Page 1

Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

N38bn fraud

Alleged rape of corps member:

NASS officials testify 6 against Bankole, Nafada Page

Ex-Speaker, deputy regain freedom

VOL.05 N0. 1787

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

Court orders arrest of Osun 61 monarch Page

SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011 N150.00

Bomb: Everybody is a target, says Jonathan

No, it is not just the IG ... I don't want to make reference to what happened in the United States that they were to crash a plane into the White House. So, terrorists will aim at the top; if they can bomb the President, they will do it

FG may engage FBI, CIA, others to probe explosion Sultan, Muslim clerics condemn attack Page

3

Wife of one of the victims of the blast, the late ASP Nangor Dangtim (middle, crying)... More pictures and stories inside


2 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

EXPLOSION AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS

FG may engage FBI, CIA, others to T probe explosion

HERE were strong indications yesterday that the Federal Government may collaborate with international security agencies, like the FBI, CIA, INTERPOL and Saudi Intelligence Agency, to probe Thursday’s bomb explosion in the Force Headquarters, Abuja. Also, the Presidential Committee on Public Awareness on Security and Civic Responsibilities yesterday said with the latest blast, the government would re-appraise the nation’s security network. But the security agencies last night were suspecting that the Boko Haram members might have been trained in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Sudan. It was, however, learnt that the Force Headquarters was conducting a census of its officers and men on duty on Thursday, following specula-

•Security overhaul coming Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation tions that the figure could be higher than the two casualties officially confirmed. Investigation by our correspondent showed that the latest dimension to bombing has informed the Presidency’s decision to collaborate with some international security agencies to probe Thursday’s incident. It was gathered that strategic developed nations like the US, the UK, France and Saudi Arabia are worried that Nigeria is under threats, being the rallying point in the

region. A top source in the force, who spoke in confidence, said: “A coalition of international security agencies will be involved in probing Thursday’s explosion. “Apart from being a major hub in West Africa, security situation in Nigeria has wider implications for peace in Africa. “The major powers are suspecting that the Al-Qaeda Movement is targeting its allies in Africa, having been checked in Europe and the US. “I think Nigeria has decided to cooperate fully with international agencies because of

•From left: Director General, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Prof John Idoko; Chairman, NACA Board, Prof Umaru Shehu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Ayim Pius Ayim, during the visit of NACA Board in Abuja... yesterday

the widespread belief that the dreaded Al-Qaeda group is behind moves to destabilise countries of the world, using different groups. “There have been high level contacts within the international community on the bombing issue and some persons who are seen as possibly linked are being watched. Some of them would have their visas confiscated once evidence links them directly with the incident. “Already, some operatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States of America(USA), Met Police, the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) and Saudi Intelligence Agency are assisting Nigeria to get to the roots of the latest bombing.” A police officer, who spoke in confidence, said: “The manner in which the suicide bomber trailed the movement of the IG, Hafiz Ringim, could be likened to those of insurgents in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Sudan . “Apart from the vehicle not bearing any number plate, the bomber was able to beat security at the sentry post in the Force Headquarters because he put up a decoy that he was part of the IG’s entourage. “Ordinarily, every vehicle entering the Force Headquarters passes through a metal detection screening device except the convoy of the IG. “So, those behind the bomb had studied the IG’s security profile before striking.” Responding to a question, the source said the Force Headquarters was conducting a census of officers and men on duty on Thursday. “We are disturbed by conflicting figures of casualties. That is why all the departments and units have been taking census of their officers and men.

Sultan, NSCIA condemn attack

T

HE Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar yesterday condemned the bomb blast at the Nigeria Police Force headquarters. The Sultan, who spoke through the Secretary General of the NSCIA, Dr Abdullateef Adegbite in a communiqué after the organisation’s expanded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, also called on all Nigerians to “seek redress of all grievances through peaceful means and not violence.” Adegbite, who was flanked by the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwan Sulieiman Adamu, and the Emir of Suleja, Alhaji Anwal Ibrahim at the press conference, said: “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had the meeting of the expanded National Executive Council (NEC) to reflect on issues of national and international interests as they affect the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria. “The meeting was declared open by His Excellency, the Vice President the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Architect Namadi Sambo. Also the representative of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambu-

Sanni OLOGUN, Abuja wal and His Emminence the Sultan of Sokoto and President General NSCIA, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar mni, CFR, were in attendance. “Other distinguished personalities at the occasion were HRH the Shehu of Bornu and many other Emirs, Chiefs, Obas, prominent Islamic scholars and Da’wah workers from all over the Federation. “After exhaustive deliberations, the following observations were made: That the 2011 general elections have come and gone, leaving the country with a lot of wounds that pose a threat to our cohesion and peaceful coexistence. While a house divided against itself cannot stand, the Ummah has sadly allowed trivial issues to rid it of its much cherished unity. “In recent times, rumour peddling has assumed more organised and dangerous dimensions in our society, leading to unnecessary mutual mistrust and hatred among various segments of the Muslim Ummah. “There is a growing unhealthy trend in the country whereby some religious leaders and organisations use the

media, both print and electronic, to make malevolent utterances that have the tendency to generate enmity and even crisis among different ethnic and religious communities. “There are hundreds of the victims of the 2011 pre and post-election violence, who are still in very difficult conditions, and the government, as well as the Ummah has not given them the necessary support they require.” He called on the federal and state governments affected by election and other crisis to come to the assistance of the “desperate groups of Nigerians who have been orphaned and impoverished by the crises. “Government should provide a viable and proactive framework for dealing with emergency relief and assistance and ensure adequate compensation as well as long term rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims.” He added that based on its observations, some of the following resolutions were made: “That the NSCIA condemns all forms of violence, including the spate of bombings in different parts of the country, and notes with deep sadness that the latest bombing at the police headquarters, which caused destruction of

lives and property. “The council calls on all Nigerians to seek redress for all grievances through dialogue and peaceful means, not through violence. Muslims are advised strongly to let unity reflect in all that they do, be it social, economic, political or religious. “The Council notes that the US still maintains its restriction and embargo on financial transactions and assistance between Muslim individuals and organisations. This action clearly singles out Muslims as the sponsors of terrorism, contrary to the universally acknowledged fact that by its own nature, terrorism is not a monopoly of any particular group, race or religion. “The attitudes and relationship between the leadership and the followership constitute a major setback to the peaceful development of Nigeria.” The NSCIA also called on leaders to imbibe the virtues of justice and fairness and for the followership to exhibit tolerance and accommodation at all times. “The Council finally urges Muslims to embark on constant and faithful prayers for the peace and development of the country,” Adegbite added.

Why we can’t release CCTV footage now _Police •Red alert in Aso villa

T

HE Nigerian Police Force has explained why it cannot release the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage of the bomb attack on its headquarters on Thursday. Force Public Relations Officer, Olusola Amore, said Amore said they are purely for internal investigative purposes and not for sentimental and emotional appeal. “The CCTV footage was taken but it is clearly for investigation,” Amore said. He also said that no victim died at the hospital. Amore said: “Eleven people were injured. Ten of them were treated and discharged. Only one police officer is still on admission at the National Hospital. I can confirm to you that no victim died at the hospital. You can go to the hospitals to cross check.” ROne of the victims of the blasts earlier rushed to the hospital was said to have died. When The Nation visited the Asokoro General Hospital where most of the injured victims were treated, a nurse on duty said they had been discharged. It was also learnt that one of the victims was transferred to the National Hospital for further medical attention. A source said some of the injured victims said to have been discharged from the Asokoro General Hospital were merely moved to a police medical facility. But the Amore debunked this claim, saying all the injured had been treated and

Sanni OLOGUN, Abuja dischaged with the exception of an injured police officer who was still on admission at the National Hospital. Jonathan was briefed on the situation of things by the Inspector General of Police Hafiz Ringim. He was conducted round the scene of crime before he left. He told Nigerians to be calm and not panic, saying that the security agencies would get to the root of the matter and fetch the perpetrators. According to him, anybody could be a victim of terrorist attack, as the menace has become a global phenomenon and Nigeria is only having its own share of it. Jonathan left with the IGP after touring the scene. Security at the Presidential Villa, which is about 300 metres from the Force Headquarters, has been put on red alert. A source said the officers of the Guards Brigade on duty have been increased numerically even as all vehicles going in and out of the seat of power were being thoroughly scrutinised and searched. Security was also beefed up at the Federal Capital Territory Police Command. Police officers were seen with metal detectors, searching visitors going into the complex. An Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was also seen parked at the gate of the FCT Police headquarters.

Vice-President cancels plan to attend Etsu Nupe’s children’s wedding Jide ORINTUNSIN –Minna

T

HURSDAY bomb explosion at Louis Edet House, Police Headquarters, Abuja forced a last-minute cancellation of Vice President Namadi Sambo’s attendance of the wedding ceremony of the children of the Chairman of Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yayaha Abubakar in Bida. The number two citizen had to make a detour from visiting Bida for the wedding ceremony of three children of the first class traditional rulers, where he was to be the special guest of honour, even when advance teams from Aso Rock had arrived Minna, Niger state capital and Bida the venue of the ceremony. A top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity at the Government House in Minna, told our correspondent that a signal recalling the Vice-President advance teams back to Abuja was received in Minna at about 2 pm on Thursday, forcing all of them to return to Abuja. According to arrangement, the Vice-President was to pass the night in Minna on Thursday, where he would leave for Bida with the Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’a zu Babangida Aliyu for the wedding at Wadata Palace in Bida on Friday. “The advance teams in Minna and Bida were recalled to Abuja when the news of the bomb blast at the Police Headquarters was broken. They were told that the Vice-President would not be making the visit in view of security report. We had prepared to receive and host the Vice-President in Minna. He was to pass the night in Minna on Thursday night and proceed with the governor to the wedding today (Friday) in Bida,” our source disclosed. Police also had to beef up security in Bida following protests by some youths in the town on Thursday night for undisclosed reasons. The youths, who were said to have set fire on some major roads in the town were later dispersed by armed policemen. When contacted on the phone, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Oguche (ASP) who said he was in Bida yesterday afternoon with the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mike Zuokumor, said the town was calm, claiming he was not aware of any protest in the town. But when asked what he was doing with the Commissioner in Bida, Oguche said, “I am in Bida with The CP who is here to represent the Inspector General of Police, Ahlaji Hafiz Ringim at the wedding of the children of the Etsu Nupe.”


NEWS 3

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

EXPLOSION AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS

•President Goodluck Jonathan being conducted round the scene of the bomb explosion at the Police Headquarters by the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Hafiz Rimgim and the Police DIG, Ivy Okoronkwo, yesterday. PHOTOS AKIN OLADOKUN.

We’re all targets of bomb blasts, says Jonathan

P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathcan bomb the President, they will Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja an yesterday asked Nigerido it,” he further said. ans not to panic following A few minutes after the President departed the scene, a woman what was described as the first sui- victims of the bomb blasts. The President said although the came to ascertain the fate of her cide bombing recorded in Nigeria, saying the ugly situation, which has country is having its own share of husband, who she said told her he become a global phenomenon, will the global phenomenon now, it was going to the Force Headquarwould soon be over. He therefore ters on the day of the incident. soon be over. According to the woman, she had The President, who was formally urged Nigerians not to panic. “First and foremost, let me com- not heard from him since then. reacting to the twin bomb blasts that With the assistance of some porocked the Force Headquarters, miserate with those people who Abuja, also said the Inspector Gen- lost their lives and property. Some lice officers who took her through eral of Police, Hafiz Ringim, was not vehicles were burnt and some peo- the affected areas, the woman was necessarily the target as many are ple must have been victims of the able to identify her husband’s burnt made to believe, explaining that explosion. Let me use this oppor- car. At that point, she burst into tears everybody at the top could be a tar- tunity to assure Nigerians that it happens all over the world; no as she ransacked the car to be sure get, even the President. • PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan at the scene of bomb explosion at the Police it was her husband’s. President Jonathan, who looked country is free. “Nigeria has also been having Headquarters yesterday. With him is the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Hafiz pensive, arrived the Louis Edet Her husband, whose identity Ringim. House Police Headquarters at about some ugly incidents lately, but sure- could not be ascertained at press ly we will get over them. People 12.07 pm and depart- should not panic at all. Soon, most time, recently retired from the ed at about 12.20 of these things will become a thing Navy. The woman was able to identipm. of the past,” he said. fy some Christian pamphlets and He was received On the possibility of the IG being ENATOR Kabiru Ibrawas not only an attack on the Kolade ADEYEMI, by the IG who con- the target of the attack, the Presi- leaflets which she said were reguhim Gaya, who repreNigeria Police, but an attack Kano ducted him round dent said no emphatically, adding: larly in her husband’s car. sents Kano South SenThe car, a Mercedes Benz V-Boot, on the consciousness of Nigerthe affected areas. ”It is not just the IG. Everybody is a has a Lagos number plate - FE 748 atorial District in the Senate, called on President Goodluck ia as a nation, insisting that the Jonathan, who target of terrorists’ attacks. AAA. From its position, it is obvihas urged the Federal Govern- Jonathan to as a matter of ur- Federal Government must took time to re‘’I don’t want to make reference ment not to relent in its efforts gent national importance uti- deploy all resources available spond to questions to what happened in the United ous that the occupant was in the process of parking the car at the to fish out the masterminds of lise his constitutional powers to it to “fish out the criminal from newsmen, the bomb attacks on the Po- to nip in the bud the growing elements that masterminded commiserated with States where they were to crash a parking lot when the bomb blasts plane into the White House. So, terlice Force Headquarters, Abu- insecurity situation in the the dastardly act. the families of the rorists will aim at the top. If they occurred. “The latest bomb blast right ja. country. Gaya, who spoke on nationHe said that the bomb blast at the heart of the nation’s security organisation is indeed al issues in Kano yesterday, a matter of serious national concern that requires concerted efforts by all Nigerians. “We believe that this unOLLOWING the ThursAdimike GEORGE, wholesome development, as day bombing at the HE twin bomb blasts at Onitsha Dele ANOFI, Abuja frightening as it may seem, Louis Edet House, the the Louis Edet House ing the hearts of evil-doers so Force Headquarters on headquarters of the Nigeria am sect. So the only thing left could be tackled if all availathat they could attain salvaPolice Force, fear has gripped for us is to devise our own ble avenues are explored so as Thursday morning has been scientific methods and effec- tion on the Day of Judgment. means of security as well as that to ensure the security of citi- described as the height of the the police in the commercial tive machinery to checkmate city of Onitsha, making them of the country. The bomb at our zens’ lives and property.” deterioration of the nation’s terrorists’ attacks. The securi“It is on this basis that the While condemning in security system. to cordon off all entrance to the headquarters did not spare anMuslim Media Watch Group ty situation has become more Onitsha Police Area Com- yone. So, if you ask me, why strong terms, the suicide atThree people were con- alarming than the issue of of Nigeria calls for the mand and the Central Police can’t we be more security con- tack, Senator Gaya noted that firmed dead by the police au- power and energy in this declaration of the coming scious? Even you journalists the attack “once again under- thorities with 33 cars burnt Station. Friday as Work-Free-Day for country today. When our reporter visited should also be bothered by the scores the need to adequately and 40 cars damaged. Special Prayers in all the “Hitherto, it was markets, equip the nation’s security the command yesterday, the ugly development,” he said. In a statement by the Muslim motor parks, barracks and mosques in the country, while It was also gathered that the outfits, particularly the police, Media gates and roads to the place Watch Group offices that were bombed. Christians should observe were sealed off with local vig- police and vigilance group pa- with state-of-the-art security (MMWG), signed by its Now that bombing has gone theirs on Sunday, June 26, trol increased in the commerapparatus. ilance group heavily patrolCoordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim 2011. “As we join all well mean- Abdulahi, the group said to this level, the MMWG ling the area and adjoining cial city of Onitsha, apparently “Since it is now clear that appeals to the leadership of as a result of the incident in the ing Nigerians in condemning suicide bombing of the Police streets. the security challenges of this the Supreme Council for this act of terror and inhuman- Force Headquarters on ThursAccording to one of the po- nation’s capital, Abuja. nation is beyond what the Meanwhile, at the Area ity of man to his fellow man, day is unacceptable. The secu- Islamic Affairs (SCIA) and that government and the security licemen who did not want his of the Christian Association Command Onitsha yesterday we call on all stakeholders in rity lapses identified in the name in print, the action was of Nigeria (CAN) to convey agencies can cope with, we necessary now that the police the heavy presence of police the nation’s security system to nation’s security system to the an emergency joint meeting to should go back to our creator have known that they are the and members of the local vig- immediately bring this ugly extent of detonation of bomb arrest the deteriorating situa- to deliver us from evil-doers major target of the hoodlums. ilance group showed that all trend to an end.” on the premises of the nation’s by changing their minds and Gaya concluded by stressing topmost security outfit - the tion spiritually. “Yes, you may not blame us was not well even as the presforcing them to lay down their “As believers in God, we ence of one of the Commissionthe need for training for secu- police, is quite unfortunate.” as such because we are also arms and surrender like the the citizens should consider human beings. The police have ers of Police from the Police rity operatives in modern techIt reads: “The time has come taking the matter to God -our Niger Delta militants who realised that they are the great- Headquarters added to the sus- niques of combating and pre- to break the barrier of securi- Creator, to intervene by touch- have embraced amnesty venting crime. est enemies of the Boko Har- picion of our reporter. ty insurgence by developing programme.”

Senator demands arrest of masterminds

S

Bomb: Fear grips Anambra police

F

T

Group calls for overhaul of national security system


4

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

EXPLOSION AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS

Chime, Orji, Imoke condemn bombings

G

Secretary-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Abdullateef Adegbite left, and the Emir of Zazzau-Suleja, Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim, at a news conference by NSCIA in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO NAN

OVERNORS Sullivan Chime,T A Orji and Liyel Imoke of Enugu, Abia and Cross River states have condemned in strong terms, Thursday’s bombing that occured at the police headquarters, Abuja and Maiduguri,Borno state, describing them as unwarranted, cowardly and cold blooded acts of violence that should never go unpunished. The governors spoke just as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim tasked state governors on the need to improve on security intelligence and surveillance. Chime who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, noted that the latest attacks had changed the face

Nine policemen discharged from hospital A LL nine policemen admitted at the Asokoro General hospital that were caught in the bomb explosion at the Force headquarters (Louis Edet House) car park have been discharged to the police authorities, it was learnt yesterday. However, the lone victim at the National Hospital, Mohammed Baba Azare, gathered to be in stable condition was still on admission at the male surgical ward. The Thursday morning blast at the police headquarters left more than 40 vehicles burnt with two dead according to official figures. A source at the Asokoro General hospital, told The

Dele ANOFI, Abuja

Nation that the nine victims brought to the hospital had minor injuries. “By the time they got here, there was no serious threat to their lives. They only had minor injuries that require no surgery. Almost all of them were even complaining that they want to be discharged. However, after we carried out what was required of us, they were discharged to police hospital. The source who refused to reveal number of corpses from the blast that were

brought to the hospital however expressed his believes that the cost of the treatment of the officers might have been borne by the hospital management. On the other hand, it was gathered at the National Hospital that the bill of the sole victim was being footed by the police authorities. “He is likely to be discharged today because all necessary examinations have been carried on him. He is stable and there is no reason to continue to keep him here because his condition allows further treatment from home,”

the source said. Efforts to approach the victim were rebuffed by the hospital authorizes and the policeman attached to him at the entrance of the ward. The Spokesman of National Hospital, Dr. Tayo Haastrup told The Nation that the victim’s refusal to speak to journalists might be as a result of the nature of his job. “I even tried to take some journalists to him but he said he would not speak to them. Being a policeman, I can understand that, even then, he is our patient and we have to respect decision. “If he does not want to talk, we cannot force him but he is likely to be discharged today,” he said.

Blast, sad development —ACF ... will undermine government effort, Yakowa

T

HE northern socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has described Thursday’s bomb blast which rocked the Police Headquarters in Abuja as a sad development. ACF’s statement came just as Kaduna State governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa said that the new wave of bombing in the country, was capable of undermining government’s developmental efforts. On its part, the ACF said that the spate of violence and bomb blast across the country in recent time is a very sad development and a serious concern to Nigerians as a serious challenge to the nation’s intelligence. In a text message from the National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, the ACF said it received with shock the news of bomb blasts in the Police Headquarters in Abuja and also in Borno State, both of which resulted in loss of lives and properties, adding that the bombing in Abuja was the country’s first experience in suicide bombing directed at the heart of the nation’s security outfit. According to him, “the spate of violence and bomb blasts across Nigeria in recent times have been very sad development and a serious source of concern to Nigerians, as well as serious challenge to national intelligence that comes with leadership, especially when regard is paid to the fact that the perpetrators and their motives

Tony AKOWE, Kaduna are still not well known. Consequently, finding a lasting solution to these unsavoury acts has been farfetched. “As a way out, both the national intelligence and the security agencies under the watch of determined leaderships at all levels must brace up and live up their collective challenges in this regard for common good. This is because peaceful coexistence is a prerequisite for any meaningful socioeconomic and political development. Surely, rampant incidences of insecurity can only further delay or slow down efforts to develop the nation. “While it is trite that security of lives and properties of the governed is the first responsibility and task of any government, the people must also see maintenance of security as shared responsibility for effect and national interest”. Governor Yakowa, in a statements by his Media Assistant, Reuben Buhari, said targeting security agents in the new wave of bombing was a national calamity which should not be allowed to continue. The governor noted that the recent discovery of bombs in parts of Kaduna metropolis and the killing of innocent children in yet an-

other blast in Borno was worrisome, adding that the fact that “the security agencies have now become the target of such attacks at a time when other nations of the world are forging ahead in terms of development and technological advancement is a minus to the country”. According to him, “the discovery of bombs in parts of the Kaduna metropolis and the killing of innocent children in yet another explosion in Borno state is condemnable as it is an act of man’s inhumanity to man and should be halted immediately. “If we must develop the Nigerian nation, those engaged in this dastardly act must put an end to it immedi-

ately and let reasons prevail as no society can develop in an atmosphere of total insecurity and break down of law and order”. The governor commended the Traffic police man whose alertness led to the diversion of the suicide vehicle to the car park leading to the avoidance of a major national calamity. The gallantry of the policeman who died in the blast is worth commending and call on the security agents in the country to be extra vigilant in order to avoid a repeat of this wicked and ungodly act and sympathise with those who lost their vehicles to the inferno, while wishing those injured speedy recovery.

•FG tasks governors on security Chris OJI, Enugu, Kunle UGOCHUKWU EKE, UMUAHIA Johnson, Calabar, and Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja and tone of terrorism in Nigeria. He called for a massive sweep of terror elements in the society with a view to rooting out the cankerworm before it takes firm roots. The governor also called for greater vigilance on the part of both security agencies and the citizens of the country towards the early detection and prevention of terror plots, adding that more education and sensitization on the nature and operational methods of the terrorists should be made available to the Nigerian public. His Abia State counterpart, Orji, who spoke to The Nation in Umuahia, said the bombing has portrayed the nation in bad light. He described those behind the acts as enemies of democracy and must not be allowed to be walking freely on the streets without apprehension. The governor noted that the latest assault on the police headquarters should not discourage the police high command in their fight against crimes in the society. “Let this spur you to greater heights in terms of maintaining law and order in the country, as government at all levels are solidly behind your operations across the country”. “All Nigerians must be vigilant as the job of securing lives and property must not be left in the hands of security agencies alone”. The Abia chief executive said that those who bombed the police headquarters are cowards who deserved to be punished when caught, adding that bombing places like the police office is not the way to express their grievances if any. Imoke, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media, Omini Oden, lamented that some people could be engaged in this dastardly act at a time the transformation agenda of the present administration is building up to better the lots of Nigerians. He sympathized with the Nigerian Police, families of those who lost their lives as well as those whose vehicles were destroyed as a result of the explosion and appealed to groups who feel ag-

grieved on any issue to adopt constitutional measures in seeking redress rather than steps which are inimical to development of the nation. He urged the security agencies to rise up to the challenge by ensuring that the perpetrators’ of the act are brought to book and made to face the wrath of the law accordingly. Anyim who spoke Thursday when he received Governor Danbaba Suntai who paid him a courtesy visit, also tasked parents and traditional rulers to assist by reporting any suspected character within their domain and homes to security agents. He reasoned that there is the possibility that the master minder of the dastardly act might not be residing in Abuja. He also noted that security is not the business of the security personnel alone as it involves all and therefore reasoned that the easiest way to tackle this sort of problem is for all Nigerians to be security conscious. While describing the incident as unfortunate, Anyim said, “this country belongs to all of us. And let me say that the security of all belongs to all of us. Parents, traditional institutions and all well meaning Nigerians should rise up to the occasion”. Earlier, Governor Suntai commiserated with the Federal Government over the unfortunate incident. He also wished the new SGF success on his assignment. Similarly, the SGF has tasked the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) on the need to lead the way in the fight to eradicate the dreaded disease. He said the fight is a very tasking one, a journey that is still far ahead, a battle that must be won. Senator Anyim also challenged the agency to do more in the search of a cure for the disease, saying, “NACA must double its efforts to ensure breakthrough in the cure of AIDS and nothing is wrong if that breakthrough comes from Nigeria”; adding “until we have a breakthrough in AIDS our future is not secured.” The agency leadership was led to the SGF office by NACA chairman, Prof.Umaru Shehu, accompanied by the agency Director General, Prof. John Idoko and other members of the council.

Violence, wrong way to seek redress — Sen. Okowa

S

ENATOR Ifeanyi Okowa has decried the bombing of the Police Headquartes in Abuja on Thursday, saying resort to violence is a wrong approach of seeking redress. The senator representing Delta North stated this yesterday while reacting to the latest act of violence allegedly perpetrated by the Boko Haram. Okowa stated that life is too sacred to be destroyed wilfully by anybody who felt aggrieved by any development in the country.

Augustine AVWODE While sympathising with the Police high command and the victims of the bombing, Senator Okowa urged all to be fully involved in the effort to stem the tide of the latest development in the country. What happened on Thursday in Abuja is very disturbing. It is not the right way to express grievances. All this flies in the face of law and order. We are a country that is working to join the league of developed nations and all this acts of terrorism could retard

steps being taken by the government ot take the nation to that hieght. “I don’t think that the situation in the country is so bad that we must resort to this type of actions to redress it. I appeal to all to seek to live to the full, the tenents of our faiths. No faith in this country preaches violence, and we should know that we would all answer, one way or another, for our actions before God. Life is too sacred to be a target of anybody who want redress for any grievances he might habour against government or

another individual. If they go to court, the court will give them justice if the merit it.” Okowa appealed to Nigerians to be vigilant and learn to report any suspicious move by anybody to the security agents, saying that security should not be left to those paid to do it alone. He expressed sympathy with the Police high command and families of the victims, praying God to grand those who lost their lives eternal rest and their loved ones the the fortitude to endure the loss, which he described as ‘irreplaceable”.


6 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

EXPLOSION AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS

Alleged N38b fraud: NASS officials testify against ex-Speaker, deputy • Bankole, Nafada regain freedom

T

HE blame game over the alleged mismanagement of the funds of the House of Representatives has heightened, with six top management officials of the National Assembly testifying against ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole and his deputy, Bayero Nafada. But Bankole, who admitted that the House obtained a N10 billion loan, has however insisted that the Clerk of the House of Representatives (CHR) is the Accounting Officer of the House. He asked the EFCC to hold the management accountable for all enquiries and issues he has been detained for. Investigation by The Nation revealed that six top officials of the National Assembly have made statements to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the ex-Speaker. They are likely to serve as witnesses against the former House leaders. The statements of the affected officials are contained in the Proof of Evidence submitted to the court for the trial of the ex-Speaker and deputy. The Proof of Evidence has also been made available to the counsel for Bankole and Nafada in preparation for the trial of the former House leaders as from next week. In the Proof of Evidence, exclusively sourced from the court by our correspondent, the officials disagreed with Bankole on approval of contracts, award of contracts above N50 million, the tender process and who is the accounting officer for the House. One of the officials said in part: “The approval limit of the management is that of Ministerial Tenders Board for N50 million only. Anything above that goes to the Body of Principal Officers. This is as per the provision of government circular in 2008.” Another official said: “It is to be noted that the Board that considers all contracts above N50 million as at 2008 was the Body of Principal Officers under the chairmanship of the Honourable Speaker, while the Management Tenders Board under the leadership of the Clerk to the National Assembly considers contracts under N50 million.” On his part, a third official added: “The House Services Committee prepares the needs of the House, based on the approved budget. This needs the assessment and approval of the Hon. Speaker, who passes his directive to the Clerk of the National Assembly.” Also, one of the officials, who opened up on the purchase of bullet-proof Mercedes Benz and Range Rover SUV, said: “The contract for the supply of 3No Mercedes Benz (Treated) was analysed by a sub-committee on vehicles, of which I was not a member. “The contract was not advertised. Rather, selective tendering procedure was used due to the nature of the item—security vehicles.” But Bankole in his written

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, and Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja statement to the EFCC, which was also obtained from the court, said he was never the accounting officer of the House. He also claimed that he was not a signatory to the accounts of the House. He, however, admitted that it was true that the House got a N10 billion loan to “augment the running cost of members.” He insisted that he and Nafada did not benefit from the loan and augmentation of running cost. The ex-Speaker said in part: “Funds allocated to the National Assembly are distributed to the Senate, House of Representatives and management on a quarterly basis from the Finance Ministry, based on approved budget of the National Assembly. To my knowledge, the Clerk of the House of Representatives (CHR) is the accounting officer of the House of Representatives. “The Principal Officers of the House and leadership of management constitute the House of Representatives Tenders Board, chaired by the Speaker of the House. The Tenders Board of the House is the highest approving authority. “I am not a signatory to the House of Representatives accounts. I do not know the signatory to the House of Representatives accounts. “I do know that the House had an account with UBA. That account in UBA was moved to the First Bank of Nigeria last week. I cannot recall the reasons for the change of banks. The House in (plenary) Executive Session resolved to bank with First Bank of Nigeria. I cannot recall who raised the motion for this resolve. Yes, the Clerk sent a memo to me on this and I directed the processing. “On the purchase of vehicles, the management of the House of Representatives has details concerning the transactions. The management is made up of the Clerk to the National Assembly, the Clerk of the House and other civil servants. “On the N10 billion loan, it was as a result of augmenting the running cost of members of the House and its principal officers except that of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, based on the report of the 37-man committee on the review of the House budget. “Full details and documents are with the management of the House of Representatives. Regarding the N10 billion, which is being repaid to UBA, it was in two tranches. First is N6 billion and later in the year N4 billion, to repay the Senate and the management that initially lent the House the N4 billion. “The N10 billion was paid back through the normal al-

location quarterly in April from Finance Ministry. “The First Bank of Nigeria offered the House a facility which the House took pending the release of the said funds i.e. liability as captured by the 2011 Amendment Act.” Meanwhile, after almost two weeks in the custody of the Economics and Financial Commission, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Oladimeji Bankole yesteerday regained temporary freedom. He was able to perfect the ‘stringent’ bail conditions granted him by Justice Suleiman Belgore of an Abuja High Court. Also released was his erstwhile Deputy, Mr. Usman Nafada. The duo are facing a 17count charge slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja. They are charged with criminal breach of trust by agreeing to approve the allowances and/or “running costs” of Reps in violation of the approved Remuneration Package, dishonest use of House of Reps account to obtain about N38 billion loan to augment allowances and “running costs” of members in violation of the extant rules and felony to wit: theft. They allegedly shared the N38 billion loan to members without the consent and approval of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the extant Revised Financial Regulations of the Federal Government of Nigeria, 2009. The alleged offences are contrary to Sections 97(1), 286 and 311 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990, and punishable under Sections 287 and 315 of the same Penal Code Act.They have since pleaded not guilty. Ruling on their consolidated bail application on Thursday, Justice Belgore admitted them to N50 million bail with two sureties in like sum, who must not be below the level of a permanent secretary in the civil service. The two embattled ex-legislators, who regained freedom by 5: 15 pm, quietly walked out of the court premises without speaking with Journalists. They have also applied for a review of the bail conditions. Two of their lawyers, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Mr. Afolabi Fashanu (SAN) confirmed that Bankole and Nafada have satisfied their bail conditions successfully. Oyetibo said, “The bail conditions have been satisfied by two of them. Four sureties have signed the bail papers and the court is satisfied with the sureties. We are no longer considering the motion for variation of the bail conditions. They have satisfied the conditions and that is why they have been freed.”

Forensic Experts Carrying Out Investigation On The Wreckage Of The Honda Car That Conveyed The Thursday Sucide Bomber, At The Nigeria Police Force Headquarters In Abuja On Friday

•Remnant of one of the bombs that led to Thursday's blast at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja

AAUA resolves strike, recalls suspended workers

T

HE Management of Adekunle Ajasin U n i v e r s i t y , Akungba (AAUA) and the striking workers of the university have resolved the crisis occasioned by the recent seven-day strike action. According to a statement signed by the Principal Assistant Registrar, Information of the university, Mr. Sola Imoru, the truce was brokered at a meeting held by the two parties on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, The statement reads: ‘’Following the suspension of the strike which entered the fifth day on Wednesday, the management has lifted the suspension it placed on 20 workers during the crisis. ‘’The university management and the workers have resumed a harmonious relationship and workers have since resumed work. ‘’It is worth stating that academic activities ran unhindered while the strike action lasted, and the university came out of the crisis stronger and better. ‘’We are resolved, more than ever, to give our best A bomb dectector screening a vehicle at The gate of the to society and humanity.’’ .nigeria police force headquarters In abuja on friday


News 7

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

A

LLEGATIONS of fraud and corrupt practices in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have been described as mischievous and an attempt to give a dog a bad name so as to justify the desire to hang it. This was the submission of Chibuzor Ugwoha, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the federal government interventionist agency in a chat with The Nation yesterday. Ugwoha, while reacting to recent media campaign, linking him with alleged fraud and corruption, emphatically denied the allegations. He explained that mischief was the sole objective behind the campaign, saying the issue at stake have been twisted. The campaign came to a head early in the week when a group from the Niger Delta took a two page advertorial in a national newspaper calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to take action against the managing director on account of the alleged fraud. “I want to say that there is nothing like corruption in NDDC. The issue here is that some people are just being mischievous. The issue is all about opening an account and I want to make it clear, that contrary to what many people have been made to believe,

Alleged fraud in NDDC mischievous – Ugwoha money was not transferred from Nigeria to anywhere else in the world. The money in question is the contribution from oil companies which they pay from their head offices in dollar. The account is in London, England. All we did was move the account from Union Bank, London, to First Bank, London”, he said. Explaining why the decision was taken, Ugwoha said it was a proactive step to safeguard the commission’s funds and avoid losses that could arise from challenges of insolvency by the banker. “All of us know that Union Bank is having some issues, and no less a person than the Governor of the Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has confirmed this so many times. As a Chief Executive Officer, part of my responsibilities is to ensure that I safeguard the funds of the commission. I cannot fold my hands and see our money endangered. It was necessary that an action be taken and someone had to take the decision. And I did because it was my responsibility”. Ugwoha described as false, the impression that a board approval was needed for such a step to be taken. “The misconception that a board’s approval was needed before such a step could be taken is

SUDOKU Welcome to SUDOKU, the captivating and engrossing numbers logic puzzle popularised by the Japanese. The idea of the puzzle is to fill the grid of 81 cells divided into nine 3 x 3 boxes, such that every box, every row, and every column contains the numbers 1-9, each number appearing only once in each box, row and column. 1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE 309 :

Look at the 3 bottom horizontal (GHI) 3X3 boxes. The left box has 3 in cell Cc, while the middle box has 3 in cell Ae.The right box must, theefore, have its own 3 in roe B, where there isonly one vacant space-cell Bi. Readsoning along these lines, try and fill in all the other vacant cells. SOLUTION TOMORROW. HAPPY PUZZLING!

false, no such rule exists. By government rules, no board’s resolution was needed for such account to be opened; therefore, the allegation that board’s resolution was forged is baseless.

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor You don’t forge what you don’t need or what is unnecessary”, he stated.

He revealed that when the decision was taken, he wrote the Accountant General of the Federation for his approval and he gave it. “I think I should be commended for being

proactive, taking steps to ensure that our money is safe and secured and that the interest of the commission is protected. This is what every other right thinking being would do”.

IMF cuts US growth forecast, warns of crisis

T

HE International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for US economic growth yesterday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are “playing with fire” unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits. The IMF, in its regular assessment of global economic prospects, said bigger threats to growth had emerged since its previous report in April, citing the euro zone debt crisis and signs of overheating in emerging market economies. The Washington-based global lender forecast that US gross domestic product would grow a tepid 2.5 percent this

year and 2.7 percent in 2012. In its forecast just two months ago, it had expected 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent growth, respectively. Overall, the IMF slightly lowered its 2011 global growth forecast to 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in April. Its forecast for 2012 growth remained unchanged at 4.5 percent. The IMF said it was slightly more optimistic about the euro area’s growth prospects this year, but a lack of political leadership in dealing with Europe’s debt crisis and the wrangling over budget in the United States could create major financial volatility in coming months.

“You cannot afford to have a world economy where these important decisions are postponed because you’re really playing with fire,” said Jose Vinals, director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department. “We have now entered very clearly into a new phase of the (global) crisis, which is, I would say, the political phase of the crisis,” he said in an interview in Sao Paulo, where the updates to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report were published. In the United States, the political problems include a fight over raising the legal ceiling on the nation’s debt. A first-

Shell’s bidders face operatorship demands an interview with Bloomberg IDDERS for Royal from NNPC in London. “It adds another Dutch Shell Plc’s

B

licenses in Nigeria face extra risks after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) demanded the right to operate the fields, according to SacOil Holdings Ltd. NNPC asked for the operatorship of the licenses in which Shell is selling its interests, said SacOil’s Chief Executive Officer Robin Vela. South African explorer SacOil was unsuccessful in its joint bid, with Essar Group and Energy Equity Resources Ltd., for Shell’s interest in the OML 42 license. “Clearly that raises issues for the buyers because you are not in control of the asset,” Vela said yesterday in •Continued from page 64 to show that he is a good coach, especially after the exploits of the U-20 side in Holland at the 2005 World Youth Championships. For us to properly appraise the problem between Osaze and Siasia, I need to state what happened in 2008. After two matches in Beijing, the Dream Team IV’s showing wasn’t impressive and NFF eggheads felt that there was bickering in the squad. Rightly, they called a soulsearching meeting where everyone bore his mind. Osaze didn’t find it funny that as the only overaged player, he was being benched. Osaze told Siasia that if he didn’t need him, he should be allowed to go home on holidays. After all he was in Beijing as an overaged player. Osaze’s outspokenness brought forth changes in the squad, with Siasia’s boys (Isaac Promise and Solomon Okoronkwo) being dropped in the next game against Cote d’Ivoire. Osaze and Victor Anichebe scored both goals and the team played better. Osaze and Anichebe again scored against Belgium in Nigeria’s 4-1 victory, but this time only Isaac Promise played as a substitute. Shouldn’t Siasia be grateful that the soul-searching meeting improved the team’s performance than hunt the only player who told him the truth? Prior to the players’

layer of risk to the transaction.” Kulczyk Oil Ventures Inc. said last month it won the bid for OML 42 with a local partner and will acquire the 45 percent interest held jointly by Shell, Total SA (FP) and a unit of Eni SpA. NNPC holds the remaining 55 percent. “The deal is still conditional,” Jakub Korczak, vice president for investor relations at Warsaw-listed Kulczyk, said by phone yesterday. The company hasn’t received notification from NNPC that it wants to become the project operator, though “we’ve seen commercial advertisements

in the local newspapers. We are aware” of the situation,” Korczak said. In addition to OML 42, Shell is also selling its interests in the OML 30, 34 and 40 licenses, Vela said. “The price was overly exaggerated, we couldn’t see value in entering,” Vela said. “When were bidding, we were bidding on the basis that our consortium would’ve acquired operatorship.” A spokesman for NNPC Levi Ajuonuma,, wasn’t immediately available for comment. Kirsten Smart, a London-based spokeswoman at Shell, declined to comment on the sale of the Nigerian assets.

Fair play please! meeting, Ben Memuletiwon, then with The Sun, chided Siasia for always fielding Isaac Promise and Solomon Okoronkwo, who he felt wasn’t in Osaze’s class at a post-match conference in Beijing. Siasia asked Memuletiwon to face his business of reporting and allow him do his job. Memuletiwon told Siasia that he was accountable to Nigerians who deserved to be happy than being made hypertensive from watching his team. Memuletiwon and most journalists who tipped Nigeria for the gold medal were excited when Promise and Okoronkwo were dropped for Osaze and Anichebe in the next game. So, was it wrong for Osaze to have spoken at the Beijing meeting? Shouldn’t Siasia tell Nigerians what he told Osaze when he sought permission to return to his club to see the team’s doctors after the Ethiopian game? Was it right for Siasia to have refused Osaze’s request when he knew that the Nigerian had not played football for close to four weeks prior to the game against Ethiopia? Was it not because of the injury issue that Siasia didn’t deploy him in the starting 11? How would any good coach refuse his player’s request to see a doctor over

an injury? What do you call that? Enforcement of discipline or outright wickedness? If you were in Osaze’s shoes, won’t you ignore the coach to save your career and your health? Is it Siasia’s call to grant permission on issues bothering on a player’s health? After all, Osaze sustained the injury playing for his club. Dream Team V’s Coach Austin Eguavoen has said that attempts are being made by ex-internationals to settle the rift. Good. Siasia has ego problems and needs to know that without the players there cannot be any coach. He needs the players more than they need him because if they don’t perform he goes. If Siasia didn’t nurse a grudge against Osaze, why didn’t he refer him to the team’s doctors than to reject his request on the altar of enforcing discipline? How useful would Osaze have been, if he had acceded to Siasia’s request, played the game against Kenya and aggravated the injury? Siasia should take a cue from big coaches like Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola. Before Real Madrid’s last game in the La Liga, Mourinho asked all the South American players to proceed on early holidays because he knows

ever US default would roil markets and Fitch Ratings said even a “technical” default would jeopardize the country’s AAA rating. Olivier Blanchard, the fund’s chief economist, told reporters that while the risk of a doubledip recession in the United States is small, growth is unlikely to be fast enough to quickly bring down the 9.1 percent U.S. unemployment rate. The IMF said the outlook for the US budget deficit this year has improved somewhat due to higher-than-expected revenues. In a separate report, it forecast a deficit of 9.9 percent of GDP - still high, but better than the deficit of 10.8 percent of GDP it foresaw in April.

FBC Itire celebrates Fathers’ Day

T

HE Men Missionary Union (MMU) of First Baptist Church (FBC), Itire, Lagos State will tomorrow celebrate Fathers’ Day. Mr. S.A. Falade, the MMU chairman, said men who have distinguished themselves as loving husbands and responsible fathers would be honoured on the occasion. The church pastor, Rev. A.P. Oyeyemi, said Fathers’ Day will be celebrated in all the churches under the Nigerian Baptist Convention throughout the country tomorrow “and First Baptist Church, Itire, Lagos is a member of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.” that they would soon be engaged in Copa Americana matches. Guardiola handed over the captain’s band to cancer survivor Abidal in the finals, despite the fact that he wasn’t the team’s captain. To pacify the captain Puyol, who wasn’t fit, he introduced him six minutes to the end of the game. Yet, Guardiola ensured that the cancer survivor Abidal received the trophy. It was quite touchy, but it showed a coach who cared for his players. Guardiola ensured that he introduced Malian Seidu Keita in the second half so that it would count in his favour when the next Africa Footballer of the Year is decided. Only bad coaches quarrel with their players. It is uncouth for Siasia to have blamed the boys for the poor show in Addis Ababa. Is it only when the team wins that Siasia gets the praise? He should carry the can when things go wrong. Can Osaze come to Nigeria to apologise, if he is not invited to the camp for the game against Madagascar? Siasia goofed by refusing to allow a player to treat himself. Would any coach have done that to Siasia, given his antecedents as a heady player? It would be a travesty if Osaze apologises to Siasia for refusing to remain in camp over health issues. Siasia must begin to have a human face or-God forbid- be doomed.


8 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Take heart, Obasanjo, what goes around comes around B

OTH of them are elder statesmen from Africa. They were both sent to prison by oppressive governments in their countries and they both returned from prison to become the president of their respective countries. But that seems the end of the similarities that exist between former Nigerian President, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, and his South African counterpart, Mr. Nelson Mandela. While Mandela’s influence and popularity have been soaring in South Africa and beyond since he left power, those of Obasanjo have waned almost to the point of tragedy. That seems the price the former Nigerian president has to pay for his failure to profit from the age-long wisdom that a leader should quit when the ovation is loudest. After serving as a political prisoner for 23 years, Mandela was elected the President of South Africa. He called it quits after completing a single term of five year, resisting intense pressure from his countrymen to run another term. Obasanjo, on the other hand, plotted a third four-year term after two terms in office before the ambition fell on its face. The former president, who had initially ruled Nigeria for three and a half years as a military head of state, was more or less humiliated out of office after leading the country for eleven and a half years altogether! Still, he would not give up. He plotted against one of his hatchet men to become the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ruling People’s Democratic Party and sought

to run the affairs of the country by proxy. He drafted his stooge, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, into the presidential race and co-opted Dr Goodluck Jonathan to be his running mate. And when Yar’Adua died halfway into his first term, he more or less harassed Jonathan to step into the shoes of his demised boss, in defiance of an existing zoning arrangement within the ruling party, which rendered Jonathan completely ineligible for the presidential primaries of the PDP. Now the days of reckoning are here, as the ex-President wades through the most frustrating period of his otherwise illustrious political career. Save President Goodluck Jonathan whose success in the last presidential election was reckoned by many to have been based on personal merits, every other political office holder he has supported since the last general election has failed woefully. It began with the aspiration of his daughter, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, for a second term in the Senate. Obasanjo and the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, had engaged each other in a battle for the PDP executive in the state, and the battle resulted in both factions conducting parallel primaries. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), however, accorded recognition to the candidates that emerged from the Obasanjo camp, including Iyabo. But as things would turn out, it was the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigerai (ACN), Mr Gbenga Obadara, who inflicted a humiliating defeat on Iyabo and scuttled her ambition to return to the Senate. She lost the election even in her own ward and got barely half the number of votes scored by little known Obadara. Indeed, the ACN won all the three senatorial seats in the home state of

the Board of Trustees Chairman of the PDP, cleared all the House of Representatives seats in the state and won 17 of the 26 House of Assembly seats, conceding only six to the PDP and the remaining three to the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN). Yet, this was only an ominous pointer to other humiliating defeats that awaited the expresident. The presidential election, in which the PDP candidate, President Jonathan, performed creditably well in Ogun State, had raised Obasanjo’s hope that Gen. Tunji Olurin, the former Commander of the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) who he had endorsed for the governorship election in the state, would emerge as Daniel’s successor. Unfortunately, his quarrel with Daniel had resulted in the latter founding a new political party, the PPN, with one of his commissioners, Gbenga Isiaka, as the governorship candidate. The move succeeded in dividing the votes that would have gone to the PDP in the election and gave victory to Senator Ibikunle Amosun of the ACN. Obasanjo thought he could mitigate his losses in the general election with the seat of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. With the Speaker’s seat zoned to the South West and with an assurance the Presidency would back his candidate, Obasanjo brimmed with confidence that his anointed candidate, Muraina Ajibola, would become Hon. Dimeji Bankole’s successor. But his hope soon went up in flames. Ajibola’s candidacy was totally rejected by the lawmakers who felt he was too experienced in the art of lawmaking to occupy the all important seat. After persuading the lawmakers to no avail, Obasanjo and the Presidency were forced to settle for their preferred South West candidate, Mulikat Akande. But in a move that

An open letter to my Oga M

Y powerful Oga, I bow, tremble and stumble before you sir. And I hope and pray that this letter meets you in one of those happy moments. I know you hardly expect any of your senior members of staff to be writing you when he could have breezed into your office to discuss official matters with a cup of tea to boot. But sir, these are interesting times which do not require the luxury of a tea parley. Besides, I need to be blunt in presenting my grievances to you knowing that you have the capacity to come to my rescue and save the office from sudden death. The office? Yes sir, I speak of the office which, in your majestic wisdom, you have appointed me to head. Not that I am not unmindful of the challenges of running a fast-growing newspaper which has become a reference point in simultaneous printing in key major cities. But I feel certain things can be done to ease these challenges and reduce, to a reasonable extent, the crazy workload that has become the burden of the Editor-In-Chief. How do I mean? I’ll explain. My wonderful Oga, all you need do is to grant us, the heads of regional offices, the full autonomy to take charge of day-to-day businesses. Trust me to always be the first to come out with a workable master plan for this office. No sir, this is not as dubious as the Abuja master plan, which is always undergoing many turns and twists in the hands of politicians and pseudo-technocrats. Mine is a genuine work that came out of a thorough research carried out with the help of the award-winning bureaucrats at the House of Representatives. It is a fool-proof master plan that would see this company rubbing shoulders with The New York Times or The Independent in the United Kingdom. All I need is your support—displaying the political will to look the other way while I run the show. Just maintain a see no evil, hear no evil posture and leave the rest to this wonderman. Chikena! My indefatigable boss, there is no better way to start than taking a second look at the current ‘running cost’ of this office. Truth is: there is really no running cost as the meagre monthly imprest approved for this office goes into buying toiletries and other disposables. What this means is that I have had to dip my hands into my pocket to buy such essential items like tea, coffee, sugar, choice wines and drinks to entertain the numerous clients that besiege this office daily, seeking one favour or the other. For a company that has an agenda of competing with the world’s best, this is not good enough. So, I seek your indulgence sir to allow me develop a strategy through which I will raise enough funds to run the office. I have already reached an agreement with some new generation banks to obtain loans. In fact, one of the banks has agreed to put N10 billion at our disposal, to take care of our immediate needs. More funds will follow as soon as we make the request. What to do with the money? A lot, sir? These funds will come in handy in the planned upgrade of

the office to a technology-driven one. First, I would need to do away with the old but reliable desktop computers. They are no longer fashionable for a modern office. What we need to do is to procure new computers for the hi-tech staff in our empoy. I have already begun the process whereby a firm has agreed to supply 20 desktops with printers at a reasonable price of N100 million. The computers are state-of-the-art, never-seen-before products. For now, I am keeping the name of the manufacturers under wraps for the fear of cloning. Not to worry. The paperwork had gone through due process and procurement formalities. We would also need to buy LaserJet ink sir. The cost is yet to be determined but I know it can’t be more than another N100 million. Small cash you say, sir. With the loan facility, I have finalised plans to buy brand new cars for all the reporters, including, of course, the dispatch rider to fast-track the job. I am sure readers would be fascinated by the image of a corporately-dressed dispatch rider in the latest SUV with our name craftfully embossed on it. I believe it can only pump up the sales figure! Trust me to figure averything out. As the leader of leaders, I really would not like to step on the banana peels. And so, rather than seeing it as a wasteful venture sir, I want you to see this little gesture as being in conformity with the spirit of putting everything on the table. And, as one leading senator confessed recently, one needs to be a team player and carry one’s colleagues along in the business of newsgathering. So, a car for each reporter and other ancillary members of staff should not be too much. In fact, I have this wonderful idea swirling in my brain which I am yet to put to the test. What’s that? Something tells me the job of new gathering can be made less cumbersome if we employ three special assistants to each reporter. Don’t ask me their duties. We can always work out something for them and pay them mouth-watering salaries from the loan. Apart from a 1000 per cent increment in the salaries of the staff under my jurisdiction, it is important that we build into the budget a generous entertainment allowance for all and sundry. We may also reserve part of the funds for the maintenance of the vehicles. I can see your face sparkle with a wry smile as if to say, ‘well done, my thoughtful servant.’ I am humbled by this and I promise to reveal more as this letter goes on. As you can see sir, I am already blushing. Now, to the main item. Do you know that it is possible to increase the allowances of the staff here without disturbing your peace? I have thought it through and I think it is high time we scaled up the allowances of staff here. We can always devise a means of doing this. How about calling it hazard allowance? N48 million naira monthly hazard allowee would not be a bad idea. For now, payment should not be a problem as the loan should be able to accommodate that for some few months. It is all in the spirit of you rub my back and I rub yours too. When everybody is happy, there would be less wrangling and the job, I assume, would go on smoothly. Not that I do not expect some dissenting voices, but we can always

has been interpreted by political pundits as an unprecedented act of rebellion in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, the lawmakers voted massively for Aminu Tambuwal, the candidate from the North West, who polled a massive 252 votes against Akande’s 90. The result of the election means that the South West zone, which used to rank as number one in terms of power sharing by the PDP, has been left with a virtually empty sack and Obasanjo, the BoT Chairman, is more or less a lone ranger in the zone. It, therefore, did not come as a surprise when a national newspaper reported last Saturday that Obasanjo had in a fit of frustration and exasperation, threatened to quit his position in the party if nothing was done to redress the situation. It is probably lost on him that chieftains of the ACN in the South West had suffered the same agony when the PDP, led by Obasanjo himself, rigged their candidates out of the governorship seats in the zone during the 2003 general election. It is just as well that the ACN is having its pound of flesh by ensuring that the drowning PDP in the South West has no straw to cling to. Obasanjo needs not commit political suicide by resigning his BoT chairmanship position and leaving the South West PDP with absolutely nothing. His reputation as an exPresident and elder statesman requires of him a better sense of caution than cutting the head off because of a nagging headache. He should admit the time-tested reasoning of Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher, that the world is in perpetual flux and nothing in life is permanent except change. That is the basis for the common saying that no condition is permanent; an aphorism Obasanjo himself must have deployed on many occasions.

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913

deal decisively with those ones (the eternal press boys who will always poke their dirty noses into every shady deals) by banning them from writing stories till the end of their journalistic career! In legislative parlance, it is called the Dino Melaye treatment! I know you will be wondering how I intend to pay back the loan after using it as a running cost. Well, I have not really given a thought to that. But I am sure that, with good luck on our side, God will make a way. Anyway, when we get to that bridge, we will cross it. When a push comes to a shove, something tells me that I can always demand amnesty. Amnesty? Yes, why not? If those who hold the yam and the knife are planning to grant amnesty to the untouchables who bomb, kill and maim with reckless abandon, why won’t they grant amnesty to a patriotic Nigerian like my humble self whose only ‘crime’ could just be a trivia to wit; borrowing money at a negotiated rate, to better the lives of colleagues in my immediate constituency? But if they insist on pressing fraud or some other nebulous charges against me, I can assure you sir that there is nothing to worry about. After all, sir, is this land of ours not filled with people who have stolen billions, are still facing trials and have won elections to legislate on laws that they expect the rest of us to obey? Or sir, do you think I am having some sort of brain wave? Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever it is, something keeps telling me that this is my year of joining the Billionaires’ Club. My belief is strenghthened by the pronouncement of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who recently declared at an international forum, that this present government simply does not have the balls, including the “persistency and consistency” to fight the entrenched members of the League of the Corrupt. If Obasanjo says so, who can fault his wisdom on such matters? And so, my Oga, I beg you, no fall my hand o. I loyally await your response as any delay in the implementation of this fantastic idea may attract sanctions from the eggheads in the National Assembly——those that helped in the formulation of this blueprint to national ruin! I bow, tremble and stumble at your sight, sir! I am your faithful servant, the wily, dubious clown!


9

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

I

T was reported widely this week in the news media that EFCC boss Farida Waziri said at a book launch that the greatest challenge the organization has faced under her was the issue of corruption in the failed banks that the CBN bailed out in August 2009. In another development a respected jurist observed that the charges usually brought against offenders by the EFCC were mostly too long and that usually delayed prosecution of corruption cases for which the judiciary is unfairly blamed. In the same week the CBN governor at a speech delivered on his behalf cast aspersions on bank ratings by rating agencies especially as the banks were invariably sponsors of such ratings which he noted were best done by the CBN as the regulator of the industry. In all these events , the important role of banks and the judiciary in the economic development and growth of Nigeria is apparent. It is this role and the importance of adhering to the rules of the game in running not only banks but other corporate giants like Nokia and Apple; as well as the danger that regional and global economies face when borrowing nations like Greece threaten to default on their debts that we consider as food for thought today. Fraud in banks as well as the need for special courts for speedy cases for corruption charges are well known concerns of the EFCC boss . These are legitimate and professional concerns expected of someone saddled with the huge responsibility of cleaning the Augean stable of corruption in a big nation like Nigeria . But the jurist who paid a visit , an unprecedented one as admitted by the EFCC boss herself , had a mission with an important message which is that the EFCC itself is largely responsible for delays in prosecuting corruption cases and not the judiciary. According to the jurist the newly appointed Chief Judge of the Federal High Court –FHC Justice Ibrahim Auta who spoke during a courtesy visit to the EFCC boss, the EFCC should endeavor to conclude investigations before arraigning suspects to court to avoid a situation where charges would have to be amended . This way, the judge concluded corruption cases would be concluded in good time . This to me is plain good advice that the EFCC should heed. This is because we have seen several corruption cases with great media hype which reach an anti climax when irate judges throw them out for lack of evidence to convict corruption suspects or a lack of due process by the prosecutors, which make those facing serious corruption charges to simply walk away with their ill gotten loot .The ding dong battles on bail or even the start of the case against some bank chiefs bear out the fears and concern expressed by the Chief Judge . One can complement the judge’s advice by asking the Efcc boss to be alert and wary in dealing with bank bosses on fraud charges. This is because these are powerful suspects with huge financial resources garnered from the illicit cornering of depositors money that they are ready to splash on prosecuting persons and institutions to go scot free with their loot by hook or crook. The successful resistance of their crooked overtures will determine the fate and cred-

Corruption, competition and banks

ibility of the EFCC in the on going war against corruption in our banks in particular and the society in general. It is pertinent to mention here the reported but weighty objection of no less a person than the President of the Nigerian Bar Association–NBA-Mr. Joseph Daudu SAN to the visit of Justice Auta to the EFCC boss. Daudu said the visit was ‘questionable’ as the EFCC is a party before the court and ‘it is therefore unseemly for judges of that court to visit a prosecuting entity. It will raise so many questions that bring the independence and impartiality of the court needlessly into question ‘. The learned SAN then concluded ‘Justice , my Lord , is a delicate ornament . It must be kept shining and transparent at all times. The impression must not be given that one party [litigant ] to a dispute has an unfair advantage over others‘. I cannot but agree with the NBA President and I am confident that the FHC Chief Judge in retrospect and on second thoughts, in the privacy of his chambers , would do likewise , even though the motive for the visit was to speed up justice and make sure it is not too expensive in terms of time and public expense . Similarly the revelation that banks sponsor rating agencies to rate them well is no news and it is surprising that the CBN is just saying this out now . It was reported that Deputy Director Risk Management Department of the CBN Dr Dozie Okwuosah who represented the CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi at a training conference of the West African Institute for Financial Management [WAIFEM ]also warned against banks paying huge sala-

‘ The CBN governor then concluded that the CBN as regulator is the best institution to rate banks. To me however the CBN advice is a double edge sword with both a local and foreign content.

,

ries to their staff as this was high risk taking. The CBN governor then concluded that the CBN as regulator is the best institution to rate banks. To me however the CBN advice is a double edge sword with both a local and foreign content. First of all the duty of the CBN as regulator is to ensure a stable financial system that is both fair and efficient. So far the CBN has been able to live up to its billing in spite of some distracting diversions like the Islamic Bank concept which is making the cost of bank reforms quite prohibitive in social and environmental terms. But recently it seems to be getting impatient with litigation over its recapitalization process and the sale of the banks in which it intervened in 2009. The truth is that even though the CBN is the apex bank in the country and the regulator of banking , it is not above the law

of the land and must submit itself to the statutes and due process of the law on recapitalization and transparency in the sale of the banks . In addition the CBN can not take over the functions of the rating agencies as it would put itself in a position of double jeorpady and shoot itself in the leg. It surely cannot hunt and run with the banks at the same time and maintain objectivity as a fair regulator by rating them and ensuring stability in the industry equitably. The CBN should be reminded of the experience of rating agencies in the US in the 2008 financial global melt down when major well rated banks collapsed and the reputation of rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard and Pooor’s took a dive, just like the reputation of the hitherto respected oracle of US banking the former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board-the equivalent of our CBN-Allan Greenspan plummeted .The truth again is that even though the health condition of the banks is laid bare before the CBN that does not make the CBN the best rating agencies on banks performance for the simple reason that it is not the CBN ‘s duty to rate banks. The CBN is to regulate and bail out banks in trouble and keep them running by keeping mum about their problems in public so that there is no panic run on them that will endanger the stability of the entire financial system. It is like saying that the CBN cannot be a prosecutor and judge at the same time on the mixed and vexed issues of regulating and rating of banks raised by the CBN governor at that training seminar . On the issue of jumbo salaries to bank bosses and staff I

think that is an industry affair not peculiar to Nigeria but global. In the UK on the same issue the CEO of Barclays said that if the bank does not pay its staff well other banks in the market will snatch them. That is an issue of professionalism and paying for the best to ensure efficiency and maximize profits. The CBN is not a profit making venture and is not in the best position to postulate on something outside its mandate. Or is the CBN going to propose it be allowed to recruit personnel for banks just because it is the apex bank ? I doubt . However, aside from banks , corporate institutions and nations need to operate on a level playing field to ensure fairness and the stability of their systems too. Since 2009 Nokia, global leader in the mobile phone business has been at loggerheads with new comer to the industry, Apple. In fact the rumpus which had Nokia taking Apple to court for stealing its intellectual property has adversely affected the share price of Nokia which fell steeply. Nokia accused Apple of stealing or infringing its patents in 10 instances with regard to some key technologies namely interface , encryption, 3G and wireless technologies. Apple also made a counter charge which appears dubious as Apple has in court finally agreed to pay a huge but undisclosed sum to Nokia to settle the case out of court .Which means that in the rarified field of high tech competition, corruption is still present and even ubiquitous in spite of the expensive care and huge expenditure outlay on research and innovation in high tech products by these communications corporate giants. Lastly, Greece a debtor nation is facing riots from its citizens as its government proceeds to execute more austerity measures and lay off workers in a bid to cut government spending to be able to get more funds from the EU and IMF to pay its debts. In fact the government in power has proposed the setting up of a government of national unity to take decisions on accepting the terms of IMF new loans which are so humiliating that Greece is expected to sell some of its islands to pay its debts .But the default contagion may spread to France as the global rating

agency Moody’s has warned that it will down grade the credit rating of three French banks that have exposure with Greek banks . Credit rating is a measure of how likely a company or country is likely to pay its debts. Moody has already downgraded 8 Greek banks and three French banks are about to be down graded similarly . These are Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale which could face losses because of a Greek default .Societe Generale and Agricole both hold majority shares in Greek banks . BNP Paribas does not but Moody’s estimates it holds 5bn euros [4.4 bn pounds or $ 7.2 bn] as at December 2010. So it is a free fall for the PIGS nations of the Euro zone . The PIGS are of course Portugal , Ireland , Greece and Spain and each has had to swallow the bitter pill of IMF and EU economic bail out with the attendant loss of sovereignty and the debilitating social costs of rioting and lower quality of life for its citizenry . But the greater danger of default is being closely monitored by the richer nations of the euro zone like Germany and Holland . But the two know that once Greece defaults no one knows who amongst the PIGS or the new ones will follow suit thus throwing Euro zone once the most prosperous economic union in the world into economic turmoil and uncertainty .Really what goes up must come down and go round . What is happening in Athens this week happened in the capitals of the developing nations sometime ago and the executioner as usual was and still is the IMF , the agent of the US and the EU .Now that the social costs of IMF loans are causing social unrest at the heart of the EU hopefully something drastic and urgent will be done to appraise that institution’s loan policies and conditionalities that have made lepers and pigs of nations that borrow from it in the comity of nations Let me seize this opportunity to thank numerous readers who sent sms to console me on the passing of my son . I never knew Nigerians are such kind hearted and prayerful people . Now I know better . Thank you so much and God bless all of you AMEN


10

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Reactions to Saturday Flakes Akala’s departure from our political firmamment is a thing of joy. May his type never come our way again. Politics is a serious business. It is not for visionless clowns. Biodun Ajibola, Port Harcourt. Hi Vincent. Alao-Akala is not motivated by any defeat. He is only trying to create problems for the incoming administration. I believe the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is waiting for him to send him to jail. Tayo Tola Agbaje, Garki, Abuja. Your Saturday Flakes always makes an interesting reading I would advise you to add comedy to your profession. Andy, Abuja. Vincent, I thank you for contributing to sanitising the polity. Alao-Akala’s place in the history of Oyo State will not only rob him of a voice in any future endeavour, but would also tell us what governance would be when men without vision hold the reins of power. Ibrahim Lapinni, Kaduna. Vincent, we disallowed the skintonner/trinket-loving man from vacating the seat on his own terms. It must now be very clear to OBJ that the house he built in the South-West was built on

Re: Alao-Akala: An outgoing governor inspired by defeat quicksand and it has finally collapsed like a pack of cards. Alhaji Adeboye Lawal. Vincent, your piece on Alao-Akala makes an interesting reading. But I want to say it nonetheless portrays you as a journalist who delights in sensational journalism. The outgoing governor surely has his shortcomings, and every mortal has. But without any fear of contradiction, I make bold to say that no governor in the history of Oyo State, since the exit of the Cicero (Bola Ige) has imparted positively on the lives of the people like Alao-Akala did. Those in the state during Lam Adeshina’s era would tell you about the notice boards erected at roadsides in Ibadan with the inscription: ‘Sorry, this road belongs to the Federal Government.’ Workers were owed salaries too. Except for the prompt payment of salaries, Ladoja did not fare any better. As for his love for trinkets, we all have our personal idiosyncracies. So, if wearing a necklace is one of his, why begrudge him? Have you asked Yomi, Ibadan Whether you like it or not, Akala will be remebered for good in Oyo State. For your

profession’s sake, your criticism must be constructive rather than destructive. Kindly visit the state before the new governor is sworn in, so that you can measure his performance with the previous govenment’s and let it serve as a yardstick for the incoming one. As for his mode of dressing, that is his personal life; it has nothing to do with performance. Even the new governor is also a fashion freak. Kindly cross-check yourself. What should the man do with hois salary? Should he dress like an agbero (tout) simply because of his calling?

The angle about trinkets on his ankle is pure junk. How do the trikets show

with his trousers on? On the minimum wage issue, I don’t want to believe you are castigating the man for doing what is just and right. Didn’t the governor-elect himself promise to pay the new minimum wage? Why then should anybody cry blue murder if Akala decided to implement what already is a legislation? What financial crisis were you then insinuating? On the last issue, you have actually cried more than the bereaved Alhaji Sanusi Saheed, Ibadan. Vincent, leave political roforofo alone. Let all youths

fight against abandoned projects like roads, ecological problems, evil devices to frustrate the President by creating artificial scarcity of cement, bread and condiments; purchase of numerous trailers to forestall the restoration of the railways and corruption in high places. 080567110.. Fine piece and good innovation from the Akala government. But I think all these are ways of covering up for money siphoned by his government. Babasola O., Igando, Lagos.

Re: Lord, when shall thou speak to me? Vincent, why not accept your fate and pray for higher grounds? God is likely to answer you. Politics may spoil your good work. Major J. Shanka, Badagry

has produced some of the world’s greatest men. I enjoin you to accept your uberri fide (good fate), for God is in the business of making a man among men out of you. Ehimare.

Vincent, from the tone of your write-up on June 11, 2011, you need deliverance. 080371527..

I feel you. How much is the jeep? Why didn’t she buy a bus for her business and a fine car to cruise around town? Come to Bayelsa. There is money in amnesty. 080374936..

Of a truth, our destinies lie in the laps of God. But I think the Lord has already spoken to you. Journalism

Although I was in deep

sorrow, mourning the passage of my mother, your piece on the akara seller forced a smile to my face. Thank you. 080966841.. You are a lazy man. Don’t even try fasting in those hours of the day. I received a revelation that you should compile your works for sale. Ol’seun Slm. Vincent, I see you making it if you try frying and selling groundnuts. Go for it! His favour comes in small but continuous packages. I

enjoyed the piece. A h i z e c h u k w u , Umuahia. Unlike you, I am going to fast for 40 days and 40 nights, so that God can speak louder to me. Kayode Alarape, Ikorodu, Lagos. Vincent, are sure you are not destined to be a writer? Your peice on the akara seller was a good one. Ask God to guide you opn what to write about, not for another profession. Have a great week. Nnamdi.

Reactions to Knucklehead Re: Did Bankole chop alone? Hello Yomi, you are my man all the time—always saying the truth. Bankole did not ‘chop’ alone but his arrogance made him to step on the banana peels. That is why he’s fallen alone! —Chichi, 08069468161 Hello Yomi, no, no, he did not chop alone, but he ‘chopped’ too much than the other ‘roques’. I dont see any reason why he alone should be persecuted for the thievery of everyone else. All the other principal officers should be in the dock with him, especially the ‘saints’. The supposed oposition in the house is a ‘ruse.’ When it comes to ‘’ghana must go’’

and ‘’illegal constituency allowances’’, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Action Congress of Nigeria are same. I see the trial of Saburi as a charade. As usual, it will come to ‘’ ok, how much can you drop, plea bargain, then go home’’! Chikena! Let me give you a caveat. I have interacted with a few of the new ‘’MHRs’’, and I can assure you there expectation is to ‘’earn’’ more than the ‘’outgone’’ in every circumstance. The controversial allowances will not be tampered with by the new House, because some of the new MHRs have incurred debts based on the

anticipatory collection of the allowances. So how will they review it? I sometimes get ‘agitated’ when I see the figures embezzeled in this country and I also see the challenges that we have— roads, electricity, health, housing and all that. I shiver to imagine what those figures can do to ameliorate these challenges. And someone expects me to be happy with such a country? At least, not when I have seen the situation in other countries that are not as rich as ours. What is patriotism in a country like this where what you hear everyday is the millions, now billion of

dollars stolen everyday? I sincerely wish to be patriotic, but something in me goes against it every minute, every hour, everyday, every month and every year! Regards as always. hefzibar2006@yahoo.com, Fola Aiyegbusi Time of payback is now for Bankole and his disciples to remember June 2010. On that day, the National Assembly was turned into boxing ring where Dino Malaye, Bitrus Kaze & nine others were disgraced for saying the truth. But God has vindicated them. Let Bankole be jailed for 6 years to pay back for the six-month suspension of the eleven members. Panchen Rotdung, 07036551137

Re: A president and his speeches This ‘boy’, I don’t care how old you are. All I know is that you have once again dazed me at 76. Sincerely, my God shall bless and uplift you. Amen. 08055276725 Of a truth, Mr. President is an iconic political extraordinaire with admirable lexical architecture to express his thoughts .Indeed our elections would have been peaceful, if those few nihilistic political vipers understood him when he said ‘my ambition isn’t worth the blood of any Nigerian’. Godfrey, 08076823815 Your write up in the Nation was wao! I will keep the page for a long time to come and I

am going to use it when I am the president of America and Nigeria. Ojeh Obama, 080325686822

Daily Trust should dive into the lagoon. Kings Linus, 07039661922

Why is it that the social climbers and nouveau rich keep embarrassing us with stories of their miserable and poor background with pride and arrogance while those of the middle and upper class background say nothing about their origin? Musa O, 08023054723

Yomi, I like your write up on the President and his speeches. Good beginning but as the Bible says one’s end should be better than one’s beginning. Therefore, let us pray for Oga Jona that he will end well to ensure that the transformation that Nigerians have always asked for starts with him. Thanks. Andy Okoh, 08033329402

It appears that you lack what to write, because the person in question has been and is still in the right direction. It is obvious that you do not like his look and if that is the case, I suggest you and Bala Mohammed of

Hello Yomi, good speeches, lack of good intentions amounts to nothing. Let the Otuoke man prove us, the incurable pessismists, wrong. There is a serious need for a complete overhaul of our security. The

day the Inspector General of Police compared Boko Haram to Ireland’s IRA on the television, I knew the Nigerian Police force can never succeed on the Boko Haram matter in Borno. It was a senseless and uneducative comparison coming from the man saddled with the responsibility of providing security for Nigerians. I will not join in praising him for appointing Pius Anyim as SGF. It is not a good choice but rather another job for the boys. He gets my thumbs up the day he succeeds in providing energy for us, overhauls the SSS, the police, and provides security. Can he sir? hefzibar2006@yahoo.com,Fola Aiyegbusi

Re: Will Jonathan walk his talk?

As a patriotic Nigerian and a lover of anyone that keeps his promise, I don’t expect much form GEJ. I must commend your piece. It doesn’t only challenge us on GEJ and the way forward butalsoeducatesusontheuseof English.Imaysoundlikesomeone that never believes in project Nigeria, but the fact still remains that without the dismantling of the cabal within and outside the economic corridor, GEJ would have little or nothing to show as his achievement. Once again, kudos to you. 08068239011. Hello Yomi, this is thoughtprovoking one coming from a patriotic and optimistic Nigerian like you. I will like to remain an incurable pessismist serously looking forward to being proved wrong as far as our country, Nigeria, is concerned. If I were GEJ, I will concentrate only on the energy sector. If he does this, I am sure Nigerians will worship him. hefzibar2006@yahoo.com,Fola Aiyegbusi

Yomi, only time will tell. Balanced article. Couldn’t agree with you more. 08034021360,BisiAbiola Yomi, for the magnanimity you displayed in publishing my response to your piece, you have a distinction and it indicates hope for Nigeria. However, someone like you must be bold enough to tell those who care to hear that this was the most systematically rigged election I had ever witnessed as an adult. Besides, OBJ’stypewasevenlessexpensive. At least, they did what they said they would do. But for this election, they did what they said they would not do. 08183808047. Yomi, Jonathan can never walk his talk. All the PDP members are one; they are corrupt and self-centred. He cannot make any positive change. 08029877703, Alhaji Adeboye Lawal. Yes, he can. Goodluck Nigeria. Prince


11

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Olutayo Aderinokun could have lived… ing the bank going is its organic mode of operations. “The bank has never witnessed succession disputes. Aderinokun was deputy managing director of the bank for 12 years, and he eventually succeed Fola Adeola as the MD. Now Agbaje, who worked as a deputy managing director under Aderinokun, would take over. In terms of corporate governance, GTB is one of the best in the industry.” In most of the indices, the bank has performed creditably. It has been rated well annually by local and foreign rating agencies.

He was a star in the banking firmament where he held sway for years. The late Olutayo Aderinokun was a professional banker. The industry lost a gem, with his passage on Tuesday

P

ERHAPS the late Group Managing Director and co-founder of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), Mr Olutayo Adeleye Aderinokun would have still been alive if he had not been misadvised by a doctor. This is the multi-million dollar statement that has continued to agitate the minds of close friends and associates of the late banker. The Nation gathered that the thoroughbred banker had overcome his sickness, which started about two years ago after returning from abroad where he had gone to receive treatment last year. Having fully recovered, he was said to have consulted another doctor who informed him that he was okay and advised that he stopped taking the drugs recommended for him. He was said to have bought that idea and a few months later, the illness that had to do with the clotting of his blood resurfaced - leading to the swelling of the legs and triggering a host of other ailments. Since then the late Aderinokun has been in and out of the hospital until last February when he collapsed in his Lagos residence and was rushed to the United Kingdom where he had been on life support before he eventually passed on last Tuesday. He was 56. For someone in the class of the late Aderinokun’s standing, money was not the issue as the pure-bred banker and the bank he ran could afford all the best things money can buy. And this explains why during his travails, he was treated in one of the best hospitals of the world Wellington Hospital, Saint John’s Wood, North West, London. Wellington is the largest independent private hospital in Britain. It has international reputation for outstanding care in cardiac services, neurosurgery, liver and HPB medicine, rehabilitation, gynecology, orthopedics and many others. But the enormous resources committed to make him stay alive was put to shame as the cold hands of death snatched him away at about 5pm last Tuesday after a failed battle with cancer, which was said to have incapacitated him for over two months. From the head office of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to all the branches including the Ikoyi Lagos residence of one of Nigeria’s best bankers and c0-founder of the bank – the late Aderinokun, customers, friends, colleagues, staff have continued to mourn the late banker.

His residence

A visit by The Nation to the late Aderinokun’s Lagos residence - 58a Bourdillon Ikoyi, revealed the home was quiet and deserted. The gate was under lock and nobody came to commiserate with his family. The family was said to have travelled to the United Kingdom to make arrangements for bringing the deceased to Nigeria. Only the security was on hand to respond to enquiries. Save for the state-of-the-art cars in his compound, nothing suggested that the house belonged to the late Aderinokun.

His office

At the GTBank headquarters, the atmosphere was serene. Although many of the staff continued with their normal businesses, but an observer will find out that something was amiss. People were found discussing in clusters about the passage of the former MD. At the security post, many of the security staff numbering about 15 discussed in hushed tones.

Performance post-Adern-

Ayodele Aminu, Taofik Salako, Collins Nweze, Tonia Osundolire and Akinola Ajibade

iokun The passing away of Aderinokun marked the end of an era that has seen the bank consolidating its position as a middle tier bank to a highly-rated first tier bank. From all performance indices, Aderinokun’s tenure at GTBank witnessed tremendous growth. Fundamentally, the Aderinokun-led management grew all profit and loss and balance sheet items by four digits, with the total assets growing by 2223 per cent from N65.02 billion in 2002 to N1.15 trillion in 2010. Profit before tax, which stood at N3.18 billion at his assumption of office, closed 2010 at N48.5 billion, an increase of 1,400 per cent. GTBank’s shareholders’ funds stands at N204 billion, representing an increase of 2,431 billion on N8.06 billion at Aderinokun’s assumption of office. Aderinokun consolidated GTBank’s enviable brand as an investors’ friendly and arguably the bestmanaged financial institution in Nigeria. Managing the bank through three phases of banking consolidation and reforms, Aderinokun’s dexterity and focus on sustainable growth saw GTBank scaling through unscathed, a fact indicated by its unbroken dividend and profitability records. GTBank has sustained outstanding returns over the years combining cash dividends with bonus issues. Shareholders were issued bonus shares from to 2010. His professional and management excellence have been adequately commended by many awards that honoured him personally and GTBank as an organization. Within the period of almost nine years, GTBank and Aderinokun won more than 60 awards from reputable Nigerian and international organisations.

Bank’s shares

On Thursday, GTBank gained the highest point of 0.75 per cent in the last 10 days with corresponding volume growth of 267 per cent - a surge despite the sad and painful news about the death of Aderinokun. Though the price appreciation appears very weak - less than one per cent. From the analysis done so far, the trend is likely to indicate investors confidence level towards the brand/stock and the inevitable introduction of a new but tested CEO for the bank, considering the volume growth of 267 per cent.

Condolence register and customers

Katchy Anumnu: “ Your footsteps on the Nigerian soil will not be wiped in centuries to come. Even in death, you will remain an inspiration to many. You have made disciples of yourself who I know will make your legacy live on. Rest in perfect peace. Though your life was short, it was well fulfilled and full of credible achievements. Nigeria will miss u.” Adebowale Adesanya :”My impression of Tayo was that of an unassuming achiever, who did not seek publicity, but allowed his achievements and good works to speak for him. It is not how long we live that ultimately matters but how much we achieve and affect lives. Tayo, rest in the bossom of the Lord.” Tunde Mabayoje: “You were a

NESG DG

Director General of Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Mr. Frank Nweke, said the news of Aderinokun’s death hit him, and the entire NESG family with much disbelife. “My personal experience of Tayo was that of a thoroughbred professional, who, like a goldfish, could not hide. His goodness, gentility and candour were most admired. His professional touch to banking changed the landscape for GTBank and positioned it as one of Nigeria’s niche banks with high level respectability and corporate identity.

Ayo Arise

•The late Aderinokun

‘We have lost a solid professional. A man with experience and integrity and a role model of professional conduct at a time when his likes are most needed. I am sure his colleagues at the Bankers’ Committee all feel the same way’ rare gem in the banking industry. You left a legacy that we pray others in the banking industry will follow, considering the way you transformed GTB astronomically. One thing is certain and obvious (even if myself and millions of other Nigerians did not know you personally), you left the banking industry better than you met it. My sympathy and that of a lot of Nigerians whose lives you touched directly or indirectly go out to your family. May the Good Lord give them the fortitude to bear the loss. RIP.” Isokpan Efe Martins: “He took the industry to a new height! He created a brand that became the dream of many of us! He left a wonderful name behind - a name without stains! Although he was a Nigerian, he never got messed up with the Nigerian thing!, he will surely be missed by all and sundry! We lost more than one man because he was more than one.” Aul Atunlese Balo: “You were unarguably one of the founding fathers of modern day banking in Nigeria. You also inspired people like me that by working hard, I could attain the greatest of heights. I join millions of Nigerians as well as friends of Nigeria at home and abroad to condole with your family and the GTBank family. May God grant them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. RIP.” Oladipo Adedeji : “If you had met him or heard him share his thought, you would have realised what a rarity he was. Very kind, gentle, intelligent and clear minded. Indeed, Nigeria is at a loss for her finest banker.” Godwin Aronu: “Oh what a big loss to Nigeria, the banking industry and GTB in particular. He will be solely missed. A nice, energetic and unassuming leader. May the good Lord comfort his family and welcome him to His bosom. Adieu great leader, rest in the bosom of our Lord.” Oluwatosin Akinleye :”A man of

disciplinary principles, simple, industrious, a great exponent of GTBank. You lived a fulfilled life, the legacy you left behind shall forever linger in our memory in our industry, rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ..Adieu.”

Comments from colleagues CBN governor

The CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said: “Tayo was not just a banker and professional colleague. He was a close personal friend. We first met in the 80s in Kano where he was manager of Chase (Continental) Merchant Bank and I was head of credit and treasury in Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers). We collaborated on a number of syndications and remained friends since then. “I must confess that at this point I am devastated. I am grateful to God to have known such a good man and to have visited him in hospital in London before he went into coma. I pray that his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. On a professional note, this is a great loss to the industry. We have lost a solid professional. A man with experience and integrity and a role model of professional conduct at a time when his likes are most needed. I am sure his colleagues at the Bankers’ Committee all feel the same way.”

Former Trade Bank MD

Former deputy managing director, defunct Trade Bank Plc, Mr Jamiu Ekungba, said Aderinokun was a thorough bred professional as evident by his outstanding performances in GTBank, and the industry in particular. He said: “Aderinokun was not only a man of integrity, but also adhered to the best practices of corporate governance. This could be gleaned from the ways he piloted the affairs of the bank since he took over after the pioneer CEO, Mr Fola Adeola. One of his major achievements was that he provided robust services for the bank. I’m sure the services can withstand the test of time.

FHAN president

The President, Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN), Mr Eddie Osaronkhoe, said Aderinokun would always be remembered for the organic growth witnessed by bank in the past few years. “He was humble, ready to learn, honest, and exhibited professional competence. One thing that is keep-

Immediate past Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ayo Arise, described the death of Aderinokun as a major tragedy to the financial industry. Senator Arise in a condolence message to the family of the deceased said the late Tayo was a thorough breed and a quintessential banker to be reckoned with at all times.”

Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said the demise of Aderinokun is a loss of a national asset. ”His stay with us on earth may have been short, but that could not be said of the huge impact he had on our socio-economic lives. As a pacesetter, he engineered novel ways of banking, which will be with us for a long time,” Atiku said.

Shareholders

Shareholders were shell shocked on receiving the news of Aderinokun’s death, saying it was a big blow to the banking industry and the capital market in particular. A shareholder activist and founding member of the Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, said: “We have lost such an epitome of the new generation bankers. Nigeria has lost an illustrious son who was dedicated to service excellence. If older generation bankers were like Aderinokun, the industry would not have been run aground as we witnessed in the late 80s. I sincerely condole with his family and the entire GTBank family.” The NSSA National Coordinator, Sir Sunny Nwosu, said investors would miss Aderinokun a great deal. “He was very investor-friendly and a workaholic. He worked hard to make sure that investors get the benefits of their investments. Despite the challenges brought by the banking reforms of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2009, GTBank remained atop due to Aderinokun’s hard work and dedication. We at ISAN, would miss him greatly but we cannot question God. The only thing is to pray to God to grant him eternal rest and to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss,” Nwosu said.”

Succession plan

One of the things GTBank has going for the organisation is a good succession plan. About two years ago, when the late Aderinokun was asked about GTBank’s succession plan, he said: “We have built the institution to outlive us. If by accident, the management team of the bank perishes, we already have capable hands to run the bank,” he said, gleefully.


12

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011


Hell of a shift

Inside Nigeria's ‘sweatshops' Saturday Thriller /19

My ex-husband’s remarriage is a relief

-Monalisa Chinda

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Screen/ Page 23

Social Scene 39

‘I carried dead seven-month -old twins in my womb for weeks’

Saturday

13

SPECIAL ! e l d d i R o t e l t t a b e Polic

Barr. Oyubu with his bride during their wedding... He was killed three days later

y r e t s y m unravel o h w n e m gun r e y w a l killed r e t f a s y a four d wedding

The dastardly killing of Igho Oyubu, a 27-year-old lawyer, four days after his wedding has led to condemnation, wide outrage, anger and panic in Effurun and neighbouring Warri in Delta State. SHOLA O'NEIL reports. Continued on Page 14


14

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

T

HE gruesome murder of 27-yearold Igho Oyubu on Wednesday, May 25, was a rude shock to residents of Effurun and its environs in Delta State. Everybody who knew the dashing handsome young man, popular called Usher, lamented the manner and timing of his killing by a heartless gang of four gun-wielding young men in the dead of the night barely four days after his wedding and thanksgiving service at the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in the oilrich city. Four days earlier, on that beautiful Saturday morning, May 21, Usher and his beautiful bride were the cynosure of all eyes when they took their marital vows at the Catholic Church, along Airport Road, Effurun, Warri. Before he decided to tie the knot with his heartthrob, no doubt, he was one of the most eligible bachelors in the twincities of Effurun and Warri. Upwardly mobile and with a vista of opportunities before him, he was a fifth of the popular social clique known as Cash Money Fellas. Some of the hundreds of guests who flew into the city to celebrate the wedding were still in the town when the death of the groom turned the mood into mourning. He was raised by a middle class family. His father was a staff of the Department of Petroleum Resources, one of the strategic business units of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, while his mother is a very prominent business woman in the state. He was the second of five children. Igho Oyubu attended one of the best private schools in Delta State Cambridge International School, from where he proceeded to Nigeria’s pioneer private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. He graduated in 2009 with a degree in law. After his service, he worked briefly with a popular law firm owned by a former top brass of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission. On that bright sunny day at his wedding, the youthful man cut a picture of a successful young man who knew what he wanted from life. His wedding style was straight out of GQ magazine. He wore a trendy threepiece Italian suit with a gold waist-coat and a matching bow-tie completed with his trademark dark designer’s sunglasses. His bride was no less delectable in her beautiful wedding gown, which was deftly designed to both hide her pregnancy of about five months without deducting from her refreshing beauty. The unanimous verdict of nearly a thousand guests that graced the occasion was that they were a perfect couple. A close friend of the deceased said the couple were separated barely hours later as the new Mrs. Elohor Oyubu, a student of the Delta State University, Abraka, had to rush back to school to prepare for her second semester examination. Her husband then drove her to the institution located about 50 kilometers away, after the Sunday’s thanksgiving service. He promised to go back and get her the next place where they could spend the weekend together. Unknowing to them, it would be their last time together. The perfect union was cut short by the deadly shot by the four-man gang that stormed his residence on that fateful Wednesday night. The motive of the gunmen who snuffed the life of this promising young lawyer remains unknown. But close family members, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the chance of the incident being another armed robbery was slim. But what the true motive of the killers is remains an

•Gunmen tell lawyer before killing him three days after wedding

•The late Oyubu

They led him upstairs to his apartment and ordered him to take out his wedding band and hand it to one of the gang members. In the process, one of them said something about Igho having the effrontery to get married. …‘I like to waste this Igho self’ and as he said that, he raised his cut-tosize double barrel gun and fired a single shot, hitting him at the waist…

unsolved mystery. A close friend of the Oyubu family, Mr. Alfred ‘Jigga’ Obiemeh, described the late Igho as “a very humble and

extremely respectful young man who was cut down at the most auspicious period of his life. I have known him since he was five years old; his family and mine are friends and he was like a younger sibling to me. I cannot imagine that anybody would shoot a young man who cannot hurt anyone. Who could have killed him and for what?” he wondered in a shaky voice. The question is the same on the lips of hundreds of friends, relatives and old school mates. Eyewitness account of the incident was no less confusing. It was gathered that he was returning home from an outing at about 9:30pm when the gunmen, who were probably waiting for him in front of his house,

accosted him at gunpoint. A source quoting a younger friend, who lived with the late man in the flat said: “They led him upstairs to his apartment and ordered him to take out his wedding band and hand it to one of the gang members. In the process, one of them said something about Igho having the effrontery to get married. They then asked him to also hand over the money he was ‘sprayed’ during his wedding reception held at the Farm Kitchen Hotel. This he also did without any hesitation. “After that, they led him to the apartment of his landlord and ordered him to knock the door. The landlord opened the door, probably thinking


15

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

that his tenant wanted to discuss something important with him. The man was also confronted with the barrel of a gun and was asked to surrender some valuables. When they finished at the landlord’s apartment, they again led him back to his flat,” our source added.

Residents of the area later reported hearing a gunshot fired from his flat. But what happened from the time the gunmen left the apartment of the owner of the building and the time the victim was shot is now a subject of intense debate and controversy. A version of the report on how he was

shot claimed that the gunmen went through the apartment and took out a bottle of red wine, which they hurriedly drank while asking their prey to lay prostrate. “After emptying the bottle of wine, they made to exit the apartment, but one of them turned round and said: ‘I like to waste this Igho self’ and as he said that, he raised his cut-to-size double barrel gun and fired a single shot, hitting him at the waist and they immediately left the apartment,” our source further stated. Another account of the killing hinted that it was either the result of a business deal that went awry or that his death was instigated by a jealous someone. Those who subscribed to this argument buttressed their point with the statement allegedly made by one of the gunmen to the effect that he had the effrontery to get married. Others also said the taking away of his wedding ring was significant. What was not in doubt was that moments after the armed men left the compound, the young man who was with the ill-fated man raised the alarm that attracted the landlord and other neighbours. They hurriedly got another car, as the gunmen also took away the keys of Oyubu’s Honda Accord (End of Discussion), and started the futile battle to save him. Reports confirmed to our correspondent by the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ekpan Police Station, Mr. Muazu Mohammed, indicated that the life of the promising young man could have been saved if he had gotten proper medical attention at least three hospital where he was rushed to that night. Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because of fear of victimisation, said a medical doctor at the state government-owned hospital

in Jakpa Road inexplicably refused to treat him after he was taken to the theatre. The doctor reportedly directed that he be taken to the Warri Central Hospital located nearly five kilometres away. Similarly, several private hospitals, including some on Jakpa Road and Okumagbe Avenue, apparently betrayed their sacred calling by refusing to open their gates even as the wounded lawyer was bleeding to death. “As they were carrying him about from place to place, he was said to had kept his cool, promising that he would be strong as he could not afford to let his newly married wife down. In the heat of the battle to get treatment for him, one of his friends who is a doctor was later called from his bed; he hurried to the clinic located off Etuwewe Street. Although this doctor said he could not treat him because gunshot wound wasn’t his area of specialisation, he gave him First Aid, and suggested that he be taken to another hospital located in faraway Mosheshe Estate in Effurun. But he drew his last breath before they could get him there,” the very reliable source added. It was gathered that DPO Muazu reportedly wept profusely when he learnt in the wee hours of the morning that the young man could not make it. He later told our correspondent that he had had cause to interact with him on a number of occasions, describing him, as “A cool, level-headed young man.” Muazu vowed that the Police would not rest until they unravelled the masterminds of Oyubu’s death. Although that would hardly be any consolation for the distraught parents and heartbroken Mrs. Elohor Oyubu, who would be forever haunted by the memories of her dashing husband of barely three days.


16

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Students’ fate hangs in the balance as alleged ‘agent’ bolts with their NECO registration fees F

IVE secondary school students face a shaky future after an alleged fraudster denied them the chance to sit for the National Examination Council (NECO) examination, on the platform of which they would have advanced their education. The suspect, 38-year-old Bayode Kelvin, a resident of Meiran community in Lagos, allegedly bolted with the sum of N96, 000 he collected from the hapless students ostensibly to help them collect the registration forms for the exam. The victims told our correspondent that the suspect, who is now in police net, had approached them individually and told them that he was running a special tutorial centre for students who wanted to sit for the NECO and the General Certificate Examination (GCE) exams in Lagos and score high marks in all their subjects. They heeded his counsel and gave him the sums meant for their registration. Unfortunately, the examination date approached without their registration forms and without Kelvin in sight to at least tell them what became of the sums they paid him for the forms. Rather, he was said to be going around the city, enjoying himself with the victims’ registration fees. Unfortunately, their parents were not financially buoyant enough to give them another fee as the closing date fast approached. Kelvin’s phone was said to have been permanently switched off, making it impossible to reach him on the phone. The search for him at beer parlours, hotels and night clubs where some people said they had seen him also yielded no fruit. Fortunately for the students, on the day of the examination, one of them sighted Kelvin in Abule Egba area. He held Kelvin and started shouting: “Give me my money you thief!” The dramatic scene was said to have attracted a crowd who intervened in the matter. When questioned by the crowd, Kelvin allegedly confessed to taking money from the victims but could not register them for certain reasons. The crowd was said to have dragged him to the Abule Egba office of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), who took over the case and interrogated Kelvin. Since he admitted that he collected money meant for registration of NECO examination from the poor students, they decided to hand him over to

•The victims

Ebele BONIFACE the police, particularly because he could not refund the sum involved as demanded as demanded by thestudents. The students themselves told The Nation the circumstances in which they were defrauded by Kelvin and the amount each of them gave to him. One of them, 17-year-old Matimoju Tobi, said he gave Kelvinthe the sum of N32,000 in two instalments. He said: “The first instalment was N18,000, while the second instalment was N14,000. But up till now, the man has not registered us. The NECO examination is going on now but we cannot participate.” The second victim, 19-year-old Ezealuka Ifeanyi, said he gave Kelvin the sum of N18,000 before he disappeared without a trace. The third victim, Latifat Babatunde, 18, also said she gave him N32,000. The fourth victim, Amusan Olayinka, 18, said he gave the suspect the sum of N19,500 before he disappeared into thin air. The last victim, Adejoju Femi, said he gave the suspect the sum of N12,500. But defending himself, Kelvin

Missing persons Name: Kenneth Madubike Sex: Male Age: 68 years Height: 5 ft tall Complexion: Dark Languages spoken: English and Igbo Contact: Onyinyechi Madubike of Emma Ugest House Onilewuna Street, Egbe Lagos or Ikotun Police Station. Name: Akinbode Toyin Sex: Female Age: 28 years Height: 5 ft tall Complexion: fair Languages spoken: Yoruba Contact: Akinbode Suleiman of 27, Abeokuta Street, Agege or Pen Cinema Police Station. Name: Fatimo Olubukola Sex: Female Age: 23 years Height: 4 ft tall Complexion: Dark Languages spoken: Pidgin English and Yoruba

•Kelvin

said: “I run a special centre called Kelvin Tutors, situated at 40,

Contact: Akinsile Olufunmilayo of Opposite Tololope Nur/Primary School Topa Ajara Badagry or Badagry Police Station. Name: Nneoma Grace Ogba Sex: Female Age: 14 years Height: 5 ft tall Complexion: fair Languages spoken: English and Igbo languages Contact: Chima Obuma of No. 8, Abimbola Odunsi Street, Ifako Ijaiye Lagos or Ikeja Police Station. Name: Folake Godonu Sex: Female Age: 27 years Height: 6 ft tall Complexion: Dark Languages spoken: Yoruba and Egun languages Contact: Joseph Godwin of Ikoga Zebbe Badagry Lagos or Badagry Police Station. Name: Sex:

Benjamin Onuikpu Male

Meiran Road, Lagos. I charge students paltry sums to lecture and

Age: 30 years Height: 4.8 ft tall Complexion: Fair Languages spoken: English and Hausa languages Contact: Joseph Monisola Adetola of Block 94 Flat I, Jakande Estate Isolo or Festac Police Station. Name: Feyisara Oyindamola Shittu Sex: Female Age: 32 years Height: 5 ft tall Complexion: Dark Languages spoken: English and Yoruba languages Contact: Shittu Kamoru of No. 6/8, Rufai Street, Onipanu Shomolu Lagos or Onipanu Police Station.

Stolen vehicles Type: Colour: Reg. No: Chasis No: Contact: Nearest

Toyota Camry S/car AR 700 KUJ 4T15KIZESPU1803 police station.

prepare them for NECO or GCE exams so that they can pass with distinction. I collected money from these students and could not register them. I did not know what happened because I used to register more than 40 students. “What happened in the case of these five students is still a mystery to me. If I am given time, like two weeks, I will refund their money. Please, give me some days and I will refund their money. Such a thing has never happened to me. I used to deliver.” When our correspondent called him on the phone, the Area ‘G’ Commander, Ishola Abdullahi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said: “I assure you that the suspect will be charged to court.” The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), described it as a pathetic case. “The Police only enforce the law. We work within the law as law enforcement agents. The courts will decide the fate of the suspect; ours is to investigate and prosecute. You are law-abiding when you hand over such a suspect to the police for a thorough investigation.”

Type: Colour: Reg. No: Chasis No: Contact:

Toyota Camry S/car Grey RZ 435 AAA J4TIBG22K8WU267091 Nearest police station.

Recovered vehicles Type: Colour: Reg. No: Location:

Honda Accord Ash FP 401 LSR Yaba Police Station

Type: Colour: Reg. No: Location:

Toyota Sienna Gold LP 291 KJA RRS Headquarters

Type: Colour: Reg. No: Location:

Honda Accord Grey EQ 467 LND Layeni Police Station.

Type: Colour: Reg. No: Location:

Honda Accord Ash CX 586 MUS Orile Police Station.


.

17

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Seven-year-old pupil found dead in school’s soak away •Bereaved parents accept misfortune in good faith

•Favour’s parents, Mr.&Mrs. Eze

Despite the fact that we recovered the food basket, the teacher insisted I never brought the child to school... The police, it was gathered, conducted a search around the school compound the next day and found Favour’s body in a soak away with his school uniform still on...

•Favour

F

ORTY-year-old Stephen Eze and his wife, Ngozi, could not have suspected that they were seeing the last of their seven-yearold son after dropping him at school on April 11, 2011. His death was as sudden as it was mysterious. On the fateful day, Ngozi had taken her seven-year-old son, Favour, to the National Orthopedic Hospital Special School, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, only to be told a few minutes later that her son was missing. Narrating the incident to our correspondent, she said: “On April 11, 2011, I took Favour to his school and handed him over to the school care giver called Iyabo. That was

Kunle AKINRINADE around 8.45 a.m. Surprisingly, at exactly 10.45 a.m that very day, my son’s teacher called me on the phone and said my son was missing. I quickly rushed down to the school to find out what had happened. “On getting there, I was shocked to hear the teacher accuse me that I did not bring him to school that day. I insisted I handed my son and his food basket to the care giver in the school. We conducted a search and found the food basket with the food intact.” Ngozi claimed that notwithstanding the recovery of the food basket, the officials of the school still in-

sisted that she did not bring the boy to school on that day. Exasperated with the approach of the school’s authorities, Ngozi headed to the Onipanu Police Station to lodge a complaint. She said: “Despite the fact that we recovered the food basket, the teacher insisted I never brought the child to school. This made me to suspect a foul play. Hence, I had to rush to the Onipanu Police Station to formally lodge a complaint.” The police, it was gathered, conducted a search around the school compound the next day and found Favour’s body in a soak away with his school uniform still on. The matter was later transferred to The Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos. “Following the report we lodged at Onipanu Police Station, a search was conducted and Favour’s body was found in a soak away inside the school compound with his uniform on,” Ngozi recalled.. At this point, her husband, Stephen, took over the conversation, explaining the efforts made by

government agencies in the matter. Stephen said: “Officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) were also told about the incident through the various letters we wrote. “But officials of these agencies have intervened in the matter, and they were the ones who brokered a truce because the loss of our child was indeed devastating.” It was gathered that the result of the autopsy carried out on the deceased pupil indicated that he died as a result of insufficient oxygen and drowning. Following the release of the autopsy result, the remains of Favour were interred by his parents on May 30, 2011. When our correspondent visited the school, the head teacher, Mrs. Florence Adeyanju, declined comments. The Executive Secretary of Local Government Education Authority, Mr. Michael Oikeh, said the agency was saddened by the incident, adding that adequate measures had been taken to forestall a reoccurrence of similar incidents in schools within the council. He said:” The incident is not what one can be happy about as a father, guardian and school administrator. In all the 48 primary schools and five special schools we have in this council area, we never recorded any such incident before now. Now, we have redoubled our effort at strengthening the security of pupils and their well being in schools. “Immediately I received the news of the incident, I went with my top aides to commiserate with the bereaved family and to show them that we really care. We are happy that the parents of the pupil have shown a lot of understanding in the matter. I also want to thank the Lagos State Government, especially SUBEB, for the gesture they made towards the parents of the deceased boy.” The matter was laid to rest penultimate Thursday when the father of the deceased pupil received a condolence letter from SUBEB. It was accompanied with a cheque in the sum of N250, 000,

which was also presented to the distraught family. The father was presented with the cheque at exactly 3.50pm by the Executive Secretary, Local Government Education Authority (LGEA), Mr. Michael Oikeh, in the presence of the head teacher of the school, Mrs. Florence Adeyanju and legal counsel to SUBEB. The condolence letter, signed by the Secretary to the Board, Mrs. Oluseye, reads in part: “With heartfelt sympathy, the board commiserates with your family on the unfortunate incident that led to the sudden death of your child, Master Favour Eze, in April, 2011. May the Almighty God grant you the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.(amen) “The board wishes to identify with you at this period of grief and to extend the kind gesture of the state government, which is a usual tradition of identifying with the grief of parents or family members of deceased staff. “However, in this circumstance, the board has magnanimously decided that the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N250, 000) , should be presented to your family in order to assist in setting off part of the burial expenses. “Please, accept our condolences. Our prayer is that the Lord, God Almighty in His infinite mercy will keep you and the entire family.” The Abia State-born businessman and his wife were unanimous in their decision to let go of the matter. “We are not pressing charges against anybody because we don’t see any wisdom in going to court since the autopsy says that the boy actually drowned. Moreover, we don’t want to heap the blame on the school care giver. Although it is painful, there is nothing we can do but to accept it in good faith. “We don’t want to press charges, and that is why we are laying the matter to rest now. We were made to understand that the money attached to the letter of condolence was not meant for compensation but a token to cover part of the burial expenses we have incurred.”


18

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

A musician’s twist of fate A

NYONE would wish to be like ‘Controller’ Femi Ajasa in his heydays. As a Juju musician, he had everything going for him – a sonorous voice, mastery of the guitar, 30 hit albums, and the resulting fame and fortune. Today, he is a shadow of himself. The superstar image he earned through uncommon dexterity on the guitar has faded out. Now, he no longer plays the guitar to entertain people; he fixes it to earn a living! When our correspondent visited him at his 5, Fafolu Street, Mushin, Lagos residence penultimate Friday, he cut the picture of someone in dire need of urgent help. His ’apartment’ is a locked-up shop partitioned into two. It serves as his bedroom as well as his workshop. One of his former band ‘boys’, Mr. Reuben Olohunda (68), was on hand to commiserate with him as he was just recuperating from an illness. Ajasa was born on May 7, 1940 in Apomu near Ifo, Ogun State. He received elementary education at the United District Central School and proceeded to African Church Modern School for his secondary education in 1958, but left the same year when his father died. He relocated to Lagos and trained as an auto-mechanic and worked briefly with BODPAK Ltd, Apapa before he went into music. He recalled how it all started: “I played music right from my school days when I formed Mercy Mambo Orchestra in 1954. We used to play at Youth Day celebrations and I was very popular at that time around Arigbajo, Ewekoro and Ifo environs.” Speaking further, 71-year-old Ajasa said the desire to become a musician led him, whilst still in training as an auto-mechanic, to join a band where he became a multi-instrumentalist and a vocalist of note, while he also earned the admiration of people. According to him, “I joined Ebenezer Obey’s uncle’s band called Olumide Adeyinka and His Western Brothers Band. It was there I learnt how to play the guitar. That was where Obey and I became friends, and he still refers to me as ‘egbon’(senior brother) till date. But it was Fatai Rolling Dollars who taught me how best to play the guitar.” His popularity and influence as an adept instrumentalist and vocalist in the band brought him into conflict with his boss on several occasions until it peaked during a recording session at Decca Studio, Abule Oja, Yaba, Lagos in 1964. That day, when it got to Ajasa’s turn to sing, his boss refused despite the fact that the then director of Decca, an expatriate, insisted that he should be allowed to sing. The director, therefore, advised Ajasa to set up his own band with a promise to assist him. That led to the emergence of Olufemi Ajasa and his New Nigerian Brothers Band. On May 23, 1967, the band waxed its first album ‘Ole lo ba’ on Decca Records’ label. It was a three and a half-minute album. Following the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war, Ajasa relocated to Abeokuta from where he launched himself into stardom when he released a sophomore that became an instant hit. He recalled: “In 1968, I relocated to

•He earned fame and fortune playing the guitar, now he ekes out a living repairing the instrument

•Ajasa at work

•Ajasa when the going was good

Kunle AKINRINADE Abeokuta because of the Biafra war, and I usually held weekly gigs at Lisabi Hotel. That same year, I came out with a hit, which was followed by three successive monster hits, ‘Baby magbe yen wa’, ‘Gba woro woro’ and ‘Ina ran’, which the late Apala

I took to repairing guitar because I cannot afford to idle away without a means of livelihood. I cannot allow the problem to overwhelm me, because I have to take care of my eight children...

,

musician, Haruna Ishola, later remixed. I actually got the inspiration to compose the song after an encounter with some itinerant drummers in Ifo, Ogun State, and I went straight to the studio to record it after returning to Lagos the next day. “When I returned to Lagos, I became the toast at Owambe parties as shows kept increasing while money kept coming. I bought two vehicles, a tour van and state-of-the-art musical instruments.” Olohunda said: “There was no part of Nigeria where we did not play. We travelled to places like Warri, Benin and different parts of north-

ern Nigeria to honour engagements and we smiled home with good pay, especially when Gba woro woro came out. The song was an anthem on the lips of music buffs in the 60s.” Ajasa kept churning out hits after hits while his songs also enjoyed massive play on radio stations. But somehow, like an ill-fated journey, a reversal of fortune set in. In 1971, one of his vehicles (a Volkswagen) caught fire. In 1975, the second one was involved in an accident that almost took his life, while on November 19, 1976, he lost his instruments to a fire incident at Iyoha Hotel, Atewolara, Mushin, Lagos.

As if that was not enough, in 1978 his band boys abandoned him and took the van away as their own share of the band. Ajasa said: “In 1978, after my former band boys had deserted me, I gathered another set of boys and released another album entitled “Atinga” on EMI (now Ivory) Music label in 1980.” But by then, his popularity had started to wane. He confessed that when things were still good, he was constantly warned by his closest friend, the late Orlando Owoh, another prominent musician, to be wary of those he trusted so much. He said: “Orlando Owoh and I became friends when he was a member of Dele Chocolate band. And when I hit the limelight, he warned me to be very careful, especially with those who were close to me. But I would not listen. He even reminded me about it during one of his children’s weddings, shortly before he passed on a few years ago.” When everything he made had vanished, life became tough. He had eight children to nurture without a source of livelihood. Consequently, he became a guitar technician to stave off despondency and make ends meet. He said: “I took to repairing guitar because I cannot afford to idle away without a means of livelihood. I cannot allow the problem to overwhelm me, because I have to take care of my eight children. “I need help from people to put my music career back into reckoning. My voice is still very good and I can sing very well. Look at Fatai Rolling Dollar, he shot himself back into prominence at 76. So, I believe I can still become a superstar once more. I need people to help me get out of this mess.”


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

19

Saturday

THRILLER

f o l l e H a shift Inside Nigeria's ‘swe

atshops’

Continued on Pages 20 & 21

From sunset through dawn, they hasten across busy roads and deserted sidewalks; barely touching, never breaking in routine, as gnats basking in a sunny haze, all afternoon. Tales of their distress pirouette from one factory to the other, across dusty airshafts, flesh guzzling machinery and flakes of soot probably floating in a daze, as you read; across the shop floors where casual workers hasten to slave, every 12 hours, to the death. OLATUNJI OLOLADE, Assistant Editor, examines the plight of Nigeria's 'casual labourers.'


20

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

•Contract staff working a shift in a local factory

•Continued from Page 19

However, consequent upon her refusal, Amanyi was not sacked; rather, she was perpetually consigned to the shop floor. Four years on, she is still shuttling departments as a cork fitter, gin boxer and bottler ,to mention a few, on the shop floor. Unlike Amanyi, Abdul Razaq Akinfenwa enjoys a mixed blessing of sort. The staff of an Agege, Lagos-based steel factory lost his right arm to a shredding machine. It happened on a Thursday night. The father of two had been working two full shifts in a row because his department was understaffed. “We had just two of us doing the work of seven people…that fateful night we were very tired. So we decided to take a short break to eat. That was when it happened. The floor supervisor had ordered my partner to switch on the machine after he switched it off. He said he wanted to see how it responded at ignition; he never bothered to confirm if I was at a safe distance from the machine. Immediately, my partner switched on the machine, my shirt got caught in the shredder. I struggled to set myself free but the more, I struggled, the faster I got drawn into the blades of the machine,” recollected the 41year-old. Although his employer showed little concern in the wake of the incident, they extended the olive branch to Akinfenwa immediately after his discharge from the hospital. They offered him full employment with benefits as soon as he filed a suit against the company claiming damages. “They told my lawyer to step aside. They said they would settle the matter with me. Few days later, I received a cheque for N50, 000 as compensation and a letter of employment. They offered me the position of assistant supervisor even though there was no such designation before the incident. I had to accept. The alternative would see me going about with one arm in search of a job. I am a realist; I knew no one would employ me. So I accepted their offer. It beats sitting at home to die in frustration,” said Akinfenwa. At least he got his benefits. Omonijafor Edoho never did. The 24-year-old former temp worker of an Ikeja-based plastic plant worked 12 hours a day for a daily wage of

Inside Nigeria's ‘ N350 at the plant until he suffered a handicap to his right arm in a work related accident. He lost his job without any benefits and had to foot his medical bills from donations and help from family and friends. These cases barely illustrate the plight of citizens employed as temporary staff or what is known in local parlance as casual labourers. While a few unlucky ones die on the job, many simply go away after suffering decapitation or various other injuries to quietly lick their wounds. An ageless evil The evils of job casualisation have for a long while been on the front-burner of national issues in the country. Traditional industrial relations systems based on the concept of a full-time employee working within an enterprise are increasingly being challenged by the use of nonstandard work arrangements by employers. This changing nature of work has taken a new dimension with the adoption of flexible work arrangements by many firms globally. In Nigeria, the changes have been adduced to globalisation of the world economy. These changing patterns of work are at various instances described as casual, contract, temporary, part-time employments, and have created concerns for workers and trade unions alike, especially in Nigeria over job security, social security, terminal benefits and minimum conditions of work are some of these issues. Not a few stakeholders have argued that the new forms of work arrangements have led to the prospects of a “race to the bottom” in labour standards, particularly in the developing nations. This explains why labour standards are being compromised by most firms involved in casualisation. Such standards include the right to form or belong to a trade union

and the right to collective bargaining. Casualisation of employment is growing at an alarming rate. More workers in permanent employment are losing their jobs and are re-employed as casual or contract workers or been replaced by casual or contract workers. Casual work which is supposed to be a form of temporary employment has acquired the status of permanent employment in the country without the statutory benefits associated with that status. According to Rosemary Adishetu Danesi, a lecturer in Law and Industrial Relations, the emerging pattern of employment in Nigeria today is casualisation which is fast becoming the dominant form of flexible work arrangement particularly in the oil and gas Industry (OGI). Danesi noted that there are two forms of employment under casualisation in Nigeria: casual and contract labour. “The terms and conditions of employment of this category of workers are not regulated by the Nigerian labour laws in the sense that their status is not defined nor do the law make provisions for the regulation of the terms and conditions of their employment, hence the mass exploitation of these workers by employers. Employers use casualisation of the labour force as an effective means of reducing cost, maximising profit and de-unionising the work force,” she said. It is difficult to give an accurate statistics about the number of casual and contract workers in Nigeria because there are no official statistics showing the extent and trends of casualisation. Some organisations have been reported to have up to 60 and 90 percent of their workers as casual or contract employees. The unions in the OGI claim that 60 per cent of employees in this industry are contract employees supplied by labour contractors, that is, employment agencies.

Why job casualisation thrives The characteristics of most casuals indicate that this form of employment has more to do with limited choices available to young people, women and low skill workers than any flourishing of choices for people at work according to Rasaq Bamidele of Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun state. “Cost savings associated with casuals are not achieved by cutting their hourly wage rates, rather it appears to arise from the workers’ weakened ability to obtain standard rights, traditionally associated with ongoing employment and an inability to fulfill their own working time preferences as they meet the needs of production or service provision,” he said. The growth in the casual workforce has been the result of both demand and supply factors. On the supply side, casual work has been a popular form of employment as it allows employees to combine work with study or family responsibilities. It can also enable people to get a foot through the door if they are seeking permanent employment, or it can provide an alternative to unemployment, for people with limited training and work experience who are unable to find a permanent job. While the supply side has played a part, the growth in casual employment has largely been driven by the demand side, that is, the employers. Amid globalization and increased competition, employers are increasingly seeking to run their operations as efficiently as possible. As a result, employers have sought a more flexible workforce. Casual employment provides this flexibility, as employee numbers can be increased or decreased in line with the needs of the business with minimum hassle. In addition, while casual workers •Continued on Page 21


21

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

•Nigerian workers protest harsh working conditions

s ‘sweatshops'

The characteristics of most casuals indicate that this form of employment has more to do with limited choices available to young people, women and low skill workers than any flourishing of choices for people at work

•Continued from Page 20

are paid a penalty above normal rates of pay, it is considered cheaper to hire casuals than permanent staff. This is because casuals are not entitled to non-wage benefits and dismissal can be achieved without severance benefits. What the law says Thirteen years ago, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) declared in Philadelphia that its members must “respect, promote and realise in good faith” the principles concerning the fundamental rights at work. This declaration on fundamental rights at work, although not binding in international law, underscores that all member countries have an obligation to respect, to promote and to realise, in good faith, the fundamental principles involved, whether or not they have ratified the relevant ILO Conventions. Nigeria has ratified the ILO’s Convention hence it is obligatory on its part to uphold these conventions. The African Charter, which has been enacted as an Act of the National Assembly also provides in Article 15 that, “Every individual shall have the right to work

industrial relations system is tripartite in nature like most others in the world, therefore the government has to step in through legislation and policy to protect the weaker party in the contract of employment (in this case the employees) from exploitation by the employers,” noted Danesi. She said government’s policy on casualisation must be harmonised and explicit as opposed to the current situation. For instance, the various types of employment contracts must be expressly defined as well as the rights and benefits that should accrue to these contracts. Danesi stressed that the regulatory authorities must ensure that employers obey the law adding that emerging debates should be properly articulated in the form of concepts and philosophies taking into view current practices, trends and impact on the contract of employment vis-à-vis the impact of globalisation and neoliberalisation on the labour market and international labour standards. “The demise of standard employment need not necessarily undermine standards in the labour market; indeed, new standards and arrangements, designed around the fairer sharing of risk, are necessary to ensure sustainable bases for labour productivity growth nurtured in future,” she said. Practical as Danesi’s panacea is intended to be, the status quo of Nigeria’s business sector heightens fears of a worsening situation. Eleven years ago, Alex, a 35-yearold factory worker with a steel company in Ikeja, Lagos, was beheaded by a machine in a factory accident. The late worker, a native of Edo State, lost his life when the presumably switched off machine suddenly clicked into life, chopping off his head like the guillotine. Despite the grim occurrence, his Chinese employers behaved as if nothing abnormal happened. They

under equitable and satisfactory conditions and shall receive equal pay for equal work.” It is implied therefore that since it enjoins the state parties to ensure that its citizens have the right to work, and entitled to equal pay for equal work, that there should not be any form of discrimination in employment between standard workers and nonstandard workers. Section 7 (1) of the Labour Act, Cap 198, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 provides that: “Not later than three months after the beginning of a worker’s period of employment with an employer, the employer shall give to the worker a written statement specifying–the terms and conditions of employment, which include the nature of the employment and if the contract is for a fixed term, the date when the contract expires. Some practical ways out “We need to adopt a multi-dimensional personal work contract framework for Nigeria that will take into cognisance various types of employment contracts, and consequently provide a legal framework for the regulation and protection of employment of workers…The Nigerian

simply ordered their factory supervisors to go on with the day’s activities. Three years later, about 100 of 249 casual workers were burnt alive after their Chinese boss locked them in the factory during a night shift. The Chinese supervisor reportedly needed to rest hence he locked the factory gate and left for the official quarters of the Chinese owners located within the factory premises. By locking the gate, which happened to be the only exit, he sealed the fate of the workers like poor, hopeless inmates of a slave camp. Barely thirty minutes since his departure, thick billows of smoke wafted out of the factory store. Instinctively, many of the workers made for the exit but some of them never made it. Trapped in the raging inferno they were simply burnt to death over a hundred of them. However, fire alone was not responsible for all the deaths. Most of the survivors were treated for gunshot wounds. One such survivor who had actually escaped but was shot while trying to rescue some of his colleagues claimed he was shot from behind by the factory owners. He claimed he saw some of the Chinese men shooting randomly and indeed the General Manager of the company admitted to shooting at socalled “hoodlums” to protect company property. According to him, “only ten people died.” Years after these terrible incidents, many Nigerians still slave away in the country’s equivalent of medieval slave plantations. Recently, casual workers of a major beverage producer protested against the company’s working conditions at its plant in Lagos. Their agonies stem from what they perceive as the firm’s unfair labour practices. Dissatisfied with their hectic work schedule that sees them working every day of the month, 12 hours a day, for a paltry daily wage of N400 (that is, N16, 800 a month), the workers downed tools and demanded for improved remuneration and welfare. They vowed that they would no longer accept the paltry wage being paid to them. Among other things, they demanded for a new wage regime of N45, 000 monthly, which translates to over 200per cent of their current salary. If wishes were horses…


22

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

My Chief Traffic Controller and I have been shot several times —Nelson Jaja, Rivers traffic management agency boss, relives experience The Controller-General of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA---RIV), Mr. Nelson Jaja, is an indigene of Opobo, the headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State and a 1982 graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos (UNILAG). He is also an Executive Director of Monier Construction Company (MCC) Nigeria Limited. In this interview with BISI OLANIYI in Port Harcourt, he said he took up the TIMA-RIV job without salary or allowance, as his contribution to restore sanity to Rivers roads and that what he missed most in his life is not practising journalism for long. He also stressed that for marriage to succeed, a couple must be tolerant of each other. Excerpts.

•Jaja

W

ITH your closeness to the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, what can you say prompted him to establish TIMA-RIV, about a year ago? Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi wants a better Rivers State. He is a man who is passionately determined to leave good legacies. He leaves no stone unturned in ensuring the best for the state. He established TIMA-RIV to ensure free flow of traffic. As an executive director in MCC, how are you combining both? I am still a director in MCC. I used to be executive director of MCC, but I am not paying too much attention to that any more. I am on secondment to run this outfit (TIMA-RIV). Why did you agree to be Controller-General of TIMA-RIV, without taking salaries or allowances? I am still taking my little allowances at MCC. I am working for Rivers State Government now. Going by the law, one person cannot collect

salaries from two establishments. Do you have background in traffic management, considering the fact that you were trained at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as a journalist? I graduated from UNILAG in 1982 where I read Mass Communication. I later veered into management. I have managed a lot of projects. I have managed a lot of companies, men and materials, between when I graduated and now. My job will be to assemble the right kinds of men and put materials together. I practise management. I have done management of telecoms projects, trading and manufacturing. I have done value added and advertising. I am now managing traffic, which is very exciting and informative. I am actually learning a lot. How has it been in the last one year, as the pioneer Controller-General of TIMA-RIV, especially the challenges? The challenges are enormous. Initially, there was anarchy. Remember the Niger Delta

question. Rivers State, especially Port Harcourt, the capital, was militarised. Not only that, you have a lot of security personnel as escorts, following people, especially the expatriates and workers of oil companies up and down in convoys. They were mostly conducting themselves lawlessly. What suffered was law and order. While escorting the expatriates to the Port Harcourt International Airport or Air force Base in Port Harcourt, used by some airlines, they were always on military alert and hardly obey civil rules and regulations. Also, some of the ex-militants and people who fought for freedom in the Niger Delta also see themselves as above certain levels of control. They also conduct their businesses, as if they do not care for rules and regulations. When we came, we had to get people to change the way they think and the way they approach their businesses, especially to obey traffic laws and conducting their affairs in civil manner. Our biggest challenge is to get the people to obey rules and regulations. The influx

of people into Port Harcourt, now that there is peace, with the coming of the present Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has also posed a challenge, with a lot of pressure on the road infrastructure and furniture. It has been quite challenging, but we will get there. Can you compare TIMA-RIV with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), in terms of efficiency, provision of needed equipment and curbing motorists’ excesses? I do not like making such comparison. We do not have the kind of resources that LASTMA has, in terms of number, logistics and parking. The danger in making such comparison is that the environment and what is happening in Port Harcourt and Lagos are different. Lagos has increased in commercial activities and population. Port Harcourt environment has a lot of military personnel and a lot of oil

•Continued on Page 45


LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

23

a s i l a n Mo Chinda

My ex-husband’s remarriage is a relief


SNAPSHOTS Next Bond girl role

Genevieve not in contention

C

It’s Don Jazzy again!

I

am concerned about the export potentials of new generation music in Nigeria. And it gladdens my heart that the hip hop genre which may sound 'gibberish' to the conservative mind is taking its turn as the second major promoter of the Nigerian music talent after late Fela Anikulapo Kuti's Afro beat genre to a larger world appreciation. Yes, record companies like Benson & Hedges may have signed Onyeka Onwenu and the Island Records with King Sunny Ade up in the 70s, most of the artistes then, were signed on in Nigeria riding on the power of their affiliations. But there is a melting hedge for a foreign hip hop genre which the young Nigerian musicians are rebranding with a dominant element of the Nigerian culture, through language, slangs, rhythm and beats. Earlier in the week, the Mo'hits crew revealed to the Nigerian media officially that they have not just been signed on Kanye West's GOOD (Getting Out Our Dreams) Music label, which is home to John Legend, Common, Mos Def, Kid Cudi, Hit Boy and Big Sean, among other artistes but that they secured the deal without mortgaging their dignity. For Dapo Adebanjo a.k.a. D'banj and his producer Don Jazzy, it is indeed a partnership deal that has no limited duration. Don Jazzy, who had maintained a quiet publicity stand in the six years that he and D'banj stormed the Nigerian music scene, spoke excitedly about the deal which

he puts at three million dollars, and this amount is just the Mo'hits part of the deal with Good Music, Kanye West and Jay Z; a deal without a servant/master relationship. Not stopping there, I am particularly thrilled by the self achievement of Nigerian musicians who have not been crying like some of their counterparts in Nollywood for government support, using that as an excuse for poor quality work. That said, it is pertinent for government however, to give a frontal attack to piracy and bring it to its knees, there by letting it crawl rather than the crazy speed with which it now operates. Without mincing words, the long struggle between Collecting Societies and the government on the issue of licensing should have been put to rest by now, so that the musicians who now sit on

Not stopping there, I am particularly thrilled by the self achievement of Nigerian musicians who have not been crying like some of their counterparts in Nollywood for government support, using that as an excuse for poor quality work.

the fence would know where to queue. I like the way Don Jazzy puts the business deal. “It's a merger; we signed a merger of about $3 million dollars. We have equal control and share of the album because we also have a fan base”. Its high time Nigerians begin to speak with confidence, and this can only come to be if we know what we are putting on the table. It's also nice to hear that these guys do not think the deal will move them away from their country. “With such a big leverage that we have in our own country, we cannot move to anywhere, we will just be shopping everywhere else,” says D'banj. Hmmmm isn't this good enough at a time that a particular South African company is planning to move its headquarters to Nigeria? “They are not changing my music; they are not changing my style. As a matter of fact, they love our style,” was another stunning statement that came out of the former Globacom ambassador. To show that the guys are into big time business, Dan Jazzy, the amiable producer says “the record label is not all about the music. I have not done any contract before without putting business in mind. I get the best lawyers in town, and I tell you, we are doing the same in America”. It's so impressive that when you think they have hit their peak, the Mo'Hits group soars higher with new opportunities. And this is just a positive alert to others in their type of business, including their counterparts in Nollywood.

WRITE TO US! Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: victor_akande@yahoo.com or SMS your short comments to 08077408676

ONTRARY to rumours spreading like wild fire in Nigeria that Nollywood star Genevieve Nnaji is the next Bond girl, the News Of The World (UK) has named British Actress and Pirates of the Caribbean starNaomie Harris as the next bond girl. Naomie Harris in an interview with the British tabloid, confirmed that the deal is sealed. Genevieve Nnaji is not the next Bond girl at least not at this time. Below is an excerpt from the report of News Of The World wrote: Pirates of the Caribbean babe Naomie Harris has jumped ship and will shoot to mega stardom as the new Bond girl. Naomie, 34, will be Daniel Craig's sexy sidekick in the soon to-be filmed new 007 movie. The British actress was spellbinding as Tia Dalma, the grotesque witch in the second and third Pirate films. And her steamy love scene with

Jamie Foxx in the Miami Vice remake proved she's the right calibre for Bond. Naomie, who stays super fit doing pilates and yoga, says: “I'm totally comfortable naked.” Her mind's just as agile she graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in social and political science. Londoner Naomie revealed she isn't recognised in the street, despite her movie success. “I like that,” she says. “I've got one of those faces that people don't recognise.” All that is about to change as she follows in the footsteps of gorgeous Bond girls like Ursula Andress, Jane Seymour and Halle Berry. The plot of the new film, known only by its working title Bond 23, is being kept firmly under wraps. Judi Dench will again play M and Ralph Fiennes is in the running for a role. It is due for release in November 2012.

•Genevieve and Naomie

Nothing is stopping me; I’m already out there —Nse Ikpe

H

OT, sassy and alluring are some of the words that have been used to describe Nollywood actress Nse Ikpe. The talented Akwa Ibom State born actress who took her time before stepping in front of the camera to kick off her career in

Nollywood, recently reacted to the gist that she's yet to fully take her place in Nollywood. Nse who put up a thrilling performance in an Emem Isong flick Guilty Pleasures, Busting Out, Edikan and many more said, she disagreed totally with those who criticize her. “I think I am meant to be at this point. There is nothing I expect from this job that I have not gotten. The thing is this; I started my career at a particular level, so it will be funny for me to go running around looking for just about any movie in the name of popularity”. With the release of a new movie entitled Kiss and Tell that has Nse in it, what future plans has she got? “I just got a call from Kunle Afolayan. The truth is this, when you get calls from people like Kunle Afolayan then you will say, he must have seen something in me which means I have something to offer”.


25

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

RE ELNEW S

Here comes ‘Nnena & Friends’ TV

A

new television programme has been added to the stables of the popular Wale Adenuga Productions. The new programme, the company says is leveraging on the overwhelming success of the periodic Nnena & friends live show under the same title. Chief Executive Officer of the film and

Nnena

television outfit, Wale Adenuga, explained that the objective of the programme is to inform, educate and entertain children and youths. The programme contains segments such as drama, interviews, storytelling, counselling, music, arts and crafts, african culture and traditions, fashion and tourism and others, as way way of

Censors Board on distribution support

Brandson, Ben Bruce, Dangote meet youths on MTV, MTN platform

S

IR Richard Branson, a British business man and Nigeria's Ben Murray-Bruce and Aliko Dangote are expected to join Heads of State President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Julius Malema, President, African National Congress Youth League to feature on the upcoming series of MTV Base Meets…with MTN, which premieres across Africa on 18 July 2011. Plan to feature these influential men was announced at an exclusive media preview of MTV Base Meets…with MTN hosted by Alex

Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, MTV Networks Africa and Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer, MTN. The initiative is a youth empowerment initiative and multimedia campaign that allows African youth to connect directly with political, cultural, sporting and business leaders. The campaign began in May 2011, and since then, tens of thousands of young Africans have been inspired to nominate the influencers they would like to meet, and to propose the questions they would like to ask •Ben Bruce them.

Filosopher is The New Joker!

•Seyilaw

T

HERE couldn't have been a better motivation like the coveted prize of N50, 000 which brought out the best in the 17 comedy contestants who took to the stage at the Terra Kulture,

Victoria Island, Lagos. The management of Peekaboo Global Consulting, organizers of the comedy talent hunt ensured that the June edition was an improvement on the previous ones with music as major side attraction. With an ever increasing audience, this month's show, held June 4 at Terra Kulture, was hosted by the duo of Seyilaw and MC Abbey. With the presence of both comedy greats on stage, the audience was treated to a high dose of laughter, fun and excitement. For the first time since the competition found its way into the Nigerian entertainment scene, the hunt featured a female contestant, Amaka. However, with the intensity of the contest, finding a winner proved a difficult as it boiled down to a tie between Aboki and Filosopher. However, Filosopher

defeated his counterpart in the deciding segment of the show. Among the singers at the event was, B Splash, a Benin City based rapper. CEO of the entertainment outfit, Darlington Abuda, said that The Joker at Terra is waxing stronger with every new edition, “talented youths everywhere are continually coming to us to be part of the event because they are seeing the impact of the show on those who have emerged as Joker of the month.” According to Abuda, the event will not only serve as a venue for entertainment of families in Nigerians but also provide an avenue to the yearnings of relaxation craved by upwardly mobile Nigerians who desire an event that effectively combines wholesome entertainment with a qualitative networking environment.

T

HERE are indications that the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) will begin to reward producers of quality films. Director General of the Board, Mr. Emeka Mba made the disclosure in Lagos when the executives of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) led by its National President Dr. Victor Ashaolu paid him a courtesy visit. Describing the initiative as “Distribution Support Grant”, Mba explained that, the Board, at the end of every month will select two to three films that have been adjudged to be very good, and accord same financial and promotional assistance. The NFVCB boss said the selection will be done through an internally set up mechanism. “We will be glad to assist by either helping producers of the winning films in replication; taking it to the Cinemas by paying for renting of the hall or providing some kind of promotion and publicity”. Mba explained.

I

project at the World Copyright Summit which just ended in Brussels, the Belgian capital. The 11 countries which will benefit from the current phase of the project are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. The system will be built on the WIPO Software for Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights otherwise known as WIPOCOS. According to WIPO, the WIPOCOS system will enable the streamlining of administrative costs relating to collective rights management, making the reporting of usage for royalty allocation less expensive and more efficient.

The DG who also received the leadership of the Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations, (CONGA), led by their president, Mr. Bond Emeruwa, which requested for a reduction of the censorship fees and take a more critical look at the distribution framework. While asking the association leadership to articulate their views and forward their position on both issues for the Board for appropriate action, Mba said that, the Board has designed a Scratch Card to help promote legitimate films. According to him the scratch card which will carry the Board's classification label will be sold to filmmakers who want to be part of the initiative to put in their film's jacket. “The way it works is that every month we will do a raffle. We will do promotion and encourage the public to buy films and advise them on how to get the legitimate ones. It's just like that NAFDAC experiment. You scratch the card, text the code to a number and you can win a prize.” He explained.

NFC, SMEDAN sign MOU on entrepreneurship

I

N a bid to guarantee greater success in the Nigerian entertainment industry, the Nigerian Film Corporation [NFC] and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria [SMEDAN] have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on

Google partners intellectual property organ NFRINGEMENT of intellectual property rights through the internet may receive sterner measure as internet giant, Google has formed a partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Geneva-based UN specialized agency, is expected to build a common digital platform which will streamline the identification of protected musical works across 11 West African countries. The web based system will help creators from these countries get paid for their works through a simplified and standardized rights registration system WIPO Director-General, Mr. Francis Gurry, announced the

catering for the demand of everyone. The star of the brand, Olayinka Olukunga Garfus (Nnena) remains the hostess of the programme, which the producers say is recorded on HD (High Definition) for better picture clarity. The programme begins airing on TV stations across the country from July, 2011.

Connecting the copyright management organization in each of the 11 countries to the rest of the world through this initiative will make rights information about West African music more accessible to other societies worldwide. WIPOCOS will link together information about the creator, his works and related metadata so that use of the music by licensees can be properly accounted for. One of the major copyright experts from over 100 countries present at the World Copyright Summit in Brussels when the announcement was made by the Director-General of WIPO was Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON). •Tony Okoroji

entrepreneurship. Speaking during the signing ceremony which took place at the SMEDAN head office in Abuja, the Managing Director of the NFC, Mr Afolabi Adesanya, said that for the film industry to make meaningful contribution to the overall economic development of the country, emphasis must be placed on impacting entrepreneurial skills on practitioners in the sector. Mr Adesanya noted that if the business potentials of film are fully harnessed and adequately developed, the industry could become one of the highest revenue-generating sectors of the economy as obtained in the United States of America and California. He, however, said SMEDAN was ready to support NFC with funding windows available to Nigerian entrepreneurs such as the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the funding scheme of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND).


28

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

COVER COVER

COVER COVER Nollywood screen Diva Monalisa Chinda whose recent work Kiss and Tell is set to premiere on Sunday, is happy to relaunched into the movie scene after her marriage crashed about 14months ago. In this interview with MERCY MICHAEL, the Glo ambassador whose former husband recently got married says marriage is the least on her mind for now. She talks about her plans for the future, and other things

‘Marriage is not on the cards now’

K

ISS and tell is probably the first movie you are its executive producer. Why did you see it as movie to bankroll? Okay, first of all when Emem told me about the story, it was intriguing. The dialogue was very interesting so I decided to do it with her. It was something that, even if I had zero naira in my account, I would have borrowed to shoot it. It's a good story and it was shot last year April. You played the role of a divorcee in the movie. Did you at any point see yourself in the movie? Hmm, yes 40 percent, and 60 percent is all acts. Was it part of the reason you went for it? I mean the role? Yes. But then again, my being in movies was already slowed down by of course issues, events that were going on back then. I see this movie the best thing to use to re-launch, stage a comeback in full force into the movie scene. And thank God it came at the right time. The movie like I said was shot last year April, about the same time I was going through my crisis; and now we are getting ready to premiere it, almost 14months after we shot it. Judging you by that role, it appears you have not moved on? I have so moved on. Words can't describe my moving on right now. It's just so obvious. It's showing from my head to toe. This girl has forgotten the whole past, like nothing happened. So I'm living my life again, brand new, fresh me, virgin me! I'm so a virgin right now. How were you able to face the camera considering that your marriage was going through serious turbulence at that time before it now eventually crashed?

First, the script would move anybody. I said to you that if I had zero amount of money in my account I would have gone to borrow, I wasn't joking. It's a good story. Secondly, I'm a very strong-willed person actually; nothing deters me especially if I know I'm on the right path. Especially if I know that my heart and my hands are open and clean, nothing stops me from moving forward. I don't see anything that can stop me…except it's God that says, girl, stay put! then I stay. Aside from that nothing stops me. I'm a mover. This Monalisa process is something else really. Nothing really moves me. Everything to me …, because we are only passers-by in this life. And life is too short, so we've to make the best out of life. Make as much impact as you can while you're alive. Do the things you can do. Touch the souls of people. There are many people out there who want to know even you as a reporter. You may not know. People read your work and they want to know, what runs in the mind of this reporter? They need to know what's in your mind that makes you go and pick up an artiste or pick up somebody that you want to interview him or her. You must have seen something in that person. There're a lot of people you've talked about. So you just must stay positive at all times. Especially if your heart is clean, you must stay positive. You owe that to yourself. Someone once said something that there are certain things that if you fail to achieve as a single you can't achieve them as a married. What's your take on this? The only thing I can say to answer you correctly is and I'm going to answer this question in two phrases. First of all, if I was married to someone who we have basic understanding, I can achieve whatever thing I want to achieve in that marriage because my mother achieved whatever she wanted to achieve in her

•Nse Ikpe-Etim, Bhaira Mcwizu and Monalisa on set

•Monalisa •Monalisa

marriage. I'm sure most of our parents achieved whatever they wanted to achieve in their marriages as long as there is basic understanding. We're not talking about love now. Love is seen in many ways. I love to love. But there is this thing called understanding and respecting each other's space and feelings, it's very important. It was absent when I was married. I'm sorry to

say it but that's the truth. Outside the marriage, I'm able to rediscover myself. I think I was lost at some point or maybe it has to do with age, I don't know. As I'm growing older, I just want to believe is probably the age. I've realized that there are other potentials that were hidden inside of me that I'm unleashing. And I'm unleashing it with full force. That's what happened to me. I have a whole lot in the pipeline. There is Catwalk is in the pipeline, after which there is another blockbuster. So you see before now I didn't think I was going to come this far but you see, something happens for something greater to happen. God has a way of redirecting your steps. And he has a way of stopping something that seems to be bringing you down so that He can take you to another level. That's just what happened to me. My story is a testimony which I'm going to tell soon. When the news of your former husband getting married again got to you, what was your first reaction? Happiness, joy, oh my God! You won't understand. I was elated. Reason being that it speaks freedom. I'm not going to say, I'm happy because he got married,

no. I was happy because I was free. Do you understand? Infact, it's a big relief for me. At least nobody can hold you to anything again? Laughs! You're a criminal, so you know what I'm talking about. I was free. Freedom was what was oozing out of every part of me. My family, they were all happy for me, you see God has done it for you. Now that you're free, when are you looking at settling down again? Ha! I'm not thinking of settling down…I don't know. Let me not curse myself. Let me leave that for God to decide. But honestly between you and me, that is the last thing in my mind, how to settle down again, for now, no! You would like to have kids, don't you? Yes, but not outside wedlock. I have to be married to have kids and I don't know when it's going to happen. I don't know. Some of your colleagues have delved into producing and directing movies. Do you plan to direct in future? I plan to direct in future, but for now let me just stick to producing until I

probably go to learn more about directing. Directing has a lot of intricacies and tricks. You have to learn all the camera angles and stuffs like that. But then again, I might not if I don't have to. I must do everything. Career wise, what new? For now is just my movies coming and then of course working with the UN Habitats that is another one apart from being a Glo Ambassador. That is a whole new task for me. Have you joined the league of UN Ambassador? Well, I can't say that for now until we launched here in Abuja which is happening on the 23 and 24 of the month. And the main thing will happen on the 29. The work shop starts on the 23 so I can't say till after 29. You had several highpoints in your career. You've won awards within and outside the country. What still remains the highest point for you? I'm yet to have that experience that I would like to call my highest point, but it's around the corner. For me, apart from my job - acting - the thing that is crying in my mind right now, that's more

like…I wouldn't say its pain. It's something I really want to do which is already around the corner, is to just have my charity home. I want to just give and give until I have nothing else to give. I think that's what I would call my highest point in my career. There are some people that God has selected to just be there for people, I think I'm one of those people. There are different gifts; I have the gift of just letting myself out to people. Other people have the gift of probably being evangelists, pastors; I'm not called out for that. I'm called out for people. I've noticed in recent times on your facebook page, you always have motivation words, any particular reason? No particular reason. I'm a very deep person. I've always been like this. You just need something to happen to you or you just need to find yourself in the right environment for you to be able to bring out that thing which is hidden inside of you. A few of us have a lot of gifts and potentials but we may not know. You might be fortunate to be married to the right man that will bring out that thing out of you. You might be lucky to find for yourself a very fantastic older friend who would help bring out that thing that is buried inside of you. That is my story. I needed to get out of the pit of frustration where I was to come over to this way, to show the other side of me. And it happened at the right time. So it was it was about time that I did that and that is why probably what happened to me happened. What in your opinion must any single girl consider before she says,' I do'? This is a very difficult question but all of these things, boils down to the same…if I say this I may be sounding cliché. But because of my experience, I would say, you need to look out for the person who only sees what you have inside your mind. The man has to know who you are on the inside, not who you're outside. Whoever is going to be my life partner needs to know who I am inside, not physical beauty. I want him to see inner beauty. That is one. And then we need to have that basic understanding. If I cannot understand the man I'm going to be involved with then there is no point. Understanding for me basically is, understanding your career. A lot of men can't stick it. Two, understanding your person, your temperament and what have you. These things are so simple but they are not in the real sense. Three, understanding the fact that you're your own person; you cannot live your life for him because our men don't live their lives for their wife's.

Reason being that it speaks freedom. I'm not going to say, I'm happy because he got married, no. I was happy because I was free. Do you understand? Infact, it's a big relief for me

37

RE ELNEW S

BBA and the June 12 surprise

A

thunderous applause broke forth from the studio audience as the show presenter, IK, revealed during the live eviction show that unlike the previous editions, there will be two winners for this year's edition of the social reality show. Will the coveted prize of USD200, 000 be split into two? I.K did not wait for anyone to ask before alluding that a total of USD400, 000 is up for grabs this year, with each winner clinching a full promised money. The announcement is further indication that this year's edition is living up to its billing as an amplified version. And with the series almost at the halfway point, the surprise announcement is the latest twist in the highly popular reality series which is set to end on July 31. It's the first time ever that Big Brother Africa series will award two winners, which is a surprise the housemates themselves will only find out during the final show! It was a night to remember for viewers of the show from Nigeria as the day marked a memorable anniversary of a democratic experiment in Nigeria, and one known to have produced the most credible and broad-based presidential election in history in the country. The night also saw two housemates leave the Heads house. With seven Housemates nominated for eviction, there was a lot of tension in the Heads House this week. When IK asked Head of House Lomwe to reveal and explain his 'save and replace' decision to the Housemates, he told them it was “nothing personal.” “The person I decided to save represents the same cause as I do, that's obviously Felicia,” he said. “The person I decided to replace her with again nothing personal has a strong background and foundations. If they leave the House, they will have a bright future. At the same time, that person is strong and I believe they won't be evicted sorry, Vimbai,” he revealed. But that was not all as the host of the show took viewers back into the House and asked Vina and Confidence to stand. “Vina, you're safe,” he said. “Yay!” exclaimed the adventurous Ghanaian Housemate and oldest of them all. “I'm walking out! I'm free I'm free of you people!” she said, screaming. What was her most memorable moment in the House? I.K had asked her on the podium. “Well every moment was my favourite, I'm so grateful I've been brought to this place and taught the lessons of life and I'm going to go home a changed person,” she said. The Ghanaian lady did not think she had missed anything with her eviction. “Put it this way - they're behind me. I'm moving forward!” she chose to count her blessings instead: “I have so much in my life and feel I'm so blessed to be here, of all the Ghanaians, I'm the girl who's been picked to be here. I feel honoured and privileged and for me this is fun. Come on Africa - thank you so much!”


The problem with Confederation Cup is Heartland —Ndubuoke my priority —Cooreman Pg. 30

Pg. 36

Nation Saturday, June 18, 2011

FREE COPY

PAGE 29

WHO IS GREATER?

•Nwankwo Kanu playing along side Austin Jay Jay Okocha at the former’s testimonial at the Teslim Balogun Stadium PHOTO: Bola Omilabu

Pg. 32,33

Kanu or Okocha


SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

30

35

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

AKINLOYE AT LARGE

The problem with Heartland — Ndubuoke

This has not been the best of times for Heartland FC. It is now 18 years since the club last won a trophy (the domestic league). The quest to bring back the glory days necessitated a change in the Management. But currently placed 12th on the log, not a few have wondered why a club that provides a large number of players to the national teams cannot be up there. There is actually more to Heartland’s dwindling fortunes than meets the eye. This much was revealed by General Manager, Fan Ndubuoke in this interview. we assumed office, the brief was for us to ensure that we explore the business side of the club we were detailed to work out modalities that will ensure that soon the club will be self sustaining. That is exactly what we have done as we have brought some innovations into

•Akpan

football administration in the country. We have put in place a world class Club House located right inside the Dan Anyiam Sports Complex. This is the first of its kind in this country. I stand to be corrected; no club has the type of office complex we have put in place.

You have been there and you will testify to what I’m saying. We had to do that because we believe that you are addressed the way you dress. We wanted to create an enabling environment for the ground-breaking policies that should move the club forward. That Club House is a testimony to our plans for the club. We have truly revolutionalised football administration in this country. The club is currently divided into three departments namely, the Marketing, Admin/Finance and Technical. As I’m talking to you, I have just come to Abuja to negotiate a three-year kit sponsorship deal with a foreign firm. I really want to know how far you have gone in ensuring this club is self-sustaining You are aware that I’m the CEO of Mr Fans. I am a successful business man. Before you can be able to run a public firm like Heartland well, you should have some record of running your personal business well. We have so far raked in N72m into the government coffers through our initiatives. Those in government circles were even amazed to know that the club could generate some money on its own. They were used to releasing money to the club Management but they were not used to the Management independently generating some money. In fact, our plan is that in the next two to three years, this club should be completely independent of the government for funding. But all these managerial acumen are not reflecting on the field of play I told you that we met a club in transit. When we assumed office, the previous Management had sacked the coaching duo of Kelechi Emeteole and Ben Iroha. In fact, when we were coming in, Samson Siasia was on his way out. He was one leg in, one leg out as he was already negotiating with NFF. So when he left, we had to promote the Feeder Team technical crew led by Emmanuel Osuigwe to the main team. We found out that Osuigwe was having difficulties coping with the demands of the big stage so we recruited Christian Chukwu on caretaker basis pending the arrival of the Dutch coach, Lodewijk de Kruif. We had to bring the Dutch because we needed someone who would help expose us at the international stage. In this part of the world, the sale

of players constitute a major source of revenue for clubs, so we wanted a coach who would boost our players’ marketability at the global level. All these are not commensurate with the results on the pitch I was coming to that. The fact is that we have inherited a set of uncommitted players. Most of the players we have now were actually recruited by the past Management. I think the criteria used in recruiting players in the past should be questioned. We can only be assessed at the end of the season when we would have the opportunity to recruit our own players. Players we believe should take the club to the next level. How can one explain the fact that against Pillars in Kano last Sunday , they had the game under their control and after a goalless first half, conceded three goals. When we played Sharks in Port Harcourt, the boys missed five begging chances only for the hosts to score with their only attempt at goal. Why would you question the quality of players when most of your players are in the national teams? Thank you, that’s another problem. In total, we contribute 14 players to the various national teams; six in the Super Eagles, four in the U-20 team and four in the U23 squad. But these players don’t seem to show the same commitment in the club’s colours. They seem to be resting their legs for the national teams. Most of these players were recruited by Samson Siasia and now that he is not in the team, they don’t seem to be committed. They put in their best when they are in the national team with Siasia. You see Ekigho Ehiosun. When he is not in the national team, he is active with Warri Wolves but our players give one excuse or the other to stay away from the team.

So would you say the bulk of the club’s problems is with the playing personnel? Yes, and we are doing something about it. You are aware that we have placed the players on half salary till they turn our fortunes on the pitch. They have to be more committed. Now that you are talking about the problems of the club, I will like to point out here that we inherited a backlog of players’ sign-on fees dating back to 2009/ 2010 season. We have only paid 20 percent of the sign-on fees but the backlog is really adding up to our woes. Whenever we go for away matches, ex-players who are being owed besiege our camp and create scenes. This is really a distraction. We have the onerous task of funding. The funds approved by the government are not commensurate with what is released. How promptly the funds are released is also important. The result is that we run to government every time for almost everything. This slows down our operations. We are also faced with saboteurs, so-called football technocrats in the state who are appalled that the current dispensation doesn’t favour them. These guys hang around and pray for the club’s downfall. When they come to our training sessions and matches, they don’t come to see the progress we have made but they come to see if their evil prayers are working. These saboteurs have penetrated the supporters, the FA, the players and even my staff. But all they desire is their selfish ends. But how can you explain the fact that a coach says he is the Jose Mourinho of Nigerian football but after leaving Heartland, he has not been snapped up by any other team and he is hanging around inciting everybody against the club. How has the new governor, Rochas Okorocha responded to

08050246155 atlarge84@yahoo.com

I VOTE FOR CONTINUITY

Successes of the 1980 Green Eagles and 1994 Super Eagles squads lies in continuity.

•Ndubuoke

the club’s situation? I must point out that at a point I wanted to back out but after meeting with His Excellency, I had a rethink. He assured me of his resolve to help change the fortunes of the club and I believe him because he is truly a sports-loving governor. He has shown his commitment to the club’s course by appointing Nwankwo Kanu a Special Adviser on Sports. The last time Heartland won the league in 1993, Kanu was in the squad. He is always welcomed in the club. He has also detailed another ex-international and son-of-the-soil Benedict Akwuegbu to work with the Management. All these convince me that he means well for the club. Some of your critics opine that you are not experienced enough for the job? Come on, how can anybody in his right senses question Fan Ndubuoke’s experience in sports and football administration? Where were these latter day administrators when I was a board member of NFA in 1992 under Effiong Okon and championed the election of Emeka Omeruah as first elected NFA Chairman in 1993? I was an active board member of NFA up till 1996. In 1993, I was a member of the five-man Task Force that ensured Nigeria’s first World Cup qualification. Others were Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, TiJani Yusuf, Emeka Omeruah, Femi Olukanmi and Amos Adamu. I was chairman of Imo FA from 2003 to 2006; Chairman of Imo SWAN 1984 to 1988 and President of national SWAN 1992 to 1996. In 1995, I was Secretary-General of African Sports Journalists Union (ASJU) and

Thank you, that’s another problem. In total, we contribute 14 players to the various national teams; six in the Super Eagles, four in the U-20 team and four in the U-23 squad. But these players don’t seem to show the same commitment in the club’s colours. They seem to be resting their legs for the national teams. Most of these players were recruited by Samson Siasia and now that he is not in the team, they don’t seem to be committed. They put in their best when they are in the national team with Siasia. You see Ekigho Ehiosun. When he is not in the national team, he is active with Warri Wolves but our players give one excuse or the other to stay away from the team.

E

IGHT months after assuming office as the General Manager of Heartland, what has the experience been like? My brother, it has not been easy at all. You know when I came into office, everything was on transit. From the playing personnel to the technical crew and, of course, the Management everything was in transition. We were to midwife a new generation of Heartland that would end the trophy drought. I mean, it is now 18 years since Heartland won any trophy and it is really a source of worry. In England, Arsenal has just gone six years without a trophy and everybody is screaming from the roof top but Heartland has gone 18 years without a trophy and it is really worrisome. For clubs who are not used to winning things, this may not be a problem but for a club like Heartland that once won the Nigerian League four consecutive times, the expectations are high. What was your brief when you assumed office? Was it to win trophies in your first season in charge? That’s what I’m telling you. You cannot take away the fact that the Heartland fans have been starved of trophies so the desire for some form of silverware is high. But when

became Africa’s representative in AIPS (global body for sports journalists) from 1996 to 2000. In 1998, I was Secretary of the Task Force set up to help Nigeria qualify for France 98. As a journalist, I have covered four World Cup and four Olympics. Tell me, what other experience would anyone ask for? What is the club management’ s relationship with the Imo fa? I must point out that the FA has not shown a high sense of responsibility to the club’s course. It is so easy for them to stay outside and castigate the Management but how often have they enquired about the activities of the state’s only club in the Premiership? The Heartland Club House is located right opposite the FA’s office at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, so why have they not cared to come over and find out what our problems are? I rather see it as mere hypocrisy when some people castigate us in the media even when they have what it takes to talk to us one on one. Do you also relate cordially with the past management led by Ignatius Okeahialiam? I must correct an impression here. Chief Okeahialam is still involved in the club. I am only the General Manager of the club. He is the Chairman of the Heartland Board. Other members of the Board are Lemmy Akakem, Mitchel Obi, Hon.Willy Amadi, Harry Awurumibe, Deacon Kyrian Onwuzuruike and Bar. Ray Anunobi. I am the Secretary of the Board. So having said this, I will say my relationship with Chief Okeahialam is cordial. What’s your last word for the Heartland faithfuls? They have to be patient with us. We understand that they have been through some tough times seeing us languish in the middle rung of the table when we should be on top. They just have to hang in there with us. They have to remember Ernest Okonkwo’s words that “if you cheer when a goal is not scored, you are supporting but if you cheer when a goal is scored, you are reacting to impulse”. We need their support more now. Let’s just run out this season. We will surely repackage this club ahead of next season and I promise that Heartland will be great again.

The Green Eagles, led by Christian Chukwu, spent quite a number of years together showing character at home and abroad. The result was the winning of the African Cup of Nations in Lagos . The team was coached by Brazilian professor, Otto Gloria. The 1994 squad led by Stephen Keshi was together for about five years with Coach Clemens Westerhof adopting elimination by substitution. The team list was predictable. I played manager several times in picking players for the Brazilian and was never wrong. Westerhof also got to the level where his team was predictable. It was continuity at play. Teams win games as a result of players staying together for a long period of time. BY playing together for a long duration, players know the strong points of their team mate and also the weaknesses. The strong points are exploited for victory while the weaknesses are covered up to prevent the opposing team cashing in on them. I am still at loss for the reason why the 2010 World Cup team was disbanded. If it is because the team crashed out of the competition in the first round, we got it all wrong. I submit that the team is the best we have got in 10 years. It ought to be together to prosecute the African Cup of Nations qualifiers and few younger players be added to the porridge. That is what is meant by team building. The decision to throw away the team by picking some of them will cost us dearly in few months time. I pray that we qualify for the Nations Cup. If football is for the youths, I still wonder why midfielder Haruna Lukman is not in the current squad. He was the discovery of the World Cup and still should be in the Super Eagles. The senior team is his right place and not the dream team. He has outgrown the feeder teams and should be anchoring the midfield in Samson Siasia team. Is it not wrong for a player who had played in the World Cup to be invited to the U~23 squad? It is improper to me and should be to right thinking Nigerians. The Swede, Lars Lagerback who took the team to the World Cup may have done several things wrong, but he was right on target with the inclusion of Lukman. Yes, Siasia should be given the free hand to select and raise his team, but that should not stop us from asking some salient questions. I repeat that it is the right time for Lukman to play in the Super Eagles and not after the 2012 Olympic Games when he would have aged. It does not seem right for a player who had played in the highest pedestal of the game to go to the dream team, even as captain. What point are we trying to make? Siasia will make my day in September if he invites Lukman to the team for the crucial match against Madagascar and play him as an attacking midfielder from the start. In the name of continuity, Dickson Etuhu and Kaita should make a return to the national team. These are the two hard working midfielders we had in the Super Eagles. Their qualities are not in the midfielders he parades in the team at the moment. Kaita must have learnt his lessons and would contend himself better if faced with disciplinary matters. Kaita and Etuhu worked for the team. They covered up lapses of their team mates. They are ball winners along with the fact that they break down attacking forays. Danny Shittu may be crude, but the central defender should still have a place in the team. I pick him ahead of Efe Ambrose and Isaac Promise. He has an edge over Captain Joseph Yobo because he is a no nonsense man. Super Eagles are struggling in the Nations Cup qualifiers because we have jettisoned experience. You do not buy experience in the market, you acquire it. Shittu and the rest of them were taken to the Nations Cup and learnt one or two things from the World Cup. They should still be playing in the Super Eagles. They have what it takes to play for at least four more years. Remembering Kanu by I still do not believe that Kanu Nwankwo organized his own testimonial match, the match which ended his international career. Kanu was captain of the Super Eagles. He was the skipper of the dream team that won one of the gold medals the country got in Atlanta in 1996. He played with all his heart for Nigeria . Though he was unable to win the Nations Cup, the Olympic gold medal dictates that the government should have been involved in the testimonial. The gold medal is beyond NFF. To put things in the right perspective, one of the busiest streets in Abuja should be named after Kanu for his service to the fatherland. While doing that, they should also not forget police woman Chioma Ajunwa who won the first gold medal for the country at the same Olympic Games. A Street should also be named after her so as to encourage those who are preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games. Kanu is like a cat with nine lives. When the news broke that he had a weak aorta valve in his heart, many thought it was over for him. I was one of them. He came back from the surgeon with the will to live. He scored great goals for Arsenal, the club that he moved to and still played many memorable matches for the country. He motivated young players. They all wanted to be like him. The dream of some of them came to pass while others are still at it. The caliber of international players that turned up for the testimonial shows how he is revered in the continent. Nothing would be too big to give to Kanu because he gave his all for the country. NFF could be looking at precedent in not organizing the testimonials match. They are right. Other players would want to be given same treatment when they quit international scene. NFF should identify with the day by donating hefty amount of money to his Heart Foundation. It will be befitting for the player who played for the country at all levels of the game.


THE NATION SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

31

NATION SPORT

T

In Dr. Ekeji’s shoes, I would...

HESE are interesting times in our nation’s football history and indeed, sports. We have found ourselves in soccer ‘Afghanistan’ in the Journalistic sense of the word. Yes, Afghanistan is a concept in Journalism and diplomacy that has refused to go away since the 1980’s after the 1979 invasion of that country by the Soviet Army following a coup in which their ally, Hafizullah Amin was killed. As was obtained during the Cold War era, it provided an opportunity for the capitalist America to respond by funding the Mujahedeen insurrection to overthrow the Marxist-Leninist backed government of Babrak Karmal that replaced Amin. America led by Jimmy Carter and the then Communist Soviet Union battled for the soul of the South-west Asian state landlocked between Iran and Pakistan with Carter’s ignoring of growing internal economic concerns led him to be derisively described as having gone to Afghanistan. Soon after, Journalists began to tag editorials and other write-ups that focused more on foreign issues at the detriment of national issues as going to Afghanistan. How did we get to our soccer ‘Afghanistan’? Today, most Sports Journalists and administrators avoid commenting on critical issues for fear of being excluded from goodies that come from the highest offices such as the Ministry, the NFF and the NOC. They want to be part of foreign trips, attend exclusive briefings and such other appointments into organizing committees. That is why you find them in Afghanistan of sorts. At the last count, Nigeria is faced with five or more international engagements ranging from the Women

By Harry Iwuala World Cup, Nations Cup and Olympic qualifiers to the All Africa Games, but what has dominated our national discuss is a ruse deployed by some displaced gentlemen to find relevance in the administration of football. As the events keep unfolding and by their own admission through press interviews, it is becoming obvious that these gentlemen are merely acting out scripts of some shadowy interests. At a time, Nigerians should be pondering the fate of the Super Falcons in their 7th FIFA World Cup finals; we are distracted by issues of the name of the national football body. At a time most Nigerians are worried that the U-23 Olympic team is faced by a stiff Tanzanian opposition for the London 2012 ticket, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC) is busy seeking a congress to resolve the issue of naming the national football body. At a time Coach Samson Siasia is battling with how to raise a motivated team to win the remaining two matches of the African Nations Cup qualifier for E. Guinea/ Gabon 2012, some self-acclaimed football ‘stakeholders’ think it is more profitable to engage the duly constituted board in political sophistry. A nation that should be making concerted effort at resolving the frosted relationship with corporate sponsors is digging deeper to make the environment more hostile for investment in the game. Meanwhile, the league continues to languish without a sponsor. If I were Dr. Patrick Ekeji, my singular objective would have been to seize the opportunity of occupying the highest office in

•Ekeji

sports administration to make a formidable case for educated ex-international sports men and women to be considered first by future governments for the offices of Sports Minister, Director General of NSC and Chairman of the Football Association. The best way to realizing this objective will be to offer a sterling performance to convince Nigerians that Sports people are better suited for Sports administration. Such a statement of performance will have a domino effect going down to the states where such similar offices will become a preserve of educated sportsmen and women. It is either the DG is being very naively loyal to a constituency we are yet to define or that he has an axe to grind with certain persons from the past. Otherwise, one does not see how such an erudite scholar and knowledgeable sports technocrat and football player would be permitting himself multi faux pas on same issue. If the DG had accepted as he was quoted severally to have said in interviews that the gentlemen who arrogated the office of Nigeria Football Association (NFA) to themselves are wrong, we needn’t waste time seeking FIFA to clarify the status of the board of the governing organ of football in Nigeria. The DG having said government recognized the Aminu Maigari led board (by whatever name so called), we should by now thank those very wise gentlemen that espied that we have been running football illegally since 2007 or thereabout when the former board switched names from NFA to NFF. It does not require rocket science to resolve such elementary issue except there is a hidden agenda. In the light of documents

traced by Ade Ojeikere, Sports Editor of Nation, dating back to the tenure of three former Sports Ministers whom the DG had served as Director of Sports Development, it beats imagination that a very senior official of the government of Nigeria will be acting in denial of the positions of the ministry under which he serves. We wait to see anyone contradict those documents before we can begin to see what the big issues are in the matter of appropriate name for the football body. The DG took a wrong action by committing in writing a directive to the NFF President to convene a Congress knowing full well that Nigeria is signatory to FIFA’s convention of government noninterference in football matters of affiliate members. But it is also a mark of honour and good courage on the part of the DG to having detected his failure of judgment, reversed it by later accepting to dialogue with the NFF leadership. If the recourse to dialogue is sincere, then we are beginning to see the end of this contrived crisis. Obviously, there is a group that is hell-bent on seeing the back of the board of NFF but this can still be achieved in a decent way that will not leave the nose of our football bloodied. How has it become easier for the leadership of the NSC under the DG to work harmoniously with persons perceived to be working against the board of the NFF than the DG constructively engaging the NFF leadership for the good of the game? There is little gain in strife but a lot to harvest from peaceful engagement. This has been advocated severally on the issue of the election of the Board of Nigerian football. Reference has been made to an agreement signed in Lagos last year by some parties to the dispute over elections and rather than lend credibility to that act of sheer blackmail, I would rather encourage the DG to look straight in the eyes of some of those gentlemen and dismiss them with the f… word. Most discerning stakeholders know they are playing the politics of ‘share the cake’ and it is not right to encourage them. Accommodating or tolerating them today will breed bigger monsters in the future. Less we forget, the third term syndrome in the nation’s body politic began with all manner of chorus groups cheering General Babangida to hang on until Arthur Nzeribe struck with Association for Better Nigeria to deal our democracy a mortal blow that is yet to be reversed till date. It is stakeholders today claiming NFA; it may be Sports Committee tomorrow claiming the National Sports Commission. Finally, it has been said that the members of the NFF lack the capacity to lead our football and therefore must give way. This is a new vista in the argument and it should be noted that if the country must grow and develop processes and ways, we must learn to work within defined parameters. Some of the governors in office today cannot be said to be the best and this does not pre-suppose that we will engineer a process to abort their tenure. This is the time to monitor and chronicle their performance and use it against them when next elections come. Any other plot and schemes will be unholy.

Harry Iwuala is a renowned Journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria

VOICE OF SPORTS

With Clement Nwankpa Jnr. sportswar@yahoo.com

Heartland’sreal‘enemies’ OOPS! I just have to write about Heartland again today. By now, I know my affinity to Heartland and Imo State is not a secret. I also know there are many pressing issues to be dwelt with at the national level but, as the saying goes, one does not pursue a rat when his house is on fire. My relationship with Heartland is like that of Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona. Is it not open secret that one day, Fabregas must leave Arsenal for Barca? Many of you are ready to die for Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal but I’m a Heartland fan ‘for life’. I have just watched the rescheduled league match between Heartland and Kaduna United at the Ranchers Bees Stadium, Kaduna. Now clicking away on my laptop inside my hotel room, I am battling to fathom why Heartland is not turning in the results on the pitch. Believe me, I have done my independent research; I have travelled long distances from Abuja to watch these boys’ away matches. I must give it to the referees. This team has enjoyed fair officiating in the away fixtures I have watched. In fact, last Wednesday, after sending off Heartland’s Julius Ubido, the centre referee had given the matching orders to United skipper, though deservedly. That singular act ensured the teams ended the match with the same number of players. It should have given the players the fillip to push for the equalizer but their timid display was embarrassing. It is so easy for players to say they were robbed on away fixtures but I must point out here that the Heartland players wouldn’t see a fairer officiating than they had on Wednesday. The referee opened up the game for the better team to win but the Heartland players were not up to the task. Once more, they lost, this time not 1-3 as was the case against Pillars but 0-1. You may hear the good old story of “oh, we were robbed by the referee”. That is a blatant lie. I saw a group of players that lacked commitment. I tried to fathom why they didn’t seem motivated. Wherever you see such situations, you would notice that the Management is not alive to its responsibilities. My investigations further revealed that the players had been paid their salaries and allowances up to date. It will also be interesting to note that their remunerations are one of the best in the country. When the boys step out, they look so well kept that you mistake them for spoilt kids, daddy’s pets. I have also been at the Heartland Club House, a facility that is a testament to the resourcefulness of the Management. I must say that the club had never had it this good. This crop of players are privileged to have such a quality Management in place. Check out the list: General Manager; Fan Ndubuoke (veteran sports journalist and former NFF Board member), Team Manager; Promise Nwachukwu (ex-international and football manager extraordinaire), Secretary; Oscar Keke (astute administrator), Head, Protocol; Tonez Chukwu (media officer of the CAF Champions League winning Enyimba squads of 2003 and 2004), Media Officer; Cajetan Nkwopara (renowned journalist). One shouldn’t doubt the capability of these personnel. And they have not failed. If you doubt me, ask questions. What has amazed me is why the players have failed to reenact the Management’s industry on the field of play. It has taken me long and difficult to come to the conclusion that the players are the enemies of themselves. This is a club that parades the likes of Gege Soriola, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Ubido, Osas Okoro, Bartholomew Ibenegbu and Akpan Bassey, yet they are languishing in the 12th position on the log. Later that night, I was hanging out with skipper Chinedu Efugh and I asked him, ‘why are your team mates not as committed to the club as they are to the national team’. He shook his head and was lost for words. When he gathered himself together, he said, ‘bros, I can’t explain. This Management is really trying for us. I have tried to initiate prayer sessions and fasting in camp, yet things can’t change’. Can someone tell me why Okonkwo is ready to play standing on one leg for the national team but always gives one excuse or the other not to feature in Heartland’s matches? If Ekigho Ehiosun is released from the national camp today, he is ready to play for Warri Woves tomorrow. On Wednesday, Ubido punched a player and got an unnecessary red card when his team was battling to equalize. Somebody opined that he could have intentionally bagged a red just to be left out of the club’s subsequent matches. No….no…this shouldn’t be true. I have seen Soriola’s zeal in the national team but he was so poor on Wednesday that he was pulled off. The boys don’t bother to step up their game because they are sure Siasia will extend invitations to them, not considering their form. Siasia now has to invite the home-based players on current form. A member of Management noted that most of the players were recruited by Siasia and when he left, they withdrew their loyalty. They save their legs for the national team. I see how concerned the Management is about the club’s precarious situation but the players don’t seem to give a damn. Realistically, the Management should strive to maintain the club’s Premiership status this season. For next season, they should flush out 80 percent of this uncommitted players and recruit champions who are desirous to end the club’s 18 year trophy drought. The players are the club’s real ‘enemies’. Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha should keep faith with this management. They only need his cooperation and the club will bounce back stronger next season. Efugh promised me that they will win the Federations Cup but I am not optimistic.


SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

32

NATION SPORT

Team Fed Works Iwuanyanwu Ajax Inter Arsenal West Brom Portsmouth

Apps 35 25 54 11 119 53 131

NATIONAL TEAM 1993 Nigeria U-17 6 1996 Nigeria U-23 6 1994–2010 Nigeria 86

(Gls) (20) (15) (25) (1) (30) (7) (19) (5) (3) (13)

Honours African Cup of Nations : 1994 (Nigeria) Barclays Premier League : 2002, 2004 (Arsenal) Community Shield : 1999, 2000, 2003 (Arsenal) Eredivisie : 1994, 1995, 1996 (Ajax) European Super Cup : 1996 (Ajax) FA Cup : 2002, 2003 (Arsenal), 2008 (Portsmouth) FIFA Club World Cup : 1996 (Ajax) UEFA Champions League : 1995 (Ajax) UEFA Europa League : 1998 (Internazionale)

F

OR years Austin Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu were the backbone of the Nigerian senior national team, the Super Eagles. At home and abroad they thrilled, toiled and tantalized football fans together with their exceptional skills, scoring beautiful and at times breathtaking goals aside contributing immensely to the course of the national team. In the colours of their respective clubs both were delights to watch. Opponents revered these two Nigerians in their heydays. They were wonders to behold at their best and with their irrepressible talents they tormented dazzled defenders, mesmerized midfielder and left many goalkeepers bewildered at their use of the round leather. Their compatriots just as other football fans the world over idolized them. Today, both greats have hung the boots with which they terrorized many opponents at club level and for country. However, looking back at their exploits and impact on the field of play as well as their achievements, INNOCENT AMOMOH, BOLA OMILABU and OLUSOJI OLUKAYODE went to town with the mission of finding out from Nigerians who they believe to be the greater of these two footballers extraordinaire. At the end the exercise the people said their pick is... RASHEED SAHEED Kanu is the greatest than Okocha talking about achievement and his antecedents and past history, Kanu have more records than Okocha. Kanu’s achievements can not be compared with that of Okocha, in terms of laurels won.

OKWUDILI OZONDU For me Kanu is the greater because if you follow football history you will see that Kanu has achieved more than Okocha at Ajax, Arsenal and many top clubs like that. Kanu is the greater player for me he has achieved more things than Okocha.

•Okocha SHINA KAYODE I like Jay Jay Okocha a lot because he plays ball very well.

ADEKUNLE MUSTAFA I love the way Kanu plays the ball in terms of dribbling that’s why I love Kanu and I prefer Kanu.

SAMUEL ORJI Kanu has already won Africa’s best twice but Okocha hasn’t won anyone that’s why I say Kanu is the better player.

Full name: Date of birth: Place of birth: Height: Playing position:

Kanu or Okocha

NDUBUISI EZEME Kanu is a great player, he has won Champions League, Under 17 (World Cup), and he won Olympics with Okocha. But in terms of club side and his career, Kanu is the greatest player Nigeria has ever produced

OSSAI JOHNSON In terms of the field of play, Okocha is the greater player but in terms of career, club and personal achievement Kanu achieved (far more) because he has won the Champions League and so many league (titles) even Olympic gold medal, Okocha didn’t win during his time.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

WHO IS GREATER?

Nwankwo Nwosu Kanu 1 August 1976 (1976-08-01) (age 34) Owerri, Nigeria 1.97 m (6 ft 5 1/2 in) Second striker

CLUB INFORMATION Current club: Portsmouth Number: 27 SENIOR CAREER Years 1991–1992 1992–1993 1993–1996 1996–1999 1999–2004 2004–2006 2006–

NATION SPORT

FANS ASSEMBLY

PERSONAL INFORMATION Full name: Date of birth: Place of birth: Height: Playing position:

33

JIBARE SHOLANKE Kanu (is the greater) because he won everything, he won the Champions league Okocha didn’t win. He (Okocha) too knows how to play but he did not use it to win. They know Kanu in Europe than they know Okocha.

TUNDE OLANIPEKUN I will choose Kanu because in history and at club level, Kanu achieved more than Okocha, in terms of (international football) I can still go for Okocha, but I go for Kanu.

•Kanu

OZONNA NDUBUISI Okocha is better than Kanu. Okocha can hold the ball, play fine game that people like most, Kanu luck always and if Kanu, if he believes in something and enters the field he can do it. Kanu has luck more than Okocha. For me I choose Okocha but Kanu has luck than Okocha.

FUNSHO AFOLABI Why I will choose Kanu ahead of Okocha anytime is because he achieved more. Okocha just played with nothing to show for his efforts. In all ramifications, Kanu is better. He played for some of the best team in the world, while Okocha just managed some few clubs here and there. So to this end, Kanu is a better player.

EMMANUEL DARAMOLA Okocha is better than Kanu. Okocha makes the game interesting to watch. I remember when I was still younger, before I play the inter-class match in school, I remember how Okocha plays and it helped me in my game. It is just that luck was against him throughout his career, he should have earned the African footballer of the year award, but till now I don’t know why it eluded him. He is African greatest player, no one can be compared to him. For me Okocha is better than Kanu anytime.

ABRAHAM OLAIYA Okocha is a better player. He is more intelligent with the ball. He is better experienced as well when it comes to knowing what to do with the ball in the field of play.

SENIOR CAREER Years Team Apps 1990–1992 B. Neunkirchen 35 1992–1996 Eintracht Frankfurt 90 1996–1998 Fenerbahçe 63 1998–2002 Paris Saint-Germain 84 2002–2006 Bolton Wanderers 124 2006–2007 Qatar SC 31 2007–2008 Hull City 18

(Gls) (7) (16) (30) (13) (14) (6) (0)

NATIONAL TEAM 1993–2006 Nigeria

(14)

73

HONOURS Oberliga Südwest: 1991 Saarland Cup: 1990, 1992 Fuji-Cup: 1992 Chancellor Cup: 1998 Atatürk Cup: 1998 Trophée des Champions: 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001 Football League Cup: Runner-Up: 2004 Premier League Asia Trophy: 2005 Football League Championship play-off: 2008 INTERNATIONAL HONOURS African Cup of Nations: Afro-Asian Cup of Nations: Olympic Games:

1994 1995 1996

ADEOYE OKEGBEMI Kanu is greater, if you are talking about whom achieved most in Nigerian football now it’s Kanu that’s why I said Kanu is the best. On the field, Okocha is better than Kanu both the skill and everything Okocha is the best but talking about achievement, Kanu is the best.

JELILI BABAJIDE The reason why I feel that Okocha is better that Kanu is that when Okocha plays in any match, the way he controls the ball excites the watchers. In fairness to Kanu he is good in his right, but talking about football, Okocha is the greatest.

CHIMA SABASTINE Jay Jay Okocha is a better player any time than Kanu. In terms of how the game should played, Okocha is the best. Kanu may have achieved a lot, but Okocha is a better player. I prefer Okocha to Kanu.

Augustine Azuka Okocha 14 August 1973 Enugu, Nigeria 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Attacking midfielder

EZE MARCELINUS I will go for Kanu. Why? Because he achieved a lot in his playing career, with Ajax, Arsenal and other teams. What about the laurels he has won, in fact he is Nigeria’s most decorated player. Kanu is the best for me.

SAHEED ALABI Kanu is better because he played in the UEFA Champions League before and won the trophy. He has played actively in the popular England Premier League and have won the league shield with Arsenal. Jay Jay Okocha is also good, but in terms of achievement, Kanu is the best. KAMORU ALASELA It’s Okocha. I like him more, because his game on the field is interesting. Okocha possesses more qualities than Kanu, that makes my better player.

EZEME STANLEY Without any doubt, Kanu is a better player. He has made Nigeria proud in so many ways. His career has been with lots of achievements before his retirement from active football at national team level. Kanu is better in every area of the game.


THE NATION SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

34

NATION SPORT

Inside The Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI

Night of A Thousand Stars! I am quite aware that there is no Nigerian who doesn’t know what the man Nwankwo Kanu stands for, or what he is worth. But most Nigerians would still have been left amazed at the turn-out of football’s megastars who came to honour our own Football Ambassador at his Testimonial last week. The newspapers have reported that there were about 14,000 spectators who turned out at the elegant Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere to see our most decorated player of all time being decorated out of the international game. Yet, we must all remain stunned at the guest list of practising and retired aces of the game who felt close enough to Nwankwo Kanu and who think so highly of him to have flown down to Nigeria for this showpiece event. Hours before the event, I had, alongside members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, visited the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) at the State House, Marina, where the NFF had a rare opportunity of expressing, in physically presence, our gratitude to his administration for the wonderful support, assistance and encouragement that Nigeria football has received from Lagos State over the years. I remember the Governor smiling broadly when we told him that we are usually captivated by his football skills, complete with scintillating touches that make us want to compel the Super Eagles’ Head Coach to give him a look-in!

Laughing, the governor retorted: “If the Super Eagles’ Head Coach is considering me, then we have a problem on our hands”! Minutes after we stepped out of State House, Marina, the elements changed swiftly and the rain poured down in torrents. The NFF 1st Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh, sitting beside me, talked about showers of blessing. The spectacle at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere was something to behold. Alongside Governor Fashola, and other guests including the Executive Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, I shook hands with the litany of superstars who made up the two teams: ‘Friends of Kanu’ and ‘Super Eagles’ All-Stars’. We settled down in the State Box while Governor Fashola donned the green shirt and short and captained the Super Eagles’ AllStars. I was envious, and I told the governor so, that if not for my injury, I would have loved to play for ‘Friends of Kanu’ and be the one to ‘mark’ him in the midfield! For only one man, we have such a coterie of dignified players and workers in football that one is inspired to call it ‘Night of A Thousand Stars’. From world football-governing body, FIFA came Walter Gagg, that well-known face who knows Nigeria like the spread of his palm. The ‘Friends of Kanu’ included Samuel Eto’o Fils, the Cameroonian legend-still-inservice – about the only African footballer ever to have been more decorated than Kanu. There were Emmanuel

All for one man! I leave you with these words by no less a person than Samuel Eto’o, in full appreciation of the man Nwankwo Christian Nwosu Kanu: “Kanu is undoubtedly the most recognized, successful and talented footballer I have ever seen on the field. It was not hard to honour him by traveling down because he is an icon of the African game and we must honour him. “After playing against him, I was honoured and today, I came here to show how much we respect and appreciate his achievement, inspiration, motivation and charitable gesture” Tanzania must fall! This message goes to the National U-23 team, Dream Team as they square up against the Vijana Stars of Tanzania at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City. It is the return leg of their 2012 Olympic Games qualifying fixture. A fortnight ago, as we sat inside the National Stadium, Addis Ababa surrounded by tumult of support for the home team against the Super Eagles, and wondering wishing the Eagles to score the decisive goals, we were also monitoring the first leg of the Olympics qualifier in Dar es Salaam. There have been stories of how the Dream Team created 18 chances and fluffed all, while the Tanzanians created only one and scored. Those remain stories of the past; the only story Nigerians want to hear today is that the Dream Team has won and qualified for the eight-team minitournament that will determine Africa’s qualifiers for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. I spoke to Coach Eguavoen several times during the week and I believe he has the team to conquer. Truly, his team has been depleted by injuries, but the quality of what is left is testimony of the high number of Nigerian footballers waiting in the wings to take over playing positions in the senior team. It is important that I, once again, use this medium to express the appreciation of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Nigerian football family to the Executive Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the tremendous support and assistance he has rendered to the team since it started the qualifying campaign for the Olympics and the All-Africa Games. This is also to appreciate the good people of Edo State for their support for the team. The team will have no breather before getting set for the final 10th All-Africa Games qualifying fixture against a crack Ghana side.

Adebayor, who confessed that Kanu remains forever his role model; Sulley Muntari, fleeefooted Ghanaian midfielder who has played at two World Cup finals; Rigobert Song, the former Cameroon captain who played at FOUR FIFA World Cup finals, one more than Kanu; Emmanuel Eboue, Arsenal and Cote d’Ivore; Jean Makoun, Cameroonian forward; Khalilou Fadiga, Senegal powerhouse who played at the 2002 World Cup finals in Korea/Japan; Anthony Baffoe, ace defender for Ghana in the early 1990s and now FIFA Match Commissioner; our own JayJay Okocha, the only other Nigerian to have played in three FIFA World Cup finals and Member of NFF Technical Committee; Sammy Kuffour, ace Ghana defender who won the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich and played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany; George Boateng, ace Ghana midfielder; Joseph Yobo, Captain of the Super Eagles (saves our necks most of the time) and the one man capable of toppling Muda Lawal and Kanu’s 86-cap mark for the Nigerian senior team; Taye Taiwo, Super Eagles’ defender newly signed for AC Milan; Herman Hreidarsson, Kanu’s former team-mate at West Bromwich Albion in the English Premiership; Obinna Nsofor, Super Eagle and joint top scorer for Nigeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying series. I have not mentioned Michael Essien, Ghana and Chelsea FC powerhouse (who had to do a whistle-stop to still be at Ivorian captain Didier Drogba’s wedding in Nice the following day); Kolo Toure, Ivorian ace defender; Stephen Appiah, powerplaying Ghana midfielder who captained his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany; Kalusha Bwalya, former captain of Zam-

bia and now President of FAZ and member of CAF Executive Committee; John Utaka, former Super Eagles’ striker; Finidi George, ace winger for Nigeria who played at two World Cups; Obinna Nwaneri, another former Super Eagles’ defender; Daniel Amokachi, former Super Eagles’ striker and Coach, who also played at two World Cups; Uche Okechukwu, ‘Gentle Giant’ in the defence at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, 1994 African Cup of Nations and 1996 Olympics and; Raphael Chukwu Ndukwe, former Super Eagles’ forward. And what about Ike Shorounmu, former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and now goalkeeper trainer; Danny Shittu, big Eagles’ defender; Elderson Echiejile, Super Eagles’ left back; Mutiu Adepoju, who played at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and was in the squad to 2002 finals; Kalu Uche, Super Eagles’ midfield ace; Ikechukwu Uche, Eagles’ marksman who is in such fine form as he has scored in almost every match since coming back from injury; Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Super Eagles’ forward; Ogbonna Kanu, Kanu’s younger brother also capped several times by Nigeria; Onyekachi Okonkwo, still going strong in Switzerland and; of course, Nwankwo Kanu himself, gangly, skilful and mesmerizing as ever? I cannot forget to mention Stephen Keshi and Johannes Bonfrere, who coached the ‘Friends of Kanu’. On the morning of the match, Ambassador Kanu confessed that Keshi inspired his preference for the Number 4 jersey, something most Nigerians didn’t know. Keshi captained the only Nigerian senior team to have won the African Cup of Nations trophy away from home (Tunisia 1994) and also captained the first set to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Dutchman Bonfrere was touted to be the secret formula behind those successes, and then had his own time in the sun leading the U-23 team to Olympic gold in Atlanta and the Super Eagles to silver at the 2000 Cup of Nations. At the other end, there were Christian Chukwu, Solomon Ogbeide and Samson Siasia. Chukwu led the Green Eagles of 1980 to Nations Cup glory and coached the senior team between 2002 and 2005 and; Siasia, the current Head Coach, was one of the most accurate shooters when he played for Nigeria junior and senior teams between 1983 and 1999.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) exchanges pleasantries with Nwankwo Kanu before the later’s testimonial recently in Lagos. Photo by: BOLA OMILABU

NFF CRISIS

What Nigeria told FIFA By Stella Bamawo

THE ongoing face-off between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and some aggrieved sports stakeholders in the country has spurred the Glass House to shed more light on its stand concerning issues threatening the extinction of the round leather game in the country. In different letters dispatched to the world football governing body, FIFA, in Zurich, Switzerland, NFF, gave a vivid description of steps taken by the body to set records straight. The letter sent to FIFA delved on issues ranging from the administration of the Nigeria Football Association(NFA) now Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) and FIFA roadmap, Decree 101, management of national teams and the relationship between the NFA and the leagues. At the administrative end, it explained in the letter sent to FIFA that elections into the various offices were conducted in accordance with the NFA statutes which was subsequently endorsed by FIFA, while it noted that the executive committee made history with the appointment of the secretary general based on its statutes. Although, FIFA gave a deadline of March 1 2007 for the abrogation of the Decree 101, but the former National Sports Commission (NSC) Chairman, Bala Kaoje was of the opinion that that the body had to seek government’s approval on the abrogation of the Decree 101 of 1992 following FIFA’s requirements that all its affiliates must only be regulated by statutes devoid of government interference. Fortunately, for the Glass House, the Federal Executive meeting approved the National Sports Commission (NSC) prayer for the abrogation of the Decree 101 based on the approval of the Federal Executive council. Although, years later, the bill is still undergoing the normal legislative procedure at the National Assembly. However, the association at one of its annual general meeting, adopted its statutes and standing order as the sole regulating instrument which now forms the basis of football administration in Nigeria. By the adoption of the statutes by the association, it rendered Decree 101 irrelevant. Presently, the current board was elected under the current NFA statutes and not under Decree 101. Meanwhile, at the annual congress of the Association held at Bauchi on 11th December 2006, a resolution to the effect that leagues are subordinated to the Association was adopted. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the relationship between the government and the association is in consonance with the Nigeria constitution while NFF has garnered maximum support and encouragement from government in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities.


Olubanwo Fagbemi

On Sport Sport On SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

36

Review of the old guard

NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE...NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE

Y

Crown must beat Lobi –Esu C

ROWN FC of Ogbomoso Chief Coach, Godfrey Esu has said that his team must defeat Lobi Stars this weekend to show that their 1-0 away victory over JUTH FC in Jos last weekend was not a fluke. Crown is currently 18th on the league table with 26 points and in a chat with NationSport, Esu believes the match is a must-win for his team as they continue their battle against relegation.

By Akeem Lawal “When we defeated JUTH last weekend, people described it as a fluke, but I kept telling them that it is the result of hard work and prayer. So I have told my players that the game against Lobi is a must for the team and they are aware of the situation too,” Esu said. Esu will, however, be having his hands full with the current form of Lobi Stars who are also coming into the game on a winning note which saw them beating Kwara United 2-1 last weekend.

• Kingsley Salami

Gombe wary of Bukola’s strikers –Aigbe

G •Esu

OMBE UNITED midfielder, Stanley Osasu Aigbe has warned his teammates to be wary of Bukola Babes strikers when both sides meet at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium on

Confederation Cup is my priority–Cooreman

M

AURICE COOREMAN Kaduna United Technical Director talked to CAFEONLINE at the post match conference, in which he said he is proud of his players and confident that the team will get to the final. Maurice also blamed is players for not scoring in the first half of the match.

YOUR CLUB has qualified for the group stages of Orange CAF Confederation Cup, are you happy with this result? I am very happy with the result, I have confidence that were going to scale through in this match to group stage. Kaduna United deserve to be among the two teams that will play the finals of Confederation Cup because we have the quality of players that CAF will love to see in such championship. Are you comfortable with your player’s performance in the game? Why not, I expect them to take the team to that next stage and they have did that, only that the match supposed to end in the first half of the match by scoring 2 or 3 goals. They could not make use the chances created in the first half. I am happy with their performance in the second half because they played according to my instruction. As you have qualified, what are your next plans? My next plan is to build another team that will move us to the final stage. We want to win this Cup, everybody in the team, in the state in the country want to see Kaduna United win this trophy, me as the head of technical in the team I will seat with my coaches and see how we can improve in order to reach our target, which is winning the Cup for the first time in the state and the country at large. With this result and much

concentration on the Orange Confederation matches, don’t you think it will affect the national league and federation Cup that you will be playing as the defending champions? Not at all, we have enough players that we can play in all these matches that you’re talking about. Our target in the league is to finish second at worse. In the Federation Cup, we want to defend our title, also in Confederation cup we want to win the Cup. And with the help from God and the plans we have in addition with the players and good leadership of the managements of the team, all those things I mention to you will be possible.

By Akeem Lawal Saturday. Aigbe was part of Bukola Babes side that took the Nigeria Premier League by storm in the first stanza of the season as the Saraki Boys enjoyed an impressive outing in their debut season. He, however, switch to the Desert Scorpion during the mid-season transfer window as he intends to take his football career to another level. In a chat with NationSport, Aigbe said Bukola parades some of the deadliest strikers like Abdulrahman Bashir, Fade Adebayo and Otu-Bassey Effiom, all of whom his team should be ready to stop. “It is going to be an interesting match for me in the sense that this is the first time I will be playing against Bukola Babes since I joined Gombe United mid season. I’ve told our defenders to be vigilant because Bukola has strikers who can wreck a team at any match if given the room. Forget about the fact that they are having a poor run lately, their strikers usually rise to the occasion when it mattered most. “On our part, we have prepared well for this encounter which we must win to improve our position on the league table. The technical crew and the players are aware

of the task ahead and by God’s grace we shall secure the three points at stake,” he told NationSport.

TOP SCORERS 12 GOALS Ajani Ibrahim - Sunshine 10 GOALS Victor Barnabas- Enyimba Kabiru Sanusi - Kwara 9 GOALS Gambo Moh’md- Pillars George Akpabio- Plateau Utd Brendan Ogbu - Rangers Ehiosun Ekigho- Wolves 8 GOALS A’rahman Bashir- Bukola 7 GOALS Atanda Sakibu- Sunshine Efe YarhereWolves Akombo Ukeyima- Sunshine Sibi Gwar-Tornadoes Jude Aneke- Kaduna Utd ChristopherDolphins 6 GOALS James Amankwei -JUTHFC Victor Michael-Dolphins Victor EzejiSharks

RESULTS Sunshine 2-0 Tornadoes Kaduna Utd 1-0 Heartland WEEK 28 Saturday, June 18 Tornadoes vs Zamfara Utd Kwara Utd vs Dolphins Sharks vs 3SC Plateau Utd vs Pillars Gombe Utd vs Bukola Babes Sunday, June 19 Crown FC vs Lobi Stars Heartland vs JUTH FC Wolves vs Sunshine Kaduna Utd vs Ocean Boys Rangers vs Enyimba

Nigeria Premier League table

•Cooreman

e-mail: deewalebf@yahoo.com

Team P Sunshine 26 Dolphins 26 Wolves 27 Pillars 27 Enyimba 27 Rangers 27 Sharks 27 Kwara Utd 2 7 Lobi Stars 26 Kaduna Utd 2 5 Bukola Babes2 7 Heartland 27 3SC 27 Ocean Boys 2 7 Tornadoes 27 Gombe Utd 2 6 Crown FC 27 Zamfara Utd 2 7 Plateau Utd 2 7 JUTH FC 27

W 17 17 13 14 14 13 11 13 12 11 10 10 10 10 8 9 8 7 7 5

D 3 2 7 4 2 4 10 2 4 6 6 4 4 4 9 4 3 6 5 7

L 6 7 7 9 11 10 6 12 10 8 11 13 13 13 10 13 16 14 15 15

GF 35 32 32 32 32 31 28 29 22 24 27 24 25 28 24 19 23 20 24 18

GA 16 19 20 21 18 20 27 24 26 19 25 25 27 33 31 29 33 41 40 37

GD 19 13 12 11 14 11 1 5 -4 5 2 -1 -2 -5 -6 -10 -10 -21 -16 -19

Pts 54 53 46 46 44 43 43 41 40 39 36 34 34 34 33 31 27 27 26 22

AKUBU AIYEGBENI obviously craves immediate return to the international fold. The South Africa 2010 World Cup flop’s plaintive wail for reprieve after Nwankwo Kanu’s testimonial held last Saturday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos refers. In response to his stupefying penalty box miss during a first round match against South Korea and the opprobrium generated thereafter, The Yak said: “I missed a chance to score at the World Cup. It’s painful. I didn’t do that intentionally. I just want to say I’m sorry about it. They should forgive and forget and let us move on.” Actually, Mr Aiyegbeni missed the chance of the World Cup. The failure to convert a square pass inside the box with the goalkeeper displaced was so unlikely that commentators reckoned that the elderly would succeed in the same scenario. In South Africa, Super Eagles technical adviser Lars Lagerback seemed fixated with the striker and colourless midfielder Sani Kaita, appearing to lack alternative systems that didn’t require fielding both until he was undone by the profligacy of one and indiscipline of the other. In the end, Nigeria crashed out with a single point from two losses and a draw. Since then, with overwhelming support of Super Eagles fans, the England-based attacker has been frozen out of international football by national team coach Samson Siasia who admitted that Nigeria would ‘burn’ if he fielded the self-assured forward. It mattered little that the striker shook off rejection at English Premier League club, Everton, to feature prominently for npower Championship side, Liecester, last season. For all the fans cared, the former Portsmouth and Middlesborough spark was history. Until he resurfaced last weekend, some would bet that, as Kanu, Aiyegbeni was nearer retirement than the next international cap. Papilo may have made the national team earlier, but critics insisted they were contemporaries. As fellow ex-international Taribo West noted last year, no one could claim Aiyegbeni was younger. How ironical then that as one retired, the other coveted future caps. Apart from honouring Kanu with his presence at the Lagos engagement, the ostracised international may have used the opportunity to graze national consciousness after his infamous gaffe tore his reputation to shreds. But if he banked on the Nigerian penchant to forgive and forget as supported by entertainment of corrupt acts in political life, he was wide off the mark in the pertinent case. The passionate Nigerian, Aiyegbeni must acknowledge from heckling by the disgruntled Lagos crowd, would forgive anything but frustrated attempt at World Cup glory. While failing to come off the bench to re-enact his famous late-match magic in South Africa, Kanu, on the other hand, managed to retain his hard-earned hero status. Clearly on his last legs in South Africa, the 34 year-old former Eagles skipper denied retirement plans after Nigeria’s shameful first round ouster and the rancorous power conflict between the sports ministry and football federation approached incendiary levels. Many would cite nearly two decades of ball-teasing, crowdpulling displays highlighted by the Atlanta ’96 football goldwinning performance and the slew of accolades as reason to retain affection for the languid forward. Along with gifted compatriot and old maestro, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, the player named the best of Nigeria’s greatest 50 by respected South African medium, Supersport, contributed immensely to the golden era of Nigerian football. Until Cameroon captain Samuel Eto’o Fils’ addition of multiple European club awards to African Player of the Year titles tilted the balance eastwards of recent, Kanu was considered Africa’s most decorated player, only matched in fame by Jay Jay. He counted medals from the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and English FA Cup among individual awards while CAF African Player of the Year awards for 1996 and 1999 as well as the 1997 and 1999 BBC African Footballer of the Year gongs topped a shining shelf. Kanu began his foreign sojourn on a sparkling note after helping his first European club, Ajax Amsterdam, to Champions League glory in 1995 before a subsequent detour to Italy’s Inter Milan was nearly halted by a defective heart valve. But the comeback man overcame surgery and astounded cynics by going on to become a true Gunners legend. Considered one of the greatest to play for English giants Arsenal, he also replicated his renaissance effect for Portsmouth with deft touches and unbelievable goals. But he tarried more than a while on the international stage. Regardless of the babble from sentimental followers, he should have read the sign once he became a bit-part player in the national set-up. In defiance of rather tired legs, he remained national team captain after Okocha’s exit in 2006 – no thanks to a politicised system. While some argued that he should not be discarded earlier because his experience was invaluable, others countered that a team led by an ageing maestro would always struggle with the aggression in African play and fast, technical quality of world football. Although he didn’t score a goal from open play in six Africa Nations Cup outings and three World Cup finals, Kanu’s remarkable tally of match-winning assists besides 13 goals from 86 senior caps – a joint appearance record held with the late midfield dynamo Muda Lawal – will always be celebrated. He remains a reference point for emerging stars, and the country will be fortunate to have another in the same mould.


38

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

BACK ST AGE

Adams Apple: A break from soft-porn •On set of the

movie, Adams

Apple

Of course sex sells, even Shirley Frimpong admits, “it depends on how you show it. I think I have seen some Hollywood movies where the sex was really like in your face but even that is done tastefully


Saturday

Profile Partying Happenstances Style

SOCIAL SCENE

SPECIAL

THE NATION SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

39

I carried dead seven-month-old twins in my womb for weeks

Djevwudu, South South -Vickie Women Organisation boss


40

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

She hails from South South Nigeria, a place that was hitherto the hub of militancy and environmental degradation. As a result of crises, women in this region have had to contend with hardship and suffering. Chief (Mrs) Vickie Djevwudu, the President of South South Women Organisation, is one of the people at the forefront in the fight for the rights of women in the region. GBENGA ADERANTI met with this amazon and she talks about her life and struggle, her difficult moments, how she carried a set of dead twins in her womb for weeks and how she has managed activism with family life, among other issues. Excerpts:

‘I was like my mother’s younger sister because she had me when she was only 16’

Y

Your top looks like the skin of a leopard. Is there a message you are trying to convey with it? Maybe I’m the king of the jungle. We (Niger Delta women) tend to be bold and daring. You are the President of the South South Women Organisation. What is it all about? The South South Women Organisation was set up because there was the need to help the women in the Niger Delta to be at per with their counterparts elsewhere. Lagos is where we are based. We came together as a group of women comprising the six South South states, namely Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River and Akwa-Ibom. We have looked at the women in Lagos; they have carved a niche for themselves. Whether educated or uneducated, they have found a way of making themselves responsible. And so, we said, ‘Look, it is time we helped the woman out there who has been ravaged by poverty and lack of mentoring, superstition and harmful traditional practices. Those are the things that have been militating against the women out there. Don’t forget, a girl child is another factor to be considered. We said let us lend our voice. At that time, the clamour for the relevance of the South South was high. Don’t forget that oil that is tapped from there feeds the entire nation and we said why should a geopolitical zone that feeds the entire nation be backward politically? We said no, not just helping the women alone; let us find a way to reach the well-meaning southerners; those who have carved a niche for themselves either in business or politics. Let us find a way of encouraging them to come out and contest for positions. And we are thankful today, because part of our struggle is what has made Goodluck Jonathan the President of Nigeria. There was a time Gbaramatu, a community in Delta State came under heavy attack; a situation that led to the displacement of women and children. Where was your organisation then? We did a lot. But the interesting thing about the Gbaramatu incident is that a lot of us were turned back by the Joint Task Force (JTF). Most of us could not get there with relief materials. It was a very sorry situation. There were not just women who could not fend for themselves, but an outbreak of diseases and all that. There were no sanitary facilities for them. The JTF did not help matters, because whatever caused the problem, we didn’t really know. What we were concerned about at that time was what hope there was for the children. What hope for the girl child? They did not allow us to get to the place. We had to force our way into the place. Relief materials came from different places. Whether they had an issue with Tompolo then or whatever made them bomb the Gbaramatu Kingdom, that wasn’t our problem. The problem was, why subject women, and children to such hardship? We came on air then and asked, why use bomb in the first place? Supposing it dropped in a primary school, what would they have done? We lent our voices and, thankfully, we were told that the Federal Government set up a panel to rebuild the place and reconcile the parties.

•Mrs. Djevwudu

Were you there during the crisis? I was there with some women. What were the things you saw? I saw women crying. They were mourning the loss of t h e i r husbands. They were mourning the loss of t h e i r children. Some of the children were not found. There was confusion everywhere. There were no facilities; only relief materials kept coming. But we donated our widow’s mite. Our own then was, if there w a s epidemic, w h a t would happen? There was no place for them to h a v e their bath. There was no place f o r sanitation. And that was our concern. We too were a bit handicapped. The association was started with the little funds we had. It wasn’t that we had any grant from anywhere. We just put ourselves to task. As women who reside in Lagos, if we don’t get money from anywhere, we can use the little we have to achieve something. How much of support did you get when you started? All thanks goes to Comrade Joseph Evan, who we made our patron. He offered us his secretariat. He had always helped us. But on our own, we needed to have ideas. You could ask me what the objectives of the association are. It is a three-point objective: one is to educate the woman or the girl child. If not education, help her achieve skill. Then, we give humanitarian help when necessary. That was part of what we went to do at Gbaramatu. We started by going to the less-privileged homes in Lagos. We did a lot of humanitarian jobs in Lagos and outside Lagos. During one of the visits to Bayelsa State, we had a challenge. I slept in the police station with a boy who was half

dead. I sat with him in the hospital. The lepers we were going to visit were agitated. They were like coming to fight the police officers at Ughelli. It was part of the cross we had to carry in giving humanitarian services to people. But the matter was resolved and we gave them relief materials. Some people would want to argue that your organisation’s claim of fighting the cause of the Niger Delta women is a farce. How would you defend this? Well in the first place, it is the work of your hand that will speak for you. Tat is my belief. There is nothing you do in life that people don’t see, except you want to deceive yourself. The more you work, the more people see. Once you have an agenda, you have a focus, except you want to create an NGO just for creation sake. I live in Lagos. I was born in Lagos. I read a lot about NGOs which have made their marks a long time ago and are still impacting on the lives of the people. How do you manage the organisation? That is what I just told you. We don’t have anybody backing us. We task ourselves. Doesn’t it affect your family? It is affecting my family. Tomorrow, I will be going to Abuja. Thank God I have an understanding family. My husband works very close to the home. I usually don’t have any problem. There are people at home to manage the family. Before I travel, I make provisions. You have been mentioning your father but there has been no reference to your mother. What was your relationship with her when you were growing up? Were you close to her? Were you able to discuss private things with her? My mum died when I was 22. We were very close. She had me at age 16 and I was her only child. I was like her younger sister. We confided in each other. How did your parents react when they discovered that you were dating somebody? My dad was very strict. He was a soldier. I was always scared of allowing male friends into our house. My mum was a bit relaxed. She used to caution me with proverbs. When I grew older, they both relaxed. You have lived your entire life in Yorubaland. How come you are not married to a Yoruba man? Love has no barrier or language. You are a beautiful woman. How do you ward off male advances? We like one another. It is not hard, because I have found love with my man. What is your beauty routine like? I use cleanser (rose water and glycerin) to cleanse my face. I also use facial scrub. I pamper my skin with foam bath. I don’t sponge often because it makes the skin to age faster. How do you relax? I attend owambe parties. I relax a lot. I look out for jokes and things that make me laugh. You said you had a problem with the police during one of your numerous visits to the South South. What was the problem? What happened was that we were actually at fault, because we were travelling and the light of the vehicle just went out and the driver was just managing. We drove for some


41

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

The doctor was just looking at me. When he looked at me, he would shake his head. I was strong. I washed my dress myself. The matron of the hospital said, ‘Is this not the woman they brought in on the stretcher? ... They didn’t give me any blood. For me, that was one miracle God did. After that, I have had healthy children that completed their nine months

•Mrs. Djevwudu metres and it was just at that point that a young boy was crossing the road and we brushed him. Meanwhile, there was a police checkpoint in front. A police officer accosted us and asked why we were driving without our lights on. That was what happened. I just believe we had to go through that experience. There must be a reason you engage in such unprofitable ventures. Why are you pursuing this cause? Why do people set up non-governmental organisations? There must be a passion for setting up something. Look at the case of Mother Theresa, a world acclaimed nun. She was from a rich home. There must be a cause. Chief Gani Fawehinmi of blessed memory had a lot of money, but people did not see his money but his selflessness. People saw his passion to help the underprivileged; his passion to help people who had been unjustifiably denied their rights and all that. There must be passion on your own part before you embark on a cause. You see, Yoruba women have over the years done so much for themselves. These women don’t wait for anybody. They are in politics, they are everywhere. You have to work to earn power. You have to work to get what you want. You don’t get political power on a platter of gold; you fight for it. The women in the Niger Delta had been too quiet. As a woman, you don’t shout, ‘give me this!’ If they give you, can you manage it? If you can answer that question, you go out and work. We told ourselves, ‘let us go out and empower the women. Let us go out and talk to them, mentor them.’ Then you have the case of young girls having children. There are cases of 20-year-old girls who have two or three children. Sometimes there are no fathers for these children. How do they manage such children? What does she need? She doesn’t need money but mentoring. The parents are not helping matters too, because they themselves are financially incapacitated. They can’t give what they don’t have. Everybody just falls on. But if there is a way, you talk to the girl and say, ‘why don’t you go back to school and write GCE?’ If she writes it and passed, you have given that child hope. Peradventure she says she doesn’t want to go to school and says she wants to learn a trade, you can help her learn a skill.

Our own problem too is finance. We write to the governments in the Niger Delta to help us, because there are so many things we want to do in the Niger Delta. We are not saying we want to build roads; we only want to help individuals. We want to build people who when their eyes are open would know that what they were doing was wrong and they now have the power to make decisions. They have the power to create their own life again. That is what it is all about. When you have that kind of driving passion in you, you would just want to work. You talk and conduct yourself as if you don’t face challenges too. Does that mean you’re not confronted with the ups and downs of life? I just told you that I slept in a police station during one of our numerous visits to the South South on humanitarian visits. Tell me something that each time you remember, you feel sad about it. I’m not a Christian. My religion is Eckankar. What my religion teaches me is that for every problem, there must have been a reason behind. Eckankar also teaches that this is not one’s first life time. There must have been some things you must have done in your former life that you have to pay for. Most times, it is not always bad. That is karma. Whatever the challenge you go through, it is for you to be purified. Perhaps what I went through at that time was purification. Purification does not come easy. Sometimes it is difficult. It is just like purifying gold. It passes through the furnace. If gold were to be human, it would scream and scream. And when it comes out, it becomes gold. That is what life has taught me. So coming to your question, I don’t have any sad experience actually. I have experiences that I’m thankful to God for. One of them was when I lost a set of twins. It was quite harrowing for me. But at the end of that experience, I dedicated my life to serving God because God brought my life back. The twin babies had died inside my womb. There was no way they could come out except through operation. But somehow, miraculously, one of the babies came out. The other one did not come out till later, and when it came out, it came out with lots of blood. It was just divine intervention.

Actually, the people who were around me saw what happened and they were just thankful to God. At the end of the experience, I said, ‘God, I rededicate my whole life to you, to serve you.’ That is perhaps what has culminated in my resolve to serve. There is always joy when you give something to somebody. It might not be money, it might just be a smile; it might be a hug, it might be just words of encouragement. I you look at that person, you will see satisfaction. That is what life is for me, and somehow, I have moved in that direction. I think I’m just a happy person. Tell me exactly what happened; you may just be comforting someone somewhere. That was some years back. They were a boy and a girl. They were about seven months, at that time. I didn’t have money and I was single. I just decided to have children. I thought of going to Abuja to see some friends to raise money, which I did. I went by road and there was no problem. The next day, water just started gushing out of my body. It was as if I was urinating. I was rushed to Garki General Hospital. The doctor there really didn’t care. He just gave me some drugs. Before then, I had a dream the previous night that somebody opened his thighs and said I should kneel down inside the open thighs. I asked, why should I kneel down when you opened your thighs? I found myself being pulled as I was about kneeling down. That was when I woke up. Whatever it was, I really didn’t know. But somehow, it was in the morning that water started coming out of my body. Now, the people I went to meet, none of them could raise tangible money for me. I kept chanting the Eckankar way of praying, which is Hu. I asked the Mahanta, which is the spiritual guide, to take control. By the time I was able to get to my doctor in Lagos, he said the baby was dead. We didn’t know it was a set of twins. I didn’t do any scan. I now delayed for another two days. By the time I went back to my doctor, he said the case had gone beyond his ability and he referred me to Island Hospital in Marina, Lagos. There, they told me that I had to be operated upon. But the doctor told me that there was a way he would do it without operating me. But I

needed to pay N13,000. I didn’t have N13,000 at that time. So, I went to a dear friend. I knew I was in the throes of death. I knew I was smelling. Odour was oozing out of me as a result of the decayed children inside my womb. All I just said were three words when I came out of Island Hospital: ‘God, help me.’ With all the fibres in my body, I kept chanting Hu. That night, I was admitted into the Military Hospital, Yaba. One of the babies came out miraculously. My tummy just contracted. I was in pains and a baby just came out. We thought that was the end. Weeks later, I was still feeling funny. I had been discharged from the military hospital. One evening, blood just started gushing out of me. I had to go back to my doctor. He had travelled and there was no other doctor in his clinic. He had removed the battery from his car. He had no generator. Blood was just gushing out of me. As providence would have it, there was a doctor who I had met at the Island Hospital. As soon as he saw me, he said, ‘I saw you at the Island Hospital.’ I said yes and explained all that had happened and confirmed that there was another baby. He looked at my veins, they had collapsed. He said, ‘Can you do me one favour? Can you remain calm?’ I said yes and I resumed my Hu chant again. Then, a giant clot of blood came out of me but I continued chanting. I was getting weaker and weaker, because for three hours, I was bleeding and he took me to his hospital. The whole thing started around 7:30pm and it was 11pm. They managed to carry me to his hospital. By that time, they had to put me to sleep because I had lost so much blood. He was afraid that I would have cardiac arrest. According to him, he watched me for some minutes before he evacuated what was in my womb. He brought the baby out and I woke up later. When the ten minute lapsed, I asked him if there was a baby and he said yes. I said he should let me see and he brought it inside a kidney dish. I told him to take it away because lots of injections and drips were on me at that time. That was it. By morning I was as fit as a fiddle. The doctor was just looking at me. When he looked at me, he would shake his head. I was strong. I washed my dress myself. The matron of the hospital said, ‘Is this not the woman they brought in on the stretcher? Come on, go and lie down.’ But I told her that I was okay. They didn’t give me any blood. For me, that was one miracle God did. After that, I have had healthy children that completed their nine months. How many children do you have now? I don’t want to talk about that. What was the reaction of the father of your twins to your plight? It was a boyfriend/girlfriend thing. He said he didn’t want it. In fairness to him, really, I can’t castigate him. He told me he didn’t want any baby from the beginning. I didn’t know that the following year, he was going to die. May be he didn’t want any responsibility after he had died. That was what ended the relationship. I didn’t even see him until after a year. I explained to him that it was not his fault. I was the one who wanted children. He was a gentleman; very nice person. I had to move on. If you had somebody in that situation, how would you advise the person? She should trust God. Let all your faith be in God. There must have been a reason why God kept me. You said you grew up in Lagos, what was growing up like? I grew up in Shomolu, Lagos. I first went to Ewenla Nursery School, Itire road, Surulere. Then, I stayed with my uncle for two years. They said they needed somebody that she would interact with. When I was five, my father withdrew me and took me to Command School, Yaba. My father used to say you’re my first child, you would not have your secondary education in Lagos, go and school in Delta State. I attended St. Theresa’s College Ughelli. I finished my secondary education there. Interestingly, it had helped me because all that time I went home for short holidays like mid terms. I saw devastation, the damaged those who were extracting oil had caused. I had a firsthand experience that time, I saw gas flaring. As a young girl, I grew up in Lagos but when I got to Delta, at the eastern part of my school, the sky was always red. And the ground was hot that time. So, I came back to Lagos again. I did my A level in Ilesha, Osun State. But that time, when there was political crisis in Ilesha axis, I had to run back to Lagos. I got into the school of journalism and I did journalism. I’m still in school now, doing my Masters.


44

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

‘How God saved me from cult 12 hours to my initiation’

I

T was indeed a time of thanksgiving last Saturday, as friends, colleagues and associates trooped out in large numbers to mark the 50th birthday of Pastor Akpofure Iremuviewan, a businessman and clergy. The event was held at Living Faith Church Worldwide (aka Winners Chapel), Province Two, LASU-Isheri Road in Lagos during which Iremuviewan, who is the Provincial Pastor of Province Two of the church, thanked God for sparing his life and blessing him in a lot of ways. “If I don’t celebrate it, it will look like I’m not appreciative of what God has done in my

Omotayo BABALOLA marriage and in my family. So, that is why we are celebrating”, Pastor Iremuviewan stated. Reminiscing on his past trials, he stated that God saved him at a point when he would have joined a cult group. According to him “God has an assignment for each and every one of us; He came in 12 hours into the time I would have been initiated into a cult. Jesus came in at noon and saved my life. From that day till now, it has been one glory to another, one favour to another. Before God saved my life, many things happened; thank God they are now testimonies.” He recounted what life had been for him before he gave his life to Christ in 1993. “The enemy tried to take my life, but to God be the glory, He never allowed it to happen. I remember before I became

‘born again’, whether I liked it or not, in the month of May, this back must lay in an hospital bed.“ Pastor Iremuviewan noted that the solution to trials is the word of God. He, therefore, advised those going through such, no matter what it is, to hold on to the word of God. For him, his happiest moment was the day his son, his first child, was born because he had a delay for years after marriage. At the reception, which followed immediately after a thanksgiving service amidst a heavy down pour, guests were treated to light music and sumptuous meals. Those who graced the occasion to honour the cleric included many of the Winner Chapel’s associate, provincial, district and zonal pastors, deacons and deaconnesses, among other friends and wellwishers.

•Pastor Akpofure Iremuviewan and his family cutting the 50th birthday cake

•The celebrant and family flanked by associate pastors of the church

•Deacon Jerry Ihkine, General Manager, Marketing Division, Total Nigeria Plc and wife, Deaconness Josephine PHOTO: Gabriel KUTELU

Ibadan agog as Oluwaseyi Moradeke Oni, Gbolahan Kolawole Onamusi walk down the aisle

•The couple, Mr. Gbolahan Kolawole Onamusi and former Miss Oluwaseyi Moradeke Oni at their wedding at All Souls Church, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State.

•Mr. Joseph Olajide Oni (left) and Mr. Dotun Oni, members of the bride’s family

From left: Groom’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Franklin Kolawole Onamusi and the bride’s parents, Chief and Mrs. Clinton Adebolu Oni at the wedding

•Mrs. Adeola Afolabi (left) and Chief Mrs. Funmilayo Shyllon


45

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

‘Why Port Harcourt traffic problem is endemic’ •Continued from Page 22 companies and expatriates and we need to protect their movements. There are lots of exmilitants and amnesty people in Rivers State, which is not the case with Lagos. The level of lawlessness, before the coming of Governor Amaechi and after the amnesty offer of the Federal Government to the repentant militants was much higher. In terms of the problems, it is not easy to compare, but I admire the results that LASTMA has achieved. I am also aware that they (LASTMA officials) were given a lot of resources. We are still praying and hopeful that Rivers State government will upgrade the assistance to TIMA-RIV. We have done very well in terms of delivering the results. TIMARIV has also done well, giving the limit of the resources that we have. LASTMA has been on, much longer than TIMA-RIV. If you look at the problems we have, we are very innovative in attacking the problems. We will get there. Is it not surprising that you are complaining of inadequate resources when Governor Rotimi Amaechi is your friend? To say the governor is my friend, yes, but he has to rule the state. Fund is a great factor in governance, in order to deliver the dividends of democracy. I am also aware that there are lots of competing requests for the available resources in the state. The state does not have everything it needs. Nobody actually has everything he needs. It is the prerogative of the governor to disburse the resources the way he deems fit. He has been supporting us, but the problems that we face are such that we have to hope that he brings more resources our way, such that we are better equipped, such that we can cover the whole city. We are actually not in some parts of Port Harcourt, because we still need to employ more people. We are just 413 people and 390 field staff. We need 1,500 field staff. Like Oliver Twist, we need more assistance. Why has TIMA-RIV not sought support of international funding organisations? We have not been able to do that. We are in the process of putting TIMA-RIV on the pedestal to attract such funding. We are working towards it. Some motorists complain of highhandedness of your officials and allegations of bribery and corruption. How are you checking these? We have so far dismissed 42 TIMA-RIV’s officials, for unwholesome acts, insubordination, misconduct, bribery and corruption. We have a process of internal cleansing. It is instant dismissal for any member of staff found guilty. Only the people who take pride in what they do will be allowed to remain and work for TIMA-RIV. We have over 10,000 applicants, mostly graduates, waiting to join TIMA-RIV. The present officials must always bear in mind that they are privileged to wear the uniforms. One of my most precious possessions is my

Some security personnel, especially those on escort duties and other motorists, still prefer to drive against traffic (one way), harass other road users and still blow siren. Driving against traffic is the most serious offence. Anybody caught will be made to take psychiatric and driving tests, with information about the person stored in our data bank, besides paying fines and being prosecuted

•Jaja integrity. In anything I do, I tried to bring my integrity to bear on it. In every 12, there must be a Judas. I am not unaware of that. I try to ensure that TIMA-RIV is corruption-free. We have a surveillance team in TIMA-RIV that reports directly to me. The duty of the members is to go about unrecognised, with cameras. They do not wear uniforms. Any issue that borders on corruption, they report and I will investigate quietly and take immediate action. It is also forbidden for any member of the public to pay any money to any TIMA-RIV official. We do not collect money. Offenders are given bank tellers to go and pay to the bank or the person is prosecuted at the court. I am pleading with members of the public not to give money to any TIMA-RIV official. We do not collect money. If you commit an offence, your offence is read to you. You are given a card, behind it is a schedule of fines and the various fines will be given to you in bank tellers. You will go to the bank and pay and return the tellers before your vehicle is released to you. We do not collect cash. We will also prosecute any member of the public found giving cash to TIMA-RIV officials, which is an attempt to corrupt them. Any TIMA-RIV official impounding vehicles or imposing whatever law, must be well identified by wearing uniform with name tag and display his or her identity card. In spite of the activities of the officials of TIMA-RIV, Port Harcourt traffic is still horrible. What is responsible? When Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi came in as the helmsman, he decided to improve on the road infrastructure. He has awarded contracts for construction and dualisation of roads in Rivers State, more than what any of his predecessors did. Port Harcourt and other parts of the state are still like construction sites. In Port Harcourt, construction works are going on at Stadium road, Air force road, Rufus Ada-George road, Ikwerre road, Trans-Amadi roads and Olu Obasanjo road, among others. With about eight serious construction activities, they are bound to affect flow of traffic. Since Governor Amaechi came, there has been peace. Environment for business has improved. Port Harcourt is now bubbling again, businesswise. Rivers people are happy for it. With the improved security, improved business environment, less kidnapping and less intercommunal problems, come with influx of people into Port Harcourt. Some of the people

come to do business and they do not have the facilities to do business. We have thousands of people coming to the city with Ghana-Must-Go (jute) bags to trade and they convert every available space to a market and you have more cars coming to the state capital. The governor promised that there will be a lot of improvements on roads in Port Harcourt and its environs, with added lanes and others, but these things need planning and implementation. I will enjoin members of the public to be a little bit patient with government. There is also the human factor. There are still people who have penchant for disobeying traffic rules and regulations. We are trying our best to enforce the rules, but because we do not have all the resources we need, we cannot be everywhere. TIMA-RIV officials controlling traffic work between 6 am and 9 pm, while the security personnel attached to us, close at 5 pm. We run two shifts. Some security personnel, especially those on escort duties and other motorists, still prefer to drive against traffic (one way), harass other road users and still blow siren. Driving against traffic is the most serious offence. Anybody caught will be made to take psychiatric and driving tests, with information about the person stored in our data bank, besides paying fines and being prosecuted. I and TIMA-RIV’s Chief Traffic Controller (Mr. Confidence Eke) have been shot on many occasions by security personnel. We and other TIMA-RIV officials do not carry arms. We are alive by God’s grace. We will not allow trading on pedestrian walkways, while converting junctions and intersections to parks and markets will not be allowed. It is also an offence to park vehicles on the pedestrian walkways. The offender will be fined, vehicles towed, with cost of towing to also be paid, and the person will be prosecuted for destruction of government’s property. Military men are now joining us in the enforcement, which is to restore sanity. Traffic offenders will also be sent to traffic or mobile courts. It worked in Lagos. It will also work in Rivers State. Okada (commercial motorcycles) have been banned in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Oyigbo and Eleme Local Government Areas of the state. Keke NAPEP (commercial tricycles) must also not operate in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor LGAs. Otherwise, we will crush them and take the owners and riders to court. We are also handling the reported cases of

criminals faking TIMA-RIV’s uniforms to collect bribes from motorists. We must bear in mind that people benefitting from the traffic chaos, anarchy and lawlessness, will not be happy that we are restoring sanity to Port Harcourt roads. Rivers State is safe now. The military personnel on escort duties should also reduce their military alert to civil alert. It is a little bit difficult, when you see soldiers mounting machine guns on pick-up vans, and protecting a convoy of white men, with the drivers driving against traffic and causing traffic bottleneck at junctions or intersections. In view of the influx of people into Port Harcourt, two minutes delay at a junction or intersection can stretch up to one kilometre. If everybody behaves and everybody is on the line, the traffic will flow gradually. We will enhance our enforcement activities and more people will be prosecuted. I am pleading with people who still have their vehicles in our custody to come and pay their fines and claim them. Otherwise, we will be left with no option, but to sell them, after three months. What pieces of advice do you have for road users in Rivers State? I will advise road users, and I am very serious about it, to henceforth do everything possible to obey rules and regulations. I will not accept people’s pleas. Once you contravene the traffic laws, your vehicle will be towed and you will pay the fine. If you refuse to claim your vehicle after three months, it will be sold. Nobody is above the law. The law is also no respecter of persons. Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has clearly stated that all traffic offenders must be punished. How did you start life? Were things very rosy or rough, while growing up, now that you are a big man? I am not a big man. I am just a regular human being. I grew up in an average Nigerian environment. There was neither absolute wealth nor poverty. We had strict, typical Southern Nigeria parents. I am from Opobo in Opobo/Nkoro LGA of Rivers state and brought up in a Christian way. My parents were very strict on values, but liberal on allowing you to achieve your own potential. My father was then working for John Holt. I have the UAC/John Holy-brought up background. My mum is still alive and a devout Christian. What challenges did you face while growing up? I thought I would be a lawyer, but somehow, that changed. I later went to UNILAG to study Mass Communication. I practised journalism for a while and later joined my father in the family’s trading business. He impacted the act of managing men and resources in me. My father rose from a trainee manager to the peak of management in John Holt. You said you practised as a journalist, where and when? I had a little stint, not for a long time, at the defunct Concord. I left almost immediately. Did you practise as a journalist in Concord for up to six months? No. Just about three months. The fact that I did not practise journalism for long, that is certainly what I missed most in my life. Then I was in Lagos. I had to move down to Port Harcourt to join my father in the family’s business. I saw people like Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed and Dele Giwa as my role models in the practice of journalism. The Publisher of Next Newspapers, Dele Olojede, was my course mate (Class of 1982) in the Department of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos. We had the very best in terms of teaching and training. UNILAG’s Mass Communication is top class. In journalism, you have to know everything about anything. The journalism background greatly assisted me later in life, especially in management. How did you meet your wife? I try as much as possible to take my family out of the public. I met my wife during youth service in 1983. We just flowed. It was simply a flow of friendship. What was the attraction? The attraction was there from the first day. Specifically, what was the attraction, beauty, brilliance or intellect? A combination of everything attracted me. Total package. She was not attracted to me, just because I had anything. Just natural.


46

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

I

T is traditional in some part of our country to address one’s husband with the names of their eldest children. We have wives that address their husbands thus;Papa Nkechi, Papa Chinyere, Baba Ibeji (in cases where the couples have twins) Baba Ola, Baba Nike etc… Some cultures see this form of address from a wife to her husband as very respectful. In some other instances, couples consider it a little old fashioned for their wives to call them by the names of their children. So, they will settle for their wives calling them by their first names, for instance ‘Paul’ etc. We have cases where couples don’t even bother to use names; so they go for pet names like Honey, Sugar, Sweetheart, Baby boy etc. When I left secondary school years back, I had an ex-school mate, Helen, who got married immediately after we left school while the rest of us went on to further our education; she

Dear Vera, The modern woman believes the man should constantly give and seeks her attention in a relationship while she dispenses hers as a “favour” at her whim. Many thanks for your thoughtful article. The man also should not forget the reward they owe a humble and submissive wife – half their kingdom. Aloysius, Abuja This Vera, You are too much o, your write very entertaining and make us happy, that is why I no dey miss The Nation on Saturday. I quite agree with you. Woman, this is your black magic. God bless you Vera, Aliu Dear Vera, Your write-up is well thought-out, succinct. I wish every woman will read it. No doubt you practice this. Happy is your man. 08065427077 Dear Vera, I love your write-up on ‘Every man has a ‘mumu botton’ African women need to go back and learn from their grandmothers how they managed their husbands successfully. For many years woman was made for man, not otherwise. Our women should not copy the Western cultures where they have a high divorce rate. Men are easy to manage. If you can massage their ego

Our husbands and their first names quietly settled for a married life. She was doing so well with her new marital status. When we decided to pay her a visit, at least three of us that were her ex-school mates. Naturally, she was delighted to see us after so many years. The entertainment that followed thereafter was quite impressive. My friend killed a life chicken for

our entertainment to show how happy she was to see us. After we had all eaten to our satisfaction, we heard her husband drive into their compound. He was a good catch for our friend, no doubt. However, with due respect to him, his look did not in any way conform with his behaviour. First, he began to yell at her

from the car, that was not even the shocking part; the shocking part was the way our friend responded, she yelled right back ‘sir’! like one that was responding to her father’s call she would later argue that it was out of respect and love for him. Anyway, for me, that is neither here nor there. A hilarious scenario occurred when a col-

Text messages Re: Every man has a mumu button well. Olujimi Jiboye Hey Vera, Just learnt a new lesson today and I’m happy. So men have ‘mumu button?’ E be like say their own worse pass we ladies sef. Yvonne, Unilag Dear Vera, Lovely piece. My mumu button is why my woman is the first to initiate the act of love making without waiting for me to make the move. How I wish she know this. I will do anything she wants. Joe Hi Vera Honestly, I love your article. You completely finished it all. It is left to those concerned to act on it. Thank God for you as I envy that man in your life. Also make sure you tell us women’s mumu botton. Chukwudi, Lagos Dear Vera, Good work. But you missed the most important one. Submission, that’s the mumu button to a man. It works on all men. Harris Dear Vera, People make wishes silently in their heart hoping that some day it might come true. May the wishes of your heart come

out bright and fulfilled like the colours of rainbow. 07057596322

women (wives). Thank you for the article. Moses Billiri Yusuf, Gombe

Dear Vera, You have written well my sister. My wife to be, is in school. I will keep this article for her. It will do us a lot of good. Chinonso, Abuja

Dear Vera, Thanks for your write-up. The issue is that many women lack the basics of this subject. The fact is that for people to envy your marriage, the woman in the house must learn to address her man’s soft spot. She must know the things that make the husband happy. For instance I love having information and listening to news but the woman I am with will ask me what I am gaining from constantly reading of newspapers. Vera, please continue to enlighten them because most women even with their education are yet to know this mumu button. Apostle Godwin Dominion Urewuji

Hi Vera, I saw your 30th April publication; Quite interesting and educative.If other pen pushers would emulate you; we would have society of our dream. 08030532730 Dear Vera, Your husband must be a lucky man for having you as a wife. If you are implementing all what you wrote about man’s mumu button. I pray to have a wife that knows how to press my mumu button. Chidi-Austin Ojo, Lagos Dear Vera, I read your article on ‘mumu button’ and I honestly agree with you. If most women knew about this secret ‘button’ the world would have been more peaceful. Why? The number of divorces will be reduced. There will be fewer quarrels in the home front and above all, married men will have fewer girlfriends. You see these young beautiful ladies of this digital world know more about this button than our analogue

Dear Vera, In appearance, you look ordinary but from your June 11 publication, you are one in a million, a wonderful woman. Idris Dear Vera, How I wish every woman, young and old will read this and how to control their mouth. That is not to say that we don’t appreciate them but women need this wisdom to build their marriages because the bible says every wise woman builds her home. God bless and increase you. Henry Uduimoh Edo State Dear Vera, You are too much. My wife needs that lecture. O.K Felix B, Kebbi

•L-R: Miss Folake Fasoto, Mr. Gabriel Foluso Fasoto and his wife, Mrs Bukola Fasoto, Mr. Tobi Fasoto supports his father , during Mr. Gabriel Foluso Fasoto’s 50th birthday.

Dear Vera Every man has a ‘mumu button’ at fist sight appeared a bit vulgar to me. (being a man) but when I went through it, I agreed with you completely the recipes are heavenly and I wish that you continue with the part 2 so that ladies out there will understand that they can do more to better their lot. Those of them who still live in fools paradise thinking that there is nothing gainful in trying to please their men will now know that kingdom my elude them while the opportunity to get rid of their enemies may also go down the drain. Keep it up. Oluoha Chukwudi, Aba

league brought his son to the office and when the baby boy of about four year old needed his father’s attention, he called out to him; ‘Honey’ honey, everyone around just burst into laughter. It was obvious to all where that came from. In the Yorubaland, some wives call their husbands ‘Olowo ori mi’ translated means, the owner of my head (or something like

Vera, Our mumu button was first discovered and used to our disadvantage by Eve in Eden. Most time I indulge in self pity because we’re the weaker sex. Adam had to disobey God to please his wife. Since then we’ve been working to please you because you’re always armed. Vera thanks reminding me of your venom. How I wish you could post your write up to every married woman in Nigeria. You are right. Every man has his mumu botton. And every marriage problem is traceable to a woman’s failure to locate this button. Joshua Uyo. Hi, I read your write-up on The Nation, great job, please permit me to introduce myself: I’m man in my late 20s of average height, easy going. I need sugar mummy please help out. Prince Odunayo, Kaduna Vera, Ref. dated June 11, please educate women what to say in marriage otherwise half of their stay on earth mistakes while the rest full of regrets. There are good men indeed except many ladies are not marriageable. Always behaving like kids thinking that what is outside is better than inside. Tony Hello Vera, Background contributed a lot on this issue, but when a couple love and trust each other this background issue will not affect their marriage life. Christyessence, Minna. Vera, May the good Lord bless you for the work you are doing amen. I want you to help spell out duty or role of the man in the home. Is it the duty of the woman to pay maternity bills? School/ lesson fees, (from pry to university in the United Kingdom) Cloth the kids, pay for summer holidays in UK, birthday parties, medical bills when they’re ill, house help salaries, buy generator for the house? And so many I can’t remember. He has the money, he owns a big coy. Anytime I talk to him he says all his dad gave his mum is yam, is left for the woman to provide the rest! How can a lady respect such a man and be submissive? Please don’t use my phone number

that). There are also couples that call themselves “daddy and mummy”, especially when they have children. It is a customary thing, I reckon. Also it would depend on the husband and wife. If the husband doesn’t like being called by his first name or the wife refrains from calling him by his first name, it is out of respect; then there should be nothing wrong with it. Or what do you think? because many know my number. Anonymous Vera, For a while, I have not commented on your write ups, but for this particular piece I need to say something here. This goes to our new generation women to sit and think about what you just pointed out or else our parents would have fared better than us in their marriages. The big question will now be that did our parents not train us well? Far from it. Inzaghi Dear Vera, Every man has a mumu button is a master piece. May you never run short of ideas. You have indeed said it all, a woman who can make her man happy is in the real sense a complete woman. A woman who does things that make her man happy can hope to permanently ‘colonise’ the remote that controls her husband’s mumu button. Most women cannot identify their men’s soft spot. Instead of doing this and exploiting same to the fullest, they sojourn from one spiritual home to the other in search of a remote control which ironically lies in their hands. Come to think of it, which other key opens the door to a man’s heart other than that of good culinary skills, good bed antics, decency, meekness and respect (for the man). Thank you Vera, I just hope our women are reading you. Remi Adesina, Ibadan Vera, Re: Every man has a mumu switch Certainly, the mumu switch when toggled can make a woman do anything. Cases abound where wives abandon their spouses, kids and family to dwell where the switch will be triggered perpetually. Pathetic. Anyway Vera, na from dis yabis on men I take know say you be real yeye girl, Oloshi, Olodo! There’s a lot to be said when it comes to matters of the heart. Vera, Many thanks for your writeups. Issues about relations in marriage are all an attitudinal thing. The self-centred will even not want his blood relations come too close. Nse Williams


47

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

•Nkrumah’s statue

Nkrumah Park

Honour to a great leader T

HE Nkrumah Memorial Park and Museum is a must- see for tourists visit ing Ghana. Visiting the park- cum-museum leaves a tourist with a grasp of the political history of modern Ghana. The park sits on about six hectares of land in the heart of the Accra metropolis. It has a well tended garden with different species of trees and other ornamental plants. The park is perfect for picnics and other forms of relaxation. It could have passed for any other park found in a city, but for the imposing mausoleum at the middle of the park. The mausoleum is built with marbles and the design is intricate. It is the final resting place for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah,Ghanaian first leader and a great African. His

people refer to him as Oseigyafor (the wise one). His grave is in the middle of the imposing structure. The grave itself is covered with white and brown tiles. By the side of the Nkrumah’s tomb is that of his Egyptian wife, Fathia. In front of the mausoleum is a bronze status of the leader, standing on a pillar. He wore Ghanaian traditional attire with huge wrapper round his left shoulder. His gesture was as if he was pointing the way for the continent. In front of the bust is a beautiful fountain. The water gushes from the busts of men clutching tusks and blowing from it. There is a walkway in between the two fountains. It is as if the sculpted work were in perpetual song in praise of their leader. Another interesting aspect of the visit to the park was a tour of the Nkrumah Museum. The Ghanaian

government has done well in preserving some of the personal effects of the late Nkrumah. At the museum’s entrance was a tour guide who informed us that we were not allowed to take pictures inside. We had the opportunity of seeing the table and chair Nkrumah used as President. Even his personal effects while in the university were also housed in the museum. The pictures on the wall were quite interesting. They include pictures he took with his mother, the delegation of Ghanaian traditional leaders that travelled to Egypt to get him a wife. From the picture, the bride was a full grown woman not a child. There were also pictures he took with various world leaders and other African political activists in the 50’s and 60’s.

The museum provides interesting information about a leader who, as leader of a country, met with many

•Nkrumah’s grave

world leaders of the early 50’s and 60’s. One can see the area well in about 30 to40 minutes. The park is easy for a tourist to locate being in the heart of Accra near the Government Centre of Accra in what was the British polo grounds, across the street from the Ghanaian High Court buildings and near the City Hall. Even from this tour , one could gain an insight into the turbulence that was once the lot of •Continued on Page 48


48

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Nkrumah Park: Honour to a great leader Continued from Page 47

Ghana . This is most captured by the decapitated bust of Nkrumah in front of the museum. According the tour guide, the head of the statue was cut off by the military coupists that overthrew the government of the late Nkrumah in 1966. Dr. Nkrumah gained independence for Ghana from the British, then a colonial authority over what was known as The Gold Coast, on March 6, 1957. He became the first Prime Minister from that date to June 30, 1960. He led Ghana into a Republican status on July 1, 1966 and became the first President of the Republic of Ghana. On February 24, 1966 his government was overthrown in a military coup d’etat. Afterhis overthrow, Nkrumah went into exile in Guinea. He was the guest of his friend, Sekou Toure, the president of the country. As a mark of respect for his role in the liberation struggle for Africa,he was made a co-president of the country. He died in exile in 1972 .

The national park in his honour was commissioned on July 1, 1992. It was here Dr. Nkrumah had the privilege to declare Ghana independent of colonial rule. After the completion of the monument, Nkrumah’s remains were exhumed from his second burial place, his hometown, Nkrorful, and reburied at the park. His grave of his wife, Fathia, is beside his. They

had three children: Gamel, Sammiya and Sekou . His first son, Francis,a professor, is from another woman. The trees in the park tell stories of their own. From the trees, one can easily know the world leaders who visited the country in the recent past. The trees were planted to commemorate the visits. As we walked out of the park, we saw new couples in their wedding attire trooping into the park for photo sessions.

Kenya Airways launches flights to N’djamena

K

ENYA Airways, “the Pride of Africa,” will add N’djamena, Chad, as its 54th destination tomorrow. The airline will operate the route with a Boeing 737800 every Sunday and Wednesday out of Nairobi via Cotonou, Benin. Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Dr. Titus Naikuni made the announcement stating that: “We are seeking to consolidate our presence in the African market by flying from every capital in Africa by 2013. Our objective this year is to open eight new destinations, in-

ture challenges that face many African nations. He added, “We are opening up Africa to a world of opportunity. Other markets around the world are already saturated, and more airlines are increasing their presence in Africa as it is the new business frontier.” According to Dr. Naikuni, even though most countries in Central Africa are landlocked with limited export opportunities, they represent an important trade corridor to the West African market where Kenya Airways has established a strong presence.

Institute calls for review HLT curricula

T

• Nkrumah’s statue damaged during the 1966 coup

cluding N’djamena.” To expedite their expansion into the African market, Kenya Airways has signed an agreement to purchase nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners with an option of buying four more. The goal of the airline is to diversify its route network throughout Africa in order to tap into the unique opportunities the vast continent has to offer. Dr. Naikuni noted that aviation experts have singled out the African market as ripe for growth, citing the need for fast, reliable, safe transport in the context of the infrastruc-

HE Institute of Hospitality,UK, Nige ria chapter has appealed to the government to re-engineer the curricula of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism courses in Nigeria to meet the intellectual need of the country. This call was made in the last business meeting of the institute in Lagos. Speaking on the issue, the guest speaker at the meeting, Mr. Ade Iyiade, said that after a careful analysis of the courses constituting the HLT curricula, roles of government agencies in the HLT courses

and the industry and the perceptions of HLT graduates within the industry, among others,he recommended: “There is the need to re-engineer the programme as it is being done in the developed world where a graduate of Hospitality and Tourism could be hotel sales and marketing manger, hotel accountant, accommodation manager or room division director, human resources manager. “It is essential that both those in industry and the universities continue to discuss the current issues in hospital-

ity training and education, so that we can develop current and futrure managers. The curriculum need to be restructured and multi-skilled professionals attracted. This sort of manpower mix in the department will bring in more researches in the areas of consumer behaviour, human resources, marketing, quality management, ICT and so on. “The main problem of the profession is the curriculumover emphasis on cooking and food service. The programme needs to have strong operational base along with managerial capability:

Kehinde FALODE: 08023689894

Banga soup

THE banga soup also known as ofe akwu is native to the Niger Delta and the South Eastern parts of Nigeria. In the Niger Delta areas, banga soup is commonly eaten with various recipes – pounded yam, semolina, garri and cassava fufu. In the South Eastern parts, the soup is referred to as ofe akwu where ofe means soup / stew and akwu means palm fruit and is used mainly as stew for the white rice recipe. Ingredients •Palm Fruits 1 kg •Beef •Dry Fish •Vegetable – Scent Leaves •Onions – two medium bulbs •Crayfish – A handful | two tablespoons •Salt and Chilli Pepper – to taste •Seasoning – Three Maggi / Knorr cubes Methods -Wash and cook the palm fruits till done. -Pound the palm fruits in a mortar with a pestle till all the flesh are separated from the nut to form a smooth pulp -Cook the beef and the dry fish with one bulb of diced onion and the three Maggi / Knorr cubes. -While you have the beef cooking, extract the palm fruit oil from the palm fruit pulp by washing it in warm water. Small quantities of the palm fruit pulp should be

Uchechi NZE washed in as small quantity of warm water as possible. If the palm fruit oil starts getting too thick, pour the liquid into another container through a sieve to prevent the palm fruit fibres from entering into the oil that will be used in cooking the banga soup. Repeat this till all the palm fruit pulp has been washed. -Leave the extracted palm fruit oil to stand for some time then slowly pour this into the pot that will be used to cook the banga soup / stew, taking care not to pour the tiny pieces of fibre that have settled at the bottom. -Wash and cut the scent leaves into tiny pieces or you

can use pumpkin leaves or any other vegetable in place of scent leaves.Set the pot of palm fruit oil on the stove and start cooking at high heat. Leave to boil till you notice come clear oil at the surface of the banga stew. If you think that the banga soup is watery, cook till the soup has thickened to the consistency you like for your stews. -Now, add the beef, dry fish and stock, the onions, crayfish and pepper and cook for five minutes. Add the scent leaves and salt to taste. Leave to cook for two minutes. Your soup is ready to serve with white rice or use the banga soup to eat garri, semolina, amola or pounded yam.

Health benefits of palm kernel PALM oil comes from the fruit of the elaeis guineensuis tree, also called the African oil palm tree. Native to Malaysia, the tree bears a fleshy fruit which is the source of both palm oil and palm kernel oil. Palm oil is entirely different than palm kernel oil, which has a higher amount of saturated fat and has to be heavily processed to be extracted. Palm kernel oil is, in general, unhealthy. Palm kernel oil is rich in antioxidants. Many studies have discovered that tocotrienols may have the ability to reverse blockage of the carotid artery and platelet aggregation thereby reducing the risk of stroke, tumor promotion arteriosclerosis and other heart disease problems. This is thus one of the health benefits of palm kernel oil as it is rich in tocotrienols. Tocotrienols present in palm oil may also inhibit certain types of cancer. Palm kernel oil increases ‘good’ cholesterol as compared to other saturated oils such as coconut oil. Thus the health benefits of palm kernel oil also include promoting healthy cardiovascular health. As it is known has one of the most versatile of all vegetable oils. Consisting of 50% saturated fat and 50% unsaturated fat it is semisolid at room temperature. It is also odourless and tasteless. These two properties have made palm oil ideal for baked goods and packaged foods. Palm oil also works well with fried foods and stir-fry because its quality doesn’t diminish under ex-

tremely high heat. Unlike most nutritional oils, palm oil is highly resistant to oxidation, giving it a longer shelf life. Palm oil is rich in Vitamin A which is an effective antioxidant that strengthens the body’s immune system and reduces risk of cancer, heart disease and cataract. Lack of Vitamin A can lead to blindness and a many other medical problems. Palm kernel oil is also rich in Vitamin E. No other vegetable oil has more Vitamin E than Palm Oil. Vitamin E is also a powerful anti-oxidant, capable of reducing free radicals in the

body. Palm kernel oil thus protects you from certain chronic diseases and also delays the body’s ageing process. Another reason why you should use palm kernel oil in your cooking is because it supplies fatty acids as well as important fat-soluble micronutrients like carotenoids (including pro-vitamin A), vitamins D, E and K. Fatty acids are raw materials for building the membranes of every cell in your body, including your bones, nerves and brain! The micronutrients keep your body cells healthy and functioning properly.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel begins operation in Accra

M

ÖVENPICK Hotels and Resorts, the up scale international hotel management company of Swiss origin, is set to expand its presence in Africa with the new Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra, scheduled to open this year. Conveniently located downtown in the central business district, Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra will be the perfect base for business, corporate and leisure guests. The hotel will feature upscale accommodation, a variety of inviting food and beverage outlets, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities and state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities all reflecting Mövenpick Hotels & Resort’s brand values; quality, reliability and care with a personal touch. “ Accra is one of the leading economic hubs of the West African region and is strategically important to our expansion plan in Africa “ said Roger Kacou, Senior Vice President Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Africa. Hotel General Manager Stuart Chase commented “The hospitality industry revolves around people and our aim is to set a new benchmark in the region for quality and personalized service. Thus we have spent a great deal of time on our selection process and providing our successful candidates with extensive training to ensure that our brand values are upheld.” Once fully operational, the hotel estimates that it will employ over 320 Ghanaians. Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra will feature 260 rooms, including 61 Executive Club rooms with their own dedicated 24 hour Club Lounge, 15 Junior Suites with balconies overlooking the swimming pool and 16 acres of landscaped gardens and an expansive 350 square

metre Presidential Suite. Standard features in all rooms include; complimentary high speed internet access, 40 inch LCD TV, international satellite TV channels, IPod docking station and individually controlled air-conditioning. The hotel will also feature the right balance between work and play, with a 750 m2

sub divisible ballroom and five meeting rooms all equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment. Leisure facilities include the largest swimming pool in the country, two floodlit outdoor tennis courts, jogging track and a health and fitness centre offering cardio and weight training, sauna and

treatment rooms. In addition the hotel also has an adjoining commercial centre which includes 2,000 sq m of retail space which will accommodate 26 leading brand name retail shops, and 8,000 sq m of office space, supported by 365 above ground car parking bays.

• Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

49 NANTA partners Akwaaba for Abuja Bantaba

T

HE National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA) is partnering the organizers of Abuja Bantaba to make the event a success. NANTA is the biggest travel association in Nigeria and the umbrella body of travel agencies will be bringing its members to the event as both sellers and buyers. According to the National Publicity Secretary of NANTA, Mrs. Tinuke Nwakohu, NANTA will participate in both Bantaba and Akwaaba as the events provide a local opportunity for players in the travel trade to network and work together as travel markets are the lifeblood of travel business globally and cannot be different in Nigeria. Mr Ikechi Uko representing the organizers said “having NANTA as a partner completes the circle as our events have partnership with global associations and having a credible national group like NANTA completes the circle for us and we are excited to tap on their goodwill and expertise”. As a prelude to AKWAABA 2011, and because of the absence of a credible face to face marketing platform in Abuja and Northern Nigeria for travel business, Akwaaba African Travel Market is organizing a road show in Abuja to reach more stakeholders in Abuja and Northern Nigeria. Aftm brings face to face marketing to Africa. This event will be hosted at Abuja Sheraton Hotels, one of the leading hotels in Abuja. Abuja Sheraton is a prestigious Starwood brand. Abuja Bantaba will be a one- day event that will host a mini exhibition, matching travel buyers with sellers. It will also reduce the cost of individual marketing in Abuja and the North, draw in more buyers by using greater powers of attraction and by combining the marketing power of all sellers. Already, leading hotel chains in Africa, airlines, and other travel and tourism promoters among them have booked for the event. Protea Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Movenpick, Legacy Hotels, Golden Beach Hotels and the Starwood have all booked for the event. Aftm invites travel and tourism stakeholders to join in Abuja and Northern Nigeria to attend on July 5 to further entrench face to face marketing in Nigeria. Bantaba is a one- day round the clock speed dating event that starts with speeches in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and end with cocktail and awards in the evening. There will be presentations in between. This event comes as arrangement for the big event of the year AKWAABA: African Travel Market billed for October 21to 23 in Lagos, Nigeria is in top gear. Akwaaba is the only international expo in West Africa in partnership with NTDC, listed by UNWTO, a partner event of ATA in the region and the only member of ITTFA in West Africa. Aftm seeks to make travelling a pleasurably seamless experience in Nigeria.

Ikorodu gets new hotel

• L-R: Mawutor Darkey - Sales Coordinator, Andrew Asare-Boafo - Director of Sales, Rebekah Robertson - Sales Executive, Stuart Chase - General Manager, Esther Newman Sales Executive

NCPC boss charges airlines for 2011 pilgrimage to produce verifiable documents HE Executive Secretary

T

of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, has charged air carriers for the 2011 pilgrimage to produce verifiable documents of their aircraft. He made this disclosure recently during a screening and interview session for air carriers for the 2011 pilgrimage in Abuja. In the words of the NCPC boss, “you have to give us aircraft documents that are verifiable” . He stressed that the commission would be transparent in selecting the air carriers by doing “a credible job”, as the best air carriers would be given the opportunity to fly Nigerian pilgrims to the state of Israel and back. He assured the air carriers that the commission would follow the key trends in global practices in arriving at the best air carriers for this year’s pilgrimage. Mr. John Kennedy Opara

advised the air carriers to have an open heart and accept the result of the screening exercise in good faith as there would always be another opportunity every year. According to him; “if you are not able to make it, you can try again”. He called on the air carriers to see their job as more of spiritual thing than mere business. He assured that the commission would provide them with the enabling environment to succeed. The NCPC helmsman informed the air carriers that the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and the Israel would be signed before the commencement of airlift for this year’s pilgrimage. According to him, “our greatest challenges has been the problem of BASA”. However, he stated; “God willing, before the commencement of airlift this year,

we will be able to resolve it so that we can fly directly from here to Israel’, he stressed. Mr Opara further intimated that the commission planned to commence pilgrimage operations to Greece this year in line with Mr. President’s directives that the commission should explore other holy sites in the world for Nigerian Christian pilgrims. He affirmed that the commission’s target this year was to airlift 30,000 pilgrims as against 20,000 that was airlifted last year. Consequently he affirmed: “By the grace of God, we have been able to change the face of pilgrimage exercise in Nigeria” Earlier, the Chairman of NCPC Board, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, prayed that God would help the commission to choose the best air carriers for the 2011 pilgrim-

age exercise. He charged them to provide brand new aircraft that would meet the right specifications. He stressed that God is interested in how the large number of pilgrims are airlifted to Israel and back thus “we are looking for the best”. According to him, “the best are those who are progressively updating themselves and should not take anything for granted”. Five prospective air carriers were screened. There was opening of the bid by the NCPC and the air carriers were given the opportunity to do their presentations. The fares for this year’s pilgrimages to Israel, Rome and Greece were agreed upon by the NCPC Board and the air carriers.

• L-R: Azeez, wife and Prince Olayiwola Shittu during the commissioning of Mambilah Hotel

T

HE proprietor of Mambilah Hotel Limited, Mr Dayo Azeez, last week explained that the opening of the hotel in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, is part of efforts to take hospitality to people at the grassroots. The hotel, which has tastefully furnished rooms, suites, conference halls and expansive car park, will serve the essential social purpose of the people, particularly at weekend which often witnesses influx of party’s lovers. He said: “Mambilah Hotel is here at Ikorodu not only to boost the tourism industry in the ancient town, but to let residents enjoy what other big hotels offer in Lagos and environs.”

Musa ODOSHIMOKHE

Azeez said with the establishment of the hotel in the community, young men and women interested in working in hotels would benefit from it, adding that with the increasing cases of unemployment, the youths were certainly going to take advantage of the project. He further said: “Customers do not have to bother about their security because the hotel has already taken that into account. We have trained and qualified security personnel who are committed to their job. I am sure they will respond promptly to the need of our customers.”


50

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

The home maker II on the studying of the Word of God. The story of the mother of the Wesleys cannot be overemphasized. It is on record that she took every child daily in prayers, communication and quality relationship. It was, therefore, impossible for her children to miss their places in destiny. Her commitment to her family has paid off for posterity. Mentally, you should be committed to your children’s mental development. Show the children the right way to mental excellence. Invest in their mental development, by buying them books and other educational materials that will enhance their mental dignity. Be cautious not to buy things that will corrupt their minds, all in the name of flowing with the trend. Physically, always be there for them. Children, at every point in time, will always need who to lean on, who to talk to, who to share their worries with, who to counsel them on what step to take, etc.

Physically make yourself always available to your children when they need you most. Make them establish a sense of security in you, before anyone else does from the outside. When you obey God in getting committed to your children by giving them the best training (Proverbs 22:6), you are the next to eat the fruit of it (Isaiah 1:19). When you get committed to your children, and give them the training required, they become profitable to you tomorrow. You won’t have any cause to suffer heartache, pain and shame on them in the future. Shower your children with love; it’s part of being committed to them because commitment compels love. Have it in mind that words of love, not of condemnation, uttered to your children on daily basis, ultimately make their future. However, you cannot be effectively committed to your children without control, because if the excesses in a child are not controlled early in life, those

excesses will later control and may eventually destroy him/her. Until you are born again, you cannot be effectively committed to your children, in making your home a palace of beauty. You get born again by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If you are set for this, please say this prayer: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 2341-7747546-8; 07026385437 For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Understanding Motherhood, Raising Godly Children, and Success in Marriage.

Babies who are breastfed less likely to develop sudden breastfeed their babies for the cause and effect relationship between breastfeeding and SIDS infant death syndrome first six months of life. risk, but Hauck said she is ‘fairly In the new review, Hauck and •2,500 infants between two and

account the fact that women who smoke cigarettes are less likely to breastfeed, and also may be more likely to have an infant die from SIDS. Hauck added that along with breastfeeding, babies who sleep in the same room as their parents - but not in the parents’ bed - and those who use a pacifier while sleeping also have a smaller risk of sudden death.

D

EAR Reader, Last week, I was able to show you from God’s Word the tool of submission to your husband, in making your home pleasant. This week, I will be looking at the tool of Commitment to your Children, in a bid to make your home glorious. The Oxford Dictionary defines commitment as “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.” In other words, there are some things you cannot do by reason of your commitment. That is why Paul

A new analysis of past studies has strengthened the theory that breastfeeding reduces health risks - and could prevent crib death. Findings show babies who are breastfed - especially those only fed breast milk, and not formula as well - are less likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. While researchers cannot prove that breastfeeding causes the lower risk of SIDS, they say other explanations seem unlikely. The study’s lead author, Dr Fern Hauck, from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said the findings - published in Pediatrics underscore the importance of promoting the positive effects of breastfeeding for babies. She said: ‘Breastfeeding is the best method of feeding infants.’ SIDS, also known as ‘crib death,’ is defined as a sudden and unexplained death usually during sleep - in a

said in I Corinthians 6:12: All things are lawful unto me, but all things are expedient… Commitment makes you choose the expedient above the lawful. It makes you forgo some things you like or take pleasure in, for the interest of your children. Mothers, you are your children’s spiritual anchor. You are created to be perceptive and, therefore, you are able to sense things when no other person can, especially when the man is busy making money for the upkeep of the family. At times like that, take time out to pray for your children, even fasting sometimes when the need arises. Spend time with your children

four months killed each year in the U.S. baby less than one year old. It’s most common in infants between two and four months old, according to the National Institutes of Health, and kills about 2,500 infants in the U.S. each year. Researchers aren’t sure what causes SIDS, but they known that African American and male babies are more likely to die from SIDS, and that parents can cut down on their baby’s risk by making sure infants sleep on their backs and don’t get too hot. One theory for the cause of SIDS, said Hauck, is that it happens in babies sleeping with their faces down or heads covered who don’t turn their heads or cry like most babies would, and slowly suffocate. Breastfeeding could be linked to SIDS because it protects infants against minor infections that have also been shown to make sudden death more likely, the authors note. The World Health Organization, among other medical groups, recommends that mothers

her colleagues combined data from 18 studies that asked mothers of infants who had or hadn’t died of SIDS about whether they breastfed the infants. Combining the results, the researchers found that the rate of SIDS was 60 per cent lower among infants who had any amount of breastfeeding compared to those who didn’t breastfeed, and more than 70 per cent lower in infants that been breastfed exclusively - without any formula - for any period of time. That led the authors to conclude that any breastfeeding helps protect a baby against sudden death. They note, however, that more research is needed to see if the duration of breastfeeding affects the risk of SIDS - specifically, if babies who are breastfed for longer get more protection that those who are only breastfed for a short time after birth. The analysis doesn’t definitively show that there’s a

Lagos surgeons correct limb deformities Not less than 56 people with limb deformities have benefitted from the free limb deformity corrective surgical programme of the Lagos Ministry of health. The programme was designed by the Lagos State Government to surgically rehabilitate patients with various limb deformities. According to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile, "162 patients were screened and sent for radiology and laboratory tests, 58 patients were given mobility aids like wheelchair, calipers, knee braces, splints, crutches, etc. 56 patients were booked for surgery, 42 patients have been operated on and 14 will be done next week. “After surgery, follow-up care and physiotherapy will be

Risikat Ramoni given to patients at the various general hospitals closest to them free of charge for the next six months, after which they will be fully discharged." Dr Dolapo Fasawe, the programme co-ordinator, also said, "Some patients don't take to instructions, but because of our plan for active follow-up, immediately we see they are not going by our instructions, we admit and care for them. But, so far so good, we've had 100 per cent success". Fasawe urged all Lagosians with limb deformities to register their complaints at Room 517 in the Ministry of Health for the next round of surgery. During his explanation on the cause of deformity, the lead surgeon, Dr Ladipo Adewole, said while some children were born

deformed (congenital), others were acquired. He said the cause of the congenital deformity was unknown but the acquired was caused by accidents, polio, burns, among others. “Be it congenital or acquired, surgical measures are used in correcting the limb deformities. Deformities such as ricket, bowleg, K-leg, injuries or burns are some of the major limb corrective surgeries done,” Dr Adewole said. According to Fasawe, “However, not all limb deformities require surgery. People that have paralysis or spinal cord injury cannot be helped with surgery, so, they will be given wheelchair." The programme which started in 2004 had 7000 patients as beneficiaries.

confident’ that’s the case. Hauck said: ‘We found a protective effect even after controlling for factors that could explain the association.’ For example, the link remained even when the authors took into

‘Olive oil used in cooking cuts risk of stroke by 41 percent’ People who cook with olive oil, add it to salads and dip their bread in it are 41 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who never eat it. Researchers who carried out a study of almost 8,000 people say all older people will live longer if they eat lots of it. The Mediterranean diet relies heavily on olive oil and is regarded as the classic eating habit in countries such as France, Greece and Spain. Britons, however, eat higher levels of animal or saturated fats, and every year about 120,000 suffer strokes. Up to 30 per cent die within a month. Cecilia Samieri, of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, where the survey was done, said: ‘Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it. ‘A new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people aged 65 and older.’

Researchers observed 7,625 people aged 65 or more who had never had a stroke. Olive oil use was classified as ‘none’, ‘moderate’ in cooking or as dressing or with bread, and ‘intensive’ when used for both. Over five years 148 participants suffered a stroke, says a report in the journal Neurology. Altogether 2.6 per cent of nonusers had a stroke, two per cent of moderate users and 1.5 per cent of intensive users. The study took into account diet, physical activity, people’s weight and other risk factors. Olive oil contains omega-6 fats which block the body’s response to inflammation in chronic conditions such as heart disease and arthritis and also reduces blood pressure. Dr Sharlin Ahmed of the UK’s Stroke Association said: ‘This study is not a clinical trial. ‘A lot more research needs to be carried out to scientifically test the effectiveness of olive oil.’

•Health benefits: Researchers say olive oil cuts the risk of strokes


51

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Coping with diseases

Avoiding Infertility: Blocked tubes

A

woman has two ovaries, one on the left side and one on the right side of the uterus or womb. The womb is situated centrally in the lower abdomen. The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the womb. These tubes are about ten centimeters long and 5 millimeters wide. The ovaries contain the female eggs. Women are born with all their eggs. They do not naturally make new eggs in the course of their lives. Every month a mature egg or oocyte is released from the ovary and it travels down the fallopian tube. If it meets a sperm (male egg) it is fertilized and a baby begins to be formed. This is called conception. The release of eggs is controlled naturally by hormonal changes during the28-day menstrual cycle. Typically, an egg is released mid-cycle, on the 14th day. This is called ovulation. This process begins at puberty therefore girls from about 12 years old may conceive. The process ends at menopause in midlife, at about 45-55 years of age when there are no more eggs in the ovaries and a woman may no longer conceive. On the other hand, men make new sperm continuously throughout their adult life before old age and therefore tend to have a longer span for reproductive capability if they remain healthy. Too often, in relationships,

S

TAPHYLOCOCCUS infection is a major cause of infertility in both male and female. Most women would have contracted this infection even before marriage usually as a toilet infection, but due to ignorance or nonchalant attitude the infection would have affected the reproductive organs. If you are a lady and in one time or another you have treated one infection or another especially a venereal disease, you have to make sure that you are totally cured. One mistake that

young women neglect the fact that sexual activity results in separate consequences for a man and a woman. A young woman who wants to get married may spend years dating men who are not going to marry her. The best chances to beget new life are when a woman is younger. Ironically, in today’s culture, that is when many women are not yet ready for child bearing and child rearing, understandably because of the financial responsibilities of modern life. A young girl may choose to have an abortion when she gets an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy. A woman can have serial abortions. Apart from the fact of killing one’s own baby or babies, abortions can lead to infections and blocked tubes and other complications. Therefore young girls having abortions are often sowing sorrow for themselves for later in life. Whereas, in their youth they may be carefree and prize pleasure, success, and other aspects of life over childbearing, when they are older, they may become more concerned about having a baby and become anxious to conceive and be unable to conceive. Sperm are deposited into the vagina during intercourse and they swim to-

with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Prostate enlargement

P wards the womb and the fallopian tubes. The inside lining of the fallopian tube is specialized. It has tiny hairlike cilia that wave in a pattern that helps to transport the egg through. The muscular contractions of the tube also help to propel the egg through. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea and chlamydia cause the lining of the tube or the entire tube to be damaged. The lining may become inflamed, scarred, and dysfunctional. When the lining is severely or chronically sore or damaged the tube walls stick together and the tube becomes totally blocked. A blocked tube prevents the egg from naturally meeting the sperm to result in conception. A healthy fallopian tube also secretes a nourishing fluid that feeds the fertilized egg for a few days before it settles for development inside the womb. STDs disturb the various tubal functions. A woman might begin sexual activity before being ready for conception and child rearing. She might continue with sexual activity for many years and with various partners before she decides she is ready to raise children. She would

be exposing herself to sexually transmitted diseases and to tubal damage and tubal dysfunction over the years. Blocked tubes are the cause of infertility in about 40% of sterile women. Blocked tubes can be avoided through restraint from unnecessary sexual activities, through care with sexual hygiene, and by avoidance of abortion. Chlamydia is perhaps the most common STD and it may occur in women for a long time without any symptoms. This hidden infection allows the pathogen to cause damage to the fallopian tubes in an unnoticeable manner. However the most common cause of blocked tubes may be pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which may be caused by an STD or by other problems. For infertility to set in, both tubes are affected. Inability to have children because of blocked tubes or dysfunctional tubes is referred to as tubal factor infertility and can be overcome by several methods which we will discuss next. Dr. ‘Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For questions or comments on this article please call 07028338910 or Email bolajohnwritings@yahoo.com

Staph is a destroyer most ladies make is that once they experience itching in their private part they go to chemists to buy drugs to stop the itching. Once the itching stops they feel they are okay and free, not knowing that they have only cured the infection externally but internally the infection is still there. The internal infection may not show any serious symptoms for some years, but it will gradually be affecting

the internal reproductive organs. When such women now get married they now find it difficult to conceive, running from one gynecologist to another. Such lady could have save herself and her husband from such trouble if only she had done the right thing at the right time. If you are a lady and you have any of the following symptoms you may need to come for medical check up: •itching in the private part •vaginal discharge • irregular menstruation •swollen breasts •painful intercourse • painful menstruation •back ache •internal body heat •stomach making funny noise •moving sensation in your body. Once you have some or all of the above symptoms then there is need for serious concern because it could lead to any of the following ailment, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. (P.I.D.), Fallopian tubal blockage, candida, ovarian cysts, all of which can cause infertility. Infertility in men is usually due to history of venereal disease that was treated before, but not totally cured. When a venereal disease is not well treated it pave way for staphylococcus to set in and such a man will always complain of the following: • internal heat •worm like movement

within the body •weak erection •reduction in size of male organ • inability to go more than a round (low libido) •body weakness •premature ejaculation Once you start to experience any of these symptoms then it could lead to the victim having a low sperm count (oligospermia), watery sperm, no sperm count (azoospermia) etc. Unlike female that it may just take some few hours or days to detect the infection, especially vaginal itching, in male it may take some months or years before the major symptoms begin to manifest. That is why in most cases when a couple are married for some years without any issue, the man usually believes there is nothing wrong with him because he feels he is physically fit and erroneously lays the blame on the woman. Even the society is not also being fair to the women, whenever the issue of giving birth arise. Once there is delay in a woman conceiving, we usually believe the fault is from her. This reminds me of a couple that came to our office for consultation on the issue of fertility, the man believed that there was nothing wrong with him since he is physically fit and performs his function as a husband to his wife. He believes since he is sexually active, he does not think there is any problem from his side.

ROSTATE enlargement is generally a disease of elderly men; and it is characterized by urine retention, leading to severe pains, anxiety, discomfort, and sometimes, loss of consciousness. The full function of the prostate is not yet fully understood by scientists all over the world. However, it is known that as a gland, it produces fluid called ‘semen’ which is released by men, at the climax of sexual activity. The prostate gland will only grow and function under the influence of male hormones, the most important of which is called Testoterone, produced from the testicles. The prostate gland surrounds the neck of the bladder and the first part of the urethra goes through it. An enlarged prostate, presses on the urethra and decreases the size of the opening through it, or it forms a dam which holds back part of the urine. The causes of prostate enlargement are not very precise, but they are associated with hormonal imbalance; and available information indicates that most men who use drugs to improve their sexual performance tend to activate the level of their Testosterone hormone beyond the threshold, and consequently, they often end up developing prostate enlargement and related complications. The enlargement can be a simple type called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or it may be cancerous, that is, Malignant Prostatic Hyperplasia. Both the benign and malignant types usually present similar symptoms of frequency in urination, hesitancy, urgency, trickling flow of urine and in advanced stages, there is acute urine retention as a result of blockage of the urinary tract. A man suffering from enlarged prostate will first notice that he has to get up oftener than usual, to pass urine at night. The stream will be small and slow to start. A long time may be required to empty the bladder. Many men with enlarged prostate may have no further disturbance than the “nuisance” symptoms stated earlier. Other cases will get worse until the patient cannot empty the bladder, and must resort to a catheter for relief. Unfortunately, after the urine has once begun to be drawn by catheter, the danger of bladder infection is great. Also, the symptoms and problems of cystitis are likely to occur.

Treatment and Control

In Holistic Lifecare, it is strongly advocated that the best prospects of controlling Prostate Enlargement, is by going back to Nature. When symptoms of an enlarged prostate are noticed, it is advisable to avoid spices, condiments and alcoholic beverages; to lessen bladder irritation, which may promote infection. It is also important to avoid cold conditions or getting the feet wet, or holding the urine for too long. Prostate Enlargement is not new in African context. In fact, ethno-medicinal research has shown that herbal remedies are very effective, without complications or side effects. The holistic natural remedy being suggested for Prostate Enlargement is a combination of natural extracts of herbs such as Saw Palmetto, Cocos nucifera, Khaya ivorensis and Lycopersicum esculentum. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-3303897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

52

•Diamond dangle earrings

Chandelier earrings are all the rage! C

HANDELIER earrings are ruling the fashion scene in gleaming colours and energetic designs. While your outfit may be simple, your personality will shine more through well-cut and stylishly designed jewellery pieces. It’s what makes you stand out. They give you royal and trendy looks , highlight the length and the beauty of a woman’s neck. Chandelier earrings can accen-

tuate and accessorize any kind of ensemble and there are different shapes and designed in assorted hues, ranging from the terrific modern crystal earrings infused with the Victorian and antique edge. There is oversized chandelier earrings which should be worn alone without a necklace. Using chandeliers earrings is a sure way to make a fashion statement and at the same time embellish your looks.

•Yinka Ademuyiwa

•Amethyst dangle earrings •Rose Peters

•Crystal chandelier earrings


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011 HOSE who didn’t know thought it was another mass wedding, but as events unfolded, it was realised that it was a marriage of two foremost clothiers, to showcase wedding dresses. Bobos Clothing was at it again, on June 5 2011 when the outfit, in conjunction with the Bridal Gallery, showcased arrays of wedding attires. The event which was held at the Ten Degrees Event Centre, Billingsway Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, was attended by who is who in the social circle. While the Bridal Gallery took care of the bride apparels, Bobo’s Clothing, known for its male collections, was at hand to take care of the groom attires. The climax of the day was when the male models strut the runway looking

53

Bobos Clothing, Bridal Gallery bring marriage to runway

like real grooms ready to say “I do”. The range of designers showcased included world class names like Zaraman, Le Paris, Sergio, Francesco smalto, D&G, Pull, Vandini. They were also complimented with waistcoats, cravats, waistbands and Italian shoes. The models could have been mistaken for live GQ models on the runway, all thanks to Bobos Clothing. The event was a complete success as a result of the joint forces of two successful entrepreneurs, Mrs Adejumoke Fasuyi & Mr Tolu Omoniyi. The event afforded associates, friends, customers, wedding vendors, celebrities and models the rare opportunity to meet and network.

•Models

Fashion News

Search for Elite Model begins Search for Elite Model look has beg un

for the next Elite Supermodel 2011 Elite Model Management Paris is . is an essential form of scouting for organising a nationwide search in Nigeria. It Elite For the 28th consecutive year, Elite ’s 37 worldwide agencies. is organising the most prestigious mod contest in the world offering thousand elling dream and follow in the footsteps of s of girls the opportunity to achieve their top mod els. Elite representatives from Paris will choose the finalists from the Nationa Finals in Lagos August 16 ,2011. l Selected contestants will be accomm oda ted in August for a week of intensiv grooming. This training will cover e 14 finalists will experience and undall the professional aspects of modelling. The ergo fitne ss training, makeovers, nutrition lectures, professional photo sessions Elite Model look Nigeria Finale wouas well as a run through of the event. ld be held in September 3, 2011 at the Center Lagos, Nigeria. Civic “Unlike the previous years where you hav e to pay a token for registration, this year’s edition is free for contestants and for the first time, we are scouting Ibadan, Enugu, Porthacourt etc.Over Abuja, ability to scout new talents through the years, Elite has developed an unrivalled the Elite Model Look competition, thus proving to be an instant and guarant eed boost to the winners’ modellin surpassing any of their dreams”, said g Elizaberth Aisien, Elite Model Loo careers, representative. k And if you think you have what it take s, then register through www.elitemodellooknigerias2.com

opens at Ojodu Ojuloge makeover uty industry, Dorcas

Chika Emmanuelle, winner, Elite Model Look Nigeria 2010

Barely three years in the bea the brain behind Oluwaponmile Funso-Adebayo, stepping up her is ol, scho er eov mak & Ojuloge art not yet be on the game. The mother of two, who may e 20 throw the Jun y, nda Mo on will e-up mak A-list of Berger, open duOjo ol, scho uty doors of her new bea courses and te ifica for students willing to take up cert g planning, bridal din wed in ers pursue lucrative care ing including panic management, bridal pamper icure and man , care skin ing, makeup, hair styl pedicure. eady, According to Funsho-Adebayo, “alrd and will be hire n bee e experienced teachers hav o the students based willing to impact knowledge unt s. Many of our nce erie exp on hands-on practical ain for a while and teachers have worked in this terr is.” it as it tell in good position to plans are also on As part of her numerous visions, erment and Skills pow Em men Wo h the way to establis , a nonAcquisition Programme, WESAP women can get re whe n, atio anis org l governmenta trained in skills for empowerment.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

54

Emergence of virile opposition •ACN leads the pack

•Tinubu •Onu

•Momoh

M

ONDAY, June 6, broke like any other day. But before the close of work, an event that has historical significance in its own right had taken place in Abuja,

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor capital city of Nigeria. That day, a “bunch of rebels”, as a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party

•Akande

(PDP) from one of the South-South states, who pleaded anonymity called them, defied the party. The ‘rebels’, with the opposition playing the lead role, installed a new

leadership in the House of Representatives that bore no correlation with the party’s frantic effort to breathe life into a zoning formula that had, about eight months earlier, suffered intense paralysis.

Worse still, the action flew in the face of the choice of President Goodluck Jonathan, who, most probably acquiescing to the 35 percent affirmative action used by First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in her campaign, endorsed a female lawmaker from Oyo State, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande. But as it happened that day, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from Sokoto State, North West, emerged as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Tambuwal garnered 252 votes in the protracted election process by open-secret ballot, while Mrs. Akande got 90 votes. It means that Tambuwal had secured all of the 150 votes of the opposition parties, and at least 100 of the PDP’s 202 members. He actually needed just 181 votes to win the election. Eight invalid votes were recorded in the election while only one member abstained from voting as announced by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa. The 252 votes polled by Tambuwal means that he got well over 2/3 majority of the total 360 membership. The victory of the ‘rebels’ could not have been possible without a determined opposition which probably felt that time for a new order was now. It was the opposition, made up of lawmakers from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party (LP) that sweetened the cake for Tambuwal. Typically, the ruling party had deployed some of its chieftains in the Green Chamber, apparently to whip the erring members into line. But it was too late. The opposition had seized the initiative from the members of the PDP. Prominent PDP leaders at the House included the Acting National Chairman, Dr. Bello Halliru Mohamed, former chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih and the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. There were also Governors Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa, Theodore Orji of Abia, Ibrahim Idris of Kogi among others. But their presence was of no consequence. It is, in a manner of speaking, highly suggestive of a new dawn. And the man at the centre of it all, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, did not help cynics when he declared in his acceptance speech: “Your overwhelming support for us to lead this House irrespective of our partisan divide represents a promising new beginning for the independence of the legislature. Our election has very clearly endorsed the new direction the House will take the route to remake Nigeria.


55

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011 “Mindful of the lessons of the past, we will open a new chapter,” Tambuwal said. Six years ago, what happened on June 6, was unimaginable. It would have been political sacrilege for any lawmaker on the PDP platform to moot an idea of going against the decision of the PDP as then constituted. It loomed larger than life, and the opposition was miserably fractured and weak and few. And knowing full well that there was no enough power in terms of the numbers of the opposition to swim against the tide without dire consequences, members of the party literally ‘bowed and trembled’ at the sight of the godfathers who dotted the country’s landscape from east to west, north to south. Then, it would simply have been a case of fait accompli. And it was a very common sight to hear party members chanting throatily with all signs of helplessness “my leader sir, I remain loyal!” But if the opposition made the victory dance of June 6, in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly sweet, and if it passed for the dawn of a new era for the opposition, pundits and analysts are eager to know if this is going to be a thing that has come to stay or a flash in the pan.

Days of diminishing opposition At the inception of the current democratic effort in 1998, only three parties were in existence. These were the PDP, the then All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD). Opposition was formidable. The general elections of April 1999 produced the PDP as the ruling party but clearly lacked the larger than life status it later assumed. ANPP was the lead opposition party then, controlling nine states of the nation’s 36 states. The party was a household name in the extreme north of the country primarily due to its mass appeal. It boasted of formidable politicians like Chief Arthur Nzeribe, Joseph Wayas, Chief Don Etiebet, Chief Alani Bankole, father of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon.Dimeji Bankole, Ebenezer Babatope, Chief John Nwodo, Chief (Mrs.) Florence ItaGiwa, the godfather of Kwara State politics, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, the late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, among others. They gave the PDP a run for its name and fame. In the 2003 election, it scored a big victory in Kano State, where it defeated the ruling party then, the PDP, to take control of one of the country’s most populous states. But today, the story is so graphically different. Most of the strong members of the party had left for the PDP and other political parties, and it was therefore not a surprise that the party is controlling only three states out of the nine it controlled in 1999. It has now fallen into the second position, losing the flagship position as an opposition party to the ACN. The party’s fortunes started dwindling after the 2003 general elections, when the party lost in Kwara and Kogi states. These were tradional strongholds of the ANPP. Then after the 2007 presidential election, the Chief Edwin UmeEzeoke-led executive went into a Government of National Unity (GNU) with the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration. The presidential candidate then, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, did not find it amusing. Thereafter, the party was hit with a Tsunami-like ‘gubernatorial exodus’ in quick succession. Isa Yuguda and Ibrahim Shinkafi of Bauchi and Zamfara states respectively dumped ANPP

The simple implication is that the ruling party can no longer ride roughshod over anybody or hold anyone to unnecessary ransom. Robust debate on all issues, examination of all the pros and cons and taking decisions in the best interest of all Nigerians rather than what the ruling party wants will now be the new order

•Umeh

,

the spread and popularity of the party at the moment and it has served notice that it was ready to lead the opposition in the country, going by the stance of its leadership.

Weighing the odds

•Iwuanyanwu

for the PDP. It was a blow the party never recovered from. As a final nail to its leadership of the opposition role, Buhari and his supporters bolted to form the CPC last year in readiness for the April 2011 elections. And after the presidential primaries, Chief Harry Akande, one of its founding fathers, financier and presidential aspirant, also left the party to join the PDP. Now the party controls only three states.

The new face of opposition The ACN was just about a step behind the ANPP after the 1999 election as an opposition party. Then known as the Alliance for Democracy (AD), it held sway in the South West with five states, many senators and numerous House of Representatives members. But during the 2003 general election, it was buffeted with a whirlwind of electoral heist, losing four of the five states with the exception of Lagos State. The same thing happened in the

2007 election, but as a popular advertorial by Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola would proclaim, “one by one, (and) by God,”all those states are today back to the fold except Ondo State. But what it lost in Ondo, it has gained in Edo State. After the 2011 election, it was obvious that the party has rediscovered itself not only in the Southwest but across the country. It became the most sought-after platform for politicians, especially those who were badly treated in their parties. It , therefore, made strong showing in states like Benue, Akwa Ibom and Kwara. When on June 6, the 7th Senate was inaugurated, the ACN had in its role call 18 senators including two former governors, Senator George Akume of Benue North West and Senator Chris Ngige of Anambra Central. In the House, it has 64 members, including two from Adamawa State, one from Akwa Ibom, three from Benue State, one from Plateau State, six from Edo, among others. The foregoing is an indication of

This new development is not lost on the ruling party. On Wednesday June 1, President Goodluck Jonathan called on political parties to join hands with his government to transform Nigeria when he met with leaders of ACN, ANPP, APGA and Labour Party (LP), at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa Abuja. The CPC was not represented as it turned down the invitation. The president, apparently sensing the strength of the opposition just now, chose the path of conciliation. Hear him: “No matter who is the President, no matter who is the governor, what Nigerians are interested in is to have food on the table, there should be infrastructure, there should be security and there should be good governance. I know that not only the ruling party alone can make this possible. “I want to plead with you that I will not want to run a government of opposition party or main party, I want us to collectively run a Nigerian government, a government that will put the interest of the country at heart and work towards solving our problems; the problems that are dear to our people”, he added. ACN national leader and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who attended, however, made it clear that their participation at the meeting does not in any way water down their power as opposition parties, stressing that “opposition is not all about axes, cutlasses and Dane guns”. For emphasis, he added: “We did not come here to eliminate opposition and I am speaking for my own party and not for any other party”. This

should be enough message to those who fear that what happened on June 6, may after all, be a flash in the pan. Speaking to The Nation on the issue of a virile opposition, Festus Okoye, a legal practitioner and National Coordinator, Independent Election Monitoring Group, opined that “a virile opposition is essential in a democracy. Without a virile opposition, the government in power hears only its own voice and the voice of cronies, opportunists and choristers who lead every government astray. However, for effective opposition, there must be effective and dynamic political parties based on issues and ideologically driven. Such a party must be backed by strong structures, strong leadership and disciplined followers”. But he was quick to express reservation about the quality of opposition in the country. “In Nigeria, there is too much opportunism and the party is only a platform and vehicle to be boarded to a particular destination. You disembark the moment you get to that destination. So, some of those grandstanding as opposition may defect depending on the issues on the table. That is why they have refused to outlaw cross-carpeting in the political process”, he stated. Legal practitioner and civil rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, expressed the same sentiment. He posited that he sees all the parties as ideologically the same. “I have never believed that the major parties in Nigeria are ideologically different one from another. My hope is that the contradictions will lead to true people’s power”. It would be recalled that two prominent parties, the APGA and the LP, were among the 64 political parties in the country that endorsed President Jonathan as their candidate in the just-concluded presidential election. And many are just wondering if with such decisions at the national level of those parties, it is not very clear yet where they really stand in the comity of opposition parties.

Conclusion But from all indications, a new chapter in the body politics of Nigeria certainly has just unfurled before everybody. Ironically, Tambuwal’s reading may still be a little narrower than the perspective from which many people now see the development. The bigger picture clearly signals the emergence of a virile opposition which can no longer be taken for granted in the making of critical decisions for the whole country. With a House now made up of 150 opposition members, and a ruling party having 202, for all votes that would require a 2/3 majority to succeed, the opposition will continue to play the beautiful bride as the ruling party must shop for at least 38 votes from across the divide. The simple implication is that the ruling party can no longer ride roughshod over anybody or hold anyone to unnecessary ransom. Robust debate on all issues, examination of all the pros and cons and taking decisions in the best interest of all Nigerians rather than what the ruling party wants will now be the new order. Importantly, in the unlikely event of a repeat of the scenario of the Hon. Ghali Na’abba days of impeachment proceedings against the president, it would be far too easy for it to succeed now than ever. This realisation is sure to keep the government of the day on its toes and further advance Nigeria’s democratic pursuits as all eyes are now focused on the opposition.


56

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

How new governors OYO: Ajimobi cracking hard knots

•Ajimobi during a visit to BCOS

E

XACTLY 12 days after the new Oyo State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, was sworn in as the seventh executive governor of the state, he heaved a sigh of relief yesterday as his party member, Hon. Monsurat Sumonnu, was sworn in as the new Speaker of the House of Assembly. The swearing-in was symbolic in many ways. One, it ended days of intense political lobbying and a clear exercise of give-and-take for

Bisi OLADELE, Ibadan the new governor who was voted in on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). For Ajimobi, his expectation of a stable and impactful four-year reign was hanging on the cooperation of his cousin and co-contestant in the governorship race, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, whose party, Accord Party, produced seven of the

32-member House of Assembly. While other states have been revelling in the euphoria of the inauguration of the new assemblies, inauguration of the Oyo Sate House of Assembly refused to see the light of the day due to the hard posture of the Accord Party legislators and their leader, Ladoja. It was learnt that the PDP, which produced 12 legislators, wooed Ladoja’s followers to form an alliance against the ACN and produce

the Speaker. But the logjam about which party to work with in the new dispensation between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ACN was resolved between Tuesday and Thursday as the two distinguished Ibadan sons (Ajimobi and Ladoja) worked over sentiments, political affiliations and personal ego to agree on terms of working together to produce the new Speaker and other principal officers of the House. The truce marked a symbolic turn in Ajimobi’s settling down as the new Chief Executive. With the new development, his major headache is over. Two, it will set him free to begin to make appointments of people to look after the ministries, agencies and parastatals through which he intends to deliver his campaign promises. The logjam over the House of Assembly had put other activities on hold with the result that many party men had become suspicious and sometimes impatient, thinking that the new governor might not favour those who contributed to his success in his appointments. But he cleared their doubts last week when he disclosed that his administration would reward all those who contributed to his success at the election, though with a caveat that consideration for competence would be above that of party interest and contribution due to his ambition to turn things around in the state. Three, the inauguration of the House has cleared the direction in which Ajimobi’s administration would go. It is now clear that Accord Party would work with the new governor to make his tenure a

success, with Ladoja playing a positive role behind the scene. The new governor, who is still preparing to occupy the Governor’s Office 12 days after his swearingin, has experienced a change of lifestyle since May 29. The crowds of political jobbers, contractors and well-wishers hovering around his Oluyole house have since moved to Government House where he is occupying a portion of the expansive compound. The new governor has kept under wraps when he intends to move to the Governors’ Office. Also in the last 12 days, the governor has had a hectic time resolving the minimum wage issue, doctors’ strike. He has also been grappling with the many inconsistencies in the state’s financial accounts inherited from his predecessor, Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala. For instance, he has discovered that the former governor withdrew N3 billion in the last five days of his administration from a special account for pensioners and capital projects and he met N4.8 billion debt on assumption. For Ajimobi, the debacle over the new minimum wage signed into law by Alao-Akala at the twilight of his administration remains a hard knot to crack but he has been displaying the ability, intelligence and competence to handle the sensitive issue. A major step he has taken was to lay bare the state of the accounts of the state, which revealed that the state would need to borrow N200 million monthly in addition to the revenue (including Federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue) to pay the new wage. He hopes to enjoy the understanding of the workers as talks continue on the issue.

KWARA: Ahmed takes off on a note of reconciliation

G

OVERNOR AbdulFatah Ahmed of Kwara State has since his swearing-in on May 29, 2011 demonstrated his readiness to work. A handful of appointments he has so far made are pointers in this direction. Ahmed had shortly after his inauguration as the governor of the ‘State of Harmony’ named the chairman of the Lagos Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Wahab Oba, as his Chief Press Secretary (CPS). He also announced the appointment of the Permanent Secretary of the Kwara State Liaison Office, Abuja, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), while the incumbent Chairman of Ilorin West Local Government and Personal Assistant to Dr Olusola Saraki, Alhaji Toyin Sanusi, was named as the new Chief of Staff of the Government House. Besides, the aide-decamp (ADC) to the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki is now the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the new governor. The people he has so far appointed are loyalists of both Dr. Olusola Saraki and exGovernor Bukola Saraki, giving a whiff of reconciliation, the path he needs to tread to cement the recent cracks between father and son, resulting from his

Adekunle JIMOH JIMOH, Ilorin emergence as governor. The governor on Wednesday last week announced the dissolution of the executive council he inherited from his predecessor. Also dissolved were the boards of agencies and parastatals in the state. Statutory commissions and their board members were, however, not affected by the gay of dissolutions. Members of the Share community in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state had last week organised a prayer session for the new governor, asking God to give him the wisdom and strength to pilot the affairs of the state successfully. In his inaugural speech, Ahmed said youth empowerment and job creation would be the focus of his administration. He said: “All other development policies and actions shall be firmly driven by their potential to provide jobs for our teaming youths. We shall take urgent steps within the first 100 days to capture a reliable data of out-of-job youths in our state, and use this to plan immediate interventions that will bring our youths to work and make them active economic agents, able to contribute to self and society. “We shall therefore ensure

•Ahmed

sustained investment in developing our human capital. Only a healthy and educated population can contribute meaningfully to the economy of our state. While continuing with the efforts made in the last eight years to improve the health sector generally, we shall ensure immediate replication of the Community Health Insurance Scheme to bring innovative, accessible and affordable

medicare to many other communities across our state. “We shall remain committed to the State Education Reform, especially in improving the quality of teaching and teachers in our schools at all levels, and in providing conducive environment for teaching and learning. “We shall ensure that our people are able to reap the full benefits of all the major economic opportunities that have been created in the last eight years, especially in agriculture, aviation, and the industries. We shall build on these to exploit our full potential in other areas, especially in tourism and solid minerals. “We shall ensure the completion of all ongoing road projects across the state. No road project will be abandoned. We shall also continue to open up the rural areas, in order to ensure that majority of our people who live in those parts of our state are also able to participate easily in economic activities. We shall also ensure that the urban water reticulation project is completed while keeping to the policy of ensuring that no one in any part of our state needs to go farther than 500 metres to access water. “Therefore, our meagre resources can only serve us well if we are able to manage them effectively and efficiently. We shall continue to be guided by

the tradition of accountability and efficiency of the last eight years. “We shall also continue to improve the capacity of our civil servants to continue to provide effective bureaucratic support to our administration. The issues of workers welfare and improved conditions of service shall continue to be the priority of my administration. “We shall continue to ensure prompt payment of salaries and benefits, and ensure that the conditions of service of our workers measure up to those that can be found anywhere else in this country.” During the week, the governor also approved the appointment of Alhaji Yusuf Mora Hasheen and Alhaji Ibrahim Kilishi as special assistant and personal assistant respectively to Deputy Governor Peter Kisihra. He also received the National Unity Touch of the forthcoming National Sports Festival, which will hold in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. He noted that sports had been a unifying force in the country, describing the touch as a symbol of the unity of the country and urging that other sporting events should always be made a means of fostering our national unity. He added: “We must do everything reasonable and humanly possible to promote and support unity in the country.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

are settling down OGUN: ‘It’s no longer business as usual’ I

T is over two weeks since Senator Ibikunle Amosun assumed office as the civilian Governor Ogun state. Amosun was elected into office April 16, 2011 on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and took his oath of office last May 29 at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, with over 25000 persons watching the ceremony life. It is still early in the day for the new Governor to stamp his feet firmly and sharply on the ground, but Amosun had not left the people in the dark regarding some policy thrust of his administration and that obedience to the laws of the land will form the rules of engagement with all unlike the past era of “impunity and arbitrariness.” He has made few appointments in Taiwo Abiodun Adeoluwa, as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Olufunmilayo Wakama, as Senior Special Assistant, Media and Communication and Alhaji Ayinde Soaga, as General Manager of the state -owned television station. More appointments are being expected in the weeks ahead. Within this period, he had written to the Ogun State House of Assembly seeking its consent to rename Ijebu - Ode Stadium. He had received three bills from the House that were recently passed and it is believed the governor would give assent to them. He has equally set up a task force to combat imminent flooding of some parts of the state with the approach of rainy season. The task force consists of Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries of Works,

•Amosun

Ernest NWOKOLO, Abeokuta Environment, Water Resources and the Bureau of Urban and Physical Planning (BUPP) as well as their senior officers. Only last Sunday, he held inauguration Thanksgiving Service at

the Cathedral of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, to commit the administration into the hands of God, while a similar one was held earlier at a central mosque in Igbore area of the state capital. While the church service lasted, he reiterated his administration’s resolve to return Ogun to the good

old days the citizens were once accustomed to and to apply the law without fear, favour or ill will. Earlier, he had dissolved the boards and commissions of state owned agencies and parastatals. But this is not without a fight from some quarters. Last week, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, his Deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun and 26 new lawmakers luckily escaped what could have turned out to be mass death and injuries at the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA). A substance suspected to be explosive device planted at the Assembly complex was detected and evacuated while it was yet to explode. The explosive material, which the Police authority said is an “Improvise Explosive Device [IED],” was lodged underneath the rug at the OGHA chamber a few metres away from where Amosun, his deputy and key officials of OGHA were billed to sit. He had to also deflect a wave of propaganda waged against few of the steps taken in the last two weeks. The first of it came from alleged beneficiaries of the “impunity and arbitrariness of the past” when a building situating near the Government Headquarters was flattened by Amosun’s bulldozers. The owners accused the Amosun government of going on a vengeance mission. The impression was also created in the media that a multi- billion naira Golf Course in Abeokuta was viciously demolished by the state government. The Golf Course belonged to individual said to be close former Governor Gbenga Daniel.

57 But Amosun spared time in educating the public why the building, which was not part of the Golf Course, had to go down inevitably. Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Mrs. Funmilayo Wakama, the governor said the building was an illegal structure and that a contravention order had been served the owners since October 24, 2010 by the state government under Gbenga Daniel, “the known godfather of the owners.” The structure is believed to pose grave security risk to the state government as, in the estimation of the government, “somebody can stay inside the structure and view the activities inside the secretariat.” “This ordinarily constitutes a security threat to government and we do not think there is anywhere in the world where government would tolerate a private building standing so close to its headquarters, which normally houses the most important government documents. “We are wondering why the owners of that building believe that as it was before, there will still be two sets of laws in Ogun State, one for the fat cats like them and another for the majority of the people who are less-privileged, powerless and voiceless,” Wakama said. His renaming of the Gateway International Stadium, Ijebu–Ode as Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in honour of the slain Action Congress of Nigeria Governorship candidate in Ogun in 2007, late Adedipupo Adedina and the re– opening of the Ogun Assembly Complex to the G–15 lawmakers to hold plenary sessions where all alleged “illegalities and arbitrariness” of past administration were reversed, were not without verbal attacks on Amosun by Daniel’s men. Perhaps undaunted, Amosun said he is poised to rebuilding Ogun and that process may entail stepping upon powerful toes.

NASARAWA: Inherited debt leaves Almakura in a fix

“T

HE oath I have just taken marks a fresh start in the life of our state. For 14 years since its creation, the state has been held hostage by the folly and excesses of its rulers. That we are in stagnation, even decline and decay, is selfevident.” These were the words of the newly sworn in Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura, shortly after he was inaugurated into office at the Township Stadium in Lafia on May 29 to serve a four-year term. As short and simple as they sounded, the words no doubt painted the true picture of Nasarawa State, which was created about 14 years ago alongside other states like Gombe and Ebonyi. While the other states have been forging ahead in terms of development, Nassarawa State has continued to struggle to get on its feet. The governor no doubt knows the work load that awaits him. And his speech during his inauguration, many believed, was an indication that he is at home with the true situation of things in the state. But correcting the wrongs of 14 years cannot be an easy task. The herculean job requires dedication, commitment, doggedness and all the other ingredients a statesman can muster to succeed. Now that the jubilation that greeted his victory and subsequent swearing-in is beginning to die down, the bell has started tolling. The governor has taken the first step by undertaking a tour of the state capital to see things himself. The tour has so far been described by political observers as a step in the right direction. His visit to the Ministry for Water

•Perm Sec, Water Ministry Addra explains a point to Almakura while his deputy, Damishi Luka (in red) watches.

Johnny DANJUMA, Lafia Resources, the Urban Development Board, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and some roads within Lafia afforded him first hand information about a state that has been lying in waste for too long and the need for urgent action. The quest for quick development at the moment is, however, being dampened by the huge financial debt said to be left behind by his predecessor, which now stands at about N27 billion in a state regarded as the least in terms of the revenue accruing to it from the Federation Account.

While the governor was hoping to urgently kick -start some projects that could uplift the image of his administration within his 100 days in office, the huge debt profile, it was learnt, has put him in a fix as to where to start from. Yet he has to start from somewhere. Probably aware of what lies ahead, he had stated during his inaugural speech: “We are caught in grave moral and ethical crises. Our state institutions are poorly managed. Our roads and other social amenities are dilapidated, while our economy is weak — the result of myopia, greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also of our collective fail-

ure to demand better from our leaders. “Our men and women, especially the youth, are mostly jobless. Our healthcare is deficient. Our educational system is in dire need of reforms and lack of power and energy threatens our economic progress. Our confidence in our ability to change all this has given way to despair. “Today, I say to you that the hurdles before us are real, grave and numerous. I know, too, that you and others across the country rightly expect so much from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and me. Let it be clear though that there are no easy

solutions or quick fixes. Nevertheless, I assure you we will overcome the challenges.” Now in the saddle and knowing that there had been failure in the past with the citizens not demanding from their leaders, there is not going to be room for him to start complaining when the same citizens come knocking at his door, demanding to know what he has done. That is the more reason he cannot afford to fail. Acknowledging also that the people, especially the youth, are jobless, it is time the new governor puts in place a proper mechanism to address this situation before things get out of hand. Although he is yet to settle down to work, the signals coming from the jobless youths in the state, particularly within Lafia town, is nothing but disturbing. While on his first official tour of Lafia recently, most of the jobless youths that had found solace in the act of thuggery during political campaigns were on hand to let him know that they are still idle, as most of them, including the Okada riders, besieged him all the way through the inspection visits, leaving him with no breathing space. For now, they may be seen as vibrant young men supporting a man they see as their saviour. But unless the government engages them in more productive duties, the menace they may constitute in the days ahead could be enough to make law abiding citizens uncomfortable and even threaten the government itself. There have been examples of states where such youths started as supporters of government but later turned out to be a thorn in the flesh of such governments. •Continued on Page 58


58

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

KANO: Kwankwaso’s new gospel •Continued from Page 57

T

HE new government in Kano State seems to be in a hurry to accomplish as many tasks as possible before May, 2015 when the tenure of Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is expected to end. The new governor also appears to be aware that time is of the essence and that every second counts. With the new governor, there is no shortage of promises. He made several promises in the build-up to the election, and made many more after he was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the April 26 gubernatorial election. In his well-articulated inaugural speech, Kwankwaso stated: “Indeed, an end has come to the use of worn-out dogmas as an instrument of deceit which for too long have strangled our politics. On the contrary, today ushers in yet the return of our government which would be predicated on the aspirations of the people and the commitment to the transformation of the entirety of their social, economic and political lives.” The new governor noted that he is conscious of the ‘formidable challenge’ confronting the state, coupled with the unprecedented expectations by the good people of Kano State on “our determination to emancipate Kano State out of its present state of economic malaise, political misdirection and overall social decay. I am cognizant of the fact that the primary question that bogs the minds of people today is not only who forms government, but who makes government works. Our mission is to transform Kano State. There shall be free feeding and free uniform for primary school pupils.” The May 29 inauguration was no doubt a hectic one for the new governor, who had come to the State Government House as early as 8 o’clock in the morning for the handing over ceremony, which was immediately followed by the swearing in at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

•Kwankwaso

Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano As soon as he was sworn in, Kwankwaso swung into action, after spending few minutes at the Government House, beginning with the inspection of the Challawa Water works, which has three treatment plants, with a combined capacity of about 270 million liters per day. The water facility has, however, been unable to operate at maximum capacity due to a mul-

tiplicity of challenges. But the new governor, who insisted that adequate water supply must be restored with immediate effect, handed down a definite directive to the Kano State Water Board to restore water supply within 48 hours. Since then, water supply in some parts of Kano metropolis has been steady. Efforts are being intensified to commence water supply to other parts of the ancient city that have groaned under acute water shortage for years. Kwankwaso and his entourage also paid an unscheduled visit to

the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, which is located right at the heart of the city. If the new governor attempted to hide his displeasure at what he saw on ground, then he failed woefully. The deplorable conditions of the hospital drew some bitter words from him. He promised to revamp the hospital to make it work for the people of the state. This was done on the governor’s first day in office, even though it was a Sunday, when government activities should have been largely under lock and key. The governor was reported to have secretly inspected some abandoned projects across the metropolis, and was said to have been disappointed at what he saw. He also frowned at the appalling conditions of many roads within the metropolis, which he said, would be compounded and rendered immotorable as the raining season sets in. The next day, which was declared a public holiday in honour of democracy, was another busy day for Kwankwaso, who held a marathon meeting with members of the top echelon of the Kano State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Although no statement was issued at the end of the close door meeting, The Nation gathered that at the meeting, strategies were mapped out, outstanding issues bordering on governance resolved and the way forward laid out. This was to give a new direction to the new PDP government in the state. Apart from that, high level lobbying for the posts of commissioners and special advisers is said to be going on among members of the PDP, particularly those who worked for the party’s victory at the polls. Perhaps, the height of Kwankwaso’s major actions came when in the early hours of Monday, he personally supervised the demolition of structures erected by some prominent Nigerians at the Kofar Na’isa Quarters in the metropolis. This was shortly after the

governor had ordered the revocation of the allocation of plots hurriedly issued by his predecessor, Shekarau as his parting gifts. For now, the structures at the Kofar Na’isa quarters lie in ruins after the bulldozers of the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KNUPDA) moved out, with some young men scavenging whatever they could lay their hands upon. Governor Kwankwaso has repeatedly said he was not on a revenge mission to Kano State Government House, but his decisions, actions and utterances in his first seven days in office seem to be pointing towards that direction. Whether his actions are for the good of the people of the state as he always claims or to get to his predecessor, as speculated by political observers, is still unclear. What is clear however is that there is no sign of affection between Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his predecessor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. Since he assumed office as Governor of Kano State, Kwankwaso has been unhappy about the filthy nature of Kano environment, which has been overtaken ‘pyramids’ of refuse that litter every nook and cranny of the metropolis. This, he said, could trigger an outbreak of epidemic. His administration immediately directed the Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB) to evacuate the refuse, a development that is now giving Kano city a new outlook. The governor’s first set of appointments shows his preference for technocrats to translate his vision into reality. They include: Dr. Yunusa Dangwani , Chief of Staff; Dr. Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, Secretary to the State Government; Dr. Umar Shehu Minjibir, Head of Service; Dr. Danjuma Mahmud, Attorney-General and other experienced personalities. They are to constitute the face of the Kwankwaso administration. The appointees have since taken their oath of office.

IMO: Okorocha dismantles Ohakim’s ‘monuments’ T

HE Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Anayo Okorocha, spent his early days after his assumption of office reversing many of the policies and actions of his predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim. Okorocha who declared that the state is indebted to the tune of N100 billion, including internal and external debts, ordered the immediate dissolution of all the 27 councils in the state. The previous administration in the state had conducted elections into the councils last year to run for two years. Also, citing non-academic conduct, Okorocha sacked the Acting Vice Chancellor of Evan Enwerem University, Owerri, now renamed Imo State University, Prof. Osita Nwebo. In a radio and television broadcast in Owerri, the governor also dissolved all the development centres and the state’s Council of Traditional Rulers headed by Eze Cletus Ilomuanya. Not satisfied with the offer of 10,000 jobs by the immediate past governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, to graduates in the state, he suspended all the actions regarding the offer, while he also suspended contracts awarded by Ohakim, stating that they would be reviewed. The State Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso, is to head the review committee. According to him, he was not sat-

isfied with the performance of the institutions dissolved, regretting that traditional institutions had become an arena for playing politics. On the staff of office and certificate of recognition issued to 106 monarchs by the immediate past governor, Ikedi Ohakim, Okorocha disclosed that a committee to review the recognition of the monarchs would be put in place. He also dissolved the board of state-owned oil palm industry, Adapalm, stating that the state government would strengthen the company, while the moribund Avutu Poultry established by the late Sam Mbakwe administration more than 30 years ago, would be rejuvenated. He felt sad that about 264 healthcare centres in the state were not functioning, disclosing that some of them would be merged and made more functional. Okorocha regretted that huge sums were owed workers by the immediate past government, directing that arrears of salaries of the workers in the state be cleared. Addressing the beneficiaries of the 10,000 jobs offered by the previous administration at the Government House, Owerri, the governor explained that what informed his action to suspend the programme was the report of alleged undercuts and other sharp practices involved in the processing and offer of appointments.

•Okorocha

He stated that the review, which would take off on June 13 (last Monday), would evaluate the criteria for civil service appointments, fish out ghost workers and put workers where they rightly belong. The governor expressed displeasure at the reaction of the beneficiaries of the suspended jobs programme, stressing that his gov-

ernment was willing to listen and attend to every segment of the society. Okorocha further stated that while he had slashed the security vote to accommodate other interests begging for attention in the state, he would not tolerate laziness or lack of productivity in the public service. He, however, warned that anybody who had attained the age of 40 years should make way for

younger ones, promising that a greater number of them would be considered in the review. According to him, a team of technocrats had swung into action to screen the local government service with a view to strengthening it and making it viable. Meanwhile, the governor has been invested as the visitor to the state-owned university, Imo State University, Owerri. The investiture was conferred on him by the Chief Judge of the state, Hon. Justice Benjamin Njemanze, at the Senate Chambers of the institution. In his acceptance speech, the governor assured the staff and students of the institution of the commitment of his administration to completing the accreditation of several courses in the university and the welfare of all. He seized the opportunity to announce to the students the suspension of the Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. O.C.Nwebo, and the appointment of the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. B.E.B. Nwoke as the new Vice Chancellor. He warned lecturers in the school to avoid involvement in political matters, saying that government would view this with great concern. He added that fees in the school would be reviewed downwards and urged the staff and students to be law-abiding.


59

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

‘Why I’m treated as a guinea-pig in Kogi politics’ Although the gubernatorial election did not hold in Kogi State owing to the one year tenure extension of the governor, Ibrahim Idris and four others, the winner of the gubernatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho, in this interview with newsmen in Lokoja, speaks, among other things, on the issues that greeted his emergence. Excerpts:

H

OW do you react to the insinuations that the last gubernatorial primaries that produced you as the PDP flagbearer in Kogi State will no longer stand for the 2012 governorship election in the state? Nobody has communicated that to us and it is not in our party’s constitution. At any rate, whether there is a primary election or not, the same set of people who nominated and elected me at the party primaries are still ready to vote for me again if at all there will be a fresh primary in Kogi State. I enjoy the support of our party members and the goodwill of the people of the state. When I was going into primary election on January 9, 2011, I was more like a guinea-pig and even now I am still being treated as a guinea-pig in Kogi politics. That is why you hear about some unfounded allegations against me. But it is not in my character to smear or assassinate the character of people to be able to get to where God has destined for me in life because I believe power comes from the Almighty God. Don’t you see the rumour of your alleged involvement in the Afribank N87billion fraud as a threat to your gubernatorial ambition? Far from it. As far as I am concerned, I don’t have any case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Since the bank crisis started over a year ago, I have neither been arraigned nor arrested. Of a truth, a few of my colleagues are standing trial in a Federal High Court in Lagos,but the anti-graft agency (EFCC) has come out in clear terms that it has never arraigned me before now and that it does not contemplate doing so. The EFCC has also said that I am just a principal prosecution witness in the matter. So, it is a pity that some people could go to town selling stories that are untrue and maliciously fabricated all in a bid to gain advantage in the 2012 election. After the gubernatorial primaries that produced you as the PDP standard bearer in the state, a reconciliatory committee was set up by Governor Ibrahim Idris. Some believe that the aggrieved aspirants would have frustrated your ambition at the poll if there were governorship election in the state in April,2011. The PDP is a big family. Before the court judgment that finally shifted the governorship election in Kogi State to 2012, practically 95 percent of all the candidates who contested the primaries

•Echocho

with me attended all the rallies held for all candidates of our party across the state. For me, Governor Ibrahim Idris, who is the leader of our party in the state, has done well. His wisdom in crisis management is commendable. In politics, there must be winners and losers ,just like in everything you do. I don’t see myself as a winner; our primary election was a contest among brothers. We all believe in taking Kogi State to the next level. What we should be talking about is how to cripple the opposition parties in the state. Our party won the majority seats in the State House of Assembly elections because our governor has done well by

,

In politics, there must be winners and losers... our primary election was a contest among brothers... What we should be talking about is how to cripple the opposition parties in the state

,

delivering dividends of democracy to the people of the state.And by the manifest assurance of the grace of the Almighty and the good people of Kogi State,we will get there. Speculations are rife that you are likely to be appointed minister by President Goodluck Jonathan. If this happens, what happens to your gubernatorial ambition? Ministerial appointment is just a service to the country. My first calling is that my people have asked me to come and serve them, and they demonstrated this on January 9, 2011 by nominating me, electing me as candidate of the largest party in the Sub-Sahara in Africa and by the grace of God, we are waiting patiently for 2012 when our governorship election will come up. All we are after at the moment is to canvass support for the administration of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris so that he could continue to provide dividends of democracy, as he has been doing in the past eight years, for the people of the state. Many wonder why your campaign for the governorship elections is no longer ongoing at the moment. What does this suggest to your supporters? I have said it several times that I am not going to close down the windows of my electioneering , and of course, they have not been closed down. I just urge my teeming supporters to remain calm and continue the door-to-door, market-tomarket and school-to-school campaigns.


60

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

KOGI YOUTH DEMOCRATIC FRONTS No 54/55 Gadumo Shopping Plaza, Lokoja, Kogi State. Date: 15th June, 2011

EFCC AND JUBRIL ISO ECHOCHO AN OPEN LETTER TO MRS FARIDA WAZIRI THE ABOVE NAMED ASSOCIATION IS WORRIED AND HIGHLY CONFUSED OVER SOME CONTRADICTORY PUBLICATIONS IN SOME NATIONAL DAILIES OVER THE ARAIGNMENT OF SOME AFRI BANK CHIEF EXECUTIVES, INCLUDING ALHAJI JIBRIN ISA ECHOCHO, BY YOUR COMMISSION. WE WOULD NOT HAVE BOTHERED IF ALHAJI JIBRIN ISA ECHOCHO WAS NOT AMONG THE TOP EXECUTIVES OF AFRIBANK PLC SACKED BY THE SANUSI, LED CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA AND CHARGED WITH FINNANCIAL AND ECONOMIC CRIMES BY THE EFCC. ORIGIN On the April, 21, 2010, former Chairman Afribank, Chief Osa Osunde and four other directors, Jibrin Isah Echocho, Isa Zailani, Chinedu Onyia and henry Arogundade, were arraigned on 33-count charge at the federal high court by the EFCC. They were accused by the EFCC of misappropriation, embezzlement and outright stealing of N87.5 billion of depositor’s fund. The matter was later adjourned to November for hearing. The suspects were subsequently remanded in EFCC custody and later granted bail. On Tuesday June 2, 2011 NEXT Newspaper reported that “an Ikeja \Federal High Court ordered the former Managing Director of Afribank Nigeria Plc., Sabastian Adigwe, and five others be remanded in Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) custody till June 9. Justice Olabisi Akinlade, who gave the order following arguments from both the counsel to the EFCC and the accused, will give ruling on their bail applications on June 9. “Mr Adigwe was arraigned alongside Osa Osunde, Jibrin Isah, Isa Zailani Chinedu Onyia and Henry Arogunda on a 36-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and receiving of stolen properties.” Similarly, on the same date, National Daily Newspaper reported that the prosecuting Economic and Financial Crime Commission alleged before Justice Olabisi Akinlade that Adigwe while serving as the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of Afribank conspired with six other defendants, Osa Osunde, Jibrin Isa, Isa Zailani, Chinedu Onyia, Henry Arogundade and Peter okolo, to steal the said N87.5 billion belonging to the bank between July 2008 and 2009. It is instructive to note that Jibrin Isa Echocho was listed among the executive directors that were re-arraigned before the court. CONTRADICTIONS The spokesman of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, was quoted on Saturday 4th of June 2011 of the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper that “ Jibrin Isah’s name is not on the charge sheet. In fact he is a principal prosecution witness. He is not a suspect. I wouldn’t know how his name came in as one of those that were docked. But I feel it may be political but they should keep us out of this.” To our utmost consternation, your commission has suddenly and ridiculously turned him to a prosecution witness. EFCC, why this double standard? But the confusing aspect of all was when the suspects were brought before the court on the 9th of June to determine the application bail; Jibrin Isah Echocho was conspicuously not part of them. And the EFCC Lawyer was said to have told the court that Jibrin Isah Echocho was “at large”. This much was widely broadcast by the AIT and Channels Television in their 8pm and 10pm news bulletins respectively. Early this year, a human rights activist and the EFCC’s lawyer Mr. Festus Keyamo wrote to the headquarters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to withdraw Jibrin Isah Echocho as its Kogi state governorship candidate. Keyamo drew the attention of the PDP to some relevant sections of the party’s constitution that disqualifies him from contesting for any public office under the party.

On the 11th of June 2011, Jibrin Isah Echocho who was said to be at large by the EFCC was visibly seen at Iyale in Dekina local Government Area of Kogi state, where he attended a burial. At the ceremony Echocho was reported by The Nigerian Tribune and Daily Trust Newspapers on the 13th of June 2011 as saying that he was not afraid of contesting another governorship primary of the PDP come 2012. He claimed he was never at large and even queried EFCC for inclusion of his name on its charge sheet. It should also be recalled that on the 13th of June 2011, Thisday Newspaper on its page 63 reported that the prosecution lawyer told the federal high court, Ikeja, presided by Justice Olabisi Akinlade that Jibrin Isah Echocho refused to turn himself to the Police and so could not be arraigned. We, members of the above named Association want to challenge the EFCC under the leadership of Mrs. Farida Waziri to clear the air and make a categorical statement on the following questions. 1. Whether Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho was at any time investigated and arraigned by your commission over an alleged fraud while in office as executive director of Afribank plc. 2. Whether Jibrin Isah Echocho who was an executive director in charge of Treasury and Financial institutions is actually “at large” as claimed by your counsel before Justice Akinlade 3. Whether an explanation can be given by your commission as to the appearance and disappearance of Jibrin Isah Echocho’s name on the EFCC charge sheet before Justice Akinlade. 4. Whether your commission that arrested the former Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole can tell Nigerians why a man that is said to be “at large” is walking freely. 5. If Jibrin Isah Echocho is truly said to be ‘at large” why is he not declared wanted by your commission? 6. Of all the Executive Directors sacked by the Sanusi-led Central Bank of Nigeria and arraigned by your commission, it is only Jibrin Isah Echocho (PDP Chieftain) that is handled in a very suspicious manner. Has Jibrin Isah Echocho truly become a “sacred cow”? 7. Is it true that your commission is constrained to arrest and try Jibrin Isah Echocho because of undue and ungodly interference by his political godfathers in the Presidency and the Wadata plaza? 8. Jibrin Isah Echocho, former Managing Director of AIL Securities Limited (one of the subsidiaries of Afribank). and a former executive director in charge of Treasury and Financial institutions who directly supervises AIL Securities Limited was Central to the running of Afribank under Adigwe. Now EFCC, are you giving Jibrin Isah Echocho a preferential treatment because he is a Chieftain of PDP? It is said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The fight against corruption by the EFCC and the Jonathan administration should be seen to be transparent, honest and diligent. Your honourable commission should not be seen to have compromised in the war against corruption.We pray God to give your commission the courage to rid this country of corruption and corrupt-minded people. Thanks

Yours faithfully

Abimaje Davidson

Rosalina Akumi

President

Secretary


NEWS 61

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

ACN endorses Gbajabiamila as Reps’ Minority Leader •Writes Speaker Tambuwal •Osagie becomes Minority Whip

T

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has chosen Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Surulere 1 Federal Constituency, Lagos State) as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. Hon. Samson Osagie (Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal Constituency, Edo State ) has also been picked by the party as the Minority Whip. Hon. Gbajabiamila was the Minority Leader of the last House for a brief period. He was elected into the office of the Minority Leader of the 6th House of Representatives after the resignation of his predecessor, Mohammed Alli Ndume, who defected from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and consequently lost his seat. The National Secretary to the ACN, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, communicated the party’s decision to make Gba-

Victor OLUWASEGUN, Abuja jabiamila the Minirity Leader of the 7th House of Representatives to the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, in a letter dated June 13 with a reference number ACN/ADM/NASS/07/099 and titled “House Minority Leadership.” The letter reads in part: “I write to inform you that the members of our party caucus in the House of Representatives held a meeting and concluded on the subject of this letter. We wish to inform you that we have no objection to their decisions on this matter and hereby also wish to inform you and honourable members of the House of Representatives in the 7th National Assembly, that we shall henceforth recognize Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, representing Surulere 1 in Lagos State and

Honourable Samson Osagie representing Orhionmwon/ Uhunmwode Federal Constituency in Edo State as the House Minority Leader and House Minority Whip respectively” The decision of the party was sequel to the election of Gbajabiamila and Osagie by the ACN caucus of the House of Representatives for the two positions. The caucus had written the national leadership of the ACN to endorse its decision in a letter dated June 9 and addressed to the party’s National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande. 50 members of the caucus signed the letter.

Police Assistance Committee condemns bombing of Police HQ

T

HE Police Assistance Committee (PAC) has vehemently condemned the dastardly act of suicide bombing at the

Court orders arrest of Osun monarch over alleged rape case

F

OR staying away from court for four consecutive sittings, an Osgbo magistrate court yesterday ordered immediate arrest of the Alowa of Ilowa, Oba Adebukola Alli, alleged to have raped a female corps member serving in his domain at Ilowa-Ijesha in Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State. The presiding judge, Magistrate Adewumi Makanjuola, also ruled that in the absence of the suspect, surety to the suspect should be brought before the court in the next adjournment. At yesterday’s sitting, the prosecutor, Mathew Olufemi Adedokun, told the court that the suspect on the May 27, 2011, was transferred from Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, and later admitted and discharged from the University College Hospital Ibadan on June 10, 2011, in stable health condition. The prosecutor further informed the court that a letter dated June 15, 2011, showed that the suspect was treated of headache at the UCH and not stroke as presented to the court at the last sitting by the defense counsel. But the counsel to the sus-

Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo pect, Sunday Atofarati, holding brief for his principal, Tewo Lamuye, told the court that Oba Alli is still critically ill and could not stand on his feet, not to talk of appearing before the court. The defense counsel argued that the letter the prosecutor referred, has no official stamp of the hospital and that in the era of computer, any manipulation could be done. The prosecutor stood up and said, “it is elementary provision of the law that a document speaks for itself. The defense counsel said letter is not authentic but it was written on the letter head of the UCH.” The prosecutor urged the judge to invoke section 281 sub section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Law, Cap 35 Vol 2, 2005, that says when a summon case is called and the defendant did not appear or plead guilty such an accused person should be issued a bench warrant and that it also applies to his surety. In his ruling,Magistrate Makanjuola said the suspect should be arrested or his surety in his absence just as he admitted the document, saying “I have before a medical report written on a letter

•College of Medicine building under construction at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla in Enugu collapsed on Thursday . PHOTO: NAN

Force Headquarters, Abuja on Thursday. The PAC, in a statement issued in Lagos by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Isaiah Richards, wondered why a group of people should be threatening the peace of the nation under the guise of propagating a religious doctrine that was not in tune with the reality of modern times. The PAC, while commiserating with the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, over the incident where a policeman died and

Augustine AVWODE The Ife prince warned that it could be counter-productive to stampede the governor into doing what would in the long run serve only the interest of a few than the generality of Osun indigenes. In his words: “We must be weary of all these self-appointed advisers who are bent on stampeding the governor into doing what could at the end of the day serve the interest of only a few. I am sure they have heard the wise crack cautioning against unnecessary haste. That is

Adimike GEORGE, Onitsha

instruct police officers to change attitude towards its members at the grassroots who may have credible and valuable information for them, but are always discouraged by the police from doing so through envy and uncooperative behaviour”. “The police cannot do it alone without grassroots support,”the PAC further said. The PAC noted that only the grassroots can give information to the police to assist in their operations, and not prominent Nigerians who always shy away from giving information to the police.

10 bodies, human parts uncovered in Anambra ‘tunnel of death’ •Oba Alli head of a federal university teaching hospital and signed by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, I am satisfied with the signature and the issue of stamp should not be a problem.” He said further that “As it was stated in the last paragraph of the medical report that the accused person is discharged in good and stable state of health, I do not see any reason why the accused person has not been in court. The bench warrant is hereby reinforced on the accused and he should be arrested with immediate effect and the complainant to be present in court in the next adjournment date.” The judge, therefore, adjourned the case till next Friday, June 24, 2011.

P

ANDEMONIUM broke out yesterday morning at the commercial city of Onitsha , Anambra State when a joint team of soldiers and Anambra State task force on crime prevention discovered about ten corpses inside a concrete tunnel located at the foot of a mast in Upper Iweka. Also found inside the tunnel were human parts, different types of arms and ammunition, gallons of raw acid (both empty and filled up ones), food items and mattresses believed to be owned by a gang of criminals operating within the Upper Iweka axis and terrorizing innocent travellers who arrived Onitsha late or too early. But the state police command said only one corpse was discovered, adding that no ammunition was recovered. The Police Public Relation

Critics of Aregbesola are unfair – Prince Awofisayo CRITICS of Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, over his delay in appointing commissioners have been described as unfair and self-serving. Chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and National Leader of Oranmiyan, a socio-cultural and political group, Prince Felix Awofisayo, stated this in a phone interview with The Nation yesterday. Awofisayo said those who were criticizing the governor and had even gone ahead to recommend individuals as commissioners for him were only out to protect their own interest.

other police personnel sustained various degrees of injuries, said all hands must be on deck to help security agencies through information dissemination to fight crime in the country. The PRO enjoined the police high command and other security high commands like the SSS and the military institution to team up , restrategize and rely on grassroots information to confront the menace of security threats being perpetrated against peace in the country. The PAC urged “the IG to

why the white man says ‘more haste, less speed”. Awofisayo argued that were things to be in order, and had the previous administration not turned things upside down with the intent of making the process of settling down difficult for the present administration, nobody would feel compelled to want to suggest individuals as commissioners for the government. “How did they run the state? What success did they record? For eight years they were here, what did they do? What is their legacy? This administration is determined to leave a lasting legacy, and as a result it can-

not afford to put the wrong foot forward”, he stated. The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently suggested names of ACN members to Governor Aregbesola. Otunba Sunday Ojo Williams, the acting chairman of the state chapter of the PDP, had in a statement said his party sympathised with Aregbesola hence the offer to give him names of competent home-based people in the ACN who could do the work. The government recently assured that Aregbesola would very soon announce the names of his commissioners and other cabinet members.

Adimike GEORGE, Onitsha Officer, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka ,in a telephone chat said the state command had contacted the local government officials to remove the corpse ,but said investigation into the matter was ongoing. The discovery of these corpses, according to eyewitnesses, followed a scream from a lady who was being raped by some hoodlums inside the tunnel as early as 6 a.m. yesterday. According to the source, the hoodlums had abducted the lady , dragged her into the tunnel, dispossessed her of all personal belongings, stripped her naked and systematically raped her one after the other, but as she was screaming in pains some members of the government task force on crime control heard her voice and rushed to the scene. As the rapists sighted the task force men approaching their tunnel, the source stated, the hoodlums abandoned their victim, jumped into a surrounding bush and disappeared. However, the task force men gave them a hot chase and succeeded in arresting one of the fleeing gangsters some where at Ochanja market and handed him over to the police. Back to the tunnel, the source further stated, a team of soldiers on patrol arrived and assisted the task force in recovering some of the above-mentioned items from inside the tunnel. The soldiers also collected

the arms and ammunition found inside the tunnel and at the same time, ordered some passers-by to assist the task force in clearing the surrounding bush in front of the tunnel and as the bush was being cleared more corpses were found inside it. Among the corpses found, one was in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) uniform, while another was in a military uniform, thus creating the impression among the passersby who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the dead bodies that the hoodlums might have robbed and killed a military officer and a corps member passing through Onitsha some time ago. A police patrol team later arrived the scene and moved the raped victim, whose identity was not known, to a nearby hospital, but sources said she died shortly in the hospital. The chairman of the state task force, who identified himself as Onuora, expressed sadness that all the arrests of the hoodlums made by his men on previous occasions and handed over to the police could not yield any dividend as the police usually grant them bail a few hours after the arrests and they would go back to the same spot and become deadlier. He also regretted that in most cases, the policemen stationed at some check-points at Upper Iweka would hear sporadic gun shots released by these hoodlums and yet they would not act. He however disclosed that the task force had already devised a mean of assisting travelers at Upper Iweka at nights by stationing their men within the vicinity to guard the area for the travelers till about 7 p.m.


62

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

63


Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE

SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.5, NO. 1794

If we are all agreed that the world is now a global village, then there appears not to be any other choice for us, especially given that we all suffer collateral damage when Boko Haram or any other aggrieved group sneezes —Tunji Adegboyega

S

AM Omatseye easily ranks among the most engaging and informed public in tellectuals in contemporary Nigerian journalism. More insulting than the cheap abuse spawned by his recent characteristically brilliant, if admittedly irreverent, piece on the Awo family, were the baseless insinuations that it was a sponsored piece. Anyone even faintly aqcuainted with Sam would know such allegations are entirely thoughtless. To demonstrate that columnists of this newspaper are independent-minded, I reproduce this piece, published earlier, that takes a divergent perspective from Sam’s piece on the famous family. “Power is never served a la carte. That is one of the favourite quotes of former Governor of Lagos State and one of the national leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. One of the most passionate and consumate political actors of contemporary Nigeria, Tinubu understands all too well that politics is essentially the struggle for the acquisition, utilization and retention of state power either for selfish, pecuniary purposes or for the public good. That inimitably profound and perceptive scholar of Nigeria’s political economy, the late Professor Claude Ake, once noted that the struggle for political power in post-colonial Nigeria tends to be such a vicious, all consuming affair because public office is seen as a veritable means of primitive accumulation. The phenomenal problem of corruption in the country underscores the perception of politics not as an avenue for selfless public service but an opportunity for self enrichment to the detriment of the public good. Yet, there is also a political tendency in Nigeria that places premium on utilizing public office to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of the people. That tradition dates back to Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s incomparably visionary administration in western Nigeria during the first republic and his equally adroit management of the nation’s finances as federal Commissioner of Finance and Vice Chairman of the Federal Executive Council during the civil war. Those who have kept this tradition of progressive politics alive include the UPN governors in the second republic, the AD governors between 1999 and 2003 and now the ACN /LP governors in Lagos, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states. In his relentless bid to assume power at the centre and achieve for Nigeria what he had accomplished as Premier of western Nigeria, Awo faced the worst imaginable form of political demonisation, victimisation and persecution. He was framed and unjustifiably imprisoned for treasonable felony on the flimsiest of grounds. The Coker Commission of Enquiry was set up to taint his moral integrity. During his political misadventure in the NPN during the second republic, the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola set up the National Concord primarily to combat Awo’s percieved influence in the media and damage the sage’s reputation. One of the sensational stories published by the Concord, I recall, was Awo’s ownership of 360 plots of land at Maroko. The motive for the story was to portray Awo as a hypocrite who professed to be a socialist while being

SMS to

Tribune needs help ’

Now that the spirit of Awoism is resurgent in the south west, the temptation to antagonize the Tribune must be resisted. Whatever may be its current lapses, the newspaper still symbolizes Awo’s enduring vision •Awolowo immensely wealthy. It did not matter to his detractors that the land was legitimately acquired as payment for legal services rendered. Awo, who was abroad when the story broke, returned home to a rousing reception at the Murtala Muhammed Airport. One of the thousands who thronged the airport to welcome their beloved leader had a placard which read “Papa, please buy more land”! Responding to questions from reporters, Awo made the pertinent point that anyone who wanted to effect positive politiical change in Nigeria needed the financial strength to sustain a viable political organization and fight the wealthy elite determined to maintain the decadent and exploitative status quo. While amassing fabulous wealth, largely through dubious means, Awo’s opponents wanted him to commit economic suicide in pursuit of his socialist beliefs! No politician since Awo has been as harrassed, abused, threatened and villified as Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is effectively the Asiwaju of progressive politics in contemporary Nigeria. This of course is to be expected.

Power is not served a la carte. There is a grim political struggle for the soul of Nigeria and Tinubu is a critical actor in the battle. He is as passionate as Awo in his commitment to the progressive transformation of Nigeria through adherence to the principles of federalism, welfarism and democracy. He was a key inspirational figure in the ACN’S successful reclamation of its stolen mandates in Edo, Ekiti and Osun states and the party’s expanding clout beyond the south west. During the duration of the legal battles, Tinubu became an amateur lawyer reading and digesting law reports and joining legal titans in protracted strategy sessions. He was instrumental to the introduction of scientific forensic evidence that played a vital role in the resolution of the judicial disputes. While his opponents are engaged in frivolities or empty ‘power’ sloganeering, Tinubu is busy burning the midnight oil planning, thinking and strategising with his political associates. Like Awo, he has formidable financial muscle and deploys the power of the media skillfully to actualize his political objectives. If I were in the PDP’s shoes, I would feel jittery about Tinubu. He is a veritable political Jagaban. But

if the PDP carries out its reported plan to arrest him in the run up to the elections on trumped up charges, they would help in further lionizing Tinubu just as they did Awo. He would assume a larger than life image. Rather than hurt the ACN electorally, such blatant intimidation will mobilize passionate support for the party particularly in the south west. The PDP strategists should read, once again, the political history of a region famously described by Professor Mackintosh as the ‘cockpit of Nigerian politics’. But then, how do we place the role of the Nigerian Tribune, the paper established by the great Awo 62 years ago, in all this? How is it that the paper has become one of the most vicious weapons against a man who best exemplifies Awo’s values in contemporary Nigerian politics? The inimitable columnist and scholar, Dr. Olatunji Dare has brilliantly traced the illustrous history of the Tribune in sharp contrast to its present editorial policy. I am however reluctant to believe that the editors and journalists at the Tribune necessarly have anything personal against Tinubu. I know many of them as brilliant and competent professionals. What then has gone wrong? Why should a newspaper founded by the country’s foremost advocate of federalist democracy now become the mouthpiece of a ‘mainstream’ philosophy that has over the last eight years grossly underdeveloped a region that, under Awo, was a beacon of light for Africa? First and foremost, Mama HID Awolowo is incapacitated by age, Chief Wole Awolowo is largely a-political and no member of the family has taken an active interest in politics since Dr. (Mrs.) Olatokunboh Awolowo-Dosumu’s brief foray into the turbulent terrain in the aborted Third Republic. Secondly, the newspaper was affected by the crack within the progressive fold that resulted in the late Chief Bola Ige joining OBJ’s administration and ultimately the PDP Tsunami that swept through the south west in 2003. Not only did the wily OBJ give some of Awo’s children political appointments, even the most reactionary of the PDP governors became emergency Awoists and courted the family at every turn. Thirdly was the political economy of media survival. The PDP-controlled states in the south west naturally effectively utilized the weapon of advert patronage. Now that the spirit of Awoism is resurgent in the south west, the temptation to antagonize the Tribune must be resisted. Whatever may be its current lapses, the newspaper still symbolizes Awo’s enduring vision. It is part and parcel of the history of the south west and cannot be allowed to wither. Asiwaju Tinubu and the progressive governors of Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Edo and Ondo states must constructively engage both the Awo family and the Tribune management. They must be shown the absurdity of lending their illustrous family name to the same political forces that tried to erase Awo’s imperishable legacy in the south west. The Tribune must be helped to re-discover its true voice. It must be helped to thrive as a living testament to Awo’s undying spirit. •This article was first published on Saturday, March 11, 2011

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

Fair play please!

T

HERE are problems with the Super Eagles which must be addressed; otherwise, we will be spectators at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. We are being insulted with all manner of permutations from coaches who promised to deliver as if we didn’t know the rules before we kicked the first ball in the qualifiers. I need to remind Super Eagles coaches that after they were recruited, we had no problems with our qualification, especially after the 4-0 whiplash of Ethiopia in Abuja. Super Eagles coaches must accept that they

have put us into this mess with their poor tactics and blurred vision in selecting players. We need to field our best players always. We are in trouble because we don’t parade our best. Have the coaches just known that Ambrose Efe doesn’t have any business playing for Nigeria? Most times we avoid the truth because our decisions in football administration are taken with sentiments. Rather than accept the fact that our players’ development has surpassed that of our local coaches, we seem to think that playing in Europe makes a good coach. Although there is no rule that good players shouldn’t be good coaches, what stands out clearly is that for anyone to excel in any vocation, he/she

must undergo rigorous training to prepare for the task ahead. As the coach of junior teams, you handle rookies, who are hungry for glory. They obey instructions because they know the consequences of not doing so. But at the senior level, it is a different ball game, especially for those who excel on the bigger platforms. Therefore, coaching senior teams rests with how the manager handles his players’ big status. Managing senior team players without crises begins with massaging their ego to gain their confidence and trust. You must appreciate what they go through playing for their clubs regularly, in addition to finding time to play for their country.

Some of these big boys lose their shirts in the European clubs anytime they return to base. So, whenever they seek favours from national team coaches, especially, for games such as that against Kenya, it is only fair that their wishes are granted. It is this understanding that distinguishes the foreign coach from the local ones. Besides, these senior players are exposed to quality training. They understand the rudiments of the game better and know that the only way that they can keep their countries’ shirts is to remain relevant in their European clubs, not losing sight of the fact that they also need their national team appearances to renew their club contracts. I maintain a strong position on the Osaze Odemwingie disciplinary issue with Samson Siasia because I know the details. Going to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games offered Siasia one thing- the platform •Continued on Page 7

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor-08094000052, Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, Tel/07028105302 `E-mail: saturday@thenationonlineng.com Editor: DELE ADEOSUN

The Nation-June 18 2011  

The Nation-June 18 2011

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you