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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

Crash: Company chief, two other bodies recovered

–Page 6

VOL. 05, N0. 1837

SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2011

Single term bill, selfserving, divisive, says NBA –Page 7



Minimum wage

FG, labour meeting deadlocked again NEWS

:“The Federal Government team declined to discuss scenarios worked out by the Joint Government-Labour team. Rather it made an offer which was completely unacceptable to the Labour team.” –Page 4

Adoke, Waziri resolve rift – Page 4

Stella Damasus turns the page, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Rescue Officers evacuating victims’ bodies at the site of the helicopter crash in Ife-Odan, Osun State yesterday

floats talk show – Page 29




RAY? Can there ever be a complete fusion of Islamic traditions and customs with the incursion of modern science? This obviously is one jigsaw puzzle that many people need not ponder so hard about. Reason: There are many religious rituals and codes hitherto observed in the strictest sense of the word, albeit, according to the tenets of Islam, now being enhanced, one way or the other, with the application of modern-day science and technology. One of such activities is moon-sighting, an exercise which forms an integral part of the different religious rites in the Muslim world. The methodology for determining the appearance of the crescent or otherwise has since assumed different dimensions. Apart from the actual physical sighting by the naked eye, these days, the exercise can also be done effectively with the use of scientific calculation, empirical deduction through a pattern of moon appearances over the years e.g. putting many past calendars together, and the new technological devices, using modern gadgets aimed at the sky to chart the movement of the moon. Already, in many Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Iraq, Palestine and others, the use of scientific gadgets for charting the direction of the crescent is now taken for granted, as Muslim faithful in those countries have since embraced the technology. Confirming this development, Sheik AbdulRahman Ahmad, National Missioner, Ansarul Deen Society of Nigeria, in an interview with The Nation said: “ About two years ago the Saudi authorities, especially the Saudi scholars gave a directive to sight the moon crescent with the use of binoculars and this has been accepted across the world. This is to complement and guide the moon-sighting exercise itself. There is what is called the expected date of visibility and actual sighting. Through the use of technology, it can guide us. Powerful binoculars could complement the actual sighting.” But have the Nigerian Muslim faithful also caught the technology bug like their counterparts in other parts of the world? Ahmad answered in the affirmative. “In case you don’t know, we have a National Moon-sighting Committee saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the moon preparatory to the commencement of Ramadan and other religious exercises,” he explained. Speaking further, he recalled that last year, the committee procured binoculars and other related gadgets for the six geo-political zones of the country, ultimately to complement the actual physical sighting of the moon. Corroborating Ahmad, the Secretary General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Abdul-Lateef Adegbite, in an interview, said: “It is in keeping with these developments that NSCIA decided to acquire moon-sighting gadgets and distribute to the zones as follow: Lagos/ Ibadan (South- West), Owerri (South/South and South East, Sokoto for Northern, Bauchi for North-East and Abuja

Moon-sighting goes hitech

•Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar

•A pair of binoculars, one of the appliances being deployed to find the direction of the moon

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

for North Central and National Headquarter.” The NSCIA scribe said the intervention was to ensure that every part of the country participates fully in the moon-sighting exercise. “This is because information from any part of the country on the sighting of the moon is respected by our Council. Allah requires everybody to be involved in the physical but equally spiritual endeavour to sight the moon for the obligation of the Ramadan Fast,” he stressed. Laudable as this innovation is, there are, however, some schools of thought, so-called hardliners, who hold the view and very strongly too, that the physical sighting of the moon remains sacrosanct above all else. For these ilk that may reject the method outright as an unacceptable innovation and

would advise its rejection, Adegbite stressed that rather than jump into such a conclusion, it was necessary to have a clear understanding of the correct use of these scientific gadgets. According to him: “It is not intended to absolutely replace physical sighting of the moon by the naked eye. Rather it is to guide us to the appropriate time we should look for the moon. The gadget accurately observes the movement of the moon and indicates the probable moment and it would reach a point in our part of the world ready for sighting. We would then be in a position to call on the generality of us (Ummah) to look for the new moon.” Expatiating, he said: “In the case of the Ramadan Fast, the gadget if properly used, would confirm the 29th day a Shahaban when we should look for the crescent of Ramadan Moon. In like manner, it would guide us to the 29th day of Ramadan when we would look for the Crescent of Shawal which would point to the end of the Ramadan Fast and the celebration of the Festival of fast (Eid-el-Fitri). “Certainly the invention of moon-sighting gadget is a blessing for the Muslims; we should embrace it, employing it as an accessory to

facilitate the timing when we should look for the moon on the day indicated, and sight the moon with the naked eye as directed by the Prophet.” Echoing similar views, Sheik Dhikrullahi Shafi’i, Chairman, Hajj Mabrur Venture, said: “Certainly, the use of these gadgets is to complement the physical sighting of the moon. I’m sure there is no attempt to pre-determine the date and time of the observance of these religious rites. I recall that last year these gadgets were deployed to help sight the moon preparatory to the commencement of Ramadan and similarly to help determine the end of the exercise.” As to the level of accuracy these gadgets could allow bearing in mind that mechanical defects could sometimes arise, Ahmad declared matterof-factly: “There is nothing human that is 100% accurate and that is why the actual sighting is not being abandoned. But with the use of technology, we are close to being accurate,” adding: “Muslim scholars in the country are very optimistic that with time controversy over the actual date and time to commence the Ramadan Fast and similar exercises would be over as we strive to build mutual trust and save the people from any trouble.”

Have Your Say How do you view the recent clamour for state creation by different groups and leaders of thought ? — Send SMS with full name and location before Wednesday to 08074473182 Responses to previous week’s question are on pages 48 & 52



Islamic Banking: Problems and prospects N

IGERIA is suddenly crawling with fanatics and fundamentalists of all religious hues. There is so much rancour and rabid hate in the land one begins to suspect that some people are working towards a predetermined agenda to terminate the existence of the nation. As if the scourge of Boko Haram, the minimum wages palaver, tenure elongation rumours, the arrival of monsoonlike flooding and the general insecurity of life and property are not enough, we have now added the dangerous controversy over Islamic Bank to the combustible cocktail. This column has had cause to defend Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in the past, particularly against vested interests bent on frustrating his appointment. In a kleptocracy, it is impossible to be a decent Central Bank Governor without stepping on toes. Where the incumbent is driven by a missionary and messianic zeal, it is bound to be war in Babylon; a stridently agonistic venture in which no hostages are taken. Sanusi does not step on toes. He crushes toes, sending his adversaries hobbling about in excruciating pains. But toes can be crushed without gleefully counting the remaining for the owners. This is where Sanusi’s personal comportment becomes a problem. In the past, we have had cause to caution Sanusi against a resort to excessive histrionics and grandstanding in the course of what is otherwise a honorable and noble mission. Hell-raising and hysteria-mongering are incompatible with regulatory banking at its most rarified level. It is not for nothing that bankers are seen and perceived to be traditionally conservative; always soberly besuited and evincing a dour impassivity of outlook. Like pilots even scary turbulence, they must project a becalming mien even while taking out of the ordinary decisions. It does seem as if Sanusi is sometimes more driven by media melee and attention-seeking than actual results; more forsworn to giddy and gaudy showmanship than real substance. The catalogue of political indiscretions in a delicately poised nation prone to centrifugal forces is

out the teachings of the Koran and the Hadith to enforce its theological injunctions, Islamic Banking is a fish out of water. Its hatred of Riba or interest banking, its preference for profit-sharing, its aversion for speculative gambling based on economic gaming and cutthroat competition can only flourish in an Islamic theocracy. This is why in modern times, Islamic Banking is always a private and autonomous initiative stripped of state intervention. In the dense fog of controversy perhaps the most perceptive observation came from the Daily Trust columnist, Adamu Adamu, who noted that •Sanusi

truly amazing. In an attempt to reform and sanitize the banking sector, Sanusi stands the risk of fatally endangering himself and the country by his hubris. If anybody would be pleased by those prospects, it is those who have turned banking in Nigeria to a vastly criminal enterprise. The problem is not Islamic Banking. The most terrible thing about the advent of Islamic Banking is the timing. Coming at a time of dangerous polarization of the nation along religious and ethnic lines, it has now added a frenzied volatility and incendiary prospects to an already combustible situation. Suddenly, it is either you are an obliging Muslim fanatic or an objecting Christian fundamentalist without a panNigerian middle ground, and without a thought for millions of Nigerians who still worship at the shrine of their ancestral deities. There are legions stoking the fire either out of criminal mischief or mischievous ignorance. The most elementary factor ignored by proponents and opponents of Islamic Banking alike is the fact that its ideal habitat is a Sharia-compliant society. With-

there was always a huge gap, a telling disconnect, between the “theological erudition” of those learned in itjihad and the actual practice of Islamic Banking. In other words, theory is always trumped by grim and grimy reality. But as it is usually the case in these matters, Adamu’s own moment of intellectual insight is accompanied by ideological blindness since he believes that this fundamental contradiction can be overcome as soon as the practice of Islamic Banking catches up with its theoretical foundation. In order to understand what is going on, we need to go back to history itself. In its classical epoch, that is between the eighth and twelfth centuries when Islam was at its golden age, Islamic Banking flourished in its territories. But it was at best a rudimentary form of capitalism articulated to feudalism which was the dominant mode of production. The Holy Prophet himself was known to be a prosperous merchant. Our own Kano became one of the hubs of a transcontinental caravan trade which stretched from the Middle East to the African Savannah. At this point in history, Kano might have been better developed than most European


nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu cities and certainly more advance than the primitive homesteads that dotted in England. This was early globalization at its most glorious stage. Given the realities of the time and the dialectic of history itself, it was how far Islamic capitalism could take the world. Being people of the desert without much seafaring ability and more interested in religious conquest than in economic subjugation, the early Islamic expansionists could not have carried capitalist civilization to its next stage. Their very strength had become a weakness and it was left to other societies and human groups to push things forward. It ought to have been the Chinese, but there is no point in engaging in counterfactual history. By the end of the tenth century, China was arguably the most advance human society. With the huge masts of their ocean going vessels unfurling like clouds in the sky—according to a historian—, the Chinese had been to Europe and America and back. Early artifacts at the Mombasa Museum in Kenya suggest that the Chinese had reached that part of Africa by the end of the seventh century. But it was at this point that China succumbed to a drastic decline due to a protracted power struggle between the mandarin class and the feudal lords. But events moved fast elsewhere. Portugal which had become the first modern nation-state had begun sending ships to the orient bringing back goodies, particularly silk and fabrics, which enabled the Europeans to clad themselves decently for the first time in modern history. Spain which had expelled its Moorish overlords rapidly developed into a military and naval power. Holland which had been a Spanish colony quickly supplanted Spain as an economic power within sixty years of liberation. Before it was acquired by force and blackmail,

Okon makes hay while it rains O

KON had disappeared in the biblical deluge. After the historic downpour which turned Lagos into an island colonized by new rivers, Okon was nowhere to be found. In quiet desperation, snooper had lodged a missing person complaint at the nearest police station which itself had been taken over by murky floods. Howling with derisive contempt, the presiding sergeant asked snooper whether a missing domestic help was a national emergency. “ Oga, he be like if say dem don sacrifice dat one to River Ketu,” was his cheerful summary. Snooper quickly retreated. Actually, there had been some strange tales about the floods. A Magodo man who was caught in his lover’s arms in Ojodu Berger claimed to have been washed up there by the merciless floods. A woman in Ilubirin was said to have given birth to a mammy-water. An armed robber caught in the act claimed that his pistol was a

paddle. To confess, snooper was half-hoping that the crazy boy will turn up at the foot of the Carter Bridge. But there was no killing the berserk beetle. Okon had actually turned adversity into prosperity. While the flooding lasted, Okon had assembled some brawny stalwarts and they were doing brisk business as human ferries conveying stranded commuters from River Agege to Oshodi. On the eighth day, the mad boy suddenly reappeared, drenched but happy as a lark and immediately began regaling snooper with tales of his exploits as a human submarine. “So, where have you been?” Snooper screamed at the giggling nuisance. “Oga, business dey good ooo. Okon don become river merchant. I get am for six human vessels for Oshodi and dem dey carry people across dem River Mafoluku. Oga, make dem rains

no stop o. Make him come drive dem Yoruba people comot for Lagos”, the crazy boy snorted. “Okon!” Snooper exclaimed in disbelief. “Oga, he get one yeye Yoruba man I come carry like dat. I think say na Ogbomosho man sef becos him dey greet me “eku aiki na”. I no answer am. But as we come get to mid-river him come dey scream, “eledumare, eledumare!” I come yab am to sarrap. When we come land I come find dat dem yeye man don shit for my back, and you know say Yoruba shit no dey smell well at all, na so so akara and dem ekuru”, “Okon!” Snooper exclaimed again. “But dem mala be better people,” the mad boy continued. “He get one Agege mala I carry like dat. As him come see water, him dey chant allah wa kabr, allah wa kabr. So he come drink water small and him com faint small. As we come reach Oshodi him come wake and come see dem


navy people with dem white uniform and him come think he don reach heaven. So him come dey ask dem navy, du’allah, du’allah, akoi funshari ne allujanna?” Those one come vamoose” “Okon, please leave now”, snooper moaned trying to hide his mirth, but the crazy boy ignored his master. “Oga he no complete, make I tell you about dem Ibo trader now? He get one I carry like dat. Him come with obonge bag of garri, so I ask am which one dey more important whether na garri or na man, so he come say na garri. As we come de swim dem asinwin man dey hurry Okon, “madu osiso osiso, Oshodi market don open now!” He com fall into river with him garri but I come grab am for blokos. When we come reach land he come dey cry “ego garrim ooo, ego garrim oooo” Naim I come beat am well well”. On that note, snooper quickly shut the door at the crazy boy.

New York was known as New Amsterdam. By the end of the nineteenth century, the entire world had come under the orbit and logic of western capitalist civilization. This was the first phase of modern globalization in full bloom. Driven by human greed and fuelled by the logic of market expansion, the west stamped its badge of modernity on the rest of the world with dire consequences. All the way from California, Commodore Perry’s submarine had surfaced on Japanese shores threatening fire and brimstone. The British had forced China to open up the opium trade triggering what is known as the Boxers’ Uprising. Africa had been overrun militarily and economically subjugated, its vast populace forced abroad as slave labourers. Much earlier, the Spanish Conquistadores had trashed the ancient Inca civilization. In less than five hundred years, the entire ancient world had been smashed up and reconfigured. If the ancient world was forced to disappear as a result of these epochal upheavals and the modern world conjured into existence, there was a stiff price to pay. The modern world has witnessed misery and suffering and man’s inhumanity to man on a scale hitherto unknown to history. From the mines of Potosi in Latin America to the slave plantations of America, the cruelty has been abysmal. It has produced a rash of fierce resistance ranging from the political to the religious and the ideological. The resurgence of Islamic Banking in the early twentieth century must be seen as one of the countervailing measures against the harmful effluence of modern capitalism. It speaks to the radically humane nature of early Islam and its original quest for a just and humane social order. But it is like locking the stable after the horse has bolted. Capitalism can no longer be reined in by the mere abolition of profit and uxury. It is noteworthy that despite its best efforts, Islamic Banking accounts for less than one percent of total global funds. It has often had to move its own funds to higher interest paying financial institutions in order to lend interest free. And there are those who have charged that it merely disguises interests by a resort to arcane logical and mathematical legerdemain. It is a reenactment of the old argument between the Arabs and their Jewish cousins. The Jews seem to have won the argument. The archetypal villain and master of uxorious lending is famously captured for posterity by William Shakespeare in the classic, The Merchant of Venice. There is a Shylock in everybody. Let us by all means have Islamic Banking in Nigeria. But let the state steer clear of its operation. And let it not be done in a way and manner that threatens the entire system. Freedom of association is after all one of the fruits of liberal democracy. If Islamic Banking could benefit from the gains of the struggle against medieval tyranny despite its own origins in a theocratic order, the historic wager is won and lost.




Adoke, Waziri resolve rift • Hold midnight peace meeting in Abuja


FTER almost two weeks of crossfire, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, at the weekend met and decided to sheathe their swords. It was learnt that the reconciliation was at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. The two had disagreed sharply over a gazette regulating the operations of the EFCC, especially on deference to AGF on cases before the anti-graft agency. The disagreement later culminated in a media war, including a damning verdict against anti-graft agencies in the Senate by Adoke and the sudden investigation of the exit rank of the EFCC chairman from the Nigeria Police and a counter probe of the AGF over alleged $26m fines paid by Julius Berger on Halliburton bribery scam. While the cold war lasted, the two officers were at daggers drawn while their friends and associates opted for media campaign against each other. Last week Waziri had in a statement by the commission signed by its spokesman Femi Babafemi, alleged that a senior government official was frustrating her anti-graft crusade. The statement said, “after several moves to distract the Commission and frustrate efforts to investigate and file charges against their corrupt paymasters have failed to yield their desired goal, certain known elements in the defence of the corrupt fold have come up with a different identity and have found partnership in official quarters to wage war against EFCC and its officials especially the chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri” Investigation, however, revealed that the AGF and the EFCC chairman were brought to the peace table on Friday night at a secret location in Abuja . The meeting took place between 8pm and 11pm with the two parties giving a commitment to ensure sustainable peace. Although the list of the mediators was kept under wraps, findings by our correspondent revealed that the peace meeting was at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. It was learnt that the President, who had separately met with the two leaders, felt their cold war was distracting not only the government but could derail the anti-corruption crusade of his administration. Also, some eminent Nigerians were said to have intervened in the crisis. A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Having listened to the two leaders with sufficient evidence the President felt that there was no basis for disagreement. He asked the two leaders to return to the peace table, iron out their differences, and give anti-corruption war the much needed bite he is envisaging. “Following the intervention of the President and some eminent

From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Nigerians, the two officers met at a location in Abuja on Friday night and resolved their differences. At the meeting, the AGF made his feelings known including bad press he had been receiving which he attributed to the EFCC chairman. But the EFCC chairman insisted that she knew nothing about negative publications against the AGF. She also alleged that on the contrary, she had been at the receiving end of attacks from some media. “At the end of the day, those at the meeting agreed that there had been a breakdown in communication between the AGF and Waziri. They agreed to sheathe their swords and ensure the return of the harmonious working relationship they have had in the past.” Speaking to our correspondent after the meeting at about midnight, Adoke said: “Please, tell the whole world that I am no longer having any issue with my sister, Mrs. Farida Waziri. Some corrupt elements tried to cause a division between us but we have resisted that. We are now one and there is no more crisis. We will join hands to ensure a robust anti-corruption war. “All those who are taking advantage to write nasty things against us should stop. The media war should also end. I have nothing against Mrs. Waziri; I remain committed to the anti-corruption crusade of this administration.” On her part, Mrs. Waziri said: “We have reconciled, I have no issue with my brother, the AGF again. I told him that I was never the sponsor of those critique or mudslinging in the press about him. I have no reason to bring down anybody, not even the AGF that we have always worked together. We have decided to move ahead as one to achieve the ultimate goal of fighting corruption in this country. I appeal to those writing all these things against the AGF or myself to stop.”

L-R: Wife of the Speaker Osun State House of Assembly, Mrs Bimpe Salam, wife of the state governor Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola and Chief of Staff to the governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola at a reception organised for the wives of the state lawmakers in Osogbo on Thursday

Minimum Wage: FG, Labour meeting deadlocked again • Union leaders reject government’s offer


INAL negotiations between the federal government and Labour unions on the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage was deadlocked in Abuja yesterday. Representatives of the Labour unions walked out on the government negotiating team. The team included Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Afolabi Oladapo, Chairman National Salaries and Wages Commission, and Chief Richard Ebgune. At 5.30pm, the workers’ representatives including the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Chief Economist, Dr. Peter Ozon-Eso, the NLC Acting Secretary General, Comrade Owei Lakemfa, the NLC

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Head of Human Resources, Emma Ugwaja, Trade Union Congress, Secretary General, Comrade John Kolawole left the meeting at the SGF’s residence in Shehu Shagari House, Abuja unannounced. But Maku, who briefed journalists on behalf of the Federal Government said the labour leaders left the meeting because they had not reached an agreement with government on the issue. “Labour believes we should not address a joint press conference until all the issues are reconciled.” At a joint press conference at the Labour House, the NLC and TUC said :”The Federal Government team declined to discuss scenarios worked out by the Joint Government-Labour Team. Rather it made an offer which was completely unacceptable to the Labour

• Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (right) Dr. Maurice Ebong and Dr. (Mrs) Usen Ikpe at meeting with stakeholders from Uyo Senatorial District of the state, yesterday

team.” The statement which Lakemfa and Kolawole signed noted that the labour team rather than register a deadlock on the negotiations, asked the Federal Government to rethink its position and make a concrete offer. On this basis, both sides decided to meet again today (July 31). Continuing, the workers noted that they have not seen any light at the end of the tunnel but hoped that the Federal Government will make a genuine offer at the resumed negotiation. According to Maku, government has agreed to implement the N18,000 new national minimum wage. He added that government put it to the labour movement that the issue is not salary review because the Federal Government increased salaries by 53.46% last year. His words: “Last year labour and government reviewed according to indices by 53.46% amounted to raising the wage bill from N973,048,,123,553 to N1.497,054,140,242. From last year, the wage bill went up by N500billion per annum.” Government, said Maku, is set to implement the N18,000 for grade level 01 to 03 but labour is arguing that “Because of the Act they are demanding an adjustment, which government has not refused. Government has agreed to make all the adjustments. Government and labour have agreed to adjourn the meeting to tomorrow (today).” He also explained that government has not reneged on its agreement with labour, adding that it is only addressing the clause three, which is detail negotiation of all the scenarios. It would be recalled that the unions had given the government a three day warning strike notice, which expired this month before the National Assembly and other Nigerians prevailed on them to suspend the industrial action.




Single tenure: Minorities back Jonathan I

N spite of the controversy trailing the proposed ammendment of the constitution to make the Presidency and Governorship one term some minority ethnic groups in the country have lent their support to it. It was also learnt at the weekend that the Presidency has returned to the drawing board to ensure that the single tenure bill, when presented to the National Assembly, sails through. Investigations by The Nation on Sunday revealed that apart from reducing electoral conflicts, one of the key features of the bill

• Presidency returns to the drawing board From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

is the rotation of Presidency by the six geopolitical zones and Governorship by the three senatorial districts in any state. It was learnt that the proposed power rotation clause in the constitution is one of the selling points the Presidency is using to push the single tenure agenda. It was gathered that minorities in all the six geopolitical zones, who have been perpetually excluded from

power, are embracing the single tenure system. A Senator, who spoke in confidence, said: “For those of us who are minority ethnic groups, we are excited by the power rotation clause in the coming single tenure bill. That is why we are interested in seeing the bill through in the National Assembly in the interest of our future. “If you know what is happening in some states, some minority ethnic groups are forsaken as they cannot produce governors

not to talk of being President. All minority groups, no matter how small, are already mobilising themselves to back the bill once it contains power rotation clause.” As at press time, it was learnt that the Presidency has returned to the drawing board on how to draft an acceptable bill and lobby governors and lawmakers at all levels to pass it. It was learnt that one of the strategy meetings was held on Friday to explain how the idea was con-

ceived and those behind it. It was gathered that the biggest battle against the bill may be in the House of Representatives where members are rated as ‘independent minded.’ A reliable source in the Presidency said: “Apart from consultations by the President, the government is set to sell the merit of the single tenure proposal to the public. The President will meet with stakeholders, including governors very soon on the bill. Already, strategists of the President have been meeting on how to ensure that the bill is passed by the

National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly. “The government was actually jolted by the spontaneous knocks from the opposition and the civil society to the proposal. The allegation of proposed elongation of tenure against the Presidency has beclouded the intention behind the bill. “Actually, the President saw it coming and that was why he did not propose the bill before the general elections in April. He wanted to put the proposal on the table but he felt some Nigerians might feel that he wanted to spend six years in office.”

Balarabe Musa, Sagay, others say no O

PPOSITION has continued to mount against the proposed single term for the president and governors by President Goodluck Jonathan. Former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, eminent lawyer Prof Itse Sagay and other eminent Nigerians faulted the move over the weekend. The President, they said, should concentrate on the business of fixing Nigeria instead of working on a bill that will not see the light of the day. The proposed six-year single term bill has been generating ripples since it was announced by Presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati last week. Jonathan, last Thursday, clarified that the proposal was not his idea but a recommendation of the inter-party committee which he chaired during the Presidency of the late Musa Yar’Adua. He explained that the proposal will reduce electoral acrimonies and costs, insisting that he would not benefit from the bill if passed by the National Assembly. But opposition parties and right groups have condemned the move, describing it as tenure elongation in disguise. Musa condemned the proposal as self-serving and called on citizens to mobilise to ensure the bill does not scale through. The former governor said: ‘’As far as I’m concerned, the single tenure extension bill is third term in disguise. He (Jonathan) just wants to perpetuate himself. It is better to go ahead with the four, two terms. So, it is now up to Nigerians to stand up and fight and make sure that this doesn’t happen. Civil society organisations and opposition political parties can form a coalition that should be in the frontline to fight this self-serving bill. They should not allow this stand in the interest of goods gov-

By Sunday Oguntola and Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

ernance”. To Prof Sagay the current two-term tenure is more suitable for the nation as the single term proposal may foist incapable leaders on the nation. According to him, “If we look at it objectively, there may be nothing bad with single tenure, so long as it would ensure efficient service delivery on the part of those in power. But the truth of the matter is that in the same breath, it can foist on us leaders who would be inept. I’m not talking about just a non-performing president or governor but leaders who would be a curse to the society and good governance.” Rather than change the tenure of office, he said Nigeria should work on better electoral process. “My suggestion is that we need to put the emphasis now on getting a better electoral system. On proper evaluation of the two processes, I think we should retain what we have right now.” President of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasheun dismissed the proposed bill as fraudulent. He said to have political leaders in power for six uninterrupted years will aggravate the sufferings of citizens. ‘’If we have not succeeded in tackling the afflictions imposed on us by four-year tenure, why should someone want to increase the sufferings for six years. Do they want to kill Nigerians?’’. Fasehun said Jonathan cannot be trusted to go in 2015 as he vowed, pointing out that Nigerians have not forgotten the crisis generated by the thwarted third term bill. He challenged Jonathan to send the bill to Nigerians for debate instead of the National Assembly, saying the assembly is likely to pass the bill since majority of them stand to benefit from it.

President of Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger Delta (CENND), Prof Kingsley Okoko said the proposal should not be anybody’s priority for now considering the enormous challenges facing the nation. He dismissed it as diversionary and distracting, adding that it is unhelpful in any manner because ‘’we have so much to fix in Nigeria.’’ Festus Keyamo, a lawyer said a single tenure is not bad so long as the present crop of elected leaders do not benefit from it. “If they make it a constitutional provision that the governors and president will not benefit, then it’s okay. I support it but I insist that the clause banning Jonathan and the governors should be inserted in the constitution. If they insert it, I support it wholeheartedly’’.

He however said the tenure should be for five years and not six years as canvassed by Jonathan. Keyamo argued that opposition parties stand to benefit from the proposal since new politicians will slug it out on the field every five years. Another lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, described the proposal as scandalous. He alleged that the whole idea is all about tenure extension, saying the Jonathan’s proposal is akin to taking Nigerians for a ride. “We should ask ourselves: Is this the promise made by the President before we voted for him? Part of what he said he was going to do is not the tenure elongation or whatever it is you want to call it. The other question is, is this the real aspiration of the generality of the public?”

Ajulo who is an Abujabased human rights lawyer and National Coordinator, Egalitarian Mission, Africa, explained: “Our stand is this, the tenure elongation cannot stand, it’s not desirable and not the reflection of Nigerians’ aspiration. The President, during his campaign never mentioned it as part of his manifesto.” For Director of Social Communications at the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, Jonathan should be busy fixing Nigeria and not thinking about any tenure. He said: “President Jonathan never mentioned a word about that in his campaign trail. So, how come now that he is there, this is the first thing that should pre-occupy his mind? If he had been saying it during his campaign, perhaps Nigerians can de-

cide if they support the idea or not. So, I think it is uncalled for. It is not how long or how short but how well. He should remember history. Murtala Muhammed of blessed memory only spent six month in office. But several decades after, his impact and legacies are still there.” Speaking in the same vein, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa said governance has nothing to do with tenure. The proposal, he said lacks democratic merit, alleging that it is a calculated attempt ‘’to keep politicians in power for a long time even if they are not performing. You don’t need that long time to impact people. If you do well in four years, people can re-elect you but if not, they can remove you from office.”

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello (middle) and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I (left) during a meeting with traditional rulers and Chairmen of Local Government Areas held at the Conference Room, Lagos House, Ikeja, at the weekend




Crash: Company chief, two other bodies recovered •Agency, minister promise full investigation T HE Chief Executive Officer of Bacita Sugar Company, Reverend (Mrs.) Josephine Kuteyi, her personal assistant and Captain Annord, a Filipino, were the occupants of the ill-fated helicopter that crashed in Ife Odan, Osun state last Friday. Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Dr. Harold Demuren, who identified them, however said the name of the personal assistant was not immediately known. But villagers and rescue workers at the crash site gave her name as Mrs. Adedoyin. The crash, it was learnt, occurred around 9.45am. Rescue works were however hampered for hours due to the difficult terrains of the hilly side of the Government Reserve Forest in Ife-Odan where the helicopter crashed. Rescue workers said the Ash colour helicopter with blue strip could not be reached until 1am the following day. Osun State Police Commissioner, Mr. Solomon Olusegun, said: “It took se-

By Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo, Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin and Kelvin OsaOkunbor

rious efforts of men of many security agencies in the state, the local vigilante, Osun State Youth Volunteers Corps and community people to recover the corpses of the victims and their personal belongings.” The Chairman, Osun State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA), Engineer Segun Ajayi, disclosed that the rescue team got across to the victims’ relations through identity cards and other items found on them. Their remains have been deposited at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has however assured of thorough investigations into the incident following an order by Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah – Ogiewmonyi to prevent reoccurrence. AIB is the government

agency saddled with the task of investigating air disasters in the country. Head of its Public Affairs, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, gave this assurance in a statement yesterday. It reads: “An Eccuriel 350 helicopter marked 5N BKA belonging to OAS Airlines crashed on Friday July 28, 2011 into Oke Oba Hill in Ikonifin, between Ife Odan and Ogbomosho. ‘’The aircraft departed airline’s helipad in Maryland, Lagos a 9.25am with three passengers on board including two female passengers and a male pilot. All occupants were fatally injured. ‘’Investigators from the AIB arrived at the site this morning (29th July 2011) and have commenced investigations. ‘’Meanwhile, the remains of the occupants have been transferred to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo in Osun State. ‘’Our thoughts go out to all the families of the victims.

The public will be updated as investigation continues.” Oduah- Ogiewmonyi, in a condolence message to families of the deceased, asked God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses. She assured that efforts to ensure air safety in the country remain unfailing. Speaking through her media assistant, Joe Obi, Oduah-Ogiewmonyi said : “ I want to expressed deep sadness over the death of three souls (two women) and one man ( the captain) of the OAS helicopter with Reg. Number 5N-BKA that crashed Friday in Ori- Oke village, Ife-Odan, Osun state. ‘’I send my condolences to the families of the deceased and pray the Almighty God to give them the strength and resolve to bear the irreparable loss. ‘’The news of the crash came as a rude shock to the me since assumption of office barely one month ago, as we have been working hard to ensure safety in the country’s airspace. “ Osun state governor

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola also expressed sadness over the incident. He revealed that state agencies put so much effort into the rescue operations. A statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said: “As soon as information got to the Governor that an helicopter heading for Ilorin in Kwara State had crashed somewhere in Osun State, he directed all concerned agencies to act fast with a view to locating the site and rescuing the occupants of the illfated helicopter. “Instantly, officials of the Osun Emergency Management Authority, (OSEMA) led by its General Manager, Engr. Ajayi, Volunteers of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, (OYES), under the leadership of Col. Enibukun Oyewole, and other officials of the state were deployed to locate the site of the crash. “The remains of the three occupants of the helicoptera businesswoman, her Personal Assistant and the pilot –were recovered on Saturday. “On the directive of the

Governor, ambulances in the three adjoining local government areas –OlaOluwa, Iwo and Aiyedirewere also deployed to handle the evacuation of the remains which have now been deposited at the Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, the state capital. “The Governor wishes to commiserate with the families of the deceased, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the entire country over this sad development.’’ Sources in Ilorin International Airport however revealed the pilot did not make contact with the control tower before the crash. Preliminary investigations revealed there was no communication whatsoever from the pilot that would have guided his movement. Staff expressed shock over the death of Kuteyi who they said was a regular face at the airport. She was said to fly in and out of the airport either on chartered flights or helicopter. Unconfirmed reports said she was on her way to Ilorin to keep an appointment with a high-ranking government official.

Council boss escapes second assassination bid in three months


HAIRMAN of Kolokuma/Opokuma local council in Bayelsa, Chief Ebierein Itubo, over the weekend escaped the second attempt on his life in the last three months. Thugs loyal to a former chairman of the council reportedly attacked Itubo as he emerged from the palace of the paramount ruler of Kiama community where he had gone to pay homage. A source close to Itubo, who witnessed the attack recounted: “While he was waiting for the King in the seating room, suddenly an aide rushed to him saying some boys are coming. ‘’In the process they rushed at him, dragged him •L-R: Aisha Augie-Kuta, Lead Photographer, AAK Studios; Bisola Edun, Creative Director, TAE; Abubakar Shehu, Regional Marketing Manager, MTN Nigeria; and Omoyemi Akerele, Creative Director, Style House Files, all panellists at the MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week Auditions in Abuja last Thursday

Lagos declares zero tolerance on blocking drainages


UILDERS in Lagos state indiscriminately stacking heap of sand, gravel and other materials on roads, pedestrian walkways and drain paths will henceforth face the wrath of the law. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Aderemi Ibirogba said such illegal practice is responsible for the flooding problem witnessed in the Lagos whenever it rains. He threatened that government would henceforth seal up properties of culprits and prosecute owners. Ibirogba explained: “The aftermath of July 10 flooding where buildings were taken over by the flood leaving the occupants homeless and

properties destroyed in the state was better imagined. ‘“Our position as a government is that we would no longer condone act capable of

causing untold hardship to the good people and residents of the state and anybody found indulging in the indiscriminate dumping of left-

over sands in our gutters, which ultimately end up in blockage of the drainages across the state would be sanctioned and face the music.’’

Plateau CPC suspends members


HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has suspended 16 of its members and executives across Plateau state. State chairman of the party Mubashithe, in a statement, said, “the affected members were suspended for carrying out anti party activities which adversely affected the success of the party during the last election in the state.” It added “The suspension is in line with Article 8 of the

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

CPC constitution and a committee has been set up in line with the laws governing the activities of the party to investigate the matter at the respective wards and local governments of the suspended members. “The suspension stands until the determination of the party’s case at the presidential election tribunal”. The suspended members

include: Yilkwat Barthlomom, Ibrahim Dauda, Beime Goputor, Yakubu Makeri, AT Umar, Haruna Ihsaku and Kuba Maidoki Danjuma. Others are: Izang, Dauka, Sarah Galeon, Abdullahi Bature, Musa Mohammed, Suday Maigida, Diman Waidu, Mohamed Dewap, Timship Lukarp and the state PRO. A disciplinary committee has been set up to investigate the suspended members.

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

and beat him, inflicting injuries on his body”. Itubo told newsmen that the former council chairman who was removed last year was responsible for the attack. He said: ‘’Diongoli has been threatening my life since he was removed. Is he the first person to be removed as chairman?’’ He appealed to the Commissioner of Police, State Security Service and other security agencies to come to his aid, adding ‘’I want justice to be done’’. Contacted, Diongoli denied the allegation, saying it was aimed at getting him arrested.

Ngige backs Jonathan on single term


ORMER governor of Anambra State and Senator representing Anambra Central Dr. Chris Ngige yesterday supported President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed six year single term for the President and governors. He spoke at Atani during the 80th birthday anniversary of the former member of the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) and constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze. Ngige said that the idea was enshrined in the 1997 Abacha’s proposed constitutional amendment. He said: ‘’A lot of people are criticising President Goodluck Jonathan but I differ because you see, if you go back to history, you find out that it was contained in the recommendation of the SNC of 1995.’’

From Adimike George, Onitsha

He, however, said the single term should be reduced to five years as against six years proposed by Jonathan, stating ‘’I am advocating a five year single term in the country”. He described the celebrator as an erudite scholar committed to the development of the nation. Anambra governor Mr. Peter Obi cautioned political rascalism and sycophancy. He called on indigenes of the state to support his efforts for reduction of cost of governance. Obi said: “We are preaching against political rascalism and everywhere we go, we will be telling people to know the danger of politicians who always like to go in large convoy, eating our collective entitlements.’’




Tenure extension self-serving, divisive, says NBA


HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the proposed constitutional amendment seeking to replace the present tenure of the President and Governors from two terms of four years each to a single term tenure of six years. The association described it as self-serving and divisive. The NBA expressed its misgivings in a press statement and communiqué

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yuusf

issued over the weekend at the end of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Katsina State. The nine-point communiqué which was signed by the NBA President, Mr. Mr. Joseph B. Daudu, SAN, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to jettison the idea due its “impracticability.” According to the NBA, “The idea is divisive and contrary to the mandate

given to him by Nigerians. It is self-serving contrary to the denials expressed from the Presidency. “The decision to amend the Constitution must proceed from the people and not from elected politicians like the President. For the people to raise such issue there must have been a debate in the domain of public opinion as to the best way forward.” Nigerians, the NBA stated, are not interested in seasonal design of political

structures which only serves the interest of politicians. What the people need the association said is “concrete execution of their mandate and it does not include changing the system which brought Mr. President and his political friends into office. “The new system being sought to be foisted on Nigerians is based on the presumption that politicians won’t change

The Governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi exchanging pleasantries with Ozo Dr. Onyebuchi (right) while receiving in PHOTO: OBI CLETUS audience the elders/leaders of Awka Community at Govt. House Awka, the state capital at the weekend.

Nigerian drug convicts saved from execution in Malaysia OFFICIALS of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) have prevented two Nigerians from execution in Malaysia. The suspects, Onovo Sylvester Henry, 26, an auto parts dealer at Ladipo auto parts market Lagos and Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel, 36, were caught attempting to smuggle 2.575kg of methamphetamine to Malaysia where drug offences attracts capital punishment. The latest arrests were made just as narcotic officers at the Lagos airport discovered 1.150kg of heroin concealed inside 32 inches plasma television imported from Malaysia. Nnamdi John Kingsley, 31, was nabbed while taking delivery of the television set containing heroin at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Shed section of the airport. Onovo Sylvester Henry, 26, an auto parts dealer ingested 67 wraps of

By Kelvin Okubor

methamphetamine weighing 1.275kg while Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel a trader at Trade Fair Complex, Lagos ingested 77 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.300kg. Reacting to the arrests and seizures, Chairman/ Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade reiterated his resolve to reduce drug trafficking in the country through diligent investigation, arrest, seizure of drugs and prosecution of accused persons. “We shall continue to arrest drug traffickers, seize their drugs and prosecute them. The Agency will also not relent in anti-drug enlightenment programmes to guide members of the public” Giade stated. The anti-drug boss noted that a situation where drug traffickers die prematurely or spend years in prison custody was worrisome. He added that the consequences of drug trafficking should serve as warning to others who may

be contemplating the criminal act. “Drug trafficking and abuse is a choice. It is amazing that some people deliberately make choices that will destroy their dreams and subject them to pain and reproach. If not for the arrest of the two suspects going to Malaysia, they may have been caught and executed. We therefore urge people to make the best of their life by shunning drug trafficking” the anti-drug boss stressed. Nnamdi John Kingsley who operates a video club along Port Harcourt road, Aba said that his business partners in Malaysia sent the 1.150kg of heroin to him because he needed money. In his words, “I did not know that I will be caught. My business partners sent the drug to me inside the television. They told me to clear the television set and raise money after selling the drug”. He hails from Abia State. Onovo Sylvester Henry who lives in Lagos said that he swallowed drugs without knowing the implications. According to the suspect, “this is my first

time of trafficking in narcotics. I did not know the implications. I wanted to use the money to buy spare parts from Malasia. I can say my poor financial situation and Satan made me to carry drugs but I regret everything. When I was caught, I knelt down and asked God for forgiveness”. He hails from Nnewi village in Anieri Local Government Area of Enugu State. Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel was to board an Emirate flight to Malaysia when he was arrested. The suspect who sells baby wares at Trade fair Complex Lagos resides at Igando area of the State with his wife and 2 children. Ufiri blamed his woes on customs officers that seized his goods worth 750 thousand naira at Seme border in 2009. “My problem began in 2009 when customs seized my goods at Seme border. Since then I have been living from hand to mouth. I got involved in drug trafficking to be able to sustain my family” Ufiri who hails from Anambra State stated.

their ways as it relates to violence, rigging, lack of internal democracy, etc all of which have been canvassed as the reason for a one –term tenure. “But having regard to the progress made in the last election in the transformation of the political psyche of Nigerian through an avoidance of rigging and electoral fraud it became possible to have an election internationally recognised as free and fair, it became possible for President Jonathan to have the legitimacy to govern, which he now seeks to squander on the altar of political expediency and on the ‘scratch my back I scratch your back syndrome.” The President, the NBA maintained, “ought to build on the gains of the last election in terms of an evolving political maturity rather than proceeding on this misadventure of constitutional amendment at this stage. “The quest for a one term rule will in future deprive the people of the services of a conscientious and indeed dedicated leader who has discharged his constitutional mandate and ruled in accordance with his oath of office but who has not completed his program. Should such a dedicated servant of the people not be entitled to re-election and in the converse, should a non-

performer be allowed to exceed four years? The decision on whether to reward or reject a serving politician with re-election is the exclusive preserve of the people and it cannot be taken away by a band of politicians elected by the very same people they purport to represent.” The NEC also approved the immediate inauguration of the 14-man Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Laws (Reform) Panel of the NBA headed by its past president, Chief Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, saying it would afford all Nigerians the opportunity of participating in the process of genuine Constitutional and Electoral Laws amendments that will meet the expectation of the people. The NBA equally condemned the attitude of some State Governments, who in its view have deliberately refused to allow the conduct of elections into Local Government Councils and in breach of the clear wordings of the constitution set up an illegal entity known as caretaker committee. It noted that this has consequently resulted in the failure to guarantee the existence of democratically elected officials at that third tier of government.

Aregbesola’s wife seeks better welfare for women, children


IFE of the Osun State Governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola has called on wives of elected officials in the country to always promote the interest of women and children across the nation. She made the call while receiving wives of the state lawmakers at the Government House Banquet Hall, Oke-Fia Osogbo. According to her, there would be no significant change in welfare of the world if women and children are not adequately catered for socially and economically. She urged them (wives of elected representative) to always offer qualitative advice to their spouses and always be willing to intercede for the success of the world. “We should bring our intuition and empathy, fear of God and sound judgement into our relationship in the administration of the state. “sometimes our role may appear passive, if it is motivated by the fear of God and directed at seeking common good; it is far more rewarding than sometimes public service which is lacking in intellectual and Godly content”, Mrs Aregbesola

added. Furthermore, the first lady urged wives of the elected representatives to always seek ways of improving conditions of children and women, saying they should identify with their pains and pleasure. According to her, women are builders and moulder of nation’s destiny, maintaining that bringing her strong nature could be a supreme motivator for her male counterpart. She states: though women are delicate and soft as lily in nature, she has a heart, strong and bolder than that of man, she is the supreme inspiration for man’s onward march”. Speaking further, she explained that women constitute about 40% of the nation’s population and as such, their welfare must always be on the front burner. “We should always be there for our spouse and children and seek for opportunity to put smiles in the faces of our people at all time”, added the first lady. She then appeal to the women to always see themselves as stakeholders in the development and building of the state and the country in general.




Tenure extension self-serving, divisive, says NBA


HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the proposed constitutional amendment seeking to replace the present tenure of the President and Governors from two terms of four years each to a single term tenure of six years. The association described it as self-serving and divisive. The NBA expressed its misgivings in a press statement and communiqué

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yuusf

issued over the weekend at the end of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Katsina State. The nine-point communiqué which was signed by the NBA President, Mr. Mr. Joseph B. Daudu, SAN, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to jettison the idea due its “impracticability.” According to the NBA, “The idea is divisive and contrary to the mandate

given to him by Nigerians. It is self-serving contrary to the denials expressed from the Presidency. “The decision to amend the Constitution must proceed from the people and not from elected politicians like the President. For the people to raise such issue there must have been a debate in the domain of public opinion as to the best way forward.” Nigerians, the NBA stated, are not interested in seasonal design of political

structures which only serves the interest of politicians. What the people need the association said is “concrete execution of their mandate and it does not include changing the system which brought Mr. President and his political friends into office. “The new system being sought to be foisted on Nigerians is based on the presumption that politicians won’t change

The Governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi exchanging pleasantries with Ozo Dr. Onyebuchi (right) while receiving in audience the elders/leaders of Awka Community at Govt. House Awka, the state capital at the weekend. PHOTO: OBI CLETUS

Nigerian drug convicts saved from execution in Malaysia OFFICIALS of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) have prevented two Nigerians from execution in Malaysia. The suspects, Onovo Sylvester Henry, 26, an auto parts dealer at Ladipo auto parts market Lagos and Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel, 36, were caught attempting to smuggle 2.575kg of methamphetamine to Malaysia where drug offences attracts capital punishment. The latest arrests were made just as narcotic officers at the Lagos airport discovered 1.150kg of heroin concealed inside 32 inches plasma television imported from Malaysia. Nnamdi John Kingsley, 31, was nabbed while taking delivery of the television set containing heroin at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Shed section of the airport. Onovo Sylvester Henry, 26, an auto parts dealer ingested 67 wraps of

By Kelvin Okubor

methamphetamine weighing 1.275kg while Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel a trader at Trade Fair Complex, Lagos ingested 77 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.300kg. Reacting to the arrests and seizures, Chairman/ Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade reiterated his resolve to reduce drug trafficking in the country through diligent investigation, arrest, seizure of drugs and prosecution of accused persons. “We shall continue to arrest drug traffickers, seize their drugs and prosecute them. The Agency will also not relent in anti-drug enlightenment programmes to guide members of the public” Giade stated. The anti-drug boss noted that a situation where drug traffickers die prematurely or spend years in prison custody was worrisome. He added that the consequences of drug trafficking should serve as warning to others who may

be contemplating the criminal act. “Drug trafficking and abuse is a choice. It is amazing that some people deliberately make choices that will destroy their dreams and subject them to pain and reproach. If not for the arrest of the two suspects going to Malaysia, they may have been caught and executed. We therefore urge people to make the best of their life by shunning drug trafficking” the anti-drug boss stressed. Nnamdi John Kingsley who operates a video club along Port Harcourt road, Aba said that his business partners in Malaysia sent the 1.150kg of heroin to him because he needed money. In his words, “I did not know that I will be caught. My business partners sent the drug to me inside the television. They told me to clear the television set and raise money after selling the drug”. He hails from Abia State. Onovo Sylvester Henry who lives in Lagos said that he swallowed drugs without knowing the implications. According to the suspect, “this is my first

time of trafficking in narcotics. I did not know the implications. I wanted to use the money to buy spare parts from Malasia. I can say my poor financial situation and Satan made me to carry drugs but I regret everything. When I was caught, I knelt down and asked God for forgiveness”. He hails from Nnewi village in Anieri Local Government Area of Enugu State. Ufiri Onyedika Emmanuel was to board an Emirate flight to Malaysia when he was arrested. The suspect who sells baby wares at Trade fair Complex Lagos resides at Igando area of the State with his wife and 2 children. Ufiri blamed his woes on customs officers that seized his goods worth 750 thousand naira at Seme border in 2009. “My problem began in 2009 when customs seized my goods at Seme border. Since then I have been living from hand to mouth. I got involved in drug trafficking to be able to sustain my family” Ufiri who hails from Anambra State stated.

their ways as it relates to violence, rigging, lack of internal democracy, etc all of which have been canvassed as the reason for a one –term tenure. “But having regard to the progress made in the last election in the transformation of the political psyche of Nigerian through an avoidance of rigging and electoral fraud it became possible to have an election internationally recognised as free and fair, it became possible for President Jonathan to have the legitimacy to govern, which he now seeks to squander on the altar of political expediency and on the ‘scratch my back I scratch your back syndrome.” The President, the NBA maintained, “ought to build on the gains of the last election in terms of an evolving political maturity rather than proceeding on this misadventure of constitutional amendment at this stage. “The quest for a one term rule will in future deprive the people of the services of a conscientious and indeed dedicated leader who has discharged his constitutional mandate and ruled in accordance with his oath of office but who has not completed his program. Should such a dedicated servant of the people not be entitled to re-election and in the converse, should a non-

performer be allowed to exceed four years? The decision on whether to reward or reject a serving politician with re-election is the exclusive preserve of the people and it cannot be taken away by a band of politicians elected by the very same people they purport to represent.” The NEC also approved the immediate inauguration of the 14-man Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Laws (Reform) Panel of the NBA headed by its past president, Chief Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, saying it would afford all Nigerians the opportunity of participating in the process of genuine Constitutional and Electoral Laws amendments that will meet the expectation of the people. The NBA equally condemned the attitude of some State Governments, who in its view have deliberately refused to allow the conduct of elections into Local Government Councils and in breach of the clear wordings of the constitution set up an illegal entity known as caretaker committee. It noted that this has consequently resulted in the failure to guarantee the existence of democratically elected officials at that third tier of government.

Aregbesola’s wife seeks better welfare for women, children


IFE of the Osun State Governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola has called on wives of elected officials in the country to always promote the interest of women and children across the nation. She made the call while receiving wives of the state lawmakers at the Government House Banquet Hall, Oke-Fia Osogbo. According to her, there would be no significant change in welfare of the world if women and children are not adequately catered for socially and economically. She urged them (wives of elected representative) to always offer qualitative advice to their spouses and always be willing to intercede for the success of the world. “We should bring our intuition and empathy, fear of God and sound judgement into our relationship in the administration of the state. “sometimes our role may appear passive, if it is motivated by the fear of God and directed at seeking common good; it is far more rewarding than sometimes public service which is lacking in intellectual and Godly content”, Mrs Aregbesola

added. Furthermore, the first lady urged wives of the elected representatives to always seek ways of improving conditions of children and women, saying they should identify with their pains and pleasure. According to her, women are builders and moulder of nation’s destiny, maintaining that bringing her strong nature could be a supreme motivator for her male counterpart. She states: though women are delicate and soft as lily in nature, she has a heart, strong and bolder than that of man, she is the supreme inspiration for man’s onward march”. Speaking further, she explained that women constitute about 40% of the nation’s population and as such, their welfare must always be on the front burner. “We should always be there for our spouse and children and seek for opportunity to put smiles in the faces of our people at all time”, added the first lady. She then appeal to the women to always see themselves as stakeholders in the development and building of the state and the country in general.




Azazi warns security agencies against in-fighting From Sanni Onogu, Abuja


HE National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen Owoeye Azazi yesterday warned security agencies to close ranks and stop infighting among themselves. He spoke at the graduation ceremony of 46 participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 4 organised by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Abuja. Azazi stated that since all the security outfits are working for the same purpose they have to be truly integrated. He said: “Every day we hear about soldiers and police fighting. Every day we hear about Custom officers and policemen fighting at the Ports. Every day we hear about immigration and SSS personnel quarreling. We are all working for the same purpose. So I don’t see why that should happen. “If you can be integrated at the management level I don’t see why the persons serving at the bottom can’t take example from you. So, what you must pursue is the fact that intelligence must be integrated.” He told the managers of the ISS to develop a home grown security curriculum and invite other countries for participation instead of embracing foreign training. The Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Ekpenyong Ita noted that the operational environment for security outfits in Nigeria has since changed. The only way to meet up with the emerging challenges, he added, is through constant training and capacity building. He said:”Accordingly, we must re-direct our operational methods, processes and procedures to be in tune with the democratic environment. “This is imperative because democracy has brought with it, unfamiliar operational demands and attributes, such as the rule of law, due process and respect for human rights.” Ita told the graduates to always bear in mind that the frontiers of security management and operations “have since moved away from the culture of impunity to the friendly frontiers of due process and the rule of law, civil conduct and professionalism.’’ Participants were drawn from The Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, National Assembly, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Others include Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigerian Prison Service, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others.

Boko Haram: ‘Shehu of Borno not in exile’ From Abiodun Joseph

•Aguda Modern Market which was gutted by fire in Surulere yesterday


GUDA Market in Coker/ Aguda Local C o u n c i l Development Area, Lagos was yesterday razed by fire. Properties worth several millions of naira were estimated to have been destroyed during the inferno. An eye witness stated that the fire started around 1am when the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) restored high voltage power to the area. He attributed the inferno to electrical spark caused by an appliance switched on by an unidentified trader. The one-storey building was already reduced to rubbles before officials of


HE Borno Emirate Council has debunked media reports that the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji (Dr.) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-kanemi, has been on exile owing to incessant Boko Haram attacks. A statement signed by the council’s secretary, Alhaji Zannah Laisu over the weekend, said the Emir was never at any point in exile. El-Kanemi, it added, was in Abuja and Kaduna between 16th and 19th June, 2011 to attend a meeting of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Nigeria Hajj Commission as part of preparation for the 2011 Hajj operation. The statement added that the Shehu has been in Maiduguri finding solutions through relentless prayers and wide consultations on the Boko Haram threat. It reads: ‘’I want the general public to know that the Shehu will never and had never contemplated leaving his subjects or domain to go on exile whether in times of peace or crises”.

Fire guts Lagos market By Miriam Ndikanwu and Amidu Arije

the Lagos State Fire Service could reach the market. Huge smoke was seen billowing from carcasses of generating sets and goods when our correspondent arrived the scene. Lagos Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire appealed to traders to be calm. Government, she said, would look at ways to assist them soonest to enable them return for trading. Chairman Coker Aguda Local Council Development Area, Hon Yomi Giwa, said

“For now we cannot determine the cause of the fire. We were called around 2am that there was fire incident in the market and we all went there. ‘’With the help of the Lagos State fire service we were able to stop the fire from reaching other parts of the market”. He disclosed the market will be closed down for a while to find solutions to the problem. “We have invited the market leaders to inform them that we are closing the market for a while; we need

to write the local government commissioner and copy the state governor,” he said. A trader who identified herself as Mrs. Idiat Jinadu said she could not rescue any of her goods. She lamented: “Everything was burnt down completely, just take a look, you can see it that there is no way anything could have been removed because we don’t live here. ‘’I am appealing to government to allow us the local traders to destroy what is left of the building and put up a new structure to enable us come back to business in a short time”.

Tinubu’s driver ‘Paddler’ buried


HE Chief Driver to former Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Alhaji Mustapha Safiyu Oloyede who died on Friday, was buried yesterday. According to the deceased younger brother, Oloyede died at a hospital in Lagos on Friday night after

By Joe Agbro Jr.

suffering a heart attack. At at about 1:30pm yesterday, he was buried in his compound in Oko-Oba, Agege area of Lagos. according to Islamic rites. He was aged 48 and survived by four wives and six children. Among early callers to his

residence to commiserate with his family were Asiwaju Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and the Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. While commiserating with the family, Tinubu promised to sustain the children’s education. He also described Oloyede who

Group urges court to support FOI From Damisi Ojo, Akure


GROUP, “The Crusaders”, at the weekend criticised a Court’s ruling that declined jurisdiction on its application for leave on order of mandamus. It approached the Federal High Court, Akure to compel Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) for information of public interest in line with the Freedom of Information [FOI] act. The group called for a declaration that applicant was entitled to be furnished with all relevant information regarding the projects undertaken by OSOPADEC”. A statement in Akure signed its Secretary, Igbekele Ayelaje, described the ruling as a denial of its fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution and FOI Act 2011 to access public documents. It reads: ‘’ We strongly believe the judgment delivered will not help the Federal Government war on corruption by declining jurisdiction on matters brought under the FOI Act. ‘’What we simply demanded was for OSOPADEC to produce details of how funds allocated to the commission are being spent. The FOI Act allows this request to be obliged. “The Judiciary has a major role to play in the war against corruption, good governance and responsive leadership. The legislative and executive arms of government have given a major tool to help check mate office holders if only the judiciary will play their part”. The group said it had directed its lawyers to appeal the ruling.


•Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with the family of the deceased yesterday


worked with him as a very humble and forthright person. In the condolence register, Dr. Fayemi wrote; ‘You were diligent in your duty, dedicated to the cause of democracy and justice and God fearing in all ways.’ Dignitaries that thronged the late Oloyede’s house included Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, Hon. Abiodun Faleke, Lagos State Chief of Staff, Alhaji Mukaila Babalola, Osun State Chief of Staff, Mr. Oyetola, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, and Dr. Samuel Adejare. Others are the Chairman Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, Hon. Taofeek Adaranijo, and his counterpart at Ifako Ijaiye Local Government area, Hon. Demola Doherty Fondly called ‘Paddler’ by his colleagues and friends, late Oloyede was described by Lateef Raheem who had worked with him for 13 years as a “nice man.” Baderewa White, also a colleague and friend, described the late Oloyede as an affable person. “We usually cracked jokes together and he would make the work go easy,” he said.




Political Politics turf

with Bolade Omonijo

The raging battle for Eket


•Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State (right) with Mr. Charles Aniagolu, son of the late Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Aniagolu (rtd), shortly after the burial at Eke, Udi L.G.A on Friday

Minister decries state of National Theatre


HE Minister of Tourism and Culture, Chief Edem Duke has said it is the responsibility of stakeholders and corporate organizations to ensure that the National Theatre does not go into extinction and neglect. He made this declaration in Lagos at the weekend while on an official visit to some of the parastatals under his ministry. Discomfited over the terrible condition of some of the facilities at the Theatre, he said: “it is a pity that the National

By Edozie Udeze

Theatre is going so bad after only 34 years of existence”, adding: “In most countries of the world facilities of this magnitude can be in existence for over 100 years before they can be due for rehabilitation.” Although he commended the Kabir Yusuf-led management of the Theatre for the renovations he has done so far, he frowned at a situation where the Theatre is left in the hands of those who use the

facilities but do little or nothing to make it look good and conducive. Duke also remarked that since the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) has been able to keep and safeguard the relics of FESTAC ’77, it is imperative for government to lend its support to enable CBAAC attain greater heights.” Turning to the National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), he praised them for raising the standard of dance in the country but quickly reminded the management

to work earnestly to make culture a commodity for export. “Oil is good and will finish but culture will not. In fact culture defines who we are, we need to preserve our culture for the sake of posterity,” he said. The minister’s tour was to acquaint him with the conditions of the parastatals and what must be done to move them forward. The three parastatals involved in the tour included CBAAC, National Troupe and the National Theatre.

Ondo students demand payment of bursary


TUDENTS from the Oil Producing region in Ondo State at the weekend gave a seven days ultimatum to the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) to pay 2009/2010 bursary and

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

scholarship awards. A statement signed by Student Association’s National Deputy President, Obayelu Igbekele, after a meeting held with the chairman of

the Commission, Mr. Debo Ajimuda, said they are tired of the deceptive tendency of the commission. The statement reads in part, “We the students of Ilaje and Ese-Odo that fall within the mandate areas

Oyo transport workers to protest police extortion


GROUP known as C o m m e r c i a l Transport Owners in Oyo and Oke-Ogun areas of Oyo State has hinted of plans to withdraw their vehicles from the roads on Monday. They are angry over what they described as “harassment and extortion by policemen.” The group made this known yesterday at the end of an emergency meeting held in Oyo town. The week-long industrial action will affect communities such as Oyo, Iseyin, Okeho, Ilero, Iwere-

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

Ile, Ipapo, Okaka, AgoAmodu,Igboho,Igbeti,Kisi and Ado-Awaye. Other areas to be affected include Sepeteri, Irawo, Ago-Are, Saki, and Ogboro, as their will be no movement of commercial vehicles to and from the areas. Top executives of the union who confided in The Nation alleged that “from Oyo to Saki, and Ogbomoso to Kisi there are over 45 road blocks manned by regular and mobile policemen and

Special Anti-robbery squad, and policemen collect between N50 and N300 per vehicle at each check pint per trip”, adding: “Their presence and alertness cannot deter potential offenders, let alone apprehend real criminals because they are always after money. They demand heavily from us and making lives unbearable for us. We find it difficult to cater for our families, let alone survive in the transport business due to outrageous demands by these policemen.”

to be taken care by the 13% oil derivation have exhausted completely our patience over the failure of the commission to pay our 2009/2010 bursary and scholarship. “We therefore issued an ultimatum to pay the bursary and scholarship to us before August 5, failure upon which we shall embark on massive protest to the commission office situated at Oba-Ile. “As students, we don’t want to take laws into our hands, but since the language the commission understands is protest, we shall do everything within our jurisdiction to ensure that government pays our bursary.” The students however pleaded with the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to prevail on the Chairman of the commission to pay their bursary and scholarship on time.

N almost all the states of the federation, there are political bulldozers prowling and willing to clear away anyone or political tendency that they consider threatening to their immediate or long-term interests. In the main, they are godfathers and governors who want to dictate every move. When they were on the receiving end, they solicited the support of the people and the media. They shouted themselves hoarse that some godfathers were at the game of repressing them. They sought and obtained partnership. But, no sooner did they match up the dais than they started meting out to others the dame treatment that they had deprecated in others. In many states, the last elections brought out the worst in the political parties, especially the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In the legislative elections, only friends, associates and protégés of the governors were allowed to obtain the PDP tickets. The governors are the Kings, you only move near them if you were invited by the throne. All the alliances that politics had put together, elections soon rendered asunder. It is the Nigerian reality When did the trend start? It is really not new. Anyone who read the NIyi Oniororo account of what happened in the First Republic of Chinua Achebe’s Man of the People would realise that the political terrain in the country has always been akin to George Orwell’s Animal Farm. If you associated with the party in power, you did not need the mandate of the people to represent them. And, it did not matter how well you performed as a parliamentarian, if you did not obtain the nod of the Ultimate Area Commander, you stood no chance. It is within this context that the contest for power in oilrich Akwa Ibom State could be understood. The lion in the territory wants to jealously protect what he thinks belongs to him. He prowls and roars at will. He decreed that none of those who served as members of the House of Representatives who served between 2007 and 2011 would be returned and he did everything to give effect to that decision. He made an exception somewhat, though. Hon. Ita Enang who was chairman of Business and Rules had the way paved for his move to the Senate. But that was because the terms and conditions attached were accepted by him. One man who has stood out in the battle for Akwa Ibom State is Eseme Eyiboh, the cerebral spokesman for the last House. He refused to worship at the shrine erected by Governor Godswill Akpabio. He sought to create an identity for himself and insisted that he had done enough to receive a fresh mandate from his people in Eket/Ibeno federal constituency. Indeed, he had provided boreholes in the five local government areas comprising the constituency had sponsored at least nine students to the United Kingdome to study in some of the best universities and had facilitated the training of the children of some of his constituents at the Maritime Academy, Oron. The more the efforts he made, the more he became independent and the more he incurred the wrath of the man who ought to have been his natural partner if politics and governance are truly for development. Now, the battle continues to rage. Eyiboh sought a return to the HOR, Akpabio wanted Dan-Abia who had, in 2007, sought the ticket but lost to Eyiboh. When he could not achieve his ambition in the PDP, he moved to the Action Congress where there was little resistance to obtain the senatorial ticket. Of course, the result was predictable. When the roll call of members of both chambers of the National Assembly was out in June 2007, there was no name from Eket like Dan-Abia. The man lost. The loser of 207 is trying to stage his way to reckoning in 2011. One factor that has made him relevant is that he leans on Godswill Akpabio, a man who must decide what happens in all the local government areas, all state assembly constituencies, all federal constituencies and senatorial districts. If he manages to achieve all these fair and square, there would be no problem. But, development frm Akwa Ibom State in recent times have been disturbing. Governors serving as bulldozers should be told that some people fought the war against Abacha that opened the freedom fountain that brought them to power. They need be told, too, that tyrants have never won the war. They may win some battles, but the natural tendency is that the people themselves sweep away all attempts to bridle their freedom. Eseme Eyiboh is on the right path. He is standing and worshipping in the temple of justice. The bulldozer of Akwa Ibom may win for some time, but the end has come. Does not the Bible say that God uses the foolish (small) things of this world to confound the wise? David defeated Goliath. Akpabio triumphed over Victor Attah in an uneven battle. Eyiboh is now in the House despite the hurdles on his path. The fight for justice continues not just in Eket and Akwa Ibom State but all over the country.




ACN and the gains of a retreat B

Y the time the one-day retreat organised by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for its governors ended in Benin City penultimate Thursday, there were questions as to what may have been discussed behind closed doors which formed the second part of the retreat. No communiqué was issued. Being a retreat it was not expected that the severe soul searching done would be brought to the public domain for scrutiny. However, the “open” session of the event was witnessed by several other persons who are not governors or party chieftains and leaders. Former Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who chaired the occasion, said the retreat was organised to advance the way forward for the development of the states governed by the ACN. “It will also enable us to review the journey so far”, he said. According to Otunba Adebayo, “it is important to state that the expectations of our people towards enjoying the dividends of democracy are very high and as such our party must not fall short of those expectations. “It is important that we achieve the objectives of our party as enshrined in our party manifesto. There is, therefore, a need for you to share experiences with a view to leveraging on areas of strength, to explore new grounds and to confront challenges together. There is strength in unity as demonstrated by the symbol of our party – The Broom”, he advised. The pacesetters National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, in his remarks, agreed with Otunba Niyi Adebayo when he noted that “our nature as a political party has been largely measured by the performance culture of our governments, particularly in recent times, with the public perception of the good works of our governments in Lagos and Edo States since the 2007 elections”. According to Chief Akande, “we are known and called progressive parties because of the constant directives from and fanatical insistence of our party leadership that our government must serve our people loyally and selflessly in the most transparent and durable ways of reducing and eliminating mass poverty. “We are happy after the last April elections that our party was entrusted by the electorate with the responsibility of the biggest and most recognised opposition party in Nigeria”. He added, however, that “the responsibility for branding ACN to become a party in power at the centre must be shared among the ACN members of the state, National Assembly, the ACN governments and the ACN party. I am pleased to note that you have already begun to associate in unity with a view to taking a common position on matters of national significance. By that alone, you have attracted attention of the National Public to your governments as the agent of hope and omen of respect to our party”, he said. Enlightened and principled leadership Chief Audu Ogbe, a promi-

The robust discourse on party supremacy and other salient issues, spiced with lively banters and an atmosphere of camaraderie, that attended the recent retreat by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for its governors in Benin City was particularly stimulating, writes Nasamu Jacobson

•From left: Governor Babtunde Fashola of Lagos State; Chief Bisi Akande, National Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Otunba Niyi Adebayo at the retreat of the party for Governors elected on its platform in Benin City, Thursday

nent party chieftain who also addressed the governors, called for what he described as “a tradition of enlightened control of parties by the application of well established principles of leadership”, drawing attention to the Second Republic during which parties exerted firm control over members. Inferring from the famous trial of then Governor of old Oyo State, Chief Bola Ige by the UPN in Yola in 1983, Ogbe noted that though “the circumstances were not made known to the public but the decision of a party to grill one of its governors for seven hours was remarkable”. Chief Ogbe, who spoke on The Essence of Party Supremacy in a Presidential System of Government, pointed out that to survive a party must have the authority to call its members to order, take a position and persuade its members to abide by that decision. He said, “Without that authority, chaos ensues. A party which seeks to lead a state or nation must display the capacity to order its own affairs and fellowship. It must be emphasised that for any political party to exercise supremacy, its leadership must impress the followership with demonstrable attributes of integrity and honesty, fairness and a sense of justice and fair play. “If members have any cause to doubt the leaders and senior membership of the party, then supremacy is threatened and disobedience becomes inevitable. The recent crises in the ruling party PDP shows clearly how a party can fail woefully in the its bid to enforce supremacy, when it clearly demonstrates infidelity to its own principles and agreements, opts for a shameful policy

of moral flexibility and ethical pluralism. It institutes zoning, pronounces it dead, and then resurrects the ghost to the scare of the society. By so doing, it lost its moral authority to contain the inevitable revolt in the House of Representatives, which it would otherwise have easily controlled”. Drawing on his experiences as a former National Chairman of the PDP, Audu Ogbe drew attention to some issues of importance in the practice of presidential democracy, which must be managed assiduously so as to give due dignity to party leadership and by so doing underscore the very principles of party supremacy. These, he said, include the order of protocol which should begin with the party officials before the executive arm, and the issue of who is the party leader. According to him, “At every party event, the order of protocol begins with the party officials before the executive arm. This order must be followed at national, state and local governments’ levels. This does not in any way derogate from or diminish the office of elected or appointed office holders. It only emphasises the age-old law of nature that the parent comes before the child. At official government functions the order changes. Elected office holders come first and party officials follow.” Party supremacy Ogbe noted the confusion which arises from the mix- up between the offices of party leader and elected President, Governors or Local Government chairmen. “For the avoidance of doubt, the party leader is the chairman,

whereas the President, State Governor or Local Government Chairman is the leader of the nation, state or local government, of which the party is only a part”. According to him, “the chairman must be the party leader. Of course they need the active support of their governors to be able to survive and succeed. But this also means that chairmen must not abuse their power and mortgage their consciences by engaging in unfair and questionable activity”. Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole unveiled the strategic vision of his administration which has made the state become a leading economic centre in the country, where the people live in dignity, powered by a government that is responsive to the people. In a paper, titled, Leveraging Effective Leadership for Good Governance Towards Meeting People’s Expectation - Sharing the Edo State Experience, delivered during the retreat Comrade Oshiomhole recalled the many challenges on assumption of office and his approach to tackle them, despite lean resources accruing to the state. The governor outlined his achievements to include expansion and rehabilitation of roads, repositioning of public schools and improvement in health care delivery amongst others. He said on assumption of office, there was a major crisis characterised by massive infrastructural decay, huge overlay of political tension and deterioration of institutions including failed bureaucracy. According to him, there was environmental degradation, such as flooding, break down of secu-

rity, widespread unemployment, inadequate social services and loss of confidence of the multilateral agencies and business community. The governor identified absence of popular participation in governance, weak public sector, lack of transparency, accountability and corruption, inconsistent economic policies and absence of a clearly articulated development agenda, absence of long term planning and sustained policy implementation, inadequate internally generated revenue and weak financial control system as reasons for the crises. “Our approach was sourcing for the right professional and technical skills beyond party and the state, creating an economic team made up of private and key line ministries which gave the administration access to very high quality private sector experience and methods as well as evolving a general blueprint and sectoral blueprint in priority areas”, he disclosed. The governor said that the key elements of the plan is hiring professionals to serve in government, focus on few key priorities to ensure impact, promote Private Public Partnership (PPP) in development, cut waste in public expenditure, involve people and ensure transparency in governance, as well as improve service delivery with ICT, up-scaling civil service, reform of public financial management process procurement. On the future of the state, Oshiomhole stressed that more emphasis would be placed on a ten year planning horizon – 2010-2012; 2013-2016; 20162020, which will reform the civil service, get the local governments to become more efficient and align their spending to state priorities for greater impact, emphasis on Public Private Partnership based on factor endowments such as Tourism, Agribusiness, Electricity and the launching of an Education Revolution. The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola spoke on Project Implementation, Scope and Challenges. According to him, project implementation is a function of a well – thought out budget, adding that “there is need for special focus and project monitoring and implementation to bring about proper policy and planning. Lagos State Government has been able to finance projects through borrowing, Public Private Partnership and Internally Generated Revenue”. To round-off the retreat, the ACN governors paid a visit to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Erediuwa Uku Akpolopkolo during which the Benin monarch praised Oshiomhole for embarking on projects that are both monumental and unprecedented in the history of Edo State. The Oba expressed his desire to have Comrade Oshiomhole back as Governor for a second term in 2012 to complete the projects that he has started. The Governors at the retreat were Oshiomhole (Edo), Fashola (Lagos), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Chief Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, Deputy Governor of Osun State.





Tenure, trousers and executive jets Festus Eriye

There is so much that can be done with the monies spent in acquiring and maintaining these jets 08052135878 (SMS only)


HREE stories in the media over the last week about certain actions of Federal and state governments should send even the sunniest optimist plunging into depression. Take President Goodluck Jonathan. His decision to send a bill to the National Assembly recommending the adoption of a single term of six years for governors and president is inexplicable. With the rancid smell of the failed Third Term bid still strong in our nostrils, it is hardly surprising that initial reactions were ones of suspicion that the seemingly self-effacing president was starting to think the unthinkable. He has rushed to explain that not only was his 2015 exit non-negotiable, the single term idea was not his. Apparently, it dates back to the Umaru Yar’Adua days and had the backing of most political parties. But that was then. Between April and now the political landscape has been altered dramatically. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was not party to the six-year tenure proposal and remains resolutely opposed to it. So if the main opposition party is not on board, how can Jonathan’s proposal be dressed up as a product of national consensus? At best it is another concoction from the PDP’s factory of horror movies. A single term is supposedly the magic wand that deletes the acrimony that attends political activities every four years. Truly, some countries with fractious federations have adopted it to deal with their peculiar problems. But that is not enough for us to swallow it whole without pausing to reflect. In our haste to ditch the British parliamentary system, we embraced the American presidential model without thoroughly examining the down side as it relates to costs. Today, the system is creaking under the burden of funding expensive federal legislators. Even if the single term wipes out contention, it could aggravate corruption when people know they only get one bite of the cherry. They would try their creative best to clean out the treasury with that one chance. As for acrimony, depend on it that it won’t go away. Wherever there is competition there would be contention. That is the nature of democracy. It is irrelevant whether those involved are fighting over one six-year term or two terms of four years each. Now the electorate know that they can get rid of an incompetent legislator or governor in four years. Under Jonathan’s proposed system they would be stuck with a mistake – without remedy - for all of six years. That is an act of wickedness. But the major problem is not whether the incumbent benefits or not, it is not about the merit or demerit of his proposal, it is about wrong timing. A constitutional amendment of tenure for political office holders is not Nigeria’s most pressing challenge in July 2011. Critics have rightly rounded on the president – pointing him to the myriad problems starring him in the face: failed roads, a prostrate economy, power and widespread insecurity. Recently the President of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Titi Omo-Ettu, told an investment

•Jonathan summit in Lagos that 70% of the challenges facing operators in his sector were power related. This same cry can be heard in virtually all areas of the economy. Another little statistic should help the President reorder his priorities. The Chief Medical Director of the Neuropsychiatry Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr. Adegboyega Ogunlesi, says that the number of Nigerians developing mental illness is on the rise. Using his hospital as an example, he reveals that in 2009 there were 28,000 patients. This leapt to 42,000 in 2010 – an increase of 15% in just one year. Why won’t psychiatric problems increase in the face of massive unemployment, anaemic job creation and inability of existing businesses and start-ups to access capital? These are the sorts of challenges that Jonathan should be focusing his “transitional” government on – not fussing over luxury political matters that can be tackled at the appropriate time. With the President showing the way it is no surprise that some governors have quickly hopped aboard the misplaced priorities bandwagon. The other day the Plateau State government announced it had banned women wearing trousers from entering Government House, Jos as part of a campaign against indecent dressing. Plateau State Head of Service, Moses Gwom, said that action was in line with the 10-point agenda of Governor Jonah Jang’s administration. Among the ten points ostensibly is ethical and moral re-orientation. While others are campaigning for state police on serious grounds, in Jos they are more concerned with establishing a fashion police. Governments always run into problems when they leave the serious business of governance to start legislating on what peo-

ple should wear or eat; what music they should listen or dance to. Now Jang and his team who should be better engaged find themselves snared trying to explain why a woman wearing trousers is indecently dressed. Two of the most powerful women on the planet – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, are famously fond of wearing trouser suits while conducting business in government houses more powerful than the one in Jos. Were either of them to show up in Jang’s monastery would they be turned back at the gates for moral reorientation? I doubt very much. Such hypocrisy! The governor should be focusing on how to restore peace to his strife-torn state. But if he is so passionate about the moral and spiritual condition of his people, then he may be in the wrong business. He should resign posthaste and get behind a pulpit. This brings us to the jet acquisition brouhaha in Rivers State. Governor Rotimi Amaechi has explained that he didn’t buy a new jet – he merely traded in one of two owned by the state for a bigger one to the tune of $48 million. The second was sold to Cross River State for $9 million. The sale became imperative for “security reasons.” Apparently when His Excellency goes for a ride in the small plane things get a bit bumpy. When his rival at the last gubernatorial poll, ACN’s Dr. Abiye Sekibo, criticised the purchase, Amaechi said dismissively that he could not risk his life “just because I am trying to listen to Abiye Sekibo.” We certainly don’t want the governor risking his precious neck in these small aircraft; instead he should consider travelling with lesser mortals in those bigger planes used by commercial operators. The truth is that in the present economic climate states – whether they can pay minimum wage or not - have no business acquiring and maintaining these expensive toys. You don’t buy things just because you can afford them. There are countries richer than the likes of Rivers and Cross River whose leaders travel by public commercial flight. British Prime Ministers and royals do; the Pope does. It is no indignity for a state governor to travel first class in a commercial flight. There is so much that can be done with the monies spent in acquiring and maintaining these jets. Schools, health centres and rural roads can be built. The right decision should have been to sell the jets acquired by his predecessor rather than trying to justify that which cannot be justified. For that Amaechi would have been applauded as being different from his predecessor. But then Nigerian presidents and governors have their own priorities; live in a different world. How dare we make critical comments while such great minds are at work!

“Two of the most powerful women on the planet – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, are famously fond of wearing trouser suits while conducting business in government houses more powerful than the one in Jos. Were either of them to show up in Jang’s monastery would they be turned back at the gates for moral reorientation?”

Lekan Otufodunrin 08050498530 (SMS only)

Biafra: Lest we forget!


HE title of this piece is the title of a book launched in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital last Friday. The book was written by Dr Richie Chile Adewusi, a media/development scholar who was about seven years old when the war broke out and about eleven when it ‘ended’. Adewusi, whose father was Yoruba and mother, Igbo, was trapped in the war zone while living with the mother in Port Harcourt and they later had to move to Omoba in Abia State where his maternal grand parents lived. By virtue of our long friendship dating back to our National Youth Service year in the old Sokoko State in 1985, I accepted to review the book and join Richie and his lovely wife, Fola, the Ekiti State Commissioner of Women Affairs. She was also a graduate of the NYSC 1985 Bodinga camp for what turned out to be a fourin-one celebration. The other events were the commissioning of Change Ville, a training and conference centre, The Ekiti Writers’ Forum and the T.A.L.K Point Family Life Education Card game. Unlike other books about the Biafra War that either celebrated the exploits of the major combatants or tries to rationalise what happened during the bloody encounter between the Federal and Biafran soldiers, Adewusi’s book provides a unique insight on the agonising moments families’ like his went through. He and his other family members caught in the war are lucky to be alive and well unlike many others who lost their lives and property in the avoidable war. Beyond the very compelling narrative of his personal experience of the crisis however, Adewusi repeatedly stressed the need to avoid a reoccurrence of the Biafra situation and give peace a chance in the country. He devoted a substantial part of the beginning and end of the book to analysing various worrying developments in the country warning of the dire consequences of not addressing them like other countries who have managed to overcome their own challenges. With drums of war literally being beaten loudly across the country and all kinds of crisis like the Boko Haram senseless killings, indiscriminate bombings like we have never had before and even political and religious disagreements threatening the stability of the country, this book is a very timely warning for us to again avoid traveling back the road that led us to Biafra “Those who are beating the drums of confusion, division and chaos really do not know what they are doing. It is either that, or they just do not care because they feel they are going to escape,” Adewusi wrote and he is indeed very right. Any form of crises is an ill-wind that blows no one any good as the author’s recollection reveals. As if to confirm Adewusi’s fears that as a nation we seem to have forgotten the Biafran war and even pretend not to appreciate the implications of the crises in neighbouring countries like Liberia and in other African countries, there are predictions about Nigeria breaking up in some years to come. Whether what some government officials and political leaders will prefer to call doom prophesy will come to pass or not will depend on how we respond to the danger signals highlighted by Adewusi in this book. Part of his suggestions for addressing the problems in the country is that “political office seekers or holders in Nigeria need to understand and exhibit to the rest of us, that national interest is bigger than personal, tribal, religious and party interests”. For Nigerians who are quick to think violence is the best option for resolving our differences, they need to read this book which is not a fictional account but a real life experience that should leave anyone sober and thank God for the relative peace a good part of the country is still enjoying.




Comment & Analysis

LOBAL analysis of statistics from different sources has revealed that children and women are the most vulnerable to the threats of poverty and untimely death. According to a recent World Health Organization, (WHO) report, more than 600,000 women have died in recent times due to childbirth or pregnancy-related complications, while Nigeria accounts for close to 10 percent of that figure. The global under-five mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia has not reduced sufficiently to reach the MDG by 2015. In fact, the highest rates of mortality in children under- 5 years continue to occur in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounted for half of child deaths worldwide in 2008. While substantial progress has been made in reducing child death, children from poorer household remain disproportionately vulnerable across all regions of the developing world. Most children in developing countries continue to die from preventable or treatable causes, with pneumonia and diarrhea as the two main killers. Under nutrition also contribute to more than a third of all underfive deaths. While some progress has been made in reducing maternal mortality, the rate of decline is far from adequate for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Moreover, for every death, approximately 20 women suffer from injury, infection, disease or disability as a result of complications arising from pregnancy or child birth. In the 2010 WHO report, Nigeria recorded 50,000 maternal deaths a year, thus placing it as having the second highest rate after India. And with every maternal death, there are more child deaths. The mortality ratio for children under -five years in Nigeria is 230 per one thousand births, 16 children less than five years die every 10 minutes. New born deaths account for more than a quarter of this deaths especially within the first week of life due to pregnancy and delivery-related complications .As the statistics show, there is a close relationship between the well -being of the mother and the health of the child. As a result of the enormity of the problem, 189 countries met under the umbrella

Tackling maternal and child mortality By Biliqis Bakare

of the United Nations in 2000 to address as a single package the child and maternal mortality in addition to other rights and developmental issues collectively adopted as the Eight Millennium Developments Goal (MDG) of which the fourth MDG aims at reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015, while the fifth MDG proposes the reduction of maternal mortality by 75 percent by the year 2015. At the National Council of Health meeting in 2007, the Federal Ministry of Health adopted the Integrated Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Strategy (IMNCH). This high- profile initiative, comprising high impact intervention packages, is to address the main causes of maternal, newborn and child death at community and health facility levels. Additionally, it will focus on integrated maternal, new-born and child health services along the life cycle at all levels. The main goal is to essentially reduce maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality in line with Millennium Development Goals. If fully implemented, the IMNCH Strategy will lead to a reduction of about 72 percent of neonatal deaths,70 percent of under -five deaths and two- third of maternal death . In absolute terms, more than 200,000 mothers and six million children lives’ can be saved by 2015.To show its commitment toward the full implementation of this strategy, the Federal Ministry of Health has been collaborating with international agencies such as the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), International Children Education Fund and Deux Construction Company

through the building of maternal child centres. Although global statistics depicting maternal and child health status has not fared better, the Lagos State Government has adopted the health vision enunciated in the Millennium Developments Goals as the state’s minimum starting point for the sector. The state government in realization of the enormity of this problem, coupled with the attention the problem is getting, evolved the Integrated Maternal and Child Centres Policy, a vision tied to excellence in line with the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. Child survival intervention ,especially immunization, apart from constituting part of the right of the child ,had been acknowledged as a veritable strategy towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals . This is why the state government conceived the National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs)which it has been adhering strictly to . It has equally gone further by working with neighboring Ogun State and the Republic of Benin, along the border towns, in finding more effective ways to eradicate the scourge of poliomyelitis in the two countries. Perhaps, the most important step which the Lagos State Government has taken towards reducing maternal and child mortality level to zero in the state is the commissioning of Maternal Child Centers, equipped with the latest medical and other facilities to enhance and ensure optimal performance across the state. The centres are located in the premises of the General Hospitals at Surulere (Gbaja), Ifako- Ijaye, AmuwoOdofin, Ikorodu, Isolo, Eti- Osa and Ajeromi/Ifelodun. Each of the centers has

five clinics for mothers, babies and children. The-100 bed facility also has neonatal unit for premature babies, labor ward with delivery room, emergency clinic, a theatre for Cesarean sections in complicated deliveries and much more. These centers apart from being primarily equipped to reduce maternal and child mortality, also serve as training grounds for staff. The Lagos State Government has equally empowered its Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas to build health facilities that will cater for the maternal and child healthcare needs for the people at the grassroots. This is aimed at decongesting the secondary and tertiary health facilities in the state. These centres regularly give free immunization to children between ages 0-5 years against childhood and preventable diseases such as yellow fever, tetanus, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, measles and hepatitis. With the realization that the state is potentially a key contributor to National Development, the present administration in Lagos has committed quite a chunk of its resources to improving the health status of all residents, particularly women and children. In collaboration with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty alleviation, screening programmes for breast and cervical cancer were carried out. Women with palpable lumps were referred for further management. If we are to tackle the twin challenge of maternal and child deaths headlong in the country, priority should be given to action while lesser time should be spent on rhetorics. The time for action is now! Bakare is of the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja


Comment & Analysis


Obasanjo again! After repudiating zoning before the polls, he now says the policy exists because his candidate for House speakership lost out


ONTRARY to the insinuations of some of his close political associates, and his own apparently deceptive body language, exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo is obviously not thinking of retiring from politics anytime soon to concentrate, as it was rumoured, on international diplomatic assignments. The former President was clearly in his elements when he addressed the last meeting of his party’s board of trustees (BOT) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. On that occasion, he sounded more like a partisan politician in full battle gear than an eminent statesman transcending factional intra-party frays. In his characteristically controversial speech, Obasanjo made a spirited defence of the zoning policy of his party and warned that only its preservation could save the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from collapse. He pointedly condemned the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal and Emeka Ihedioha as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, of the House of Representatives, in purported violation of the PDP zoning policy. Most shockingly, the former President demanded the resignation of both legislative officers in 2013 so that the party could restore its original power- sharing arrangement. In chief Obasanjo’s words: “Having laid out the positions of the party’s constitution, we should realise that what happened on 5th June, 2011, when the House of Representatives set aside the zoning, rotation and federal character policy and programme of the party, and seemingly went against the party policy, programme and decision, is a very serious issue that the party cannot sweep under the carpet … If the situation is left unattended and uncorrected, we may take it that the pillar on which PDP stands is mortally impaired.” Obasanjo is evidently still bitter that the party’s official candidate for the speakership, Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, from


HE worsening scourge of street furniture and deplorable route of the Murtala Muhammed international airport road, popularly called ‘NAHCO-Airport road’ Is indeed a colossal shame and disgrace to the giant of Africa at home and abroad. Of course, it is very dishearten and a complete show of our failed, non-challant and moribund government that the most prestigious and ever busy Nigerian International airport cannot boost of a standard accessible road. I could not hold back my tears and shock over this route on Tuesday at 11:30PM when the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron had to use this same deplorable route in a complete darkness as most of the street lights were completely off. The Prime Minister who flew into Lagos from Johannesburg must have witness a complete difference between Nigerian deplorable roads to that of south African state of art roads, especially the Johannesburg international airport road, which pride itself of 24hrs constant electricity supply to street lights, dedicated call centre for street light complaints amidst other commendable furniture. What a monumental absurdity and failure on the part of concerned authorities who are practically unable to judiciously utilised the generated billions from the international airport to safe several vulnerable lifes that have died on this road due to the deplorable portholes that are often not seen at night because of the non functioning street lights, alongside with the rampant armed robbers that usually waylay unsuspecting commuters in the dark. Well thanks to the Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola whose renovation of Oshodi with state of art lighting facilities swiftly display a different Nigerian roads. At least, that will a little change the Prime Minister’s perception of our street furniture. Indeed, this must have spur David Cameron s comment at the Pan African University Conference that

the South-West was defeated on the floor when members, through secret ballot, asserted their independence and voted for candidates of their choice. Of course, as the Chairman of his party’s BOT, Obasanjo has the right to express his views on matters affecting the party. But in this instance, Tambuwal and Ihedioha have transcended being ordinary members of the PDP. They are duly elected officials of the Nigerian State and the votes that earned them their current positions in the House cut across party lines. Their emergence as leaders of the House of Representatives was a triumph for the Principle of Separation of Powers and the spirit of democracy. It ought to have occurred to Obasanjo that his urging them to stand down on an arbitrary date, without respect for law or due process is antidemocratic, authoritarian and utterly condemnable. It is a reflection of how low he has allowed himself to descend within the party that the BOT reportedly discountenanced his views on the matter and even declined to make his submission a part of the meeting’s resolution. Obasanjo’s 180 degrees somersault on the issue of zoning within the PDP is, to say the least, most astonishing. At the height of the intense debate


•Editor Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Festus Eriye •Olayinka Oyegbile Deputy Editor •Associate Editor Taiwo Ogundipe

•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

within the party on where its presidential candidate for the last election should come from, Obasanjo threw his weight solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition and publicly declared that the party never had any formal zoning policy. Yet, the same man has the temerity to now declare, without batting an eyelid, that “Mr. President, it is that policy that brought me up as President in 1999 and brought President Yar’Adua up in 2007 and you up in 2011. It has given us some element of predictability, stability and order. I, as Chairman of the BOT, decided to point the attention of the party and the government to this issue not because it affects the zone, which by accident of birth I come from, but because it has grave implication for the future of the PDP as a political party, the PDP government and, by extension, the country”. So, what exactly does Obasanjo want us to believe? How does he expect the public to accord him any credibility with such glaring inconsistencies? Obasanjo’s posturing at the BOT meeting in question was certainly not without purpose. He wanted to present himself as protecting the interest of the South-West zone of the party, which, following its routing by the progressives in the last elections, is now disadvantaged within the PDP structure. But the more discerning members of the party in the region surely know that whatever is their current sorry plight is largely due to the failings of Obasanjo as a politician and a leader. Rather than utilise the privilege of presidential power for eight years to build up genuine support through concrete development policies, he squandered the opportunity by promoting mediocrity, vindictiveness and empty arrogance. Now he is shedding crocodile tears. We have no sympathy for him.

Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road: A national shame “Here in Lagos, Governor Fashola has shown what strong and accountable governance can achieve. What I have seen in London, I have seen a hundred fold here today. From Eko Atlantic City and Balogun Street

market to the biggest part in the most populous country in Africa, you are transforming your state.” Hence, concerned authorities like FAAN, FERMA should borrow a leaf from Lagos State Government by

adapting its rehabilitative tactics employed in Oshodi and Island which enhanced 24 hours electrical supply to street lights and dedicated call centre for street lights complaints. Also, the highly innovative CCTV

security camera on Lagos State roads should be adopted for this international route, alongside introduction of constant anti-robbery patrol. By Oyeduntan Enoch

Sorry founders of Progressive Change are not progressive


WELL planned revolution may succeed while unplanned revolution will end in abysmal failure.Without much ado,millions of Nigerian progressives would have willingly and massively aligned or joined the Congress for Progressive Change if authors of the CHANGE had exercised enough patience to plan properly for an encouraging and brilliant performance during the last general elections.Between 1960 and 2010,a cabal of conservative Nigerian leaders in the Armed Forces and their civilian counterparts ruled Nigeria, manipulated her economy and slowed down her growth for decades. However,when the Congress for Progressive Change was formed,as a political party,by some highly principled and well-respected Nigerian leaders,millions of Nigerians were happy and hopeful that some good and promising change will happen to our politics and economy in the next few years.Unfortunately, effective planning and other attributes shown regularly by the TRUE Nigerian Progressives are conspicuously lacking in the founding fathers of the C.P.C.who were too assuming,hasty and overconfident considering the difficult and enormous task set out

by them. Thus,the leaders,who we thought may salvage our economy and our moral values through their zero tolerance for corruption and immorality disappointed millions of progressive Nigerians.In fact,it was very difficult for political analysts to analyse correctly how a hurriedly

packaged revolutionary concept of this nature and dimension could be accepted within six months,by Nigerian electorates who,for the past 50 years,have dined and wined with the stinky wealthy Nigerian politicians. The last hasty and myopic efforts put together by founders of the C.P.C. were too narrow and weak to shake

and unseat our local imperialists who have ganged up and vowed to rule and chain Nigeria down for another half a century.Fellow Nigerian progressives, Nigeria awaits your rescue. Mr. W .A Falana Oke - Odo market, Lagos

Menace of child abuse


HILD abuse has a lot of dimensions to it; it starts right from the improper care for the child, abandonment, hard labour and depriving a child from the basic things of life such as food, clothing, shelter, security and protection, etc. Though child abuse is a global phenomenon, but appears terribly bad in developing countries, unlike in the more advanced countries and this is because some certain measures have been set in motion to ameliorate the problem of child abuse in those other countries. In Nigeria as well as in some other African countries, children’s rights are not properly advocated. In many cases, some children are deprived qualitative education but rather subjected to child labour. Everywhere on street corners,

highways, children of school age are often seen hawking around, a development, which many believe, easily manifests the poverty scourge in the country. One may accept that voluntary street hawking should not be regarded as child abuse, but on the contrary, even when a child does not lack the necessities of life, cases abound where children are sent out on the streets to hawk wares either by parents, guardians, aunts and uncles, as the case may be. Actually, this particular form of child abuse is the most common; it happens in several homes and yet not seen as child abuse among the majority involved in the act. Some see it as a culture of the black nations; some think it is a way of assisting the parents, which aids better comfort in an average home.

Unfortunately, the most disastrous consequence of this kind of child abuse is that some of the children that are victims could become so wild that some decide to leave their homes when they get familiar with a particular gang they have mingled with during those times they were hawking. In other words, they become hardened criminals, terrorists or even enemies of the state. Though it could sound so disgusting for a parent to say that my son\daughter has gone out to work for me to eat, or rather to work for him\herself, of course, it is the responsibility of every parent to provide all necessities for the children and not the other way round. Lateefat Rabiu, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos


Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni


NYONE with the courage to ask teenagers to write an essay on what they think about Nigeria would not be surprised to find that the most cliched phrase in such essays is "Nigeria is a deprived nation." I am thus borrowing the title of today's piece from teenage essayists in my neighbourhood. President Jonathan's enthusaism to send a bill to the National Assembly to call for one-term of (God knows) how many years is one graphic illustration of how not to transform a country hobbled in all respects by largely avoidable deprivation. If there is any phrase that can be retrieved from Jonathan's preelection promises, it is "commitment to transform Nigeria." Most of his supporters must have believed him on the promise to transform Nigeria. But some of those that voted for him just to avoid voting for Buhari must have doubted his capacity to transform the country, knowing that he wasted the period of his acting presidency. Many of such voters are unlikely to be surprised that the first major action of President Jonathan is to sponsor a bill to create a new rule for allocating executive power. Should anyone be surprised by complaints that Jonathan has

Femi Orebe femi.orebe 08056504626 (sms only)



Comment & Analysis

WICE within a space of seven days, I have been privileged to sit amongst some of the best minds in the country listening to critical interrogations of the subject of regional integration as the way forward for Nigeria as we continue to wallow in a quagmire of leadership rudderless-ness. Tell me, should concern about dislocations arising out of periodic elections which are not unique to Nigeria be the utmost concern to the head of a government confronted, as Nigeria perennially is, by a bouquet of problems ranging from insecurity to massive youth unemployment? If President Goodluck Jonathan were not hostage to tenure elongation, which he stridently denies, why would he not decide to first and foremost seriously confront the cancer of corruption which his Attorney-General is doing his damndest to metastasise, unnecessarily obfuscating the work of the anti-fraud agencies, knowing full well that corruption is Nigeria’s greatest undoing. Or, unknown to us Nigerians, has the next general elections been fixed for next week? Nigerians know only too well that even if he was persuaded to be the gentleman we think he is, there are more than enough caterwauling demons in his PDP to twist things at the last minute. How he finally shredded zoning as a PDP rule is not ancient history. Sorry, I was on the much more important issue of resurgent regionalism, call it fiscal federalism, which my good friend Tony A. Musa sees as ‘haram’ but which the SouthSouth has already set out to

How not to transform a deprived nation Should anyone be surprised Jonathan has put the wrong foot forward? put the wrong foot forward? That the President should have avoided distracting citizens in the cheapest of ways? That President Jonathan ought to know that there are too many more pressing problems to solve than to divert the attention of citizens away from problems that they expect the President to solve to those that are generally considered non-issues? There is no doubt that Jonathan has more serious issues to worry about than the perfunctory one of bending the constitution to create one-term tenure for presidents and governors. Nigeria has roads that frustrate rather than facilitate movement of persons and goods. The main road to Apapa port where the country collects substantial revenue from customs charges is worse than the untarred road that led to the port in the early days of colonialism. The roads that lead to the country's three major economic axes: SouthWest, SouthEast, and SouthSouth are death traps for motorists and passengers. Citizens are scared to leave or come to Lagos, the nation's economic

and cultural capital because of bad roads. Security of life and property has disappeared from the menu of government services to the people. When citizens are not pushed into self-imprisonment because of kidnapping, they are pushed into forced migration from the North because of suicide bombers sponsored by Boko Haram or other religious bigots. Night life is a nightmare in most cities of the country because the police is incapable of enforcing laws. Despite armed policemen, customs officers in cities over 200 kilometres from the ports, and Federal Road Safety Corps members, the country's roads are still unsafe for travellers each hour of the day. Nigerians are afraid to sleep in their houses at night because the federal police officers that are paid to defend them are generally busy collecting money from motorists or protecting the wives of governors and legislators from invisible enemies. Over 70% of Nigerians earn less than one dollar a day. Efforts to make the lowest-paid worker earn 100 dollars a month at the current exchange rate of

one dollar to one hundred and seventy naira is hanging on threats of representatives of the underpaid to go on strike. More Nigerian pregnant women die at childbirth than their counterparts in other parts of the world's least developed continent. More infants born to Nigerian parents die before they reach the age of five than in any other country in the region. More Nigerian children suffer from protein deficiency than in most of the countries in the region. Nigerian secondary schools produce only ten percent success in exit examinations. Most primary school children learn under mango trees or in classrooms that are often flooded during the rainy season or that are over heated during the dry season. The nation's tertiary institutions produce graduates that the former minister of education adjudged to be unemployable. Corruption is seen today, as it has been for decades, by other countries as a synonym for Nigeria, despite elaborate re-branding of the country. Electricity is also one of the challenges that the country has not been able to meet for fifty years of its life.

Regional integration cast in stone:

The Fayemi perspective This may be our final chance of re-inventing Awoism institutionalise in the BRACED forum .At a 3 day Retreat spanning Friday 22 Sunday 24 Jul, 2011, under the auspices ofthe AFENIFERERENEWALGROUP, a significant cast of the Yoruba intelligentsia were holed up in the serene University of Ibadan to finalise a blue print for Western region cooperation. Then on Thursday, 28 July, 2011, this time at the well appointed Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, himself an alumnus and a consummate academic, was at hand to present to a distinguished audience of academics and students, what I reckon has been the most high-minded philosophical underpinning for a new regionalism designed to drive and propel development in this part of he country; a new developmental paradigm, deserving of being a template for every geo-political zone. This was under the auspices of the non-partisan EKITI DEVELOPMENT NETWORK of the university whose raison d’être’ is the need to ‘harness the abundant human resources in Ekiti in all fields of human endeavour’ towards jump starting development in the state. We would obviously get to know much more on these pages, about this singleminded body which has painstakingly set out, in writing, an Ekiti developmental blueprint arising out of critical intellectual discourses on issues covering education, agriculture, health, social service delivery, science, engineering, fiscal and financial

management for presentation to the Ekiti state governor who is himself acutely aware of the need for a closer town and gown co-operation. On this occasion, they did not only present their blue print, they rapturously honoured a man so deserving as the no.1 citizen of their ‘ILE IYI, ILE EYE -LAND OF HONOUR. The occasion was completely electrifying with the Vice-Chancellor and all the university’s principal officers present. In a ramifying, no holds barred, disquisition that obviously had his rarefied audience in mind, and obviously as a way of setting a critical agenda for a full discuss, across board, on an issue which Dr Fayemi and his colleaguegovernors in the region see as the’ deus ex machina’ for ending the arrested development in the region especially these seven last years of the locust under a vacuous PDP stranglehold, I have a finicky feeling he also set out to obtain an affirmation that they are correctly headed. After all, this may be our final chance of re-inventing Awoism as our development paradigm in this part of the country. In his opening salvo, Dr Fayemi confronts us with the nationality question. Hear him: ‘ the debate on the post-election violent phenomenon known as Boko Haram is itself a debate about the status and quality of democracy in Nigeria as well as a debate about the future of the country as a united, federal entity. Given the panic this phenomenon has caused even in

parts other than the north, thinking of innovative ways of accommodating social diversity in a democratic frame has become about the greatest challenge to democratic transition and security in our country today’. He went on rapidly to dissuade us all, important as elections are, against the falsity of seeing elections as a silver bullet; a cure- all master stroke, that, ipso facto, produces democratic development. Rather than arising out of a Moslem exceptionalism, Boko Haram and the post election crises, in his view, are clearly reactions to perceived or real loss of power by an elite stratum that is predominantly “Northern” and also “Moslem” even if the leading figures in this agenda do not necessarily count religious piety among their greatest attributes. It is a contest over raw political power - who lost power, who won power, and who wants power back. The processes that threw up President Goodluck Jonathan, he opines, merely accentuated this. And, of course, issues of this nature are cross sectional , underscoring as they do, the disillusionment of those who had been socio-economically hard done by; and who routinely serve as foot soldiers to the progenitors of the various ‘harams’ The ‘north’, it would appear, seems incapable of adjusting to powerlessness. REGIONALISM AS PANACEA What then, asks the August lecturer, is the connection between regionalism and the crisis of governance that Nigeria

If President Jonathan is looking for things to do to make quick impact, he should pick from the catalogue of problems identified in the preceding paragraphs. But if he thinks that the 1999 Constitution is bad and dishonest, as many Nigerians have argued since 1999, he needs to take time to hear what people want to be done to the constitution. The belief by the President and his handlers that moving from two terms of four years to one term of six years will reduce preoccupation with election during a president's or governor's tenure is exaggerated. The desire to ensure that a president or governor is succeeded by a member of his party or someone that is likely to protect his or her predecessor in office is as strong as the one for self-succession. The preparation for rigging of the 2007 elections (the worst in the nation's history) was not done to give power to Obasanjo. It was to ensure succession by another PDP person preferred by the departing president. If the main interest of President Jonathan is to transform the country from the angle of the constitution, then the right thing to do is for him to send a bill to the National Assembly to call for a constitutional conference at which a people's constitution is produced. Such conference will consider many of the challenges facing the country, from those calling for true federalism and regional autonomy to those calling for Sharia, Islamic Banking, and an end to western education. A bill on tenure change for president and governors is diversionary and should be avoided by President Jonathan. is currently experiencing? The connection, in his opinion lies in the search for the most appropriate institutional mechanism for promoting consensus, mediating conflict and managing diversities in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country all of which were greatly attenuated under jackboot military regimes and the barely indistinguishable Obasanjo regime. Paraphrasing Dr Fayemi, mutatis mutandis, although the challenges we face maybe internal and ethnic in nature, oftentimes the interlocking nature of these challenges underscore the artificiality of state boundaries and call for a broader response driven by social consensus. If it is the case, as we have here in Nigeria and as in the complete destruction of South-West infrastructure under the Obasanjo administration, then their resolution can, and do also involve a range of options including the regional. Concluding, therefore ,on the raison d’être of the regional developmental option as a way out of our legion of problems, Dr Fayemi posited as follows: ‘Faced, therefore, with the artificiality of states and the refusal to fully embrace the recalcitrant nation, it would appear that at no time has the need to turn to consensual resolutions become more urgent. This increasing importance of regionalism in Nigeria must be located within the twin trajectories of the incipient localisation of conflicts and the nationalisation of political and economic realities. In arguing for a reconceptualisation of the concept of regional development which deemphasises state boundaries, the motive is not a form of territorial revisionism. Instead, our intention is the revision of the territorial state where artificial boundaries have formed the legitimating force for arrested development in several states, thereby turning them into empty constitutional entities which are totally meaningless to their internal publics. Translated into a sustainable democratic agenda, it is safe to argue in favour of a confinable regional development mechanism that is properly structured’.




Comment & Analysis


One man, one term? No sir 08054503906 (sms only)


FTER making the rounds in pepper soup joints and beer parlous, it has now come to the open that indeed, President Goodluck Jonathan is proposing to send a bill seeking a single term of whatever years for the president and governors. The president’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, who broke the news, said it was to sanitise the nation’s politics. That this is one of the main issues the President is putting on the front burner of national discourse barely two months after his inauguration shows his lack of depth, first about the major problems Nigerians are facing in general, and even that of electoral frauds that he seems interested in checking. We may even accuse him of hypocrisy (remember his party was the major culprit in electoral malpractices) or lack of imagination, or indeed all of the above, on the basis of his panacea even to the problem of electoral fraud. No doubt, as I argued on this page last week, we would have solved a lot of our problems if we are able to get it right at the polls. But getting it right at the polls is not necessarily a function of second or third term. President Jonathan must get that right. He should understand too that the question of whether he will benefit from it or not is immaterial. I say this because the President has said that he won’t be a beneficiary. Well, it is difficult to say whether this is an after-thought or not, especially since many people have been attacking him as soon as the rumour of the proposed bill

Postscript, Unlimited! By

Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only)


ECENTLY, I heard the story of a young person caught in the crossfire between education and unemployment. He had graduated from the university dreaming of a job where he would earn money in their hundreds of thousands. His reality, however, was that he found himself selling food by the roadside in a Nigerian city. Sometimes cheerful, sometimes sad, he would often contemplate his situation and decry the Nigerian economy and politics that brought him to such a sorry pass by asking, ‘what is my certificate worth, eh?!’ Sometime back, dear reader, I watched a play in which a young male character was made to question exactly how much the education he had received in higher school was worth based on the fact that he was deficient and backward in his job and could therefore not perform to the level his employers expected of him. So, he went back to his university to ask his surprised teachers this vital question: what really was his education worth? If nothing, as he suspected, then he wanted his fees back. The young man’s teachers tried their best to explain to him that the

Jonathan missed the point; his proposal can’t ensure electoral sanity left the rumour mill. Normally, we should not even have harboured the thought that the President suggested the idea and is indeed pursuing it because of what he hopes to benefit personally. But you cannot blame Nigerians if they first saw the idea from this point; the truth is that the kind of servantleaders they have come to know are those who place self before others. When former President Olusegun Obasanjo came up with the idea of third term, it was mainly for his personal benefit. Whatever it is, it is good enough that Jonathan has said he would not be affected by the extension. In other words, his tenure ends in 2015 since he swore to a four-year mandate. If he is able to honour his words, that is if there won’t be people who will start championing the need for him to kick start the policy if it eventually scales through in the legislature, at least ‘to enable Jonathan complete the good works that he has started’, that would be good news. But we can never be sure of this, given where we are coming from. Before we know what is happening, sycophants (rented or attention-seeking) would hijack the entire process,

with some of them urging the President not to go in 2015 if he did not want Nigeria to disintegrate. As an ex-this, ex-that (former deputy governor and former governor), the President must have seen a lot to make him support the proposal. But then, it does not seem the matter was properly digested, no matter from where it came. If the President does not know, six years is too much for people who go into public office with the intention of stealing. Regrettably, many of our politicians and public office holders belong to this category. Can the President honestly deny this? As a matter of fact, I have seen some people who say all they want is six or so months in public office and their lives would never be the same again. Of course they have eyes and they see what is happening to billions that are lying idle and waiting to be stolen, especially at the centre. They see how our politicians are living like oil sheiks while urging the rest of us to tighten our belts. Obviously too, President Jonathan and those who conceived of the idea did not consider the fact that it is better to check out a political office holder that is not doing well after four years rather

“The President is merely scratching the problem on the surface with his one term proposal … Jonathan should ensure that there are solid structures and that they work. Let him get the politicians to play according to the rules; and the ones that cannot comply should be shown the way to jail … Blaming two terms for election malpractices is analogous to blaming waiters in restaurants for obesity”

than allow him mess up people’s lives for an additional two years, or have that kind of extension to steal from the public till. The point I am making is that the problem of tenure is not necessarily the issue with our electioneering. The problems are by far more fundamental. It is unimportant whether people are only entitled to one term of four or eight years; that cannot stop the kind of electoral malpractices that we are already used to. Who says that vote seekers will not make it a ‘do-ordie affair’ even if all they are entitled to is one term? Our culture of impunity is a major obstacle in tackling electoral fraud. We hardly punish those involved and when we manage to do, it is the minions that get punished; not the sponsors because they (sponsors) are too ‘connected’. There were reports of some big people in the ruling party who snatched ballot boxes in the 2007 elections. As a matter of fact, some of them were caught with weapons with which they intimidated voters. In some states, people were raped, maimed and even killed. Only a few of those cases got reported; fewer still got prosecuted. Therefore what we need, most earnestly, is ‘one man, one vote’ and not necessarily ‘one man, one term’ that President Jonathan is proposing. When we have one man, one vote, votes would count. At that point, any incumbent seeking reelection knows that he or she has the electorate to contend with. Let him or her spend the first two years doing nothing

and start campaigning for reelection in the third year as is done at present; he or she would have got the result even before the examination (election) is held. Six years in the life of a nation is a lot. It would have been a different thing if voters are not helpless even when confronted with terribly bad leaders. We know some of the governors that we needed not have waited till May 29 to remove but we were powerless, so to speak. Some of them have managed to squeeze themselves into power again. We need to empower the voters so as to make them the kings that they truly are. Therefore, if the President is concerned at all about political crimes, it should be in the area of the people being able to replace non-performing presidents or governors with ease. The President is merely scratching the problem on the surface with his one term proposal. He is not addressing the issue. Regrettably, that is the way we have been trying to solve many of our problems. And that is why the national agenda has remained the same for years: light, water, roads, etc. It has never changed. And it has to be so because we cannot keep doing the same thing the same way and expect to have a different result. Jonathan should ensure that there are solid structures and that they work. Let him get the politicians to play according to the rules; and the ones that cannot comply should be shown the way to jail, no matter how highly placed. Blaming two terms for election malpractices is analogous to blaming waiters in restaurants for obesity. His proposal is, at best, diversionary.

‘What is my education worth, eh, tell me, what is it worth?’ fact that he could question the value of his education was a sign that he was very educated. Indeed, they told him, some wards could not even accomplish such a very erudite thing as questioning. The play then went on to show the varying degrees of profits and losses that different learners were able to take from the enterprise. Thus, while some who put their backs to it went away, able to raise important questions about life like our young character, others who turned their backs on their educational goals while in school went away thinking they had all the answers. So, they concluded, education is not so much what you get out of it; it is about what you put into it. Nothing tests the value of one’s education like the market. I assure you, dear reader, that the play in question predated the current trend which sees every employer in the market first testing and then re-educating their prospective employees before engaging them. This is not so much a sign of systemic failure as peoplefailure. The dire situation is not helped by the fact that everyone expects everyone else to do something about it, till no one eventually does anything. The story is told of two trains that were inadvertently billed to depart from a station at the same time in a western country. Passengers who

occupied both trains expected that the one they were in would depart first. However, when the station master assured the passengers that the other train would depart first, the passengers disembarked in order to go to the other. When all the passengers from each train were thus half way to the other, they were fortunate enough to witness one of the rarest things in the story of transportation: they observed both trains departing the terminal without the passengers. Nearly every conversation on our educational system these days concludes on the despairing note that the plummeting rate is no longer a laughing matter; it is a train wreck waiting to happen. Once upon a time, teachers used to be revered. They were taken to know much and imparted much because they believed that the object of education is the formation of character. For this, their salaries were paid on time, and their persons were not held in derision. Now, their salaries are subject to the pleasure of the body governing them and their persons have sometimes been thrown to the thugs of very powerful parents unhappy with the discipline given their wards. Once upon a time, such parents used to have the time to sit with their wards and guide them through the important issues of life, believing that the first rudiments of education are given by

the parent. Once upon a time too, such parents knew the important issues in life. Now, neither parent nor teacher knows what is important any more. What do teachers know? I’m not sure any more: for one thing, how to survive in the face of unpaid salaries; for another, how to dodge the bullets of the over-pampering parents of over-pampered children. Rather than teach now, many teachers have gone into full commercial activities while on the job. In a world caught in the transition between cultures and values, it is difficult now to place the role of the teacher. Should he discipline, or should he not; should he guide or should he not; should he even teach or should he not; or should he just watch as parent and child slide into the mud of destruction awaiting those who use the pampering method; or should he just simply sell his wares? And what do parents know? Quite a bit, but all buried in the pursuit of the tangibles – money and power. Truth is, many are the parents who have never forgiven their teachers for daring to flog them real good for one recalcitrance or the other when they were in school, and to whom they promised retaliation. The opportunity often strikes when an unsuspecting teacher walks carelessly into a carefully laid trap by

disciplining a child. So, to avoid that trap, many teachers simply watch as pupils cannot account for the very expensive cell phones they use, nor the time they should have been in school but were not, nor the very expensive outfits they sometimes bring to school, nor the cars they ride to school, nor the girls or boys they hang out with, nor the lavish way they spend money, nor the expensive jewelry they use; etc. They watch these things and they say nothing. The reason for the silence of the teachers is that the government has neglected to do its job of regulating human behaviour in the society. I have since learnt, contrary to my earlier opinion, that most of the clumsy failures we associate with education today – e.g. parents beating up teachers, schools conducting graduating ceremonies for a child leaving primary school with ‘aso ebi’, all happen in the public schools and the government says nothing. Obviously, in failing to step in and disdain such actions with a heavy frown, the government needs some education from us all. If we let it go on, children will begin to accept that schooling is all about the socials, not work. We need to guard against graduating students who think that going back to school just to ask their teachers what their certificates are worth is a clever thing to do.




Foolishness in high places The operation of the economy is as much about folly as it is about gain.


I WANTED to dispense with the American debt ceiling crisis as there were other issues such as the tragedy of Somalia I would rather discuss. Yet, I am compelled to focus on Washington. Should Washington falter, the world economy would traverse the lips of recession once more. Should America tumble and Europe follow, their economic weight will pull much of Africa withthem. Thesadtruthisthatanychance of meaningful outside relief for Somalia is predicated on the western world resolving its financial difficulties. If rich nations are intent on financial self immolation, their charred economies will be ill-deposed to provide Somalia more than the scant help now given. African nations more inclined to help will be unable as their economic situations will slacken in rough proportion to the fall of the Western economies. Given the present constellation of the global political economy, decisions made by myopic politicians in Washington may determine the chance of survival for legions of desperate people in the Horn of Africa. The dictates of far-away money power and the politicians owned by it may well determine if many Africans survive or surrender their lives to the relentless torture of starvation. Thus, we turn to Washington to see if America will gather herself to behave like the nation that underwrites the current international economic system. It is rare that an author would so abuse his creation when that creation profits him still. Yet, America has foolishly ventured onto this odd brink. We now get a chance to watch history in action as the arrogant economic illiteracy of the American political class irrupts in gruesome proportion. During our lifetime, we have seen weak nations succumb to poverty and war. We have witnessed a strong Soviet Union collapse due to the lack of dynamism caused by a closed and sullen political economy. The Soviets were felled by a nigh intractable problem; the system could not produce enough wealth and opportunity to maintain itself. Lenin’s prophecy against capitalism boomeranged. His system collapsed of internal contradictions well before the capitalist system. Today America verges on casting the family jewels into the sewer because it tires of the rigor needed to keep them safe. Never has the world seen the predominant global power toy so rudely with its economic future because of a self-imposed restraint that serves an imaginary prudential function. The American debt ceiling is such an ornament. It has only a psychological function that has now been turned morbid. It is as captain halts his vessel on the high seas because the map indicates the vessel should have touched land. Although the land he seeks can be viewed on the near horizon, the stubborn captain refuses to sail another knot. Instead, he orders the crew to disembark and cargo offloaded as if at port. Those who obey the macabre order perish by sinking to the bottom. Failure to raise the debt ceiling will result in untold hardship for many and may ferment an economic crisis making the 2008 financial downturn look like a heyday. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the immediate effect will be in the real economy then drift into the financial sector. This would reverse the sequence of 2008. Three years ago, the financial class was first hit. This is why government dedicated over 10 trillion dollars in outright subsidies to rescue the money class and their institutions. This time, the millstone will land on the working class and the poor. But there will be no government rescue. How could there be when government


By Brian Browne

inaction precipitated the misery? Congress could raise the debt ceiling within hours. Doing so would save America and the world evitable pain. This simple act of common sense may not happen because many in Congress would exalt political ideology over the national welfare. A large group of Republican Congressmen is wedded to the notion of smaller government. They say smaller government is better and intend to use this situation to prove their point. They have gone to such an absurd length in proving their point that they now stand in danger of refuting it. They are like the obsessed doctor forcing a noxious elixir down the gullet of his struggling, uncooperative patient, then asserting, “You are going to swallow all this medicine even if it kills you.” The debt ceiling fracas provides an acute caution to all. One must be very careful in casting one’s vote. It is unwise to vote based on emotion, especially anger. It is always better to vote with the mind not from the gut; it is more prudent to vote in furtherance one’s own objective interests instead of voting to impede the interests of others. The enemy of your enemy could eventually be your foe as well. Danger lies in placing power in the hands of angry, ignorant people whose minds are capable of only one notion at a time. This is how America afflicted itself in 2010 when it elected numerous Tea Party Republicans to Congress. These extremists are one dimensional to a fault; their adherence to small government is not the child of reason. It is a worldview founded on subconscious fears and biases. Arguments voiced to support their position are but intellectual wrappings to conceal an emotional core. Consequently, this group fails to understand the proper role of ideology. Ideology is meant to serve the public. When ideology cannot meet this function, it should be set down. Ideas were meant to serve man and not man to be a blind slave to the ideas. Thus, we deservedly call this group the “Blind 100.” That the fate of a great nation rests in the hands of this untalented posse mocks the legacy of the fine statesmen who guided the nation before these triflers arrived to diminish it. Because of the Blind 100’s emotional and ideological rigidity, resolution of the debt ceiling is uncertain. There is a 30-40 percent chance the deal will not be done. The 100 view the ceiling as the battering ram in their assault on government. Should the ceiling remain

in place, government would be compelled to make vicious budget cuts that otherwise would not happen. Instead of cutting $100-200 billion a year as current compromise plans envision, government would be forced to cut that much each month! The fortifications of political sanity have been breached and the barbarians now freely roam the streets within the walls of the city. Wisdom has fled into the forest. Because of their hatred of government, the Blind 100 believe the roughly 150 billion dollars monthly reduction in government spending will be compensated by proportionately increased private sector activity. They mistakenly view government spending as stealing from the private sector. The nation, not they, will bear the high cost of this exorbitant error. Since this is deficient spending, if government does not make it, the expenditure does not get made. It will not be revived in the private sector. The activity and the money used for it and generated by it will simply vanish. Yet, these apostles of ignorance think they empower the private sector. All they are doing is to choke it along with government by eliminating a large quantum of fiscal and financial nutrient the economy has been receiving. If they have their way, government will certainly grow smaller. So will everything dealing with the real economy. That is the price that America will pay. It is the price of recession much worse than 2008. Meanwhile the Blind 100 thump their chests in delight for they cannot see past their immediate goal to understand the ramifications of their actions. They believe themselves to be modern day Samsons bringing down the Philistine temple. Instead, they are modern day Philistines bringing down the institution most responsible for the nation’s greatness, its government. If the Blind 100 have their way, a massive dislocation will ensue. The shock will be such that every human being alive will feel it. Unfortunately, some lives will even be shortened by the horrid decision. Almost as sinister as the Blind 100 are the big three credit agencies, Standard and Poors, Moody, and Fitch. Credit agencies are strange specimen. They are private, profit-driven agencies that pronounce on the creditworthiness of bond issuers, government and business alike. But who rates the credit agencies and guarantees that their verdicts are impartial and factual. Are the credit agencies listened to because they are credible or are they deemed credible because they are listened to? They are like mirrors standing face to face. The

question becomes which is reflecting the other. These agencies all have threatened to downgrade American government bonds should the debt ceiling not be lifted. That is fair. But they have also threatened to downgrade American bonds should government not reduce its debt by 4 trillion dollars. This is an outrage given the agencies lack of diligence regarding the private securities market. Each of the three major agencies failed to see the 2008 recession. Each was guilty of providing the highest rating to mortgage-backed securities that were essentially worthless. This is unsurprising because the agencies also failed to ring any alarms prior to the Great Depression although independent experts sang of impending doom to no avail. They were labeled as irresponsible alarmists who could not possible know more than the big agencies. Because of these and other failures, we have every right and reason to call the credit agencies, “The Blind Three.” The difference in treatment the Blind Three mete to government and private sector is not hard to fathom. First, the credit agencies belong to the private sector. They see themselves as aligned with other private financial concerns against perceived government encroachment into their domain. Second, the agencies are paid by the firms issuing the bonds or other debt securities. If the agency assesses too stringently, customers may take their lucrative business to a friendlier rater. This friendly relationship does not exist with government. The agencies are rash to downgrade government bonds thereby increasing the interest governments must pay to creditors, mostly large financial houses. This is bank bailout by stealth. Since 2008, the rating agencies have been pouncing on governments and their sovereign debt, especially in the Euro zone. One agency downgraded Japan earlier this year. Now they are after America because of the debt. They also are after England. Not for its debts but because its debt reduction exercise has stagnated economic growth. A picture has emerged if you care to discern it. The title of the rendering is in downgrading a sovereign rating, “Any excuse will do.” A downgrade of government debt means higher interest payments to bond holders, effectively helping to recapitalize and profit the banks. As the financial sector has more liquidity, its major players will lend and borrow more among themselves. Consequently, they will pay the rating agencies more money to assess the increased volume of internecine financial sector lending. Perhaps the Three are not so blind after all; at least they seem to have an eagle eye for seeing which side of their bread is most lavishly buttered. In the end, they are part of the financialist push to bring happy days back to the financial sector. The rest of us shall be standing outside, noses pressed against the windowpane as we watch money power eat, drink and make merry inside the elaborate banquet hall. The assertion that America’s rating should be downgraded if government debt is not reduced by the arbitrary 4 trillion dollars is specious. Credit ratings are supposedly based on a nation’s ability to repay. Should the America’s debt ceiling be lifted, America’s ability to pay is unquestionable since it has the unilateral power to issue its own currency. The same argument applies to England. That credit agencies are pouncing on nations that cannot become insolvent means the Blind Three have made a fateful decision. They have moved to enrich the financial sector by soaking higher interest payments from these governments based on considerations independent of the

governments’ ability to repay funds lent to them. While not as inimical to the public interests as the Blind 100 or the Blind Three, President Obama has sided with money power against the people. In a recent address, he threatened Social Security might go unpaid if the debt ceiling is not raised. He scared many elderly Americans who would actually go bankrupt and hungry without the money. But his statement was fabrication unbecoming a president. This canard revealed that he values the obligations owed a few large institutions more than values those owed a multitude of average Americans. As I wrote last week, either the President is gravely uninformed about the government he leads or he is a subtle misanthrope. Social Security is a special fund separate from the general federal budget. More to the point, Social Security is solvent and will be for the remainder of the decade. Social Security would be in an even stronger position had it not been lending money to the federal government for the past three decades. The President was walking on something less than thin ice by speaking of withholding money from a specially designed fund that is solvent. While he was making this horrid public statement, the Treasury Secretary was privately making the rounds assuring large banks they would get paid come debt ceiling or not. The Treasury Secretary proudly told the banks the government stands by its financial obligations. But is that so? The government has borrowed from the Social Security fund. Why not repay that debt before paying the banks. To hit the nail more firmly on the head, what makes the obligation to bond creditors more valid than that owed individual pensioners? The mechanics of creating the two obligations are the similar. In both cases, money is given government based on the promise government will repay a larger amount in the future. Government also contributes to Social Security but that in no way diminishes the nature and validity of the obligation owed pension recipients. But President Obama, as well as most politicians, appears not to recognize that Social Security is a legal obligation owed citizens participating in the plan. That obligation is as legally valid and actually more sacred than that owed any bank. On his own volition, the unimaginative yet manipulative Chief Executive eagerly swallowed the lure that Social Security is an entitlement that government vouchsafes but that also can be whittled down as if it were not a contractual obligation. It may be amended but only by breaching the obligation owed the elderly. President Obama feels no compunction in holding Social Security to ransom. He dare not try it with the financial sector. This shows his primary loyalty. It rests with the banks not the people. Because he entered this embrace of money power with his eyes wide open, we now may call President Obama, “The Blind One.” The Blind 100 are Republicans and thus belong to the part of Abraham Lincoln. President Obama claims Lincoln as his political idol. Let’s not waste further time with the Blind 100 because they are far too ignorant to recognize Lincoln even if he stood before them with George Washington on one side and Thomas Jefferson on the other. The President, however, claims to be an ardent student of Lincoln. That is a good public relations ploy but the claim seems less than sincere. Either Obama has forgotten what he learned or he studied a different Lincoln. Had he studied or remembered correctly, he would recall this statement from the sixteenth president: “The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.” There is nothing else to say. (08074473182 sms only)




Governance at cut-throat cost J

AMES Igwe (not his real name) no longer looks forward to going to work these days. He has an enviable job. He is well paid and provided for. Aside from an official car and retinue of domestic helps, the 45-yearold is also entitled to annual overseas trip with his young family. He was recently promoted and everything seems to be looking up at work. Yet, he is a sad man. The employee of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja was at a Christian retreat recently where he lamented the ‘’despicable waste’’ in the system to a few friends. Igwe, who is in a sensitive unit at the ministry, is distressed every time he comes across documents detailing government expenditures. He is alarmed by what he described as ‘’bogus expenses’’ by ministries and top government functionaries. ‘’Every time I see what the nation spends on government functionaries, I feel ashamed that I am part of the rot. But what can someone like me do? You really don’t have much of choice in these matters. Yours is just to work on the papers for release but I can’t seem to look away again these days. What our government officials are spending has been weighing seriously on my Christian mind,’’ he confided. Shrinking capital funds, killing overheads According to Igwe, most government officials embark on frivolous trips that gulp huge per diem. ‘’When they travel, they go with a chain of girl friends and political apologists that have no bearing on such official trips,’’ he began. ‘’Their vehicles are managed and serviced by government including housing and domestic needs. When you look at how much the government spends on its officials, you understand why there is nothing left for capital projects,’’ he added. Even without such an insider’s insight, it is common knowledge the high cost of governance is seriously depleting the nation’s treasury. More funds are committed to running government’s ministries, parastatals,

Massive depletion of public funds at the all levels of government is seriously retarding investment in social infrastructures and delivery of quality governance, reports Sunday Oguntola commissions and agencies than providing for infrastructure and delivering dividends of democracy to Nigerians. In 2010, the government devoted a whopping N2.077 trillion to recurrent costs. The capital budget was N1.85 trillion. This was a ratio of 53% to 47%. It is worse in 2011 where N2.48 trillion is going for overheads as against N1.05 trillion for capital budget. This gives a worrisome comparison of 70% to 30%. The huge overheads will service 42 ministers and dozens of agencies, commissions, parastatals and committees. There are also legislators, political appointees and their reti-

nue of aides. The nation’s public service comprises of 72 members of the Federal Executive Council; 469 federal lawmakers; 2,664 state executives, 1152 state lawmakers; 3096 in council executives, 8692 council lawmakers and 934 in federal/state judiciary. This gives a total of 17,074 less than 1% of the nation’s over 150 million citizens. This figure is nothing compared to the army of political dependants and aides allocated to each public holder. These aides, according to findings, earn what will make many CEOs green with envy aside from many undisclosed office perks. A Special

Assistant to a Federal Minister who spoke in confidence said a year in public service can compensate for two decades of hard labour in the private sector. He revealed: “What you earn as a special assistant depends on how well your boss loves you. If you are lucky, you don’t even have to touch your salaries. Your vehicle is fuelled and maintained by government. Many court you for one favour or the other for which you are richly rewarded. Compared to what obtains in the private sector, you can make in one year what they make in • Continued on page 18

Okorocha and his multitude


HE story of Owelle Rochas Okorocha is like that of a radical outside the corridors of power. He knows what to do and how to solve all problems while in the cold. However, on getting the reins of power reality or the lure of power sets in and he forgets all the pontificating of the past. As a candidate Okorocha promised Imo citizens that he was going to run a small and efficient government that would in a short time deliver the dividends of democracy, which according to him, had been denied them by the previous administration. However, his first step in government has punctured all the people’s hope. Today, he runs perhaps the most bloated government in the country. With the appointment of over 100 Senior Special Assistants (SSA), Special Advisers (SA) etc he has brought profligacy in government to a new height. For instance, the appointment of a special assistant with the curious title of “chief comedian of the state” has reduced governance to a comic level. Many citizens of the state have

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

begun to wonder at what is happening in their state. Okorocha who had recently faulted the huge security budget of his predecessor has turned out to form a super large government. The question many are asking is: what has happened to his promise of spending more on education? The appointment of the legion of aides has also led to divisions in his party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as party faithful have complained that most of the appointees are his employees and relations. Many are still wondering where the resources to serve these legions of assistants and advisers would come from. A human rights activist and lawyer Uche Wisdom Durueke described the team as “bloated and a motley of crowd”, he advised the governor to be careful so as not to bankrupt the state. He however, pointed out that going by what the governor has said that the appointees would • Continued on page 18




• Continued from page 17

20 years there. This means you end up spending little or nothing from your take-home’’. Why overhead is huge This is not difficult to place. In the 2011 budget, what goes to members of the National Assembly surpasses the capital votes of four key ministries. The Ministry of Agriculture got N34 billion while N60b went to Education. Ministry of Health got N53 billion while N60 billion was allocated to ministry of Transport. This sums up to N207 billion as against N233 billion allocated to federal lawmakers. What this means is that the National Assembly gulps more than it will take to run four critical ministries. This allocation to the National Assembly, findings revealed, exclude office perks and windfalls from oversight functions, among sundry incomes. Each lawmaker is entitled to aides that also feed on government’s funds. They get official vehicles and many undisclosed allowances from official and unofficial sources. It was gathered that aides are appointed to dispense political patronage and maintain strong grips with the grassroots. In ministries, greater expenses are incurred on personnel, housing, vehicles and overseas trips. President Goodluck Jonathan has just sworn in 42 new ministers. He also established new ministries, including the Ministries of Trade and Investment and Communication Technology. There was serious outcry over what critics called the over bloated size of the new cabinet. The Presidency defended its action by pointing to section 147(3) of the constitution. It reads: “Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:- provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such state.” Irrelevant ministries, needless offices Beyond the 42 ministers and their army of aides that will gulp billions of public funds, the real waste, investigation revealed, is in the scope of the ministries. Most of the ministries have overlapping roles that lead to duplication of efforts. For instance, critics have queried why Nigeria needs a Ministry of Mines and Steel Development when there is already a Ministry of Agriculture and Natural resources. Dr Mike Agbo, a public affair analyst, wondered why both ministries cannot be merged. ‘’What is natural resources without mines? Are mines not part of natural resources?” he asked. ‘’We just create ministries in Nigeria for the sake of creation. It appears the more political patronage a government is willing to dole out, the more ministries it will create. Otherwise, how is Mines different from Natural resources? Why do we need two ministers to do the same thing with billions down the drain?’’ Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi also believes there are too many needless ministries in the country. He asked: ‘’Why do we need a ministry of land and housing? What housing does the federal government provide? What land are they selling? I think we need only ministries that are relevant to us here’’. There is also the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe last Tuesday admitted there is duplication of functions and waste of resources between the ministry and the commission. He said: ‘’A point in reference is the design and construction of the Niger Delta Coastal Road and the ongoing projects in which both ministry and the NDDC were trying to execute without reference to each other.’’ Logically, he said the commission should be under the ministry, a move which he said will save resources and human efforts. ‘’Very often, the ministry is inundated with questions by both national and international stakeholders about the operation of NDDC but the ministry is always embarrassed to explain that it is not involved with or informed about the activities of the commission. It is our considered view that the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, which currently supervises the NDDC, has no direct developmental relationship with the commission,’’ Orubebe explained.


Expensive democracy

•Sanusi Lamido

Seye Akinyemi, a political observer, is alarmed that many of the ministries are irrelevant and needless. Most ministries, he said, are conduit pipes with endless personnel and official paraphernalia. He points at the Ministries of Youth Development, Environment and Youth Development as unheard of in serious climes. ‘’What is the ministry of women affairs doing for example? Are women any different from other Nigerians? Maybe we need Ministry of Men Affairs for gender balance too, but really the ministry of women affairs is needless.’’ He continued: ‘’We don’t need a whole ministry for youth development in the country. If government provided employment and allows youths to use their potentials, we would have catered for our youths without needless waste. What environment is our government managing that warrants a whole ministry? We have a ministry of Agric and water resources that is only concerned with distributing fertilisers in the North. Do we need a ministry for that? Why not simply a committee or commission? These ministries are just political creations to siphon money and dole out jobs to political appendages as far as I am concerned. ’’ Unfazed concerns over huge costs Everyone admits the cost of governance is not only killing but unnecessarily huge. In-coming Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was upbeat about this during her appearance before the Senate for confirmation. She said: ‘’I am really worried about the issue of making sure our budget is not eaten up by recurrent expenditure. How can we invest in capital if we’re spending all our money on recurrent expenditures? Can we run a budget that is not negative?” She provided an answer “Absolutely. We can do it, we have done it. We have been able in the past.” Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Mallam Lamido Sanusi stirred the hornets’ nest last year while delivering a lecture where he revealed that of the N500 billion Federal Government overhead costs, the National Assembly takes N136.2 billion, an equivalent of 25.1 per cent. This angered the lawmakers who invited him to clarify his statement. During his appearance attempts by the lawmakers to force a retraction from the outspoken CBN boss failed. Sanusi stuck to his guns, offering to provide documents to sub-

stantiate his words. The Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) headed by Lt.-General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd.) also noted the waste in government circles. Presenting its report to President Jonathan, the council recommended serious cut in the country’s recurrent budget to 40%. It also suggested reduction of ministries from 42 to 18. All nonministerial agencies, the panel added, should be rationalised to eliminate overlap, duplication and redundancies. It is doubtful if government has any plans of implementing the report. Former chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Engineer Hamman Tukur, equally believes government functionaries are digging a big hole in public treasury. The solution, according to him, is adoption of a parliamentary form of government to check excessive waste. Tukur said: “The Presidential system from 1999 till date is far too expensive. If our ministers and commissioners are on the floor of the House daily as members, their behaviour would be different because they would answer questions from the public. That is parliamentary.” President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Abdulwaheed Omar has also called for review of the cost of governance. According to Omar: “There is need for setting of salaries of political office holders to be moved to the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission so that the same underlying parameters can be used in es-

tablishing guidelines for all public sector employees and public sector officers. Moreover, there is need for transparency, such that the salaries and other perquisites of public office holders are matters of public knowledge and not shrouded in secrecy.” President Goodluck Jonathan also admits the cost of governance is rather huge. Incidentally, he went ahead to appoint 42 ministers and 20 special assistants, a development that set tongues wagging. Critics point out that the current administration appears uninterested in working towards a reduction in overhead costs owing to the increase in ministries and several appointments by the federal government. The President has even asked for pay rise for a few of his appointees. This position has not gone down well with the Action Congress of Nigeria, which described it as doublespeak. The party said by advocating for more pay for some of his aides, the President has lost the moral authority to lead the nationwide campaign aimed at compelling the National Assembly members to slash their pay packages. ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement recently carpeted Jonathan for this ambivalent stance on governance. According to the statement: “In one breath, President Jonathan is giving an impression that he wants to run a lean and effective government by asking his ministers to drastically cut the number of their aides to two, as widely reported in the media and so far not refuted. In another, the same President has raised the cost of governance by appointing a retinue of personal aides and at least 40 ministers, even when the Constitution prescribes one minister per state which should have pegged the total number at 36.’’ It continued: “A President who is seeking higher pay for his aides and creating additional ministries can definitely not have the moral authority to lead the ongoing campaign to get federal lawmakers to slash their jumbo pay in the interest of the country.” The Acting General Secretary of the NLC, Mr. Owei Lakemfa, said “All these do not translate to good governance. We should be reducing the number of ministries and not creating new ones. What we are witnessing is a waste of our natural resources in terms of oil and our income.” Birds of a feather At the state level, the same scenario plays out. It is more or less same of the same. Security votes of the 36 governors cost the country billions every month. Strangely, they are not expected to account for its use. The most notorious is the case of the Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha who announced the appointment of 100 senior special assistants, special assistants and committee members. The list contains hilarious titles such as SA Events (First Lady) SA Non formal sector, SA Lagos Affairs, Chief Comedian of the state, among others. Each of these special assistants will get brand new official car, allowances and accommodation, to mention a few. Okorocha has since defended the appointments, saying the special assistants are expected to generate income for the state government. He did not however disclose how much it would cost the state government to run these offices. How they will make money for the state remains to be seen. The situation is not any different in local governments across the federation. Council chairmen create ambiguous titles and offices for political apologists to drain public funds. This is aside the security votes they also attract on a monthly basis. • Continued on page 20

Okorocha’s crowd • Continued from page 17

generate the funds for their salaries, the people are watching to see how feasible this would be. “We have to watch him put his words into action before coming to finality on this issue, we wait and see. It is dicey but we will give him the benefit of doubt”, he retorted. The National President of Okigwe Youth Assembly, Dr. Harold Onumo stressed that what the governor has done is absolutely not good for the state. “We had thought that Okorocha would run a lean cabinet to reduce the cost of governance. Everybody does not

need to have a political appointment to impact positively on the lives of the people”. However, defending his action Okorocha said the appointees will generate resources that will fund their respective offices and create wealth for the state. At a meeting with them in Owerri, he described the criticism as baseless. He said, “My team players will work to generate their pay. I have defined their roles and job schedule for which I am optimistic that they will deliver.” The state is waiting and watching Okorocha and his multitude.



Umueje: A Kingdom divided against itself in Anambra Page 21


T 67, Chief Samuel Timinipre Owonaro, a native of Kaiama , the home town of the legendary Isaac Adaka Boro, the initiator of the famous Niger Delta struggle in Bayelsa State, still looks vibrant. But he is not happy that the region is still in the condition that spurred them to struggle for the secession of the area from Nigeria. The pot holes infested, marshy road that leads to his home town tells it all; that the dream for a better Niger Delta which spurred the group to embark on the 12-Day Revolution which declared the Niger Delta Republic, is far from being realised. Even the famous Kiama Community does not depict a place where the whole struggle for the emancipation of the region started, as modern infrastructures are lacking all around there. But as the only surviving member of the late Isaac Adaka Boro group that declared a Niger Delta Republic in 1966, and a former Captain in the Nigerian Army, Owonaru had cause to celebrate his 67 birthday at his country home in Kiama last weekend where he decried the continued under development of the region 45 years after his group commenced the struggle for better livelihood for the people of the oilrich area. Asked to reflect on the struggle of his people, he said, “It’s a long way to look back. I thank God I have lived till now the only direction I want to look is ahead.” Still burning with the vision of the struggle in his vein, Owonaro who was the second in command in the Boro-led group, though now on wheelchair, advised Niger Deltans to continue the dream for a better region because freedom is still far. Struggle still on “We should look forward and always remind ourselves that the struggle is still on, we are not free yet,” he added and advised the President Goodluck Jonathanled Federal Government to erase all what he described as the obnoxious laws that have continued to thwart the accelerated development of the Niger Delta region. “The Federal Government should unwind the obnoxious laws that are restraining the fast development of the Niger Delta; laws that deny our ability to exploit our resources and to be able to manage them. If these laws are not expunged I doubt if the needed development will come to the region,”. Proffering solution on how the country could live in harmony, he advised that “one of the fastest ways to bring harmony all around Nigeria is to practise true federalism,” as this will enable each of the federal states not only to control its resources but there will be respect for one another. Further decrying the under development of the oil-rich region that has continued to provide the resources of the country, Owonaro in answer to a question lamented that development was yet to be seen in the region years after Boro and his lieutenants fought for the freedom of the region. “No development in the region yet, when 90 to 95% of the communities in the region are still inaccessible by road,” he lamented and described the scenario as a challenge to the federal and state governments in the region. “That is a challenge not only to the federal government but to the local administrations. They should make bold to open up the roads to enable unhindered access to the riverine communities,” the last of the titans on the struggle for resource control and self determination in the oil rich region, added.

•Timinipre Owonaro

‘Niger Delta still not free’ Isaac Ombe recently attended the 67th birthday of Chief Samuel Timinipre Owonaro, who is the only surviving member of the late Adaka Boro-led group which sought to carve the Niger Delta out of Nigeria in the sixties. His reports: He lamented that up till now, there are areas in the region where “you manage to get to but you cannot manage to come out for days and weeks before you get a boat to come out. These are the things we should address without delay,” he said. Celebrating an activist At the birth day bash where family members, Niger Delta activists, friends, well-wishers and admirers all gathered to reflect on the life of the only surviving member of the Boro-led group he narrated how it all started in the 60s. He said the fact that all the people came to his homestead for his birthday celebration showed that they have so much respect and love for him and for the role he played for the freedom of the region. “I am being shown this love today because of the recognition our people have for the role I played, and as long as people

realised that you have lived your life for them, they will appreciate you,” he said at 67, he feels great. Human rights activists that graced the night included popular Niger Delta campaigner and writer, Ms. Ibiba don Pedro, Nollywood actress and activist, Ms.Hilda Dokubo, London based Niger Delta activist Mr. Enemo Samiema. They all advised the federal government to tap from Owonaro’s wealth of experience on the development of the region. “The federal government should ensure that the sacrifice of people like Owonaro should not be in vain. He is one of the few still alive who sacrificed to move the country forward from backwardness, ignorance, from oppression of Nigerians by fellow Nigerians,” Pedro noted. She added, “That he is still alive, we thank God, and we love him. We want the

federal government to remember that some made sacrifices and their sacrifices should not be in vain. He is alive but you see the way he is today. You can see that he is still very passionate about the state of the region.”. Also commenting on Chief Owonaro, Ms. Dokubo noted that there is every reason to be happy and celebrate with him because “he is still in the struggle and hasbeen able to motivate some of us in believing what we are, and that only us can bring the change we desire.” She wants the federal government to know that Owonaro is “important to the struggle of the Niger Delta. Owonaro is one of the few who give inspiration that things must change for good in the region, the federal government should hear from him, now that he’s still alive.”





HE was met reading aloud a passage from the Holy Bible she held in her hand . As she finished reading the last sentence, she raised up her head and sighted this reporter with two other visitors in her one room apartment and then threw barrage of questions: ‘’Can I really walk again ? Can I get any help from Lagos or Abuja where kind-hearted people do render help? Can you introduce me to Pastor Adeboye or TB Joshua to sponsor my education and pray for me ? Can you link me up with our governor, Dr.Olusegun Mimiko, or any of the pharmaceutical companies in Lagos to sponsor my university education? I am ready to sign a bond to work for them after the completion of my course because I don’t want to be wasted. ’’ She paused and then looked at her legs, then hissed as she shook her head. ‘’I went to school to learn and never expected this condition. It is unfortunate I have found myself in this unpredictable mess. Will I be in this situation forever? All my classmates have graduated but here I am battling with life which has been cruel to me.’’ Torrent of teardrops rolled down her cheeks. She then buried her head in the Bible she was reading, while the two people who led this reporter to her too burst into tears. Yes, she has the beauty and she is brilliant, an attribute that was attested to by many people who know her. Her academic results also indicated this. While on the wheelchair she made all her credits in WAEC secondary school examination and she scored 219 in the just released JAMB result. She said she is sure she will pass the post JAMB test. She told The Nation: ’’I am preparing for the post JAMB examination and I am sure that I will pass it in Jesus name. But who will sponsor my university education if I pass? she asked and burst into tears again . Miss Kudirat Rafiu was not born a cripple. While in secondary school she was good in science subjects. Her dream was to become a medical doctor but her hope was dashed when she ended up in a wheelchair At the age of 15 in 2003 she was already in a senior secondary school class three[SS3] preparing for her final examination at St Louis Grammar School, Owo, Ondo State. Tragedy struck when she along with three other students namely, Joke Alade, Blessing Mayowa and Seun Raimot stood on the school’s balcony, waving to the then governor who came to the town to campaign . As they all leaned on the balcony , it suddenly gave way and collapsed while they all fell from the one storey building to the ground .That was the beginning of her predicament . Her three other school mates also sustained injuries but minor ones .She said they were all taken to St Louis Catholic. She was, however, referred to the University Teaching Hospital , Ile –Ife, in Osun state where her problems were compounded further. According to Kudirat, her parents could not continue to pay the hospital bills

A tragic fall She fell from her school’s veranda while waving to the late governor of Ondo State, Chief Adebayo Adefarati, and sustained a spinal cord injury. Since then she has not recovered. Taiwo Abiodun met Kudirat Rafiu who is keeping hope alive

•Kudirat Rafiu

especially when she was asked to do a series of tests and buy drugs and other things. After spending one month in the hospital, she then had to come back home. She stated: “My father did not care, he had abandoned my mother since 1991. It is our mother who has been taking care of me and other members of the family. My father was a butcher while my mother was a cashier in a Multi-purpose Cooperative Society. However, in the process of looking for solution to my health problem she lost her


job.” Kudirat’s mother did not only lose her job but also lost her second child who was next to her (Kudirat). She said her late sister was a victim of sickle cell anaemia and that their mother did not have enough time to take care of her “because of me.” . Kudirat was in bed at home for almost eight years after leaving the hospital. She tried all she could also in the traditional ways to find solution to her problem. She had no money to buy a wheel chair to move

around. The thought of having a wheelchair never even occurred to her since her parents could not afford one . She recalled: ‘’I used to crawl to the kitchen, and also to the veranda to have a glimpse of what was going on outside.In fact I crawled on my belly like a snake. One day I slept off when I was tired not knowing that it would rain and I woke up to find myself at 2 a. m. soaked with water in the veranda where I had dozed off. When I woke up I cried and cried. I even caught cold. Respite for my plight came sometime later when the wife of the immediate former governor, Dr.Olusegun Agagu donated wheelchairs to spinal cord victims in Ondo State. I was given one.” She lamented further: ‘’ I used to stay in bed throughout my immobile years while my mother would often carry me, crying that she never expected my life to turn the way it did. But I too used to console her. However, in order to fulfil her ambition , she enrolled for NECCO examinations and passed her nine subjects at credit level. However, she said she can no longer go for Medicine as the course requires going up and down so she now wants to do Pharmacy if admitted because it “is also related to medicine.’’ She said two of her friends had finished from the university while one is still in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko, Ondo State. She disclosed that they have not abandoned her as they come once in a while to see her. Asked whether the late Adefarati was aware of the incident , she said after betraing some emotions, “I made all efforts to see the late governor but they were futile as I had no access to him till he died. ‘’ Kudirat’s mother who described her daughter’s condition as pathetic, said: ‘’I sent my daughter to boarding school so that she could have discipline .If I had known that this is what it would result in, I would not have sent her to the boarding at all. Her teacher then tried his best with the principal of the school.” However, she said: “I still believe she will still walk one day as we were advised to take her to India for surgery. Some medical doctors said she can still make it since she has feelings in her legs.’’ In an effort to find out if she was considering marriage, she was asked if she has any suitors. She said though she is not a virgin, she has, however, not seen any serious man in her life. Above all, she said her health and her studies are more important to her now than marriage. Her mother, however, said she is ready for a man who wishes to marry and take care of her daughter: “I will be happy if a man that has the fear of God takes her as a wife .I cannot pray for my daughter to experience the hardship I am going through .Imagine , I lost two children out of four , now I have two remaining while one is on the wheelchair the other is still in secondary school.” Fate? DO YOU HAVE ANY STORIES FOR US? CONTACT TAIWO ABIODUN on O8034157684.

Governance at huge cost • Continued from page 17

A cry for reduction In several countries, reduction of costs of running government is the new fad. The British and American governments recently announced pay-cuts for their officials to attract more capital funds. But this is not fashionable in Nigeria. Overheads, rather than decreasing, are increasing every day. To President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Peter Esele, the way to go is constitutional amendment. He said the section of the constitution that requires appointment of a minister from each state of the federation should be amended. He said: “There is no need for creating more ministries and even the part of the constitution that makes it compulsory for all states to contribute to the President’s cabinet should be amended. The ones that are around are in a mess; Nigerians are not getting the expected value from them. We should stop creating jobs for the boys. This is not the transformation we are expecting from President Goodluck

Jonathan. I think it is high time we stopped creating jobs for the boys.” National Publicity Secretary of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr. Emma Enekwu, also frowned at the creation of more ministries. According to him, “Creating more ministries for what? Do not forget that all over the world, people have been talking about cutting down the cost of governance. Why are we trying to increase it in Nigeria? Creating new ministries is not the best thing for the country. Although it will create more jobs for the people, but it will lead to the depletion of government fund, which we all have been condemning in the past. The action, if carried out, is condemnable and we should all ask the President to rescind it.” To the President of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, there must be an overhauling of the nation’s public service sector. She said: “What we have in government are people who are not really productive. We have to review the process because the solutions they have proffered have been cosmetic. We have to start from the scratch and ensure

that these anomalies are corrected.” British Prime Minister David Cameron perhaps summed up what Nigerians should be doing to change the tide of depletion of public funds. Speaking at the Pan African University Lagos on Aid, Trade and Democracy during his recent visit to the country, he said Nigerians must begin to hold political leaders accountable. Cameron stated, “You can stand up and say, in this generation my child should be vaccinated and go to school. And you can demand more participation in the economy – or simply a job. These are the demands the people have made in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. These are the demands that have propelled the Arab Spring. And these are the demands, which supported by a revolution in trade and enterprise mean Africa can seize its own moment of opportunity. At stake is quite simply the chance to change millions of lives across the continent. The future of Africa is yours. But you have to seize it. “ Are Nigerians ready to heed this advice?




EFORE now, the celebrated Umuleri and Aguleri fratricidal war in 2001 that consumed many lives and property before the intervention and visit of former President Olusegun Obasanjo still lingers in the minds of many. Others followed suit and in all these madness called communal clashes, uncountable number of human beings have been killed, many others injured, while property worth over five billion naira had been destroyed. The problems have continued unabated without an end to them sight in Anambra State despite the intervention of the government of Mr. Peter Obi The quietude existing in Umueje community in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra State for so long a time has deserted the area and nobody knows when it will be restored. The naked dance in the public between the traditional ruler of the area, Igwe Elias Uyamadu Nneli and his subjects has become unbearable and embarrassing to the people of the state. Allegations and counter allegations have continued to reign in the sleepy town that hangs between Enugu and Kogi States between the monarch and the members of the area. The alleged deposition of the monarch who had been on the throne for 34 years by the community following a petition he wrote to the police accusing his subjects of terrorizing people with pump action guns which they viewed as a taboo has caused chaos in the land. Members of the community through their President General, Barrister Emma Ifeanyi Odogwu and his deputy Emengini Joseph said arrangements are on to appoint a responsible, God fearing person to act as the traditional ruler of the community, pending the appointment of a substantive one According to the extract of the said meeting held by the community which was signed by six elders, President General of Umueje Improvement Union (UIU), Emma Odogwu, his Secretary Fidelis Ekweonwu, two members of Oji Ani age grade and the chairman of the community vigilance group Vincent Nwaneji Onyeibor and John Obalim Okeke, the secretary. It reeds in part “that today we rejoice, jubilate and congratulate ourselves for having summoned the courage to liberate Umueje and our individual selves from the shackles of bed traditional rulership imposed on us 34 years ago.” Besides, the huge allegations leveled against their monarch, the President General of the town union, Barr. Emma Odogwu, his deputy Joseph Emengini and a highly reputed trado medical doctor are claiming a 200 million naira damages as compensation from the monarch for what they claimed was a damaging publication against them in a local newspaper. A letter to this effect was written to the monarch on 4th July, 2011 by the trio’s counsel Chief S.U.S Mbanaso, Head of Mbanaso, Udechukwu and Associate Chambers in Awka. According to the letter from the lawyer, if at the expiration of 14 days from the date of service of such letter the monarch failed to comply that it would have no other option than to seek legal action against him. “Take notice that should you fail, ignore, neglect and or willfully refuse to comply, we may be compelled, without any further recourse to you, to perfect our clients instructions to take legal action against you,” the counsel wrote. According to the demands by Mbanaso as mandated by his clients


Umueje: A Kingdom divided against itself in Anambra In Anambra State communities are being ravaged by unending crisis occasioned by one clash or the other with Obosi, Ogbunka, Owerre Ezukalla, Umuchukwu and Nkwerehi leading the pack Nwanosike Onu reports.

•Igwe Nneli

•Members of the traditional Chief

“immediate retraction of the said publication in the same “National light newspaper” (state owned newspaper) or any other national daily that enjoys wide circulation in Awka and un reserved written apology to each of their clients only being damages for the embarrassment, psychological trauma which the said publication

caused them. However, the traditional ruler himself, Elias Nneli is not sleeping either, apart from the said publications he was said to have made against his subjects, he allegedly forced Anambra State Government to stop a move to register Umueje Union in Corporate Affairs Commission

(CAC). Nneli in his reaction to the Sunday Nation recently, alleged that the President General of Umueje, Barrister Emma Odogwu had moved to register the community in CAC as a private company adding that a community could not be a private enterprise. Already, he had petitioned the


state security service on the 11th July, 2011 where he alleged that Odogwu collected a cheque of one million naira given to each community in Anambra State by Governor Obi for palliative work where he opened an account without his knowledge despite the warning from the state government that the account should have the signatories of the monarch and the President General. He further alleged that the same PG withdrew the sum of 500, 000 naira in one of the new generation banks meant for the Umueje vigilance group without his knowledge where he said, he used a counter cheque in collusion with the bank’s staff on the 10th of July, 2011. The petition was entitled “mismanagement of Umueje Community Project Fund given by State Government for Community Projects by Barr Emma Odogwu the President General of Umueje Town and his deputy, Mr. Joseph O. Emengini.” In the said amount, he further alleged that Emengini was given 210, 000 naira for purchase of guns for the vigilance group since August 2010 and till date no gun was bought adding that no reason had been given for such failure. Based on this, the monarch said, the second lap of that money had not been given to the community by the state government for the building since September, 2010 adding that the above had caused disunity in the community. In his petition to the SSS also, dated 12th July, 2011, the embattled monarch alleged that two persons in the community had threatened to kill him, alleging further that they said they would ostracize him from the community with the President General and his deputy being the ring leaders. The same tune of petition was sent to Governor Peter Obi dated 11th of July 2011 where he implored the state government and ministry of local government and chieftaincy matters to investigate the administration of the President General Barr Emma Odogwu, adding that his actions may cause breach of peace in the community. But the Sunday Nation was given a statement from the Council of Chiefs of the area comprising 16 names of chiefs where they dissociated themselves from the alleged deposition of their monarch. It was signed by three of the chiefs on behalf of others namely Chief Dennis Adigwe (Omeokachie) the Chairman, Chief Felix Chidube (Ikenga) and Chief Benson Amuluche (Okala-Igbo). According to their statement which was made available to the Sunday Nation in Awka, “we have implicit confidence in his Royal Majesty Igwe Dr. Elias U. Nneli who has been our traditional ruler since 1977”. “We dissociate ourselves from the publications going round the country. The President General is not speaking the minds of the entire Umueje rather, he is representing the opinion of a faction who wish to cause trouble in the land, we therefore, went the public to disregard it.” Members of the community have started working higgledypiggledy waiting for the actions of the state government and security outfits. Confusion has become the order of the day in the once peaceful environment. And if not checked immediately by the state government, and the security organizations, the madness that had enveloped such other communities like Obosi, Ogbunka and Owerre-Ezukalla, Nkerehi and Umuchukwu, Umuleri and Aguleri would be a child’s play.





South African dead man ‘wakes’ up in motuary fridge Keeping tabs on people and events in cyber space


This baby girl (Lakshmi Tatma) was born in India with six legs and was considered to be the re-incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Source:

DID YOU KNOW... …THAT a Blue whale’s tongue weighs more than an elephant. …that Tiger shark embryos fight each other in their mother’s womb and

only the survivor is born. …that a normal person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur about 10 days without

sleep, while starvation takes a few weeks …that the cockroach is the fastest animal on 6 legs covering a meter a second

JOBS ONLINE •OANDO is searching for Account Officers. The applicant should posses a 1st degree in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, Economics or any Social Science discipline and a Professional Accreditation (ACA). The Officers who will be employed in the monthend analysis & consolidation department are expected to have 1-3 year experience in Finance function preferably in the downstream Oil & Gas sector while those who will serve as Payable Officers are to posses 1- 2 Years cognate work experience within a reputable and structured business environment. Details about the method of application and skills requirement can be found at index.php. •UAC of Nigeria Plc has existing vacancies for a Contracts & Intellectual

Property Manager. The ideal candidate should have at least a second class upper degree in law; have at least 10 years post call experience of which 8 years should have been spent in a similar position of a multinational company/conglomerate or top range multi-structured legal practice with focus on commercial law, real estate law, legal drafting & conveyance, intellectual property management, law of franchising and joint venture agreements. Applicants are to send their resume to not later 9th August 2011. Short listed candidates will be contacted via email. •The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture seeks suitable Nigerian Nationals to fill the position of Project Administrative Assistant at the Institute’s Headquarters, Ibadan. Successful candidate will be awarded a two-year renew-

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AN 80 year-old, South African grandfather awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge nearly a day after his family thought he had died, a health official said Monday. Officials launched an investigation into the bizarre incident, which happened in the town of Libode in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Health department spokesman, Sizwe Kupelo, said the man awoke Sunday afternoon, 21 hours after his family called in an undertaker who sent him to the morgue after an asthma attack. Morgue owner, Ayanda Maqolo, said he sent his driver to collect the body shortly after the family reported the death. “When he got there, the driver examined the body, checked his pulse, looked for a heartbeat, but there was nothing,” Maqolo told the

Associated Press. But a day after staff put the body into a locked refrigerated compartment, morgue workers heard someone shouting for help. They thought it was a ghost, the morgue owner said. “I couldn’t believe it!” Maqolo said. “I was also scared but they are my employees and I had to show them I wasn’t scared, so I called the police.” After police arrived, the group entered the morgue together. “I was glad they had their firearms, in case something wanted to fight with us,” Maqolo said. He said the man was pale when they pulled him out. “He asked, ‘How did I get here?’” Maqolo said. The health department said the man was then taken to a nearby hospital for observation and later discharged by doctors who deemed him

stable. Kupelo, the health department spokesman, urged South Africans to call on health officials to confirm that their relatives are really dead. The man’s family was informed that he was alive during a family meeting convened to make funeral arrangements. They’re very happy to have him home, Maqolo said. But Maqolo said he is still trying to recover from the traumatic experience. “I couldn’t sleep last night, I had nightmares,” he said. “But today I’m much better.” The grandfather, whose identity has not been released, was rushed to a local hospital after suffering hypothermia caused by his exposure to the mortuary’s chilly conditions Source: www. http:// (San Francisco Chronicle)


Frank Edoho separates from wife as wife battery rumour re-surfaces THE ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ host, Frank Edoho, took to the online social networking platform, Twitter, to reply to criticisms about his alleged wife battering escapade. Edoho wrote, “Wife-beater story was in 2007 & I (see) hurtful comments (about) me now. You’ve watched me for 8 years, do I look like I treat women with no respect?” He continued, “Just want you to know that I would never do anything to hurt my family. But sadly, I am separated from my wife and it’s irreconcilable!” An excerpt of Frank’s wife, Katherine Edoho’s, interview with Encomium can be found at and Readers of the article published at reacted to his denial. Here are a few comments: Uzoma Frank is economical with the truth. Your estate neigh-

bours (one is my colleague in the office) attests that this allegation is true. I have read the interview Kathy granted on this subject and how you were called a beast and want to infer that she may be right. You have to meet a psychologist for help to tame your temperament. Not doing that and wishing away this suggesting will be costly. You really need help. Olugbenga O. Frank there’s no such thing as irreconcilable differences because if you believe in fusion of opposites through dialogue and un-

derstanding all disagreements can be resolved. The allegation of wife beating was denied by you but some witnesses claimed to have observed what you said did not happen. We need to fuse opposites here and resolve issues because it’s possible you may have multiple personality disorder in which you are not yourself all of the time. Tony Frank, your marriage worked when u were a nobody, but now fails to work since u became a celebrity.... you (are) deceiving yourself. Bunmi Many wife beaters deny it even in the face of the victim. So sad. If it truly happened and you are sorry that’s acceptable but outright denial is very sad if it’s actually true. If staying apart will make things better. I fully support you on that. Wishing you both all the best.

N.B: You can send your jokes, pictures and gist online to

23 SUNDAY JULY 31, 2011

A new world on stage Children’s Creative Station put in place by the National Troupe of Nigeria kicks off tomorrow at the National theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Edozie Udeze examines what the programme means to the children


HILDREN’S Creative Station was what the National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN) used to keep the children busy last summer. This year, a new programme which will take off tomorrow August 1, has already been planned to help the kids spend a fulfilled summer holidays. Children’s Creative Station offers a variety of shows where the kids are taught the rudiments of theatre by specialists. Apart from script-writing which was the most dominant area of interest last year, they were equally taught dance, music, miming, abstract acting, costuming and lots more. In an interview, Adeyemo Da Costa, who will be part of the training this year, explained that the idea of the programme is to encourage the kids to start on time to show interest in creativity. “They love to be shown how to put in practice some of the things they learn in school. This is why we have chosen to start this creative station for them,” he said. This time around the children will be given the script named Whispering in the Dark to dissect, rehearse and present to the public on stage. “They will be directed on what to do. But majorly, we need them to be incharge, to be the ones to do most of the workings on stage. The kids have to be told how to be totally responsible,” Da Costa said. The creative aspect of the script will further bring out those innate creative qualities of the kids. It is going to be their show where they will indulge in those little pranks and ideas that form the bulk of their world. It is their world and they are expected to do what they can to prove their mettle. In the words of Da Costa, “for this year’s summer, we are indeed packaging a more elaborate children programme. It will be better than what we had last year, although last year’s was not actually bad. We came out with shows that actually impressed the children a lot. After about four weeks of rehearsals, we came out with a programme entitled Colours of the Rainbow,” he said. With about 70 children participating in this year’s edition, the management of NTN hopes to expand the scope of the show to accommodate other interests and make the student more engrossed in the Creative Station. “Yes, indeed,” Da Costa, who was fully involved in last year’s outing, said, “We are hoping we will move forward in a more advanced form this year. As at now, we have a couple of people who have shown keen interest in what we do. In fact parents who did not have the opportunity last year are eager to have their kids around this year. This is why we have over seventy children participating and we can assure you all of them will be properly taken care of.” The purpose of this summer creative programme is to make kids self reliant and independent. Last year’s edition offered the NTN an opportunity to discover new tal-

•Children demonstrating Colours of Rainbow in Creative Station last year

•Children on stage

ents in the areas of drama, music and poetry and the kids proved that if given the right clime and time they can go places. “Of course we hope to prepare the kids for tomorrow with the kind of variety of creative programmes we have in store for them,” Da Costa averred. “This is why we have children from ages six to 15 – 16. This is our catchment age this time around. Last year, we still had spill over of 17 – 18 years who showed keen interest in what we did. Even then, we had kids of two to three years who accompanied their older siblings to the venue. One of them aged three at a stage jumped on stage, saying “I can do it, I can do it.” “This was three days to the end of the rehearsals when one of the artists could not master his lines. We asked him and he did well on set. This is the sort of thing we are saying – that the kids have abundance of talents which we need to explore and tap on

time,” he disclosed. The Creative Station is merely to expose and encourage each kid to prove what he is capable of doing, showing his God – given talents. “Oh yes, we have resource persons who understand the psychology of kids, who will be taking them in all aspects of creativity. Last year, we had Dapo Omideyi who teaches Music at Queen’s College, Lagos. He took them in Music while Segun Adefila of Crown Troupe of Africa handled them in theatre and dance. Mrs Anyanwu, on her part, taught them art of creative writing and scripting. There was also Taiwo Akingbogbo who taught them drama and abstract acting, miming and so on.” To complement the effort of the resource persons this year, members of the National Troupe of Nigeria will be on hand to entertain the kids and indoctrinate one or two things into them. Then the script for the show will be given to the kids to learn

their lines. There will be an adult to guide them, until they can master their lines and be ready to act on stage. In addition, a lot of them will be made to design their own costumes. “Yes, very many of them have shown interest in being costumiers,” Da Costa said. “And we are prepared to assist them to achieve their dream. It is their show and we have to encourage them to make it work.” Da Costa explained that the show is not only for the well – to – do. “Although the price is N10, 000, we have children from all strata of the society who are participating. I am even prepared to pay for one kid who has shown so much enthusiasm” he said. The show which will last for four weeks will finally hit the stage by August ending. In the end, it is hoped that more talents will be discovered to move the art sector to the next level in due time.




‘We want young Nigerians to engage books’ Like the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dotun Eyinade looks forward to a time in Nigeria when every house will have a book club and truly encourage reading. He is very passionate about promoting arts. It is this passion that leads the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) graduate of Microbiology to establish an online book club called Pulpfaction Book Club. The management consultant who works for a professional services firm shares his vision with Ademola Adesola


HAT is Pulpfaction all about? Pulpfaction club is at once an online book club and a virtual hub for all things literary. It is a platform for book lovers across several genres to converge and discuss books that excite them and the themes that their favourite authors are engaging. We fancy the club as a haunt where its denizens meet to rant and rave about the books they love. Being a reader is an identity that people should be proud to flaunt, being a member of a book club should inspire pride like football fans are wont to identify with their favourite clubs. We anticipate that pulpfactioners (members in the club parlance) will be able to engage with one another and their authors on our online forums, on our Facebook group and on our numerous blackberry groups, have meaningful, no-holds-barred discussions about books that excite them and just generally network and have fun. A time was in Nigeria when reading was once mainstream but as a pastime it took some serious hits and we are of the opinion that young people can utilize the instrumentality of social media to engage with books once again. Our website address is What informed its establishment and how many people are involved in its establishment? I have always believed that that at the heart of the popular apathy to literary activities and matters of the minds is the “overarching” need to get by. It is a moot point to start to espouse the myriad benefits of reading to a population and by reading I do not mean the mindless rote learning that masquerades for serious reading which is so rife these days. I mean leisurely reading and reading for pleasure that continues post-graduation till the grave. The need to make that part of our usual pastime partly informed Pulpfaction Book Club. Furthermore, the imperative of a vir-

ile community of readers and the rewarding conversations that will issue from such platform underpin this club. I found that prospect irresistible at a period when I thought I had my youthfulness to myself with nothing to think about aside my 9-5 job. So, I shared the idea of a book club with a friend, Deji Oyelami. He was sold on the idea and was willing to commit himself to sharing the start up cost with me. I am in the debt of Kunle Ige who came up with the name Pulpfaction. He is one of the most creative folks I have met. He actually designed the logo and got me the first web designer who built us a website. How would you describe the participation of people since the debut of the site? I won’t limit my assessment to the website alone which was only recently overhauled. We have had robust conversation on our Facebook page and on our BB groups. Sometimes I wish that the BB groups can be extended beyond the 30- member group capacity. We have tried to circumvent this by ensuring that we create multiple groups and get our members to invite kindred spirits. Conversations are ongoing on various subjects on Facebook as well as our online forum. We invited the author of one of the books selected for the month to join our group and he was able to have worthwhile discussions with members of the group. We hope that someday we will be able to have authors on our online forum for designated periods so they can interact and have intense discourse around thematic subject of their writings. We expect that our events and other marketing efforts will drive these activities and draw attention to the site, our other platforms and our event. Are there major challenges that you are contending with? The challenges have been in the areas of funding. We are trying in our own little way to fund what we do and for a project this ambitious, one needs a steady stream


of funds to walk the talk. We pay our contributors, w e host events and we want to be able to do fun- filled event that will make books appealing to young people. At the moment, we thrive on the goodwill of friends and artistes. That can only carry us for the short term. It is not sustainable. We just need to surmount this challenge. There is no alternative to it. It grieves my heart when I see corporate organizations spend-

ing hundreds of million on bringing American thugs to come sing to us in Nigeria. They have profiled we young people as dumb hedonistic folks who can only respond to bland, misogynistic music. I hope that someday big corporates will look in the direction of things of engaging programmes that develop the mind when they are conceiving their CSR and sponsorship strategies; I dream of a time when arts events that engage the minds of young people will be the focus of organisations and they will think up programmes that will meet the real needs of their consumer. Is the site something that can be regarded as one that is here to stay? I have never been passionate about anything in my life. The taste of the pudding is in the eating. You just watch out for our exploits in the days to come. It is a rise and rise tale that is being written. We are here for good. As a graduate of Microbiology, many would expect that you should build a career along that line of training. But here you are with such incurable interest in the promotion of arts. What informed this choice? Interest in the arts has little or nothing to do with one’s formal training. Some of the folks I know driving the revival of interest in the literary and cultural activities in Nigeria have no formal training in the arts or the humanities. It is akin to saying that the best writers are those with a background in the English or literary arts. Medicine gave us Anton Chekov. Interest in the arts is cultivated and people take up interest in activities or pastimes because they are disposed to them. By some quirk of fate, I studied Microbiology. I had wanted to train as a medical doctor but I ended up with a degree in Microbiology. I have benefited a great deal from a lifetime of reading and it is one pastime I would like to promote and commend to others. Francis Bacon said “reading maketh the full man.”

Candid Lens

•Hello Nigeria! I am the next kid on the block for your drumming pleasure

• A workshop can turn to a bedroom when nature is at work.




IND of Hope is a simple story book. A story which has been described as one which “is worth telling for its universal human interest, and for its special relevance to Nigerians on the brink of despair through the depravity of its politics and the steep decline of the quality of its leadership in governance.” Although written by a distinguished team of writers and editors from varied background; from history, media, culture, law, to the sciences and varied levels of experiences, the book, interestingly, appears as if it was written by one person, one soul, one continuous mouth piece, one strand of energy, one synergy of thought, in a lucid language, all fused together to give life to a tale which is already full of life’s activities and humour. Maybe the background voice of the storyteller is the subject, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan himself, which allows the project team to announce with certain smugness that this is the “The Authorised Biography of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.” Ironically, the claim is true, because the narration has body; the characters are rounded, robust and real. The history of the life of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan becomes the development of the idea, a long letter of 226 pages to every Nigerian youth out there whether fair or black, short or tall. The book is written in fifteen chapters with a Prologue and Epilogue. The most distinguished and revered first and former President of Zambia, President Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, sets the main theme of the book in what I want to call the, “miracle of God.” From his birth on the 20th of November, 1957 in that village of Otuoke to Ma Eunice and Pa Lawrence, and contributions of special and symbolic names from grandma Sarah, the miracle was born. Then, the school days in Port Harcourt, the emergence of the name ‘GEJ’ at the Rivers State College of Education. Meeting the ‘light skinned young beautiful woman’ from Okrika named Patience Oba. Reading about how their love blossomed, how


A president’s Goodluck

they got blessed with Aruabai, Abayola and Ariwera. How God Almighty has in his grace transformed Miss Patience Oba to Her Excellency, the Delectable Dame Patience Jonathan, the First Lady of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria, completes the life of the subject of the book. It is right to say, therefore, that throughout the book, religion as ethical ideal exists. It is the religion which blends with the vision of the Biblical Solomon that emerges. One that does not ask for power, because God had already entrusted power on Dr. Jonathan, but one that asks for the wisdom to use the power given him by God wisely and justly to improve the lot of mankind. We also see the reality of socio-economic and cultural politics which grows out of a civil society. One that reveals the polarity and extremities between poverty and wealth. And our worries are laid to rest because we realise that our subject, Dr. Jonathan as reflected in the book, has a great deal of respect for reconciliation of divergent political and cultural differences, resolving religious and political differences peacefully and he is committed to the actualization of the dream of better living conditions and existence for the Nigerian people. From chapter Seven to Chapter Thirteen, we read about the whirlwind of political push, of God playing a game of pun, and practical reality with the name

Tryst with a newsman F

OR a journalist, writing fiction could be an uphill task. This is because journalism thrives on facts. However, Edozie Udeze, a culture journalist with The Nation Newspaper joins the league of journalists who have crossed that ‘facts and fiction’ divide. His first published work, This Wonderful Life, a collection of short stories has testified to this. Udeze looked at the fraudulent practice which gained currency in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the heady days of the military rule in Nigeria where young people coveted the easy life. In the ‘Adventures of Brother Harry’, there was a time when Harrison Udene Ede held sway. He was the ‘big boy’ that had the easy cash to spread, was joyful and loved and respected in the sprawling slums of Ajegunle. He could afford to be very genial because he lived ‘moving oil on paper, milking unsuspecting people out of their monies. He was a fraudster, the sort popularly known as 419. Growing up, Harry faced a lot of difficulties. He lost his mother as a child, but his father’s practice as a dibia, an Igbo medicine man informed a part of the life he would later lead. Many years later, he would meet with Daniel Ogaga Jr., the son of the man to whose house he ran the day his mother died. Daniel and


his cohorts had already been in the game of defrauding people of their monies. It was not before Harry joined them. Harry became involved in his con games and every other thing became secondary, including Ellen Etim, his lover. In order to stem the growing crime, the military government had prescribed a 21 year imprisonment for anyone caught in the act. Ellen heard this announcement over the radio and decided to tip the authorities off as a way of dissuading Harry from involvement with his gang. She turns out to be her own nemesis. Upon hearing the decree of the punishment awaiting Harry, she screams, and then becomes mad; never to recover till death snatches her away soon. The next story, Michael, The abandoned child, is about Michael, a boy who was dumped by his prostitute mother as a child. He is adopted by a family who takes care of him and sponsors his education. His brilliance shines as he becomes a University Don but fate waits to play a cruel game when he decides to marry. Ednah Udoma, the woman who caught his fancy, is his student, and they fall over heels with each other. Their marriage is blissful but the passage of time and several miscarriages cast a forlorn look on the union. More was yet to come. On a trip to visit her mother, the bombshell is let out. Ednah and Michael are blood sisters from the same mother. Quickly, the story flashes back in the mind of Amaka Udoma, Ednah’s mother

and she drinks poison, taking the easy route out of the mess. The narratives in This Wonderful Life may possibly reflect the life of Udeze who is also a journalist. The reference to journalism profession runs mildly in some of the stories and poignantly in others. In the first two stories, Udeze addresses myriads of issues from hardship, avarice, corruption, and of course, the haunting hands of nemesis. But the independent stories like, The Spoilers, Travails of Love, and Encounter with an Harlot resonates the life of the average Nigerian journalist. In Encounter with an Harlot, which Udeze writes in the first person, he comes frontally with prostitution via the person of Christiana. Christiana, whom Udeze describes as a ‘pretty in a way no man can resist the temptation to be swayed by her amorous entreaties.’ Udeze, in his stories regale his readers with adventures which typify the long and tedious hours, easy affiliations, and unrestraining lifestyle of many journalists. He also defers to the unavoidable humdrum of city life and a large appetite for women and generally highlights some of life’s morals, making reading the book a breezy and enjoying affair. Book title: This Wonderful Life Author: Edozie Udeze Publishers: Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Lagos Number of pages: 160 Year of publication: 2011 Reviewer: Joe Agbro Jr.

‘Goodluck.’ As Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State we see him rise to become Governor by a stroke of fate. Then from Governor, we see him become Vice-President. And from Vice-President, we see him become President. Because for those who had doubts on how prepared the President is on handling the mantle of leadership, the last two chapters of the book and the Epilogue show us the glimpse of the new man who is more passionate, and more than ready with his new partner, Architect Muhammadu Namadi Sambo, the Vice President to take Nigeria to another level of transformed development. The book therefore becomes a testimony of schooling, nurturing, and stewardship for future responsibilities. At the end of the book, one is not afraid of the wind of despair that has blown past Nigeria before now, one is not even afraid of the wind of change that is coming in the next four years, no, because thank God Almighty, this is not a devastating Tsunami without control. Here cometh a wind of hope which will be calm and soothing, a wind of change which is progressive and developmental and the man in control can be trusted. This is the foundation which the book lays. Most of all one is comforted because this is definitely not the last word or book on the unfolding career of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan. Title: Wind Of Hope Author: Lindsay Barrett & BabatundeFaniyan. Edited: Prof EbiegberiAlagoa et al Editorial Coordinator: Ono K. Akpe Publisher: AfricAgnda Publications Limited & Onyoma Research Publications. Pages: 245 Year: 2011 Reviewer: Prof Ahmed Yerima.




1st Chapter A messiah created by Ngugi H

E held an AK47 in his right hand. His left hand was raised to shield his face while he looked across the river, as he had often done over many years, across many hills and valleys, in the four corners of the globe. It was all over now, but he knew he still had to be careful. A riderless horse galloped past him. It stopped, looked back at him for a while and then disappeared into the woods. It reminded him of the horses that Settler Williams and his friends had often ridden as they went to hunt foxes accompanied by packs of well-fed dogs. It felt like so long ago; and yet… How the settlers had loved shedding blood! …They would dress in red, and the rider who got to the fox first would cut of its tail in triumph; then he would smear the blood of the fox on the face of a woman …Yes, it felt like a long time back… Well, there was no night so long that it did not end with dawn…He hoped that the last of the colonial problems had disappeared with the descent of Settler Williams into hell. The sun was just rising, but the land was cloaked in fog. He could not see far and wide around him. He was middleaged, tall and well-built. He wore a wide-brimmed hat, strapped under his chin, its top decorated with a thing band covered in beads of many colours. His leopard coat, which had now lost most of its original fur, fell on corduroy trousers to his knees. The boots he wore were covered in patches. He walked along the banks of the river. Then suddenly he saw what he was looking for: a huge muguwo, a fig tree, right

This novel is based partly on an oral story about a man looking for a cure for an illness. He is told of old man Ndiiro, who can cure his illness, but he does not know how to get to him. So he undertakes a journey of search. He meets different people on the way and to each he sings the same description of old man Ndiiro. This is vintage Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. in the middle of a cluster of other tress. It was remarkable for its very wide trunk, and its four roots were visible, with one jutting out from the middle, and three others sticking out at the sides. He smiled to himself as he stood his AK47 against the tree and drew his sword from where it was hidden beneath his coat. He began digging the ground next to the central root. He covered the bottom of the hole with dry leaves. He now took the AK47, wrapped it in a plastic sheet and carefully laid it in the hole. He washed the sword in the river, put it back in its sheath and then placed it in the hole beside the riffle. Round his waist he wore a cartridge belt decorated with red, blue and green beads and from which hung a pistol in a holster. He slowly unfastened the belt, counted the bullets, rolled it up carefully and then placed it next to the sword and the AK47 rifle. He looked at these things for a while, perhaps bidding them goodbye. He covered them with dry soil. He rubbed off all traces of his footsteps and then covered the spot with dry leaves so skillfully that nobody would have suspected there was a hole there.

waters with the early bird. The water had numbed their skin, so that none of them felt the pain as the knife cut into the flesh. Before this moment, they were mere boys but by the time they unclenched their fists, they were men. Their blood mingled with the soil, and they became patriots, ready for the armed struggle to come. He rose, turned and one more time looked at the spot where he had buried his weapons, murmuring to himself, ‘It’s good that I have now laid down my arms.’ He tore a strip of bark from a tree and girded himself with it, once again murmuring. ‘Instead, I have now girded myself with a belt of peace. I shall go back He went down to the river and bent to wash his face and hands. So chilly! It reminded him of the other waters in the past which had been just as cold. He remembered how, then, they had sung throughout the night in the open air. If only it were dawn, If only it were dawn, So that I can share the cold

to my house and rebuild my home.’ He crossed the river and came out of the forest. He climbed up and down yet other hills and mountains; crossed many other valleys and rivers; trekked through many fields and plains: moving with determination towards the heart of the country. The sun

shone brightly. He took off his coat, carried it over his right shoulder and strode on, the sun shining directly into his face. But he still did not waver or look back. Black-eyed susans and other weeds clung to his clothes as though welcoming him back to the fields. He was sweating. So much heat! So much dust! What trials one had to endure on this earthly journey! But there was no arrival without the effort of moving feet. He tried to visualize his home. In his mind’s eye he could see the hedges and the rich fields so clearly. Just another climb, the final climb, and then he would be home – his home on top of the hill! His feet felt heavy. He decided to rest for a while. He laid his coat on the ground and sat on it in the shade, leaning back against the tree. He removed his hat, placed it on his left knee and wiped his brow with his right hand. His hair was a fine mixure of black and grey. His brow had creased with fatigue. He yawned drowsily. How could it be so oppressively hot so early? He dozed off. His thoughts took flight. How can I return home all alone? How can I cross the threshold of my house all alone? What makes a home? It is the men, women and children – the entire family. I must rise up now and go to all the public places, blowing the horn of patriotic service and the trumpet of patriotic victory, and call up my people – my parents, my wives, my children. We shall all gather, go home together, light the fire together and build our home together. Those who eat alone, die alone, Could I have forgotten so soon the song we used to sing? Great love I saw there, Among the women and the children, We shared even the single bean That fell upon the ground. He started and woke up. He put on his hat and picked up his coat, which he once again carried over his right shoulder. An irresistible urge to go and just peep at his house gnawed at him but he fought

against it. He had made up his mind. He would first go in search of his people; at least first find out where they lived, what they ate and drank and what they wore. So many traps, oh so many temptations, in the way of the traveller on this earth! He crossed one more field, went through a cluster of young wattle trees and came to a tarmac road. He stopped and looked first to the right, then to the left. Parked on the other side of the road was a black Mercedes-Benz, with its aerial up. A voice drifted to where he stood: …This is the Voice of Truth…All gatherings of more than five people have been banned by a decree of His Excellence Ole Excellence. No explanations were offered for the ban. But it is known that the university students were going to demonstrate outside the British and American Embassies in protest against the continued western military and economic aid to the South African apartheid regime…His Excellency Ole Excellence said that a friend in need is a friend in deed. He said this as he bade farewell to the British soldiers who last month disarmed a group of soldiers who had attempted a mutiny. His Excellency Ole Excellence heartily thanked the British government for allowing some of the soldiers to remain to assist with training. Addressing the nation, His Excellency Ole Excellence repeated what he had said during the mutiny: it was a great shame for the soldiers of the national army to go on strike for higher pay so soon after Independence. They had never gone on strike against the colonial regime. Why now? …This is the Voice of Truth. The Minister of Truth and Justice has said that this is a workers’ government. All workers should disassociate themselves from those who are disrupting industrial peace by demanding increases in wages. Such workers were no better than the soldiers who had disrupted the peace with their attempted mutiny… Government bans the Opposition Party… His Excellency Ole Excellence has said that this is a people’s government… The people do not want opposition parties, as they only cause disorder in the country.

Nobel Greats

Toni Morrison

Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 1993

“Who in novels characterised by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality"


Born: 18 February 1931, Lorain, OH, USA Residence at the time of the award: USA Language: English

ORN Chloe Anthony Wofford, in 1931 in Lorain (Ohio), the

second of four children in a black working-class family. Displayed an early interest in literature. Studied humanities at Howard and Cornell Universities, followed by an academic career at Texas Southern University, Howard University, Yale, and since 1989, a chair at Princeton University. She has also worked as an editor for Random House, a critic, and given numerous public lectures, specializing in AfricanAmerican literature. She made her debut as a novelist in 1970, soon gaining the attention of both critics and a wider audience for her epic power, unerring

ear for dialogue, and her poetically-charged and richly-expressive depictions of Black America. A member since 1981 of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has been awarded a number of literary distinctions, among them the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen, I entered this hall pleasantly haunted by those who have entered it before me. That company of Laureates is both daunting and welcoming, for among its lists are names of persons whose work has made whole worlds available to me. The sweep and specificity of their art have

sometimes broken my heart with the courage and clarity of its vision. The astonishing brilliance with which they practiced their craft has challenged and nurtured my own. My debt to them rivals the profound one I owe to the Swedish Academy for having selected me to join that distinguished alumnae. Early in October an artist friend left a message which I kept on the answering service for weeks and played back every once in a while just to hear the trembling pleasure in her voice and the faith in her words. "My dear sister," she said, "the prize that is yours is also ours and could not have been placed in better hands." The spirit of her

message with its earned optimism and sublime trust marks this day for me. I will leave this hall, however, with a new and much more delightful haunting than the one I felt upon entering: that is the company of Laureates yet to come. Those who, even as I speak, are mining, sifting and polishing languages for illuminations none of us has dreamed of. But whether or not any one of them secures a place in this pantheon, the gathering of these writers is unmistakable and mounting. Their voices bespeak civilizations gone and yet to be; the precipice from which their imaginations gaze will rivet us; they do not blink nor turn away.







NIGERIA THE PAST Nigeria have made an African record eight appearances at the FIFA U-20 World Cup but never won the title. While the giant west African nation has produced a world champion at Under-17 level on three separate occasions, it has yet to taste the same success in the older age category. The Flying Eagles have come close however, losing 2-0 to Portugal in the 1989 final in Saudi Arabia, and again 16 years later in the Netherlands to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina. Nigeria were also third in the old Soviet Union in 1985, when their squad included their current senior team coach Samson Siasia. Their appearance at Colombia 2011 will be a fourth successive trip to the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals The present Nigeria started slowly and were beaten in one of their group games at the African Youth Championships in South Africa, but then confirmed their credentials with exciting wins over Mali and Cameroon in the semi-final and final of the eight team tournament. With their success, Nigeria extended to six the number of times they have won the continental title. The backbone of the team comes from players who finished runners-up at the last FIFA U-17 World Cup on home soil two years ago. Players like Edafe Egbedi, Ramon Azeez and Terry Envoh, who came on as a substitute to score the winner in the final against Cameroon, have moved up from the FIFA U-17 World Cup squad two years ago.



S Nigeria begins her FIFA U-20 World Cup tie against Guatemala today in Colombia, coach John Obuh has promised not to disappoint Nigerians as the team hopes to

Key players Terna Suswam (defender), Ramon Azeez (midfielder), Ahmed Musa (forward), Uche Nwofor (forward), Sani Emmanuel (forward).

Defenders 2 Terna SUSWAN 5 Kenneth OMERUO 6 Ganiu OGUNGBE 13 Emmanuel ANYANWU 17 Felix UDOH 19 Chimezie MBAH Midfielders 4 Sani TAHIR 15 Philemon DANIEL 20 Ramon AZEEZ Forwards 3 Omoh OJABU 7 Ahmed MUSA 8 Maduabuchi EJIKE 9 Olarenwaju KAYODE 10 Abdul AJAGUN 11 Terry ENVOH 12 Uche NWOFOR 14 Sani EMMANUEL 18 Edafe EGBEDI

•Flying Eagles line-up

break the jinx of silver medal stage from previous tournaments in 1989 and 2005.

Ghana won Africa’s first in Egypt 2009 and the Flying Eagles is expected to match the record as reigning African champions in Group D alongside Saudi Arabia and Croatia. “We know the people back home want the World Cup; every country coming to Colombia have the same priority. We are going to take it one game at a time, then with strong discipline, hard work,

focus and a bit of luck we’ll achieve our goal. “The stakes are high, we are working hard and hopefully this will be the year the country will go a step farther. “There is pressure to emulate what Ghana achieved two years ago, but it’s not negative pressure, it’s a pressure we can control because it is the pressure we give ourselves,’’ Obuh said.

•Almeida Ever


Former stars Wilfred Agbonavbare (1983), Samson Siasia (1985), Jonathan Akpoborie (1987), Thompson Oliha (1987), Mutiu Adepoju (1989), Joseph Yobo (1999), Rabiu Afolabi (1999), Julius Aghahowa (1999), Taye Taiwo (2005), John Obi Mikel (2005), Brown Ideye (2007), Lukman Haruna (2009).

Coach OBUH John

By Akeem Lawal

Nigerian fans not optimistic


SQUAD LIST: Goalkeepers 1 Dami PAUL 16 Gideon GAMBO 21 Kazim YEKINI

THE PAST GUATEMALA’s qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 represents an historic first for the central American country. While Los Chapines have twice appeared at the FIFA Futsal World Cup, qualifying in 2008 and hosting the event in 2000, they have only graced the finals of the Olympics, on three occasions, in terms of FIFA competitions. Frequent participants in the region’s age-category qualifying tournaments, Guatemala have twice finished runners-up at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and managed podium finishes on another three occasions.

We won’t disappoint

The future Coach John Obuh had problems picking a full strength squad for the African championship, as so many Nigerian starlets already play outside of their country, with many clubs reluctant to allow them to compete. It was the case for his star player Ahmed Musa. He made it for just one game because of commitments at his Dutch club of VVVVenlo. He will be available for the entire tournament in Colombia. But ultimately Obuh chose to keep faith with the team that won the continental crown in South Africa, naming mostly of them in the squad list. The team will be led by Ramon Azeez with the quartet of Sani Emmanuel, Kenneth Omeruo and Omoh Ojabu and Paul Dami of the 2009 Golden Eaglets (Nigeria U-17) also in the team. Players such as Kazim Yekini, Sani Tahir, Bright Ejike, and Chimezie Mbah have been called up for the first time.

The numbers game 6 – The record number of times that Nigeria have won the African Youth Championship, which is three more times than any other nation. It is also the number of years since the Flying Eagles have lifted the trophy since winning the 2005 edition in Benin.



ANY fans will have their hearts in their mouths, as Nigeria’s Under-20 team takes to the pitch against Guatemala today for their first game of the FIFA World Youth Championship in Colombia. The country of 150 million people - many of them crazy about football - has tasted glory numerous times in the past, and supporters can often judge when they are watching a winning team going into a tournament. As much as Nigerians would like to express their well-known faith and optimism in tough situations, many readily confess that they doubt the current Flying Eagles can make a big impact in Colombia. A few days ago, senior national coach Samson Siasia tried to calm frayed nerves by claiming that the team was capable of doing well and may even win the tournament. However, some fans think that the coach was just being publicly patriotic. Recent developments on the ground attest to that fact. After winning the African Youth Championship by defeating Cameroon 3-2 in April, the Nigerian team has found it difficult to gel. In a recent fournation tournament played in Panama, John Obuh’s boys lost two and drew one. They misfired several times in front of goal and were their own worst enemies. Their cause has also not been helped by the late arrival to the camp of key players which eventually led to some of the squad that won the AYC being dropped. Coupled with injuries to important players, in a team is formed by a bulk of selections that finished second in the FIFA Under-17 tournament of 2009, the squad is not inspiring confidence in fans at home. A number of supporters spoke to and said that they will

•Nigerian fan

not be surprised if the team falls short of a semi-final finish, even though they should begin the competition with an easy group pairing. Nigeria has been drawn alongside Saudi Arabia, Croatia and Guatemala. “In spite of being unable to score, I think if given the chances coupled with the calibre of players and the tactical crew we have, the Nigerian team is going to make an impressive impact, we should look beyond mistakes and give them a chance,” said Omotola Olatunji, a public relations executive in Abuja. Nigeria has always had it tough against South American teams, and playing on the continent

might just be too much to ask of them this year. In the last three tournaments they have been undone by South American sides. They lost 2-1 to Argentina in the 2005 final, were defeated 4-0 by Chile in the quarter-final in 2007 and V e n e z u e l a surprised them with a 1-0 reverse in their opening game in 2009. “The team’s performances have been uninspiring. We don’t have what it takes to defeat the Latin Americans. During our last game against the Mexicans in Panama, we scored first and dominated for more than 30 minutes, yet we lost

4-1. It’s the biggest harakiri of our time,” said Ayoola Ajanaku, a marketing expert with the Lagos government. Lagos-based football journalist Adebayo Olodan thinks that the Flying Eagles could get the better of any South American opposition if they follow instructions when they play. “It depends much on the boys keeping their heads down. One red card or a few yellow cards at the beginning of the match, then the game is as good as being lost. Most times when we play against the South Americans even at the senior level, we lose out because we refuse to get ourselves out of the bad books of referees,” Olodan

said. No matter how gloomy the chances of the team looks, there are optimistic fans who believe that the squad can make a good showing. Just like Siasia said, Amberlie Damion in Lagos feels they will rise up to the occasion. “Their tune up games weren’t impressive and there are injury worries, but a semi-final finish wouldn’t be bad,” he said. One man who will be under a great deal of scrutiny is coach Obuh, who has earned the trust of the country to continue with the impressive job he did with the cadet side of two years ago. With all the funds given to the team to camp in Libya, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, Obuh knows that his side needs to account for it with a great performance, because a nation waits, hopeful that the events of the last few weeks will inspire his team to achieve great things in Colombia.

The present Never before have Guatemala been as happy with a third-place finish as that achieved with their defeat of Panama in April’s CONCACAF qualifying tournament on home soil. Making the most of home advantage, Hugo Almeida’s side followed the script to ensure their presence in Colombia. Having set themselves the goal of qualifying, Guatemala began inauspiciously with a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Honduras, before bouncing back with a 2-0 win over Jamaica to set up a quarter-final showdown against USA. With a ticket to Colombia up for grabs, the hosts came good with a sensational 2-1 defeat of the Stars and Stripes, sparking joyous scenes of celebration at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. However, their dreams of a regional title were abruptly cut short by Costa Rica, who downed them 2-1 in their semi-final two days later. Guatemala would finish the qualifiers on a high, though, prevailing against Panama on penalties in the match for third place (0-0, 7-6). The future While Guatemala have already achieved much by just qualifying and will see anything else as a bonus, they will nonetheless head into the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 intent on putting on a good performance. The squad have in Almeida a vastly experienced coach who will doubtless prepare them well for the challenges ahead. With balance throughout the side, the central Americans are capable of defending resolutely when the need arises, and can get forward quickly to exploit spaces with their measured passing. “We’ll be giving it everything we’ve got. Our goal is obviously to win and bring some happiness to a lot of people,” said the coach after securing qualification. FACTS AND FIGURES Key players Gerson Lima (striker), Henry Lopez (striker) The numbers game 1 - With the exception of futsal tournaments and the Olympics in 1968, 1976 and 1988, Colombia 2011 is the first FIFA competition Guatemala have qualified for. SQUAD LIST: Goalkeepers 1 Roberto PADILLA 12 Jose MORALES 21 Jose GARCIA Defenders 2 Jose ANDRADE 3 Manuel MORENO 4 Willian RAMIREZ 5 Elias VASQUEZ 14 Jose LEMUS 15 Sixto BETANCOURT 19 Walter ARRIOLA Midfielders 6 Jose DEL AGUILA

7 8 10 17


Forwards 9 Henry LOPEZ 11 Kendel HERRARTE 13 Jose MELGAR 16 Cristian LIMA 18 Abner BONILLA 20 Gerson LIMA Coach ALMEIDA Ever

•Guatemala Under-20 line-up







–an eye on celebrities and society people

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e h t nd


Wags By Patience Saduwa


ECENTLY, a list of the '101 sexiest Wags in the world' was released by Bleachereport. No one knows the criteria used in picking these women who are wives and girlfriends of footballers hence the acronym (WAGS). Among those on the list is the young wife of Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo, Adaeze Igwe Yobo. Adaeze, a former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN), was 92 on the list while Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil's girlfriend, Aida Yespica was number one. The list and the pictures of the women was quite revealing. Most of them were in a state of undress-they were either in bikinis or other skimpy outfits that left practically nothing to the imagination. A few were even topless. The postures were equally sultry and provocative almost verging on the pornographic, not something you would want your five year-old child to see. All these speak volumes about the type of women our favourite football stars love to marry, hang out with or simply have flings with. They are usually model types (mostly lingerie), former beauty queens, cocktail waitresses, belly dancers, reality TV 'stars', D-rated singers/musicians whose songs never make the charts. Then there are the more colourful and racy types such as 'good evening girls' (for the uninformed, this is a slang for prostitutes) and other ladies of the night who operate during vampire hours. With the kind of company, these footballers keep, it's no wonder one scandal or the other is always dogging their steps. These range from the merely salacious (Wayne Rooney's alleged trysts with two calls) to the truly jaw-dropping (Ryan Gigg's reported 8 year affair with his own brother's wife). That many of the women on the list are quite beautiful is not in doubt. They need to be. What with the kind of partners they have, many of whom have wandering eyes and find it difficult to stick with one woman for more than a week. Indeed, many seem to be afflicted with what can be referred to as Solomon anointing a syndrome that makes men acquire more women than they need (just like Solomon in the Bible).

Adaeze Yobo

Cheryl Cole

Lalla Drogba

A Wag's life Most Wags don't work not just because their husbands' fat paychecks are more than enough to pay the bills with more than enough change to spare. It's the fact that being a footballer's wife is a full-time job. Not work in terms of domestic chores of cleaning, cooking, childcare and other duties of the average housewife in the home. The kind of 'work' these wags do is more in the area of beauty maintenance. Yes. It takes a lot of effort to look and stay beautiful and sustain their partners' interests especially with the stiff competition out there. To help in these regard are cosmetic surgeons. Many of these women have gone under the knife in a bid to achieve a 'perfect' look whatever that means. Such procedures like breast enlargement, liposuction, tummy tucks, collagen lip implant, nose jobs, facelift, botox are a regular part of their beauty regimen. In fact, even a monkey will look beautiful with the kind of cosmetic procedures these ladies undergo. Despite all these efforts and the expensive designer clothes they often wear, most Wags' partners still stray and have affairs like the average person changes his clothes. Not surprising, for with their fame and immense wealth, most of these footballers are like magnets to many ladies especially the materialistic type, who are attracted by the glamourous lifestyle, the big houses, the fast cars, the cash. But as the average Wag will tell you, behind the glamour is a lot of pain, often caused by their partners uncontrollable libidos that can't resist anything in skirts. If in doubt, ask Cheryl Cole, ex-wife of Ashley Cole who plays for Chelsea FC.




Social Summit Bible Church splits as Pastor T, Andy Osakwe part ways


HIS is a very sad piece of information Summit Bible Church members are allegedly in a state of shock as Pastor Tunde Ayeni (popularly known as Pastor T) and Pastor Andrew Osakwe have parted ways! Social Circuits learnt that the division was brought about by rumour mongers and busy-bodies in the Church who were telling Andy (who just recently relocated to Nigeria from America) some unprintable things about Pastor T who was said to have steadfastly nurtured the Church to an enviable height in the absence of Andy, who was the founder of the church. Pastor T was said to have been relegated to an ordinary Admin staff without access to the altar to preach (which is what he knows how to do best). A source said the Pastor was so pained that he went to start his own church in Nicon Luxury under the name Graceville. Naturally, this development has seen SBC splitting down the middle as many members followed Pastor T to the new church while others opted to stay with Andy. The development also has affected the annual S.T.A.G.E event which was sponsored by SBC and is meant to assist upcoming artistes. So, rightfully and from all indications, the differences between the two men of God can be described as “irreconcilable.”

Grandma's Pot Kitchen's Omotola Ademosu in thankful mood


RETTY Omotola Ademosu, the easy-going American returnee and owner of Grandma's Pot Kitchen is in a thankful mood presently. For one thing, Omotola is happy that God has helped to heal her leg from a bad fall she had sometime ago which kept her away for weeks from her business in Garki 2, Secondly, she is rejoicing that her kitchen has moved to a new level as many upwardly mobile young executives and business people are adopting her outfit as the first port (you may say: pot) of call when it comes to culinary delights that titillate the palates. She said that all her delicacies are cooked with firewood and hence taste different. Another reason Ijebu-ode born Omotola is thankful is that in spite of the fact that she is able to provide cuisines from all areas of the country cutting across many cultures, she is able to provide Ikokore, (a local delicacy loved by all Ijebu sons and daughters) for people from her area of the country and also that Grandma's Pot Kitchen now offers buffet services to its numerous customers. “On a general note, everyone can have a taste of home,” she said.

Emelia Akpa brings relief for Nigerian nurses, businessmen


R. Emelia Akpa, the President/CEO of the American-Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce with headquarter in Atlanta, Georgia is presently in the country. One of the reasons the Owerri, Imo State-born multiple award winning lady is in Nigeria, is to give succour to Nigerian nurses that have been wondering how to get jobs in the United States and are scared of the perceived long, winding process it takes to do so. But Emelia is also in the country on behalf of the American-Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce (ANICC) which has been in existence since 1999. According to her, Nigerians need to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by ANICC.. Emelia said: “ANICC is duly registered as a 501c(6) in the United States of America. The Chamber is a member of the World Trade Centre, Atlanta, and works closely with various organizations such as the Nigerian Consulate, Atlanta, U.S. Commercial Services both in America and Nigeria, Chambers of Commerce in the U.S, Nigerian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, NEPC, and many other organizations to promote trade and investments into Nigeria. “ANICC offers assistance and information to increase America's presence in the Nigerian economy. Along with other partners ANICC will administer programs to promote fair foreign trade competition; provide social and economic statistics and analyses for business and government planners; provide research and support for the increased use of scientific, engineering, and technological developments.” Nigerians need to utilise these opportunities, she said.

VICTOR OLUWASEGUN (E-mail:, Tel: 08032439153)



Iyiola Omisore's new lifestyle


OWER is transient, so goes the popular saying. A while back, Senator Iyiola Omisore's word was law in Osun State politics, with all those who mattered courting his good graces. Alas, how the mighty fall! During the just concluded general elections, Omisore so sure of victory at the polls, and this kept him happy. And coupled with the fact that his bootlickers and hangers-on were on hand to massage his already swollen ego, Omisore was over the moon. To his utmost shock and surprise however, his ACN opponent, Hon. Jide Omoworare trounced him silly, leaving Omisore high and dry. These days, the Senator has retreated quietly into his cocoon to lick his wounds. Speculations are rife, however, that he might not resurface until the next elections. But for now, the Osun political scene can heave a sigh of relief.

Alariwo, Winnies castle speak for the street child


HAT a child does not receive, he cannot give, is the popular slogan by Winnies Castle, a private U.K-based organization with a vision of championing the cause of the Nigerian Street child. The organization, which has Alariwo of Africa as its celebrity ambassador, is an organization founded in 2005 by Mrs. Kenni Osaro Aiyeola, and has begun its many laudable projects. In a chat with Society Circuit, the founder, alongside her partners, Mrs. Bose Adesuwa and Mrs. Ajayi, a counselor, also based in the U.K, commented on the country's continued lack of interest in championing the cause of the children we call orphans. They went further to say that these children, when raised on the street, become misfits, and are not able to fit into the society that bred them. Thus, Mrs. Aiyeola along with her two partners, decided to take it upon themselves to get as many as possible children off the streets, re-orientate and release them back into the society to become better people. According to the mission statement of the organization, Winnies Castle exists to make a difference in the lives of orphaned or street children of Nigeria, that have found themselves through no fault of their own in borderline situations. Presently, the organization has embarked on a building project. The project is a facility with schools, hostels, health centres amongst other things. With a capacity of a 100 children, the organization is geared towards opening to the public in September 2011. Prior to that date, Winnies Castle is currently putting together a fundraiser concert, which would hold at the Niteshift Collesium on the 14th of August at 4pm. The concert, which would parade stars like Kwam 1, Sir Shina Peters, Ayo Balogun, Raskimono, Yinka Davies, Alariwo amongst others, is a totally free show, and promises to be the first of its kind.

Omosede Igbinedion moves on


MOSED, the beautiful daughter of Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, has currently bounced back for real. Many who remember her brief marriage with Prince Aven Akenzua which eventually crashed believed it was the end of the fair-skinned beauty on the pages of society journals. But like the Pheonix, Omosede rose again from the ashes of her marriage. Her troubles began when her obviously overtly loving father insisted that the couple reside in the house he bought as a wedding present for them. This did not sit well with the Prince, especially since it was a taboo for the Prince to live away from his royal home. Eventually, the Esama employed desperate measures by recruiting members of the police force who ended the marriage by storming Akenzua's house and carting Omosede's belongings away. Though the marriage is over, life is not over for Omosede, especially since she has refused to be affected by the comments and rude remarks that seem to follow her around as a result of her failed marriage.



Samsom Adamu brings beach soccer to Nigeria


UN lovers are definitely in for a fun-filled time with Samson Adamu's new Beach Soccer initiative. The first of its kind, it promises to go beyond the shores of everyday football. It is a show that will witness the presence of top society people, international and local Disc Jockey, showbiz personalities both within and outside Nigeria. Packaged by Kinetic Sports owned by Samson Adamu, the event is geared to take place in the city of Lagos State on the 9th to 11th of December 2011 at the very serene atmosphere of Eko Atlantic. It's also going to be a combination of sports with music, dance, fashion parties and entertainment like never before. Being an international event, other countries expected to participate include Nigeria, South Africa, England and Brazil. The pitch is scheduled to be based on the round robin format which will allow all countries prove their quality against all participants. In a chat with Society Circuit , Samson Adamu, who is the organizer, explained the reason why they are bringing the tournament to Lagos and why beach soccer should be embraced and accepted by Nigerian youths. In his words; “it is going to be a three day event. On the 9th, there'll be picnic with the players in the morning and the game will take place in the afternoon. After the game, we are going to have a cocktail with a mini concert and then, the after-party on Friday. On Saturday morning, there will be kids coaching seminar, which we are working in partnership with Lagos State schools. What we are aiming at is to get kids from all schools to organize this, and then the coaching seminar will allow people in charge of sports in the school to have experience on what beach soccer is all about. After the coaching seminar, there will be a game at night, after which the gala night for all sponsors and guests will hold. On Sunday, which is the last day, we would organize a picnic for all the sponsors that have interest in playing the game, then we will have the celebrity game. After that, we would have a concert with a fashion show�, he concluded. The event will have in attendance renowned players such as Flamboyant Frenchman, Eric Cantona, Legendary Spanish strikers, Michel, Julio Salinas and Brazilian Samba Stars such as Romario, Junior, Zico and host of other great beach soccer players in the world. The venue will include a stadium with a capacity ranging from 3000 to 4000, as well as facilities for concessions and support function prepared to receive the teams, team staff, national and international media, fans, medical personnels, police and firemen, local and national commerce, VIPs, Sponsors promoting activities, amongst others. Located on the beach, it will become the centre of attention with ongoing activities inside and outside the stadium.

(E-mail:, Tel: 08035733605, 08099400057)




By Remi Adelowo


IFEOMA ILODIBE: Coping with widowhood


S there any woman of substance within the high society who has not come across Mrs. Ifeoma Ilodibe? Of course the answer to this poser would be negative. But, who really is this Anambra State-born woman, who has been a constant phenomenon on the social circuit in the last two decades? First, let's reveal that she was the wife of the late business mogul, Chief Augustine Ilodibe,

the founder of the famed Ekene Dili Chukwu Transport Limited. Two, she's also a successful businesswoman, with extensive business interests in merchandising. But beyond all of these, this very affable woman became very popular on the party circuits on account of her impressive style signature.


Remarkably too, Mrs. Ilodibe has kept the flag of her late husband's business interests aglow, much to the consternation of critics, who had cynically written her off. However, for Ilodibe, running the business empire her husband left behind and managing the home front has not been a stroll in the park after all. But the good thing is that she's forging on, without allowing any distraction to slow her down one bit.


Glamour with Patience Saduwa

Lifestyle Health Nutrition Fitness

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Progesterone - wonder hormone for women's health


OTS of women suffer every month from premenopausal challenges such as PMS (premenstrual syndrome), painful cramps, bloating, heavy bleeding and other symptoms. While there are chemical drugs that can help relieve some of these symptoms, progesterone, a natural hormone in the body can be immensely useful. Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by a woman's ovaries when she ovulates and in smaller amounts by the adrenal gland. A menstruating woman will typically produce about 20 to 30 mg of progesterone a day during the luteal or last phase of her menstrual cycle. Progesterone levels in the body begin to decrease with age and by the time women reach perimenopause as much as 75 per cent or more of their progesterone secretion may already be missing. While menopause doesn't typically occur until age 50 or later, many women can start going out of balance in their 30s or even earlier. Decreased progesterone is a major factor in hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other symptoms in menopausal women. It's also a cause of miscarriages. The ideal thing therefore is to increase the progesterone levels in the body and this can be done through certain foods and medicinal herbs. Foods with natural progesterone Some foods that have natural progesterone include yam especially wild yam, African walnut, eggs, soya bean, chicken, beef gonads, milk and a few others. Regular intake of these foods will increase progesterone levels and help regulate the menstrual cycle, boost fertility, help regulate mood swings and relieve hot flashes and sweating in menopause. Yams Wild yam is a type of yam usually found growing uncultivated in tropical wild forests. There are quite upwards of 150 varieties. Their popularity stems from their medicinal uses. Their tubers are usually smaller than the regular yam or 'true' yams and are often referred to as rhizomes rather than tubers.

•Mother care: Progesterone helps women with PMS, cramps, infertility problems, menopausal symptons and other reproductive health issues

•Wild yam


•Soya beans

Wild yams form part of the diet of the pygmies of tropical regions of the world, from central Africa to Latin America and the Philippines. They are also called colic root, devils bones or rheumatism root. The most popular of these yams are the Mexican wild yams. Wild yam is used medicinally because of its high concentration of phyto-oestrogen and as a source of natural progesterone and other steroids. The active ingredient of wild Mexican yam is a saponin called diosgenin. This agent after extraction from yam is converted to natural progesterone or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

w Continued next week







Relationship Deola Ojo

Blessed are those who love their in-laws


SAW a question on Face Book recently, someone wanted to know what you would do if you left for work, came back home and found out that your mother in law had put tribal marks on your daughter’s face. I am sure some people would start the 3rd world war from that home that day. I wonder if any lady would ever forgive a mother in law who does this to her daughter. But the question to ask is what you would do if it were your mother that put tribal marks on your daughter’s face. The best way to relate with our in-laws is to treat them like our own family. We tend to think that our family members have good intentions even when they do terrible things. Have you noticed that when a teenager does something bad, the parents immediately accuse his peers of having a bad influence over him? It generally does not occur to the parents that their son might be the ring leader who has a bad influence on his friends. Sometimes mothers in law mean well, but they do not always convey themselves in a positive manner. Ade and Tolani had just had a baby girl. They had decided that it would be Ade’s mother who would come over to help them care for the baby for the first eight weeks, after which Tolani’s mother would take over from her and also come and care for the baby for another eight weeks. Ade’s mother was quite excited as this was her first grandchild. She was determined to give the very best care to the baby. But unfortunately trouble started the next morning when she wanted to give the baby a birth. As was the custom in her own child rearing days, after bathing the baby, she decided to stretch the baby’s body. She pulled the baby by one arm and then turned to pull the baby by the other arm, unfortunately she pulled so hard that the arm was dislocated. Needless to say the

08027454533 (text)

mother of the baby was very upset. She started to scream at her mother in law and to call her names. When the husband rushed there to find out what had happened, he was also quite upset with his mother. And asked her how she could have pulled so hard to dislocate the arm of the baby. They rushed the baby to the hospital where the baby got proper treatment. Ade was quite angry with his mother, but when he remembered all that his wife said to his mother, he became even more upset with his wife, Tolani. But he did not tell her that he was upset. He kept this anger in his heart until two months later when her own mother visited them and mistakenly broke something in their home. Then he too decided to say hurtful words to his mother in law. He even repeated some of the abusive words his wife had used on his mother, as far as he was concerned this was fair play. Over the next six years they

both continued to ridicule one another’s parents until their marriage was on the verge of collapsing. As a last ditch effort they decided to go for counseling and it was during counseling that Ade revealed that Tolani was the one who started the chain of events. But Tolani promptly denied and told him that he was the one that abused her mother when she broke a set of expensive dishware. When he reminded her that she had abused his mother prior to this when his mother had mistakenly dislocated the arm of the baby, the wife was shocked. Tolani did not even realize that she had abused her mother-in-law that day. Apparently she was so overcome with emotion over the hurt of her baby that she had said a lot of things without thinking. When her husband told her the words she had used on his mother, she began to cry. “Why didn’t you tell me that I said those things? I thought you were

the one that started the whole thing by abusing my mother. If only you had told me what I said, I would have apologized immediately to your mother and would have looked for ways to make amends. They both apologized to each other and decided to apologize to both mothers and ask for their forgiveness. The counselor encouraged them to be open with each other and express their hurts without allowing offences to pile up. Some men want their mother to be free to visit their home but cannot tolerate their mother in law’s visits. They may feel that it is okay for their mother to stay for a month but find it intolerable for their mother in law to visit for even a week. But sometimes, it is the woman who cannot tolerate any of her husband’s relatives and who keeps viewing them as outsiders. But both sides of the family are important and should be treated like V.I.P’s. One husband got home to find out that his mother had rearranged their entire house including relocating some bedrooms. When she explained why she rearranged the house it made sense to him and he just laughed over it. His wife on the other hand was furious because she felt that his mother was going beyond her boundary. As far as the husband was concerned what

10 relationship tips


•L-R: Mrs Alice George, bride’s mother, Mrs Alice Inwang, groom’s mother, Mr. Gabriel Offiong Inwang, the groom, former Miss Eno George, the bride, Mr. Offiong Inwang, groom’s father and Mr. Daniel George, the bride’s father after their wedding at Believers Flourishing Ministry Int’l, Ikot Ekwere Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on July, 17th, 2011

his mother did was no big deal and after all they could always rearrange their house after mama left for their home town. What would have been his reaction if his wife’s mother was the one that had rearranged their home? Mistakes are not limited to any side of the family. As human beings we all make mistakes and we must learn to forgive both our family members and our in-laws if we want to have a happy marriage. Even when a man says he does not want his mother to come over to his house, it is the duty of the wife to try to resolve issues between them. Even when a man has a difficult relationship with his mother, because she had offended him, he would one day forgive his mother and decide that he wants peace. As a mother begins to grow older and become sickly, most men find their hearts of compassion being moved and they usually want to take care of their mother in her old age. A wife, who has always been encouraging him to make peace with his mother, then appears to be a good woman. While a wife who always seemed to stir the flames of the conflict appears to be a bad woman. No matter the cause of a rift and how long the quarrel, most people would one day settle their quarrels. A wise person should always be the peacemaker and not the troublemaker. The spouse should be the peacemaker between the man and his family and vice versa. While it is very easy to view inlaws as enemies, we must view them as family and precious friends. Blessed are those who love their in laws. Can an in-law commit an unpardonable offence?

HAT'S the key to successful relationships? Here, Susan Quilliam reveals the simple things you need to know to deepen your partnership and make your relationship work • Without quality time, your relationship will not survive. Carve out at least half an hour a night, and at least one day a month when you the two of you spend time exclusively together. • You will both need security, comfort. A good relationship is built on compromise and a great deal of give and take on both sides. • Keep your dependence and independence in balance. Tell and show your partner how much you need him, but don't cling, as that can make your partner feel trapped. • Encourage him to listen to you, by showing appreciation when he does. By the same token, show interest when he talks to you. Be aware that most men aren't mentally programmed for conversation in the way women are. They need more silence and internal time. • Make him appreciate you. Don't wait for a spontaneous compliment, but say something good about yourself and ask for

By Susan Quilliam

his agreement. • Teach him, preferably early in your relationship, exactly how to give you a fail-safe orgasm because it's unlikely he'll find out alone. If you don't yet know yourself, find out. • Learn to do the one thing that is most likely to restore good feeling in your relationship - giving your partner a genuine, loving and approving smile. • Often those subtle quirks that first attracted you to your partner can, with time, turn around and become toe-curlingly annoying habits. Learn to love him, warts and all. • Hidden resentments poison a relationship; so if something bothers you, say it. Remember that while men are wary of emotional conversations, they love to find solutions. Express your problem and then ask him to help you find the answer. • Learn that punishing your partner won't work. It may make you feel better to give him a hard time, but it will actually make him dig his heels in more. A better tactic is to reward the things you like and ignore what you don't like.



O you know we have three kinds of lies? Lies, damned lies and statistics. And when the three lies play out at the same time, you get faces coming out like the colour of Manchester United shirts… and you hear people turning the air blue with various expletives. Recently, a drama played out at the fast developing golf course in Abeokuta, host of that year’s President Cup. If you must know, the President Cup is a worldwide golf game where a sitting President gets a dose of honour. Even though Nigeria still sits on its head, and the President can’t even pin point a pitching wedge from the golf bag, a golf honour must still get to Goodluck Jonathan, the nation’s maximum ruler. Abeokuta provided the stage for President Obasanjo.. Weeks before the event, the nation’s golf professionals were unduly on a trip to cloud nine. Why? They read in a poster that the President Cup would carry a hefty purse of N5 million naira. Then on air in Abeokuta, a jingle was running over and over like a mantra that the pros’ purse would be N4 million. So, it was with great hope that the pros left their various base and headed for Abeokuta. A day to the event, a record of 90 professionals from across the nation had arrived Abeokuta to do battle for the better part of N5 million. But then, aren’t we all entitled to some moment of dreams? The problem here is when we get awake, usually the rocket motor must have failed and everyone plunging back to earth. It was like this in Abeokuta. There was no N5 million…not even N4 million. All on the table for the pros was N2 million naira. Rather than hit the tee, the pros simply melted out of Abeokuta. “But who told the pros that we were going to pay them N5 million?” the man who put the whole event together, Chief Oluwole Olumide, the Apagun Pote of Egbaland, retorted. “I must tell you that I am thoroughly disappointed in the pros. Everyone dumped them and I decided to pick them up. But see the mess they have caused now. I have not seen a bunch of such rude people in my life. They came around and we told them we had N2 million for them. They just went berserk. They refused to play. Even their executives were begging them and they still refused to play. They were just shouting OBJ brought this and that. Who told them the President gave us money? They are just rude and careless people. But I don’t want to blame them. I’m blaming myself. A lot of people are now blaming me for trying to raise those pros from the dust. Anyway, I’ve learned my lesson. Some of

With Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme



NTDC brings for


Tony Akhigbe 08056180071,08094863638

President Cup hell them are really calling to beg, but I will surely watch my steps next time.” Too true, going by events just of recent, a Nigerian pro is the poster child for grimness. But the heck, who told them they were going to swim in seas of gold in Abeokuta? “We are no kids”, Europe based pro, Morgan Atako raged. “We knew beforehand what we were coming to play for in Abeokuta. I saw the poster which mentioned N5 million naira. Besides, I arrived Abeokuta three days to the event. And all the days I stayed around, the radio was always coming with the news of N4 million. So how this came to N2 million, I can’t really say. You see, we have a problem in this country. We just refuse to come to terms with issues. We maltreat each other a lot. I am a member of the Euro Tour. I know the way things are done. At least a week before any event, the pros’ purse is already deposited at the Secretariat. Why should we be haggling over price on a tournament day? I mean are we sane at all in this country? And the shame, the event is named after the President and the Nigeria Golf Federation is not aware of it. Let me tell you the simple truth… the President of this country may not be in the good book of majority of Nigerians but for God’s sake, the man deserves some respect. I mean how can you play a whole President Cup without the pros? How on earth could the President Cup be reduced to a kitty? It is sad”. Well, it could be all we shall be hearing are words that sting more than they soothe. But Prince Eddy Peters, the hard man of golf, is not one who steers away from reality. Eddy hid nothing when he banged hard at the then Director of the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria {PGAN}, Tony Uduimoh. He felt the Director was missing when his wards were seeing red. “I don’t like the way all sorts of people treat the pros

in this country” Eddy Peter asserted. “But I don’t blame them. I mean the pros are their own worst enemy. Okay, let me ask you, where was Uduimoh when hell was let loose in Abeokuta? I mean as a Director, he should have been on ground to tackle whoever was organizing the event. Are we really crazy in this country? I mean I have played my golf in every part of the world and I can tell you Nigeria remains the only country where players and organizers haggle over purse on a tournament day. Tell me, what is the duty of the PGAN Director?” The PGAN Director, Tony Uduimoh, only showed a total dismay over what transpired in Abeokuta. “Before now the purse was

already known”, Uduimoh said. “The purse was going to be N4 million for a 4-day game. We could have taken N3 million, no problem. But for the whole thing to have changed over night was indeed baffling. I had men on ground in Abeokuta. I was to travel down a night before event teed off. But on that day my Secretary called me that I should not bother coming down… that the pros had already left. You see, I’m tired about all these things. I mean people are just out to hang the pros by giving them a bad name. This is most unfair”. Another President Cup is here. At the moment, no solid arrangement has been reached. All because of greed and what they call sharing formula. Our President may not have been giving dividends of democracy to those who voted him into power [?], but the word remains, Goodluck Jonathan is the Commander in Chief of the nation. He needs some respect. He should not be humiliated like OBJ all because of golf and President's Cup. The golf professional body should be all and going. The body should throw aside the filthy lucre and work for the good of everyone. Let's celebrate our President through golf like they do in America's President Cup. We don't have to be greedy about all these. Personally, am not proud about the Abeokuta Chapter. But we would be prepared to turn the page. Now. • To continue next week

Fayemi gives Ekiti new golf course T HE Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi must have learned through through the Fayemi on Tourism said. rope that inaction has its own "We want a full blown 18hole course with hotels and risks. In order not to risk chalets. We want people to anything, the energetic come here and live in our Governor is moving back to hotels. Even if they don't play the historic Ikogosi where golf, they can at least touch you have warm water and our hot and cold water at cold water all melt in one. Ikogosi and feel fulfilled. The project is on and its huge. We And this is a Spring. To ensure he brings people won't do it alone. We want around the world to come private bodies to partner us. and witness the wonder at Its for the good of the nation, Ikogosi, Fayemi has moved not just Ekiti State. We are on". to build a full blown 18-hole golf course right on the site of the Ikogosi wonderland. What he wants to do is instructive. Foreigners who want to visit the site from across the globe so much love golf that they can give their right arms just to play a round.The truth is people who will be coming are Tourists and Ikogosi is a divine Tourists Centre. "The Governor is clear on all this", Eng. • Fayemi Segun Ologunleko, Personal Assistant to

Memo to Minister (2)


ONTINUING from last Sunday, July 24th when the first instalment of this memo was published, the 2nd part follows today to address some other issues. For a recap, we should remind ourselves of the areas covered to include: (1) The National Sports Commission Bill (2) Sports development Policy Instruments (3) Professionalization of professional roles in the sports sector and Sports infrastructure development and maintenance. On the issue of sports infrastructure, the Hon. Minister should ensure that our facilities are in use all year round. A stadium is not for decoration, but for development of athletes. The National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos is still in a very awful condition, unfortunately. It is a sports infrastructure that you should endeavour to turn around for the good of sports development in Nigeria. May I also inform you that your predecessor in Office had set the ball rolling in this direction. The condition of this sports edifice is an eyesore and a blight on Nigeria’s sports landscape. Some other issues that you need to seriously look at are: (1) Human Resource Development. Sports is knowledge driven. Hence, those who operate sports programmes must be properly educated and trained. This exercise must be continuous. The National Institute for Sports (N.I.S) is a syndicated place for the specialized training of sports personnel. It compliments similar efforts going on in Universities and Colleges of Education. The Hon Minister need to take special interest in N.I.S and ensure that it is properly equipped for its constitutional role. The N.I.S must be properly funded and made to work in harmony with the parent body, the National Sports Commission. Your predecessor has put in motion, strategies for the redevelopment of N.I.S and it will be productive and profitable to follow through with it. (2) Sport Science and Research Sports science and research provide the knowledge base for progress in sports. Unfortunately, our level of its application is low, particularly in coaching and in preparation for competitions. Most of our teams do not give enough attention to the scientific tenets of their actions and programmes. This is one of the reasons why we perform poorly. Our teams go out for competitions without sports psychologists. The Hon. Minister must ensure that this trend is changed. (3) School Sports is key to the success of NSC programmes. The NSC must interface with School Sports programmes. This is a task for the Hon. Minister. Your predecessor in office has set the ball in motion by the innovative and expanded Academicals Programme. This programme should be sustained and funded properly. Through its activities if adequately programmed and coordinated, Nigeria can be assured of sustained emergence of trainable sports talents. It will not achieve its goal, however, if it focuses on football alone, leaving out other sports that should feature (4) Sports Programmes and Competitions. The Hon. Minister must do something for sports programmes and competitions. The intensity of activities is very low. The Federations are usually not busy all year round, even in prioritized sports such as boxing and track and field, among others. One of the constraints is usually funding. The Minister must seek ways to uplift the level of funds available to run sports programmes. It is only in football that activities are on all year round. Football alone cannot make us achieve Vision 20:2020 benchmark. May I also use this medium to appeal to you to compel the Nigerian Football Federation to be accountable to Federal sports authorities. I find it unpalatable to observe that a body denominated in the name of Nigeria, owes its loyalty to another body in the name of status of affiliation, yet the impact of its actions and inactions is on the citizens of Nigeria. (5) Collaboration with Sports Intellectuals. The Hon. Minister needs the company of sports intellectuals. Progress in sports will depend on the amount of knowledge and thoughts injected into it. You need the intellectuals for clarification of issues, for research and to serve as the brain box of sports development in Nigeria. Our Association, the Nigeria Association for Physical and Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHE-SD) is the umbrella body. We will not let you down. We wish you success in your leadership of Nigerian Sports.




ROM New York City to Niagara Falls, N.Y., hundreds of gay and lesbian couples across the state began marrying on Sunday — the first taking their vows just after midnight — in the culmination of a long battle in the legislature and a new milestone for gay rights advocates seeking to legalise samesex marriage across the nation. Outside the city clerk’s office in Lower Manhattan, an orderly crowd had gathered in sweltering temperatures alongside metal police barriers hours before the doors opened about 8:45am, prompting a cheer. At least one veil was in evidence. Phyllis Siegel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, who have been together in Manhattan for 23 years, were the first couple in, receiving a waiver from the rule requiring 24 hours between a license and a ceremony. They were ushered right into the chapel. Ms. Kopelov used a gray walker as they were married by the city clerk, Michael McSweeney. As Mr. McSweeney declared to the couple, “I now pronounce you married,” Ms. Siegel held Ms. Kopelov’s head and kissed her on the left cheek. The first male couple, Marcos A. Chaljub, 29, and Freddy L. Zambrano, 30, both of Queens, wore matching white shirts, green ties and black and white boat shoes — even their beards matched. After the newly weds kissed for 12 seconds, a friend tossed rice grains out of a Ziploc bag. In New York City, 823 couples had signed up in advance to get marriage licenses on Sunday. Marriage offices in each borough were open, with some drawing more than others. In some places, small groups of protesters with signs were on hand as well, denouncing the new law. But there were no reports of major disturbances. By late morning, hundreds of people were still waiting in line outside the office in Manhattan. Those who emerged after being married were greeted with cheers from passers-by, a cadre of reporters seeking interviews and even the congratulations of police officers assigned to keep order. The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, who is openly gay, witnessed the first marriages in Manhattan. “To hear a judge say, ‘By the laws of our state’? It sent a chill up my spine,” Ms. Quinn said. Outside the five Boroughs, more than a dozen other cities and towns from Buffalo to Brookhaven opened their offices to issue licenses, and over 100 judges across the state volunteered to officiate. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who has championed same-sex marriage in the state since taking office in January, held a party in New York City and promised to help push for same-sex couples to be allowed to marry in other states. “Passing this law not only completes the promise that we made to the people of the state during the campaign; it’s going to make a real difference in people’s lives,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters at the Dream Downtown Hotel near the meatpacking district, where he hosted a reception for lawmakers and gay rights advocates. “And I don’t think this is just about gay people who now choose to get married,” the

After long wait, same-sex couples marry in New York

•Lino Caminha, left, and Luke Strandquist had their wedding license signed by Judge Sabrina Kraus before exchanging vows at the city clerk’s office in Manhattan last week From Thomas Kaplan and Michael Barbaro

governor added. “This is a statement that we should all feel good about.” Mr. Cuomo issued an official proclamation shortly after midnight that commemorated Sunday as a “profoundly important day” for gay men and lesbians across the state and a “proud demonstration of our state’s commitment to ensuring complete equality for all of our citizens.” Speaking to reporters, Cuomo said he thought the lawmakers who had provided the pivotal votes to enact same-sex marriage, and whom opponents of the marriage bill have promised to drive out of office, would fare well in next year’s elections. As couples sought to get married Sunday, a few glitches were reported. In Manhattan, a printer jammed, delaying some marriages, and in Buffalo, a key local official was absent, causing a backlog. The day of ceremonies began just after midnight. Against a cascade of rainbow-coloured falls, and with cicadas humming in the background, Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd married at the first possible moment in Niagara Falls. After a bell tolled 12 times to ring in the new day, Ms. Lambert, 54, and Ms. Rudd, 53, held hands and kissed in front of more than 100 friends and family members. In Albany, Dale Getto and Barbara Laven believed themselves to be first. “Oh yeah, no doubt about it,” said Mayor Gerald D. Jennings, flashing a satisfied grin and sweating profusely in his dark suit while standing in

a muggy City Hall. “I summed it up right at twelve-oh-onesecond.” At Albany’s City Hall, Edward Delph, left, and Peter Schroeter completed their papers with Melinda Griffith, an information clerk. Ms. Getto and Ms. Laven, both 53, arrived in a white stretch Cadillac Escalade, but “don’t hold that against us,” Ms. Laven said. “It’s opening weekend at the track, so they didn’t have much,” she added, referring to the thoroughbred racetrack in nearby Saratoga Springs. The ceremony took place in the mayor’s office, with eight friends and family members in attendance. It was only the beginning. The day of weddings represented the end of a political campaign that lasted for years. On June 24, the State Senate voted 33 to 29 to approve same-sex marriage, and Cuomo signed it into law that night. But the law did not take effect for 30 days, which is why Sunday was the first day that clerk’s offices were permitted to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. “As the hours tick by, we’re getting more and more excited,” Brian Banks, a 33-year-old middle-school specialeducation teacher from Albany, said last Friday after going to City Hall to fill out paperwork. Mr. Banks planned to marry his partner of seven years, Jon Zehnder, 37, a high school math teacher, at a midnight ceremony in Albany on Sunday. “Even though we’ve always viewed ourselves as married, to have there be no asterisk next to it, it’ll just feel really good,” he said. Not everyone will be celebrat-

ing. Town clerks in at least two rural communities have resigned in recent days, saying their religious convictions precluded them from marrying gay couples, and some cities were expecting public demonstrations. The National Organization for Marriage planned protests for Sunday afternoon at the State Capitol, outside Cuomo’s office in Midtown Manhattan and in the two largest cities upstate, Buffalo and Rochester. But a sampling of pastors in the New York City area found that most did not intend to discuss same-sex marriage in their sermons on Sunday. At St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, for example, the homilist planned to speak on other subjects. “There may not be much more to say at this point,” Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said. New York is the sixth, and largest, state to legalise same-sex marriage. Several other states are considering following suit, and on Sunday, some gay rights advocates plan to gather in Hoboken to call on New Jersey lawmakers to follow New York’s lead and allow gay couples to wed. But most states have either laws or constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage, and federal law bars the United States (U.S.) Government from recognising same-sex marriages. “It’s a huge step forward, and yet it doesn’t erase the fact that there’s so many roadblocks facing advocates of marriage equality,” said George Chauncey, a historian at Yale and the author of “Gay New

York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940.” “Most of the time, an awful lot of the nation doesn’t want to be like New York at all,” Mr. Chauncey said. “I suspect that many people will take this as one more sign of what happens in the Northeast, and in New York in particular, that they don’t want to have happen in their own communities.” Larry Kramer, the playwright and longtime gay rights advocate, said that as long as the federal government continued not to recognise same-sex marriages, the celebration in New York on Sunday would be misguided. “These marriages, in whichever state, are what I call feel-good marriages,” Mr. Kramer said. “Compared to the benefits heterosexual marriages convey, gay marriages are an embarrassment — that we should accept so little, and with so much hoopla of excitement and self-congratulation.” But many people, both opposed to and in support of same-sex marriage, saw legalisation in New York as a significant development, in part because of the size and visibility of the state, and in part because of its symbolism — the modern gay rights movement traces its symbolic emergence to the Stonewall uprising in New York City in 1969. “New York really reflects and signifies that the center of gravity on this question has shifted,” said Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, which advocates for same-sex marriage. “It gives us tremendous momentum for continuing the journey the country has been on toward fairness.” Whatever the historical implications — and however the push to legalise same-sex marriage fares in the other states where advocates plan to shift their focus — there will be no shortage of celebration, and protest. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he would officiate at the wedding of two senior City Hall officials at a ceremony at Gracie Mansion. In Brooklyn, the borough president, Marty Markowitz, planned to open Borough Hall for a marathon series of weddings, complete with free cake and Champagne. Outside the city clerk’s office in Lower Manhattan, rabbis from a synagogue in the West Village were scheduled to solemnise weddings under a rainbow-coloured huppah, or Jewish wedding canopy. And two gay puppets, Rod and Ricky, from the Tony Awardwinning musical “Avenue Q,” planned to show up outside the clerk’s office to stage a mock wedding as well. There are also a variety of samesex wedding celebrations, some with commercial or promotional overtones, on the agenda over the next days and months. On Monday night, Three gay couples were schedule to wed onstage Monday night at the St. James Theater after the evening’s performance of the Broadway musical “Hair.” On Saturday, two dozen couples will marry in two pop-up chapels that are to be installed in Central Park. And the Fire Island Pines resort is promoting three same-sex wedding packages, one featuring a private ferry ride “complete with your own crew of drag queens.”




Have Your Say T

HE whole idea of the merger of the nation’s two anticorruption Commissions – the EFCC and the ICPC – was muted sometime last month by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, when he appeared before the Senate for screening as a zministerial nominee. Since he gave voice to that idea he has been pilloried in several quarters for allegedly seeking to scuttle the fight against corruption. Flipside, respondents’ opinions on this issue are like the biblical Joseph’s clothe of many colours. However, they agree on the need to do everything to strengthen the battle against the scourge. They argue that what is indisputable is the fact that there are rooms for improvement. Efforts should be made to review the activities of the Commissions, they submit. The merger of the anti-graft agencies, the ICPC and the EFCC, is not in the best interest of the country’s desire to fight corruption. I believe there are many criminal cases for both to pursue adequately without any difficulty. Government only needs to clearly define the functions of each of the agencies, and to ensure that they are properly funded, with their staff well-train and equipped with modern knowledge to fight and eradicate corruption in its entirely. Samuel Ishaya Shammang, Mangun Town, Plateau State. I appeal to the Federal Government not to merge the ICPC and the EFCC together so that each of can effectively perform their constitutional roles. Akinleye H.O., Ipole-Iloro Ekiti West, Ekiti State. There is no much difference between the two of them. Nigeria enjoys duplication of things. How many people have they prosecuted and jailed to serve as deterrent to others? I’ve not seen their achievement so far. Merging them will reduce cost. Akin Ajibola, Surulere, Lagos State. Why the merger? Nigeria is full of too many corrupt leaders. So, we need more of EFC C and ICPC. Tunji Abdulsalam, Offa, Kwara State. The merger of the ICPC and the EFCC is long overdue. Since the inception of these anti-corruption agencies, corruption appears to be on the increase. Government should borrow a leaf from china; any government officials who steal more than four thousand naira will be executed. Collecting the loots from these corrupt people is not enough but giving them long term jail. Isiaka Ibrahim, Iree, Osun State. It is good that this matter is raised. The separate existence of the EFCC and the ICPC; the ministry of information and NOA has resulted into a duplication of the same function. This is a means of wasting public funds, ditto the appointment of advisers in government at all levels. Victor, Iyin-Ekiti, Ekiti State. While the EFCC is dynamic and functional, the ICPC appears to be pedestrian in nature with no defined sense of direction. If the merger will give the nation a dog that can bite deeper, why not? Remi Adegbola, Ibadan, Oyo State.

What is your opinion on the proposed merger of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) ? Duplication of efforts and responsibilities among and between ministries, departments, parastatal and government agencies has been one of the major outlets through which national resources are being wasted. The fact remains that the aims and objectives of both the EFCC and the ICPC are interwoven and coterminous. It, therefore, becomes expedient, imperative and absolutely necessary to merge the two bodies in order to save cost and conserve meagre resources for •Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke government to meet other and there is no need for such. other needs. Hyacinth Okoli, Olaniran Afolabi A., Umuahia, Abia State. Benin City, Edo State. I think the proposed merger of the ICPC and the EFCC will be a Frankly speaking, there is no good development for the fight need to merge the two. The duties of against graft, but only if it is done the two have been clearly spelt out with a sincere purpose. Already, the by Acts of Parliament. The A-GF, Mr. two agencies already seem more like Adoke, should resign for putting a duplication of each other than two forth this suggestion. He is obviously independent institutions. trying to undermine the EFFC, his Nazifi Dawud, antics are well-known. Kano State. Adetayo Ogunleye, FHA, Lugbe, Abuja. What informed this proposed merger? Must we have to experiment The Federal Government should with everything under the sun? Our merge them together because it is education is already in shambles duplicating duties and this amounts because we keep on experimenting to waste of resources. with it. We had once fiddled with the Jamiu Sobitan, idea of merging the police with the Calabar, Cross River State. Road Marshals and some crazy thoughts on the police and the Civil It’s a distraction. Corruption in Defence. Doesn’t each of these our country needs two more bodies Commissions have its focus cut out to tackle it. It’s absurd that for it? The corruption level in the government officials are part of this country is so high that one bogus call; that is unpatriotic. God help body may not be able to handle it. Nigeria. Instead, why don’t we fortify each of Chris Anyamene, these bodies by sharpening their Awka, Anambra State. teeth for more and deeper bite? Akinduro, H.O., It will be suicidal and patently Okitipupa, Ondo State. retrogressive to contemplate Whoever is advocating the merging the EFCC and the ICPC given that corruption is endemic and merger of the EFCC and the ICPC is an albatross to the nation’s growth an enemy of Nigeria. I’m not and development. More agencies surprised it came from the A-GF, should be created, strengthened and ADOKE. Any difference between be independent of executive him and Aondokaa? Nigeria will definitely go the path of Tunisia, interference. Libya and Egypt very soon. We are Ayo Aregbesola, waiting. ljesa-lsu, Ekiti State. Dr Frank Anams, Kaduna State. Let them do whatever they like because the Minister of Justice is a The EFCC and the ICPC can be corrupt man. Why did President different units or departments under Jonathan bring him back WITH all the same Commission. The merger these new ministers? I pity Jonathan is in order. because I don’t think they can Friday Edwin, perform anything. PHC, Rivers State. Mr Rotimi Yakub, That man called Adoke is a stupid Iju Ishaga, Lagos State. man. He does not know what he is It’s not the merger of the ICPC saying. He is a very fraudulent man and the EFCC that matters. The with no integrity. It’s because the political will to prosecute is lacking. EFCC arrested his friend, Bankole. If the government is serious, people That is why he was talking that like BUHARI should be appointed rubbish about the merger of the EFCC and the ICPC. Adoke is not the EFCC boss. comfortable with the way Farida Yusuf Pama, Waziri has been dealing with his Kaduna State. corrupt friends. I don’t know why The problem of corruption can Jonathan should appoint this man as be solved only when there is a sincere Minister of Justice. Tayo Tola Agbaje, political will to deal with this ill. I Garki, Abuja. sincerely believe a single agency supported by a sincere leadership can The ICPC and the EFCC are reduce this ugly situation. As it is bodies with the same feathers; they now, both agencies overlap each fly together. There are no significant

differences in their functions and operations. The two must become one to save cost and remove duplication in this period of restructuring. Olawuni Olugbenga, Ilorin, Kwara State. The ICPC and the EFCC should NOT be merged. Instead, special courts should be established to take care of cases from the two bodies. This will strengthen and make them more efficient. Peter Ayuba, Pankshin, Plateau State. The EFCC is proactive and heard more in the courts than the ICPC. The EFCC is prosecuting former governors, ministers, legislators, etc. But who and who have the ICPC prosecuted? In my opinion, it should be scrapped and all its assets and monetary allocations inherited by the EFCC. Engr. Ekong Tim Ekong, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This is long over due. Not only merging the EFCC and the ICPC but other agencies like police and civil defence, Road Safety and VIO, NDLEA and NAFDAC, because their roles are conflicting. Abdullahi Musa Uke, Lafia, Nasarawa State. The ICPC has outlived its usefulness since it has not been able to convict anybody. Some sections of its ACT have said no contract should be awarded without the enabling appropriation and cash backing. Yet the nation is awash with stories of heavy liabilities at state and local government levels. For those of us who read management principles and practices, it is a gross managerial imperfection to duplicate the same work through undue multiplication of effort centres. The EFCC can do what the two anti-graft Commissions are doing presently. Anthony N Z. Sani, Keffi, Nasarawa State. Why keep two anti-corruption agencies more so when the two serve the same purpose? Prince Bola Adejumo, Ororuwo, Osun State. My view is that the ICPC should be merged with the EFCC to strengthen their operations. Raji Taofik, Igbeti Oyo State. The proposed merger of the ICPC and the EFCC as advocated by Adoke during his ministerial screening at the Senate was really uncalled for. Playing politics with sensitive organizations as these ones is making nonsense of good efforts in checkmating bad elements in our society worthless. Why haven’t the two organs been merged since their early creations if their functions are interrelated? Let each be on its own. Gbiang Peter Benedict, Jos, Plateau State. Continue on page 52

By Jennifer Ehidiamen 08054503875 (Sms only)

An open-source for Young Nigerians and Africans


S the Internet become more and more popular among Nigerian and African youth, more people are becoming very proactive in creating websites where information can easily be shared or accessed by others. Thus, gradually putting to rest the culture of “monopoly of information.” If you have information about an opportunity, for young people or digital natives of this generation, it is un-cool and archaic to hide it in the dark. Everyone is gradually embracing opensource, encouraged by digital culture. The cool thing to do with an information you receive, and you believe your peers will benefit from, is to disseminate it through the different social networks you belong to and add the popular “please spread the word” after posting. If you do not share, be sure someone else will stumble upon it and share it, anyway. An example of an open-source platform is Scholars Hub Africa. Scholars Hub Africa was created for young people in Nigeria and other African countries to share and access scholarship and other opportunities, at their fingertips. Unlike other websites that charge access fees from users, Scholars Hub Africa is free of charge. Its core aim is to give back and support educational development as well as encourage the culture of “freely received, freely given.” The website can be accessed on: To post or contribute resource, email Opportunities currently posted on the website include information about “Full scholarship and trip to UK in Basic Trust International Essay.” Applications are invited from students across Nigeria to participate in a national essay competition organized by an NGO, Basic Trust International. In addition, there is also scholarship open to applicants from Sub-Saharan African countries with an excellent academic record to study at a German or South African University. You will also find Information about the Commonwealth Scholarships offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom for citizens of other Commonwealth countries; and Canon Collins Trust scholarships for postgraduate study in South Africa in 2012. More information on how to apply for the recently published 2011 NNPC/ MPN National Undergraduate Scholarships for Nigerians has also been posted. Scholars Hub Africa “does not offer scholarships or partner any scholarship agency. The information provided there is FREE and meant to guide you to explore and utilize opportunities.” No doubt, many young people at the grassroots who lack access to the internet might not be able to enjoy such open-source, unless a radical step is taken by the government leaders or NGOs to train youths in rural areas on ICT and provide IT-equipped resource centers in all villages. While we wait for this radical development, we must not disregard or underestimate the power of “word of mouth.” Kindly share information by simply telling others offline about those useful “stumble upon” information and opportunities.


Arts Extra


Students preach through stage drama T

•Two of the junior students of the school, Emmanuel Owolabi and Kolawole Micheal, thrilling audience with violin piece during the event

HE characterstically cosy and calm hall of Leadcity High School, situated in Jericho Ibadan was the penultimate week enlivened as the troupe of the school held parents and teachers nonplussed through life stage performance of a skit bordering on “Mystery Seeds”. By employing the power of suspense the students succeeded in sustaining the interest of the audience throughout the play by revealing what “Mystery Seeds” is all about just at the climax (last scene) of the play. Through this moving drama piece, performed during their 2011 end of academic session ceremony, the students also succeeded in affirming the fact that honesty should be one of the foremost innate qualities any citizen should possess before assuming leadership role. In synopsis- the didactic play revolves around a rather old king who needs a young but honest and godly citizen to be an heir to his throne. In his quest for this, through his town crier, he makes all the vibrant young men in the village to assemble in his palace. He gives each of them a mystery seed to plant and grow over a specified period of time. Full of inordinate ambition to succeed the king, they all trot off the palace. To their chagrin, the seeds are dead seeds and cannot grow on any land. Still full of doggedness to assume the throne at all cost, they all, save one, move into malpractices by planting improvised seed instead of the ones being given to them by the king. When the allotted time is up, they

By Biodun-Thomas Davids

all, save one who is honest and godly, reassemble in the king’s palace to give account. They all report effusively about how their seeds have grown luxuriously overtime. Afterwards, the honest and godly one among them comes in sobbing with rheum trickling down his face….The king approaches him and asks why he is downcast…. He retorts that the king gave only him a dead seed and that he has tried fruitlessly to grow the seed. The king afterwards cuddles him and makes him an heir to his throne after disclosing that he gave each of them a dead seed and just one of them has been tested and proven honest and would therefore be an heir to his throne. While the event lasted the students also got clerics, educationists, engineers, and other professionals that graced the event spellbound with violin piece, taekwondo, presentation on malaria, poems recitation and Bible reading. In his sermon, the chaplain of Chapel of Peace and Joy, Leadcity University, Rev Dele Shotonwa, charged the students to be dedicated, disciplined and diligent and do the right thing at the right time. “Road to the top is never easy. You need humility as you go, also pray for favour,” Shotonwa further charged. The director of the school, Mrs.Taiwo Owoeye, in her own exhortation wanted the graduating students to hold on to good habits they imbibed while in the school and be good ambassadors of the school wherever they go.

Six books shortlisted for 2011 Nigeria prize for literature


HE Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature has approved an initial shortlist of six out of the 126 books submitted for the 2011 edition of the prize. The list parades well-known writers of children’s literature like Uche Peter Umez winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and runner-up for the 2007 The Nigeria Prize for Literature with his book The Runaway Hero; Philip Begho, author of over 70 books and twotime contender for The Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2004 and 2010 with his Aunty Felicia Goes to School; Ayodele Olofintuade, with Eno’s Story; Chinyere ObiObasi, with The Great Fall, Mai Nasara with The Missing Clock. Thelma Nwokeji,’ a new writer, also made the list with her debut, Red Nest. According to a press statement made available to The Nation by Ifeanyi Mbanefo, Corporate Affairs Manager of Nigeria LNG, the list was presented after two months of intensive scrutiny by the chairman of the panel of judges for this year’s prize, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, a professor of English, University of Lagos and past co-winner of the prize. Other members of the panel are Prof. Lekan Oyegoke of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Yakubu Nasidi of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. David Ker, Vice Chancellor The Catholic University of Nigeria, Obehi, Abia State and Prof. Ini-Obong Uko, Department of English, University of Uyo, Cross River

State. The Advisory Board was represented by its chairman Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo and Dr. Jerry Agada, President of the Association of Nigerian Authors. This standard this year, even more than other years, is uncompromising. Even though Nigerian writers from all over the world submitted entries for the prize, the six authors on parade are all home-based. Although the contending books are overwhelmingly for the 7-12 age range, rather than the teen or ‘crossover’ books that sometimes pass for children’s books, they did not shy away from tackling gritty or difficult subjects. They are also books that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Although The Nigeria Prize for Literature has been withheld two times in the past when no book was considered suitable, the judges are always open-handed with praise and acclaim when necessary. The children’s literature prize does not favour any genre- prose, poetry or drama; only good writing is rewarded. The prize sifts the huge array of children’s books which come out every four years, short listing only the mindsnaring originals. Professor Akachi-Ezeigbo said the judges were particularly careful to avoid poorly edited books, books with low moral thresholds, junk reads, thrillers or books which can be read on autopilot. The emphasis is on good books that stay with you long past the point at which you put them


• Gabriel


down, she said. The Nigeria Prize for Literature has since 2004 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara, founding father of modern Nigerian poetry, revered octogenarian Mabel Segun for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Ahmed Yerima, for his classic, Hard Ground, and Esiaba

Irobi who posthumously clinched the prize, last year, with his book Cemetery Road. Professor Banjo thanked the judges urging them to ensure that only entries that meet a very high standard of excellence were rewarded. He said a second shortlist of three books will be announced in September and a

winner, if any, in October. The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2011 prize goes to children’s literature. This year’s prize has a cash value of USD $100, 000 (One hundred thousand United States Dollars).


Arts & Life




By Olubanwo Fagbemi 08060343214 (SMS only)


Life’s uncanny rules



THE GReggs

The following are unwritten but generally accepted rules that guide daily existence. Some may beg to differ, without faultless scientific proof of each phenomenon. Others may strain to see the point being made here and there. Yet, none but the incurable cynic would deny the experience of one or a combination of the laws at some period. WE begin with the 50-50-90 Rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong. And follow with others: Law of Mechanical Repair After your hands become coated with grease your nose will begin to itch or you’ll develop the urge to urinate. Related is the Biomechanics Rule: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach; in other words you itch most where it’s hardest or most awkward to reach. Workshop Rule Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner. Driving Rule If you change traffic lanes, the one you were in will start to move faster than the one you are in now. Law of the Alibi If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire. Law of the Result When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will. Law of Close Encounters The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with. Theatre Rule At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the passageway arrive last. The Bus Seat Rule is based on the same principle. Law of Probability The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the absurdity of your act. The Telephone Rule When you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal. Beverage Rule As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot tea or coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the beverage is cold. Law of Dirty Rugs or Carpets The chances of an open-faced buttered sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly related to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug. Law of Logical Argument Anything is possible if you don’t know what exactly you are talking about. Shoe Law Very beautiful shoes are often a size more or less. Product Law As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it. Law of Loose Ends By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends; or by the time you are finally ready to nail a long-desired goal in life, they shift the goal posts. Gardening Rule When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. Law of Fire One careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire. Law of Patience The things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who get there first. The Fine Rule A fine is a tax for doing wrong; tax is a fine for doing well. Law of Friendship A good friend will come and bail you out of trouble; a true friend will be sitting next to you saying: “Man, are we in big trouble!”

Jokes Difficult Case Two psychiatrists were at a convention. As they conversed over a drink, one asked, “What was your most difficult case?” The other replied, “I had a patient who lived in a pure fantasy world. He believed that an uncle in South America was going to die and leave him a fortune. All day long he waited for a letter to arrive from an attorney. “He never went out, he never did anything; he merely sat around and waited for this fantasy letter from this fantasy uncle. I worked with this man eight years.” “What was the result?” “It was an eight-year struggle; every day for eight years, but I finally cured him. “And then that stupid letter arrived!”

The Mechanic A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop. The surgeon was there waiting

for the service manager to come take a look at his bike. The mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey Doc, can I ask you a question?” The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take valves out, fix them, put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically the same work?” The surgeon paused, smiled and whispered to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running!”

QUOTE A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

—Duke Ellington •Culled from the Internet


1 STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE: (312) Look at the 3 middle vertical (def) 3x3 boxes. The top box has 6 in cell Be, while the middle box has its 6 in cell Df. The bottom box must, therefore, have its own 6 in column d, where there are 2 vacant spaces - cells Gd


and Hd. But, since row H already has a 6 in cell Hh, the only space available to accommodate 6 in the bottom box is cell Gd. Reasoning along these lines, try and fill in all the other vacant cells. Solution on SATURDAY. Happy Puzzling!


A 5 2 B 3 6 4 C 8 1 D 6 E 3 8 F 9 2 4 G 9 H 7 3 6 I 2 1 9 5 8 a









9 3 1 8 5 i

2 5 4 1 3 6 8 7 9

8 7 1 9 5 4 3 6 2

6 9 3 2 7 8 4 1 5

1 2 6 3 4 9 7 5 8

5 3 7 8 6 1 2 9 4

9 4 8 5 2 7 1 3 6

4 1 2 7 9 5 6 8 3

3 8 5 6 1 2 9 4 7

7 6 9 4 8 3 5 2 1



Young Nation


Hello children, You must have started your school break by now. Do try and find something wothwhile doing as you enjoy the summer holiday

WORD WHEEL This is an openended puzzle. How many words of three or more letters each including the letter at the centre of the wheel can you make from this diagram? We’ve found 15 including one nine-letter word. Can you do better?


Riddles with Bisoye Ajayi I have a tongue but never talk. I have a lot of tiny eyes but cannot see. I go for a walk with my master but only with his help. I like a brush up before I go out but cannot do it myself. What am I? •Pupils of De Nice Nursery and Primary School, Ogudu, Lagos during their end of the year/graduation party on Friday, July 22, 2011


Miss Ajayi is a Basic 5 pupil of Fasta International School, Omole Estate Phase 1, Ikeja, Lagos



•Godsfavour Emmanuel celebrated her 1styear birthday on July 1st, 2011

A DISEASE is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often described to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. In humans, disease is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death to the person afflicted or similar problems for those in contact with the person. Diseases can be classified as communicable and non-communicable disease. Many diseases and disorders can be prevented through a variety of means. These include sanitation, proper nutrition, adequate exercise, vaccinations, and other self-care and public health measures. Diseases usually affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as contracting and living with many diseases can alter one’s perspective on life, and their personality. Find some diseases in the wordsearch below:

• L-R, Miss Olusola Motunrayo, an awardee, Miss Sarat Temitayo Alabidun receiving her plaque in recognition of her role as Deputy Library Prefect of Federal Government College, Odogbolu, 2011 session from Mrs N. J Umeweni, Vice Principal Administration of the school on Sunday 24th July 2011 at the school premises.

Nine-letter word: wallpaper Other words: aware, awe, law, paw, pew, raw, wall, war, ware, warp, weal, wear, well, wrap •Ameerah Omotola Adeshina celebrated her 1st year birthday on Sunday, July 24, 2011

Word Wheel




Word search created by Ifeoluwa Onifade Answer to Riddle Shoe

Send in your stories, poems, articles, games, puzzles, riddles and jokes to





FTER a half hour of indiscriminately staring at the phone I finally picked it up. A mixture of shock and happiness ran through my system as the phone started ringing. She had already sent me a message that she would be waiting for my call. ‘You ehn’ she said with sarcasm in her voice ‘I’m very sorry’ I said admist smiles ‘Ah! I’m not angry oh’, she replied in her market woman accent. ‘But what took you that long nah’ she continued. I had been thinking about what I was going to tell Damola when he found out I asked his sister out but I could not tell her that. There was no explanation I was going to give that was going to make any sense. Damola would rather have my neck than let me have his sister. But like every Judas with a carrot I had a plan. I was going to take him out and get him drunk then I was going to ask for his sister’s hand in the relationship. Considering how drunk I planned to get him, I was banking on him to make a lousy joke out of it, consent and we would both laugh out loud. And while he was recovering from the hangover the next day I was Continue from page 48 When are we going to get things right in this part of the world? Basically, what we need is a change in their leadership. A more vigorous, more positive, fearless and taskdriven leaders with the very interest of the nation at heart, not flunkies or merger as we presently have enough criminals in this country to fill the books of the two agencies. Ogedi Ogu., Managing Partner, The Source Chambers. Lagos State. The two have been duplicating each other’s functions. Merge them without down-seizing their workforce. Train them properly for effectiveness. Yinka Afolabi, Minna, Niger State. That will create confusion and slow down the pace of the anticorruption war. The only reason to justify that would be if the existence of the two bodies is acting as an impediment to the fight against the greatest economic cancer facing the country. We are good at walking backwards. Let us make progress this time around. What we need now is quick dispensation of justice. The AGF should dissipate his mental and physical energies on that rather than run around in a circle. Etokowo Owoh, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Why the merger when we have an army of corrupt people all over the country? It can only make sense if a special court would emerge to deal with the cancer worm called corruption which is the most potent danger to our nation today. Dr. I.A. Okunlola, Ilorin, Kwara State. Merging the two agencies is not the issue. The issue is to properly define their roles to avoid duplication or confusion. There are more than enough criminals in this

going to take his sister to a nice restaurant and do the honors. But the decision of ASUU to postpone their strike had put a major twist to my plan. She would not be coming home anytime soon, not even for the Easter break so I decided to improvise. Toast the girl over the phone! ‘So what were you thinking about’ the sound of her voice shot bringing me back to reality. Me; Err I was kinda thinking about you Kemisola ; Really? Did I do anything wrong? Me; No oh!.I was just thinking of the best way to ask you out.. Immediately the line went cold for a bit. After a few seconds she started to talk again, this time in a more serious tone. Kemisola; Okay, do you need suggestions Me; No, I actually wrote something out Kemisola; Okay I’m listening. Me; Kemisola would you be my girlfriend Kemisola; Just like that Me; No nah! calm down Kemisola; Okay ohh I’m listening I smiled as I continued ; It’s just I’m not really good at those, they don’t teach us how to ask girls out. Right now I feel silly but I’ll just go ahead and ask anyway ‘Kemisola’ would you be my girl-

Making her mine

Entry by Adebiyi Akinwale

friend’ She was very quiet I could barely ever hear her exchanging air with the environment. ‘Wow’ she said bringing those 15 seconds that felt like eternity to an end. Me; Was my speech that bad? Kemisola; Not at all, you actually tried small. I know me liking

you is not a secret and all but it’s just that… She heart did exactly the same. ‘Shit you’ve messed this one up again’ my conscience shot without a target...but I was in too much shock to even think of a re-

Many thanks to our amazing readers who send in their comments. If you are passionate about writing exciting short stories, you can send two copies of your writing samples to Winning entries will be published once every month. N.B: Each entry must have a minimum of 800 words and a maximum of 1000 words. Credit will be given to each writer for every story published.

Have Your Say What is your opinion on the proposed merger of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) ? country to justify the creation of even more of such organisations. Dr Usman David Kuti, Otukpo, Benue State. There is nothing scary, nothing unusual, and nothing strange about the proposed merger of the ICPC and the EFCC. After all, they perform functions (war against corruption and economic crimes) which are impari material (similar) in all respect. Barr Abiodun Olaide, Dept of Public Law, OAU, Ile-Ife. The proposed merger is in the best interest of the country. The present status of the two Commissions is superfluous, unwieldy, cumbersome and uneconomical. Ojo H.O, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Government should encourage these agencies and set up a new concept in duty articulation. Though they have some similarities, there still exist some areas of interest. What matters most is to checkmate corruption and affect people’s life and sanitize the society at large. Osuagwu Anthony Ibe, Umuahia, Abia State. I don’t think the two Commissions should be merged. We have a lot of cases they can handle.

ply. My brain was about to go into overdrive when she spoke up.. ‘It’s just that I’ll really love to be your babe’ she said faintly breaking the radio silence. Me; You say what? Kemisola; I said I would love to be your Iyawo jare. ‘Wow’ I continued as I gave a gentle sigh of relief that brought beams of sincere smile to my face. Kemisola; I really got you there shey? I smiled again but this time it turned into gentle laughter... ‘I wish I could see your face right now’ she said almost laughing herself. ‘I’m really happy we are doing this’ she said this time with much seriousness in her tone. ‘Yeah me too’ I replied with all the sincerity I could gather. ‘Err So do I get my first kiss now’, I continued Kemisola; Dude we’re on the phone nah! I laughed. Kemisola; Be patient baby. I’ll be home by July.. For some reason July didn’t seem very far to me again.. ‘Take care of you for me’ she continued.. ‘You too’ I replied as I ended the call grinning from ear to ear. It was then I noticed I was now the center of attraction in the canteen. There was no stopping my story from reaching her brother now...but all that didn’t matter anymore though...after all, she was mine now!

Many fraudsters are roaming the street enjoying their stolen money. Farida is doing a good job. Let her be please. Solomon Owolabi, Zing, Taraba State. The two Commissions should not be merged. The Attorney-General should be replaced immediately. Mr Segun Akano Maje, Suleja, Abuja. Merging the ICPC with the EFCC is long overdue. The ICPC is not all that active as the EFCC. By merging the two together under one umbrella, it will reduce unnecessary wasting of taxpayers’ hard earned money. By so doing, the EFCC will be more viable and focused for a better Nigeria. Kayode D. Roland, Owo, Ondo State. Merging the ICPC and the EFCC together is a right step in the right direction. It’s said that too many cooks spoil the broth. After all, both bodies were created to fight the same monster, corruption. Chief C. Nwankwere, Akute, Ogun State. The proposed merger of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

(EFCC) will eliminate confusion and controversies about their duties and equally stop double or wasteful spending on the part of the Nigerian government. Barr Saka Osomode, Palmgrove, Lagos State. In my opinion, the merger of the ICPC and the EFCC is a welcome idea; both are performing the same functions. Leaving the two to function is a duplication of office and a waste of our resources. Joshua Oluwadamilare, Kogi State. The recent proposed merger of the EFCC and the ICPC is not necessary. Moreover, every agency of the state including the judiciary has areas where functions overlap with each other. Instead, the authorities concerned should forge ahead by creating special courts for the prosecution of financial crimes and allied offences. The ICPC inadequacy should be corrected by injecting new and vibrant professionals into it. Abdullah el-Ibrahim, Kano State. The proposed merger of the ICPC and the EFCC is a good development in a nation ravaged by corruption that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society. When the two bodies are merged, the emerging commission

should be empowered. Rotimi Olaniyan, Owo, Ondo State. Merger or no merger, let the antigraft agencies be more pro-active and non-partisan. Let each operate as armed by the laws that created it. Let there be more result-oriented actions than mere talk. Rev. John Owoeye, Ilorin, Kwara State. It was long over due for these two bodies, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for effective functioning due to their inter-related duties. This will help these anti-graft Commissions to manage their human and material resources. Rosemary Effiong, Abuja. The hard truth is that both agencies are performing virtually the same functions. My opinion is that they should not be merged. Any attempt to merge them will send so many persons back into the already saturated labour market. Ushie Moses, Otogo-UNICAL, Cross River State. Frankly, there is no sincere war against corruption in the country as at now. What we have is just a game of deceit. In that case, if you merge the ICPC and the EFCC, it will be equal to merging ZERO plus ZERO and this will be equal to ZERO. Alagbawi, Ibadan, Oyo State. As far as I’m concerned, the proposed MERGER of the EFCC and the ICPC will never make any impact in the war against corruption in Nigeria unless we’re deceiving ourselves. What a shame! Azeez Adeyemi, Ibadan, Oyo State.



I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Comfort Olanike Olajide, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Comfort Olanike Obaja. All former documents remain valid. Redeemed Christian Church of God and general public take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Bamimeke Odunayo Kemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oyegbile Maryam Odunayo.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Nurudeen Olatunji Muraino, now wish to be known and addressed as Adenekan Nurudeen Muraino Olatunji.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Olanike Aminat Lawal, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oshodi-Lawal Olanike Aminat. All former documents remain valid. Lagos State Local govt. Service Commission and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ayanbolujo Oluwayemisi Dorcas, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Aremu Oluwayemisi Dorcas. All former documents remain valid. ICAN and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Adegbindin Kabiru Sunday, now wish to be known and addressed as Adegbindin Abdulkabeer Remilekun. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OKAFOR I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Okafor Augustina Amaka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Okonkwo Augustina Amaka. All former documents remain valid. Fidelity Bank Plc. and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Yusuf Oluwatoyin Oluyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oyatunde Toyin Bisi. All former documents remain valid. Ogun SUBEB, INLGEA and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Jolomi Francis, now wish to be known and addressed as Ovie Francis. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Sunmola Bilikis Adedayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Salaudeen Bilikis Adedayo. All former documents remain valid. Ogun State Teaching Service Commission, Abeokuta and general public take note.

ABIODUN I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Abiodun Oluwadunsin Omolola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ajayi Oluwadunsin Omolola. All former documents remain valid. Osun State Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM and general public take note.


OGBOMO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Racheal Maria Ogbomo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Racheal Owamamwen Richard.All former documents remain valid. God’s Little Angel Primary and Nursery School and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Margaret Nwabuaku Uwaechie, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Margaret Nwabuaku Nwaka.All former documents remain valid. American Employees Recreational Association and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ugochukwu Chinwe Motuanya, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ugochukwu Chinwe Emedebe.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Giwa Omotunde Ramota, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Omotunde Ramatalahi Keshinro Paramole.All former documents remain valid. Lagos State University, Ojo and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Goodness Chinonso Anokwuru, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Goodness Chinonso Reginald.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

OLANREWAJU I formerly known and addressed as Miss Olanrewaju Emilia Olanike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Afolayan Eunice Olanike.All former documents remain valid. LGSC, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Remilekun Adetola Oni, now wish to be known and addressed as Remilekun Adetola Farinde.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

OLAYANJU I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Olayanju Titilola Modupe, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Bankole Titilola Modupe. All former documents remain valid. LAUTECH Teaching Hospital and general public take note.

OGADINMA I formerly known and addressed as Ogadinma I. Eke, now wish to be known and addressed as Ijeoma Vivian Obanefe.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

ARIYO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ariyo Abimbola Mary, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oyelaja Abimbola Mary.All former documents remain valid. Lagos State Local government Service Commission and general public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Elizabeth Omolara Adetayo, wish to clarify that Iimmadeen is one of my fathers names. My fathers names therefore are Immadeen, Memudu Iimmadeen. The above names belong to one and the same person. All documents remain valid. University of Nigeria, Nsukka and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Bamisaye Oluwaseun Abosede, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Onijingin Oluwaseun Abosede.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Aregbe Taofikat Olamidotun, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Diekola Taofikat Olamidotun.All former documents remain valid. LGSC and general public should take note.

ODUSANYA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Odusanya Adenike Omotayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinde Adenike Omotayo.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

LAMIDI I formerly known and addressed as Miss Lamidi Modinat Aderonke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Tijani Modiant Adekilekun.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogbuekei Ngozi Philomena, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Njoku Ngozi Philomena.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

THOMAS I formerly known and addressed as Miss Thomas Adetutu Adepero, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Dawodu Adetutu Adepero.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


CONFIRMATION OF NAME I,Salami Ismaila Ipaye is the same and one person as Ipaye Babatunde Smath.All documents remain valid. The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigerian Immigration Service and general public should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Akindele Shadiat Omolara, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Owodunni Alimat Shadia Omolara.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.







I formerly known and addressed as Miss Osinuga Olayemi Afusat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinyemi Opeyemi Anthonia.All former documents remain valid. Odogbolu Local govt. and general public should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajayi Oluwatoyin Victoria, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olaleye Oluwatoyin Victoria.All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State SUBEB and general public should take note.



I formerly known and addressed as Miss Rashidat Yussuf Adeola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Abdulazeez Rashidat Adeola.All former documents remain valid. Federal Civil Service Commission, Office of Accountant General of The Federation and general public should take note.

MOSURO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Mosuro Omolara Morenike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs OluAdeyanju Omolara Morenike.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

ASEKUN I formerly known and addressed as Miss Asekun Temitope Munirat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Rauuf Temitope Munirat.All former documents remain valid. IjebuOde Local govt, Ijebu-Ode and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adejola Agnes Adetomi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ilesanmi Agnes Adetomi.All former documents remain valid. Ilesha East Local govt, Authority, SUBEB, Osogbo and general public should take note.

ADENIYI I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeniyi Omowumi Celestial, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeyi Omowumi Celestial.All former documents remain valid. Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, University of Ibadan, NYSC and general public should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Awolami Kemisola Olabisi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oyinloye Kemisola Olabisi.All former documents remain valid. University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti NYSC and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adesina Christianah Feyisayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Kolawole Christianah Feyisayo.All former documents remain valid. Nursing Council of Nigeria and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Taiwo Kafilat Adekemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akintunde Kafilat Adekemi.All former documents remain valid. Ogun SUBEB, Ijebu-Ode LGEA and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Saka Abibat Olubukonla, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adebola Abibat Olubukonla.All former documents remain valid. Ogun State Teaching Service Commission, Abeokuta and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Promise Sampson Ewa, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Promise Chinedu Chukwu.All former documents remain valid. Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri and general public should take note.


AKINTOLA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Akintola Blessing Tope, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oyewole Blessing Tope.All former documents remain valid. Jabu Ikeji Arakeji and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeyemo Motunrayo Ibukun, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Lawal Motunrayo Ibukun.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Oladunjoye Funmilayo Gbemisola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adefioye Funmilayo Christianah.All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Makinde Oluyemisi Omowumi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Morakinyo Oluyemisi Omowumi.All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Iwu Chinonso Innocentia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Chima-Nwosu Chinonso Innocentia.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Iwu Chinonso Innocentia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Chima-Nwosu Chinonso Innocentia.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Ogunlusi Henry Olukayode, now wish to be known and addressed as Michaels Henry Olukayode.All former documents remain valid. YABATECH and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Oladosu Esther Oyeyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Onibudo Esther Oyeyemi.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

AJIJOLA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajijola Abimbola Mulikat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Odeyemi Ajijola Abimbola Mulikat.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Folahan Oluwatayo Ereola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adewole Oluwatayo Ereola.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwatoyin Popoola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Bejide Oluwatuyi O. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Micro Credit and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Obafemi Olanre Stephen, now wish to be known and addressed as Adebayo Olanrewaju Stephen. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State govt., Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Kwara State Polytechnic, WAEC, PASAN and general public take note.

AKINDELE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Akindele Modupe Esther, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeniyi Modupe Esther. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

AFE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Afe Veronica Adenike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ayodele Veronica Adenike. All former documents remain valid. Ido-Osi Local govt. and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ifeoma Daisy Orji, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ifeoma Ugochukwu Enekwe. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Onisokumen Greame, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Onisokumen Stanley Diamond. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

EJIMAKOR I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ejimakor Juliet Chinonye, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ukomadu Juliet Chinonye S. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

OLOWU I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Olowu Priscilla Nkechi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ezeoma Priscilla Nkechi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Osanebi Ese Clementina, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Unomah Ese Clementina.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Chinda Prince Alaechi is the same and one person as Maduagwu Prince Alaechi. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Imaobong Archibong Udo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Imaobong Akaninyene Isidore.All former documents remain valid. Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, NYSC and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Peace Charles Udofia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Peace Joshua David.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Nkechinyere Agu Okpan, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Nkechinyere Rachel Ishima.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Emelda Ada Nosike, now wish to be known and addressed as Emelda Ada Nwaokoji.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Mary Orifah, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Mary Adimabua Ephraim Nwaeke.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Mr. Ikoli Reuben Nengiebimiekumo Dickson, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Reuben Ikoli Nengiebimiekumo Dickson.All former documents remain valid. UBA, ECO Bank Plc., Nitel Plc., IBTC Pension and general public should take note.

EKUNDAYO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ekundayo Taiwo Oluseyi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akinpelu Taiwo Oluseyi.All former documents remain valid. Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro, Abeokuta and general public should take note.

BADEJO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Badejo Monsurat Abolore, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Onamade Monsurat Abolore.All former documents remain valid. SUBUB Ogun State, Abeokuta North LGEA and general public should take note.

MATANKUNJE I formerly known and addressed as Miss Matankunje Tawakalit Abiola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Tawakalit Abiola Kudus-Bakare.All former documents remain valid. NeuroPsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, ICAN and general public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Eluyole Grace, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Grace Oluwaseyi Nyokke.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Tessy Mark Agahama, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Tessy Mark Ayomobi.All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ojobo Loveline Uchenna, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ugwuanyi Loveline Uchenna. All former documents remain valid. ESUT, Enugu, WAEC, NYSC and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OMODUNKE ELIZABETH OLAYENI, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OMODUNKE ELIZABETH IKUOMOLA. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME OSASONA I, formerly Miss Osasona Adeyemi Mary, now wish to be known, called, and addressed as MRS ADEROBAKI ADEYEMI MARY, All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission, Ado-Ekiti and the general public should please take note.

ADETORO I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Adetoro Yetunde Susan, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ilori-Olokose Yetunde Susan. All former document remain valid, general public take note.


I, formerly know and addressed as Femi Benneth Aro, now wish to be know and addressed as Benneth Femi Raphael. All former document remain valid. UNICO, ACCESS BANK, Intercontinental Bank Plc. Leadway PFA and General Public Should take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Francisca Nnenne Olisaegbo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Francisca Nnenne Oniegbu.All former document remain valid, general public should take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Olowofela Omowunmi Eunice, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs AdebisiObembe Omowunmi Eunice. All former document remain valid. general public should take note.

EZEOBA I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ifeoma Winifred F. Ezeoba, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ifeoma Winifred F. Jackson. All former document remain valid. general public should take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS TEMITAYO AWOSILE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS TEMITAYO MICHAEL. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as MISS ADARAMAJA MORONFOLUWA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OYINBO MORONFOLUWA ELIZABETH. All former documents remain valid. Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria and general public should please take note.

MADUBUKO I, formerly known and addressed as MISS CHRISTY OLUCHI EMMA MADUBUKO, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS CHRISTY OLUCHI INNOCENT AMADI. All former documents remain valid. N.S.C.D.C and general public should please take note.

AJETUNMOBI I, formerly known and addressed as MISS AJETUNMOBI OLUWASHOLA MODUPE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ADEJUMO OLUWASHOLA MODUPE. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

AKIRIJAN I, formerly known and addressed as MISS PATRICIA OMAMOMO AKIRIJAN, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS PATRICIA OMAMOMO TAYE-OLAJIDE. All former documents remain valid. NASS Service Commission, NSUK and General public should please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS CHRISTIANA UCHENNA NWOYE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS CHRISTIANA UCHENNA OLIVER-OKONKWO. All former documents remain valid. Office of the head of civil service of the federation, University of Abuja, Diamond Bank, Trust fund pension and General public should please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS VICTORIA TOSIN IGBARO, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS VICTORIA TOSIN WINJOBI. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

For enquiry please contact: Gbenga on 08052720421, 08161675390, Emailgbengaodejide or our offices nationwide. Note this! Change of name is now published every Thursdays and Sundays, all materials should reach us two days before publication.



Foundation births to provide leadership interventions in Cross River State EBERE WABARA


On, not in, the continent


IGERIA has the second largest crude oil reserves in Africa with 37.2 billion barrels out of the total 126,847 billion barrels in the continent.” (THE PUNCH Front Page, July 26) For ‘the most widely read newspaper’: on (not in) the continent. “Senate demand cash withdrawal limit report from CBN” (THE PUNCH Headline, July 21) Senate demands, but senators demand…. “ U d u a g h a n , Nwaoboshi feud plunge Delta PDP into another crisis” (Compass POLITICS Headline, July 21) Their feud plunges…. “This may not be unconnected with the moral-cum-political pedestal on which the old man stood for sometime (some time).” “It is a pity that Nigeria has had a history of selfgovernance, brought about by the regular incursion of military to (into) power.” “From the onset (outset), let me declare that I pulled out of Economics immediately I scaled the hurdle at the advanced level.” “Now you are on (in) the saddle.” “From all intent and purpose….” No extinction of the English language: to all intents and purposes. “The singular word that has eaten very deep into the fabrics (fabric) of the Nigerian nation….” “It has gradually destroyed the foundation of most people’s lives, removed their trust and believe (belief) in hard work, diligence, honesty, and excellence.” “In a country where innocent children lack assess (access) to one good meal a day….” “…but what is the sense in embarking in (on) such wasteful projects when salaries have not been paid, and majority (a majority) of Nigerians are hungry and angry.” “What is more distressing is that while the government is urging the poor masses...” The dictionaries inform me that ‘the masses’ are the poor members of the society. Therefore, no poverty of expression (‘poor masses’). “Yet they are expected to put in their very best.” ‘Best’ is a superlative point, which requires no intensification or amplification (very).

“Thus, even regular payment of workers’ salaries alone cannot be a panacea of (to) the present societal scourge known as corruption.” “Permanent Secretaries poise (poised) to fight corruption” “Introducing a new body will usher in competition between the two bodies.” Why not competition between the bodies? “Apology or bribery to ensure that ‘handouts’ from the state house is (are) not stopped….” “…the dignity of a matured (mature) politician....” “For those who may have forgotten, the legislators tore at each other’s (one another’s) throat and flung chairs at themselves (one another), forcing the governor to beat a hasty retreat….” “Experts assure on prices of Nigerian debt instruments” Who did the experts assure? “The wild, drunken and licentious sessions that precede many of these attacks in (on) the island are often ignored....” “Four months of heavy air bombardment by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) aimed at weakening the president’s military might finally paid off last week.” ‘Bombardment’ cannot be light! So, enough of otiose qualifications. “Since assuming the reign of power after the unexpected death of….” Restoring Nigeria’s lost glory: assume/drop the reins of government. Got the point? “Like (As) I said earlier at the beginning of the programme….” “And it is such an appetite that predisposes the officers into (to) scheming for political power.” “You will not fail to shade (shed) tears when the story of the death of the ex-banker....” “Apart from the mayhem rival cult members unleash on themselves (on one another)….” “The objective then was to put pressure on the colonialists, shake off colonial mentality, assert the identity of true independence and to instill university culture into (in) members.” “But while the governor was savouring the euphoria of his new office

and putting (getting) his acts (act) together for the tasks ahead....” “There was a unique feature of that day which I would not easily have overlooked even if others do (did).” “The same man that was singing Hosanna in the synagogue yesterday had suddenly became (become) a cheer leader among the Ogboni confraternity.” “Will the Igbos (the Igbo) be convinced that even with an exclusion of one of their own in the country’s top political leadership….” “Indeed, the most endangered specie (species) since movement in the area returned….” “These inscriptions are to make (mark) them out from destruction during clashes between (among) these three ethnic groups of Ijaw, Itsekiri and Urhobo.” “And that was manifested in the magnitude of white elephant projects and unexpected contracts that littered the whole place during that era of graft and institutionalized corruption.” A syntactic surgery: white elephants (which imply projects) and unexpected contracts. “…to get to the safe point, all the groups concerned must sheath (sheathe) their swords and give peace a chance.” “The military showdown between the two Koreans” Foreign Scene: delete ‘two’ which is inherent. “Why did INEC obey those injunctions and rulings, knowing fully (full) well that it had the legal powers to ignore them?” “The 1999 constitution simply reverted back to the provisions as contained in the 1979 constitution.” Delete ‘back’ in the interest of all stakeholders! LAST LINE: Someone observed last week that I left out the identities of some newspapers. It was deliberate. I mention only a few publications at the beginning to show the time frame of the entire extracts. Mentioning all of them will take a lot of limited space. This also explains the superficial treatment of the errors. If I had a full page, this column will become as comprehensive as possible. Over to the Editor!

S part of the effort toward empowering young people toward making informed decision about their career choice, a leadership intervention initiative, The Bridge Leadership Foundation was launched recently in Akwa-Ibom state. The launch which coincided with the public presentation of the book ‘Born to serve’; marked part of the activities to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Liyel Imoke and his personal gift to young people in Cross River State. The event which had about 3,000 participant had the Senate President, Senator David Mark and former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, state governors, State Executive Council members. Legistlatures, captain of industries, labour representatives, international observers, civil society groups, and other state functionaries in attendants. Governor Imoke highlighted that the aim of the foundation is to inspire and em-


By Adeola Ogunlade power young people in choosing the right career paths and making informed decisions. He noted that the pathway toward repositioning our youth for global relevant is to provide them with the needed leadership and mentoring that they need to chart a worthy career choice. The foundation which is the brain child of the Governor said that it is non-profit intervention tool to steer young people across the state from social vices and reach young people with unpopular but relevant messages, trusted and tested answers to their questions and challenges. “We are a leadership and mentoring foundation, committed to building a generation of young people educated to become compassionate, entrepreneurial and engaged citizens who are empowered to take responsibility for their own lives and for making a difference in the world”.

The launch was followed by a Career Day organised by the Foundation as a maiden event to provide a platform for young Nigerians and graduates who are; seeking to enter the job market, at the start of their career or aspiring to be entrepreneurs, to learn from accomplished Nigerians that have made major achievements in different sectors in the society. Speaking at the career day, the Executive Director of TY Danjuma Foundation, and the Director of Educational Development Centre (EDC), Thelma Ekiyor and Peter Bamkole respectively highlighted the need to support young entrepreneurs with access to finance and entrepreneurship trainings to help them develop their business ideas and live more meaningful lives. Whilst highlighting the importance of these, they pledged their organisations’ support and willingness to work with the foundation to help indigenes of Cross River State.

Safety and Security Alert! How to integrate Community Policing into National Security


OMMUNITY Policing strategies has assisted developed nations to curb, mitigate and reduce their crime indices. If Nigeria is to achieve millennium goals, our leadership should adopt the policy conscientiously. What is Community Policing (CP)? CP includes philosophies, activities, and programs without definite connotation. U.S. Community Oriented Policing Office (COPS) define as “any policing aimed more at prevention than on chasing and catching bad guys.” It requires major shift from reactive to proactive styles. CP is a philosophy and organisational approach that promotes new relationship between people and their officers. It balances immediate and effective response to emergencies aimed at dealing with underlying dynamics of problems in the community which require grassroots’ partnerships. It also requires decentralized and personalized service by sworn, unsworn or volunteer officers (CPOs). Strategies include: •Giving officers specific areas for accountability. •Freedom and opportunity on community building •Collaborative, Communitybased Problem Solving (CCPS) Principles are: •Vision •Change •Leadership •Partnership •Problem-Solving •Trust •Empowerment •Equity •Service •Accountability summed as: •Community-based crime prevention, •Patrol re-orientation, •Increased accountability •Command decentralization What is Community? CP defines community as people who live and work in neighbourhood to handle criminal or order issues. Community members include: families, senior citizens, churches, government, schools, hospitals, unions, etc CP Training The urgent issue is training. These include recruit academy,

field, in-service and specialized trainings. Purpose Is to provide officers with understanding that allow effective problem solving and community engagement techniques. Program CPOs should learn: •Effective implementation •Philosophy, practice and tools •CCPS approaches. •Technical. •CPTED. •Mediation skills •Human / Community Relations, •Crime reduction tools using S.A.R.A. (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment), PAT (Problem, Analysis Triangle), SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound), RAT (Routine, Activity Theory), CAPRA (Community, Acquiring & Analysing Information, Partnerships’, Response, Assessment) and S.E.C.U.R.E. (Safety, Ethics, Community, Understanding, Response, Evaluation), etc. Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA)-Is an important civic education program, teaches operations, policies, procedures, and relationship communication. Legislation-The parliaments has to enact laws to institutionalize CP. Funding Majority has to come from federal government but alternate from: •Grants •Pledges, •Donations, etc. Partnerships For CP to become permanent law enforcement it has to partner with community groups such as business/ faith-based organizations, neighborhood watch, CDA, etc, without their activeness, CP will be forced to traditional tactics. Citizens’ roles are to: •be eyes and ears •form patrols, confront, drive suspects •reduce victimization, crime opportunities, fear of crime •put pressure on others. •allow CPOs act on their behalf. •show leadership

CP stages are: •Challenging and venting •Organizational •Success •Stability. CP strategies: •Identify communities’ needs •Proactive approaches •Comprehensive. •Good relationships with business community. •Partner with govt. agencies Technology •Computers and networks for crime analysis and planning. •Internet service, •Information resources. Geographic Information System (GIS) GIS, improves the degree of analysis and efficiency of operations. It: •Analyze nature and extent of crime and social problems. •Create visual representations •Provide information on a map. Web Page Applications CP web site offers: •Opportunity to invite, share perspective and provide feedback. •Interactions. •Crime reporting CP Organizational Change This involves identifying, analyzing, and solving community problems at their source by adopting new ideas and behaviours. Its reform includes: · Command structure, · Task assignments, · Evaluation procedures. A shift from hierarchical to decentralized problem solving is required to institute CP. In conclusion, my clarion call is not for state police but integration of CP philosophies as direct responsibility of a newly established agency or as a unit of Nigerian Police Force by the laws. It’s proven, tested and verifiable machinery for Intel Gathering among others. CP professionals are to be invited for blue-prints, trainings and implementations. Please send responses, comments and safety/security challenges to the undersigned by sms or e-mail to the undersigned. By: Mr. Timilehin Ajayi (Safety and Security Consultant) E-mail: 08095683454, 08075518732

Life Extra


-YEAR-OLDBidemi Adeyemi sat in the hall, immaculate in her school uniform. Her joy knew no bounds. Surrounded by her parents and well-wishers, she grinned from ear to ear. For her, it was a longawaited dream. Now, it has come to pass. Her future is about to take off and her final destination is beyond imagination. Overwhelmed with indescribable joy, she told newsmen: ‘’I feel very happy that I can now become what I want to become in life. I fell nothing else can stop me from here henceforth.’’ For her, going to school has been a tug of war. Born completely blind, her chances of going to school appeared dead from the beginning. ‘’We were shocked to find she could not see. We kept her at home so as not to expose her to ridicule,’’ her father, Lateef, said. But Bidemi would have none of that. Her dream is to become someone in life and even blindness will not deter her. ‘’She would cry and cry that she must be in school,’’ her father explained. When exposed to compete with students without any visual impairment, Bidemi excelled without measure. She was either second or third in class, a feat that convinced her parents going to school is not negotiable. Her brilliance saw her through Primary education despite daunting challenges. ‘’We would have to take her to school everyday and do many things that others did without much ado for her,’’ her mother threw in. The challenges were not however as much as her prospects. ‘’We saw she is an exceptionally brilliant child and decided we would do anything it would take to get her to the top,’’ Lateef volunteered. When it was time to choose a secondary school, Bidemi insisted it must be Queen,s College, a federal government institution with high competitive requirements. Everyone thought she was carrying her luck too far. But Bidemi remains unperturbed. ‘’I just knew I could make it,’’ she confessed with smiles. Her positive outlook and brilliance performed wonders. She was admitted from the pack to the elite school that many two-eyed

Bidemi’s types to become all they can be in life through vocational training and educational support. Her words: ‘’There are many of Bidemi’s kind and status out there. They are in every corner, every nook and cranny. We are poised to give school pupils the much-needed lift. We want them in schools not on the streets. We want them to study, not to labour away without anything to show for it. We want them to become the best God created them to be and be useful not only to themselves, families but also to the society at large.’’ Principal of Queen’s College, Mrs Ademide Ladipo, expressed gratitude for the gesture. She said such help will go a long way in changing the country. ‘’I am very pleased that they will fund her education up till university level. Students pay virtually nothing here but she has a special case of coping with studies. She needs visual aids and this adoption is a big relief to her parents and the school. It is good to know that we have less than one pupil to worry about,’’ she stated. Bidemi’s teacher and head of Special education section of the school, Mrs. Abigail Olowosoke said the provision of visual aids for Bidemi is a big relief. ‘’I know what it means to go through school without aids and special gadget as a blind student. Bidemi is so intelligent and we are glad she won’t drop out of school for lack of equipment,’’ the Masters holder in Education Planning and Administration from the University of Lagos said. Her father said they have been through hell to bring Bidemi this far. The petty trader said they have faced extortions from religious and traditional practitioners with phantom cure. He said they have resisted pressures to allow Bidemi take to the streets because of her brilliance. ‘’We cannot do that at all. She is our daughter and she would never beg for food,’’ he asserted. Now that help has come Bidemi’s way, she said there is no stopping her. ‘’I am unstoppable. I am ready to go the whole way and conquer the world,’’ pretty Bidemi said.




OR many of us speaking out and loud through our mouth is the best way to express ourselves, but for the pupils of Christ Light Special School for the Deaf, Idimu, Lagos the ten fingers and body movement is the best form of expression which was well exhibited at the school, send of the year valedictory service held last week Friday. They may not be able to speak or hear you but the hospitality, friendliness and comeliness of the children of this 11 year old school exhibited at the valedictory service portray them as ones with golden hearts waiting to be embraced. To set the ball rolling, the children set the visitors emotion running right from the way they render the chorus ‘To God Be the Glory’ without voice but demonstration, the match past was breathtaking and various other performances kept the guests musing that these children can hold their own against normal pupils from other normal schools. The father of the day was so moved that when he spoke he consistently talked about be moved and promised to be part of the subsequent programmes

Blind student offered scholarship •Says I’m ready to take on the world Help came the way of a blind brilliant student of Queen College Yaba Lagos after years of painful studies, writes Sunday Oguntola

•R-L: Bidemi admiring her new typewriter to the delight of her principal, Mrs. Ladipo, Mrs. Kayode and her parents during the presentation

students find difficult to penetrate. The JSS I blind student of Queen’s College Yaba Lagos has since been in the school with tougher challenges. These made her parents sought for financial assistance to see her through school in a national daily. Last Friday, help came the way of Bidemi. Joyful Smile foundation, a faith-based Non-governmental organisation, adopted the brilliant blind student for educational assistance. The

adoption covers ‘’whatever it takes to make sure she emerges a top class graduate,’’ Executive Director of the group, Mrs. Funke Kayode, explained. Bidemi’s education, she added, ‘’henceforth becomes the responsibility of Joyful Smile Foundation.’’ The group also donated a portable typewriter to the determined blind student in aid of her education. The gesture, Kayode said, is in recognition of the fact that brilliant but students like

Bidemi should not be denied education. She said: ‘’Money must not stop indigent pupils from attending schools and coming out with top grades. ‘’That is what we are doing today for Bidemi. To let her know that blindness is never a hindrance or disadvantage to achieving one’s ambition in life. To show her that the world is a caring place full of concerned people.’’ She added that the Foundation will fish out and help

When silence edifies the soul By: Tosin Makinde

of the school. The ingenuity and brilliance of the pupils is not only in their physical ability but also in their academic and mental ability. Three of the pupils graduated from the school and will be proceeding to the secondary school after successfully passing the common entrance in flying colours. According to the Propietress of the school Mrs. Samuel Apeh, she felt fulfilled witnessing the day and with the progress the pupils are making she said “It shows that we have not missed our way, we are on the right track, the performance has been highly encouraging and I believe we shall give testimony” Looking radiant and happy, the graduates were advised and encourage by their ‘mother’ not to disappoint her and to do her proud. They will be going to a mixed school where there is a provision for

special students. The parents were also not left as they were appreciated for not losing hope in some of the children but concerns were given about the way they show their care to the children. Speaking at the occasion, Chairperson, Pastor Mrs. Nwosu said that the children are not poor it is the society that makes them look poor. She urged the parents to bring them up in the way of the Lord, the way to read and write. She implored them not to look down on their children because they are people with a future. “Let people know about this place, let them bring their children here to receive education and enlightenment. This place needs to be opened up for people to know,” she stressed. “God did not create anybody to be poor or imbecile, God cares for them, he loves them, they are somebody, let people have the message, carry the message around” Pastor Nwosu advised the guests. For the Executive Director of Best Spring International Mrs.

Aramide Oikelome, there is no child that is an accident, and there is no child without a purpose regardless of any circumstances surrounding the birth of the child. “God has an assignment for every child, you don’t know the kind of destiny they carried, don’t discriminate against them, they carry a powerful destiny!” Mrs. Oikelome stressed emotionally. In an interview after the programme, the Proprietor and Propietress of the school, Mr & Mrs. Apeh Samuel, the success of the day can be attributed to the fact that the children are subject to practices everyday after class and it is also what they do regularly in the school to get them ready anytime. On the challenges they are facing with the parents of the children, they said that they are not getting the kind of support they want as many of them are not supporting the way they should rather they prefer to sap them and put all the responsibility of their wards on them. “To be candid, the support

from the parents has not been encouraging if not for the vision and love for the children and their welfare, the vision would have gone,” they said. The school they revealed for the past eleven years has been self sponsored and also from the money they got from individual sponsors, and programmes they attended are what they used in running the school. At present the pupils number about 30 children. “We need to get more awareness about our work here, our sponsors are trying their best but we need more, in the next coming year we want to transform into a boarding school and accommodate all our students within the same setting, we know what we can do, this place is limiting us.” they emphasised. If you are a parent and about to lose hope on your kids, try and pay a visit to Christ Light Special School for the deaf and you will definitely get a rethink as you come face to face boldly with this welcoming inscription “Deafness does not mean hearing nothing at all, it does not mean dumb, it does not mean inhuman, it means seeing the Gold in silence and sounds.




‘There is nothing like budget padding’


HAT you will miss about the Senate of which you were a member for four years? It has to do with the impact one could have made on the citizens of this country, particularly working with others to arrange to find a way of curing the ills of the society. At the same time, more importantly, the crucial aspect of rallying round to eradicate the ills of the society is one of the things I’m going to miss. Apart from that, one had colleagues in the Senate, the experiences you gain are enormous because you meet with people and you belong to some kind of profession. The picture you painted of senators as a group of people with a mandate to eradicate the ills of the society is different from the widely held view of senators as a group of self seeking individuals. I think the National Assembly particularly the Senate is doing its job. People are entitled to their own opinions. At the same time, I think that the activities of the Senate are given to them in trust. If you should x-ray all senators as to how they lived up to expectation in serving their constituents, materially speaking, some of them may have left the Senate far worse than they came. Now that you are out of the Senate, what is life outside like? Being in politics really is a game. But it should not be politics forever without having something to fall back on. Whether you are able to get back or not does not diminish your stature, your posture and your determination to move on. And as you can see, I am moving on as I talk to you here in my office. What are the things you would have loved to do differently if you had had another chance of going back to the Senate? I would have loved to chair a Senate committee. It doesn’t really matter to me which committee. What matters is your ability to research. In some countries people are made ministers of health without necessarily being medical practitioners or pharmacists. But they still manage the portfolio as if they have all the knowledge. In chairing a committee, I would have brought my personal diligence to bear on the committee. You were in the Senate for four years. With the benefit of hindsight, don’t you think that there are areas that require adjustments like in the budgeting process, oversight functions, and the way committees are constituted and the way screening exercises are handled. Consideration of the annual budget of the country is a very important function of the National Assembly that should be done timely to turn the appropriation bill into an Act. I will like to see a situation where the executive will turn in the budget as early as August so that the National Assembly can have all the time in the world to do justice to the budget. If it is brought in December every ministry will have to defend its proposal and there is no way that budget can be passed before the end of the year. So, timely presentation of the budget is very important. What about budget padding which has been a source of friction. For instance, the Executive arm would submit a certain amount as the annual budget proposal only for the Legislature to come up with a bloated figure. Whether you add or you subtract, it is all in the interest of the people because we believe that certain areas of the budget should be adjusted. On the revenue side, oil is the largest revenue earner for the country. We predicate our revenue on a benchmark and we do our home work before we arrive at a benchmark that will be justifiable. There was never a time throughout my life in the Senate that the National Assembly was wrong. Using a benchmark that is lower than expectation, you create a situation for deficit budget. That means that you have to borrow to finance the deficit in the budget. The Senate has always set a justifiable budget based on the revenue profiles when they are provided. In the course of questioning, the real issues are brought out to assist

Felix Kola Bajomo was the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions in the last Senate. He is highly respected for his outstanding and wide knowledge of the finance sector. But Bajomo from Ogun West senatorial district did not get a return ticket in the run up to the 2011 nominations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this interview with Assistant Editors, Onyedi Ojiabor and Gbade Ogunwale, he spoke on issues bordering on the Senate, state of the nation and the way forward


the Senate to arrive at a justifiable budget for the country. It is generally believed that the padding is for selfish purposes I challenge anybody in the Executive, in any ministry or any institution to prove that any addition to the budget is meant for the benefit of any Senator. The allegation is alien to me. That is why the Budget Office claimed that the National Assembly increased the 2011 budget for political reasons. How do you form a government without politics? What political reasons did he state? Assuming there is a road from my constituency that leads to Sokoto that had been abandoned and left to deteriorate for several years. Assuming it’s an economic road and no meaningful allocation has been made over the years. As a senator, nothing stops me from fighting for an allocation for it. If that is the kind of political reason they are talking about so be it. There must be cooperation and coordination between the executive and the legislature. It is not a one man show. It cannot be a one section show. What we need to do is to improve on the level of cooperation and coordination between the executive and the National Assembly. But if the Executive said it can only spend N10 on a particular road why should the National Assembly say it should be N20. That may be the cause of the friction. We will not increase the budget unless we are sure that we can find a way to provide revenue for it. Also we ensure that the revenue profiles have been streamlined. The executive has insisted that budget padding over the years has made the annual budget un-implementable That is not true if we get the revenue

profiles right. What is your assessment of the level of implementation of the budget? Not efficient enough. We don’t have to wait till December to submit the budget for consideration. What are we talking about is estimate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exact. But we try as much as possible to work within the benchmark. You were in the Senate for four years, can you honestly say that the sixth Senate lived up to expectations? I can stick my neck out and say loudly that the sixth Senate lived up to expectations. The sixth Senate made it possible for the then Vice President to carry out the duties of the President through the Doctrine of Necessity. That alone stabilised the nation. Some observers saw the Senate as an institution with the headmaster at the high table and his pupils concurring to whatever the headmaster said. If you watch the scene at the Senate I can tell you that at every debate there are those for and those against. You can say whatever you like and nobody can take you to court for expressing your opinion on any issue on the floor of the Senate. There was never a situation where anybody could gag anybody. On a particular issue a Senator had asked for a division when he felt he did not agree with the conclusion of the Senate President. And it was carried out. The Senate President has been very democratic. He has always allowed people to express their views whenever his eyes catch any person. How come one did not find the kind of crises that rocked the House of Representatives in the Senate? Maturity and ability to discern what is possible

Each time after the Senate session, senators accompany the Senate President to his office. Is there another meeting there? We go there to exchange views on issues. We even revisit issues that might have been discussed in the chamber. We even talk about what ought to have been done and was not done or was done well but could be improved upon. There is no limit to what we talk about. It is a forum where we exchange views among ourselves. How did you see the conduct of the 2011 general elections? I will give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a pass mark. Also the National Assembly that had to go through the Electoral Laws painstakingly should also get a pat on the back. It was not easy to go through the Electoral Laws the way the National Assembly did. We created the enabling environment for INEC to operate. But it was also a very costly exercise because most of the things used for the election were done outside this country. Next time it should be done to create employment opportunities for our teaming youths. They should start from now to prepare for the 2015 elections. The issue of ranking became a big issue shortly before the re-election of Senator David Mark as President of the Senate. Do you consider ranking necessary? It has always been there except that it may never have been an issue. It has never been compromised. What was put in the rule book was just re-confirming the tradition of the Senate. In every institution there are regulations that must be followed. Even in heaven there is ranking if not why do you have angels and archangels? You didn’t contest the last election was it out of principle? I chose not to contest because of the zoning formula. The only way I could have contested was to ignore the zoning formula and go all out because constitutionally I should not be prevented from contesting. But the zoning formula was such that it affected me negatively. But I should have really loved to re-contest because I have not finished my assignment in the Senate. I have done the first phase for instance in changing my constituency from Egbado to Yewa pending the amendment to the Constitution. The good news is that whatever is not completed will be carried forward. So I will rely on the goodwill of my colleagues to effect the amendment this time around. What do you think about the rate of turnover of lawmakers at the National Assembly? Nigerians have to learn. Everybody wants to have a shot at it. Everybody wants their group to be the one that is going to represent them at the Senate. Any word of advice for the leadership of your party (PDP) in your native Ogun State? I have advice for the National Working Committee and for the National Executive Committee of the party. If any other state is abandoned, this is the time to treat that state as one that requires special care. Some of the individuals that are in charge today for us to have been able to perform to the level we did is good but there is serious crisis in my state. The National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee should do something.



Concerns over rising air fares With the price of aviation fuel soaring high, the corresponding increase in air fares, which is a direct fall out of the huge cost of aviation fuel, other increasing airport and air navigation charges continue to put more pressures on airline operators, writes Kelvin Osa-Okunbor


HESE are not the best of times for domestic airline operators in the country as they continue to grapple with the survival of their operations, in an environment where operating costs and charges are outrageous, when compared with other parts of the world. Currently, airline operators are groaning under the yoke of ever increasing cost of aviation fuel, which has rose from about N78 in December 2010 to about N210 per litre, as at June 2011.

Stable air fare Expectedly, this ugly trend, has since attracted the attention of the Federal Government as the new Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah-Ogiewmonyi convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the way forward on the issue recently. The concern of the minister came on the heels of the increasing cost of air fares, which now stands at about N27, 000.00 as opposed to about N12, 000 early in the year with taxes inclusive. The Aviation boss, who spoke with stakeholders after a tour of facilities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, explained that no responsible government will fold its hands and watch things go awry in the aviation sub-sector. Discomfitted, she said that in a country where the minimum wage is pegged at N18,000.00 , it will be out of place for air fares to increase to N25,000.00, or more. This increase represents over 100 per cent from what it was as at January. She explained that if air travel must be the preferred mode of transportation, all stakeholders must strategise on the way forward to make it convenient for Nigerians to achieve affordable air travel. The closed door meeting, which had

Rising cost of Aviation fuel




N40 per litre


N69 per litre


N67 per litre


N83 per litre


N89 per litre


N110 per litre


N115 per litre


N119 per litre


N210 per litre

•Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos (inset) Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah-Ogiewmonyi

in attendance officials of Arik Air, DANA Air, IRS Airlines, Overland Airways, other domestic operators, as heads of aviation agencies including the Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN), other officials of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA) as well as the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), resolved to mitigate the rising cost of aviation fuel and its effects on the aviation sector. The minister said : “This memorable concourse was arranged to collectively resolve the issue of scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel, which have resulted in unacceptable increase in domestic air fares. The average domestic fares for economy class in January 2011 for one hour flight hovered around N12,000.00 all taxes included . This has jumped to an average of N25,000.00 by July 2011, which is over one 100 per cent increase with the likelihood of further increments and attendant effects on flight delays, cancellations, down turn in passenger traffic and overall effects on

the survival of the Nigerian aviation industry.

Ministers’ Perspective Raising some posers, she queried: “Is aviation fuel produced in outer space? Is there any developing country producing aviation fuel? Middle East countries are exceeding their national demand for locally produced aviation fuel. Do we have the raw materials to locally produce aviation fuel? If the answers to these questions are yes, should we all not agree that this is the way to go?” Corroborating the minister, the director general of NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren observed that aviation fuel accounts for between 25 per cent to 40 per cent of airline operating cost, which continues to increase astronomically. He added that between 2003 to June 2011, the price of aviation fuel oscillated between N40 to N210, even as he observed that the price differs from city to city with Lagos offering the lowest price for the product as opposed to other cities such as Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, among others. The NCAA boss said the price of

aviation fuel increased in Lagos in 2003 from N40 to N69, in 2004, while it slightly dropped in 2005 to N67. Whereas it rose in 2006 to N83, firming up to N89 in 2007, while it oscillated between N119 and N110 in 2008 and 2010 respectively. The price of the comodity subsequently moved from N110 in March 2011 to the current price of N210 in June 2011. Demuren further explained that over time a meeting of the joint hydrant users consisting independent fuel marketers has been convened to deliberate on reducing the costs of aviation fuel. The independent fuel marketers enumerated the reasons for the increase in the price of aviation fuel to include : landing cost of the product, handling cost including high demurrage charges by the Nigeria Ports Authority as well as increasing operational costs not limited to filtration cost into the aircraft. Demuren said: “We resolved that the ways the cost of aviation fuel could come down for airlines is if there is reduction of FAAN’s increasing charges and rates, reactivation of supply pipeline from •Continued on page 58



•Continued from page 57

Mosimi, as well as provision of alternative access route between the domestic airport to the international terminal. There is also the need to renegotiate the bidding process to accommodate fluctuation in exchange rates.”

FG’s Intervention

Worried by the high cost of aviation fuel otherwise known as Jet A1, the Federal Government recently summoned aviation fuel marketers to a meeting with a view to finding solution to the incessant price of the commodity in Nigeria. The price of the commodity has been adjudged to be most expensive in the world. Following the high cost of the commodity in the country, both local and international airlines have now chosen to refuel in neighbouring countries like Ghana, Togo at the expense of Nigeria’s economy. Speaking further Demurin said: It is interesting to note that jet fuel gulps about 40 per cent of an airline’s revenue in a normal market where carriers can adjust ticket prices to balance their income. In Nigeria, where ticket price is controlled by the government as opposed to market forces, it is highly unlikely that the few surviving airlines can cope with the trend of fuel prices. I predict that by the end of the first half of this year, the price of Jet A1 will reach or surpass N450 per litre in the same location. Therefore, air fare from Abuja to Lagos must be priced beyond N40,000 before any airline can comfortably operate to recover marginal profit. While air passengers may initially resist the increase, there is no other safer and faster option of travelling within this country.”

Rising debt burden The latest statistics from the General Aviation Bureau, due to the fuel price


Rising air fares ruffle feathers surge, the cost of fuel has amounted to 31 per cent of the cost of the major businesses of airline companies in the first half of this year; up from 22 per cent. The whole airline industry has afforded additional cost expenditure of $1.27 billion. The airlines are in perilous financial conditions. Two major airlines, representing more than 20 per cent of the industry, are in bankruptcy. Passenger carriers reported over $10 billion in 2002 net losses. Industry debt now exceeds $100 billion, while the industry’s $15 billion total market capitalisation continues to decline. Our ability to borrow to support continuing losses is evaporating. The few airlines that have been able to record profit are doing so under tremendous adversity. And with the prospect of war on the horizon, the overall picture is bleak.

Bureaucracy factor Also speaking on the issue, an expert who did not want his name in print said: “Aviation in Nigeria is generally very enthusiastic but I think the government is not giving the necessary support needed in terms of importation of aircraft. You see, when an airline wants to start operation the owner has to go and source for know how our banks behave. The airlines are suffering from a lot of things; even the cost of processing licence is high. It is not the certificate itself that does aviation; we got our certification, documentation and paper work from the civil aviation in Ghana with less than $10, 000. But in Nigeria if you want to register an airline today, guess how will pay millions just to register and get the certificate. Just

to register and get the certificate they say you must capitalise to millions of naira. Infrasructure is a serious problem at the airports. “Government should involve the private sector in the provision of facilities at the airports. Airlines are threatened by exorbitant charges. Terminal navigational charges have been introduced and airlines are made to pay up front. I don’t know American domestic airlines that pay taxes to the government that are still required to pay terminal charges. Even if they do, I think Nigeria, as a developing economy, should waive such. That is why I insist that we need to look at those who advise the government to see whether they are telling government the truth or they are using their imagination. I don’t see why the government should collect navigational and terminal charges besides the five per cent passenger service charge that the domestic airlines pay. Government should look at the issue of terminal charges because the future of Nigerian aviation is great.”

Air fares in Africa While commenting on the challenges African airlines grapple with, the Regional Vice President Africa of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Mr. Mike Higgins berated the continent over the high navigational charges and the proliferation of aviation development fees.Africa had the highest airport charges and Air Traffic Control (ATC) charges compared to other regions. There is also the proliferation of airport development fees. According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the fees are

high. “We call on African authorities to look into these and refrain where necessary to ensure growth in the industry in the continent.”

Way forward

In the opinion of analysts, there are, therefore, two ways for the government to lower the cost of acquiring this scare commodity: government can equally subsidise imported Jet A1 like, it does for petrol. The second option is to initiate the production of Jet A1. In my opinion, it is easier to do the first and graduate into the second, which holds a more lasting solution. If neither of the above is acceptable to the authorities, the easiest way to alleviate the financial burden of the airlines is to completely deregulate the market for each carrier to charge any fare of their choice. The amount of fuel burnt by an aircraft as it flies from one airport to another is dependent on several factors; the age, model and version of the aircraft all play an important role. Every new version of aircraft produced by manufacturers is more fuel-efficient than its predecessor due to improvements in aircraft systems technology and engine performance. In the United States, all of the major airlines, excluding US Airways, have a sophisticated fuel hedging programme that no human being can really understand. To keep it simple, “hedging” is like insurance against sudden price increases. Most of the airlines pay upfront or commit cash to purchase fuel into the future at a more or less defined price. Keeping in mind these hedging programmes are always changing. Most airlines currently have 30-50 per cent of their next six months’ fuel hedged at an agreed rate per barrel of crude.


L-R: Managing Director, The Quadrant Company, Mr. Bolaji Okusaga and District Governor, L-R: President Governing Council of Institute of Professional Agriculturists of Nigeria, Mr. Caleb Akinola and Deputy Director, Planning and Collaboration, Federal Department of Agric, Abuja Rotarian Kennedy Ejakpomewhe at the Rotary District PR Seminar held in Lagos recently Mr. John Ekundayo at the 2011 induction ceremony of the Institure held in Lagos recently. PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA

•L-R: Relationship Manager, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr. Chucks Onuoha and Associate, Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria, Mrs. Adejoke Uwakwe, at the two-day Natioanal Workshop on the theme: “Making Defined Contribution Plan more Effective: Understanding Your Needs and Concerns” organised by the Institute in Lagos recently PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA

L-R: Managing Director, Hitachi Solutions Europe, Mr Sugi Yama, Director of Studies,Temple School, Ilupeju, Mrs Adeola Afrofin, Chief Operating Officer, Green Circle Network Africa, Olubunmi Wale Olukoya, General Manager, Hitachi Solutions Europe, Malcom Wenbrom endorsing the school with E.learning Centre of Excellence award in their United Kingdom office recently. PHOTO: GABRIEL KUTELU



AN you shed more light on the Investment drive of the government in respect of the proposed petrochemical plant in a part of the state? We have received some investors from Saudi Arabia and India. The Saudis came in mainly for the petrochemical plant which is to be located at Koko, and also the Indians for the petrochemical plant also for Koko. Let me first of all start by saying that these projects are projects initiated by the Federal Government and President Jonathan’s administration through the Nigerian Natioanl Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources in conjuction with foreign firms. We are lucky and fortunate that these projects are to be sited in Delta State that is why we are actively involved to ensure their successes for obvious reasons. These projects started several years ago when the NNPC initiated the Nigerian Master Gas Plan. Then I was just coming in as the governor for the first tenure and I took a lot of interest on what they were doing knowing that Delta State is a state with a lot of gas reserves apart from the oil. I took an interest in what they were doing and I got in contact with the officials in NNPC and I was invited to be part of the team that went round the world on a road show for the Nigerian Gas Master plan. And at those meetings in UK, Singapore and other parts of the world, I had to talk on the security issues in the Niger Delta because then security was a major problem. I did this because I was hoping that the Federal Government would use Delta State for whatever projects they would want to develop under the Nigerian Master Gas Plan. I got in touch with a lot of people and fortunately as the master plan was being unveiled by the President himself we were happy to know that Delta State is a major beneficiary of the master plan. The master gas plan has three project facilities one in Akwa Ibom, the second in Rivers State and the third one is in Delta State. The contract for the feasibilty study for the plants in Delta State has been awarded. But beyond that, we found out that as part of this master plan, companies have already started taking interest in siting petrochemical plants in Nigeria, and Delta State was chosen as a favoured location of the petrochemical plant by the Saudis. And when the Indians came too they chose Delta State for the fertilizer plant. One of the things that again helped us on the choice of Koko location is the Export Free Zone that we have pursued very rigorously under the Yar’ Adua’s administration. He graciously approved one for us; the Koko free zone. And that obviously helped in the choice of Koko for this plant because we know investors, from the world over, are very interested in the issue of tax. We did a lot of work in ensuring that Koko attained the EPZ status. The Nigerian Master Gas Plan is an arrangement that ensures that the natural gas that comes from the ground – let me explain that every industry in the oil and gas industry is prospecting for oil. There is no



‘Delta State now preferred destination for investors’ Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, recently addressed the media in Warri, on sundry issues, including the viability of a petrochemical and fertilizer plant to be sited in Kokomo, Warri North, as well as other projects. Shola O’Neil was there. company that is prospecting for gas and this oil what comes out as a by-product, is gas. So, that is what they call flared gas. Now what happens is that most of it is flared as waste product. What the Federal Government wants to achieve with the master gas plant is to ensure that all the gas that is flared is collected to a port and pulled towards the central processing plant and that plant dries the gas. That is, takes the waste part away and leave the dry gas for the domestic use. What is the probably cost of these plants? Now the petrochemical plant and fertilizer plant are huge projects that amount to over 10 billion dollars. In fact, the two of them will cost about 16 billion dollars and it will be one of the heaviest investments in this country in recent years. And having a 16 billion dollars investment in a state might not be seen as much on the surface, but if you figure out the employment opportunities for this investment you will appreciate it better. This in itself will be two fold. First, the construction alone will employ a lot of our people. There is also indirect benefit for those who will offer services to the people that are constructing. The woman for example, who sells mineral or rice by the construction site for the construction workers will benefit from it, the public transport owner who will transport the workers from Warri to Koko will also benefit from it. So, the benefits are quite huge. And of course, when the plants are finished they will employ many thousands of persons and many of them will be people from Delta State. So, we have a lot of benefits from it and there are other associated industries that will spring up from these plants. Industries that will utilize the by-products of these plants, and industries that will make parts for these plants will also benefit. So, with the cooperation of every Deltan and everyone around, the future is very bright. With the completion of the Asaba Airport, how would this impact on these investments? With the Airport in Delta State, we are beginning to see a Delta State that is the hub of every investor coming to Nigeria. Now the airport is an infrastructure that will support investment. With the gas plants and other investments they are our effort at diversifying our economy. There are three things every investor looks for in trying to locate his investment. One is power (electricity) because now most investors are spending about 45 per cent of their working capital on power. With adequate power supply that can be reduced and the profits increased.

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construction of the base to the time the turbines will come so that they don’t come and remain at the port like the one that stayed in the port for two years. We are tying the construction of the turbine with the construction of the base. By August we will start testing. We test at the point of manufacture and not on the ground. After testing, I think it takes about four to six weeks to test before they start plugging them. So hopefully by then we would have finished the base. There is problem of under utilisation of ports in the state because of the issue of Escravos Bar Dredging. How can this be addressed? Fortunately, going to Koko does not require coming to the Escravos side. You know that there are two entry points into Delta by sea. You have the Escravos side and you have the Benin River. The Benin River is also a part of the route but dredging it is not very difficult to handle. The Escravos one is a little bit complex because there are pipelines that criss-cross it. But the one in Koko is much easier compared to Benin River. It is still shallow, I heard that it is about 7 to 8 metre depth and it is much easier. We are also working with the NPA.


“With the Airport in Delta State, we are beginning to see a Delta State that is the hub of every investor coming to Nigeria. Now the airport is an infrastructure that will support investment. With the gas plants and other investments they are our effort at diversifying our economy” The other thing that is very important to an investor is the issue of transportation. And when we talk about transportation, we are talking about sea ports, air ports, roads and railways. These are things that easily move goods for investors either in or out. Each investment require transportation, sometimes cargo to planes to fly their goods and the Asaba Airport will be the quickest airport to the location of these plants. So, it is just for them to fly their goods to the Asaba Airport. Even though some of the equipments would be coming by sea, we know that some that they have to use quickly would have to be flown in and the Asaba Airport is

closest. Also with the dualization that we are doing in Koko, within one or one and half hour, their goods are already in Koko. So, it is easier for them not only to transport human beings but also the goods too. Delta State’s Independent Power Project has been dogged by controversy. What is the situation now? We have already gone to inspect the turbines which testing will begin by August. By the time they finish testing they are going to return back and I believe they have start working at the base where you put the turbine. Like I keep explaining, the importance is not the base; the important is to have proper return. And you must tie the

How much will dredging Benin River Channel cost the state and what is government’s commitment to the projects? The dredging is a Federal Government project. So, I do not know how much it is going to cost them. Two, it is going to be very difficult to say that this is how much the state government is going to spend on the project. What we do is get some infrastructure ready. Now, the task itself is in preparing the EPZ and we are begging investors to come in and develop it. Fortunately, we have some companies that are interested in developing the site. And what does this site means? It means building industries, building houses for the workers, constructing the roads, putting the entire plant itself, the water system, sewage system, all these are integrated infrastructures that are required by the company. Now what investors do is that, if a company for instance, constructs a house for the workers, they charge the parent company for utilizing those houses. So, those are the top investments that are available. If an investor comes and put a power plant within that area, it supplies power to every company that is there and they pay. Like I told you, it might not require the government directly investing in infrastructure in this place. And we are already directly in contact with those who are interested in doing those things.



JULY 31, 2011

PRESCO: Making progress in agro-allied sector Usually, agro-based businesses are normally a source of concern for those engaged in them, but on the contrary, PRESCO PLC, has turned out to be an exception, as the firm continues to post appreciable results and continues to grow on all fronts, reports, SIMEON EBULU, Deputy Business Editor


RESCO, in a sense, is a specialized integrated agro-allied company. It owns oil palm plantations in Edo and Delta States, a palm oil mill and a palm kernel crushing plant. In addition, it also boasts of a vegetable oil refining and fractionation plants. At present, it is the only fully integrated company of its kind in the country.



Customer Focus

Presco has a dedicated crop of customers in the beverage and household producers’ group, assuring all-year uninterrupted supplies due to the integration of its entire production cycle. The company’s products are sold directly on a selective credit and cash basis to customers comprising wholesalers, consumers and industrial users who are located within the country.

Facility Improvements

Sensing the need for expansion to meet customer demands, the company in 2009, accessed a facility of about N2 billion from the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) to finance the expansion of its processing capacity, as well as upgraded the firm’s mill by doubling its capacity. Part of the credit facility was expended to expand, by over a 100 per cent, the capacity of the refining. To reduce the cost of energy, the management also ploughed part of the loan to install 1.2 MW turbines, to secure some savings, especially on the running cost of AGO ( Automotive Gas Oil)


In an update to the shareholders, the Chairman, Mr. Pierre Vandebeeck, said the company is continuing to expand its planted area. In his words: “ We are making good progress at developing Ologbo, where we planted 750 hectares in 2010 and are planning to add another 1,000 hectares in 2011,” adding that the company’s long term objective is to achieve 20,000 hectares of palm plantation supported by correspondent facilities to process 250,000 metric tonnes of fruit per annum. He said the company has plans to fan into having a rubber plantation, a project for which 15,000 hectares of land has been secured. As Vandebeeck, put it, “ we hope to achieve this ambitious programme over the next 10 years.”

Operating Results

The chairman rated the company’s performance as good, going by the firm’s performance in the review period. He said the year, 2010, was remarkably good as the condition was very favourable. In his words: “ FFB production for the period was up to 87,856 tonnes from 65,295 tonnes the previous year; CPO production was 17,420 tonnes. Refined product sales were at 17,623 tonnes.”

Vandebeeck, disclosed that turnover for the review period was N5.386 billion, compared with the N4.005 billion recorded in 2009. Turnover was 34.41 per cent higher than the previous year. This resulted in a profit after tax of N1.095 billion, in 2010, as against a profit after tax of N239. 4 million the previous year.

Dividend The Board of Directors, Vandepeeck, stated, has proposed a dividend of 50 kobo per share, amounting to N500 million, saying it was done in fulfillment of “ our pledge to our shareholders and in view of the good result of the year 2010.” Corporate Governance The chairman said, in line with national and international requirements for greater disclosure and transparency of corporate governance, the 2010 Annual Report contains an additional section, the Corporate Governance Report, saying it is expected that this will bring greater transparency to “our management style and greater confidence to our shareholders.”


•L-R: Business Development Manager, Montizen Limited, Mr. Chimezie Obialor, General Manager, Technical, Mr. Silas Okuh and Programme Director, Development Communications Network, Mr. Akin Jimoh during a media discourse on “Essentials of Soy Protein” in Lagos on Thursday

The company is engaged principally in the development of oil palm plantations, palm oil milling, palm kernel

processing and vegetable oil refining. The products of the company are: refined bleached and deodorized palm oil, palm olein, palm stearin, palm fatty acid distillate, palm kernel oil (crude and refined) and palm kernel cake.

Employee Involvement and Training

The company maintains communication and consultation on a regular basis with employee representatives to brief employees on matters affecting them. On-the-job training facilities are provided for all categories of employees with a view to improving their performance, job satisfaction and prospects. External training programmes are also undertaken.

Employees’ Gratuity



The chairman said the company operates a contributory pension scheme covering all eligible employees in accordance with the Pension Reform Act 2004. Deductions of 7.5 per cent are made from employees’ emoluments and in addition, the company makes a contribution of 7.5 per cent of the employees’ emoluments. The company’s contribution is charged to the profit and loss account. Liabilities for gratuity are provided for junior, senior and management staff by setting up a provision within the company. The provision represents the estimated value of the liability for the gratuity which is calculated annually by the company as a percentage of the current pensionable payroll and is charged to the profit and loss account so as to spread the cost over the estimated service lives of the employees.



ORRIED over the problem of multiple taxation as it affects small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), has embarked on a series of awareness campaign aimed at calling attention to the many challenges facing entrepreneurs. The Project Director of EDC, Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, made this known at the maiden edition of the Lagos Quarterly Lecture Series recently.

Centre to campaign against multiple taxation By Tosin Makinde

Tagged: ‘The Impact of Multiple Taxation on Enterprise Development in Nigeria: Need for a Rethink’, Aderinwale, who is also the Executive Director of African Leadership Forum

(ALF), the organisation managing EDC for the Central Bank of Nigeria, said: “We are trying to bring to public notice, issues and challenges confronting SMEs and in the process we hope to generate some form

of recommendation that will become policy alternative. At the end of each quarterly lecture series there will be a report which will be recommendations that will be sent to all governors in South-West Nigeria, all

Nigeria’s Grand Towers signs partnership deal in S’Africa


ELSON Mandela Bay based tourism group, Mantis Collection, has announced an expansion into West Africa with a landmark multimillion dollar deal signed in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to roll out a chain of Boutique hotels in Nigeria. Mantis founder Adrian Gardiner signed the deal with Nigerian entrepreneur, Nze Chidi Duru, the chairman of Abuja-based Grand Towers. The Nigerian company has interests in pension, banking, retail, communications, IT and hospitality sectors. Under the new deal, Mantis is contracted to advise its partners, Grand Towers through this process and will also be managing and marketing the hotels as well doing some joint development work. Senior Mantis employee Laurie Ward, is due to arrive Nigerian soon to take up his post as Chief Operating Officer of the project. There are possibilities for rolling the model even beyond Nigeria to elsewhere in West Africa like Gambia and Gabon. Nze Duru described the

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja

deal as an exciting venture, stressing that Grand Tower “could have looked anywhere in the world for a partner but we wanted Mantis.” The Hotel is set to be opened in December 2011. The Boutique hotels would be 5 star affairs, but with emphasis on intimacy, environmental conservation and ethics as pioneered by Mantis in South Africa which has helped shaped tourism enterprises around the world from Rwanda to England, France, Sweden and Antarctica. When completed, all the hotels would be powered by green energy, water and waste management practices and eco-friendly products. Gradiner was noted to have been hugely impressed by Duru’s presentation when he and his partner, Mr. Frank Nweke Jr, who is also the Director of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group tracked him down in Port Alfred both of whom he said changed his perception of Nigeria totally.


commissioners, all senators, all house of assembly members, all ministers, government ministries and agencies, the vice president and the president.” Also speaking on the occasion, the Chairman, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chapter, Rev. Isaac Agoye, said in spite of the fact that Nigerians are generally considered one of the most enterprising people in the world, entrepreneurship has not thrived as expected due to some inherent structural bottlenecks such as infrastructural deficiency, multiple taxation. “Multiple taxation is a major constraint in doing business in Nigeria, as it constitutes 21.4 per cent and 18.4 per cent on companies total cost of production. It is the imposition of too many taxes which are often a duplication of taxes already levied by another tier of

government or by the same government but under different name”, Agoye said. Echoing similar views, the Regional Controller, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Ohagwa Innocent said: “multiple taxation is bound to occur largely because the law is not clear as to the different form of taxes explaining that taxation is on the exclusive list as well as on the concurrent list”, adding: “”Taxation is the issue of the law, if there is a problem it is because the law has not specify clearly the nature of taxation in the country.” For the managing partner of Saffron Professional Services, Mrs. Adebimpe Balogun who is also a tax consultant multiple taxation has reduces the rate of productivity as the more the taxes to be paid, the more time people spend in trying to evade tax and in effect, the less time they spend on more productive activity.

Etisalat trains channel partners


•Seated from left, Nze Chidi Duru and Adrian Gardiner. Standing from left, Mr. Frank Nweke Jr and Laurie Ward

Association seeks N50m for skills centre S part of efforts to raise the standard of living of officers and men of the customs service, the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA) has hinted of plans to generate the sum of N50 million as appeal fund to build a skill acquisition centre for the command. The National President of the association, Hajiya Sa’diya Abdulahi Dikko, dropped this hint at the official inauguration of Onne Port chapter of the association recently. According to Mrs. Dikko, the association has been able to build the capacity of over 150 women, stressing that: “This shows that COWA has been able to make positive impacts on their husbands and their immediate families thereby contributing indirectly to the economy.” COWA boss who was represented by the National Financial Secretary, COWA/ Chairperson Oyo/Osun Chapter, Hajiya Fatima Mundu, enjoined all wives of customs officers’ in the chapter



From Omolara Akintoye, Port Harcourt

TISALAT Nigeria, in line with its support initiative organised a capacity building workshop recently for its Alternative Channel Partners resident in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Kwara states. Among those who participated in the training were Trade Key Account (TKAs) and Virtual Airtime Distributors (VADs). The workshop, which was the first in the series, according to the company, was held to enlighten the partners on various profitable business opportunities they can leverage on from the array of Etisalat product offerings. Chief Commercial Officer of the company, Wael Ammar, said the workshop assessed the different initiatives Etisalat is introducing that could help the partners improve their partnership and collaboration with the telco. Ammar said: “The Trade Key Accounts and the Virtual Airtime Distributors

By Adline Atili

are important to the success of our business at Etisalat. “They are strategic routes to the market and they ensure availability of products to the final consumer by using a network of unconventional consumer touch points.” Also speaking at the workshop, Etisalat’s Distribution Manager, Lagos North, Femi Akinrelere, said: “Etisalat as a company is no longer satisfied with only providing our partners with products to sell. We also want to keep track of their success, teach them what to do better, while also creating an additional source of revenue and income for them. We want to ensure that we play a very big role in the success of their business.” At the workshop, the partners were trained on how to evaluate, develop, grow and run a business profitably.

Agency plans seminars for travellers


•Hajiya Fatima Mundu speaking while the Zonal Co-ordinator COWA Zone C, Port Harcourt, Mrs Obia Ofem, Zonal Co-ordinator Zone C, Port Harcourt, Assistant Comptroller General Ofem E. O and the Comptroller Onne Port Command, Comptroller Dan Ugo watches.

to work towards establishing schools for quality education; provide soft loans through micro finance and widow empowerment, among others. In her response, the

Chairperson COWA, Onne Port Command, Mrs. Ochanya Dan Ugo said: “Our aim is to empower our women to be able to stand up for themselves to help the

family and complement their husbands. We have a laudable vision, a laudable dream and we are working tirelessly to take it to higher ground.”

RANET Global, a Lagos-based travel agency is organising series of seminars in Lagos, Oyo and Kwara states for intending overseas travelers on how they can procure visa and other travelling documents with ease. Tagged “Road Show” seminars, the enlightenment workshop will hold between August 1-5, 2011 at designated locations in Lagos, Kwara and Oyo states and will dwell on issues in international migration and avenues to

By Tobi Popoola

access wealth. In a statement in Lagos, Managing Director of Cranet Global, Mr. Yemi Odetola hinted that topics slated for discussion at the seminars include: ‘Getting Your Visa With Ease’, ‘Getting Your Correct Documents’ And ‘Guidelines To Making Good Travel Plans’. Other Topics Are: ‘A Strategy To Financial Independence’, ‘Multiple Streams Of Income’ And ‘Retirement Planning.’


For the Record


Resurgent regionalism and democratic development in Western Nigeria: Challenges and prospects


IGERIANS emerged from recent elections more emboldened than before about the prospects of the democratic enterprise. Yet our country remains at a critical crossroads. Although election has come and gone, the first challenge that the President confronted was post-election violence in parts of the north believed to have been caused by perceived inequities much deeper than what happened during the election. Nowhere are the limits of the democratic project in Nigeria more apparent than in the question of creating appropriate institutional arrangements for the political accommodation and management of social diversities and difference. By its very nature, the working of democratic politics radically alters the existing social boundaries and divisions, often accentuating hitherto dormant identities and conflicts in a supposedly united entity. The consequences of the relationship between the two have not only posed a challenge to those who seek to understand these dynamics, it has also placed a question mark on the very viability of Nigeria’s democratic enterprise. It is in this sense that the debate on the post-election violent phenomenon known as Boko Haram is itself a debate about the status and quality of democracy in Nigeria; a debate about the future of the country as a united, federal entity. With bombs going off occasionally in the Federal capital and the North Eastern part of the country in particular and an increasing level of panic in other parts of the country, thinking of innovative ways of accommodating social diversity in a democratic frame is a challenge that is at once intellectual and political and it is perhaps the greatest challenge to democratic transition and security in our country today. There is a positive angle to this challenge, if only in the realisation that democratic transition in countries emerging from prolonged authoritarian past should elicit restrained, rather than exaggerated expectations after elections. Unfortunately, the euphoria that often accompanies elections relegates this position, treating elections as end in themselves and processes assumed to be irreversible. The superficiality of these claims begin to manifest itself sooner rather than later. When fragile ‘democracies’ receive reminders of their own precarious status, as has been the case in Nigeria in the last two months, the hope is that the realisation would encourage those of us in government and citizen-observers to think less teleologically about democratic transitions automatically producing democratic development and more pragmatically in search of institutional frameworks for deepening our democracy. Given the experience of postCold War democratic transitions in Africa in the last decade, this understanding should now be commonplace. Indeed, while democratic transitions may lead to democratic development, forged transitions have not necessarily led to consolidating democracies nor stemmed the tide of democratic reversals, especially in places where the ethos, language and character of public discourse have been completely militarised and there remains several unresolved questions of identity, nationality, ethnicity and management of social and religious diversities. Consequently, it is my view that we must at least see what is happening in Nigeria today as an outcome of the nature of the country’s democratic transition and an argument for treating

Excerpts from of the lecture delivered by Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile –Ife on Thursday, July 28, 2011


Nigeria’s quest for democracy as a work in progress that is not easily susceptible to instructions from above. Boko-Haram, Democracy and the current state of the Nigerian nation One dominant way of explaining recent controversy around Boko Haram has been to trace it to some kind of Moslem exceptionalism; an exceptionalism which allegedly makes moslem societies incapable of democratisation because of the predetermined nature of religion as a way of life – an implicit constitution providing a blueprint of a social order for all moslems. The view that poses Islam in some sort of oppositional ‘clash of civilisation’ remains an attractive one and has influenced attitudes and coverage of the popular media in Post 9/11 world and even here in Nigeria but it is one that is contested in every Moslem society. In the Nigerian case, it obfuscates rather than explains what is responsible for the present dangers that are threatening the polity. One, the ethnic-religious construction of the problem has made it impossible for people to come out and take a clear and enlightened stand on the post election violence and Boko Haram debate. If you were from the north of Nigeria, you are expected to call for dialogue with Boko Haram because you are not expected to openly attack its adherents. If you were from the southern part of the country, you opposed it and call for maximum weight of the law against it, whilst using it as a crutch to attack the Hausa-Fulani – often accused to be at the butt of all problems in Nigeria. In reality, the thousand odd lives that have been lost to violence since the advent of civilian rule in Nigeria have occurred as a result of a combination of factors - environmental/ decentralisation problems (Odi, Niger Delta), inter-ethnic/religious animosities (Kaduna, Aba) and land/ intra-ethnic disputes (Ife/Modakeke, Takum/Jukun, Urhobo/Itsekiri).

This is a pointer to the fact that there is nothing unique in the violence that has followed elections in the Northern part of the country co-mingling with Boko Haram, unfortunate and unwelcome as it is. It is also an indication of a problem much more fundamental about the nature of the Nigerian state, a problem that is crosssectional, cross religion and cross regional. The challenge is therefore to place post election violence and ethnic crisis within the context of the people’s efforts to clarify the link between citizenship and rights whilst handling difference in a supposedly liberal democracy. Beyond all the arguments about religion, the fundamental issue about Boko Haram and post election violence is that it now lies at the heart of identity politics in Nigeria and the centrality that identity politics has assumed has ensured that it is not being clothed in other intervening variables. Why is this so? My argument is that many of the internal contradictions of the Nigerian state have been sharpened to a point that the bare bones are now visible. The failure to resolve the national(ity) question in an inclusive manner is evident in the varied responses across country to conflicts over identity, nationality, self-determination and autonomy. These issues are, in turn, bound up with such questions as what manner of federation do Nigerians want? Unlike in the past when military governments always drove such ‘sensitive’ issues underground, Nigerians are now forcing these issues in the open and the hitherto authoritarian might of the federal centre is being put to test. This view, self-evident as it is does not strip bare the explanatory power of other causes - causes which reside in the political and economic realm of the Nigerian crisis today. For example, there can be no doubt that the Boko Haram issue and the post election violence in the North are clearly reactions to perceived or real loss of power by an elite stratum that is predominantly

“Northern” and also “Moslem” even if the leading figures in this agenda do not necessarily count religious piety among their greatest attributes. What is happening in my view is a contest over raw political power: who lost power, who won power, and who wants power back. The processes that threw up President Goodluck Jonathan as the candidate of this elite stratum were intimately bound up with the political crisis that has gripped the ‘northern’ political class. For a political ‘north’, which has always been in position of power and authority, the idea of getting used to ‘powerlessness’ poses a huge challenge. This is a crisis for power brokers and beneficiaries of power in the north. And one of the ways in which the Boko Haram is being interpreted is the service it offers such power deprived elite stratum to play cynical politics without alienating themselves from their communities. Linked to this of course is the contest between the conservative traditional authority and a more progressive successor generation in the North. There is clearly a breakdown in this traditional authority in the north where it used to be very strong in the country. Young, dynamic and street smart politicians are edging out the old (a common phenomenon all over the country) but they are yet to consolidate their grip on power and Islamic radicalism offers a strong incentive on that consolidation agenda. Hence, the perennial but oft-denied accusation that the erstwhile Governor of Borno State was the progenitor of Boko-Haram, as a means of protecting his party’s precarious hold on power in a State perceived to run the risk of losing power to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). For the leading lights of the Boko Haram campaign therefore, religion offered a most appropriate mechanism for winning over a largely sceptical citizenry in communities where leaders were largely perceived as ‘dealers’ - and totally unrepresentative of the interests of their toiling masses who voted them into office. Resurgent regionalism as a response to Nigeria’s crisis of governance What then is the connection between regionalism and the crisis of governance that Nigeria is currently experiencing? The connection, in my humble opinion lies in the search for the most appropriate institutional mechanism for promoting consensus, mediating conflict and managing diversities in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country. What has compounded the governance crisis and underplayed the need for dialogue have been the pervasive role of oil and the influence of years of military rule in Nigeria. The militarisation of the national psyche also affects individuals in their daily lives. Nigeria witnessed, especially under military dictatorship and the civilian government under President Obasanjo, intense communal conflicts that disrupted peaceful relations in several communities. Some of the conflicts have antecedents in old animosities, but many were resourcedriven, spurred by perceptions of unequal distribution of government resources. Causes of increased violence and crime include the high unemployment and poverty levels. At root however is the loss of a culture of compromise and accommodation. This point cannot be overemphasised:

Nigerians lost their culture of dialogue in a period when militarisation and the primacy of force had become state policy. All will agree that we need to return to a culture of dialogue. Any indication that government is willing to create the conditions for dialogue in the country is bound to reduce the increasing level of tension since many within deprived communities now believe the only language that government understands is violence. And it is commendable that President Jonathan has significantly reduced the rampaging, authoritarian streak in government. While Nigerians are happy about this new disposition and acknowledge that the demilitarisation of politics has widened the space within which democratic reform is taking place, many believe that this will not automatically translate into a complete overhaul of politics from its military roots, especially in a body politic that has become so atomised and unitarised, and in which the symbols, values, and ethos of the ‘big-man’ are now replicated in large sections of society. Yet while we must alter the landscape of Nigerian politics by removing the obstacles of region, ethnicity, religion and personality so that our people can see the issues in a clear sighted manner, this can only happen within the context of current socio-economic realities. It is now clear to all that the formal end of authoritarian rule did not lead to the acceptance of the nation state as representing a broad social consensus beyond the juridical principles enshrined in the constitution. Without a doubt, issues of nationality, identity and ethnicity still dominate the analysis of nation-state, state building and democratic transition in Nigeria, especially following the end of military rule in 1999. These concerns are attended to by the prevalence and ferocity of internal conflicts across the country, thereby leading scholars to suggest that the State can be reconstituted purely on the basis of resolving the quandaries of nationality, identity and ethnicity. Yet while the challenges we face maybe internal and ethnic in nature, oftentimes the interlocking nature of these challenges underscore the artificiality of state boundaries and call for a broader response driven by social consensus. If it is the case that the challenges are regional, and perhaps global, as they involve a range of different actors – national, sub-national and trans-national, it stands to reason that their resolutions must also involve a range of options including regional ones. Important as it is to resolve the crisis of governance on a state basis, tying solutions to territorial boundaries in a nation in which power is located in sub-national and supra-national political, social and economic networks undermine the envisioned end-product of development, at least in the creation of social harmony and consensus amongst different communities and constituencies within the polity. As things are, Nigeria is trapped between the extremes of a super-nation and the inward looking localisation that wears the toga of ethnocentrism resulting in the increasing illegitimacy of the artificial state. This is where the opportunity offered by a return to regionalism as a panacea to the much weakened state comes in. Indeed, it seems to me that any prospects for democratisation and development in Nigeria must build on the scaffolding of regionalism if it is to experience any chance of success. The last decade in Nigeria has Continued on page 63



For the Record

Continued from page 62 witnessed the strengthening of integrative development links in the SouthSouth(BRACED Commission), Northern Governors Forum, South East Governors’ Forum and now our own modest emerging steps in Western Nigeria. Yet, regional dimension to governance and development can still be influenced by national and subnational factors. In rethinking regionalism therefore, it is necessary to go beyond the proforma creation of mechanisms that are just mere technicalities. For regionalism to be an effective antidote to extreme nationalism and ethnocentrism, it must consciously permeate the State in a more deeply rooted manner. Otherwise, if the current challenges posed to the State by non-State actors are gauged, the future prospects for the consolidation of the processes of democratisation are slim, if not non-existent. It is for this reason that the recognition of the necessity of a multidimensional understanding of development without a re-conceptualisation of state boundaries will ultimately undermine the search for a holistic developmental agenda. What then are the prospects for deepening our fledgling democracy through regional integration? How do we ensure that our states can rise above territorial inhibitions to embrace a regional development agenda? Given the manner in which Nigeria has found herself between the forces of globalisation and the strictures of localisation, the road to development has become more tortuous, provoking in its wake increased post-election violence and insecurity in communities and constituencies that espouse democratic norms and values. Faced with the artificiality of states and the refusal to fully embrace the recalcitrant nation, it would appear that at no time has the need to turn to consensual resolutions become more urgent. This increasing importance of regionalism in Nigeria must

be located within the twin trajectories of the incipient localisation of conflicts and the nationalisation of political and economic realities. In arguing for a reconceptualisation of the concept of regional development which de-emphasises state boundaries, the motive is not a form of territorial revisionism. Instead, our intention is the revision of the territorial state where artificial boundaries have formed the legitimating force for arrested development in several states, thereby turning them into empty constitutional entities which are totally meaningless to their internal publics. Translated into a sustainable democratic agenda, it is safe to argue in favour of a confinable regional development mechanism that is properly structured. Development Agenda for Western Nigeria The above represents the strategic and theoretical basis for our current regional developmental programme in Western Nigeria (incorporating the eight states carved out of the old Western State). It is aimed at facilitating the process of political, legal, economic, social and cultural cooperation between juridical states for rapid growth and development. We believe that collaboration, properly conceived and structured will enable participant states to prosecute projects in areas of mutual benefits and comparative advantages in a cooperative manner as a way of reinventing the development paradigm of the old Western region. Integration therefore binds participant states to put on the front burner collective interest and place an obligation on them to cooperate and support one another and avoid destructive competition over resources. For us, development is freedom and it is the essential basis of life

more abundant and to this end – the provision of infrastructure, transportation, power generation, commerce, agriculture and other emerging areas like information technology is a sine qua non. When Governors of Western Nigeria met in Ado-Ekiti on July 8th 2011, the intention was to kick start the process of building a new momentum for engaging and mobilising our people, respective states and inherent capacities. It will also enable us to build a consensus on major issues of communal concern and also facilitate a genuine process of political and economic cooperation for the much needed rapid growth and development of our dear states. It is my humble opinion with all sense of modesty that with determination and concerted efforts, we can collectively surpass the 1952 benchmark, enunciate a developmental paradigm and also provide a window of hope for our people that would herald a new dawn for the region. Imagine where Western Nigeria would have been now had it not been for the overweening influence of a supra-national entity that subjected her to a huge pall of arrested development. Though deeply ideological and historically progressive, the region came under the control of an ultra-conservative class and the quality of governance declined abysmally. A region that used to set the standard regressed badly into mediocrity. Our quest now is to halt this slide and return the West to its path of honour and glory. The region according to the The Nation of Sunday, 3rd April, 2011 has a remarkable history on its side. It did it in 1952–1959, and to some extent in 1979–1982 as LOOBO States. More crucially and overwhelmingly, it even did it before colonialism, with political and economic structures that were breathtaking not only in Africa but also fairly competitive in the global world. We

can do it again. If only we can all subscribe to a unified regional developmental agenda. Ladies and gentlemen, in the eight States of Edo, Ekiti, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo, about 14% of children between the ages of six and eleven are not in school, and of those in primary schools, only 50% who sat for the NECO examination made a credit pass in five subjects including English and Mathematics. It is very disheartening to note that the State with the highest percentage score credit pass in any five subjects recorded just 13.2%, while the one with the least percentage score recorded just 1.11% of the students registered for the examination. This happened in a region whose main stake in the Nigerian project used to be her excellence in education. (Oshun, 2010) I have gone through this historical excursion to underscore the critical nature of this issue and to assure our people that help is on the way. We are aware that the expectations are huge, we are also aware that it is going to be a daunting task, but it is not an insurmountable challenge. We are thus resolved as a people to move beyond our most recent wounds because we do not suffer a dearth of ideas. It is therefore a notorious fact that having achieved electoral credibility, it is now time to achieve performance credibility through collective efforts, competence and compassion for our people. Most of the critical issues which confront us today, including how to organise a livable society that guarantees a decent life for the greater number of our people have been articulated by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his books The People’s Republic and The Strategy and Tactics of a People’s Republic. In those books, the great Awo posited: “The man is the alpha and omega, the

only dynamic means and the sole end, of all earthly human activities; and that any development plan is a failure which falls short of benefiting every member of the society in accordance with deeds or needs as the case may be” (p.82) Ladies and gentlemen, colleagueacademics, today’s meeting represents a watershed in our determination to return the Old Western Region to the path of real growth and pragmatic development. It is our expectation that you would rigourously interrogate issues such as the nature and structure of collaboration, the development of a legal framework, mechanism for information sharing and evaluation, enunciate a developmental paradigm for the region, the desirability of a Peer Review Mechanism, and development of a policy guideline on an ongoing basis aimed at strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of integration and also locate the cause of the retrogression in the region, proffer solutions and contribute to the development of a regional action plan. In concluding, we should remind ourselves that history has placed on our shoulders a very serious burden because we are “heirs to a tradition of hope and tireless expectations” – which Awo captured repeatedly as “Ba o ku, ise o tan” – can we then afford to give up? We return then in the end to the endless optimism of that eternal spirit of possibilities made manifest in the person and leadership of Obafemi Awolowo. We cannot be tired of reminding ourselves of this. In the voice-over of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) anthem, Awo’s voice rings through the ages: “It is a duty we owe, to our dream motherland To our dear great motherland To enhance her, and to boost her In the eyes of the entire world…”


Monarch lauds Oshiomhole


HE Olososo of Ososo, His Royal Highness Oba Anselem Adeloro Obaitan, Ichama II, has expressed lauded the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for appointing Elizabeth Annena Jemitola as a commissioner. At a meeting of the Ososo Forum attended by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Ososo Ward Chairman Mr. John Bello; former PHCN General Manager Mr. J.M Peters, the traditional ruler and said the appointment “shows that the governor cares for us. For over 30years we have had no role to play in the scheme of things. Today, the governor remembers us. We are grateful.”

Imo to tackle infrastructural decay in schools From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri




HE Deputy Governor of Imo State, Chief Jude Agbaso has assured the determination of the present administration to tackle all infrastructural decay in both primary and secondary schools. Agbaso gave the assurance yesterday when he paid visit to Emekuku High School in Owerri North local government area of the state. He regretted that educational infrastructures in the schools in the state have gone bad; adding that noting has being done in the time past to remedy the situation. He stated that Emekuku High School is so dilapidated to the extent that one cannot recognize the school again that used to have conducive facilities for effective teaching and learning in the past. Meanwhile, in its quest to rescue the health sector and save the lives of citizens, the Imo State government yesterday concluded the training of doctors, paramedics and security personnel in emergency response mechanism towards accidents and other disasters. No fever than 1,000 participants drawn from the public and private sectors benefited from the exercise which saw about 15 specialists delivering incisive lectures on how to save lives during health emergencies. Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Sylvanus Amaechi whose office coordinated the two day seminar along with INFAX Nigeria Ltd, described the exercise as “a huge scientific and academic programme geared towards taking health care to the door steps of Imo citizens. Dr Amaechi who is a renowned orthopedic surgeon and former President Nigerian Orthopedic Association , told newsmen that Governor Rochas Okorocha approved the seminar which was conducted free of charge to keep medical practitioners and security agencies involved in health matter abreast of development in the management of trauma and accidents.

Army, police, SSS join forces to tackle lawlessness in P/ Harcourt T

HE Rivers State Government’s Joint Task Force’s operation will commence in Port Harcourt and its environs tomorrow (Monday). The operation is to ensure sanity, instill discipline and put an end to lawlessness. Residents of the Rivers State capital and its environs, who park their vehicles in unauthorised places, trade illegally, obstruct free flow of traffic or litter the environment, will either be fined or sent to jail. The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, declared that errant persons, whose vehicles are impounded, must pay fine, while vehicles not claimed after a stipulated period, would be auctioned, in accordance with the law, to serve as a deterrent to others. The governor said end must come to people parking vehicles on the walkways and preventing pedestrians from using them, while noting that his administration is determined to transform the state and that the people should not mind the destructive criticisms of the opposition leaders, especially ACN’s governorship candidate, Dr. Abiye Sekibo. The Chairman of the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority, Mr. Isobo Jack, in an interactive session with reporters in Port Harcourt, that there are enough spaces at the prisons in Port Harcourt for convicted persons, who will later become ex-convicts. Jack also sought the cooperation of all residents, to restore Port Harcourt to its “Garden City” days, while stressing that enforcement of environment sanitation laws was never meant to punish the people. The environmental

From Bisi Olaniy, Port Harcourt

sanitation authority’s chairman revealed that there would be magistrates on standby, for arrested persons to be prosecuted and if found guilty, sent to jail. Soldiers, policemen, SSS operatives and officials of the sanitation authority were earlier on the streets of Port Harcourt and its environs, impounding vehicles “illegally” parks, arresting


We will jail people from Monday, during enforcement. Our officials were beaten up by members of the public on many occasions and our vehicles vandalised, but we always urge our men not to fight back. That is why we now have soldiers and other security men for enforcement. “Port Harcourt residents are now turning the roads and roundabouts into markets and refuse dumps, despite providing receptacles for dumping refuse. Drivers do

not park properly. 20 metres to where people do business must be clean. “Port Harcourt is dirty because of the attitude of residents and people doing business in the city. Some persons now come from outside Rivers state, especially Aba in Abia state to impersonate our officials and return in the evening. We will ruthlessly deal with them. Some of them have been arrested.”

•Bolanle Onagoruwa (Ms), Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) at a meeting in BPE, Hu Zhirong, Vice President of China-Africa Development Fund Abuja on Friday.

200 arrested for sanitation offences in Edo MORE than 200 persons were yesterday arrested in Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okhia local councils in Edo State for sanitation offences. Edo State Government had

Arik Air records over 1m passengers in first half of 2011 RIK Air, Nigeria’s largest airline carried a total of 1,039,656 passengers across its network of 120 daily flights in the first half of 2011. The New York route experienced the largest increase in passenger numbers with a 30 per cent increase of traffic. The daily London and Johannesburg routes also saw an increase in passenger numbers, as did most domestic routes. LagosAbuja remains the strongest domestic route. Within WestAfrica, Arik Air saw considerable improvement in its operations at Dakar, Freetown and Accra. The most significant individual month was March when Arik carried 201,936 passengers in the run up to the mid-term holidays. In April the passenger figures were badly affected by the interruptions to our schedules due to the elections and non-movement restrictions in Nigeria.

persons who disobeyed traffic laws or trading in authorised places and seizing goods, which heightened tension. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rivers state chapter, through its Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, condemned the operation, while declaring that the Rivers state capital was under siege and accused the Amaechi’s administration of frustrating people of the state. Jack further stated that: “We must instill discipline.

Speaking on the disclosure of the half year figures, Arik Air Vice President Planning & Marketing, Mr. Bert van der Stege, said: “Whilst these have been impressive results, we aim to carry even more passengers in the 2nd half of 2011. Arik Air is the carrier of choice during the current holiday season and we already see an encouraging amount of forward bookings for the month of December. Clearly our current attractive price promotions have helped”. Arik Air has recently been awarded Africa’s fastest growing airline by the influential Airline Network News and Analysis ( In just four and a half years of operations, Arik Air carried over seven million passengers. In the 2nd half of 2011 Arik Air is expected to launch new international destinations and continue its growth path.

•Two arraigned over N4.5m fertilizer theft From Osagie Otabor, Benin

re-introduced the monthly sanitation exercise in the state and movements of persons were restricted from the hours of six to 10:00am. Some of the arrested persons were discharged and acquitted while others were sentenced to between seven to 14 days imprisonment or a fine option of N1,000. Chief Magistrate in Oredo, Afe Osamudiamen said some of those discharged were found to be on essential duties while others were discharged on medical grounds but with caution. Top government officials that monitored the sanitation exercise included Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Pius

Odubu, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Uyi Igbe, and local council Chairmen. Dr. Odubu in a chat with journalists said lot of campaigns was done to sensitise the people to clean their environment within the stipulated hours. He said the task to keep Edo State clean by the incumbent administration must be achieved. Meanwhile, two staff of Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been arraigned at the Irrua Magistrates Court in Esan Central Local Government Area for stealing fertilizer worth N4,515,300.00 (Four Million five hundred and fifteen thousand, three hundred naira). The two persons, Mr. Okoh

Sylvester Ehizua (a Chief Superintendent Agriculture Officer) and Mr. Osaretin Aiyeki (Storeman) were arraigned for conspiracy, compounding felony and stealing. Police investigation said the two accused sold the fertilizer at Irrua store which comprises of NPK 15-15 and Urea worth N4,515,300,00. A staff of the ministry told The Nation that one of the accused persons, Mr. Okoh Sylvester Ehizua, in both his answer to a query dated 8/7/ 11 and during his arrest allegedly pleaded guilty to the offence and asked to be allowed to pay the whooping sum at installment to the government. The case was adjourned to August 8, 2011 for further hearing.

Edo ACN suspends commissioner


HE leadership of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Owan West Local government area of Edo State has suspended Edo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Inimidun Idehen for alleged anti-party activities. A suspension letter signed by the ward Chairmen and sent to the State Chairman of the party, Barr. Thomas Okosun

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

said their action was based on Section 9 (1) (2) (3) and (4) of the Constitution of the A C N. Owan West Chairman of ACN, Mr. Peter Eguaboi who led other members to deliver the suspension letter said the commissioner deserved the suspension. Mr. Eguaboi alleged that Mrs. Idehen in violation of the party constitution picked one Ojo “to put in a place a parallel

party structure across the length and breath of Owan West”, and destabilize the ACN in the locality. Reacting, Mrs. Idehen said those who claim to have suspended her do not have the powers to do so, because as far as she is concerned she has not been involved in any activity other than those designed to help promote the growth of the party in her local government area of Owan West.





•Engr. Chinedu Orji with his wife Dr. (Mrs) Orji and their new baby Master Tochi Daniel Orji during the Thanksgiving/Child Dedication of Little Master Tochi Daniel Orji, grandson of Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State at the Michael Okpara Auditorium Umuahia, over the weekend

•Ekiti State Head of Service, Mr. Olubunmi Famosaya addressing the press after the monthly environmental service in Ekiti South West Local Government, Ilawe Ekiti, yesterday

•The acting GOC 82 Division Nigeria Army, Enugu, Brig-Gen. Sylvester Audu (right) the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State Mr. David Umahi and Col. George Molokwu (rtd) during the Joint Meeting of Security Agencies organised by 82 Division at the weekend

•L-R: Dr. Shade Taiwo, Ndidi Nwuneli (Panel Moderator) and Dr. Keziah Awosika at a genderbalance dialogue held in Lagos

Why nine out of 10 Unilag applicants may not be admitted INE out of every 10 students sitting next month’s University of Lagos postJAMB admission examination are bound to fail and be refused admission. The Nation confirmed this last week, just as the country’s premier media archive, The Nation Databank announced the release this morning of a first-ever free examination practice software that will work on mobile phones. Of the near 114,000 JAMB candidates who passed last month’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and applied to the University of Lagos, only those who pass the University’s post JAMB examination will be offered admission. The University of Lagos has the largest number of admission applicants in Nigeria. It has space for less than 12,000 of the 114,000 applicants, suggesting that nine of every 10 of its applicant students must fail and be refused admission. The new software is a follow-up to the computerbased practice software published last week by Nigeria’s premier media archive and databank, The Nation Databank.


Software to teach on mobile phones out By Dare Ojo

It is a smart, interactive web-flash software that will run on any device that can browse the internet. But it needs no internet connection. The half-a-megabyte software can also be transferred easily between phones and will run on any number of phones or computers. It can also be used on most smart phones and i-pads. It became available for free download on the world’s number one social networking website, Facebook. The download weblink is at pcuser2user this morning. The new software is based on practice questions and answers published two weeks ago by authorities of the University of Lagos, for students sitting its admission examinations next month. The Media Databank, Nigeria’s oldest digital media archive and databank , has led a campaign for the digitalisation of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools, as a panacea to the

recurring mass failure of secondary school students and the general decline in education standards in Nigeria. More than 1.5 million candidates sat last month’s UTME examination. But only about 400,000 candidates who passed the examination are qualified to sit PostJAMB examinations to be conducted next month by individual tertiary institutions across the country. Results of Secondary school leavers’ examinations in the country have similarly been getting progressively poorer over the last 20 years. Some states such as Osun and Ekiti, whose students hitherto led such examinations in the past, now record failure rate as high 90 per cent. With nine out of every 10 adult Nigerians now owing mobile phones or having access to a mobile phone, the new examination tutorial software may be leveraging on the wide scale availability of mobile phones in the country. It is a comprehensive last-

minute revision practice test and tutorial for questions in three subjects released by the university of Lagos, with its post JAMB Examination forms. Last week, the databank made practice test software for two subjects, English language and General Paper, available through the Facebook download weblink. The practice tests software for Mathematics, the third subject for the examination was added just this morning, justa s the first full subject tutorial, that for General Paper. O’seun Ogunseitan, the Chief Technical Officer of The Nation Databank, confirmed that tutorials for Mathematics and English, will be added before the end of this week. The examinations begin in three weeks time. The new sofware follows closely on the heels of the acclaimed Fashola.exe, Nigeria’s first e-learning software, by students and other young Nigerians who downloaded that computer users-only software from the internet last April. Fashola.exe was so named

and released, in support of the re-election of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos. That release was sponsored by former secondary schoolmates of the Lagos governor. Just like Fashola.exe, the new mobile-phonefriendly post-JAMB examination Practice software released this morning, uses answers and answer options to teach the principles of the particular subject. The software provides answers and explanations to all the answers and answer options available for all the practice questions which authorities of the University of Lagos expect all its admission applicants to prepare with. The software runs on a new multimedia teaching technology, developed in Nigeria and the United States of America, by specialist journalist and media programmer O’seun Ogunseitan and other multimedia e-learning software programmers with The Media Databank and its affiliates. The new media technolo-

gies are now being used to produce special video and data discs which will teach English language and Mathematics, using special video discs, on regular home video players playing to regular home television screens. The technology allows the same disc to contain software and thousands of pages of tutorial texts and e-books, including dictionaries and encyclopaedia. Both the practice tests software and the full tutorial software which teaches the subject with the answer options, will be contained on the special video and data discs, along with up to 10 hours of television-viewable tutorial videos. The Media Databank has more than a 500,000 past questions and answers from JAMB, NECO and WAEC examinations, in its information and data accessions gathered over the last 30 years. It is Nigeria’s oldest private archive and has the largest digital media library. Experts have hinted that the continued use of yesterday’s analogue blackboard and chalk techniques to teach today’s digital age students, is largely to blame for the recurring mass failure of Nigerian secondary school students.




Norway gunman’s tale diverges sharply from reality


N the world according to Anders Behring Breivik, a seat on Oslo’s city council was once nearly in his grasp — until he was sidelined by a jealous adversary. Nonsense, says the so-called rival, who notes that Breivik attended just five or six party meetings and barely spoke. In his early 20s, Breivik writes, he spent a year working alongside a mentor who schooled him in the ways of business and management. The man calls that a bizarre exaggeration, noting that the only thing he taught Breivik was how to record corporate minutes. Those conflicts between Breivik’s account and reality hint at a long thread of delusion winding throughout the 1,518-page manifesto he e-mailed to hundreds of people hours before he set out on a murderous rampage just over a week ago. But some of the most troubling questions are the ones raised by the fragments of Breivik’s story those who knew him say are closest to the truth. The killer describes teen years infatuated with hip-hop, sneaking out at night in baggy jeans and hooded sweat shirts to spray-paint buildings around the capital with graffiti under the tag name “Morg.” Then, Breivik writes, he decided to reject that life and turn himself into a selfless crusader bent on rescuing society from itself. Former friends confirm the tales of schoolboy troublemaking. But they also recall Breivik as the one who repeatedly stepped forward to stop the most popular kids in school from teasing or bullying his classmates. He was a singular boy, reluctant to reveal his own thoughts, but one who would willingly sit for hours in the garden outside a friend’s house listening to her talk about herself. “If someone were mean to me he would always stand up for me ... and I think in his head he was just trying to protect us,” recalls Caroline Fronth, a friend of Breivik’s between 7th and 9th grade. “He was struggling to find his path and we all did in our class ... and that’s what’s terrible here, because he found his way.” “But it was the wrong way. It was a monstrous way.” According to Breivik’s manifesto, he plotted for nearly nine years to carry out his attack. Investigators say that they have found no signs of a larger conspiracy and that he does not appear to have shared his plans with anyone. Then, on July 22, he parked a van loaded with a bomb made from fertilizer outside government offices in central Oslo. It exploded, killing eight. Less than two hours later, Breivik walked into a youth political camp on an island outside the city, dressed as a policeman and armed with a handgun and a modified semiautomatic rifle, and embarked on a rampage, shooting his victims twice. Breivik, 32, claims he carried out the attacks as part of a network of modern-day crusaders — the Knights Templar — to launch a revolution against a Europe spoiled by Muslim immigration, and that there are other cells ready to strike. But investigators say they have found no signs — before or after the attacks — of a larger con-


spiracy. In the days since the attacks, Norwegians — especially those who knew Breivik — have puzzled over his motives and his mindset, trying to reconcile the deeds with a life that, outwardly at least, seemed quite ordinary. What snapped inside Breivik that so warped his perception of self and society he would slaughter 77 of his countrymen in the name of saving them? Retracing his story hints at a troubling set of possible answers. In the manifesto, Breivik waxes fondly for the Europe of old, full of fathers who dutifully went off to work every morning and mothers who stayed at home and knew their place. The reality of his own life was quite different. Both of his parents worked

full-time and they divorced when he was one. His father remarried and, as a Norwegian consular official, lived mostly outside the country. His mother, a nurse who also remarried, won custody, raising her son in a first-floor apartment on the west side of Oslo, generally considered the most fashionable and affluent part of the city. But Fronth — who along with Breivik was part of a group of five friends who spent hours together — says Breivik chafed at the differences between himself and classmates from families with more money. The red brick apartment building, where his mother Wenche Behring still lives, fronts a busy street that has been redeveloped with office buildings in

recent years. But at the time, the street was scruffy compared to nearby neighborhoods and decidedly working class, Fronth says. It contrasted sharply with the blocks of neatly tended homes with red tile roofs, sitting behind walls Breivik passed on the walk to Ris junior high school. “He didn’t like it,” Fronth says. “He wanted to be one of those with a big house with a garden who had money.” At school, Breivik did not have many friends, but he was hardly anti-social, said Michael Tomala, a former classmate. Breivik spent hours lifting weights, often with a friend, Arsalan Ahmad Sohail, the son of a Pakistani immigrant family, leaving the pair of boys bigger than many of their classmates. Sohail’s father and wife said this week that he would not comment on his relationship with Breivik. Tomala recalls that rather than pushing his weight around, Breivik often served as classroom peacemaker. “Not only once, but a few times, he would come in between conflicts ... He would actually stop a fight and say, look, leave him alone, he hasn’t done anything,” Tomala said. “I remember him as having a grown-up way of doing things.” Tomala says that attitude extended to conversations with Breivik. He recalled one during which Breivik encouraged him to stand up to classmates who were giving him a hard time for devoting so much energy to training for the track and field team. Tomala and Fronth say that Breivik and other boys in class began sneaking out at night to paint graffiti. Fronth, who recalls being asked to keep watch while the boys wielded the paint cans, says Breivik was very impressionable, trying to prove his worth by doing what the most popular classmates did. But he was also a dutiful friend, a relationship aided by the fact that Breivik did not seem to have much interest in girls. “We were just friends, talking about everything and nothing, just hanging out,” says Fronth, who today is a nurse. Sitting in her family’s garden, Breivik listened patiently as Fronth talked. But he rarely voiced his own feelings, beyond

his apparent irritation at classmates’ infatuation with social status. “It was hard for us to get into his head,” Fronth said. “I think he was pretty intelligent, but he didn’t show emotion. He didn’t smile much or ever cry. He was just there all the time. It was really hard to figure out who he was.” Breivik had been visiting his father, Jens, and new wife regularly over the years. But when he was about 15, all contact ceased. Fronth says she could tell that bothered her friend. In his manifesto, Breivik writes that he didn’t have “any negative experiences” in his childhood. But he suggests that his father was upset with his graffiti sprees. “He wasn’t happy about that relationship since he didn’t have any contacts,” said Tove Overmo, Jens Breivik’s second wife, who stayed in touch with her husband’s son even after they were divorced. “I think he had a wish to have contact with his father.” Breivik writes that starting when he was 15, gangs of Muslim teens increasingly threatened him and his classmates and that he confronted them, a contention that is hard to verify, but that he says was formative to his antiMuslim views. The manifesto details eight run-ins with Muslims, including one when Breivik was 17. “I was at a party on Tasen when we heard they had just beaten on of my friend’s younger brothers. We went to chase them away from the neighborhood. They had weapons, we had weapons. I was hit with a billiard pool in the head. Result of the fight: we made a deal with them. They promised they would never return and harass the Tasen youngsters again,” he writes. After graduating from high school, Breivik worked in a series of jobs, including at a call center and a bank. But parts of the account in his manifesto appear to vastly inflate his accomplishments and experience. In 2000 and 2001, he writes of spending a year working alongside “mentor” Richard Steenfeldt Berg as a consultant hired by his company, Hypertec AS. Berg coached him in management, administration and business development, Breivik writes.

Adis Cambridge, 42, of Guyana, said she felt the thump of a hard landing but did not think much of it until seconds later. “I realized that everything was on top of me, people and bags. I was the second to last person to get off that plane in the dark,” she said, surrounded by her two young children who had come to the airport to meet her after a brief holiday in the U.S. “I hit my head on the roof. It was so scary,” she said as she described jumping from the wing to the dirt road below as crews with flashlights and beams from fire engines searched for passengers. Authorities struggled at first to remove passengers without adequate field lights and other emergency equipment. The plane had left New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and made a stop in Trinidad before landing in

Guyana. The airline said it was carrying 157 passengers and six crew members. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear and Jagdeo said he has asked the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to help investigate the crash. Authorities temporarily closed the Guyana airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and delaying dozens of flights. The main terminal reopened late Saturday morning to only a couple of small planes, including a LIAT airline bound for Barbados, said Orin Walton, a local representative for the Antigua-based carrier. The crash of Flight BW523 is the worst in recent history in Guyana, and only one of the few serious incidents involving the Trinidad-based airline. It is the single largest carrier in the region, operating at least five daily flights.

Jet from New York crashes in Guyana


CARIBBEAN Airlines jet from New York touched down on rainy runway, then slid through a chain-link fence and broke apart just short of a ravine yesterday in Guyana. Miraculously there were no immediate reports of death among the 163 people aboard, despite several dozens of injuries. Passengers aboard Flight 523 said they had begun to applaud the pilot’s landing in the South American country when suddenly things went wrong. The Boeing 737-800 apparently overshot the 7,400-foot (2,200-meter) runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport and barely missed a 200-foot (60-meter) ravine that could have resulted in dozens of fatalities, said President Bharrat Jagdeo, who came to the crash site before dawn. “We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured,” he said.

About 100 people received medical attention, with four hospitalized for serious injuries, said Devant Maharaj, transportation minister in Trinidad, where Caribbean Airlines is based. Geeta Ramsingh, 41, of Philadelphia, who said passengers had just started to applaud the touchdown “when it turned to screams,” she said. She hopped onto the wing and then onto the dirt road outside the runway fence, apparently suffering only bruised knees. Nobody had yet showed up to rescue her, “but a taxi driver appeared from nowhere and charged me $20 to take me to the terminal. I had to pay, but in times of emergencies, you don’t charge people for a ride,” she said, sitting on a chair in the arrival area surrounded by relatives. She was returning to her native country for only the second time in 30 years.




UK watches year’s second, low key, royal wedding Q

UEEN Elizabeth II’s granddaughter Zara Phillips married England rugby star Mike Tindall yesterday — but Britain’s second royal wedding of the year was largely a low-key affair, with only a hint of the glamor and excitement of Prince William’s showstopping nuptials. Phillips, 30, who is 13th in line to the throne but does not use a royal title, and Tindall, 32, were greeted by hundreds of flag-waving well-wishers and the sound of traditional bagpipes as they left their wedding service at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk following a private ceremony. The often publicity shy bride wore a traditional ivory silk gown and a fulllength flowing veil, but

posed only briefly for onlookers — and gave her husband a fleeting, modest kiss — as they left the 17th century church for a reception at the queen’s Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Unlike William and Kate Middleton’s spectacular ceremony in April, the wedding service led by Rev. Neil Gardner was not broadcast on television and crowds gathered in the Scottish city were warned by police there would be little for them to see. Members of the public packed along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the city’s famed cobbled boulevard, cheered loudly for William and Middleton, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they arrived to join the congregation,

traveling in a sleek black sedan with Prince Harry. Middleton, wearing a biscuit colored coat, dress and large angled hat won a warm reception as she offered a wave, as did the queen and Duke of Edinburgh who arrived shortly before the bride. While the details of Middleton’s wedding gown were a closely guarded secret, Phillips — more commonly seen in jeans or sportswear — made an expected choice in choosing Stewart Parvin, a British designer favored by the queen. She also wore a Greek Key tiara lent to her by mother Princess Anne, and Jimmy Choo shoes. Parvin also designed the queen’s apricot wool coat and silk dress. The occasion was far re-

moved from April’s international spectacle at Westminster Abbey, but neatly reflected the couple’s unflashy style. Tindall had even proposed in a modest setting, as he and Phillips curled up on a sofa at home watching a movie. Before the ceremony, royal officials confirmed that Phillips will keep her maiden name rather than be known as Mrs. Tindall, largely because of her sporting career. Phillips is known better for her sporting achievements than her royal heritage, as a world class equestrian who is likely to compete in the 2012 Olympics. Tindall — who Phillips met in 2003 in Australia during England’s triumphant Rugby World Cup campaign — is a leading rugby

•Britain’s Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, kisses her husband, England rugby star Mike Tindall, after their marriage at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland yesterday

player who has captained his country. The ceremony was the first royal wedding held in Scotland since 1992, when Princess Anne — the mother of the bride — married her second husband, Timothy Laurence. Anne’s elder child, Peter Phillips, married his Canadian partner Autumn Kelly in 2008. Even the prospect of a brief glimpse of the royal family was enough to entice hundreds to Edinburgh for yesterday’s wedding, including a few dozen stalwarts who camped overnight to win a front row view. Waving a Canadian flag, Margaret Kittle, 76, said she had travelled from Ontario, Canada, and staked out a spot on Friday night. “I flew over last Saturday and have been here since last night. I started following the royals after I saw George VI and the Queen back home in Canada when I was 4 years old,” she said. Helen Sutherland, a 65-

year-old from Muir of-Ord in the Scottish Highlands, was wrapped in a warm blanket as she waited for a glimpse of Britain’s newest royal couple. “It got chilly through the night, but we want to see the bride and her dress. They seem to be a very happy couple,” she said. Phillips and Tindall hosted a glitzy cocktail party late Friday for relatives and guests aboard the former royal yacht Britannia, which they had hired for the occasion. The famous ship, once used by the queen to tour the world, was decommissioned in 1997. But the party was a rare moment of public glamor for the couple, who are known for putting their devotion to sports ahead of their celebrity. The couple’s honeymoon has been postponed because both are due to feature in major events next week — the bride in horse trials, and the groom in England’s rugby international against Wales.

Two Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir border clash • Internally displaced Somali women receive food-aid at a distribution centre in Mogadishu, yesterday. Somalia is the Horn of Africa country worst affected by an extreme drought that has put millions in danger of starvation and spurred a global fundraising campaign. AFP PHOTO/ABDURASHID ABIKAR


YRIAN troops stormed a suburb of the capital Damascus and a town near the Iraqi border, killing at least five people in the latest raids as the government intensifies its crackdown on protesters ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, activists said yesterday. Activists expect antigovernment demonstrations to escalate during Ramadan, which begins early next week. The raids by security forces appear to be an attempt by President Bashar Assad’s day’s death toll to 12. Mohammed Abdullah, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees, which track the protests in Syria, said at least six people were killed in the Kiswah raid. He said at least 22 were killed Friday. Ammar Qurabi, who heads the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, said 19 people were killed on Friday, including three in Kiswah and two in

Syrian troops storm two towns, kill five al-Boukamal. It was not clear why the numbers were different but each group is known to have its own sources throughout Syria. Tens of thousands of protesters calling for the ouster of Assad’s regime took to the streets throughout Syria Friday, urging fellow citizens who have remained on the sidelines to join them. The observatory said yesterday that 1,888 people have been killed since the uprising began, including 1,519 civilians. It said the rest were members of the military and security forces. The observatory is known to be more conservative about the numbers of people killed. Other groups such as Qurabi’s NOHRS and the LCC put the death toll among civilian well above 1,600. The uprising has been the most serious threat to

the 40-year ruling dynasty of the Assad family. Assad, who inherited power in 2000 after the death of his father, President Hafez Assad, has made a series of overtures to try to ease the growing outrage.

He lifted the decades-old emergency laws that gave the regime a free hand to arrest people without charge, granted Syrian nationality to thousands of Kurds — a long-ostracized minority — and issued several pardons.

Death toll in Ukraine mining accidents rises to 27


ESCUE workers have found seven more bodies at two Ukrainian coal mines where accidents occurred, raising the death toll to 27. The accidents in the eastern regions shocked the country and highlighted the dangers of the nation’s mining industry. It is believed to be one of the world’s most dangerous because of outdated equipment and disregard for safety regulations. The government said yesterday that Friday’s pre-

dawn blast at the Suhodilska-Eastern mine in the Luhansk region killed 20 workers, including one body found Saturday. Investigators suspect the accident was caused by an explosion of methane. In the Donetsk region, rescue workers at the site of an elevator collapse found four more bodies Saturday, raising the death toll there to seven. Rescue workers at both sites are still searching for 10 missing workers.


WO Indian soldiers were killed yesterday in a fierce clash with rebels along the de facto border that splits Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the army said. It was the second gunbattle between Kashmiri rebels and troops in northern Kupwara district this week. On Thursday, an army officer was killed in the same district in a clash with infiltrating militants. “We have foiled yet another bid by militants to infiltrate into our territory from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Indian army spokesman J.S. Brar told AFP in the state summer capital Srinagar. “Two of our soldiers achieved martyrdom,” he said, adding the fighting was “still going on in the rugged area.” India says it regularly intercepts Islamist rebels sneaking into Indian Kashmir to fight New Delhi’s rule in the scenic Himalayan territory. Pakistan denies Indian allegations it helps the insurgents

cross into Indian Kashmir. The latest fighting came after Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart, Hina Rabbani Khar, outlined in New Delhi this week the countries’ commitment to fight militancy, boost trade and sustain the peace process. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Muslimmajority Kashmir which each country holds in part but claims in full. The peace process was resumed after being suspended by India following the 2008 Mumbai attacks which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants killed 166 people. The peace process was resumed after being suspended by India following the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed 166 people and which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The insurgency against New Delhi’s rule has left more than 47,000 people dead since 1989, according to an official count.






Living ‘Why our church is not known’ Faith Newly appointed General Overseer of Church of God Seventh Day in Nigeria, Pastor Chijioke Alozie, speaks W with Omolara Akintoye on how he intends to make posiBy David Oyedepo

Enjoying a world of no limits! (4)


ELCOME to your regular column. Last week, I showed you the importance of the Spirit of Wisdom, in enjoying a world of no limits. This week, I will show you how to receive the impartation of the Spirit of wisdom. The Holy Spirit is essentially the Spirit of wisdom. Nothing distinguishes a person like the wisdom of God. The Holy Spirit is the custodian of the wisdom of God. Wisdom is all you need to win the battles of your life. Divine wisdom is an ‘impart able’ virtue, because its Principal Conveyor is the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:6-7). Every gift and manifestation of the Spirit answers to a thirst of man. You cannot be empowered by the Holy Spirit without a proven thirst (Isaiah 44:3-4). What Is In Divine Wisdom? 1. It’s our eternal cure from depression: Divine wisdom is God’s capital cure for depression. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding (Proverbs 3:13). …Happy is every one that retaineth her (verse 18). So, when you retain the flow of divine wisdom, you live a happy and joyful life, free eternally from depression. You can’t buy this with money! 2. This wisdom guarantees long life: Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour (verse 16). Divine wisdom guarantees long life. 3. It guarantees riches and honour (Proverbs 3:16, 18). 4. This wisdom enhances your pleasantness or your pleasures (verse 17). 5. It guarantees peace (Proverbs 3:17). The wisdom of God cancels out the battles of your life. 6. This wisdom releases favour upon the carrier (Proverbs 8:35). What skill will never bring your way, God’s favour will bring it this time. 7. This wisdom is creative: It does not wait for result, it creates result. God’s wisdom is creative. That is why it is never stranded; it always has a way out of every situation. The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens (Proverbs 3:19). 8. It delivers supernatural triumph: It levels out mountains as if they never existed (Job 28:7-20). Faith is God’s wisdom for your supernatural victory; it overturns the mountains by the root. 9. It commands results in impossible cases: Divine wisdom is never short of results. No circumstances or situation can stop it from delivering its results. Divine wisdom will pave the way out of the prison for you to be free for the palace. Divine wisdom brought Joseph out of the prison and launched him straight to the palace! No situation can stop divine wisdom from delivering tangible results. 10. It does not see problems, it sees precious things: His eye seeth every precious thing (Job 28:10). Divine wisdom sees precious things in the midst of trash. 11. It controls the element: He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light (Job 28:11). Divine wisdom controls the element. So, divine wisdom made Daniel indestructible by lions. Also Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego were indestructible in fire, because of divine wisdom. Where can wisdom be found? 1. In the Word of God: Psalm 119:98-100. 2. Wisdom can be found in places: Jeremiah 3:15-17. 3. It is reserved in persons: For instance, Moses had it, and so he could give it. All the fundamentals of scriptures came through Moses by the operation of the Spirit of wisdom in him, so he could impart it upon the man called Joshua. 4. Receive the person of the carrier: A guest you do not welcome in your home, you are not entitled to the goodies with him. So, receive the person (Matthew 10:41). 5. Believe in the Ministry of the Carrier: Believe in his ministry and then you can access what he carries with ease. 6. Honour the carrier: By so doing, whatever he carries naturally flows into you. Honour means, you are emotionally attached to him and then what he carries flows easily into you. For instance, there was an emotional attachment of Joshua to Moses, so, there could be a natural flow. There is a soulish connection that guarantees the flow of that unction. What impartation does: It makes you a replica of your source; it empowers you to duplicate the grace from your source. I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. Our midweek services hold on Wednesdays between 6 and 8 p.m. We have four services on Sundays. The first one holds between 6.30 and 8.15 a.m., the second between 8.25 a.m. and 10.10 a.m., the third between 10.20 a.m. and 12.05 p.m. and the fourth between 12.15 and 2.00 p.m. Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, please get my books — The Wisdom That Works, Walking In Wisdom and Winning Wisdom. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO, Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 7747546-8; or E-mail:

HAT are your plans for the church following your appointment? My plan is to take the church to a higher level. This is a church that has been in the country for 74 years and is not known much because of the type of leaders it has been having in the past. My coming on board is to bring the church to limelight so that people will know much about the church. I intend to sensitise people more about the church activities, the organisational structures and other areas that are lacking. At my level, I should put the church on the proper platform. How come the church is not known despite being around for almost a century in the country? There is not enough publicity, no churches in the big cities. Presently in Abuja, we don’t have any branch. The one we have in Lagos is not that strong .The 36 states are not covered. So I intend to cover the 36 states so that the church will be in the six geo-political zones. We only have our churches in the rural

tive changes in the church and sundry issues. Excerpts:


areas and have been unable to reach urban areas. My target is to take the church to the cities in the next four years. What would you like to be remembered for at the end of your tenure? I would like to be known for setting up ad-

ministrative structures, church planting as well as aggressive evangelism. What is your assessment of President Jonathan Goodluck’s administration? There is hope for this nation with the new government in power. President Goodluck Jonathan is going to run a free and fair government. He has ideas; he’s intelligent, ready to move the country forward and accepted all over the world. His acceptance all over the world is an indication that there is connection for this country in the area of employment. I believe that in the next twothree years Nigeria will change for the better. What are the areas you want him to look into? I want him to focus on electricity, water, employment generation for the teeming youth and education. If he can focus on these four areas the country will

be better. For the newly elected officials they should serve the masses that elected them rather than pocketing constituency allowances. They should use it to implement projects. For the masses they should be patient. Something that has been damaged for so many years cannot be repaired within few months. What is your opinion on sit-tight leaders in most African countries? My opinion is that it should be avoided like a plague. You can see what is going on in the Asian as well as some African Countries where leaders want to stay and die in power and prepare to hand over to their children. God is not happy and He is visiting them with their crisis. African leaders should learn from this and allow people to choose their leaders. People should know that it is only God that selects leaders.


How to tackle Lagos flood challenge, by cleric


AGOS State government should leave no stone unturned in tackling the menace of flood ravaging the coastal state during rainfalls. President of Fellowship of Christian Ministry Nigeria (FMCN), Rev. Joseph Oladipo, who gave this advice last week added that

By Ngozi Nna

there should be no sacred cow in ensuring the menace is dealt with decisively. Oladipo was reacting to recent flood problems in the state that destroyed properties and left many homeless. He spoke during a meet-

ing by the group in Lagos. Oladipo commended efforts of the ministry of the environment and physical planning during the flood crisis, saying the spontaneous release of relief materials and rescue activities were impressive. He however appealed to Lagos residents to keep

their environments clean and avoid acts capable of aggravating flooding in the state. Oladipo said ‘’every individual should obey the law of the state and re move all unauthorised structures disturbing the easy flow of water.”

Anglican Church holds women convention


T was celebration galore last week at the Lagos Mainland Diocese of the Anglican Communion during its 2011 Women Conference. The conference with the theme ‘‘Victory in Christ’’ coincided with the 5th anniversary of the diocese. It attracted the Diocesan of the church, Rev. (Prof) Adebayo Akinde, his wife Bassey, government officials and women from various Anglican churches within and outside the diocese. Delivering the keynote address, President of the conference, Mrs. Bassey Akinde, said attaining victory in Christ should be the ultimate aim of every Christian. She added that regardless of the strength of a man, victory can only be attained through the grace of God. She said: “As Christians we must rely solely on God for victory in all our endeavours. We must real-

By Vincent Nzemeke

ise that true victory can only be attained by the grace of God. ‘’Christ has paid the price for that victory and we must not allow the devil rob us of it.” Chairperson of the organising committee, Mrs. Olufunke Ajayi, admon-

ished Christian women to be supportive of their husbands in line with scriptural directives. She said: “We cannot underestimate the role of the women in any society. The men need our support and we must continue to help them in line with the instructions of the scrip-

tures.” Ajayi also said that the convention provided an opportunity for women in the diocese to come together for personal development. The event also featured song rendition from various groups and presentation of prizes to deserving women in the diocese.

‘Be grateful to God’


ENERAL Overseer of Shalom International Christian Church, Gbagada, Lagos, Rev. Wale Adekoya, has urged Nigerians to adopt the spirit of gratitude towards God for His blessings regardless of their circumstances. He gave the advice at a thanksgiving service in honour of Mrs Jean Chiazor Anishere, a maritime lawyer who clocked 50 recently.Adekoya, who spoke on Stewardship of life, said life is a gift. He said: ‘’No one is sure of the next second. That is why it is

By Joseph Eshanokpe

good to give thanks to God. On a day like this it is also good to take stocks to reflect. That was what king David did. For example, many went to the law school but they did not come back. But Sister Anishere went and returned.”He warned against mulling over losses saying yesterday is gone today is here and tomorrow belongs to the creator. Adekoya added: ‘’Fifty years of age is a good step to apply new principles of success. So sit back and wait upon the Lord.’’He con-

cluded: ‘’People will know you by the problems you have solved than the ones you created. That is why you should rededicate yourself to the service of God.” The celebrator said she was grateful to God to be alive to celebrate the day, adding that the blessings of God have left her speechless. She donated all the funds raised at the event to the service of God. Lagos State governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) apologised for his inability to attend in a text message. He announced the donation of a generating set to the church.





Living ‘Why our church is not known’ Faith Newly appointed General Overseer of Church of God Seventh Day in Nigeria, Pastor Chijioke Alozie, speaks W with Omolara Akintoye on how he intends to make posiBy David Oyedepo

Enjoying a world of no limits! (4)


ELCOME to your regular column. Last week, I showed you the importance of the Spirit of Wisdom, in enjoying a world of no limits. This week, I will show you how to receive the impartation of the Spirit of wisdom. The Holy Spirit is essentially the Spirit of wisdom. Nothing distinguishes a person like the wisdom of God. The Holy Spirit is the custodian of the wisdom of God. Wisdom is all you need to win the battles of your life. Divine wisdom is an ‘impart able’ virtue, because its Principal Conveyor is the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:6-7). Every gift and manifestation of the Spirit answers to a thirst of man. You cannot be empowered by the Holy Spirit without a proven thirst (Isaiah 44:3-4). What Is In Divine Wisdom? 1. It’s our eternal cure from depression: Divine wisdom is God’s capital cure for depression. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding (Proverbs 3:13). …Happy is every one that retaineth her (verse 18). So, when you retain the flow of divine wisdom, you live a happy and joyful life, free eternally from depression. You can’t buy this with money! 2. This wisdom guarantees long life: Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour (verse 16). Divine wisdom guarantees long life. 3. It guarantees riches and honour (Proverbs 3:16, 18). 4. This wisdom enhances your pleasantness or your pleasures (verse 17). 5. It guarantees peace (Proverbs 3:17). The wisdom of God cancels out the battles of your life. 6. This wisdom releases favour upon the carrier (Proverbs 8:35). What skill will never bring your way, God’s favour will bring it this time. 7. This wisdom is creative: It does not wait for result, it creates result. God’s wisdom is creative. That is why it is never stranded; it always has a way out of every situation. The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens (Proverbs 3:19). 8. It delivers supernatural triumph: It levels out mountains as if they never existed (Job 28:7-20). Faith is God’s wisdom for your supernatural victory; it overturns the mountains by the root. 9. It commands results in impossible cases: Divine wisdom is never short of results. No circumstances or situation can stop it from delivering its results. Divine wisdom will pave the way out of the prison for you to be free for the palace. Divine wisdom brought Joseph out of the prison and launched him straight to the palace! No situation can stop divine wisdom from delivering tangible results. 10. It does not see problems, it sees precious things: His eye seeth every precious thing (Job 28:10). Divine wisdom sees precious things in the midst of trash. 11. It controls the element: He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light (Job 28:11). Divine wisdom controls the element. So, divine wisdom made Daniel indestructible by lions. Also Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego were indestructible in fire, because of divine wisdom. Where can wisdom be found? 1. In the Word of God: Psalm 119:98-100. 2. Wisdom can be found in places: Jeremiah 3:15-17. 3. It is reserved in persons: For instance, Moses had it, and so he could give it. All the fundamentals of scriptures came through Moses by the operation of the Spirit of wisdom in him, so he could impart it upon the man called Joshua. 4. Receive the person of the carrier: A guest you do not welcome in your home, you are not entitled to the goodies with him. So, receive the person (Matthew 10:41). 5. Believe in the Ministry of the Carrier: Believe in his ministry and then you can access what he carries with ease. 6. Honour the carrier: By so doing, whatever he carries naturally flows into you. Honour means, you are emotionally attached to him and then what he carries flows easily into you. For instance, there was an emotional attachment of Joshua to Moses, so, there could be a natural flow. There is a soulish connection that guarantees the flow of that unction. What impartation does: It makes you a replica of your source; it empowers you to duplicate the grace from your source. I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. Our midweek services hold on Wednesdays between 6 and 8 p.m. We have four services on Sundays. The first one holds between 6.30 and 8.15 a.m., the second between 8.25 a.m. and 10.10 a.m., the third between 10.20 a.m. and 12.05 p.m. and the fourth between 12.15 and 2.00 p.m. Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, please get my books — The Wisdom That Works, Walking In Wisdom and Winning Wisdom. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO, Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 7747546-8; or E-mail:

HAT are your plans for the church following your appointment? My plan is to take the church to a higher level. This is a church that has been in the country for 74 years and is not known much because of the type of leaders it has been having in the past. My coming on board is to bring the church to limelight so that people will know much about the church. I intend to sensitise people more about the church activities, the organisational structures and other areas that are lacking. At my level, I should put the church on the proper platform. How come the church is not known despite being around for almost a century in the country? There is not enough publicity, no churches in the big cities. Presently in Abuja, we don’t have any branch. The one we have in Lagos is not that strong .The 36 states are not covered. So I intend to cover the 36 states so that the church will be in the six geo-political zones. We only have our churches in the rural

tive changes in the church and sundry issues. Excerpts:


areas and have been unable to reach urban areas. My target is to take the church to the cities in the next four years. What would you like to be remembered for at the end of your tenure? I would like to be known for setting up ad-

ministrative structures, church planting as well as aggressive evangelism. What is your assessment of President Jonathan Goodluck’s administration? There is hope for this nation with the new government in power. President Goodluck Jonathan is going to run a free and fair government. He has ideas; he’s intelligent, ready to move the country forward and accepted all over the world. His acceptance all over the world is an indication that there is connection for this country in the area of employment. I believe that in the next twothree years Nigeria will change for the better. What are the areas you want him to look into? I want him to focus on electricity, water, employment generation for the teeming youth and education. If he can focus on these four areas the country will

be better. For the newly elected officials they should serve the masses that elected them rather than pocketing constituency allowances. They should use it to implement projects. For the masses they should be patient. Something that has been damaged for so many years cannot be repaired within few months. What is your opinion on sit-tight leaders in most African countries? My opinion is that it should be avoided like a plague. You can see what is going on in the Asian as well as some African Countries where leaders want to stay and die in power and prepare to hand over to their children. God is not happy and He is visiting them with their crisis. African leaders should learn from this and allow people to choose their leaders. People should know that it is only God that selects leaders.


How to tackle Lagos flood challenge, by cleric


AGOS State government should leave no stone unturned in tackling the menace of flood ravaging the coastal state during rainfalls. President of Fellowship of Christian Ministry Nigeria (FMCN), Rev. Joseph Oladipo, who gave this advice last week added that

By Ngozi Nna

there should be no sacred cow in ensuring the menace is dealt with decisively. Oladipo was reacting to recent flood problems in the state that destroyed properties and left many homeless. He spoke during a meet-

ing by the group in Lagos. Oladipo commended efforts of the ministry of the environment and physical planning during the flood crisis, saying the spontaneous release of relief materials and rescue activities were impressive. He however appealed to Lagos residents to keep

their environments clean and avoid acts capable of aggravating flooding in the state. Oladipo said ‘’every individual should obey the law of the state and re move all unauthorised structures disturbing the easy flow of water.”

Anglican Church holds women convention


T was celebration galore last week at the Lagos Mainland Diocese of the Anglican Communion during its 2011 Women Conference. The conference with the theme ‘‘Victory in Christ’’ coincided with the 5th anniversary of the diocese. It attracted the Diocesan of the church, Rev. (Prof) Adebayo Akinde, his wife Bassey, government officials and women from various Anglican churches within and outside the diocese. Delivering the keynote address, President of the conference, Mrs. Bassey Akinde, said attaining victory in Christ should be the ultimate aim of every Christian. She added that regardless of the strength of a man, victory can only be attained through the grace of God. She said: “As Christians we must rely solely on God for victory in all our endeavours. We must real-

By Vincent Nzemeke

ise that true victory can only be attained by the grace of God. ‘’Christ has paid the price for that victory and we must not allow the devil rob us of it.” Chairperson of the organising committee, Mrs. Olufunke Ajayi, admon-

ished Christian women to be supportive of their husbands in line with scriptural directives. She said: “We cannot underestimate the role of the women in any society. The men need our support and we must continue to help them in line with the instructions of the scrip-

tures.” Ajayi also said that the convention provided an opportunity for women in the diocese to come together for personal development. The event also featured song rendition from various groups and presentation of prizes to deserving women in the diocese.

‘Be grateful to God’


ENERAL Overseer of Shalom International Christian Church, Gbagada, Lagos, Rev. Wale Adekoya, has urged Nigerians to adopt the spirit of gratitude towards God for His blessings regardless of their circumstances. He gave the advice at a thanksgiving service in honour of Mrs Jean Chiazor Anishere, a maritime lawyer who clocked 50 recently.Adekoya, who spoke on Stewardship of life, said life is a gift. He said: ‘’No one is sure of the next second. That is why it is

By Joseph Eshanokpe

good to give thanks to God. On a day like this it is also good to take stocks to reflect. That was what king David did. For example, many went to the law school but they did not come back. But Sister Anishere went and returned.”He warned against mulling over losses saying yesterday is gone today is here and tomorrow belongs to the creator. Adekoya added: ‘’Fifty years of age is a good step to apply new principles of success. So sit back and wait upon the Lord.’’He con-

cluded: ‘’People will know you by the problems you have solved than the ones you created. That is why you should rededicate yourself to the service of God.” The celebrator said she was grateful to God to be alive to celebrate the day, adding that the blessings of God have left her speechless. She donated all the funds raised at the event to the service of God. Lagos State governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) apologised for his inability to attend in a text message. He announced the donation of a generating set to the church.



ISHOP of the Awori Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Revd. (Dr) Johnson Atere, has warned against ‘’the explosive implications’’ of the proposed Islamic Banking. He said the move has the potential of setting the nation on fire. Atere spoke at the presentation of the Bishop Charge at the first session of the first synod of the diocese, held at the Cathedral of St. James, Ota ,Ogun State, with the theme “ The Latter Rain “ He urged President Jonathan to call Governor


Atere warns against Islamic banking By Sunday Oguntola

of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to order. The cleric also called on public office holders to ensure downward review of their salaries and entitlement to reduce government’s capital expenditures.

This reduction, Atere averred, “will invariably impact on the nation’s socioeconomic development “ He explained: ”The RMAC should put a stop to all forms of illegal allowances being allocated by the lawmakers to themselves. ‘’We condemn the current situation where the priority of government focuses

more on the sustenance of the machinery of governance rather than improving the lives of the people.” On plans by Ogun State government to take over missionary schools earlier returned to their owners, he said such exercise would be counterproductive.

Apostolic Faith holds camp meeting By Vincent Nzemeke


• Professor Kayode Oje, Director of workshop, Rev Adebayo Emmanuel Adeniran, District Superintedent of the Apostolic Faith Church West and Central Africa (WECA) Andrew James Olaleye, Director Welfare, during the press briefing for the Apostolic Faith Camp meeting holding from August 7th - 28th, 2011.

LL is now set for the 2011 camp meeting of the West and Central African District of the Apostolic Faith Church. The District Superintendent, Rev. Adebayo Adeniran, disclosed that this year’s camp meeting will hold at Faith City Igbesa from the 7th through 28th of August 2011 with the theme: ‘The Marriage Supper of the Lamb: Prepare to meet the God’. The meeting, he said, provides an avenue for members of the church to meet and reflect on God’s word. He added that the theme of the convention is an indication that Jesus is coming soon whilst calling on Christians to be vigilant. “We want to re-sensitise ourselves to the rapture of the saints which can happen at any moment. In the twinkle of an eye, Jesus will come again and we have to be prepared as Christians,” Adeniran told newsmen. Like previous editions, the camp meeting will feature prayer sessions, Bible study, sermons, plays seminars, film show and music.

Meet labour’s demand, cleric tells FG


EDERAL and State governments should meet the demand of workers for a minimum wage of N18, 000 to avert industrial and economic losses. President of Christian Welfare Initiatives (CWI), Archbishop Magnus Atilade, who stated this last

By Ngozi Nna

week, lamented that Nigerian workers are among the most badly treated in the world. He said implementation of the minimum wage will assuage workers and reassure them of govern-

ment’s good intentions. He spoke with newsmen in Lagos. Atilade said: ‘’With the high costs of living in the country, it will be wicked to deny the workers their demands.” He also canvassed for immediate tackling of the Boko Haram menace in Northern

parts of the country, saying the sect must be stopped before it stops Nigeria’s march to progress. The cleric said government must unmask and prosecute members of the sect for bringing untold hardships on the nation.

House on the Rock’s computer labs for Lagos schools


IGHT public schools in Lagos state have been provided with state-ofthe- art computer laboratories by the House of the Rock Church through its computer laboratory initiative. The initiative, according to Senior Pastor of the church, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, is to promote computer education in public schools. Schools that have benefitted from the scheme inaugurated last September include Lafiaji Junior High School, Lagos Island; Okesuna Junior High School, Lagos Island; New Era Senior Girls High School; Wesley Girls Junior High School; Iponri Estate Junior High School and Isale Eko Grammar School, Lagos Island. The remaining schools, Adefarasin disclosed, are Dolphin senior high school, Lagos Island and Girls Senior Secondary School, Keffi Ikoyi.

•Students in one of the laboratories By Sunday Oguntola

Each of the schools provided empty class rooms, which the church refurbished and equipped with 17 computers, computer lab furniture (Tables and Chairs), fans, lightings, generators, work stations

(flat screen monitors and CPUs), air conditioners, burglary proof, security doors and Venetian blinds. The initiative, which he said is geared towards supporting Lagos state government in equipping public schools, is targeted at furnishing 100 schools by

2014. Adefarasin said: ‘’Computer knowledge is of great importance to the future of the Nigerian child and that is one thing driving this scheme. We shall not relent until we have covered all lost grounds.’’


Making Sense of Life with adeWale Adefuye

Extend your boundary of reality!


IR, the writer of the book of Hebrews1 describes you as one who left Egypt by faith not fearing the king’s anger and that what kept you going was because you ‘kept your eyes on the One who is invisible.’ That statement makes no sense and is false by definition. How can one’s eyes be fixed on the invisible?” “A major problem of humanity is its limitation in experiencing reality. Normally, Homo sapiens use their five senses – seeing (eyes), hearing (ear), tasting (tongue), smelling (nose) and feeling (skin) – to interface with physical reality. And you are tempted to think that the material world is all there is to reality. But the material, physical world is only a tiny fraction of reality. Your Scriptures have instances of periods when the invisible became visible, illustrating that the frontiers of reality are beyond the material or physical. You would have read the story of the Aramean king, who sent a strong army with horses and chariots to arrest Elisha the Prophet. These Aramean elite and specially trained combatants arrived by night and surrounded the city. Early the next morning, when Elisha’s assistant woke up and went out, he saw the force with its horses and chariots surrounding the city. He panicked and raised an alarm. Elisha quieted him, ‘Our side outnumbers theirs.’ This is the most bizarre statement a man with only physical-sensing organs can utter or hear. How can two unarmed, militarily untrained men - the prophet and his associate - claim to outnumber this professional squad that probably numbered a few hundreds?” “I can just picture the American Seals that took out the bearded man in Abbottabad, Pakistan.” “Ha! Whatever! Anyway, the prophet prayed a simple but seemingly stupid prayer - stupid to a man who believes and trusts only in the physical senses, ‘O LORD, open his eyes that he may see.’ Somehow, a change took place in the associate and an extra sensing organ was developed in him and he could suddenly ‘see’. The hill on which the town was built was covered with fiery horses and flaming chariots all around Elisha! The ordinarily human Aramean soldiers had no idea of the unseen military they were about to confront. Fortunately Elisha was not in a bellicose mood. He simply disarmed the enemies, fed them and made them look so silly. A similar scenario2 played out in the days of Hezekiah, king of ancient Israel. Mighty and proud Assyria deployed a hundred and eighty five thousand troops against Judah. God swore to defend ‘this city and protect it, for the sake of My own honour and because of the promise I made to my servant David.’ That night an angel invaded the Assyrian camp and killed all the 185,000 soldiers.” “Okay, what are you driving at?” “I had a similar - eye-opening - experience at the back of the wilderness at Mount Horeb. The moment I ‘saw’ Him, I was changed forever. My boundary of reality was extended beyond the physical. The Egyptian Pharaoh could not frighten me anymore. The hold of physical problems was broken...” “...But sir, we have a record of that conversation you had with the LORD when the people complained of lack of meat. In answer to your request, the LORD instructed you to prepare the people for ‘tomorrow, you shall eat meat; not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month’. That seemed to knock you out because you reminded the Big One, ‘The people around me number six hundred thousand foot soldiers, and you say, “I shall give them meat to eat for a whole month”! If all the flocks and herds were slaughtered, would that be enough for them? If all the fish in the seas were collected, would that be enough for them?’” “’Seeing’ the unseen will not stop a few things from ‘blowing’ your mind and that was one of them for me. I got ‘fleshy’ while trying to figure out how He would manage the situation. You really can learn so much from the Records. You don’t have to start from our starting point. The invisible is as real as the visible and faith is the principal sensing organ in the unseen.” “Many wonder why God would not make His presence more obvious. For example, by engraving the Ten Commandments on the moon!” “But God doesn’t want to be known by everyone. If He were to declare Himself beyond our ability to reject Him, then He would be forcing Himself on us. He wants to be known not by everyone but only by the creatures who seek Him.” 1

Hebrews 11:27 (NLT); 2 2Kings chapters 18 & 19 adeWale Adefuye, dean of LifeClass, can be reached at; 070 3002 3002 (SMS only)




Road transport workers to train in London T HE National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has embarked on the training of its members abroad to widen their horizon and inculcate in them the best practises of world transportation system. The president of the union, Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin said the training scheme was part of the transformation scheme to make the union live up to its role in the world adding that the project was part of his plans to expose the leaders and top officials of the union to capacity building programmes abroad, where they can practically see and know how the transport systems works in the developed nations. He disclosed further that part of the training scheme would expose participants to crisis management, conflicts resolution, leadership in transportation, maintenance of vehicles, and replacing fleet. He added that guaranteeing safety of passengers, road and operational safety are the responsibility of the union which the leadership intends to achieve with the training. In view of the crises that the union had been

By Tonia ‘Diyan

embroiled in across the country, Yasin observed that when leaders of the union across the country are empowered, they can make a change in the Nigeria transport system by

applying the gains of the training to educate members down the ladder in every branch and units. He lauded the Lagos NURTW executives led by Alhaji Akanni Olohunwa for embracing the training programme as the first state

branch to attend it in March this year, with another batch planning to go in August. He added that another team from Ogun State would go for the training in September. Yasin appealed to the federal government

urgently address the poor state of the roads in the country. He noted, “bad roads are the bane of road transport business and development in Nigeria. When the roads are bad, it results in traffic congestions and tragic deaths.”



I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olatunji Kikelomo Racheal, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Awolokun Kikelomo Racheal. All former documents remain valid, general public take note.


NWOKEFORO I, formerly known and addressd as Miss Chioma Jessica Nwokeforo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Chioma Jessica Awujo. All former Documents remain Valid University of Nigeria Nsukka, NYSC and the general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ezenwosu Kate Njideka, wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mbah Kate Amaka. All former documents remain valid General public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Egbo Obiageri Ann, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nnam Obiageri Ann. All former documents remain valid. ESUT, NYSC and general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Nweke Nkemdirim Roseline, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okechukwu Nkemdirim Roseline. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.

•The President and Mr Leke Opeodu of NEXGEN Initiatives Ltd, UK

response measures in order to reduce the devastating impact of floods on the people of the two states. In a statement signed by

Titilope Akosa, the Centre said noted that there was also an urgent need to clear all blocked drains and gutters in the state to ease

the flow of rainwater and other waste water. It also suggested that debris and waste removed from the blocked drains

Prayer group faults single term bill

HE National Prayer Movement has said that the proposed sixyear single term tenure bill by President Goodluck Jonathan is uncalled for and a distraction to the set-goals of his administration. In a statement by its General Secretary, Oluwagbemiga Olakunle, the group said the proposal is an indication that President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration is not getting its priorities right. Part of the statement read, “The government is still battling with security and economic challenges ranging from Boko-Haram menace to threats of strike by the Organized Labour. Will a government which is yet to resolve the issue of minimum wage with the Organized Labour source for another N1billion or more to fund a wasteful exercise in the name of constitutional amendment? “As if the Boko-Haram menace being caused to the unity of this country is not enough, the Sharia Council has also reportedly threatened to put the nation on fire if the proposed Islamic Banking fails to sail through. The challenges of power, food

OLAYANJU I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olayanju Titilola Modupe, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Bankole Titilola Modupe. All former documents remain valid, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital and general public take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunyemi Busola Abiodun, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adamu Busola Abiodun. All former documents remain valid, Ekiti State Hospital Management Board, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and general public take note.

‘How to avert further flood disaster’ T

HE Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) Nigeria, has called on the Lagos, Ogun and federal governments to put in place disaster


security and basic infrastructure are still there for government to tackle. And yet it has chosen to sponsor a controversial bill at the National Assembly,” the prayer group stated Noting that the wisdom of those who crafted the fouryear tenure in the 1999 Constitution should be respected, the prayer group said “a good government that performs satisfactorily should be given another opportunity to come for a second term and continue with its good works, while a bad government who perform below the

expectation of the electorates, should be booted out of office”. “The electorates, should always be given the opportunity to determine those who lead them. The performance of majority of our current political leaders does not lend credence to the proposed bill. “What happens in case of a bad government or an inept government that is given mandate to hold power for 7 years either at the State of Federal levels? “Does that mean that the electorate have to groan in silence for good seven years

waiting for the so-called dividends of democracy to manifest? Under such a government, it may be a discreet invitation to a state of anarchy or for a military regime to take-over. “With what has happened in the South-West geo-political zone of the country and other states where governors or parties who performed below expectation in the estimation of the electorate were voted out in the last April elections, The Presidency should allow our constitution to maintain the status-quo.” Olakunle stated

should be properly disposed, while timely and relevant information should be disseminated to the residents to empower them to take measures that will safeguard their lives and properties. Following the damage caused by the flood, the Centre said financial and moral support should be given to women and men who have been devastated by the effects of the rains. On the part of the residents, they were advised to stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains and water channels, and also shun other activities which are capable of worsening the impacts of the rains. The centre further warned against construction of houses on flood plains and called on individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the victims.

Ijesa North East diocese synod commences


HE Second Session of the First Synod of Ijesa North East Diocese of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will hold between Wednesday, 3rd and Sunday, 7th August, 2011 with the theme: The People of the Kingdom. The venue of the Synod is the one-year old Ikeji - Ile Archdeaconry with headquarters at Saint Jude’s Anglican Church, Ikeji - Ile Ijesa.

According to the release made available by the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev’d J. A. F. Olusola, the Diocesan Bishop, other invited bishops, clergy and laity are expected to arrive the Saint Jude’s Anglican Church, Ikeji - Ile Ijesa on Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011. On Thursday the 4th, there will be official opening of the Synod, while deliberations will commence immediately after through Saturday, the

6th of August. The Synod will be rounded off on Sunday, 7th August with a thanksgiving. Expected to make his first appearance at the diocese synod is the Executive Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in company of top government officials and traditional rulers. In a brief chat with the Archdeacon of Ikeji - Ile Archdeaconry who is also the Vicar of Saint Jude’s

Anglican Chuech, Ikeji - Ile Ijesa, Venerable Emmanuel Olusegun Omolaoye, he disclosed that proper arrangements and logistics are in place to make the synod a huge success. Meanwhile, all sons and daughters of the ancient town of Ikeji - Ile Ijesa are already trooping home to give their moral and financial support to the over a century old Saint Jude’s Anglican Church. Ikeji - Ile Ijesa.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ibekwe Blessing Nwamaka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nnamani Blessing Nwamaka. All former documents remain valid. ESUT, NYSC and the general public take note.

NWOGU I formerly known and addressed as MISS FAITH ONYEDIKACHI NWOGU, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. FAITH ONYEDIKACHI CHIDIEBERE – UWAH. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I , CHIDIEBERE PAUL DOMINION UWAKARAONYE and , CHIDIEBERE PAUL UWAKARAONYE, is the same one person as DOMINION PAUL CHIDIEBERE - UWAH. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as MISS OBED AMANDA CHINENYE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. NDUDIM-ESOBE AMANDA CHINENYE. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. Abia State Polytechnic , NYSC and general public take note.


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I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Adefolake Ayobami Adebayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adefolake Philips-Oduah. All former documents remain valid. UBA Bank Plc. and general public take note.

EFFIWAT I formerly known and addressed as Miss Inyang Bassey Effiwat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Inyang Aniekan Edet. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. University of Calabar and general public take note.


Sport Extra




AYC final video lifts F/Eagles

Competition should be replicated —Oshodi


T is hoped that a video playback of the AYC final will lift the Flying Eagles to victory today against Guatemala in the U-20 World Cup. The Flying Eagles watched how they beat Cameroon 3-2 to win a record sixth AYC triumph after they were thumped 4-1 by CONCACAF champions Mexico at the Copa de la Republica in Panama. It was their second loss in the invitational tournament after they first lost to Portugal and managed only a goalless

draw with Panama. “It’s a psychological ploy and we believe it will work because all our focus is victory on Sunday,” said assistant coach Samuel Abimbola. “It was great to watch the final again. We showed character even after Cameroon fought back from two goals down late in the game,” added Terry Envoh, who went on to fire the championship-winning goal. Reports suggest that Guatemala are fast, use the wings very well and are great at counter attacks.

•Commends Edun over feat

C Eagles get Kayode boost


TRIKER Olanrewaju Kayode can feature for Nigeria against Guatemala Sunday after his red card in the AYC final was quashed. Kayode risked missing out on the U20 World Cup Group D opener after he was sent off in the African Youth Championship final against Cameroon in May. However, at a pre-match meeting Saturday FIFA announced that Kayode’s dismissal has been cancelled and he is now eligible to play against Guatemala on Sunday. “It’s a big boost for us because Kayode is our most forceful striker,” said assistant coach Yakubu Maidajin. Austrian referee Robert Scoergenhoger will be the referee for the Group D clash between Nigeria and Guatemala. The Flying Eagles will sport all-green jerseys while Guatemala will wear all-white jerseys with a blue strip across their tops. In the meantime, the Flying Eagles have scored top marks for the pitch at the Estadio Centenario in Armenia after they toured the 23-year-old stadium. “It’s like playing in heaven,” marvelled striker Uche Nwofor

as he walked on the lush-green turf Friday afternoon. “I wish I could roll back the years and play again as a goalkeeper,” added goalkeeper trainer Sule Shuaibu as he took his three goalkeepers around the pitch. But goalkeeper Gideon Gambo warned his trainer that he should also be mindful of the fact that the ball during his playing days and now are not the same. “It is not those days when a goalkeeper would grab a ball almost blindfolded because the balls are now a lot faster,” said the Sharks shot stopper. It was the same high marks from skipper Ramon Azeez and Sani Emmanuel, who both starred for Nigeria at the final of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup two years ago. However, it has been raining in Armenia for the past three days and this may affect the superb condition of the pitch should the drainage around it not be up to scratch. The rains already stopped the Flying Eagles from having an hour’s training on the pitch Friday. Hard-stud boots could therefore be the solution on a soggy pitch but they are not very popular with the Nigerian players.


Nigeria draws Malawi, others


HE Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn in Group F of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with the Flames of Malawi, as well as the winners of the Sycheles/Kenya and Djibouti/Namibia preliminary round fixtures. The qualifiers will kick off in November but Nigeria and Malawi are drawn bye to the group stages with other 26 African nations. The format for the African eliminations will see 24 teams fight for group stage places from the preliminary stage. The 12 winners from the 24 teams will join the 28 drawn bye for the group stage. The group stages will be made up of 10 groups of four teams each and only the

By Olusoji Olukayode group winners will qualify for the final round. Subsequently, the 10 group winners will be paired for the final two-legged elimination that will eventually produce Africa’s five representatives at the 2014 World Cup. Nigeria made her first World Cup appearance in 1994. That team led by Clemens Westerhof, picked a ticket to play in the U.S.A fete after edging out Algeria and Ivory Coast in the final round of qualifiers. The country has gone ahead to feature in three more World Cups since then. The Eagles saw action at France ’98, Japan/Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cups.

OMMISSIONER for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Waheed Enitan Oshodi has said that for sports development to reach the desired height in the country, the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show, an initiative of the Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame (LBHF), should be replicated in the various sports across the nation. After gracing the 22nd edition of the competition at the Mobalaji Johnson Sports Centre, Row Park, Yaba, Lagos yesterday, the ace football administrator noted that the performance posted by the boxers is a confirmation of the reports he got from the coaches and organisers of the competition when he resumed office. “I have spoken to the coaches who are working with the LBHF and the officials of the Boxing Association and they have assured me that there’s a pool of amateur boxers from this competition, with over 30 clubs in Lagos state not just within the metropolis. “We must continue to commend people like Mr. Wale Edun for his effort and I want to say that other associations and other states all over the country should emulate the initiative for Nigeria to be successful,” Oshodi explained. Meanwhile, in his speech, the Chairman of LBHF, Olawale Edun has formally congratulated the Lagos boxers that represented the state at the just concluded National Sports Festival (NSF), winning seven

Nigerian Under-20 side celebrate with their AYC trophy


Eyimba, Sunshine secure vital victories •As Kaduna United face Club Africain today


I G E R I A ’ s representatives at the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) organised competitions, Enyimba International and Sunshine Stars at the weekend secured vital victories in their respective outings. Nigerian champions, Enyimba beat Cotonsport 3-2 in Garoua on Saturday to move to the top of the CAF Champions League Group A, while Sudan’s Al Hilal pipped Raja of Morocco in Omdurman. The Peoples Elephant have four points from two matches, same as Al Hilal, but the Nigerians have scored more goals than the Sudanese champions. Enyimba took a two-goal lead after 40 minutes. Uche Kalu was on target after 10 minutes before skipper Chiedozie Johnson made it 2-0 five minutes from the interval. The home team pulled a goal back on 46th minute through Mfoutou Madida, before Idrisa Seydou drew them level at 2-2 in the 63rd minute. However, Enyimba had the last laugh six minutes from time when Uche Kalu grabbed his brace, his third in the group stage of the competition. On August 14, Enyimba will host Raja and Al Hilal welcome Cotonsport in continuation of the Champions League. In the CAF Confedertions Cup on Friday, Sunshine Stars won their second straight game after a 2-1 win

By Akeem Lawal

By Innocent Amomoh gold medals, as he ascribed the feat to the consistency of the boxing show that has kept the boxers on top of their game. “The wonderful performance of our boxers at the sports festival is as a result of the hard work we are putting in especially for the fact that amateur boxing in Lagos has become a well hall machine, with international standard equipment, the show comes up regularly every month, it is timely, and done according to the standards. “I am happy for the youth, I am happy that we have given them this platform to express themselves. They now have something to work towards, something to train for, we are engaging them and challenging them to work hard for the future,” he said. However, in the nine bout competition, Ahmed Ayinde defeated Femi Peter in the 49kg category, while Akintunde Ahmed also fell to the punching power of Qudus Adeleke in the 49kg category. In the 60kg category, Fatai Ajadi saw the better of Dumade Babatunde, as Oladesu Idris went down to Sulaimon Musa in straw category. Meanwhile, in the 60kg, Joseph Otto defeated Ukoh Friday. The only female bout of the day was between Nofisat Hassan and Elizabeth Osoja in the 54kg category. Osoja won the bout. The 23rd edition will take place last Saturday in the month of August.

away at JS Kabylie of Algeria to top Group B with six points from two matches. The home team went in front through Fares Hemetti in the 18th minute, before Sunday Emmanuel drew level on 39th minute. Striker Atanda Sakibu grabbed the match winner on 78 minutes. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s other flag bearer at the CAF Confederation Cup, Kaduna United will hope to follow Enyimba and Sunshine Stars footsteps when they take on Club Africain of Tunisia in matchday two today at the Stade Olympique d’El Menzah in Tunis. The Maurice Cooreman’s Boxers in action at the Saturday Boxing Hall of Fame team started their campaign at PHOTO: Bola Omilabu home with a 1-1 draw against GD Interclube of Angola on July 16. MARYAM BABAGINDA MEMORIAL JUNIOR TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP

Why we are interested in Tennis — Babaginda


HE organisers of the Maryam Babaginda Memorial Tennis Championship have shed more light on reasons they embarked on reaching out to the grassroots through tennis. The NationSport gathered from the organisers that the foundation, is concerned for the future of the youths of the nation hence the need to take up the responsibility of providing support for youths both in academics and other spheres of life, sports inclusive. In a chat with NationSport

Chairman of the Foundation Mohammed Babaginda said: “We have decided to take to support the game of tennis financially across all the thirty-six states of the country. As lovers of the game of tennis, we believe that something can be done to save the future of the game and give the junior players the hope of a future in the game. “In the same vein, we intend to sustain the love of the game in youths through this memorial national junior tennis championship for us is imperative towards

sustaining the future of the game in the country. Recognizing the need for corporate bodies and well meaning Nigerians to support and help our youths poseur and realize their dreams, is the reason for our presence here today”. Meanwhile, the tournament will cater for youths in two age groups; 12 and under, 14 and under which is further broken into four categories of 12 and under boys and girls, and 14 and under boys and girls respectively. This young people will be drawn

QUOTABLE “If his proposal is accepted, you will be surprised that before 2015, he will declare another intention to declare for 2015 presidency. If the PDP cannot accept the zoning system, they would definitely not accept excluding Jonathan in 2015.”


-- Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former governor of Kaduna State commenting on President Jonathan 6-year single term tenure for elected presidents and governors.


T is time we asked President Goodluck Jonathan whether he believes in anything at all. The manner and rapidity with which he has seemed to distance himself from the single term bill, which he was reported to be prepared to send to the National Assembly next month, is highly instructive. Poor gauge of public mood that he is, he was probably surprised by the ferocious and instantaneous opposition to the idea. He had thought, as he said, that since the idea predated him and many parties were involved in its formulation, the objection would not be as strong and dismissive as he feared. Instead, the opposition to the idea has been intense, in some ways insulting, and in fact insinuatingly cruel. Jonathan had the choice of defending the tenure idea with passion and conviction, and to see how far he could go, while privately chuckling behind security doors at our expense. But since the idea was officially released to the press, the president’s confidence, if he ever had any in the tenure project, had been badly shaken. Indeed we would be lucky if the bill ever gets to the legislature to enable us see how far the president can go to defend anything. It has taken him ages to give us a peek into what he thinks of the Boko Haram menace. He found refuge in surrendering the nuisance to public discourse, most of it emotional, sectional, sectarian, and downright ignorant and effusively academic. He also said little anyone should take the trouble of remembering on the violence that swept through the northern part of the country after the 2011 presidential poll. And if all hell were to break loose on any issue tomorrow, he will still keep his profound and patented silence. Whenever the contentious issues of this republic are making the populace hop, skip and jump, Jonathan prefers to either keep quiet or mince his words, or even carefully weigh them in such a manner as to mystify the public and keep them guessing. No doubt it sometimes makes sense for a president to watch carefully before he leaps, but the danger in such cautious responses to urgent national issues is that the president could end his tenure without us, or even himself, ever knowing where he stands on any issue. Is the president a conservative? Well, he seems contented that his party appears to be. Indeed, he has said little and done even littler to help us pigeonhole his ideas or situate them within the context of his party’s philosophy and principles. Is he a progressive? He sometimes gives the impression by some of his statements that he would have loved to be one if he felt it safe. Like his predecessor, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who was eternally poised on the edge of progressivism without being quite conservative, Jonathan has strad-

Tenure not Nigeria’s problem

•Goodluck Jonathan

•David Mark

dled the conservative-progressive divide like a gymnast. Jonathan’s predictable response to the tenure furore was typically sang-froid. An inter-party committee in 2008 made the recommendation, not he, he said cheerfully. And it was a recommendation bound for the Mohammed Uwais panel on electoral reform. Though the Uwais panel did not find the proposal useful, the idea has regained sufficient vigour in 2011 for it to be on its way to the National Assembly this August. If it eventually gets there – though there is no assurance it will – it is unlikely to come out of those boisterous chambers alive. The bill’s major strengths are so illogical that they are paradoxically its weaknesses. Single term of six years is expected to mitigate the acrimonious politics of re-election, says the president. Did it escape him that one of his predecessors, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was willing to destroy the country in order to install Yar’Adua? Has Jonathan himself forgotten what subterranean efforts he made to promote another candidate in place of the governor of his home state of Bayelsa in the last governorship poll? A president does not have to stand for re-election to spend obscenely or be willing to use violence to win.

Supporters of single term, among whom is the president, say it will enable the elected governor or president to concentrate on governance. Absolute nonsense. A serious president will work whether he stands to get a second term or not. In any case, a second term in office for a brilliant president is as desirable for the country as an extended single tenure is inimical. The pro is as good or bad as the con. It would be sheer torture to have a bad president in office for six years as it would be depressing to see a good president leave earlier than he could consolidate on his excellent work. Apart from the fact that Jonathan has bigger and more dangerous challenges facing his presidency and the country, the single term option is absolutely both irrelevant to and ineffective against the country’s complex problems. In 1978, those who drafted the constitution of the Second Republic felt one of the major reasons the First Republic collapsed was the parliamentary model of government. Barely two years into the presidential system, it dawned on everyone that we were chasing an illusion – a fact that has now prompted some of our statesmen to suggest we should go back to parliamentary government. The problem with Nigeria cruelly stares us in the face

Obasanjo, Tambuwal and House of Representatives


HIEF Olusegun Obasanjo’s dire warning to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislators in the House of Representatives that they risked their party collapsing over their disrespect for zoning principles is one more example of the former president’s awkward interaction with the tenets of democracy. Stung that his candidate for the speakership of the Reps, Hon Muriana Ajibola, was rejected, and consoled emboldened by the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan’s candidate, Hon Mulikat Adeola-Akande, was also thrown out, Obasanjo has latched on to what he thinks is a good cause to meddle in the Reps as he was wont when he was in office. On the surface, and given the inadequate examples by opposition parties, the issue of party unity or discipline is paramount in the dynamics of the legislature, whether at state or national level. To that extent, Obasanjo was right to draw the at-

tention of his party, of which he is chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), to the necessity of respecting the rules and regulations of the party. However, at bottom, what ailed Obasanjo was not party discipline, especially in view of his own flexible principles and merciless exploitation of party regulations, but the loss his candidate suffered in the leadership contest in the Reps. The lawmakers must be wary of the persistence of the former president and his ingenuity in stimulating disaffection and revolt in the House of Reps. Responding to Obasanjo’s alarming prognosis, the lawmakers said they were uninterested in removing Hon Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker either now or in the two years the former president canvassed. As long as Obasanjo is still relevant in the party, he will keep at his campaign to undermine the Reps. Jonathan may be worried that the rejection of zoning among the lawmakers could affect the

party and even his administration, but if the Reps stand pat, he is likely to go along with them, notwithstanding his famous ambivalence. He has never sounded very desperate on anything to appear too intransigence. Anyhow we look at the cosmetic revolution that produced Tambuwal, or view the struggle between zoning and democracy in the Reps, we are likely to be considerably entertained in the coming months. After all, has Obasanjo not served a two-year notice for change of leadership in the lower chamber, and will he not prosecute the war to his pugnacious best? It is left in the hands of the electorate to allow their representatives to be browbeaten by a former president who has never pretended to be a democrat nor was ever patient with both the ideals of democracy and the lofty values that set the modern era apart from the ancient, uninspiring past.

with all its ugly and beastly features, but we have had the misfortune of leaders and statesmen who lack the courage to identify it, let alone engineer a solution. Obasanjo didn’t have the wisdom to identify the problem or the courage to provide remedies. Yar’Adua had a little courage, but he also lacked the analytical sense and vision to pinpoint the country’s malady. And Jonathan has appeared to me to unite in himself the weaknesses of his two predecessors, combining the verbal brashness of Obasanjo and the tentativeness and even absentmindedness of Yar’Adua. Indeed, among Nigeria’s former leaders, only Gen Murtala Mohammed had the courage and presence of mind to remould the country had he been well served by a fiery intellect as he was abundantly served by his fearsome temper. One of the major problems Jonathan was expected to grapple with, before he went after the tenure red herring, was our inchoate federalism. But even if he had put proposals before us to remedy our deformed federalist structure, it would still not have been sufficient to stabilise the country or advance its growth and development. True federalism, as progressives like to canvass, without a comprehensive restructuring of the country, would be escapist, useless and farcical. There are too many fundamental and underlying factors predisposing the country to instability for it to be cured by only a general and theoretical application of federalism. The country must be rearranged from its roots in order to give it a fighting chance of surviving and escaping the apocalypse many researchers have predicted for it. But it is this fundamental restructuring that none of our leaders has had the courage to touch or voice. It is this restructuring that some of us hoped Jonathan would find the courage to broach before he careened off on a different tangent. If in the face of Boko Haram, economic distress, increasingly disruptive banking policies, bitter sectarian exchange, cantankerous regional and cultural elites, and political paralysis, all Jonathan can suggest is the single term bugaboo, then I am afraid that like all his predecessors he really has no fundamental programme for the country. That is, apart from gently and vacuously waiting for Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala’s fabled magic wand.

NJC won’t leave bad enough alone


HE National Judicial Council (NJC) fact-finding panel on the misunderstanding between the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius KatsinaAlu, and the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami turned in its report a few days ago. Headed by a former PCA, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, the panel virtually declared the whole controversy a storm in a teacup. It, however, said that on the matter of Salami’s claim that the CJN tried to subvert justice in the Sokoto governorship election appeal, the current PCA lied on oath. The Abdullahi panel seemed to have laid the basis for reconciliation between the fighting judicial bigwigs. But given the headlines cast by many newspapers, it was obvious they seemed disappointed that one of the parties was not damned and disgraced. Alas, by setting up another panel, this time headed by a junior judicial officer, to make perhaps punitive recommendations, it also now seems that some members of the NJC have mysterious aims. But looking at the thoroughness of the Abdullahi panel’s work and that of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the same issue, I fear the NJC’s new panel may end up creating a more enervating dilemma for the judiciary. Let us hope wiser counsel will prevail in the end.

Published by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor - 08050498530, Marketing: 4520939, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Telephone: 07028105302 E-mail: Editor: LEKAN OTUFODUNRIN

The Nation July 31, 2011  
The Nation July 31, 2011  

The Nation July 31, 2011