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Row over 3 delayed release of Dana crash victims’ bodies PAGE

Angry relations confront minister

Tension grips Reps over $3m alleged 6 bribery scandal

PAGE

EFCC begins probe, to quiz Rep

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL.07 N0. 2151

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SATURDAY, JUNE 09, 2012

N150.00

Emotions as first crash victim Tosin Anibaba is 4 buried PAGE

A relation caves in to emotions at the funeral of one of the Dana Air crash victims, Mrs. Tosin Anibaba, in Lagos … yesterday. Inset: The late Mrs Anibaba. MORE PICTURES ON PAGE 4. PHOTO: Okorie UGURU

Dana crash: How pilot 3 reported dual engine failure, ‘negative throttle response’ PAGE

Aviation experts review communication with control tower Ill-fated plane had A-check four days before crash, says Dana Air 12-PAGE PACKAGE INSIDE

Why Mutual Benefits Assurance MD’s P. 12 aide’s name appeared twice on manifest I’ve received over 2,000 calls, says SAN P. 14 Yusuf Ali who shares name with a victim

200 students on victim’s scholarship scheme face uncertain future P. 18 CAC Asst Director dies two P. 17 weeks after attending a funeral


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

2 News

From left: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, in a chat during the turbaning ceremony of the CBN governor as the Dan Majen Kano... yesterday.

From right: Former Governor of Lagos State and ACN National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, CPC Presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and other guests at the turbaning of CBN govenor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi as Dan Majen Kano... yesterday.

ACN, CPC merger talks still in progress, says Buhari

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HE presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said the merger talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the CPC was yet to be concluded. Buhari, who spoke at the coronation of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Alhaji Lamido Sanusi as the Dan Majen Kano, said the talks were still in progress adding that it would be made public when all the ropes are tied. “I can tell you that the merger talks are on but the outcome is not yet for you. We are here to witness the turbaning ceremony of the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi

...as Sanusi is turbaned in Kano Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano Lamido Sanusi as the Dan Majen Kano. No deal yet on the merger talks. As soon as the deal is struck, you will know. We met in Kaduna on Thursday but no decision was taken,” he told reporters at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in company with the ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The gathering, which attracted the crème de la creme in the country’s political and business communities was lowkeyed in honour of victims of last Sunday’s Dana plane crash. Security was tight as men of the Nigerian Police Force and

the military were at strategic locations, just as Airforce gunboat helicopter hovered the air. The Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who conducted the ceremony at 10 am, said: “We have intalled you in recognition of your experience and exposure as well as your good character. We are aware of your good work not only in Nigeria but also abroad. “We are also aware of your patriotism and cordial relationship with the people, including your support to the less privileged, plus your effort at reviving the economy and urge you not to relent on your good work.” The title of Dan Majen Kano is very historic. It is an inherited

title by the Fulani dynasty which indicates Fulani rulership of Kano by about 500 years. The Nation also learnt that the title Dan Majen was exclusively reserved for the royal family members right from Kano Habe dynasty and the Sullubawa dynasty. The most prominent among those who held the title under the Sullubawa dynasty was the Emir of Kano Ali Ibn Abdullahi alias Alu, who reigned between 1894 and 1903. In Kano, there are different kinds of traditional (Sarauta) titles. According to history, the first category of titles is reserved for royal family members

while the second is for the decedants of the jihad leaders such as the Makama, and the third category for outstanding people who served and brought great bebnefits to Kano people. Among dignitaries who graced the occasion were Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; Inspector-General of Police MD Abubakar and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Uwais. Others were former Kwara State governor, Senator Bukola Saraki; Minister of the Federal

Dana crash: How pilot reported dual engine failure, ‘negative throttle response’ F RESH facts emerged yesterday that the pilot of the ill-fated Dana Aircraft, Captain Peter Waxtan, actually reported dual engine failure in his last communication with the control tower at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. Also, the pilot allegedly declared negative response from throttle, implying a serious difficulty in landing. But the development has raised fresh posers in the aviation sector over the flight and the conduct of the pilot. In the last few days, the management of Dana Air had joined issues with the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, on whether the two engines of the aircraft were faulty or not. There were indications yesterday, however, that the two engines were lost about 10 nautical miles to the airport. According to the snippets of the last communication between the tower and the pilot obtained in confidence, the latter spoke in a panicking tone. Apart from the Black Box which will provide technical details of how the crash occurred, contact with the control tower could be locally retrieved. Investigation revealed that aviation experts in the Ministry of Aviation, Abuja , who are in the know of the communication between the pilot and the control tower, wondered what the pilot meant by "dual engine failure." According to them, "the pilot contacted the control tower in Lagos at about 10 nautical miles while the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet to declare "May Day", interpreted in

•Aviation experts review communication with control tower •More countries join US to probe crash

Ill-fated plane had A-check four days before crash, says Dana Air

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HE management of Dana Airline says its ill-fated plane, which crashed on Sunday, underwent its last 400-hourly check otherwise known as A-check only last Wednesday, 96 hours before it came down , killing 153 people on board. Six other persons on ground were killed while six other residents of the site of the crash were declared missing. The airline, in a statement, said the MD83 plane with registration number 5N-RAM, was “maintained correctly and fully in accordance with the manufacturer’s schedule and directives from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.” It added: “It had its last 400-hourly check (ACheck) on 30th May, 2012. The statutory annual maintenance (C-Check) was not due until September 2012. The Certificate of Airworthiness isYusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation aviation to mean "emergency". The pilot was quoted as saying: "May Day, May Day due to dual engine failure and negative response from throttle", in a panic-laden voice. "The simple interpretation of this, according to the experts, is that the engines had packed up and the pilot was no longer in control of the aircraft." It was gathered that the experts also wondered why the

sued by the NCCA after its last C-Check was completely valid as at the time of the accident. “We adhere strictly to the maintenance schedule of all our aircraft as prescribed by the manufacturers and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Dana Air has a maintenance agreement with MyTechnic, an international, world-class aviation maintenance organisation (MRO), which is located at our Lagos base. It performs and supervises all local maintenance tasks including the daily servicing and release of our aircraft for operations. Our heavy scheduled maintenance checks (i.e. C-checks) are done by leading MRO companies overseas.” The airline was apparently reacting to insinuations that aircraft in its fleet are poorly maintained and that poor maintenance might have caused the crash.

pilot had earlier requested to be cleared to land on runway 18R, when the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 7,200 feet instead of runway 18L usually used by aircraft on local flights. The experts added: "Runway 18R is in the international wing and is 4.5km long compared to 18L which is over 3km long. "The request to be allowed to land on "18R with longer breaking distance meant that the pilot was anticipating some problems or was indeed having problems.

"Could the aircraft have been on one engine with the pilot hoping to use it to land? If this was so, at what point did the aircraft lose the engine? Did the pilot try to "restart" or "relight" the engine to no avail? They said the questions are apt as it is rare for all the engines of an aircraft to fail at the same time. "It is not clear if any such problem was communicated to the control tower at that point. "All that, however, will be captured by the AIB, which is in possession of the black box con-

taining the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder," they said. It was gathered that an analysis of the flight data recorder will reveal the state of the engine and the technical performance of the aircraft. One of the sources said: "From the cockpit voice recorder will emerge the pilot communication with air traffic controllers in the last 30 minutes of the flight. "Air traffic controllers also record their communications with pilots for aerial, approach and aerodrome. This is archived for 90 days and in the event of air mishap made available within 24 hours to the AIB." As at press time, more countries have joined ongoing investigation of the crash. The Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja, said: "I know it is not only the US that is investigating the crash. There are other volunteer countries. But I won't be able to immediately give you their names. "Other countries are joining the investigation because we have some components of the aircraft that ought to be analysed too." Asked when the corpses of the deceased will be released, Obi said: "It has to do with medical examination. Only the Lagos State Government can talk on this. "We know that some faiths allow early burial of their deceased members, but the Lagos State Government will be of assistance in this respect."

Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; former governors of Bauchi and Ogun states, Adamu Muazu and Gbenga Daniel; the governors of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Edo, Delta, Osun and Imo states were also in attendance. Former Vice President and chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Alex Ekwueme; former Defence Miniister, Theophilus Danjuma and business mogul, Aliko Dangote, were also present at the occasion. The Kano State Government was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje. The Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, and other traditional rulers were also spotted at the occasion.

Power failure: Aviation ministry diverts Abuja-bound flights to Lagos Yomi ODUNUGA, Abuja Bureau Chief

IN a move to avert another tragic air disaster, the Federal Ministry of Aviation last night in Abuja diverted all flights scheduled to land at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to Lagos. The minstry claimed the directive was due to its plan to carry out routine maintenance on the runway lights. But a reliable source told our correspondent that the move became necessary due to an unexpected power failure that threw the runway into darkness. The generator at the airport was said to have been faulty. As at 11 pm last night, two of the flights—Lufthansa and Aero Contractors—were said to have diverted to Lagos when it became apparent that they could land in Abuja. The source said: “The truth is that the airport experienced power failure on the dedicated line and the generator seems to have developed some faults. It is the best excuse that can be given at this moment. “If it is routine maintenance, they would have sent the signal early and not late this hour. I am aware that two flights had already been diverted to Lagos as we speak.” The other scheduled flight expected to land in Abuja early in the morning is the British Airways flight from London. It is not clear if the runway light would be functional by the time it would be landing.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

News 3 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

200 pupils on crash victim’s scholarship face uncertain future T HE Ndiowu community in Orumba North Local Government Area, Anambra State, will miss not only its prominent son, Onyeka Anyene and his wife and four children who all died in the Dana plane crash, it will also miss his generosity, acquaintances have said. About 200 sons and daughters of Ndiowu and neigbouring villages are said to have benefitted from a scholarship scheme solely funded by him. That is besides his generous cash gifts to the aged and the less privileged in the community. The 45-year old lawyer, his US-based wife, Maimuna, and four children–Kamsi (3), Kaiyen and Kaima (one-year-old twins) and Noah (five months old) perished in the crash along with his mother-in-law and two of his wife’s cousins. Sympathisers who besieged the Anyaene's home in Ndiowu lamented the death of a 'wonderful benefactor' and helper of the needy. One of the sympathisers, Mrs Mercy Okoro, said Onyeka had been assisting her family tremendously over the last five years. His niece, Chizoba Anyene, said the deceased had been helping the lessprivileged in the community

•God's miracles are like anchors, by deceased Pastor in last sermon Nwanosike ONU, Awka

as far back as his undergraduate days, because "he does not like people suffering unnecessarily. "He was a kind person who would not mind starving so that others could eat, and for that, he was much loved by the people," Chizoba said. Mr. Osita Anyene, first cousin of the deceased, told The Nation that Onyeka was an inspiration to Ndiowu youths. He said: "Onyeka was a good person. People have been trooping here to testify to his kindness and generosity. "Since January 14,1999 when I was seriously injured in a road accident, Onyeka had been taking good care of me and my family. That my children are in school today is because of that young man. "What else can I say? One of my sons is overseas right now. Onyeka was equally instrumental to that. Look at my condition. How do you think I will forget this plane crash in a hurry? It is not possible."

The late Onyeka and his twin brother, Odinaka, were the last born of their parents. About four hours before the crash, Pastor Kolade Cole, who also died in the crash, delivered what turned out to be his last sermon at the dedication of a set of triplets in Abuja. He died along with his wife. In the sermon, Pastor Cole recalled the long period the couple whose child was dedicated waited on the Lord and likened it to the 40 years the Israelites were made to wander in the wilderness on their way out of Egypt. He said the Lord told him: "Son, why do you think in bringing Israel out from Egypt, I went through elaborate deliverance process? Why did I have to orchestrate the elaborate deliverance to bring Israel out of Egypt? Why did I have to turn water to blood? Why did I have to command frogs to appear from everywhere? I killed the first borns of Egypt." " The question I want you to answer is: Did God not

know that these nine plagues would not be enough to bring Israel out of Egypt? I say to you that God knew that the tenth plague was the death of the entire first born of Egypt. Did God not know that that one plague was strong enough; that by killing all the first born in the land of Egypt, that Egypt would let Israel go? Of course, God knew. "God is not going on an ego trip. He is giving somebody an anchor. Your case may still be there, but the God of heaven will answer you. The Bible says that Israel saw all these things but still complained and wondered could God still provide for them? A God that can kill a whole, can't the God clothe you? The God that can break the backbone of the strongest monarch of his time, how can that God not move in on your behalf and shut the mouths of the adversaries? " Every time God performs a miracle, He is trying to give you an anchor- something that can hold you steady, that can keep you from shaking, something you can look to and say, ‘God, if you did it for him or her, my case is not closed.’ Look at somebody wickedly and say that your case is not hard."

Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia State commissioning the 25 operational vehicles donated to 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army Ohafia by the Abia State Government. With him are Sir Emeka Ananaba, Deputy Governor (right), Brig-Gen. Jubrin Abubakar, Commander 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Ohafia and Chief Ukpai Agwu Upkai, Abia State Commissioner for Transport.

Presbyterian Prelate mourns victims of air disaster

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HE Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Emele Mba Uka, has lamented the loss of innocent souls in the Dana plane crash and the suicide bomb attack in Bauchi in which 15 persons lost their lives. In a statement issued by the Director of Information and Public Affairs of the Church, the Prelate commiserated with President Goodluck Jonathan, the entire people of Nigeria and the families of those who lost their lives in the two incidents which occurred on the same day. Uka described the plane crash in which 153 passengers and crew died as very unfortunate and called on the Government

to ensure that proper investigations were carried out to avert such crashes in the future. He said the Government should also ensure that anybody or persons indicted in the inves-

tigations are properly dealt with as the nation cannot afford to lose more souls and valuable property as a result of regular air crashes The Prelate also charged the

government to mount an allout war against Boko Haram in order to stem their attacks on innocent souls, particularly Christians, and restore the security of the nation.

AAUA commiserates with NUC

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DEKUNLE Ajasin University, AkungbaAkoko (AAUA) has expressed its condolences to the National Universities Commission over the unfortunate loss of five of its illustrious staff in the Dana air crash, which occurred in the Iju Ishaga area of Lagos last Sunday. In a letter to the regulatory body for universities, the Vice Chancellor of AAUA, Prof.

Femi Mimiko, described the incident as a monumental loss to the entire nation. He said: “The unfortunate death of these committed and innovative senior staff of the Commission is a great loss not only to the NUC but also the Nigerian university community, the education sector and the entire nation. “There is no doubt that the National Universities Com-

mission will sorely miss the invaluable contributions of these senior staff at a time it is carrying out transformational programmes in Nigerian universities.” Mimiko, who conveyed the condolences of AAUA to the families of the deceased through the Commission, prayed to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.

Osun Speaker, Clerk booked for ill-fated plane Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo

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PEAKER of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salaam, and the Clerk of the House, Mr. Felix Omisakin, only narrowly missed boarding the Dana plane that crashed last Sunday. After booking, the duo had patiently waited for the ill-fated plane at the Domestic wing of the International Murtala Mohammed Airport to travel with it to Abuja when they received the news of its crash. In the crash, about 160 people tragically lost their lives, including victims in the three buildings the airplane crashed into. The Speaker has since expressed shock over the crash in which many promising lives were sent to early graves. In a statement by his Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, the Speaker said the incident was a chronicle of hell for the country bedeviled with incessant bombings by faceless terrorists. Salaam, who said he was lucky to have escaped the crash, lamented the ‘cold attitude’ of people in charge of sensitive institutions and ministries to the safety of Nigerians. He, however, called for a thorough investigation of the plane crash and the killing of Christians on Sunday inside their churches in Bauchi State. He said: “It is appalling, disgusting and uncalled for that some people in our public institutions are displaying ineptitude and greed in the discharge of their responsibility while people are helpless. “This has made life so cheap in Nigeria that uncertified ai rbus could send innocent and promising people to their early graves in hundreds. “It is high time the Federal Government, which has control of the security agencies and the people in intelligence division, stepped up their operations to halt this ugly trend before it consumes the country.”

Why it’s easy to cut corners at Dana Airline –NAAPE

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HE President of the National Union of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Isaac Balami, said yesterday that pilots and engineers of DANA Air are not members of the union as a result of pressure and intimidation by their employers. The development, he said, could make them cut corners due to lack of union control except inspectors from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority oversee their excesses. Balami, who spoke at a press briefing in Lagos, affirmed that as far as the association is concerned, only pilots and engineers who are within the control of the association could report issues that border on aircraft snags, which the association would in turn report to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA). He explained that it might not be wise to hold on to the position that some pilots and engineers were conniving with their employers to hide facts that could jeopardise safety, as doing so could lead to loss of their professional

Kelvin Osa-Okunbor licences. Balami explained that the training of pilots and engineers is too rigorous for anybody to jeorpardise his integrity and professional career in a bid to protect an airline. He said : “ To the best of my knowledge, no aircraft pilot or engineer will be compeled to act against his will to the effect that it could compromise safety of the aircraft . DANA Air is a difficult case for NAAPE, the association has a lot of restriction. The pilots and engineers were under threat because they were not allowed to be unionised. We had no control over the pilots and engineers. So, if there were issues bordering on safety, NAAPE could not restrict or control the actvities of pilots. Our appeal to the airlines is that if we must have safer skies, they must enhance the welfare of pilots and engineers such that it does not jeorpadise safety.”

Disappointment as burial of plane crash victim is cancelled Kunle AKINRINADE

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HE hope of many sympathisers who had thronged the Vaults and Gardens cemetery, Ikoyi for the burial of Mrs Temitope Ariyibi, one of the victims of the Dana plane mishap, was dashed when the ceremony could not hold. The ceremony scheduled to commence at 10 am, according to the management of the cemetery, was cancelled because "her body has yet to be identified". Sympathisers and journalists at the cemetery were told at about 12.30 pm by a female employee of the undertaking outfit who did not want her name mentioned: "We are sorry to inform you that the interment of one Mrs Temitope Ariyibi has been cancelled. This is because her body is yet to be released to her family because it has not yet been identified." The announcement shocked not a few sympathisers who berated the employers of the late 35-year-old deceased for announcing unconfirmed burial plan. Ariyibi's employers, ConocoPhilips, had earlier announced that her interment would hold at the private cemetery after a service of songs at the Christian Day Centre, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos.


4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

Emotions as first crash victim Tosin Anibaba is buried M

RS Oluwatosin Ibironke Anibaba (nee Odujinrin),a victim of the Dana plane crash, was laid to rest in Lagos yesterday,the first among the victims to be buried since the accident. Tosin, until her death,worked at FATE Foundation, an NGO dedicated to the reduction of unemployment and poverty. She was in charge of entrepreneurship, wealth creation and growing small businesses. Relatives,friends and colleagues attested to her integrity,vision and passion for helping the less-privileged. The atmosphere of the City of David

•The undertakers bearing her casket

Okorie UGURU and Kunle AKINRINADE

Church Victoria Island, Lagos, was solemn as sympathisers gathered to bid her farewell in her journey to eternity. But in the midst of the grieving, there was one smiling face-that of Tosin herself. From different angles in the church, her face radiated vitality as multimedia monitors played back her life .One of the church pastors remarked that she wore a smile. “She raced through life with a smile on her face,” he said.

Pastor Idowu Iluyomade in a sermon said death “is an appointment that everyone of us must keep. It is a reality.” Pastor Iluyomade said it was not for man to question God’s decision to take Tosin at such a young age and asked the congregation accept God’s will. In a tribute ,the widower Femi Anibaba, said: “We have been married for close to five years, the best years of my life. We hardly ever fought and when we did, she soon made up. We travelled the world and had lots of fun. “ We shared so many jokes and experiences. She loved watching her favourite

•A relation

programmes and had sent me a text earlier in the day she slept in the Lord that I should ensure I recorded them.. “As a mum, she loved our daughter, Timisayo, more than words can describe. A couple of weeks ago, she transferred a large sum of money to Timisayo’s account. This was the first time she had done this and the last. I was surprised at the time and asked why. But that was Tosin, selfless until the end.” After the funeral service, the body was taken in a hearse to the Vaults and Gardens cemetery, Ikoyi for interment.

•The widower, Mr. Femi Anibaba

•Officiating ministers

•Ministers and relations at the graveside

•The hearse bearing her remains. Inset: the Late Mrs. Anibaba


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

‘Hold steady, God has not abandoned you’ •Last sermon delivered by TREM Pastor Kolade Cole a few hours before he died with his wife in the ill-fated Dana crash

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HY are we here today? What is the reason for this celebration? It is possible for people to celebrate without knowing the reason behind their celebration. For visionary, today is the day of celebration. We are celebrating the goodness of God in the life of the Ogunbayos. Church, please read Hebrews Chapter 6: 13 “For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself saying, surely I will bless you. I will multiply you. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife”. God also bound Himself with an oath so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change His mind. He guaranteed it with an oath so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie. We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us for where this.. and steadfast anchor of the soul. A hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchiezedek. Prayer: Thank you, Heavenly Father, for in the next few minutes, you will open our hearts of understanding to receive, Lord, that which you have ordained for us from the foundation of the earth. Blessed be your name forever, in Jesus’ mighty name. Quickly look at the verse 19 of the read text. This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God’s inner sanctuary. The question is, what comes to mind? What do you perceive as the anchor of the soul in the text that we read? Verse 13 explains: “For when God made promise to Abraham since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself” and verse 17: ”And when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise, to go beyond just making a promise, the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath”. Now, the scripture that we just read shows clearly to you that God is committed to blessing you because God says I will make a promise and in case the promise is not strong enough to keep you and to convince you, I will go further and back the promise with an oath. Verse 18: “So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie We who have fled for refuge might have a strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” In other words, God knows that in this journey of life, you will face storm, adversities. I remember when I spoke with the Ogunbayos, he said their plan was that by the first five years, everything about child bearing should have been over but it didn’t happen like they thought and so for

•Pastor Cole

15 years they, waited. So, God knows that there would be this period in your life and so God would orchestrate certain things that He would put in place to keep and preserve you while you are waiting for the manifestation of the promise. As I contemplated on this last week and the Spirit of Lord started to speak to me and the Lord said: “Son, why do you think in bringing out Israel out of Egypt, I went through elaborate deliverance process? Why did I have to orchestrate the elaborate deliverance to bring Israel out of Egypt? Why did I have to turn water to blood? Why did I have to command frogs to appear from everywhere? I killed the first born of Egypt.” The question I want you to answer is, did God not know that these nine plagues would not be enough to bring Israel out of Egypt? I say to you that God knew that the tenth plague was the death of the entire first born of Egypt. Did God not know that, that one plague was strong enough, that by killing all the first born in the land of Egypt, that Egypt would let Israel go? Of course, God knew. Then the question is, why did God have to orchestrate that elaborate process? It was because God wanted to give Israel a backbone. God wanted to show Israel what He was capable of doing. It was not about the frogs and locusts, it was about the people knowing, seeing and perceiving the power of their God because God knew they would go into the desert; they would face adversities, wars and so God wanted them to recollect and know that I that was able to do these great things if you enter into the desert and you face situations and circumstances, I am able to deliver you. Can I hear somebody shout a loud amen? What then is the use of an anchor? The anchor prevents a ship from drifting away due to the water current or the tide. If you don’t anchor a ship, when the current of the water comes and the tides come, the ship will be moved into the high sea and might eventually be destroyed. But if the anchor is put in place, the anchor also has iron cables and it is this iron cables that are thrown into the depth of the sea and the anchor holds unto the sea bed. The strength of the iron cable is important to ensure that the anchor stays in place. I come to prophesy to someone here all the days and the rest of your life, as you await the promise of God, I come to declare to you, you will hold steady, in the name of Jesus! Quickly come with me as I round this off. Psalms78. I quickly read from verse 10: “They did not keep God’s covenant but refused to work according to His Laws, they forgot His works and the wonders that He had shown them.” Underline this: “They forgot His works and the wonders that He has shown them in the sight of their fathers, He performed wonders, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. For He divided the sea before them and led them through! The water stood up like walls beside them! In the daytime, He led them by a cloud, and at night by a pillar of fire. He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them plenty of water, as from a gushing spring. He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river! Yet they kept on with their sin, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They willfully tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. They even spoke against God himself, saying: ‘God can’t give us food in the desert. Yes, He can strike a rock so water gushes out, but He can’t give His people bread and meat. When the LORD heard them, he was angry. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, His anger rose against Israel, for they did not believe God or trust Him to care for them.” Read this to verse 40. How often it goes on. They rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert. They tested God again and again. They provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power. Everything that God did for them was an anchor for them. The miracle that God wrought in Egypt was an anchor for them to hang on so that when the storm of life came, they might have an anchor and say the God that did this for us, He will do another one for us. So, I want to submit to you visioners, every visitor that is here, every miracle that has happened is an anchor for you to hold steady.

•Pastor Cole with wife Ngozi... both died in the Dana plane crash

ing to In the next few minutes, we are goDon’t throw a dance party in this house.s God open your mouth saying, why ha cause be abandoned you like the Israel did against when the Israel said it, God moved s. Don’t them and began to break their boned other complain while the Ogunbayos and shout are dancing. Lift up your hands an Halleluyah!

What we are witnessing today, the Ogunbayos celebrating the birth of three children at a go. It is an anchor for you. We have the Bakares in this house, 18 years of marriage and no child, but today, there is a song to testify. We have the Oyewoles in this house, they said there was no womb, that there was no way her belly would carry a child, but she is here today among you and one with two children. What do you think God is doing? It is an anchor for you and I. Where is Bro and Sister Imoghene with about 10 to 14 years of marriage without a child, but today, they have a beautiful son? It is an anchor for us visioners. Somebody is not hearing what I am saying. Is Mary Jonas anywhere in this service? She was without a child for close to eight years but today, she is a mother of two beautiful twins. Why do you think God is doing all these things? Do you think God is trying to be frivolous? God is not going on an ego trip. He is giving somebody an anchor. Your case may still be there but the God of heaven will answer you. The Bible says that Israel saw all these things but still complained and wondered that can God still provide for them? A God that can kill a whole first born, can’t the God clothe you? God that can break the backbone of the strongest monarch of his time, how can that God not move in your behalf and shut the mouth of the adversaries?

Today, I want to announce to you that what we are celebrating today is not just a celebration, it is an anchor for your soul, that the God that did it for the Ogunbayos and the rest will do it for me. This God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. If He has said it, He will do it, if He has promised, He will bring it to pass so that His unchangeable nature will not be moved. Tell somebody by your side, ‘Hold steady, God will come for you; hold steady, your miracle is about to arrive’. In the next few minutes, we are going to throw a dance party in this house. Don’t open your mouth saying, why has God abandoned you like the Israel did because when the Israel said it, God moved against them and began to break their bones. Don’t complain while the Ogunbayos and other are dancing. Lift up your hands and shout Halleluyah! Every miracle is not God trying to be frivolous. Every time God performs a miracle, He is trying to give you an anchorsomething that can hold you steady, that can keep you from shaking. Something you can look to and say God, if you did it for him or her, my case is not closed. Look at somebody and say, ‘That your case is not hard’!


6 News

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Aftermath of oil subsidy probe: Tension grips Reps over alleged $3m bribery scandal •Bribe transaction deal may be aired on TV

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•The burning tanker after the accident... yesterday

One feared dead as fuel tanker crashes into building

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NE person was feared dead while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in an inferno caused by a fuel tanker after it crashed into the terminal office of Addax Petroleum in Calabar. The accident occurred shortly after it loaded at a farm tank along Marina Street, Calabar, Cross River State yesterday. The fire, which caused serious damage to the facilities of the oil

Nicholas KALU, Calabar company, was however put under control by the Quick Intervention Squad of the emergency response centre. Eyewitnesses at the scene said the driver of the tanker lost control while trying to negotiate a steep junction with the product in front of the office when it veered into the building and exploded. About 10 vehicles parked in the area were also burnt.

Seven killed as suicide bomber attacks Borno Police headquarters Police: How our men prevented bomber from gaining entry

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WO bomb explosions rocked parts of Maiduguri, Borno State capital yesterday, resulting in the death of seven persons. The first explosion occurred at the headquarters of the Borno State Police Command where a suicide bomber killed six persons made up of two policemen and four civilians. A police source said the suicide car bomber believed to be a member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect attempted to force his way into the state headquarters through the main gate with a car laden with explosive devices. The source said the bomb went off while policemen on guard at the gate prevented the bomber from entering. He, however, said he could not give further details as “efforts are being made to clear the debris and rescue the affected persons.” Yesterday’s attack was the second time a suicide bomber would run into the police headquarters. The first attempt was made in August last year. Although the bomber was gunned down by policemen at the gate during yesterday’s attack, the bomb still went off. In another explosion that had occurred earlier between 7 am and 8:15 am, an unknown bomber got detonated around ‘Gidan Dambe’ area of the metropolis.

Joseph ABIODUN, Maiduguri and Gbade OGUNWALE, Abuja

According to witnesses, he was trying to plant an improvised explosive device (IED), which exploded and left him dead. It was gathered that some suspicious movements had started at Gidan Dambe on Thursday night but residents of the area kept mute for fear of being killed. According to the source, they saw men carrying weapons around Gidan Dambe but felt they might be security operative in plain clothes. The town had been experiencing clashes between sect members and security operatives. The source, however, said when they noticed some awkward behaviour in the people, they suspected them to be members of the Boko Haram sect. “Between 7 am and 8:15 am, we heard the sound of the blast. We knew without being told that it was bomb. I opened the window and looked around the streets and I saw policemen running towards the place where the explosion occured. It was so powerful that I could still feel blood running through my spine as I speak to you. Just don’t come around our area. It is very bad,” the source warned. A JTF spokesman said the IED was concealed in a bag and kept

under a public shed, but it exploded while the victim was trying to plant it. “There was an explosion in an area of Maiduguri this morning and our men immediately deployed to the area,” Col, Victor Ebhaleme, the Field Operations Officer of the task force told newsmen. “They found a man we believe to be a member of Boko Haram dismembered by the explosion. Preliminary investigation has shown that he was killed when he was trying to plant the device.” At the time of filing this report around 4 pm yesterday, the entire town was deserted while major roads were cordoned off by security agents. Police authorities yesterday explained how their men foiled the suicide bomber’s attempt to attack the command headquarters. A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, reads: "Today 8th of June, 2012, at about 11:30 am, a lone male suicide bomber, driving a light green Toyota Camry car loaded with Improvised explosive Devices (IEDs), attempted to smash through the gate of the Borno State Police Command Headquarters. "His attempt, however, failed as vigilant and combat-ready police officers on guard at the gate resisted and prevented him from gaining access into the headquarters premises.

"Obviously acting out of frustration and desperation, he detonated the explosives right outside the gate of the headquarters, killing himself in the process. "One Inspector Ali Bulama, a gallant and very competent officer, and four other civilians who were passersby lost their lives in the incident. "In addition, three other civilians and a couple of police officers sustained injuries of various degrees. They are all responding to treatment at various hospitals within Borno State. "Meanwhile, a combined team of detectives from Borno State CID and the Police Bomb Disposal Unit has since commenced investigation, and has indeed made substantial progress in effort to track down and bring to book those behind the dastardly act. "While sympathising with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident, the IGP (Inspector-General of Police) wishes to reassure all Nigerians of the commitment of the Force to do everything within its power to ensure that law and order are restored in every part of the country, warning that lawlessness and criminality in whatever shade will not be condoned. He appeals to the general public to continue to support the Police and other security agencies by volunteering useful information at all times."

Man cured of AIDS, says ‘l feel good’

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HE fact that Timothy Brown is a reasonably healthy 46year-old is no small thing. Only a few years ago, he had AIDS. “I feel good,” Brown told ABC News. “I haven’t had any major illnesses, just occasional colds like normal people.” Brown is the only person in the world to be cured of AIDS, the result of a transplant of blood stem cells he received to treat leukemia. “My case is the proof in concept that HIV can be cured,” he said. Brown got lucky. The blood stem cells he received came from a donor with a special genetic mutation that made him resistant to HIV. The genetic mutation occurs in less than 1 per cent of

Caucasians, and far less frequently in people of other races. Before Brown got his transplant in 2007, doctors tested nearly 70 donors for this genetic mutation before they found one who was a match. But doctors hope that a similar solution could help other people with HIV: umbilical cord blood transplants. Dr. Lawrence Petz, medical director of StemCyte, an umbilical cord blood bank, said although Brown was cured by his transplant, the process was complicated because the blood stem cells came from an adult donor. “When you do that you have to have a very close match between donor and recipient,” Petz said. “With umbilical cord blood, we don’t need such a close match. It’s far easier to find donor matches.”

ARELY a year into its tenure, another $3 million bribery scam is rocking the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime. A prominent member of the committee was alleged to have collected $600,000 from the Chairman of an oil firm to 'influence' the report of the panel, which was submitted on April 18, 2012. The video of the bribe transaction may be aired on some television stations and YouTube. But a principal officer of the House said it was the prominent member who blew the lid open to security agencies by reporting an attempt by an oil baron to bribe him with $600,000. The officer said when the vocal member from the North-West attempted to present the $600,000 publicly at the House plenary, he was prevailed upon by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to do so in order not to embarrass the ruling party. As at press time, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was said to be probing the bribery scam and the affected Ad Hoc Committee member may be interrogated. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the scandal broke with palpable tension in the House on Wednesday. But some influential members have been trying to suppress the information from filtering out. It was gathered that the influential members claimed that since the affected Ad Hoc Committee Representatives is a member of the Integrity Group, it would not be tidy to wash their dirty linen in the public. But The Nation was able to scoop how the $3 million bribe deal was sealed. Findings confirmed that the oil magnate had allegedly approached the key figure/coordinator in the committee to save his companies from embarrassment for allegedly benefiting from oil subsidy. The baron had allegedly offered $3 million to the key figure-member in the Ad Hoc Committee with a pledge to pay $600,000 as initial deposit. With the deal, it was gathered that the key figure in the panel 'doctored' the report to clear the two companies belonging to the oil baron of any shady deal among the 15 marketers that obtained FOREX but did not import petroleum products. But upon fulfilling his own obligation after the report was submitted, the oil baron was said to have reneged in his pledge to pay outstanding $2.4 million. A top member of the House, who spoke in confidence, said: "When we met on Wednesday in camera, the affected Ad Hoc Committee member admitted collecting $600,000 from the oil baron who is close to the Presidency. "He, however, said he decided to play along with the oil baron, who featured prominently as one of the sponsors of 2011 presidential election, to get concrete evidence or proof to bribe him. "But he refused to even dis-

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation close to members of the panel what transpired between him and the oil baron until the bubble burst. He said he only told the Chairman of the House Committee on Narcotics and Financial Crimes about the bribe offer. " The revelation has shocked many members of the House, but some of our leaders are begging us to treat it as purely internal affairs and let bygones be by-gones. "It has also confirmed our suspicion that there was a lot of underhand dealing during the conduct of the probe into payment for fuel subsidy. "The leadership is so much disturbed about the rumour but it has however claimed that it has not got the details. "What members are saying is that when a chairman of the House Committee had a pending case of dud cheque before the EFCC, he was allowed to face the music. Now, they are using a different yardstick for a caucus member or a member of the House think-tank. "What is worrisome is why this leader who collected the $600,000 waited till 40 days after the debate of the Ad Hoc Committee's Report before raising bribery alarm." Another high-ranking member of the House said: "We are suspecting that some forces in government used the oil baron to set up this vocal coordinating member of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy. "From the facts available to us, the oil baron has him on tape on how they negotiated and how he collected the money. A biro-like video tape was used to record him. "This tape will be made available to the EFCC for investigation of the bribery scam. There is no way the House member will not face trial to prove a point that he cannot cast the first stone. "I think he should have been a step ahead of those plotting against him. Now, the allegation of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo against lawmakers will be justified. "This respected member was not circumspect at all. Why should he meet a key member of the cabal in the oil sector that he is investigating? "But they are miscalculating because the oil baron is closer to the powers that be and this will be another corruption stain on this government. The third member from the House said: "We will not accept anything other than an open probe into this latest scandal. They want to sweep it under the carpet but it will not work. "We want the government to air the video of the deal on TV and YouTube to serve as a lesson to others." A principal officer, who spoke in confidence last night, said: "Officially, the matter has not been communicated to us. Once it is done, we know the step to take." The acting Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: "I am making contacts trying to confirm whether we are handling such a case or not." The House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime was inaugurated on January 8, 2012.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Government, management and disasters T

HE month of June is fast becoming in Nigeria the dreaded Ides of March that the soothsayer in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar told a doubting Caesar ‘has come but is not gone ‘. That same day, in that play Caesar’s colleagues stabbed him to death, or as they had earlier agreed, ‘carved him out as a dish fit for the gods’ . Yet this month has not even reached June 12 the day some regard as democracy day in Nigeria but which turned out to be a painful mirage because MKO’s victory in that election of 1993 was ‘murdered’ by the military which set it aside, another aviation tragedy has struck Nigeria killing over 160 people. Let me state clearly though that I know that Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a traged . Just like June 12 was a political tragedy, and given the DANA air flight 992 tragedy of last Sunday, my mood and the topics I will dwell on today are tragedies and the way they have affected our world today in all ramifications. There is nothing cheering about tragedies and the one I will touch are no exceptions. The DANA air flight 992 disaster is top of the bill in the dramatic and unexpected way it claimed lives both on board the ill fated aircraft, and on the ground where people were bombed out of this world when the plane crashed into buildings like Al Qada planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11 in 2001. Let me start on the note I pray for the souls of the victims of the Sunday June 3 Dana Air Disaster to rest in peace and that God Almighty will console their families. I share their pain as I lost my son Richard aged 26 in an accident last year on June 6 and was fearfully looking forward to

that day this year when another tragedy struck last Sunday near our airport killing families and young ones in the flower of their youths. Although no official reason has been given as causing the DANA air flight disaster even though the black box has been recovered, the disaster has established Nigeria firmly in the comity of nations globally as one of the most dangerous places for air travel aviation generally. According to media reports this is the fourth air disaster in Nigeria in a decade and each has claimed over 100 lives. In 2005 alone we had the Bellview Airlines flight 210 on October 22 with 111 fatalities and Sosoliso Airlines flight 1145 on December 10 2005 with 108 dead. Before that in Kano in 2002 EAS Airlines Flight 4226 had 145 fatalities with 74 on the ground. On October 29 2006 ADC Airlines flight 53 had an accident with 105 fatalities and 9 survivors. Which really is an avoidable waste of human lives if we have handled the aviation industry with the care, sophistication and diligence the aviation industry demands especially with regard to its safety standards. It is an open secret that most

airlines on local travels have aged seats that creak fearfully on take offs and make uncomfortable sounds of lurching when such planes descend. Yet passengers just stare at each other and bolt for the door once they have arrived at their destinations in a devil may care , God for us all and the devil take the hindmost rush, until the next flight. A BBC program noted that the DANA aircraft was built in 1985 and that Nigeria and other African nations have become the graveyard and dumping grounds for old and refurbished aircraft from the US and Europe. More alarming on that program was a claim by a high government official that there is no single equipment on the ground to determine the airworthiness of aircraft not only in Nigeria but in the whole of West Africa. These are damning observations that I find unbelievable and want to await official corrections on their veracity or inaccuracy. The fact remains however that the human cost of running our aviation industry in terms of human blood is fast competing with the traffic at our abbatoirs and that surely is most inhuman, inexcusable and very unacceptable. Without mincing words one can say that it is the duty of gov-

ernment to preserve life and property in the air and on the ground . Government failed on those chores woefully last Sunday and someone should accept responsibility. Surely we do not need to wait for the National Assembly to set up a probe, that will invariably lead to a counter one on that. Secondly, compensation must be paid swiftly to those who died on the ground in the houses in the vicinity of the crash who never went to the airport to do anything but were just idling on the street or in their beds in their houses when hot death of iron and fire suddenly snuffed life out of them. Again at the risk of being taken as repetitive I say unequivocally that it is the duty of government or indeed any government worth its salt to manage such disasters as this in a way that the unfortunate and hapless victims do not feel that they are being treated unfairly as prisoners of war in a war they never fought or were never told the government was fighting. Definitely the whole world is watching us in the way we handle and manage this DANA air flight 992 tragedy. Definitely the Nigerian air disaster is different from another air disaster in Pakistan which is the drone bombing in Pakistan that the government of Pakistan condemns but which the US government that sent the drones which are unmanned aircraft said has killed its target, Abu Yahya Al Libi who is the no 2 man in the leadership hierarchy of Al Qada. So, even if one must condemn the Americans for sending drones into civilian populations, one cannot at the same time believe the Pakistani authorities when they claim they do not know where the leaders

of the US enemies are. The capture of Al Qada‘s leader Bin Laden and the drone killing of this week simply show that the Pakistani authorities are paying lip service to being the US allies in fighting terrorism in their backyard and are just taking huge amounts of dollars they get from the US for nothing. Although we have discussed unexpected and organized disasters in the air in Nigeria and Pakistan there is need to discuss another type of disaster we can call disasters-in-waiting or malevolent disasters. Such is the call in Egypt for the death sentence for a former head of state in the person of former President Housni Mubarak who was given a life sentence for ordering that protesters should be shot during the street protests that got him out of office last year. I honestly believe that since the courts have ruled, the decision of the courts must be respected, even though the courts unbelievably cleared Mubarak and his sons of corruption charges. As a result the street demonstrators are back at Tahrir Square in Cairo from where the Egyptian revolution began. I have misgivings about demonstrations that must give instructions to the courts on verdicts to deliver to people on trial. That is mob justice and that is government through violence not the peoples’ choice, which is democracy. The demonstrators have to be called to order in their own interests before the army they suspect of railroading the courts verdict, accuses them of doing the same from the streets instead of the barracks . Definitely two wrongs do not make a right and the demonstrators must know their limits even in their own street revolution.


10 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Crashing planes, deadly roads and travellers’ dilemma

vincentakanmode@yahoo.com

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OR keen followers of soccer, Dennis Bergkamp is a name that will readily ring a bell. The retired Dutch professional footballer, now an assistant manager to Frank de Boer at Holland-based Ajax football club, functioned variously as a striker and midfielder with Inter Milan and Arsenal football clubs, as well as the Dutch national team before he called it quits with football in 2006. Although he remains the only Dutch player inducted into FIFA’s Hall of Fame, many remember him more for the phobia he has for flying. Bergkamp’s fear of the aeroplane became so obvious during his stay at Arsenal that the club’s supporters dubbed him the Non-Flying Dutchman. He was said to have made it a policy never to ply his trade in any country he could not reach by road. As an important member of the Dutch national team, he travelled by road ahead of his teammates even for matches outside the shores of Holland. This he did successfully for the two decades his career lasted and still emerged one of the greatest footballers to have emerged in Holland and the entire world. The first time a friend told me about Bergkamp’s phobia for flying, I shook my head and told him that the eminently successful footballer would most likely die a frustrated man if he were a Nigerian or had to ply his trade in Nigeria. Considering the death traps that criss-cross our country in the name of roads, it would have been impracticable for him to travel by road to all match venues and still remain useful to the team. If he manages to escape an accident, the fatigue he will feel at the

end of each journey could be enough to hospitalise him or, at least, rule him out of the matches. In that circumstance, he will have to join his teammates in the flying coffins we call aeroplanes or watch his dream of an illustrious career evaporate like smoke. Such is the dilemma that confronts travellers in Nigeria, a country that prides itself on being the largest black nation in the universe. From Lagos to Maiduguri and Sokoto to Port Harcourt, the nation is riddled with death traps described as roads. Penultimate Thursday, no fewer than 24 vehicles were burnt on the LagosIbadan expressway after a petrol tanker tumbled and spilled its content. It was the most recent in the chain of accidents through which the ravenous road has consumed hundreds of lives in recent times because of its deplorable condition. The situation became so worrisome that the governors of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states had to pay emergency visit to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja penultimate Thursday to complain about the conditions of South West roads in general and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in particular. Sadly, it is the same story with the all-important Shagamu-Ore-Benin expressway. Apart from its propensity for accidents, the decadent road also leaves travellers at the mercy of bandits partly because of the snail speed at which vehicles have to move on it. Hence, the road has been surrounded with such tales as heartless armed robbers lining up their victims on the road to be crushed by oncoming vehicles and raping innocent school pupils on excursion from one part of the country to another. This was the road on which Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, the current Minister of Petroleum, had wept uncontrollably during an inspection after her inauguration as Minister of Works on August 6, 2007. Fully attired in her red overall and helmet to match, tears rolled down her cheeks as she apologised profusely to the nation for the criminal neglect of the road. Her action raised hopes to high heavens

only for everyone to realise that they were nothing more than crocodile tears from the heart of a typical politician. By the time she left office as works minister, the road’s condition had so degenerated that it was no longer possible to avoid the potholes. The best a motorist could do was to choose the potholes to enter. Like Allison-Madueke, not a few of our public office holders have been shedding political tears since the plane crash that claimed about 160 lives in Lagos on Sunday. Hounded by the prospects of accident, robbery attack and monumental fatigue, the innocent travellers decided to travel by air from Abuja to Lagos. Unknown to them, the airline’s tickets, which they had banked on for a hitch-free journey, were passports to heaven. Like most other Nigerians, the trust the innocent travellers had in the airline and the managers of our aviation sector became their undoing. They could not have imagined that love of money would push anyone to pack 150 lives in a plane known to be faulty. They paid for the flight only to realise too late that they boarded a plane that should actually be lying in the hanger. Reports have quoted credible sources within the airline as saying that the pilot called the Indian owner of the airline from Calabar and told him that it would be dangerous to load the ill-fated plane with passengers because the engine was faulty. The Indian owner would not have any of that, insisting it would amount to a waste of money-making opportunity to fly the plane empty from Calabar to Lagos. He told the pilot to fly the plane to Abuja and load Lagos-bound passengers. The pilot did as his boss directed and the result was the ugly incident of last Sunday. Based on the foregoing allegation, a lot of Nigerians are already calling for the head of the Indian. But I dare say that if foreigners attach no value to our lives, it is because we ourselves have done little to convince them that we value life in our country. Before the Sunday crash, there had been numerous others. The government constitutes a panel to probe each

Our deadly roads should be fixed to provide an alternative for millions of Nigerians who must have developed a phobia for flying after the nightmarish experiences they have had with the aviation industry, particularly in the past six years

of them, but their reports were never made public. The culprits are left to go scot-free and life continues until another crash occurs and another panel is constituted. The Boko Haram sect has wasted more than 1,000 lives in the past one year, but the most our law could do to the only convicted member of the group was to sentence him to three years imprisonment! With impunity entrenched in our culture trigger-happy policemen, armed robbers and hired assassins are wasting innocent lives without being punished. It is also a measure of the disdain we have for human lives that our countrymen who are saddled with the responsibility of regulating the operations of airlines would take bribes from them and look the other way when they fly faulty planes. Unfortunately there will not be an end to these man-made tragedies until we learn to act decisively on the panels’ reports. It may not bring back the dead, but it is capable of sounding the alarm bell for others who might want to sacrifice our lives for a pot of porridge. Our deadly roads should be fixed to provide an alternative for millions of Nigerians who must have developed a phobia for flying after the nightmarish experiences they have had with the aviation industry, particularly in the past six years.

As we rue this cloud of tears… Knucklehead

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HE ill-fated Dana Air McDonnel Douglas 83 aircraft was still aflame when the blame game started. While the social media was abuzz with unverifiable stories, outright fallacies, half-truths, rumours and some facts about the tragic plane crash somewhere in Iju-Ishaga, a suburb of Agege, Lagos State, all the 153 passengers of Dana Air Flight 9J-922 were being smouldered to death. It was a horrifying end to once bustling lives. In that fatal crash, as it had been in past avoidable plane mishaps, were some of Nigeria’s best and brightest human capital and potential change agents. None of the dead would have thought that that one-hour flight from Abuja to Lagos that sunny Sunday would be their journey into eternity. For most of them, it was meant to be a flight that would propel them to other lofty goals in life. However, fate cut those dreams short, and tragically so. How do we begin to quantify the loss of a nation on a day the once bluish sky was reddened by our cloud of tears? Yet, the plane crash was just another part of the sordid multiple tragedies that befell Nigeria that week. Before then, there had been the twin, deadly carnage on the Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway, which left scores dead and property worth millions burnt. There was also the suicide bombing attack on churches in Bauchi State, which left over 20 people dead and many injured. Hardly had the ink dried on The Presidency’s condolence message to the victims of the Bauchi bombings when Dana Air mishap filtered in. It was, indeed, a black Sunday. The nation has been mourning since the unfortunate chain of tragedies. While we grieve over the loss and relatives of the dead are made to undergo the grim but necessary task of identifying their loved ones from the charred heap of bodies at the morgue, we need to ask hard questions about the true state of our aviation sector and the state of the airlines flying the Nigerian airspace. If we must put an end to the rumours and conjectures being peddled about flying coffins and perennially faulty planes finding space in our skies, then we will have to get serious about sanitising the sector for the general good of the nation. This is not the time to go soft on anyone found to be patching up whatever rot there is in the aviation sector. It cost us dearly in the past. And it is costing us anguish and pain even now. It has been said by those who should know that, at times like this, it is dangerous to jump the gun and rush into conclusions on why Dana Air Flight 9J-922 crashed into residential buildings in a densely populated place like IjuIshaga. We have been told that crucial evidence could have been tampered with as residents trooped to the crash site to catch a glimpse of the disaster. In short, we are told that it is not yet time to trade blames as investigations are ongoing. What this means is that we should mourn the loss in solitude and expect the best from the investigators. How I wish it was that easy. It is a notorious fact in this country that such reports hardly see the light of day. At the last count, hundreds of unimplemented reports are rotting away in government closets. One tragic moment after the

other, we have learnt how to move on as if there was absolutely nothing to learn from the past. If a foreign news agency (Associated Press) had not leaked the findings into what led to the plane crashes involving Bellview, Sosoliso and the ADC some six years back, we probably would not have known the truth. Everything was done by the hawks in the system to shroud the report in official secrecy. Ordinarily, the findings in that report should nudge those involved in keeping our airspace safe into taking proactive steps to reduce the kind of calamity that knocked on our doors last Sunday. In the case of the Bellview crash, the document not only exposed a fundamental flaw but also the technical deficiency in the ability of the regulatory bodies to check flagrant abuses within the system. For example, in the October 22, 2005 Bellview crash that killed 111 passengers, the captain was said to have gone back to work as a pilot despite being shot in the head during a robbery attempt, some years before. He was allegedly hired to man the plane some 14 years into his work at a dairy. Though the shooting was said to have taken place during his break from flying, there was no official record of his medical or hospitalization history, the document stated. I need not stress the implication of the grave error to the flying public. The document, which was obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request from the US Federal Aviation Administration, linked the December 10, 2005 crash of a Sosoliso Airlines flight, which killed 107 people made up mainly of 61 holidaying schoolchildren from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, to pilot error and weather. The plane burst into flames as it was about to land at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State. Similarly, the report on the October 29, 2006 Aviation Development Company crash which killed 96 people including the then Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammadu Maccido and his senator son, Badamosi, was not in any way encouraging. Though the document conceded that bad weather could have contributed to the crashing of the plane 76 seconds after being airborne from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja enroute Sokoto, it said the pilots reacted ‘inappropriately’ and that their “incorrect actions stalled the plane”. The investigators were also disturbed that the airline’s operation manual for pilots and cockpit staff, which was duly approved by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, did “not contain any information on adverse weather condition as that section was blank!” The deficiency in the operation manual, the report stated, would probably make it difficult for pilots to take appropriate decision on when to go or not to go in an adverse weather condition. That was some six years ago. If not for the AP, the contents of that report might as well rot in the closets of some pretentious stakeholders who seem to be more concerned about the protection of their highly lucrative jobs than the safety of flying Nigerians. And so, we need not to blame Nigerians when they express doubts about making any tangible inroad in the fresh bid by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to carry a technical audit of the

With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913 aviation sector. Too many things are shrouded in mystery even when the sector is not expected to operate like a secret cult. Our pessimism, I dare say, is not misplaced as far as this matter is concerned. For the avoidance of doubt, we do not dispute the fact that tremendous progress has been made in the last five years. We are aware of the August 2010 Category 1 status of Nigeria by the United States’ FAA; we know that that rating qualifies the country’s national carrier to fly directly to the US; and there is also the usual chest-thumping about the full radar coverage of the entire nation. But all this will pale into insignificance if, in the next few months, nothing concrete is done about investigations into the fatal Dana Air clash that took away some of Nigeria’s best. Precisely, we need to know how an airplane that was just some 11 Nautical miles to landing lost two engines, burst into flames and crashed into buildings. We desire to know what transpired in those last moments. As the curtain fell on rescue efforts on Tuesday, 159 persons perished; a generation disappeared; some became instant widows, widowers and orphans; fathers cry like babies; mothers wail uncontrollably; laughter disappeared from many homes; dirges of sorrow enveloped the land and the question on many lips is just that three-letter word— why? Of course, knowing the whys and hows might not be enough consolation for those whose families have been torn into shreds by that single disaster. It will never bring back the dead. But it should help in the healing process, especially if corrective measures are taken by the authorities rather than wringing their hands in cosmetic gestures and wiping off crocodile tears. It is in this light that we are holding President Jonathan to his words that, this time, the report will not only be made public but that anyone found culpable in Sunday’s horror will be brought to book. We really don’t want to dwell in the realm of speculations and conjectures. We just hope that, this time and for the health of a nation in need of a redemptive signal, the President will walk his talk. That is our hope amidst this cloud of tears inflicted by mindless bombings, the carnage on the roads, callous banditry and an air mishap of monumental proportion. And we ask: When will the endless flow of blood that makes human life appear so cheap in Nigeria ever end? We wait with bated breath!


Joyful tragedy

THRILLER / 20-21

Unreported heartbreaks by the Dana plane crash

‘We will stop corps members from providing ad-hoc services during elections if...’

INTERVIEW/ 54-55

SCREEN/ 21

‘It doesn't take too much to make me fall in love’

Weekend

PEOPLE THE NATION, Saturday, JUNE 09, 2012

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

12 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

Why Mutual Benefits Assurance MD’s aide’s name appeared twice on manifest

•She died but her sister who was to board the flight with her, escaped narrowly Stories: Kunle AKINRINADE

T

•The late Miss Okor

HE mood at the corporate head office of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Lagos on Monday was sullen. Employees of the insurance giant were mourning the death of Miss Eseoghene Okor, one of the 153 passengers in the illfated Dana aircraft that crashed in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos State on Sunday. Ese, as she was fondly called by colleagues, was the Personal Assistant (PA) to the Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance (General Business Division), Mr Segun Omosehin. She was said to have left for Abuja penultimate Friday on official assignment and was returning to Lagos to resume work on Monday when she met her untimely death. Born on October 28, 1978, she was said to have joined the company upon graduation about four years ago and had done excellently well to earn the confidence of her boss. A source, who pleaded anonymity, explained that the deceased has two sisters, Omonigho Okor-Akisanya and Barbara Okor-Manuel, who reside in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. “She was such an unassuming person who went about her job with all sense of diligence. She has two sisters called Barbara

and Omonigho, and that is the much I know about her because she was very discreet when it comes to her private life,” the source said. Another source, who identified herself as Oge Mbachu, battled tears as she recounted Eseoghene’s last moments and why Eseoghene’s name featured twice on the airline’s manifest. She said: “She wanted to travel back to Lagos with one of her sisters who has a baby girl, and she bought the two tickets in her name. Unfortunately, her sister who was to travel with her was not cleared for the trip at the airport because her daughter was overweighed. Her sister then chose to go on another flight. That was what saved her from becoming one of the victims of the ill-fated flight.” At the office of Mutual Benefits Assurance, mum was the word. Our correspondent watched as the members of staff took turns to register their condolences. She was described by one of her colleagues, who asked not to be named, as “dutiful, humble and warm.” Scores of others said they would greatly miss her for her dedication to duty. Eseoghene’s immediate boss and chief executive officer of the company, Omosehin, was said to have been so devastated that he could not hold himself together when the news broke that Essoghene was among the passengers on board of the ill-fated flight. Although those that signed the condolence register did not give their names, a peep into the tributes revealed the emotional words from the staff. Some of them read: “Ese, you are a wonderful person. May God grant you His mercies for the journey.” Another sympathiser said: “Ese, I do not really know much about you, but from what people have said, you are a nice person…may your soul rest in peace.” Meanwhile, Eseoghene was not among the bodies yet identified at press time, even as distraught relations of the victims thronged the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to identify their family members.

‘Dana plane nearly crashed on us in open space where we were eating’ O

LASENI Oladokun and his friend, Tosin Williams, were two of the residents who escaped death by a whisker when the Dana aircraft crashed into their buildings in Lagos on Sunday. The two hoteliers were enjoying a meal of rice outside their joint, Honey Bar Guest House on Segun Osoba Road, Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, when the aircraft started descending on the spot where they were seated. They ran in different directions for dear lives. Oladokun said: “We were having a meal of rice and were engaged in a conversation when the aircraft started descending on us. I had never seen a thing like that before. We almost could touch it. I had thought that it would crash on us. We took to our heels and went in different directions while the plane took off again and hit the roof of a nearby storey building before crashing a few seconds later. “Before then, we had seen the plane avoid a nearby telecom mast. It also tried to land on an

open land near a C&S (Cherubim and Seraphim) Church. But when it almost crashed on us and managed to take off again, I shouted: ‘This plane might crash! This plane might crash!” Shortly after, it crashed with a bang. “Contrary to claims by some people that the plane exploded immediately it landed, it took about 12 minutes before it exploded. I strongly believe that some passengers would have been saved if they had been rescued on time. “To give you an idea of the impact of the crash, two cows tied to a tree at the scene were crushed to death when one of the wings of the aircraft hit them as it was going down. On his part, Williams said: “It was about 3.20 pm and I was about going to prepare a meal for guests at the hotel when I decided to join my friend in eating rice within the hotel premises. Suddenly, the plane emerged from nowhere. As it approached, it tried to land on a nearby open field but later ascended. “Surprisingly, within seconds, it flew in our direction and was de-

scending right on the open space where we were seated. You almost could touch it. We were highly terrified. We ran away in different directions. Although it took off again, it crashed a few metres away.” The 38-year-old hotelier threw more light on how the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft had tried to avoid mid-air explosion by discharging its fuel a few metres away from the scene. “From what we gathered, the pilot had released fuel from the plane, perhaps to avoid mid-air explosion, because those who saw it before us claimed that fuel was dropping from the plane mid-air. “The pilot would have been a hero if the plane had safely landed, because he was looking for a plain field to land the aircraft. Unfortunately, he could not stop the plane from crashing.” He also echoed Oladokun’s view on the pilot of the aircraft, saying he would have been celebrated as a hero if the passengers on board had survived. “To the best of my knowledge, he tried to save the lives of those on board by looking for a safe place to land. We also gathered that he had been discharging fuel minutes before the crash.”

•Tosin Williams Meanwhile, the Marketing Manager of Lagos-based radio station, Cool FM, Mrs Venus Bande, escaped death because she missed the ill-fated flight. According to our investigations, she had earlier booked a ticket with Dana Airline but felt disappointed when she arrived at the airport only to be told that there was no space for her in the

•Olaseni Oladokun plane. “After she was told she could not go on the flight, she asked for a refund and boarded an IRS flight to Lagos. I guess it was providence that saved her from untimely death,” a source who craved anonymity said. The broadcast outfit is, however, rueing the loss of one of its employees who boarded the aircraft.


13

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

Pius Anyim’s aide dies in crash with four-yrold daughter...two years after losing wife

•From left Hajia Jummai, mother of late Garba and her grand daughter, Maryam It was crying and wailing at the family house of Dr Garba Abdullahi, one of the victims of last Sunday’s Dana Air crash in Lagos, in which more than 150 people died. Abdullahi’s aged mother, Hajia Jummai Garba, looked dejected at their family house located at Gingiyu Quarters in the Kano metropolis. “Why should this happen to me at a time everybody needed my son most?” she asked no one in particular as she griefed over her son’s departure. Dr. Abdullahi, who until his death was a Deputy Director at the Department of Economic Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, died together with his youngest child, Nabila, leaving six other children behind. Alhaji Yahaya Shui’abu Ungogo, who was the late Abdullahi’s student when he was Head of Department of Chemistry at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, described the late university teacher as a wonderful man. He said his only consolation was a text message the deceased had sent to him a few days before the incident, which read thus: “Alhamdullah Abdulraman, Maryam and Hauwa have successfully completed their studies and got BSc Hons. May God bless our children for us. May we never labour in vain.” It was also sad memories for his siblings, friend and daughter, who all gave wonderful testimonies about the late senior civil servant. His younger brother, Tijani (45), said Abdullahi’s death was the most devastating experience of his life. He said: “The most devastating thing to the family is the death of our dear brother. This is the second time we would lose a breadwinner of the family after the death of our father. “We will miss him greatly for his kindness. He had been the sustainer of the family and his death came to all of us as a very big shock. Our family house was besieged by hundreds of sympathisers as the news of his death spread because he was such a kind man that everybody within the neighbourhood was fond of him. “We also miss little Nabila, the four-year old daughter of my late brother, who also lost his life in the crash. She was the last of seven children born by Aisha, the wife of my brother who died two years ago. It is also very unfortunate that the new wife, also called Aisha, is yet to conceive.” Also speaking, Ibrahim (33), another brother of the late Abdullahi, said: “There are 16 of us in the family. My late brother had done a lot for the wellbeing and development of the family. He sponsored

•Mallam Tijani Abdullahi Garba

Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano most of us to acquire basic education. He had been a source of inspiration to the family. “Our late brother was a peace-loving man who served as a rallying point for the progress and unity of the family. The death of my brother is unfortunate and tragic. We pray that Allah will prepare his reincarnation in the next life. He was the pillar of the family. But we lost him. “We have lost a man who was not just a father. He was the one who united the family. He sacrificed everything for the sake of the unity and wellbeing of the family. We really miss him. “He was of immense help not only to the family but to our neighbours who would always come for one favour or the other, and he never hesitated to help whenever the means was there. We will really miss him. “I cannot express how I feel about this tragic end of a good man. Our regret is that we lost him at a time we needed him most. We lost him when we were supposed to give back what he invested in us, because he died at a time he was supposed to reap the fruits of his labour. “We thank God that our family members are not the lazy type. All of us are hard working and up and doing. I promise you that we are going to do everything possible to ensure that the children of our late brother will never suffer. We shall take them to every height they want to attain, because we are united. The legacy our brother left behind can never be in vain.” The deceased’s daughter, Mariam (24), regretted that her late father did not wait to reap the fruits of his labour. “I have just graduated from Mutiny University College, Malaysia. I studied Architectural Design and Technology. It is as if I have lost everything, I feel like my world has come to an end. But by the grace of Almighty Allah, his soul is resting in peace and we will keep praying that his soul rests in peace. “As for my late mother and little sister, I pray that their souls will rest in perfect peace. I do not know what to say on how we are going to cope in the absence of our parents and our lovely sister. Only Allah will see us through. I pray to Almighty Allah to console myself and my younger ones. I believe in God and I am very sure He is not going to let us down.” His bosom friend, Aliyu Ropper, the National Secretary of Youth Movement of Nigeria and Deputy Director of the Sani Abacha Youth Centre, described the late Abdullahi as a very humble man. “He was

•Sons of late Garba Abdullahi, Ibrahim and Umurana

•Sympathisers at the late Garba Abdullahi's family house in Gingiyu Kano accommodating and simple. I never saw him frown. Any time you approached him for assistance, he would attend to you kindly, accept you and give you what you want. He is a God-fearing man. “It was a great loss to all of us his friends. We had been together with him for 15 years and he never quarrelled with anybody. He

had played a great role in the sociopolitical development of Nigeria right from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida administration. We regret that we lost him at this time and we pray to the Almighty Allah to protect his immediate family. We also pray to have more people like him.”


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

14 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

I have received over 2,000 calls, says SAN Yusuf Ali who shares name with a victim

They never prepared for a disaster. They found themselves in a situation they had no control over. Some of the residents of Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, the site of the Dana Air plane crash have lost their homes, while some who are lucky to have their houses partly damaged are having it near impossible to stay in those houses. GBENGA ADERANTI spoke to some of them:

•Burnt photocopies of Okeke’s certificates

•Mallam Ali

I was actually overwhelmed, humbled, surprised and moved to tears several times because of the deep concern of the callers, some of whom broke down and wept, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who made me to cry as well...

A

N Ilorin-based legal practitioner, Mallam Yusuf O. Ali (SAN), who shares the same name with one of the victims of the ill-fated Dana Air plane crash, said he had received over 2,000 calls from then till date. Mallam Ali, who said he was overwhelmed by the show of affection from both known and unknown people, added that he had occasion to shed tears. The legal practitioner in an email to the The Nation bares his mind thus: “Between the evening of the day of the accident to now, I have received more than 2,000 calls from around the world from colleagues, clients, acquaintances, relatives, friends, people I might not even recognise at site but who knew me, hotels where I normally stay, chief executives of some airlines that I patronise, and numerous well wishers. “Many of the people close to me like my family members, friends and colleagues also bore the brunt of these calls and text messages. “Some of the people were too terrified to call me directly, thus the many calls to my close friends, colleagues and others. I was actually overwhelmed, humbled, surprised and moved to tears several times because of the deep concern of the callers, some of whom broke down and wept, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who made me to cry as well. The reactions were heart-rending and sobering. Some text message just said, ‘Are u ok?’ ‘Are you there?’, ‘Is that you? ‘ etc. “The way it unfolded for me that I had name sake on the ill fated aircraft: I left Lagos for Asaba on the fateful day to

Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin

partake in the NBA criminal justice reform three-day conference; I got to Asaba in the morning. The first inkling I had of the unfortunate incident was through one social media on the internet. “About 6pm, I got a call from a governor who is a friend and client who did not ask me any direct question on the ill-fated aircraft but he had apparently heard about the manifest list and he called just to confirm if indeed the Yusuf Ali on the list was me. “From about 630pm on the said 3rd of June, the flood gates of calls started. Apparently, the manifest had become public knowledge through blackberry messages and so on. Most people who are close to me ordinarily knew my movement because routinely I inform them of my whereabouts, people like my children, nieces and cousins that live with me, my colleagues and others in my Ilorin and Abuja offices and a few friends. “In spite of this, when most of them heard of the accident, they still called to confirm just in case. I reacted to all the callers by assuring them that I was alive and well, thanked them and prayed for the repose of the souls of those who perished in the unfortunate event. I realised instantly that it could have been anyone! “I pray that may Allah stop this kind of occurrence in our country and the world. I never knew that I am valuable to many people! It was like someone reading his or her own obituary! I pray and hope to continue to do all the things that will show to all that I deeply appreciate and cherish this huge amount of goodwill and affection.”

Adebanjo Bidemi Like some of the people who were indoors when the plane crashed, Adebanjo Bidemi ran out naked when she heard the crash. Bidemi, who is yet to recover from the shock, her experience was a devastating one and would take a long time to forget. “When I heard the bang, I ran out I saw dust coming out. I started running to nowhere else like every other person,” she told The Nation. While the incident has dealt big blow on his psyche, her bid to get a place to lay her head is a prime concern to her right now. “Since the incident I, have been roaming around until when Tuesday government took us to Ipaja, Ayobo.” While acknowledging the gesture of the government, she said what was provided was not what she really wanted right now. “My problem now is how to manage myself (shelter, clothing and food)”. According to her, she could not salvage any of her things because she took an involuntary action. “I was just running, I ran out naked; even this phone I’m holding was collected from somebody I ordered to make calls to my family members. This dress I’m wearing was bought for me some days ago.” Adebanjo said she would have preferred a situation whereby government would get them accommodation near their former homes because of their businesses. “I can’t stay at the relief camp because I need to stay close to this place her former home. The place they took us to was too far. I don’t know anybody there. As it is right now, the house I was staying had been damaged; I don’t have a house now. “If government wants to help us, they should give us a place very close. I have a shop very close where I sell weave on. I need to stay close, some people came here to steal. If I stay far, some people might come in the night to loot the small thing I depend on again to make a living.” Okeke, Kingsley Chinoso If Adebanjo is lucky to have her shop intact, Okeke Kingsley Chinoso, a graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Nekede Owerri, Imo State, who once lived at 12, Olaniyi Street, was not that lucky. He lost everything. As at Wednesday, Okeke had no place to lay his head, his certificates were all burnt, the only evidence that he went to school were burnt photocopies of the certificates. To worsen his case, the house which he once lived had been demolished. “It was something else to me on that day. I was inside the room around 3:47pm, about

•Kingsley Okeke to watch Nigerian/ Namibian match. I was with my friend in the parlour, who came to write an aptitude test. We were listening to the commentaries, suddenly, there was a loud bang, a kind of sound we never heard before. We thought it was a bomb blast. The next thing I saw after the noise was fire. I noticed that everything in my room had been destroyed. I wanted to leave through the front door, I discovered I could not leave because of the fire. I tried the back door, I discovered that it was locked. I tried pulling the burglary proof down, it wasn’t easy for me. I had to come back to the room and jumped the fire and I saw the exit key before I managed to open the door,” Okekeke relived his experience. It has been ‘hell’ since Sunday, according to Okeke, adding that he left the room in boxers and phone. Since the incident, the place to lay his head has been his challenge. “I have been walking from place to place. The clothe I’m putting on was given to me by a friend. For the food of a thing, when you are not in your house you don’t eat the kind of thing you want. My certificate and everything I had got burnt in the fire. It was yesterday I saw the burnt photocopies of part of my credentials. Three of my brothers lost their certificates here too; we don’t know how to start life again. The money we had got burnt too.” He said government had made efforts in relocating them but added: “The place they took us to as relief camp is far. For me, I‘m a graduate, I just finished my youth service, I don’t have a job. My brothers work around this area and there is no way they will be coming from that place to this area where they are working. What I want the government to do for us is to get


15

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

Six days after: Our frustrations, our grief —Crash site residents

•...Adebanjo Bidemi once lived here

•Akinjesu accommodation around this area so that my brothers can at least be able to go to work and get money to take care of ourselves,” he pleaded. For Kingsley Chinoso, life may not be the same again. He has developed a phobia for flying objects. “Anytime I hear the sound of plane moving, I get scared. I know death will come when it will come. But right now, I’m devastated,” Okeke expressed his frustration. Pastor Adeniyi Adekunle Pastor Adeniyi Adekunle of Praise and Prayer Praying Ministry is very close to the scene of the crash. His home shared a fence with the building the Dana plane crashed into. His church has become a relief camp of sort for those who find it difficult to sleep in their houses. In the night, many people converge and sleep inside the church. Though he was looking cool and calm, his gentle looks could not mask the state of shock he was on Wednesday afternoon. “My name is Pastor Adeniyi Adekunle, Pastor CAC Praise and Praying Ministry. I was inside my room when the incident happened. Since after the crash, life has been difficult here. You have soldiers, MOPLOL everywhere controlling the crowd. We find it very difficult to go out and buy food because of the crowd,” he said. He said he was not afraid to see plane moving in the sky. “Well, as a man of God, I

•MrsAkinjesu don’t have fear. I believe in His grace and I have found favour with God. If not, I don’t know where I would be today. His grace has kept me alive today,” he said confidently. Kehinde Adekunle “The God that protected us from the crash will continue to protect us. It came as a shock. We were sleeping when we heard the noise. We ran out of the house and since that incident on Sunday, people coming never bothered about the people living on the street. Some of us are alive; they don’t know what has happened to us. “Nobody has bothered to examine us medically. We are appealing to the government to assist us. If not for the tree that made it impossible for the plane not to land in our compound, it would have landed here.” H e complained that the crash could have caused sickness to many residents and doubted the structural integrity of the buildings around. “All the houses here are weak. Twice when the helicopters came, they landed in our compound. We were like dead people because of the effect of the noise on the buildings.” Olatunji Lawal Laal described the incident as an act of God. You can see this building, the structural integrity is affected, it is unhabitable for us to continue to stay in this house. We would be

•Olakunle here morning till night to protect what we are left with. As you can see, people continue to visit this place like Balogun Market. Most times we eat our breakfast between 7-8pm. “In as much as I know that government did not prepare for the black Sunday, but they have to do something quickly and move most of us. We don’t stay here in the night; we only come in during the day because when it rained two days ago, we could not stay here because this place was shaking. We normally stay in the church at night”. Ezekiel Adekunle Akin Jesu Three days after the incident, a pastor, Akin Ezekiel Adekunle Akinjesu, was still visibly shaken. Dejection, sorrow and anguish were written boldly on his face. This reporter met him eating beans and bread half-heartedly. Inside his partly damaged church, rather than finish his food, he insisted that he would talk to the reporter because the food meant nothing to him. He said what he lost to the crash was enormous. According to him, the people who came to have a glimpse of the crash turned their building into a ladder. Apart from the damage caused by the crash, the crowd also allegedly looted everything they could lay their hands on. He explained that since the accident, they had ceased living as a family as his children had been scattered. “Since then, we have been wandering, but we thank God, nobody died. But we’ve not been able to sleep in the house at night.

•Adebanjo Bidemi “Each time I hear a plane flying past, I get scared and look up. Even my nine-monthold baby always gets terrified by the sound of an airplane.” Mrs Ezekiel said when the incident happened, she was counting money from her business, but she ran away, leaving her bag containing money. On returning, the bag and the money had disappeared. “I think government should assist us in providing accommodation that would be suitable for us. This is the place we’ve been staying for the past 16 years. Our children have been sent to our friends and family members because of the chemicals they are using in fumigating the environment. The chemical is repulsive and irritating, “ she said. Olakunle Olanipekun His building is very close to the site of the crash. According to him, it was providence that saved them. He said the plane could have landed in their compound because of the big space in front of their building. He commended the pilot for doing a good job, saying the effect could have been worse. “Our house is located at the centre of the crash and if not for God that saved us, the plane would have landed here. You can see that the place is spacious,” he said. The experience has taught Olanipekun •Continued on Page 16


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

16 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

I’ve lost all my possessions, byWinners’ Pastor into whose buildings the plane crashed O

N Sunday, June 3, Pastor Daniel Omowumi left home for church bubbling with life and exuding confidence that his worship and prayer would bring about blessings. He was not alone on his way to the Living Faith Church (Winners’ Chapel), Canaan land, Ota. His loved ones - mother, wife and children- were with him. They were all in high spirit to be going to the house of God without knowing that a disaster, which was to devastate their lovely and comfortable abode, was looming. As usual, it was a highly fascinating and greatly edifying service. But in the course of a pastors’ meeting, which held after the last service in the church, Pastor Omowumi received a phone call informing him of the crashing of a Dana Air aircraft into his buildings at Iju-Ishaga on the outskirts of Lagos. “After the service, we started our usual meeting. It was while the meeting was on that I learnt about the plane crash. I had to abandon the meeting. I rushed to the place to meet a strange scene. I could not recognise my buildings again. It was a terrible scene,” Pastor Omowumi said. The destruction of his belongings notwithstanding, the pastor praised the Almighty for sparing his life and those of the members of his family. “Had it not been for the meeting, it would have been a different situation now. The meeting kept me in the church. I thank God for sparing my life. I thank Him for protecting my family members. I have experienced a great miracle. “All my possessions have gone. I lost six containers loaded with educational materials belonging to a publishing company. I lost five containers loaded with kitchen utensils belonging to my mother. My four buildings, including two warehouses, were de-

•Owolabi Ayodeji

•Pastor Omowunmi

YomboTOKODE stroyed. My four ponds containing fish and some Sports Utility Vehicles were also destroyed.

•Olatunji Lawal

“I am into furniture making. My factory equipped with modern machines is no more. There were 447 doors in the factory. They were all destroyed. I don’t have anything now. All my things and those of my family members have gone”, he said. Help came Pastor Omowumi’s way immediately. His church gave him accommodation somewhere in IyanaIpaja, Lagos. He said: “I am grateful to my church. We were not left in the lurch. We were given accommodation immediately. I will continue to be grateful for this. But the fact remains that I don’t have a home I can call my own now.” He continued: “I lost millions of naira. I cannot mention the exact amount. I am not in the mood to estimate my losses. What I know is that all my possessions have gone. I don’t have anything now.” The Pastor is not happy that Federal Government is not giving attention to the owners of property destroyed by the crashed aircraft. Pastor Omowumi said: “President Goodluck Jonathan was at the scene of the disaster. He did not mention anything about property owners. He did not ask questions concerning them. It is unfair. They should not be ignored. There should be compensations for them because they were not the destroyers of their own property. They deserve to be compensated to

•Pastor Adediyi Adekunle

President Goodluck Jonathan was at the scene of the disaster. He did not mention anything about property owners. He did not ask questions concerning them. It is unfair. They should not be ignored. There should be compensations for them because they were not the destroyers of their own property. They deserve to be compensated to cushion the effects of their losses...

cushion the effects of their losses. “Though I praise the President on the management of the disaster, he should have a thought for these property owners.” He called for a thorough investigation into the crash and appealed to the government to overhaul the aviation industry in the country. “We should not wait until we experience a disastrous incident like this before taking necessary actions. There should be measures to protect the lives and property of people. This is one of the responsibilities of our government,” he said. Pastor Omowumi expressed his sympathy to all Nigerians, especially those who lost their loved ones in the crash.

•Alhaja Ramota Akinlusi

Six days after: Our frustrations, our grief —Crash site residents •Continued from Page 15 one thing: He has vowed not to build his house on the flying route of airplanes. “With this crash, if I want to have a personal house, I will not buy land where it is the route of the plane. Any time I hear aircraft moving, I would run away and look. “I don’t have problem with flying now provided it is not an aircraft owned by Nigerians. After all I travelled to India and I see how they take care of their air transport, but here in Nigeria, nobody cares about anything.” Alhaja Ramota Akinlusi She is the landlady of No 11, Popoola Street. Part of her building caved in to the sound of

the blast when the plane crashed. According to her, all her family members were inside. “My shop was looted that day; everything I had was taken because we could not shut our door.” She added: “I’m always afraid. If a plane is moving right now, I look up and get scared; even each time they move the gate and I hear the sound, I quake. I get scared, thinking, is it going to happen again?” Bola Babasanya “I witnessed the whole drama. I was not indoors, I was outside. I was coming from outside. I knew it would crash land the way it was going. I continued monitoring it. From the way it was moving, I

would say the pilot really tried, he was trying to look for an open space, but couldn’t find a place. If not for the tree that the plane touched, I’m sure he would still have moved ahead and landed somewhere else. “It is sad that this incident has happened. It is tough surviving; it is sad that some people come and loot. The property we have here we have to protect. Things are difficult for us; at night, we move to church to sleep”.

of the confusion to loot. She said some of the residents sustained injury. They included children and a pregnant woman during the melee. “I pray that government will not demolish our house but if they want to assist us, let them renovate the building for us and the people that got their shops looted should be compensated. We are not ruling out the fact that the crash has affected the buildings around, government should just assist,” she said.

Basirat Soetan Ibrahim Basirat Soetan Ibrahim is the daughter of Alhaja Akinlusi, the owner of the building, partly damaged at Popoola Street. She is angry that people took advantage

Owolabi Ayodeji Owolabi Ayodeji and the residents of No. 10, Olaniyi Street are still afraid six days after the plane crash. “I was making a call when the plane was about to crash. I

told people to move out of the house. I was shocked when I heard the blast. I wasn’t even sure if I was alive. We get scared about planes right now; that is why we sleep outside at night. It is unfortunate that some people decided to loot during those trying hours,” he said. Adeniyi Abiodun Adeniyi Abiodun said he was inside the house when the roof of their room suddenly fell. “My wife and her sister ran away. They were not wearing anything, leaving the baby. Realising that they had left the baby, they came back. Because we left the house, street urchins (aka are boys) came. Pretending to be assisting us in packing out things, they looted the house.”


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

17 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

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IME was 11:45 am on Tuesday. The day was not sunny probably because of the early morning heavy down pour but the atmosphere was moody at Amikwo, Awka, capital of Anambra State, the family compound of the late Mrs Chinwe Dike and son, Chukwuezugo. The woman (Chinwe) and son, Chukwuezugo, known as Zuggy, died in the Dana Air plane crash last Sunday in Iju-Ishaga, outskirts of Lagos. Mourners and family members were handy when The Nation visited and before the exit of our correspondent from the family compound, mourners had already besieged their family house in to sympathise with the bereaved. Late Mrs Dike, an assistant director with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), was the wife of Herbert Dike, a lawyer and an estate manager was a former employee of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Abuja; but he is now on his own, still in Abuja. Late Chinwe was being a good mother when she met her untimely death. She was taking Chukwuezugo to write his PostUTME exam for entrance into Covenant University, Sango Ota, Canaanland, Ogun State. The massive compound with a church hall had sympathisers who besieged their residence to commiserate with Herbert’s brother, Samuel and sister, Florence. They described the late Chinwe as wonderful in human relations. One of the sympathisers, who decided not to be named, said of late Chinwe: “She was a very nice women. I don’t know why good things don’t last. Why should that woman die? What else can I say now that she is dead? It is a pity really’’. But the family members, including Pastor Sam Olisah Dike, immediate elder brother to Herbert, Chinwe’s husband; their cousin Dr Peter Hezekiah Dike , and Herbert’s immediate Sister, Mrs Florence Anagbogu, all described late Chinwe as wonderful and cheerful in everything, including giving. They said Awka and Anambra would miss her unconditional charity to humanity. They gave her wonderful memoirs as a good mother, wife and sister even daughter to all. Pastor Sam Olisah Dike’s immediate elder brother to Herbert said: “I spoke to Chinwe two weeks ago. She came for burial in Amichi. She was in high spirit and we were expecting her at the end of this month but you can se how sadness has enveloped us. She is a good house wife. We are going to miss her dearly. It is true that we don’t know how anybody will die but when you consider what we have read in the newspapers, you see that DANA airline is the culprit. The aviation industry per ser is inefficient; if not, that wouldn’t have happened, giving the limit of technological error presumably’’. Then for Dr Peter Hezekiah Dike, cousin of Herbert, “She is a perfect, simple and loving house wife. She endeared herself not only to the family but to their entire village and community at large. She had love for everybody that came her way and was always in a disposition to render help to anybody that came her way. She was such a quality person who was too precious to lose. Moreover during her working life, she was of tremendous help to all and sundry, giving assistance to those she knew and those she didn’t know who came her way. Her demise is a terrible loss not only to the family but to the entire community. We are not apportioning blame but in my opinion, I feel this accident shouldn’t have arisen if adequate care had been taken by the Air line authorities. It is a tragic loss to us”. The sister to Herbert, Florence Anagbogu, in tears, said of their late wife: “I am the immediate sister of Herbert. I am pained by her death because she was a wonderful sister, wife , and daughter to us all. She can give out even the last thing she had for others. I am pained because we are in a country where emergency situations are nothing to write home about. Once you are in an emergency situation, forget it because no help will come the way of the person until he or she dies. You could imagine what transpired between the emergency alert when the plane crashed and the 20 minutes reported by newspapers before it burst in flames. The person in charge of aviation should resign because she lacks a sense of emergency. I ran away from my palatial

Pastor Sam Olisah Dike, Immediate Elder brother to Herbert

Dr Hezekiah and Mrs Florence Anagbogu

Sympathizer

Eldest Brother to Herbert –Pa Ben Dike with a sympathizer

CAC Asst Director Chinwe Dike dies two weeks after attending a funeral •She was bringing her son for post-UTME •In-laws mourn: ‘We’ve lost a wondeful wife’ ODOGWU Emeka ODOGWU, Nnewi home on earth because erosion was threatening to wash it away and I have raised an alarm yet nothing has happened”. The Nation tried to contact the family members of the Late Chinwe, the Nwakalor family at Umubele village also in Awka but nobody was at hand to speak. However, the family is a big one as all members are doing great in their chosen profession. Her parents are late but her brothers and sister are doing well. They include Dr Okey Nwakalor , a computer scientist based in Enugu; Dr Charley Nwakalor , an architect based in America; Prof Ifeoma Onyemelukwe of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and Dr Ndubuisi Nwakalor with Shell in Lagos. Late Mrs Dike had two sons and two daughters. She died with her last born, Chukwuezugo. Efforts by our correspondent to get in touch with her husband as at the time of filing this report did not succeed. Pastor Sam Dike, her husband’s brother, said ordinarily they would not have allowed us in but because he has a lot of friends who are journalists as well as brothers and relatives that have worked in the media, he understands the predicament of the Nigerian journalists. He, however, berated the Aviation Minister, Mrs Stella Oduah, who he said that lacks the right quality to man the industry.

I spoke to Chinwe two weeks ago. She came for burial in Amichi. She was in high spirit and we were expecting her at the end of this month but you can se how sadness has enveloped us. She is a good house wife. We are going to miss her dearly

He added that she should have owned up to the crash and taken responsibility. Pastor Sam informed that since he escaped plane crash 15 years ago , he has developed a phobia for flight. He went on to criticise those who man the aviation sector. The things they import are scrabs that have outlived their usefulness, wondering how a plane that had been used for 22 years could be imported into Nigeria. ‘’The aviation sector is faulty. Nigeria is a dumping ground for all sorts of things. Look at the disused planes they are buying to carry passengers in Nigeria, what a pity! Any

minister that can’t perform should resign; we don’t value lives”. The eldest in the Herbert family, Pa Ben Dike, was so distraught that he could not speak on the matter, he only groaned silently at the fate that befell his brother’s wife and her son. Surprisingly, at the end of the session despite the agony and visitors swarming to pay condolence , Pastor Dike offered to pray for our correspondent and his colleague in a very edifying way for God’s protection and guidance, to the chorus of ‘Amen’ by the entire family members.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

18 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

•The ancestral house of the Anyenes

200 students, pupils on victim’s scholarship scheme face uncertain future •Anyene family laments loss of nine members to crash

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HE compound of the Anyene family in Ndiowu, Orumba North Local Government Area, about 20 kilometres away from the popular OkoUmunze Road, has been playing host to hordes of sympathisers since the Dana plane crash occurred in Lagos on Sunday, killing more than 150 people. They have thronged the family house to commiserate with the family. The inhabitants of Ndiowu, Oko and other neighbouring communities in Orumba North and South local government areas are not left out of the sympathy gathering. The Anyene family did not only lose six of their cherished family members in the crash, three of their in-laws were also victims. One of the victims, 45-year-old Onyeka Anyene, died with his wife, Miamuna, an indigene of Plateau State, and four of his children. His mother inlaw and two of her children also died in the crash. Friends, relation and other sympathisers have been trooping to the family’s house in Ndiowu since then, crying their hearts out over the loss of their loved ones. Our correspondent gathered that the late Onyeka Anyene had more than 200 students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in his scholarship scheme. The late Onyeka, according to a resident, Mrs Patience Molokwu, was everybody’s man, who saw other people’s problems as his. She and other sympathisers, young and old, tried in vain to hold back tears when our correspondent visited. The deceased’s first cousin and dependant, 59-year-old Osita Anyene, who had been bed-ridden since 1999 after he was involved in a ghastly auto accident, said he wished the earth would open up and swallow him. The late Onyeka was the last born of a

•87-year-old Cecilia Owu

•Osita Anyene Nwanosike ONU, Awka family of 10. He has a twin brother, Odinaka, who lives in Lagos with his family. A former Commissioner for Health in Anambra State, during the administration of Senator Chris Ngige, Dr. Ben Anyene, is their eldest brother. The second wife of former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Ifeoma, is also the late Onyeka’s elder sister. Our correspondent gathered that Onyeka’s wife, Maimuna, and her four children were based in the United States of America and had only come to Nigeria to spend three weeks with Onyeka in Abuja. Onyeka, it was gathered, had taken the family to Jos to see his mother-in-law. They then headed back to Abuja and boarded the ill-fated flight to see their aged mother, Mercy, who resides with Onyeka’s twin brother, Odinaka, in Lagos, only to meet their untimely deaths.

•Chizoba Anyene His cousin, Osita Anyene, said: “The incident has cemented my stomach. How do you expect me to eat when my eye has been plucked off, when my mouth has been sealed, when my legs are crippled, when my voice is lost, when I have suddenly become a deaf person? It is a difficult experience.” Recalling how he received the news of the tragic incident, he said: “I was lying on this my bed, listening to the radio when the announcement of the breaking news was made. My mind jumped and I became curious. Unfortunately, no name was mentioned. I kept my fingers crossed. “During the network news at 7am on

•Sympathisers from left: Patience Molokwu, Elizebath Akazue, Charity Okeke and Deborah E. Emenike at Anyene's compund at the village Monday, the victims’ names were mentioned and I heard the name of Onyeka, his wife and children. I shouted from the bed. Everybody in the neighbourhood rushed in but I had fainted. “By the time I recovered myself, I saw an unprecedented crowd wailing, shouting and crying in the compound. People started calling my numbers. Up till now, I still do not believe it is true.” Speaking further amid tears, he said: “Onyeka was a good person. People have been trooping in from Oko and other neighbouring villages and communities to tell one good story or the other about him. And we never knew he was involved in such charity works. “Since I was involved in a fatal accident on January 14, 1999, Onyeka and Dr. Ben Anyene and others have been taking good care of my family. That my children are going to school and doing one thing or the other is because of these people. “When you talk about Onyeka, you would see the way people will react. He would do something for you and would not want you to thank him. This is a big pill that will be difficult for anybody to swallow. It is a loss not only to the family or the community, but to the entire Anambra State. “What else can one say than to wish him, his wife and their children safe journey to the great beyond?” Fifty-year-old Chizoba Anyene, a niece to the late Onyeka, told The Nation that the death of Onyeka, a lawyer, was a big blow to the entire family. She said: “When my brother (Osita) told me about the plane crash, I thought it was a joke, not knowing that my own people were involved. Since the announcement was made and their names appeared in the newspapers, I have not been myself. We are in pains. The entire community and the state are in deep mourning. It is, indeed, a calamity.” A resident, 87-year-old Madam Cecilia Owu was speechless. it was as if the deceased persosns were her own children. So were Elizabeth Akazue, Charity Okeke and Deborah Emenike. The agony and tears from sympathisers forced Patience Molokwu to leave the compound, invoking the spirits of the dead to rise against anyone who had a hand in the incident.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 09, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

Joyful tragedy

Unreported heartbreaks by the Dana plane crash

Saturday

THRILLER


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 09, 2012

20 DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

•Few spectators join firemen on site to fight the fire futilely with a faulty water hose

•Many spectators swoop on the crash site

Unreported heartbreaks by the Excessive lust for ‘smart’ technology and the social media challenges every human value a people hold dear, writes OLATUNJI OLOLADE, Assistant Editor

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HERE was something joyous in the mad scramble to the scene where the Dana Airplane crashed into House Number 41, Akande Street, and two other houses on Popoola, an adjoining street in Iju-Ishaga. It’s even more difficult to explain how in that vast fire blazed courage and the human will – stout, gangly young men, plump, skinny ladies, all yearning to catch a glimpse of the deadly inferno braved through burning litter and carcass of the airplane engines. Hastening through the fumes pirouetting like the mist which crazed Homer, the late literary legend, they seemed set on a crucial mission. But unlike Homer, they weren’t on a mission to make history. Most of them were on a personal expedition to loot and cart away any likely treasure or keep-sake from the scene of the plane crash. A great deal more of the madding crowd was desperate to take camera shots of the blur of burnt and burning blackness with their Black Berry mobiles and other smart phones. Hence while the firemen fought futilely to put out the fire and rescue any likely survivor of the fatal air crash, residents of Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb and visitors to the area, fought a tireless battle of their own to record the tragedy on their phones. While officers of the fire service and Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on site dithered, few street urchins from AgbadoCrossing bus park picked their way through the smoldering scene’s pathless way into House Number 41, the twostorey building fatally hit by the midsection of the crashed aircraft. They returned few minutes later, brandishing pictures of the affected building’s interior like armed forces medal for valor under enemy fire. “Awon eyan ti ku gan si inu ile yen (People have died in that house),” stuttered a skinny urchin

from the pack. As they melted back into the crowd, a young man of athletic build hobbled out of the building. He was covered in soot and smoke flakes. His name is Abayomi Adeolu, and he is 22-years-old. Few minutes earlier, a shadow fell on the building in which he lived with Bolaji, his late brother, just as they savoured the rest of their Sunday evening. Time was 3.30 pm and Adeolu was on an errand to fetch water. He never knew that he would return to meet death and devastation. A solitary shriek, the rumbling cry of some towering force from the sky, plummeted into the two-storey building he shared with Bolaji, his brother. It was the noise of the falling passenger plane. The plane which reportedly had 153 passengers on board sank into the building with a deadly groan, crashing into two other bungalows as it did. But unlike many residents and survivors who scampered away from the scene, Adeolu tossed off his bucket and sprinted up to the second floor. By the time he got to what used to be their apartment, he met the carcasses of his brother and two girls from a neighbouring flat. “I saw my brother in pieces. He was dead. He was totally dead. I only went out to fetch water…but I came back to meet him dead. I have no one now.” Adeolu wasn’t the only casualty of the illfated crash that turned three houses in IjuIshaga, a Lagos suburb into a graveyard of rubble and residents. “Many of our neighbours are dead. Poor people, they were only trying to rest and enjoy what’s left of their weekend. Now they are dead. This is no country at all. This is no place to live,” cried Adeolu. Efforts to rescue Adeolu and other likely survivors were persistently thwarted by the unwieldy crowd spilling into the disaster area. There’s a half mile to tread before you get to the spot where the plane crashed.

Anyone who witnessed the mad dash to the crash site wouldn’t be mistaken to think that the teeming spectators were hurrying to offer rescue efforts. No, they weren’t. Many of them, both the elderly and the young, literate and illiterate, were hurrying to the scene to loot the scene and take pictures before help arrives at the site

Ordinarily, it shouldn’t take up to10 minutes but no thanks to the teeming crowd of spectators, looters and voyeurs of tragedy, it took longer to get there. They seemed to be deriving a sort of perverse pleasure from the recent tragedy. For instance, despite Adeolu’s cries for help, he was persistently ignored. It took the efforts of a petty trader, a woman, living nearby and the reporter to get him the required first aid treatment. At some point, the woman also had to desert him but after ensuring that he was in good hands. The reporter and Olalekan Tella, an Agege, Lagos based lawyer, helped him to an Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government owned ambulance but he was denied help as LG staff in the ambulance stated that it was not their duty to help or offer relief healthcare. Few metres away from the LG ambulance, officers of Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS) also stood mouth agape and craning their necks like the crowd. Unlike the surging crowd, they stood safe metres away from the scene of the crash. The ambulance doors were shut firmly and when

they were approached, they declined to offer any help claiming that they couldn’t offer any such help since they hadn’t gotten to the scene. It took vehement protest and serious tongue lashing by the reporter to get them to do their job. “See his camera, he is a reporter o. Please let’s attend to the victim…I don’t want my name in the papers,” advised one of the reluctant health workers eventually. As they helped Adeolu into the bus, a motley crowd converged suddenly at the ambulance’s back door. They struggled against each other to take clear shots of Adeolu. It didn’t matter that he was in great pains and they were suffocating him. The crowd of surging spectators and looters made the disaster area inaccessible to rescue teams, which included the Police, Red Cross, Army, FRSC, Nigeria Air Force and Fire Service. Eventually, the few soldiers on site had to resort to slightly extreme measures, like the threat of force, to disperse the crowd and pave way for the rescue workers to do their job.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 09, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

Everything that makes culture and society real, impulsive, and often erratic is stripped away in favour of irrational decision making in times of crises as was observable in the wake of the recent plane crash...It has taken over not merely communal aspects of society, but the very essence of what it means to be human

•Not a few spectators braved through the fire to take pictures of the crash site

Dana plane crash Not your typical moral rhetoric Many have asked, repeatedly, with utter disgust or confusion, what good could ever come of the ongoing technological revolution and Nigerians’ “inordinate attachment” to the Black Berry mobile phone, smart phones and other technological gadgets. According to Yomi Gbadamosi, a Human Resources executive with a Lagos-based multinational, “When you look at the way many Nigerians are addicted to their mobile phones, I-pads and so on, you get the feeling that you are witnessing a perversion of sort. People will record anything on their phones. Wherever you witness a ghastly accident, the first thing people do is that they bring out their camera phones and start taking snap shots and recording. Very few people care about rescuing the victims. While many are recording the scene and taking snapshots of the victims, others are planning to burn the car of the motorist presumed to be at fault. It’s a terrible situation that we have on our hands,” according to Gbadamosi. Corroborating him, Olayinka Egberongbe, a high school teacher and resident of Iju-Ishaga, lamented what she called the “declining moral values of the Nigerian society.” She said: “Anyone who witnessed the mad dash to the crash site wouldn’t be mistaken to think that the teeming spectators were hurrying to offer rescue efforts. No, they weren’t. Many of them, both the elderly and the young, literate and illiterate, were hurrying to the scene to loot the scene and take pictures before help arrives at the site. I couldn’t go near the place because it was practically difficult to walk through the crowd. It was disheartening to see it all unfold,” lamented Egberongbe. It’s what John Paul Russo describes as the decline of the humanities in his awardwinning literature, The Future without a Past. Russo goes beyond currently given reasons for the decline of the humanities and searches out its root causes in the technologization of everyday life. His main premise is that we are undergoing a transformation at the hands of technological imperatives such as rationalization,

universalism, monism, and autonomy. The relation between ourselves and nature has altered to such a degree that we no longer live in a natural environment but in a technological one. According to Russo, technological values have actually eroded human values instead of being “humanized” by them. What are the implications of this shift for the humanities, traditionally seen as safeguards of the human? Russo addresses this question by situating the decline of the humanities within the larger social and historical panorama. He explores how technological values have infiltrated the humanities to the point of weakening their instruction and undermining their force; at the same time, he shows how the humanities have confronted these trends and can continue to do so. Russo believes that if we understand how technology “works” and the nature of its powers, we will then know in which realms it must be accepted and where it should be resisted. A defence for ‘smart’ media Besides the desire to be hip and be part of an ongoing technological revolution, the explosion in the number of mobile phone users has been attributed to other innovative uses such E-banking, E-advertising etc. Utilitarian services offered via digital phone facilities such as cash transfer, commodity price monitoring, weather forecasting, health research and medical diagnosis among others have so far endeared not a few technology enthusiasts to smart phones and other digital media. In Ghana, MTN introduced Mobile Money in partnership with nine banks to provide people with a way to transfer money through mobile phones. In South Africa, Wizzit, a cell phone banking facility, evolved a system where customers can use any cell phone to deposit cash into their cell-based account in any post office, branches of Amalgamated Banks of South Africa or the South African Bank of Athens. In Zambia, Celpay allows businesses to pay for services and receive payment via mobile phone accounts. In Kenya, M-Pesa, a joint product of Vodafone/Safaricom Mobile

Phone Company, the Commercial Bank of Africa and Faulu Kenya, a microfinance organisation, allows for deposits and receipts of money through phones. In Rwanda, MTN, like in Ghana, introduced a mobile phone money transfer service. “The service has been quite successful in its uptake,” said the Head of MTN Mobile Money in Rwanda, Albert Kinuma. More people, however, use the phones for interactive purposes. In Uganda, people spend almost $600,000 last year to send greetings to their friends and relatives over the Yuletide season. Recent research revealed that in some countries like Zambia, Ethiopia and Namibia, households devote as much as 10 per cent of their income, compared to three per cent in developed countries, to communicate with friends and family members through mobile phones. According to Synovate, a research company, South Africans, not unlike Europeans and Asians, save their contact information, birthdays, addresses, photographs and others in their cell phones and cannot live without them. “With mobile phones, you also have the opportunity to be more interactive,” said Andries Lombaard, Synovate’s Clients Services Director. Though low income and poor telecommunications infrastructure keep many Africans from using the internet through the computer before now, cellular protocol technology letting mobile networks offer inexpensive internet access is changing this. Internet protocol allows phones route all types of calls, whether they be voice, text messages, or mobile internet surfing sessions, as small packets over the network. According to MTN, around 80 to 120 million Africans, attracted by this last year, accessed 3G mobile, many of them never having used the internet for web surfing or e-mails. To drive mobile phone internet usage upwards, MTN slashed data transmission costs in South Africa in April, reducing the cost of one megabyte of data from $8 to $0.33. MTN plans to cut the mobile data costs for users of its network in other African countries it serves, including Swaziland and Nigeria. The growth of mobile phones can be attributed to another factor - mobile advertising. According to InMobi, an ad network, mobile advertising acceptance is highest in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world. InMobi’s survey, done in partnership with Digital Marketing Intelligence Agency and ComScore, also discovered, after 2,500 customers were interviewed in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, that Africans are among the most progressive in the world when it comes to mobile advertising. Is Digital Media eroding our cultural

values? “They could be quite retrogressive too,” argued Bisi Onileekere, a mobile phone dealer and internet café operator. “The problem is with our youth. They take nothing serious and respect nothing anymore. That is why you see these youngsters, even high school kids, taking shots of everything and anything and posting them on Facebook and other social network sites,” she said. Onileekere’s grief revolves around the youth’s inability to draw the line between what is “twit-able” (admissible on Twitter) and transferable to Facebook among other social networking sites. Radical changes of identity, happening suddenly and in very brief intervals of time, have proved more deadly and destructive of human values then wars fought with hardware weapons according foremost sociologists. The concern is that the production of more sophisticated technological gadgets and new service environments of information has left whole populations without personal or community values. Gladys Morha, a Monrovia, Liberia based sociologist argued that the increasing addiction to smart phones and the social media jointly facilitate and sustain a degeneracy that fosters people’s loss of culture, values and ideals. For example, every happenstance, particularly ghastly accidents and other human tragedies offer prime time entertainment for smart phone and social network addicts, she said. “People simply bring out their camera phones to take snapshots and distribute it at random on the social media. It’s basically more entertainment to them and people look at it in this way with little sensible discussions being had; it’s just more noise surrounding the drama.” Morha considers the morbid addiction to gossip, smart phones and the social media as a pitiful perversion of technological advancements meant to enhance our lives by creating convenience and lessening hardship.” We want to enjoy these essence-free products, but without the irrationality of consuming bad things or accepting the spontaneous and unpredictable nature of emotions and feelings. Everything that makes culture and society real, impulsive, and often erratic is stripped away in favour of irrational decision making in times of crises as was observable in the wake of the recent plane crash according to Felix Ogunbodede, a teacher and consultant psychiatrist. “We don’t want to harm ourselves; we don’t like suffering neither do we want difficulty and disappointment. We tirelessly seek the 100 per cent consumer fulfillment of obtaining news and the latest gossips based on rationality. It’s simply not achievable. You can’t seek to attain rationality using irrational yardsticks.” This criticism can in fact be extended to other forms of social interaction such as Facebook, where friendships are reduced to “pokes,” “LOLs,” and “vacuous innuendos.” Not a few critics have averred that the trend has cast society into a post-modern version of blood-lusty medieval Rome. According to them, modern digital technology has turned contemporary society into an arena much like the bloody domes of medieval Rome. It is probably worse. A studious look at spectators’ attitude at the scene of the plane crash unarguably confirms what Morha described as the Nigerian society’s accommodation of the language and practice of gossip irrationality into its midst. “It has taken over not merely communal aspects of society, but the very essence of what it means to be human,” she argued. But it simply doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or say about the situation; it hardly matters what anyone computes and approximates, because as long as people are doing it, it becomes the most basic, socio-politically correct and fundamental human response acceptable. With lack of positive outcomes, and unnatural, abusive complexity encroaching from all directions, the only thing left to do is to soundly reject it argued Morha. But this is simply the heartfelt view of a single woman. It could never pass in contemporary social circuits where it is continually hip to record every ghastly scene and bloody reality for sharing on the social media.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

DANA AIR PLANE CRASH

•Members o f the family of lateAlhaji Shehu Sa'ad in sad mood

•Alhaji Bala Ahmodu, uncle to late Alhaji Yunusa Ahmed

•Hajiya Khadijat Sa'ad, mother of late Shehu Sa'ad

•Dr Josiah Mutihir, elder brother to late Istigfanus Mutihir

•Alhaji Isah Sa'ad, younger brother to late Shehu Sa'ad

Sad tales from bereaved families in Jos

P

LATEAU State lost three of its citizens in the ill-fated Dana Air mishap. They are Istigfanus Mutihir, Alhaji Shehu Sa’ad and AlhajiYunusa Ahmed. A visit to the residence of each of the three families revealed the weight of the grief suffered by members. There were feelings of disappointment as dependants lamented the untimely deaths of their benefactors. The moody atmosphere spoke volumes about the heavy sense of loss their respective families felt. The late Istigfanus Mutihir, a resident of Rayfield, Jos, was a native of Mangu, Mangu Local Government Area, Plateau State. His elder brother, Dr.Josiah Mutihir, described him as a unique character in the family. He said: “My brother was unique in the family and had always been the family’s breadwinner. He contributed immensely to the family. He was married with three kids and was a good husband and father. he was a dedicated Christian and a hard working young man. Personally, I felt disappointed that a young and vibrant man with such a

Yusufu Aminu IDEGU bright future would lose his life. “As Christians, we believe it was the Lord’s doing. But it is painful. The late Istigfanus was 35 years old. We are six in the family: three boys and three girls. He was the third born of our parents.” Dr. Josiah said Istigfanus was the only one of the six children to have died in the family. “He is the first child to have died, although our parents are late. He was an employee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He was a deputy director and was supervising a department. “He was involved in a lot of staff training. He was going to one of the trainings in Lagos.” Commenting on the aviation industry, he said: “I am a gynaecologist, not an expert in aviation sciences. But negligence is a major problem in Nigeria. Issues that have to do with lives must be taken seriously and standards should not be compromised. “Going by international media reports, Nigeria has the highest rate of air

accidents in the world. Government should make conscious effort to ensure the right things are done. And if there is a fault in a machine, there should be proper checks to repair or replace it rather than endangering the lives of innocent Nigerians. Commenting on the death of Alhaji Shehu Sa’ad, a resident of Turaki Lane, Bauchi Road, Jos, his elder brother, Alhaji Isah Sa’ad, said: “My family is facing a misfortune that is too heavy to bear. Shehu came home and left here on Friday to see his wife and children in Abuja before departing to Lagos. I spoke on the phone with him that very Sunday before the crash. He told me he had seen his family and would soon take off to Lagos. Those were the last words we had on phone. Later in the evening, the sad news came. “Initially, I thought it was a joke. I said let this be a joke, because the family was yet to recover from the sudden death of one of us. It would be hard for me to break the news of another death. I later found that I was the one joking. It became a reality. Even the entire family would not accept it. But we

have to because we can’t question God Almighty who owns our lives.” Another victim of the crash, Alhaji Yunusa Ahmed, had lost his father at an early age and had to be taken care of by his uncle in Jos until he had established a home for himself. His uncle, Alhaji Bala Ahmed (74), said: “Yunusa was with me a few days ago. He came to Jos for the eightday prayer of my late wife. He participated actively in the prayer and assisted me in the overall organisation of the programme. “He was not my biological son. I took care of him after his father died, but he treated me exactly like his real father. He called me from Abuja each morning to ask about my welfare and that of each person in the family. “His sudden death is a major source of frustration to the entire family. I had hoped that when I die, he would be the one to take care of my children. I’m shocked to hear of his death. But I’m sure he will rest in peace because he lived a peaceful life.”


23

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012, 2012

窶年ollywood a ctress,

LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

It doesn't take too much to make me fall in love

SEE PAGES 28 - 37

Porttia Yamahan


24

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

STANDh BY! Wit

VICTOR AKANDE E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)

THINK

nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a th factors ther success of o Eric .— s civilisation rt Reine

SNAPSHOTS

Funke Akindele’s weekend of glory

Cannes… beyond film business

I

F the cliché, 'See Paris and Die' is anything to go by, then it would be apt to describe Cannes, the acclaimed France's second most important city (after Paris) for business, tourism, beauty, culture and glamour in a word second to death. What the city possesses is more than what is often beamed to the world during its annual film festival called Festival de Cannes. The real journey to Cannes begins upon descent at Nice airport, flying over rocks and water that apparently decelerate the momentum of the aircraft. If you have phobia for height, it is more accentuated across this turbulent prone airspace. If again you have phobia for water, you would curse the French government's initiative of situating an airport at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. As your aircraft saunters lower, it comes to an altitude of about 500 on the sea before hitting the tarmac at a very close range to the large water. But because you are not seeing things from the pilot's vantage point, you'd think you are being delivered to the water goddess without warning -until you are jolted to gratitude by the effect of a soft landing. Welcome to Nice, the nearest airport, and about 30 minutes drive to the tourist and festival city of Cannes. Cannes is a city that never sleeps; its peace makes way for perhaps the highest number of aged men and women walking leisurely around in spidery legs, and very old couples, holding hands as they cross the road, heading towards some leisure park. How I love such romantic spectacle. Of course I am not talking about the little boys and girls who lavish French kisses by the road-side like doves in the woods, but about these obvious grannies on the streets of Cannes who still find succour in having arm-locking walks. I called their act 'Togetherness Supreme', and my friend who had seen a film under that titled laughed. Don't bother thinking that a car may crash into them. For all it seems, the speed limit for cars in Cannes has been pegged at 40km/hr. You are free to doubt that speed limit, but you are sure of a driving culture that does not make seat belt compulsory. I asked the man chauffeuring me to Villa Francia, a hotel away from the city centre, and he said I could use the belt if I so wish. Driving in the city's narrow and winding roads is surprisingly free of traffic jam. The hills, valleys and rocks would give you a picture of what Abeokuta, the capital of

Because of the holiday and tourism culture that Cannes has come to be known for, 70 percent of its hotels are modelled to accommodate families. There is always a consideration for space, additional beds, beddable sofas, extra mattresses and duvets, cookers and cooking utensils Ogun state could look like if it were so developed. You are also stunned by the tree culture; all sorts of greenish tress and giant flowers adorn the roads, let alone the homes. The leaves get dry and fall at the sweep of the wind. There are no showy sights of city cleansers, yet the land is dirt-free. Perhaps because Cannes has come to be associated with strangers, it is easy to find six out of 10 inhabitants speak back to you in English, should you require someone to show you direction. Indeed, the city of Cannes, a beautiful and charming region in Southern France with an international reputation of glamour and culture never sleeps, especially during the festive period. Because of the holiday and tourism culture that Cannes has come to be known for, 70 percent of its hotels are modeled to accommodate families. There is always a consideration for space, additional beds, beddable sofas, extra mattresses and duvets, cookers and cooking utensils. This sure helps an average worker on holiday to plan, because the city is quite expensive. Thus, it is only reasonable that with such hotels

How I love such romantic spectacle. Of course I am not talking about the little boys and girls who lavish French kisses by the road-side like doves in the woods, but about these obvious grannies on the streets of Cannes who still find succour in having arm-locking walks

costing about 120 Euro per night (about N26, 000) for just one occupant, an across-the-road grocery shop makes much sense than eating some ridiculous, sugar-spiced Chinese source and rice. This is unfortunately the closest food that any African can identify with. Unlike in Paris, there is no single African kitchen in the city of Cannes. As a business tourist city, the biggest festival here is the Cannes Film Festival, often described as the World Cup of film festivals. It comes usually in May after the World Film and Television Content Market dubbed MIPTV. France's second most important city, Cannes' moment of glory takes place in May, with the International Film Festival, when images of the stars descending the red-carpeted steps of the Palais des Festival are flashed across TV screens worldwide. The city is synonymous with the glamour of this event. Cannes' best moment extends to August when tourists jostle with conference-goers, and rivalling business travellers in the summer months. There are usually huge convergence of picnickers on the long, curvaceous, sandy beaches of La Croisette, the luxury cruise boats of the Old Port, and the palatial hotels. The designer shops lining the famous promenade and the gastronomic delights of the Côte d'Azur are added fond memories of a holiday visitor to Cannes. Famous for its luxury stores, fancy restaurants, and prestigious hotels, visitors experience longer day and shorter night during summers (May to September). It is usually a summer experience, but this year's edition of the prestigious Festival de Cannes caught all by surprise, as few days into the festival which opened on May th 16 , 2012, the rains began, first in drizzles, and then, shower non-stop. Sales of sweater rose instantly, but perhaps more than that, leather jackets to dispel the cascade that permeates the skin, causing unpleasant shivers. The beaches may have been deserted for those few days, and so are the skimpy summer dress sights that make for side attractions, but networking of film business continued. Jessica Aimes, a lady at the press office recalls that in the twenty years that she has served at the Festival, it is the first of this kind of weather. It was particularly a sharp contrast to last year's weather wherein the sun stripped participants of their chunky coverlets. But by th the 8 day, the sun resumed.

•Funke

Monalisa Chinda steps out with new lover?

WRITE TO US!

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

•Monalisa


25

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

RE ELNEW S

Nnena & Friends in Brainpower Game

C s 2012 Outcome of Canne

Tango with Me gets international distribution

U

K-based distibution company, Talking Drum Entertinment which specialises in black film is set to release multiple-award-winning romantic drama, Tango with Me to the international market. The firm, has announced that the film will open across all the major UK and Ireland cinema chains in August 2012 in the first phase before proceeding to other European Countries. It would be recalled that Tango

with Me one of the highest grossing films in Nigeria in 2011, stars Genevieve Nnaji and Joseph Benjamin as a couple facing a complex concoction of moral issues as they battle with trials and tribulations within their young marriage. “This is a positive development for African film in general and Nollywood in particular because a wider audience will experience our films and returns on film investments will improve greatly for

the benefit of all stakeholders in our bid to take the industry to greater heights”, said Mahmood AliBalogun who produced and directed the film under his Brickwall Communications production company.

shows such as 106 & Parkland and LELWANI, a feature film BET original sitcoms such as Reed Directed by Ntshavheni Between the Lines and Let's Stay wa Luruli and produced Together; by Florian Schattauer has been In the words of Carine Mouawad, selected by the Durban Head of Programming for My TV International Film Festival said, the platform is thrilled to (DIFF) has the film that will introduce BET to its bouquet and is open the curtains during its confident that the channel will prove rd 33 edition holding this year. hugely successful with our •Russell Brand at the MTV Movie Awards DIFF, the South Africa's largest subscribers. IACOM International Media BET is distributed and marketed by and longest running film festival reveals that this Networks Africa (VIMN VIMN's operations in Africa groundbreaking world Africa) has announced that (formerly known as MTV Networks premiere will take place on General Entertainment Network, Africa), as part of the company's July 19. The event is made BET, is set to expand its African TV African multimedia portfolio, possible by the National footprint following the signing of a alongside sister channels MTV, MTV Lottery Distribution Trust new distribution deal that will see Base, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central Fund (who was both the first BET distributed on the My TV and Vh1. platform. “BET is a great addition to our portfolio in sub-Saharan Africa and we are delighted to partner with My STABLISHED in 2004 by Wale TV to further expand BET to Adenuga, PEFTI Film Institute is audiences in East, West and Central offering full academic scholarships in Africa,” said Alex Okosi, Senior Vice various film and music production courses. President and Managing Director, The scholarships are available in ScriptVIMN Africa. writing, Acting, Presentation, Costume and With that agreement, as of 1 June Make Up, Music, Cinematography, and 2012, the English language service Editing. BET is now distributed 24 hours a According to Mr. Adenuga, 'PEFTI Film day to viewers in Nigeria, Ghana, Institute is a place where dreams come true. Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe on It is my contribution towards developing MyTV. Nigeria, empowering youths, building my Currently available in 48 countries industry, and harnessing the incredible in sub-Saharan Africa, BET is also talents of our creative minds'. distributed via a number of different The Scholarship examination which pay-TV platforms, including DStv, closes registration on June 22, is scheduled Top TV, Zuku and Star Times. to take place on Saturday June, 23, 2012 at According to its management, BET 9.00am at PEFTI Film Institute Campus, offers a wide range of programming, located in Ajao Estate Lagos. including urban and gospel music

E

funder of the film, and principal funder of the festival), and the National Film and Video Foundation, a crucial partner both of this pioneering production and DIFF. Elelwani deals with the collision of modernity and traditionalism, through an updated, magical realist take on the very first and much loved Tshivenda novel of the same name. Against a backdrop of startling primary colours and rich ochre hues, young Elelwani (perfectly played by the beautiful

PEFTI announces annual scholarship

E

strengthen their mental abilities. Participants are tested in core subjects and general knowledge,” she adds. The Brainpower Game also rewards excellence as winners in every category as well as the winning schools are expected to go home with lots of mouthwatering prizes every week.

•Nnena

Durban Film Festival announces opening film

MTV Base, BET form merger

V

HILDREN'S brand, Nnena & Friends has introduced a new segment to its television game show. Tagged; Brainpower Game, the segment is targeted at encouraging children to develop their intellectual ability. According to the brand ambassador, Olayinka Olukunga (Nnena), the segment is open for children in primary and secondary schools as interested schools are encouraged to participate at no cost. “All they have to do is to register their intention,” she revealed. Speaking at the Nnena & Friends office situated at Ajao Estate Lagos, Nnena said that the human brain needs to stay active, so you use it or lose it. “Therefore the Nnena & Friends Brainpower Game is to encourage children to

Florence Masebe) must negotiate her transition into fully-fledged womanhood amidst the conflicting flows of rigidly patriarchal cultural protocol, and opportunities that may offer her a chance to grow in new ways, but that will sever her from her roots. According to Luruli, who regards this as a very personal project, “Elelwani is the first Venda feature film, in Tshivenda language. It is about a progressive young woman growing up in the new South Africa, trying to shed her cultural past but later realizing its value; that the past is still relevant in dealing with the present, including the future.” The complexity of the way in which this story is handled, as well as deft directorial auteurship, suggests that this film will slot easily into the canon alongside the great African films, and DIFF is proud to present the historic moment of its first public screening. With a radiantly fresh African aesthetic, and warmly dark historical undercurrents, Elelwani sets the tone for the following ten days of cinematic excellence at the festival. Running from 19 to 29 July, the Durban International Film Festival will offer over 250 screenings.


26

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

If you haven't heard of the music sensation W4 (Adewale Adepoju), it is either of two things; you are not as passionate about Afrobeat as you thought or the Nigerian contemporary music web may just have caught you napping and passed you by. Whatever the case, MERCY MICHAEL brings you into the world of W4, the artiste who has given us one of the most played songs on the Nigerian music scene in 2010/2011. The Osun State born act who evolved from RnB into Afro Pop reveals the idea behind his stage name W4. Well, Kontrol was actually inspired by a girl. I'm a man of many women (Like Fada Like Son). I was in the studio with one of my girls. There was something she was supposed to do and she didn't do it, I felt like you abi. You want to dey use me like Roll on

My dad actually made me get used to Fela—W4


27

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Mayor Boss bags MSc

Star Trek takes MI, Wande Coal, 9ice to Ejigbo, Ilesa

Eminiic braces up for music scene

AY Live in FCT

DKB, Zainab thrown out of BBA 7

•Mayor Boss

AY


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R R R R R R R R R E E E E E E E V V V V V V V E E O O O O CO O O V V C C C C C C O O C C THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012,

COVER

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Pencil ni Kadara set to unveil

COVER

‘I may opt for a secret wedding when the time comes’

37

• Toyin Adegbola

Marriage is not for publicity reasons. It is about two people who want to share their lives together. It is a lot of commitment so it is proper to do it with a few family members

Married or not, men still go after young ladies. Some even find it more interesting chasing married women because they know there would be no serious commitment. This is what I see every day and that is how I look at it

Yes magazine holds lecture

•Azuh Arinze

PORTTIA YAMAHAN


Inside The

Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI


NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE

36

Saturday, June 9, 2012

•Lodewijk de Kruif

From Tunde Liadi,Owerri

•Femi Adelusi, Project Manager Copa Coca Cola


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Jury lauds YMAA initiative

MCSN boss in Dublin for CISAC

•Mayo Ayilaran

Port Harcourt agog for AM Showtime

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T

HE four-man jury which sat to decide the outcome of the maiden edition of the Yoruba Movie Academy Awards (YMAA) has praised the initiative of the organisers, describing the event as unique and promising. At the glamorous show which held at the Cultural Center, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, Muritala Sule, Head Jury recounted that the nomination process for YMAA started in February 2012, with an initial nomination process that resulted in the final five nominations in each of the 13 categories. He said the films in review were those released officially by the movie marketers and producers association; YOVIFPMAN from February 2011 to December 2011. The final winners in each category, he said, were determined by public votes on the YMAA website, votes collated from the road show across the South West states, and the jury ratings. “Jury considerations, of course include, artistic and technical excellence, while the audience ratings represent popular or, if you like, commercial interest. This is the sort of

•Kunle Afolayan and Tunde Kelani posing with the award

balance that can enhance the development of the Yoruba movie industry”, Muritala stated. Muritala, who praised the public voting system employed by the initiators of the scheme, said the public involvement makes the outcome of the screening widely representative of the general views of movie buffs and critics alike. “We wish to state that this is the first time that an award scheme in Nigeria has considered this as an important factor in the entire process”. He said. “We believe that it is a major driving force in the development of any film industry anywhere in the world. We should also commend the painstaking attention given the technical side of moviemaking in the past few years, especially Sound and Cinematography. The Jury gives kudos to the practitioners in this regard. But, we would also like to note that the Scriptwriting department needs a lot of improvement and we'd like to recommend further training for the practitioners and patronage of professional scriptwriters”. He noted that key areas of filmmaking for which recognition will

hopefully be made in future are Editing and Scriptwriting in order to encourage a healthy competition. “Hopefully this award system will become one that professionals in all departments of filmmaking will itch to enter their work for from next year, rather than leave us to seek out their work. That way we can have copies of authentic and technically useful films directly from the makers. This year, we have had to go out to the market ourselves to obtain movies on the shelves and that created some problem of clip extractions as you will find in the samples of nominated work that you will see tonight. Also, some categories voted for by the audience created a few confusions because some actors were nominated in the wrong categories. All of these sorts of inaccuracy will diminish as we progress in the journey that we've started tonight”. He noted. The jury said although the films under review could not be said to represent the best that the Yoruba movie industry is capable of bringing out, it is expected, as in other awards all over the world that there is always a room for improvement.

HE impressive Atrium Hall in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State will come alive on Friday June 15, as the Amstel Malta train makes its way to the Garden City. Superstars such as P Square, Flavour and others will be the centre of attraction as the Amstel Malta Showtime, which seems to have replaced the popular Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) is getting set to rock cities across the country with a second edition. The first edition of the event certainly left indelible memories in the minds of those who attended. Given the calibre of superstars from the entertainment sector that performed, the event established itself as one of the leading entertainment activations in the country. Ace acts like P Square, Banky W, Wizkid, and the trio of MI, Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz of the Choc City fame, amongst others, made up the roll call of celebrities in the event that moved across four cities of the federation. There was also the impressive Darey 'Art' Alade, who was the compere while Buchi and Gandoki spiced up the events with their hilarious jokes. This year's version is expected to feature top stars including P square, Flavour, Naeto-C, Wizkid, 9ice, Davido, 2face Idibia and Tiwa Savage among others. The event is all about singing, dancing and comedy contests where competitors display their talents in music, dance and comedy. Winners of the contest in each category will have the rare privilege to perform on the stage with the headlining superstars. For these fledging wannabe superstars, the privilege to rub shoulders with their heroes is a once-in-alifetime opportunity. This year's event will also see a vast improvement in the prizes being doled out to winners in each category. The winners in each category will also get a whooping sum of N500, 000, an iPad and a fully paid luxurious weekend getaway in Lagos. The second and third prize winners will get N250, 000 and N100, 000 respectively.

L-R: Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

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IS look does not tell his age. But believe it or not, on June 11, Mr. Folusho Gabriel Jinadu will turn 70. His siblings, children, friends and former colleagues are set to roll out the drum to thank God for a life of fulfilment. Jinadu, the product of a union between Pa Ibrahim Alabi Jinadu of the Jinadu Oloko family of Lagos (now late) and Chief (Mrs) Edith Oluwayomi of the Adedipe family of Igede-Ekiti, Ekiti State, lived his formative years with his disciplinarian mother in Osogbo and later Ibadan, where Madam Edith still lives till date. At age eight, he started staying with his father who was then a Road Overseer with the Public Works Department in Ifaki-Ekiti. The mobile nature of his father’s job meant there was a limit to which their stay together could last. His father thought of his trusted friend to look after him . He soon began a new life with Professor Adeniji Adaralegbe who was his father’s friend. He spent six years of his life with the Professor of Education, a period he would forever cherish as it impacted on his life tremendously. The professor took him through almost all the towns and villages in Ekiti and he learnt several lessons which shaped his later life. Jinadu started his education at a Baptist primary school in Ibadan. He started his secondary education at Annunciation Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti in 1957 as one of the pioneer students of the Roman Catholic institution. But he could not finish his education there as his father had to relocate to Lagos after over 20 years of working in Ekiti. He was enrolled at the prestigious Ansar-Ud-Deeen College, Isolo, where he completed his secondary education in 1963. After his secondary education, his father got him a teaching job at Ahmaddiya Commercial Modern School, Orile-Agege, now known as Saka Tinubu Memorial High School. His stint as a teacher was, however, short-lived by the teachers’ general strike of September 1964. Unknown to him, the strike was only a blessing in disguise as two friends, Sikiru Oguntoyinbo and Durosinmi Etti (both of blessed memory), gave him information which kick-started his memorable banking career in October 1964. Before the strike was called off, he secured a job at the British Bank of West Africa (now known as First Bank) at its Ikeja Airport branch. His career went through a lot of ups and downs. The low moments revolved largely with his emergence as the secretary of the junior workers’ union. He was the secretary for the Airport, Ikeja Industrial Estate and Agege branches. His early progress in the bank was stunted by his involvement in unionism. He took the interest of his colleagues seriously and this did not go down well with some members of the management staff who saw to it that he was not promoted as and when due. But he was not deterred as he kept doing his best both for the bank and for his colleagues. Pa Folusho Jinadu was later selected as one of those who pioneered the bank’s computer department, a development which took him away from core banking. Like the champion that he had always been, he made the best of it. It was a challenging task given the fact that First Bank was pioneering the computerisation of banking in Nigeria. He worked assiduously with the other three Nigerians who

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TRIBUTE

‘How we pioneered computerisation of banking’ On Monday June 11, family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers will gather to celebrate the 70th birthday of Most Senior Apostle Folusho Gabriel Jinadu. A retired banker, Jinadu tells the story of his life to Assistant Editor OLUKOREDE YISHAU

•Mr. Jinadu

started and nurtured the department. As a way of equipping him for the task of running a bank’s computer department, he underwent several trainings at home and in the United Kingdom (UK). He left for the UK in 1973 for a three-month advanced programming course. On returning from the UK, he became the Computer Implementation Officer and was responsible for the computerisation of all branches in Lagos and Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. After the completion of this assignment, he started feeling frustrated. He felt unchallenged and craved for new challenges. In 1978, he requested for redeployment to branch banking and was obliged with an appointment as Accountant of the bank’s branch at the Investment House, Lagos, which was the bank’s largest branch in terms of profitability. He impressed the management so well that his

appointment as Accountant to the branch was confirmed three months after as against the norm of waiting for six months. Fate returned him to the Airport branch as Assistant Branch Manager in 1979. This was 10 years after he left the branch as clerk. From then on, his career was on an upward swing. In 1982, he became the Acting Manager of the Ikeja Airport branch. In 1984, he was appointed Manager of the Isolo branch of the bank. He held the position till 1987 when he became the Finance and Budget Manager/ Deputy General Manager, South, Lagos in 1988. In 1989, he became Field Manager 1 for Kano and held this position till 1991. By 1992, he became the Training Manager for North, Kano. A year later, in 1993, he returned to Lagos as the pioneer Commercial Manager, Lagos Banking Operations, a position he held till 1997 before he was made the Manager of the bank’s branch

located inside the NIJ House, Victoria Island for six months. After this assignment, he was given the task of running the premier branch of the bank in Marina in 1998. He was there as Branch Operations Manager till 2000. He also served the bank on numerous committees, including the Management Committee. May 31, 2000 saw him retiring from the bank after about 36 years in service. For this great man, the banking industry has lost its major strength: staff loyalty. He said: “The banking industry is no longer the same. During our time, there was absolute loyalty. That was why when I retired in 2002, I did not know what to do. My first nine months after retirement I was just sleeping, waking up and eating because I didn’t just know what to do. And that was because one was just being loyal. We were so dedicated to our job. We felt it was the only thing. I felt I had a root in the bank and going to another bank was out of it for me. It paid off because most of our people who tried it regretted. Most of those banks collapsed and they lost out.” Though retired, Jinadu was not tired. So, after nine months of doing nothing at home, he was invited to join Butsun Ratboh Nigeria Limited by a family friend who believed he had all it takes to help move the company to greater heights. He has been the General Manger of the company since 2000. Along the line, the golden fish that he is also caught the attention of the forces behind Ipaja Community Bank. An age-long friend invited him to buy into the bank in 2002. He remains a director of the bank, which has since transformed to Ultimate Microfinance Bank. The humanitarian in Jinadu has also seen him being involved in charitable causes, especially through the Rotary Club, which he joined in 1985. In 1996, he became the Secretary of Rotary Club of Idimu and in 1997 became its President. In 1997, he served on the Board of the District Governor as Financial Adviser for District 911. Jinadu’s genius once caught the attention of government and he was made to serve on the Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board in 1985. He was on the board till 1990. He performed the hajj on three different occasions during this period. But the story of his life took a different turn in 1993, three years after he left the Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board. This was shortly after his duty tour of the North. He saw that Jesus Christ was good. He accepted Him as his Lord and Saviour and has not looked back since then. Pa Jinadu is a family man. He has two wonderful wives and children who are making giant strides in their

He left for the UK in 1973 for a three-month advanced programming course. On returning from the UK, he became the Computer Implementation Officer and was responsible for the computerisation of all branches in Lagos and Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State

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various endeavours. His first child, Mrs. Atinuke Adepoju, lives in Britain with her husband and children. His second daughter, Jumoke, a caterer, is about to be married. The third child and first son is Olabode, an information technologist with a mobile telecommunication giant, MTN. The fourth child, Oladimeji, also lives in Britain and is studying for a master’s degree. Two of his children, Mrs. Oyinkansola Adu, a fashion designer, and his brother, Olumuyiwa, are in the United States. Muyiwa, as he is fondly called, is a chemical engineer. His daughter, Mrs. Olubukola Holloway got married about a year ago and gave him a grandchild some months ago. He is also blessed with Olubunmi and Ibiyemi. Jinadu, who is blessed with grace and candour, also has grandchildren to sing nursery rhymes to his ears and remind him of days gone never to come back. He has six grandchildren: three from the Adepojus, two from the Adus and the latest one, which came recently from the Holloways. He is also blessed to still have all his 12 siblings alive. Being the first, he feels grateful to God for this. Pa Jinadu said: “I was born into a family of thirteen children by three wives. To God be the Glory, all the thirteen children, of which I am the head, are all surviving and doing well their various endeavours.” The siblings are: Mr. Tajudeen Kayode Jinadu, retired civil servant and now a businessman; Mrs. Anuoluwapo Sikirat Fafunso, retired nursing sister; Mrs. Mabel Iyabode Adelusi, retired secretary/ banker and now a trader; Mrs. Bimbo Muhinatu Abinusewa, retired civil servant and now business woman; Mr. Lateef Abayomi Junaid, retired banker and now a consultant; Alhaja Wosilat Funmilayo Mohammed, a teacher; and Alhaji Fatai Gbenga Jinadu, a building contractor. Others are: Mr. Nurudeen Adisa Jinadu, a logistics director; Mr. Kunle Lawal Jinadu, an investment banker of note; Ms. Toyin Lateefat Jinadu, retired civil servant, now engaged in catering services; Mrs. Modupe Sidikat Owolabi, Quality Assurance Personnel with the Nigerian Air Force; Mrs. Taiwo Sherifat Olaiya, a retired banker who is now a business woman; and Mrs. Adetutu Oluremi Awobiye, a businesswoman. But for a man of enviable achievements like Jinadu, life must obviously have thrown challenges at him. Interestingly, he considers his marriages the greatest challenge of his life. He married his first wife, Oluwatoyin, on June 15, 1969. He met Oluwatoyin through his sister, Mrs. Fafunso. His second marriage to Kofoworola was in 1978. “I thank God that He has always been on my side because to marry two wives is not an easy thing. That is the greatest challenge I have faced. One has to be honest about that,” he said.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

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read a story recently that made headlines in the me dia about a young woman who was killed by her own husband. As I read the sad tale, a cold shiver ran down my spine. It wasn’t that I knew the lady involved. I reacted that way because I would have ended up like that woman if it wasn’t for divine intervention. Even now, nearly two years after I left the terrible situation I found myself, I still feel sad. Reason being that things were not meant to have ended up this way with Mack and I. We had known each other professionally for a couple of years before we started dating. I was crazy about him and I thought he loved me too. So, when he proposed to me, I quickly accepted and we began tentative plans for the wedding since a date had not been fixed yet. It was during this period that I met Jeri who became a very important part of my life. Though, I would never have suspected it considering the manner in which we met. In fact, we had a rough start at the beginning as you can see from my story. A colleague of mine was getting married and having missed the church service, I had gone for the reception. I had taken great care with my appearance that day. I had on a new dress I had bought specially for the occasion- a pale pink gown with spagz straps which I wore with matching shoes and other accessories. I decided to enjoy the party though I was not in a good mood that day because of a quarrel I had had earlier in the day with my fiancé, Mack. We were supposed to attend the wedding together but he had called that morning to say he couldn’t make it as another engagement had come up. That was the problem with Mack. He could be so unreliable sometimes, often canceling appointments at the last minute. Anyway, I decided to put all thoughts of my errant fiancé and our troubled relationship aside and enjoy myself at the party. I was sitting at a table with some friends, eating and chatting when disaster struck. A guest had come over to our table to chat with someone and as he made to leave, had knocked down a bottle of red wine. As I was seating close by, most of the bottle’s contents spilled on my new dress, staining it blood red. I saw red at that moment and I turned to give the guy a piece of my

The enemy beside me (1) mind, calling him a stupid, clumsy fellow who could not look where he was going. “I’m so sorry,” he said effusively, bringing out a white hanky from his pocket and offering it to me. I ignored him and angrily left the table with Diane, my best friend who was sitting nearby. We went to one of the restrooms of the hotel in which the reception was taking place and tried to wash off the stains. But most of it couldn’t come off, and feeling self-conscious because of the stained dress, decided to leave the party early and go home. Diane had gone inside the hall to get our gift bags while I made my way to where I had parked my car. At the car park, the same guy who had caused all the trouble came up to me. He apologized again for the incident, even offering to pay for the dry cleaning. I had calmed down by then so I told him not to bother, that I would take care of it myself. “Here’s my card. Call me in case you change your mind,” he said, smiling a little. As he walked away, I looked at him quizzically, wondering what was so familiar about him. It was Diane that solved the puzzle. As we drove away, she studied the man’s card which I had dropped carelessly on the dashboard. “So, he’s now a producer and lecturer. No wonder he has not be acting for some years now,” she stated. I glanced quickly at her. “Who are you talking about?” “That man that spilled wine on your dress. He used to be an actor. Don’t you remember him in that TV series…” and she went on to mention a TV programme that had been popular some years back. I remembered. Now I knew why he seemed so fa-

miliar. “He’s still cute, though. I used to have a crush on him, you know,” she added, adjusting her long hair in the car’s rearview mirror. “From the look on your face, you haven’t got over the crush yet,” I stated. She shrugged. “He didn’t even give me a second glance. It was you he was concerned about,” she noted. “Well, he should be after ruining an expensive dress like this that cost me thousands of naira,” I said sarcastically, changing the gear and zooming off.

The strange woman That was how Jeri and I met. I never expected to see him again as we didn’t move in the same circles. Besides, I was preoccupied with pressing personal issues that took up most of my time. Top on the list of these was Mack. I didn’t understand him anymore. We had been engaged for nearly two years and anytime I brought up the issue of fixing a date for our wedding, he would come up with all kinds of excuses why we should wait. The previous year, it was his father who had been sick for some time (‘I can’t get married while my dad is in the hospital’), he had pointed out. Then, after his father had recovered, the next excuse was that he needed to save more money for the expenses as he wanted a grand ceremony that would be the envy of his friends. I offered to give him part of the money from my savings but he declined, stating it was his responsibility as the man to take care of such things. I was becoming increasingly tired of all the excuses he kept giving. So, a day came when I gave him an ultimatum: either he fixed a date or I was calling the engagement

off! That caused a big quarrel between us and he had stormed out of my house in anger. We later settled our differences and a date was eventually fixed for the ceremony. We had started making plans and I was looking forward to the big day when Mack postponed the day again. There was no tangible reason this time and I was so angry, I made good my threat and called it quits with him. Later, he came with his brother to plead with me and because of the love I had for him, we got back together. It wasn’t for long though. Just a few months later, we had attended his friend’s birthday party together and there at the party venue, I had caught him kissing and making out with a girl. He claimed she was an old girlfriend who wanted to get back with him. I didn’t buy that story and we had had a big fight that created a scene at the party. I refused to see or speak with him for days after that though he kept calling. It was during this time that Jeri

called me. I had forgotten all about him and I wondered how he had even got my number. “I have my ways,” he stated mysteriously when I asked him. He invited me out for a drink, to as he put it, ‘make up for my dress that he had ruined.’ Ordinarily, I would have turned down the invitation. But I was still angry with Mack over his behavior so I accepted as a way of getting back at him. He took me to a popular hang-out in town frequented by artistes especially those in the movie industry. I saw some popular faces there and Jeri introduced me to a couple of them. I had a nice time with Jeri who turned out to have a very wicked sense of humour and he made me laugh most of the time, making me forget my troubles for a while. As he drove me back home at the end of a very fun evening, I decided that he wasn’t a bad guy afterall and there was no harm in being friends with him. On getting home, Mack was waiting for me outside our gate. I ignored him and was about to go into the house when he ran up to me. “Eva, please, I’m sorry. Just give me a few minutes for me to explain,” he pleaded. I could see Jeri watching us as he reversed his car and drove slowly away. I turned to Mack, giving him an angry look. “You’ve made your choice. Why don’t you go back to your ex-girlfriend and leave me alone,” I said and hissed. “It’s you I love, the woman I want to spend my life with. Please give me another chance,” he said. He looked really dejected and my heart softened towards him. But I was not ready to give in so easily again so I told him I would think about it and we would talk some other time. He came again a few days later and we settled our quarrel. The wedding plans went on smoothly after that and I was happy again. Once in a while, Jeri would call and we would chat both on phone and online. I was growing fond of him as he was so caring and fun to be with. But it was an innocent friendship as I was getting married and nothing serious could happen between us. “What a waste,” Diane said with a sigh one evening after I had finished speaking with Jeri on the phone. I gave her a quizzical look and said. “What’s that supposed to

mean?” “The guy obviously likes you. And you like him too but because of Mack, nothing can happen between you. So why don’t you transfer him to me? I have certain things in mind I would like to do to him,” she stated, winking at me. I shook my head. “How greedy can you get? You already have a guy in your life. What more do you want?” “Well, the more the merrier. If the men can have as many women as they want, why can’t we as well? Besides, he’s really cute,” she replied. “You really have a problem,” I said throwing a cushion at her. Our wedding plans progressed smoothly and soon the eve of the day arrived. Our home was a beehive of activities with my mum, my siblings, aunties and others who had arrived for the ceremony swarming around making last minute preparations. I was in the sitting-room having my manicure and pedicure done when the gateman came to call me that I had a visitor. Thinking it was one of my out-of-town friends that had arrived for the wedding, I told one of my younger sisters to let her in. It was a strange lady I had never seen before that came in with my sister. By her side was a little boy of about two. I looked questioningly at her. She said her name was Felly and she was Mack’s wife. And pointing at the little boy she said: “And this is his son.” I stared at the young woman as if she was crazy. Before I could say anything, one of my aunts, Aunty Mabel who was sitting near me chipped in. “Madam, is this a joke or what? As you can see, we are very busy. So, please leave.” “No, aunty. I want to hear what she has to say.” Then turning to the lady, I said: “How dare you come into my house and make such claims on my husband? What proof do you have? It had better be good or I might call the police for you!” She was silent for a while then she began speaking. What she said nearly gave me a heart attack and jeopardised our wedding the following day… To be continued Names have been changed to protect the narrator’s identity. Will Eva go ahead with the wedding? Find out in The Nation on Saturday next week!

The new couple, Dr and Mrs Abayomi Ogunderu flanked by NNNGO Lagos team during their wedding


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LIFE

Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, JUNE 9, 2012

p i h s n o i t a l e r y M G A L I N U e t a l h t wi V-C Sofoluwe

- Ibidapo-Obe

STYLE Gossip Interviews

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe is a man of no mean repute. All his life, he has been a busy man. He was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Now renamed Moshood Abiola University) for seven years, President of the Nigeria Academy of Science for four years and now Vice-Chancellor of the University of Udufu Alike Ikwo, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, yet to take off. In this exclusive interview with RISIKAT RAMONI, he speaks on the late Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG , now MAUL, Prof. Tokunbo Sofoluwe, the controversy surrounding the change of the university’s name, among other issues. Excerpt:

‘When Sofoluwe died, it was as if a part of me was gone’

We were friends throughout our adult lives. He met me here in the University of Lagos. We had the opportunity of a scholarship. He went to Edinburg, I went to Canada. We published about five to six academic papers together. We developed a reputation looking at things together; we’d been personal friends. As a matter of fact, our parents referred to us as siblings...

•Prof. Ibidapo-Obe

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HAT was your relationship with late Prof. Adetokunbo Sofoluwe? We met around 1968. We were friends throughout our adult lives. He met me here in the University of Lagos. We had the opportunity of a scholarship. He went to Edinburg, I went to Canada. We published about five to six academic papers together. We developed a reputation looking at things together; we’d been personal friends. As a matter of fact, our parents referred to us as siblings. When I started my administrative career here as VC, he was one of the closest people to me. He advise me regularly. It was during my tenure that I invited him to be the Director of Planning, and later Deputy ViceChancellor. I was part of his life, including his vision to become a VC. His death was a big loss for me. What can you say about him as a leader? He was very humane and sociable. We had challenges of unionism, student activism. He always preferred to look at things from a humanistic point of view. He wanted salaries to be paid at the 20th of the month. He was very simple. He wasn’t mechanistic. He handled things in an intellectual manner. When he died, it was as if a part of me was gone. What kind of VC do you think UNILAG needs now? It’s a shame that we couldn’t see Tokunbo’s tenure to the end. What we need now is a

VC like Tokunbo, someone that needs to have a great vision for the school. The time I was VC, there was no capital project. We sourced for money by ourselves. Now, government gives money to federal universities. What are the implications of renaming UNILAG to MAUL? The implication is that, you’re changing a brand that has taken a lot of strength and blood of those who’ve worked and schooled here. It’s a deliberate 50-year work. In terms of brand management, you can only change a brand to improve its efficiency. There’s nothing of such in this situation. We don’t see any increased efficiency in this name change. What’s your opinion on the students’ protest and comments from Nigerians based on the name change? I don’t think students should protest. It is not a civilised way of doing things. I think what should be done, and that is what we’re doing, is to take the matter to court. Even if the process was properly done, through the National Assembly, and the National Assembly has agreed to a change and the president has assented, now he has assented to a change before taking it to the National Assembly. That is totally a wrong procedure. And that cannot stand. But just in case that he manipulates the way we’re known to manipulate things in Nigeria, we’re ready for them. To change any law in Nigeria and to force a referendum, all what you’ve to do is get

50,000 signatures and from what they told me, we’ve almost 37,000. The signatures are there, just in case, there might be need for it. I want things to be done properly. I don’t support the name change. I’m clear in my mind that it cannot hold. But I don’t support the students’ protest on the streets and getting in harm’s way. I don’t want them to be hurt. We’ve better ways of protesting. I don’t support them to go on the bridge, that’s dangerous. They could be killed and that will only compound the problems that we have. But I support all legal means to stop that change. I’m fully against the change. Some will say what’s in the name? Afterall, University of Ife and many other universities have gone through a name change. So, why blow off the roof because a name was changed? Everything is in a name. That name already has a brand. We all have our names and we wouldn’t want to be called something else. So, everything is in a name. As a matter of fact, when a business is bad and is not doing well, we change the name, just to see if it will do well. Everything is about brand management. If you look at the total amount of effort, money, intelligence and so on that has been invested in the name University of Lagos, you’ll but agree with me. During my tenure as the Vice Chancellor, I came up with a slogan, ‘University of first choice, nation’s pride’. I didn’t come up with that because I love sloganeering. I did that because I knew this is

going to be a university everyone will love to come to. In 2000 when I was acting VC, the school was not like that. By the time I left in 2007, every small child in this country wants to come to University of Lagos. It took a lot to achieve that. Everything can’t be changed just like that. The President obviously wants Abiola’s name in a federal university. There have been various suggestions that other universities, especially University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), should be given the name. Do you have any suggestions for Mr President? I don’t know why he insist on that. I don’t want to get myself into suggesting for him. If he wants suggestion, he could put it to the public domain. The government has a way of communicating to the people through their website. The National Assembly is there, they could suggest to him what he needs to do, we are not going to do his job for him. All we are saying is, he should not change the University of Lagos to that. If the other universities like the name, they should tell him they want their name changed. The story of Obafemi Awowo University was not like that. It was totally different. Before the name was changed during the military era, the government of Ibrahim Babangida consulted. University of Ife did write a letter to confirm they wanted that change, even though students didn’t like it but the Council agreed to it. Here, nobody knew about it. It’s just like taking us for granted. It’s very insulting. I thought government should be a little more kind by asking us what we want. So you think the name can still be reversed? The court will do its job. The people will also make their judgment. The suggestion is that he should reverse it. We should not make it a big thing which can result into a civil strike. It’s democracy. We’re just testing democracy. The President is testing his muscles based on


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012 his own understanding and what his democratic powers are. We, the people, are saying you don’t have that power. It’s good. It’s part of the history of Nigeria. Is there a way any of the Nigerian universities can become one of the best in the whole world? If we want to be the best, what we should do is to associate with the best. If they count the best 100 universities, all we need do is to liaise with one of those schools. They just pick one or two. Harvard or Cambridge University can be picked. Once they have agreed, every year, the university authority can invite one of their best lecturers or deans to give lecture, examine the students, interact, and tell them how to make things better in a university atmosphere. That is the way to do it. That is the way we can learn from those people. Don’t liaise with schools that are on the same level with you. Look up to universities that are doing much better than you, internationally. That is the only way. But, we are fond of looking at universities that are less than us. We can’t make it that way. That should be our level of intellectual thinking. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be thinking in Nigeria. We’ve all the brains but it’s quite unfortunate that the brains are in what we call silos and locked up so it can rot there. They’re not put together to the use of humanity. They should be exposed and intermingle for it to be productive. There was once when University of Ibadan was one of the best in Africa, we can regain it. We have the people who can do it, but we must work in an environment that encourages that type of thinking, an independent one. A critique of whatever happens. What is your view on the official education policy in Nigeria? I don’t even know whether they have a policy. They said polytechnics and university students are the same, it’s just that they are looking at the different angles of work. But the entrance exam, one is higher than the other. Some things done now show that students who go to polytechnics are inferior to those who pass through the university. I say, let’s have a uniformed pass mark. The Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, once said he got admission into a university, rather than go there, he went to The Polytechnic, Ibadan. He’s proud to say it. That is the type of people we need to develop in this country. I’m not talking of his politics, I’m talking of his person. Some said if he knew that polytechnics are going to get less mark, that he would not forfeit his university admission. The truth is, if polytechnics will be awarded less mark, so, what’s the point? That is why I said I don’t know if there’s any policy. Challenges involved with running a top university in Nigeria? The way to do it, which I was told and taught

by people who went before me, for instance, Biobaku, Ajayi, Alao and all the rest, and from my experience, is that the VC should endeavour to listen to Senate and do what Senate wants. When you have an agreement with the Senate and you see it through, there won’t be a problem. A university cannot be run alone. One of the major problems we have in this country is hero-worshipping. The leader knows all. But he cannot know everything, especially in a university where one is coming from a particular discipline. There are others from different disciplines. All these people also have grade one in their school cert, four As at O’level, first class and PhD from top universities. The best way to minimise challenges is by being a knowledgeable manager. There’s the need to harvest all this knowledge for the benefit of all. The first thing I did when I became VC was to encourage the Senate to meet every month. In those days, Senate met only when the VC was available. I insisted that Senate must meet every month. There’re always issues to discuss. If there’s a good Council, that helps a lot. The university system is not difficult to run. It runs on a committee system. But the VC must allow the committees to run effectively. He should encourage them to do their job uninterrupted. Don’t interfere with the committee system. Established universities worldwide, do not interfere with the committees. There may be disagreement on their recommendations, but there should be a resolution at the end of the day. A VC is only a spokesman for everybody. He is not necessarily the best. He must accept the position with humility. A leader must be objective and all those around him will help him realise it. Everybody was talking about Tokunbo Sofoluwe, it was his simplicity and humility that made people liked him a lot. Can you please comment on your tenure as UNILAG VC? I was acting VC for two years before I became VC for five years. I sat on the VC chair for seven years. My tenure expired in April 2007. Fond memories of your time as VC? There have been many books on that. On July 5, there will be another book on that. When UNILAG was acclaimed the best university by the Nigerian Universities Commission, based on international standard, I was very happy. Before I became VC, it was not well recognised. With time, we came to be the best. To achieve the best, we took advantage of everything at our disposal. We took advantage of our relationship with them in Abuja, Lagos, the private sector as well as the oil and gas industry. We took advantage of the alumni association, and the students. We ensured students didn’t get admitted ex•Continued on Page 48

•Princewill Utchay

‘My husband told me I would become his wife the first time we met’

There is one passion lifestyle consultant, Ngozi Princewill Utchay, cannot compromise: encouraging people to be the best. In this interview with slect journalists, including KEHINDE FALODE, she speaks about her love life and the importance of etiquette as an ingredient of corporate lifestyle.

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•Prof. Ibidapo-Obe

HAT is Artelier lifestyle consultancy all about? Artelier is a lifestyle consulting outfit. We style people, the space where you live, the office where you work and your manners. We also do etiquette. It can be individual or corporate client. For corporate clients, we deal with things like service culture, attitude, management and other things. With individuals, we do things like you are preparing for a formal dinner and you want to be coached or you have a speech to make and you want to be coached to prepare for that. So, we are not just into speech writing. We may not write your speech. You know what you want to say. We just show how to project yourself. We also style interiors and people. We also do etiquette for individual or corporate clients. We stage lifestyle events too. It is a whole package. We style you, style your space and style your manners. The Slogan of Artelier Lifestyle is: in a world where you can be anything, just be yourself, but be the best you that you can possibly be. How did you come about this? I have always been doing this. It is a gift and talent. I have done it for friends and families. Beyond friends and families, I have done it for other people voluntarily and sometimes formally. So, I am doing lifestyle consultancy formally now. When did you set up Artelier? I had thought of the name since 1993 because I am a creative person. I thought I would go into the arts and designs, which I was gifted in. Artelier has been incorporated since 2004. We are only doing a lot more now. What you are doing in Artelier seems to be inborn…

Yes, I would say so. But I am still polishing it, given that it is a natural talent and needs to be worked upon. Etiquette has always been part of my upbringing and training, though I attended one while I was much younger. It is not just something that I had six-month training for. It is just a part and parcel of me and I have been adding to my knowledge at every opportunity. I’m still undergoing training. We never stop learning. What was the essence of the seminar you had recently? The theme of the seminar is ‘branding for success’. It was targeted at managerial and supervisory staff of corporate organisations, budding entrepreneurs, owners of small and medium scale businesses. If you just want to get your personal branding or your personal image, the way you interact with your clientele, the way you project yourself to faithfully represent what your company stands for or to add value to the brand that your organisation is. So there should not be a discrepancy between what your organisation is claiming to deliver and what you yourself portray, because you are a brand ambassador of your company. What are the rules of etiquette? Etiquette is a very wide concept. We have social etiquette and business etiquette. The underlining thing of etiquette, or should I say the foundation of etiquette, is consideration for the next person. Do what you do and avoid insulting or embarrassing them. When you have consideration for the next person, interpersonal interaction can grow more swiftly. That is really the foundation of etiquette. •Continued on Page 48


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

•Onos Ariyo

•January Onyiagu

•Kemisola Oyewole

Pastel trend F

ASHION designers favour pastels in diverse patterns and hues, ranging from faint grey to pale to blush pink to icy blue. Iconic American designer Ralph Lauren prominently featured pastel fashion in his spring 2012 collection, and other designers and clothing stores, such as House of Jola, Keto Couture, Grey Store, Stephanie Okeke, Ejiro Amos Tafiri to mention but a few, also featured pastels in their latest collection. Tips for wearing pastel fashion •To achieve the trendy look, wear all pastels, rather than mixing pastels with dark neutral colours. •Make sure that the pastel colour that you are wearing closest to your face flatters you. •If you do not have pastel shoes, wear shoes in a neutral, skin-tone hue. •Mix it up with different pastel colours, rather than trying to make the monochromatic scheme work for a pastel colour. •Don’t forget the pastel prints

•Ronke Sanyaolu


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Five important black items in your wardrobe Omowumi OGUNTUASE

A little black

Jacket

BLACK is a central colour in fashion which blends with any other colour and black clothes are flattering and slimming. Having these five black items in your wardrobe would make it complete. They would always come in handy at anytime, especially when you are at a loss for what to wear.

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aired with tunic tops, sleeveless tops or gowns or shirts, a black jacket, sleeveless or otherwise would work for you at anytime. Black jackets give an air of feminine class and timelessness. If you feel you look to simple, add a jacket for a classy touch. Either on a skirt or pair of trousers of any colour, you cannot go wrong with a black jacket and ensure that you use the right accessories.

A black

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s much as you might have any other colour of tank or sleeveless top, a black one is essential. You probably have coloured pants or skirts or even jackets and you do not always have to wear white or matching colours, rock the central black colour and either casual or corporate, you will not regret.

A tiny black

A little black

Belt

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uitable for parties, corporate and casual outings, it is a fashion lifesaver. It can either be long-sleeved or short-sleeved; you just have to match it with the right accessories. It will never go out of fashion. You can stand out or blend to the background in a black dress. You can wear the same dress in different ways. That is as good as it is.

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t might sound like something unimportant but trust me, it is very important.

It can go on a gown, skirt, trouser or even a top. It will emphasize your waste and being black will fit anything. It is a multi-purpose item which will highlight your

Nigerian designers to storm AFWL T

whole appearance.

HE 2012 edition of the event is coming up on August 3 and 4 at Spitalfields Market, a much bigger space than the first edition’s venue. It will coincide with the 2012 Olympics in London ,and, therefore, will be an excellent medium for the propagation of the African fashion to visitors from all over the world. Over 10,000 visitors are expected. Africa Fashion Week 2012 will feature over 50 designers and 30 exhibitors from all over the world. Among fashion houses showcasing at the event are Ella and Gaby, Daviva, House of Bunor, Asandiahogan, Rougevallari, Ketocouture,Lemiralcouture, Vadira 7, Ozora, Bebegrafiti, Monisfahion, Threadscreation, Kinabuti, House of Jolla, Eldimaafashion, Trish Couture, Vigoldcreations, Remilagos, Sally Ini Tiego, Moofa and House of Farrah.

A little black

Skirt

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ither plain or a bandage skirt, you need one in your wardrobe. It is an LBD alternate. It will show your legs and will work on anything. It can also be a pleated skirt or any other style, it is great piece. Paired with a vintage top, shirt, sleeveless top and jacket or a tee shirt tucked-in, a little black skirt would do a lot of good. It is stylish and sexy.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

•Continued from Page 45 cept when they have five credits at a sitting. We did it. We insisted on post-UTME. We also did it. We raised the standard of our diploma programme so high that if we’re not careful, we’ll not get a student to retain. Universities in the UK and USA are constantly competing with us to get our students and with scholarships too. So, we took advantage of everything. We cleaned up our library and ensured it’s raised to an enviable standard. Our hostels too became better and our surrounding was made to become pleasant. There’re so many glorious moments. I just can’t start to count. What have you been doing since you stopped being UNILAG VC? I do so many things. Presently, I’m working with others on one of these new universities the Federal Government just created. It’s in Ebonyi. It is a small university, but it will be a focused one. From day one, we are setting up the best practice in university administration. I’m the vice chancellor there. I became the President of The Nigeria Academy of Science four years ago. We have raised standard since I became the president. My tenure as NAS president ends in January 2015. I’ve been quite busy. I write my books and papers. I’m still in the University of Lagos too. I still lecture the PhD students. Once in a while, I’m with the masters students. Any thought of going for second-term as NAS President? No. This job is not a salary job. When you become the president of an organisation like this, you’ll spend your own resources. So, you’ll want to spend your resources in a very judicious manner. When you do your job, put all your energy into it and fuel finishes, then leave and go for something else. What has Jonathan-led administration done for science in Nigeria and what does he still need to do? To be fair to President Jonathan, he did well for science. The Nigeria Academy of Science is the voice of science in Nigeria. He followed the footsteps of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua. He fulfilled some of the promises he made. We’ve been trying for the past two years to induct him as the grand patron of science, but we’ve not been able to.

‘Why I’m against renaming UNILAG Abiola varsity’ Such a title is for the good of the President. In Nairobi, there’s Obasanjo’s house there. That is because he supported science during his tenure. Science is the way everybody is going. We’re also working on getting an act from the National Assembly whereby they will recognise NAS. Right now, everything we do is through voluntary contributions. We get money from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A country like Nigeria should have a well-established science foundation. A strong support for science in Nigeria. An absence of science foundation reflects in everything we do, including the way we think. It’s very unscientific and that is the problem. The way science people think is logical but the way we think here is totally illogical. The Ministry of Science and Technology is not waking up. The people are right at the background, whereas they should be at the forefront in decision making. The Minister of Science and Technology should stand side by side with that of finance. That is what is happening in all those Asian countries. They should be the think tank of the President. God has given us all the opportunities. Our president is a scientist. Why can’t we just move? Why are we behaving as if we have a curse over us? So, maybe we need prayers. The president needs to have a lot of synergy to get things going. He needs to break away from this box of sycophancies. Is there a way we can get things right in 2015? Politics is sentiment. With the way things are going in the world, I have a feeling we will get it right. With new technologies now and the social media, Nigerian news is not hidden. Sometimes we living in Nigeria don’t get informed as quickly as those abroad. Information is the bedrock of change. We know we will get things right in 2015.

•Princewill Utchay •Continued from Page 45 Etiquette is common sense and consideration. Every other thing about etiquette is avoiding conflict where your personal interest is overriding the interest of the other person. It is showing consideration at every level. So, how does this affect the manager or the people at the upper cadre? It is all part of it, because if you are going to talk about service culture, you have to understand where service culture is coming from. Service culture comes when you have a basic consideration for your customer. So, you have to understand what etiquette is and how best to apply and project it to your clientelle. How well has the corporate world imbibed this? We can do more. I think we are becoming more and more aware. There is always room

•Prof. Ibidapo-Obe

‘I speak six languages, including French, English, German and Italian’

for improvement. What is your educational background? I studied French. I speak six languages actually (laughs). But there are people who speak 115 languages. I speak French, Italian, a bit of German, English of course, Igbo. I understand Yoruba quite well and a couple of others in smattering terms. The thing with languages is that you have to keep speaking them otherwise you forget them. That is the challenge. I had a first degree from the University of Ibadan and a diploma in Translation. I have other qualifications in training. Were you good in Fine Arts? Yes, I enjoyed Fine Art in school. It was a great channel for me to express myself creatively at the time. I still draw, but not on the same scale. How was Queens College then? Attending Queen’s College was really

special. The values we were taught and the camaraderie persists till date. The most outstanding award I received in Queen’s College was, of course, the scholarship I was granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, covering my entire tuition. I also won prizes, including a subject prize for Fine Art. I won another scholarship as well as a subject prize at the University of Ibadan and a couple more came later on in my language studies. How was your growing up like? My childhood has really exposed me to a lot of arts and culture. As a family, we travelled a lot and we were exposed to different cultures. When I was a child, my father loved reading. He had a huge study. My siblings and I were reading. It was a world beyond your environment. You can be here and experience China from a book. Of course, the internet is here as well. My childhood exposed me to a lot of influences that are serving me well today.

My parent instilled in me the fear of God and respect for oneself. How did you meet your husband? I met my husband in our church. He saw me one day in church and made up his mind there and then that I would become his wife. He set about wooing me and eventually, he swept me off my feet with his charm, personality and sense of humour! Any challenges as a working mum? It’s a daily balancing act, but I put my family first. Once their needs are taken care of, I think everything else falls into place. How will you describe your person? A wife, mother, sister, devoted friend (she smiles). I love people and, true to our driving philosophy at Artelier Lifestyle Consultants, I love to see them become their best. As a fashionable person, how would you describe your style? Hmmm...chic and elegance. Elegance is when you are graceful and it is effortless and not loud. I love classic pieces, but I love wits too. I also think less is more. I appreciate other styles and there are people who can layer pieces beautifully. But personally, a simple elegance works best for me. Who are your favourite designers? I really love Oscar de la Renta. His clothes are consistently beautiful, wearable and incredibly flattering. Locally, I love LDA, Deola Sagoe and GIA by Ije Coker amongst others. I think our local designers are doing an incredible job, given the limitations in facilities and skills available here. How do you relax as a busy woman? Just being around friends and family is incredibly relaxing. Sharing a laugh, a chat or a great meal. How is the experience of handling events as MC and speaker? I see every form of speaking as a privilege; an opportunity to influence lives for better or worse. You ought to choose your words with a great sense of responsibility. I’ve mainly done MC voluntarily, but I’ve always enjoyed the exchange of banter with the audience. You have to think on your feet! What is your advice to working women? Never mind advice. I’d actually just like to salute them. Being a working woman in many cases is actually balancing two, three or more full-time jobs at the same time, because the home front is also a full time job. I celebrate every working woman who is striving to achieve a healthy balance. They are all amazing. For the younger generation, they should be focused, have a plan and work towards it.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

RIGHT OF REPLY

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I employed Jonathan based on merit, says ex-OMPADEC chair Horsfall •’Junaid Mohammed’s claims are imaginary’ Chief Albert Krubo Horsfall, an intelligence and security buff, was the Chairman of the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC). In this interview with AUGUSTINE AVWODE, the elder statesman tackles the convener of the Committee of ConcernedNorthern Professionals, Politicians, Academics and Businessmen (CCNPPAB), Dr Junaid Mohammed, over a controversial interview he granted last week in which he dwelt on the operations of the OMPADEC. Excerpts: from and so on. Jinaid’s claimed role in the any other person’s influence. The claims

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AS there any attempt by the people of the Niger Delta to make the OMPADEC an exclusive preserve of the indigenes of the region? In the first place, I will not address any other issue than what Dr Junaid Muhammed said about the OMPADEC for now. I am surprised Junaid Mohammed had chosen to raise the OMPADEC issue again in his fresh assault on President Goodluck Jonathan, the Ijaws and the Niger Delta. I think he is very unwise to do so, you will find out why, in this short interview. My response to his wild and baseless assertions will be limited, very limited, hoping that he will recollect himself and stop this nonsense before I am forced to go down memory lane on these issues. Having first assembled in Port Harcourt in November 1992, not June as he falsely claimed, the commission went on a short break and actually resumed work on January 3, 1993. In my usual thorough administrative style, I arranged for the Administrative Staff College (ASCON) to run a management course for our newly recruited management staff in Port Harcourt in March 1993. It was during the pendency of this course that Junaid unguardedly exposed his intentions in the OMPADEC. How do you mean? Junaid had found regular comfort in the hotel suit of one of the staff of the ASCON team of trainers in Port Harcourt. There (in the hotel room), he soon exposed it early (March 1993). He spoke of a cabal whose intention was to penetrate the Niger Delta and subordinate it as a fiefdom – for the North, politically and that this Albert Horsfall was blocking his mission, and he would deal with him. He claimed that the cabal had tried to dissuade President Babangida from giving three per cent of the oil revenue to the ‘wretched Niger Delta Ijaws but Babangida stubbornly refused. Did you confront him? I, of course, took appropriate precautions and informed those at the appropriate level to know about what Junaid claimed to be up to! Of course, although a political appointee, I was still a civil servant at heart and I did not consider it wise to reveal it. The totality of what Junaid was saying in his interview on the OMPADEC can only be rubbish. He was hardly present most of the time in Port Harcourt to oversee his assigned responsibility in the OMPADEC. Interestingly one of the early proposals which Junaid brought to me on our resumption of duty in Port Harcourt was that I, as Executive Chairman of the commission, should feel free to run the commission and call a meeting of the commissioners, himself inclusive, from time to time to assess and review the situation. I rejected this advice outright. I rather created departments and portfolios for every commissioner, himself inclusive, to man and supervise the operations of each department. I assigned him to the Department of Business and Commercial Ventures. If he was hardly around, how did he come about all his claims? The fact of the issue was that Junaid would hardly sit down in Port Harcourt and effectively carry out his assignment. He could not, therefore, be privy to most of the imaginary stories about the OMPADEC he told The Nation. He went on AWOL for months on more than one occasion and was eventually practically ‘kicked out’ of the OMPADEC. For the three years which the OMPADEC lasted, Junaid had served for a

•Horsfall

short time before he was practically shown the way out and was, therefore, not involved in many of those things he claimed to be involved in. Like which one? Of the series of names he had mentioned in his interview, the name Bikikoro came up. Bikikoro is a good and fine Rivers man and perhaps unknown to Junaid had been one of those who regularly briefed me. And perhaps Junaid would have known that at the earlier stages of the OMPADEC, it did not have its own staff nor establishment and that its events at the period in time were being covered by staff of my former service and records of these events were being correctly stored and were made available to me at the time. Juinad again lied when he claimed that the Kalabari area where I come from did not produce any oil. The key production areas of Rivers State which included Bayelsa at that time were: Ogba/Egbema, Nemba Brass, the Kalabari areas of Soku, Kula, Cawton Channel, Elem Kalabari, Elem Krakrama, Buguma Creek where I come

OMPADEC is total fabrication and down right falsehood. We – the Board or Commissioners of the OMPADEC did not go to Port Harcourt in June. It was November 1992 that we first assembled in Port Harcourt. At no time did President Babangida summon Junaid and me for special briefing or meeting or instruction throughout my period in the OMPADEC, never. Junaid was not a co-chair or my deputy in the OMPADEC. I was Executive Chairman. He was one of 11 or 12 commissioners and one of the two commissioners appointed to represent non-oil producing areas. Was there any attempt by the elite of the Niger Delta to make the OMPADEC an exclusive preserve of the indigenes of the area as claimed by Junaid? The OMPADEC decree like other decrees was debated and passed in the then AFRC. I was not a member of that body and could not have ‘hijacked’ the decree as claimed by Junaid. His claim about Ijaw and Kalabari are mere fictions. My side of the Kalabari people actually originated from the Ijaw heartland. There was no way I could have harmed my own interest and for Junaid to be its defender. He claimed he opposed you to ensure that Jonathan was employed then. On Jonathan, Junaid’s assertions about this recruitment are completely false. I and my team from my previous service shortlisted the candidates and called up all candidates for the interview and so on. The process of that recruitment exercise, which I personally controlled and presided over, was so stringent and correctly ordered that there was no way Junaid could have played out those fairy tale stories he claims he was involved in. The staff who coordinated that interview were from my former service and Junaid had no access to them or their records. The records which can still be reached will prove this. The candidates for the interview were well drilled. Everyone of the 12 commissioners who sat with me at the interview asked sensible questions and gave their opinions on each candidate, including Jonathan. But the final decision was my own and mine alone. Junaid was the last person capable of influencing me or my judgment on Jonathan. He speaks as leader of the North When I heard of Junaid’s claim that he had been ‘chosen’ to lead the North, I felt amused knowing and suspecting the controversy likely to result from such leadership. Junaid must have floated the organisation on the false belief that being his former employer and being an Ijaw and a Niger Deltan and given my intelligence and political background, Jonathan must have been consulting closely with me on his policies and decisions and may be influenced by me. Nothing can be farther from the truth. We Niger Deltans hardly operate that way. Jonathan has clearly come of age and is capable of making his own decisions, choose who to consult and so on without my or

The candidates for the interview were well drilled. Everyone of the 12 commissioners who sat with me at the interview asked sensible questions and gave their opinions on each candidate, including Jonathan. But the final decision was my own and mine alone. Junaid was the last person capable of influencing me or my judgment on Jonathan...

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Junaid makes about his being the ‘consultant’ and confidant of former President Babangida, I find absurd and cannot believe based on my discussion with the president at that time. Similarly, I cannot believe his claimed cosy relationship with some of the persons whose names he had mentioned in his interview. I, having used my solid background in these affairs, have investigated this OMPADEC issue again and again since the tragedy of the unmitigated falsehood and treachery which brought about the demise of the OMPADEC and I have a pretty good knowledge of those who conspired and crafted to use the Niger Delta region as vineyard and at the same time their ‘guinea pig’ and thus worked conspiratorially to collapse the commission. You said he was kicked out… By some of his own admissions, Junaid vamoosed again and again from his duties in the commission and left OMPADEC long before its eventual dissolution. There was no way he could have known or been involved in most of the wild claims he made about the OMPADEC in his interview. The truth is that OMPADEC is a regional interventionist commission deliberately set for the under developed Niger Delta region. The law and practice of the OMPADEC was essentially based on the concept of the original Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) which stemmed from the Lancaster House and Lagos Constitutional Conference of 1957/58 and the report of the Willink’s commission. That concept had been followed since and thus when it comes to allocation of portfolios, projects, employment, etc, strict quota of production guidelines are followed. In spite of Junaid’s lies in the employment of staff, for instance, no director or senior officer was engaged from my Kalabari area. I would recall that apart from the Chairman’s (myself) Special Assistant, a very capable professor, who is not a permanent staff of the commission, the most senior permanent employee from the Kalabari area was one Assistant Director and a level 10 officer, a lady. There were at least three directors from the area which Junaid in his limited knowledge of the area chooses to call Ijaw – one of whom, a very fine officer, was in charge of finance. You were said to be cheating other communities.. The assertion of Junaid is totally false that I cheated other oil-producing communities and states in my distribution of projects and employment. This is not possible because the quota system which was prescribed by the OMPADEC decree was strictly applied for all projects and services. The same principle applied to every other consideration. Actually the commissioner representing each producing state and community jealously guarded and supervised the execution of this principle in apportioning every consideration and there was hardly anyway, I, as chairman, could have grossly violated this carefully established principle which was backed by the OMPADEC decree. I employed Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as he then was, in the OMPADEC based on his performance at the interview and on merit. I had elected, since I turned 65 years of age, to limit myself (and I published it in the media) from participation in party politics. But I am determined to deal with this particular issue which touches on my hard won integrity, if Junaid persists in his falsehood and day dreams.


50 Seventy four-year-old Chief Sam Bikikoro is an Ijaw elder from Sabagreia in the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He joined the Nigeria Police Force at the age of 19 but spent only five years serving as a policeman in the old Western State before honesty and hard work earned him a better job from an expatriate, Mr. Eric Kempster, who was then the Managing Director of NIPOL, the first plastic industry in Nigeria. He won Kempter’s heart when he rejected a bribe the expatriate had offered him. He then had an opportunity to travel to England for training and further studies. He later became the Managing Director of Waterglass Boatyard in Port Harcourt. In this interview with BISI OLANIYI at his Government Reservation Area (GRA) residence in the Rivers State capital, Bikikoro insists that President Goodluck Jonathan is not a tribalist as alleged by some people. He also gives the reasons why he decided not to let the President know that he was the one who recommended him for a job in the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1993, among other issues. Excerpts:

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OUR bosom friend and medical practitioner, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who is the Convener of the Committee of Concerned Northern Professionals, Politicians, Academics and Businessmen (CCNPPAB) and member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic, claimed in a recent interview that you were dead. What went wrong? I am very much alive. It was a mix-up. I lost my wife, Mina, nee LongJohn, from Bonny, Rivers State, five years ago. Maybe Junaid heard of the death of my wife and thought I was the one that died. Junaid knew my wife very well while he was with the OMPADEC in Port Harcourt. He was not wellinformed about the incident. He might have been told that one Bikikoro died and he thought it was me. How would you describe your relationship with Dr. Junaid Mohammed? We have been very good friends since 1993. He was a Federal Commissioner in the OMPADEC in Port Harcourt. There was another gentleman, from the North also, who was a Federal Commissioner in the OMPADEC. He is Dr. Audi. He was a Law lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a brother-in-law to former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd.). Both of them were my friends. But I was closer to Junaid. Junaid, as a friend, when they were setting up the OMPADEC in 1993, met me with Paul Abiu and came with a list. I did not know the content. Junaid asked me to enlighten him about the persons on the list and their local governments. He was trying to confirm if they were Ijaw or not. The meeting took place at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt where Junaid lodged.

INTREVIEW

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

•Bikikoro

My grouse about Junaid Mohammed’s views on Ijaw, Jonathan — Ijaw elder Sam Bikikoro

I will not mention all the names, but Junaid asked if I knew Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, now Nigeria’s President. I asked why he was making an inquiry about him. He again asked: ‘Do you know Otuoke (Dr. Jonathan’s hometown in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State)?’ I said yes, but asked him what the problem was. Junaid asked if Otuoke is an Ijaw town and I said yes. I made him to know that Ogbia is a clan in the Ijaw tribe. Junaid then asked again about Dr. Jonathan. I asked him to give me two minutes; that I would get back to him. I stepped out and called a cousin of mine, Joe Ekpekpe, who is late now. I told Ekpekpe that there was an inquiry about a young man (Dr. Jonathan) whom I had not met. Who is he? Ekpekpe said: ‘He is a very nice, young man. A very unassuming lecturer.’ I asked if Ekpekpe was sure and he said yes. When I got back to the room, I told Junaid that the young man (Jonathan) was a nice man. Junaid said okay. He then went ahead to ask me about some other Ijaw persons. After that encounter, I discovered

that Junaid was doing the shortlisting of the people to be recruited in the OMPADEC. At the end of the exercise, I discovered that all the Ijaw persons Junaid asked me about were employed in the OMPADEC. Jonathan was there (as the Assistant Director, Ecology) and others. I do not want to mention names. I kept the information to myself. I never disclosed it to anybody, including Dr. Jonathan. Junaid and I later lost contact. He is a radical; a follower of Mallam Aminu Kano with a communist background. When Bayelsa State was created out of the old Rivers State on October 1, 1996, I was appointed the Coordinator of the Assets Sharing Committee by the pioneer Military Administrator, Captain Phillip Ayeni. I went on with the exercise until the advent of the civilian regime when Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha became the pioneer civilian governor, only to see that the young man I recommended to Junaid was Bayelsa State’s deputy governor. The young man (Jonathan) was fantastic as the deputy governor.

He was very humble and was always referring to me as oga (boss). I would tell him: ‘Your Excellency, please, you are embarrassing me.’ He gave me due respect. When I considered his humility and good nature, I started wondering that I never told anybody that I recommended him for the OMPADEC job in 1993. I vowed never to mention it to anybody that I recommended him for the OMPADEC job. I did not want to make a capital out of it. Some other persons would have made a political capital out of it by telling him that they contributed to his being appointed. Dr. Jonathan would be surprised reading Junaid’s interview on pages 16, 17 and 49 of The Nation on Saturday, June 2, 2012. We were so close while I was performing my duties as the coordinator of the assets’ sharing committee. If I had any problem or difficulty, I would go to him if the governor was not around, and he would give me first-class attention. After the assets sharing, I was appointed as the Chairman/Managing Director of Bayelsa Property and Investment Company by the

then Governor Alamieyeseigha, and I was playing both roles as coordinator of assets’ sharing and chairman of the company. The Bayelsa Property and Investment Company job was a spillover from the assets’ sharing job. The brief period while Dr. Jonathan was the governor of Bayelsa State, I went for medical treatment in Britain. When I came back, I discovered that my daughter, now Mrs. Deri Ibianga, whose name appeared on the original list for scholarship, to do her master’s degree, as she was in England for her first degree in Birmingham University, her name was missing from the original list. I went straight to Dr. Jonathan and complained to him about the ugly development. He then sent for the chairman of the scholarship board and the then Commissioner for education in order to find out what went wrong. They said they were sorry, that it must be a mistake. He ordered that the name of my daughter be included immediately. Dr. Jonathan, within 48 hours, approved my daughter’s scholarship. Today, by God’s grace, Deri is a


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012 Production Geologist in Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC). When she was getting married, he (Jonathan) even sent her a gift; to tell you how close we are. Till today, I did not mention to him my recommending him for the OMPADEC job. When Junaid was in the House of Representatives in the Second Republic, when Alhaji Shehu Shagari was the President, he said: ‘Sam, I love your Ijaw people. But when I went to the House of Representatives, I discovered that the crude oil derivation you should have got was not there.’ The military swept it overboard. He moved the motion for the one and a half per cent derivation. So, when Junaid was in the OMPADEC, Chief Albert Horsfall (from Kalabari axis of Rivers State) was the Chairman. Horsfall is a very brilliant, quiet, nice and very intelligent man. He was in the security service and I respect him so much. You have just described Chief Horsfall as a nice man. But Dr. Mohammed said he (Horsfall) almost prevented Dr. Jonathan from being employed at the OMPADEC and that he tried to bring in his Kalabari cousin but he (Dr. Mohammed) insisted on Jonathan. How do you react to this? That was Junaid’s view. The former military President Ibrahim Babangida was told not to trust the Ijaw and Niger Delta elite with the composition of the OMPADEC in order not to mess up the commission and to ensure the commensurate development of the Niger Delta. What was the problem? I do not know what Junaid is talking about. It is quite wrong. That is an insult to Niger Delta people, especially the Ijaw. Junaid is attacking everybody. He is seeing everybody as a failure. The most friendly and accommodating people you can come across are the Ijaw. I have just introduced a young man to you. His name is Dele Seimodei from Amassoma in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He is an Ijaw man, but he was born in Lagos and his father gave him a Yoruba name. My late immediate younger sister’s name is Modupe. My father worked with a Yoruba man. Will Junaid name his child Bikikoro? We are friends. Since the death of your wife five years ago, how have you been coping? The Lord has been taking care of me. How did you meet your late wife and how were things like when you got married? We got married in 1972. I was the pioneer Managing Director of Waterglass Boatyard at Marine Base, Port Harcourt. My wife’s elder brother is the present Chairman of Bonny LNG, Dr. LongJohn. We have two pretty daughters. The other is still pursuing her Law programme in England. My wife’s death was very sudden. We were holding a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, with the present governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, then the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, when I got a phone call that my wife collapsed. Before we got to the house in Port Harcourt, she was dead. With two daughters before your wife died, did you experience pressure from your parents or relatives to have male children? We had the girl who died, and there was a gap of seven years before we had the two daughters. That was a period of temptation. That will tell you the love we had for each other. The present young men will not wait. Maybe their parents will start creating one problem or another. In our case, there was no interference. We knew that it was just a temporary thing. Are you contemplating taking a new wife, even at 74? I am contemplating that, but I am

INTREVIEW

51

‘My life turned around from the day I declined a bribe from an expatriate as a policeman’

•Bikikoro

taking my time. I do not want to rush into taking the decision. One should also take into consideration his family set-up. Most people will rush into it and turn to something that will turn the whole family upside down. One must be very careful. I have been a Justice of the Peace (JP) for over 20 years. How many years did you spend in the police and why did you leave? I was in the police for five years. When I got to Osogbo (Osun State capital), people were calling me Kogbagbere (he who is very firm and would not take nonsense). I was not taking bribe or money from anybody. I was just a Constable. I was transferred to Ile-Ife (Osun State), where I was in charge of records/motor traffic, and I was always in the office. An expatriate, Mr. Eric Kempster, had an accident. I was told to go to the scene. When I got there, I saw that he skidded off the road. A new Mercedes Benz car of less than 48 hours was completely damaged. The expatriate asked me to help him with police report in order to compel the insurance company to give him a new car. I promised to assist him. I wrote the statement for him. I went to my boss, Emmanuel Adeniji. May his soul rest in peace. He was from Ibadan (Oyo State capital). I told my boss

that if I presented my report, he should please back it up and he said no problem. The expatriate came the next day and brought his driver’s licence, because he was not with his licence on the day of the accident. He then gave me a brown envelope. When I opened the envelope, I saw Nigerian currency notes. I told him there was money inside; that he gave me a wrong envelope. He told me to take the money and that the licence was also inside the envelope. I told him to stop the nonsense. I asked him: ‘What is your money to me? What is your standing to mine?’ I was a Constable and I was telling him off. The expatriate was startled and was looking at me. He later said he was sorry and brought out his licence from the envelope. I told him to go to the treasury the following day and pay 10 shillings for police report and bring the receipt to us and he would get the report. He did. He got the report and was given a new car. I never saw him again. A year later, I was transferred to Ibadan. I went to where you had the Catering Rest House in Ibadan. There was auction sale for fridges. I had 10 pounds in my pocket. I said let me go and buy fridge and do big man in the barracks. On getting there, they said the fridge was

When I got back to the room, I told Junaid that the young man (Jonathan) was a nice man. Junaid said okay... After that encounter, I discovered that Junaid was doing the shortlisting of the people to be recruited in the OMPADEC...

,

20 pounds; that the auctioneer had changed the price. I was so downcast. As I was walking away, somebody tapped me behind. I turned and saw the same expatriate, whom I assisted at Ile-Ife, and he asked me to come. He asked what I was doing there. I told him I was transferred to Ibadan. He said I was transferred to Ibadan and I did not ask of him. I smiled and said to be sincere, I could no longer remember his name. That was the truth. The expatriate then asked me to follow him. Little did I know that he was the Managing Director of NIPOL, the first plastic industry in Nigeria. He took me to his office and that was the first time I went into an air-conditioned office. He called his Secretary to give me tea and biscuit. He said I was the policeman who insulted him and that he reported me to my expatriate boss, Mr. Bell, the then Commissioner of Police. I asked if he reported me to my boss because I refused his bribe. I said if he wanted my boss to fire me, let him do so. He laughed and said no. He said Mr. Bell had promised to promote me. He asked: ‘Do you know that Mr. Bell is my father’s course mate?’ He said his father was also a police officer in London. He took me round the factory. When we returned to his office, he said: ‘You are a very brilliant boy. I will take you to England and get you trained. You will come back to Ibadan and work with me as my Production Manager.’ I told him I was just a Standard Six holder without any knowledge of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and other vital subjects. He asked me not to worry; that I would be trained. He was the man who took me to England. There I studied for my GCE and read for Diploma in Plastic Technology. And I am proud to say that I am the first Nigerian Plastic Technologist. I did Industrial Management and I later went for Postgraduate in Management. After the training, I returned to Nigeria and I was offered the position of Production Manager. I told them I had missed my family and my parents for six years. I was told to go and see them for two weeks. When I got to Port Harcourt, someone leaked the secret to Alfred Diete-Spiff (the pioneer military governor of the old Rivers State and the current Amanyanabo (king) of coastal Twon-Brass in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State). They tried to set up a boatyard and had made two attempts and failed. They said that there was somebody from Sabagreia, who had got a job in Ibadan, saying they better got me and let me do the job for them. That was how I was conscripted by DieteSpiff to set up the Waterglass Boatyard in Port Harcourt as the Managing Director. It was successful. I had a mate in the postgraduate class, Aminu Danbaba, from Kano. That is also the link between myself and Junaid. When I first met with Junaid and I asked if he knew Aminu Danbaba, he described him as a good friend of his and I told Junaid that Danbaba was my classmate. Junaid got in touch with Danbaba and said his classmate abroad was with him. Will it be correct to say that you resigned from the police because of your contact with the expatriate in Ibadan? Yes.. In short, you are advising Nigerians, especially policemen, that hard work and honesty pay? That is the message I want to deliver to the policemen; that honesty and hard work pay. They should forget about extorting mostly-cursed money from the people. They should be content with whatever they are paid. I have given polite, honest and hardworking policemen

money on so many occasions. Money given voluntarily is blessed. Policemen should stop forcing people to offer them bribes. When you extort money, you are cursed. I am 100 per cent in support of the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, for banning road blocks and reforming the police. I will not have been what I am today if I collected bribe from the expatriate, Mr. Eric Kempster, in Ile-Ife. How many policemen have had the fortune of being taken abroad, especially England, by an expatriate for training and further studies because he rejected bribe earlier offered? How many policemen have had the fortune of becoming the managing director of Waterglass Boatyard, among others? Policemen should be provided with very good accommodation, be well-trained, adequatelyequipped and well-paid. They should also be given allowances to motivate them. Policemen were very good in various sports. They should still be encouraged to continue participating. Will it be correct to describe President Jonathan as a tribalist for appointing Ijaw persons as the National Security Adviser (NSA), Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and Minister of Petroleum Resources? President Jonathan is not tribalistic. Was Junaid qualified to have been appointed into OMPADEC? The man in Kano, what does he know about the Niger Delta? Won’t the appointment be one of the ways of providing checks and balances, thereby ensuring that the Niger Deltans focus on development? Which checks and balances? The NSA, Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd.), is a security expert. Gwarzo was NSA for many years, there was no hue and cry. When an Ijaw man who is qualified is appointed, then they will talk of tribalism. President Jonathan has taken two oaths of office. If he contests and wins in 2015, he will be taking the third oath of office, which is not in line with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. How do you react to this? The Supreme Court is there to interpret the constitution. Junaid can go to the Supreme Court. What is your reaction to the protest that followed the renaming of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) to Moshood Abiola University by President Goodluck Jonathan? What is there in the change of name? People have been calling on the Federal Government to immortalise Abiola. President Jonathan has immortalised Abiola. Some people are now asking why he immortalised him. You do not blow hot and cold at the same time. Most Nigerians are saying that since the late Chief MKO Abiola was not a sectional leader, the National Stadium, Abuja or the University of Abuja should have been named after him. Will this not be better? President Jonathan has done the right thing by renaming UNILAG after Abiola. The President has no problem with the South-West. It is too early to assess or judge the President. It took about two years to judge the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola. When he was elected governor, some people were saying he was too slow and not doing well, but he took his time. Fashola is one of the best governors in Nigeria. President Jonathan has just done one year. Let us wait and see. I can assure you that he will transform Nigeria, as he has promised.


52

FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

COMMITMENT: Backbone of successful

DEAR Reader, you are welcome to this teaching, the second in the series. We started last week by looking at what commitment actually means. I hope you have taken advantage of that teaching to examine yourself to know if you are really committed to your marriage. In case you are not, however, all hope is not lost. God can give you peace in place of problems, joy where there has been sorrow, and breakthroughs for your breakdowns. He can calm that storm in your home, just as He calmed the storm in Mark 4:37-39. Today, by the special grace of God, we shall be looking at two levels of commitment as it relates to marriage. Commitment is first to God, and to man (your spouse). One precedes the other. One is the foundation for the other. Hebrews 3:4 reveals that

although every house is built by man, God is the ultimate builder of all things. That means apart from God, all your building efforts will amount to nothing. John 15:5 reiterating this truth says: …For without me ye can do nothing. The first level of commitment is Commitment to God! God’s Word says: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1). That is, God wants you to commit yourself totally to Him, holding nothing back, and because all things belong to Him and are controlled by Him, you should offer yourself as a living sacrifice. The wonderful thing about this is that when you get committed to God,

you truly find your destiny (Matthew 10:39), it is then that He is able to give you His more abundant life (John 10:10), and He is able to do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). God wants a life that is totally yielded to Him. There are many dedicated Christians, who are probably willing to accept God’s direction at any moment and surrender everything to Him to accomplish whatever He has chosen for them to do. However, this seems to be the exception rather than the norm. They have accepted Christ as their Saviour, but have not made Him their Lord. Show me a man who is genuinely committed to the Lord, and I will show you one who will be committed to the success of his marriage and family. Any man or woman who is committed to God will, without difficulty, be committed to his or her spouse. I remember on September 12, 1976, my husband (then my fiancé) called me and said, “Are you sure you can marry a man like me?” He wrote a paper he titled; “Sailing Under Sealed Orders.” I love a particular closing remark he made in that write-up. He said, “Christ is either Lord of all or not Lord at all. Where He sends, I will go, what He says, I will do. Even if He asks me to renounce all, I will not even think twice before I do.” Then he asked

marriages (2) me to sign, if I was in agreement with the content. I could see his commitment to God and His Kingdom, and since I was also committed to God, I knew without doubt that we were going in the same direction. That is why wherever God tells my husband to go today, I don’t see myself as having a right to question God or even ask “Why?” I signed up for it many years ago. Our commitment to God is so deep that I don’t feel bad, if during a church service my husband whispers in my ears that we are giving an offering to God. This is because I signed up for total commitment to God in 1976. On another occasion, as a young nursing mother, I came home with my entire salary, and presented it to my husband. He said to me, “God spoke to me before you came in that we are to sow everything as a seed.” To further complicate the matter, those were the days of scarcity of essential commodities in Nigeria, when they were being rationed. Then, one could have money and not get the commodities to purchase. But with no money at all, what happens? However, the God of all sufficiency was more than enough for us! Instead of being in lack after sowing my entire salary, we became dis-

tributors to those around us, by the supernatural supplies of God. Receive grace today for a life of commitment in your marriage. In case you are reading this article today, and you are not born again, there is no way you can be committed to God. Without commitment to God, you cannot be committed to your spouse. You need to be committed to God first by giving your life to Christ. If you are set for this experience, you need to say this prayer of faith and be committed to it: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Till I come your way again next week, call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: Email: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches, and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, and Building A Successful Family.

Pneumonia is the largest cause of death in children

•Vaccination gives prevention

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NEUMONIA is a general term that refers to an infection of the lungs, which can be caused by a variety of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. According to the World health Organization, WHO, Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide. Every year, pneumonia kills more than two million children ages five years and younger worldwide. The Lagos president of the meical women association of Nigeria, Dr Dumebi Owa said that 20 percent of infant death in Nigeria is caused by pneumonia. Often, pneumonia begins after an upper respiratory tract infection (an infection of the nose and throat), with symptoms of pneumonia beginning after two or three days of a cold or sore throat. “A child with chest congestion, a cough, runny nose and low-grade fever likely has viral pneumonia, and Mother Nature treats those herself,” said Dr. John Bradley. Bradley, a professor and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of California also

Risikat RAMONI said, “If the child has a fever of 104, is barely able to keep fluids down, just wants to lie in bed and is breathing fast, it may be bacterial pneumonia and require antibiotics and hospitalization.” Symptoms vary depending on the age of the child and the cause of the pneumonia, but common ones include: •fever •chills •cough •nasal congestion •unusually rapid breathing (in some cases, this is the only symptom) •breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds •labored breathing that makes the rib muscles retract (when muscles under the ribcage or between ribs draw inward with each breath) and causes nasal flaring •vomiting •chest pain •abdominal pain •decreased activity •loss of appetite (in older kids) or poor feeding (in infants), which

may lead to dehydration. Duration With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia can be cured within one to two weeks. Viral pneumonia may last longer. Transmission Pneumonia can be spread in a number of ways. The viruses and bacteria that are commonly found in a child’s nose or throat, can infect the lungs if they are inhaled. They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after birth. Risk factors While most healthy children can fight the infection with their natural defences, children whose immune systems are compromised are at higher risk of developing pneumonia. A child’s immune system may be weakened by malnutrition or undernourishment, especially in infants who are not exclusively breastfed. Pre-existing illnesses, such as symptomatic HIV infections and measles, also increase a child’s risk of contracting pneumonia. The following environmental factors also increase a child’s susceptibility to pneumonia: •indoor air pollution caused by cooking and heating with biomass fuels (such as wood or dung) •living in crowded homes •parental smoking. In addition, “poverty, poor hygiene, malnourishment are some of the other risk factors in Nigeria. A child that is malnourished, not wellfed, is prone to many diseases, including pneumonia,” said Dr Owa. Prevention Some types of pneumonia can be prevented by vaccines. Immunization against Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent pneumonia. Adequate nutrition is key to improving children’s natural defences, starting with exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. In addition to being effective in preventing pneumonia,

it also helps to reduce the length of the illness if a child does become ill. Dr Owa said, “I know it is not easy to eat well in this country because things are quite expensive. “A food formular I will prescribe to prevent malnourishment in children is; maize, groundnut, soyabeans, crayfish and dry fish all roasted or dried together till it becomes crisp. Thereafter, mill it dry. Take a little quantity and mix with water, thereafter, give to your child(ren).” Addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution (by providing affordable clean indoor stoves, for example) and encouraging good hygiene in crowded homes also reduces the number of children who fall ill with pneumonia. In general, pneumonia is not contagious, but the upper respiratory viruses and bacteria that lead to it are, so it is best to keep children away from anyone who has an upper respiratory tract infection. Vaccination According to guidelines from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), in America, Immunizations, including a yearly flu vaccine, are the best way to protect children from life-threatening pneumonia. The vaccine available to prevent pneumococcal disease in children is the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). The medical women President said that people who cannot afford the vaccine should shout out. “We can assist them by soliciting support from well-meaning Nigerians.” She urged women to strive to vaccinate their children and ignore partying and irrelevant spending, as is the common practise in Nigeria. Dr Owa stressed that, vaccination gives prevention. Treatment Antibiotics is often used in the treatment of pneumonia. But they should be prescribed at a health care centre or hospital. “Asides antibiotics, vitamin C

and B complex should be added to a pneumonia infected child’s medication,” said Dr Owa. WHO and UNICEF launched the Global action plan for the prevention and control of pneumonia (GAPP). The plan is: •protect children from pneumonia include promoting exclusive breastfeeding and hand washing, and reducing indoor air pollution; •prevent pneumonia with vaccinations; •treat pneumonia are focused on making sure that every sick child has access to the right kind of care — either from a community-based health worker, or in a health facility if the disease is severe — and can get the antibiotics and oxygen they need to get well. The assistant director of pubic affairs and communication of Pfizer, Mrs Margaret Olele urged the Nigerian government to make pneumococal vaccination one of the regular immunization every child will be given. She pleaded with parents to care for their children the same way they care for their car, shoes, jewelries and other personal belongings. She noted that Nigeria has the highest number of death as a result of pneumonia, in Africa.


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Family unions - a big question of our times

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VERYONE needs a family but “family” means different things to different persons. Thus the definitions and roles of next-of-kin (N.O.K.), proxy decisions, health responsibilities, and matters that fall within civic or religious jurisdictions continue to be tested. We are continually examining the concept of “family” and wondering what is norm, what is variant, what is healthy, what is unhealthy, what is acceptable, and what is unacceptable? A man takes a woman as part of his family, or takes another man as part of his family, or takes a child as part of his family, or takes a dog as part of his family. How are the members of a family related sexually and asexually and how does it affect them physically, psychologically, spiritually, and socially? What civic rights would any family own? Would government and health insurance providers accept or deny any member of one’s family for health care coverage or other benefits? Many families of the near future are going to be faced with health and medical choices that humans did not face in the past centuries. Some of these are already rampant and include in vitro fertilization, extramarital conception, and extramarital parenting including single parenting. We will all live as civic equals with persons who are born different, with persons who end up different, and with persons who choose to be different. Human living has evolved from its metaphoric simplicity “in the Garden of Eden”. Hardly anything we do is natural anymore: we don’t look natural like animals, we are covered in clothes and ornaments; we don’t eat naturally, we clean and prepare or cook food and drinks; we don’t live in natural habitats, we build and transform our environments; we do not move about naturally, we move across the skies better than birds and we have delved into the bottom of oceans and launched into space. In recent times, our intellect has dominated another aspect of life – reproduction, like never before. Religion observes human ingenuity and has to keep defining good and evil with every novelty. In days past, many single women went into old age deprived of children because they could not get married and some married women suffered likewise because they could not have children within their marriages. Many of them perhaps spent the latter years of their lives on antidepressant and antipsychotic medications, apart from putting up with perpetual ridicule and torture from their societies. For today’s woman, such hardships are largely nonsense because of various possibilities open to infertile people. Already, there are several examples in the Bible

(and perhaps in other religious books) of human ingenuity in tackling infertility and childlessness. Within marriages, men and women with fertility problems today are able to receive various medical assistances: donor sperm, donor eggs, surrogate pregnancy, and in vitro fertilization. Single men or women are also able to have children with donor sperm, donor eggs, and surrogate pregnancy. The same goes for gay or lesbian couples. Conception that was culturally walled by marriage is now culturally without boundary. In our times, aging single women go solo if they want children. One’s right to life and to beget life is no more left to the prerogatives or dictates of other human beings. The doctor of today and tomorrow, working in public institutions, has to attend to persons of various sexual orientations and “people of choice”. Teachers in schools are faced with novelty and all children, irrespective of their parents, need to experience a world of equal rights and freedoms and opportunity to be the best they can be. For health management, our times are facing “family” reconceptualized. From the original man, woman, and their children families, we have everything from families of celibate same-sex individuals cohabitating to families of sexually-related same-sex individuals cohabitating within civic entities. Recently, the President of the United States and the Democratic Party in the USA aired their support for equal civic rights for gay and straight persons who want to marry. Certainly, in Judaic faiths’ theological reality, marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman while in some forms of Hinduism, marriage is transcendental to gender and in Buddhism, it is a civic affair that can be blessed in the Temple. Regardless of faith, straight people often find difficulty in criminalization or absolution of persons that do not fall into the broader male-female gender classification and we are all learning to live and let live. All faiths definitely recognize the existence of a diversity of minority personalities with various sexual orientations. Modern governments have sought to resolve ensuing matters by establishing conditions for civil unions. Civil unions or civil partnerships originated in Denmark in 1989 and have spread to many countries. Civil unions have been established for straights (heterosexuals), gays (homosexuals), or bisexuals because democratic governments have duties and justice equally towards all citizens whether of straight orientation or of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) orientation. Governments equate marriage and civil union for civic rights and in addition to such civic synonymity, governments officiate both civil unions and marriages - but can government duties be sacramental? Religion and politics are trying to sort out what is Caesar’s and what is God’s.

Handwashing prevents disease

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HE Programme Officer, Water, Sanitation and Hygeine (WASH), Lagos State Ministry of Rural Development, Engr Mrs. Sanni Anibire has appealled to individuals and development partners to assist the government in providing hand washing facilities in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos state. Anibire made this known at the climax of the 100 School Survey sponsored by Unilever’s Lifebuoy Soap in partnership with Ecole De Dessin to teach children the benefits of washing their

Health Tip Maintain a healthy diet Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish contain high amounts of nutrients like antioxidants and fatty acids. Antioxidants are chemicals in fruits and vegetables that protect cells from damage caused by free radical oxygen in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are chemicals found in large quantities in nuts (especially walnuts) and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. Fatty acids help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels and may reduce brain inflammation and aid in brain function.

Adeola OGUNLADE

hand held recently at the Low Cost Housing Nursery and Primary School One and Two, Jakande Estate, Lagos State. The programme which started on the 13th of March, 2011 at Mushin Local Government Council area was extended to schools within Alimosho and Isolo Local Government Area. According to her, the state government has continued to sensitise heath centres and schools in Lagos on the need to cultivate the acts of hand washing which is very germane in reducing the increasing rate of mortality among children in Lagos state. She noted that although the effort towards promoting hand washing has been effective but many public secondary schools in Lagos State lacked basic facilities for hand washing which are needed in entrenching good hand washing techniques among the youths. She appealed to individuals and development partners to help in equipping the schools with hand washing equipment such as buckets, soaps, water guard, among others. Earlier in his speech, the Brand Manager of

•Regular hand washing can reduce children’s death by 20 percent Unilever’s Lifebuoy Soap, Dextan Abiola said that the hand washing campaign was put together to reduce 20 percent mortality rate among children in Nigeria. He said, “there are so many children who died before five years because they were sick as a result of germs gotten by what they eat and how dirty their hands are. We will reduce the mortality rate among children when they become ambassadors of safe hand washing”. In his opening address, the Chief Executive Officer, Ecole De Dessin, Adetunwase Adenle highligted that the first phrase of the project was

for 100 schools and in each school, the children were taught health and hygiene education and were also encouraged to pledge to wash their hands especially before eating. “The idea was to educate the children about the importance of washing their hands with soap and water and encourage them to do it at home, at school and in their communities. Washing of hands is one of the simplest methods of preventing disease causing germs and it should be a habit to cultivate if we are to achieve the millennium Development goals 4,” Adenle said.

53 Coping with diseases with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

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Male infertility

NFERTILITY is a condition in which a man and woman try to have children but the woman does not become pregnant. Primarily, infertility affects 15% to 20% of couples who wish to conceive. Approximately one-third of cases result from male factors, one-third from female factors, and one-third from combined factors. It is therefore crucial to evaluate both partners before deciding on any form of natural or artificial intervention. Such evaluation is warranted if there is no pregnancy after 6 months of regular, unprotected intercourse. Hormonal profiles and detailed semen analysis are the cornerstones of laboratory investigations after the history and physical examination. Investigations for causes in the male are safer and simpler; consequently, they are normally performed first to save cost and to save the woman a series of tests, if a cause can be found in the male. Unfortunately, most men do not submit themselves to fertility tests. Rather, they ascribe the shortcomings to their wife’s conditions only. Men are sometimes unable to make their women pregnant because they have fewer sperm than is normal. This condition, scientifically called Oligospermia, is the presence of less than 20 million sperms per milliliter in the ejaculate; while Azoospermia is the total absence of sperm cells. Causes of male infertility include testicular abnormalities, chronic infections such as Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Staphylococcus, Trichomoniasis, Candidiasis, etc., as well as environmental factors (such as irradiation), nutritional imbalance, drugs, sexual habits, etc. In trying to solve the problem of male infertility, it should be understood that spermatogenesis, that is, the process from sperm formation to maturation takes approximately 74 days. It is therefore necessary to go back to nature and observe events while exercising patience over a period of about three (3) months, before drawing conclusion on viability or efficacy of bio-medical intervention. Thus, a repeat sperm analysis is only meaningful after three (3) months of intervention. It is also important to note that hormones and other medicines commonly given to men who cannot have babies almost never do any good; magic cures are not likely to help either. Unfortunately, most men with problem of infertility would want it solved overnight; thereby patronizing phony, unscientific and self-acclaimed instant healers! Be careful not to waste your money on things that will not help. Education, with respect to the proper timing for intercourse in relation to the female’s ovulatory cycle as well as the avoidance of spermicidal lubricants is very important. In cases of toxic exposure or medication-related factors, the offending agent should be removed. Patients with active genitourinary tract infections should be treated appropriately. Oligospermic and Azoospermic patients will benefit immensely from the holistic natural remedies scientifically formulated from herbal extracts of local plants such as Bombax buonopozense, Triumfetta cordifolia, Momordica charantia and Musa paradisiaca. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-3303897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment. who use unsterile syringes for drug injections.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

We will stop corps members from providing ad-hoc services during elections if...

— NYSC DG Okore-Affia The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, was a guest at a leadership forum in Abuja recently. He spoke on the challenges faced by the service and other sundry matters. Our Managing Editor, Northern Operation, YUSUF ALLI, and Abuja Bureau Chief, YOMI ODUNUGA, were there. Excerpts: Our belief is that if corps members are deployed to these four key areas, they will be able to render services directed and focused on national development with the attendant effects on the population. Through this process, of course, their host communities will be better for this because we have been to communities where education and health care delivery programmes survive purely on the corps members. It is unfortunate that some of these communities are regarded in Nigeria of today as volatile and insecure. But the truth is that a lot of these communities depend solely on the corps members to run their education and primary health care delivery programmes. Most of the employers of labour see corps members as source of cheap labour; some no longer bother employing fresh hands since these corps members are readily available all the year round to service them. And this is contributing to unemployment. What are you doing to address this? This is one important area we want to address under the new administration. We have commenced the implementation with the Batch ‘A’ of 2012 and so far, even with the expected opposition and resistance, we are making progress. We have three batches for the service year, that is, Batch ‘A’, Batch ‘B’ and Batch ‘C’. A lot of organisations are eagerly waiting for these corps members to come on board as replacement for the outgoing ones; they did not bother to go to the labour market to employ Nigerians, and we think that if we deprive them of this cheap subsidised labour, they will be compelled to meet their manpower needs by employing Nigerians. Another area we felt is due for review is the concept of orientation course programmes. The concept has been affected by manual activities and a few lectures on the culture, tradition and history of the host communities. We thought that corps members needed something extra, because government jobs are no longer there for the people to pick from. Therefore, we felt it is necessary to introduce a skill acquisition programme for the corps members to equip them and thereafter have something to build on at the end of their service years. We all know

that the labour market is already saturated and the jobs are not there. Corps members are skilled in the areas of animal husbandry, fish and grass cutter farming, snailery and bee-keeping. All these are very good businesses with available markets, especially if you are very good in raising snails and grass cutters. Though these may have nothing to do with what the corps members read in their various schools, surely they are alternative means of livelihood. What measures have you taken to address the security challenges faced by corps members in their areas of primary assignment? We have also decided to introduce some elements of martial arts training in our orientation programme, targeted primarily at our female corps members. Prior to my coming on board, we had issues of female corps members being molested by okada riders; some by the traditional rulers. The thinking is that if these young ladies have some form of self-defence training, they would be able to say no in more ways than one. The main aim is to give these young ladies a fighting chance so that they would be able to defend themselves before the deed is done. They will probably not be helpless victims, but will be able to fight for themselves rather than crying for help. At the concluded orientation for Batch ‘A’ 2012, I was actually amazed at the reception of the particular martial art training for the female corps members. It was interesting to see some level of enthusiasm witnessed and we are building on it. Like I always tell my corps members, sometimes it is better to possess a skill and really not need it than to desperately need it and not have it. We have also taken some steps in addressing security concerns of corps members, parents and guardians, especially with the level of insecurity in some parts of the country, and building on the sad event of March or April, 2011. Also, we set up a distress call centre at the national headquarters in Abuja here. The way it is configured to work is that every corps member who is mobilised is required to provide a functional GSM number registered in his or her name. When that corps member completes orientation and is deployed for primary assignment, the place of that assignment is captured and details of security agencies in that locality are all captured. If any corps member calls the centre with the reg- istered number, every details of that person will be dis- played on the screen for its operator to relay back to any security agency within the primary assignment of the corps member making the distress call for prompt rescue operation. The aim of this is primarily to reduce as much as possible the reaction time between when a corps member or groups give some forms of distress and when they get help. We are assuring the general public that as long as they are with their registered GSM numbers within the service areas, corps members can reach the call centre and tell us their complaints . So far, we have not received a call for any help under distress.

•Okore-Affia

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OME persons have called for a paradigm shift in the running of the National Youth Service Corps, especially in the posting of corps members. As the DG of the NYSC, what are you doing to change this? The NYSC is 38 years plus and it was established primarily to foster unity among Nigerians. 38 years, I must say, are a long period to pursue the agenda of unity. I joined the service 31 years ago and when I was appointed as the DG of NYSC, I discovered that the NYSC was still running the same programmes that were in place when I was a corps member and I asked why we had not been sticking to the goal of fostering unity. There is need for a paradigm shift to repositioning the NYSC to attain modern day realities. One area that we view very important is the posting of corps members. People think that corps members should be posted to every available place where they need the services of cheap and subsidized labour, but this is not correct. Even if the NYSC was established to foster national unity, then corps members should be able to render service to the nation first, before service to self and private organisations or individuals. For instance, we look at corps members serving in banks and private organisations, and we ask: where does national service come into this if they are sent to banks? Therefore, I said it is necessary to bring back the actual concept of national service into the NYSC to build on the concept of national unity. If corps members are posted to the rural communities to render services in education, primary health care centres, among others, these communities will not only benefit from the core manpower, but they will begin to appreciate the need for national unity. It is not just the corps members who will be preaching the national unity, but also the host communities that will receive young men and women from various other communities to render services in their domains. Through this, they will agree that national unity is something that is a worthwhile venture. Then, we came up with a positive policy design to address top key areas like education, primary health care delivery, agriculture and infrastructural development.

Even if the NYSC was established to foster national unity, then corps members should be able to render service to the nation first, before service to self and private organisations or individuals

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

‘Employers should stop using corps members as cheap labour’

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Also in addressing the security concerns, we have intensified and increased our collaborations with the security agencies. As it is known, the National Youth Service Corps is not a security agency and that is why we need collaboration with those that are empowered to provide physical security, since we care about the security of our corps members. We have reached out to the Nigeria Police, State Security Service (SSS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and they have been very responsive. At the last orientation, we had increased deployment of manpower from these organisations and of course also from the Nigerian Army, all which provided security for the corps members. Thereafter, when they were deployed for their primary assignments, we have also compiled addresses of all existing lodges where the corps members usually reside while serving and gave the same to security agencies within those areas for them to know the direction of the corps members in time of need for help whenever the need arises. What’s your take on the call that corps members should not be posted to volatile areas? Nigeria has 36 states plus one federal capital territory. By our mandate, we must post corps members to every state of the federation good or bad. However, because some areas have been described as volatile, for one reason or the other, we have reduced the number of corps members posted to those states such that at the end of orientation they are deployable within the state capitals and maybe one or two local government areas where they can be easily reached by the state coordinator, the commissioner of police or state director of the SSS so that you don’t have them in far-flung areas where help will not get to them. But the truth is that each state is deserving of whatever number of corps members that should be sent to them. Like I said earlier, there are 36 states and the FCT that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will not deliberately send people to violence prone areas but at least to state capitals. The focus has always been on the service year and no effort has been spared to prepare corps members after the national service. Is the NYSC thinking of preparing the corps members for life after service? We also have what we call the War Against Poverty Initiative. This was derived from the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, which centres on the eradication of poverty. Corps members who partake in our skills acquisition training and, who at the end of their service year, are desirous of establishing their businesses are given interest-free loans to start such businesses. The main requirement is to have a workable memorandum of understanding, MoU, with a guarantor and the only collateral required is the certificate of national service which will be released to the corps member at the end of completion of the loan facility. So far, about 2, 000 to 3, 000 corps members have accessed the facility. The loans range from N150, 000 to N250, 000 per individual for small scale enterprises. That these loans are being repaid by the first set of beneficiaries is an indication that their businesses are thriving. It is not only the corps members that are building successful businesses, but also the labour market is beginning to find answers to the large scale unemployment in the country because for every business that succeeds, one or two members of the community where the business is located will also gain employment from the corps members. It is our hope that for every 10 corps members, if nine succeed and each employs five local hands, we will go a long way in addressing the issue of youth unemployment in the

There is need for a paradigm shift to repositioning the NYSC to attain modern day realities. One area that we view very important is the posting of corps members. People think that corps members should be posted to every available place where they need the services of cheap and subsidized labour, but this is not correct

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country. So far, this is how far we have gone and we hope to build on this and take the NYSC to the next level by making it contribute positively to the socio-economic development of the nation. Considering the short nature of the orientation period, how do you crystallise some of the programmes and the intensive nature of some of the skills acquisition for the corps members to understand what is expected of them? The orientation period is short but we use it mainly to sensitise corps members and thereafter those that are interested in acquiring these skills will be put through a proper skills acquisition programme throughout the service year. It is only after that that they are required to write an MOU and a business plan and submit. We know that the orientation is too short to acquire the rudiments of these skills, but it is meant to sensitise because out of say 3000 corps members posted to a state, maybe just about 500 might be interested in maybe say agro-based skills. We consider the willingness of young men and women to get their hands dirty in the name of skill acquisition and will take the duration of the orientation into consideration and stretch it out through the entire service year. What are you doing to extend the skills acquisition to other areas of endeavours apart from the agrobased ones to areas like Information Communication Technology? I want us to understand that the NYSC scheme is not an internship programme; it is not meant to prepare people for positions in banks and private organizations. It is meant to address service to the nation first after which each individual is now at liberty to either go to NNPC or a bank or any other company. The agro-based skills we introduced are meant to address immediate needs and eradication of hunger and poverty. We have also introduced some other complementary skills like ICT, computer repairs, beads and hat making for ladies; we are not restricting ourselves to agro-skills only. We will expand our scope based primarily on the level of funding that we receive to enable us increase the loan facility. There are some skills for instance that N250, 000 loan cannot build any meaningful business and so right now we are constrained to operate within the approved loan facilities. What is the NYSC doing to ensure the continuity of corps members’ community development projects after they have completed the scheme? It is expected that when a corps member decides to embark on a community development project in his or her place of primary assignment, that project should be within the scope that the corps member can easily handle and complete within the service year. No corps member is expected to go half way for another corps member to come and complete the project. The reason being that the presidential

award given to deserving corps members at the end of each service year is actually based on corps member’s performance and their impact on their host community. The corps member who initiates a project that is meant to put him or her in contention for the award and if that project is not completed, the aim will be defeated. Therefore, no corps member goes out to start a project that cannot be completed within the duration of his service year, and, of course, if a project is abandoned over one reason or the other, the next set of corps members are not duty bound to complete the project. However, what we usually tell our corps members is that you don’t go to a place and decide what your CD project should be, rather the host community tells you what they would want you to do for them. You being the educated expert, they now pool their resources and the manpower to execute the project. I am aware that for the past two months, corps members’ allowances have not been paid; why is this so? And why don’t you consider insuring corps members instead of relying on donations from the public sphere? I can tell you here and now that the allowances of April and May have been paid; there is no outstanding allowance. However, the delay was occasioned by some errors between the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant General and the Office of the Director General, Budget. There is this migration of civil servants’ emoluments to a platform called IPPIS. It is meant to address salaries and not c o r p s member’s allowances; apparently both were lumped together and that caused that delay. Unfortunately the AIE for April was signed only on May 14 and the Accountant General did not release funds even for April until 17 May. We are working to ensure that funds for June and July are released on time so that corps members do not pass through that same harrowing experience. However, there is another category of corps members who have not collected some outstanding allowances. These are corps members who have relocated from violenceprone areas to some other states. In their hurry to run away, they did not go through some administrative procedures. Therefore, their allowances are

still being sent to their original states of redeployment, while the corps members have gone to either the new states of deployment or are relaxing somewhere. I will tell you here and now that a large percentage of redeployment requests are not actually initiated by corps members, but by people who are senior to the DG. When a corps member does not directly apply, the losing state will not know until well after that redeployment has been done; so the losing state will continue to account for this corps member and will continue to receive his or her allowances. Until that corps member goes back to do some administrat i v e proce-

•Okore-Affia

dure and now transfer his or her documents to the new state, the allowances will continue to be domiciled in the old state of deployment. The money will be there, not that the money won’t be there. That is the second categories of corps members who are complaining that they have not been paid. We have a life assurance policy for corps members; it pays N1,000, 000 per corps member and it is managed by Capital Express Insurance. We also have a health insurance for corps members and we have health management organisations covering the six geopolitical zones; we have gone beyond looking for donations for corps members. Is there any way you can get the NYSC Act amended in the National Assembly and secondly what are the assurances that corps members will be protected during the forthcoming elections in Edo State? On the NYSC Act, there is a call for memoranda not just the NYSC Act, but other Acts or decrees that there are proposals to be amended or removed entirely from the constitution. The NYSC is a national programme, and we still believe that it has a lot to do with not only fostering national unity and integration, but assisting in the transformation agenda and helping to build and develop socio-economic advancement. We are canvassing that the NYSC Act remains part of the national constitution as much as possible because if it is removed from the constitution, it means it will be amendable to all manner of abuse. First instance, when the Bauchi incident happened, there were calls for the scheme to be scrapped entirely. When those calls were not heeded, other calls came up that the NYSC Act should be amended, especially in the areas of posting and deployment so that corps members are posted only to their areas of origin. But you will agree with me that that totally negates the concept of national unity and integration. Take for instance a child who grows up in the south west, he goes to primary school in Oyo State, goes to secondary school in Ogun State, comes back to the University of Ibadan and then serves in Osun State. There is no level of integration that child can impact on any host community. So as much as possible, we would want to canvass that the NYSC remains part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . On the Edo State elections, we are working with the INEC and we want to as much as possible get the INEC to commit that the security cover will be provided for corps members in July will be such that will have verifiable guarantees of security of corps members who the INEC will want to use as ad-hoc staff. However, if we are unable to get such guarantee, we will may prevail on the INEC to give us a waiver and not use corps members for the Edo election of July that is option B.


READER’S VIEW

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I disagree with Gen Dajuma but...

•Danjuma

Victor IZEKOR

zone (North East) with General Danjuma. General Shuwa refused to accept General Danjuma’s tag of Borno as a failed state. General Shuwa, who commended General Danjuma for his concern on challenges facing different states in Nigeria, including Borno State, declared, “I am, however, worried by his (Danjuma’s) very disturbing description of a state with functional executive, legislative and judicial arms of government, functional law enforcement agencies as well as citizens going about their daily routine as a failed state. Agreed Borno is facing challenges, but to call it a failed state is a remark in bad faith.” Continuing, General Shuwa said: “I cannot remember when last General Danjuma visited Borno not even with the crisis that should ordinarily attract

sympathy visits by leaders to extend hands of solidarity to fellows in turbulent times”. Also the presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, did not share the opinion of General Danjuma. According to Dr. Abati, “I was at that event where some speakers described Nigeria as a failed state or said Nigeria has become another Somalia . In my own view, they were only making political statements. Nigeria today is not Somalia . For a reasonable comparison to be made, one needs to take a trip to Somalia . You only need to take Somalia and place it side by side Nigeria “. The presidential spokesman went on: “Nigeria is not a failed state. Nigeria is a country that is working. Nigeria is a state that is functional. Nigeria has a leader that is responsive and responsible. Writing on this subject under the title, “How failed is failed” in his Monday column in the

Daily Trust of May 14, the columnist, Mohammed Jega, did not share the position of General Danjuma that Nigeria is already a failed state. According to Jega, “Somalianisation that Danjuma talked about, historically speaking, was a 1991 military coup in Somalia, overthrow of the brutal dictator General Siad Barre followed by a civil war between clan lords, collapse of central authority, balkanisation of national territory, off and on foreign intervention and the rise of Islamist and other militias. For now, only the last bit has happened in Nigeria, so I fear that there is still hope and a lot of room for optimism.” Jega went on: “The American think tank, Fund for Peace, has severally defined a failed state as one that suffers loss of control over its territory, incapacity to protect its people, loss of monopoly over legitimate violence and sharp economic decline, among others. So far, Nigeria’s government has shown elements of only the second and third items here”. However, General Danjuma got a boost and support for his stand. The opposition parties spearheaded by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by Senator Ahmed Tinubu and the Congress Party of Nigeria of General Muhammadu Buhari gave accolade to General Danjuma for his laudable and courageous speech, urging the President to take a bow. Similarly in his Friday column in the Daily Trust, the columnist, Adamu Adamu, commenting on the matter in discourse under the title, “In defence of Danjuma,” threw his weight behind the General’s assertion. According to Adamu, “the ingredients of state failure, many of which predate the current crisis, are essentially seven in number: erosion of legitimate authority, loss of control over territory, an inability to provide efficient public services, criminality and wide-spread corruption, sharp economic decline, loss of monopoly on the legitimate use of violence which leads to the creation of refugee problem and involuntary movements of population.” Adamu went on: “A semblance of normalcy doesn’t alter the fact of a state failure. A state does not have to descend to the level of Somalia before it qualifies as a failed state. The truth is that Somalia is a pure anarchy.” Personally, I disagree with General Danjuma, but not disagreeable. Judging strictly and conclusively but the parameters of a failed state as explained earlier

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HE terminology or phrase, “Nigeria, a failed state,” has become a recurring decimal expression that it has almost lost its impulse. Often times, some Nigerians, including highly respected ones, have resorted to this expression either out of genuine concern, ignorance, mischief, mere political statement to undermine, discredit or embarrass political opponents or outright playing to the gallery. Before we proceed further, it is pertinent to ask: what is a failed state? And how is this applicable to the present status of Nigeria as a Federation and Borno State as a state or unit with the Federation. A country is referred to as a failed state when everything goes haywire and in complete state of anarchy and the rule of law has virtually collapsed. A situation where things fall apart and the “centre can no longer hold” as the country “slipped into the hands of bandits”. This is the appellation or the “communist tag” given Nigeria repeatedly for a time now to the extent that the expression is becoming meaningless or of no effect to many. However, recently in Abuja at the “Morning of Reflections” event host by the Chairman of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, marking his 50th birthday anniversary, the phrase re-echoed but this time not without vibration and accompanied reactions. It was General Theophilus Y. Danjuma, the former Defence Minister under the Obasanjo administration, as one of the speakers at the event that sent the ground shaking. In his characteristic of nonmincing of words, General Danjuma declared, “…. Our house is on fire. Nigeria is becoming a Somalia. Somaliasation of Nigeria is taking place right now.” He then asked, “The Chief Security Officer of the state is the Governor. Where are our governors? Where are they? Right now, Borno is a failed state. Kano is threatening to become a failed state. Kano of all places. Kano ! Where are we going? Where on earth are we going? But we hear talks of multimillion naira fences around Government Houses, but what about the citizens.” In proffering a solution to the looming situation, General Danjuma declared, “We have to sit down and face the truth, get to the root of our problems and find solutions to the problem. The responsibility resides with us, those of us who call ourselves Northerners. Our house is on fire. Let ‘s not deceive ourselves. Let’s look at ourselves. Face ourselves and tell ourselves the truth and find solutions to our problems.” We will have to search our minds and find solutions to these problems”. And before the shout of Jack Robinson, General Danjuma’s speech was already pricking, provoking and prodding hours after proclamation. The first reaction came from a colleague, retired General and war veteran in person of General Mamman Shuwa who hails from the same geographical

THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

I beg to disagree with the respected General Danjuma that Nigeria is a failed nation or state. The same holds for Borno. However, I support his call on the northern stakeholders to come out boldly and engage themselves in frank talks regarding solutions to the present fire on the mountain in some parts of the North

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in this piece or feature, the position or stand of General Danjuma cannot be a tailor made for the present Nigeria as a sovereign nation or Borno as a federating unit or state within the Federation. At present, Nigeria as a sovereign nation is attracting foreign investors daily into the country, sign bilateral agreements with various countries with the nation’s leadership role especially in the sub-regions widely acknowledge. The three arms of the government at the centre the judiciary, the legislature and the executive - are functioning unhindered. The same argument holds for Borno State where the machinery of the government is fully operational in all respect. Neither has the centre nor state concerned assumed the toga of anarchy to justify the appellation of a failed state. That a nation shows some traits of a state likely to fail is not the same that the nation concerned has failed. Only recently, President Goodluck Jonathan was rated by the Time magazine as one of the hundred world influential leaders and not long ago the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mallam Mohammed Garba, handed over an award of “Excellence in Governance” on behalf of the union to Mallam Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno State . These could not have been coincidences. Even, terrorism, which everyone including some serving and retired generals agreed that is indeed a new phenomenon of security challenges to Nigeria, is seriously being addressed. Besides, this terrorist menace is restricted to some parts of the country (north). Also in the affected states like Borno, the attacks are limited to some areas which are being contained. For example, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) is one of the five of the 27 local government councils affected by the state of emergency. Even at that, only a fraction of the MMC consisting of London Ciki, Abbaganaram, Dala and Gwange that the attacks are sporadic. Life goes on as usual in the entire state though with occasional interruptions by sporadic shootings in some areas. In the light of the above argument, I beg to disagree with the respected General Danjuma that Nigeria is a failed nation or state. The same holds for Borno. However, I am not disagreeable with him on his call on the northern stakeholders to come out boldly and engage themselves in frank talks regarding solutions to the present fire on the mountains in some parts of the north. Anything short of this is postponing the evil day which, if allowed, would consume all. No amount of military action without the honest support of the northern elders and stakeholders will bring peace to the troubled zone. In the African parlance, when both hands wash each other, cleanliness is the result. •Izekor writes from Maiduguri


THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Ogun council poll: Court restrains OGSIEC over PDP nominations

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Federal High Court in Lagos has re strained the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) from accepting the nomination of candidates from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in

Eric IKHILAE the state for the forthcoming local government election. Justice Charles Achibong, ruling on two ex-parte applications by Adebayo Dayo and Semiu Sodipo, specifi-

cally restaiined the OGSIEC, its agents and officials from dealing with any other persons or groups except the plaintiffs, pending the determination of a motion for committal. Similarly,the court re-

From left: Commissioner for Special Duties, Lagos State, Mr. Wale Ahmed; Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu; Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris; and forensic expert and Chief Medical Examiner, Lagos State, Prof. John Obafunwa… yesterday PHOTO: Wale ADEPOJU

Amosun calls for partnership with private sector ... to reduce unemployment

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GUN State govern ment has sought for partnership with the private sector towards generating employment opportunities for the people. The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, made the call yesterday while receiving the executive of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta. Amosun, who was represented by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle, said the solution to the high rate of unemployment in the nation required the support of players in the private sector, adding that his government had given direct and indirect employment to over 11,000 workers within the first year in office. He emphasised the need to always ensure merit in the appointment process, emphasizing that all projects and programmes being put in place by the state government were in line with “The Ogun Standard” which would serve as a benchmark for other states. He stated that government was committed to training and retraining of its workforce, assuring that the Mission to Rebuild Ogun State was being pursued with vigour. Speaking earlier, the National President and Chairman of council of the institute, Chief Michael OlawaleCole, lauded Governor Amosun’s administration for the massive rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and development of urban and rural areas, stating that government’s vision to

turn the state to a metropolis with the commissioning of the 2.4km six-lane Ibara/ Ita-Eko/Sokori/Totoro road was worth commending. Chief Cole said, “In just one year in office, the impact

of your administration has been felt in all sectors of the state. I wish to single out for mention the peaceful co-existence between the executive and legislature under your charge unlike what obtained in the recent past.”

strained the OGSIEC from publishing or processing ,in any manner or for any purpose, any list of names or persons submitted to it as candidates of the PDP for the state’s 2012 local government elections by any other person or group of persons, except the plaintiffs, until the determination of the motion on notice for committal. Affected by the order are: Alhaja Risikat Ogunfemi, Alhaji Korede Lawal, Alhaji Bisiyu Adekanmi, Mutiu Agboke, Oyediran Aina, Kolawole Odesanya and Adetokunbo Williams (described as the moving minds of the OGSIEC). In effect, the OGGSIEC and its agents or officials are restrained from accepting candidates’ nominations from any other groups or persons including Ireti Oniyide, Tunde Oladunjoye and Faisiu Bakenne, except the plaintiffs who sued for themselves and on behalf of the state’s Executive Committee of the PDP. Justice Achibong also granted them leave to serve the OGSIEC, Oniyide, Oladunjoye and Bakenne by delievering court processes to adult persons within the premises of their addresses. The judge granted the plaintiffs leave to serve Form 48-notice of consequences of disobedience of court order - and all other processes in the suit on the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; the National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; and the party’s National Auditor, Bode Mustapha. Justice Achibong has fixed June 25 for further hearing.

Govt told to wage war against piracy

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OVERNMENT has been urged to wage a serious war against piracy in the interest of the intellectual development of the country. Recently on Owuro Lawa, a programme on the Lagos State Television (LTV), Mr M. Ola Kazim, the chairman, Board of Trustees of the Yoruba Video Film Producers/Marketers Association of Nigeria (YOVIFPMAN), said the government should embark on the war urgently in order to prevent problems that could militate against the social, economic and political development of Nigeria. “It is the belief of everybody in the entertainment industry that it is only the government that could effectively wage a war against piracy. This is why all of us in the industry, that is, actors, musicians, producers and other stakeholders, are calling on the government to help us flush out these undesirable elements from the music and acting fields. “All the stakeholders in the entertainment industry recently staged a protest in connection with this challenge of piracy. The protest was not against the government. It was against pirates and piracy. “Before the protest, there were efforts on our own

part. But these could not achieve the desired results considering the enormity of the problem. Piracy is not a problem we can confront on our own. It needs concerted efforts. This is why we are appealing to the government to bail us out of this problem created by heartless elements in our society,” Mr Kazim said. In response to a question, Mr. Kazim said: “These pirates are very powerful and courageous. They are not ashamed of what they are doing. There was a time they beat up a member of our association in Ile-Ife. It was a serious incident. We had to intervene to save the life of the fellow by taking him to hospital for treatment. There were other cases of open hostility to marketers from pirates. Any time we confront them in their nefarious activity, they attack us with impunity.” To underscore the importance of waging a serious war against piracy, Mr. Kazim further said: “Pirates are killing our business. When we release our works to the market in the morning, they will come out with theirs in the afternoon. How do we sell the original ones? In the light of this, we appeal to end users of our products to make sure that they

purchase original ones from the authentic producers and marketers. They should be very careful when making their purchases because our society is full of pirated copies of works of art.” Mr. Kazim praised the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, and his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Lateef Ibirogba, for their concern. “We don’t want to join pirates to commit atrocities. We are law-abiding citizens of this country. This is why we want our government to fight for us in the interest of all Nigerians”, he said.

Osun ACN congratulates Aregbesola, wife on awards

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has congratulated Governor Rauf Aregbesola on the international and regional award of excellence he got Thursday in recognition of his outstanding performance in environmental management and youth empowerment. The investituture was done in Osogbo to mark the 2012 World Environmental Day celebration by the African Round Table of Sustainable Consumption and Production under the auspices of the United Nations. The international body said it took the decision for this award on the governor in recognition of the fact that he was the first to declare emergency on environment in the country and initiate a mass employment of youths in the country with O’Yes project. The party, in a statement issued by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, said that inspite of the attempts by opponents of the governor to denigrate his achievements since he reclaimed his mandate, it is heartening that the world continues to appreciate and honour him for his efforts in changing the face of Osun State by cleaning up its environment and taking thousands of youths off the unemployment market. The party, therefore, urged the governor to continue in his strategic approach to governance which is producing results beyond the mental capacity of his political opponents to understand or appreciate. “The people of Osun State not only love what is going on, they feel grateful that the governor has not allowed negative criticisms to dampen his enthusiasm for service to our people”, the party spokesman said. Also the party congratulated the governor’s wife, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola who was made an Ambassador of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) by the Federal Government.

Alaafin commends Sanusi

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LAAFIN of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has described the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as a rare gem who has succeeded in revolutionising the banking institution to the benefit of the nation. Rating him as “a giant among the banking gurus in Africa and in the comity of nations all over the world”, the oba said that royal family members across the nation were proud of Sanusi’s outstanding performances, noting that he was the first CBN governor that would tell the National Assembly that its expenditure was above normalcy, and that unless we streamlined our expenses, the nation would continue to fumble in the woods. Alaafin gave the commendation when the apex bank’s boss paid him a courtesy visit in his palace.

“As many people have said, you are a gem in the history of banking profession. We have been very impressed by your track records in the industry, not only because of your brilliance, exposition, education, but also because you made us proud as a member of the family of the blue blood. “Many say that you are controversial, and you must because of your position. But much as your critics have complained, none of them has controverted the fact that you are a round peg in a round hole. Nobody has ever faulted your track records. Your economic policies have been superb and nobody has been able to fault them”, Alaafin said. Reacting, Sanusi thanked the Alaafin for the commendation, promising never to disappoint Nigerians and the royal members that he represents.

Union leader thanks Ajimobi

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RINCE KehindeAdeyemo, a leader of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has expressed the union’s gratitude to the governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, for bringing about peace in the state. The leader also called on the governor to allow transport unions to operate on the one day on, one day off basis at motor parks as operated in Lagos and Ogun states. Adeyemo, during a press

conference in Ibadan, reiterated the need for equal rights for the two transport unions in the state “since our own union operates within the purview of law that established it before the other union was established”. In his own speech, the national coordinator of the union, Chief Gabriel Adeniyi, implored Senator Ajimobi not to relent in his efforts to flush out criminals from the state and pledged their support.

Declare Abiola former president —Group

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HE June 12 Coalition for Democratic Formation (June 12 CODEF) has called on the Federal Government to declare the late Chief MKO Abiola a former President of Nigeria. The General Secretary of the group, Nelson Ejiwunmi, said this at a press conference at the Centre for Constitutional Governance, Anthony Village, Lagos. He said a protest would be staged on June 11 to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the annulled June

12,1993 presidential election won by Chief Abiola. Ejiwunmi said the protest march would start at Allen Roundabout, Ikeja, Lagos and terminate at Chief Abiola’s grave site, which is at the former politician’s house in Opebi, also in Ikeja, where prayers would be said for the continuous repose of his soul. The June 12 CODEF scribe revisited the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the annulled presidential election in1993. He said: “On June 12, 1993,

Nigerians in their millions went to the poll in a presidential election that was and is still being adjudged as the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s political history and voted with a common destiny in total rejection of arbitrariness and despotism that had come to be symbolised by the Nigerian state. The group said that other event planned to commemorate the anniversary was a symposium titled “Challenges and Prospects of True Federalism, Political Legitimacy and National Security”.


60 NEWS

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Ihonvbere dumps PDP, joins ACN

ROFESSOR Julius Ihonvbere, a stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and two-time gubernatorial candidate in Edo State, has defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. In an address to his teaming supporters who gathered in his country home at Uzebba, Owan West Local Government Area, the professor of political economy and special ad-

viser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Projects Monitoring and Implementation, chided the PDP for lacking the democratic ethos and vision needed to pilot an emerging democracy like Nigeria. Ihonvbere who has been repeatedly denied the opportunity to govern the state by the party’s acclaimed godfather, Chief Tony Anenih told the people that his coming

into ACN is to show that he has been fired by the courage of his conviction, that a people-driven democracy is the only solution to Nigeria’s multi-faceted problems. He promised to reinforce the leadership in Owan East and West by bringing everybody on board to actualize the coronation of Governor Adams Oshiomhole for a second term in office on July14. His words: ‘‘Governor

Oshiomhole has acquitted himself creditably in governance by helping to build institutional governance, quality roads, hospitals, schools and has created jobs in less than three years of his administration where the PDP failed abysmally to show that governance is about the people’’. Ihonvbere added: ‘‘a political party where the godfather dictates who gets what in the quiet re-

cesses of his bedroom and claims the heads of everybody in his armpit, cannot deliver the state and Nigeria at large from the mirage of her problems”. Barrister George Enereba, one of Ihonvbere’s admirers dubbed his coming into ACN as ‘home coming’ for the activist professor who has fought for the actualization of the present democracy along with other progressive forces who are currently the leaders in

You can’t islamise Nigeria, Makinde tells Boko Haram

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RELATE of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Bishop Ola Makinde yesterday declared that nobody can islamise Nigeria by force or by intimidation, even as he advocated the convocation of a national conference. Makinde spoke before an assemblage of over 70 senators and 200 members of the House of Representatives who attended the burial of the father of the deputy senate president, Igwe Mathias Ekweremadu at Mpu in Animri Local Government Area. Bishop Makinde in a sermon said he was unhappy when one of the country,s political leaders described Boko Haram members as people fighting for their rights despite the incessant destruction of lives and property by the group. Makinde said Boko Haram was not fighting for any justifiable cause. He said the alleged contradiction in the ideology of the group which,according to him ,is opposed to western educationin one breadth but in the other is utilising western technology. “They even make use of innovations of western education which they claim is bad and use cars and expensive weapons to destroy lives and property, yet some people point at poverty as the cause of their insurgence,” Makinde said. Makinde recalled that other militant groups like the Niger Delta militants, Odua Peoples Congress, the MASSOB and so on have just causes but one cannot pin down one justifiable one as regards that of Boko Haram. “ I am disappointed with that leader who said the Boko Haram is fighting for justice. What type of justice because they said western education is evil and they are using telephones, they are using e-mails and they are saying they will islamise Nigeria. Nobody can islamise Nigeria,” he stated. Calling for the convocation of a National Conference in the country , he wondered why people should oppose such a conference that would enable Nigerians sit down and discuss their future. The prelate admonished leaders of the country to strive and improve the lives of the people that voted them into office as power is not permanent.

ACN where he truly belongs. Pastor Vero Orekpieje said she is convinced that Ihonvbere’s coming would enlarge the coast and fortunes of ACN in the state with his track record as the people’s general. Ihonvbere thanked the people for acknowledging that the governor has done creditably well in a short period of three and a half years and deserves a second term in office where PDP has failed for 10 years. Ihonvbere teamed up with the ACN two weeks after the first Edo State executive governor, Chief John Oyegun and his deputy,the Rev. Peter Obadan joined it. They were all in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) during the struggle for democracy.

New Sector Commander charges officers, marshals

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•From left: Vice President Namadi Sambo, Governor Chime of Enugu State and Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State at the funeral service for Igwe Matthias Chukwuemeka Ekweremadu, father of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, at the Mpu Aninri LGA of Enugu State… yesterday PHOTO: Obi CLETUS

Abia governor gives out 25 patrol vans to Army BIA State governor, Theodore Orji has donated 25 patrol vans, fully equipped with security and communication gadgets, to the 14th Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia. The vehicles are to help the formation in checking criminal activities in the state. Handing over the vans to the Commander of the Brigade , General Jubrin Tanko Abubakar in Umuahia, Orji said presentation of patrol vans to security agencies in the state has become an annual event for the state government but said he has no regrets doing that. Orji said the patrol vans would help the various agencies secure the state.

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Ugochukwu EKE, Umuahia “It is now time to sustain the peace and security that has been going on in the state,” the governor said. He urged the military to ensure that armed robbery and kidnapping which have gone down in the state, do not return. He said all the security lapses noticed by them should be addressed so that criminal activities do not return to the state, The governor said, “It is in the bid to put a stop to the criminal activities of criminals in the state that prompted my administration to donate the patrol vans to the military, since we know that you people

need them for effective operation, including other logistics”. Orji said the police, SSS, Civil defence and other security agencies in the state would also benefit from distribution of the vans to enhance their operations. He charged the military to go all out to flush out the remnants of kidnappers and armed robbers es[pecially now that such criminals have switched to breaking oil pipelines passing through the state . Orji said: “Most of the kidnappers and armed robbers who have been dislodged in the state have moved to oil pipeline vandalisation and turned our state into a haven for illegal refineries and they

are giving us a bad image and helping to reduce our financial allocation from the Federal Government”. Receiving the 25 patrol vans the commander 14 brigade Ohafia, General Abubakar said that the army under 82 Division is ever happy with the state government, and assured the governor and the people of the state that there would be zero tolerance for all forms of criminal activities in the state. General Abubakar said, “Though criminal activities in the state and their likes have been flushed out in Abia and have turned their attention towards pipeline vandalism, I want to tell them that their time of operations in the state is over.”

Maternal mortality rate high in South East, by Anambra women

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RESIDENT General of Umuada Igbo Nigeria and in Diaspora, Lolo Kate Ezeofor has raised the alarm over increasing maternal mortality in the South East. She spoke at Ekwulobia, Aguata local government headquarters in Anambra state at a public sensitisation organised by Umuada Igbo and sponsored by IPAS Nigeria. She said inspite of the association’s renewed

Nwanosike ONU, Awka campaigns to checkmate the trend, maternal mortality in the zone currently stands at 1,000 per 100,000 births. Members of the Young Women Christian Association (YMCA) also trooped out at Umunnachi, Dunukofia local government area of Anambra state to call for government’s assistance. The organizer of the event, Mrs. Onyeka Udegbunam said mater-

nal deaths should be stopped adding that women should have control over the number of children they want to have. She said: “it requires political will by the government both at the state and federal levels to lift the burden off the shoulders of the Nigerian women and end their recurring journey to early graves through improved health care facilities.” A health worker at the

University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu (UNTH), Chinwe Nnajekwu described maternal mortality as a crime against women. She said the sensitization programme was apt considering the high rate of maternal mortality and rape in the society. She warned women who, due to poverty and ignorance, patronize traditional birth attendants, to desist from such act and visit their local health centers instead.

HE new Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) RS9.2 Ebonyi Sector Command, Abakaliki, Cdr. Oyinlade Fehintola(CC) , has charged Officers and Marshals of the Command to rededicate themselves to the corporate service of the commission in the state. He made the call while addressing the staff of the Command in Abakaliki. He told them they owe it a duty to ensure a safe motoring environment in the State at all time. He warned that any staff found wanting would be dealt with. He advised motorists to abide strictly with traffic rules and regulations to avoid arrest, fine or prosecution. Mobile courts and regular patrol of the State highways are to be employed, amongst other measures, to ensure sanity, said he.

Two killed in cult clash in Calabar Nicholas KALU, Calabar

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T least two persons have been killed in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, in renewed hostilities between rival cult groups on Thursday. Although the cause of the conflict could not be immediately ascertained, The Nation gathered that a suspected cultist was killed on Akparika street in the morning, while the second one was killed in a canteen at the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) at about 4pm by rivals. They were both shot. Three other suspected cultists who received machete cuts, it was gathered, are in critical conditions in an undisclosed hospital in Calabar. The Police Public Relations Officer, Hogan Bassey, said the matter was under investigation.


THE NATION SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8-6-12

NSE index drops by 1.0% as equities lose N68b

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QUITY transactions on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed significantly in the bearish zone yesterday. The downturn was significantly impacted by value losses posted by Tier-1 banks amongst which are First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank. The benchmark All Share Index (ASI) dropped by 11.73 points, representing 1.0 per cent to close lower at 20,902.95 points. Similarly, the market capitalization of all equities dwindled by N67.53 billion to close lower at N6.67 trillion com-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

pared with its opening value of N6.73 trillion. The downturn was equally impacted by value losses over moderate volume posted in several mid and large capitalized stocks including Nigerian Breweries, Access Bank, UAC Nigeria, Dangote Sugar, Oando and Skye Bank. However, in spite of the pervasive bearish market sentiment, Transcorp continued to soar higher closing yet again at a limit up

of N1.21 with outstanding bids in the region of 28milliom units. First Bank succumbed to pressure from the supply side, shedding 4.8 per cent in value, to close at N10.80. GTBank suffered a similar fate but in a milder form as it lost 2.5 per cent of it price to close at N15.01. Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank and Zenith Bank all closed the day negatively, while Fidelity Bank seemed to be the bright spark amongst the banks, closing with a 5.0 per cent lift. Institutional bid interest coupled with a dearth of supply volumes translated into an 88 basis point lift for Guinness, closing at N229.00, conversely NB lost value again to close at N96.00. Zenith Bank however topped the activity chart with turnover of 50.3 million units.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8-6-12


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THE NATION SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

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SPORT EXTRA

Sibi Gwar vows to score more goals

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IGER TORNADOES goal poacher, Sibi Gwar who sits atop the goals scorer’s chart with 12 goals has assured NationSport that he would beat the 20 goal mark set last season by then Kaduna United striker, Jude Aneke at the end of the current campaign. Gwar was impressive in the second stanza of the 2010/2011 season when he left Kwara United for ornadoes and he shipped in 12 goals in about 18 games but this term he has already plundered home 12 th about 10 matches to the end of the season. The Benue born player told NationSport shortly after adding a goal to his tally in his club’s 2-0 home win over Gombe United on Thursday that he was not only interested in ending the season with the NPL Gong but to also etch his name into the record books by beating the existing 20 goals scored by Warri Wolves’

From Tunde Liadi,Owerri attacker, Aneke. “I am thanking God for making it possible for me to score again. I already told you that I am always at my best during the second stanza. If not for injuries which means fewer games I would have scored more than what I have

AHEAD LONDON 2012

Wrestlers for training tour of Germany June 10

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HE Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) on Friday said its Olympic games-bound wrestlers would leave for Germany on June 10 for a training tour ahead of the London Games. The Olympics are scheduled to hold from July 27 to Aug. 12. The wrestlers comprise two

Sports Managers hit NOC Lagos office for advanced course

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O fewer than 20 sports managers from federal, state and other government parastatals hit Lagos office of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) for the 5th and 6th session of NOC/IOC Advanced ports Management Course which took place at the NOC Building, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The 2 days event which started on the 1st of June and ended on 2nd of June, 2012 supporting the initial sessions conducted which

presently. I have 12 goals but I am not yet satisfied with being the highest goals scorer alone I also I also want to beat Jude Aneke’s record. I will be okay with 21 goals but what matter for me is to also see my name in the record books,” Gwar informed NationSport.

basically was put together to further improve on the knowledge of the participants. Participants in attendance were , Mr. Akinlotan Olusegun, Dr. G.I. Odewunmi, Mr. Ahmed Bashari Maizare, Mr. Umar Aliyu, Mr. Babalola S. Adetunji, Mr. B.A. Orodele, Mr. Akinremi F.A. , Dr. Esther O. Aluko. Others includes, Dr. Simeon Ebhojiaye, Yemisi Usikaye, Mr. Paul Ogazi, Mr. Chinedu Ezeala, Mr. Adeojo Martins, Mr. Kunle Adeyemi and Professor Fasan.

men and two women. They are: Sinivie Boltic (90kg), Adibo Dicks (96kg), Amarachi Obiajunwa (72kg) and Blessing Oborodudu (63kg). They would be accompanied by their Technical Adviser, Daniel Igali. According to Igali, the wrestlers will be in Germany for six weeks as part of their preparations for the global showpiece. The technical adviser told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)-via telephone from the Yenagoa camping site--that the team had been lucky to be injury free since the commencement of the local camping. ``The camping has been going on well and we are hoping to get to Germany on Sunday; so far, we’ve had no injury fears among the wrestlers. ``We’re supposed to be in Germany for six weeks and most likely move on from there to London for the Games,” he said.

Eagles’ blind display • Continued from back page that we have resorted to the team’s psychologists to tell better exposed players how to be patient in front of the goal against minnows, such Namibia and Malawi? I wonder what we would do against Spain, Brazil, Holland, Germany etc. Our coaches must update their knowledge and come to terms with the fact that the world is a global village where, at the touch of a button, information is received on the internet. A coach’s pedigree should tell any team preparing against him to know what to expect. Soon, we would appreciate the fact that Nigerian coaches belong to the kindergarten cadre and expect less from them, lest we get more of such heartaches. I digress. It was difficult watching them in our living rooms, especially after the scrolled messages of the two air crashes in Lagos and Ghana on the same day was displayed on television. One kept looking at the Eagles’ bench to see if the coaches were following the way our players were struggling against the Namibians, whose league is not highly rated in Africa. Eagles’ coaches last Sunday were clueless. They benchmarked the rudderless play of our players. At a point, Stephen Keshi gesticulated but the message he thought he had sent was clearly not understood. The Eagles style was predictable; the players hardly struck the ball at goal, except for some flashes against the crowded Namibians. The Namibians played the way Chelsea did during the UEFA Champions League and our coaches were awed. They looked up to the skies for good fortune. When John Utaka (I warned Keshi here last week that this man belongs to the past) scored a goal after Oboabona had kicked the ball outside the line, it was a catalogue of misses from our players, who failed to dribble the ball through the visitors’ crowded defence. Ikechukwu Uche (no surprise that he scored the only goal) was the only one who tried to waltz past the Namibians. Uche was the only thinking player. Perhaps Victor Moses; even he fell easily, making a mockery of the ruggedness of the celebrated Barclays English League. The other outfield players lacked the initiative to conjure tricks to unlock the Namibians defensive tactics. When a team is defective in tactics, the coaches carry the can. The Eagles’ coaching crew appears to me like a comity of friends. This trend pre-dates Keshi’s era and it is chiefly responsible for the nervy and heart – wrenching display that we have watched in the last 15 years, especially with Nigerian coaching crew. Keshi et al should accept the grim reality that their rebuilding process has a faulty foundation. Keshi will be remembered for his achievements and I dare say that he needs to sack his assistants because they are technically weak to help him whenever things go awry- like we saw on Sunday. Keshi, there are better players in the domestic league than what you have. How is it possible for Juwon Oshaniwa, a third-string left back to be in the Eagles? In which games did your assistants see Juwon play? Half – fit Taiye Taiwo is better than Juwon. I also ponder over who invites Ete Ambrose to the Eagles? The Eagles missed Joseph Yobo’s leadership qualities. Keshi needs to invite Apam Onyekachi and immediately contact Nedum Onuoha as options for his shaky defence. If the Eagles struggled against Namibia in Nigeria, I wonder what they will do against Cote d’ Ivoire. Maybe, we won’t waste time appearing against Spain, Holland, Germany, Brazil and Italy because we will be roasted with goals because of their coaches’ scientific and modern coaching tactics and techniques. Keshi, Nigeria’s flag must be hoisted at the 2014 World Cup and the starting point to look for new assistants. Keshi, your assistants should be your technical buffers, not liabilities. Who says you can’t hire Europeans to replace them? Indeed, it is unthinkable that Nigerians cannot beat their chests today that the Eagles will whip the Malawians silly this afternoon at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre. In the years of yore, we would be talking of how many goals that the Eagles would score. We would even have the effrontery to predict the match scorers. Perish that thought of football being anybody’s game. Not when Nigeria wants to confront Malawi. After attaining those high heights in 1994, today’s game in Blantyre should be a piece of cake. Whatever it is, one hopes that the Eagles will prove their mettle today. Up Nigeria, Up Super Eagles!


Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 3051

It is hard for anyone to say with pride that these safety-promoting organizations are doing their job efficiently and effectively, if one considers the number of accidents on our roads, in the air, or even inside buildings —Ropo Sekoni

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HIS newspaper’s ace columnist and iconic satirist, Dr. Olatunji Dare’s book, ‘Diary of a Debacle’ that chronicles the entire drama of the June 12, 1993, presidential election and the consequences of its annulment is one of the best examples of the journalist as historian. In a sense, the entire history of post-colonial Nigeria can be read as a series of often destructive annulments. To annul is to declare something non- existent. It is a form of destruction, annihilation and total obliteration. It is to cancel, to erase; to create a void where there was previous solidity and tangibility. Surely, the history of annulments in Nigeria did not begin with General Ibrahim Babangida’s assault on the sacred and panNigeria mandate conferred on Chief Moshood Abiola by the electorate on June 12, 1993. Neither has annulment in a wider, deeper sense of the word ended with the ‘stepping aside’, nearly two decades ago, by the gap-toothed General for the rickety ING contraption. Long before the blood-thirsty majors intervened in the political process in January 1966, the politicians themselves had effectively annulled democratic practice in the First Republic through their clannishness, corruption and utter disdain for electoral integrity and the rule of law. In his classic study of the politics of the Second Republic, Professor Richard Joseph poignantly depicted how prebendalism and electoral roguery had, for all practical purposes, annulled and suffocated democratic practice in that period long before the military performed the formal burial ceremony in December 1983. To annul is to kill. It is to snuff life out of an event or issue and to seek to do so irreversibly. Annulment of all that is positive, good and hopeful is the very definition of life in the Hobbesian jungle of contemporary Nigeria. I remember those haunting words of the great historian and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Tekena Tamuno: “All things bright and beautiful, Nigeria kills them all”. The annulment of life affirming values has become our definitive national culture! Come to think of it, all IBB did was to annul an election, universally accepted as the freest and fairest ever in Nigeria’s history. The guillotining of that mandate was a gratuitous insult on Nigeria and an assault on the intelligence of her people. But pray, what did we witness in the 2003 and 2007 farcical exercises that masqueraded as elections? Those elections were nothing but practical exercises in the annulment of the Nigerian electorate! Appalled by the degree of barbarity that characterised the 2007 elections in particular, the courts sought to breathe some life back into a near fatally comatose electorate. Outstanding in his courage in this respect was the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami, and his likeminded fellow activist judges who insisted in restoring electoral justice in Edo, Ondo,

Towards the final annulment?

Annulment of all that is positive, good and hopeful is the very definition of life in the Hobbesian jungle of contemporary Nigeria. I remember those haunting words of the great historian and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Tekena Tamuno: “All things bright and beautiful, Nigeria kills them all”

•Jonathan Ekiti and Osun states. But then, what consequences were to follow? The National Judicial Council (NJC), the apex judicial authority in the country, effectively annulled the PCA’s judicial career for no just cause, recommending his suspension from office and premature retirement to the President. Of course, a President who often takes his time before making the most urgent decisions acted with uncommon despatch in suspending Justice Salami and appointing an acting PCA. Now, under the inspirational leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdpaher, whose conscience has apparently not been annulled into insensitivity, the NJC has retraced its steps, cleared the jurist of any wrongdoing, and recommended his reinstatement as PCA. A President who has been deservedly commended

for showing sensitivity to the injustice of the June 12 election and, unlike his predecessors, venturing to honour the clear winner of the election, has shown no disposition to do the just, right and constitutional thing on the Salami matter! In fact, what the President has silently but effectively done is to annul a decision constitutionally and procedurally arrived at by the NJC. I join those who have fulsomely commended President Jonathan in identifying, no matter how reluctantly, Chief MKO Abiola as the winner of that historic election and at least naming a national edifice, the University of Lagos, in his honour. It is, however, sad and ironical, that the process through which the decision was made seems as arbitrary, insulting and arrogant as the annulment of the June 12 election. Like the annulment, little or no consultation was made beyond a narrow clique. Like the annulment, the sensibilities and feelings of the stakeholders meant little or nothing.

Like the annulment, the government has said there is no going back on its decision as regards UNILAG’s new name. Is there any wonder then that students, teachers and alumni of the institution feel that the name of their beloved school has been forcibly annulled against their will? Of course, the point has been rightly made that Chief MKO Abiola is richly deserving of this honour. But how can you invoke the same kind of arrogant, devil-may-care spirit that led to the annulment and ultimately Abiola’s death to exorcise the demons of that injustice? Surely, this matter could have been better handled. An important irony was probably lost on the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, when he accused the protesting UNILAG students of being ignorant of the history of the June 12 struggle. And this is the sad fact that successive governments have virtually annulled the teaching of Nigerian history in our schools. Can a nation make meaningful progress, which has all but obliterated its collective social memory? Can you blame that innocent student who probably thinks that MKO Abiola, the ‘pillar of sports’, was simply the manager of a football club called ‘Abiola Babes’? Can you blame those students somewhere in the South West who had no idea who Obafemi Awolowo was but instantly and enthusiastically recognised Obafemi Martins, the footballer? I very much fear that we are moving fast towards the ultimate and final annulment: the complete annihilation of the very idea of Nigeria. Boko Haram now routinely annuls hundreds of lives through bombs. Tanker explosions and sundry other dangers ever so casually eliminate lives on the death traps we call highways. Massive corruption and the attendant regulatory complacency led to the terminal annulment of 154 lives aboard the crashed DANA aircraft. Early this year, the Jonathan presidency identified the country’s number one enemy. It was a horrible monster called fuel subsidy. Annul this enemy, we were told, and it would be welcome to Eldorado. Of course, massive protests against any fuel subsidy removal grounded the country for about a week. The subsequent House of Representatives public enquiry showed clearly that the entire fuel subsidy brouhaha was an elaborate fraud. Yet, up till now those responsible for this disaster have had neither their cosy positions nor their loot annulled. If this country continues to be governed in this absolutely inept and callous manner, there is every possibility that her very existence will soon be annulled. Like the ill-fated DANA aircraft, she will simply crash out of the skies of history unlamented and unsung. And the befitting epitaph: ‘Here once existed a species of gifted but prodigal brigands who inhabited and wasted this space’. To avert that fate, we can no longer afford to ‘siddon look’ as this enormously endowed country is daily and savagely raped.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Eagles’ blind display

T

HESE Super Eagles are heartbreakers. They were so sluggish against the Brave Warriors last Sunday in Calabar. They did the same thing repeatedly, yet they were expecting a good result. Dominance in football counts for nothing, if such a team doesn’t score goals. Minnows’ strategy of playing defensively against bigger countries is legendary. Coaches dig deep to proffer counter tactics to unlock such negative approaches to football games. Most times, match winners among the better exposed players take the initiative to justify their reputation. It was, therefore, sickening watching the Eagles approach the Namibians’ predictable style by running down the line to cross the ball into a crowded defence. It hurts further that those crosses were

aimed at the Eagles’ attackers who were smaller than the visitors, who effortlessly headed the ball to frustrate the players and raise the adrenaline of Nigerians back home and in the stadium. One didn’t need to be a coach to know that the Eagles ought to have changed their approach to the Namibian game by putting the ball on the ground. They also should have conquered any form of anxiety against the Namibians by holding onto the ball and tossing it around in a bid to bring them out of their defensive formation. Our players have repeatedly failed to recreate their club forms for the Eagles because of the archaic pattern Eagles coaches adopt for our matches. One doesn’t need to be a seer to know that the Eagles cannot play the 4-2-4 formation, where the wide-men are wingers because the average age of the squad is truly 32, not what they claim in their Nigerian passports.

Such style, though modern, is played by squads with average ages of 22-24, since it requires a lot of speed, creativity, fitness and energy to implement. And with a squad that still reckons with ageless players, such as John Utaka and the armada of over 32-yearolds, such inventive style of play (4-2-4) won’t achieve the desired results. Sadly, in Keshi’s quest to rebuild the Eagles, he opted for the domestic league to pick new boys. Nothing has changed because the age difference between the home-grown and those in Europe is the same. Who told them that the house has collapsed? If there are problems with the administration of the game here and the fact that our domestic coaches are bereft of the new tricks in the game, does it necessitate the rebuilding of the Super Eagles? I don’t think so because the results will be the same like we are seeing. Again, one is miffed when Nigerian

coaches tell us after disappointing displays that the team will get better. Before those matches, they give us the impression that they know the opposition properly. It is disappointing that our coaches don’t know that they should have match readers, who would have information on the teams that their bosses would confront in competitions. It is sad to note that Nigerian coaches don’t know what to include in their contracts. Going to Malawi, we are being told by Stephen Keshi that he knows a little of them. What then is he working on to conquer the Malawians today in Blantyre? It is this blind chase that makes the Eagles a painful sight to behold during matches. This defective approach makes it impossible for our foreign legion to recreate their European club forms whilst wearing Nigeria’s colours. A few people would disagree and insist that NFF should provide all these details. I ask: how many of us waited for our parents or sponsors to provide the clues that we used to pass our examinations in schools, after paying our fees? It is also sickening to hear

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


The Nation June 9, 2012