,wrote a petition to the PSC calling for the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the State,Mr.Mbu Joseph Mbu,for allegedly openly taking sides with those who are out to bring down his (Amaechi’s) government. He also said the security situation in the state has been on a free fall since Mbu’s assumption of office last February. The result,according to him, is the erosion of public confidence in the force He told the Chairman of the PSC Sir. Mike Okiro that the only way to restore the confidence of the people of the state in the Police is to remove Mbu from the state. The petition, dated July 9, 2013,came 48 hours ahead of the setting up of a police panel by IGP Abubakar to probe the involvement of police personnel in last Monday’s fracas on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly and his warning to political actors to seek civilised and decent means of resolving their differences.

We’ll defend Rivers from political predators, Pro-Amaechi lawmakers vow •Disclaim Bipi as speaker •Brand him impostor •Reject CP Mbu, George Sekibo panel of inquiry


HE 27 pro-Amaechi lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday vowed to defend the state from ‘political predators’ in the crisis that has pitched Governor Rotimi Amaechi against forces from within and outside the state. They warned one of the five suspended pro-Wike members,Evans Bapakaye Bipi, to desist from impersonating Speaker Otelemaba A m a c h r e e , w h o s e mandate,according to them remains intact. However,the Obuah-led faction of the PDP in the state faulted the pro-Amaechi legislators and said all available evidence “ clearly show that the former Speaker, Rt Hon Otelemaba Dan Amachree was procedurally impeached, creating room for the election of the new Speaker, Rt Hon Evans Bipi.” The pro-Amaechi lawmakers made the declaration in a statement signed by 26 of them. They did not say who the ‘political predators’ are, although observers believe they could be referring to officials of the Presidency who are said to have more than a passing interest in the unfolding events in the state. Bipi,is a protégé of First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. The First Lady personally attended his wedding in Port

Yusuf ALLI and Shola O’NEIL, Regional Editor, Port Harcour Harcourt,last month, during which vehicular movement in many parts of the city was restricted for ‘security reasons’. Gov.Amaechi was a victim of the restriction. In a statement entitled ‘Our Position’, yesterday, 26 of the lawmakers declared their intention to “defend our state from political predators scavenging for cheap popularity and a harvest of political fortunes.” They asked the public to ig-

nore Bipi’s claim to the leadership of the Assembly,saying:”Following the reconvening of the House on 9th of July, 2013, five members of the Rivers State House of Assembly (Evans Bipi, Okechukwu Michael Chinda, Kelechi Nwogu, Victor Ihunwo and Martins Amaewhule) in alliance with the Rivers State Police Command and their thugs, carried out unprovoked attack and assault on members including the Speaker (Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree), the Leader of the House (Hon. Chidi Lloyd) and Hon. Wanjoku Chikere Azubuike.

“Thereafter they made a spirited but unsuccessful attempt to impeach the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly in obvious disregard of the amplifying procedures set out in section 92 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeraia Order 12 and Order 28 of the standing orders of the Rivers State House of Assembly.” “Since the botched impeachment attempt, one Hon. Evans Bipi has rather surreptitiously impersonated the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly in Defiance and gross violation of the laws of the Fed-

eral Republic of Nigeria and has gone ahead to make publications in the national media. We hereby call on the public to disregard the impostor (Hon. Evans Bapakaye Bipi) and his fabricated fallacies which are targeted at misinforming the general public.” Defending their suspension of the Obio/Akpor Local Governmet Council,one of the factors that triggered the political crisis in the state,the 27 lawmakers said provisions of section 4 sub (6) and (7) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) vests the Assembly with legislative powers to make laws for

the peace, governance and order of the state. Their words: “ Section 7(1) of the constitution says it is the responsibility of the House of Assembly to make laws for the existence, establishment, composition, structure, finance and functions of Local Councils. Section 100(1-5) further espouses the powers of the Assembly to make laws. Thus in line with the above provisions the Rivers State House of Assembly enacted the Local Government Law of Rivers State No.2 of 2012. Section 64 sub-section (1)-(4) of the Local Govern•Continued on Page 4

Court declines bid to stop pro-Amaechi lawmaker’s arrest


HE Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Chidi Lloyd ,yesterday suffered a setback in his bid to stop the police from arresting him after a State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt declined his application on the matter. The Police had, on Wednesday, declared him wanted in connection with the July 9 fracas on the floor of the Assembly. The police said he is wanted for alleged conspiracy, attempted murder, wounding, and wilful dam-

•Orders status quo maintained •Hearing fixed for July 25 Clarice AZUATALAM & Rosemary NWISI, Port Harcourt age. He was said to have attempted to murder the state legislator representing Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Michael Chinda,during the free for all fight when the five pro-Wike members of the Assembly stormed the House in an attempt to impeach Speaker Otelemaba Amachree.

The plot failed. According to the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Mrs. Angela Agabe, Lloyd had failed to respond to police invitation, which elapsed on July 15. She said:”The crime is being investigated by a special team from the InspectorGeneral of Police in collaboration with the state Criminal Investigation Division, Rivers command. “He was last seen at the Rivers State House of Assembly on the July 9, 2013.

All efforts to trace his whereabouts have so far proved abortive.” Lloyd subsequently went to court seeking a stay of action on the plan by the police to arrest him. However , Justice Esor Teetito yesterday declined to grant the application. He directed that the police be put on notice and adjourned the case for hearing on the motion. He said:”I have carefully gone through the Ex-parte application before me and

equally heard the submissions of the applicant. “The nature of the application is the type that the respondent should be put on notice. It is for this reason I decline the application to restrain the parties from carrying out further actions. I rather order that the parties be put on notice, to enable them come and defend their actions.” He therefore adjourned the matter till July 25, 2013, for hearing. Defendants in the suit are the Inspector-General of Police, the Assistant Inspector•Continued on Page 4



4 News



Lagos PDP elders, youths flay Bode George

FORMER Chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Olabode George, has come under criticism for allegedly instigating an open letter to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, against the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party in the South West, Chief Ishola Filani. Various interest groups and stakeholders, including the Elders Council of the PDP in

Lagos State and the zonal youth leadership, have condemned what they termed as “Bode George’s attempt to bring down the roof over his inability to pocket the zonal leadership of the party”. In a statement the Chairman of the PDP Elders Council, Dr. Oluyemi Finnih, wondered why George would be undermining the authority of the Filaniled committee appointed by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in February”.

It expressed disgust at “the incessant aggression being perpetrated by the Chief Bode George group of the PDP against the South West Zonal Committee. It is extremely unthinkable that a caretaker committee put in place by the National Working Committee could be subjected to unguarded abuses and harassment by this group of people. “ While we endorse the principle of freedom of expression, we also believe that some sense of decorum is very essential.

From Left: Deputy Governor Of Kaduna State, Amb. Nuhu Bajoga; Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at the Board meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Co.(NDPHC) in Abuja,yesterday.

“We are pleased that Chief Ishola Filani has given a purposeful leadership to the PDP in the South West since he came into office. We recall that apart from his reconciliatory initiative that has brought relative peace to the party in the zone, the South West PDP, under his leadership, was one of the zones that openly endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 elections.” He added: “We note that with the latest decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP to comply with the INEC reports, the Lagos State Executive Committee (Exco) as presently constituted should stand dissolved and a caretaker committee put in place because the same INEC reports affected Lagos and eight other states.” In a separate statement, the Zonal Youth Leader, Hon. Bolaji Jeje, described as “mischievous” insinuations by the George group that members of the Caretaker Committee have been barred from contesting elections at the forthcoming zonal congress. He said the ban only affected members of the Interim Management

Court declines bid to stop pro-Amaechi lawmaker’s arrest •Continued from Page 2 General of Police in-charge of Zone 6, Calabar and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State. Lloyd, represented by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Beneolisa Nwaofor, had urged the court to put the defendants on notice and make a separate order to urge parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the ex-parte application. Nwaofor after receiving nod of the court to serve the defendants said: “having abandoned prayers one, two and even four (which were not made open in the court), prayer three becomes mandatory for the court to make. “The court should put the

parties on notice to come before the court. I equally urge the court to issue an order to the parties to maintain the status quo and stop further actions on the issue until they come back to court. “This is owing to the fact that some of our relieves have been abandoned, so that no party should go ahead to carry out further actions while the case is before the court.” In an interview with newsmen shortly after the session, Nwaofor, said: “we filed an application for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the majority leader of the Rivers state House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, and we have been able to take the first step in

the matter before the honourable Judge today (yesterday).” On the refusal of the court to expressly restrain the police from arresting Lloyd.he said: “it is wrong to say that the court refused because the court said that, ours, being a law abiding society, that is it the proper thing that now that the case is in the court, none of the parties can now ignore the court and proceed to do the act sought to be restrained, Which is the proper thing. “When you take somebody to court, the matter is no longer in the domain of the warring parties; it is now in the domain of the court. It is now laid on us as law abiding citizens to now stop whatever the parties are do-

ing in respect to the matter and wait for the determination of the court in the matter. “Now we are taking the Police to court, Police is also a law abiding agency of the Federal Government; they themselves enforce law, we expect the Police in the nature of their profession, knowing that the matter is now in court to stop every action and come to court to defend whatever they intend to do, or what they have done already. “All they have done already and what they intend to do have been challenged in this court, and I believe they have the right to get their on counsel and come to convince the court that they are doing the right thing.”

We’ll defend Rivers from political predators, Pro-Amaechi Signatories to the statement Needam warned Amachree lawmakers vow were: Honourables Golden to “desist from twisting facts •Continued from Page 2

ment Law of Rivers State No.2 of 2012 gives the power of suspension of Local Government Council to the Assembly. “In compliance with the above provisions, when the question was put on the interim report on the committee on local government on the issue. 23 members voted for the suspension and 5 members voted against.” The position of only five members of the Assembly,they insisted,can neither override that of the 27 majority nor inhibit the Assembly’s legislative duties. “In compliance with our legislative duties, we have had cause to vote on motions, bills and resolutions that have impacted positively on the citizens of Rivers state, and if a tiny minority of 5 out of 32 members have dissenting views, that does not impugn

on the views of the majority,” they said and affirmed their continued support for Speaker Amachree and Governor Rotimi Amaechi. They also pledged their cooperation with the DIG Philemon Leha led fact-finding team sent by the Inspector General of Police as well as the Senate Committee on Local Government fact-finding mission but vowed to have nothing to do with another team of Police Officers led by a commissioner of police and Senator George T. Sekibo. The Rivers lawmakers asked the Federal Government to ensure the restoration of peace to the state and pledged their determination to fight “for the truth and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which we swore to uphold. We shall remain resolute in our resolve to defend our state from political predators scavenging for cheap popularity and a harvest of political fortunes.”

Ngozi Chioma; Innocent B. Barikor; Josiah John Olu; Ibiso Nwuche; Belema Okpokiri; Legbosi Nwidadah; Andrew Anderson Miller; Augustine Ngo; Ben Horsfall; Okechukwu Nwaogu; Victor Amadi; Azubike Chikere Wanjoku; Victoria Nyeche; Benibo Anabraba; Irene Inimgba; Felicia Barizasi-Tane; Aye Atamah Pepple; Onari Brown; Gift Wokocha; Ewor Nname Robinson; Lucky Odili; Chidi Julius Lloyd; Chigbo Eligwe; Leyii Kwanee; Tonye Harry and the Speaker Otelemaba Amachree. Reacting to the pro-Amaechi legislators’ statement,the the Special Adviser on Media to the factional PDP Chairman ,Mr.Jerry Needam, said Bipi was validly elected to replace Amachree. He said Amachree was “procedurally impeached, creating room for the election of the new Speaker, Rt Hon Evans Bipi.”

and misinforming the general public on who the authentic Speaker and other principal officers of the House are ,” and claimed that “ by making unguided submissions on the Police investigation on the matter, the impeached officers may be obstructing the due process of such investigation and those of the National Assembly.” The State PDP,he added, “further urges the former Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree and his cohorts to look at issues that would bring about the quick recovery of Hon Michael Chinda, who doctors are still struggling to save his life in an overseas hospital, rather than laying claim to positions which they have used to cause problems in the State. “As a party committed to justice and peace, we would continue to uphold the rule of law with strict adherence to the precepts of the constitutions of our party and the nation.”

Committee of the PDP at the national level who were appointed in acting capacities. “First, from inception we were not told that if we took the appointments, we would be precluded from contesting future elections. Again, we were not appointed in acting capacities. Although we were appointed into a caretaker committee, it was in substantive capacities. “Also, any attempt to exclude any member of the committee from exercising his right to vote and be voted for would be tantamount to infringing on his fundamental human rights. It is like barring a member of the party, whether appointed or elected into a political office, from contesting future elections.” Jeje said it was high time

George realised that he was no longer the Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, adding “he is one of the many Board of Trustees (BoT) members of our great party and should know that his role is merely advisory and nothing more. He should learn from the conduct of other BoT members who allow the structures of the party to thrive in their states and zones. He should concentrate his efforts on how to make the PDP win elections in Lagos State – which has eluded us since 1999 under his leadership.” He urged all stakeholders to support the Filani-led Exco in order to lead the party in the zone to victory. Jeje said the youths in the zone have been mobilised to support President Goodluck Jonathan should he decide to seek reelection in 2015.

Stop patronising pilferers ofNigeria’s oil, Defence Minister charges UK, others The Minister of State for Defence Erelu Olusola Obada has challenged the UK and other international communities to help Nigeria curtail the growing incidence of crude oil theft in the country by rejecting stolen Nigerian crude destined for their refineries, calling such crude “blood crude”. Erelu Obada who spoke on ‘Nigerian Defence priorities: Domestic Stability for Regional Security’ at Chatham in London on Thursday likened Nigerian stolen crude to the Liberian and Sierra Leonian blood diamond and demanded the confistication of assets and property of foreign vessel owners and businessmen involved in such blood crude transactions. The Minister who said crude oil theft constitutes a serious threat to Nigeria’s domestic economic stability and revenue projections said that most of the vessels involved in crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering are owned by foreigners and foreign entities. Erelu Obada argued that there would be no market for the stolen crude if no country allows its importation. She said on the part of Nigeria, the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Nigerian Navy will continue to crack down on oil thieves and their collaborators through arrest, prosecution and destruction of illegal refineries. On the challenge of terrorism, she said it was in response to the threats posed by terrorists that government declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states and vowed that in view of the multilateral relations Nigeria enjoys with its neighbours there will be no safe haven for Boko Haram and its apologists. “The Armed Forces and other security agencies are currently engaged in multi-agency counter terrorism operations in the

three states mentioned with a view to bringing the security situation under control.” “The threats confronting Nigeria can be summarised as internal and external. Some internal threats include fragilities, illegal trafficking, piracy, unreported and unregulated fishing, Islamic fundamentalism, oil theft and pipleline vandalism as well as terrorism. Worthy of note, is the reality that many of the crimes and illegalities are often transnational in nature.” “President Goodluck Jonathan has deployed a long-term strategy, meant to reduce opportunities for religions radicalization. An important component of this strategy is the establishment of 400 schools for Almajiris, which provide Quaranic studies with English, Mathematics and Science etc. State Governments and the national leadership of the Moslem Umma in Nigeria are working hard to reduce radicalisation. On the economic front, our government is improving support to the agriculture and mining sectors to diversify the economy, as well as the rehabilitiation of the railways amongst other transformation programmes to provide employment opportunities to the teeming youth population in Nigeria.” “In realisation that the security situation cannot be resolved by security agencies alone, the Federal Government as a political strategy established the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in affected areas in the North to complement the efforts of these agencies and to coordinate the process of restoring peace to impacted areas through dialogue. The declaration of the Boko Haram sect as a terroritst group especially by the UK and US has also helped to draw international condemnation on the atrocities of the group”.



LPPC appoints 17 new SANs


HE Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) yesterday approved the appointment of 17 lawyers as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) for this year. The committee’s Secretary and Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Sunday Olorundahunsi, said the appointment of the 17 was approved at the LPPC meeting held yesterday. He said no date has been fixed for the searing-in of the new senior advocates. The 17 were chosen from the 44 invited last week for interview. The new SANs include the Law Editor of Thisday news-

Eric IKHILAE, Abuja

papers, Olufunke Aboyade (Ms); a Professor of Law at the University of Benin, Lawrence Asekome Atsegbua; Godwin Odumu Obla; Adele Eberechi; Olumide Olusoga Sofowora and Uko Essien Udom. Others include Anthony kechukwu Ani; Suraj Sa’eda; Anthony Chukwuemeka Anaenugwu; Joe Ad’ojo Abrahamd; Akinlolu Timothy Kehinde; Biriyai Dambo and Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume; Olalekan Fatai Yusuf; Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo; Aliyu Maitasamu Abdullahi and Victoria Olufunmilayo Awomolo.

Britain probes ‘kidnap’ of citizen in Lagos


HE British Foreign Of fice is investigating re ports that a Briton has been kidnapped in Nigeria. The person is said to have been seized on Tuesday shortly after leaving the Murtala Muhammed International Airport,Ikeja. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of reports of a missing person and we are liaising with the Nigerian authorities.” The British High Commission said it was working closely with others to secure his release. Gunmen attacked a four-

wheel drive car at around 8.30 p.m. on the fateful day after it left the airport kidnapping the victim . The Nigerian driver of the vehicle was shot but survived, the sources said. “The BHM is working closely with others to secure the release of the hostage,” the British High Commission said in a statement. “Because of the nature of this incident, the BHM is not going into further detail about it.” There was no indication of where the kidnapped man was employed.

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

Mating in Ramadan


NE of the most important aspects of marriage is mating. It is the means of procreation of children as legitimized by consummation of marriage. Across nations, tribes and cultures, legitimate mating serves as the lotion of love. It is also perceived as the natural balm with which to soothe the aching areas of the matrimonial conflicts. A matrimonial home without sexual intercourse is like a desert without an oasis. In Islam, sexual intercourse in the matrimonial home is so important that its constant denial by either party without any cogent reason, can lead to divorce which is abhorent to Allah. Mating in Islam is not just for procreation of children, it is also a reconfirmation of love and fulfilment of nature’s promise. With matrimonial sex, paradise is attainable. Without it, paradise is deniable. While elucidating on the gains of Sadaqat, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once told his disciples that mating is Sadaqat if it is legitimately done. And legitimacy here means doing it with ones legitimate spouse. The prophet’s position on this is confirmed by Qur’an 2: 223 thus: “Your wives are your fields, enter them as you please....”. Denial of matrimonial intercourse to a spouse without reason is a violation of a fundamental marital duty. Even where both spouses have tested positive to HIV, intercourse should not be ruled out. And where only one of them is positive the couple should reach an understanding on how to go about sexual intercourse. In Ramadan, a couple can be as sexually active as outside Ramadan provided it is done between dusk and dawn. However, a serious Muslim couple must regulate sexual activities even during the nights of Ramadan to make room for observance of genuflections (Nawafil), Tilawah and supplications. And, it is preferable to perform the cleansing (Janabat) bath before the observance of early morning Salat (Salatu-s-Subh). But where necessity or circumstance makes performing of Janabat bath impossible before the day break, there is no problem. All that needs to be done is to perform it as soon as such a circumstance is over. And that does not vitiate fasting. It is, however, assumed that no serious Muslim will ever want to indulge in any unwarranted circumstance to skip Salatus-Subh by not taking Janabat bath at the right time. Allah judges deeds by intention. Whoever claims to be a Muslim must embrace Islam totally.

.Chief of Staff, Government House, Dr Festus Okubor (second left); Dr Newton Jibunor (second right); Richard MofeDamijo and Dr. Anthonia Ashiedu, Delta State Commissioner of Poverty Alleviation during the United Nations International Mandela Day held at Mandela Garden, Asaba. PHOTO: JIBUNOR SAMUEL

FG to open 110 bids for power plants Monday T

HE Director General, Bureau of Public Enter prises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, yesterday said that the Federal Government will on Monday commence the opening and analysis of the 110 submissions that were received for 10 plants of the Integrated Power Projects (NIPP). Speaking at Abuja after drawing the curtain for the submission process at the headquarters of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), a firm that is


jointly owned by the three tiers of government undertaking the projects, he confirmed that until the government opens the bids it will not be able to state the number of expression of interest it received for each plant. Dikki, however, noted that details of the submissions will

Crude oil theft: Oil workers deny Kuku’s allegation Dupe OLAOYE-OSINKOLU


IL workers have said the allegation made against them by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, that they were the brains behind the crude oil theft in the country is untrue. They are accusing politicians and influential people of perpetrating the heinous act. Reacting to a statement by the national newspaper (not The Nation) of July 17, 2013 titled: “Oil workers are the ones stealing crude oil,” the workers under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), on Thursday evening described the statement as unimaginable, unguided, mischievous and uncouth of a Presidential Adviser. Oil workers, through their unions, took serious exemption to such alarming notion which they strongly believed was clownishly and flippantly discharged, unmindful of its implications and ramification The workers alleged that the criminal activities of crude oil theft were perpetrated by highly placed and influential individuals and politicians, adding that Kuku “is only being economical with the truth and trying to cover up with his allegation against the workers.” The unions asked the Federal Government to call to order the Special Adviser to the

President against unguided and unsubstantiated provocative utterances in the interest of industrial peace and the respect for “our nation that seriously yearns for peace at this relatively volatile moment of our national life.” They expressed their readiness to take up the Special Adviser to the President unless he substantiates his allegation, saying that the Joint Tax Force (JTF) should also help in unmasking those behind the criminal act of crude oil theft and other national sabotage activities. PENGASSAN and NUPENG stated, “Kuku is only being mischievous. We challenge the authorities on its readiness to join forces with the national and state intelligence, defence and security agencies in the patriotic crusade to completely unearth and get to the bottom of this grievous international criminality and national calamity so that both the Nigerian public and international community, some of whom already know and relate with the culprits or the syndicates will not be deceived or fooled by people like Kingsley Kuku. “Issues of pipeline sabotage, crude oil thefts, illegal bunkering and refining activities were part of the major issues discussed during our emergency joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on July 2, 2013, and we (PENGASSAN and NUPENG) indeed solemnly reiterated our concern on these acts of sabotage and demanded that all inventions

be made public in due course, especially when the organization has properly analyzed their contents. He added that after the analysis, the bureau will move to the next stage of due diligence, packaging and submission of financial proposals. He said: “Opening of these submissions will commence on Monday. We will analyze the expressions of interest according to the individual plants. And before the end of the week when all the submissions have been opened and analyzed, we will announce the specific number of expressions of interest. "Prior to 5.00pm deadline adopted as part of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) timeline for submission, bidders were still scampering to beat the project deadline.” Following the BPE timeline, the NDPHC gate at Maitama was shut at 5.00pm as late bid-

ders peeped into the company's premises to no avail. Meanwhile, NDPHC, the Managing Director, Mr. James Olotu disclosed that bidders made 106 submissions to the NIPP office and four to the BPE office before the deadline. He said : "As at this particular moment which is the closure, 106 packages were received in NDPHC and four were received at BPE, leading to a cumulative total of 110 submissions. That is the final figure of the submissions we have received so far." Asked whether the 10 power plants have been completed, Olotu said: "There are 10 power plants, five of them have reached over 96% completion stage, one is about 90% completed and the remaining are over 80% completed." Olotu said that transaction will proceed with the understanding that at the closure only completed power plants will be delivered to the preferred bidders.



ORMER Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has turned down overtures from President Goodluck Jonathan to woo him back to the PDP, with the ex-governor having apparently made up his mind to defect to the Labour Party (LP). Daniel,who was the Southwest co-ordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign in the last election, dumped the PDP in the thick of the crisis that engulfed the party in the run-up to the 2011 governorship race in Ogun State. He proceeded to float a rival party-Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) - which presented Mr.Gboyega Isiaka as governorship candidate. Mr. Isiaka lost the election to the ACN candidate, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Effort to have Daniel and his group back in the PDP after the election has failed largely because of his inability to reconcile with the



Daniel snubs Jonathan’s peace effort •Seeks refuge in LP •Demands Ogun governorship ticket for nominee Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation Kashamu faction of the PDP in the state. He is the chief promoter of the LP in Ogun State ahead of the 2015 election. He met the National Chairman of the LP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, in Abuja on Thursday for further talks on his defection to the party. The two-hour session, according to a source, was attended by some PDP stalwarts, including former commissioners in Daniel’s cabinet. It was learnt that the search for a new party by the ex-governor was informed by alleged moves to stop Governor

Amosun and the new APC from retaining power in the state. Some of those who accompanied Daniel to the session were ex-PDP Secretary in Ogun State, Dapo Adeyemi; Prince Segun Adekoya; exCommissioner Waliu Taiwo; Ladi Adebutu; Segun Seriki; Kola Ogunjobi, among others. A reliable source said: “At the meeting, Daniel said he can deliver Ogun State to the LP, if his group is given the governorship ticket. “He also demanded that the party structure should be handed over to his team of defectors. “These were the two conditions he tabled before the LP to defect if it is convenient for


Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja the plants in Delta State and the impact that might have on our earlier promise. We are still very confident that we will deliver according to the promise. “But we know that there may be extenuating circumstances in a few of the plants that would not come on stream due to circumstances of force major that occur in those places.” On the training of 500 engineers to operate the energy plants, he said: “We also looked at the National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN), all of these plants are coming on stream and we are excited about them. But one critical challenge that the country faces is the lack of skilled manpower for managing the plants. We do not want to have plants that turned out to be white-elephant or they turned out to be run by Chinese and Germans and Euro-

peans that have built the plants. “So we received the report from NAPTIN Executive and from the ministry of power on our own interest and contribution. And a range of things were discussed in ensuring that those who come on stream, about 500 people are being recruited now to undergo training in NAPTIN.” The meeting was chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo. His Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Mallam Umar Sani,said in a statement on the meeting that the Vice President called for a meeting next week with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and other stakeholders on resolving the problem of inadequate funds from the Multi-Year-TariffOrder (MYTO) and inability to pay for gas.

Varsity workers may resume strike over 2009 agreement OLLOWING the non-

implementation of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government, the university workers under the aegis of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff of Nigeria Universities (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities(SSNNU), may resume their strike. Unless the Federal Government invites the unions for a negotiation, they may join their counterparts in the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has been on strike for almost one month, thereby paralysing various academic activities in Nigeria’s universities. The three unions are pushing for proper funding of the Nigerian universities, earned allowances and non-representation in the membership of the committee which produced Needs Assessment report for the Nigerian universities. Addressing reporters in Abuja yesterday on the looming strike action, NASU President, Comrade Mrs. Ladi IIiya,


called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on government to implement the agreement it freely enter into with the workers to avoid plunging the nation’s universities into another round of needless crisis. She said the unions had exercise restraint in embarking on strike in the interest of the students, government and in protection of good academic standard the Nigerian universities had come to be noted for in the recent time. “As responsible unions who are sensitive to public opinions and have interest of students and the national interest at heart, we have been wary of strike action in the past and have done everything humanly possible to sustain industrial peace in our universities even in the face of government insensitivity and pressure from our members. “However, it appears as if government is taking our understanding for granted, thereby putting us under unbearable pressure from our members whose patience is

fast running out. It is in the light of this that JAC is calling on well-meaning Nigerians as a matter of urgency to prevail on government to address all burning issues within the shortest possible time, failure of which we may not be able to continue to hold our members back from resuming our earlier suspended strike action without notice,” she said. Citing examples of some of the breaches, IIiya stated that Federal Government failed to honour agreement on a systemic increase in the funding of the universities by releasing N100billion yearly to federal universities consecutively for four years effective from January, 2012. According to her, more than one year that the circular on it was released, government has not made available a kobo in respect of the undertaking. Other contending issues, she further stated, include the refusal to pay earned allowances as agreed and the lopsidedness in the composition of the committee which produced the Needs Assessment Report.

Daniel and his group should come back before the end of next month. “The relevant party organs would have to discuss and weigh the options on whether Daniel is an asset or a liability to LP. “The challenge we have is that as a party, this is the first time any set of defectors will dictate to us.”

FG fully committed to police officers’ welfare, says Jonathan

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday spoke of the Federal Government’s commitment to an improved living standard for policemen, irrespective of their ranks. Commissioning the multimillion naira police housing estate at Idimu, a suburb of

Attacks on power plants threaten additional 4000 megawatts

ONTINUED attacks on power plants across the country are constituting a major obstacle to the realization of additional 4,000 megawatts, according to indications yesterday in Abuja. The Niger Delta Power Holding Company of Nigeria (NDPHC) has been working on adding 4000 megawatts to the nation’s current capacity. But emerging from the 29th meeting of the Board of NDPHC, operators of NIPP, yesterday, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State said the attacks might work against government’s plan on boosting power generation and distribution. He said: “In addition to that, we looked at the promise we made to Nigerians a couple of months ago about the energizing of the 4000 plus megawatts that we are completing all round the country and we looked at the potential challenges that might occur in that time table. “Of course, I’m sure you are aware of the attack on one of


the new party.” A party source said: “Daniel and his group have approached us for political refuge. I think they are already frustrated in the PDP. There

is no way he can regain the control of the PDP. “Going by his countenance, he was a bit desperate for a party to assert his relevance in the politics of Ogun. He seems to be interested in senatorial ticket in 2015. “Our National Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, did not give any commitment. He said

The Vice President reportedly “frowned at some contractors who have not completed their work especially the work at the Gwagwalada sub-station which is said to be at 90 per cent completion, stressing that though the time table for commissioning has been drawn, he “cannot take Mr. President to commission the power project that would fail immediately after commissioning.” “This administration wants to deliver electricity power to Nigerians,” he was quoted as saying.

Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja and Ebele BONIFACE Lagos, President Jonathan declared that one of the ways government plans to improve their standard of living is through massive transformation of all barracks in the country. The Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Police Housing Estate, comprising 200 units of three-bedroom flats, was built by Remax Developers under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. It was financed by Aso Housing and Loans. He commended the leadership of the police for the project and urged other government agencies to take a cue from the initiative. He said: ”Not only is this commendable, it is remarkable because it goes a long way in complementing the efforts of the Federal Government in providing low cost housing for the citizenry.

“This government places huge emphasis on housing because the housing sector has the potential of increasing the productivity of every person. A viable housing sector creates jobs and enhances employment opportunities.” The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, earlier said that the housing units would be made available for cadres of police officers. Each flat, he said, would be given out to interested police officers at the rate of N8 million to be paid through a mortgage scheme by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). Similar estates,according to him, are being built in other parts of the country, including Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. On the need for the Federal Government assistance, he said: “It is only with the aggression of the Federal Government that acute housing shortage of the police can be tackled.”



Democracy, corruption and austerity


thought of calling this piece – Between Cairo and Port Harcourt – but changed my mind. This was because that would reduce my concern and overall effort to a mere call for a protest or a demonstration when indeed there are other issues involved in various parts of the world that illustrate the problems of global governance in more realistic, if painful ways. It may sound funny or unbelievable, but some of the events that happened this week simply beggar description in the way they have stood logic on its head .What I am saying here is that the concepts I have eventually chosen as the topic of the day have been stretched to their limits in terms of understanding and meaning judging from the way they are being applied or practiced globally, in recent times. Starting from Russia you find it difficult to accept that anti corruption activist Alexei Navalny who called Russia’s ruling party United Russia ‘a party of thieves and crooks ‘and led demonstrations against the reelection of Russia’s President Vladmir Putin was himself jailed for embezzlement by a Russian Court in a rather opaque manner that has made EU nations to question the rule of law in Russia. In Athens, Greece, the home of democracy, legislators were protected by police as they passed laws this week to lay off thousands of civil servants who voted for them as part of the measures required for Greece to get a financial bailout to save the Greek economy from total financial collapse. Worse still the Greek government had to ban public gatherings in Athens the Greek capital and home of democracy because Wolfgang Schaeuble the German Finance Minister was in town and he represents the face of Germany a pillar of the EU zone that is applying the bitter pill as it were to recover the Greek economy. Lastly Nelson Mandela was 95 this week although he himself could not celebrate because of his health, the whole world did because the S African Jacob Zuma had assured all and sundry that the old man was improving. Which really is a pity when you remember that Nelson Mandela is the global icon of freedom and human dignity and yet he was not there to celebrate his birthday and I find that very painful indeed. Let us retreat again to Russia where the power of the state has been used to silence a dissident. Alexei Navalny was jailed for embezzling $ 50000 when he was Adviser to a state governor in Russia but the whole world knows he was jailed for daring to say he wanted to be President of Russia and he has filed papers to be Mayor of Moscow in the next elections. In today’s Russia however President Putin’s word is law and his power is despotic and far reaching in Russian society and politics. Since Alexei has been jailed for 5 years he cannot contest according to Russia’s constitution. But it is the bravery and character of the Russian dissident in the face of adversity that has my admiration. He is on record as saying that he was not afraid to go to jail for his convictions and his family was ready for it.

Men or women with such convictions and attitude are rare in any clime or nation and I doff my heart for his sacrifice to rid Russia of corruption. Indeed on his way to jail he fired the last shot by telling his crying supporters to do something because’ the toad will not voluntarily leave the oil pipeline. ‘Which really is a language that is quite relevant and meaningful in our part of the world. The political tragedy in Greece too is one that really bothers me in connection with the concept of democracy, its practice and values. In terms of irony however I will compare it with the fracas in the Rivers State House of Assembly in which a warrant has been issued for attempted murder by the state Police Commissioner for the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly. The irony in the happenings in the legislatures in Athens and Port Harcourt stem from the role of the concept of immunity in the two law making institutions. In Athens the legislators were voting to sack some of the thousands of their supporters that put them in parliament and they know that even though they have immunity in Parliament they will need armed escorts to escape the fury and indignation of voters outside parliament. In Port Harcourt the Majority leader was trying to prevent a blatant theft of his majority in broad day light, got violent in the process but knowing fully well like the legislators in Athens that he was covered by parliamentary

Nelson Mandela was 95 this week although he himself could not celebrate because of his health, the whole world did because the S African Jacob Zuma had assured all and sundry that the old man was improving. Which really is a pity when you remember that Nelson Mandela is the global icon of freedom and human dignity and yet he was not there to celebrate his birthday and I find that very painful indeed

immunity. The cruel irony in the two scenarios is that while the Greek legislators are confident of police protection outside parliament where they enjoyed immunity, it is the police in Port Harcourt which has declared the legislators wanted for actions or offences committed in parliament where they constitutionally have immunity. Quite interestingly though, the Greek parliament had its own violent display of temper earlier during the austerity debate when a legislator slapped a lady member in the full view of a world audience but nothing came out of it because Greece respects the democratic concept of immunity on the floor of any legislature. Worse still in PH it is the state police command which has refused to protect the state governor according to reports that is looking for legislators over parliamentary fracas on which there is immunity. But can the police sidetrack both the legislature and executive in a state as is happening so brazenly in Rivers state according to our constitution? The answer is a simple no and the police in that state should allow wise counsel to prevail most urgently in the interest of peace in that state and to protect the sovereign reputation of the Nigerian nation in terms of respect for the rule of law in the global comity of states. On Nelson Mandela we say happy birthday to a giant of our time though that joy is tainted with some grief at his illness and approaching mortality. On this I have written about twice now not because I long for his departure but because I do not want to be caught pants down by the inevitable, both as a writer and as a sincere admirer of this gem of an African leader . Nelson Mandela is passionate topic for me and some of my friends and his sickness even though he is 95 still gives one goose pimples. But then let us rejoice now at his birthday without any thought of his obituary. Let us remember the tall man in double breasted suit with the sunny smile dancing at the stadium when S Africa became a republic in 1994 and he became the first president of post apartheid S/Africa. Let us remember the selfless president who served one term of office and retired to private life when he could have been S Africa’s life president just for the asking. Let us wish Nelson Mandela well and may he recover soon or go early enough and not suffer the fate of former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon who has been in similar condition for years now. We remain loyal and grateful Madiba though our eyes are foggy. But you remain our hero, forever. Happy Birthday.




The greed in the creed

ILL someone please tell the self-styled factional ‘speaker’ of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Evans Bipi, to reduce the velocity of his blabbering in the crazy race to please the gods which he has publicly acknowledged? Of course, there is no denying the fact that all is not well with the brand of politics we play here while our democracy is under constant threat by powerful forces. But we are yet to reach that laughable height where the post of a speaker will be condescendingly farmed out to a jester in oversized fedora. Even Samuel Becket, writer of the famed literary work, “Waiting For Godot”, could not have crafted the absurdist script that played out in the hallowed chamber of the Rivers State House of Assembly where Bipi claimed he was inaugurated as Speaker. Let’s give it to the guy: it is one thing to have the ambition of usurping the power of that office; it is another to be outrageously greedy and mundane in the pursuit of that illconceived ambition! If he had truly listened to himself and the meaningless verbiage he has been spewing since five lawbreakers attempted to oust 27 lawmakers in that House, Bipi would have noticed how he has become the butt of jokes across the land. And it is a big shame that Mr. Bipi is not ashamed of this huge shame. Pity. In a society where power is might and the law has become a tool in the hands of those that wield it, we are not unmindful of the fact that Bipi’s courage of attrition is powered by a creed enunciated by Aso Rock. To rub it in, he even signed an advertorial where he not only addressed himself as a Right Honourable Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly but a de-facto leader. His murderous predilection for the English Language notwithstanding, Bipi’s reference to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, as his ‘Jesus Christ’ on earth is utterly blasphemous. It is the same creed that has empowered the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, to transform into Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s tormentor-in-chief. I cannot immediately recollect any time in recent history where a serving minister has been this ingloriously power drunk. The only time any public officer has come close to this was in the dark days of the late goggled tyrant, Gen. Sani Abacha, when one Major Hamza Al-Mustapha wielded the power over life and death! Or so we thought. And so, when the Presidency denies having a hand in the macabre dance in Rivers, those horned in Nigeria’s brand of political chicanery often go on a yawning streak. This is not just about the mathematical jagbajantis of 16 being greater than 19 and 5 higher than 27. For as long as impunity remains the credo of democratic government in this nation, this kind of incongruity cannot be ruled out. What riles is the ferociousness with which the five leprous fingers in the House and Wike have been pursuing the infamous agenda while the Presidency looks the other way. For man who could not differentiate between a gallery (by referring to ‘my colleagues in the gallery”) and the floor of the hallowed chamber, it did not come as a surprise either that Bipi was at home with lying through the teeth. In fact, many had thought the violent struggle for the soul of the state has a lot to do with ensuring the good of the people. Little did we know that, for the combatants in the minority camp, it has more to do with appeasing the gods that Bipi worships. For him, Amaechi is no longer fit to be governor because he allegedly insults “my mother, my Jesus Christ on earth!” Yet, this same woman ‘jesus’ has been busy in Abuja, pretending to be


searching for peace in a conflict that has all the signs of her direct involvement! Thankfully, our lady ‘jesus’ has shed some light on why the Rivers crisis has become intractable. She said it was because a recalcitrant ‘son’ has failed to heed the warnings of a barking mother. Her words: “This matter started as far back as four years ago at Anyugubiri in Okrika when I begged him not to demolish a part of Okrika but (that he should) dialogue first with the people. After that incident, he called the chairman of Okrika (local government) and sacked him for holding a reception in our honour; that boy was the first victim. He also put imposed curfew on my people for nine months. I called him and pleaded with him but he refused. Then I began to hear all sort of propaganda in the media against me; this is not the way…Amaechi is my son, I cannot fight him and I cannot kill him. He shouldn’t be used by outsiders against his own blood because this seat is vanity. One day, no matter how long it takes, we will leave this seat. Power is not forever. This seat is vanity, others sat here and left so one day I’ll also leave and we will meet at home; so why should I fight him? Let’s take it easy, face issues, leave non-existent matters, stop magnifying lies and respect our leaders and people in authority. Let’s give peace a chance.’’ At least, with madam’s revelation, we now know that Abuja cannot completely wash its hand of the Rivers’ imbroglio. A disrespectful, hot tempered son must be taught a lesson of his life for daring to invite ‘outsiders’ to interfere in a crisis that is strictly ‘oily’ in nature! Or is that not the roadmap to peace if we must dissect madam’s confession? When President Jonathan said he should be excused from the show of shame, you would have expected him to put his money where his mouth is by calling the rampaging Wike to order. Obviously that would be asking for too much if reports that Bipi was part of the important personalities that graced the Presidential Dinner in honour of delegates to the Abuja+12 African Union Special Summit on HID/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria were anything to go by. Bipi did not only attend the dinner but also granted an interview to State House reporters in which he was quoted as saying: “It is not contestable; I remain the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly because I have not been impeached. A motion for impeachment was placed on the Speaker and I emerged as the Speaker and I have not been impeached.” In the first place, it is, to say the least, sacrilegious that “the boy” (apologies to Dame Patience Jonathan) enjoyed the luxury of ranting such nonsense in Nigeria’s seat of government. If the shambolic video that has gone viral on the Internet is what this blasphemer is relying on to make his claim to speakership, then someone need to go for a psychosis examination. It is no longer a laughing matter when what is perceived to be temporary

In all this, it is imperative to warn those who are bent on removing Amaechi by hook or crook to be mindful of throwing the state into total anarchy

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga SMS only: 07028006913 hallucination takes on the shapes and forms of a physical manifestation. Can someone rouse Bipi from this deep slumber? How do you impeach someone that was never elected into a position of Speaker, in the first place? Is this guy for real? How did Rivers end up having these kinds of characters in position of authority, anyway? In all this, it is imperative to warn those who are bent on removing Amaechi by hook or crook to be mindful of throwing the state into total anarchy. Should this happen, they may end up not having a state to govern and that may abruptly end the greed currently pushing them. In their desperation to seize power illegally, they misfired by hiring thugs to stone four visiting northern governors earlier in the week. Is it not preposterous that this misinformed crowd of hired thugs could be accusing the governors and the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, of visiting the state with the intent to steal “our oil?” And where was the crowd when an attempt was made to cede some of the state’s oil blocks to a sister state? Without the powerful creed of impunity from Abuja, would they have had the courage to waylay a convoy of governors with full security accoutrements? For now, no one knows how long it will take the rot to fester in Rivers State before those holding its tender balls would allow it to heave a sigh of relief. What we do know is that the state is not only the one that suffers the debilitating disease called greed in the creed. It is gradually becoming a pandemic in our national life. The entire members of the National Assembly may have kicked against the sickening madness in Rivers State, but it was sad that it could not shake off the malaise when it gripped it during the clause-by-clause voting on amendments to the 1999 Constitution. In a country with an estimated 70 per cent of its population living under a dollar per day; excruciating unemployment ratio; millions of children out of school; poor health facilities and infrastructural deficit, it beats one silly that the Senate could unanimously pass a clause that empowers all its principal officers to receive pensions for life. And yet, this is an assembly whose members rake in millions of naira every quarter in perks and allowances. You cannot but wonder how a Senate that kicked against the legalisation of a social security system for unemployed graduates due to paucity of funds could glibly decree the payment of pensions for all shades of principal officers from the same dwindling treasury! But again, is it not about the greed in the creed? By now, shouldn’t we all be shocked that the law works in reverse gear here? Why do we always end up with lawmakers who are quick at passing legislations that empower them to legitimately tie us to the stakes while they steal us blind? Well, it can’t be so much of a shock really in a country where the greed is etched in the creed of official impunity!

’ Counting the cost of insecurity ‘

ALI has made a peace deal with the Tuareg separatist rebels which hopefully will pave the way for lasting peace and order to return to the troubled country. In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has made overtures to the Boko Haram insurgents to end the three-year war they have levelled against this country, but the insurgents have rebuffed every olive branch dangled by the federal government. So, now the question: What does Boko Haram want? This question becomes pertinent after they resumed their attacks in a more ruthless fashion, when the government’s military offensive against them abated. The insurgents have invaded primary schools, killing scores of children and their teachers in savage attacks that must not escape the radar of the International Criminal Court, ICC, which someday may summon these guys to answer for their crime against humanity. Terror groups elsewhere do not target children or schools the way Boko Haram is doing. Apart from the estimated 5,000 deaths recorded in attacks by various terror groups, including the military offensive, the cost to our already dysfunctional economy is unbearable. The Nigerian led African intervention force spearheaded by France when Mali was about to fall to advancing Tuareg rebels, to save that country from being seized by the Al-Queda back rebels. The Nigerian government made that timely move because it was reported that the Boko Haram insurgents were involved in the broad coalition of terror groups in the Islamic Mahgreb, who were helping the Tuaregs to try and topple the Malian government. The French-led rescue force arrived to push back the rebels when they were about to storm the Malian capital, Bamako. The Nigerian military operations in Mali cost this country millions of dollars. This is no wasteful spending considering the pre-emptive nature of the intervention. The anti-terror war against Boko Haram , MEND and other armed groups is

Though seriously weakened after the killing of Osama Bin Ladin and some of his key lieutenants by U.S forces, the terrorist network appears to be regaining capacity with the enlisting of regional terror groups like Boko Haram, the Tuareg islamists and Al-Shabbab of Somalia into its ranks

Rev. Chris OKOTIE taking a heavy toll on our finances. Just recently, the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, advised the Jonathan Administration to resist the temptation to overspend on the current military operations in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states because of its dire implications for the economy. Sanusi said: ”The committee noted with caution the high gross domestic product growth projection in view of the extant risk factors such as widespread insecurity, weak infrastructure and probable flooding from the projected heavy rains in some parts of the country.” The state of emergency in the North-East and the accompanying military operations in that axis have the potential to adversely affect economic activities generally, including agricultural production and food prices as well as consumer demand. The economy of the north has virtually collapsed because of Boko Haram activities. Let us pray that the Mali peace holds together.

But there’s the larger threat of prolonged instability in the entire Sahel region, where Al-Qaeda’s influence appears to be growing. Though seriously weakened after the killing of Osama Bin Ladin and some of his key lieutenants by U.S forces, the terrorist network appears to be regaining capacity with the enlisting of regional terror groups like Boko Haram, the Tuareg islamists and Al-Shabbab of Somalia into its ranks. The Arab Spring has created a new wave of instability in the Middle East. Several splinter groups fighting in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria and Egypt are now in possession of heavy weapons. With the war not fully over in places like Libya where remnants of pro-Gaddafi forces have retreated to the deserts and villages up north, there are chances that Al-Qaeda could infiltrate those guerrilla forces and launch terror wars in vulnerable states of Sub-Sahara and East Africa. Therefore, beyond our successful peace-keeping efforts in Mali, the federal government must begin to fashion out a comprehensive long-term

anti-terrorist strategy to checkmate likely extension of an international terror campaign to Nigeria. We cannot be sure that the peace process in Mali will last, given the experience of Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood government was toppled. To this end, President Goodluck Jonathan must begin to think outside the box concerning our country’s long-term security because ultimately, we can’t depend on foreign super powers to protect our territory. Although no one doubts the belligerence capability of the Nigerian Armed Forces, its track record in the local fight against Boko Haram shows that they do not have the expertise in this highly specialised, sophisticated war against terrorism. Unlike Mali and the Ivory Coast which still enjoy some political affinity with France, we have no such strong defence ties with Britain or the United States that could prompt a direct military intervention from them if our country’s security is in such a grave danger. Even though the commander of the U.S African High Command, AFRICOM, Gen. Carter Ham has visited this country twice in the last twelve months in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, nothing concrete has come out of those visits beyond some feeble pledges to help Nigeria. AFRICOM, meanwhile, is based in Stuttgart, Germany, not on African soil. Like Paul Collier of the Oxford University said: “Europe is still willing to kill for Africa, but its militaries have no appetite to die for Africa”. President Jonathan must find a way to benefit from America’s know-how in counter-terrorism warfare either through technical assistance, training of our forces or direct military cooperation without compromising the sovereignty of our country. •Rev. Okotie, a pastor-politician, wrote from Lagos.


Ogochukwu Ikeje 08084235961 (SMS only)


UR lawmakers have demonstrated that they have a few other endowments and competences beyond the fine arts of making laws. When they fail to make the desired impressions by talking, they shout. When shouting does not make much difference, their fists take over. In Rivers State, even the mace, an otherwise revered symbol of legislative authority, has become a potent tool of violence. It can descend on a disagreeable head, draw blood and still remain the revered mace that it is assumed to be. Lawmakers in Port Harcourt sure know how to sidetrack the law, roughen up one another and deliver a well-timed uppercut. The tales and videos originating from there lately do not flatter the state or its leaders. They cannot lift up Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s spirits or cheer up the state legislature or reassure the people who supposedly elected them into office. Nor does the rest of the watching world have anything to gain thereby. Symbols of solemn authority are violated. Hallowed chambers are desecrated. Sacred blood is spilled and splattered. Supposedly enlightened leaders are having a hard time subduing their anger. A small, audacious gang of five took steps


ARD times await those involved in the activi ties of crude oil theft, as the Nigerian government has directed the Navy and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to take firm measures against any ship caught engaging in unwholesome activities. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, made the stand of the Federal Government known yesterday during a briefing session with the Diplomatic Corps in Abuja. Ashiru told the diplomats that there would be no clemency for any ship or members of its crew caught in the process. He said the issue of crude theft has remained a major challenge, as the country has continued to lose huge revenues arising from these criminal activities. Nigeria is said to be losing 400,000 barrels of oil at N7.35billion daily to the activities of criminals in the oil sector. The minister, who explained that the briefing on recent happening in Nigeria has become necessary so as to ensure excellent relations with the inter-

Many rivers to cross

to unseat the Speaker of a 32-strong Assem- fell out with Governor Amaechi over whether bly. That is bizarre. Presumed decent leaders to demolish or not to demolish a part of her are fighting back even with a broken mace in community in Okirika land. The president’s a possibly twisted interpretation of the king- wife referred to the state chief executive as a dom suffering violence and only the violent son, albeit a “hot-tempered” one. Before a team of visiting bishops, she catalogued the taking it by force. That is weird. Law enforcement agents are pictured ap- governor’s offences, then asked that peace parently providing safe passage for lawmak- reign. Amaechi’s camp contested almost evers out for battle and sometimes even seeming ery word Dame Patience said. It is a messy picture before us and before to join the battle. At some point, a tear gas canister, at the the world, which will ultimately judge. It shows the older we get as a country, the least, was said to have been fired into Governless mature we tend to become; the more we ment House. travel the beautiful, growWe have also seen ing world, the less of that how easy it is to world we see, or if we do mobilise youths and Clearly, there are many see, the less of it we fail get them to do the bidrivers to cross. And not to bring back to home. ding of leaders. The older our so-called And everyday since just in Amaechi’s state. democracy gets, the less July 9 when the fiveagainst-32 impeach- Across the country, though convincing or inspiring it becomes. When we take ment drama was I concede there must be a one step forward, we staged, the crisis in Rivers has been worsfew exceptions, there is a take many to reverse it. Clearly, there are ening, not resolved. twisted sense of govermany rivers to cross. New angles and perAnd not just in spectives have been nance and leadership. Amaechi’s state. Across opening up. AccusaWisdom almost always the country, though I tions and counter-acconcede there must be a cusations have been seems to flow from the few exceptions, there is made. The Presidency leaders down, not from a twisted sense of goverhas been consistently nance and leadership. accused of complicity the led up Wisdom almost always in the crisis, a charge it seems to flow from the has continuously denied. In the week, First Lady Patience Jonathan leaders down, not from the led up. Whatever traced the crisis to four years ago when she the leaders want and decree stands. There is

COMMENTARY 9 no room for dialogue. Even among the leaders, there is hardly any concession, compromise or consensus. To them, power is effective only if the wielder has his way all the time. Mrs Jonathan has said the Rivers crisis started with a disagreement between her and Amaechi. Some have said read political ambition into it, alleging that Amaechi is not showing much respect for, or loyalty to, President Goodluck Jonathan and may even be hurting the commander-in-chief’s perceived second term designs. Whatever the truth, what is happening hurts the country, its leadership and people. It further lowers our image before an eternally cynical world. Democracy may be expensive, it’s processes tedious but it is still the preferred system of governance. Its strongest point is dialogue, not force of arms. No matter the issue, the solution is in talk and more talk. Every week, our friendly foe, Prime Minister David Cameron faces the British lawmakers, some of whom with nothing but venom in their guts. But they manage to refer to one another as gentlemen as they thrash out the hottest of issues. I believe that is what maturity means: how to keep your head even under intense provocation. I know that politics seeks power and to hold it but I believe too that democracy which should drive politics, and not the other way around, thrives in compromise. At 53, Nigeria has come of age, but even though its democracy is not as old, it is expected to be substantially mature. In the Obasanjo days in Aso Rock, federal lawmakers were not always at their best of behaviour. Fists and furniture flew in the hallowed chambers. In 2013, we should have crossed such waters. As things stand, there is more work ahead.

News FG goes tough on oil theft, says foreigners would no longer be speared

Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja

national community, said: “The Nigerian Navy and the NIMASA have been directed to take firm measures against any ship caught engaging in unwholesome activities, including oil theft in Nigeria’s territorial waters.” While also soliciting for the cooperation of the diplomats to address the scourge, the minister warned that unlike in the past when foreign suspects were released as a result of pleas by their ambassadors, he said this would no longer be the case. He said no amount of pleading would make the government release the ship or crew members caught henceforth. He said: “In the past, ambassadors had come to plead that we should release either the ship or crew members that were caught in illegal activities. This is serving as a warning that henceforth I will not yield to their pleading for release of

their ship or crew members that are caught in illegal activities. So it is the duty of the ambassadors to make sure that this message is sent all over the world, so that foreigners will not come here to deal in illegal activities.” He also announced to the diplomats that the Federal Government has set up a high-level committee headed by the Attorney General and Minsiter of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to tackle this challenge. On the issue of gay right, Ashiru stressed that it is not in agreement with the culture and religious beliefs of the generality of Nigerians and no country can impose it on Nigeria. He noted that respect for human rights of a minute minority cannot be at the expense of the larger societal values. He said: “We don’t tell other countries how to leave their lives. We don’t impose values on any country and that is what democracy is all about.

•From left: Chief Adebutu Keshington, Chairman, Premier Lotto; Chief Molade OkoyaThomas, Chairman of the occasion; and Real Admiral Okanlawon Oni (retd), Chairman, Board of Trustees, Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund (LSSEF), at the maiden Town Hall meeting on sports development in Lagos State held by the LSSEF at City Hall, Lagos

Other countries too should not come and impose their own values on us. We don’t oppose any country that has put in their constitution the gay rights, for man and man to get married, or two women to get married. “We don’t oppose it, but for Nigeria and a number of African countries, it is not part of our culture yet and this thing must be told because we have been under pressure, but it is not part of our culture and you must understand that. Let us get to that stage of understanding that two men can get married, but please, we are in this profession together, let us educate our home governments that we cannot just come over night and put that which is not part of our culture. “That we must put it in our constitution, it is not done. If you talk about democracy, it is about free choice and free association. “For those who have gay rights, if you look at their number, they are very few and in some of the countries, the churches are against it. So why putting pressure on Nigeria that we must have gay rights. Everything should be gradual. I don’t know; may be we will have children who would want to pursue gay rights.” He also accused the champions of gay rights as hypocrites for denying polygamists of their rights which is part of the culture and value of some countries. The minister, therefore, noted that there is the need to balance the situation. He posited that laws are rooted in culture which must be upheld for the good of the society. He, therefore, appealed to the international community through the ambassadors to show a greater understanding of the culture and traditions of the Nigerian people. The minister, who also spoke on the issue of death sentence in Nigeria said it is still part of the law and not until it is re-

viewed, nothing can be done about it. He also advised the diplomats to explain to their home countries that democracy in Nigeria is still evolving. He said: “When you write your reports, you should be able to let your home governments know the perspective you are reporting. Nigeria, for instance, the criminal code which we are using was handed over to us. “There are countries with advanced democracy. There are some which have been in it for 100 years. But we are just starting and there is need to allow democracy to strive. “Diplomats should understand that is what we operate under for now. When we grow to the level of advanced democracy which we are striving very hard to do, then we will be considering the review. “After all, the champions of this today had it in their criminal code before. The one we are operating was handed over to us. And I want all diplomats to understand this and not just run to judgement that death penalty is still operating in Nigeria.” He also added, “I need not add in this regard that Nigeria is certainly not the only country where the death sentence is upheld.Although there is a moratorium on death penalty, this will continue to be determined by the appropriate authorities, including the state governments who ·exercise the prerogative under the law.” Ashiru, who also commented on some of the fundamental errors committed by most of the embassies in the country by writing directly to the president, warned that such infraction would no longer be tolerated. Ashiru, who was visibly angry over the infraction, said: “I have also noticed that some missions have resorted to dealing direct with some agencies

of government when they have important matters. This should not be so. All such matters should always be referred to the ministry which remains the channel of communication with government. “ I have had occasions in the past to advise missions to desist from writing direct to the State House on any matter. This is a clear breach of established channel of communication which will no longer be condoned. In the same vein, some ambassadors and their diplomats have continued to make comments on political issues that amount to undue interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs. “ This is incompatible with the status of diplomatic missions or agents. We will not hesitate to identify and deal with erring missions which fail to respect Nigeria’s sovereignty.” The minister, who commended the diplomats for some level of improvement noticed in the treatment of Nigerian visa applicants, however, said: “We are still concerned about the rate of rejection of applicants by some countries.” On the military activities in the north east, the minister debunked the report in the foreign media that the military are engaged in exra-judicial killings. The military, he said, has continued to operate under their rules of engagement. He, therefore, noted that the report of the rights of the people being abused is unfounded. The Nigerian military, Ashiru stressed, has a record of service globally. In the general, the minster said the country has made tremendous progress and normacy is gradually returning to most parts. The minister warned the ambassadors against direct involvement in the country’s internal issues. He warned that they cannot use their platforms to interfere in internal issues of the country.





Continued from last Sunday







14 ANDRA Obaze (37) is in a dilemma over her marital status. At 35, she remained single. Not because men were not coming her way, but because none of them was talking about marriage. Luck, however, smiled on her when her close friend connected her to a male friend based in the US for a marital relationship. In spite of the distance, they struck a relationship and became so intimate that a day hardly passed without them talking to each other on the phone or through the social media. A month into their relationship, the man arranged to come home for the traditional marriage, after which they would go to the registry for the formal wedding. It was a development that wiped away the woman’s misery and set her mind on a bright future. Not only was she happy that she was going to get married at the end of her travails, she was also looking forward to enjoying the benefits of being married to a man based overseas. True to her expectation, the man arrived in Nigeria and both of them travelled to the woman’s home town in Delta State to visit the woman’s parents and arrange for both the traditional and court weddings. After a week of honeymoon, the man left for his base abroad, assuring his wife that he would soon arrange for her to join him. On the day he was billed to travel back, she saw him off to the airport where he again promised to keep his marital vows and fulfill his responsibilities as a husband. But all that changed a few months after he returned to his base. He sent the marriage certificate he had taken along back to the woman and cut off communication with her, leaving her confused as to whether she is single or married. But hers is just one of the numerous cases of women whose marital dreams have been dashed by their male partners abroad. The victims include single ladies and those who are already married with children. Investigation revealed that many of the victims had been married before their husbands travelled abroad and abandoned them. Some others like Sandra were connected to their partners by friends or relations before they were jilted. Findings also showed that many young ladies who were previously engaged to their partners for many years have ended up losing them after the husbands relocated abroad for greener pastures. But how does it feel for a woman to be married or engaged to a man who lives overseas in the hope of a better future only for her to be abandoned?   To this, Sandra said: "Initially, I felt like committing suicide, because it was traumatising. It was with the help of my counsellor that I overcame the temptation to hang myself. But the whole incident still haunts me. "I got married at the age of 35. Before then, all the men that came my way were only interested in a casual relationship. Luckily for me, my friend connected me to a guy based in the US. He got in touch with me and we started a relationship immediately, since both of us were out to get married. We agreed that the wedding, both traditional and court, should take place within a month of our relationship. "Like magic, the whole thing started working out as planned. He came home and met my parents. They reached an agreement and instantly fixed a date for the traditional and court weddings. Initially, I thought it was a dream. When it dawned on me that it was real, I shed tears of joy. It appeared as if my patient dog was going to eat the fattest bone. My friends and even those who previously mocked me rejoiced with me. My story became a testimony for others in similar condition. We eventually had the wedding done in our home town in Delta State. "After the wedding, we returned to Lagos and spent a week in a tasteful hotel at GRA, Ikeja. He •Eiffel Tower, France showered me with gifts and also bought things for my parents. On the day he was going, I saw him off to the airport and prayed for him from the bottom n Innocent DURU n of my heart. He took the marriage certificate with him with a promise to work out the documents that I would need to he said he didn't want to lose me to another man. I was so join him.  elated by his commitment that I vowed to keep the "From that period, my status changed. Friends and other engagement ring on my finger always. With the people started treating me with great respect. My husband engagement ring, I sent away other young men who consistently called each other on the phone for about five sought my hand in marriage, even though I knew that age months. Thereafter, a gap in communication started was not on my side. appearing. “I was always quick to announce that my fiance was “After some time, he stopped calling. And even when I abroad. He sent me money and wonderful gifts, which called, he would promise to call me back but would never do. My parents intervened and started calling him to know earned me some reverence among my friends, who also wished they had life partners abroad. what was wrong. At a point, he told them that if the "For nine years, I waited for him to settle down. But marriage certificate was their problem, he would return it. thereafter, he would not call or send anything. His family He returned the marriage certificate and has never members withdrew totally and did as if they were not bothered to communicate with me for the past two years. aware that a relationship existed between us. By then, it “I am at a crossroads because I don't know what to do. I was difficult for me to tell people that I was no longer am neither married nor single." engaged. Worse still, serious minded suitors were no Uju Ofoegbu, a former employee of one of the leading longer coming. I suffered mental, psychological and media houses in the country, also shared her experience. emotional trauma, and shamefully threw my engagement She said: “The experience is heart rending. It is not something I can never forget because it has left an indelible ring away. "Thereafter, I slumped into serious depression. I later fell sore in my mind. My fiancée travelled abroad and in love with my managing director, who was married with promised that as soon as he settled down he would begin kids. That also compounded my woes as younger male to work out my travelling documents so that I could join colleagues who were interested in me could not approach him immediately. me for fear of losing their jobs." "Before he left, he gave me an engagement ring, because


Jilted and lonely Nigerian women abandoned by overseas husbands lament fate

Thirty-year-old Moji Oni is also at a crossroads about her relationship. She told our correspondent how her overseasbased partner has been using different excuses to prolong their relationship. She said: "I entered into a relationship with my colleague in the university. We were known to each other’s families. After our studies, he travelled out of the country and told me that he would soon come home for us to get married. "After about two years, he told me that he was yet to settle down. When he eventually settled down, he said I should allow him to have enough savings. While waiting for him to save enough money to come for our wedding, he lost his job and that became a good excuse for him. “I kept praying that he would get another job. Fortunately, he got another job and asked for time to settle down into the new job. When his grandmother died, he said it would be an opportunity for him to come home to attend her burial and also for us to have our wedding, but he never came. He gave another excuse for not coming. “When his father travelled abroad for medical check-up, he said he would come home with him. He never did. He has continued to give excuses and I am confused because time is going and I don't know what he is up to. It is even very difficult for me to fall in love with another person because I have given him all my heart. If he fails to show up at the end of the day, what would I do?” Another respondent, Biola Samson, said she got married



•Pictures of travellers at international airport •Pastor Dolapo Onipede •Pictures of white people getting married

•Mrs. Olokodana to her fiancé in absentia. She said: “We were dating before he travelled out of the country. After some time, we agreed to get married. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond his control prevented him from coming for the wedding, so we did it in absentia. This was six years ago, and he has only come home once after the wedding. “He has kept telling me that he is working out plans for me to come over. But I am scared. All my friends who got married about the same time and even after already have one or two children while I am still not certain about the fate that awaits my marriage.” But investigation revealed that in spite of the plight of the foregoing victims, many young Nigerian women are still surfing the Internet for life partners based abroad. One of them, who gave her name simply as Agnes, told our correspondent that the fact that it did not work for one person does not mean that it would not work for another. She said: “It applies to everybody. I have a cousin who got her husband from abroad through the social media. She has gone there and they are peacefully living together with their children. This is what I also desire, and I believe that God will grant it to me.” Explaining why many young ladies prefer men who are based abroad, a psychologist and marriage counselor, Mrs. Ganiyat Olokodana, said: “There is this thing about my husband or my fiancée is abroad that make many to do so. There is a kind of status it gives some people. The initial euphoria that somebody based abroad has come to seek her hand in marriage may make the woman to say yes, with the hope of relocating abroad subsequently. It is all about hoping that something good will come out of it. “In most cases, the men are not legal immigrants. They are just there to hustle. But that hope that their husbands are based abroad gives some women a sense of elevation, and it works for their self esteem. “Some have their engagement prolonged unnecessarily because the man has not been able to achieve what he wants to achieve. Some of the guys break the engagement after some time by getting married to another person abroad in order to get their residence papers.” Reflecting on some cases she had handled, Olokodana said: “We have cases of couples who live countries and even continents apart. In most cases, it is the wife that lives here in Nigeria while the husband is based abroad, supposedly seeking greener pastures.

“When such men want to travel, they always say they will be back in six months or that they will start working on the wife’s papers so that she would relocate. But you find that in many cases, the months turn into years and and nothing is HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank" done. In fact, after a while, you will see that the couple is more or less estranged. You find that the reason why the husband is abroad and cannot come back is because things are not easy for him. With time, he would stop calling and stop sending money down, leaving the woman hanging because she is not sure of what her status is. “In most cases, part of what the men do to get their papers is to get married to a national of the country they have travelled to. They get married and continue with the semblance of marriage while the woman left at home is hanging. She can’t have any other relationship because that would be like committing adultery. Such a woman would only be married on paper because she can’t be considered a married woman. It is usually a trying experience for whoever is involved. “Under Islamic rules, what we call Sharia, there is a minimum number of months that a husband and his wife can live apart from each other. Anything longer than that, the marriage is like null and void, because you can’t just leave a woman hanging. She has needs that only the husband is supposed to meet.” Another marriage counselor, Pastor Dolapo Onipede of the Redeemed Christian Church of God gave various reasons for the trend. He said: “There are diverse reasons why many ladies prefer to get married to men based abroad. But the basic reason is that many people don’t know the meaning of marriage.  “God ordained marriage for the purpose of multiplying human race. If you read Genesis Chapter One, you will find that God does the match making. But the ladies of nowadays don’t involve God in their choice; they want to do it by their own knowledge. Any marriage where God is missing cannot be stable. “Another reason is the urge for material wealth. Nobody

wants to build from the scratch again. When you want to build a house, you start from the foundation. Many ladies and young men are in a hurry because of material things. “Yet another reason for this is poverty. They feel that the person based overseas, even when they don’t know what he is doing over there, will bring in money. Ladies want money and they see the people overseas to be better off than those in the country, without knowing what they are doing for a living. “Pressure from parents and friends also make ladies to jump at anybody that comes their way without duly considering what it takes. “Another thing is self-pity. That also boils down to age. It comes from within and not from outside. The lady in question feels she is already 30 and getting late for marriage, and she wants to jump at any man that comes her way. “Some ladies misuse their body at younger age, and because the world is a global village, she would want to go outside her environment so that all her past deeds will be covered. The next place that will be on their minds would be outside the country. “It has also become an in thing these days because it comes with ego. Many women see it as status symbol for people to say that their husbands are based abroad. The craze for people based overseas make ladies to want to jump at them, just to boast to people that their husbands too are in the US or UK. “There is the case of man that I know. Any time he comes into the country, ladies in their early 20s flock around him. At the end of the day, he got married to one of them, only to realize that the man was more than 50 years old and was already married with children in the US. The man comes home only once in a year. Do you call that marriage? Whether you like it or not, she is a second wife.” Recalling his experience as a counselor, Pastor Onipede said: “I have discovered that about 90 per cent of such relationships don’t end well. It is only very few ones that succeed. I have an example of one that ended well because from the beginning, God was there. It was God that did the match-making in the first place, but it happened that one had to travel legally and officially. So it was easy for the man to easily come back and pick the wife. They lived apart for about four or five years, but because God was at the centre of their marriage, they were able to go through that period without any difficulty. “There is a Yoruba adage that says oruko t’oba wuni lanje loke okun (he who lives abroad chooses whatever name pleases him). That is what happens to these guys when they travel overseas, most often because they don’t have genuine papers to stay there. They engage in false marriage to get their papers and abandon their partners in Nigeria.”


Initially, I felt like committing suicide, because it was traumatising. It was with the help of my counsellor that I overcame the temptation to hang myself. But the whole incident still haunts me






We had the armoured tanks and drums, and you see people doing parade all the time. Even if you didn't see them, you could hear what was going on. And once or twice every week, you heard sound of gunshots. We lived in a perpetual state of fear. For me particularly, my cell was next to the hanging room. I heard them servicing the gallows all the time. I finished reading the Bible within 70 days






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Inside The











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What can I do to have bigger breasts?

UNTY, I’m in my 20s but I have small breasts and I have had to be using padded bras to hide my shame. What can I do to have bigger breasts?

How to make small breasts look bigger

By Ben Rubenstein Ideally, every woman should be happy and comfortable with the body she has. Unfortunately, many women are not. If you’re unhappy with your breasts and want to make them appear larger and firmer, read on for tips and tricks on how to achieve that without surgery, pills or the Boob Pop product. •Practice good posture. This is by far the least expensive and fastest way to make your breasts look bigger. Hold your head up, shoulders rolled back and down, chest forward and spine straight. This alone can make your breasts look bigger and perkier, as well as making you look slimmer and taller. Build up your upper pectoral muscles (working out lower pecs will actually decrease your bust size). Increasing the bulk of the muscles beneath your breasts will make them appear firmer and more rounded. Regular push-ups are one way to achieve this; build up slowly until you can manage to drop and do 15 push-ups all at once. There are also many weight training exercises you can do to build chest muscles. •Focus on your waist. Slimming and shaping your core (the muscles around your waist and ribs) will make your breasts appear larger by comparison, without actually adding any breast tissue. Try yoga and pilates exercises that can help you burn calories while simultaneously strengthening your core muscles. •Wear the right bra size. Sadly, most women wear incorrect bra sizes because they’ve never been appropriately measured. The right bra should sit snugly beneath your breasts and cup all of the tissue closely, as well as making it easier for you to stand up straight. Measure your bra size yourself, or go in for a free professional fitting at a department store. (Don’t feel shy about being professionally fitted––usually the ladies who do fittings are chosen for their warm and accepting demeanor. Remember, she’s probably seen it all.) •Know how to put on a bra correctly. Once you’ve been properly sized, check that you’re putting on your bra in a way that will achieve maximum lift and comfort. Slip the straps over your arms, facing forward, so that the unhooked clasps are at your back. Bend over so that all of your breast tissue falls forward, and maneuver the bra over your breasts. Still bent over, reach back and clasp the bra. Adjust the band and straps as necessary. •Wear bras that enhance your breasts. There are many options available, so the best way to work out what gives you your desired effect is to go and try lots of different types on. The following types of bras are the best for women wanting bigger breasts: Push-up bras are designed to push your breasts up (as the name implies), and move the breasts closer together, creating more cleavage. They push the breasts up using padding usually made of

foam. The best known brand for making push-up bras is Wonderbra. However, most lingerie stores supply some variety of push-up bra. Padded bras, like push-up bras, contain foam padding in the cups. They are designed to give fuller-looking breasts to smallchested women, but don’t lift them or create extra cleavage. Gel, air or water padded bras are the same as padded bras but are designed to look and move more naturally, and to give a more noticeable enhancement. The only downside to these is that they often cost more money. Also, air padded bras often need the padding replaced as the air leaks out. •Wear clothes with a detailed neckline. Lace, ruffles and jewels, gathered material, pleats, ruching and twists are some examples of neckline details that enhance breast size appearance. These sorts of details provide a visual boost and help to make the breasts appear larger. When wearing ruffles, be careful that they are not so big that they overpower the size of your breasts; this risks going the other

I want to leave him for a while, but for how long will I keep off?


HERE was a write-up of yours I read about ‘ways someone can get his/her ex back.’ One of d points is to stop calling for a while, but the time one needs to ignore him/her wasn’t specified, maybe it is weeks, months or years. What happened in my own case is that he refused to tell me it was over but his action tells me that the relationship has already ended because he doesn’t pick my number again with the excuse that he’s busy or not with his handset whenever I call with my line and I’m trying to control myself from asking him questions or telling him what to do because he says I

Help! We’re on the verge of divorce due to gossips and financial stress need a job as a lawyer and


need counsel on my exmarriage to Segun Awolowo. We are on the verge of a divorce due to gossips & financial stress. Help. Tejumade Babatola writes.

Hello Mada Babatola, I know that there are many people by that name, Segun Awolowo in Nigeria, but only a few of them are popular, so I would have expected you to state clearly that the one you mentioned in your text is not any of the popular ones. Well, that is that, let’s get down to the reasons you contacted me – financial stress and gossips in marriage. You’re at this season when you don’t have a job and you’re struggling financially. It’s always hard when someone faces a job loss particularly at this time in Nigeria. The way we deal with handling money and spending is

unconsciously wired in childhood. If your husband is the one spending now on the family, he’s also the one paying school fees if you have kids, and the one keeping the family car in top shape (if you have one), it is natural for him to be under a little stress and that is why you must be considerate and be prudent. He will expect you at this period to help him save a little of what is left and he also wants to see that you’re making efforts to find either a job or a business to help augment his income. Not being very understanding with what he is able to provide can cause great conflicts. If he is not a rich man, it is critical to understand your husband’s hardship about money, spending, and provision. You should understand that apart from you and the kids; he will have family members too who would

The Cardinal School during their Mothers’ Day celebration

direction and making them look smaller! Stay away from low V or low scoop necklines, as give the appearance of shrinking the size of your breasts. Instead, wear moderately high, asymmetrical, crew or gathered necklines. These are the most flattering for women with smaller breasts as they enhance their shape and make them appear bigger. •Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing. Obviously, such clothing reveals all––what is and what is not there. Loose, roomy tops and layers are a better choice when you don’t want to draw attention to smaller breasts. •Live with the reality. Small breasts aren’t the burden they may seem to you. For starters, not everyone loves large breasts. Indeed, it’s an exaggeration that men only like women with large breasts––everyone has their own preference. Moreover, small breasts tend to hold up best over time, and gravity tends to be lot kinder to the small-breasted woman as you age; you’ll sag a lot less than your big-breasted sister. As long as you are healthy, try to be happy with your body.

expect something from him every now and then. If you don’t manage the issue of his family well, your in-laws and would jump to conclusions about why you’re not working and how you’re ‘chopping’ his money alone. It is your responsibility to let them know the true situation of things. Some may believe you and some may not, it really doesn’t matter, at least it would be said that you made some form of explanation. If they are the ones gossiping, that’s okay once you know you’re doing the right things and making efforts to get something doing. Once in a while, pretend to be confiding in them and have safe conversations about your experience, fears and seek advice from them about what they think you should do. That way, you’re making them your friends and the gossip should soon die down.

complain and nag a lot which he caused. What really broke the camel’s back between us was that I added one of his Facebook friends who I’d teased him once maybe they were dating. But before this, we’ve had an issue on a female Facebook friend before then. I’d begged and even unfriended that lady. I’d said sorry more than one billion times through text etc and I’ve even tried for us to see because we are not in the same state but he’s avoiding me. If I call with my line he will be busy (according to him), but if I use another line he will pick and respond to me very well as a casual friend. There was a day I said I’m sorry and asked that is there a second chance in his dictionary, but he said he didn’t tell me that we’ve ended the first one that so what am I talking about. Though, I don’t talk about the issue of that lady again but if I try to ask him what was my

offence and that let by-gone be by-gone, he will say I didn’t offend him that he has told me several times to stop talking like that. Though he twice said I don’t know the kind of things/words I don’t suppose to use to play with somebody and I’m kind of person that like to tease people especially if we’re dating at times I can pick my phone and send a nasty text message to him just to say hi. He has refused to tell me my offence which makes the whole scenario annoying and painful to me. I do call and text to say hi once in a while, but since I read that write-up I want to leave him for a while, but for how long will I keep off? - KF. Dear KF, from the content of your mail to me, I could see that you have the penchant for saying too much at once. If you give any guy the impression that you want to say it all at once, you shouldn’t be surprised if they run

away. It is obvious that this guy wants a big breathing space, so why would you be disturbing him with all those text messages and calls? When it is over in a relationship, the party making the move doesn’t want too much contact after moving on and they expect you to respect that. If you expect somebody to come back, give enough room for them to miss you. But when you’re always making yourself too much available, they get angry and don’t even want to talk to you again. You give the impression of somebody who thinks nothing more than this guy. Common, occupy your mind with serious things. This relationship (or any at all) won’t get you anywhere in life. Face the most important things that will propel you to greater heights. If you let this guy be today, you may look back in years to come and thank God you broke up in the first place. Stop sending his text messages and stop calling him. Just stop it!

I’ve not seen my period and tests show I’m not pregnant, what could be the cause and what can I do? Good evening ma, I just got your number from The Nation now, I am Olamide and I’m 23, please ma I’ve not seen my period this month and I’ve done a test that shows I am not pregnant, what can be the cause and what can I do? You could be pregnant even though your pregnancy test is negative. It takes on average 1416 days after ovulation and fertilization for the pregnancy test to turn positive. If you

ovulated late and implantation happened late then it could take longer for the pregnancy test to become positive. If your period

hasn’t come, repeat the pregnancy test in a couple of days to see if you are pregnant or not.

I suggest you dedicate a little space to lovers’ link Good afternoon Auntie, I have always admired the way you handle people’s challenges in your colunm. Ken in Orlu, Imo State. Dear Ken, you must be new to the Hearts page. This column

Mrs Olajumoke Danmole-Savage cutting her birthday cake recently

actually started as a matchmaking avenue for lonely people – never-been-married singles, widowed people, the divorced and whatever category. We had a smooth ride at first and there were testimonies of marriages and happy unions taking place. That was then. Before I realized it, fraudulent people had taken over. Some would come to people’s homes and steal from them. There was the story of a poor lady who met a guy at a popular eatery and they seemed to like each other at first sight. After lunch, the guy called asked if he would use the lady’s phone to call a friend he wanted her to meet. He was on phone when he started getting irritated that network was bad. He took an excuse to go outside to get better service. That was the end. It took over an hour for her to realize she had been robbed. His own line went off after that and she never saw him again. Unfortunately, they made contacts through my column. Maybe I’ll start it again if people would send in their pictures, submit themselves to being assessed by a nominated person wherever they may be living … but would cost some money.


The tycoon’s son (3)

My father sees most women as playthings, to be used and discarded when he’s tired of them. He keeps a string of girlfriends and mistresses whom he changes often as he soon gets bored with them



ELINA sat at a corner table, quietly sipping a cold drink. She had arrived at the country club some minutes earlier so as to be fully prepared when Chief Agbah arrived. “Every Friday evening at 6 pm, he comes to the club to play a game of tennis. The only time he doesn’t come is when he’s out of the country. So, be there this week and try to meet him,” Lexie had told her a few days before. With a contact he had at the exclusive club, Lexie had arranged for admission for her. Selina brought out her small compact powder from her bag and studied her face in the mirror. She had taken great care with her appearance and she knew she looked really ‘hot’ as Lexie liked to say. Just then, a small group of men entered the large lounge of the club where she sat. Two of them, who looked like bodyguards, were dressed in dark suits and dark glasses. In their midst was a well-built, slightly tall older man wearing tennis gear- white shorts and T-shirt. Selina instantly recognised him from the pictures she had seen of him. Chief Agbah! For a man in his 60s, he looked fit, she thought. She watched surreptitiously as he stood talking with another man who had come up to greet him. As one of the men in his group walked towards the bar, Selina made her move. Picking up her drink, she went in the direction of the bar as if to order for another drink. She met the other man who was returning to his boss and ‘accidentally’ bumped into him, spilling her drink on her white blouse.

Selina looked down at the large spill that had spread and stained her pretty top and glancing up furiously at the dark-goggled man exclaimed: “Oh my God! Look at what you have done! Why don’t you look where you are going?” “I’m sorry, Madam. It was an accident. I didn’t...” the man began to apologise. “You are sorry? Is that all you can say after ruining my top. You think it’s any ordinary top? It’s a Prada and you know how much I bought it in London? How could you...” She continued talking to the man in such a loud voice that it drew the attention of Chief

Agbah and the others in the lounge... *** “Men! That was some good acting! You deserve an Oscar for that!” Lexie said some days later. She had just recounted to him the incident at the club and the outcome. “Yes! I never knew I was such a good actress. Perhaps, I should join Nollywood and become a star like Genevieve!” she stated smugly, remembering with pride her performance that day. Chief Agbah had come up to where she stood arguing with his man. He had settled the matter ami-

cably, apologised on his man’s behalf and even promised to pay for the ruined top. But Selina had graciously declined his offer of payment, insisting the apology was enough. He had looked at her with something like admiration. And something else; the kind of look she had seen in most of the men she had met who wanted to possess her. Later, as she was getting into her car at the car park, one of Chief’s men had run up to her with a card and had taken her number and contact details. That morning, a parcel had been delivered to her apartment. It was from Chief.

“It’s an IV for the birthday party of one of his friends,” and she mentioned the name of a top politician in the country. “This came with it too,” she announced, flashing her left hand in his face. Lexie studied the bracelet on her hand, noting the expensive-looking stones on it. He smiled. “You must have really made an impression on him for him to go to all this trouble for you,” he said. “But you can’t attend the party. And you have to return the gift,” he stated firmly. “Why not? How do I get close to him if we don’t meet up?” Selina protested. “It’s like this,” he said and went on to explain his father’s attitude towards women. Due to his status and wealth, women were greatly attracted to him, he said, with some even throwing themselves at him. “My father sees most women as playthings, to be used and discarded when he’s tired of them. He keeps a string of girlfriends and mistresses whom he changes often as he soon gets bored with them. To keep his interest for long, you need to be different, be less easy to get. Don’t make him think you will jump to attention whenever he snaps his fingers. And when you return his gift, you will send the message that you are not interested in his money. That will pique his interest, make him want to know you more,” Lexie said. Selina glanced at the bracelet, feeling sad that she had to return such a nice looking piece of jewelry. Lexie was right. A day after


she returned the bracelet, she got a call from Chief. “It seems you are still angry about the incident of the other day,” were his first words to her. “Why do you say that, Sir?” she said, smiling to herself. She felt elated that he had called her himself and not an aide. “If he calls you directly and not through a staff, it shows you’ve really got his attention,” Lexie had said some days before. “You returned the gift,” Chief simply stated. “I had to. I feel I haven’t done anything to deserve such a costly gift,” she explained. “Ok, then. Can I see you this weekend? I’m having a little party at my guest house in G.R.A. I want you to come,” he said. “Ah! I would have loved to. But I will be in Abuja this weekend. On business,” she said. She was not going anywhere but it was all part of the game of being elusive. “When will you be back?” he asked, sounding disappointed. “I should be back by Monday.” He told her to call him when she arrived the city before hanging up. She smiled. She had no intention of calling. A week later. Selina was at home one evening watching a movie with her friend Tricia when the door bell rang. “Are you expecting anyone?” her friend asked as she took a sip of wine. Selina shook her head. Greg, one of her regular boyfriends was out of the country on a business trip. He was the only one she allowed to visit her without prior notice. Selina opened the door and was greatly surprised to see the man standing there. “Chief!” she exclaimed... •To be continued •Things heat up between Chief and Selina next week. Keep a date with us next Saturday! •Names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals in the story. •Send comments/suggestions to 08023201831(sms only) or

Patience Edirin Saduwa Making Nigeria truly ‘fascinating’ and beautiful to tourists



08023201831 (sms only)



HE tourism industry is a very sensitive sector as it relies heavily on certain external factors to thrive. Image, perception and how the rest of the world sees a place are major factors in driving tourism in any country. So, a country might have all the best tourist attractions in the worldinteresting historical sights, superb landscape and scenery, great culture, festivals, warm, welcoming locals and others. But no tourist will willingly visit if the image of that country is all wrong. That is the dilemma of Nigeria. It has all it takes-in terms of culture, natural wonders and a warm peopleto be a major tourist destination, attracting people from all over the world and earning the country more

money than oil. But with the way the country is perceived by outsiders as a very unsafe, corruption and crime-riddled place, Nigeria is a hard sell, tourism-wise. Ok, the Federal Government through its Ministry of Culture and Tourism is striving to place the country on the world tourism map with its launch recently of a tourism brand identity termed, ‘Fascinating Nigeria.’ There is nothing wrong with the name. In fact, the brand experts can even call it ‘Mesmerising Nigeria’ or ‘Intoxicating Nigeria’ but what’s the use of a beautiful brand name when other essential factors for attracting tourists are missing? Travelers to a country want to experience something new particularly the local traditions and culture that are usually different from theirs and interact with the

locals in a safe, secure environment. Now, every Nigerian knows, this is not one of the most secure places on earth. Even we, Nigerians are sometimes scared of our own country and think twice before venturing to certain parts. Not surprising with the insecurity in some parts of the North, kidnappings, armed robbery, ritual killings and other crimes prevalent today. The reality is that a tourist who wants to visit Nigeria needs a crocodile-thick skin and an ability to cope with tenth rate infrastructure and social amenities, the type that advanced countries grappled with over a 100 years ago and have since made tremendous progress. So, let’s get things right first. Create the enabling environment especially with good infrastructure and security and you won’t need a fancy brand name to draw in the tourists. For the truth is that, from my visits outside the country, many foreigners already find Nigeria a very fascinating though scary place. And one of the things that has aroused this interest in the country is our movie industry, Nollywood. Several years ago, a

workshop I attended for female journalists in an East African country, gave me an idea of the strong hold these movies have especially on the African continent and the diaspora. When some of the participants at the programme found out I was from Nigeria, they got really excited and started bombarding me with questions. Most of them were related to our movies and some of the stars. “How’s Genevieve Nnaji? What about Omotola and Rita Dominic? We want to meet Jim Iyke! Can you link us?” they demanded. In my mind I was like: “Shuo! Wetin you dey find Jim Iyke for? Abi beating dey hungry una?” The way they were talking, it was like I live with these movie stars or we interact every day. They don’t understand that these people have their own lives to live and I have mine. And the only time I get to see or even meet them is during work like in one-on-interviews, press briefings or on the red-carpet at shows, movie premieres and other such glamorous events I attend especially during my days covering the fashion and style beat. Anyway, one of the participants, I think a Kenyan

woman later complained about the ‘negative’ effects of our movies on marriages in her country. “Your films are causing marital discords in many homes!” she declared. When I asked why, she explained: “Some housewives sit all day watching these films and their house work suffer as a result. They won’t cook or clean the house. And when the husband returns from work in the evening to a dirty house with the wife looking unkempt herself, and no food, what do you expect? Quarrels and fights!” From this, Nigeria is lucky to have a powerful tool like a film industry that has created awareness about the country and which can benefit the tourism sector. For instance, through holding film festivals and other movie-related activities that will draw in movie buffs from all over. Movies and (other forms of popular culture like pop music) are powerful medium which create potent images about a country and its people. The images could be good or bad. For instance, many Nigerians got their first perception of America through Hollywood. Through many of their films, America

was portrayed as an Eldorado, a land of ‘milk and honey.’ It’s only when you travel there, you realize its all propaganda, that the U.S is not the perfect place or ‘heaven on earth’ it’s portrayed to be. So, how do outsiders see us through the eyes of Nollywood? We are viewed as a money-mad, criminally minded, desperate people who would do anything including committing the most heinous crime for money. This perception was got from the themes that run through most of the films such as rituals, voodoo and witchcraft, crime, 419, kidnapping, assassinations, armed robbery, prostitution and others. They don’t understand that just like in other countries, we have good as well as bad Nigerians. They only see the bad ones who taint the rest with their ‘badness.’ This is something producers, directors and other stakeholders in the sector need to look into so the rest of the world don’t see us as the voodoo capital of the world. I think that title rightfully belongs to our neighbours, Benin Republic where voodoo is like a state religion and there’s even an annual voodoo festival there.




FFICIALLY the Federa tive Republic of Brazil was the “Land of the Holy Cross” (Terra da Santa Cruz), but European sailors and merchants commonly called it simply the “Land of Brazil” (Terra do Brasil) on account of the brazilwood trade. It is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region with over 193 million people. Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 km (4,655 m). It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French overseas region of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay. Therefore, right from the onset, the task of criss-crossing the suburbs and cities of this great nation for over 18 days in the course of keeping vigil on the progress of Nigeria’s Super Eagles and seven other teams on parade at the just-concluded FIFA Confederations Cup was tipped to be mindblowing and eventful, judging by the significant economic progress the South American nation has made in the last couple of years. From the quite heights of Christ the Redeemer (statue) in Rio or Iguassu waterfalls and Beach Park of Fortaleza to the lively city centres of Rio de Janerio, Salvador, Recife and Belo Herizonte, one cannot but savour the good, the bad and the ugly sides of this Portuguese speaking nation. For the first- time visitor, he must quickly learn to settle for the timely uses of google translate where sign-language fails to make desired impact. However, there are many

•Christ the Redeemer’s Statue

Uchenna AJAH, just back from Brazil tourist destinations across the cities that played host to the FIFA Confederations Cup awaiting new guests, especially from Europe and the Americas. One of the memorable spots no doubt is the towering Christ

•Inside Maracanal Stadium

Redeemer Statue over Rio de Janeiro. It is about 125 feet (38 m) tall, including the pedestal. Known as Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, it was designed by the Brazilian engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa, and carved by French sculptor, Paul Landowski. The statue, which took five years to construct, was inaugurated on October 12, 1931 and has a pedestal that contains a chapel large enough for 150 worshippers. In 2007, the statue was named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Aside from the statue, Rio de Janeiro also plays host to one of world’s oldest football arena, The Estádio do Maracanã, officially Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho.Owned by the Rio de Janeiro State Government, the Maracanã was partially rebuilt with over $50 bn for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2014 World

Cup which will be the first one held in Brazil since 1950, the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics. Also, the Copacabana-the four kilometre-balneario beach-is located in the Zona Sul of the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is well known for it is one of the most famous in the world and would-be destination for a first-timer. The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida

is a prominent destination for Roman Catholic tourists. The Itatiaia National Park, established in 1937, is the oldest national park in the country on the border between Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states.It is a darling of tourists. Other interesting places in the land include Municipal Theatre of São Paulo, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park located in Maranhão State, the Tijuca Forest, a mountainous

One of the memorable spots no doubt is the towering Christ Redeemer Statue over Rio de Janeiro. It is about 125 feet (38 m) tall, including the pedestal. Known as Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, it was designed by the Brazilian engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa, and carved by French sculptor, Paul Landowski

Tourism News

Intercontinental Lagos begins operation


NTERCONTINENTAL Hotels Group (IHG) has opened its doors for guests signalling the commencement of operation. The property in Lagos is the brand’s first in West Africa. The 352-room Intercontinental Lagos is located on Victoria Island, Nigeria’s business city and diplomatic hub, and home to many multinational companies. Sitting magnificently close to Lagos creek, the 23-story hotel offers guests stunning panoramic views of the Gulf of Guinea. Lagos is the largest city in the country, as well as one of the biggest and fastestgrowing cities in Africa.

The hotel is set to appeal to local residents and international travellers alike with four restaurants and stylish bars on offer. Ekaabo, which in semantics and offerings welcomes all to an all-day dining restaurant, serves up a blend of Nigerian and international cuisine, both buffet and a la carte. Its outdoor option is a beautifully terraced arena adorned by a majestic waterfall. Another dining option is Milano, offering authentic Italian cuisine. For those after Far Eastern fare, the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Soho, is the ideal option. At the hotel’s poolside bar, PS/SP,

guests can choose from a variety of healthy light meals and drinks, while they enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, close next to the hotel’s Zen garden. For event planners and business travellers, the hotel

offers state-of-the-art facilities. Its Grand African Ballroom can seat up to 1,200 people with additional six other meeting rooms, two boardrooms and business facilities. The hotel also features a luxurious health and fitness centre which includes a sauna and steam room and three beauty treatment rooms. “Given its excellent location, Intercontinental Lagos is perfectly placed to give our guests access to central business areas, pristine beaches and some of the best entertainment options in Lagos,” said Didier Coeln, General Manager of Intercontinental Lagos.

hand-planted rainforest in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is the world’s largest urban forest. That apart, the unassuming visitor will face too much traffic at the airports, especially those awaiting connections to other Brazilian cities from Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport, usually your first point of entry. Surprisingly, there are not train connections across most of the host cites as only Rio boasts of an urban train station. The FIFA Confederations Cup was an eye-opener to most Nigerians travelling to the South American nation for the very first time. It might interest the readers to know that on arrival in Sao Paulo, most of them spent not less than four hours before connecting flights to their next destination. Some had to pass the night in Sao Paulo due to limited flight schedules to other parts of the

Hadur packages special tours


ADUR Travel and Tours has put together special private tour packages to Israel. The tour packages, according to the company’s CEO, Mrs. Olufunke Taiwo, are made to suit individual clientele, groups or families. This is part of the efforts of the agency to develop private pilgrimage to Israel in Nigeria. Mrs. Taiwo, in an interview, said: “ The market for wholesale private pilgrimages by Nigerians is fertile. We are poised to give excellent tours to meet the needs of interested Nigerians.

“The tours are designed so you can travel freely in a safe, organized and flexible trip with the free individuals from other countries. “ Hadur Travel and Tours is strategically working at making the Nigerian private holy land pilgrimage more flexible, affordable and attractive to all segments of the economy .” Mrs. Taiwo said the new packages will start running from September. “ These visits will be to all very important sites in Israel, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth ,Jordan, among others,”she said.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2013 country. Ordinarily, potential travellers to Brazil must ensure that they pay for hotels and flight connections to their destination before embarking on the trip. Reasons are not farfetched as, in the long run, it would be more economical than getting to buy a ticket on the actual day of your trip. Indeed, this was one of the main reasons the Eagles lacked Nigerians’ support from the stand of Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova and Estadio Castealo in Fortaleza. It might interest you to know that while a booked flight (for about two weeks) will cost 300 dollars (R$ 600 or N42,707.77 ) from Sao Paulo to Salvador for example, the same flight will cost between 700 to 800 Dollars (R$1600 or N113,862.70), depending on the airline from the likes of Gol, Azul or Avianca. However, despite the efforts the government and people of Brazil put in place for the FIFA Confederations Cup, the protests in most of the six venues will always remain a reference point for first-time visitors who watched angry people in action. Belo Horizonte, which hosted Nigeria 6-1 win over Tahiti, saw some of the most violent clashes between the police and protesters calling for better education, transport and health services. Also, Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador witnessed a demonstration before the Nigeria versus Uruguay clash. The police paraded both cities after the protesting groups closed three

Lagos Airport Hotel upgrades facilities

L •Policemen during one of the protests

main roads . The state official in charge of security, Romulo de Carvalho Ferraz, told the media that 1,500 troops were at alert. Protesters filled cities across the country to air a wide spectrum of grievances, including the high cost of hosting next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. There had been many violent protests before the Confederations Cup matches, including in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Fortaleza. However, days before the final match between Brazil and Spain at Maracana Stadium, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ended her near-silence about days of massive, violent protests, declaring in a primetime TV broadcast that peaceful demonstrations were part of a strong democracy, even as she promised to improve public services and hold a dialogue with protest leaders. Despite offering no details, Rousseff said that her government would create a national plan for public transportation in

cities – a hike in bus and subway fares in many cities was the original complaint of the protests. She also reiterated her backing for a plan before congress to invest all oil revenue royalties in education and a promise she made earlier to bring in foreign doctors to areas without physicians. “My generation fought a lot so that the voice of the streets could be heard,” Rousseff said. “Many were persecuted. And many died while suffering. The voice of the streets must be heard and respected, and it can’t be confused with the noise and truculence of some troublemakers,” added Rousseff, a former Marxist rebel who fought against Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regimes and was imprisoned for three years and tortured by the junta. Sadly, Osar Romeo, an 18year-old store clerk in Sao Paulo, insists Rousseff’s words probably wouldn’t have an impact. “Brazilians are passionate,” he said. “We boil over quickly,

•Uchenna Uja with some football fans in Brazil

La Campagne Tropicana voted the best in Lagos


A Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort has been voted the Best Resort in Lagos by the general public and operators in the travel and tourism trade. This was unveiled at the Travellers’ Awards Nigeria 2013 ceremony held recently during Abuja Bantaba – travel exhibition and talk shop event. Elated by the award, the management of the resort described it as a welcome development and a testimonial of the exceptional natural ambience and quality of the resort which over the years has strived to offer to the world international standard

•Face of La Campagne displaying the award

facility nestled against untempered natural beauty and traditional African hospitality. The award, which is widely

endorsed and celebrated by the industry players as it is devoted to rewarding and recognising excellent service and product, would be cherished and further serve as a boost for the resort, said the management. While pledging to continue to improve on the resort and its service delivery, the management expressed thanks to the organisers of the Travellers Awards for its commitment to developing the industry and the general public as well as its numerous clients for voting for the resort and its patronage over the years. The resort, which is located

but also cool down fast. But this time, it’s different. People are not happy. I don’t see things calming down anytime soon.” The protests also affected the country’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, where traffic was paralyzed, but no noticeable violence reported, and even in Fortaleza, the country’s northeast region, tourists paraded themselves freely without any act of molestation. To say the least, the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops came out in favour of the protests, saying that it maintains “solidarity and support for the demonstrations, as long as they remain peaceful.” “This is a phenomenon involving the Brazilian people and the awakening of a new consciousness,” the church leaders said in the statement. “The protests show all of us that we cannot live in a country with so much inequality,” they warned. For some of the citizens, the police response to the protests has been yet another reason to hit the streets. “Even though I didn’t see much of police violence on TV because the coverage was focused on the vandalism, I heard about it from friends and family,” 26-year-old journalist, Marcela Barreto ,told The Nation in Rio before the final match. However, fans must be prepared from the high cost of travelling across the length and breadth of the “Land of the Holy Cross” (Terra da Santa Cruz) if poorly budgeted. In spite of the catalogue of protests and high cost of traveling recorded during the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, football fans around the world should be looking forward to moments of excitement and jubilation across the 12 Brazilian cities when the 2014 FIFA World Cup opener comes calling on June 12 in Sao Paulo following assurances from the nation’s security chiefs.

within the fringes of Ikegun Village, Lekki, Lagos, enjoys serene and appealing natural scenery serenaded by the titillating pull of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the admixture of mangrove forest, fresh water lake, fringed palms, savannah and white sandy beach which imbue the resort with a picturesque paradise enclave of some sort. The facilities are of top range with an inviting architectural look, boosting a blend of Africa and sophisticated furnishing and layout to the hilt. Here you are treated to a warm African traditional hospitality and the age-long culture of motherland, ranging from arts, music, dance, drama, games to cuisines.

AGOS Airport Hotel is currently undergoing renovation and upgrading of facilities. This is aimed at making the hotel continue to enjoy its pride of place in Lagos hospitality business. The managing director of the hotel, Mr. Kayode Adenigba, spoke on some of the efforts in the last couple of months in area of upgrading of its rooms and other ancillary facilities of the hotel. According to him, the hotel business in Lagos is very dynamic and to be at top of the market, the hotel must •Adenigba continually seek to keep the standard of its facilities and services high. He said: “ We have not expanded the hotel, but we have been able to improve on its facilities. The hotel was started about 73 years ago and it is one of the oldest hotels around and it takes an effort to maintain it to its present state. To maintain an old hotel is difficult. It is even higher in cost than when you want to build a new hotel. So, we have put in a lot of efforts to ensure that we maintain the standard and also the structure is maintained. Having said that, yes, if we have done anything, we need to showcase it to the world. “We have done a lot of renovation to improve on the facilities. Some years ago, most of our rooms were yearning for attention and upgrading. I am happy to inform you today that in the last two years that we have started this project of renovation, we have gone very far. We have completed the wing called Adebayo Extension. The Adebayo Extension has about 60 rooms and we have renamed the rooms. Our customers are happy about it. The next block to it is the Adebayo Block. We have completed the 55 rooms there. The rooms have also been renamed top deluxe due to the upgrade in standard of the room. It has been enhanced and the rooms look generally better. “Before even we started on those wings in the Harold Block, we have done some jobs there. It was the last floor that we did not do then. That was the first thing we completed. So, in total we have done about 170 rooms . So, it is not that the other rooms are not okay, but we are upgrading. In the next two to three weeks, we will move to our Independent Block. That is the block that is facing the swimming pool. Basically, we have been doing a phase by phase upgrading of our facilities, and it has been yielding good result. “Initially, what the owners of the hotel wanted to do was to do a total overhaul. You know the owners, the O’odua Group, were looking for a credible partners to come in with funds and raise the standard of the place at a go, but while that one is on going, we decided that what we have on ground, we should be able to upgrade it with our internally generated resources. This is yielding very good result.” Adenigba said it is not only in the rooms that the current upgrading is focused: “ I want to say that that is one aspect.We have some operational challenges. Providing electricity is not counted as something special in this part of the world. Having an alternative power supply is very important to our business. We have been able to improve that. Last year, I bought about 1000 KVA generator. “We are equally looking at how we can get a stable power. We needed to upgrade our feeder line to 33 KVA feeder line. We have just completed that some months ago. We embarked on all these to make sure that our customers are satisfied with the services we are offering. It costs us a lot of money. “For the hotel, we equally look at how to even improve on our security to make sure that the guests enjoy their stay. Our guests know that security is one of our biggest selling points. “Above all, we give personalized service. Before, our school was not registered. It has now been registered by the Lagos State Ministry of Education. It is called Lagos Airport Hotel Hospitality Institute,”he said.

•Monarchical Suite, Lagos Airport Hotel





I retire to my village whenever I need to rest

-Real estate practitioner Adeyemi Smart Gbenga ADERANTI








Understanding the family (3) D

ear Reader, Today is another great opportunity to bring God’s Word your way, which will turn your life into a wonder. I have been able to explain to you the family unit, marriage relationship and marriage versus family. This week, I shall be sharing with you what it takes to live as a family and family structure. Living as a Family After marriage comes the marital life or the life experience of a couple. They no more live like single individuals. Changes have occurred and are still occurring. Each party has to now consider his/her partner and not only him/herself. After marriage, children are added (either by birth or adoption) and additional parties (related either by blood or association) come into the home. A family is then established. Families are products of marriages. One leads to the other. Family A family is a group of people affiliated by blood and /or marriage. It is the central unit of the Church and a nation. It is a fundamental social group in society, typically consisting of a man and woman (known as husband and wife) and their offspring. Whereas, a family consists of a group of persons sharing common ancestry, marriage consists of a man and a woman, known as husband and wife, who share common goals and values, have a long-term commitment to one another and live together. Family Life Family life is the manner of living of a group of people, who share common ancestry. It is the manner of living in a household, the manner of living of a group of people affiliated by blood and marriage. It is the way in which parents, children, and close relations live.

Benefits of garlic in human body


ARLIC is an herb. It is best known as a flavoring for food. But over the years, garlic has been used as a medi cine to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. The fresh clove or supplements made from the clove are used for medicine. Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis). Some of these uses are supported by science. Garlic actually may be effective in slowing the development of atherosclerosis and seems to be able to modestly reduce blood pressure. Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. It is also used to treat prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Garlic has been tried for treating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH), diabetes, osteoarthritis, hayfever (allergic rhinitis), traveler’s diarrhea, high blood pressure late in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia), cold and flu. It is also used for building the immune system, preventing tick bites, and preventing and treating bacterial and fungal infections. Other uses include treatment of fever, coughs, headache, stomach ache, sinus congestion, gout, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, and snakebites. It is also used for fighting stress and fatigue, and maintaining healthy liver function. Some people apply garlic oil to their skin to treat fungal infections, warts, and corns. There is some evidence supporting the topical use of garlic for fungal infections like ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot; but the effectiveness of garlic against warts and corns is still uncertain. There is a lot of variation among garlic products sold for medicinal purposes. The amount of allicin, the active ingredient and the source of garlic’s distinctive odor, depends on the method of preparation. Allicin is unstable, and changes into a different chemical rather quickly. Some manufacturers take advantage of this by aging garlic to make it odorless. Unfortunately, this also reduces the amount of allicin and compromises the effectiveness of the product. Some odorless garlic preparations and products may contain very little, if any, allicin. Methods that involve crushing the fresh clove release more allicin. Some products have a coating (enteric coating) to protect them against attack by stomach acids. While garlic is a common flavoring in food, some scientists have suggested that it might have a role as a food additive to prevent food poisoning. There is some evidence that fresh garlic, but not aged garlic, can kill certain bacteria such as E. coli, antibioticresistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis in the laboratory. Courtesy:

Incidentally, no individual on earth, whether married or single, dropped from heaven. Everyone on earth, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, black or white, came from one family or another, from one lineage or another, are connected to one person or the other genetically or by association. Issues on family and family life, therefore, affect everyone on earth. The Family Structure The Bible says: For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4). The word “house” in the above passages is not referring to a physical structure, but to a family structure – the individuals who make up the home. It is man’s responsibility to build his/her house. You build by organizing and administering the individuals under your roof. In 1Timothy 3:12, the Bible says: Let the deacons be the husband of one wife, ruling (administering) their children and their own houses well. The family structure requires effective administration. When this is lacking, families in turn produce individuals who tear down and destroy the society. The essence of the family, therefore, is to create an atmosphere or environment for effective administration and preparation of individuals, so they can grow and properly pursue the plan of God for their lives. “Charity”, they say, “begins at home.” It doesn’t end there though; it only begins from there. This means the home is where the character and destiny of an individual should begin and take proper shape. A typical biblical example of this is the case of Abraham. In Genesis 18:19, God speaking about Abraham said: For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Abraham had a grasp of God’s purpose for the family. By that understanding, he was able to order his household aright. The result of that was that God was pleased with him and ensured that Abraham and his household were successful in all they did. Till today, Christians the world over still identify with Abraham. If God were to comment on your marriage or family today, would He say something positive about it? The family is the foundational block for the society, while

marriage is the foundational block for the family. Satan always targets marriages to destroy them. This is because to destroy marriages would mean to destroy families, and to destroy families would mean to destroy the Church, the society, and the nation. But we must not allow this to happen. God established the family as the first and most fundamental element of the human society. Marriage is a foundational institution that existed before all other institutions. It is the oldest institution in the world. God is a God of priorities. He established the institution of marriage before the Church. He first set up marriage, before He came down to fellowship with man in the cool of the day (Genesis 2:18-25; 3:8). Although every house and family is built by some man or woman, but for any house or family to stand the test of time, an understanding of what the family stands for must be grasped. Also, each family must be founded and built on the principles and master plan of God, the Originator. For you to have a good and a stable family structure, you must first of all surrender your life to Christ, because He is the Originator of the family and marriage. Are you willing to give Him a chance in your life? Are you ready to let Him have His way over you? If you do, please say this prayer of faith with me: “Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your blood. Deliver me from sin and satan to serve the living God. I believe You died for me and on the third day, You rose that I might be justified. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom”. Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you, in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: Tel. No: 08141320204; 07026385437; 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Making Marriage Work, Marriage Covenant, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored)


HE term diabetes, when not specified, refers to Diabetes mellitus, a serious metabolic disorder characterized by defects in the body’s use of carbohydrates. The other kind of diabetes is Diabetes insipidus, which is quite a different and relatively rare condition, in which an individual passes large quantities of pale, dilute urine, with consequent dehydration and excessive thirst. Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome in which the basic defect is the absence or shortage of the hormone called insulin. This hormone is carried by the blood to the kidneys, where it limits the outflow of water in the urine. The great majority cases of Diabetes insipidus are due to a tumour or inflammation in the region of the pituitary gland, thereby suppressing ADH production. Physical damage in form of fracture of the base of the skull or surgery in the pituitary area can also cause Diabetes insipidus. In addition, there is a rare inherited form of Diabetes insipidus where the production of Anti-Diuretic Hormone is normal, but the kidneys do not respond to the circulating hormone. As earlier stated, in Diabetes mellitus, an organ in the body (called the pancreas) is found not to be functioning properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the Beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Insulin is carried by the blood to all parts of the body. The body’s cells use glucose (blood sugar) as their fuel. They have receptors to which insulin becomes attached. This binding of insulin enables the cells to use glucose by converting it into energy or

Anchomanes difformis, Pergularia daemia, Vinca rosea and Viscum album.

Diabetes storing it as fat. Any defect in this process, either in the pancreas, where insulin is being produced, or at the sites of attachment of insulin to the cells, would interfere with the body’s use of fuel to produce energy. Apart from the malfunctioning of the Pancreas, one other cause of this disorder is unbalanced diet. Most of us consume denatured food in one way or the other. Also, food additives and unhealthy drinks, whether soft drinks, teas, coffee or liquor may predispose one to metabolic imbalance. The symptoms of diabetes include: frequent urination, loss of flesh, inordinate appetite, constant hunger, mental depression, progressive weakness, great thirst, dry tongue and impaired vision. The person could be irritable, restless and morose. The loss of energy is due to the loss of sugar, which is needed to generate the energy for daily activities. In Holistic Lifecare, it is strongly advised that imported styles of living (i.e. cooking, eating & drinking) must be looked into especially on the use of food additives and colourants in fast foods and so-called take-away. Heavy starchy foods should be cut down drastically, if they cannot be avoided, pending total recovery from the ailment. As we make efforts to re-

pair a malfunctioning pancreas, there are some fruits and vegetables known to be helpful. These include carrots, paw-paw, cucumber, onions, garlic and lettuce, combined with soya-milk mixed with guinea-corn pap or porridge. Control: The Holistic remedy that has been popularly suggested for the control of Diabetes is a combination of the natural extracts of some herbs scientifically called

For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.





It's sad to see Port-Harcourt turned into war theatre after all Amaechi has done — Ex-SSS boss AK Horsfall

Chief Albert Korubo Horsfall is a former Nigerian security chief and prominent Ijaw leader. The pioneer member of the National Security Organisation (NSO) was also the first Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the fifth Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS) and the pioneer Chairman of the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) now known as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). In this interview with Assistant Editor, LINUS OBOGO, Chief Horsfall, currently the Chairman of the Rivers State Social Rehabilitation Committee, charged with the rehabilitation of ex-militants from Rivers State, laments the insecurity that has been foisted on the state and the nation at large by the Boko Haram sect and the political crisis in the People's Democratic Party (PDP).




, Horsfall





Southwest PDP faults court on Oyinlola's replacement n Eric IKHILAE, Abuja n faction of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest has faulted the decision of a Federal High Court, Abuja, that ordered the replacement of the sacked National Secretary of the party, Olagunsoye Oyinlaola, with another person. Spokesman for the faction, Mr. Kunle Olojede, said in Abuja yesterday that the court presided over by Justice


Abdul Kafarati, was wrong to declare that the position of the PDP National Secretary be filled by another person after nullifying the election that produced Oyinlola. "The court cannot replace, it can only remove," Olojede said. He also opposed the endorsement of Professor Wale Oladipo as the party's Acting National Secretary pending the conduct of PDP's National Executive Council election.

The faction said it has endorsed the party's former governorship aspirant in Osun State, Wahab Olatoye as its candidate for the position of National Secretary at the next NEC election. Olojede said the choice of Oladipo is unacceptable to the people. He said his faction is not opposed to the candidature of either Professor Tunde Adeniran

…Endorses Olatoye's candidature or Chief Ebenezer Babatope, but would prefer "a young, dynamic and grass root politician" in the event that none of the two elders are ready to contest. The choice of a grass root and young candidate, he said, is to ensure that the Southwest PDP delivers the region to the party in 2015.

His words:"We, in the South West, want a substantive Secretary and not an Acting one. We need a grass root, young and vibrant politician who can deliver the South West in 2015. "We are not in support of Professor Wale Oladipo, if our two elders who we revered so much are not contesting for the

post again, then we will throw our weight behind one of the pioneer member of the PDP and grass root politician in Osun state, precisely from Obokun, Barrister Wahab Olatoye. "We are confident in Olatoye's ability to deliver the South West to PDP come 2015," Olojede said.

Funke Akindele confirms separation from hubby •Denies threat to sue The Nation CTRESS Funke Akindele yesterday confirmed her separation from her husband,  Kehinde Oloyede,48 hours after a purported denial by her of any such development. Her publicists, Neecee, in a terse statement ,quoted her as asking her fans’ prayers at this point in in view of the situation. Principal Consultant of the company, Ayo   OlaMuhammed,said: “ On behalf of our client, star actress, Funke Akindele, we  want to formally inform you that after due consultation and


consideration, she's now separated from Mr. Kehinde Oloyede as his wife. “ She hereby urges her fans and all  concerned to pray and wish her the best as she moves on in her career. Kindly note that this is the first and only   official statement from Funke Akindele on the matter   and will be glad if her wish is respected.” Funke  contacted The Nation last night to deny a statement credited to her on Thursday as threatening to sue the newspaper for carrying the separation story on Tuesday.

Osun demolishes structure along Gbongan road n Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo n sun State government yesterday commenced the demolition of structures on the setback along Gbongan Road, in Osogbo, the state capital. Part of the fence of Governor Rauf Aregbesola's Campaign Office was among the demolished structures. Also, the fence of the Peoples Democratic Party's secretariat on the road was marked for demolition. It will be recalled that the state


government, in continuation of its beautification project in Osogbo, last year commenced the demolition of structures on major highways, in line with the urban renewal programme of the Aregbesola administration in the state. There was a temporary traffic hold up on the road as many residents, especially those who have structures on the popular Gbongan/Ibadan road trooped out and watched how their structures were being pulled down by officials of the state Capital Development Authority.

•Cross section of PDP, Accord Party and ANPP defectors yesterday in Ibadan

Ajimobi receives 2,870 PDP, Accord Party, ANPP members into ACN n Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan n YO State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, yesterday received 2, 870 former members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party (AP) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) from the 12 wards in Ibadan North Local


Eulogies as Jonathan, Sambo, Amosun bid Reuben Abati’s mum farewell n Ernest NWOKOLO, Abeokuta n RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, his Vice, Namadi Sambo; Governor Ibikunle Amosun,former Secretary-General of the Common Wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaokuand thousands of dignitaries yesterday eulogized Madam Maria Taiwo Abati for a life well lived, describing her as a "true mother worthy of emulation." Madam Abati, mother of the Special Adviser(Media and Publicity)to the President, Dr Reuben Abati, died last May 23 at the age of 81, and was buried yesterday at the St John's Anglican Church cemetery, Isabo, Abeokuta by 1:10pm after the ash - to - ash and dust -to -dust rite was performed for her by Dr Abati and his siblings. Late Madam Abati's final journey began by 9:56am when the light coffee coloured casket bearing her remains was wheeled into the auditorium of St John's Anglican Church, Igbein, Abeokuta, by a six-man pall-bearer from MIC undertakers. The casket was positioned a few feet away from the altar for congregational blessing and the


committing of her soul to God. President Johnathan, in his short speech during the church service, said he could see late Madam Taiwo Abati from her son, Dr Abati, and extolled her for raising responsible, hard working and intelligent children, a feat, he said is not common in most homes today. The President, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mike Oghiadome, blamed the growing "crime" waves, violence and other "social evils" plaguing the country to failure of parents to bring their kids responsibly. Oghiadome said: "The bible says that by their fruits, you shall know them and Reuben is a fruit of Mama, it clearly tells us who mama was, not just what I read in the biography, because people can make up story and put it in a biography. And looking at the biography, I saw that she didn't just produce an intellectual, who later turned a journalist, but also produced a chartered accountant among others, that shows proper upbringing of family. Also speaking Governor Ibikunle Amosun described late Madam Abati as a "mother who lived well," saying were it possible, both the children and

friends would have wished she lived up to 100 years because of exemplary life. There was, however, a mild drama when Amosun used the opportunity to caution politicians, particularly former office holder, who he said have resorted to turning church auditorium into campaign ground using hirelings to engage in pedestrian behaviours. The Governor's advice followed unruly conducts of some persons suspected to be supporters of former Governor Gbenga Daniel when the deceased's son Dr Reuben Abati was recognising dignitaries in attendance at the funeral church service of his mother. In his sermon, the Bishop of Egba Diocese, the Anglican Communion, Rev. Emmanuel Adekunle, extolled Madam Abati and likened her to some biblical virtuous women like Deborah, Dorcas(Thabita) and Pharoah's daughter who preserved Moses and raised him in the palace as her adopted son. Dignitaries at the occasion include Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Dr Raymond Dopesi, Mrs Maiden Ibru, Mr Toke Ibru, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Senator Seye Ogunlewe.

Government Area of the state into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). A breakdown of the figure shows that 2000 former PDP members were led by the former Councilor of party, Hon Saheed Ibrahim. Another set of 700 former members of the Accord Party were led by a former chieftain of the party in the council area, Hon Matthew Oyeniyi, while 170 former members of the ANPP were led by Mr. Rauf Adepoju . Receiving the defectors into the ACN, the governor called

for mutual co-existence among old and new members, urging the defectors not to feel alienated, but see themselves as members of the same family. Ajimobi said the defection was an attestation to the sincerity of purpose and sense of belonging of the ACN towards ameliorating the age-long impoverishment of the residents by the former PDP-led administration in the state. "As you have joined us today, you too shall start progressing. I am happy that you are decamping into this party during this

Ramadan because your prayers will be answered. Please do not form another fraction in this party, I promise you that you shall all benefit, irrespective of your jobs or vocation," said Ajimobi He appealed to the new members to work together for the progress of the party, promising that they will be treated equally. Earlier, the ACN chairman in Oyo State, Chief Akin Oke, explained that the defectors were convinced by the quality of jobs that the ACN has been doing in the state.

Ondo LP chieftain dumps party n Damisi OJO, Akure n

Chieftain of Labour Party [LP] in Ondo State and Senior Special Assistant [SSA] to former Governor Olusegun Agagu on Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission [OSOPADEC] matters, Navy Commander Olatunde Ojajuni (Rtd), yesterday resigned his membership of the party. Commander Ojajuni (Rtd), who tendered his resignation let-


ter to the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and the State Chairman of the party, Mr. Olu Ogindan, told reporters in Akure that he left in order to protect his integrity and political career, adding that he had to quit the party when it became obvious that the LP-controlled government in the state has lost its political relevance in the state. Commander Ojajuni said he did not want to be identified with a government that does not

have the interest of the masses at heart, but rather trades the future of the state for an individual benefit, instead of the collective interest of the people. Ojajuni, who until his resignation was a member of LP state leaders caucus, said the allegation of forgery of security report upon which Mimiko’s victory was based in 2007 election by the State Security Service (SSS) and police, portrayed the governor as a desperate leader.

Lagos Assembly condemns attack on governors’ convoy in Rivers

n Oziegbe OKOEKI n Y Lagos State House of Assembly has condemned the attack on the convoy of four Northern Governors who paid a solidarity visit to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Hon. Segun Olulade, in conversation with newsmen in Lagos, blamed the presidency and its cohorts in Rivers State for dragging the crisis in the state to the limits that could be too


difficult to contain. Olulade stressed that the visit of the four Northern governors should not have generated any hiccup because Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso, Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu and Murtala Nyako had gone to pay a visit to one of their own. According to him, “Governor Rotimi Amaechi still remains the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State, and he is the one in the best position to receive sympathies and pleasantries on behalf of the good people of the state in

such a trying period like the one it going through as orchestrated by the presidency.” The lawmaker maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan is becoming too petty and jittery because of the rising political profile and increasing patronage that Governor Rotimi Amaechi is enjoying across the country, adding that President Jonathan should have concentrated more on the ways and manners he could earn the goodwill that Governor Amaechi is getting from the people of Rivers State and beyond.



FG donates N450m, grains to Boko Haram victims in three states

HE Federal Government on Friday announced a donation of N450 million to victims of Boko Haram crises in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. Alhaji Bukar Tijjani, the Minister of State for Agriculture, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to


Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno in Maiduguri. Tijjani pointed out that Borno would get N200 million out of the amount, while Yobe and Adamawa would get N150 and N100 million respectively. He said that the federal government had also approved a donation of 650

Education consulting firm to organise competition N education training and consulting, Bellaz Education Services & Training, is planning to organize an academic competition for prospective international students in Nigeria. According to a statement by the outfit, the competition is organised in partnership with the London School of Business & Finance- LSBF. It also acts as a recruitment agent for LSBF in Nigeria. The statement also revealed that the outfit will give scholarships to students with outstanding score performance of up to 50% after taking the PTE academic test. More than 500 students have been trained since the commencement of the programme in Nigeria. “As a PTE professional partner, we have built a good track record of success, and we are presently planning a PTE academic competition for prospective international students, who need SELT-secure English language test for their admissions process,” the statement said. PTE Academic is a computer based test which assesses the listening, reading, writing and speaking abilities of prospective international students. It gives quick and accurate scoring to test English proficiency, and is recognized by the UK, USA, AUSTRALIA, Canadian Institutions, as well as UKBA.

•Dangote promises N1b donation to victims trucks of assorted grains to the victims, adding that the gesture was aimed at cushioning the effects of the crises on the people of the states. He said Borno was given a larger percentage of the donation because of the enormity of the crises in the state.

Tijjani said that the Chairman of the Dangote Business Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, had also offered to donate N1billion to the victims after being contacted by the government, and pointed out that N500 million of the money would also go to

Borno, while the remaining two states would share the balance. Responding Shettima thanked the federal government for the gesture and promised to ensure that the donation was judiciously utilised.


Group holds regional conference on national issues youth group, under the aegis of National Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF), has concluded plans to organize a 3-day regional conference for youth leaders of various ethnic groups in the country to discuss problems facing the nation and proffer solutions to them. The conference, which will hold in Lagos next month, is aimed at evolving a national blueprint for sustainable development under a just, equitable and viable federal structure from a cross-section of foremost youth leaders in Nigeria. The convener of the conference, Wole Badmus and Protem Secretary, Ignatius Etuk, in a press statement, said genuine youth leaders of all ethnic groups will meet at the conference and deliberate on issues affecting the nation. According to Badmus, “the aim is to further reinforce the plausible drive for a true federalist state of Nigeria.” He listed other issues that would be discussed to include fiscal federalism; derivation principle in revenue allocation, appropriate and correct national headcounts, and proper delineation of electoral constituencies, balance between merit and federal character principle in the appointment into federal positions.


• Cross-section of traditional rulers from Nasarawa State attending peace meeting between Nasarawa and Benue States in Lafia yesterday Photo by NAN

Phone service returns in Maiduguri OBILE phone service returned to Maiduguri, the restive hotbed of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, for the first time in more than two months, yesterday, the latest part of the northeast to be reconnected. Adamawa and Yobe States had earlier had their mobile phone services restored. The military cut mobile phones in the three states when its troops  moved in   in May after the declaration of a State of emergency   in that part of the country by President Goodluck Jonathan to


end the four-year insurgency by terrorists. It also later banned satellite phones, effectively cutting off the region. Last week, the military restored mobile service to Adamawa state and earlier this week began reconnecting Yobe state. A senior military official told the AFP that phone service would be restricted to Maiduguri metropolis for the time being, with other parts of the state still cut off. Phone service in the city was erratic yesterday, but accessible at times.

"The phone networks will be confined to Maiduguri metropolis at the moment as a security strategy and will be expanded over time depending on the security situation," the source said on condition of anonymity. The military has said it cut phone service to prevent Boko Haram from coordinating attacks. However, a growing number of residents and local officials have called for a return of phone service as the weeks have dragged on. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State had said the lack

Court of Appeal upholds impeachment of ex-Taraba deputy governor n Eric IKHILAE, Abuja n HE Court of Appeal, Abuja, has upheld the impeachment of the former Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Sani Abubakar Danladi. The court, in a unanimous judgment by a five-man panel, dismissed the appeal filed by Danladi for lacking in merit. Justice Musa Abba-Aji, who read the lead judgment, held that the Taraba State House of Assembly complied with section 188 (1-9) of the Constitution in impeaching Danladi. "The Respondents followed all the procedures for the removal of appellant, in accordance with the law", Justice Abba-Aji held. The appellate court then upheld the judgment of the Taraba State High Court delivered on March 19 this year.


"Accordingly, this appeal is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit", Justice AbbaAji held. Danladi was impeached in September last year over allegations of gross misconduct and engaging in private businesses.

He challenged the impeachment before the state's High Court. In his judgment, Justice Yusuf Bashir of the state's High Court threw out Danladi's case and upheld his impeachment.

of phone service may have prevented residents from contacting authorities when suspected Boko Haram members raided Government Secondary School,Maduro   on July 6, killing 42 people, nearly all of them students. The military has claimed to have pushed out Boko Haram members and destroyed a number of their bases, but the claims have been difficult to verify with the phones cut and access to remote areas restricted. Violence appears to have been reduced amid the crackdown, but insurgents have still defied authorities and carried out a number of attacks, including three deadly school raids, indicating the gains may have been shortlived. The Federal Government plans to withdraw much of Nigeria’s   1,200-strong contingent from the United Nations peace keeping mission in Mali, saying the troops are needed to beef up security at home, sources familiar with the matter say.

Normalcy returns to Benue community n Uja EMMANUEL, Makurdi n EACE has returned to Wannune community in Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State, after a bloody protest by market men and women on Wednesday. The traders, mostly tomato sellers, protested against the increase in tax by the local government revenue department. Wannune Tarka Local Government is noted for massive production of


tomato, with more than 200 trucks of the product sent to different parts of the country every market day. But the relative peace which the area has enjoyed was broken last Wednesday, when the traders deserted the market over the tax increase. The protest spread to other parts of the town, as the Makurdi-Gboko highway was blocked, leading to serious traffic gridlock in the area. A protester, Justine Anjembe, while speaking with

The Nation, called on Governor Suswam to complete the Wannune tomato Company, which was started by former governor, George Akume, and added that most of the traders would have better alternatives of selling their farm produce if the construction of the tomato processing company had been completed. Meanwhile, an official of the revenue department of the local government, who pleaded anonymity, told The Nation that the matter has been addressed.

Court remands robbery suspect after giving birth in custody n Ebele BONIFACE n OUR armed robbery suspects, including a woman who gave birth to a baby while in custody have been remanded in prison custody. The suspects, Asabi Ojenike who gave birth to a bouncing baby boy that weighed 3.7 kilogramm, Matthew Huyeke, 42; Gbenga Oyedele, 42 and Samsudeen Giwa, 28, were arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Lagos State Police Command. They were arraigned on 15th of July at the Chief magistrate court two, Ikeja, Lagos. No plea was taken, and they were not granted bail, while the case was adjourned to 27th August 2013. The two-count charge stated that Matthew, Gbenga, Giwa, Asabi and others still at large, on 13 June, 2013, at about 23.00 (11pm) at Alakuko Lagos, committed armed robbery. The second count stated that, at the same place and time, the four accused persons, with others still at large, whilst with one locally-made single barrel short gun and one locally-made double barrel gun, with 35 live cartridges and other dangerous weapons, did attempt to rob one Alhaji Taofik Gani of his property, thereby committed an offence.


Rivers crisis will soon be over, say Ijaw leaders n Precious IGBONWELUNDU n EADERS of Ijaw and Izon groups of the Niger-Delta, under the aegis of Oporosa House, yesterday declared that the crisis in Rivers State will soon be over, describing the crisis as an in-house matter. The group, led by Chief Timi Agoriba and Comrade Joseph Evah, made the declaration in Lagos after separate solidarity visits to the founder of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Dr. Federick Fasehun and the National Coordinator of the OPC, Otunba Gani Adams. Evah, who is President of the Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), said leaders in the Niger-Delta have waded into the matter, and that consultations were ongoing. The leader of the group, T.K. Ogoriba, said the visit was part of the group’s way of thanking the Yoruba people for their support for the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, and added the visit would avail the group the opportunity to gauge the feelings of the people about the president and his administration. Welcoming the group to his office, the National Coordinator of the OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, thanked the delegate, saying the struggle is on again. While stating his support for the agitation for self-determination by any section of the country, Otunba Adams the practice of true federalism in the country would take care of all the agitations. He called on President Jonathan to endeavour to put in place structures that would put his name in the memory of Nigerians forever, adding that the president should hold a people's dialogue or conference where the various ethnic nationalities can address their differences and chart a new course.




Navy destroys 30 truck-bearing illegal refined crude oil in Delta T

HE Nigerian Navy, Warri, yesterday achieved a major breakthrough in the fight against illegal oil bunkering when it destroyed thirty (30) trucks of illegal refined crude oil in the riverine area and set ablaze illegal refineries in Delta State. The Commanding Officer, NNS Delta, Warri Naval

Polycarp OROSEVWOTU, Warri

Base, Commodore Mohammed Garba said the trucks were intercepted during a raid at Opumami and other riverine areas of the state. He disclosed that besides

the trucks destroyed, twenty one local refineries at Opumami and twelve at Olero creek were set ablaze to serve as a deterrent to other illegal bunkerers. According to him, illegal refined products were discovered in Contonou

boats, numbering 30, adding that several other boats were also set ablaze. “The Nigerian Navy will continue to wage war against oil theft in the NigerDelta region. We will not tolerate illegal act being perpetrated along the creeks

and water-ways,” remarked the Commanding Officer. Commodore Garba maintained that the base will continue to adhere strictly to the Chief of Naval staff’s zero tolerance on illegal bunkering and other illegalities being practiced along the water-ways. He further revealed that the source of the crude was from abandoned well-head,

Senator Ewherido buried amid tears, eulogies in Delta


•Governor Seriake Dickson (2ndleft) assisted by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kombowei Benson (left); Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu (3rdleft) and Dr. Zuobuoemi Agadah (right), presenting a draft of the sum of N500m to the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Board of the State Health Services Scheme, Dr. Martins Amaigbe (2ndright); at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, while a member of the Minister of Health's entourage (3rdright) looks on. PHOTO: Lucky FRANCIS

Dickson signs BHSS bill into law, releases N500m as take off grant B

AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson has presented a draft of N500m as take off grant to the newly inaugurated board of the Bayelsa State Health Services Scheme to kick start the programme. This was just as he signed into law the Bayelsa State Health Services Scheme bill that has been described as the first of its kind in the country. In addition, the government will be remitting between N50m and N100m monthly into the coffers of the board, to assist in the delivery of the present administration’s health policy. Disclosing this at the inauguration ceremony of the Bayelsa State Health Services Scheme Board on Friday in Yenagoa, Dickson said the scheme is primarily targeted at the public servants in the state, adding that they are automatic subscribers to the scheme. According to him, with the inauguration of the board, government has provided a legal backing for the establishment of a credible functional and sustainable health scheme for the public servants. “The board will come up with a scheme whereby different people at different grades in our public service will pay and subscribe to it. Irrespective of what they get, because of the importance we attach to this programme and the need to ensure its sustainability, government of this great state, apart from the initial N500 million deposit that we are going to give to them, we will also make a monthly payment to the fund of N50 to N100 million. “The whole idea is that whatever they get from the subscriptions from the public sector, whatever the

amount is, government will also augment it so that those who require medical attention will always have enough funds for treatment. ‘‘When our facilities are completed, and I hope in the next four months, our diagnostic centre will be completed, it will be our policy and it will be the duty of this board to implement same, that every public sector worker, every tax-paying citi-

zen of this state will be entitled to at least, free medical diagnostic treatment once every year.” Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, commended Governor Dickson for initiating the scheme, stating that it would boost the delivery of primary health care in the state. Prof. Chukwu described the establishment of the health

programme as a demonstration of total leadership and assured the state government of Federal Government’s collaboration in the provision of training for medical personnel. Responding, Chairman of the BHSS, Dr. Markson Amaigbe expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for the confidence reposed in them and admonished members of the board against sharp practices in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Group condemns killing of Itsekiri by which he( described as group, the Warri militants crisis agitation to escalate. People Democratic


Movement (WPDM), has condemned the recent attack by suspected Ijaw youths on some Itsekiri communities in Warri North Local( Government Area of Delta State which left four persons dead.( In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Greg Numa, on behalf of WPDM, it stated that the Itsekiri people were the ones suffering from government policies. He said the crisis has thrown up a challenge to our states and National Assembly the need for people at the lowest level to be at liberty to choose their leaders without external influence.( “We want to advise government at all levels, especially the state government to stop appointment and( imposition of candidates for elective positions. The people should be allowed to do their rotation, zoning and choosing themselves,” the statement said.( The group appealed to the state government to be serious

explaining that the hoodlums capitalised on it and started siphoning crude oil at will. “I want to sound a note of warning to illegal bunkerers to desist from this criminal act as anyone caught will not only be dealt with several but will also be handed over to the law enforcement agents,” stressed Garba.

with the rebuilding of all the houses and communities burnt down in 2003, 2007 and 2013 as a result of the lingering crises.( Meanwhile, a community leader and local government chairmanship aspirant, Mr. Andrew Aganbi, has frowned at the recent attack on some Itsekiri villages by suspected( Ijaw youths in the council area which led to the death of over 12( persons.( Aganbi, in a statement stated that he does not want the

He said: “There are better and peaceful ways that issues can be resolved without loss( of life and destruction of property. The issue at stake couldn’t have( led to crisis; we can resolve this matter without of bloodshed. I strongly condemn the act.”( He called on leaders of Ijaw and Itsekiri to wade into the crisis and resolve it amicably to enable them live in peace as brothers and sisters just like it used to be in the past.

HE remains of late Senator Pius Ewherido was yesterday laid to rest in Ewu, Ughelli South Local Area of Delta amidst tears by family members, friends and sympathisers. Senator Pius Ewerhido’s remains arrived Ewu community at 3:43pm and was laid to rest at 4:15p.m. Earlier, a requiem mass was held in his honour at the Sacred Hearts Cathedral,Warri. Dignitaries at the occasion included the Senate President, David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, ex-governor of defunct Bendel State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, Delta Speaker, Victor Ochei and a host of others. In his homily, Rev Father, Anthony Anamali said the late senator Pius Ewherido “lived a good life and that he is at peace with Jesus.” He admonished the congregation to reflect on their lives, adding that even though they are alive today, a day of reckoning was around the corner for every man on earth. According to him,” Our brother lived a good life and I believe strongly that he is at peace with Jesus. As we bury our brother, let’s all use this occasion to also look into our lives. We are here today, but a day will come when our Lord God Jesus will call us to give an account of our stewardship on earth.” He said that it was right to pray for long life and prosperity, but stressed that the quality of life lived was of more important. His words: “Nothing consoles us more than the word of God. All the time we pray for long life and prosperity, but nothing is wrong with that, it will amount to nothing if those years are spent outside of God, this is why in the face of any death..The word of the first reading from the book of Wisdom comes so handy. The righteous man, though he dies before his time, will be a break, old age is not honoured for length of time nor measured by number of years, but

FRSC prosecutes 21 transport companies in Edo


total of 21 transport companies in Edo State have been prosecuted by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Zone RS5 for violating Regulations 115 of National Road Traffic Regulations 2004. Zonal Commanding Officer of FRSC, Mr Wole Olaniran, who made this known in a press statement, said more non-complying transport fleet operators would be taken to court in order to ensure safe fleet operations.

Osagie OTABOR, Benin Mr. Olaniran explained that the prosecution of the offenders was part of the corps’ resolve to reduce factors causing road traffic crashes. He said the offenders were fined N50,000 each. According to him, “So far, 21 fleet operators have been arraigned in Edo State while nine defaulting operators in Delta State have been served with requisite Pre-Acton Notice. Federal Road Safety

Corps, Zone 5 Benin, continues to prosecute defaulting fleet operators,’’ he said. “They were found guilty of non-registration with FRSC and not subjecting their operations to safety audit to ascertain their compliance with the safety standards as specified under Road Transports Safety Standardization Scheme (RTSSS). “The registration would have led to their certification and classification based on their compliance status.’’

Okungbowa AIWERIE and Polycarp OROSEVWOTU, Warri understanding is grey hair for men and a blameless life is ripe old age”. He described the late Senator Ewherido life as a gospel which all must emulate His words, “In life and in death Pius’s life remained a gospel for all of us to see and to emulate. The former member of the Federal House of Representative, Ughelli Nouth South and Udu constituency, Hon. Solomon Awhinawhi said that the death of late Senator Pius Ewherido was a shocker not only to Urhobo nation, but to Delta State and the country at large. He described him as upright man who believes in the principle of live and an epitome of sincerity. A community leader in Ewu, Chief Thompson Inoko and a former Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor in the Ministry of Water Resources and Development, Hon. Steve Eruotor, said the death of late Senator Ewherido was not only a minus to Ewu community but to the entire Urhobo nation, saying that the much development that has come to the community was brought through Senator Ewherido. He wondered where Ewu community would start from. Meanwhile, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), yesterday at Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamugbe, Agborho, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, held a valedictory session in honour of late Senator Pius Akpo Ewherido, just as his elder brother, Rev. Fr. Anthony described his death as a sacrifice for Urhobo nation. The valedictory session was well attended by illustrious sons and daughters of Urhobo nation at home and in Diaspora amidst tears for their departed distinguished senator who died while in service. Speaking at the valedictory session, the President-General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Genenral Newton Patrick Aziza (rtd), said the Urhobo nation is solely grieved by the sudden death of their pre-eminent political icon and a patriot, Senator Pius Ewherido who passed on June 30th at the age of 50. Aziza said Ewherido was the highest political personality of Urhobo at the federal, representing Delta Central Senatorial District on the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party until his demise, adding that Urhobo nation has lost a great leader, democrat and an astute legislator. He explained that in Ewherido’s primary constituency, Delta Central, he has left behind a splendid legacy of care, compassion and love for the grassroots segment of the electorate.

60 NEWS Obi gives N30m to elderly home, laboratory to technicians n Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Onitsha n OVERNOR Peter Obi yesterday presented another cheque of ten million naira to the Congregation of Immaculate Heart Sisters, Nkpor, for continuation of work on the Elderly Sisters Home Project at Nkpor. He had earlier given N10 Million. In a similar development, Governor Obi has presented another cheque of N20 million to the congregation for the ongoing hostel project for the School of Laboratory Technicians at Umuoji. Governor Obi said the additional intervention will help to fast track the completion of the project and noted that the institution is a critical component of the state health system. At Nkpor, Obi said his administration would continue to support projects that would help to protect the future of the aged and the needy in the society. He further expressed satisfaction with the pace of work done so far and said such projects were in line with the policy of his administration to promote the welfare of the aged in the state. He thanked the contributions of the congregation to the present efforts to rebuild the state. The Mother-General of the congregation, Mother Mary Claude Oguh expressed gratitude to the governor for the various support given to them including the recent handover of a hospital at Mmiata, Anambra West to the Congregation. Mother Claude Oguh said the governor’s commitment to the health sector reform was a demonstration of his genuine desire to build a healthy society. She noted that the governor has sustained the tempo of work in all sectors even when his tenure is gradually coming to an end.


Igbo group holds summit HE first Ndigbo international conference and debate will hold on August 18 in Hamburg, Germany. The conference is organised by the German chapter of Igbozurume, a pan-Igbo group. The Chairman, Igbozurume Germany, John Bosco Onyeke, said: “We have been seeking to organise our people to brainstorm on what it really means to be Igbo from the German perspective and we thank God that the time has come for the first Ndigbo conference in Germany. “The chief host is Eze Peter Godwin, Eze Ndigbo of Germany, who is our grand patron. All the Southeast governors are expected at the conference.” A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of Igbozurume Nigeria and Chairman Advisory Board, Victor Njimmah, will deliver a paper at the conference. He said: “I feel very delighted to note that for the first time, Ndigbo worldwide will gather in Germany with guests expected from far flung places as Brazil. I want all to see the event as Ndigbo Germany’s contribution towards the ongoing parleys on Igbo commonwealth because what war will not do is what dialogue can do.”



Cabinet dissolution: Okorocha bars ex-commissioners, aides from Govt House

n Okodili NDIDI, Owerri n ormer Commissioners, aides to Governor Rochas Okorocha were yesterday barred from driving into the Government House on the orders of the Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha.


The governor was quoted to have described their presence in the Government House as a distraction to official activities. The Nation gathered that some of the former commissioners were sent back from the gate after security operatives rejected their excuse

that they were invited for a meeting by the governor. According to a reliable source who spoke with our reporter in confidence, "the governor barred the former commissioners and aides from flocking around the Government House to allow him and others con-

centrate on the next line of action because some of them are going about it the wrong way." The source added: "Dissolution or overhaul of cabinet is necessary to give others opportunity to serve and contribute their quota in developing the state."

He disclosed that the governor and his close associates have been inundated with calls and text messages from the disengaged aides and commissioners, stating that, "the governor needs to concentrate on his duties and can't afford to be continually distracted by those seeking reappointment."

Suspension of Egypt from AU commendable —Nnamani Centre HE Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development has hailed Nigeria’s pivotal role in getting Egypt suspended from the Africa Union (AU), following the unconstitutional removal of President Mohamed Morsi, describing it as courageous and commendable. Reacting to the development, the Executive Director of the Centre, Professor Ebere Onwudiwe, said the coup is unacceptable and warrants the suspension of Cairo in all activities of the continental organisation until the restoration of constitutional civilian government. “In international politics, when principle clashes with interests, it loses every time. The principle in this case is AU’s rejection of forcible removal of elected governments in Africa," Professor Onwudiwe said. "Taking the leadership role in promptly punishing the coup makers in Egypt unequivocally supports the Constitutive Act of the African Union that outlaws illegal change of government. This is good for our own fledgling democracy," he pointed out, adding: "Thus, the Jonathan administration, by this courageous act, shows a clear respect for the rule of law, a core element of democracy that will surely take root in Nigeria one day."


•From left: CAN Chairman Anambra State, Bishop Ephraim Ndeife; South-East Secretary, Rev. Joseph Ajujungwa and Vice President South-East, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuman, during the South-East CAN meeting in Enugu yesterday Photos by NAN

Bishop begs for worthy successor OVERNOR Peter Obi yesterday celebrated his 52nd birthday in style at the Governor’s Lodge with the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor appealing to the people of Anambra to intensify prayers for God to give the state somebody better than Governor Peter Obi. Bishop Ezeokafor spoke while delivering a homily during a thanksgiving mass to mark the 52 birthday of Governor Peter Obi. He insisted that Obi’s successor must be somebody who will continue and even surpass his impressive records as governor of Anambra State. The Cleric charged Christians to work towards uplifting the society and leaving a legacy worthy of emulation, adding that Governor Obi has changed the history of the state and Igbo land. He noted that Obi has continued to advance the course of the society by entrenching


•As Obi marks 52nd birthday n Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Onitsha n selfless service to promote the common good of the people. The Chaplain of the Governor’s Lodge, Rev. Fr. Jonas Benson Okoye said the governor lived a disciplined life and always worked towards excellence in all facets of life and commended Obi’s courage and political will in correcting the mistakes of the past as well as laying a foundation for sustainable devel-

opment. The APGA Senatorial candidate in the last election, Chief Chuma Nzeribe said the governor had enriched governance with humility and dedication to duty and had continued to carry everybody along in his policies and programmes. The Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Patrick Obi, described the governor as a role model who has touched many lives and set a standard others should aspire to attain.

The Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr. Edozie Aroh noted that the governor has remained exemplary in his conduct and brought a new dawn to governance. Responding, the celebrator, Governor Obi, repeated his call for collective efforts to building a progressive society with opportunity for everybody. Governor Obi said prudent and judicious use of resources was necessary to build a country where posterity will be proud.

Copyrights commission seizes piracy broadcast equipment valued N12.5m in Aba n Chris OJI, Enugu n ROADCAST equipment valued at N12.5 million were yesterday seized by the Nigerian Copyright Commission at Aba, Abia State. In the anti-piracy raid code named “Operation Lion


Claws”, the operatives of the commission, acting on a tipoff, swung into action and arrested four persons including a lady in two locations. They were caught in action pirating films and videos. The four suspects arrested in the raid led by Okwudili

Akachukwu and backed by 30 armed policemen included Obinna Onukaji, Somtochukwu Ezelu, Tochukwu Okonkwo and the only female, Confidence Chikezie. The equipment seized included Avarta, Liberty Star T5, Liberty Star T1, Liberty

Anambra 2014: Disabled persons to mobilise 200,000 voters n Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Onitsha n SSOCIATION of physically challenged persons in Nigeria yesterday resolved to be counted henceforth in all elections in the country beginning with the governorship election in Anambra State. The groups, under the aegis of Association for Comprehensive Empowerment of Nigerians with Disability (ASCEND), National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPD), National Association of Physically Handicapped Persons


(NAPHP), National Association for the Deaf and Blind (NADB), said they could not continue to play second fiddle in Nigerian politics, but shall rather play active role in the process of electing leaders henceforth in Nigeria. They regretted that out of about 24 million people living with disabilities in Nigeria, no one has ever occupied an executive political office in Nigeria owing to exclusion and stigmatisation by the society. In a press briefing in Awka yesterday, the National President, ASCEND, Mr. Cosmas Ikechukwu Okoli, along with

representatives of other physically challenged groups said the physically challenged persons in Nigeria have in abundance, qualified men and women who could hold even the highest political office in Nigeria more efficiently than their able bodied counterparts, as they have proved in sports and entrepreneurship. “We can no longer live at the fringes of the society, we have realised that the only way to stop the marginalisation of persons with disability and the attendant social, economic and political exclusion is to mobilise persons with

disability to participate actively in politics which was the overriding consideration for the formation of the this organisation in 2006,” the group said. In line with the 2013 theme for the International Day of Persons with Disability which is to break barriers and open doors so as to realise an inclusive society for all, the groups said they have resolved to mobilise their members and sympathizers to vote for credible candidates who are ready to not only take adequate care of them, but shall include them in every aspect of government.

Star T3 and AZ-Sky. Others included Micro box X5, Strong FTA, Oscar, Hot Box X-69, Havok and 007. According to the zonal manager of the commission, Mrs. Ngozi Okeke, the raids were carried out in two locations which included four outlets in Aba Shopping Centre and No. 80 Hospital Road. Okeke said that a digital television outfit had complained to the commission about the rampant copyright infringements by some persons in Aba, adding that, “these people use this equipment in perpetrating broadcast piracy.” She said that the operation was an indication of the commission’s renewed commitment to its regulatory and enforcement mandate. She indicated that the commission was intensifying its anti-piracy operation across the country to protect the genuine right owners and the copyright industries in Nigeria.



Controversy trails christening of newborn of female armed robbery suspect in police custody

Oduoye alone cannot give the child a name, but because of her alleged participation in the robbery operation, the process is experiencing a setback. Some people who pleaded for anonymity said the child deserved to be properly named, despite the alleged crime of his mother as he is innocent of his mother's offence

The suspects




The suspect that gave birth

Ashabi Oduoye, the pregnant woman who was arrested by the operatives of the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command, has given birth to a bouncing baby boy. The other three suspects arrested with her were Matthew Wuneke, aged 40, Samsudeen Giwa aged 28, and one other one suspect. According to police source, Mrs. Oduoye, aged 35, delivered in police clinic and the baby boy weighed 3.7 kilogram. The newborn was yet to be christened at the time of filing this report. But controversy is said to be trailing the christening. According to sources, Mrs. Oduoye alone cannot give the child a name, but because of her alleged participation in the robbery operation, the process is experiencing a setback. Some people who pleaded for anonymity said the child deserved to be RS

properly named, despite the alleged crime of his mother as he is innocent of his mother's offence. But the questions on the lips of many are who will give the name? What name will be given? Who will take care of the boy? Will her mother be let off the hook to enable her take proper care of the child? Mrs. Oduoye is a citizen of Republic of Benin, but married to a Nigerian after separating from her first husband, also a citizen of Benin Republic is said to have admitted participating in the robbery operation. She allegedly confessed to have been the one responsible for supplying arms and ammunition to the gang. Narrating her role in all the armed robbery she had participated she said: “I am from Port Novo, Benin Republic. I am a business woman. I sell 'Agbo' (boiled herbs and roots) and I am patronised mostly by bus drivers and conductors. My husband has two wives and I am his second wife. He is the owner of this pregnancy and he is a member of National Union at Owode and that is why he is called National at Owode Bus Stop in Ogun State. I was formerly married to one Lamidi, a commercial bus driver and I had a set of twins boys for him before we separated. I am the one who brings guns (usually two), but they are locally made guns. I used to collect the two guns from one Alhaji Gani in Benin Republic. I used to put the short guns in my hand bag to beat security whenever I am taking the guns to Iyana Ilogbo, Ogun State, where my gang leader picks them up from me.” On how she operated with the gang, she said: “My role, when we wanted to attack shops was that I will first go to the shop,

pretending to buy something. As the shop keeper is trying to sell something to me, my other gang members will strike and order the shop keeper, at gun point to surrender all the money from the day's sales to us. “It was last year 2012, that I joined the gang. We are a five-man gang, namely: Oduoye, who is still at large, Dipo our informant, Ade and one Igbo man, whose name I do not know and myself. Though Godogodo is our gang leader, he has up to three gangs which he also leads. I have participated in two armed robbery operations. The first was at Ore town, where they were selling recharge cards. I did not know how much recharge cards they collected but I was given recharge cards worth N10,000.00. The second operation was at Iyana-Ilogbo, where the gang leader gave four of us N20,000 to share and I got N5,000 only.” “The second suspect, Matthew Wuneke, aged 40, from Banigboro, Lokosa village, in Cotonou, but based in Ifako area of Ogun State, Nigeria, said “I am a bread baker. I used to pay for the guns this woman usually brought to us from Republic of Benin. We used to swear to an oath that any vehicle snatched or stolen should be brought to me to sell to avoid being detected by police. I must confess that I had willing buyers. The third suspect, Samsudeen Giwa from Epe said: “I am from Epe and I am a smuggler. I used to go to Cotonou to buy goods and smuggle them into Nigeria. But in 2008, my goods were seized by customs and it affected my business badly. I did not know what to do to restart my smuggling business. In 2010, I met one Gbenga who assisted me with a little money and lured me into their gang when the money finished.” Meanwhile, the woman-suspect, Mrs Oduoye, according to police source, has been charged to court.




Elegbeleye charges selected federations to win medals


IRECTOR General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye has charged the eleven selected sports federations to ensure they win medals for the country at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The NSC top official declared this on Thursday during a parley with sports federations presidents held at the Abuja National Stadium on Thursday. “This meeting was called by the NSC to actually deliberate with the presidents of the (eleven) sports federations that will be participating in the Commonwealth Games for a better performances as relates to winning medals in the competition. “We (NSC) want to know the federations that want to prepare their athletes for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympic Games competitions. We want to also know how prepared are the


Nigerians to pay N158,000 for tickets


IGERIAN fans hoping to watch the 2014 World Cup live

in Brazil may need to start planning in advance, as the ticket prices for certain games

could be as high as N158,000. But the good news is that ticket prices for international

HE resignation of John Obuh as coach of Nigeria U20 team has been accepted, NFF officials have said. “We have accepted the resignation of John Obuh, but he is not the only one going,” said chairman of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Green. “We have relieved all

members of the technical crew of their jobs.” Obuh quit as coach of the Flying Eagles after the team crashed out to Uruguay in the Round of 16 clash at the recent FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey. He has been in charge of the U20s since he led the U17 team to reach the final of the 2009 FIFA U17 World Cup, which Nigeria hosted. The former Kwara United

handler led Nigeria to win the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa and also reach the last eight of the 2011 World Cup in Colombia. He also guided the team to finish third at this year’s AYC in Algeria. Meanwhile, Green has told his committee will meet next week to appoint coaches to the various female national teams. “We will be meeting next week to constitute the technical crew of the Super Falcons and all the female national teams,” he announced.

NFF accepts Obuh’s resignation


Besiktas abandons Michael Eneramo chase


ESIKTAS has abandoned its pursuit of Nigeria international Michael

Eneramo, according to reports in Turkey. The soap opera starring the 27 - year - old striker has come to a conclusion and the verdict is not favorable, as the Besiktas chiefs say attempts will be made to sign another forward in the ongoing summer transfer market. Fanatik says the leadership of

the Black Eagles can’t meet Eneramo’s financial demand believed to be in excess of one million euros. In addition, there are doubts surrounding the physical fitness of the former Esperance skipper, with doctors claiming that he has an irregular heartbeat. Michael Eneramo has a good reputation in Turkey and had attracted interest from Rizespor, Trabzonspor and Bursaspor before he agreed in principle to join Besiktas.

Vilanova resigns as Barcelona ARCELONA have manager confirmed that head


coach Tito Vilanova has stepped down with immediate effect as he continues his battle against cancer. Club president Sandro Rosell and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta called a press conference at Camp Nou on Friday evening, where they confirmed Vilanova must undergo further cancer treatment which would make it “impossible” for him to continue in his role. The Barcelona squad, including Lionel Messi, were present in the front two rows of seats of the press conference as Rosell delivered the news. “After looking at routine tests, there is [now] an option to continue treating his disease which means it will be impossible for him to continue as first-team coach of FC

Barcelona,” Rosell told reporters. “I want to ask for the maximum respect for him and his family. “We have got together with all of the players and the coaching staff and we have decided not to play tomorrow in Poland [in a friendly against Lechia Gdansk]. “It is a very big blow, a huge blow. But Barcelona has overcome many obstacles in its history and this will be no exception.”


fans attending the football World Cup in Brazil will start at $90 (N14,400) for initial group matches. Football’s governing body FIFA announced that the cheapest ticket for overseas fans for the final on 13 July was $440 (N70,400) and the most expensive $990 (N158,400). The tournament starts on 12 June next year, with the first game being played in Sao Paulo. Tickets will go on sale from August 20 . Fans have until October 10 to apply and a ballot will be held to decide which of these applications are successful. Only later will tickets be sold on a first come, first served basis. In total about three million tickets will be available for fans.

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja federations to participate and win medals for Nigeria. The NSC is also keen on assisting the federations that have strong tendencies of winning gold medals in the competitions. “We are targeting better results this time around that the previous games and the NSC want better preparations that could aid the winning of many medals but especially gold medals this time around. “So any federation that we feel will not be able to meet up with this target will probably not have reason to go to the games. The reason is that we want to go to the Commonwealth Games especially, participate and win medals in Scotland. That is what Nigeria wants to know and that is what we will be discussing today (yesterday). We want you to tell us how you intend to achieve this”, Elegbeleye disclosed.

ASUU strike ‘ll not affect preparations for NUGA—Don


ROF. ADEMOLA Onifade of the Lagos State University (LASU) says the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of University’s (ASUU) will not adversely affect athletes’ preparation for the Nigeria Universities Game ( N U G A ) . The Games will be hosted by the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife from Oct. 2 – Oct. 13. Onifade, a Professor of Sports and Chairman, LASU Sports Council, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that in spite of the persisting strike, the athletes could still be preparing for the Games. Onifade explained that the strike was only directed at stopping the lecturers from teaching and holding meetings and not crippling other activities in the i n s t i t u t i o n s . ``ASUU strike does not in any

way affect student sports. I mean ASUU strike is for ASUU, that is, we the staff are not expected to teach. We are not expected to attend meetings, so the strike is b a s i c a l l y for academic staff, not for students, so it doesn’t affect students in anyway. ``And again, you must appreciate the fact that in all Nigerian universities, there is a sport office and academic staff are not the ones running the sport offices. There are professional sports people who are in the sports offices and they take care of the student sports, so the strike doesn’t affect it in any way. ``Even if an academic staff is engaged as a part time coach, it doesn’t, because ASUU is not against that per say, since we are not teaching. We are not attending academic meetings. No, it does not affect it (NUGA preparations) in anyway.”

Encounter with Keshi •Continued from back page Anichibe for fumbling players. Siasia told me to face my journalism job while he does his. Surprisingly, Siasia made the desired changes in the next game and Osaze and Anichebe were the goal scorers. Smart guy Siaisa is, he apologised at the next international post-match press conference. He said he was in a foul mood after that game. Siasia is human, so I moved on. One of the hazards of journalism, a few would say. But the job must be done in this era where those in authority blame journalists for all the societal ills. Busy bodies, they shout to the roof but we are condemned tell our readers the stories the next day. I digress. How did you feel Ade after the Keshi spat, many would ask? I’m still excited. The best copies for journalists come when you put your interviewer on the spot. You need to ask him the questions that outsiders confront you with. We are confronted daily with questions. And it is always nice to throw them back at the coaches so that their responses could get to the soccer faithful. Once The telephone conversation over, I went back to contending with finding a lead story, which I got by sending a text message to a source. Behold, Keshi’s team list for the August 14 Mandela Challenge in Durban, South Africa. I was excited. A good copy had come at last. The list, though tentative as it turned out to be had Obinna Nsofor and Shola Ameobi. I was relieved that Keshi had started listening to good advice. If what Keshi said was anything to reckon with it, it was that he also reads this column, given the details he reeled out in his fit of rage. Again, my informant said Keshi submitted the 24-man list to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for vetting, unlike in the past. The NFF directed him to prune it to 18- the number of players that the organisers asked for. Keshi chose 20 players instead and listed four others on the waiting list. Kudos, big Boss. that is what we want rather than outright rejection of the NFF directive which makes your employers look like puppets. I was pleased with this revelation. Besides, it didn’t leak to the press nor was it an issue for public debate until I stumbled on it. If you ask me, we are making progress. It is also cheery news that the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye, reconciled Keshi and the NFF chiefs. Elegbeleye’s message of securing our national interest above selfish agenda should serve as the fulcrum for Keshi to take the good criticisms and discard the others. Keshi should know that he is answerable to Nigerians and not all of us will tell him what he wants to hear. Keshi shouldn’t insult our sensibilities by telling us that Joseph Yobo is the team’s captain. Keshi’s body language and utterances show that Yobo isn’t in his plans He only wants to mock Yobo. He should move on because Yobo isn’t a fool, given his recent stoic silence on the team and Keshi. Indeed, Keshi’s double-speak at press conferences is disturbing. In one instance, he tells his audience that he won’t beg Victor Anichebe. In another response on the same issue, he startles his listeners with suggestions that he has asked Mikel Obi to talk with Anichebe to do a rethink. Keshi should know that the world is a global village. Whatever he says about his players during press conferences are read by them. He must put himself in these players’ shoes and see if he won’t react otherwise. Thank you for the five minutes discussion. Let’s do it again soon. Ramadan Kareem.





Profit-taking halts equities rally

ROFIT-TAKING transactions on Nigerian Breweries moderated the bullish rally at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday although the market remained with widespread capital gains. Nigerian Breweries, which has been in the lead of the bullish rally in recent days, faltered yesterday with a loss of N2.90 to close at N176.50 per share. The loss by Nigerian Breweries and its competitor, Guinness Nigeria, coloured the market position. Notwithstanding preponderance of gainers to losers at 31 to 26, aggregate market value of all equities still inched downward from N12.140 trillion to N12.138 trillion, a marginal loss of N2 billion. The All Share Index (ASI), which tracks all equities on the NSE, also slipped by 0.02 per cent from 38,334.54 points to 38,328.29 points. Average year-to-date return thus moderated to 36.50 per cent. Market analysts said they expected further profit-taking transactions on many stocks that had garnered substantial capital gain in recent period, although most analysts expected fur-

•Unilever Nigeria's profit down

Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

ther rally as investors take positions ahead of more second quarter earnings. The first set of second quarter earnings showed a mixed grill with steep improvement in the banking subsector counterbalanced by sluggish performance in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) companies. Interim report and accounts of Unilever Nigeria Plc for the six-month period ended June 30, 2013 showed that turnover increased slightly by 10.2 per cent but net profit after tax dropped by 3.2 per cent. Turnover stood at N29.67 billion in 2013 as against N26.92 billion in comparable period of 2012. Gross profit also increased by 11.3 per cent from N9.76 billion to N10.86 billion. Operating profit recorded a lower growth rate of 8.8 per cent from N3.99 billion to N4.34 billion. Profit before tax inched up by 3.7 per cent from N3.82 billion to N3.96 billion. However, profit after tax dipped by 3.2 per cent to N2.74 billion in 2013 as against N2.83 billion in corresponding period of

2012. Earnings per share thus dropped from 75 kobo to 72 kobo. Unilever Nigeria's share price remained unchanged at the weekend. Other major losers yesterday included Nigerian German Chemical, which lost 81 kobo to close at N7.36. BOC Gases dropped by 73 kobo to N6.77. Portland Paints and Products declined by 62 kobo to N5.78. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated lost 25 kobo to close at N14.75. May & Baker Nigeria dropped by 24 kobo to N2.70. Dangote Sugar Refinery slipped by 23 kobo to N12.22. Transnationwide Express dropped by 22 kobo to N1.99 while Guinness Nigeria lost 20 kobo to close at N2.60 per share. Meanwhile, PZ Cussons Nigeria topped the gainers' list with N4.20 to close at N48.50. Forte Oil followed with a gain of N2.70 to close at N29.76. Conoil trailed with addition of N2.30 to close at N25.30. MRS Oil and Gas added N2.29 to close at N25.28 while Cadbury Nigeria rose by N1 to close at N53.05. Total turnover stood at 390.96 million shares valued at N2.86 billion in 5,426 deals. ABC Transport was the most active stock with a turnover of 110.19 million shares worth N143.24 million in 39 deals.


Mac 72




AKE no mistake about it. I totally dis agree with their methods. I abhor their violence. I loathe the taking of innocent lives. I detest their bestial, savage, barbaric killing of innocent school children. But then, could there possibly be something right about Boko Haram’s claim that western education is sin? The majority of Nigeria’s western educated elite so much vindicate Boko Haram’s position that the sect certainly does not need the current shedding of blood and wasting of lives to make its point. In any case what is sin? In my view it is a violation of God’s laws such as lying, stealing, murder, adultery etc. It is a breaching of moral codes. It is a negation of ethical standards. Most of Nigeria’s western educated elite particularly in public office exhibit these vices on an industrial scale. They steal. They lie. They cheat. Their wanton corruption has stunted a remarkably endowed country’s development resulting in the continuing avoidable deaths of millions of valuable lives. Yes, western education nurtures the intellect. It liberates the mind. It has led to the astonishing accomplishments of humanity in diverse spheres of endeavour. But it does not necessarily endow the individual with the moral values imperative for maintaining a decent, sane, humane and healthy society. Most of Nigeria’s western educated elite simply utilise their acquired knowledge and skills to commit the most heinous sins against their country and fellow country men and women. A good example are those bankers whose venality and moral depravity resulted in the collapse of several banks with severe, damaging implications for millions of depositors and shareholders and with consequences that continue to haunt the fragile Nigerian economy. But let us move to another set of Nigeria’s western educated elite whose actions amply validate Boko Haram’s position that western education is sin. The country has 36 governors. These eminent citizens represent the cream of the country’s western educated elite. Among them are medical doctors, lawyers, soldiers, engineers, architects, academics and so on. These respected citizens came together and voluntarily formed an association, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). 35 of these highly enlightened citizens gathered in a room to elect their chairman. No one was coerced there. We assume that they knew the meaning of elections and the implications of democracy before participating in the election. They voted. The votes were counted. The process was electronically recorded. A winner emerged. He had 19 votes. His opponent had 16 votes. Yet, the minority claims to be the majority. To these eminent western educated Nigerians, 16 is greater than 19. The loser not only parades himself as Chairman of the NGF, his faction has opened a secre-

In Nigeria the government has been more efficient in giving reasons why the infrastructure is bad than it is in providing adequate facilities for citizens to lead a life that is life-affirming — Ropo Sekoni

Could Boko Haram possibly be right ?

Let us, therefore, apologise to Boko Haram. They have a point. In many ways western education is a grievous sin if a Ph.D holder can perpetrate, directly and indirectly, the kind of atrocities being witnessed in Rivers state. Is the Boko Haram leader, Imam AbubakarShekau, reading this? Or can anybody reach him? Please drop your guns. Your point has been effectively made

tariat in Abuja! This is is lying. This is cheating. This is deceit. This is a form of robbery. This is brazen fraud. This is original sin. Boko Haram members must be having a good laugh. They are surely vindicated. Western education, at least in this case, is grievous sin. But let us go to a more tragic scenario. In 2011 we trooped to the polls and elected as President a man called Dr Goodluck Jonathan. As a child he had no shoes. We identified with him. He went to the redemption camp and publicly knelt down before the revered Pastor Enoch Adeboye. We admired his humility. Many also voted for him because he is the first Nigerian President to have a university degree, a Ph. D for that matter. The Ph. D is the highest attainment in western education. The holder is a Doctor of philoso-

phy. He is assumed to be sound not only in knowledge but in character. He should be a beacon of integrity. But what are we seeing? This Ph.D holder is proving to be even more coarse, brutish and utterly disdainful of the rule of law, constitutionalism and the values of democracy than his rustic predecessor and benefactor who has now been publicly and irreparably deconstructed by General Alabi Isama as a blundering, cowardly and utterly incompetent General. But that is a matter for another day. This Ph.D holder, despite denials by his aides, is clearly the one behind the crisis in the NGF. He openly expressed his opposition to Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s re-election as NGF Chairman. The presidency actively sought to coerce and intimidate governors

against re-electing Amaechi. The election held. Amaechi won. The Ph.D holder lost face. As an academic and supposed intellectual, would he accept the verdict? Not on your life. He publicly recognised the loser as the winner. He lent the weight of his prestigious office to falsehood. He encouraged deceit. He embraced lies. I hope the respected Pastor Adeboye is reading this in case somebody wants to play the kneeling game at the redemption camp sometime in future! Somebody has suggested that elementary arithmetic may not necessarily be a precondition for obtaining a most distinguished Ph. D. I disagree. For, it is not impossible that in the animal kingdom of Zoology, 16 is greater than 19. All hail! But then the tragedy got even messier. This admirable product of western education has done everything to undermine the legitimate government of RotimiAmaechi in Rivers State. He has divided the PDP in the state. He has caused mayhem in the state House of Assembly. He sanctioned, again according to the mysterious arithmetic of Zoology, the attempted impeachment of the Speaker by 5 members of a 32-member House. He has looked on indifferently as the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu John Mbu, continues to jeopardise the security of the state and compromise the personal safety of the Governor. To make matters worse, this Ph. D holder has allowed another Ph. D holder, Dr. Reuben Abati, to brazenly lie that the presidency has no hand in the Abuja instigated descent to anarchy in Rivers State. Luckily, the most amiable and adorable First Lady and co-President of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, has exposed the highly cerebral Dr.Abati’s lies. She told a group of 16 Bishops from the South-South who visited her on Wednesday of her grouse with Governor RotimiAmaechi. We now know why there is such a desperate attempt by Abuja to pull down Amaechi at all costs even if it means destabilizing the country and endangering our democracy. I once described the Jonathan presidency as a distracted one obsessed with his ambition for a second term in 2015. Many of my readers from the Niger Delta were unhappy with me. But the unfolding scenario in Rivers State proves this beyond doubt. For, Amaechi’s only crime is that he is suspected to have higher political aspirations in 2015 that may jeopardise Jonathan’s political interests. Let us, therefore, apologise to Boko Haram. They have a point. In many ways western education is a grievous sin if a Ph.D holder can perpetrate, directly and indirectly, the kind of atrocities being witnessed in Rivers state. Is the Boko Haram leader, Imam AbubakarShekau, reading this? Or can anybody reach him? Please drop your guns. Your point has been effectively made.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday 08111813079 - sms only

Encounter with Keshi


HE time was 7.45pm on Tuesday. I looked at the pages of Sportinglife for Wednesday and couldn’t find a lead story to sell it. I went into my office to crosscheck my diary. It was empty. A few stories that I saw were either not topical or weren’t good enough for a midweek edition. Tense, I took my telephone outside the office to call my colleagues in Abuja to find out why the day was dry. Two calls to Andrew Abah and Patrick Ngwaogu added to my frustration of not finding a lead story. They were headed for the new secretariat of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Abuja, where Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi was visiting, ahead of the opening of the facility built with the cash generated by the Presidential Task Force (PTF). The minister’s visit was to ensure that things were in place for President Goodluck Ebere Jonathan to open it for football business. A last call to another colleague, Segun Ogunjimi, didn’t resolve the matter. It brought forth the poser many readers of this column have asked me. Many were wondering if I talk with Super Eagles chief

coach Stephen Keshi. They looked forward to the day we would meet. When Ogunjimi picked his phone, the place was rowdy. He told me he was at the new secretariat. Then Ogunjimi shouted: “Hold on sir!” I could still hear the noise but I felt he wanted to give the phone to a source who he felt could confide in me to get a story. It wasn’t to be. It turned out to be Keshi. When Ogunjimi handed Keshi the phone, I could hear him whisper, “na who bi that?” Ogunjimi replied: “ Na my editor, Ade Ojeikere”. I could feel Keshi’s deep breath. Then he said; “Ade Ojeikere, na wetin I do you? I take your girlfriend, abi na your wife? You just dey yab me. Wetin I do?” Keshi expected an answer, but I wasn’t ready for that. His voice was high. He was angry and never hid his disgust about my writing. I waited until he said: “Oh boy, I dey vex for you. You just dey hit me. In fact, I dey watch AIT this morning (Tuesday) where you talk say if you bi sports minister, you for don sack me for wetin I do for Namibia? At this point, it was evident that Keshi’s anger had fallen into a receptive voice where I could throw a counter question. Again, I

expected his response to be laced with rage. “Skippo, I dey vex for you too. You sef yab with the things wey you dey do. Dem no good at all. You fall my hand. You go dey fight anybody wey talk wetin you no like. Abi we no get right to ask you things wey we no know? I dey write my columns, ask you those questions make you for fit answer. Even if you no talk to me. Keshi interjected: “Ade wetin you dey talk so? Shebi you get my number? Why you no call me? Walahi, Ade, you dey disappoint your fans o. Dem don tire for you. People wey like you before dey vex. No matter wetin you think say I do, you for call me na?” It was clear that a dialogue had ensued. I told him I didn’t have his number anymore. The number I had, I was told he broke the SIM card in anger when he resigned in South Africa. Keshi raised his voice again, this time he said: “How can you talk like that Ade? Why didn’t you ask Segun for my number? Yet I asked Keshi if it was out of place for him to call me if he felt what I was writing was not fair to him. “Oh boy, na true you talk. But you know now, I dey vex. You sef, you too talk.” Keshi said. “Big Boss, me too dey vex,” I retorted. Keshi

wanted to interject again. This time I stopped him, saying that I would be in Abuja on Wednesday and we would talk. “Okay o. I dey wait. Make we see o! And he handed the phone back to Segun Ogunjimi, after saying: “Ade Ojeikere, na wa for you o.” This dialogue lasted for five minutes but it broke the ice of a relationship that had gone awry, occasioned by the demands of our jobs. Keshi has the right to pick his players. He chooses how he wants to train them and how he wants the team to play. Keshi has done well with the Eagles, although he admits that it is work- in- progress. For this writer, there is the need to ask the coach why certain things aren’t in place. But most coaches don’t like to be told about their team’s flaws no matter how close you are to them. If you dare ask such questions, they will either not pick your calls or raise their voices in resentment. It happened to me once with Keshi, when I wanted to pick his brain to write a story about his likely list of players ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. At the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, I had a little unsavoury session with Samson Siasia, when I questioned the rationale in dropping Osaze Odemwingie and Victor

•Continued on Page 62

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July 20, 2013