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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Tinubu for House of Commons

Bi-Courtney kicks as FAAN tears billboards


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NEWS Page 6

•Firm says action in defiance of court suit

•ACN leader to speak in UK

VOL. 8, NO. 2509 FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013



Revealed: PDP governor axed for Akpabio rebuff Why we suspended Wamakko, by party Northwest PDP, ACF condemn action


OKOTO State Governor Aliyu Wamakko was suspended by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday for not recognising the PDP Governors Forum, it was learnt last night. Wamakko was also said to have refused to accept the leadership of the PDP Governors Forum, headed by Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio. But the PDP yesterday denied that the governor was suspended because of his activities at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). Wamakko was also accused of failing to pick the persuasive calls of National Chairman Bamanga Tukur, on the party’s Governors

IPP coming for Lagos schools By Miriam Ekene -Okoro


HE government of Lagos State is to set up an Independent Power Plant (IPP) to provide 24-hours electricity in state-owned tertiary institutions. Governor Babatunde Fashola broke the news yesterday at a meeting with students and the managements of the Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Lagos State College of Education (LACOED), Lagos City Polytechnic, youth organisations and members of the State Executive Council. The meeting, which was held at LASU’s Main Auditorium, was to commemorate the governor’s 2,200

Wamakko was suspected to be one of the rebel governors who voted for Governor Rotimi Amaechi during the NGF poll...Assuming that Wamakko refused to pick Tukur’s calls, is there any provision in PDP’s constitution for such an offence? From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

Forum. A top party source said: “In spite of the directive of the party, Wamakko has refused to either recognise PDP Governors Forum or attend its meetings. He has been sticking to the Nigeria Governors Forum headed by Governor Rotimi Amaechi. “Wamakko believes the PDP Governors Forum is unnecessary because it was

borne out of political mischief. But the party tried to sell the idea behind the Forum to the governor, who was not persuaded. “When the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, called him many times, he refused to pick his calls. The party saw this as disdain for its leadership. “So, the NWC felt it should suspend Wamakko as part of its new policy to enforce disciContinued on page 2



Continued on page 2

Ogbemudia: we begged Oshiomhole to join PDP’ From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin


LDERSTATESMAN Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia reacted yesterday in Benin to the comment by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja that Governor Adams Oshiomhole pleaded to join the party, saying it is untrue. Ogbemudia said he led a delegation of himself, Senator Victor Oyofo, Dr Willie Ogbeide and three others to persuade Oshiomhole to come to PDP. Continued on page 61

Court to sit over Amaechi’s suit


From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

USTICE Emmanuel Ogbuji of a Port Harcourt High Court yesterday assumed jurisdiction in the application by Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi against his suspension by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP suspended Amaechi last month for alleged anti-party activities. Amaechi approached the court to challenge his suspension. He is seeking to vacate the action.

Counsel to the PDP, Donald DENwigwe (SAN), filed a counter motion challenging the jurisdiction of the state court in dealing with Continued on page 61

•The scene of the accident, which crippled traffic for hours at Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday


Road crash shuts down Lagos traffic

•PAGE 57



NEWS Fashola plans IPP for schools Continued from page 1

days in office. Fashola said the Alausa IPP project, which would supply electricity to the Alausa Secretariat, government offices in Ikeja and its environs, would also service state-owned tertiary institutions. He urged youths to access the government’s N1.5 billion Research Fund and come up with innovations to solve societal problems. The governor said he has inaugurated a committee to set guidelines for accessing the fund. He called for a review of the training methods in schools to “retain critical building blocks” and meet the needs of the soci-

ety. Lamenting that no one has applied for the research fund in the last six months, Fashola said the country’s future rests on the ability of the present generation to come up with new ideas for solving problems. He said: “The training of our doctors must adapt to what we are seeing today. We must find ways to address public health issues and treat life style diseases, such as hypertension, heart and kidney diseases and cancer cases, locally to keep the jobs here. “Our medicine must also focus on sports medicine, which is a growing area of need and which requires specialisation. Continued on page 61

Six-year single tenure may exclude president, governors from 2015 poll

I •President Goodluck Jonathan (third left front row); Sports Minister Bolaji Abdulahi (second right); Director -General, National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye (right); Chairman, Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee, Yemi Idowu (second left) with future leaders at the launch of Rhythm N Play and National Mobilisation Campaign for Grassroots Sports in Abuja...yesterday. With them are pupils PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

Yuguda blames North’s governors for NGF crisis


AUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday blamed the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) crisis on the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF). Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State retained the NGF chairmanship at the May 24 election with 19 votes against Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang’s 16 votes. But Jang claimed victory, thereby factionising the NGF. The Plateau governor claimed he had the endorsement of 19 governors before the poll. Speaking with reporters at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Yuguda identified the failure of the NSGF leadership to insist during the election on the consensus of the 19 Northern governors backing Jang as the cause of the crisis. According to him, he with-


Five governors at Northern Forum

HE division within the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday took its toll on the Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF). Governors loyal to the faction being led by Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang boycotted the NSGF meeting in Kaduna. Prior to the Kaduna meeting, Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda was quoted as saying he would not attend any of the NSGF meetings, until its chairman, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger, has clarified whether or not they (North’s governors) met and resolved to back Jang. Sources told The Nation that Jang and his Benue State counterpart, Gabriel Suswan, stayed away from the meeting because they felt betrayed by their colleagues in the NSGF. From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

drew his membership from the NSGF because of the element of betrayal in the Forum. He said: “So, if today, we 19 governors can sit down in

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

They concluded that there was no basis to be part of such a meeting, the source said. An aide to Jang, who pleaded to remain anonymous, said: “Jang is feeling betrayed and feel that Muazu Babangida Aliyu has no moral right to preside over a meeting of Northern governors when he stabbed him in the back. “It was the Niger State governor that presided over a meeting where Jang was nominated as a consensus candidate for the chairmanship of the NGF only for him to turn his back against him. “Jang cannot attend a meeting presided over by Aliyu and besides, they are having a retreat for government officials in Jos today.” Another source told The Nation that initially, Continued on page 61

Abuja and decide that one of us who is supposed to be rightfully the chairman of the NGF; I say rightfully because the slot is for the North and we have decided, 19 of us out 35 governors decided.

We went with that decision. “Normally when we take decisions, our chairman will speak. So, we went to the PDP Governors’ Forum. ANPP governors were not part of the meeting but they were part of the NSGF meeting.”

F the recommendation of the Senate Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution (SCRC) for a six-year single tenure is adopted, the President and governors may be excluded from contesting the 2015 elections, it was learnt yesterday. The committee, headed by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, recommended the six-year single tenure for president and governors. Ekweremadu spoke on the details of the committee’s recommendation yesterday in Abuja. Asked when the six-year single term tenure will take off, Ekweremadu said since the recommendation did not provide any particular date, “it means as soon as the constitution is passed, it will start”. He said governors are expected to make the sacrifice of not seeking re-election, if the recommendation is adopted. He said: “We don’t want Nigerians to say that we colluded with the executive to elongate the tenure of some governors. But we decided that those who are currently serving should excuse themselves for the system to run. “But if our colleagues think otherwise and feel that those who are serving should benefit, we will put it there.”

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

He insisted that the committee felt that governors should sacrifice in the interest of the country. “In the unlikely event that the president dies and the vice president takes over, what we trying to avoid will still come back to us, which is namely, to avoid the crisis and the scheming to get a second tenure. “We believe that the best thing to do in the circumstance is that if you have had the opportunity of serving as a chief executive, so be it, so that you concentrate and do your work and finish instead of going to worry yourself scheming how to succeed yourself. “Because what we are trying to avoid essentially is to make sure that people don’t go there with the scheme of succeeding themselves or those outside trying to remove you and then start heating up the system and applying some rough tactics. “So these are some of the reasons why we felt that it is better if you just have the opportunity of being the president then that should be it. “You just concentrate on your job and do it and history will record you that you were once a Continued on page 61

Revealed: PDP governor axed for Akpabio rebuff

Continued from page 1

pline in its fold.” Another source said: Wamakko was suspected to be one of the “rebel governors” who voted for Governor Rotimi Amaechi during the NGF poll. “So, some forces in the Presidency are uncomfortable with Wamakko because of his “independent mindedness on issues,” said another source. But an associate of Wamakko said: “Was Tukur phoning the right telephone lines? We are in an era where governors change lines because of fear of bugging by some agencies and mischievous elements. “Those who are desperate for 2015 poll have been hijacking lines to measure loyalty. Since most governors have discovered this trend, they stay off their lines. I am sure Tukur might have been phoning wrong or dead lines. “Assuming that Wamakko refused to pick Tukur’s calls, is there any provision in PDP’s constitution for such an offence? A statement by PDP National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh yesterday said the decision to suspend the governor was reached after “very wide and exhaustive consultations”, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP and in the overriding interest of the party.


Wamakko’s suspension hasty, says Northwest PDP

ORTH West zone of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and the Sokoto chapter of the party have kicked against Wednesday’s suspension of Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko. Zonal Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb. Ibrahim Kazaure yesterday expressed shock on the suspension and called on leaders of the party to save it from collapse. Also the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said while parties have a right to discipline their members, the timing of the suspension, considering the problems of the elections of Nigeria Governors Forum, has opened the actions to avoidable suspicion that the party is using the big stick to whip its governors and members into line. Kazaure told reporters in Kaduna that he was not against the decision of the party to suspend the governor but that the party ought to have embarked on wider consultation before arriving at its decision. Kazaure said however that the suspension of the governor will not affect the party saying “I don’t think his suspension The statement said: “It is important to note that the reason for the suspension of Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko predates the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s election. “Sometime in early April, the leadership of the party was concerned with the statements and

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna and Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

will affect the PDP, but it will affect the candidature of the PDP because PDP as a party will remain a party because it is not a club. PDP gets stronger day by day. “I am calling on our leaders in PDP to please save us from the situation we are in because we have a very strong rival and they are strong. Northwest is the largest PDP zone in the country, even in the National Assembly. We have six governors in the zone, so it is not a zone you can play with”. He said “The suspension is unfortunate, very unfortunate. We would have done wider consultation because we have enemies within and the PDP is a party and not a club. It has its constitution. “I am sorry for what happened, but I hope the leaders will think about it. Religious sentiment is out of my dictionary because God has already ordained who will be the next president. Only God that knows who will be the next president,” Kazaure said. Speaking on the call by Chief Tony Anenih for an automatic second term ticket for President Jonathan, he said: “the

conduct of the governor whereupon the national chairman placed several calls to draw the attention of the Governor to the matters concerned. “However, it was not possible for the national chairman to speak with the Governor despite several attempts. The na-

Southsouth should understand that it was somebody that died and somebody took it. Do you know what will happen tomorrow? You don’t know. Only God knows what will happen tomorrow even if I said you will be the king of your town tomorrow, that may not possible because we don’t decide the future of this country. Whatever God decides is what will happen. “The only thing is that the leader of party said his own. He only said what he feels like saying and I don’t have the right to stop him because he is the leader of the party. But the constitution of the party is there. “When you read the party constitution, then you will know whether there will be primary or not or there will be consensus or not. It is not what the PDP will decide because PDP is not a club but a party. The people are the one who gather to make a party from South, East, North and West. On whether Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido should contest for president, Kazaure said: “Sule Lamido is a Nigerian and has all the qualities to contest any position in Nigeria. The constitution of Nige-

tional chairman thereafter vide a letter dated 12th April, 2013, requested an explanation to the NWC within seven days. “Instead of replying the national chairman, Governor Wamakko directed the Sokoto State Secretary of the party, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto, to reply the

Continued on page 61

national chairman. “The state party secretary, in a letter dated April 14, 2013 and on the official letterhead of the Sokoto State Government House, replied the national chairman on behalf of the governor. “This amounted to gross dis-

•Alhaji Wamakko

respect and act of insubordination to a national officer and a lawful organ of the party, which is in violation of Articles 58.1 (c ), (h) and (m) of the PDP constitution, which prescribe sancContinued on page 61

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678







•Senate President David Mark (left); Archbishop of Jos and President, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama and Archbishop of Abuja John Cardinal Onaiyekan, during a Special Mass for Catholic members of the National Assembly to mark the end of the second year of the 7th Assembly in Abuja... on Wednesday.

•Former President Olusegun Obasanjo (centre); Minister of State for Trade and Investment Dr Samuel Ortom (left)and Managing Director, Global Smartfit Nigeria Limited Mr Ogona Okonkwo, at the third ECOWAS Investment Forum in Lagos ...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

•From left: Chairman, Water Revelations Technologies Nigeria Limited Prof Oladapo Afolabi; Dr. Tokunbo AwolowoDosunmu; Prof. Dan Adebiyi and representative of Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, during the PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN launch of Primeau water filter in Lagos... yesterday.

•Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation Alhaji Abubakar Baraje (right) briefing reporters after a train ride between Ebute Metta junction and Ikeja by board members in Lagos... yesterday. With him is Managing Director Adeseyi Sijuwade PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

The war on terror in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states has led many to flee to Niger Republic, reports New York Times


OR the soldiers, the young men’s long, flowing robes — the traditional garb of Muslim West Africa — were enough to establish guilt, the refugees said. “As soon as they see you with clothing like this, they shoot,” said Abukar Ari, a Koranic teacher in a long robe who said he had fled across the border from Nigeria two weeks before. “They don’t ask any questions. I’ve seen them shoot people. Yes, I’ve seen them shoot.” Other refugees in the registration lines of thousands who had fled Nigeria’s combat zone echoed these assertions, saying civilians were being killed there by soldiers unconcerned with the distinction between militants and innocents. Friends and neighbors were being shot, they said; young men were being rounded up at night; and citizens with the vertical ethnic scarring of the Kanuri, a group dominant in the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, were being taken away. “They are killing people without asking who they are,” said Laminou Lawan, a student who said he had fled here 10 days before. “When they see young men in traditional robes, they shoot them on the spot. They catch many of the others and take them away, and we don’t hear from them again.” Laminou Lawan, a student, said Nigerian soldiers had been attacking young men just because they wore traditional robes. Nearly three weeks ago, Nigeria launched what it depicted as an allout land and air campaign to crush the Boko Haram insurgency, using thousands of troops, vehicles and even fighter jets and helicopter gunships just over the border from here, where Nigerian officials say the insurgents have their stronghold. The Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, suggesting that he was fed up with the four-year uprising by Boko Haram, announced “extraordinary measures” in his country’s north and placed a large part of it under a state of emergency, ordering troops to “take all necessary action” to end an insurgency that he said was now threatening the country’s foundations. Nigeria’s foreign partners, including the United States, which considers the country an important ally in the fight against Islamist militancy, have watched warily, with Secretary of State John Kerry pointedly warning the Nigerian military about what he called “credible allegations” that Nigerian forces had committed “gross human rights violations” in the period before the offensive began. Last month, more than 200 people were killed in what local officials, residents and human rights groups say was a sweeping massacre by Nigerian forces in the nearby village of Baga, in northern Nigeria. Analysts have long questioned whether Nigeria’s heavy-handed counterinsurgency strategy, which has resulted in numerous civilian deaths since 2009, may be having the opposite effect of the one intended, increasing anger at the Nigerian state and driving new recruits to the militants.

•Policemen participating in the joint forces in Borno State before a patrol in Maiduguri... on Wednesday.

•Weapons seized by the JTF from Boko Haram members in Borno State being displayed for the media... on Wednesday.

Thousands of refugees have crossed into Niger, many saying their government’s fight against Islamists makes no distinction between militants and civilians. But Mr. Kerry has not specifically raised the question of human rights abuses during the latest offensive, and for a good reason: it is difficult to get a clear idea of what is happening. Since its start, much of northern Nigeria has been under a communications blackout, as cellphone service has been cut, physical access has been limited and information restricted to a series of military communiqués. They have announced the “capture and destruction” of Boko Haram camps, the deaths of “high-profile” Boko Haram members and other “terrorists,” the “disarray” of militants, the discovery and destruction of weapons caches, and the “securing” of various towns and settlements in the north from Boko Haram. Nigerian military spokesmen have been at pains to deny any misconduct against civilians during the campaign, trying to reassure the country’s allies by announcing that they were pleased soldiers were sticking to what they called “the rules of engagement.” A spokesman did not respond Friday to a request for comment on the refugees’ accounts. But some of the refugees who have massed here in this remote border village at the far eastern edge of Niger — there are at least 5,000 of them, and possibly as many as 10,000 in the area, officials say — described the fighting in terms that varied widely from the military communiqués. Their testimony is among the first independent accounts of the Nigerian




Niger hosts fleeing Nigerians

• Soldiers patrolling Maiduguri...on Wednesday.

•A soldier standing near a car destroyed in the fight against terror...on Wednesday.

Kalu offers to lead talks with Boko Haram


HE Federal Government is “playing to the media and not the problem” in its approach to the al Qaeda-linked insurgent group Boko Haram,former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu has said. Kalu is calling for direct talks with Boko Haram militants, who have killed thousands of Nigerians since 2009, and he has offered to be an intermediary. His call for negotiations comes as the U.S. government on Monday announced a $23 million reward for the capture of the militants’ leader. Kalu told The Washington Times: “There is a smarter, more effective way to keep the Boko Haram from growing into a force that will tear Nigeria apart, but so far the government is playing to the media and not the problem.” Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with more than 174 million people, and the continent’s largest oil producer. Despite implementing economic reforms, the government is still hampered by corruption and

widespread poverty as it battles an Islamic insurgency. Chairman of Daily Sun newspaper, Mr. Kalu, 53, is advocating a government campaign to win the hearts and minds of people in the poorer, northern areas of the country where Boko Haram operates, which he believes is essential in stopping the bloodshed that has claimed more than 8,000 lives. But the government so far has rejected Mr. Kalu’s latest call, opting instead to launch high-profile military attacks against the insurgents. Still, Nigerians and political observers are beginning to talk about the prospect of Mr. Kalu, former governor of Abia State, vying to succeed Mr. Jonathan as president in 2015. “Kalu is an experienced player in Nigerian politics, with fresh ideas. He understands adversity; however, he is able to view it through the lens of developmental opportunity,” said Zsolt Nyiri, director of the Netherlands-based Institute for Strategy and Complexity Management, which fosters entrepreneurship and philan-

thropy in Africa. As a leading voice of the Igbo, one of Nigeria’s three major tribes, Mr. Kalu believes he is the right person to open talks with Boko Haram. Mostly merchants and farmers, the Igbo people have a strong sense of ethnic identity, but they have been discriminated against and ostracized by non-Igbo governments. During Nigeria’s 1967-1970 civil war, which devastated their lands, U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger told President Nixon that the Igbo were “the Jews of West Africa.” Mr. Kalu believes the Igbo’s outsider status is an asset in not only persuading insurgents to lay down their arms but also addressing challenges to Nigeria’s governance, with corruption key among them. Nigeria ranks near the bottom of Transparency International 2012 Corruption Perception Index, placing 139 among the 176 countries assessed and marking a nine-point decline during Mr. Jonathan’s tenure. “We need more consistency in our legal framework if multinational

companies are going to be comfortable doing business here,” said Mr. Kalu, who is also chairman of an oil shipping and services company. “I look forward to the day when foreign investors will come to see Nigeria as a safe and reasonable and accountable place to do business.” He said now is time for change, noting that no one from the Igbo tribe — which accounts for at least 20 million people — has held the presidency since the end of the civil war. “Forty years is a long time, and Nigeria is ready to complete the circle of our national identity,” Mr. Kalu said in discussing the prospect of an Igbo presidency. “I’m not necessarily saying that person has to be me, but I do believe it is essential to achieve the kind of balance my country needs to move forward. Asked if he is running for president, Mr. Kalu smiled and said: “I think our-yet-to-be-written history suggests our next president will be an Igbo.” •Culled from Washington Times

military’s offensive, and they spoke of indiscriminate bombing and shooting, unexplained civilian deaths, nighttime roundups of young men by security forces. All spoke of a climate of terror that had pushed them, in the thousands, to flee for miles through the harsh and baking semidesert, sometimes on foot, to Niger. A few

blamed Boko Haram — a shadowy, rarely glimpsed presence for most residents — for the violence. But the overwhelming majority blamed the military, saying they had fled their country because of it. They had come from multiple villages in Nigeria to one of the poorest nations on earth, overwhelming local

officials. But at least here, they said, the soldiers of the Republic of Niger are drowsing under a giant tree at the border, not pointing their guns at the civilians who continue to cross it. “The military just opens fire and kills people, and throws bombs and kills people, for no reason,” said Abubakar Ali, a shoe salesman wait-

ing in one of the registration lines. “That is why you see these people here,” he said, pointing out at the crowd. “That is what is happening now in Nigeria.” Others in the crowd said that friends and neighbors had been shot during the offensive. They could not always identify the source of the shooting, but


they could easily identify the victims. “I’ve seen the wounded; these are people I know,” said Muhammad Yacoubu, a farmer. “The military are looking for Boko Haram, but if they don’t find them, they take revenge,” said Moustapha Ali, a shopkeeper. Ousmane Boukari, a herdsman, said, “They bombed on Saturday, and they missed their targets; they’re just firing at random, they don’t even know where the Boko Haram are.” Modu Goni, another refugee, said: “At night you hear the shooting, and in the morning you find the bodies, people from the village. When you see your friends dead, it’s scary.” Others spoke of seizures of young men by security forces, a pattern already established in the insurgents’ stronghold city of Maiduguri, according to residents there. “The soldiers took the young men away, at least 10 of them, at night; it’s at night that they make their raids,” said Sherrif Alhadji Abdu, another refugee. “They band their eyes, and take them away. They took away my friends.” At the edge of this village, some of the refugees have erected crude reed shelters in the sand, or simply posted sticks in the ground and placed rags over them. Abou Boukar, a farmer, had just finished building a reed hut. Anything was better than staying in Nigeria, he said. Boko Haram had built a camp near his village. The next day, he saw a Nigerian air force plane flying overhead. “This doesn’t look good,” he recalled saying to himself. And then he fled to Niger.




Tinubu to address British House of Commons Monday


ORMER Lagos State Governor and a national leader of the just formed opposition mega-party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will on Monday deliver the keynote address at a conference at the British House of Commons. The conference, with the theme: National Development and the People, will be hosted by a senior member of the British Parliament, Mr David Lammy MP. He will be joined by Mr Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary for International Development; Mr Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leonean former Head of State, as well as other top poli-

ticians from various parties in British political circle. They will share thoughts and deliberate on salient issues of national development as they concern Nigeria, Africa and the United Kingdom (UK). A statement yesterday by Mr Sunday Dare of Tinubu Media Office, Lagos, said African Partnership Development, the UK body behind the convocation of the conference, has said Asiwaju Tinubu was chosen as the keynote speaker, with other African leaders and top Members of British Parliament (MPs), “to stimulate proactive actions and deepen the understanding of the inter-

national community and the Diaspora public on the challenges of national development against progressive leadership in Africa from the perspective of Nigeria, the most populous black nation”. The statement added: “The organisers have been the facilitator of several high-powered deliberations focusing on the socio-economic and political progress of Africa, which have played host to a number of notable economic players and political figures in Africa and the UK, offering their views on solving some of the issues undermining progress in their respective countries.”

Quoting a statement from the organisers, Dare said: “The surge in the number of people with impressive credentials, from different diplomatic circles in the UK, British and African entrepreneurs, investors and Nigerian Professionals in Europe, who have signified interest to participate at the event since the confirmation of the former Lagos State governor as the lead discussant for the conference is a clear indication that there will be quality debates and viable outcomes for the future of Africa, and Nigeria in particular.” The conference organiser, Tunde Alabi, said: “We are

very happy at the support we have received from everybody both from the UK and Africa since the announcement of the conference. We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian in or outside the country, has access to quality life, education, quality and available healthcare delivery service and social equality. We are focused on continuously creating series of engagements that will promote good government and sustainable growth without any political affiliation and or statements.” The conference is expected to produce reports that will be part of the discourse for future

•Asiwaju Tinubu

Diaspora engagement, African/Nigeria-UK Economic and business partnership and growth.

PASSING OUT OF 2012 BATCH ‘B’ CORPS MEMBERS Fayemi urges members to explore small scale ventures


•Corps members dancing at the passing out ceremony in Ibadan... yesterday.

30 Corps members get automatic jobs in Edo


DO State Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole yesterday announced the offer of automatic employment to 30 corps members who distinguished themselves during their service in the state. The occassion was the passing out ceremony of the 2012 Batch ‘B’ members of the corps in the state. The governor also promised to pay N25,000 each to corps members who served in the state’s public schools. He said those to be employed would be deployed to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Oshiomhole said he was impressed by the community development projects embarked upon by the corps members. These, the governor said, include the construction of an abattoir with drainage, renovation of two blocks of 16 toilets at Igueben Market, the

•14 to repeat service year From Osagie Otabor and Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

construction of a library with six long tables and 36 chairs at St. John Bosco’s College, Ubiaja. Others are free skill acquisition training for some students, as well as provision of free legal service to indigent residents. Oshiomhole said the jobs were offered the outstanding corps members in appreciation of their contributions to the development of the state and the nation. He said: “Having worked so hard, I am happy that the NYSC recognises that beyond sermonising, one of the things we can do to encourage outstanding performance is to publicly acknowledge those who have distinguished them-

selves. “Moments ago, I had the honour of presenting certificates of merit as well as small cash gifts to those of your colleagues who performed in an outstanding manner. In addition to these certificates of merit and cash, I am so impressed by the narrative of the State Coordinator that the Edo State Government should go beyond the cash and certificates. “Therefore, I will like to offer to those of you, who wish to accept, that those who benefitted from this merit award, that we will offer them automatic employment in our public service. We will also ensure that the terms are competitive such that you will want to stay and settle in Edo. “In addition to that, you are aware that in Edo State we have the Edo Youth Employment Scheme (Edo YES) and we have

a robust ICT unit where we are training graduates and even non-graduates, including those with knowledge of computer science. “We want to offer, through your Coordinator, 26 openings. I invite you to nominate 26, comprising 13 men and 13 women. We will offer them employment, in addition to the four. We will ask them to join our ICT team. We will give them job training; we will give them the requisite training and exposure and they will be able to add value to the development of our great state “As leaders, we must, by our actions, demonstrate that we are all one and the same. It is the elite who are bereft of ideas, who play up ethnic, regional and other primordial sentiments. We in Edo State have gone beyond those. The task we have is to make everyone, who lives in this state, feel at home.”

Aregbesola: NYSC shows youths’ capability in nation-building


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme has awakened the government to the capability of youths in nation-building. The governor, in his farewell address at the passing out ceremony of the 2012 Batch ‘B’ corps members who served in the state, noted that the various contributions of the corps members would remain monumental to the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

nation’s greatness. Represented by the Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Mr Stephen Kola-Balogun, the governor said the scheme has lived up to the dream of its founding fathers, who conceived it to enhance national integration and provide socio-economic development across the country. He said: “From all indica-

tions, your distinguished service has greatly impacted on the socio-economic landscape of the state of Osun, especially in education, health care delivery and agriculture.” The State Coordinator of the NYSC Mrs. Mojibola Eboagwu said the corps members displayed a high sense of commitment to the service of their fatherland during their service year. She added that majority of the 3,797 corps members

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday urged graduates to explore opportunities in small scale enterprises. The governor spoke yesterday through his deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, at Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during the passing out parade of 2,843 members of the 2012 Batch ‘B’ of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He said: “Opportunities abound in several sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, health and manufacturing, among others. They are waiting to be explored and exploited by the youths.” The governor said “innovativeness and sheer urge for success” would play a major role in their lives, adding that “self-reliance remains a noble goal, which they must strive to attain”. Fayemi advised them to obtain loans to establish small or medium scale business enterprises. The governor reminded the corps members that most people would succeed in small things, if they were not too ambitious. He congratulated the management of the NYSC on its 40 years of service to Nigeria, adding that the scheme has contributed greatly to the development of the economy and peaceful co-existence of the nation’s ethnic nationalities. Fayemi promised that his administration would always complement the efforts of the scheme until the NYSC service in Ekiti State becomes the best in the country.

Four die in Rivers, 17 sanctioned


From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

F the 3,680 members of the 2012 Batch ‘B’ of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who served in Rivers State, four had died before yesterday’s passing out ceremony at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt. Seventeen others were punished for various offences. The sanctioned corps members include eight who allegedly absconded from service and have to repeat the service; nine would have their service year extended between two weeks and five months, in accordance with the by-laws of the scheme. The 3,680 corps members include those who registered at the camp in Rivers State and those who were relocated from other states. Seven of the outgoing corps members received the state Honour’s Award and six were conferred with the Chairman’s Award for their outstanding performance. Some of the corps members also received commendation letters from the Rivers Coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs. Josphen Okuonghae, for their contributions to their host communities. The Chairman of the NYSC Governing Board, George Feyii, said the corps members left positive legacies in their host communities. Feyii, who is also the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), said: “My dear corps members, when you arrived in the state about 11 months ago, I am sure some of you came with the fear of the unknown and some were with negative impressions.”

‘Five NYSC members die in Jigawa’



were good ambassadors of the scheme.

IVE members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who served in Jigawa State, died in the last 12 months, the Coordinator of the corps, Mr Ishaya Dede, said yesterday. Dede told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse, the state capital, that four of them died in separate auto accidents while one was from an illness. He said the service year of six, of 1,232 members who served in the state, was extended by 12 months. According to him, the errant corps members were penalised for allegedly absconding from their places of primary assignment. Dede urged employers to furnish the corps authorities with vital information on corps members to enable them to monitor their movement. The coordinator urged the state government to provide additional hostels at the Yakubu Gowon NYSC Orientation Camp for corps members.



NEWS Strike looms in varsities as SSANU prepares for showdown From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


HE Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has threatened a prolonged strike in the universities unless the Federal Government yields to its demands. The association, whose executives from about nine universities in its Western Zone, converged yesterday on the University of Ibadan (UI) to continue deliberations on the agitation for a better welfare package, pleaded with Nigerians to prevail on President Goodluck Jonathan to prevent the looming industrial unrest. The National Vice-President and the Chairman of the union’s Western Zone, Comrade Alfred Jimoh, who after the deliberations addressed a news conference on behalf of other executives, said inasmuch as the association does not derive enjoyment in going on strike, people should prevail on the Federal Government to meet its demands. His words: “If something concrete is not done urgently, the Nigerian university system might be thrown into another prolonged but avoidable disruption of academic/administrative activities. Since 2009 to date, government has not shown commitment to the implementation and payment of the arrears of these allowances; as various meetings scheduled by the government towards resolving the matter were either called off by the government or ended up not satisfying the desire of the workers. “SSANU Western Zone wishes to call on well meaning individuals to prevail on President Jonathan to use his position to expedite action on the implementation and payment of arrears of these allowances.” Top of the union’s demands are payment of arrears of Hazard Allowance, Excess Workload Allowance and Responsibility Allowance, all of which the association said were contained in the 2009 agreement the Federal Government signed with the three non-teaching staff unions in the universities.

•Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and other senators cutting the cake to mark the end of the second session...yesterday.

2015: Senate warns against overheating polity


HE Senate yesterday warned those overheating the polity with regards to the 2015 general elections to cease in the interest of the country. The upper legislative chamber also told those beating the drums of war to realise that no nation survives two civil wars. It asked President Goodluck Jonathan to fund the operation of the state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe properly as well as support the states under emergency rule with additional fund to recover quickly. Senate President David Mark, in a speech to mark the end of the second session of the Seventh Senate, said it was unfortunate that some individuals overheat the polity when the 2015 elections are two years away. Elected officials, Mark said, should focus on governance and justify their


not blinded by zealotry. •Seeks additional funds for Borno, Adamawa, Yobe than“This notwithstanding, we From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

present mandate instead of dissipating energy by overheating the polity. He said: “Now, it is time to speak out once again. Elections are two years away. “Yet the collision of vaulting personal ambitions is overheating the polity and distracting the onerous task of governance. “With so much work yet to be done, we as elected officials should focus on governance and justify our present mandate. “Overheating the polity is unnecessary, diversionary, divisive, destructive, unhelpful and unpatriotic. “Into this vitriolic mix is being thrown a spate of mindless and distempered effusions that add no value whatsoever to the quest for

national cohesion and development. “Those beating the drums of war should realise that no nation can survive two civil wars. These trends must stop, and we must remember that the nation is greater than the sum total of its parts.” On why the Senate endorsed emergency rule in the states, he said in a country where the Boko Haram insurgency was blighting the Northeast, the National Assembly initially approved the declaration of a state of emergency in some local government areas. Mark said because the initial step proved ineffective, they had given their imprimatur to emergency proclamation in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Said he: “In the face of a brutal challenge to our territorial integrity and corporate

existence and the attendant carnage, we were right to demonstrate the capacity and will to take action. “However, let me say that the Nigerian Armed Forces are not at war with the communities in which the terrorists are operating, nor are they at war with Islam. “Rather, we are at war with Boko Haram and its affiliates, a terrorist network preaching an ideology that violence against Nigerians and foreigners, Muslims and Christians, is justified in pursuit of a depraved cause.” The Senate President said the military campaign against violent extremism, at home and abroad, must be quick, surgical and precise, with as little collateral damage as possible. He added: “We know that the foe is faceless, unyielding, unreasonable and more often

Amnesty urges Jonathan to veto same sex bill

MNESTY International has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to veto the proposed law, which prescribed up to 14 years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of same-sex relationships. A statement issued yesterday by the rights group and nine other international hu-

man rights organisations described the law as “ draconian’’. It said the law “will formalise discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender and intersex people and have wideranging effects on civil liberties in the country’’. The rights group recalled

that on May 30, the House of Representatives passed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill with a recommendation of a prison sentence of up to 14 years for homosexual relationships. It noted that the Senate had already passed a similar bill and added that “if signed into law, the bill will also

criminalise freedom of speech, association and assembly’’. Lucy Freeman, Deputy Director of Africa Programme, Amnesty International, said the bill was “a throwback to past decades under military rule when these civil rights were treated with contempt”.

120 million Nigerians lack access to electricity, says Minister


HE Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi, has disclosed that about 120 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity. She said only about 40 million Nigerians are enjoying power supply. She spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Power and Niger Delta Ministries gave their 2012 scorecards on the occasion. At the briefing were the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister

expect our fighting men and women to respect and abide by the rules of engagement. We appreciate the enormity of their sacrifice, the asymmetric nature of the egregious foes and the extremely hazardous operational environment.” Mark said many of the country’s troops have paid the supreme price for the country. A great many of Nigerian countrymen and women, he said, have been cut down in their prime, adding that they are victims of a senseless and mindless onslaught. His words: “Together, they are our martyrs for freedom. Their martyrdom shall never be in vain.” Senator Mark stressed the need to avoid a war of attrition, saying despite the odds, a grateful and anxious nation eagerly awaits a quick but decisive victory.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

of State Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Dickson Ishaku and Information Minister, Labaran Maku. According to her, privatisation in the sector would be concluded next month and the Federal Government would focus on commercialisation of the power sector to meet the demands of Nigerians. She said: “Privatisation is at its conclusion stage. What we need to focus on is the commercialisation of the power sector, considering where we are and the fact that we are giving power to only 40 million Nigerians. There are 160 million Nigerians and we are only

giving power to 40 million of them. “What it means is that there are about 120 million Nigerians without electricity. “We are looking forward to the energy mix. What we are looking at are ways that will bring in many options. The only way we can power Nigeria, as we have agreed, is to look forward to the Independent Power Projects (IPPs). “We keep on saying we shouldn’t allow imperialism. Yes, we want foreign, direct investment, but we also want Nigerians to take ownership. If water sells on the streets, power can sell better because everybody wants power every time.” The minister went on: “So if we come together by way of

synergy and we are able to build consortiums and the IPPs come in to address the issue of power need, it will not only be government looking for funds to do this, there is the energy mix we want to come up with. There is solar, wind and hydros. “These things are available in form of access to Nigerians. We need to deliver power to Nigerians and the only way to do this is by serious commercialisation.” Stressing that power business is more lucrative than the oil business, she said: “There is even more money in power than in petroleum. All you need is a power plant and you will make money. The government has tried. We have all sorts of encouragement. We could go into coal,


renewable energy. So we need clusters of the windmill.” On the performance of the sector in 2012, she said: “We had our scorecard spread out and we got some congratulatory notes from members of the council. But worthy of note is what we intend to do this year. We want to move the power sector to another level.”

“It undermines basic freedoms that Nigeria’s civil society has long fought to defend; the civil rights of Nigerians cannot simply be legislated away,’’ Freeman said in the statement. The group claimed that the proposed law would also interfere with public health outreach efforts in Nigeria, given the country’s record of having the world’s third-largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. “The proposed law would hinder efforts to target vulnerable groups by criminalising those who conduct outreach to such groups. “It would drive some groups affected by the epidemic further underground for fear of imprisonment,’’ it said. The statement was endorsed by the Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development, Collaborative Media and Advocacy Platform, Human Rights Watch and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre. Other groups listed are Project Hope/Nigeria HIV INFO, Queer Alliance Nigeria, Stakeholders Democracy Network, the Initiative for Equal Rights, Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Centre.




2015: Tambuwal says votes must count


N the 2015 general elections, Nigerians must ensure that their votes count, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said yesterday. He said Nigerians should not be taken for a ride in the coming poll, adding that all must ensure that the principle of one man one vote was used. The Speaker in his speech on the second anniversary of the Seventh Assembly, entitled: ‘Long walk to good governance’, said despite that Nigeria has experienced 14 years of uninterrupted democracy, it still suffers acute poverty of democratic culture and practices. He said political leaders should take a decisive step in strengthening the nation’s democracy, adding that there must be transparency in the electoral process, especially in intra-party processes and that parochial interests must be put aside. Tambuwal said unwholesome democratic processes

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

“is a challenge to Nigerians, but more so for those of us deeply concerned in the democratic process and operation. We must place national interest above selfish interest. We must place objective principles above parochialism and whims.” He went on: “We must deliberately promote a viable and transparent electoral process. The right to opinion and dissent must be given space in our political discuss. Internal party democracy is a sine qua non to the genuine development of democratic culture. Therefore as we work and walk towards 2015, we ought to take the vow that all votes must count whether in intra party democratic processes or at the level of inter party contests. “True democracy does not happen by accident, it is therefore our duty as intimate practitioners and beneficiaries of political patronage to be in the

vanguard of the deepening of democracy.” Tambuwal said conscious efforts must be made to create jobs and other activities must be embarked upon to keep the youth productive. According to him, unless unemployment, insecurity and poverty are addressed, the fight against insecurity would have little impact and end up as mere window dressing, “because only the consequences are being attacked rather than the cause.” The Speaker gave the House a pass mark in his assessment of its last two years. “The House has witnessed unprecedented stability in the last two years. During these two long years, members have exhibited uncommon diligence, support, inspiration, selflessness, passion, maturity and willingness to sacrifice towards the promotion and preservation of the national interest. On behalf of the leadership, I most sincerely commend this spirit,” he said. In his goodwill message, Senate President David Mark,

who was represented by the Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi, lauded the House for being on the side of the masses. He hailed the courage of Tambuwal, whom he said had done well in the past two years. While making presentation on behalf of the past presiding officers of the House, former Speaker Ghali Umar Na’abba lamented the lack of internal democracy in the democratic process polity and urged members of the National Assembly to remain steadfast in their efforts. Among those who attended the event were Second Republic Speaker, Benjamin Chaha, Speakers Na’abba and Aminu Bello Masari. Former Deputy Speakers Chibudon Nwuche, Austin Opara, Babangida Nguroje and Usman Bayero Nafada were also present. Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sahad, was represented. However, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Umar Waheed was present.

Amaechi: Governors’ action an embarrassment, says lawyer


By Joseph Jibueze

IGHTS activist Morakinyo Ogele has described the crisis in the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) as an embarrassment to the country. He said its post-election problems exposed some governors as not committed to democratic tenets. In a statement, Ogele said it was sad that some governors denied participating in the election in which Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi was elected chairman despite doing so. Ogele said defeated Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, who heads a faction of the forum, and his group should agree that Amaechi is their chairman and “stop polluting the polity.” “I watched the video clips, which revealed that 35 governors participated in the historic and symbolic election. We equally watched with keen interest that the governor, who counted the votes, belongs to the group that lost the election. “Governors in the Jang group have been denying the election. The denial has again stained the integrity of some politicians that things are not well politically in Nigeria. “Nigerians should support Amaechi for his courage in defending democracy from the day he was sworn in as River State Governor. “They must salute the progressive governors that voted for the present chairman. Jang and his group should agree that Amaechi is their chairman and stop polluting the polity. “There is no way the Jang group can deny the election in which Amaechi was elected. They cannot approbate and reprobate. Amaechi is the chairman of the forum.”

Agwai replaces Kontagora as Deputy Chairman of SURE-P


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd.) as the new Deputy Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P). Agwai, a former Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff, replaces Maj.-Gen. Mamman Kontagora, who died last week. The highly-decorated Army officer, who also held several military appointments within and outside the country, including Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone and Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Sudan, has been a member of the SURE-P Committee since its establishment by the Jonathan administration in February last year. The committee is charged with the responsibility of managing and reinvesting the Federal Government share of the savings from the partial removal of the subsidy on fuel in programmes and initiatives that will improve the living conditions of ordinary Nigerians.

Fed Govt urges court to dismiss Nwabueze’s, Braithwaite’s suit By Adebisi Onanuga

•Tambuwal (left) greeting Falana...yesterday. With them is Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Falana to Reps: don’t succumb to presidential blackmail


AWYER and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has urged the House of Representatives to resist any form of arm-twisting or blackmail by the Presidency to present a second Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year 2013. He, however, advised the lawmakers on public perception on financial resources at their disposal, challenging them to make public their salaries and other entitlements. Falana spoke yesterday at the second anniversary of the Seventh House of Representatives where Prof. Jonah Elaigu, Prof. Chidi Odikanlu, Executive Secretary, Human Rights Commission and Dr.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Abubakar Mohammed also delivered speeches to commemorate the anniversary. While he hailed the House for turning down the request by President Goodluck Jonathan to amend the 2013 budget, Falana said it is only the insistence on full implementation of the budget than can benefit the country. “The decision of the National Assembly to insist on the full implementation of the nation’s budget is in line with the tenets of the rule of law. Once the Appropriation Bill has been passed into law, it is required to be enforced

100 per cent. “As there can be no justification for partial compliance with an existing law, it is the height of impunity on the part of the Executive to claim that the Appropriation Act has been implemented up to 50 or 60 per cent level. “The law requires 100 per cent compliance. Therefore, having signed the Appropriation Bill into law, the National Assembly should reject the deliberate ploy to delay the implementation of the 2013 budget. “Since the budget ‘crisis’ has to be resolved not later than June 30 and all government departments are going to be asked to return unspent funds

to the treasury by November 30, this year may witness the worst implementation of the budget,” he said. He challenged members of the lower chamber on the necessity of subjecting the budgets of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the National Assembly. Citing the United States (US) as an instance of such development, Falana said: “The National Assembly should not be blackmailed in exercising its powers to ensure that the CBN is brought under legislative scrutiny to be in conformity with the constitution.”

Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG plans strike


ARRING last minute intervention by the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the oil sector, oil workers may soon plunge the nation into another season of fuel scarcity. The workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

vowed to embark on a nationwide strike over the casualisation of labour and non-payment of severance benefits to workers in the oil and gas sector, and gave 14-day ultimatum for the Federal Government and National Assembly to address the problem.

NUPENG President, Comrade Igwe Achese, at a news briefing in Lagos during the Central Working Committee meeting of the union, said although oil workers’ strike would have a negative effect on Nigerians and their businesses, they have to bear the pains because a sacrifice must be made towards achieving any good thing, and that the

suffering oil workers are also Nigerians. The union urged a national conference to resolve the challenges facing the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, since the management of Agip, like some other oil firms, have rebuffed the intervention of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on workers’ issues.


HE Federal Government has urged a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja to dismiss a N440 million suit instituted by elder statesmen, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, over the alleged disruption of their protests against the removal of fuel subsidy on January 19 last year. The government made the request in two applications filed yesterday by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke and the Nigerian Army. Nwabueze and Braithwaite filed a N440million suit against the Federal Government with 42 others before Justice Yetunde Idowu on February 1 last year. They alleged that security operatives used teargas to disperse them during their protests against the removal of fuel subsidy at Alausa, Ikeja. The plaintiff asked the court to declare the action of the security operatives as unconstitutional and an infringement on their fundamental human rights as guaranteed by Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution. They prayed the court to order the Federal Government to pay each of them N10 million for infringing on their fundamental human rights. At the resumed hearing of the matter, counsel to the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army, Mr. Musa Ibrahim, urged the court to dismiss the suit. He said the claim by the applicants that it was their fundamental human rights to protest was not supported by the constitution. According to him, the applicants have not proved that their rights were infringed upon. He said: “There is nowhere the right to protest is mentioned in our constitution. “It is the cardinal principle of our law that one does not read into our legislation or constitution what has not been provided for by the legislation or constitution.” Mr. Douglas Atebata, counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who also prayed the court to dismiss the suit, said the applicants failed to attach sufficient exhibit to their application. He argued that the applicants, for instance, failed to attach medical reports to substantiate their claims that they were treated after the alleged teargas attack by security men. Justice Idowu adjourned the matter till July 2 for judgment.







500 PDP members join ACN in Igbemo-Ekiti

BOUT 500 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Igbemo-Ekiti, Irepodun/ Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, have defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). They were received into the ACN at a carnival-like ceremony by the Organising Secretary, Chief Bunmi Akinniyi and the party’s chairman in the council, Alhaji Gani Alagbada, who represented the State Chairman, Chief Jide Awe. The new members said their defection was to support calls for Governor Kayode Fayemi’s reelection next year. They were led by Chief John Olowokere (former PDP Ward Treasurer), Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf (former PDP spokesman), Mr. James Adeleye (former PDP Leader), Mr. Niyi Kareem, Mr. Ojo Awe and Mrs. Mary Afuye. The defectors said they were impressed with the unprecedented performance of the Fayemi administration. Olowokere said: “PDP

leaders do not mean well for Nigerians. They are very selfish. ACN is the party that can take Nigeria to the Promised Land. We can see and feel real development as well as real dividends of democracy in the Fayemi administration. That is why we are joining the ACN to be part of the success story.” The ceremony was attended by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Kolawole; Commissioner for Youths and Sports Kayode Olaosebikan; Special Adviser to the Governor on Politics Ayodele Jinadu; Special Adviser, Governor’s Office, Biodun Akin-Fasae; Deputy Chief of Staff Mojeed Jamiu; Director-General of the State Signage and Advertising Agency Kayode Akinyemi; Director-General, Ekiti Enterprise Development Agency (EEDA), Yinka Aiyeleso; Chief of Protocol Tade Aluko; Senior Special Adviser on Mobilisation Tope Osatoyinbo and the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Research & Documentation, Alhaji Hakeem Jamiu, among others.

Ajimobi off to lesser hajj


•NASFAT chief is Amirul Hajj

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi is off to Umrah (lesser hajj) in Saudi Arabia. According to a statement by his media aide, Dr. Festus Adedayo, the governor left the country on Wednesday night. Ajimobi was accompanied by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, and his Special Adviser on Water Resources, Alhaji Fatai Buhari. He is expected back in the country on Monday. The National Missioner of the Nasrullahi-iI-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Sheikh Abdullahi Akinbode, has been appointed the Amirul Hajj for Oyo Muslim pilgrims to this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca. Sheik Akinbode, a native of Oyo town, was born on January 9, 1959. He attended the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and is a respected Islamic cleric.


Oyo ACN hails police for quizzing Ladoja

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has hailed the police for quizzing former Governor Rashidi Ladoja on the disruption of an event of the Accord by hoodlums. It said the perpetrators of the violence would soon be exposed. The party was reacting to a media report that the Accord leader was on Wednesday interrogated by the police. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN lauded the police for not overlooking personalities in its investigation. Ladoja earlier petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that the state’s anti-crime outfit, Operation Burst, was being used by the state government to attack Accord members and demanded its proscription. Reacting to the petition, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Akin Olajide, urged the Presidency to, among other things, order the disbandment of thugs “surrounding” Ladoja’s Bodija home in Ibadan, the state capital. Yesterday, ACN said: “We are pleased with the Oyo State Police Command for its sense of judgment and for

not caring whose ox is gored in the bid to rid the state of criminals. This is the only way forward. “Since Ladoja has made allegations against the crimefighting outfit, which virtually everyone in the state, except criminals, praise on a daily basis, he should be made to present genuine evidence to his claim. The era of crying wolf for political reasons has passed in Oyo State.” The party said it had nothing to do with the attack on Accord members and urged the police to get to the root of the matter. On the 14-man alliance committee set up by Ladoja and former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, ACN said: “Many of the former governors’ supporters were either killed or maimed during the duo’s intra-PDP fighting. A lawmaker, who was thrown out of the window of the House of Assembly during that era, is still maimed till today. What happens to the victims of that era? “When the families of their late supporters saw them beaming from ear to ear after inaugurating that committee, they must have shed hot tears. It goes a long way in underscoring people’s distrust in politicians and the saying that they are not worth dying for.”

Support us to improve Ekiti, Fayemi tells opposition


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has urged members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to see his victory at the Supreme Court as a call to put aside partisan interest and support his administration in rebuilding the state. He spoke yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during a thanksgiving service held at the Government House chapel to mark the victory, after six years of litigation. Attributing his victory to God’s mercy, Fayemi said God allowed the long judicial

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

tussle to show His mightiness and prove that though the journey may be rough and tortuous, when one is on the path of truth, there will ultimately be triumph. He said: “The lesson I take from this is that truth will ultimately triumph and also that God is interested in us when we go astray and pulls us back from the brink to come home and take ownership.

“I hope my brothers and sisters on the other side of the divide will see this as a golden opportunity to join hands with this administration to take Ekiti to a greater height. That, for me, is the most important lesson we should all take away.” Fayemi said the victory also showed that God wanted the administration to continue the good work it started and take it to completion. In his sermon, the Bishop of

the Ekiti Anglican Diocese, the Right Rev. Christopher Omotunde, said Fayemi’s victory was the handiwork of God, adding that the victory was not brought about by the competence of Fayemi’s legal team. He said God wanted His agenda to be fulfilled in the state, hence the peace that followed the verdict. The bishop said without peace, there would be no development. He urged the governor to shun sycophants and focus on developing the state.

•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu presenting a Certificate of Service and State Merit Awards Certificate to the best 2012 Batch ‘B’ corps member, Dr. Nyeche Emmanuel Ovundah at the passing-out ceremony held at the Christ School, Ado-Ekiti.

Ekiti pupil wins national essay competition


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has hosted a pupil of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Grammar School, Efon Alaaye, Mr. Akin Olowoyo Olorunfemi, who emerged winner of the 2013 National Essay Writing Competition of the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), which was held in Makurdi. Olorunfemi was accompanied by the Commissioner

for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Kehinde Ojo; his parents and ANCOPSS officials in AdoEkiti. Fayemi said Olorunfemi was an example of the excellence the state is known for. He congratulated the boy for doing the state proud and expressed optimism that Ekiti pupils would perform excellently when the results of the recently concluded Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) are

out. The governor said Olorunfemi’s performance has justified his administration’s investment in education, urging parents, teachers and other stakeholders to support the government’s efforts to improve the sector. He said Olorunfemi has proved that private schools are not better than public schools. Fayemi gave the winner a cash gift and urged him not to relent in his pursuit of

academic excellence. Olorunfemi thanked the governor for the various transformation going on in the education sector, especially the Operation Renovate All Schools. He said he was motivated by the conducive environment provided by the government for teaching and learning. Olorunfemi said he would continue to make Ekiti proud in subsequent academic outings.

NGF crisis: Stop embarrassing Yoruba, Ondo ACN chieftain tells Mimiko


CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Dr. Paul Akintelure, yesterday said the ongoing crisis in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) is a sign that the 2015 general elections may not be free and fair. Akintelure, who was the running mate of the ACN’s candidate in last October’s governorship election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said the recent actions of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders proved that the party “is trying to make the election a do-or-die affair”. He said despite the fact that the PDP has the majority of governors in the NGF, the emergence of two chairmen indicates that the party may “force itself on the people in 2015, if its fails to win the election”. Akintelure, a doctor, warned Governor Olusegun

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Mimiko to “stop heating up the forum”. He said Mimiko’s activities have caused a lot of embarrassment to the Yoruba, who are known for integrity and loyalty. Mimiko is the vice-chairman of Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang’s faction of the NGF. He denied participating in the election that brought about two factions. Akintelure said Mimiko’s denial of his involvement in an election that was attended by 35 governors has “shown how desperate he is for power”. He urged Mimiko to remember that he was once a beneficiary of “true democracy”. Akintelure said: “When Mimiko felt that the former PDP administration of Dr.

Olusegun Agagu cheated him during the 2007 election, he approached the court to seek redress and got the support of real democrats, who stood solidly behind him to ensure that the people’s votes count. “Today, Mimiko is in a position of power and he believes the best way to pay back the masses, who fought for him to regain his mandate, is by toying with the democracy they fought for. “The Jang faction, for which Mimiko is the spokesman, is only embarrassing itself by claiming that ‘16 is higher than 19 and that there is no second term for NGF chairman’. I believe members were notified a few weeks before the election and all these issues should have been sorted out before going to the poll. “For Jang’s faction to have

voted in the poll proves that the 35 governors agreed that the new NGF leadership should emerge through voting. Politics is like a football competition, where a winner must emerge. “The video we saw on the internet showed that 35 votes were counted and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi had 19 while Jang scored 16. Another thing is that since Jang’s group has been claiming to have the majority, only 16 governors have been attending its functions. For instance, at the opening of its secretariat, only 16 governors were in attendance. “It is unfortunate that President Goodluck Jonathan could recognise the 16 governors’ faction as the authentic NGF, despite claims by his aides that he has no hand in the forum’s crisis.”





11 At the moment, there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Workers to Northern governors: pay our entitlements


HE National Union of Textiles, Gar ment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria and workers of the New Nigeria Newspapers yesterday took their plight to the northern governors, appealing to them to settle the entitlements of their workers without further delay. While the New Nigeria Workers embarked on a

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

peaceful demonstration in front of the General Hassan Usman Katsina House, venue of the Northern State Governors Forum meeting, the textile workers union wrote a three-page memo to the governors appealing for the payment of the entitlement of their members. In a letter entitled “Save

the lives of KTL workers; pay their entitlements without further delay,” and signed by the General Secretary, Issa Aremu, the textile workers drew attention of the governors to a 2005 judgement against which the court asked the governors to settle the workers N687 million entitlement. Aremu noted that rather than pay the workers, the

Fed Govt to get N200b Cooperative EDERAL Government Fund trapped in CBN yesterday announced


plans to access the N200billion Cooperative Societies Fund trapped in the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 10 years ago. The government said the fund would be used to create new jobs and empower small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) thereby reducing reliance on government for jobs. Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Dr. (Mrs) Sarah Jibril, made the disclosure in an interview with journalists during the inauguration of the first batch of National Youth Vanguards

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

on Ethics and Values and public presentation of the Code of Conduct handbook. The programme is an initiative of the Centre for the Promotion of Ethics and Values, a non-governmental organisation (NGO). She said arrangement to execute this will take off soon at the zonal, state and local government levels. This, she said, would enable people to establish small and medium scale businesses thereby reducing the over reliance on the government for

the provision of jobs. The presidential aide noted that government cannot be “talking to people and preaching ethics and values on empty pockets and empty stomachs.” She insisted that the government must be accountable to the citizens through economic empowerment. She said: “The CBN has been holding the over N200 billion because we have not been organised and have not been able to take off. The CBN is however, now happy that Nigerians were able to organise themselves for this exercise.

19 northern states have remained insensitive to their plight in spite of repeated appeals, prayers, rallies and protests by the union. He noted that sustainable development in any country or state lies in industrialisation and mass job creation. He said: “it is against this background that the union is disturbed by the continu-

ous closure of Kaduna Textiles Limited since 2002. Even more worrisome is the continuous delay in settlement of the entitlements of KTL workers by its owner19 Northern States of the Federation. KTL workers are suffering untold hardship due to non-payment of their benefits since the unilateral closure of the factory in 2002. “The union since Septem-

ber 2005 obtained a court judgment for settlement of the entitlements of the workers amounting to N687,073,346.00. Unfortunately, the management and owners of the company (19 Northern States) have remained insensitive to the plight of these workers in spite of repeated appeals, prayers, rallies and protests by the union.



BUSINESS NEWS I don port o: Saka made a mistake, says Etisalat boss


ANAGING Director and Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, yesterday described the decision of one of the brand’s artiste, Afeez Oyetoro, popularly known as Saka, to dump its competitor and acclaimed “dominant operator,” MTN, as a “mistake.” Evans disclosed this at an interactive session with reporters on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) at Raddison Blue Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. He said Saka’s decision was a mistake, arguing that it is not uncommon for people to make mistakes once in a while in life. “Saka made a mistake. Sometimes in life, people make mistakes. He is still coming back,” he quipped without further explanation. He was responding to a

Lucas Ajanaku Assistant Editor (Business)

question bothering on whether the telco will re-examine its policy of not fully converting its artiste to brand ambassadors considering its experience with Saka. Sources close to the artiste alleged that his promoters had passionately appealed to Etisalat to convert him to its ‘brand ambassador’ after using him for the activation of several ad campaigns that recorded resounding successes but the mobile operator turned deaf ears to these appeals. The source said it made the suggestion to the telco several times without success, lamenting that rather than weigh the option on altar of reasoning, Etisalat preferred to pay him between N200,000 and

N250,000 for each campaign and let him go. The source said when MTN dangled the carrot of N20 million at Saka, he did not wait for any further consultation before jumping at the offer. Speaking on the milestones the telco has achieved as a result of the launch of the MNP in the country, Evans said several hundreds of subscribers have joined the Etisalat network because of the high quality of services and innovative products it offers its customers. Added to this is the lifting of the blanket ban the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) earlier placed on promotions and lotteries that ride on the network of all the operators. Etisalat and two other operators were recently given the clean bill of health to do promo and lotteries on the

network. The CEO said the development has enhanced its subscriber growth tremendously, adding that Easycliq, its flagship product, now has between 8 and 9 million subscribers. He said the subscriber figures of Etisalat now oscillates between 15 and 16 million, adding that it has put in place infrastructure that will successfully accommodate 20 million subscribers without any hiccup. He disclosed that the telco was also investing massively on 3G to redefine end user experience in data services across the country. Reeling out statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), he disclosed that in every department of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set by the regulator, Etisalat overshot threshold.

FIRS first quarter collection hits N 1.5t total of N1.5 trillion

A (1,581,480,553,562.50) revenue had been collected as at the end of April, 2013, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has disclosed. Director, Communications & Liaison Department, Emmanuel Obeta said this in a statement. He added that the figure is an improvement on what it collected same period 2012. The revenue collecting agency has assured that it will meet the government revenue target of N5.72 trillion by September 2013, he said. The statement noted that drawing confidence from the result of its modernisation and automation projects, particularly, the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), FIRS has jerked up its internal revenue target of 2013 to N6trillion The director said at the Regional Enlarged Management Meeting (REMM) in Lagos, yesterday, FIRS Management team

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

strategised on how to achieve the targets. Some of the issues discussed at the Lagos REMM included how to improve efficiency in FIRS revenue collection through the implementation of ITAS and improve staff motivation to ensure utmost performance. The statement quoted the FIRS Ag Chairman, Kabir Mashi as saying that ”What I want to tell staff is that we must be focused and not to be distracted. I like to assure you that we will remain resolute and committed on our mandate. You must have heard that the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has restated her support for our staff. What is expected of us is to be focused and committed to our duty.

Bi- Courtney kicks as FAAN pulls down billboards THE disagreement between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and BiCourtney Aviation Services Limite (BASL) over concession took a different twist yesterday as billboards erected by Bi- Courtney at the Lagos Airport were pulled down by FAAN officials. FAAN said it ordered the removal of all illegal advertisement material on billboards and structures along the internal road of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos. According to its General Manager, Corporate Communication, Mr Yakubu Dati, the placement of such advert material infringed on advertisement rights of FAAN, since the company or organisation liable for the placing of the advert material did not receive FAAN’s permission to do so. “Every advert placement within the airport premises, including the internal and access roads must be done with the authorisation of FAAN, which has the right over all airport land as contained in the act establishing the Authority,” he said. Dati said the exercise to remove all illegal advertisements at all airports was informed by the fact that the companies that have advert

By Kevin Osa-Okunbor

concession with FAAN have all refused to honor the terms of agreement for the concession, and in defiance, have continued to collect money from third party companies for advert placement without paying FAAN its due. He said : “The exercise will continue nationwide, to plug any such loophole in the revenue generation and collection of FAAN, to help in truly making the Authority more self sustaining.” Bi-Courtney swiftly kicked against the action of FAAN, arguing that it was a gross violation of the concession agreement the firm signed with FAAN. Head of Litigation at BiCourtney, Tola Oshobi, said the pulling down of the billboards was at variance with a suit instituted against FAAN by Bi- Courtney in November 2011, challenging the propriety of the airport authority to pull down advertisement billboards installed by BiCourtney, which came before the Federal High Court for resolution. “If there is any dispute between FAAN and Bi Courtney, this dispute must be resolved by arbitration in accordance with article 22 of the concession agreement,” he averred.

Fed Govt, power coy meet on sale of NIPP assets THE Federal Government through the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) will today meet with the officials of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and other relevant stakeholders including the Minister of Power at the Presidential Villa. The meeting is to discuss the sale of the 10 power plants built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP). The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo disclosed this yesterday in Lagos when he paid a working visit to Eko Electricity Distribution Company where he commissioned a couple of rehabilitated and newly built 15MVA transformers, switchgears and control panels. Nebo who listened to the comments of the electricity workers union, Eko chapter, assured them (workers) that

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

their entitlements under the severance package, would be fully paid. He added that the payment would soon start and advised the workers to be very prudent with the entitlements when paid. He also advised them to take their jobs seriously because the investors that bought the assets of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and those that would buy the NDPHC may retain them and even recall their retires colleagues. Nebo hinged his reasons on the fact that the new investors cannot manufacture the wealth of experiences of the PHCN workers overnight. Besides, he said the government will not allow the investors import personnel from foreign countries to operate the assets.










Borno trains 5,000 women on skills Borno



Free Medicare for the elderly

Imo solicits royal fathers’ support on projects


FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013


NAMBRA State governor Peter Obi has brought cheers to the needy in the state. He visited leprosy patients, speaking kind and uplifting words to them. He also parted with cash, leaving them happy. The governor was also with those behind bars, setting 23 of them free on his prerogatives. On May 29, the nation’s Democracy Day, Obi was at Oji River Leprosy Centre where he gave each of the 120 inmates N5,000. The governor equally promised to take their plight before governors of the Southeast states. To the Oji River Diocese of the Catholic Church which runs the centre, he gave





Page 17


Obi cheers up leprosy patients From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

N1m. Obi said he visited the centre on the invitation of the Archbishop of Enugu Province and Bishop of Oji-River Diocese, Most Reverend Amos Mmadu, especially on the realisation that the inhabitants of the centre hail from the Southeast, especially Anambra. This was confirmed by a census of the centre taken by the governor himself. Obi said that Democracy Day

should ideally be used to reflect on the real meaning of democracy, offering Nigerians the opportunity to ask themselves if democracy is beneficial to all the people in the country, including the rich, the poor, the sick and the underprivileged. The Archbishop of Enugu Province and Bishop of Oji-River Diocese, Most Reverend Amos Mmadu, who conducted the governor around the centre recalled that Obi was the first governor to visit the centre. The cleric noted that Obi has continued to dem-

onstrate the fear of God and commitment to the welfare of the people. Most Reverend Mmadu said they would attract intervention of the International organisations including the United Nations and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to the centre if the facility is returned to the care of the Church. In their separate speeches, some of the inmates, Mr. Cletus Onah from Nsukka and Mr. Sylvanus Amaefuna from Adazi-

Nnukwu while thanking the Governor for his gesture, noted that God is using him to touch the lives of the common man and give everybody a sense of belonging. They also noted that he has transformed the state and rebuilt all schools in the state with service of fairness and equity. On the same day, Obi granted amnesty to 23 prisoners drawn from Awka, Onitsha, Aguata and Enugu prisons. According to a press statement from the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Gover•Continued on Page 46


NFRASTRUCTURE is shaping up in Delta State. Schools are wearing a new look. Roads are reworked; some converted into dual-carriage ways. Health facilities are expanded and strengthened. There is more focus on electricity. Thus, when the state governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan spoke before a packed audience in Asaba, the state capital, on Democracy Day, there was an appreciable measure of confidence in his voice. He also spoke on the state’s challenges. Present were top government officials, including the Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, the governor’s wife, Roli, traditional rulers, leaders of thought, among others. In his speech, Uduaghan informed his audience how his administration has been able to stem the tide of kidnapping in the state. He said kidnapping was the biggest challenge that his government had to contend with, but added that the ugly trend has been remarkably scaled back, with many of those involved identified and arrested. He said: “Kidnappers have been identified and arrested; their camps have been destroyed. We have prosecuted and are still prosecuting kidnappers more than any other state in the country.” In addition, he also hinted on the punishment that awaits those who are still bent on taking to kidnapping as a career and those who shield them. “Any traditional ruler caught aiding and abetting kidnappers will face the law; anybody who benefits from their loot will not go unpunished,” he said to the hearing of the audience that included traditional rulers and leaders of thought. The warning became necessary because the state House of Assembly only recently vetoed his refusal to sign into law a bill making kidnapping an offence punishable by death. On the controversial issue of Independent Power Projects (IPP) which has ruffled many feathers

•One of the road projects inaugurated

Delta steps up infrastructure upgrade Uduaghan inaugurates projects By Remi Adelowo

in the state, the governor revealed his government’s plan to provide its citizens with steady electricity supply. He told them how the state gets

between 10 to 15 megawatts of electricity daily out of the 458 megawatts that Okpai Power Plant generates and which is fed into the national grid in Obosi, Anambra State. He concluded that very soon, all that will be a thing of the past when

Oghara IPP and others scattered in the state come on stream. He added: “As I speak to you today, all the IPP equipment have been brought in and ready for installation. •Continued on Page 46





IGAWA State government immunised more than one million children against measles in the just concluded 2013 Health Week in the state. This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Mati Ali, the Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Health and issued to journalists The week tagged: “Maternal, New Born And Child Health”, was designed to improve health status of children and women. Ali said that the exercise was conducted between May 20 and May 24 in 576 selected health facilities in the state. He said that more than 1 million children were targeted for vaccination against measles and 956, 169 children were provided with nutrition support while 92, 961 mothers were sensitised on best breast feeding and sanitation habits. This, he said, was part of the health sector intervention to enhance service delivery at the grassroots. ‘’We conducted measles vaccination exercise and nutrition support services to children and mothers during the four-day exercise. “More than 3, 000 personnel were engaged to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise,”


Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA). Ali restated government’s resolve to reduce mortality, control measles and other child killer diseases as well transform the health sector.

Imo solicits royal fathers’ support on projects T HE Imo State government has urged traditional rulers in the state to participate actively in the supervision of development projects in their areas The Deputy Governor, Mr Eze Madumere, made the call in Owerri while receiving traditional rulers from Mbaike, comprising Mbaitoli and Ikeduru local government areas, who visited him. He said that there was need for traditional rulers to be involved in the supervision of government projects in their domains because they were the chief security officers of their communities. Madumere said that some contractors had abandoned their projects in some local communities after collecting mobilisation fees for such projects. He said that if traditional rulers of the af-

‘Sports reduce youth restiveness’

HE lawmaker representing Apapa 11 Constituency at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Olumayowa Jimoh, has said that the introduction of youth football competition in his constituency has drastically reduced youth restiveness, rancour and acrimony. Jimoh stated this at the final of the second edition youth football competition he organised for youths in his constituency which took place at Whitestand Stadium at Ijora last week. The occasion also witnessed the graduation of 175 youths of his constituency that the lawmaker trained in computer studies, the training lasted six months. Jimoh said he is using sports as a therapy to develop the youths and also a means of bringing the youths together for mutual harmony and progress “and I have succeeded in achieving that”, he said. According to the lawemaker, “before my emergence and hitherto there have always been one form of rancour or the other in the community but since I introduced this sporting competition, these vices had rimony has been checked. “There is a lot of difference between that period and now, they can now see the reason why

Borno trains 5,000 women on skills

Jigawa immunises one million kids he said. The spokesman said that the exercise was conducted in collaboration with the state government and the National Primary

By Oziegbe Okoeki

they should be together. Before now there was mutual animosity and they did not understand one another but by facilitating this annual competition that has changed”, Jimoh said. Speaking about the graduants, Jimoh said what they have is a fundamental thing that is going to help both this generation and coming generation “people can now learn from the graduants that they can be better off in the society”. He promised to help in whatever way he can to assist those who wish to use their skills in working in any other sector, adding that “I still have about 2000 youths I need to train before the expiration of my tenure”. Commending Jimoh, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji who was the Special Guest of Honour said the lawmaker should be appreciated for using his personal money for community projects and giving back to his people. Ikuforiji not only assured the community of his support, he also promised to support Jimoh to succeed. He urged the graduants to take pride in where they come from, adding that what they have acquired is an opportunity for them to excel in life.



fected communities were actively supervising the projects, they would have alerted the government on the activities of such fraudulent contractors. The deputy governor also urged the royal fathers not to fail in exposing hoodlums in their areas, adding that such information would help security agencies in their fight against crime. The Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers in Mbaitoli, Eze Peter Opara, renewed their commitment in acting as the watchdogs over government projects. He said that government needed partnership and support of the entire public to succeed in undertaking its numerous development projects. While promising to partner with security agencies in fighting crime, Opara noted that some of the crimes committed in the cities originated from the local communities.

Church progamme THE three-day mid-year praise, comedy and thanksgiving service of Agape Worship Centre continues today with praise and comedy night at 10.00pm.The thanksgiving service comes up on Sunday, June 9. The venue is 6, Zion Close, Off Alhaji Kosoko Road, Ojodu-Berger Bus Stop, Lagos. Ministering are: Rev Venonica Odi, Kelving Moses, Moses Cookey, Jude Osemudiamen, George Mathe, FFBC choir, among others.

• Wife of Chairman Mushin Local Government Area,Mrs Rachel Oludayo Adepitan (third left)with wives of other top council officials at the presentation of household items to children of Cheshire Home, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos as part of Children’s Day programme.

Kano seeks co-operation on sanitation


HE Kano State government has urged security agents in the state to cooperate with it to ensure compliance with sanitation laws and regulations. The state Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, made the call during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in Kano. He noted that this would encourage other people to obey the policy and described as disheartening the way security personnel who were not on duty flout sanitation restrictions. “On many occasions, these security personnel will come out doing commercial services with their vehicles as you can see this one is engaging in commercial transportation. “We should all know that this duty is to ensure good health and sanitation for all residents,’’ he said.


•Vice-President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Margaret Achibi, President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation/ Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College (NTBBC), Grandmaster George Ashiru and Director of Police Sport and board member, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Asst. Commissioner of Police Gideon Akinola, during the NTBBC 2013 Leadership PHOTO: ADEOLA SOLOMON Conference in Lagos.

Abbas said that the government would no longer hesitate to visit the full wrath of the law on any offending security agent who violated sanitation offences. On averting the impending flood disaster in the state, the commissioner said that a drainage committee had been set up to keep all waterways and gutters free of blockages. “This committee is made up of experts from various departments in my ministry, and other related ministries, they have started doing their jobs as required. “The Kano residents should make information available to the government concerning the state of blockages on waterways in their streets,’’ Abbas said.



munities above the age of 60. He said that the scheme would reduce the burden of providing care to the elderly people by their relations. The director urged community and local government-based hospitals as well as the families of the elderly people in the state to support the scheme so as to guarantee its success. “These services are in place in Germany. “And looking around in our place, we have a lot of people who are terminally ill. “Taking the elderly people to the hospital everyday is cumbersome; and I thought it would be worthwhile if the Church could collaborate with the JDPC to provide home service care for these people.


HE Borno State government has trained about 5,000 less privileged women in different skills and trades as part of its women empowerment programme. The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Inna Galadima disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Maiduguri. Galadima said the state government also gave the beneficiaries trade tools such as sowing, knitting and grinding machines, to enable them start their own businesses. She said the government also presented cash assistance of N100,000 each to about 40

Borno widows, who lost their husbands as a result of the prevailing security challenges in the state. Galadima said that the government also rehabilitated 80 women suffering from Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), who had undergone successful surgery. “Part of the rehabilitation programme, include training in various profitable trades and vocation, to empower them economically to stand on their own,” she said. The commissioner added that the ministry had also initiated plans to sensitise communities on the need to embrace VVF patients back into their fold after successful surgery. Galadima said the ministry was collaborating with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) as part of its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons from the state to neighbouring countries. She recalled that the Department of Child


KALA Street , a suburb of Mushin, famous as a hideout for drug peddling and abuse, received a breath of life last week with the inauguration of street lights by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). Under the aegis of the Apapa Family, the church, in conjunction with the Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB), provided 21 Solar-powered street lights along with all the accessories needed to power the area, covering Akala and other adjoining streets. At the inauguration, the Head of the Apapa Family of the RCCG, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, said Akala Street was chosen because the area has some social problems that needed to be addressed. He said it is a place where there are drug addicts and all sorts of crimes happen there. He explained that the place in Christian parlance, represents darkness, saying that “the church brought light so we can displace the darkness.” He said the project is also intended to activate the economic activities of the area. Iluyomade said Akala Street and its environs appear to be forgotten, adding that the church came there to

• Govenor Shettima Development in the ministry recently repatriated a young girl, who was rescued from some suspected human traffickers, back to her parents in Niger.

Church lights up community By Simeon Ebulu

point them to the light of God and prove to them that God still remembers them, and that even in there ‘dark’ areas, good can still come. On how the project were accomplished, Iluyomade, said over the years, members have been tasking themselves and raising funds to invest in those social aspects that affect pupils’ lives, adding that “it’s something we believed in and also a commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ to go and provide light, feed the hungry, heal the sick and set the captives free.”. He said the community is supportive of the project, “they gave their own compounds for us to use, even while we were working, they provided security, storage facility and the community has taken ownership of the project

because it belongs to them. “They have assured us that they will look after the project and protect it from vandals and vandalism, knowing that it’s the first major light project that is done in the area” Iluyomade stated. The General Manager, LSEB, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, who was represented by a senior official of the board, Mr. Adesanya Adekunle, said the board was on hand to provide technical support for the project. While acknowledging the feat by the church, he urged the community to ensure that the facility was protected from all forms of vandalism. A member of the community, Alhaji BakareAdisa, expressed gratitude to the church and assured that everything possible will be done to keep the facility from being vandalised.

Shell to commission fire service station

Free medicare for the elderly

NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation (NGO), Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), says it is introducing a free medical home service for the elderly in Anambra State The director of the organisation in the state, Dr Edwin Udoye, said this in an interview with journalists in Onitsha. Udoye, who is also a Reverend Father, said that the scheme was aimed at providing daily care and medical services to the elderly people in their homes across the state. He said that the scheme had already received the blessings of the Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha as well as the board of directors of the organisation. Udoye said that the scheme would target elderly people in sub-urban and rural com-


•Hon. Muse-Ariyoh presenting a gift to Oshodi Comprehensive High School, first prize winner (Secondary school category)

HE Lagos Island Millennium Group on the Environment (LIMGE) has announced the completion and commissioning of its N1billon fire station in the heart of Lagos Island. The project ,which is the a key component of LIMGE ongoing rebirth agenda for the Lagos Island, was by LIMGE, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPco) and other partners. LIMGE’s new target ,according to it’s President, Mrs Taiwo Taiwo, is to make sure ‘‘ that no building on the Lagos Island is ever gutted by fire again .This was one of our clear mandates from inception because we are aware of the fact that the Lagos Island area is densely populated with close clusters and has always been prone to fire incidents even from colonial times.’’ She noted that what LIMGE is doing is being an example of the Private Public Partnership for others .It is equally involved in community-related issues so that “we

By Emmanuel Udodinma

can build a better Lagos and Nigeria”. The project which will be officially commissioned this month boasts of a gym, recreation room, communication equipment, training facilities, four state-of-the-art fire fighting motorbikes, `brand new fire fighting kits and top quality modern fire fighting communications equipment. About 100 specially selected fire men have attended a comprehensive and extensive two- week training facilitated by a fire chief from the New Jersey Fire Department. LIMGE, which was established in 1999, has notched up impressive results in the work it has with the Lagos State government through the Central Business District Authority. The group was instrumental in the eradication of the area boys and reclamation of the Lagos Island Central Business District which had fallen into disrepair, congestion in the streets, ensuring that street names and traffic lights are in place.

Council inaugurates education trust fund


HE CHAIRMAN of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, Hon. Idris MuseAriyoh, has inaugurated the Education Trust Fund. This, he said, is meant to combat challenges facing education in the council. Muse-Ariyoh said no efforts should be spared to cater for the proper welfare and upbringing of the children. “I believe children are the link between the present and the future and no nation that aspires to greatness can afford to relegate them to the background. This present administration therefore accords high priority in its socio-economic programmes to the well –being of children,” he said. While admitting the challenges of training children, he called for decisive action to arrest these menace. His words: “Education of these children should be given great priority as it is often said that without education, a rural setting can never become urban. It is worth mentioning here too that various programmes that could be beneficial to these leaders of tomorrow are being held at regular intervals in the council. “We recognise the importance of basic edu-

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

cation for social and economic progress, and we will not rest on our oars until you are provided with sound and practical education to prepare you for future undertakings and make you all better citizens. “We dream of a society where parental poverty or indifference would no longer be an impediment to the education of our pupils and this we strive to achieve”. He stressed that promoting the welfare of children is not the responsibility of government alone, saying non-governmental organisations and other organs of civil society and in fact stakeholders have a crucial role to play. He enjoined the children to make the best use of the opportunities provided for them. “As children, you are also expected to be obedient and well-behaved at home, school and elsewhere. You should truly cherish the sacrifices being made by your parents to give you a better life by doing your best in every situation. You will also do well to justify the huge investment made on you by the various arms of government by growing up as responsible citizens,” Muse-Ariyoh said.

• From left: Irana Uneanya; Mrs Chibudo Dora Oputa (celebrator); Ms Taiwo Ologun; Mrs Suzzie Yamah and Information Officer Oriade Local Council Development Area, Mrs Rosemary Uneanya at the 60th birthday ceremony of Mrs Oputa

• The Solar-powered project

Council charges teachers on dedication


HE Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr. Ayodeji Joseph, has said that any society that compromises the education of its youth will fail.He therefore called on teachers to re-double their efforts to justify government investment. He made the remark at the council’s secretariat during the Children’s Day celebration across the country. He said: “I implore you our teachers to do your duty with utmost fear of God. The lives of these children have been entrusted into your care and you cannot afford to toy with them.” “If a file is misplaced, a new one can be opened but when a life is involved, a generation has been wasted. I, therefore, urge you to take advantage of government efforts to guide our youths on the path to follow.” Joseph called on parents not to leave the education of their wards in the hands of teachers alone. “I charge you not to shirk in your responsibilities. You must avoid child labour and abuse. Be reminded that there is a Lagos State law that prohibits child labour and criminalises the act.” The chairman explained that in view of the administration’s priority on education, it had constructed an ultra modern 12-classroom block at Ijora-Oloye Primary School,

By Musa Odoshimokhe

gives free GCE and JAMB forms to youths every year and had sponsored exceptionally brilliant pupil overseas for further academic exposure. “You are expected to maximise the benefit that are inherent in our efforts in this education sector. As youths who are desirous in building their future, you must avoid truancy, lateness, absenteeism, gambling, prostitution and other agents of vision destroyer. “At this juncture, I dare say that we have successfully acc o m plished our entire target in the area of education. Nonetheless, we shall not rest on our oars until we have surpassed even our set target,” he said. •Hon. Joseph





Criminal abroad •The seizure of Alamieyeseigha’s U.S. corrupt property gives further disgrace to Jonathan’s pardon


HE emotionally charged contention over President Goodluck Jonathan’s state pardon granted former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, just won’t go away. The issue resurfaced with news of the United States of America (USA) formal seizure of Alamieyeseigha’s $700,000 (about N105 million) mansion in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. The home is owned by Solomon & Peters Ltd., a shelf company controlled by Alamieyeseigha, according to court papers. It is a noteworthy fact that he had, last year, forfeited a $401,931 Massachusetts brokerage fund in the US. The latest legal sanction against Alamieyeseigha abroad is most welcome and heart-warming as it sends a correct signal that corrupt public office holders will not be allowed to enjoy their ill-gotten wealth, no matter where such loot may be located. “Foreign leaders who think they can use the United States as a stashhouse are sorely mistaken,” Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a statement, adding, “Through the Kleptocracy Initiative, we stand with the victims of foreign official corruption as we seek to forfeit the proceeds of corrupt leaders’ illegal activities.” Although it is not clear whether the funds would be returned to Nigeria, this should be the logical and proper thing to do. Symbolically, this development has further stamped a huge question mark on the moral standpoint of the Jonathan administration, especially in the anti-corruption context. Also, by implication, this property seizure linked with corrupt acts has further exposed the rottenness of Alamieyeseigha’s contrived pardon. Indeed, Jonathan faced an intense storm of public criticism when in March he hid under constitutional provisions to, among

others, officially and unconditionally pardon Alamieyeseigha who in 2007 was locally convicted of high-profile financial corruption and sentenced to a two-year jail term; in addition, he forfeited massive money and property. Considering the gravity of the charges against Alamieyeseigha, and the sheer scale of his guilt, there was widespread condemnation of Jonathan’s forgiving move, which was viewed as not only opportunistic, but also unconscionable and unscrupulous. At the time, this newspaper took the popular position that Alamieyeseigha was undeserving of pardon, and should not enjoy such redemption. Alamieyeseigha’s absolution not only left a sour taste in the mouth; it was also decidedly stomach-churning. This is a man who was charged with buying properties worth over $8 million with bribes he received from contractors while serving as governor, and who pleaded guilty to money laundering on behalf of two companies he controlled – Solomon & Peters Ltd; and Alamieyeseigha and Santolina Investment Corp. Even more dramatic was the discovery of a cool one million British pounds stashed in his London home during a search by the city’s Metropolitan Police; and another hefty sum of almost two million British pounds was found in his bank account in the UK. His movie-like and mysterious 2005 escape from London where he was facing money laundering charges has become the stuff of legend, and such was the story that it has spawned what many see as fantasy that he fled the city disguised as a woman while on bail. Alamieyeseigha has denied this, though. Back home, he lost his position following his impeachment by an outraged Bayelsa State House of Assembly, and was subsequently pros-

ecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Predictably, Alamieyeseigha’s scandalous behaviour in office scandalised all right-thinking people of conscience, except Jonathan and his camp, who made self-serving arguments to justify a clear immorality. In the light of the recent US penalty against Alamieyeseigha, however, the Federal Government has again not only been rightly exposed to perhaps unfamiliar lessons in public morality; it has also been deservedly embarrassed by the evident limitations of the state pardon granted him. Interestingly, it is a mockery of the concept that Alamieyeseigha, nevertheless, remains in chains. Reports say he is still under investigation in some Western countries and risks arrest should he step out of Nigeria. To go by the unfolding ramifications of this naked abuse of presidential discretion, for that is exactly what it was, the administration cannot escape more and more shame over the Alamieyeseigha pardon.

‘In the light of the recent US penalty against Alamieyeseigha, however, the Federal Government has again not only been rightly exposed to perhaps unfamiliar lessons in public morality; it has also been deservedly embarrassed by the evident limitations of the state pardon granted him’

Dana victims


•It is sad that one year after, compensation remains a sore point in the unfortunate disaster

UNE 3 made it exactly one year that Dana Airlines Flight 992 crashed in Iju-Ishaga, a community in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State, killing all the 153 persons on board. The crash dented the five-and-a-half year period of no air mishap involving any commercial airliner in the country. The plane had left Abuja for Lagos, but had its journey prematurely ended while attempting to land, and reportedly lost its two engines. The accident naturally threw the country into mourning, with government officials giving the usual promises of ensuring that the needful was done so that we would not witness such a tragedy again. By and large, there has not been any

‘The point is that this crash’s chapter cannot be closed (even if Dana is absolved of blame) until those affected have been duly compensated. The crash had taken away breadwinners in many homes, destroyed business places, rendered many homeless, turned landlords into tenants, among others. It is therefore important that the victims’ sufferings are ameliorated’

serious air mishap since then. But then, the issue of compensation has been a sore one for the victims of the disaster. Of course what has happened cannot be undone, but the least we owe the relatives of the dead and even affected survivors of the crash is adequate compensation, to reduce their agony. One year is long enough for this to be sorted out; giving the trauma that is normally associated with such mishaps. We have heard all manner of moving tales from many of those affected, both directly and those who suffered collateral damage when the plane crashed. We do not know why the government restored Dana’s license when most of the issues thrown up by the accident were yet to be resolved. This is not just about airworthiness criteria being met; it is also about the human factor, aviation facilities, etc. The point is that this crash’s chapter cannot be closed (even if Dana is absolved of blame) until those affected have been duly compensated. The crash had taken away breadwinners in many homes, destroyed business places, rendered many homeless, turned landlords into tenants, among others. It is therefore important that the victims’ sufferings are ameliorated. It is sad that only about 23 victims have been fully paid the $100,000 that they are entitled to, out of 153 persons on board and four others killed on the ground. Dana Air has claimed that most of the beneficiaries have not been paid because of court cases by some of the relatives on who should actually be paid while others

cannot be paid because they have not completed the documentation process. These may be true; but this is where also the government should come in because it owes Nigerians the duty of protecting their interests. It should not be in a hurry only to restore the airline’s license; it should be interested as well in ensuring that Nigerians are paid their entitlements arising from the disaster. The government should do more to ensure that all those deserving are duly compensated. We acknowledge our culture of inheritance of people wanting to share; but Dana or any business concern, local or foreign, should not be allowed to exploit Nigerians because of this. We also like to see Dana do more by way of updates on the crash. Most importantly however, the best way to immortalise the dead is for the government to ensure that the necessary things are done to ensure that planes do not fall from our skies in quick succession again. The aviation minister, Mrs. Stella Oduah, has assured that the ministry had implemented policies to ensure that similar disaster did not recur. We can only hope this is not the usual rhetoric by government officials. We salute the Lagos State government for its efforts and financial commitment towards the DNA of the victims as well as the provision of infrastructure in the areas affected by the crash. We commiserate with the victims who suffered collateral damage and those who lost their loved ones, and pray that the country would not witness such tragedy again.

Hate Speech on Facebook


ACEBOOK belatedly moved to further restrict hate speech that glorified violence against women after an organized social media campaign caused some companies like Nissan, the automaker, to withhold advertising from the site. The companies said they acted after they became aware that their ads might have appeared next to the offensive content. Some of the misogynist pages had headlines that read “Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs” and “Kicking Your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich.” Other pages included images of women being abused. Some pages had been on the site for a couple of years, even after users complained about them, according to Jaclyn Friedman, an organizer of the campaign. Many pages were in clear violation of Facebook’s policies, which does “not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.” In some cases, the company took down page after users complained, but other users later reposted the same content. Earlier this week, the company acknowledged that it did not always remove hateful content aimed at women “as effectively as we would like.” It said it would review and update its guidelines after consulting with lawyers and representatives from community groups. The company also plans to update its training for employees responsible for reviewing posts that receive complaints. While these steps are helpful, Facebook should have acted right away when users first complained about the sexist content, as it does with other hate speech targeting, say, religious groups. It was only after advocacy groups like Women, Action & the Media and The Everyday Sexism Project mounted a campaign, sending 5,000 e-mails to Facebook advertisers and coordinating petitions signed by more than 200,000 people, that the company reacted publicly. The company’s slow response may be indicative of a deeper problem in technology and Internet-based companies — most of them are primarily run by men. Facebook is, of course, a notable exception in that its chief operating officer is Sheryl Sandberg, who recently wrote the book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” This episode shows that sexism is a deeply entrenched problem that society has to battle collectively because individual voices far too often go unheeded. – New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•Deputy Editor (News) •IT Manager Adeniyi Adesina Bolarinwa Meekness •Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) Yomi Odunuga •Press Manager •Group Political Editor Udensi Chikaodi Emmanuel Oladesu •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

•Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: The movie/film industry of Nigeria has speedily grown to become a force to reckon with continentally and globally. The industry has grown from one that struggled to meet the local movie demands of Nigerians to one that comfortably meets both local and international demands for educative, informative and entertaining homemade movies. Nollywood which has celebrated about 20 years of its renowned existence, not only has thousands of movies to its credit, but has also been serving as one of the major employers of labour in the country and a veritable springboard for the discovery and nurturing of talents in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Nollywood, is supposed to symbolize the rich cultural, aesthetic cum




Nollywood and nudity ethical heritage of Nigeria, and indeed, Africa known to attach so much value to moral rectitude, sensibility and credibility. But what seems to have become of Nollywood in recent times, truly leaves much to be desired in this regard. There seems to be a total disregard for moral values and norms of Nigeria and the entire continent of Africa which Nollywood, through its movies, was meant to epitomize and/or symbolize.

These days, one seldom finds a Nollywood movie that does not, in one way or the other, contain explicit sexual affairs of varying degrees and nature. Obscenity, particularly in the area of nudity, is now the order of the day. It seems most of our Nollywood actresses would not want to play a role in a movie that forbade them from wearing skimpy and sex arousing attires. They all want to show off their breasts and thighs to the

detriment of their viewers, especially, our teen and youths (girls) who see most of them as role models. The case is not different for most of our actors who are wont to “sagging” or “low-waisting”, as local parlance terms it. They also will never fully button up their shirts without leaving the chest area open with their hairy chest visible. The attendant consequences of these explicit sexual immorality as often depicted by our Nollywood

sional Police Officer, DPO Carol Afegbai, and her men are alleged to have carried out the killing and burying the body without the knowledge of the family. The police have claimed that Ibrahim was stopped for search by the police in the process of which he allegedly drew a gun as a result of which he was shot. The Okada man, the police claim, escaped leaving the unregistered motor bike behind. Items said to have been recovered from a bag alleged to belong to Ibrahim include some live cartridges and two mobile phones. Expectedly, the extra judicial murder of has generated an outrage. On Monday, June 3, students of the University of Benin and family members of Ibrahim staged a protest in Benin City to draw attention to the gruesome murder and demand justice. The protest was also carried to

the Government House. In the evening of the same day, the police came out with its story but did not offer any explanation as to why the corpse of Ibrahim was hurriedly buried without notice to anyone. Official reaction has also come from the authorities of the University of Benin. The University, through its Public Relations Officer, Harrison Osarieren has denied that the deceased was one of its students. Whatever the truth of the studentship status of Ibrahim may be, the fact of his extra judicial murder is not in dispute. Every Nigerian citizen is under the constitution guaranteed his/her right to life which cannot be denied except in exercise or execution of an order of court. The police high command has also placed the DPO on suspension os-

tensibly to ensure proper investigation of the murder. This is a welcome step on the part of the police authorities as it is indicative of its preparedness to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to have been manifestly done. Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has promised to set up a panel of enquiry to investigate the killing. This is a welcome development. Many extra judicial killings have occurred in the past which were swept under the carpet. The panel should provide citizens opportunity to confront the police with concrete evidence which will help unravel the motive behind the killing of citizen Ibrahim.

portedly being owed about seven months’ pensions.” The MPB management wishes to emphatically state that the board does not owe military pensioners even half month pension. All eligible pensioners have been paid up to date including their gratuities and other retirement benefits. A simple interview with some of our

pensioners across the country can attest to the above. The only outstanding issue regarding military pensioners is the one of 53% pension arrears, which the Federal Government is currently addressing. The Board therefore, considers the aforementioned statement as misleading and capable of misin-

Police and justice for Citizen Ibrahim

IR: Not long ago in Benin City, a team of policemen swooped on a mechanic workshop located near a shopping complex belonging to the state government and arrested a young man of about 30 years said to be a mechanic. His offence was not disclosed as his alleged accuser, another mechanic, had merely telephoned officers at the station to arrest, detain and release only when he was satisfied that the alleged offence had been sufficiently atoned for. The accuser never wrote a statement at the police station. The ‘’suspect” was released 24 hours after arrest as directed by the accuser without being asked to make a statement. He was happy to be alive to tell the story of his unlawful arrest and detention. He had enough reason to. The incident referred to above is but one of the many such incidents of mindless police impunity, brutality and mistreatment of fellow citizens recorded daily across the country. The latest incident is the killing and secret burial of a 22-year old said to be a final year student of the University of Benin, Ibrahim Momodu. He was allegedly shot dead on May 27, while on his way home riding on a commercial motor cycle at about 9pm. The Divi-


IR: The attention of the management of Military Pensions Board (MPB) was drawn to the Editorial of The Nation newspaper of Wednesday June 5, page 19 with the headline “Pension debt.” The MPB was more concerned with a part statement in paragraph 5 of the editorial that “Even retired military personnel across the nation are also re-

• Nasamu Jacobson Benin City.

Re: Pension debt

movies’ actors/actresses is the preponderance of our girls, including the teens, walking our streets quasi-naked in such a provocative manner that most men (young and old) who are emotionally and psychologically unguided are compelled to make unwholesome sexual advances/assaults on them. The continuous upsurge in the cases of rape in the country and the African continent in general, is a pointer to this fact. There is no arguing the fact that westernization and the continuous advancement in ICT have been blamed for the persistent nosedive in our moral standards. But the gospel truth is that this trend will continue and will even assume dangerous dimensions if Nollywood through it movies, which have been serving as the greatest of all the teachers most of our teens and youths have, does not take drastic measures to stop forthwith, the production of obscene and nude movies. The Censors Board and other regulatory bodies in the industry have got to live up to expectations. They’ve got to sit up and help salvage our moral values from total collapse. There’s no way we can all of a sudden become Americans or people of the western world abandoning the core values that creditably distinguish us from them overnight. Their lifestyles will always be theirs and vice versa. Let’s learn to treasure the core cultural and moral values we have as Nigerians/Africans upholding them regardless of the prevalent spate of westernization. Nollywood can flourish and maintain its global acclaims and integrity without necessarily producing movies that aggravate the act of nudity and/or obscenity amongst our teens and young ones, and the entire citizenry. • Daniel Ndukwe Ekea, Umuahia, Abia State.

forming the public about the monthly payment of military pensioners. It is therefore imperative that The Nation correct this erroneous publication in its editorial giving it same prominence. • DS Audu Commodore Military Pensions Board, Abuja




Readers’ parliament 23


NCE you’ve solved your current problems, you will be rewarded with a whole new set of harder problems,” I have not read a crisper, more honest stuff in a long while. We have a youth population with a searing reality of intellectual poverty, folks reeking of pleasure inebriation and materialistic rum. Thus even hollow orations sound off as extraordinary, demanding the spectacle of mentally barren youths. You rock! 08035711153. Olatunji, Expensive Folly is wonderful and thought –provoking. Problems don’t have prototype solutions. I am sorry for we hapless unemployed (often tagged: unemployable) youths of this country that get ripped off those so-called motivational speakers. 08063656865. Dan. Port Harcourt, Rivers State. You have addressed a matter which bothered my heart greatly. Celebration of motivational speaking is founded mainly on the getrich quick malady of our time. The lack of depth by most of them is reason why they cannot even tailor foreign opinion to meet present challenges. Motivation works for those who have found their bear-

ing; it is not for the blind. How do you motivate a young man who has no vision but wants to be a millionaire? This is part of the decadence of our time. 08037128706. From Steve Aiyanyo. Abeokuta. Ogun State. Mr. Olatunji Ololade, I have just finished reading your piece on motivational speakers. I enjoyed it for the bitter truth contained therein with regard to our misguided youth who are forever looking for shortcuts and props rather than face the realities of life and living. It’s a must read for my students next week. 08034027080. From LKJEJE, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State. Yes sir, most of the motivational speakers are shallow but no sir, they shouldn’t be done away. You are clearly not an entrepreneur so won’t be able to understand that a modicum sometimes will make the difference. Please advocate instead for regulation of the trade. Ultimately, a five per cent success rate is okay. 08186054747. Funso Patrick. Abuja. Expensive folly…just gone through your write-up. With people like you around, there is hope for Nigeria. Keep it up.

‘Ololade, you spoke my mind in your column. I thought I was the only one that was concerned with the fraud that the so-called motivational speakers are committing in Nigeria. All they do is regurgitate quotable quotes from foreign stars and they make money for this. I pity young Nigerians that fall for this cheap fraud. 08061198625. Suraj’


EEPING may endure in the night, but joy comes in the morning, says the psalmist. Weeping brings tears and lamentation; a typical experience in a situation of oppression, suppression and dictatorship. So it is in Akwa Ibom State, where weeping gnashing of teeth, tears and lamentation remained the order of the day, until recently. A little reflection: Fourteen years back, Nigeria had a chequered history of governance. About 13 rulers rather than leaders have at different periods remote controlled the compass of the nation from the Sahara to the Coast. The aftermath had been years of pendulum commands, staggered policies and corruption. In the circumstances of apathy, the nation and its people went through the valleys and mountains of confusion, segregation, marginalization, imprisonment, torture and killings. Perhaps, the cost of sacking the colonial masters appear not as high as the cost of achieving unbroken civil governance in the last 14 years. But in time, God took a decisive care of the affairs of men by raising among us men with conscience and people-focus. It was the 15th president of Lebanon, Emile Lahud, who posited that “democracy, good governance and modernity cannot be imported or imposed from outside a country”. The reality of that came to bear on Akwa Ibomites in 2007, as they, with prayers and tears, entrusted their fate in the hands of Chief Godswill Akpabio. Six years later, on May 29, they reassessed the situation and in joy, thanked God for their fortunes, so far. It was at an interdenominational service held at Ibom Hall grounds. Thousands of hundreds of Akwa Ibom people at home and the Diaspora gathered to acknowledge God’s hand in Akpabio’s leadership. For them, it was not just a celebration of good governance but qualitative leadership. According to Mark Goyder, the director of Tomorrow’s Company, “Governance and leadership are the yin and the yang of successful organisations. If you have leadership without governance you risk tyranny, fraud and personal fiefdoms. If you have governance without leadership you risk atrophy, bureaucracy and indifference.” Today, Akwa Ibom people are no longer in the chains of a government with stolen mandates. It has broken loose from the grip of men of timber and calibre who with sugar - coated dreams, juicy visions, surround themselves with structures on drawing boards. Hence, from 2007, Akpabio who became the product of tears and desires for a fresh beginning has reconnected the dreams of the founding fathers to the promises of prosperity. The process of uncommon transformation has remained ongoing. From roads that link communities, urban renewal and beautifications, tourism regeneration and the overhauling of transportation systems,

08037943652. Sunday. Olatunji, thanks for your article today. I have never trusted my faith in motivational speakers at home and abroad. They are worse than used-car salesmen. Listening to an Aliko Dangote for instance can only encourage me better. There are too many unknowns in this world for mathematical deductions to be trusted. I tell my children: Work-pray-work hard. 08033246068. Engineer Tunde. Very good write-up, many true facts but not sensitive to others’ views and religious inclination. You ended with describing favourite pastors’ literature as some retrogressive crutches, that’s not good enough. Read through some of the books and you will be shocked at the depth. Do better next time. 08033398515. Dr. Silvanus Owei. Ololade, you spoke my mind in your column. I thought I was the only one that was concerned with the fraud that the so-called motivational speakers are committing in Nigeria. All they do is regurgitate quotable quotes from foreign stars and they make money for this. I pity young Nigerians that fall for this cheap fraud. 08061198625. Suraj. Hello mate! Quite a while! Very good outing…just going through. Please keep it up. No disagreement on this. 08063521699. Dr. Omotoso SIB. Expensive Folly refers: simply put, you are gift to the nation by transcendental enlightenment and liberating courage. I only wish our drowning youth would ever read and accept your precept. I have written you before when you wrote about what should be the true honour our women should seek. Hope to meet you some day. 08131927550. Chris. Auchi, Edo State. I just read Expensive Folly (1) and I can’t help but agree with everything you said. It’s high time

we youths stopped searching for relevance where there is none. 08064941239. RE: Expensive Folly. You are not just a writer, you are an institution sir. Our main problem in Nigeria and Africa is not corruption, but “quality” ignorance across board. 08032070130. ART. You are ahead of this generation. Your lingua and lexical gusto is immense. Just hope more people appreciate this talent. We need more of you in journalism. 08033385566. Please my friend, your Expensive Folly (2) on the stable of Reality Bites is wonderful. Are you aware that those motivational speakers are also in churches as pastors? There, they deceive the congregation that prayer in tithe is the only ingredient to actualizing their earthly dreams. A girl who lacks those essential matrimonial qualities runs to a church with the belief that such pastors can command husbands from the sky for her and pathetically, the pastor accepts the role knowing full well that it’s not possible. Don’t you think this is another religious fraud? 08037750540. Victor. Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Thanks for revealing the ultimate realities of life. As for the youth…those that have ears, let them hear. Keep up the good work. God bless you. 08036626976. Olatunji, you forgot to add to your list of fraud: modern day “pastors” in various “churches” who preach prosperity daily as if that’s the sole reason for which Jesus came. 08023071877. VIC IBE. Your article, Expensive Folly is the best I have read in a while. You spoke the hard truth. I hope other Nigerians will get to read it. Keep up the good work. 08099666230. Nwachukwu. Ibadan, Oyo State. Great write up. I appreciate it. 08185808210. Blame it on gullibility being a

prominent aspect of the Nigerian culture. 08037285269. S.A. Alawode. Dear Olatunji, your write-up is the gospel truth in the face of the reality we have on ground in our present day Nigeria. I believe every individual has a path in this life, it’s just for him to trace the path and pray for God’s guidance and protection every step of the way. Life has no manual. 08035744872. Hello Olatunji, your article exposed a group of fraudsters and “foetal adults.” But I know that our young ones and even many mature adults suffer from “Hurried Life Syndrome” and this must be addressed. I think that Robert Frost calls on all who really want to make a contribution to humanity to choose to service and live with universal and timeless principles. I think there are genuine and authentic trainers who live their talk…It’s ridiculous to see a young person talk about life when he hasn’t seen anything. Well, I guess we will always have the tares and the wheat growing together, and like you said, life itself is the greatest teacher. Keep up your good work until we meet. Yours for the best of humanity. 08033912712. Mrs. Ofovwe. Re: Expensive Folly (2). Before now, I thought I was the only one that saw the danger in what these so-called motivational speakers are doing to the society. Thanks. 08032644356. Olatunji, thanks for your rescue mission. I hope all the parties involved in the “Expensive Folly” could find time to read your piece. Though I just read the second part of it, I think you did not go the full hug by noting that these “life coaches” have permeated the churches. You now hear “everything you want, He will give you” with no room for God shaping your life the way He wants. 08069394351. Pastor Chudi.

Democracy, tears and transformation By Usen Akpan Akpabio has created a new Akwa Ibom State. This is the state described as a destination of choice. In very clear perspectives, to the deaf, the blind, the opposition and the doubting Thomases, the blessings of the six years of uncommon transformation in Akwa Ibom one after another is nothing short of a big surprise. Like one commentator said recently: “Space may limit elaboration here but suffice it to say that apart from other evidences, Akpabio is now jocularly knows as “The Roadmaster”, on account of his unprecedented road network development. As he constructs even federal roads for all Nigerians to ply, he is ‘rebuilding Nigeria’. Some critics even say he’s the “Education-by-Force Governor”. Yet, this is one area he proudly pointed out at the event as his effort at “rebuilding Nigeria”, as all Nigerian children resident in his state benefit from the scheme. Indeed, the governor’s love for education, in particular, is based on his understanding of the great importance it holds for the people. He appreciates, like John Maurice Clarke, the English economist that, “knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns”. He has invested in education more than any governor before him in Akwa Ibom State. Challenged by the ignorance and poverty that had once ravaged the land and affected the psyche of the people, Akpabio is changing the fortune of his people through education. Similarly, the e-Library; the gas plant; the Ibom International Airport; the prisons built and handed over to the federal government; the construction of over 10 buildings within the University of Uyo, a federal institution; the various contributions - structural and financial - to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), another federal body, all aid in rebuilding Nigeria”. Today, Akpabio does not only represent Akwa Ibom’s voice nationally, his works also speak for him. He speaks and the people listen, for he measures his decisions and actions with utilitarian scale. It was Sophocles who said in Antigone: “I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the state.” Implicitly, if he were to be alive today, he would have been very proud of Akpabio who has not only championed a course desirable by his people but impacts on them empirically. Hence, the children, for instance, enjoy

free and compulsory education; women and children are treated free in government-owned hospitals; some roads in the state now compare to some in London or America. Apart from classrooms, Akpabio has constructed workshops, mobile libraries, sciences laboratories and art studios. At the state polytechnic, the college of education and related institutions, Akpabio has ensured that the regulatory bodies visit, inspect and accredit the various courses. Over 1000 teachers and instructors have been employed and trained, to meet contemporary standards of teachings. Reasonable grants, donations, assistance, scholarships and bursaries are encouraged for professional and vocational learning nationally and overseas. The focus of the government lies in ensuring that the psychic and mindsets of the Akwa Ibom State children is rated at par and above other Nigerians. To boost the economy, Akpabio has entered into negotiations with the Federal government to build a deep sea port. The approval for commencement of work has been endorsed, as construction of water breakers commences soon as part of the state government proposal of an industrial city project. It is estimated that it would boost positively the economy of the state, Nigeria and the entire Gulf of Guinea. As part of the Democracy Day commemoration, the Akpabio administration signed a management agreement with the Hilton Worldwide Group for the supervision of tourism and hospitality service of the Tropicana Entertainment Centre. In that agreement, the Hilton Worldwide Group, a brand in global hospitality service has arrived to start the Uyo Hilton Gardens. At the Gardens is a wet and dry park, a World class conference centre Cineplex, a galleria and shopping mall. Moreover, the state has completed the 191 megawatt power plant, a gas processing plant, completed the phase one of the international airport. The list is endless, from sports, agriculture, security and workers welfare. No section is left behind. The cause for celebration becomes clearly justified. The real aspect of the Akwa Ibom State celebration of the 14th Democracy Day and the six years of uncommon transformation is that the destiny of people can change where the people believe in God. The rest of Nigerians have a duty to ensure that the example of true leadership set by Akpabio is replicated in their respective states. That way, Nigeria will change and regain its position as a giant of Africa. • Akpan is a journalist based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State



COMMENTS Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons - Michael Jackson


Y sheer force of destiny, Mr Labaran Maku is a card-carrying member of ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and a former deputy governor of Nasarawa State. He currently occupies the position of Minister for Information. By virtue of this position, he is the spokesman for the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. As spokesman, everybody expects him to always embellish truth. Reason: The government he speaks for has allowed inanity rather than purposefulness to becloud its actions and policies. And it would be puerile for anyone to exempt him from the ‘infection’. One would have expected him to clearly articulate the policies of this administration during his recent 2013 ministerial press briefing. But no; he rather chose to unleash his misplaced incisor on the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos. Everything Maku says about Lagos is a lie and everything he claims the centre administration owes in the Centre of Excellence is stolen. For the indubitable fact that Maku cannot tell the truth about the administration he represents, he should not be expected to say same about other administrations, especially the one governed by the opposition. One thing that Maku must remember is that power is transient and if it is impossible to remain in power forever, then the ultimate goal of any occupier of public positions should be to create things that will outlast him positively. Is he doing this at the moment? He should not forget easily that there was a Chukwumerije and perhaps an Ofonagoro in this country, who used the platform offered them by government to propagate lies against the people. If Maku were to be given the task of writing the history of their epoch, what would he write about these two men? The public is watching as this Maku on Lagos has chosen to delude himself about the brilliant performance of the Fashola-led administration, which is a reality that even if people like Maku stop believing in, for mischievous reasons, such good deeds would still not go away. For goodness sake, how can Maku say that Lagos is the luckiest of all the 36 states in Nigeria as it has benefited so much from Federal Government’s infrastructure? He mentioned one other state in the south-south. Hear him: “Lagos too rests on federal infrastructure; the governor


HIS must be the age of ‘unleavened’ evil for want of a more suitable word; a time when we must always expect the worst each day. Evils that never happened before, even in the dark ages, seem to be returning from the pit of hell to torment mankind every new day. A 64-year-old man, Chimezie Osuigwe, who is a former school principal somewhere in Oguta, Imo State is said to have kept his mother’s corpse in his house for about 10 years. It is yet to be ascertained whether he killed his mother and for ritual as suspected. And he won’t say why he embalmed and co-habited with his mother’s remains for a decade. From Akwa Ibom State is a recent report that a teenage mother buried her child alive and from Gusua in Zamfara State, 25-year old Kamal is reported to have killed his mother and two sisters and dumped their bodies in Gusua River. In Odukpani, Cross River State, Samuel Nsa picked up a machete and hewed his father down as if he were a tree. Samuel had allegedly stolen a goat on May 27, 2013 and when the youths brought a complaint to his father, the78-year-old tired of his son’s criminal life, denounced him whereupon an enraged Samuel reached for the machete…The other day in Woolwich, England, we and the entire world saw the two British-born Nigerians butcher a man right in the middle of the road in broad daylight. More disturbing however, is the story of 18-year-old boy, Olanrewaju kayodeAremu. That Olanrewaju killed his 46-yearold father, Victor kayode-Aremu is not terrifically shocking but the story is in the manner he committed the act. At about 10.00pm on May 1, 2013, as the rest of the family watched television downstairs in their duplex house in Eti-Osa, area of Lagos, Olanrewaju had trailed his father upstairs to his room and attacked him with a kitchen knife. His father managed to make it downstairs to the sitting room but son pursued father and right before his mother and younger siblings, Olanrewaju stabbed his father repeatedly as if possessed by a demon. Olanrewaju is said to have stabbed his father about 10 times leaving him no chance to live. “I killed my father because seeing him


Of Maku’s flippant outburst

• Labaran Maku of Lagos has nothing significant to do aside environmental sanitation; Lagos state is the luckiest state. Even the BRT lanes are on federal government roads …” Obviously, Fashola and the governor of that other state rejected to foot the bill of Maku’s ill-conceived projects-monitoring jamboree called Nigeria Good Governance Tour (NGGT) across the states of this warped federation. Only a mad man in dire hallucination would say that despite an avalanche of verifiable achievements of Fashola, that he has ‘nothing significant to do in his state than mostly environmental and traffic maintenance.’ Rather than seize the occasion of the ministerial platform to redeem the abysmally low image of the Jonathan administration, he took an unwise swipe at the high-per-

forming governor of Lagos State, leaving open in the process, his flanks of crass ineptitude and misgovernance at the centre. For want of something to engage in, Maku contrived a conduit pipe through which he can drain public till when he came up with the NGGT through which at least carefully chosen 120 officials of ministries/parastatals, civil society groups and favoured journalists visited states of the federation. The initiator of the “good governance tour” allocated bogus all expenses government bill including undisclosed estacode, Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), transportation, feeding and accommodation. Two questions: What has the tour of states by Maku’s NGGT achieved? Let him come out and tell Nigerians how much was spent on those frivolous tours and how far that would have gone in rescuing the 20,000 Nigerians that reportedly died of hunger everyday? Maku should stop his attempts at using cotton wool to blur the eyes of his fellow countrymen across ethnic divide that celebrate Fashola’s achievements in Lagos everyday. Yours sincerely has read reports about the barrages of criticisms by notable Nigerians and even political parties against the observations of Maku regarding his warped judgement of the state of governance in Lagos. Except he chose not to know, he must realise that the modern state is one with a beautiful environment and one where movement is made less cumbersome through free flow of traffic on very good and mostly well maintained roads. These are some of the things that Fashola has done in a cosmopolitan mega-city like Lagos. Maku should tell his master in the Villa to provide Nigerians with


SMS O8181624757,

Beware your child may be dangerous! makes me angry,” said Olanrewaju. “The truth is that I always feel sad and angry anytime I see my father. I was just getting angrier when I was stabbing him because he didn’t love me…He forced me to study Geology in the University (instead of his preferred biochemistry)… my dad knew (I hated him) because I am always cold when he is around me.” Olanrewaju on why he killed his father noted further that he used to maltreat him. On that dark day of May 1st, he said he had complained that he was ill but nobody paid any attention, not the least his father who had a second wife and never cared. The world is surely in distress. The world is assailed by what I want to call ‘cyberpsychosis’ or ‘infomania’. It is the death of abomination; the internet age is damaging our children irretrievably; there is no abhorrent material they cannot find on the net. The more violent and bestial computer games are today, it seems the more profitable for the hawkers. Parenting today has become doubly difficult. For instance, yesterday our parents worried about teenage pregnancy, today it is about young girls in the business of making babies for a fee. It is a tough age to be a good parent; in fact I want to think that a good parent of today may be identifiable by his/her long, shrew-like mouth. Yes she gets that from talking and

talking with little result. Here is a supplement I found in my bible (The living Bible, Parents Resource Bible, page 1165) written by ROLF ZETTERSTEN. It is titled: THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR. I hereby reproduce it with the title:

What parents can do

It is called March Madness, and to millions of basketball fans it is the sporting event of the year. The National Collegiate Athletic Association selects America’s top sixty-four teams and pits them in do-or-die contests. For several weeks the tournament is held in arenas across the country, and roundball fans are glued to their television sets. The capper to March Madness is appropriately called the Final Four – when the surviving quartet of teams meets to determine the national champion. The site of the three-game play-off becomes a Mecca for basketball enthusiasts. One year I had the opportunity to attend the Final- four tournament at New Orleans, Louisiana, where more than eighty thousand fans gathered to celebrate and witness the sporting contest. All the main events were held at the Superdome, a massive indoor coliseum that normally hosts professional football games. Even though I had no particular allegiance to any of the teams, it was not hard to get swept up in the excitement inside the enclosed stadium. Bands from each school blared fight songs as their respective supporters sang along. The cheerleaders motivated their fans to

stable electricity and fix decrepit federal roads across the country. It is only when these two are successfully done that a man like Maku can conveniently say that the proverbial Maku has conquered the fear of what the Yoruba calls abiku in 2015. Finally, Airtel returns my line Precisely on April 5, l procured a special line from Airtel mobile network. Less than two weeks after my Sim card registration, the line went off again and before l realised what was happening, a hacker had swapped my line and the rest is history. Today is not meant to recall those excruciating moments that l went through or how l had planned to take legal action against the company but for the entreaties of the few among its good staff. I am using this opportunity to admonish the network provider to always ensure protection of customers’ information which was lacking in my own case. There are some fraudulent employees of the company who conspire with outsiders to defraud customers - as in my case. However, the company owes these courteous staff a lot of gratitude for calming down my frayed nerves. They include the pleasantly humble and exemplarily serviceable Erhumu Bayagbon of the company’s PR department. He assured me that the matter would be resolved amicably and was never tired of picking my calls and even calling me to allay my fears about the line. He assiduously discouraged me from taking the company to court. Thank you, my brother. With an employee like your, the sky is the limit for the company. Osigbeme Modigie and Grace Henshaw proved to be capable of taking the company to greater heights too. Their exceedingly humane approach to issues is inspiring. Blossom Isika, right from the day she was directed to restore the line last Thursday evening, had been wonderful and so humble on phone whenever l had anything to complain about. Indeed, thank you, too. And to Ada Mbuno, I really appreciate you for being a good and dutiful staff of Airtel. However, one James, also of the company’s PR department, is not deserving of these encomiums. He was so insolent on phone and disdainfully evasive of customers. Mr Segun Ogunsanya, the Nigerian CEO of the company must beware of a staff like him for he lacks the disposition of a relationship person. Nevertheless, my line is back and l hope that a repeat will not occur as the company had promised me. participate in chants and yells. People were dressed and painted in their team’s colors. Of course, once the games began, the cheering intensified. I was sitting in front of a large section of University of Michigan alumni. Every time their team scored, they applauded, hooted and screamed as if their lives depended on it. Many of the fans brought signs with them that conveyed clever slogans. I’ll never forget one such poster because it suddenly brought me back to reality. At one point in the game, after the Michigan team made a comeback, one man got up from his seat and began parading up and down the aisles holding a large cardboard sign above his head with this message: This is What We Live for. Although many people in the crowd apparently agreed with his theme, it had an adverse effect on me. I suddenly had a healthy dose of proper perspective. I turned to my friend who was also reading the sign and said, “I’m sure glad this isn’t what I live for.” I was reminded of the apostle Paul; if he held a sign above his head, it would have said, “For me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying – well, that’s better yet!” (Phil.1:21). In other words, his existence had only one purpose – to serve and glorify God. And Paul viewed his inevitable death as a promotion because it would take him to the Lord’s presence. So what do we live for? “Opportunities for Christ.” I believe they can begin at home, where we demonstrate our faith in simple, everyday ways. We live for accepting and loving our spouse. We live for teaching our children the wonderful truths of God’s creation. We live for demonstrating God’s forgiveness when our family members fail. We live for supporting our relatives when they need help. We live for encouraging children. We live for teaching them God’s Word and leading them to faith in Christ. We live for enjoying quiet moments with loved ones. We live for laughter around the dinner table. We live for achieving the intimacy that God wants us to have. We live for demonstrating the benefits of a disciplined life-style. We live for modeling charity, hospitality, and equality to others outside our family circle. Sure, I’m crazy about competitive sporting events. The Final Four, the World Series, the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, and the NBA Finals are thrilling highlights of every year. But they are nothing compared to the excitement of a family intent on living for God. Again, what do you live for in your house hold?






Senator Annie Okonkwo’s wife, Chinyelu, turned 50 on May 26. A thanksgiving service was held at the Church of Assumption Catholic Church, Falomo, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI writes.

•From left: Governor Okorocha; the celebrator Mrs Okonkwo; her son Uche and husband Senator Okonkwo


HAT was to be a birthday party for the wife of Anambra State Senator Annie Okonkwo, Chinyelu, turned out to be a political gathering of sorts. Her husband’s political associates came in large number to share in the joy of her 50th birthday in Lagos. She went to the Church of Assumption, Falomo, Lagos, for a thanksgiving. The reception was held at the Okonkwo’s Ikoyi home, a stone’s throw from the church. A classic tent was aesthetically placed in the large garden behind the house.Fresh white roses and lily lined the walkway. A white rug replaced the traditional red carpet. Green silky curtains shielded guests from the sun. Dangling crystal lightings dropped from the roof of the tent. In the middle of every table were flowers, cutlery and glass cups of various sizes and shapes. The event planners, Shasha, led by their Chief Executive, Chizoba Omeakachie, and her bevy of beautiful ushers, ensured orderliness. It was a gathering of ‘who is who’ among Igbo politicians. Fashion, class, style, beauty, elegance were showcased. Guests didn’t disappoint in their dressing; they were simply stunning. Some northern senators were there, too. Many of the men were in suits. Some women, were in native attires and head gears, others wore gowns with matching feathered net hats. With exotic choice wines and sumptuous delicacies, guests were treated to a buffet of local and continental dishes. Chris Mba and the Bisi Band entertained guests. The repertoire of music comprised oldies and the new school.

A Senator’s wife at 50 ‘She is the pillar and strength of the family and I admire her humility and devotion to us and dad. She is truly my inspiration and I am so proud to call her my mum’ Okonkwo led his wife to the floor for a romantic slow dance. Alone on the dance floor, they moved left and right, holding each other close as they set the tempo with Lionel Richie’s Endless Love. It was like a nuptial dance. Okonkwo shooed away those who came to spray them money. Looking regal in a floor length golden gown, Mrs Okonkwo planted kisses on her husband. Soon after, accolades began pouring in for the mother of six. Many spoke glowingly of her. ‘Ugoagwu’, as she is fondly called by her friends and family members, was described as the umbrella that covers her husband. Mrs Ruth Iwunze, a close friend of the celebrator, described her as a woman of humble character, whose unassuming nature doesn’t tell of her affluence. “She is down to earth and a prayerful person and has kept in touch with even her primary school mates,” she said.

Dr Maureen Oniya, a university mate of Mrs Oknonwo, said during her days in school, she was studious and God-fearing, compassionate and humble. “An inspiring love is what she has and never looks down on anyone,” she said. Her elder brother, Nonso Onwamaegbu and younger sister, Nkem Onyekwuluijie, also eulogised their sibling. The nine-yearold son of the celebrator, Somto, spoke of his mother’s favourite soup - Ogbono; favourite colours - black/white; role models - Diana Ross and Oprah Winfrey and best musician Diana Ross. Another son, Uche, a spilitting image of his father, praised his mother for being a style icon. Thanking her for all she has done for the family, he hoped she would be around in years to come to witness all the greater things he will do in future. Nkemamaka, the Okonkwo’s first child


and only daughter, said many good things about her mother. “She doesn’t look 50; everyday, she looks younger wearing a long hair and high heels. Though I am 23 years, she is more fashionable than I am. I admire her a lot. She is my role model,” Nkemamaka said. At this point, she broke down in tears and someone gave her a handkerchief to wipe her face. “She is the pillar and strength of the family and I admire her humility and devotion to us and dad. She is truly my inspiration and I am so proud to call her my mum,” Nkemamaka added. When she finished her speech, she got a resounding applause The cutting of the cake was delayed for the day to get dark. Fireworks were lit by the cake and 100 more colourfully erupted in the skies. Intermittently, they exploded, leaving many to wonder at the beauty of the scenery. At the event were Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha; Senator Chris Ngige; Chairman of Zinox Computer Leo Stan Ekeh; Group Chairman of Chisco Transport Chief Chidi Anyaegbu; Senator Mike Ajaegbu; Dr Tunde Sholeye; Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Planning Ben Akabueze; General Officer Command 81 Division, Maj.-Gen Obi Omahi; Fidelis Oditah (SAN); former Managing Director of United Bank of Africa (UBA) Tony Elumelu and his wife Awele; Enterprise Bank Managing Director Mr Richard Main; Nollywood acts Chidi Muokeme and Osita Iheme; wife of the former military governor of Lagos Ndubisi Kanu Gladys, and Ausbeth Ajagu. •More pictures on page 26




•Senator Ngige and Lady Uche Obi

•Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Directors Alhaji Mohammed Abana (right) and Alhaji Aminu Dan Agundi

•Mr Elumelu and his wife, Awele

•Mr Ekeh

•Mrs Kanu

•From right: Eze Uche Dimgba; Eze Chukwudi Ihenatu; Eze Nnamdi Nwigwe and Okpotemba

•Gen Omahi

•Hon Akabueze

•Prof Oditah (SAN) and his wife, Pricillia

•From left: Dr Ajagu; his wife Anuli and Chairman of Oxford Hotels Mrs Nwadiuto Iheakanwa PHOTOS: RAHMAN SANUSI

ONE YEAR MEMORIAL OF FORMER UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS (UNILAG) VICE-CHANCELLOR PROF ADETOKUNBO SOFOLUWE IN YABA, LAGOS •From left: Mr Lateef Odekunle; Prof Duro Oni; Prof Harrison Longe; Mrs Roli Sofoluwe; Prof Rahamon Adisa Bello UNILAG (VC ), Ms Boluwatife Sofoluwe; Mr Toyin Ogunnoiki; Mr Oluwarotimi Shodimu; Mr Tunde Jaiyesimi; Ms Ayomide Sofoluwe and Master Ebunoluwa Sofoluwe



S OCEITY Former Editor of The Punch Pa Ekundayo Alabi Wright marked his 75th birthday last Saturday. Family and friends joined him at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos for a thanksgiving, reports TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

•From left: Capt Ikpeme; Mr Tobi Sosanya and Mr Abiodun Oshodi

•The celebrator, Pa Wright (third left), with children (from left): Moji Somolu; Mr Seun Wright; Mrs Lola Wright-Odusoga; Mr Abayomi Wright and daughter-in-law Mrs Folasade Wright

•Mr Toyin Makanju (left) and Mr Ajibade Okikiade

•Mr Martins (left) and Mr Olajide Alesinloye Williams


‘I am fulfilled’

IS interaction with friends belied his age. He shared jokes with them as if they are still in their youth days. Even when any of them said something he did not agree with, he interjected and explained his side of the story to the gathering. These and many more elicited laughter from the small group that gathered at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos. The gathering was the celebration of the 75th birthday of a former Editor of The Punch Pa Ekundayo Alabi Wright last Saturday. The celebration began with a church service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina. As early as 7:45am, the upper left side of the expansive church bubbled with praise songs. The ‘birthday boy,’ clad in blue lace Agbada, stood in the front row with his daughter Lola Wright-Odusoga and her friend. The one hour and 20 minutes service featured offering, Holy Communion, sermon and recessional hymn. The officiating minister, Revd Williams Mehinsan, congratulated Pa Wright, wishing him many more years. In his sermon, the cleric made the audience realised the brevity of life with different instances. According to him, no matter number of years man spends on earth, he will die one day. Revd Mehinsan lamented that normal things are becoming abnormal while abnormal are seen as normal these days. He said most of things Nigerians qualified for, they do not get them rather they make use of the things that get to them. “Our infrastructure is nothing to write home about; water is nowhere to be found except digging of borehole while electricity is in co-

matose. All these factors cut life short. So, if one reaches 50 or 60 years, such a person should be congratulated not to talk of 75,” he said. He urged the gathering to live their lives well because of sudden death. After his sermon, the pianist, Samuel Kutojo entertained the congregation. Special prayers were offered for the celebrator, his family, friends and well-wishers. The guests took turn to congratulate Pa Wright while exiting the church. There was a photograph session in the church’s compound before the guests moved to the Tennis Club for reception. There, Pa Wright’s old friends and ex-professional colleagues turned out in various dresses. They exchanged banters and jokes about their youth days. Chairman of the occasion, Group Capt Ita David Ikpeme, welcomed the celebrator to the club of the 75 and above. Seventy-five is a good age to be celebrated because when you wake up, it is not easy to leave the bed. If you read obituaries in the newspapers and their age, one will appreciate reaching 75,” he said. Capt Ikpeme said Pa Wright is never afraid of speaking out his mind. He said he developed a relationship with the celebrator during his incarceration under General Ibrahim Babangida regime. Also eulogising the celebrator, Mr Owolabi Martins, who is two years older than him, said their friendship dated back to their childhood days. “We have known each other from childhood. We went to St. Gregory College, Obalende, from there to England; I went to Oxford, and he went to former Regent Street

•Mrs Lola Famodu (right) and Mrs Rita Atuonaa


‘We started our friendship in Campos Square, Lagos Island before moving to London. Our youth days are fantastic, interesting and enjoyable. He is a jolly good fellow, very religious. I wish him long life and prosperity’ Polytechnic. He was a good sportsman and still plays squash, very dedicated. I pray he continues to grow in wealth and health,” Mr Martins said. Mr Toyin Reis, a retired hotelier, described his 40 years relationship with the celebrator as memorable. “We started our friendship in Campos Square, Lagos Island before moving to London. Our youth days are fantastic, interesting and enjoyable. He is a jolly good fellow, very religious. I wish him long life and prosperity,” Reis said. Pa Wright thanked God for His mercies. “I feel great; my father died a month and few days for him to be 75.He died on the 6th October, 1989. He was to be 75 on December 30th. My mother died on October 20, 1978. She was 59-plus. So, at a stage, I nursed that fear that I would just die like my father if the thing is hereditary. But again, I thank God I am alive today,” he said. Any regret about his past? “No,” he quickly replied. “But if there is any regret, there is nothing you can do about it. It is like a flowing river. Once it is gone, it is gone; you will

just watch that river flowing away. All you need do is ask yourself, where do I go from here. I never set out a special programme for myself. Lagos was swinging and I was swinging along with it until I was sent abroad. Even then, I said to myself, all I want is good life. Here I am. I have no regret. None at all,” he said. According to him, attaining 75 is the goodness of God in his life. “I am fulfilled. My children are grown up. The girls are in their husbands’s house and the boys are doing well. Fulfillment is something that comes from the inner self. Sometimes you don’t even think about it because I am not materialistic. Whatever I have and I am contented. I have friends older than me and I have others younger than I am. A good number of them are doing very well. Tell me what I am looking for when I always have them around,” he asked rhetorically. Pa Wright enjoined the youth to live a good life, saying: “Be honest and good to people around. So that even after your departure from this world, someone will say, he was a good man.”





HE Combo Hall of Lagos State Television (LTV) was filled to capacity. Guests looked resplendent in formal and traditional attires. It was the award night of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Television (LTV) Chapel. Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, and Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Kolawole Taiwo, led the pack of awardees. Senator Tinubu bagged Heroine of Democracy; Taiwo Agent of change. Other awardees included Secretary, Ikorodu Local Government Japhet Odesanya; Mrs Tinu Aina-Badejo; Gabriel Amodu; Hon Fatai Oyesanya; Mrs Anike Adekanye; Hon Olorunkemi Surakat; Comrade Ayodele Adewale; Hon Tajudeen Ajide, and Hon Augustine Arogundade. Senator Tinubu wore a simple pink native dress with a silver headgear and bag to match. She was all smiles, as she came forward to receive the plaque. The guests applauded her. They also sang her praise. A coordinator of the event, while reading her citation, described her as a woman of strength who does not joke with discipline, a heroine and a distinguished senator. Then time for the awards. Senator Tinubu received a plaque from LTV Director of Current Affairs Mrs Funke Moore. Mrs Moore said the award was given to her for sustaining democratic values in the state. The crowd watched as personalities took photographs with Senator Tinubu. The awards over; it was time to dance to Juju music supplied by Sir-K-Infinity. Mrs Tinubu could hardly find her way out after the event as everyone wanted to greet and take photographs with her. She attended to them. The award, according to her, is a reminder of the struggle for democracy. “I think if we are talking of democracy, we should be looking at heroines in the likes of the late Kudirat Abiola and all those who paid the ultimate prize for what we are all enjoying today. The prize paid was borne out of their passion for mankind, love and freedom. This award is a big shoe for me to receive. “I am not someone, who really likes awards, but I am here today to rejoice with the LTV Chapter of the NUJ. Throughout my journey to become a senator, they stood by me; so I am here to celebrate with them. I wish them well, I know my little support is not enough, but I am glad that they all enjoyed themselves tonight.” Senator Tinubu, who on behalf of other awardees, promised not to disappoint the organisers. “This is an incentive and it would keep us going. We dedicate our awards to those who fought for democracy,”

A befitting honour The Lagos Television (LTV) Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) last week honoured Senator Oluremi Tinubu and several others at an awards night to commemorate its Press Week. OLATUNDE ODEBIYI reports.

•Senator Tinubu flanked by Senator Ashafa (right) and Senator Gbenga Obadara

•Former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Abayomi Kiyomi (left), assisted by Alado of Ado Kingdom, Oba Adeyinka Ado, present a plaque to Comrade Adewale.

‘I am not someone, who really likes awards, but I am here today to rejoice with the LTV Chapter of the NUJ. Throughout my journey to become a senator, they stood by me; so I am here to celebrate with them. I wish them well, I know my little support is not enough, but I am glad that they all enjoyed themselves tonight.” she said. Earlier in his remark, NUJ Lagos State Chairman Comrade Deji Elumoye enjoined the awardees to continue their good work, and to continue to support journalism. LTV Chapel Chairman Samuel Dada thanked God for making the event a success.

He said: “We are grateful for the presence of the senators and for their financial support.” In attendance were: Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District; LTV Director of News Mr Ayo Agbesanwa, represented Permanent Secretary, Mr Lekan Ogunbanwo; Hon Adetoun Adediran.


•Former Federal Commissioner for Works Alhaji Femi Okunnu (middle) presenting an award to Alhaji Musbau Oyefeso during his investiture as Patron of Association of Muslim Law Students, University of Lagos Chapter at the campus. With them is Hon AbduHakeem AbdulLateef

•Mr Elumoye and Mrs Adekanye

•Mr Agbesanwa and Mrs Moore



•From left: Deceased’s children John Imoudu; Jacob Eratsor; Andrea Imoitseme and the deceased’s husband General Manager AIT Jacob Egietseme Idinye during the funeral mass for Mrs Eucharia Nkiruka Idinye at St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Ifako, Lagos.





• From left: Mrs. Aderinwale; Mr Ajibogun; and Mrs. Adeyemi receiving the car keys during the draw in Ota.

PR experts seek removal of communication barriers in Africa


O ensure that Africa’s immense potential for development is exploited for the benefit of its citizens, communication barriers such as language, trade and movement restrictions, rigorous visa processes should be removed, the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA) has said. Members of the group spoke at its first summit in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopia capital. They said to kickstart the continent’s economic revival, leaders should create a positive image. “African citizens and governments should be the ones creating and telling their stories, which is a key area of engagement for public relations practitioners and communications professionals,” they said. The three-day event, entitled: The rising Africa: The imperative of communication, was attended by 184 members. It was opened by the Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ehiopia, Mr John Hailemariam Desalegn, featured a keynote address by the President of Ghana, Mr John Dramani Mahama. According to the Secretary-General of APRA, Yomi BadejoOkusanya, there were participants from Gambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and South Africa. There were also representatives from India, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Badejo-Okusanya said participants agreed that a communication campaign be created for Africa, applying the key steps, including research in social economic development.


Stories by Wale Alabi

He said: “We call upon the African Union Commission particularly in this endeavor to re-brand Africa and create its own platform for effective information communication and dissemination. There should be consistent training to enhance public relations practitioners’ activities, and also build relations with media houses, which can in turn reduce differences that deter communication.” The summit also resolved that in creating this desired image, public relations practitioners and communicators should utilise diverse conventional media such as sports, entertainment, export commodities and so forth. Champions of Africa brand were urged to recognise new media of communication, such as social media, because it is crucial to provide interactive platforms that enhance measurement and evaluation of communications through feedback from target audiences while not completely discarding traditional media. The summit also noted the encouraging growth in the economic indices of several African countries that affirms the notion of a rising Africa. Six out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world, are found in Africa. The failure to tell the correct African story and the misrepresentation of the African story was spotted as a bane. Africans, therefore, need firstly to establish mutually binding agreements with identified global stakeholders, especially the international media, geared towards projecting a more favourable image of Africa, said Badejo-

Okusanya. The summit communique stated: “The need for greater integration of African countries through the promotion of free movement of people, goods and services across the continent. This will enhance understanding and bonding between and among the peoples of Africa. “That the rise of Africa will be accelerated if we change the perception of the continent through effective communication and public relations and the resolve of the African Union Commission to ensure that the African Union moves from being a collection of member states to a union of the African peoples and one driven by a common vision, consensus and by its citizens.” The secretary-general said security concerns in Africa are growing and often arise from a disconnect between governments and citizens, and that most of such conflicts can be resolved through effective communication and increased and improved stakeholder engagement. The event also attracted distinguished professionals from across Africa. They included Mr Erastus Mwencha, African Union Commission, Deputy Chairperson; Justin Green, Global Ambassador for APRA; Habiba Mejri-Cheikh, Chairman of Public Relations Association, Gambia; Dr. Remi Aiyede of the Department of Political Science University of Ibadan; Chido Nwakanma, President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria and Mrs. Tikolo Kentice, Chairperson, Public Relations Society, Kenya. The next APRA conference will hold in Mauritius.

Business portal makes debut

PUBLIC Relations consultancy firm, Mediacraft Associates, has launched an online news and business intelligence It caters for over 30 sectors, taking into cognizance the increasing need for easier access to news and information on various industry sectors of the economy. During the presentation of the portal, Mr John E. Ehiguese, Group Chief Executive Officer of

Mediacraft Associates, said his organisation’s would raise the bar in public relations practice. He described the portal as a major reason for the development of the online news platform. The Editor-in-Chief, Mr Elcee McEdwards, said: “Our pre-occupation at is to build a top-of-the-range platform that will serve as a point of recourse for upwardly mobile young men and women, as well as business ex-

ecutives, playing in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy. More than anything else, is a kind of ‘one-stop-shop’ news platform for busy executives.” Speaking further, McEdwards said: “We run a free daily email newsletter for people interested in the specific business sectors, bringing the relevant news and articles straight to the inbox of our registered subscribers.”

Nurse wins car

NURSE at the Ogun State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Adeyemi Abosede, has won the star prize of a new Honda car at the Justrite Superstore Chop Life consumer promo draw in Lagos. The winner, who was not at the event, which held at the Alpha Centre, Sango, said she was on duty when the “goodnews” came through her cell phone. Although she was skeptical when she got the call, she managed to find her way to the venue of the event. Mrs Abosede, who is also the Olori of the Olu of Ifo, came with a retinue of friends and well wishers. Expressing her excitement, she said: “In fact, I am short of words. I really do not know how to express this. I am surprised and excited. I thank God for the organisers of this wonderful event that has blessed me”. the promo, she said, was “quite innovative, wonderful and truly rewarding, adding: “At first, when the promotion started, I was not interested, even when I bought items that qualified me for a raffle ticket. It was my son who came with me to the store that impressed it upon me to collect the ticket. Little did I know that one of my many tickets will turn out to be the star prize winner.” Although she could not remember how much she spent while the promo lasted, she expressed appreciation to the management for having the interest of their loyal cus-


Students hail Amstel

TUDENTS of tertiary institutions in Lagos have applauded Tuface and friends campus connect tour sponsored by Amstel Malt, hosted Nigerian’s Afro hip hop singing sensation, Innocent Ujah Idibia, popularly called Tuface, and other talented musicians. The tour, which ended at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) started from University of Benin (UNIBEN), moved to the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Enugu and University of Abauja (UNIABUJA) before pitching tent in Lagos. It provided platform for several budding and notable artistes to showcase their skills. They included Ranson, Money B, Hype M.C, Efa, Young Grace, 2Sec, Rocksteady, Damy Crane, Sheyi Shay, Rough Coil, Vector, Solid Star, Phyno, Sound Sultan and the winner of the Amstel Malta Show time last year, Same . The crowd that defied the downpour to enjoy music performance by Tuface and friends comprised students from UNILAG, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos State Polytechnic


tomers at heart. “As one of them, I regularly do my shopping at Justrite and most of the times, my husband comes with me. In fact, I have the single honour of dedicating this car to him. I am truly grateful to God and the management of Justrite”. Presenting the car keys to the winner, Fidelis Ajibogun, Acting Assistant Director/Coordinator, Lagos Zonal Office of the National Lottery Commission, confirmed that the Justrite Chop Life consumer promotion complied with the regulations of the promotion. The Managing Director, Justrite Superstores, Mrs. Tosin Aderinwale, said the company was happy with the outcome of the promo, although the crowd that attended was far more than envisaged. “The promotion is designed to reward the company’s loyal customers. We do this regularly to give back to our customers who have always been there for us but this is the first time we will have it this big. The impressive turnout is testimony of our consistency over the years and the customers have come to believe in us. It is also indicative of our large customers base, we have loyal followers,” she said. Apart from the star prize, over 250 other prizes were won by customers. These include 10 flat screen TVs, 10 generating sets and 100 blenders. Mrs. Aderinwale said consumers should expect another promo before the end of the year.

(LASPOTECH)) and Adeniran College of Education Lagos. A 300 level Estate Management Student, Okodua Cosmos, described the show as the best that can happen on campus because it created exciting moment between students and the hip hop stars. He praised the organisers for contributing to extracurricular activities in schools and encourages them to make it an annual event. Also, a Psychology undergraduate, Ogunsola Oluwakemi, expressed her excitement and satisfaction with the show. “I cannot describe how happy I am to see some of the hip hop stars on stage, I am also getting the best time with best malt. The show has brought us relief from the bustle of lecture hall, this should happen often to help us reduce the stress of campus,” she said. Adukwu Ekene, a 300 level Human Kinetic and Health Education undergraduate, praised the synergy between Tuface and Amstel Malta, calling for more of such gigs on campus. The Brand Manager, Amstel Malta, Miss Hannatu Ageni Yusuf expressed her appreciation for the impressive turn out and the outstanding musical performances.

Panabiz launches product

ANABIZ International Limited has launched its Document Management Solutions. Its General Manager, Mr Diwakar Yadavalli, said with paper documents generation growing at 22 per cent yearly, there is a growing concern of where to store paper documents. “Some of these documents can be discarded as they are not required by law, yet they take up expensive office space. With Document Management, companies can digitise, index, securely store and grant access for the retrieval of the documents files based on individual needs of staff,” Diwakar said. He continued: “Document Management Solutions further demonstrates our vision to be the Office Automation Solutions provider of choice in Nigeria as we put all paper documents just a click away. This en-

hances staff efficiency because they don’t have to spend hours looking for a single document that could potentially cost the company millions of naira. By using the Savings Calculator on our website,, you can track how much you could save by implementing our Document Management solutions.” He added: “Most of us can testify to the frequent hassle of looking for important documents filed months or years back, without any luck and how we spend more time searching for such documents. We can say goodbye to that because Panabiz Document Management Solutions ensure that those documents can easily and instantly be accessed anytime they are needed on any device, from anywhere, even when you are away from the office. In that way, you spend time actually working and being more productive.”



Brandnews Legend is offering consumers a lifetime experience in Dubai in its ongoing promo. In this report, winners share their experience with WALE ALABI

Legend Stout leverages with shopping W T HE excitement is in the air. The adrenaline of consumers going to Dubai has shot up. It’s already one month since what many described as “The deal of the year”, The Legend Real Deal National Consumer Promotion, began. Of the 25 consumers, which Legend Extra Stout promised to take to Dubai, 17 have emerged in two raffle draws in Lagos and Port Harcourt. While on the free trip, the winners would visit some important places and shop for gift items worth N1 million at one of the city’s biggest shopping malls. The first raffle draw held in Egbeda, Lagos produced nine winners. Of these nine, seven have gone to Dubai and have returned. They are: Uchechukwu Dennis Chukwu from Ebonyi State, Nwabuoke Ikechukwu Ambrose from Delta State, Oluwabusuyi Kelvin Olubusuyi from Ekiti State, Solomon Okoro Ike from Owerri, Imo state, John Akoji from Abuja, and Temitope Ogunyemi and Austin Nwakaife, from Lagos State. James Nweke from Kano State and Aghedo Cyril Sadiq Ehinoria from Lagos could not make the first trip. They, however, joined the next batch of winners. The eight lucky consumers are: Ozioko Bethran Ikechukwu from Kogi, Okotie Oritsuwa from Warri, Tom Madaki from Kaduna, Omoleye Folasade Grace from Ekiti, Wilson Prince Osah from Port Harcourt, Sunny Odomoke from Ebonyi, Ishalaiye Ayodele Aghedo from Lagos and Emuejevoke Oputu, also from Port Harcourt. They returned from Dubai, where they shopped for items worth N1 million in one minute. Twenty-eight-year-old James Nwaoyama Nweke is a bouncer, who relocated to Kano in the quest for greener pasture. He said: “The day I bought the Legend beer that won me the Dubai trip was boring for me. I then decided to stroll down to International Hotel on Enugu Road to have a drink. Getting there, I saw that a promo was on, and I ordered for Legend Stout. I became upset when I didn’t win any of the instant prizes, but a lady sitting close to me persuaded me to send the code on my crown cork, and I just gave it to her to assist me. To be honest, I didn’t expect to win, as I was planning to go back to my home state, Anambra. I was shocked when they called me that I had won a trip to Dubai. I could not hold my excitement.” The trip was Nweke’s first outside Nigeria. He also got his first international passport and visa courtesy of Legend Extra Stout. He further said: “I neither had an international passport, nor money to procure one, not to talk of travelling abroad. Nigerian Breweries made provision for all our travel documents without collecting any dime from me. If not for Legend, there is no way I could have been what I am today, because all this happened when I was on the verge of losing hope.”

Wilson Osah, an aluminium fabricator in Port Harcourt, said he was yet to wake up from the dream. He doubted when he was informed that he won. According to him, it sounded like a scam. He was only convinced when he received the money from the Legend brand team to get himself an international passport. Like James, this was his first international passport. On his activities in Dubai he said: “I dined with many tourists from around the world, visited interesting places like the museum, the tallest building in the world and a boat cruise before we went for the Real Deal which is the shopping. We dined in two of the biggest restaurants in Dubai - Brazilian and Chinese Restaurants.” He described the experience as awesome. He said: “First, I picked a lot of valuable items, such as 39 Inch LG LED TV, a massive LG Home Theatre, printer and other home appliances that will be useful to my family. I think pictures should give people out there an idea of what I got. Again, the trip was an eye opener for and I long for a repeat of that show. It was like a reality show. If I had another chance, I will love to do it again.” Twenty-four-year-old Ayodele Ishalaiye, based in Lagos is a Youth Corps member serving in Ebonyi State. When he got the call that he had won in the Legend Real Deal promo, he did not believe it. He did not see himself travelling in the year, neither did he have a passport, because he didn’t have any need for it yet. He said: “When the call first came in, I thought it was a swindle me.They got me my passport and two months Dubai visa, and flew us on Emirates Airline to Dubai. “Initially, I was apprehensive, because I didn’t know what was in stock for me. But I thank God I was able to pick valuables that are useful for my immediate needs. I picked 39’ LED TV, Home Theatre, and other expensive home appliances.” He has kind words for Legend Extra Stout. Oritsuwa Okotie from Delta State has visited some African countries. Yet, he described his trip to Dubai as an eye-opener. “In Dubai, I saw a very beautiful city, with a likeable nationality that has a culture of self-sustenance. The lifestyle of the people and the way they relate, the level of development and many other monumental legacies the city possess.” On his experience in Dubai, he said: “Legend is real. As you can see, I just came back from an all-expense paid trip to Dubai where I went to shop for free, after drinking two bottles of Legend Extra Stout. Fifty-four-year-old Tom Madaki, a native of Kaduna is a pensioner, who served in the Nigerian Army. He described Dubai trip as the biggest reward of his life. The veteran, after quiting the military service also worked as an accountant in the Kaduna State Civil Service for 10 years. All through these years, he never travelled abroad until Legend Extra Stout offered him the opportunity.

• The second batch of winners in the promotion flanked by officials of Legend Stout at the Deira Shopping Mall, Dubai ... last Sunday.

Need for emergency number

E are atypical nation. It is baffling how we have come this far with out the establishment of some basic infrastructures such as a national emergency number. For instance, Nigeria does not have a national emergency number. The emergency numbers we have are in silos. Lagos has its own emergency number. Ogun State has its own. The National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) has its own number. The Fire Service has its own unique number. The Ambulance Corps has its own number. Police has its own number. Your family has its own special emergency number, which is linked to your pastor and doctor, depending on the situation! Do not call my number and ask me to give you an emergency number because I would not. What is available is not what we need. What we need is a unified national emergency number, one that would serve allpurpose and situation, one that would be as easy as 121; not some odd set of numbers you cannot remember in an emergency. According to research, during an emergency, the brain goes into a panic mode, and would be too busy searching for solution; as such, it would not have time recollecting some odd set of numbers. That is why, globally, emergency number is usually a set of simple figures that can be dialled using two keys on the phone. Ok, it is confusing, but it is not. Pick up your mobile phone now. Dial 121. You would notice that you punched just two keys - one and two. However, you dialled one twice. You see, it is easy. So, come on, tell me, why do we not have one national emergency number that would be available to you, to me, to everyone? The answer is in a file, the file is in an office, and one man who does not appreciate the importance of having a functional emergency number owns the office. That is why Lagos State introduced a dedicated 767 and 112-call centre for emergency government services in 2009. The call centre manages five million calls monthly. Lagos residents are using the service because it worked. Ogun State followed suit in August last year. The state introduced an emergency toll free number 211 call centres. What is happening to the national emergency number? Do not ask me. However, recent reports indicated that the project to install a single emergency number nationwide is in various stages of completion across Nigeria. Over N4 billion has been spent on it, yet the project is still in the embryo stage, bogged down by bureaucratic nonsense, being supervised by bureaucrats. The project entails citing Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs) in each state and Abuja. This would enable the public alert security agencies in case of emergencies, threats to lives or to volunteer useful information to various authorities. Let us have the sharing formula: Huawei got a $13.572 million contract to install communication infrastructure centre. It would install the centres with the required gadgets for exchange of information with various security agencies. The facilities would have 11 workstations for call takers in each state; system servers and switches in each state; UPS battery bank in each state; Universal Access Platform in each state; Array Storage Systems and Raised Platforms in each state. Another 22 companies got N2.44 billion contracts to construct bungalows to house the ECCs in 37 states plus Abuja. Audit reports had it the number of states allotted per contract ranged from one to three. The contracts have been executed in 23 states. Plans are underway for the development of a coordinated strategy for effective response to the ECCs by the designated response agencies i.e. fire departments, Federal Road Safety Commission, NEMA, Civil Defence Corps, Police blah blah blah. This

is the summary: Having a unified emergency number in Nigeria is not an emergency. Banking blues The other day, the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, revealed in Abuja at the yearly Isaac Moghalu Foundation (IMOF) lecture that banks over-charged customers over N6 billion. He followed up by saying that the newly established Consumer Protection Department of the CBN had recovered the amount and returned it to customers. And the question is, have you received your portion of the fund? Who are these customers? You and I are bank customers, are we not? Have you got any notifications from your bank about this refund? I have checked my accounts and there is no such thing as a refund. Hello, who do I report to that I have been overcharged? Since there is no national emergency service number, and there is no one to call in cases of bank overcharge, who will help me recover my fund from my banks? Sanusi has spoken. What is next? On several occasions, the banks have carried on as if the customers do not have choices. And do you have a choice? Do you really have a choice? You do not have a choice because all the banks are alike. The banks have the same mentality. A typical bank teller is bored stiff because she is over worked, overpaid, over indulged to the extent that she does not have the luxury of looking at your face. The teller is probably thinking about her next job where she would be paid higher than what she is earning at her place of work. Therefore, when she resigns and gets another job, she comes with the same attitude. And the beat goes on…

GTBank, this is unthinkable Going to the bank was not on my radar for a long while. However, I was compelled to visit a GTBank branch recently. I am sure you have an account at a GTBank branch. Everybody does. GTBank is the best bank in Nigeria. It has fantastic customer relations service. It is out of this world. It is orange. It is sweet. And the epithet goes on and on. Ok. Do you know that GTBank has different customers, and that these customers are categorised? One of the categories is SMEs. What this means is that every account that falls within this category is moved to another branch, irrespective of where the account is originally domiciled. This means, if your account is domiciled at Greek Road, Apapa, Lagos. It would be moved to Kofo Abayomi in Apapa or Mile 2. It depends. This happens without the knowledge of the account owner. However, this does not mean you would be unable to make savings or withdrawal, you would. Nevertheless, you would be unable to transact business. Making cash withdrawal and cheque lodgment are not the same thing as requesting testimonial from your account officer, which requires signature and GTBank’s seal. That was when it dawned that the account has moved long ago, and that your account officer is not where you thought he should be. Now, as they say in street parlance, you are on your own. What this means is that you have to travel to the GTBank branch where the account now ‘reside’, find the account officer you have never met, whose name you do not know, whose phone number you do not have, whose email address you cannot have and who you would not recognise even if you stumble on him! This bank is said to have exceptional customer service delivery; and as such, was conferred with the Africa Bank of the Year award by Banker magazine recently. That this is happening is bewildering. That it is happening in GTBank is unthinkable.

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, e-mail: © All rights reserved.





FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013

•A mobile shop at Onipanu, Lagos.



The coming of mobile shops Shopping is fast taking another dimension. Today, some patronise the malls; many still keep faith with the markets and others buy from car booths. Mobile market trend is fast gaining acceptance. TONIA ‘DIYAN writes •STORY ON PAGE 32

Group holds interior designers exhibition

Page 33

Food outlet opens in Yenagoa

Like coffee? Buy good appliance Page 33

Page 34




•A mobile shop at Cele bus stop, Lagos.


VISIT to shopping havens such as the ever-busy Obalende or Oshodi in Lagos will avail you of some spectacles: Clusters of shoppers selecting various wares — clothes, shoes and other items — from the open booths of cars where they are displayed. Standing by the booths are the sellers who are ever-ready for the haggling, which is usually brisk. They are operators of mobile shops, a trend that is fast gaining acceptance. Virtually anything can be bought on the move. Bus stops, streets and joints host such shops as rented space is not a prerequisite. It has quick and cheap mode of shopping for workers returning from work in the evenings. Most of them now see the mobile market as the best place to find whatever they want. “If I can get what I want from the booth of a car, I will simply buy and forget the sentiment. The point of purchase of an item shouldn’t be the priority; what is important is the availability of products needed at any time. If the car booths are giving me what I want, I don’t have to spend time queuing up in a mall for status symbol or going through stress in markets,” said a shopper, Mr Babatunde Alieru, who was seen buying male shoes from a car booth at Obalende Bus stop on Tuesday. Those who sell from the booths of their cars say they prefer to move from one location to another to get sales. “We like to meet our customers where they are. We simply sell for convenience, taking people’s needs to them,” said Mr Okechukwu Okeize, who sells shirts and other office items from the booth of his car at Aguda bus stop. Those who patronise the booths of cars boast of the availability of their choice items without having to go to the market or stores. “But come to think of it, mobile shop is a good concept. I enjoy shopping this way mainly for availability and convenience,” Mrs Olufunke Shoetan, a teacher with Government College, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos said. The high demand for cheap and new products and retailers wanting to attract more customers, has made selling from the booth popular. The Nation Shopping spoke with shoppers and retailers of car booth items to find out


The coming of mobile shops how genuine the products are. Mr Linus Odinaka is a shopper, who said he bought a cooking ware from a car booth at Mile 2 three years ago and has had no cause to replace it. “I had the opportunity to buy a Binatone pressure cooker and I have not regretted my decision. It is still strong, very useful and serving its purpose.” One would have thought those who sell from their car booths cannot afford to rent shops. On the contrary, most of them own shops but prefer to sell via their car booth. Mr and Mrs Usman Bankole, who sell cakes from the booth of their cars, said: “We own a shop but it is not in our choice area that is why we have chosen this medium and, so far, it’s been rewarding, and we sell a minimum of 20 assorted cakes daily.” “Those who think we cannot afford to rent a shop, have they thought of the fact that we buy fuel everyday to go round and showcase our wares? They should know that affording shops is not a challenge,” said Mr Chikordi Amadi one of the retailers. For Mr Thomas Awofeso, a shopper, it is a form of advertisement. “Retailers use this medium to advertise their goods. They advertise items in their shops through handbills distributed to people, thereby selling

products in their absence. This gets them more patronage than retailers in stores.” “I simply move about with my shop. I also own an immobile shop in Ikeja and I have applied wisdom by opening another in my car,” Mrs Nnkiruka Abolo, a bread seller at Berger bus stop, said. Mr Aruna Komolafe, a mobile bread seller, said he has more than 50 regular customers patronising him. New entrants in this line of business test the waters to see whether their products will be accepted by people. Some cannot actually afford shop rents. According to them, rents are high, no thanks to the reconstruction and modernisation of markets in Lagos. For some retailers, the mobile shop helps them to take items to consumers and bypass middlemen who they may have to pay. On accessibility, many places where some products are not readily available are accessed through mobile shops. It is a market penetration strategy. There are varieties of items: new ones or fairly used. Examples are: Snacks and drinks, food, electronics/electrical goods, kitchen wares, books, perfumes, handsets, bedsheets/ pillow cases, baked food, bread, corporate wears, baby items and many more. According to mobile traders, there is the

‘If I can get what I want from the booth of a car, I will simply buy and forget the sentiment. The point of purchase of an item shouldn’t be the priority; what is important is the availability of products needed at any time. If the car booths are giving me what I want, I don’t have to spend time queuing up in a mall for status symbol or going through stress in markets’

tendency to buy on credit and owe when selling in a store. But people cannot afford to owe when they are not sure to find the retailer at the same spot the next minute. The idea is, therefore, cash and carry. Mr. Lamidi Akinpelu encourages the retailers by patronising them daily. “I cannot do without buying bread from a bus when I find one. I am sure to get freshly baked bread at affordable price.” He also said some companies have imbibe this strategy in their businesses. They prefer to stock a vehicle with their products for swift sales and immediate production of new products. However, there are some risks attached to this form of shopping; one of them is the tendency to buy substandard goods because the retailer might not be found at the same spot the next minute. A person might just pick a fake product out of anxiety. Mr Olugbenga Balogun once had a bad experience. "Last week, I was returning from work and I saw a car packed at Alapere Estate bus stop with its booth opened selling lovely office shirts and ties. It was already late and I was rushing to get home, so I didn't leave my car. I actually bought five pairs at half their price and I thought I was lucky getting a good bargain. Not until I got home and was disappointed. The shirts were actually Dubai shirts packed in TM nylon. I have since been looking out for the car at that spot but the seller hasn't been there after that day." A major disadvantage is that retailers obstruct traffic when motoring shoppers stop by to patronise them, they inconvenience other motorists. In busy places such as markets and bus stops it is observed as a phenomenon causing more congestion on roads. To curb this act, the state government launched a crackdown on all forms of illegal trading but this does not seem to affect selling from car booths as more shoppers patronise them nothwitstanding.




Shoppers, who were at the just-concluded interior design exhibition, organised by the Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN) had an array of beautiful items to choose from. TONIA ‘DIYAN reports

Group holds interior designers exhibition


HE Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN) exhibition was the right place to buy materials for your dream house. To mark the World Interior Day, colourful designs from over 40 exhibitors were displayed last weekend at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was a two-day exhibition. The exhibition, the first of its kind, was also to celebrate 50 th Anniversary of Inernational Federation of Interior Designers. It aimed at bringing interior/architecture designs to the public and to enhance the knowledge of the profession and encourage co-operation among professionals. It focused on the range of work interior designers do and their contributions to the society. Exhibitors included Aframero, Agatha’s Interior, Alexandra designs, Aralia by nature, Caxton alile, Blue mahogany,Chair centre, Do II designs, Doshlaps, Essential Interior Magazine, I design, I0 furniture,Mikano, Svengali Designs, Out of Africa, Roma Fruits of Nature, Tope Edu designs, WOW interiors, Zen Decor, Westafco, Southwood, Officeline, Interior specifics, Interior by Anora, Installation limited, Honey world interiors, Genesis, House to home, Design works, Colour sense, Colours in Africa, Baldwin Investments Ltd and Dulux, among others. At the opening, the Chairperson of the exhibition committee, Ms Omon Anenih-Mordi, said: “One of the many high notes of our very first exhibition is that it gave people a unique opportu-


nity to experience the value of connecting with professionals who are talented interior designers and who are offering free consultation to shoppers at the exhibition.” The Nation Shopping spoke with some shoppers at the exhibition. Mr Olanrewaju Shokunbi is a stock broker, who was at the exhibition to buy a furniture set from Chair Centre. He said the items were affordable and that they are made with good quality materials. “ I picked furniture set for my living room and I am pleased with what I see here. They are all good quality stuffs and their prices very friendly. For Ms Anuoluwapo Olusanya, her purpose for being at the fair was for sight seeing. “I am here to window shop and get the contacts of exhibitors present. I am simply here to take advantage of the free consultation offer available to shoppers. I might want to change some of the interiors in my house soon,” she said. Mrs Ogechi Ebube is an administrative officer and she was at the exhibition to buy a dinning set and a big size bed. “I just wrote a cheque paying for my dinning set and bed. Their prices are friendly and you are sure of the authenticity of items here. I encourage the organisers to make this exhibition regular as it is a big advantage to shoppers,” she said. The organisers of the exhibition have said soon there would be another opportunity to transform homes. They, therefore, advised people to look out for the next IDAN exhibition.

ESIDENTS of Yenagoa in Bayelsa State can now enjoy meals courtesy of Pepperoni Foods Limited, a fast growing restaurant chain in the Niger Delta region. The branch is at Mbiama/Yenagoa Road in the state capital. It is the biggest of six outlets operated by by the firm in Rivers, Akwa, Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River states. It houses a fast service point, restaurant, bar and an photo studio. It is designed to accommodate warehousing facilities and catering training centre. Speaking at the pre-opening ceremony, which coincided with the company’s yearly Children’s Day party, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Eric Idogun, said: “The company gradually gained wide acceptance among various demographic strata and soon became the preferred restaurant in its locations. From beginning, our objective was very clear – to provide quality healthy food service to people in a warm and friendly environment. This vision has continued to drive Pepperoni, which is the reason the brand has remained consistent in its product offerings across locations.” He explained that the third outlet is sited in Bayelsa because the state is considered ‘Pepperoni’s home’. He said Bayelsans welcomed him with open arms when he was in the state to open business in 2005, a disposition that made him see the area as home. ”Here in 2005, despite the absence of any record and collateral, the company took a risk and applied for funding from the state government under the Hospitality and Tourism Industry Funding Programme and received support for expansion from President Goodluck Jonathan when he was governor. The fund, alongside prudent and efficient management system, enabled the company to remodel and expand its operations in the state. “It catapulted us to the enviable level we are today. As a result, we have been able to build a successful business; the company has been able to build six modern outlets across key Niger Delta states, making it one of the fastest growing and leading brand in the

• Shoppers at the exhibition.

• Interior designs at the event.

Food outlet opens in Yenagoa

• The outlet in Yenagoa. By Collins Nweze

food service sector,” he said. He noted that the outlet is crucial as it marks a major step in its vision towards establishing a catering school and farm to serve and raise entrepreneurs in the food and culinary industry. He said the desire of the Pepperoni team is to groom business owners who recognise

no limits in their skills/abilities and trust their ingenuity to take them to rare heights in the food industry. “Our business is built around our customers as they are the reason we open our doors everyday. As an organisation, we have identified service excellence as a product of different factors. Capacity building at our outlets does not only focus on skills but worldclass service delivery.

“As much as possible, we try not to create a marked segmentation in the type of clientele we attract. Our dining environment and experience is dynamic enough to serve individuals of different age and background. For instance, our new outlets have secluded dinning and bars for discerning customers. We believe that all customers, irrespective of class, should feel welcome and comfortable at any of our outlets,” he said.




Like coffee? Buy good appliance For every household, a coffee maker is an essential kitchen appliance that can be gotten from markets, malls and electrical stores, writes TAIBAT IDOWU

• Wall clock for a couple

Wedding gifts for new couple There are varieties of wedding gifts in stores and markets to keep memories alive, writes TAIBAT IDOWU • Maltipurpose coffee machine


F you truly love coffee, then you will agree with me that a morning without a cup of coffee will be dull. But for loves of coffee, a drink makes their day. They are always eager to spend hours in the kitchen boiling coffee. However, making coffee is not just enough, but buying the best coffee maker is more satisfying. A coffee maker is not just an appliance that performs a certain task; it is useful to deliver a satisfying prepared tea, to start a day on a positive note. When shopping for a coffee maker, consider the flavour you prefer to ensure you get the appropriate one that will meet your needs and budget. It is important to understand the brand and type before buying one. Don’t forget to check its fea• Full auto coffee machine tures written on its carton before buying one. N6,000, single serve also sells for N6,000 and a Choose a capacity that suits your lifestyle. A 12specialty coffee machines goes for N9,s000 cup capacity is the most common; a single coffee To keep a coffee maker in good condition, it maker generally has higher operation and it is requires a certain amount of care and maintemore expensive. nance. In some cases, lack of maintenance A good one ranges from N3,000 to over N15, can make the equipment malfunction; 000. In most cases, the features of a mixer detertherefore remember to learn about its genmines it price. The French Press mixer costs N5000, eral care and other useful tips before setan essential 10 cup coffee maker sells for N3,000; tling for one. drip style is N4,000; drip style (gas stovetop) is

Prices of beverage MILO,400gram-N650;900gram - N1,300, 400gram refill pack N600. Bournvita 400gr - N700, refill pack- N600. Tin of Peak milk Holland -N120 and N100. Luna tin milk - N100, Olympic tin milk - N100. Nest café tin 50gram cost N250. Ovaltine 1200gram -N4000, 900gr-N1,250,400gram-N6,50. Cowbellrefill-N600,St.Louis sugar - N200.. Jagomilk400gramrefill-N600.


WEDDING day is the most memorable day in the life of a couple. Guests, friends and family members grace the occasion with memorable gifts. The gift is as important as the presence of guests at the wedding. The couple cherishes it because it is a confirmation of people who attended their wedding. Couples might not have the opportunity to see all the people present, but through their gifts, they are acknowledged. Markets such as Balogun and Oshodi in La-

gos stock array of wedding gifts. Here are some of the gifts that can be presented to couples on their most important day. Money is the number one recommended wedding gift.Though it may seem impersonal or uncreative, most young couple are saving for something big. It could be a house, a car or a piece of furniture. A cooler is a wise choice for a couple, especially for the bride. It is a useful item in the kitchen. Some wedding gifts are affordable. They sell for as low as N500.

Make a wise choice on utensils A careful decision is needed before buy equipment that meets your demands and saves time and effort in the kitchen, writes OLAJUMOKE ASSAN.

• Sauce pan


TENSILS like stock pots, sauce pans, deep fryers, Rice cooker, steamer, strainers, knives, cooking bowl and plates are some of the utensils that add value to the kitchen. Therefore, when planning to equip a kitchen, it is important to make a list of items needed; compare prices from one retailer to the other and don’t forget that stores are competing for your money. China Town in Ojota, Lagos has supply stores that sell food, clothing, kitchen tools and many others. These stores are smaller versions of brand name departmental stores. Within these stores, you will find wholesale priced utensils. They most likely will not be brand names, but they are of good quality and on an average, you will save up 10 to 50 per cent. The kitchen is a place where creativity and knowledge mix and as such, the most com-

• Cooking Utensils monly used utensils. It is, therefore, wise to invest in quality that lasts. Old utensils could be replaced with modern ones or they could be mixed and matched for an assorted collection. It is not wise to settle for single-functioning tools. Perhaps you have a hard time finding the necessary utensils you need within the kitchen when you are cooking. There are ways to organise those utensils to ease kitchen stress. For example, stirring spoons should be placed in a rack to create space for other utensils; a can opener can be kept under the canned food cabinet for easy retrieval. However, buying utensils can be confusing because there are varieties to choose from. It is, therefore, important to buy the essential small appliances to save space, especially those who live in a small apartment.





RDINARILY, today’s article would have focused on two historic events that came up early this week both of which deserve readers’ attention. One of those events took place in Ilorin the capital city of Kwara State where a nomadic settler was honourably given the key to the city by the indigenes. The other occurred in Osogbo, the capital city of the State of Osun where for the first time after Prophet Musa (Moses) a tablet of knowledge was distributed to each of over 150,000 Senior Secondary School pupils as a takeoff of a gargantuan educational project. Yours sincerely was a witness to the one and just heard news about the other. But since both would be better taken together, the need to get the details of the one not witnessed has compelled the deferment of writing on both as hitherto planned, hence today’s topic. As often mentioned in this column, the problem of any genuine newspaper columnist is not a dearth of ideas but a deluge of them. Thus, choosing a theme from those ideas alone out of the many that are throwing themselves to you (as a columnist) vigorously and competitively is enough a problem. By the grace of Allah, ‘The Message’ will vividly bring the happenings in those two events to the readers in the very near future. Meanwhile, today’s article is equally very important. Please, come along:

Strange Episode Our world is mysterious. And the more we make efforts to demystify it the more complex it becomes. Not even humanity’s greatest footprint (science and technology) has succeeded in demystifying the phenomenal web we call ‘the world’. While browsing through the internet recently, yours sincerely stumbled on a strangely amazing episode. A young man of about 28 years was reported missing for some days by his parents in Thailand. By the time his dead body was found somewhere in a bush, journalists in that country were jumping up to write an exclusive story. Bruises of snake bite were found all over his body. And, surprisingly, a monstrous python was also found lying lifelessly by his side. Examining the python, the police also discovered human bites all over its body. The conclusion then was that perhaps a furious duel between man and reptile had led to mutual death. But the story did not end there. The young man was also found to be pants down with a dangling condom firmly fixed to his manhood. This suggested the possibility of a sex attempt. Could he have attempted to rape the python? That was a mysterious question begging for a mysterious answer. On a personal reflection, yours sincerely guessed that the man might have lured a young, beautiful damsel into a hideout perhaps for a marathon sexual orgy. But on getting to the point of action, the damsel decided to show her true self by turning into a python, and a duel ensued. Or why would a young man wear condom and remain half naked in such a circumstance with such a brutal reptile? This story quickly reminded me of a topic I wrote in this column some years ago which was entitled ‘THE WORLD OF JINN’. Linking that topic to the episode just relayed above may provide a possible clue to the mystery surrounding the death of a man and a python almost arm in arm. I therefore decided to recall the article if only for the benefit of those who did not read it when it was first published. Please read on:

The Terrestrial World “We live in a world of mystery. A world in which things don’t look what they seem. Yet we base our daily lives on mere assumption. How we sleep, how we wake, how we escape dangers around us, all these are known to Allah alone. The forces of this terrestrial world are numerous and mysterious. Some are visible, some are hidden. The planet inhabited by man is a garden not meant for man alone. There are kingdoms of other creatures: the animals, the birds, the reptiles, the plants, the insects, the worms and the aquatic creatures all of which exist interdependently. And through their coexistence, the ecosystem gains its harmony. For each of the above creatures there are races and tribes which in technical language are called species. Yet there are other creatures that cannot be seen by the naked eyes of man without the aid of technology. Some of these include the viruses and the bacte-

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This mysterious world ria. Unknown to man, every one of these creatures has its way of glorifying Allah. And, if asked to describe the features of Allah, a vivid description of itself will be given. This shows that every creature perceives God in its own image. Allah Akbar!

The World of Jinn The world of Jinn is another world entirely. It is a world wrapped completely in mystery. The details of how man and Jinn came to share the planet called the earth are known only to Allah. But who actually, are the Jinn? Jinn are beings created by Allah from the flames of fire and given free will. They live on earth in a world parallel to that of man. But they are invisible to human eyes in their natural form. The Arabic word “Jinn” is from the verb “Jannah” which means to hide. Some other words from the same verb root are given names such as Janin and Janan which mean embryo and heart respectively to reflect their hidden nature. Jinn, like human beings, are in races and tribes. Their activities are elicited by their various cultures and traditions. Some of them are called fairy. Some are called demons and some are called devils depending on their roles in the lives of human beings. In Islam, the unbelievers among Jinn are called Shaytan (Satan) the plural of which is Shayatin and their paramount king is called Iblis. We first heard of Iblis in some verses revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Allah in the Qur’an. Shortly after the creation of Adam, Allah asked the Angels, with Iblis in their midst, to prostrate to him (Adam). They did but Iblis refused. And, when asked why he refused to obey the command of Allah, he said he (Iblis), created from the flame of fire was superior to whatever was created from the soil. That was the beginning of hostility between man and Jinn as declared by Iblis on the premise of envy. Noting this hostility, Allah warned Adam and Hawau (Eve) to steer clear of the antics of Iblis and his disciples in order not to be lured to perdition. But with cunning and intrigue, Iblis succeeded in demoting the first human couple. The rest is history.

Types of Jinn Jinn are of various heights, sizes and colours just like humans. They also have different languages and cultures depending on the race or tribe to which they belong. But one unique feature with which they are commonly endowed and, which man lacks, is the ability to change into anything they want at will. Jinn are believed to have lived on earth for millions of years before the creation of man. It was from the experience of their lawlessness and bloody existence while they held sway on earth that the Angels got the idea which informed their initial objection to the creation of man. Without such experience the Angels would not have attempted to advise Allah “not to put on earth again those who would vandalize it and shed blood therein” as contained in Q. 2, Verse 31. Neither would they have known what is called blood. Jinn are everywhere in the world today. They are in every home, community, country and continent. Jinn live in people’s homes as much as they live in people’s hearts and wombs. It is possible to marry jinn as a wife or as a husband without knowing. It may sound odd but the truth is that most people keep jinn in their homes in the name of children. There are Jinn in the schools, in the markets, in the industries, in the offices, as well as in the Mosques and Churches.

The Jinn in Human Environment

The constant human tampering with the ecosystem has compelled the Jinn to change their style of living. Hitherto, they lived in the forests, in the mountains, in rivers, in trees and in certain animals. But as towns and cities emerge from the ravages of the forests and mountains the Jinn take to human homes as abodes thereby sharing from man’s immediate environment in all aspects. Today, Jinn do not only live in human houses, farms and offices, they also live inside their hearts, brains and blood. If there is anything called colonisation in the real sense, it is the occupation of human space and time by the Jinn. That human marriages which were once sacred do not last any longer and societal harmony, once taken for granted, has become a luxury are a sign of Jinn’s demonic grip on earth. Most people in authority who we call Presidents, Kings, Queens, Governors, Ministers and law makers have significant traits of Jinn which have transformed into humans. Politicians particularly fit very accurately a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) which described a hypocrite as a person who lies while speaking and reneges on promise and betrays trust. Here in Africa, only a few Heads of States do not show the traits of Jinn, judging by their utterances and actions. And that is why decisions of those so-called leaders were based on ‘a do or die’ affair as in the case of Nigeria and Zimbabwe in recent times. In Arabic language, a person is said to be demonised (majnun) when his/her conduct is devoid of human feeling. To be demonized is to act deliriously especially where human touch is expected to take the front burner. It is not a surprise, therefore, that some people in authority reflect some traits of megalomania in their bid to display power. Such people are, no doubt, from the yoke of Satan. However, Jinn, as special creatures, do not represent all that is bad. There are good ones among them. Some of them are even more pious than human beings. In Islam, the good Jinn are said to be the disciples of Ifrit.

Jinn in the Qur’an In the Qur’an, Jinn are mentioned about 35 times in relation to their activities and good or bad nature. A whole chapter of the Qur’an (chapter 72) is dedicated to the Jinn especially the good ones among them. It is about this category of Jinn that Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) thus: “Say it is revealed to me that a group of Jinn listened to Allah’s revelation and said: “We have heard a wonderful revelation (The Qur’an) giving guidance to the right path. We believe in it and shall henceforth serve none besides our Lord. Exalted is His glory. He has taken no wife neither has He begotten any child. The ignorant ones amongst us have uttered wanton falsehood against Allah even though no man or Jinn is supposed to tell what is untrue of Him…” Q.72, Verses 1-7. Just as good people are scarce so are good Jinn. The latter associate only with good people and relate to them as comrades in faith. In the same vein, the evil Jinn relate to evil people in the spirit of give and take. No evil Jinn can be so friendly with any human being as not to demand 10 advantages in return for only one he has offered. Men who cultivate friendship with Jinn for the purpose of getting rich quick usually and invariably pay dearly for such. When you hear of mysterious death of a wife or that of a husband or even that of a child, watch out, a Jinn is at work somewhere around.

Such Jinn are not known for serving man for free. They see us as permanent rivals who must be dealt with for displacing them on earth. And their active way of dealing with human beings is to offer carrot which they know that evil men will not reject. To them, carrot is not a free offer. It must be followed by stick. It is not by accident that children are born these days with two heads, four legs and at times without faces. The workings of Jinn are more effective in the dead nights or in the day when the sun is at its peak. Pregnant women who wander about at these odd times are likely to have encounters with the evil Jinn. And, in such a situation, the Jinn easily supplant the foetus in them leading to the bearing of strange monsters in the name of children.

Cohabiting with the Jinn While good Jinn live or mill around Mosques and cemeteries with the intention of cleansing those environments, the evil Jinn live in the toilets, refuse bins and the like. That is why Muslims are not supposed to talk inside the toilet except for emergency. And they should not stay a second longer than necessary therein. Most people do not know the danger inherent in leaving the toilet doors of their homes ajar especially when such toilets are un-kept. It is an ignorant way of providing abode for evil Jinn who fuel matrimonial crises from time to time and use reptiles and insects like spiders and wall echoes to harass the inhabitants. The situation of the world today is such that human beings are the ones living in the midst of Jinn and not vice versa. Using wealth, women and wine as fetters, Satan seems to have conquered the world from the orient to the occident by gild-washing evils and trivialising good even as his agents are active in furthering his course on all fronts. Today, there are men everywhere but no husbands are available. Women are as numerous as the sands of the desert but only a few of them can be called wives in the Islamic or African cultural sense. Today, parents are scorned by their children. Students treat their teachers with disdain. Teachers take undue advantage of their students before letting them cross the huddles of examinations. Doctors and nurses who were once seen as good Samaritans are now the merchants of death and sellers of foetus and human parts. People who are designated judges are the custodians and incubators of injustice. Religious sanctuaries have been turned into satanic shrines where men and women are duped or satanically hypnotised daily. Those we once venerated as clergy have audaciously become Lucifer reincarnate. Fathers impregnate their daughters. Mothers seduce their sons into abominable sex and gays are consecrated as Bishops.

Allies of Jinn All the abominations against which we were warned in the Qur’an and the Bible have now been turned into ‘profitable’ trades and professions. And the yardstick for measuring which crime should be punished and which should not is the social status of the criminal. If, for instance, you are not a legislator, a minister, a Governor or a chief executive of a bank or a politician of note, do not pilfer. If you do and are caught, you will liable to the full wrath of the law. And on the other hand, you can only be said to have embezzled and not stolen if you are one of those wielding power in the country. In other words, embezzlement is for the upper class while theft is for the pedestrian masses. And the one deserves official forgiveness while the other must forced to pass through the whole length of law process. The law of the land has no meaning to the satanic forces governing the country. Once you belong to the right cult you are above the law. As a result of this, Nigeria, a country of natural boom is now a nation of satanic doom.

The Big Question Who will rescue this land from the scourge of demons? Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had proffered solution to all these evil forces when he asked the Muslims to listen to the words of Allah by reading the Qur’an and speak with Him (Allah) by prostrating in prayer. Those are two things that the evil Jinn do not want to see or hear of. They flee from where the Qur’an is constantly recited and from where human beings often prostrate to Allah. As Muslims, which of these can you not do to save the future from the bondage of the present?



SOCIETY The Dipo Dina International Stadium in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, was agog last Saturday as the wife of Senator Lekan Mustapha, Alhaja Iyabosola, popular known as IYM, celebrated her 50th birthday.WALE ADEPOJU was there.


T was fun galore for guests, friends and relations of Alhaja Iyabosola Aramide Falilat Mustapha, also known as IYM, who came to share in the joy of her 50th birthday celebration. The event, which took place at the Dipo Dina International Stadium in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, drew guests from all walks of life, including traditional rulers. They defied the scorching sun to attend the event. Exotic cars lined the streets. The arrival of governors and other dignitaries were heralded by blaring sirens. The make-shift hall was filled as guests sat in clusters, wining and dining. The hall was well-decorated and well-lit. The red rug made the floor beautiful. The sonorous voice of Juju maestro Chief Ebenezer Obey filled the huge loud speakers. A Muslim cleric said the opening prayer. Ace stand up comedian Gbenga Adeyinka amused guests to no end. Artiste cum comedian Murphy Ray also known as Baba Afoyegbe made rib cracking jokes. Chairman on the occasion, Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, described the celebrator as a humble and God-fearing woman. Wife of Ondo State Governor Mrs Kemi Mimiko supervised the cutting of the cake, after the count of 10. Dressed in green lace material and silver head tie to match, and later red and gold lace and wine head tie, Alhaja Mustapha, accompanied by her husband, Senator Mustapha, acknowledged cheers from guests, family members and friends. It was also a kind of reunion for party allies and long-seen friends. The Onanugas, who are descendants of Oba Anikilaya, her extended family members, were not left out. The Mustapha clan was also well represented. In attendance were Governor Olusegun Mimiko; former governor of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; Chief Oprah Benson; Senator Ganiyu Solomon; Senator Iyiola Omisore; Akogun Lekan Alabi; Senator Sanusi Daggash; Senator Folashade Bent; Publisher, Global Excellence Mayor Akinpelu; Senator Gbenga Obadara; Chief Alani Bankole and others.

•Senator Muse

In her golden age •The celebrator Iyabosola flanked by her husband Senator Mustapha and Senator Ita-Giwa

•Mrs Olufunsho Amosun

•Former Ogun State Deputy Governor Alhaja Salmat Badru

•Oba Adetona

•From left: Sen Sanusi Daggaba; Sen Ganiyu Solomon and Sen Teslim Folarin

•Mr Bayo Onanuga and wife Toyin

•Dr Tony Mimra and his wife, Heidi

•From left: Prince Segun Adekoya; Bode Mustapha and Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye

•Chief Dele Akinyele (left) and Chief Yemi Ogundipe PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA




Captains of industry, eminent politicians and Muslim leaders graced the 50th anniversary of the C & S Salem Evangelical Church of Christ (Model Parish) in Ilupeju, Lagos. DADA ALADELOKUN writes

•From left: Apostle Odele; Alhaji Shittu and Alhaji Sulaiman

•From left: Brig-Gen Johnson, his wife Olufunmilayo and Akintoye-Braimoh

Promoting religious unity


T was incredible, but it happened. Islamic clerics and their Christian counterparts gathered inside a church to worship together. It was at the C&S Salem Evangelical Church of Christ (Model Parish) in Ilupeju, Lagos, which celebrated its 50th anniversary. Popular Muslim songs interspersed with Christian numbers and members of both faiths danced to their hearts’ content. The atmosphere was electric. The Shepherd-in-Charge, Superintendent Apostle Abraham Babatunde Odele, former Chairman of Mushin Local Government, described the occasion as a day the Lord specially made. What appeared the highpoint of the occasion was the frenetic “dance contest” between Alhaji Sulaimon Opeyemi, Chief Imam Jamiu of Mushin Central Mosque; his Ilupeju counterpart, Alhaji Gafar Shittu - both Spiritual Guests of the day - and Odele (aka PawPaw)ww. The congregants rose in delight when both Islamic giants took turns to render some Christian songs. Odele followed suit, and the dancing spree began full-scale. The church choir added spice to it all with the rhythm of their drums. Many ascribed the inter-faith rapport to Apostle Odele’s relationship with both faiths before, during and after his tenure council chair in Mushin and later, Ifako-Ijaiye areas of the state. Some others recalled that his Ikorodu-born parents were Muslims. “He (Odele) is an outstanding advocate of robust Christian-Muslim rapport to cement the unity of Nigeria,” the Church Secretary, Special Apostle Noah Sipebi said. “Thank you, Lord, this tradition of tolerance is still alive today,” obviously delighted, 84-yearold Baba Aladura John Olufemi Philips seemed to say to himself. Roundly adjudged a man with awesome spiritual anointing, he is said to be the first male child to be christened by the late Saint Moses Orimolade Tunolase, the founder of Cherubim and Seraphim Church, at its birth. He was said to have stood solidly behind the Salem parish in times of its tribulations. Apostle Odele, who echoed the admonition of Arch Bishop Magnus Atilade, the preacher, in his sermon, reiterated the need for religious leaders to emulate his church and embrace tol-

erance to put the nation on the path of oneness, unity and genuine progress. The church service was not the only programme line up for the celebration. Earlier on Thursday, same week, Apostle Odele had, with his brethren, taken the church’s trademark philanthropy to the SOS Village and the Old People’s Home. What could be described as “lavish” reception for guests took place at the premises of OdiOlowo Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Town Planning Way, Ilupeju, after the service. It turned out a gathering of loyal friends of Apostle Odele and, indeed, the church. Officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) were on hand to ensure sanity in the neighbourhood. It was said to be at the instance of Commissioner for Transport, Comrade Kayode Opeifa. A 15-man musical band welcomed guests into the arena with sonorous tunes. Ably in charge was Princess Folake Adebayo Dada. She doubles as Vice President, Association of Juju Musician of Nigeria (AJUMN) and notable member, Dorcas Band, in the church. Her performance was enthralling. And she was paid back with good dance, words of commendation and of course, wads of naira notes! All eyes were on her for about two hours after the session rolled off the ground. Another music star, Mentor Kay, later hit the band stand. Everyone rose to dance, except perhaps, former people’s governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who for his age, sat and watched in delight. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, was represented by Opeifa; Senior Special Adviser (SSA) on Religious Matters, Princess Akintoye Braimoh and SSA on Christian Matters, Pastor Sam Ogedengbe. The First Military Governor of the state, Brig-Gen Mobolaji Johnson (rtd), with his wife, Olufunmilayo, and Senator Anthony Adefuye, the Olugbon of Lagos, who chaired the reception, attended the ceremony. Members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were also there. Well represented at the event were: Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, Hon Abayomi Dauda Kako-Are of the House of

•From left: Pastor Ogedengbe; Adefuye and Jakande

Representatives; Lagos State Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye and the Chairman, Odi-Olowo-Ojuwoye LCDA, Aremo Adeyemi Ali.“They have over the years, proved to be reliable pillars of the church,” Apostle Odele told The Nation. Prince Bayo Osiyemi, who succeeded Odele as Chairman of Mushin Council, graced the occasion with the chair, Olatunde Adepitan. Oba Fatai Irawo Odunsi of Odi-Olowo was also present. Other eminent politicians, including Mrs Awodogan, popularly addressed as Iya Oniyan, made it there. Women in the church, in customised Ankara fabric, under the aegis of Esther Band, gave an impressive showing. Celebrity lady, Joko Oni, President/Chief Executive Officer, Gold Rush Ltd, was the Spiritual Mother of the day. There were other influential Nigerians from across all spheres of life, including the Etal Hotel & Events Centre boss, Olufunke Olowe, who handled part of the catering services at the event. Earlier in the church, she has stunned

many pleasantly as the eloquent interpreter for the Guest Preacher. Fashion and Style buff, Adebayo Harstrup. Harstrup, one of Nigeria’s Fashion and Style Ambassadors, with his wife, Lara, who owns the popular catering outfit, Roving Pepper Ltd, humbly served guests with rice, pounded yam and other comestibles.They remained on their toes while the segment lasted. The anniversary cake, designed by Biola Adebayo, cut the image of the church’s cathedral. It was said to have been sponsored by Apostle Odele, a builder, who, The Nation learnt, designed the church’s structure at its inception. In turns, the guests joined Apostle Odele for photographs after the cake-cutting session under Adefuye’s supervision. As the merriment continued as the curtain appeared being drawn on the outing, for Apostle Odele, it was a final moment for warm embrace and hand-pumping with guests who, in turn, joined him in appreciating God for a God-ordained journey in the Lord’s Vineyard.


•Sir Longinus Amadi and Sir Anthony Dejino Kpoti

•Lady Kehinde Okhiria (left) and Lady Teresa Nwogu




The people of Orsumoghu Community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State in Lagos have held their cultural day. Some members were honoured on the occasion. CHINAKA OKORO reports.



For the love of culture

Persuasive Speech



S people got to the gate of the Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Base, Victoria Island, Lagos, they heard sounds of lively cultural rhythms. In front of the expansive hall, members of the Ofuobi Cultural Dance and Akunechenyi Dance Group from Orsumoghu Community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State were busy beating their drums and other instruments. The gathering responded with measured dance steps. It was the balm they needed to get rid of the cold caused by that day’s downpour. At another corner, the Mmanwu Masquerade Group was performing in an exhilarating manner to the admiration of guests. One of them, literally as tall as the Iroko tree, jumped up and bent in a manner to suggest that it would break into two. As people approached the roomy hall, they found difficult to walk freely because it was filled to its capacity. Members, friends and well-wishers of Orsumoghu Development Union (O.D.U.), Lagos branch, had gathered for their cultural day. The event was also a platform for the award of excellence to some members. The people, dressed in beautifully-branded uniform on which Igwebuike (unity is strength) is emblazoned, looked splendid. The walls of hall were painted in cream, decorated with light green velvety clothing materials. The arrival of Lady Ucheoma Chukwudum, Senior Special Assistant to Anambra State Governor on Liaison Matters, threw the people into a frenzy. She represented Governor Peter Obi. Pastor Humphrey Uzokwe said the opening prayer. In his welcome address, the chairman of the union, Nze Innocent Obiakwala, said the union was formed to enhance rapid development of the community. He said the union is a sociocultural association formed with the aim of promoting developmental projects and culture of Orsumoghu Town as well as fostering unity and progress among her indigenes. He also disclosed that the union had embarked on the construction of a Magistrate’s Court at Afozara and will build a N250 million civic centre that will boast a multi-purpose hall, health and fitness centre and a shopping mall. Chairman on the occasion Prof Alphonso Ikeotuonye of the School of Education, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), praised the organisers for recognising the importance of culture in the life of a people. He noted that a community without a culture is dead, even as he called for cultural integration as panacea for national unity. Ikeotuonye, who wore long-

•Prof Izuchukwu (left) and Mr Okoye

•Nze Obiakwala

•Lady Chukwudum

•Chief Chris Ezenyimulu and his wife, Dr Chioma

flowing Igbo traditional chieftaincy regalia with white collar round neck, red cap and a pair of eye glasses, said cultural integration was one important ingredient for unity. He urged Ndigbo in Lagos to sustain their harmonious coexistence with fellow Nigerians. Lady Chukwudum praised the people for organising such a carnival-like event. She urged them to take seriously the issues of culture; tradition and values which shape the future of a people. She dressed in a lace fabric, eye glasses, multi-colour headgear; silvery bangles, earrings and necklace, and golden wrist watch. Lady Chukwudum enjoined parents to teach their children their mother tongue to avoid raising future generations that are rootless. Oon the importance of culture in the life of a people, the National President, Orsumoghu Development Union Prince Hyginus Ezefunamba, said:

”Orsumoghu has two major cultural festivals. One is Odi festival which is celebrated in June every year. The other is the great Asala festival which is celebrated once in 20 years.” Lamenting the negative impact of Western culture, Ezefunamba regretted that their cultures and those of other lands were fast dying, including local languages. He regretted that parents force their children and wards to speak English at home instead of their native languages. Some of those who received awards were Obi; Ikeotuonye; Hon. Chinedu Ukachukwu; Chief Dennis Ezenyimulu; Val Africa Ezenyimulu; Chief Simbo Onyeabor; Hon Ozama Okpalaeke and Mr. Anthony Ozor. Dignitaries who attended the event included Professor John Izuchukwu of Missouri University of Science and Technology, United States; Mr Nwabu’ Okoye, Principal Counsel, Nwabu’ Okoye and Co. Lagos; Prince Remi Chizoba Ozuba President


Emeritus, O.D.U. and Taskforce Chairman Lagos State Medicine Dealers’ Association; Hon. Chinedu Ukachukwu Chairman Ihiala Local Government Area, Anambra State; Sir Ausca Ezenyimulu; Chief Chris Ezenyimulu Chairman/CEO Fortress Healthcare Limited Lagos; Lady Jumai Ezenyimulu; Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu Managing Director Fortress Healthcare Limited Lagos; Mr Allen Ifechukwu Onyema National Chairman Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria; Mr Anthony Chika Ozor MD/CEO Tony Ganger Investment Company Nigeria Limited Lagos; Sir Philip Ezenwata and others. Others were Eze Nwabueze Ohazulike; Eze Ndigbo Lagos and National Chairman Traditional Council of Ndieze Ndigbo N’uzo Ije; Chief Sir Simeon Ezewusi Chairman/ CEO Chisoro Hospitals Lagos; Mr Victor Ezetoha PresidentGeneral Emeritus; and Mrs Paulina Anyagaligbo Chairperson ODU Women’s Wing, Lagos.

AVE you ever noticed that from the moment you get off your bed in the morning till the time you lay to sleep at night, one person or the other is trying to "sell" something to you? Of course, it may or may not be literal selling, but someone is trying to make you think, speak or act in a certain way. For instance, if you live in a AMODU LANRE OLAOLU populated place like Lagos and you have the traffic to (Ph.D) contend with on your way to 07034737394 work in the morning, you may find bus conductors trying to persuade you to board their vehicles. While one is trying to convince you that the bus is just waiting for you to move, another is trying to make you see that his fare is cheaper. After finally making your choice and you are seated for the ride, you suddenly see a passenger (at least so you thought until now) stand up to tell you about this "all powerful," "hyperactive" and "multi-functional" drug. At the beginning of his speech, you look around and find that most people are like you- uninterested. But the man starts with prayers that people feel compelled to say "amen" to, since no one wants the reverse version of those words. Before you know it, people are trying out the free samples, buying the drug or penning down the number of the salesman for future contacts. Do we have to mention all the billboards and other advertisements you see on your way? Every advertiser is trying to make you see that one product is better than the other. How about your friends at work? They too try to influence your decisions on things like where to take lunch, what to do during the weekend, brands of products that befit your status, etc. Face it; your day is practically full of persuasion! What then is persuasion? Michael and Suzanne Osborn define persuasion as "the art of gaining fair and favourable consideration for our points of view." Let's do a little breakdown of this definition. The first thing we must know about persuasion is that it is an art. It is a creative process that depends on its creator. No two people can persuade the same way. Also like art, it must be developed. I have no doubt that some people are naturally persuasive, but just like talent is refined by knowledge, so is persuasion. Persuasion should be fair. If we want people to see things from our point of view, it is only fair that we respect their own points of view too. False information should not be presented as true just for the sake of swaying people to our side. Favourable consideration means that we attempt to make people appreciate our views and preferably adopt them. Please note that the word "consideration" is as important as the word "favourable." Consideration suggests that we aim at making our audience pay attention to our points to the extent that they consider them worthy of their time and attention. According to Aesop, "persuasion is often more effectual than force." While you may force a horse to the steam, making it drink will be another matter entirely. Henry David Thoreau, an author, poet, development critic and also a notable activist in the abolition of slave trade, also rated persuasion highly. He said, "Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces." His point here is that when you melt a thing, you can mould it again, but when you break it into pieces, chances are that all the parts will never be complete again. The person you win through persuasion will most likely respect or admire you, while the one you win through force will most definitely resent you. Persuasion makes use of a lot of techniques to convince the audience, but if you ask me, persuasion thrives predominantly on emotional appeal. In the continuation of this article, we shall examine elements of effective persuasive speeches such as facts, figures, illustrations, etc. Nevertheless, we must establish at this point that most of the decisions you make after listening to a persuasive speech are emotional. Why would a youth decide to abstain from sex after listening to a talk on HIV/AIDS? It's because he/she is afraid of death; fear is an emotion. Why would you decide to part with your hard earned money after listening to a speech on motherless babies? It's because of pity or compassion; pity and compassion are emotions. Everett Dirksen said that "the mind is no match with the heart in persuasion; constitutionality is no match with compassion." Learning the art of persuasion is one of the most important investments you can make into your life. Every day of your life, you are either persuading or you are being persuaded. Both ways are cool; just don't be ignorant of the process. I observed in my e-book titled 'How to turn information into money' that information provides you with the platform for creativity. If you are not aware of what others have done, you may spend your entire life creating an invention that is already selling in the market. Also, information is most effective when you adapt it to your specific situation. Hence, the knowledge of persuasion will give you an edge in your career and other areas of your life. As we explore existing information about this invaluable speech together, prepare to 'customize' it for your personal use, and you'll be surprised at the results. Do have a blessed weekend.

Dr. Amodu teaches at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ogun State.




The Nation man Aloiye John Oyarekua has tied the nuptial knot with former Miss Violet Iwanehi Omotuenmhen at the Church of God Mission International, Okokomaiko, on the outskirts of Lagos. AMIDU ARIJE report.

‘Her passion for God got me attracted’


T was the day they had been waiting for. For The Nation man, Aloiye John Oyarekua and his better half, Violet Iwanehi Omotuenmhen, the day will forever remain indelible. The lovebirds tied the nuptial knot. The Church of God Mission International, Okokomaiko, Lagos was the venue. Their family members, relatives and friends came en mass to share in their joy. The groom, Aloiye, wore a fine suit with lemon inner to match, while the bride appeared in a white flowing gown. The couple's early arrival, despite the monthly environmental sanitation which held on that day and which restricted movement till 10 am, paved way for the early kick off of the August ceremony. The Agape Choir of the church sang the processional hymn, My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus, as the couple was led into the church by a retinue of bride's maids and groom’s men. They were followed by their friends. Expectedly, the congregation stood. They joined in the singing of the processional hymn. The church service was anchored by Elder Steven Ogbole, who welcomed them. He requested the officiating minister to pray for the couple. In his sermon, Senior Pastor, Convenanters' Vintage Church (CVC), Dr Mike Ohiorenoya, enjoined the couple to love each other and continue to trust in God. The cleric, whose 36th wedding anniversary coincided with Aloiye's wedding, advised the couple to look up to Jesus and build their life around Him, adding that the Almighty God has been a pillar of support in his marriage. "You should look up to Jesus, when you look unto Him, no matter the storm, adversity, you will scale through," he said. He prayed for long life and successful marriage life for the couple. After his speech, the marriage certificate was signed. This was done in the presence of select family members and friends. The Agape Choir of the church made the day livelier as they entertained the congregation. Rev Benson German presented the marriage certificate to the newest couple in town. The service, which ended with a closing hymn Great is thy faithfulness was also taken by the choir.

The reception followed immediately at the same venue. Before then, there was a session for group photographs in front of the church. The reception, chaired by Elder Ogbole, started with a prayer. Elder Ogbole thanked God for the success of the wedding and for those who came to grace the occasion, praying that God should bless them. He enjoined the couple to trust in God for their needs, saying it was only God that can provide them with their needs. Afterwards, the Agape Choir once again delivered some melodious tunes. The wedding featured the cutting of the cake. This was after its producer had explained its make and content. The feeding of each other by the couple followed. The bride, with a smile, knelt to feed her husband; she sealed it with kisses. The groom also fed his wife and followed with kisses. To the surprise and admiration of all, the groom and his wife danced their hearts out when it was dancing time. With stylish dance steps and modern dances, they entertained their families and guests. A guest who knows Aloiye said his reticence had disappeared. The elated groom described the day as "wonderful and fantastic". "It has been a victorious day, very wonderful; we give all the glory to God," he said. The groom, who said he met his wife through his cousin, described her as a very virtuous woman. He said her passion for serving God attracted him to her. "Her passion for serving God drew me to her; she has a deep passion to serve God. She is a virtuous woman," he said. The bride was also full of joy for the success of the day. "It is a glorious day, we give thanks to God for His help," Violet said. She described her better half as a Godly and nice man. The groom's mother, Deaconess Titilope Adegoroye, said: "It is a day of victory and praises; it is a day that I saw the fruitfulness of God; He has been faithful I am happy and joyful,. She urged them to live with the fear of God and love each other. The groom’s brother, Pastor Aimanesi Oyarekua, prayed that the union should be blessed in all areas. The bride’s uncle, Mr Marcus

•The couple, Aloiye and Violet

Omotuenmhen,wished the couple a very successful and fruitful marraige. The National Director,Agape Force of the church, Rev Humphrey Arheghan, urged the couple to live their life in God's way; the way they started their life. "They should appreciate that life is not full of roses, I urge them to believe in God, with Him


every challenge of their life will be surmounted," he said. He promised the couple that their union will be celebrated at the church's annual camp later in the year. "We have agreed to celebrate her at our national conference this year, she is the deputy national camp director for the church," he said.


•The couple flanked by their parents Mr Adesoji Ajayi and wife Rachael (left); Mr Segun Ayeni and Mrs Victoria Akin-Dada.

•The couple Adelani and Fadekemi

•Bride’s mother, Mrs Akin-Dada (second right) dancing with her friends (from left) Mrs M. A. Fatunsin; Mrs G.O. Ogunmola; Mrs R. A. Ape and Mrs M. Osho.





•From left: Wife of Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji; wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola; the celebrator, Hon Akeem Sulaimon; his wife Balikis; and Senator Oluremi Tinubu

•Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Muhammed flanked by ACN National Legal Adviser Dr Muiz Banire (left) and ACN Lagos Vice-Chairman Cadinal Omolaja Odunmbaku

•From left: Chairman, Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Omobolanle AkinyemiObe; her Apapa-Iganmu counterpart Dr Samuel Adedayo; Chairman, Mosan-Okunola LCDA, Hon. Abiodun Mafe; and Chairman, Agege Local Government Area, Hon. Jubreel Abdulkareem

•CONFERENCE 57 Secretary Hon Hakeem Bamgbola flanked by Hon Olatunde Adepitan (left) and Hon Bolaji Muse-Ariyoh

•Mrs Oyedoyin Mafe (left) and Mrs AbdulKareem

•Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Hon Lateef Ibirogba

•Lagos State Head of Service Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe

•Prince Abayomi Daramola

•Alhaja Ashabi Bamgbola

•Hon Gbenga Oyebode and Mrs Kehinde Fasuyi

•Member, House of Reps. Hon Kazeem Aliu

•Senator Anthony Adefuye (left) and Hon Benjamin Olabinjo

•Majority Leader Lagos State House of Assembly Dr Dayo Adeyeye (right) and Hon Segun Olulade

•Prince Yinka Durosinmi

•Hon Kamal Baiyewu proposing a toast

•Princess Opeyemi Akindele (left) and Alhaja Qudrah Dada


Friday, June 7, 2013


FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013




Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) member Chief Gordon Bozimo spoke with BISI OLANIYI on the crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the party and the face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

Jonathan, Amaechi face-off unnecessary – PDP BoT member


HOULD President Goodluck Jonathan seek re-election in 2015, in view of the zoning agreement in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? There is so much noise about Dr. Jonathan’s bid to have a second term. It is his fundamental right to contest, if he wants to. He maintains that he has not made up his mind because he wants to face governance. Unfortunately, some people who believe that it is their birthright to rule, have made the country ungovernable and have distracted the President consistently. He should be allowed to do his job as the President. With the deliberate distraction, it will be difficult to get his best. The President is one individual. For him to succeed, he needs the cooperation of other arms of government and the general citizenry. That is only when the President can achieve results. A situation where every step he takes will not be given the benefit of the doubt, whichever way he moves, he must be criticised and those who criticise him hardly come up with alternative viewpoints, so that the country can look at the merits of their own suggesti Do you think he has performed creditably? In governance, there are certain things or projects that have gestation period. On the electoral reforms, this is the first administration that has taken it as a major issue. Progressively, our elections are getting better. Everybody knows that if the President does not give his support, it will not be possible. On the Local Content Act, today, a lot of Nigerians are able to bid for jobs in Shell, Mobil, Agip and other multinationals because there is an Act that compels them to keep a certain percentage of the jobs for Nigerians. Without that, we would have still been in a situation where the multinationals will bring drivers, mechanic and others from outside the country. Now, there is a law that if you are tendering for a job, you must show specifically, the local content. If not, the bid will be disqualified. The power sector gulped billions of naira before President Jonathan came into office. It is now that most of the power stations are nearing completion. The administration has assured that at the end of this year, 10,000 megawatts will be generated. If you go round the country, you will see seriousness on the power project. The President needs to be encouraged, so that he can do more. To me, he deserves the second term. But, some Niger Deltans think otherwise... As an Ijaw man, as a Niger Deltan and as a Trustee of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), I am confirming to you that President Jonathan has done well. He symbolises our aspiration. It is an act of God that somebody from the Niger Delta is the President of Nigeria. We are very grateful to other Nigerians, who gave us the opportunity, but let us govern like others have done (two terms of eight years). Support President Jonathan, so that at the end of the day, we will be able to say we have tried our

‘The whole situation is uncalled for. PDP is capable of resolving whatever problem that exists. We should not give opportunity to the opposition to make profit out of whatever misunderstanding they have. It is a family affair. They should allow us to solve the problem. People should not stoke the fire’ • Bozimo

best. The rest will be left for posterity. A section of Nigeria wants to mess up the opportunity.We have cooperated with all other presidents. Right from Shagari’s time, Rivers State has been giving the highest votes. How will you react to the remarks of Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and Kingsley Kuku that there will be mayhem in the country, if President Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015? Kuku’s and Dokubo-Asari’s comments are their personal views. I am a democrat, but you must give us a level playing ground. If the President does not have the cooperation of the citizenry and other arms of government, there is no way he can perform. There is no magic. They should allow him do his best. This is the first time in the history of this country that promotion and transfer in the military are not being politicised. You can criticise and give alternative suggestions. President Jonathan described the Boko Haram suicide bombers as ghosts and he said he would not give amnesty to ghosts. Eminent people from the North met him and he listened to what they said. He has put machinery in place towards giving amnesty, but he has not given the amnesty. He has just set up a committee to look at the modalities and make recommendations. President Jonathan needs the cooperation of all Nigerians. Countries like Afghanistan that is how it started. Even Mali, you know what would have happened, if not for the quick intervention. President Jonathan has not told anybody that he is seeking re-election in 2015. If he declares his intention to vie, let him contest on a level playing ground and he should not be distracted.

How would you describe the face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi? The whole situation is uncalled for. PDP is capable of resolving whatever problem that exists. We should not give opportunity to the opposition to make profit out of whatever misunderstanding they have. It is a family affair. They should allow us to solve the problem. People should not stoke the fire. It is unfortunate that within the party, there is this problem. The PDP is robust enough to calm all frayed nerves. I am for dialogue. Some of us are ready to join Chief Tony Anenih (Chairman of the BoT of the PDP) and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur (PDP Chairman), to see how we can find a lasting solution to this problem. How would you react to the six-year single tenure being proposed? It is still a proposal. I want President Goodluck Jonathan to complete his four years and seek reelection in 2015, for another four years. If somebody is coming to say he is bringing a new law and shifting the goalpost, when the game has already started, I think it is unacceptable. Many Niger Deltans are complaining that the region is not receiving adequate attention from this administration. President Jonathan is not a tribalist. It tells you the character of the man. He is not a dictator. The East-West Road, according to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, the initial design did not take into account the number of bridges and culverts. Most people design roads in their office. I do not feel that President Jonathan will deliberately not want to embark on capital-intensive

projects in the Niger Delta. He has plans for this region. My plea is for Niger Deltans and other Nigerians to continue to support the Jonathan Administration and not to distract the President. What is your take on the removal of subsidy on petroleum products? Whether subsidy is removed or not, the problem is other infrastructure like the rail line and the mass transit issue, if they are addressed, will go a long way. Alternative means of transportation will reduce our dependence on fuel. They are working on the rail lines and other things. If we have efficient transport system, you do not need to take your car to the office. That is why a five-year-old car sent to Nigeria from abroad is new, because it is not used everyday. Infrastructure in Nigeria has decayed to an extent that you need a magic wand to be able to resuscitate all these things within a short time. The economists will tell you that the subsidy we are making is hurting us. Even the Central Bank Governor (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) said it. Subsidy is not in our long term plan. We should not look at spending so much money to fuel our cars. If we look at it that way, this country will never grow. Subsidy means that government is using part of our commonwealth to provide fuel, for us to run our cars. How many Nigerians have cars? How many villages in Nigeria have roads? The subsidy is for the pleasure of the middle class and the upper class. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly has recommended 10 per cent for the oil producing communities, but some communities where the pipelines pass through are also agitating and want to be considered. What is your opinion? What they are saying falls flat on the face. The place where you are taking the crude oil from the soil is more important. We all know about pollution, devastation and environmental degradation. If the pipe passes through your place, it is to serve you. Without the pipes, the cost of transporting the fuel from Port Harcourt to Sokoto, they will not be able to afford the price. Without the pipelines, a litre of petrol at N97 in Port Harcourt, will sell for N350 in Sokoto. Government is spending our money to lay the pipelines, so that they can sell fuel at the same price all over the country. That is a concession to them. It is to their advantage. So, if they do not see it that way, then I wonder how we are going to solve the problems in Nigeria. The agitation of people in communities with pipelines passing through their area has no merit and it is uncalled for. Anybody who says the extra 10 per cent that will be coming from the PIB to the host communities is not proper should be considered as an enemy of progress and someone who does not want the hitherto neglected host communities to develop. That is why if you go to some communities, with over 100 gas flares surrounding them, you will be able to appreciate their plight.

Akinrinade calls for devolution of powers By Emmanuel Oladesu Group Political Editor

• Akinrinade


HE Convener of Yoruba Gen eral Assembly, Gen. Alani Akinrinade, has reiterated his call for the devolution of powers in the country. He said this is the first critical step in repositioning the polity for true federalism.

Akinrinade spoke at the Oodua Foundation Conference in Delaware, United States of America (USA) on the topic: “Time for strategic thinking and action”. He urged the people of the Yoruba race to protect its civilisation as an integral part of Nigeria. The retired General pointed out that the pro-democracy crusaders, who lost the ‘June 12’ battle, following the death of its symbol, Chief Moshood Abiola, have also not succeeded in their call for a Sovereign National Conference. He recalled that he had reiterated this when the leaders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) advised those in exile to return home in 1998 to participate in the transition programmes. He said: “We thought that the issue

of a Sovereign National Conference to work out the parameters for keeping Nigeria united for stellar achievement in the comity of nations and for development-oriented governance of the various nationalities in the country was crucial, if the Yoruba nation and other nationalities in the country are to avoid a repeat of what happened to Abiola and Yoruba nation after the June 12, 1993 presidential election”. Akinrinade echoed the decision of the Yoruba Assembly at Ibadan, Oyo State, submitting that Yoruba sons and daughters are clamouring for the right structure that can allow each nationality to thrive in an atmosphere of freedom and respect for the various worldviews that exist in the country. He also recalled that the Assembly set up a Yoruba Constitutional Commission to pursue a nonviolent struggle for true federalism and regional autonomy.

The retired General said that, if the commission works hard, it would have confronted the challenge of achieving a conducive political structure for the growth and refinement of Yoruba civilisation and the civilisation of other nationalities within the context of a united Nigeria. Urging the Yoruba to have faith in the regional integration agenda, Akinrinade said efforts are on to reeducate the governors of the fragmented Southwest geo-political zone to see themselves, not as the managers of fiefdoms, but as governors of sections of a civilisation that can be better advanced by internal cooperation in a country where funds are doles out to states by the central government. Lamenting the way the issues of indigeneship and residency are been handled by the federal lawmakers in

the constitution review, he said proposing laws that dictate the process of indigenising migrants from other indigenous communities across the country may be controversial. Akinrinade stressed: “In other federations of the world, governments make laws to protect the rights of citizenship through residency laws crafted by each state, but our own central government is trying to decide when an Ijaw, Fulani, Igbo man must become indigenes of Ife, Ondo, Ijebu, Oyo, Ijesa, Ekiti. Some lawmakers are even calling for the creation of grazing zones all over the country for cattle, even after it has become clear that deadly conflicts happen almost daily between herders and farmers. the same lawmakers appear unaware of the developments in the science and business of animal husbandry in the modern world.




Nigeria is celebrating 14 years of democracy, but there is nothing to cheer about its manufacturing sector, despite various economic policies. TOBA AGBOOLA writes


Real sector is still crawling

N the past 14 years of democratic rule, efforts to boost the manufacturing sector seem not to have yielded results. A look at the country’s development plans between 1999 and now, reveals that the same issues have been haunting the sector for decades. The issues are inadequate infrastructure, shortage of skilled manpower; over-dependence on the external sector for raw materials and capital goods and the shallow manufacturing activities as exemplified by lack of basic industries. For most part of the period under review, there has been near collapse of infrastructure. The development is so bad that most businesses are almost down because of the overhead cost incurred in providing alternative infrastructure such as power. According to the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI, Mr Goddie Ibru, investment in the manufacturing sector has been low. He said many indigenous manufacturing firms, multinationals and investors have either shut down or relocated outside the country

because of the infrastructural challenge. “In addition, the reduction in global consumer spending and demand has compounded the problems of the sector by hastening the fall in trade and export of manufactured goods. “The Nigerian manufacturing sector has failed to undergo the critical structural transformation necessary for it to play a leading role in economic growth and development. The sector is structurally weak and basic industries such as iron, steel and petrochemicals are not fully in place,” Ibru said. The National President, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Mr Chuku Wachuku said since the advent of democracy, many companies have been operating below capacity because of unstable power supply, inadequate funds and high labour costs. This, he said, has increased businesses’ expenses, reduced productivity and hampered economic growth making many firms to shut down or relocate to neighbouring countries. He said the manufacturing sec-

•Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga


tor was facing challenges in the face of the economic crisis that has accentuated the loss of competitiveness against manufactured products from China. “The blackouts are negatively impacting the economy, which is grappling with a combination of slow growth, a weak currency, high inflation and the effect of

flooding that is expected to drive up food prices,” he said. However, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Kola Jamodu, noted that there has been increased investment and improved turnover for the industrial sector of the economy within the last one year.

To achieve the desired goals in the manufacturing sector, Jamodu urged the government to address the acute infrastructural deficiency in the country and nip insecurity in the bud. He said smuggling, unbridled importation and dumping of cheap and substandard goods, which usually suffocate local manufactured products, should be brought to an end. He listed other challenges to include: high cost of funds and inadequacy of long-term loan windows to support long-gestation investments; multiple taxation, which is threatening the survival and growth of businesses in the country; non completion of the development of core industries particularly the petro-chemical, as well as, iron and steel industries; irregular supply of industrial fuel arising from the epileptic operation of local refineries; high energy cost, resulting in uncompetitive pricing of locally produced goods and dearth of qualified skilled middle level manpower worsened by the decaying educational system and policy inconsistency.

Why entrepreneurs can’t secure loans, by BoI boss


•From left: Head of Unit, Adolescent, Ms Ebele Oputa; Corporate Service Manager, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Oladimeji Oduyebo; Service Director, Children's Development Centre, Dr Yinka Akindayomi and Head of Physiotherapy Unit, Children Development Centre, Mr Martins Duru, during Fidson’s presentation of cheque to the centre in Lagos. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

West African govts earn $187m from tobacco T

HE tobacco industry has generated more than $187million for governments in West Africa, Group Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, British American Tobacco (BAT), Mr Kingsley Wheaton has said. The revenue, he said, was from income tax, excise and Value Added Tax (VAT) on tobacco products sales last year. In a statement, Wheaton said globally, the industry generates about $200 billion through tax. He said the global black market for tobacco accounted for 660 billion cigarette sales in 2012, equivalent in volume to the world’s third largest multinational tobacco company. “The reality is that people will continue to smoke. But instead of buying legal taxed cigarettes, made by legitimate tobacco companies and sold by reputable retailers, they’ll turn to black market sources

to get what they want. “The tobacco industry is highly regulated, sells a legal product and we have a legitimate business. We conduct our business in a professional and responsible way, abiding by the laws in all the countries we operate in, often going above and beyond our legal obligations. “Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the sophisticated network of criminals ready and waiting to step-in and take over if the legitimate tobacco industry didn’t exist.” “It is not a victimless crime. Illegal tobacco is sold by wellorganised criminal gangs, some of whom have recognised links to terrorism,” he said. He said in 2012, BAT alone invested £171million in research and development activities, adding that the

company has offers contracts and benefits to 140,000 farmers they have direct relationships with. According to him, BAT makes a long term commitment to sustainability; strives to bring reduced harm products to market; continues to fight the illegal tobacco trade; generates excise revenue; and provides employment and enhanced livelihoods to hundreds of thousands of employees and suppliers. “We create jobs and support business in West Africa through our own workforce and through entrepreneurs and employees involved in our supply chain. Our development of the industry has led to economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of West Africans; from the workforce of our distributors, wholesalers and retailers, to suppliers of materials such as tobacco leaf farmers, and providers of services such as haulage,” he said.

NTREPRENEURS do not have the information needed to secure loans, the Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms Evelyn Oputu, has said. Speaking during a programme organised by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, she blamed the inability of most small medium enterprises (SMEs) to secure funding for their businesses on not presenting proposals that are rich and convincing enough for banks to fund. “Entrepreneurs are not adequately equipped with the necessary information needed to secure loans. Some that have approached the bank in the past are not even aware of the mandate and objectives of the bank,” she said. Oputu implored entrepreneurs to endeavour to pay attention to details and gather enough information about any funding agency they intend to approach for support so that they are fully armed and abreast with questions that may follow suit. On the bank’s part, she said it will continue to support the SME sector, which, she said, remained the engine room of growth of any

economy because it has the potentials of generating massive employment. General Manager, BoI, Mr Mohammed Abdul-Ganiyu, said the bank, which has managed series of intervention funds aimed at repositioning the industrial sector, has, so far, saved about 8,070 jobs in the textile sector, which led to the turn-around of 38 textile firms from imminent collapse. He advised that entrepreneurs who are into similar line of production could form themselves into a co-operative group to access funding from the bank . He said by so doing, it will be easier for them to have cheap access to infrastructure through the industrial cluster initiative. He said as a way of increasing funding to the SME sector, the bank in 2006, through its paradigm shift initiative dedicated 85 per cent of its resources to the funding of the SME sector. The programme organised for business executives, entrepreneurs and start-ups was aimed at identifying areas of funding constraints and how such can be mitigated from a knowledge based perspective of experts.

Obasanjo, Fashola for cassava seminar


HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in partnership with stakeholders, is set to renew campaign for inclusion of cassava flour in baking bread and confectioneries. In a statement, the Public Relations Manager, LCCI, Mr Tope Oluwaleye, said the seminar scheduled for June 13, at the LCCI Conference and Exhibition Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, will be attended by former President Olusegun

Obasanjo, as guest of honour. Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, is the Special Guest of Honour. Keynote address will be delivered by the Chairperson, Science and Technology Committee of the Chamber, Mrs. Josephine Maduka. The theme of the seminar is, ‘High Quality Cassava Production & Utilisation in Baking and Allied Industries: Status, Trend and Opportunities.’





Delta steps up infrastructure upgrade •Continued from Page 17 There are 10 feeders in Asaba, but two are barely on at any given time. A step-down is under construction in Asaba which will make about 270 megawatts available to the area.” On the other projects the state government has successfully executed, Uduaghan not only described Asaba International Airport as the cheapest to have been undertaken by any state government, he also told the gathering that the airport, which has so far gulped N27 billion, has been upgraded and now takes bigger aircraft. He did not fail to mention that contract has also been awarded for the expansion of Warri Airport to accommodate bigger aeroplanes too; though he was silent on the identity of the contractor handling the project. In what looked like a report card on his achievement on the transport sector, Uduaghan disclosed that the government has rehabilitated and dualised some federal roads in the state; especially the one leading to the famous Koko Port. And as part of his vision of a “Delta State Beyond Oil,” the gathering got first-hand information on the progress made so far on the Warri Business Park, Asaba ICT Centre, the Udu Tourism Park, all of which the governor said will provide jobs for millions of people of Delta State when they are completed. Education, which is the pivot of the human capital development that is one of his three-point agenda, has also received its fair share of attention going by what he told the audience. Interestingly, some of the projects he inaugurated that day were brand new blocks of classrooms in Asagba Mixed Secondary School, Asaba. Uduaghan added that the state government has also increased students’ bursary from N10,000 to N20,000, while various forms of bursaries for exceptionally brilliant students from Delta State that has a first-class to pursue a master’s programme in any university of choice anywhere in the world has also been instituted. On the health sector, the governor


•One of the schools inaugurated revealed that the government has spared no cost in making the state teaching hospital in Oghara one of the best in Nigeria not only in terms of world-class equipment, but also in personnel. He concluded by assuring that in no distant future, the hospital will be performing open heart surgery. He did not fail to speak on the developments going on in sports, tourism and the culture sectors in the state saying, “there is no actor/actress, musician, comedian, and dancer in Nigeria today that does not have a link with Delta State.” The curtain was drawn on the luncheon which was spiced up with performances from sultry singer, Omawunmi and Mike Okri by Barrister Chike Ogeah, the state Commissioner for Information, who gave the vote of thanks.

He said: “We owe it all to this gentleman here (Uduaghan) who has seen governance as business unusual– that of envisioning tomorrow and harnessing the assets of today to build a better future. Just as George Bernard

Shaw said ‘why not,’ Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan is today challenging us to say why not a Delta where peace, harmony, full employment, good infrastructure and indeed, a Delta beyond Oil reign.”

Other activity that was captured in the Democracy Day celebration was the grand finale of the Delta Talent Quest Dance that was organised by the Directorate of Culture and Tourism.

Okonkwo were released from Aguata Prisons. The beneficiaries from Onitsha Prisons are Mmaduabuchi Ojimba, Dick Iboro, Ikechukwu Nnamani, Amaechi Oloh, Chukwunonso Igbomalu, Sunday Udezulu and Ibrahim Oluwatosin Ahmed. Other lucky ones from Onitsha Prison are Chinedum Ephraim, Adebayo Damilare, Christian

Okeke, Julius Nweke, Sundy Ogugua, Chijioke Oforkalu, Nnamdi Nwabunwanne and Donatus Obioha. He further added that from Enugu Prison, Kennedy Okechukwu Okolonta and Onyeka Abugu had their terms reduced to 21 years imprisonment from the dates of their sentences, while Nnenna Obi from the same Enugu Prison was released.

Obi cheers up leprosy patients •Continued from Page 17

nor, Mr Mike Udah, Obi granted the amnesty in exercise of his Constitutional powers. Three inmates were released from Awka Prisons. They are Chidiebele Okolisa, Nafiu Mohammed and Kenechukwu Nwobodo, while Chibuzo Ekweizu and Chukwudi

Firm seeks extension of road’s completion date

AGOSIANS residents in Iyaba/Ayobo axis of the state are to wait a little longer to enjoy smooth ride on the road linking their area with other parts of the metropolis through Iyana-Ipaja. The anticipated July completion date is no longer realistic, the contractor- Messrs PLYCON Limited, handling the 7.4-kilometre road has said. The contractor blamed its inability to deliver on schedule on topography, lack of natural outfall for flash floods at the Ayobo end of the road and other factors. It requested for more time from the Lagos State Government through its Works and Infrastructure Ministry. Specifically, it asked for six months to enable it tackle the obstacles head on in order to fix the dual carriage way with necessary furniture. As its direct response to the yearnings of would-be-beneficiaries, the firm recently dispatched a team, led by Mr. Leke Adeniyi, a senior project manager, to assess the level of work. The project manager told reporters that besides lack of natural outfall for the discharge of storm water, the firm also has the relocation of infrastructure and the demolition of buildings on the right-ofway to contend with. So far, the firm has handled the demolition and relocation of 50 fences and structures on the right of way.

According to him, the firm spent some time negotiating with owners of the affected properties and the management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), telecommunication service providers and water corporation on either side of the 5.5-kilometre of drain alignment. Besides, Adeniyi said the firm has completed a 1,100-metre of in-situ drains that were, ab initio, not factored into the contract. On how the company went round the problems, Adeniyi said: “This situation made it necessary to encroach into the service lane constructed for Gowon Estate by the Federal Government. Obtaining the permission for this encroachment from the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) took several months.” He said the installation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) pipelines through the Abesan gate threw up another design challenge on another section of the road. “But most dauntingly, incessant and extended rainfall slows progress of earthworks and has frequently destroyed work already done. Alimosho, in general, is prone to heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding, according to the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA). Adeniy said the company is devoting adequate attention to the Abewenla-Megida stretch of the road; being the only remaining chal-

•Ipaja-Ayobo Road under rehabilitation and upgrading PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

lenge having made almost all sections of the road passable. However, anxious residents have urged the contractor to expedite action to end the pains they go through on daily basis going to work and returning home. “Paving work on the road is expected to begin from Baruwa. The Asphalt porting of the road (Moshalashi to Federal) will start

in September (when the rains should have subsided) and end in October. Extended handover date is November 2013,” Adeniyi assured. He said the installation at Abewenla will facilitate the dispersal of the water ponding at Oluwaga and its environs. Adeniyi further said: “To expedite earthworks in this section even during this period of heavy rainfall and

eliminate the inconvenience to road users, the contractor has switched from using laterite to fill the remaining portions of the road by using sharp sand and stone base aggregate. “These are significantly more expensive than laterite but are more stable in water and will enable fast completion of the section even during this rainy period.”




SIM registration: Operators kick against June deadline


HEAD the June 30 official end to ongoing national registration of subscriber identification module (SIM) in the country, telecoms operators have kicked against the decision of the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to end the programme, arguing that it is like putting the cart before the horse. The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said they were not prepared to end the exercise. The group’s Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, said: “Given the reality of what we face today, you know we have had significant disruption in our activities in some parts of the country, which has also affected the

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

movement of persons and business activities. So, circumstances in the last three or four months haven’t really helped situation as it were. Therefore, readiness, as we have today, I can say to you is not 100 per cent.” According to him, disconnecting subscribers on the network is improper, adding that the regulator should show leadership and direction by first coming clean with information about the integrity of the data it gathered too in the course of the exercise. “I think what the NCC itself should do is to provide a direction of the data base it has registered.

Recall that we did some part and NCC also did some part. So, if NCC is putting the deadline of 30th of June, I think also situation demand that NCC should give a declaration of the readiness or integrity of the data it has recorded over the period before putting a blanket disconnection order on service providers. ‘’So, for me, I think before we go out to say subscribers that are unregistered should be disconnected, I think we should embark on data clean up where there will be integration of data registered by the operators and those registered by the regulator and after the outcome of that, we can take a decision either to disconnect or not. But as it is today, it will appear that NCC is sitting on its

own data, no one knows the integrity of the data it has collated. We haven’t done harmonisation of the data collected by them and by us and (the NCC) is coming to give June deadline, I think there is need to review the decision again,” he said. On what the operators have invested in the exercise, he said it was premature to begin to speak on the exercise that gave a whopping National Assembly budgetary approval of N6.1 billion to the NCC. “May be when we come to the end of the exercise will be the time to talk about how much we have spent. Don’t forget that works are still ongoing,” he said. But the NCC has said total number


$2m for digital hubs

HE British Council and Microsoft Nigeria have earmarked $2million (about N326.2 million) to set up digital hubs that will promote IT adoption in Nigeria and some other parts of the continent. Speaking at the inauguration of one of the projects at Oregun Senior High School, Ikeja, Lagos, the Country Manager, British Council, Mr. David Higgs, said the United Kingdom organisation decided to partner Microsoft, which supplied the computer facilities, because of the desire to promote education using modern ICT tools. “We like the approach of collaboration between British Council and Microsoft. Future will be more of collaborations between orgainsations in building institutions for common goods and to build education, our collaboration has become a reality today,” he said.

•From left: Human Resources Executive, MTN, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola; Director, MTN Nigeria, Chief Victor Odili; Director, MTN Foundation, Mr Dennis Okoro and Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Dr. Pascal Dozie, during the MTN Y’ello Book Fair to mark the opening of 21 Days of Y’ello Care, the company’s yearly staff volunteerism programme, in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Agency explains why Glo’s base station was shut T HE National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has explained why it shut a base transmission station (BTS) belonging to Globacom. The BTS was shut because Glo failed to comply with the procedures for the BTS erection, NESREA said. A NESREA official said in a telephone interview with The Nation, that the agency took the decision as a last resort. It said it had in the last three months warned the operator to produce a site-specific Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in line with the provisions of the EIA ACT of 1992, but the operator refused. The affected BTS is located in Dandur in Lantang North Local Government Area of Plateau State. “The agency also issued Abate-


ment Notice to Glo, but the telco failed to respond. We were also receiving complaints from people living in the area, so we have no choice but to move and shut down the BTS. We intervened to protect the residents of the area,” he said. Asked if the development will not further compound the poor service in the industry, he said NESREA should not be held responsible for any further decline in service quality, adding that the operators were having problems with service quality because they had bitten more than they could chew. On whether the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was carried before swooping on the site,

he said the two agencies were working together. But an official of the NCC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, denied knowledge of NESREA’s action. The official, who refused to be named, said the agency should be contacted for comments. President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo, had alleged that NESREA took the laws into its hands by swooping on the facility. “NESREA is also over exploiting the humility of both the Minister of Communication Technology and the President, he said. “The NCC is the regulatory body by law, charged with the responsibility of regulating telecommunications & ICT in Nigeria and should be left alone to do its job.

‘Computer Society’s honours not for highest bidder’

RESIDENT of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) Sir Demola Aladekomo has said its honours and awards are not for the highest bidder. He said the honours and awards are given on merit and distinguished service to the industry and the nation. He spoke when the society inducted the Chairman of Visafone Communications Limited, Jim Ovia, into its hall of Fellows in Lagos. The Honorary Fellowship, he said, was bestowed on Ovia for his outstanding contributions to the development of the information communication technology (ICT) industry. According to him, as founder and pioneer group chief executive officer

By Deji Fakorede

of Zenith Bank, Ovia deployed information technology (IT) tools in facilitating the bank’s operations. “As founder of Zenith Bank Plc and former group CEO of the bank, he introduced a great deal of technology-driven innovations into the banking industry. Being the first president of the Nigerian Internet Group (NIG), he is not only an avid IT promoter, but has also invested massively in Nigeria’s technology sector. “He is the promoter and founder of Visafone Communications Lim-

ited and has led several national IT related initiatives, such as the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI), the National Information Technology Advisory Council (NITAC) and the National Broadband Committee. He is also the founder of Youth Empowerment through ICT,” he said. Responding, Ovia said he felt elated by the award, adding that he saw it more as a call to service. He pledged to promote and mentor the growth and development of the youth to assist them in using software and hardware, adding that nothing can be done without computer.


nications Ltd, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, is expected to chair the confab. The convener and president of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Mrs. Mary Uduma, said the theme is: Internet governance for empowerment, national integration and security through multi-stakeholders’ engagement.

Samsung unveils S9 UHD TV

AMSUNG Electronics West Africa has introduced its latest Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV, the S9, into the Nigerian market. The product was unveiled to the media Thursday in Lagos. The TV set is housed within a minimal, freestanding metal frame that allows it to rotate freely and appear to float in mid-air. The 85inch S9 is the world’s largest UHD TV and offers four times the pixels available on other smart TVs in the market. The product is already on sale at Samsung stores and accredited dealers nationwide. Speaking at the formal unveiling, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim, said, “Picture quality, advanced features and modern design are all areas in which consumers are steadily demanding more from their


He noted that so far, British Council had deployed 90 digital bubs in six countries across the subSahara Africa, stressing that as one of the largest economies in Africa, Nigeria cannot afford to delay in infusing ICT in its educational development. “There is a very large population of young people in Nigeria and this means there is a great potential. We need to give the youths ICT tools to compete economically in the 21st century. Today, life is increasingly depending on ICT to drive quality education,” he said. Higgs said with the inauguration of the facilities, which will later be maintained by the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Education, students would have the opportunity to access academic materials from anywhere in the world as well as collaborate with their peers in other countries.

NIGF to hold seminar June 18

HE Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) will hold a seminar in Abuja on June 18 in Abuja. The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has been slated to attend while former executive vice chairman of the NCC and Chairman, Openmedia Commu-


of registered subscribers will only be available when the exercise ends this month end. Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, told The Nation that all the operators are expected to forward their data to the NCC. “NCC ha stopped SIM reg but the operators are still doing it. They are still compiling data which they will send to the NCC at the end of the exercise,” he said. South Africa, the home of MTN, spent $119 million on SIM reg that ended June 30, 2011. While the MTN Group spent 250 million rand (about $37.10 million) on marketing and news staff, Vodacom and Cell C spent between 300 and 400 rands.

TVs. At Samsung, we are meeting these demands with our 2013 Smart TVs, which offer effortless and intuitive ways for our consumers to discover and share more of the content they love. The S9 comes complete with features to ensure the best picture quality possible, regardless of video source, towards creating the ultimate lean back experience for our consumers.” He also unveiled its innovative kitchen technology, the Samsung T9000 Refrigerator, a 32-cubic feet capacity four-door refrigerator that can be switched from fridge to freezer mode whenever the need arises. The T9000 refrigerator features a 19.4 cubic feet capacity french-door refrigerator compartment on top, and a 6.1 cubic feet compartment on the lower right side, providing an extraordinary 25 cubic feet of fresh food storage.

Firm bags awards

OREMOST ICT solutions provider, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited has won the Beacon of ICT Indigenous Software Company of the Year award. The firm, which has recorded many firsts in the industry, was presented with the award after nomination and voting. Publisher, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Ken Nwogbo and organisers of the awards attended by crème and crème of IT/ICT professionals, defined Sidmach as a company that has impacted positively in the continuous delivery of best-in-class solutions

to the market. He added that the company has engendered profound changes in the way ICT is deployed to serve the average Nigerian. He said Sidmach has become important to stakeholders in the educational, oil and gas and ICT industries, due to its various achievements, especially in pioneering the use of biometric technology for the registration, verification, and implementation of examination candidates; implementation of the online result verification system for West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and a host of other solutions.













Ondo Assembly confirms 18 commissioners

HE Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday confirmed the appointment of 18 commissioners by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. They are: Eyitayo Jegede SAN, Dayo Adeyanju, Remi Olatubora, Tunde Atere, Bade Omoloja and Nicholas Tofowomo. Others are Lady Yemi Mahmud, Gboye Adegbenro, Akin Adaramola, Kayode Akinmade and Lasisi Oluboyo.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The rest are Deji Falae, Idiarhi Bekekekimi, Bamiduro Dada, Clement Faboyede and Dele Adejuigbe. Speaker Samuel Adesina urged them to discharge their duties efficiently. Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Olatubora said they were rated to have performed well during the last dispensation and pledged that they would not disappoint the people.

Oyo warns schools against illegal fees From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


HE Oyo State House of Assembly has warned heads of public primary and secondary schools against the collection of illegal fees from pupils under any guise. The Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Mr. Olusegun Ajanaku, gave the warning in Ibadan, the state capital, during the committee’s visit to some primary schools in Ibadan Southwest and Northwest local government areas. Ajanaku said the visit was part of the committee’s oversight function. He said there had been allegations that some schools were charging parents arbitrarily for common entrance examination fees and warned that the government would not tolerate extortion. He said anyone caught doing so would be sanctioned.

Mobile banking expo holds in Lagos


HE need for improved shared-services and creation of a central switch will top the agenda at this year’s card, ATM and Mobile expo holding from June 11 to 13 at the Eko Hotel, Lagos. In a statement, Intermac Consulting, the organiser, said the event has the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NISS). It said cards and e-payment have taken centre stage in the economies of most African countries. The firm said financial institutions are consistently looking for solutions and are coming to terms with the reality of modernisation, with the benefit of security, speed and convenience in the payment system. The theme of the expo is: “Shared services: Optimising Payment Systems in Africa”. The objective of the expo is to create awareness for the CBN’s Cashless Policy, especially as it relates to the creation of a Central Switch banking agent in Nigeria. The organiser said: “We will also have sessions on how Africa can learn from successful shared-services implementations across the world.”

Commissioner condemns calls for councils’ autonomy


SUN State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Sunday Akere has condemned calls for local government autonomy. He said the constitution’s position on federalism recognised two tiers and “the third tier is purely a developmental centre”. Akere, who featured on a political programme of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), also spoke on the performance of the legislative and judicial arms of government. The commissioner described the legislative arm as important, saying it saved the country from collapse, especially when former President Olusegun Obasanjo “sought a third term in office”. He praised the judiciary

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

for the role it has played in the past 14 years, saying both the legislature and the judiciary, to a large extent, have been balancing the political process. Akere said if Nigerians stand by the decision of oneman-one-vote, the nation’s journey to democratic governance could be fast tracked. He urged the electorate to use their power wisely and vote for a party that would impact positively on the nation’s economy. Describing the democratic process in the country as gradually evolving, the commissioner said the system may not be perfoming to people’s expectation, but things would improve with time.

•From right: Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and the Chairman of Ijebu-Ode Local Government Council, Hon. Daadah Rasak, during the governor’s tour of ongoing projects in Ogun East Senatorial District...on Wednesday.


Kidnap victim narrates ordeal

N Octogenarian that was abducted in Ondo State, Pa. Akinyele Akerele, has narrated his ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers. Akerele, a former President of the Bread Bakers’ Association in the state, was abducted near his home in Igbobini by gunmen. Narrating his ordeal to reporters, Akerele said his abductors blindfolded him and

•Seven suspects held From Damisi Ojo, Akure

took him by sea to Sapele in Delta State. He said: “As soon as we got to Sapele, they removed the blindfold because it was useless then. They fed me just gari for the whole month. I was beaten mercilessly, especially when money was not forthcoming.

“I did not know I would survive it. I had never suffered as much as I did in the last one month in the kidnappers den. I was kept in a dirty place on the water. They changed positions every two weeks. “The police rescued me. I was shocked when the police identified me and told

me it was over.” The police have arrested seven suspected kidnappers in connection with the abduction. Police spokesman Wole Ogodo gave the names of the suspects as David Iteli, a.k.a Police; Meetin Ebi; Omosola Olorujuwon, a.k.a Jarule; Owei Yanboh; Toyin Asuluwon Emisa, a.k.a Minister; Oluwafemi Asogbon and Austin Shbija.

Ondo CNPP: Faction tells chairman to handover


HE leadership crisis rocking the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in Ondo State deepened yesterday as the caretaker committee set up by a faction of the group told the embattled Chairman, Chief Ayo Isijola, to vacate his office. Isijola, who was reportedly sacked by the faction led by the former General Secretary of the Conference, Prince Femi Ajibola, said he remains the state CNPP chairman.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The faction announced Isijola’s “impeachment” last month and set up a five-man committee to oversee the CNPP’s affairs for six months, within which an election would be held. In a letter to Isijola yesterday, signed by the Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Mr. Olusola Adeniyi, the committee directed Isijola to handover the conference’s property to it. The letter reads: “I was directed by the Ondo State

CNPP General Assembly at its meeting on May 26 to refer to the CNPP’s resolution of May 2, where a change of leadership was effected and a Caretaker Committee, headed by Mrs. Yemisi Aladesaiye, replaced your good self in office. “You ceased to function as Ondo CNPP Chairman from May 3 and the decision has been communicated to you variously.” The committee warned Isijola to obey the directive, adding that it had sent cop-

ies of the letter to security agencies and the CNPP’s Southwest Zonal Office. Isijola said the faction was “engaging in an impossible venture”. He said he had been going to the CNPP Office everyday and had not seen anyone holding a meeting there. Isijola said Ajibola and two former executive were suspended by the CNPP for alleged anti-party activities. He said Ajibola was suspended indefinitely and replaced with Mr. Lawrence Kehinde.

Lekki-Ikoyi bridge: Lagos Assembly drills exco members on tolling


EMBERS of the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday at plenary drilled the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Obafemi Hamzat; Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General Ade Ipaye and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Private Partnership (PPP), Ayo Gbeleyi, on the tolling of the newly inaugurated Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge. The House summoned them last week. The lawmakers questioned why a bridge that was built with tax payers’ money should be tolled and why the toll was implemented without the House’s ap-

By Oziegbe Okoeki

proval as stipulated in the PPP law. Mr. Ibrahim Layode (Badagry I) drew attention to Section 10(7) and 27 of the PPP Law, which stipulates that the approval of the House must be sought before going ahead with such collection. Toll collection began on the bridge on June 2. The Deputy Speaker, Kolawole Taiwo, said open bidding should have been employed in the selection process of the tolling company. He said: “I am surprised as to why we need an interna-

‘People have degrees in Electrical Engineering but they do not know anything’ tional partner to toll our bridge when we have our own engineers. We must be very careful in the way we carry on. I am not convinced by the analysis of Mr. Gbeleyi.” Hamzat lamented the poor performance of local engineers. He said before the

bridge was built, the state government had to wait for six months to train local welders. “People have degrees in Electrical Engineering but they do not know anything,” he added. The commissioner said there was no need comparing the tolling system of the bridge with that of the Muritala Muhammed Airport because the state’s system complied with international standard. He said the bridge is 1.35km and 27,160 sq metres with an appropriate template for maintenance, saying its lifespan is 50 years. Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the matter would be looked at more critically at an executive session.




NB, Nestle, others sustain bullish rally


HE bullish trend continued on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, with the value of equities appreciating by N18 billion - spurred by the contributions of key blue chip companies that recorded price appreciation. The All-Share-Index added 56.88 points to close at 39,510.11 points while the market capitalisation grew by N18 billion to close at N12.623 trillion. Nigerian Breweries, the number two after Dangote Cement on the most capitalised stock list of the NSE sustained the rally along with the most priced stock, Nestle Nigerian Plc, to keep the key indicators up. Total trading in the market stood at 402.422 million shares worth N6.850 billion across 6,187 deals. The Financial Services sector, which has

By Tonia Osundolire

been on the lead, sustained the tempo - topping the activities chart with 292.843 million shares worth N3.079 billion in 3,244 deals. This development was attributed to the contribution made by nine out of the top 10 most traded stocks. The nine stocks were from the financial services sector. They include ETI, Zenith Bank, Unity Bank, Skye Bank, FBNH, UBA, Access Bank, Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank. Other actively traded sectors include Consumer Goods, the Conglomerates, Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Health Care, Services and Industrial Goods with 35.479 million shares, 30.287 million shares, 12.393 million shares, 10.517 million shares, 6.917 million shares and 6.181 million shares.

On the price movement tables, a total of 117 equities recorded price change. Thirtynine of them appreciated in value, 28 shed value while the remaining 50 closed flat with the same price they opened the market with. Berger Paint led the gainers’ table with an increase of N0.86 to close at N9.46 followed by CAP with a gain of N4.95 to close at N54.45. Others on the list were Fort Oil, Presco, NASCON, Livestock, Eterna Oil & Gas, Evans medical, HIS and Neimeth. On the losers’ table, Vono led with a drop of N0.19 to close at N1.70 followed by Wapic Insurance with a dip of N0.07 to close at N0.90. Also on the list were Mobil, Jos breweries, Honeywell Flour, Unity Bank, Ikeja Hotel, Courtville, NPF Micro finance Bank and FBNH.

Group seeks to upgrade members’ role in committee


HE Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association (IBZSA) has concluded plans to organise a forum that will acquaint its members with the requisite knowledge to make meaningful contributions to the audit committees of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990

provides that audit committees comprise directors of the company and ordinary shareholders, who represent the interest of the minority investors in listed companies. But shareholders in some of the audit committees according to a statement by the group, have not performed efficiently as expected due to

various reasons including lack of accounting knowledge and lack of understanding of their roles. However, in order to bridge the knowledge gap, IBZSA said it will hold a oneday seminar in Ibadan Oyo State, June 11, to highlight the roles audit committee members play in ensuring accountability. IBZSA is one of the seven zonal association created by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in 1992 to take care of interest of shareholders of public quoted companies in Ekiti, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo states.





Banks syndicate N1.04t loan to firms B ANKS have provided $6.5billion (N1.04trillion) to two large conglomerates in the country, the chairman, Crèdit Bureau Association of Nigeria (CBAN), Mr Taiwo Ayedun has said. Speaking at the national credit reporting conference organised by Business and Initiatives in Lagos yesterday, Ayedun said the figure represents over 60 per cent of the credits given by banks to the private sector in 2012. He however, did not divulge the names of the conglomerates, which may have been telecom firms. He said the deposit money banks are currently responsible for over

Stories by Akinola Ajibade

90 per cent of data supplied to the credit bureaus including its services. He said: “Of the close to 100 active subscribers, the three largest users of credit bureau services- all of them deposit money banks are responsible for 50 per cent of patronage, and the largest users are responsible for 90 per cent of credit bureau patronage.” He said credit reports have increased at an industry average of less

NASCO records N2.8b profit


than 20,000 between 2012 and 2013. According to him, credit bureaus have invested over N5billion to enhance their operations and deploy the necessary infrastructure. “ The impact of consumer and mortgage spending on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is currently minimal. While the positive impact of credit bureaus is already being felt, yet to be felt is the widespread impact in terms of expanding credit opportunity to hundreds and thousands of Small busi-

•CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi

nesses and millions of consumers, and helping banks to diversify their risks and contribute to the GDP,” he said.

PZ Wilmar to boost palm oil production with N102b


Z Wimar has concluded arrangement to invest $640 million (N102.4 billion) in Nigeria over the next four years, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Mr. Christos Giannopoulos, has said. The investment is expected to fill the 700,000 tons gap of palm oil imported in the country annually and to help the country conserve her hard earned foreign exchange, which goes into importation of the commodity. Already, PZ Willmar – a joint venture between PZ Cussons and Wilmar International, has earmarked $100million for investment in oil palm plantation this year to increase the supply of locally produced crude palm oil in the country. The PZ Cussons Nigeria boss explained that the investment will be used for replanting of over 30,000 hectares of oil palm plantation in Cross River State.

Besides, he said additional investment will be made in its refinery, which will process crude palm oil in the most hygienic way to fill the demand gap in the country. He said: “Over the next few years our investment in this project will be over a N100 billion. We will develop 50,000 hectares of plantations creating 12,000 direct and over 33,000 indirect jobs at various skill levels. In addition, we have almost completed a world class refinery at a cost of N10 billion,” he said. Giannopoulos said the refinery is capable of processing 1,000 tons per day, adding that it incorporates world class, high efficiency technology, combining the best expertise from PZ Cussons and Wilmar International in manufacturing and palm oil production He said the company is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cross Rivers State, to implement a

Palm out growers’ scheme, which will be promoted under the Cross River Agriculture and Rural Empowerment Scheme (CARES). The PZ Cussons Nigeria boss said that the aim is to develop a symbiotic arrangement between small scale farmers and PZ Wilmar for the purpose of self-support and to enhance local capacity through the transfer of world class technical skills to local farmers. This scheme he said, will ensure that the smallholder farmers will have a ready market for their produce. He said Nigeria, which is a net importer of 700 tons to fill the supply gap, produces is only 1.3 million, stressing that opening the competitive space will, in the short and long run be for the benefit of the country, consumers and community. Giannopoulos recalled that in 2011, PZ Wilmar JV was formed with the vision of helping to bring palm oil home to Nigeria, saying

that this will contribute significantly to addressing the current national shortage of palm oil, creating new market and income for local industry and communities and thousands of potential job opportunities. “We have set out to achieve this by investing in new plantations and refining facilities to world class standards and the production of quality, healthy cooking ingredients. “Over 600,000 high yield palm plants have been transplanted with 2.1 million of seedlings at 4 nursery sites across the site within a palm nursery. A training school has been built on site designed to provide education and skills development in plantation management. We also plan to support an outgrowers scheme, giving local producers access to the milling facilities which will improve extraction of oil from their fruits, increasing their quality and yield,” he said.



Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20


OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 06-06-13


O/PRICE 8.60 49.50 14.00 30.00 11.00 4.91 3.31 3.11 1.82 1.04

C/PRICE 9.46 54.45 15.40 33.00 12.10 5.40 3.64 3.42 2.00 1.14

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

CHANGE 0.86 4.95 1.40 3.00 1.10 0.49 0.33 0.31 0.18 0.10

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%



1.90 0.97 118.00 1.32 3.37 0.65 1.06 0.78 1.21 18.60

C/PRICE 1.71 0.90 110.00 1.25 3.26 0.63 1.03 0.76 1.18 18.20

CHANGE 0.19 0.07 8.00 0.07 0.11 0.02 0.03 0.02 0.03 0.40

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12



27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 06-06-13


ATIONAL Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCO), a member of Dangote group has posted a profit after tax of N2.8 billion for the year ended December 2012. This indicated a growth of 25 per cent over 2011 results. Chairman of the Company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote disclosed this during the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos yesterday. He also told shareholders that profit before tax stood at N4 billion while turnover was N13 billion, indicating a 30 per cent growth over the results for the corresponding year of 2011. Consequently, the shareholders approved the recommendations of the board for the payment of N2.35 billion dividend, representing 90 kobo for every 50 kobo ordinary share held. He lamented that the company continued to face the usual challenges of the Nigerian business environment with energy in particular and other issues such as poor infrastructure, uncoordinated tax administration among others. These he said inhibited the manufacturing sector from reaching its full potential. “However, your board and management overcame these difficulties by responding to the challenges through strategic efforts and are therefore able to present the good results”, Dangote stated. He assured the shareholders of a better prospect in 2013 with the commitment of the board and the management to maintaining its leadership in the salt industry regardless of the increasing competition.

Offer Price

Bid Price


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833






CITYBEATS Road accident shuts down Lagos ‘Four bystandI ers managed to

T was a six-hour traumatic moment in parts of Lagos, the nation's commercial nerve-centre, yesterday. Agonised motorists and commuters gnashed their teeth in helplessness, following an auto accident on the Ikeja axis of the LagosAbeokuta Expressway. A trailer carrying two loaded containers, which fell on an Eko Meat Van marked XY433AAA, wreaked the havoc, killing the van's driver and one bystander. Three other occupants of the vehicle were injured. The accident, which occurred directly opposite the Muslim Praying Ground at Ile Zik bus stop, caused a long queue of vehicles from Ikeja/Iyana-Ipaja route, spreading all the way to Mushin and its environs. Thousands of people trekked to their destinations. Train services from both directions were temporarily suspended, while security agencies had it herculean controlling the mammoth crowd at the scene. Horrified, many took pictures of the scene with their mobile phones; others simply took pictures of themselves at the scene for keeps. The cause of the accident was laid sorely at the feet of the police. It was learnt from eyewitnesses that at about 9:30 am, a police van on patrol along the expressway sighted a commercial motorcyclist popularly called okada, apparently flouting the Lagos traffic law banning bikes from the highways, and gave it a chase. The motorcyclist, unwilling to forfeit his bike to the police, decided to make a run for it but in the process, it lost control and fell, throwing its two passengers on the ground. The Eko Meat Van was said to have been forced to a screeching halt. The loaded articulated lorry marked AKD 964 XB, was also making its way towards Iyana-Ipaja. The trailer, it was said, hit the van from behind, causing it to spin around. The driver did his best to avoid a collision. It swerved to the right, but lost control and veered into the pavement. Four bystanders managed to escape through the drainage channel, but one was unlucky. As he attempted to run towards the rail line, he was crushed to death by a fallen container. He was identified as Gbenga, a manager at Slot a computer and phone company. When the policemen saw the carnage that occurred, they allegedly shot tear gas into the air to scare off the public and paved the way for their escape. No one got the identities of the policemen and their vehicle's registration number.

escape through the drainage channel, but one was unlucky. As he attempted to run towards the rail line, he was crushed to death by a fallen container’


• Scene of the accident ... yesterday


By Seun Akioye and Ebele Boniface

An eyewitness who works at Anifowoshe Primary School, opposite the scene of the accident, said: "I sat down here when it happened. I saw the trailer hit the man and the container dropped on him; he died instantly. Also, the police van that caused the accident ran away." Another eyewitness, Kehinde Bereola, told The Nation: "The policemen passed by my car right here. They were chasing the bike man and the trailer was trying to avoid the van and the okada. That was how this accident happened. While running away, the policemen shot tear gas in the air and escaped. I saw everything that happened." The Nation learnt that it took almost 20 minutes before emergency operators arrived at the scene. Officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) were said to be the first to get there, but could do very little to save the situation. According to the South West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Iyiola Akande, rescue operations were delayed by the late arrival of the crane. "The crane could not get here on time because of the traffic; so, we tried to use our own cutters to cut the scrap. The two containers were loaded; it was not an easy job, but since the crane arrived, we have had more progress and there is hope." Other emergency management agencies at the scene included: Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Marine Navy and the Nigeria Police, led by Assistant Commis-

US agency to partner police against fraud

FFICIALS of the United States (US) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security, have assured the Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, of its readiness to assist in the war against fraudsters in the country. The department is in charge of antibulk cash movement/money laundering in the US. The officials, who visited the police chief to discuss the issues of cyber crime and other related offences, said SFU's role in the fight against internet crime and other fraud-related crimes, rekindled the establishment's interest in Nigeria. The visitors admitted that the Unit had made their job easy. The officials - Special Agent/Attach Matt Baechtle; Special Agents Jack Waugaman, Charles Engle, Billy Riggins and Timothy Henderson - were led by an Investigator from the U.S. Consulate, Mr. Ayo Ajayi.

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

• Traffic congestion on the expressway ... after the incident. Inset: Commuters trekking to their destinations

sioner (Operations) Emma Ngwu. Commuters recounted their agonies. "I walked from Cappa in Ilupeju to Ikeja. I am almost crippled now and I cannot go any further; that is why I have decided to stay in this van. Today is finished; if I can get out of here, I’m going home," Sola Richards said. A motorist, Adebayo Olusoji, said he got to the accident site at 10 am and had remained stuck in the traffic for five hours. He said: "I think the police overreacted in the issue of ban on okada. People now label okada as "police ATM." There is no sense in chasing bikes. Now, see what it has caused. My lost revenue today cannot be compared with the lives that were lost." Soji Babatunde, a commercial driver, also lamented his wasted day. "I did morning shift from Sango to Oshodi. I was coming from my sec-

ond trip when I got into this misfortune. Now, if this traffic clears, I am not working again. I have not been able to meet up my payment for today," he said. But as many were moaning their losses, others were rejoicing. Smallscale entrepreneurs and road-side sellers cashed in on the opportunity to do brisk businesses. Chinoso Mbamoh said he had sold more than six cartons of Gala sausage rolls, an increase of almost 50 percent of his usual sale. Some commercial bus drivers also made the best use of the situation by declaring a party in the middle of the road. Loud fuji music tunes blasting from their buses, dry gin passed from one hand to the other and road-side food sellers became emergency caterers as they made quick gains from

providing refreshment for the impromptu party. "We don't have a choice; we don't know when we will leave here. The day is already spoilt, so we should just enjoy ourselves," said Olalekan Amujo, one of the stranded drivers. The trailer and the van were removed from the scene at 3.30 pm, while the injured were taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. The driver of the meat van was said to have died at the hospital, while the whereabouts of the bike rider was unknown. "He ran through the gutter, you can still see his footprint here," a NEMA official said. The state police spokesperson, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Ngozi Braide, could not be reached for comment on the incident.

By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent

Baechtle praised Ogunsakin and his men for their professional handling of cases of fraud and arms-running reported by the US Consulate. He pledged unflinching collaboration with the Unit. Ogunsakin expressed SFU's readiness to partner with the ICE, saying: "Crime is growing and we need to cooperate globally to tackle fraud. I assure you of continuous working relationship in the future." SFU's spokesperson, Ngozi Isintume-Agu said the visitors promised to assist the Unit in a proposed training for officers and gate keepers of financial organisations. She said the Unit was enjoying robust relationship with US Consulate in the area of criminal investigation, such as identity abuse, human trafficking and abuse of diversity visa lottery processes.

• Front row from left: Waugaman, Ogunsakin and Baechtle. Back row from left: Henderson, Engle, Riggins and Ajayi.




Police exhume body of slain T UNIBEN student HE body of Ibrahim Momodu, a final year student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who was killed on May 27 by policemen attached to the Ogida Police Station, has been exhumed. The late Momodu was dressed in jeans and a green top with his shoes on. He was buried face down. It was also discovered that he was shot in the left side of his chest as against police claims that he was shot in the legs. The late Momodu was allegedly killed by a Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ogida Police Division, Mrs. Carol Afegbai. He was killed on May 27 at about 9pm on his way home after he was accosted by policemen on patrol led by the DPO. Mrs. Afegbai said she shot Ibrahim in the legs because he resisted arrest. She said a gun was discovered in his bag. A statement posted on her Facebook page reads: “Does these portray the image of a student? Are guns and riding of unregistered motor cycles at 22:30hrs, attempting to shot a policeman, a new syllabus for university students? “Let’s face reality and tell our selves the truth, no sane human being takes pleasure in taking the life of an innocent citizen thanks.” The exhumation was done, following an order of an Egor Chief Magistrate’s Court based

• Pay secret visit to family •School disowns student •Mum: my son’s spirit’ll hunt killers

•The ambulance used to convey the body. From Osagie Otabor and Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

on Chapter 41 of the Coroner’s Ordinance. Several protests by civil society organisations, students and relatives made the Edo State Government to set up a judicial panel of enquiry to unravel the circumstances of the killing. Police pathologist Dr. Wilson Akhiwu supervised the exhumation. The deceased’s family had demanded for the exhuming of the corpse in a protest letter to

the government. A police ambulance, marked NPF 4707 C, was used to convey the body from the cemetery to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital. Relatives said they identified the late Momodu with the clothes and shoes. The police authority led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Hilda Harrison, paid the family a secret condolence visit. The late Momodu’s mother, Mrs. Osas Momodu, said the police assured them of carrying out further investigations.

Mrs Momodu, who was in tears, said her son’s spirit will hunt his killers. She accused the police of whipping up false and multiple allegations against her son. “My son has never passed the night outside. When I woke up that day, I felt uneasy. On Tuesday, I left for work. I came back to discover that the food I left for him was still there. I called his phone. It rang all through the night on Tuesday. “So on Wednesday, May 29, I went to lodge a complaint that my son had not been home for 48 hours and they referred me to Ogida police station. “It was from there that all these troubles started. My son was called unprintable names. He was not a criminal. He never did drugs and has never carried arms.” UNIBEN’s spokesman Harris Osarenre, however, said the late Momodu was not a student of the institution. The Student Union Government, led by Osifo Osasere, vowed a showdown with the school management, if the statement was not retracted. Osifo displayed the late Momodu’s identity card and other registration documents. The family’s counsel, Jefferson Uwoghiren, in a statement, demanded for the arrest and prosecution of Mrs. Afegbai. He said it was an embarrassment for the school authority to mislead the public.

Akunyili praises Dickson for safeguarding health system F ORMER Director-General of the National Agency for Food Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Prof Dora Akunyili has praised Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson for his achievement in the health sector. The former NAFDAC DG urged other governors to emulate Dickson, whom she described as a village boy who cares for his people. She said: ‘‘I have nursed the idea of a drug mart from my days at NAFDAC. My inability to bring it to fruition remains one of my greatest regrets. “Today, I feel fulfilled that Governor Dickson is


HE African Centre for Environmental Protection (ACEP) has launched its ”Plant a million trees 2020” initiative to commemorate World Environmental Day. Centre Director Mrs Kaine Chinwah said the tree planting will help restore depleted forests, sustain the environment and reduce the impact of climate change. She spoke at launching held at the Atrium auditorium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. According to her, an average size tree produces enough oxygen in one year to keep a family of four breathing. Mrs Chinwah said trees are useful as they beautify the environment, help prevent desertification, mitigate climatic change and most importantly acts as air filters. She said no fewer than 400 trees have been planted by ACEP with the hope of raising the number through supports and contribution to one million or above by the end of 2020. The ACEP chief explained

partnering my foundation to establish a drug mart or drug distribution centre. ‘’ Mrs. Akunyili, who was also Minister of Information and Communications, spoke yesterday in Yenagoa at the foundation laying of the first National Drugs Distribution Centre in Yenagoa. The mart is being built in collaboration with the Dora Akunyili Foundation for Safe Medicines. Mrs. Akunyili saidprevious attempts by the government to close fake drug markets did not yield the desired result because

of the non-availability of an alternative. She thanked the Bayelsa government for setting up the Drug Distribution Centre, which she said will be leased to drug companies to enhance their distribution system within the Southsouth. Dickson lamented the increasing rate of fake drugs in the market and expressed confidence that the project will eliminate fake drugs in the nation. He said his government is collaborating with Mrs. Akunyili on the drug mart be-

cause without safe drugs, the health insurance policy and other populist programmes would not achieve the desired result. “We need to be sure of the quality of drugs in supply, not only through public institutions, but also through all private retail outlets. “This project, when completed, will curb the menace of fake and adulterated drugs, which has been the bane of the Nigerian drug market. “In addition, it will address goals 4 and 5 of the Millennium Development Goals.”

ACN’s NEC overrules suspension •Sekibo dumps party


Uduaghan makes case for albinos


ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has said no human being should be rejected for any reason. He said this at the opening of the sensitisation/ enlightenment campaign on albinism at Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo. The governor said albinos can and should never be denied their rightful place in the society. Represented by Special Adviser on Health Monitoring Rukevwe Ugwumba, Uduaghan said: “There are albinos among us and we should not deny the fact. What we should not do is deny them their rightful place in the society. “That I am here today is significant. Because we are being proactive now, the ministries of Health, Women Affairs and Culture and Tourism, including Information, are now working to ensure that albinism matters are handled with efficiency and care.”

Mob attacks Rivers’ traffic patrol official


Group launches plant a million trees initiative that the project will complement other sustainable development programmes, which she listed as community consulting/dialoguing, community led total sanitation (CLTS); and creation of sustainable environmental enterprise (SEE). She said the World Environmental Day, which was estab-

lished by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on human environment, is very symbolic as it addresses environmental challenges in the society. The event was organised by ACEP and the Rivers State Environment Sanitation Author-

ity (RSESA). The sole administrator of RSESA, Ade Adeogun, called for effective waste management. The gathering advocated prudence in food consumption and relaxation of trade restrictions for even access to adequate food by the disadvantaged societies.

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

NGRY youths yesterday attacked the patrol team of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV), beating one officer to a coma. Gift Amadi was attacked by an irate mob, when he and his colleagues tried to arrest a driver, who was driving an unpainted taxi. TIMA-RIV Head of Research, Media and Public Partnership Gift Egboh said: “The victim became unconscious due to the assault and was taken to TIMA-RIV’s sick bay and later to the Military Hospital. “These are officers in-charge of Zone 6 area of Port Harcourt and they were carrying out their duties when they sighted an unpainted commercial taxi, which contravenes the law. Efforts to arrest the offender led to his abnormal behaviour. “He (driver) stepped down from his car and started rolling on the floor shouting and raising false alarm; this made the youths in the area to attack the officers.” Egboh said it is against the law of TIMA-RIV to drive unpainted commercial bus or taxi in Port Harcourt.


•Mrs Chinwah flanked by Nigeria Environmental Society Chairman, A.S Ebere (right) and a resource person.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

HE National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has overruled the suspension of a national officer by the Rivers State Executive Committee. It said the suspension violates the party’s constitution. In a statement in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said going by the ACN Constitution, no state executive committee can suspend any national officer. “In view of this, the status quo remains and we enjoin all our members to allow peace to reign. If anyone has any grievances, the party constitution is clear on what to do. “We’ll sanction any member who fails to adhere to the party’s stand on the suspension.” The ACN warned its members in Rivers to desist from rumour mongering that is capable of tarnishing the image of the party’s national leadership. The party warned that disciplinary action will be taken against members found to be deliberately spreading such rumours. The 2011 governorship candidate, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, yesterday dumped the party “for personal reasons”. The suspended Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, in an online statement yesterday, stated that Sekibo's letter was addressed to the National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande. According to Needam's statement, Sekibo said: “I wish all my friends and colleagues, who are still in the party well.” In a telephone interview yesterday, Sekibo declined comments on his next political move. He said: “The speculations are too many. I have to step back to evaluate what my next political move will be.”

Bayelsa fetes indigenes

OR their significant contribution to the development of Ijaw culture, some indigenes of Bayelsa State are to shareN6.5 million. Governor Seriake Dickson, who announced the gesture, said a centre for the study and preservation of languages will be established in the state. The governor said the government will give special focus to Ijaw language. He spoke at the 2013 World Culture Day Celebration with the theme, “Exploring Nigeria Cultural Diversity for Development,” at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Yenagoa. Dickson said: “Now we have competing cultures seeking for attention. Today we have our children comfortably speaking other tongues; we encourage it but not at the detriment of our language which is a major component of our culture. “We should endeavour to impart the essential part of our culture and traditions to make us the quintessential Ijaw men and women. According to the Governor, as the fourth largest ethnic group in the country, it behooves on government to strive to preserve the Ijaw culture at all times and bequeath it to the younger generation. Dickson said this informed government’s decision to set up the Yenagoa Film City and made a donation of N250 million to the project.




Eight killed in communal clash From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


IGHT people were allegedly killed yesterday in Aguleri/ Umuoba Anam communal clash. An eyewitness, Chukwudi Daniel Chinwoba, said the Aguleri people mistakenly killed four people from Umuoba Anam and the Umuoba Anam people retaliated, killing four people from Aguleri. This, he said, heightened tension in the communities. The Army and the police have taken over the two communities. The Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra East, Mike Osita, described the incident as a mini emergency. He said the killing was done by miscreants and not indigenes. The Chairman of Anambra East Local Government Area, Chinedu Obidgwe, said the act was perpetuated by criminals. Obidgwe said the communities have taken an oath before deities in seven shrines. He said 12 monarchs, two transition committee members and 40 stakeholders, including security officials, were at the oath taking ceremony.

Five Pakistanis regain freedom in Bayelsa From Shola O’Neil, Yenagoa


IVE Pakistani sailors, who were abducted by gunmen on Akassa Creek in Bayelsa State on May 24, regained their freedom on Wednesday. They said they were abducted by gunmen, who attacked their vessel, MT MATRIX. The vessel is owned by an indigenous oil servicing firm, Matrix Energy. It could not be confirmed how much was paid to secure the release of Rashid Igbal, Wajid Muhammad, Waqas Admed, Mushtag Admed and Mujtaba Ghlum Muhammad. Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe denied knowledge of the incident. The victims told reporters yesterday that their abductors blamed their travail on an insensitive government. It was gathered that a former Secretary-General of the Ijaw Youths Congress (IYC), Duncan Eradiri, facilitated the release of the Asians. He said no ransom was paid. The victim’s spokesman, Muhammed, said they were taken by gun-wielding youths who stormed the vessel with a lone speed boat on the Akassa River. He said the gunmen forced them into their boat and sped off with them to an unknown place after stealing their valuables. “They came in only one speed boat and asked us to enter. We spent 12 days in the bush.” In a related development, Mrs. Anne Ziworitin, wife of a former Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa State Civil Service, who was kidnapped last week has been released. Akhigbe confirmed her release.

warn Fake Army Officer, two others Police vehicle owners T T arrested by SSS HE State Security Service (SSS) in Anambra State yesterday apprehended a 23-year-old boy, Solomon Samuel, for parading himself as an army officer. Also arrested were 34year-old Ikechukwu Okorowu from Awomama in Imo State and 18-year-old Ogwa Ogochukwu from Ebonyi State. The three suspects were allegedly involved in vandalising 32 pieces of Nigerian Telcommunications (NI-

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

TEL) equipment at the organisation’s facility at Upper Iweka axis of Onitsha. The State Director of SSS, Alex Okeiyi, said the arrest was facilitated with the assistance of a vigilance group. The suspects, he said, have been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation De-

partment. Solomon reportedly confessed that he intimidates his victims with the army uniform and daggers. He said they operate at 3am, adding that he only participated once in the operation. Ogwa said he was at his duty post when security operatives arrested him. But the SSS claimed that

Ogwa had been shielding the suspects involved in crimes in Onitsha. Okorowu said he delivers the goods for the suspects and receives N5,000 for each trip. Okeiyi said: “Invesigation show that Solomon wears the army uniform to facilitate nefarious activities of the gang. “He and Okorowu were comfirmed to be among the vandals who escaped arrest in Onitsha on May 30, abandoning six sacks of vandalised NITEL cables which were recovered.”

•Former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme (left); Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (middle); Sen Uche Chukwumerije (right); Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain Tom Ikimi and Obi’s wife Margaret at the wake for the wife of Sen. Ben Obi, Colette, in Awka... yesterday.

Ogbulafor denies responsibility for kinsman’s conduct F ORMER Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vincent Ogbulafor yesterday distanced himself from the alleged fraudulent conduct of his kinsman and ex-Secretary, Secretary of the National Economic Intelligence Agency (NEIC), Emeka Ebilah. He admitted that Ebilah, who hails from Abia State like him and whose appointment to NEIC board he facilitated, donated N2million to his campaign fund while he campaigned for the position of the National Secretary of the PDP. Ogbulafor, a former Special Duties Minister, spoke yesterday while being cross-examined at his trial before Justice Ishag Bello of the Abuja High Court. He is being tried with Ebilah on charges of conspiracy and award of fictitious contracts to the tune of


From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

N107million. They are being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC). Under cross-examination by prosecution lawyer, Marcus Abu, Ogbulafor admitted nominating Ebilah for appointment as NEIC board member, but denied being instrumental to his emergence as the body’s Secretary. When asked if he knew what Ebilah’s salary was to have enabled him make a N2million donation to his (Ogbulafor’s) campaign, the ex-PDP leader denied knowledge. “The N2million he donated was in support of my campaign. Others donated vehicles and took them back after the

campaign. When he gave me the money I did not know where it was coming from because it is campaign fund.” He also washed his hands off any allegation of misconduct against Ebilah, saying he only recommended Ebilah for appointment and can not be held responsible for his conduct. He said Ebilah should be able to account for his deeds. When asked if he trusted Ebilah, Ogbulafor said he knew him (Ebilah) from his community having contested election for the Senate and believed that he must have been a person of good reputation to have been allowed by his community to contest election at that level. Ogbulafor admitted knowing Chris Nwoke, who the prosecutor said paid money into the ex-PDP leader’s bank

Ogboru institutes N500m suit against business associate •Ogbulafor

account, an allegation he denied. He admitted that the President, while he was the Special Duties Minister, directed him to reconstitute a Renegotiated Debt Committee of the NEIC that renegotiated the debt by the Federal Government to contractors. He also admitted that his ministry identified and advised the contractors to be paid by the government. Ogbulafor ended his testimony yesterday, following which the trial judge adjourned to July 15 for Ebilah to testify.

I have met my targets, says Orji

BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has declared his performance sterling. He said he had delivered on his targets. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Communications, Ben Onyechere, Orji said: “If I should translate my electoral promises with the level of development both completed and on-going, I can comfortably beat my chest assertively that I have met my targets. “We deliberately decided to keep away from public view initially about our foundational projects because it is not my character to make noise and play to the gallery in the name of politics. “With the ongoing inauguration of infrastructural out-

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

lay, where fully built projects are being put to use for the benefit of the people, it is very clear that we have not relented in our avowed objective of laying foundations while increasing our efforts in putting finishing touches on the projects that we had started. “The purpose of inaugurat-


ing our projects is to bring to the knowledge of the people the existence of such infrastructure ,which will add value to their lives.” The governor vowed not to mix with politics with performance. “One major feature of our developmental initiatives is the prioritisation of infrastructure, which will directly

HE Deputy Inspector General of Police “D” Department Force (CID) Abuja/Lagos, and the Lagos State Commissionner of Police have warned owners of accidented and abandoned vehicles parked at Force CID Alagbon Ikoyi, Orile and Oworo Divisions to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction after 21 days. They are Toyota Peugeot car registration number DV371FKY; Volkswagen Faragon bus unregistered; Nissan car unregistered; Nissan car CV293JJJ; Coaster bus XC332AGL; Mitsubishi car QV573KRD; Toyota Camry unregistered; Spreuba Pintura unregistered; Volkswagen Passat unregistered; Mazda car unregistered; Nissan car unregistered; Nissan car LA2119E; Datsun unregistered; Toyota car unregistered; Toyota Celica car unregistered; Mazda car DF135JJJ; Mitsubishi car BX311LSD; Nissan AL911MAP; Mercedez Benz CA967APP; Suzuki MS718ABC; Mercedex Benz BD900BDG; Honda CRV APP310AA; Toyota Carine E NF726KJA; Mercedez Benz BW350KTU; Honda Accord CC304AGL; Nissan CH188FST; Mazda DC146AA; Datsun CH278LSR; Mercedez Benz HB763KJA; Toyota Previa EY43LND; Nissan LM934EKY; Mercedez Benz XK224GGE; Toyota Camry BQ889MUS and Omega Opel CV553GGE.

impact on the livelihood of the generality of Abia people.” Orji added that his administration had identified health related issues as the bane of the development of the state . He spoke at the inauguration of a chest clinic built and donated by Agbami field, a conglomerate of several big oil companies.


By Seun Akioye

IOGRET Limited, a company belonging to industrialist Chief Great Ogboru, has instituted a N500million suit against a business associate, Kunle Ogunba and the Deputy Sheriff of the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly trying to execute a lapsed ex-parte order on the company. In suit No. FHC/L/CS/ 771/2013, filed on June 3, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants on May 31 attempted to execute an ex-parte order issued against Fiogret Limited in January, which was executed on March 1. Fiogret claimed that the defendants invaded its premises at Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos with a detachment of over 100 police officers, thereby disrupting the business activities of the company, which resulted in huge financial losses. Fiogret also claimed that the defendants by their action put the company under “menacing siege” in an attempt to execute an order, which had previously been executed.

24 monarchs pray for Fayemi’s reelection

HE Elekole of Ikole-Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Fasiku, and 23 other monarchs in Egbeoba Kingdom have prayed for the success of Governor Kayode Fayemi in next year’s governorship election. Oba Fasiku led the prayer in his palace while receiving leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state. Before going to the palace, the ACN leaders and other dignitaries from Ikole-Ekiti held a rally, where Fayemi was en-

dorsed for a second term. Some notable Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members were admitted into the party at the event. Oba Fasiku said Fayemi has done well to deserve their “royal blessing”. He said every town in the state is feeling the impact of the administration.” The monarch warned politicians against making statements and engaging in acts that can cause chaos.




Suspected Fulani herdsmen kill nine in Niger village


BOUT 100 suspected Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday night killed nine people in Kushaka village, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. They were said to have also injured several other residents and stolen valuables. The attack on the farming community was reportedly carried out at 2am by the armed herdsmen from neighbouring Kaduna State. A survivor, who spoke in

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

confidence with our correspondent, explained that the attackers caught the villagers napping. He said: “All the villagers had retired into their homes by 8pm. They were suddenly awakened by the gunshots of the invaders. The bandits ransacked the village, house-tohouse and shot indiscriminately. They also inflicted machete cuts on their victims.” The resident said though

some of the villagers managed to escape into the bush, he added that the elderly, mostly women and children, were felled by the fire power of the invaders. The Chairman of the local government, Abdullahi Yerima, called for the reinforcement of security in the area. He urged the residents to remain calm, adding that the council would ensure that the marauders are apprehended and brought to justice.

Police spokesman, Richard Oguche, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said it was too early to attribute the incident to any terrorist group. “We cannot draw any conclusion now but, we are monitoring the situation but no arrests have been made,” Oguche said. He, however, confirmed the casualty figure, saying preliminary report attributed the attack to the herdsmen. Oguche said the command

had deployed three truck-loads of mobile policemen in the area to investigate the cause of the disturbance and arrest the culprits. Niger State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder Association, Alhaji Samaila Rebe, said the attackers were Fulani herdsmen from another part of the country. He said: “The attackers are indeed Fulani and I can say they are not from Niger State.”

Catholic church to celebrate anniversary THE Parish Priest, Our Lady Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Ilupeju, Lagos State, Rev. Fr Simeon Iwu, announced yesterday that the church would celebrate her 10th anniversary with Holy Mass and award of excellence for deserving Nigerians. Posthumous awards, he added, would be given to some destinguished persons, on June 9.

Church holds concert THE Breath of Life Ministry will hold a musical concert on Sunday at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The "Mega Praise Summit" will start by 3pm. Senior pastor of the church, Samson Jedafe, said the concert would attract about 1000 guests and is organised to teach the musicians expected to grace the event some musical tips. According to him, they will be taught how to play some musical instruments like the drum-set, keyboard, lead guitar, bass guitar and talking drum. "They will also be taught sound production, dance and voice development," the cleric added. The concert, which is expected to be spiced up by all-female Topsticks Band, will also feature Kaffy, a dancer; Papi J, drummer; Y Pick, lead guitarist; Franklin, vocal coach; Isaiah, bass guitarist and Ruach Levies, the church's choir, among others.

• Samson

•From left: Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo; Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Chairman, Northern States’ Governors’ Forum (NSGF) and Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, during the forum’s meeting in Kaduna... yesterday.


Niger PDP: Aliyu can’t be suspended

ESPITE the seeming face-off between the national leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, the state chapter of the party yesterday passed a vote of confidence in his leadership and administration. The party also foreclosed any suspension of the Chairman of the Northern States’ Governors’ Forum (NSGF) from the party “because he has committed no offence”.

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Rising from an enlarged State Executive Committee meeting in Minna, the state capital, the state PDP, through its Publicity Secretary Hassan Saba, told reporters that “as far as we are concerned in Niger State, we are 100 per cent behind Governor Babangida Aliyu and he has our solid support”. Saba said the party was comfortable with the leadership style and the ability of the governor to deliver the manifesto and pro-

greammes of the ruling party in the state. Dismissing the rumour of an imminent suspension of the governor from the party, like two of his colleagues – Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko - the party’s spokesman said: “Governor Aliyu has done nothing to warrant suspension from the party. This rumour is baseless, because he has not fallen short of party decisions.”

On the ongoing wrangling at the national level of the party, Saba said the party in the state is not happy but expressed hope that the matter and other areas of frictions between the contending forces will soon be resolved. He said: “We are not happy with what is happening at the national level. It is a family matter and we pray and hope that the family would solve the problem quickly. We are hoping that in no distant future they will solve the problems”.

State of emergency: Senator warns Fed Govt against HE Chairman, Senate the states’ money, which was using state funds Committee on Culture not so. and Tourism, Hassan


Barata, yesterday warned the Federal Government against spending funds belonging to states under state of emergency. Barata, who represents Adamawa South at the Senate, told The Nation in Abuja that he opposed the declaration of state of emergency in Adamawa State. He noted that leaders from Adamawa State were made to believe that the state would be used as a “buffer zone” to trap insurgents and Boko Haram

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

members fleeing Borno and Yobe states during the state of emergency. The lawmaker advised the Federal Government to restore telephone services in the Adamawa to boost business activities. Barata said: “The position of the Northern Senators’ Forum is that the funds from these states should not be touched. When you look at our votes and the proceedings of that

particular time, the Senate President, in his report of our executive session, said we have all agreed that the money from the states should not be touched. “We were surprised about all the things that happened later. Based on the agreement, we heard at the executive session that the money should not be touched. We thought our agreement would reflect in the emergency law. “But later, we learnt that the Senate’s version is saying we allowed the President to use

“You know when you are talking about a version in a situation like this you always talk about what you have discussed. It is not necessary for you to read the complete version. “You have discussed this thing with someone and agreed on something. But he said the other side has adopted your version, based on your agreement. It is not something you can go back again to and say you have not agreedon it . This is our problem...”

Constitution review: Kwara Speaker picks holes in barring VPs


HE Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rasak Atunwa, yesterday picked holes in the National Assembly’s Constitution Review Committee barring vice presidents from succeeding their incapacitated principals through hustling. The speaker said caution must be taken in barring people who occupy certain positions by the operation of the law that has been a constitutional right. Clause 11 amending Section

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

136 of the Senate Panel on the Constitution review “disqualifies the vice president from contesting for the office of the president if he was sworn in after the death or impeachment of the president”. It adds: “Where the vice president-elect or vice president succeeds the president-elect or the president, in accordance with Sub-section 1 of this section, he

shall not be eligible to contest for the office of the President in any subsequent election.” Atunwa addressed reporters yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, during the commemoration of the Seventh House of Assembly’s second year in office. He said: “But let me say that a person, who has been hitherto qualified to run for elective position, should not be barred from so doing by the operation of the law simply because he had

occupied another position. “In other words, the issue of whether vice president or deputy governor can succeed a president or governor who left or who died whilst in office is simply completing the term by operation of the law, as he has not contested any elective position and therefore has not subjected himself to any of the electoral processes. It is just my personal view. “I think one has to be very careful in barring people who

are occupying a position simply by the operation of the law from what has been up till now a constitutional right. “I do not want to pre-empt what my members will think of the barring of the vice president or deputy from succeeding their bosses through an election. This proposal ,having scaled through the National Assembly, will have go to Houses of Assembly and there will be a requirement of majority of 2/3 of the Houses of Assembly.”

NIIT announces scholarship By Daniel Essiet

ASIA'S largest Information Technology (IT) trainer, National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) has announced its 14th NIIT Nigeria IT Scholarship 2013, to enable meritorious students seek a career in the fast-growing IT sector. A statement, which stated that the scholarship would help students get trained for a global career in IT, added that the scholarship test would be held on July 13. The statement said prospective beneficiaries, after the training, would join the IT industry in Nigeria to be part of its skilled IT talent pool, adding that students can visit to get more details about the scholarship test. Vice-President, International Education Business, NIIT Ltd, Sanjay Tlckoo, said: "Over the last 13 years, NIIT has played a key role in developing manpower for the fast-growing IT industry in Nigeria. NIlT's Nigeria IT Scholarship is an endeavour specially aimed at creating a trained pool of human resource in IT, for global assignments."

Sambo condoles with Kontagoras


ICE President Namadi Sambo yesterday in Abuja led a Federal Government delegation to condole with the family of the late retired Maj.Gen. Mamman Kontagora. Sambo, who was received at the Maitama home of the deceased by retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Duba, said he was commiserating with the family members of the late general. The Vice President, who also participated in the seven-day fidau prayer for the deceased, prayed Allah to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Funeral for Watson


R. William Abayomi Watson (aka Bad Boy Bill) is dead. He was 88. Watson died in Brooklyn, New York, United States. He will be buried on July 7 after a service of song at his home, No, 1223, Bedford Street, Ancork, Brooklyn, New York. He is survived by a wife, Alhaja Sherfat Watson (nee Ojora-Adejiyan), children, grand-children, cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.

• The late Watson



NEWS Six year single tenure may exclude president, governors from 2015 poll Continued from page 4

president. “We don’t believe that the number of years you spent there as President translates to performance.” On the issue of 30 days to sign a bill, he said: “We believe strongly that constitution amendment does not require presidential assent.

“It is still in court, we are at the Supreme Court on that. “It does not require presidential assent.” Ekweremadu added that any assent on such amendment is surplusage. He said: “The reason is this; what you need to pass a bill normally is a simple majority but the Constitution provides that in an amendment to the Constitution

you need two-thirds. “Don’t forget that you need two-thirds to override the veto of the president. So, it is deemed as if the process is completed with that two-thirds. “So, if you now say that you are taking it to the president to sign, then you need to also take it to the governors to sign because state Assemblies also voted.”

On why the committee was silent on state police, the senator said his job as chairman of the committee was like the job of a presiding officer, to aggregate and articulate the views of members of the committee and Nigerians. Ekweremadu noted that he strongly believed that state police is the best way to go “but some of my colleagues said no”.

has no jurisdiction, he should back out of the matter.” The judge ordered both parties to respect the fact that the matter is pending before the court and desist from taking any action that could affect the determination of the suit. He adjourned the matter till July 8, for hearing the motion on jurisdiction. DENwigwe said: “Amaechi is saying that the Party suspended him and that the party should be restrained. “At this stage we cannot decide whether or not the party will be restrained. We are saying that the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the matter on the grounds we

stated out in our motion papers and I told the court that until that is decided, we cannot deal with any other matter, so the matter is adjourned to deal with those matters. Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), Amaechi’s lead counsel said “by the ruling, the suspension that had been handed over to our client should not be given any effect until the court decides the legality or otherwise of such suspension in the first instance. “That means no further steps should be taken and he should not be denied any of his rights as a member of PDP in consequence of that purported suspension.” Amaechi yesterday restated

that he has no intention of leaving the PDP. Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mr. David Iyofor, in a statement, dismissed as outright lies and a figment of the devious imagination the claims that Amaechi had approached the ACN leadership to join the party. “Governor Amaechi has no intentions of leaving the PDP. And everyone knows that he’s already fighting his purported suspension in court. He believes, it’s a PDP issue and in due course the matter will be resolved. He has never met with anyone to discuss his leaving the PDP to join ACN or APC or any other political party”, Iyofor stated.

Court to sit over Amaechi’s suit

Continued from page 1

the matter. He insisted that the aspect of jurisdiction in the matter should be decided before any other issue. Justice Ogbuchi in his ruling said he would first assume jurisdiction to determine whether or not he has full jurisdiction on the matter. An appellant counsel, Emenike Ebete, said the Judge acted in accordance with the law. “If a judge is faced with a case in which his jurisdiction is being challenged, the law says that the Judge should first assume jurisdiction to determine whether or not he has jurisdiction, if it is discovered at the end that he

Fashola plans power projects for tertiary institutions Continued from page 4

We must stop thinking about treating malaria and start thinking of how to eradicate plasmodium or create a vaccine for it. We have put a research fund there. Please use it.” Fashola urged those interested in accessing the fund to come up with a well detailed plan specifying what kind of research they intend to do, the

current state of affairs and what they have done thus far. “This is to justify the need for the fund and what we expect to see, if the funds are available”, he added. The governor said the need to start building a generation that will solve local problems with local ideas prompted the government to start a school of transportation at LASU to train a new generation of professionals that will become trans-

port planners, managers and operators. He said: “The reason is simple. Transportation is a global problem and it is no less so in Lagos or any other part of Nigeria. Major cities and countries, including our state, are building transport facilities, such as the rail project on the Badagry corridor and the expressway expansion.” “But how many Nigerians have the knowledge of rail con-

struction and how many are involved in building our bridges and highways? We need to build more water works. But how many of us even know how the current water supply is being produced? “We need constant power supply. But how many of us have visited our power generation, transmission and distribution facilities? How many of us know how cars are made from design to assembly?”

PDP governor axed for snubbing Akpabio Continued from page 4

tions for any member who (c ) ‘disobeys or neglects to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party’, (h) ‘engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party’ and (m) ‘fails, refuses or neglects to treat a petition, complaints or appeal timeously’. “Nevertheless, the NWC, vide a letter dated April 17, 2013, kindly requested His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, to appear before it on the 8th of May, 2013 to clear the issues thereof. “The NWC also wrote to the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto, requesting explanations for his actions as a state party officer, in replying the national chair-

man. “Regrettably, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko never honoured the invitation and refused to respond in any way despite repeated invitations from the NWC, an action which is in clear violation of Article 58.1 (c), of the PDP constitution. In the same vein, the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP, also refused to respond to the National Working Committee (NWC). “Consequently, the NWC at its 336th meeting held on May 22, 2013 suspended the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto and communicated the decision to him in a letter dated May 22, 2013. “The NWC thereafter extended yet another invitation to His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, in a letter dated May 23, 2013 in which it requested him to appear before it on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 to

clarify the issues. “Unfortunately, in complete disregard to a lawful organ of the party, His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, instead of appearing before the NWC, travelled out of the country on Tuesday June 5, 2013 without any form of response to the party. “The NWC frowned at this act of gross indiscipline and disrespect to the party and was, therefore, left with no other option than to invoke relevant articles of the PDP constitution in furtherance of the determination to enforce discipline at all levels within the party. “We wish to state that the leadership of the party has immense respect for all elected and appointed political office holders and in the same vein, expects all political office holders to reciprocate by respecting the constitution and lawful organs of the


party upon which platform they hold office. “The NWC hereby restates that no individual or group within the party is, and must be seen to be above the constitution and lawful organs of the party. All party members are under the rule of the constitution of the party and must so abide”.

‘We begged Oshiomhole to join PDP’ Continued from page 1

Member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and two time former Governor of old Bendel State, Dr Ogbemudia said he was shocked when Oshiomhole told them that if he came to PDP his friends in the media would kill him. “So I was, therefore, embarrassed when I heard that the PDP said he came to them and they rejected him. So the answer for PDP lies in coming together, solve their problem, install internal democracy and re-organise their management to victory” he said. On the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Ogbemudia said that “the forum, according to experts, is not in the constitution, but as far as I am concerned, whether it is in the constitution or not, it has come to stay. The governors are the custodians of the democratic votes; they are the

ones running the country; they are supposed to be the Chief Security Officer of each state.” He went on: “The President should be the arbiter; he should call the two warring factions together and settle them. So I expect and appeal to the President to settle them. He should not allow the governors to break up into factions; otherwise the 2015 election will not be total. So, if you want their blessing, you employ them to help you, talk to them like brothers, but if anybody has succeeded in intimidating someone to do what he likes, I don’t think Governor’s Forum is the one that can be intimidated to do what game they want them to play. So it is through negotiation. Nigeria has developed a language called dialogue. So they should dialogue with the governors.”

‘Wamakko’s suspension hasty’ Continued from page 4

ria gives him the right to contest any election. So it is not the issue of my view but the views of Nigeria”. Spokesman of the ACF Anthony Sani in an SMS to our reporter, said: “I do not know the facts leading to the suspension of the governor. But I know that each political party has the right to discipline its erring members. “However, the timing of the suspension, considering the problems of the elections of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, has opened the actions to avoidable suspicion that the party is using the big stick to whip its governors and members into line. “I only hope the party would not expect all party members to have the same views on issues of national importance. This would not be democratic because democracy is also a contest of ideas and reasons. In fact, were it not for that reason and practice, there would be no need for internal democracy and primaries within political parties. “So, I wish to appeal to the leadership of the party to find appropriate balance between abdication of personal convictions and implementing them by fiat. Let them learn how to use due process of democracy and make what is desired possible and then actual, since we are in a democracy,” he said. Sokoto State PDP described Wamakko’s suspension as “shocking.” Speaking yesterday at the party’s state secretariat shortly after an emergency meeting,

Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Arzika Tureta said PDP supporters in the state felt betrayed by the decision taken at the national level without consideration for the provisions of the party’s constitution. He said Wamakko remained a political idol adding: ‘’ he has been a loyal and committed figure to the development of the party and its structure in the state.’’ Tureta, who said he spoke on behalf of the state working committee, affirmed Wamakko’s loyalty to the party, saying he won all elective seats from councillorship to senate for the PDP.’’ He said rather than strengthening the political base of the party to confront the opposition come 2015, ‘’ we are creating openings for opponents to capitalise on’’ According to Tureta, a former state chairman, ‘’ the Bamanga Tukur-led executives should guard against the antics and rumour mongering by Abuja-based politicians. ‘’ He should endeavour to substantiate allegations by those who never wish the party well’’, Tureta advised. State Treasurer Mukhtari Mafia described Wamakko as “a hardworking and loyal party member that consolidated the gains of democracy in favour of the party by wining all elective positions.” Alhaji Abdullahi Bafarawa, a frontline member of the party said suspending governor Wamakko from PDP is a big joke and a’’political miscalculation’’

Five governors at Northern States Governors Forum as NGF crisis takes its toll Jang was not interested in contesting the election of the NGF, but was chosen by 18 northern governors at their meeting before the NGF election. “The governors had wanted to settle for Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State. They changed their mind because they felt Shema was too close to the President, having served as his campaign co-ordinator. They shifted attention to Yuguda, who was also Jonathan’s campaign coordinator. “But Shema opposed Yuguda’s choice, saying since both of them were campaign co-ordinators for the President, if Yuguda was going in for the contest, he will also contest. “Since they wanted to present a consensus candidate, the governors had to ask the two of them to step down, while settling for Jang. They wrote it down and signed.

“When they went for the election, some of them backed down on their agreement. Jang and Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam and others are not happy about this and many others too. “Suswam refused to come to the meeting today because he believes that if the governors can betray a fellow northerner when they had already agreed to back him, then, there is no need talking about one North because what happened is a clear indication that there is no North.” Plateau’s Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Shedrack Best denied that the governor was not happy with the NSGF for “betraying” him. He said: “As chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Jang is a product of the Northern States Governors Forum. They endorsed him for

the position. So, he does not have any issue with them. “He did not stay away from the meeting because he sent me to represent him and that is why I am here. If he was angry and wanted to stay away, I will not be here”, the professor said. On why Suswam, who doubles as the NSGF vice chairman stayed away from the meeting, his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, said it may not be unconnected with issues arising from the NGF election. He declined to elaborate further. Aliyu, who addressed reporters after the meeting, denied that some members stayed away from the meeting because of the division occasioned by the NGF election. He said that those who were not present sent representatives.

He said: “If I send my deputy to a place, whether I like it or not, whatever decision is taken there is part of my decision. I have been saying it loud and clear that if I die today, before I am buried, my deputy will be sworn in and we have an example in Kaduna and in Yobe. So, sending a deputy did not reduce the level or the importance of any decision taken there.” Admitting a crack within the NGF, Aliyu said: “If I am to tell you what led to the problem in the NGF, we will stay here till tomorrow. “So, I have no intention of doing that. I will only tell you that in whatever process of election or whatever, there may be one person or the other that will be aggrieved. “We seem to be developing a culture even in our normal election as you prepare to contest

for elections, you should also prepare to contest in the court. “I am speaking to you as the chairman of NSGF. If you want my view, I will tell you that we had an election. We have a problem but we will solve it.” Speaking on the statement credited to Yuguda, who stayed away from the NSGF meeting, Aliyu said: “The situation is that when people feel aggrieved, you don’t go back retaliating on what they have said. You told us what he said. He did not write to this meeting and it is a voluntary organisation and we have resolved as a group to follow this informally. You did not hear any one of us replying him the way you heard him.” At yesterday’s meeting were five governors, seven deputy governors and two Secretaries to the State Governments

(SSG). Two states sent apologies. Three others were completely absent from the meeting. Those present included: Governors Mukthar Ramalan Yero (Kaduna); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Tanko al-Makura (Nasarawa); Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe); and Aliyu (state). The deputy governors of Kwara, Kogi, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano and Borno states were also present as well as the SSGs of Benue and Plateau states. Adamawa and Taraba states sent in apologies. Katsina, Bauchi and Yobe were completely absent. In their communiqué at the end of the meeting, the governors asked the National Assembly to expedite action on the process of passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law in the interest of the entire nation.




Rise of al-Qaeda Sahara terrorist: Moktar Belmoktar •Continued The letter also confirms for the first time that payments from European governments went directly toward buying arms to carry out attacks against Western targets, as long speculated by experts. The council chides Belmoktar for not following this practice. “(The chapter) gave Abu Abbas a considerable amount of money to buy military material, despite its own great need for money at the time. ... Abu Abbas didn’t participate in stepping up to buy weapons,” the letter says. “So whose performance deserves to be called poor in this case, I wonder?” The list of slights is long: He would not take their phone calls. He refused to send administrative and financial reports. He ignored a meeting in Timbuktu, calling it “useless.” He even ordered his men to refuse to meet with alQaida emissaries. And he aired the organization’s dirty laundry in online jihadist forums, even while refusing to communicate with the chapter via the Internet, claiming it was insecure. Sounding like managers in any company, the Shura leaders accuse Belmoktar of not being able to get along with his peers. They charge that he recently went to Libya without permission from the chapter, which had assigned the “Libya dossier” to a rival commander called Abou Zeid. And they complain that the last unit they sent Belmoktar for backup in the Sahara spent a full three years trying to contact him before giving up. “Why do the successive emirs of the region only have difficulties with you? You in


particular every time? Or are all of them wrong and brother Khaled is right?” they charge. The letter reveals the rifts not only between Belmoktar and his superiors, but also the distance between the local chapter and al-Qaida central. The local leaders were infuriated that Belmoktar was essentially going over their heads, saying that even AQIM has had few interactions with the mother brand in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a region they refer to by the ancient name of Khorasan. “The great obstacles between us and the central leadership are not unknown to you. ... For example, since we vowed our allegiance, up until this very day, we have only gotten from our emirs in Khorasan just a few messages, from the two sheiks, bin Laden (God rest his soul) and Ayman (al-Zawahri),” they write. “All this, despite our multiple letters to them.” Belmoktar’s ambition comes through clearly not only in the bitter responses of his bosses, but also in his own words: “Despite great financial resources ... our works were limited to the routine of abductions, which the mujahedeen got bored with.” In another quote, he calls bin Laden and al-Zawahri “the leaders of the Islamic nation, not the leaders of an organization alone. We love them and we were convinced by their program. ... So it’s even more now that we are swords in their hands.” To which AQIM replies with more than a hint of sarcasm: “Very lovely words. ... Do you consider it loyalty to them to revolt against their

emirs and threaten to tear apart the organization?” Belmoktar’s defection was a long time in the making, and dates back to his time as a commander of Algeria’s Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, or GSPC. When the Iraq war started in 2003, his ambition created friction between younger Algerian fighters like himself, who wanted to join the global jihad, and an older generation whose only goal was to create an Islamic state in Algeria, according to Islamic scholar Mathieu Guidere, a professor at the University of Toulouse. The younger faction won, but Belmoktar felt slighted because his contemporary, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was named emir of the GSPC, instead of him. Soon after, the group petitioned to join al-Qaida. The terror network announced a “blessed union” on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2006. Both Belmoktar and Droukdel wrote “candidacy letters” to bin Laden asking to be emir, according to Guidere’s book on the subject. Again, Droukdel won. Frustrated, Belmoktar drifted farther south. He set up in the ungoverned dunes of neighboring Mali, took a Malian wife and tapped into the smuggling routes that crisscrossed the Sahara, amassing arms and fiercely loyal fighters who called themselves, “The Masked Brigade.” His fighters killed more than a dozen soldiers at a military garrison in Mauritania in 2005 and gunned down four French tourists there in 2007. On multiple occasions Belmoktar was declared dead, including most recently in March, and each time, he re-emerged to strike

Britain to compensate Kenyans

RITAIN expressed regret yesterday about the abuse of Kenyans by colonial forces during the Mau Mau insurgency in the 1950s and announced a compensation package for more than 5,200 survivors worth a total of 20 million pounds ($31 million). The deal, settled out of court after three elderly Kenyan tor-

Zawahri urges Syrians to unite against Assad, U.S.



L-QAEDA leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged Syrians to unite to bring down President Bashar al-Assad and thwart what he said were U.S. plans to set up a client state in Syria to safeguard Israel’s security. In a 22-minute recording, posted on Islamist websites on Thursday to mark 65 years since Israel’s founding, Zawahri also said the only way to solve the Palestinian problem was through Jihad (Islamic holy war). “Lions of the Levant, unite around this honorable goal and rise above party affiliations,” Zawahri said. “America, its agents and allies want you to shed your blood and the blood of your children and women to bring down the criminal Baathist regime, and then set up a government loyal to them and to safeguard Israel’s security,” he added.

ture victims won the right in October to sue the British government, could encourage people in other former colonies to press claims over grievances dating back to the days of Empire. “The British government recognizes that Kenyans were subject to torture and other forms of ill treatment at the hands of the colonial administration,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament in London. “The British government sincerely regrets that these

abuses took place and that they marred Kenya’s progress towards independence.” The government reached a deal with the lawyers acting for the victims. The package, worth 19.9 million pounds in total, included a settlement sum in respect of 5,228 claimants. Sources in Kenya had earlier told Reuters the individual victims would receive about 2,600 pounds each, or about 340,000 Kenyan shillings in a country where average annual income is about 70,000 shillings.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif sworn in


AKISTAN’s new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for an end to US drone strikes in his first address since being re-elected to the post. “We respect the sovereignty of others and they should respect our sovereignty and independence. This campaign must come to an end,” he told MPs. Mr Sharif, who was ousted in a 1999 coup, was later in the day sworn in for an unprecedented third term as PM. He faces numerous challenges, including Taliban attacks and a crippled economy. In his speech to parliament after 244 MPs approved him in the 342-seat chamber, Mr Sharif also pledged to tackle corruption and reduce unemployment and power cuts.

Russian President divorces wife


REVIOUS rumors had swirled around the demise of Russia’s first couple, dating back to 2008 when a report about Putin divorcing Lyudmila to marry a gold medal-winning gymnast led to the publishing newspaper being shut down, according to Fox News. The couple also appeared uncomfortable in a public appearance in 2010, fueling speculation their marriage

had already ended. Lyudmila also disappeared from the public eye for a number of months into 2012, leading to speculation the couple had divorced.


I, formerly known and addressed as Samuel Femi Tunji Ayodele, now wish to be known and addressed as Solomon Tunde Ayodele. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

again. The sharpest blow in the council’s letter may have been the accusation that, despite this history of terrorism, Belmoktar and his unit had not pulled off any attack worthy of mention in the Sahara. “Any observer of the armed actions (carried out) in the Sahara will clearly notice the failure of The Masked Brigade to carry out spectacular operations, despite the region’s vast possibilities — there are plenty of mujahedeen, funding is available, weapons are widespread and strategic targets are within reach,” the letter says. “Your brigade did not achieve a single spectacular operation targeting the crusader alliance.” In December, just weeks after receiving the letter, Belmoktar declared in a recorded message that he was leaving the al-Qaida chapter to form his own group. He baptized it, “Those Who Sign in Blood.” With that name, he announced his global ambition. “Those Who Sign in Blood” was also the name of an Algerian extremist unit that hijacked an Air France flight leaving Algiers in 1994. Though their goal to fly the plane into the Eiffel Tower in Paris was thwarted, the unit foreshadowed the terrorist vision that led to the fall of the Twin Towers in New York. On Jan. 11, French warplanes began bombarding northern Mali, the start of a now 5month-old offensive to flush

out the jihadists, including Belmoktar’s brigade. Five days later, suicide bombers took more than 600 hostages in Ain Amenas in far eastern Algeria and killed 37, all but one foreigners, including American, French and British nationals. Belmoktar claimed responsibility in a triumphant recording. It was no accident that he chose Ain Amenas, Guidere said. The area is in the home province of Abou Zeid, Belmoktar’s longtime rival who commanded a different Saharan brigade and was always in step with the Alge- •File copy of Belmoktar ria-based emirate. “It’s a punch in the gut,” explosives inside. More than Guidere said. “It’s saying, 100 miles to the south, a dif‘You’ve never been able to do ferent unit of fighters under anything even in your native his command killed 24 solregion. Watch me. I’ll carry out diers at a military camp, with the biggest hostage operation help from another local alever in that very region. ... Ain Qaida off-shoot, called the Amenas is the illustration of his Movement for Oneness and ability to do a quality opera- Jihad in West Africa. Jean-Paul Rouiller, the direction, when he is under no authority other than his own, tor of the Geneva Center for when he doesn’t have to turn Training and Analysis of Terin expense reports or answer rorism, compared the escalation in attacks to a quarrel beto anybody.” As if to turn the knife even tween a man and a woman in further, last week Belmoktar which each tries to have the also claimed responsibility for last word. “They accused him a May 23 attack at a French- of not doing something,” owned uranium mine in Arlit, Rouiller said. “His response is, Niger. It was in Arlit in 2010 ‘I’ll show you what I can do.’” Belmoktar might have seen that Abou Zeid carried out his boldest operation and seized a certain justice in the coverseven foreign hostages, includ- age of the last week’s attack ing four French nationals who in Niger in the leading French are still in the hands of AQIM. daily, Le Monde. Among the In an apparent attempt to adjectives used to describe the raise the stakes, Belmoktar’s event: “Spectacular.” men slipped past a truck en- •Rukmini Callimachi is AP’s tering the mine and detonated West Africa bureau chief




Flying Eagles lose to Portugal


LYING EAGLES lost 21 to World Cup rivals Portugal in their final group match at the Toulon International Tournament on Thursday. Both teams will again clash on June 21 at the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup in Kayseri, Turkey. Portugal finished second in Group B and will play the third-place playoff against hosts France on Saturday after they finished on seven points and Mexico were pegged to five points courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Belgium also on Thursday. Portugal broke the deadlock when Alves converted a penalty after goalkeeper Samuel Okani was adjudged to have brought down a Portuguese player inside his goal area. In the 70th minute, Ricardo Pereira coolly slotted home the second goal after he collected a superb pass inside the Flying Eagles vital area. However, Bright Ejike pulled a goal back for Nigeria in the 79th minute.

Nigeria started brightly but could not have any clear-cut chance at goal. Portugal’s Thiago Silva made the first attempt at goal in the 14th minute, when his free kick crashed against the Flying Eagles post. Okani in goal for Nigeria

pounced on his spilled ball with a shot which was somehow blocked by Oluwasemilogo Ajayi. In the 51st minute, a big chance fell to Nigeria but Christian Pyagbara failed to put Nigeria ahead when he had only the keeper to beat as he fired wide.


Unuanel, Yahaya get May award Kwara United duo of Adamu Yahaya and Samson Unuanel have emerged the League Bloggers Awards (LBA) Player and Manager respectively for May. The LBA made the announcement of both men on Thursday through a statement. The pair got top marks from the organiser of the monthly award in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for their performances in matches that took place in May. Yahaya scored four goals in five matches against ElKanemi Warriors, Dolphins, Lobi Stars and Kano Pillars. He also had two assists in the month in review. Kano Pillars playmaker, Rabiu Ali, came closest to knocking off Yahaya from winning the May award. Others who were in the running for the LBA Player for May included Peter Ebimobowei (Bayelsa United), Sibi Gwar (Enyimba) and the Akwa United duo of Ubong Ekpai and Nnamso Edo. It was a straight battle between Unuanel and Stanley Eguma of Dolphins for the Manager of May. Both men guided their teams to four wins and a draw apiece. But Unuanel simply edged Eguma for the manager's award by virtue of leading Kwara United to an away game at Lobi Stars. Unuanel and Yahaya will be presented with their awards later this month. 2013 PREVIOUS WINNERS: MARCH 2013 Player: Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars) Manager: Mohammed Baba Ganaru (Kano Pillars) APRIL 2013 Player: Oghenekaro Etebo (Warri Wolves) Manager: Solomon Ogbeide (Warri Wolves).

scrambled for a corner a goal-bound volley from Aladje in the 43rd minute after his misplaced pass gifted Portugal another chance at goal. Five minutes later, Portugal capitalised on another error from Okani when Ivan Cavaleiro


‘Dolphins should tender match tapes to LMC’


OBI STARS Technical Director, Dominic Iorfa has challenged Dolphins of Port Harcourt to produce the match tape of their Week 16 NPFL tie decided at the Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina Ala, if they wish to prove their claim of foul play. Iorfa said Dolphins were only crying over spilt milk because they failed to gain revenge on Lobi at Katsina Ala, after losing twice to the Makurdi-based team last season. He recommended that Dolphins should be sanctioned and their Head Coach Stanley Eguma punished if found guilty of ridiculing Nigerian referees. According to Iorfa, Eguma had alleged that centre referee Aminu Mammga from Zamfara aided Lobi’s victory, but the Lobi Technical Director

From Tunde Liadi,Owerri in an interview with NationSport admonished Eguma to rest his case because Lobi had won fair and square last Wednesday. Iorfa said: ”I read in the newspapers yesterday that Eguma said that he was robbed at Katsina Ala and that he said so may unprintable words about the pitch. “I am surprised that a person of Eguma’s calibre could bring himself so low to start talking like an amateur in a profession he has spent over 10 years. “He lost a match and there was no act of robbery during the match. The two penalties awarded to Lobi were good calls from the referee. “The LMC should request for the video tape of the match from Dolphins and try to


in Lagos, the training will move to Wasimi, in Ogun State for another six days were the boys will sharpen their skills, adding that the process will finally lead to the selection of the potential finalists with the active participation of the foreign coaches who are being expected. The Consultant for the project, and the Managing Director/CEO, PPM, Ghandi Olaoye, said the programme is gaining wide acceptance. He said: “Last season, we had seven students who qualified from different parts of the country. It’s a very laudable thing for a programme that is novel. As more people know about the programme and believe more in it, you will find that more people will show up. “ In the first year, people didn’t believe it was possible. The second year

substantiate the claim made by Dolphins if they were actually robbed. “The LMC should carry out appropriate sanctions on him and Dolphins if they are found to have spread false information to the general public. “Eguma is bringing the game into disrepute and should be cautioned from doing so from the game we played against them on Wednesday to serve as a deterrent to others in the future.” On the condition of the Akume Atongo Stadium pitch: Iorfa replied: “He is the first person and his club the first club also to complain of bad pitch after the visit of over seven clubs to this same pitch. None of them has said anything bad about the pitch. He is only looking for excuses.”

Musa: starting shirt is no big deal


FTER Ahmed Musa’s immaculately chipped goal helped Nigeria win the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Kenya on Wednesday, but he is not bothered about not getting a starting place in the Super Eagles squad for the FIFA Confederation Cup. The Russian league side CSKA Moscow forward capped his imposing display as part of a three-pronged attack with the 81st minute strike that took Nigeria top of their Group F of their World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday in Nairobi. “I had a point to prove and the game was very important to us that is why we went all out to do our best to win the game and in the end, we had victory and we feel happy as a team,” the man who netted his fifth strike for the Super Eagles stated. In the absence of Chelsea forward Victor Moses and Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike who were preferred by head coach Stephen Keshi in the 2013 Africa Nations Cup, Ahmed seized his rare start to impress his manager having come off the bench on a number of occasions. His darting runs on the left wing and good link up play with fellow attacker Brown Ideye caused Kenya problems throughout the game and it was a surprise it took 81 minutes before their superiority finally counted. After Kenya’s substitute winger, Stephen Waruru lost the ball deep in the Nigerian half, Efe Ambrose hoofed the ball forward and after it fell behind the central defence,

Musa deftly lobbed the advancing keeper, Duncan Ochieng for the eventual winner. “I saw the goalkeeper coming out when I wanted to play the ball. If I did not play it up, the chance would have been gone. I looked at the ball and watched it go into the net and it was one of the best goals I have scored for the national team,” the diminutive attacker said. On whether his display against the stubborn hosts had convinced Keshi to offer him a starting berth in their next World Cup qualifier at home to Namibia and more importantly, the Confederations Cup in Brazil, Musa left it to his manager to decide. “We are like brothers in Nigeria. Everybody can start, for me, I’m a player and any time when I come, I give my best so I don’t think starting from the bench or first 11 is a problem to me,” he added. “Every player I’ve called since I became head coach of Nigeria can be used at the start or come in later depending on what we need in the game. Namibia will be different from Kenya for example,” Keshi clarified. For Musa, scoring the goal, starting regularly and featuring in the Confed Cup will mean nothing if they do not achieve the ultimate aim. “The World Cup is the important game. We don’t have to feel easy and we need to ensure we do well in the next game so that we can make ourselves comfortable. “We have done the Nations Cup and we have to focus on the World Cup now.”

40 make MTN Football Soccer Academy list

ORTY youths have qualified for the MTN Football Soccer Academy. This is the second phase in the build-up to the final selection of winners in the third year of the programme’s existence The session which held at the National Stadium Legacy pitch, Lagos, over the weekend, was conducted by the technical team from Peculiar People Management (PPM), the project’s Consultants. The Project Head, Kikelomo Atanda-Owo, said the youth have shown exceptional interest in the programme, adding that about two thousand youths showed up in Lagos, out of which sixteen were selected. She said the rigorous selection process made it possible for only the best to emerge. She said after the Academy

people were getting to know about it. We believe that by this third or fourth edition, when people are aware that this programme is real and that MTN is committed to it to better the youths of Nigeria, I think more people will come to it,” he stated. “This year, we are expecting to get twenty students because the awareness is more. We also have been able to deal with the shortcomings and mistakes of the past two editions. We have learnt a lot. We have kept the same technical crew and our staff working on this have been the same staff,” Olaoye said.. “We are a little bit better with what we are doing. We know what to focus upon now and what the coaches want to see – the kind of students and the kind of football participation they want to see,” Olaoye said.




‘The world is surely in distress. The world is assailed by what I want to call ‘cyberpsychosis’ or ‘infomania’. It is the death of abomination; the internet age is damaging our children irretrievably; there is no abhorrent material STEVE OSUJI they cannot find on the net. ’

VOL.8 NO.2,509



HE Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendment has concluded its work on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution and has presented its recommendations. The major issue that has dominated the discussions on the constitution is that it is a military-imposed document which has rubbished the principle of federalism and the federal structure that was the foundation of Nigeria at independence.It is on this score that rightthinking citizens have always insisted that the 1999 Constitution cannot be adequately amended and that what it seriously needs is a complete overhaul. Furthermore, in order for such a complete reworking to be carried out, there has to be the involvement of all stakeholders, including all the geo-political zones, and the nationality groups. The central political debate in the last fourteen years has been over this issue. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been the ruling party in the centre since the beginning of the Third Republic and it has ensured that the idea of a national conference does not see the light of day. In addition, the party has insisted that there is no urgent need for a constitutional overhaul and it has settled for piece-meal amendments to the extent that such efforts do not jeopardise its political dominance, especially at the centre. It is in this context that the amendments just submitted by the Senate committee must be understood. They are self-serving amendments. To make this point, I will highlight two related areas from media reports. “No rotational presidency” is the title of a report in The Nation of Thursday, June 6, 2013. And in its own report, The Nigerian Tribune also of Thursday, June 6, 2013 highlighted another aspect of the amendment: “Senate Committee Amendment Recommendations: Successors can’t vie for dead President’s, Gov.’s offices.” The reason that the Senate Committee advanced for the rejection of rotational presidency is that “the Constitution should not make Nigerian leadership subject to ethnic or regional considerations” according to The Nation’s report. Rather the committee submitted that such issues should be a matter for consideration among the various political parties. There have been echoes of these incoherent and self-serving recommendations for constitutional provisions in the recent past. During the 2005 Political Reform Conference, the Northern position was a rejection of the concept of rotational presidency among geo-political zones because, “it is subject to manipulation and abuse by unpatriotic Nigerians. It is neither in our con-


...and can you SWEAR by this BOOK, sir?


Self-serving amendments

•The National Assembly, Abuja

stitution nor in our electoral laws.” Yet, the North did not find it inconsistent when in the same submission, it recommended that the “Presidency should rotate between the North and the South.” It in fact went on to demand that it was the turn of the North to occupy the position of the president. In addition, the North suggested “that constitutional provision needs to be made for rotation within the states to provide opportunity to the various minority groups have (sic) access to the position of governorship within the States and to give them a sense of belonging.” Now, the Senate Committee wants us to believe that, with its recommendation, the concept of rotational presidency would be laid to rest. This is far from the case. The reason has to do with the other provision in the Senate Committee recommendation, namely that “a vice president or deputy governor who completed the tenure of office of a president or governor who died in

‘What is interesting about these new provisions is that they effectively reinstate what the provision on rotational presidency is supposed to take away. It is understood clearly by every politically conscious citizen that we operate a political system in which ethnicity and religion play active roles and ticket balancing is the rule’ office would not be eligible to seek election to the office in any subsequent future elections.” The amendment, as reported in The Nigerian Tribune is a new Section 136 (2) which is now to read: Where a vicepresident-elect or vice president succeeds the president-elect or president, in accordance with Subsection (1) of this section, he (sic) shall not be eligible to contest for the office of the president in any subsequent elections.” There is a similar provision for the deputy governor. What is interesting about these new provisions is that they effectively reinstate what the provision on rotational presidency is supposed to take away. It is understood clearly by every politically conscious citizen that we operate a political system in which ethnicity and religion play active roles and ticket balancing is the rule. Dr. Jonathan would not be president today if he wasn’t vice president to Malam Yar’Adua. The president comes from the



NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko is a good example in this democracy of a man whose small mind is getting smaller. Recently, he was one of those who took part in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum election in which Governor Rotimi Amaechi won. Mimiko said he did not lose because he withdrew. Nobody, not Hardball, will believe such fantasy. He was on the side of Jang, and if Jang lost, then he knew he, too, lost. Rather than take it in its stride and bite the bullet, he decided to play an empty peacock. He said the election was not free and fair, and later he said he did not believe the video because he was not there. But rather than wrap his tail around his buttocks and keep mum, the Jonathan lackey in the Southwest would not stop talking. When the 2007 election took place, and the progressive minded fought on the behalf of his mandate, he forgot that it was not about him. It was about the principle. He does not know that it is not about his big ego and that when a person is called Iroko, it does not mean that he cannot be hewn down. Well, he saw that in a little way when his big ego was made little in a little room where he contested and lost an election. It took a little gadget to expose the big ego of his.

north; the vice comes from the south. And when Jonathan took over, it was expected that the vice president would come from the north, hence the emergence of Sambo. The new amendment effectively preserves this arrangement and thus, the concept of rotational presidency and rotational governorship. Let us assume for the purpose of argument that the next president comes from the North. We can be sure that his or her vice will come from somewhere in the South. Let us assume further that something happens and the president vacates office and his or vice takes over. This means that the new president is from the south. What the amendment says is that this new president must only complete the term of the former president and cannot present him or herself for any subsequent election to the presidency. We know what motivated this amendment. It was the controversy generated by Jonathan’s presenting himself as a candidate after he completed the term of Yar’Adua and the North insisted that since Yar’Adua was elected as a Northern candidate and since he was entitled to two terms, the North was being robbed of its chance. It was an argument that failed because it was considered an unfair and untenable demand in a democratic setting. Since there was no constitutional provision for rotational presidency, the North cannot lay claim to the Yar’Adua presidency as its own. Imagine now what this new amendment effectively means. Were it to be operative when the Jonathan candidacy was being challenged by the North, he would not have a chance and a new candidate would emerge. Can such a new candidate emerge from the South in the face of the Northern position? This amendment only solidifies the position and demand of the North for respect for rotational presidency between the North and the South despite the absence of and the deliberativeness of the provision against rotational presidency. Therefore there is crass incoherence between the two amendments that I have chosen to highlight here. I do not need to go into the challenge to democratic tenets of the new amendment that prevents any individual, whether vice president or deputy governor, from contesting any elections. That it has been offered as a constitutional provision—as a foundational principle of state—by a committee of the upper legislative body speaks volumes about our democracy and its trustees. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

The sulky Mimiko Because the Aregbesola video did not capture him, he felt little. Because he felt little, he decided it was not real. Then he attacked Amaechi by saying that the chairman of the forum had no evidence that he (Mimiko) voted. Is it the duty of Amaechi to show who voted? He should direct that question at the returning officer, Asissana Okauru, who counted the votes. The video showed clearly that all of the 35 governors, including Mimiko, were present in the room when Okauru counted, showing the face of each ballot paper to the men. Why did he not protest and say, look, this is not a ballot paper. This is not where I voted. Neither he nor his 15 other losers raised a finger. Was the super-intelligent, hyper-progressive, agile and defiant Mimiko under a spell? Who so cast the spell of silence on the great Iroko that he could not speak when he was being swindled out of his mandate? Hardball believes that Iroko should quietly go to his new master in Aso Rock and explain sincerely that he was outwitted, outplayed, outmaneuvered, outclassed, outvoted,


outflanked and in the end, he went out sulking. He has not stopped sulking. Democracy is bigger than all of us. If he wants to pay back Jonathan for his work in the last Ondo State polls, this is a tacky way to go about it.

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June 07, 2013  

The Nation June 07, 2013